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 Post subject: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:43 pm 
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I know only like 5 posters will actually read this thread. But in the interests of padding my post count, I'm going to break down the players I plan on watching in all the bowl games. Because I do indeed plan to watch every bowl game. Now, I won't be able to watch every game in their entirety because of the fact that on New Year's Day there are 4 games on simultaneously, and my DVR only allows me to record 2 things at once, but thankfully ESPN re-broadcasts the condensed 2-hour versions of most of their games in the wee hours of the morning the day after or in the following week, so eventually I should be able to watch 2/3 of it.

So for this Saturday's 3 bowl games, let's get things started...

New Mexico Bowl
BYU vs. UTEP
2 pm on ESPN

Only a few prospects for each team, and I've only seen each once during the regular season.

OT Matt Reynolds is the biggest name in this one. I've heard reports that because Reynolds is older because of his LDS mission, he'll turn pro as a junior. I wasn't that impressed with Reynolds when I saw him earlier in the season. I liked the fact that he has good size (6-6/330), decent technique, and has experience playing on both sides of the line, giving him versatility. But he wasn't very athletic, an underwhelming run blocker, and basically looked like he was a backup swing tackle prospect rather than a prospective starter. I'm hoping that I see something vs. UTEP that merits why he is the 3rd ranked junior OT according to NFL Draft Scout.com. The other BYU prospect I'll watch is SS Andrew Rich. He's a big guy (6-3/225), but slow, and want to see something that makes me think he's more than p-squad fodder.

For UTEP, they have a nice trio of offensive prospects. QB Trevor Vittatoe is a good athlete with a strong arm, but his accuracy and decision making are poor so that he only looks to be a camp body. RB Donald Buckram, I haven't had the chance to see this year because of injuries, but I see he's expected to go in this bowl game. So I should get to see whether he's a nice late round prospect. He hurt his knee before the season and isn't expected to be 100%, but he'll be the healthiest he's been all year with the time off to heal. WR Kris Adams has good size (6-3/195) with good ball skills, hands, and decent speed. A reserve prospect that might have some developmental potential.

uDrove Humanitarian Bowl
Northern Illinois vs. Fresno State
5:30 on ESPN

Love the blue turf. I missed the MAC championship, so I didn't get to see NIU in that game. NIU doesn't really have anybody that will probably get drafted this year. Their two best senior prospects (RB Chad Spann and DE/OLB Jake Coffman) are undersized guys that project just as camp bodies. Spann (5-8/200) has good speed and runs hard, but lacks the burst, balance, and footwork to think he'll be one of the guys that overcomes that lack of size. Coffman (6-5/255) has a good motor, but he gets pushed around a bit too much to like his chances as a pass rusher, so he's a guy that likely will only make the pros based on his ability to contribute on special teams.

But NIU does have one decent pro prospect in junior QB Chandler Harnish. Decent size (6-2/220) with a good arm and athletic. He's a sleeper prospect for next season. Since the MAC has been able to produce decent QBs over the years, he'll get some buzz next year. The question will be whether or not he develops the tools to be a reliable, dropback pocket passer. But at this point, I would compare him with someone like Josh McCown when he was young, athletic, and inconsistent in Arizona.

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
Ohio vs. Troy
9 pm on ESPN

Only really two prospects that I'll be keeping my eye on in this game, both receivers for each team. For Ohio, WR Terrance McCrae is a decent WR prospect with late round potential. He has good size (6-3/195) with good hands, body control, and ball skills on the deep passes. For Troy, it's WR Jerrel Jernigan, who some draft sites have as one of the 5 best senior WR prospects in the league. Not sure I see it. While he has talent and potential as a dynamic slot receiver as I think every team is looking for the next Wes Welker/Percy Harvin, I'm not sure it's going to be Jernigan. He's got skills, good hands, and explosive playmaking potential, but I'm not sure he is that good. I don't think he's a better prospect than Mike Thomas was a few years back. But he's a solid 3rd/4th round guy that could merit a 2nd round pick depending on his ST ability.

I'm not sure how many of these games I'll watch live, but hopefully Saturday night, Sunday, and Monday I'll post my thoughts of these games, and then put up the preview for Tuesday night's game.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 7:18 pm 
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I want to see Connecticut and running back Jordan Trodman. He is supposed to be explosive and we need a take it to the house kind of back. Also Troy and Jermigan I want to see what all talk is about.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 3:10 pm 
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lol I started this same thread on AFMB, can't believe I forgot about Matt Reynolds in mine though. I'm a moron.

I'll post my thoughts in here though, obviously.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 4:34 pm 
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Oh I forgot the Fresno State prospects...

QB Ryan Colburn is a southpaw that has good mobility and athleticism, but has yet to impress me with his decision making and arm strength to think he's more than a camp body. OC Joe Bernardi is a solid center with good hands, but he's not very big (6-2/285) but should be an effective position blocker that should be able to stick as a reserve and potentially develop as a starter after a couple of seasons. OG Andrew Jackson has missed pretty much the entire season, and while he plays LT for the Bulldogs, I want to see what he can do in this bowl game since he entered this season as one of the top-rated guards that many were comparing to Logan Mankins going into the season. On the defensive line, DT Logan Harrell is a junior that is a good pass rusher and disruptive presence. Not expected to go pro, but he's a guy to keep your eye on as a sleeper next year and middle rounder. ILB Ben Jacobs is a nice run stopper that just doesn't have the range to think he's more than a special teams guy. First time I saw him I thought he was just a practice squad guy, but the second time I think he showed enough instincts as a run defender to stick as a solid reserve. We'll see what he looks like in this game to determine which impression wins out. FSU's top prospect is DE Chris Carter, who will definitely move to OLB at the next level. But he's a guy that could be like Koa Misi last year, where he's a smaller school guy, but his quick burst upfield and ability to make plays moves him up in the 2nd round range.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 12:17 am 
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Of course my DVR decided to be screwy today for whatever reason. So I was able to record the BYU-UTEP game in its entirety, but the NIU-Fresno game only was the first 1.5 quarters, so I'll have to record the replay at 1:30 AM to see the rest of the game, and my OHio-Troy recording is being screwy as well as we speak, missing pretty much all of the first quarter, but hopefully it finishes recording the rest of the game with no problems. And I can then record the first quarter on the replay later.

But I'll give my thoughts on the BYU-UTEP game from watching it this afternoon.

Matt Reynolds had a good, solid game. But I'm not sure what position he's going to play at the next level. I'm not sure he has the athleticism to match up at LT at the next level, but could move over to RT and be fine. But I think he might be a better guard than OT for similar reasons. What I didn't like is that he didn't play with great pop off the snap, and didn't look that great the few occasions when he worked out of a 3-point stance. I definitely think at worst, he becomes a utility backup that can play 4 different positions, but not sure he is going to be a top starter despite having very good size and fairly polished technique.

Andrew Rich was able to make some plays, I think he had 2 INTs, although one was on a tipped pass and the other an errant throw. He showed some things a few times in run support, but I'm not sure he has the speed or range to really stick as a reserve safety. But because of his potential to play ST, he might be able to stick. But he's a tweener if you ask me, too slow to play DB, too small to play LB.

