The high scoring offense of Texas Tech meets the well balanced attack of Arizona State. There are a number of highly rated prospects in this game and underclassmen likely playing their final college game. Jon Dove breaks down the top prospects.
Jace Amaro/TE/Texas Tech: Jace Amaro is still on the fence about whether or not he’ll enter the draft. If he enters he will be an early pick and may even crack the top 15. Amaro is a move tight end who creates a ton of mismatches in the passing game. He uses his elite size, quickness and strong hands to make plays all over the field. While he needs to improve as a blocker it’s easy to see his effort in this department. Amaro has the potential to develop into the next great pass-catching tight end in the NFL. 1st Round
Will Sutton/DT/ Arizona State: Despite having somewhat of a down year, Will Sutton remains one of the better defensive tackle prospects in the draft. He’s a disruptive defender who excels at penetrating the pocket and making plays behind the line of scrimmage. However, it’s important to note that he also has the leverage and strong base needed to hold up against the run. Sutton could easily slip in the draft because of concerns about his size, but whoever lands him will get a steal. His tenacity and effort gives him a great chance to fulfill his potential. Sutton’s best fit would be as a three-technique in a 4-3 attack. Early 2nd Round
Carl Bradford/LB/Arizona State: Carl Bradford is one of the more versatile defenders available in this year’s draft. He features the skill set to rush the passer, drop in coverage and set the edge against the run. While some have him pegged as an edge rusher, Bradford might actually be a better fit as a traditional linebacker. His instincts and ability to decipher post-snap information is the most underrated part of his game. He does such a good job finding the football that he could even fit as an inside linebacker in a 4-3 system. His draft position is helped by the fact he can play several position. Early 2nd Round
Robert Nelson/CB/Arizona State: Robert Nelson isn’t getting the attention he deserves as a prospect. This is a fluid, long and athletic cornerback. He has a great feel for the position and can quickly identify the routes developing around him. Nelson has tremendous ball skills and quickly gets his head around to locate the football. While he doesn’t have great size, Nelson makes up for it with his long arms and sound technique. He’s a versatile defender in that he shows the ability to fit both a zone or man coverage scheme. Nelson brings added value on special teams as a punt returner and gunner on punt coverage. 2nd Round
Chris Young/LB/Arizona State: Chris Young is a linebacker prospect who features both good size and movement skills. He shows the ability to close on the football and take proper angles. His athleticism really shows up when he’s in coverage. He keeps his pads down, remains balanced and breaks on the ball. While Young displays power, he needs to do a better job attacking the line with a thump. Too often he hesitates and allows the lineman to seal him from the play. Young must do a better job reading post snap information and being aggressive. Arizona State likes to use Young as a blitzer where he shows a knack for locating open lanes and a strong closing burst. He also features solid snap awareness so that he can time his blitz. He has the potential to develop into a top-notch NFL linebacker but needs to improve his consistency. Late 3rd to Early 4th Round
Marion Grice/RB/Arizona State: Marion Grice is the type of running back who really fits today’s NFL. He’s a versatile player who can pick up yards on the ground, contribute as a pass catcher and gives effort as a pass blocker. That effort as a pass protector won’t be enough but shows that he’s willing to improve. Grice isn’t someone who’ll be overly effective between the tackles because he’s not a power runner. He’ll make his impact on the edges and in the passing game. 4th Round
Eric Ward/WR/Texas Tech: Eric Ward is a well-build wide receiver who can play a physical game. He doesn’t have elite size, but his bulk helps him fight for position. This helps him in the running game where Ward shows excellent effort and technique as a blocker. Ward is also an explosive player capable of picking up yards after the catch. I love how he uses his body control to help him attack the ball at its highest point and make plays in one-on-one situations. He looks like someone who’ll actually benefit more from working out of a more traditional offense. 5th Round