NFL Draft: Wide Receiver Sleepers

By Andy Moore (@AJMoore21)

There’s unprecedented depth to this year’s wide receiver class, with headliners Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb and Henry Ruggs all tipped to go in and around the top twenty picks in the draft.

A whole host of receivers sit just behind the leading trio in terms of rankings, Justin Jefferson and Denzel Mims are regularly being drafted in the latter part of the first round, with Leviska Shenault, Brandon Aiyuk and Tee Higgins not too far behind.

But, with such a stacked class, who are the guys that aren’t being talked about? There’s a fair amount of them, and we’ve picked three who can make a splash on the team they’re drafted to.


Bryan Edwards – South Carolina


Edwards has emerged in recent weeks as a someone to upset the current rankings and potentially punch his was into the late second round, but for now we’ll include him due to his third/fourth round initial grading.

At 6ft 2”, 215 pounds, the South Carolina prospect set school records for career receptions and career receiving yards (234 receptions for 3,045 yards). He also earned Second Team All-SEC honours in 2019, behind Jeudy and another top-prospect, Ja’Marr Chase.

Edwards is all about his hands, he’s a reliable pass catcher who excels when making contested catches (see his grab when fighting projected first rounder CJ Henderson against Florida last season). He’s also got the ability to make the show stopping catches you expect to see from elite NFL receivers, anyone who’s scouted him will have seen the one-handed grab against Tennessee.

With good acceleration, Edwards is also a threat after the catch, often evading tackles and picking up first downs with smooth moves after coming back to get the ball on curl routes. Add to that an all-round aggressive nature and there’s a big chance that the Gamecocks product makes a mark in the NFL.


Collin Johnson – Texas


Texas’ Collin Johnson came into the 2019 season expecting to be near the top of the wide receiver rankings in this year’s draft. Coming off the back of a record breaking 177 yard Big 12 Championship Game, the optimism around him was understandable.

A nagging hamstring injury ended up putting a dampener on the hype and Johnson finished the season with 559 yards and 3 TDs from seven games, still averaging an impressive 14.7 yards a catch.

The injury hit 2019 campaign might turn into a blessing for an NFL team come the third round of the draft. Johnson comes from NFL stock, being raised by a father who earned a spot in the CFB Hall of Fame and played 10 seasons in the NFL as a defensive back, and it’s fair to say that talent has passed down to junior.

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With a 6ft 5” frame, long arms and reliable hands, Johnson is a huge target on the perimeter. He shows good balance and body control whilst route running and is adept at creating separation with sudden breaks. He also adds a lot of help in the run game as a willing downfield blocker.

There are a few examples on tape of Johnson not taking advantage of his size, failing to high point the ball over smaller corners is a particular concern. However, it feels like this is simply a matter of technique and a fairly simple fix.

Johnson has the frame, talent and bloodline to succeed in the NFL, his ceiling is high and it feels like a natural comparison is Lions’ receiver, Kenny Golladay.


Gabriel Davis – UCF


Where the previous two receivers are slightly below the radar, Gabriel Davis is lying deep under the surface. The Central Florida receiver was a three-year starter for the Golden Knights, in a time that they firmly established themselves on the national stage.

Davis ranked 8th in the league last season in yards per game, averaging 103.4, a remarkable turnaround for a three-star prospect who didn’t receive a single Power 5 offer.

UCF’s spread offense has done a great job of showcasing his main skill as a wideout, tracking the ball over his shoulder on vertical routes to pick up large chunks of yardage in one go. The threat he poses as a vertical receiver is further complemented by his contested catch ability, often reaching back around the defensive back to pull in a catch at the last second (see TD catch vs South Florida in 2019).

Davis is also a big physical receiver when he needs to be, using his 6ft 2” frame to good effect in the run game and to shrug off smaller defensive backs. There’s clearly questions on some aspects of his game, such as his stop-start quickness and lack of experience running a full route tree.

However, given a chance in a pass happy offense there’s every chance that Davis could prove himself a valuable asset, looking to further develop a story that has already seen him overcome the odds once before.

Preseason Positional Top 5’s: Offense

With College Football right around the corner, it’s time to update my top 5 player rankings at each position (draft eligible players only). 

Since I released my first rankings, I’ve watched a heck of a lot more tape and feel much more in touch with this draft class than I did in June. However, we are still waiting for Saturday and the first snap of a live football in many months and there will be plenty of movement between now and April 23rd 2020 in Las Vegas. 

