Bowl season is here but it doesn’t quite feel like bowl season just yet. With the vast majority of these teams being middling programs with six or seven wins and several top guys deciding to sit out, it could be better. But hey, football is football and we’ll take it anyway we can while it’s still here. In week two there are 13 games to be played, the last 13 before we get to the New Year’s Six. What players should you focus on, you ask? Here are the few that decided to play before leaving for the NFL.
Saturday, December 22nd
Anthony Johnson, WR, Buffalo
The Jets are in desperate need of a wide receiver for Sam Darnold to grow with, meaning they will look at any and all options. Not quite sure if Johnson exactly fits what they’ll need though. He’s a tough receiver without any elite traits. He doesn’t have the speed or quickness to be a threat to blow past defenders and his route tree will need some developing for sure. If there is one thing you will like it’s his hands. Johnson does a great job using his strong hands to grab contested passes and shouldn’t drop many at the next level.
His skill set is somewhat similar to Quincy Enunwa but doesn’t seem as athletic. In part of this, Anthony Johnson could be someone to take a chance on if he falls too far (mid-day 3), but shouldn’t be a requirement for the front office.
Wednesday, December 26th
Chris Lindstrom, IOL, Boston College (vs. Boise State, 1:30pm)
There might not be a bigger need for this very needy team than interior offensive line. It’s not as sexy as an edge rusher or running back or really any position, but Mike Maccagnan has ignored it for too long. Enter Chris Lindstrom. The former tackle turned guard is one of the top interior linemen in the class. He’s a physical lineman that can play with a mean streak. He doesn’t lose many one on one battles with good strength and technique whether it be for the run or pass. Lindstrom also does a great job recognizing stunts and late blitzers to pick them up.
It seems he would be best in a man scheme but a zone scheme shouldn’t be completely out of question. If Lindstrom falls to the late second, the Jets should definitely keep an eye on him and possibly make a move.
Thursday, December 27th
Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple (vs. Duke, 1:30pm)
Not your prototypical name, but 100% your prototypical press man corner. If the Jets decide to stay with this type of defensive scheme, it would be safe to assume Ya-Sin would be pretty high on their list. He’s got good length and shows it at the line of scrimmage. His footwork after that can be a little choppy but with this being his first year at the Division I level, he’ll be more technically sound with more coaching. He is a leader for this team despite it only being his first season, which shows that he is willing to put in the work on and off the field to get better. Look for him to be a late day two, early day three selection for a team that needs man corners.
Friday, December 28th
David Montgomery, HB, Iowa State (vs. Washington State, 9:00pm)
The top running back in this class will be the man to watch on this particular day. It’s unfortunate he doesn’t go against an SEC defense but maybe this will allow him to shine regardless. He won’t “wow” anyone with his straight away speed but it’s what he does at the first and second level that’s impressive. Montgomery is a physical back that shows tremendous balance, seemingly never going down on the first hit. He always keeps his feet moving often times carrying defenders, getting every last yard he can. People question his agility but it shouldn’t be a problem at the next level, as he moves well in between tackles with jump cuts and such. It would be nice to see him get more involved in the passing game but even if he isn’t asked to do that in the NFL, he will absolutely have a key role in an offense. Not only should you watch Montgomery, but watch the team as a whole with Matt Campbell handling the duties at Head Coach. Could be a possible target after Bowles is gone.
Top 5 QB
Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State (On the Bubble)
Will Grier, West Virginia (3)
Daniel Jones, Duke (NR)
Brett Rypien, Boise State (NR)
Drew Lock, Missouri (On the Bubble)