One of the great things about the winter holiday season is that it is chock full of college bowl games. Not only does this guarantee football fan a non-stop serving of football throughout the month of December and into January, it also provides an opportunity to take a closer look at draft prospects in their biggest games.
With the Raiders sitting at the number five pick in this year’s NFL Draft, there were a lot of guys on display that the Raiders will have the opportunity to select. But of the guys most discussed, only two truly shined during their bowl game, Johnny Manziel and Sammy Watkins.
Teddy Bridgewater performed well but he likely will not be available to the Raiders at the fifth pick. Blake Bortles impressed many and is now rapidly rising in many draft boards, but that was likely due more to the fact that many had not seen Bortles before. He threw two interceptions and looked pretty bad in the first half of the Fiesta Bowl. But he’s got everything general managers are looking for in an NFL quarterback in terms of size and throwing abilities.
Johnny Football led his Texas A&M team to an impressive and inspiring come-from-behind victory over Duke in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, where he threw for 382 yards and four touchdowns.
Meanwhile, Watkins played a major role in the Clemson Tigers pulling off a huge upset over the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Orange Bowl. Watkins finished the game with 227 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
Both of these guys should be available at No. 5, and both showed they are the type to perform well when it counts the most. That’s a special talent that cannot be measured, and something the Raiders could definitely use as they look to bounce back from consecutive 4-12 seasons.