Tag Archives: BYU Cougars

2020 Boca Raton Bowl, UCF vs. BYU, in-game report: STOCK WaTCH

2021 NFL Draft prospect Zach Wilson’s 425-yard, five-touchdown performance (3 PASS, 2 RUSH) led the day -and rightfully so- and now we take a look at some of the other pro prospects from BYU’s 49-23 victory over the UCF Knights in the 2020 Boca Raton Bowl.

STOCK UP:

95 Khyris Tonga
6’4 321 DT-Senior
BYU

Tonga’s stat line will never jump off the screen. In today’s NFL, the splash interior defensive line prospects typically are able to work to half a man for quick penetration. This is not Tonga’s game. Where he does flash in the passing game revolves around his timing to cloud passing lanes.

He posted a pass breakup in this contest and recorded three in the team’s final four games of 2020. He finished his career with 12 pass deflections. The former rugby star is strong, runs well in a straight line and projects as a zero-technique in three-man fronts.

STEADY:

5 Dax Milne
6’0 189 WR-Junior
BYU

Milne has been a model of consistency all season for the Cougars and this game was no different. There were several games this season where he flashed down the field capability in terms of high-pointing the football (see Houston ’20). The former walk-on uses deception and a quick-footed style to fool defensive backs. It is a big reason he was the team’s second-leading receiver on third downs. One of his better patterns is the stutter-and-go comeback route (see Western Kentucky ’20), but there have been occasions where he’s made deft one-hand grabs from his quarterback down the field in contested situations (TD vs. Sails, USF ’19). Milne recently declared for the 2021 NFL Draft and he could be the program’s first receiver picked since Austin Collie in 2008 (Indianapolis Colts, 4th Round, 127th overall).

67 Brady Christensen
6’6 300 LT-Junior
BYU

For the most part, Christensen has been steady. There are some occasions where players get the best of him due to a questionable anchor (see Boyles, USF ’19; Wiley, UTSA ’20). In those instances, he has even been knocked to the ground. Mobility and foot quickness, however, make him a viable option to hear his name called this spring after recently declaring for the 2021 NFL Draft. In this contest, he was adept at baiting the opponent up the field, particularly on QB Zach Wilson’s quarterback draw for a touchdown in the first quarter. Christiensen is also agile as a pulling option on the perimeter (1st QTR/0:25, Boca Raton ’20). Can he long-arm the opponent when quick-setting (2nd QTR/5:11, Boca Raton ’20)?

2 Otis Anderson
5’11 174 RB-Ret-Senior
UCF

After not playing against USF, Anderson was solid in what may have been his last collegiate game (16 carries, 73 yards). He does have the option of returning for one more season. The former wide receiver finishes with over 90 career receptions and a healthy six yards per carry average.

Anderson (pictured in the slot in the 2017 AAC Championship game) has rushed for 2,187 yards (6.1 YPC), caught 91 passes for another 1,025 yards and averaged 12.3 yards per punt return. Along the way he has crossed the paint for 27 total touchdowns in four seasons.

An adept punt returner who could carve out a niche in that role, he has more than one tool in his skill-set. His foot speed will likely determine whether he can sneak into an NFL training camp.

FUTURE WATCH:

83 Isaac Rex
6’6 247 TE-Redshirt Freshman
BYU

As the season has gone on, Rex continued to work the seams both in the field and the Red Zone. He scored two or more touchdowns in five of the team’s final seven contests. The team will line him up one-on-one for back-shoulder fades (Western Kentucky ’20, 2nd QTR/0:21). And just think what this offense would have looked like had NFL prospect Matt Bushman been available all season. Versus UCF, Rex led the team with five receptions for 96 yards and two touchdowns. One of his touchdowns came on a flea-flicker where he was left wide open down the right sidelines.

The former San Clemente High School (Calif.) product was a basketball recruit and part of the 2017 recruiting class. He has already served a mission in Samoa for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Is the future now?

2018 NFL Supplemental Draft: Mississippi St. DB Brandon Bryant

Brandon Bryant 6’0 215 (E) Mississippi State S-Senior

What makes this player NASTY…(Strengths): Plays the game the right way. Sticks foot to change directions vs. misdirection. Good feet in his backpedal as a quarters or deep-half safety. He will make some impressive interceptions closing off the hash marks (INT, 4th QTR, BYU ’17). Measures his inside-out angles coming downhill. Does a fine job of getting off of blocks to defend screen passes. Breaks forward with momentum vs. dig routes in quarters coverage (PBU, BYU ’17). He’s disciplined in the deep middle one-third and can snap out of his breaks off the hash.

Weaknesses: At the first sign of a jerk by the WR, he will open his hips and can be beaten across his face (post route, Kirk, Texas A&M ’17, overthrown). Circles his paths far too long to get in position for open field, face-up tackles (MT, Miami, OH. ’16). Overruns the ball on occasion and will miss tackles in this phase as well. He has lost some physical matchups vs. bigger TEs (Smith, St. Petersburg Bowl ’16). He has been smoked settling his pedal vs. speed (allowed TD, Hifo, BYU ’17). Left the Mississippi State program in the spring of 2018 due to academic issues (https://www.clarionledger.com/story/sports/college/mississippi-state/2018/04/08/safety-brandon-bryant-moves-mississippi-state/497329002/).

Other Notes:

  • Attended Rosa Fort HS (Miss.) and was named a three-star recruit by Rivals.com
  • Earned 2013 Class 4A All-State honors after accounting for over 1,200 yards and 14 total TDs as a QB/RB/WR. He also posted 37 tackles, 2 INTs (TD) and 5 PBUs on defense
  • 2014 (1st Year SEC Academic Honor Roll)
  • 2015 (8 sts): 63 tackles, 1.5 QB sacks, 2 TFLs, FF, 3 INTs (73 yds, TD) and 3 PBUs
  • 2016 (10 sts): 62 tackles, TFL, INT and 2 PBUs
  • Has reportedly run in the 4.24 40-yd range, bench presses 365 pounds, 35” VJ, 9’10” BJ. Then ran a 4.29 40-yard dash in 2017
  • 2017: 32 tackles, ½ TFL, INT and 2 PBUs
  • Career Stats: 157 tackles, 1.5 QB sacks, 3.5 TFLs, FF,  5 INTs (122 yds, TD) and 7 PBUs

Time to get NASTY (Our Summary): It was a bit of a surprise to see Bryant become academically ineligible this spring after earning first-year SEC Academic Honor Roll accolades back in 2014. He is a workout warrior who will ‘wow’ NFL evaluators with his testing numbers prior to this summer’s supplemental draft. We don’t expect him to impress teams quite as much when they turn on the film. He consistently had problems finding the ball down the field during his final two years in school. He had a tendency to get his hips turned around versus average receivers when working in space over a receiver in quarters coverage (see BYU 2017). On the plus side, he’s a physical presence built in the mold of Washington Redskins safety D.J. Swearinger. While not as physical, he has more speed and will throw his body around on the field. Look for Bryant to get some attention in the late rounds of the 2018 NFL Supplemental Draft as a potential four-team special teams contributor (gunner on the punt team).

 DraftNasty’s Grade: 5.433 (4th Round)