NFL Notes and Boca Raton Bowl Preview

NFL News & Notes

Okay, so there’s still 32 games left to be played in all this 2018 regular season, but right now here’s how the top three draft picks would look (although we reserve the right to change our minds between now and next April!):

  1.   Arizona … Josh Allen, OLB/DE, Kentucky – The woe-be-gone Cardinals need to take the best defensive player on the board and it ain’t the Big 10 guy who sat out the ’18 season.
  2.   Oakland … Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State – Hated the fact this kid sat out this season to heal up some bumps/bruises but bottom line is most draftniks rate him higher than his famous big brother at the same stage of their lives.
  3.   New York Jets … Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson – The Jets believe they have their “franchise quarterback” in steadily-improving Sam Darnold and now won’t have to trade up to get the draft’s third overall selection for a second straight year.

 

COLLEGE BOWL BONANZA

On Tuesday, it’s … BOCA RATON BOWL - at Boca Raton, FL

NORTHERN ILLINOIS (8-5) vs. UAB (10-3) - 7 p.m. ET, ESPN

No doubt the TV “talking heads” will be going ga-ga regarding the fact that the UAB Blazers copped this year’s Conference USA crown courtesy of an “instant revenge” win against Middle Tennessee back on Dec. 1st but the story of this Northern Illinois crew is something else too … how about racing back from a 29-10 second-half deficit to beat Buffalo in this year’s Mid-American Conference Championship Game?

The NIU Huskies are a 2.5-point pup here and they’ve won three games in outright upset fashion this season – the number here opened as UAB minus 1 – but veteran QB Marcus Childers could help to spring the mild upset providing he repeats his MAC title game showing of 300 passing yards and four TDs. Note that UAB star RB Spencer Brown (1,149 yards rushing and 16 TDs) runs behind a senior-laden O-line but unless the Blazers’ quarterbacks can steer clear of the big pick (see 15 INTs thrown this year) then Northern Ill could nab its first bowl win since 2011. For you pointspread folks, UAB is a collective 16-8-1 vig-wise since the start of the ’17 season.