If fans were interested in seeing quality quarterback play in this past Saturday’s college bowl games, they likely were very disappointed. Lamar Jackson, Sam Darnold and Kurt Benkert all laid fossilized dinosaur eggs in their respective bowl games. The positions that seemed to dominate as a result were pass rushers. See below for those players that stood out in bowl action on Saturday.
Mason Rudolph, quarterback (Oklahoma State)
One of the few draft-able quarterbacks to actually play up to their potential this bowl weekend, Rudolph was stymied in the first half of the game against Virginia Tech but came out guns blazing after halftime. Not particularly known for his movement skills, Rudolph impressed with his second touchdown toss when he was able to roll out, buy some time and deliver an accurate ball to his receiver in the corner of the end zone. Rudolph ended up throwing 21 completions on 32 attempts for 351 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Allen Lazard, wide receiver (Iowa State)
Iowa State quarterback Kyle Kempt should send Allen Lazard a gift basket. Kempt was severely off-target on several throws, but the senior wide receiver was able to contort his body on multiple occasions to come down with the reception. At 6’5”, 220 pounds, Lazard can win 50-50 jump balls, of course, but his quickness out of his breaks earns him separation as well. He was a man amongst boys against Memphis.
Kentavius Street, defensive end (NC State)
I’ve highlighted Street before; he is the forgotten man on NC State’s talented defensive line. While his three teammates were invited to the Senior Bowl, Street will be playing in the Shrine game. With Bradley Chubb choosing to skip the Sun Bowl though, it was Street’s chance to shine and he did, with 1.5 tackles-for-loss and 1.5 sacks. Not the most pliable athlete, Street got it done with a combination of surprising quickness, for a guy weighing 280 pounds, and pure brute force.
Sam Hubbard, defensive end (Ohio State)
Ohio State found themselves up by seventeen points in the third quarter of their game against USC, which meant that their pass rushers could just tee-off against the overmatched USC offensive line. Sam Hubbard was the main beneficiary of that situation. Often utilizing stunts to get free from blockers, Hubbard came screaming through gaps multiple times, finishing with 2.5 sacks and 2.5 tackles-for-loss. Hubbard understandably announced after the game that he’ll be entering the draft.
Saquon Barkley, running back (Penn State)
Barkley role was supposed to be “limited” as to not risk injury, but his impact on the Fiesta Bowl was anything but. His 92-yard touchdown run in the second quarter was spectacular and his 7 catches for 38 yards prove that he’s not just a running back, but an all-around threat. All the superlatives analysts are throwing around are true, he is a top-five player in this draft class.
Jalen Davis, cornerback (Utah State)
Davis may be a corner the Bills should take a look at. He’s undersized at 5’10”, 185 pounds, but his agility, change of direction and ball skills are top notch. Playing the boundary or in the slot against New Mexico State, the senior corner took away whomever he was placed in front of. He was credited with a tackle and two passes defended on the day.