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NFL Draft prospects in the 2017 Cactus Bowl

The 2017 Cactus Bowl will have the likely number one pick, Josh Rosen, but will also have some other good prospects. Kansas State and UCLA will be in a battle and some of the players involved will be seen on Sundays soon. Here are the top NFL Draft prospects in the 2017 Cactus Bowl:

Kansas State Wildcats

D.J. Reed, CB

NFL Draft prospects in the 2017 Cactus Bowl
D.J. Reed (Photo by

Reed is a JUCO transfer who has now played two full seasons for the Wildcats. He is questionable for this bowl game with an injury. In his two seasons at Kansas State, Reed has totaled 121 tackles, seven interceptions, 35 passes defended and a touchdown. His great season in 2016 put him on the map and his solid year this season kept him there.

Although he is undersized at 5’9″ and 188 pounds, there will be a spot in the NFL for him. Like most undersized corners, he can play in the slot. He’ll need to add play strength for when he goes up against bigger and stronger receivers. Reed is just a junior and may stay for another season.

Projected draft range: 6th round-undrafted free agent

Dalton Risner, OT

Risner has played center and tackle during his time as a Wildcat. He is a junior and will need to declare early for the 2018 draft, but is probably better off if he comes back for his senior year. His versatility will come in handy when trying to make an NFL team.

He doesn’t have the biggest size for a tackle, but does so for an offensive lineman in general. If he doesn’t work out at tackle for a team, his experience at guard and center could keep him on a roster.

Projected draft range: 7th round-undrafted free agent

UCLA Bruins

Josh Rosen, QB

Rosen has been a starter since his freshman season at UCLA. He has 9,301 passing yards, 59 touchdowns and 26 interceptions in his career. While he did have a very serious arm injury that cut last season short, he has proven that there is not too much to be concerned about going into the draft. He has the necessary arm strength and accuracy, but needs to work on his decision-making.

The size and weight of Rosen, 6’4″ and 220 pounds, are pretty good in terms of NFL measurables. Unless concerns about him come out that aren’t known now, Rosen will be a top five pick and be the franchise quarterback for an NFL team. He could elect to come back to school, but he has made comments about not likely school before. He’ll go into the NFL Draft.

*It was recently announced that Rosen will sit out this game with a concussion.

Projected draft range: Top five pick

Kenny Young, LB

NFL Draft prospects in the 2017 Cactus Bowl
Kenny Young (Photo by

Young has been getting playing time ever since his freshman season, but has really blossomed the last two seasons. In his career he has 295 total tackles, 21 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. He has done a little bit of everything for UCLA, but this season has been going after tackles with 101 total tackles this season.

At 6’1″ and 240 pounds, he doesn’t have the biggest height for a linebacker, but does have a good amount of muscle. Questions about his ability to cover and be a three down linebacker will need to be answered. Young has a chance to be drafted in the 2018 NFL Draft, but it will be late.

Projected draft range: 6th round-undrafted free agent

Scott Quessenberry, C

Quessenberry has been at UCLA since 2013 and has seen a lot of playing time. He has experience at center and guard over his time at UCLA, but has mainly been the center. Not only has he been a good pass blocker for Rosen, but a few years ago he helped pave the way on the ground for Pac-12’s leading rusher Paul Perkins.

He is 6’3″ and 310 pounds, which should be good enough for an interior offensive lineman in the NFL. Quessenberry could get drafted, but he will likely be an undrafted free agent.

Projected draft range: 7th round-undrafted free agent


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