NFL scouts were the ones in a celebratory mood after watching the Holiday Bowl, which featured Southern Cal's Leonard Williams and Nebraska's Randy Gregory, arguably the elite prospects in college football.
Productive and reportedly playing in their final collegiate games, Mike Davis and Duke Johnson deserve top billing. There were several other NFL prospects who enjoyed strong performances in the Independence Bowl, however.
For just the second time since the league reformatted the playoffs, a divisional winner will qualify for the postseason with a sub-.500 record. That club (currently projected to be the Carolina Panthers) will pick no lower than No. 21. The other three teams -- Tampa Bay, Atlanta and New Orleans -- will 'earn' a top-10 selection with the Bucs a possibility for the No. 1 overall pick.
The Utes dominated the line of scrimmage in the Las Vegas Bowl, handing the Rams a 45-10 loss. Though the ugly final score may have robbed the game of its aesthetic appeal, NFL scouts circled this contest as an opportunity to see Orchard play against projected first round left tackle Ty Sambrailo.