San Francisco 49ers

Couch scout: Potential 49ers to watch during the bowl season

Nebraska’s Randy Gregory is one of several intriguing pass-rushing prospects playing this week
Nebraska’s Randy Gregory is one of several intriguing pass-rushing prospects playing this week AP

It's time to take off your Santa hat and put on your scouting cap.

Rob Rang at CBS believes there are several players appearing in bowl games over the next week who may appeal to the 49ers in the upcoming draft. That starts today with such stars as Arizona State wideout Jaelen Strong, Nebraska edge rusher Randy Gregory and South Carolina running back Mike Davis.

I gave Rang what I thought were the 49ers' top needs in the offseason: WR, OLB, TE, RB, DL. He has a complete rundown of prospects to watch during the bowl season on his site. He said that the running back group is particularly strong this year, which hasn't been the case in recent drafts. Some players to watch:

Sun Bowl, 11 a.m., CBS

Arizona State: WR Jaelen Strong

Independence Bowl, 12:30 p.m., ABC

Miami: RB Duke Johnson

South Carolina: RB Mike Davis

Holiday Bowl, 5 p.m., ESPN

Nebraska: DE Randy Gregory (at 6-6, 250 he projects to an OLB in the 49ers' scheme)

Nebraska: RB Ameer Abdullah

USC: DL Leonard Williams (Rang's No. 1 prospect; Gregory is No. 2)

USC: WR Nelson Agholor

Tuesday

Music City Bowl, 3 p.m., ESPN

LSU: DE Danielle Hunter

Belk Bowl, 3:30 p.m., ESPN

Louisville: WR DeVante Parker

Louisville: DE Lorenzo Mauldin

Wednesday

Fiesta Bowl, 1 p.m., ESPN

Boise State: RB Jay Ajayi

Thursday

Outback Bowl, 9 a.m., ESPN 2

Wisconsin: RB Melvin Gordon (Rang's top-rated RB now that Todd Gurley has ACL tear)

Auburn: WR Sammie Coates

Auburn: WR Duke Williams

Cotton Bowl, 9:30 a.m., ESPN

Baylor: DE Shawn Oakman

Michigan State: DE Shilique Calhoun

Citrus Bowl, 10 a.m., ABC

Missouri: DE Shane Ray

Missouri: DL Markus Golden

Minnesota: TE Maxx Williams

Sugar Bowl, 5:30 p.m., ESPN

Alabama: WR Amari Cooper (Rang’s top WR; the 49ers will have to trade up to get him)

Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers.

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