We continue our run through the "lesser" BCS bowls while we work towards next Monday's national championship game between LSU and Alabama. Tonight we get the 2012 Discover Orange Bowl featuring the West Virginia Mountaineers and Clemson Tigers. It is not exactly Oregon-Wisconsin or Stanford-Oklahoma State, and I would argue Friday's Cotton Bowl between Kansas State and Arkansas will be a more intriguing matchup. But, we get it nonetheless.
The biggest prospect in this game would appear to be defensive tackle Brandon Thompson, although it sounds like he might be more suited as a 4-3 defensive tackle. Clemson defensive Andre Branch is a guy who has used his senior season to make a name for himself. He finished the 2011 regular season with 10.5 sacks and 16 tackles for a loss. He would seem to project out as an outside linebacker at the next level. If the 49ers see Ahmad Brooks leave for greener pastures in the offseason, OLB will be a position of need for at least some depth.
West Virginia defensive end Bruce Irvin is another guy who would convert to linebacker at the next level. His senior year saw a dip in production from a 14.0-sack performance last season. Mocking the Draft views him as miscast in the WVU scheme, so we'll see how scouts view him through the draft process.