I'll try to keep it quick.
The epidemic of draft-eligible players sitting out the bowl game is now apparently infecting even mid-to-late round prospects. Ah well. It's good for them, because they preserve their health and can instead prep for the combine, obviously.
BUT, it's good for the team, too! A player who even THINKS about skipping the bowl game would never be that invested in the game anyway. There'd likely be a thought in the back of his mind that he just CANNOT get injured. And with that thought/worry, how hard is he going to play?
But who will play hard and leave everything on the field? Players who backed up those upperclassmen and now get a chance to prove themselves on a massive stage. If they want to prove that they belong amongst the starters next year and kickstart their own draft hype, they're gong to play lights out in the bowl game.
To sum it up, I feel MUCH more comfortable having Paye, Evans/Wilson/Turner, and A. Thomas playing than (still beloved) players who (wisely) have their mind on their draft stock.