Scout’s notebook: offensive review

Observations and analysis from the seventh week of the college football season, including thoughts about some of the nation’s top offensive prospects.

The Texas three-step

Colt McCoy, QB (6-2, 210)

I was disappointed with the overall play of Texas QB Colt McCoy on Saturday, in particularly his inability to be decisive with the football in the face of pressure. McCoy struggled all day finding his second and third options in the pass game and looked content to stare down his initial read and wait for him to uncover. McCoy does display good anticipation and looks comfortable throwing receivers open, but too often he has his mind made up before the snap and will throw blindly or force the ball into coverage. I love McCoy’s ability to escape pressure and buy time in the pocket, but being decisive and finding your second/third reads quickly is key at the next level, and right now McCoy just doesn’t grade out very well in that area.

Jordan Shipley, WR (6-0, 190)

One of the toughest adjustments college receivers have to make when they get to the NFL is learning how to beat press coverage. After watching Jordan Shipley’s performance vs. the physical Oklahoma secondary, it’s clear he still has a long way to go. Shipley was absolutely manhandled off the line by Sooners CB Brian Jackson and struggled to quickly get into his routes and create separation on all levels of the field. Shipley isn’t overly quick or explosive off the snap and lacks the type of strength to consistently fight his way through any kind of bump. There’s no denying his ability to find soft spots in coverage and catch the football when he gets a free release, but to me he looks nothing more than a slot guy in the Brandon Stokley mold at the next level.

Adam Ulatoski, OT (6-6, 310)

The play of Texas left tackle Adam Ulatoski in pass protection Saturday left a lot to be desired. Ulatoski isn’t a real impressive athlete, lacks ideal footwork and is consistently forced to open his hips and lunge into blocks in order to reach speed rushers off the edge. He gets too overextend with his footwork, which causes him to struggle redirecting in space and simply isn’t a real coordinated pass blocker. He does possess a nice-sized frame, with long arms and some natural power on contact. However, because of his lack of athleticism, I struggle to see him even holding up on the right side in the NFL.

Another struggling tackle

When watching Notre Dame right tackle Sam Young, it’s obvious that he isn’t the most fluid of athletes and that he’s going to struggle with any kind of athleticism or speed off the edge. However, what was even more discouraging watching him vs. USC was the lack of power he displayed at the point of attack. Young was consistently overpowered into the backfield and not only lacked the type of base strength to sit into his stance and anchor, he also looked heavy-footed when asked to redirect and stay on blocks through contact. Young is a tall, long-armed kid with a nice-sized frame, but he simply doesn’t possess the type of power in his lower half to handle an NFL-caliber bull-rush. And remember, an offensive tackle who lacks strength makes every defensive lineman he faces look like a good pass rusher. That seems to be the case with Young.

Trojan tight end with the full package

It isn’t easy finding a college tight end who has the ability to not only create mismatches in the pass game but also wins at the point of attack as a blocker. Yet that’s exactly what you get from USC tight end Anthony McCoy. McCoy possesses a big, athletic-looking frame and showcases the speed to threaten the seam and make plays down the field. He’s a really smooth, coordinated route runner who knows how to adjust to the throw and attack the football at its highest point. He finished with five catches for 153 yards against Notre Dame and is averaging 25 yards per catch on the year. He also exhibits good power and body control as a blocker and does a great job reaching defenders away from his frame in the run game. McCoy looks like the nation’s top dual-threat tight end and has a starting-caliber grade written all over him at the next level.

Another dual threat tight end

Iowa tight end Tony Moeaki might be on the verge of making one the biggest leaps up NFL draft boards of any senior prospect in the country. Moeaki is a gifted athlete at 6-4, 250, and not only displays the ability to create separation on all levels of the field, he might also be the best-blocking tight end in the country as well. Moeaki’s already hauled in 20 catches for 247 yards, and that’s despite missing three games this season with an injury. But that’s kind of been the story for Moeaki, who has always had trouble staying the field for the Hawkeyes. However, if he’s able to prove scouts that he can stay healthy, he definitely has an ability to man a starting role at the next level.

Small-school surprise

Very quietly, former LSU quarterback and current Jacksonville State Gamecock Ryan Perrilloux is putting together one heck of a season. Perrilloux currently holds the highest quarterback rating in I-AA at 194.8 and has thrown 14 touchdown passes and just one interception in his last four games. Also, during his last four games he’s completing 68 percent of his passes and is averaging just over 266 yards per game. There’s no denying Perrilloux’s physical skill set, as we know he has the arm to make all the throws and the athletic ability to keep plays alive and create with his feet. So this kind of progress is a very promising sign for Perrilloux, who could end up becoming one of the more intriguing quarterback prospects in a very uninspiring senior QB class.

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