It is currently Thu Dec 18, 2014 4:39 am

All times are UTC - 4 hours [ DST ]





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Five prospects to watch during early bowl games
PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 3:37 pm 
Offline
Purveyor of Truth & Justice
Purveyor of Truth & Justice
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2004 3:03 pm
Posts: 26128
Location: North Carolina
http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/nfl- ... bowl-games

Five prospects to watch during early bowl games
By Rob Rang | The Sports Xchange/CBSSports.com
December 20, 2013 12:27 pm ET


Bowl games provide scouts with one final opportunity to gauge prospects before the "draft season" goes into effect. Though talent evaluators are mindful of the fact that these bowl games are just one game over the course of dozens for most prospects, the lay-off for players between the regular season and the bowl game can indicate which players are dedicated to their conditioning and earning their collegiate team one more win and those who have lost focus and are already looking ahead to the NFL.

There may not be a senior in the country with more riding on his bowl game performance than Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr, who takes on the Southern Cal Trojans in the Las Vegas Bowl on Saturday.

NFLDraftScout.com Senior Analyst Dane Brugler and I each currently project Carr as a top eight pick in the draft. He certainly has the production (4,866 yards and a 48-7 TD to INT ratio in 2013) to warrant this lofty position and possesses as strong and accurate of an arm as any quarterback in the country. His Bulldogs haven't faced a defensive line as gifted as USC's, however, so it will be interesting to see how Carr responds should he get battered and bruised a bit as the Trojans own the line of scrimmage. A strong performance in Vegas could spark a steady rise up draft boards in Mobile, Alabama where I watched his older brother, David, emerge as the No. 1 overall pick in 2002.

Given the questions about each of the underclassmen at the quarterback position, it isn't difficult to imagine a scenario in which Carr emerges as the No. 1 quarterback for some teams if he is successful against the Trojans and at the Senior Bowl.

While Carr is certainly the headliner of the group, four other highly regarded prospects to keep an eye on in the early slate of bowl games include hard-hitting safety Deone Bucannon and the Washington State Cougars facing off against Colorado State in the New Mexico Bowl on Saturday. The Rams feature an underrated prospect of their own in center Weston Richburg, NFLDraftScout.com's No. 2 prospect at the position.

Two of the most exciting prospects in the country headline other early bowls. Buffalo's outstanding outside linebacker Khalil Mack will have plenty of opportunities to add his 75 career tackles for loss against a talented San Diego State offense in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Saturday night. Oregon State's Brandin Cooks, the reigning Biletnikof Award winner as the nation's top wide receiver, could be playing in his final game for the Beavers when they face Boise State in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl on Christmas Eve.

_________________
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Five prospects to watch during early bowl games
PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 3:38 pm 
Offline
Purveyor of Truth & Justice
Purveyor of Truth & Justice
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2004 3:03 pm
Posts: 26128
Location: North Carolina
http://www.draftinsider.net/blog/?p=8889

Scouting the New Mexico Bowl: Washington St vs. Colorado St
20
DEC

New Mexico Bowl
The Gildan New Mexico Bowl doesn’t feature a ton of NFL prospects but does have at least four who have a chance to make a splash at the next level. This game with give both players an opportunity to further build their resume.

Trent Matthews/S/Colorado State: Matthews is a nice sized safety developing his game at a rapid pace. The red-shirt sophomore is an athletic three down player that shows toughness against the run (64 tackles) and top ball skills (4 ints/3 PBU’s). He possesses the range to go sideline-to-sideline as well as the ball skills necessary to play over the slot receiver. Matthews needs a little polish but comes with a large upside. 3rd Round

Deone Bucannon/S/Washington State: Deone Bucannon is an aggressive safety who excels at supporting the run. He takes proper angles to the football, has the burst to quickly attack the line of scrimmage and isn’t afraid to take on blocks in the hole. It helps that he has good size for the position that allows him to deliver big hits and disengage. The main concern I have surrounding Bucannon is his feel in coverage. He has a tendency to peek into the backfield and lose positioning. The way he aggressively supports the run can also be a problem for his coverage ability. On the positive side, Bucannon keeps his pads down which helps him quickly get in and out of his backpedal. This is a prospect with real upside, but needs to round out his game and improve his coverage ability to reach his full potential. 3rd Round

Weston Richburg/C/Colorado State: Weston Richburg is one of those prospects whose best football is still ahead of him. He’s natural athlete with the size and quickness needed to succeed at the next level. That athleticism also gives Richburg the potential play multiple positions along the offensive line. Richburg’s strength is his ability to quickly get out of his stance, cross the face of the defender and reach the second level. He appears to love run blocking showing a nasty streak to generate a push off the line. The one area Richburg needs to improve is his commitment to keeping his pads down. Improving in this area will directly benefit his balance and ability to anchor in pass protection. Richburg still needs to grow as a player, but has as much upside as any center prospect in this draft class. 4th Round

