NFL Draft Prospect Watch: Tostitos Fiesta Bowl


Tostitos Fiesta BowlOregon vs. Kansas State (ESPN, Jan. 3, 8:30 p.m.)
This should be an scoring bonanza, with both teams showcasing offensive superstars like Oregon RBWR De'Anthony Thomas and Kansas State's quarterback Collin Klein.
However, don't be fooled by all the flash on that side of the ball. Both squads also have talented defensive players whose names you'll be hearing early in the 2013 draft.
Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State, No. 4As much as I root for my fellow James Madison University alum Akeem Jordan, I know in my heart the Eagles can do better at outside linebacker.
Brown is Bryce Brown's older brother, and like his sibling, was a much ballyhooed recruit out of high school. He originally signed with Miami, but again, like his brother, struggled. After two seasons (2008-2009), he transferred to K-State in 2010, sitting out that season. In 2011, Brown was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and displayed the speed and instincts that made him such a highly sought after prep star. His success continued in 2012, as he was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and to the FWAA All-American First Team. Brown's size (6-1228) is a bit of a concern, but the Eagles like speed at LB, and Brown has that. He'll be playing in the Senior Bowl, so he has a chance to show what he can do against the best college football has to offer.
I don't see Brown as a first-round pick in 2013, mainly because of his size, but he'll be off the board somewhere in the second round. If he slips to the top of the third, the Eagles should be jumping for joy.
WATCH: Brown vs. Texas Tech 2012
Dion Jordan, DELB, Oregon, No. 96Jordan exploded onto the scene in 2011, recording 7.5 sacks as a hybrid DELB for the Ducks. The tall (6-7240) and rangy redshirt senior came to Eugene out of high school in 2008 as a highly sought after tight end prospect. He switched to defense in the spring of 2010.
The first thing that you notice about Jordan is his speed. He covers so much ground so fast, and with his long arms, he's hard to get away from if you're a QB. His versatility is outstanding as well, as he's used as a defensive end, rush linebacker and even in coverage. He's thin as a rail right now, but with an NFL weight program he's going to be even tougher to block.
The player I compare him to right now is DeMarcus Ware, with the size, reach, ability to get up the field and the balance to turn the corner that NFL teams covet. Based on his usage in college, Jordan would probably be best suited to play in a 3-4 scheme. But as I like to point out, Denver turned Von Miller into a pretty terrific 4-3 OLB, and I'm sure a creative defensive coordinator could have a field day figuring out what to do with this talented Duck.
WATCH: Jordan's 2012 highlights
Also of interest:
Kyle Long, OL, Oregon, No. 74The son of NFL legend Howie Long and brother of Rams defensive end Chris Long, Kyle has taken a circuitous route to Eugene. A once promising baseball player at Florida State (a left-handed pitcher), Kyle (6-7312) partied away his career as a Seminole, getting arrested for a DUI in 2009. After a stint at a junior college, Long arrived at Oregon in 2012 with one year of eligibility.
Long has been playing inside at offensive guard for the Ducks, but given his size and athletic ability, Long could make the move outside to OT. While he doesn't have a ton of tape, his bloodlines, athletic ability and size should get him drafted in the middle rounds.
Jared Sherman has been providing with draft analysis since 2000. E-mail him at and follow him on Twitter @Phillyjared.

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