Seasons Greetings 49er Faithful! We continue our college football bowl coverage breakdown highlighting and profiling a few notable draft-eligible prospects you should pay attention to. This will help people build a list of names to know when we get into the offseason. In today's bowl action we take a look at Southern Mississippi vs. Florida State match-up, Iowa vs. Boston College match-up, Arizona vs. Purdue match-up, and Texas vs. Missouri match-up.
For today, we specifically focus on areas of positional needs for the 49ers. Wide receiver, cornerback, offensive tackle, and the edge position are highlighted. So, sit back, put your scouting hat on, and let's get things started with today's action.
* = indicates junior status
** = indicates redshirt sophomore status
Walk-On’s Independence Bowl
Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles vs. Florida State Seminoles
Conference Affiliations: Conference USA vs. ACC
Location: Shreveport, LA | Independence Stadium
Game time: 10:30 AM PT
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Bowl gift swag: Gift suite; Timely Watch Co. watch; New Era skull cap; football.
Southern Mississippi's draft-eligible prospect to keep an eye on:
WR Allenzae Staggers, No. 15, 6’1” - 190 lbs., 4.54 40 - (7th)
WR Allenzae Staggers is a lean explosive receiver that wins with excellent athleticism blowing by defenders taking the top off coverages. The three sport (football, basketball, and baseball) high school star athlete displays great burst off the line, a smooth playmaker on the field with a good ability to utilize suddenness to break in and out of his cuts and separate from defenders, and showcases soft hands with great ball skills.
The former Community College transfer from Last Chance U, displays solid size and fair strength, but will need to bulk up for the next level. Staggers was current 49ers’ QB Nick Mullins star receiver in 2016 posting up 63 receptions, 1,165 yards, averaging 18.5 yards with 7 touchdowns. With Mullins out of the picture in 2017, Staggers production dipped to 43 receptions, 469 yards, averaging 10.9 yards with 5 touchdowns.
Other Golden Eagles to keep an eye on:
RB Ito Smith, No. 25, 5’9” - 195 lbs., 4.50 40 - (7th-UDFA)
WR Isaiah Jones, No. 88, 6’4” - 195 lbs., 4.64 40 - (7th-UDFA)
DE Xavier Thigpen, No. 32, 6’5” - 240 lbs., 4.86 40 - (UDFA)
CB Cornell Armstrong, No. 3, 5’11” - 180 lbs., 4.56 40 - (UDFA)
FS Tarvarius Moore, No. 18, 6’2” - 190 lbs., - (UDFA)
Florida State’s draft-eligible prospect to keep an eye on:
*CB Tarvarus McFadden, No. 4, 6’2” - 198 lbs., 4.49 40 - (1st)
CB Tarvarus McFadden is a top corner prospect with excellent ball skills, fluidity, length, and awareness. Playing very well with his back against the ball, McFadden displays smooth footwork, good hip fluidity, decent change of direction skills, solid covering skills (nice recovery staying on hip pocket) and one of the top defenders in tracking the ball (8 interceptions in 2016 and was mostly avoided in 2017). He shows excellent body control and instincts high pointing balls with great hands.
McFadden displays aggression and physicality in press and has active hands, but will need to show more quality snaps in zone and off man coverage; nevertheless, he does have solid burst and closing speed. He will hit with explosion in run support, but needs more consistency, and long speed is questionable.
Other Seminoles to keep an eye on:
*WR Auden Tate, No. 18, 6’5” - 225 lbs., 4.58 40 - (4th)
OT Rick Leonard, No. 76, 6’7” - 306 lbs., 4.89 40 - (7th-UDFA)
*DE Josh Sweat, No. 9, 6’5” - 250 lbs., 4.76 40 - (2nd)
DT Derrick Nnadi, No. 91, 6’1” - 312 lbs., 5.17 40 - (2nd)
OLB Jacob Pugh, No. 16, 6’4” - 229 lbs., 4.78 40 - (7th-UDFA)
OLB Matthew Thomas, No. 6, 6’3” - 227 lbs., 4.67 40 - (7th)
ILB Ro’Derrick Hoskins, No. 18, 6’2” - 240 lbs., 4.86 40 - (UDFA)
FS/SS Nate Andrews, No. 29, 6’0” - 214 lbs., 4.62 40 - (6th)
SS Trey Marshall, No. 20, 6’0” - 210 lbs., 4.57 40 - (6th-7th)
**SS Derwin James, No. 3, 6’2” - 211 lbs., 4.52 40 - (1st)
New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Boston College Eagles
Conference Affiliations: Big Ten vs. ACC
Location: Bronx, NY | Yankee Stadium
Game time: 2:15 PM PT
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Bowl gift swag: Variety of New Era products.
