This year’s Independence Bowl will feature two teams that we all along wanted to get another look at due to their prospects. Missouri and North Carolina will face off with 14 prospects in this game it promises to be one of the more highly watched bowl games by draft analysts.
WR TJ Moe*
Moe has developed into the team leader in receptions and receiving yards this year for the Tigers. He has good short area burst that allow him to get into and out of his breaks quickly. He has some separation ability though we don’t see the deep speed in him that others have. He has good catch and is athletic enough to make the acrobatic catch down the field that requires good body control. This was one of the prospect we really wanted to see more of.
2011 Stats: 54 catches, 649 yards, 6 TD’s
TE Michael Egnew
Coming into this season Egnew was thought of as one of the top TE’s in the nation. He’s had a pretty good year overall but inconsistent play at QB, and lack of killer instinct has hurt his draft status. Egnew has soft hands, a good frame, and above average athleticism. He’s not a huge threat to stretch the seam, but he can shake loose in zone coverage and kill you in the soft spots. We’d like to see Egnew get a little bigger and be a bigger factor blocking and when in the redzone.
2011 Stats: 41 catches, 484 yards, 3 TD’s
OT Dan Hoch
Hoch was originally the starting RT for Missouri but when Elvis Fisher went down for the year they moved Hoch over and he’s been pretty successful at the position. He’s never going to have the footwork or athleticism of a NFL LT, however what he does give you is a strong OT at the point of attack. Hoch is a good run blocking OT who can drive his man off the line with his strength and plays with good leverage. It should be very interesting to see Hoch go up against Coples one on one.
DE Jacquies Smith
Smith is a DE we’ve always been curious about and he’s another one of the prospects we really wanted to take a closer look at. We like Smith’s size and athletic ability but we just don’t see the production that we were hoping for out of him. We’ll be interested to see what Smith looks like now and how his skill set projects forward toward the NFL.
2011 Stats: 24 tackles, 9 TFL, 5 sacks, 4 PBU, 4 FF, 5 QBH
DE Brad Madison*
Madison similar to Smith has very good size and strength and we think he’s just beginning to turn the corner on his ability. He’s definitely a prospect we like a lot heading into 2013 and this game should be a good barometer for where he is heading into next year and what he needs to work on more. UNC’s OT’s should test him but neither are of elite caliber so we’ll be looking for him to make some plays.
2011 Stats: 25 tackles, 8.5 TFL, 4.5 sacks, 1 FF, 1 INT, 3 QBH
LB Zavair Gooden*
An athletic and well built LB who has very good range and reads offensive plays very well. We would like to see him get a little more aggressive when attacking the gaps at the line of scrimmage. As of right now he’s more of a gap filler and we would like to see him take that next step become an effective penetrator as well.
2011 Stats: 74 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 1 sack, 4 PBU, 1 INT, 1 blocked kick
WR Dwight Jones
Jones was initially ruled ineligible for this game due to him granting permission for his image and name to be used to promote a party at a club. That eligibility ruling was appealed and the NCAA overturned it so he is now in this game. Jones has a chance to secure the #2 senior WR spot in this class and make one more final splash before many of the expected top juniors jump in. Jones who has great speed and size should be able to use size against a smaller Missouri DB group. Look for Renner to target Jones often.
2011 Stats: 79 catches, 1,119 yards, 11 TD’s
DE Quinton Coples
The top player on our big board still has had a bit of a rough senior season. He’s going to fall some when we update out big board after the junior deadline passes but it won’t be that far. We still like his game a lot and we think many analysts are writing him off to soon. For the first time in career Coples was seeing consistent double teams and chips and he struggled some to adjust. He has made some adjustments now and has shown much improvement. We thought he looked very good v. Miami. Coples is still a powerful prospect with a long frame and incredible athletic ability.
2011 Stats: 51 tackles, 13 TFL, 7.5 sacks, 3 FF, 2 PBU, 6 QBH
DT Tydreke Powell
Powell may be the most overlooked and under appreciate player on the UNC defense this year. He’s been a controlling force in the middle who has dominated the trenches. He does an excellent job of holding up at the POA and then getting off his block and making a play. He is a possible 34 conversion to DE if he measures out properly. Powerll presence in the middle has allowed for LB’s Kevin Reddick and Zach Brown to have big years.
2011 Stats: 45 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 1 sack, 1 FF, 2 PBU, 2 QBH
DT Sylvester Williams*
Williams came in this year as JUCO transfer and ranked not far behind another top tier JUCO DT in John Jenkins (UGA).He’s a slightly older prospect who is already 23 years old. Was a big time space eater in the middle who used an impressive bull rush to blow interior lineman off the ball and into the backfield. Generates great power out of his stance and really impressed us with the amount of leverage he is able to play with. Williams size indicates to use that he could be a 34 NT in the future and it will be interesting to see if he continues to build on that skill set.
2011 Stats: 48 tackles, 6.5 TFL, 2.5 sacks, 1 INT, 1 FF, 3 PBU, 5 QBH
LB Zach Brown
Everybody has known about Zach Brown for years now, he was named by CBS’s Bruce Feldman as one of the top gym rats in the entire country a couple of years back. Brown is known for his dominant size and athleticism. He runs extremely well in the open field and absolutely flies to the ball. He has a tendency to get a little over aggressive but it’s been clear to us he’s been taking to the coaching on that. Brown is a future three down LB who can play v. the run and pass. He drops into coverage well but he’s also a very accomplished blitzer off the edge. We think he could go higher than current projections have him going.
2011 Stats:91 tackles, 11.5 TFL, 5.5 sacks, 2 INT, 3 FF, 4 PBU, 6 QBH
LB Kevin Reddick*
Again like with Powell, Reddick has been among the most consistent players on this UNC defense. He tackles extremely well and has gone from just a hole filling LB to one who is more aggressive in pressing the holes and blowing up plays in the backfield. We hope to see that continue next year, assuming that he sticks around. Reddick is currently being evaluated for the NFL Draft and should made a decision soon. The advisory committee will love the way Reddick tackles but some question his range and athleticism. He can get the corner turned on him and could he prove to be a liability in pass coverage? All things we’ll be watching on Sunday.
2011 Stats: 67 tackles, 6 TFL, 1 sack, 4 PBU, 3 QBH