Kivon Cartwright/TE/Colorado State: Cartwright is everything NFL teams are looking for in a tight end these days. The athletic junior has the speed and pass catching skills to consistently get downfield and create mismatches in the secondary. He averaged 16.4 yards on 25 receptions in 2013, six which resulted in scores. Blocking is not his forte’, though its not due to lack of effort. In time Cartwright will be a fine move tight end at the next level. 4th Round

_________________
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Five prospects to watch during early bowl games
PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 3:39 pm 
Offline
Purveyor of Truth & Justice
Purveyor of Truth & Justice
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2004 3:03 pm
Posts: 26128
Location: North Carolina
http://www.draftinsider.net/blog/?p=8889

Scouting the Las Vegas Bowl: Fresno State vs. USC
20
DEC
The Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl features some very intriguing prospects. Fresno State’s Derek Carr will be looking to continue his stellar season by finishing off his career with a big win against USC. The Trojans are hoping to get a big performance for potential top-10 pick Marqise Lee. Jon Dove breaks down this dynamic game.

Marqise Lee/WR/USC: Marqise Lee battled some injuries this season that limited his overall production but that doesn’t mean he’s any less of a prospect. This is an explosive athlete who plays with a high motor and plenty of savvy. Lee excels at running clean routes and finding the openings in a defense. A team looking for a reliable target with big-play potential should look no further than Lee. His performance at the combine will have an impact on where he lands, but either way somebody will be getting an NFL-ready receiver. Early Round 1

George Uko/DT/USC: George Uko is a highly athletic defensive tackle who excels at working his way into the backfield. He uses his burst off the line and quick hands to penetrate the pocket. Uko also has the awareness to locate the football and make plays away from his frame. While he isn’t a great two-gap player, Uko plays with leverage and uses his hands to hold at the point of attack. He’s a hard worker which helps him work through double teams and play the run. His upside comes from his quickness and ability to wreak havoc in the backfield, but Uko is more than passable in run support. Consistency is the one issue keeping Uko out of the first round mix. There are games where he just doesn’t show the same type of impact. He needs to find a way to play at the same level every week. Round 2

Derek Carr/QB/Fresno State: Derek Carr is enjoying a tremendous year where he has improved as a decision maker and showed the ability to win games. He features the arm strength, size and athleticism needed to excel at the next level. His ability to show improvement each year is also important to note. Carr is a savvy quarterback who is comfortable going through his progressions and moving defenders with his eyes. However, he needs to focus on improving his foot work. Too often he’ll throw off his back foot and not square himself towards his target. He has also developed an alarming tell where he leans back prior to throwing a deep ball. NFL safeties will quickly pick up on and exploit this awkward motion. Overall, Carr is a good prospect with the potential to develop into a long-term starter in the NFL. His combination of natural skills, willingness to improve and solid decision making all point to that fact. Round 2

Aundrey Walker/G/USC: Aundrey Walker is one of the more underrated offensive line prospects in this draft. He’s a fluid athlete who has experience playing both guard and tackle. Even though he has shown a ton of upside at guard, Walker is absolutely fluid enough to play left tackle at the next level. He’s able to generate a good push in the run game because of his inside hand placement, use of leverage and quickness off the ball. Walker also shows a nasty streak and willingness to play to the whistle. His performance against Notre Dame (Louis Nix III) showed his potential to dominate. In pass protection, Walker keeps his head on a swivel and shows good change of direction. It appears that USC moved him inside to guard to improve the overall play of the offensive line not because Walker was a liability at left tackle. Round 2

Xavier Grimble/TE/USC: USC has not properly used the talented Xavier Grimble enough this season. This is a tight end prospect who features a huge catch radius, solid athleticism and strong hands. Grimble has a knack for finding soft spots in the defense and plucking the ball at its highest point. He’ll need to improve his overall blocking in order to become a more rounded player, but he shows enough effort in this area. The way NFL teams utilize pass catching tight ends leads me to believe that Grimble will have a much more productive NFL career than his college stats would suggest. 3rd Round

Davante Adams/WR/Fresno State: Despite a highly productive season, Davante Adams doesn’t have a lot of skills that scream NFL talent. He’s a smaller target who lacks the elite quickness needed to overcome his limited size. His inability to consistently generate separation will make it hard for him to earn playing time. Fresno State doesn’t ask Adams to run a sophisticated route tree which results in a lot of his catches coming on drag routes or wide receiver screens. 6th Round

_________________
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Five prospects to watch during early bowl games
PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 3:42 pm 
Offline
Purveyor of Truth & Justice
Purveyor of Truth & Justice
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2004 3:03 pm
Posts: 26128
Location: North Carolina
http://www.buffalobillsdraft.com/2013/1 ... te-vs-usc/

Las Vegas Bowl Prospect Preview: Fresno State vs. USC

Derek Carr will be looking to prove himself as a first-round quarterback prospect in his final college football game. (Photo: Christopher Hanewinckel — USA Today Sports)
BBD Staff Writer: Joe Marino

The opening day of bowl season Saturday will include a matchup between two ranked teams when No. 20 Fresno State takes on No. 25 Southern California in the Las Vegas Bowl.

