Did you think the All-Star season ended with this past weekends Senior Bowl? No siree bob, we have another week of practices, another game, and tons of other prospects to talk about. With that in mind here is our preview of the North Roster at the Players All-Star Classic in Little Rock, AR.
QB Dominique Davis, East Carolina/Boston College
We last saw Davis at the Battle of Florida game in Boca Raton where he was considered to be one of the top QB’s there. He comes into this game with plenty of competition from lower level guys who are hungry and talented.
QB Alex Tanney, Monmouth (IL)
Tanney is more famous right now for his trick shot video last spring than his NFL Draft status but make no mistake about it this kid can play ball. He is probably the most talented QB in the Division III level and should be able to make plenty of noise in Arkansas.
QB Matt Blanchard, Wisconsin-Whitewater
For as talented as Tanney in, his resume isn’t as impressive as Blanchard whose team is now the back to back to back defending Division III National Champions. He has a solid arm and good accuracy though he rarely got a chance to show it in his system. He could be a dark horse.
FB/RB Darryl Whiting, Fordham
I haven’t seen much of Whiting outside of a Youtube video but he runs with good size, and balance, he’s a strong looking down hill runner who will need to show he can lower his shoulder and find the burst to get through the hole. He’s somebody to watch.
WR Derek Moye, Penn State
Moye has the size and ability to catch the ball that you want in a WR, he has soft hands, good body control and can use his body to box out the defender. The question is can he separate from the coverage? His foot speed is in question and he’ll have to show us something in Little Rock.
WR Marcus Rivers, Buffalo
Speaking of players who will have to show us something, Marcus Rivers is a big WR who many have probably never heard of despite playing FBS football. Rivers has great size and underrated athleticism but he needs to show the consistency that guys like Moye have along with proving he can get off coverage.
OC/OL Charles Burton, Montana
Burton is one of these small school OL who you could see at almost any position in this game, he’s listed as an OC despite playing OT this year and he can also kick inside to OG if needed. He’s strong at the point of attack but raw in his fundamentals.
OC/LS Jason Slowey, Western Oregon
Another OT to OC, or anywhere type of OL prospect. Slowey has good size and athletic ability, and it will be interesting to see how he handles the snapping duties this week. I’d like to see him pull and get out in front but that may not happen in an all-star game with simplistic schemes.
OG Mike Ryan, Connecticut
Big strong kid who played some RT but I actually like him a lot at OG for this game, he performed pretty well at the NFLPA game already this offseason. It’s not a great DT group he’ll be going against so I’m looking for him to be dominant all week.
OT Dustin Waldron, Portland State
Maybe the surprise of the combine invites so far, Waldron is a very athletic OT prospect who can move and get out in front of plays to the outside. He can really do a good job getting outside the DE and sealing the line off the edge. Be interest to see how he responds against some quick DE’s.
OT Jon Opperud, Montana
This was Burton’s book end at Montana as they helped power a dominant rushing attack that was among the best in the country. Opperund is has good size and plays with impressive leverage for a small school player. His footwork and athleticism will be put to the test in this game.
DE/OLB Jamie Blatnick, Oklahoma State
Blatnick was a guy (along with teammate Richetti Jones) who I liked a lot coming into this year but wasn’t convinced about just how good they could be. Blatnick had a strong year but it wasn’t as consistent or dominant as I had hoped for. This week will be big for him as he is among the best players in this game.
DT/DE Josue Ortiz, Harvard
An absolutely dominant Ivy League player who terrorized every other team he played for years. Ortiz has a good first step and is advanced in using his hands to shed blocks and split gaps. He could end up being the best DT in this game if he continues to show off his quickness.
DT Ronnie Cameron, Old Dominion
Ronnie Cameron had a good but not great week in Tuscon at the Casino Del Sol game earlier this all-star season. He needs to work on continuing to stay low after contact and driving through his man. He has a good first step and can dominate the gaps with his get off.
DT Christo Bilukidi, Georgia State
Bilukidi may be the biggest unknown in this game as his Georgia State team only just finished its 2nd year of football ever. Biukidi has a big body that could project either inside to DT or outside to DE in a 34 set. As a Canadian born prospect Bilukidi has draw plenty of attention for the CFL Scouting Bureau.
OLB/DE D.J. Bryant, James Madison
Probably one of the best pass rushers in this game Bryant will have plenty of eyes on him as he goes up against a very strong set of OT’s in practice. He’ll need to make sure he’s firing off the ball well and getting the OT to commit before he makes his move.
ILB Caleb McSurdy, Montana
McSurdy is a tackling machine in the middle who doesn’t have elite level athleticism but does have good instincts and play recognition ability. Once McSurdy gets you in his grasp there isn’t much else you can do. He can also be a violent hitter though he’d doesn’t give up the tackle so that he can attempt a big hit.
OLB/DE Zach Nash, Cal-State Sacramento
A pass rush specialist that not many people have seen, Nash doesn’t have the best size but he does know how to get after the passer. He’s quite raw with his technique and has been able to dominate for the most part based on athleticism so this week will be a good test for him.
OLB/DE Adrian Robinson, Temple
No player in this game has undergone more scrutiny and examination than Adrian Robinson, scouts have spent hours examining his tape and wondering exactly what he can be in the NFL. His size doesn’t help him at all, so he needs a strong week to avoid the “tweener” label.
CB/S Tashaun Gipson, Wyoming
A preseason favourite of ours, Gipson was the best player on a surprisingly competitive Wyoming team this year. The Cowboys struggled at times to get pressure and Gipson often found himself in situations where he needed to cover his man or zone for 5 or more seconds. A strong week here will shoot his stock up.
S/CB Jeremy Jones, Wayne State (MI)
One of the many stars of the Division II National Title Game, Jones made his presence felt early and often as he flew all over the field delivering massive blows and making plays. Jones has good speed and size for the DB position and should be able to stick to most of the WR’s in this game.
RT/WR Julian Talley, UMass
Talley is probably my favorite WR in this game, with his size and speed I hope to see him tearing up this week in Little Rock. He has outstanding hands and knows how to make the tough catch. He will draw lots of attention with the success that fellow UMass alum Victor Cruz is having in the NFL.