Orange Bowl: NFL Draft Prospects

Virginia Tech and Kansas meet in this year's Orange Bowl game at 8:00 p.m. (ET) on FOX. Scout.com Draft analyst Chris Steuber has put together his list of players to watch who will likely hear their names called in April during the NFL Draft.

No

Name

Pos

Hgt

Wt

Exp

Projection

1

Aqib Talib

CB

6-2

205

Jr.

1st Round

Notes: Talib is a playmaker in the secondary who’s developing into a solid cover corner. He has great size, good speed and soft hands. He has great awareness and instincts. He gets a good break on the ball and possesses outstanding closing speed. He’s physical at the line of scrimmage and holds his own against tall and fast receivers. He positions himself well on vertical throws and intermediate routes. He’s a versatile player that’s capable of lining up on offense at the receiver position in certain situations.

2

Anthony Collins

OT

6-5

310

Jr.

2nd – 3rd Round

Notes: Collins is a tremendous pass blocker who anchored one of the nations best offenses. Collins is quick off the snap and moves well for a big man. He has quick feet, moves well laterally and uses his long wingspan to his advantage. He has to play more physically and become more efficient as a run blocker.

3

James McClinton

DT

6-1

285

Sr.

4th – 5th Round

Notes: McClinton is an explosive interior lineman limited only by a lack of height. He has a quick first step, good balance and instincts. He has good lateral quickness and is able to change direction. He plays with a high motor and is always around the ball. He’s a great tackler who possesses outstanding closing speed. He sheds blocks well, but tends to struggle against a bigger opposition. He has good technique and hand placement that give him leverage. He makes a lot of plays behind the line of scrimmage.

4

Marcus Henry

WR

6-4

210

Sr.

5th Round

Notes: Henry is a late bloomer that has developed into a vertical threat. He has great size and displays soft hands. He adjusts to errant passes and has a knack for the spectacular. He tends to drop easy passes, but comes up with the tough receptions. He has to run better routes and play more physically.

5

Joe Mortensen

OLB

6-1

235

Jr.

5th – 6th Round

Notes: Mortenson is an aggressive linebacker that flies around the ball. He’s an instinctive tackler that positions himself well to make a play. He’s versatile and has experience and productivity playing inside and outside.

6

Brandon McAnderson

RB

5-10

235

Sr.

6th – 7th Round

Notes: McAnderson is a power running back that is excellent between the tackles. He has quick feet, average speed, but can move a pile. He has good balance and vision. He’s an ideal back in short distances that can move the chains in goal line situations to get in the endzone.

7

Derek Fine

TE

6-3

250

Sr.

UFA

Notes: Fine is an inconsistent player that has good pass catching ability. He has good size and has been productive as a receiver, but drops easy balls. He finds openings in a defense and is a good weapon over the middle. He has to develop better technique as a blocker.

No

Name

Pos

Hgt

Wt

Exp

Projection

1

Chris Ellis

DE

6-5

267

Sr.

1st – 2nd Round

Notes: Ellis is a hard working defensive end who plays with a great motor. He's quick off the snap, plays with good leverage, and uses his hands effectively against a bigger opposition. He's an aggressive player who holds his own against a bigger lineman and is rarely off his feet. He has good body control and changes direction well in pursuit. He has quick feet, good lateral movement, and consistently makes big plays.

2

Brandon Flowers

CB

5-10

200

Jr.

2nd Round

Notes: Flowers is a naturally gifted defender with excellent ball skills. He has excellent footwork and back pedals fluidly. He has great agility and doesn't lose momentum transitioning in coverage. He breaks well on the pass and instantly gets into an offensive position in defense. He's an instinctive defender who has a great burst of speed, diagnoses a play, and defends the run well. Flowers is an underclassman who's physically ready to take his game to the next level, but it remains to be seen if he'll do so.

3

Xavier Adibi

OLB

6-2

236

Sr.

2nd – 3rd Round

Notes: Adibi is an athletic defender who has the ability to play inside or outside linebacker. He has excellent instincts and uses his speed to explode through the hole and make plays in the backfield. He has a great burst and closing speed to get around the edge to defend the run. He covers a large area, plays well in coverage, and possesses excellent ball skills. He's a disciplined player who understands his assignments and doesn't get caught out of position. Adibi is a tremendous athlete that brings a lot of intangibles to the field.

4

Vince Hall

MLB

6-0

238

Sr.

2nd – 3rd Round

Notes: Hall is a ferocious linebacker who has the ability to be used inside or outside. He plays with a lot of aggression, explodes through the hole, and takes good angles against the opposition. He has great sideline-to-sideline range and is great in pursuit. He's a sure tackler who has a knack for making a big play. He covers a large area, drops well in coverage, and flashes on the scene quickly. He's disciplined in defense and understands his assignments. He commands respect from his teammates and is a leader on and off the field.