So, here we go with the offensive side of the ball… Enjoy!

Quarterbacks

  1. Justin Herbert, Oregon (-) 
  2. Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama (-) 
  3. Jake Fromm, Georgia (-) 
  4. Jordan Love, Utah State (New Entry) 
  5. Khalil Tate, Arizona (-) 

Same top 3 as back in the early summer and for now, that feels pretty set. I still have Justin Herbert top of the pile with Tagovailoa closely behind; I have these two in the top tier.

Jake Fromm is in the second tier on his own and after that I think it gets pretty messy when it comes to draft eligible players – I really don’t feel a lot towards many of this senior class.

I do feel quite a lot for Jordan Love, on the other hand. I think he’s the best group of 5 QB in college football – You could say I have a lot of love for Jordan.

Running Backs 

  1. Travis Etienne, Clemson (-) 
  2. D’Andre Swift, Georgia (-) 
  3. J.K Dobbins, Ohio State (-) 
  4. Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin (-) 
  5. Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Vanderbilt (-) 

No movement here at all. This is a very fun running back class, one that I’m really looking forward to watching this season.

Eno Benjamin of Arizona State and J.J Taylor of Arizona are 6 and 7 for me right now. 

Wide Receivers 

  1. Jerry Jeudy, Alabama (-)
  2. Laviska Shenault, Colorado (-)
  3. Collin Johnson, Texas (-)
  4. Tee Higgins, Clemson (-)
  5. CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma (-) 

No change here amongst my wideouts. This class is excellent, no two ways about it. There’s plenty of scope for change here as the season progresses because I could quite easily have gone and named a top 10 and probably still felt like I left some guys out. 

Tight Ends 

  1. Jared Pinkney, Vanderbilt (+1)
  2. Albert Okweugbunam, Missouri (-1)
  3. Grant Calcaterra, Oklahoma (+1)
  4. Colby Parkinson, Stanford (New Entry) 
  5. Hunter Bryant, Washington (New Entry) 

I was fairly down on this class on first viewing but I’m now a little more positive. I like the match up issues that Bryant and Parkinson could cause this season and therefore, their potential. 

Offensive Tackles 

  1. Andrew Thomas, Georgia (+2)
  2. Tristan Wirfs, Iowa (-1)
  3. Prince Tega Wanogho, Auburn (New Entry) 
  4. Lucas Niang, TCU (New Entry) 
  5. Trey Adams, Washington (-) 

This is a good group of offensive tackles. Thomas and Wirfs are in the top tier but I love the potential of Tega Wanogho and Niang so again, there’s potential for that too tier to become more bloated as we move through the season.

Again, still rooting for Adams to blossom after injuries in his past. 

Interior Offensive Line 

  1. Tyler Biadasz, Wisconsin (-) 
  2. Tre Smith, Tennessee (-) 
  3. Darryl Williams, Mississippi State (-) 
  4. Shane Lemieux, Oregon (New Entry) 
  5. Jake Hanson, Oregon (New Entry) 

Still not a huge fan of this interior offensive line class but after watching the Oregon unit, I certainly feel much better about it than I did in June!!

I actually feel like they’re the best unit in the country… Shame on me for taking so long to watch them. 


Check back on Wednesday for the defensive rankings. 

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Follow Lee on Twitter @Wakefield90

Big XII Preview by Lee Wakefield

Welcome to the Full 10 Yards Big XII Conference Preview

The most confusing conference, ten teams across five states – Texas, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma and West Virginia… Yet it’s called the Big XII… Work that one out.

Well in 2010, four teams left the conference and only two joined during a period of conference realignment, so the numbers dropped from 12 to 10.

The Big XII is known for big rivalries, playing no defense and in recent times, for QB’s that win Heisman trophies and get drafted #1 overall.

The Big XII is a pretty fun conference and 2019 should be no different, so let’s get into it

What Happened Last Year?

It was a pretty familiar story at each end of the standings in 2018. Kansas were the worst team in the conference, both by conference record (1-8) and overall record (3-9), then at the top of the tree were the Oklahoma Sooners. The Kyler Murray led Sooners finished with an overall record of 12-2, 8-1 in conference play and a Big XII Championship win against Texas, which avenged the Red River Rivalry loss to the Longhorns earlier in the year. If that wasn’t enough the Sooners then had an appearance in the College Football Playoff as the 4th ranked team nationally. Yep, Oklahoma had a busy year!

