FanPost

College Football 2013: 50 Players to Watch (Part I: Offense)




Hello, happy football people. As you know, my fanposts tend to center around mock drafts and other draft scouting. Right now, being just 4 months removed from the last draft, there isn't a whole lot to talk about in this matter. However, college football starts this Thursday and it won't be long until we see players start to rise to the top and assert themselves as potential top draft picks for next year and the years to come. I figure I can give you all a primer as to 50 players who are likely to make this jump.

The format will be: several players at a given position who are eligible for the 2014 draft, then a couple players at those positions who will not be eligible until 2015.

(Note: I would post these features on Mockingthedraft, but since there is no fanpost section there since the format update, I will post this and all my draft features here on TurfShowTimes. However, fans from any team are certainly welcome to comment as well.)

Part I: Offense

Teddy Bridgewater/QB (Louisville)

Bridgewater_medium

via ksr.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com

6'3", 218. 2012: 287-419 (68.5%), 3,718 yds, 27 TD, 8 INT, 160.5 QBR.

I would think by now that most of you would know about Teddy Bridgewater, but it's worth discussing him in any 2014 draft conversation because as of now, most draft projections including me have him as the #1 quarterback (in fact, I have him as my #2 prospect overall). 2014 is poised to be a strong year for quarterbacks and Bridgewater is the cream of the crop. He possesses solid mobility which is trendy in the NFL today, but his best skill is his arm. After turning heads as a freshman in 2011, he continued to improve as a sophomore last year. After throwing for over 3,700 yards and completing nearly 70% of his passes, Bridgewater led Louisville to an 11-2 record including a Big East title and an upset victory over Florida in which Bridgewater was outstanding against a defense full of NFL prospects. Rookie Ravens safety and second round pick Matt Elam said Bridgewater was the best QB they faced all season, which is impressive considering they played the likes of Tyler Bray, EJ Manuel, Aaron Murray, and Heisman trophy winner Johnathan Football (who is not on this list because he'll have enough eyes on him on and off the field without me reminding all of you).

Projected 2014 round: Early 1st

Teddy Bridgewater vs. Florida (via JackSlice7)

Tajh Boyd/QB (Clemson)

Tajh-boyd_medium

via i.cdn.turner.com

6'1", 225. 2012: 287-427 (67.2%) 3,896 yds, 36 TD, 13 INT, 165.6 QBR.

Currently I have Boyd as my #2 QB in 2014. While his height is not where all NFL scouts would like it to be, Boyd is a strong athletic QB with a great arm and high football IQ. On top of that, he seems to have the "it" factor NFL evaluators look for. He plays fearlessly in the face of adversity and shows up for the biggest games in full (see: Clemson's last minute win against LSU last season). One stat that sticks out about Boyd is that in each of the last 2 seasons, he was sacked 31 times. Some may question if this could be due to a lack of mobility, but film shows that Clemson's offensive line has struggled mightily in pass protection, which Boyd has played admirably toughly in spite of. College football coaches named Boyd first team All-America quarterback over names like Teddy Bridgewater, Geno Smith, and the aforementioned Johnathan Football.

Projected 2014 round: Early to mid 1st.

Tajh Boyd vs LSU (2013 Bowl) (via Adrian Ahufinger)

Aaron Murray/QB (Georgia)

Aaron-murray-georgia-bulldogs_medium

via www.thesportsbank.net

6'1", 208. 2012: 249-386 (64.5%) 3,893 yds, 36 TD, 10 INT, 174.8 QBR.

After Bridgewater and Boyd, ranking the QBs gets pretty muddled. The next step in terms of sheer talent is the troubled Johnathan Football, but some teams might shy away from him. Then you have a cluster of players like Murray, A.J. McCarron, David Fales, Stephen Morris, and Derek Carr. I think Murray could be the one to step out from the crowd. He doesn't have ideal size, but his skill set is classic for an NFL quarterback. In a more run-friendly offense at UGA, Murray holds the position of true leadership and possesses all the intangibles you would look for as an NFL scout. In spite of his size, he has a very strong arm and can threaten with the deep ball. His delivery and release are some of the cleanest of anybody in the game today. While tearing apart weaker teams was no problem for him last year, he had his three toughest games against South Carolina, Florida, and Alabama in the SEC Championship (although he did play very well in the bowl game against Nebraska). Georgia has another strong team this year and Murray should continue to advance his game.

