Texas Recruiting 2014: My Guys Recruiting Draft, Round 3

Lancaster safety Nick Harvey finally came off the board in Round 3 (Photo by the author).

Another day, another round of the 2014 BON My Guys Recruiting Draft. Monday and Tuesday brought the first and second rounds, respectively, while the retrospective dropped on Sunday. Here's the list of the picks through the first two rounds:

  1. Arlington Martin defensive end Myles Garrett -- HH
  2. Beaumont Ozen cornerback Tony Brown -- GoBR
  3. Mansfield Timberview safety Edward Paris -- GHG90
  4. Denton Guyer quarterback Jerrod Heard -- TAH
  5. Fort Worth All Saints running back/fullback Daniel Gresham
  6. St. Augustine (LA) running back Leonard Fournette
  7. La Porte linebacker Hoza Scott
  8. Dallas Bishop Dunne cornerback Nick Watkins

The third round after the jump.

Round 3, Pick 1 -- HaroldHill

Mount Pleasant wide receiver K.D. Cannon

(While making my previous pick I was going to mention -- but forgot to -- that 247Sports agrees with me on Nick Watkins being ranked ahead of Nick Harvey among 2014 cornerbacks. Just wanted to throw that out there.)

I'll begin the 3rd round by picking wide receiver K.D. Cannon of Mount Pleasant, he of the two-tone flat-top haircut that was already old school the day he was born. In trying to describe what he shows on film, I thought of a baseball analogy. Baseball fans may remember how for several years outfielder Jim Edmonds (who spent his best years with the St. Louis Cardinals, but had some decent years with the Gene Autry Angels of Disney, or the San Bernadino Angels of Orange, or whatever their official name was at that time) would make at least a few spectacular diving catches every season. Between his 8 gold gloves and his frequent Top Plays or Web Gems-level highlights, many casual fans who never watched him play for a full season were lead to believe he was one of the best outfielders in the game.

But critics were and are quick to point out that Edmonds did not have great range for his center field position, and didn't always make great reads on fly balls off the bat. Thus, the argument goes, a superior center fielder like Andruw Jones (who won 10 consecutive gold gloves during his prime) got to balls much easier and made catches standing up on hits that Jim Edmonds didn't read or run to as well, forcing him to try and get the out by jumping or diving for it. Edmonds was far from a bad outfielder, but he wasn't Andruw Jones. Jones recorded routine outs on batted balls Edmonds was forced to make hazardous (yet spectacular) leaps to get to.

The K.D. Cannon who shows up at various summer camps is unafraid to take on anybody. Though he's a thin 6'1" and supposedly carrying a mere 160 lbs., he shows the ability to beat press coverage off the line and get separation from defenders using his quickness and superior route-running ability. There are few corners who have any hope of shadowing him stride for stride.

The K.D. Cannon who puts on the helmet and pads on Friday nights for Mount Pleasant appears to spend most of his time running simple fly routes where he asked to run down the sideline and catch whatever is thrown to him, regardless of the coverage, presence of safety help, etc. He is hit with a pass in stride now and then, but more often he just runs past his man down the right sideline and has to adjust to catch an underthrown ball, or use his body to shield off a defender or two and come down with the pass. He shows great skill in this and makes catches few receivers will make, but better quarterback play should result in more routine, "easy" catches and yards, and fewer times where he has to make a play on a duck of a high arcing pass.

He has the route-running ability to look like Andruw Jones running through the secondary, but because his quarterback may or may not have learned his throwing mechanics by watching videos of Napoleon Dynamite's Uncle Rico, he is forced to make spectacular plays like Jim Edmonds.

I swear that all made sense when I thought of it.

In Cannon, we have maybe the best pure wide receiver in the class. He can get open with the best of them, catch poorly thrown or underthrown balls, make catches when double-covered, and shows some elusiveness after the catch. His blocking ability isn't apparent but he has played some cornerback and didn't shy away from making a hard tackle on the one play in his highlight reel where he lines up on defense. Put him with a receiving corps that will have a senior Jaxon Shipley and (barring position changes) juniors Cayleb Jones, Marcus Johnson and Kendall Sanders (not to mention the better tight end play Texas should have by then), and you've got a very formidable passing game to go with what should still be a stable of studs at running back.

Now onto Wescott, and for those scoring at home, yes, I've just gift-wrapped for him Nick Harvey, LSR's #2 player in the class, to go along with #s 1 and 3 he has already picked (Hoza Scott and Tony Brown). Leave it to the under-the-radar prospect hunter to try and put together a "My Guys" team that has only one player Orangebloods currently ranks in the top 12. Talk to me a year from now and we'll see where Myles Garrett, Nick Watkins, and K.D. Cannon rank.

Round 3, Pick 2 -- GoBR

Lancaster safety Nick Harvey

Definitely would have taken KD Cannon had he still been on the board. Love the kid as a prospect, and it's not just because of his sweet two-tone high-top fade. I see a lot of Robbie Rhodes in Cannon and consider that a big-time compliment. Unfortunately, there's not a lot of positive buzz with Texas in his recruitment, much like Rhodes. He'll be visiting Austin for the opener, so that would be a good time for David Ash to put on a show against the Cowboys.

I'm conflicted on this pick. I'm a huge fan of Solomon Thomas, who I see as an eventual swing guy on the line who could play everywhere down the line except for nose tackle. Yeah, he has that much potential.

It's hard not to be high on Nick Harvey, too. The kid just does it all. We've been having our little Adrian Phillips love fest over the last few days here and Harvey does many of the same things in high school, but is universally considered a better prospect than Phillips was coming out of Garland.

