An SEC Rebellion
By Matt LaPan
The landscape of the SEC is loaded with talent going into the 2013 football season. Jadeveon Clowney, Johnny Manziel and C.J. Mosley are considered household names for football fanatics, and are some of the best players in the country.
There is another player in the SEC who is often overlooked, who maybe should be a household name. That player is Ole Miss wide receiver Donte Moncrief.
Moncrief is a rare combination of size and quickness with very good straight-line speed. The 6-foot 3 Moncrief also showed that he is one of the best deep threats in all of college football, averaging 14.8 yards per catch on 66 receptions, including one play against Texas that made almost every highlight reel.
So what makes Moncrief so dangerous? Outside of his ideal size, Moncrief has extremely strong hands and is a natural hand catcher. He also displays elite body control when attempting to make plays on jump balls or other plays in traffic.
Moncrief also shows a rare trait for bigger receivers, he is very quick in and out of his breaks on routes towards the sidelines and over the middle. Moncrief takes short, choppy steps off the line of scrimmage, even though he has long strides. This allows Moncrief to defeat defenders off the line and then use his speed to beat them down the field. Once Moncrief makes the catch, he is a fantastic open-field runner, using his great agility and speed.
The one trait that Moncrief possesses that separates him from most other receivers is his blocking ability. Although Moncrief is not the best blocker at wide receiver in the country, he is one of the most willing blockers. Moncrief sells out his body on a consistent basis to make blocks on defensive backs as well as linebackers.
For all the portions of Moncrief's game that make him one of the best in the SEC, there is one mistake that Moncrief makes too often. That mistake, which is evident in his game film, is field presence, Moncrief often appears to not know where his feet are when running near or trying to make a catch on the sidelines. This consistently costs him extra yards after the catch, as well as receptions.
All of these factors, combined with another year of experience with Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace, could help Moncrief's draft stock skyrocket this year. One thing that is for certain, it will be a fun year to watch one of the best receivers in college football.