clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2018 college football bowl game watch list, game thread

Bowl season is upon us. We’ll be updating this article with new prospects to watch each day of bowl season.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

NCAA Football: Kentucky at Tennessee Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

The 2018-19 bowl season is officially upon us! The next 3+ weeks brings 40 college football matchups, culminating with the 2019 College Football Playoff national title game at Levi’s Stadium.

In the past, we have created a different draft prospect watch thread for each day of bowl game action. This year, we’re trying something different. We’ll use one thread and for each day of bowl games, we’ll add prospects at the top of the page. For days with three or more bowl games, Josh, Alex, and Greg will each discuss a pair of notable prospects for the games. For days with one or two bowl games, they will rotate discussing notable prospects.

We will likely have a separate thread for the national title game, and if this thread otherwise fills up with comments, we’ll create a new one. In the meantime, enjoy bowl season!

Tuesday, January 1st schedule

#18 Mississippi State (8-4) vs Iowa (8-4), Outback Bowl — 9:00 a.m. (PT) — ESPN2 — Tampa Bay, Florida

#12 Penn State (9-3) vs #14 Kentucky (9-3), VRBO Citrus Bowl — 10:00 a.m. (PT) — ABC — Orlando, Florida

#8 UCF (12-0) vs #11 LSU (9-3), Playstation Fiesta Bowl*, — 10:00 a.m. (PT) — ESPN — Glendale, Arizona

#6 Ohio State (12-1) vs #9 Washington (10-3), Rose Bowl* — 2:00 p.m. (PT) — ESPN — Pasadena, California

#5 Georgia (11-2) vs #15 Texas (9-4), All State Sugar Bowl* — 5:00 p.m. (PT) — ESPN — New Orleans, Louisiana

* Denotes New Year’s 6 Bowl Game.

Josh Eccles

Dwayne Haskins, QB, No. 7 - Ohio State
Height: 6’3” | Weight: 220
2018 Stats: 4,580 passing yards, 47 touchdowns, 8 interceptions.
#6 Ohio State vs #9 Washington | 2:00 p.m. (PT) Tuesday January 1 | ESPN

The ultimate X-factor in what’s a down quarterback class, Haskins has a Mitchell Trubisky-esque collegiate resume and could ultimately go early in Round 1, like the Bears’ signal-caller did. Haskins set records during his first year as the Ohio State starter and flashed serious NFL franchise quarterback skills inside the pocket. He showed the ability to move through his reads and throw accurately to all levels of the field. His offensive line was fantastic, however, and Haskins did struggle while under pressure at times, which wasn’t shocking for a quarterback at his experience level. He’ll be the odds-on favorite to be the first passer off the board.

Good news for San Francisco in this situation is that there are some quarterback-needy teams that may consider trading up to leap frog other teams to select Haskins with the second overall pick. This bodes well and wouldn’t be a rarity as we saw this once before when the 49ers swapped picks with the Chicago Bears so they could select quarterback Mitchell Trunisky at #2 instead of #3.

Round Projection: Early 1st

Deandre Baker, CB, No. 18 - Georgia Height: 5’11” | Weight: 190
#5 Georgia vs #15 Texas | 5:00 p.m. (PT) Tuesday January 1 | ESPN

I had this to say about Georgia Bulldogs cornerback Deandre Baker before bowl season began:

Entering the 2018 NCAA football season Baker was considered one of the top prospects in the nation and, honestly, did nothing along the way to hurt his draft stock. Much like Williams, Baker utilizes a skillset that can translate well at the next level. While he lacks top-end speed he is extremely physical and does have enough quickness and athleticism to present separation by receivers running routes. For the NFL, Baker fits the vast majority of schemes. He has lined up in off-man coverage, zone and man coverage at the line of scrimmage. Baker would fit well in a scheme that plays off-man and zone coverage as a pro. He would not be a natural fit in a defense that plays a lot of press-man coverage. I’d expect him to be drafted somewhere near the mid-to-late parts of the first round.

It would be a shocker for the Niners to select Baker with the second overall pick in the 2019 draft. The only scenario that would befit Baker coming to the Bay would be if a team near the middle of the first round offered up a king’s ransom to move up to second overall.

Round Projection: 1st

Alex Eisen

Benny Snell Jr., RB, No. 26 - Kentucky
Height: 5’11” | Weight: 223
2018 Stats: 5.0 Yards Per Carry, 1,305 Yards, 14 Touchdowns, 17 Receptions, 105 Yards.
#12 Penn State vs #14 Kentucky | 10:00 a.m. (PT) Tuesday January 1 | ABC

Bennie Snell junior had a breakout campaign this season, and put his name on the college football map. The Doak Award Finalist was a major focal point in the Tiger’s offensive game plan week in and week out. Snell is a physical, power-back runner. He has a great blend of upper and lower body strength. Snell runs behind his pads with the ability to gain yards after initial contact. Snell is a patient ball carrier who will follow his blockers and progress through available gaps and holes along the line of scrimmage. Snell often is a one cut runner, who will extend the play to find space. Does not cut or shift often and is far more of a traditional run-between-the-tackles ball carrier. Battles through initial contact, fighting for additional yards, and runs with a physical tone and purpose. He is dangerous and a nightmare to stop in short yardage situations on the field. Snell is not an overly threatening receiver, however in check-downs and short yardage opportunities Snell has demonstrated his ability to catch the football.

In pass protection, Snell has been quite effective this season. Anticipates where the pressure and rushers are coming from and will take on contact as needed. Snell is often credited with keeping his quarterback’s passing lanes clean and free of rusher’s hands. What stands out to me about Snell is that defenses seem to zone in on him and yet he more often than not manages to produce positive results, all while putting the offense on his back. While his initial burst leaves a little to be desired, Snell’s ability to carry the ball between the tackles and also block in pass protection offer teams three-down capabilities which can be quite valuable in the NFL. Snell is quickly rising up draft boards and should continue to see his draft stock rise. At the moment I project Snell going in the third round with his arrow pointing up. By the way, recent history tells us that the third round might be the winning round to draft a running back…Here are just a few recent backs who have been drafted in the third round…Alvin Kamara, David Johnson, Kareem Hunt, James Connor, Kenyan Drake, Devonta Freeman.

Round Projection 3rd

Devin White, LB, No. 40 - LSU
Height: 6’1” | Weight: 240
2018 Stats: 115 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 5 passes deflected
#8 UCF vs #11 LSU | 10:00 a.m. (PT) Tuesday, January 1 | ESPN

Devin White is an elite, playmaking linebacker who is a first-round lock in next year’s draft. White has outstanding speed for his position, covering a lot of ground, both vertically and horizontally, sideline-to-sideline . White is a versatile linebacker who can defend against the pass in coverage against tight ends and ball carriers. On tape, White has demonstrated his ability to break up plays for a loss of yardage behind the line of scrimmage. Finishes most of his tackles, while quickly wrapping his opponent and bringing them to the ground. Will chase down ball carriers along the perimeter. Plays a physical brand of football and often sets the tone for the rest of his teammates on defense. Has a natural blend of upper and lower body strength, with incredible balance that allows White to play at a low center of gravity. White has elite versatility and can change directions and shift his body instantly. White has a high motor that does not wear down throughout the course of a game. His anticipation and instincts not only put himself in a position to be successful but his teammates as well. Demonstrates strong leadership on the Tiger’s defense. His ability to play at a high intensity level is inspiring to watch.

As far as overall athleticism goes, White is certainly a nominee to be the best overall athlete this draft class has to offer. White has great flexibility, with the ability to cut through and slip by blockers in his attempts to rush the passer. While I like White’s speed, there are times where he puts himself out of position due to being overly aggressive. At the next level White will need to be more mindful of his angles and approach at times. Still, there is so much to like about Devin White, and all that he brings to the position. He seems a bit stronger against the run than in pass coverage. The Auburn game this season will show that he has some room to grow in the pass coverage department. Devin White is the most complete linebacker this draft class has to offer. He is a first round lock, and potentially top ten selection.

Round Projection: 1st

Greg Valerio

T.J. Hockenson, TE, No. 38 - Iowa
Height: 6’5” | Weight: 250 | 40 time: 4.72
2018 Stats: 46 receptions, 717 yards, 15.6 average yards per catch, and 6 touchdowns
No. 18 Mississippi State vs Iowa | 9:00 a.m. (PT) Tuesday, January 1 | ESPN

Earlier in the collegiate season I highlighted one Iowa tight end to keep an eye on in Noah Fant, but Iowa does not disappoint with their tight ends. T.J. Hockenson may not get the same recognition as Fant, but an argument could be made Hockenson could be better of the two. The redshirt sophomore has stepped out of the shadow of Fant and his gameplay has raised eyebrows leaving him an enticing option to take advantage of his draft value when it is time to declare. Moreover, joining another talented Iowa tight end in George Kittle will help solidify the 49ers’ tight end position. Hockenson, the Robin to Kittle’s Batman - thanks Twitter!

Hockenson offers an athletic frame with a terrific combination of size, speed, athleticism, and strength. He displays fluidity in his route running, showcases excellent ball skills, very strong reliable and outstanding hands, attacks the ball at its highest point, and is an exceptional blocker (Iowa’s bread and butter). Hockenson displays outstanding awareness always finding the holes on defense and quickly squares up to make a large target for the quarterback, as well as the suddenness to separate with impressive burst from his breaks creating separation. He shows an excellent ability to block end of line at the point of attack in a three point stance using solid hand technique and leverage. Hockenson shows the agility to reach the next level and block in space with a sound base, platform, and the ability to swing his hips blocking in space whether end of line or detached and will finish defenders with a nasty imposition. An all around complete tight end that is still growing. My favorite tight end in the class, and with Noah Fant sitting out for today’s bowl game, the spotlight will be on Hockenson.

