Thursday prospect primer

With a full slate of bowl games today, the National Football Post highlights some of the top prospects in each and breaks down which players are worth a look as we move closer toward draft season.

Armed Forces Bowl
Houston vs. Air Force
Today, noon EST, ESPN

Prospects worth keeping an eye on:

TE Fendi Onobun, Houston (6-6, 249)
A former collegiate basketball player with a load of athletic upside. Has been a bit slow to adjust to the gridiron, but the skill set is there to make for an interesting developmental guy.

QB Case Keenum, Houston (6-2, 210)
All indications are pointing to Keenum returning to school for his senior year, but he’s an accurate passer who’s been super productive and could build some positive momentum going into next year with another strong performance today.

Sun Bowl
Stanford vs. Oklahoma
Today, 2 p.m. EST, CBS

Prospects worth keeping an eye on:

RB Toby Gerhart, Stanford (6-1, 235)
A physical, no-nonsense runner who showcases impressive instincts and better than anticipated short-area quickness at the line of scrimmage. He’s too talented not find a niche in the NFL.

OT Chris Marinelli, Stanford (6-7, 305)
Isn’t the most physical or athletic of offensive tackle prospects, but he’s the definition of a Velcro player in the run game and simply finds a way to get the job done.

DT Ekom Udofia, Stanford (6-2, 315)
A thickly built lineman who displays flashes of NFL-type play, but he’s too inconsistent holding the point of attack to be looked at as a potential starting-caliber nose tackle at this stage.

OT Trent Williams, Oklahoma (6-5, 318)
An overrated tackle prospect who looks to be a right-side player only in the NFL.

DT Gerald McCoy, Oklahoma (6-4, 298)
Possesses an impressive combination of power, explosion and body control off the snap, and looks like an impact-type interior lineman in the NFL. Will not last long on draft day.

CB Brian Jackson, Oklahoma (6-1, 200)
A tall, long-armed defender who displays an ability to press off the line and reroute receivers. He isn’t the most gifted of athletes, but he should be able to find a role as a sub-package press corner in the NFL.

Texas Bowl
Missouri vs. Navy
Today, 3:30 p.m. EST, ESPN

Prospects worth keeping an eye on:

OLB Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri (6-1, 245)
An explosive run-and-hit linebacker who can make plays in pursuit. However, he’s not a real physical tackler and isn’t nearly as fluid in coverage as his frame would indicate. Isn’t the type of prospect he’s being hyped up to be.

WR Danario Alexander, Missouri (6-4, 215)
A big, long-armed target who’s been one of the most productive receivers in the nation in 2009. However, he isn’t real shifty off the line and struggles to beat press coverage on the outside. Looks more like a big slot guy in the NFL who needs a free release in order to be successful.

Insight Bowl
Minnesota vs. Iowa State
Tonight, 6 p.m. EST, NFL Network

Prospects worth keeping an eye on:

FS James Smith, Iowa State (5-9, 191)
In my opinion, Smith rates as Iowa State’s best prospect. He plays with a chip on his shoulder, can tackle in space and showcases impressive range vs. the pass. He’s undersized and at times plays too out of control for his own good, but the guy is constantly around the football.

QB Adam Weber, Minnesota (6-3, 218)
An intriguing junior signal caller who showcases good athletic ability for the position and has a chance to develop into a legitimate draftable prospect with the NFL-type coaching he’s receiving at Minnesota.

Chick-fil-A Bowl
Virginia Tech vs. Tennessee
Tonight, 7:30 p.m. EST, ESPN

Prospects worth keeping an eye on:

DT Dan Williams, Tennessee (6-2, 327)
A powerful interior force who can overwhelm opposing linemen on contact and consistently push the pocket. Looks like an eventual starting-caliber defensive tackle at the next level.

RB Montario Hardesty, Tennessee (6-0, 215)
Runs with bad intentions inside and isn’t the kind of guy you want to bet against in the NFL. He’ll find a way to produce.

S Eric Berry, Tennessee (5-11, 203)
Has all the physical tools needed to warrant a high selection in the upcoming NFL draft. However, it’s his instincts and anticipation skills in the secondary that make him the elite safety prospect he is.

OL Chris Scott, Tennessee (6-4, 346)
A powerful offensive line prospect who possesses good footwork and coordination in space. Lacks the range to play on the blind side at the next level but has the ability to carve out a niche as a starting right tackle or guard.

OG Sergio Render, Virginia Tech (6-3, 313)
One of the nation’s more underrated offensive guard prospects. Plays with a low base, can create a push off the snap in the run game and is surprisingly athletic for his size. Looks capable of developing into a starter down the line.

DE/OLB Jason Worilds, Virginia Tech (6-2, 252)
An explosive pass rusher who showcased more of a physical element to his game off the edge this season. However, he still looks more like a 3-4-rush linebacker at the next level.

SS Kam Chancellor, Virginia Tech (6-3, 230)
A big, physically strapping safety who possesses some intriguing straight-line speed but struggles to redirect and will likely have a tough time holding up vs. the pass game in an NFL secondary.

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