Tag Archive: Florida International

1- Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State: Grade: Top 10
2- Alshon Jeffrey, WR, South Carolina: Grade: 1st Round
3- Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame: Grade: 1st round
4- Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor: Grade: Late 1st/Early 2nd
5- Jarius Wright, WR, Arkansas: Grade: Late 1st/Early 2nd
6- Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers: Grade: Early/Mid 2nd
7- Rueben Randle, WR, LSU: Grade: Early/Mid 2nd
8- Nick Toon, WR, Wisconsin: Grade: 2nd/3rd
9- Dwight Jones, WR, North Carolina: Grade: 2nd/3rd
10- Marvin McNutt, WR, Iowa: Grade: Grade: 3rd
11- A.J. Jenkins, WR, Illinois: Grade: 3rd
12- Brian Quick, WR, Appalachian State: Grade: 3rd
13- T.Y. Hilton, WR, Florida International: Grade: 3rd/4th
14- Joe Adams, WR, Arkansas: Grade: 4th
15- Ryan Broyles, WR, Oklahoma: Grade: 4th
16- Marquis Maze, WR, Alabama: Grade: 4th
17- Greg Childs, WR, Arkansas: Grade: 4th/5th
18- Jarrett Boykin, WR, Virginia Tech: Grade: 4th/5th
19- DeVier Posey, WR, Ohio State: Grade: 5th
20- Jeff Fuller, WR, Texas A&M: Grade: 5th
21- Juron Criner, WR, Arizona: Grade: 5th
22- Rishard Matthews, WR, Nevada: Grade: 5th
23- Jermaine Kearse, WR, Washington: Grade: 5th/6th
24- B.J. Cunningham, WR, Michigan State: Grade: 5th/6th
25- Gerell Robinson, WR, Arizona State: Grade: 5th/6th
26- Lance Lewis, WR, East Carolina: Grade: 6th
27- Jordan White, WR, Western Michigan: Grade: 6th
28- Marvin Jones, WR, California: Grade: 6th
29- Chris Owusu, WR, Stanford: Grade: 6th
30- Derek Moye, WR, Penn State: Grade: 6th
31- Travis Benjamin, WR, Miami: Grade: 6th/7th
32- Devon Wylie, WR, Fresno State: Grade: 7th
33- T.J. Graham, WR, North Carolina State: Grade: 7th
34- Keshawn Martin, WR, Michigan State: Grade: 7th
35- Mike Willie, WR, Arizona State: Grade: 7th
36- Junior Hemingway, WR, Michigan: Grade: 7th/UDFA
37- James Rodgers, WR, Oregon State: Grade: 7th/UDFA
38- Da’Jon McKnight, WR, Minnesota: Grade: 7th/UDFA
39- Thomas Mayo, WR, California (PA): Grade: 7th/UDFA
40- Darius Reynolds, WR, Iowa State: Grade: 7th/UDFA

T.Y. Hilton has plenty of upside due to his athleticism and ability to stretch the field, not to mention his versatility as a return man. I do worry about his hands though.

Size: T.Y. Hilton doesn’t have very impressive size at only 5’10”, 184 pounds. He looks skinny on film, and could definitely stand to add weight and get stronger. Without more muscle and strength I worry that he will struggle with durability issues in the NFL (he has already had hamstring issues this season).

Speed: Hilton’s speed may be his greatest asset. He has the speed to outrun man coverage, to beat zone coverage over the top of him on vertical routes, and to outrun angles that defenders may take to tackle him. His 40 time is listed at 4.48 but I would be shocked if that were his official time. He looks faster than that on film, and I would estimate around a 4.42 if he was healthy. This aspect of Hilton’s game is what makes him a worthwhile NFL prospect, and it is what will turn the heads of talent evaluators when they watch him play.

Quickness: Hilton has quite a bit of quickness too. He is very shifty and changes directions easily. This makes it easy for him to burst in and out of cuts when he wants to, which makes him difficult to tackle in the open field. This also helps him change direction on kick-off and punt returns which he also excels at, making him a versatile and valuable player.

