NFL Draft Prospects to Watch in the 2016 New Era Pinstripe Bowl

The New Era Pinstripe Bowl pits the Northwestern Wildcats versus the Pittsburgh Panthers. This game will feature several NFL prospects, but they will mostly be watched when Pittsburgh has the ball and Northwestern is on defense. Here are the prospects to watch in this bowl game:

Northwestern Wildcats

Anthony Walker, LB

Projected Draft Range: second round-fourth round

Pinstripe Bowl

Anthony Walker (Photo courtesy: omaha.com)

Walker entered the season as one of the best linebackers in the country. He may have been passed on some big boards by some other linebackers, but Walker is still a great player. Walker had 120 total tackles last season and added 98 this season. His greatest strength is his speed, as he closes down on ball carriers quickly. He is also pretty good in coverage, which means he can play every down at the NFL level.

Pittsburgh Panthers

James Conner, RB

Projected Draft Range: fourth round-sixth round

If teams want a running back with power, Conner is their man. He has a tremendous stiff arm and runs through multiple arm tackles before being brought down. At six foot two and 235 pounds, Conner is a load for defenders to bring down. Toughness is his greatest quality on the field, as he takes blow after blow and continues to run hard. He has beaten cancer and a torn ACL, so toughness is something he carries off the field as well. He has added the ability to catch out of the backfield this season, which will only help his draft value.

Adam Bisnowaty, OT

Projected Draft Range: second round-fourth round

Pinstripe Bowl

Adam Bisnowaty (Photo courtesy: youtube.com)

Bisnowaty is a player that can shoot up draft boards before draft day. There aren’t many great tackles in this class, but teams love taking offensive linemen early in the draft. He has good size at six feet six inches and 305 pounds. His run blocking has been great for Conner, but there is a bit to be desired in pass blocking. He hasn’t been bad, but he hasn’t pass blocked as well as other top prospects.

Dorian Johnson, OG

Projected Draft Range: first round-third round

Johnson, like Bisnowaty, has great size at six feet five inches and 315 pounds. Also like Bisnowaty, Johnson has shown to be a good run blocker to help open up holes for Conner. He will need to show necessary mobility to pull on run plays and pick up pass rushers on pass plays, but he should have the strength to handle most players after he engages them. Johnson is one of the best guards in the class, but guards don’t usually get drafted as highly as tackles.

 

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Xavier University graduate who majored in sports management. I am a passionate sports fan who tries to follow just about every sport there is.

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