NEPD Editor: James Christensen
Le’veon Bell nearly beat Boise State by himself and in doing so, vaulted himself into the national consciousness. I’d expect to see “Bell for Heisman” campaigns springing up all over East Lansing.
Read on to see how the 2013 NFL Draft prospects performed.
#2 DE William Gholston*
-Lining up at right and left defensive end – 5, 7 and 9 techs.
-Sets the edge, flashes outside and turns the RB into help – assists on the tackle for loss.
-Left tackle lets him go, closes fast on QB and forces the throwaway.
-Avoids cut block, shows off long arms and leaping ability by knocking down pass.
-Nice arm over to beat right tackle.
-Can’t bend around the edge to catch the running back, goes to the ground.
-Swim move beats left tackle, takes a roughing penalty.
-Pursues down the line, long strides make him appear slow but he covers a lot of ground.
-Called for offside penalty.
-Fends off cut block, gets his hands in the passing lane.
-Flashes outside, spins in, can’t get RB as he cuts outside.
-Attacks outside shoulder of left tackle, pressures the QB.
-Slow spin move, double teamed and goes nowhere.
-Quick inside move, makes RB cut in the backfield.
Overview: Gholston didn’t have a big impact on the stat sheet, but you certainly noticed him on the field. His big frame disrupted passing lanes all night, while his athleticism got some occasional, if not consistent, pressure on the quarterback. He has a lot of physical tools but is far from a complete player at this point.
#5 CB Johnny Adams
-Lining up as (mainly) boundary corner.
-Comes on corner blitz, gets a hit on the quarterback.
-Takes away cutback lane, solid tackle.
-Forces outside release in press, stumbles and can’t recover, gives up big gain.
-Physical tackle – gave up inside release in man and couldn’t recover.
-Leaps over cut block, breaks down and makes great tackle on WR screen.
-Corner blitz, wraps up RB for a loss.
Overview: Gave up a couple of receptions, but was very solid in run support. Had a couple of games last year where he couldn’t tackle, but showed good fundamentals today. Looking forward to evaluating Adams again against a better offense.
#31 CB Darqueeze Dennard*
-Lining up as (mainly) field corner, also playing special teams.
-Physical against the screen, sheds block and gives receiver a big hit.
-A little late breaking on the ball, big hit on the tackle.
-Sheds block, makes the tackle down the field.
-Tight coverage down the field in man.
-Not fooled by trick play, breaks up the catch – nearly intercepted it.
-Forces outside release in red zone, uses sideline as a defender.
-Press man, ran the out route with the receiver, drives to the ball and deflects the pass.
-In phase on the “go” route, leans into the body though and called for pass interference.
-Beat deep on out and up, poor throw bails him out – located the ball late and got a piece of it.
-Disrupts the catch, good timing to stick his hand in and tip the pass.
Overview: Dennard is a better cornerback than Adams. He got his hands on a lot of footballs and was decent in run support as well. He looked comfortable playing off or in press. Dennard can really break on the ball and sees it very well – he could be a top pick in the 2014 NFL Draft if he stay for his senior season.
#40 LB Max Bullough*
-Lining up as middle linebacker – unquestioned leader of the defense.
-Slips block by the fullback, wraps up for a tackle for loss.
-Comes on blitz, stoned by the guard.
-Zone coverage, reads the route and disrupts the catch.
-Tracks the ball well, dives in with his shoulder to make the tackle.
-Reads play, shoots into backfield and makes the tackle for no gain.
-Quick read, slips by a pair of blocks and makes the stop in the backfield.
-Can’t change direction in time, allows cut back for more yardage.
Overview: Smart and instinctual, Bullough seems to see things before they happen on the football field. He looked a bit quicker than I remember from last year and was better taking on and slipping blocks. However, he still lacks elite athletic ability. He has good bloodlines and is a true leader on this defense – he’ll make a good pro.
#10 LB Chris Norman
-Lining up as outside linebacker – also on special teams.
-Looking good in zone coverage, moves well in space.
-Loses ball and contain, completely fooled by reverse.
-Pancaked by h-back, got way too high and wasn’t expecting the hit.
-Obliterates running back with huge, clean hit in coverage.
-Doesn’t see the ball well, misses it again on jet sweep.
