had a game to remember against Illinois in the Rose Bowl. The junior middle
linebacker recorded four tackles, a forced fumble, an interception and three
sacks. Even when he wasn't involved in a play, he was around the ball and
showed great instincts. Maualuga stated during the season that he intends to return to USC for his senior season and won't enter the draft. But after a
performance like that, it'll be hard to turn down first-round millions.
capped off his collegiate career with a tremendous all-around game against a
team he dominated this season. In the Bruins' 17–16 loss to BYU in the
Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl, Davis had seven tackles, 3.5 for a loss, a forced fumble
and 2.5 sacks. In an earlier meeting against BYU, Davis recorded two sacks,
giving him a total of 4.5 against the Cougars this season. Davis has a unique
ability to get in the backfield, and his 15.5 tackles for a loss and 12 sacks
this season speak volumes. Davis projects to be an outside linebacker in a 3-4
scheme at the next level and is a promising late second-, early third-round
Aqib Talib celebrates as he scores a touchdown following an interception during the Orange Bowl game.
AP Photo/J. Pat Carter
a huge impact in the Orange Bowl and was named the game's MVP. He recorded five
tackles, along with the game's first score that came on an interception he
returned for a 60-yard touchdown. He's a gifted corner with great instincts
and big play potential. Talib, who's a junior, is a true ball-hawk and recently declared for the 2008 draft. He'll be a top-20 selection this spring.
Silva, S – Boston College
one of the most underrated defenders in the nation and doesn't get enough
credit for his aggressive play. He's a consistent performer who shows up
every week, just as he did in the Champs Sports Bowl. Silva showed great range,
made 10 tackles and recorded two first-half interceptions. Silva has an
opportunity this offseason to show scouts the kind of player he is, and with a
good showing he can jump into the third or fourth round.
a force against Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl. He caused all kinds of problems for
the Warriors' offensive line and QB Colt Brennan. Howard recorded four tackles,
two forced fumbles and two sacks in the Bulldogs' 41–10 blowout victory over
undefeated Hawaii. An undersized defensive end, Howard finished the year with
9.5 sacks and is destined to be an outside linebacker at the next level. Howard
is a mid-round pick who can elevate his stock with an outstanding showing at
the NFL Scouting Combine.
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.