January 2nd Bowl Scouting Guide

logoFlorida Gators (8-4) at Iowa Hawkeyes (8-4)
12:00 noon CST on ABC

Florida Prospects
#78 LT David Sharpe
#57 DT Caleb Brantley
#91 DT Joey Ivie
#40 LB Jarrad Davis
#6 CB Quincy Wilson
#31 CB Jalen Tabor

Iowa Prospects
#10 QB CJ Beathard
#25 RB Akrum Wadley
#29 RB LeShun Daniels
#67 DT Jaleel Johnson
#43 LB Josey Jewell
#14 CB Desmond King

If you’re looking for an offensive shootout in this game, then you are going to be sorely disappointed as both team’s strengths are their defenses and their offenses are both below average. While this game doesn’t offer us any good prospect battles we at least get to see three of the top cornerbacks in a loaded position group. All three of Desmond King, Quincy Wilson, and Jalen Tabor bring in different skill sets and all three could see their names called in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. King is more of a zone or off man type of corner where he uses good instincts and ball skills to make plays. He’s have a down season after winning the Thorpe Award in 2015, but he’s still a top flight talent. Jalen Tabor might be the best athlete of the three using speed and explosion to compact receivers and make plays on the ball. Quincy Wilson is the biggest of the three standing at 6’1 213lbs and he uses his size and straight line speed well as a press corner really looking to bully receivers.

Outside of the three corners there are a couple of other players to keep an eye on. Florida has a pair of quality defensive tackles but Caleb Brantley is the better of the two. He’s a prototypical 3 technique penetrator looking to use speed and burst to win initially and get into the backfield. Florida also has a talented inside linebacker in Jarrad Davis who is fast and powerful, but has also had to deal with some injuries and may not play in this game.

For Iowa they have a couple other defensive players to watch in defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson and linebacker Josey Jewell. Johnson is at his best using his good upper body strength to stack guards and centers to clog up the middle of the field. Johnson does have an above average burst which can help him get into the backfield but he’s still more of a run stuffer. While Josey Jewell already stated he’s going back to Iowa for his senior year he’ll be one of the best inside linebackers for the 2018 draft showing elite instincts to go along with above average movement skills. You’ll know who Josey is because you’ll see #43 always around the ball.

cfp_cb_logoWestern Michigan Broncos (13-0) vs Wisconsin Badgers (10-3)
12:00 noon CST on ESPN

Western Michigan Prospects
#11 QB Zach Terrrell
#84 WR Corey Davis
#72 RT Taylor Moton
#1 DE Keion Adams

Wisconsin Prospects
#6 RB Corey Clement
#23 RB Dare Ogunbowale
#15 WR Robert Wheelwright
#65 LT Ryan Ramczyk
#47 OLB Vince Biegel
#42 OLB TJ Watt
#8 CB Sojourn Shelton
#14 SS D’Cota Dixon

The one prospect that everybody is going to have their eye on is Western Michigan receiver Corey Davis who has been a man among boys playing in the MAC. While WMU has beat two Big 10 teams already this year (Northwestern and Illinois) Davis hasn’t faced a defense this good and Sojourn Shelton might be the best cornerback he’s seen also. That being said Davis is still one of the elite receivers in this 2017 draft using powerful speed to create separation at the stem and then that same strength to go up and win at the catch point. Look for Wisconsin to throw plenty of different looks and bracket coverage to try and make someone else beat them. But this is a big game for Davis and like the tape that most scouts and front office personal will be watching.

Outside of Corey Davis the Broncos do possess another top prospect in right tackle Taylor Moton. Moton is an intriguing tackle prospect who can hit with authority and use his size to overwhelm defenders. But against the Badgers we’ll find out if he has the lateral agility top lay offensive tackle facing off against two quality pass rushing linebackers in TJ Watt and Vince Biegel. Both linebackers are above average athletes who use speed and quickness to stress offensive tackles and shoot gaps. Not only will Moton need to use his lateral agility to cut them off but make sure he isn’t over extending and losing balance.

