Friday, January 28, 2022

2022 NFL Draft bowl tracker: Wyoming LB Chad Muma tasked with corralling Kent State QB Dustin Crum

College football bowl season kicked off Friday, Dec. 17 and carries through early January with the College Football Playoffs. Several players will opt out of respective bowl opportunities, but many more will close out their collegiate careers before jettisoning to the NFL. CBSSports.com is tracking all of the prospects to watch throughout bowl season: 

Saturday, Dec. 18

RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl 

Western Kentucky vs. App State (11 a.m. ET on ESPN)

Western Kentucky quarterback Bailey Zappe has been rising in the draft community. The Houston Baptist transfer is calm in the pocket. He shows great accuracy and an understanding of how to lead his receivers. Zappe is headed to the Reese’s Senior Bowl in an effort to boost his stock even more. Edge rusher DeAngelo Malone is slender but shows great acceleration and range. In the past, he has struggled to get off blocks and can improve in defending the run. 

Appalachian State linebacker D’Marco Jackson shows strong leadership skills and has disciplined eyes. His game is more reactive than proactive, but he should find a role on special teams in the NFL. Jackson has accepted an invitation to participate in the Senior Bowl. Defensive lineman Demetrius Taylor and cornerback Shaun Jolly are a few other talented defenders on the roster.

The CBS Sports college football staff offered more analysis from a betting perspective and explained how each team can achieve success.

Cricket Celebration Bowl

South Carolina State vs. Jackson State (12 p.m. ET on ABC)

South Carolina State cornerback Decobie Durant is a long, lean prospect with great ball skills. Over the past four seasons, he has managed to snare 12 interceptions, including three this season. Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders loaded up on transfers in his first season with the program. One of those transfers was senior linebacker James Houston, who has registered 14.5 sacks since coming over from Florida. Even more impressive, Houston has converted seven pass rush opportunities into forced fumbles. He was coached by Patrick Surtain in high school. 

PUBG Mobile New Mexico Bowl 

UTEP vs. Fresno State (2:15 p.m. ET on ESPN)

There is a talent discrepancy in this matchup, as Fresno State brings a lot more to the table this year. Bulldogs quarterback Jake Haener has fought through injuries to deliver his team a few big wins this season. The Washington transfer is a bit undersized but displays great accuracy and leadership. 

Running back Ronnie Rivers has taken down nearly every record that the program had entering the season. Rivers has flexible ankles to create opportunities in open space. Wide receiver Jalen Cropper is the team’s top draft prospect with Haener returning to school next season. Cropper has a large catch radius and shows great body control allowing him to attack the ball in the air. The California native has footwork at the stem to create leverage. 

The CBS Sports college football staff offered more analysis from a betting perspective and explained how each team can achieve success.

Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl

UAB vs. BYU (3:30 p.m. ET on ABC)

UAB edge rusher Alex Wright is a long, but filled out prospect. He is quick and able to turn speed into power. His pass rush production does not match the talent, but NFL teams will salivate over his traits. 

BYU has a strong offensive line led by left tackle Blake Freeland and center James Empey. Freeland flipped from the right side last year. He is a very athletic player, but he struggles with leverage because of his height. Empey, on the other hand, plays with great leverage. He will lean on opponents in the run game. Tight end Isaac Rex and running back Tyler Allgeier both show traits that suggest they could one day develop into NFL starters. 

The CBS Sports college football staff offered more analysis from a betting perspective and explained how each team can achieve success.

Lending Tree Bowl

Eastern Michigan vs. Liberty (5:45 p.m. ET on ESPN)

There are not likely to be many draft representatives from Eastern Michigan, but Liberty has one of the quarterback prospects in first round conversations in Malik Willis. Willis is known to hold onto the ball too long and has room for growth as a passer, but he has a cannon for an arm and great mobility. Ole Miss’ Matt Corral and Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett are a few of the other quarterbacks often mentioned among the best available. 

The CBS Sports college football staff offered more analysis from a betting perspective and explained how each team can achieve success.

Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl presented by Stifel

Utah State vs. Oregon State (7:30 p.m. ET on ABC)

Utah State produced first-round quarterback Jordan Love a few years ago, but few have popped onto the radar in 2021. Linebacker AJ Vongphachanh has looked really good in coverage but struggles to get off blocks and has little pass rush production. Oregon State center Nathan Eldridge has accumulated a tremendous amount of experience in his career.

The CBS Sports college football staff offered more analysis from a betting perspective and explained how each team can achieve success.

