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NFL Draft Prospects to Watch in the 2016 Birmingham Bowl

The Birmingham Bowl features the South Carolina Gamecocks and the South Florida Bulls. There aren’t a lot of prospects in this game, but some of the players will have a chance to make an NFL roster. Here are the best prospects from the Birmingham Bowl:

South Florida Bulls

Marlon Mack, RB

Projected Draft Range: Third round-fifth round

Mack has had an outstanding career for the Bulls and will be drafted in the 2017 NFL Draft. At six feet and 210 pounds, Mack has a good combination of size and speed. His quickness is a great asset and he has good moves once one on one with a defender. At over seven yards per carry this season, Mack also has excellent vision and above average patience to let things open up in front of him. Mack is in the middle of a deep running back class, but as a junior has a chance to stay in college football next season.

Deatrick Nichols, CB

Projected Draft Range: Sixth round-undrafted free agent

Birmingham Bowl
Deatrick Nichols (Photo courtesy: Twitter)

Nichols is also a junior that may elect to leave college early, like Mack. He had four interceptions on the season and seven passes defended. He doesn’t have the chance to go up against elite receivers in the American Athletic Conference, so it is hard to project what his ceiling can be. Nichols has a slight frame at five feet ten inches and 189 pounds, so he will need to bulk up if he wants to withstand full NFL seasons.

South Carolina Gamecocks

Darius English, DE

Projected Draft Range: Sixth round-undrafted free agent

Birmingham Bowl
Darius English (Photo courtesy:

English has great height at six feet six inches tall, but needs to add some muscle while gaining weight because at 245 pounds he will get pushed around by NFL offensive lineman. English does have good speed and athletic ability which has helped him get to the quarterback for nine sacks on the season. His role on an NFL team would likely be as a situational pass rusher in a NASCAR Formation (multiple defensive ends on the field rushing the quarterback).



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