Boise State Notes
Updated: Aug 25, 2018
Note: Senior profiles have been linked and can be accessed by clicking a player's name.
Boise State has a mystique. It has followed them ever since Chris Peterson's team went 13-0 with a magical performance against the Oklahoma Sooners. The hook and ladder that kept the Broncos in the game created something that has stayed with the program since. The team routinely butchered the Western Athletic Conference. From 2001 to 2010 they went 134-21 overall, winning the conference outright six times, tying for first twice, and coming in second twice. The aura around the team may not be as strong as it used to be, but they've never finished worst than second in the Mountain West during their seven years in the conference.
The first thing you'll notice when you put a Boise State game is their quarterback Brett Rypien, who has started every game other than his first appearance as a freshman. With 37 games under his belt, Rypien is easily one of the most decorated passers in the conference. His game isn't something to sleep on when it comes to next level traits. While his arm strength is questionable from a distance standpoint, I believe in his ability to hit NFL windows thanks to his timing and pass velocity. He's an accurate guy who can work his way down the field with precise attempts and a poise with the ball that goes beyond his years. He'll need to prove his worth when it comes to diagnosing coverages rather than just man leveraging, along with better processing speed through his reads, but the accuracy and composure are already there.
I want to love junior running back Alexander Mattison's game. He's a scrappy ball-carrier who can take a punch in the mouth and keep on going. He doesn't get deterred by meeting opponents in the hole, even if he isn't able to always overpower them. His choppy running style relies on surviving contact and making two yard gains into six yard gains. The problem with Mattison comes in his lack of athleticism. There are concerns about his burst and long speed that will need to be rectified if he wants to have a legitimate shot at getting drafted. If he runs in the 4.6 area, he can kiss those chances goodbye. Despite being a mean runner, he doesn't have the same balance as similarly sized stars like Kareem Hunt and Alvin Kamara. When asked to churn his legs in the pile like Hunt or force defenders into arm tackles like Kamara, he can't do it.
There's not much to say with senior wide receivers A.J. Richardson and Sean Modster. Although I thought Modster was the more impressive of the two, there is reason to doubt that either can make the jump to the NFL. Richardson was an effective blocker who had some big plays downfield, but he seemed uninterested with his routes when the ball wasn't coming his way. Stiff and tall at his breaks, he never demonstrated the flexibility or quickness to get opponents off of his tail. Modster was much faster and smoother with his movements, but he is undersized and will need an incredibly accurate passer to put the ball on him. Even with Modster having the speed advantage, he wasn't blowing past opponents and opening large swaths of ground. When asked to make difficult catches with defenders on him, Modster dropped nearly every opportunity. Modster could see a camp, but neither are likely to make it.
David Moa was impressive when I did initial cutups for him. The defensive tackle disappointed me more than anyone else on the Boise State team when it came to the real evaluation. Moa is listed at 6'2" and 270 pounds, and it shows in the way he plays. He lacks the length to control distance against blockers and was often simply moved out of the way of the play. His pass rushing acumen has some potential, as he demonstrates a high level spin move and some solid get off. The motor is there to make late sacks as well. However, Moa did not generate penetration frequent enough to warrant a belief he can do it at the next level. When forced into hand fighting he was often outmatched on size alone. Against the run he was eaten up by most blockers. He is almost surely making it into a camp based on his current skills, but it's fair to say he has maxed his frame and won't be transforming beyond his senior form. Likely forever an undersized interior guy who fits the tweener mold that can't take college production and make it pro production.
Defensive end Durrant Miles was another player that really excited me when I saw him for the first time on the field, but ended up coming up short when I gave him a full look. Miles is listed at 6'5" and 266 pounds, but he plays much smaller and boxier than his measurables would indicate. His lack of arm length and inability to turn the corner make it a difficult game for him as a pass-rusher. Miles is physically strong and has the ability to hold the point down. When the ball passes by, he detaches easily and gets his job done. Miles was often used as a 3 or 4-tech in the Boise State defense. His weight may prevent him from playing inside the tackle in the NFL though. He's a stout run defender who can make a play here or there, but his general inability to create a pass rush makes him a day three value at best. I put an undrafted grade on him.
Fellow edge rusher Jabril Frazier plays much more to his weight than Miles does to his. Frazier plays primarily as a stand-up rusher who utilizes his length to stay in the play and force runners to go the long way around. At 6'5" and 243 pounds with some vines for arms, he seems to be the perfect build for the outside in a 3-4 system. I liked Frazier more than Miles, although it was not by a hefty margin. He's limited in coverage and resorts to simply grabbing onto guys and trying to keep them tied by the arm. His size is a benefit when filling up the flats, but he can't get there quick enough or move to disrupt receivers underneath. Inability to diagnose the run and get involved is what makes him so low for me, despite having a prototype frame and the ability to add plenty of muscle. He's not an off ball linebacker. He's not a true pass rusher yet due to his raw pass rushing plan and hand usage. So what is he? I'd say he's a project that is worth putting on a practice squad for a year or two to hone his game. That might be a little generous given where he's at right now.
Tyler Horton was another player who I went in with high hopes for, but he turned out to be unremarkable when watching him in full. Horton's a fluid enough athlete to deal with most college receivers, but I'm unsure if he can turn that into covering NFL guys. He's comfortable flipping his hips and moving around the field, and his backpedal is crisp and fast. The inability to stick his foot into the turf and drive back on the ball is what will prevent him from having a major role for a team in the league. He can carry opponents down the field without much trouble, but he can't stay in sync when dealing with comebacks, curls, outs, or slants. His positioning is delayed due to poor eyes and below average reaction time. As a tackler, Horton is unable to finish out reps without help. He constantly misses open field shots and throws his body past the ball-carrier in hopes of tripping them up with an arm. There's a much greater path to success for him than most of the players in this article, but I don't know if he'll capitalize on the potential.
QB Brett Rypien: Early 3rd Round
RB Alexander Mattison: Undrafted
WR A.J. Richardson: Undrafted
WR Sean Modster: Undrafted
DT David Moa: Undrafted
DE Durrant Miles: Undrafted
EDGE Jabril Frazier: Undrafted
CB Tyler Horton: Undrafted
If you'd like to read my full notes on the Boise State prospects, you can do so by clicking the link below.