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Weekend bowl games don't boast top prospects, but have talent


Three bowl games separate us from the Allstate BCS National Championship Game. While New Orleans is beginning to buzz for the Alabama-LSU matchup, there are NFL draft prospects looking to stand out in this weekend's contests. Below, a breakdown of the players to watch, 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.


Jarius Wright, WR (No. 4) -- The Razorbacks receiver impressed NFL scouts this season by putting together a complete game. Wright was the Arkansas' go-to receiver (team-best 63 receptions), their top deep threat (16.3 yards per catch) and the No. 1 red zone target (11 touchdowns). He possesses the substance and style to be a lethal slot receiver at the next level. 3rd Round

Joe Adams, WR (No. 3) -- Adams is not as fast as Wright, nor as productive, but proved to be a devastating return specialist. His average of 16.3 yards on 16 punt returns looks even more impressive considering three were brought back for scores. Adams is another prospective slot receiver whose bread and butter will be made on special teams. 4th Round

Kansas State

Arthur Brown, LB (No. 4)* -- Brown made an instant impact for K-State this season after sitting on the sidelines in 2010 when he transferred from Miami. He's a fierce linebacker with the speed to make plays sideline-to-sideline. Brown led the defense in tackles and has a style similar to former Hurricane first-round pick Jonathan Vilma. 3rd/4th Round

Tysyn Hartman, S (No. 2) -- Hartman was the enforcer in the middle of K-State's defense the past three seasons. He's a tough run defender who also excels in zone coverage. Hartman lacks the skills to be a true free safety in the NFL, but could be cast in a two-deep system if he produces on special teams. 7th Round


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Brandon Lindsey, OLB (No. 7) -- Lindsey has watched his draft stock slip after a disappointing senior season, but scouts still hold a high opinion of him. The athletic defender did most of his damage at defensive end in college, but his size dictates a move to outside linebacker in the NFL. Lindsey will have to learn the new position, but possesses the underlying skills to make the transition. 3rd Round

Lucas Nix, OL (No. 52) -- Nix's successful 2011 season was interrupted by a knee injury, though that does not diminish scouts' opinion of him. He's a versatile blocker who successfully handled both guard and tackle duties for Pittsburgh and a fundamentally sound lineman who does the little things well. 4th/5th Round


Kelvin Beachum, G (No. 70) -- Beachum was a four-year starter at left tackle for the Mustangs, but projects to guard in the NFL. He's a mobile lineman who can play in a variety of systems in the NFL. Beachum's ability to block in motion will be attractive to zone-blocking squads. 5th Round

J.J. McDermott, QB (No. 15) -- The New Mexico State transfer took over the starting job during the first game of the year and really caught fire the next eight weeks. McDermott is still a bit rough around the edges, but he has NFL size and arm strength. 7th Round

Arkansas State

Kelcie McCray, S (No. 21) -- McCray is highly rated by NFL scouts, a safety with a complete game. Aggressive against the run, he's a vicious hitter who goes for the knockout blow. McCray has also displayed steady improvement in pass coverage the past three seasons. 6th/7th Round

Demario Davis, OLB (No. 23) -- Davis is a tremendous athlete who makes plays sideline-to-sideline and covers a lot of area on the field. He led Arkansas State in tackles and is a three-down defender who should also be an outstanding special teams player in the NFL. 7th Round

Northern Illinois

Chandler Harnish, QB (No. 12) -- Harnish is one of the most prolific dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation. He led NIU on the ground with 1,382 rushing yards, complimenting his 2,942 passing yards. His touchdown-to-interception ratio of 26-to-5 is telling of both his accuracy and decision-making. Harnish is one of the best-kept secrets at quarterback, and most scouts think he'll make a dash up draft boards as we move toward April's draft. 4th Round

Nate Palmer, WR (No. 81) -- Palmer is a terrific receiver in all aspects, and the favorite target of Harnish. Outstanding in the underneath passing game, he also displays deceptive speed as well as reliable hands. Palmer is underrated and a potential fourth or fifth receiver in the NFL. 7th Round