Originally written on Optimum Scouting  |  Last updated 11/14/14
In the "sandwich" game between two much more NFL Draft talent-laden match-ups on this New Year's Eve, both teams will be fighting for viewership while these prospects on the respective teams will be fighting to earn respect and draft stock in their final games as seniors. While neither team is loaded with talent, both defenses, feature prospects that could intrigue as mid to late round selections, especially if they can impress here and in post-season games/workouts as well. Notes by Jimmy O'Brien and Alex Brown of Optimum Scouting Dexter McCoil, S, Tulsa - # Tulsa is led by their big, hard-hitting safety, Dexter McCoil. McCoil, a physical, downhill player, demonstrates plus closing speed in attacking the line of scrimmage versus the run, eating up ground quickly. He flashes solid open-field tackling skills, plus range, and the willingness to lay out a receiver across the middle, though he can take poor angles to the ball. McCoil, who has the frame to fill out without sacrificing his speed, has strong ball skills, and the physical skillset to be a ball-hawking centerfielder, and should see his draft stock rise during post-season evaluations. D'Aundre Brown, OLB, Tulsa - #,  Brown is an undersized but extremely active linebacker, who made plays all over the field this season. Brown picks his way through traffic well inside, and shows the ability to break down in the open field, particularly. The converted safety does a solid job covering backs and tight ends, and even shines in coverage at times.   Jake McDonough, DT, Iowa State - #94, 6’5, 280 Big-bodied and fairly explosive off the line, McDonough is capable of being a disruptive force but lacks the polish to consistently produce. A single blocker can neutralize McDonough when his initial move is stymied, but upper body strength and suddenness are readily apparent with this NFL prospect. A priority free agent that may be better served on a practice squad for his rookie season, look for McDonough to break up a few plays in the backfield against Tulsa. AJ Klein, OLB, Iowa State - #47, 6’1, 244 As consistent and reliable a run fitter as you will find, Klein plays middle linebacker for Iowa State but will additionally be viewed by some NFL teams as a weakside linebacker prospect. Klein is a grab-and-drag down tackler that lacks great strength or explosiveness; however, he more than covers for such deficiencies with great instincts and play recognition. Balanced in his read steps, Klein always puts himself in correct position and seemingly is always near the football. A mid rounder that will contribute right away in his rookie season, Klein’s production and consistency make him a safe next level projection. Jake Knott, OLB, Iowa State - #20, 6’2, 243 Though he won’t be playing in this game due to a shoulder injury that required surgery, Knott is a worthwhile mention as he’ll likely be a 5th round selection after predraft workouts. A better athlete than Klein but similarly consistent run defender, Knott is an excellent weakside linebacker prospect that has ideal cover skills and range. A team captain and leader on defense, Knott has remained involved with the team by coaching the linebacker corps.   Others to Watch Steele Jantz, QB, Iowa State - #2, 6’3, 225 Josh Lenz, WR, Iowa State - #19, 6’0, 200 Carter Bykowksi, OT, Iowa State - #71, 6’8, 304 Brayden Burris, OT, Iowa State - #79, 6’6, 298 Willie Carter, FB, Tulsa - #34, 6'2, 252
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Lightning reach Stanley Cup Final with Game 7 win

Devon Still: Daughter has complications with transplant

Rivers denies report of problems with CP3 and Jordan

Orlando Magic hope Skiles can right sinking ship

Falcons waive Shembo over animal cruelty charges

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Tom Brady’s suspension appeal hearing set for June 23

Peterson is wrong (sorta): NFL players have great power

Scout: A-Rod 'looks like he doesn't give a (expletive)'

Belichick mum on Deflategate in first remarks since discipline

Dwight Howard suspended for first game of 2015-16 season

Bucs veterans missing Jameis while he's at rookie symposium

WATCH: Josh Hamilton hits first two homers of the season

Did Andrew Bogut take a shot at Mark Jackson?

$70 million Reebok deal is bad for UFC fighters

If the Warriors win the NBA title, the parade will be for Oakland

SEC no longer allows transfers with 'serious misconduct' issues

Klay Thompson officially diagnosed with concussion

Snoop Dogg hooks Texas A&M up with adidas cleats

WATCH: Stephen Curry rides a mini-horse

Metta World Peace gets ejected after five fouls in one minute

On satellite camps and the SEC crying over its self-protections

Four NFL quarterbacks set to take a step back in 2015

Spelling Bee co-champ wears LeBron jersey under shirt

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
OPTIMUM SCOUTING

Lightning reach Stanley Cup Final with Game 7 win

Devon Still's daughter has complications with transplant

$70M Reebok deal is bad for UFC fighters

If the Warriors win the title, the parade will be for Oakland

Peterson is wrong (sorta): NFL players have great power

Dwight Howard suspended for first game of 2015-16 season

Four QBs set to take step back in 2015

Spelling Bee co-champ wears LeBron jersey under shirt

Top 10 stories from 2015 NBA Playoffs

Rangers-Lightning Game 7 preview

The can't-miss Prince Fielder

Chip Kelly: Tebow is a quarterback

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.