Holiday Bowl 2013, Arizona State vs. Texas Tech: NFL Draft prospect watch

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Players to watch in tonight's Holiday Bowl.

The best player in the Holiday Bowl between Arizona State and Texas Tech on Monday night will be Will Sutton of Arizona State, who is a potential first-round pick, and looks like a top 64 lock at the moment. He had a terrific 2012, but didn't have the same production this year. Sutton is a talented player who can create havoc in the backfield as a pass rusher.

The Sun Devils have another promising defender in defensive end/linebacker Carl Bradford. Bradford is Mr. Hustle, he goes hard every play and plays a "joker" role for Arizona State. Bradford made a lot of plays behind the line of scrimmage this year (18 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks). He's not a dynamic athlete and he doesn't have tremendous length so finding the right position for Bradford at the NFL level could be tough. He might actually be best used as a run stopping middle linebacker because of his plus instincts and ability to shed blockers, though he'd be a liability in pass protection. A good player who might not have a position in the NFL.

Running back Marion Grice is a borderline top 10 running back in this draft class because he has the ability do pass protect as well as catch the ball out of the backfield. He has decent size, though he doesn't have a class powerful lower frame like other guys built at 6-feet, 200 pounds. He's a solid guy who looks like he should always be a reliable contributor to a team, but perhaps never a star or even starter.

Strong safety Albon Darby should be drafted on day three.

For Texas Tech, the player of most interest is tight end Jace Amaro. Amaro has burst onto the scene in 2013 and is now vying to be the first tight end selected in the class and possibly in the top 20. For Giants' fans clamoring for an explosive tight end to add to the offense, pay special attention to Amaro. He is listed 6-5, 260 pounds and has soft hands. He plays the slot wide receiver position for the Red Raiders, but has done an excellent job creating separation and being a matchup nightmare all over the field. He has the frame to eventually be a terrific blocker in the NFL, but he definitely needs to be coached up in technique and add some more functional strength. Amaro could be the matchup nightmare at tight end the Giants are missing and a terrific pre-draft workout could land him in the top 15 conversation.

Wide receiver Eric Ward has put up tremendous numbers but how much of that is due to the offensive style? He lacks ideal NFL tools and measurables, but he has solid size (6-feet, 200 pounds) and has been productive. He'll get a look and tryout from someone at the very least.

Game Details

Game Time: 10:15 p.m. ET


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