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NFL Draft: Big Ten Prospects in the Tropical Bowl
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9 Jan 2018 03:44 PM EST

-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Rutgers running back Gus Edwards. (Image Source: Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)

The Tropical Bowl is a college football all-star contest that will play its third annual game this Sunday, January 14, at Daytona Beach Municipal Stadium in Florida. Here’s a look at the eight Big Ten players who have accepted invitations:

QB Richard Lagow, Indiana: At 6’6” and 240 pounds, Lagow has prototypical size, a strong arm, and even offers some mobility. He’s flashed the ability to throw the ball at a very high level, however wasn’t consistent enough to hold on to the starting job for his entire senior season. The decision making isn’t always there and neither is the accuracy, which too often led to turnovers in his collegiate career.

RB Gus Edwards, Rutgers: Stuck low on the depth chart at The U, Edwards was a grad transfer looking to get on the field before his eligibility ran out. There was a crowded backfield at Rutgers as well, but Edwards emerged as the starter and had a solid season for the Scarlet Knights. Good enough to get All-Big Ten honorable mention recognition from the coaches. Edwards tips the scales at 235 pounds and is a powerful runner.

DT Steven Richardson, Minnesota: Coming off a seven-sack junior season, there were high expectations for Richardson heading into 2017, which included a spot on the preseason Bednarik Award watch list. As a senior, Richardson fell short as he went sack-less, due in part to the double teams he faced on a regular basis. There’s no way to slice it other than he had a disappointing season which did not help his draft stock. His pass-rush potential means he will continue to get looks from scouts.

DE Cavon Walker, Maryland: At just 6’2” and 278 pounds, Walker doesn’t have the size to play along the line on a three-four defense and he lacks the pass rushing skills of a four-three end. His calling card will have to be as a run stopper.

DE Antoine Miles, Purdue: A backup end for the Boilermakers, Miles flashed the ability to get into the offensive backfield. About a third of his 15 tackles were for a loss (5.5), including two sacks. The 255 pounder is an edge rusher, who will get looks as an outside linebacker.  

CB Da’Wan Hunte, Purdue: A two-year starter for Purdue, Hunte is a pure coverman, who probably won’t contribute much as a run defender at the next level. He’s undersized at 5’9” and 185 pounds, so his best chance might be as a slot corner.

S Tony Fields, Indiana: With 50 games played under his belt, Fields has experience lining up at multiple spots. A safety for most of his career, Fields finished his time in Bloomington at the hybrid husky position, which took advantage of his ability to tackle in the box.

S Ross Douglas, Rutgers: Like Fields, Douglas will try to make a name for himself as a hybrid defender. After playing running back at Michigan, he transferred to Rutgers where he started one game at free safety as a junior before emerging as the starting SAM linebacker during his senior season.

Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards. You can reach him via email:                         

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