Of course, Harvey probably doesn't play the piano, watch Boondocks, and may not be mentally and physically capable of playing virtually every spot in the secondary, though the skepticism is the function of a lack of information, rather than less-than-ideal information in that regard.

Now that I'm nearly ruined the explanation for Harvey for anyone else, I have to go with the all-purpose Lancaster star, as much as I love Solomon Thomas.

In going back and watching the film on Harvey, a couple things stand out -- he hits like a ton of bricks for a little guy (he's probably 5-9). Defenders would be better advised this season to just go out of bounds when Harvey has them in his sights, rather than taking some monster hits along the sidelines. He takes the right angles, gets there with speed, has darting quickness with good feet, balance, and toughness when he has the ball in his hands. On one play Harvey runs past a defensive back on a go route slightly underthrown, but flashes a top gear to pull way just as it appeared his opponent would close on him.

Stud.

It won't be the easiest recruitment for Texas with Harvey, but it doesn't matter, because he's still My Guy, and the Longhorns will pursue him to Signing Day, if it takes that long.

And about Solomon Thomas, it's well past time for him to come off the board, is it not? And there needs to be a little Demetrius Knox love around here soon, too. And Derick Roberson. And Donald Catalon. Man, lots of talent left on the board here. We may have to go a round longer than planned.

Round 3, Pick 3 -- GHG90

Lewisville Hebron safety Jamal Adams

With my next pick, I'll be taking LSU lean...Just kidding, this kid is a decided lean to UT and was supposedly considering committing a couple weeks back, before ultimately changing his mind and delaying his decision for a while. I'm talking about none other than CB/S Jamal Adams, from Lewisville Hebron HS. What is that, 5 DBs already? This is absurd.

Adams' highlight film, much like Dwight Howard's image and LeBron's hairline, seems to have disappeared. I'm pretty sure it was on HUDL and then got set to private (seems to happen to me a lot on various web sites...), which is displeasing. So pardon my recollection if I say something completely and utterly wrong.

I mentioned after Wes' pick that Tony Brown has drawn A.J. Williams comparisons. Adams reminds me a lot of current UT Swiss army knife Adrian Phillips. As I said earlier, he's a hybrid DB who played a lot of safety during the summer camps, but looks like he could also lock people up in coverage as a physical CB. He's also great at popping open Shiners, trimming toe nails, and feeling 1.47% safer and 68.5% cooler when walking down a dark alley from Dirty 6th at 3 in the morning. Get it!?!? BECAUSE HE'S A SWISS. ARMY. KNIFE.

Like Phillips, he doesn't seem to have elite, elite speed, and, also like Phillips, that probably won't work to his detriment too often because he's got great size, agility, and strength for a DB, and seems to be a smart competitor. He's also big and rangy enough to play safety at the next level, so, assuming he goes to UT, I'd expect him to have an Adrian Phillips-esque role where he just gets on the field ASAP at whatever position is available. Judging by our current DB depth and the fact he'll likely be competing against 4-5 other freakish, NFL-bound DBs in the 2014 class alone, nobody knows when or where the hell that's going to be.

Guys like Jamal are the reason teams like Texas are going to be winning national championships very, very soon. That's about all that needs to be said.

Round 3, PIck 4 -- The Audit Horn

Coppell defensive lineman Solomon Thomas

When I was a kid, I went through a rebellious stage in the 2nd grade. My mother and aunt decided to try the positive reinforcement route, offering up a toy for each week I behaved. So when the first week of good behavior came up, I had my pick of Star Wars action figures. There was only a few Darth Vaders available, but I had a thing for Stormtrooper figures. So I took a a few Stormtroopers, and hid the Darth Vaders at the back of the rack. Much to my surprise, when I returned after stocking up on Stormtroopers, there was still a Darth Vader available.

Jerrod Heard and Daniel Gresham are Stormtroopers, awesome players in their own right that I'd go out of my way to get. You need a solid base of Stormtroopers to build an army. But they're not Darth Vader. They're not a single, dominant force that demands all attention. Solomon Thomas, now there's a Darth Vader.

Coppell's Solomon Thomas was first on my draft board, and in my opinion the star of a solid DE class. But that may be my bias for large, strong, jumbo strongside defensive ends. It's the same reason I prefer Okafor over Jeffcoat, Reed over Wilson, Ridgeway over Shiro, etc. Also, Thomas may play in a black cape and speak in a James Earl Jones voice. Working to confirm that.

Thomas is already up to 6-3, 265 lbs (for reference, just an inch under Okafor's listed height and same weight right now), and lines up as a swing guy for Coppell. Either lined up as a 5-tech DE or inside at DT, Thomas is unstoppable at the HS level. He has a quick first step that he uses to attack inside gaps in blocking schemes, and keeps low to out-leverage blockers. While he may get pegged as an all-upside physical specimen, he's very technically proficient. Add in the fact that his motor constantly runs and his film is loaded with him chasing down ball carriers while sifting through traffic, and you have a prototypical DE built to kill spread offenses.

In a class that features three top-notch defensive ends in Myles Garrett, Solomon Thomas, and Derrick Roberson, Thomas stands out as my favorite. I think he's a guy that could push to be the top recruit in the state because of his fantastic combination of size, talent, and technique. When a guy who has a legitimate chance to be the best recruit in the state falls to #12 in this style draft, you get an idea how special the top end of this draft is, especially in the defensive side of the ball.

That does it for the third round. Still a ridiculous amount of talent on the board for the end of it. Thoughts? Disagreements? --GoBR

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