Top 5 NFL Prospects Playing in the Fiesta Bowl

Nikhil BaradwajSenior Analyst IDecember 14, 2011

Top 5 NFL Prospects Playing in the Fiesta Bowl

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    On January 2nd, Oklahoma State and Stanford, the third and fourth ranked teams in the nation respectively, will face off in Glendale in the 2012 Fiesta Bowl.

    Not only is this a matchup between two of the best teams of 2011, but it also features some of the best draft prospects in the nation.

    This article details the top five NFL Draft prospects, who will be playing in the Fiesta Bowl.  

No. 5: Levy Adcock

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    Levy Adcock is one of the more underrated prospects in this draft, who is often overlooked by most scouting agencies.

    Adcock is a 6'6'' senior, who has only been at Oklahoma State for the past two years. He was a first-team All-Big 12 selection this past year, anchoring one of the best offensive lines in the conference.

    He possesses ideal size for a tackle at the next level and is one of the more durable prospects in the draft. 

    Adcock's major strength as a lineman is his run blocking, as he opened lanes for Joseph Randle's big 1,193-yard and 23 touchdown season.

    If he wants to improve his stock, Adcock should work on his pass protection, as several superior pass rushers overpowered him throughout the season.

    Adcock projects as a second-round pick and possible late first rounder.

No. 4: David DeCastro

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    David DeCastro has shot up the draft boards this past season, after he played incredibly well for the No. 4 ranked Cardinal.

    He is a redshirt junior, who was a finalist for the Outland Trophy, before losing the honor to Alabama's Barrett Jones.

    In addition, he was a member of the first-team All-Pacific-12 team and anchored one of the top offensive lines in the nation.

    Not only does DeCastro possess ideal size with a 6'5'' and 310-lbs frame, but he has proven to be a very good teammate, working extremely hard on his craft.

    DeCastro does not possess elite pass protection and run blocking skills, but he is very good at both, helping Stepfan Taylor and Andrew Luck have solid seasons.

    He projects as a sure-fire first-round pick, with the possibility of sniffing the top 10 or top five.

No. 3: Jonathan Martin

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    The third offensive lineman on this list, Jonathan Martin is possibly the best offensive tackle prospect in the draft after Matt Kalil announced his intentions to return to USC next year.

    He entered the year as one of the top prospects heading into his redshirt junior season and he continued to impress, churning out a first team All-Pacific 12 team appearance.

    Martin possesses ideal size considering that he is 6'6'' and 304 lbs. He is also considered to be a leader in the Stanford locker room along with being respected by coaches and players.

    He is one of the best run blockers in the nation, due in part to his excellent technique and superb athleticism.

    What prevents Martin from being a top-three pick is his average pass protection, which truly needs improvement. His pass protection technique needs improvement, but scouts are still clamoring about Martin as a prospect overall.

    Martin is another first-round pick who could find himself being picked in either the top five or top 10, depending on his combine results and team needs.

No. 2: Justin Blackmon

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    Justin Blackmon has been as impressive as he was last year, cementing himself as the best wide receiver in college and possibly one of the greatest ever.

    Blackmon, a junior, was a unanimous All-American along with winning the Biletnikoff Award for the second straight year, just the second person to ever achieve this honor.

    He had impressive numbers, posting 1,336 yards and 15 touchdowns on 113 receptions, along with being Brandon Weeden's most reliable target.

    Blackmon possesses acceptable size with his 6'1'' frame, while having a stocky build. There are concerns about his top-end speed, as he has not been clocked with an elite time.

    He works extremely hard in the weight room, benching around 300 pounds along with having one of the best football IQs on the Cowboys team.

    Blackmon has elite ball skills that truly just hover around the ball and barely drop passes. In addition, he has solid big play ability despite possessing average speed.

    Blackmon has already said that the Fiesta Bowl is his last game as a member of the Pokes, and he is absolutely going to be a first-round pick.

    Blackmon will most certainly get looks from teams in the top 10 and five, as the Panthers and Rams both need a wide receiver.

No. 1: Andrew Luck

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    Andrew Luck is far and away the top prospect in the NFL Draft and possibly one of the best over the past 20 years. He is that much of a can't miss prospect.

    Luck had another solid season, winning the Maxwell Award, along with beating out Matt Barkley for the role of first team All-Pacific 12 quarterback. 

    In addition, Luck was edged out by Robert Griffin III for the Heisman Trophy, posting a runner-up finish for the second year in a row.

    Luck threw for 3,170 yards along with 35 touchdowns and only nine interceptions, even though he had a 1,000-yard rusher on his team in Stepfan Taylor.

    He showcased the "clutch gene" when he drove his team down the field to tie the game and later beat USC on the road in triple overtime.

    Luck does not possess any major weaknesses and is incredibly accurate along with having the ability to run when he is flushed from the pocket. 

    His arm strength is solid but not elite, and he is able to zip balls into very tight spaces.

    There is a 99 percent chance that Andrew Luck will be the first pick of the 2012 NFL Draft. The only way of this changing is if either Matt Barkley or Robert Griffin III pass him due to Pro Day or the NFL Draft Combine.