In 2013, the Safety class seemed to cause quite a bit of...
2014 NFL Draft Prospect Preview – Mississippi State
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 and give you some additional names to keep an eye on. The top prospects were rated using our RAP system.
Mississippi State are the SEC’s perennial teasers. A 7-0 start last year gave us all an idea of where this program could be going, but a 1-5 finish to the year brought everybody back down to earth.
Despite a few key losses, there is still quite a bit of experienced talent on this roster.
We will now look at the top 2014 NFL Draft prospects and give you a few more names to look out for on the Mississippi State roster.
1. LaDarius Perkins, RB, Mississippi State - RAP (89.9)
Player Comparison – Ray Rice
A comparison to Ray Rice may be slightly peculiar given their respective body types (Perkins being taller and less stocky), but it’s the playing style that brings the comparison together for me.
He’s a quick twitch type of runner with breakaway 4.40/ 4.45 speed, that adds versatility in the passing game to boot. He projects very well at the next level because of his physical and mental toughness.
If I would have one criticism, it would be his performances against the better competition. In his games vs Alabama, Mississippi and Texas A&M he averaged less than 3.5 YPC, where as he was over 4.3 YPC in every other game during the 2012 season.
2. Gabe Jackson, OG, Mississippi State – RAP (62.8) (OG)
Player Comparison – John Jerry
Gabe Jackson is one of the more highly touted offensive guards entering the 2013 college football season. I though remain skeptical.
At 6’3″, 335 lbs, Jackson isn’t a mobile guy. His game is predicated on power and for someone predicated on power, I was kind of underwhelmed with his strength, especially after comparing him to other Guards in this class, especially Cyril Richardson.
He seems slow off the snap to me, doesn’t move that well laterally or have that great footwork for a highly rated offensive lineman.
At this early stage in the evaluation, I only have a 6th round grade on Gabe Jackson.
3. Tyler Russell, QB, Mississippi State - RAP (61.4)
Player Comparison – Ryan Tannehill
The first game I watched of Tyler Russell, was the bowl game vs Northwestern last season. It wasn’t a good impression as he threw 3 picks in the 1st half. Not really the recipe for a draft-able prospect, but Russell does show some signs of promise.
His main areas of weakness are his pocket presence and decision making. At times he seems to lack confidence in his own arm. He has the power to let one loose deep, but he doesn’t have the zip on short and intermediate routes, I put that down to confidence in his own ability rather than simply he doesn’t have the arm power.
His accuracy can be a bit wild, but he doesn’t help himself by trying to fit the ball into tight windows.
There was quite a bit of projecting going on with this guy, so I will need to see some development over the coming year to ensure the grade stays this high, next spring.
Other Miss. St Prospects’ to watch for
- Nickoe Whitley, S, Mississippi State (54.7)
- Charles Siddoway, OT, Mississippi State.