What Caught My Eye Week 9, 2021
They scheduled a football game out in Provo, Utah last Saturday night, and a basketball game broke out. That’s not true, but for folks who check the college football scoreboard it must have looked that way at first glance. But it was only a case of both teams having mediocre defenses this season, and their offenses picking up the slack to slug out a most entertaining game, if you’re not a football purist. The final score was BYU 66, VIRGINIA 49. I failed to see about half of the fourth quarter because my recording device shut down after the 3 hours generally allocated to such an event, but was significantly short of the time needed for 115 total points to be scored. Whew… I do feel sorry for the Defensive Coordinators of both teams. I have a couple of Draft Prospects thumbnailed below from that game for your consideration when looking ahead to the 2022 NFL Draft.
It’s hard to argue with the numbers after last season, and so far this one, but it is also hard for me to get my head around the fact that after 20 years at the helm of TCU, Head Coach GARY PATTERSON failed to make it through year 21. He was fired after his latest loss at Kansas State last Saturday. After a mediocre 2020 Covid season at 6-4, much more was expected from the football program in 2021. But it just was not happening. The team has looked lost in some of their games this season, and PATTERSON looked pretty befuddled too on the sidelines trying to figure out what was wrong. I might point to nepotism within the coaching staff as a factor in the team’s demise. In several games, it has looked like chaos on the TCU sidelines. It always hurts when you see a long time employee, with a solid track record, kicked out the door, but I can’t say it comes as a total shock in this case. Thanks for the memories Coach PATTERSON.
One of the current hot rumors around the state of Texas football right now is that the TCU program may be ready to make a run at SMU head Coach SONNY DYKES. SMU has always had the money from their alums to get the “job” done, and they probably want to keep DYKES, who has his Mustangs sitting at 7-1. It was SMU money bags that improperly recruited the Pony Express RB duo of ERIC DICKERSON & CRAIG JAMES to Dallas and got SMU the NCAA Death Penalty for their football program back in the day. Might they have what it takes to keep DYKES in place? Or does TCU have even more moola to hang on to DYKES. We may just find out in a few months.
#25 TYLER ALLGEIER RB BYU 5’11/220 Bet many of you have not heard of him, and couldn’t spell his last name without help. Well, start practicing his name folks, ’cause he is the real deal and could crack Top 100 lists of 2022 Draft Prospects. He’s in there already for me. He’s the first RB at BYU to break the 1,000-yard mark in a season since JAMAAL WILLIAMS back in 2016. He had 1,130 yards rushing in 2020 for the Cougars, at 7.5 ypc. He has 1,132, in 9 games this season, after slashing and smashing for 266 yards and 5 TD’s on 29 carries against UVA in that 66-49 Win for BYU on Saturday night. He’s a hard charging guy that can run thru, over, or around would-be tacklers. After taking a hand-off, I would describe his running style as explosive. I think he will post a very good 4.44/40-time, or better, at the 2022 NFL COMBINE. He is also a good route runner and catcher. And, oh yes, he will stand in and block for his QB. He is in my Top Dozen as a prospect in the RB group. This guy is true pr prospect.
#5 BRENNAN ARMSTRONG QB Virginia 6’2/215 When I watched him in 2020, I thought he looked lost at times, especially trying to read the field and get thru his progressions. He was reasonably effective moving the offense, but in good part because he was a quality runner that led the team in rushing yards last season. He looked like a different guy to me against BYU last Saturday. He still ran for 94 yards and 2 TD’s, but he also went 22/34 for 337 -yds and 4 TD’s. He did throw 2 INT’s, but that was under pressure to keep up with the BYU scoring machine, IMO. In a year when I seriously question the quality and quantity of top level QB talent for the 2022 Draft, ARMSTRONG may be a very strong “sleeper” candidate for Day 2 of said Draft. I thought it quite interesting that after he left the pocket to run for a red zone first down, ESPN Commentator KIRK MORRISON (former NFL LB) linked ARMSTRONG’s scrambling ability to a BYU guy named STEVE YOUNG. Might be a bit lofty, but I get the comparison. I cannot believe how much this guy has improved as a QB when comparing game tape of 2020 action with 2021. I was contemplating putting him down as a “sleeper”, but after his work against BYU, he’s Top 100. Count Armstrong as a prospect with an arrow pointing UP!