Trevor Vittatoe struggled in this game, but he showed a good arm and nice athleticism despite having a bad ankle. He made a few nice throws, but his touch and accuracy were erratic. And he made some poor decisions, particularly early on with some of the sacks he took as he did a poor job handling the blitz. He seemed like he was starting to press later in the game as the 4th quarter was nearing. But because of his quick release, arm strength, and athleticism, some team might give him a shot as a practice squad/No. 3 option because he can make plays. But it's hard for me to see him sticking long-term because his decision making, poise, and accuracy are too erratic and limited.

RB Donald Buckram wasn't used that much, and he had two drops in this game, one of which led to a BYU interception on a tip. But he showed some things in pass protection, and despite having a bum knee, he showed good balance, burst, and lateral quickness. It would have been nice to see him 100% in this game and not see UTEP get behind so early to give him more opportunities, but he showed enough in this game that I think he could stick as a 3rd down back long-term although he's more of a guy that is depth rather than actually be a useful option off the bench.

WR Kris Adams had 3 big catches down the field for scores, but I wasn't overly impressed with him. His speed looks questionable as there were times where he was slow off the line. He had some issues with concentration, dropping another touchdown because he didn't do a good job looking the ball in and tried to run with it. He also missed a fade at the end of the 1st half because he took his eyes off the ball towards the safety (Rich) that was coming over. The ball was probably overthrown, but I still would have liked to seen him track the ball better and focus more on making the catch. He makes that score and UTEP is probably in this game in the 2nd half with more momentum with a 14-point deficit instead of 21 points. I think he can stick as a reserve receiver in the pros, but his lack of burst, ball skills, and concentration makes me skeptical whether he can use his size (6-3) to be a regular factor on offense.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:57 am 
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i saw Jernigan from Troy play tonight. I watched about 3 quarters of the game. You can tell Jernigan has alot of speed but what I wanted to see is his open field running,catching passes and returning kicks. The type of offense Troy runs makes it difficult to analyze Jernigan since Troy's offense is similar to Hawaii's when they had Brennan(wide open offense). I saw alot of hand offs with Jernigan getting his yardage that way and while he did well other players on the roster did well also.

Jernigan is more a running back that doesn't take alot of handoffs but is used sparingly. Didn't see any flashy returns but I would be surprised if he does well since he is quick and fast just needed the right opporunity. I'm not sure if Jernigan can be used full time because of his size. I might be wrong maybe the offensive coordinator wants to give other players opportunities and given the right off coordinator in the pros could make a bigger impact. Right now I'd have to say a 3rd round pick for Jernigan unless in the combines and off field all star games he does better could boost himself to 2nd rd status.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 3:32 pm 
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I feel like Jernigan should be fine at his size... he might be 5'9" or maybe 5'8" but he weighs 185 or 190 pounds... he's a pretty big guy for his size, he's not afraid to run hard through tacklers for extra yardage... I don't think little nicks and bruises will keep him from being on the field.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:01 pm 
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Beef O'Brady's St. Petersburg Bowl
Southern Miss vs. Louisville
8 pm on ESPN (Tuesday)

Southern Miss doesn't have a ton of draftable prospects. DT Anthony Gray is the lone senior that I've seen that looks like he has a shot sticking in the pros. But he's probably at best a backup nose tackle in a 3-4 scheme. He has good size to anchor and is hard to move, but he doesn't have the quickness upfield to think he can be a disruptive enough force to be more than a rotation guy. I haven't seen him yet, but the only other prospect getting draft buzz is WR Johdrick Morris. Some sites consider him a WR, some a TE/H-back prospect with his size (6-2/215). He is their leading receiver, which is pertinent only because most people considered junior WR DeAndre Brown their top pro prospect going into the season. Brown has great size, but doesn't produce much and has been hurt most of the season. It's not known whether he'll play in tomorrow night's game. He's an upside guy due to his massive size (6-6/230) that could be snagged in the late rounds. The other junior prospect that has a nice NFL future is MLB Korey Williams. Right now, he's a tough guy with a good nose for the ball that is a developmental option that can stick both inside in the 4-3 or 3-4, but could probably use another year to develop the instincts to become that monster playmaker teams like in the middle.

Louisville should fare much better in this April's draft. QB Adam Froman isn't special, but the type of player that you think could stick long-term as a backup in the pros if he could catch on somewhere as a No. 3 for a number of years. He isn't super big, doesn't have a big arm, but he's mobile and athletic able to make some plays because of it. In the end, he reminds me of a similar type of prospect as a Shaun Hill, who also had average size and arm strength coming into the league. He probably won't get drafted, but has a shot to stick as an undrafted FA.

Their top prospect however is RB Bilal Powell, who came from relative obscurity to shine in Louisville's pistol offense this year. He's likely to be a 3rd/4th round pick, but he's one of the mid-round picks that we see a few years down the road being among the top backs in the league. He's very powerful for his size (6-0/215) and is an excellent north-south runner that runs hard with good speed and burst.

TE Cameron Graham is another sleeper prospect because he's one of their go-to options in the passing game and is both a capable blocker and receiver to think he could stick as a late round choice.

OT Byron Stingily is another sleeper prospect. You won't find his name gracing many draft sites, but he's a former JUCO that has the size (6-5/300) and athleticism that NFL teams look for at left tackle. He's still a bit raw with his hands and technique, but he shows good potential as a run blocker if he can get bigger and stronger. He's the type of potential mid-to-late round prospect that beats the odds and becomes a starting LT down the road like a Jermon Bushrod.

Defensively, the top pro prospect is CB Johnny Patrick, who has good size and is a ballhawk. Questions about Patrick's pro potential will rest on whether he has the hips and burst to match up in man, or is he more of a guy that is purely a press zone corner.

Also on that side of the ball is DE Rodney Gnat, who is used much as a situational rusher for Louisville. But he has just enough size (6-3/255) and a good enough first step to think he could be a decent candidate to develop as a situational pass rusher and rotational DE down the road.

In the end, Louisville has 3 solid mid-round prospects (Powell, Stingily, Patrick) that with strong performances could help catapult themselves into the 2nd/3rd round range.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 5:43 pm 
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Ok, I just re-watched the NIU-Fresno State game.

I have to say DE Jake Coffman had a monster game. He had 3 sacks, a couple of hurries, and I think a few tackles for loss. He really has a relentless motor, where all of his sacks were because of that motor. The most impressive one was where he was chipped by the back, and was able to chase down QB Ryan Colburn all the way across the field to get the sack and strip. I'm much higher on his chances of sticking in the pros as a backup OLB in a 3-4 scheme because of that motor, which I might argue is the best of anybody I've seen in this year's class. There were times where he dominated OT Kenny Wiggins and TE Vince Pascoe (Bear's cousin), both of whom are undrafted prospects. So if a team was to take Coffman in the late rounds, despite the fact that he'll be 27 when his rookie season starts, it would make sense to me.

