With the return of several conferences to the 2020 college football scene, we are rolling out an updated NFLPA Collegiate Bowl Big Board featuring players from those schools. Next up, the Mountain West:
John Bates, Boise State, Tight End
John Bates caught our scouts’ eye last year while evaluating 2020 Collegiate Bowl participant John Molchon due to Bates’ athleticism and excellent ability to adjust to the flight of the football. A traditional “Y” tight end for the Broncos, the two-time John Mackey Award Watch List member possesses good size at 6-5 and 255 pounds to function as a blocker at the line of scrimmage (LOS) as well as threaten defenses down the middle in the passing game. With smooth athleticism, very good body control and soft hands, Bates – despite only catching 22 passes in 2019 – consistently demonstrated the receiving skill necessary to play in the NFL. With increased play strength and a little more block sustain in 2020, the Lebanon, Oregon product has an opportunity to assert himself as one of the nation’s top true senior tight end prospects.
Jordan Jackson, Air Force Academy, Defensive End
Jordan Jackson is fun to watch. The Jacksonville, Florida native is a versatile defensive lineman who goes 100 mph every snap and is consistently living in the offensive backfield. Prior to this year, Jackson recorded a whopping 17 career tackles for loss and eight sacks – a testament to his initial quickness, instincts, physicality and non-stop motor. In the Falcons’ rivalry games last year versus Navy and Army, Jackson was a monster, recording a season-high eight tackles versus Navy before besting that feat with a nine-tackle performance against Army, while adding a sack in both games. A question remains whether Jackson will participate in 2020 when Air Force opens conference play, but opposing offenses surely are hoping he doesn’t.
Dwayne Johnson, San Diego State, Safety
In his first year as a starter in 2019, Dwayne Johnson established himself as a force to be reckoned with on a very good Aztec defense, accounting for 92 tackles, a forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and five pass breakups. The hard-hitting strong safety type from Murrieta, California is arguably at his best hovering near the LOS where his instincts, physicality and play strength enable him to match up with tight ends on pass routes and especially be a factor in the run game. With near linebacker size at 6-2 and 215 pounds, Johnson is one of the more aggressive safety prospects in the country who consistently demonstrates his willingness to strike climbing blockers and get involved as a tackler. Special teams are where he’ll likely contribute initially on an NFL roster – something he has a plethora of experience doing, dating back to his freshman and sophomore seasons.
2021 NFLPA COLLEGIATE BOWL BIG BOARD: MOUNTAIN WEST
|Pos.||First Name||Last Name||School||Height||Weight|
|DE||Emmanuel “Manny”||Jones||Colorado State||6-4||266|
|OT||Zachary||Thomas||San Diego State||6-5||300|
|SAF||Dwayne||Johnson Jr.||San Diego State||6-2||215|
|SAF||Tariq||Thompson||San Diego State||6-0||200|
|SAF||Jonathan “Jay”||Lenard Jr.||San Jose State||6-1||207|