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Akron, Florida Atlantic draft prospects to watch in the 2017 Boca Raton Bowl

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We highlight and profile the 2018 NFL draft-eligible prospects for Tuesday’s Boca Raton Bowl.

NCAA Football: Southern Illinois at Florida Atlantic Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers are on a three game winning streak! The team looks inspired, and determined to finish the season on a high note. It’s truly amazing how a promising and talented quarterback can change the dynamics of the team for the good! Sure, draft position slips with each passing win…however, to me, there is nothing better than winning. I’ll take winning over draft position any day!

NFL: Tennessee Titans at San Francisco 49ers Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Anyhow, onto college football and bowl season! Today, we take a close look at some of the top prospects in the Boca Raton Bowl featuring the Akron Zips and Florida Atlantic Owls. This will essentially be a home game for the Owls, who are also 22.5 point favorites in a game where points will be aplenty. Perhaps the most recognizable name will be patrolling the sidelines … Florida Atlantic head coach Lane Kiffin. However, there is some intriguing talent on both sides of the ball. While we might not have day one draft picks playing on this field, we could have some mid-to-late round prospects who can make an impact at the next level.

Bottom Line: FAU, the Conference USA Champions should win this game. Akron has had trouble stopping the run all season long. FAU is a run-first team led by one of the best and promising running backs in the country, sophomore Devin Singletary (Look out for his name next year during draft season!) who was a semi-finalist for the Doak Walker Award. If all goes according to plan, Lane Kiffin should bring home hardware in his first season at FAU.

Pick: FAU

Here’s all you need to know for tonight’s matchup in the Sunshine State:

Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl

Teams: Akron (7-6) vs. Florida Atlantic (10-3)
Location: FAU Stadium, Boca Raton, FL
Date: Tuesday, December 19
Time: 5:00 p.m. PT
Channel: ESPN
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Odds: Florida Atlantic -22.5, 64

Top 5 Players To Watch

Antonyo Woods, Florida Atlantic - Center - 6’3” - 295 lbs.
LB Azeez Al-Shaair, Florida Atlantic - LB - 6’2” - 228 lbs.
Jordan George, Akron - CB - 6’0” - 205 lbs
Jamal Davis, Akron- DE - 6’4” - 235 lbs.
Ulysses Gilbert III, Akron - DE - 6’1” - 225 lbs.

Player Spotlight

Antonyo Woods - Center - FAU

One of the most underrated centers in the country. Doesn’t get the attention or spotlight he deserves playing in Conference USA. However, he is the captain of that offensive line. Creates a ton of push and holes for the running attack, which has been absolutely lethal this season at FAU. Led up no sacks and only five pressures all season. Definitely a prospect to watch in the mid-to late rounds. The 49ers need help and depth along their offensive line. Woods was one of the highest graded centers in the country this season. He’s my top prospect to watch tonight!

Azeez Al-Shaair - LB - Florida Atlantic

NCAA Football: Florida Atlantic at Rice Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Al-Shaair is the defender on FAU who always has a nose for the football. The Owl’s linebacker always seemed to find himself right in the middle of the developing play. He is a tackling machine, racking up 134 total team tackles, with 10 plus tackles in 9 of his 12 games. All of these stats, and he still missed a game! Moves well for a linebacker vertically and horizontally, from sideline to sideline. Wraps around his opponent, and quickly bringing them to the ground.

Jordan George - CB - Akron

NCAA Football: Akron at Penn State Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

A major contributor in the Zip’s backfield this season, George had five interceptions and four pass breakups this season. Has the ability to knock the receiver off of his route. Plays with aggression and finishes his tackles. The 49ers are in need for CB depth, and while George is nowhere near the top of anyone’s list of draft eligible cornerbacks, he can be someone to watch when the UDFA’s sign to prospective teams.

Jamal Davis - DE - Akron

NCAA Football: Iowa State at Akron David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports

Easily Akron’s best defender. Davis was a terror in opposing team’s backfields, and was among the MAC leaders in 59 tackles, 34 total solo tackles and 13.5 tackles for a loss. He’s not a sack artist, but he creates havoc and openings, and pushes offensive lineman backwards to increase pressure within the pocket. Strong leadership, poise, and toughness. Improvement with every season played. Keep a close eye on Davis against a respectable FAU offensive line.

  • Stats courtesy of Team Sites.