BEAVERTON, Ore. – With the conclusion of The Opening, we take a look at the best of the event through our Opening Dream Team. If we were drafting the perfect 7on7 team based on this week’s performances at The Opening, this is what the team would look like.
Kyle Allen was part of a three-man QB rotation with Jacob Park and Brad Kaaya that was outstanding.
QB - Kyle Allen, Apocalypse
Allen was the week’s most complete package at The Opening from the quarterback position. He’s got the big-time arm talent that allows him to make the ‘wow’ throws but he also was sound and efficient within the system, showing a comfort level going through his progressions and making the right decisions.
RB - Joe Mixon, Apocalypse
He made a one-handed grab for a touchdown on Tuesday. He made a spectacular catch downfield on Wednesday with a defensive back all over him. He made countless defenders miss in the open field catching the ball on check-downs. Mixon is the most talented pass-catching receiver in the 2014 class and it’s hard to even mount an argument otherwise.
WR - Ermon Lane, Alpha Pro
Big and powerful, Lane turned in a dominant performance on Wednesday. He’s got deceptive speed, strong hands and the ability to finish against good coverage. Quarterbacks have a large margin for error throwing at Lane because he has such a unique size-speed ratio.
WR – Speedy Noil, Superbad
Ask any defender who was the toughest matchup of the event and Noil was a very popular answer. Any team is well-served to have a dynamic slot receiver that can be a big-play threat in space and out-maneuver nickels and linebackers in the middle of the field.
WR – Christian Kirk, Superbad
One of a handful of underclassmen at The Opening, Kirk didn’t show a hint of uncertainty. The 5-10 wide receiver was outstanding as a pass-catcher out of the slot. He made some spectacular catches look easy and even in a one-hand touch setting, Kirk was difficult to get corralled once the ball was in his hands.
WR – Justin Brent, Vapor Carbon
One of the biggest ‘stock up’ performances of the entire event, Brent has a big frame, and good ball skills but he also showed an understanding for route-running, depth and timing and received strong praise from offensive coaches throughout the week.
WR – Malachi Dupre, Field Generals
Among all the wide receivers at the event, there may not be another that possesses a higher ceiling than Dupre. The big wide receiver with springy legs was a big play waiting to happen and showed an outstanding skill set despite limited passes being thrown his way in a run-heavy high school offense.
LB – Rashaan Evans, Apocalypse
One of the top linebackers from an athletic perspective through Monday’s SPARQ testing, Evans’ athleticism translated on the field in 7on7. The long, rangy linebacker showed outstanding pursuit speed, was able to track down wide receivers from behind and was always around the ball, digging up several tipped ball interceptions.
LB – Dante Booker, Alpha Pro
Not only was Booker elite on the testing front from an athleticism standpoint but he showed a great feel for his drops in coverage, has a great frame to get into throwing lanes and a knack for sniffing out a big play. He probably made more game-changing plays from his position than any other linebacker in Oregon.
Nickel – Jaleel Wadood, Superbad
A safety by trade, Wadood showed that he has cornerback coverage ability and he really excelled in the slot as a nickel. He was able to see things unfold in front of him effectively and made some outstanding breaks to get his hands on the football. A recent Cal commit, Wadood is not scheme limited and can be a difference maker in man or zone coverage.
CB – Adoree’ Jackson, Field Generals
It’s not hard to find Jackson on the field as he usually finds the football if it’s thrown in his vicinity. Jackson truly locked down his side of the field for the majority of the event and when tested, he made quarterbacks pay with interceptions to the end zone the other way.
CB – Tony Brown, Land Sharks
Brown was tested at times and on Tuesday he even got beat for big plays but he showed a competitive demeanor that saw him battle back and respond with big plays. Not prospect showed the kind of make-up speed on skill players and closing speed on passes in the air than Brown. On multiple occasions he looked beat only to accelerate to make break up a pass or make a stop.
S – John Bonney, Apocalypse
Another serious ‘stock up’ contender, Bonney has very long arms, covers a lot of ground and was able to carry wide receivers vertically and discourage big plays from the quarterback. When tested, he showed good ball-tracking awareness and always seemed to be in position to make a play.
S – Quin Blanding, Vapor Carbon
A five-star reputation emerged from The Opening in tact as Blanding’s big frame was all over the football field, collecting interceptions and generally making himself felt by offensive coordinators and quarterbacks. As a big-bodied safety, you wouldn’t expect Blanding to affect the passing game as actively as he does but he is absolutely a player that you must find pre-snap.
AP - Budda Baker, Apocalypse
Whether he was at wide receiver, rattling off some of the week’s biggest plays downfield or at safety, covering impossible ground to break up completions that looked like no doubt big plays, Baker was a game-breaker all week long.