By Tony Pauline
January 02, 2013

Breaking down the players to watch in the season's first batch of bowl games, as well as a projection as to where they'll be drafted.


Sugar Bowl: Florida vs Louisville

Shariff Floyd/DT/Florida: Floyd elevated his game this season and was a force every weekend. The junior explodes off the snap and fires through the gaps to make plays in the backfield. He also has the strength to occupy blockers, creating opportunities for teammates. Word out of Florida is Floyd will enter the draft. 2nd Round

Jordan Reed/TE/Florida: Reed is developing into a dominant pass-catching tight end and has a style similar to former Gator Aaron Hernandez. He's slightly undersized but has the speed to create mismatches in the secondary. There's a distinct possibility Reed forgoes his senior season in favor of the NFL in 2013. 2nd Round

Mike Gillislee/RB/Florida: The Gators primary running back comes off a career campaign and is moving up draft boards. Gillislee shows a large degree of versatility in his ball carrying, making defenders miss on the inside or outrunning them around the corner. He also proved himself to be a competent receiver out of the backfield and projects as a third-down back/situational ball handler for the next level. 3rd/4th Round

Adrian Bushell/CB/Louisville: Bushell has been an asset at cornerback and on special teams the two years he has played for Louisville. He can line up in man coverage or back off the line of scrimmage. Bushell will find a home as a dime back/kick returner at the next level. 5th Round

Fiesta Bowl: Kansas State vs Oregon

Dion Jordan/OLB/Oregon: Jordan started his Oregon career at tight end then moved to defensive end before making his mark at linebacker this season. He's a tall (6-feet, 6-inch) defender who displays terrific athleticism. Jordan is more than just a pass rusher and has developed into a three-down defender. He is receiving high praise in the scouting community. 1st/2nd Round

Kyle Long/OL/Oregon: The son of former All Pro Howie Long began his college career at defensive end before moving to offensive line in 2011. He was barely mentioned by scouts at the start of the season but now grades as a potential top-40 choice. The ability to line up at guard or tackle enhances Long's value. 2nd Round

Arthur Brown/LB/Kansas State: The undersized Brown is being compared to Ray Lewis of Baltimore. The fierce defender displays terrific speed and covers a lot of area on the field. Brown is proficient defending the run or covering the pass. He offers potential at a number of linebacker spots and should quickly break into a starting lineup at the next level. 2nd/3rd Round

Kenjon Barner/RB/Oregon: Barner is the latest game-breaking ballcarrier produced by the Oregon program. He plays with great quickness and speed and shows the ability to consistently pick up big chunks of yardage. Barner has a nose for the end zone and has shown steady improvement as a pass catcher. He'll be a good fit in the NFL as a situational skill player. 3rd Round

Cotton Bowl: Oklahoma vs Texas A&M

Damontre Moore/OLB-DE/Texas A&M: The Aggies star defensive player is drawing comparisons to former Texas A&M standout Von Miller, and with good reason. He's a game-changing pass rusher who consistently disrupts the action behind the line of scrimmage. Moore also brings a lot of athleticism and is developing into a three-down defender. Moore has already announced he will enter April's draft, where he projects as a top six pick. 1st Round

Luke Joeckel/T/Texas A&M: This polished pass blocker successfully protected the blind side of Johnny Manziel, the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner. He's fundamentally sound and shows terrific knowledge of the position, effectively using blocking angles and positioning to shut down opponents. The junior projects as a top-12 selection if he enters the draft. 1st Round

Jake Matthews/T/Texas A&M: Another blocker who protected Manziel, Matthews' specialty is run blocking. He's a large lineman with the strength necessary to turn defenders off the line and open the running lanes. Matthews also holds his own in pass protection and offers starting potential at right tackle. 1st Round

Lane Johnson/T/Oklahoma: Johnson entered the season with mid-round grades and elevated every aspect of his game. He's a terrific pass blocker for the Sooners' spread offense and plays smart football. Johnson's battle against Demontre Moore in the Cotton Bowl is one scouts will watch carefully. 2nd Round

Landry Jones/QB/Oklahoma: Jones was described as a potential franchise signal caller after his sophomore season, but his game has hit a rough patch the past two seasons. He offers the size and arm strength to start at the next level; his decision-making and poise under pressure leaves much to be desired. 3rd Round

BBVA Compass Bowl: Mississippi vs Pittsburgh

Devin Street/WR/Pittsburgh: Street is poised to be the next big-time receiver prospect from the Panthers program. He's a well-sized pass catcher with a smooth style and reliable hands. Street consistently comes away with the difficult reception in a crowd. He is expected to be rated by NFL scouts as one of the top senior receivers. 2nd/3rd Round

Ray Graham/RB/Pittsburgh: The elusive Graham successfully returned from a knee injury that cut short his 2011 season. He's a quick ballcarrier with the ability to make defenders miss anywhere. He's also a terrific pass catcher out of the backfield. 3rd/4th Round

Charles Sawyer/DB/Mississippi: Thedraft stock of this versatile defensive back is on the rise. He plays bigger in run defense than his listed 185 pounds and has the ball skills necessary to play over the slot receiver. The junior filed paperwork with the NFL Advisory Committee asking for a preview of his draft grade. He's expected to make a decision in the coming weeks. 3rd Round Bowl: Arkansas State vs Kent State

Brian Winters/OL/Kent State: Winters has been a dominant blocker three years running and is the best offensive line prospect you've never heard of. He possesses next-level size, strength and intensity. Winters easily annihilates opponents and plays hard until the whistle blows. The college left tackle projects to guard or right tackle at the next level and offers immediate starting potential. 2nd/3rd Round

Roosevelt Nix/OLB/Kent State: Nix is an undersized but productive college defensive end who's been compared to Elvis Dumervil of the Denver Broncos. The junior has been awarded all-Conference honors since his freshman campaign and posted 14.5 tackles for loss with six sacks this season. He's a constant nuisance for opponents and gets the most from his ability. 4th/5th Round

Taylor Stockemer/WR/Arkansas State: Stockemer is a well-sized receiver with dependable hands and the ability to consistently make the tough grab. Though not stopwatch fast, Stockemer sneaks it downfield on occasion for the long gainer. He quickly returned to form after missing the first month of the season with a knee injury. Scouts like Stockemer as a fifth receiver at the next level. 7th Round

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