01 Jan 2021 NFL Draft Watch: Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
As a part of Expand The Boxscore’s NFL Draft coverage, we will be highlighting the draft prospects from each school for every bowl game. The players featured below will also be included in our NFL Draft Guide, which is set to release shortly after the combine. In today’s column, we will be taking a look at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, featuring the Cincinnati Bearcats and Georgia Bulldogs.
#8 Cincinnati vs #9 Georgia
I am sure Cincinnati fans are disappointed that their team got left out of the playoffs after going undefeated, but this bowl game is nothing to scoff at and an honor as well. Granted, not as prestigious as the other option would have been.
The Bearcats have a chance to prove themselves against not just a Power Five school in Georgia, but also one of college football’s blue blood programs. For Cincy to pull off this upset, the draft prospects below need to be on top of their games.
Cincinnati is led by quarterback and potential mid-round pick Desmond Ridder. As a dual-threat quarterback, Ridder can make plays with his feet and his arm, and he has accuracy when throwing on the run to compliment that playing style. If he can become a quicker decision-maker and learn to take what the defense is giving him, the redshirt junior can climb his way into the Day 2 conversation.
Defensively, Cincy has James Wiggins, a smart safety who excels in zone coverage and has some impressive ball skills. Wiggins does have a few bad tendencies like being late to react to routes and ducking his head when tackling, putting him in the fourth or fifth round category.
Next to Wiggins is another safety and draft prospect, Darrick Forrest. The latter is a solid all-around player who can consistently get to the correct spot to make plays and is a sure tackler. However, Forrest does not really have a standout trait and might lack the overall talent level to carry his collegiate success over to the pros, making him a priority free agent candidate.
Myjai Sanders might end up being the Bearcats’ highest-drafted player in this year’s class since he projects as a potential third-rounder. The edge defender has a lot of suddenness and short-area quickness to his game, helping him to be an effective pass rusher. Play strength will be Sanders’ biggest issue in the NFL as he struggles to hold his ground at the point of attack against the run, and his bull rush is rather ineffective when rushing the passer.
Injuries, opt-outs and early declarations will force Georgia to play a little short-handed tonight, but do not worry, they still have plenty of talent to go around.
Running back Zamir White is an explosive one-cut and go runner who can finish runs with some power, and he is not afraid to mix it up in pass protection, either. White does need to improve as a receiver in the passing game and improve his agility to help make defenders miss in the open field, which could be difficult with two surgically repaired ACLs.
If the redshirt sophomore decides to enter this year’s NFL Draft, he will likely be a fifth-round pick.
Defensively, the Bulldogs have a lot of…dawgs.
Georgia has two Day 3 prospects along its defensive line in Jordan Davis and Malik Herring. Davis is a two-gap defensive tackle who excels as a run defender but leaves something to be desired as a pass rusher. On draft day, he’ll likely fall into the early Day 3 category as a fourth- or fifth-rounder.
Herring, on the other hand, has a plethora of pass rush moves but struggles to hold up at the point of attack against the run. He is facing a back-end Day 3 selection, making him a sixth- or seventh-round guy.
One the edge is Azeez Ojulari, a second-round prospect. Ojulari is a pass rush specialist who has multiple moves he can win with and the bend to take efficient paths to the quarterback. He does have some work to do as a run defender, however, and adding some strength should help him in that facet.
Another potential second-rounder for the Bulldogs is Tyson Campbell. The corner has some loose hips to go along with great agility and speed to be an effective man-to-man corner at the next level. Eye discipline in zone coverage is really his biggest flaw on the field, and he did miss some time in 2019 with turf toe so he does have a bit of an injury history, but other than that, Campbell is pretty much a surefire prospect.
- A Bay Area native who has a dysfunctional relationship with the Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders.
- Matt played college football and was a recruiting assistant at Division 3 Willamette University, where he received his BA and MBA.
- He has worked in the industry as a journalist, film analyst for PFF, and graduated from the Scouting Academy.