• Zach Pratt

Zach's Draft Corner: Bowl Game Week 2 Preview

Image Credit: Andrew Giesemann

Welcome to Zach’s Draft Corner, where it’s always amateur hour.

TV Guide

This next week of college football will be the best of the season. Top teams squaring off every day except for Sunday, giving us seven straight days of top notch football leading up to the first round of the NFL Playoffs. Rather than discuss something else in college football, let’s just get right into it. Here is your guide for the second week of bowl games (all times Eastern, playoff rankings in parentheses).

As a reminder, we have a new format for the TV Guide this season. I’m going to list all of the draft eligible players that will impact the games themselves, meaning the lists will be pretty long. Then, I'll summarize each team by showing the players seriously in contention to be drafted at this point in time. However, it's important to know that one exceptional season can cause an impactful player to become a draftable player, so these names are still good to monitor.

Friday, December 27

Military Bowl Presented By Northrop Gruman in Annapolis, MD - University of North Carolina vs. Temple University, 12:00 PM, ESPN

North Carolina

Antonio Williams, Senior Running Back, #24

Michael Carter, Junior Running Back, #8

Carl Tucker, Senior Tight End, #86

Brandon Fritts, Senior Tight End, #82

Charlie Heck, Senior Tackle, #67

Jason Strowbridge, Senior Defensive Tackle, #55

Jonathan Smith, Senior Linebacker, #7

Dominique Ross, Senior Linebacker, #3

Bryce Watts, Junior Cornerback, #2

Patrick Rene, Senior Cornerback, #5

Myles Dorn, Senior Safety, #1

Nothing like a nooner on a Friday. North Carolina doesn’t have much of a defense to speak of this season, but each name listed here on offense has a decent chance to see a training camp. Williams and Carter form an effective tandem at running back. Tucker excels as a blocker at tight end, while Fritts is the more effective receiver. Heck is a decent prospect at tackle, and is likely a mid- to late-round pick. Overall, there aren’t any true difference makers on this team.

Temple

Anthony Russo, Junior Quarterback, #15

Branden Mack, Junior Wide Receiver, #1

Isaiah Wright, Senior Wide Receiver, #2

Kenny Yeboah, Junior Tight End, #84

Jovahn Fair, Senior Guard, #70

Matt Hennessy, Junior Center, #58

Karamo Dioubate, Senior Defensive Tackle, #92

Dan Archibong, Junior Defensive Tackle #6

Quincy Roche, Junior Defensive End, #9

Sam Franklin, Senior Linebacker, #4

Shaun Bradley, Senior Linebacker, #5

Chapelle Russell, Senior Linebacker, #3

Isaiah Graham-Mobley, Junior Linebacker, #8

Temple has plenty of players that impact Saturdays, but it’s unknown whether any of these players can impact Sundays. Temple is a very well-coached team, which makes them play better than the sum of their parts.

New Era Pinstripe Bowl in New York, NY - Michigan State University vs. Wake Forest University, 3:20 PM, ESPN

Michigan State

Brian Lewerke, Senior Quarterback, #14

Connor Heyward, Junior Running Back, #11

Darrell Stewart, Senior Wide Receiver, #25

Cody White, Junior Wide Receiver, #7

Matt Dotson, Junior Tight End, #89

Luke Campbell, Junior Tackle, #62

Jordan Reid, Junior Tackle, #55

Tyler Higby, Senior Guard, #70

Matt Allen, Junior Center, #64

Mike Panasiuk, Senior Defensive Tackle, #72

Raequan Williams, Senior Defensive Tackle, #99

Naquan Jones, Junior Defensive Tackle, #93

Kenny Willikes, Senior Defensive End, #14

Joe Bachie, Senior Linebacker, #35

Antjuan Simmons, Junior Linebacker, #34

Josiah Scott, Junior Cornerback, #22

Josh Butler, Senior Cornerback, #19

David Dowell, Senior Safety, #6

Michigan State’s strength lies on defense, and mainly with Willikes and Bachie. Panasiuk, Williams, and Jones are all late round prospects on the defensive line. On offense, Lewerke has been hit or miss, but seems to be having a solid season. On the offensive line, Higby, is the best of the bunch, and the only prospect with a chance of being drafted given recent performance.

