NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Loyko
Here are the top 2012 NFL Draft Prospects that we’ll be watching for the Georgia vs Boise State (8pm eastern, ESPN) game this Saturday night.
Even though Georgia lost their best offensive and defensive player as early enters to the NFL draft they still return several 2012 draft eligible prospects.
Who to watch:
1) #71 Cordy Glenn, OG/OT 6’5” 348 Sr. –
Arguably the top OG prospect for the 2012 draft, however, Glenn will be playing LT for the Bulldogs to start the year. Has great size and strength; however his athleticism is what will allow him to move to LT. Reminds me so much of Patriots 5th round pick Marcus Cannon. As always with a tackle of his size, speed rushers could give him problems. Matching up against Boise St. DE’s Winn and Crawford will be the matchup to watch on the line of scrimmage.
2) #60 Ben Jones, C, 6-3 315 Sr. –
Jones is a great run blocker, along with Glenn they may be the best interior OL combo in the country. Leader on the offensive line. Potential day 2 draft pick in the 2012 draft.
3) #2 Brandon Boykin, CB, 5’10 183 Jr.-
Boykin is not the most physical corner, plays with more finesse, but has a nose for the ball. Boykin is also pretty good in run support, good tackler for his size and his 6.5 TFL was impressive. Interested to see if he makes the leap from draft prospect to potential early round pick this year.
4) #7 Orson Charles, TE, 6-3 243 Jr. -
Charles is an elite athlete for the TE position. Has great hands and speed, a match-up nightmare for opposing defenses. Charles has the ability to be moved all over the field. Is a good enough blocker to play on the line of scrimmage but also fast enough to be split out wide. Underperformed in my mind last year. With a breakout season he could challenge Michael Egnew for #1 TE prospect in the 2012 draft.
5) #57 Blair Walsh, K, 5’10 182 Sr. –
Walsh is the best kicker in the country and has been for a couple years. Is that rare kicker who probably will be drafted. Extremely accurate kicker with the strong leg. He is truly one of Georgia’s best players. Has gone 40-45 on FG the last two seasons and was 2-2 from over 50 yards last year.
Other draft eligible players to watch –
#94 DeAngelo Tyson, DE, 6’2 306 Sr., #18 Baccarri Rambo, S, 6’ 218 Jr. , #23 Jakar Hamilton, FS, 6-2 205 Sr.
Underclassman to Watch-
#11 Aaron Murray, QB, 6’1 211 So-
If Murray can build on his impressive freshman season and keep Georgia in contention for an SEC title he can put his name in the conversation for a potential high pick in the 2013 draft.
Expectations are high again for Boise St. even though they lost some very important players to the NFL especially at the WR position. They return a solid core with a handful of legit NFL prospects.
Who to Watch:
1) #73 Nate Potter, OT, 6-6 295 Sr. –
Long and lean OT prospect, not an elite athlete which may be the reason many people think he might have to move to guard in the NFL. Will have to get much stronger at point of attack. He has good fundamentals and like many Boise players a very good understanding of the game. He is projected as a day 1-2 pick, but with a very deep OT class in 2012 Potter will need to have a dominate year to move into that elite OT class.
2) #90 Billy Winn, DT/DE, 6-4 300 Sr. –
Winn is the guy I will be watching the closest on Boise’s defense. He lines up at DT, but could project to a 3-4 DE in the NFL. Winn is a disruptive force on the DL. He’s at his best when he gets into the backfield and put pressure on the quarterback. Amassed 5.5 sacks last season, but with Winn’s high motor and rush ability I expect him to pass that total easily. If he does Winn could be a 1st-2nd round pick.
3) #22 Doug Martin, RB, 5-9 215 Sr. –
Martin may be short but he is solid as a rock, almost in the Ray Rice mold. Martin is a physical runner who hits the hole hard. Can take contact and keep going. Plays with an intensity and fearlessness that I really like. Plays on every down and can catch the ball nicely. With the losses at WR, Martin will likely have a monster year. At this point I think Martin is a mid round draft pick.
4) #8 George IIoka, FS, 6-3 215 Sr. –
With the loss of Jeron Johnson I am anxious to see if IIoka can be the leader of the secondary. Great size for a safety, as a converted wide receiver he has very good speed and fluidity for a safety of his size. Tackling needs to be better. Mid Round pick and a better NFL prospect than Jeron Johnson was a year ago.
5) #11 Kellen Moore, QB, 6’0 190 Sr. –
Boise will go as far as Moore will take them. Just by looking at him you would think no way this is an NFL prospect. However, Moore has those unteachable qualities that make him successful. Plays his best in the biggest situations. Unquestioned leader of the team, poised under pressure. Doesn’t have the biggest arm and is undersized but someone in the NFL will take a chance on him.
Other Draft Eligible Players to Watch:
#40 Tyrone Crawford, DE, 6-3 275 Sr., #94 Byron Hout, MLB, 6’0 240, #92 Shea McClellin 6-3 260, DE, Sr.