With several quarterback-needy teams projected to be picking in the top 10 of the 2014 NFL Draft, many will be focused in on Fresno State standout quarterback Derek Carr as he plays the final game of his college football career against a defense that ranks 16th nationally with 341.2 yards allowed per game.

Carr is just one of a number potential 2014 NFL draft selections playing in Saturday’s game, which is scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. ET kickoff in Las Vegas and will be televised on ABC.


Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State, Sr. (6’3’’, 218 lbs)

Carr has been college football’s most productive quarterback this season. Statistically, he has had 500 more passing yards and ten more passing touchdowns than the next-closest quarterback. Collegiate productivity, especially at the quarterback position, doesn’t mean NFL success, but Carr has shown this season he can make NFL throw after NFL throw while commanding his offense to perfection.

Carr has elite arm strength and can make every throw an NFL team needs him to make. He drives the ball beautifully down the field on deep outs with excellent accuracy. He works all areas of the field extremely well and throws a catchable football. He knows when to throw with touch and when to throw his fastball. His release is quick and effortless.

Carr trusts his wide receivers to make plays for him and throws them open with anticipation, giving them opportunities to go get the ball. He delivers the ball through tight throwing windows and understands where to go with the football based on the defense he is facing. He can manipulate the defense with his eyes and uses the pump fake well to set up big plays.

Carr hangs in the pocket well when facing pressure and keeps his eyes downfield. He properly protects the football when he has to take sacks and generally loses minimal yardage, but as a good and quick decision maker, he has only been sacked 11 times this season. He is calm and collected when facing pass-rushes, and shows the ability to scramble to pick up first downs.

Derek Carr is worthy of a top-five draft selection and has the makings of a franchise quarterback. That said, USC has a better defense from a talent perspective than any he has faced this season, making the Las Vegas Bowl a great opportunity for Carr to showcase his skills.


Derek Carr’s top receiver, Davante Adams, could join Carr as an early-round selection if he declares for the 2014 NFL draft. (Photo: Cary Edmondson — USA Today Sports)
Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State, R-So. (6’2’’, 216 lbs)

Adams has had video-game production over his two seasons at Fresno State. He leads the nation in both receptions and touchdown catches this season, and has a career total of 224 receptions for 2,957 yards and 37 touchdowns in just two seasons.

Carr’s go-to receiver, Adams has proven to be a reliable target. He is a consistent hands catcher who makes catches away from his body that display his excellent hand strength.

Adams separates well down the field and has good burst at the top of his routes that makes him a solid vertical deep threat.

Adams excels at positioning his body in one-on-one situations. He tracks the ball and catches it at its highest point, and regularly adjusts to the football in the air to make a tough grab.

Carr gives Adams plenty of opportunities to display his ability to create after the catch, and Adams does so, as he is physical with the ball in his hands and displays good up-field burst. With good quickness, speed, strength and vertical leaping ability, Adams checks out well athletically.

Fresno State’s pass-happy offense has given Adams the opportunity to showcase his playmaking skills, and Adams has thrived as its feature playmaker. With Carr headed to the NFL after the Las Vegas Bowl, it would not be a surprise to see Adams, who is draft-eligible thanks to a redshirt year, follow suit. In what looks to be a deep draft class of wide receivers, Adams is a solid DAy 2 prospect.

Derron Smith, S, Fresno State, Jr. (5’11’’, 200 lbs)

With 12 interceptions in the past two seasons, Smith has been a playmaking safety for the Bulldogs. In his junior season alone, Smith has 63 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and three sacks along with six interceptions.

Smith flies all over the football field looking to make plays and is consistently around the ball. He has no issues coming into the box to defend the run and is an excellent tackler. He is aggressive when pursuing the ball and has great instincts as a run defender. He sees the play in front of him and naturally reacts while positioning himself to make plays.

As a pass defender, Smith is best when he is able to roam the field and read the quarterback eyes. He can cover ground, break on the football and has good ball skills. Smith is also an experienced special teams player who has been good on punt and kick coverage for the Bulldogs. He will likely be used in that capacity in the NFL.

