Several of the Wisconsin and Texas Christian players who will be competing Saturday in the Rose Bowl can expect to play on Sundays, in the NFL, next season. Los Angeles Times' NFL reporter Sam Farmer spoke to four pro evaluators -- Mike Mayock of the NFL Network, Chad Reuter and Rob Rang of CBS/NFLDraftScout.com, and an NFL team scout who spoke anonymously because he's not allowed to share his opinions publicly -- gave their opinions on some of the game's top NFL prospects and where they might be selected in April's draft:
TCU tackle Marcus Cannon: At 363 pounds and almost 6 foot 6, Cannon has the size that NFL teams such as the New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals look for in a tackle. The team scout said Cannon has the physical tools but needs to show a more consistent effort. Projected draft position: Third or fourth round.
Wisconsin tackle Gabe Carimi: Reuter calls left tackle Carimi "one of the toughest tackles in the draft" and a key to Wisconsin's highly effective running game. Evaluators agree that even though he isn't an elite lineman in the mold of, say, former Michigan star Jake Long, Carimi should go somewhere in the first 40 picks. Projected draft position: Late first round/early second.
TCU quarterback Andy Dalton: Mayock got a good look at him over the summer at the Manning Passing Academy and says Dalton, who began the season as a late-round prospect, has probably come further in terms of draft value than any quarterback in the country. Mayock sees him as a potential second-round pick, whereas the team scout has him slotted more as a fourth-round, game-manager type. Projected draft position: Middle round.
TCU defensive end Wayne Daniels: Undersized for an NFL defensive end, Daniels (6-2, 250) would be a good fit as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. Reuter said Daniels isn't as speedy around the edge as, say, Indianapolis speed rusher Dwight Freeney, "but he could give Carimi some problems" in the Rose Bowl. Projected draft position: Third or fourth round.
Wisconsin tight end Lance Kendricks: The team scout thinks Kendricks, a converted wide receiver, will make a solid H-back in the NFL, a hybrid who's a "willing" blocker with better-than-average hands. "This is the type of kid who might not be noticed for a while but will wind up playing for quite a while in the league because of his versatility," the scout said. Projected draft position: Third round.
TCU receiver Jeremy Kerley: Even though he's made a lot of big plays for TCU, Kerley (5-10, 192) doesn't have great size or speed. The team scout sees him making an NFL roster as a fourth or fifth receiver who makes an impact on special teams. Rang is particularly impressed with his ability to return punts, saying Kerley is "elusive and agile" and "can turn a small play into a big play very quickly." Projected draft position: Fifth through seventh rounds.
TCU center Jake Kirkpatrick: Winner of the Rimington Trophy as the nation's top center, Kirkpatrick is "very intelligent and tough-minded," Reuter said, adding: "He's one of those guys a team's going to have a hard time cutting." Projected draft position: Third through fifth rounds.
Wisconsin guard John Moffitt: When Mayock looked at tape to study Carimi, he couldn't help but notice the player next to him: left guard Moffitt. Rang agrees, saying some people might not notice the player in Carimi's shadow but noting, "When it comes to the power running game, it's usually the guards who are so vital." Projected draft position: Third round.
Wisconsin defensive tackle J.J. Watt: Watt is a junior who could enter the NFL early. The scout said fellow NFL evaluators will like him more as they do more research on him. "He's the full package of what teams are looking for," the scout said. Reuter said Watt is versatile and likely will wind up lining up in three spots against TCU. Projected draft position: Late first round.