College football bowl season is under way. If you are like most NFL fans, you know some players on the top college football teams but that is about it. As a Bears fan, my NFL season has been over for weeks so I’ve gotten an early start on my scouting for next year’s NFL draft.
I love watching football even if it’s games I have no rooting interest in, so over the holidays I end watching a lot of random bowl games. One thing that makes the bowl games more interesting for me is to keep an eye on players who will be drafted next season. This year I will breaking down the players who have a shot at getting drafted for most of the remaining bowl games. If you end up watching the VIZIO Fiesta Bowl, here are some players to keep an eye on.
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VIZIO Fiesta Bowl: Boise St vs Arizona
When: Dec. 31st, 4 PM (EST)
Marco Garcia-USA TODAY Sports
RB Jay Ajayi, JR #27 (6’0 | 216 | 4.54)
Scouting report – Had a monster season for the Broncos with 2,225 total yards and 29 TDs. Ajayi has good speed, but his explosive acceleration and elite balance are what make him such a productive back. Also, his slippery moves and tough running style make him difficult to bring down in the open field. Ajayi is also a smooth receiver who had 45 catches this season. His main flaw is a tendency to put the ball on the ground which Ajayi has had issues with the last two seasons.
Projection: 2nd-3rd round
WR Austin Hill, SR #29 (6’3 | 212 | 4.58)
Scouting report – Missed all of 2013 with an ACL tear and Hill didn’t look as explosive as he did pre-injury. He did improve as the season went on, so his lack of production (45, 605, 4) could be due to a longer than expected recovery time. Hill has great size for a WR and is a crisp route-runner with elite hands and body control. He was unstoppable as a sophomore (81, 1364, 11) and if he can find that form again some team will get a steal on day 3 of the draft.
Projection: 4th-5th round
OT Mickey Baucus, SR #68 (6’7 | 305 | 5.33)
Scouting report – 4-year starter at left tackle who has ideal size and arm length. Baucus has performed well in pass pro with quick feet for his size. He struggled at times with counter moves, but he’s an underrated prospect who has been very solid for the Wildcats during his career.
Projection: 6th-7th round