Iowa's draft-eligible prospect to keep an eye on:
ILB Josey Jewell, No. 43, 6’2” - 236 lbs., 4.72 40 - (2nd)
ILB Josey Jewell is a tackling machine with elite instincts and one of my favorite linebacker prospects I have fallen in love with over the past two seasons. He is an explosive athlete with decent range, balance, flexibility, change of direction skills, strength, and burst. Jewell showcases solid sideline-to-sideline ability covering a lot of ground with nice speed, agility, quickness, and physicality, but it’s his amazing high football IQ and instincts setting him apart from many prospects easily reading run keys with the play speed (straight-line speed with a burst) to track down the football with impressive closing speed.
Jewell is good as a run and chase linebacker with solid explosion and great tackling hitting with explosion. He shows solid skills taking on blockers at the point of attack winning with leverage separating with violent and powerful hands stacking and shedding. He has improved in coverage showing sound awareness and instincts (although not overly athletic, he’s always around the football), and great burst with closing speed. Tremendous leader with a high work ethic and desire to always improve his game.
Other Hawkeyes to keep an eye on:
RB Akrum Wadley, No. 25, 5’11” - 195 lbs., 4.54 40 - (4th-5th)
RB James Butler, No. 20, 5’9” - 210 lbs., 4.58 40 - (6th-7th)
WR Matt VandeBerg, No. 89, 6’1” - 195 lbs., 4.54 40 - (7th-UDFA)
OG/C Sean Welsh, No. 79, 6’3” - 295 lbs., 5.10 40 - (4th-5th)
DT Nathan Bazata, No. 99, 6’2” - 287 lbs., 4.93 40 - (7th)
OLB Ben Niemann, No. 44, 6’3” - 230 lbs., 4.74 40 - (7th-UDFA)
OLB Bo Bower, No. 41, 6’2” - 235 lbs., - (7th-UDFA)
*CB Joshua Jackson, No. 15, 6’1” - 192 lbs., 4.50 40 - (2nd)
SS Miles Taylor, No. 19, 6’0” - 203 lbs., 4.59 40 - (6th-7th)
Boston College's draft-eligible prospect to keep an eye on:
DE Harold Landry, No. 7, 6'3" - 250 lbs., 4.76 40 - (1st)
DE Harold Landry is a technically sound refined edge prospect with bend, decent size, and outstanding first-step quickness. He displays excellent burst off the edge winning with speed, agility, and great technique in concert with his athleticism to quickly engage, bend, and dip his shoulder getting underneath blockers flattening out with nice balance and body control finishing and closing hitting with explosive power behind his pads. Tremendously skilled converting speed into power, Landry wins flying and flattening off the edge and taking advantage of his elite Gumby-like bendability and impressive inside moves.
Other Eagles to keep an eye on:
OT Marcell Lazard, No. 74, 6'6" - 308 lbs., 5.33 40 - (UDFA)
OLB Ty Schwab, No. 10, 6'0" - 229 lbs., 4.76 40 - (UDFA)
ILB Connor Strachan, No. 13, 6'0" - 237 lbs., - (UDFA)
CB Isaac Yiadom, No. 20, 6'1" - 190 lbs., 4.52 40 - (6th-7th)
CB Kamrin Moore, No. 5, 5'11" - 195 lbs., 4.57 40 - (6th)
Foster Farms Bowl
Arizona Wildcats vs. Purdue Boilermakers
Conference Affiliations: Pac-12 vs. Big Ten
Location: Santa Clara, CA | Levi’s Stadium
Game time: 5:30 PM PT
Bowl gift swag: Fossil watch; Sony XB950N1 extra bass noise cancelling headphones; Timbuk2 backpack; coin, $25 Apple iTunes gift card.
Arizona's draft-eligible prospect to keep an eye on:
CB Dane Cruikshank, No. 9, 6’1” - 206 lbs., 4.52 40 - (7th)
CB Dane Cruikshank is an athletic and strong defensive back with great length and versatility. With the ability to play safety and corner at the next level, Cruikshank is best keeping things in front of him, where he is better in zone and off-man coverage displaying decent awareness locating balls with great explosion and closing speed. He shows solid aggressive in run support and will need to earn his roster spot on special teams at the next level.
