Greetings Faithful! If there is one thing I think we can all absolutely agree on, it's ringing in a new year! With that said, I want to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy, healthy, and successful new year, and may 2021 take care of us all and our San Francisco 49ers!
Before the ball drops, we have three exciting bowl matchups to preview and prospects to highlight in each game. With that said, let’s jump right in!
Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl:
#24 Tulsa vs. Mississippi State
Kickoff: 9:00 a.m (PT)
Where: Amon G. Carter Stadium – Fort Worth, TX
Spread: Tulsa -2.5
Prospects. To watch:
Unfortunately, this game will miss many notable draft prospects, including Tulsa’s Zaven Collins (LB), Mississippi State’s RB Kylin Hill, and Safety Marcus Murphy.
Allie Green IV, – CB – Tulsa
Height: 6’3” – Weight: 206 lbs.
2020 Stats: 24 solo tackles, 1 interception, 1 pass deflected.
Based on the 49ers team needs, Green is probably the most intriguing prospect to keep a close eye on. Green runs with fluidity through his hips. Has measurables that scouts and evaluators seek at the next level. He plays physical at the line of scrimmage and has demonstrated his ability to play both zone and man. Green has demonstrated his ability to throw receivers off their routes and take them out of the play on tape. Green has been beaten by speedier receivers who will distance the third level on the field. I can envision Green as a press-man corner at the next level, thanks to his favorable size.
Greg Eiland, OT – Mississippi State
Height: 6’8” – Weight: 335 lbs.
The recent graduate, who played left tackle this past season under new head coach Mike Leach is most likely a more natural fit. He has demonstrated his ability to block and create running lanes in the running game. He needs to continue to improve his ability against speedier pass rushers along the edge as he transitions to the next level. At times Eiland will play too high and will need to play more towards the center of gravity. Has tremendous size and strength. Now he needs to polish the mechanics and techniques at the position. Eiland is a day 3 selection who can start as a backup swing tackle in the league,
K.J. Costello, QB – Mississippi State
Height: 6’5” – Weight: 224 lbs.
2020 Stats: 1,283. Yards, 6 touchdowns, 11 interceptions.
Should the 49ers want to draft a passer later on in the draft on day 3, Costello will be one option. If you missed his week one performance against the defending champion LSU Tigers (Though a very different roster from last year’s championship squad), you would have thought Costello looked like an early Heisman finalist. Do yourself a favor and watch the highlights above. Costello was unconscious that night. Costello has a big arm and has demonstrated his ability to complete passes at all three levels on the field. Costello was turnover-prone and will need to cut them down dramatically at the next level. I am also concerned about him playing in an all-out air raid system. He will often throw to receivers on pre-designed reads and routes, often locking in on his first option and read. Costello can sling it and find receivers in tight windows. However, consistency has been an issue, and he will need to polish and become a more defined and balanced quarterback should he get an opportunity at the next level. Costello is a day three pick in rounds 6-7 or even a UDFA.
Offerpad Arizona Bowl:
Ball State vs. #22 San Jose State
Kickoff: 11:00 a.m. (PT)
Where: Arizona Stadium – Tucson, AZ
Radio: KTRB (860 AM)
Line: San Jose State -10
Cade Hall, DL – San Jose State
Height: 6’2” – Weight: 260 lbs.
2020 Stats: 17 solo tackles, 10 sacks.
Cade Hall has been the heart and soul of the San Jose State defense this season. Should the junior declare for the draft, it will be interesting to see where he ranks amongst pass rushers and defensive linemen. Love Hall’s first step and initial burst off the line. He has a fine motor and moves smoothly through his hips. Has a good blend of lower and upper body strength. He has developed a good technique with his hands to push past initial blocks and create eventual disruption in the pocket. In a shortened 2020 season, 10 sacks are quite impressive. I am excited to see what Hall can produce in his final game of the 2020 season.
Jack Snyder, OL – San Jose State
Height: 6’5” – Weight: 310 lbs.
Like Hall on the ball's defensive side, Jack Snyder is a veteran who leads by example. He is a three-down tackle who has demonstrated his abilities in the ground game and the passing attack. Snyder can block oncoming pass rushers and create off-balance moments that disrupt their momentum towards the pocket. He has great size, measurables and plays towards his strengths.
AutoZone Liberty Bowl:
West Virginia vs. Army
Kickoff: 1:00 (PT)
Where: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium – Memphis, TN
Line: West Virginia -7
Darius Stills, DL – West Virginia
Height: 6’1” – Weight: 283 lbs.
2020 Stats: 11 solo tackles, 3.5 sacks, 1 interception.
Darius and younger brother Dante have been absolute wrecking balls along the Mountaineers' defensive line this season. Darius, who has declared for the NFL Draft, already quoted recently that he “Wants to go out with a bang” with his brother before departing. Has a constant initial burst and a motor that does not cool as the game carries on into the later stages. He’s able to create disruption and collapse the pocket with ongoing relentless effort. He has required double team coverage, which has opened up other opportunities for his teammates, including his younger brother. He leads by example and has shown steady growth with each passing season. Stills is a day two selection.
Be on the lookout for tomorrow’s bowl game coverage featuring the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl (Cincinnati vs. Georgia) and the two College Football Playoff matchups (Rose Bowl: #1 Alabama vs. #4 Notre Dame & Sugar Bowl: #2 Clemson vs. #3 Ohio State).
Who are YOU excited to see in action on the final day of 2020? Please share in the comments below!