NFL Draft Countdown
2021 NFL Draft All Star Game

NFLPA Collegiate Bowl Preview

NFLPA Collegiate Bowl

Generally the 3rd game in the All-Star pecking order (behind the Shrine and Senior Bowl,) the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl usually showcases late round and undrafted players with talent. Due to the depth of the 2022 Draft Class, there are some good gems on the NFLPA roster who should have a good week of practice and potentially push their stock into the Top 150. 

Check out the NFLPA Game on Saturday, January 29th on the NFL Network. It is taking place in Pasadena, California in the Rose Bowl.

 

Quarterback

Zerrick Cooper, Jacksonville St.

Chase Garbers, California

Cole Kelley, Southeastern La. 

Brandon Peters Illinois 

Chris Oladokun, South Dakota State 

 

This is an eclectic mix of QBs. Cooper is an intriguing late round pick based on his athleticism and rushing ability. He could even switch positions in the NFL, but a rush QB team like the Bills or Seahawks could take him late. He is 11th on my QB board.

Garbers had a promising start to his college career but fell off over the last two seasons. If he can show good fundamentals and flash the arm and decision making of his early college career, there is a potential NFL career there.

The rest of the bunch have some upside but need development. Kelley and Oldadokun had good careers at their level of competition but are unlikely to be able to make the jump. Peters dealt with injuries but was a high end recruit back in 2017. He has some physical tools but has never put it together.

The QB unit is a bit underwhelming, but so goes the position where there simply are not enough NFL caliber players in the world.

 

Running Back

Ronnie Rivers, Fresno State

Mataeo Durant, Duke

Max Borghi, Washington State

Keaontay Ingram, Southern Cal

Shermari Jones, Coastal Carolina

Jaylen Warren, Oklahoma State

 

There are some promising RBs on the NFLPA roster who can be drafted late and make an NFL impact. Rivers had a great career at Fresno State and should be able to ball out in this game. If he can flash his vision and change of direction ability, Rivers could be a winner of the week.

Both Durant and Borghi have change of pace RB potential with their pass catching abilities. Both should get some late round consideration after solid careers. Even if there isn’t much buzz coming out of the week for these two, the game might be the place where they are ultimately showcased.

Ingram is a good downhill runner with a long career before transferring from Texas to Southern Cal. His experience may endear him to an NFL team and he has a bit of Rhamondre Stevenson to his game. A nice sleeper from high profile teams.

Jones and Warren have some juice but are low on my RB list. I see camp bodies who can make a team on special teams. 

 

Wide Receiver

Isaiah Weston, Northern Iowa

Dai’Jean Dixon, Nicholls State

Kalil Pimpleton, Central Michigan

Michael Young Jr, Cincinnati

Taysir Mack, Pittsburgh

Corey Sutton, Appalachian State

Braylon Sanders, Ole Miss

Johnny Johnson III, Oregon

Montrell Washington, Samford

Mychal Cooper, Navy

Jequez Ezzard, Sam Houston State

Lance McCutcheon, Montana State

Brandon Johnson, Tennessee

 

There are a number of receivers with NFL potential in this one. Small schoolers Weston and Dixon are draftable and could even sneak into the top 200 of the draft. Weston is athletic with great movement ability in short spaces while Dixon has proven to be a reliable inside-outside pass catcher. Expect both to find NFL roles.

Pimpleton is an excellent return man with speed who should be a late round draft pick. His electric long speed and explosion are some of the best in the draft. This all-star game should be a showcase of his skills.

Some college veterans who may not be high end athletes but hard workers with good acumen to play special teams and receivers. Mack, Johnson, Sutton, Sanders, and Young fall into this category.

Ezzard and Washington intrigue as small school players who haven’t put it all together yet. It could be a coming out party for them. 