Wake Forest

Cade Carney, Senior Running Back, #36

Steven Claude, Senior Wide Receiver, #5

Sage Suratt, Redshirt Sophomore Wide Receiver, #14

Scotty Washington, Senior Wide Receiver, #7

Jack Freudenthal, Senior Tight End, #86

Nathan Gilliam, Senior Tackle, #71

Justin Herron, Senior Tackle, #75

Jake Benzinger, Senior Tackle, #75

Carlos Basham, Junior Defensive End, #9

Justin Strnad, Senior Linebacker, #23

Essang Bassey, Senior Cornerback, #21

Amari Henderson, Senior Cornerback, #4

It’s really a shame that Suratt is hurt, but there are still some other players worth watching here. Gilliam and Herron continue solid play along the line, keeping them in day three consideration. On defense, Basham is the star with a day two grade. Strnad and Bassey round out the players to watch on the Demon Deacons.

Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl in Houston, TX - (25) Oklahoma State University vs. Texas A&M University, 6:45 PM, ESPN

Oklahoma State

Dru Brown, Senior Quarterback, #6

Chuba Hubbard, Redshirt Sophomore Running Back, #30

Dillon Stoner, Junior Wide Receiver, #17

Tylan Wallace, Junior Wide Receiver, #2

Teven Jenkins, Junior Tackle, #73

Johnny Wilson, Senior Guard, #72

Marcus Keyes, Senior Guard, #75

Kyle Junior, Senior Defensive Tackle, #93

Calvin Bundage, Senior Linebacker, #1

Rodarius Williams, Junior Cornerback, #8

A.J. Green, Senior Cornerback, #4

Another favorite receiver of mine (Wallace), and another season ending injury. I guess I’m Trent Baalke here. Hubbard is also challenging for RB1 every week, coming from seemingly nowhere to be one of the best stories of the season. Stoner is more of a day three prospect. On defense, A.J. Green (not that one) is one of the top senior cornerbacks in the nation.

Texas A&M

Kellen Mond, Senior Quarterback, #11

Kendrick Rogers, Junior Wide Receiver, #13

Jhamon Ausbon, Junior Wide Receiver, #2

Quartney Davis, Junior Wide Receiver, #1

Dan Moore, Junior Tackle, #65

Carson Green, Junior Tackle, #54

Justin Madubuike, Junior Defensive Tackle, #52

Michael Clemons, Redshirt Sophomore Defensive End, #91

Tyree Johnson, Redshirt Sophomore Defensive End, #3

Anthony Hines III, Redshirt Sophomore Linebacker, #19

Charles Oliver, Senior Cornerback, #21

Larry Pryor, Senior Safety, #11

Mond has fallen a bit in the quarterback rankings, and this week will be his last chance to prove he deserves to be drafted before possible Senior Bowl participation. Rogers and Davis are late-round receiver prospects. On defense, Madubuike, Clemons, Johnson, and Hines all have potential, but need strong performances to be anything other than day three prospects. That performance will not come from Madubuike, who is sitting out this one.

San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl in San Diego, CA - (22) University of Southern California vs. (16) University of Iowa, 8:00 PM, FS1

USC

Vavae Malepeai, Junior Running Back, #29

Stephen Carr, Junior Running Back, #7

Michael Pittman, Senior Wide Receiver, #6

Velus Jones Jr., Junior Wide Receiver, #1

Tyler Vaughns, Junior Wide Receiver, #21

Josh Falo, Junior Tight End, #83

Drew Richmond, Senior Tackle, #53

Austin Jackson, Junior Tackle, #73

Marlon Tuipulotu, Redshirt Sophomore Defensive Tackle, #51

Jay Tufele, Redhsirt Sophomore Defensive Tackle, #78

Brandon Pili, Junior Defensive Tackle, #91

Christian Rector, Senior Defensive End, #89

Jordan Iosefa, Senior Linebacker, #56

John Houston Jr., Senior Linebacker, #10

Dominic Davis, Senior Cornerback, #16

USC is a west coast team that we have seen plenty of this year because of their late kickoffs. Pittman has been one of the most impressive receivers in this class for me, and is squarely in the day two conversation now. Opposite him is Vaughns, who is starting to garner day three grades himself. Carr is the top rusher for USC, and should also hear his name called at some point in April. The biggest name is Austin Jackson, who has played so well this season that many are expecting him to go in the first round. A matchup with a top-five talent on the opposing defensive line will either help or hurt that stock. On defense, Tufele and Rector are the prospects to watch for.

