2012 NFL Draft: Gator Bowl Recap

Posted by Brad On January – 4 – 2012
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Mike Adams showed why he is a late first, early second with his Gator Bowl performance

The Gator Bowl featured two teams that would normally compete in a BCS Bowl fighting for a winning record.  Ohio State came out on the losing end in a fitting end to a season of turmoil.  Both teams will look to turn the page on their 2011 season and focus on integrating new coaching staffs in 2012.

Both squads feature a bevy of future NFL prospects but not much in the way of 2012 prospects (relatively speaking).  We will focus on a couple solid prospects for each team.  OSU has a two nice prospects on the offensive line, while Florida has an intriguing prospect on the defensive line.

Here’s a look at the top prospects for the 2012 NFL Draft in the Gator Bowl.

Ohio St.

Mike Adams, OT

Adams has all the physical tools to be an elite RT in the NFL.  The athleticism at his size is impressive.  In this contest I focused on his knee bend and base because taller tackles normally struggle with this.  I was impressed with both as he won numerous battles of leverage in pass protection and while run blocking.  There were a couple of times during this contest that Adams didn’t engage defenders long enough and allowed his guy to make tackles on the ball carrier.  Since coming back from suspension, Adams has looked very good in some tough matchups.  He is a late first or early second round pick in my book.

Michael Brewster, OC

Brewster struggled a bit in 2011 especially early on in the season when he was working in new players on both sides of him.  As the season wore on he became more comfortable with his line mates and has looked much better.  He had a real strong game in the Gator Bowl.  He’s not a mauler but does an excellent job standing his man up and getting to the second level.  He’s a really good athlete considering his frame and it showed in this contest.  Not many centers at the collegiate level can snap the ball and pull as a lead blocker.  Brewster did this on the regular in this contest.  A really strong showing for Brewster as he solidifies himself as a second round prospect.

DeVier Posey, WR

Posey has to be kicking himself for not coming out in 2011.  He was a 2nd or 3rd round prospect in the 2011 NFL Draft but may have cost himself by staying in school.  After missing most of the season due to suspension(s) he has gotten lost in the shuffle of a fairly deep WR class in 2012.  Posey had a solid game in the Gator Bowl which included a nice TD reception that highlighted his ability to use his big frame to separate.  Posey has a nice frame but lacks top end speed and he can be inconsistent with his hands.  He will most likely be taken in the late third, early fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft.

Dan Herron, RB

This game really summed up Herron as an NFL prospect.  Herron has good vision to the hole but lacks the burst to break off big runs.  He is complimentary back in the NFL that can move the chains on occasion but won’t do anything to turn heads.  Because of his lack of elite skills he could probably be had in the late fourth, early fifth round of April’s draft.


Jaye Howard, DT

Howard is a guy that could develop into a nice NFL DT with some game experience and added pass rush moves.  He has plus athleticism for a big man and it was evident in this contest.  He showed it on a big sack on Braxton Miller when he jumped the snap count and blew through the line untouched.  Not many 300 pounders that can make that play.  Howard will have to get stronger at the point of attack and will most likely be a late bloomer but could offer solid value in late fourth, early fifth round.

Jeff Demps, RB

I have no idea where Jeff Demps will fit in terms of position in the NFL but his speed is incredible.  He could be used as a third down back in a Darren Sproles-type role.  This game really impressed me from Demps as he looked much stronger than I anticipated.  His ability to get to top end speed in a flash is rare and probably gets him drafted in the fifth or sixth round.

Chris Rainey, RB

Chris Rainey had a strong game as he took most of the touches out of the backfield.  He can be lined up in a bunch of positions on the field which could get him drafted.  He’s not an everydown back in the NFL and will likely have to find a role on special teams in order to make a team.  He did show impressive lower body strength as he broke several tackles by OSU defenders.  He’s a late round prospect that will need a strong showing in the pre-draft workouts.

John Brantley, QB

I usually don’t recap performances of guys I don’t have as draftable but most think Brantley is a late round prospect, so I’ll humor them with this one.  This game was a real struggle for Brantley and sums up why I don’t have him being drafted.  He has average arm strength, an elongated release, and spotty accuracy.  Combine that with his injury history and very average career numbers and you have the recipe for an UDFA.  Brantley missed high, low, and his natural release point is just above the hip.  It takes far too long for Brantley to get the ball out of hand and would be a major project and probably nothing more than a camp arm.

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