Fiesta Bowl: NFL Draft Prospects
RB Steve Slaton (Andy Lyons/Getty)
RB Steve Slaton (Andy Lyons/Getty)
NFL Draft Analyst, Scout.com
Posted Jan 2, 2008


West Virginia and Oklahoma will battle in this year's Fiesta Bowl game at 8:00 p.m. (ET) on FOX. Scout.com's Chris Steuber shares his insight on the talented players from these two teams who are being evaluated by NFL scouts for the 2008 NFL Draft.

No

Name

Pos

Hgt

Wt

Exp

Projection

1

Steve Slaton

RB

5-10

190

Jr.

1st – 2nd Round

Notes: Slaton is a dynamic running back that can change the pace of a game. He displays excellent vision and is able to run between the tackles. He’s explosive around the end and has outstanding cut back ability. He’s a patient runner that allows blockers to set up in front of him and is able to hit the seam quickly. Slaton is also a tremendous receiver. He’s a threat out of the backfield catching screen passes in the flat or running a post pattern; whenever he touches the ball, great things tend to happen. It’ll be interesting to see what Slaton decides to do. He has game breaking ability, and that will attract many teams, but he isn’t an every down back, and that hurts his draft stock.

2

Owen Schmitt

FB

6-3

260

Sr.

3rd – 4th Round

Notes: Schmitt is an intelligent, hard working player who displays versatility on offense. He’s a strong, physical player that plays with great pad level and squares up nicely against the opposition. He has excellent ball skills and is a threat running and receiving the ball, as well as clearing the way for a lead back. He has great instincts and is always involved in a play. Schmitt’s future at the next level may be at tight end. He has the size, skill, and blocking technique to emerge as a tremendous weapon over the middle. He makes tough receptions and is physically gifted.

3

Patrick White

QB

6-2

185

Jr.

3rd – 4th Round

Notes: White is an outstanding athlete that has a bright future. He has tremendous vision and makes a lot of plays with his feet. He’s an elusive runner that’s patient and allows his blockers to set up in front of him and hits the hole with great quickness. He’s an accurate passer that’s efficient throwing the ball, but doesn’t take many chances through the air. He has a strong arm and is able to buy time for his receivers with his scrambling ability. White is an underclassman and would benefit by staying in school for his senior season. His future in the NFL is as a wide receiver. He’s got great size, quickness, and promising hands to emerge as a receiving threat.

4

Darius Reynaud

WR

5-10

200

Sr.

4th Round

Notes: Reynaud is a quick, sure handed possession receiver that makes big plays. He’s a consistent pass catcher who displays soft hands catching the ball away from his body. He gets a quick release off the line, drives defenders back and comes back to the ball. He uses his frame to shield defenders away and adjusts well to errant passes. He runs strong, physical routes and never gives up on a play. He’s an excellent downfield blocker who gets his hands dirty. He’s a productive return man on special teams and is elusive in the open field. Reynaud is a threat anytime he’s on the field; whether he’s lined up on offense or returning kicks on special teams, he has the unique ability to contribute on all levels.

5

Eric Wicks

SS

6-1

205

Sr.

4th Round

Notes: Wicks is a physical defender who makes plays all over the field. He’s strong at the point of attack and tracks down the opposition with his lateral quickness. He displays a solid burst of closing speed and takes good angles in defense. He’s solid in coverage and possesses great ball skills. He has good range and makes plays sideline-to-sideline. He has to get stronger and work on his tackling technique, but he has great awareness and is improving. Wicks is a skilled defender that is better suited to play free safety at the next level.

6

Johnny Dingle

DE

6-3

270

Sr.

4th – 5th Round

Notes: Dingle is a physical defensive end that makes a lot of plays in the backfield. He’s quick off the edge and uses his strength to his advantage. He defends the run well and has developed his pass rushing ability. He led the Mountaineers in tackles for a loss with 18, and tied for the team lead in sacks with eight. The former University of Florida transfer has really elevated his draft value and will only receive more attention with a big game against Oklahoma.

7

Keilen Dykes

DT

6-5

295

Sr.

5th Round

Notes: Dykes is an athletic, versatile lineman who can play inside or outside. He’s quick off the line, plays with leverage, and delivers a vicious initial punch against the opposition. He uses his hands effectively and is able to get underneath his opponent. He’s an instinctive player who reads the action well. He has a good motor and is relentless on defense. Dykes is a promising prospect that adds value to a defensive line.