Other Wildcats to keep an eye on:
RB Nick Wilson, No. 28, 5’10” - 208 lbs., 4.54 40 - (6th-7th)
OT Layth Friekh, No. 58, No. 6’5” - 282 lbs., 5.06 40 - (7th-UDFA)
OT Gerhard De Beer, No., 67, 6’7” - 320 lbs., 5.28 40 - (7th-UDF)
OG Jacob Alsadek, No. 78, 6’7” - 315 lbs., 5.37 40 - (7th)
OLB DeAndré Miller, No. 32, 6’3” - 236 lbs., 4.79 40 - (UDFA)
Purdue's draft-eligible prospect to keep an eye on:
ILB Ja’Whaun Bentley, No. 4, 6’2” - 250 lbs., 4.92 40 - (7th-UDFA)
ILB Ja’Whaun Bentley is a physical thumper in the box inside linebacker that excels in attacking downhill. Lee displays a great combination of bulk-ability, strength, fair speed, and athleticism, as well as showcasing great instincts reading run keys with the play speed to track down the ball inside and outside of the box. Shows solid ability taking on the run at the point of attack separating with explosive hands, athleticism, and decent leverage. A very strong reliable tackler that will be a two-down backer at the next level.
Other Boilermakers to keep an eye on:
DE/OLB Danny Ezechukwu, No. 36, 6’2” - 242 lbs., 4.83 40 - (UDFA)
Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl
Texas Longhorns vs. Missouri Tigers
Conference Affiliations: Big 12 vs. SEC
Location: Houston, TX | NRG Stadium
Game time: 6:00 PM PT
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Bowl gift swag: Gift suite; Academy Sports + Outdoors gift card; adidas duffel bag; belt buckle.
Texas’ draft-eligible prospect to keep an eye on:
*OT Connor Williams, No. 55, 6’6” - 320 lbs., 5.31 40 - (1st)
OT Connor Williams is an athletic tackle prospect displaying great size (6'6"), length, agility, foot quickness, and an aggressive mentality. Williams shows the ability to be technically sound and is extremely physical at the point of attack. Mirrors extremely well (impressive adjustments to movement) with excellent use of hands and lateral movements. He quickly excels reaching the second level using blocking angles well in the run game and has a good heavy anchor with nimble feet in pass protection looking quite impressive moving on the edge in space. Shows scheme versatility, but will excel in a zone blocking scheme. Plays with toughness and aggressiveness. Health and durability will be a concern at the next level.
Other Longhorns to keep an eye on:
DT Poona Ford, No. 95, 6’1” - 310 lbs., 4.97 40 - (5th)
*OLB Malik Jefferson, No. 46, 6’3” - 240 lbs., 4.72 40 - (2nd)
*CB Holton Hill, No. 5, 6’3” - 205 lbs., 4.54 40 - (2nd)
*DeShon Elliott, No. 4, 6’2” - 205 lbs., 4.58 40 - (2nd)
Missouri's draft-eligible prospect to keep an eye on:
WR J’Mon Moore, No. 6, 6’3” - 205 lbs., 4.54 40 - (4th-5th)
WR J’Mon Moore is an explosive deep threat receiver with deceptive speed and a smoothness to his game. He possesses a lanky frame, a good ability to break in and out of his cuts with great suddenness gaining enough burst separating from defenders. Running a limited route tree at Missouri, Moore will need to further develop technique and expand NFL concepts. He displays the ability to extend his arms with decent hands, but also makes plenty of body catches. He showcases good body control and tracking awareness with the speed to run under the ball smoothly. He also displays the ability to take a short pass and run after the catch with a big gain.
Moore has great size and will need to improve on functional strength counteracting when pressed at the next level. He displays an eagerness in the blocking game, but it is an area in need of improvement.
Other Tigers to keep an eye on:
OT Tyler Howell, No. 76, 6’8” - 330 lbs., 5.24 40 - (UDFA)
DE Marcell Frazier, No. 16, 6’5” - 265 lbs., 4.83 40 - (5th)
ILB Eric Beisel, No. 38, 6’3” - 240 lbs., - (UDFA)
Player measurables courtesy of team pages. 40 times projected.