Stars of the Game
Frantz Joseph(LB-Florida Atlantic) - Joseph capped off a great week of practice by doing what he did all week during the game. Joseph had an interception on a deflected pass, and he also was a force against the run. Joseph was a wall when he met runners, and he also displayed the ability to shed a blocker and make the tackle. He hit with a thud on 243 pound RB/FB Frank Summers and turned into a heat seeking missile once he had the correct read on a running play. One weakness was exposed when Joseph did look sluggish in space chasing down an offensive player, but he was a stud when he was playing downhill.
Curtis Painter(QB-Purdue) - Painter looked like the most polished and pro ready QB. He moved around well in the pocket, and he had terrific timing on a play action fake throw downfield. Painter tested the defense by throwing into small windows, and his accuracy often forced them to make a play. Painter also displayed great field vision and the ability to load up to deliver a long throw with zip rolling to his right. In general, he was the most engaged of the QBs and saw the field with the most clarity.
Lydon Murtha(OT-Nebraska) - Murtha’s push against the run was irresistable on Saturday. He showed tremendous drive, riding power end Derek Walker five yards out of the play, and moving Jovan Belcher back like a blocking sled when he found him at the second level on a running play. Murtha’s pass blocking needs work, but his nimble feet and natural size is more than enough to work with at the next level.
Khalif Mitchell(DT-East Carolina) - Mitchell translated his energy and tools into a couple of plays in the backfield - one sack when he ripped Maurice Miller and closed quickly, and a successful swim to meet Tarrion Adams in the backfield, although Adams ran through his arm tackle. Just like in practice, there were plenty of plays when Mitchell was a non-factor, but when he did make a play, he flashed exceptional tools.
Louis Ellis(DT-Shaw) - Ellis ran hot and cold, just like small school expert Josh Buchanan told us he would at the beginning of the week, but when he was hot, he was a bull in a china shop. Ellis blew up Andrew Hartline to tackle Anthony Kimble in the backfield, and he also showed good ability to read plays from the DT position. Ellis had an explosive and strong first step when was he was on.
Lee Robinson(OLB-Alcorn State) - You can see Robinson’s superior athleticism/size combo out there even if you’re not looking for it. He didn’t make huge plays like Joseph, but his burst off the snap, ability to fight through blocks, and one play where he easily threw an opponent to the ground all amounted to a good closing argument in the case he built to be a mid-round pick in the draft during the week in El Paso.
Jason Chery(WR/RT-La-Lafayette) - We knew Chery was fast, but the toughness and tackle-breaking abilities he showed on his long return were a surprise. Chery ducked under Johnny Knox, who arrived right after the punt did, and then put on the fifth gear, making moves to elude two would-be tacklers and displaying outstanding balance in the process. He’s electric with the ball in his hands, and we’ll be interested to see his 40 time at his pro day.
More players reviewed here.