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NFL Draft Preview: Bowl Season (Part 5)

An eye on college football.

NCAA Football: Western Michigan at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

This will be a multi-part series looking at every bowl game and the prospect to watch on each team for their match up. Even with some players sitting out to prepare for the NFL draft, there are still future pro players on the field worth keeping an eye on. All listed times are EST. Previously in this series: PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3 | PART 4.

Quick Lane Bowl, December 27th, 11 AM on ESPN

Nevada’s Absence of Carson Strong: It might sound weird to watch a game for a player who won’t be playing, but with Carson Strong skipping this bowl game to prepare for the NFL draft, it might actually make sense. Strong was excellent for Nevada this year, showing great arm strength and accuracy. In this bowl game, it will be worth keeping an eye on how his absence impacts the team.

Ali Fayad, Edge, Western Michigan: Ali Fayad was named MAC defensive player of the year this season after logging 11.5 Sacks, 14 TFLs and two forced fumbles. The senior defender is a high motor, technically skilled player who goes all out against the run and pass. While he is not a premier player in the draft, he certainly has the makings of a future contributor on an NFL defense.