Today is the game day for the NFLPA Game, which will be played in Pasadena, California at the Rose Bowl. Game time is scheduled for 7PM Eastern Time, 3 PM in California. Airing on NFL Network.
To most of us Draftniks this game ranks 3rd in importance and player quality behind the Senior Bowl and Shrine Bowl venues. Both of those Star Games have used NFLPA rosters to fill last minute gaps in their own rosters. That happenstance should be viewed as a compliment to the NFLPA scouts who stocked their roster.
And it is clear, quite frankly, that there are still some very good collegiate players in this contest, and more than a few will end up of 2023 NFL Training Camp 90-man rosters this Summer.
Here is a short list of players that I will scrutinize while watching the game today, which I will be recording to use for further scouting in February leading up to Combine and Pro Day player workouts.
JEFFERY JOHNSON DT Oklahoma #77 6’2’319 He has the size and athleticism to play pro Defense, but the Sooners program was still trying to put emphasis into its Defensive scheme last year.
QUINDELL JOHNSON S Memphis #15 6’/205 Leader of the Memphis secondary with pro size.
MIKEL JONES LB Syracuse #53 6’/229 Tackling machine and all-around good defender.Has the athleticism to help on Special Teams immediately. Possible later Round Draft Pick.
MALIK KNOWLES WR/RS Kansas State #82 6’2/195 Versatile weapon for the K-State Offense who has good length as a downfield target.
JOHNNY LUMPKIN TE La/Lafayette #89 6’5/273 Mammoth inline TE prospect, who showed he can catch late in the 2022 season. But he is a bulldozer blocker for the run game first & foremost. 35 1/4″ arms and a Wingspan of 85 1/4″.
SIDY SOW OG E. Michigan #62 6’5/329 Massive IOL who is more athletic than you might imagine. 33 7/8″ arms may be long enough for an OT spot, but his footwork is a better fit inside in NFL.
EMARI DeMERCADO RB TCU #33 5’10/215 Played a back-up role for the Horned Frogs, but showed some pop and power replacing MILLER who got hurt in post season.
DILLON DOYLE LB Baylor #49 6’3/239 Good looking player who is athletic enough to impact early on NFL Special Teams.
MICHAEL EZEIKE TE UCLA #84 6’5/245 Came on this past season as a receiver in Chip Kelly’s Offense. Has always been a good blocker for the run game.
MALIK HAMM ER/DE LAFAYETTE #91 6’3/251 FCS level standout. May be a bit raw for immediate pro impact, but the NFL is hungry for Edge-Rushers, which is his specialty. Likely Draftable in Day 3.
JOSEPH NGATA WR Clemson #10 6’3/220 Big guy who has been plagued by injuries while at Clemson. Has 10″+ hand size and 80″+ Wingspan. He was their top receiving weapon in their Bowl game this year. Combine medical info will be huge in determining his Draft position.
JASON TAYLOR SS Oklahoma State #35 6’/208 Tough, smart leader of the Cowboys college secondary. This game and Combine will go a long way to determine his Draft ranking.
I have no doubt that a couple of other participants will assert themselves in this contest. Marginal QB prospects may seriously hinder the offenses in this game, but watch out for ADRIAN MARTINEZ/K-State/#9, formerly in the Nebraska program. He’s a gamer and could flash.
Enjoy, while these Star Games last.