Draft Prospects To Watch This Bowl Season Prior To The Playoff

December 28th, 2017

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

Hello all! I hope that you had a good holiday season so far. This week is when the bowl games really amp up and its crazy to think that Iowa State will actually be playing in one of them. It has been awhile since I posted something, so I wanted to get something out there so loyal fans of this site had a place to add new content. I am writing to you from my unfinished basement, wearing hat and gloves while typing (it’s a long story, but hopefully it will have a happy ending soon.)

Anyway, here are some names to watch over the next week or so to hopefully tide you over until I can get more content out on a regular basis. Best prospect from each game is in italics.

Texas Bowl: Missouri vs Texas


Marcell Frazier, DE, Missouri
Ish Witter, RB, Missouri
J’Mon More, WR, Missouri
Terry Beckner, DT, Missouri (JR)
Eric Beisel, LB, Missouri


Connor Williams, OT, Texas

Poona Ford, DT, Texas
​Malik Jefferson, OLB, Texas
Naashon Hughes, OLB, Texas
Holton Hill, CB, Texas (JR)
P.J. Locke III, CB, Texas (JR)
Jason Hall, CB, Texas
DeShon Elliott, S, Texas (JR)

Camping World Bowl: Virginia Tech vs Oklahoma State

Virginia Tech:

Brandon Facyson, CB, Virginia Tech
Cam Phillips, WR, Virginia Tech
Wyatt Teller, G, Virginia Tech
Eric Gallo, C, Virginia Tech
Yosuah Nijman, OT, Virginia Tech (JR)
Andrew Motuapuaka, LB, Virginia Tech
Tremaine Edmunds, ILB, Virginia Tech (JR)
Greg Stroman, CB, Virginia Tech
Adonis Alexander, CB, Virginia Tech (JR)

Oklahoma State:

Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State

James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State
Zachary Crabtree, OT, Oklahoma State
Aaron Cochran, OT, Oklahoma State (JR)
Tralund Webber, DE, Oklahoma State
Tre Flowers, S, Oklahoma State
Ramon Richards, S, Oklahoma State

Alamo Bowl: Stanford vs TCU


Bryce Love, RB, Stanford

David Bright, OT, Stanford
Casey Tucker, G, Stanford
Jesse Burkett, C, Stanford
Harrison Phillips, DT, Stanford
Peter Kalambayi, OLB, Stanford
Quenton Meeks, CB, Stanford (JR)
​Justin Reid, S, Stanford (JR)


John Diarse, WR, TCU
Kyle Hicks, RB, TCU
Joseph Noteboom, OT, TCU
Matt Pryor, G, TCU
Mat Boesen, DE, TCU
Travin Howard, OLB, TCU

Holiday Bowl: Washington State vs Michigan State

Washington State:

Luke Falk, QB, Washington State

Jamal Morrow, RB, Washington State
Cody O’Connell, G, Washington State
Cole Madison, OT, Washington State
Garrett McBroom, DT, Washington State
Hercules Mata’afa, DT, Washington State (JR)

Michigan State:

Brian Allen, C, Michigan State
Demetrius Cooper, DT, Michigan State
Chris Frey, OLB, Michigan State

Belk Bowl: Wake Forest vs Texas A&M

Wake Forest:

Duke Ejiofor, DE, Wake Forest

John Wolford, QB, Wake Forest
Cam Serigne, TE, Wake Forest

Texas A&M:

Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M

Damion Ratley, WR, Texas A&M
​Zaycoven Henderson, DT, Texas A&M
Kingsley Keke, DT, Texas A&M (JR)
Priest Willis, CB, Texas A&M
Armani Watts, S, Texas A&M

Sun Bowl: N.C. State vs Arizona State

N.C. State:

Bradley Chubb, DE, N.C. State

Nyheim Hines, RB, N.C. State (JR)
Jaylen Samuels, FB, N.C. State
Tony Adams, G, N.C. State
Will Richardson, OT, N.C. State (JR)
B.J. Hill, DT, N.C. State
Justin Jones, DT, N.C. State
Kentavius Street, DE, N.C. State
Johnathan Alston, CB, N.C. State

