BBD Writer Tony Wiltshire
After a disappointing season, Oklahoma State (7-5) will meet Purdue (6-6) in the 2012 Heart of Dallas Bowl. The teams last met in 1997 in the Alamo Bowl, and it should be interesting to see if the Boilermakers can limit the explosive Oklahoma State offense. There are players on both sides of the ball that will soon extend their careers in the NFL.
RB Akeem Shavers, #24, 5’11, 205
Shavers is a nice sized back that has been a productive player for Purdue over the past couple of seasons. He has average body control and elusiveness as a runner, and he’s proven to be effective catching the ball. However, he just isn’t dynamic in any area of the game to be considered anything more that a priority free agent.
WR Antavian Edison, #13, 5’11, 175
Edison is another Purdue player that has had a solid career for the Boilermakers. He has average height, but he’s a little thin and lacks the ideal size for the wide receiver position. He has some natural shiftiness, and he does a nice job setting up his routes. He’ll never have the vertical speed to threaten NFL caliber corners deep, but his short area quickness will help him in the short to intermediate game. He carries a free agent grade, and he may get an opportunity to compete as a slot receiver.
DT Kawann Short, #93, 6’3, 315
Short is one of the top draft eligible interior prospects in the country. As his 12 sacks over the past two seasons indicate, he’s incredibly explosive with the quickness to consistently disrupt the offense. He has the size and strength to anchor at the point of attack, and he consistently uses his speed and natural power as a penetrating pass rusher. His effort runs hot and cold and his play recognition is inconsistent, but are issues he can improve on with proper coaching. He’s scheme versatile with first round talent, and he looks like a starter at the NFL level with impact level potential.
CB Josh Johnson, #28, 5’11, 195
Johnson is a three year starter possessing good size and solid athleticism. He exhibits a physical presence in press-man coverage, and he’s good using his length to force receivers toward the sideline. He’s a coordinated player with average instincts, and he has a natural feel in coverage. His play recognition and technique have improved this season, but still remain area’s he must continue to work on. He currently has a later round / free agent grade, but he has a legitimate shot to play his way onto a roster as a depth or special teams contributor.
CB Ricardo Allen, #21, 5’9, 186*
Allen is a junior and hasn’t made his intentions known for next season. He’s a technically sound player that looks comfortable in both press and off-man. He has terrific ball skills, and he’s a willing and physical tackler. He exhibits impressive balance and feet in and out of his breaks, and he has incredible burst when he attacks. He’s as talented as any corner in this years draft, and will immediately push for a starting job in the NFL if he does declare. If he does, he offers value in the second or third rounds.
QB Caleb TerBush, #19, 6’4, 225
QB Robert Marve, #9, 6’1, 212
WR Gary Bush, #6, 6’, 185*
OC Rick Schmeig, #76, 6’3, 305
LB Robert Maci, #58, 6’4, 242
Oklahoma State Cowboys
RB Joseph Randle, #1, 6’, 200*
Randle doesn’t receive a lot of attention, but he’s one of the top running backs in the country. He’s only a junior, but it would be a mild surprise if he doesn’t come out this year. He’s an elusive runner with the explosiveness to reach the perimeter, and although he appears to be limited laterally, he has tremendous downhill burst. He has more power than he’s given credit for, and he’s a tremendous receiver as well as an effective blocker. If he does declare, some team will see his value as a complete back and take him off the board in the third round.
WR Tracy Moore, #87, 6’1, 215
Moore has been out of action since early October due to injury. Despite only playing 4 games, he still managed to catch 20 balls for 259 yards and 4 touchdowns. He’s a physically imposing athlete built like a NFL receiver, and he has an impressive combination of power and playmaking ability. He doesn’t appear to have a great burst in and out of his breaks or the vertical speed to consistently win outside, but he can track the football and make plays on the ball. If he can get past some character concerns and impress at his pro day, he could be selected in the sixth or seventh round. However, he’ll likely be a priority free agent.
OG Lane Taylor, #68, 6’2, 328
Taylor is a 4 year starter for the Cowboys and a solid developmental prospect. He possesses a large frame with natural power and strength, but he lacks the athleticism and lateral agility to be considered anything more than a mid-level prospect in a power scheme. His feet are slow, he struggles to redirect, and he lacks the balance to mirror in space. He has some power in the running game, but his struggles with balance and agility are going to limit his opportunities. He may be selected late as a potential developmental or depth player.
CB Brodrick Brown, #19, 5’8, 185
Brown is one of the most competitive cornerbacks in the country. Though undersized, he possesses a solid frame and exhibits natural cover skills in both man and press concepts. He’s not afraid to mix it up physically, but he needs to improve his playing strength if he wants to be anything more than a slot option at the NFL level. If he can clean his technique up and focus on the nuances of the position, he’ll have a legitimate shot to earn a spot on a roster.
CB Justin Gilbert, #4, 6’, 185*
Gilbert is another junior who has yet to state his intentions. He possesses prototypical size, and he exhibits the speed and natural athleticism to develop into a starting caliber corner at the NFL level. He has terrific ball skills, quick feet, and a smooth change of direction. He’s scheme versatile with the ability to play inside and out, and he’s effective in both press and off-man concepts. His ability as a dynamic kick returner only strengthens his value. He has value in the second or third round if he decides to come out now.
PK Quinn Sharp, #13, 6’, 185
Sharp is a two time All-American and combo kicker who can punt, kick-off and kick field goals. He’ll have the opportunity to stick in the NFL
OG Jonathan Rush, #70, 6’4, 305
WR Blake Jackson, #18, 6’3, 235*
DE Nigel Nicholas, #89, 6’3, 272
DE Ryan Robinson, #96, 6’4, 250
LB Alex Elkins, #37, 6’2, 230
LB Caleb Lavey, #45, 6’2, 240*
Game Prediction: Oklahoma State 31 – Purdue 28