Written By: Roy Countryman @PreacherBoyRoy
We have finally gotten scouting season kicked off NFL fans! The college all-star game circuit starts this weekend with the East-West Shrine Game and this highly regarded even the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. I am gonna give you seven prospects on offense and defense for each of the squads to key in on for your selective teams.
QB: Nathan Rourke: Ohio
“Air Canada” as he is known, is one of the prized players for all CFL teams being he is a native Canadian, but those teams may have to take a back seat to NFL teams as Rourke is a very dangerous dual-threat QB who has good arm strength, accuracy, touch, and fearlessness to stare down pressure in the face and deliver clutch throws. He has good quickness to elude in the open field as a runner and can pick up some hidden yards in that aspect.
RB: Jonathan Ward: Central Michigan
Ward is a solidly built RB who has terrific quickness and speed to snap off big gains. He runs with good contact balance and a low center of gravity that allows him to shed tackles and make plays on the 2nd and 3rd levels of the defense. Also, an underrated pass catcher who hasn’t had a big opportunity to flash that side of his game.
WR: Omar Bayless: Arkansas State
The 2019 Sun Belt Player of the Year is a tall playmaking force from Arkansas State. He is electric after the catch especially for his size, and he has the strength to get off press at the LOS if a DB decides they want to try and impede him early in his route. He has great hands and has made a number of jaw-dropping highlight catches. He lives at making catches at the highest points and there aren’t many DBs that can match up with him.
WR: Scotty Washington: Wake Forest
Massive target (6’5”) with largest hands and a catching radius that easily is amongst the best in the class. He has a well put together frame and good speed to press the field vertically. He understands how to shield away defenders from the ball and give his QB a target.
TE: Cheyenne (C.J.) O’Grady: Arkansas
O’Grady’s college career ended on a down note after agreeing to leave the Arkansas program after a suspension. He has had some off the field issues, but on the field, he is a pass-catching TE who can be deployed from any number of positions. He is a good route runner and can make some noise after the catch. He isn’t afraid to mix it up in the blocking department as well.
OT: Josh Brown: College of Idaho
Extremely athletic OT who excelled at pulling around the formation on counter traps. He has great foot quickness and balance in space. Great functional athleticism and even caught a TD pass in his career. He is a unique athlete and has a decorated career in track and field in the shot put and hammer throw.
IOL: Jovahn Fair: Temple
A seasoned vet from Temple who has 4-years of starting experience. He was lauded inside the program as a leader and mentor for all of his teammates. Tough and rugged playing demeanor was embodied by him being voted on with the distinction being awarded a single-digit jersey. A little shorter than ideal (6’2”), but makes up for it with strength and intellect.
Edge: Jamir Jones: Notre Dame
Brother of former Notre Dame DL, Jarron Jones so he has good athletic bloodlines. He was never utilized from one designated spot while at Notre Dame, but he flashed after a number of injuries ravaged the depth chart in front of him. In his reps as a pass rusher he won off the edge with a quick first step, power, and even showed the ability to drop back in coverage without looking lost. He is a solid run defender as well who plays assignment sound football.
IDL: Josh Avery: Southeast Missouri
A supremely strong IDL who can two-gap, but also flashes underrated quickness to be able to cross IOL face from time to time. His bread and butter though are to eat up blocks in front of him to allow the playmaking LBs behind him to make plays.
LB: Jordan Fehr: Appalachian State
An athletic marvel who was honored with a selection to the revered, “Freaks List from Bruce Feldman of The Athletic.” He is a hard-nosed run defending LB, who has enough speed to make plays at the end of the formation. He arrives at the ball carrier with power and loves to pop pads with runners. Plays the game with a downhill, attacking mindset.
CB: Michael Jacquet III: Louisiana
A former QB who then transitioned to WR for his first few seasons at Louisiana that finally got the call to switch to CB, and boy he has some intriguing traits to see. He is very raw technique-wise and he leans heavily on his natural athleticism, but he has the work ethic, size, length, speed, instincts, and ball skills to be a big-time lottery ticket to cash in for a patient NFL team.
CB: Levonta Taylor: Florida State
A former 5-star recruit and number 1 ranked CB coming out of high school, who has battled injury during his time at Florida State. When he is on the field he is a big-time performer. He is shorter than ideal but has the hip fluidity, speed, short-area quickness, and footwork to mirror and match anyone. Even though he does have a smaller build he isn’t afraid to get dirty in run support.
S: Will Sunderland: Troy
A king-sized (6’4’) safety prospect who played CB in 2019, he has tremendous length, speed, and play strength he could be a highly coveted cover man for an NFL team because he could be a versatile chess piece in nickel or dime to match up with TEs or big-body slot WRs.
S: Donald Rutledge Jr.: Georgia Southern
Long and lean DB who was a graduate transfer to Georgia Southern from Savannah State. He has large hands and knows how to make plays on errant passes. He has great length, and even some experience at CB so he has the ability to be a valuable cover man in nickel and dime situations.
