Welcome to the College Football Bowl Season!
There are several games today, but I want to focus in on two that might have some draft implications — The Las Vegas Bowl and the GILDAN New Mexico Bowl.
Both games have a couple potential mid-round prospects who could help restock a New York Giants offense that has been ravaged by injury.
Las Vegas Bowl - (25) Boise State vs. Oregon
ABC - 3:30 p.m.
If you want a running back with a nose for the end zone, this is the game for you. Oregon’s Royce Freeman is going to get compared to former Duck LeGarrette Blount, both for his stout build and bruising style as his production.
Freeman comes in to today’s game with 60 career rushing touchdowns, an average of 15 TDs a season. He is a high-mileage back, coming in to the game with 947 carries, which has to be a concern entering the league. But, listed at 6’0,” 238 pounds, he is built to take — and deliver — punishment. But despite his size, Freeman is hardly a lumbering back, and runs with a gliding stride and a surprising ability to sink his hips and make a cut. He isn’t a burner, but if he breaks a tackle or makes a player miss, he can pick up yards in chunks.
Freeman is a well rounded running back, who is a capable receiver (averaging just under 20 receptions a season) as well as pass blocker.
As it stands now, Freeman is likely a mid-round prospect as teams weigh his incredible production against his relative lack of athleticism and high mileage.
On the other side of things is Boise State receiver Cedrick Wilson Jr.
Wilson is a lean (6’3,” 188-pound) receiver who has been remarkably productive, with 129 receptions for 2,419 yards and 17 touchdowns over the last two years. A former baseball player, Wilson switched from quarterback to wide receiver when he arrived at Boise State. To be that productive while still new to the position makes Wilson is an intriguing prospect as he continues to hone his craft.
GILDAN New Mexico Bowl - Marshall vs. Colorado State
ESPN - 4:30 p.m.
This game will, likely as not, be taken over by Colorado State wide receiver Michael Gallup. Gallup isn’t particularly physically imposing, listed at 6’0,” 200 pounds, but his production is eye-opening. Over the last two seasons he has recorded 170 receptions for 2,622 yards and 21 touchdowns.
A natural hands catcher, Gallup looks to attack the ball in contested situations and uses his long arms well to maximize his catch radius.
He plays with a certain “twitch” which helps him to separate from man coverage or force missed tackles with the ball in space. He would be a good fit as a flanker or number 2 receiver in most offenses, with the flexibility to play the slot as well. He is sure-handed enough to be a possession receiver, but his twitch and burst out of his breaks could make him a deep threat as well.