RB Chad Spann got a bump as well. He played with good pad level, nice quickness, and burst. He's not a burner, and he'll probably run in the 4.5s when given the chance, but he's quick and runs hard for his size (5-8/195), contributes in pass protection, and in a zone blocking scheme, you think he can be a decent backup.

QB Chandler Harnish displayed his toughness and athleticism in this game, but he isn't super heady, accurate, or show great touch on his throws down the field. But he's a guy that if he can start to see improvement with his ability to throw from the pocket with precision and accuracy, you think he can be a 2nd/3rd round guy next year. But if he were to come out right now, I would say he's at best a 6th rounder.

Colburn struggled in this one, and his arm strength is weak. He shows mobility and ability to move around around to extend play and avoid pressure, but he holds onto the ball too long and has limited touch and accuracy. It's the arm strength that is killer mainly and he doesn't do anything else well enough to think he can overcome it because he's not super accurate, mobile, or smart.

Logan Harrell played well, although he didn't make that many plays. But he was getting held quite a bit and really showcased a powerful bull rush on occasion. He got pushed around a bit vs. the run, but he's not very big (6-2/280), so if he can get a little bigger, he should at the very least be a good No. 3 DT in a 4-3 scheme, if not be a decent complementary starter. He's disruptive and plays with a good motor, so at this point I could see him being anywhere between a late 2nd to 5th rounder in 2012 dependent on his production. This year he had 10.5 sacks and 14 tackles for loss, so another year like that and he should entrench himself as a 3rd rounder at the least.

Chris Carter was underwhelming as well, making very few plays. He flashed his quick first step and burst upfield, but he struggled getting off blocks and got pushed around a bit vs. the run. I still think he has potential to develop as a starter down the road in a 3-4 scheme, but he may never be reliable enough to be a starter, just a capable backup.

My first look at OG Andrew Jackson was a positive one. He's not very big (6-5/295), and he'll need to get stronger because it showed as a run blocker. But he's an effective position blocker, uses his hands fairly well (although there were times where he missed his punch in pass protection), and has fairly good technique and athleticism to pull, block and adjust in space, as well as match up with quickness inside to think he can be somewhat a poor man's Logan Mankins. I think he'll fit best in a zone blocking scheme, but he shoudl be a good reserve at worst that I think also might be able to play some center. But if he can get stronger, in the right scheme (like Mankins plays in New England), I think he can be an effective starter. I like his mean streak and he does a good job finishing blocks.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:21 am 
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I bumped my rating of Jernigan, but I'm still not completely high on him. I think he is very explosive that if he goes to the right offense, he can be a very good complementary player like a Percy Harvin. But Harvin can't make an offense go, SIdney Rice makes that Vikings passing game go.

I'll be curious to see his 10-yard splits come Combine time. If he runs a 1.45 or faster, I'll probably bump him again.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:50 am 
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Jernigan as good maybe great speed. The defenders were a bit slower than Jernigan however he's not exactly facing a top defense in a top conference. I think you nailed it Pudge that Jernigan is more a Percy Harvin not a explosive receiver. Will know more come the off season workouts and maybe Jernigan does wow scouts with his times, ability to catch passes so he could be similar to Norwood. He's more a player you would use for gadgets altohugh I would be interested to see him run the ball from the I formation.

Rgith now he's probably a mid 2nd round pick at most. For the Falcon's I'm not sure I'd take him even in the 2nd round until Jernigan proves he can do other things against better competition.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 3:36 pm 
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I have to say I was surprised with how well Burke played, he didn't look like much early in the game. He picked it up as the game went on though. Solid arm strength, solid accuracy... I don't think he will get drafted but he might get invited to a camp. He also has solid mobility and from what I heard from the announcers he's really smart. I didn't see him make many stupid throws in this game (if any... he threw a couple into tight windows though... but I was dosing off by the end so maybe I just missed them) which is good... I could see him sticking with some team as a #3 or on a practice squad.

Powell didn't have a great game stat-wise but you could see his burst, the way he runs hard and how he finishes runs. He probably shouldn't be trying to get the edge as much as they were running him east-west, but when he could get going north-south he was effective. I wondered a little bit how good his vision is but it seems to be pretty good, tough to showcase your vision when they are playing in your backfield.

I wonder if Chichester can move to tight end, lol. 6'8"? That's f**** insane. He doesn't get off the line very fast, doesn't run very good routes, but he can catch the ball and use his frame to shield defenders away from it... I guess it's worth considering. I just looked him up again and apparently he is listed as such? I thought they said he was a WR last night. He's a junior anyways, so we will have to wait a year, but it's interesting to think about...

Stingily looked good in pass protection to me, I didn't pay as much attention to him as I wanted to but I have other UL games to watch where I can take notes on him. But I don't think I noticed him get beat all game. I don't know how he was in the run game though. He could be a nice sleeper/steal pick for someone. Will it be us? I don't know, but I wouldn't mind it.

Johnny Patrick impressed me a lot in this game. I'd never seen him play, but I love when one of your better players steps up and makes plays in a big game. He gave up that TD but he had good coverage, he just couldn't locate the ball. Apparently the strange light banks made it tough to locate the ball on those deep balls and on punts if you had to look at them. I can believe it I guess. He had good coverage the rest of the game but I never got to see how well he can flip his hips and run because of the camera angles, but we should be able to figure that out at the Senior Bowl if I can't figure it out when I watch other UL games. But he seems to tackle well and his forced fumble was awesome to see, he laid the wood. Plus he blocked that field goal which could have decided the game because they only won by three... He just played big last night and I love players who step up like that when it's crunch time, and he definitely did. It will be interesting to see if he sticks alright in man coverage. Even if he doesn't, he could be really good in zone in my opinion.

Korey Williams on Southern Miss looked like an absolute beast in this game to me. He stood up Bilal Powell by himself a couple of times and seemed to have a very good game. He probably won't declare this year but he really impressed me, versus the run at least.

Brandon Heath on Louisville also impressed me. He is their MLB I believe and while he is undersized (6'1", 215 pounds) he really looked good to me. He had 7 tackles in the first half and was very active at the line of scrimmage. He played well in this game and made me think that he has definite special teams potential as a late round pick or a UDFA. He looks REALLY skinny at 215 pounds so I think he could add 10 pounds of muscle on a NFL diet and workout plan without a single problem at all and make a team as a special teamer and stick as a back-up at worst... I liked what I saw a lot.

Those are the guys I noticed the most... I don't think I took good enough notes/stayed awake enough to put a blog post up about it though. lol

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 7:43 pm 
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MAACO Las Vegas Bowl
Utah vs. Boise State
8 pm on ESPN

Finally we get a bowl game that will feature a good NFL matchup. Utah's best prospect is CB Brandon Burton (a junior), and he'll be covering the likes of Boise State wideouts Titus Young and Austin Pettis. Now, in past Utah games, the Utes have used Burton to shadow the opposing team's top wideout. Not sure, they will do the same in this game since Young and Pettis are both pretty good. But Pettis is the go-to guy and will be the guy that moves the chains, while Young is the big play threat. Burton is a good, solid corner with good size, ball skills, and the hips and awareness to play either in press or off coverage. I'd really like to see him go up against both guys, but particularly Pettis since it'll be good to see if Pettis can separate from him. Pettis has good size, excellent hands, and really good body control and ball skills. The issue for him at the next level does he possess the speed and burst to be a playmaker, or will he be more of a possession wideout. Young is a super speedster, but doesn't have great size (6-0/170), but he is very good on returns because of his speed and vertical threat.

