The college football season started off with a roar this past weekend. Throughout the week we saw countless prospects step up and make a name for themselves. The best way to generate a buzz about your self and as a true draft prospect is to have a good showing versus another prospect. The opening games featured three large matchups between prospects determined to have their draft stock rise.
By PFC Draft Writer: David Willemssen @DavidWillemssen
Prelim Match #1
Our first matchup to focus on was one that matched Outside Linebacker for BYU, Kyle Van Noy ,up against Offensive Tackle for Virginia, Morgan Moses.
Coming out of the Away corner was Kyle Van Noy standing 6’3 235 lbs. A small sized 3-4 Outside Linebacker
Coming out of the Home corner was Morgan Moses standing 6’6 325 lbs. A huge left tackle.
The game saw a handful of snaps between the two draft hopefuls. Van Noy the higher prospect at this point looking at a second round grade and Moses a prospect that looks to be drafted in the first five rounds.
Van Noy would have himself a hay day after the rain delay against Moses’s teammates on the right side of the line. Van Noy’s get off after the snap is highly impressive. He combines a burst off the line with a swim move that gets him around offensive linemen with ease in this game. There was little stopping Van Noy early in the game. Though he did not record a sack, he had countless pressures on the QB and had a QB hit that led to an interception. A hit that was given up by the Right Tackle, not Moses.
Moses on the left side of the line saw himself set the edge well in the run game and he would push defenders off the line with force. In pass protection Moses does well against power rushers and struggles against Van Noy’s quicker teammates. He does not allow a sack, but there are pressures coming from his side.
When the two finally meet up against one another, Van Noy at 235 lbs, bull rushes Moses and stands him up in the run game. First blow is delivered by Van Noy. Later, Van Noy speed rushes and Moses stalemates the pass rush, Van Noy tries a spin move and gets no where. Van Noy would try the spin move later and fails once again. Towards the second half we see Van Noy lined up covering the slot often and Moses continues to push defenders in the run game. Van Noy’s hustle and high motor gets shut down towards the end of the game and Moses gets good blocks on Van Noy in the run game. Concluding the matchup.
Scorer’s Card: Kyle Van Noy had himself a better game throughout the game. He made beautiful moves to get after the QB, but failed to ever bring them down. Van Noy had countless tackles wrapped up and he would slide down and the runner would escape. Moses was solid in the run game and looked good. In the pass game he had troubles with speed rushers as his foot quickness is not NFL Left Tackle worthy. However, Van Noy had the better game, Moses came away the victor when the two were matched up. A surprising outcome due to Moses inability to stop speed rushers and Van Noy’s speed.
Prelim Match #2
The second matchup created buzz for a young Vanderbilt Commodore, Cornerback Andre Hal. He looked the part of a NFL corner while matched up against Ole Miss Wide Receiver Donte Moncrief.
Coming out of the Away corner was Andre Hal standing 6’0 186 lbs. A somehow unknown cornerback for Vanderbilt.
Coming out of the Home corner was Donte Moncrief standing at 6’3 226 lbs. A vertical threat receiver.
Unlike matchup #1, this game saw these two prospects fight it out most of the game. There of course were times when it was not a 1 on 1 battle between the two. Hal received, and needed due to Moncrief’s speed, help over the top from the safety.
To start the game Ole Miss made it to the redzone, in zone coverage Hal makes a play that saves six points. He covers Moncrief and passes him on the slant route and stays discipline and picks up the wheel route out of the slot and comes away with a nice pass break up in the endzone. Moncrief later runs a streak route and created good separation, where Hal had to hold a little bit. Moncrief is over thrown, accuracy is not QB Bo Wallace’s strong suit, and a missed opportunity to created.
On a post route over the middle Hal is called for pass interference on Moncrief. The play saw Hal stick to his receiver like glue and make a good play on the ball, unfortunately and not needed was a flag on the play. In the run game we see Moncrief dominate at blocking out Hal as Hal is sealed from the play countless times and the running back gets more yardage due to Moncrief’s blocking. Another streak for Moncrief saw Hal’s ability to stay behind Moncrief not allowing the deep pass. Hal gave a huge 7 yard cushion to the receiver routinely. Ole Miss was never able to take advantage of it.
At the end of the game with Ole Miss up on a 2nd and 10 Vanderbilt loses all hope due to Moncrief’s block on Hal. With the halfback coming closer Moncrief gets Hal to the sideline and creates a huge cutback lane for the halfback and he takes it to the house sealing the game.
Scorer’s Card: Moncrief ends the game with five receptions for 57 yards, while not a dominate performance by the Biletnikoff hopeful, he had a great game run blocking for Ole Miss. In the pass game Andre Hal held his own, made beautiful plays, and most importantly did not give up a deep pass to Moncrief. Your winner of matchup #2 is Andre Hal, the corner created buzz about him, which he deserved as he had 14 pass break ups a year before.
Our Main event saw the consensus heavyweight champion, Jadeveon Clowney, matched up against offensive tackle from North Carolina, James Hurst.
Coming out of the away corner is Tackle James Hurst standing 6’7 310 lbs. A tackle with good size and who was looking to move his draft stock up. Hurst came into the game looking to be around a 2nd to 3rd round pick.
Coming out of the home corner is DE Jadeveon Clowney, the “Heavyweight Champion” standing 6’6 272 lbs. Clowney is said to be the next Julius Peppers, but with more speed.
The champion, Clowney, was questioned about his work ethic and conditioning before the game and it continued after he seemed to slow down the stretch. He was criticized for coming out of the game towards the end. Mind you that North Carolina was putting together 14 and 16 play drives at that point. That is an immense amount of plays to go full bore the entire time, a rest is needed for the big boys in the trenches.
Clowney utilizes a phenomenal get off at the snap. Countless times he’s already into the chest of the offensive linemen before they even move. Hurst was low coming out of his stance multiple times against Clowney. Clowney used a good swim and rip to get around Hurst creating tackles on the running back and QB pressures. When Clowney did not have perfect timing, he was flagged once for offsides, Hurst did a good job holding his own. In the run game when this occurred Hurst could seal and even push Clowney backwards creating a chance for the back to take it outside. Hurst also had good cut blocks against Clowney while his teammates did not. Hurst’s teammates were put up against Clowney often and did not fair near as well as Hurst. Clowney does a good job at recognizing when a linemen over steps and shoots inside quickly.
Score Card: The stat line for Clowney was 3 tackles, no sacks, no big plays. Though he routinely caused incompletions with his pressure. Clowney showcased his ability and his physical talents, yet still did not produce. The winner of the Main Event goes to James Hurst, the underdog.
Follow our weekly key NFL Draft Prospect Matchups weekly. Check out the top matchups for week two of the college season that could help or hurt a players draft stock.
The videos used to diagnose the games come from www.draftcountdown.