The Appalachian State Mountaineers had an up-and-down season, finishing the year with a 6-6 record. Regardless, the organization is sending a number of NFL Draft prospects to the three-day event. The App State scouting reports shine a light on some of the names who could potentially make their way to the NFL this season.
Appalachian State 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Reports
Bucky Williams, OL
Strengths: Durable 40-game starter who began his college career at Austin Peay. Blocks with tremendous leverage, keeps his feet moving, and gives great effort. Fires off the snap, explodes into blocks, and gets leverage on opponents. Quickly set up in pass protection.
Weaknesses: Lacks size and power. Lacks footwork in space.
Overall: Williams did a solid job at Appalachian State last season, his first in FBS, but he comes with average computer numbers and athleticism for the next level.
Camerun Peoples, RB
Strengths: Big, strong ball carrier with outstanding vision. Patiently waits for blocks to develop, displays terrific instincts, and possesses short-area quickness. Tough, hard-charging, and rarely brought down by the initial hit. Powerful and carries defenders for extra yardage. Consistently falls forward when tackled. Works runs and slides off defenders to pick up yardage. Sells ball fakes.
Weaknesses: Not a creative ball carrier who will improvise if things break down. Lacks the ability to dart around the outside. Caught just 11 passes over the past three years. Has watched his production drop every year since 2020.
Overall: Peoples is a downhill ball carrier with a punishing style. He possesses solid playing speed and fits a power gap system in addition to offering potential as a short-yardage or goal-line runner.
Want more information on Peoples? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Camerum Peoples, RB, Appalachian State | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Chase Brice, QB
Strengths: Former Clemson quarterback who was very productive at Appalachian State over the past two seasons. Displays terrific patience, remains poised in the pocket, and keeps his eyes downfield. Sells ball fakes, goes to the safe underneath outlet if nothing else is available, and buys time for receivers.
Sits in the pocket and takes a big hit in order to get the pass away, displays a sense of timing on throws, and doesn’t have receivers waiting for the ball to arrive. Accurate in the short and intermediate field.
Weaknesses: Doesn’t drive deep throws. Loses accuracy throwing on the move. Not a nimble or elusive quarterback. Has thrown 17 interceptions over the past two years.
Overall: Brice is a nice-sized pocket passer who lacks a next-level arm and deep accuracy. He really doesn’t come with much upside, but he could be a third quarterback in a timing offense.
Cooper Hodges, OT
Strengths: Smart, tough college right tackle who is best in a small area. Quick and explosive, stays square, and seals defenders from the action. Fires into blocks, turns defenders off the line, and opens up running lanes. Works to bend his knees, quickly gets his hands into defenders, and makes proper use of angles in pass protection.
Weaknesses: Overextends and bends at the waist. Stiffness hurts his ability to finish blocks. Rumbles around the field and is ineffective blocking in motion.
Overall: Hodges was a hard-working college lineman who comes with average size and minimal athleticism for the next level.
Dexter Lawson Jr., CB
Strengths: Central Connecticut transfer who is best facing the action. Displays good recognition, mixes it up with opponents, and competes to break up throws. Displays a good burst to the ball out of his plant. Fires upfield to defend the run, wraps up tackling, and brings opponents down in the open field.
Weaknesses: Must improve his footwork in reverse and be more consistent. Inefficient and overruns plays. Plays with average speed and cannot recover.
Overall: Lawson was a solid cornerback on the college level who flashed ability, yet he comes with average measurables and speed. He offers possibilities in a zone system, but Lawson must really stand out on special teams to make it out of camp this summer.
Nick Hampton, EDGE
Strengths: Productive pass-rushing linebacker with an upside. Breaks down well, plays with leverage, and easily moves about the field. Strong for his size, beats opposing tackles off the edge, and effectively uses his hands to protect himself.
Moves well in any direction, gets plenty of backside pressure, and flies around to make plays. Does more than pin his ears back and rush up the field, displays discipline, and stays with assignments. Has long arms that he uses to knock away passes.
Weaknesses: Lacks great bulk and gets out-positioned by opponents. Rarely used off the line of scrimmage and never intercepted a pass in college. Possesses solid speed but isn’t a flat-out burner.
Overall: Despite missing three games last year, Hampton combined for 28 TFLs and 19 sacks over the past two seasons. Also productive defending the run, he’s a 3-4 outside linebacker who needs to finish his game and improve his play in coverage. If he continues to fill out his frame and add strength, Hampton has starting potential at the next level.
Want more information on Hampton? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Nick Hampton, EDGE, Appalachian State | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Steven Jones Jr., CB
Strengths: Feisty corner with plenty of production over the past two seasons. Effective facing the action or backed off the line of scrimmage. Explosive and displays a burst to the ball. Quick flipping his hips, stays with assignments, and knows where opponents are on the field. Works to track the ball in the air and positions himself to defend passes. Fires upfield and breaks through blocks to defend screen passes or running plays.
Weaknesses: Must significantly improve his backpedal and be more consistent when moving in reverse. Slow reacting to receivers’ moves out of his transition, which puts him a half-step behind opponents. Does more hitting than wrap-up tackling, which leads to a lot of yardage off initial contact.
Overall: Jones was a productive cornerback for Appalachian State who broke up 28 passes and intercepted five over the past two years while totaling 96 tackles. He has the size, speed, and ability to be used in dime packages at the next level.
Trey Cobb, LB
Strengths: Undersized yet underrated linebacker who is instinctive, efficient, and takes proper angles to the play. Displays smooth change-of-direction skills, plays physically, and fights hard to get through blocks. Breaks down well, fires upfield to defend the run, and gets depth on pass drops. Quickly gets out into space and makes the tackle in the open field. Wraps up when tackling.
Weaknesses: Lacks great speed in pursuit. Struggles when taking on blocks and gets pushed around. Must now return from injury after playing just six games last season.
Overall: Though undersized, Cobb is a linebacker who makes plenty of plays with instinct and hustle. He lacks great upside, but he plays with a special-teams mentality.
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