Greetings Faithful! Recently, my first and certainly not my last prospect rankings article was published. Those rankings are fluid and will frequently be changing as we get closer and closer to the 2021 NFL Draft in April. Please keep in mind that redshirt sophomores and juniors who are draft eligible can opt to return to school. In other words, plenty of movement is still to come!
Today, I will be covering two bowl games and highlighting prospects worth keeping a close eye on. Today’s bowl games include the Duke’s Mayo Bowl featuring the Wisconsin Badgers out of the Big Ten against the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest of the ACC. In the evening, we will have the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic featuring the Big 12 Champions Oklahoma Sooners squaring off against the Florida Gators, champions of the SEC East Division.
Special Note: Prospects I will be covering might not necessarily be the most nationally recognized prospects. Instead, prospects who fit the 49ers team needs and who the front office and coaching staff might identify as future members of the team. With that, let’s preview these bowl games and meet some prospects!
Duke’s Mayo Bowl
Wisconsin vs. Wake Forest
Kickoff: 9:00 a.m. (PT)
Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
How To Watch: ESPN
Where To Stream: ESPN App
Where to Listen: Badger Sports Network or Sirius 137 or XM 207
Line: Wisconsin -7.5 over/under 51.5
Prospects to Watch for Wisconsin:
Caesar Williams never shied away from lining up against the other team’s best wide out— IKE Badgers Podcast (@IKE_Badgers) May 3, 2020
Blanketed Buccaneer Tyler Johnson pic.twitter.com/AZ1qsR5S1M
Caesar Williams, #21, CB – Wisconsin
Height: 6’0” – Weight: 188 lbs.
2020 Stats: 9 Total Tackles, 2 Passes Deflected
From the stats alone, you can see it was a shortened season for the Badgers…as it was for many teams across the nation in the mists of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. He started all 14 games as a junior before taking on a leadership role in his senior season. Williams has the ability to play both off coverage as well as press. Has the size and traits that teams seek in a defensive back at the next level. Williams's concern is his speed, particularly how tight he is with his hips and his ability to change direction quickly. This will be something to watch closely in today’s bowl game and during the lead-up to the draft. At this time, I would value Williams as a day 3 selection in rounds 6 or 7.
Jack Sanborn, LB – Wisconsin
Height 6”2” – Weight: 232 lbs.
2020 Stats: 41 tackles, 2.0 tackles for a loss, 1 sack.
I’m not sure how high linebacker is on the priority list, but you never know with this coaching staff. If we have learned anything this season, injuries happen and often, and having depth at all positions is always necessary. Sanborn is a junior who has been highly productive these last two seasons for the Badgers. I really like his versatility and his lateral speed covering the edge. He finishes his tackles quickly and cleanly and is a major contributor inside the box against the run. He is still a work in progress on passing downs and is not quite at that three-down linebacker ability at the pro level. Should he declare for the draft, I would value Sanborn as an early day 3 pick in rounds 4-5.
Prospects to watch for Wake Forest:
Please Note: Edge Rusher Carlos Bashman has opted out of this game (Projected Round 2 Pick), and Wide Receiver Sage Surratt opted out of the 2020 season (Projected Round 3 Pick).
I will be doing a scouting report on Carlos Bashman later this winter in the draft's lead-up.
Sulaiman Kamara, DL – Wake Forest
Height: 6’2” – Weight: 290 lbs.
What jumps out on the tape when you watch Kamara is his size and possible fit along with a 4-3 defensive line scheme. There have been sparks and moments of disruption that Kamara creates along the line. Times he can disrupt the pocket and put pressure on the quarterback. What he lacks are consistency and overall production. There are moments on tape that Kamara looks like he’s ready for the next level…I wish there were more. Still, the 49ers have never been shy about having as much depth along the defensive line, which is exactly what Kamara is. A camp body who will compete for a backup and occasional rotational spot. Kamara is a late day 3 pick or even a UDFA.
Jaquarii Robertson, WR – Wake Forest
Height: 6’1” – 182 lbs.
2020 Stats: 54 receptions, 795 yards, 5 touchdowns
Robertson falls into my dark horse/steal categories. It helped Robertson’s case when teammate and projected day 2 selection Sage Surratt opted out of the season. Still, Robertson was one of the most improved players in the nation this season. Robertson has good height but will need to fill out and add to his frame to handle the pro level's demands and physicality. Has good speed, who produces in open space after the reception. He has an average route tree that needs more seasoning at the next level. Should he declare for the draft, Robertson would be a mid-to-late day 3 selection. However, if he lands in the right system, he can develop into a special teams contributor and rotational receiver.
Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic
Oklahoma vs. Florida
Kickoff: 5:00 p.m. (PT)
Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX
How To Watch: ESPN
Follow: CBS Sports APP
Line: Florida -3 over/under 71.5
Oklahoma Prospects to Watch:
Creed Humphrey, Center - Oklahoma
Height: 6’5” – Weight: 310
Oklahoma center Creed Humphrey (6-5, 307, R-Jr.) is one of the better prospects that I've watched this summer. This play displays exactly who he is. pic.twitter.com/NWaHWgT9Ur— Jordan Reid (@Jordan_Reid) July 19, 2020
Creed Humphrey can make it look so damn easy! This NT is +300lbs! pic.twitter.com/37mdtt7tJE— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) November 2, 2020
One of the many questions the 49ers will need to answer this offseason is who will be playing center in 2021 and beyond? The 49ers must address this area on the line, and should that happen in the draft Creed Humphrey out of Oklahoma could be an intriguing mid-round option. Humphrey has good size and has been a solid contributor for the Sooners along the line. He produced well at the point of attack and was both reliable and productive in pass blocking and run blocking. He is not a fully polished prospect, and so an early day 3 pick is where he most likely is projected at the moment (Rounds 4-5).
Adrian Ealy, OT – Oklahoma
Height; 6’6” – Weight: 325 lbs.
.@Jeremiah_Hall27 with the score. @adrian_ealy with the assist.— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) November 1, 2020
FOX | https://t.co/OA172elUjhpic.twitter.com/DpjQnUNxM0
Ealy started all 10 games this season, one at left tackle and nine at right tackle this season and a second-team All-Big 12 selection. Ealy has been as steady as they come and has been a cornerstone along the Sooners line this season. According to PFF, he allowed 3 sacks on 390 pass plays. Has steady and consistent movement and does a good job of contacting pass rushers along the edge. He has strong hands, and on tape, has demonstrated his ability to push defenders into a backpedal and create holes and lanes for ball carriers on running plays. Like at the center, the 49ers would be wise to evaluate this offseason as many tackles as possible. Trent Williams is a free agent, and Mike McGlinchey has been inconsistent at best.
Florida Players to Watch:
***Kyle Pitts (TE), Trevon Grimes (WR), and Kadarius Toney (WR) have all opted-out of this game to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft.
Kyle Trask, QB – Florida
Height: 6’5” – Weight: 235 lbs.
2020 Stats: 4,125 yards, 43 touchdowns, 5 interceptions.
I will be providing a full, in-depth scouting report on Kyle Trask later on this winter. With ongoing discussions about who will be under center for the 49ers in 2021, it is only fitting to include prospective QB’s when possible. There is no doubt Trask had an outstanding season that includes finishing as a Heisman finalist. Trask has shown his ability to throw from the pocket and complete passes at all three levels on the field…Though I question his longball consistency and accuracy.
Trask has a thick and muscular build for the next level. Has a clean, over-the-top release point on the ball. Watching his tape, Trask does have mature eye discipline and will not lock onto his first read. Some areas of concern include mechanics, particularly with his legs, and this is due to his limited time as a starter (2019 was his first year as a starter). He needs more seasoning and time to develop here. My other concerns include his mobility and arm strength, and velocity. Of all the top passers in the 2021 draft, I believe Trask is the least mobile and has the weakest arm. This is actually a very important game for Trask, as I want to see how he performs without Kyle Pitts (The draft's top tight end and possibly overall receiving option) and wide receivers Trevon Gimes and Kadarius Toney. All of which opted out to prepare for the draft. A strong game by Trask could raise his draft stock. I’ll be honest, and some may not agree, but I wouldn’t grade Trask higher than Round 2 at this time.
Evan McPherson, K - Florida
Height: 5’11” - Weight: 185 lbs.
Evan McPherson with a 53-yard FG which may have been good from 100— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 10, 2020
Are you for real, @McPherson_Evan?! #RelentlessEffort pic.twitter.com/NwYj7KASyY— Gators Football (@GatorsFB) January 27, 2020
UPDATE: The San Francisco 49ers signed Robbie Gould to a 2 year extension worth 7.25 million. Still, perhaps a camp body and someone to bring in should McPherson go undrafted.
Before you laugh at me for showcasing a kicker, a reminder that the 49ers have a big decision to make with Robbie Gould, another note to remember is that this coaching staff loves special teams and special team playmakers. This is the same regime that selected a punter in the fourth round. With the salary cap dropping 20 million next year, a kicker on a rookie contract can be the direction to go. McPherson has been solid, especially from beyond 50 yards…an area Gould has struggled with recently. If ever, I rarely mention special teams’ players, so consider this my opportunity to show them some love.
Who are YOU excited to see in action today? Please share in the comments below! Also, if you enjoy my content, please follow me on Twitter!