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NFL Draft Prospects in the 2021 New Mexico Bowl

NFL Draft Prospects in the 2021 New Mexico 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 New Mexico Bowl.

UTEP Miners Draft Prospects

Jacob Cowing, WR

Cowing has started since his freshman season and improved ever since. He has 139 receptions for 2,571 yards and 13 touchdowns in his career. This season, Cowing has posted 67 receptions for 1,330 yards and seven touchdowns. He is just a junior, but has already reached a great level of play for a prospect.

He is just 5-foot-11 and 170 pounds, so Cowing will need to add weight to his frame. Cowing may elect to go back to school for one more season to add weight and to continue to improve his game. If he does decide to leave for the NFL, Cowing is projected to be selected late in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Projected Draft Range: Fifth Round Pick-Seventh Round Pick

Gavin Hardison, QB

Hardison has started 19 games in his career for UTEP. In his three years getting playing time, Hardison has passed for 4,720 yards, 22 touchdowns and 17 interceptions on 54.2 percent completion. This season, he has 2,966 passing yards, 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions on 56 percent completion. He still is a redshirt sophomore, so he could return to school if he doesn’t elect to go pro.

He has decent size for a quarterback at 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds. Hardison can improve on his accuracy, which may make him return to school for another year to work on his craft. If he decides to go pro, Hardison will likely be an undrafted free agent.

Projected Draft Range: Undrafted Free Agent

Fresno State Bulldogs Draft Prospects

Jalen Cropper, WR

Cropper has been a playmaker for three seasons at Fresno State and has continually gotten better. He has 128 career receptions for 1,543 yards and 16 touchdowns. For the 2021 season, he has 76 receptions for 827 yards and 11 touchdowns. Cropper has added 430 rushing yards and five touchdowns on the ground in his career.

He stands 6-foot and 173 pounds, which is decent for the next level. Cropper will need to add some weight to his frame to really improve. With Jake Haener deciding to return to school, Cropper could have a big day in this game. Cropper is projected to be a late-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Projected Draft Range: Fifth Round Pick-Seventh Round Pick

Ronnie Rivers, RB

Rivers has been at Fresno State for five seasons and has produced each year. He has 3,417 rushing yards and 40 touchdowns on the ground in his career. As a pass-catcher, Rivers has hauled in 150 passes for 1,421 yards and 11 touchdowns in his five seasons. This season, Rivers has 788 rushing yards, 364 receiving yards and seven total touchdowns.

While he is shorter at 5-foot-9, Rivers has a solid build of 195 pounds. His ability to run the ball and catch passes out of the backfield make him a candidate to be a third-down back at the next level. He is likely going to be a late-round pick or an undrafted free agent.

Projected Draft Range: Sixth Round Pick-Undrafted Free Agent

Other Draft Prospects: QB Jake Haener (5th-7th *Already committed to go back to school), EDGE Arron Mosby (6th-UFA), DT Kevin Atkins (UFA)

 

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