 

Tight End

Chase Allen, Iowa State

Austin Allen, Nebraska

Josh Babicz, North Dakota State

Zaire Mitchell-Paden, Florida Atlantic

Curtis Hodges, Arizona State

Trae Barry, Boston College

 

Both Allens have good two-way ability and could be drafted late. Chase is a good in-line blocker with soft hands as needed on 3rd down and in the red zone. Austin is a bit more dynamic as an athlete and has sneaky upside if he gets a chance in the NFL.

Barry is the most intriguing of the rest. The Jacksonville State transfer has massive size and length but never quite put it all together. He had a dominating game against Clemson this year and flashed NFL potential.

 

Offensive Tackle

Obinna Eze, TCU

Ryan Van Demark, UConn

Aron Johnson, South Dakota State

Jahmir Johnson, Texas A&M

Andrew Rupcich, Culver-Stockton

Jalen McKenzie, Southern Cal

Sage Doxtater, New Mexico State

 

This is another solid group. Eze is a Draft Countdown favorite with long arms and a dominating season this year. He has a nasty streak but good feet to pass block. A late rounder with upside.

Van Denmark and Jahmir Johnson both flashed NFL ability this season. Van Denmark has good size and athleticism but struggled with little talent around him. Johnson made mental errors but had some good games against good competition. 

Aron Johnson may be the highest drafted of the group. He had an incredible season and rarely let a pass rusher get past him. Look for the coaching to help develop his hand placement and technique. Sky is the limit.

 

Guard

Josh Sills, Oklahoma State

Cade Mays, Tennessee

Aaron Frost, Nevada

Eric Wilson, Penn State

Marcus McKethan, North Carolina

Josh Rivas, Kansas State

Chasen Hines, LSU

Mike Caliendo, Western Michigan

Greg Long, Purdue

 

There are some intriguing Guards in this group with varying profiles.

Sills is a lunchpail type who has excelled at Oklahoma State with his run blocking. He could be a tough reserve in the NFL in a power run scheme especially.

Mays has the most upside as a former 5* recruit who was a disappointment at Tennessee. He played OT for his career, but may be better served as a guard. Elite athleticism and explosion could be on display this week and put him into draftable position. He got called up to the Senior Bowl though, so he is unlikely to participate.

Frost is the last intriguing player of the bunch who has good footwork and pulling ability. He has mirror technique and is a solid pass protector. The practices will be key for him to make a name for himself.

 

Center

Doug Kramer, Illinois

Jack Wohlabaugh, Duke

Orlando Umana, Mississippi

 

This Center class isn’t great, but Kramer and Wohlabaugh have a shot to get drafted. 

Kramer was who forced Kendrick Green to move over to Guard last season and brought the punch this year. Though Kramer isn’t a top athlete at the position, he is punishing in the run game. Mental mistakes are his issue, but if those are cleaned up, this could be a future NFL starter.

Wohlabaugh doesn’t have many glaring holes in his game, but isn’t flashy. He shows good hand placement and consistency. Never blowing anyone off the line or holding defenders for too long, he is an intriguing undrafted option whose stock could rise this week.

 

Defensive Line

Jayden Peevy, Texas A&M

 Tre Williams, Arkansas

Tariqious Tisdale, Ole Miss

Roderick Perry II, Illinois

Akial Byers, Missouri

Curtis Brooks, Cincinnati

Jonathan Ford, Miami

 

The Defensive Line is a bit underwhelming, but there should be a few late round selections on the roster.

Peevy had a good year for A&M and is excellent with his hand usage to swim through offensive linemen. He has some pass rush ability but is smart in playing his gap assignment. He may not be flashy, but should be a reserve who won’t kill you if he has to play due to injury.

Williams and Tisdale are also intriguing players who are fairly stout and difficult to blow off the line. They could improve their stock this week and get mentioned in the late round category. 

