The 2017 Quick Lane Bowl will pit Duke against Northern Illinois, and the matchup features a bunch of potential NFL draftable players down the line.
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The highest ranked 2018 draft prospects (according to NFL Draft Scout) are Duke tackle Gabe Brandner (projected a 7th-rounder or free agent) and Northern Illinois cornerback Shawun Lurry (also a projected 7th-rounder or free agent).
Other players who could be in the mix as free agents this year are Duke center Austin Davis and a slew of Northern Illinois players — kicker Christian Hagan, tight end Shane Wimann, running back Jordan Huff and safety Mycial Allen, among others.
But in the future, we could see a few more players from these teams draw serious consideration.
Sophomore Duke cornerback Mark Gilbert is quickly trending up (No. 7 CB in his class according to NFL Draft Scout) and sophomore Duke punter Austin Parker is considered a top five punter for 2020.
A few more Duke sophomores — inside linebacker Joe Giles-Harris, free safety Jordan Hayes, quarterback Daniel Jones, and defensive end Twazanga Mugala — are all top-25 players at their positions in the class of 2020, per NFL Draft scout.
The 2019 class includes top-25 players at their positions too for the Blue Devils — outside backer Ben Humphreys, tight end Daniel Helm, and free safety Jeremy McDuffie.
Northern Illinois also has a bunch of young talent.
The top prospect on the team is arguably 2019 tackle Max Scharping, and sophomore outside linebacker Sutton Smith is a rising player.
They'll take the field in the Quick Lane Bowl on Dec. 26.
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