D’Andre Walker, OLB, No. 15 - Georgia
Height: 6’3” | Weight: 250 | 40 time: 4.70
2018 Stats: 7.5 sacks, 45 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 3 pass deflections, 1 fumble recovery, and 4 forced fumbles
No. 15 Texas vs No. 5 Georgia | 5:45 p.m. (PT) Tuesday, January 1 | ESPN

D’Andre Walker is a versatile athlete with excellent first-step explosion. He shows great speed and terrific bend off the edge erupting with burst and active heavy hands at the point of attack. He is quick to transition into his pass rush with great body control, power, balance, and nice change of direction skills flying out of the arc from his bend adjusting with great fluidity. Walker is a force in the run game displaying sound awareness, balance, and the strength setting the edge (shows discipline maintaining containment and great at stacking and shedding). Moreover, he showcases the fluidity and short area quickness in space, where he displays sound instincts and awareness quickly diagnosing and attacking arriving in a hurry finishing with violent tendencies.

Walker also displays impressive coverage skills taking full advantage of his speed, athleticism, and savviness covering a lot of the field occupying passing lanes, and flashes solid skills covering running backs, tight ends, and wide receivers. An ideal three-down SAM backer, Walker offers violent explosion rushing off the edge and inside, a stout run defender, and a disruptive force in coverage.

Monday, December 31st schedule

Cincinnati (10-2) vs Virginia Tech (6-6), Military Bowl — 9:00 a.m. (PT) — ESPN — Annapolis, Maryland

Stanford (8-4) vs Pitt (7-6), Hyundai Sun Bowl — 11:00 a.m. (PT) — CBS — El Paso, Texas

Michigan State (7-5) vs Oregon (8-4), Redbox Bowl — 12:00 p.m. (PT) — FOX — Santa Clara, California

No. 23 Missouri (8-4) vs Oklahoma State (6-6), Autozone Liberty Bowl — 12:45 p.m. (PT) — ESPN — Memphis, Tennessee

No. 22 Northwestern (8-5) vs No. 17 Utah (12-1), San Diego Credit Union Holiday Bowl — 4:00 p.m. (PT) — FS1 — San Diego, California

NC State (9-3) vs No. 19 Texas A&M (8-4), Taxslayer Gator Bowl — 4:30 p.m. (PT) — ESPN — Jacksonville, Florida

Kenny Willekes, EDGE, No. 48 - Michigan State Height: 6’4” | Weight: 260 lbs 2018 stats: 76 total tackles (20.5 for loss), 8.5 sacks, 1 interception Michigan State vs. Oregon | 12:00 p.m. (PT) Monday, December 31 | ESPN

If I had a dollar for every time it was pointed out that the need to obtain an edge rusher far outweighs anything else this offseason does for San Francisco then I might have enough to buy a beer or two at Levi’s (might).The 6-foot-4, 260-pound redshirt junior has lived in the opposition’s backfield over the past two seasons. In 2017, he had 13 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. In 2018, he exploded with 20.5 tackles for loss and eight quarterback takedowns to go along with four pass breakups. Willekes is a high-motor player with a devastating swim move (and swipe-rip combo) that repeatedly beat offensive tackles.

While not a supremely gifted athlete, the Michigan State star is powerful at the point of attack and can flip on the jets to close on the quarterback when need be. He’s a sleeper prospect at the edge-rusher spot so, depending on the offseason goes for him, he could hear his name be called anytime during day two of the draft.

Round Projection: 2-4

Reggie Floyd, S, No. 21 - Virginia Tech Height: 6’0” | Weight: 220 lbs 2018 stats: 72 total tackles (9.5 for loss), 1 interception Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech | 9:00 p.m. (PT) Monday, December 31 | ESPN

Only a junior, Floyd may return to Blacksburg for his senior season in 2019, but he’s done enough to garner legit draft interest over the past two seasons. He’s logged 72 tackles in each of the past two years and has five interceptions over that time frame. In 2018, he recorded 9.5 tackles for loss. At 6-foot and 220ish pounds, Floyd projects as a “big nickel” safety at the next level, a position that’s becoming more prevalent at the NFL level. He has the athleticism and speed to range from the deep middle and can play hard-nosed football near the line of scrimmage as a second-level defender.

Veteran cornerback Richard Sherman recently publicly endorsed the idea of San Francisco pursuing a deal with free agent to-be Earl Thomas III. He’s a future hall of famer so it’s unfair to make this comparison but Floyd possesses a lot of the traits Thomas does - something which is perfect for the defense Robert Saleh is trying to build.

Round Projection: 3rd

Alex Eisen

Kelvin Harmon, WR, No. 3 - N.C. State
Height: 6’3” | Weight: 214
2018 Stats: 81 Receptions, 1186 Yards, 7 Touchdowns
N.C. State vs. No. 19 Texas A&M | 4:30 p.m. (PT) Monday, December 31 | ESPN

Harmon has a great combination of size and speed for the position. His height and strength gives him the ability to outbox defenders, especially in man to man coverage and one-to-one opportunities along the outside. A smooth runner who drives himself fluidity through his hips. Harmon has a developed route tree and puts himself in position to make plays. Has efficient breakaway speed, with the ability to stretch the field vertically.

Often wins at the point of the catch, and will create yards after the reception. Has had some issues with inconsistent hands and has been a culprit of drops. He will need to continue to clean up and improve this area of his game. Thanks to a developed route tree, he has received the attention of scouts and evaluators. If his hands can become as reliable as his route running, Harmon has the ability to rise early into the second day of the draft.

Round Projection: 2nd

Qadree Ollison, RB/FB, No. 30 - Pittsburgh
Height: 6’2” | Weight: 225
2018 Stats: 189 Touches, 1190 yards, 11 touchdowns
Stanford vs Pittsburgh | 11:00 a.m. (PT) Monday, December 31 | CBS

The senior running back out of Pitt had a productive final season for the Panthers with over a thousand yards on the ground along with double digit touchdowns. Ollison was a major contributor to why the Panthers won the ACC Coastal division and played in the ACC title game this season. Ollison demonstrates great vision in the backfield, and has the patience to find the hole sand gaps to run through. Will follow his blockers and run between the tackles or beyond the edge. Has the ability to catch the football, but isn’t the biggest threat as a receiver.

Runs with physical power, downhill, and will gain additional yards after the initial contact. Ollison has demonstrated his ability to be a blocker in pass protection and diagnosis and anticipates where the pressure will be coming from. Ollison is not the most shifty receiver, and defenders do not have too much trouble tackling him in open space. However, what I do like about Ollison is his ability to play all three downs on the field. He is a reliable ball carrier who will catch the football if called upon. Ollison is a day three prospect.

Round Projection: 6th

Greg Valerio

Garrett Bradbury, C/OG, No. 65 - NC State
Height: 6’3” | Weight: 300 | 40 time: 5.26
N.C. State vs. No. 19 Texas A&M | 4:30 p.m. (PT) Monday, December 31 | ESPN

A highly respected leader on and off the field, Garrett Bradbury commands a group of NC State offensive linemen known as the “Band of Brothers”, and one of the better offensive line units in the nation. The former tight end is an athletic and smooth prospect with great agility and is lauded for his high football IQ. A technician on the field, Bradbury utilizes solid hand placement in concert with fluid and light feet exploding after the snap quickly anchoring with excellent lateral agility adjusting to movement maintaining balance (functional strength is a work in progress). He displays excellent movement and quickness excelling in pulling and reaching the second level quickly taking advantage of angles and displaying the athletic ability to swing his hips blocking in space.

The 49ers have shown improvement with their offensive line unit as the season progressed; nevertheless, it is a unit in need of consistency and depth. Along with Bradbury, two other NC State prospects to keep an eye on are OG Terronne Prescod (No. 70) and OT Tyler Jones (No. 53). Although Bradbury is recognized for his outstanding awareness and leadership commanding the offensive line with precision and authority, all three are interior offensive linemen prospects suited to play in a zone blocking scheme.

Round Projection: 3rd

Landis Durham, DE, No. 46 - Texas A&M
Height: 6’3” | Weight: 255 | 40 time: 4.79
2018 stats: 7 sacks, 47 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, and 1 pass deflection
N.C. State vs. No. 19 Texas A&M | 4:30 p.m. (PT) Monday, December 31 | ESPN

Landis Durham is another speedy quick-twitch edge defender that displays great skills in rushing the passer. A converted linebacker, Durham has shown the capacity to improve and is continuing his impressive play from the year prior. He explodes off the edge blowing past defenders with speed, quickness, great balance, body control, and change of direction skills. Durham is a slippery player penetrating through gaps and stunts with great closing speed playing with bad intentions, and soars off the edge with athleticism, speed, and bend. A pass rush specialist, Durham will need to gain functional strength at the next level as he struggles to shed stronger defenders and is easily moved by power.

