Orange Bowl, Clemson vs. Ohio State: NFL Draft prospect watch

Sammy Watkins is a beast. - Streeter Lecka

The Giants need help at wide receiver and at linebacker. This game features two of the best and more, as two titans full of NFL prospects clash.

Friday night's Orange Bowl is filled with 2014 NFL Draft prospects.

Clemson is headlined by the premier WR prospect of them all: Sammy Watkins. Heralded as the next great receiver coming out of high school, the Clemson product has not disappointed in the NCAA. He stands 6-foot-1, 215 pounds but plays much bigger than that.

Watkins has a strong catch radius and soft hands, but what separates him is his natural gamebreaking ability. His stop-start is absurd and acceleration is among the best in the class. He has no issues breaking tackles and if you don't wrap up, will turn on the jets and burn you. Comparing him to other top WRs in recent years, I'd say he's a bit behind A.J Green, but he's up there with Julio Jones and Dez Bryant, and far exceeds Justin Blackmon. It's not likely he makes it out of the top 10.

The other big Clemson star is defensive end Vic Beasley. Beasley has tremendous burst, almost as fast as Barkevious Mingo. However he lacks size, standing at a mere 6-3. 225 pounds. He has been productive, garnering 10.0 sacks on the year and has been a team captain. He does not play the run very well (and at that weight, its not surprising) and has some of what I'd call "Osi syndrome" where he takes wide loops to get to the quarterback. He is likely a 3-4 outside linebacker at the next level as a late first-round to second-round pick.

Tajh Boyd is a big name at quarterback for the Tigers, but his play has dropped off considerably from the beginning of the year. He started out as a potential top 5 pick, but is now in the second-to third-round range. He does not have tremendous deep accuracy and has made some bad decisions. However, this would be the game for him to re-up his stock.

As far as Ohio State goes, the big name here is Ryan Shazier, outside linebacker. Much like Sammy Watkins, this guy is all about making gamebreaking plays. He racked up 133 tackles and six sacks this year, including a masterful 19-tackle, one-sack performance against Indiana. He is among the fastest linebackers to the ball, with absurd closing speed and incredible range. I do have questions about his instincts, they seem fairly solid but he has a mental mistake almost every game in coverage. He also is small, at only 6-2, 220 pounds.

Bradley Roby was once the consensus top cornerback in the nation. He's fallen far from that however, and is now looked at more as a second-round pick. He has the athleticism, footwork, and length to be considered one of the best, but was constantly burned this year because of bad fundamentals and risk taking. He needs a good game here the worst way.

Carlos Hyde is a bruising running back with phenomenal balance and power. He is making a strong case to be the first running back selected in May, overshadowing Lache Seastrunk of Baylor. He has turned in some monstrous performances this year, including a 24 attempt - 246 yard - 4 TD performance against Illinois and 27-attempt, 226-yard, one TD performance against Michigan where he literally put the team on his back. He will be featured heavily.

Jack Mewhort and Andrew Norwell are third- to fourth-rounders to look out for. They are part of an incredibly sound Ohio State offensive line and are very, very strong at the point of the attack. It will be fun to watch them go up against Vic Beasley.

Game Details

Teams: Clemson Tigers vs. Ohio State Buckeyes

Game Time: Friday, Jan. 3, 8 p.m. ET

TV: ESPN

SB Nation Featured Video
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,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Big Blue View

You must be a member of Big Blue View to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Big Blue View. You should read them.

Join Big Blue View

You must be a member of Big Blue View to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Big Blue View. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

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