NEPD Editor: Matthew Jones
The penultimate collegiate bowl of the year is upon us as 9-3 Arkansas State Red Wolves and the 11-2 Kent State Golden Flashes (ranked #25 in the country) prepare for a meeting in the GoDaddy.com Bowl. The game is light on NFL prospects; however, Kent State left tackle Brian Waters, a likely mid-round pick, could interest New England. He is joined by two potential undrafted free agent prospects on Arkansas State’s roster: quarterback Ryan Aplin and strong safety Don Jones. Read on for more information regarding these three prospects.
QB Ryan Aplin, Arkansas St. (6’0″, 205)
Undersized three-year starter whose production dramatically improved this season; reduced interceptions from 16 to four while improving completion percentage and yards per attempt. Throws with a strange sidearm delivery and scattershot accuracy. Only chance in the NFL will likely come as an undrafted free agent. All-Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year.
SS Don Jones, Arkansas St. (6’0″, 210)
Converted from running back to safety as a junior; had a smooth transition and ended up starting for two seasons. Raw talent with some athleticism to develop; projected to run the 40-yard dash in around 4.5 seconds. Primary value will come on special teams; returned two blocked punts for touchdowns in ’11, including one of his own blocks.
OT Brian Winters, Kent St. (6’5″, 310)
Has been a four-year starter for the Golden Flashes; began his collegiate career at right tackle before transitioning to the left side later on. Escalating accolades: was named to the All-MAC Third Team as a sophomore, the Second Team as a junior, and the First Team as a senior. Prototypical size and athleticism could earn him a third or fourth-round grade.