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Updated - todays games

Discussion in 'Draft Zone' started by Nors, Dec 30, 2004.

  1. Nors

    Nors Benched

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    Ware to watch!!!!
    DE - BC
    JJ Arington - RB!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Riddle DE/LB


    Who to watch in today's college bowl game
    (Ed. note: Over the course of this year's bowl season we take a look at the players to watch in each game with an eye toward the 2005 draft).
    Thursday, December 30th

    Continental Tire Bowl; 1 PM ET; ESPN
    Boston College versus North Carolina

    Football fans can get warmed up for an intriguing weekend of college football with four games today. And, least for draft watchers, the game to see today could very well be the opener when Boston College takes on North Carolina in the Continental Tire Bowl, not because the two will be conference rivals next season when BC moves to the ACC, but because of the presence of a potential first pick overall at the upcoming draft. Indeed, in a year in which there doesn't appear to be a consensus #1 selection among this year's senior class, Boston College junior DE Mathias Kiwanuka (#94, 6-8, 255) is one of several top underclassmen with the potential to move into that spot; and if he's not the first player selected this year, assuming of course that he opts to turn pro this year, the 'Stork-like' Kiwanuka won't have to wait long to hear his name called on April 23rd after dominating Big East opposition as he posted 10 sacks and 19.5 total tackels for loss. Kiwanuka, though, is only one of several BC underclassmen pro scouts can't wait to get their hands on. Junior CB Will Blackmon (#1, 6-0, 200), who doubles as an outstanding kick returner, for example, could contest to be one of the first 4-5 CBs off the board were he to enter this year's draft, while hulking sophomore OT Jeremy Trueblood (#72, 6-8, 315) and athletic freshman LB Brian Toal (#16, 6-1, 223) are exciting future prospects.

    While the Eagles' top prospects are underclassmen, Boston College does feature some quality second-tier seniors including TE Dave Kashetta (#86, 6-4, 255), a rugged in-line blocker who has excellent hands but lacks real speed; WR Grant Adams (#5, 6-1, 200); DT Tim Bulman (#96, 6-4, 285); FS T.J. Stancil (#23, 6-1, 212); and CB Peter Shean (#19, 5-9, 180), although none is likely to be more than a mid-second day selection. The Eagles also get a break in the Continental Tire Bowl in that veteran QB Paul Peterson (#18, 6-0, 185) will be back in the lineup after missing several weeks with a hand injury.

    Meanwhile, North Carolina will ride athletic QB Darian Durant (#4, 5-11, 200) one more time when the Tar Heels tangle with Boston College. Durant, in fact, is one of the most underrated all-around QBs in college football, but at under 5-11 and with an accurate, but not overly strong arm, is not much more than a fringe draft prospect. Indeed, the Tar Heels best prospect for 2005 is veteran C Jason Brown (#72, 6-3, 330), a classic roadgrader type who reportedly has lost some weight which should increase his quickness in pass protection. On the other side of the ball, the UNC defense got a real boost with the addition of FS Gerald Sensabaugh, (#14, 6-2, 210), a big hitter who led the team in tackles after transferring from Division 1-AA East Tennessee State which gave up football. Other Tar Heels to watch include FB Madison Hedgecock (#44, 6-3, 260); versatile RBs Chad Scott (#6, 5-9, 195) and Jacque Lewis (#20, 5-10, 190); OT Willie McNeill (#76, 6-5, 295); TE Jon Hamlett (#86, 6-5, 255); and run-stuffing DT Jonas Seawright (#69, 6-5, 335).

    Emerald Bowl; 4:30 PM ET; ESPN2
    New Mexico versus Navy

    At first glance, this appears to be one of those games one watches just for fun. And the Midhipmen, in particular, are one of the good stories in college football as Navy has rebounded from years of floundering at sea to win 17 games this past couple of years enroute to their second srtraight bowl game. And pro scouts will be paying more than just passing interest in Navy which hasn't sent many players to the league in recent years, however, leading the way for the Middies is bruising FB Kyle Eckel (#32, 5-11, 240), arguably the closest thing to a young Mike Alstott to come out of the college football ranks since, well Mike Alstott. There's a similar story for FS Josh Smith (#33, 6-2, 205), who would also star for just about any program in the country, while slotback Eric Roberts (#34, 5-10, 195) doesn't actually play an NFL position - he's a combination RB/WR - however, Roberts has been a big-play waiting to happen during his academy career.

