<
>
Get ESPN+

The most intriguing 2019 NFL draft prospects in all 40 bowl games

play
Defense dominates McShay's first mock draft (0:53)

Todd McShay explains why defensive linemen occupy the top spots of his first mock. (0:53)

Forty-one games. Eighty-two teams. And hundreds of NFL draft prospects. College football bowl season kicks off Saturday with six games, and NFL scouts will be watching closely.

I went through the full bowl schedule and picked out a prospect to watch for the 2019 class from every team. There are several underclassmen who could still return to school for another year -- the deadline to declare is Jan. 14 -- and others are seniors who get one last chance to impress for scouts.

Here's who you should keep an eye on this bowl season, in order of when each game will be played (and dropping the completed games to the bottom):

Jump to a matchup:
Clemson-Notre Dame | Bama-OU
LSU-UCF | Washington-OSU | Texas-UGA


Tuesday, Dec. 18

UAB vs. Northern Illinois

The game: Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl
Info: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN & ESPN app/Boca Raton, Florida

Jamell Garcia-Williams, DE, UAB: Garcia-Williams is a junior-college transfer enjoying a breakout senior season as he has racked up 15.5 tackles-for-loss and 9.5 sacks. At 6-7, he struggles to keep his pads down both as a run defender and a pass rusher. However, his rare length makes it tough for blockers to get into his frame, and he flashes above-average upper-body strength once engaged. He grades out as a developmental edge defender and projects as a late-round pick.

Sutton Smith, DE, Northern Illinois: Smith is a first-team All-American who is tied with Louisiana Tech's Jaylon Ferguson for the FBS lead in sacks (15), and he's second in the FBS with 24.5 TFL. He explodes off the ball, he's a violent hand fighter and he closes well chasing the run and rushing the passer. Listed at 6-1 and 237 pounds, there are concerns about his position fit at the next level, and it will be interesting to see where teams slot him should he declare for the draft.


Wednesday, Dec. 19

San Diego State vs. Ohio

The game: DXL Frisco Bowl
Info: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN & ESPN app/Frisco, Texas

Ryan Pope, OT, San Diego State: Pope is a redshirt senior and two-year starter at right tackle. He most notably needs to tighten his footwork in the run game and improve his hand placement in pass protection, but his frame, length and athletic ability make him an intriguing late-round developmental prospect.

Papi White, WR, Ohio: White is an explosive, versatile player with above-average ball skills even though he has smaller hands and a small catching radius. However, he's undersized and he's had some problems staying healthy. He projects as a late-round pick or rookie free agent.


Thursday, Dec. 20

Marshall vs. South Florida

The game: Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl
Info: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN & ESPN app/Tampa, Florida

Tyre Brady, WR, Marshall: Brady is a Miami transfer who has caught 128 passes for 1,856 yards and 17 touchdowns in his two seasons at Marshall. He's got an NFL frame and an above-average catching radius. Brady is a long strider with enough top-end speed to threaten vertically, but he projects as a late-round pick.

Jaymon Thomas, S, South Florida: Thomas is a high-cut and lean safety with average production. However, he has excellent length, big hands and good football intelligence. He grades out as a developmental safety and special-teams contributor.


Friday, Dec. 21

FIU vs. Toledo

The game: Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl
Info: 12:30 p.m. ET, ESPN & ESPN app/Nassau, Bahamas

Cody Thompson, WR, Toledo: Thompson is Toledo's record holder for touchdown catches with 30, and his 3,257 career receiving yards ranks second in school history. He's an above-average route runner and natural hands catcher who comes down with 50-50 balls and isn't afraid to do the dirty work over the middle. Thompson should be a Day 3 pick.

Anthony Johnson, DT, FIU: Johnson is a two-year starter who has recorded 76 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks over the past two seasons. He locates and tracks the ball well, but he's a lighter defensive tackle who gives up ground at times. He projects as a priority free agent.

Western Michigan vs. BYU