Release: Hilton’s release is one of the more disappointing parts of his game. Even when he isn’t being jammed, I have never been impressed by his burst and explosion off of the line of scrimmage. Frequently he doesn’t fly off the line, and at times will almost jog (though primarily on drag routes, etc.) which concerns me. But when he is jammed he can be physically abused because of his lack of size and strength, and that makes it hard for him to get off of the line of scrimmage and hurts the timing of his routes. This is one thing that Hilton really needs to work on.

Route Running: Hilton’s route running shows flashes of potential, but as of not it is inconsistent and not very impressive. He has the burst and change of direction ability to burst in and out of cuts to create separation, but more often than not he rounds off his breaks and doesn’t run crisp routes. While this is an issue currently, with NFL coaching (and the desire to improve from Hilton) this could be rectified easily. He has the ability to run quality routes and create separation at a NFL level, he just hasn’t had to do it at Florida International.

Hands: Hilton’s hands are the most concerning part of his game to me. Frequently his only drops are passes that he attempts to catch outside of his body with his hands. He catches the ball fine when he can trap it against his body, but this bad habit will lead to drops in the NFL. Additionally, because he struggles to catch passes away from his core it makes it more difficult to QB’s to put the ball somewhere where he can catch it. His range is small because of his inability to snag the ball out of the air away from his body, and that really hurts his potential as a receiver.

Body Control: I believe Hilton has pretty good body control. He is able to change directions quickly and has good feet to stop and start when making a cut or changing directions. I haven’t had a lot of chances to evaluate his body control in the four games I have watched since he catches so many bubble screens and simple routes, but if my opinion of his body control is changed by what I see later in the season it will be reflected in an updated scouting report.

In Traffic: Hilton is average at catching passes in traffic. I don’t think he likes contact very much as evidenced by him frequently runs out of bounds at the end of plays and struggling to gain yards after contact with defenders, and because of his body catching I don’t think he will be overly reliable over the middle in the NFL. He can make catches against man coverage with a defender in his hip pocket, but I’m not sure he will be able to make tough catches and absorb a lot of contact.

YAC: Hilton is a fantastic yards after catch producer. He’s very fast and changes direction very easily and does a great job of making defenders miss in the open field to gain additional yardage. When he can accelerate and get going full speed he is tough to catch because he can outrun your angles, and that leads to a lot of yardage when he can catch passes down the seam or on slant routes when he has created some separation. However, when he tries to run through arm tackles he struggles and I’m not sure I’ve seen him break more than one or maybe two tackles when I’ve watched him. He prefers to avoid contact and make guys miss than shrug off would-be tacklers.

Blocking: Hilton is an average blocker for his size, but it seems that he is rotated out of the game in obvious running situations in favor of other wide receivers who might be better blockers. If he is ever going to be truly effective in this area of the game he is going to need to get stronger so he can sustain his blocks better.

Overall: Hilton is a very intriguing prospect because of his great athletic ability. He isn’t a very big guy, but if he can get stronger and get coached up at beating jams at the line, improving his release off of the line of scrimmage and then using his burst, acceleration and speed to create more separation as a route runner he could be a very dangerous slot receiver. But his hands are definitely a concern for me and I don’t think he will ever be a receiver who snags passes away from his body with his hands. I think he can improve them with coaching, but I wouldn’t expect him to ever have great hands even with NFL coaching and experience. If he can improve his hands it would make him a very dangerous weapon in the NFL considering he will already be effective at creating YAC once he has the ball in his hands. He just has to be a more reliable target with a better range in my estimation. But as he is developing as a receiver he should be able to make an immediate contribution on special teams as a kick-off and punt return man. He seems to have good vision with the ball in his hands and due to his great speed he can really pick up yardage quickly once he has some open field to work with. Hilton’s versatility and his upside as a vertical threat on offense definitely make him a worthwhile NFL prospect.

Projection: Late 2nd round to Mid 3rd round: Obviously this is an early projection, but I think this is a solid estimation of where Hilton will go. I think his hands will scare some teams off from picking him in the early-middle portion of the 2nd round, but a guy with his ability to threaten teams vertically, make plays on special teams and rack up yards after the catch will be worth a selection once you get towards the end of round two and into round three. That is where you tend to see a lot of slot receivers go.

Bowl Predictions:

New Mexico Bowl- Brigham Young (6-6) vs UTEP (6-6)

Predicted winner: BYU

Why: BYU is surging into the bowl season after a slow start to the season while UTEP started strong and backed into the bowl season by finishing with just one victory in their last six games.

