Here's a brief look at some "unknown or non big name" prospects that might be possible ideas for the Bears after the Hula Bowl and the East/West Shire game. It must be noted though that only seniors can take part in these games.
Now that the Hula Bowl and East/ West Shire games are now complete really we can look at the lesser players who either had something to prove and where given the opportunity in these games.
Yes, they're not the big names in college football invited to the Senior Bowl or even bigger names of the players who turned down invites but they have talent. NFL quality, now that's debatable but worth at least a look in the later rounds, definitely.
Now the East/West Game in my eyes has the better talent pool to look at but due to dropout and promotions (Flacco [QB Delaware] to the Senior Bowl) some player played in both so the travel may need to be factored into the lower numbers plus the higher talent level taking it's toll, reducing their numbers. But really I'm going to going to use that opportunity to evaluate consistency between the two games.
Kevin Robinson- WR Utah State:
Now, this guy was impressive in the East/West game, [didn't play in Hula]. Had a punt-return TD and a TD rec as well as 4 receptions for an extra 28 yards in limited play with different QB's leading the attack on different series. This season he's the highest college scorer with 4 TD's on returns (3 kick-returns, 1 Punt-return). Really showed himself to be an interesting prospect and may have even raised him to an earlier round in the draft with this game in the books. He's not a great size, (6ft, 199 pounds) but has great speed and cutting ability. With the impact of Hester on last years draft regarding Ted Gin Jr. don't be surprised if this performance has labeled him as another player who will get drafted earlier than expected because of his ability on special teams.
Josh Johnson- QB San Diego:
This small team prospect also gave him a good chance of moving up the draft boards. Really solid performance, which would have been better if on three separate occasions WR's hadn't dropped sure catches. He showed his Dual-Threat ability with 92 yards rushing on the day and interestingly appeared to really know when to stay and when to run as on several occasions he completed accurate passes while under pressure by remain in the pocket when a Michael Vick style, run first QB, would not of had the patience to wait for the play to develop. Also showed great touch on his passes with floated passes mixed with bullet passes when the situation merited it. His record as a starter for the last three seasons, albeit against Div. II opposition, is amazing [113 TD's / 14 Interceptions] He also is the most efficient QB in NCAA history over the last 3 seasons completing almost 70% of his passes. This guy would be a 1 round pick, if not 1st overall, if he had the necessary physical attributes and had played top-flight football. But unfortunately he's 6ft 3 but only 175 lbs. Yeah, this could be worked on and his ability to quickly grasp an offence installed in less than 5 full days shows' his potential. But whether someone will take a chance on him with an early pick, who knows. It seams to of worked with Tarvaris Jackson of the Vikings (2nd round pick) so far, as he did well in the East/West game and was from a smaller school so why couldn't it work with this guy who arguably has better numbers and only slightly worst physical attributes.
Jamie Silva- S Boston College:
I really like this kid, yeah he's undersized, not as quick as some safeties and not from a football hometown (Rhode Island) but this guy has a nose for the ball and reading the play. Having taken 8 Interception at Boston College and helping them reach the Florida Citrus Bowl this year, beating Michigan State taking 2 Ints in the process back for 40 yards and compiling that with 1 Interception in the loss to Virginia Tech in the ACC Title game Silva has shown his big game potential. I was really surprised to see that he hadn't gone to the Senior Bowl as I believe has just as much right to be there after a great senior season. Watching him during the game this weekend, he just seemed to be constantly on screen involved with nearly every play on defense while he was on the pitch. The commentators just kept on talking about him every five minutes because he was always on screen, so much so that they actually started to repeat themselves. Seriously think he could be a steal in the 3rd round and if he's still there for the late pick the Bears have in that round I think he would be another late round gem found by a team who really makes productive choices out of their later draft picks.
Anthony Alridge- RB Houston:
Now this guy is a marginal prospect but I thought he was worth a mention as he helped to improve his draft stock in the game but realistically I don't see the bears taking a Garrett Wolfe style of back again while the Northern Illinois grad is still on the Bears roster. He's small, only 175lbs and really hasn't shown consistency at the position like Wolfe did at NIU. Anyway, it was still good to see him improve though after a lackluster performance in Houston's Bowl game where he just didn't seem to be a factor.
Kevin O'Connell- QB San Diego State:
Another lower division QB in the same mould as Johnson but although he has the physical help, right height, weight, etc. to improve at the next level, he just doesn't have the same consistency of production finishing this year with just 15 TD's and 8 Ints which in any division isn't great numbers for a senior. He did how ever have productive games in both the Hula Bowl and the East/West Shire Game so may have someone take a chance on him.
Bernard Morris- QB Marshall:
With Marshall's pedigree of players, Randy Moss, Chad Pennington, in time past it's kind of sad to see the team fall so low in recent times, However this guy showed some respectable numbers in both games throwing for 175 yards and a TD in the first-half of the Hula Bowl.
Paul Smith- QB Tulsa:
He had a pretty good senior campaign finishing with 49 TD's and 19 Interceptions. But although running for two short-yardages TD's in the Hula Bowl, he could never be described as a Dual Threat QB. He had 47 yards in the Hula Bowl and much the same in the East/ West Game but just seemed to force it too much resulting in an Interception when he threw into triple coverage on 3rd down. He maybe one to leave for someone else, but still better than Penn State graduate, Anthony Morelli who really could of damaged any chance of a team picking him at all as he threw on 8 times completing 2 and throwing 2 interceptions.
Thomas Brown-RB Georgia:
Wasn't spectacular but showed some good runs towards the end and could be a productive late round pick as would Patrick Allen-RB Oklahoma who unfortunately injured his knee on his first series.
There were other players who had good games but not many stood out. A few interceptions taken by players could have been caught by anyone without two left hands they were that easy and really it's very difficult to evaluate non-ball handling positions just over one game such as the OL/DL but there weren't any glaring problems so they haven't hurt their stock.
One other thing to note:
I realize that these guys were only together for a week, but there were so many dropped crucial catches by receivers on both sides. Maybe the changing QB's didn't help but really if these guys are going to really get a space on a team in the NFL these glaring mistakes have to be remove right now, Hubbard especially drop three that I can remember.
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