Every year we Panther Fans pour over College Rosters looking for the next Great Panther Player. I've decided to comb the Division II ranks looking for that player. Some of the Prospects are Mid to Late Round Draft choices and some are UDFA who might need a season or to on the PS. All 3 Prospects come from Montana and could become great players if the Panthers
Brass doesn't give up on them to fast like they did with Evan Mathis
, Will Montgomery
, and Joe Berger
Prospect 1: Jordan Tripp OLB Montana: 4 year starter who missed all but 3 games in 2011 with a Knee Injury. He stands 6'3 and about 237lbs who is expected to run somewhere in 4.5s in the 40yd Dash. Will play in the Senior Bowl
and the East West Shrine Game. He is a 3rd generation Grizzly and can also be a Deep Snapper.
Strengths: Excels in Pass Defense and has Speed to go side line to side line. Sure tackler who can strip the ball when an opportunity arises and is an above average pass rusher. Good awareness in zone coverage and is great in pursuit. A nice frame to add more weight. High character player with a good motor.
Weakness: Needs time in an NFL strength program to better take on NFL Blockers. Needs more pass rush moves and must become better at shedding blockers as he tends to get taken out of plays against larger blockers. Not fast enough to catch or stay with speedier TE's. May need a season to adjust to the NFL level.
Total Stats: GP-38, TT-312, TFL-29.5, Sacks-11, Int-5, PD-12, FF-5, FR-8, BLK/K-1
Overview: A good, raw skilled player who with the right coaching could be a starting Weakside Linebacker in 2 seasons and will help on special teams and situational pass rusher right now. Draft Ranking: 6th to 7th round.
Prospect 2: Danny Kistler Jr. OT/OG Montana: Has played in 48 career games with 42 games started at LG his Sophmore season and RT his Junior and Senior season. A 1st team A true Hog Molly at 6'7 and 315lbs who has good foot work for his size and was part of one of the largest O-Line's in College Football where the average height and weight for the line was 6'6 and 300lbs. He is better in pass protection then the run but has been coached by an 11 year NFL Lineman in Scott Gragg, a 2nd round Pick out of Montana by the Giants
in 1995. Is quick and nimble and packs a punch on contact. Can pull and reach second level defenders very well. Was scouted by many Big 10 schools including Ohio State and Purdue but was injured his senior season and all offers stopped coming and ended going to Community College and mopping floors until getting a chance to play with Montana. Was part of an O-Line that produced 11,367 passing yards, 9,491 rushing yards, and scored 1,661 points with a 31 point average per game in his 4yrs at Montana. Like most Small School lineman he will need to get adjusted to the speed of the NFL game as well as some time in offseason weight training program but with a former NFL lineman as his coach he is a little farther along then most of them.
Overview: A Late Round or Priority Free Agent signing is a slight upgrade over Bell and could start at RT by Mid-Season and be groomed as a possible LT candidate. Has a Blue Collar work ethic and will bring everything he's got into the game, but could get a little nastier in his playing style.
Prospect 3: William Poehls OG Montana: Since I targeted one half of the Colossal Connection I guess all target his Tag Team partner at RG. At 6'8 and 340lbs he is just what his coaches call him, A Man Mountain. A better Run Blocker then Pass, he has made great strides in improving his all around game. He is a former High School Heavy Weight Wrestler with a 16-2 mark as a Senior and all that skill is evident on the football field as he is able to take control of inter D-Lineman and toss them around like rag dolls. Knows how to use his height to his advantage and is rarely beat off the line by bull rushers. Is very quick for his size and has been used a TE in Jumbo packages. Has a nasty streak and plays to the whistle. Is in the film room studying his and the other Lineman's game every week and is able to spot where the play went wrong or if it went right how to make it better. Wont be out worked by anyone on the team and is usally the last out of practice or the weight room. Will most likely need to start on the PS until he gets more seasoned. Didn't become a full time starter at RG until Junior season.
Overview: UDFA with a lot of upside but will need a season to get fully engrossed in the NFL Level of play. Could become a quality RT with time and training.
If I get some helpful feedback I have a few more D-2 Prospect's I've scouted and think they'll make fine Panther's and will do a right up on them as well.