Happy New Years 49er Faithful! We continue our college football bowl coverage breakdown highlighting and profiling a few notable draft-eligible prospects you should pay attention to. This will help people build a list of names to know when we get into the offseason. For today's bowl action we take a look at No. 17 Florida vs. Iowa match-up, No. 15 Western Michigan vs. No. 8 Wisconsin match-up, No. 9 USC vs. No. 5 Penn State match-up, and No. 14 Auburn vs. No. 7 Oklahoma match-up. Before we get things started, I have listed the top five draft-eligible players both on the offensive and the defensive sides of the ball playing in today's match-ups. So, sit back, put your scouting hat on, and let's get things started with today's action.
Top 5 Players on Offense
WR Corey Davis, No. 84, 6'3" - 213 lbs., 4.48 40 - (1st) - Western Michigan
*OT Ryan Ramczyk, No. 65, 6'6" - 314 lbs., 5.29 40 - (1st) - Wisconsin
*WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, No. 9, 6'2" - 220 lbs., 4.52 40 - (1st) - USC
WR Dede Westbrook, No. 11, 5'11" - 175 lbs., 4.39 40 - (1st-2nd) - Oklahoma
**RB Joe Mixon, No. 25, 6'1" - 226 lbs., 4.52 40 - (1st/2nd-UDFA) - Oklahoma
Top 5 Players on Defense
*CB Jalen 'Teez' Tabor, No. 31, 6'0" - 201 lbs., 4.50 40 - (1st) - Florida
*CB Quincy Wilson, No. 6, 6'1" - 213 lbs., 4.54 40 - (1st) - Florida
*DE Carl Lawson, No. 55, 6'2" - 253 lbs., 4.67 40 - (1st) - Auburn
CB Desmond King, No. 14, 5'11" - 203 lbs., 4.53 40 - (1st-2nd) - Iowa
*CB Adoree' Jackson, No. 2, 5'11" - 185 lbs., 4.43 40 - (1st-2nd) - USC
* = indicates junior status
** = indicates redshirt sophomore status
No. 17 Florida Gators vs. Iowa Hawkeyes
Conference Affiliations: SEC vs. Big Ten
Location: Tampa, FL | Raymond James Stadium
Game time: 10:00 AM PT
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Bowl gift swag: $150 Best Buy gift card; Outback Steakhouse gift card; Fossil watch; Jostens ring; bowl hat.
Florida's draft-eligible prospect to keep an eye on:
OLB/ILB Jarrad Davis, No. 40, 6'1" - 240 lbs., 4.78 40 - (2nd-3rd)
OLB/ILB Jarrad Davis is an explosive athlete with excellent range, great speed, quickness, agility, balance, flexibility, change of direction skills (very fluid), strength, and burst. Showcases impressive sideline-to-sideline ability covering a lot of ground with excellent speed, agility, quickness, and physicality, Davis is good as a run and chase linebacker with solid explosion and great tackling. He displays excellent instincts and speed easily reading run keys and has the play speed (straight-line speed with a burst) to track down the football with impressive closing speed. Davis is a fierce and great tackler hitting with explosion, and he shows solid skills taking on blockers at the point of attack winning with proper leverage separating with violent and powerful hands stacking and shedding, as well as being an outstanding blitzer attacking inside gaps. Davis plays with a physical presence and aggressive style (sometimes gets the best of him in over-pursuit), good in coverage showing sound awareness and instincts, and great burst with closing speed. Projects as a 4-3 OLB, or an ILB in a 3-4.
With the 49ers scraping the bottom of the barrel to field inside linebackers, Davis would be a solid addition next to NaVorro Bowman with the position in desperate need of making it a strength once again.
Other Gators to keep an eye on: *CB Jalen 'Teez' Tabor, No. 31 - (1st); *CB Quincy Wilson, No. 6 - (1st); *DT Caleb Brantley, No. 57 - (2nd); *OT David Sharpe, No. 78 - (4th); DE Bryan Cox, No. 94 - (4th); DT Joey I've, No. 91 - (7th-UDFA); and QB Austin Appleby, No. 12 - (7th-UDFA).
