As part of an ongoing series, we're taking power rankings from macro to micro. Instead of looking at the best teams that are dominating the college football landscape, we're focusing on something more specific in this series.
This week, we're casting our eye toward the college bowl season and taking a look at the 2015 NFL Draft prospects with the most on the line in the postseason. Some of these players will wind up in the first round when the time comes, others could help play themselves into that round when all is said and done.
This list is not a mock draft or a look at the top prospects. You also won't find those who have not declared their intent to enter the draft, so move on if you're looking for Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota or USC's Leonard Williams. Without further ado, on to the rankings:
1. Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA
Bowl game: Alamo (vs. Kansas State, Jan. 2)
Analysis:The redshirt junior has indicated this is his last season in Westwood, and he might be among the most divisive players scouts will look at over the coming months -- some scouts see star potential, others see a potential bust. His last performance was a clunker against a good Stanford defense, costing his team a trip to the Pac-12 title game, so pressure is on to prove he's making the right decision to come out with a good game against a solid Kansas State team.
2. Ty Sambrailo, OT, Colorado State
Bowl game: Las Vegas (vs. Utah, Dec. 20)
Analysis: The Rams' dependable left tackle is among many candidates looking to join Iowa's Brandon Scherff as a first-round offensive lineman. Sambrailo could wind up graded in the first tier, and a big bowl game against one of the best defensive lines in the country will go a long way toward making that happen.
3. Vic Beasley, DE, Clemson
Bowl game: Russell Athletic (vs. Oklahoma, Dec. 29)
Analysis: Edge rushers? Yes, this draft should have quite a few, and the Tigers star could be one of the first ones taken. He's put together a solid season in which he was named ACC Player of the Year. A bad game against several future NFL offensive linemen at Oklahoma might cause him to drop a bit instead of going in the top 15 of the draft; a good game could land him in the top 10.
4. Cedric Ogbuehi, OL, Texas A&M
Bowl game: Liberty (vs. West Virginia, Dec. 29)
Analysis: It's hard to tell if anybody's stock dropped more during the season than Ogbuehi, who was moved around the offensive line and struggled for stretches at left tackle. He can get a big confidence boost against West Virginia in the Liberty Bowl, though, and that could help him build momentum heading into the scouting combine and eventually the draft.
5. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon
Bowl game: Rose (vs. Florida State, Jan. 1)
Analysis: One of the most talked about senior corners, Ekpre-Olomu has played well down the stretch to help a resurgent defense get Oregon into the college football playoff. He's still a candidate to go on the first day, but covering the likes of Florida State's Rashad Greene -- one of the savviest receivers out there -- and potentially either Alabama's Amari Cooper or Ohio State's Devin Smith in the national championship game, could prove he's got the tape to be a quality starter in the NFL.
6. Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
Bowl game: Outback (vs. Auburn, Jan. 1)
Analysis: The Doak Walker Award winner, who announced this week he would enter the 2015 draft, was the biggest reason why the Badgers were labeled the favorite in the Big Ten Championship game. Things didn't work out too well in that contest, so he'll need a nice bounce-back game in the Outback Bowl to help his stock point back up. One thing scouts would love to see against Auburn? Gordon catching the ball more out of the backfield.
7. Nate Orchard, DE, Utah
Bowl game: Las Vegas (vs. Colorado State, Dec. 20)
Analysis: The Utes pass rusher, who won the Hendricks Award as the nation's top defensive end, led the nation in sacks per game this season, but it's uncertain how high he will go in the draft next spring. At 6-foot-4, 255 pounds, his tweener size doesn't help things, but a good performance against Ty Sambrailo could help him earn extra looks from scouts and make him more of a Day 2 pick.
8. Cam Erving, OL, Florida State
Bowl game: Rose (vs. Kansas State, Jan. 2)
Analysis: Though he won an ACC award as best blocker, part of that had to do with his move from left tackle to center. Erving has had only a few games at the position but is starting to get noticed for the good job he's doing there. Being able to play all five spots along the line is huge for NFL teams, and some more quality performances at the spot on the sport's biggest stage could help him go earlier in the draft than expected.
9. DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville
Bowl game: Belk (vs. Georgia, Dec. 30)
Analysis: Who will earn the title of second-best receiver in the draft after Amari Cooper? It could be the Cardinals star, who has torn up the competition ever since returning from a foot injury and earned second-team All-ACC honors despite playing just five games. If Parker has another big day against Georgia, it's very possible he can vault into the top 20 and be the second wideout picked.
10. Ty Montgomery, WR, Stanford
Bowl game: Foster Farms (vs. Maryland, Dec. 30)
Analysis: It's been a very disappointing season for Montgomery, who came into 2014 with aspirations of being a first rounder. Injuries and quarterback issues have contributed to his drop in statistics, but a few weeks of rest and the ability to game plan could turn the bowl game into a showcase for Montgomery's potential at the next level.