Arizona State:

Kalen Ballage, RB, Arizona State
AJ McCollum, G, Arizona State
Tashon Smallwood, DT, Arizona State
Koron Crump, OLB, Arizona State

Cotton Bowl: USC vs Ohio State


Sam Darnold, QB, USC

Ronald Jones, RB, USC (JR)
​Deontay Burnett, WR, USC (JR)
Uchenna Nwosu, OLB, USC
Chris Hawkins, S, USC
Iman Marshall, CB, USC (JR)

Ohio State:

Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

J.T. Barrett, QB, Ohio State
Marcus Baugh, TE, Ohio State
Jamarco Jones, OT, Ohio State
Billy Price, C, Ohio State
Dre’Mont Jones, Ohio State (JR)
Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State (JR)
Tyquan Lewis, DE, Ohio State
Jerome Baker, OLB, Ohio State (JR)
Damon Webb, S, Ohio State

TaxSlayer Bowl: Louisville vs Mississippi State


Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

Trevon Young, DE, Louisville
James Hearns, OLB, Louisville
Trumaine Washington, CB, Louisville
Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville (JR)

Mississippi State:

Martinas Rankin, OT, Mississippi State
Donald Gray, WR, Mississippi State
Jordan Thomas, TE, Mississippi State

Liberty Bowl: Memphis vs Iowa State:


Anthony Miller, WR, Memphis

Riley Ferguson, QB, Memphis
​Genard Avery, OLB, Memphis
Jonathan Cook, CB, Memphis

Iowa State:

Allen Lazard, WR, Iowa State

Allen Lazard, WR, Iowa State
​Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State (JR)
Jake Campos, OT, Iowa State
Joel Lanning, ILB, Iowa State

Fiesta Bowl: Washington vs Penn State


Vita Vea, DT, Washington

Lavon Coleman, RB, Washington
Dante Pettis, WR, Washington
Azeem Victor, ILB, Washington
Keishawn Bierria, LB, Washington

Penn State:

Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

Juwan Johnson, WR, Penn State (JR)
DaeSean Hamilton, WR, Penn State
Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State
Curtis Cothran, DT, Penn State
Jason Cabinda, ILB, Penn State
Christian Campbell, CB, Penn State
Marcus Allen, S, Penn State

Orange Bowl: Miami vs Wisconsin


Chad Thomas, DE, Miami

Braxton Berrios, WR, Miami
Dee Delaney, CB, Miami


Troy Fumagalli, TE, Wisconsin

Michael Deiter, OT, Wisconsin (JR)
Conor Sheehy, DT, Wisconsin
Derrick Tindal, CB, Wisconsin

Outback Bowl: Michigan vs South Carolina


Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan

Mason Cole, OT, Michigan
Chase Winovich, DE, Michigan (JR)
Mike McCray, OLB, Michigan

South Carolina:

Skai Moore, OLB, South Carolina
Cory Helms, G, South Carolina
Alan Knott, G, South Carolina
Taylor Stallworth, DT, South Carolina
Jamarcus King, CB, South Carolina

Peach Bowl: Auburn vs UCF


Braden Smith, G, Auburn
Austin Golson, OT, Auburn
Tre’ Williams, OLB, Auburn
Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn (JR)
Tray Matthews, S, Auburn


Shaquem Griffin, ILB, UCF

Jordan Akins, WR, UCF
Jamiyus Pittman, DT, UCF

Citrus Bowl: Notre Dame vs LSU

Notre Dame:

Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame

Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame (JR)
Jay Hayes, DE, Notre Dame (JR)
Drue Tranquill, OLB, Notre Dame


Derrius Guice, RB, LSU

DJ Chark, WR, LSU
Greg Gilmore, DT, LSU
Christian LaCouture, DE, LSU
Arden Key, DE, LSU (JR)
Donnie Alexander, ILB, LSU
Donte Jackson, CB, LSU (JR)
Kevin Toliver II, CB, LSU (JR)

There you go, hopefully that helps when watching the games. This should keep you busy on the couch for a few days anyway. I hope the New Year finds everyone who reads this well and that 2018 is your best year ever.











