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LBC's 2015 Bowl Game Primer & Prospect Watch

Discussion in 'NFL Draft' started by The LBC, Dec 17, 2014.

  1. The LBC

    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    Its that time again! I certainly won't get all prospect watch reports up before the first bowl game, but I'll be working my butt off to get each set for the individual games before said game kicks off.

    Table of Contents:

    R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl -- Nevada vs UL-Lafayette
    Gildan New Mexico Bowl -- UTEP vs Utah State
    Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl -- Utah vs Colorado State
    Famous Idaho Potato Bowl -- Western Michigan vs Air Force
    Raycom Media Camelia Bowl -- South Alabama vs Bowling Green
    Miami Beach Bowl -- BYU vs Memphis
    Boca Raton Bowl -- Marshall vs Northern Illinois
    San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl -- Navy vs San Diego State
    Popeye's Bahamas Bowl -- Central Michigan vs Western Kentucky
    Hawai'i Bowl -- Fresno State vs Rice
    Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl -- Illinois vs Louisiana Tech
    Quick Lane Bowl -- Rutgers vs North Carolina
    Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl -- NC State vs UCF
    Military Bowl -- Cincinnati vs Virginia Tech
    Hyundai Sun Bowl -- Arizona State vs Duke
    Duck Commander Independence Bowl -- Miami vs South Carolina
    New Era Pinstripe Bowl -- Boston College vs Penn State
    National University Holiday Bowl -- Nebraska vs Southern Cal
    AutoZone Liberty Bowl -- Texas A&M vs West Virginia
    Russell Athletic Bowl -- Oklahoma vs Clemson
    AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl -- Arkansas vs Texas
    Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl -- Notre Dame vs LSU
    Belk Bowl -- Georgia vs Louisville
    Foster Farms Bowl -- Maryland vs Stanford
    Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl -- Ole Miss vs TCU
    VIZIO Fiesta Bowl -- Boise State vs Arizona
    Capitol One Orange Bowl -- Mississippi State vs Georgia Tech


    --------------------------------------------------
    R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
    -- December 20, 8AM PST (ESPN)

    Nevada Wolf Pack:
    [​IMG]
    Hasaan Henderson (#12) // Wide Receiver // Redshirt Sophomore // 6'3 3/4" // 220 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: I'm highly doubtful he'll declare given the depth of this receiving class, but stranger things have happened. He's a guy I'm largely keeping tabs on for next year but if anyone else wants to get a head-start along with me, feel free to join in. Not overly "timed fast," in fact I'll be surprised if he clocks in much under 4.6 seconds in the 40, but he shows up faster on tape than the stopwatch indicates. Still, much more of a big, tall possession receiver than someone who is going to take the ceiling off a defense. Former (dual-threat) quarterback who does a good job reading on the run and finding holes in zone. If he declared, he's still likely not more than a Day 3 guy.

    [​IMG]
    Brock Hekking (#53) // Defensive End/Outside Linebacker // Redshirt Senior // 6'3 5/8" // 255 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: I won't deny that a large part of my man-crush on Hekking has to do with his glorious 1980's-era professional wrestling mullet. But the guy is just all attitude - in a good way. Former Nevada HC and current Chiefs consultant, Chris Ault, compared Hekking's athleticism to former Wolf Pack end Dontay Moch (currently w/ Tennessee). Not likely to ever crack a pro lineup as a starter unless as an injury fill, but he's the kind of guy you want spelling your starters - high motor, high intensity, tough as nails, and wanting to make the most out of whatever playing time he gets.

    University of Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns:
    [​IMG]
    Alonzo Harris (#46) // Running Back // Senior // 6'0 5/8" // 238 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: He's not a feature-back, but not a whole lot in this draft class are. More of a likely "thunder" to a "lightning" complement, Harris is a productive downhill grinder that may be more fullback than outright RB. Looks faster on the field than his timed speeds have indicated, but he's not someone that's going to blow the doors off anyone any way. Has nice subtle moves and shiftiness - shoulder dips and hip wiggles - to shed would-be tacklers who, make no mistake, need to wrap to bring him down. A bit reminiscent of Stevan Ridley.

    [​IMG]
    Mykhael Quave (#70) // Offensive Tackle // Redshirt Junior // 6'4 5/8" // 295 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: Again, doubtful he comes out, particularly since his season was a bit marred by injury this year - but one to keep an eye on for 2016. Needs to continue to add bulk and may not ultimately be athletic enough to play on the blind-side, but he's got a knack for knocking guys clean out of their socks and putting them on skates (or on the ground). One of those guys that just gets how to lay the wood from a blocking perspective and does a better than decent job peeling off from the line to lead the way for runners on screens and toss-plays.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2014
  2. The LBC

    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    Gildan New Mexico Bowl -- December 20, 11:20AM PST (ESPN)

    University of Texas - El Paso Miners:
    [​IMG]
    Eric Tomlinson (#87) // Tight End // Redshirt Senior // 6'6 5/8" // 270 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: He looks like he belongs on Sons of Anarchy, doesn't he? Bit of a sleeper at TE that blocks well enough (and with a nasty demeanor) that he could even stand to potentially grow and develop into an OT with time. Good-not-great athlete, but has enough to play at the pro level.


