Collegiate Bowl: Stock Watch

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /
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Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

RB Tarik Cohen, NC A&T (5’6 | 178 | 4.39) – One of the smallest non-kicker prospects in this year’s draft, but Cohen has a legit chance to make an NFL roster next year. His size is obviously an issue, but 5,619 career rushing yards and 59 touchdowns are hard to ignore.

The FCS All-American has been dominant since he stepped on the field with four consecutive 1,000 yard+ seasons. His list of accomplishments is impressive, including leading the MEAC conference in rushing as a freshman despite only starting six games and breaking the NC A&T all-time rushing yards record in the middle of his junior season.

Cohen only got four touches in the Collegiate Bowl but made the most of them, gaining 27 yards (7.8 ypc). It takes a unique skill-set to survive in the NFL at 5’6, 178 pounds, but Cohen’s speed (reportedly clocked as low as 4.30), ability to change direction without losing speed, instant acceleration through the hole, and surprising toughness give him a chance.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

S  Lorenzo Jerome, St. Francis (5’10 | 202 | 4.50) – The MVP of the Collegiate Bowl is one of the fastest risers in the draft right now. Jerome went from a projected day three pick a month ago to as high as the 2nd-3rd round according to NFLDraftScout. His impressive two-interception performance on Saturday also helped earn Jerome an invite to the Senior Bowl this weekend.

Jerome has been a do-everything star for FCS St. Francis (PA) during his career there. He has 18 career interceptions and eight touchdowns in five different ways (three kick return, one punt return, two pick-sixes, one fumble return, and a 43-yard touchdown reception).

His returner skills are legitimate with a career average of 27.2 yards and a top-two kick return average in the FCS the last two seasons, but it’s his skills as a safety that will get Jerome drafted. His 18 career picks lead all current FCS players and he flashed impressive ball skills at the Collegiate Bowl with two difficult interceptions. If Jerome plays well at the Senior Bowl this weekend, he could lock up a day two selection.