As kickoff Thursday rolls along late into the evening, a few NFL Draft prospects in Provo, Utah will be hitting the field, putting a night cap on kickoff Thursday.
Washington State heads to BYU in a game that may not excite many but does provide a look at a few worthy NFL Draft prospects. For starters, all eyes wil be on Washington State wide receiver Marquess Wilson. The 6-foot-4-inch Wilson is a burner down the field, but questions still linger about his ability to attack the middle of the field. Meanwhile, his quarterback Jeff Tuel, who was injured for most of 2011, is worth watching as he cracked the Senior Bowl watch list.
BYU doesn't have a player the caliber of Wilson, but offensive lineman Braden Hansen could make some noise next April and is worth keeping an eye on. If we're lucky, we'll get to see him matched up against Washington State defensive lineman Travis Long.
Prospects to watch, matchup of the night and question of the night all coming up after the jump.
Washington State at BYU: 10:15 p.m. eastern time on ESPN
Washington State 2013 NFL Draft Prospects
#86 - Marquess Wilson, WR - 6'4'', 185 pounds (Junior)
#10 - Jeff Tuel, QB - 6'3'', 220 pounds (Senior)
#89 - Travis Long, DE/OLB - 6'4'', 245 pounds (Senior)
BYU 2013 NFL Draft Prospects
#76 - Braden Hansen, OL - 6'6'', 307 pounds (Senior)
Matchup of the Night
BYU OL Braden Hansen vs. Wash. State DE Travis Long
It's tough to say where each of these guys will line up on Thursday night, as they are both versatile prospects who could fill a number of positions for their teams. Braden Hansen has mostly spent time at guard, but given his length could make a quality tackle. Meanwhile, Travis Long moves all over. BYU would be wise to match their top lineman with the most dangerous pass rusher on the opposing defense.
Question of the Night
How does Jeff Tuel look coming off injury, and will Marquess Wilson be willing to go over the middle of the field?
Jeff Tuel had a promising start to his career at Washington State, but injuries have slowed his progress recently. He has one of the best wide receivers in the country at his disposal, so it will be interesting to see how he rebounds in his senior season. Marquess Wilson, meanwhile, needs to prove that he can be a reliable target over the middle to be worth a pick in the top half of the first round. In his junior season he was far too skinny and thus lacked the physicality and willingness to make plays in the middle of the field. Let's see if he's improved in that area.