Bowl Season is coming to close but there are plenty of prospects to watch in these next few days, each matchup is loaded with talent on both sides of the ball and NFL Teams will be scouting these games heavily. Here are some prospects to watch for in the following days.
Outback Bowl: Jan 1, Noon: Penn State vs Arkansas
Arkansas WR Treylon Burks, HB Tre Smith, and S Jalen Catalon have opted out of the Outback Bowl. Burks is a projected round 1 selection, Catalan a top 90 pick, and Smith an early day 3 selection. Penn State first round prospects WR Jahan Dotson and S Jaquan Brisker have opted out. In addition, LB Brandon Smith, DE Arnold Ebiketie, DT Derrick Tangelo, and LB Ellis Brooks. DT PJ Mustipher and T Rasheed Walker will not play due to injuries. All are projected between the 2nd and 5th round.
- LB Jesse Luketa, 40, Round 5: Luketa will likely see snaps at DE with the injuries and opt out’s that Penn State has dealt with.Coming off a solid season, Luketa projects as a OLB in the NFL with his 6-3/251 frame and could play off the EDGE in the NFL.
- CB Joey Porter Jr, 9, Round 5: Porter has had an up and down career and it’s unclear if he will declare for the draft this year. Porter’s stock is on the rise in recent weeks and teams will be watching if he can keep it up.
- CB Tariq Castro-Fields, 5, Round 6: Fields suffered an injury that ended his 2020 season early but he looked like a potential top 90 selection. However his play slipped this season and so did his draft stock, Castro-Fields will need a strong game to rebound his stock into a good position before the draft process begins. Look to see how he works both on the boundary and some in the slot.
- DT John Ridgeway, 99, Round 6: One of the better NTs in football, Ridgeway is a solid run defender but doesn’t push the pocket that well. He is matched up vs a strong Penn State IOL paired with a good Penn State rushing attack. Watch Ridgeway’s impact on the game closely.
Fiesta Bowl: Jan 1, 1pm: Notre Dame vs Oklahoma State
Notre Dame HB Kyren Williams and S Kyle Hamilton have opted out of the Fiesta Bowl. Williams is projected as a top 60 pick and Hamilton within the top 8.
- DE/LB Isaiah Foskey, 7, Round 2: Foskey has not yet declared for the draft and while he’s projected as a top 50 pick he could return to Notre Dame for his senior season and push his stock into the top 20. Foskey is an interesting prospect as he can both rush the passer and cover at elite levels. Coming off a season which saw him record 8.5 tackles for loss and 9 sacks, Foskey’s play has been relentless.
- C Jarret Patterson, 55, Round 3: Like Foskey, Patterson could return to Notre Dame next season where he would potentially be one of the best centers in college. Patterson is an anchor in the trenches and plays at a high level all around. Oklahoma State has an amazing IDL so the push from Patterson and fellow draft prospect Cain Madden will be one to watch
- DT Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, 95, Round 5: After declaring for the draft, Amosa has chosen to play in the Fiesta bowl to try and improve his stock. He’s a relentless pass rusher that can work both interior and at end.
- DT Jayson Ademiloloa, 57, Round 5: Ademiloloa is similar to Amosa as he can work both parts of the defensive line. He can potentially return for his 5th year season where his production and stock could skyrocket. Watch to see how Ademilola attacks the Oklahoma run game.
- G Cain Madden, 62, Round 5: Madden is coming off an impressive season after transferring from Marshall. While his play fell off he improved in certain areas. Madden can return next season but it’s unlikely. As mentioned earlier, watch how he pushes the Oklahoma State DL to generate the run game.
- WR Braden Lenzy, 0, Round 7: Lenzy could and likely does return to Notre Dame for a 5th season but if he chooses to declare he could go a lot higher due to his mismatch ability. Lenzy is an electric playmaker and has top end speed. He’s facing the best defense he has all season so look to see how he performs, a good game could be all he needs to start the ball rolling on his draft stock.
