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Virginia Cavaliers vs Oregon Ducks 9/10/2016

Brian Murphy/Icon Sportswire

Scouting Notes

Virginia Cavaliers vs Oregon Ducks 9/10/2016

Virginia Cavaliers @ Oregon Ducks

Saturday, September 10, 2016 @ 10:30 p.m.

Autzen Stadium, Eugene, Oregon

Score: 26 Virginia – Oregon 44

 Notable Prospects Entering the Contest

Oregon Offense

Dakota Prukop, QB, grad transfer #9

He is a 6’2”, dual-threat quarterback graduate transfer from Montana State. Last season on the FCS level he was an All-American. Prukop has some enticing abilities. He is not super speedy but fast enough to break off a long read option run. What makes him more dangerous than his above average speed is his agility and awareness. During one read option run, he was running full speed downfield until he side stepped to avoid a defender attacking him from his side. Then during the same play, he pitched the ball backwards to a by-standing WR; although it isn’t recommended to pitch the ball to an unsuspecting player, it shows that the game is not moving too fast for him and that he is fully aware of the players around him when running. He also showed great feet work when throwing on the run. Each time he would flip his hips to set his feet into proper throwing stance before delivering the pass. He has pocket maneuverability, spinning out of trouble and then looks downfield after flushed from the pocket. He missed some open opportunities when pressure got in his face but he also delivered multiple deep passes that had good touch and arch on them. Stock: up; Draft’s bargain round: 6th

Royce Freeman, RB, Junior #21

Freeman is 5-foot-11 and 230-pounds and his nickname is Rolls Royce. Last season he rushed for 100+ yds. 11/13 games and was selected to the All-Pac 12 First Team. I was very impressed with his short area agility and ability to break defenders tackles. Oregon’s offense forced him to run horizontal to the LOS often, but he has the leg power, balance, and explosion to make the 90 degree cut that is required to get up field. Even without the momentum of running downhill from the start of the play like most RBs, he was able to break defenders tackles over and over again. To the point, I was saying right before the attempted tackle, “he’s going to break this tackle.” On one play, after his 90 degree cut he continued on to shoulder through an arm tackle and then he jump cut inside to miss avoid another tackler. Once he sees the hole, he explodes through it. He has the power to run through tackles and also the lateral agility to move anywhere at any time throughout the run. Finally, he showed that he has enough speed to outrun DBs and score once he gets loose in the open field.  Stock: up; Draft bargain round: 4th (because of this year’s large RB class; if the class wasn’t as big then he would have to be drafted higher)

Tyrell Crosby, T, Junior #73

Although scouts will love his size at 6’5”, 310lbs and he is a candidate for leaving early, I did not his game film. In fact, his technique was so consistently bad that I stopped watching him by halftime and moved on to other players.  On run plays he had good power but his base was too narrow so he didn’t have much leg power. When driving the defender his base was so narrow it was almost like he was running sprints or high knees instead of having a wider base and short, choppy steps. His kickback in passing situations did not have enough depth and it was executed at a wide outside angle.  His first step was outside toward the rusher instead of straight back and this provided inside rushing lanes for the rusher. The rushers continually spun inside to pressure the QB. He did not have much of a recovery once the rusher moved inside. Stock: down; Draft’s bargain round: 7th-undrafted

Cameron Hunt, G, Senior #78

He has good size at 6’4”, 295 lbs. and he has the knowledge/experience to play any position along the line. He showed a lot of good abilities. He moved laterally well when on his way to a cut block, which was long and fast. He showed that he can latch onto a pass rusher, play with great hand placement, keep a good wide base, mirror the defender, and then run his feet when the rusher tries to move. He had good initial contact strength but when going against the stronger defensive linemen, sometimes he got thrown off balance or swiped and ripped. He showed that he has the strength to block defenders into the ground, D linemen and LBs. A negative I see is that he has to take really deep steps into the backfield to recover when a stronger player bull rushes him. Most of the plays he struggled were against the stronger D linemen the opposing team had. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: 4th-5th

Pharaoh Brown, TE, Senior #85

His film is overall decent. His size of 6’6” and his ability to catch the ball is interesting. He has good speed to get downfield on a seam pattern but other than that route he moved relatively slower. I don’t know if he’s thinking too much when playing or what but it doesn’t seem like he should be running as slow as he does. He understands zone defenses and how to throttle down inside of the holes. After the catch, he does not burst up field with much explosion or speed.   His blocking is decent because he tries to get good arm extension and leverage on the play. However, he does not put too much extra effort into blocking because when the runner passes him, he lets the defender go.

