Best Pro Prospects: ACC

BOSTON COLLEGE

(1st-Round) #74 OT Anthony Castonzo (right), 6-7, 308 pounds, 5.06 seconds, Senior.

Castonzo spent his first year out of high school at Fork Union Military Academy, the training ground for many NFL players over the years. Since arriving on the B.C. campus, he’s gone from 246 pounds to 308 and there’s room for a few more. He wears size 18 shoes. The Illinois native has started 45 games in his first three seasons. Considered a better pass protector than run blocker, he has long arms and big hands that give him the edge against most defensive ends. He’s shown good foot quickness, but he can get caught off-balance by defensive players, especially those on a bull rush. Castonzo has a 3.5 GPA in biochemistry and has been nominated for a Rhodes Scholarship. He wants to be a doctor doing cancer research when his football career is over.

Other BC prospects: (2nd-Round) #94 OLB Mark Herzlich, 6-4, 245 pounds, 4.75 seconds, Redshirt-Senior; (3rd-Round) #4 CB Donnie Fletcher, 6-0¼, 200 pounds, 4.49 seconds, Junior.

CLEMSON

(1st-Round) #93 DE Da’Quan Bowers, 6-4¼, 275 pounds, 4.64 seconds, Junior.

Bowers has another season of eligibility, but he’s shown enough that there’s no question he’ll be a first-round draft choice. One reason is his versatility, as he can play several positions along the defensive line. He’s tall and well-proportioned and has room to add some weigh. So far over his career with the Tigers, he’s played in 31 games with 23 starts, positing 115 total tackles, 33.5 tackles for loss and 13 sacks. Bowers is having a big ’10 season, with 15 tackles for loss and nine sacks.

Other Clemson prospects: (1st-Round) SS DeAndre McDaniel, 6-0, 212 pounds, 4.54 seconds, Senior. (3rd-Round) #99 DT Jarvis Jenkins, 6-3¾, 315 pounds, 4.98 seconds, Senior. (3rd-Round) #12 CB Marcus Gilchrist, 5-10 ½, 190 pounds, 4.49 seconds, Senior.

DUKE

(7th-Round or free agent) #22 HBack Brandon King, 6-2, 255 pounds, 4.68 seconds, Redshirt-Senior

The pickings are slim for NFL-type talent with the Blue Devils and King would be of interest only to teams looking for an H-Back to use in their offense. Even this year, he’s not the starting tight end at Duke, but he’s been a pretty active part of the offense. Overall in 41 games, he’s caught 33 passes for 326 yards and seven touchdowns. King missed the ’08 season with a broken collarbone.

FLORIDA STATE

(2nd-Round) #7 QB Christian Ponder, 6-2, 220 pounds, 4.68 seconds, Redshirt-Senior.

This senior season has been a good one for Ponder, although he’s taken a pounding. The Seminoles are off this weekend and that’s good because Ponder suffered a ruptured bursa sac in his right elbow and would not be able to play if there was a game. He’s also had a contusion on one of his legs and a bad bruise on his right shoulder. Last season he missed the last four games because of a shoulder injury. This year he’s produced on the field with 12 TD passes and 1,187 passing yards. Over his 30-game career, Ponder has thrown for 6,015 yards with 41 TDs against 29 interceptions. His record as a starting quarterback for FSU is now 19-10.

Other FSU prospects: (2nd-round) #62 G Rodney Hudson, 6-2¼, 284 pounds, 5.26 seconds, Senior. (2nd-Round) #67 OT Andrew Datko, 6-5¾, 305 pounds, 5.14 seconds, Junior. (2nd-Round) #13 OLB Nigel Bradham, 6-1 ¾, 241 pounds, 4.63 seconds, Junior.

GEORGIA TECH

(4th-Round) #18 RB Anthony Allen, 6-0, 230 pounds, 4.58 seconds, Redshirt-Senior.

A transfer from Louisville, Allen has stepped forward in his second and final year with Tech to become an offensive leader. After seven games he has 600 rushing yards on 99 carries with 5 TDs. Two weeks ago against Virginia, he ran for 195 yards on 25 carries and 3 scores. Over his career in two seasons at Louisville and two at Tech he has 405 carries for 2,320 yards and 31 rushing TDs. A big, powerful back, Allen does not have top of the line speed, but he can put his foot in the ground and shows a burst. If he continues to have a strong season, he can improve his draft status at least two rounds.

Other Ramblin’ Wreck prospects: (5th-Round) #2 CB Mario Butler, 6-0, 184 pounds, 4.49 seconds, Senior.

MARYLAND

(1st-Round) #6 FS Kenny Tate, 6-3¾, 220 pounds, 4.56 seconds, Junior.

Tate has a great combination of size and speed for the back line of the defense. He’s a sure tackler and has shown good cover skills and hands. Early in the season, he had 12 total tackles and two forced fumbles against Navy. Came to school as a receiver, but shifted to defense so he could get on the field faster. He’s also worked as a returner. In 29 games, he has three interceptions along with 110 total tackles, 3 sacks and 3 forced fumbles.

Other Terp prospects: (2nd-Round) #82 WR Torrey Smith, 6-0 ¼, 200 pounds, 4.38 seconds, Redshirt-Junior.

MIAMI (FL)

(1st-Round) #57 DE Allen Bailey, 6-3½, 288 pounds, 4.79 seconds, Senior.

