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Elliott most impressive prospect in star-studded Fiesta Bowl

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl featured more pro prospects than any other bowl game, including the two semifinal contests. Unfortunately, two of the main attractions left the game less than 10 minutes into it for differing reasons. Here are my notes on some of the top players.

» Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott was easily the most impressive player in this contest. He's a complete back. He runs with patience, purpose and power. He was excellent in the passing game, showing soft hands out of the backfield and aggressiveness in pass protection. He's a true three-down back. Elliott, a junior, has indicated he intends to apply for early entry into the 2016 NFL Draft.

» I was very excited to see Notre Dame LB Jaylon Smith in person after falling in love with his tape. He definitely looks the part and he displayed his athleticism in coverage early in this game. However, he suffered a knee injury midway through the first quarter and didn't return. When healthy, he's the most talented linebacker in college football.

» Ohio State DE Joey Bosa was on his way to having a monster game. He racked up 4 tackles in less than half of the first quarter before he was ejected for targeting. He dominated at the point of attack against the run and he's very good with his hands as a pass rusher. He isn't ultra twitched-up, but he's a complete player. Barring a change of heart, this was Bosa's final college game.

» Notre Dame left tackle Ronnie Stanley, who intends to enter the 2016 draft, had a very solid game. He has quick feet and uses his length well in pass protection. He is more of a turn-and-seal run blocker than a pure butt-kicker. I wish he showed more nasty to finish.

» Ohio State linebacker Darron Lee is a fun player to watch. His play speed is outstanding. He has a nose for the ball and he surprised me with his ability to work around blocks. He has burst as a blitzer and he slips off blocks. He's an ideal 4-3 weakside linebacker and he'll excel in passing situations.

» I haven't studied Ohio State CB Eli Apple on tape yet, but he was impressive in person. He showed the speed to run with Notre Dame WR Will Fuller down the field and he was very aggressive in run support. I'm anxious to study him on tape after this performance.

» Ohio State WR Braxton Miller is much bigger in person than I expected. He is a raw route runner, but he has strong hands and he's electric with the ball. He has the strength to break tackles. He's elusive and he has home-run speed. I love his toughness.

» As fast as Notre Dame WR Will Fuller looks on tape, he's even faster in person. He has immediate acceleration, as evidenced by his 81-yard TD catch on Friday. He caught a simple hitch route, and he was gone. He has a lot of drops on tape, but you can't coach speed like that. He has tremendous value.

» Ohio State WR Michael Thomas doesn't have ideal play speed, but he has excellent size, runs pristine routes and has strong, reliable hands. He's the perfect possession receiver.

» Notre Dame OT Ronnie Stanley is widely regarded as a better prospect, but Ohio State OT Taylor Decker should be a solid starter at the next level. He has the power to generate movement in the run game and he can slide/mirror/anchor in pass pro. He isn't a natural knee bender, but he overcomes it.

» I don't know exactly where Notre Dame DL Sheldon Day should play at the next level, but I know he'll find a role. He moves around quite a bit in this defense and he finds ways to disrupt from multiple alignments. He has quick hands and outstanding short-area burst. He has a big upside as an interior pass rusher.

Follow Daniel Jeremiah on Twitter @MoveTheSticks.

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