Round Projection: 3rd-4th

Saturday, December 29th schedule

South Carolina (7-5) vs Virginia (7-5), Belk Bowl — 9:00 a.m. (PT) — ABC — Charlotte, North Carolina

#7 Michigan (10-2) vs #10 Florida (9-3), Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl — 9:00 a.m. (PT) — ESPN — Atlanta, Georgia

Arkansas State (8-4) vs Nevada (7-5), Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl — 10:15 a.m. (PT) — CBSS — Tucson, Arizona

#2 Clemson (13-0) vs #3 Notre Dame (12-0), Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic — 1:00 p.m. (PT) — ESPN — Dallas, Texas — College Football National Semifinal Playoff

#1 Alabama (13-0) vs #4 Oklahoma (12-1), Capital One Orange Bowl — 5:00 p.m. (PT) — ESPN — Miami Gardens, Florida — College Football National Semifinal Playoff

Josh Eccles

Bryce Hall, CB, No. 34 - Virginia
Height: 6’1” | Weight: 201
2018 Stats: 59 total tackles, 2 sacks, 2 interceptions, 22 passes deflected
South Carolina vs Virginia | 9:00 a.m. (PT) Saturday, December 29 | ESPN

Bryce Hall May be the best player you haven’t hear don’t of yet. He led the nation with 22 pass breakups in 2018 (he knocked down 13 passes along with snagging three picks in his first two season for the Cavaliers). Hall has ideal outside cornerback size at 6-1 and 200 pounds, and while he may not be the most explosive plant-and-drive defensive back, he’s a half-step ahead of everyone thanks to lightning-quick play-recognition skills. Lastly and maybe most importantly, he remains calm when the ball is arriving, which has led to a high pass-breakup total.

As things stand now Hall most likely will be considered towards the end of the first round or the beginning of the second round, thus making the only scenarios possible for San Francisco to snag him being if they trade back or hope that he’s available around picks 33-37. From what I’ve watched on film so far I can say that 49er fans shouldn’t be disappointed if he ends up in red and gold come 2019.

Bobby Evans, OT, No. 71 - Oklahoma
Height: 6’5” | Weight: 302
#1 Alabama vs #4 Oklahoma | 5:00 p.m. (PT) Saturday, December 29 | ESPN

Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey, as we all know, have both tackle positions locked down for at least one more season - beyond that it is unsure if Staley will continue his career (although, by all accounts, it appears that head coach Kyle Shanahan has revitalized his interest in sticking around with the 49ers). The assumption is that McGlinchey will take over the reigns at left tackle after Staley does walk away which means that San Francisco should consider drafting a replacement sooner rather than later.

Enter Sooners tackle Bobby Evans. Evans moved from right tackle -- where he was dominant in 2017 -- to left tackle in 2018, and the position change came with mixed results. Evans isn’t like Ford, who’s more of a classic, overpowering Oklahoma blocker. The former has smooth footwork but doesn’t always keep his feet moving in pass-protection, which can lead to off-balanced reps and quarterback pressures. He gets out to the second level quickly and has good “accuracy” blocking linebackers and defensive backs. Evans is probably a mid-round pick but could sneak onto Day 2 with a strong pre-draft process.

Alex Eisen

Hunter Renfrow, WR, No. 13 - Clemson
Height: 5’10” | Weight: 185
2018 Stats: 43 Receptions, 472 Yards, 1 Touchdown | Career: 180-2061-15
#2 Clemson vs #3 Notre Dame | 1:00 p.m. (PT) Saturday, December 29 | ESPN

From walk-on to national title clinching touchdown recipient, Hunter Renfrow seems to have done it all in his four seasons for the Clemson Tigers. While names like Trevor Lawrence, Tee Higgins, and Travis Etienne receive the bulk of the national media attention on offense, Hunter Renfrow has slowly but surely put together a truly remarkable collegiate career. Renfrow is as reliable as they come at the receiver position, with strong, reliable hands, rarely dropping a pass thrown in his direction. On multiple occasions Renfrow moved the chains for the Tigers on third down conversions, particularly in third and short situations. While Renfrow is not explosive or a burner, he does have quick feet and initial burst to create separation from defenders in zone and man to man coverage schemes. Has great bend, and is one of the best low-ball receivers in the nation. Due to his lack of size, there is a limit to his catch radius and window the quarterback has available to him. However, on multiple occasions Renfrow has mad acrobatic receptions over the top.

Renfrow does have a limited route-tree. Renfrow primarily lined up in the slot, which is his natural position, and where he will find the most success at the next level. Performs his best in the short and intermediate levels on the field. Was almost never asked to run deep in Clemson’s system. Vision and awareness with the ball in his possession are outstanding. Will shift and change direction, and often finds additional yards after the reception. Overall, Renfrow has natural instincts when the ball is in his possession. His size and frame are going to be the biggest concern scouts and evaluators have. He is not a receiver who has much size or plays physical. However, Renfrow plays to the level of his competition. Played his best football against Alabama in both national title games (2015, 2016) against perhaps the best defense in the nation. As far as clutch player goes, Renfrow might go down as one of the best in Clemson football history. His size and frame are a concern. However, Renfrow is a receiver who catches everything throw his way, who can shift and change direction to evade defenders, and in the right system can be dangerous at the first and second levels on the field. Renfrow can potentially be a late-round gem on the third day of the NFL Draft.

Quinnen Williams, DT/NT, No. 92 - Alabama
Height: 6’4” | Weight: 295
2018 Stats: 66 Tackles, 18 Tackles for a loss, 8 Sacks, 1 Pass Deflected
#1 Alabama vs #4 Oklahoma | 5:00 p.m. (PT) Saturday, December 29 | ESPN

Quinnen Williams has been a relentless force along the defensive line for the Alabama Crimson Tide this season. The redshirt sophomore has created consistent disruption in the opponent’s backfield game in and game out. In the second half of the season, that disruption turned into multiple sacks on the quarterback. Has an outstanding first step and initial burst off the snap. Has a high motor and uses his hands to generate power that pushes blockers into a backwards pedal along the line of scrimmage. Williams has a variety of rush moves and techniques that he utilizes effectively throughout the duration of a game. This can cause blockers to get off balance. Williams often requires double team attention (which doesn’t often stop him), which allows his fellow defensive lineman to find holes and gaps to create disruption and breakup plays, particularly on passing downs. Williams plays with a physical, bull-rush mentality. His speed and athleticism are off the charts. Explodes out of his stance and makes initial contact immediately. Will often win one to one matchups, and uses his physical strength to his advantage.

Williams has a natural blend of power and flexibility. Gifted with strong football instincts and anticipation. Reads and diagnosis the play well, and positions himself often to make an impact both on running and passing downs. He might be the best rated defensive lineman against the run. There is a little concern about his length, particularly his arms. However, his handwork technique has been clean and superb throughout the course of the season. Forget that he is a redshirt sophomore…Williams was asked to switch to nose tackle, and so, has been performing at this elite level out of his natural position. Overall, Williams has incredible body control, devastating speed, and overwhelming strength. He is a threat on every down he plays. If there is one defensive lineman who can be considered unblockable in this upcoming draft it is Williams. While he is only a redshirt sophomore, I will be surprised if he returns to Alabama. Williams is a Top 10 lock in 2019 NFL Draft.

Greg Valerio

Jachai Polite, DE, No. 99 - Florida
Height: 6’2” | Weight: 242 | 40 time: 4.62
2018 stats: 11 sacks, 43 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, 4 pass deflections, and 5 forced fumbles
No. 10 Florida vs. No. 7 Michigan | 9:00 a.m. (PT) Saturday, December 29 | ESPN

Jachai Polite started the season as an under-the-radar edge prospect showcasing a solid combination of speed, flexibility, top-notch athleticism, and a relentless motor bending well coming off the edge with excellent foot quickness and blazing speed. A bit undersized at 6-foot-2-inches, Polite is an explosive and aggressive edge player with a quick burst off the line of scrimmage showcasing great change of direction skills, strength at the point of attack, penetrating speed, solid instincts, and is a ferocious player that has a nose for the ball with impressive closing speed. Speed and violence is Polite’s bread and butter.

A true disruptive force and an energy ball, Polite is an ideal LEO defender in the 49ers’ defensive scheme utilizing his burst, penetrating speed, fluid change of direction skills, and the optimal bend (nice dip of the shoulder) you love to see from your edge defenders. The junior’s tremendous quick first-step explosion, eyebrow raising speed off the edge, and his continuous relentless effort on the field will continue to open more eyes while he quickly climbs the ranks of an already impressive edge class.

Irv Smith Jr., TE, No. 82 - Alabama
Height: 6’4” | Weight: 241 | 40 time: 4.5
2018 Stats (13 games): 38 receptions, 648 yards, 17.1 average yards per catch, and 7 touchdowns
No. 4 Oklahoma vs. No. 1 Alabama | 5:00 p.m. (PT) Saturday, December 29 | ESPN

Irv Smith Jr. is a mismatch in the middle of the field and on the perimeter displaying an impressive combination of size, speed, explosion, and athleticism. A dangerous receiving weapon in the middle of the field, Smith can easily take advantage of defenses with his speed up the seam, the suddenness to separate and get away from man coverage taking advantage of his impressive length and athleticism, finds holes in zone and squares up presenting a large target and catching radius for the quarterback, and extends hands away from the body to make the catch. Along with good catching and great YAC ability, his blocking has been steadily improving as well (a work in progress but shown the capacity to improve).

Smith is a high effort tenacious football player with NFL bloodlines (father and uncle both played in the NFL). He is well coached and embraces the opportunities to improve his game always hungry to succeed. The 49ers are in desperate need of a playmaker wide receiver; however, a dual threat at tight end, along with George Kittle, could be an additional force Kyle Shanahan can take advantage of.

