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NFL Draft prospects in the 2017 Holiday Bowl

The 2017 Holiday Bowl will feature the Michigan State Spartans and the Washington State Cougars. Both coaches have created quality programs that have attracted some good talent. With that, some of these players will be playing in the NFL soon. Here are the top NFL Draft prospects in the 2017 Holiday Bowl:

Washington State Cougars

Luke Falk, QB

Falk has cemented himself as one of the best statistical quarterbacks in Pac-12 history. The senior has 14,481 passing yards, 119 touchdowns and 39 interceptions in his career. He also has 68.3% of his passes in his career. This season he has 3,580 passing yards, 30 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He has been pulled from games for slow starts by Mike Leach, but he is still a good prospect.

He will have to add weight to his 223 pound frame, but is big enough to see over offensive lines at 6’4″ tall. Falk will have to answer questions about why he was pulled from some games and if he can make it in the NFL coming out of Washington State’s system.

Projected draft range: 3rd round-5th round

Andre Dillard, OT

Dillard is a redshirt junior who may elect to leave school early. He has started the last two seasons at left tackle for the Cougars. While he has a lot of experience pass blocking in Washington State’s system, run blocking is not something he has been given the opportunity to show that he can do on a consistent basis.

At 6’5″ and 295 pounds, Dillard will need to add some strength before getting to the next level. The run blocking and physicality of Dillard will be a concern.

Projected draft range: 3rd round-5th round

Hercules Mata’afa, DE

Mata’afa has produced since the second he stepped on Washington State’s campus. In his career, t

NFL Draft prospects in the 2017 Holiday Bowl
Hercules Mata’afa (Photo by cougarcenter.com)

he junior has 44.5 tackles for loss and 20 sacks. This season Mata’afa has 21.5 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks.

Mata’afa doesn’t have the prototypical size for a defensive end in he NFL at 6’2″ and 252 pounds. He makes up for his lack of size with strength and explosiveness. If he produces, no one will care about his size.

Projected draft range: 4th round-7th round

Cole Madison, OT

Madison plays right tackle for the Cougars. He too has gotten playing time since his freshman season and started since his sophomore year. With the same questions about run blocking as Dillard, Madison will likely be picked even later than Madison.

At 6’5″ and 315 pounds, Madison has decent enough size to play on the offensive line in the NFL. He will likely be a late round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Michigan State Spartans

L.J. Scott, RB

NFL Draft prospects in the 2017 Holiday Bowl
L.J. Scott (Photo by todaysu.com)

Scott is a big, powerful back for the Spartans. The junior has 785 rushing yards and six touchdowns on the season. He has some issues with protecting the football, but has shown an increased role in the passing game this season with 120 receiving yards and a score.

At 6’1″ and 230 pounds, Scott can run with some ferocity, but will need to show he is fast enough to be an NFL running back. If he runs a decent 40 time, he could be selected on day two of the draft.

Projected draft range: 2nd round-4th round

Brian Allen, OG/C

Allen has four years of production at Michigan State and is now one of the best centers in the country. He hasn’t blocked for an explosive offense, but has plenty of reps for NFL scouts to go over.

His limitation is his size at 6’2″ and 305 pounds. Being a center, that won’t be a huge issue, but it extremely limits the amount of teams that will take a chance on him.

Projected draft range: 7th round-undrafted free agent

 

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