Elite prospects shine on scouting trips 

December, 3, 2012

The 2012 season was the fourth in a row during which I spent most weeks on the road getting live looks at some of the top NFL prospects in the country.

I saw 17 games featuring 22 schools, and because I'm based in Charlotte, the schedule was heavy on ACC and SEC schools within driving distance. No problem, though, because anyone who follows the draft knows just how many quality prospects come out of those two conferences.

Seeing how players react to live game action in real time is helpful, and it's just as helpful to get on the field during warm-ups and apply the eyeball test to players.

Seeing how prospects look on the hoof in terms of body type, judging their demeanor and observing how they interact with teammates are all important parts of their evaluations.

So as the regular season wraps up, here's a look at the games I attended and what stood out during my college road trips this fall. This includes the best prospects I saw in person, those who fell short of expectations, the best individual performances and a handful of 2014 prospects to keep an eye on.

Top five prospects