    Come April 2005, New Mexico could also be a graet story as the Lobos have as much potential talent for the 2005 draft as any program outside the ranks of the traditional powers in college football. Junior RB DonTrell Moore (#22, 5-11, 215), for example, is a potential late first round pick if he enters the 2005 draft. Moore doesn't have sprinter speed; he'll also put the ball on the ground on occasion, but he combines power with explosive quickness and terrific instincts. While still just a junior, Moore already has over 3,600 career rushing yards, including 1,100 this fall, largely against stacked defenses. And for good measure, Moore is also a good receeiver coming out of the backfield. Moore runs behind a huge offensive line that averages over 320 pounds per man and is anchored by rugged OT Claude Terrell (#76, 6-3, 330), who lines up at LT, but projects to be one of the top OGs in the 2005 draft class. The Lobos' OL also features one of the top Cs in the country in junior C Ryan Cook (#6-3, 6-6, 340). The Lobos also have something of a rising star in the sedcondary in CB Brandon Payne (#28, 6-0, 190) who picked off 6 passes this season. The pros area lso intrigued by the pure pass-rush potential of OLB Fola Fashola (#33, 5-11, 210), who overcame a torn ACL last year to post 8 sacks nd 15 QB hurries coming off the edge this fall; Fashola, though, is an odd-size even for an OLB. No such problems for rangy LB Nick Speegle (#89, 6-5, 240), one of the better pure SSLB prospects around. Meanwhile, SS Josh Bazinet (#37, 5-11, 210) also emerged as a playmaker this season.

    Holiday Bowl; 8 PM ET; ESPN
    California versus Texas Tech

    This is one that even pro scouts would likely pay to get into see as both teams can put points on the board. California, for example, is lead by QB Aaron Rodgers (#8, 6-2, 210), who may ultimately challenge for the #1 grade prior to the 2005 draft. Meanwhile, Bears' RB J.J. Arrington (#30, 5-11, 210), is moving up draft boards around the NFL after a breakout year in which he ran for over 1,800 yards, averaging 7.0 yards per carry along the way. Arrington is a very good all-around back with speed and receiving skills. The Bears also feature a solid possession receiver in WR Geoff McArthur (#6, 6-1, 200), who was slowed by an arm injury this fall, though he still had 57 recptions after hauling in 85 for 1,500 yards and 10 TDs in 2003. It all works, in large part, because of a terrific offensive front anchored by a pair of quality juniors in athletic C Marvin Philip (#54, 6-2, 295) and OT Ryan O'Callaghan (#61, 6-6, 340)Meanwhile, the strength of the Cal defense is an all-senior front seven anchored by run-stuffing DT Lorenzo Alexander (#76, 6-3, 300) and DE Ryan Riddle (#90, 6-3, 250), a tweener with a burst who ripped Pac 10 opposing offensive fronts for 14.5 sacks this fall. Cal also has a cadre of 6-1, 230-pound type LBs who can run including MLB Wendell Hunter (#40, 6-1, 230) and OLB Joe Maningo (#9, 6-1, 230), while a very good secondary is lead by safeties Ryan Gutierrez (#23, 6-0, 190) and Matt Giordano (#20, 6-0, 190).

    Meanwhile, Texas Tech just keeps churning out gunslingers. First it was record-setting QB Kliff Kingsbury, then record-setting B.J. Symons. This year it was Sonny Cumbie (#15, 6-4, 210) who took over the high-octane Red Raiders' offense which barely skipped a beat. replace Symons. Like his predecessors, Cumbie, who completed 66% of his pass attempts for 4,200 yards this fall, has the tools, including a strong arm and decent mobility, although again like his predecessors will have to deal with concerns whether its the player or the system. to keep the Red Raiders' aerial circus in full-flight. Cumbie has a number of excellent targets in WRs Trey Haverty (#7, 6-0, 200) and Nehemiah Glover (#6, 5-8, 180), though super sophomore Jarret Hicks (#88, 6-4, 210) is the unit's star. The Red Raiders also feature a big, experienced offensive front anchored by OT Daniel Loper (#6-6, 330), a massive, physical RT prospect, along with OG Cody Campbell (#64, 6-4, 315) and C Dylan Gandy (#77, 6-3, 295). While the Texas Tech passing offense gets all the attention, the Red Raiders' have a decent prospect on the other side of the line in DE Ardell Duckett (#91, 6-4, 265), one of the top pure pass rushers in the country. Duckett, though, saw his production fall to just 3 sacks this year after he piled up 14 last fall. Meanwhile, MLB Mike Smith (#46, 6-3, 245) has some size and upfield quickness.

