In the final battle of ranked teams before number one and number two face-off on January 10th for the National Title game, we'll see the historic Cotton Bowl, the best non-BCS game played after New Year's Day.
The match-up features two programs that are run in a pro-style type of way with a strong defense and NFL-type offenses and defenses. LSU features the majority of the prospects in this match-up, all but one on the defense. And while Texas A&M has just one guy, he's one of our favorites and could easily sneak up to the middle or top of the first round.
LSU Tigers vs. Texas A&M Aggies - Cotton Bowl
Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU (JR)
An elite level cornerback, his size, length, quickness, and ball skills make him the top cornerback prospect in a while coming into the draft. Peterson won the Jim Thorpe award in college, given out to the top defensive back. And despite Prince Amukamara being a very highly thought of prospect and having a very good year, Peterson is on another level. Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill will have his hands full in this one.
Von Miller, DE/OLB, Texas A&M
Miller is, in short, an athletic freak, and a perfect fit and maybe the only smooth fit for the 3-4 defense compared to other NFL Draft prospects in this class. Miller flies off the edge, and the only reason he hasn't been as productive as last year is because teams regularly roll out opposite his side and put at least two blockers on him. He's an incredible athlete, and I think A&M will use him in more ways than we've seen this season.
Terrence Toliver, WR, LSU
Once viewed as a potential 1st round receiver, Tolliver has not been consistent this year. His quarterback play has probably had a lot to do with it, but his overall lack of aggresiveness to the ball, sloppy routes at times, and inconsistent hands likely have pushed him to the middle rounds on many boards.
Kelvin Sheppard, ILB, LSU
One of the best inside linebackers in this draft class, Sheppard has been at the heart of this defense all year long, both as a leader and as a tackler. Sheppard attacks the ball well, has improved his vision in traffic, and his range is beyond the tackle box fairly consistently, meaning that he can play inside or on the strongside in the NFL.
Drake Nevis, DT, LSU
Nevis has been a high motor, aggressive rusher this year, and while he doesn't always finish plays, he attacks quickly off the snap to attract attention and uses his hands well. He can get over powered at times and could work on his hand placement and overall leverage technique, but he has the pursuit skills and instincts to maybe eventually be a starter in the NFL.