Syracuse Vs Maryland: Prospect Watch

The match-up between Maryland and Syracuse on Saturday will feature some prospects bidding for position in the NFL draft coming up in May. Some of these prospects are juniors, and could come back for another season in 2014, but will be worth noting heading forward in the process.

Here are a few for each team.

Syracuse:

Jerome Smith. Running Back. Junior.  6’0″ 217 lb’s.

2013 Stats: 116 carries, 587 yards, 8 TD.

While Smith isn’t what many would call a feature back at the NFL level, he will be worth taking a look at later in the draft as a change-of-pace back to a feature back. Smith is a big, powerful back that fights for every yard. He also possesses deceptive speed. While not great speed, he has the ability to break away for big gains. Smith had a very productive sophomore season, and that has translated to his junior season, as he splits carries with Prince Tyson-Gully.

Projected Round if Smith declares: 6th round.

Prince Tyson-Gully. Running Back. Senior. 5’10” 192 lb’s.

2013 Stats: 77 carries, 437 yards, 4 TD.

Tyson-Gully is not a prospect that will be highly thought of by most, as he isn’t going to be a feature back by any means. But, Tyson-Gully possesses similar traits to a player like Dexter McCluster, who has found his niche with the Kansas City Chiefs. Tyson-Gully won’t be carrying the ball 20 times a game, but as a play-maker, he can get in the game, catch some screen passes and make big plays for an offense in need. Look for Tyson-Gully to be a potential dark horse through the draft process.

Projected Round: 7th- UDFA

Marquis Spruill. Line Backer. Senior. 6’1″ 224 lb’s.

Spruill is an intriguing player. He possesses speed and sideline to sideline ability that coaches like, but he is a bit undersized. Spruill is a tackling machine, and isn’t afraid to put his nose in the hole to make a stop. At the next level, he would be an outside linebacker, but would likely be a special teams player until he worked his way up, much like former Syracuse player Jameel McClain. Teams may take a look at Spruill, but he may wind up undrafted with a chance to earn a spot on a roster.

Projected Round: UDFA

Maryland:

Darius Kilgo. Defensive Tackle. Junior. 6’3″ 310 lb’s.

Kilgo has gained some recognition the last couple of seasons since working his way up the depth chart. Kilgo is a decent sized defensive tackle that is powerful in the trenches, and will get some looks from scouts. While it is unlikely that he declares after this season, he could be a projected late round pick as a developmental player. His athleticism is a trait scouts will love.

Projected Round if Kilgo declares: 6th-UDFA

Marcus Whitfield. Outside Linebacker. Senior. 6’3″ 250 lb’s.

Whitfield is the most raved about prospect on the Maryland roster, and that is only because Stefon Diggs is not draft eligible yet. Nonetheless, Whitfield will get picked in this upcoming draft, it is just a matter of where. Whitfield plays with his hand in the dirt often, but moving onto the next level, he will be asked to stand up at outside linebacker and make plays. This will be no problem for an athletic player like Whitfield. He has shown his ability to rush the passer, as well as stuffing the run. As an outside linebacker, Whitfield will have to set the edge and funnel runs inside to the interior, which isn’t any different from what he does now.

Projected Round: 4th-6th round

Isaac Goins. Corner Back. Senior. 5’11” 190 lb’s.

Goins is a prospect that is new to the division one level the last couple of seasons, but has fared well for the most part. He plays decently in coverage, but seems to be better suited in zone coverage overall. He can get physical with wide receivers, but that often results in getting beat down the field by faster, more athletic wide receivers. It is unlikely that Goins gets drafted.

Projected Round: UDFA