If you haven’t jumped on, you better do it now, because the Zach Wilson for No. 2 quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft train has started its engine and is leaving the station momentarily. The BYU quarterback completely shredded the UCF defense to pieces in the RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl — say that five times fast — that will leave lasting memories in the eyes of many scouts and GMs across the league.
You can find the full bowl schedule with results as they happen here. Below, we’ll be tracking the draft-relevant prospects you need to know heading into upcoming bowl games, plus the notable performances from some of the top players in the country after they happen with analysis about what it means for each heading into draft season.
Upcoming bowl schedule
Cure Bowl: Liberty vs. Coastal Carolina
Dec. 26 at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN (stream on fuboTV, try for free)
- Liberty QB Malik Willis transferred from Auburn and has been a multi-dimensional weapon for the Flames this season. He’s completed 64% of his passes at 8.6 yards per attempt with 20 passing touchdowns and four picks. As a runner, he’s been electric with 10 rushing scores and a hefty 6.7 yards per rush carry on 120 attempts.
- Coastal Carolina EDGE Tarron Jackson is the current FBS leader in quarterback pressures with 52. A high-motor, speed-to-power rusher, Jackson wins with good hand work and a quick first step around the corner at 6-2 and 260 pounds. He has 18 sacks and 26 tackles for loss in his last two seasons.
LendingTree Bowl: Western Kentucky vs. Georgia State
Dec. 26 at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN (stream on fuboTV, try for free)
- Western Kentucky EDGE DeAngelo Malone has produced in each of the past three seasons as a member of the Hilltoppers. While not quite as dynamic as 2019 when he tallied 20.5 tackles for loss, Malone has 10.5 tackles for loss and six sacks this season to go along with 33 pressures of the quarterback.
- Georgia State OG Shamarious Gilmore is a brick in pass protection thanks to immense point-of-attack power in his upper half and sturdy anchor. That’s especially impressive because he’s only listed at 6-3 and 295 pounds. With more weight on his frame in the NFL, he can be a reliable contributor.
SERVPRO First Responder Bowl: Louisiana vs. UTSA
Dec. 26 at 3:30 p.m. on ABC (stream on fuboTV, try for free)
- Louisiana RB Elijah Mitchell carries a rather large 6.2 career yards-per-rush average into this bowl game. He is a burst-based back who can hit the home run on any given play.
Cheez-It Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Miami
Dec. 29 at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN (stream on fuboTV, try for free)
- Oklahoma State WR Tylan Wallace is one of the few marquee draft prospects set to lace them up for his team’s bowl game. A gifted vertical threat thanks to high-level long speed and outstanding ball-tracking skills, Wallace heads into this one with a 16.5 yards-per-catch average and six touchdowns.
Valero Alamo Bowl: Texas vs. Colorado
Dec. 29 at 9 p.m. on ESPN (stream on fuboTV, try for free)
- Texas QB Sam Ehlinger won’t be for everyone but is a legitimate four-year start in a Power 5 conference. He lacks a legitimate NFL arm and isn’t the best decision-maker. At times, Ehlinger is “over-improvisational” but does have the scrambling chops to make something out of nothing when things break down.
Key performances from completed bowls
Myrtle Beach Bowl: North Texas vs. Appalachian State
- Appalachian State CB Shemar Jean-Charles had a pair of tackles in the devastation of North Texas. No picks, no pass breakups but another solid performance from the lengthy and athletic corner.
Idaho Potato Bowl: Tulane vs. Nevada
- Nevada QB Carson Strong had a quality, mostly underrated season at Nevada in his redshirt sophomore campaign there, and he generated seriously draft buzz with a national TV audience seeing how impressive of a thrower he is. He went 22 of 28 for 297 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions. His second touchdown toss of the day was a gorgeous touch throw over the shoulder of his receiver in the end zone. Strong stretched the field early and was very methodical and accurate in the quick game throughout the contest. At 6-4 and 215 pounds, even if Strong doesn’t declare for the 2021 draft, he’ll have plenty of hype for the following draft cycle.
RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl: UCF vs. BYU
- BYU QB quarterback Zach Wilson put a plethora of ridiculous, downfield throws into the bucket on film against UCF. He was phenomenal in the first half, getting the football out of his hands quickly with velocity and ideal ball placement through tiny windows. Wilson finished 26 of 34 for 425 yards with three touchdowns, and he scored twice on the ground.
- BYU OT Brady Christensen had one heck of an outing against the Golden Knights too. Wilson was only sacked once and the Cougars ran for 38 times at 5.6 yards per pop. He finished the year with only four pressures allowed on 385 pass-blocking snaps. Impressive.
R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: Louisiana Tech vs. Georgia Southern
- Georgia Southern EDGE Raymond Johnson III was a monster in the beatdown of Louisiana Tech, registering six more pressures to finish the season with 49, which is currently the fourth-most in the country.
Montgomery Bowl: Memphis vs. Florida Atlantic
- Memphis QB Brady White went 22-of-34 for 284 yards with three touchdowns and one interception in his final game with the Tigers. He threw 92 touchdowns to 31 picks at a respectable 8.6 yards-per-attempt average in his career at Memphis, which included three years as a full time starter.
New Mexico Bowl: Hawaii vs. Houston
- Hawai’i defensive back Khoury Bethley was all over the field in the Warriors win over Houston. He finished the bowl with 14 tackles, two sacks, one pass breakup, and three tackles for loss. The junior has three full seasons as a contributor under his belt.
Camellia Bowl: Buffalo vs. Marshall
- Buffalo RB Jaret Patterson made a (smart) business decision and didn’t play in this bowl contest after injuring his knee in the MAC title game. But teammate Kevin Marks — who’s quietly a very talented runner in his own right — was a workhorse, carrying the ball 35 times for 138 yards with a touchdown in the Bulls’ 17-10 win. He finished his junior season averaging 6.6 yards per tote.
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