2012 NFL Draft Prospects Preview: South Carolina vs. Arkansas

Posted by Brad On November – 4 – 2011

Alshon needs a big game versus Arkansas

South Carolina is battling for SEC East supremacy.  Arkansas can stand in their way as the 7-1 Razorbacks have shown an insane ability to score points.  South Carolina’s defense has played as good as any in the country given their offenses inability to sustain drives. 

This game features several intriguing matchups with the best of them coming between Stephon Gilmore and the talented Arkansas WR corps.  This game is also of major importance to Alshon Jeffery as he seems to be taking a step in the wrong direction.  Jeffery needs to post big numbers despite being the only option on offense.  If South Carolina wants to stay in this game they will have to score more than they have in the previous two weeks.

Guys to keep an eye on:

Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina #1

Jeffery’s 2011 season has been underwhelming to say the least.  He has been hampered by the lack of quality quarterback play and running game after Marcus Lattimore was lost for the season.  Still, someone of Jeffery’s talent and physical stature should make a bigger impact on the game than he has.  This week against Arkansas Jeffery needs a big game.  Arkansas is not known for their dominant defense and their DB’s have been unable to stop the passing game.  Jeffery needs a big game as he has yet to break the 100-yard mark this season.

Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina # 5

Gilmore is a physical corner that excels in press man coverage.  If he gets his hands on the receiver, he can shut down his side of the field.  He doesn’t possess blazing speed but makes up for it with solid technique.  He is rising up draft boards with a solid 2011 season.  He has 3 INT’s and 31 tackles in eight games.  Gilmore will be challenged by a bevy of receivers at Arkansas.  A matchup to watch will be versus Jarius Wright.  Wright has the speed to give Gilmore fits and is slippery off the line of scrimmage.

Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina #6

Most people forget that Ingram was an impact player in 2010 when he 9 sacks.  Several emailers have expressed concerns with him being a one-year wonder.  But he is far from that.  Ingram’s impact in 2011 has him soaring up draft boards.  He came into the season as a 4th-5th round prospect but may now find day of the 2012 NFL Draft.  Ingram will have to pressure Tyler Wilson and make him move around the pocket.

Devin Taylor, DE, South Carolina, #98

Devin Taylor had a slow start to the 2011 season but he has picked up his performance recently.  He has had a sack in each of the last two games and has three on the season.  Taylor’s freakish size and athleticism make him intriguing to NFL scouts.  Taylor will have join Ingram in pressuring Tyler Wilson.

Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas #8 (Junior)

The junior quarterback is only a one-year starter as he sat behind Ryan Mallett but he is emerging as a supreme arm talent.  Wilson has prototypical size at 6’3” and 225 pounds and displays a little Brett Favre in his game.  Wilson is a gun-slinger that isn’t afraid to fit it into tight spots.  He can make throws from any position on the field and has the arm strength to throw off balance.  Wilson probably would be wise to stay in school for his senior season because he could be a top-10 pick with another year under Bobby Petrino.  This week will give him a chance to show off his talents against a good defense and an NFL first-round corner in Stephon Gilmore.

Jarius Wright, WR, Arkansas #4

Wright has emerged from this deep receiving corps as the one with the most NFL potential.  He lines up all over the field and takes advantage of matchups.  At 5’10 and 185 pounds, he’s probably headed to the slot in the NFL and could give NFL teams the same matchup nightmares.  Wright has 44 receptions for 709 yards and 7 TD’s through eight games.  Wright may get a look early on day two of the 2012 NFL Draft.

Jerry Franklin, LB, Arkansas, #34

Franklin has solid instincts and good size for an NFL linebacker which should allow him to find his way into 3rd-4th round range.  Franklin seems to have taken a step backwards from a great 2010 season and will have to show over the remainder of season an ability to make plays behind the line of scrimmage if he wants to maintain his status as a 3rd-4th rounder. 

Joe Adams, WR, Arkansas #3

Joe Adams can flat out fly.  His 2011 season hasn’t been as productive from a TD perspective as previous seasons but he is showing a little more refinement to his game.  In the past, he seemed to rely on his blazing speed to get behind the defense.  This season he has worked on running crisper routes and been more consistent catching the football.  Adams will see his biggest test of the season with a very good South Carolina secondary.

Greg Childs, WR, Arkansas #85

Greg Childs health has put a major damper on a promising collegiate career.  Once considered a top prospect at the WR position he has yet to find the same success in 2011.  He has 9 receptions for 109 yards and no TD’s on the season.  Childs mix of size, speed, and previous production will still intrigue a team to draft Childs early on day three.

Jake Bequette, DE, Arkansas #91

Bequette missed three games of the 2011 season but his motor never stops.  He is probably an early day three guy that offers some upside as a pass rusher.  He doesn’t possess great speed off the edge but makes up for it with his motor and size.

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