Lincoln Riley’s men didn’t progress to the National Championship game due to the loss to Alabama in the Orange Bowl but Murray did crown a successful year for the programme buy being drafted #1 overall and taking home the Heisman Trophy.

After Texas, who were surprisingly good, was a whole lot of average. Texas Christian, Baylor and Oklahoma state all finished with an overall record of 7-6, while Kansas State and Texas Tech came in at 5-7. I guess the only talking point amongst that is how bad Oklahoma State were within the conference, despite a superior overall record, the Cowboys ranked 9th of 10 in the Big XII due to a 3-6 conference record – which they’ll want to improve upon in 2019.

The West Virginia Mountaineers were perhaps the biggest disappointments though; prior to the season, it was thought that they’d be the closest challengers to Oklahoma but that never materialised and they finished with an 8-4 record (the Mountaineers played one less game due to the cancellation of the game against N.C State because of Hurricane Florence).

Looking Ahead…

I feel like it will be very much of the much of the same. I have Oklahoma as strong favourites for the Big XII crown again and I see even less chance of a serious contender emerging this year.

Texas will be good again this year and will be the second best team in the conference. I’m sure QB, Sam Ehlinger and receiver Collin Johnson will be looking to build upon their showings in 2018 and boost their draft stocks some more. I’m particularly interested in both of these guys; As you may have read, Thomas Rowberry and I went head to head on Ehlinger in our Jury’s Out article – Which you can find here – So I’m intrigued to see how he progresses from toolsy and fun to watch to a potential starting NFL calibre quarterback.

Johnson has become one of my favourite receivers in college football this summer whilst I’ve been doing my summer film sessions. His size at the wide receiver position is rare and it’s something I think the NFL is going to fall in love with!

Iowa State and West Virginia were the next best after the Red River rivals in 2018 but I feel like both of these programmes have lost a lot of talent and are replacing with unproven players. Hakeem Butler and David Montgomery were the stars of the Cyclones’ offense and are now in the NFL and similarly WVU lost wide receivers, David Sills andGary Jennings as well as starting QB, Will Grier to the NFL. That’s a lot of offensive firepower to lose when you’re a team that is already playing catch up on the big dogs and as we know, the Big XII is pretty much all about how many points you can put up, not how few your defense can restrict the opponent to.

Elsewhere, TCU, Baylor and Texas Tech have some guys who will be noteworthy when it comes to draft season but I don’t expect any of these teams to make serious noise. If anyone though, I’d expect TCU to reply Iowa State in the second tier of Big XII teams.

Another Year, Another Heisman Winner?

I’m really going to be front and centre when it comes to this particular preseason hype train; I think Jalen Hurts has a fantastic opportunity to win the Heisman Trophy and make it three out of three for Oklahoma when it comes to the award.

Hurts could be a great comeback story, which the public just loves anyway when it comes to these kinds of things and I also feel like the potential to put up big numbers in Lincoln Riley’s offense, both through the air and on the ground, could put him over the top.

Both of the two most recent Heisman winners have come from this offensive system and whilst Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield were both very accurate QB’s (both had completion percentages of around 70% in their final collegiate season), I believe Hurts can raise his percentage towards that due to the up-tempo spread, system that Oklahoma runs and the fact that he’ll be facing Big XII defenses, instead of SEC defenses.

I also feel that the potential for Hurts to better Murray’s rushing total from last year of 1,001 yards could cover up for his accuracy being lower than the past two winners.

A Conference of Wide Receivers!

I’ve mentioned once or twice throughout this article, the Big XII is a very offensive conference, defense is essentially damage limitation, even for the good teams!

In 2019, there are going to be a pretty special group of wide receivers in the conference so if you like points, the Big XII is going to be the conference for you.

The aforementioned Collin Johnson will be leading the way for the longhorns, at 6’6 he’s going to be pretty difficult to guard anyway and that doesn’t take into account his catching ability, which at times can be spectacular and his ever improving route running.

Texas Christian will be looking to Jalen Reagor to be their offensive centrepiece; he’s a wide receiver in a running back’s body with clean route running and explosive long speed.

Oklahoma have CeeDee Lamb is going to assume the role of WR1 for Jalen Hurts, now that Marquise Brown is in the league. Lamb may even be the best receiver in the Big XII.

