2013 NFL Draft: College Football Game Recaps
Pre-New Year’s Bowls

This section breaks down many college football games each week and highlights how 2014 NFL Draft Prospects have performed. Or look at the 2014 NFL Draft Stock page.

By Charlie Campbell.
Send Charlie an e-mail here: [email protected]
Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell for updates.

UCLA 42, Virginia Tech 12
There were a ton of good NFL prospects on display in the Sun Bowl. The highest-rated for next May’s draft is UCLA outside linebacker Anthony Barr. He’s been a phenomenal edge-rusher the past two seasons and looks like a top-10 pick.

Barr got a number of pressures on the quarterback in the first half, but just barely missed getting sacks. Barr was close to so many of them, but the ball was getting out just before he got home. He showed an excellent array of pass-rushing moves, including an impressive rip move to shed a block. This tape will only serve to confirm his high draft grade.

Another potential first-round pick is UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley. Hundley had an up-and-down season, but he is a dual-threat quarterback with a lot of athletic upside. He put that on display against Virginia Tech. Early in the first quarter, Hundley escaped a sack and ran for 25 yards. Hundley then dodged another sack and ran around the corner for a 7-yard touchdown. Hundley took off on another scramble in the second quarter and exploded down the field for an 86-yard touchdown.

Hundley didn’t complete many passes in the first half and didn’t get in a rhythm, but was excellent at making plays with his feet. Hundley started to complete more passes in the second half, however, when UCLA started going to a quick passing game with slants and crosses. Hundley later dropped in an 8-yard touchdown pass to the back corner of the end zone.

In garbage time, Hundley threw a perfect pass to hit Shaq Evans streaking down the field for a 59-yard touchdown. That ended Hundley’s game as he completed 16-of-27 passes for 223 yards with two touchdowns. He ran for 161 yards and two scores on 10 carries. This tape showed Hundley’s big skill set. He may enter the draft, but his long-term development and success as an NFL quarterback would be better served if he returned to the Bruins for his senior year. Walt has him going fifth overall in his new 2014 NFL Mock Draft.

As for Logan Thomas, he set up a short rushing touchdown when he threw a rope into tight coverage that let his receiver run down to the two-yard line. The pass was about a 40-yard gain.

In the second quarter, Thomas ran an option over linebacker Miles Jack to keep running for another 20 yards. It was a highlight-reel run from Thomas. Unfortunately, Thomas was knocked out of the game from a massive hit by Jordan Zumwalt soon after. He was said to have a stinger and didn’t re-enter the game. He finished his final college game completing 3-of-11 passes for 129 yards and two interceptions.

Thomas is a developmental prospect who could sneak into the second day. He is a great athlete with size, mobility, speed and a strong arm. Thomas has to improve his feet, accuracy and decision-making to become a feasible starter in the NFL.

The final player worth mentioning is Jordan Zumwalt. The senior linebacker was great for UCLA against Virginia Tech. He did a good job in run defense chasing down backs for tackles. He picked off a fourth-quarter pass after dropping into coverage along the sideline. He returned the pick 43 yards. Zumwalt is a sleeper to watch in the months leading up to the draft.

Texas Tech 37, Arizona State 23
There were three pro prospects to watch in the Holiday Bowl: Arizona State defensive tackle Will Sutton and linebacker Carl Bradford, as well as Texas Tech tight end Jace Amaro. Amaro is likely to be selected first in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Amaro got his night started in the first quarter with a couple of receptions crossing the field and getting open toward the sideline. He also made a nice backpedaling adjustment on a completion down the seam.

His longest reception of the night came on a crossing route for 23 yards. Amaro was money to move the chains. He used his body to block out defenders and make catches in the middle of the field.

Amaro had eight receptions for 112 yards, with his only blemish being a holding penalty. He needs to improve his blocking for the NFL, but Amaro is a receiving weapon for the passing-focused NFL. He should be a first- or second-round pick next May.

Sutton’s numbers were down this season compared to his junior year, but he still played well for Arizona State.The Red Raiders did a good job of giving him some double teams and keeping him from making a big impact.

Sutton was getting some penetration into the backfield. He came close to a sack in the third quarter with a speed rush out of the three-technique. He didn’t get there in time for a sack but drew a holding penalty. Sutton used power to charge through the right guard and get a tackle for a loss in run defense. A few plays later, Sutton busted into the backfield again to get his second TFL. Sutton finished with four tackles and two tackles for a loss. This tape will be neutral for Sutton, who probably will be selected on Day 2.

