The college bowl system may be watered down but it does provide for a final look at a number of players ahead of the 2014 NFL Draft. Here is the bowl schedule for today, as well as a look at a few players to watch who could be on the Detroit Lions’ radar come May.
Gildan New Mexico Bowl
Washington State vs. Colorado State
2 p.m. ET, ESPN
Deone Bucannon, Washington State, Safety – With Louis Delmas finally able to stay healthy and Glover Quin added as a free agent, safety is less of a need than it was this time last year. The Lions could still look to add depth with an eye toward the future and Bucannon is likely to be an option as soon as the second round.
Weston Richburg, Colorado State, Center – The Lions could look to the draft to find their next center and Richburg is projected to be one of the best of this class. He is likely to be a day two pick.
Crockett Gillmore, Colorado State, Tight End – First-team All-Mountain West with size (6-5, 255) and pass catching ability. Likely a day three pick and probably only an option for the Lions if they don’t re-sign Brandon Pettigrew.
Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl
Fresno State vs. Southern Cal
3:30 p.m. ET, ABC
Marqise Lee, USC, Wide Receiver – He is already showing up as a possible Lions pick in mock drafts, with Todd McShay’s being the most notable. Not the biggest (6-0, 195) but he has shown explosiveness during his college career and would give the Lions a deep threat to play opposite Calvin Johnson.
Davante Adams, Fresno State, Wide Receiver – Adams won’t make a decision on entering the 2014 draft until after the bowl game but he has impressed as his quarterback, Derek Carr, is now mentioned among the top quarterbacks of this draft class. If he declares, he could end up a first round draft pick with any team in need of a wide receiver having to give him serious consideration in round two.
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Buffalo vs. San Diego State
5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Khalil Mack, Buffalo, Outside Linebacker – Any player who draws comparisons to Von Miller is worth watching, and that is the early draft chatter surrounding Khalil Mack. Perhaps not a great fit for what the Lions do defensively and may not be available when the Lions’ first pick comes up, but Mack has been a special playmaker for the Bulls this season.
Alex Neutz, Buffalo, Wide Receiver – Team receiving leader and first-team all-MAC selection with decent size at 6-2, 205. Likely to be a very late round pick or undrafted free agent.
R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
Tulane vs. Louisiana-Lafayette
9 p.m. ET, ESPN
Ryan Grant, Tulane, Wide Receiver – Team leader in receptions, receiving yards, touchdown catches and all-purpose yards. Probably a day three pick.
Cairo Santos, Tulane, Kicker – It wouldn’t be a shock if the Lions tried to find their next kicker through the draft like they did with Sam Martin at punter last year. Santos is currently ranked as one of the best options in the draft class.