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NFL television ratings in the era of Tebow…and small college prospects to be considered by Eagles…

Giving props to the Tim Tebow phenomenon, it is interesting to read these stats:

The TV ratings for last weekend’s NFL games are in, and one thing is clear from looking at them: America loves Tim Tebow.

Sunday’s Steelers-Broncos game drew an insane 25.9 rating, which was the highest for an NFL wild card playoff game since the Oilers and Seahawks playoff game in the 1987 season. It might have been because of more than just Tebow, because the game drew a 56.2 in Pittsburgh compared to just a 49.0 in Denver, both of which are insane numbers.  That means over half the homes in Pittsburgh were tuned into the game.  An average of 42.3 million people tuned into the game according to CBS, which is just shy of the last State of the Union Address.

As for the rest of the NFL playoffs, it was a mixed bag. Sunday’s Giants-Falcons game, which turned into a blowout in the second half, drew just an 18.9, the lowest for a wild card game on Fox since 2008. The pair of NBC games, Lions-Saints and Bengals-Texans, were also down compared to last year’s games, The Bengals-Texans game was down 16% from last year, and couldn’t crack a 40 rating in either market. As for the Lions-Saints game, it was still down, albeit only 7% from last year and 2% from 2010. New Orleans and Detroit both supported their teams though, with New Orleans pulling in a 58.2 rating (which beats both the Pittsburgh and Denver numbers), and Detroit coming in at a solid 41.1.

Just one more note about Tebow and the ratings to add to the irony factor of everything. We all saw how Tebow threw for 316 yards, and how that just seemed appropriate, right?

The quarter hour overrun for the game that featured the game-winning touchdown from Tebow to Demaryius Thomas on the first play from scrimmage did a 31.6 rating. Now that’s just a little too eerie.

[Thanks to Joe Lucia of “Awful Announcing.com” for that reference…]

Speaking of TV ratings, how about the BCS college games we suffered through this past week?  The ratings were terrible. Matt Yoder of “Awful Announcing.com” summed it up this way:
 
“Will Low BCS Ratings Spur a Change to this Awful System?”…

“The ratings are in for the BCS National Championship Game and… well, they’re about as ugly as the game was Monday night.  The rematch between LSU and Alabama drew a 13.8 overnight rating on ESPN, which was the worst in the history of the BCS title game.  It eclipses the dreadful Miami/Nebraska game from 2002, which was another game that had questionable circumstances surrounding the arbitrary selection of one of the participants.  Ratings were sure to be weakened with plenty of fans loathing the prospects of a rematch, and were sure to continue going down as LSU didn’t even get across midfield till the 4th quarter.”

The most alarming statistic may be the entire five game BCS package ratings being down 13% compared to last year, when the games were also on cable.  The Orange Bowl blowout between West Virginia and Clemson was the lowest rated BCS game of all-time.  Yeah, WVU scored about 735 points in that game, but did anyone outside those two campuses have any interest in watching beforehand?  I’m willing to bet that even a close game would have drawn an abysmal number.  In fact, only the Fiesta Bowl between Oklahoma State and Stanford went up in the ratings from last year.

The bottom line is fan frustration with the BS of the BCS is finally carrying over and hitting the BCS where it hurts.  Finally, the momentum for a 4 team playoff is fully taking shape.  (I despise the “Plus One” name as it still clings to the antiquated bowl system – it’s a playoff plain and simple.)  We can only hope that the 4 team playoff leads to an 8 team playoff and then a 16 team playoff and the end of the BCS sooner rather than later.

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All of this BCS talk reminds me there are many young prospects in the small colleges of America who are not subject to the crazy criteria of national TV exposure. 

 On average, around 25-30 non-FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) players are selected in the NFL draft. Generally, the first goes off the board somewhere in the second round, and then more start coming off the board by the 4th and 5th round.

For their most recent Small School Big Board Update, Optimum Scouting.com has given 31 non-FBS prospects Draft Round Grades, with another 63 possible draft pick and likely Priority Free Agent grades.

The head of the class features the usual—- Janoris Jenkins, Brian Quick, and Trumaine Johnson. But get to know the likes of Gino Gradkowski of Delaware (pictured above)… or Thomas Mayo, Adrian Hamilton, Jonathan Grimes, Ryan Davis, Charles Deas, Nick Andrews and more….

(Rank – Name – Pos.  – College – Round Grade)


1 – Janoris Jenkins – CB – North Alabama – 1st
-The former Florida transfer hasn’t been tested much this year, but his play at Florida and his physical skills haven’t gone anywhere. He’ll still need to test and play well in post-season events, but he would have been a 1st rounder in the 2011 draft, and he likely hasn’t lost ability.