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

No. 23 Louisiana vs. Marshall (9:15 p.m. ET on ESPN)

Billy Napier accepted the head coaching position at Florida, but that program will produce a few more pros on his way out the door. Offensive lineman Robert Hunt was taken in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. The Ragin’ Cajuns have a few more offensive linemen coming down the pike. Offensive tackle Max Mitchell is off to the Senior Bowl. Mitchell is a long lineman with good mobility. His neighbor, offensive guard O’Cyrus Torrence, is an NFL caliber player. When the 2020 season began, he was trying to run through defenders rather than engage and marry his feet. As the year progressed, his technique improved. Torrence is a player who looks for work when disengaged and plays to the whistle.

Tayland Humphrey is a big, imposing interior defender. The safety tandem of Percy Butler and Bralen Trahan have made a strong case for draft consideration. Butler has great burst and range but he is inconsistent as a tackler in space. 

Marshall has a name familiar to NFL fans. Safety Steven Gilmore is the younger brother of Panthers cornerback Stephon Gilmore. Tall and thin, Steven has registered six interceptions over the past three seasons. 

The CBS Sports college football staff offered more analysis from a betting perspective and explained how each team can achieve success.

Monday, Dec. 20

Myrtle Beach Bowl presented by TaxAct 

Old Dominion vs. Tulsa (2:30 p.m. ET on ESPN)

Tulsa has a few prospects of note, particularly along the offensive line. Sophomore left tackle Tyler Smith was the recipient of a lot of praise in the preseason, but it was his teammate, right tackle Chris Paul, who recently accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl. Paul, like Louisiana’s Robert Hunt a few years ago, plays on the edge but is projected to move inside. Speed gives him a lot of problems around the corner, but he has good strength to counter bull rushes. Moving inside should correct some of the oversetting issues he has encountered. A Day 2 selection is within range. 

The CBS Sports college football staff offered more analysis from a betting perspective and explained how each team can achieve success.

Tuesday, Dec. 21 

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

Kent State vs. Wyoming (3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN)

Kent State quarterback Dustin Crum is a three-year starter for the Golden Flashes. The dual-threat senior from Grafton, Ohio, accounted for 27 total touchdowns this season relative to six interceptions. He is one to watch on Day 3. Wyoming produced linebacker Logan Wilson a few years ago and the Cowboys are back with a key front seven contributor. Linebacker Chad Muma is headed to the Reese’s Senior Bowl. Muma has natural movement skills and is able to change directions with ease. He has the traits necessary to be a starter in the NFL.

The CBS Sports college football staff offered more analysis from a betting perspective and explained how each team can achieve success.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl

UTSA vs. San Diego State (7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN)

Two Roadrunners are headed to Mobile, Alabama, next month for the Reese’s Senior Bowl. Offensive tackle Spencer Burford and cornerback Tariq Woolen will participate in college football’s premier professional showcase. Woolen is a lengthy cornerback with limited ball production. He can do a better job of getting his eyes back to the quarterback but his long speed allows him to mirror receivers and recover rather quickly. Safety Rashad Wisdom is undersized but does not play like it. He is a physical player with great range. 

San Diego State defensive lineman Cam Thomas has great size and strength. Over the past year, he has improved to the point where some consider him a potential Day 2 draft choice. He registered 10.5 sacks this season. Tight end Daniel Bellinger is also headed to the Reese’s Senior Bowl. Bellinger can get stronger but he shows an ability to make catches outside of his frame. Running back Greg Bell has good burst and fights through contact. He can improve in pass protection. 

The CBS Sports college football staff offered more analysis from a betting perspective and explained how each team can achieve success.

Wednesday, Dec. 22 

Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl

Missouri vs. Army (7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN)

Tulsa cornerback transfers Akayleb Evans and Allie Green IV made a big impact for Missouri this season. Evans is a physical player and quarterbacks proceeded at their own risk when making throws to the field. He is headed to the Reese’s Senior Bowl despite limited ball production. Defensive tackle Kobie Whiteside had 7.5 sacks in 2019 but has just three in his four other combined seasons. He has to do a better job of holding his gaps because that would seem to be his bread and butter on the next level. Running back Tyler Badie is undersized but otherwise checks all of the boxes. The Tennessee native is a good receiver and fights through contact. 

Army linebacker Andre Carter II is a tall drink of water. At 6-foot-7, the Texas native is second among FBS programs in sacks (14.5) and tied for eighth in forced fumbles (4). 

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