College prospects that Bengals fans should watch in Birmingham Bowl

Glenn Adams
AUBURN, ALABAMA - NOVEMBER 13: Safety Smoke Monday #21 of the Auburn Tigers celebrates after a big play during their game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Jordan-Hare Stadium on November 13, 2021 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)
AUBURN, ALABAMA - NOVEMBER 13: Safety Smoke Monday #21 of the Auburn Tigers celebrates after a big play during their game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Jordan-Hare Stadium on November 13, 2021 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images) /
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The Cincinnati Bengals are coming off of a convincing win. The fans base is excited about what this season still has on offer but NFL scouting never stops.

College Bowl season is underway.

Here are a few prospects Bengals fans should watch as Auburn takes on Houston in the Birmingham Bowl.

Here are some college prospects to watch from Auburn 

Auburn will be without big names like Roger McCreary and Zakoby McClain for the Birmingham Bowl as they chose to concentrate on the draft process but they will still have some big-time NFL talent on the field against Houston. It starts with safety, Smoke Monday.

Monday is a versatile defensive back, who spent his first three years at cornerback but this year, was a starting safety for the Tigers. Monday is a hard-hitting defensive back who can cover receivers on the outside as a DB or line up in the box as a safety.

Monday is ranked 113th overall and is projected as a fourth-round pick by NFL Mock Draft Database. He could provide good value and depth to a defensive backfield that could see some changes next year.

A few more Tigers to keep an eye on:

  • Nehemiah Pritchett (CB)
  • Owen Pappoe (LB): Pappoe is questionable for the game. He is coming off of an injury and still is not sure if he is going to play in the Bowl game as of now.
  • Colby Wooden (DL): Unsure if he is going back to school or declaring for the draft.
  • Derick Hall (EDGE): Unsure if he is going back to school or declaring for the draft.

Here are college prospects from Houston for Bengals fans to watch

David Anenih is not considered a pass rush specialist. However, he does have 19.5 career sacks. The fifth-year senior has the versatility the Bengals covet. He can line up as a defensive end on one play and middle linebacker on the next. Scouts will also get to spend extra time with Anenih at the East-West Shrine Game.

Houston cornerback, Damarion Williams, will also be playing in the Birmingham Bowl. He is a good cover corner who is not shy about getting physical. With Marcus Jones and Logan Hall not playing, Williams and Anenih are the players Bengals fans should keep a close eye on when the Cougars’ defense takes the field.

Unfortunate Absence

Unfortunately, one of the most intriguing prospects will not be playing in the Birmingham Bowl. CB/KR/PR Marcus Jones has opted to skip Houston’s Bowl game to concentrate on preparing for the NFL draft.

The Bengals coaching staff will no doubt have a close eye on him at the Senior Bowl. Jones has nine career interceptions, 153 total tackles, three punt return touchdowns, and six kick returns for touchdowns. The Bengals will be seeking viable options to return kicks next year.

Yes, a few players are opting out of this game. But that does not mean that there will not be NFL-caliber talent on the field. As a Bengals fan, you can concentrate on just a handful of players. That is if you do not have a rooting interest in the match itself.

One of these players could be a gem that fans are talking about next preseason. A contributor to help defend an AFC North championship.

The game kicks off at noon EST on ESPN.

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