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Louisville Cardinals vs Clemson Tigers 10/01/2016

Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire


Louisville Cardinals vs Clemson Tigers 10/01/2016

Louisville Cardinals @ Clemson Tigers

Saturday, October 01, 2016 @ 8 p. m.

Memorial Stadium, Clemson, South Carolina

Score: 36 Louisville – Clemson 42

Notable Prospects Entering the Contest


 Deshaun Watson, QB, Junior #4 (6’3” 215 lbs)

I am proud of the poise and persistence he showed throughout this game. This was the game that closely resembled the effort he gave in the championship against Alabama last season that started his Heisman campaign. Watson is a dual threat quarterback; he can make any throw that is necessary, run on designed runs, and get chunks of yards while scrambling. I believe that his greatest asset is the balance he maintains between throwing and running. He showed that he can read the defense and make accurate throws in against zone or man defense. He has the patience to step up in the pocket and deliver passes if necessary. He threw multiple accurate passes: most notably a slant pass to Mike Williams for a td, a bench route to Williams during a hurry up 2 minute situation, a slant pass to Artavis Scott for a td, and a corner route after stepping up in the pocket. After watching two games on him this season, where I see that he needs to work on are his deep go passes because they have too much arch on them and they are consistently inaccurate. He overthrew Scott on a go route that should have been a td and he threw another go route too far inside and thus was intercepted. As I said in my previous report on Clemson, Watson needs to improve his play to play accuracy; there were other throws that were inaccurate throughout this game as well such as a bench route to Williams that was low.  He has natural ability to break tackles on designed runs with his acceleration and power; on one play he broke 3 tackles by not allowing feet swipes to bring him down and weaving throughout the defense in the 2nd level. Overall his is a very good quarterback with some minor accuracy improvements he can make. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: 1st; NFL Comparison: Cam Newton

Wayne Gallman, RB, Junior #9 (6’0” 210 lbs)

He is another player that finally began to show the attributes that made people believe he is a top tier RB in this class. He has fast acceleration through the holes combined with power through the point of contact. One play, he exploded up the middle so fast, he was untouched for a td. When running the ball he was decisive and quick in his cuts which allowed him to pound the ball for 110 yds. He broke more contested tackles this game than in the previous one I watched, however, he still didn’t break them consistently enough to make him elite (this year’s RB class is loaded). I also noticed that he attacks blitzers/defenders with a violent attitude when tasked with blocking them; he’ll run full speed and throw his shoulder into them. Although, I like the aggressiveness, throwing his shoulder into a defender is not great technique because sometimes it will work but other times the defender will sidestep and send him flying past. I also appreciated seeing him get his head around quick when he ran “check down” routes; he was always expecting the ball and gave the QB a target. Stock: up; Draft’s bargain round: 6th; NFL comparison: Kenyan Drake

Mitch Hyatt, T, Sophomore #75 (6’5” 295 lbs)

This game reaffirmed by evaluation of Hyatt’s last game I saw. He once again showed a fluid kickback and the ability to shuffle his feet quickly enough to make the pass rushers take the wide arch around his outside edge. He didn’t dominate any players but overall he had a very solid game. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: 5th

Jay Guillermo, C, Senior #57 (6’3” 310 lbs)

He is another offensive lineman that had a solid game. Last Clemson game I watched, I thought he played too average to deserve a written piece. After further evaluation, I see that his average play is better articulated as solid play because he shows some characteristics that make him stand out as well. He has short area quickness; I saw him cross face D linemen immediately after the snap, I saw him help his guard on their block and then quickly move up to block the oncoming LB on the second level to create a hole for the RB to run behind, and I saw him maintain good balance in his pass protection even when going against quicker players. After crossing face, he would continue to run and work to maintain leverage so that the RB could get a crease. He was beat a few times but they were reps that were few and far between Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round 4th    

Mike Williams, WR, Senior #7 (6’3” 225 lbs)

In this game he had 5 receptions for 70 yards and 1 td. He showed good hands and ball adjustment ability when he caught a low pass after running a bench route. The very next play he ran the same route and caught another pass. I appreciated that he had the awareness to call timeout after he caught the ball in bounds with only 14 seconds left before halftime because it is imperative for NFL players to have situational awareness. He showed great physicality on his td pass reception during which he ran a slant route where he didn’t give much of a move at the los vs the bump coverage but he ran straight through the DBs arms, caught the ball with strong hands, and then used his strength to stay upright and power through the DBs tackle to get into the endzone. He is continuing to show that he deserves to be a top WR pick in this class. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: 1st; NFL comparison: Alshon Jeffery

Artavis Scott, WR, Junior #3 (5’10” 190 lbs)

