Scouting the PAC 10: California

After a pair of outstanding seasons which included a bowl appearance last year which resulted in a victory over Virginia Tech, Cal coach Jeff Tedford is now a hot commodity in the NFL community. And as the third year coach moves into the 2003 season he does so with a talented team which will compete for a Pac Ten title and have a major impact in the next two NFL drafts.

Tedford is renown for his ability to develop quarterbacks.  Joey Harrington, Akili Smith and Trent Dilfer are just some of the early first round picks Tedford has tutored.  The next name to remember is Golden Bears thrower Aaron Rodgers.  Already considered a top prospect in NFL scouting circles, the junior is a sound passer that consistently completes a high percentage of his throws.  Displaying tremendous field awareness Rogers is a patient quarterback that scans the field, goes through receiver progressions and rarely makes bad decisions.  Very accurate in the short field he throws a catchable ball and while not possessing the big arm, Rogers does put air under deep passes and lets receivers run to the throw.  Still a little raw, Rogers must work on his delivery as he gathers himself and winds up which slows the release of passes.  It is quite possible with a good campaign in 2004 Rogers could leave for the NFL and become a first round pick next April.  Rogers favorite target and one of the best receivers in the nation is senior Geoff McArthur.  A consistent pass catcher with reliable hands, MacArthur is a quick footed pass catcher that gets separation and extends to make the reception away from his body.  A solid route runner, he is also quick transitioning from making the reception to running after the catch.  With only marginal size\speed numbers McArthur is destined to be downgraded going into the draft yet could be a steal in the middle rounds.  Teammate Jonathan Makonen is another consistent receiver who lacks speed.  Possessing soft hands Makonen sells his routes, works well with the quarterback and out muscles defenders to make the reception.  Displaying outstanding focus and concentration, he uses his body to shield away opponents and is effective in the short field.  Chase Lyman is a big bodied wide out who fits the mold of " possession receiver"  and could get late round consideration while Burl Toler is another top wide out that gets vertical to grab the pass out of the air.  Toler is free agent material yet could surprise next summer in a camp.  Running back J.J. Arrington is an elusive ball carrier who works hard in all aspects yet is small and does not stand out in any single aspect of his game.

Defensively Lorenzo Alexander is a prospect we've liked for two seasons ago yet he is a player who did not show much progress last year.  A tough inside plugger, Alexander is effective when he plays low with leverage as he gets push up the field.  Looking overweight and out of condition, Alexander did not play with great intensity as a junior and must turn his game up a notch this season if he's to be selected before the very late

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