All the quarterbacks have a lot to gain this weekend. Luke McCown did not have the standout senior campaign scouts hoped for but has the underlining abilities to be an NFL quarterback. Accuracy and timing is key for McCown who will have to show he can play in a pro-offense. The situation is similar for Jared Lorenzen though the “hefty-lefty” must show up in shape and not overweight. San Jose State’s Scott Rislov is a very efficient and accurate quarterback but many question if the signal caller has the arm strength to play at the next level. Finally, Brett Mitchell of Evangel gets the opportunity to play against top competition. Mitchell has terrific size, arm strength and athleticism to be a successful quarterback in the NFL but all too often relies on athletic skill rather than football fundamentals and to this point is still more a thrower than an passer.
No running back really stands out in this game to us except Keylon Kincade. The productive SMU ball carrier had a solid senior campaign and offers good vision and running instincts. He is tough as nails and has to be, as he possesses only marginal size/speed numbers. Kincade’s hands will be closely watched this weekend.
Several interesting stories are cropping up from the pass receiver ranks.
This will be the first time in more than a year that tight end Michael Gaines plays competitive football. Gaines is a great physical specimen that displayed flashes of brilliance in 2002 for Central Florida. He is very raw as one would expect but has the skills to be a Mark Bavaro type player at the next level. Yale’s Nate Lawrie is a hard working tight end best as a pass catcher. He finds the open spot on the field and always comes away with the difficult catch. Running and blocking are the questions that will be needed to be answered. Johnnie Morant made the right choice coming to Montgomery after a breakout campaign at Syracuse. Physically blessed, Morant’s athletic skills rate with most of the first round receivers in this draft but unfortunately; he was plagued by inconsistency throughout most of his college career. The more exposure he gets to a collective group of scouts the better it will be for Morant. Ditto for Tony Johnson whose career seems to be on the decline since 2001. After a rough season, Johnson showed a lot of maturity by giving up his Christmas to perform in front of scouts at the Blue Gray.
Another player from the northeast, Nick Romeo, has a lot to gain starting Saturday. The center from Syracuse is one of the more underrated prospects in a weak group of pivot players and can gain notice this weekend. Eastern Washington’s Kurt Sigler is one of the better small school linemen in this game. A college tackle, it will be interesting to see if they keep the Big Sky player on the edge or move him into guard. Sigler could move from the late rounds into the middle frames with a good week. Nate McPeek of Marshall is another with solid skills and a lot to gain. Hometown favorite Brandon Hall of Troy State is a solid tackle that has been productive in college. He does not play with the great body control but is a prospect that scouts can work with.
Note: The TFY Draft Preview will be offering full coverage of all Blue-Gray practices to the Insiders.com premium subscribers starting Saturday. Reports on how each player did every day at practice will be posted, as will whom NFL teams are looking at in Montgomery plus rumors swirling around the field.