Media Days Marathon: Draft Questions From The Mountain West
By Ken Scudero
Established in 1999, the Mountain West Conference is the youngest of all collegiate athletic conferences. Up until the last few years, it was also probably one of the weakest. With the emergence of Boise State and now teams like San Jose State, San Diego State, Nevada and Fresno State, the Mountain West is a legitimately competitive brand of football. There are several players to watch for this coming season, especially when it comes to tracking 2014 draft prospects. Today was the Mountain West’s media day and there were a few questions on my mind.
1. Does the conference have the two best quarterback prospects in the nation in San Jose State’s David Fales and Fresno State’s Derek Carr?
It may very well. Both had excellent 2012 campaigns and both are eager to prove their NFL draftability this coming season. Both should be selected within the first two rounds in 2014, and I think Fales has a shot to be taken in the first round. I believe Fales will be a star NFL quarterback, whereas Carr is good and can potentially be better than his brother, David, was. "He teaches me all these things because he wants me to be the best QB ever," Derek Carr said when speaking about his relationship with his brother.
2. How does Boise State protect their quarterbacks so well?
Ryan Clady was the 12th overall pick out of Boise State in the 2008 draft and has become one of the best offensive tackles in the NFL. Matt Paradis is entering his senior season as Boise State’s starting center, and he has the potential to be drafted within the first three rounds in 2014. He isn’t as big as Clady but he’s durable and was part of an offensive line that was sixth-best in the nation in sacks allowed last season. It seems as if whomever Boise State puts under center gets the job done efficiently because he is well-protected.
3. With Nevada’s patented Pistol offense leaking in the NFL, will Cody Fajardo benefit in the 2014 draft?
Fajardo had an excellent 2012 campaign and he did look a lot like Colin Kaepernick at times. He’s as fast as a running back and he throws tight spirals, but I think a lot of his draft potential lies in the results of the Pistol during the 2013 NFL season. Fajardo is a smart player who controls the offense very well and he could probably adapt to a pro-style offense while backing up a veteran for a season or two in the NFL. But if the Pistol continues to work as it did in 2012, Fajardo could be drafted way higher than he is actually worth. As of now, I see him as a fourth round pick, but his stock could skyrocket based on his 2013 performance and the success of the Pistol in the NFL.