NFL teams will go to any length to unearth talent, and all-star games like the Medal of Honor Bowl — which will be played at 1:30 p.m. today at Johnson Hagood Stadium in Charleston, South Carolina — give teams an opportunity to look for diamonds in the rough.
Over 100 players, many of whom are from small colleges, will take part in the game, which I'll be watching with an open mind. However, there are a handful of players in particular I'm excited to get a look at, either because I've read good things about their potential, they have intriguing size or because they play a position of need for the Chiefs.
A handful of those players are listed below, but again, I'll be keeping a very open mind as I watch.
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WR #17 R.J. Harris, 6-0, 200, New Hampshire: Super-productive player who caught 100 passes for 1,551 yards and 15 touchdowns this season, which is what you want to see from a prospect at his level of competition.
WR #21 Kyle Prater, 6-5, 225, Northwestern: I remember he was a former five-star prospect at Southern California at one point. I haven't seen him since then, but the size is intriguing and I want to see how good he is. Caught 51 passes for 535 yards and two touchdowns.
OG #79 Quinterrius Eatmon, 6-6, 313, South Florida: Solely because of the size, I want to see if he can play.
OT #76 Blaine Clausell, 6-7, 315, Mississippi State: Same thing as Eatmon — I'm intrigued by big tackles, and Mississippi State had a nice season.
WR #4, Kenny Cook, 6-4, 218, Gardner-Webb: Caught 64 passes for 758 yards and five touchdowns this season and is a huge target, which means I have to keep an eye on him. He also made several contested catches on his highlight tape.
OLB #14, Tank Jakes, 5-11, 227, Memphis: While he played outside linebacker at Memphis, he projects on the inside in a 3-4 defense. He finished the season with 94 tackles and I liked his highlight film.
CB #22, DeVante Bausby, 6-2, 179, Pitt State: I covered him at Hogan Prep, and remember being surprised he didn't wind up at a bigger school. He's lanky, just like the Chiefs prefer, and his athleticism and speed really flashes on his highlight tape.
OG #66 Matt Rotheram, 6-6, 335, Pitt: The Panthers pounded the rock this year with star running back James “The Hammer” Conner, and I know someone was opening those holes.
OT #72 Brey Cook, 6-7, 314, Arkansas: I was impressed with Arkansas' offensive line when I watched them play Missouri this season.