WEEK 6: Cincinnati vs. Central Florida
In a primetime matchup of two aspiring AAC teams, there were several NFL prospects on the field at Nippert Stadium. For the hometown Bearcats of Cincinnati, tight end Josiah Deguara showed his grit and determination early and often in the game. Although built more like a fullback while standing around 6-2 ½ and possessing a thicker frame, Deguara led the team in receptions and receiving yards while ripping off an explosive 22-yard gain. There is some real momentum building behind Deguara in the scouting community, and it’s easy to project the physical and relentless aspects of his game translating well to the NFL as a role player on offense and mainstay on special teams.
On defense for Cincinnati, two linebacker prospects showed well in Perry Young and Bryan Wright. Young – who stands 5-10 – is easy to discount based on his height; but once the ball is snapped, he only knows one speed – 100 mph! Wright is a good-looking prospect physically and plays hard as well. The former Jireh Prep star is still relatively new to the position after playing QB in high school. And while he needs to improve his hand usage and quick shed-ability, he displays the size, range and toughness that the NFL covets for developmental players.
For the Golden Knights offense, center Jordan Johnson displayed his athleticism while working nicely on combos to the second level. Johnson is a stockier framed interior blocker with a nice combination of size and foot quickness, but he needs to improve his snap accuracy and velocity in order to succeed at the next level. Also on offense, RB Adrian Killings flashed some speed and foot quickness as well on his limited carries in the game, and then ripped off a big second quarter kickoff return. While kickoff return ability has diminished in recent years with the new NFL touchback rules, Killings’ stop/restart and long-speed are assets of his that he’ll try to showcase to teams in the Spring.
On defense, cornerback Nevelle Clarke held up on the outside nicely versus the Bearcats. Although seldom targeted, he shut down down the pass on the few occasions the ball did come his way. Clarke – who stands 6-1 and possesses 32” arms – is a prototypical press-man CB prospect who I expect will be coveted by teams that play the Seattle Cover-3 scheme. It will be important for Clarke to time well in the 40 as well as in the short-shuttle during the spring.
We also drove up the road to Dayton, Ohio to take a look at TE prospect Adam Trautman in the Flyers’ matchup vs Jacksonville University. Trautman is a former QB turned TE who possesses good size and athleticism to factor into the passing game. While his long-speed is a bit in question, the Houston native displays solid understanding of route running and technique to help create some separation from defenders – aspects that generally college players need time in developing when they transition to the NFL. Trautman is an intriguing small-school prospect who should have a chance to have his name called early on Day 3 of the draft.