Throughout the college football season, I will be conducting a weekly scouting notes series for Cowboys Blitz, which will show some of the main takeaways from my week of film breakdown for eligible prospects in the 2017 NFL draft. My goal is to give a short description of each player I am breaking down, but also paint a clear picture of which traits these players possess at the same time. In my first edition of this series, I will take you through some of my notes on Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly, Colorado CB Chidobe Awuzie, and Baylor WR KD Cannon.
Chad Kelly, QB, Ole Miss, 6’2 215, (Senior)
Strong armed quarterback who can put the ball anywhere he wants. Able to fit the football into extremely tight windows. Ahead of other collegiate quarterbacks in that he is not fazed by pressure in his face as he is able to make an accurate throw under duress. His mobility in and out of the pocket is quite impressive, showing the ability to extend plays with his feet and athletic ability. When given a clean pocket, he tends to overthink the play and will attempt to complete a throw into a closed window instead of an open window. The poster boy for the erratic, gunslinger quarterback who takes unnecessary risks. Lacks the eye discipline to look off the deep safety, and stares down his targets with tunnel vision. Shows leadership qualities on the field, but immaturity questions must be brought up after being arrested in a nightclub brawl while issuing gun threats in December of 2014. Has all the tools and traits to be a starting quarterback at the next level, but must improve his decision making and discipline on and off the field before he can be trusted to take the reins.
Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado, 6’0 205 (Senior)
A really intriguing cornerback that makes up for his adequate size with physicality at the LOS and fundamentals in run support. Takes precise angles to the ball carrier, finishing with low pad level and a strong wrap up. It was clearly apparent through the games I watched that the Colorado coaching staff makes it a priority for their defensive backs to step up and help in run support, as shown by their fundamentals. Quick-footed athlete who is able to mirror routes fluidly with natural footwork. In addition, his reactionary quickness to break on underneath routes caught my eye as he can stop and start without losing ground. What surprised me was how Colorado uses him in the secondary. So far, I’ve seen him play on the outside, in the slot, and at safety, all of which he has given production and shown promise. Named a preseason second-team All Pac 12 choice, as well as being on the official preseason watchlist for the Jim Thorpe Award.
KD Cannon, WR, Baylor, 6’0 180 (Junior)
Possessing a 180 pound, but muscular frame, Cannon has trouble matching physicality against press cornerbacks at the point of attack. However, he has shown an incredibly effective release with elite footwork at the LOS. The Baylor offense does not ask their wide receivers to run a full route tree, but I have been left reason to believe that his quick feet and ability to set up cornerbacks with head fakes and double moves will translate into him being a solid route runner at the next level. As impressive as his quickness is, his deep speed is even more impressive as he consistently gets behind the defense. From my perspective, he is the most dangerous deep threat in college football. He plays with a certain swagger to him and lets defensive backs know about it. He does need to improve locating the football in the air and into his hands as he often looks to run before catching the football. Recuperating from offseason knee surgery, but should be available for the upcoming season. With another strong showing this year, he could become a more appealing draft prospect than former teammate Corey Coleman.