Bailey has played inside and outside on the Hurricanes defensive line and that makes him pretty versatile for whatever defensive scheme he lands at in the NFL, whether a DT in the 4-3 or a DE in the 3-4. He’s a workout warrior, who at the end of last summer’s conditioning program tested at just 9 percent body fat and was timed in 4.65 seconds in the 40-yard dash. His best bench press was 415 pounds, and he did 405 pounds in the power clean. Bailey is playing left defensive end for Miami. His is a remarkable background as he grew up on Sapelo Island, Georgia, a state-protected area reachable only by boat. The island is managed by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Bailey’s lived in the community of Hog Hammock, with a population of approximately 60 people.

Other Hurricanes prospects: (1st-Round) #1 CB Brandon Harris, 5-10¾, 195 pounds, 4.45 seconds, Junior. (2nd-Round) #85 WR Leonard Hankerson, 6-2¾, 215 pounds, 4.52 seconds, Senior. (3rd-Round) #74 G Orlando Franklin, 6-6½, 318 pounds, 5.3 seconds, Redshirt-Senior. (4th-Round) #44 ILB Colin McCarthy, 6-3, 235 pounds, 4.67 seconds, Redshirt-Senior.

NORTH CAROLINA

(1st-Round) #54 OLB Bruce Carter, 6-3, 230 pounds, 4.5 seconds, Senior.

Carter has not gotten caught up in the agent-scandal and suspensions with the Tar Heels this year. That’s good because it’s allowing him to add to what has already been a very good college career. He is a weight room junkie and has bench pressed 440 pounds done 374 pounds in the power clean and he has a 40.5-inch vertical jump. His best time in the 40-yard dash was 4.39 seconds. He has played in 43 games with 38 starts, totaling 189 total tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss, 7 sacks, 3 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles and 7 blocked kicks (6 on punts and 1 FG).

Other Tar Heels prospects: (1st-Round) #42 DE Robert Quinn, 6-4¾, 268 pounds, 4.64 seconds, Junior. (2nd-Round) #52 ILB Quan Sturdivant, 6-2, 235 pounds, 4.63 seconds, Senior. (2nd-Round) #9 DT Marvin Austin, 6-2½, 310 pounds, 4.96 seconds, Senior. (3rd-Round) #27 FS Deunta Williams, 6-1¼, 210 pounds, 4.53 seconds, Redshirt-Senior. (4th-Round) #8 WR Greg Little, 6-2, 214 pounds, 4.56 seconds, Senior. (3rd-Round) #16 CB Kendric Burney, 5-9, 190 pounds, 4.47 seconds, Redshirt-Senior.

NORTH CAROLINA STATE

(3rd-Round) #56 ILB Nate Irving, 6-1, 235 pounds, 4.68 seconds, Redshirt-Senior

Coming in this was going to be a big season for Irving if only because he missed all of the 2009 season after suffering multiple injuries in a one-car accident in June ’09. He had a collapsed lung, broken rib, separated shoulder and a broken leg. Irvin has come back strong, including a two-game stretch where he had a total of 29 tackles against Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech. He’s shown great explosiveness rushing the passer and filling gaps in the Wolfpack defense. Overall this season in seven games, he has 52 total tackles, 3.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble. Over his 28-game career, he has 174 total tackles, 27.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 4 interceptions and 9 passes defended.

Other State prospects: (3rd-Round) #84 TE George Bryan, 6-4 ½, 265 pounds, 4.83 seconds, Redshirt-Junior.

VIRGINIA

(1st-Round) #19 CB Ras-I Dowling, 6-1½, 200 pounds, 4.54 seconds, Senior.

Dowling’s senior season has been plagued by injuries, with first a hamstring problem and then a knee injury. He’s played only three of the Cavaliers six games so far this season. While not 100 percent, he did return to practice this week. Dowling has a good combination of size and speed and until this year had shown himself to be a very durable player. He’s appeared in 38 games and has 160 total tackles, 28 passes broken up, 8 interceptions and 4 forced fumbles. A sure-fire first-round choice before the start of the ’10 season, he’ll need a strong finish and good efforts in all-star games and the Combine to guarantee his spot in the initial round.

Other Cavaliers prospects: (2nd-Round) #13 CB Chase Minnifield, 5-11 ¾, 185 pounds, 4.48 seconds, Redshirt-Junior.

VIRGINIA TECH

(2nd-Round) #62 OT Blake DeChristopher, 6-4¾, 305 pounds, 5.07 seconds, Redshirt-Junior.

A three-year starter at right tackle, DeChristopher has missed only three games over his career and has held down the right side for the Hokies. He’s got good speed for a man his size and has shown quick feet at times. A smart player who is very competitive, he missed one game last year with an ankle injury. Another year at Tech would probably improve his draft standing.

Other VaTech prospects: (3rd-Round) #21 CB Rashad Carmichael, 5-10, 182 pounds, 4.38 seconds, Redshirt-Senior.

WAKE FOREST

(6th-Round) #8 WR Marshall Williams, 6-0½, 186 pounds, 4.52 seconds, Redshirt-Senior.

It’s slim pickings with the Demon Deacons this season, as only Williams shows enough talent to be considered draftable. Williams is a talented athlete, who against Duke earlier this year, threw a touchdown pass and caught two scoring passes while wearing a glove to protect a dislocated pinky finger on his left hand. Wake Forest has gone to a run offense this season, after throwing the ball last year. That’s when Williams had 60 catches for 867 yards and 6 TDs. In seven games this year, he has 11 catches for 140 yards and 2 scores.

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