It's unlikely Miami International Airport will be crawling with NFL scouts on Tuesday, Dec. 19.
Despite being an intriguing and likely entertaining early bowl matchup, the 2016 Miami Beach Bowl is not high on the radars of NFL teams crisscrossing the country during the chaotic bowl season.
Here are the top 2017 NFL Draft prospects in the Miami Beach Bowl, ranked:
|1||Cooper Rush||QB||Central Michigan|
|2||Tony Annese||S||Central Michigan|
CMU's Cooper Rush is easily the best prospect in the game, as the longtime Chippewas' starter looks to cap a remarkable career with his first bowl win and injection to his draft stock.
The 6-foot-3, 230-pounder has 12,653 career passing yards and 90 touchdowns and is a capable rusher, recording five runs of 18 or more yards in 2016. Known as one of the smartest signal-callers in the game, Rush is excellent against pressure, glides in and out of the pocket and isn't afraid to take calculated risks.
However, occasionally he does hang onto the ball too long or throw off balance, oftentimes resulting in missed targets and interceptions — 52 in his career, or one every 31 pass attempts. He still protects the ball well enough to not warrant major concern for NFL teams, which may allow him to slide into the early part of day three.
Tulsa's best chance at their first draftee since 2011 (Charles Clay) is guard Blake Belcher. After tearing his ACL in the Golden Hurricane's 2015 opener, the 6-foot-4, 305-pound redshirt senior has rebounded wonderfully. In earning All-AAC First-Team honors, he helped lead Tulsa to top-12 offensive rankings in total yards, rushing and scoring.
Belcher has played both guard and tackle but projects as either a guard or center at the next level. He's a likely late third-day pick or high-priority undrafted free agent.