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Steelers 2019 NFL Draft Prospects: College Game Day and Open Thread

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It’s time to check in on some prospects for the black-and-gold.

NCAA Football: Fresno State at Boise State Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

It is finally among us, conference championship week! We will find out who truly is made out to be who they are and many teams will lose their playoff positioning this week.

With so many top teams playing, there is a ton of NFL talent on display for us to watch today. They come in droves on every team, and I certainly am here for it.

With that in mind, and the season winding down to its climax, lets see some of the games on the platter for this star-studded Saturday.

Big 12 Championship: No. 14 Texas at No. 5 Oklahoma (-7.5) 12.00 ABC

SEC Championship: No. 1 Alabama (-13.5) at No. 4 Georgia 4:00 CBS

AAC Championship: Memphis at No. 8 UCF (-3) 3:30 ABC

Big 10 Championship: No. 21 Northwestern at No. 6 Ohio State (-13.5) 7:45 FOX

ACC Championship: Pittsburgh at No. 2 Clemson (-27.5) 8:00 ABC

And this week’s highlight game:

Mountain West Championship: No. 25 Fresno State at No. 22 Boise State (-2.5) 7:45 ESPN

Fresno State Bulldogs

Keeshawn Johnson #3 WR 6’2” 199 lbs

Marcus McMaryion #6 QB 6’2” 203 lbs

Mike Bell #4 SAF 6’3” 203 lbs

Emeka Ndoh #5 EDGE 6’0” 250 lbs

Boise State Broncos

Brett Rypien #4 QB 6’2” 202 lbs

David Moa #55 IDL 6’3” 275 lbs

Alexander Mattison #22 RB 5’11 211 lbs

Bulldogs Breakdown

QB Marcus McMariyon

McMaryion is the definition of a mixed bag. I mean that wholeheartedly, that he has some fantastic traits, but man some of super ugly. This guy has the ability to extend plays like no other guy in this class. He can just fly up and down the field and make throws on the run easily. I love what I see there, as the mobility isn’t an issue. McMaryion also feels pressure easily. He stands in there and steps up often. It is one of his best traits.

He can hit guys accurately in the intermediate and short game, but with limited arm strength and deep accuracy, there sure is some concern to go around there. Something I don’t see enough from him is pre-snap processing, as he just can’t read keys as well as he should. However, he shows little-to-no anticipation, which really sinks him down my board.

Round Grade: Early 5th

NFL Comparison: Cody Kessler

SAF Mike Bell

Bell has arms for days. I mean this guy is super long. Good for him, he certainly is not stiff, he is smooth. He changes direction rather easily and it really helps him in man coverage and to become a single-high guy. He plays timidly and all, but he is just a solid player. I don’t see him playing as much down in the box, although he can be a very good run defender, but I do see him moving around as a hybrid.

Bell has always been a solid tackler, but he has some rough processing and can be a step late in coverage. In addition to that, his angles leave a lot to be desired. And with that lack of aggressiveness, he hasn’t showed all that much of any ball skills, which I would love to see from him.

Round Grade: Mid 4th

NFL Comparison: Ron Parker

Broncos Breakdown

QB Brett Rypien

Brett Rypien has really caught me by surprise recently. I see a ton of Alex Smith in Rypien. He is never overly aggressive, but he sure is smart and accurate. He can throw the ball deep, but only does it when he has to do it. His anticipation is fantastic and he can run the quick game if need be. I love his ball placement, as he loves to throw back shoulder and be precise with it. He can fit balls into tight windows that he simply shouldn’t be able to due to solid arm strength that allows him to change up velocity with ease. He also is super mobile and can extend plays.

He can get jittery at times in pocket and is too prone to fumbles. His pre-snap reads need to progress further, as he sometimes locks onto one target and fails to go through his reads, thus leading to unnecessary hard throws. While he does have solid arm strength, it is not fantastic, and he is prone to underthrowing the ball. He can be too dangerous at times, and takes too many risks.

Round Grade: Late 2nd

NFL Comparison: Alex Smith

RB Alexander Mattison

Mattison is a complete back, but he is pretty raw in a lot of ways. For one, he is an excellent receiver who can be used out of all looks. He is faster than his size would let on and can get to the boundary fast. His contact balance is extremely good and he just grinds out yards consistently every play.

He does have some lapses in his vision, however, especially on zone runs. Combined with an overall lack of agility, and there is definitely some cause for concern here. His pass blocking is extremely raw as well, thus it possible he can be limited as a 3-down back.

Round Grade: Mid 4th

NFL Comparison: Royce Freeman

Sleeper

QB Taryn Christion #3 South Dakota State

Hello FCS Lamar Jackson. Christion really does resemble Jackson, from the insane mobile and running ability, to the ridiculous arm strength and accuracy inconsistencies. He is slept on in this class and won’t go nearly as high as Jackson went, but Christion has those same characteristics. This guy can throw with amazing anticipation off of any quick concept. He feels pressure extremely well and steps up out of the pressure often. He can extend the play with his legs and throw well on the run. He manipulates safeties well and creates openings for his receivers.

He does have some issues with accuracy inconsistencies. Specifically when he is going deep, he can throw some real lame ducks due to his narrow base. He can recognize and read defenses well, but needs to go through his reads better. He needs to get off-script and instead create his own reads. He telegraphs passes like that too often.

Round Grade: Early 3rd

NFL Comparison: Lamar Jackson

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That’s all for here, and if you have any prospects you want to bring up, discuss them below, I’ll be here on this thread all day!