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BFTB Scouting: College Bowl Games Part 9

Featured Game
AT&T Cotton Bowl
LSU (10-2) vs Texas A&M (9-3) Friday 1/7 5:00 PM PT (Fox)

Truthfully, there's nothing all that special about this game, in my opinion, other than getting to watch some of the players taking the field. LSU is normally an SEC powerhouse, but despite the double digit win total are not an overly impressive or even exciting team this year. Former Chicago Bears Offensive Coordinator runs the offense for the Tigers and it's become about as boring as those Bears units were from 1999-2000 (remember Shane Matthews and Cade McNown?). He's got two QBs that split for time in Juniors Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee. The two have combined to throw more picks than scores. Philip Rivers' brother Stephen Rivers is on his way to Baton Rouge next year, so you can root against these two in hopes that it'll give him some more playing time next year (he'll probably redshirt though). The one spark of life the LSU offense does have is the run game. Junior RB Stevan Ridley dodged academic ineligibility to play in this game and the aforementioned Jordan Jefferson can tuck and run pretty well. They also have Senior WR Terrence Toliver at their disposal. He's seen his stock slip quite a bit since last season when some saw him as a potential first round pick, but he could provide a spark or two in this game.

The LSU defense is a different story. This is one of the elite units in college football and has one of the elite players playing on it. Junior CB Patrick Peterson will most likely declare for the draft following this game and become on the top 10 players available to NFL teams. He'll also return kicks and punts. He'll match up with the Junior standout WR for Texas A&M Jeff Fuller in what will easily be the best battle of this game. At the line of scrimmage fast rising Senior DT Drake Nevis will work to get pressure on the Aggies QB. At the start of the season Texas A&M had Senior Jerrod Johnson captaining the offense. Some even thought Johnson could be an early day 3 pick or even a day 2 pick. Things went all wrong for him this season and now have Junior Ryan Tannehill taking snaps. Tannehill's promotion coincided with Texas A&M's late season surge. Tannehill's a mobile QB that can keep his eyes downfield and use his WRs like Fuller and Sophomore Ryan Swope. The team from College Station also has a decent compliment at RB with Junior 1000 yard back Cyrus Gray (why does that sound like a super-villain?). LSU's potential 2nd round pick Senior LB Kelvin Sheppard will have the main responsibility of keeping him under wraps.

Texas A&M's defense has a couple of decent performers on it, but the guy that every Charger fan should be watching is OLB Von Miller. Miller is a premier college pass rusher. He'll be faced up on both ends of the line against two OTs in Senior LT Joe Barksdale and Sophomore RT Alex Hurst that both have trouble with edge rushers. Miller is also capable of dropping back into coverage where he can cut off the crossing routes of Toliver and LSU Sophomore WR Rueben Randle. The Tigers also like to run a lit bubble screens and shovel passes and Miller will get a chance to show if he can those as well.

Prediction: Peterson and Miller impress. Game is ugly. Only the NFL prospects win.

