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NFL Draft Prospects to Watch in the 2016 Independence Bowl

The Independence Bowl features two 6-6 teams, NC State and Vanderbilt, but these teams have some great players. This game will feature two good running backs and some defensive players who are worthy of being drafted. Here are the prospects to watch in the 2016 Camping World Independence Bowl:

North Carolina State Wolfpack

Matthew Dayes, RB

Projected Draft Range: Third round-fifth round

Independence Bowl
Matthew Dayes (Photo courtesy:

Dayes is small at five foot nine inches tall, but is well built at 209 pounds. He stays low to the ground and is hard for defenders to see over the NC State offensive line. He has decent power for his size, but needs to show he has quickness because of his size. The best news for Dayes is that he is also a good receiver out of the backfield. If he can become elite at that skill, he can be a good third down back for an NFL team.

Vanderbilt Commodores

Zach Cunningham, LB

Projected Draft Range: First round-second round

Cunningham has been one of the most productive players in all of college football. He has 119 total tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles. Playing special teams is a specialty for him as well and he has a blocked field goal against Auburn, where he demonstrated his athleticism. He has great size at six feet four inches tall, but probably needs to add on some weight for the NFL level. He always produces and even had a game against Georgia with 19 total tackles. Cunningham is one of the best in the class at play diagnosing. By draft day, he should be one of the first two inside linebackers taken in the draft.

Ralph Webb, RB

Projected Draft Range: Fourth round-sixth round

Independence Bowl
Ralph Webb (Photo courtesy:

Webb will find himself in a tricky situation after this bowl game. Running backs need to leave school without of miles on their legs, but this running back draft class is loaded. If he does come out, he will get drafted. He is five feet ten inches tall and 210 pounds. He can do a little bit of everything, which makes him appealing. His greatest asset is his vision, as he always finds the best hole, even if there isn’t much there.


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