2014 NFL Draft: Five standouts from NFLPA Collegiate Bowl

The year's upcoming draft and the college game can be discussed here.

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2014 NFL Draft: Five standouts from NFLPA Collegiate Bowl

Postby Pudge » Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:34 am

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/nfl- ... giate-bowl

2014 NFL Draft: Five standouts from NFLPA Collegiate Bowl
By Rob Rang | The Sports Xchange/CBSSports.com
January 18, 2014 9:05 pm ET

Wisconsin tight end Brian Wozniak (85) shows off his well-rounded game. (USATSI)
Wisconsin tight end Brian Wozniak (85) shows off his well-rounded game. (USATSI)
The NFLPA Collegiate Bowl lacks the Senior Bowl and East-West Shrine Game's buzz but it is growing in popularity with scouts, who viewed this year's collection of talent as the best in the contest's young history.

Scouts may favor the one-on-one matchups of the practices preceding All-Star games rather than the fan-friendly contest but they definitely pay attention on Saturday to see if the same prospects who starred throughout the week can carry it through the game.

Playing in pro-style schemes under the tutelage of former NFL head coaches Dick Vermeil and Dennis Green, several prospects flashed the traits worthy of draft consideration. Perhaps most exciting, some of the players who performed the best were making the biggest jump in competition.

QB Dustin Vaughan, West Texas A&M (6-4, 234, #10)

Quarterbacks always generate the hype and all-star games are no exception. While South Carolina's Connor Shaw dominated the pre-game buzz for this contest, West Texas A&M's Dustin Vaughan caught the attention of scouts throughout the week of practice and delivered a handful of passes Saturday afternoon to carry over his positive momentum. Scouts like Vaughan's frame, as well as his functional mobility in the pocket and big arm. He showed the ability to check down to secondary targets, as well as good touch on two deep passes to Fresno State wideout Isaiah Burse. While the stat-book wasn't impressive (2/5 for 38 yards), it would have been better if not for an ugly drop from Burse, who otherwise enjoyed a strong game as a receiver and returner, himself.

DT Khyri Thornton, Southern Mississippi (6-2, 301, #98)

While Vaughan and running backs Roy Finch (Oklahoma), Franklyn Quiteh (Bloomsburg) and J.C. Copeland (LSU) each showed flashes to intrigue, the most dominant player on the field was arguably Thornton.

Thornton frequently took on double-teams, showing the strength to anchor as well as the burst and quick hands to swim over the top when the American Team elected to dedicate just one blocker towards stopping him. This resulted in an impressive sack of Hawaii's Sean Schroeder in the second quarter.

Thornton was the flashiest of an impressive performance from the defensive linemen but he wasn't the only one to impress.

DT Jamie Meder, Ashland (6-2, 306, #67)

Thornton boasts the most talent among a strong group of defensive linemen from the NFLPA Bowl, but it was Meder, the two-time reigning GLIAC Defensive Lineman of the Year, who made the bigger plays. While perhaps not an elite athlete, Meder showed awareness and strength to shed a block in the hole and tackle Arkansas fullback Kiero Small to thwart a fourth-and-2 attempt for the American team in the second quarter. It was Meder's second big play of the early action as he got a mitt up in the air to tip a pass from Missouri's James Franklin, leading to an easy interception by Oklahoma State linebacker Shaun Lewis.

DE/OLB Kasim Edebali, Boston College (6-2, 248, #91)

Edebali showed off his trademark burst, forcing National quarterbacks to step up in the pocket on numerous occasions. Late in the second quarter, his ability to anticipate the snap count helped him slip easily past Georgia left tackle Kenarious Gates, forcing Louisiana-Monroe's Kolton Browning into the arms of Winston-Salem defensive tackle Donnie Owens.

TE Brian Wozniak, Wisconsin (6-4, 256, #85)

It was Miami's Asante Cleveland who made the most impressive play from a tight end in this contest, showing impressive body control and vision to haul in a 27-yard touchdown pass from Cincinnati's Brendon Kay, but Wozniak also flashed, showing surprisingly soft hands considering how rarely he was used in this capacity with the Badgers. Wozniak caught just 15 passes for 127 yards over his career but each of his four touchdowns came in 2013 and he left Madison with 21 starts in 47 games. In a game like this one, catching the eye of scouts is the goal and after being overshadowed by Jacob Pederson throughout much of their respective careers with the Badgers, Wozniak helped his chances at earning an NFL audition with his well-rounded game.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.

