In a upset weekend for teams like Georgia (who lost to Missouri), Stanford (who lost to Utah), and Oklahoma (who lost to Texas), it was an exciting week of college football to watch multiple teams finally hit their stride after some early season hiccups.
But, there were some constants still this week: Johnny Manziel wowed, Ty Montgomery made big-time plays, and Brandon Coleman/Donte Moncrief continued to play at an unimpressive level.
Who IMPRESSED This Weekend
Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M (JR)
As if Johnny Football needed more “impressive” games, Manziel was “money” against Ole Miss is a closer-than-expected win for the Aggies. While Manziel showcased the velocity and composure to be a plus-passer, it was his running ability and overall “creativity” (that’s what I call it) of Manziel to make plays when it counts, or when it looks like nothing’s there. In this game, he still showed the concerns that make him a question NFL passer, such as, according to our own Alex Brown, he “struggled to properly diagnose and anticipate route development”. Still, it’s games and wins like this that get teams excited for the potential to work with Manziel, and find out for themselves if he’s a franchise quarterback in the NFL.
Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
Despite not having ideal size (which will certainly hurt him on final evaluations by NFL teams), Donald has consistently displayed the NFL-level burst off the line of scrimmage and the speed to finish in the backfield. Flashing the ability to rush inside and from the edge (potential 5-technique work too), Donald has displayed the versatility and quickness initially to make an impact in the NFL. As he scouted the game, our own Dan Claycomb noticed “Donald showed a swim move on the offensive tackle that allowed him to pick up an easy sack.” For Donald, this type of play is to be highlighted, but won’t stand alone in the types of plays he makes on a consistent basis.
Ty Montgomery, WR, Stanford (JR)
Another week, another kickoff return touchdown for the Stanford playmaker. Montgomery has been easily the most exciting offensive weapon the team has, and was able to make plays on his own and on screen passes to help an otherwise inconsistent Stanford offense. As our own Mark Dulgerian points out, “he’s got a pro body and impacts the game in multiple facets. You could argue he’s been Stanford’s team MVP this season.”
Trevor Reilly, OLB, Utah
Staying with that Stanford game, Reilly had one of the best of his career. He forced a fumble, recovered two, and made multiple impressive tackles. The well-sized linebacker/edge rusher showcased the speed off the edge and consistent tackling that could allow him to rise to a potential Top 100 pick on draft. As Dulgerian said to me, “he answered questions about his ability to hang in the trenches…toughness to take on blocks…and relentless effort to fight through and shed, although this doesn’t reflect most of his film.” Reilly certainly picked a good game to play his best for.
Who STRUGGLED This Weekend
Brandon Coleman, WR, Rutgers (JR)
It’s been a frustrating season thus far for the talented receiver, as Coleman hasn’t lived up to the expectations many set coming into the year. He’s a Top 10-talented receiver who’s struggled to have any sort of consistency this year. He had his second best game to date this season, but it’s still not at the level evaluators expected.
Donte Moncrief, WR, Ole Miss (JR)
Another highly touted receiver (by us at least) in the pre-season, Moncrief has remained stale this year, struggling to show improvement and not producing at high levels. While part of that has to do with his quarterback issues in Bo Wallace, our own Alex Brown pointed out to me that he “hasn’t improved as a route runner, cups his hands instead of extending away from his body, and has cried for pass interference far too often.” This past week against Texas A&M, he remained a non-factor, and it look like he may be better suited to play another year at Ole Miss instead of declaring early.