BFTB Scouting Targets:
Player School Pos. Class Height Weight
Kelvin Sheppard LSU OLB Sr. 6'2 244 lbs
Sheppard is a little undersized for the OLB position and lacks some toughness. He speed is good, his angles are decent, his tackling is reliable, he plays zone defense well and he's had a real good senior season. He has experience playing as a pass-rushing DE so he could transition to a 3-4 OLB. 3rd round pick. Original Writeup
Terrence Toliver LSU WR Sr. 6'3 208 lbs
Lacks some bulk for his height, but that can be fixed. Coming into the year there were questions about him learning the little things that go into being a top WR since that aspect of his game hadn't caught up with the physical abilities that were already there. A combination of this not happening and a stagnate LSU pass offense has kept his stock down this year. 5th round pick, but could rise fast with a good Senior Bowl and Combine. Original Writeup
Von Miller Texas A&M OLB Sr. 6'3 238 lbs
Miller led the FBS last year with 17 sacks and threw in 4 FF and 21.5 Tackles for loss for good measure. This year he had to deal teams are scheming against him and had a tough first half, in the second half his sack totals started to come back and revitalize his draft stock. He's seen as more of a 3-4 OLB since as a DE he's on the small side and not much of a bull rusher and as a 4-3 OLB his pass rushing talents are wasted. He's also got great top end speed so he make plays from the LB spot that don't involve getting to the QB. He uses his hands to set up defenders which really helps him get to the ball carrier in the run game. He motor is high, he's quick, he's a strong tackler, can provide a big hit and is character-issue-free. 1st round pick. Original Writeup
Jeff Fuller
Texas A&M WR Jr. 6'3 215 lbs
He's not a lock to come out this year, but he's had a very good year and his size and speed combination are liked by NFL scouts. As of right now, he's looking like a 3rd round pick, but a good combine and enough teams with WR needs could get him all the way to the 1st round. He's got a real good chance at being the top WR off the board in 2012 if he stays in school.
NFL Prospects:
Player School Pos. Class Height Weight
Patrick Peterson LSU CB Jr. 6'1 211 lbs
Peterson has had an excellent Junior campaign and has matched up well with some of the top WRs in the SEC. His biggest strength is his ball skills. On top of that he also has good height for the position. He can help in run support and is physical. With his size and skills he would also make an excellent safety. Has the genes of an NFL player since he's related to Pittsburgh's Bryant McFadden, New York Giants' Sinorice Moss and Washington's Santana Moss. High 1st round pick. Original Writeup
Drake Nevis LSU DT Sr. 6'0 289 lbs
One look at his height and weight and you know he's small for the position. However, he's very quick and has good speed for his size and get penetration very quickly. You can make him miss in the backfield however and you can push him out of the way since he does lack the strength of most DTs. However, he uses his hands well at the point of attack and that combined with his quickness means he can beat double teams. He's not a fit for the 3-4, but could be a Warren Sapp type in the 4-3. 1st or 2nd round pick.
Player School Pos. Class Height Weight
Joe Barksdale LSU OT Sr. 6'5 311 lbs
Lazarius Levingston LSU DE Sr. 6'3 278 lbs
Joshua Jasper LSU K Sr. 5'10 173 lbs
Derek Helton LSU P Sr. 5'11 182 lbs
Jai Eugene LSU S Sr. 5'10 205 lbs
Richard Murphy LSU RB Sr. 6'0 207 lbs
Lucas Patterson Texas A&M DT Sr. 6'3 298 lbs

Other Games
BBVA Compass Bowl
Pittsburgh (7-5) vs Kentucky (6-6) Saturday 1/8 9:00 AM PT (ESPN)
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl
Nevada (12-1) vs Boston College (7-5) Sunday 1/9 6:00 PM PT (ESPN)