Darren Carrington II, WR, Junior #7

In 2014 caught 37 passes for 704 yards and four touchdowns and dominated the Rose Bowl against FSU  with over 100 yards receiving and two scores, but was then suspended six games for a failed drug test. In 2015, Carrington caught 32 passes for 609 yards and six touchdowns in just seven games. We need to see what he is capable of with a full season. In this game, he showed the quickness to get off of the LOS vs bump coverage. He also showed the ability to catch the deep passes over the shoulder with ease. Also, he has the awareness to come back to the QB when he is scrambling (converts a 3rd & 10). I believe his hands are reliable because he catches 5 yd. passes with his hands and he caught low passes and over the shoulder passes. He talks smack to the DB he is going against and sometimes he backs it up in blocking. He had a really nice shield block on the edge against Blanding but against another DB on another play, he totally missed the block because he waited too long to attack. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: 4th-5th

Devon Allen, WR, Junior #13

He is really interesting because he is mainly known for running track in the Olympics. His speed definetley shows on the game film. He outran the entire defense secondary on a simple seam route. I was impressed with the how he executed the technicalities of the route; making it known that he is more than just a typical speedster. For instance, on his seam route TD catch, he lined up on the hash and had initial DB 7 yds. off with outside leverage. To get more room on his route, Allen ran toward the DB, causing the DB to move outside even further and then Allen stuck inside and up the seam, outrunning the MOF safety over top. On another deep post route, he used his body to shield the defender away from the ball. He will need to continue to develop his route running skills but if someone has the discipline to make it to the Olympics, I’m pretty sure they have the discipline to learn how to run correct routes. I would have like it if he returned kickoffs and punts too. Stock: up; Draft’s bargain round: 6th

Virginia Defense

Donte Wilkins, DT, Senior #1

Showed some good abilities such as when he penetrated on the goal line to create disruption. He has average speed to chase the QB outside of the pocket. I didn’t like when he took plays off, such as when he literally stood in the same spot with his hands laying on the O lineman on a 1st & 10 pass play. Overall, he is a decent nose tackle in a 3-4 defense. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: 7th

Andrew Brown, DL, Junior #9

He’s 6’4” 280 lbs. and was a mega-recruit coming out of high school but has only tallied 10 tackles in his first two seasons. What I really liked about him was that he was continually violent with his hands each play. He always moved his hands to keep the O linemen off of him and he did his movements with strength and a sense of aggression. He used rips and swipe moves to get on the inside of the O linemen and for a direct route to the QB. However, he makes mental lapses as well such as when he ran inside on the goal line giving up force contain and the ball carrier to the outside for a td. Stock: up; Draft’s bargain round: 6th (because of lack of production)

Micah Kiser, LB, Junior #53

Last season was his first opportunity to start and he went from reserve to First Team All-ACC with team-highs in tackles (117), stops for loss (13), sacks (7.5) and fumbles caused (3). Kiser is 6’2”, 240 lbs. He has the speed to play sideline to sideline and also run with RBs when running routes out of the backfield. I liked that he was a consistent tackler once he got within range to make the tackle. Every time it was a one on one situation, he would bring the ball carrier down. He even made the tackle when he was one on one with #21, Royce Freeman. He has good arm extension when linemen make it to his level and try to block him. He also continually moves toward the ball carrier as the blocker is trying to block him. My only worry is that it seemed that he got tired as the game went on. Maybe he was tired because he was playing Oregon and there fast paced offense but his effort level fell tremendously in the 4th quarter. Stock: up; Draft’s bargain round: 5th

