NFL Draft: Five Bowl Games with the most NFL Talent
By Dan Dahlke
It’s Bowl week in College Football, and there’s no better time to tune in and get a glimpse at what the 2017 NFL Draft will have to offer. The following is a close look at the five college bowls games with the most NFL talent on the field.
5. The Outback Bowl: Florida vs Iowa (Jan. 2nd)
This may not be a game high on the priority list for avid college football fans, but the Outback Bowl has several players to pay attention to for draft enthusiasts.
There are 14 prospects in total to keep a close eye on during the Monday matchup between SEC heavyweight and a Big Ten underdog.
The Gators have six NFL prospects on their roster, and they’re all on the defensive side of the ball. Their secondary is one of the most talented groups in college football. Cornerbacks Quincy Wilson and Teez Tabor are top-five prospects at their position and likely first-rounders.
They both play press-man coverage and have the ability to make plays on the ball. They’re a tough tandem to go against. Free safety Marcus Maye will be sidelined with a broken arm, which is unfortunate because he’s a talented prospect who could sneak into Day 2 of the draft.
Florida’s front seven boasts two really good prospects in defensive tackle Caleb Brantley and inside linebacker Jarrad Davis. They’re both disruptive players who lay it all on the field. Davis in particular is an electric player who makes plays all over the field and is just flat-out fun to watch.
Defensive end Bryan Cox is a decent edge player and could go on Day 3 of the draft.
Iowa continues to be an underrated program for producing NFL-caliber talent. Depending on what their underclassmen do following the season, the Hawkeyes could have as many as eight draft prospects on their roster.
In my opinion, junior inside linebacker Josey Jewell is the most talented player on their roster, despite the national headlines cornerback Desmond King has received. Jewell is a true three-down linebacker with very good athleticism, speed, and awareness for the position.
However, King is very good in his own right. A year ago he got everyone’s attention with a nation-leading eight interceptions. King is a tough, playmaking defensive back with limited speed and athleticism. He could make the move to free safety in the NFL.
Cornerback Greg Mabin and safety Miles Taylor are also solid prospects and could be mid-round picks in the draft.
Defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson is very explosive off the line, and although he plays a bit undisciplined at times, he’s a disruptive interior pass rusher. With good workout numbers, he could go as high as the second or third round.
On offense, the Hawkeyes don’t have nearly the same caliber of prospects. Tight end Greg Kittle, quarterback C.J. Beathard, and running back Akrum Wadley all have a shot to be late-round selections in the draft.