Nov 9, 2013; College Station, TX, USA; Texas A

Detroit Lions 2014 NFL Draft Prospects: December 31 Bowl Game Viewing Guide

The Detroit Lions 2014 NFL Draft Watch List gives you college football players to watch who could be on the Lions’ radar next spring.

The college bowl season rolls on with four more games today:

Independence Bowl: Arizona vs. Boston College – 12:30 p.m. (EST) – ESPN

Sun Bowl: UCLA vs. Virginia Tech – 2:00 p.m. (EST) – CBS

Liberty Bowl: Mississippi State vs. Rice – 4:00 p.m. (EST) – ESPN

Peach Bowl: Duke vs. Texas A&M – 8:00 p.m. (EST) – ESPN

We’ve previously highlighted Anthony Barr (#11), OLB – UCLA and Jake Matthews (#75), OT – Texas A&M.’

Here are two additional prospects to watch for in today’s bowl games:

Kyle Fuller (#17), CB – Virginia Tech

Fuller is one of my favorite cornerback prospects heading into the 2014 draft and unfortunately there’s a chance he may not play in Tuesday’s Sun Bowl due to injury. In spite of missing time this season due to various injuries, Fuller was named a second-team All-American by Walter Camp Foundation, and a first-team All-ACC selection by the coaches. He had 24 tackles, two interceptions and 10 breakups in eight games this season. What he lacks in terms of elite athletic ability and size (5-11, 189 lbs.), Fuller makes up for with instincts and toughness. He showcases good field vision with the ability to read a quarterback’s eyes and possesses nice route recognition skills. He’s also willing to come up in run support and is a fundamentally sound tackler, which is rare among cornerbacks. Considering his football intelligence and tackling ability, a move to free safety might be something to consider when evaluating Fuller. A thorough medical examination and how well he times at the combine will go a long way toward determining his draft status. As of now, I expect him to be a day two selection.

Mike Evans (#13), WR – Texas A&M

Named a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award, Evans was also a semifinalist for the Maxwell Award, the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award and named as a first-team All-American by the AP. After a strong 2012 where he finished with 82 receptions for 1105 and five touchdowns, Evans showcased his ability to be a threat downfield in 2013, with 65 receptions for 1,322 yards and 12 touchdowns. Possessing prototypical size (6-5, 225 lbs.), Evans lacks elite speed and relies on physical play and using his big body to shield defenders from the ball. He combines strong, reliable hands with an explosive vertical jump and body control to provide his quarterback with a huge catch radius. While he’ll struggle to create separation on deep routes, Evans’ height makes him a dangerous red zone or jump ball threat. He’s also extremely competitive, exhibiting strong blocking skills in the run game and a willingness to fight hard for yards after contact. Evans is likely a first round selection and will make for interesting discussions in the Lions’ personnel meetings in terms of whether or not he fits the profile of what they’re seeking at the receiver position.  The question will be – do they want  a bigger target in the mold of the receivers they currently have on the roster or  a speed threat who can stretch the field?

Tags: 2014 NFL Draft

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