Utah's other top prospect is OC Zane Taylor. Taylor is a marginal run blocker, but tends to do very well in pass protection because of his quick hands and solid footwork. It'll be interesting to see him matched up with junior DT Billy Wynn on the inside. Wynn is a disruptive presence that can use his quickness to get upfield and pressure the QB. At this point, he's probably a 4th/5th round DT prospect, but with another year under his belt, he could start to move up in the 2nd/3rd round range next season.

Beside Taylor is OG Caleb Schlauderaff, who is a nice late round OG prospect. He is not very big, but he's a guy that can potentially stick as a developmental backup in a zone blocking scheme at either guard or center.

Utah also has a nice pair of RBs. Eddie Wide is the smaller, speed option. While Matt Asiata is the bigger, power guy. Neither player have great vision. But Wide has some potential to be a decent option as a third down back down the road. Asiata is a player that I think might be better off bulking up and moving to FB in the pros because he's powerful guy. He's a good downhill runner, but his lack of vision and lateral burst makes his potential limited as a runner.

Outside the two receivers and Wynn, Boise State's best prospects are QB Kellen Moore, OT Nate Potter (both juniors), and safety Jeron Johnson. Moore is small and has a weak arm, but he may be the smartest QB in the country. He'll likely be a late round pick next year because of his limited height and arm strength, but he's one of those players that could develop into a Chad Pennington-esque starter down the road. Potter plays LT for Boise State, but probably projects best inside in the pros. He's a guy that just doesn't have the feet to match up with speed on the outside. Johnson is an undersized safety, but he plays hard, contributes in run support, and shows some things in coverage to think he can be drafted as a backup FS and develop into an Erik Coleman-esque starter down the road.

Other potential late round prospects for the Broncos include DE Ryan Winterswyk, OLB/SS Winston Venable, and K Kyle Brotzman. Winterswyk is an effective college pass rusher, but lacks the edge quickness to be a factor in the pros. He's a guy that will need to bulk up and probably move to play in the 3-4 to stick in the NFL. Venable plays very hard and is a tough, physical run defender. But he's a tweener because he's too limited an athlete to play S, but too small to really stick at LB. He's a guy that will have to excel on special teams because he doesn't have a good NFL position. Brotzman had the infamous misses vs. Nevada, but he's still a decent college kicker that is good enough to get a look in an NFL camp.

Boise State also has a nice pair of junior RBs in Doug Martin and Jeremy Avery. Avery is at best a late round pick and potential 3rd down back, but Martin has a good combo of tools to think he can be a potential 3rd/4th round pick next year. Utah DT Dave Kruger is only a sophomore, but like his older brother has NFL potential.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 7:59 pm 
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Pudge have you taken any notes on Boise State JR DE Tyrone Crawford? He is #40 and he is a back-up DE but gets rotated in a lot. He has 13.5 TFL and 6.5 Sacks on the year. I ask because he's from Windsor so I'm interested in how he does. He's a great athlete. He used to play RB and WR too in high school but Boise State recruited him to play DE full time because of his size.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 9:18 pm 
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Nope, don't have any notes on him. I'll keep my eyes on him tonight.

I just re-watched the Louisville game, and I have to say that I agree Rodney Heath had a really good game. Didn't really scout him in any of the L'ville games I saw before, but he was very active in run support.

Powell didn't have a great game, but you saw flashes of his ability, when he was able to get past the line of scrimmage and square his shoulders and run downhill, being a punishing runner. Louisville's O-line got no push vs. Southern Miss's D-line. I'm not sure why Louisville didn't use as much pistol as I've seen them use before.

Burke showed some things as well. I didn't know that Froman had been benched until I watched the game. But Burke should a pretty good arm, good mobility, and flashed good accuracy and anticipation on some of his throws. Based off the way he started, I didn't think he would last to halftime, but he got better as the game wore on.

I'm not super high on Patrick, but he did have a pretty good game. I don't think he's great in run support. He had a nice hit to force a fumble, but I think he missed maybe like 3 other tackles. He has NFL tools, but I'm not sure he has the ball skills to be more than a nickel corner.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 2:24 am 
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I watched about 3 quarters of the BSU vs Utah game tonight. I kept an eye out for Brandon Burton(Utah) and others players on the BSU squad. Utah got torched tonight by the run and pass and have to say I wasn't impressed with Brandon Burton. Austn Pettis, Doug Martin, Titus Young and Kellen Moore played well. I really like Moore and any team looking for a QB would do wise to look at him provided the right system. Pettis looks like a 2nd-3rd rounder, Young probably a 2nd rounder because of his speed. Martin a middle round pick in the draft. Young or Pettis would look good in an Atlanta uniform probably at slot.

I don't know if it was a bad game but Burton didn't impress me. Maybe he shows better in the combines but will have to wait and see.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 12:41 pm 
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S.D. County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl
Navy vs. San Diego State
8 pm on ESPN

I've seen Navy a few times this year, and while they may have some decent NFL prospects on their roster like QB Ricky Dobbs, the fact that they are forced to spend 2 years minimum in the service, there isn't a ton of incentive to scout them.

The guys you want to watch in this game are the SDSU receivers: Vincent Brown and DeMarco Sampson. I've only seen one SDSU game, but Brown impressed me in that game, showing good hands, body control, and awareness to think he can be a good possession receiver. The question will be whether he has the explosiveness and burst to be a playmaker, or is he a guy that will be a No. 3 option at the next level.

Sampson has nice hands and has better speed than Brown, but I don't think he's as natural a receiver. But it'll be interesting to see which of the two has a better game.

QB Ryan Lindley is a junior, but also has potential as a late round prospect/sleeper next season. He has a pro arm, but he needs to improve his mechanics and decision making. He's not super accurate, but flashes some. His ability to go to his second read and becoming more consistent with his touch and accuracy will be his biggest question marks going into next season.

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl
Hawaii vs. Tulsa
8 pm on ESPN (Friday)

I haven't seen Tulsa this year, but their top pro prospect is FB/TE/RB Charles Clay. But I did see Clay last year. He has good size (6-3/230) is a versatile option for Tulsa, playing more of an H-back role last season. He is a decent runner with good athleticism and shiftiness, but not super powerful. My notes last year said that I thought he was better off bulking up and becoming an H-back than staying in the backfield as a true fullback.

Another Tulsa prospect I'll keep my eye on is WR Trae Johnson. He isn't super big (5-10/180) and hasn't been super productive, but seems to offer some potential as a return specialist at the next level.

Tulsa's QB G.J. Kinne is a potential mid-round QB prospect that I've seen before and has flashed solid NFL skills. Another junior that might have an NFL future is WR Damaris Johnson. He's small (5-8/170), but like Trae Johnson, he looks like a versatile special teams and offensive threat.

