Arizona State started the 2011 season with five wins in their first six games – including a victory over USC – behind Head Coach Dennis Erickson and junior quarterback Brock Osweiler. Going into their game against UCLA, the Sun Devils’ record still stood at a respectable 6-2. Then the wheels fell off. A defeat at the hands of the Bruins was the first of five consecutive losses to finish the season. Erickson wound up fired and Osweiler left for the NFL, and now the team is in rebuilding mode under new Head Coach Todd Graham. Here’s a quick look at ASU’s top draft eligible players. Underclassmen are designated with an asterisk…
Jamal Miles WR 5’10 184 – Listed at wide receiver, Miles was a high school running back who plays an all-purpose role for the Sun Devils. He played seven games as a freshman and was used primarily as a kick return man. As a sophomore in 2010, Miles scored seven total touchdowns – two rushing, four receiving, and one on a 99-yard kickoff return. Last season, Miles scored on two kickoff returns, one punt return, six pass receptions, and even threw for a touchdown. Miles’ yards per reception average has been relatively low. He was the target on many passes into the flat and bubble screens from Osweiler, as the goal always seemed to be to get Miles in space when he could gain yards after the catch. He is small in stature, but has estimated 4.4 second speed. NFL scouts may envision Miles as a potential slot receiver. Miles is an elusive runner and a dynamic return man, but he has very little experience running pro-style pass routes. He’s quick with good change of direction skills, but he isn’t asked to make a lot of tough catches. His ability as a true receiver is mostly projection up to this point in his career. But Miles ability to make plays in the return game and his game-breaking potential make him worth a look starting around the middle of Day Three of the draft.
Cameron Marshall RB 5’11 215 – Marshall appeared in 11 games as a freshman – including one start – and ran for 280 yards and a pair of touchdowns. As a sophomore he became a full time starter, and rushed for 787 yards, caught 21 passes and scored ten total touchdowns. Last year was Marshall’s breakout season. He rushed for 1050 yards, including games of 141 against USC and 157 against Cal, and scored 18 rushing touchdowns. He was the first Arizona State runner to surpass 1000 yards in five years, and he did so despite running between a less-than-stellar offensive line. Marshall has good size and runs with power, making him tough for one tackler to bring down. He’s a good receiving back and is shifty enough to make people miss in open space. He shows good vision as a runner and has enough speed to break long runs if he gets into the second level of the defense. A solid, if unspectacular running back prospect, Marshall looks like an early-to-mid Day Three pick at this early stage.
Also keep an eye on: Brandon Magee OLB 6’0 228, Keelan Johnson FS 6’1 207, Rashad Ross WR 6’0 167