NFL Draft: Poinsettia Bowl


College football bowl season is under way. If you are like most NFL fans, you know some players on the top college football teams but that is about it. As a Bears fan, my NFL season has been over for weeks so I’ve gotten an early start on my scouting for next year’s NFL draft.

I love watching football even if it’s games I have no rooting interest in, so over the holidays I end watching a lot of random bowl games. One thing that makes the bowl games more interesting for me is to keep an eye on players who will be drafted next season. This year I will breaking down the players who have a shot at getting drafted for most of the remaining bowl games. If you end up watching the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, here are some players to keep an eye on.

Poinsettia Bowl: Navy vs San Diego St

When: Dec. 23rd, 9:30 PM (EST)


LS Joe Cardona, SR #93 (6’3, 236, 4.89)

Scouting report – One of the top long snappers in college who supposedly had his snaps timed at over 40 miles per hour. I know very little about the art of long snapping, but if you’re into that type of thing keep an eye on Cardona.

Projection: 7th round – UFA

FS Parrish Gaines, SR #39 (6’2, 200, 4.62)

Scouting report -Shrine game invitee who is a long shot to get drafted but could earn a spot on day 3 with good pre-draft workouts. Gaines is a solid all around free safety with good tackling technique and above average ball skills (6 INTs last two seasons). His speed is a question mark, but if he can run in the 4.5s Gaines has a shot as a backup free safety and special teams player.

Projection: 7th round – UFA

San Diego St

OT Terry Poole, SR #79 (6’5, 310, 5.24)

Scouting report – Has played both right and left tackle over the last two seasons and excelled at both. That versatility will be key for Poole to stick at the next level. He’s not exceptionally strong or athletic, but has good technique and plays smart. Poole could end up as a back-up swing tackle who can start in a pinch on the right side at least.

Projection: 7th round – UFA

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

WR Ezell Ruffin SR #3 (6’1, 210, 4.47) 

Scouting report – Has a shot on day 3 of the draft if he runs well in pre-draft workouts. On film, Ruffin doesn’t look fast enough to get open in the NFL, but at least part of the problem is sloppy route running. Ruffin exagerrates his cuts and rarely fools DBs enough to create seperation. What Ruffin does well is catch the football; I’ve seen a number of highlight reel catches from Ruffin. He is a natural at tracking the ball in the air and adjusting to make the catch. If he can run in the sub 4.5 range, it could be as simple as improving his route running techniques before Ruffin can make an impact at the next level.

Projection: 7th round – UFA