Scouting The Holiday Bowl
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.
This year's Holiday Bowl features a couple of top prospects who scouts have known about all season, and also a few underrated ones, especially at the quarterback position. The high-powered offenses of Arizona State and Texas Tech will compete in a game which features a wide array of draftable talent.
Carl Bradford, OLB
Bradford has stated that he's waiting until after this game to decide whether or not he will enter the NFL Draft. He reminds me a lot of Clay Matthews and is the exact same type of player. He's big and strong and extremely fast around the edge. He compiled 8.5 sacks this season along with an interception, which he returned for a TD. He is a late 2nd/early 3rd round pick if he declares.
Chris Coyle, TE
Coyle is an All-Pac 12 first team selection who can play traditional tight end as well as fullback. He's an above average blocker in the run game as well as the pass. Though he won't break a long play for a TD very often, he does have great hands. He's one of the best all-around tight ends in this draft and I expect him to go in the 4th or 5th round.
Marion Grice, RB
All-Pac 12 second team selection, Grice is power runner with incredible receiving ability out of the backfield. Grice caught 50 passes and 6 TDs this season while rushing for 996 yards on 5.2 per carry and 14 TDs. He's a versatile three-down back who shouldn't make it out of the 3rd round.
Taylor Kelly, QB
Kelly is one of the most underrated passers in the nation, finishing the regular season with 3,510 yards and 28 TDs. He also rushed for 473 yards and 8 TDs. He stands in the pocket well and though he has an odd sidearm delivery, he gets the ball where it needs to be more times than not. Kelly can return to school for another season, but if he declares for the draft, he will be taken quietly in the later rounds.
Will Sutton, DT
Sutton won the Pac-12 Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year and is sure to be a 1st-round pick. He's a big, fast defensive tackle who has been impossible to block at times this season. He will be one of the first three interior defensive linemen taken in the draft.
Jace Amaro, TE
Amaro is a junior who has yet to declare for the draft, and I don't know what he's waiting for. With the exception of Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Amaro is the best tight end available. He can do everything in the blocking game and is lethal to a defense as a receiver. Going into this bowl game, he has 98 catches for 1,240 yards and 7 TDs. If he isn't selected in the 1st round, he is sure to be taken early in the 2nd.
Tre' Porter, FS
Porter is a good tackler with some upside. At the free safety position, he hasn't made as many plays in pass defense as you'd want in a draft pick. He has all the measurables and is more than capable of covering receivers; there's just not much overwhelming about him as a defender. He could be selected in the last round but is more likely to be signed as a free agent.
Eric Ward, WR
Ward is a second team All-Big 12 receiver, who was Texas Tech's second-leading receiver behind Amaro, with 80 catches for 904 yards and 8 TDs. In his two previous seasons, Ward caught 84 passes in 2011 and 82 passes in 2012. He's been very consistent in his route running and has reliable hands. He is a value pick in the later rounds.