Today there are two college football bowl bames none of which is loaded with draft prospects. But, hey, it's free football.
Both games will Air on ESPN the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl will air at Noon and features Central Michigan vs Western Kentucky.
Update: Read our NFL Draft scouting reports 2015 for the top prospects.
Central Michigan is not a no-man's land for NFL prospects, in fact there are a number of NFL players that played at Central Michigan which are highlighted by three good NFL players. Recent first overall pick Tackle Eric Fisher (Chiefs) is a former Chippewa. Former first round pick and offensive tackle Joe Staley (49ers) is also from Central Michigan. One of the best wide receivers in the NFL, Antonio Brown (Steelers) came through the program as well.
Other players to note that are from the program are Giants currently defensive linemen Cullen Jenkins, and Green Bay Packers linebacker Frank Zombo.
This year the top prospect is another wide receiver: Titus Davis. Davis has good size at 6-foot-2, 190 pounds and has averaged at least 15 yards per reception in every year he's played. He has returned punts for them and has rushed the ball 20 times this year. When coming out of college Antonio Brown was overlooked, but displayed great initial quickness and pretty good route running. Davis doesn't exhibit the same explosiveness off the snap and likely won't time as fast as Brown did. I don't think he's another Antonio Brown, but this is a school that has produced some nice prospects so he's worth another look.
Running back Thomas Rawls is a transfer from Michigan and has talent. He'll receive the "character concern" tag, but he has enough ability to potentially be a late-round draft pick.
Defensive lineman Leterrious Walton has good NFL size and could be a UDFA training camp invite.
Western Kentucky doesn't have the track record Central Michigan does in terms of impact players in the NFL, but there are a few guys you might have heard of. Broncos defensive linemen Quanterus Smith is a guy who gets some play. And Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Bobby Rainey is another guy whose name you've likely heard of (possibly through us talking about him here).
As for this crop of players the best player is cornerback Cam Thomas. He has good size 6-1, 190 pounds and is slotted as an early Day 3 pick (Round 4). He has displayed good ball skills and has good long speed. Teams will intrigued by his size. What will really help him is if he can display enough quickness and explosion (think 3 cone drill). in the pre-draft process
The second game the Hawaii Bowl with Fresno State vs Rice. This game is also on ESPN at 8 p.m.. Though you're probably doing something Christmas Eve-y.
Fresno State isn't a draft factory, but there are 16 players in the NFL right now who played with the Bulldogs. The toast of the town right now are Raiders quarterback Derek Carr and Packers wide receiver Davanate Adams though OLs Andrew Whitworth and Logan Mankins have had more success. Ryan Matthews, Ryan Wendell, and Bear Pascoe are all players you're probably familiar with. Wendell is a starting OL for the Patriots.
The guys to watch this year are safety Derron Smith and wide receiver Josh Harper. Smith has gotten his hands on a lot of footballs. He had seven Interceptions in 2013 along with eight tackles for loss and four sacks. This year he wasn't as productive, though he did add returning punts to his repertoire. Smith,I think is a guy who is a free safety type. A guy who can play the back end coverage role; a position the Giants need to fill. He isn't a great tackler, but has plus instincts and is a smart football guy. If he test well could be a round 2 pick.
Wide receiver Josh Harper is a good player, but he's not as good as Adams from last year. Fresno State has an offensive system where players can compile numbers. Harper has good height (6-1) and is wiry. He can catch the ball in traffic, but doesn't exhibit terrific break-away speed. Harper is listed as a potential Round 2 pick from CBS Sports, but I think he is closer to a mid- Round 3 value.
Offensive linemen Cody Wichman is 6-6, 315 pounds. That's a big man. Those guys are always worth watching. He's tabbed as a Day 3 pick. Defensive tackle Tyeler Davison is 6-2, 309 pounds and had 11 tackles for loss and seven sacks this year. That's a good year and good production for a guy with that size. He's a potential top 10 defensive tackle prospect and could be off the board by the end of round 3.
Rice wide receiver Jordan Taylor is huge. 6-5, 210 pounds. Guys that big will always get a look as guys who could be immediate red-zone threats but they also could be James Hardy (former second-round Bills pick who did nothing) and Ramses Barden. Rice wasn't overly productive this year 781 yards receiving and six touchdowns in nine games, but has shown enough that he will intrigue teams. His size will get him drafted, but he's not the type of athlete Mike Evans is or Brandon Marshall is.
If I had to pick one guy to watch today it's safety Derron Smith. The Giants need a free safety. They have a few strong safety types (if they retain Stevie Brown, and Nat Behre is more of a strong safety) so he could be of special interest to the Giants.