2014 NFL Draft Scouting Notes: 9/14/13 Tennessee at Oregon

September 17th, 2013

Marcus Mariota stood out in a big way in Oregon’s 59-14 win over Tennessee. (photo: college-football.si.com)

DraftBrowns.com Editor: Brendan Leister

Last weekend, the Tennessee Volunteers traveled across the country to face the Oregon Ducks at Autzen Stadium.  When it was all said and done, the Volunteers proved to be no match for the Ducks as Oregon ran away with the game by a score of 59-14.  It is important to keep in mind that the score may have been even more out of hand had the Ducks not pulled their starters with 4:37 left in the third quarter.  Here is a look at how some of the draft-eligible players from both teams performed in the game:


#8 QB Marcus Mariota

Looks left, then to middle of field, then throws incompletion to right on hitch route to #11.

Makes play fake, throws complete to #83 on drag route.

Throws pivot route to #6 but pass gets batted down at LOS.

Completes pass in flat to #1 after he motioned out of backfield.

Misses wide receiver high in the end zone after making play fake and sprinting out to his right.  Ball hit and went through #16’s hands but was still a high pass.

On 3rd and 10 from +20, misses high to #11 on curl route.

Makes correct read on inside zone read (IZR) play to left.  Hands off ball.

On 3rd and 8, throws a strike down field to #11 on Go route.  Completes it between CB and S for gain of 38.

Runs QB Sweep to right, hurdles defender, shows speed in space.  Gains about 20 yards on run.

Drops snap at +4 yard line.  Looked like snap was a little low and to left.  Forced to dive on it for loss of three yards.

Looks left, receivers all covered, breaks tackle, then gets sacked for loss of around 7.

Looks like Mariota reads RILB on read option play.  LB stays at home so Mariota hands off to #6 for nine-yard gain.

Looks like Mariota reads RILB on read option play.  LB stays at home so Mariota hands off to #6 for eight-yard gain.

Makes play fake, sprints out to left, makes defender miss in space, throws on run to wide open #83 for 16-yard TD.

Reads RILB, LB stays at home so he hands off to #6 on RO play.

Reads right DT, DT stays at home so he hands off to #6 on RO play.

Makes play fake, looks right, comes back to middle of field, waits for #83 to come open, throws it to him.  #83 gains YAC and play results in 58-yard gain.

Reads RDE, RDE crashes far enough down on RB that Mariota feels he should pull out the ball, the RDE turns and begins to pursue Mariota, Mariota outruns RDE to corner, and RB in pitch relationship occupies the RCB.  Mariota explodes into open field and runs into end zone untouched for a nine-yard TD run.

Reads right EMOL (end man on line of scrimmage), EMOL stays at home so Mariota hands off to #6.

Makes play fake, recognizes that a LB is running downfield to cover the seam route from the slot receiver (#1), and throws a catchable ball on the seam away from the LB.  Play gains around 20 yards.

Makes play fake, throws post route to (wide open) left #2 receiver in stride for 54-yard TD.

Reads left DT, DT stays home so Mariota hands it off to #9 on outside zone read (OZR).

Makes play fake, sprints out to right, throws to #83 on stick route.  Play gains around 23 yards.

Makes play fake, overthrows #11 down right sideline on Go route.

Oregon goes hurry up and puts trips to boundary (right).  Mariota recognizes that defense only has one defender to that side and he throws the smoke screen to #11.  Play gains around seven yards.  (Called back on holding penalty by #1).

Fourth and six: Mariota makes play fake to RB, looks to right #3 receiver on bubble, CB reads Mariota’s eyes and runs up.  Mariota throws behind the CB to the #1 receiver (#16) on a Go route for a 45-yard TD.

Reads left EMOL, EMOL stays at home, Mariota hands off ball to #6 on OZR.

Looks to left side of field, no receivers open, doesn’t have time to look back to right side of field before being sacked.  Defense blitzed on the play.

Makes play fake, scans down field, does not see anyone open so he checks it down to #6 on a quick out route from out of the backfield.

Makes play fake, sits in clean pocket, scans field, and leaves the pocket early (without being forced to).  He sprints out to the right, forces a defender to commit to him, and throws a bullet to #1 on sideline behind the defender.  #1 gains YAC and play results in around a 27-yard gain.

Drops back to pass in Empty set, leaves pocket early (LG got driven back initially but recovered.  Mariota still had plenty of time to stand in pocket and scan the field.), runs out to his right, throws pass on the run to #11 on what looked like a comeback route for what looked like a gain of 16.

(Broadcast did not show the beginning of the play) Looks like Mariota made a play fake, tried to sprint out to his left, but a defensive player was in his way.  He turns back to his right and starts to scramble that way but another defender is closing in on him, so he throws the ball out of bounds and lives to play another down (Play occurred on 2nd and 6).

Oregon goes up-tempo, Mariota recognizes three-on-two advantage to the field.  He throws smoke screen to #7.  Ball goes through #7’s hands, incomplete.  Could have been a big play had he caught it.

