Boca Raton Bowl: 2019 NFL Draft prospects to watch in UAB vs. Northern Illinois bowl game
A gifted blocker, and a small but ultra-productive edge-rusher headline the prospects in this bowl game
Make sure you savor every time you see Sutton Smith's play. Northern Illinois' superstar pass-rusher is of a rare breed. Despite his lack of size, he's gone absolutely bananas the past two years getting after the quarterback and creating havoc in the opposition's backfield.
As for UAB, the school that didn't have a football program two years ago, to have anyone who might get a sniff at the next level is amazing.
We're going game by game to let you know exactly who you should watch to get ready for the 2019 NFL Draft.
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Chris Woolbright, LB
The 6-foot-3, 235-pound senior linebacker led UAB with 74 tackles in 2018 and loaded the stat sheet with 13.5 tackles for loss, two picks, two pass breakups, and a pair of sacks. He has impressive hip fluidity despite his size and is smooth dropping in zone coverage down the middle of the field. Woolbright lacks in the straight-line speed department but is an intriguing specimen for the linebacker position because of his size.
Max Scharping, OL
Scharping probably would've gone somewhere between Round 3 and Round 5 in the 2018 NFL Draft. Instead, he decided to stay for his senior season with Huskies and, right now, it seems like he made the right decision. The 6-6, 320-pounder played left tackle in 2018 but could actually move to guard at the NFL level. He has light feet but isn't able to sustain speed in his kick slide to deal with small, quicker outside rushers. Scharping's athleticism allows him to work efficiently in the run game, and he puts his long arms to work with balanced, powerful strikes on defenders. Scharping rarely appears uncomfortable or totally out of position. If he aces the pre-draft process, this Northern Illinois standout could land on Day Two.
Sutton Smith, EDGE
Smith is the little engine that could. The 6-0, 240-pound outside-rusher has been a recurring nightmare for college offensive tackles of all shapes and sizes en route to 29 sacks -- yes, 29 sacks -- and 54.5 tackles for loss over the past two seasons. Not simply a high-motor individual, Smith has serious bend and utilizes an array of quick pass-rushing moves to beat blockers much bigger than him on a regular basis. His production should be too good for him to be totally ignored in the 2019 NFL Draft if he declares. Don't be shocked if he stays for his senior campaign. You want Smith on your football team.
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