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.
Allstate Sugar Bowl
Louisville vs. Florida
8:30 p.m. ET
Matt Elam, SS, Florida – Physical and versatile, Matt Elam has the look of a big time safety in today’s NFL. He could be a first round pick when it’s all said and done so he could be a tempting player for the Lions near the top of round two if he is still available. He has eligibility remaining but it is difficult to see him returning to school.
Dominique Easley, DE, Florida – Easley is a junior so he will have a decision to make after the Sugar Bowl. The early projections have him in the round 2-3 range so that may be tempting enough for him to leave school early.
Mike Gillislee, RB, Florida – Gillislee has seen his draft stock rise dramatically as a result of a productive senior season and currently carries a third-round projection. The Lions will likely look for a compliment to Mikel Leshoure and the versatile Gillislee could be an option.
Adrian Bushell, CB, Louisville – Bushell started his college career at Florida but transferred when Charlie Strong became Louisville’s head coach. He’s a fluid athlete with adequate speed but needs to add some bulk. May end up as a fourth round draft choice in April.
Lerentee McCray, OLB, Florida – The Lions took two outside linebackers in last year’s draft but with the status of DeAndre Levey and Justin Durant up in the air, they may not be done. McCray figures to be in the round 4-5 range.
Josh Evans, FS, Florida – Elam is the higher ranked of the two Florida safety prospects but Josh Evans was the team’s leading tackler. He is projected as a fifth round draft pick.
Mario Benavides, C, Louisville – The Lions have a lot of questions to answer on their offensive line and improving the interior should definitely be high on their offseason priority list. Mario Benavides could be taken in the fifth or sixth round. He will need to add some bulk, he’s listed at 286 pounds, but has the frame to do it at 6’4″.