2020 NFL Draft: FBS Independent Schools Scouting Reports

PFN Chief Draft Analyst Tony Pauline's scouting reports for 2020 NFL Draft prospects for the FBS Independent schools, including Notre Dame's Julian Okwara and Cole Kmet.

New Mexico State Aggies
2020 NFL Draft Prospects

Ray Buford, CB

Career Snapshot: Junior-college transfer who started both his seasons at New Mexico State. Made 23 tackles with one pass breakup as a senior in 2019. Made 32 tackles with three PBUs as a junior. Spent two years at Minnesota before he transferred to Independence Community College.

Positives: Nice-sized corner who plays physical football. Effectively reads the play, keeps the action in front of him and displays timing on pass defenses. Strong, fires up the field to defend the run and brings opponents down in the open field. Flexible, has nice length and adjusts to defend throws.

Negatives: Lacks great burst to the ball and overall speed. Slow to transition with opponents off the line and late to react.

Analysis: Buford has enough size and athletic ability to be used as a dime cornerback in zone coverage and also comes with a special-teams mentality.

Christian Gibson, RB

Career Snapshot: Rotational running back who rushed 99 times for 512 yards and three touchdowns as a senior in 2019. Carried 96 times for 590 yards and six TDs as a junior.

Positives: Nice-sized ball carrier who runs hard and picks up a lot of yardage off initial contact. Finds the running lanes, turns it upfield and breaks multiple tackles to pick up yardage off initial contact. Nifty, possesses good vision and easily changes direction. Gives effort as a blocker and gets out in front to pick up assignments.

Negatives: One-speed back who cannot beat defenders into the open field. Lacks the agility necessary to turn the perimeter.

Analysis: Gibson is a solid-sized back who plays with an aggressive style. He offers potential as a fourth back who can be used in short-yardage situations.

Jason Huntley, RB

Career Snapshot: Two-year starter who rushed 154 times for 1,130 yards and nine touchdowns and caught 40 passes for 192 yards and two TDs as a senior in 2019. Carried 109 times for 505 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior. Rushed 70 times for 420 yards and one TD and made 39 catches for 363 yards and two scores as a sophomore.

Positives: Explosive back with the ability to consistently pick up big chunks of yardage from the line of scrimmage. Displays terrific vision and the ability to quickly cut back against the grain. Possesses the speed and agility to get around the corner, immediately gets to top speed and has a tremendous burst. Creates yardage, improvises when plays break down and shows the ability to make defenders miss. Does not shy away from contact and works runs on the inside. Solid pass catcher who adjusts to the errant throw and makes the reception away from his frame.

Negatives: Lacks strength and is easily brought down at the point by a single defender. Dances around the backfield too often and doesn’t turn it upfield.

Analysis: Huntley is an explosive and relatively tough ball carrier with the ability to create yardage and take it the distance. If he produces as a receiver out of the backfield this summer, he could easily make an active roster come September.

Shamad Lomax, CB

Career Snapshot: Four-year starter who made 66 tackles with 11 pass breakups as a senior in 2019. Made 65 tackles with one interception and 10 pass breakups as a junior. Intercepted a career-high four passes as a sophomore.

Positives: Nice-sized defensive back who plays with great awareness. Feisty, keeps the action in front of him and displays a good burst to the ball out of his plant. Tracks the pass in the air, positions himself against receivers and fights to defend throws. Fires up the field against the run, works to get off blocks and makes plays on the ball carrier.

Negatives: Stiff and slow in his backpedal. Not a stout tackler. Possesses an average closing burst.

Analysis: Lomax shows ability in a zone system when the action is in front of him, but he needs to play at a consistently high level to make a roster.

Roy Lopez, DT

Career Snapshot: Three-year starter who made 63 tackles (12.5 for loss) with four sacks as a junior in 2018. Made 39 tackles with two sacks as a sophomore. Missed all but four games in 2019 due to a hematoma injury in his lower leg.

Positives: Once-highly rated defensive lineman whose senior season was cut short by injury. Explosive, strong at the point and gets off the snap with a terrific first step. Plays with excellent pad level, attracts double-team blocks and shows power in his lower body. Fluid when asked to twist or stunt and relentless.

Negatives: Must protect himself better with his hands. Possesses scheme limitations and now comes off a season-ending injury.

Analysis: Lopez was graded as a potential late-round pick entering the season, which was halted by injury. He’s a potential three-technique tackle who plays with great intensity and explosion.

Tony Pauline is the Chief Draft Analyst for Pro Football Network. You can read all of Tony’s work here and give him a follow on Twitter @TonyPauline.