NFL Draft: Bowling For Dollars (Part III)

The college bowl season can help the top senior prospects solidify their draft status and help determine the futures of many top underclassmen like Ohio State RB Chris Wells (pictured left). Scout.com's Chris Steuber continues to identify the top bowl game standouts with Part III of the series. See where some of the top draft-eligible prospects are projected to go after their bowl performances.

*Chris Wells, RB, Ohio State

The Fiesta Bowl was a big stage for Wells, and with a solid performance, the decision to leave Ohio State a year early would be easy. Things started off well for Wells as he rushed for 106 yards on 16 carries, but he missed most of the second half with a concussion. It’s been a tough year for Wells as he’s battled a nagging toe injury all season and a recent hamstring strain that he played with against Illinois and Michigan. Even though he missed three games this season and hasn’t been 100-percent, Wells still posted 1,197 yards on  just 207 carries and eight touchdowns. The concussion he suffered against Texas is a scary injury since he’s a big back who takes some big hits, and that injury could force his hand to declare for the NFL.

Draft Projection: First Round

McCoy is expected to be back with the Longhorns next year, but if he entered the '09 draft, he would be a first round pick.
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty

*Colt McCoy, QB, Texas

With McCoy already announcing that he will be back for his senior year, he gave the NFL a glimpse of what they will have to wait another year for during the Fiesta Bowl. It’s been an amazing year for the 6-foot-3, 215-pound signal caller, and after completing 69.5-percent of his passes (41-of-59) for 414 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, in addition to reaching paydirt on a 14-yard scamper, it was just business as usual for McCoy. He finished the season with a virtual reality like 76.5 completion percentage and threw for 3,859 yards, 34 touchdowns and eight interceptions. The season that McCoy amassed, along with his physical attributes and overall athleticism, would place him as a mid-to-late first round pick in April. But with another season similar to the one he just had, McCoy will be a top-ten pick in the ’10 draft.

Draft Projection: First Round

Brian Robiskie, WR, Ohio State

It’s been a frustrating year for Robiskie, who in 2007 emerged as one of the top playmakers in the nation with his 55 receptions for 935 yards and 11 touchdowns. But with senior QB Todd Boeckman being supplanted by freshman phenom Terrelle Pryor, the Buckeyes offense changed, and it directly affected Robiskie. In what would be his final game with the Buckeyes, Robiskie captured his first 100-yard performance of the season at the Fiesta Bowl. He caught five passes - one of them being a 48-yard highlight reel reception from Boeckman down the right side - for 106 yards. Although his production was down a bit this season - 42 receptions for 535 yards and eight touchdowns - Robiskie will be a late Day One, early Day Two selection.

Draft Projection: Third Round

Quan Cosby, WR, Texas

When you discuss the consistent performers in the country, Cosby has to be among the players mentioned. He’s been reliable all year and has been Colt McCoy’s No. 1 target, while Texas’ other star receiver, Jordan Shipley, has been 2. At the conclusion of a breakout season, Cosby didn’t disappoint in his final game with the Longhorns, as he caught 14 passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns; one of the touchdowns being the game-winner with 30-seconds remaining in the game. Usually a player with Cosby’s talent would receive second round consideration, but after playing four seasons in the Anaheim Angels minor league system, the 26-year old will probably be a mid-round selection who could elevate his status to an early Day Two selection with a solid offseason.

Draft Projection: Fourth Round

Adams has been one of the best backs in the nation in his last four games.
AP/David Crenshaw

Tarrion Adams, RB, Tulsa

In the three games leading up to the GMAC Bowl, Adams torched the opposition for  566 yards on 91 carries and six touchdowns. So when the 6-foot-1, 205-pound runner entered a monsoon atmosphere at Ladd-Peebles Stadium to take on Ball State, the notion of another outburst was expected. Adams didn’t disappoint the fans who weathered the storm, as he rushed for 207 yards on 19 carries and three touchdowns. The MVP of the GMAC Bowl is a big, athletic back with upside, Adams doesn’t possess elite speed, but his ability to run between the tackles and get on the edge will make him an attractive late round possibility.

Draft Projection: Seventh Round

David Johnson, QB, Tulsa

Johnson carries the label of a system quarterback because of the no-huddle, shotgun offense Tulsa runs. But if you look past the system stigma, you will find a solid quarterback with a lot of potential. Coming off of a horrible performance against East Carolina in the C-USA championship game, where he completed just 54.8-percent of his passes and threw five interceptions, Johnson rebounded in a big way against Ball State in the GMAC Bowl. Johnson ran the offense effectively in less than perfect conditions and completed 60-percent of his passes for 193 yards and three touchdowns. In his first year as a starter and last season at Tulsa, Johnson threw for 4,059 yards, 48 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. He’s still developing as a quarterback and has some mechanical issues that have to be adjusted, but he’s a solid developmental quarterback for a team looking to invest in a late round pick.

Draft Projection: Seventh Round

*Alex Knipp, SS, Ball State

The GMAC Bowl may not be the best game to mention a Ball State defender having a solid performance after they lost to Tulsa 45 – 13, but Knipp was the one Cardinal defender who showed up to play. A junior, Knipp played aggressively at the line of scrimmage and had 13 tackles (12 solo), two for a loss and a sack. At 6-foot, 195 pounds, Knipp is an undersized strong safety, who has to add more bulk to his frame. He has good speed, awareness and excellent football sense. He finished the season with 96 tackles, 3.5 for a loss, two interceptions and a sack. He will return for his senior year, and if he develops physically and maintains his aggressive play, he will be a solid mid-round pick in ’10.

Draft Projection: Seventh Round – Free Agent


*denotes underclassmen


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. Steuber’s features are published across the Scout.com network and on FoxSports.com. If you wish to contact Chris Steuber, email him at: csteuber@scout.com.


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