Friday, December 28th schedule

Purdue (6-6) vs Auburn (7-5), Franklin American Mortgage Company Music City Bowl — 10:30 a.m. (PT) — ESPN — Nashville, Tennessee

#16 West Virginia (8-3) vs #20 Syracuse (9-3), Camping World Bowl — 2:15 p.m. (PT) — ESPN — Orlando, Florida

#13 Washington State (10-2) vs #24 Iowa State (8-4), Valero Alamo Bowl — 6:00 p.m. (PT) — ESPN — San Antonio, Texas

Josh Eccles

Markus Bailey, LB, No. 21 - Purdue Height: 6’1” | Weight: 240 lbs 2018 stats: 104 tackles (8 tackles for loss), 6.5 sacks, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovered Purdue vs Auburn 10:30 a.m. | (PT) Friday, December 28 | ESPN

A high motor defender, Markus Bailey can be viewed chasing down plays from the back side; he will scrape with great hustle or turn and run down the field in an effort to get in on the play. Bailey had his best game of the year in Purdue’s demolition of Ohio State in prime time. He had 15 total tackles and a pick-six in the upset win. On the year, Bailey has 104 tackles, eight tackles for loss, and 6.5 sacks. He moves extraordinarily well for being 6-foot--1 and 240 pounds - he almost looks like a large safety on the field.

While he doesn’t play with loads of power, Bailey is the classic “run-and-chase” second-level defender and did flash active hands when blockers approached him in 2018. He needs to get more comfortable and fluid when sinking in coverage. The creation of big plays on passes wouldn’t hurt his resume. As a redshirt junior, Bailey does have another year of eligibility, but he’d probably be a mid-round pick if he declared for the 2019 NFL Draft.

Chris Slayton, DT, No. 95 - Syracuse Height: 6’4” | Weight: 310 lbs No. 16 West Virginia vs. No. 20 Syracuse | 2:15 p.m. (PT) Friday, December 28 | ESPN

Despite not starting football until high school Chris Slayton has been the defensive leader on an improving Syracuse team. The 6-foot-4, 310-pound senior is a high-motor interior lineman with an efficient swipe move and decent power. He did log 29.5 tackles for loss for the Orange. Slayton battled injuries in 2018 but should be available for this bowl game and has late-round potential as a well-rounded rotational three technique. Slayton has shown flashes as a disruptive interior presence and will look to put an impressive final tally on a productive senior year before gearing up for the offseason draft preparations. San Francisco defensive coordinator Robert Saleh has plenty of pieces to work with on the defensive line but Slayton could absolutely prove to be a valuable addition towards the backend of the draft.

Alex Eisen

Deshaun Davis, LB, No. 57 - Auburn
Height: 5’11” | Weight: 233
2018 Stats: 107 Tackles, 2.5 Sacks, 2 Passes Deflected
Purdue vs Auburn 10:30 a.m. | (PT) Friday, December 28 | ESPN

One of the leaders of the Auburn defense this season is senior Deshaun Davis. Plays to his strength and brings power on the initial contact to bring his opponent to the ground quickly. Davis is a volume tackler. Does not hesitate to take on blockers, lowering his shoulder, and moving into forward motion towards the line of scrimmage. Davis needs to work more on his hand technique when trying to break down blockers. Playing along the second level of the field, Davis likes to play a physical brand of football. Has an average, but not great motor. However, he gives it his all on every play, and does not let up for a second, especially when running downhill against ball carriers on running downs.

His range can be limited at times, and is not very fluid through his hips. His steps and overall footwork can be heavy. His ability in coverage will need some work at the next level as he has been inconsistent at times working against running backs and tight ends. Davis would most likely work best in the SAM linebacker position. His strengths are as a physical downhill runner, against ball carriers on running downs. Davis ends his career with first-team SEC honors, team MVP, and Auburn’s active career tackler, that included 107 tackles this season. Add on his leadership and coachable abilities, and Davis has the looks of a well-rounded football player both on and off the field.

James Williams, RB, No. 32 - Washington State
Height: 6’0” | Weight: 205
2018 Stats: 112 Carries, 549 Rushing Yards, 12 Touchdowns, 76 Receptions, 560 Receiving Yards, 4 Touchdowns
#13 Washington State vs #24 Iowa State | 6:00 p.m. (PT) Friday, December 28 | ESPN

The junior out of Washington State has had himself a productive season, making a positive impact for the Cougars on offense both on the ground and in the air. Williams is a running back who can catch the football, and possess dual-threat abilities. According to stats and statistics, in each of his last two seasons Williams has recorded over 70 receptions. He is a pass catching specialist that NFL teams are currently seeking at the next level. Williams moves extremely well in space, and can be dangerous in the open field, as he often will fight for additional yards after the reception. Has great balance, and shifts like a joystick, which makes tackling Williams a nightmare for defenders.

Williams isn’t the biggest running back (6-0, 205), however he makes up for this with his quick feet, contact balance, and the ability to turn short receptions into large gains. Surprisingly for his size, Williams is a formidable blocker in the backfield for his quarterback on passing downs, often taking on his assignment. Has great vision and patience while seeking out gaps and holes when carrying the football. Taking on more volume will not be a problem for Williams either as he has handled additional responsibilities and reps since Jamal Morrow moved on after last season. Should he declare for the 2019 NFL Draft Williams is looking like an intriguing day three prospect with his arrow pointing up.

Greg Valerio

David Sills V, WR, No. 13 - West Virginia
Height: 6’4” | Weight: 210 | 40 time: 4.58
2018 Stats: 61 receptions, 896 yards, 14.7 average yards per reception, and 15 touchdowns
No. 16 West Virginia vs. No. 20 Syracuse | 2:15 p.m. (PT) Friday, December 28 | ESPN

David Sills V is a former highly recruited quarterback that made the switch to wide receiver. Although Sills is still relatively new to the position, he has shown the capacity to improve and the production has shown his growth. As one of the top deep threats in college football, Sills is a large target big-play lanky receiver showcasing good build-up speed, nice body control, great ball skills, impressive leaping ability, flashes strong hands (needs more consistency), and the over the shoulder tracking awareness to be a dynamic vertical threat downfield. He shows toughness attacking balls in the middle of the field and shows the capability to take a short pass and turn it into a big gain. Moreover, Sills elevates and climbs the ladder at its highest point to make the grab with strong hands making him an effective red-zone target (33 touchdowns the past two seasons).

Sills is a work in progress as a route runner, but showcases nice suddenness to break in and out of his cuts creating separation with the ability to turn on decent burners and explode and separate. As a former quarterback, he displays terrific vision and awareness taking advantage of his former skill-set and savviness utilizing subtle movements to create separation and locates holes in defenses. Sills is also a high effort blocker and utilizes his length to be an obstacle for defenders.

Hakeem Butler, WR, No. 18 - Iowa State
Height: 6’6” | Weight: 219 | 40 time: 4.59
2018 Stats: 51 receptions, 1,126 yards, 22.1 average yards per reception, and 9 touchdowns
No. 24 Iowa State vs. No. 13 Washington State | 6:00 p.m. (PT) Friday, December 28 | ESPN

Hakeem Butler is a big-play humongous target with a superb combination of size, length, strength, and athleticism. The redshirt junior and former high school basketball star has been showcasing his talent as of late with great length (condor-like wingspan), ball skills, body control (has exceptional adjustment on back shoulder throws and excels at tracking the ball), and decent suddenness to his game quickly getting in and out of his breaks with explosion. Moreover, he fights for the ball utilizing his massive length and strength out muscling defenders (wins in a crowd with attacking catching skills) plucking balls away from his frame and large and impressive catch radius.

Butler’s strength, size, toughness, ball skills, leaping ability, and strong hands makes him an ideal prospect at all levels of the field for the 49ers. There will be concerns on Butler’s lack of separating from defenders (needs to refine his route running and lacks elite speed), but getting open in tight spaces helps him win, as well as a keen ability to sell deep routes. Butler adds the playmaking, physicality, and above the rim skills the 49ers could definitely utilize - specifically as an ideal red-zone target.

Thursday, December 27th schedule

Temple (8-4) vs Duke (7-5), Walk-On’s Independence Bowl - 10:30 a.m. (PT) — ESPN — Shreveport, Louisiana

Miami (7-5) vs Wisconsin (7-5), New Era Pinstripe Bowl — 2:15 p.m. (PT) — ESPN — Bronx, New York

Baylor (6-6) vs Vanderbilt (6-6), Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl — 6:00 p.m. (PT) —ESPN — Houston, Texas

Josh Eccles

Denzel Mims, WR. No. 15 - Baylor
Height: 6’3” | Weight: 210 lbs.
2018 Stats: 49 Receptions, 699 Yards, 14.3 Yards Average, 8 Touchdowns.
Baylor vs Vanderbilt | 6:00 p.m. (PT) Thursday, December 27 | ESPN

Just a junior, Mims could return for another season at Baylor but has proven to have NFL-caliber receiving ability over the past two seasons with the Bears. After a 1,000-yard year at nearly 18 yards per grab with eight scores in 2017, the presence of Hurd ate into Mims’ production in 2018. The lanky but explosive 6-3, 210-pound wideout made 49 catches for 699 yards with eight more touchdowns this season. He’s a good contested-catch receiver who thrives down the field thanks to his long-striding speed.

All year he has shown that he has truly elite burst and long speed as he is a former decorated track and field athlete. He is far and away one of the most explosive athletes in college football who also has strength throughout his frame and does an excellent job a changing the pace of his vertical stems to get defensive backs on their heels before bursting by them. Denzel Mims could be had in round 2 if the 49ers decide to make some upgrades on offense for 2019.

Joe Giles-Harris, LB, No. 44 - Duke
Height: 6’2” | Weight: 240 lbs.
Temple vs Duke | 10:30 a.m. (PT) Thursday, December 27 | ESPN

Giles-Harris suffered an MCL injury in early November, and right now, we aren’t quite sure if he’ll play in the bowl game. A chiseled 6-2 and 240 pounds with impressive run-stopping ability but a lack of straight-line speed, the Duke defender projects to an inside linebacker spot in a 3-4 base at the NFL level. He made 81 tackles and had seven tackles for loss in nine games this season for the Blue Devils. In 2017, Giles-Harris led the team with 125 tackles and 16 tackles for loss.

