Virginia Tech vs. Michigan; Sugar Bowl NFL Draft watch notes

If you're still on a high from the Jan. 2 bowl games, the Sugar Bowl is your only fix for today. It pits two middle of the road teams in Michigan and Virginia Tech (8:30 p.m., ESPN). The Wolverines are still recovering from the Rich Rodriguez disaster and the Hokies have rebounded strongly after a tough start to the season. Both schools are usually rich in NFL Draft prospects, and this year is no different.

Opinions vary on the how good Virginia Tech running back David Wilson will be in the NFL. There are questions about his ability to break tackles and his play between the hashes. It's true that Wilson isn't a traditional north-south runner, but the strength he added between his sophomore and junior seasons has helped. Wilson is one of the fastest running backs on the field in this year's class. He's a dangerous one-cut runner with the speed to be a threat every time he touches the ball. It's not Lamar Miller of Miami but Wilson who should be compared to Clinton Portis.

The offensive line in front of Wilson is a good one. Right guard Jaymes Brooks doesn't have the length or athleticism desired in a lineman, but he's a solid run blocker. Right tackle Blake DeChristopher was named the best blocker in the conference this season. He's had some injury issues in the past and struggles with speed rushers. He can hold his own, however, against a bull rush and is strong in the run game. He may get some looks at guard in the NFL.

He'll face plenty of power tonight against either senior Ryan Van Bergen or junior Craig Roh. Both are 3-4 end prospects because of their ability to anchor and play the inside gap. One of the hardest prospects to evaluate this season has been Michigan defensive tackle Mike Martin. He doesn't look quite as tall as his listed 6-foot-1, but that's not a big detriment for tackles. The former high school wrestler has great footwork and rarely gets beaten off the snap.

Tonight is expected to be the final game for Hokies cornerback Jayron Hosley. He never really got going this season after battling injuries. There are concerns about Hosley's size (listed at 5-foot-10, 172 pounds) and how he'll hold up in the NFL. He looks like a late second day pick and will need to specialize against smaller receivers at the next level.

Teams running the zone-blocking scheme that need a center will be higher than most on Michigan center David Molk. He's an agile center with quick feet. He doesn't have the strength to play in every system, but he gets by on quickness, leverage and smarts.

2013 NFL Draft watch: Because he's a big quarterback with some movement skills, Virginia Tech sophomore Logan Thomas is already garnering Ben Roethlisberger comparisons. Right now, Thomas isn't as far along as Roethlisberger was at this point in his life, though. Thomas needs at least another season to become a more accomplished passer.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.