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 Valero Alamo Bowl, here are some players to keep an eye on.
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Valero Alamo Bowl: Kansas St vs UCLA
When: Jan. 2nd, 6:45 (EST)
Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports
WR Tyler Lockett, SR #16 (5’11 | 175 | 4.46)
Scouting report – Small, but extremely quick and a very sharp route runner who has had no trouble getting open at the college level. His best fit in the NFL will be as a slot receiver, but Lockett has the speed to take the top off of defenses if he lines up outside. The only knock on Lockett besides his lack of size are some drops on catchable passes. Lockett has the quickness and acceleration to get open at the NFL level and is also a dangerous return man. He is 2nd in the FBS with a 20.5 punt return average this year.
Projection: 3rd-4th round
C B.J. Finney, SR #66 (6’4 | 303 | 5.28)
Scouting report – Former walk-on who has developed into one of the best centers in college football. Finney is a tough, highly intelligent center who is solid in both pass pro and as a run blocker. He holds his ground against bull rushers and is quick enough to get to the 2nd level in run blocking. His understanding of angles and leverage makes up for a lack of NFL athleticism.
Projection: 4th-5th round
OG Cody Whitehair, JR #55 (6’4 | 309 | 5.22)
Scouting report – Good size, mobility, and football instincts. Whitehair’s above average awareness allows him to excel in pass pro, adjusting to pick up blitzers and D-lineman who come free. Scouts would like to see more aggressiveness from Whitehair as he is too often content to let defenders come to him. Day 3 prospect with starter upside.