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Clemson Tigers vs Goergia Tech Yellow Jackets 9/22/2016

Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire


Clemson Tigers vs Goergia Tech Yellow Jackets 9/22/2016

Clemson Tigers @ Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Thursday, September 22, 2016 @ 7:30 p.m.

Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field, Atlanta, Georgia

Score: 26 Clemson v Georgia Tech 7

Notable Prospects Entering the Contest

Clemson Offense

Deshaun Watson, QB, Junior #4 (6’3” 215 lbs)

He was a preseason Heisman hopeful so I was really interested to see him play this past week. Before the game even began, I liked his demeanor; he seemed to be loose and confidant while he danced and got hyped with his teammates. Although not as exaggerated, I compare his interaction with teammates like Cam Newton does. After fully watching and evaluating each play of the game, I have come to conclusion that Watson is a very good and athletic quarterback that has the potential to be a very good passer as well. He is the definition of a dual threat QB because he has the speed to get to the sideline, he’s quick and explosive to run in between the tackles, and he has the size to power through tackles. His inconsistent accuracy is the biggest knock against his game. On some plays, he would throw highly accurate passes; while rolling out to his right and on the goal line are some plays that come to mind. Far too often however, his passes were off the mark. He under threw a fade route that forced his WR to jump up and over the DB to make an incredible catch, he threw multiple slant patterns off the mark either too high or behind the receiver, and also on out routes he was inaccurate throwing the ball either too low or too high. I was extremely disappointed with his inconsistent accuracy. For him to be a first year starter for an NFL team, his accuracy consistency would need to increase dramatically.  I also did not like the arch he put on his deep go passes because it gave the defender way too long to recover; case in point during one play the defender recovered and knocked the ball away at the last second. Even worse, multiple times he inaccurately threw the deep ball wide over the receivers’ head out of bounds. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: 1st-2nd depending on further evaluation of this year’s QB draft class; NFL comparison: Cam Newton

Wayne Gallman, RB, Junior #9 (6’0” 210 lbs)

Last season he had 1,527 yds., 13 tds. and was nominated 2nd Team All-ACC. He runs taller than his height would suggest. His feet always continue to move after contact so he usually falls forward for a few extra yards. In pass protection, he has good blitz awareness and the strength to meet blitzers at the los. I love his mix of power and speed on screen and swing passes because it makes him a weapon against smaller DBs in the open field. Within the trenches, I did not see him break many tackles once the defenders got hands on him. I believe that is because he runs tall he doesn’t side step oncoming tacklers very well. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: 6th; NFL comparison: Kenyan Drake

Mitch Hyatt, T, Sophomore #75 (6’5” 295 lbs)

He had a solid game. He has an extremely fast kickback and he maintains lower body base and arch in his back within his kickback. He needs to improve upholding his posture when the DE goes wide around his outside edge. I was mainly impressed with his good lateral athleticism to move with LBs when they change directions. He showed the ability to change direction and still keep a good balance so that he can block effectively. When a LB tried to juke him and blitz across his face, he quickly shuffled his feet to stay in front of him and control the block. On the goal line he had a really powerful down block to create a huge hole that the RB followed for a td. He wasn’t overly dominant but he was solid. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: 4th 

Ray-Ray McCloud, WR, Sophomore #34 (5’10” 180 lbs)

He was the most dynamic player in the game. He juked a different oncoming tackler almost every time he had the ball in his hands. In addition to getting the ball like a typical WR (after running a route), Clemson made sure to get him the ball by using him on reverses, jet sweeps, bubble passes and various other WR screens. He has really good juking ability. His jukes are long and sudden. If you watch how Chris Rainey used to juke tacklers, he jukes almost the same exact way. He is always looking to cut across an oncoming tackler. In addition, he showed really good catching ability and ball awareness during a corner route when he had to adjust within his jump to a pass that was high, behind him, and in between multiple defenders. He also was used as the punt returner, although he did fumble in this game after breaking two tackles in the play. He could go on to be a very dynamic player for the rest of his college career and into the NFL. Stock: up; Draft’s bargain round: N/A too young; NFL comparison: Chris Rainey, Percy Harvin

Mike Williams, WR, Senior #7 (6’3” 225 lbs)

I concur with most people that he is going to be a very good NFL wide receiver. He has prototypical size and high jumping ability. During this game, he ran a fade route, adjusted to the short pass, jumped up, and caught the ball over the defender’s back who was trailing him. He showed quickness at the los with his feet/arm stutter vs bump coverage and juked side to side naturally. Although, he danced a little too much vs bump, it’s good to know that he has the ability to juke side to side fluently until he has the angle that he wants. On his speed out, he didn’t over stride his last plant step and he had smooth hips and head turn to get his eyes to the ball quickly. He had a great hands catch on a very heated pass from the QB during a dig route and then he continued his momentum to break the DBs tackle. The only play that caused me to have concern was during a reverse when he softly blocked the safety and almost got knocked on his butt. He is too big and strong to be scared of blocking physical safeties. Stock: up; Draft’s bargain round: 1st; NFL comparison: Alshon Jeffery

Georgia Tech Defense

P.J. Davis, LB, Senior #40 (5’11” 231 lbs)

Although he is an undersized LB, over the past 2 seasons, he has recorded 196 tackles and 15 tackles for a loss. He wins with hustle and toughness. Throughout the entire game he was running sideline to sideline to solo or assist on the tackle. Most of the time, he used great angle pursuits (attack inside hip of ball carrier) to avoid being juked at the point of the tackle and he has fast closing speed once locked on his target. He has lateral quickness when getting around blockers but he will use his hands if necessary, like when Gallman tried to cut block him and Davis used his hands to knock him into the ground and continued to make the tackle. He continually made tackles on screen and swing pass catchers. Stock: same; Drafts’ bargain round: 5th

