2014 NFL Draft Prospect Preview: Clemson vs. Georgia

In a battle of potential future NFL quarterbacks, Georgia’s Aaron Murray will be looking to take the spotlight back from Tajh Boyd. (Photo: Daniel Shirey — USA Today Sports)

Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia, Sr. (6’1’’ 208lbs)  

Murray already has 41 starts under his belt against top competition in the SEC. He has passed for 10,091 yards and is Georgia’s all-time leader in passing touchdowns with 95. He is the definition of a productive player against elite competition.

Murray has decent accuracy and will consistently hit short crosses and slants. He does a good job of finding open receivers and getting them the ball. He can throw on the run, has a quick release and throws the ball with decent anticipation. His ball placement is good and he gets the ball out quickly.

Murray has a small frame and needs to bulk up. He doesn’t consistently go through his progressions and tends to lock onto his first read. He doesn’t have great velocity on his throws, nor is he able to drive the ball down the field consistently well. He is an average athlete at best.

Overall, I don’t think of Murray as a potential starting quarterback in the NFL. He doesn’t have an elite skill set or athleticism. His experience and productivity will get him drafted, and somebody may fall in love with what he has done against elite competition. To me, he profiles as a career backup who should go in the fifth-round range.

Arthur Lynch, TE, Georgia, Sr. (6’5’’ 254lbs) 

Lynch became the Bulldogs’ starting tight end last season in his junior year. He had 24 catches for 431 yards and three touchdowns. He never had more than three receptions in any game, but made the most of his catches by averaging 18 yards per reception.

Lynch is a well-rounded tight end who can block and catch. He is a high-effort blocker who will continue blocking through the whistle on every down. He has the ability to break down and make blocks in space on smaller defensive backs.

When running routes, Lynch gets a good clean release from the line and knows how to get open. He can find soft spots in the secondary and pick up chunks of yards against the defense. He is a reliable pass-catcher.

Lynch’s game resembles that of Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten. I am not projecting him to be as good Witten, but there are similarities in their style.

Lynch could have an increased role in the Bulldog offense this season and put up very solid numbers. He is another sleeper who can climb draft boards this season. He grades in the late fourth-round area for me with solid upside to rise.

Damian Swann, CB, Georgia, Jr. (5’11’’, 178lbs) 

Swann is one of just three returning starters for the Bulldog defense in 2013. He became a starter in 2012 as a sophomore and led the team with five pass breakups and four interceptions.

Swann has excellent ball skills and will compete well for the football. He has good awareness in zone coverage and can effectively read the eyes of quarterbacks. He is good in run support and comes up to make tackles. He frequently blitzes from the cornerback spot and makes plays in the backfield.

Swann is not a pure cover corner and his game more resembles that of a safety. He is much better in zone coverage than man. That said, he is a versatile player who can lineup all over the secondary, but he is tight in the hips and can get flat-footed.

Swann will be relied on heavily to anchor a Georgia secondary that is projected to have two sophomore and one freshman starter. This is a big season for Swann as he will be matched up against the opponent’s top receiver every week. With his first matchup being against Sammy Watkins, the season doesn’t start easy.

Swann looks like a mid-round prospect at this point, but his matchup with Watkins is one I will be watching closely Saturday night.

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Tags: 2014 NFL Draft, Aaron Murray, Arthur Lynch, Clemson, Damian Swann, Game Preview, Georgia, Prospect Preview, Quarterbacks, Sammy Watkins, Tajh Boyd, Vic Beasley

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