With five bowls playing today, here are the NFL Draft prospects to keep an eye on!
Belk Bowl, Texas A&M v. Wake Forrest, 1 PM ET on ESPN
- Cam Serigne, Tight End, Wake Forrest: With eight touchdowns on the season, Cam Serigne was an integral weapon on the Demon Deacons. The 6’3”, 240 pound pass catcher moves well and has dependable hands. He is a good route runner and does well working in line or in the slot. Playing an SEC team will be a good test for Serigne and Wake Forrest and a big game from the tight end could help them pull an upset.
- Christian Kirk, Wide Receiver, Texas A&M: Christian Kirk is a dynamic weapon but his junior season numbers took a dip due to a tumultuous situation around him. However, he still made the most of his targets and chipped in two touchdowns as a return man. There is no denying Kirk’s gamebreakinig ability with the ball in his hands and he will have a good test against a stingy Wake Forrest defense to show off in what is likely his last game.
- Armani Watts, Safety, Texas A&M: Armani Watts has been a staple of the Aggies defense for the last few years. At 5’11” and 205 pounds, Watts is not a prototypical safety but he plays a physical brand of football that is bigger than he is. He is a strong, dependable hitter and brings that aggression to his coverage ability. Watts will be a versatile defender at the next level who can play in the box, the slot or deep in coverage. Expect a big game from him tomorrow.
Sun Bowl, Arizona State v. NC State, 3 PM ET on CBS
- Bradley Chubb, Defensive End, NC State: What has to be said about Bradley Chubb that has not already been said? Chubb is an excellent all around defender who brings high effort to the running game and as a pass rusher. He is a strong, relentless defender who might be at his peak as a player; but will be an immediate impact addition to any NFL defense. Arizona State’s offense has some explosive potential and Chubb will be the biggest factor in limiting it.
- Jaylen Samuels, H-Back, NC State: Jaylen Samuels has 11 rushing touchdowns this season to go along with his 380 yards on the ground, 551 through the air and four more touchdowns catching the ball. Samuels is an unconventional player who has been moved around his whole career by the Wolfpack and is a playmaker no matter where he lines up. At 5’11” and 230 pounds; Samuels has a thick, unconventional build but he will probably provide a solid chess piece on an NFL offense.
- Demario Richard, Running Back, ASU: While his teammate, Kalen Ballage, had the hype coming into the season; Demario Richard emerged as the much better running back. At 5’10” and 220 pounds, Richard is a well built player who runs with a lot of power to him. He is not much of a receiver, but he can bounce off defenders and wear them down. Against a tough NC State defense, Richard will hear his number called often to take some pressure off the passing game.
Music City Bowl, Northwestern v. Kentucky, 4:30 PM ET on ESPN
- Justin Jackson, Running Back, Northwestern: While Justin Jackson might not seem impressive from a size standpoint or from the fact that his yards per carry numbers were average this year (4.5), there is something to be said about a player who posts 1,000 yards rushing in four straight season. The 5’11”, 200 pound senior has no special traits; but he has grinder his way to over 5,000 career rushing yards. He is a smart, tough runner who always falls forward and has been one of the best backs over the last few years. Jackson might not be viewed as a top prospect, but a big game against an SEC defense could get him some looks. He is late round steal waiting to happen.
- Kyle Queiro, Safety, Northwestern: Kyle Queiro is another underrated player who has been productive for the Wildcats over the last few years. At 6’3” and 220 pounds, Queiro looks and hits more like a linebacker than a defensive back. He does a good job working in the middle of the field as a coverage player and run defender. Against a prolific Kentucky running offense; Queiro will get to show off his stuff.
Arizona Bowl, New Mexico State v. Utah State, 5:30 PM ET on CBSSN
- Jaleel Scott, Wide Receiver, New Mexico State: At 6’6” and 220 pounds, it is hard to overlook a player like Jaleel Scott. Scott was by far the biggest playmaker on the Aggies defense this year; using his massive frame to win red zone targets and make plays down the field. Scott is a legitimate NFL prospect and the bowl will finally give him exposure he is worthy of.
- Jalen Davis, Defensive Back, Utah State: At 5’10” and 185 pounds; Jalen Davis is not the biggest defender. However, with five interceptions this season and three of them being touchdowns, he is certainly a big playmaker. Davis is a physical player with good instincts that allow him to make plays despite his size and relative athletic ability. While he might be better suited as a slot defender; today will give him a great chance to show off against a solid passing offense.
Cotton Bowl, USC v. Ohio State, 8:30 PM ET on ESPN
- Ronald Jones, Running Back, USC: One of my favorite players in the class; Ronald Jones is a breakaway runner who plays tough despite a thinner build. Despite not being used often on passing downs; Jones is a dangerous player whenever he touches the ball and USC will need to feed him against Ohio State’s playmaking defense.
- Denzel Ward, Cornerback, Ohio State: Ohio State has had a three first round cornerbacks selected in the last two seasons and Denzel Ward has the talent to be the next in line. While he is smaller at only 5’10”, he has tremendous instincts and has great ball skills. Ward will be tested by USC’s offense and a strong game will help assuage some worries about his size.
- Jerome Baker, Linebacker, Ohio State: As their leading tackler, it is obvious that Jerome Baker is a centerpiece on the Buckeye defense. Baker is a smaller, speedy linebacker who flies across the field and fires downhill to attack the run and blitz. Baker will be needed to defend against USC’s passing and rushing offense and this is a great game to prove his 225 pounds is more than enough at the linebacker position.
- Sam Hubbard, Edge Defender, Ohio State: While Nick Bosa (rightfully) gets a lot of the headlines, Sam Hubbard is an awesome player in his own right. At 6’5” and 265 pounds; Hubbard has very nice size. He is athletic and strong, with long arms, and can defend well against the run and the pass. The announcers will be talking a lot about Nick Bosa, but keep an eye on #6 and I bet he makes some plays happen.
- Billy Price, Guard, Ohio State: A nasty, experienced player; Billy Price is the next in a long line of really solid Ohio State offensive line prospects. Price is well built at 6’3” and 300 pounds. He plays with consistent pad level, great physicality and moves well down hill and in pass protection. While he is not a great athlete, he is an immediate impact player inside an offensive line.
- Jamarco Jones, Tackle, Ohio State: Jamaica Jones is an impressive player. The 6’5”, 310 pound player has immense size and athletic ability that would make any scout pound the table for him. He remains a bit raw, but his flashes at the position are too impressive not to take notice. There are some solid defenders on the USC defense who will test OSU’s offensive line. Jones will be called upon to make a difference.