Projected 2014 round: Mid 1st- Early 2nd.

Aaron Murray vs Alabama 2012 (via JPDraftJedi)

Braxton Miller/QB (Ohio State)

Ncf_g_braxton-miller_mb_400_medium

via a.espncdn.com

6'2", 215. 2012: 148-254 (58.3%), 2,039 yds, 15 TDs, 6 INT, 69.8 QBR.

If I had to guess, Miller wouldn't be one of the tops of the 2014 class, but if he continues to progress in the way that he has he could make a case to be the top quarterback in 2015. With the current popularity in the NFL of mobile type QBs, Miller deserves some attention as a prospect. His athleticism is undeniable, but he needs to prove that his arm can cut it at the next level and that he isn't just a system product. While throwing for 2,039 yards, he also rushed for well over a thousand while leading the Buckeyes to an undefeated record. Miller will need to make some adjustments to keep scouts from thinking he isn't just another Urban Meyer college QB, namely upping his completion percentage. There is a lot of work left to be done, but his development should be fun to watch for football fans and for him comes at the right time in football.

Projected 2014 Round: 2nd (if he declares next year, which is unlikely)

Ohio State QB Braxton Miller vs Penn State ᴴᴰ (via CollegeFootballLive)

De'Anthony Thomas/RB/WR (Oregon)

110903_1212-940x662_medium

via dailyemerald.com

5,9", 176. 2012: 701 rush yds, 7.6 avg, 11 TD, 45 rec, 445 rec yds, 9.9 YPC, 5 TD.

Thomas is another player I'm not sure any of you need to be reminded to watch, but my admitted Oregon fandom combined with my intrigue in how he'll translate to the pro game makes it worth repeating. In short, he might be the best overall athlete in the game today (like many Ducks players, he doubles as a member of the track team). His breakaway speed and quickness with the ball in his hands is basically unmatched. He is the perfect weapon for the Ducks' system. As a watcher of college football, he is a legitimate Heisman candidate. However, as an evaluator of future draft talent, the story gets more muddled. Size is not on his side at only 176 pounds. Thus, staying at running back, his technical listed position, is probably not going to happen at the next level, at least in the traditional sense. The player today that could hurt or help him the most is actually Tavon Austin. Austin and Thomas are similar type players with similar problems. If the Rams are able to prove the value of such a player via Austin having a breakout rookie year, Thomas will become a hot commodity as a player whose ceiling is arguably even higher than Tavon's. Thus, while Thomas burns the opposition, keep in mind to look for signs of how he could fit in the NFL.

Projected 2014 Round: depends, I could see it anywhere from early 1st to mid-2nd

De'Anthony Thomas vs Oregon State 2012 (via JmpasqDraftjedi)

Lache Seastrunk/RB (Baylor)

Lache_seastrunk_kansas_v_baylor_gjms8pldeaol_medium

via www4.pictures.zimbio.com

5'10", 210. 2012: 1012 yds, 7.7 avg, 7 TD, 9 rec, 107 rec yds.

2014 could be a year where once again no running backs go until the 2nd round. If you ask me, the top draft eligible pure running back is this guy, Lache Seastrunk. Seastrunk is a former highly touted Oregon prospect who transferred to Baylor and found great success. Seastrunk broke out for for over 1000 yards on just 131 carries in hisfirst year of getting playing time (in fact, he didn't get over 10 carries until his 8th game). His lack of height plays to his advantage, as he is consistently extremely difficult to take down. He has great vision and bursts through holes in the line of scrimmage, as well as being an excellent pass protector. If Seastrunk can modify his game to not be so reliant on the big play, scouts will be drooling over his toughness and breakaway speed.

2014 projected round: late 1st-early 2nd.

Lache Seastrunk vs UCLA (2012 Bowl Game) (via Bruno Macedo)

Michael Dyer/RB (Louisville)

Usatsi_5589190_medium

via cbssports.com

5'9", 215. 2012: DNP. 2011: 1242 yds, 5.1 avg, 10 TD, 2 rec, 7 rec yds.

