Prospect Preview: MAACO Las Vegas Bowl

The Huskies will have to find a way to contain RB DJ Harper (Photo: US Presswire)

By BBD Writer Tony Wiltshire

There will be NFL talent on both sides of the ball when the Washington Huskies (7-5) take on the Boise State Broncos (10-2) in the MAACO Las Vegas Bowl. Unfortunately, the top prospect in the game (Austin Seferian-Jenkins) will have to play another season at the NCAA level before he’s eligible for the NFL draft. Regardless, it should be an entertaining game featuring explosive offenses and physical defenses.

OC Drew Schaefer, #73, 6’4, 295
Schaefer is a scrappy competitor and versatile lineman that has had a productive career playing tackle, guard, and center for the Huskies. With limited athleticism, his best opportunity at the next level will be inside. He has decent coordination in pass protection, but he plays high and often struggles to gain leverage. His base is consistently sloppy, and he has a difficult time maintaining his balance when he tries to generate a push. If he can get stronger and learn to play more compact, he’ll have a shot to stick on a roster as a late round or free agent type of prospect.

CB Desmond Trufant, #6, 6’, 186
Trufant is a naturally gifted corner that will offer coverage flexibility to some lucky team. He has quick feet, loose hips, and smooth change of direction. Even though he has enough fluidity in his game to develop as an effective man-to-man corner, his game best projects to an off-man scheme where he can attack the football. His physicality in the run game has been inconsistent, and it’s is an area he must improve in. He offers starter level potential as a #2 and comes with a Day 2 draft grade.

SAF Sean Parker, #1, 5’9, 195*
Parker is a tough kid and terrific football player that simply lacks the size to be a high draft pick. However, his athleticism and ball skills will interest talent evaluators. In the run game, he plays fast and can track the football sideline to sideline. He’s an explosive striker and shows consistency making open field tackles in one-on-one situations. Although he has limitations in coverage, he has enough ability to develop into a NFL starting caliber safety. His stock will rise if he continues to develop his game.

Other Draft Eligible Prospects:
QB Keith Price, #17, 6’1, 195*
NT Semisi Tokolahi, #98, 6’2, 340
DE Andrew Hudson, #93, 6’2, 249*
LB Josh Shirley, #22, 6’2, 230*
SAF Justin Glenn, #20, 5’11, 215

Boise State
RB D.J. Harper, #7, 5’9, 205
Harper is a 6th year senior that has suffered a couple of ACL tears during his time at Boise State. He’s an instinctive runner, and, in my opinion, more dynamic than he’s given credit for. He has natural running skills both inside and out, solid hands as a receiver, and he’s a plus blocker in pass protection. If he can get past the medical, he’ll have an opportunity to contribute in a two back system in the NFL. He’s a late round prospect, but will likely get his chance as a priority free agent.

OG Joe Kellog, #61, 6’2, 305
Kellog is a 3 year starter at Boise. He’s coordinated in both the run and pass game, but he’s going to struggle with leverage at the next level. His toughness and smarts, however, will earn him a look in some team’s camp as a free agent.

NT Mike Atkinson, #99, 6’0, 312
Atkinson will miss the game after tearing his ACL in November, but he possesses the ability to warrant a look at the next level as a one-technique. He’s a stout run defender who plays with power, and he does a good job diagnosing and locating the ball. He adds marginal value as a pass rusher. If he can get past the medical, he’ll be invited to a camp.

DE/OLB Demarcus Lawrence, #8, 6’3, 242*
Lawrence is a JUCO transfer who has made an immediate impact in his first season. He’s a gifted athlete with the burst to routinely reach the QB. He’s a high motor defender, he’s physical, and he possesses the athletic frame NFL teams covet. In addition to the pass rush, he’s also effective playing the run. With two seasons of eligibility remaining, he could easily develop into one of the premier prospects in the nation.

CB Jamar Taylor, #5, 5’11, 198
Taylor is one of the top rated senior CB’s. He possesses good height and length, and he has the natural range in coverage teams look for. He doesn’t give up much space, and he consistently makes plays on the ball. He needs to improve his footwork and physicality against the run, but he has the playmaking versatility to play inside and out at the next level. If he runs well at the combine, he could be a late riser. At this point, he’ll likely come off the board in the 5th to 7th rounds.

CB Jerrell Gavins, #4, 5’8, 170
Gavins is a excellent football player who is going to be limited in the NFL due to his size. He’s tough, instinctive, and he has terrific ball skills. He’ll likely struggle in coverage outside at the next level, but he has the ability to be a solid contributor in the slot. If he’s not selected late, he’ll be a priority free agent.

Other Draft Eligible Prospects:
WR Matt Miller, #2, 6’2, 215*
WR Mitch Burroughs, #20, 5’9, 205
FB Dan Paul, #47, 6’, 265
DT Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe, #43, 6’2, 298*
LB J.C. Percy, #48, 6’, 225

Game Prediction: Washington 29 – Boise State 28

Tags: Boise State, Desmond Trufant, DJ Harper, Jamar Taylor, Sean Parker, Washington

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