Virginia and Navy will play in the 2017 Military Bowl. These two teams don’t usually produce NFL talent, but this season there are some quality players who are worth looking at. Here are the top NFL Draft prospects in the 2017 Military Bowl:
Micah Kiser, LB
Kiser is a senior who has been producing for Virginia for the past three seasons. He has 397 total tackles, 33.5 tackles for loss and 19 sacks in his illustrious career. This season Kiser has impressed yet again with 132 total tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss and five sacks. He is a big reason Virginia has been able to get to a bowl.
He has good size for the NFL at 6’2″ and 240 pounds. His run stopping and pass rushing is good for an inside linebacker, but he will need to prove he can cover. Kiser is probable to play in this game with a thumb injury.
Projected draft range: 3rd round-5th round
Kurt Benkert, QB
While Kiser is a great player, Benkert’s great season has put Virginia over the top. Benkert transferred to Virginia after not seeing the field at East Carolina and has made the most of his opportunity. In his two seasons at Virginia, Benkert has thrown for 5,672 yards, 46 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. This season he has 3,062 passing yards, 25 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
Benkert needs to add some weight to prevent injury, but has a good frame to build off of at 6’4″ and 215 pounds. Accuracy will be an issue, as he completes less than 60% of his passes throughout his career. He has seen his stock rise a lot this season and will be drafted in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Projected draft range: 4th round-6th round
Micah Thomas, LB
Thomas has been really good for Navy the past two seasons. He has 263 total tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss and four sacks in his career. This seasons Thomas has 81 total tackles with four tackles for loss. He is the best player on Navy’s defense and if given a shot, could make an NFL team.
He is 6’1″ and 240 pounds and looks the part of NFL linebacker. With players at the service academies it is always tough if they want to take a shot at professional sports because of their prior commitments to serve the country. Being that he is likely not going to get drafted, he may not be able to sign with a team because of this situation.
Projected draft range: undrafted free agent
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