Key to the game: UTEP’s senior QB Trevor Vittatoe is the key to UTEP’s potential victory. In the last six games, of which they lost five, Vittatoe threw eight interceptions and only five touchdowns. Three of those five touchdowns came in their only victory against SMU. If Vittatoe can have an efficient game against BYU then UTEP could be poised for an “upset” of sorts.

Score: BYU: 24 – UTEP: 13

Humanitarian Bowl- Northern Illinois (10-3) vs Fresno State (8-4)

Predicted winner: NIU

Why: Despite losing their coach NIU is one of the best running teams in the country, and that running game should help their QB Chandler Harnish find passing lanes, especially with play action.

Key to the game: NIU’s QB Chandler Harnish. I was tempted to name their RB Chad Spann the key player in this game, but Harnish’s ability to throw efficiently (2,230 yards, 64.7% comp and 20 TD’s to only 5 INT’s this season) along with his ability to gain yards with his legs (764 yards and 5 TD’s) he needs to perform well and threaten Fresno State with his arm and his legs for them to win this game. If he plays efficiently they have a great chance to win.

Score: NIU: 31 – FSU: 21

New Orleans Bowl- Ohio (8-4) vs Troy (7-5)

Predicted winner: Troy

Why: Troy’s QB Corey Robinson may turn the ball over a fair amount, but he was productive with 3,300+ yards, 24 TD’s and 15 INT’s. Ohio’s QB Boo Jackson managed only 15 TD’s and 16 INT’s comparatively. Troy is a little more one dimensional with the pass, whereas Ohio’s offense is more balanced but not as explosive. This could be a bit of a sloppy game because both QB’s are relatively prone to turnovers.

Key to the game: Jerrel Jernigan, WR, Troy. Jernigan has had three consecutive seasons with 70+ receptions for Troy and has again been a favorite target of freshman QB Corey Robinson. He is an explosive receiver, and if he can get behind Ohio’s secondary he could have a big game. If they keep him relatively contained he could still have an impact because of his reliable hands.

Score: Troy: 34 – Ohio: 31

St. Petersburg Bowl- Southern Miss (8-4) vs Louisville (6-6)

Predicted winner: Louisville

Why: Louisville has a balanced offensive attack that has enabled them to go from QB to QB depending on injuries and still have relative success. Their defense is much stronger overall than it was when Petrino was there, so if they can muster a balanced attack against Southern Miss they should have a good chance to win. It will be interesting to see how their defense holds up against Southern Miss.

Key to the game: Bilal Powel, RB, Louisville. Powel is the heart of their offense and he is the feature back of their offense. When Powel has 90+ yards and one or more touchdowns Louisville has won or been in very close games in every week, so if he plays well Louisville tends to be in a position win.

Score: Louisville: 24 – Southern Miss: 20

Las Vegas Bowl- Utah (10-2) vs Boise State (11-1)

Predicted winner: Boise State

Why: I personally think Utah is very overrated, but besides that Boise State is a very balanced team. They have a great passing attack led by Kellen Moore, one of the most efficient and accurate passers in the country, as well as an underrated running game led by Doug Martin. Their defense is as good as it has ever been, and between that and their juggernaut offense I think Utah will be over-matched.

Key to the game: Utah’s running game. If Utah can run the ball and sustain drives it will keep Boise State’s high-powered offense on the sideline. If they try to get into a shootout with the Broncos they will lose, so they have to try to slow the pace of the game down in my opinion.

Score: Boise State: 45 – Utah: 24

Poinsettia Bowl- Navy (9-3) vs San Diego State (8-4)

Predicted winner: San Diego State

Why: San Diego State is a more balanced attack than Navy. They have two talented WR’s in Vincent Brown and DeMarco Sampson, a quality passing QB in Ryan Lindley and a quality running back to rely on in the running game. Navy’s offense revolves around their QB Ricky Dobbs. He is their best passer as well as their leading rusher for Navy, but San Diego’s run defense may be capable of slowing him down. If they do, and if they get ahead of Navy, they may not have the offensive firepower to play from behind.

Key to the game: Ricky Dobbs. If he plays well, helps control the clock and keeps San Diego State’s offense off the field then Navy can win. But if San Diego State slows him and Navy’s offense down then San Diego State will have an easier time winning this game.

