More on the draft and a few notes…
- #67 OG A.J. Cann, South Carolina to Jaguars. Over two seasons, we watched South Carolina’s offense move the ball behind QB Connor Shaw, tough and versatile, and Dylan Thompson, mostly a drop-back passer. Both offenses could move the ball and A.J. Cann was right up front making them move successfully in both styles. He should be playing at the pro level for a few years.
- #85 TE Tyler Kroft, Rutgers to Bengals. Aside from meeting Tyler’s Mom in the parking lot at Yankee Stadium at the New Era Pinstripe Bowl against Iowa State, I don’t remember much about him playing during the five games we saw RU play when he was on the roster. If he’s an effective blocker, he could be critical for the Bengals needs. If not, we don’t see him playing too long. He doesn’t seem to add a lot to the Cincy passing game.
- #106 RB Jeremy Langford, Michigan State to Bears. Langford tore up Penn State in the Spartans’ 34-10 victory at State College late in the season. PSU defense was put into poor field position by its offense on several occasions. Langford cashed in with two TDs in workmanlike fashion gaining 122 yards on 30 carries. He has drive and stamina that makes him tough in short yardage situations despite standing in at 6-1, 208 lbs. He could be a situational player for the pros.
- #126 RB Mike Davis, South Carolina to 49ers. Davis steps in for former Gamecock Marcus Lattimore whose pro career never got going due to devastating knee injuries his junior year at South Carolina. Before that, we thought he was one of the best college RBs we’d ever seen. Too bad. Davis stepped in to take his place. He was good in several games, but never seemed to be a key cog in the offense except for this year’s game against Mizzou when he gained 104 yards on 22 carries and scored a TD. He’ll be a spot player most likely at the pro level. RBs seem to come and go now quicker than ever.
- #132 WR DeAndre Smelter, Georgia Tech to the 49ers. He didn’t play in the Orange Bowl we attended due to a knee injury, but you wonder what the pros see when they draft a WR from a triple-option offense. Interesting. It can help Paul Johnson’s recruiting efforts for receivers as it gives his recruits a glimmer of hope to get noticed. Despite the run oriented offense, the 6-3 222-lb Smelter was the go to guy before the injury. He caught seven TDS and averaged 20 yards per catch. With his size and skill, it sounds like he could be a good pro if he overcomes the ACL injury.
- #138 RB David Cobb, Minnesota to Titans. He averaged 128 yards per game during the season and scored 13 TDS for the Gophers, but we saw him get gobbled up by a tough Mizzou front seven in the BWW Citrus Bowl and held to 81 yards in their loss. With the focus off him in a Titan offense to be led by Marcus Mariota if he can remain healthy, he may become a key player that Tennessee can use in its offense.
Navy DE Paul Quessenberry was signed as a free agent by the Texans. Of course, they have to figure how he can play with his military obligation, but is HC Bill O’Brien sending a strong message to last year’s first choice Jadaveon Clowney? Play with some heart because I’m going to find somebody that will play DE opposite as tough as JJ Watt if you can’t…I see that the Tennessee vs Bowling Green game start time is back to a TBA status. I guess someone realizef a 4 pm start at LP Stadium was detrimental to the Vanderbilt opener across town against Western Kentucky scheduled the same day. Hopefully they will work out two convenient kickoffs so that I can go see two games in Nashville on September 5 to open my season. A third game may be seen some other day on that Labor Day weekend…ESPN reports average college attendance was down 2.3% to an average of 44,603 per game and attribute it to high quality HDTV to watch. Bull! Two primary reasons: 1.) watered-down schedules in non-conference games. Not only are sales down, but many stadiums empty now by half time and who can blame the home fans for not sitting through one-sided blow-outs? People are tired of wasting their money. There’s more fun out in the parking lots; and 2) TV does have an effect, but it’s not positive. It’s getting harder and harder to enjoy a game in person with not only too many TV time-outs, but very long TV time-outs. It takes away the flow and ferocity of a football game…Three new bowl games: everybody gets a trophy. Might as well let every team play in a “Consolation” game. Watch whatever game you want. It’s gotta be better than all the other crap on TV…SEC’s version of Power Five competition – Notre Dame – definitely; BYU – OK; Army – are you kidding me? Why are conferences making this call arbitrarily? Another weakness of NCAA leadership. What’s the sense of its existence in college football? They don’t control anything…In a few weeks out, the preseason pubs will be out with predictions and bowl schedules. Can’t wait to laugh at their obvious predictions and looking forward to planning our bowl schedule.