#88. GRANT CALCATERRA TE SMU 6’5/247 Some of you will remember his name from his Oklahoma days. You might also remember that in 2019 he hung up his spikes and pretty much declared himself out of football as he battled seemingly endless injuries. With a bit better health in his back pocket, he transferred to SMU and is their starting TE. He looks as solid as ever. He was never an elite prospect IMO, but he was pretty darn good overall. Against Houston, he caught 3 balls for 27-yards and probably should have been targeted more often. His nice size makes him a big target for his QB, and he shows good, if not great, hands. He is also a solid blocking option. In other words, he is a solid, old-fashioned, inline TE. Compared to the past couple of years, the 2022 Draft Prospect list at TE is packed this college season. In the 2020/21 Drafts, he might have snuck into the Top 100 as a Draftee. But in this year’s TE prospect group, he likely finds himself fairly early on Day 3. Looking forward to seeing him as a part of a very strong TE group at the Senior Bowl in February.
#69 JAMAREE SALYER OG/T Georgia 6’4/325 Let us get the comparison that’s been on my mind all season watching Georgia games; SALYER reminds me a lot of former Bulldog and current PATRIOTS OL ISAIAH WYNN. Like WYNN, he is a wide body that shows surprising agility. He is also, like WYNN, better suited for work inside at OG, primarily because of his lack of length, but shows quite well out at LT each game. He is a mauler deluxe, using all of his 325 lbs. to move defenders out of the way for the UGA RB corps. He gets to second level blocks and is particularly effective using his wide body frame to seal off opposing DL/LB’s from the running lane. He looks good most of the time in pass-pro and certainly some of that has to come from working all week in practice against an Uber-talented group of defensive players. I will be projecting him as an OG, and in my Top 5 for that position group. But one never knows… WYNN is still playing LT for the PATRIOTS, when he can stay healthy. SALYER will automatically be included in the 2022 Draft eligible player list, but he could return to UGA thanks to the “free” Covid-19 season granted to all athletes by the NCAA. Look for him in the Draft, on Day 2.
#71 ANDREW STUEBER OT Michigan 6’7/335 I watched STUEBER get off to a very slow 1st Quarter start two Saturdays ago against Northwestern. Then he picked it up the rest of the day, and I almost put him in my “sleepers” group last week. But given such a big showdown game against State this past Saturday, I decided to put him in my notebook as a key watch for that game. Glad that I did. STUEBER is a huge guy. I think we may be blown away by some of his arm and hand measurements at the end of the season. However, he’s not a super athlete. He has worked diligently to improve his technique and footwork, and it has paid off. He shows good get-off at the ball snap most downs. He works hard to keep his feet moving in pass-pro. His punch on defenders should be stronger than it is on most downs, but that should be fixable. For his size, he has pretty good knee bend, and balance. Speed edge-rushers, with very good bend, are going to be a real challenge for him. Pro coaches will not want to see him trying to protect their QB’s blindside. There is talk of him being better suited for OG, and such talk will help his pro prospects as coaches look for game day versatility from their OL backups. His size and fundamentals should enable him to be drafted in Rounds 4/5 if he can post some decent Pro Day/Combine testing numbers.
#99 KEYTAON THOMPSON WR Virginia 6’4/215 Strange number, you say, for a wideout. I agree, but the former Mississippi State QB that had a major shoulder injury that forced a position change, is a big, talented athlete with good hands and football savvy on what a QB likes to see in his receivers. Reminds me of the kind of “raw” receivers a running program like GA TECH has historically produced. Lots of talent, short on experience. He showed out against BYU, with 9 receptions for 91 yards and 1 TD. He flashes talent already. Imagine what he might do in 2-3 years with NFL coaching. He’s the kind of guy the NFL had in mind for their practice Squad expansion. I doubt he has enough time to move up out of a Round 7/CFA prospect ranking, but the NFL doesn’t completely miss out on talent very often. He looks like a Training Camp roster shoe-in.
