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NFL Draft prospects in the 2018 Outback Bowl

The 2018 Outback Bowl will be the first played of the new year. Michigan and South Carolina will have a very defensive football game. There are some good players worth watching that can play in the NFL. Here are the top NFL Draft prospects in the 2018 Outback Bowl:

Michigan Wolverines

Maurice Hurst, DT

NFL Draft prospects in the 2018 Outback Bowl
Maurice Hurst (Photo by detroitnews.com)

Hurst has been good the last few seasons for Michigan, but has stepped it up this season. He has 58 total tackles, 13 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. Not only has he shown good run-stopping abilities, but he also gets good pressure on the quarterback from the interior.

Size will be an issue for Hurst, as he is 6’2″ and 280 pounds. This means he will only fit into a 4-3 defense as a defensive tackle, which limits the amount of teams that will draft him. He still should be drafted in the early rounds.

Projected draft range: 1st round-3rd round

Mason Cole, C

Cole has experience all over the offensive line for Michigan, but will most likely fit in at center in the NFL. Left tackle and center have been his primary positions in college. This season he earned All-Big Ten second team honors and has picked up a lot of recognition during his time as a Wolverine.

He is 6’5″ and 305 pounds which will be good size for a center. Cole has an invitation to play in the Senior Bowl, which will give him another chance to showcase his talents.

Projected draft range: 3rd round-5th round

Mike McCray, LB

McCray has gotten a lot of playing time his last two seasons for the Wolverines. In his career he has 145 total tackles, 26.5 tackles for loss and nine sacks. He was the lone returning starter on defense for Michigan and has stepped up to be the leader of the unit.

At 6’4″ and 242 pounds, McCray has great size for a linebacker. He will likely get drafted in the later rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Projected draft range: 4th round-6th round

Other notable Michigan prospects: OT Grant Newsome (4th round-6th round)

South Carolina Gamecocks

Hayden Hurst, TE

Hurst has produced a lot for the Gamecocks in the last two seasons and is one of the best tight ends in the draft class. He has 1,240 receiving yards and three touchdown catches in his career. That is pretty good production for a college tight end. Hurst is just a junior and could return to school for another season.

He is 6’5″ and 250 pounds, which is good enough for the NFL. Hurst is a good receiver, but needs to prove he can block at the NFL level.

Projected draft range: 1st round-3rd round

Skai Moore, LB

NFL Draft prospects in the 2018 Outback Bowl
Skai Moore (Photo by thestate.com)

It seems like Moore has been at South Carolina forever, which means he made a big impact. He has 346 total tackles, 20 tackles for loss, five sacks and 14 interceptions in his career. Moore did miss a season with a torn ACL, but has, in large part, been on the field for most of his college career.

He is tall enough at 6’2″, but needs to add a little bit of weight to his 218 pound frame. Moore does a little bit of everything well, which will get him drafted in the mid-rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Projected draft range: 3rd round-5th round

 

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