March 7, 2016

Scout Takes: 7 NCAA prospects going to the National Combine

John Williamson

Players from Canadian universities get lots of coverage from coast to coast while playing football in our country.

Often times talented Canucks accept scholarships to NCAA programs and can go under the radar for the duration of their careers at American institutions.

So allow us to shine a light on the seven Canadian NCAA prospects who will attend the National CFL Combine in Toronto from March 11-13. Scouts and personnel men around the league gave us insight into what types of players they are:

Josiah St. John, OL, Oklahoma

John Williamson

Credit: John Williamson

2015 season statistics:

Played in seven games, making four starts at right tackle.

Scouts’ take:

“He’s got some experience against some top competition with starts against Texas and West Virginia last season.”

“Josiah’s been in a pro-style program and he’s long and possesses some athletic traits, but still raw and a bit of a project.”

“Needs to develop his technique and strength levels, but a lot of potential and plays a position (tackle) that’s very hard to find.”

“Possesses all the tools he just needs to put it all together.”

Mike Jones, REC, Southern

Southern University Athletics

Credit: Southern University Athletics

2015 season statistics:

Played in 10 games, recording 19 catches for 272 yards.

Scouts’ take:

“When you watch the film you definitely notice his speed. An outside receiver that teams will be excited about because he’s going to be a tough guy for any American defensive back to cover.”

“Speedster – wheels to burn defensive backs over the top. Jones is pretty good at tracking the deep ball. He runs well with good hands. He’s put up some solid production.”

“More of a linear athlete, so you would like to see him improve his route running and lateral agility. And he needs to get stronger and play more physical too.”

Josh Stanford, REC, Kansas

Virginia Tech Athletics

Credit: Virginia Tech Athletics

2015 season statistics:

Played in two games, recording three catches for 38 yards.

Scouts’ take:

“Only played in two games at Kansas last year, so Josh needs to show he’s in football shape and look like he hasn’t taken time off from football. Obviously the kid can play, but it will be a matter of is he ready for the pros.”

“Pretty close to the complete package, although he is smaller.”

“Great after the catch, strong and well-built. He’s got good balance and vision and is hard to get on the ground.”

“Played and been productive at a very high level, but injuries kind of derailed all of his university seasons.”

“Everyone is going to try and figure out is it injuries or any other character stuff that have caused these non-productive past two seasons.”

Tarique Anderson, DL, Delaware State

Delaware State Athletics

Credit: Delaware State Athletics

2015 season statistics:

Played in eight games, recording 12 tackles and one forced fumble.

Scouts’ take:

“Could be versatile enough to play inside or outside.”

“Not the biggest guy and he’s not a real explosive edge rusher, so you wonder what you might do with him.”

“Not the smoothest athlete – a little stiff. And not great with his hands, but he’s played at a high level and hopefully he’s stronger and bigger at the combine.”

“It will be important to see how he looks size-wise.”

“Mid-round type of player at this point.

Denzel Philip, DL, Eastern New Mexico

Eastern New Mexico University

Credit: Eastern New Mexico University

2015 season statistics:

Played in 11 games recording 30 tackles, six tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks.

Scouts’ take:

“Strong enough that he can kick inside and develop into a Junior Turner-type player. Honestly, I think that’s where he’ll end up is on the interior of the defensive line.”

“Down the road I would like to see him put on some more weight because whoever drafts him will see his worth as a defensive tackle.”

“That’s probably his best situation is inside – he’s going to have to get bigger.”

“Junior Turner is a better athlete – smoother and moved around better and an unreal athlete. Denzel isn’t quite that, but he’s definitely stronger.”

“Not an edge rusher because he doesn’t bend and turn the corner really well. He wants to run through everyone.”

“Not a refined pass rusher, so being inside he would benefit him.”

“He gets running pretty well in a straight line and that could help you on special teams.”

Doug Parrish, LB, Western Oregon

2015 season statistics:

Played in 10 games recording 23 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and one sack.

Scouts’ take:

“He’s a tough player. Versatile – not limited to just middle linebacker. He’s got some straight-line athleticism.”

“Originally a San Jose State NCAA Division I kid, so there’s definitely some natural ability there.”

“His size – he was up around 250 lbs. last year and I don’t think he’s supposed to weigh that much. Needs to be in better shape and weigh 215-220 lbs. for him to be at his best and fit the role that he’s going to play.”

“It’s going to be important for him to show that he’s in great shape and lost some weight just to help him move around better and be able to play on special teams.”

“You’re going to be looking to make sure he’s in good shape – committed – and moving around well.”

Anthony Thompson, DB, Southern Illinois

Southern Illinois University

Credit: Southern Illinois University

2015 season statistics:

Played in 11 games and started eight recording a team-high 55 tackles, 0.5 tackle for loss and four passes defended.

Scouts’ take:

“A top high school recruit and good enough to earn a scholarship to UCLA. He redshirted in 2011 with the Bruins before transferring to Southern Illinois.”

“Rangy and physical – likes to come downhill and hit.”

“Really good-looking kid – kind of a Mike Edem look. He’s got some length and runs well.”

“Bigger kid over 200 lbs., so getting in and out of transitions isn’t as easy for him, especially on our field size.”

“He’s going to have to be a free safety. He definitely can run and he’s got great size.”