2 – Brian Quick – WR – Appalachian State – 2nd
-Long, lanky, big target for a receiver, Brian Quick has a higher ceiling, better deep speed, and more polish than another FCS receiver prospect: the Giants Ramses Barden, who went to Cal Poly. Barden got a 3rd round grade from us, and ended up there on draft day. Quick should go higher.
 
 
3- Gino Gradkowski – OG – Delaware – 4th
Former West Virginia transfer, Gradkowski has been a staple of the Delaware running game the past two years. He’s built well to stay inside at guard, get keep balance, keep his hands inside, and drive in the run game, and sets up well as a pass blocker. A bit inconsistent, Gradkowski still has NFL starting ability.
 
 
4- Rishaw Johnson – OG – California PA – 4th’
-Former starter at Ole Miss (for his one and only game as a junior), Rishaw Johns came onto the CalPa Falcons with high expectations in the offense, and for NFL teams. While his run blocking ability wasn’t as dominant as I expected, he dropped his hips, slide tight and balance, and showed the ability of a great pass blocker.
 
 
5- Thomas Mayo – WR – California PA – 4th
-
One of the most productive receivers in Division II history, Mayo has the size and length (at 6’2), as well as the speed and understanding of how to attack defenses. He still doesn’t have great depth in his route tree and does need to bulk up before he can start, he has outside receiver, deep threat, in air ability that teams do and will do on Mayo in the Top 5 rounds.

6 - Trumaine Johnson – CB – Montana – 4th
-Physical corner who has the length and ball skills to be a zone cornerback (ideally) or be a free safety at the NFL level. A good athlete, he should test well and, despite character concerns, should end up no later than the 5th round, possibly going as high as the 2nd.

7 – Adrian Hamilton – DE – Prarie View A&M – 5th
-The SWAC’s single season sack record holder (2nd all time in a single season), Hamilton has dominated offensive tackles all year with his suddenness in his moves and aggression off the snap. He’ll be playing in the HBCU this week, a week long (for many) debut onto the national season. 

8 – Renard Williams – DT – Eastern Washington – 6th
  
9- Asa Jackson – CB – Cal Poly – 5th
-A bit unheralded this year, Asa Jackson is the best cornerback this year outside of Janoris Jenkins. He has great length, attacks and flips his hips well to get vertical, and has been a reliable tackler. Not a fit for every system and may not go as high as Steed, Jackson has a great chance to be a mid rounder.
  

10- Ryan Steed – CB – Furman – 5th
-Recently invited to the Senior Bowl (as reported by OS’s Damond Talbot), Steed will have a chance to showcase his combination of fluid hips and ball skills against some of the top receivers in the nation. A big chance for Steed to shine, and if he does, he’ll be a Top 3 player in this small school class.

11 – Charles Deas – DT – Shaw – 6th -  -

12 – BJ Coleman – QB – Chattanooga – 5th
-
Still our top rated quarterback prospect, Coleman battled through inconsistencies and injuries this year, and didn’t have nearly the showing he had the potential to. Still, he’s got great size, is impressive pre-snap in his reads, and is confident in those reads and his arm. Could be a developmental pocket passer, and maybe a Ryan Mallett type with less arm strength.
 
  
13 - Tom Compton - OT - South Dakota - 5th
14 - Jonathan Grimes - RB - William & Mary - 6th
15 - Ed Gainey - CB - Appalachian State - 6th

16 – Ryan Davis – DE – Bethune Cookman – 6th –
-

17 - Chris Summers - WR - Liberty - 6th

18 - Tyler Holmes - OLB - Massachusetts - 7th
19 - DJ McNorton - RB - North Dakota State - 7th
20 - Josh Norman - CB - Coastal Carolina - 7th

21 - Amini Silatolu - OG - Midwestern State - 7th
22 - Trevor Kennedy - WR - Mercyhurst - 7th
23 - Julian Talley - WR - Massachusetts - 7th
24 - Dale Moss - WR - South Dakota St - 7th
25 - Mike Harris - RB - Murray State - 7th
26 - Ronnie Cameron - DT - Old Dominion - 7th
27 - Tyler Hendrickson - OT - Concordia St. Paul - 7th
28 - Jeff Adams - OT - Columbia - 7th
29 - Jake Trantin - ILB - William & Mary - 7th
30 - Shawn Loiseau - ILB - Merrimack - 7th

