2016 NFL Draft: Poinsettia Bowl Scouting Preview – Northern Illinois vs. Boise State


Another season ending in a Bowl for the Boise State Broncos, just perhaps not the one they had hoped for.  They have set high expectations every season and this year, after winning 8 games, may not have lived up to their expectations. 

By: Matt Vahey

Boise may no longer be seen as the Cinderella story now that the have been to some of the top tier bowl games, but they will have a tough match-up against a very good Northern Illinois team.  Northern Illinois is coming off a MAC championship game loss to Bowling Green and are looking to end their season on a high note, as well as prove themselves against a very formidable opponent in Boise State.

Each team has a good amount of prospects lined up for the NFL, and with Boise State on the docket, it will be a great chance for the Northern Illinois hopefuls to step up their game knowing that there will be a good amount of NFL teams watching.

Northern Illinois

Boomer Mays, LB, #45
Boomer is a very physical linebacker, who packs a punch at 6′ and 244 pounds.  He is the leading tackler for the Huskies (92 so far on the year) and has earned first-team all-conference accolades.  Mays is all over the field for the Huskies defense, and is the leader in the middle of the defense.  He does a great job taking on lead blockers, shed and make the tackle.  He does a great job of diagnosing the play and reading his keys.  Not to mention that he will deliver a punch when given the chance.  He will likely hear his name called on day 3 of the draft.

Andrew Ness, OL, #55
Ness is the senior leader on the Husky offense, having started 54 consecutive games and was awarded first team all-conference recognition for the second consecutive year.  He does a great job of calling out protections for the line who really leans on him up front.  He plays with good leverage and has a good combination of strength and athleticism for his size (6’3″ and 314 pounds).  Keeps his eyes up in the run game and can get to the second level, though he needs to bring his feet a little better.  Can anchor in the pass game and keeps his head on a swivel for any help protection.  Another likely 3rd day pick for the Huskies.

Perez Ford, DE, #44
The Huskies most consistent pass rusher leading the team with 5 sacks. Though he is under sized for a defensive end (6′ and 224 pounds), he was not on the field in just passing situations.  He was an every down player and really showed toughness with being able to hold his own.  He plays with a great leverage and technique to be able to take on bigger players and hold his ground.  Plays with a very high motor and will run all over the field.  His quickness causes fits for the bigger players, it will be a good test to see how he matches up against Boise State.

Others to Watch:
Aidan Conlon, OL, #61

Boise State

Darian Thompson, #4, S
Productive player who is also the Mountain West conference all-time leader in interceptions.  It’s still undecided if he will ultimately play, but rumor has it he’s good to go.  Named to All-Mountain West First Team and was truly deserving of this honor after his successful senior season.  A jack of all trades player as he doesn’t excel in any one area; but he’s rangy, aggressive, and a real ballhawk.  He plays fast, but he will tend to make a mistake due to his high motor.  Thompson is a player with great size and ability that teams will likely find intriguing come draft day.

Marcus Henry, #72, C
Henry, now a two-time first-team pick at center in the Mountain West conference, is the leader up front and put together another solid campaign at the pivot.  His strengths as a player come from his intelligence and pure athleticism.  Henry is a gritty player who keeps his head on a swivel and plays hard.  However, one question mark is his play strength as he sometimes has trouble getting movement off the line.  Henry will also needs to refine his footwork as he loses footing at times, too many times ending up on the ground.  He would be best suited for a zone scheme where he can get players moving laterally.

Donte Deayon, #5, CB/PR
Is he diminutive? Yes.  However, is he athletic and explosive? Yes.  The best part about his game is his competitive nature, as he backs down from no man despite only weighing 150 pounds soaking wet.  He’s a feisty tackler with plus ball skills at the position who continually made plays for Boise State.  Teams at the next level could be willing to take a flier on him as he’s shown to be dangerous as a punt returner, allowing them to also give him time against NFL caliber receivers.

Others to watch:
Shane Williams-Rhodes, #1, WR
Tyler Horn, #69, DT

Arrow to top