NFL prospects in the 2019 Allstate Sugar Bowl

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Jalen Hurd, Deandre Baker

The top NFL prospect in the Allstate Sugar Bowl matchup between Georgia and Texas is a Bulldog. But he is not actually in the Sugar Bowl.

Cornerback Deandre Baker, a 5-10, 186-pound senior, has decided to sit out the game and prepare for the draft. Baker is a potential top 10 overall pick with 4.45 speed. He was the Jim Thorpe Aware winner as the nation’s top defensive back.

Baker has long arms, good ball skills and explosiveness but does need to improve his tackling in space.. He has been productive in the competitive SEC. Baker is usually covering the opponent’s top receiver.

There are other prospects to watch in the game, however. Georgia’s D’Andre Walker is an edge rushing defensive end but at 6-2, 240 pounds he may also line up at outside linebacker in the NFL. Walker is a well-built muscular prospect who had 7.5 sacks during the 2018 season. He plays physical, plays hard, chases and pursues behind the play. He needs to keep his pads at a better level, plays too high at times and gets overpowered.

Terry Godwin is a Georgia wide receiver (5-11, 185) who plays with good technique and pays attention to detail. He has quickness and is effective versus press-coverage because he gets off the line quickly. A willing blocker even though he is not big, Godwin is also not very elusive in the open field. His run-after-catch ability is suspect. He only had 20 catches in 2018 but posted an impressive 17.0 yard average and three touchdowns.

Another Georgia receiver to watch is Riley Ridley, the brother of Falcon receiver Calvin Ridley. Riley is 6-2 and 200 pounds, a big slot receiver with strong hands. Ridley plays with good body control and blocks with effort for running plays. He is a fine blend of size and strength but lacks elite deep speed. Riley is still developing as a pass route runner and needs to refine that part of his game. He is a threat in the red zone, as evidenced by his nine touchdown catches in 2018.

Texas has a solid cornerback in senior Kris Boyd (6-0, 195), who possesses nice size and is effective in press coverage. He shows strong punch to jam receivers at the line. A solid tackler, Boyd is active all over the field. Strong playing in the box against the run, he makes plays in space as well. A hustler and competitor, Boyd has only average athletic ability but lacks elite speed for an NFL cornerback. In general, he is more effective against the run than the pass.

Lil’ Jordan Humphrey is a junior wide receiver for the Longhorns who defines a big target at 6-4 and 220 pounds. He has shown good run-after-catch skills and moves well laterally. A solid slot receiver and a threat going over the middle, Humphrey is an inexperienced route runner. Even though he has great size, he struggles as a blocker. He is a red zone threat (79 catches with nine for touchdowns in 2018).

Colin Johnson, a 6-6, 215-pound junior, has excellent size and strength as a wideout who does well against press coverage. He plays with body control. Johnson had a productive season for Texas with 65 catches and a 14.5 yard average along with seven touchdown grabs. He wins a lot of contested catches with his great height and long arms but Johnson does need to improve as a route runner and struggles to get separation at times.

Davante Davis (6-1, 200) is a Texas cornerback with senior experience. He plays well in zone with good positioning, has spatial awareness and rarely takes false steps. Davis has good ball skills but lack of elite speed hurts him in vertical coverage which may cause him to give a receiver too much separation.

Texas senior offensive tackle Calvin Anderson (6-5, 300) has excellent length and long arms. He is a solid drive blocker and strong at the point of attack. Anderson is a strong anchor but does lack flexibility and needs to play with better balance.

Longhorns safety Brandon Jones, an underclassman who may come out, is 6-foot and 206 pounds with excellent range and a nose for the football. He is a good open-field tackler and effective on the blitz as well. In coverage, however, Jones seems to play the man instead of the ball.

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E-Mail Al for information on how to obtain the 40-year anniversary issue of Draft Day Report. It rates over 800 prospects with write-ups on all of the top players plus combine information and Mock-Drafts ([email protected]).

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