Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl
Fresno State vs USC (3:30 p.m., ABC)
Derek Carr - QB, Fresno State, No. 4
Carr (6-3/218), a three-year starter, had a huge season for the Bulldogs, leading the FBS in both passing yards (4,866) and touchdown passes (48) . The younger brother of David Carr - the first-overall pick in 2002 - Derek has tremendous arm strength, mobility and pocket presence. His touch, especially on red-zone throws, needs some work, but he works the field vertically as well as any passer in the game. Carr hasn't received the publicity BCS QBs Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater have, but he's on par with both. In fact, I have Carr going ahead of Manziel in the draft and wouldn't be surprised to see him go somewhere in the top 10.
Highlights: Carr vs. Nevada 2013
Davante Adams - WR, Fresno State, No. 15
Adams, a redshirt sophomore, was Carr's top target this season, and followed up a 102-catch 2012 by hauling in an incredible 122 passes for 1,645 yards and 23 TDs in 2013. Adams' combination of size (6-2/212), hands and ability to adjust to the ball in the air make him a dangerous player in the red zone. He doesn't have dynamic skills with the ball after the catch, but he reminds me of Larry Fitzgerald in terms of strength, attacking the ball and keeping defenders at bay. It's a toss up for me on which big receiver I like more - Adams or Florida State's Kelvin Benjamin. Both have a very good chance of landing in the first round.
Highlights: Adams vs. Nevada 2013
Marqise Lee - WR, USC, No. 9
Lee, the 2012 Biletnikoff Award winner as the nation's top receiver as a sophomore, had a disappointing junior season because of inconsistent QB play and a rash of injuries that forced him to miss multiple games. Nevertheless, Lee is a terrific talent who outshined Bills second-round pick Robert Woods last year. Lee is a burner, with the ability to accelerate quickly to gain separation and pull away once he's caught the ball. His routes are varied and crisp, and he's shown he's not afraid to go over the middle. I would like to see him catch the ball with his hands a bit more, as he regularly allows the ball to get into his body. Lee's size isn't super (6-0/195), but it's his speed that will make him a first-round pick in 2014 (assuming he comes out).
Highlights: Lee vs Stanford 2013
Others to watch
Nelson Agholor - WR, USC, No. 15
Only a sophomore, he should be the next great Trojan wideout.
Devon Kennard - OLB, USC, No. 42
Second banana to the injured Morgan Breslin, Kennard has nine sacks this season.