The best pro prospect might be for Hawaii in WR Greg Salas. He's a slot receiver in their wide open Run N' Shoot offense but he offers the size (6-2/205), hands, toughness, and quickness to think he can be a good fit on the outside at the next level. The success of Davone Bess in the pros as a chain-moving possession wideout offers hope for Salas and guys transitioning to the next level as a potential starter.

Another WR to keep your eye on is WR Kealoha Pilares. He's much more of a traditional slot option, but he's very productive in their offense.

Hawaii also has a big RB/FB in Alex Green that might have a future at the latter position.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 2:46 pm 
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Just re-watched the game. I thought Burton played well in the first half. He got beat a couple of times in the 2nd half by Pettis, but I think Utah was asking their corners to play off coverage and not give up the big play to Young and Pettis, and for the most part they did that. Burton has the skills to play well both in man and zone coverage. I don't think he's a first round pick, but he's a solid 2nd round talent.

Pettis lack of speed was clearly on display in this game where he got run down from behind and stripped at the goalline for the touchback. But he also showed his great hands, body control, and ball skills throughout this game.

I'm still concerned about whether Titus Young is just another Harry Douglas with better speed. He doesn't do a good job attacking the ball in the air, and I think he's going to have trouble making plays in traffic. I think because of his speed, he'll be a nice complementary option on offense that can be dangerous on slants, drag routes, and reverses, but I still don't think he's quite as good a receiver where he's going to be more than a situational player.

I watched Tyrone Crawford. Because of his size and straight-line burst, I think he's probably a better fit bulking up and playing 3-4 DE at the next level. But he has a good motor and decent athleticism. He's just as rangy a defender and lacks the upfield quickness off the edge to think he'll be more than a decent LDE in a 4-3.

I was impressed with Martin and Avery in this game. Martin reminds me of a more powerful Donald Brown, and I think while he won't be a true feature back that gets 20-25 carries and can be productive on a weekly basis, I think he'll be perfect RB for a team like the Colts, Packers, or Patriots that like the throw the ball and are looking for a quality runner that can give them some balance on the ground. Avery is quick and also has good balance. I don't think he has great vision, and his lack of size will limit his potential to be only a 3rd down back.

I still continue to be underwhelmed with Jeron Johnson's tackling. He is active and physical vs. the run, but he is not a very good tackler because of his lack of size. He'll wrap up, but he ducks his head, and he does too much hitting rather than wrapping up. He'll bulk up in the pros, but I think he's going to be exposed a bit in run support kinda like Keion Carpenter when he was here.

Zane Taylor struggled at times in this game. When he was asked to block a guy like Wynn on an island, he got beat several times. But he has nice technique, has quick hands, and I thought Utah did a good job handling Boise State's blitzes early in the game, which I credit Taylor for that success. I think ultimately he can be a good starting center down the road in a zone-blocking scheme that likes to throw the ball. He just doesn't offer much as a run blocker. I think in that way he can be like a poor man's Jeff Saturday.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 7:04 pm 
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Thanks for the input Pudge. I think that is key not to over draft players and now your making me think twice on Young. Having the wide open system Boise State plays sometimes stats can get inflated. No question Young has speed and can get deep. About Harry Douglas if the Falcon's believe he might turn out to be the player they hoped then I can see a receiver drafted this year. Not sure what pro free agents are out there for the slot. We really need to get the slot fixed to advance Ryan's game. Gonzo isn't the Gonzo of old and his skills will continue to diminish. The more options the better for an offense.

I think we need a home run hitter to make the leap from snail offense to quick strike capability. We don't necessarily have to draft a receiver in the 1st but some compeititon never would hurt Douglas or Jenkins.

I think of Doug Martin as our Jason Snelling. I like Martin but similar to Snelling probably with more speed. Yes Pettis showed very good hands. I hope he does well in a 40 time because I was thinking of him as a slot receiver. I see him more of a 2nd -3rd round type of receiver.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:55 am 
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I think a key thing in not overdrafting players is self-scouting. I think that is the mistake that many teams make when they end up with eggs on their faces with their picks because they didn't do a great job evaluating their own roster and current players and then seeing where any new player fits.

I think Young can be a productive player for another NFL team looking for an explosive 3rd option in their passing game to work the slot and try to be a factor after the catch, as well as contribute on special teams. But I think for this Falcon team specifically, I'm not seeing him being a clear-cut upgrade over Douglas. His extra gear probably makes him a better option, but I think he'll run into the same issues that Douglas has so far here, which is his lack of size limits what he can do. Despite having that 4.4 speed, Douglas isn't a great deep threat because he's not going to go up and get the ball. I think the same happens with Young in the pros, despite him being a very good deep threat in college. Now if Young runs like a 4.32 at the Combine, then I'll be less inclined to doubt his vertical potential because with that sort of speed he'll be able to get the needed separation to overcome that lack of ideal height. But like Douglas, I think Young isn't going to be a super rangy, versatile player that can run the entire route tree and excel.

IMHO, Austin Pettis would be a better pickup for the Falcons as a slot option as you mentioned. And while he doesn't have quite the burst to separate, and will probably not contribute a ton as a rookie, because of his size, length, and ball skills, he can use those abilities over the middle kind of like a younger version of Finneran initially, and as he develops as a route-runner and hopefully improves, he can start to move outside to replace Jenkins, where he can start taking that role as a chain mover and be a similar option in our offense that Marques Colston is for the Saints. And that would free up Roddy White to be able to run more vertical routes, since Pettis can handle many of those 3rd & 7 situations that Roddy does currently.

And this is where you can figure out when to draft players because then you can start to assign "value" to guys. While Young is a talented player, unless the Falcons fall in love with him as a kickoff specialist, he doesn't seem to have a bright future as a key contributor here in Atlanta, so he's probably a 4th round value for the Falcons. For another team that has a clear-cut need at No. 3 WR and/or KOR, he might be a 2nd round value. Someone like Pettis could be a 2nd round value for the Falcons because he can come in right away and contribute as a No. 3 receiver, and within 1-2 seasons could be a starter and key contributor in our offense. But for another team that already has two possession receivers and is looking for a more explosive option (like Baltimore), then he might only have 5th round value because he seems like he's more of a depth guy that an immediate contributor.

One of the reasons why Jimmy WIlliams was a failure here is because McKay & Co. did such a poor job self-scouting that year.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:50 pm 
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Thanks for your input Pudge.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2010 2:13 am 
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I didn't see the 1st quarter of the Hawaii-Tulsa game, but watched most of the last 3 quarters.

Tulsa's offense looked stagnant early, but Hawaii's 6 first half turnovers killed them despite their ability to move the ball. But then in the 2nd half, Tulsa's offense got going, and Hawaii couldn't do anything to catch up.

Greg Salas had a good game. I think he's a similar prospect as Austin Pettis in that you like his size, hands, and ball skills, and he works well in the slot, using his size to get position. But he doesn't have the burst and speed to really run past defenders. But I think he'll be a solid No. 3 guy at the next level and can help work the middle of the field and move the chains. I would compare him with someone like Greg Camarillo.

