2016 NFL Draft: Cactus Bowl Scouting Preview: Arizona State vs. West Virginia


Both of these teams are no doubt disappointed with how their seasons ended.  Arizona State was ranked 15th to start the season, only to fall out of the rankings altogether and finish 6-6.  West Virginia was also ranked at one point during the season, only to finish 7-5.

By: Anthony Chiado

Despite the disappointing seasons both of these teams put together, there is a pretty good array of prospects to be seen.  West Virginia features defenders Nick Kwiatkowski and K.J. Dillon, as well as Karl Joseph, who won’t be playing.  


Meanwhile, Arizona State features wide receiver D.J. Foster, a pair of offensive guards in Christian Westerman and Vi Teofilo, and defenders Antonio Longino and Lloyd Carrington.  Keep reading for a deeper look at these prospects.

West Virginia

Nick Kwiatkoski, LB, #35

Kwiatkoski is an all around solid linebacker.  He doesn’t do anything extremely well, but he also doesn’t have a hole in his game that you can point to as a major flaw.  He flows around the field to the ball well.  Kwiatkoski is also sound in coverage and even adds some as a pass rusher.  With a strong showing at the senior bowl he could vault himself into the mid-late Day 3 range.

K.J. Dillon, LB/S, #9

After spending most of his career at West Virginia at safety, Dillon made the switch to more of a linebacker role this year.  Although Dillon is lighter than many of the safety-to-linebacker converts in the past few years, if he adds around 15 pounds he make the switch.  Dillon is a strong second level run defender who could also offer plus coverage ability for a linebacker.

Karl Joseph, S, #8 (Not Playing)

Although he has been out since early October due to a knee injury, Joseph is still a prospect to keep an eye on.  He will not be playing in the team’s bowl game or any of the all-star showcases, but when he was on the field for the Mountaineers he was a force.  Joseph is good but not great in coverage, although he has a penchant for creating turnovers, and an extremely good downhill defender.  Joseph is probably the second most talented safety in this class, after only Jalen Ramsey.


Arizona State

D.J. Foster, RB/WR, #8

Foster switched from running back to wide receiver for his senior season, although he was used mostly in the passing game last season as well.  His athleticism and open field running ability are apparent and clearly carried over well from his time as a running back.  As he continues to develop as a receiver he could be a nice slot player for an NFL team.

Christian Westerman, OG, #55

Although Westerman’s 6’4” and 300-305 pound frame is nothing to write home about, he is massively strong.  His movement skills don’t seem to be great for a player of his size, but his strength and run blocking ability will make him a highly coveted player in the middle rounds of the draft, possibly even sniffing the second round.

Vi Teofilo, OG, #73

Like Westerman, Teofilo is crazy strong, but he is not nearly as technically sound and also less athletic than his counterpart.  His functional strength should lead to him being a replacement level run blocker at the next level, and will likely end up getting him drafted, but his lack of other plus traits should limit the ceiling of his draft and career prospects.

Antonio Longino, ILB, #32

Longino’s slight build at 6’2” 230 pounds and his play style as a hard nosed run defender provide a contrast that could limit his ceiling in the NFL.  Once you make it past that initial hurdle, though, Longino is somewhat of a pleasant surprise.  He doesn’t inspire much confidence of being anything special at the next level, but he could end up being a mainstay on a roster as a special teams player and reserve with serviceable ability as a run defender.

Lloyd Carrington, CB, #8

Carrington’s size is not his best asset, standing at 5’11” and 194, but his physical play style strongly contrasts that.  He often takes control of receivers and runs their routes for them, so to speak, and also carries that physical style over to his run defense.  Combining that physicality with Carrington’s nuance and control when the ball is in the air will make him an intriguing mid-late round prospect come draft day.

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