Athletically, Smith shows good strength and quickness. His burst in pursuit is excellent.

A fourth-year junior at Fresno State, Smith would be one of the higher-ranked safeties in the 2014 draft class should he declare. He may do just that after two solid years of production.

Marqise Lee, WR, USC, Jr. (6’, 195 lbs.)

After catching 118 passes for 1,721 yards and 14 touchdowns in his spectacular sophomore season in 2012, Lee’s junior season has been a disappointment. In three less games this season, Lee has only 50 catches for 673 yards and two touchdowns. Dealing with nagging injuries and playing without quarterback Matt Barkley, who moved on to the NFL after last season, Lee’s production has suffered.

When Lee is “right,” he is one of the most dynamic players in the country. He is a special talent with the ball in his hands and a game-changing player.

Lee works all areas of the field well. He can take short routes and explode upfield to pick up yards after the catch, while he is also good at separating for downfield receptions. Defenders struggle to keep up and mirror him at all levels of the field. Lee is extremely quick in and out of his breaks and can adjust to the football downfield.

Lee’s biggest concern is his concentration. While Lee can catch the ball with his hands and away from his body, he has had too many drops this season.

Lee plans to make his decision on whether to declare for the 2014 draft about a week after the Las Vegas Bowl, according to Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times. With a new coaching staff going into USC next season, the time could be right for Lee to jump to the NFL.


George Uko will play an important role in USC’s efforts to put pressure on Derek Carr. (Photo: Robert Hanashiro — USA Today Sports)
George Uko, DT, USC, Jr. (6’3’’, 275 lbs)

Uko has been a solid starter at defensive tackle for the Trojans over the past two seasons. He has tallied 66 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and 10 sacks over that span, providing USC with a playmaking inside presence.

Getting pressure in the face of the quarterback goes a long way in having a sound defense, and Uko brings that to the table. Uko generates pass-rush with quickness off the snap and strong hand usage. He troubles guards with that combination.

Despite being only 275 pounds, Uko is able to occupy multiple blockers at the line of scrimmage and be a factor as a run defender with his ability to quickly shoot gaps.

Uko is a versatile player who could play 5-technique defensive end in odd fronts or 3-technique defensive tackle in even fronts, and be a factor in either role.

Uko needs to play with more consistently low pad level. He has a bad tendency to stand straight up after the snap and initially lose leverage battles.

A junior, Uko could use another year in college to refine his game and improve his draft stock. If he declared for the draft, he would most likely be a mid-round selection with upside.

Matchup to Watch: Austin Wentworth, LT, Fresno State, Sr. (6’5″, 306 lbs) vs. Devon Kennard, DE, USC, Sr. (6’3″, 255 lbs)

Wentworth and Kennard are both having terrific senior seasons. Wentworth, an all-Mountain West Conference selection each of the last two seasons, has been a steady three-year starter and the bright spot on an otherwise poor Fresno State offensive line. Lining up across from him, Kennard had a relatively quiet Trojans career until this year, in which he has 13 tackles for loss and nice sacks.

Getting pressure on Derek Carr will be vital if USC is going to win its first bowl game since 2009. The battle between Kennard and Wentworth will play a large role in whether the Trojans are able to apply that pressure.

Keep an Eye On: Marcel Jensen, TE, Fresno State, Sr. (6’6″, 270 lbs)

Jensen projected nicely to former Fresno State head coach Pat Hill’s pro-style offense. He did not emerge into a big role as a junior or senior under new Fresno State head coach Tim DeRuyter, who runs a spread offense.

A big, broad-shouldered tight end, Jensen has sleeper potential. He was a second team All-Conference selection despite catching only 24 passes for 344 yards and three touchdowns.

Jensen has good athletic ability for his excellent frame. He has shown the ability to catch the football away from his body with his soft hands.

He will be a player to watch in the Las Vegas Bowl and the East/West Shrine Game in January.

_________________
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
 Post subject: Re: Five prospects to watch during early bowl games
PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 2:01 am 
Offline
Superstar
Superstar
User avatar

Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2007 5:41 pm
Posts: 2456
Location: Albany NY
Looking at the other 4 win teams, there are two potential upsets that could help us greatly. Cleveland is at the Jets. The Browns have lost a bunch of close games and the Jets can beat or lose to anyone, I'm saying Cleveland has a 40% chance to win this game.

Tampa is playing the Rams, both teams have looked better of late, while I think the Rams will win, I give the Bucs a 30% chance of winning.

If all things fall right with us losing our last 2, and a couple of minor upsets, the third pic is still in play :fingersx:

_________________
When life gives you lemons, find some salt and tequila then invite me!


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 4 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to: