Sometimes too much is made by the performances of prospects during bowl season, as if that one game means more than any in the regular season. But bowl games present a unique opportunity to evaluate prospects in an unfamiliar setting against a formidable opponent.
The 2015 Rose Bowl is an NFL scout's dream with two talent-laden teams led by future first round quarterbacks. The talent extends far beyond Mariota and Winston, however, as nearly two dozen Florida State and Oregon prospects are currently projected by NFLDraftScout.com as potential 2015 draft picks.
While most of the conference championships turned into blowouts, Georgia Tech gave Winston and the Seminoles quite a scare. Proving yet again that he has rare on-field poise, Winston guided Florida State to the win. He did, however, get some noteworthy help, including from fellow projected first round pick, cornerback P.J. Williams.
Marcus Mariota may have taken steps towards the Heisman but his inconsistent performance in Oregon's 51-13 victory over Arizona in the Pac-12 Championship Friday night muddied rather than clarified his projection to the NFL.
Winston and the Florida State Seminoles beat the rival Florida Gators 24-19 but the projected top five pick threw a career-high four interceptions in the narrow victory. What led to Winston's mistakes? NFLDraftScout.com breaks down the four turnovers.
The redshirt junior told Jim Rome in an interview Monday that "there's a really good chance" that Saturday's victory over rival Southern California will be his last game against the Trojans. Hundley is currently NFLDraftScout.com's No. 41 ranked prospect and has a second round grade. The value of QBs and Hundley's upside is tantalizing enough that he could earn a first round selection.
His name may not be as recognizable as some of the other superstars on the field in UCLA's 38-20 thrashing of Southern Cal, but scouts won't soon forget the Bruins' breakout redshirt senior or his two sacks against the Trojans.
As expected, Jameis Winston and Duke Johnson provided many of the highlights but with NFL talent all over the field Saturday night, scouts couldn't focus solely on the skill positions. In fact, from a scouting perspective, the most important performance may have been turned in by versatile FSU lineman Cameron Erving, a potential top 50 pick this spring.