These players showed glimpses of NFL ability, but weren’t consistent play-makers during the game. These players did show enough talent or one NFL skill to keep their draft hopes alive.
RB Malcolm Agnew, Southern Illinois (5’9 | 205 | 4.53) – The announcers acted like he was the 2nd coming of Jim Brown, but Agnew looked like just a decent back-up RB to me. He runs hard, showed good vision, and keeps a low pad level, but I didn’t see anything special athletically or in the open field.
DT Ethan Farmer, North Carolina (6’2 | 291 | 4.91) – Has a lot of potential but didn’t make much of an impact during the game except for one play when he burst through the 1 gap before the center and guard even moved and stopped the RB 2-yards deep in the backfield. Farmer has flashed that type of talent a few times every game, but needs to get more consistent to become a starter at the next level. Farmer definitely has the talent to play in the league and will be drafted at some point as a developmental 3-tech DT.
DE Brock Hekking, Nevada (6’4 | 255 | 4.64) – Earned a spot in the Collegiate Bowl after a dominant performance at the Medal of Honor Bowl last week. Hekking showed the same skill-set with a decent first step, good hand play and a legitimate non-stop motor. He had a QB hurry on a play where he covered about 90% of the width of the field to track down the QB. Hekking could find a role in a 4-3 under scheme as a LEO backer or perhaps as a 3-4 OLB if he can show coverage skills. His effort level is outstanding and seems to have a real drive to get to the QB. Those are the kind of guys I want on my team.
TE Westlee Tonga, Utah (6’3 | 240 | 4.73) – Started strong with a nice catch and run on the first drive of the game and then disappeared. The QB play was pretty awful all game so it may not be Tonga’s fault, but I would have liked to see Tonga make more of an impact. Like Mahina, Tonga got better as the season went on and has NFL potential as a solid H-back or move TE.
OG Mitchell Bell, Louisiana Tech (6’2 |348 | 5.48) – One of my favorite sleeper tackles who didn’t make much of an impact except for one play where he pulled his massive frame out in front of the RB and crushed a LB on the 2nd level. The potential is there for Bell to be a beast at RG, but he needs some work on his technique and conditioning.
RB Ross Scheuerman, Lafeyette (6’0 | 205 | 4.36) – Was responsible for the most surprising, jaw-dropping play of NFLPA bowl, when he turned the corner and then just blazed past the rest of the defense for a 51-yard TD that was ultimately called back due to a hold (Mahina). Scheuerman can really run. McShay talked about a possible switch to a slot receiver for Scheuerman due to his problems running between the tackles. Worst case, he could be a dangerious return man but is worth a late round flyer to see if his speed can translate to an NFL position.
WR Lucky Whitehead, Florida Atlantic (5’10 | 170 | 4.48) – I would have liked to see Whitehead get more passes thrown his way because he was unguardable in Conference USA play. He flashed some YAC ability after a short catch in the flat and showed his elusiveness on a punt return. Whitehead is very quick, has natural hands and ball skills, and the potential to be a dangerous slot receiver and kick/punt returner. Its a huge leap from Conference USA to the NFL, but Whitehead is a high upside sleeper who could at least contribute on special teams if not in the slot.
ILB Jabral Johnson, Oregon St (6’0 | 224 | 4.84) – Not only too small for an NFL ILB, but too slow as well. Despite his athletic limitations, Johnson was probably the best LB on the field during the NFLPA bowl. He also had one of the best hits of the game, a nice pass deflection in coverage, and blew up a running play deep in the backfield. Johnson did a little bit of everything and flashed the potential to at least be a solid special teams player in the NFL. His lack of size and physical attributes will probably keep him from being drafted, but Johnson is a really good football player.
OG Jarvis Harrison, Texas A&M (6’4 | 355 | 5.27) – Massive at 344 pounds, but flashed surprising movement skills pulling on a sweep play. That kind of athleticism at just under 350 pounds is probably enough to get Harrison drafted. If he can get his weight under control, he could be special as a guard in a power run scheme. High risk / high reward pick who should hear his name called early on day 3.