Saturday may be the last college game for Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Over the summer he took out an insurance policy, earlier this month he graduated from college, and he's widely projected to be the first quarterback off the board. Still, the junior has not declared his intention to enter the NFL Draft just yet. He will decide after the Russell Athletic Bowl.
Bridgewater and Louisville will take on Miami, the school he nearly ended up at out of high school. The Russell Athletic Bowl probably has the most NFL talent between the teams but with four bowl games on Saturday, there will be plenty of future pros to keep track of.
New Era Pinstripe - Notre Dame vs. Rutgers (12 p.m. ET, ESPN)
The Pinstripe Bowl will feature a handful of talented prospects who underperformed in 2013. Notre Dame defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt is our highest rated prospect in this game, despite what was a bit of a down year for him. Not many players have the combination of size and length that Tuitt does. Another year of school might benefit him, but he's a likely top 20 pick either way. Notre Dame defensive tackle Louis Nix won't play in this game, so the next Irish prospect to keep an eye on is left tackle Zack Martin. Many have projected Martin as a guard in the NFL.
Rutgers wide receiver Brandon Coleman will be the only Scarlet Knight worth watching in this game. He's been the victim of bad quarterback play this season but still has a ton of potential. He'll likely be matched up against Notre Dame cornerback Bennett Jackson, who will likely get drafted in May. Guard Antwan Lowery is the only other player on Rutgers who may get drafted. He'll have a challenge trying to open up holes in the running game with Tuitt and linebacker Prince Shembo occupying Notre Dame's front seven.
Belk Bowl - Cincinnati vs. North Carolina (3:20 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Most of the players worth watching in the Belk Bowl play for North Carolina, which has become a consistent program in terms of producing NFL talent. Tarheel tight end Eric Ebron could be the first player off the board at his position. His an explosive vertical threat who won't blown anyone away with his inline blocking skills. Cincinnati may have a tough time matching up with Ebron. Linebacker Greg Blair may have to rise to the occasion.
Other North Carolina prospects to watch are offensive tackle James Hurst, safety Tre Boston and defensive end Kareem Martin. All have a shot to be drafted on day two of the NFL Draft. Meanwhile, cornerback Jabari Price could be a day three player.
Russell Athletic Bowl - Louisville vs. Miami (6:45 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Teddy Bridgewater will have all eyes on him on Saturday, but there will be plenty of other players to keep track of. Bridgewater's top target, wide receiver Davante Parker, is a solid NFL prospect. He has the ball skills to be a day two pick, but he would probably be better off returning to school. Miami linebacker Denzel Perryman could be picked in the first three rounds, but he's not a lock to declare.
Beyond the underclassmen, one of the most intriguing match-ups on Saturday will be between Miami tackle Seantrell Henderson and Louisville defensive end Marcus Smith. While Henderson has failed to live up to his physical abilities, Smith's performance has exceeded his measurables. Miami quarterback Stephen Morris looks like a day three pick, and he will have his hands full in this one. Both Louisville safeties look like NFL players. Calvin Pryor is probably the better pro prospect, but Hakeem Smith is also worth noting.
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl - Michigan vs. Kansas State (10:15 p.m. ET, ESPN)
At long last, Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan will be playing his final college game. The senior has been around for what seems like forever, and his draft stock has slipped some this season. He's definitely the best prospect in this game, which doesn't feature a ton of NFL talent. Kansas State safety Ty Zimmerman is one of the top seniors at his position, and Wildcat offensive tackle Cornelius Lucas may get drafted as well.