Dan Hawkins has been nothing short of disappointing at Colorado and must make a bowl game this season to have any chance of keeping his job. He’s got a fairly talented squad entering the year, including a number of prospects at positions NFL scouts deem critical.
Nate Solder has been a terrific left tackle for the Buffalos and is a solid next level prospect. Bending his knees, he effectively works his hands throughout the action and keeps opponents away from his passer. Agile, he adjusts to speed rushers or knocks out linebackers on the second level. He makes good use of blocking angles and body positioning but is just a marginal run blocker that must improve his balance. We presently grade Solder as a third rounder but feel he could end up as a top 50 pick next April.
Bryce Givens is a developing young tackle to watch. Showing a good degree of quickness in his game, Givens blocks with a wide base and bends his knees. He’s a terrific pass protector that keeps his head on a swivel and works well with teammates.
Markques Simas is a strong, sturdy wideout that gets up in the middle of the crowd and comes away with the difficult reception. He possesses good eye/hand coordination and displays strong hands with the ability to pull the fastball from the air.
Jimmy Smith gave serious consideration to entering last April’s draft but returned for his senior season and now ranks as one of the top cornerbacks in the senior class. He offers terrific size, looks imposing on the field and physically beats down receivers to defend the pass. Smith does a solid job reading and diagnosing the action and has opposing quarterbacks purposely staying away from him. His play against the run can be a little erratic yet he’s a solid cornerback with a decent upside.
Jalil Brown is also a well sized corner and a nice athlete. He fights to defend the throw, shows solid downfield speed and does a nice job reading receivers eyes then gets his head back around to locate the pass in the air. He gets a lot of action as teams stay away from his teammate, yet Brown holds his own.