    Silicon Valley Bowl; 11 PM ET; ESPN2
    Northern Illinois versus Troy

    No one is going to call this a 'must-see' nightcap to the day's action, unless one is from Troy or Northern Illinois. Troy fans, in particular, are excited because its the team's first ever bowl. Both sides, though, have players that will keep pro scouts up until the wee hours this evening. Troy RB DeWhitt Betterson (#9, 6-0, 220), a big back with a bit of a burst, is a bit aof a sleeper at the position after he rushed for almost 1,200 yards in each of the last two seasons. Meanwhile, Troy DE Demarcus Ware (#94, 6-4, 225) has been one of the most disruptive outside pass rushers in college football, posting 26 sacks and 54 total tackles for loss the past three seasons. However, while he explodes of the snap, Ware isn't overly big and likely will have to find a niche as a pass rushing OLB at the next level. Same story for FS Derrick Ansley (#10, 6-0, 175) who has 19 career picks, but is also small by pro standards for the position; despite the lack of bulk, though, Ansley has over 300 career tackles. OT Henry Tellis (#60, 6-5, 310), on the other hand, has the size to play on Sundays, but may lack the overall athleticism to be effective at the next level.

    Meanwhile, Northern Illinois, making its first bowl appearance in over two decades - and especially after last year's 10-2 team was snubbed - may be even happier to be in San Jose than even the Troy folks. Like their Sun Belt Conference opponents, NIU likely won't have any players early in the 2005 draft, however, the Huskies have some depth. OT Jake VerStraete (#68, 6-6, 315), for example, is a technically sound, high energy OT who is as smart as they come, at least among college offensive linemen; however, while VerStraete is a rugged drive blocker, he lacks the overall athleticism to rate as more than a pure RT prospect. On the other side of the ball, LB Brian Atkinson (#38, 6-1, 225) is a very productive backer with reported 4.6 speed who can make plays in both directions, although he isn't overly big. Meanwhile, WR Dan Sheldon (#5, 5-11, 175) is one of the top punt returners in the country, this fall, Sheldon, averaged almost 17 yards per return. And just for good measure, Sheldon is also a big-play WR who has averaged close to 24 yards per catch this season. Also keep an eye on DE Travis Moore (#56, 6-2, 245); FS Lionel Hickenbottom (#9, 6-0, 200); CB Rob Lee (#27, 6-1, 195) and TE Brad Cieslak (#89, 6-3, 260).Then there's sensational sophomore RB Garrett Wolfe (#1, 5-7, 175), a smurf who still ran for 1,600 yards and 17 TDs this fall.

    If you have comments or suggestions, e-mail the Editor, Great Blue North Draft Report. The GBN can also be reached by phone at (613) 727-3388; by fax at (613) 951-0387; or regular mail at PO Box 5282, Merivale Depot,
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K2C 3H5.
  2. Bobo

    Bobo New Member

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    Keeping my eye on Kiawanuka, and he's looking a little better than I expected. Very quick and athletic. Could use some more bulk, but has still made some plays in the run game. Looks like a little skinnier version of Jason Taylor, and looks like more of an athlete than Pollack.

    They're saying he's leaning towards staying....but you can never go by that :p
  3. Bobo

    Bobo New Member

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    7 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 FF, and a few QB hurries today for Kiwi.....come to Big D young man!!! :D
  4. chicago JK

    chicago JK Well-Known Member

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    I am not watching the games today and I haven't seen Navy play this year, but last year I really liked FB Kyle Echol. He is a old school player who is sorta like Alstott without all the hype. I know the Navy players have obligations after their schooling, so Echol will probably be undrafted. Although I wouldn't be upset if we used a second day pick on him. He would have no problem doing what Barnes does...but would do it better. Not sure if he can catch though.

    Plus Ron Wolf lives in Annapolis and has season tickets to Navy's games. If Wolf thinks he is a player I wonder if he will whisper in Parcells ear. He is a fun guy to watch play.
  5. Bobo

    Bobo New Member

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    I noticed Ekols earlier in the year and thought he looked good. I really didn't get to check out his blocking or recieving, but he sure is one tough runner. If he's a solid blocker, I can see him being an improvement at FB.