Score: San Diego State: 31 – Navy: 17

Hawai’i Bowl- Hawai’i (10-3) vs Tulsa (9-3)

Predicted Winner: Hawai’i

Why: The Golden Warriors have an extremely potent passing offense like they always seem to have, but this time around they have a quality running game to attempt to balance out their high-powered offensive attack. Tulsa has a potent offense as well, but I don’t think they can win in a shootout with Hawai’i, hence why I give them the advantage.

Key to the game: Defense. It might sound simple, but whichever defense plays better overall will give that team a substantial advantage. Both have pretty good defensive backfields, so if one of them steps up and potentially creates some turnovers that team would gain an advantage.

Score: Hawai’i: 45 – Tulsa: 31

Little Caesars Bowl- FIU (6-6) vs Toledo (8-4)

Predicted winner: Toledo

Why: Toledo’s QB’s are much more efficient than FIU’s, even their redshirt freshman Terrance Owens who stepped in after their original starter, Austin Dantin, went down to injury. Toledo also played better competition and I think they are more prepared for this bowl game than FIU.

Key to the game: Terrance Owens, QB, Toledo- If Owens continues to play efficiently like he has since stepping into the spotlight then Toledo stands a great chance to win. But if he plays like an inexperienced freshman then Toledo will be in trouble.

Score: Toledo: 31 – FIU: 20

Independence Bowl- Air Force (8-4) vs Georgia Tech (6-6)

Predicted winner: Georgia Tech

Why: Georgia Tech’s defense is fast enough to slow down Air Force’s ground attack, and I think they are disciplined enough to do so also. But I am not sure Air Force is up to stopping Georgia Tech’s offense. Both teams are great at running the football, but ironically it might come down to whoever hits on a deep ball or two who comes away with a victory. I think that Georgia Tech has that potential with Stephen Hill.

Key to the game: Josh Nesbitt. Nesbitt is an interesting key to the game because he may or may not play as a result of his injury suffered in early November. He has not yet been cleared by doctors, but if he is healthy enough to go I would be shocked if he doesn’t play. He is the heart of Georgia Tech’s rushing attack and without him they just aren’t as effective. If he plays Air Force will have a lot to stop.

Score: Georgia Tech: 27 – Air Force: 21

Champs Sports Bowl- West Virginia (9-3) vs NC State (8-4)

Predicted Winner: West Virginia

Why: West Virginia’s offense is potent and it is led by sophomore Geno Smith who has had an extremely efficient season. Their offense is explosive and can score quickly or piece together a methodical drive with a dose of Noel Devine and Ryan Clark running the ball. NC State has a quality QB and a couple of nice receivers to throw to, but West Virginia’s defense is great at rushing the passer and I think they will force Russell Wilson into a couple potential mistakes.

Key to the game: West Virginia’s pass rush. If West Virginia can rattle Russell Wilson, force him into mistakes but also keep him inside the pocket so he can’t extend plays by scrambling or finding receivers on a broken play then they should have a pretty easy time beating the Wolfpack.

Score: West Virginia: 24 – NC State: 13

Insight Bowl- Missouri (10-2) vs Iowa (7-5)

Predicted Winner: Missouri

Why: Iowa won’t have Adam Robinson or Darrel Johnson-Koulianos against Missouri as a result of suspensions which will hurt their offense. I think Ricky Stanzi might have it in him to still pull off a win if he plays like he did late in games all last season, but I don’t know if he can do that this year. Not only that, but Iowa’s defense will be challenged by a potent Missouri defense and a quality QB of their own. Blaine Gabbert isn’t a great QB but he is a good one, and I don’t know if Iowa has the secondary to stop Missouri’s passing game. I also think that Missouri’s offensive line has a solid chance of slowing down Iowa’s very talented defensive line, which could make it a long day for Iowa’s defensive backs.

Key to the game: Iowa’s pass rush. If they get after Gabbert and can force him into mistakes then I think Iowa will in the game. But if Missouri slows down Iowa’s pass rush and gives Gabbert time to throw I think Missouri will ultimately win the game.

Score: Missouri: 24 – Iowa: 20

Let’s hope these predictions go alright! I for one am ready for one last round of college football! Enjoy! Thanks for reading!