Iowa

Nathan Stanley, Senior Quarterback, #4

Mekhi Sargent, Junior Running Back, #10

Brady Ross, Senior Fullback, #36

Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Junioe Wide Receiver, #6

Shaun Beyer, Junior Tight End, #42

Nate Wieting, Senior Tight End, #39

Tristan Wirfs, Junior Tackle, #74

Alaric Jackson, Junior Tackle, #77

Levi Paulsen, Senior Guard, #66

Landan Paulsen, Senior Guard, #68

Brady Reiff, Senior Defensive Tackle, #91

Cedrick Lattimore, Senior Defensive Tackle, #95

Daviyon Nixon, Junior Defensive Tackle, #54

A.J. Epenesa, Junior Defensive End, #94

Chauncey Gholston, Junior Defensive End, #57

Djimon Colberts, Redshirt Sophomore Linebacker, #32

Kristian Welch, Senior Linebacker, #34

Matt Hankins, Junior Cornerback, #8

Michael Ojemudia, Senior Cornerback, #11

Geno Stone, Junior Safety, #9

Epenesa has rebounded well after his relatively slow start to the season, cementing his first round status. Wirfs has moved into the top ten on most boards with his versatility at both tackle spots and his superior athleticism and technique. Alaric Jackson missed a few games due to injury, and, if he doesn’t have a good end to the season, he may be driven to return to school. For Iowa, the remaining draftable prospects include Stanley, Sargent, Smith-Marsette, Beyer, Nixon, Colberts, Welch, and Stone.

Cheez-It Bowl in Phoenix, AZ - Air Force Academy vs. Washington State University, 10:15 PM, ESPN

Air Force

Jeremy Fejedelem, Senior Safety, #2

I appreciate all that the service academies do and the way that they prepare young men for the future. But Air Force isn’t producing any NFL talent.

Washington State

Anthony Gordon, Senior Quarterback, #18

Davontavean Martin, Junior Wide Receiver, #1

Dezmon Patmon, Senior Wide Receiver, #12

Easop Winston, Senior Wide Receiver, #8

Abraham Lucas, Redshirt Sophomore Tackle, #72

Frederick Mauigoa, Senior Center, #69

Lamonte McDougal, Redshirt Sophomore Defensive Tackle, #9

Willie Taylor III, Redshirt Sophomore Defensive End, #27

Nnamdi Oguayo, Senior Defensive End, #30

Dominick Silvels, Junior Defensive End, #20

Will Rodgers, Junior Defensive End, #92

Jahad Woods, Junior Linebacker, #13

Mike Leach is doing it again. The success of Gardner Minshew is only helping Leach quarterbacks in the eyes of draft people, but Gordon is also leading the nation in passing. Lucas, Mauigoa, McDougal, Taylor, and Oguayo are the other names to know.

Saturday, December 28

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic in Arlington, TX - (17) University of Memphis vs. (10) Penn State University, 12:00 PM, ESPN

Memphis

Brady White, Junior Quarterback, #3

Patrick Taylor, Senior Running Back, #6

Pop Williams, Senior Wide Receiver, #9

Damonte Coxie, Junior Wide Receiver, #10

Joey Magnifico, Senior Tight End, #86

Dustin Woodard, Senior Guard, #53

Jonathan Wilson, Senior Defensive Tackle, #38

Bryce Huff, Senior Linebacker, #55

T.J. Carter, Junior Cornerback, #2

Memphis is continuing their high-flying ways, keeping the little draftable talent they have on offense. Taylor is making plays out of the backfield for Memphis, and the magnificent Magnifico pulled a rabbit out of his hat to start garnering draft chatter in recent weeks.

