The 2019 Sun Belt Championship Game to be played on Saturday between the Appalachian State Mountaineers and the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns is a rematch of the contest from a year ago and features the top next level prospects from the Sun Belt.  Appalachian State, ranked in the top 25 at one point during the regular season, is looking to stamp their dominance on the conference. 

What scouts will be watching

Appalachian State linebacker Akeem Davis-Gaither was a week four riser this season and one of the better space linebackers available in the 2020 NFL Draft.  He’s athletic, fast in pursuit, and covers a lot of area.  He’ll need all of that and more as Louisiana has three running backs that will either be drafted or signed as priority free agents (PFAs) next May.  Davis-Gaither has already accepted a Senior Bowl invitation.

Mountaineers running back Darrynton Evans was a week 13 riser as he brings speed, strength, and a compact build to the running back position.  He projects as a number three running back/situational starter at the next level. As I mentioned last month, Evans is going through the process of acquiring grades and information and there’s a good chance he will enter the draft.

Ragin’ Cajun wide receiver Ja’Marcus Bradley is in the middle of a terrific season and has combined for 17 touchdown receptions the past two years.  He’s a dependable possession receiver whose draft grade will be dictated by pre-draft testing next spring.

Prediction

Louisiana is a terrific team but I don’t think they have enough defense to stop Appalachian State. The Mountaineers will win the 2019 Sun Belt championship by 10 points.

Sun Belt Title Prospects

GradeRndFull NamePos#SchoolYr
3.623rdAkeem Davis-GaitherOLB24Appalachian State5Sr
3.475thDarrynton EvansRB3Appalachian State4Jr
3.415thJa’Marcus BradleyWR2Louisiana5Sr
3.336thChauncey ManacOLB17Louisiana4Jr
3.287thElijah MitchellRB15Louisiana3Jr
3.19FARaymond CalaisRB4Louisiana4Sr
3.00FAJoe DillonDE3Louisiana4Jr
2.99FAKevin DotsonG75Louisiana5Sr
2.98FATrey RagasRB9Louisiana4Jr
2.93FARobert HuntT50Louisiana5Sr
2.92FAMichael JacquetCB11Louisiana5Sr
2.91FAVictor JohnsonT75Appalachian State5Sr
2.88FAJordan FehrILB59Appalachian State4Sr
2.85FAJacques BoudreauxILB59Louisiana4Sr
2.79FAJosh ThomasS7Appalachian State4Sr
2.71FACollin ReedTE87Appalachian State5Sr

 

Tony Pauline is Pro Football Network’s NFL Draft Analyst and Insider. Follow him on Twitter @TonyPauline. Follow PFN on Twitter @PFN365. Also, be sure to join us on Saturday for the PFN College Football Game Day Blog, as Tony and the rest of PFN’s NFL Draft team give the latest analysis and inside scoops on the day’s games.