2023 NFL Draft: NFLPA College Bowl Preview
2023 NFL Draft: NFLPA College Bowl Preview
One of the first stops on the long road to the NFL Draft is the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. Game at 11thousand year, will take place on Saturday, January 28thousand, at 6:00 p.m. ET on the NFL Network, a matchup between Team USA and the National Team. While it may not have the biggest names in college football, it has had notable alumni such as Darnell Mooney, Kelvin Beachum and L’Jarius Snead. Maybe Washington will get lucky and find a player like 2018 MVP Troy Apke!
Here are a few players that will be playing in games that I will be keeping an eye on because they could help the Washington Commanders.
Holton Ahlers, QB, East Carolina – All-American
Mark me as someone who thinks Sam Howell should start next season, but if I was going to pick a QB from the group playing in this game, it would be Ahlers. Statistically, he was one of the leading passers in the nation with top ten yards, 28 TDs against just 5 INTs, a 67% completion percentage. If he goes undrafted I would consider signing him and see if he can make the practice squad.
Chris Smith, RB, UL-Lafayette – All-American
Smith is here for one reason: the kick returns. While he doesn’t have elite traits, he looks like he can read blocks well and burst through holes to give himself a chance for a spectacular return.
CJ Johnson, WR, East Carolina – All-American
Johnson caught my attention in Week 5 of the season and I think he is the best WR prospect in this game. Washington doesn’t need a wideout, but if Johnson is somehow around on Day 3, I’d take him as depth this year and replace Curtis Samuel after that.
Johnny Lumpkin, TE, UL-Lafayette – All-American
If we can’t get Georgia’s Darnell Washington, why not get his doppelgänger. Lumpkin is 6’5″, 273 pounds, and athletic enough to contribute on the pass rush. I want to see how well he blocks. At this size it shouldn’t be a problem.
LA TE Johnny Lumpkin is a true Y TE who blocks with intent at 6’6″, 275. He has enough athleticism to show good target coverage and, while not the fastest player, can be a bear to tackle shoot down in the open field. #SnapScout23 pic.twitter.com/RCihxNHvF2
— Chad Reuter (@chad_reuter) June 15, 2022
Jovan Gwynn, OG, South Carolina – National Team
Good lineman who started 34 straight games for the Gamecocks. He is considered one of the strongest players on the team and was a team captain last season despite being small for the position at 6’2”, 301 pounds. He is good at drawing out and putting defenders in space. I’ll see how he does in pass protection.
The Jovaughn Gwyn (South Carolina RG 54) is a very intriguing IOL that caught my eye. Experienced player with over 2,200 snaps and 34 career starts. Has a flexible lower half, appears to have heavy arms and appears to be able to move in space. Want to watch more! pic.twitter.com/1djGLKjxaQ
— Russell Brown (@RussNFLDraft) August 4, 2022
Siddi Sow, Oga, Eastern Michigan – All-American team
Canada’s Siddy Sow is a big man at nearly 6’5″ and 329 pounds, and with that size comes a lot of power. He easily moves players in the run game and is difficult to move when he is pass blocking. He has a tendency to lower back, but the coach needs to fix that. Could he have played for any other team with the name Owl?
Last player to watch out for: #EVS LG Sidi Sow. Effective use of hands and Mauler as a run blocker show active hands in Pass Pro. Clears paths and walkways. Very interesting to see how he dares tonight.
— Devin Jackson (@RealD_Jackson) November 2, 2021
Tashaun Manning, Oga, Kentucky – All-American
You wouldn’t guess it by looking at the tape, but Manning went from DT to OG at Auburn before going to Kentucky. He’s a nice 6’3″, 330-pounder, and he’s good at mirroring and anchoring defenders in the passing game. Looking forward to seeing how he performs in the run game.
Unexpected find: Auburn transfer Tashaun Manning will be on the front lines defending Will Lewis at Kentucky.
I like what I saw on tape. Even more excited for what’s in store this fall! pic.twitter.com/6ajukdkg3h
— Full Time Woman (@DP_NFL) July 19, 2022
Brandon Kiper, OT, Oregon State – All-American
A transfer from Hawaii with wrestling experience, Kiper has good size for the position at just under 6-foot-6 and 326 pounds. His best trait is using leverage to control defenders. I look to see if he has enough athleticism to stick in OT at the next level.
DJ Scaife, Jr., OG, Miami – National Team
One of the best pass defenders in the game, Scaife Jr. has a solid anchor and is great at picking up blockers and blocking hands to keep them off his body. I’d like to see him improve as a run blocker. Sometimes he stops moving his legs on contact, creating a very weak push.
Corey Durden, DT, NC State – All-American
He’s no Darron Payne, but Corey Durden has shined as an interior pass rusher. His biggest issue is consistency, but he could be valuable depth on the defensive line.
Mikel Jones, LB, Syracuse – All-American
Jones is an athletic midfielder who has put up very good stats, but whose game can be improved. Despite coming downfield more often than in coverage, he had four interceptions two seasons ago. If Washington wants a speedy linebacker to serve as depth and develop if they’re unsure about Jamin Davis long-term, Jones should be in the running.
Isaiah Bolden, CB, Jackson State – National Team
Bolden can help in two areas. He was a quality cover for the Bulldogs despite having no picks in his career. He is also a solid kickoff and punt returner, returning two kickoffs for a touchdown in 2021.
CJ Coldon, CB, Oklahoma – All-American
Coldan scored four times at Oklahoma while playing what looked like zone coverage. At just under 5ft 11in tall, can he survive outside? Does he have enough man coverage ability when pressed?
Jason Taylor II, S, Oklahoma State – National Team
If the team is considering moving on from Bobby McCain or providing depth, I like Taylor to fill his role. Taylor has good range from the middle of the field and great hands. I will be watching to see if he has the movement skills to get down and play inches.
Macon Clark, C, Tulane – National Team
Macon Clark is physical. While he plays aggressively around the line of scrimmage, he can also drop coverage. If we plan to play three more safeties next year, having good depth at that position is critical. Also, Jeremy Reaves is a free agent this season, and Cam Curl and Bobby McCain will be free agents next year. Safety can quickly turn from a strength to a weakness for the Commanders.
Quindell Johnson, S, Memphis – All-American
If you’re interested in coverage security, Johnson fits the bill. He had four interceptions this season using his instincts to jump passes or read the QB’s eyes. I would like to see if he can be a more physical attacker and if he has man coverage skills.
Memphis Quindell Johnson is just playing. He tackles well and is a solid defender. Good burst of closing speed to attack the ball at the catch point. Good player! pic.twitter.com/yhPD6Xnz3J
— Robert Cardona (@CARDONAFAM29) May 9, 2022
A complete list of NFLPA Collegiate Bowl players can be found here here. What do you think of these players and are there any players you’re looking forward to seeing in the game?
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