As the college football season begins to make its way toward the home stretch, the focus on the forthcoming all-star and pre-draft showcase circuit will soon garner the attention of national media abound and NFL franchises looking forward to next April’s draft. Set to kick off on Feb. 3 in Las Vegas, Nevada at Allegiant Stadium, home of the Las Vegas Raiders, one of college football’s most historic senior showcases will make its return after a one-year hiatus due to the COVID pandemic: the East-West Shrine Bowl.
Throughout the 97-year storied history of the game that has produced more than 500 Pro Bowl appearances, the 2022 version of the game will mark the first time that both the Shrine Bowl and NFL Pro Bowl align during the same week, further strengthening the Shrine Bowl’s relationship with the NFL.
Now in our second installment of prospects to watch, here are 20 seniors to keep an eye on as we head into the meat of the Week 11 CFB schedule.
To find our initial list of eligible seniors to watch, click here.
Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
Fighting for the QB1 spot as we approach the closing weeks of the season, the dual-threat talent in Willis is a dynamic playmaker who has the chance to burst onto the NFL scene due to his eye-popping talent both inside and outside of structure.
Damone Clark, LB, LSU
CFB’s leading tackler, Clark is an imposing second-level defender with an impressive frame and excellent downhill quickness when asked to fill gaps in the run.
Alec Lindstrom, C, Boston College
The younger brother of Atlanta Falcons guard Chris, the younger Lindstrom is a technician along the offensive line with clean feet, powerful hands, and ideal range to get out in space in the screen game.
Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State
A sleeper within an impactful TE class, McBride has all the functional tools to become a TE1 at the next level. A three-sport prep athlete, the extremely athletic McBride will impress in the pre-draft circuit.
Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama
A small-school product like the aforementioned McBride, Tolbert is a 50/50 ball magician with an impressive frame and sticky hands with the ability to rip down the rock with the best of them. His ability to release and stack corners downfield has resulted in quite the career for the Jaguars’ boundary threat.
Arnold Ebiketie, EDGE, Penn State
The next pass rush talent out of Happy Valley with extremely raw tools, Ebiketie has a ways to go in improving his technique, but if it all clicks down the road, he has a chance to be an impactful 9-tech DE on Sundays.
Isaiah Likely, TE, Coastal Carolina
Wherever he aligns, Likely will be a mismatch for NFL defenses to counter next fall. A headliner in a high-flying Chanticleer offense, his fluidity and vertical prowess will be an immediate asset to teams in need of a flex tight end.
Jamaree Salyer, IOL, Georgia
A versatile athlete with experience at guard and tackle during his time in Athens, Salyer competes his tail off and has the nastiness to embarrass defenders in the run.
Deven Thompkins, WR, Utah State
Thompkins is going to light up the pre-draft circuit. A 5-foot-8 stud of studs, Thompkins understands what it takes to win in space and in a phone booth. A bonafide target hog, Thompkins will embarrass your favorite collegiate corner in 1-on-1s.
Sam Williams, EDGE, Ole Miss
A sack specialist within Lane Kiffin’s front seven, Williams has a pro body similar to that of Daelin Hayes from Notre Dame last fall. Tighten your chin strap when you line up across from Williams.
Chris Bergin, LB, Northwestern
As consistent as linebackers come in today’s college landscape, if Bergin isn’t initially able to find his way on the field as a defender, he will thrive on special teams.
Zachary Carter, EDGE, Florida
The onus for teams to draft pass rushers with consistent push has become paramount. Carter is a physical defender who’s thrived in his extra year of eligibility. Speed, lateral movement, ability to stop the run, Carter has it all. Massive ceiling.
Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota
A mountain of a man at 6-foot-8 and 380 pounds, if Faalele is able to nail down his fundamentals and improve his lower-half agility, he will be impossible to move around. A former rugby standout, he’s as impressive an athlete as any in the entire class.
Samori Toure, WR, Nebraska
Adrian Martinez’s favorite target at Nebraska, the 6-foot-3 Toure couples sure hands with box-out ability and strength at the catch point to serve as a middle-of-the-field threat at the next level.
Akayleb Evans, CB, Missouri
Evans is a disrupter on the outside. With the utilization of his hands to stab at the LOS in press-bail, the Mizzou standout is a master in the finer details of playing corner.
Bailey Zappe, QB, Western Kentucky
A gun-slinger currently leading the country in passing yards (3,688) and touchdowns (37), Zappe has totaled just six interceptions. A QB class currently without an identity, Zappe is a name to watch.
Romeo Doubs, WR, Nevada
An explosive athlete with impressive straight-line speed and agility as a route-runner, Doubs will soon become an NFL deep threat—he led the country in receiving yardage per game for a good portion of 2020. While he isn’t a burner on the perimeter, his understanding of how to mask routes using his eyes and hips allows him to separate easily downfield.
Riley Moss, CB/S, Iowa
A three-year impact defender for the Hawkeyes, not only does he carry one of the most headlining surnames in all of sports, he’s an excellent apex defender with the ability to do it all.
Tyler Smith, IOL, Tulsa
It doesn’t take long to fall in love with Smith’s game. A throwback style of offensive lineman that looks to toss you to the sideline, Smith will be a fun prospect to watch when placed up against the country’s elite.
Cade Otton, TE, Washington
Built in the mold of Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Pat Freiermuth, Otton can align both in the slot and with his hand in the dirt. An excellent blocker when asked to work in isolation, his projection as a pro is awfully intriguing considering his aggressiveness at the catch point and impressive down-field burst.