The Best Prospect Battles of the Week
Friday Night Game
Washington State LG Cody O’Connell vs California DT Joe Looney
— Brian Johannes (@Draft_Brian) May 25, 2017
9:30 CST on ESPN: While Luke Falk is getting a lot of attention for the Cougars success a big part of that is his offensive line keeping him clean. Left guard Cody O’Connell (#4 OG) is nicknamed “The Continent” because of his massive 6’7 351lbs size but for someone that big is able to make quick lateral moves. When you combine that lateral burst and his size/length it makes it very difficult to get past him. Testing that will be Cal DT Joe Looney (#8 DL). Looney has shifted his role in the new 3-4 defense but he still does most of his work rushing from the 3 technique. Looney is an explosive pass rusher who can get up field quick. This matchup will really test O’Connell’s lateral quickness and pad level against the quicker Looney.
Tennessee RB John Kelly vs South Carolina LB Skai Moore
11:00 CST on ESPN: After the Volunteers lost both Jalen Hurd and Alvin Kamara nobody would have assumed John Kelly (#14 RB) would step in and provide no step back. While Kelly may be only 5’9 his 212lbs allows him to run with some power and bounce off hits. Averaging 144 yards of total offense a game it will be important for the Gamecocks to slow him down if they want to limit the Volunteer offense. South Carolina LB Skai Moore (#8 LB) will be a big part of that as he has the speed to run sideline to sideline making plays. Moore is at his best when he’s reading the play and then attacking the ball. He has the quickness to get through the line as he already has 5 tackles for loss on the season. Moore is looking to rebound his stock after missing all of last season with a neck injury.
Temple WR Ventell Bryant vs UConn CB Jamar Summers
11:00 CST on ESPNN: The early part of the 2017 season hasn’t been too kind to Bryant as he’s failed to reach 200 yards receiving this year and is without a touchdown. But as a sophomore Bryant showcased a skill set that really stood out to me while watching other Temple prospects. Bryant reminds me of an Alshon Jeffery style receiver who is tall and long and does a good job of adjust to the ball. Bryant isn’t going to separate much from defenders and does most of his damage in contested catches. He’ll see plenty of Summers (#6 CB) who is at his best playing off coverage and reacting to the ball. Summers is quick to react to the ball in the air and uses his speed to close and make plays on the ball. This should make for an interesting battle as both players skill sets match up.
LSU WR DJ Chark vs Auburn CB Carlton Davis
— Brian Johannes (@Draft_Brian) August 2, 2017
2:30 CST on CBS: With Malachi Dupree and Travin Dural both gone DJ Chark (#14 WR) has stepped up into the top receiving role for the Tigers. Averaging 22.6 yards per catch Chark is doing his work downfield utilizing his long speed and size. Chark will see plenty of Carlton Davis (#7 CB) who has followed receivers from side to side in the past. At 6’1 Davis has the size to match up with Chark and the speed to stick with him downfield. Davis has shown the ability to use quickness and length to break up passes on short to intermediate throws, but I’m anxious to see how he does downfield and in jump ball scenarios. Davis has the makings of a top rated cornerback and this class really lacking much depth at the top. A good game here could help Davis state his claim.
Prime Time Games
Arkansas C Frank Ragnow vs Alabama DT Da’Ron Payne
— Brian Johannes (@Draft_Brian) June 14, 2017
6:15 CST on ESPN: It is a heavyweight battle in the trenches in this game as Ragnow (#1 C) will be smashing heads with Payne (#3 DL) practically every play. It will be strength on strength as Ragnow uses his hands well to control the defensive lineman and then uses his power to steer and move defenders off the block. Ragnow’s power will be tested against Payne who is a load to deal with as he is very good at holding the point of attack and clogging up lanes. While Payne isn’t a dynamic athlete he does have some lateral burst and uses his hands well, so this should test Ragnow’s ability to move laterally and deal with good power. This game likely won’t be close, but it will be huge for both players draft stock.
Washington LT Trey Adams vs Arizona State OLB Koron Crump
— Brian Johannes (@Draft_Brian) May 28, 2017
9:45 CST on ESPN: There may not have been a better start to the season for any pass rusher than Crump who had 4 sacks through his first three games before going down with a knee injury that has held him out the past two weeks. Crump was a major part of the Sun Devils defense, but there is a big chance he may not play. If Crump does play there is a juicy prospect battle on our hands between him and Washington LT Trey Adams (#4 OT). Adams has good size at 6’7 and can use his lateral agility combined with his length to shut down defenders. There isn’t a ton of top rated pass rushers in this class so shutting down a hot pass rusher would go a long way to helping Adams solidify his position within this class and show he’s worth a first round pick.
Arizona State RB Kalen Ballage vs Washington Front 7
— Brian Johannes (@Draft_Brian) May 8, 2017
9:45 CST on ESPN: During the summer there was plenty of buzz surrounding Ballage (#3 RB) where he even got some David Johnson comparisons due to his height (6’3) and receiving ability. However, Ballage has failed to make his mark this season averaging only 67.8 yards per game and 4 touchdowns. Looking to get back on track Ballage will have his hands full against a talented Washington Husky front four. Inside the Huskies have DT Vita Vea (#2 DL) clogging up running lanes while inside linebackers Azeem Victor and Keishawn Bierria (#11 LB) have the ability to make plays on the perimeter. A good game here for Ballage could do a lot to get his stock back on track, otherwise he could see himself slipping in the RB rankings.