Dyer's name may seem like a bit of a blast from the past for some people, as the past couple years have seen him fade from star at Auburn into relative obscurity. Dyer was one of the top running backs in the nation at Auburn as a freshman, then after following it up with another good season as a sophomore, he was booted from Auburn and followed Gus Malzahn to Arkansas State, where he did not play one snap because he was booted from there as well. Obviously personal issues haunt Dyer, but he is being given an excellent chance for redemption on a legitimate contender in Louisville. Senorise Perry is being given the start in the Cardinals' first game, but with no disrespect to Perry who I like as a prospect as well, I expect to see Dyer at the very least force a platoon backfield by the end of the year. Unless the year off has damaged him, the talent is there too much not to. Charlie Strong says Dyer is on a zero-tolerance policy, so the first good sign for him as a prospect is if he's still on the team at the end of the season. Scouts will love his low center of gravity and powerful bursts from the line of scrimmage, coupled with great vision.

Projected 2014 round: 2nd if he behaves, 6th if he falters.

Michael Dyer vs Arkansas 2011 (via philometry)

Venric Mark/RB/WR/KR (Northwestern)

512x_medium

via binaryapi.ap.org

5'8", 175. 2012: 1366 yds, 6.0 avg, 12 TD, 20 rec, 104 rec yds, 1 rec TD.

Playing at a school that isn't what most would call a perennial football powerhouse, but make no mistake, Northwestern is much improved, and the talent of Mark has a lot to do with it. Mark is what some would refer to as De'Anthony Thomas Lite. He's not quite as talented and doesn't have the same track record, but that's no knock against him, as he himself is extremely talented. He suffers the same problem as Thomas in that he might be too small to play traditional running back in the NFL, but could fit as perhaps one of the newer breeds of versatile slot receivers (Tavon Austin's success means a lot to his draft stock as well). When you watch Mark on tape, you notice his extreme shiftiness and electrifying quickness. He can be used in a lot of different ways, as long as he can be put into open space where he can put his foot in the ground and make people miss. At the very least, he could be a star return specialist in the NFL.

Projected 2014 round: 3rd.

Venric Mark vs Illinois and Syracuse 2012 (via JmpasqDraftjedi)

Trey Burton/FB/TE/WR (Florida)

Florida-gators-quarterback-trey-burton_medium

via cfbsection.com

6'2", 225. 190 rush yds, 6.6 avg, 2 rush TDs, 18 rec, 172 rec yds, 9.6 YPC, 1 rec TD.

Burton was recruited as a quarterback to Gainesville, and the bulk of his career there has been spent trying to find a position for him. Under Urban Meyer, Burton showed tons of production playing at multiple positions, but has experienced a dropoff since Wil Muschamp took over. However, he remains one of the players on the Gators with the most talent. NFL teams will just have to find a place to put him. Some project him as a receiver, but I see him more as an H-back type. He's worth watching because there's a lot of talent there to be harnessed, and what he does this season will be key toward discovering how he should be used in the NFL. Fans of any team that likes to use tight ends creatively should keep an eye on this player. For now, he remains an exciting and extremely versatile college stud.

Projected 2014 round: 4th.

Florida-Kentucky 2010 Highlights: Burton's 6 TD's (via TheGiantGator)

Austin Seferian-Jenkins/TE (Washington)

Jenkins_medium

via sportspressnw.com

6'6", 276. 2012: 69 rec, 852 yds, 12.3 YPC, 7 TD.

Let me make this clear: tight end is one of my absolute favorite positions in football. I'm always looking to see who the next stud tight end to come out of college will be, and Seferian-Jenkins looks to be the biggest contender for top tight ends next draft. With optimal size, great hands, and the athleticism to cause mismatches all day (he also plays for the Huskies' basketball team). On top of all that, he shows signs of being a top-notch blocker. He appears to be a rare talent at tight end and the complete package at the position. However, as it always seems to go, it's not quite that simple. Seferian-Jenkins was suspended indefinitely earlier this year for a DUI conviction. However, in a make or break year head coach Steve Sarkisian appears like he won't come down hard on him and will in fact let Seferian-Jenkins play, which has upset a fair number of fans. In other words, Seferian-Jenkins has some legal baggage he'll bring with him. However, his talent will be enough for a team to overlook it, particularly if they have strong locker room leadership. I expect him to go higher than any tight end has in the past few years, maybe even since Vernon Davis.