BBVA Compass Bowl:Pittsburgh vs. Kentucky
BFTB Scouting Targets:
Player School Pos. Class Height Weight
Jonathan Baldwin Pittsburgh WR Jr. 6'4 224 lbs
He's big, he's strong and he's deceptively fast. He makes easy catches, he makes hard catches, he makes clutch catches, he makes amazing catches. He's competitive, he's a hard worker, he's never hurt. So, he could work on his route running and he got arrested once for indecent assault, summary harassment and summary disorderly conduct (chargers dismissed)? Had a bit of an up and down season. Could need the right system with the right need picking the right spot to go in the 1st round otherwise he probably goes in the 2nd. Original Writeup
Jabaal Sheard Pittsburgh DE/OLB Sr. 6'2 252 lbs
Sheard's a hustler, and going into this season scouts were saying he's just not quite quick enough or strong enough to really create mismatches at the next level. However, he stepped his game up when his teammate on the defensive line, the highly regard NFL prospect Greg Romeus, went down with injury. He started piling up sacks and showing that his game had improved. He's kind of a mixed bad off the field. Once he saved a woman from a burning building, but he also had to be had to be physically stopped with violence by the police to break up a fight he was involved in. Both incidents occurred a few years ago. A likely 2nd round pick to a team that runs the 3-4. Original Writeup
Jason Pinkston Pittsburgh OT Sr. 6'3 308 lbs
Pinkston doesn't have the perfect physique for an offensive tackle and maybe there's something to what some are saying about his lack of motivation in the weight room. What he does have is great awareness on the field and can pick up his blocks on the fly better than anyone. He'll need some coaching up at the next level for sure. 3rd round pick. Original Writeup
Dion Lewis Pittsburgh RB So. 5'8 195 lbs
I didn't think he'd declare, but it now sounds likely. He's small, but strong and had an outstanding 2009 season. I was in love with this guy last year. For whatever reason though he struggled this year. Some if probably had to do with no one respecting the Panther passing game, however his teammate Ray Graham did okay and eventually stole many of Lewis' snaps. Declaring for the draft after a down season when you are only a Sophomore doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. Although, he did have a great regular season finale against Cincinnati with over 200 yards rushing, Graham will still be around to steal carries from him if he stays and the Pitt head coaching situation is a mess. His best asset running the ball is his body control, agility and elusiveness. Sometimes its amazing how he can make people miss in such tight spaces. He needs to learn to take advantage of his strength more to finish better and to get better in the passing game. 4th round pick.
Randall Cobb Kentucky QB/WR Jr. 5'11 186 lbs
Randall Cobb has the makings of the next Josh Cribbs or Antwan Randel El. He has experience in college, playing at a high level, at both the quarterback and wide receiver positions. He's also a threat as both a punt return and kick returner. That kind of versatility would be an asset to Chargers and many other teams. He's undecided about whether to declare for the draft. Rumblings have him anywhere from the 2nd to 4th rounds.
Derrick Locke Kentucky RB Sr. 5'8 181 lbs
Another potential Sproles clone. He's a small back that can return kicks. He's fast and a home run threat. His strength is impressive given his size. Unlike Sproles he's had trouble staying healthy (including multiple injuries this season) and isn't a good pass protector. 6th round pick.
Sleepers:
Player School Pos. Class Height Weight
Dominic DeCinco Pittsburgh OLB Sr. 6'2 224 lbs
Ricky Lumpkin Kentucky DT Sr. 6'3 308 lbs
Dequin Evans Kentucky DE Sr. 6'2 246 lbs
Paul Warfield Kentucky CB Sr. 5'10 209 lbs
Chris Matthews Kentucky WR Sr. 6'4 220 lbs

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl:Nevada vs. Boston College
BFTB Scouting Targets:
Player School Pos. Class Height Weight
Dontay Moch Nevada OLB Sr. 6'1 236 lbs
He's playing mostly DE for the Wolfpack, but he's very athletic and light on his feet so scouts see him as a LB in the NFL. His best fit is probably a 4-3 OLB, but if he's used to putting his hand on the ground and rushing the passer he could bulk up and play OLB. Maybe he could even be a project at ILB. Another thing that makes him a good fit is his good tackling ability. He's a solid wrap up tackler. He does need work on his pursuit angles, but that's to be expected. He's also a good character guy, a team leader and highly motivated. That should help with any transition he's forced to make. 3rd round pick. Original Writeup
Mark Herzlich Boston College OLB Sr. 6'4 247 lbs
Speed, height and bulk are all perfect for the position. Cancer survivor and team leader with an excellent work ethic. His length and strength are ideal for shedding blocks and re-directing receivers running routes. Pass rusing skills, position, run defending and tackling are all good enough. Lacks some of the burst you are looking for in a linebacker. 3rd round pick.
NFL Prospects:
Player School Pos. Class Height Weight
Colin Kaepernick Nevada QB Sr. 6'4 220 lbs
Kaepernick has been a very successful QB at Nevada, but probably doesn't have all the skills and ability at the position to project to doing so in the NFL. His size and athleticism is a good match to play WR, however. 4th round pick.
Anthony Castonzo Boston College OT Sr. 6'7 295 lbs
One of the, if not the, top LT's in the draft. A smart player who was an excellent student. Tons on experience since he's started every game since getting to Boston college. For his size, his bulk is not up to snuff and ends up being a little big of a finesse blocker. However, he's a good athlete with a quick first step and can be a good blocker on the move. 1st round pick.
Sleepers:
Player School Pos. Class Height Weight
Vailala Taua Nevada RB Sr. 5'9 211 lbs
Virgil Green Nevada TE Sr. 6'3 239 lbs
Richard Drake Nevada K Sr. 6'0 188 lbs
Brad Langley Nevada P Sr. 6'0 219 lbs
John Bender Nevada G Sr. 6'8 325 lbs
Mike Gallett Nevada OT Sr. 6'6 300 lbs
Jared Jackson Nevada DE Sr. 6'3 243 lbs
Christopher Wellington Nevada WR Sr. 6'0 192 lbs
Jose Acuna Nevada OT Sr. 6'5 295 lbs
Thomas Claiborne Boston College G Sr. 6'1 331 lbs
Richard Lapham Boston College OT Sr. 6'8 319 lbs
Wes Davis Boston College S Sr. 6'1 222 lbs
Deleon Gause Boston College CB Sr. 5'8 183 lbs


