2014 NFL Draft Scouting Notes: 9/6/2013 Wake Forest at Boston College

September 8th, 2013

Boston College running back Andre Williams powered through the Wake Forest defense Friday night (Photo: bostonglobe.com)

DraftBrowns.com Staff Writer: Justin Higdon

This past Friday night, Wake Forest visited Boston College to face the Eagles and their new head coach Steve Addazio.  B.C. jumped out to an early lead and wore down the Demon Deacons with a clock-draining rushing attack.  Here’s a look at how some of the draft-eligible players from both teams performed that evening.

WAKE FOREST

#3 WR Michael Campanaro

  • Catches a swing pass for a first down
  • Outstanding diving catch on a deep ball on third and nine – keeps the ball off the turf and gets a 30-yard TD
  • Takes a two-handed option pitch from QB Tanner Price and picks up a short gain
  • Back on punt returns but contained the entire game
  • Swing pass from Price sails over his head
  • Makes a grab on the next play making a move to get extra yards.
  • Tumbling catch on the next play
  • Reverses field and gets a first down run on fourth and one in the red zone – terrific effort

Overview: Campanaro is a quick, slot-receiver type who Wake likes to move around and find different way to get the ball in his hands.  He touched the ball nine times on offense (five catches and four carries), returned four punts, and gained 96 yards from scrimmage and 103 all-purpose yards.  His diving touchdown catch, with arms fully extended, was the play of the game, and the fourth down run displayed his determination.  Campanaro is not going to blow anyone away with his athletic ability, but he’s a tough, sure-handed receiver who should get an opportunity to make an NFL roster next summer.

#10 QB Tanner Price

  • Running option but on his second play makes a poor two-handed pitch and causes a fumble
  • Throws two early, reverse pivot swing passes – one to Campanaro for a first down
  • Another terrible pitch results in another turnover
  • Tries the out route to the left sideline and leaves it short – nearly picked off on a third down play
  • Again with the two-handed pitch – this time to Campanaro – ugly form
  • Throws way behind Campanaro and gets picked off
  • Poor exchange on the option pitch – third time this has been botched and fumbled
  • Shows poor awareness by running right into the pressure and getting sacked

Overview: Price is a decent athlete, but looked ridiculously miscast in running the option on Friday night.  He is an undersized, left-handed quarterback with questionable awareness.  A brief NFL tryout next spring is probably the best he can hope for at this point.

#25 RB Josh Harris

  • Takes a swing pass, makes a good adjustment to catch the ball, and makes a nice jump cut to avoid a TFL
  • Doing a good job lowering his pads at contact on short yardage runs
  • Stuffed on fourth and goal just before the half
  • Gets strung out wide for no gain

Overview: Harris couldn’t get anything going, and was held in check for the second straight game.  He wasn’t given much room to operate, and he wasn’t able to break loose or power through and create anything on his own.  He looks like a fringe prospect at a deep position, so it will be hard for him to garner much attention.

#98 DE Zach Thompson

  • Gets a run stuff and a sack off of play action on back-to-back plays
  • Bats down a pass behind the line of scrimmage
  • Gets a sack but it’s negated by a facemask penalty

Overview: Thompson created some problems for Boston College quarterback Chase Rettig, but like most of the Wake Forest defense, he was pushed around some in the running game.  Still, Thompson’s performance was one of the few bright spots for the Deacons on the day.

#50 DE Nikita Whitlock

  • Gets a sack off the right side of the offensive line, powering through the block from the right tackle
  • Uses a quick spin move on the center and gets to Rettig’s legs for another sack
  • Flies right through the middle of the punt protection to block the punt
  • Gets a run stuff behind the line of scrimmage
  • Gets pressure on Rettig helping Thompson get a sack – play was negated by a penalty

Overview: Whitlock was the best defender on the field for Wake Friday night.  Lining up inside and outside on the defensive line, he looked stout against the run, generated pressure on the quarterback, and showed his worth on special teams.  At under six-feet tall, Whitlock does not possess the size NFL teams prefer in defensive linemen, but if he can continue to make plays, the versatile fifth-year senior should earn himself a look in rookie free agency.

 

BOSTON COLLEGE

#44 RB Andre Williams

  • Hit behind the line of scrimmage and unable to push ahead on third and short – results in a punt
  • Bounces outside and picks up 31 on an off tackle run – looks like a long strider – not particularly fast
  • Strong, power run stepping through tackles for a nine yard gain
  • Follows by picking through traffic and reading his blocks for a short first down run
  • Third straight run, and again he breaks a tackle and picks up a first down – showing good feet on the last couple of carries
  • Fourth straight run and he breaks tackles, lowers his pads and gets another first down – finally slowed on his fifth straight carry
  • Williams showing more patience running the ball and continues to step through tackles
  • Doesn’t have quick change of direction skills, but he is showing good patience and letting his blocks set up consistently
  • Stopped at the line of scrimmage but keeps the legs moving and gains a few yards after contact
  • Continues to break tackles and get yards after contact – lowers his shoulder and finishes a big run with authority
  • Power run for a short TD
  • Splays the ball out away from his body on a short run – better be careful with that
  • Shows good burst through the hole and finishes another run with power
  • Makes smooth cuts although his strides are long
  • Looks tall but adjusts his pad level accordingly

Overview: Williams was a workhorse, toting the ball 35 times for 204 yards and a touchdown.  Much of his rushing yardage came after initial contact, as he repeatedly stepped through tackles and delivered blows at the end of his runs.  Williams is a one-dimensional power runner.  He has yet to catch a pass this season, and has just ten receptions in his college career.  But if he can stay healthy, he has a chance to carve out a niche as a short-yardage specialist.

#24 LB Kevin Pierre-Louis

  • Excellent read to sniff out the screen to the running back and make a tackle for loss
  • Another run stop on option keeper by Price
  • On the next play he gets contain on the edge and causes a tackle for loss on another option run
  • Makes the stop after a short gain
  • Good job reading the end around, but he gets taken out by a low block
  • Makes the stop on a wide run by Harris

Overview: Pierre-Louis was all over the field Friday night, and finished with double digit tackles for the second consecutive game.  If he continues to play well he will see his value increase throughout the year, as NFL teams are finding new uses for undersized linebackers who can run.

#83 WR Alex Amidon

  • Takes the slot screen and gets big yardage after the catch for a TD – a couple good blocks spring him untouched
  • Terrific adjustment to a deep ball results in a 51-yard reception

Overview: Amidon was active early before Boston College shifted to a power running game.  He showed good speed on his touchdown reception, and is known for reliable hands.  Amidon has been ultra-productive early this season, and caught five of Eagles’ seven complete passes Friday night.

Miscellanea:

  • B.C. quarterback Chase Rettig threw only 14 passes, completing seven.  He had thrown for two touchdowns through just over a quarter of play, but after he was picked off on a flea-flicker, the Eagles seemed content to power their way to victory.
  • Boston College inside linebacker Steele Divitto was stout in run defense throughout the game.
  • Eagles defensive end Kasim Edebali, a native of Hamburg, applied pressure on Price on a couple of occasions, and even got in on a sack.

Tags: 2014 NFL Draft, Alex Amidon, Andre Williams, Boston College, Chase Rettig, Kevin Pierre-Louis, Michael Campanaro, NFL Draft, Nikita Whitlock, Scouting Notes

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