Scouting the Sugar Bowl for NFL talent

A contest with terrific NFL-potential, Auburn looks to finish off an undeafeted season against Virginia Tech. Each teams offers great talent in the secondary from both the senior and underclassmen ranks, never mind a pair of runners from the Tigers who project in the top 20 of next April's first round.


Ronnie Brown/RB/23/5Sr: Big, powerful ball carrier with a great blend of speed and strength.  Takes it on the interior barreling over defenders yet at the same time displays good run instincts, vision and the speed to beat opponents around corner.  Coming off a tremendous senior campaign and has made a big move up draft boards into the top 15 selections. 

Jason Campbell/QB/17/5Sr: Improving quarterback with good athletic skills.  Did a better job with his decision making and defensive reads as a senior.  Marginal accuracy and a below average arm push him into the late rounds. 

Silas Daniels/WR/85/4Sr: Consistent intermediate range target whose best opportunity would be as a fifth receiver at the next level. 

Bret Eddins/DE/94/5Sr: Hard working defensive end that quickly gets off the snap, plays with leverage and works hard.  Lacks top size, playing speed and strength.  Marginal late round choice. 

Marcus McNeill/T/73/3Jr: Mammoth offensive tackle who dominates the opposition and is effective run blocking or in pass protection.  Solid athlete but must condition himself and improve overall techniques.  Highly rated moving into 2006.

Jay Ratliff/DE/83/4Sr: Solid athlete who plays with great quickness, explosion and tenacity.  With fast moving in any direction of the field, chasing to get involved and displays the ability to pursue from the backside.  Out of the position at defensive tackle last season and best suited on the outside at the next level. 

Carlos Rogers/CB/14/4Sr: Fast rising cover corner who took his game to another level as a senior.  Picked up the mental aspects of the position showing the ability to quickly locate the ball and make plays on the pass.   Best suited backed off the line of scrimmage or in a zone system.  Post-season workouts could push him into the late part of round one. 

Ansel Rosegreen/S/4/5Sr: Solid run defending safety best playing downhill.  Physical, likes to mix it up and throws his body around the field to stop ball handlers.  Some pass skills between the numbers and best in a two deep system at the next level. 

Travis Williams/OLB/33/4Jr: Undersized yet explosive linebacker and a solid weak side prospect for the next level.  Fast, makes plays in every direction and displays excellent range.  Undersized and may be tried at safety but effective in space which greatly enhances his potential/value for the next level. 

Carnell Williams/RB/24/4Sr: Elusive, slippery ball carrier a solid in all aspects of the position.  Sees the field, sets up blocks then follows them.  Quickly cuts back against the grain and leaves defenders grasping for air.  Effective when called upon to block.  Lacks the top size for an every down, heavy-duty running back which will turn teens off yet a solid pick in the middle part of round one.

Virginia Tech

Vinnie Burns/P/38/5Sr: Solid directional punter with the ability to place the ball.  Gets only average hang time on punts yet solid in a pinch. 

James Davis/DE/95/5Sr: Well built, athletic defender whose career has been marked with injury.  Flashes ability rushing the passer or stuffing the run yet needs to prove durability and the ability to handle a heavy workload. 

Jon Dunn/T/79/5Sr: King sized athletic blocker on the rise.  Strong, anchors in pass protection and engulfs opponents.  Lacks the top blocking range and skill on the second level yet has the ability to grow into a starter in the NFL. 

Vincent Fuller/S/8/5Sr: Nice sized defensive back that can be used at either corner or safety.  Intelligent, reads the quarterback an effective in zone.  Runs downfield with opponents or quick up in the box to support the run.  Needs to fine tune his game but a solid prospect who could squeeze into the first day of April's draft.

Eric Green/CB/1/5Sr: Fast rising cover corner with solid size\speed numbers.  Flashes on the scene, displays a burst to the ball and excellent man-to-man skills.  Also an excellent special teams player.  Must pick up the intensity defending the run but a prospect could sneak into the late part of April's first round. 

Kevin Lewis/DT/70/6Sr: Undersized yet athletic lineman best as a one gap player.  Quick off the snap and gets leverage on opponents butt a lack of height limits the type of schemes he can be used in. 

Brandon Manning/OLB/48/5Sr: Tenacious defender who plays sideline to sideline, flashes on the scene and displays solid skills in coverage.  Size limits his ability to get off blocks and may not have the speed to be used at safety. 

Jimmy Martin/T/52/3Jr: Athletic tackle with the abilities to be a weak side blocker at the next level.  Slides out protecting the edge, sized well and holds his own the running game.  Offers good upside for the next level and a player to chart next season.

James Miller/G/76/5Sr: Big, interior lineman with good size\speed numbers.  Works hard, strong at the point of attack and destroys opponents.  Has a history of injuries in college which will red flag him this April. 

Will Montgomery/G/66/4Jr:  Powerful run blocking guard that can also be used at the center position.  Explosive off the snap, works hard and stays with the action.  Must improve the details of his position yet a solid prospect for the next level. 

Bryan Randall/QB/3/4Sr: Athletic thrower with a big arm.  Solid in the short passing game yet at quarterback better carrying the ball and not throwing it.  Sized well for an interior running back, which may be his best shot at the next level.

Jimmy Williams/S/2/3Jr: Sensational athlete with outstanding size\speed numbers.  Aggressive in run support but at the same time flies around the field displaying a good head in pass coverage.  Moved to corner as a junior but better off in centerfield and a highly rated safety.

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