Independence Bowl: NFL Draft Prospects

WR D.J. Hall (Doug Benc/Getty Images)

During Sunday night's Independence Bowl at 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN, Alabama and Colorado will provide you with a final look at their respective teams' 2008 NFL Draft prospects. Scout.com's Chris Steuber tells you all about them and provides his early draft round projections for each player.

No

Name

Pos

Hgt

Wt

Exp

Projection

1

Wallace Gilberry

DE

6-3

267

Sr.

2nd – 3rd Round

Notes: Gilberry is a gifted all around defender that defends the run and pressures the quarterback. He’s strong, athletic and possesses quick feet. He plays with leverage and uses his hands effectively to gain an advantage against the opposition. He led Alabama this season in sacks (9) and tackles for a loss (22).

2

D.J. Hall

WR

6-2

195

Sr.

2nd – 3rd Round

Notes: Hall has nice size and speed and is a huge vertical threat for an offense. He displays a great burst off the line and is able to beat the opposition with his variety of moves. A good route-runner who flashes sure hands, he immediately transitions from making the reception to running after the catch and displays good speed. He’s elusive running after the catch and following blocks down the field. He has excellent awareness and is fluid making the deep reception at full speed.

3

Simeon Castille

CB

6-1

193

Sr.

3rd Round

Notes: Castille is a good cover corner who has great size and athleticism. He’s a physical corner who defends the run well and isn’t afraid of contact. He has great body control going up against taller receivers and is able to box out his opponents in coverage. He’s an instinctive player that locates the ball well in the air.

4

Rashad Johnson

FS

6-0

187

Jr.

3rd Round

Notes: Johnson is a playmaking safety that always looks for the big play. He’s an extremely instinctive player that takes good angles in coverage. He has a good burst, is forceful at the line of scrimmage and defends the run well. He’s a young player that’s still learning and will only get better.

5

Antoine Caldwell

C

6-3

292

Jr.

3rd Round

Notes: Caldwell is an aggressive interior lineman that understands his assignments. He moves well laterally and holds his ground against bigger opponents. He uses his hands effectively and delivers a forceful punch. He’s quick off the snap and keeps his head on a swivel. Caldwell sent paperwork to the NFL inquiring about his potential draft status. He already received his degree, and returning for his senior season doesn’t make much sense.

6

John Parker Wilson

QB

6-2

213

Jr.

7th Round

Notes: Wilson is a hard working player that is a team leader. He has a strong arm, but he has to improve his accuracy. He has good mobility and makes plays on the run. He has good size and poise, but has to make better decisions.

7

Nick Walker

TE

6-5

255

Jr.

7th Round - UFA

Notes: Walker is a big, athletic tight end that’s still developing his game. He has good hands and average speed, but Alabama doesn’t use their tight ends much so Walker’s talents are not fully utilized.

8

Marcus Carter

SS

6-0

205

Sr.

UFA

Notes: Carter is a steady defender with limited speed and range. He has good size and positions himself well, but he’ll have to standout on special teams to make it at the next level.

9

Keith Brown

WR

6-3

194

Sr.

UFA

Notes: Brown is an athletic receiver that gets overshadowed by D.J. Hall. He has good, not great speed, but has soft hands and is reliable. He has nice size, but doesn’t stretch the field. He’ll get a look in an NFL training camp.

10

Matt Caddell

WR

6-0

187

Sr.

UFA

Notes: Caddell has promising ability, but is inconsistent. He has the ability to stretch the field, but lacks focus.

No

Name

Pos

Hgt

Wt

Exp

Projection

1

George Hypolite

DT

6-1

285

Jr.

3rd – 4th Round

Notes: Hypolite is a quick, strong interior D-Lineman with a lot of upside. He’s an undersized defender, but has a great motor. He moves well laterally and uses his hands to his advantage. He plays with leverage and is able to get underneath of the opposition and explode in the backfield. He recorded six sacks this season for Colorado. Hypolite filled out the required paperwork for the draft advisory board, but stated that it’s unlikely he’ll declare for the draft.

2

Jordan Dizon

OLB

6-0

220

Sr.

3rd – 4th Round

Notes: Dizon is an instinctive defender that makes plays all over the field. He’s a tackling machine that plays with aggression. He’s quick to the point of attack and explodes through the opposition. He drops well into coverage and creates turnovers. He lacks ideal size, but plays with passion. Dizon recorded 160 tackles, four sacks and two interceptions this season.

3

Terrence Wheatley

CB

5-10

185

Sr.

3rd – 4th Round

Notes: Wheatley is a consistent corner who has big play ability. He's been one of Colorado's most productive defenders, collecting ten interceptions over the last two seasons. He's an instinctive player with shutdown ability and plays the game with a lot of aggression and finesse. He backpedals nicely off the line, defends the opponent out of their breaks and has a great burst to the ball. He has good hands and is always around the action. He makes great adjustments to the ball and competes for turnovers.

4

Tyson DeVree

TE

6-5

245

Sr.

7th Round

Notes: DeVree is a quality redzone option that has sure hands. He’s a good blocker and uses his frame to shield defenders. He has good agility and moves well laterally in the flat to provide his QB with an open target.

5

Tyler Polumbus

OT

6-8

300

Sr.

UFA

Notes: Polumbus is a big tackle that has ability. He has great size, but lacks bulk. He has to get stronger and increase his mobility. He doesn’t move well laterally.

6

Hugh Charles

RB

5-8

190

Sr.

UFA

Notes: Charles is a duel threat at the running back position. He can run between the tackles, bounce around the end, and be a quality receiver out of the backfield. He doesn’t have elite speed, and at his size that will hurt him at the next level.


A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber has provided his analysis of the NFL and NFL Draft prospects on the web and on the radio since 1999.

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