    Utah State Aggies:
    [​IMG]
    Zach Vigil (#53) // Inside Linebacker // Redshirt Senior // 6'1 5/8" // 238 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: Again, likely not a starter, but he comes from a program that's done well identifying and developing "smart linebackers." Vigil has quite good awareness and diagnostic ability - not biting on fakes often, and does a good job shedding blocks for someone that's a bit on the lighter side of the median for NFL inside LB's. Very disciplined and technically-proficient tackler. Might sneak into the very end of Day 3, but more likely a UDFA name to keep an eye out for. Also will be playing in the East/West Shrine Game.

    [​IMG]
    Kyler Fackrell (#9) // Outside Linebacker // Redshirt Junior // 6'4 1/4" // 245 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: Sadly won't be playing due to injury, because he would have been the prospect to watch. A little reminiscent of Kyle Van Noy - very athletic linebacker with great instincts who is more physical than you'd expect. He's a Top 100 pick in whatever draft class he enters - it just may not be this one due to the torn ACL he suffered in Week 1 of this season. In the long-run that probably helps him out since it gives him an opportunity to develop more of a downfield defense game - which he has yet to showcase - and to work on not overpursuing as much when defending the flats.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2014
  3. The LBC

    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl -- December 20, 12:30PM PST (ABC)

    Utah Utes:
    [​IMG]
    Dres Anderson (#6) // Wide Receiver // Senior // 6'0 5/8" // 187 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: Unfortunately not playing in the bowl game due to a knee injury suffered at the end of October, Dres is the son of single-game receiving record-holder, and former LA Ram, Flipper Anderson. Yes, he's a bit light, but certainly capable of tickling 200 lbs in time without sacrificing the nifty quick release he has off the snap or his ability to stretch the field - he's timed in only the mid 4.5's but he plays faster, his strides are fast and long, and he tracks the long-ball quite well. Also scrappy and incredibly tough for a "smallish" receiver. Experienced returner as well.

    [​IMG]
    Nate Orchard (#8 - Defense) // Outside Linebacker // Senior // 6'3 5/8" // 255 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: Getting a bit underrated, I feel, particularly given the Utah programs ability to churn out effective - if not always "spectacular" - pass-rushing prospects. But you do the math - any guy who puts up 20 tackles-for-loss and 17.5 sacks on 80 total tackles on the season should at the very least be on everyone's radar. Realistically, I think Orchard has easily Top 100 ability and could be one of those guys who makes a late surge to push himself into the Top 40 with the Senior Bowl and NFL combine. Orchard leads the NCAA in sacks-per-game rate this season at 1.46 en route to winning the Hendricks Award last week for the Best Defensive End in the country - despite some stout competition. Important to watch in this game, in particular, will be his ability to set the edge and defend the run against a very talents CSU rushing attack and OL. The match-up between Orchard and Rams tackle Ty Sambrailo is earmarked as the one I'm most looking forward to watching on this day's slate of games. Orchard's first step isn't great, though I attribute a lot of that to lack of rhythm as a rusher (the gameplan for the Utes seems to deploy him in a different manner with each new snap), though ultimately he is more of a power-rusher than a speed-guy, though that's less significant so long as he maintains good pad-level and wins the leverage game. A bit reminiscent of current Cleveland Brown, former Baltimore draft pick Paul Kruger.

    [​IMG]

    Eric Rowe (#18) // Free Safety/Cornerback // Senior // 6'1 1/8" // 205 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: Rowe is an interesting guy to watch because he's in a bit of a transitory phase in his career. He was a standout freshman playing free safety and then just kind of plateaued and never took the next step. This season he switched to corner - one of those rare instances - but he's still maintained a knack for giving up big plays that has followed him to the cornerback position despite his quality long speed and athleticism. I think he's still best served as a safety, or more likely that growing-in-popularity "3rd safety" spot that we've deployed Gilchrist in. His tape is going to keep him around till Day 3.

