Hits and Misses on Bruce Feldman's Annual Freaks List

Carl Stine@@CFBAllDayCorrespondent IMay 27, 2013

Hits and Misses on Bruce Feldman's Annual Freaks List

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    Every year, Bruce Feldman releases his "Freaks List."

    The list includes a number of players, all of whom earned a spot on said list by virtue of their incredible athletic abilities or their incredible performances during offseason workouts.

    The players on the list are all incredibly talented, but not all of them deserve to be where they are.

    Read on for a rundown of "hits and misses" on Mr. Feldman's list.

Miss: Dri Archer, RB/WR, Kent State

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    No disrespect to Archer is intended here, but he is a little to high on this list.

    Yes, he is one of the fastest guys in football, but so is De'Anthony Thomas. Speed alone is not enough.

    And Archer's numbers, while good, are not over-the-top incredible. His rushing numbers are solid, receiving stats pedestrian and kickoff return performance is incredible.

    Yes, he's a stud, and yes, he's fast.

    Should he be as high as No. 7 on this list, ahead of guys like Chris Borland, Donte Moncrief and Travis Swanson?


Hit: Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor

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    Feldman was right on the mark with Seastrunk.

    The current Baylor running back is incredibly fast, posting a 40 time of 4.36 this spring. He was a monster during the Bears' final four games of last season, rushing for 637 yards and averaging over nine yards per carry.

    Seastrunk's speed is elite, as displayed during his 76-yard touchdown run against Oklahoma State last season.

    The man pulled his hamstring around the 50-yard line and still outran defenders to the end zone.

    The scary thing is, Seastrunk's most recent 40-yard dash time is 4.36. When he first arrived at Oregon before transferring to Baylor, it was 4.63.

    He just keeps getting faster.

Miss: Brendan Bigelow, RB, Cal

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    All you need to know about Brendan Bigelow can be summed up in his performance against Ohio State last September.

    The man carried the ball four times against the Buckeyes, all in the second half, racked up 160 yards and scored twice.

    That's 40 yards per carry for those of you keeping track at home.

    His world-class speed makes up for his smaller size, and, as seen in his first score against the Buckeyes, his balance is impeccable.

    He will be Cal's feature back in 2013 if he completely recovers from injury. With the ability to run a sub-4.45 40-yard dash, Bigelow will make some waves in the Pac-12 this fall.

    He deserves at least an honorable mention, even if he is currently limited.

Hit: Chris Borland, LB, Wisconsin

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    Chris Borland doesn't get as much hype as other guys playing at the same position, for whatever reason.

    And yet he has gone out every season and put up big numbers, getting better every year. He checks in at No. 9 on the list.

    It will be interesting to see what happens in 2013 as the Badgers transition into a 3-4 defense, but judging from the work Borland puts in and his results in recent seasons, he will be productive once again.

    Feldman gives us plenty of inside information on Borland from Badger strength coach Evan Simon. Simon told Feldman that Borland can nail a 51" box jump.

    Borland can also kick field goals, throw a football on a line for 50 yards and pull off a standing backflip at will, as reported by Feldman.

    Not bad at all.

Miss: Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State

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    Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller should have been on this list.

    He's a monster in the open field, making plays that leave opponents scratching their heads and looking foolish.

    He put up 3,310 total yards and 28 touchdowns last season. While not as impressive as Heisman winner Johnny Manziel's numbers, consider that Manziel had a far better unit around him than Miller.

    Expect Miller to make plenty of big plays again in 2013, the type of plays that make jaws drop and fans throw up their hands in resignation.

    Miller earned an "honorable mention" on Feldman's list, but he could have been in the top 10.

Hit: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

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    Many football fans have hit the point where they are on "Johnny Manziel Overload."

    And why not? The man dominated offseason media coverage with his antics. On a single Saturday in March, Manziel got into a Twitter conversation with Ole Miss basketball star Marshall Henderson, showed up on Instagram with 2 Chainz and shoved an exuberant graduate assistant during a scrimmage after Manziel's third interception of the session.

    Like him or not, there is no denying that the man is a gifted athlete who did things on the field last season most quarterbacks can only dream about.

    Whether the success he enjoyed in 2012 will continue into 2013 remains to be seen, but we will always have the trick shots.

Miss: Venric Mark, RB, Northwestern

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    Northwestern do-everything man Venric Mark makes the "honorable mention" section of this list, but somehow not the main body.

    That's an issue.

    Mark finished 2013 as the Wildcats' catalyst en route to their first bowl win in two generations.

    He averaged 18.6 yards per punt return, scored two touchdowns on returns and finished the year averaging six yards per carry as a running back.

    While he shouldn't be at the top of the list, Mark's versatility and athletic ability should have earned him a spot on the lower part of the list.

Hit: Marqise Lee, WR, USC

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    Marqise Lee, the 2012 Biletnikoff Award winner as the best wide receiver in the nation, checks in at No. 5 on Feldman's list.


    Lee is a monster who routinely blows past coverage or leaps over it to make incredible plays.

    His speed and leaping ability coupled with great hands led to 1,721 yards receiving and 14 touchdowns last season.

Miss: Taylor Lewan, OL, Michigan

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    It's not that Lewan shouldn't be on this list, but he's too low.

    No. 4 is great, but Lewan contained Jadeveon Clowney for the majority of the one game the two played head to head, not allowing Clowney a sack.

    Yes, Jadeveon is easily No. 1, but Lewan, a 6'8" monster, should be just behind him. Any offensive lineman that can run a 4.8 second 40 is ridiculously gifted, especially at Lewan's size.

    Yes, he got some love here, but not enough, especially when you consider the finger mustache.

Hit: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

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    This is the surest thing on this list.

    Clowney is easily the best defensive player in the nation and absolutely dominated most blockers he faced last season with an incredible combination of strength and speed.

    Credit Feldman for pointing out the use of the Tendo, which he calls an "electronic power and speed analyzer," to give us a unique perspective on Clowney's strength, which is prodigious.

    Clowney is absolutely the No. 1 freak athlete in the nation heading into 2013, and he just keeps getting better.

    Coming into spring ball, 2012, Clowney weighed 257 pounds and posted a 4.58 40-yard dash time.

    This spring, he improved that time:

    Jadeveon Clowney reportedly ran a 4.5 40 at 270 pounds during recent winter workouts, according to ESPN's Tom Rinaldi (via @evansilva)

    — Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 5, 2013

    It's really not fair for the rest of the college football universe.