Bradford started the game strong before falling quiet in the second half. He drew a face mask with a speed rush around the left tackle. He had two tackles for a loss in the early going. One was a great spin move into the backfield to stuff a back. Bradford tallied six tackles and was active off the edge, but he would be better off returning for his senior year.

Arizona 42, Boston College 19
There were two good running back prospects on display in the Advocare V100 Bowl, as Boston College’s Andre Williams and Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey took the field in Shreveport, La. Of the two backs, Carey had the better performance.

Things started poorly for Carey. His first carry was a gain of about 20 yards, but he fumbled the ball away as he was being tackled. It was a routine tackle from the side, but Carey put the ball on the ground. His next carry, however, was his 18th touchdown of the season on a 2-yard plunge.

In the third quarter, Carey showed nice vision and patience to rip off a good gain on a stretch run. He waited for the hole to open before darting through it. That helped set up Carey to run off tackle with a 5-yard touchdown to finish the drive. Carey then broke off a run of about 20 yards with some spin moves and jukes to make tacklers miss. It was an impressive highlight-reel run.

Carey was running through the Boston College defense throughout the second half. He had another fumble on a longer run along the sideline, but he recovered the ball. He finished with 169 yards on 27 carries with two touchdowns and two fumbles.

Carey ran the ball well aside from his fumbles. He has a real burst to hit the hole before it closes. He is very shifty in the open field with moves to dodge defenders. Carey isn’t a power back, but he can pick up yards after contact and finishes his runs well.

Another intriguing trait that Carey put on display was a willingness to be an aggressive blocker. He did well against Boston College, but will need to continue to get better at that for the NFL, though he has a nice starting point. Assuming his off-the-field vetting goes well, Carey looks a solid bet to be a second-round pick next May. Walt has him slotted to the Panthers in the second round of his 2014 NFL Mock Draft.

Arizona’s defensive game plan was simple. They were focused on stopping Williams and making Boston College beat them through the air. Williams ran hard against the Wildcat defense, but the holes weren’t there. There were zero opportunities for him to get to the second level before he had contact from defenders. Williams eventually scored from a few yards out in the final quarter, but that was the only highlight for him as he totaled 75 yards on 26 carries.

Williams is a tough back who fights for extra yards. He has the ability to get yards after contact, and that could be his best trait. He also looks like he has some third-down ability. His route-running looks solid, and he has the size to be a blocker. He has some quickness and cutting ability, but it doesn’t look like he has the speed to be an elite back in the NFL. He would be better off as a rotational back. Williams could go on the second day or be a mid-rounder.

Oregon 30, Texas 7
There were many prospects for the NFL on display in the Alamo Bowl. The best matchup was Oregon junior cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu going against Texas senior wide receiver Mike Davis. Ekpre-Olomu and the Ducks’ secondary won the matchup as Davis was held in check in his final collegiate game.

Ekpre-Olomu had tight coverage all day. The Texas offense struggled and never got Davis involved. Davis did have an easy catch that could have been about a 60-yard gain but he dropped the pass. Ekpre-Olomu was flagged for a late interference on a deep pass to Davis, but Davis was held to only 12 yards on two catches.

This tape won’t help Davis’ draft stock, and he will need to perform better at the Senior Bowl. Ekpre-Olomu, on the other hand, played well aside from the penalty. He looks solid as a late first-round or second-round pick. He has cover skills and is a gritty defender.

The receiver who did help himself was Oregon senior Josh Huff. Huff got started with a 24-yard reception running down the seam and finding a soft spot in zone. Shortly later, Huff scored a 16-yard touchdown on a shovel pass. Huff came in motion behind the offensive line and turned the corner to get upfield before diving into the end zone while bouncing off a few Longhorns. He had another good gain on a slant and a seam route in zone.

Huff finished with five receptions for 104 yards and a touchdown. The 5-foot-11, 205-pound Huff is too undersized to be an outside receiver, but he might be a good weapon from the slot. Huff could be a second-rounder.