Penn State

K.J. Hamler, Redshirt Sophomore Wide Receiver, #1

Pat Freiermuth, Redshirt Sophomore Tight End, #87

Will Fries, Junior Tackle, #71

Steven Gonzalez, Senior Guard, #74

Mike Miranda, Redshirt Sophomore Guard, #73

Michael Menet, Junior Center, #62

Robert Windsor, Senior Defensive Tackle, #54

Yetur Gross-Matos, Junior Defensive End, #99

Shaka Toney, Junior Defensive End, #16

Shane Simmons, Junior Defensive End, #34

Cameron Brown, Senior Linebacker, #6

Jan Johnson, Senior Linebacker, #36

John Reid, Senior Cornerback, #29

Tariq Castro-Fields, Junior Cornerback, #5

Garrett Taylor, Senior Safety, #17

Jonathan Sutherland, Redshirt Sophomore Safety, #26

Hamler and Freiermuth are playmakers on offense, and Fries, Miranda, and Menet have held up well all season. The stars, though, are Gross-Matos and Toney, who are maybe the top pair of draft-eligible defensive ends in the nation. Castro-Fields has had a ton of trouble this year, but still could be drafted in April based on athleticism alone.

Camping World Bowl in Orlando, FL - (15) University of Notre Dame vs. Iowa State University, 12:00 PM, ABC

Notre Dame

Ian Book, Junior Quarterback, #12

Chris Finke, Senior Wide Receiver, #10

Chase Claypool, Senior Wide Receiver, #83

Cole Kmet, Junior Tight End, #84

Liam Eichenberg, Junior Tackle, #74

Robert Hainsey, Junior Tackle, #72

Tommy Kraemer, Junior Guard, #78

Aaron Banks, Redshirt Sophomore Guard, #69

Trevor Ruhland, Senior Center, #57

Julian Okwara, Senior Defensive End, #42

Khalid Kareem, Senior Defensive End, #53

Daelin Hayes, Senior Defensive End, #9

Adetokunbo Ogundeji, Junior Defensive End, #91

Asmar Bilal, Senior Linebacker, #22

Shaun Crawford, Senior Cornerback, #20

Troy Pride Jr., Senior Cornerback, #5

Donte Vaughn, Senior Cornerback, #8

Alohi Gilman, Junior Safety, #11

Jalen Elliott, Senior Safety, #21

Claypool, Kmet, and the entire offensive line for the Fighting Irish face get a sneaky tough opponent this week in Iowa State. On defense, Okwara is the pleasant surprise of the season for Notre Dame, working his way from a day 3 prospect to garnering some first-round buzz. Pride, Gilman, and Elliott are all late-round prospects in the secondary.

Iowa State

La'Michael Pettway, Senior Wide Receiver, #7

Deshaunte Jones, Senior Wide Receiver, #8

Chase Allen, Junior Tight End, #11

Bryce Meeker, Senior Tackle, #74

Josh Knipfel, Senior Guard, #66

Julian Good-Jones, Senior Center, #51

Ray Lima, Senior Defensive Tackle, #58

JaQuan Bailey, Senior Defensive End, #3

Eyioma Uwazurike, Junior Defensive End, #5

Matt Leo, Senior Defensive End, #89

Marcel Spears, Senior Linebacker, #42

Justin Bickham, Senior Cornerback, #7

Braxton Lewis, Senior Cornerback, #33

Greg Eisworth, Junior Safety, #12

Iowa State is one of those teams that is always ripe to upset their more talented competition, so don’t be surprised if they do it again. Chase Allen is a decent tight end, but the best player is definitely defensive star Ray Lima. Bailey and Eisworth also have a chance to be drafted.

Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl and College Football Playoff Semifinal in Atlanta, GA - (4) University of Oklahoma vs. (1) Louisiana State University, 4:00 PM, ESPN

Oklahoma

Jalen Hurts, Senior Quarterback, #1

Trey Sermon, Junior Running Back, #4

Kennedy Brooks, Redshirt Sophomore Running Back, #26

CeeDee Lamb, Junior Wide Receiver, #2

Lee Morris, Senior Wide Receiver, #84

Grant Calcaterra, Junior Tight End, #80

Marquis Hayes, Redshirt Sophomore Guard, #54

Creed Humphrey, Redshirt Sophomore Center, #56

Neville Gallimore, Senior Defensive Tackle, #90

LaRon Stokes, Junior Defensive End, #96

Kenneth Mann, Senior Defensive End, #55

Kenneth Murray, Junior Linebacker, #9

Caleb Kelly, Senior Linebacker, #19

Mark Jackson Jr., Senior Linebacker, #42

Tre Brown, Junior Cornerback, #6

Parnell Motley, Senior Cornerback, #11

Jalen Hurts may have lost the Heisman, but he’s still in the conversation for being a first round quarterback. This offense is running on all cylinders, led by CeeDee Lamb and Creed Humphrey as first round locks. Sermon, Brooks, and Hayes all are draftable prospects on day two or three. On defense, Gallimore and Murray are the only hopefuls, but they are looking better and better as time goes on.

LSU

Joe Burrow, Senior Quarterback, #9

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Junior Running Back, #22

Lanard Fournette, Senior Running Back, #27

Derrick Dillon, Senior Wide Receiver, #19

Dee Anderson, Senior Wide Receiver, #11

Justin Jefferson, Junior Wide Receiver, #2

Stephen Sullivan, Senior Tight End, #10

Jamal Pettigrew, Junior Tight End, #80

Thaddeus Moss, Junior Tight End, #81

Saahdiq Charles, Junior Tackle, #77

Badara Traore, Senior Tackle, #74

Adrian MaGee, Senior Guard, #73

Damian Lewis, Senior Guard, #68

Lloyd Cushenberry, Junior Center, #79

Breiden Fehoko, Senior Defensive Tackle, #91

Tyler Shelvin, Redshirt Sophomore Defensive Tackle, #72

Rashard Lawrence, Senior Defensive Tackle, #90

K'Lavon Chaisson, Redshirt Sophomore Defensive End, #18

Andre Anthony, Junior Defensive End, #46

Justin Thomas, Junior Defensive End, #93

Jacob Phillips, Junior Linebacker, #6

Patrick Queen, Junior Linebacker, #8

Michael Divinity, Senior Linebacker, #45

Kristian Fulton, Senior Cornerback, #1

Grant Delpit, Junior Safety, #7

Todd Harris, Jr., Junior Safety, #33

It might be a surprise that LSU is here based on the preseason predictions, but only because many thought Alabama would be here yet again. LSU was always thought of as a good team, but we had no idea they would be this good, especially on offense. Heisman winner Joe Burrow is all but guaranteed to be the first overall pick in April, unless Cincinnati decides to go with someone other than the hometown hero. He is getting help on offense from Jefferson, a top receiver in this class, and Charles. As always, the LSU defense is stacked with first round prospects in Lawrence, Chaisson, Fulton, and Delpit, with a trio of day three linebackers in Phillips, Queen, and Divinity.

PlayStation Fiesta Bowl and College Football Playoff Semifinal in Glendale, AZ - (3) Clemson University vs. (2) Ohio State University, 8:00 PM, ESPN

Clemson

Trevor Lawrence, Sophomore Quarterback, #16

Travis Etienne, Junior Running Back, #9

Darien Rencher, Junior Running Back, #21

Tee Higgins, Junior Wide Receiver, #5

Justyn Ross, Sophomore Wide Receiver, #8

Diondre Overton, Senior Wide Receiver, #14

Amari Rodgers, Junior Wide Receiver, #3

Tremayne Anchrum, Senior Tackle, #73

John Simpson, Senior Guard, #74

Sean Pollard, Senior Guard, #76

Gage Cervenka, Senior Center, #59

Nyles Pinckney, Junior Defensive Tackle, #44

Xavier Kelly, Junior Defensive Tackle, #22

Jordan Williams, Redshirt Sophomore Defensive Tackle, #59

Justin Foster, Junior Defensive End, #35

Isaiah Simmons, Junior Linebacker/Safety, #11

A.J. Terrell, Junior Cornerback, #8

K'Von Wallace, Senior Safety, #12

Denzel Johnson, Senior Safety, #14

Tanner Muse, Senior Safety, #19

Clemson is here for the fifth season in a row, which just goes to show how good of a program they have at Clemson. They aren’t draft eligible, but the best prospects on Clemson are Trevor Lawrence and Justyn Ross. I would not be surprised if both are top ten picks in 2021. For the more immediate future, the first round talents include Simmons, Etienne, Higgins, and potentially Terrell. Simpson and Pollard give Clemson one of the best interior lines in the ACC. On defense, Clemson has tried to replenish the dominant defensive line class from 2019 with Williams and Foster, to modest results. Wallace and Muse are day three picks for the time being, but could see a rise.