    [​IMG]

    Devontae Booker (#23) // Running Back // Redshirt Junior // 5'10 3/4" // 209 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: He's a guy I've had my eye on for a while depending on whether he declares or not - he just finished his first year of play at Utah after transferring in from junior college, but he's also got a 1-year-old son that he supports so given his production this season, the limited shelf-life of his position, and a standout performance in a bowl game against a reputed defense (see: This Game) he could decide to make the jump early. Physically he's everything you'd want - the guy was a coup of a recruit originally for Washington State who came out of high school in the Sacramento area with video game type numbers, but saw WSU rescind his scholarship because his SAT score wasn't high enough. Enter Fresno State who offered him the chance to retake the SAT, but that fell through as well when a paper-submission deadline was missed and he ended up having to work his way up from American River College eventually to Utah. His work ethic is unquestionable and he was actually one of the top runners in the Pac-12 this season (his 1350 yards and 5.1 YPC were 2nd-best in the conference). There's a little bit of Arian Foster in him, methinks. If he declares, I'd sure as hell be willing to risk an early Day 3 pick on him.

    [​IMG]

    Kaelin Clay (#8 - Offense) // Wide Receiver/Returner // Senior // 5'9 1/2" // 188 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: OK, so maybe I'm giving the local kid a shout here because I watched him wreck the team of the school I teach for several years ago, but this is also just an interesting opportunity situation. Anderson is out and Clay is being presented with an opportunity to shine. He's already one of the standout returner prospects in this class, but here he'll get a chance to potentially turn some heads as more than just a special teams player which could ping some radars. one of those quicker-than-fast guys, but really slippery.

    Colorado State Rams:
    [​IMG]
    Ty Sambrailo (#51) // Tackle/Guard // Redshirt Senior // 6'5 1/4" // 315 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: I don't quite love him as much as I loved Joel Bitonio earlier this year, but I'm not that far off. I love, love, LOVE his attitude - he blocks with a true mean streak but does so without giving up dumb penalties. His footwork is one of his biggest selling points, which by God is one of the best things to be able to say about an OL. Quick off the snap, quick to the second level. He doesn't have "elite" athleticism but I wouldn't put it past him to be able to play LOT at the next level - however his vicious run-blocking ability in space gives me wet dreams about what he could do as a pulling left guard. There's definitely some Logan Mankins in his game - and the guy is a perfect fit for the power-zone scheme that Coach D runs. I'd personally spend a top 32 selection on him - not sure our front office would, but I'm confident several teams would and that he's not making it out of the Top 40 picks in May. Also will play in the Senior Bowl.

    [​IMG]
    Bernard Blake (#23) // Cornerback // Redshirt Senior // 5'11 5/8" // 185 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: Early-to-Mid Day Three guy, but one I can see managing to stick to a roster and contribute as a sub-package guy. Hips are adequate - not great, but not a liability to make me think that he's going to get wrecked at the next level when guys with much better ability to sink their cuts and throw their fakes are lining up across from him. Capable of playing either man or zone, a bit susceptible to being rag-dolled when asked to press if he isn't the first to get his hands on the receiver. That said, I actually like him as a press-corner if he can clean up his technique and handwork because he's extremely aggressive. Loves to hit - needs to learn to wrap-and-tackle a bit more, though. Nicknamed "Bam Bam." Also will play in the East/West Shrine Game.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2014
  4. The LBC

    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    Famous Idaho Potato Bowl -- December 20, 2:45PM PST (ESPN)

    Western Michigan Broncos:
    [​IMG]
    Donald Celiscar (#34) // Cornerback // Senior // 5'10 3/4" // 183 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: One of those guys I think is going to outproduce his draft position - and that's assuming he even gets drafted, but I think someone will make a sneaky play for him on Day 3. He's got good tape. Built like a running back, hits like a safety, and plays the ball quite well in the air. Little bit of hip stiffness that may relegate him to slot detail only, but I do think it's something he can learn to overcome. Makes some of his biggest statements in the run game; slick and decisive sniffing out screens and is like a heat-seeking missile coming at the runner.
     
  5. The LBC

    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    Raycom Media Camellia Bowl -- December 20, 6:15PM PST (ABC)

    South Alabama Jaguars:
    [​IMG]
    Brandon Bridge (#7) // Quarterback // Redshirt Senior // 6'4 5/8" // 235 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: I'm not listing many if any QB prospects for us, but I'm also not completely ruling out McCoy taking a shine to a developmental guy with the right tools and seeing if they can't groom a successor to Rivers (whose next extension will likely be his last), even though that's something that happens a lot more rarely in the modern NFL as most want to believe. You'll hear his name come up more as we get closer to draft season and you'll hear him draw a lot of parallels with Colin Kaepernick. Whether you consider that to be a good or bad thing is up to you; Kaepernick does have elite physical tools, he just so far appears to be quite lacking in the gray-matter department. Like CK, Bridge has elite arm strength, a tall, narrow body-type, and athletic footwork with long-striding running ability. His arm can make all the throws, he just needs to learn how to make some of them - specifically improve on his touch passes. He also needs to work on eliminating some bad habits with his eyes, like staring down his receiver, and not knowing when to take some velocity off the ball (this was something identical Kaepernick had to learn) so that his receivers don't have a harder-than-necessary time fielding his throws. Needs a year or two of development, but could be someone that could really benefit from apprenticing under Rivers, McCoy, and Reich.

