Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl 2012: Top NFL Draft Prospects from Both Teams

Mike Moraitis@@michaelmoraitisAnalyst IDecember 30, 2012

EAST LANSING, MI - NOVEMBER 03: William Gholston #2 of the Michigan State Spartans reacts after a second quarter third down stop while playing the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Spartan Stadium Stadium on November 3, 2012 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The 2012 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl features the TCU Horned Frogs against the Michigan State Spartans. While both of these teams are two of the lesser known squads in college football, each team has its fair share of NFL Draft prospects to follow.

Let's see who they are.


Le'Veon Bell, RB, Michigan St.

While Bell has yet to officially declare for the NFL Draft, the Spartans' running back is already preparing himself for the jump to professional football.

Per Matt Charboneau of DetroitNews.com, Bell is ready for the Buffalo Wild Wings bowl to be his last game with Michigan St.:

"Yeah, I've been thinking about the possibility of this being my last game," he said. "So I want to make sure I go out there and play like it could possibly be my last game, run every run like it could be my last and continue to make sure we come out victorious. I don't want to leave on a losing note."

Should he forgo his senior season, Bell has put together an impressive resume during the 2012 campaign.

The Spartans' star back has compiled 1,648 yards, good enough for third in the nation. Bell also added 11 touchdowns on the ground and has proven he can carry a heavy workload after leading the nation in carries with 350.

Bell has been a model of consistency for Michigan St. this season. Not only is he third in the country with 137.3 yards per game, he also has broken the 200-yard mark three times this season.

What makes Bell an NFL-ready back right now is his size at 6-foot-2 and 244 pounds, making him an ideal blocking back from the jump. To go with his power and size, Bell has the ability to break big runs without being the fastest guy on the field.

It isn't known where Bell would land in the 2013 draft, but he certainly won't be a premier back unless things change during the combine. That doesn't mean Bell won't have success in the NFL down the road, it just might take him a little longer to do so.


William Gholston, DE, Michigan St.

Gholston is a stud defensive end for the Spartans and was a big piece to Michigan St.'s ninth-ranked defense in the nation this season. He may be a junior, but Gholston has the goods to make him an impact player right away.

For starters, Gholston is huge at 6'7" and 278 pounds, which is the kind of size that no doubt has him on the radar of many NFL teams.

Strength is also another big plus in Gholston's game. The junior defensive end is Superman strong and once he gets a hold of an opposing player, there is no place to go but down from there.

With some work, Gholston could become a dominant pass rusher in the NFL and with a strong showing at the combine, he could very well crack the first round in next year's draft.


Josh Boyce, WR, TCU

If teams are looking for a receiver late in the draft, Boyce could be available if he decides to declare a year early.

Measuring at 6' even, Boyce may not be the biggest receiver, but he will certainly be one of the strongest there is. That fact will make those first five yards one hell of an adventure for opposing cornerbacks.

Boyce also possesses great speed and an ability to make plays down field. His two biggest plays of the season were for 66 and 94 yards, respectively. But not only can Boyce create space to make big plays, he also has great hands that make him a viable short-yardage receiver on third down.

You won't see Boyce picked anywhere near the first or second rounds, but he could be one of those late draft picks that ends up making a serious impact for years to come.