Projected 2014 round: early 1st.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins vs LSU/USC 2012 (via JPDraftJedi)

Colt Lyerla/TE (Oregon)

Colt-lyerla-oregon-player-says-sandy-hook-conspiracy-twitter-570x405_medium

via gamedayr.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com

6'5", 246. 2012: 25 rec, 392 yds, 15.7 YPC, 6 TD. 77 rush yds, 5.9 avg, 1 rush TD.

Lyerla was slowly integrated more and more into the Ducks' offense last year and by the end of the year, showed all the makings of a major threat at the tight end position. The athletic Lyerla figures to be a bigger part of the Oregon offense this year. The Ducks don't utilize tight ends quite as much as some other offenses, but Lyerla has a major asset on his side which NFL teams look for more in the position these days: versatility. He has the ability to line up in the slot or at H-back and make plays as well as take carries out of the backfield, as evidenced by his 5.9 YPC last season. Character concern isn't exactly an issue with him, but he did create quite a stir on twitter whenever he posted a bunch of conspiracy stuff after the Sandy Hook shootings, then was somehow surprised and upset when he received such negative feedback. This doesn't make him a bad guy and teams don't usually shy away from players for believing goofy stuff, but Lyerla's future coaches might want to tell him that while he can think whatever he wants about the state of the world, he might want to keep it to himself a little more, especially in a time where it will obviously upset quite a few people. On the field, Lyerla is not a finished product and could stand to put on a little more size, but arguably has just as much potential as any tight end in the college game today.

Projected 2014 round: 2nd.

Colt Lyerla vs Cal and Arizona 2012 (via JmpasqDraftjedi)

Marqise Lee/WR (USC)

Marqise_lee_usc_v_arizona_state_ud48i4o3_cjl_medium

via www2.pictures.zimbio.com

6'0", 195. 2012: 118 rec, 1,721 yds, 14.6 YPC, 14 TD.

Lee is the clear top WR in next year's draft on my board, and will probably take quite a bit to change that for me. Lee dominated basically everybody he played against last year and stood out as an elite college player even on a disappointing USC team. At 6 foot nothing, Lee doesn't have the size of a Calvin Johnson, but plays way bigger. He is very fast and catches everything thrown his way. Plus, he is perhaps the best in the game in the department of RAC, turning routine short routes into long gains. He had some eye-popping games last year including catching 16 passes for a Pac 12 record 345 yards against Arizona. For Lee it's hard to envision a scenario in which Lee escapes the top half of the first round this year, and I could see him going as high as the top 5, especially if he can add a little bulk to his frame.

Projected 2014 round: Top 10.

Marqise Lee vs Syracuse, Arizona, UCLA & Notre Dame (2012) (via Adrian Ahufinger)

Sammy Watkins/WR (Clemson)

Sammy-watkins-p11_medium

via sicollegefootball.files.wordpress.com

6'1", 205. 2012: 57 rec, 708 yds, 12.4 YPC, 3 TD.

You might remember Watkins as the freshman phenom who burst onto the ACC scene in 2011. In 2012, he wasn't able to replicate that success despite an outstanding year from Clemson and Tajh Boyd. After catching 82 passes for 1,219 yards as a freshman, he wasn't even able to snag 60 for 1000 last year (granted, he didn't play in 3 of those games). However, the talent doesn't just go away, and with DeAndre Hopkins now in the NFL, I think Watkins has a good chance to break out once again. Watkins, like Lee, plays even bigger than his listed height and is blazingly fast in the open field. From the moment the ball is snapped, he can burn by a weaker corner. He is a burner but has the versatility to make it happen in other roles, a la Chris Givens. He needs to work on improving his hands and running better routes, but those skills ca be coached to improvement. Overall, I think Watkins can help himself with a good season and can then experience a Julio Jones-like boost to his stock once the combine and pro days come around.

Projected 2014 round: early to mid 1st.

Clemson WR Sammy Watkins vs North Carolina State ᴴᴰ (via CollegeFootballLive)

Dri Archer/WR/RB/KR (Kent State)

Dri-archer-campus-union_medium

via sports-kings.com

5'8", 175. 2012: 39 rec, 561 yds, 14.4 YPC, 4 rec TD. 1,429 rush yds, 9.0 avg, 16 rush TD.

