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Hayden Winks

Bowl Bonanza

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NFL Prospects Playing in Bowls

Friday, December 7, 2018


Bowl season is when college football fans need to welcome NFL fans to the party. A quarter of the league is already looking towards the future after being eliminated from the NFL playoffs, so this is when #NFLTwitter starts to get more involved with scouting the draft. It can certainly be a lot to dive into if the bowl season is basically the first look at these prospects, so I have created a skill-position cheat sheet for all of the NFL Draft prospects playing in a bowl game this season. If you play fantasy football, this is what you are looking for.

 

Keep in mind that it’s only December, so some of the prospects won’t end up declaring and the draft projections put next to each prospects’ name are just that. Projections. We still have the combine, interviews, NFL free agency, and more to get through before the draft actually takes place. Of course, some prospects will beat the projections, and some won’t live up to them. But that’s what makes this fun to analyze. Lastly, the projections aren't my grades or anything like that. It's where draft analysts and reports from the NFL indicate a player is most likely going to be selected, so don't kill the messenger. If an obvious draft prospect is missing, then it's likely because they have announced they are skipping the game to (smartly) maximize their earning potential and focus on the draft process, but let me know if I glanced over someone. The link to my Twitter is below.

 

All of the skill-position players listed below will end up getting blurbed before their bowl game, so make sure to bookmark this page or you can just go to my Twitter (@HaydenWinks) and the link will be there. My plan is to have all of the blurbs done by the start of the first game. Enjoy!

 

Skill-Position Prospects who have Declared

 

1. Iowa TE Noah Fant (Day 1 or Day 2)

2. Arizona State WR N'Keal Harry (Day 1 or Day 2)

3. West Virginia QB Will Grier (Day 1 or Day 2)

4. Memphis RB Darrell Henderson (Day 1 or Day 2)

4. South Carolina WR Deebo Samuel (Day 2 or Day 3) 

5. Auburn QB Jarrett Stidham (Day 2 or Day 3)

6. NC State WR Kelvin Harmon (Day 2 or Day 3)

7. Michigan State RB LJ Scott (Day 2 or Day 3)

8. Oklahoma State RB Justice Hill (Day 2 or Day 3)

9. Notre Dame TE Alize Mack (Day 2 or Day 3)

10. Utah State TE Dax Raymond (Day 2 or Day 3)


December 15th - Saturday

 

North Texas vs. Utah State: TE Dax Raymond (Day 2 or Day 3) and WR Ron’Quavion Tarver (Day 3 or FA)

 

Raymond (6’5/250) declared for the draft in late November after posting respectable receiving numbers as both a sophomore and junior. As a junior at Utah State, Raymond averaged 9.85 yards per target on his 34 looks while scoring two touchdowns. The Athletic’s Dane Brugler calls Raymond an “athletic pass catcher” and describes him having “natural body control.” If he can run well at the combine, Draft Analyst’s Tony Pauline is hearing that Raymond can sneak into Day 2 of the 2019 NFL Draft.

 

Tarver (6’3/215) has gone three straight years with over 550 yards. As a senior at Utah State, Tarver averaged 7.5 yards per target – that’s not great – on his 90 targets, but he did score seven touchdowns.

 

 

Tulane vs. Louisiana: WR Terren Encalade (Day 3 or FA)

 

Encalade (6’0/190) is a deep threat – he averaged 16.3 yards per reception – that will need to test well to have an NFL future. Encalade’s 8.1 yards per target is just average, but he was used all over the formation at Tulane, so that’s a plus.

 

 

Arizona State vs. Fresno State: WR N'Keal Harry (Not playing but Day 1 or Day 2), WR KeeSean Johnson (Day 2 or Day 3) and QB Manny Wilkins (Day 3 or FA)

 

Johnson (6’1/202) will check the production box after averaging 10.1 yards per target on 129 targets and scoring eight touchdowns in 2018 at Fresno State, but he’s going to need to test well to have any chance at climbing into Day 2. Only a two-star recruit out of high school, Johnson will likely end up going off the board during Day 3.

 

Wilkins (6’2/200) is an NFL backup prospect, who does just enough with his legs to keep defenses at least honest – he has 20 rushing touchdowns and 944 rushing yards over his three seasons as starter. As a passer for the Sun Devils, Wilkins averaged 8.0 yards per attempt in each of the last two seasons with a solid 19/4 TD/INT ratio in 2018. It’s fair to assume that his numbers would be worse without possible first-round receiver N’Keal Harry, who has declared for the draft already, being on the receiving end of his passes.



Eastern Michigan vs. Georgia Southern: RB Wesley Fields (Day 3 or FA) and RB/WR Blake Banham (Day 3 or FA)

 

Fields (6’0/205) averaged 5.4 yards on 177 carries scoring nine touchdowns as a senior in Georgia Southern’s run-option attack, but he has also averaged 16.4 yards per reception on 36 catches during his collegiate career.

 

Banham (5’9/195) is a hybrid receiving back, as he only had seven carries this season as a senior. As a receiver, Banham caught 54 passes for 714 yards and five touchdowns.

 


December 18th - Tuesday

 

UAB vs. Northern Illinois: WR Xavier Ubosi (Day 3 or FA)

 

Ubosi (6’3/215) has averaged 20.4 yards per reception on 41 catches in his two-year stint with UAB. As a senior, Ubosi scored five touchdowns while averaging an elite 12.2 yards per target. Usobi will turn into an analytics sweetheart if he can test well at the combine.

 

 

December 19th - Wednesday

 

Ohio vs. San Diego State: RB A.J. Ouellette (Day 3 or FA) and WR Papi White (Day 3 or FA)

 

Ouellette (5’10/209) has posted back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons for Ohio picking up 19 rushing touchdowns over that span. As a senior, Ouellette averaged 6.2 yards per carry, adding a 19-179-2 receiving line. That’s enough production to get looks, but he needs to test well to become a draft pick.

 

White (5’9/177) will need to run like the wind to make up for his small frame, but he was a productive receiver at Ohio. As a senior, White averaged 9.3 yards per attempt on nearly 100 targets picking up 58 receptions for 897 yards and nine touchdowns. White averaged over 15.0 yards per catch in all four of his seasons.

 

 

December 20th - Thursday


Marshall vs. USF: TE Mitchell Wilcox (Day 2 or Day 3), WR Tyre Brady (Day 3 or FA), and WR Tyre McCants (Day 3 or FA)

 

Wilcox (6’3/248) isn’t in the same category as the Iowa tight ends, but Wilcox could end up as a Day 2 pick if he tests well at the combine – assuming he declares for 2019 NFL Draft. As a redshirt junior, Wilcox only scored two touchdowns, but he averaged 8.9 yards per target on 57 looks. Wilcox is a borderline top-10 tight end according to most draft analysts, but The Athletic’s Dane Brugler is more optimistic calling the USF tight end an “NFL starter.”

 

Brady (6’3/206) will need to ace everything he does from here on out to make up for his poor 6.6 yards per target this season, but Brady does have total production – he has 112 receptions for 1,761 yards and 17 touchdowns over his junior and senior seasons – and a nice frame on his side.

 

McCants (5’11/240) has a goal line running back build, but USF lined him up wide and he had some success. McCants caught 58 passes for 612 yards and three touchdowns as the Bulls leading receiver.

 


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