Blog Entry

QB Moore among 4 from Boise St invited to Sr Bowl

Posted on: December 26, 2011 11:13 am
 
Quarterback Kellen Moore finished his career at Boise State with a 50-3 record. He'll get an opportunity to play in one more game with the familiar blue and orange Broncos helmet, as he and three other Boise State standouts have been invited to play in the 2012 Senior Bowl.

Running back Doug Martin, defensive lineman Billy Winn and safety George Iloka will join Moore in Mobile, Alabama for the nation's premier college football all-star game, according to a report from Chad Cripe of the Idaho Statesman.

While everyday college football fans might be surprised to see so many Broncos represented in this game, those paying attention are not. This senior class of Broncos enjoyed a spectacular run of 50 wins over the past four years, including a sparkling 6-0 record against automatic qualifying BCS teams like Oregon (twice), Oregon State, Georgia, Virginia Tech and Arizona State. Boise State finished ranked in the top 11 after each of these players' four seasons.

Kellen Moore gets all of the fanfare and rightfully so considering his gaudy statistics. He leaves Boise ranked first in wins (50) and interception percentage in college football history. Just 1.69% of Moore's 1,628 career passes were intercepted, compared to 142 passing touchdowns -- the second most in NCAA history.

At 6-0, 195 pounds, however, and possessing an adequate arm (at best), Moore is generally regarded as a late round or free agent NFL prospect. NFLDraftScout.com rates him as the 15th best quarterback likely to be available in the 2012 draft, in fact. My personal evaluation of Moore can be read here.

While Moore gets the hype, it will be Martin and Winn competing to be the first Bronco selected in the 2012 draft.

NFLDraftScout.com has ranked the 5-09, 210 pound Martin among the elite senior running back prospects in the country the entire season. I've given him a second round grade, but with the lower value most teams are now placing on running backs, NFLDraftScout.com is projecting him to go in the third. Martin, a hard-running back with arguably the most lethal spin move in college football, racked up an eye-popping 3,431 yards and 43 touchdowns over his Boise State career. Seeking a spark against Arizona State in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas last Thursday the coaches put him back to receive kickoffs, something he'd done only 26 times previously in his career. Martin promptly returned the opening kickoff 100 for a score against the Sun Devils.

Winn lined up at defensive end and defensive tackle for the Broncos and scouts are projecting the 6-3, 300 pounder to provide similar versatility in the NFL. Winn only posted one sack this season among his 30 tackles (including six tackles for loss) so it isn't fair to expect him to attack the edge, but his size and power make him a natural run defender capable of lining up outside in the 3-4 and inside in the 4-3. Scouts would have liked to see more consistency out of Winn throughout his career, but he did have a tendency to enjoy some of his best games against top competition. Considering the relative lack of top-flight defensive linemen in the 2012 senior class, some believe he has a chance to parlay his Senior Bowl opportunity into a top 40 grade. Winn is currently graded by NFLDraftScout.com as the 53rd overall prospect and sixth among defensive ends.

Of the four prospects Iloka has received the least amount of fanfare, but Boise State has consistently churned out NFL-caliber defensive backs over the past several seasons, highlighted by the New York Jets making Kyle Wilson (another Senior Bowl standout) a first round pick two years ago. Bigger and potentially faster than some of the so-called "elite" safety prospects in the country, the 6-3, 213 pound Iloka has long been a standout at free safety for the Broncos and even slid to cornerback for a few games this season as Boise State was hit hard by injuries at the position. He was held without an interception in 2011 but finished second on the team with 57 tackles and has the fluidity and size combination to project as either a strong or free safety in the NFL. Iloka is currently ranked as NFLDraftScout.com's No. 4 overall free safety prospect and third among seniors.

These four prospects could be joined by several other Boise State players to hear their name called out on draft weekend four months now. Pass rusher Shea McClellin and offensive tackle Nate Potter, in particular, are considered likely candidates to get drafted and could wind up with all-star invitations of their own shortly.

Comments

Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: December 27, 2011 8:51 am
 

QB Moore among 4 from Boise St invited to Sr Bowl

Moore is impressive, but one of his most glowing stats is a microcosm of all that is right and all that is wrong with BSU.  Moore has a "sparkling 6-0 record against automatic qualifying BCS teams." BSU's current "claim to fame" is that they "deserve a chance to play for the BCS Championship."  The problem is that they have choked against non-BCS AQ's the last two years.

This year, BSU had its destiny in its own hands.  All they had to do was beat TCU, one of only three legitimate teams it played this year.  They lost.  Last year, they managed to lose to Nevada.  The bottom line is that they play three legitimate teams a year and nine tomato cans.  In an AQ BCS conference, they will play more than those six games Moore played against AQ BCS teams every year.

To have any legitimate reason to complain, BSU should play at least nine games a year against AQ BCS teams.  Anyone can get up for three games a year if they get to play glorified scrimmages their other nine games.  A team that loses three games to non-AQ teams has no reason to brag that it is better than AQ teams just because of their "perfect record" in a limited sample.  
 
Finally, in 2013, BSU will have a chance to prove itself in the grind of BCS AQ competition.  The Big East doesn't have any teams that are great, but it has about eight of them who can beat anyone if they play well and the other team doesn't play at 100 percent.  
 
The bottom line: enjoy next year, BSU fans.  Then, get ready for a lot of "disappointing" 9-3 seasons. 


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com