clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Belk Bowl, (13) Georgia vs. (21) Louisville: Game time, TV, odds, 2015 NFL Draft prospects

The best player won't be playing, but the Belk Bowl still has plenty of reasons to watch.

Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

The closer we get to New Years, the better the bowl games get. The match-up between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Louisville Cardinals should be a good one.

Unfortunately for Georgia, and everybody who isn't rooting for Louisville, the top prospect on either team won't be playing. That, of course, is running back Todd Gurley, who is dealing with a torn ACL. Gurley is a rare prospect, but Georgia has many other fine ones. Their next two prospects are linebackers Jordan Jenkins and Ramik Wilson.

Jenkins is something of a "tweener" linebacker/defensive end hybrid. He is "only" 6-2, 250 pounds, but he has the strength to hold up in the trenches, as well as the lateral quickness to be able to stand up and play linebacker. He might fit with the Giants depending on what happens with their defense. He would likely be best as a stand-up rusher who occasionally moves up to the defensive line.

Ramik Wilson, on the other hand, could fit in the Giants' defense regardless of their scheme in 2015. He currently plays inside linebacker in the Bulldogs' 3-4 scheme, but he could play weakside or middle linebacker in a 4-3 scheme. Wilson isn't a huge linebacker, but at 6-2, 235-240 pounds, he has decent size. He combines good speed with some hard wrap-up tackles to be a tackling machine for Georgia's defense.

One last Bulldog to watch is Damian Swann. Swann is likely best termed a "Defensive Back" at the next level. He could be a cornerback or a safety going forward and has a knack for making plays. In one game against Arkansas he notched 11 tackles, two forced fumbles, a sack, and an interception. He doesn't have prototypical size or athleticism, but he is the type of player a creative defensive coordinator could love.

On the Louisville side of things, their best prospect is wide receiver DeVante Parker. Personally, I'm a lot higher on Parker than some others. I have him maybe half  a step behind Alabama's Amari Cooper. While Parker's route running isn't on the same level as Odell Beckham at LSU or Cooper, he is polished for a college receiver. He also has some tremendous physical tools. He is a long-striding runner who is deceptively fast in the open field, but his best asset is his catch radius. At 6-3  he has great size to start with, but combine that with a reported 36 inch vertical leap and a freakish 80 inch wingspan -- for some perspective: JPP has an 81 inch wingspan -- and you have a player who can be open even when he's covered.

If Parker is Louisville's best prospect, their most intriguing is safety Gerrod Holliman. He is only a redshirt sophomore, but he is still expected to declare for this year's draft. He has put up absolutely gaudy coverage numbers, snagging 14 interceptions so far this year. In a league where turnovers are key, that will draw a lot of attention. However, he isn't much for physical play and doesn't seem to be a very willing tackler. Additionally, he suffered a shoulder injury that required surgery in 2012. Since that he seems especially reluctant to tackle with that shoulder. Whether that is a medical issue lingering from the injury or a habit he developed will need to be investigated by NFL teams.

Louisville has a bunch of other prospects to watch, but for the sake of brevity, two potential sleepers are offensive linemen John Miller and Jamon Brown. Miller is a natural guard, with a stout build at 6-3, 320 pounds. He is technically proficient, with a good understanding of angles and little, if any, wasted movement. He isn't a terrific athlete, but his efficient movement makes up for that.

Jamon Brown is quite simply a ginormous human being at 6-5, 350 pounds. He is a dominant run blocker with a ton of power and heavy hands, and his sheer size makes him a difficult guy to get around in pass protection. His limited movement skills likely mean that he will have to transition to guard at the next level. Brown could be a guy to keep an eye on, as he fits the physical mold the Giants seem to prefer for their guards under McAdoo.

Game: Georgia Bulldogs (9-5) vs Louisville Cardinals (9-5)

Odds: Georgia - 7.0

TV: December 30th, 6:30 p.m. ESPN