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.
Military Bowl Presented By Northrop Grumman
San Jose State vs. Bowling Green
3 p.m. ET, ESPN
Ryan Otten, TE, San Jose State – He is known as an athletic pass catching tight end but Ryan Otten has shown improvement as a blocker and is used to lining up with a hand in the dirt. Otten could go in the 4th-5th round.
Chris Jones, DT, Bowling Green – The defensive line will get a lot of attention as long as the current coaching staff is in place. Depending on what happens with Corey Williams and Sammie Hill, the Lions could be looking for someone to rotate behind Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley next season. Jones has an early draft projection between the 5th-6th round.
David Quessenberry, OT, San Jose State – A three-year starter for the Spartans and could add to someone’s offensive line depth at the NFL level. Could get looks in the 6th round.
Cincinnati vs. Duke
6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Conner Vernon, WR, Duke – Duke will never be known as a football school but Conner Vernon has found a way to be very productive nonetheless. He ends his collegiate career as the ACC’s all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards. Early projections peg Vernon as 5th rounder.
Travis Kelce, TE, Cincinnati – Kelce figures to be among the first handful of tight ends drafted and could be gone by the 5th round. He has an NFL pedigree as the younger brother of Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman Jason Kelce.
Drew Frey, SS, Cincinnati – Frey has been an inconsistent performer but a guy the Lions could take a chance on with a 7th round pick due to their need at safety. He is a big guy at 6’3″ and 212 pounds but he can’t always get that big body where it needs to be in coverage. Frey is better suited as a down hill hitting safety and could be limited to being a special teams player in the NFL.
Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl
Baylor vs. UCLA
9:45 p.m. ET, ESPN
Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor – Robert Griffin III may not be the Baylor quarterback anymore but that hasn’t stopped Terrance Williams from putting up some huge numbers. He caught 95 passes this season for an NCAA FBS-leading 1,764 yards. Williams may end up being the first wide receiver selected and should go in the first round.
Datone Jones, DE, UCLA – The Lions love versatility and Datone Jones has just that. He has played al along the UCLA defensive front in both 4-3 and 3-4 schemes and is noted for having the combination of size, athleticism and motor that scouts will love. He could go as early as the 2nd round.
Jeff Baca, OG, UCLA – A concussion forced Baca to miss a couple games this season but he still ended up as a second team All-Pac 12 performer and could be picked in the 5th-6th round.
Joseph Fauria, TE, UCLA – The Fauria name is likely to be familiar to NFL fans as Joseph is the nephew of former NFL tight end Christian Fauria. He’s athletic enough to take advantage of a seam in the defense and big enough to be a popular target in the red zone. While other tight ends will be more highly regarded, Fauria could be a steal on the last day of the draft.