The bowl season is getting to the meat of the schedule, which means these bowl previews will start coming in one at a time as the length of the prospects to know grows.
Let’s start with a fairly one-sided affair in terms of 2018 NFL Draft Prospects.
Military Bowl - Thursday 1:30 PM ET
Virginia vs Navy
#6 Kurt Benkert QB UVA 6’4” 215
Season Stats: 282/473 (59.6%) 3062 YDS 6.5 YPA 25 TD 8 INT
Benkert transferred from East Carolina after missing the 2015 season with a knee injury. He’s been a two-year starter for the Cavaliers, and was a surprise Senior Bowl invite. He feels like this year’s version of Nathan Peterman to me: a career backup type, who will get some fashionable buzz suggesting he could go earlier than he actually will.
#53 Micah Kiser LB UVA 6’2” 240
Season Stats: 134 TKL (49 solo) 9.5 TFL 5 SCK 4 PBU
A First Team All-ACC selection and three-time conference leader in tackles, Kiser has been in on 400 stops during his collegiate career. He’s one of four UVA prospects (along with Benkert and the next two guys on this list) who have accepted Senior Bowl invitations thus far.
#3 Quin Blanding S UVA 6’2” 210
Season Stats: 121 TKL (54 solo) 3.5 TFL 4 INT 2 PBU 1 TD
Blanding is a former five-star recruit, and another 2017 First Team All-ACC defender. He has finished second in the conference in tackles behind Kiser each of the last three seasons. Blanding set a career high in picks in 2017, and has 10 interceptions and 16 pass breakups in 48 games.
#9 Andrew Brown DE UVA 6’4” 285
Season Stats: 42 TKL (16 solo) 9 TFL 3 SCK 1 FF
Like Blanding, Brown was a five-star commit to the Cavaliers back in 2014, but it took the big lineman two seasons to earn significant playing time, and he’s never become the impact player UVA fans envisioned. I expect Brown to post fairly impressive athletic testing numbers for a guy his size, and it will be interesting to see just how much that inflates his profile.