You're going to hear me say similar things here that I did about De'Anthony Thomas and Venric Mark, because they're all kind of the same player. Small, electrifying offensive weapons who are stuck between positions because of their size, but are too good with the ball in their hands to keep off the field. At the very least, Archer will be an excellent return man in the NFL. However, if a team can be creative in finding a role for him, he could be a huge asset on offense as well. In a split second, Archer can reach top speed. At surprisingly solid mid-major Kent State, Archer is attempted by the opposing defense or special teams unit to be negated, and it consistently doesn't work. Level of competition is a question for Archer, as he didn't play many contending-level teams last year. Against arguably the best team on Kent State's schedule, Northern Illinois, Archer had trouble getting it going. September 14 against LSU and September 21 against Penn State will be huge chances for Archer to prove himself to scouts.

Projected 2014 round: 2nd-3rd.

Dri Archer vs Rutgers (2012) (via Josh DB)

Mike Evans/WR (Texas A&M)

20121103_ajw_ad8_066_28120317_476060_jpg_medium

via www.dallasnews.com

6'5", 225. 82 rec, 1,105 yds, 13.5 YPC, 5 TD.

In my opinion, Mike Evans was the most underrated receiver in all of college football last year. He tends to be overshadowed by the success of his quarterback Johnathan Football, but make no doubt about it, he means just as much to his quarterback as his quarterback means to him. Like Manziel, Evans is a redshirt sophomore so he might not enter next year's draft, but could if he wanted to. The first thing that jumps out about Evans is that he is absolutely enormous and ridiculously strong for a receiver. He isn't as blazingly fast as the other receivers on this list, but he simply bullies around defensive backs in the style of receivers like Terrell Owens in the past. In his first college game action, he beat up on the talented Florida defensive backfield for 7 catches and 60 yards. His stats stayed consistent all year, ending with 7 catches against Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl. With Ryan Swope and Uzoma Nwachukwu in the NFL, look for Evans to become A&M's top target. It will be interesting to see how he commands the double teams he'll draw this season.

Projected 2014 round: Late 1st-early 2nd.

Mike Evans vs 6 Teams 2012 (via JPDraftJedi)

Taylor Lewan/OT (Michigan)

Taylor-lewan-michigan_medium

via fullscalesports.com

6'8, 308.

First let me say that Lewan should have entered the draft this past year because he could have wound up as the top pick in a weak class. He chose to return to Michigan and today is my top rated tackle for next season. He has the perfect build for today's tackle and moves around very well for his size. On plays where he has to move upfield, he gets where he needs to in a hurry. He is a stronger run blocker than pass blocker, but his run blocking is elite. He was exposed somewhat by Ohio State's athletic pass rush, but on the other hand, blocked very admirably against Jadeveon Clowney. It's somewhat forgotten by Clowney's legendary hit in that game that Clowney was contained fairly well by Lewan most of the game (the black on that play was not Lewan's responsibility, by the way). For now, the top tackle prospect slot is basically his to lose.

Projected 2014 round: top 10.

Jadeveon Clowney vs Taylor Lewan (2013 Bowl) (via Adrian Ahufinger)

Jake Matthews/OT (Texas A&M)

Jakematthews011013_feat_medium

via wtaw.com

6'5", 305.

Matthews also would have been an early pick had he declared last year, but made a better decision returning to school so he could get some work on the left side now that Luke Joeckel is in Jacksonville. Matthews isn't as big as Lewan, but has excellent quickness and athleticism for his size. He has natural football skills with light enough feet to thrive in today's zone blocking schemes. The pedigree is also there, as he is the son of legendary Oilers tackle Bruce Matthews and the cousin of current NFL linebackers Clay and Casey Matthews. He could stand to add some more bulk to his frame to help him fare against bigger NFL defensive ends in 4-3 schemes. I'll be excited to see how he fares as the main figure on A&M's line.

Projected 2014 round: early 1st.

Luke Joekel and Jake Matthews vs LSU D 2012 (via JPDraftJedi)

Cyrus Kouandjio/OT (Alabama)

632026_medium

via media.247sports.com

6'6", 312.

As much as I like Lewan and Matthews, I might like this guy's potential even more. A massive recruit out of high school who believe it or not almost chose to go to New Mexico, Kouandjio played the left tackle on one of the best college o-lines ever last year at 'Bama. In the running game, Kouandjio is the mauler type who simply bowls over opponents. As a pass blocker he is very quick for his large frame, but can still stand to improve his footwork. His biggest weakness is that he has displayed poor balance and doesn't utilize his hands very well. This will be heavily scrutinized in the pre-draft process. With his upside, he could definitely find his way into the top 10 as early as next year.