QB: Nick Tiano: UT-Chattanooga
A one-time Mississippi State Bulldog who lost a QB competition to Nick Fitzgerald he landed on his feet at UT-Chattanooga where he flashed a truly captivating skill set. He is a big (6’5”) passer who has impressive athleticism to move within the confines of the pocket as well as be a running threat down the field. He has all the necessary arm strength and quick release to snap off throws with velocity. He is somewhat raw though when it comes to processing skills so he is a valuable player to pick up as a priority UDFA and let develop on the practice squad.
RB: Sewo Olonilua: TCU
You want someone to be the first one of the bus, this is your guy! Standing at a hulking 6’3” and a beefy 240lbs. He has weight room strength that is legendary around the TCU program, and was named to the celebrated “Freaks List by Bruce Feldman of The Athletic.” I was thoroughly impressed with his tape as he has a unique running ability that is predicated on power and quickness. He is able to drag ball carriers due to forward lean and leg drive and is sure-handed and dangerous pass-catcher who was even utilized out of the slot.
WR: Kendall Hinton: Wake Forest
A converted QB, Hinton runs his route with the nuances of knowing how and where the defenses flaws are. He possesses soft hands and made a number of jaw-dropping catches on tape. He is able to sell his routes with small subtleties that are rare to see for someone so new to the position. He has good speed, but it is his short-area quickness that allows him to win consistently from the slot and out wide.
WR: Aaron Fuller: Washington
A go-to target for Jacob Eason this season, and Jake Browning before that. Fuller is a savvy route runner who has sure hands and always seems to work himself open when the play breaks down. He doesn’t have great size, but his quickness and intelligence will endear him early and often to his QB. He also is a dangerous punt returner. Every time I watch him I get vibes of a Doug Baldwin type slot WR.
TE: Charlie Woerner: Georgia
A highly celebrated recruit who really earned the respect of his teammates with the way he blocked his butt off in the run department. As a pass-catcher, he flashes speed and quickness, as well as strength to drag defenders who try and tackle him high. He is a quality route runner, and I could definitely see him have better stats in the NFL than in college.
OT: Victor Johnson: Appalachian State
A sturdy LT who started over 50 games in his college career. He has an infectious personality and has the athleticism to be able to stick with most pass rushers. As a run blocker, he shows the ability to stick on his blocks and seal the edge.
IOL: John Molchon: Boise State
Athletic IOL who has every trait that you want in a starting caliber OL. He has good length, and understanding of leverage and his hands never stop fighting to try and control the DL. He is a smart player and can identify stunts and twists. Also was another entrant on the” Freaks List by Bruce Feldman of The Atheltic.”
Edge: Qaadir Sheppard: Ole Miss
Possess terrific length to wreak havoc in passing lanes, he is at his best coming off the ball as a 3-4 OLB he flashes a quick first step and closing speed to finish off runners for TFL. He needs to continually add to his pass-rushing repertoire to get to the next level.
IDL: Ray Lima: Iowa State
A solid run defender who understands how to use leverage to his advantage. At times he flashes a quick first step to rock OL back on their heels, but it is his strength and tenacity that allows him to make plays.
LB: Daniel Bituli: Tennessee
Big, burly, and long-run stuffing LB who is at his best pressing the LOS filling rushing lanes. Is willing to take on lead blockers and can defeat the block. He has shown the ability to match up with TEs in coverage and generally keep in a quality coverage position. Was used in a rotation, and didn’t seen a ton of snaps on passing downs.
CB: Amari Henderson: Wake Forest
A feisty cover corner with good height and length. Henderson doesn’t allow a lot of separation with his counterparts. He is willing to get physical throughout the route and has shown the ability to be a pest at the catch point.
CB: Kobe Williams: Arizona State
A player that just keeps getting overlooked throughout his career, whether when he was recruited, to even now going into the draft process. Williams lacks the measurables all talent evaluators look for at first glance, but the one thing you cannot measure about a player is heart, and this guy has it. He does not shy away from any battle no matter how outmatched he is physical. He is instinctive as a cover man who can close in a hurry and has shown the ability to lay some bone-jarring hits. He is quicker than fast and somehow always finds a way to be a pest at the catch point.
S: Jaylinn Hawkins: California
Hawkins was a stalwart in the Cal secondary alongside Ashtyn Davis. He possesses the size to match up with TEs and bigger-bodied WRs due to his length, fluidity, and physicality. As a run defender he fills rushing lanes in hurry and can key in on lanes developing in a hurry. He has good terrific ball skills and instincts to create some game-changing turnovers.
S: Chris Miller: Baylor
Enforcer...the one word that personifies this player’s game. He brings the wood each and every time a ball carrier in his crosshairs. As a pass defender is his smart player who plays assignment sound football but doesn’t flash the playmaking skills that teams want on the back end.