NFL draft prospects to watch in Saturday bowl games – College Football Nation Blog


It’s becoming a trend in college football for top draft-eligible players to sit out their bowl games in order to avoid the risk of injury with a significant payday looming, but the number of players who’ve made that call remains relatively small. The overwhelming majority of the players who will enter the NFL as rookies in 2018 have one more competitive game to play.

Here’s a look at four of the most highly regarded pro prospects who will play their bowl games on Saturday.

QB Mike White, Western Kentucky

WKU vs. Georgia State

AutoNation Cure Bowl, 2:30 p.m. ET, CBSSN

Kiper position rank: No. 10 QB

White heads into his final college game having thrown for 10,911 yards and 72 touchdowns, including 8,189 yards the past two seasons after transferring from South Florida. He was named second-team All-Conference USA this year, after being named the conference’s Newcomer of the Year in 2016.

OT Tyrell Crosby, Oregon

Oregon vs. Boise State

Las Vegas Bowl, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC and ESPN App

Kiper position rank: No. 7 OT

Scouts Inc. ranking: No. 44 overall

Crosby is from the Las Vegas area and returns home for his final game in a season in which he has not allowed a sack, according to Pro Football Focus. He was named first-team All-Pac-12 a year after missing all but two games due to injury.

WR Michael Gallup, Colorado State

CSU vs. Marshall

Gildan New Mexico Bowl, 4:30 p.m. ET, ESPN and ESPN App

Kiper position rank: No. 8 WR

Scouts Inc. ranking: No. 150 overall

A Biletnikoff Award finalist and a consensus All-American, Gallup ranked third nationally in receptions (94) and fifth in receiving yards (1,345). He transferred to Colorado State prior to the 2016 season after two seasons at Butler County (Kansas) Community College and has 12 100-yard receiving games to his credit the past two seasons.

LB Josh Watson, Colorado State

CSU vs. Marshall

Gildan New Mexico Bowl, 4:30 p.m. ET, ESPN and ESPN App

Kiper position rank: No. 8 ILB

Watson could return for his senior season but had an outstanding junior year, finishing with 103 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions and a sack.

— Kiper also ranks Oregon RB Royce Freeman (No. 7) and DE Jalen Jelks (No. 6) in the top 10 at their respective positions. Freeman has elected not to play in the game, while Jelks announced he will return for his senior year.

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