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Scouting The Fiesta Bowl

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Not only does Blake Bortles have excellent passing mechanics and pinpoint accuracy, he can run for first downs too. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images.
Not only does Blake Bortles have excellent passing mechanics and pinpoint accuracy, he can run for first downs too. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images.

In one of the best matchups of the bowl season, Central Florida takes on Baylor in a  game that most definitely will live up to its name in fiesta fashion: big plays, a lot of points and a trick play or two. This Fiesta Bowl party features seven flashy prospects, three of whom could be first-round draft choices.

BAYLOR

Ahmad Dixon, SS

Dixon is a strong, physical safety who loves to make the big hit. He's a good tackler and can play in a variety of defensive schemes. He plays the run well with the linebackers and has very good speed in chasing down receivers. One of the best safety prospects available, Dixon is a late 2nd/early 3rd round pick.

Tevin Reese, WR

Reese is a small speedster who will be a slot receiver at the next level. He has the speed to run the best 40 time at the Combine. He missed the last five games of the season following wrist surgery but should be back for the Fiesta Bowl. He was averaging 25 yards per catch this season with 8 TDs in seven games. He's a playmaker and will be a valuable toy for an NFL QB. Look for him to go in the 4th round.

Cyril Richardson, G

At 6-foot-5, 340 pounds, Richardson is mammoth. He has been a force on the Baylor offensive line for four seasons and has been selected to every All-America first team. Not only is he strong as an ox, Richardson has quick feet and moves surprisingly well along the line. Some scouts are calling him overrated but he is definitely worthy of a late first-round pick.

Lache Seastrunk, RB

Seastrunk is one of the most exciting running backs in the nation. With incredible stop-start speed, great vision and a quick first step, Seastrunk has proven to be a one-cut, sprinting running back. He averaged 7.5 yards per carry this season after averaging 7.7 per carry last season. He's a natural runner with the raw ability to find holes and hit them quickly. The two things that concern me about Seastrunk are his lack of receptions (0 this season) and his inconsistent blocking. He may not be a three-down back in the NFL but he is a natural runner and will warrant at least 15 carries a game.

UCF

Blake Bortles, QB

Bortles may be the second best QB in the draft. After seeing him play this season, I'm sold. He does everything right at the position in impressive fashion. His mechanics and footwork are above average for a second-year starter. He shows off a big arm and has fit balls into small windows all season. With a 68.1 completion percentage and 9.35 yards per pass attempt, it's evident that Bortles is efficient and very accurate. There's no reason why he won't be selected in the first round and even, possibly, in the first 15 overall picks.

Storm Johnson, RB

Johnson is a three-down back who can block well, catch out of the backfield, and fall forward for a positive gain on most stuffed plays. He is built well (6-0, 215) and is a north-south downhill runner. He runs effectively between the tackles but he also has enough speed to beat defenders on the outside. His problem has been holding onto the ball, fumbling twice against South Florida this season. He's a talented, complete back who deserves a pick on the last day of the draft.