Baylor have the feisty Denzel Mims, who has a really nice size and speed combination, who’ll be trying to make Charlie Brewers’ life easier as Bears QB.

Even the lesser teams like Oklahoma State have guys like Tylan Wallace and Texas Tech have T.J Vasher.

College football is awash with receiving talent this year and much of it resides in the Big XII.

And Some Good Defensive Backs to Guard Them All…

I’m actually pretty excited to see some the the Big XII’s DB’s go up against all this talent too! I feel like there are one or two corners who can seriously improve their draft stock should they perform well against most, if not all, of the receivers I mentioned above.

The first guy that springs to mind in this is A.J Green of Oklahoma State. Green still has a way to go to be a top prospect for next years’ draft but with that gauntlet of wide receivers to run, he’s certainly going to get tested a whole lot next year!

The next corner I’m looking forward to seeing develop is TCU’s Jeff Gladney. Gladney will be returning for his Senior season in Fort Worth and a little bit like Green, is in the second tier of corners in my rankings as things stand. Probably slated to be a day 2 pick next spring but like Green, will have plenty of opportunities to shine against the receiving talent of the Big XII.

The positives for Gladney over Green are that he’ll be playing on a better overall team, alongside experienced teammates in the secondary and that he doesn’t have to face Jalen Reagor, obviously.

Shout Out to…

Good offensive linemen! I want to give the big hogs some love. One thing the Big XII has produced a lot of in recent times in offensive linemen. Oklahoma especially has excelled in this; four of their starting five was drafted this past spring (Cody Ford, Bobby Evans, Dru Samia and Ben Powers). This season interior lineman, Creed Humphrey is going to be the next really good one off the conveyor belt too. Humphrey has a great build, 6’4 315lbs and a wrestling background alongside football and uses this to his advantage when coming up against defensive linemen. He looked awfully solid against Quinnen Williams last year versus Alabama and as always with Sooners linemen, he’s only going to get better – Humphrey is only going into his Redshirt Sophomore year so has plenty of eligibility left yet.

I want to mention one more lineman and I want to flip it to the outside and talk about a tackle – For that we go back to TCU.

This has actually made me feel like I underrated TCU when mentioning them as a whole earlier, since I’ve now mentioned a fair few of their players as players to watch… Anyway, I digress…

The other really, really good Big XII lineman I want to talk about is Lucas Niang. Niang is a 6’6, 340lbs tackle who is very highly rated by many analysts in the draft community and didn’t allow a sack at all last year.

A Little Bit of Future Scouting

So, whilst I’m here and inadvertently turning this into a full blown TCU love-in, I might as well go the whole hog, or should that be the whole frog? Apologies, that was bad. I just want to give a little shout out to Alexander Hӧnig and do a little bit of future scouting.

Hӧnig is a 4-star QB prospect from Germany who committed to TCU this summer and will be part of their 2021 class.

Hӧnig is an athletic, strong armed QB who wants to follow in the footsteps on recently retired NBA star, Dirk Nowitzski, and blaze a trail for Europeans over this side of the Atlantic.

Remember the name!

And Finally… It’s Prediction Time

PositionOverall RecordConference Record
1. Oklahoma12-09-0
2. Texas10-28-1
3. TCU8-46-3
4. Iowa State8-46-3
5. West Virginia7-55-4
6. Baylor7-54-5
7. Kansas State4-82-7
8. Oklahoma State3-92-7
9. Texas Tech2-100-9
10.Kansas2-100-9


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The Jury’s Out On Sam Ehlinger – Lee Vs. Thomas

Here we are, The Jury’s Out and this time we’re talking college QB’s and more specifically, we’re talking Texas Longhorns QB, Sam Ehlinger.

I will be going up against our very own Thomas Rowberry for this one. I’ll be taking the Ehlinger is bad angle, whereas Thomas is taking the more positive end of the spectrum.

You, the readers, the people are the ones who will make the judgement.

Before we get into it, here are Ehlinger’s stats from last season:

Passing – 25 touchdowns, 5 interceptions, 3292 yards, 64.7%, 146.3 QB Rating

Rushing – 17 touchdowns, 482 yards

Let’s start on a positive note with Thomas…

Sam Ehlinger enters his Junior season at the University of Texas on the cusp of establishing himself as one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of Texas Longhorns football. Last year as a Sophomore, Ehlinger took control of the Longhorns offense and provided stability at the quarterback position not seen since the days of Colt McCoy in 2009.