The primary concern with Giles-Harris is becoming more consistent filtering through traffic and playing through blocks. While he isn’t lacking the play strength needed to stack and shed blocks, working off of them quickly and disengaging needs work. There are also times where he is hesitant to commit in pursuit and doesn’t readily trust his keys, which enables blockers to get an angle on him and Giles-Harris gets stuck in traffic. Overall, Joe Giles-Harris offers a blend of impressive physical and on-field traits that makes him one of the ACC’s best defensive players at any position.

Alex Eisen

Ventell Bryant, WR. No. 1 - Temple
Height: 6’3” | Weight: 203 lbs.
2018 Stats: 47 Receptions, 659 Yards, 14.0 Yards Average, 3 Touchdowns.
Temple vs Duke | 10:30 a.m. (PT) Thursday, December 27 | ESPN

Ventell Bryant has great size and physical traits for the position. Bryant is a possession-type receiver with strong, reliable hands. He can be lined up at multiple points on the field, and often times moved the chains for the Owls to keep the offense on the field. Bryant has a wide wingspan radius that offers his quarterback a bigger window to complete the pass, and will often reach at the high point. Has good, but not great speed, and at times can get tangled up with stiff defenders within the first five yards of the line of scrimmage. Can be inconsistent with creating separation, and will at times get lost and disappear from the action.

Bryant has however been a focal point in the Owl’s offensive attack this season, and has demonstrated his ability to have explosive games that included a 8-147-1 stat line against Navy back in October. His size, reliable hands, and ability to run at multiple levels will intrigue teams in the pass friendly NFL. What concerns me is his breakaway speed, burst, and ability to create separation, while expanding upon his route tree. Should he continue to refine and improve those parts of his game he could be a late round gem for a team looking for a receiver who has size and plays physical. Bryant is a day three prospect.

Joejuan Williams, CB, No. 8 - Vanderbilt
Height: 6’3” | Weight: 208
2018 Stats: 56 Tackles, 4 Interceptions, 10 Passes Deflected
Baylor vs Vanderbilt | 6:00 p.m. (PT) Thursday, December 27 | ESPN

Joejuan Williams is a defensive back who has great size and measurements that scouts and evaluators seek at the next level. In vertical coverage Williams has demonstrated the ability to hang and cover receivers at all three levels on the field. Runs fluidly through his hips and has long and smooth strides. Can get vertical and attack the ball at the high point against his receiver in man to man coverage along the outside. Will often look to jam up receivers along the line of scrimmage, and has the ability to turn and flip as the receiver expands his route. I wouldn’t call his speed elite by any stretch, and true burners can lose him if he doesn’t position himself properly. Overall, for a corner his size Williams moves respectably well.

Williams does flash and demonstrate his ability to make a play on the ball. He has ten passes deflected this season along with four interceptions. However, what is concerning and something Williams will need to improve upon at the next level is his ability to turn his head around to defend passes thrown his direction. I can only imagine what his stat line would be if he was more consistent in this area of his game. Has good anticipation, and will often not fall victim to plays designed to get him out of position. Williams is a good tackler, and while not a particularly strong hitter, will use his size and length to quickly wrap and bring his opponent to the ground. Overall, Williams has great size for the position, with ballhawk abilities, who has the ability to make an impact and difference in the secondary. His forty-yard dash at the combine will be intriguing to watch. At the moment I like Williams as a day two prospect, with his arrow pointing up.

Greg Valerio

Tyler Biadasz, C, No. 61 - Wisconsin
Height: 6’3” | Weight: 307
Miami vs. Wisconsin | 2:15 p.m. (PT) Thursday, December 27 | ESPN

One concern amongst some NFL talent evaluators/coaches is the lack of quality depth at the offensive lineman position. A theory, frequently mentioned, behind the decline of talent is due to the poor development of the position at the college and/or high school level. Whatever the reasons are, when there is a school with a history of churning out NFL quality talent, eyes are drawn like flies to - well, you know. Wisconsin is one of those schools to keep an eye on, especially this year where five Badger offensive linemen could be available for the 2019 NFL Draft.

All five are talented, well coached, and will likely find their way on to an NFL roster someday soon, but one prospect in particular has caught my gaze with his impressive play and development. Although he is a redshirt sophomore, Tyler Biadasz is an athletic intellectual mauler at center who continues to improve his game. A former three sport (football, baseball, basketball) high school athlete, Biadasz is a leader on the field displaying smooth athleticism and quickness off the ball with excellent foot agility easily capable of snapping the football and firing off the ball moving laterally fluidly outmaneuvering defenders with speed and sealing with hip flexibility, leverage, and power. He showcases great change of direction skills maintaining balance and is an effective blocker in space reaching the second level with quickness and solid power behind his pads jolting defenders with heavy hands. A true Wisconsin offensive lineman bestowing the smarts, toughness, technique, and discipline the school is known for.

Tyree St. Louis, OT, No. 78 - Miami
Height: 6’5” | Weight: 312
Miami vs. Wisconsin | 2:15 p.m. (PT) Thursday, December 27 | ESPN

Tyree St. Louis is an explosive and athletic tackle prospect that fires off the snap with an impressive first-step and can reach the second level with quickness. St. Louis excels in run blocking, but tends to be a waist bender overextending himself losing balance far too often for a player with his athletic ability. He displays a powerful lower half with thick thighs generating immense power and strength, which St. Louis displays mauling defenders off the ball with great force. He does a good a job in pass protection (good punch) sliding laterally adjusting well to movement, but does suffer from inconsistent technique (not taking advantage of his long arms) and being a waist bender. Nevertheless, St. Louis is a smart and instinctive prospect and will benefit from further coaching to fulfill his potential. Shows versatility playing both tackle positions, but is best suited as a right tackle (switched to left tackle his senior year).

Wednesday, December 26th schedule

Boston College (7-5) vs No. 25 Boise State (10-3), SERVPRO First Responder Bowl - 10:30 a.m. (PT) — ESPN — Dallas, Texas

Minnesota (6-6) vs Georgia Tech (7-5), Quick Lane Bowl — 2:15 p.m. (PT) — ESPN — Detroit, Michigan

Cal (7-5) vs TCU (6-6), Cheez-It Bowl — 6:00 p.m. (PT) —ESPN — Phoenix, Arizona

Josh Eccles

Tyler Johnson, WR, No. 6 - Minnesota Height: 6’2” | Weight: 200 lbs | 40 time: 4.51 2018 stats: 74 receptions, 1,112 receiving yards, 10 touchdowns Minnesota vs. Georgia Tech | 2:15 p.m. (PT) Wednesday, December 26 | ESPN

Dante Pettis is a slick route-runner and has shown that he may have what it takes to be one of the main targets for Garoppolo in 2019 and beyond. Marquise Goodwin is a solid deep threat. The 49ers, though, lack a big-bodied receiver (Pierre Garcon, after all, is not getting any younger. Tyler Johnson, the star of Minnesota, could be an answer for a San Francisco team looking to make a jump in 2019. Only a junior, Johnson has shown NFL-caliber receiving skills in each of his first three seasons with the Golden Gophers. After averaging over 19 yards per catch on 35 grabs in 2017, Johnson proved his ability to be a high-volume pass-catcher in 2018 with 74 receptions for 1,112 yards and 10 scores. At 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, he has decent size for an outside receiver but can certainly do damage in the slot, which is where he did most of his work this season. A natural hands catcher with smooth athleticism and impressive yards-after-the-catch skills, Johnson is an intriguing prospect. He has yet to declare but if he does then San Francisco would be remiss to take a fly on him come draft time.

Brett Rypien , QB, No. 4 - Boise State Height: 6’2” | Weight: 202 lbs 2018 stats: 3,705 passing yards , 30 touchdowns, 7 interceptions Boston College vs. No. 25 Boise State | 10:30 a.m. (PT) Wednesday, December 26 | ESPN

The nephew of Mark Rypien, Brett Rypien is the premier sleeper quarterback prospect in this draft class. He’ll have 50 starts on his collegiate resume after this bowl game, an instant positive for his NFL future. A pure pocket passer, Rypien actually misses oncoming rushers at times because he stays glued to his receivers down the field. While that attribute does lead to some unwanted hits and sacks, it’s a much better skill for a quarterback to possess than the dreaded “eye drop” when pressure is mounting. Rypien throws a fantastic deep ball and generates plenty of velocity and pinpoint accuracy at the intermediate level of the field.

With the increased productivity that Nick Mullens seemingly provides week-to-week it may be worth some consideration for the 49ers to flip Beathard to a quarterback-needy team (despite his struggles this year there’s still value for him). If that happens then picking up another quarterback late in the draft to mold makes sense - if only to, once again, flip later.

Alex Eisen

Tommy Sweeney, TE, No. 89 - Boston College
Height: 6’5” | Weight: 260 | 40 Time: 4.70
2018 Stats: 32 Receptions, 348 Reception Yards, 3 Touchdowns
Boston College vs. No. 25 Boise State | 10:30 a.m. (PT) Wednesday, December 26 | ESPN

The redshirt senior out of Boston College has been a serviceable tight end for the Eagles throughout his collegiate career. Sweeney has demonstrated his ability to be a consistent receiver, often being credited with having strong and reliable hands. Clean technique when receiving the football, and capable of extending in multiple directions to offer his quarterback an even wider window to complete the pass. Will often line up to run routes up the middle, and does not let traffic disrupt his focus or momentum when making a play on the ball. Has decent speed for the position and locates space away from defenders on short and intermediate routes.

