Scouting the PAC 10: Cal

The Bears start under a new coaching regime as former boss Tom Holmoe could never pull talented pieces together and to add insult to injury, got a lousy program placed on probation. There is a lot of potential on this roster as the Bears have a number of "sleepers" for next April's draft.

California Golden Bears

Quarterback Kyle Boller is one of those players that could make a major move up draft boards if he puts it all together as a senior and shows well in the post season. That said he could just as easily stay out of the seven rounds as he's never lived up to the high expectations placed upon him since arriving in Berkley. Boller, an athletically gifted signal caller with a live arm and the capacity to make big plays with his legs, has an explosive release and loses absolutely nothing throwing on the move. His play has been as erratic as the San Francisco weather; at times he looks brilliant but just as quickly leaves you scratching your head with terrible decisions. He does not always see the field, wilts under pressure, displaying no patience in the pocket. Still; the tools are there and last impressions can be most important for signal callers in the draft so keep an eye on him. Taking hand-offs from Boller is scat-back Joe Igber, an elusive ball carrier that strings several moves together making several defenders miss over the course of a single run. His footwork, avoidability and speed are top-notch but his power is minimal and abilities catching the ball out of the backfield are not good enough to really give him serious draft consideration as a third-down back to this point. Guard Scott Tercero is a powerful run blocker and a leverage lineman that plays with a nasty attitude, working to finish off opponents but is effective in a very small area which will push him into the later rounds.

The Bears have several "sleepers" on defense, or better said since it is still only the month of June, prospects many are not mentioning now but could be talking about full throttle next April. Cal's offered several quality defensive linemen in recent times and this year one could very well come in the form of tackle Daniel Nwangwu (pronounced Wang-Wu). A quick and athletic defensive tackle, Nwangwu possesses great natural strength and commands double teams as he can be a one man wrecking crew if opponents try and single him. Playing low with leverage, he displays great upfield power as well as explosion, which compliments a great burst of closing speed and is used to stuff the run or rush the passer. Nwangwu is not a big thumper on the inside but does have size potential and could be a big riser up draft boards next season. Jemeel Powell is a solid cover corner that excels either in press coverage or backed off the line and easily stays step for step with opponents down the flanks or over the middle as well as producing on special teams. Hampered by injury last year as a junior, Powell missed a good amount of time but like Nwangwu is a prospect that could make a move into the first day. Possibly the most gifted defender on this roster, and one rarely mentioned, is corner LaShaun Ward. A nice sized corner with terrific size, Ward is constantly making positive plays and rarely gets beat or has mental lapses. The most amazing thing about Ward is he's a triple threat; besides being an excellent cover corner he was a productive receiver and an outstanding return specialist. Watching Ward we get the feeling he has that "special something" and along with Nwangwu and Powell could make a big move up draft boards next April. Defensive end Tully Banta-Cain is an undersized rusher that may be given late round looks.


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