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NFL Draft Conference USA prospect preview

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Conference USA might not have a lot of top prospects this year, but those there have plenty of upside. Houston quarterback Case Keenum is a polarizing prospect. Is he another Drew Brees or Graham Harrell?

No player in the conference has as much potential as junior Southern Mississippi wide receiver DeAndre Brown. However, he's had plenty of injury issues and was recently arrested at a party. When he's healthy, Brown is by far the best prospect in the conference.

Here's a look at the best NFL Draft prospects from Conference USA:

Case Keenum | 6'1, 210 pounds | QB | Houston
Kennum shows excellent accuracy, completing 68 percent of his passes in three seasons. He's a good rhythm thrower and does a great job picking apart underneath areas. His release is quick and compact. Keenum has been wildly productive playing in a gimmick offense which hides his below-average arm and shuts down a portion of the field. Shows good agility, but has serious size limitations.


Charles Clay | 6'3, 230 pounds | FB | Tulsa
An incredible all-around fullback, Clay is a unique prospect. He can block, catch the ball and is fairly athletic. He's even lined up at Wildcat for Tulsa. Don't look at his average numbers from 2009 for proof how good Clay can be. He was injured the first half of the season. When healthy, Clay isn't just a check-down option as a running back. He can line up wide and knows how to run proper routes. He's proficient as a blocker and strong enough to take on powerful rushers.

Donald Buckram | 5'10, 195 pounds | RB | UTEP
What Buckram lacks in size and power, he makes up for in agility and shiftiness. He can elude defenders and has the speed to get to the outside. He's also a very good receiver, finishing the 2009 season with 453 receiving yards. Buckram is known to be a strong competitor with a good work ethic. Keep an eye on him as a possible mid-round sleeper.

James Cleveland | 6'1, 198 pounds | WR | Houston
Although Cleveland may not have the best speed, he has good hands and knows how to get open. He had 101 receptions in 2009 despite missing two games due to an ankle injury. Cleveland's health issues are starting to mount. Along with the ankle injury, he had surgery this offseason to fix a torn labrum.

Anthony Gray | 6'0, 314 pounds | DT | Southern Miss
Gray has been a playmaker for USM the past two seasons. He gotten in better shape each year at USM and improved his foot quickness and stamina. He's good at shooting gaps and getting into the back field. He might not have the power to take on double teams consistently, but he'll be a good rotation tackle.

Other notable seniors to watch:

Bruce Miller | 6'2, 250 pounds | DE/OLB | Central Florida
C.J. Bailey | 5'10, 185 pounds | CB | Southern Miss
Marcus Ball | 6'0, 212 pounds | FS | Memphis
Mario Harvey | 5'11, 248 pounds | ILB | Marshall
Dwayne Harris | 5'10, 205 pounds | WR | East Carolina
Lee Smith | 6'6, 265 pounds | TE | Marshall