The college football bowl season kicks off this weekend, which many consider to be the unofficial start to the NFL Draft season. Here’s a six pack of prospects, three on offense, three on defense and a few bonus players to keep an eye on during this week’s action.
Western Kentucky quarterback Mike White (6034/220) is a pocket passer who possesses prototypical size and a NFL caliber arm. He completed 26 passes of balls that traveled 20 yards or more in the air this season and is currently fourth in the nation with 3,826 passing yards, all while doing so behind an atrocious offensive line that has allowed him to be sacked 42 times! His stock is on the rise after receiving an invitation to the Senior Bowl and he could be a top 100 selection. You can watch him on Saturday (12/16) at 2:30pm ET as the Hilltoppers take on Georgia State in the AutoNation Cure Bowl on CBS Sports Network.
On the opposite side of the ball, White will need to pay close attention to Georgia State cornerback Chandon Sullivan (5116/198), also invited to the Senior Bowl. Sullivan is valued as a press man cover corner, with a fluid backpedal who rarely gets caught out of position. His aggressiveness and speed has made it difficult for opponents to get open on him this season.
A mid-round quarterback prospect worth keeping an eye on is Nick Stevens (6020/215) of Colorado State. The fifth-year senior and team captain has been praised for his great toughness, durability and leadership. In 40 career games (32 starts), he has never missed a game due to injury and has been sacked just 28 times during his college career. Look for him to hook-up with senior wide out Michael Gallup (6006/200), an electrifying playmaker in his own right who is also drawing the lust of NFL scouts. They’ll face Marshall in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl on ESPN, Saturday (12/16) at 4:30pm ET.
The highest-rated prospect in action this week could be Courtland Sutton (6032/221), who is expected to declare early for this year’s draft. The big-bodied junior wide out has garnered first round buzz with his tremendous ball skills, long arms and big hands. However, there are some concerns about his speed. You be the judge and see for yourself in the lone game on Wednesday (12/20) at 8:00pm ET on ESPN in the DXL Frisco Bowl.
*Tune-In! Listen to the Jody Mac Show on CBS Sports Radio on Saturday (12/16) at 8pm eastern time, as NFL Draft Bible Founder Ric Serritella discusses more NFL Draft prospects in this week’s bowl game matchups and the latest NFL Draft buzz!
Toss Boise State linebacker and team captain Leighton Vander Esch (6040/240) into the mix as another potential underclassman who could enter the draft early. His size/speed combination, along with his high motor and work ethic has him on target to be a day two selection. The former walk-on has racked up 129 tackles (5.5 for loss), three sacks, three interceptions and three forced fumbles this season. Be sure to watch closely when he gets matched up against Oregon’s left tackle Tyrell Crosby (6046/325), another NFL prospect, in the Las Vegas Bowl on Saturday (12/16) on ABC at 3:30pm ET.
Temple will have a handful of NFL prospects who will be on display against FIU in the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl on Thursday (12/21) at 8:00pm ET on ESPN, led by free safety Sean Chandler (5114/200). A four-year starter who began his career as a cornerback, the versatile Chandler has earned a reputation for being the hardest worker on the team, while also serving as the last line of defense for a feisty Owls bunch.