2015 NFL Draft: Week 10 NFL Prospects

I have definitely been a detractor of Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston. In many ways, I still am. However, I believe that I have more of a realist perspective on Winston. Some people have talked about him as a rare talent and that is simply a major exaggeration. Andrew Luck was a rare talent. Winston is not. There’s definitely a lot to like about him on the field but he does not possess a single rare physical trait. He throws the football like a shot put and makes questionable decisions on and off the field. Admittedly though, he’s still definitely very physically talented. Many people are overly enamored with Winston’s intangibles. He has definitely come through in several pressure filled situations this season but being clutch is not just playing well at the end of the game. It is also not digging the team into a hole earlier in the game. Before he can be a good, let alone a very good starting quarterback in the NFL, he will have to improve his decision making, be a bit more consistent with his accuracy, and make better decisions off the field. His greatest asset is his ability to move around in the pocket and extend plays when they break down. Winston can make all the throws and is superb at throwing on the run. There’s no doubt that he has that rare “it” factor that is a prerequisite for an NFL quarterbacks to have in order to be very good. The last two weeks he has definitely shown improved accuracy compared to earlier this season. In fact, he has been absolutely dynamite in the second half the last two weeks. Now he needs to go out there and put a complete game together and make sure he’s not a distraction off the football field.

2015 NFL Draft:  Week 10 NFL Prospects

There is starting to be a bit of a stir about Utah halfback Devontae Booker as an NFL Prospect due to the big numbers he’s put up this year. However, he’s the classic case of a guy not being as good of an NFL Prospect as his press clippings might suggest. He has impressive vision as a runner as well as being good at breaking tackles. However, he will be limited at the next level due to being below average as an overall athlete.

After finally being healthy the last two weeks, Louisville halfback Michael Dyer has looked like the tailback that was the offensive player of the game in 2011 National Championship. He definitely has some major baggage after being kicked off the team at Auburn and then at Arkansas State. However, if a guy can “play” then there is always some NFL team that will want him regardless of his past history. Anyway, Dyer has been a bell cow the past two weeks and has shown the same superb athleticism he displayed while at Auburn. Furthermore, he showed the vision to find the hole along with the power and quick feet to gain additional yardage. It remains to be seen whether he will keep up his stellar play. I have been a big fan of him since his Auburn days so I currently grade him out as a late second round pick. Obviously, due to his past history that grade is quite fluid. Regardless, he appears to be a major cog in Louisville’s offense going forward. In fact, he would probably be a much bigger story if it was not for the heroics of teammate DeVante Parker the last two weeks after recovering from surgery.

Louisville wide receiver DeVante Parker is a man that made some money last Thursday night after abusing Florida State cornerback P.J. Williams. This game was especially significant for Parker since many view Williams as a potential first round pick. Parker showed off his superb catch radius and bullied Williams a bit when the ball was in the air. Though Parker is not as fast as Williams, he was consistently able to gain separation from him. Williams has the speed and size to be a big time cornerback at the next level but must be more consistent with his technique. To me this game did not hurt Williams as much as many would expect since he performed about the same as I expected. However, I definitely was impressed with how dominant Parker was with the ball in the air and how consistently he was able to gain separation. Parker is not a burner but does have good speed though so it is important that he runs precise routes in order to beat cornerbacks that possess top shelf speed such as Williams.

Going into the 2014 season, Rutgers player Tyler Kroft was my number one rated draft eligible tight end. Up until this point he has not been anywhere near as productive as he was last year at this point. There are at least a couple reasons for this drop in production. First, he is not being targeted anywhere near as much in 2014 as he was in 2013. Second, he has dealt with injuries much of this year and definitely seemed to be slowed a bit against Wisconsin. Thus, his current grade from me is primarily based off of what he did last year. I still believe that once he gets healthy that he will be able to make an impact. In addition, he is a bit limited by quarterback play but that is not the only culprit since he was still able to be more productive last year. It will be interesting to see whether Kroft decides to declare early for the 2015 NFL Draft despite his trying season due to the current tight end class looking quite weak at the top.

Lost in all of the shuffle of the top halfback prospect discussions is Miami Hurricane Duke Johnson. He’s a bit on the smaller side but do not let that fool you. Johnson runs big. In fact, he is surprisingly quite good at shedding would be tacklers or just eluding them by making them look silly. What makes him a potentially special player though is his incredible speed. Though there may be a handful of guys as explosive in College Football, there’s definitely nobody faster. However, if Johnson is to reach his huge potential in the pros then he does need to shore up his poor ball security, show better than good vision, and improve in pass protection. He’s amidst a special year and is not nearly getting the hype he deserves. This is most likely due to the Hurricanes not playing like the Hurricanes of old.


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