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Re: 2014 NFL Draft: Five standouts from NFLPA Collegiate Bow

Postby Pudge » Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:44 am

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nf ... l/4646441/

J.C. Copeland earns MVP honors at NFLPA Collegiate Bowl
AP 1:36 a.m. EST January 19, 2014
(Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea, USA TODAY Sports)
LSU fullback J.C. Copeland scored two 1-yard touchdowns to earn NFLPA Collegiate Bowl MVP honors
Stanford running back Anthony Wilkerson ran for 67 yards and a touchdown
South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw completed 5 of 6 passes for 71 yards and an interception

CARSON, Calif. (AP) — In four years at LSU, J.C. Copeland earned a reputation for being a bruising fullback that often led running backs into the end zone.

On Saturday afternoon, Copeland showed he can get the ball in the end zone on his own just fine, too.

Copeland ran for a pair of 1-yard touchdowns to earn MVP honors, Stanford running back Anthony Wilkerson ran for 67 yards and a touchdown and Team National used a second half surge to beat Team American 31-17 in the third annual NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.

"You picture it in your mind before you play the game and it just happened," Copeland said. "It's an amazing thing that I was put in a position to do it and I took advantage of it."

Copeland, a 6-foot-1, 270-pound former defensive tackle, never had a multi-touchdown game in 42 career games at LSU.

"We originally didn't have him in a running back position, he was always leading as a blocker," said National coach Dick Vermeil, formerly the head coach of the Chiefs, Eagles and Rams. "When we saw him on the field, we said when we get down the field and it's inches to go, we might as well give it to the 270-pounder."

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Vermeil has now guided the National to victory in all three installments of the game. Former Vikings and Cardinal coach Dennis Green guided the American side.

The game was tied at 14 at halftime, but the National scored on its first three possessions of the second half to cruise to victory.

Cincinnati QB Brendon Kay threw a 27-yard touchdown pass the Miami tight end Asante Cleveland on their first drive of the second half, Wilkerson ran for a 27-yard touchdown on the second, and Tulane kicker Cairo Santos banged home a 39-yard field goal on their third to give the National a commanding three-possession lead going into the fourth quarter.

Led by Copeland and Wilkerson, the National ran for 163 yards and averaged 5.3 yards per carry.

"Overall this was the best quality - through the whole roster - of players we've ever had in this game," Vermeil said. "All of our backs ran extremely well and it's a positive reflection on the quality of the offensive line."

Kay, who started for the National, completed 3 of 7 passes for 51 yards and the touchdown while South Carolina's Connor Shaw completed 5 of 6 passes for a team-high 71 yards with an interception. Tulsa running back Trey Watts had 100 all-purpose yards and Fresno State wide receiver Isaiah Burse added 91.

Copeland provided all of the National's scoring in the first half, running for both of his short touchdowns in the second quarter. The bruising scoring runs were his only two carries of the game.

"I really have to credit my O-line," Copeland said. "I told them I needed one yard and I'll put it behind y'all and they did their thing."

Hawaii quarterback Sean Schroeder completed 13 of 17 passes for 138 yards and a touchdown to lead the American, while Oklahoma running back Roy Fitch led all players with 122 all-purpose yards and running back Franklyn Quiteh, from Division II Bloomsburg, carried nine times for 50 yards and a touchdown.

Quiteh opened the scoring with a 20-yard touchdown run off right tackle in the first quarter and Schroeder connected with McNeese State's Dionte Spencer on a 15-yard swing pass for a score late in the second quarter to force a tie at halftime.

The American wouldn't reach the end zone again though, as a 35-yard field goal by Cal's Vincenzo D'Amato in the fourth quarter was their only points of the second half.

"There were a lot of good football players on that field today, and the more good players you have the more fun it is to coach them," Vermeil said. "We had one turnover and I think we went through the entire game without an illegal procedure and we had only one holding penalty. I think that shows what kids can do if they focus and really get involved mentally and emotionally."
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.

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