G.J. Kinne struggled in the first half, but there were instances where he showcased his arm strength, mobility, and touch down the field. His touch was off at times, but he also made some really nice throws down the seam, hitting his receivers in stride deep. My biggest concern with him is his decision making and pocket awareness/mobility. He took some sacks, and I don't think did a great job handling Hawaii's blitzes. He can extend the play with his legs, but I'd like to see him doing a better job moving and sliding within the pocket. Right now, I'd say he's probably a 3rd/4th round prospect, but if he starts to put everything together next year, he could move up into that late 2nd round range.

WR Damaris Johnson was explosive. Small, but explosive, and I think probably has a bright future as a return specialist in the pros. His speed will be an asset at times in the slot, but at 5-8/170, I don't think he has quite the size to be a regular contributor on offense.

WR Trae Johnson also showed good speed and hands, but he too isn't very big (5-10/180), and will be limited to the slot at best in the pros. Another player that I think can stick if he can show some things as a returner. Otherwise, bigger and better WR options will come along to play in the slot. Best you hope is that he turns into another Eric Weems.

Charles Clay didn't really impress me in this game, and I have to say that I still think he'll make a better TE/H-back than FB. He showed some things as a runner, but his size (6-3/235) and upright runner style I don't think will be conducive to much success there in the pros. And he's not as good a lead blocker as I'd want a player his size to be. I think he's better off bulking up some, and teams using him as a reserve H-back and working him in the slot.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2010 2:36 am 
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Little Caesars Bowl
Florida International vs. Toledo
8:30 on ESPN (on Sunday)

Pizza Pizza!

The two prospects I'll be keeping my eyes on in this one are CB Anthony Gaitor (FIU) and OC Kevin Kowalski (Toledo). Gaitor impressed me in an earlier FIU game I saw this year. He's not very big (5-10/180), but he's very active in run support (a rare trait among CBs), and FIU's scheme uses him like a hybrid corner, linebacker, and safety at times. He'll blitz, play the run, and shows good speed. The big question about his NFL potential is whether he has the cover skills to be more than a depth guy. But based off that earlier game, I would say he's a good candidate for nickel back.

In a Toledo game earlier this season, I was very underwhelmed by Kowalski, who I've seen some sites list as one of the top centers in this year's draft class. So getting another look at him will either confirm that he's a marginal NFL talent (which he seemed to be before) or prove as usual that it's always best to see more than one game from a prospect before judging them too harshly.

Other guys that are probably worth keeping an eye on on FIU is WR T.Y. Hilton. He's a junior and smallish, but was productive as an all-purpose threat, and I've read some say he's comparable with Jernigan. OC Brad Serini is probably the lone other FIU senior that stands a good shot to get a camp invite. He's undersized (6-3/285), so a key for his ability to play in the pros.

For Toledo, CB Desmond Marrow might be worth a look. He's had issues with injuries, but a 6-2/205 corner is something to keep an eye on, especially if he's going up against Hilton much of the game.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:23 pm 
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AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl
Air Force vs. Georgia Tech
5 pm EST on ESPN2

Like Navy, Air Force as a service academy has limited potential for the pros. But they do have a nice pair of corners, headlined by CB Reggie Rembert, who is small, but has ball skills.

Georgia Tech will be without their star player, QB Josh Nesbitt in this game. Nesbitt is a good option QB, but he doesn't have the skills to play the QB position in the NFL. He is a good runner, but also doesn't have the durability to project well to play RB at the next level either. If he is going to stick in the pros, I think it will almost certainly require a move to WR, although questions about whether he has the speed to stick there also are big concerns.

Other than Nesbitt, the best prospects for Tech come on the defensive side of the ball. Brad Jefferson is a solid ILB in their 3-4 scheme, that is physical vs. the run and has a good nose for the ball. His problem is that he lacks the speed and range to make plays outside the hashmarks and he's limited in coverage for similar reasons. But his skills means he might project well as a reserve ILB in a 3-4 scheme as a two-down player. It'll be interesting to see how effective he is vs. the outside run in Air Force's option attack.

CB Mario Butler also flashes starting potential at cornerback. He has good size (6-0/180), speed, and athleticism, but he needs to polish up his footwork and technique. He shows the speed and burst to match up in man coverage with quality receivers, but suffers from Chris Houston disease in that he doesn't do a lot of the little things to think he can fully take advantage of that at the next level. He won't be tested too much vs. Air Force in the pass, but he'll have to carry his weight in run support, something he didn't really do in previous games I've seen of him.

OLB Anthony Egbuniwe also has NFL-level tools and potential as a 3-4 OLB. He shows the burst and quickness to get upfield and has the sort of size that could make him a nice developmental talent in the 3-4 scheme, but he hasn't quite put it all together to be a consistent force on defense.

The lone offensive player that is really worth keeping an eye on is RB Anthony Allen. Allen shined a few years back in Petrino's last year at Louisville, but then when Petrino left he fell off the planet, and transferred to Georgia Tech. Despite being less productive and having less acclaim, Allen probably projects better to the pro level as a B-back in their option than Jonathan Dwyer did a year ago. His power is solid, and he'll occasionally flash the quickness and vision that is hard to showcase in this style of offense. He's probably just going to be a short-yardage and complementary runner at best. He'd also have a chance to move to fullback as well due to his size (6-0/230), making him a decent late round prospect.

Champs Sports Bowl
West Virginia vs. N.C. State
6:30 PM EST on ESPN (Tuesday)

Finally we start to get into some games that feature good NFL prospects, not just guys that will be lucky to be 7th round picks.

The most notable prospect in this game will be West Virginia RB Noel Devine, an undersized runner (5-8/180) but with blazing speed. Devine's play has slipped off significantly this year, but he's been battling a toe injury all year long, which I believe is similar to the one that plagued LaDainian Tomlinson during his final years in San Diego. We'll have to see if the time off has helped it heal some, and whether he'll have his trademark explosiveness. But even with 9 good toes, Devine is still one of the quickest backs out there, he just clearly isn't able to bust as many big runs as normal. Devine has similar size to Warrick Dunn, but probably doesn't have quite the vision of Dunn to take full advantage of it. But in the right scheme, he can be a dangerous No. 2 option on a similar level to Darren Sproles: third down receiver, occasional runner, and return specialist.

But despite not being as notable, the best pro prospects on the field will be on both team's defenses. WVU FS Robert Sands is a giant safety (6-4/220) that plays all of the field. He's very comfortable up in the box where he works like an extra linebacker in their 3-3-5 defense, but also features the size and range to think he can also play the centerfield at the next level. He'll have to have a big game since he'll likely spend half his time chasing QB Russell Wilson over the field, and the other half defending against N.C. State's deep pass.

Speaking of WIlson, he is only a junior and doesn't have great NFL size (5-11/200) but he reminds me quite a bit of Seneca Wallace, who had similar size at Iowa State, and also had good athleticism and a strong arm. Wilson has been hurt in his development as a QB because he spends his springs/summers playing baseball instead of football, but if he was ever to develop 12 months to the game of football, he flashes a spark of that "it" factor to think he can stick long-term like Wallace as a No. 2 QB in the pros.

