Bowl predictions through X-Mas

Bowl predictions through X-Mas
Thor Nystrom breaks down the next batch of bowl matchups, including an expected shootout between Marshall and Northern Illinois
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Louisville senior WR Devante Parker told Bleacher Report that he'll decline a Senior Bowl invite.

Parker intends instead to focus on training for the NFL Combine and his pro day. As a consensus first-round prospect, this is no surprise. Because of Parker's unique skill set, we're excited to see which franchise he ultimately pairs with. The receiver is a route-running technician who contorts his body into open space through a combination of agility, body control, and innate timing. A quarterback skilled at back shoulder timing routes would be ideal. How about a reunion with Teddy Bridgewater in Minnesota?
Dec 21 - 8:21 PM

Missouri redshirt junior edge rusher Shane Ray reminds NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah of Seattle's Cliff Avril.

"Got kind of a unique body — not real thick in the lower half," he said. "He’s another one that’s got really, really good first-step quickness. He’s really good with his hands. He reminds me of Cliff Avril with Seattle. You wish maybe he was a little bit bigger, maybe a little bit stronger in the lower half, but I think he’s kind of an ideal 3-4 outside linebacker." The 6-foot-3, 245-pound Ray has recorded 14 sacks and 20.5 tackles for loss this season. A consensus All-American, Ray was voted first-team All-American and SEC defensive player of the year by the Associated Press.
Dec 21 - 8:07 PM

NFL.com notes that USC has allowed 30 sacks this season.

In other words, fans are on "Randy Gregory Alert" on Dec. 27 in the Holiday Bowl between Nebraska and USC. The redshirt junior defensive end had only seven sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss this season, though double teams and schemes designed to keep the ball away from him can explain some of that. "Gregory (6-6, 248), a junior, is one of the more physically gifted players -- much less defensive linemen -- in the nation, and this could be his final college game," wrote Mike Huguenin. "His athleticism and upside have most scouts drooling. USC has allowed 30 sacks, so there could be a few opportunities for Gregory to get to prolific Trojans QB Cody Kessler. Gregory also should get a chance to show his wares against the run, as USC likely will feature RB Javorius 'Buck' Allen."
Source: NFL.com
Dec 21 - 7:54 PM

NFL.com's Gil Brandt believes Texas A&M senior T Cedric Ogbuehi projects as an NFL right tackle.

"He carries his hands a little low, which is nit-picking," Brandt said. "I think he’s probably a right tackle." It's possible that Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin agrees, as he shifted Ogbuehi from LT to RT in November and did so with vague and nebulous reasoning (Ogbuehi has since been returned to LT). "He’s got the best feet of any of these tackles," said Brandt's colleague Daniel Jeremiah. "Lack of strength has been a little bit of a concern. He’s late with his punch, he kinda gives up his chest, that can be worked on."
Dec 21 - 7:36 PM

Louisville senior WR Devante Parker is "just like a poor man’s A.J. Green," said NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah.

"He’s tall, he’s long, he’s got great ball skills," Jeremiah said. The New York Post, in an early projection, slotted Parker to the Rams, certainly a nice fit on paper. Parker is a consensus first-round prospect. Most analysts slot him behind Amari Cooper, of course. Parker figures to jockey for draft position with prospects like Kevin White, Devin Funchess, and Jaelen Strong.
Dec 21 - 7:21 PM

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Stanford head coach David Shaw will not entertain NFL offers.

Welcome to your newest holiday tradition, the time of year when Shaw preemptively shoots down NFL rumors. "Despite being viewed as perhaps the top coaching candidate in the college ranks, Shaw has told people he plans to remain at Stanford, where he loves working with student-athletes and wants to continue coaching, according to sources," Schefter wrote. "Shaw is highly regarded in NFL circles, where he is viewed as one of the most coveted candidates in the country due to his credentials." Despite a down year in 2014, Shaw is 41-12 in four seasons at Stanford.
Source: ESPN.com
Dec 21 - 7:07 PM

Arkansas senior LB Martrell Spaight is one of the SEC prospects with most to prove to NFL scouts in his bowl game, notes NFL.com.

Spaight is an ultra-productive defensive leader who has collected 123 tackles -- 55 more than any other Razorbacks' player -- 8.5 tackles for loss and an interception in 2014. "Before the season began, Spaight wasn't on the prospect radar," wrote Chase Goodbread. "And why would he be? He spent two years in junior college and did little to distinguish himself on a terrible Arkansas team as a junior in 2013. But 123 tackles and a Senior Bowl invitation later, he might be the biggest reason an NFL scout would want to watch the Razorbacks in this game. He has the requisite NFL size at 6-3, 230 pounds, and brings a level of passion to the position that scouts love. A big game against Texas would help solidify his reputation as a draft riser." Spaight is a thumper who must show scouts he's cleaned up the technical aspects of his craft. Arkansas plays in the Texas Bowl against Texas on Dec. 29.
Source: NFL.com
Dec 21 - 6:46 PM

NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah said comparisons between Nebraska redshirt junior DE Randy Gregory and Dion Jordan are invalid due to Gregory's superior strength.

"Gregory’s tall and long, he’s got a great first step, very explosive coming off the edge," he said. "Some people compare him to Dion Jordan, but Gregory’s got a lot more power." The 6-foot-6, 255-pound edge rusher is a projected Top-10 pick in April. Even so, not everyone sees a lock in that range. ESPN's Mel Kiper wrote that there are "some raw elements to Gregory's game, so if a few teams near the top of the draft aren't totally sold on his growth potential, he could slide a bit."
Dec 21 - 6:28 PM
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