The Josh Rosen NFL Draft Watch is the biggest storyline in the Cactus Bowl.
COMPARE: Josh Rosen vs. Sam Darnold | D.J. Reed vs. Minkah Fitzpatrick
Rosen, UCLA's junior quarterback who threw for more than 3,700 yards in the regular season, will play in the Cactus Bowl at Chase Field in Phoenix, where they Bruins face Kansas State for just the fourth time ever. While Rosen is by far the biggest draft prospect in the game, both the Bruins and Wildcats have some other intriguing prospects worth keeping an eye on.
Here are the Top 10 NFL Draft Prospects in the Cactus Bowl:
|3||D.J. Reed||CB||Kansas State|
|5||Dalton Risner||OT||Kansas State|
|7||Will Geary||DT||Kansas State|
Josh Rosen will be watched closely as he both (sorry, we have to say it) tries to avoid injury and solidify his candidacy for the top-overall pick. The 6-foot-4, 210-pounder didn't register eye-popping stats in three seasons as starter (9,301 yards, 59 touchdowns, 26 interceptions) but did flash an array of unteachable tools (arm strength, pocket presence and responsible aggressiveness, among others) that make him a can't-miss prospect.
The only two other UCLA players guaranteed to be selected are center Scott Quessenberry and linebacker Kenny Young, both multi-time all-conference selections. Quessenberry is a 6-foot-3, 310-pounder that rebounded from a missed 2015 season to become one of the best interior linemen in the country. Young, 6-foot-1, 235 pounds, has 191 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and six sacks the last two years. He's experienced with a high motor and reliable tackling skills with a reserve/special teams role written all over him. Both Young and Quessenberry could earn an early-day-three grade.
D.J. Reed and Dalton Risner (if he leaves early) are Kansas State's best chances of extending their draft streak to 26 years. Reed is an undersized (5-foot-9, 188 pounds) former JUCO transfer with sound tacking skills, good closing and catch-up speed and potential on special teams. He should test well enough to earn a late-round selection, if not higher.