So bowl season is upon us. It's yet another season we have to deal with. Hunting season. Breeding season. The four seasons. The Four Seasons. The Four Seasons. The Four Seasons. (Holy ham hocks, what is with the Four Seasons? Aw, crap!)
In any case, we've got the most important scouting ahead of us. With that in mind, I'm gonna try to run through every game and hit the draftable prospects (and maybe some non-eligible ones to eye for the future) and single out someone with specific draftability for Rams fans.
Let's do this.
(NOTE: Draft stock reflects where players would be drafted were they to come out for this year's draft. Obviously, there are "risers" who would be late picks this year that could come on for their senior years, but that's not the intent here. It's just to give you names to look out for over the next few weeks. Non-eligible prospects won't have a round grade. Standout prospects regardless of class are in bold.)
Sat., Dec. 18th
BYU v. UTEP: New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque, NM), 2:00pm ET, ESPN
BYU: Andrew Rich, SS (Sr., 6th-UD), Matt Reynolds, OT (Jr., 3rd-4th), Jake Heaps, QB (Fr.)
UTEP: Kris Adams, WR (Sr., 5th-7th), Donald Buckram, RB (Sr., 7th-UD), Jeremy Springer, ILB (Jr., 7th-UD), Marcus Bagley, DT (Fr.)
3k's Rams pick: Kris Adams
Adams is a Texas product, but as an NFL prospect, it's hard to get a read on him playing with QB Trevor Vittatoe who, amazingly, has found a way to get worse every year. Smith clearly has the size and end speed to compete in the NFL. Whether or not he has a toolset to bring to this level is too hard for me to gauge.
N. Illinois v. Fresno St.: uDrove Humanitarian Bowl (Boise, ID), 5:30pm ET, ESPN
N. Illinois: Scott Wedige, C/G (Jr., 6th-UD), Chandler Harnish, QB (Jr., 7th-UD), Sean Progar, DE (RS Soph., 7th-UD)
Fresno St.: Chris Carter, OLB (Sr., 4th-6th), Andrew Jackson, G (Sr., 5th-7th), Ben Jacobs, ILB (Sr., 7th-UD), Logan Harrell, DT (Jr., 4th - 7th), Robbie Rouse, RB (RS Soph., 3rd-4th), A.J. Johnson, WR (Fr.)
3k's Rams pick: Robbie Rouse
Sorry, Tackle Box, but I'm taking a Bulldog. I really like Rouse as a system back in the NFL. He's not the most gifted runner and is obviously limited by his size, but I really think he's going to bring a lot of value. Of course, the longer he stays in college, the more evident I think his ability will become. He's got soft hips and great patience for a runner in Fresno's system. I'd be shocked if Rouse comes out this year, but if he does and if the Rams avoid taking a COPRB (change of pace running back) through the first two days, he becomes a serious target.
Ohio v. Troy: R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl (New Orleans, LA), 9:00pm ET, ESPN
Ohio: Julian Posey, CB (Sr., 6th-UD), Jordan Thompson, TE (RS Soph., 6th-UD)
Troy: Jerrel Jernigan, WR (Sr., 2nd-3rd), DuJuan Harris, RB (Sr., 7th-UD), James Brown, OT (Jr., 6th-UD), Corey Robinson, QB (Fr.)
3k's Rams pick: Julian Posey
Surprised? Don't be. Jernigan is a playmaker prototype, but with Donnie Avery coming back and Gilyard still in the fold, I don't think he's the kind of WR the Rams will be targeting in April. Posey, the brother of Ohio St. WR DeVier Posey and cousin of Michigan St. ILB Greg Jones, would be a interesting depth addition to the Rams' young CB corps on day three. If he falls into the 7th round, don't be surprised if the Rams call his name. And BTW, expect N. Texas to be in this one next year...
Tue., Dec. 21st
S. Miss. v. Louisville: Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl (St. Petersburg, FL), 8:00pm ET, ESPN
S. Miss.: Anthony Gray, DT (Sr., 6th-UD), DeAndre Brown, WR (Jr., 3rd-7th), Korey Williams, ILB (Jr., 4th-6th), Cordarro Law, DE/3-4 OLB (Jr., 5th-6th), Kendrick Hardy RB (Fr.)