Sweeney has a physical presence on the field and will use that physical presence to make receptions in man to man and zone coverages. However, he does lack explosive and dynamic burst and speed which often leads to Sweeney having a hard time creating yards after the reception. Sweeney is still a work in progress as a blocker in running and passing downs. At times, Sweeney doesn’t use his size to his advantage, but can hold his ground when called upon against pass rushers. Sweeney will use his hips and frame to close gaps and lanes against defensive lineman. Sweeney’s reliable hands will intrigue offensive coordinators to utilize him in the passing department. While he still has some work to do as a blocker, his frame, physical traits, and presence give him potential and an opportunity to be a successful blocker and dual-threat tight end at the next level. At this time I like Sweeney at a day two prospect.

Ben Banogu, DE, No. 15 - TCU
Height: 6’4” | Weight: 249 | 40 Time: 4.71
2018 Stats: 52 Total Tackles, 7.5 Sacks, 2 Forced Fumbles.
Cal vs. TCU | 6:00 p.m. (PT) Wednesday, December 26 | ESPN

One of the more talented pass rushers this upcoming draft class has to offer. The senior out of TCU has a long and athletic frame, with physical traits that scouts and evaluators seek at the next level. Will often play the left defensive end spot in a 4-3 base. Has an explosive burst and motor off the snap and can attack from the point along the edge against ball carriers on running plays. His long and lanky arms push against blockers along the line, which at times allows Banogu to burst through gaps and create disruption in the opponents’ backfield. Can shift his body and alter his pace that can throw offensive lineman off balance and out of position. As a pass rusher, Banogu has the ability to change direction to get around blockers. Trusts his speed to beat blockers along the edge. Has proficient lateral quickness, while using space to his advantage on passing downs. Banogu has been one of the most consistent pass rushers in the nation. In these last two seasons he has a combined 15.5 sacks.

At times, Banogu will over anticipate, and run himself out of position. He can be inconsistent against the run and can get lost at times at various points in the game. Will need to develop more variety when he rushes at the next level and works against more elite and seasoned competition. Better technique, particularly with his hands will serve him well at the next level. I am intrigued to see how Banogu continues to develop in the upcoming months as the draft process picks up. He is certainly one of the more talented and intriguing senior draft-eligible pass rushers.

Greg Valerio

Chris Lindstrom, OG, No. 75 - Boston College
Height: 6’4” | Weight: 310 | 40 time: 5.28
Boston College vs. No. 25 Boise State | 10:30 a.m. (PT) Wednesday, December 26 | ESPN

Chris Lindstrom is an offensive lineman prospect with tremendous versatility. An offensive guard at Boston College, Lindstrom has shown the ability to play tackle and may get the opportunity to play some center at the Senior Bowl. Ideally a guard at the next level, Lindstrom is a highly technically sound prospect with a very high football IQ providing the utility style versatility and reliability (allowed zero sacks, zero QB hits and just three hurries on 370 pass blocks in 2018 according to Pro Football Focus) that would benefit any NFL team (scheme diverse). Moreover, Lindstrom is ranked No. 1 in the nation (per PFF) among guards this season with a pass block efficiency of 99.6.

Lindstrom is a smart physical player with tremendous functional strength. He showcases enough athleticism with great knee bend, balance, technique, and toughness finishing blocks all the way to the whistle. Although a bit stiff, he displays solid athletic ability to adjust in pass protection sliding laterally adjusting to movement staying square while mirroring (great awareness and patience). Lindstrom has excellent technique in his hands and has fluid feet working extremely well in concert with his upper body driving defenders off the ball taking full advantage of his functional strength and maintaining proper leverage. He does well with angle blocks and reaches the second level easily with a purpose.

Ty Summers, LB, No. 42 - TCU
Height: 6’2” | Weight: 235 | 40 time: 4.58
2018 Stats (9 games): 3 sacks, 43 tackles, and 4.5 tackles for loss
Cal vs. TCU | 6:00 p.m. (PT) Wednesday, December 26 | ESPN

Ty Summers is a highly instinctive and versatile player (can play all LB spots). The former high school dual-threat quarterback is an explosive athlete with great range, balance, flexibility, change of direction skills, strength, and burst. Summers showcases solid sideline-to-sideline ability covering a lot of ground with nice speed, agility, quickness, and physicality, but it is his great high football IQ and instincts setting him apart easily reading run keys with the play speed (straight-line speed with a burst) to track down the football with impressive closing speed (has a nose for the ball).

Summers is great as a run and chase linebacker with solid explosion and good tackling hitting with explosion (needs consistency), as well as being a sound blitzer attacking inside gaps and off the edge (versatility playing DE). He shows solid skills taking on blockers at the point of attack winning with leverage separating with violent and powerful hands stacking and shedding. Moreover, Summers displays fluidity in coverage showing sound awareness and instincts, and great burst with closing speed.

Saturday, December 22nd schedule

Memphis (8-5) vs Wake Forest (8-4), Jared Birmingham Bowl - 9:00 a.m. — ESPN — Birmingham, Alabama

Houston (8-4) vs Army (10-2), Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl — 12:30 p.m. — ESPN — Fort Worth Texas

Buffalo (10-3) vs Troy (9-3), Dollar General Bowl — 4:00 p.m. —ESPN — Mobile, Alabama

Hawaii vs Louisiana Tech, SOFI Hawai’i Bowl — 7:30 p.m. — ESPN — Honolulu, Hawaii

Josh Eccles

Matt Colburn, RB, No. 22 - Wake Forest Height: 5’10” | Weight: 210 lbs | 40 time: 4.53 2018 stats: 145 carries, 698 rushing yards, 5 touchdowns, 7 receptions, 83 yards Memphis vs Wake Forest | 9:00 a.m. (PT) | ESPN

I hope you watched the video because it was a bit of a revenge game for this running back. After getting snubbed by Louisville (they pulled his scholarship two days before signing day) he danced around the Cardinals defense in lieu of a career day where he gained 243 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns. Anyways - how many players can you name who played in Wake Forest and made an impact later in the NFL? It’s a challenge to rattle anyone beyond the likes of Calvin Pace, Ricky Proehl, and the great Bill George (8 First Team All-Pro and 8 Pro Bowl selections). Matt Colburn very well could buck the trend of inconsistent production out of the Demon Deacons football program by becoming a top contributor at the next level. The springy, compact runner consistently bounces through the line and flings would-be tacklers off his frame at the second and third levels of the defense. During the 2018 regular season, he totaled 698 yards at 4.8 yards per carry and had 904 yards at 5.4 yards per carry in 2017. One of the twitchiest backs in the class -- no joke -- Colburn has Day 3 potential and don’t be shocked when he outplays his draft position in 2019. His athleticism, vision, and balance are exquisite.

Trevon Tate, OT, No. 72 - Memphis Height: 6’4” | Weight: 295 lbs | 40 time: 5.20 Memphis vs Wake Forest | 9:00 a.m. (PT) | ESPN

If it weren’t for star running back Darrell Henderson sitting out to prepare for the upcoming draft then he would be who we are talking about right here. You know who deserves some credit for his successes this season, though? Offensive tackle Trevon Tate. San Francisco hit an absolute home run with their selection of tackle Mike McGlinchey in last year’s draft. Veteran Joe Staley has really taken him under his wing and has contributed to his quick development - he won’t be around forever, though, so it may be time for the 49ers to start planning for a contingency plan. At just 6-feet-4 and 295 pounds, Tate will need to add weight to play on the outside at the NFL level, but teams should be interested in his foot quickness and how it keeps him in position in pass-protection often and on stretch runs. Because he lacks the requisite weight and power to play in the NFL right now, he’s likely a priority free agent type who could land on a practice squad to be developed for a few seasons in the pros.

Alex Eisen

Khalil Hodge, LB, No. 4 - Buffalo
Height: 6’1” | Weight: 240 | 40 Time: 4.71
2018 Stats: 139 Tackles, 7.5 tackles for a loss, 2.5 Sacks, 3 Passes broken up.
Buffalo vs Troy | 4:00 p.m. (PT) Saturday, December 22 | ESPN

The tackling machine out of Buffalo had a massively productive senior season in western New York. Hodge is the captain of the Buffalo defense who leads by example, playing a physical brand of football. Hodge has speed for the position and is viewed by scouts and evaluators as a fast off the ball linebacker. Hodge is a sound tackler who wraps his opponent quickly. Watching his tape, Hodge has dual-threat abilities covering both running backs and tight ends in pass coverage. However, with that said his pass coverage skills are still a work in progress and Hodge is far from a polished prospect in this department. Hodge does have good football instincts and is able to read and anticipate where the play is going to occur. What scouts and evaluators will like most about Hodge is his consistent tackling skills and the high volume of production he puts into each and every game. His stamina and high level of play is commendable. Hodge is difficult to project, but should he have a good draft evaluation period he could sneak into the very end of the second day of the NFL Draft. For now, Hodge is an early day three prospect.

Blace Brown, CB, No. 18 – Troy
Height: 6’0 Wight: 184 40 Time: 4.54
2018 Stats: 44 Tackles, 1 Interception, 5 Passes Deflected.
Buffalo vs Troy | 4:00 p.m. (PT) Saturday, December 22 | ESPN

While he won’t get the national media attention of some of the power 5 school’s corners, Blace Brown out of Troy has quietly put together a positive and productive season. He has 11 career interceptions and is considered by many scouts and evaluators as a ball hawking, physical corner. Brown does an efficient job of isolating the receiver, and taking him off of his route. Brown has good speed for his position, running fluidly through his hips. Brown has the ability to play in both man-to-man and zone coverage. Many times, on tape, Brown has demonstrated his ability to make an impact against the run. Brown has great height for the position. Has long, and lanky arms with the ability to jump up and compete for fifty-fifty jump balls. Brown will keep up with receivers at all three levels on the field. Brown would benefit from adding weight and muscle to his thin frame. This has caused some concern about Brown pressing along the line of scrimmage. His thin frame can cause him problems against the more physical receivers in the league. However, where Brown makes up for this is his attitude, and toughness. Brown will play a physical brand of football. He has made strides and improved his overall game each season. Strong football instincts and anticipation have only developed Brown into a stronger and well-rounded football player this season. At the moment, Brown is looking like a day two, 3rd round selection.