In this game he had 3 receptions for 40 yards and 1 td. Although he never connected with the QB on his go route, he showed the speed to continually get behind the DB when running them. He ran a good corner route; breaking down the cushion between him and the safety and then sticking inside before cutting to the corner, and then finally adjusting to the high ball to make the catch. He showed toughness to catch a slant pass on the goal line for a td despite a LB coming across and smashing him. He is fast and he protects his body. Finally, he showed tremendous vision to cut back on a long kickoff return that gave momentum to his team. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: 5th-undrafted depending on rest of season


 Carlos Watkins, DT, Senior #94 (6’3” 305 lbs)

His main attribute is his power; upper body power to rip through O linemen’s arms once he gets to a side of them and the lower body power to stand up O linemen at initial contact when holding his spot on the los. His power was evidenced when he bulldozed and ripped through the A gap against field goal and got his hand up to block the extra point. He made another critical play when he batted down a 3rd down pass. Despite his natural power, it is a concern that he was knocked to the ground a few times during running plays. Also, he needs to improve his hand fighting and movement at the initial poa to shed the blockers. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: 4th

Ben Boulware, LB, Senior #10 (5’11” 240 lbs)

The story behind Boulware is in the statistics; he had 18 tackles this game. I don’t think that he is the most athletic, fastest, or strongest LB but he has craftiness about his game that puts him in position to make numerous tackles. He did well to sidestep and avoid oncoming blockers to make tackles or shoot the hole and meet the ball carrier there before the blocker could gain leverage. He also did a great job being patient and staying in balance when tackling jukesters like Lamar Jackson. During one read option play, he blitzed off the edge and came to balance while keeping outside contain and then he squeezed down to tackle Jackson as he began to juke. Another play that showed his patience was when he decided to not engage the WR’s and instead wait for the shifty Jackson to come to him.  I also liked his aggressiveness when blitzing, he did a great job timing the snap count and hitting the linemen in a sprint. Sometimes, his lack of strength made him get bounced right back or onto his butt after hitting the linemen but other times he used quick and efficient hands to swipe their hands away to leave them lunging for air. During one blitz, he timed it well and bounced off of the lineman and changed direction quickly to force Jackson into slipping to the ground. He plays with a lot of passion, aggression, and a sense of controlled chaos. He’ll run full speed everywhere and throw his body around. He moves without hesitation toward the ball carrier after a pass, even if he was running in the opposite direction; I believe this is why he makes so many tackles. He lacks great speed; sometimes he’ll make the tackle 10 yds. down field but he will always move toward making the tackle. He plays like Luke Kuechly but he has less athleticism. Stock: up; Draft’s bargain round: 5th; NFL comparison: Luke Kuechly

Kendall Joseph, LB, Sophomore #34 (6’0” 230 lbs)

He showed good toughness to consistently attack the los and lineman violently when blitzing. He had trouble getting off of the blocks after he smashed into them. His speed in drop back coverage could be an asset, especially to a cover 2 heavy team where the LB has to drop into the MOF. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: N/A too young

Cordrea Tankersley, DB, Senior #25 (6’1” 200 lbs)

He has good vertical and ball contesting skills. He jumped up at the last second while defending a post route and knocked the ball away. He knocked away a high ball thrown to a TE running a corner route in the end zone. Despite being impressed by his coverage skills, I question his physicality because he didn’t fight to get off of WR blocks. I remember a specific play in the 4th quarter, instead of making a statement with a physical play; he lightly pushed the TE out of bounds after a 10 yd. gain. Stock: up; Draft’s bargain round: 3rd-4th      


 Devontae Fields, OLB, Senior #92 (6’4” 242 lbs)

I am conflicted with Fields. He obviously has the skill and talent to be a dominant force yet he rarely ever runs full speed and lacks overall effort. On one play he allowed a TE, who was barely blocking him, to obstruct an otherwise free path to the QB. He didn’t show any pass rushing moves throughout the game. He was hesitant on most plays and didn’t run full speed. For example, the offense threw a quick screen to a WR on the short side of the field, and because Fields jogged over to the ball carrier, who gained 4 yds. and a first down on the play rather than being tackled for no gain.  That type of effort is disappointing because he shows bursts of other great attributes. Such as strong hands to snag blockers away from him and during one bull rush, he had the strength to knock the O lineman back on his butt. After reviewing what I wrote on him the last time I watched a Louisville game, I know that my evaluation of his lack of effort is correct; he has shown the same characteristics in two games. Stock: down; Draft’s bargain round: 6th to a coach that can maximize his effort and potential

Keith Kelsey, LB, Senior #55 (6’1” 236 lbs)

This was another good game for Kelsey. He met the RBs in the hole and finished tackles. He effectively used his hands, extension of arms, and power when he had to withstand blockers. When Gallman tried to lead up through the hole, he met him at the los and knocked him around with a tough strike of his shoulder pad. He has good instincts and athleticism. For example, he quickly and naturally used his hands when a linemen tried to cut block him and continued on his way toward the ball carrier without missing a step. He jumped over another cut block by the RB, landed on one foot, and regained his balance to hurry the QB. He also reacted fast and batted down a crucial 2 point conversion pass over the middle. He did miss a few tackles that he should have finished but they weren’t many. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: 3rd

