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NFL Draft Prospects in the 2021 Boca Raton Bowl

NFL Draft Prospects in the 2021 Boca Raton Bowl

The bowl season gives fans and scouts alike a chance to analyze NFL Draft prospects against solid competition. Bowl scheduling allows all eyes to be on each game. Here are the NFL Draft prospects in the 2021 Boca Raton Bowl.

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers Draft Prospects

DeAngelo Malone, Edge

Malone has been an impact player for the Hilltoppers over his five seasons on campus. For his career, he has posted 343 tackles, 58 tackles for loss and 31.5 sacks. In the 2021 season, he has 88 total tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks. Malone could’ve gone pro earlier, but elected to stay at college for five seasons.

At 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds, Malone won’t be the biggest edge rusher. He will have to add weight to his frame to be successful at the next level. His sack production will have NFL teams looking to draft him. Malone should be a mid-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Projected Draft Range: Third Round Pick-Fifth Round Pick

Bailey Zappe, QB

Zappe started his career at Houston Baptist before getting his shot in the FBS with Western Kentucky. He mastered the air raid attack at Houston Baptist and the same system being implemented for the Hilltoppers has helped him greatly. This season he has led the FBS in passing yards with 5,545 and also had 56 touchdowns and 11 interceptions on 69.2 percent completion.

He doesn’t have the best measurables at 6-foot-1 and 220 pounds, but Zappe can be successful at the next level. His understanding and efficiency in the air raid offense makes him a desirable draft prospect. Zappe won’t be selected in the early rounds, but should get drafted later.

Projected Draft Range: Fourth Round Pick-Seventh Round Pick

Other Draft Prospects: WR Jerreth Sterns (4th-7th), WR Mitchell Tinsley (6th-UFA), TE Zac Lefebvre (UFA)

Appalachian State Mountaineers Draft Prospects

Shaun Jolly, CB

Jolly has played a lot of football over his four-year career at Appalachian State. He has 113 total tackles, six interceptions and 18 passes defended in his time as a Mountaineer. For the 2021 season, Jolly has tallied 26 tackles, one interception and five passes defended. He has been one of the best players in the Sun Belt for his career.

The corner is 5-foot-9 and 175 pounds, which will make him one of the smaller players in the class. He has shown he can cover, but may need to move inside to the slot to be successful in the NFL. Jolly will likely be a late-round selection in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Projected Draft Range: Fifth Round Pick-Seventh Round Pick

Demetrius Taylor, DT

Taylor is one of the more experienced players in the class after spending five seasons at Appalachian State. He has 136 total tackles, 46 tackles for loss and 26.5 sacks in his career. This season, Taylor has 23 total tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks. His ability to rush the passer as an interior lineman makes him unique.

He stands 6-foot-1 and 290 pounds, which is solid for a 4-3 defensive tackle at the next level. It will be a step up in competition, but Taylor has proven to be able to make plays. Taylor will likely be selected near the end of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Projected Draft Range: Fifth Round Pick-Seventh Round Pick

Other Draft Prospects: S Ryan Huff (6th-UFA), WR Thomas Hennigan (6th-UFA), Corey Sutton (6th-UFA), WR Jalen Virgil (6th-UFA), WR Malik Williams (6th-UFA)

 

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