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2020 NFL Draft: Big Sky (D1-FCS) Conference Scouting Reports

2020 NFL Draft: Big Sky Conference Scouting Reports
Photo: USA Today

Montana Grizzlies
2020 NFL Draft Prospects

Justin Calhoun, CB

Career Snapshot: Former wide receiver who started his final two seasons at cornerback. Made 51 tackles with one interception and seven pass breakups as a senior in 2019. Made 56 tackles with one INT and six PBUs as a junior. Combined to catch 80 passes for 1,210 yards and 10 touchdowns during his first two seasons at Montana.

Positives: Athletic cornerback with solid ball skills. Engages opponents at the line of scrimmage, quickly flips his hips in transition and mixes it up with receivers throughout the route. Feisty, works hard to break up throws and displays timing and anticipation. Plays to his 40 time and stays downfield with opponents. Shows an explosive closing burst of speed and drives his shoulders through ball carriers.

Negatives: Not big or sturdy and gets overmatched. Gets a little grabby at times. Struggles to get his head back around and locate the ball.

Analysis: Calhoun is an underrated corner who possesses a thin build, but he plays with terrific speed and explosion. He can absolutely play in dime packages, backed off the line of scrimmage or in a zone system.

Dante Olson, ILB

Career Snapshot: Two-year starter who earned FCS All-America honors in each of his final two seasons at Montana. Made 179 tackles (11 for loss) with two forced fumbles, one interception and three pass breakups as a senior in 2019. Made 151 tackles (11 for loss) with three forced fumbles, two INTs and three PBUs as a junior. Earned Second Team All-Big Sky honors as a special teamer and made 38 tackles as a sophomore in 2017.

Positives: Large, powerful run-defending linebacker who is best in the box. Remains disciplined with assignments, does not bite on play-action passes and plays heads-up football. Forceful, tough and viciously goes after opponents. Stout at the point, explosive and stacks well against the run.

Flows well laterally and effectively reads and diagnoses the action. Holds his ground against blocks from bigger linemen, drives through tackles and brings opponents down at the point of attack. Uses his hands exceptionally well to protect himself and defeat blocks and stands up opponents to allow teammates to run to the ball.

Negatives: Lacks pursuit speed and does not show great range. Struggles in man coverage. Comes off a slightly disappointing season.

Analysis: Olson is a terrific run-defending linebacker who sells out to make plays. He comes with limited speed and quickness and is a two-down defender who would do well on the inside of a 3-4 alignment.

Josh Sandry, S

Career Snapshot: Three-year starter who earned Third Team All-Big Sky honors and made 53 tackles (eight for loss) with one interception and nine pass breakups as a senior in 2019. Made 61 tackles with two INTs and five PBUs as a junior. Posted 49 tackles, three interceptions and two pass breakups as a sophomore.

Positives: Nice-sized safety who is best against the run. Tough, physical and works hard to get involved in the action. Fires up the field, defeats blocks and sells out to make the tackle. Effectively picks up coverage assignments, tracks the pass in the air and displays timing and good hands for the interception.

Negatives: Lacks great range. More of a downhill safety. Lacks a closing burst of speed. Not a forceful blitzer.

Analysis: Sandry was a consistent performer for Montana since his sophomore season and projects as a strong safety and special-teams player at the next level. He comes with scheme limitations, but his ability on special teams will dictate whether or not he makes a next-level roster.

Jesse Sims, DE

Career Snapshot: Three-year starter who made 53 tackles (4.5 for loss) with one forced fumble as a senior in 2019. Made 42 tackles (3.5 for loss) with one forced fumble as a junior. Set a career high with six tackles for loss and made 43 tackles as a sophomore.

Positives: Hard-working college defensive end who makes a lot of plays on the ball. Plays with terrific pad level, gets leverage on opponents and works his hands throughout the action. Terrific tackler who is relentless, goes hard and brings opponents down in the open field. Keeps his feet moving, easily changes direction and fluidly slides down the line laterally.

Negatives: Lacks size and struggles to get off blocks. Just an average pass rusher.

Analysis: Sims was a hard-working defensive lineman at the college level and was used at different positions up front for Montana. He possesses limited upside, but if he’s able to add another 20 pounds and keep his speed, Simmons could get a look as a three-technique tackle.

Montana State Bobcats
2020 NFL Draft Prospects

Kevin Kassis, WR

Career Snapshot: Three-year starter who earned Third Team All-Big Sky honors and made 67 receptions for 871 yards and six touchdowns as a senior in 2019. Made 55 catches for 663 yards and three touchdowns as a junior. Caught 21 passes for 270 yards and two TDs as a sophomore.