31 - Alex Gottlieb - TE - William & Mary - PFA
32 - Kyle Fiedorwicz - TE - North Carolina Central - PFA
33 - Justin Bethel - CB - Presbyterian - PFA
34 - Emil Igwenagu - TE - Massachusetts - PFA
35 - Dustin Waldron - OT - Portland State - PFA
36 - Aston Leggett - RB - Illinois State - PFA
37 - Jeron McMillion - S - Maine - PFA
38 - Rico Wallace - WR - Shenandoah - PFA
39 - Jeremy Jones - CB - Wayne State - PFA
40 - Steve Peyton - S - Brown - PFA

41 - Tyler Butzler - OG - Wisconsin-Stout - PFA
42 - Aaron Corp - QB - Richmond - PFA
43 - Alex Tanney - QB - Monmouth (IL) - PFA
44 - Aston Whiteside - DE - Abilene Christian - PFA
45 - Dominique Ellis - S - South Carolina St - PFA
46 - Michah Pellerin - CB - Hampton - PFA
47 - Chris Lum - QB - Lehigh  - PFA
48 - Cordell Bell - OG - Minnesota State - PFA
49 - Willie Carter - WR - Howard - PFA
50 - Nick Andrews - WR - Alabama A&M - PFA

51 - Pat Williams - OLB - James Madison - PFA
52 - Tyler Osbourne - OLB - Southern Utah - PFA
53 - LaQuinton Evans - WR - Southern - PFA
54 - DeShawn Shead - S - Portland State - PFA
55 - Patrick Witt - QB - Yale - PFA
56 - David Legree - QB - Hampton - PFA
57 - Delano Johnson - OLB - Bowie State - PFA
58 - Derrick Hector - WR - Morehouse - PFA
59 - Randy Colling - DT - Gannon - PFA
60 - Christian Thompson - S - South Carolina St - PFA

61 - Lanny Kelly - CB - Howard - PFA
62 - Shae Allard - OT - Delaware - PFA
63 - Dominique Davenport - CB - Delta State - PFA
64 - Reggie Sandilands - ILB - Bethune Cookman - PFA
65 - DJ Bryant - DE - James Madison - PFA
66 - Lamont Bryant - TE - Morgan State - PFA
67 - Kavario Middleton - TE - Montana - PFA
68 - Vittorio Ottenelli - OT - Colgate - PFA
69 - Josh Smith - WR - Kutztown - PFA
70 - Bobby Felder - CB - Nicholls State - PFA

71 - Jamar Howard - WR - Central Missouri - PFA
72 - Roosevelt Kirk - DT - Stony Brook - PFA
73 - Donovan Richard - OLB - South Carolina St - PFA
74 - Ryan Roberts - OLB - Indiana State - PFA
75 - Jared Green - WR - Southern - PFA
76 - Ryan Lewis - OLB - Bethune Cookman - PFA
77 - Sackie Kerklauh - DT - Howard - PFA
78 - Stanley Porter - DE - Shaw - FA
79 - Ameet Paul - DE - Wofford - FA
80 - Nate Eachus - RB - Colgate - FA

81 - James Pitts - CB - Villanova - FA
82 - Bo Levi Mitchell - QB - Eastern Washington - FA
83 - Mike Allen - CB - William & Mary - FA
84 - Keith Newall - OT - Delaware State - FA
85 - Demario Barber - WR - Fort Valley State - FA
86 - JC Oram - OG - Weber State - FA
87 - Dontrell Johnson - CB - Murray State - FA
88 - Greg Van Roten - OT - Penn - FA
89 - Justin Hilton - WR - Indiana State - FA
90 - Logan Allemand - OG - Wisconsin-Whitewater - FA

91 - Tre Graham - CB - Richmond - FA
92 - Chigbo Annonby - DT - Morehouse - FA
93 - Matt Theis - OT - St. Cloud - FA
94 - Jermaine Saffold - WR - Missouri State - FA
95 - William McGinnis - DT - Maine - FA
96 - Orry Frye - OG - Appalachian State - FA
97 - Daron Rose - OT - North Alabama - FA
98 - Asa Champman - DT - Liberty - FA
99 - John Jones - OLB - Tennessee State - FA
100 - Jarvis Canty - OT - Morehouse - FA

 

Thomas Jackson

About Thomas Jackson

Jax Sports Media has been reporting on NFL teams in the mid-Atlantic region since 2006. Thomas Jackson is its senior writer. Tom started covering the Philadelphia Eagles for the MVN Network in 2007. In 2009 he joined the Bloguin Network. He now also covers the Baltimore Ravens.

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