In 2013, the Safety class seemed to cause quite a bit of...
2014 NFL Draft Prospect Preview – Arkansas
This article continues our series previewing the 2013 college football season and the 2014 NFL Draft. We will go team by team and layout the top 2014 NFL draft prospects from each program to give you some names to keep an eye on. The top prospects were rated using our RAP system.
Arkansas were one of college football’s biggest flops in 2012. Entering the season, the Tyler Wilson led Arkansas Razorbacks were expected to compete with Alabama and LSU for the SEC West title, but things clearly didn’t pan out. Bobby Petrino making an idiot out of himself yet again (a disgruntled Atlanta Falcons fan talking here) really put the Arkansas football program into a ton of trouble.
A 4-8 season (2-6 in SEC) forced the Razorbacks to look for a new head coach and they really couldn’t of done much better than the hire of former Wisconsin HC Brett Bielema. With so many starters moving on in the past two seasons, the talent level and experience level is quite low across the board entering the 2013 season.
We will now look at the top 2014 NFL Draft prospects and give you a few more names to look out for on the Arkansas roster.
1. Chris Smith, DE, Arkansas - RAP (83.8) (43 RE)
Player Comparison – Tank Carradine
Chris Smith is a really rare type of prospect. When evaluating pass rushers you can generally pigeon hole the rushers into one or two particular roles or positions. Smith is one of the guys that has the ability to play any pass rusher position, that being either 43 end spot and both 34 outside backer positions, to a level of an NFL starter.
He possesses a nice first step and can beat slower tackles with speed, he can also bull rush and beat lighter tackles with power. Smith is very competent in the run game as he can stack and shed very nicely.
Smith’s nice numbers of 9.5 sacks, 13.5 TFL’s are all the more impressive, as he did it on such a poor Arkansas football team.
2. Travis Swanson, OC, Arkansas – RAP (76.7) (OC)
Player Comparison – Travis Frederick
Swanson should absolutely love the hire of former Wisconsin coach Brett Bielema. Swanson has the look of a Wisconsin offensive lineman and should continue to prove, he is one of the better offensive line prospects in the 2014 draft.
Swanson’s a bigger guy (6’4″, 314 lbs) and looks more like a Guard, but will fit very well as a Center in Bielema’s scheme. He has really good feet and mirrors defenders well. He’s decent off the snap and does a good job of picking up blitzers.
One thing i didn’t love was seeing Swanson on the floor, which is something i saw quite a bit of on film. He has a tendency to lean into his blocks too much, opening him up to being thrown to the floor by strong defensive players.
Other Arkansas Prospects’ to watch for
- Julian Horton, WR, Arkansas.
- Javontee Herndon, WR, Arkansas.
- Eric Bennett, S, Arkansas.
- Robert Thomas, DL, Arkansas.