Noticeable Gator missing today's action: FS Marcus Maye, No. 20 - (3rd) Out for the year broken left arm.
Iowa's draft-eligible prospect to keep an eye on:
QB C.J. Beathard, No. 16, 6'2" - 215 lbs., 4.86 40 - (4th)
QB C.J. Beathard is a very smart hard-nosed signal caller with incredible toughness and poise in the pocket. The former high school baseball star has a strong arm, decent mobility navigating well sliding and climbing in the pocket, and great awareness. Will stand tall in the pocket and shows grit taking the hard hit. He shows great touch and accuracy on deep balls, can fit throws in tight windows, but he's inconsistent on short to intermediate throws with sporadic accuracy from slow decision making, poor anticipation, and inconsistent ball placement. Displays good mobility outside of the pocket with good foot speed and decent suddenness. Coming from a pro-style offense he has experience working under center and in shotgun, and has the "game-manager" potential going for him. Durability is a concern with a history of injuries.
With Colin Kaepernick likely voiding his contract at the end of the season and no other quarterbacks under contract going into 2017, Beathard has the potential to be a solid game managing backup at the next level.
Other Hawkeyes to keep an eye on: CB Desmond King, No. 11 - (1st-2nd); DT Jaleel Johnson, No. 67 - (3rd-4th); RB LeShun Daniels Jr., No. 29 - (6th); OT Cole Croston, No. 64 - (7th); TE George Kittle, No. 46 - (7th); and DT Faith Ekakitie, No. 56 - 7th-UDFA).
Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic
No. 15 Western Michigan Broncos vs. No. 8 Wisconsin Badgers
Conference Affiliations: MAC vs. Big Ten
Location: Arlington, TX | AT&T Stadium
Game time: 10:00 AM PT
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Bowl gift swag: NA
Western Michigan's draft-eligible prospect to keep an eye on:
WR Corey Davis, No. 84, 6'3" - 213 lbs., 4.48 40 - (1st)
WR Corey Davis: It's hard to get recognition when one does not play in one of the Power 5 Conferences, but one wide receiver in particular has been turning heads with his consistency and production. Corey Davis is a big, tough, extremely reliable receiver with impressive and clean route running abilities displaying excellent fluidity and an impressive quickness to his game. He showcases great awareness and concentration plucking balls away from his frame utilizing sound body control, length, strong hands, and fantastic ball skills. Davis has also added more weight to his frame, which should bode well with his physical and aggressive nature attacking the football. He shows a great ability to separate from defenders with his short-area burst and suddenness, and possess good deep speed to take the top off coverages. A complete productive receiver easily capable of working underneath and over the top.
Davis doesn't possess elite speed, but he has added additional weight and strength to his game creating more explosion and the opportunity to be more consistent in winning contested battles. Playing outside the Power 5 will always have concerns on the level of competition, but a great showing at the Senior Bowl and the combine will only improve his stock.
There is no question the 49ers are severely lacking talent at the wide receiver position. Davis adds the reliability and playmaking skills the 49ers could definitely utilize as one of the most complete and dominant wide receiver prospects in this years' class.
Other Broncos to keep an eye on: OT Taylor Moton, No. 72 - (3rd); QB Zach Terrell, No. 11 - (7th); and DE Keion Adams, No. 1 - (7th- UDFA).
Wisconsin's draft-eligible prospect to keep an eye on:
OLB Vince Biegel, No. 47, 6'4" - 245 lbs., 4.75 40 - (3rd)
OLB Vince Biegel is a tremendous instinctive player with a relentless motor to the ball easily capable of slipping past defenders with impressive quickness, body control, and change of direction skills. The former high school hockey and track and field star displays excellent athleticism, length, and fluidity in concert with his amazing instincts showcasing a nose for the ball with excellent spacial awareness (high football instincts) and decent power attacking the offense with an intense determination. A quick-twitch player, Biegel is a slippery player knifing through gaps and stunts with great closing speed playing with his hair on fire, and flies off the edge with good speed and bend. Shows a great ability to drop in coverage with sound awareness and fluidity. Needs to gain functional strength at the next level, struggles to shed stronger defenders and is easily moved by power. Has the versatility to rush from both sides.
