2014 NFL Draft Bowl Game Previews – Outback, Capital One, and Gator Bowl

 

(Apologies for delay in posting . Change over in the New Year messed things up. Happy New Year!) 

OUTBACK BOWL

(JR) Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU, #3, 5'11”, 193

One of the Tigers rumored to declare after the game, Beckham posted a crazy YPC (19.6) for the amount of catches he's had this season (57). Beckham excels in the physical portion of catching the football, but still has “playmaker” potential. Deep comebacks and back-shoulder catches are where he impresses the most, and why Mettenberger tends to go to him in more “clutch” situations than Landry, another quality receiver for the Tiger. Along with Landry, the duo catch 18 of LSU's 22 touchdown passes this season.

 

(JR) Jarvis Landry, WR, LSU, #80, 6'0”, 195

Again, another LSU Tiger receiver on that list of potential declarations. Unlike Beckham, he doesn't have an amazing YPC, but Landry did lead the team in catches, receiving yardage, and receiving touchdowns. Landry could excel as a slot option or in a scheme where receivers are utilized in the way New Orleans uses theirs. He's also one of the best route runners in college football.

 

(JR) La'el Collins, OT, LSU, #70, 6'5”, 315

Collins is on the declaration list, but was also on the weight room list of LSU players from last season. While effort isn't an issue on the field, that raises questions about it in the weight room. On the field, power is no issue. Collins is a nasty run blocker who wants pancakes. In pass pro, he can anchor well from the left tackle position. Quickness is an area where he doesn't win. It would not surprise if Collins ended up at guard by the end of his rookie camp, but a team would be smart to give him the college try at tackle before moving him permanently.

 

C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Iowa, #86, 6'6”, 265

Arguably the best senior tight end, Fiedorowicz's style doesn't match with the underclassmen who have declared (Ebron, Amaro, Rodgers, Seferian-Jenkins). He's an all around tight end who's probably known more for blocking than catching, but has the ability to make plays as a pass-catcher as well. Iowa's offense runs many out routes with him, when he's running routes and not run or pass blocking. We rank him as the best senior tight end of the class, and have a third round grade on him currently. If a tight end needy team wants more than a pass-catcher, there potential for him to go higher, though.

 

Others to Watch:

 

Jeremy Hill, RB, LSU, 6'1”, 235

(JR) Anthony Johnson, DT, LSU, 6'2”, 295

Craig Loston, S, LSU, 6'1”, 209

C.J. Copeland, FB, LSU, 6'0”, 270

Christian Kirksey, OLB, Iowa, 6'2”, 235

 

 
GATOR BOWL

Arthur Lynch, TE, Georgia, #88
You won’t find a more consistent or disciplined player in this senior crop of tight ends, as Arthur Lynch is a true, in-line tight end. Capable of sealing the end man on the line of scrimmage for sweeps, as well as being quick enough to climb up to second level to secure blocks on zone stretch runs, Lynch is a key cog in the running game for Georgia. Additionally, he’s a precise route runner that stays flat on in-cuts, while positioning himself to create throwing lanes when locked up in man-to-man coverage. He’s not flashy, but he’ll get the job done for a long time as a 2 tight end in the NFL.nd or 3
rd
(JR) Ray Drew, DE, Georgia, #47
For a 3-4 defensive end, Ray Drew rushes the passer far more effectively than traditional 5-techniques. Used on inside stunts to place him in one-on-one battles versus slower footed offensive guards, Drew converts his explosive first step to power by landing his hands for an effective bull rush. Even when stalemated from his first move, he possesses the athleticism to spin out of contact and transition back to the quarterback in pursuit. Drew is likely to return for his senior season and has the upside to develop into a top 100 value for NFL teams.

Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB, Nebraska #16
Being a former wide receiver with fluid hips, quick feet to mirror and plus ball skills to finish with the interception, Stanley Jean-Baptiste has some Richard Sherman in his game. At 6’3, 220 pounds, SJB works himself free from wide receiver blocks with active hands and protects the edge very well. Jean-Baptiste is purely a press with some cover 2 cornerback skills right now, but you can’t teach what he possesses in length and movement skills. As the draft process unfolds, we could see this talented corner shoot up draft boards.

(RS SO) Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska, #44
When running down plays from the backside, Gregory shows his attention to detail and discipline as a defender by breaking down at heel depth, keeping his toes and shoulders pointed upfield, and using his hands to disengage once in position for the tackle. He can convert speed to power better than one might expect, but the most consistently impressive aspect to Gregory’s game is his hand use and ability to win the positioning battle early in the snap. For a young prospect that transferred in from the JUCO route, Gregory showcases a surprisingly refined skill set and should be one of the keynote defensive ends to watch for the 2015 NFL Draft.

Others to watch:
Kenarious Gates, OT, Georgia, #72
Dallas Lee, OG, Georgia, #64
(JR) Chris Conley, WR, Georgia, #31
(JR) Michael Bennett, WR, Georgia, #82

(JR) Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska, #8
(JR) Kenny Bell, WR, Nebraska, #80
Spencer Long, OG, Nebraska, #61
Ciante Evans, CB, Nebraska, #17

 

CAPITAL ONE BOWL 

(JR) Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina, #7, 6'6”, 274
After an off-season of hype, everyone expected monster production from the former top recruit. Instead, teams put two, sometimes three, men on Clowney on a play-to-play basis. While the numbers aren't there, disruption is production, and he's put South Carolina's defense in a lot of favorable positions this year. Without Clowney, everyone's stats drop on the squad. His inside swim move is his go to pass rush, so if he does rack up a sack or two, expect it to come after one of those.

(JR) Victor Hampton, CB, South Carolina, #27, 5'10”, 202
Hampton has already declared for the 2014 NFL Draft, and is expected to be a Day 2 pick. We currently list him as a third rounder, but he's had our eye since early in the season. Height might be an issue for teams, but Hampton knows how to read receivers. Right when a receiver makes his break, Hampton snaps off the target and reads the quarterback and the ball. A majority of the time, it works out well for him. In man coverage, he's a very quality corner. It wouldn't surprise many if he went as high as the end of the second round.

 (JR) Kelcy Quarles, DT, South Carolina, #99, 6'4”, 298

Quarles attended Fork Union Military Academy after high school due to grade. Because of that, he's older than other true juniors, because his prep year didn't count as a year of eligibility. He, like Hampton, has already declared for the draft also. A lot of his big plays are clean up for disruption by other members of the Gamecock defense (*hint* Clowney *hint*), but he's shown that he could do it himself, too. A quick jump sack from the Kentucky game comes to mind when showing Quarles' best snaps. We currently have Quarles as a second round defensive tackle, who could possibly play end in a 3-4 defense.

 

Others to Watch:

Jared Abbrederis, WR, Wisconsin, #4, 6'2”, 190

Chris Borland, ILB, Wisconsin, #44, 5'11”, 246

(JR) Bruce Ellington, WR, South Carolina, #23, 5'9”, 197
(JR) A.J. Cann, OG, South Carolina, #50, 6'3”, 310

 

 

 

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