I might add that King has mentioned several times that this year is the first time in his career that he’s been in the same offense 2 years in a row and is very comfortable in it.I am going to do a breakdown and post on this.
D’erik has no problem throwing over the middle due to height. NONE. Watch him 2018 at Houston in Brile’s run and shoot.
His problem is REPS.
His last to offensive coordinators (Briles, Lashlee) don’t emphaphasize throwing over the middle enough. He goes long stretches in both offenses running plays with no routes going there.
He is very good throwing over the middle off of run fakes(rpo/pa). His problem comes when throwing those routes on a straight drop back. I believe the discomfort is due to a lack of reps because he is asked to attack the perimeter or off a run fake so much.
Lashlee has to commit to repping those middle routes hard without run fakes. King missed those routes even when he had the throwing lane. The problem was rhythm and comfort, not vision. I have been going on and on about this because if King gets comfortable throwing those routes, we will be a top 5, if not the best, offense in college football.
Yeah I said it. King will be a Heisman finalist come December. You can take that to the bank. Whether or not he wins will depend on Lashlee.
Huh? If he's not ready to contribute as a sophomore then he's just not that good. A dude doesn't have to be Ray Lewis to be a decent MLB here. It wasn't that long ago we had 3 true freshman LBs starting, they played well, and none of them were Ray Lewis.The problem is he should not be playing this early.
He needed to develop and adjust to the speed at this level mentally and physically. He shouldn’t be getting much pt at all until his 4th year and maybe some spot duty as a redshirt soph.
He ain’t Ray Lewis. Having to play him so early is a disservice to him and the team. Hopefully he finds a way to overcome and perform at a solid level.
Don’t think we passed. He was sitting there for months though. Offer him lots of money.It's baffling that you guys think we passed on To'To when it was basically a slam dunk that he would be going to Bama or O$U. Dude is one of the best LBs in the country and picked his transfer destination as such.
Huh? If he's not ready to contribute as a sophomore then he's just not that good. A dude doesn't have to be Ray Lewis to be a decent MLB here. It wasn't that long ago we had 3 true freshman LBs starting, they played well, and none of them were Ray Lewis.
I might add that King has mentioned several times that this year is the first time in his career that he’s been in the same offense 2 years in a row and is very comfortable in it.
He's as big as any LB on the roster. Listed at 210 when he checked in early. I'm sure from pictures he weighs more now, probably 220lbs.Too light in the arsh right now. Part time in certain packages that are passing situations, yes, but vs a team like Pittsburgh that wants to run quite a bit, no. Not at MLB, potentially at WLB to give Keontra a breather. 1 more year in strength program and he'll be ready
That's a good comp. Skalski is limited athletically but the quicks and speed he lacks he makes up for with his ability to just as quickly read and react.Different players mature at different rates.
Flagg’s lack of athleticism puts him on a different trajectory than Shaq, Pink, and McCloud. He needs a lot more time. He isn’t leaving for the NFL. The payoff is you get a smart, hard working player with tremendous football skills that can give you 2 to 21/2 seasons of at least good rotational play.
His ability to diagnose and navigate traffic is rare. Few players produce like he did in high school and he can be a plus player on a good team.
Look at Skalski for Clemson. He didn’t do shyt at Clemson his first two years and got hurt his third. He didn’t get put behind by an unprecedented interruption to his freshman year either. Now he is the leader of their defense. That is the trajectory I see in Flagg.
Excuse my ignorance but how does one make a depth chart watching drills 30 minutes ?
Chase Smith reminds me of that kid from ND who went high this past draft. Played a striker type role for them. LengthNow that camp is done, it's a good time for a breakdown of where each position stands. This is based on things I've seen with my own eyes and things I’ve heard from multiple sources.
QB- Most important thing first: D’Eriq King looks 100%. You don’t know for sure until live pressure, but the average person watching practice would have no idea he got hurt. If anything, he looks faster due to weight loss. The battle between Tyler Van Dyke and Jake Garcia should go through next year. Different people within the program have different preferences. TVD has NFL physical tools and does everything the coaches ask him to do. He will execute the offense as drawn and performed well in the second scrimmage. He may be even better in live contact due to his strong legs and ability to handle tacklers. Garcia is the more natural passer. He spreads the ball, has a quicker release and is deadly accurate. He was also better in the first scrimmage. Both guys appear good enough to play right now and, aside from Dorsey and Kaaya, are miles beyond our other QBs this millennium at the Greentree stage. This position is a strength of the team.