3rd and 10: Drops back to pass, defensive linemen break through interior offensive line and force Mariota out of the pocket.  He runs to the right, shows incredible acceleration in the open field and gains about 14-15 yards before running out of bounds.

Reads LDE, LDE stays at home so Mariota hands off to #6 on OZR.

Makes play fake, finds #83 wide open in left flat.  #83 runs upfield and scores 17-yard TD.

Recognizes three on two advantage to field, throws bubble screen to #1.  #1 gains around 10 yards on the play.

Finds #9 wide open on flat route, #9 gains around 37 yards on play.

Finding numbers advantages on the outside over and over and throwing packaged screens.  Gaining easy yardage.

Drops back to pass in Empty, leaves pocket early, sprints right, throws bullet to #7 in back of end zone, but ball hits defender in the back.  Incomplete.

Reads left EMOL, EMOL stays at home so Mariota hands off to #9 on OZR.

PASSING STATS: Completed 23 out of 33 passes for 456 yards (career high) and four TDs

RUSHING STATS: Six carries for 27 yards and a TD

OVERVIEW: Marcus Mariota missed high on some throws early in the game but settled in and showed good accuracy and arm strength overall throughout the course of the game.  I would like to see him show more patience when in the pocket.  Consistently made the correct read in the read option game.

#6 RB/WR De’Anthony Thomas

Fields kickoff a yard deep in end zone, runs in and out of traffic, and makes his way all the way to the +20.  (Play called back for illegal block in the back penalty)

Takes kickoff from -4 and takes it to the -35.  Showed acceleration in space.

Gains about 10 yards on sweep to left.

Gains about nine yards on sweep to right.

Explodes through small crease and gains nine yards on sweep to right.

Not showing much power on contact but consistently shows toughness when asked to run up middle.

Shows some patience running behind linemen on outside, near sideline, picks up five.

Cuts run up on OZR and shows patience waiting for hole to develop to inside, accelerates through hole, and pushes two defenders for an extra yard or two for a gain of about five.

Shows good vision and acceleration as he initially heads towards LOS, sees two defenders in his face, turns to his left, accelerates, finds a hole, turns upfield, and gains close to four yards on what could have been a loss of yardage.

Runs quick out route from out of backfield, catches the ball, accelerates upfield and eventually out of bounds after gaining around 27 yards.

Accelerates to outside on OZR, patiently waits for OT to get out in front of him and make a block on the RCB.  He then accelerates past the CB, fights through contact, and into the end zone for 28 yards.  Did an excellent job of staying in bounds on the play.

Takes handoff on OZR, begins going left, finds cutback lane, accelerates upfield, breaks an arm tackle from #98, makes another defender miss in space with a quick cut to the left, and finally gets brought down after a gain of about 12.

RUSHING STATS: 13 carries for 86 yards and a TD

RECEIVING STATS: One catch for 28 yards

OVERVIEW: De’Anthony Thomas showed patience, acceleration, and vision as a ball carrier and proved to be a dangerous receiving threat on his one catch of the game.  Although he lacks size, he runs hard, and will break an arm tackle from time to time.

#1 WR Josh Huff

Motions out of backfield from left halfback position (shotgun) and catches ball in flat behind LOS.  Gains about nine yards before going out of bounds. First down.

Motions out of backfield from right halfback position (shotgun) and catches ball in flat behind LOS.  Tries to make defender miss in space, gets tackled, fumbles. (Play was reviewed and Huff’s elbow was down before fumble occurred)

Runs seam route from right slot, adjusts to pass away from his body to the outside and makes the catch for around a 20-yard gain.

Lines up as #2 receiver in left slot, accelerates past the defender on post route, catches pass in stride and scores 54-yard TD.

Gets called for holding penalty while blocking on a packaged smoke screen.

Gets called for personal foul (hitting player out of bounds) while playing antigunner on punt return team and doing his best to keep the gunner from getting down the field.  Pushed gunner out of bounds but then kept pushing him afterwards.

Catches pass on sideline, turns upfield, and shows some speed in the open field before hurdling a defender and leaping out of bounds after a gain of around 27 yards.

Catches bubble screen, gains around 10 yards before running out of bounds.

RECEIVING STATS: Six catches for 125 yards and a TD

OVERVIEW: Josh Huff showed soft hands, physicality as a blocker, body control adjusting to the ball in the air, and smooth athletic ability in the open field.

#14 CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu

Knocks receiver out of bounds after a big gain.  Was not covering the receiver that caught the ball.

Makes big hit on running back on sideline after a short gain.

DEFENSIVE STATS: Two tackles (one solo)

OVERVIEW: Ifo Ekpre-Olomu showed physicality as a tackler but I did not notice him being targeted in the passing game.


#98 DT Daniel McCullers

Batted a pass and caused an incompletion.

Coming out of his stance too high.

Pushes RG back a yard into the backfield, grabs RB, and brings him down to the ground for a gain of about two.

Not giving good effort with any consistency.

Looks like he has really long arms.  Huge frame.