    [​IMG]
    Sha'Varez Smith (#1) // Wide Receiver // Senior // 6'0 5/8" // 210 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: Lack of high-end long-speed coupled with playing in a mid-major will relegate him to Day-3-at-best; realistically he's probably more of a UDFA candidate. He's got sticky hands though and runs crisp routes. Knows how to use his body to box out defenders and doesn't need to gear-down to make catches in stride. Has had some moments this season with Brandon Bridge where it was akin to Anquan Boldin last season bailing Kaepernick out on some otherwise mediocre throws.

    [​IMG]
    Wes Saxton (#13) // Tight End // Senior // 6'3 5/8" // 240 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: More H-Back than traditional TE, but he's a Swiss Army type player who can line up in the slot, out of the backfield, or in-line - though he does need to certainly improve his blocking if he's going to do the later at the pro level. Reminds a bit of Gator Hoskins from this past draft except with a bit better size. Fantastic YAC ability who runs with a head of steam. Coaches will love his personality and what he brings on the field and the sidelines - because he's just one of those "football players" who "gets it." One AFC East scout has been quoted already as saying he could very well make the argument that Saxton has more upside than any other senior prospect at his position.


    Bowling Green State Falcons:
    [​IMG]
    D.J. Lynch (#7) // Inside Linebacker // Redshirt Senior // 5'11 3/4" // 250 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: Fierce, emotional linebacker who thrives between the hashes and sifting through trash. Needs to improve his awareness and control his emotions better - sometimes gets a bit "too" into it. Strong, powerful hands to shed blocks and rip balls from ball-carriers. He reads the QB well, but where he tends to struggle is being cognizant of where the other moving pieces are around him as he can have a tendency to take his own teammates out of plays. Yes, a tad on the short side, but height can be overcome at the ILB position in the 3-4 with proper arm length (which he appears to have) and technique. Day 3 guy.

    [​IMG]
    Travis Greene (#13) // Running Back/Returner // Redshirt Junior // 5'9 5/8" // 181 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: Already 22, so will likely declare. Lightning bug type who will have to carve a spot as a change-of-pace, complementary option. Legit game-breaking speed and quickness. Former wideout who was shifted to RB and is a natural receiver who does a lot of his damage on wheel routes and screens, but can make some nice plant-and-go cuts to break his route back towards the middle of the field to find a hole in zone coverage. If he declares, draft position will almost assuredly be determined by how he runs, but he's another of those former Florida high school tracksters so if he breaks below the 4.4 threshold, someone is likely to give him a look.
     
  6. The LBC

    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    Miami Beach Bowl -- December 22, 11:00AM PST (ESPN)

    Brigham Young University Cougars:
    [​IMG]
    Bronson Kaufusi (#90) // 5-Tech/Edge-Rusher // Senior // 6'6 5/8" // 263 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: Say what you will, Bronco Mendenhall's BYU program has had a knack for churning out dependable DL prospects and pass-rushers. Kaufusi is a bit light, but he has a frame that can take considerably more bulk and go back to playing the 5-Tech where he was effective playing alongside 2013 Top 5 pick Ziggy Ansah. That said, his junior year, he shed 20 pounds to man the edge/LEO spot in BYU's formation and has been equally as effective. He's got powerful, clean handwork - a good signifier for effective pass-rushers - and nimble footwork and lateral agility. For a guy just below 6'7" he's got quality bend and flexibility and does a fine job hugging tight on his edge rushes. He was a plus-athlete at 290, I'm not seeing it as much at 265, where he just doesn't have the explosive first-step to meet that criteria. I'd be awfully tempted to move him back to the 5-Tech and let him rotate in as a 4-downed-lineman edge player or LEO in the interim, because he simply doesn't have the hips moving backward to drop into coverage at OLB. Does do a good job using his long arms to swat balls at the LOS though. Late Day 2/Early Day 3 guy.

    [​IMG]
    Jordan Leslie (#9) // Wide Receiver // Redshirt Senior // 6'1 5/8" // 215 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: Evidently when you remove Cody Hoffman from BYU's receiving corps, his former running-mate Ross Apo turned into a flaming bag of poo. It's really not surprising why - Apo is slow, rounds his routes, and has only marginal hands. Enter Jordan Leslie, who spent his first 3 seasons of eligibility at UTEP where he earned an engineering degree. Let that not necessarily speak to the guy's intelligence since he also got into a fight with a civilian and making terrorist threats at said civilian over said altercation... which led to his exit from El Paso. He's sneaky explosive though with good size and a bit o' the Boldin in him. Hands are fairly average, but not a liability. Needs to clean up his routes some, but has the tools to make them really lethal. A la Boldin, he'll be available from mid-Day-2 onward because he's simply not going to run the requisite 40-time for teams to prioritize him over other guys at his position. Also will be 24 at the start of his rookie season.