Louisville: Johnny Patrick, CB (Sr., 4th-6th), Bilal Powell, RB (Sr., 4th-7th), Cameron Graham, TE (Sr., 7th-UD), Dexter Heyman, OLB (Jr., 4th-7th), Josh Chichester, TE (5th-7th), Mario Benavides, C (RS Soph., 3rd-5th), Hakeem Smith, SS (Fr.)
3k's Rams pick: Mario Benavides
I really like Benavides' ability to turn defensive lineman outside at his level as a RS sophomore. It's hard for a lot of interior lineman to do, but the best run blockers anchor their position and can swivel underneath their upper torso and open inside lanes for their RB. It takes powerful legs, and Benavides has them. He has OT experience coming out of high school, and I wouldn't be surprised if he transitions to a guard at the NFL level if he finds himself on a team with an established center but a starting opportunity at guard.
Wed., Dec. 22nd
Utah v. Boise St.: MAACO Bowl Las Vegas (Las Vegas, NV), 8:00pm ET, ESPN
Utah: Zane Taylor, C (Sr., 5th-6th), Caleb Schaluderaff, G (Sr., 6th-7th), Eddie Wide, RB (Sr., 7th-UD), Brandon Burton, CB (Jr., 1st-2nd), Dave Kruger, DT (RS Soph., 3rd-5th), Brian Blechen, SS (Fr.)
Boise St.: Titus Young, WR (Sr., 2nd-3rd), Austin Pettis, WR (Sr., 2nd-4th), Ryan Winterswyk, DE (Sr., 5th-7th), Jeron Johnson, SS (Sr., 5th-7th), Brandyn Thompson, CB (Sr., 6th-7th), Nate Potter, OT/G (Jr., 1st-2nd), Billy Winn, DT (Jr., 3rd-5th), Kellen Moore, QB (Jr., 4th-6th), Shea McLellin, DE (Jr., 5th-7th), George Iloka, FS (Jr., 5th-UD), Geraldo Hiwat, WR (Fr.), Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe, DT (Fr.)
3k's Rams pick: Titus Young
Yeah, it's a tough call between Young and Pettis, but Young has a bit more speed while Pettis has the size card. Laurent Robinson is killing me this year, and I worry that Pettis is destined to become Laurent 2.0. I'll take the speed upgrade.
Thu., Dec. 23rd
Navy v. San Diego St.: San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl (jeez...)
(San Diego, CA), 8:00pm ET, ESPN
Navy: Wyatt Middleton, SS (Sr., 7th-UD)
San Diego St.: Vincent Brown, WR (Sr., 3rd-5th), DeMarco Sampson, WR (Sr., 6th-UD), Ryan Lindley, QB (Jr., 4th-6th), Ronnie Hillman, RB (Fr.), Gavin Escobar, RB (Fr.)
3k's Rams pick: Vincent Brown
Not a lot of options here, but Brown's an attractive draw. Missouri-based Rams fans may remember him as the hyped up Aztec who finished with a whopping five catches for 17 yards when SDSU traveled to Columbia in mid-September. Don't let that one game put you off. I might say he's a harder working but less athletic Keenan Burton, but then none of you would want him. It's his effort that I'm backing as an NFL prospect. I really think he's the kind of WR prospect that gets better and better, and by year three everyone's wondering why they didn't see it coming. And if you want recent production, he didn't fare too badly in back-to-back contests at TCU and at home against Utah, with 12 catches for 351 yards. Keep an eye on him this offseason.
Fri., Dec. 24th
Hawaii v. Tulsa: Sheraton Hawaii Bowl (Honolulu, HI), 8:00pm ET, ESPN
Hawaii: Greg Salas, WR (Sr., 4th-6th), Mana Silva, SS (Sr., 7th-UD), Kaniela Tuipulotu, DT (Jr., 6th-UD)
Tulsa: Charles Clay, FB (Sr., 5th-6th), Damaris Johnson, WR (Jr., 4th-5th), G.J. Kinne, QB (Jr., 5th-7th), Tyler Holmes, OT (Jr., 6th-UD), Cory Dorris, DE (RS Soph., 7th-UD), Dexter McCoil, CB/FS (Soph.), Trent Dupy, C/G (Soph.), Marco Nelson, CB/SS (Fr.)
3k's Rams pick: Damaris Johnson
Lightning in a bottle, but raw as a fat person's thighs after a day at work. Johnson is stupid quick and has great top end speed to boot, but his route running is, well, bad. Really bad. He's the anti-Greg Salas, who would be an interesting addition to the Rams himself. In the end, I went for the playmaker. If nothing else, he can take over return duties.