The Celebration Bowl might be the only bowl game that has two FCS teams going at it, but that doesn’t mean that NFL teams won’t be watching. Over the past two years, this game has produced some good NFL talent that will make people want to find diamonds in the rough again.
Both Tarik Cohen and Chad Williams, of North Carolina A&T and Grambling respectively, played in this game and are now in the NFL. Cohen has blossomed into a running back that needs to be owned in fantasy football and is a good one-two punch with Jordan Howard. Williams hasn’t gotten too much playing time yet at wide receiver, but is still a rookie.
With these players coming out of this game, it is foolish to think that more NFL players won’t be coming out of this bowl game. Here are the top draft prospects to watch in the 2017 Celebration Bowl:
Devante Kincade, QB
Kincade’s name might be familiar for a few reasons. First off, he was the quarterback last year for the Tigers in this game. He also is a transfer from Ole Miss, which means fans who follow the SEC or recruiting may have heard of him. Kincade was the backup at Ole Miss to current Denver Bronco Chad Kelly.
In his two years at Grambling, Kincade has thrown for 5,702 yards, 52 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He will need to work on his accuracy, as this season he has dipped below 60% completion, but is at 62.3% for his career. While Kincade has the ability to run, he usually stays in the pocket and does his damage from there. He does though, have 10 rushing touchdowns and well over 500 yards rushing in his time at Grambling.
A couple of concerns that will come up about Kincade are his size and his ability to play against quality competition. He is only 6’1″ tall and 190 pounds. NFL scouts will be afraid that he can’t see over the offensive line and could get injured. If his hand size isn’t big enough, they will also question if he can grip the ball. For the concern about playing against quality competition, they will have to look at tape of games played against the best FCS teams and games against FBS squads.
Projected draft range: undrafted free agent
North Carolina A&T Aggies:
Brandon Parker, OT
Parker has started since his freshman season for the Aggies. Before this season he was named to multiple All-American teams and is the best prospect for North Carolina A&T. He has helped the Aggies score the eighth most points in the FCS. His father played football at North Carolina, so he has some good bloodlines.
He was overlooked by big colleges and North Carolina A&T benefited greatly. Parker is 6’8″ tall and 310 pounds, which is great size for an NFL Draft prospect. He will have to prove he has the agility and athleticism to block pass rushers who are in the NFL. Parker has had a great career and up until this season, hadn’t allowed a sack in his career.
In the 2018 NFL Draft, Parker should be the first player from a Historically Black College (HBCU) to hear his name called.
Projected draft range: rounds 5-7
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