This year's Red River shootout between Texas and Oklahoma was anything but lackluster, however if you are an NFL team looking for a savior at quarterback, your list may have gotten two players shorter.
Last Monday, I noted that the "Games against Texas (Oct. 17) and Nebraska (Nov. 7) will show how (Sam Bradford) does with a player in his face." Unfortunately for Oklahoma fans, we may not see how Bradford does against Nebraska's defense because he was knocked out of the game by cornerback Aaron Williams on a play that was ruled a tackle for loss.
Bradford is quickly earning the moniker "damaged goods." Before leaving the game, he was 2-for-6 with 77 yards on the day.
The Oklahoma offense was facing the most star-studded defense they were scheduled to play with 2010 NFL draft prospects OLB/DE Sergio Kindle (2 TFL, Sack), S Earl Thomas (2 TFL, FF, INT, PBU), LB Roderick Muckelroy , CB Deon Beasley (FF), and DT Lamarr Houston (TFL) all on the field.
Teams in the NFL are converting to more 3-4 looks, which is creating a higher demand for players like Kindle. At 6'4" 255 pounds, Kindle is a perfect fit for the hybrid pass rusher role. He was explosive out of his stance against Oklahoma and created pressure with several different moves.
Maybe the most impressive player for Texas' D was the aforementioned Williams. The 6'1", 189-pound sophomore was a Parade All-American as a prep in 2007 and he will be eligible for the 2011 NFL Draft.
Along with his knockout hit on Bradford, Williams made an athletic interception and added a pass breakup as well as another tackle for loss. He has four career blocked puts—a Texas record—and blocked 12 in high school.
On the offensive side of the ball, Texas stars Colt McCoy and Jordan Shipley did not provide NFL scouts with very good film to review.
McCoy lacked zip on his passes and he threw one interception that could have been costly. Positives were that he is very competitive, he made good runs under pressure, and it's obvious he is an experienced quarterback.
On his career, McCoy has been extremely accurate, but he only completed 53.8 percent of his passes against the Sooners. If you don't have the arm to get the ball in the NFL window, it will result in interceptions and punts.
Shipley is McCoy’s most reliable target, but he could not break open on Saturday. He finished with four catches for 22 yards, with a long reception of nine yards. He also muffed a punt.
The Longhorns' lack of scoring wasn't due entirely to poor play though, as the Sooners have a roster full of NFL talent in their own right.
Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy was a disruptive force on the defensive line, he registered two tackles for loss, including a sack.
McCoy seems best suited to play the three technique, but his strength and athleticism allow him to line up at the five or nose and he is a perfect fit for any defensive scheme.
With a player like McCoy getting close attention, it helped OLB/DE Auston English register two sacks. English has some durability issues entering the NFL, but his size, athleticism, and pedigree will get him serious looks in the second and third round.
Corner Brian Jackson had the pick on Colt McCoy and he also added a pass breakup and linebacker Keenan Clayton broke up two passes as well. Both are late round projections, but they are almost guaranteed to be drafted coming from Bob Stoops' defense.
The final elite prospect scouts were watching was Trent Williams, the 6'5", 306-pound left tackle. Williams has been stout in his first season on the left side. He did get banged up in the game, but did not have to leave with an injury.
Once the prospects head to the NFL Draft Combine, Williams is one the scouts will be drooling over. He has long arms that appear very strong sticking out of his shoulder pads. His frame can still handle additional weight if needed, but he has been a dominating run blocker at his size.
Williams outplayed Texas draft hopefuls T Adam Ulatoski, C Chris Hall, and G Charles Tanner on the offensive line, but as a whole, they blocked for 142 rushing yards, opposed to the negative 16 Oklahoma finished with.
Top Five 2010 QB Prospects
1. Jake Locker, Washington
He should have gotten an opportunity to show his stuff in OT against ASU. Every loss increases the likelihood of a return to school.
2. Tony Pike, Cincinnati
He had no trouble navigating against what might be the best pass D he faces all year. He also showed very good mobility, if his non-throwing arm is a serious issue, he will move down.
3. Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame
He couldn't beat USC, but avoided interceptions and brought ND within seven after scoring three second-half TDs.
4. Colt McCoy, Texas
McCoy looked like a college QB in shootout. Scouts would like to see him in more pro-style looks.
5. Sam Bradford, Oklahoma
It doesn't seem like his body will be ready to start in the NFL's 2010 season. Questions about him throwing under pressure still exist.