Two defensive line prospects are worth mentioning. Texas defensive end/linebacker Jackson Jeffcoat made his presence felt against Oregon. Early in the second quarter Jeffcoat stood up over the left guard and fired by him off the snap. Jeffcoat used his speed to track down Marcus Mariota from behind and smacked the ball out for a fumble. His teammate should have recovered the ball, but it still was an impressive strip-sack from Jeffcoat. He then beat the left tackle to get another hit on Mariota and was a half second away from his second sack-fumble.

Jeffcoat finished with six tackles. He’s too undersized to play defensive end in the NFL and will have to move to outside linebacker. He could be a good fit for a 3-4 defense in need of an edge rusher as a mid-round pick.

Oregon senior defensive end Taylor Hart was a tough defender against the Texas ground game. Hart used a power rush to the inside to put pressure on Case McCoy. In the second quarter, he fought off two blockers to stuff a run for a loss of a yard. He stuffed another interior run for no gain. Hart was making tackles near the line of scrimmage and shedding blocks all night. He totaled 11 tackles. Hart could get second-day consideration and looks like a great fit as a 3-4 defensive end.

The last prospect worth mentioning is Oregon junior running back De’Anthony Thomas. He’s had a disappointing season when most thought he would take over as the featured back with Kenjon Barner in the NFL. The underwhelming trend continued against Texas. Thomas came out of the slot and ran a slant to make a 19-yard reception in the second quarter, but that was his only significant play as he ran for 13 yards on three carries and caught two passes for 24 receiving yards. Thomas is considering entering the draft, but probably should return for his senior year.

Kansas State 31, Michigan 14
Taylor Lewan was suiting up for the final time in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. The Michigan left tackle has been a rock on the Wolverines’ line for years and passed up a chance to be a first-round pick in 2013 to return for his senior year out of loyalty to Michigan. Kansas State junior defensive end Ryan Mueller had 11.5 sacks in 2013, so Lewan would see a challenge with Mueller.

Unfortunately for evaluators, Mueller didn’t go against Lewan as the Wildcat lined up over the right tackle. Against Kansas State, Lewan went out in style as he was rock solid. Lewan won all his blocks in pass protection and did well in the ground game. The senior showed nice feet to pick up fast blitzers off the edge. He also showed some quickness to get to defenders at the second level. Lewan didn’t allow a pressure all night.

The Wolverines’ line had problems on the inside, but Lewan was superb. He also showed some good hustle by making a touchdown-saving tackle after an interception was returned from midfield to inside the 10-yard line.

In my opinion, Lewan had his best season as a senior. He’s athletic, physical and plays with a mean streak. That appears to be a dying quality as players are being coached so hard out of making penalties, they aren’t playing with an aggressive demeanor. Lewan has earned a first-round grade for his body of work at Michigan.

The other prospect worth mentioning is Kansas State junior wide out Tyler Lockett. He had 10 receptions for 116 yards and three touchdowns against the Wolverines. Lockett (5-11, 175) is said to be returning for his senior year, so he is a player to monitor for the 2015 NFL Draft.

Washington 31, BYU 16
In the Fight Hunger Bowl, there was tons of pro talent on display. BYU outside linebacker Kyle Van Noy had the challenge of going against Washington junior running back Bishop Sankey and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Sankey looks like a second-day prospect, while Van Noy and Seferian-Jenkins could go in the first round. They both could also fall to Round 2, so this was one last game to impress NFL scouts.

On the first drive, Van Noy got in on a tackle for a loss on a dump-off pass to Sankey in the flat. Later in the drive, Seferian-Jenkins got open in zone coverage along the sideline for a gain of 17 yards. Sankey finised the drive by bouncing a run to the outside for an 11-yard touchdown.

Van Noy made a huge play on the next drive. On a fourth-and-goal, he burned by the tight end and got off a tackle from a guard to make a tackle for a loss on Sankey. It was a huge play to help keep the Cougars in the game.

Just before halftime, Sankey ran into the end zone from 11 yards out. He juked Van Noy and used a jump cut to bounce to the outside. Seferian-Jenkins hit the key block at the second level to get Sankey free for the score.

Early in the third quarter, Seferian-Jenkins got open running down the middle seam for a 16-yard touchdown. He ran a good route using his quickness and size to make it easy throw for Keith Price. Seferian-Jenkins totaled three catches for 37 yards and a touchdown. This was a good performance from the junior tight end that will help him in his final draft grade.

