Posted: Saturday December 24, 2011 10:22PM ; Updated: Saturday December 24, 2011 10:23PM
Tony Pauline

Prospects to watch in college's bowl games: Week 2

Story Highlights

This week's games feature a lot of top prospects, led by Robert Griffin III

DE Quinton Coples has the talent, but his play this season has raised questions

Notre Dame has two first-round prospects, but only one is in the draft this year

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Robert Griffin III
Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III has become a complete quarterback in his time at Baylor.
Patrick Green/Cal Sport Media

Below, a breakdown of the players to watch this week, as well as a projection as to where they'll be drafted. (*denotes underclassmen)

A full schedule of the 2011-12 bowl season can be found here.

Monday, Dec. 26

AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl

North Carolina

Quinton Coples, DL (No. 90) -- Coples entered the season ranked by NFL scouts as one of the top seniors in the nation. His performance this year has been disappointing, and many scouts claimed Coples was playing not to get injured. He has the potential to be a dynamic defender, but Coples' senior season has raised a lot of questions. 1st Round

Zach Brown, LB (No. 47) -- Brown has impressed NFL decision-makers with his play this season, and continues to move up draft boards. He's a three-down linebacker who flies around the field in pursuit of the action. Brown will quickly break into a starting line-up at weakside linebacker soon after he's drafted. 1st Round


Michael Egnew, TE (No. 82) -- Scouts love the athleticism Egnew possesses, and compare his physical skills to many of the top deep threats at the tight end position from recent drafts. He's a dependable pass-catcher who also gives effort blocking. Egnew projects as a move tight end in the NFL and has starting potential. 2nd Round

T.J. Moe, WR (No. 28)* -- Moe is a feisty and aggressive receiver who battles for each reception and every yard after the catch. The ability to separate from defenders and return punts makes Moe a potential third receiver at the next level. 4th Round

Tuesday, Dec. 27

Little Caesars Bowl

Western Michigan

Jordan White, WR (No. 83) -- White is a sturdy, reliable wideout and Western Michigan's best receiving prospect since Greg Jennings. He constantly creeps into the soft spot of the defense to offer his quarterback an unimpeded target. White also physically defeats defenders to come away with the football. He lacks the foot speed to be a vertical threat yet has the makings of a third/fourth receiver at the next level. 4th/5th Round

Freddie Bishop, DE-OLB (No. 97) -- Bishop is an explosive defensive end who's likely to make the move to outside linebacker at the next level. Fast up the field, he can also get out to the flanks in pursuit of the action. 6th Round


Kawann Short, DT (No. 93)* -- Short has been one of the most productive defensive tackles in the nation this season. He led the Boilermakers with 17 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks, also posting 53 tackles on the year. The junior is athletic, explosive and impossible to stop when on his game. Short presently ranks as a top-45 choice, but many scouts have stamped him with a first-round grade. 1st/2nd Round

Dennis Kelly, T (No. 68) -- Kelly is a gigantic tackle who blocks with solid fundamentals and toughness. He displays good footwork for a large lineman as well as the ability to block in motion. Kelly has flown under the radar, but comes with a lot of upside for the future. 6th Round

Belk Bowl

North Carolina State

Terrell Manning, OLB (No. 35)* -- The junior is slightly undersized, but an explosive linebacker who makes plays all over the field. Manning is outstanding in pursuit, shows skill in coverage and makes a lot of plays behind the line of scrimmage. He'll be a good fit for any NFL defense that employs one-gap linebackers. 3rd Round

Audie Cole, LB (No. 42) -- The all-ACC linebacker has been a leader on the Wolfpack defense since his sophomore season. He's an instinctive defender with a great head for the game. Cole times poorly in the 40, but plays fast and offers a special teams mentality. 6th Round


Mario Benavides, C (No. 55)* -- Benavides struggled with assorted leg injuries this year, but eventually returned for his third successful starting season. The junior is quick, athletic and moves well on his feet. He's a terrific future prospect whose playing style is similar to Pro Bowl center Nick Mangold of the New York Jets. 3rd Round

Dexter Heyman, LB (No. 46) -- Heyman was not considered free agent worthy prior to the season, but put together a sensational senior campaign and will now get late-round consideration. He showed resiliency stopping the run with a team-leading 83 tackles as well as playmaking skills, with 19.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage. He also added 3 interceptions. Heyman will be a solid back-up linebacker at the next level and should add value on special teams. 7th Round

Wednesday, Dec. 28

Military Bowl


Eric Page, WR (No. 12)* -- Page is a dynamic playmaker who strikes fear into opponents. He's a complete receiver with a nose for the end zone, reliably making the reception in underneath coverage or beating opponents down the sidelines. Page is also a threat to break games open returning punts or kicks. The junior will be a terrific third receiver/return specialist in the NFL. 3rd Round

