2013 NFL Draft: Studs Who Will Impress Big in Bowl Games

Chris StephensCorrespondent IIDecember 17, 2012

The NFL Draft is five months away, but the bowl season is where college players can make or break their draft stock.

While players like Manti Te'o and Jarvis Jones are top-10 picks regardless of bowl performance, others aren't as lucky.

For some, their performance in a bowl game could be worth millions of dollars in terms of where they're drafted.

So, what college studs will impress big in bowl games?


Matt Barkley, QB, Southern California

Barkley came back to USC because he had some unfinished business.

Unfortunately for Barkley and his teammates, this season was something they'd like to forget as the Trojans lost five games. Now, they're relegated to the Hyundai Sun Bowl where they will take on Georgia Tech.

Barkley has a major weapon in Marquis Lee and the Yellow Jackets aren't exactly the best team at stopping the pass. Barkley should have no problem throwing up and down the field all game.

The No. 1 pick hasn't been decided and Barkley could go a long way in boosting his stock with a good performance against the Yellow Jackets.


Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

Milliner has had a great season for the Crimson Tide and is looking to follow that up with another national championship.

However, Milliner can set himself up nicely for the draft with a good performance against Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship.

Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson was still wet behind the ears when the season started. Now, he's a seasoned veteran about to go up against the SEC.

Now, he has confidence and is prime for the picking (literally). Milliner can and will be that one to bring Notre Dame back to Earth.


John Jenkins, DT, Georgia

Jenkins has been a force in the middle for the Bulldogs and will get multiple opportunities to make plays against Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl. 

Nebraska loves to run the ball, averaging 254.5 yards per game. Jenkins will have his opportunity to get his hands on the ball carriers, or at least get a big push to allow others to make plays.

Jenkins is a first-round pick and teams want to know if he can be a force in the middle against the run.

Nebraska will provide him the perfect opportunity to showcase his abilities.


Alex Okafor, DE/OLB, Texas

Okafor is your prototypical hybrid player who can plays both on the line and at linebacker.

Against Oregon State, the Texas player is going to have his opportunity to showcase both in the Alamo Bowl.

Oregon State ranks 15th in the nation in passing yards (316.5), giving Okafor multiple opportunities to create a little pass rush. Expect to see at least a sack and a few quarterback knockdowns to go along with 10 tackles.