BBD Contributor: Joseph Curtis
Boise State (8-5) faced Oregon State (7-6) in the Hawaii Bowl on Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013 in one of three matchups this bowl season between Mountain West and Pac-12 teams.
Oregon State dominated the first half, leading 31-6 at halftime in part thanks to two fumble return touchdowns by cornerback Rashaad Reynolds. While Boise State closed the gap with a few second-half scores, they could not overcome the deficit and Oregon State won 38-23.
Reynolds was one of a number of 2014 NFL draft prospects to impress in this games.
Demarcus Lawrence, DE, Boise State, Jr.
-Falls at line, gets up quick and pursues downfield
-Struggles to hold his ground but locked arms and reset feet
-Looks much slower moving laterally
-Recognizes mid-screen and makes tackle for short gain
-Fast off backside pursuit for tackle for loss
-Active hands, good burst off snap
-Accelerates quickly, swims past offensive lineman but trips on teammate
-Fast, pops upright too quickly too often
-Surprising push in bull rush
-High pad level and manhandled at line
-Stands up too quickly but fast and shifty around outside
-Good motor, tracks ball and makes tackle around line
Overview:Lawrence’s athleticism was on display throughout this game. He struggled, however, to consistently pressure the quarterback and disrupt the backfield.
He accelerates quickly at the snap, but plays high too often, which can cause him to be swallowed up in the run game. He was great in backside pursuit, but can be neutralized when the ball is run right at him.
Lawrence’s natural athleticism makes him an attractive option for any team, but he needs to add mass and be stouter against the run to be more than just a situational player at the next level.
Charles Leno, LT, Boise State, Sr.
-Anchors and holds ground
-Gets to second level on screen, does not get in good position
-Good bend, stout against the run but did not finish block
-Patient; gets inside and controls defender
-Sinks hips but still lunges a bit
-Nimble feet, overreaching but drives rusher out
-Short kick slide, lunges outside and holds defender
-Lost edge and tackled rusher, holding penalty
-Wide base, sets with feet pointing 10-2
-Struggles on island outside
-Shuffles back too quickly, reaches out and nearly falls over
-Looks confused by delayed outside rush
Overview:Leno struggled in pass protection throughout the game. While he played with a wide base and was able to sink his hips to absorb bull rushes, he struggled when forced to move laterally and was a liability when outside on his own, where he lunged to tried to compensate.
Against the run, he has nimble feet, bends well and gets into good position, but he needs to use his hands better to be more effective.
He played left tackle in this game and throughout his senior season, but would be a better fit inside at guard at the next level, where he will be less exposed as a pass protector and his run-blocking skills could be more valuable.
Gabe Linehan, TE, Boise State, Sr.
-Good block on defensive end, wide base and keeps fighting
-Long strider, looks to have some quickness
-Slow off the line, slow rounding off route
-Picks up outside blitz but goes to ground
-Doesn’t help downfield on quarterback scramble
-Struggles one-on-one against defensive end, tackle to ground
-Total whiff on cut block at second level
Overview: With no receptions and issues blocking, Linehan had a poor game all around. While he showed a bit of athleticism, he was not an option in the passing offense at all, and never was all season, with only two receptions for the year.
He had a good block early in this game against Oregon State’s star defensive end, Scott Crichton, but he had blocking issues from then on. He had balance issues and didn’t maintain leverage in his blocks.
With his lack of receiving this season and blocking struggles, Linehan is unlikely to hear his name called during the 2014 NFL draft.
Matt Paradis, C, Boise State, Sr.
-Keeps head on swivel but does not know where to help as a blocker
-Bumps defenders, not getting hands in and sustaining
-Gets to second level quickly but does not get in good position
-Does not bend well, struggles to get into good position
-Plays upright, gives up ground at line
-Gets inside frame, drives defenders back
-Opens hold on goal line with good drive block
-Played with lower pad level, got more push
Overview: Matt Paradis’ inconsistent technique has caused him problems, but when he played with solid technique in the Hawaii Bowl, he won battles along the offensive line.
He is not very quick off the snap and struggles to get in good blocking positions. He does not bend well and plays with an inconsistent pad level, often playing high which causes him to get pushed back off the line of scrimmage. He keeps his head on a swivel, but he seems to get confused at times and does not know where he can help block.
When he is playing with good technique, he looks like a solid center prospect, but due to his regular technical issues it seems unlikely he should be drafted this year.
See page 2 for notes on Oregon State’s top prospects in the Hawaii Bowl.