-Trails in man coverage on slot receiver, wraps up after catch.
-Zone, gets a decent jam on the receiver as he goes through his space.
Overview: Norman looks to have good speed and athletic ability, but certainly lacks the awareness and instincts that Bullough has. If he can harness his physical skills, he could be a good sub-package linebacker at least in the NFL.
#91 DT Tyler Hoover
-Lining up at NT in sub package, sees time as a 3-tech DT.
-Peels off block, touchdown saving tackle on QB draw.
-Bowls over double team, disrupts passing lane.
-Good pad level, extends his arms through contact.
Overview: Flashed when he saw the field, looked brutally strong and seemed to always be around the ball.
#24 RB Le’veon Bell*
-Takes three Boise players to bring him down.
-Gets skinny through the hole, incredible athleticism hurdling safety in the middle of the field.
-Good concentration on tipped ball, makes the catch.
-Wildcat formation, takes the snap and shows some good power.
-Finds the hole after three goal line carries, gets in for a touchdown.
-Leg drive stays active through contact.
-Nice job in pass protection, pushed blitzer past pocket and stayed with him.
-Picks his way through garbage, spins out of one tackle, finishes another run.
-Hesitation move, picks up a few extra yards.
-Bursts through the hole, makes the safety miss and picks up a big chunk of yards.
-Split out wide, makes the easy catch and fights for extra yardage.
-One handed juggling catch, can’t break the CB’s tackle in open space.
-Absolute workhorse, picks up nearly 25 first half touches.
-Sells the screen well, accelerates with the ball and spins for more yards.
-Breaks four tackles in the backfield, explodes through for a big gain.
-Makes more players miss after catching a quick pass, so elusive at 240 pounds.
-Nice block in pass protection, stones the unblocked linebacker.
-Bounces run outside, shows a burst and a nice stiff arm to score the winning touchdown.
-Salted the game away with his powerful and shifty running – delivering his to the linebackers.
Overview: Bell looked like the complete package. He blocked, caught the ball, ran for power and showed unreal elusiveness for a such a big back. Combine those traits with nearly fifty touches and you have a guy that nearly made 300 yards on his own. He showed good vision and unwillingness to go down – I think he’s ready to declare early for the 2013 NFL Draft.
#62 OG Chris McDonald
-Lining up as right guard.
-Absorbs initial punch, anchors well against bull rush.
-Got a little high out of his stance, pushed back at the point of attack.
-Combo block, seals the defensive tackle and creates a nice hole.
-Confused by stunt, lets his man go by without a fight.
-Surges on the goal line, ends up on the ground.
-Slow in his pull, too high coming across.
-Gets to the second level, seals the linebacker.
-Looked lost on the second level, gets in the runner’s way.
-Better on the pull, finds his assignment and puts him on the ground.
-Knocked backwards pulling, clogs up the play – too high again.
Overview: McDonald, brother of Patriots C/G Nick McDonald, has some technical issues to clean up but has the athleticism to develop into a solid guard at the next level.
#51 OT Fou Fonoti
-Lining up as right tackle, singled out as a leader.
-Peeking behind him on the second level, rather than finding someone to block.
-Mirrors defensive end through spin move, smooth feet.
-Quick on his feet to the outside, tough time locating someone to block.
-Smacked to the ground on the goal line.
-Slow to the outside, can’t get out in front of back.
-Got high out of his stance, pushed back into the running back.
-Hands slapped away, but resets and controls defender.
-Blocks down on the tackle, seals him with the OG for a big hole.
-Chips the DT, gets to the second level and seals the linebacker.
-Beat badly by speed/club conversion move.
-Gets to high and is walked back by the bull rush.
-Beat by spin move, having a tough time against #8.
-Nice block on screen pass, seals off the linebacker – perfect positioning.
-Splits two defenders, chooses not to block either one – very weird play.
-Blocks the ground again on outside run, fell down trying to change directions.
Overview: Fonoti has some athletic ability and some smooth feet at times, but he had way too many poor plays in this game. Multiple times he seemed to not see or choose not to block someone. Another series saw him get beat by three different rush moves on consecutive plays. He has some ability, but I question his willingness to dominate defenders at the next level.
Boise State draft prospects are on page two.