With Ehlinger at the helm Texas recorded their first double-digit win season since Colt McCoy led them to a 13-1 record in ’09. In doing so Ehlinger set multiple school and conference records, these include the Texas record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback after scoring 17 surpassing Longhorns legend Vince Young’s record of 15. He also set the Big 12 record for consecutive passes without throwing an interception, doing so by going 10 weeks and 308 passes without throwing an interception, breaking former West Virginia star, Geno Smith’s record of 273.

Throughout the 2018 season Ehlinger faced off and often outplayed some of college football’s elite quarterbacks, going head-to-head against the likes of eventual Heisman Trophy winner & first overall pick Kyler Murray, 2019 third round pick Will Grier, USC true freshman JT Daniels and likely 2020 first round pick Jake Fromm. In these games he and Texas beat Oklahoma 48-45 in the Red River Showdown, destroyed USC 37-14, lost in a 42-41 shootout against Will Grier and the Mountaineers, lost in the Big 12 Championship game against Oklahoma and then beat Jake Fromm and the Georgia Bulldogs in the All-State Sugar Bowl.

So why was Ehlinger so successful in 2018?

Improved Throwing Mechanics

One of the big reasons we saw an improvement in Ehlinger’s game in 2018 was down to an improvement in his throwing mechanics. In this article on Burnt Orange Nation they go into greater depth about how Tim Beck and the Texas coaching staff helped improve/shorten Ehlinger’s elongated throwing motion. The short version is that Ehlinger has compacted his lower body throwing motion, reducing the size of his strides whilst also holding the ball much higher than he did in 2017. The emphasis on raising where Ehlinger holds the ball helps sure up his throwing motion, taking seconds of his wind up and release allowing him to get the ball out far quicker than he did in 2017.

Improved Accuracy

In his nine starts in 2017 Ehlinger threw for 1915 yards, 11 touchdowns and 7 interceptions whilst only completing 57.5% of his passes for an average of 7.0 yards per attempt, not horrific numbers but not exactly lighting the world on fire either. These struggles looked to have followed Ehlinger into 2018 as he struggled somewhat in the 34-29 season opening loss to Maryland in which he threw a pair of interceptions to match a pair of touchdowns. This however proved to be an anomaly, over the next 10 games spanning two months Ehlinger would go on to complete 308 consecutive passes without throwing an interception whilst throwing for 19 touchdowns in the process.

Ehlinger finished the 2018 season having thrown 25 touchdowns to only 5 interceptions, for a TD:INT ratio of 5:1 which came second in the Big 12 to only Kyler Murray.

Athleticism

Vince Young is arguably the most athletic quarterback the University of Texas has ever had, he ran for at least 11 touchdowns each of his three years playing for Texas, eclipsing the 1000 rushing yard mark twice (he fell short by 2 yards his first season) whilst setting the school record for rushing touchdowns scored by a quarterback in a season, scoring 14 in 2004. Well, in 2018 Sam Ehlinger broke that record and did so by becoming a dominant redzone running threat. In 2018 Texas scored 33 redzone touchdowns, 16 of those were scored by Ehlinger.

It wasn’t just Ehlinger’s ability to run in short redzone touchdowns that were on display though, his ability to tuck the ball and find an open running lane helped keep drives alive, he showcased the ability to roll out of the pocket and throw on the run.

Against West Virginia (whilst playing with a grade 1 sprain of the AC joint) the Mountaineers sent an all-out blitz after Ehlinger who absorbed pressure and threw a 40 (air) yard dime off his back foot to Collin Johnson.

As stated at the beginning of this piece, Sam Ehlinger is going into 2019 with the opportunity to become one of, it not the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the University of Texas. His jump in production both as a passer and a runner from 2017 to 2018 cannot be stressed enough, with an additional year playing for Tom Herman and Tim Beck, and continued improvement on his mechanics we should expect Ehlinger to produce in 2019. Is he good enough to close the gap on Oklahoma in the Big 12? Potentially. Will he be a high draft pick in 2020? Again, potentially. At this point I see his upside being a third round pick. He has plenty of arm strength, albeit not elite. Has a good awareness on the field and an uncanny ability to find the goal line whilst in the redzone.

Sam Ehlinger is not Justin Herbert, Jake Fromm, Tua Tagovailoa or Jacob Eason however he is a damn fine quarterback who has all the abilities to succeed at both the college and NFL level and who might just go down as the greatest quarterback to walk the campus of the University of Texas.