RB- The top two guys for Bama should be Cam Harris and Don Chaney. Everyone looked good at the second scrimmage, including Chaney and Jaylan Knighton breaking long runs. Knighton is much improved from a mediocre spring and should factor in as the year goes on. Cody Brown is ahead of Thad Franklin, largely due to reliability. Brown showed up in good shape and plays like a bigger Travis Homer. He had several pancakes as a pass blocker and has excellent contact balance. Franklin is a 1K talent but showed up out of shape and missed the second scrimmage due to injury. Overall, this is another strong position.
WR- No change at the top from spring- the top guys are Mike Harley (by far), Charleston Rambo, Keyshawn Smith and Xavier Restrepo. Harley is devastating in the slot due to his combination of vertical speed and quickness. Rambo needs to catch the ball more consistently. Smith made a big play in the second scrimmage and has the best releases on the team. He also needs a bit more consistency and understanding of the position. He's the best overall athlete, though. Restrepo makes plays every day and is a favorite target of all three QBs. He is quick and smart like the best slot receivers, but also brings added YAC value due to his RB build.
Mike Redding needs consistent availability. The three freshmen receivers were the story of both scrimmages and will all play. Jacolby George is the most natural receiver in terms of changing speeds, tracking the ball and winning at the LOS. His big hands and long arms allow him to play bigger than he looks. Romello Brinson is long, fast and tough. He made plays in both scrimmages. Brashard Smith is the most dynamic after the catch and brings a YAC element we lacked last year. He may play the most early due to his versatility as a runner and receiver. Mark Pope and Dee Wiggins could be odd men out with the emergence of the young guys. They may still play due to the nature of our offense, but their inconsistencies remain. While this position still lacks an alpha, #1 X-receiver, it is much improved from a talent standpoint.
TE- There are two impact talents at this position: Will Mallory and Elijah Arroyo. The key for Mallory is just staying healthy after various injuries. Arroyo looks and runs like Mallory, but is already bigger and more physical. He is going to be a big part of this year’s team. The other TEs are more limited and are well behind the top two. Larry Hodges and Khalil Brantley are similar H-back type players. Dom Mammarelli is still working his way back from injury.
OL- Much improved. Biggest difference is at guard. You have Navaughn Donaldson (6’6, 350) and Jalen Rivers (6’5, 325) replacing Jakai Clark (6’3, 305) and Delone Scaife (6’3, 306). Corey Gaynor has athletic limitations but the coaches consider him one of our top 2 linemen going into the season. As Coach Justice noted, he tried to do other peoples’ jobs for them last year. He will be much better alongside the big boys. Zion Nelson should be good to go for Bama. Scaife and Jarrid Williams have been holding down the tackles and both should play at RT.
Depth is not as good following injuries to Clark and John Campbell, who had a really nice spring. Justice Oluwason is working tackle and guard and, while on the shorter side, looks like a good athlete. The backups beyond him are more questionable. Laurance Seymore has gotten the most second-team reps at C and should be a good one with more development. Ousman Troure, Zalontae Hillary and Kai-Leon Herbert have age but haven’t distinguished themselves. Ryan Rodriguez is a likely redshirt, needs more strength. Should be a good technical guard in the future. Michael McLaughlin needs a lot of work, the injury in spring set him back. He has the size. Chris Washington needs more weight. Isaiah Walker is the most talented athlete of the group but the focus with him is health. Cleveland Reed is not game-ready.
DT- This is the most underrated position on the team. The key here is Jess Simpson. Multiple coaches have said he is the best coach on the staff, and those who worked with him in 2018 rave about his results. Jon Ford (6’5, 315) and Jordan Miller (6’4, 320) are in the best shape of their lives and have seven years of experience between them. They look like SEC linemen and should contribute to improvement against the run. Nesta Silvera needs to focus on using his hands and staying disciplined within an already aggressive upfield scheme. Jared Harrison-Hunte is a perfect scheme fit with surprising strength. Remember, Jess Simpson recruited him.
Leonard Taylor is as advertised. He made big plays in both scrimmages and most practices. Think a bigger, stronger, better version of Gerald Willis being coached by Simpson. Elijah Roberts is still on the lighter side but is too athletic and instinctual to keep off the field. He consistently makes plays. I like him getting snaps at DE over the course of the year. Allan Haye has good football instincts and has also made plays. Solid rotational talent in the future, although his upside is below Taylor, JHH or Roberts.
DE- I’m worried here, moreso for the Alabama game than the ACC schedule. We need a little more length and size. DeAndre Johnson is probably the top guy and can make plays in the backfield. Zach McCloud is a better DE than LB due to his effort and not having to read/react. Jahfari Harvey is also more OLB/DE size but is very good at redirecting to the QB and making plays during chaos and DL games. All three are below our DEs last year but capable of making ACC sacks in this defense.
