The NFLPA Collegiate Bowl is now in the books following a successful week in Los Angeles, California, where several players made their case to NFL Scouts to show what they are capable of at the next level. It was a phenomenal week for the prospects who showed out, as several names moved up to perform in the Senior Bowl this week in Mobile, Alabama.
The NFLPA Collegiate Bowl is considered the “lesser” of the three top all-star college games leading up to the NFL Draft. However, after a few adjustments from the Shrine Bowl this offseason, some NFL personnel decided to attend this game rather than the one in Las Vegas.
Moving up to the Senior Bowl from the NFLPA Bowl are:
- WR Braylon Sanders, Ole Miss
- OT Cade Mays, Tennessee
- EDGE Kyron Johnson, Kansas
- DT Eric Johnson, Missouri State
- S JT Woods, Baylor
Let’s get into the standouts from this week.
QB Chase Garbers, California
Year: Redshirt Senior
High School: Corona Del Mar (Newport Beach, CA)
HS Rating: 4 star (0.8926)
Phil Steele: PS#37
Did not make Vogel’s Preliminary Top 300.
In 2019, Chase Garbers broke out on the scene as potentially a great prospect, flashing raw ability and winning big games at the helm with his gritty performances. However, a season-ending injury derailed his 2019 campaign and it was something very difficult for Garbers to bounce back from.
However, playing with some of the better players that he has in his entire college career, Garbers bloomed in his opportunity with the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. His performance outshined all of the quarterbacks in the game and he produced the best numbers in a quarter and a half of play.
Garbers interview with Nikko Buenavidez:
RB Stephen Carr, Indiana
A former five-star running back who played his first four years at USC, Carr transferred to Indiana this offseason to complete his college career in the Big Ten. He was a big shot coming out of high school, a top-five running back prospect who showed flashes but never took that next step.
Carr will not be an explosive, big play threat at the next level. In all-star games like this one, that’s not what we are looking for. We are looking for solid rotational contributors who can provide valuable production at the next level. Carr fits that mold with his quick cut ability and natural feel for space. He showed it here, he showed it last week at the Hula Bowl, and I think Carr is solidifying his Draft status.
WR Dai’Jean Dixon, Nicholls State
Year: Redshirt Senior
High School: Edna Karr (New Orleans, LA)
HS Rating: N/A
Phil Steele: N/A
#215 on Vogel’s Preliminary Top 300.
Dai’Jean Dixon is an impressive receiver who I’ve heard regarded as a third-round talent while speaking about him across the league. The issue with Dixon is that he has some red flags from his High School days that the NFL is aware of and it’s been an uphill battle for Dixon this entire process so far.
Clearly, it has not yet diswayed him from making his impression on NFL teams with the opportunities that he receives. Dixon led all receivers with his outstanding performance in the game and solidified his opportunity at the next level.
OT Jordan Tucker, North Carolina
Jordan Tucker is an intriguing tackle prospect with solid footwork and great initial hand placement when he drops into his spot. He started at right tackle most of his Tar Heels career, starting 38 in his career and 37 for quarterback Sam Howell.
Bucky Brooks, who called the game on NFL Network, was found raving about Tucker’s mechanics and footwork while playing the tackle position, and said that he was the best tackle at the event. Tucker has the size and the tools to be a successful tackle in the league, even if he has to develop for a season or two.
EDGE Sam Williams, Ole Miss
Sam Williams has been one of those high-upside pass rushers who’s been on the radar over the last couple of years in the SEC. I found him preparing for the 2020 covid season and was impressed with some of the physical traits that he possessed. 2020 was a tough year for Williams, who dealt with injuries and missed several games, but he bounced back strong in 2021 with the best season of his career.
Williams made a case as a developmental pass rusher throughout the week, not only measuring in with good size but flashing abilities that could potentially make him a rotational player for a front on week one. We like him a lot on this website and we’re looking forward to seeing what he brings the rest of the process.
DT Eric Johnson, Missouri State
Eric Johnson has seen one of the largest ascends this draft season as the media has slowly picked up awareness to his NFL abilities. Johnson has been a consistent pass rusher from the interior most of his career, as he collected 31 pressures in 2021. He’s been a stout run defender as well and made his mark in Los Angeles.
Johnson flashed during the game, registering a sack on third down while confirming his pass-rushing ability from the interior. He’s an intriguing developmental three-tech player in a four-man front who could potentially develop into an outstanding professional. His work this week at the NFLPA Bowl earned him an invitation to the Senior Bowl this week.
LB Arron Mosby, Fresno State
Year: Redshirt Senior
High School: Sanger (Sanger, CA)
HS Rating: 2 star (0.7857)
Phil Steele: PS#488
Did not make Vogel’s Preliminary Top 300
Arron Mosby has been making big plays all throughout the 2021 season from the moment that it started. His huge game against UConn in week zero put him on the radar as an intriguing off-ball linebacker who could fit the SAM/WILL role in a 4-3 but also provide some pass rush as potentially a RUSH EDGE.
Mosby was all over the field in practice and the game, standing out as a formidable opponent all week in Los Angeles. His stock is rising after a good Hula Bowl performance to match his Collegiate Bowl show out and 2021 season of film.
CB CJ Holmes, Jackson State
According to Nikko Buenavidez, our faithful contributor covering most football events in California, CJ Holmes had an impressive week and game, showcasing his speed and man coverage ability while matched up on the receivers. “[He played] super tight coverage in the end zone, great speed matched up against the wideouts,” Nikko wrote me.
This is exactly what we needed to see on the field from Holmes, who played in a lower-tier of football in the FCS ranks at Jackson State. Staying with a much better group of receivers than he’s accustomed to playing against is huge for his NFL chances.
S Markquese Bell, Florida A&M
Markquese Bell has impressed everywhere that he has been, and he has continued to do so. The HBCU product from Florida A&M made his presence felt early with a good series of hits and tackles on the first drive and was mostly avoided for the rest of the game.
Markquese Bell, to me, is the most talented HBCU prospect coming out of college. I love his range and fluidity on the back-end, and I think he should be the first HBCU player off the board. He still has a performance to make at the HBCU Legacy Bowl, a few days after the Senior Bowl, where he can finalize his impression to NFL clubs.
Other NFLPA Collegiate Bowl notables
- QB Cole Kelley, Southeastern Louisiana, played a very conservative game but flashed some ability to make things happen in and out of structure. He continued to grow on his solid Hula Bowl outing with a good performance in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.
- QB Brandon Peters, Illinois, flashed a gunslinger’s mentality and some surprising mobility in action coming off of his injury.
- WR Mychal Carter, Navy, showed out with some big catches while flashing solid hand-to-eye coordination. His playing status is uncertain with his military obligation, but his big frame and athletic ability is certainly eye-opening for a player who was under-utilized in college.
- WR Corey Sutton, Appalachian State, flashed some big plays all day but also struggled with concentration drops, which is a factor in his college tape. He’s a developmental guy but will have to be more consistent to stick around the league.