Scouting Report: Marcus Davenport, DE/LB

December 1st, 2017

Would the Patriots be interested in a small school prospect with big time upside early in the draft?

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

It seems like every post I write these days has to start out with an apology, and this one is no different. We are still trying to figure out just where the hours go in the day now that we have 2 very active and rambunctious little boys. Finding an hour to type these things out is a lot harder than I ever would have imagined. So, what do I need to cover since the last time? Oh yeah, Iowa State is bowl eligible!!! I am not sure if any of you watched that game against Kansas State, but that was a travesty with how that game ended. I am happy to see Iowa State has locked up Matt Campbell long term as I think he is a great teaching coach and can really develop a winning culture. Enough about that though, the Patriots are doing what the Patriots do and they looked poised for another run at the Super Bowl. There are still things that need improving and positions that are getting really thin, which is a concern for this year and a reason to look at some prospects for next year. That brings us to Marcus Davenport. Now, I know the name has been brought up on this site before, but for those who may not know who he is, here is what you need to know.

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Scouting Report: Anthony Miller, WR

November 13th, 2017

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

It was another solid win for the Patriots last night. While the Broncos might just be a bad team this year, Denver is a place that the Patriots have had their struggles, so to have a game where Brian Hoyer and Brandon Bolden are running out the clock is a good thing. There are some things that still need to be cleaned up, especially on defense, but for now, lets enjoy the victory and get ready for the Raiders next week in Mexico.

We are in mid November already and it’s weird to think that the college football regular season is almost over. I have been grinding through tape and to be honest, so far I am pretty lukewarm on this class overall. My focus has been on the Seniors, so maybe things will get better once the underclassman declare, but usually by this time I have found “my guy” and it just hasn’t happened yet. Today’s prospect comes close though. In fact, I wasn’t even scouting him. When Jimmy G got traded, I felt it was important to give a serious look at the QB class and it just so happened I started with the Memphis QB Riley Ferguson. I kept noticing that #3 was catching everything and my focus quickly shifted. The notes said “Anthony Miller.” How could I forget about Anthony Miller? Finally, a prospect to get excited about. Here is what I saw that got me so excited.

Name: Anthony Miller (#3)

School: Memphis (rSr.)

Height: 5’11” (unofficial)

Weight: 190 Lbs (unofficial)


Miller has been ultra productive for Memphis over the past 4 years and has done so from a couple of different offensive schemes. He has excellent burst and footwork at the snap, making it difficult for defenders to get their hands on him. Miller is also a very good route runner from multiple positions. He excels in the slot and uses his quickness to get open, but runs a good route tree from the outside as well. He has an excellent combination of hands and body control. He makes his Quarterback look good by making difficult catches look easy. He has a rare knack of knowing and using the sideline to his advantage. Miller has above average return ability and should contribute immediately on special teams in the NFL. He is an explosive player who plays much bigger than his actual size. He was a walk on at Memphis and from all accounts, won a scholarship through hard work and dedication to getting better. He is well liked by teammates and is a team leader.


As a Patriots fan, I think we have all seen that guys who do not fit the prototypical WR size requirement can not only play in the NFL, but thrive when put in the right position to do so. However, there are still teams out there that want their Receivers a certain size, so a guy like Miller will not be high on their boards. Miller will benefit from adding some bulk so he can withstand the hits slot receivers tend to take in the NFL. Miller is another guy who fits in the quicker than fast category and shouldn’t be asked to run routes deep down the field. Memphis plays in conference that does not have a ton of NFL talent, so their probably will be an adjustment period to the speed and physicality that the NFL brings.