Josh Harvey-Clemons, S, Senior #25 (6’5” 228 lbs)

My analysis of Clemons is that he is a good, sound tackler and will be a good in the box safety. However, he is needs to improve his coverage skills if he wants to be utilized as a high safety. He made numerous 1 on 1 tackles after coming down hill and filling the hole. During one WR screen, he smoothly sidestepped and ran around the O linemen coming out to block before wrapping up the ball carrier’s ankles. Throughout the game, he tackled Gallman, McCloud and Watson 1 on 1. He aggressively attacks the RB pass protector when blitzing. His lack of coverage skills were on display when he couldn’t keep up with a TE running a seam route and had to obviously grab his jersey to slow him down. Another play, he had bad awareness off route combination (because it was a simple route combination offenses have ran since elementary school ball) and then slowly reacted to the WR’s cut within his route. I still like his size and he does well in the box and shows strong tackle skills but he has to improve his coverage skills to be a better overall safety prospect. Stock: down; Draft’s bargain round: 4th

Jaire Alexander, DB, Sophomore #10 (5’11” 188 lbs)

Last time I watched a Louisville game I wrote him under “players that flashed”. I am more impressed each time I see him play. He consistently plays hard and was always looking to make the big play. On one play, he tracked down the pass catcher from behind and violently chopped down on his hands to cause a fumble. Another play, he started in press coverage, backed off once the play began, and then attacked the ball while it was in the air to intercept it. He had a quick and efficient cut down tackle on Gallman after shedding a WR block on a sweep play. When a run play came his way while he was playing nickel corner, he set the edge, used his hands to keep the blocker off of his body and then shed the blocker to make the tackle once the ball carrier ran inside. He also returns punts; he showed that he has awareness when the ball bounced off of his teammates and he quickly scooped the ball to avoid a turnover and then effortlessly jump cut to the side to avoid the first oncoming tackler. He’s young but he may be a playmaker. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: N/A too young


Lamar Jackson, QB, Sophomore #8 (6’3” 205 lbs)

I was hesitant to crown him as the best player in the nation, the best athlete since ever, etc. I told my colleague to not jump on the bandwagon just yet and to see how things work out. However, I am officially on the bandwagon. In each game I have evaluated of him, he has shown a plethora of skills that are going to make him an elite NFL QB. First, I can sense that he is ultra-competitive. Not saying that every other player on the field isn’t competitive but there are levels to competitiveness. When they were down, he showed leadership, poise, and the fight to make sure he took responsibility to get his team back into the game. He lowered his shoulder to deliver a little hit each time he ran out of bounds with an oncoming tackler trying to hit him right before he stepped out. Whereas most people would say that he is not being smart for taking hits, I understand that he is protecting himself. He knows that players will try to get cheap shots on him while running out of bounds and the only real way to protect himself is to be aware and lower his pad to give his hit as well. Secondly, he was accurate in his passes all game long. It didn’t matter if the pass was short or deep, rolling out or in the pocket, in a clean pocket or on 1 foot falling backwards, he even threw 2 accurate passes sidearm while running in the opposite direction. I loved his consistent accuracy. Also, his passes were thrown in a tight spiral and with high velocity. Third, he quickly assessed the blitzes of the defense and swiftly passed the ball to the open receiver, even if it was to a RB running a swing (dump off) route. He never allowed pressure to force him into throwing the ball into a tight window. Finally, and maybe most importantly, he has elite change of direction ability. He has the ability to stop and restart at any moment, cut across on coming tacklers, and/or out run them (predict 4.3-4.4 speed). Louisville used him on designed draw plays to ignite the offense. During a read option play, he sidestepped a defender while running sideways and continued to break 2 more tackles. He has deceptive strength because he leans forward when running to gain extra yards. Another example came when he strongly stiff armed a defender and kept his balance to not step out of bounds and continue into the end zone. The one improvement I would want to see from him is composure. Although, it is not right for a defender to choke him underneath a pile, I thought he was excessive in his reaction. He would throw mini tantrums by flailing his arms or hitting the ground if a play didn’t go his way. After the game was over, we could see him cursing and pouting. He needs to show better composure as a leader of the team. Stock: up; Draft’s bargain round: 1st; NFL comparison: throws like Teddy Bridgewater, runs like Michael Vick

Brandon Radcliff, RB, Senior #23 (5’9” 210 lbs.)

