Prospect Preview: California Bears

Can the Bears improve from last season? The PAC Ten's Cinderella team had a great campaign led by a resurgent Kyle Boller only to be disqualified from the post-season due to NCAA probation. The program that put two players in last April's first round could be hard pressed to have anyone hear their names called in 2004's first day.

The top prospects on offense are a pair of offensive linemen but neither are guaranteed to be drafted. Mark Wilson man's the left side but is best in confined quarters as he's a big-bodied blocker not light on his feet. He plays with good technique and solid skill. Chris Murphy is a bit better with his feet but the right tackle lacks the overall athleticism and strength to play on the outside. Junior college transfer Jonathan Makkonen flashed skill at receiver last season and could get notice with a big season. Same goes for tight end Brandon Hall, but the senior needs a huge campaign to move into the late rounds.

Defensively the top prospect is junior tackle Lorenzo Alexander, an excellent athlete who plays with great explosion and a player with a nice amount of upside. Alexander needs to physically add bulk but must be charted. Line-mate Josh Beckham plays all out but is a limited athlete with minimal potential for the next level. Corner James Bethea flashes cover skill but is best in zone and more than likely a free agent.

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