The college bowl system may be watered down but it does provide for a final look at a number of draft-eligible players on a nationals stage. Here is the bowl schedule for today as well as a look at a few players that could be on the Lions’ radar come April.
Sheraton Hawaii Bowl
Fresno State vs. SMU
8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Phillip Thomas, FS, Fresno State – The Lions have a serious need for playmakers on defense, in particular in their secondary, and Thomas fits that bill perfectly. He led the nation in interceptions with eight this season, three of which he returned for touchdowns. Thomas has good size at 6’1″, 215 lbs and could wind up as a 2nd round draft pick.
Margus Hunt, DE, SMU – Southern Methodist’s leader in sacks has had a big impact on special teams as well. Hunt is the NCAA’s number two all-time leader in blocked kicks with 17 (10 field goals, 7 extra points). He got his start as a track and field athlete and picked up football three years ago. As a result, he’s noted as a freak athlete with raw football skills. That puts him in the 4th-5th round based on early projections but he could improve that with a solid showing at the Senior Bowl.
Robbie Rouse, RB, Fresno State – He may not possess great size or speed but Robbie Rouse is a guy that knows how maximize his abilities thanks to decisive cuts and toughness. He will end his career as Fresno State’s all-time leading rusher by over 1,000 yards and should begin his NFL career as a day three draft pick.