Josh Norris

Weekly Prospect Matchups

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Fiesta Bowl Preview

Thursday, January 03, 2013


Thursday (1/3) 8:30 pm EST on ESPN
Kansas State vs Oregon, Fiesta Bowl

Can the Wildcats keep the Ducks long enough to slow down the tempo of the game while not getting behind on the scoreboard? That is the main question heading into this bowl contest. Expect Kansas State QB Collin Klein (#7/6’4/226) to set the tone with strong running and clock management in terms of draining the play clock. They don’t want this to be a Chip Kelly track meet. Klein is an interesting projection, but I think his best role in the NFL may be how Colin Kaepernick began the season, as a closer with his team in the lead. Klein doesn’t have the same arm talent or quickness when running, but the senior has improved his placement and downfield arm. Do yourself a favor and locate OLB/DE Dion Jordan (#96/6’6/246) on every snap. Some may point to his lack of production as a talking point, but Jordan does so much more than rush the passer. For someone of his size and length, Jordan is extremely comfortable in space, even when asked to cover receivers form the slot. As a pass rusher, Jordan shows strong hands to press and disengage, with solid closing speed to make a play in the backfield. For as lean as he is, Jordan is quite physical. We think his best fit is at strong side linebacker in a four man front that offers pass rushing ability in situations that require it, like Mathias Kiwanuka or how Julian Peterson used to play. LB Kiko Alonso (#47/6’4/240) mans the middle but does his best work when asked to seal the edge downhill and force everything back inside. He really struggles on draws and anything that requires quick feet and quick decisions. His eyes seem to recognize the play before his feet can make it. The Ducks have a ton of injuries in their secondary, so WR Chris Harper (#3/6’1/228) may be able to work behind coverage and make plays downfield.

For my money, K-State ILB Arthur Brown (#4/6’1/228) is one of the top prospects in the country, regardless of position. Brown’s athleticism for the position is nearly unmatched, which he showed against RGIII and Baylor last season. Some may say he is too thin to stay at inside linebacker, and although I think he would fit on the weakside, I definitely think Brown can stay in the middle. Add on his comfort and range in coverage along with his physical attitude, and Brown is the top senior at his position. Yes, above Manti Te’o. The goal will be to slow down RB Kenjon Barner (#24/5’11/195), who tends to drift to the sideline on long runs. barner’s straight line speed is great and he knows how to get in the endzone once in space, but if the Wildcats can stuff the lanes at the line, Barner becomes an indecisive runner. Surprising potential top-50 prospect G Kyle Long (#74/6’7/311) will do his best to open those lanes. long obviously has NFL pedigree, and after a few bumps in the road, amazed scouts with his play this season. OLB Justin Tuggle (#2/6’3/237) offers some more athleticism that is only aided by a good motor. On the edge, CB Nigel Malone (#24/5’10/180) is Kansas State’s best veteran in coverage.

 

Other Prospects To Watch

 

Kansas State
TE Travis Tannahill (#80/6’3/253)
junior WR Tramaine Thompson
FB Braden Wilson (#37/6’3/254)

Oregon
DT Wade Keliikipi (#92/6’3/300)
Junior S Avery Patterson (#21/5’10/175) injured
FS John Boyett (#20/5’10/202) injured
OG Carson York (6’5/292) injured
P Jackson Rice (#49/6’3/225)
G Nick Cody (#61/6’5/302)
Junior WR Josh Huff (#1/5’11/207)
OLB Michael Clay (#46/5’11/225)
Junior DL Taylor Hart (#66/6’5/285)
DT Ricky Heimuli (#90/6’4/321)
Redshirt sophomore CB Terrance Mitchell (#27/6’0/189)



Josh Norris is an NFL Draft Analyst for Rotoworld and contributed to the Rams scouting department during training camp of 2010 and the 2011 NFL Draft. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Josh Norris



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