December 30th Bowl NFL Draft Prospects Previews

Louisville Cardinals vs Mississippi State Bulldogs
11:00 CST on ESPN

Louisville Prospects
QB Lamar Jackson
LT Geron Christian
DT De’Asian Richardson
DE Trevon Young
S Chucky Williams

Mississippi State Prospects
QB Nick Fitzgerald
TE Jordan Thomas
LT Martinas Rankin
CB Tolando Cleveland

Lamar Jackson (#3 QB) is the prospect that everybody is going to have their eyes on and it doesn’t matter if you are watching potential prospects for the 2018 NFL Draft or you’re just a college football fan. Jackson is best known for his exciting runs using elite speed but he’s a far better passer than he gets credit for. Facing off against a tough “SEC” defense, Jackson is looking to show he can win from the pocket and read the defense as he has several times in his career. On the other side of the ball it gives us the best matchup between prospects as Martinas Rankin (#4 OT) faces off against end Trevon Young. Rankin tends to quick set and attack defensive ends using a strong hands to lock in. If Rankin is able to lock onto the defenders he’ll shut the defender down, but he if has to slide laterally or get good depth is when he struggles. Keep an eye on Miss State QB Nick Fitzgerrald (#10 QB) as he has all the tools of an NFL quarterback but is still a bit raw which could lead him to return to school rather than declare for the draft.

Iowa State Cyclones vs Memphis Tigers
11:30 CST on ABC

Iowa State Prospects
WR Allen Lazard
LT Jake Campos
MLB Joel Lanning
FS Kamari Cotton-Moya

Memphis Prospects
QB Riley Ferguson
WR Anthony Miller
WR Phil Mayhue
RG Gabe Kuhn
DE Genard Avery
FS Jonathan Cook

An exciting matchup between a top 25 Memphis team and Iowa State who knocked off both Oklahoma and TCU this season. But in NFL Draft terms this is a game featuring two pass catchers in Memphis’ Anthony Miller (#3 WR) and Iowa State’s Allen Lazard. Miller exploded onto the scene this past year finishing fourth in total yards and second in touchdown receptions. Miller tracks the ball as good as anybody in football and has the catching radius that allows him to go attack the ball and make spectacular catches. Lazard is a big receiver (6’5 223lbs) and does most of his work downfield using his size to go up and win contested catchers. Lazard is a bit stiff in his movements, but does have experience returning punts. Outside of the two pass catchers the other prospect of note is Memphis QB Riley Ferguson who is a former Tennessee transfer. Ferguson has a big arm and put up some impressive statistics but needs to show more accuracy if he wants to be more than a day three pick.

Washington Huskies vs Penn State Nittany Lions
:00 CST on ESPN

Washington Prospects
RB Myles Gaskin
RB Lavon Coleman
WR Dante Pettis
C Coleman Shelton
DT Vita Vea
ILB Keishawn Bierria

Penn State Prospects
RB Saquon Barkley
WR DaeSean Hamilton
TE Mike Gesicki
DT Curtis Cothran
DT Parker Cothren
MLB Jason Cabinda
CB Christian Campbell
CB Grant Haley
FS Marcus Allen

It’s no secret that the focus of this game will be on Penn State RB Saquan Barkley (#1 RB) who is the next elite running back to enter the draft and possibly be taken in the top 5 of the 2018 NFL Draft. Barkley has a unique combination of explosive speed and quickness to go along with power and receiving ability. Washington will look to slow him down and have the defensive line to clog up running lanes and stiff Barkley. The main guy to watch is Vita Vea (#3 DL) looks like your typical space eater at tackle, but he Vea is much more than that having lateral agility and burst to also create penetration and make plays in the backfield. The beauty of Penn State is that they are much more than Barkley and can attack defenses with their passing attack using DaeSean Hamilton and tight end Mike Gesicki (#7 TE). Gesicki could be a match up problem with his leaping ability to go up and win contested catches. Penn State defensively isn’t great but has some talent in their secondary and must find a way to slow Washington WR Dante Pettis who has play making ability and the ability to get open.

Miami Hurricanes vs Wisconsin Badgers
:00 CST on ESPN

Miami Prospects
WR Braxton Berrios
LT KC McDermott
LG Trevor Darling
DE Chad Thomas
DT Kendrick Norton
DT RJ McIntosh
SS Jaquan Johnson

Wisconsin Prospects
TE Troy Fumagalli
DE Alec James
DE Conor Sheehy
OLB Garrett Dooley
OLB Leon Jacobs
ILB TJ Edwards
CB Derrick Tindal
SS D’Cota Dixon
FS Natrell Jamerson

Miami’s defensive line is full of talented with DE Chad Thomas and tackles Kendrick Norton (#10 DL) and RJ McIntosh but they’ll be tested against a young Wisconsin offensive line that wants to come out and pound you in the run game. The Hurricane defenders have good size to go with their athleticism but will they wear down to the pounding? Wisconsin’s Troy Fumagalli (#4 TE) is the best receiving option in this game providing a big bodied weapon over the middle whose able to find open holes and run away from linebackers. When Miami has the ball their offense has taken a hit lately with their offense missing RB Mark Walton (#7 RB), WR Ahmmon Richards and TE Christopher Herndon (#9 TE) all being injured and out of this game. This could be bad news for the Hurricanes because this Badger defense may not have a first or second round pick on the roster, but as a unit was good enough to have the 4th rated defense in the nation. Their stars of the defense are OLB Garrett Dooley who uses power to win against offensive tackles while SS D’Cota Dixon (#8 S) plays with his hair on fire flying around both in coverage and coming up to stop the run utilizing his quickness to make plays.

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