Sporting News: Draft Dish: Hillsdale QB’s skill set draws attention at Cactus Bowl

Russ Lande Sporting News – Full Post

KINGSVILLE, Texas — Players who helped themselves this week at Cactus Bowl practices:

— Hillsdale QB Troy Weatherford showed he has the arm strength to make all the throws and the physical tools to warrant further evaluation. Although his accuracy was inconsistent, his zip and nice spirals will lead to more attention from scouts.

— Central Missouri RB Anthony Stewart showed nice quickness and a good burst all week. He also showed he can catch short passes and deep throws well. He exhibited good toughness and competitiveness, though his size (5-9, 190) will limit him to a third-down, situational-type back.

— Texas A&M-Kingsville WR Ryan Lincoln really came on during the week. He was stellar catching everything thrown to him and showed a nice ability to turn upfield quickly. He showed the skills to get separation and a quick twitch off the line, and he played faster than his 40 time.

— Delta State WR L.J. Castille was able to get good separation and showed the ability to get off press coverage. Although he did drop a few easy throws, he also adjusted nicely to catch some poorly thrown balls. At 6-2, 220, he will warrant further evaluation.

— Angelo State WR Garrett Tidwell displayed a knack for finding open space and getting separation in traffic. Although his 5-8 frame and lack of elite speed will limit him, he may get consideration as a special teams player or backup slot receiver.

— Fort Hays State WR O.J. Murdock had a good but not great week of practice. Because he showed good deep speed and separation, however, he undoubtedly will be evaluated further.

— No player did more for himself than West Liberty TE Ryan Travis. He was the most consistent player — at any position — throughout the week. Travis caught everything, showed the willingness to block and played with great instincts and awareness. He may be able to earn a spot on a team’s practice squad as an H-back or in a fullback-type role.

— West Virginia Wesleyan OL Shannon Breen showed good footwork and technique throughout the week. His lack of ideal arm length may limit his future, but he showed a good skill set — stance, leverage, base and hands — for guard and possibly center.

— C.W. Post DE Xavier Brown played with a good burst and showed the quickness to gain the edge. He’s a raw player who will need at least a year in the weight room, but he has the long arms, big hands and quickness that make him a perfect developmental candidate.

— Central Washington LB Adam Bighill had a terrific week. He plays with great instincts, good burst and toughness. Although he is just shy of 5-10, he was impossible to ignore. Playing sideline to sideline, Bighill found his way to the ball and took on blockers without hesitation. He may find a home as a special teams player.

Lande and his team of former NFL scouts provide player scouting reports plus a weekly updated Mock Draft and Super 99 player rankings. For more, visit Sporting News’ Pro Football War Room.

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