The name may not be familiar, but the Camping World Bowl features two of the most talented teams in the country, and pro scouts are sure to take notice. After flirting with College Football Playoff contention in the first half of the season, Oklahoma State and Virginia Tech both bring 9-3 overall records to Orlando. The Cowboys, led by an explosive offense, are set to kick off against a gifted Hokies defense in a matchup featuring as many as four players with the potential to go in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
1. Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State
Experience? Check. Production? Check. NFL frame? Check. Arm strength? Check. A three-year starter who enters his fourth bowl game with 13,267 career passing yards, a 63.2 percent completion rate and 90:26 touchdown-to-interception ratio, the 6-foot-5, 230-pound gunslinger is the total package.
Rudolph (above, right) led all FBS quarterbacks with 4,553 passing yards (379.4 ypg), and ranked third overall with a 170.01 passer rating during the regular season. The senior completed 65.0 percent of his passes and averaged 10.0 yards per attempt, throwing for 35 touchdowns with nine interceptions for the Cowboys.
Despite the fact Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson won the Heisman, and Josh Rosen and Sam Darnold are in a race to be the No. 1 overall pick, Rudolph is expected to be a first-round selection in the 2018 NFL Draft and eventual face of the franchise for whichever team selects him. Time will tell where he ends up, but Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports listed Rudolph No. 15 on his most recent mock draft.
2. James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State
No college receiver has been more productive or explosive than Washington, who earned unanimous All-American honors and won the Biletnikoff Award for the nation’s best receiver after catching 69 passes for 1,423 yards and 12 touchdowns during the regular season. Washington surpassed 100 receiving yards in eight games this season, and hauled in at least one 50-yard pass in six contests.
The 6-foot, 205-pound senior leads the nation with 118.6 receiving yards per game, and is 11th among qualified FBS wideouts with an average of 20.62 yards per reception. Heading into the Camping World Bowl, Washington had amassed 221 receptions for 4,346 yards and 38 TDs, good for an average of 19.67 yards per catch across his career.
Based largely because of his production and big-play ability, Washington is a potential first-round pick.
3. Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech could have as many as five early entrants in the 2018 NFL Draft — all of them on defense. Edmunds (right), another potential first-rounder, is the most likely to forego his senior season, though defensive linemen Ricky Walker, Tim Settle, and defensive backs Adonis Alexander and Terrell Edmunds (Tremaine’s brother) are also weighing their options.
Edmunds ranked sixth in the ACC with 102 total tackles (8.5 per game) during the regular season, and finished eighth in the conference with 14.0 tackles for a loss (1.17 per contest). The 6-foot-5, 250-pound junior ranked in the top 10 in the league with 5.5 sacks, and he also forced three fumbles, picked off two passes and broke up two others.
Given his playmaking skill set and prototypical size for an NFL linebacker, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper has been particularly high on Edmunds. Kiper ranked him No. 14 on his “Big Board” earlier this month.
4. Marcell Ateman, WR, Oklahoma State
A third first-rounder from Oklahoma State? A second first-round receiver? It’s possible. Ateman came in No. 29 on Athlon Sports' first mock draft and Trapasso slotted him 25th — and for good reason.
Ateman (6-4, 220) has the prototypical NFL size his teammate James Washington lacks, and he’s been nearly as explosive a senior. Ateman hauled in 54 passes for 1,049 yards (19.4 yards per reception) and eight touchdowns during the regular season, spreading his production evenly throughout. Mason Rudolph’s No. 2 target surpassed 100 receiving yards in six separate games in 2017, caught at least four passes 11 times and grabbed six receptions on four occasions.
5. Wyatt Teller, G, Virginia Tech
Oklahoma State has several offensive playmakers capable of being a high selection in the 2018 draft, and though several Hokies could earn a spot on NFL rosters next season, most come on the defensive side of the football, leaving Teller as the top pro prospect among Tech’s draft-eligible offensive players.
Though he was recruited as a defensive lineman, Teller became a three-and-a-half-year starter who saw action in every game Virginia Tech has played over the last four seasons, and is scheduled to make his 43rd career start for the Hokies in the bowl game. The 6-foot-5, 308-pound senior is considered one of the top pass blockers at his position, and also has a strong reputation as a powerful run blocker — making him one of the top all-around linemen in the upcoming draft class. ACC coaches and media have also taken notice, and named Wyatt to the All-ACC first team in 2017.
Other pro prospects featured in the Camping World Bowl include Virginia Tech cornerback Brandon Facyson and linebacker Andrew Motuapuaka, and safety Tre Flowers and tackle Zachary Crabtree from Oklahoma State.
— Written by Nicholas Ian Allen, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @NicholasIAllen.