Sankey ran for 95 yards on 21 carries with two touchdowns. He finished the 2013 season with 1,870 yards and 20 touchdowns on the ground while averaging 5.7 yards per carry. The junior also has 28 receptions for 304 yards and a score. Sankey has logged a lot of wear-and-tear the past couple of seasons so it doesn’t make much sense for him to return for his senior year. He received a third-round grade from the NFL Draft Advisory Board.

Van Noy showed a nice ability to quickly diagnose a screen and cover the back. He was close to an interception on one such play. I didn’t like how Van Noy was being used in BYU’s scheme. The Cougars had him playing a lot of containment on the edge and dropping into pass coverage. He didn’t get many pass-rushing opportunities against the Huskies, and I think Van Noy would have been better utilized if he was allowed to freelance more and just go into seek-and-destroy mode. This tape won’t help him.

The final prospect worth mentioning is BYU senior wide out Cody Hoffman, a potential mid-round pick. He had an excellent game showing off some yards-after-the-catch ability against Washington.

To get his night started, Hoffman had a nice catch and run for 18 yards. He made another tough catch on a low pass that he dove for to get a good gain and a first down. Hoffman’s next reception was a nice gain as he ran a slant and then spun backward to squirt downfield for a gain of about 20. Hoffman used the spin move again to get another good run after the catch.

In the third quarter, Hoffman adjusted to a ball in the end zone, but he dropped the pass in what should have been a touchdown. Hoffman finished the night with a gain on a back-shoulder throw in garbage time. The senior caught 12 passes for 167 yards against the Huskies. Hoffman’s production was down in 2013, but he could have a future as a possession receiver in the NFL. Hoffman would be a good fit in a West Coast offense.

Louisville 36, Miami 9
The Russell Athletic Bowl featured the current favorite to be the first quarterback selected next May in Louisville junior Teddy Bridgewater. There have been rumors that Bridgewater may return to the Cardinals for his senior year, but a big performance against Miami could help sway the junior toward entering the 2014 NFL Draft. That is what happened as Bridgewater had a career night and absolutely dominated Miami. After the game, he said “what a way to go out” to the ESPN sideline reporter.

The evening didn’t start well for Bridgewater. On his second snap, he was slow to diagnose a free rusher coming from his right. Bridgewater needed to get rid of the ball quickly, but he held on and Deon Bush was able to sack him for a safety. Bridgewater came back to move the chains with a rollout to his left and threw a strike to Davante Parker.

Bridgewater threw darts in the short part of the field throughout the evening, but he had some passes off the mark downfield. Bridgewater missed a deep throw down the sideline to a receiver who was open running into the end zone. To end the first quarter, Bridgewater showed some running ability with a 16-yard scramble.

In the second quarter, Bridgewater had two good completions to Parker. The second pass was a 26-yard touchdown. On the score, Bridgewater did a good job of looking to his left to move the safety and coming back to the right. Bridgewater lofted a ball up and Parker beat the defensive back for the reception. It was a great display of field vision and intelligence to help give the receiver a chance.

Bridgewater scrambled just before halftime and lofted in a perfect touch pass for a good gain across midfield. He finished the drive by tossing two more touch passes, including a perfect 12-yard scoring strike to Michaelee Harris by throwing him open to the corner of the end zone.

In the third quarter, Bridgewater recognized a blitz and quickly unloaded to Sinorise Perry, who had blockers in front of him yet scored from 24 yards out. Bridgewater completed 35-of-45 passes for 447 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions against Miami. He ran for 21 yards as well. It was a career high in passing yards for the junior.

Bridgewater played better versus the Hurricanes than he did in the final month of the regular season. This performance was similar to how Bridgewater played early in the season. He showed excellent field vision, anticipation and the ability to fit throws into tight windows in the short to intermediate part of the field. Bridgewater also showed some mobility and escaped a few sacks. His footwork is exceptional for a college quarterback entering the NFL. Bridgewater needs to improve on his accuracy deep downfield, but he still overwhelmed Miami with his passing ability.

This tape is one of Bridgewater’s best performances in his collegiate career and will definitely help his draft grade. If Bridgewater enters the 2014 NFL Draft, he would go into the draft process as the favorite to be the first quarterback selected – but a lot can change in the next five months.

This game will also help Parker as he caught nine passes for 142 yards and a touchdown. Parker showed speed, size and route-running. The junior has excellent body control to make acrobatic receptions. If the junior enters the 2014 NFL Draft, he could be an early-round pick.