Quin Blanding, S, Junior #3

He has the ideal safety size at 6’2”, 205 lbs. He has a lot of statistics as well. He has 238 tackles in his first two seasons. His first year he was ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year and the next year he was named to the all-league first team for making 115 tackles, including a team-high 68 solos. However, I was not impressed with his game film. He did have a few plays that show the potential that he has. Such as when he played a deep pass with textbook technique of boxing out the receiver while turning his head. He also showed that he has the quickness to move into leverage position before a lineman can catch him. He was the defender of the receiver who caught a 3rd & 10 first down catch as the QB was scrambling. He also lost the crossing route receiver in the redzone for a td, and then he was the defender on a fake WR screen wheel route that resulted in a td. I would have liked for his football awareness of route concepts and possibilities to been higher. He was in prime position to intercept a slant pass but instead, opted to make the tackle. His speed is suspect because a RB outran him to the sideline on a long td run even though he had the outside angle on the RB since the beginning of the play. I saw him firing up the offensive line in the 4th quarter and down by 17 points but throughout the game, I was disappointed that he did not affect the game in any way yet he is talking like he is the leader of the team. In fact, Blanding would run up to the ball carrier, stop, and look at him right as he was being tackled instead of attempting a strip or enforcing more pain on the ball carrier. A lot of times he showed up to the tackle party 1 sec. too late. Stock: down; Draft’s bargain round: 4th-5th

Oregon Defense

Jalen Jelks, DE, Sophomore #97

He has really long arms that he uses to get underneath the pads of the tackle and then he extends his arms while bull rushing which knocks the tackle off balance and then he sheds them to sack the QB. Doesn’t have an explosive first step but rather the use of his long arms is key to his pass rush. He also has great bend ability and flexibility to rush on the edge from a wide 9 position. He covers a large area of field because of his long legs and his isn’t afraid to dive out to tackle a ball carrier. He looks fluid and natural when he drops into coverage. I loved when I saw the hand power that he possesses on club swings. When he club swung the tackle’s shoulder pad, he knocked the tackle forward and then Jelks retraced to tackle the ball carrier. Stock: up; Draft’s bargain round: 3rd-4th

 Virginia Offense

Taquan Mizzel, RB, Senior #4

He’s 5’10”, 195 lbs. set an ACC record for a running back with 75 receptions for 721 yards and four more scores. After evaluating the film, I can see the athleticism he possesses that made him dangerous in the passing game. He has good stick moves within his routes and he uses his speed to separate from LBs after his stick move. He also catches the ball very well and has natural hands. He runs smooth, like a 100 yd. sprinter. When needed, he has some juke ability and shiftiness to him. I feel that he is not going to be an overly effective runner in the NFL but he can be very effective in the passing game. Stock: down; Draft’s bargain round: 6th

Jackson Matteo, C, Senior #50

He is big for the typical center at 6’5”, 290 lbs. Last season, he went the entire year without allowing a sack. As the center, I saw him communicate with his O line. I like that he will hit the rusher multiple times with his hands depending on where they move. His hands and feet move in conjunction to give the rusher “pop, pop” hits. He showed that his is very violent when he raised his arm high in the air and came crashing down on the D lineman forearm during a play. I love that after initial contact, his arm extension is immediate, exaggerated and violent; his legs stay in a good base and move in conjunction with his extension. He understands defensive stunts and he had a great blitz pickup on 3rd & 10. He was very solid all game; kept his base, didn’t get knocked back, and shadowed D linemen very well. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: 4th-5th

Doni Dowling, WR, Junior #7

He is a physical player when running routes and after the catch. After he caught a quick screen, he tried to run over the DB but gets tackled. He has good physicality to get off bump coverage and then he attacks the ball when it is in the air. After a catch, he swung a defender off of him by spinning with strength. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: 7th

Other Players that Flashed

Chris Peace, OLB, Sophomore #13 for Virginia

I am going to continue to watch him as he progresses because he was the team’s best pass rusher. He attempted and sometimes executed a spin move inside. His technique was a little sloppy at the end of the move but nonetheless it was effective. Sometimes his moves worked and other times it didn’t, however, he showed consistent ability to be an effective pass rusher and create pressure on the edge. Stock: up; Draft’s bargain round: too young to say.

Austin Maloata, DT, Junior #50 for Oregon

There were some good things about Maloata’s game. He gets underneath the O lineman arms quickly when rushing and pushes his arms up to create bull doze penetration. He does not get a great jump on the ball but it seems as though he does have plan of attack once he gets close to the O lineman. He uses swipe and rip moves and is powerful enough to continue on his path once the gap is created. He gets knocked off of the ball when going against a double team and I think his smaller size is going to continue to hinder him on plays. He is a savvy and smart rusher because he uses small details of leverage and momentum to create pressure. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: 6th-7th

Best Players on the Field

Royce Freeman

Dakota Prukop

Jalen Jelks

Forgettable Performance

Quin Blanding

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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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