Bowl Game Week Three saw me watch 11 games full of 2023 NFL Draft prospects. Today, I look at the top prospects in six of those 11.
Each week, I will look back at the top prospect performances from the games I watched the previous week.
BOWL GAME WEEK THREE PROSPECT REWIND
MAYO BOWL: MARYLAND VS. NC STATE
Maryland kicker Chad Ryland is the presumptive favorite to be the first off the board at his position. Ryland has accepted a Senior Bowl invite. He was 3/3 on field goals in the Terps’ win over NC State. Ryland made kicks from 45, 42, and 33.
It was another highly productive day for a triumvirate of Wolfpack defensive prospects. LB Drake Thomas (11 tackles, 1 sack, 4 TFL), LB Isaiah Moore (11 tackles, 2 hurries), and safety Tanner Ingle (10 tackles, 1.5 TFL) all could hear their name called on day three.
GATOR BOWL: NOTRE DAME VS. SOUTH CAROLINA
You can read my full breakdown of this game here.
FIESTA BOWL (CFP SEMIFINAL): MICHIGAN VS. TCU
The Fiesta Bowl was one of the best games I have watched this year. Several players stood out in this one. Michigan WR Ronnie Bell has bounced back well after an injury took him out in 2021. Bell caught six passes for 135 yards and a TD. He will continue to boost his stock at the Senior Bowl.
For TCU, the most impressive performance may have been from edge rusher Dylan Horton. Horton racked up six tackles and had four sacks! He also forced a fumble. Horton has shot up my edge rusher rankings. He will also be in Mobile in a few weeks.
After an injury to Kendre Miller (8-57), 6th-year RB Emari Demercado stepped up. Demercado is currently slated to play in the NFLPA Bowl. He carried the ball 17 times for 150 yards and a score against the Wolverines.
RELIA QUEST BOWL: ILLINOIS VS. MISSISSIPPI STATE
It was opt-out city for Illinois in this game. The best prospect that played for the Illini was likely safety, Kendall Smith. The 6th-year defender recorded six solo tackles and an interception.
The Mississippi State offense didn’t have a banner day. However, their front four were cooking in Tampa. DL Cameron Young, a Senior Bowl invitee, had three tackles and one sack. 5th-year DL Jaden Crumedy (4 tackles, 1 sack) and 5th-year edge rusher Randy Charlton (3 tackles, 1 sack) joined the Tommy Devito hit parade.
Future 1st-round pick, CB Emmanuel Forbes, played in this game despite having already declared for the draft. Forbes is going to continue climbing draft boards throughout the process. He notched seven tackles (six solos) and broke up a pass against Illinois.
CITRUS BOWL: LSU VS. PURDUE
LSU won the most lopsided of all the bowl games with its 63-7 win over Purdue. Most of their top prospects opted out of this game as well. I have been impressed by their corner duo of Jarrick Bernard-Converse (3 tackles, 1 INT) and Greg Brooks Jr (5 tackles 1 INT) this season. If they enter the draft, I expect both will be selected on day three.
ROSE BOWL: PENN STATE VS. UTAH
In his last game before heading to the Senior Bowl, Penn State safety Ji’Ayir Brown went out in style. The rangy prospect was the best player on the field in Pasadena. Brown made eight tackles, 1.5 sacks, and picked off a pass.