Miami quarterback Stephen Morris had a mixed senior year. He was lucky not to have thrown an interception late in the first quarter after forcing a deep ball along the sideline into double coverage. Morris was fortunate that the players colliding caused an incompletion. He came close to another interception shortly later and then had a pick dropped by a defender.

Morris hit a wide open tight end for a long completion inside the 10, but Louisville edge-rusher Marcus Smith soon took down Morris for a strip sack that the Cardinals recovered. Morris saw him coming, but he held onto the ball way too long. In the second half, Morris showed his arm talent with some NFL throws. He threw some fastballs with good ball placement down field.

Morris completed 12-of-27 passes for 155 yards. He should have thrown multiple interceptions and had some bad decision-making throughout the night. This performance won’t help Morris to rise above the third day.

Louisville senior edge-rusher Marcus Smith was the conference Defensive Player of the Year and will be playing at the Senior Bowl. He has played defensive end and standup outside linebacker, but at sub-260 pounds Smith will have to play the latter in the NFL. In the first quarter, he read a play-action well to get in the backfield and bat a pass away.

In the second quarter, Smith came off the left side unblocked and weaved around the running back to hit Morris and slap the ball out for a Louisville turnover. Smith collected another sack as he went unblocked up the middle of the Miami offensive line. Smith put heat on Morris throughout the game.

Smith is a prospect on the rise and this game will help his cause. If Smith performs well at the Senior Bowl, he could have a steady climb up draft boards in the months to come.

North Carolina 39, Cincinnati 17
North Carolina senior left tackle James Hurst has had a good career for the Tar Heels. The Belk Bowl turned into a disaster for Hurst, unfortunately. Late in the first quarter, Hurst was injured as he had some players fall into the back of his legs. He had to be helped off the field and was carted into the locker room. It looked like a potential serious injury. He looked like a possible second-day pick, but if this is a serious injury, he could tumble down draft boards. Hopefully Hurst isn’t injured significantly.

Meanwhile, Tar Heels’ junior tight end Eric Ebron was playing in the final game of his collegiate career in the Belk Bowl. Ebron had already declared for the 2014 NFL Draft and is the favorite to be the first tight end selected. I have him slotted at No. 16 to the Packers in my mock.

Ebron showed why he’s being projected so high early in the first quarter. He caught a quick crossing route and hurdled a defender to pick up some extra yards. After moving the chains on a an out route, Ebron had a deep ball fall right through his hands. It should have gone for about a 40-yard touchdown, but Ebron had a lapse in concentration on an over-the-shoulder catch. He came back to get a first down catch on a slant on a fourth-and-8.

Ebron continued to show his ability by moving the chains with some good runs after short receptions inthe second half. He finished catching seven passes for 78 yards. Ebron has an amazing burst to go along with rare athleticism and agility. He is such a fluid athlete who looks like a future matchup nightmare in the NFL. He could use work as a blocker, but in time, he should be a solid blocker as a pro. Ebron looks like a top-25 pick next May.

North Carolina defensive end Kareem Martin has improved his production as a senior and could be a second-day selection. Martin helped a teammate record a sack in the first quarter as he hugged the quarterback right after the blitzer got there. On the next possession, Martin stood up over the left guard and left tackle. He knifed between them off the snap and got to the quarterback to start a sack for a safety.

On another play while getting blocked to the ground after cutting to the inside, Martin was able to reach out and take down the running back for a minimal gain. He chipped in on another tackle for a loss later. This was a good tape for teams that run a 3-4 defense. Martin lined up in a variety of spots and stood up over offensive linemen. He showed some versatility to rush from different spots.

It will be interesting to see how much the official scorers credit Martin for being part of the sacks in the first half. At any rate, this was another tape that should help Martin in his final draft grade.

Notre Dame 29, Rutgers 16
Notre Dame had two potential first-round picks on display in the Pinstripe Bowl. Defensive end Stephon Tuitt and left tackle Zack Martin could both have their names called on Thursday night if Tuitt decides to skip his senior season. Martin, meanwhile, put on a clinic.

Martin was phenomenal from start to finish. He showed excellent technique in both run blocking and pass protection. Notre Dame had a lot of success running behind him. There were plays where was bullying his defenders down the field. He was getting push out at the point of attack and turning defenders to open holes.

