Arkansas vs. LSU: Grading the First Round NFL Draft Talent of Both Teams
Not only will the game between No. 1 LSU and No. 3 Arkansas have major national title implications for the country, but fans of watching future NFL stars will have a lot to be happy about as well.
The player assured of a first round pick in this year's draft is LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne. He has continued to impress scouts all season and is one of the best cover corners available this year. At 6'0", he can also cover some of the taller receivers.
He has also racked up an impressive kickoff return resume, taking one back to the house against West Virginia. The biggest benefit with Claiborne is his consistency, he understands his position well and has so far put up nearly identical numbers to what he did last year when he was often picked on with Patrick Petersen playing the opposite cornerback spot.
The biggest drawback for Claiborne is his run support. At 173 pounds, he is not the biggest guy and it sometimes takes him longer to get off blocks against bigger receivers.
If a coach can get him lined up with a less imposing receiver, Claiborne should be wildly successful in the NFL.
The other guy who could sneak into the first round is Arkansas wide receiver Jarius Wright. He is not the biggest guy in the world at 5’10”, but his production has steadily increased during his time as a Razorback. He has over 1,000 yards receiving this year and always comes to play against the biggest opponents, racking up 103 yards and two touchdowns against South Carolina and a whopping 281 yards and two touchdowns against Texas A&M.
This year’s receiver class is incredibly deep, but if he can impress in the combine, he could sneak in as a late first round pick.
Arkansas defensive end Jake Bequette was looking at a first round pick before suffering an injury, which kept him out of three games earlier this season. He has accumulated seven sacks in the six games since his return. With numbers like that, it would not be surprising to see someone take him in the first round, but injuries tend to scare teams away.
LSU also has a number of players that could be eventual first round choices like cornerback Tyrann Mathieu. It should be quite a fun battle between those corners and the talent at wide receiver for Arkansas.
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