One of the most prestigious bowl games annually of the college football bowl season is the Orange Bowl. This year, the Florida Gators and Virginia Cavaliers will do battle tonight in Miami. Kickoff from Hard Rock Stadium is at 8 pm ET. So which players will NFL scouts be eyeing? Our NFL Draft team is here to tell you.
There are a few players that that scouts will be watching from the Florida Gators football team. Cornerback C.J. Henderson has late first-round appeal but is probably headed for the second round. Henderson is a longer, rangy cornerback with good ball skills. Concerns about his lack of involvement in the running game could force him to hang around longer than he should.
Jonathan Greenard is a downhill thumper that is likely only useful as an early-down linebacker at the next level. He is a fundamentally sound player, and, at 263 pounds, could thrive in a role as a pass-rushing linebacker in the 3-4. In an ordinary draft, a running back like Perine would be selected a bit higher, but alas, here we are. Lamical Perine has tremendous contact balance and is still a bit of a raw player. He has yet to scratch the surface of how good he can be.
I really like Van Jefferson as a prospect. I think he is the most gifted route runner in this draft. Though I wouldn’t classify Jefferson as a burner, he has a knack for creating space with his leverage in his route running and has an impressive catch radius. Originally a Shrine Bowl invite, Jefferson will now have a chance to prove himself at the Reese’s Senior Bowl.
-Andrew DiCecco, PFN Draft Analyst
The Virginia Cavaliers come into this game with a few players that will be on the radar of NFL scouts. The teams’ best prospect, cornerback Bryce Hall, will not be playing in the game after suffering a season-ending injury; however, he is a top-50 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft regardless.
Other prospects that are worth watching are quarterback Bryce Perkins, wide receiver Joe Reed and linebackers Charles Snowden and Jordan Mack. Perkins is a versatile dual-threat player who could develop into a quality backup quarterback. Snowden possesses size that will catch your attention, yet he needs further development to become a high draft prospect. If he were to declare after the Orange Bowl, he would be no more than a mid-round draft selection. Keep an eye on wide receiver Joe Reed, as he offers extreme value as a kick returner.
-Neal Driscoll, PFN NFL Draft analyst
Orange Bowl Prospects (via Neal and Andrew)