In the Week Twelve edition of The Splendid Seven, we are looking at seven players that I have not previously mentioned in this column.
1 – Keir Thomas, DL, Florida State
I talked up Keir Thomas on last week’s Draft Countdown Podcast. Jermaine Johnson II has been all of the attention nationally for the Seminoles. However, the South Carolina transfer has emerged as a defensive playmaker for FSU. At 272 pounds, Thomas is likely too small to hold up as an every down defensive tackle in the NFL. I believe he will be a tremendous situational pass rusher. Thomas can play on the edge on run downs and rush from the inside on pass downs. Against Boston College, Thomas recorded seven solo tackles, 2 sacks, and five QB hurries. This was against a BC offensive line that potentially has four future NFL players.
2 – Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College
Zay Flowers is an explosive receiver prospect. He is tremendous in the open field making defenders miss. Flowers get to top speed as quick as a Lambo. Against the Noles, he caught three balls for 92 yards and a score. Flowers is listed at 5’11” and 178 pounds. That is the only real mark I have against him at this point.
3 – Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn
McCreary is a tremendous man cover corner for the Tigers. Gamecocks QB Jason Brown didn’t target him more than once. McCreary did have a sack on a corner blitz to go along with his three solo tackles. He also accepted a Senior Bowl invite this week. McCreary played his high school ball at Williamson in Mobile.
4 – Zaquandre White, RB, South Carolina
White has been impressive for the Gamecocks over the last three weeks. I was hesitant to add him to our watchlist because he plays in a stable of backs for South Carolina. However, White has really flashed his skillset recently. He will be an asset to a team with a zone-blocking scheme. White can be a three-down asset. He is explosive running, can block and has great hands. White should also test well. The former JUCO player started at linebacker for the Gamecocks before they got smart and moved him to offense. I expect he can also help in the return game. White had 19 offensive touches against Auburn for 169 yards and a touchdown. He leads South Carolina in yards from scrimmage. ZaQuandre White profiles as a prospect who makes a team as an undrafted free agent.
5 – Austin Allen, TE, Nebraska
I have been a big fan of Cornhuskers TE Austin Allen for a little while. His mammoth size (6’8” 260) and ability to move in space are tremendous assets. Allen is a smooth route runner for his size, as well. Against Wisconsin, he caught seven passes for 143 yards on nine targets. I am 50/50 on whether I think Allen enters the draft. If he does, I think he potentially is selected late on day two.
6 – Samori Toure, WR, Nebraska
The Montana transfer has established himself as the go-to receiver for Nebraska. Toure is an excellent route runner with soft hands. He has good size but does he have deep speed? Against the Badgers, Toure finished with seven receptions for 113 yards and one TD.
7 – Leddie Brown, RB, West Virginia
Leddie Brown carried the Mountaineers to a victory over Texas on his back. The stout RB lugged the ball 33 times for 158 yards and a score. Brown is another ball carrier that is heading toward late day three/UDFA territory that makes a squad as a #3 RB with upside.
NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS
This week on Matt Araiza watch, the San Diego State punter only averaged a pedestrian 47.5 yards per punt. However, since all of his punts happened around midfield, Araiza didn’t get a chance to bomb away. He did knock five of his six punts inside the twenty, including two inside the five.