The Holiday Bowl features two 8-4 teams that have a couple draft prospects each. Washington State runs the air raid offense, which will mean that scouts will see a lot of reps from the passing game. The scouts will love seeing this, as they like seeing a lot of tape on players. Here are the players they will be watching:
Minnesota Golden Gophers
Mitch Leidner, QB
Projected Draft Range: Sixth round-undrafted free agent.
Leidner had a terrible season and shouldn’t be drafted. With that being said, a lot of teams will see his six foot four 230 pound frame and give him a chance. With seven touchdowns and 12 interceptions on the season, Leidner will need to make plays in the passing game to impress scouts. If he turns the ball over and doesn’t put up points against a bad pass defense, he will lose any value he may have had.
Jalen Myrick, CB
Projected Draft Range: Fourth round-sixth round
Myrick will get drafted due to his versatility. He is able to play both outside corner and in the nickel and dime position. He doesn’t have the greatest height at five foot ten inches tall, but he has done a pretty good job against receivers who are bigger than him. In order for his stock to rise, he will have to display speed. He isn’t very fast and doesn’t tackle well, so his positioning will have to be spot on.
Washington State Cougars
Luke Falk, QB
Projected Draft Range: Second round-fourth round
Falk has a lot of reps in the air raid offense, so scouts will have hours of tape to scour through. Their is a stigma against quarterbacks that are in systems like Falk is. He has average arm strength, but good accuracy. His 4,204 yards passing and 37 touchdowns are eye-popping, but the most impressive stat is his completion percentage. His 71% completion percentage is the best thing about him, as he is efficient.
Shalom Luani, S
Projected Draft Range: Fifth round-seventh round
Luani has really come on scouts’ radars recently. He plays hard and downhill, which is a great quality for a strong safety. He has good instincts and has four interceptions on the season. At six feet tall and 198 pounds he will need to add some strength to make it at the NFL level. The biggest thing for Luani to overcome is the fact that he wasn’t on a lot of people’s radars before the season. His play from this season should do a lot of the convincing for him.
Gabe Marks, WR
Projected Draft Range: Third round-fifth round
Marks has had a great career at Washington State and has a lot of stats to prove it. Because he plays in the air raid system, he will need to prove he can create separation on his own. Some of the passing routes they run at Washington State won’t be available at the NFL level, because of the speed of defenders. Running a good 40 time is crucial to Marks’ draft stock, as he isn’t expected to run faster than a 4.5 second 40 yard dash.