Rarely gives any ground in the run game.  Very stout at the POA.

Can push the pocket when he wants too.  Incredible power on bull rush.

Regularly seeing double teams from the center and RG.

Misses arm tackle on RB in space.

DEFENSIVE STATS: Three tackles (two solo)

OVERVIEW: Daniel McCullers looks like a prototypical nose tackle prospect.  Although I would like to see more consistent effort from him, his talent and power when he wants to go hard are undeniable.

#74 LT Antonio “Tiny” Richardson

Looks like he possesses good length.

Knee bender.  Shows very quick feet in pass protection.

Showing strength at the point of attack in run game.

DT comes outside on T/E stunt and shoots gap between Richardson and the LG.  Richardson struggles to diagnose it and engage with the DT.  The DT gets inside of him and through the gap between he and the LG.  The DT hits QB’s arm just as he throws the ball.

Overextends, slightly drops his head, and gets beat to the inside.  QB moved out of QB beforehand however and had no problem getting pass off before rush getting to him.

ROLB blitzes off edge and Richardson helps LG block the three-technique DT.  OLB explodes off LOS untouched and gets in QB’s face immediately and forces a quick throw.  Looked like miscommunication on OL.

Does a great job of helping LG inside, keeping eyes outside, and quickly sliding out in space to pick up blitzing CB.

Allows DT #66 inside of him on T/E stunt.  Seemed that he expected the LG to block him.  #66 ran right through the B-gap and forced the QB to throw the ball quickly short of the first down marker.

OVERVIEW: Tiny Richardson showed quick feet and excellent length in this matchup.  Although he got beat a couple of times on stunts, Richardson played very well in pass protection and in the run game.

#20 RB Rajion Neal

Fumbles on his first run of the game.

Receives hand off on Jet Sweep, shows some speed in space and gains about 12 yards.

Catches pass in flat, gains about five yards before going out of bounds.

On third down, catches ball in flat, makes a defender miss, and accelerates upfield for a first down.

Takes handoff on Jet Sweep, makes defender miss at LOS, gains about two yards.

Catches screen pass, makes defender miss with spin move, gains around seven yards.

Gains six yards on what looked like an inside zone running play on third and five.

Could not find much running room all game long.

RUSHING STATS: 12 carries for 42 yards and one fumble

RECEIVING STATS: Four catches for 23 yards

OVERVIEW: Rajion Neal showed some burst on a Jet Sweep for 12 yards, but aside from that, he had a tough day overall.  He fumbled on his first carry of the game and could not find much running room on 11 of his 12 carries.

#45 LB A.J. Johnson

Reads backfield and takes his time to react (probably in case of QB pulling ball out on RO fake), pursues RB to sideline, closes in, and brings him down for a gain of about one.

Runs downfield to cover seam route by slot receiver but gets there just an instant late.

Ends up on ground after getting cut while pursuing outside zone run.  Recovers quickly and combines with teammates to make the tackle after a six-yard gain.

Sits back to read where ball is going at first but then pursues RB up the middle and combines with teammates to bring down RB after a gain of about eight.

Initially follows backfield flow to left, but recognizes screen pass to right, and pursues receiver.  Combines with teammates to bring down ball carrier after a gain of about eight.

DEFENSIVE STATS: Seven tackles (two solo)

OVERVIEW: Overall, A.J. Johnson looked tentative in this matchup.  Oregon often chose to read him in the read option game and he was regularly a step or two late reacting to run plays.  I do not believe that this game is an accurate indicator of Johnson’s skills due to the offense that Oregon runs.

#70 RT Ja’Wuan James

Fires out and loses balance on contact, falls to the ground.

Seals defender #9 inside and eventually knocks him to the turf.

Makes low block on quickly pursuing LB and cuts him down to open up a hole.

Gets driven backwards and off balance at POA, defender sheds block and makes tackle after gain of about one.

Badly misses cut block attempt.

Has a tendency to play too high.

Seems to possess a pretty powerful punch in pass protection.

OVERVIEW: Ja’Wuan James showed quick feet and a powerful punch in pass protection, but had some struggles in the run game.  He was caught off balance and on the ground too often and also had trouble with sustaining blocks.

Tags: 2014 NFL Draft, A.J. Johnson, Antonio Richardson, Daniel McCullers, De'Anthony Thomas, Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Ja'Wuan James, Josh Huff, Marcus Mariota, Rajion Neal

One Response to “2014 NFL Draft Scouting Notes: 9/14/13 Tennessee at Oregon”

  1. J H TARBORO says:

    Browns fans look at this list well, Trent Richardson just traded to the Colts for a 1st round pick. I feel bad for the fanbase and ticket holders in that city. Brendan Leister i remember some of the articles this spring speaking about the last regime/coach and QB woes, as a concerned Patriots fan i would like to offer a little help. We had a RB in our camp that our fans didn’t want to see let go UDFA from Cinncinati George Winn. If Michael Lombardi is wise and trust his old friend Bill Belichick,the Browns needs to watch the Patriots last preseason game, this kid is money.

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