Biegel is an edge defender and pass rush specialist in the 49ers 3-4 scheme that brings a relentless high-motor, excellent work ethic, and tremendous quickness and football intelligence in his game.
Other Badgers to keep an eye on: *OT Ryan Ramczyk, No. 65 - (1st); RB Corey Clement, No. 6 - (4th); RB Dare Ogunbowale, No. 23 - (6th); WR Robert Wheelwright, No. (7th-UDFA); and CB Sojourn Shelton, No. 8 - (7th-UDFA).
Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual
No. 9 USC Trojans vs. No. 5 Penn State Nittany Lions
Conference Affiliations: Pac-12 vs. Big Ten
Location: Pasadena, CA | Rose Bowl
Game time: 2:00 PM PT
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Bowl gift swag: Gift suite; Fossil watch; Ogio backpack; New Era 9Fifty snapback adjustable hat.
USC's draft-eligible prospect to keep an eye on:
*WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, No. 9, 6'2" - 220 lbs., 4.52 40 - (1st)
*WR JuJu Smith-Schuster is another USC wide receiver looking to make a splash in the NFL. Could JuJu Smith-Schuster be the one to live up to the hype at the next level? Time will tell, but I wouldn't bet against him; nonetheless, Smith-Schuster displays an amazing combination of strength, speed, explosion, power, smoothness, elusiveness, and athleticism. The physical phenom boasts a big physique powerful enough to excel in the middle of the field as a physical reliable pass catcher, or as a vertical threat on the outside with great speed. With his innate ability to make plays, Smith-Schuster can easily take a short pass and explode with physicalness behind his pads breaking tackles running after the catch with big gains, and is a constant threat to hit big plays by speeding past safeties and physically dominating corners. Moreover, Smith-Schuster has the size, strength, body control, and leaping ability to be an excellent red-zone target.
Like Corey Davis above, Smith-Schuster adds the reliability and playmaking skills the 49ers could definitely utilize, and he brings back a physicality to the position we lacked with the departure of Anquan Boldin.
Other Trojans to keep an eye on: *CB Adoree' Jackson, No. 2 - (1st-2nd); OT Chad Wheeler, No. 72 - (2nd); OT Zach Banner, No. 73 - (2nd); RB Justin Davis, No. 22 - (6th); DT Stevie Tu'ikolovatu, No. 96 - (6th); SS Leon McQuay III, No. 22 - (6th); WR Darren's Rogers, No. 1 - (7th); and TE Taylor McNamara, No. 48 - (7th-UDFA).
Penn State's draft-eligible prospect to keep an eye on:
*WR Chris Godwin, No. 12, 6'1" - 205 lbs., 4.48 40 - (5th)
*WR Chris Godwin is a physical and tough wide receiver that plays with aggression and determination boasting great athleticism and playing bigger than his size. Goodwin displays good burst off the line of scrimmage, utilizes his size and strength to counteract at LOS when pressed, ability to run crisp routes, and has strong hands as a reliable pass catcher. Displays good foot quickness with a decent ability to break in and out of his cuts with suddenness separating from defenders. Flashes ability to win contested catches with defenders draped over him, and displays excellent ball skills (superb at tracking the ball over shoulder) making tough catches in traffic. Shows great effort and physicality blocking downfield with the nice hip flexibility swinging his hips blocking in space.
Godwin's strength, toughness, and strong hands makes him an ideal and reliable prospect as a chain mover for the 49ers. His speed will be a concern at the next level and separating from defenders will likely cause him troubles, but getting open in tight spaces helps him win.
