NFL Draft: Week 4 Prospect Matchups Review

When college game day is not even covering a FBS division game you’re really lacking a huge team vs team matchup. That is not the case with our prospect vs. prospect fight card though. This week we focus on some big SEC and ACC conference matchups.

By David Willemssen @DavidWillemssen

We will focus in on a talent that looked good against Jadeveon Clowney week one, tackle James Hurst. Against the quick linebacker/defensive end Jeremiah Attaochu. We will also look at how tackling machine AJ Johnson did against Florida’s highly touted offensive line.

 

Preliminary Matchup #1

North Carolina Tackle James Hurst vs. Georgia Tech Linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu.

Coming out of the away corner standing 6’3 242 lbs. #45 Jeremiah Attaochu.

Courtesy www.photo.joshdwyers.com

 Courtesy www.photos.joshdwyer.com
Courtesy www.sportsillustrated.cnn

Coming out of the home corner, standing 6’7 310 lbs #68 James Hurst. Attaochu would be all over the field pre snap. Lined up against Hurst often, out covering the tight end slot, as well as lined up against the right tackle. We would see the two battle it out quite often though. When matched up one on one, Hurst would kickslide deeper than usual to keep up with Attaochu’s speed. He does a good job throughout the game setting the edge in the run game and driving Atta0chu back. Attaochu’s game  is not a run stuffing linebacker. Though in this game, he took on a pulling guard multiple times and really delivers a smack on them. He attacks with good pad level giving him the best chance to be disruptive as he was in those situations. In the pass game Attaochu was able to set Hurst up for inside moves due to Hurst’s depth. He takes the quickest route to the quarterback a few times and disrupts the play. His best speed rush Hurst was able to push him just enough for the quarterback to have an escape route and pick up the first down. If there was pressure coming from the interior line this would have been a great play by Attaochu. Instead it is a good play for Hurst. On another speed rush Hurst is late off the snap while Attaochu is bring it. Hurst holds him, doesn’t get called, yet still Attaochu drives through the hold and gets his sack.

Winner #45 Jeremiah Attaochu. Attaochu had himself a good game all around. Covering backs and tight ends. Most importantly he was able to disrupt the quarterback, even when faced against Hurst. Hurst surrendered pressures by Attaochu but looked good in the run game. The winner is a sure handed Attaochu due to doing what he’s suppose to do, attack the quarterback.

 

The Main Event

Inside linebacker Tennessee AJ Johnson vs Florida Gator’s Offensive Line. In the away corner inside linebacker standing 6’2 240 lbs #45 AJ Johnson

Courtesy www.walterfootball.com

Courtesy www.walterfootball.com

Courtesy www.bleacherreport.com

Courtesy www.bleacherreport.com

 

Coming out of the home corner the Florida Gators offensive line. #70 DJ Humpries, #76 Max Garcia,#72 Jonathan Harrison ,#67 Jon Halapio, #64 Kyle Kuehne

 

We would see the Gators loose their best offensive linemen prospect right guard Jon Halapio leave this game with an injury. He was just coming back from a pectoral injury.

 

We would also see the Gators offensive line struggle getting a push in the run game against Tennessee. Their interior really struggled to generate some holes. Much of the reason was the ability of AJ Johnson being able to dodge second level blocks and make an impact by sticking his head in the action. Johnson shows how much he cares for the game how he is always around the ball. You do not rack up as many tackles as he does without having a high motor. There is a difference though in a linebacker getting a lot of tackles, and a good linebacker. AJ Johnson may get a lot of tackles but they did usually occur 3 yards past the line of scrimmage. He struggled this game hitting the gap abruptly.

 

Johnson is extremely hard for the second level blocks for the Gators. He is much to fast to give him so much space. Johnson would usually run right by the blocks. He has very good sideline to sideline speed. On stretch plays he out runs blocks and usually cleans up the ball carrier. Center #72 would try to get Johnson on multiple times and Johnson uses Harrison’s over extension to quickly rip him down and by-pass him getting to the tackle multiple times in this game. When faced with a runner in open space Johnson does not seem to square up and deliver a solid tackle. He usually ends up sliding to the side. There were a few times he gets his hands on the ball carrier and slides off and not getting the tackle too. He needs to just a split second of patience and get squared up and deliver a form tackle. He does plays well in coverage though. His speed and agility are his best attributes as well as his knowledge. He is a very keen player who recognizes screens and reverses quickly. I still would like to see him be more of a down hill tackler and diagnosed the back’s running lane quicker.

 

Winner #45 AJ Johnson. As many as times that Johnson gets his hat on the tackle, he is always going to come away the winner. There were few times the actual blockers stopped him from making the play giving him this victory.