He packs a punch in his frame and runs tough. He showed quickness and speed to get to the edge and acceleration to get through holes. I like his physicality; he bounced right off of a D lineman attempted tackle. He has to be fully wrapped up to be tackled; he doesn’t allow himself be tackled by his feet or legs. He has good change of direction feet; I saw the ability to jump cut and accelerate up field. He showed toughness when blocking. When he was the lead blocker on one play, he powerfully knocked the LB, Boulware, on his butt.  During a different pass play, he knocked down a DT while helping a teammate O lineman in pass protection. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: 5th-6th

James Quick, WR, Senior #17 (6’1” 180 lbs)

He was the quickest WR on the Louisville team. He is quick in his routes; on one play he double moved a dig route to create separation. He also understood little techniques of route running such as dipping the shoulder when trying to get past a LB while running a seam route. He hustled and showed a willingness to block. On one play he shadowed his defender and ran his feet to send the DB into a backpedal, and on another play he cut down the DB that was covering him after the RB caught the ball in the flats so that the RB would have a lot of room to run. He had a critical error at the end of the game not being aware of the first down marker. Stock: up; Draft’s bargain round: 3rd

 Players that flashed

Cole Hikutini, TE, Senior #18 (6’5” 248 lbs) for Louisville

I wanted to classify him as route running/pass catching TE because he runs great routes and gives a lot of moves at the top of his routes to fake the defender. During one reception, he pushed up 10 yds. against the LB, chopped down with quick feet and arms, faked out to freeze the LB, and then rapidly flipped his head and hips around inside to receive the pass. I won’t just put him in the “pass catching TE” box because he made some good blocks as well. He drove a D lineman out during a sweep play to his side. He also performed a long and swift cut block on the LB, Boulware, to set up a td run.

Deanglelo Brown, DT, Senior #97 (6’1” 310 lbs) for Louisville

He has good power at the poa, and he plays with a low center of gravity and pad level to hold his ground at the los. He has good functional power to cross the center’s face on 3rd and 1. He has natural hands to get rid of blocks so it isn’t hard for him to continue to work throughout a pass rush by swimming, swiping, putting hands on the blockers’ shoulder and throwing them pass. His power combined with his natural hand fighting could make him good at collapsing the inside pocket in the NFL. I did not see him run laterally down the los to track a run play very well. He got tired and didn’t rush the QB despite an open path during a crucial play. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: 6th

Geron Christian, T, Sophomore #74 (6’6” 314 lbs) for Louisville

He looks like he has really fast feet to shadow the rushers on the edge. No one could get around his edge because his feet shuffles fast and he uses his arms to push them on a wide arch. I also liked the fight he brought to the blocks. He may be a lineman to watch for the future. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: N/A too young

 Dorian O’Daniel, LB, Junior #6 (6’1” 215 lbs) for Clemson

He flashed because every time he had an opportunity, he delivered well. He shot the inside gap and tackled the RB with great technique and took the RB off of his feet. On another play when blitzing the edge, he broke down well and tackled the RB. He was fast to chase down the RB on a different sweep play.

Jadar Johnson, DB, Senior #18 (6’0” 210) for Clemson

Had really close coverage against James Quick when running an over route and hit his hands as soon as he tried to catch the pass to cause an incompletion. Later in the game, he deflected another deep pass. He showed speed to run the alley and close in on Jackson to make tackles. However, on another play vs Jackson, he was juked really bad and was sent diving into the ground. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: N/A more film needed

Best Players on the Field

Lamar Jackson

Deshaun Watson

Jaire Alexander

Forgettable Performances

Ray Ray McCloud, WR, Sophomore #34 (5’10” 180 lbs)

I like his athletic and play making ability. He didn’t make many plays in this game and that is why he is under “forgettable performances” but it still doesn’t discount how good of a player he can be. Even before a slant pass that he dropped; his route was great; the DB was lined up about 3 yds. off of him so McCloud ran at him fast and then planted hard but quick and faked like he was going outside so well that the DB go turned completely around after realizing he was actually running slant pattern. I’m still going to keep my eye on McCloud. Stock: down; Draft’s bargain round: N/A too young; NFL comparison: Chris Rainey, Percy Harvin

 Christian Wilkins, DT, Sophomore #42 (6’4” 310 lbs)

I was disappointed in him this game because he didn’t have any impact on the game whatsoever. Maybe he was tired but I actually saw him jog off the ball toward the lineman after the snap. He didn’t use any hand movements within his pass rush but rather just extended his arms and gave a lackadaisical push. Stock: down; Draft’s bargain round: N/A more film needed

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Roger Dixon Jr

Roger is a native of Orlando, FL. After excelling in DII football his first 2 seasons, he fulfilled his lifelong dream of playing on the Florida Gators football team, where he was named Special Teams Player of the Year and Team Captain. He earned his degree in Economics from UF's Warrington College of Business. Roger brings a passion for football and unique perspective of what it takes to be successful in football at the highest level.

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