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 Holiday Bowl.
UCLA Bruins Draft Prospects
Sean Rhyan, OT
Rhyan has had several good seasons at offensive tackle for the Bruins. He started at left tackle as a freshman and was named an All-Freshman by several media outlets. In a shortened COVID season, he started seven games for the Bruins as a sophomore. This season, as a junior, he was named to the All-Pac-12 First Team.
He is 6-foot-5 and 320 pounds, which is solid for an offensive tackle. His experience over three seasons is something that not all offensive tackles have to offer. He could go back to college for another season, but he already has solid draft stock. Rhyan is currently projected to be picked not too far after the first round.
Projected Draft Range: Second Round Pick-Fourth Round Pick
Zach Charbonnet, RB
Charbonnet started his career at Michigan before transferring to UCLA and finding more success. He has 1,987 rushing yards, 268 receiving yards and 25 touchdowns in his college career. In his lone season at UCLA, Charbonnet has 1,137 rushing yards, 197 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns.
He is a well-built back at 6-foot-1 and 220 pounds. Charbonnet runs with some power and really broke out this season. He will need to continue to work on his receiving ability to be a three-down back. As a junior, he could return to school next season, but he has a chance to be picked in the middle rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Projected Draft Range: Third Round Pick-Fifth Round Pick
Other Draft Prospects: TE Greg Dulcich (5th-7th), S Quentin Lake (5th-7th), QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson (UFA), WR Kyle Phillips (UFA), S Qwuantezz Knight (UFA), DL Otito Ogbonnia (UFA), OG/C Paul Grattan (OG/C), LB Caleb Johnson (UFA)
NC State Wolfpack Draft Prospects
Ikem Ekwonu, OT
Ekwonu has been one of the best offensive linemen in college football over the last few seasons. He started immediately for the Wolfpack and was named a Freshman All-American. His play got him named to the All-ACC Second Team in 2020 and he helped the Wolfpack make a bowl game. Ekwonu was named a AP First Team All-American in 2021 and helped the Wolfpack get to nine wins on the season.
He is 6-foot-4 and 320 pounds, which is ok for an NFL offensive tackle. There has been some talk of him needing to move inside at the next level because of his length, but he has played extremely well and has the drive to finish plays off. He is projected to be a top 20 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Projected Draft Range: Top 20 Pick
Zonovan Knight, RB
Knight has been one of the most consistent running backs in the country over the last three seasons. He has 2,286 rushing yards, 337 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns in his career. This season, he has 753 rushing yards, 156 receiving yards and three touchdowns. He also has been a threat on kickoff returns with three touchdowns on special teams.
He has solid size for a running back at 5-foot-11 and 210 pounds. Knight runs hard and can generate big plays. His experience on special teams will also help his draft stock. He may return to college for another season, as he is currently projected to be a late pick or undrafted free agent.
Projected Draft Range: Sixth Round Pick-Undrafted Free Agent
Other Draft Prospects: LB Payton Wilson (6th-UFA), WR Emeka Emezie (6th-UFA), DL Corey Durden (6th-UFA)
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