Sunday, September 15, 2013

7 College Football Thoughts For Week 3 - Scouting Quarterbacks

1. First off, I was very underwhelmed by Brett Hundley. I know he won the game and by a large margin, but Nebraska's defense is just terrible. Hundley was just locking in on receivers and hesitating for a split second before throwing the ball. If the defense was reading his eyes at all, they were able to break on the ball before it was even in the air. When he actually did scan the field, it was never smooth and looked very robotic.

Hundley did show good mobility throughout the game and he seemed to have decent pocket awareness. One thing that I do wonder is whether he might be better with more pressure. He seemed to hold onto the ball long, because he had no pressure and maybe he would make quicker decisions and throws if he was forced to.

The good news is that he does have a good arm on him. He threw some nice balls and showed good accuracy for the most part. I would have liked to see more routes where he was forced to lead his receivers, but they threw a lot of curls and comebacks throughout the game. His touchdown pass down the near sideline was a thing of beauty.

2. Taylor Martinez...no. In all seriousness, he does a nice job in that offense, and he was pretty accurate early on, but the T-Magic stopped working in the second half. Also, he will always have two games a year where it's just brutal to watch him. Also, the arm strength isn't there for him to be a real quarterback prospect at the next level.

3. Teddy Bridgewater, on the other hand, is fun to watch. He is so smooth. He is able to go through his reads, and is willing to throw the ball away if nothing is there. Kentucky did a really nice job of taking away his first options and not letting him get anything deep, but he was willing to check down and take the gains that were open underneath. On top of that, he does some nice work with his play action where he will really hold that ball out until the last possible moment before keeping it for the pass play. Basically, just about everything about him is fantastic. He leads people  in stride, can throw it down field, it's all there. I love Clowney, but I have a very tough time believing that Bridgewater won't be the first pick in the draft.

4. For Blake Bell, I didn't watch a ton of the game, but man, that guy really floats his balls down the field. That won't work at the next level, but he was pretty damn accurate from what I saw, and if he can keep that up, Oklahoma has a good shot at the Big 12 title. He's not much of a prospect at the next level, but it's still fine to enjoy him for what he is.

5. Johnny Manziel was pretty impressive early on. Showing great accuracy when throwing the ball down the field. He was just tearing up Alabama with man-to-man, because he was either finding an open guy or was able to scramble, because everyone in coverage had their back to him. He was just taking his time and carving things up. His passes were incredibly accurate. It was all good.

Okay, so that stupid throw. It was 3rd and 8, so even if it gets picked, it doesn't really cost them that much, because they were going to be too far out for a field goal. They're looking at a pooch punt or a 4th and 8, which, even though he was rolling, is not an easy conversion. That being said, I think Johnny Manziel is just a madman who doesn't give a shit about anything, and none of that was actually going through his head. He really just wanted to make a play.

His interception in the end zone wasn't that bad. Not a great throw, but it wasn't done out of cockiness, as the CBS announcers stated. He just overthrew it a little and his receiver badly misjudged it. His interception at the beginning of the third quarter was much worse as he forced a ball into coverage, under threw the pass, and paid for it on a tip. His problem was that he was so successful throwing the ball down the field early on that he just kept doing it, and it eventually caught up to him. Also, the breaks just did not go their way, as Alabama really only stopped them with good defense on one drive in the first half. Otherwise, they were hurt by penalties, that first interception, and running out of time at the end of the half.

6. A.J. McCarron is solid in all aspects of the game. The arm strength is not going to wow you, but he knows what he's doing out there. He makes quick decisions in everything that he does. He also does a very good job of reading a defense before the ball is snapped to put him in a position to succeed. The toughest thing about scouting McCarron is he is surrounded by players on offense that are way better than any players he could face on defense. This is just as unique of a situation as trying to scout Marcus Mariota and the offense that Oregon runs to give them an advantage. I don't think he's been as good this year as he was last year, but the core skills are there for him to be successful.

7. I have heard Marcus Mariota rumored as a top QB prospect, and although I like him for the Eagles at the next level, I do not see him as a big time prospect for most teams. He's a fine thrower, but it is tough to put pressure on Oregon, and he showed an extreme lack of pocket awareness against Tennessee. I'll admit to seeing only about five plays from him in that game, but those are my initial thoughts from my limited view of him. 

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