#15 North Carolina State Wolfpack @ #9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Notre Dame Stadium – South Bend, IN
Score: NC State (14) – Notre Dame (35)
Bradley Chubb is consistent this season
During a competitive first half, Chubb made his presence felt often and continued to prove his dominance as an edge defender. His short area explosion allowed him to quickly gain the step against blockers. Even when he initially didn’t have leverage on the block, he played with strength and great work ethic to continue moving toward the ball carrier. I was thoroughly impressed with his patience at the los versus the run.
Against multiple read option run plays, he tackled the ball carrier for no gain by squatting along the edge of the los patiently until the runner committed. As a pass rusher, he jumps out of his stance. His explosion even caused pressure on the QB during a RB screen pass. He is a leader and total package edge rusher that should contribute early and often on the NFL level. Stock: up
Josh Adams a true Heisman candidate
Adams has been averaging almost 9 yds. per carry this season. During this game he exploded on 4 runs that were over 10 yds. One of which was a 77-yd. touchdown run. With high knees and a powerful demeanor, Josh Adams will drag defenders. Once he gets his momentum running downhill, it is a tall task for defenders to bring him down. In the open field, he’ll use his long stiff arm to hold off defenders for as long as possible as he chugs along.
I didn’t see much juke ability to make many defenders miss within the trenchers but I did see the ability to smoothly crease through a slim hole along the line during zone runs. His high knees and breakaway speed gashed the NC State defense. He always leaned forward while running so he that he would fall forward after contact. In the NFL, I believe that he will need to rely on a large volume of carries to showcase his breakaway speed because he won’t gash the defense as often as he does on the college level. Stock: up
Thing 1: Notre Dame’s Quenton Nelson
This game didn’t show me anything new on Nelson. He’ll be one of the top offensive linemen of this class because of his brawler mentality. When he can drive a defender into the dirt, you better believe that he’ll take it. He plays with great balance and pad level. Although he did lunge for a defender during one pass protection block, he just needed to gain more patience because his lower body power can withstand a rusher close to his body.
Notre Dame used him in several pull blocks and RB screens this game, which showed he can get on the move, find his blocking assignment, and take on the defender with balance. I do sense that he doesn’t have great lateral agility to handle quicker defenders in space or within close confines but his upside as a movement generating run blocker may be too intriguing to pass up. Stock: same
Thing 2: Notre Dame’s Mike McGlinchey
McGlinchey is another top offensive lineman of this class. I must admit that I love offensive linemen that are athletic and can smoothly move with rushers. McGlinchey has the feet to shadow rushers’ initial pass rush and their counter moves. He was very dominant when he accurately placed his hands inside of the rushers’ chest but sometimes his high pad level forced his hands to slide over the rusher’s shoulder pads.
As a run blocker, he strains through the finish allowing the ball carrier to run through the hole untouched. He has the speed and agility to get onto the 2nd level in a hurry. Throughout this game, Notre Dame provided a ton of help against Chubb but McGlinchey’s smooth feet shadowed Chubb the few times they were one on one. Stock: same
Jaylen Samuels’s lack of true position is hurting his draft stock
Samuels had done it all coming into this game: running, catching, and throwing. However, this game showed me that he is neither a true RB or true WR. He does have the ability to jump into the backfield as a RB and break a few runs but make no mistake, the NC State offense sputtered after their starting RB Nyheim Hines was injured in the first quarter. There was a noticeable difference in their running game with natural RB of Hines in the backfield vs Samuels’ smooth and gliding running style in the back field. As a WR, he didn’t break down at the top of his routes. He ran with upright shoulder pads and hence took a long time to get out of his breaks.
Also, his gliding running style didn’t gain much separation within routes because he never changed speed to throw off the DB. Teams will look at him because he is an athlete but it is possible that his development at a position has been stalled due to being used in such a diverse way. Stock: down
LB Drue Tranquill skills can cover run and pass
If NFL defenses want to win, it is essential for them to have LBs that can defend the run yet also cover in the passing game. Tranquill has the speed to run sideline to sideline defending the run. During this game, he tracked down several ball carriers from behind and showed great effort when diving out to make the tackle before they could get their momentum going.
Most importantly, he had a heavy presence against the pass. During one pass, he squatted on the slot receiver’s slant route. In zone coverage, he smoothly transitioned his hips and urgently ran to his assignment while in man coverage. His combination of speed to run down ball carriers against the run, physically take on blockers, and still have the explosion to cover in man coverage makes him a great option as a weakside LB. Stock: up
Flash Defensive Back Julian Love
He is only a sophomore but it was impossible to notice his multiple deflections and interception. Either through film work or instinctive reactions, he squatted and drove on one hitch route and one curl route to deflect them to the ground before intercepting an ill-advised pass later in the game.
When they went deep on him during a go route, he stayed within the WR’s hip and squeezed the WR to the sideline to force a perfect pass. He even whipped his head around in case he could make a play on a slightly under-thrown pass. I like his confidence to jump passes and will watch him for next year.