Projected 2014 round: Early to mid 1st.

Cyrus Kouandjio vs Texas A&M (2012) (via Bruno Macedo)

Antonio Richardson/OT (Tennessee)

Antoniorichardson_medium

via nexteranfl.com

6'6", 327.

Antonio "Tiny" Richardson is a major contender to enter the conversation about top tackles in next draft. The first and most obvious thing about Tiny is that he is a gigantic human being. No more bulk needs to be added to his frame; his body is NFL-ready today. His strength will be a big hit at the draft combine. His feet are adequate in pass blocking. He needs to improve how he bends in his stance and gets out of his stance at the line of scrimmage. These are problems you often get with players this size, but if he can improve in these areas a bit, it will be a huge benefit. Despite the fact that the Vols football program is in somewhat of disarray in general at this point, Tiny is an old-school lineman worth watching.

Projected 2014 round: mid 1st-early 2nd.

Antonio "Tiny"Richardson,Dallas Thomas vs Florida 2012 (via JPDraftJedi)

Gabe Jackson/G (Mississippi State)

Gabe-jackson_medium

via www.winningcureseverything.com

6'4", 335.

Projecting interior O-linemen is a really difficult task ahead of time. That being said, with 2 guards going in the first round this year Jackson is a great candidate to go high next year. He has started all 39 games over the last 3 years and been named all-SEC each of those years. Jackson is also huge and built more like a tackle, but possessed the natural skills of a guard. Very athletic for his size, Jackson is flexible and moves well off the line of scrimmage. He still needs to demonstrate better productivity downfield and the ability to not be cast aside by elite linemen. While I don't see him going anywhere near as high as a Jon Cooper or Chance Warmack, he could still be one of the top interior linemen taken next year.

Projected 2014 round: 2nd.

Gabe Jackson vs LSU (2012) (via Nick Page)

Xavier Su'a-Filo/G (UCLA)

Ncf_i_sua-filo1_bl_400_medium

via a.espncdn.com

6'3", 305.

This is a guy less of you probably know at this point, but he has the potential to be another one of the top interior linemen in the next draft. Quietly, Su'a-Filo has become a shut down guard in the string Pac 12. Su'a-Filo was a top prep lineman and has parlayed that into a successful college career blocking for the likes of Brett Hundley and Jonathan Franklin. He is strongest as a pass blocker, displaying excellent balance lined up in the interior. In space, he is able to get out in to space when he pulls very quickly, but could improve his balance when he is out there. Hundley will draw most of the attention on UCLA's offense, but keep an eye on Su'a-Filo when you watch the Bruins play. He's one I expect to be a riser this year.

Projected 2014 round: late 1st-mid 2nd.

Xavier Su'a Filo vs Stanford (2012 PAC 12 Championship) (via DCheeseB)

Travis Swanson/C (Arkansas)

6_694931_jpg_medium

via media.247sports.com

6'5", 318.

2014 might be a weak year for centers, and I had trouble picking the top one. After watching film, right now I give Swanson the edge over Florida State's Bryan Stork and Oregon's Hroniss Grasu. Swanson possesses the classic tools of a center and thrives on a Razorbacks squad that has lost a lot of talent on offense. On tape, it's obvious that he is a solid pass blocker who isn't easily bull rushed. His football IQ is very high and it will mean a lot to see how handles the young quarterback Brandon Allen this year. His run blocking could be improved, but his pass blocking and leadership skills could be enough to make scouts overlook that.

Projected 2014 round: 2nd.

Travis Swanson vs LSU (2012) (via DCheeseB)

UNDERCLASSMEN TO WATCH:

Jameis Winston/QB (Florida State)

Ncf_g_winston_bl_400_medium

via a.espncdn.com

6'4", 227. 2012: N/A.

There are multiple underclass QBs to look for this year, but I really like what Wisnton brings to the table. He has big shoes to fill taking over for Bills first rounder E.J. Manuel. The #2 QB recruit in 2012, Winston is a natural leader at QB with high athleticism. That's not to say that he is a pure scrambler, though; his arm strength can go toe to toe, so to speak, with most other QBs in the game. His accuracy needs some work, but this should develop as he gains more experience. His decision making is lightning quick and typically in sound judgement. He just has that "it" factor as a quarterback that translates to the NFL. I'm anxious to watch him start his college career with the 'Noles this season.

