Bowl Game Prospect Viewing Guide: Peach Bowl

Joe Malfa with a prospect viewing guide for the Peach Bowl

‘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.

*Michigan’s DL Rashan Gary, LB Devin Bush, and RB Karan Higdon will not participate in this game in anticipation of the NFL draft. Gary will be a top-15 pick, Bush a 1st rounder, and Higdon and Day 2 player.*

Peach Bowl

Matchup: Michigan vs. Florida

Time: 12:00 p.m.

Network: ESPN

Michigan’s prospects:

1) EDGE Chase Winovich (6-foot-5, 220 pounds)

2018 Stats: 12 games, 52 tackles, 13 TFLs, 4 sacks

Career: 40 games, 159 tackles, 40.5 TFLs, 17.5 sacks, 3 FFs

Winovich reminds me a lot of TJ Watt as a prospect. Make sure you read that correctly. TJ, of the Steelers. Not JJ, of the Texans. Winovich won’t get by tackles with a wide array of moves. He relies on his strength, speed, and a heck of a motor. Like Watt, Winovich seems slated as a 2nd-3rd round pick at this time in December, but throughout the draft process he will impress teams a shoot up draft boards. His ceiling is the last 10 picks of the 1st round, his floor is the beginning of the 3rd round. In all likelihood, he lands somewhere in the early stages of the second round and will be a thorn in the sides of offensive tackles for years to come.

Projection: 1st-3rd round pick

2) S/LB Khaleke Hudson (6-feet, 205 pounds)

2018 Stats: 11 games, 32 tackles, 2 TFLs, 1 sack, 1 pass defended

Career: 30 games, 117 tackles, 19 TFLs, 8.5 sacks, 2 FF, 2 INTs, 11 passes defended

Hudson falls into that category of a really good, athletic defensive player who doesn’t have a position, similar to former Michigan Wolverine Jabrill Peppers. Hudson is nowhere near the prospect Peppers was, but he is in that same boat. I think he needs to stay in school another year, figure out a position, and go from there. If he comes out, he will endure a lot of growing pains in his rookie season as a team tries to figure out a set position for him.

Projection: 3rd-4th round pick

Other names to watch: 

CB Lavert Hill4th-5th round

K Quinn Nordin: 7th round-undrafted free agent

Florida’s prospects:

1) EDGE Jachai Polite (6-foot-2, 240 pounds)

2018 Stats: 12 games, 43 tackles, 18 TFLs, 11 sacks, 5 FFs

Career: 28 games, 76 tackles, 27 TFLs, 15 sacks, 7 FFs

The first two seasons were really quiet for Polite. He played just nine and seven games respectively and recorded two sacks in each season, but he showed flashes of what he could become. This season was his coming out party. Polite’s speed around the edge is elite and could make him an All-Pro at the next level, but he needs to add more to his game in terms of pass rush moves and the ability to stop the run.

Projection: 1st round pick

2) OT Jawaan Taylor (6-foot-5, 330 pounds)

Taylor checks every box when looking for a starting right tackle. He is a solid pass blocker who really shines as a run blocker. His combination of size, quickness, strength and technique will make him a fixture on an offensive line for the next decade.

Projection: 1st round pick

Other names to watch: 

S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson2nd-3rd round

LB Vosean Joseph2nd-3rd round

DE Jabari Zuniga: 3rd-4th round

LB David Reese3rd-4th round

OT Martez Ivey4th-5th round