2016 NFL Draft: Miami Beach Bowl Scouting Preview – Western Kentucky vs. South Florida

The Lottery Mafia

The Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky may be one of the best teams in college football nobody is talking about.

By: Uri Piterberg

Led by one of the best quarterbacks in the country and a plethora of underrated but talented receivers, head coach Jeff Brohm’s team went undefeated in Conference USA play on their way to a conference title. WKU’s two losses this season came at Indiana in a game they had every chance to win, and in a respectable showing in Batton Rouge, where they gave LSU a run for their money until the Tigers pulled away toward the end of the third quarter. Their opponents, South Florida, found themselves at 1-3 after a narrow loss to Memphis early in the season, but finished the season off 7-1 thanks to a quick and aggressive defense and a strong offensive line which helped put true sophomore running back Marlon Mack on the map.

Western Kentucky

Brandon Doughty, QB, 6’3, 215
Highly accurate with a sixth sense in the pocket, Doughty has become a bit of an inconvenient truth for pro scouts, as he displays pro traits in a system that allows for silly numbers that more often than not prove to be deceptive as far as their translation to the NFL are concerned. That being said, the sixth year senior places the ball immaculately at times and displays a natural understanding for route concepts. Additionally, Doughty bounces around in the pocket with tremendous spatial awareness and anticipation for where opposing pass rushers are, and he does all this with his eyes glued down the field.

Receivers and Tight Ends
The ball gets spread around in this offense so much and the corps is so deep that it is impossible to single anyone out. Jared Dangerfield (6’2 205) is the biggest of the receivers and has a penchant for moving the chains on third down. The former JuCo star does a good job of boxing out opposing DBs and has a deceptive and quick stop/start that allows him to gain separation on opposing DBs.

Taywan Taylor (Junior 6’1 190) is the big play threat that hits his stride quickly and is hard to catch once he gains separation, showing an impressive extra gear to close on the ball on deep routes. Antwine Grant may be the lesser known of the bunch but is just as talented. Grant shows good strength and quickness off the line making him difficult to press, and displays good agility and body control when going up to get the ball.

Tight end Tyler Higbee (6’5 235) is a classic “move” tight end with a smooth stride and fluid hips that the Hilltoppers line up all over the field to compound the headaches they give opposing defenses.

Nick Holt, ILB, 6’0, 230
The defensive signal caller and son of defensive coordinator (Nick Holt, Sr) was a big reason the Hilltoppers defense was able to improve as much as it did this season. A highly cerebral player, Holt rarely takes any substantial false steps and has a tremendous feel for what the opposing offense is doing. The senior also plays with very good leverage and his low center of gravity along with his quick feet and balance allow him to mix it up with blockers in the trenches and hunt down ball carriers. Also, watch for him on passing situations as he has a knack for perfectly timing A-gap blitzes.

Jontavius Morris, DT, 6’2, 305
Part of a solid interior rotation, Morris is a quick and disruptive tackle that plays with good lean and can put opposing blockers on their heels right off the snap. The former UAB Blazer has a good rip move due to lateral quickness and good old fashioned strength, and is an under the radar defender that makes regular appearances in opposing backfields.

South Florida

Eric Lee, DE, DE, 6’3, 247
Long limbed and nimble defensive end whose production should coincide more with his athleticism. Comes off the ball well and puts opposing blockers under immediate pressure with jungle vines for legs that cover substantial ground very quickly. Lee also shows good flexibility and can lower his frame to bend the edge. When his motor is running (this doesn’t happen frequently enough by any stretch), this is a player that can be disruptive both against the run and the pass.

Thor Jozwiak, OG, 6’4, 315
As his first name would suggest, the strength of Jozwiak’s game is his strength. The left guard plays with very good leverage and even though he is lacking in the reach department, he is hard to move backwards when defenders reach his body. Additionally, Jozwiak has rather nimble feet for a 315 pounder and is effective on combo blocks, smoothly maintaining his balance moving from one target to another.

Bynjar Gudmundson, OC, 6’4, 305
Tough, scrappy center prospect whose father hails from a country that has produced numerous World’s Strongest Man winners. Gudmundson is relatively light on his feet in a phone booth and plays with solid fundamentals, more often than not correctly placing his hands and using good angles that allow him to refrain from tempting holding calls.

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