Tag Archives: Myles Garrett

My 2017 “Big Board”

Now that the 2016 NFL Draft is complete, it’s time to start talking about the 2017 draft.  It’s like Christmas, every year people start getting in the holiday spirit earlier than the year before.  Well, this year we’re getting way ahead of ourselves.

We don’t know which NFL teams will be drafting at the top.  We don’t know which college players will stand out in the fall.  Still, that shouldn’t stop us from having some fun.  Let’s look at some possible 2017 draftees before the 2016 rookie contracts are finalized.

Disclaimer: I’m totally playing favorites here.  This is not meant to be a serious, analytical piece examining which prospects will be taken in the top ten.  This is simply a list of ten guys I’m looking forward to watching go through the process of turning pro.

  1. Cooper Rush, QB, Central Michigan

This is the main reason I had to put in the disclaimer.  I haven’t seen enough of Rush to be fully comfortable saying he’ll make for a great pro one day, but I have seen enough to be interested in how he does this fall.  Last year’s stats are intriguing.  25 touchdowns to 11 interceptions, 3848 yards on 324 completions, a 66.3 completion percentage, if he improves on those numbers he’ll certainly draw someone’s interest.

  1. Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon

Without Freeman, the Oregon Ducks might have lost six games last year, instead of four.  Whenever Vernon Adams was struggling (which was often), his saving grace was being able to hand it to Freeman.  He rushed for at least 105 yards in all but two games and scored touchdowns in bunches with six multi-score performances.

  1. Roger Lewis, WR, Bowling Green

Again, I’m never sure how anyone else is going to look at MAC football and those who play it, but this guy’s talented.  He’s got the hands, the quickness and at six-foot, 196 he’s not as small as he sometimes looks.  As a sophomore last year, Lewis won the Paul Warfield Award, the Touchdown Club of Columbus’ honor for the nation’s top collegiate receiver.  2014’s winner was Amari Cooper.  Even though his quarterback has graduated, I can’t wait to see what Lewis will do this fall.

  1. JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, USC

Another super sophomore last year, Smith-Schuster put up the fourth most receiving yards in FBS.  If you want to see blazing speed you’ve found it right here.  Get the ball in this guy’s hands and watch him run by people.  There’s no doubt he has some refining to do, but his potential is undeniable.

  1. Desmond King, DB, Iowa

With so much passing going on, corners are valuable nowadays and King is one of the best around.  Iowa went undefeated in the regular season because of its defense, which becomes much easier to play when you only have to worry about the opposing quarterback throwing to one side of the field.  King locked down the opponents’ best target all season.  Maybe last year was a fluke, but I doubt it.

  1. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford

Mr. Yards after the Catch, himself checks in at number five.  McCaffrey finished third in Heisman voting last season and will be back in New York as a finalist again this year.  On a team that’s lacked offensive playmakers for years, he’s what Cardinal fans have been waiting for.  Hand it to him, split him out, sneak him out into the flat and check it down to him, it doesn’t matter.  McCaffrey averages six yards a carry and 14 yards per completion.

  1. Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

Mayfield burst onto the scene during Oklahoma’s magical run to the College Football Playoff and I want to see if he can continue playing at such a high level.  The top-notch numbers he put up were one thing, but the way he led his team by example was another.  The Sooners fed off his energy and he was able to answer the bell for them just about every time.  He’s fun to watch and I’m glad he’ll be coming back for another year.

  1. Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State

With Derrick Henry and McCaffrey and Leo Fournette all going off last fall, Cook got a bit overshadowed.  Still, he scored 19 touchdowns on the ground and was one of two players with 200 attempts to average north of seven yards a carry.  Don’t forget about this guy.

  1. Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M

He’s got to be the most feared defender in college right now, which is funny because his team is terrible defensively.  Opponents plan their games around Garrett and it works because there’s no one else to help.  Garrett still gets his though.  12.5 sacks last year tied him with Shaq Lawson for fifth in the FBS.  There’s a premium on pass rushers of late and Garrett looks to be the next great one.

