The Belk Bowl will have Arkansas squaring off with Virginia Tech. There are some really good tight end prospects to watch for in this game, but a few other key players will also be featured in this game. Here are the prospects to watch:
Dan Skipper, OT
Projected Draft Range: Third round-fifth round
Skipper is a big man at six feet ten inches tall and 319 pounds. This means he should have the ability to extend his arms to keep pass rushers at bay and to plow through defenders on run blocks. Skipper is a superb run blocker for the Razorbacks. He needs to work on his pass blocking and his mobility, as understandably he looks a bit mechanic due to his size. Prospects that are seen as left tackles are taken highly in the NFL draft, but because Skipper is probably more of a right tackle (Despite playing left tackle this season), he may not get drafted as highly.
Jeremy Sprinkle, TE
Projected Draft Range: fourth round-sixth round
This tight end class is loaded and there are two in this bowl game that will be drafted. Sprinkle has the size, at six feet six inches and 256 pounds, to be an NFL tight end. His production has never been great for Arkansas, as he never had a season of above 400 receiving yards in a season. Sprinkle does add the value of a good blocker, which will be very valuable to NFL teams, with him likely being a second or third tight end on a team’s roster.
Virginia Tech Hokie
Bucky Hodges, TE
Projected Draft Range: First round-third round
Hodges has great size at six feet seven inches tall and 245 pounds. He isn’t the greatest blocker and is really more of a receiving tight end. Hodges has lined up wide as a receiver and on the line of scrimmage as a tight end, making him very versatile. He is one of the most athletic tight ends in the class and some team will take him as a valuable target from day one in the NFL.
Isaiah Ford, WR
Projected Draft Range: Second round-fourth round
Ford is a junior who may decide to go back to college for a year, but should take advantage of a wide receiver class that isn’t great and enter the draft. Ford is slight at 190 pounds and will need to add strength to beat press coverage in the NFL. At six feet two inches tall he has solid size for an outside receiver. He has two straight 1,000 receiving yard seasons, so he can produce, even when the quarterback play hasn’t been the greatest.
Brandon Facyson, CB
Projected Draft Range: Fourth round-sixth round
Virginia Tech always seems to develop good players in the secondary and Facyson is an intriguing prospect. He is six feet two inches tall, which is a tremendous height for a corner back. This can be his competitive advantage over other corner prospects who may be as many as six inches shorter than him. Facyson still has to grow in to his frame, but should be able to do that in his preparation for the NFL draft. He is a shut down corner back, but needs to work on his ball skills to force more turnovers.