    [​IMG]

    Craig Bills (#20) // Strong Safety // Redshirt Senior // 6'0 5/8" // 205 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: Traditional in-the-box safety with a reputation for bone-jarring hits. Decent lateral agility and dependable at covering anything in front of him, but if someone gets past him he's pretty well screwed because he just doesn't have the pace to keep up with even your above-average-athleticism TE's. Needs to have someone playing over top of him or he'll be a liability. Still can have value as a special teamer, but likely UDFA type.

    [​IMG]

    Robertson Daniel (#4) // Safety/Cornerback // Senior // 6'0 5/8" // 198 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: Safety-turned-corner who may be better off going back to safety if teams are willing to look back some character issues (was suspended for the season opener against UConn along with fellow starting corner Jordan Johnson for "violating the BYU honor code" - granted, Te'o also violated the same code by drinking when he was a recruit on a visit, so take the code with a grain of salt). Daniel was a standout JuCo safety at DeAnza Junior College before transferring to BYU and moving to corner where he has been solid if unspectacular. Might be another prime "3rd safety" fit, though has questionable twitch in his hips to mirror routes of shiftier slot-receivers.


    Memphis Tigers:
    [​IMG]
    Martin Ifedi (#97) // 5-Tech // Redshirt Senior // 6'2 1/2" // 275 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: Smart, heady player constantly looking to cause turnovers. Questionable arm-length. Coming off a September knee injury which was a really bummer for him since he entered the season 1 sack off the Memphis career record as well as needing to show better consistency, particularly in the run game, to bolster his stock from late round/priority UDFA territory. More of a technician than an athlete. Also will play at East/West Shrine Game.

    [​IMG]
    Fritz Etienne (#15) // Safety // Redshirt Senior // 6'1 5/8" // 210 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: Probably best known for his pick-6 of Brett Hundley in a week 2 loss to UCLA, Etienne is a former undersized LB recruit converted to safety and is more comfortable in the box and the mix of things than playing centerfield or 2-high. Despite size and production, strikes me a bit as a JAG. Also will play at East/West Shrine Game.

    [​IMG]

    Bobby McCain (#21) // Cornerback // Senior // 5'10 3/4" // 190 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: One of the better DB's in the AAC. Tough, tenacious corner who doesn't back down from anyone. Can get a bit handsy and overly-aggressive at times, but showing better restraint. Legit playmaking ability - consistently gotten quality YAC after each of his INT's. Contributes every way he can: Defense, special teams, kick returns. Likely Day 3 or UDFA, but should stick on a roster wherever he goes.
     
  7. The LBC

    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    Boca Raton Bowl -- December 23, 3:00PM PST (ESPN)

    Marshall Thundering Herd:
    [​IMG]
    James Rouse (#11) // Defensive End // Redshirt Senior // 6'4 3/4" // 270 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: Arguably Marshall best senior defender - as I highly doubt safety AJ Leggett will declare. Not sure I see the flexibility and athleticism to play OLB, so would obviously need to bulk up and play 5-Tech and not sure he's quite strong enough for that yet. More of a traditional 4-3 DE than having a natural fit in 3-4; possibly at a LDE in a 4-3 Under. Littered injury history (took a medical redshirt, this is actually capping his 6th year at Marshall) likely pushes him to 6th or 7th round stock at best.


    Northern Illinois Huskies:
    [​IMG]
    Akeem Daniels (#3) // Running Back // Senior // 5'7 1/8" // 190 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: Production was definitely down this year as Daniels was recovering from a foot injury/surgery that will definitely need closer inspection. Above average blocker in spite of diminutive size. When fit he had impressive athleticism: 40.5" vertical, 10.5' broad jump, 3.90 pro agility-score. Added value as a returner. Was largely stuck behind go-to back Jordan Lynch as a junior, but did net two long catches against Florida State. Almost certainly a UDFA-only candidate, but solid potential to be a better pro than a collegian if he checks out medically.

    [​IMG]
    Dechane Durante (#1) // Free Safety/Cornerback // Redshirt Junior // 6'1 5/8" // 196 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: Jimmie Ward's running-mate in 2013, but not nearly as freakishly-standout as Ward. Flashes playmaking ability, but largely inconsistent - though in his defense his flashes tend to come in NIU's biggest games. Was primed for a breakout after being out of Ward's shadow and it just didn't come. Has the length, aggression, and athleticism to play slot and safety, but just hasn't put it together. Day 3 at best guy, who might get an uptick from a solid combine if he gets invited.
     
