2020 NFL Draft Stock Report: National Championship Semi-Finals
As we get closer and closer to the 2020 NFL Draft, the scouting work continues. I watched fewer Bowl Games this year than others but my eyes were locked into the National Championship Semi-Finals. It was a fantastic college football playoff this year (outside of Oklahoma). This post includes LSU vs Oklahoma and Ohio State vs Clemson. Who stood out for better or worse when it comes to the 2020 NFL Draft?
LSU vs Oklahoma
This was a total ass kicking. This game was over in about 4 seconds. 63-28 LSU took Oklahoma and made them look like a D2 school. I literally turned this game off at halftime and went to Outback so I would make it home in time for the next game. That’s how bad it was. Oklahoma should never be allowed in the college football playoff again.
Let’s start with Oklahoma first to get them out of the way. Offensively, this is the one man CeeDee Lamb show. Without him, I don’t think they score. Lamb finished the day with 4 receptions for 119 yards. He’s going to make some team very happy in the NFL. He has a rare combo of size and speed. I think he has a chance to be a very special player. If Lamb is the best receiver in the class, I wouldn’t be surprised.
Jalen Hurts is horrible. Sorry, not sorry. I don’t understand how you or anybody can even take Hurts as a serious NFL quarterback prospect. 15-31 for 217 yards, and a pick. No thanks. Every time Hurts drops back and throws, you close your eyes and hope for the best when you open them. Kind of like feeling sick on a rollercoaster. Unless Hurts is a fullback for somebody, I’m not interested.
Hey, if you like centers, Creed Humphrey looks good. Other than that, this offensive line isn’t close to what it once was.
Defensively, this team pretends to play defense when Kenneth Murray is on the field. In the past, I’ve said he’s like a heat seeking missile with no area codes on them. I’m not he knows what he’s doing but it works and looks like a monster when he puts it all together. When he left the game, the entire defense fell apart. That’s actually a good sign for him moving forward.
Despite the fact that Joe Burrow torched this secondary, it was Parnell Motley I thought played well. Burrow really looked for other matchups most of the game. Motley had 2 pass deflections. You can at least say he showed up.
Joe Burrow put on a show. 29-39 for 493 yards and 7 touchdowns. Oh, and a rushing touchdown too. Oklahoma or not, this was impressive. Burrow made the throws he had to and marveled. I think he’s a better athlete than maybe I gave him credit for. I think that matters. He made a couple off platform throws and put the ball right on the money. That stuff counts. Any time he did get slightly uncomfortable, Burrow was able to pick up first downs with his legs.
I think Burrow will make it. Is he this elite level franchise quarterback that can win a Super Bowl? I’m not there yet. I still prefer Tua based on a lot of things such as age and long term track record. Let’s see what he looks like against Clemson. Burrow looked awesome but I can’t get too carried away.
We also have to give credit to the weapons. Might even be fair to say they deserve the most credit. These guys got open on what seemed like every single play. Nobody raised their stock more than Justin Jefferson. 14 receptions for 227 yards and 4 touchdowns. It just doesn’t get better than that.
Jefferson has kind of been lost in the shuffle but LSU finally has a quarterback that can play. That’s been an excuse for guys like Jarvis Landry when they were at LSU. Jefferson was a three star recruit but he sure doesn’t look like one. Jefferson is a little bit of a skinny target but the man gets open, can win with the ball in the air, and can fly. Stock WAY UP.
I don’t know if Thaddeus Moss will declare for the draft, but I’m guessing he won’t. Let me spend some time on him just in case. We know that he’s Randy Moss’ son. Moss has some speed for the tight end spot as you can see in the video on his long breakaway touchdown. I’m impressed, however, with his blocking. If you watch closely, Moss is very involved in the run game. Never thought Randy’s son would be a willing blocker. Apple fell far from the tree there. He can absolutely play.
Oklahoma wasn’t able to run the ball for shit. Let’s give some credit to Rashard Lawrence. The box score won’t show it but he commanded attention and allowed others to go hunt. OU averaged 3.5 yards per carry on the ground. Lawrence has a lot to do with that.
I’m a big fan of K’Lavon Chaisson. 6 tackles, 2 for loss, and 2 sacks in this one. Chaisson isn’t just an edge rusher. Chaisson is an athlete. Sort of reminds me of a less freaky Chandler Jones. Drop backs in coverage with no issue and can really go hunt the QB. I anticipate him testing well at the combine. First step looks fast.
I love these LSU corners. Outside of a few CeeDee Lamb plays, they shut down this passing game. In fairness, it was Jalen Hurts so I don’t want to go crazy. Kristian Fulton really jams guys at the line of scrimmage. If you’re looking for a press corner, I don’t think you will go wrong. I’d love to talk more about Derek Stingley but he’s only a true Freshman. Might be the best player on their team. Kary Vincent Jr. had an interception in this one. I’m not sure that he goes pro but looks like a sticky slot corner. Showed off some ball skills in this one too.
Ohio State vs Clemson
What a game! 29-23 Clemson winner with Justin Fields throwing an interception to end it after Chris Olave broke off his route. Trevor Lawrence still hasn’t lost. He’s just so damn special. Anyway, let’s get right into it.
I gotta go right to the running backs here. It’s hard to not go right into JK Dobbins vs Travis Etienne. Here’s what I saw. One guy is a complete running back. The other is a great athlete playing running back. Take a guess which one I’m talking about?
JK Dobbins is terrific. Power, vision, agility, acceleration, explosion. This man has it all. 18 carries for 174 yards and a score. If there’s one thing to say bad about Dobbins, it’s that he dropped a couple balls. Still reeled in 6 receptions. Dobbins is the type of guy that you draft, give him the ball 25 times a game, and feel like you can close out games. What more can you say?
Travis Etienne to me is a great athlete. I still don’t love him as a pure running back. 10 carries for 36 yards of blah. I don’t love his vision between the tackles. Not out in space, different ball game. 3 receptions for 98 yards and 2 scores. He took a simple dump off 53 yards to the house no problem. Maybe you hope that he can be Alvin Kamara but Etienne’s struggles running the ball really concern me. He might just be a 3rd down back in the league.
Let me throw some notes towards a few defenders.
Malik Harrison I’ve underrated. He’s a great athlete that can really cover ground. That’s such a valuable asset. I’m high on him.
Jeff Okudah just took Justyn Ross out of the game. Really tough thing to do. Who would have thought that Trevor Lawrence wins this game with his legs? Okudah was a blanket over whoever he covered. This is a can’t miss one right here.
Isaiah Simmons is a freak. Simmons plays every position at a high level. Check this out. Simmons is playing middle safety and makes the interception on the other sideline. Just stupid freaky stuff. This is a linebacker most of the time. I don’t we’ve seen anything like this cat.