The other top prospect is N.C. State's LB Nate Irving. Irving has a good nose for the ball and is one of the more physical linebackers you'll see in the nation this year. He can potentially play any LB spot at the next level, whether it's in the 3-4 or 4-3. He's best when he's allowed to get upfield, attack the ball and line of scrimmage, but also flashes the speed and range to make plays sideline to sideline. The only negative for him is that he isn't very polished in coverage, and it'll be interesting to see how he handles WVU's speed.

His favorite targets are a pair of WRs in Owen Spencer and Jarvis Williams. Spencer is the better of the pair, he's a capable vertical threat, with good hands and ball skills. The main question with him is whether he has the ideal size to hold up on the outside (6-2/185) and whether he has the range as a receiver to make plays on the short and intermediate routes as well as the deep ones. Williams has better size (6-4/215) but doesn't have Spencer's ball skills and toughness despite it. But he too has enough skills to think he can stick in the pros as a No. 4 or No. 5 receiver if he can stick on special teams. BUt his upside offensively is going to be limited.

Another junior to keep your eye on is TE George Bryan for N.C. State. Many draft sites rate him as the 2nd best junior TE in the country. I'm not going to go that far, but he's got good hands, has the size and potential to be a capable blocker. The problem is that he lacks ideal speed and athleticism to take advantage of his solid receiving skills and probably projects closer to a player like Reggie Kelly in the pros than he does to the next Heath Miller. Also on the underclassman radar is LB Terrell Manning. Manning is just a sophomore, and needs to fill out his frame better (6-3/225) and develop a more instinctual feel, but he shows the speed and range you love in a OLB prospect in a 4-3 scheme, but if he can get bigger and stronger vs. the inside run, one thinks he can also be a successful MLB as well in that same scheme.

The next best player on WVU is probably NT Chris Neild. He has good size (6-2/305) and anchors well in the middle. He's not a guy that is going to dominant centers in one on one matchups. His pass rushing potential is very limited as most of his sacks and stops come from his high motor and QBs stepping up in the pocket. But he has a future to develop as a reserve NT in a 3-4 scheme that with a few years under his belt can become a starter down the road. He'll be compared favorably to a player like Baltimore's Kelly Gregg.

Two other solid prospects on WVU's defense are OLB J.T. Thomas and CB Brandon Hogan. Thomas is fast and rangy and helps makes plays all over the field. He probably projects best as a backup WLB in a 4-3 scheme. He's not super big (6-2/230), but plays physical. The biggest concerns about him is whether his coverage abilities are polished enough to stick long-term in the pros. Hogan was a highly rated prospect going into the season, but didn't have a great season as many expected. He's not very big (5-10/190) and doesn't have ideal ball skills, but he is a guy that is good enough in man coverage to think he can stick as a nickel corner on the next level.

On offense, WR Jock Sanders is about the same size as Devine with similar speed and explosiveness. In the WVU offense, he runs basically screens, reverses, and end-arounds, and is very good at those things. His lack of size and limited route tree probably mean he projects best as a return threat than an offensive weapon, but he can be a dangerous weapon there.

Insight Bowl
Missouri vs. Iowa
10 pm EST on ESPN (Tuesday)

Besides the Boise State-Utah game, this will feature the best matchup of the early bowls.

For Missouri, the top two prospects will be a pair of underclassmen. QB Blaine Gabbert has great size (6-5/240), a good arm, and flashes the accuracy and anticipation that teams look for in a potential 1st round pick. Many scouts are very high on him and think he's 2nd only to Luck as the best QB prospect in the country right now. Apparently, he's weighing his pro options, but will make a decision that will largely depend on what Luck does. If Luck turns pro, then he'll stay and vie for the top QB spot next year. If Luck stays, he'll throw his hat in to this year's draft pool. But regardless, he'll need a big game here vs. Iowa's tough defense to springboard his stock for this April or the next.

On the other side of the ball is DE Aldon Smith, who according to reports already has made his decision to turn pro. Smith was limited for much of the regular season with an ankle injury, but came back late in the year, and despite obviously playing on one leg still flashed the top-end burst and edge speed to think he has a bright future as a pass rusher in the pros. Mizzou likes to move him around on their D-line from playing DE to DT to also standing up as a LB, in all three areas he shows the athleticism and quick first step to get after the QB. He's just been limited by the fact that he can't put a ton of weight on his ankle, limiting his flexibility and making him more of a straight-line rusher. One hopes that he is closer to 100% for this game, because he has 1st round potential.

The next best Mizzou prospect is a toss up between TE Michael Egnew or C Tim Barnes. Egnew is also a junior that might come out, but his future is likely tied to what Gabbert does. He is a similar prospect to former Mizzou TE Martin Rucker. He's really just a big WR (6-6/230) that in an earlier game I scouted just ran screens, and it remains to be seen if he has the well-rounded potential to really be a factor in the passing game at the next level. Barnes is a solid center in the middle that doesn't wow you, but plays with good technique, mean streak, and gets the job done. He'll have his hands full with the Iowa front. Helping him out will be LT Elvis Fisher, who I haven't really scouted yet, but is considered one of the better OT prospects heading into next year, so this will be a good test to see how he handles the top competition he'll face in this game.

On defense, Mizzou has two decent late round prospects in CB Kevin Rutland and FS Jasper Simmons. Rutland is another player that just gets the job done and competes. He has a decent future as a nickel corner and has been able to match wits with some of the better Big 12 receivers. Simmons isn't very big for a safety (6-0/200), but he's active and doesn't make a ton of mistakes to make you think he can stick as a reserve in the pros and special teams player.

Iowa is loaded with NFL prospects and has at least 1 at every position. So let's start with the QB: Ricky Stanzi. Stanzi was a turnover machine last year, but has completely flipped this year. He's running the offense very efficient and isn't making the bone-headed mistakes he did a year ago. Due to his size (6-4/230), arm, and athleticism, he has a chance to stick in the pros as a solid backup for a long time, and if he gets into the right situation might make a decent starter for some team a la a Tony Romo.

Iowa's RB prospect Adam Robinson will not be appearing in this game due to a suspension. But as a sophomore, he has a chance to be one of the better RB prospects next year. He isn't very big (5-9/205), but runs hard with good burst and vision. He's someone to keep an eye out for next year.

At WR, they have two solid NFL prospects in Derrell Johnson-Koulianos and junior Marvin McNutt. Both are probably 3rd/4th round guys. LIke Robinson however, DJK is suspended for this game due to some drug charges. So McNutt will be asked to carry the slack at wideout. He has good size, makes plays, but not sure he is a reliable go-to option. He'll get a chance to prove it in this game.

TE Allen Reisner isn't very big (6-3/250), but is a productive 3rd option in their offense and has some potential as an H-back.

As usual, Iowa has a solid line. The best prospect is sophomore LT Riley Reiff, who has the potential to be a Top 10 pick next year, and probably in this year's down class could do the same. He'll be matched up with Smith throughout the game, testing both guys.

