The late night marquee match-up for Week 1 was not the most exciting with Pac-12 Washington State going down to Mountain West Utah State. The Cougars have a few solid NFL Draft prospects including a few with Top 100 potential.
Abraham Lucas, Offensive Tackle
The RT for Washington State, Abe Lucas has a ton of hype momentum going into draft season. With the unique zone scheme he is in, it can be difficult to get a great handle on Lucas’ talent. Often, he is asked to move to the second level and ignore pass rushers. On top of that, Utah State would move the blitz away from Lucas throughout the game forcing him to double team an interior lineman. Having said all of that, his physical prowess is impressive. He glides in his step and didn’t let anyone through in terms of pass rush. Lucas also has good hustle and arms that spring forward with an unexpected tenacity. He is in the Top 100 category, but the physical tools may have him sneak into the first round before all is said and done.
Max Borghi, Running back
Two years ago, Borghi excelled as a pass catcher in the Mike Leach system. Last year, dealing with injuries and a new system seemed to set him back a step. To open the 2021 season, Borghi looked reinvigorated for Washington state with excellent movement skills and shifty moves in open space. Averaging almost 8 yards a carry, he showed he can run the football effectively (he only had 1 catch in the game). Borghi looked like an NFL back-up who can rotate in on 3rd downs, and showing a versatile skillset, he should find himself playing on Sundays.
Brian Greene, Center
Greene had a decent game, but he clearly isn’t build on strength. An athletic zone blocker, Greene’s troubles can when Utah State’s defensive line bull rushed and moved him back into the pocket. He didn’t look like an NFL player in this one, but there is room for improvement.
Brennan Jackson, EDGE
Jackson is a big bodied edge rusher who plays the run well. Though he didn’t get a sack, he changed the game early with a hurry of the QB. Utah State had a good handle of him in the second half even when he tried to find different pass rush moves. Some potential there as a name to keep an eye on.
Deon McIntosh, Running Back
McIntosh wasn’t used much in this game. The 5 year veteran had 2 receptions for 25 yards including a long catch, but his rushing left a lot to be desired in finding the open holes in the ZBS. Didn’t look like a future NFL player.
Logan Bonner, Quarterback
Bonner was a part of the 2-QB system in the game alternating drives with Andrew Peasley. Bonner was clearly the better passer and was relied upon to make the game winning touchdown. The former Arkansas State QB has some girth to him and is tough to bring down. Plus his down field passing has always been solid. All that being said, he likely is not an NFL player and may be lucky to be signed as an undrafted free agent.
Justin Rice, Linebacker
Rice was all over the field making plays from cleaning up missed tackle up front to moving back into coverage. Rice also transferred from Arkansas State and was clearly a step above the rest of the defensive talent. He was a big part of some of the defensive stops with a key third down tackle late in the game. He is a name I’ve circled on my list to come back and watch.