Jacksonville Municipal Stadium plays host to the 64th annual Gator Bowl on New Year's Day which will feature the Clemson Tigers and the Nebraska Cornhuskers. There are plenty of potential NFL talent that will be on display for the Jaguars and several other teams to scout.
Some of the top draft eligible prospects on offense from that game are Clemson quarterback Cullen Harper, running backs James Davis and C.J. Spiller, and wide receiver Aaron Kelly.
Harper may have one of the best arms in college, but he's had a disappointing senior year as his stock has fallen since the beginning of the season. He's threw more interceptions than touchdowns (12-11), has a lower completion percentage than a year ago (63.1%-65.1%).
The thunder and lightning tandem of James Davis and C.J. Spiller haven't had the year that they figured to have by most. The 5'11", 210 lb. Davis was considered the second-best running back prospect in the country entering this season, but his stock has dropped and he likely wouldn't be selected until the second day if the draft were next week. The speedy Spiller has been nicked up a bit this year which has hurt his production. At full health, Spiller is still considered a first day pick.
Clemson wide receiver Aaron Kelly has the height to be a prototypical NFL wide receiver at 6'5", but he seems to be lacking some intangible qualities. Kelly isn't physically dominant and has a reputation for catching the ball in his chest and will shy away from some contact. Prior to the season, Kelly was a top wide receiver prospect and a borderline first-day pick, but at this point he is likely to be a late-round draft choice.
The combination of Spiller and Davis could be solid players on the next level, but the Jaguars already have talent and depth in the backfield.
The Jags are finding out this year that you really can never have enough talent up front, and the interior of their defensive line is aging and the recent results have been big rushing games by the likes of Mewelde Moore, Michael Pittman, and Kris Benson. A player that may be able to remedy the situation is Dorell Scott of Clemson. Scott is a 6'4", 310 lb. tackle who was an honorable mention all-ACC player a year ago. Scott plays well at the point of attack and he's been able to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Scott hasn't had a superb statistical season as he finished with 35 tackles, seven TFL, and a sack. Scott is considered an early second day pick at this time.
Another player that could catch the Jaguars scout's watchful eyes is Clemson defensive end/outside linebacker, Ricky Sapp. Sapp would have to play a DPR role at the next level as he stands 6'2", 242 lbs. Although he doesn't have great size, Sapp is speedy, as he reportedly runs in the low 4.4's. Sapp is projected as a late first, early second-day selection.
Another Tiger that could change from stripes to spots is safety Michael Hamlin. The 6'3", 206 lb. strong safety has great range and doesn't shy away from oncoming blockers. The team captain is a very instinctive defender, and was one of the ACC leaders in interceptions. Hamlin could be a first-day selection.
Nebraska's top prospect just happens to be at a major area of need for the Jaguars. Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is a powerful 6'4", 305 lb. redshirt junior who has filed his paperwork to see where he may be selected in April's draft. Suh finished with 68 tackles, 15 TFL, and 5.5 sacks. He had three passes defensed, two interceptions, and five QB hurries. Suh even caught a touchdown pass on offense. At this point Suh is considered a second-round pick.
Some other defensive prospects from Nebraska are redshirt junior inside linebacker Phillip Dillard, junior strong safety Larry Asante, and junior free safety Ricky Thenarse. All are considered late-round picks.
Backyard Scouting for Jaguars
Jags Illustrated Top Stories
LOCKED on JAGUARS 10-25Ben Freid gives you hot takes, a man who should be the next Jags GM/Head Coach and of course Jags vs Titans.
Name Five QBs Worse Than Blake BortlesIt sounds crazy to say out loud, but you'll find out quickly just how hard it is to name five NFL quarterbacks who are worse than Blake Bortles. I know, it just doesn’t seem right.…
A Tale Of Two QuarterbacksThere was a franchise quarterback sighting in Jacksonville on Sunday at Everbank Field! Unfortunately for most of the fans that attended the game, it was not Blake Bortles.
LOCKED on JAGUARS 10-24Ben Freid gives you his Top 5 takeaways from last night's game. Is Blake Bortles a franchise qb? Also exclusive Marqise Lee interview.