In pass protection, Martin was rock solid. He showed the agility and quickness to get depth in his drop to negate speed rushes. He also was anchoring well as he held his ground versus bull rushes. This was a great tape from Martin, and he gave evidence for first-round consideration.

Tuitt also helped himself against Rutgers. Tuitt was tough in the ground game all afternoon. On one play, he got the left tackle on roller skates to flow down the line and tackle the running back. Tuitt then had a nice pass rush as he dipped and charged by the left tackle to nearly sack Chase Dodd. A few plays later, Tuitt beat the left guard and tackle to get heat on Dodd.

Tuitt used speed and violent hands to beat the right tackle and start a sack of Dodd in the fourth quarter. On what was possibly the penultimate play of Tuitt’s Notre Dame career, he got another sack with a rush going to the inside.

Tuitt has the strength and quickness to play end or tackle in a 4-3 defense with the ability to function as a 3-4 defensive end. He is very strong while being quick and agile for his size. Tuitt will be a first-round pick if he enters the draft.

Rutgers junior wide receiver Brandon Coleman has already announced he will enter the 2014 NFL Draft. Coleman has had an injury-plagued season, and that has led to a decrease in production. He performed well in his final college game, however.

Coleman got a step running a go route on Bennett Jackson in the first quarter and had the ball dropped in for a gain of 51 yards. To finish the drive, Coleman beat Jackson again running a corner post for a 14-yard touchdown. Those were his only two receptions, as he totaled 65 yards.

A little bit later, Jackson deflected a pass off of Coleman and the ball was intercepted. Coleman had a step on Jackson on a deep ball in the third quarter, and Jackson had to hook Coleman to cause an incompletion. Jackson was correctly penalized.

Coleman later laid out for a pass and landed hard on his right shoulder, but he ran off the field. Coleman looks like a second-day pick if he enters the draft. He’s slotted in the third round of Walt’s 2014 NFL Mock Draft.

Syracuse 21, Minnesota 17
Minnesota defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman was making his final appearance as a Golden Gopher in the Texas Bowl. He has been a big reason why Minnesota’s program has risen from being a Big Ten doormat to a bowl-eligible team that was ranked during the 2013 season.

Hageman had yet another good game, as he was a force at the point of attack. Early on, Hageman had a nice pass rush to almost get a sack. He rocked the offensive lineman back and swam around them to get some heat on the quarterback. Shortly later, Hageman had a facemask penalty and Smith finished that drive by powering into the end zone from a couple of yards out.

On the next drive, Hageman got leverage on the right guard and charged into the backfield to make a tackle for a loss. Hageman showed his motor when he chased down the quarterback on a run about 10 yards down field. He later tossed the center aside to tackle Jerome Smith for a loss of two. He then chased down a back a couple yards short on a third down play. It was a huge tackle as it led to a long field goal try that was missed.

Throughout the night, Hageman was powering his way into the backfield to help cause havoc on run plays and get some penetration into the pocket on passing downs. This tape will provide further evidence of his first-round grade. I currently have him No. 27 to the Chiefs in my mock.

Hageman was charged with helping to defend Syracuse junior running back Jerome Smith. The first play for Smith saw him pick up 18 yards on a screen pass in the flat. He had another 18-yard run when he cut back across the field and ran over a defensive back to finish the run. Smith finished with 72 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown.

Smith is a physical back, but is slow. He doesn’t have a burst to the hole, and while he is a strong back, he isn’t going to physically dominate NFL defenders. His lack of speed could be a real problem in the NFL, and could easily relegate him to backup or situational status. Smith has decided to skip his senior year and enter the draft. He could be a third-day pick, but also may go undrafted.

Oregon State 38, Boise State 23
Oregon State junior defensive end Scott Crichton was the top prospect eligible for the 2014 NFL Draft in the Hawaii Bowl.

Crichton made his presence felt early when he fought through a guard and tight end to tackle the running back for a loss. On the very next play, Crichton burned the right tackle with speed and shed to get a sack-fumble in the end zone. The ball flew away and cornerback Rashaad Reynolds scooped it up for a touchdown.

Crichton came close to another sack, but was held by the left tackle. Crichton added another tackle for a loss later on. He finished with three tackles, all of them being for a loss with one being a strip-sack, though he did jump offsides twice.

