NFL Hopefuls and the Bowl Games They’re Playing In
It’s college bowl game season, the last stop for many before the NFL draft on April 26-28, 2018.
The odds against turning pro are crushing. Only a very small percentage of eligible college players will be drafted. The vast majority of extremely talented football players will be playing their last ever games. On the other hand, this year’s bowl games will feature players who have set records and redefined their positions. You can see a lot of them in the New Year’s Six bowls, and they’re below. Many more will play in the 37 other invitation bowl games.
Top QB prospects Josh Rosen and Lamar Jackson will play in the Cactus and TaxSlayer bowls, respectively. Heisman-shortlister Bryce Love will be playing against TCU in the Alamo Bowl. Love had back-to-back 250+ yard games, including a 301 yard game that set a Stanford record. Even Memphis’s Anthony Miller is an NFL-caliber wide receiver with touchdown receptions in the double-digits and over 1,400 total yards. See him in the Liberty Bowl against Iowa State.
College football may be ending, but there is a world of sports on DISH. Order today and start watching as soon as tomorrow with next-day installation. That’s plenty of time for the NFL playoffs, the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games February 8-25 and the World Cup this summer.
In the meantime, here are the top bowl games and the players you’ll probably be watching for years to come.
Sam Darnold, USC
Cotton Bowl vs. Ohio State
ESPN 12/29 8:30pm
If Darnold has an edge over UCLA’s Josh Rosen as an NFL prospect, it isn’t necessarily one you can quantify. But the sense is that he steps up and makes big plays when it counts.
Denzel Ward, Ohio State
Cotton Bowl vs. USC
ESPN 12/29 8:30pm
The Buckeyes have sent cornerbacks to the NFL in the first round each of the past four years. Denzel Ward could very well be the first CB drafted in 2018.
Saquon Barkley, Penn State
Fiesta Bowl vs Washington
ESPN 12/30 4pm
There is a widespread feeling that Barkley was snubbed when he was left of the Heisman short list. The Nittany Lion running back set a Penn State record for career rushing touchdowns this season. He’d be expected to go in the first few picks.
T.J. Edwards, Wisconsin
Orange Bowl vs. Miami
ESPN 12/30 8pm
The Badgers’ inside linebacker is a force on the line. He had 75 tackles in 2017 and led Wisconsin’s defense with four interceptions.
Jeff Holland, Auburn
Peach Bowl vs UCF
ESPN 1/1 12:30pm
The word on EDGE Holland is that he has active and heavy hands, which he uses in a signature swipe move on his way to the quarterback. He had 9 sacks this year and 43 total tackles.
Orlando Brown and Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
Rose Bowl vs. Georgia
ESPN 1/1 5pm
Orlando Brown’s college career began with a lot of uncertainty—he needed to get his grades up and his body fat down. That’s what he did at Oklahoma, as a freshman redshirt, and then for 39 straight games at left tackle. He’s projected to go early in the first round. Baker Mayfield is the star, but as an OT, Brown makes it all possible.
Roquan Smith, Georgia
Rose Bowl vs. Oklahoma
ESPN 1/1 5pm
The Bulldog linebacker put in an MVP performance in the SEC Championship game, boosting him into the top tier of his draft class.
Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
Sugar Bowl, vs Clemson
ESPN 1/1 8:45pm
Fitzpatrick had an outstanding junior season for the Crimson Tide. It’s rare for a defensive back to be drafted in, say, the top five, but there is talk that Fitzpatrick could be that caliber a player.
Good luck to the draft class of 2018! In the meantime, we’ll be tuning in for a slate of action-packed bowl games—as well as the College Football Playoff National Championship, January 8th at 8/7c on ESPN. And we’re already looking forward to bringing you the most college football you can watch next year. Get in on DISH sports action now.