    Still would like to see Polite though.
  6. zagnut

    zagnut New Member

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    Outside of some of the New Year's games, bowl games tend not to be real good indicators of a player's ability. HOWEVER, this will be the first chance I'll be able to see Demarcus Ware. Very interested to see if he's as good as advertised.

    -

    I wanted to be interested in Kiwanuka. I tried all year. I must have watched BC 6 or 7 times in 2004 and a handful of times in 2003. He hardly ever did anything. I lost interest. He's just not physical. For all the comparisons to Kearse, Kearse is honestly (I hate to admit) pretty physical, strong, and aggressive.
  7. chicago JK

    chicago JK Well-Known Member

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    First time I have watched JJ Arringon tonight. In the first quarter he has been very impressive. Probably with the backs in front of him and how RBs tend to drop, he will probably be a second or third round back.

    BTW, Cal has a freshman running back who the announcers are drooling over. He is averaging 9 yards per carry this year. The coaching staff is also very high on him. If I remember correctly Mel Kiper in one of his chats said he is not far behind Adrian Peterson as the best freshman running back as far a potential goes. His last name is Lynch.
  8. zagnut

    zagnut New Member

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    Was DeMarcus Ware hurt?

    Seemed like he was rotated out a lot more often than I was expecting for a senior leader. Kind of a sloppy game. Just before the half he over pursued badly, lost containment and let the QB go around him along the right side of the field for a TD. As he tried to rectify and catch up he got crushed on a block coming the other way. De-cleated.

    He has phenomenal accleration and agility, even on a wet, sloppy field and pouring rain. Aggressive in pursuit. Agile in space. Looks like he could play OLB in both the 3-4 or the 4-3 with some time and food. Tough to really get a feel on him.
  9. zagnut

    zagnut New Member

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    Also, the No. Ill. QB was pretty impressive between the ears. Josh Haldi. Protected the ball very well. Never forced anything. Good recognition of what the defense was giving him. Has some nice mobility. Efficient. Solid arm, though tough to tell with the game conditions. In command of his squad. From what I've read, he historically takes really good care of the football.

    2003: 25 TD/9 INT.
    2004: 15 TD/4 INT.

    Might be a good late round or undrafted free agent pick up.

    Apparently also 1 of 8 finalists for the NCAA Division 1-A National Scholar Athlete of the Year.
  10. Nors

    Nors Benched

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    only saw parts of Cal getting dumped. Arrington is a nice prospect - I'm putting him up to 2nd round grade.

    Rodgers? Very uninpressed - but only 1 game. I'm not sold on him as a top 10.

    Missed Ware - I bet he tears up Combine if invited.
  11. InmanRoshi

    InmanRoshi Zone Scribe

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    I agree. I've watched him 5 or 6 times, and he just doesn't excite me. He's a lot more of a project than an instant impact kind of guy.

    If there's a physical freak outside pass rusher like Kearse in this draft, I would probably have to say its Justin Tuck (who also has "The Freak" nickname).

    As I posted in another thread, JJ Arrington is too straight line for my taste. I also wouldn't get too carried away by what he's doing to Texas Tech's D-line, because they make every RB look like Walter Payton. But he does have a nice balance of speed and power.
  12. Tio

    Tio Armchair QB

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    Ill be off to the sun bowl guys (purdue and ASU I think)

    ANyone you want me to watch?
  13. DallasCowpoke111

    DallasCowpoke111 Benched

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    You're going, and you don't know who's PLAYING!!?? Ummm, have a good time I guess, "Nancy!"

    :p
  14. InmanRoshi

    InmanRoshi Zone Scribe

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    I'm just not that entralled about drafting a transplanted African at passrusher who's athletically gifted but a longterm project in the first round ... the last time we tried that it didn't go too well.
  15. Nors

    Nors Benched

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    #97 Alabama

    Anthony Bryant, 6-3 340

    Plays the NT in their 3-4 sets. I have watched the whole game and he has either blown uo the Center or engulfed 2 Oline. He never goes backwards. :)
  16. InmanRoshi

    InmanRoshi Zone Scribe

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    I've had my eye on Bryant for a while. He's a team leader too. His drawback is that he can't rush the passer to save his life. I think he has something like 1 sack in the past two years. Strictly a Ted Washington type.
  17. Nors

    Nors Benched

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    He easily engulfed 2 Oline all day. One on one he collapsed pocket. I saw him make penetration and never went backwards. Nice day 2 thought. You can't teach 340 pounds.
  18. Tio

    Tio Armchair QB

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    don't really pay attention to small time bowl games, I got invited to go last night...

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