Todd Gurley/RB (Georgia)

Gurley-p1_medium

via i2.cdn.turner.com

6'1", 232. 2012: 1,385 rush yds, 6.2 avg, 17 rush TD, 16 rec, 117 rec yds.

I had a hard time choosing between Gurley, Duke Johnson, and T.J. Yeldon for which underclass running back to discuss, but I like Gurley the most right now out of the 3. Last year the freshman Gurley took the SEC by storm as part of the "GurShall" running back tandem with fellow freshman Keith Marshall at Georgia. Make no doubt about it, Gurley looks to be a rare and special talent at running back. It's been a while since I've seen a guy with his size and bulk be able to move downfield the way he does. Against the NFL-talent-laden SEC defenses, Gurley racked up nearly 1400 yards while SPLITTING CARRIES. He ran all over the loaded defenses of Florida and Alabama. Looking at him and the way he is built and moves, he reminds me quite a bit of Earl Campbell (and yes, I understand how scary of praise that is). He has put on even more weight this offseason, and it'll be intriguing to see how he carries that weight this year.

Georgia RB Todd Gurley vs Tennessee ᴴᴰ (via CollegeFootballLive)

Dorial Green-Beckham/WR (Missouri)

152582412_medium

via wac.450f.edgecastcdn.net

6'6", 225. 2012: 28 rec, 395 yds, 14.1 YPC, 5 TD.

A lot of people like to talk about Amari Cooper, but there are a couple other receiver prospects I might like a little better. For example, I LOVE Dorial Green-Beckham as a prospect. He is already a huge receiver at 6'6", and has the complimentary speed and athleticism, to be an absolute monstrosity in the SEC for the Tigers in his career. Not only can the guy stretch the field, but he can go up and get the ball like a basketball player way above a lot of defenders. Simply said, put him against a lot of defensive backs and he'll beat them some way or another. Last year wasn't eye-popping as Mizzou slowly integrated him into their offense, but the next two years I expect him to break out and become a huge contributor, even on a team where he might be by far the biggest bright spot. I hear a lot of Calvin Johnson comparisons, and while that's pretty hefty talk, DGB has all the tools to make the case for himself as the top receiver by 2015.

Dorial Green-Beckham Freshman Highlights (via MockingNFLDraft)

Stefon Diggs/WR (Maryland)

Hi-res-6654806_display_image_medium

via cdn.bleacherreport.net

6'0", 195. 2012: 54 rec, 848 yds, 15.7 YPC, 6 TD.

Speaking of receiver prospects I love on struggling teams, here's Stefon Diggs. As a freshman for the Terrapins, Diggs was awesome. Versatile and dynamic, Diggs has the athletic ability to do be an unbelievable force against anybody he plays. Last year Maryland struggled mightily, so as Diggs got better, teams tried harder to stop him but he only put up bigger stats. This will be something he'll continue to have to fight during his career. He could stand to get a little bigger, but with the current emphasis on dynamic playmakers in the NFL, Diggs is a guy to pay attention to. His games against Florida State and Clemson will be big for him.

"ReDIGGulous!" Stefon Diggs 2012 Freshman Highlights (via BenjiGridiron)

D.J. Humphries/OT (Florida)

Hi-res-hi-res-6703454_display_image_medium

via cdn.bleacherreport.net

6'5", 280.

Predicting top line prospects this far ahead of time is tough. There are a few I like in particular (John Theus, La'el Collins) but Humphries intrigues me the most because he looks like the epitome of what scouts want in an offensive tackle. Big, strong, and athletic, Humphries so far seems to be what Florida was hoping for when they brought him in as a 5 star recruit. He will need to get bigger, sitting at only 280 now, but that shouldn't be an issues as he develops. Humphries plays very, very hard and takes nothing about his skill for granted. How his blocking technique develops is worth paying attention to if you like scouting lineman. This is very hard to say, but if someone made me choose who I think the top lineman in 2015 will be, Humphries would be the first name to come to mind.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Turf Show Times

You must be a member of Turf Show Times to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Turf Show Times. You should read them.

Join Turf Show Times

You must be a member of Turf Show Times to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Turf Show Times. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker