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2012 NFL Draft - Scouting for Future Chargers: Bowl Games Part 7

Team Needs
Starter Starter Competition Depth Projects
Current starter is FA next year and has no surefire understudy Current starter is FA next year and has understudy or current starter is inexperienced One or more backups are FAs next year May need a new starter or backup after 2012 season

In case you missed it, I justified the most recent updates to the team needs list a few weeks ago when I scouted the last week of the college football regular season. There's a lot of unknowns until we know the extent of some injuries and any changes in management are made, so I'm not going to say much more about that. Instead let's go to the games.

Florida St.
(8-4) vs Notre Dame (8-4) Thursday 12/29 2:30 PM PT (ESPN)
Champ Sports Bowl (Orlando, FL): As far as high end talent goes it's a an OT and a DE to watch for the Seminoles and a WR for the Fighting Irish. Zebrie Sanders moved to LT this season and looks to be a 2nd day pick and DE Brandon Jenkins looks good enough to be a pass rusher in a 4-3 or a 3-4. Notre Dame WR Michael Floyd was thought to be a 1st or 2nd round pick last year, but returned to school and still looks to go somewhere in that range. Unfortunately for teams with a need at ILB Manti Te'o will stay in school despite probably being a sure-fiire 1st round pick. Something similar could be said of TE Tyler Eifert who will probably stay in school, but he burst onto the scene just this year so many didn't have his draft projection ready like they did with Te'o as he began ascent. One thing to be aware of in this game is that the 6'3 Floyd is supposedly going to line up against FSU's top CB Greg Reid who is only 5'8. If that happens, I'm not sure we'll learn that much about Floyd's game since you'd expect him to dominate that matchup every time, no matter the skill of the CB.

Washington (7-5) vs Baylor (9-3) Thursday 12/29 6:00 PM PT (ESPN)
Valero Alamo Bowl (San Antonio, TX): A lot of eyes will be on this game as the Heisman trophy winner attempt to show off his wares. Robert Griffin III is blessed with legs and an arm but also with a very talented WR in Kendall Wright, who faces a good matchup with Washington DBs Quinton Richardson and Gregory Ducre. Another reason to like this matchup is that Washington would seem to be highly motivated in this game. Some of these players played on the winless 2008 team and the bowl-less 2009 team. The did win the Holiday Bowl last in a rematch with Nebraska, but these kids would love to signify the return of the Huskies with back-to-back wins. RB Chis Polk is one of those beleaguered seniors and an NFL prospect and he might just lead the way to reigning on Griffin III's Heisman parade.

I'll go over the individual players after the jump.