#9 KENNETH WALKER RB Michigan State 5’10/210 The Wake transfer got off to a great start for his new team in September. Then he kinda got slowed down in late October. However, he ended the month in the Spartans biggest game, a solid Win over arch-rival Michigan. WALKER ran for a 1st Quarter TD, then another in the second quarter. His 3rd TD came in Quarter 3. You get the picture, as he topped it off with 2 more in the 4th Quarter. For any of you who might be math-challenged, that’s 5 TD’s for the game. His final TD vaulted the Spartans to a 36-30 lead, that they never relinquished. In the biggest of games for MSU, WALKER carried 23 times, for 197 yards, and caught 3 passes to frost the cake. He showed power and determination. He has good balance and sees the field very well. He shows speed and quickness, with great change of direction to avoid tacklers. After a bit of early season skepticism, I am sold that he’s the real deal, and has a solid NFL future. He is now firmly in my Top 100 Prospects.
#7 QUAY WALKER LB Georgia 6’4/240 Trying to scout Georgia players can be a nightmare once you get past being awestruck at how many superior athletes they run in and out of games. Then it becomes a pain in the arse trying to see enough snaps for your scouting target, and the game stats can vary wildly from game to game. Nice problem to have! QUAY is part of their LB group and is an absolute “dawg” in pursuit of the football. Against Florida, I got lucky, because QUAY played like a man possessed. He was around the ball all game, and his stats on the day showed that. He was credited with 13 tackles, 7 solo, and 2 QBH’s, 1/2 TFL. He also is adept, thanks in great part to his pure athleticism, at dropping into shallow to medium pass coverage quite effectively. Top 100, of course, likely Round 2 in my eyes right now. He may really show out at the Combine, and that might put him him in serious consideration for late Round 1. I luv this player, on as dominant of a Defense as I have ever seen in college football.
TREY DEAN #0 Florida S 6’3/205 The leader of the Gators secondary. Primary skill revolves around good ball skills and aggressive tackling. His first full year as a starter, but only because of quality depth in the secondary at Florida. Should test well at the Combine if he heads to the NFL. Day 3 Draftee.
DIEGO FAGOT #54 Navy LB 6’3/240 Nice sized and very productive in the NAVY Defense. Led team with 72 tackles in 2020. Has 71 thru 8 games this year. Seems a little slow diagnosing where the ball is going after the snap.
KEVIN JARVIS #75 Michigan State OG/T 6’6/320 Big body that can move. Has played both Tackle and Guard. Part of that blocking crew for the run game on an 8-0 Spartans team.
REGGIE ROBERSON #21 SMU WR 6’/200 ROBERSON fell to a leg injury after 4 Games last season, but is now beginning to look like his old self after a slow start to the 2021 season. Speed and good hands are his tickets to the NFL. His medical and workouts at the Combine will be huge as he tries to get into Day 2 of the Draft.
DAMARION WILLIAMS #6 Houston CB 5’10/180 Kinda undersized, but plenty quick cover guy that is not hesitant to support in run D. Had 7 Tackles and 1 PD in big win over perviously undefeated SMU last Saturday. Likely Day 3 draftee.
JELANI WOODS #0 Virginia TE 6’7/275 Yes he’s really that big, or should I say huge. And after blocking almost exclusively at Oklahoma State, he’s shown that he can run patterns and catch the ball for UVA. Another MARCEDES LEWIS wanna-be, and pro coaches will luv that.
Looking forward to another exciting weekend of scouting prospects. In a side note, watch next Monday for my initial 2021 College Football rankings. Always on the gbnreport.com website.
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