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NFL Draft viewer’s guide: Fenway Bowl, Cincinnati vs. Louisville

NFL Draft prospects to watch

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 22 Pitt at Louisville
YaYa Diaby
Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

This year’s Fenway Bowl had some off-the-field drama with Lousiville’s former head coach, Scott Satterfield, taking the job at Cincinnati...

That’s also led to quite a few opt-outs from the Cardinals, notably cornerback Kei’Trel Clark, and quarterback Malik Cunningham (scouting reports linked), and an injury to defensive tackle Jermayne Lole have taken some NFL Draft prospects off the field. The Bearcats tight end Josh Whyle and wide receiver Tre Tucker also opted out.

However, there are at least a few guys on each side to keep an eye on.


YaYa Diaby, DT (No. 6)

Career stats (three seasons): 90 total tackles (53 solo), 17 TFL, 9 sacks

NFL Mock Draft Database draft projection as of 12/16: 5th round

Scouting report via (full report)

Diaby is a high-motor pass rusher who shows a good feel for countering, and Diaby has the functional strength to bounce off tackles and close on the quarterback with second effort.

Plays with exceptional balance and body control, showing off a nasty spin move to counter his speed, with the natural instincts to know when to use it.

Diaby explodes off the line with a quick first step, with agile feet to counter inside and closing burst to finish plays.

Delivers a strong punch and uses his hands to shed blocks to make plays in the hole or outside the box. Uses lower-body strength to anchor inside.

Combines excellent power with initial quickness, but one of his best attributes are his violent hands, which he uses with impressive precision.

His long limbs and strong core strength allow him to power through blockers, and he has the flexibility to loop inside and get home on twists.

Trevor Reid, OT (No. 70)

NMDD draft projection as of 12/16: UDFA

Scouting report via (full report)

Trevor Reid appears to have good foot quickness combined with good overall length. Reid uses this combination in the run game to quickly get to the second level and cover up defenders. Reid’s athleticism allows Louisville to scheme up plays to get him in space on screen plays to block defenders in space. In his pass set, Reid uses this same athleticism to quickly get to his spot. Reid excels at beating defenders to a spot and being in position to take on edge rushers. Reid’s overall athletic traits are appealing because there are many different ways you can utilize him in space. As an OT, Reid has a high athletic upside that should have him on many NFL teams’ boards during this draft process.


Ivan Pace (No. 0)

Cincinnati v Temple
Ivan Pace
Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Career stats (four seasons): 289 total tackles (133 solo), 39.5 TFL, 19 sacks, 1 INT, 9 PD, 2 FF

NMDD draft projection as of 12/16: UDFA

Scouting report via TDN (full report)

Ivan Pace Jr. is a hyper-productive linebacker who has made the jump from Miami-OH to Cincinnati look easy. He is a heat-seeking missile who has a nose for the football. Pace Jr. aligns in the middle of the Bearcats’ defense and appears to be the one making the calls. He has outstanding instincts for the position and seems to know where the ball is going every single play. He is able to use those instincts as well as his explosive burst and short-area quickness to shoot behind the line of scrimmage and make tackles for loss. He has above-average range sideline to sideline and flashes strike as a tackler. He is a good athlete in coverage with quickness to stay connected in man and instincts to know where to get to in zone. He is outstanding as a blitzer and knows how to time the snap and get home in a hurry. The energy he plays with is contagious.

Deshawn Pace, LB (No. 20)

Career stats (three seasons): 160 total tackles (77 solo), 14.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 5 INTs, 1 PD, 1 FF

NMDD draft projection as of 12/16: UDFA

Scouting report via NFL Draft Buzz (full report)

Has enough twitch and speed to make an impact coming off the edge as a third-down specialist.

Pace has ability as a blitzer, with the length and flexibility to get around the edge.

Reads quarterbacks eyes and reacts quickly to targets in zone coverage.

Flashes closing speed and agility to reach passers from the blind side or up the middle before they can escape.

The talent is there as a sideline-to-sideline playmaker.

He has a compact build, but Pace is a crafty edge player who is very good against the run. Pace sets the edge and effectively wards off blocks with a strong core, powerful limbs, and natural leverage.