BFTB Scouting Targets:
Player School Pos. Class Height Weight
Michael Floyd Notre Dame WR Sr. 6'3 229 lbs
He was scouted here some last year as many thought he'd declare for the draft. Instead he stayed in school and picked up his second arrest involving alcohol. The first was being underage, the second was an 'operating while intoxicated' charge. He also has some durability concerns as he's missed lots of games because of a couple of injuries. Because of his size and speed, he's going to be a mismatch in the NFL and will be tough to cover by anyone other than experienced and athletic DBs. His hands are good, but not excellent. Needs to improve route running and blocking. (2nd round)
Manti Te'o
Notre Dame
ILB Jr. 6'2 255 lbs
A Junior Seau type? That'd be high praise and I just heard Mel Kiper Jr. compare him to the Charger great when previewing the Notre Dame defense. From a tackling perspective he's got exactly what you look for in a linebacker. Technically sound, wrap up tackler who is smooth, can drive through the ball carrier and provide some violence. He can do it all from a stopping the run, coverage and pass rushing perspectives. He also has excellent character. He's an eagle scout and is heavily involved in community service. However, our scouting will have to be with the 2013 draft in mind since he's said he'll return next year. (1st round)
Kendall Wright Baylor K Sr. 5'10 194 lbs
He may be small for a WR , but he's also a former member of the Baylor basketball team that has some of those basketball player skills that experts like to drool over. He's fast and agile and defenders can lose track of him fast. He's not physically strong so jams can be a good way to slow him down. Not good at catching away from his body and by already being small there's not a big window to throw to. He's elusive after the catch with blazing speed, so once he's got the ball in his hands any play can become a big gain. (1st round)
Zebrie Sanders Florida St. OT Sr. 6'5 295 lbs
Another good OT prospect. This a great opportunity for a pass rushing prospect to emerge from Oklahoma if he can beat one or both of these guys. I'm not sure who that would be though. (2nd round)
Brandon Jenkins
Florida St.
DE Jr. 6'3 255 lbs
Excellent pass rusher, but only a junior so he may not come out. He's considered undersized for a 4-3 DE so a move to 3-4 OLB will be necessary, which is fine by the Chargers. This game is not the toughest test for him. He's got something to prove against the run, but he's not facing the greatest run offense. It'll be a chance to show off how good of a pass rusher he is, but Oklahoma's OTs are experience, but are only fringe NFL prospects. Landry Jones is pretty savvy, so that could be the biggest challenge for him. (2nd Round)
Alameda Ta'amu Washington DT Sr. 6'2 334 lbs
He's a gap plugger. Hes huge and can fill a hole well. Can anchor against double teams. Can shed blockers to make a play on the ball carrier. Not much in the way of pass rush moves and skills. Never wins with quickness, everything is power. He carries so much weight that it may become a problem. Hustles a lot for a big man. (2nd round)
Tyler Eifert Notre Dame TE Jr. 6'5 250 lbs
His combination of height, weight and speed make him a matchup problem in college and probably in the NFL as well. You can line him up anywhere, in-line, slot or as a wide out. He's a big target but that extends beyond his frame as he as good hands and can grab balls outside his frame. Fast enough to extend the field and get over the top. Not great at running after the catch. At minimum he will be a good red zone target. (2nd round)
Harrison Smith
Notre Dame
S Sr. 6'1 213 lbs
Athletic safety who can play in the box and not be a liability in coverage. Vocal leader and makes his share of plays include leaping interceptions. He's got some ability to deliver a hit as well. Could take time to develop, but will help on special teams while he does. (3rd round)
Nigel Bradham
Florida St.
Sr. 6'2 238 lbs
Smallish OLB that would be a 3-4 ILB candidate like Jonas Mouton. Probably better suited for the 4-3 as a WLB. Shows good range vs. the run with his agility and good feet. He won't do that as well though if he has to fight through blockers. Looks like he could do well in zone coverages and maybe a little man-to-man. Hard worker. (3rd round)
Senio Kelemete Washington OG Sr. 6'3 297 lbs
Two time captain, hard worker, good citizen and a leader by example. A scrapper who plays with toughness, but is not a great athlete. A little hurky-jerky in his blocking and doesn't show the best technique. He's got a good punch when he gets his feet set. Better at run blocking than pass blocking. (3rd round)
Jermaine Kearse Washington WR Sr. 6'0 212 lbs
Potentially a possession type receiver who can work the middle and catch in traffic. Fights for yards after catch. Won't wow anybody with his speed, but can go after the deep ball. Hands are good, described as soft. Runs routes well, smooth and can get separation especially against zones. Durability is not a concern. (4th round)
Darius Fleming Notre Dame
OLB Sr. 6'1 250 lbs
Prototypical height, size, speed, but nothing stands out as above average. Shown dedication his work as a football player. Whether it's is running game skills, instincts, tackling, coverage everything continues to be okay, but nothing stands out. Does a good job of fighting off blocks. (Mid rounds)
Robert Blanton Notre Dame CB Sr. 6'0 196 lbs
A corner with some physicality to his game. He was only a part time starter until this season, so not as experienced as some seniors. He does have special teams experience. Some questions about how well he can handle man coverage because of his hips and quickness. Seems to do alright in zone. High character guy. Potentially a situation 3rd or 4th CB in the NFL. (Mid to late rounds)
NFL Prospects:
Player School Pos. Class Height Weight
Robert Griffin III Baylor QB
Jr. 6'1 218 lbs
The offense Griffin is used to runs a lot of spread formations, shotgun snaps, quck screams and quick hitters. He'll need time to adjust to an NFL offense, but he's such a good athlete that an NFL team might as well design their offense around him. He's got a strong arm and a quick release, which s an ideal combo. His touch is superb and puts it right where his receivers want it. Can get a little inaccurate when throwing on the run. Completion percentage is elite for a college QB. Great intangibles.(1st round)
Chris Polk Washington RB Jr. 5'10 214 lbs
Pretty much the perfect sized running back, maybe could use some bulk. Plays with passion and work either. You'd love everyone to be as dedicated as he is. Good leg churn, doesn't quit on a play and will often get extra yardage out of that. He can be patient and wait for holes, but sometimes that leads to hesitancy. Shows good burst when hitting the hole. Doesn't need to come off the field on third down. (2nd round)
Terrance Ganaway Baylor RB Sr. 6'0 238 lbs
He's a big backthat can do the pounding to complement Griffin's slash and dash. He does have good burst though and his straight line speed is not bad. Needs an offense than you use his one cut and run style. Fortunately for him there are a few of those. (Mid rounds)
Player School Pos. Class Height Weight
Gary Gray
Notre Dame
CB Sr. 5'10 185 lbs
Not a priority for Chargers, but more than just a fringe prospect. Good speed, but needs more bulk. Also needs work in coverage. Could deserve a flyer. (late rounds)
David Ruffer Notre Dame
K Sr. 6'0 186 lbs
Trevor Robinson Notre Dame
OG Sr. 6'4 302 lbs
Mike Ragone Notre Dame
TE Sr. 6'4 247 lbs
Ethan Johnson Notre Dame
DE Sr. 6'4 294 lbs
Taylor Dever Notre Dame
OG Sr. 6'5 294 lbs
Erik Folk Washington K Sr. 5'10 195 lbs
Kiel Rasp Washington P Sr. 6'2 228 lbs
Will Mahan Washington P Sr. 5'11 197 lbs
Cort Dennison Washington ILB Sr. 6'0 230 lbs
Quinton Richardson Washington CB Sr. 5'11 206 lbs
Everrette Thompson Washington DE Sr. 6'4 265 lbs
Cody Bruns Washington WR Sr. 5'10 181 lbs
Devin Aguilar Washington WR Sr. 5'11 188 lbs
Philip Blake Baylor OC Sr. 6'2 320 lbs
(Late rounds)
Nick Jean-Baptiste Baylor DT Sr. 6'1 316 lbs
Elliot Coffey Baylor ILB Sr. 6'0 232 lbs
Robert Griffin Baylor OG Sr. 6'6 340 lbs
Baylor DT Sr. 6'3 280 lbs