This summer, the National Football Post is breaking down every team in the Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly known as Division I-A) to identify players who might warrant interest from NFL teams in the 2010 draft.
The Boise State Broncos have become one of the top mid-major programs in the country the past decade and possess a solid group of NFL-worthy prospects, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
Jeremy Avery: No. 27, RB, 5'9'', 172 lbs.
Has a great first step attacking the line of scrimmage and does a nice job lowering his pad level when changing directions. Is a two-stepper who gets up to top speed quickly and showcases some toughness fighting for yards down the field. Is patient reading blocks inside and allows his offensive linemen to set up in front of him. Exhibits great vision and consistently looks past the first defender and always makes him miss. Possesses a very sudden jump-cut and looks effortless changing directions.
Isn’t going to push the pile for addition yards inside and has a tendency to get a bit upright at times picking his way through the line of scrimmage. Is undersized and lacks the power to hold his own as a blocker in the pass game.
Impression: An elusive scatback with impressive change-of-direction skills. The tempo of the Boise State offense as a whole picks up when he’s in the game.
Richie Brockel: No. 40, FB/TE, 6'1'', 248 lbs.
Displays a quick punch off the snap and is a good enough athlete to seal defenders away from the play outside. Does a nice job extending his arms on contact and sliding laterally in pass protection. However, he lacks power in his lower half to engage in blocks and drive defenders off the ball.
Impression: An undersized tight end who will likely be asked to make the transition to fullback at the next level. However, I don’t see the power in him to develop as a pure lead blocker.
Austin Pettis: No. 87, WR, 6'3'', 205 lbs.
A coordinated receiver who’s at his best when asked to use his big frame to go up and get the football. Is a strider out of his stance and lacks the body control to change directions as a route runner at full speed. Plucks the ball well away from his frame and does a nice job attacking up field after the catch.
Builds up speed as he goes, but lacks the ability to get behind defenses deep. However, he looks comfortable working the middle of the field and is dangerous in jump-ball situations.
Impression: A big, possession-type receiver who uses his body well, but will struggle gaining separation at the next level.
Ryan Winterswyk: No. 98, DE, 6'4'', 258 lbs.
Isn’t real flexible out of his stance and lacks a great first step off the ball. Has a tendency to get too high on his pass rush and struggles lowering his pad level on contact. Does a nice job extending his arms on his outside and exhibits a clean arm-over move to gain an inside step on linemen. However, he lacks the burst to quickly change directions and struggles separating on any type of counter move.
Displays a good motor and demonstrates impressive straight-line speed for his size. Uses his hands well and does a nice job keeping linemen off his frame and disengaging from blocks. Lacks some power at the point of attack and can be sealed away from run plays inside. Struggles collapsing the pocket on his bull-rush, but displays the hand placement and suddenness to shed the block and close on the ball.
Impression: More of a straight-line athlete who lacks ideal flexibility and burst off the edge. However, he uses his hands well and could develop into a solid NFL prospect with more development.
Kyle Wilson: No. 1, CB, 5'10'', 185 lbs.
Possesses the flexibility to sit into his back-pedal and is very smooth when asked to turn and get down the field. Lacks ideal footwork in his drop and will open his hips up a bit early. However, he showcases impressive balance and demonstrates the first step to quickly redirect and drive on the play. Exhibits good fluidity in the hips and has the ability to get out of his breaks and cleanly change directions on all areas of the field.
Gets a bit casual at times in off coverage and will trust his closing speed too much. Allows some easy completions in front of him that simply shouldn’t happen to a guy with his talent. However, he does do a good job taking proper angles toward the football and wrapping up on contact when he does give up a completion.
Impression: Has some rough edges to his game and needs to clean up his footwork, but the tools are there for him to start in the NFL.
Jeron Johnson: No. 23, SS, 5'11'', 193 lbs.
Isn’t real instinctive against the pass and rarely gets a good jump on the ball. Will bite on play fakes and has a tendency to get caught ball-watching. Lacks awareness and needs to do a better job keeping his head on a swivel and locating receivers in the pass game.
Displays a real hitter-type mentality and plays with little regard for his body. Exhibits decent footwork and balance in his drop, but lacks the range to run sideline to sideline. Plays at one speed when working in pursuit, but does take good angles toward the ball and is a solid wrap-up tackler. However, he isn’t much of a ball-hawk and looks content to simply not give up the big play.
Impression: Has a knack for the big hit, but doesn’t have the type of range or instincts to be much of a factor vs. the pass at the next level.