Last April the Georgia Bulldogs placed four players into the draft’s initial 90 selections, including a pair of first rounders. Nebraska had two late round selections. Fast forward to May of 2014 and neither team is likely to place a single player into the draft’s top 100 picks. In fact the highest rated player from both teams, Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray, is on the sidelines with a knee injury. Tony Pauline looks at the top prospect in the Gator Bowl.
Arthur Lynch/TE/Georgia: Lynch is a throwback of sorts at the tight end position; primarily a blocker who’s not much more than an intermediate pass catching target. And while he excels at blocking and does a solid job catching the ball, he’s not the field stretcher teams want at the position these days. Lynch can start in certain systems yet his limited potential as a downfield receiver will push him into the draft’s final day. 4th/5th Round
Randy Gregory/DE/Nebraska: Gregory made a major impact his first year with the Blackshirts. Starting nine games this season after transferring from Arizona Western, the red-shirt sophomore was a force, leading the team in sacks (9.5), tackles for loss (17), quarterback hurries (17) while finishing third in tackles (61). The athletic defender combines speed, agility and power to overwhelm defenders. The upside on Gregory is enormous and he could easily move up another three rounds if he continues to develop. 4th/5th Round
Chris Burnette/G/Georgia: Burnette has been a durable three year starter for Georgia and is often overlooked due to the talent level at the guard spot. Showing consistent development the past two years, Burnette has a terrific build and offers growth potential. He moves well on his feet and effectively blocks in motion. He’ll slip into the draft’s final day yet Burnette has the skills to back-up in the NFL and see occasional spot duty as a starter. 6th Round
Jeremiah Sirles/T/Nebraska: Sirles is not well thought of in scouting circles and entered the season with a grade equivalent of roster fodder. Yet he possesses the size and innate athleticism to get consideration as a developmental right tackle prospect. Like Burnette, he’s shown consistent progress in his game and comes with a nice amount of upside. 7th Round
Ameer Abdullah/RB/Nebraska: We may be slightly underrating Abdullah, the Cornhuskers multi-purpose skill player. He’s a swift ball career who creates yardage and seemingly slips the grasp of opponents to make defenders miss. Abdullah also shows skills as a pass catcher (26 receptions in 2013) and nicely projects as a third down back for the next level. 7th Round