8

Ryan Mundy

FS

6-1

205

Sr.

6th Round

Notes: Mundy is a strong defender who plays with excellent awareness. He has a lot of range in the secondary and plays well in coverage. He takes good angles and displays outstanding ball skills. He has good timing and adjusts well to errant throws. He has a solid burst and great instincts. He’s an aggressive player that will fill a gap and is strong in run defense. Mundy is a Michigan graduate who transferred to West Virginia as a fifth-year senior after he suffered an injury.

9

Marc Magro

OLB

6-3

240

Sr.

6th – 7th Round

Notes: Magro is an experienced defender that provides versatility to a defense. He’s an aggressive player that plays with passion and instincts. He’s strong against the run and displays good quickness to get into the backfield and make plays. He finished the regular season tied for the team lead in sacks with eight.

10

Antonio Lewis

CB

5-10

185

Sr.

7th Round

Notes: Lewis is a good cover corner with playmaking ability. He’s physical and doesn’t shy away from contact. He’s a willing defender against the run and displays toughness. He has good speed and transitions well in coverage. He finished the regular season tied with the team lead in interceptions with three.

11

Vaughn Rivers

CB

5-9

170

Sr.

UFA

Notes: Rivers is an undersized defender that plays a key role on special teams as a return specialist.

No

Name

Pos

Hgt

Wt

Exp

Projection

1

Malcolm Kelly

WR

6-4

219

Jr.

1st Round

Notes: Kelly is a big, physical vertical threat that possesses game breaking ability when the ball is in his hands. He gets a quick release off the line, uses his frame to his advantage and has the ability to make acrobatic receptions with his tremendous athleticism. He has to run smoother routes, but he’s quick in and out of his cuts. He has good hand eye coordination and demonstrates that as he looks the pass into his hands and rarely allows the pass into his body. He’s elusive in the open field after the catch and is a threat to score every time the ball is in his hands.

2

Reggie Smith

CB

6-0

196

Jr.

1st Round

Notes: Smith is an outstanding athlete that covers a lot of ground in the secondary. He’s a versatile defender that can play corner or safety at the next level. He’s an athletic centerfielder with tremendous ball skills. He displays great awareness in coverage and plays physical against bigger receivers. He defends the run very well and takes good angles in pursuit. He diagnoses the action instantly and possesses a good sense of timing.

3

Nic Harris

FS

6-3

232

Jr.

1st – 2nd Round

Notes: Harris is a big-time safety that has the skills to play in coverage or in the box and defend the run. He has great awareness and positions himself well to make plays. He has great ball skills and rolls over to coverage well. He immediately recognizes the action and delivers punishing hits on the opposition. He possesses a great burst of speed, moves well laterally and can lay sideline-to-sideline. He’s a disciplined defender that rarely gets caught out of position.

4

George Robinson

OG

6-5

352

Jr.

2nd Round

Notes: Robinson is a massive interior lineman that dominates the action in the trenches. He’s quick off the snap, delivers a devastating initial punch and uses his strength to over power the opposition. He has good footwork for a man of his size, and moves well laterally. He shows the ability to take on two defenders and hold his ground. He has great technique, bends his knees, squares up the opposition, and is patient protecting at the line. He has good athleticism and is able to get to the second level.

5

Allen Patrick

RB

6-1

196

Sr.

3rd Round

Notes: Patrick is an explosive running back that displays toughness running inside and elusiveness running around the end. He has quick feet and a great burst through the line. He’s most effective as a situational back who can cause problems for defenses with his track speed. He’s a patient runner that has great vision and gets through a seam in a flash. He runs with a lot of finesse and makes defenders miss.

6

Phil Loadholt

OT

6-8

352

Jr.

3rd Round

Notes: Loadholt is a huge, monstrous tackle that can shield the opposition away with ease. He stays square to the opposition, has good technique and uses his brute strength to his advantage to knock defenders off their rush. He’s a strong run blocker that drives the opposition off the line and doesn’t finish his blocks until the whistle blows. He moves well laterally for a man of his size and has developed his game in pass protection, but struggles against speedy defenders who play with leverage around the end. Loadholt is a long shot to enter the draft, but his size and skill alone will attract a lot of teams.

