NFL Draft '07: Scouting California

Could this be the season Cal competes for the Pac-10 championship? It looks that way as the team is strong on both sides of the ball. Nearly half-a-dozen players on the roster will be first day draft picks over the next two years.

Offensively it all starts with running back Marshawn Lynch. An elusive ball carrier with outstanding field vision and instincts, Lynch consistently makes defenders miss and finds the open spot on the field. Running with authority Lynch is tough to knock off his feet. He is first round material when he enters the draft. Junior wide out Robert Jordan is another underclassmen on the radar. Consistently making the difficult reception, Jordan plays with outstanding body control showing top eye/hand coordination. Quarterback Joe Ayoob offers excellent physical skills and the ability to make all the throws. That being the case Ayoob also makes a lot of questionable decisions and is not adverse to throwing the ball into coverage. It all adds up to the former starter presently being listed as the second string quarterback for Cal. Likely to slip out of next April's draft, Ayoob could find a home on some team's practice squad. Guard Erik Robertson is a marginal athlete yet has a terrific build for an interior lineman. Strong at the point, Robertson easily controls opponents and displays explosion in all areas of the game. Unlikely to be drafted, he is backup material for the next level. Andrew Cameron is a well-sized left tackle we liked entering last season. An effective pass blocker, Cameron's career has been riddled with injury. Originally choosing to give up football, he recently reversed course and will be on the field in '06. While he offers size and skill, Cameron is a medical risk unlikely to get a camp invitation.

The strength of the Bears sits on defense. Brandon Mebane is a short but explosive defensive tackle who plays with excellent leverage. Playing hard until the whistle blows Mebane will be a first day pick next April for a team needing a three-technique lineman. Linebacker Desmond Bishop offers solid size/speed numbers and is another tenacious defender who chases hard to get involved in the action. Best in a straight-line, Bishop explodes up the field against the run and displays skill in zone coverage. He offers second day potential at a variety of linebacker positions. A terrific college pass-rusher, Nu'u Tafisi shows a lot of speed and terrorizes opposing quarterbacks up the field or runs down ball carriers in pursuit. Undersized for a three-point stance, Tafisi projects as a rush linebacker in 34 defense. A favorite of ours the past two years cornerback Tim Mixon is a terrific prospect with a complete game. Possessing good speed, Mixon stands out in zone defense but can also play man-to-man. Unfortunately the highly rated prospect will miss the 2006 season after tearing a ligament in his knee just weeks ago. A second Cal cornerback, Daymeion Hughes, also rates highly and will be first day pick next April. Instinctive, Hughes plays with terrific fundamentals and consistently positions himself to break up the throw. Lacking top end speed, Hughes struggles staying downfield with opponents and looks best suited for a zone system.

California Prospect List

Full Name Pos # Year
Joe Ayoob QB 18 4Sr
Desmond Bishop ILB 10 4Sr
Andrew Cameron T 71 5Sr
Daymeion Hughes CB 13 4Sr
Robert Jordan WR 11 3Jr
Marshawn Lynch RB 10 3Jr
Brandon Mebane DT 52 4Sr
Tim Mixon CB 22 5Sr
Erik Robertson G 75 5Sr
Nu'u Tafisi DE 53 4Sr


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