Scouting the Bowl Games Part 7

The Final Chapter. I mainly just watched the Cotton Bowl where Dexter McCluster shined. It will be fun to see him in the NFL. I didn't talk about Shay Hodge, but he's a WR from Ole Miss who will probably do well in the NFL, but I doubt he's a guy the Chargers like. I watched a bit of the Bowl and took some mental notes on Dixon, but I came away unimpressed with his patience and vision so I'm pretty sure he'll be a project at best at the next level. Let's check out our final week of Bowl games:

Fiesta Bowl: Boise State vs Texas Christian (Mon, Jan 4)

Orange Bowl: Iowa vs Georgia Tech (Tues, Jan 5)

GMAC Bowl: Central Michigan vs Troy (Wed, Jan 6)

National Championship: Texas vs Alabama (Thur, Jan 7)

I'm going to focus mainly on players that will probably go in the 1st or 2nd round. I'm going to focus on positions that might interest the Chargers, which means lots of front seven players, offensive tackles and running backs. I might mix in other positions, but I'll give a reason if I do. I'm also just using all draft eligible players, which will include some Sophomores and Juniors who may end up staying in school. I probably won't mention a top of the draft guy, unless I really want to say something about him or I think there is a slim chance he could slip or we could trade up. Okay, on to the players:

Jerry Hughes, OLB, Texas Christian, Senior - Ladanian's alma mater actually employs some 3-4 schemes so Hughes already has experience as a rush 3-4 linebacker. He has elite top end and closing speed. He uses hands to keep blockers off frame and has a wide variety of pass rush moves. He's extremely effective setting up tackles to the outside before ripping/spinning inside. He has a high motor and plays with energy but still stays disciplined in his lanes and diagnoses the play well. HE's not going to be on many 4-3 teams' radar so that either means he'll slip as 4-3 teams pass on him until a 3-4 team is ready to draft him or, like the Chargers last year with English, a 3-4 team will take him higher than expected because he's the best pass rusher on their board. He projects as a 2nd round pick.

Daryl Washington, ILB, Texas Christian, Senior - Washington is a bit of a fixer-upper since he's playing at only 215 lbs, but he has the height (6'1) and frame to play at a higher weight. He has good top end speed and scouts say he could be able to maintain that if he bulks up the right way. He's a smart player, a fluid athlete and he's a special teams standout. He's got a lot of the qualities that teams look for when they gamble in the middle rounds, however its possible that his athleticism will push him into round 3.

Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa, Junior - Bulaga grades out as a late first round pick so he could be someone on the Chargers radar in the first round. According to Scouts, Inc Bulaga has good size (6'6 311 lbs), strength and natural agility, though he needs to play with better leverage and improve his footwork. He plays left tackle for the Hawkeyes, but he could move to the right side for the Chargers.

Kyle Calloway, OT, Iowa, Senior - The other Hawkeye bookend projects as a mid rounder, possibly as high as the 3rd round. He is a strong run blocker at the point of attack but Calloway has limited natural athleticism. He fits best as a right tackle in the NFL so that works for the Chargers since their future at RT is murky.

Pat Angerer, ILB, Iowa, Senior - A smallish ILB at 5'11 233 lbs Angerer is at best a mid to late round prospect. Angerer does not have the best physical tools but shows excellent instincts and recognition skills and is very productive. He's probably not an ideal fit for the Chargers, but he could be a late round value pick.

Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech, Junior - Morgan is an explosive pass rusher with impressive athleticism and the versatility to line up as a 4-3 defensive end or 3-4 outside linebacker at the next level. He has a high first-round projection so he's out of the Chargers draft range, but he's a talent worth keeping an eye on.

Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Georgia Tech, Junior - Dwyer is a powerful runner with above-average burst for his size, he can pick up yards inside and also get to the edge. His size is a little big for an NFL RB at 5'11 234 lbs (and he may be bigger than that), but that above average burst pushes him up the draft parts to the bottom of the first round. There are a lot of questions about his abilities in the passing game due to the Yellow Jackets not using the passing game as much as other teams and if you watch how he lines up its not exactly the stance that an NFL back would take. He's intriguing and you'll probably see more than one mock draft with him going to the Chargers (assuming he declares).

Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech, Junior- He meets the minimum size requires for a Chargers WR and he carries a 2nd round grade, so he's worth watching in this game. The Georgia Tech style emphasizes efficient usage of the passing game and run blocking for its WRs, which are both true for the Chargers passing game. However, Thomas is a bit unpolished, but he has tremendous size and is a physical receiver who can stretch the field vertically.

