31 Dec 2021 NFL Draft Watch: Lockheed Martin Armed Forces 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 Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl featuring the Tulsa Golden Hurricane and Mississippi State Bulldogs.
#24 Tulsa vs Mississippi St
Tulsa has quietly had a very good season in 2020. They are 6-2 and ranked in the top 25 with the two losses coming against Oklahoma State and Cincinnati by a combined 12 points. They have another shot at taking down a Power Five school but unfortunately, the Golden Hurricane has to do it down one superstar.
Linebacker Zaven Collins declared for the NFL Draft, so he will not be playing tonight but is worthy of mention in this column. Collins is a versatile player who can line up on the line of scrimmage as an edge defender or as an off-ball linebacker, and he has a chance to be a late first- or early second-round pick. He does need to fine-tune his pass-rushing skills if he is going to be a line of scrimmage backer, however.
Luckily, cornerback and third round prospect Allie Green IV will be suiting up tonight. Green is huge at 6’3″ and 206 pounds, and he is a physical corner who excels in press coverage. There is some room for growth in his athletic ability, though, which would help him become more effective at closing windows in zone coverage.
Unlike Tulsa, Mississippi State is really benefitting from the NCAA’s free-for-all bowl game eligibility rules. Their season basically peaked after a Week 1 upset of LSU, which really does not seem all that impressive anymore, and Mike Leach’s pirate ship has basically been sinking ever since.
The Bulldogs do have a couple of prospects, but only one will be in action.
At 6’8″ and 335 pounds, guard Greg Eiland certainly has the size and strength to play in the NFL, but he struggles to block in space and lacks the foot speed to stay in front of faster rushers in pass protection. Eiland has a chance to get drafted but will likely fall into the priority free agent category.
Kylin Hill opted out back in November but will still probably hear his name called in the fifth or sixth round. Hill is an elusive runner who has the skills to be a threat as a receiver, despite his rather modest collegiate production in that realm.
However, he has questionable long speed to be a home run threat at the next level, and he will have to answer questions as to why he was suspended before opting out for the rest of the season.
- 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.