Bucs Blitz Prospect Watch Week 11

Each week during the college football season, we will discuss some of the college prospects who have good matchups to watch.

USC @ Colorado, November 13th on ESPN @ 9:00 PM

Su’a Cravens, Strong Safety, Southern Cal

Cravens is a unique player in the mold of a Mark Barron type. Cravens started his career as a pure strong safety before being moved into an outside linebacker role on early downs and often dropping into coverage. Cravens looks to be best suited in a hybrid role where he’s allowed to play up in the box and make plays. The junior stands 6’1” and weighs in at 225 lbs.

·         Run defender that displays good play recognition and explosion out of his stance

·         Against the pass, Cravens looks comfortable and recognizes routes early allowing him to make plays on the ball

·         Cravens shows good hands for a defender and is aggressive in coverage, always looking to make a player

·         Being aggressive often goes both ways for a player and Cravens is no different, at times over pursuing and getting a bit reckless at times

·         Struggles at times when running hip to hip and will lose contain as he turns his head often. Doesn’t always recognize ball in air off receiver cues.

Current draft outlook: Day 1 Selection

 

Nelson Spruce, Wide Receiver, Colorado

Spruce is a senior receiving prospect coming off a monster year that saw him break several Colorado records.  With just under 1,200 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns to go with his 106 receptions, Spruce doubled his production and even tripled the touchdown output from his sophomore campaign. Entering his matchup with USC, Spruce has amassed 730 yards receiving on 67 receptions for only a couple of scores. The senior stands 6’1” and weighs in at 195 lbs.

·         Spruce does a good job with his fakes in route and is a master at manipulating defenders out of breaks

·         Willing run blocker with surprising fire and technique  

·         Spruce shows good hands and extension to the ball

·         Lacks ideal top end speed and acceleration off the line

·         Clean route runner

Current draft outlook: Day 3 Selection

 

Kansas State @ Texas Tech, November 14th on FS1 @ 3:30 PM

Cody Whitehair, Offensive Guard, Kansas State

Whitehair is a senior prospect standing 6’4” and weighing in at 309 lbs. Whitehair has experience at left guard, right tackle and left tackle now but his best fit would look to be inside at guard.

·         Good strong foundation with a wide base to handle edge rushers at tackle, inside at guard showed the quickness and strength to combat interior lineman.

·         Keeps his shoulders parallel to the defender and drives them off the ball when blocking for the run

·         Has shown the ability to call out and pick up blitzes pre-snap

·         Will get beat if a rusher gets into his body

·         Struggles with holding against speed off the edge, inside it wasn’t as big of an issue but is definitely something to watch

Current draft outlook: Day 2 Selection

 

Pete Robertson, Pass Rush Specialist, Texas Tech

Robertson is a senior coming off a career year in which he led his team in tackles, tackles for a loss and sacks.  Robertson plays a hybrid role for Texas Tech but for the Bucs as a prospect would be a pass rushing end. Robertson currently stands 6’3” and weighs in at 238 lbs. Robertson comes into the matchup with 5 sacks and 13 tackles for a loss on the season thru 9 games.

·         Good short area quickness and footwork when rushing the passer

·         Great motor and nonstop effort are big attributors to his pass rush success

·         Closing speed and explosion are not high end but are enough to get the job done

·         Struggles against the run which leads to the pass rush specialist role, has a ways to go in putting on mass

·         Good hand usage when rushing but will get held up against the run, struggling to get off blocks laterally

Current draft outlook: Day 3 Selection

 

Oregon @ Stanford, November 14th on FOX @ 7:30 PM

DeForest Buckner, Defensive Lineman, Oregon

Buckner is a name that Bucs fans should get used to as mock draft season comes around. While Buckner is a round 1 defensive end, he isn’t the player Bucs fans should eye as a potential franchise changer off the edge. This weeks spotlight will shed light on that as Buckner is a 3-4 end prospect, and for a team like the Bucs, that means power not speed, it means versatility not pure pass rush. Standing 6’9” and pushing 290 lbs, Buckner is a well-built horse.

·         Versatility. Buckner is just that, he’s versatile. A good run defender with some pass rush prowess out of a bull rush, Buckner can line up all along the defensive line.

·         Length is his best friend, much like current Buc Will Gholston, Buckner has been able to use length to his advantage on an every down basis

·         Power. Buckner sets the edge well and can play the run as good as any in the draft off the edge.

·         Buckner displays above average short area quickness and the agility needed to split the gap

·         Lacks ideal burst off the edge needed to be a premier 4-3 pass rushing end.  

Current draft outlook: Day 1 Selection

 

Devon Cajus, H-Back, Stanford

Cajuste, a senior, came to Stanford as a tight end prospect and has since made his way into a reciver. Standing 6’4” and weighing in at 229 lbs, Cajuste has the size many teams covet for red zone targets. Cajuste projects into the NFL as an H-Back thanks to some lacking traits on both ends of the spectrum for a wide out/tight end.

·         Cajus lacks top end speed and short area quickness desired to play outside at receiver

·         Lacks natural power desired to line up in line at tight end

·         Shows good transition speed in and out of breaks to create space

·         Shows good recognition and ability to use his body to shield off defenders

·         Good hands

Current draft outlook: Day 3 Selection


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