NEPD Staff Writer: Matthew Jones
Realistically, this year’s Independence Bowl should be a more interesting game to watch from an entertainment perspective than from an NFL Draft perspective. Both teams should be successful in what is expected to be an offensive shootout; read on to learn about a few late-round/undrafted prospects to keep an eye out for in tonight’s game.
WR Brent Leonard, Louisiana-Monroe (6’2″, 185)
Leonard earned a spot on the All-Sun Belt First Team after finishing last season on the conference’s Second Team. His 97 catches, 1042 yards, and 10 touchdowns were not entirely earned against weak competition: Leonard also produced against Arkansas (11-112-1), Auburn (7-53-0), and Baylor (8-72-1). However, his lack of speed will likely prevent him from being drafted.
TE Keavon Milton, Louisiana-Monroe (6’4″, 280)
Massive inline blocker with bulk. Lack of speed – projected to run the 40-yard dash in around 4.9 seconds – will prevent him from being drafted. Does not contribute readily as a receiver: has just 14 catches on the season, with no touchdowns.
LB R.J. Young, Louisiana-Monroe (5’11”, 240)
Young transferred to Louisiana-Monroe from Arizona after graduating from the latter in three years. This season, Young earned a spot on the All-Sun Belt Second Team after recording 90 tackles, ten tackles for loss, one forced fumble, one interception, and a fumble returned 36 yards for a touchdown. Young’s lack of size remains difficult to overlook; he is not expected to be drafted.
C Skyler Allen, Ohio (6’3″, 290)
Allen has three years of experience for the Bobcats, with 38 starts under his belt. This season, the center was named to the All-MAC Second Team, joining senior right guard Eric Herman. Could earn consideration as an undrafted free agent.
OG Eric Herman, Ohio (6’4″, 319)
Plays right guard. Four-year starter for the Bobcats with a staggering 50 games started; earned All-MAC First Team honors this season. Has the size, experience, and accolades to earn interest as an undrafted free agent.