Potential New York Jets in the Russell Athletic Bowl (Rutgers vs. Virginia Tech)

December 19th, 2012
James Gayle Kyle Fuller

James Gayle and Kyle Fuller are the top draftable defenders on the Hokies’ roster. (Photo: US Presswire)

By Ryan Alfieri, Editor

This game will not take place for another week (December 28th), but there are plenty of prospects on both teams that will warrant taking a close look at as potential draft targets New York Jets.

Rutgers and Virginia Tech had very different season relative to their past success, but Rutgers is probably the better overall team in this matchup. This will definitely be a big test for both quarterbacks who have struggled against good defenses this year.

Here are some of players to look for:

Virginia Tech

Logan Thomas, QB

Before the season, Thomas had the potential to be the top pick in the draft. He has the build and running ability of Cam Newton to compliment his strong arm, but accuracy issues have plagued the Hokies this year. Losing a pair of veteran receivers have clearly had an effect on his play, and it is the biggest reason why Tech had a .500 season.

Thomas has not made an official declaration as to whether or not he was going to return for his senior season. If he does decide to come out, he will unlikely go somewhere in the second round based on his physical tools alone. If the Jets are looking for a developmental quarterback, Thomas could be a viable option.

CB Kyle Fuller

Arguably the bets player on Tech’s defense, Fuller is a quick athlete with terrific instincts. He can tackle well and has loose hips. However, he lacks great deep speed.

Because of that, he is best-used as a zone corner. In the Jets’ man-heavy defensive scheme, he would likely make a transition to safety.

MLB Bruce Taylor

Taylor is a great run stuffer and the leader of Tech’s defense, but he struggles in space covering tight ends and running backs. Watch for his ability to move laterally and his comfort level dropping into coverage.

WR Marcus Davis

Davis is an ideal build for a receiver with big-play ability. His character and effort have come into question and he’s a bit of a build-up runner, but he can outrun defenders and make plays on contested catches.

DE James Gayle

Gayle is not the most athletically-gifted player on the field, but he has an array of moves and has a ton of strength. A good all-around defensive end, Gayle is scheme-diverse as well.

Rutgers

LB Khaseem Greene

Greene is a very intriguing prospect on many levels. He is a former safety, but he hardly plays like he has any experience in the defensive backfield. He has great instincts and play-recognition, but he does not attack open gaps unless there is a designed blitz. He fights through trash to make tackles, but they are often being made well beyond the line of scrimmage. He shows potential in coverage, but he can be targeted in the passing game at the next level.

Greene is a contradictory player where he does good and bad things in all areas of his game. It is also worth noting that he is coming off a bad injury in last year’s Pinstripe Bowl that may still be having an impact on his movement skills.

CB Logan Ryan

One of the biggest risers headed into draft season, Ryan has not made a decision whether or not he will declare for the draft. Nonetheless, he has made a lot of splash plays for the Scarlet Knights this season that may inflate his vale a bit.

Ryan has experience in both the press and in off coverage, but he is much better as a press corner. He has some technique issues, but he is an excellent tackler and blitzer. He also has trouble keeping up with some of the faster receivers, but he could find a role as a slot corner in the NFL with his skill set.

Tags: bowl preview, rutgers, virginia tech

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