With at least two senior draft prospects in every bowl game on Monday, it is possibly the best slate of bowl games so far. There is a potential top ten pick playing in Mike Glennon and many other big name prospects including USC's, Matt Barkley and LSU's star junior defensive ends Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery. The Sun Bowl and the Chick-fil-A bowl have the most NFL talent but the Music City Bowl is also a very good game for NFL talent as well.
N.C. State vs. Vanderbilt - Music City Bowl
Mike Glennon, quarterback, N.C. State - Glennon, 6-foot-6, 230 pounds, has had a very good senior season and with the fall of Matt Barkley, has seen his stock raise dramatically. Mel Kiper recently said that Glennon could be the second quarterback taken in April and I agree. He has a monster arm, good mechanics, decent mobility, and takes care of the ball. He could be a top ten pick come April.
Zac Stacy, running back, Vanderbilt - At just 5-foot-9, 210 pounds, Stacy is a compact running back built in the mold of Maurice Jones-Drew. Now, he has nowhere near Drew's talent level and lacks top end speed. However, he is very powerful and a good runner up the middle. He is currently projected to be a Day Three pick in April and I don't see that changing much because of his limitations.
USC vs. Georgia Tech - Sun Bowl
Matt Barkley, quarterback, USC - Barkley, 6-foot-2, 220 pounds, came into the year as the projected number one pick in the draft but has had a dreadful senior season. He struggle to stay healthy and when he was healthy, he failed to take care of the ball and could not handle the pressure that he was constantly under because of a poor offensive line. He has seen his stock slip from possible number one pick, to potential second or even third round pick in some people's minds.
Khaled Holmes, center, USC - Holmes, 6-foot-4, 305 pounds, came into the year as one of the top center's in the country and did not disappoint. He showed exactly what he showed last year, which was dominance in the running game and a good job in pass protection as well. After Alabama star Barrett Jones, he is probably the best center in the draft class and he should be a second or third round pick.
Wes Horton, 4-3 defensive end, 3-4 outside linebacker, USC - Horton, at 6-foot-5, 255 pounds, has the size and frame to bulk up and be a 4-3 defensive end and that is where he fits best because he lacks the speed and quickness to play 3-4 outside linebacker. He has had a very productive college career and has shown a knack for getting after the quarterback. He will likely be a third or fourth round pick in April and could use a solid game here to open some more eyes and possibly sneak into the second round.
T.J. McDonald, safety, USC - McDonald, like Barkley, came into the year as a potential top 20 pick but had a truly dreadful season. McDonald was constantly burned for big plays, missed numerous tackles, and looked like he doubted himself at all times. His stock has now plummeted and some have him rated as low as a fourth round pick. I have him slightly higher, currently projecting him in the third round because of his great athleticism and big upside.
T.J. Barnes, nose tackle, Georgia Tech - Barnes is massive at 6-foot-7, 345 pounds and has been a dominant force in the running game all year. He is almost impossible to move out of the way and actually has decent quickness. He is currently flying under the radar and is projected to go in the fourth or fifth round but I think he could see his stock surge in the offseason all the way to the second or third round. A good game against USC center Khaled Holmes would go a long way.
Rod Sweeting, cornerback, Georgia Tech - Sweeting, at 6-foot-0, 184 pounds, has the size of an NFL cornerback and has shown to be a great man cover corner and open field tackler. However, he is not much of a playmaker and has not gotten much press all season. He has a chance to dramatically improve his stock, which is currently as an early Day Three pick, with a good game against star USC wideouts Robert Woods and Marquise Lee. Shutting either one of them down on national television would boost his stock big time.
Omoregie Uzzi, offensive guard, Georgia Tech - Uzzi, a projected Day Three pick, is 6-foot-3, 300 pounds. He has proven to be a dominant run blocker and has paved the way for the triple option offense that Georgia Tech runs. However, he has not been able to show what he can do as a pass blocker because of the offense Georgia Tech runs and that is why his stock is limited. He has good quickness from what I can see on tape and he seems to have all the tools of a starting guard in the NFL and could become a big time steal for whoever drafts him.
Iowa State vs. Tulsa - Liberty Bowl
A.J. Klein, inside linebacker, Iowa State - At 6-foot-2, 244 pounds, Klein is a run stuffing inside linebacker built in the mold of a James Farrior type player. He is limited in terms of speed and that will limit his stock to sometime on Day Three but he has great instincts and rarely misses a tackle. He is a better fit in a 3-4 as a Buck than in a 4-3 because of his lack of speed.
Jake Knott, outside linebacker, Iowa State - Knott, the other star linebacker for Iowa State, is 6-foot-3, 239 pounds, and is a much better fit as a 4-3 outside linebacker. He has good athleticism and has shown the ability to drop back and cover tight ends. He is a good tackler but does not bring much in terms of a pass rush. He, like Klein, is also projected as a Day Three pick.
LSU vs. Clemson - Chick-fil-A Bowl
Alex Hurst, offensive tackle, LSU - Hurst, a multiple year starter at LSU, is massive at 6-foot-6, 330 pounds. He is currently projected as a third or fourth round pick. Throughout his career, he has shown to be a dominant run blocker and an average pass blocker and projects best as a right tackle. He has slightly limited quickness and that will also limit his stock.
Andre Ellington, running back, Clemson - Ellington is a two year starter for Clemson and has proven to be a big play back in both years. He has great quickness and also makes a great first cut. He has shown the ability to run people over at times as well. He is a threat out of the backfield but is limited in terms of blocking. He is currently projected as a third or fourth round pick but could go up or down a round depending on his combine. A lightning fast forty and he could become a second round pick but if he unexpectedly struggles, I could see him dropping to the fifth round.
Brandon Ford, tight end, Clemson - Ford, at 6-foot-4, 235 pounds, is a great pass catching tight end. He is an unbelievable athlete with great leaping ability and above average speed for a tight end. However, he is limited as a blocker and splits out as a receiver a lot. He is currently projected as a third or fourth round pick because of his limitations as a blocker but he could be a major steal come April.
Dalton Freeman, center, Clemson - At 6-foot-5 but just 285 pounds, Freeman is a slightly undersized center prospect. Throughout his career, he has shown to be a good pass blocker but has sometimes struggled getting a push in the run game. His frame has room for 15 or 20 more pounds and if he added that kind of muscle, he could become a much better run blocker. He is currently projected as a Day Three pick and it would take a big effort for him to move out of that range.