clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2017 TaxSlayer and Liberty Bowl prospects to know from Louisville, Mississippi State, Iowa State and Memphis

Prospects to know from Louisville, Mississippi State, Iowa State and Memphis

Louisville v Kentucky Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Arizona Cardinals are in the quarterback market, in the wide receiver market and the offensive line market.

Oh, look, a group of prospects are playing today that fit all of those needs.

Justin has you covered with the prospects to know.

TaxSlayer Bowl - Saturday Noon ET
Louisville vs Mississippi State

#8 Lamar Jackson QB Louisville 6’3” 211
Season Stats: 241/399 (60.4%) 3489 YDS 8.7 YPA 25 TD 6 INT passing, 1443 YDS 6.9 AVG 17 TD rushing

Jackson won the Heisman in 2016 as a sophomore, then came out even better this season. His completion percentage is up about four percent, his TD-to-interception ratio is up from 3.3 to 4.2, and his rushing average is up nearly one full yard per carry. While there’s still room for improvement, Jackson looked more comfortable from the pocket this year, and he has easy arm strength. Still, the Big Media draft gurus, and likely their NFL contacts, remain unsold on Jackson, projecting him as a Day Two pick at best, and future wide receiver at worst. I should note here that Jackson has exactly zero career receptions.

#9 Jaylen Smith WR Louisville 6’4” 219
Season Stats: 53 REC 873 YDS 16.5 AVG 6 TD

Smith is a junior and Louisville’s leading receiver, and seems likely to declare if Jackson leaves. However, while teammates Jaire Alexander and James Hearns sit this game out to prepare for the draft, it appears Smith plans to play.

#55 Martinas Rankin OT MSU 6’5” 307

Rankin arrived via the junior college route and became a two-year starter at left tackle for the Bulldogs. He’s set to attend the Senior Bowl next month.

#9 Montez Sweat DE MSU 6’6” 241
Season Stats: 44 TKL (17 solo) 12.5 TFL 9.5 SCK

Autozone Liberty Bowl - Saturday 12:30 PM ET
Iowa State vs Memphis

#5 Allen Lazard WR ISU 6’5” 222
Season Stats: 61 REC 799 YDS 9 TD

Lazard is the school’s career leader in receptions and receiving yards, and set the Iowa State single-season record with his nine TD catches this season. He’s planning to represent the Cyclones at the Senior Bowl.

#3 Anthony Miller WR Memphis 5’11” 190
Season Stats: 92 REC 1407 YDS 15.3 AVG 17 TD

Miller has gone from walk-on in 2013, to posting back-to-back 90-catch, 1400-yard seasons in 2016 and 2017. He’s a late bloomer though, and will turn 24 years old a month into his rookie season.

#4 Riley Ferguson QB Memphis 6’4” 210
Season Stats: 278/441 (63%) 3971 YDS 9.0 YPA 36 TD 9 INT 6 rush TD

Ferguson started his career at Tennessee, but missed the 2013 season with an injury, then was out of football altogether the following year. He returned to the sport at the Juco level in 2015, then transferred to Memphis where he became the starter for the last two seasons. Ferguson has NFL size, and a strong, whip-like throwing arm. I thought he’d be joining Miller in Mobile for the Senior Bowl, but for now Ferguson will have to settle for a Shrine Game invitation.