The Dollar General Bowl isn't high on the watch list of many college football fans. However, the 17-year-old game in Mobile, Ala., has produced some intriguing NFL drafts prospects since its inception in 1999.
From LaDainian Tomlinson and Ben Roethlisberger to Brian Winters and Demario Davis, the game originally known as the Mobile Alabama Bowl has seen its fair share of future NFL stars. And although Ohio and Troy won't send any projected first-round picks onto the field at Ladd Peebles Stadium Field on Dec. 23, scouts will still have their eye on a few players before the 2017 NFL Draft in April.
Here are the top prospects in the 2016 Dollar General Bowl, ranked:
Antonio Garcia is Troy's best hope at ending a four-year NFL Draft drought.
The 6-foot-7, 302-pound four-year starter at left tackle is a two-time All-Sun Belt selection and was a big reason the Trojans went from the nation's 107th-ranked offense in 2015 to 53rd in 2016. He's big, agile and routinely neutralizes speedy edge rushers, traits that will likely earn him a third-day selection.
Garcia does have an opportunity to boost his draft stock a little with a good performance against two Ohio defenders with a decent chance of being selected in April's draft themselves.
Tarell Basham, a 6-foot-4, 260-pounder who hasn't slowed down since earning Freshman All-American honors in 2013, recorded at least a half sack in nine games this season, including two in a close loss to Tennessee. Another strong performance that displays his aggressiveness and above-average run support could result in a third-day selection.
Basham's teammate, linebacker Blair Brown, has a much smaller chance of being selected, but is still deserving of consideration.
Known mostly for his run support as a lightning-quick gap-filler, Brown can also harass the passer. He recorded 4.5 sacks this season, among his 116 tackles and 13.5 tackles for loss. He also added a key forced fumble against Miami (OH).
Brown is 6-foot-1, 240 pounds and will need to earn an NFL spot as a special teamer.