Tracking Prospects Mentioned In Previous Articles:

Prospect Name College Position Class Proj. Draft Position

Bowl Game Opponent (Date)

Notes
Graig Cooper Miami RB Sr. 6th rd Notre Dame (12/31)
Delone Carter Syracuse RB Sr. 5th rd Kansas St. (12/30) 28 car. 202 yds. 2 TDs.
Noel Devine West Virginia RB Sr. 3rd/4th rd North Carolina St. (12/28) 8 car. 50 yds. 4 rec. 21 yds. 1 fumble.
Kendall Hunter Oklahoma St. RB Sr. 3rd/4th rd Arizona (12/29) 10 car. 32 yds.
LaMichael James Oregon RB So. 2nd rd Auburn (1/10)
DeMarco Murray Oklahoma RB Sr. 2nd/3rd rd Connecticut (1/2) 25 car. 93 yds. 1 TD. 2 rec. -1 yds.
Jacquizz Rodgers Oregon St. RB Jr. 3rd rd
Evan Royster Penn St. WR Sr. 6th rd Florida (1/1) 20 car. 98 yds.
Brandon Saine Ohio State RB Sr. Late rds Arkansas (1/4) 4 car. 25 yds. 1 rec. 0 yds.
Shane Vereen California RB Jr. 3rd rd
Jonathan Baldwin Pittsburgh WR Jr. 1st/2nd rd Kentucky (1/8)
Armon Binns Cincinnati WR Sr. 5th rd
Justin Blackmon Oklahoma St. WR So. 1st rd Arizona (12/29) 9 rec. 117 yds. 2 TDs.
Vincent Brown San Diego St. WR Sr. 4th rd Navy (12/23) 8 rec. 165 yds. 1 TD. 1 car. -13 yds.
Ryan Broyles Oklahoma WR Jr. 2nd rd Connecticut (1/2) 13 rec. 170 yds. 1 TD. 57 yd. punt return.
Michael Floyd Notre Dame WR Jr. 3rd rd. Miami (12/31) 6 rec. 109 yds. 2 TDs.
A.J Green Georgia WR Jr. 1st rd. UCF (12/31) 8 rec. 77 yds.
Leonard Hankerson Miami WR Sr. 4th/5th rd Notre Dame (12/31) 6 rec. 71 yds. 1 TD.
Dwayne Harris East Carolina WR Sr. 4th rd Maryland (12/29) 8 rec. 68 yds. 1 car. -7 yds.
Jerrel Jernigan Troy WR Sr. 2nd rd Ohio (12/18) 7 rec. 48 yds. 1 TD. 3 car. 16 yds. 1 TD. Returned kicks and punts.
Ron Johnson USC WR Sr. 4th/5th rd
Derrell Johnson-Koulianos Iowa WR Sr. 3rd/4th rd Dismissed from team after arrest on drug chargers
Julio Jones Alabama WR Jr. 1st rd Michigan St. (1/1) 3 rec. 49 yds. 2 car. 36 yds. 1 TD.
Jeremy Kerley TCU WR Sr. 5th/6th rd Wisconsin (1/1) 6 rec. 58 yds. 1 car. 5 yds.
Greg Little North Carolina WR Sr. 2nd-4th rd NCAA ruled him permanently ineligible.
Niles Paul Nebraska WR Sr. 3rd/4th rd Washington (12/30) 3 rec. 61 yds.
Austin Pettis Boise St. WR Sr. Late rds Utah (12/22) 12 rec. 147 yds. 1 TD.
DeVier Posey Ohio State WR Jr. 2nd/3rd rd Arkansas (1/4) 3 rec. 70 yds. 1 TD.
Greg Salas Hawaii WR Sr. 4th rd Tulsa (12/24) 13 rec. 214 yds. 2 TDs.
DeMarco Sampson San Diego St. WR Sr. Late rds Navy (12/23) 2 rec. 45 yds.
Torrey Smith Maryland WR Jr. 2nd rd East Carolina (12/29) 2 rec. 10 yds. 1 car. -3 yds.
Terrance Toliver LSU WR Sr. 4th/5th rd Texas A&M (1/7)
Nick Toon Wisconsin WR Jr. 4th/5th rd TCU (1/1) 3 rec. 46 yds.
Titus Young Boise St. WR Sr. 3rd/4th rd Utah (12/22) 6 rec. 64 yds. 3 car. 9 yds.
Mike McNeill Nebraska WR Sr. Late Rds Washington (12/30) 3 rec. 33 yds.
Luke Stocker Tennessee TE Sr. 4th rd North Carolina (12/30) 5 rec. 58 yds. 1 TD.
Gabe Carimi Wisconsin OT Sr.