7

Curtis Lofton

OLB

6-0

238

Jr.

3rd Round

Notes: Lofton has emerged as a sure tackler who has playmaking potential. He immediately reads the action, takes good angles in pursuit and wraps up the opposition. He plays with a high motor and positions himself well to make a play. He gets lost in the shuffle on occasion and has to get off blocks better. He drops well in coverage and has good ball skills. Lofton is playing middle linebacker for the Sooners, and projects as a weakside linebacker at the next level.

8

Juaquin Iglesias

WR

6-0

202

Jr.

4th Round

Notes: Iglesias is a reliable receiver with a knack for the big play. He has a great understanding of an offense and plays the game with a lot of focus. He’s quick off the line and runs solid routes. He’s a consistent target over the middle that a quarterback can rely on, and he has the quickness to get downfield for a big gain. He’s a hard worker that gets defenders to play off of him, drives them back, and comes back to the ball and flashes soft hands. He’s a physical receiver that makes tough catches in traffic and doesn’t shy away from contact.

9

D.J. Wolfe

SS

5-11

201

Sr.

4th Round

Notes: Wolfe is a versatile defender that shows consistency in coverage and against the run. He has excellent ball skills and is a playmaker in the secondary. He has good awareness and takes good angles in coverage. He’s an instinctive, physical player that defends well against the run. He has good closing speed and positions himself well amongst the action. Wolfe is an intriguing prospect that can be a nickel back or a safety on defense.

10

Marcus Walker

CB

5-10

197

Sr.

4th – 5th Round

Notes: Walker is a good cover corner that has great awareness. He’s smooth backpedaling off the line, is fluid turning his hips, and doesn’t lose momentum in transition. He has good closing speed and gets in position to make a play on the ball. He’s not afraid to mix it up against the run, but isn’t the most physical player. He has to improve his toughness. He understands his position and plays well in a team concept. Walker is a nice player, but isn’t an elite defender.

11

Joe Jon Finley

TE

6-6

261

Sr.

5th Round

Notes: Finley is an athletic tight end that is a good receiver, but has great ability as a blocker. He has great size and is physically gifted. He’s quick off the snap, squares up against the opposition, and is able to hold his own against bigger defenders. He uses his hands well in protection and plays with leverage. He gets a quick release off the line and finds holes within a defense. He has soft hands and is a good option in an offense. Finley isn’t a game breaker and is rarely used to his full potential as a receiver in the Sooners offense.

12

Lendy Holmes

CB

6-0

193

Jr.

6th Round

Notes: Holmes is a versatile cornerback that adds value to a defense. He has great size and speed and is a physical defender. He’s an instinctive player that makes good decisions in coverage and is quick to the action. He tracks down the deep ball and plays strong in the slot. He plays well against the run and isn’t afraid to mix it up inside. Holmes will stay in school for his senior season, and allow other top defensive backs on the Oklahoma roster pursue their professional futures early.

13

Darien Williams

FS

5-10

197

Sr.

UFA

Notes: Williams is a complementary defender who’s best served as a backup or on special teams.

14

Alonzo Dotson

DE

6-4

251

Sr.

UFA

Notes: Dotson is a backup defensive end that shows good instincts and pass rushing ability.

15

Steven Coleman

DT

6-4

306

Sr.

UFA

Notes: Coleman is a fringe interior lineman that lacks mobility.


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.



Related Stories
2008 NFL Draft Spotlight: West Virginia
 -by ScoutNFLNetwork.com  Dec 1, 2007
2008 NFL Draft Team Spotlight: Oklahoma
 -by ScoutNFLNetwork.com  Nov 12, 2007
Head 2 Head Analysis: Week 6
 -by ScoutNFLNetwork.com  Oct 8, 2007

PREMIUM SUBSCRIPTION INCLUDES
> Members-only Forums
> Insider Information
> Free Agency &
   Draft News
> Expert Chats

Sign Up Today!

Free Email Newsletter
Don't miss any news or features from ScoutNFLNetwork.com. Subscribe to our newsletter to have our newest articles emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis.
Click here for a list of all Team Newsletters.

Add Players to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite players. Click name to add to My HotList.
S Nic Harris (profile)
RB Steve Slaton (profile)
S Reggie Smith (profile)
[View My HotList]