‘Tis the season for over 40 college bowl games sponsored by some very obscure companies to celebrate the mediocrity of 6-6 teams. Surely there is an angry old man somewhere waving his fist screaming about how “everyone gets a trophy” and “the Millennials are ruining everything.” At TOJ, we love bowl season. Maybe not for the games because watching two small schools battle for an irrelevant trophy is not very appealing, but it gives us a chance to watch some teams that we did not get a chance to watch this season and evaluate some prospects who may not have been regularly exposed to us.
First Responder Bowl
Matchup: Boston College vs. Boise State
Time: 1:30 p.m.
Boston College’s prospects:
1) EDGE Zach Allen (6-foot-5, 280 pounds)
2018 Stats: 12 games, 61 tackles, 15 TFLs, 6.5 sacks, FF, INT, 7 passes defended
Career: 37 games, 199 tackles, 40.5 TFLs, 16.5 sacks, FF, 2 INT, 14 passes defended
Allen was overshadowed by Harold Landry over the past two years, but this year it was his turn to shine. He has the size, power, and technique to be a terror in the NFL. He can beat tackles with a wide array of pass rush moves, and he excels as a run stuffer. Allen is in the second tier of pass rushers in the draft class, which should be good enough to hear his name called somewhere between picks 16 and 32.
Projection: 1st round pick
2) OG Chris Lindstrom (6-foot-4, 305 pounds)
Lindstrom began his collegiate career as a tackle before making the switch to guard this season. It’s been a good switch to say the least, as Lindstrom is now looked at as a Day 2 prospect. He is a powerful, nasty guard who plays through the whistle like Quenton Nelson and Will Hernandez. Lindstrom is a guy who can be plugged into a line and start right away.
Projection: 2nd-3rd round pick
3) TE Tommy Sweeney (6-foot-5, 265 pounds)
2018 Stats: 12 games, 32 catches, 348 yards, 3 TDs
Career Stats: 38 games, 99 catches, 1281 yards, 10 TDs
Sweeney is a big target who blocks really well. His pedestrian numbers are more a product of Boston College relying heavily on the run than an issue with his abilities as a pass catcher. Players like Sweeney are in high demand across the league. Look for a team to take a shot at him at the end of Day 2 or beginning of Day 3. He is Mel Kiper’s 10th ranked tight end and Matt Miller’s 8th.
Projection: 3rd-4th round pick
Other names to watch: S Will Harris (3rd-4th round), S Lukas Denis (5th-6th round), EDGE Wyatt Ray (5th-7th round)
Boise State’s prospects:
QB Brett Rypien (6-foot-2, 200 pounds)
2018 Stats: 301/447, 3705 yards, 30 TDs, 7 INTs
Career: 1035/1617, 13,578 yards, 90 TDs, 29 INTs
Rypien has put together quite the collegiate career at Boise State, but his future as a pro is uncertain. He will be a popular pick to be this year’s Dak Prescott as a mid/late-round pick that may surprise people, but he does have some limitations. Given his production and experience in four years at the Broncos’ starter, some teams will view him as a prospect with the ceiling of an average starter and floor of a decent backup. He has NFL pedigree as the nephew of Mark Rypien, Super Bowl winning quarterback of the Washington Redskins. Brett throws a good deep ball and is accurate. He’ll hear his name called early on Day 3.
Projection: 4th-6th round pick
Other names to watch: RB Alex Mattison (5th-7th round pick), DE Jabril Frazier (6th round/undrafted free agent)
Quick Lane Bowl
Matchup: Minnesota vs. Georgia Tech
Time: 5:15 p.m.
1) OLB Carter Coughlin: 6th round pick-undrafted free agent
2) Jared Weyler: 6th round pick-undrafted free agent
Georgia Tech’s prospects:
1) QB/RB (triple option) TaQuon Marshall: 7th round pick-undrafted free agent
Matchup: California vs. TCU
Time: 9:00 p.m.
RB Patrick Laird: 6th round pick-undrafted free agent
OLB Ben Banogu: 5th-7th round pick