We’ve been knocked out with the flu for a few days, but are getting our feet back under us today. Here’s some news and notes from the college all-stars games from last week.
DE/OLB Will Clarke, West Virginia — Outside linebackers in Ryan’s system need to have size and speed to be able to beat a tackle or tight end to the quarterback, but they better also be able to set the edge. At the Shrine game, Clarke demonstrated his first step and with his size and strength showed that he can disrupt play at the line. Clarke is expected to be a mid-round talent in the May draft.
FB JC Copeland, LSU — The Jets might not be willing to move away from Tommy Bohannon after one season, but Copeland was named the Collegiate Bowl’s MVP after scoring two touchdowns. At 270 pounds and being a former defensive tackle (sound familiar?) Copeland is a great blocker, but is also quite capable of carrying the football when necessary.
TE Chris Coyle, Arizona State — Heading into the Combine, Coyle is a mid-round talent but apparently he had scouts buzzing at the Senior Bowl. Coyle is an H-back/tight end type and he did a good job in practice of catching the ball out of a number of looks and routes. Optimum Scouting reports that he is a receiver first and foremost and while willing to be a better blocker needs improvement in that area of his game to see significant time on the field in the NFL.
CB Pierre Desir Lindenwood — Ryan loves press corners, and Desir has the size and aggressiveness required to press. While Desir didn’t get a chance to show off his shill there at the Shrine game, he could be gone in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft because of his projected skills in the pros.
RB Roy Finch, Oklahoma — Finch is just the sort of running back that the Jets need right now, a speedy running back with a burst can break a play with just one missed assignment. He also could project into a special team returner … something the Jets need going forward.
QB Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois — Garoppolo is one of the most interesting developmental quarterback names in this year’s classe. Garoppolo will be participating in the Senior Bowl this week and with a solid week in Mobile might cement himself as a second rounder once scouts can make an apples to apples comparison about his play. Garoppolo is productive, smart and able to get rid of the ball quickly, things many NFL coaches and scouts look for in young quarterbacks.
DE Josh Mauro, Stanford — Mauro was a jack of all trades in college, playing in a number of spots on the Stanford defensive front. While he can generate pressure from the inside, he doesn’t have the edge-speed that would otherwise make him a higher draft pick. For the Jets, Mauro might project as a run-stuffing edge-setter or goal-line defender in their defense.
WR Tony Washington, Appalachian State – Washington had a great week of practices at the Collegiate Bowl, catching a number of difficult passes and showing his athleticism time and time again in practices. Washington might be a late pick, but his combination of athleticism, speed and kick return duties in college might make him an interesting prospect for a team like the Jets.
TE Brian Wozniak, Wisconsin — Wozniak was the second fiddle in Wisonsin to Jacob Pederson, but he showed a well-rounded game in practice and in the bowl game. At best, Woz might be a third day draft pick, but some team will take a look and see what he is capable of with some time in a pro system.
S Demetrius Wright, Southern Cal – Wright was a late addition to the Collegiate Bowl and is just the sort of player that Rex Ryan loves. He’s versatile as a safety, able to play in zone as well as man coverage and has the speed to close quickly on the ball once it is in the air.