While those prospect battles will be fun to watch let’s not forget about the Wisconsin running back duo that really makes the Badgers offense go. Coming back from an injury plagued junior season Corey Clement has bounced back and had a phenomenal 2016 rushing for 1,304 yards and 14 touchdowns. Clement isn’t a power back but his burst allows him to run with good power and then has the acceleration to run away from defenders. His running mate Dare Ogunbowale is more of the scat back who thrives in space on third downs either catching passes, getting out on the perimeter, or even in the draw game.

rose_bowlUSC Trojans (9-3) vs Penn State Nittany Lions (11-2)
4:00 CST on ESPN

USC Prospects
#22 RB Justin Davis
#9 WR JuJu Smith-Schuster
#1 WR Darreus Rogers
#48 TE Taylor McNamara
#72 LT Chad Wheeler
#73 RT Zach Banner
#51 LG Damien Mama
#96 NT Stevie Tu’ikolovatu
#2 CB Adoreé Jackson
#22 SS Leon McQuay

Penn State Prospects
#12 WR Chris Godwin
#88 TE Mike Gesicki
#94 DE Evan Schwan
#11 LB Brandon Bell
#6 SS Malik Golden

After a horrible 1-3 start to the season it looked like it may be one and done for Clay Helton as the USC head coach, but instead they rattled off eight straight wins and are the hottest team in college football. When you match that up with the Nittany Lions winning the Big 10 over the likes of Michigan and Ohio State and we should be in for quite the game.

The top player in this game is likely USC cornerback Adoreé Jackson who is a world class track athlete who is still learning how to be a good cornerback. Look for the Trojans to put Jackson on the move to shadow Penn State’s best receiver Chris Godwin who is a two time All Big 10 pick. Godwin isn’t a great athlete but knows how to get open, so that should test Jackson’s technique and patience.

While Jackson might be the best prospect his teammate JuJu Smith-Schuster is not far behind him giving the Trojans a bigger athlete who thrives in the open field. Smith-Schuster started off slow but when Sam Darnold took over at quarterback and the Trojans spread out more he really took off. Penn State will throw many different looks or match ups to try and throw him off throughout the game.

Outside of those two prospects there are a lot of middle of the road type players throughout both teams. USC has a pair of offensive tackles in Chad Wheeler and Zach Banner. Banner had gotten a lot of hype this summer because of his size, but his lack of good mobility has been exposed through the year.

sugar-bowl-logo-newAuburn Tigers (8-4) vs Oklahoma Sooners (10-2)
7:30 CST on ESPN

Auburn Prospects
#8 WR Tony Stevens
#70 RT Robert Leff
#63 LG Alex Kozan
#71 RG Braden Smith
#55 DE Carl Lawson
#1 DT Montravius Adams
#23 DB Jonathan Ford
#15 CB Joshua Holsey

Oklahoma Prospects
#32 RB Samaje Perine
#25 RB Joe Mixon
#11 WR Dede Westbrook
#93 NT Jordan Wade
#26 LB Jordan Evans
#7 CB Jordan Thomas
#13 FS Ahmad Thomas
#10 SS Steven Parker

The best prospect in this game is Auburn defensive end Carl Lawson who has shown the ability to be a game changing edge rusher at times showing the explosiveness and bend that gets you drafted in the top ten. While he’ll flip from side to side when he’s playing the right defensive end he’ll get to see plenty of Sooners left tackle Orlando Brown who is only a redshirt sophomore but is one of the best tackles in the nation.  Joining Lawson along the defensive line is defensive tackle Montravious Adams who is an explosive penetrating tackle whose tough to stay in front of. When the Tigers put both linemen on the same side it will make it tough to double and could leave one to win a one on one match up.

What makes the Sooners offense so unique compared to other Air Raids is the fact that they have an elite running game between Samje Perine and Joe Mixon. Perine is the between the tackle runner who shows tremendous balance and quickness to exploit seams in the defense. Mixon on the other hand is the more explosive of the two working mainly outside of the tackles and in the passing game giving the Sooners a home run threat every time he touches the ball.

Because the Sooners have such a good running game it makes the opposing load up the box or come flying up to on play action often allowing DeDe Westbrook one on one coverage downfield where he usually wins with his speed. Westbrook uses that speed to get behind corners and along with his ability to track the ball he has had several big yardage games off of a couple long throws per game. Looking to stop him could be cornerback Joshua Hosley and/or nickel back Jonathan Ford. Facing off against Westbrook should show us each of these players long speed and ball skills when Westbrook has to go up and get the ball at times.

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