  8. The LBC

    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl -- December 23, 6:30PM PST (ESPN)

    Navy Midshipmen:
    [​IMG]
    Joe Cardona (#93) // Long Snapper // Redshirt Senior // 6'3 1/4" // 236 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: You know what? Yeah. I'm putting a damn long snapper in here. In part because he's probably the guy on Navy's roster with the best chance to actually make a pro roster and also as a tribute to our own former LS David Binn who was the last Navy long snapper to make an NFL roster.


    San Diego State Aztecs:
    [​IMG]
    Ezell Ruffin (#3) // Wide Receiver // Redshirt Senior // 6'0 5/8" // 210 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: Returned to school to graduate following a productive junior season only to break his collarbone in September. Not the red-zone threat you'd hope he would be, but looks as though he could be an effective chain-mover and does have a knack for winning contested balls. Camp-body at worst. Not the prospect that Vincent Brown was. Still, had a chance to elevate to Top 120 status this year and failed to deliver. Could possibly make some noise in camp as a UDFA.

    [​IMG]
    Terry Poole (#79) // Tackle/Guard // Redshirt Senior // 6'5 1/4" // 310 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: Swing-tackle prospect; started all games at LOT this past season after shifting over from RT to replace Bryce Quigley (currently on Chargers' practice squad). I do attribute a fair chunk of Poole's success to junior LG Darrell Green who I'm considerably higher on, but doubtful he'll declare. Still Poole may find some takers late in Day 3 and should have at least done enough to merit a camp invite. He'll look to boost his stock at the East/West Shrine Game, as well.
     
  9. Lance19

    Lance19 BoltTalker

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    Guessing you got this here (or Navy page), or just misinterpreted the passage:

    "On Cardona's "Meet The Mid" profile on Navy Athletics' website,
    he lists his favorite NFL player as David Binn, the former long snapper for the San Diego Chargers."
    http://www.underdogdynasty.com/army...6094401/is-navys-long-snapper-an-nfl-prospect

    At any rate, no, the great Cal Golden Bear was definitely never in the Navy...

    Binn the Bear w: Pam Anderson.jpg
     
  10. The LBC

    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    Yeah... I caught that. I was grinding out stuff and just misread notes of quirky things I'd made along the way. I'd have some writeups on Cal guys... if only they'd been bowl eligible. Ah well. For a later date, I suppose.;)
     
  11. The LBC

    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    Popeye's Bahamas Bowl -- December 24, 9:00AM PST (ESPN)

    Central Michigan Chippewas:
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    Titus Davis (#84) // Wide Receiver // Senior // 6'1 1/2" // 190 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: Off year for the Chippy's; usually they're good for at least one pro-caliber OL prospect, even if it is a guy who may be just depth. This year, the standouts in that department aren't seniors are none are likely to declare. That said, while Davis might be the only legit NFL talent among the CMU seniors, he is most definitely NFL caliber. He could have declared for this last draft and stood a fair chance of a Day 3 selection. I realize that "late rounder out of Central Michigan" doesn't sound like the solution to finding a starting caliber receiver to some, but I've got two words for you: Antonio Brown (6th round selection in 2010 out of CMU). Now, Davis isn't Brown, but he's not completely dissimilar either. Both are slippery route-runners with sharpness to their cuts (no rounding out routes with this guy) and an advanced understanding of selling fakes. Both play faster than they've been timed (Brown ran a 4.56s which is right around where I'm expecting Davis to land - low-to-mid 4.5's) and just have an uncanny knack for getting open. In the MAC, Davis has been flat out uncoverable. Now there's an obvious jump in level of competition that would need to be accomplished, but it's doable. Davis is among my Top 25 WR's in this class and has some serious sleeper potential. Also will play at East/West Shrine Game.


    Western Kentucky Hilltoppers:
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    Cam Thomas (#19) // Cornerback // Redshirt Senior // 6'0 1/4" // 190 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: One of the better corners in Hilltopper history, who has exclusively lined up for WKU on the left-side. Nice fluid hips, solid footwork, and quality ability to mirror receivers. Where WKU's on the unique side to watch their DB's is that they deploy a very similar coverage scheme to what we have (minus the fact that they let their guys press a bit more than we do) - man-cover looks that fade to a Cover-3 zone. Not sure that we're ever going to see Pagano advocate much press-bail technique, but Thomas appears to have the coordination and physical abilities to play effectively with a cushion if asked. And he certainly has the lengthy build (and arms) to be able to contend with taller receivers.
     
