Michigan State (9-3) vs Washington State (9-3)
SDCCU Stadium, San Diego, California
Fox Sports 1 (FS1)
9:05 p.m. ET
NFL Draft Prospect Preview
RB #3 L.J. Scott, Junior (6-0, 230)
Heavily scrutinized for his ability to hold on to the football, L.J. Scott is a running back with lots to love on tape. His size allows for him to put his head down and move piles at will. You won’t see much dancing out of Scott. He sees his hole and he gets there in a hurry. His lack of route running ability will hold him back from teams jumping on him but I see him getting drafted day three while I’ll likely have a mid-late day two grade on him.
OC #65 Brian Allen, Senior (6-2, 310)
One of the leaders for this Sparty team. Brian Allen has had a solid career in green following in his brother, Jack’s footsteps. The two time All Big Ten offensive lineman, Allen played in all four years at his time for MSU. Allen is projected to play center at the next level and has shown the ability to move to all three interior positions, doing so each of the previous three years until this year where he played all 12 games at center. His size and hand usage has come into question which will likely slide him to the top of day three come draft night.
Potential future prospects of note:
WR #25 Darrell Stewart
EDGE #48 Kenny Willekes
OBLB #35 Joe Bachie
QB #4 Luke Falk, Redshirt Senior (6-3, 225)
It seems among #DraftTwitter there is either a love or hate for Luke Falk. He has the touch, accuracy and processing ability to show that he has upside at the next level. He has a bad habit of not keeping his eyes downfield when the pocket collapse. Falk, however, has the ability to move and slide around the pocket to avoid defensive linemen and throw strikes down the field. While playing in Mike Leach’s air raid system makes it hard to project him, I believe he has all the tools to play at the next level. Right now I see him as a day two pick and right at QB5. He’ll have plenty of opportunities to move up from the Holiday Bowl and his time at the Senior Bowl after accepting his invitation.
RB #25 Jamal Morrow, Redshirt Senior (5-9, 190)
A short, undersized running back, Jamal Morrow chose to go to WSU because he knew that his skillset coming out of high school fit what would be asked out of him as an air raid running back. He has good vision and burst which allows him to wiggle through holes and find space to pick up quick yards. Morrow has all the abilities to play on third down at the next level with good route running ability and pass catching skills that allow him to get open versus bigger and slower linebackers. He was invited to the NFLPA Bowl which will allow him to put his third down skills to the test in one on one situations. He’ll likely be a late day three pick as of now.
EDGE #50 Hercules Mata’afa, Redshirt Junior (6-2, 252)
A very hard evaluation after playing a ton of snaps in the interior for the Cougar’s defense. He’ll likely play as a stand up outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense at the next level, but for tonight we’ll miss a half from this explosive edge rusher after he was suspended for targeting in Washington State’s last regular season game versus Washington. When he does play you’ll see his quick burst off the line to go with his excellent bend and tilt which allows him to bend around the edge. As a redshirt junior he isn’t a surefire declaration, but after his last two successful seasons he would likely warrant a late day two pick.
Future prospects of note:
EDGE #51 Frankie Luvu
(Michigan State -1.5 according to Vegas Insider as of 12/27/17)
Michigan State is going to take the Holiday Bowl home in a low scoring 24-17 game. Tough to expect Luke Falk and his offense to get anything going against Michigan State’s ninth ranked defense with their two outside receivers Tavares Martin and Isaiah Johnson-Mack out for the game after their dismissal from the program.