Columbia — To get a better understanding of the type of team Missouri is facing tonight, I caught up with NFL Draft analyst Jared Counterman, a former recruiting/video coordinator at Indiana State who now works for football.draft-hub.com. Counterman says he’s spent at least 20 hours breaking down tape of Georgia. He was kind enough to provide a list of the Bulldogs’ top five NFL draft prospects, with some analysis on each. You can follow him on Twitter at @DH_Counterman.
By TEREZ A. PAYLOR
The Kansas City Star
1. Junior defensive end Jarvis Jones
Stats: 13 ½ sacks in 2011, 19 1/2 for loss, 49 quarterback hurries
The skinny: “He’s one of the most explosive defenders in the country, and he has the stop/start ability of a running back. There’s a lot to like and he’s probably going to end up a top-ten pick. He’s got a great motor, and he's someone a lot of people tried to chip block unsuccessfully. On contact, he is as violent as anybody in the country. If you wanted to compare him to somebody with violent hands, I’d say Aldon Smith...they move him around some, but Georgia pretty consistently played him to the field side. This is the type of player you’re never going to see one-on-one with a tight end or running back.”
2. Senior nose tackle John Jenkins
Stats: 28 tackles, three sacks, 10 hurries
The skinny: “He has rare build and movement skills, and 3-4 (defense) teams love him. I think (ESPN’s) Todd McShay has him as one of the top six prospects overall at any position. He’s super strong, plays with great leverage and is what you look for in a nose tackle. I think he’ll be a solid second-round pick and be a guy that whatever team that drafts him won’t worry about for a decade. He could have a very similar career to New England’s Vince Wilfork. He’s stout and won’t put up a bunch of numbers but he’ll be a great run-fit guy.”
3. Inside linebacker Alec Ogletree (who may not play tonight due to suspension)
Stats: 52 tackles, seven for loss, three sacks
The skinny: “He’s a pure 3-4 inside linebacker, and Georgia runs one of the more prototypical 3-4 defenses in college football. He can really move, and they trust him a lot in the middle of their defense. He’s not a Tampa 2 guy – you won’t see him running deep down the middle of the field – but he plays sideline-to-sideline. Also watch him on a double “A” gap blitz – Georgia loves to send its two middle linebackers in that “A” gap. He’s explosive doing that.”
4. Safety Baccari Rambo (who may not play tonight due to suspension)
Stats: 55 tackles, eight interceptions, eight pass breakups
The skinny: “A lot of people like Rambo – they put him in the first-round range. You could see flashes. He’s a bit up-and-down, but when he’s good, he’s good. He’s got great closing speed and he’s really good against the vertical passing game. He’s also a great tackler, one of the best on Georgia’s defense.”
5. Wide receiver Tavarres King
Stats: 47 catches, 805 yards, eight touchdowns
The skinny: ”He’s solid, probably a mid-round pick. I compare him to Vincent Brown of San Diego State. He’s consistent, he can catch and I think he’ll be a good role player in the NFL.”
I found it interesting that junior quarterback Aaron Murray was left off the list. With another strong campaign, Murray will become the first player in SEC history to record three straight 3,000-yard season. So I asked Counterman what he thought about the 6-foot-1. 210-pound quarterback.
“I think there’s some question marks with Aaron Murray. I question his ball placement and decision-making, but he has been blessed with some very gifted skill players, and he’s not afraid to throw. He flashes some accuracy and they play in a vertical offense. I think he’ll be a backup in the NFL, maybe a solid one.”
Also, a few more observations:
*“I think Missouri can have some success spreading the field if they can get these athletes they have at wide receiver isolated. Blocking Hones is tough…and Georgia likes to put pressure on you and force you to throw it, so I wouldn’t throw a lot of out routes, either. But their corners, if you can get them one-on-one, they aren’t great. You might get them with a double move.”
*“I’d say watch out for safety Shawn Williams. He’s a little underrated, but he makes a lot of plays. He’s a violent hitter.”
To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send e-mail to email@example.com. Follow him at twitter.com/TerezPaylor.