  12. The LBC

    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    Hawai'i Bowl -- December 24, 5:00PM PST (ESPN)

    Fresno State Bulldogs:
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    Derron Smith (#13) // Free Safety // Redshirt Senior // 5'10 3/4" // 197 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: Finished the 2013 season as the FBS leader in interceptions and yet was told by the Draft Advisory Committee that he was not projected to be selected in the first three rounds, which served as the nail in the coffin to send him back to Fresno. In this class he's certainly worth a Top 100 selection, and while some think he may tickle the bottom of the 1st round, I think when all is said and done he's the epitome of a solid 2nd round selection with great value thereafter. Because of similar playing style I've seen people want to compare him to Earl Thomas - he doesn't have Thomas' elite athleticism, but he can certainly hold his own. However, like Thomas he is most comfortable sitting in that centerfield role giving opposing quarterbacks substantial pause about even looking at the deep-third. That's not to say that he can't rumble in the box or shies away from contact - he possesses solid vision and is a capable blitzer. I'd actually equate him to a poor-man's Weddle (Eric is superior in man-to-man coverage - but he's also a converted-corner) with more natural hands. Also will play in the Senior Bowl.

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    Tyeler Davison (#92) // Nose Tackle/Defensive Lineman // Redshirt Senior // 6' 1 1/2" // 309 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: More of a penetrating 4-3 NT than a straight-up NG, but the sort that we have found some success with in recent history (Liuget in some aspects, Ricardo Matthews in particular). Needs to develop more sand in his shorts, so to speak - he doesn't get put on skates often, but he does have a tendency to get stalled by iso-blocks more than you'd like. Longer arms than you'd expect from someone his height, but needs to learn to use them better - hand-placement needs to improve and with it he'll be able to keep blockers from getting his chest plate and neutralizing him. Good motor and doesn't give up on plays - will pursue until the play is dead. Needs to learn to protect his knees better from cut-blocks and demonstrate better awareness of plays developing - a bit of a bull-in-a-china-shop type mentality. Lateral agility and footwork are very good though. The tools are there but he needs refinement - but just may lack the instincts to be anything more than a situational pass-rusher; hard to know until he fills out his lower-body a bit more and gets stronger in general. Seen him pegged by some as a 3rd-4th rounders, I have a round later than that (5th).

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    Josh Harper (#3) // Wide Receiver // Redshirt Senior // 6' 0 3/4" // 184 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: Notably smaller than he's billed by Fresno (6'3", 210 lbs). He does play "bigger" than he is. He's in my Top 25 receivers for the class. Rounds off his routes a bit more than I'd like, but has the tools to execute them cleanly; to his defense, he's run his best routes against his toughest competition, he just tends to get a little lax against the softer WAC sides. Good-not-great speed - should run in the high/mid 4.4's - which does translate to field. Did't see more than a marginal difference in production with change of QB's going from Derek Carr in 2013 to Brandon Connette in 2014. Solid mid-round prospect who had good value if he's still around on Day 3. Limited experience returning kicks, but it's there. Also will play in the Senior Bowl.

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    Curtis Riley (#9) // Cornerback // Senior // 5'11 5/8" // 190 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: Maybe more of a "3rd-safety" type. Bit stiff in his hip-flip, but that's more a footwork issue than a flexibility issue - so it can be trained away. Good size and length, and a willing hitter - sometimes a bit too willing; every game I watched of his he drew a PI or Personal Foul call for blasting guys either before the ball had actually arrived or while they were running out of bounds. Very good closing speed. Possible late round gem if he can iron out some creases. May never be "special" but can certainly be solid. I've taken to viewing him a lot like the Ajirotutu of CB's - too talented and consistent to ever let go of, but rarely outstanding enough to merit passing on potential upgrades for. Also will play in East/West Shrine Game.


    Rice Owls:
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    Christian Covington (#1) // 5-Tech Defensive End // Redshirt Junior // 6'2 1/8" // 295 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: Likely to declare, particularly with a good bowl game. Moves quite well for a near-300-pounder. Lines up in the 1-tech for Rice; projects better to the 3-tech or 5-tech as a pro. Quick, upfield attacker that moves well down the line and can shoot gaps on site. Drawn some comparisons to a less-refined Timmy Jernigan. Has some technique to iron out (handwork and grip - particularly as it relates to disengaging and shedding) and some bad habits he needs to sort out (namely the tendency to drop his eyes as well as to increase the variety with which he throws his pass-rushing technique). But any interior DL prospect with the kind of natural athleticism to register as sack on Johnny Football has the tool to play at the next level. Likely falls somewhere in the back half of the Top 64 picks, might slide to the 3rd.

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    Bryce Callahan (#29) // Cornerback // Redshirt Senior // 5'9 5/8" // 180 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: Smart corner who plays hard and physical despite being on the smaller side. Active hands in pass-defense and plays the ball, not the man. Fluid hips; footwork needs to clean up a bit. Not overly impressive athletically, but passable. Not a lot of experience playing in the slot - Rice was stubborn about moving him (Houston took advantage of this by moving their best wideouts into the slot to avoid him). Experienced returner and gunner. Day 3 guy who has enough to make a roster and contribute as quality depth.