  1. Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU

This guy’s unreal.  He can bully you or blow by you, depending how he’s feeling at the time.  Last fall, Fournette got off to a torrid start, rushing for 1352 yards in his first seven games.  He couldn’t keep up that frantic pace, but he still finished third in the FBS in rushing yards.  This rising junior has already proven, at least physically, he’s ready for the jump to the NFL.  Watching him takeover games should be even more of a spectacle in 2016.

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Midseason All-SEC Team

In all honesty the midseason all-conference team means absolutely nothing. Isn’t that just a great Segway into the rest of my article? Midseason all-conference teams identify the players that have helped out their team in the best ways possible in achieving its success so far at this point in the season. Here are the top players from the SEC by position midway through the 2015 season.

Quarterback

Chad Kelly, Ole Miss

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

After two back-to-back 70-point performances in the first two weeks of its season, Ole Miss knew it had a star at quarterback. Chad Kelly is a big time playmaker that continues to put Ole Miss in great spots to win games. Defeating Alabama for the first time in Tuscaloosa since 1988, Kelly has gained the fan support and trust of head coach Hugh Freeze.
2015 Stats: 1,862 passing yards, 14 touchdowns, 5 interceptions, 64.4% completion

Running Backs

Leonard Fournette, LSU
The most entertaining player in college football has been nothing short of greatness for the Tigers this season. Fournette’s ability to bounce off defenders and then turn up the field for big gains has already given him 1,000 yards in five games. The streak of 200 yard rushing games is over, but that was just something for us bleacher reporters to have fun with.
2015 stats: 119 carries, 1,022 rushing yards, 8.6 yards per carry, 12 touchdowns

Derrick Henry, Alabama

USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports

Finally waiting his turn on being the unanimous #1 option for the Tide in the backfield, Henry has not disappointed. Dodging defenders and using his surprising speed has paved way for 10 touchdowns on the ground in an offense where he is much appreciated.
2015 stats: 120 carries, 665 rushing yards, 5.5 yards per carry, 10 touchdowns

Wide Receivers

Christian Kirk, Texas A&M

USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports

The highly-touted recruit has burst on the scene for the Aggies and has become their most deadly offensive weapon. Kirk’s speed and elusiveness has given big play ability to what was already an explosive Aggie offense. The future is bright for this Kyle Allen Christian Kirk duo.
2015 stats: 32 receptions, 519 receiving yards, 16.2 yards per catch, 4 touchdowns

Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss
Having the concern of whether he would return to full effect or not after his harsh leg injury a year ago, Treadwell has erased most of the doubters putting together a productive 2015 season. He admits that he is still working on some things to get back where he was but an 80% Treadwell is still pretty darn good.
2015 stats: 35 receptions, 510 receiving yards, 14.6 yards per catch, 3 touchdowns

Tight End or Fullback

John David Moore, LSU, FB
J.D. Moore has been an important piece to Fournette’s successful start to the season. In every highlight play from his teammate, Moore is the man in front paving the way for the big gains on offense. Moore will actually be out this week for Florida, which can be a concern for the effectiveness in the LSU run game.

Center

Ethan Pocic, LSU
The two-time SEC linemen of the week has been one of the more dominant centers in the country so far this season. An effective run blocker and vocal leader, Pocic is the anchor on a solid LSU front.

Offensive Linemen

Vadal Alexander, LSU, OT
Outside of Laremy Tunsil, Alexander was one of the more hyped offensive linemen in the SEC this preseason. Alexander has lived up to that high billing being a dominant force at right tackle with his quick feet and strong base to excel in both the run and pass game.

Fahn Cooper, Ole Miss, OT
There is a relief that Laremy Tunsil is returning this weekend, but Fahn Cooper has been very good in trying to fill the vacancy at left tackle. Cooper was voted SEC offensive lineman of the week in Week Four.

Kyler Kerbyson, Tennessee, OT

kerbyson
Kerbyson has been solid this season for what was expected to be a shaky Tennessee offensive line heading into the season. Serving has a great pass protector and a solid run blocker has helped Tennessee provide the Vols with two backs with 300-plus yards.

Sebastian Tretola, Arkansas, OG
Formerly known as the best lineman with the golden arm, Tretola is also a great SEC offensive guard. Tretola is your ideal nasty grinder in the run game that has helped pave way what has been another solid rushing attack from the Razorbacks.