Positives: Productive receiver who did a terrific job in his 2019 return from injury. Extends his hands to offer the quarterback a target, displays solid hand-eye coordination and snatches the ball away from his frame. Gets vertical, exposes himself to the big hit and comes away with the difficult grab.

Solid underneath receiver who displays good route discipline and uses his frame to shield away defenders. Keeps the play in bounds and works to pick up positive yardage after the catch. Gives effort as a downfield blocker. Has been productive as a kick returner.

Negatives: Really doesn’t play to his 40 time and looks like a one-speed wideout. Possesses short arms and small hands. Has an injury history.

Analysis: Kassis a reliable underneath receiver who gets the most from his ability and can double as a return specialist. He possesses limited upside, but the versatility and reliability of his game could make him a surprise in camp this summer.

Brayden Konkol, S

Career Snapshot: Three-year starter who earned First Team All-Big Sky honors and made 65 tackles (1.5 for loss) with three interceptions and nine pass breakups as a senior in 2019. Named Honorable Mention All-Big Sky and made 93 tackles (four for loss) with one sack, two interceptions and four pass breakups as a junior.

Positives: Tough run-defending safety who is best playing downhill. Smart, instinctive and quickly diagnoses the action. Big hitter who runs through tackles and viciously attacks opponents. Stays with assignments and works well with teammates.

Negatives: Plays out of control on occasion. Straight-line safety who lacks range. Plays to one speed.

Analysis: Konkol was very productive for Montana State as a run defender, but he comes with marginal speed and upside for the next level.

Bryce Sterk, OLB

Career Snapshot: Transfer from Washington who started both seasons at Montana State and earned Second Team All-Big Sky honors in each of those campaigns. Ranked sixth in FCS with 15 sacks and made 65 tackles (20 for loss) with three pass breakups as a senior in 2019. Made 61 tackles (17 for loss) with two pass breakups as a junior.

Positives: Large, physical linebacker who makes a lot of plays behind the line of scrimmage. Strong, forceful and runs over blocks to get to the action. Instinctive, breaks down well and uses his hands to protect himself. Quickly locates the ball and slides down the line of scrimmage. Gives effort against the run and impacts the game as a pass rusher. Rarely off his feet, chases the action hard and stays with assignments.

Negatives: Stiff and lacks the ability to immediately alter his angle of attack. Not a fluid athlete. Occasionally comes out of a three-point stance and really does not show great first-step quickness or explosion.

Analysis: Sterk was graded as a potential Day 3 pick by scouts entering the season, but he is one-dimensional. He’s a situational pass rusher at the next level who could stand over tackle in a 3-4 alignment, and Sterk could be a steal as a priority free agent if properly used.

Jason Ferris, OLB, Montana Western Bulldogs

Career Snapshot: Two-year starter who was named Frontier Conference Defensive of Player of the Year in both of those seasons. Made 122 tackles (13 for loss) with 5.5 sacks, six forced fumbles and seven pass breakups as a senior in 2019. Made 126 tackles (9.5 for loss) with two sacks, three interceptions and 12 pass breakups as a junior. Combined to post 177 tackles (12 for loss) with two sacks, four INTs and 11 PBUs during his first two seasons at Montana Western.

Positives: Intense small-school linebacker who also shows himself to be an effective long snapper. Breaks down well, uses his hands to protect himself and fires up the field to defend the run. Remains disciplined with assignments, easily changes direction and chases the action hard. Instinctive, does not bite on play-action passes and quickly locates the ball carrier. Moves well laterally, fluidly flips his hips in coverage and gets depth on pass drops.

Negatives: Gets caught up in the trash and easily blocked from the action. Does not play to his athletic numbers or 40 time.

Analysis: Ferris was incredibly productive as a run defender for Montana Western and did a great job as a long snapper, which gives him an opportunity to make a next-level roster as an eighth linebacker.

View more scouting reports

Page 2: Cal Davis Aggies, Cal-Poly Mustangs, Eastern Washington Eagles, Idaho Vandals, Idaho State Bengals
Page 3: Montana Grizzlies, Montana State Bobcats, Montana Western Bulldogs
Page 4: Northern Arizona Lumberjacks, Northern Colorado Bears
Page 5: Portland State Vikings, Southern Utah Thunderbirds, Weber State Wildcats

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