Iowa features 5 defensive linemen that WILL get drafted, either this year or next. The big name of the group is DE Adrian Clayborn, who is the most likely to be a 1st round pick. CLayborn has had a down year this year in terms of his productive, but he's a talented player that has good size, quickness, and strength. He'll need to have a big game to entrench himself as a middle 1st round pick rather than late rounder that he suddenly appears to be. Opposite him is usually Christian Ballard, who plays both inside and outside. But he projects best outside in a 5-technique in a 3-4 scheme, where he reminds me of a player similar to Houston's Antonio Smith. He is probably a 2nd rounder. Also starting is DT Karl Klug, and like Ballard, he'll probably play DE in a 3-4 scheme. Klug is a high motor guy that probably benefits from the attention that his teammates get, freeing him up to take advantage of numerous 1 on 1 situations. He's probably a 4th/5th rounder at best. Two juniors are DT Mike Daniels and DE Broderick Binns. Both are situational guys. Daniels isn't very big, but he's very disruptive and dominates in 1 on 1 matchups. Binns also is able to provide pressure opposite Clayborn when Ballard moves inside. Both have the potential to be early round picks when they come out.

At LB, Jeremiha Hunter is a decent late round pick that has a good nose for the ball and rarely makes mistakes. But he doesn't have the speed or range to match up in coverage as well, and probably projects as a backup in the pros.

CB Shaun Prater is another solid junior that is getting potential 1st round buzz, but he probably only goes that high if he decides to come back for his senior year. Joining him is junior SS Tyler Sash. You're likely to see a lot of Sash in this game because he plays well in the box due to his very good closing burst on the ball. He's not the best tackler, but he'll provide some hits and can make stops in the open field because he's so good at cutting the legs of the ballcarrier. He projects well as a FS in a Cover-2 scheme. Along with them is senior FS Brett Greenwood. He won't make a lot of plays because he's usually handling his duties in centerfield. But he has the potential to be a nice backup in a cover-2 scheme and a guy that can shine on special teams.

They even have good pro prospects on special teams! P Ryan Donahue is one of the best in the country with his big leg and solid accuracy. LS Andrew Schulze is also a pretty good snapper as well.

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


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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:59 am 
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Watched both games tonight live. in the N.C. State game, I was looking mainly at George Bryan and Nate Irving, as well as Noel Devine and Robert Sands.

I thought Bryan did some nice things as a receiver and think he's a big target over the middle. But he looked very limited as a blocker, and I'm not sure his upside as a receiver is high enough to think he is a perfect fit somewhere. He can be a reliable set of hands over the middle and in the right scheme he could be a 40-50 catch receiver, but he's more of a security blanket than go-to threat and probably would be only a 20-30 catch guy in most schemes, which isn't quite enough to overcome marginal blocking ability.

Irving had a nice game, but he struggled at times in coverage and when he was asked to play in space. And it makes me more skeptical of whether he can transition to being a good starting LB in a 4-3 scheme, making me think he's much better cast in a 3-4 scheme. His pass rush potential is very good and if he wasn't so small (6-1/240), I think he is good enough to play OLB in that scheme. BUt he's probably best served as a physical, two-down ILB.

Devine didn't have a great game, and seemed like while he did show some good burst and speed on some plays, he just isn't still quite there to be that Chris Johnson-caliber game-breaker. But if/when he's 100% I do think some of that skill can come back where he's very dangerous once he gets to the second level. But the durability is a factor and at this point I project his future much closer to Darren Sproles than someone like Johnson.

Sands had a nice game, but he's still iffy when he's asked to play in coverage. I think he has all the tools you look for in a top-level NFL safety, with his size, ability to make stops in the open field, and his range is good. But at this point he reminds me more of Kam Chancellor than Sean Taylor, and I think he's probably better served moving to SS in the pros because he's much more comfortable playing up in the box as an extra LB than he is playing deep cover.

For Missouri-Iowa game, I was keying on Blaine Gabbert and Aldon Smith, as well as Ricky Stanzi and Adrian Clayborn.

Gabbert showed me similar things that I saw in Sam Bradford a few years back. I really, really liked his accuracy and he showed ability to throw guys open at times. He has a big, strong arm that is able to thread the needle and put the ball on a frozen rope on 20-30 yard throws which is very good. The questions I have is whether or not he has great anticipation, field vision, and I think his mobility stinks. He was staring down guys waiting for them to get open and wasn't often going beyond his first or second read. And in their spread system that is 5-wide almost every down, his 1st/2nd read were on the same side of the field, so that ability to be able to scan more than a third of the field like he will have to do in the pros is questionable. But because of his accuracy, he can put the ball on the money when he does decide to throw it, so I'm not super worried about his ability to overcome that. That should get fixed with reps. But his mobility is questionable. When he does tuck it and run, he shows pretty good speed. But throughout this game and past games, his effectiveness dips the minute you have to make him move around. He doesn't do a great job resetting his feet and doesn't throw well on the run. He won't slide and move in the pocket very well and holds onto the ball a bit too long.

Aldon Smith had a very good game, since he was facing Riley Reiff for most of it, a guy with Top 10 potential at LT. He was able to beat Reiff a few times vs. the run, either by working laterally down the line in pursuit, or getting upfield and disrupting the play in the backfield. I like his very quick first step, and he's able to beat the OT or OG with a quick swim move, but that's about the only move he has. I didn't see him using his edge speed to get around the corner, nor did I see him use any other move. He seemed like he was keen on diagnosing the play rather than trying to disrupt it most downs. I think he has good straight-line burst upfield, and plays with a very good motor. But he's a guy that I'm not sure if it's because he's not quite 100%, but I have yet to see him show me that he is an edge rusher that can turn the corner. So I think he's one of those players that may fill out his frame better and be a fit as a LDE in a 4-3 rather than a RDE. He has upside but without seeing what he could do when he was 100% earlier in the season, I tend to doubt whether he's going to be a premier pass rusher.

Stanzi looked good I think early in the game, showing a nice arm, some anticipation on his throws. But his accuracy isn't great, and he forced a lot of passes in coverage. That poor decision making started to rear it's ugly head, particualrly in the 2nd half of the game where I think he started to press because Missouri took a lead. He was throwing balls that he could have gotten away with had he had a 5-star arm, but since his arm is more of a 3-star one, they were getting broken up or later in the game picked off. I do think he has Romo-esque ability if he can sit the bench for a few years, but i'm not sure he has the intangibles that I want to trust him as my starter over the long haul.

Clayborn was shut down by Elvis Fisher in the 1st half. He finally showed up in the 2nd half, where he got a couple of pressures on Gabbert. But Fisher is not even a good tackle, he doesn't have good feet, his hands are only OK, and he's a waist bender that gives up too much ground off the edge, but he had no qualms shutting Clayborn down. Clayborn's motor ran cold for most of the night, he didn't get off blocks, and just didn't seem overly interested for 2+ quarters. He started to make some plays in the 2nd half, but there might not be a more disappointing prospect I've seen this year besides him. I can't knock his grade too much because he showed dominant skill level last year, but he's a boom/bust prospect that I think is too much like Charles Grant for a team to risk a Top 25 pick on.

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


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