Lawrence Austin, DB, Junior #20 (5’9” 180 lbs)

He was one of the few players on the Georgia Tech defense that was making plays. He came up and made a solid one on one tackle vs a TE on a screen pass, he filled the hole and made a powerful, solid technique tackle vs a RB, he delivered a tough hit on a RB who caught a swing pass. I saw him communicating with the safeties before the plays and calling out what the offense was about to do. He ran stride for stride with a slot seam route while playing deep 3rd of cover 3 and then he violently attacked the WR’s hands when he tried to catch the pass. He had quick reaction vs a WR’s short route but his foot work in his drive phase was inefficient. Also, he ducked his head when he attacked a blocking WR. Overall, he could be a good developmental project. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: 7th

Clemson Defense

Carlos Watkins, DT, Senior #94 (6’3” 305 lbs)

Last season he had 34 tackles, 7.5 stops for loss, 3.5 sacks, 1 pick, and 4 passes defended. He showed all the attributes to be a better than average contributor for a very good defensive line. He has good speed to run down a QB when he scrambles. He quickly side stepped O linemen and he had the power to rip through their blocks once he got to a side of them. He used his hands efficiently to throw the O linemen pass him when they attacked him. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: N/A more film needed

Christian Wilkins, DT, Sophomore #42 (6’4” 310 lbs)

Last season he had 33 tackles, 4.5 stops for loss, and 2 sacks. He was one of the more impressive and explosive players in the game. He quickly shot the gaps and tackled the QB and RB before running plays could even begin. He used his hips to keep leverage on plays and then exploded toward the QB when he began to run. When he was running down the los, he kept his hands active so that no one could cut him. I noticed that he didn’t have very powerful arm extension at the point of attack so he needs to improve his upper body explosion. Stock: up; Draft’s bargain round: N/A more film needed

Dorian O’Daniel, LB, Junior #6 (6’1” 215 lbs)

He used his hands extremely well to navigate through the blocks and then he converted to great explosion and technique at the tackle point. His active hands and arm extension kept blockers off of his body but he had great instincts because his eyes never left the ball carrier. That’s maybe how he ended up making several violent tackles on the ball carrier. He changed direction swiftly vs the option when he defended the pitch runner and then planted and dove to tackle the dive runner. He also showed really good bend when rushing the edge and fast closing speed when going after the QB. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: N/A more film needed

Cordrea Tankersley, DB, Senior #25 (6’1” 200 lbs)

Last season he had 48 stops, 3.5 tackles for loss and team high 5 picks and 9 pass breakups. He showed great speed when he attacked a seam pass although he was defending outside deep third. His speed was on display when he executed a corner blitz from the short side of the field and was in the QB face in no time. He defended a comeback well and he had great high angle pursuit vs a break out run that probably saved a td. Stock: up; Draft’s bargain round: 3rd

Georgia Tech Offense


Other Players that Flashed

Kendall Joseph, LB, Sophomore #34 (6’0” 230 lbs)

He flashed because he moves very rapidly through traffic and makes it hard for the O linemen to get a good gauge of where he is going to be. He liked to use his speed and side step away from the blockers rather than go head up against them. Stock: same; Draft’s bargain round: N/A too young 

Best Players on the Field

Ray-Ray McCloud, WR, Sophomore #34 (5’10” 180 lbs)

Mike Williams, WR, Senior #7 (6’3” 225 lbs)

Forgettable Performances

Jordan Legget, TE, Senior #16 (6’5” 255 lbs) for Clemson

He caught a few passes but he did not show much athleticism to gain YACs. After catching a screen pass, he stumbled when oncoming tacklers got close to him. After catching a 5 yd. out route, he automatically fell to the ground although he had plenty of room to get up field and get more yards.  He was also lazy when he ran 5 yd. hitch routes. During one hitch route, he literally spun within his route and if the QB would have thrown the ball while he was spinning, it could have possibly been an interception. During run plays, he watched the ball carrier and didn’t block anyone. On one running play when he led through the hole, he whiffed on a LB block then he didn’t block anyone on another play when he pulled and led through the hole. Stock: down; Draft’s bargain round: undrafted

Ben Boulware, LB, Senior #10 (5’11” 240 lbs) for Clemson

He is another undersized but productive LB. Last season, he had 82 stops, 8 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, 2 picks, 9 pass breakups, 10 hurries, 3 force fumbles, and was nominated to the 2nd team All-ACC. He used fantastic hands to push down the O linemen when they tried to cut him and it was obvious that he was mentally prepared to defeat it. Although he plays hard, it seemed as though he didn’t have the physical tools to match up against the speed option and would match up better against a typical power running offense. He doesn’t have great speed and he has shorter arms. He didn’t have bend ability when he blitz on the edge. The worst thing I saw was that he allowed O linemen blockers to take him deep downfield when tried to get around the blocks; he literally spun around to get away from the block and had to turn his back to the ball carrier. Stock: down; Draft’s bargain round: 6th

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Roger Dixon Jr

Roger is a native of Orlando, FL. After excelling in DII football his first 2 seasons, he fulfilled his lifelong dream of playing on the Florida Gators football team, where he was named Special Teams Player of the Year and Team Captain. He earned his degree in Economics from UF's Warrington College of Business. Roger brings a passion for football and unique perspective of what it takes to be successful in football at the highest level.

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