Desmond Marrow, S (No. 3) -- The Toledo captain has quietly been one of the most effective safety prospects from the senior class. He combines the size needed to be a solid run -tuffer and the ball skills necessary to play over the slot receiver. Marrow will not wow anyone with his 40 time, but will be an asset for a zone defense in the NFL. 6th Round

Mike VanDerMeulen, OL (No. 74) -- The Rockets' starting left tackle since his freshman season, VanDerMeulen is a big-bodied blocker best in confined quarters. He has the size, strength and style to move to right tackle or even slide into guard. 7th Round

Air Force

Jon Davis, S (No. 6) -- Davis is a tough safety with a well-rounded game. He leads Air Force with 4 interceptions and 3 more passes broken up. Davis is also one of the leading tacklers on the Falcons defense. He's not fleet of foot, but a smart defensive back who always positions himself to make a play on the ball. 7th Round

Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl


Keenan Robinson, OLB (No. 1) -- Robinson is one of the most complete linebackers from the senior class. He's a three-down defender who makes plays sideline-to-sideline, displaying tenacity stopping the run and the athleticism necessary to stay with tight ends or running backs in coverage. Pre-daft workouts will dictate his final grade, but Robinson offers starting potential at the next level. 3rd Round

Kheeston Randall, DT (No. 91) -- Coming into the season Randall was considered a late-round choice by NFL scouts, but he's played much better than anticipated. The 300-pound lineman is a strong defender who commands the attention of opponents and occupies blockers. He's not much of a playmaker, rather a defender who takes up space and allows teammates to make plays on the ball. Randall would be a good fit in a variety of defensive schemes. 3rd/4th Round


Trevor Guyton, DL (No. 92) -- Guyton is a versatile prospect with the ability to play several spots on the defensive line. He's effective stopping the run as well as rushing the passer and will be an invaluable rotational lineman in the NFL. 4th/5th Round

Marvin Jones, WR (No. 1) -- Jones lacks classic size and speed for an NFL wideout, but is a reliable pass-catcher who always comes through in the clutch. He's a tough receiver and fights to make the reception in a crowd, but also reads the defense and finds the soft spot on the field. Jones has the tools to be a reliable fourth wideout at the next level. 4th/5th Round

Thursday, Dec. 29

Champs Sports Bowl

Florida State

Brandon Jenkins, DE-OLB (No. 49)* -- Jenkins has been a relentless pass-rusher for the Seminoles, leading the team in sacks (7) and tackles for loss (11) this season. The junior lacks the size to hold down the defensive end position he now plays at Florida State, and a move to outside linebacker is imminent. Jenkins will need to round out his game before scouts will stamp him with a high draft grade. 3rd/4th Round

Zebrie Sanders, OT (No. 77) -- Sanders is a solid run-blocking tackle who's watched his game improve the past two seasons. He offers NFL size and should only get stronger as he physically matures. Sanders is projected as a developmental right tackle prospect. 4th Round

Notre Dame

Michael Floyd, WR (No. 3) -- Floyd returned to Notre Dame for his senior season after experiencing several off-field issues, and it turned out to be the right choice. He's a tall, strong receiver who plays big. Floyd wins out in battles, catching the ball in a crowd, and is very effective blocking downfield. He possesses the size and substance to be a No. 1 wideout in the NFL. 1st Round

Manti Te'o, ILB (No. 5)* -- Te'o is a terrific run-defending linebacker who is a physical force. He displays outstanding instincts as well as the size to start at middle linebacker or on the inside of a 3-4 alignment. The junior has made known his intentions to return for his senior campaign and will be highly rated entering the 2012 season. 1st Round

Valero Alamo Bowl


Alameda Ta'amu, DL (No. 74) -- Ta'amu has shown flashes of brilliance since his sophomore season. He's an athletic 335-pound lineman who easily moves about the field with the ability to overpower opponents. Scouts are concerned Ta'amu does not always play up to his level of ability, but his physical skills almost assure he'll be a second-day pick. 2nd Round

Chris Polk, RB (No. 1) -- The junior is a strong-bodied grinder who pounds opponents on the inside. Polk also displays a terrific burst of speed in his game and is rarely brought down by the first defender. He needs to polish his game, but has starting potential at the next level. 3rd Round


Robert Griffin III, QB (No. 10)* -- The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner has been skyrocketing up draft boards with good reason. Griffin is a dynamite athlete who's grown into a complete quarterback. His mental wherewithal, intangibles and leadership skills are on par with his physical ability. Griffin has shown steady progress the past four seasons and he'll be a productive starter once he enters the NFL. 1st Round

Kendall Wright, WR (No. 1) -- Griffin's favorite target, Wright is another Baylor prospect who's elevated his draft stock. He's a quick receiver with a nose for the end zone and a penchant for the big play. Wright has the tools necessary to line up as a second or third receiver for an NFL team. 3rd Round
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