Please look out for a follow up podcast in which Lee and I will debate Sam Ehlinger a little more, as well as a couple other quarterbacks we have differing opinions on, but without further ado, here part 2 with Lee being all dreary…

I don’t know what Thomas will have said as we did this as a blind article but I will open up by saying this, Sam Ehlinger isn’t a terrible player, he’s actually a fairly fun watch in some respects. However, I’m looking for college players who can be a success at the next level and make waves in the NFL. I’ll leave being a fun guy to Kawhi Leonard, just for a second.

Thomas probably spoke about Ehlinger’s size, how he fits the athletic profile that the modern day NFL just loves to see in quarterbacks and how he is a threat as a ball carrier… and that’s all well and good but is it enough?

We all know that the quarterback position is the most difficult position to play in sports. Not only is it is a physically demanding, requiring requisite arm talent, nimble footwork and strength but also the ability to process mentally  and have the ability to perform under pressure, whilst remaining true to your throwing mechanics and make the correct decisions with the football.

Let’s get going then.

Let’s start positive, Ehlinger does have a good athletic profile; he’s 6’3 and over 230lbs, so we’re talking about a big dude, essentially a shorter Josh Allen. Ehlinger also has a good amount of arm strength, unfortunately however, not as strong as Josh Allen, and is a decent runner and is especially potent in short yardage and goalline situations, hence why he scores a heap of touchdowns, 16 in 2018 in fact.

However, as he saw with Josh Allen and other mobile QB’s, such as Lamar Jackson recently being able to gain yards with your legs should be an added bonus, an ancillary trait, not something to hang your hat on.

What he should be doing, is wowing fans, coaches and scouting teams with his throwing abilities. 

So He Can Run, Can He Throw?

Texas play this super spready offense, which asks Ehlinger to throw to the sideline quite often, which to be fair to him, he does pretty well. He’s got the arm strength to reach the sidelines and his completion percentage was a respectable 64.7%, respectable but by no means elite. I’d really like to see that rise a few points in 2019. There are a lot of easy and quick throws incorporated in the offense; wide receiver screens and quick outs. There are also more difficult corner routes and then a fair amount of deep shots – I mean, why wouldn’t you with a receiver like Collin Johnson in your ranks?

Generally, over shorter and intermediate distances, Ehlinger is decent but I feel that he lacks a hell of a lot of polish. One thing that really stands out is his carelessness with his ball placement. 

On this designed roll out, Lil’Jordan Humphrey makes his out cut and since the slot corner is playing inside, Humphrey gets a load of separation – Ehlinger just has to pop the ball in front of him and it’s an easy 5 or 6 yard gain. This is a bit of a layup throw and it’s completely airmailed. Really disappointing play in the 4th quarter of a big game.

I noticed a little bit of a theme when watching Ehlinger that as the distances get further away, he struggles more and more when being asked to throw with timing and anticipation to hit a receiver whose route is on the horizontal plane. 

Humphrey runs a 15 yard route with an in-cut and Ehlinger really should be doing is putting it out in front of his receiver to allow him to continue his route and gain more yardage. Maybe there was a little miscommunication on the route because the ball is delivered behind the receiver, like he was expecting a deep curl. Either way, it really needs ironing out for next year.

On the last throw, Ehlinger wasn’t really under any pressure, which is a good thing… Because when he is, he falls to bits a little bit.

Here against USC, he has a defender bearing down on him and what everyone wants to see is the QB stand and deliver – take a lick but throw the TD. Ehlinger falls away from the throw and his mechanics go awry and again, he air mails a sure fire TD.

I don’t see a lot of finesse when it comes to Ehlinger’s game…

I don’t see touch passes, like ever. I don’t think in the 4 games that I’ve studied and those I watched when studying Collin Johnson, I don’t think I’ve ever been wowed by his ball placement.

To me, he hits what he should and the rest is pretty shaky, especially his deep ball. This is something I really take umbrage with… He doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing when throwing the ball deep…

Exhibit A)

Exhibit B)

That second clip, against Maryland, Ehlinger overthrows his man by 7 yards. I mean, what are we doing here? I just think he’s just heaving it up and hoping. 

One last thing in the passing game, before we move on to Ehlinger as a runner.

Pocket Awareness

Another disturbing theme is that Ehlinger really lacks pocket and situational awareness. If a defense can back Texas up and then put him under pressure then he is pretty liable to eating a bad sack.