5

Victor Harris

CB

6-0

203

Jr.

3rd Round

Notes: Harris is a well-built defensive back with tremendous skills. He's an aggressive defender who jams opponents at the line, stalling their progress getting into their routes. He has good footwork and flips his hips well in transition. He has excellent instincts, immediately locates the ball in the air, and displays great timing in pass defense. He's a willing defender in run defense, but has to improve his tackling technique. Just like Flowers, Harris is an underclassman. But unlike Flowers, Harris would benefit from staying in school for his senior season.

6

Eddie Royal

WR

5-10

180

Sr.

4th Round

Notes: Royal is an outstanding return specialist who's still developing into a consistent receiver. He's a good route runner who displays quickness in and out of his breaks, gets separation from defenders and comes back to the ball. He has excellent vertical speed and times deep passes very well. He's always looking to make a big play and shows great acceleration after the catch. Royal is a work in progress as a receiver. He shows flashes of greatness, followed by moments of inconsistency. Although he's still working on his game as an offensive threat, Royal presents a unique element on special teams.

7

Josh Morgan

WR

6-1

220

Sr.

4th Round

Notes: Morgan is a strong, athletic receiver that has reliable hands. He’s a physical route runner that’s able to muscle up most defenders. He has great speed and is quick in and out of cuts. He’s not afraid of contact and will compete over the middle to haul in tough receptions. He gets vertical and makes adjustments to errant throws. He’s a highly competitive player, who also has experience as a kick returner.

8

Justin Harper

WR

6-4

214

Sr.

4th – 5th Round

Notes: Harper is an outstanding athlete who has great upside for the next level. He has great size, speed, and hands and has the ability to run away from defenders in the open field. He gets a good release off the line and is quick in and out of his cuts. He's a strong receiver who runs good routes and is able to make tough catches by muscling up defenders. He has good instincts and consistently comes back to the quarterback, making himself an available target. Harper has a chance to improve his draft status during the offseason with a good showing at the NFL Scouting Combine.

9

Branden Ore

RB

5-11

205

Jr.

4th – 5th Round

Notes: Ore is a hard-working runner with a well-rounded game. He's a patient runner who waits for blocks to develop and displays excellent vision. He has quick feet, bounces around piles, and keeps moving up the field. He's an aggressive runner, who plays with some shiftiness and runs low to the ground. He has good hands and is a good receiver out of the backfield. He's a solid blocker and gives a good effort on every play.

10

D.J. Parker

FS

6-0

198

Sr.

4th – 5th Round

Notes: Parker is a versatile defender who can play either corner or safety. He's an instinctive defender who takes good angles in coverage and has playmaking ability. He has good awareness and always looks to take part in the action. He reads a play well and has a good burst to the ball carrier. Parker's versatility will make him a solid prospect.

11

Duane Brown

OT

6-5

308

Sr.

5th Round

Notes: Brown is a good technician who has good size and mobility. He takes good angles, keeps his feet moving in pass protection, and uses his hands effectively. He's patient at the point of attack and seals defenders from making plays. He has good strength and is able to knock defenders off their rush. He picks up blitzes and works well with his linemates. He has good lateral movement and is able to get to the second level in run blocking.

12

Barry Booker

DT

6-4

290

Sr.

5th - 6th Round

Notes: Booker is a versatile defensive lineman who has intriguing size and good skills. He's quick off the snap, plays with good leverage and makes plays in the backfield. He's strong at the point of attack and is able to hold his own against bigger interior linemen. He slides off blocks, wedges between blockers and is able to alter the direction of a ball carrier. Booker is an interesting player because he's got very good size and speed to play inside or outside on the defensive line.

13

Carlton Powell

DT

6-2

293

Sr.

5th – 6th Round

Notes: Powell is a quick interior lineman who has some upside. He plays with good pad level, gets leverage on the opposition, and displays a good motor in pursuit. He has good instincts and is able to read the action and react. He uses his hands well and fights off the opponent with his strength. He's a hard worker and stays with the play consistently. Powell is a consistent player inside and gives a good effort, but he doesn't produce elite numbers and isn't always the first to arrive on the scene.

14

Orion Martin

OLB

6-2

256

Jr.

5th – 6th Round

Notes: Martin is an instinctive defender that has playmaking potential. He’s versatile and can play with his hand in the ground or standing up. He’s quick off the edge and makes plays in the backfield. He has good lateral movement and a strong inside move. He has a consistent motor and gives maximum effort.

15

Josh Hyman

WR

5-11

190

Sr.

UFA

Notes: Hyman is a good possession receiver with nice hands and good speed. He has a chance to catch on with a team and be a contributor on special teams and on offense as a fourth receiver.


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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