Chantz Williams brings the best combination of size, effort, strength and speed. He’s not that coordinated or flexible, which hurts him on the straight pass rush. I suspect the positives will outweigh the negatives. He’s also good at getting in passing lanes (Ben Wallace-type HS basketball player). Thomas Davis makes plays when healthy, despite his height. Jabari Ishmael is likely redshirt. Upside remains high due to length, he can disrupt plays almost by accident.
LB- The weak spot of the team. The best chance for a true impact player is Keontra Smith. We’ve been calling for the position switch for a while, and he has flourished immediately. Verified 4.55 speed and plays fast. Good instincts in the box and made a lot of plays in both scrimmages. Corey Flagg had an excellent second scrimmage and looks like the starter at MLB. He's a solid option for now despite physical limitations. Sam Brooks can jump in the rotation as he gets healthier from his toe surgery. Very physically developed and elite athletic tools when healthy. Waynmon Steed is a solid veteran. The key for him is continuing to regain his pre-injury athleticism. Bradley Jennings is the same guy he was, some physicality but limited. Avery Huff lost some of the momentum he had in spring. Still about the mental game with him. Tirek Austin-Cave made some strides with the MLB move before getting nicked up. He is back and a guy with potential to move up the depth chart. Deshawn Troutman is a true LB but small. Tyler Johnson is still getting acclimated. Both seem like redshirt candidates.
Striker- Maybe the best position on the defense. Don’t be surprised to see multiple “striker-bodies” on the field at once. NFL scouts thought Gil Frierson was one of our best players last year. He has lost some excess weight from spring and should be a major contributor. Amari Carter has been a revelation at striker. Playing closer to the ball has highlighted his strengths (play recognition, physicality) while limiting some of his weaknesses (long-speed, tightness). Some people think he is our best striker. Chase Smith looks like a future first round pick- length, frame, speed, instincts, striking ability. I believe we should move him to LB. He can make a Keontra-like impact there and give us two true talents at a need position.
Safety- Another good position. Bubba Bolden and Gurvan Hall are locked in and playing well under TRob. One of our new staff members believes Hall is as physically talented as any safety he’s ever been around. Kamren Kinchens has been an INT machine in camp and is a favorite of the staff. His intangibles are elite. Brian Balom is almost physically identical to Kinchens and should be a solid rotation guy. James Williams is too special not to see the field somewhere. I can see him getting used how Amari Carter was used early in his career, especially as a blitzer. He is capable of playing safety but is best closer to the ball. Safety highlights some of his weaknesses with long-speed and breaking down for open-field tackles at 6’5. In total, he has a good attitude and can do a lot of different things. Keyshawn Washington looks like a backup type, a more talented Knowles.
Cornerback- We have a very good top three and then some question marks. Tyrique Stevenson is built like a LB and hits like one. He’s also athletic enough to return punts. There are some foot quickness issues against smaller receivers, but he is a baller with aggression. DJ Ivey is the most talented cover guy on the team and the most dominant practice corner since spring. TRob has publically and privately compared his skillset to Jaycee Horn. The ifs—and they are big ones—are his ability to confidently play the ball and tackle in games. Te’Cory Couch is a competitor with surprising length and a lot of life in his feet. Ideal nickel corner. Al Blades is still working his way back. In my unprofessional opinion, he should focus on getting leaner/quicker as opposed to stronger.
Isaiah Dunson is aggressive in run support and has some ball skills. Questions with him are strength and speed. Marcus Clarke flashes but needs to be more consistent mentally and as a tackler. Jalen Harrell fits better at striker in terms of size and speed, IMO. Malik Curtis missed the beginning of camp due to family issues, but can run and made some nice open field tackles in the scrimmages.
Kicker- Andre Borregales looks like the real deal. Different body type than his brother (more of a soccer player build) but same strength and accuracy.
Overall, we are a similar team to last year with some key improvements. First, our OL is more experienced across the board and bigger inside. Second, we added some stud defensive coaches (Simpson, TRob, Shoop) with big-league experience. Third, we are better at the skill positions with high-level overall speed. Fourth, this freshman class looks like the real deal and should contribute heavily over the course of the year. Finally, we are one of the oldest and most experienced teams in the nation.
There are really two schedules- the Bama game and everything else. If we can perform well against Bama, I think this team has what it takes to ride that momentum to real success. We cannot afford a stinker.
Well that explains a lot. Especially since Pope has been working majority from the slot , yet they have him outside.It's the same guys who said Lloyd Summerall and Keon Zipperer were 90% locks to sign with Miami the day before signing day when literally no one on the planet thought there was even a 0.1% chance they were coming. It's actually hard to be as clueless as Shodell and Ferman, but somehow they pull it off.