23 Dec 2021 NFL Draft Watch: Montgomery 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 Draft Guide, which is set to release shortly after the combine. In today’s column, we will be taking a look at the Montgomery Bowl, featuring the Memphis Tigers and FAU Owls.
Memphis vs FAU
It is a shame that when most people think of recent NFL Draft prospects from Memphis, their minds are instantly drawn to Paxton Lynch. Sure, Lynch’s career was less than stellar – to put it kindly – but the program has seen 11 other players get drafted since 2014, including three in the 2020 class. That is pretty impressive for a Group of Five school and this year will only add to that figure.
The shame here is that two of the Tigers’ best offensive players opted out of the 2020 season and therefore will not play in the Montgomery Bowl. The two deserve digital ink ahead of the NFL Draft, including later on in our draft guide. Stick with us for more as 2021 gets going.
The Tigers have become the AAC’s version of Running Back U with Darrell Henderson, Tony Pollard, and Antonio Gibson all making their way to the NFL. Kenneth Gainwell will add to that list after this season, as he is an elusive back with some good vision and position versatility. He does need to add some size and power to his game, but regardless, Gainwell should go in the third round on draft night.
On the outside of Memphis’ offense is Damonte Coxie, who projects as a Day 3 pick. Coxie is a physical wideout who has a wide catch radius and good body control to make grabs along the sideline. His limited route tree is what is hindering his NFL Draft stock but the athletic traits are there to help overcome that if he can put it all together.
Another potential late-round pick is quarterback Brady White. He has the arm strength, accuracy, and pocket awareness that could pique NFL teams’ interests, but he needs to prove that he can recognize disguised coverages and blitzes more frequently to ease scouts’ and general managers’ concerns.
It is a little disconcerting that White is a sixth-year senior and still struggles in those areas but the physical tools are certainly there.
Shifting the focus to the defense, cornerback T.J. Carter is certainly a player to watch. Carter has the man coverage skills to be left on an island and still be a shutdown corner, but he does tend to use his hands down the field too much and draw flags. As far as the draft goes, he’ll likely hear his name called in the fifth round.
Unfortunately, FAU doesn’t have any NFL Draft prospects in this year’s class, but they do have a few NFL legacies on their roster.
Terique Owens is a redshirt sophomore wide receiver whose father is one of the best wideouts in league history, Terrell Owens. Terique transferred from Contra Costa Community College in the Bay Area in 2019, redshirted his first year on campus for the Owls, and participated in four games this season but has yet to record a stat.
Another fairly recognizable name for FAU is Michael Irvin II, the son of another Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin, as you probably could have guessed. The younger Michael graduated from the University of Miami and came to Boca Raton as a graduate transfer. So far, he has one catch for five yards in 2020.
- 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.