Defensive Linemen

Walter Brady, Missouri
Losing Shane Ray, the Tigers needed to find someone who could fill the big shoes and provide pressure on the quarterback. Brady, redshirt freshman, has been flying all around the backfield this season causing havoc at a high rate.
2015 stats: 17 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 6 sacks, 2 hurries

Jonathan Bullard, Florida

GatorCountry.com
GatorCountry.com

The Florida defense has been electric this season and so has Jonathan Bullard. Bullard has been a star in the making and he is beginning to reach his star-studded potential being a threat to make something on every play in either the run or pass game. Probable first or second round pick.
2015 stats: 28 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, 4 hurries

Myles Garrett, Texas A&M
The 2014 freshman sensation is even better than his freshman form (obviously). Garrett is frankly just a beast when it comes to rushing the passer. Offenses continue to double-team him showing the respect he deserves being the dangerous disrupter he is.
2015 stats: 25 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, 8 sacks, 6 hurries, forced fumble

Daeshon Hall, Texas A&M
A little overshadowed by his partner in crime Myles Garrett, Hall has been just as productive. Being more of an effective run stopper, Hall helps balance out a strong defensive unit for the Aggies.
2015 stats: 23 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles

*Note: Since all-conference teams are mostly made up of players with a high stat production, Robert Nkemdiche of Ole Miss did not make the list but has played at a considerably high level.

Linebackers

Kentrell Brothers, Missouri

Athlon Sports
Athlon Sports

One of the lone bright spots for a struggling Tigers team is linebacker Kentrell Brothers. His tenacity to get after the ball carrier has not gone unnoticed. Brothers seems to always be in position to make the play as his stats back that up.
2015 stats: 74 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 interceptions

Antonio Morrison, Florida
The top candidate for comeback player of the years, Morrison’s play and leadership has bought him a spot on the midseason All-SEC team. Morrison has played at a high-level throughout his Florida career and is the captain of a strong Gator defense with its work cut out for them this week versus Leonard Fournette and LSU.
2015 stats: 46 tackles, 1.5 sacks

Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Tennessee
Constantly making impactful plays, Reeves-Maybin is a hot name on the Vols defense with plenty of players derserving high praise. Reeves-Maybin continues to anchor a shaky and very young linebacking corp with his solid play and leadership.
2015 stats: 56 tackles, 3 sacks, forced fumble

Defensive Backs

Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida, CB
The definition of a lock down corner, Vernon Hargreaves has once again been a phenomenal cover man in the SEC. Eyeing his third straight All-America bid, Hargreaves continues to play at a high level living on his own island.
2015 stats: 19 tackles, 3 interceptions

Mike Hilton, Ole Miss, NB
Hilton had a strong game in the upset in Tuscaloosa and has help consistency since. Hilton is an undersized corner (5’9 184), but is an aggressive physical playmaker that doesn’t take no for an answer.
2015 stats: 26 tackles, 6 pass breakups, 4.5 tackles for loss

Jalen Tabor, Florida, CB
Gaining more attention because of Hargreaves’ lockdown ability on the opposite side, Tabor has made the best out of every opportunity he has received. Just a sophomore, Tabor has solidified a dangerous cornerback duo in Gainesville creating its own version of “No Fly Zone.”
2015 stats: 15 tackles, 8 passes defended, 2 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions for touchdowns

Tre’Davious White, LSU, CB
Not receiving many targets his way, White is a respected cover corner who has been highly effective in the passing game though just playing average quarterbacks. White continues the trend of lockdown cornerback play on the Bayou and could be the next LSU big name to make the jump to the NFL.
2015 stats: 20 tackles, tackle for loss, punt return touchdown

Stacy Revere/Getty Images
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Punter

Drew Kaser, Texas A&M
Of the small amount Kaser has had to punt it away this season, he has done an excellent job at pinning opponents deep with a 51 yards per punt average. The Aggies face a tough Alabama defense Saturday, which will create many fourth down punts for Kaser making him an even more vital piece for this Aggies special teams unit.

Kickers

Trent Domingue, LSU & Westin Graves, Mississippi State
Both players have knocked every one of their kicks through the uprights being 7-for-7 on the year so far. Very reliable players.