NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Loyko
This year’s Rose Bowl figures to be one of the best bowl games of the year – featuring the Wisconsin Badgers vs. Oregon Ducks.
Both teams feature many 2012 NFL Draft prospects–here are the top ones we will be watching:
Wisconsin’s Top Prospects
#66 C Peter Konz
In a game loaded with NFL prospects, Konz is the only likely first rounder. The best center in the country combines his excellent size with elite mobility. His mobility and footwork set him apart from other centers
#70 OG Kevin Zeitler
Like most Wisconsin lineman Zeitler is a fundamentally sound guard prospect who has dominated at times this year. Plays with a mean streak that has opened holes for the best run game in the nation. Has loads of NFL potential and will likely be one of the first guards drafted this year.
#1 WR Nick Toon
Toon is a tall, physical WR who possesses a well rounded game. Doesn’t wow anybody but does a lot of things very well. He is the son of former Jets WR Al Toon, so he has NFL genes. Toon is a second tier WR prosepct and locked in to rounds 2-3 in the upcoming draft.
#28 RB Montee Ball
Ball is a workhorse runner, who runs hard on everyplay. Doesn’t have elite speed or size, but what he does have is an understanding of the game. At 5’9″ 210+ Ball’s low and powerful running style make him very tough to tackle. Ball is a touchdown machine, once he smells the endzone he powers it across. Ball is contemplating entering the draft and would likely be a mid round pick if he did.
Oregon’s Top Prospects
#21 RB LaMichael James
James is the most dynamic RB in college football. James has elite burst and agility making him almost impossible to tackle in the open field. James has added a lot of muscle and bulk over the course of his college career and is a more powerful runner than given credit for. Will run between tackles, but excels off the edge and in space. A very natural pass catcher can take it the distance on any play. James is already declared for the draft and I think one team will fall in love with him as an all purpose offensive threat. Most likely a second to early third round pick
#56 OLB Josh Kaddu
Kaddu is a tall and athletic OLB. At 6″3″ Kaddu has a very good frame, which he can add bulk to. Impressive speed for his size. Has really long arms which he uses very well to shed blocks and get free. Not a natural pass rusher and doesn’t create much pressure on the QB. Kaddu is a raw OLB prospect but his combination of size and speed will get him drafted.
#11 S Eddie Pleasant
Pleasant is one of the more underrated Safety prospects in this years draft. A LB convert Pleasant now plays the rover position on the Ducks defense, similar to what Patrick Chung did for them in 2008. Pleasant has good instincts and anticipates routes and reads well. Might be too big and thick to play safety at the next level; a real SS/LB tweener.