Crichton (6-3, 260) is undersized for a 4-3 defensive end in the NFL, but would be a good fit as a 3-4 outside linebacker. He looks like he could be a late first-round pick if he enters the 2014 NFL Draft.

Another Beaver with a decision to make is junior wideout Brandin Cooks. He’s had a prolific season for Oregon State with 128 receptions for 1,739 yards and 16 touchdowns. The 5-foot-10, 186-pound Cooks is a potential slot receiver for the NFL.

In the first quarter, Cooks got open on a slant in the back of the end zone, and quarterback Sean Mannion fit the ball through a tight window into the midsection. Thanks to the Boise State turnovers, the Beavers didn’t have to throw as much and were able to keep the ball on the ground. Cooks finished with eight receptions for 60 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 29 yards on four carries. If Cooks enters the draft he could get consideration as a second-day pick. Walt has him going in the second round of his 2014 NFL Mock Draft.

Reynolds played well in his final game for Oregon State. After his fumble return for a touchdown, he had a nice pass break-up in the second quarter. Reynolds was then Johnny-on-the-spot again as a hard hit on a receiver popped a fumble loose. Reynolds scooped it up and ran down the sideline for a touchdown from about 70 yards out. The next play from scrimmage, the receiver had a step on Reynolds running a deep post, but the wideout dropped a well thrown pass for what could have been a long gain.

Just before halftime, Reynolds had tight coverage on receiver Matt Miller and came close to an interception. Reynolds would be rated higher if he were bigger. He needs to play well at the East-West Shrine to make it into the second day of the draft.

The final prospect worth mentioning is Boise State defensive end Demarcus Lawrence. For the majority of game, Lawrence wasn’t making a big impact. Howeverm Lawrence went unblocked in the fourth quarter to fire into the backfield to get a tackle for a loss.

Lawrence finished with six tackles and a tackle for a loss. He has some speed, but he clearly needs to add strength to shed blocks and hold up at the point of attack in the NFL. Lawrence should return for his senior year.

San Diego State 49, Buffalo 24
In full disclosure, the first quarter of this game wasn’t on TV as the Washington State-Colorado State game went to overtime. This year’s Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, one of the top prospects for the 2014 NFL Draft was on display in Buffalo senior outside linebacker Khalil Mack. He has made a living behind the line of scrimmage as a pass-rusher and run-defender throughout his collegiate career.

In the first half, Mack was neutralized via double-team blocks in the passing game and a good rushing attack from San Diego State. He got in on a few run tackles and was also flagged for being offsides.

After halftime, Mack got upfield on a rush and was able to tip a pass away for an incompletion. He fought off a block to make a nice tackle along the goal line short of the end zone. Mack came close to a sack in the fourth quarter, but the quarterback was able to get the pass off. Mack beat the left tackle with a jab and a cut to the inside.

For the NFL, Mack could use more functional strength to shed blocks. He has a good starting point and is strong for his size. If Mack can add more power, that could keep him from having issues getting off offensive linemen. This tape won’t do much for the senior, but he looks like a lock as a top-20 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.

The final prospect who had a noteworthy game was Buffalo wide receiver Alex Neutz. He has had a good college career for the Bulls. Early in the game, Neutz got open running deep, but he didn’t have the speed to track down a deep ball. Neutz dropped a pass just before halftime and the deflection was intercepted. He came back to catch a deflected pass after a dropped interception on the final play of the first half.

In the fourth quarter, Neutz went above a defensive back for a touchdown catch. He finished with three receptions for 77 yards and a touchdown. Neutz (6-3, 205) is a gritty receiver, but probably lacks the speed to get separation in the NFL. If he could add weight and be an undersized tight end, he would be interesting project for the next level.

USC 45, Fresno State 20
The Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl showcased two future first-round picks in Fresno State senior quarterback Derek Carr and USC junior wide receiver Marqise Lee. While some believe that Carr could challenge to be the first quarterback selected next May, he didn’t play like it against USC. Conversely, Lee had one of his best games of the year.

On the opening drive, Lee got open in the end zone to convert a third down for six. He started out wide and ran past the goal line before exploding across the end zone to get open for Cody Kessler and a 10-yard score. Lee later scored again on a third-and-13 when he ran a deep in route and exploded down the field after the catch for another 20 yards and a 40-yard touchdown. It looked like the 2012 version of Lee, perhaps more than any other play this season.