- HB Jaylen Warren, 7, Round 5: After transferring in from Utah State, Warren exploded onto the scene in 2021 recording 1134 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns on 237 touches. After missing the Big12 Championship game, which saw the Oklahoma State offense struggle, Warren returns to face one of the best rushing defenses in college.
- S Kolby Harvell-Peel, 31, Round 5: Peel is a modern NFL safety with good size, production, and instincts. Coming off a season which saw the 6 foot, 208 pound safety perform great as the leader of one of the nations most elite defense’s Peel now gets the chance to line up vs a top TE in college. He will likely be a 4th or 5th round prospect but keep an eye on how he matches up vs Michael Mayer as covering TE will likely be his main focus in the NFL. Peel is an intriguing prospect, after an amazing sophomore season his play has slipped but he still plays well. A true sleeper prospect that has the potential to put his name back on the map as a top draftable safety this week with a good performance.
Citrus Bowl: Jan 1, 1pm: Iowa vs Kentucky
Iowa HB Tyler Goodson, a likely 4th round prospect, has opted out of the Citrus Bowl. While Kentucky has 0 opt outs.
- C Tyler Linderbaum, 65, Round 1: While Linderbaum hasn’t officially declared the Citrus Bowl is likely his last game playing for Iowa. One of the best OL prospects in the 2022 draft.
- LB Jack Campbell, 31, Round 4: Campbell had an impressive season for one of the nation’s top defenses. He can play the run and cover well. Overall a talented LB with insane athleticism. Watch how he plays vs an explosive Kentucky offense. He’s close to tipping his stock into a potential day 2 selection.
- TE Sam LaPorta, 84, Round 4: LaPorta doesn’t have insane production but is a high ceiling prospect. At 6-4/250 he’s quick but strong at the same time. He can beat a LB or a CB and it will be interesting to see how Kentucky tries to defend him. He can return to Iowa for his senior season, and I expect him to but watch to see how he does in possibly his last college game.
- CB Riley Moss, 33, Round 6: Moss is a talented CB that likely moves to S in the NFL. He’s insanely athletic and flies around the field. He’ll be matched up vs fellow draft prospect Wan’Dale Robinson so watch how he approaches this matchup before making his decision to declare or not.
- T/G Darian Kinnard, 70, Round 1: Kinnard is a monster in the trenches and he’s facing a talented Iowa run defense. Kinnard is a mauler and ends plays well, he holds up well in both pass and run blocking. Watch to see how he performs vs one of the most aggressive defenses.
- EDGE Josh Paschal, 4, Round 2: Paschal has had a strong 2021 season but could increase his stock even more with a strong bowl game appearance. He plays the run well, which Kentucky will need vs a run heavy Iowa offense. Paschal will be facing a strong T duo of Jack Plumb and Nick DeJong, both likely top 90 picks in 2023.
- WR Wan’Dale Robinson, 1, Round 3: Following a car accident that left fellow WR Josh Ali and Isaiah Epps injured, Robinson has moved into the likely starting WR for this game. He’s going against the best pass coverage defense in college and in his first true test as the “X WR” he could skyrocket his stock with an impressive performance.
Rose Bowl: Jan 1, 5pm: Ohio State vs Utah
Ohio State WR’s Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave. T/G Nicholas Petit-Frere, a likely 2nd round prospect, also opted out. On the defense DT Haskell Garrett and CB Sevyn Banks will not play, both are projected 4th round picks. Utah has 0 opt outs.
- TE Jeremy Ruckert, 88, Round 3: After not declaring for the 2021 NFL Draft, Ruckert will likely be the top TE off the board in 2022. He’s been all around great both blocking and receiving for the Buckeyes this season. He’s facing a tough matchup vs LB Devin Lloyd but as the likely 2nd option for the Ohio State receiving core he’ll see a fair share of targets. One of the best matchups to watch this bowl season.
- G Thayer Munford, 75, Round 3: Following the decision of T Nicholas Petit-Frere to opt out of the draft, Munford will slide back to LT, where he started his career. It will be interesting to see how he fares at T after playing the majority of his snaps at guard. It could create some rise in his stock if he can show elite versatiltiy.
