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Solak | Auburn dominates the trenches to trounce MSU

NOV 21 Idaho at Auburn
Photo by Scott Donaldson/Icon Sportswire

Scouting Notes

Solak | Auburn dominates the trenches to trounce MSU

#24 Mississippi State Bulldogs v #13 Auburn Tigers


Jordan-Hare, Auburn, Alabama

Score:  Mississippi State 10, Auburn 49


Notable Prospects Entering the Contest

Mississippi State Bulldogs

Nick Fitzgerald, QB, Redshirt Junior:  Running ability is outstanding. Excellent strength to break tackles in the pocket and on the hoof. Flashed solid accuracy on the move. Has good velocity to reach the boundary on time and delivers an accurate ball deep. Shows nice touch relative to coverage. Feels the pocket very well and makes subtle shifts with eyes downfield. Will occasionally break too early/from a clean pocket. Flashes poise in the face of pressure and can deliver from adjusted platform/arm angles, but will panic at times. Accuracy from a clean pocket can vary–seems to aim the ball instead of throwing naturally. Will force feed his pre-snap read and struggles to work through progressions. While egregious inaccuracy flashed, the marriage of arm and mobility is certainly intriguing. Stock:  Up

Martinas Rankin, OT, Redshirt Senior:  Has a quick, powerful punch that can stonewall rushers. Often is too high and must learn to settle his weight in his set. Climbs well but again is too high. Lower leg injury cut his day short in the first half and must be monitored. Stock:  Same

Donald Gray, WR, Senior:  Has some good open-field evasiveness. Bodied in the press regularly by CB #6. Was effectually erased and a non-factor all game. Stock:  Down

J.T. Gray, DB, Senior:  Has a large frame. Lacks the short-area quickness to cover at the line and the long speed to play centerfield. Acceleration notably lacks. Arrives high when coming in to tackle. Struggled mightily all game. Stock:  Down


Auburn Tigers

Jarrett Stidham, QB, Redshirt Sophomore:  Has solid mobility and can deliver an accurate ball on the move. Shows some decent zip and placement to the intermediate levels and boundary. Delivered a couple of decent deep balls, but arm strength disappointed. Had to hitch multiple times to reach down the field and ball often died in the air. Decision-making was spotty as well. Must show an improved ability to reach down the field to be considered a legitimate NFL prospect. Stock:  Down

Kerryon Johnson, RB, Junior: Picks his way through traffic with excellent anticipation and reactionary quickness. Vision serves him well handling penetration. Has good wiggle and contact balance at second level Patient runner, but tends to hit the hole without sufficient velocity. Burst and long speed both were shockingly poor, but return from hamstring injury may have contributed to lack of explosiveness. Injury muddles picture–if burst and long speed return, Pettway is a solid RB prospect. Stock:  Same

Kamryn Pettway, RB, Redshirt Junior:  Had some burst. Poor fumble in the 3rd quarter. Was also returning from injury and saw very limited reps. No conclusions can be drawn from this performance. Stock:  Same

Braden Smith, OT/OG, Senior:  Mauler. Has long arms, shoots quick and with correct placement and can ragdoll DTs and LBs with incredible grip. Plays with excellent timing and climbs with consistent success. Leverage his hips well in both run and pass blocking, generating power from the ground up. Builds his house well in pass protect, showing nice mirroring ability. Has nice ability in space for size, though plods a bit and should pull tighter. Upright and loses leverage battle, but can re-anchor and work hands back. Playing out of position at guard and still finds success–should project as a tackle at next level. Swing ability adds to stock, however. Stock:  Up

Austin Golson, OL, Senior:  Has powerful hands and lands a patient punch. Can work power through his hips and establishes nice angles. Can re-anchor well. Playing out of position at LT and has interior OL length and frame. Feet are heavy and lacks short-area quickness. Began the season at center and likely projects best there at the next level. Tape from the interior of the line will clear up draft projection. Stock:  Up

Dontavius Russell, DT, Redshirt Junior:  Has excellent get-off and comes in low. Hands arrive with a lot of heat and regularly resets the line of scrimmage off of first step. Disruptive. Flashed the ability to anchor and split  against doubles teams. Reads his keys relatively well and has decent closing quickness. Flashed pass rush moves, but must learn how to rush with a plan and work a half man. Stacks well when two-gapping, but must disengage quicker. Only sees limited reps and consistency is a question mark. Impressed all game and merits a further look. Stock:  Up

Jeff Holland, EDGE, Junior:  Does very well to diminish surface area and rushes with tilt. Velocity turning the corner impresses and has some bend. First-step is decently explosive. Hands are only used half-heartedly and must get more involved when working inside counters. Struggles softening the edge if he doesn’t win the first step. Sets a decent edge in the rushing game, but shows little to no power. Increased mass is a must, but current skill set as a pass-rusher intrigues. Stock:  Up

Tray Matthews, FS, Senior:  Massive frame and plays physical. Plays in the box and fills with authority. Willing to exchange power with climbing OL, though without much success. Had a nice INT on tip drill. High-tackler and doesn’t come to balance well. Doesn’t change direction well. Plays centerfield with decent long speed, but doesn’t have necessary sideline-to-sideline influence. Has a special-teams skill set with depth safety potential. Stock:  Same

Stephen Roberts, SS, Senior:  Has nice short-area burst and can turn and run. Closes well when tackling and impresses with open-field radius. Attacks the catch point with good reactionary quickness as well. Demonstrated nice evasiveness on punt returns as well. Moved all around the formation and did well in both man and zone responsibilities. Merits a further look. Stock:  Up

Carlton Davis, CB, Junior:  Shows a rare understanding of press technique for the college level. Has ideal length and physicality for a press-man corner. Length flashed on multiple occasions disrupting the catch point. Has a nose for the football, leading to multiple PBUs. Closing burst was very impressive and has turn-and-run speed. Struggled a bit as the force player in run defense, but put on a clinic of press coverage. A top CB performance to date this year. Stock:  Up

Other Players that Flashed 

Auburn’s Andrew Williams, DT, Redshirt Junior:  Played with a high motor in limited reps. Excelled penetrating and has great first-step quickness. Can maintain gap integrity against the run and has decent hand usage.

Auburn’s Nick Coe, EDGE, Redshirt Freshman:  Excellent length and has good bend. Cornered with success on multiple occasions. Can shoot gaps when asked. Athleticism on display in the open field. A name to follow for the future.

Auburn’s Javaris Davis, CB, Redshirt Sophomore:  Lived in the receiver’s hip pocket with great mirror quickness. Closing burst impressed. Attacked the catch point with regularly and had multiple PBUs (one leading to INT) and another INT off of a tip drill. Merits a further look.

Best Players on the Field 

Braden Smith, OL, Auburn

Dontavius Russell, DL, Auburn

Nick Fitzgerald, QB, Mississippi State

Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn

Javaris Davis, CB, Auburn

Forgettable Performances

Jarrett Stidham, QB, Auburn

J.T. Gray, DB, Mississippi State

Donald Gray, WR, Mississippi State

Benjamin Solak

Ben Solak has been a football fan and film junkie for all of his life, and has the pleasure of serving as a National Scout for NDT Scouting. He also covers the Philadelphia Eagles for Bleeding Green Nation and co-hosts the Locked On Eagles podcast. Ben takes many things far too seriously, including fishing, Captain America, grammar, and Game Of Thrones.

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