Last night's Poinsettia Bowl turned out to be a lot closer then the experts expected. #18 TCU was able to pull off a close win 31-24 over Louisiana Tech, as the Horned Frogs now look forward to their first year in the Big XII. The bowl season continues tonight as #8 Boise State (11-1) plays in the
BCS Bend You Over Las Vegas Bowl against Arizona State (6-6) at 8PM on ESPN. On paper this looks like a blowout, especially given the Sun Devils' coaching change, but Arizona State has played in some big games and I think this will be closer than advertised for much of the way. One thing is for sure, there will be a lot points on the board and this game features some serious pro prospects.
Boise State Prospects:
Kellen Moore, QB, 5'11, 195lbs: Moore has a chance tonight to become the first quarterback in NCAA DI history to win 50 games (he's only lost 3). He has tremendous route anticipation, as well as pocket presence. But despite his record at Boise State Moore's draft stock has tanked over the past year, going from a mid-round prospect all the way to the 7th round. Wes Bunting outlines some of Moore's downfalls:
Despite his "plus" accuracy even when falling off throws, he’s simply not a guy who is going to force a defense to cover the entire field at the next level because of his limited arm strength. Furthermore, because of his limited size when there is a push in the pocket right into his face, he doesn’t have the stature to routinely find a throwing lane in order to deliver the football without drifting away from pressure. Therefore, too often he’s forced to fall off throws, negating his arm strength even more and giving defenders a better chance to make a play on the football.
Despite Moore's drawbacks I'd still take him on a flyer in the 7th round, if we're grooming a starting QB it would also be nice to groom a back up. Bunting draws a comparison between Moore and former Eagle backup Koy Detmer.
Nate Potter, OT, 6'5, 295lbs: If you've been paying attention to Redskins mock drafts then you've probably seen the name Nate Potter pop up a couple of times in the 2nd round or 3rd round. The hard working, high motor tackle impresses many scouts because of his pure size (many compare him to the Patriots' Nate Solder). Though Potter may be a good project in the 3rd round, I see a prospect that is very raw and may drop when the evaluation season begins. Despite excelling in the WAC and Mountain West, Potter is still a limited athlete and will have to improve his strength to succeed in the NFL.
Billy Winn, 6'3, 300lbs: Steve outlined the Broncos Billy Wynn early in Week 1 of the college season:
Winn stands at 6’3 and weighs 295 lbs. He would likely be considered as a defensive end for the Redskins during the scouting process. Winn is big and strong, but he is mostly praised for being a leader in the locker room and the heart and soul of the Broncos defense. He will likely go in the second round of the draft but could move up the boards to the first round with a good senior season.
Unfortunately Winn hasn't had as big of a season as expected, but still garnered 2nd team MWC honors and is still and intriguing prospect. To solidify his draft stock in the 2nd round, the Las Vegas native should have a big game in his hometown tonight.
Arizona State Prospects:
Vontaze Burfict, ILB, 6'3, 252lbs: I've been outspoken in my affection for 1st round prospect Vontaze Burfict, mainly because he may literally rip someones head off in the NFL. But despite my man-crush Burfict has been one of the most disappointing pro prospects this year, as Tony Pauline points out:
Possibly no player has dropped down draft boards faster this season than Burfict. He entered the campaign ranked as a potential top five pick, but his immaturity has cost him at least half a round, if not more. He's been consistently flagged for unsportsmanlike penalties, and it has cost his team dearly. Scouts say Burfict shows little in the way of controlling his temper, which has NFL decision-makers concerned.
Burfict needs to show he can be a leader and can play smart, and he can start doing that tonight in a big game for the Sun Devils.
Keep an eye on Arizona State's Omar Bolden (CB) and quarterback Brock Osweiler. Both will be highly touted prospects next year. Osweiler is particularly interesting because he stands at 6'8 and turned down a basketball scholarship at Gonzage.
Prediction: Boise State 33, Arizona State 19