- EDGE Tyreke Smith, 11, Round 3: One of Ohio State’s high end pass rushers, Smith will look to feast on an average Utah T duo. Smith is likely not going to raise his stock much more but a strong showing will keep him where he is.
- EDGE Zach Harrison, 9, Round 4: Unlike Smith, Harrison has the potential to rise up boards quickly, he’s another part of the destructive Ohio State pass rush duo. Harrison has it all at EDGE just is slightly raw, he’s a true sleeper prospect.
- LB Devin Lloyd, 0, Round 1: One of the best LB in the class, Lloyd’s stock isn’t going to move up or down because of this matchup. Will be interesting to see how he lines up and how often Utah blitzes him or sticks him mainly in coverage.
- TE Dalton Kincaid, 86, Round 5: Utah has an amazing trio at TE and Kincaid is the best of the three. He is an amazing receiving threat due to his athleticism. Kincaid is facing a weaker Ohio State LB core so look for him to get going and quick. Him and fellow prospect Brant Kuithe are close to rising up many boards and another solid game for both will help a lot.
- C Nick Ford, 55, Round 5: Ford isn’t a great center but gets the job done. He’s great in run blocking but his pass protection lacks, a matchup with Haskell Garrett would’ve helped him a lot. Instead he faces another strong DT in Taron Vincent and Jerron Cage. Utah will win the game on the ground and a huge part will be Ford pushing the Ohio State DL.
- TE Brant Kuithe, 80, Round 5: As mentioned earlier, Utah has a trio of elite TE prospects. Kuithe is the primary blocking TE in that scheme and will be used often to chip or even match up one on one with Zach Harrison and Tyreke Smith. A good matchup vs both and some threat in the receiving game will help him rise.
Sugar Bowl: Jan 1, 8:45pm: Ole Miss vs Baylor
Both teams have 0 opt outs
- QB Matt Corral, 2, Round 1: Corral is seen by some as the QB1 this year, others have him farther down the board, either way Corral will be selected in the first round after an impressive season. Now facing a strong Baylor defense, Corral will get the chance to show once again why he deserves to be the first QB off the board in April.
- EDGE Sam Williams, 7, Round 3: Williams is the definition of explosive off the edge. After registering 14 tackles for loss and 13 sacks this season the Ole Miss prospect looks to have another strong performance vs Baylor T Connor Galvin, a potential draft pick in 2023. Williams has the chance to change the entire game with a strong showing.
- HB Jerrion Ealy, 9, Round 6: Ealy is an impressive runner who works both power and speed. Facing a tough matchup vs a talented Baylor run defense, Ealy will once again have the chance to show why he’s not being taken serious enough in the pre-draft process
- S Jalen Pitre, 8, Round 3: Pitre may be one of the most slept on prospects in the entire class, he plays safety like a linebacker and he is exciting to watch. Coming off an elite year in 2021 which saw him record 70 total tackles, 18 tackles for loss, three sacks, two interceptions, seven Pass break ups, and three forced fumbles and recoveries Pitre is a playmaker. He likely makes the move to LB in the NFL but for now he gets to face an amazing pass attack.
- LB Terrel Bernard, 2, Round 3: Bernard has led Baylor in tackles, TFL, and sacks since 2019. He’s an explosive athlete that moves around in coverage and can play off the edge or at inside linebacker. He’s a great coverage player and that will be tested vs Ole Miss. He can rise his stock even more with a good showing at the Sugar Bowl.
- HB Abram Smith, 7, Round 5: Smith has had a wild career, after starting 2018 and 2019 as a running back he moved to linebacker in 2020 where he was impressive but moved back to running back in 2021 where he nearly led the country in yards per carry with 6.2 after recording 1429 yards, and 12 touchdowns on only 232 touches. An intriguing prospect with great power and speed, Smith could start skyrocketing his stock similar to what now 49ers HB Trey Sermon did in 2020.
WR Tyquan Thornton, 9, Round 6: Thornton is the definition of a playmaker. He could return to Baylor for his 5th year and likely will but watch to see how he attacks the Ole Miss secondary after averaging 15.5 yards per catch in 2021 at 6-3, 195.