I am a big Anthony Miller fan and I think he would be a great long term plan for the Patriots as their future slot receiver. Like the players before him that have succeeded at that position in New England, he was an afterthought who made a name for himself with hard work and determination and now plays with a chip on his shoulder. The issue will be value vs. need. Right now I think he grades out as a late 1st/early 2nd and that can only go up if he runs faster than expected. Do the Patriots want to use that high of a draft pick on a position that may not be considered a big need? We shall see, but I would have no problem using one on a guy like Miller.






Instant Reaction: The Jimmy G Trade

October 30th, 2017

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

Here I thought the highlight of my night was watching my five year old’s first soccer practice ever. Then my phone pinged and my jaw hit the floor. I think I probably looked very similar to those kids out on the field- wondering aimlessly around and struggling to keep my focus.

My initial reaction was “why now, we could have gotten so much more last April? And what do we do about the backup job now? ”  It seemed the team made it pretty clear to the other teams in the league that Jimmy G was almost untouchable, yet all it took was a single pick, and just a second rounder to boot.

What changed? Were all the rumors about multiple 1st round picks being turned down just that, rumors? As fans of the Patriots, we have come to think of this organization as one step ahead of everyone else, especially when it comes to trades. Did the Patriots play a game of chicken with the league and lost this time? Only time will tell, but I never would have guessed this team would go from having three QB’s on their roster to one during the season.

Obviously, with a trade like this, the Patriots are all in that Brady will indeed be playing at least 2 more years and probably think more is a real possibility. This also could be just the first domino to fall in what could be a very active 24 hours before the trade deadline. Another aspect of this trade is that it allows the team to use the franchise tag on Malcolm Butler next off season if they so choose.

I really liked Jimmy G and I hope he has success in San Francisco. Not this year of course, but after this season, I would like to see him play well. He seems like a quality person and a talented football player.

Do I like this trade? My first reaction is no. It is not so much losing the player, because I just didn’t see the timing lining up for Jimmy to be the starter here, and this trade proves that. However, I think the return is light and I think the team overplayed this one a bit and lost out on a better deal.

What are all your thoughts?


Monday Morning Musings: Are The Patriots Back?

October 23rd, 2017

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

First off, sorry for the delay in getting new content out. Between work, being sick, and 2 small children, I just have not found the time to sit down and really evaluate these players. I did get to watch the game in peace and quiet last night and boy, was it a nice change. In fact, it was a great weekend all around from a sports perspective. The Cyclones won, putting themselves just one win away from being Bowl eligible, the Yankees lost, and of course, the Patriots won.

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What Is Wrong With The Patriots?

October 5th, 2017

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

I think we all can agree that the Patriots have been dominant for almost two decades. That is an impressive feat to say the least. I have lived as a Patriots fan in the Midwest all my life, so needless to say, seeing the Patriots in person or on TV was rarely an option. Now that I am older and have moved closer to an NFL city, the opportunity to see them, while still rare, has become more of a possibility. The first time I saw the Patriots live was here in Kansas City when the Chiefs destroyed the Patriots and there was talk that the team was finished. The second time was this past weekend. My wife surprised me for my birthday with a trip to Boston and tickets to see the team I love play a home game for the first and probably the only time in my life. Once again, in this window of dominance, I happen to witness one of the teams worst performances and a rare home loss. My only hope now is that the season will take on a similar fate to the one that I witnessed my first live game.

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Scouting Report: Akrum Wadley, RB

September 21st, 2017


Wadley has an interesting skillset, but is he an every down back in the NFL?

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

In what has become a weird tradition, I begin my scouting report series with a player from a team I hate, the Iowa Hawkeyes. I am not sure why or how this happened, but I figure why stop now. Before we get to the report, lets talk a little about the week that was in football. As a fan, it was nice to see the Patriots play better and get a good road win. By no means do I think everything is fixed and the Patriots will now just role through the rest of the season, but we did see a team play much better in all facets of the game. Injuries are an area of concern and seeing Marcus Cannon on the injury report is a bit scary considering the defense the Patriots will go up against on Sunday. That being said, I don’t think Houston has the offense to put up enough scores to win the game and the Patriots should come away with the victory.

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