Notes From The NFLPA Bowl Game
By Alex Kozora
Some quick hits from the recent NFLPA Bowl Game. Not the marquee event compared to the East West Shrine Game or the Senior Bowl but one that is still filled with Day Three selections.
– Oklahoma running back Roy Finch may have been the star of the game, even if he didn’t walk away with MVP honors. He’s tiny at 5’7 180 but an explosive back with superb agility who can cut and get upfield. He also offers return ability, taking a kickoff back 51 yards. He ran for 60 yards on 14 carries and caught two passes out of the backfield. His best year came in 2011 as a sophomore, running for over 600 yards and catching 34 passes.
– The actual MVP of the game went to LSU FB J.C. Copeland. He’s massive, too big in fact, at anywhere from 270-280 pounds. Weight will have to get under control. He scored on two goalline dives and showed to be a physical run blocker. A fiery, emotional individual, he didn’t let himself to be censored during interviews. Probably a bigger star in the eyes of the fans than the scouts but could be the first fullback off the board.
– Bloomsburg right guard Brian Clarke did not look impressive. He has size and did show the ability to anchor to a degree. But that only came after getting walked back into the pocket due to being slow off the ball and heavy hands.
– Couple of defensive tackles that caught my eye. Ashland’s Jamie Meder is an interesting prospect. Ridiculous strength and though he isn’t long, he works to get his arms extended and plays with good pad level. Held the point of attack exceptionally well. Showed the awareness to get his hands up early in the game to deflect a pass that was intercepted.
I’ve studied him on true coaches’ tape and have seen similar traits. A full scouting report on him will come out in the next few weeks.
The other was one I only got a brief look at but was impressive. Southern Mississippi’s Khyri Thornton showed a great burst and quick hands. Was one of the players to abuse Clarke. Showed a good motor, falling down once and getting back up to record a sack. Really liked the effort.
He had 39 tackles, 6.5 for a loss his senior year. Only half a sack though. But that may have been contagious throughout the team. As a whole, they recorded just 13 of them.
– Fresno State wide receiver Isaiah Burse proved to be an electric return man. He averaged nearly 14 yards a return with a long of 25. Also led the National squad with four catches for 50 yards.