Holiday Bowl: NFL Draft Prospects

Arizona State and Texas will mix it up in the Holiday Bowl on Thursday night at 8:00 ET on ESPN. Scout.com's Chris Steuber points out the NFL Draft hopefuls from both teams who could land on your favorite NFL team's roster next year.

No

Name

Pos

Hgt

Wt

Exp

Projection

1

Josh Barrett

SS

6-3

231

Sr.

2nd – 3rd Round

Notes: Barrett had an exceptional 2006 season, but suffered through multiple injuries that have hurt his draft stock. He has the size, instincts and playmaking ability to be a standout at the next level, but has to stay healthy. Unfortunately for Barrett, he won’t play in the Holiday Bowl due to a right knee injury.

2

Troy Nolan

FS

6-2

204

Jr.

3rd Round

Notes: Nolan, a former JUCO transfer, has been a pleasant surprise for the Sun Devils. He missed the entire 2006 season due to injury and redshirted his first year at Arizona State. He displays a good burst and has excellent awareness in the secondary. He has good instincts and a nose for the ball. He led Arizona State with six interceptions this season.

3

Ryan Torain

RB

6-1

213

Sr.

4th Round

Notes: Torain is a big, physical runner who has a good all around game. He’s a solid north/south runner who has the ability to break outside for a big gain. He has good hands and speed and is a threat out of the backfield. He suffered a broken toe this past October and had season ending surgery. Torain ran for over 1,200 yards in 2006 and was off to a good start this season before his injury.

4

Rudy Carpenter

QB

6-2

199

Jr.

4th – 5th Round

Notes: Carpenter is a smart, accurate quarterback who has great command of an offense. He shows good poise in the pocket and has the mobility to make plays on the run. He’s improved his decision-making and accuracy this season and looks more comfortable with his surroundings.

5

Justin Tryon

CB

5-10

180

Sr.

4th – 5th Round

Notes: Tryon is a speedy, undersized defender, but he displays tremendous playmaking ability. He’s fluid backpedaling off the line and transitions well in coverage. He has soft hands and can turn defense into offense instantly. He’s always looking to make the big play and had three interceptions, one that went for a 69-yard touchdown, this season.

6

Mike Pollack

C

6-4

292

Sr.

4th – 5th Round

Notes: Pollack is a strong, versatile interior lineman that provides leadership and stability on an offensive line. He’s quick off the snap and holds his own against bigger defenders. He’s a quality player to add to an O-Line at the next level.

7

Paul Fanaika

OG

6-6

359

Jr.

5th Round

Notes: Fanaika is a raw, but strong prospect with a bright future. He has great strength, but doesn’t use proper blocking technique. He tries to overpower the opposition and gets beat against better technicians. He uses his frame to his advantage and shields defenders from wedging between blockers.

8

Brandon Rodd

OG

6-4

303

Sr.

5th – 6th Round

Notes: Rodd is a savvy veteran who’s versatile along the offensive line. He can play inside or outside and has good technique in run and pass blocking. He uses his hands well and shields away defenders.

9

Keegan Herring

RB

5-10

186

Jr.

6th Round

Notes: Herring is a situational runner that received his opportunity to be the featured back this season when Torain suffered his toe injury. He has good speed and quickness and shows elusiveness in the open field.

10

Robert James

OLB

5-11

229

Sr.

7th Round

Notes: James is an undersized linebacker who has a great motor. He’s a hard worker that gives maximum effort. He led the Sun Devils in tackles with 99 and also contributed 2.5 sacks and four interceptions. Durability is an issue, but if he stays healthy he’s productive.

11

Rudy Burgess

WR

5-10

188

Sr.

UFA

Notes: Burgess is a reliable possession receiver that has soft hands and good speed. He’s not a game breaker, but can be a quality third or fourth receiver in an offense.

12

Michael Marquardt

DT

6-4

295

Sr.

UFA

Notes: Marquardt is a fringe defensive lineman with limited mobility and technique.

13

Brent Miller

TE

6-5

237

Sr.

UFA

Notes: Miller, whose brother Zach was drafted by the Raiders last season, is a versatile offensive weapon. He can play fullback or tight end at the next level, but will have to work his way onto an NFL roster.

No

Name

Pos

Hgt

Wt

Exp

Projection

1

Limas Sweed

WR

6-5

219

Sr.