Greg Valerio

Isaiah Johnson, CB, No. 14 - Houston
Height: 6’4” | Weight: 203 | 40 time: 4.50
2018 Stats: 66 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions, and 5 pass deflections
Houston vs. Army | 12:30 p.m. (PT) Saturday, December 22 | ESPN

Following the Richard Sherman mode, Isaiah Johnson is a tall and lanky aggressive wide receiver turned cornerback. He is a boundary corner with an excellent combination of size, range, and athleticism. Johnson bestows great length (very long arms) for the position, good use of length to jam at the point of attack, willing and aggressive tackler, and impressive burst and closing speed. He does not have hip fluidity (a bit stiff); however, he trails nice showing good pace with wide receivers (good makeup speed), excellent ball skills, sound instincts, and hounds receivers with his length and athleticism. Johnson needs more discipline in back peddle and is best keeping things in front of him. He is better in zone coverage, but shows potential in man. Nevertheless, Johnson possesses the desired length, speed, and aggressiveness plenty of teams look for at the next level.

Jaylon Ferguson, DE, No. 45 - Louisiana Tech
Height: 6’5” | Weight: 269 | 40 time: 4.84
2018 Stats: 15 sacks, 60 tackles, 23.5 tackles for loss, 2 pass deflections, 1 fumble recovery, and 2 forced fumbles
Hawaii vs. Louisiana Tech | 7:30 p.m. (PT) Saturday, December 22 | ESPN

Jaylon Ferguson is an athletic long-limbed (long arms) edge defender with good first-step quickness and strength. A tenacious disrupter in the backfield, Ferguson displays good speed to power conversion, great hand technique, and quality burst with closing speed finishing hitting with explosion (has power in his hands to take down opponents). Although he lacks bend and ideal agility coming out of the arc, Ferguson showcases decent change of direction skills and fluidity with average agility and speed when stunting. He shows discipline on the edge (excellent at setting the edge) with solid skills stacking and shedding taking on front-side blocks with strength and the athletic ability to win against back-side blocks with balance, foot quickness, and closing speed (although effort chasing from the back-side is disappointing).

Friday, December 21st schedule

Florida International (8-4) vs. Toledo (7-5), Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl — 9:30 a.m. — ESPN — Nassau, Bahamas

Western Michigan (7-5) vs. BYU (6-6), Famous Idaho Potato Bowl — 1:00 p.m. — ESPN — Boise, ID

Greg Valerio

Cody Thompson, WR, No. 25 - Toledo
Height: 6’2” | Weight: 200 | 40 time: 4.54
2018 Stats: 43 receptions, 592 yards, 13.8 average yards per catch, and 10 touchdowns
Florida International vs. Toledo | 9:30 a.m. (PT) Friday, December 21 | ESPN

Cody Thompson is a fluid playmaker with good speed and quickness, strong reliable hands (natural pass catcher), solid ball skills, and is explosive after the catch running with toughness always spinning for the extra yards. A former high school basketball star athlete, Thompson displays impressive strength and toughness as a receiver (not afraid to take a hit or deliver one), is a fluid and crisp route runner with a smoothness (double moves are on point) to his game showcasing great bend on breaks popping out quickly with great athleticism, nice footwork, quickness, and decent burst. The former high school quarterback displays terrific vision and awareness taking advantage of his high football IQ and savviness utilizing subtle movements to create separation, locates holes on defenses, and works his way back to the quarterback. A willing blocker, Thompson also displays great effort in blocking with solid technique. Next level athleticism and lack of elite speed will limit his opportunities at the next level; however, top notch route running, premier hands, and a solid work ethic will find him a home in the NFL.

John Keenoy, C, No. 52- Western Michigan
Height: 6’3” | Weight: 305 | 40 time: 5.27
Western Michigan vs. BYU | 1:00 p.m. (PT) Friday, December 21 | ESPN

John Keenoy is a center prospect with fair athleticism, good football IQ, active hands, and good foot speed. The former multi sport athlete (football, basketball, baseball, and wrestling) displays average athletic ability snapping the football and moving laterally with sound foot agility. He shows good fluidity in movement and flashes great skill reaching the second level with quickness (hips are stiff, but works angles well). Keenoy has decent strength anchoring the pocket setting the base allowing the quarterback to step up in the pocket. Tends to be a waist bender and will need to gain functional strength at the next level.

Thursday, December 20th schedule

Marshall (8-4) vs South Florida (8-4), Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl — 5:00 p.m. (PT) — ESPN — Tampa Bay, FL

Alex Eisen

Mitchell Wilcox, TE, No. 89 - South Florida
Height: 6’5” | Weight: 245 lbs. | 40 Time: 4.74
2018 Stats: 40 Receptions, 506 Yards, 2 Touchdowns
Marshall vs South Florida | 5:00 p.m. (PT) Thursday, December 20 | ESPN

Mitchell Wilcox is one to watch in this game. He has a natural ability to run routes, and provide a big window and target for his quarterback. Has above average speed and throughout the season has provided strong and reliable hands. Is at the top of the priority list of receivers to throw to in the game, and this season alone Wilcox had career high in receptions (40). As for his blocking abilities Wilcox is still growing and learning that side of the position. Can miss assignments at times and find himself out of position. Though, he has shown improvements, he will be expected to show expanded growth at the pro level should he declare for the NFL Draft. What I really like about Wilcox is his size and frame, which are desired for a tight end at the next level. On tape at times, he seems to be a mismatch for defenders. Wilcox is trending in the right direction, and someone who has a chance to hear his name called in the back half of the NFL Draft.

Tyre Brady, WR, No. 8 - Marshall
Height: 6’2” | Weight: 206 | 40 Time: 4.52
2018 Stats: 66 Receptions, 914 Yards, 9 Touchdowns
Marshall vs South Florida | 5:00 p.m. (PT) Thursday, December 20 | ESPN

Tyre Brady was recently named the MVP of the Marshall offense. On tape, Brady has demonstrated his ability to create separation. At any moment when he is present on the field, Brady can be a home run threat that forces safeties to be honest. Brady put himself on the map last season with over one thousand yards receiving and nine touchdowns on seventy-one receptions. Has good speed for his position. There are questions as to how developed his route tree is. Strong, reliable hands, along with good height at the position allow Brady to contest and battle with defensive backs for the ball in man to man coverage. If you recall in Marshall’s Bowl Game last year against Colorado State, Brady had himself a day racking up 165 yards on 6 receptions and scoring a touchdown. Brady’s arrow is pointing up, and it will be interesting to see where he is graded as the draft approaches. At the moment, Brady has the looks of a day two selection.

Wednesday, December 19th schedule

San Diego State (7-5) vs. Ohio (8-4), DXL Frisco Bowl — 5:00 p.m. — ESPN — Frisco, TX

Josh Eccles

Kyahva Tezino, LB, No. 44 - San Diego State
Height: 6’0” | Weight: 230 | 40 time: 5.15
San Diego State vs. Ohio | 5:00 p.m. (PT) Wednesday, December 19 | ESPN

Kyahva Tezino still hasn't decided whether or not he will declare for the upcoming NFL Draft, but on a relatively young San Diego State club, he’s the main draft-eligible prospect. A linebacker in the new mold at the position at 6-0 and 230 pounds, Tezino flies around the field and is an effective blitzer because of his quickness and athleticism. He had 119 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, and 8.5 sacks in 2018. There have been a few times over the years where scouts and execs at the pro level have overlooked players who would otherwise be considered higher draft picks if it weren’t for the seemingly small stature. Given his production Tezino has a good shot at becoming a value pick on day 3 of the draft.

A.J. Ouellette, RB, No. 45 - Ohio
Height: 5’10” | Weight: 209 | 40 time: 4.60
San Diego State vs. Ohio | 5:00 p.m. (PT) Wednesday, December 19 | ESPN

From a walk on to a leader in one of the most explosive offenses in the country, Ohio senior running back A.J. Ouellette is a must-watch talent who averaged 178 yards over the past three games and will lead a dynamic Bobcats offense looking to cap off a season in which they’ve rattled off 5 wins in their last 6 games. Going up against an Aztecs defense that boasts the aforementioned Kyahva Tezino will be no easy task, though. For a seemingly meaningless mid-December bowl this game definitely provides enough intrigue to tune in on a Wednesday night. A lot of these prospects from smaller schools depend on bowl games like this as one of their final chances to prove to NFL scouts that they have what it takes to make it at the next level.

Tuesday, December 18th schedule

UAB (10-3) vs. Northern Illinois (8-5), Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl — 4:00 p.m. — ESPN — Boca Raton, FL

Greg Valerio

Max Scharping, OT, No. 73 - Northern Illinois
Height: 6’6” | Weight: 320 | 40 time: 5.25
UAB vs. Northern Illinois | 4:00 p.m. (PT) Tuesday, December 18 | ESPN

Max Scharping is an athletic tackle prospect with great arm length, size, power, and athleticism. He showcases decent quickness, technique (inconsistent), explosion (nice quick set), solid and fierce punch at the point of attack, and fair footwork (sluggish). Scharping has enough athleticism to handle the edge, but lack of foot speed and sluggish lateral movement limits his effective handling the edge against speed (likely a guard at the next level); nevertheless, he flashes technique with his impactful hands to stifle defenders and redirect. He flashes a good anchor, but has a tendency to lose on leverage with high pad level; moreover, he has inconsistent hand technique at times allowing defenders to reach inside his chest. Scharping will need to improve functional strength for the next level, but with further development should be a long time NFL lineman with the versatility to play both tackle and interior positions. Shows reliability playing every game in his collegiate career.

