Originally posted on Crystal Ball Run  |  Last updated 2/3/12

It’s always sad when the All-Star season ends, this year we’ve gone through all of the previous five game and will end this series with a sixth game this Saturday in Little Rock, Arkansas at the Player’s All-Star Classic will kick off for the first time ever. The Player’s All-Star Classic is being run by the same people who have brought you the Texas v. The Nation game, however that game is on a one year hiatus and is set to return next year.

Here are the five players that stand out the most to us at the Player’s All-Star Classic:

Best Prospect: RB Brandon Bolden, Ole Miss

Lots of people have forgotten about Bolden because of his struggles with injuries during his senior season but when he’s healthy he’s among the best in the nation and now he’s finally healthy again. Bolden is a smooth runner who has a nice burst, and can make quick cuts. He does a good job catching the ball out of the backfield. Bolden has shown in Little Rock why so many thought so high of him entering into this season.

Most Impressive: DT Josue Ortiz, Harvard

Yes you are reading that right and no, I did not suddenly start scouting academic decathlon. Josue Ortiz is a legitimate NFL Prospect who rocked the scouts Little Rock when he weighed in at 6’4, 257 pounds and has continued to impress all week long. Ortiz has a quick first step, has very long arms and uses his hands well to shed blocks and get after the ball carrier. He’s an under the radar sleeper who has played all four defensive line positions for the Crimson during his career. A player with his size, speed, and versatility is going to get a shot.

Most Intriguing: WR Julian Talley, UMass

 

With the Super Bowl being on Sunday much of the New England defensive focus will be on trying to stop UMass alum Victor Cruz. However there is another UMass product in this year’s draft whose hoping to not only follow Cruz into the NFL but become a better player than him as well. Talley has impressed scouts with his speed and quickness, he’s so smooth getting into and out of his cuts and catches the ball with his hands naturally and out away from his body.  He’s had some issues with drops this week but if he can begin to make those go away then there isn’t much that would be stopping him.

Most to Gain: QB Alex Tanney, Monmouth

From the Division III ranks comes a QB prospect who I may just like more than Willy Korn (which is saying something). Tanney has ideal NFL size and has more than the necessary arm strength. He comes from a very a somewhat unconventional offense because his team ran what I would term as a hyper spread. Their goal was to snap the ball every play with more than 15 seconds left on the play call and to try and run between 90 and 100 offensive plays per game. Tanney was the general of that attack, making adjustments and changes on the fly and doing it well enough that Monmouth was a two time playoff team.

Most to Lose: OT Blake DeChristopher, Virginia Tech

Despite being a former All-American OT Blake DeChristopher wasn’t picked up by any of the other all-star games. However one man’s loss is another’s gain as DeChristopher comes into Little Rock with a chance to stand out as an OT prospect. Him proving his ability at OT is very important as there is a massive difference in not only draft status but potential earning income between being an OG and OT. There aren’t a ton of dynamic pass rushers in this game so DeChristopher should be able to more than hold his own.

The Player’s All-Star Classic will be played at 4pm ET on either a Comcast or Cox station that you can find here.

Follow Matthew Elder on Twitter @MatthewCElder.

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