Holiday Homework: Mississippi St. vs. Wake Forest

Fletcher Cox 2012 NFL Draft

Fletcher Cox is an intriguing prospect for NFL teams in need of a defensive lineman. (Photo: ICON SMI)

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Loyko

The Music City Bowl features the SEC’s Mississippi St. Bulldogs vs. the ACC’s Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Here are the NFL prospects we will be scouting during the game.

From a scouting perspective this game should be as onesided as the come. On one hand you have a Mississippi St. team that could have as many as 3 players selected in the first two rounds. On the other you have have a Wake Forest team which only has a few mid-level NFL prospects.

Mississippi State’s Top Prospects

#94 DT Fletcher Cox
Cox is a big athletic DT, who has burst onto the scene this year. He is an explosive interior force who explodes off the ball and disrupts run plays. At 6’4″ 295 he has the size to play 3-4 end. One of the more athletic defensive tackles in college football. Cox has already declared himself eligible for the 2012 NFL and some projections have him as high as a late 1st rounder.

#13 CB Johnathan Banks
Banks is a big physical CB, who has been very productive this year. Banks loves to come on this blitz and help in run support. Has totaled 3 sacks and over 60 tackles this year. Banks, like most bigger CBs, has questions about how fluid he can be in coverage.

He does have good ball skills and makes a ton of plays on the ball. ALso a dynamic PR who has returned a punt for a TD. A risk/reward type CB. Banks has been rumored to be entering this years draft as well.

#55 C Quenton Saulsberry
Saulsberry is one of the most versatile offensive lineman in the country, having played tackle, guard and center at various times this year. He is best suited for center due to his lack of size and strength. While he gets overpowered at times, he exhibits good quickness and the ability to get to his blocks. When I watched him earlier in the year I was impressed. One of the 5-6 best center prospects in this years draft.

Mississippi State’s other prospects:
#28 RB Vick Ballard, #4 SS Charles Mitchell, #14 QB Chris Relf

Wake Forest’s Top Prospects
#2 WR Chris Givens
Givens has the Demon Deacons most productive player all season. He has broken all the schools receiving records this year. I haven’t had the chance to watch much of Givens this year, so I will be watching him closely as he is rumored to seriously be considering turning pro.

Others to Watch:
CB Kenny Okoro, Jr.

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