Other Nittany Lions to keep an eye on: DE Evan Schwan, No. 94 - (7th-UDFA); OLB Brandon Bell, No. 11 - (7th-UDFA); and SS Malik Golden, No. 6 - (7th-UDFA).
Allstate Sugar Bowl
No. 14 Auburn Tigers vs. No. 7 Oklahoma Sooners
Conference Affiliations: SEC vs. Big 12
Location: New Orleans, LA | Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Game time: 5:30 PM PT
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Bowl gift swag: Gift suite; Fossil watch with custom tin; New Era cap.
Auburn's draft-eligible prospect to keep an eye on:
*DE Carl Lawson, No. 55, 6'2" - 253 lbs., 4.67 40 - (1st)
*DE Carl Lawson: After a very impressive freshman year (2013), Lawson missed the entire 2014 season with a season ending injury during Spring practices (torn ACL) and most of the 2015 season with a hip injury. Poised for a breakout year in 2016, Lawson displays good size, a thick and stout frame, explosiveness off the edge with excellent speed, flexibility (nice bend), agility, and change of direction skills. He is very athletic and strong with a relentless pursuit to the ball carrier. Showcases a tremendous quick first-step and a consistent high-motor always running hot. He is very strong at the point of attack and quite simply, a dominant disrupter on the field. His health will definitely be something 49ers will have to keep an eye on.
Lawson would provide the explosive and powerful edge presence the 49ers have been lacking.
Other Tigers to keep an eye on: DT Montravius Adams, No. 1 - (4th); FS Johnathan Ford, No. 23 - (4th); WR Tony Stevens, No. 8 - (7th-UDFA); OT Robert Left, No. 70 - (7th-UDFA); OG Alex Kozan, No. 63 - (7th-UDFA); and Joshua Holsey, No. 15 - (7th-UDFA).
Oklahoma's draft-eligible prospect to keep an eye on:
WR Dede Westbrook, No. 11, 5'11" - 175 lbs., 4.39 40 - (1st-2nd)
WR Dede Westbrook is an explosive fluid athletic talent with superior foot speed, excellent agility, elite speed, and plays bigger (physicality and toughness) than his size (6'0" - 176 lbs.) indicates. The wiry framed JUCO transfer has lit up Oklahoma's receiving game displaying his innate ability to be a playmaker and home run threat at any level of the field. Westbrook displays eye-popping burst and acceleration off the line, tremendous ability to break in and out of his cuts separating from defenders with outstanding suddenness, smoothly running precise and crisp routes (his double moves are a thing of beauty), and breakaway speed. Showcases superb burst and elite speed (eats up ground like a road runner) to take the top off coverages. Has the ability to take short passes and explode after the catch making big gains taking advantage of his elusiveness, balance, athleticism, impressive physicality, and elite speed. A threat in all three levels of the field, Westbrook attacks the ball extending to make the catch with very strong reliable hands, terrific ball skills, and plays with the aggressiveness and grit to win in every situation he faces. Displays great effort blocking down the field, but will need to gain functional strength at the next level. Durability is a concern with the thin build and a freak injury in high school, where his football career was in jeopardy. Brings value in the return game. Off-field issues involving domestic violence will need to be addressed.
There is no doubt Westbrook's explosive playmaking ability would be a tremendous asset to the 49ers receiving corps, but there will need to be some serious background checking on Westbrook in terms of off-field (allegedly domestic violence) issues, as well as medical concerns.
Other Sooners to keep an eye on: **RB Joe Mixon, No. 25 - (1st/2nd-UDFA); *RB Samaje Perine, No. 32 - (2nd-3rd); FS Ahmad Thomas, No. 13 - (4th); and ILB Jordan Evans, No. 26 - (7th-UDFA).
Noticeable Sooner missing today's action: *DT Charles Walker, No. 97 - (3rd) concussion concerns and left the team to focus on entering the NFL Draft.