We have reached the conclusion of bowl season now that Bowl Game Week 3 has come and gone. We still had a ton of opt-outs and more of a 2025 NFL Draft class look ahead than anything. However, there were still a number of 2024 NFL Draft prospects to look at.
I will look at the top prospect performances from the games I watched the previous week.
BOWL GAME WEEK 3 PROSPECT REWIND
MILITARY BOWL: Tulane v. Virginia Tech
The Military Bowl was played in a torrential downpour. Most of the top prospects for both schools either opted out (Tulane) or decided they were returning to school (Virginia Tech.)
For the Green Wave, former La Tech LB Tyler Grubbs had another big game. Grubbs recorded ten tackles and returned a fumble for a TD. No decision has been made on his future.
Virginia Tech edge rusher Antwaun Powell-Ryland is a favorite of mine. He is such an aggressive pass rusher. He didn’t impact the box score much outside of one TFL. However, APR was his normal disruptive self.
If you haven’t watched VT QB Kyron Drones, do yourself a favor and get on that. Drones will enter the ’24 season as a top-10 quarterback on my board.
PINSTRIPE BOWL: Miami (FL) v. Rutgers
Same as the Military Bowl, the Pinstripe Bowl ended up being a setup for the ’25 NFL Draft.
Rutgers RB Kyle Monangai led the Big 10 in rushing this year and continued his assault on defenses against the Hurricanes. Monangai carried the ball 25 times for 163 yards and one touchdown in the bowl win. He announced he was returning to school.
Miami WR Xavier Restrepo also announced after the game he was returning to Coral Gables. Restrepo is an excellent slot receiver. He has reliable hands and runs nice routes. Restrepo caught 11 balls for 99 yards and a score on 17 targets.
I am a huge fan of Miami nickel Jaden Davis. Davis is a good tackler with nice ball skills. He recorded six tackles against Rutgers.
ALAMO BOWL: Arizona v. Oklahoma
Arizona WR Jacob Cowing is heading to the Senior Bowl next month. He is a smooth route runner with a great explosion after the catch. Cowing has the production you love. He caught seven balls against the Sooners for 152 yards and two scores.
Wildcats TE Tanner McLachlan caught my eye earlier this season. The big target caught only three balls in the Alamo Bowl for 28 yards. However, he had to make some tough catches over the middle and that is something you like to see. McLachlan is slated to play in the Shrine Bowl.
I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about the 2025 NFL Draft WR prospect from Arizona, Tetairoa McMillan. McMillan has a great combination of size, speed, and ball skills. McMillan caught 10 balls for 160 yards against Oklahoma. he will enter the conversation as one of the top WRs in the ’25 class.
I will always be a fan of Oklahoma WR Drake Stoops. Not many receivers are as reliable as Stoops over the middle. Stoops should get an ASG invite somewhere and be selected on day three. He caught six of his 12 targets for 82 yards.
Oklahoma OT Tyler Guyton (a Senior Bowl invite) gets most of the attention but do not sleep on ex-Stanford OT Walter Rouse. He should be taken early on day three with a chance to develop into a reliable starter.
SUN BOWL: Oregon State v. Notre Dame
The opt-out theme was in full force during this game. It was a dominant win by Notre Dame.
Irish safety Xavier Watts had a nice game in the win. Watts won the Nagurski Award for the best defensive player in the nation. The former WR projects as a day-three selection. he finished the Sun Bowl with five tackles and a half sack.
ND edge rusher Javonte Jean-Baptiste is headed for the Shrine Bowl next. He finished his Notre Dame career with two tackles, one sack, and a forced fumble against the Beavers.
Oregon State safety Kitan Oladapo is a player I was hoping to see in this game since he accepted an invite to the Senior Bowl. Oladapo did not disappoint. He recorded 11 tackles (eight solos), one TFL, and a PBU against Notre Dame.
PEACH BOWL: Mississippi v. Penn State
The Peach Bowl became another 2025 NFL Draft showcase. This includes, what will likely be, two of the top ten prospects at the tight end position in that class.
One of those TEs was Penn State’s Tyler Warren. Warren is excellent after the catch. His blocking…TBD. Warren caught five passes for 127 yards. This included a 75-yard catch and run.
Ole Miss TE Caden Prieskorn announced himself to the world in this game. He consistently beat the PSU defense with his route running and athleticism. Prieskorn caught 10 balls for 136 yards and two scores.
ARIZONA BOWL: Toledo v. Wyoming
Wyoming kicker John Hoyland made all three of his field goal attempts, including a 52-yarder. Hoyland nailed a 24-yard attempt at the buzzer to give Wyoming a win. For his efforts, Hoyland was named Arizona Bowl MVP.
RELIAQUEST BOWL: LSU v. Wisconsin
A rare case where some of the top prospects actually played.
LSU WR Malik Nabers, a likely top-ten selection, suited up for the first half against Wisconsin. At least until he broke a school record. Nabers bailed after that. He caught three balls for 23 yards.
His teammate, Brian Thomas, Jr. continued his torrid touchdown pace in 2023. Thomas caught two more touchdown passes among his eight catches for 98 yards. He has not decided on his NFL future as of yet.
Wisconsin QB Tanner Mordecai, playing his final collegiate game, diced up the Bayou Bengals’ defense. Mordecai completed 27/40 throws for 378 yards and three touchdowns. He projects as a UDFA for me but can eventually find his way to an NFL roster. Probably after a stint in the newly branded United Football League.
CFP SEMIFINAL (SUGAR BOWL): Texas v. Washington
I will have a full report of this game tomorrow.
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