NEPD Editor: James Christensen
The Meineke Car Care Bowl features one of the more versatile and dynamic prospects in the Big Ten not named Denard Robinson, and of the few teams from the Big 12 that cares to play defense.
Read on to see the top 2013 NFL Draft prospects from the Minnesota Gophers and the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
MarQueis Gray, WR/QB, Minnesota
Gray, who was injured for a good part of his senior season, saw time at both quarterback and wide receiver this year. While I think we’ll see a lot of other QB’s for the Gophers, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Gray under center for a few series as well.
As an NFL prospect, I see Gray as a “Move” tight end that is split out wide and will thrive with the ball in space. When Gray gets the ball in the open field, he is very tough to get down. Gray is also very effective running the ball from the backfield and has a decent enough arm to be a threat on gadget plays.
As a potential backup to Aaron Hernandez, I think Gray would be a great fit. If Gray is available on day three of the 2013 NFL Draft, look for the Patriots to take a chance like they did with Julian Edelman.
Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota
Hageman has let it be known that he is probably going to return for his senior season, but the talented Gopher defensive tackle is still worth taking a loot at this year.
At over 6’5″ and 300 pounds, Hageman has the frame and elite athletic ability to play as either a 4-3 DT or 3-4 DE. In fact, if he can improve his ability to get off blocks, he might be the premier 3-4 DE in the 2014 NFL Draft class. Improving against the run adding some experience are the two main reasons that he will probably remain a Gopher in 2013.
However, if Hageman does surprise us all and declares for the 2013 NFL Draft, look for him to be a day two pick with a lot of upside.
Cody Davis, SS, Texas Tech
At 6’2″ and 205 pounds, Davis has the size that NFL teams covet at the safety position with the right mentality to help stop the run from inside and outside the box.
He isn’t great in coverage, which might relegate him to primarily a special-teams role in the NFL. However, the Patriots especially haven’t been shy about using late-round draft choices on players they think might help shore up that phase – think Matthew Slater, Nate Ebner, Malcolm Williams, etc…
Look for Davis to get some attention on the third day of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Other Prospects to Watch
Darrin Moore, WR, Texas Tech
Seth Doege, QB, Texas Tech
LaAdrian Waddle, OL, Texas Tech