The Cincinnati Bengals currently are positioned to pick 10th in the 2018 NFL Draft, but they could wind up anywhere between sixth and 12th depending on the outcome of the Week 17 games.
Through Jan. 1 we’ll take a look at the top 100 prospects who are playing in that day’s bowl games, players the Bengals could target in the first three rounds.
Today’s slate of bowl games includes:
Military Bowl, Virginia vs. Navy, 1:30 p.m.
Camping World Bowl, Virginia Tech vs. Oklahoma State, 5:15 p.m.
Alamo Bowl, Stanford vs. TCU, 9 p.m.
Holiday Bowl, Washington State vs. Michigan State, 9 p.m.
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Here are the players to keep an eye on today, listed in alphabetic order.
Brian Allen, C, Michigan State, 6-2, 302
The All-American candidate has started 26 consecutive games and is a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy (Academic Heisman). Bengals center Russell Bodine is in the final year of his contract.
Marcell Ateman, WR, Oklahoma State, 6-4, 220
The big-bodied receiver lost his 2016 season after a breaking his foot in summer workouts, but he has come back in 2017 with 54 catches for 1,049 yards and eight touchdowns.
Quin Blanding, FS, Virginia, 6-2, 210
The school’s career leader in tackles, Blanding has 121 in 12 games this season to go along with four interceptions. He was voted first team All-ACC and was a Jim Thorpe Award semifinalist.
Tremaine Edmunds, ILB, Virginia Tech, 6-5, 250
The junior appears on numerous All-American teams with 102 tackles in 12 games, including 14 for loss, and 5.5 sacks.
Luke Falk, QB, Washington State, 6-4, 216
The senior took over as the starter for the final three games of his freshman season. He’s completed 66.9 percent of his passes this year for 3,593 yards with 30 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He’s more likely to be the sixth or seventh quarterback selected.
Micah Kiser, ILB, Virginia, 6-2, 240
The three-year starter is a first-team All-ACC pick, a Campbell Trophy finalist and a Butkus Award semifinalist. He has a team-high 134 tackles in 12 games.
Bryce Love, RB, Stanford, 5-10, 196
The Bengals won’t be in the market for a running back as high as Love will go, but the Heisman finalist is fun to watch with 1,973 yards and 17 touchdowns, 10 of which went for at least 50 yards.
Hercules Mata’afa, OLB, Washington State, 6-2, 252
The redshirt junior is worth watching for the name alone, but he’s also a dynamic linebacker who is always around the ball. He could return for his senior year but the expectation is that he will declare for the draft.
Quenton Meeks, CB, Stanford, 6-1, 200
Another junior who is expected to declare for the draft, Meeks doesn’t get much action due to his excellent coverage skills, but he has six passes defended and two interceptions.
Joseph Noteboom, OT, TCU, 6-5, 306
A three-year starter, Noteboom likely will be the only TCU player drafted this year. He might slide to the third day and is likely better suited to play guard in the NFL.
Harrison Phillips, DT, Stanford, 6-4, 295
A third-team All-American and first team All-Pac 12 pick, Phillips is a run-stopping specialist who figures to go on Day 2, but the Bengals aren’t likely to be the market for another defensive tackle on the first two days.
Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State, 6-4, 235
He draws comparisons to Carson Wentz for his size and mobility, although he isn’t likely to be drafted as high despite leading the nation with 4,553 passing yards. It’s doubtful the Bengals will take a quarterback in the first round.
James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State, 6-0, 205
Rudolph’s top target, Washington is an explosive playmaker averaging 20.6 yards on his 69 receptions. Washington’s 1,423 receiving yards are third most in the country.