2011 NFL Draft: Senior Prospects To Watch in Alamo Bowl

Charles ConradContributor IDecember 29, 2010

Oklahoma State HB Kendall Hunter
Oklahoma State HB Kendall HunterJamie Squire/Getty Images

Teams: Oklahoma State vs Arizona

Location: San Antonio, Texas

Telecast: Wednesday, December 29, 9:15 PM Eastern, ESPN

Oklahoma State Top Senior Prospects

Kendall Hunter - HB, No. 24 (5-8, 200): Hunter is a short back who is not hindered in college by his size. He has a thick build and will run between the tackles. His strength, however, is his speed and acceleration when he gets an open running lane. Was named to the AP All-American First Team. Led the Big 12 with 1,516 yards rushing. Ankle injury slowed him down in 2009 after a breakout 2008 campaign. Has career totals of 4.067 yards rushing and 37 rushing touchdowns. May not have the size to carry the full load in the NFL, but will be very good in a rotation backfield, a la Ray Rice of Baltimore.

Andrew McGee - CB, No. 6 (6-0, 190): McGee is a rising prospect after becoming a full-time starter in 2010. The junior college transfer was a reserve in 2009, but came on strong to lead the Big 12 Conference with 5 interceptions this season. Also compiled 45 tackles and 6 pass breakups. McGee has nice size and good speed. Named to the Big 12 First Team. Currently considered a late round pick.

Ugo Chinasa - DE, No. 91 (6-5, 256): Chinasa is a tweener type who plays a down end in college, but may be best suited to play OLB in an NFL 3-4 defense. May not have the core strength to play full-time against the run as a down lineman. Very good athlete with nice measurables, but needs to be more consistent and refine his skills. Has career stats of 99 tackles, 24.5 tackles-for-loss and 11.5 sacks. Mid-to-late round prospect who could blossom in the right system and with good coaching.

Orie Lemon - ILB, No. 41 (6-0, 240): Lemon missed all of 2009 with a knee injury and was granted an extra year of eligibility. Returned nicely in 2010 to produce 119 tackles, 9.5 tackles-for-loss and 2.5 sacks. Hard-nosed player who tackles with good form. Veteran leader of the Cowboys' defense. Doesn't have great overall speed, so may have to be a situational run defender or special teams player in the NFL.

Other Oklahoma State Senior Prospects

  • Bryant Ward - FB, No. 37 (5-11, 225)
  • Anthony Morgan - OG, No. 65 (6-3, 318)
  • Shane Jarka - DT, No. 46 (6-3, 295)
  • Justin Gent - OLB, No. 42 (6-1, 236)
  • Dan Bailey - K, No. 95 (6-0, 205): Won the 2010 Lou Groza Award winner as FBS top kicker.

Arizona Top Senior Prospects

Brooks Reed - DE, No. 42 (6-3, 262): Reed is a great competitor who goes all out during the game. Plays with a good base and puts pressure on the QB. In 2008, he established himself with 8 sacks and 9.5 tackles-for-loss. Was slowed by a high-ankle injury in 2009, only recording 2 sacks. Rebounded in 2010 with 6.5 sacks and 44 tackles to be named All-Pac 10 First Team. Plays as a DE, but may transition to a 3-4 OLB in the NFL. Will need to improve his drop-back coverage technique, but could be an impact pass rusher if freed up to come off the edge. Possible mid-round choice who could be drafted higher if he tests well in the post-season.

Ricky Elmore - DE, No. 44 (6-5, 260): Elmore plays opposite Reed as part of the Wildcats' bookend pass rush duo. Plays with a great motor and works relentlessly to pressure the QB. Was named to the All-Pac 10 Second Team, but could easily have been on the First Team. The last two years, Elmore has gathered 92 tackles, 21.5 sacks and 24.5 tackles-for-loss. May need to add some strength at the next level, but is a hard worker who should earn a roster spot. Plays faster than his timed speed. Another tweener-type who could make it as a 3-4 OLB.

Adam Grant - OT, No. 78 (6-6, 325): Grant was recruited as a TE out of high school, but was quickly switched to OT. Suffered with knee injuries his first two years at Arizona. Started 18 games in 2008-09 at RT, but was moved to LT in 2010. Has steadily improved his footwork and hand technique the last two years. Played a great game against Iowa All-American DE Adrian Clayborn this year, holding him to 3 tackles and no sacks. Grant has a big frame and may be best suited to plat RT in the NFL. May not have the overall quickness to sustain consistently against speed rushers on the blind side.

Colin Baxter - C, No. 64 (6-3, 295): Baxter will not play in the Alamo Bowl after undergoing recent knee surgery. He hopes to be ready for the NFL Combine or the Arizona pro day workouts. He is a real- life tough guy who will play with injuries. Baxter is considered the nastiest player on the team. He is a respected leader, having been voted as a team captain. Was voted as a Rimington Trophy finalist in 2010. Intelligent player who lacks ideal size. Has a good chance to stick on an NFL roster if he recovers well from the knee injury. Late round or priority free agent prospect.

Other Arizona Senior Prospects

  • Nic Grigsby - HB, No. 5 (5-11, 195)
  • A.J. Simmons - TE, No. 88 (6-3, 255)
  • Jovon Hayes - OG, No. 57 (6-2, 320)
  • Phillip Garcia - OT, No. 67 (6-7, 330)
  • Lolomana Mikaele - DT, No. 94 (6-2, 305)
  • Joseph Perkins - FS, No. 9 (6-2, 198)
  • Keenyn Crier - P, No. 47 (6-1, 200)