Today's Alamo Bowl pits two prominent teams against each other when Texas faces Oregon. Both schools have a load of prospects in today's NFL and there are a couple of big-time prospects in today's game.
Oregon has the best player in the game and he plays cornerback. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu is one of the nation's top cornerbacks and is viewed by many as a first-round pick. The fun thing to watch this year about the cornerbacks is that despite the trend to moving towards big, physical cornerbacks some of the best cornerback prospects this year are undersized -- like Ekpre-Olomu and TCU's Jason Vereet. Ekpre-Olomu has terrific movement skills and plays physical football. He'll be a name to watch as he 's a potential top 20 pick.
The other big-time prospect is redshirt sophomore Marcus Mariota, but he has stated he'll return to college (despite seeking out a draft grade from the advisory board). He has been discussed as a potential top five pick because of his dynamic abilities.
The Ducks have a good wide receiver in Josh Huff. Huff lacks ideal size, but is tough and can make plays all over the field. He attacks the ball well in the air and is a nice prospect. Workouts will be important for him because of his lack of size.
Linebacker Boseko Lokombo is a terrific athlete, but he has modest production he could be drafted about the fourth round because of his length and athleticism.
De'Anthony Thomas has elite NFL burst, but he's tiny. He's under a 170 pounds when a team drafts him they hope they are getting at the very least Trindon Holliday as a return man, but maybe a Danny Woodhead/Darren Sproles type weapon out of the backfield. He's just so small. Sproles though came into the league at nearly 190 pounds. Woodhead is built differently, too. Thomas is wiry, but dynamic. Some team will take him, and possibly even on day two if they think he can make an impact to the offense. We have seen players of his likeness (Tavon Austin/LaMichael James recently), but he'll have to show he's strong enough to handle the NFL.
Oregon safeties Avery Patterson and Brian Jackson are both day three prospects who are developmental starter types. Patterson is intriguing to me specifically because he went from cornerback to safety and has plus coverage skills.
Texas Longhorns best draft eligible player is DE/OLB Jackson Jeffcoat. Jeffcoat was getting publicity before a torn pectoral muscle ended his season. He had a big productive year this year and has the length teams look for in defensive ends. He looks like a day two pick right now, especially if he showcases enough athleticism in the workout process.
Mike Davis is a big body receiver (6-2, 205 pounds) with enough speed and solid hands. He's a reliable option going across the middle and runs good routes. Davis looks like a potential low-end No. 1 or reliable No. 2 wide receiver at the next level. A potential day two pick.
Carrington Byndom is an intriguing player people were hoping would take the next step in his development and be a potential first round pick, but he didn't take that step. He has the size/athletic ability/ball skills you look for in a starting NFL cornerback, though he's not the most physical player. He was outshined by his teammate Quandre Diggs who did a little bit of what Kenny Vaccaro did last year for the Longhorn as a safety/CB combo guy, but not to the same level. He doesn't turn his hips and run like Vaccaro did nor does he have as much size. A player who should find a role in the NFL. Late day two-early day three pick is what he looks like right now.
A few more players to monitor. Guard Trey Hopkins has future NFL starter written all over him. He looks like a guard only at 6-4, 300 pounds, but can move well and is powerful for his size. Kicker Anthony Fear had one of the best years in the nation.
Game Time: 6:45 p.m. ET