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DraftInsiders.com and ProFootballDraftNetwork.com
will be collaborating on a weekly article posted mid week during the college football regular season to review the prior weeks most notable performances from a NFL Draft 2010 perspective.
NFL Draft 2010 Prospects - Week 10
Frank Coyle - www.draftinsiders.com
Draft Insiders’ Digest –19th Season
Eric Berry - Fast Rising Prospect
Photo - Eric Berry - Tennessee
Safety Eric Berry, Junior – Tennessee
Savvy junior safety has been the catalyst of the emerging Vols defense this season. He can play both in the box and in space with playmaking talent in several roles. He beats blocking angles very effectively in run support and finishes with strong sure tackling. He has good coverage instincts with the ability to break on the ball in pass coverage. At times, he has attempted to do too much this fall, but has performed at a more consistent level over the past month He can intimidate with his physical hits and has a keen sense of the ball with the ability to anticipate and the athleticism to make the big play. Berry is one interception and 8 yards away from breaking an NCAA record career record. It will be interesting to see what Berry decides this January related to turning pro after his junior campaign.
RB Toby Gerhart– Senior – Stanford
Big physical senior running back had another strong performance in the Stanford upset win over Oregon. He is a powerfully built back who has performed very well in the Pac 10, displaying very strong inside running with the burst of speed to break big plays. Against Oregon, he set a school single-game record with 223 rushing yards on 38 carries and three TDs. He uses his powerful big frame to run over defenders, though he has the lateral quickness and speed that allows him to break into the second level. He has outstanding hands with good speed and quickness that allows him to make yardage after the reception. He is a well rounded runner with natural running skills that will earn him an invite to a major All-star game.
LB Sean Lee - Senior – Penn St
Athletic senior linebacker has been instrumental in the success of the Penn St defense over the past few seasons. Over his career, he has struggled staying on the field at times, but has been highly productive when physically right. He is a savvy versatile athletic backer who flows to the ball well and finishes with strong sure tackling. He has been considered a highly regarded first round prospect, though his injury history probably forces him later in the selection process. His postseason action and medical and physical process will be watched closely by NFL scouts to determine his pro potential.
WR Arrelious Benn - Junior – Illinois
Smooth junior receiver was instrumental in the Illinois victory over Minnesota when he recorded his first TD reception of the season. He is a playmaker with impact ability, but has struggled in this offense that has had very inconsistent QB play this fall. He is a highly rated prospect who flashes impact ability as both a receiver and return specialist. He combines very good size, speed, agility and hands along with a fine level of development that will make him highly valuable for the pro game. He displays a well developed skill set for the position, though he needs some route development to be ready for the pro game. He could be one of the top junior playmakers in this draft class with a strong finish and he decides to declare pro this January.
LB Von Miller – Junior – Texas A&M
Explosive defender has displayed impact ability over his Big 12 career and has had a strong season this fall. He has been a difference maker for this club, relying on a very quick first step and good hand technique to separate from blockers with the upfield speed to pressure and sack the QB. He has the frame to fill out further to become an every down pro defender on the outside in a 4-3 front. He lacks the bulk and size to play up in the 3-4 scheme, though his rangy frame could fill out over time. His ability to apply pressure off the edge will earn him much attention if he decides to turn pro. With another season as a collegian, he could be one of the top defenders next fall and a prime prospect for the NFL Draft 2011.
Denis Krusos - Editor
Pro Football Draft Network
G Thomas Austin, Senior, Clemson
Clemson ripped Florida State 40-24. The Tigers rushed for 241 yards on 37 attempts (6.5 per). C.J. Spiller had a career-high 165 yards rushing and Clemson also passed for 242 yards. The offensive fireworks were aided by an offensive line that opened holes for runners and provided protection (1 sack allowed) for Clemson’s quarterback, Kyle Parker. LG Thomas Austin had an efficient overall game. He moved his feet well in pass protection and sunk his hips when drive-blocking. Austin is an experienced three-year starter and the leader of Clemson’s offensive line. His versatility, football smarts and work ethic are all positives that NFL teams will take notice of. Austin has played left and right guard, as well as center at Clemson. His ability to play all three interior offensive line positions may be his greatest strength.
DE Cory Wootton, Senior, Northwestern
Wootton does not appear to be completely recovered physically or mentally from tearing his ACL in his right knee during the 2008 Alamo Bowl. However, he did flash his considerable potential during Northwestern’s 17-10 upset of Iowa. Wootton swooped in to sack Iowa quarterback, Ricky Stanzi, in the endzone. The hit caused a fumble that was recovered by Northwestern for a touchdown and totally changed the game. Northwestern narrowed Iowa’s lead to 10-7 with the fumble recovery and stuffed the Hawkeyes’ offense the rest of the game. Stanzi was forced to leave the game after injuring an ankle on the game-changing play. Wootton did a fine job of controlling the offensive lineman in front of him and denying running room. Iowa gained only 65 yards on the ground and averaged a meager 2.4 yards per carry. Wootton has the size (6’ 6” and 270 pounds), athleticism and long arms that NFL teams look for in a defensive end. He will be closely watched to see how well he plays the rest of the season.
WR Dezmon Briscoe, Junior, Kansas
Briscoe scored the lone Kansas touchdown on a 17-yard reception in a 17-10 loss to Kansas State. Briscoe has been making big plays and scoring touchdowns for the Jayhawks since his true freshman season. He has good size and speed and can make something happen with his run-after-the-catch ability. Briscoe finished the game against Kansas State with 7 receptions for 76 yards (10.8 per). The junior receiver leads KU with 6 touchdown receptions this year. His skill-set will be in demand if he decides to declare for the 2010 NFL Draft.
DE Cameron Heyward, Junior, Ohio State
Penn State’s spread HD offense suffered a power outage against Ohio State’s defense in a 24-7 win for the Buckeyes. Cameron Heyward had a career game with 11 tackles, 3 tackles for loss and 2 sacks. The huge (6’ 6” and 287 lbs) and athletic defensive end was too much for the Penn State offensive line. The Nittany Lions scored season-low 7 points and had only 201 yards of total offense. Heyward helped make life difficult for quarterback, Daryll Clark, (12 of 28 (43%) for 125 yards and an interception) and running back, Evan Royster (13 carries for 36 yards (2.8 per)). Heyward is a true junior and may decide to return to Ohio State for his senior year. He could use another year improving his technique and anticipation (although Penn State would disagree). Heyward has the physical tools to skyrocket up draft boards with a big 2010 senior year. Defensive linemen with his size and athletic ability do not grow on trees. He has the potential of being a very high 1st round draft choice in 2011.
RB Jahvid Best, Junior, Cal
Best suffered a serious concussion against Oregon State as Cal lost 31-14. The exciting junior running back took to the air on a 7-yard scoring run and landed hard on his back and neck. He was released from the hospital and his CT scans came back normal. Best also had a minor concussion in the previous week’s game against Arizona State. . He will miss Cal’s next game and the team will proceed with caution before clearing him to play. His durability has to be a question mark for NFL evaluators. He does not have a powerful frame with narrow hips and a slender lower body. Best’s game is all about speed and quickness. He may have to re-think his aerial leaps. Reggie Bush is Best’s idol, but he would be better off studying how Tony Dorsett ran into the Pro Football Hall of Fame despite being small. Dorsett never left his feet and Best’s scary fall illustrates the risks of leaping high and far.
Draft Insiders’ Digest –19th Season