UIW won the Southland Conference last year with a 10-3 record. However, it was a heated battle between them and Southeastern. In the 2022 NFL Draft, there are a few prospects with intriguing scouting reports coming from the Southland Conference.
Southland Conference 2022 NFL Draft Scouting Reports
The Southland Conference scouting reports include a raw quarterback prospect and some late-round defensive players.
Cole Kelley, QB | Southeast Lousiana
Positives: Massive pocket passer with ability to make all the throws. Patient in the pocket, goes through progressions, and throws with an over-the-top delivery. Possesses a big-time arm and easily gets the ball to the intended target with a flick of his wrist.
Stands strong against the rush, powers the ball to his targets, and goes to checkdown receivers if nothing else is available. Senses pressure, steps up to avoid defenders, and puts touch on throws when necessary. Buys as much time as possible for targets. Displays the ability to throw strikes downfield.
Negatives: Doesn’t pick up much yardage with his legs. Can be all over the place with throws and makes receivers work hard to come away with the catch. Must improve the timing of his throws.
Analysis: Kelley started his career at Arkansas before transferring to Southeast Louisiana, where he dominated play. He’s a throwback pocket passer with the arm necessary to make all the passes, but he must do a better job protecting the ball and accurately deliver his passes. Kelley possesses a big upside, yet at the same time, needs a lot of work on his game before he’ll be NFL-ready.
Dai’Jean Dixon, WR | Nicholls State
Positives: Talented pass catcher with excellent size and pass-catching skills. Displays good route discipline, plays heads-up football, and is usually on the same page as his quarterback. Comes over the middle of the field and adjusts to errant throws, extends his hands, and grabs the ball from the air.
Possesses terrific eye/hand coordination, uses his frame to shield away defenders, and exposes himself to the big hit in order to come away with the catch. Consistent hands catcher. Possesses a nice build and takes a big hit yet holds onto the throw.
Tracks the pass in the air and makes the difficult over-the-shoulder reception at full speed. Plays with outstanding body control. Possesses soft hands. Plays to his 40 time, if not faster. Tough to bring down after the catch.
Negatives: Lazily comes off the line. Doesn’t seem to work very hard if the play is away from him. Average quickness. Does not high point the ball over defenders properly. Previous off-the-field issues must be inspected.
Analysis: Dixon is a terrific short- and intermediate-range pass catcher with a next-level build and NFL hands. He possesses a large amount of upside and has the tools necessary to develop into a fourth receiver if focused on the task at hand and properly coached.
Isaiah Chambers, DE | McNeese State
Positives: Undersized college defensive end who may be best standing over tackle. Breaks down well, effectively uses his hands, and stays with the action. Plays with terrific pad level, displays an array of moves to get off blocks, and easily changes direction in pursuit. Quick and fluid when asked to twist or stunt, can bend off the edge, and shows a closing burst.
Negatives: Has athletic limitations. Shows stiffness in his game. Easily knocked from his angle of attack or controlled by a single blocker.
Analysis: Chambers is a bit of a tweener, as he lacks the size for defensive end as well as the speed to be a true linebacker. His only chance at the next level will be as a situational pass rusher.
Julien Gums, RB | Nicholls State
Positives: Compact ball carrier with outstanding vision and instincts. Effectively uses blocks, finds running lanes, and displays outstanding short-area quickness. Displays a burst through the hole, will pick and choose his way through traffic, and keeps his feet moving. Runs with authority.
Negatives: One-speed ball carrier who cannot run to daylight. Terrible pass catcher out of the backfield who drops some very catchable throws.
Analysis: Gums is an effective downhill ball carrier who does not show the versatility you want from a running back of his size.
Morgan Ellison, RB | Southeastern Lousiana
Positives: Once-highly rated running back who possesses a nice build, rarely gets taken down by the first defender, and fights for every yard. Patiently waits for blocks to develop, stays on his feet, and runs through arm tackles.
Powerful, drags defenders, and works runs. Effectively helps the quarterback sell ball fakes. Solid pass catcher out of the backfield who adjusts to errant throws. Remains disciplined with assignments and does not freelance.
Negatives: Not a quick cutback runner and loses a lot of momentum trying to change direction. Plays to one speed.
Analysis: Ellison is a well-traveled collegian. He started his career at Indiana before being dismissed and moving on to Independence Community College. Ellison then spent one productive season at Southeastern Louisiana. He possesses the size and style to play productive football in the NFL, yet he needs to get his act together.