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2024 NFL Draft Stock Report: Wasabi Fenway Bowl

2024 NFL Draft
The 2024 NFL Draft Stock Report series covers the Wasabit Fenway Bowl. Who stood out for better or worse in the game? (Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports)

2024 NFL Draft Stock Report: Wasabi Fenway Bowl

I wasn’t kidding. I told you we’re going to try to break more Bowl games down this year leading up to the 2024 NFL Draft. You are getting more than the playoff games this year and you’re welcome. We just went over the Holiday Bowl (which can be read here). Next up is the Wasabi Fenway Bowl between SMU and Boston College. Enjoy the notes! 

This game was a bit of a rainy mess. It was kinda hard to see what was even going on. Not the best camera work. You could see obviously but it’s certainly worth noting that weather played a factor here. Hey, at least the game could actually be played at Fenway with rain!  

Before we get to the notes, check out this post on how they turn Fenway into a football stadium! 

SMU

I guess I was surprised by the overall talent on SMU. I thought they would win this game easily. I understand it was a bit of a home game for BC but the talent gap was non-existent. The truth of the matter is a bunch of their wins are against nobodies. Maybe let’s not go crazy on the pure talent they had.

For SMU, I wanted to see this stable of running backs they have. It took SMU an entire quarter to figure out that they weren’t throwing the ball in this weather. Plus, they don’t even have their normal starter Preston Stone who got hurt at the end of the year. 

I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised but Jaylan Knighten was probably the best performer. He’s been the starter all year holding off both Texas A&M transfers. Knighten wasn’t super efficient on the ground (3.1 yards per carry) but you can tell he can catch and probably excels better in that area. He caught four balls for 19 yards including a touchdown. Probably not much more than a camp invite, if we’re being real.

LJ Johnson had his moments too. I thought he was the better looking back. Thicker body with more power. Eight carries for 32 yards and a score. Added two receptions as well. Out of all three backs, I’d pick Johnson as the one with the best chance at an NFL future.

Camar Weaton is the third back in the rotation. One carry for zero yards. Yikes.

It’s just really tough to judge anything passing wise in this game. A ton of drops and the weather was clearly a problem. Kevin Jennings has some talent. There was a play in the second quarter where he basically spun into a sack but got out of it and made a big play down the field. Wouldn’t get away with that at the NFL level, but it was a nice showing for a freshman. 

To be honest; I thought Jennings looked damn good. The refs held the whistle the entire time. He lost about six completions on drops. Still throws a really nice ball with plus arm strength. For his second career start, I think SMU may really have something here. 191 yards on 48 carries isn’t great but it doesn’t really tell the story. I actually thought he did a good job looking for throws down the field. Except for the fact that this was a rare game you were probably better off running. Mobile too. A QB SMU fans should feel excited about.

Also, low-key hilarious that D’Eriq King is the QB coach for SMU. Never forget! 

Jordan Miller is a nose tackle that might be worth paying attention. Former Miami transfer that ate the middle of the line. Thought he played well but not sure he has great contact strength. Didn’t see the BC running backs die when he hit them. That should be the case if he’s an NFL player. It also felt like he got gassed and wasn’t on the field down the stretch. Bit of an up and down game. 

Cale Sanders was probably the standout on defense. Nickel corner but laying some serious hits. Former Fresno State transfer. Four tackles, two TFL’s, and a forced fumble in this one. Nickel corners who are feisty are worth tracking.

Boston College

There is no Zay Flowers on this BC team. Let’s make sure we get that out of the way. That’s not the type of player BC just gets every year. Lewis Bond is definitely the best receiver on this team. Has some return value but otherwise is just there.

Donovan Ezeiruaku made his presence felt in the game. All-ACC second team player last year. Hasn’t been a huge force this season but made a strip sack early in the game that caught my eye. Didn’t mess around. Straight at the quarterback and ripped that puppy loose. 

Thomas Castellanos is a duel threat quarterback. Without his legs, he’s a non-threat. On the run, he’s tough to tackle, has some wiggle in short area, and is faster than you think. Not a real quarterback. His best bet to to be some version of Antwaan Randle El. His legs really sealed the game for BC. 21 carries for 156 yards and two touchdowns. Hey, rushing yards are rushing yards. Maybe a gadget guy here exists.

Khris Banks had just one tackle in the game but I think he was the better nose tackle. Had a QB hurry and a pass breakup. 6-foot-2, 303, and wasn’t a slow mover. Was involved in those stunts coming around the corner. Decent stuff.

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