Two prestigious bowls are being played in prime time tonight and the games look to be something special. First there is the Cotton Bowl matching up the SEC and Big 12, featuring two all-round great teams, the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Missouri Tigers. Then there is the final BCS bowl before the National Championship, the Orange Bowl, featuring two high powered offences who will light up the scoreboard in Miami, the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Clemson Tigers. These two games once again provide an opportunity for Bears fans to scout out some potential talent prior to the offseason.
Prospects to watch (Projected rounds courtesy of Walter Football)
DE - Michael Sam #52 (RS Sr)
- Good pass rusher, 10.5 sacks this season. More of a rush LB which makes him a possibility if the Bears change to a 3-4. Projected 2-4 round.
DE - Kony Ealy #47 (RS Jr)
- Strong, big, and fast DE. Could be drafted for much needed help on the D-line. Projected 1st round.
CB - EJ Gaines #31 (Sr) ***Must Watch***
- Missouri's shut down corner, overlooked but has played great this season including shutting down potential 1st rounder Mike Evans. Projected 2-3 round, but could rise meteorically.
QB - James Franklin #1 (Sr)
- 3 year starter, mobile QB with strong arm. Potential development QB. Projected rounds 4-6.
WR - L'Damian Washington #2 (RS Sr)
- Big, tall, and strong WR (6'4"). UDFA.
WR - Marcus Lucas #85 (Sr)
- Big tall, and strong WR (6'5"). Will mostly work out of the slot tonight. UDFA
CB - Justin Gilbert #4 (Sr) ***Must Watch***
- One of the top corners in the draft, arguably the best. Big physical corner who can press well, is also dangerous in kick/punt returning. Could be targeted to play opposite Jennings and maybe replace Hester. Projected 1st rounder.
QB - Tajh Boyd #10 (RS Sr)
- 3 year starter, decorated, holds multiple ACC records. Mobile QB who can be a developmental pick. Projected 1-2 rounds.
WR - Sammy Watkins #2 (Jr) ***Must Watch***
- Sammy Watkins is a straight up baller. He has spectacular speed, hands, and run after the catch ability. Fantastic returner and can play in a variety of positions on the field like a Randall Cobb, an absolutely dangerous offensive specimen. If he is available at 14, which seems highly improbable, Phil Emery would (and should) be eager to pull the trigger. Projected Top-10 pick.
WR - Martavis Bryant #1 (Jr)
- Tall WR (6'5") with good speed. Projected 2-4th round.
DE - Vic Beasely #3 (Jr)
- Speed rusher with 12 sacks on the season. More of an 3-4 OLB than 4-3 DE. Projected 1-2 round.
RB - Carlos Hyde #34 (Sr) ***Must Watch***
- An absolute bowling ball of a running back who is tough to bring down, and is averaging 7.7 yards a carry! Missed 3 games, yet has over 1400 rushing yards on 183 attempts. Great option for a power back as Michael Bush is a likely cap casualty. Projected 2-4 round, but could rise meteorically.
LB - Ryan Shazier #2 (Jr)
- A human missile, covers a lot of ground and has a great nose for the football. Could bolster a weak Bears linebacking core. Projected 1-2 round
CB - Bradley Roby #1 (Jr)
- Injured and won't play. Nonetheless a name to remember. Projected 2-3 round.
S - CJ Barnett #4 (Sr)
- Possible late round safety depth pick. Projected 6 round-UDFA.
DT - Michael Bennett #63 (Jr)
- Good, strong Defensive Tackle. Unsure if he will enter the draft.
QB - Braxton Miller #5 (Jr)
- 3 year starter, unbelievable running talent for a QB and has a big arm. Potential development QB. Projected 4-6th round.
Who are you eager to watch?