BBD Writer Eric Samulski
This is a bitter consolation prize for a Bulldogs team that was primed to play in a National Championship game. On the other side of the ball, you have a Cornhusker team that rose to the top of a lackluster Big Ten conference before getting trounced by Wisconsin. The truth of the matter is that for as highly touted as Nebraska’s defense usually is, they’ve given up far too many points to the strong teams on their schedule. With the exception of Ohio State, Georgia might be the strongest. With Murray leading the charge, the Bulldogs offense should be able to put up points against Bo Pellini’s team and do some damage of their own on the defensive side.
Jarvis Jones OLB 6’2” 245 #29 Junior
The best prospect in the game, Jones is a near lock to be a top five pick next year. Similar to Von Miller, many people assumed Jones was ticketed for a 3-4 pass-rushing role, but he’s proven to be equally as well-rounded. He reads the run well and shed blocks with real physicality on his way to tackles. There’s no reason to think he can’t be just as successful as Miller at the next level.
Alex Ogletree ILB 6’3” 235 #9 Junior
Experienced at multiple positions, Ogletree has the versatility that scouts love. He is a long frame, good athleticism, and is adept in coverage. His coverage ability and his struggles to consistently shed blocks in the middle might make him a strong candidate to move to outside linebacker at the next level. Regardless, he plays hard all game long and has the instincts required in the NFL.
Shawn Williams SS 6’1” 220 #36 Senior
One of the top safeties coming into the year, Williams impressed last year in his first year starting and followed it up with a solid senior campaign. However, the lasting impression people have is him being run over by Eddie Lacy in the SEC Championship. He plays fast and closes on the ball quickly, but he too often gets on his heels and lets the runner advance towards him. He has good size for a safety, plus range, and has a lot of good tape, so he could still be one of the top safeties off the board.
John Jenkins DT 6’3” 360 #6 Senior
I’m not yet sold on Jenkins, but players as big has him tend to go early in the draft. For a player his size he doesn’t get into the backfield as consistently as I’d like to see and I’m not convinced he has the conditioning to stay on the field long enough. However, he takes up a lot of space and is a very strong player who can eat up blockers.
Aaron Murray QB 6’1” 215 #11 Junior
Bacarri Rambo FS 6’0” 210 #18 Senior
Abry Jones DT 6’3” 310 #93 Senior
Tavarres King WR 6’1” 200 #12 Senior
Cornelius Washington OLB 6’4” 265 #83 Senior
Branden Smith CB 5’11” 185 #1 Senior
Sanders Commings CB 6’1” 215 #19 Senior
Daimion Stafford FS 6’1” 205 #3 Senior
Like much of the defense, Stafford had a better junior season than senior season. He’s a physical hitter whose clips pop up on YouTube multiple times a year. Despite being a big hitter, Stafford is also a capable pass defender. If he can show the fluidity and instincts in coverage that he showed last year, Stafford could begin rising back up draft boards.
Cameron Meredith DE 6’4” 260 #34 Senior
Meredith has been one step away from breaking out for the past two seasons. At times he shows solid pass rush moves and natural athleticism off the edge. At other times he completely disappears from the game. If he can add another pounds to his frame, he could turn into a solid 4-3 DE. Then if somebody is able to get consistent production out of him, he might have a long career as a rotational lineman.
Will Compton ILB 6’2” 230 #51 Senior
Compton is hoping to be another undersized Husker linebacker to succeed in the NFL. The problem is that it’s easier to be undersized on the outside. Compton is athletic, but not quick enough to shift to the outside. However, he is a vocal leader for the defense, technically sound, and an instinctual player. Those guys tend to stick around.
Eric Martin DE 6’2” 250 #46 Senior
Baker Steinkuhler DT 6’5” 290 #55 Senior
Ben Cotton TE 6’6” 255 #81 Senior
Rex Burkhead RB 5’11” 210 #22 Senior
Brett Mahler K 6’0” 185 #96 Senior
Spencer Long OG 6’3” 310 #61 Junior
Jeremiah Sirles OT 6’6” 315 #71 Junior
Prediction: Georgia 31 Nebraska 17