To me, this screams that Ehlinger isn’t reading the defense correctly pre-snap and struggles to make snap decisions when he needs to.

Texas is in max protection and Ehlinger only has two routes to hit, both of which come to nothing but he’s slow to diagnose. This surprises me, as usually, he’s pretty quick to tuck the ball and run.

I’ll admit, having two route is hard and lack of options can lead to coverage sacks. However, there’s definitely issues making pre-snap reads, as this clip against Oklahoma shows.

Again, hopefully he’ll take a leap in his Junior season in this regard – He’ll need to if he’s going to be a high pick when he comes out.

Right then, on to one that all important athleticism…

Ehlinger is a good athlete and this naturally turns heads but I do think he can get himself into some situations in the backfield that he simply won’t be able to wriggle out of at the NFL level when he’s going up against bigger and stronger opponents.

I feel that sometimes he backs himself too much and it leads to sacks and modest gains. I don’t think he’s quite as athletic as he thinks he is. 

And I noticed that he can be neutralised by a spying linebacker fairly easily…

This is Cameron Smith, who ran a 4.69 40 yard dash and posted other mainly average athletic numbers at the Scouting Combine this past spring.

Like I said, he’s not Josh Allen in terms of his arm and he’s not Josh Allen in terms of his legs, either… And we all know how much I loved Allen coming out of Wyoming. [insert staring emoji].

Conclusion – I’m going to be blunt, I wouldn’t want my team to draft him, I think he’s a mid round QB with athletic upside, at best. He’s much more comparable to a Will Grier than Cam Newton or other large but mobile QB’s. In the college landscape he’ll win some games, especially in the Big XII, where defense isn’t exactly the cream of the crop. He will win hearts and minds and like I said at the top, he will be fun to watch… But does that make him a “good” prospect? Well that’s your choice.

“We’re back”, that’s what Ehlinger declared after the Sugar Bowl victory last year. Texas will be a decent bet for the Big XII title next year considering Oklahoma, lost a whole host of players including another Heisman winning QB, West Virginia lost a bunch of starters and Iowa State lost their best running back and wide receiver.

Can they do it? I’m not so sure, he does have time on his side and I do think Texas will win games in 2019 but to me it’s more like Sam Meh-linger… 

We hope you enjoyed this episode of The Jury’s Out

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June Competition

JUNE – A Von Miller Texas A&M Jersey

To win the prize, you must:

  1. Follow @Full10YardsCFB
  2. RT The Competition tweet

When 500 followers is reached on the Twitter Account, a winner will be drawn at random and announced on the podcast following the 500 follower threshold being hit. You must satisfy both criteria as set above in order to be considered an entrant in to the draw.

The winner will have 1 week to claim the prize otherwise it will expire and we will redraw a new winner. Process will continue until the prize is claimed.

Pick It Apart; LJ Collier

Pick it Apart!

The Draft is in the books and the dust has settled. But how well did your team do in the first round?

We are taking a look back at every selection in the first round and giving you the lowdown on the pick; Was it a reach? Was it a steal? We’ll tell you and give you the impact for fantasy football….

Pick: #29

Player: LJ Collier

Drafted by: Seattle Seahawks

Grade: B-

Analysis:

If you managed to get this fair with a perfect board, firstly you’re lying and secondly, you’d have been downed by this pick.

Seattle danced around the back end of the 1st round only ending up picking once. They invested that pick in Collier, the defensive end out of TCU. This has all the hallmarks of a classic Seattle pick; rugged, raw, and explosive with a decent amount of power. He isn’t the biggest or most athletic, but his profile is one that usually translates to a decent pass rusher in the NFL.

He’ll need to get a bit more bendy at the knees and hone his change of direction skills but will try and utilise his strength and his bull rush to knock the QB off his perch.

He doesn’t have a lot of starter experience in his College career and that will need to be developed by Seattle but I think we need to trust the coach and the front office on this one because historically, Seattle are a team who usually have different draft boards from everyone else and this pick seems to be no different. Their past record in drafting speaks for itself and whilst it’s hardly the start of the Legion of Boom 2, I am not going to sit here and say he’ll be a bust. You don’t bet against Pete Carroll. He is the master at getting the most out of the young studs.

Fantasy Football Impact:

Seattle aren’t quite the defence of old but still are a decent defence in the right matchup or at home. Collier will look to add to the sack column from day 1.