1st/2nd rd

TCU (1/1)
Marcus Gilbert Florida OT Sr. 5th rd Penn St. (1/1)
Chris Hairston Clemson OT Sr. 3rd rd South Florida (12/31)
Jarriel King South Carolina OT Sr. 4th rd Florida St. (12/31)
Demarcus Love Arkansas OT Sr. 2nd rd Ohio State (1/4)
Jason Pinkston Pittsburgh OT Sr. 3rd rd Kentucky (1/8)
Derek Sherrod Mississippi St. OT Sr. 1st/2nd rd Michigan (1/1)
Clint Boling Georgia OT/G Sr. 3rd rd Central Florida (12/31)
James Carpenter Alabama OT/G Jr. 4th rd Michigan St. (1/1)
Orlando Franklin Miami OT/G Sr. 2nd rd Notre Dame (12/31)
Stephen Paea Oregon St. NT Sr. 1st rd
Ian Williams Notre Dame NT Sr. Late rds Miami (12/31) Torn MCL. Will probably miss bowl game and combine.
Christian Ballard Iowa DE/DT Sr. 4th rd Missouri (12/28) 1 sack.
Jared Crick Nebraska DE/DT Jr. 3rd rd Washington (12/30)
Nick Fairley Auburn DE/DT Jr. 1st rd Oregon (1/10)
Jarvis Jenkins Clemson DE/DT Sr. 4th rd South Florida (12/31)
Allen Bailey Miami DE Sr. 1st rd Notre Dame (12/31)
Da'Quan Bowers Clemson DE Jr. 1st rd South Florida (12/31)
Adrian Clayborn Iowa DE Sr. 1st rd Missouri (12/28)
Cameron Heyward Ohio St. DE Sr. 1st rd Arkansas (1/4) 0.5 sacks
Cameron Jordan California DE Sr. 1st/2nd rd
Karl Klug Iowa DE Sr. 5th rd Missouri (12/28) 1 sack.
J.J. Watt Wisconsin DE Jr. 2nd rd TCU (1/1)
Pierre Allen Nebraska DE/OLB Sr. 4th rd Washington (12/30)
Jeremy Beal Oklahoma DE/OLB Sr. 2nd rd Connecticut (1/2)
Justin Houston Georgia DE/OLB Jr. 1st/2nd rd Central Florida (12/31)
Ryan Kerrigan Purdue DE/OLB Sr. 1st rd
Craig Marshall South Florida DE/OLB Sr. 4th rd Clemson (12/31)
Cliff Matthews South Carolina DE/OLB Sr. 3rd/4th rd Florida St. (12/31) 1 sack.
Dontay Moch Nevada DE/OLB Sr. 3rd rd Boston College (1/9)
Pernell McPhee Mississippi St. DE/OLB Sr. 2nd rd Michigan (1/1)
Brooks Reed Arizona DE/OLB Sr. 2nd/3rd rd Oklahoma St. (12/29)
Greg Romeus Pittsburgh DE/OLB Sr. 3rd rd Torn ACL done for the year.
Jabaal Sheard Pittsburgh DE/OLB Sr. 2nd rd Kentucky (1/8)
Kelvin Sheppard LSU DE/OLB Sr. 3rd rd Texas A&M (1/7)
Markus White Florida St. DE/OLB Sr. Late rds South Carolina (12/31)
Akeem Ayers UCLA OLB Jr. 1st rd
Bruce Carter North Carolina OLB Sr. 2nd rd Torn ACL. Will miss bowl game and probably combine.
Brandon Hicks Florida OLB So. 5th rd Penn St. (1/1) 1 Int.
Von Miller Texas A&M OLB Sr. 1st rd LSU (1/7)
Dontay Moch Nevada OLB Sr. 3rd rd Boston College (1/9)