Dan LeFevour, QB, Central Michigan, Senior - Purdue played Central Michigan something like 3 times in a 370 day span or something so I got to get real familiar with this Fighting Chippewa. His production at the college level was very high and his intangibles grade out well as well because he's a fiery competitor and a team leader. He's a good pass when he sets his feet, but he played a lot in the spread so there may be an adjustment period. His arm strength his above average and can take speed on and off his throws to help him beat coverages. He also is a good runner who can elude a pass rush and get first downs with his legs. He needs to work on footwork, arm slots and his patience in the pocket. He's a good development project at QB and perhaps could be Phillip Rivers' future backup or maybe just a future clipboard holder.

Jordan Shipley, WR, Texas, Senior - Most often referred to as Heisman finalist Colt McCoy's roommate this little WR has a bright future in the NFL. If there were ever such a thing as the next Wes Welker, then this guy is it. He looks fast on the field, but I guess scouts are going to want him to back it up in the 40. Whatever, I like this guy and I would love to see him line up at slot and return punts for the Chargers someday. He is lightning in a bottle, shows no fear going over the middle and can hold onto the ball through almost anything. You want this guy on your team. He projects as a late 2nd rounder, but that could change with his 40 time.

Rod Muckelroy, OLB, Texas, Senior - As if I even need to say this anymore, this OLB projects as an ILB in the Chargers 3-4. He's a little light at 237 lbs, but he's 6'2 so there's room to bulk up. He's an aggressive LB, but he's also excellent at diagnosing plays so it doesn't hurt him and instead helps him a lot in the running game. He's quick, but not fast, so he's not going to get sideline to sideline quick, but that hasn't bothered the Chargers in the past at the ILB position. He's also a bit of a drag down tackler as opposed to a wrap up tackler, but he provides some pop when he gets to the runner so that helps a little to keep it from hurting him. He could go as high as the late second, but is probably going to be a 3rd round pick.

Note: Texas obviously has a bunch of NFL talent, but it's too much for me to list here. Colt McCoy is probably the most famous and he's a guy whose stock has dropped a little this year under the scrutiny of his senior year. Some team will draft him as their QB of the future, I'm just not sure in which round, but I only like his value in the 3rd or later. Junior S Earl Thomas and junior OLB Sergio Kindle are first round talents, but should go in the middle of the first and aren't really fits for the Chargers anyway. Others with possible futures in the NFL are DT Lamar Houston (4-3 DT, too small for 3-4 DL), OT Adam Ulatoski (Good athlete, needs to bulk up and learn the position better), C Chris Hall, K Hunter Lawrence, ILB Jared Norton, OG Charles Tanner and CB Deon Beasley.

Rolando McClain, ILB, Alabama, Junior - Ladies and Gentleman, the best ILB prospect in the nation. He's going to go high, but he's also going to be a guy that Chargers fans will dream on as he would help the defense immensely. He has good speed, good instincts, great tackling, great work ethic, great football awareness, good coverage skills, long arms allow him to knock down passes and he plays through pain. Dream on, Chargers fans.

Terrence Cody, DT, Alabama, Senior - He's known as Mt. Cody so that should help ease the shock as I tell you that he's reported as 6'3 and 373 lbs. Suffice it to say he has "excellent bulk" as scouts would say. Alabama is one of the few collegiate teams that actually play at 3-4 so Cody has experience at the nose tackle position and would be one of the most equipped players to go to that position in the NFL. However, his actually pass rush and run stopping skills leave something to be desired as he's not particularly adept at either. He also wears out at times and if you watch him on Thursday you'll be surprised by how many plays where he is not actually on the field. It's like he's a 30 something NT playing college football. He could go as high as the late first round to a 3-4 team or he could start to slip if any of his workouts continue to have teams question his ability to actually play football instead of just take up space at the next level.

Note: Alabama is also chalk full of guys who could play on Sunday who don't necessarily seem like future Chargers to me. Senior CB Javier Arenas is the best of the remaining draft eligible bunch and projects as a 2nd rounder. The rest are OG Mike Johnson, DT Brandon Deaderick, TE Colin Peek, OLB Cory Reamer, S Justin Woodall, K Leigh Tiffen. DE Loren Washington, RB Roy Upchurch, OT Drew Davis, CB Marquis Johnson, S Al Sharriff, and OLB Brandon Fanney. And, for those that are curious, as if you didn't already expect it Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram projects as the top NFL RB prospect as soon as he's eligible/declares which could be as early as the 2011 draft.

This FanPost was written by a member of the Bolts From The Blue community and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Bolts From The Blue editors or SB Nation.