 

EDGE

Sam Williams, Ole Miss

Arron Mosby, Fresno State

Zach McCloud, Miami

Zach Van Valkenburg, Iowa

Jordan Jackson, Air Force

Benton Whitley, Holy Cross

Damarcus Mitchell, Purdue

Eric Johnson, Missouri State

James Houston, Jackson State

Chauncey Manac, Louisiana-Lafayette

Daniel Hardy, Montana State

Clarence Hicks, UTSA

 

This is where the NFLPA roster shines. They have put together an excellent EDGE group who has some Day 2 potential. 

Williams was one of the best pass rushers in the SEC this season with consistent pressure off the edge with great footwork and tenacity. His rip move beat future NFL Offensive Tackles and even showcased a nice inside spin move. Though he may be a high end athlete, there is a lot to like as a potential 3-4 outside linebacker who can get after the QB. He should be one of the best players in this game.

Mosby is another player who impressed throughout the season. He is good enough to set the edge, even against faster RBs, but he developed as a pass rusher. Playing with a low pad level and using linemen’s pads to drive them back. He is another great addition who could be selected early on Day 3.

 McCloud and Van Valkenburg are two others to watch with good athletic profiles who just haven’t put it all together yet. As support players on their own teams, this is an opportunity to shine.

 

Linebacker

James Skalski, Clemson

Bumper Pool, Arkansas

Grant Morgan, Arkansas

Cameron Goode, California

Ferrod Gardner, Louisiana-Lafayette

Kyron Johnson, Kansas

Dashaun White, Oklahoma

Josh Ross, Michigan

 

The LB group is another solid one with Day 3 players throughout and some decent potential for risers throughout the week.

Skalski was the backbone of the Clemson defense (as seen when he was injured in their bowl game). A 2-down thumper in the middle, he should be a step up in talent from many of the offensive players he will be going against. Good tackling technique and reading ability will go far in the practices and game.

Pool, Morgan,  and Goode are all good players who have flashed NFL potential through the season. Ranging from athletic types (like Pool) who can cover TEs and RBs while being able to close quickly to more 2-down players (like Morgan) who can play special teams as well.

 

Cornerback

Leonard Johnson, Duke

Samuel Womack, Toledo

Zyon Gilbert, Florida Atlantic

Anthony Blue, Newberry

Julius Faulk, Delta State

CJ Holmes, Jackson State

Tre Swilling, Georgia Tech

Qwuantrezz Knight, UCLA

Josh Blackwell, Duke

Kekaula Kaniho, Boise State

DaRon Bland, Fresno State

 

The corner group has a few intriguing names but likely late picks and undrafted players for most of the position.

Johnson is a good press corner who has had some good highlights and lowlights. He has late round potential as a #4 CB with growth potential. 

Womack and Gilbert had good careers at smaller schools and have the athletic ability to rise in the draft process in be selected. This week could give an opportunity to flash those skills and make some big plays in 1-on-1s.

Blue might be the most intriguing due to his athletic potential and coming from small school Newberry. He has some great highlights and film at a small level. Competing with some of these WRs could do wonders for his stock and get him into a camp.

 

Safety

Markquese Bell, Florida A&M

Greg Eisworth, Iowa State

Quentin Lake, UCLA

D’Anthony Bell, West Florida

JT Woods, Baylor

Raheem Layne, Indiana

 

This Safety group is to die for! A ton of great players with good profiles and experience. From small school athletes to big school producers, we should see numerous safeties drafted from the NFLPA game.

Both of the Bells are very athletic small school players who have massive upside as later round picks. Markquese specifically flies all over the field and could make a name for himself early in this week.

Eisworth and Lake are two players I like a ton and deserve Early Day 3 consideration. Both are in the box safeties with Lake being a punishing hitter while Eisworth flashes good tackling technique.

 

Kicker

Nick Sciba, Wake Forest

James McCourt, Illinois

 

Punter

Zach Harding, Army

Blake Hayes, Illinois

 

Long Snapper

LS Antonio Ortiz, TCU

 

Not much to write home about on special teams. Hayes and Sciba are most likely to get picked up into a camp.

 

Follow Shane on Twitter: @ShanePHallam and see his other work here.

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