Jonas Mouton Michigan OLB Sr. Late rds Mississippi St. (1/1)
Kennth Wright Mississippi St. OLB Sr. 4th rd Michigan (1/1)
Obi Ezeh Michigan ILB Sr. Late rds Mississippi St. (1/1)
Dont'a Hightower Alabama ILB So. 2nd/3rd rd Michigan St. (1/1)
Ross Homan Ohio State ILB Sr. 4th rd Arkansas (1/4)
Mike Mohamed California ILB Sr. Late rds
Nate Irving North Carolina St. ILB Sr. 3rd rd West Virginia (12/28)
Greg Jones Michigan St. ILB Sr. 3rd rd Alabama (1/1)
Casey Matthews Oregon ILB Sr. Late rds Auburn (1/10)
Quan Sturdivant North Carolina ILB Sr. 2nd rd Tennessee (12/30) 1 sack and 1 Int.
Chris White Mississippi St. ILB Sr. Late rds Michigan (1/1)
Alex Wujciak Maryland ILB Sr. 4th rd East Carolina (12/29)
Mason Foster Washington LB Sr. 4th rd Nebraska (12/30)
Travis Lewis Oklahoma LB Jr. 2nd rd Connecticut (1/2)
Colin McCarthy Miami LB Sr. 3rd rd Notre Dame (12/31)
Prince Amukamara Nebraska CB Sr. 1st rd Washington (12/30)
Chykie Brown Texas CB Sr. 4th rd Broken forearm. Done for season.
Curtis Brown Texas CB Sr. 2nd rd
Rashad Carmichael Virginia Tech CB Sr. 3rd rd Stanford (1/3)
Chimdi Chekwa Ohio State CB Sr. 3rd/4th rd Arkansas (1/4)
Marcus Gilchrist Clemson CB Sr. 3rd rd South Florida (12/31)
Brandon Harris Miami CB Jr. 2nd rd Notre Dame (12/31)
Brandon Hogan West Virginia CB Sr. 5th rd North Carolina St. (12/28)
Janoris Jenkins Florida CB Jr. 1st rd Penn St. (1/1)
Patrick Peterson LSU CB Jr. 1st rd Texas A&M (1/7)
Chris L. Rucker Michigan St. CB Sr. 5th rd Alabama (1/1)
Devon Torrence Ohio State CB Sr. 5th rd Arkansas (1/4) 1 FF.
Aaron Williams Texas CB Jr. 2nd rd
Shareece Wright USC CB Sr. 4th rd
Mark Barron Alabama S Jr. 2nd/3rd rd Torn pectoral muscle. Will miss bowl game.
Ahmed Black Florida S Jr. 4th rd Penn St. (1/1) 1 PBU, 2 Ints. and 1 Int. returned for 80 yd TD.
Quinton Carter Oklahoma S Sr. 2nd rd Connecticut (1/2)
Eric Hagg Nebraska S Sr. 5th rd Washington (12/30)
Will Hill Florida S Jr. 5th rd Penn St. (1/1) 1 PBU
Jermale Hines Ohio St. S Sr. Late rds Arkansas (1/4)
DeAndre McDaniel Clemson S Sr. 3rd rd South Florida (12/31)
Rahim Moore UCLA S Jr. 2nd rd Most likely returning to school.
Robert Sands West Virginia S Jr. 2nd rd North Carolina St. (12/28) 1 sack.
Deunta Williams North Carolina S Sr. 3rd rd Tennessee (12/30)
Troy Woolfork Michigan S Sr. Late rds Mississippi St. (1/1)