Lee had another gain of 23 yards on a broken off route after a scramble play. In the fourth quarter, Lee caught in out route and spun away from a defender to race down the sideline for a gain of almost 40 yards. Lee finished with 118 yards on seven receptions with two scores. This tape will make the argument that Lee belongs in the top 25 this upcoming May.

As for Carr, he’s had a huge season working with junior wide receiver Davante Adams. Going up against them was one of the top safety prospects in USC’s Dion Bailey. On their first snap, Carr hit a fade route to Adams in single coverage along the sideline for an acrobatic catch and a gain of about 20 yards. Bailey was flagged for holding on the next play. Carr then missed a wide open receiver with an overthrow out of the end zone on first-and-goal, but on the next play, he fired a fastball on a slant for a seven-yard touchdown.

On the next drive, Bailey destroyed a receiver on a bubble screen for a loss of three yards. Bailey read the play well and exploded into the backfield. Throughout the first half, Bailey was making plays as he got some pressure on blitzes and covered receivers out of the backfield well.

Midway into the second quarter, Carr had Adams running wide open down the field but he missed the throw to fail to convert the third-and-3. It was an easy pass that he has to make. Adams then had a bubble screen limited by a nice tackle by Bailey in the open field.

Throughout the first half, Carr was off the mark. He was overthrowing open receivers and struggling with his footwork. Carr looked flustered by the speed and playmaking ability of USC’s defense. He also didn’t look good throwing on the run as Fresno State called a lot of rollouts.

To open the third quarter, Bailey stayed home to snuff out a fly sweep for a loss of three. Adams then beat Josh Shaw on a double move and made a catch for a 23-yard touchdown. It was a little underthrown by Carr, but Adams made a good adjustment. They tried for it again a little bit later, but the pass was off the mark and was intercepted by Shaw.

Carr had a perfectly thrown deep ball lofted in to his receiver late in the game, but the pass was dropped. That pretty much summed up the final game for Carr at Fresno State.

Carr may have hurt himself with this tape. He didn’t show great poise and seemed to be rattled by the Trojans’ defense. That impacted his footwork and threw off his accuracy. However, Carr did show a nice arm and good anticipation on a few throws. He completed 29-of-54 passes for 218 yards with two scores and an interception. Adams, meanwhile, had nine receptions for 75 yards and a score. If anything, this game was a missed opportunity for Carr and Adams.

Bailey definitely helped his draft stock with a strong tape against Fresno State. He was all over the field for the Trojans. If Bailey enters the 2014 NFL Draft, he could be a second-day pick.

Colorado State 48, Washington State 45
There were two good senior prospects on display in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl. Washington State safety Deone Bucannon has been one of the best defensive backs in the Pac-12 this season while Colorado State center Weston Richburg is one of the top centers in the nation.

The game didn’t start well for Richburg, as he was beaten on a speed rush as the tackle got by him. Richburg reached out and held the tackle to prevent a sack, but the obvious penalty was called. After that play, Richburg settled down and was doing a good job in pass protection, though he wasn’t getting a push in the ground game. He had a play where he was bull rushed into the backfield. On a goal line run, he was pushed back into the backfield again to set up a loss.

Richburg was flagged for his part of a chopblock in the third quarter. Richburg dived into the knee of the defensive tackle while he was being blocked by the guard. It was an ugly play by Richburg, and he should know better. On the next drive, Richburg hit a block on the second level to spring his back for a long touchdown run. The back ran through a tackle from Bucannon on the way to the end zone.

Richburg showed nice quickness and agility to hit blocks on linebackers at the second level. Overall this tape should be pretty neutral for Richburg. He needs to perform better at the Senior Bowl in a month’s time.

Richburg needs more strength for the NFL. It would assist him in the ground game and also would help him to anchor against bull-rushers. The larger, heavy tackles showed the ability to get under Richburg’s pads and push him back. Richburg needs to improve his pad level and knee bend. He looks like he would fit best in a zone blocking scheme rather than a power-man scheme.

Bucannon had an active game in his final appearance in college football. He made a great play in the second quarter when he was in coverage with a receiver in the flat, Bucannon read the eyes of the quarterback and dropped deep to undercut a throw to a different receiver for his sixth interception of the season. Bucannon missed a tackle on a long touchdown run, but generally he did a good job in run support. Overall, this tape will help his draft grade with how he played in pass coverage.

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