2016 NFL Draft: Texas Bowl Scouting Preview: LSU vs. Texas Tech

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After starting the year 7-0 and ranked #2 in the country, LSU has lost 3 of their last 4 games (8-3) to set a matchup versus 7-5 Texas Tech. The marquee player to watch in the Texas Bowl is LSU running back Leonard Fournette, but he unfortunately is not draft eligble. It will be interesting to see how Kliff Kingsbury and his Texas Tech squad implement stopping Fournette. Here is an outlook on some of the top prospects from the Texas Bowl for the upcoming 2015 NFL Draft.

By: Austin Baumer


Tre’Davious White, CB, #18 (JR.)
White has an average build for an NFL cornerback, but showcases long arms. He can get physical with bigger receivers and has no problem jamming at the line. He stays low with his back pedal and flips his hips on inside receiver drives exceptionally. In 2015, White hasn’t been targeted nearly as much which makes it hard to see if his ball skills have improved, but he contests very well and his field awareness has improved on 2014’s. Also a dual-threat as a return man, White impresses with his speed and cutting ability. We will be looking to see how he performs with tackling as that has been an issue for him. If he can show he’s not afraid to put a shoulder on a ball carrier, White could be picked in the 1st-2nd round range.

Kendell Beckwith, ILB, #52 (JR.)
Beckwith followed up a successful sophomore season in 2014 with being named a Butkus award semifinalist in 2015. An inside linebacker with a bigger build and not as much athleticism on the outside, Beckwith displays thumper ability between the tackles and drives with brute strength. While watching LSU’s film, Beckwith’s explosiveness off the snap was eye popping and he has an uncanny ability of playing with leverage. A one-dimensional 2-down linebacker, Beckwith needs to improve on his pass coverage. Look for him to be selected somewhere between rounds 2-4 if he declares.

Deion Jones, OLB, #45 (SR.)
A Butkus finalist for the nation’s top linebacker award, Jones had a breakout year racking up 80 tackles and 10.5 tackles for loss. Athleticism is a key attribute of Jones. He can run with tight ends and slot receivers in coverage. His instincts are the main reason why his reaction time to plays is like a lightning stike. He uses his eyes to diagnose plays, but sometimes is too patient and has to run and chase. Jones will be a solid weakside backer primed to contribute on 3rd downs and is worthy of a draft pick for his special teams contributions alone. Jones, a Senior Bowl commit could improve his stock dramatically with a great week. He currently sits around the 3rd-4th round range.

Vadal Alexander, OT, #74 (SR.)
Alexander is very versatile along the offensive line. Has started at both guard positions and this year as RT. Teams will be weary to use a 1st round pick on a RT, but he offers plus run blocking and can be inserted at either guard. Strengths of his game include being a mauler on edge defenders often gobbling them up with his large frame and brute strength. Can get to the second level and take you of play. In the passing game he can adjust to stunts and inside rushes well, but struggles vs speed rushers on the edge due to sluggish footwork and a below average slide step. This is keeping him from becoming a LT. Best suited as a guard in a rushing attack where he can create running lanes and show off his strength. Alexander is a Senior Bowl commit also and is being projected as a Mid-late 1st rounder.

Jalen Mills, S, #28 (SR.)
Mills, the 3rd of 4 Senior Bowl commits from LSU missed most of his senior season with a fractured fibula. A 4-year starter, Mills transitioned from corner to free safety last year and has fits better in a zone coverage scheme. He plays the ball very well and is suited for FS position due to his football IQ. He can pack a punch for a smaller safety. Mills has the athleticism to fly around with very good range and can support in the running game despite being subpar at finishing tackles. Mills has a very high ceiling and could be a solid mid-round pick up as a nickel cover guy or as a free safety.

Other LSU Seniors to watch:
LB Lamar Louis #11
P Jamie Keehn #38 (Senior Bowl commit)
DT Quentin Thomas #95

Texas Tech

Le’Raven Clark, LT, #62
Clark has rare size, athleticism, and length at nearly 6’7” and 315 lbs. The film shows a solid pass blocker who can adjust to counter moves very effectively and quick run blocker. Clark has good bend on the edge and good foot quickness to slide over for speed rushers. Clark is a 3-time all-conference selection and a 2015 Senior Bowl commit. Many scouts and evaluators have a polarizing view on Clark for his position at the next level along with his traits. Look to see how Clark handles the talented edge rushers in pass protection along with creating holes on the inside against one of the best linebacking corps in the country.

DeAndre Washington, RB, #21
Washington is a smaller back in a spread offense commonly known for their passing attack, so it is quite common to brush off his NFL draft prospects. Let me tell you he is more than a fill-in scat back. Washington was 1st team all-Big 12 and led the conference in rushing this year. With back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons, Washington showcased his exciting burst through holes and a shiftiness to cut on a dime. While he certainly won’t be a franchise running back or a high pick, there is definitely value to draft him as a 3rd down back. Look to see how he can evade defenders against the best rush defense he has seen all year against LSU.

Other Texas Tech Seniors to watch:
Pete Robertson, OLB, #10
Jakeem Grant, WR, #11
Branden Jackson, DE, #9
Demetrious Alston, DT, #43

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