1st – 2nd Round

Notes: Sweed is a big, playmaking receiver that is the ultimate redzone threat. He has good hands and can muscle up against most defenders. He uses his size to his advantage and makes tough catches all over the field. He has good speed, but isn’t a burner. He had surgery on his left wrist in October and is currently rehabbing. His draft status will be determined this off-season and will be based on how well he works out.

2

Frank Okam

DT

6-5

320

Sr.

2nd Round

Notes: Okam is a big, physical interior lineman that displays the ability to create havoc in the backfield. He has great size, good quickness off the snap and commands a double team. He shed blocks well and has a nose for the ball. He recorded 49 tackles, 10 for a loss and five sacks this season for the Longhorns.

3

Jamaal Charles

RB

6-1

205

Jr.

2nd Round

Notes: Charles is a speedy, elusive runner that is still developing his skills as a featured back. He’s only a junior and he has a lot of talent and a world of potential. He really picked up his game the last four weeks of the season and finished the regular season with 1,458 yards and 16 touchdowns.

4

Marcus Griffin

FS

6-0

202

Sr.

2nd – 3rd Round

Notes: Griffin is an aggressive, hard-hitting safety that’s always looking to deliver the knockout punch. He plays well against the run and takes good angles in pursuit. He’s a leader in the secondary and collected three interceptions this season.

5

Roy Miller

DT

6-2

295

Jr.

3rd Round

Notes: Miller is a strong, physical player that commands respect in the trenches. He’s quick off the snap and possesses a unique bull rush that jolts blockers. He wedges between the opposition and makes plays in the backfield.

6

Tony Hills

OT

6-6

305

Sr.

3rd – 4th Round

Notes: Hills is a steady, reliable tackle that displays great technique. He uses his hands effectively and moves well laterally. He started 24 consecutive games for the Longhorns before he suffered a fibula fracture to his lower left leg. This off-season will be crucial to Hills’ draft status, as he has to show scouts that the injury won’t affect his play.

7

Cedric Dockery

OG

6-4

320

Jr.

3rd – 4th Round

Notes: Dockery is a strong, massive guard that’s able to hold his own inside. He suffered a torn ACL last season, but bounced back strong this year and played extremely well for the Longhorns. He’s only a junior and will likely return to Texas for his senior season, but he’s a player to keep an eye on.

8

Brian Orakpo

DE

6-4

250

Jr.

3rd – 4th Round

Notes: Orakpo is an athletic but undersized defensive end that has the ability to get to the quarterback. He plays with leverage and is quick around the edge. He was slowed by a knee injury this season, missing four games, but still managed to collect 3.5 sacks.

9

Robert Killebrew

OLB

6-2

230

Sr.

5th – 6th Round

Notes: Killebrew is an intensive player who has to show more discipline on the field. He’s a good tackler and shows good instincts, but is undisciplined.

10

Billy Pittman

WR

6-0

200

Sr.

5th – 6th Round

Notes: Pittman is a big play receiver and has shown the ability to be a game breaker. He’s been slowed by injuries during his career at UT, but when healthy he can be explosive.

11

Nate Jones

WR

6-2

195

Sr.

6th Round

Notes: Jones has nice hands and good speed and stepped up for the Longhorns when Sweed and Pittman went down with injuries. He runs good routes and adjusts well to errant passes. He has good size and is a physical player.

12

Rashad Bobino

MLB

5-11

230

Jr.

6th Round

Notes: Bobino is an instinctive linebacker that has good mobility. He doesn’t shed blocks at the point of attack, but moves well laterally and shows a good burst in pursuit.

13

Derek Lokey

DT

6-2

290

Sr.

6th – 7th Round

Notes: Lokey is a solid interior lineman that’s most effective in a backup role. He’s strong inside and gets a good push up front. He has a good motor and plays hard on every down.

14

Brandon Foster

CB

5-9

185

Sr.

7th Round

Notes: Foster is a small, playmaking corner with average speed. He’s extremely instinctive, but doesn’t have elite speed and his size will hurt him at the next level.

15

Scott Derry

OLB

6-3

230

Sr.

UFA

Notes: Derry is a hardnosed, aggressive player that will have a chance to make an NFL roster as a special teams player. 

16

Dallas Griffin

C

6-4

285

Sr.

UFA

Notes: Griffin is an intelligent player that understands his role and offers versatility to a team at the next level. He tore his ACL last month against Oklahoma State, and the injury will impact his ability to catch on with an NFL team.


A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber has provided his analysis of the NFL and NFL Draft prospects on the web and on the radio since 1999.


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