Saturday Lookout: Hoosiers' Johnson out to boost stock against buckeyes
The postponements continue in College Football. Once more, several prospects I would have liked to focus on will be sidelined. While they wait for another week we have three prospects who deserve a deeper look. We’ll focus on a defensive tackle who faces his stiffest task yet, a quarterback with big time potential and an emerging safety from the SEC.
Indiana's Jerome Johnson to ask questions of Buckeyes elite interior
The Indiana Hoosiers have been a surprise package in the Big 10 so far this year. Having picked up the scalps of Penn State and Michigan, they dominated Michigan State without conceding a point. A big part of last week’s display was defensive tackle Jerome Johnson.
At 6’3, 304lbs he fits the bill as a space eater in the middle of the front. However, what jumps off the tape is his ability to get penetration into the backfield. He has 2 sacks so far this year, bolstering his four year career number to 11.5. Interior penetration is a must at the next level so if Johnson can continue in a similar vein, he should garner some attention.
On Saturday, he will face off against Ohio State. It will be a great test for Johnson against two of the best interior offensive lineman in college football. The Buckeyes have Josh Myers at centre and right guard Wyatt Davis. If Johnson can get some production against that pair, it will show that he is a serious prospect.
Davis Mills must kickstart the Cardinal as well as his own draft stock
Davis Mills was the feature of one of my offseason articles. He was a quarterback that Bruce Feldman had highlighted as a potential riser in the draft process. Unfortunately, it was an auspicious start for Mills, missing the season opener due to Covid-19 protocol.
When he did make it onto the field he couldn’t prevent his Stanford team from going down against Colorado in a shootout. Mills once again showed he was comfortable and metronomic on shorter routes. He even demonstrated the ability to pick up first downs with his feet.
What is holding Mills back is when he needs to come up with a deeper throw. While he has plenty of arm strength his decision making further down the field can be questionable. The Stanford defense won’t offer much resistance this year meaning emphasis will be on Mills to make things happen on offense.
The likelihood is that Mills will opt for another year in college after a shortened, disjointed season in 2020. It seems unlikely he will be able to put enough on tape this season to become a highly touted prospect for the 2021 season. However, his raw skills suggest there could be something special to uncover in Mills.
Gillespie could be a dark horse in the 2021 safety class
We missed the boat on Tyree Gillespie. All set to feature in last week’s Saturday Lookout, Missouri’s postponement due to Covid-19 meant he was rolled over to this week. In the meantime, he received an invitation to the Senior Bowl and Draft Twitter got their teeth into him, anointing him a dark horse to watch.
Draft analyst Dane Brugler seemed to be first onto Gillespie following an impressive display against Alabama. If you are going to shine in a game then doing against the Crimson Tide is a good choice. Gillespie showed off his talents against an elite receiving crew of Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith.
Gillespie often lines up as a single high safety but shows plenty of punch when coming downhill into the box. He is a solid wrap-up tackler and has enough lateral speed to cover ground in coverage. GIllespie has some work to do when matched up in man coverage and can be a bit light on some tackles, as demonstrated last year against a rampaging D’Andre Swift of Georgia. However, if the Mizzou safety continues to make progress then expect him to rise up draft boards.
formerly writing for the inside zone, rory will be breaking down college tape and keeping you up-to-date with all things CFB for the touchdown. an avid bengals fan, you can also find some of rory’s work at stripehype.com