2021 NFL Draft Watch: Myrtle Beach 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 first bowl of the season, the Myrtle Beach Bowl.

Appalachian State vs  North Texas

Many people know of or remember Appalachian State as the first FCS team to beat a top-five ranked FBS opponent when they took down Michigan back in 2007. Since then, they joined the FBS ranks in 2013, have won or been co-champions in the Sun Belt four times, and boast an impressive 5-0 bowl record.

As for their NFL Draft prospects, Demetrius Taylor has been wreaking havoc on the edge for the Mountaineers. He has 13 sacks and 26.5 tackles for loss in the last two seasons, so he is more than capable of making game-changing plays. However, Taylor is only 6’1″ and is a bit of a tweener, pushing him into the undrafted free agent category.

North Texas, on the other hand, has not seen nearly as much success, but this will mark their fourth bowl game in five seasons. That is an impressive feat for a program that does not get much national notoriety.

The lone draft prospect for the Mean Green is wide receiver Jaelon Darden. Unfortunately, Darden opted out of today’s contest to prepare for the draft, but he still deserves a mention as a potential early Day 3 pick.

The wideout has impressive speed and is a twitchy route runner who can create separation, which has allowed him to rack up 230 receptions for 2,782 yards and 38 touchdowns in his career. The problem is at 5’9″ and 170 pounds, he is tiny for NFL standards and struggles to beat press coverage which might force him into a “slot-only” type of role at the next level.