Scouting The Military Bowl
By Bill Lund
As part of Football.com's coverage of all 35 bowl games, we will provide a draft prospect-primer, so you know whom to watch during every postseason game.
The Military Bowl features a regional matchup between Maryland and Marshall, both back on the bowl scene after lackluster 2012 seasons. Each team slowly has improved its talent pool, and each will feature a few players worthy of draft consideration. In Maryland’s case, its best pro prospect, Stephon Diggs, has 1st day draft potential, but is out with a leg injury.
Marcus Whitfield, DE/OLB
An edge player who can rush the passer, Whitfield is tweener who likely will be best suited as an outside linebacker at the next level. Whitfield shows a good first step at the snap but could use work on his hands skills and escapes as a pass rusher. He has a good punch but can get pushed out by bigger blockers. He shows ability in space, picking up threats in zone coverage. Overall, he's a solid prospect who could be a mid- to late-round selection.
C.J. Brown, QB
Brown’s development in 2011 was a big reason All-ACC freshman Danny O’Brien transferred to Wisconsin. Brown has dealt with a multitude of injuries since then and even missed the 2012 season. He did petition successfully to have two years of eligibility remaining (through 2014). Brown has a strong arm and can throw deep with good accuracy. He also has some ability to run when healthy. Brown is scratching surface on his potential and when healthy shows NFL abilities.
Gator Hoskins, TE/FB
Hoskins led the Herd in TD receptions in 2012 with 10. He's a versatile player who can be utilized as an H back or a fullback lead blocking in a two-back offense. Hoskins has good speed to create mismatches with linebackers and tremendous hands, making him a great red zone target. Hoskins could be a mid-round selection by May.
Garrett Scott, OT
Scott has been a starter since his sophomore year, but his talent hasn’t translated into consistent play until this season. Big and athletic, Scott shows good feet and balance in pass pro. Scott will draw red flags with his consistency from previous seasons, but a good showing in his last game plus the physical abilities that could impress scout may make him a sleeper pick.
Devin Smith, WR/KR
Smith, a transfer from Penn State, is a dangerous receiver in the open field. Smith averaged 17.6 yards on 34 receptions this season and was dangerous as a returner averaging over 15 yards a return with 1 TD. Smith has world-class speed, running a 10.4 100-meter dash during high school in Maryland. His elite speed and return ability will merit draft consideration by NFL teams.