Jamell Garcia-Williams, Edge, No. 99 - UAB
Height: 6’8” | Weight: 255 | 40 time: 4.90
2018 Stats: 9.5 sacks, 42 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, 4 pass deflections, and 1 fumble recovery
UAB vs. Northern Illinois | 4:00 p.m. (PT) Tuesday, December 18 | ESPN

Jamell Garcia-Williams is the type of prospect you find at the end of the draft where impressive measurables and athleticism could turn into a diamond in the rough. At 6-foot-8-inches Garcia-Williams is an imposing opponent on the field with vines for limbs and a well built edge defender that is very athletic and nimble (great balance) for a man his size with good speed and great foot quickness. Although he is still developing his game (one year collegiate starter), Garcia-Williams comes from NFL bloodlines (father played for the Pittsburgh Steelers and older brother currently plays for the Denver Broncos) and displays a high football IQ that marries well with his athleticism and size.

Garcia-Williams shows quick burst off the line, uses hands very well and is a penetrating disruptive force in the backfield with great speed off the edge, good conversion from speed to power, and takes full advantage of his length and body control hitting with explosion (nice closing speed). A nose for the football, Garcia-Williams displays a good ability to play front-side blocks at the point of attack with solid functional strength (will need to further develop) and the quickness and fluidity to disengage (takes advantage of his length but needs more consistency). Moreover, he shows a good ability to defend against back-side blocks maneuvering through the trash with impressive quickness and closing speed. An intelligent prospect that has shown the capacity to improve throughout the season, Garcia-Williams’ arrow will continue to rise, and with further coaching improving his technique and his NFL ready size, length, and athleticism, the ceiling will inevitably be high for the young prospect.

Saturday, December 15th schedule

Tulane (6-6) vs. Louisiana (7-6), Autonation Cure Bowl — 10:30 a.m. — CBSSN — Orlando, FL

New Mexico Bowl: Utah State (10-2) vs. North Texas (9-3) — 11:00 a.m. — ESPN — Albuquerque, NM

Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl: Arizona State (7-5) vs. #21 Fresno State — 12:30 p.m. — ABC — Las Vegas, NV

Raycom Media Camellia Bowl: Georgia Southern (9-3) vs. Eastern Michigan — 2:30 p.m. — Montgomery, AL

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: Middle Tennessee (8-5) vs. Appalachian State (10-2) — 6:00 p.m. — ESPN — New Orleans, LA

Josh Eccles

Clifton Duck, CB, No. 4 - Appalachian State
Height: 5’10” | Weight: 177 | 40 Time: 4.56
2018 Stats: 48 total tackles, 5 passes broken up, and 1 interception.
Middle Tennessee vs. Appalachian State | 6:00 p.m. (PT) Saturday, December 15 | ESPN

An All American during his redshirt freshman season and a standout during his sophomore campaign, Clifton Duck will look to continue turning heads if he decides to take a shot at turning pro by entering the draft. He’s had a bit of a letdown of a season this year compared to previous ones - he had amassed a total of 11 interceptions combined between 2016 and 2017 and a total 14 passes broken up - but that hasn’t slowed down Appalachian State’s run at a bowl bid. Duck is small and quick and provides excellent coverage at the nickel corner position. His instincts and intellect provide him with the perfect combination of athleticism and IQ to be able to make a difference on each and every play. He play bigger than he actually is, too, which should make teams feel better about his slight frame. If he can add some muscle to his body and continue to work on his game then he has the potential of being a value pick for any team looking to pick him up in rounds 6 or 7.

Donnie Lewis, CB, No. 4 - Tulane
Height: 6’0” | Weight: 195 | 40 Time: 4.49
2018 Stats: 53 total tackles, 15 passes broken up, and 3 interceptions.
Tulane vs. Louisiana | 10:30 a.m. (PT) Saturday, December 15 | CBS

Lewis can play at the next level. He has 25 pass breakups and five interceptions over the last two seasons, and in 2016 he even broke up eight passes to go along with two picks. Lewis was often asked to cover an island in man, and he excelled there. That tells you what his coaches thought of him. He has the ideal body type to run downfield with speedsters and mirror quick wideouts in the short-to-intermediate ranges of the field. Lewis is a “stays in the hip pocket of the receiver” type corner; his interception and pass-breakup figures indicate that. He has the ability, if given the chance, to excel at the next level and - just like the aforementioned Clifton Duck - could provide really high value as a low risk investment in the latter rounds of the draft. The Niners have young talent in the secondary already but with Ahkello Witherspoon, Richard Sherman, and K’Waun Williams the only really solidified players at corner there’s always room for more talent to come in and grow.

Alex Eisen

E.J. Ejiya, LB, No. 22 - North Texas
Height: 6’3” | Weight: 233 | 40 Time: 4.65
2018 Stats: 113 total tackles, 9 Sacks, and 1 Forced Fumble.
Utah State vs. North Texas | 11:00 a.m. (PT) Saturday, December 15 | ESPN

A high-volume tackler who wraps his opponents quickly to the ground. Has good size for his position, and the measurables that scouts and evaluators seek at the pro level. Has demonstrated his abilities to defend against the run, and has the range to defend in pass coverage. Plays with the speed and aggressive style of a linebacker/safety hybrid. These types of prospects are being sought more and more by scouts and evaluators in the pass-happy NFL. Against a Power 5 and SEC opponent in Arkansas, Ejiya led all tacklers (12) and was the highest graded linebacker in the nation in Week 3 (85.5 – Pro Football Focus). His primary position at North Texas has been at the WILL linebacker in their 3-3-5 system. His sideline to sideline speed are amongst his best traits, and his ability to make plays over the top of the line of scrimmage offer him numerous opportunities to make a positive impact. Described as being very coachable with the will to learn more. Ejiya’s arrow is pointing up as he looks to end a long drought for North Texas and be the first player drafted from the school in fourteen years.

Blake Banham, WR, No. 2 - Eastern Michigan
Height: 5’9” | Weight: 195 | 40 Time: 4.54
2018 Stats: 54 Receptions, 714 Yards, 13.2 Yards Average, 5 Touchdowns. 7 Carries, 27 Yards, 1 Touchdown.
Georgia Southern vs Eastern Michigan | 2:30 p.m. (PT) Saturday, December 15 | ESPN

The former walk-on at Eastern Michigan has put together a successful collegiate campaign. The converted running back, now receiver offers multi-threat capabilities as a pass catcher, ball handler, and punt return specialist. Captain of the offense who leads by example, Banham is another great story of a walk-on who earned his scholarship position on the team. On tape, Banham finds open space, and fights for yards after the reception. I am concerned about his measurables, and is undersized for the position. Does not offer a large catch radius. However, that didn’t stop him from racking up three, 100 plus yard games against division one opponents. Plays with grit, effort, and determination. Good, but not great speed, and produces his best on shorter routes. Trusts his feet, and runs fluidly through his hips. Doesn’t have the longest strides, but makes up for it with his ability to shift and cut on point. Banham could have break-out, home run moments as seen in the brief video above. You can’t help but to salute his character, leadership, and relentless effort. Banham is a fringe seventh round-UDFA prospect who will most likely have to fight for a role on special teams at the next level.

Greg Valerio

KeeSean Johnson, WR, No. 3 - Fresno State
Height: 6’2” | Weight: 202 | 40 time: 4.57
2018 Stats: 93 receptions, 1307 yards, 14.1 average yards per catch, and 8 touchdowns
Arizona State vs. No. 21 Fresno State | 12:30 p.m. (PT) Saturday, December 15 | ABC

KeeSean Johnson is not a freakishly athletic wide receiver with explosive game breaking speed. He is, however, a good-sized dependable chain-moving receiver with consistent high production and a strong work ethic showcasing his capacity to improve each year. Johnson is a fluid route runner with a smoothness and sound technique to his game. He showcases great explosion off the line and displays nice bend on breaks coming out quickly with great suddenness and decent burst. He flashes strong reliable hands and is a natural pass catcher with excellent ball skills. Johnson wins in intermediate routes and although he does not possess elite speed, he does win deep match-ups with technique, length, body control, superb ball skills, and high pointing the catch with great athleticism. Johnson is the type of prospect one can find deep in the draft adding tremendous value at the next level.

Ron’Quavion Tarver, WR, No. 1 - Utah State
Height: 6’3” | Weight: 215 | 40 time: 4.64
2018 Stats: 62 receptions, 676 yards, 10.9 average yards per catch, and 7 touchdowns
Utah State vs. North Texas | 11:00 a.m. (PT) Saturday, December 15 | ESPN

Ron’Quavion Tarver is a size receiver showcasing great length, physicality, and catching radius with solid ball skills and reliable hands. Tarver extends his arms to make the catch high-pointing balls with nice body control, sound awareness, and baseball mitts for hands to make acrobatic catches. The former high school basketball athlete displays a good combination of suddenness and footwork with the ability to break in and out of his cuts separating from defenders, but also has excellent body control to post up like a forward winning contested catches. Tarver Lacks desired explosion and speed is questionable at the next level, but with the size and toughness he is a legit red zone threat with above the rim hops. Moreover, Tarver displays his toughness, physicality, and aggressive play in the run game finishing defenders all the way through the whistle (guard mentality with a nastiness in his game).