Ohio State

J.K. Dobbins, Junior Running Back, #2

Demario McCall, Junior Running Back, #30

K.J. Hill, Senior Wide Receiver, #14

Austin Mack, Senior Wide Receiver, #11

Binjimen Victor, Senior Wide Receiver, #9

Luke Farrell, Junior Tight End, #89

Rashod Berry, Senior Tight End, #13

Thayer Munford, Junior Tackle, #75

Jonah Jackson, Senior Guard, #73

Robert Landers, Senior Defensive Tackle, #67

Davon Hamilton, Senior Defensive Tackle, #53

Chase Young, Junior Defensive End, #2

Jonathon Cooper, Senior Defensive End, #18

Jashon Cornell, Senior Defensive End, #9

Malik Harrison, Senior Linebacker, #39

Pete Werner, Junior Linebacker, #20

Baron Browning, Junior Linebacker, #5

Tuf Borland, Junior Linebacker, #32

Jeffrey Okudah, Junior Cornerback, #1

Shaun Wade, Redshirt Sophomore Cornerback, #24

Damon Arnette, Senior Cornerback, #3

Jordan Fuller, Senior Safety, #4

Jahsen Wint, Junior Safety, #23

Ohio State brings plenty of firepower into this matchup, with Young, Okudah, Wade, and maybe even Arnette and Fuller being first round picks in that ferocious Buckeye defense. Landers, Harrison, and Borland round out the Buckeye defense that is shaping up to be one of the most talented in the country. The offense is full of speed, including Dobbins, Hill, and Farrell. The offensive line is the weak spot, if there is one, on this Buckeye team, but Munford should be able to make a team.

Monday, December 30

Servpro First Responder Bowl in Dallas, TX - Western Kentucky University vs. Western Michigan University, 12:30 PM, ESPN

Western Kentucky

Ty Storey, Senior Quarterback, #4

Quin Jernighan, Senior Wide Receiver, #16

Lucky Jackson, Senior Wide Receiver, #11

Miles Pate, Senior Guard, #63

Jaylon George, Senior Defensive Tackle, #90

Ta'Corian Darden, Senior Cornerback, #15

No prospects here, but if you’re lucky, you’ll get a glimpse of one of the best mascots in the country. Meet Big Red, aka Grimace with a sunburn.

Western Michigan

Jon Wassink, Senior Quarterback, #16

LeVante Bellamy, Senior Running Back, #2

D'Wayne Eskridge, Senior Wide Receiver, #7

Giovanni Ricci, Senior Tight End, #15

Luke Juriga, Senior Guard, #59

Ralph Holley, Junior Defensive End, #8

Alex Grace, Senior Linebacker, #34

Drake Spears, Senior Linebacker, #20

Stefan Claiborne, Senior Cornerback, #21

Justin Tranquill, Senior Safety, #2

There is one good prospect in this game, and that’s running back LeVante Bellamy. He’s still a late round guy, but he is fun to watch.

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl in Nashville, TN - Mississippi State University vs. University of Louisville, 4:00 PM, ESPN

Mississippi State

Tommy Stevens, Senior Quarterback, #7

Kylin Hill, Junior Running Back, #8

Osirus Mitchell, Junior Wide Receiver, #5

Stephen Guidry, Senior Wide Receiver, #1

Isaiah Zuber, Senior Wide Receiver, #12

Farrod Green, Senior Tight End, #82

Greg Eiland, Junior Tackle, #55

Stewart Reese, Junior Tackle/Guard, #51

Michael Story, Senior Guard, #75

Tyre Phillips, Senior Guard, #78