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    Jordan Taylor (#15) // Wide Receiver // Redshirt Senior // 6'4 1/4" // 210 lbs.
    LBC's Thoughts: Popped onto radars last year after that oddball tipped pass TD grab against A&M (see link). That play kind of sums up Taylor - he's a Johnny-on-the-Spot in terms of awareness and snagging contested balls, but otherwise he's fairly slow-footed, a bit of a lazy route-runner, and his claim to fame is "being big." He might have a future with some added bulk moving to TE, but as a wideout - short of a sub-package "red-zone target" - he's just another guy. UDFA/Camp-body.
     
  13. The LBC

    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl -- December 26, 10:00AM PST (ESPN)

    Illinois Illini:
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    Jon Davis (#3) // Tight End/H-Back // Senior // 6'2 5/8" // 240 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: Flashed as a true freshman then just... nada. Another one of those guys who just got our hopes up and always left us wanting more. Granted, Illinois has been a pretty lackluster program, but Davis is a guy who looks like he's just coasting - and not in a good way. There's potential that someone could scoop him up as a priority FA and try to turn him into a Swiss Army type player, but that would require him likely carving out a spot on special teams too and at this point I'm not sure how confident in him being able to do that I am.

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    Ted Karras (#69) // Guard // Redshirt Junior // 6'3 5/8" // 300 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: Not expecting him to declare, but it also wouldn't shock me so I'm covering my bases. Third-generation player (grandfather Theodore played for the Steelers and Bears, father Ted played for the Redskins and now coaches Walsh University; great uncle was Alex Karras formerly of the Lions and also the actor who played Mongo in "Blazing Saddles"). Specialty is run-blocking (then again... that's also Illinois' forte on offense). Vocal leader. Loves the game and plays with intensity and a legit mean streak. Very mature prospect - has a veteran demeanor even though he's an underclassman. Film room junkie. Former HS OT who lacked the length to play outside, but has looked like a natural fit playing in the phone-booth on the interior line. Late Day 2 to Early Day 3 guy, largely dependent on what other underclassmen declare; he's a meat-and-potatoes type player so there will be several clubs passing on him because he doesn't project to have an immense ceiling. Smart enough to possibly project to center as well.


    Louisiana Tech Bulldogs:
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    Houston Bates (#94) // Outside Linebacker // Redshirt Senior // 6'2 1/8" // 250 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: So if nothing else, this match-up adds some intrigue because Houston Bates original was a standout for Illinois before transferring closer to home. Good athleticism - actually played OLB/LEO in the Illini's 3-4 before his transfer, starting 14 games (12 in his final season) and finishing second on the team in TFL's. Isn't particularly strong against the run - not a liability but very base-average at-best. It's not for lack of effort, but he's just never quite gotten down converting speed to power, or adding much power to his game, and so he can tend to get washed out or over-pursue. Hips offer some nice swivel but has fairly limited experience dropping into coverage. Will be 25 by start of rookie season. 7th Round/Priority UDFA sort who likely is never going to be more than a situational rusher, but could be a quality PS stash as someone who can be elevated as an infjury-fill and provide a couple splash plays.

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    LeVander Liggins (#13) // Cornerback // Senior // 5'9 5/8" // 191 lbs.
    LBC's Comments: Reads the game well - good understanding of route concepts and reading on the move. Mirrors fairly well. Capable slot corner who is all business defending the middle of the field. On the short side but has quality hops and good closing burst. Willing blitzer and run-defender who can get skinny to avoid blockers and get at backs. Instincts aren't great, but not bad either. Needs to wrap better on his tackling - just gets a little lazy sometimes. Tenacious in bringing guys down when he does latch on, however. Day 3 player who may slip to free agency, but doesn't deserve to. May not be scheme-diverse all across the board (slot and boundary), but can definitely find himself a home in the NFL.

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    Kenneth Dixon (#28) // Running Back // Redshirt Junior // 5'9 5/8" // 220 lbs.
    LBC's Thoughts: Not a plodder, but also not someone who is going to pull away from DB's in the open either. Hits holes HARD with authority. Has a minimal amount of negative runs. Capable pass-catcher and blocker. Has a knack for grinding out effective yards after contact and isn't often brought down with just one hit unless someone cuts his legs out from under him - and even then he's shown instances of good balance and a low base to maneuver out of those tackles. Bit reminiscent of Khiry Robinson. Being slept on a bit right now - but has been highly productive (highly! 3347 yards and 52 rushing TD's, plus 426 yards receiving and 7 receiving TD's in a span of 3 years) sinceh is freshman year and is a strong candidate to declare just due to the mileage on him already at age 20 (~200 touches/season). It's guys like this that make me swear that unless I'm getting an Adrian Peterson caliber RB, I see no reason in investing a pick prior to late Day 2 on the position.
     

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