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2012 NFL Draft - Scouting for Future Chargers: Bowl Games Part 12

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Team Needs
Starter Starter Competition Depth Projects
Current starter is FA next year and has no surefire understudy Current starter is FA next year and has understudy or current starter is inexperienced One or more backups are FAs next year May need a new starter or backup after 2012 season

In case you missed it, I justified the most recent updates to the team needs list a few weeks ago when I scouted the last week of the college football regular season. There's a lot of unknowns until we know the extent of some injuries and any changes in management are made, so I'm not going to say much more about that. Instead let's go to the games.

West Virginia
(9-3) vs Clemson (10-3) Wednesday 1/4 5:30 PM PT (ESPN)
Discover Orange Bowl (Miami, FL): There's an obvious difference between these teams when it comes to prospective NFL talent. That's been true for these schools for the last few years. Clemson has been much better at sending players to the NFL and that should still be the case this year. The Clemson defensive line has two of the top 50 players projected to be in this draft in DE Andre Branch and DT Brandyn Thompson. You can also add to that two experience senior sleeper prospects in DT Rennie Moore and DE Kortnei Brown and you start to get the picture that it could be a rough day for WVU QB Geno Smith. You can add to that a not very athletic offensive line for West Virginia, but Smith is experienced and poised and will still find some space to get the ball to his diminutive playmakers Jr. WR Tavon Austin, So. WR Steadman Bailey and Fr. RB Dustin Garrison. The really big struggle for the Mountaineers will be establishing any sort of run game. On the other side of the ball there's an interesting matchup between WVU Sr. 4th round prospect CB Keith Tandy and Tigers Fr. WR Sammy Watkins. Watkins is one to watch out for in the future and Tandy is looking to solidify his NFL future. However, that matchup will take a backseat at times to finally healthy Jr. RB Andre Ellington toting the rock and potentially the draft's top TE prospect in Jr. Dwayne Allen getting fed the ball.

I'll go over the individual players after the jump.

BFTB Scouting Targets:
Player School Pos. Class Height Weight
Andre Branch Clemson DE Sr. 6'4 260 lbs
Another Merriman-sized defender, however Branch actually plays some pass rushing LB in the Clemson defense and projects as being capable of playing 3-4 OLB. Consistent run defender, but not great against bigger OTs. Another reason to make him play OLB and try to make those big guys move their feet. His closing burst is nowhere close to what Merriman had. Great student. (1st round)
Dwayne Allen Clemson TE Jr. 6'4 255 lbs
Good size and speed, but sometimes doesn't take advantage of it when he lets the ball get to his body. He has big hands though and should use those more to keep defenders away from his catches. Good leg drive and can carry defenders on run after the catch. He's got some quickness to help make defenders miss as well. Changes speeds well, which helps him find holes in zone defenses. Blocking is little bit of a weakness. (2nd round)
Brandyn Thompson
Clemson DT
Sr. 6'2 304 lbs
Similar build to 2011 Chargers 1st round pick Corey Liuget and he's got the scouting profile of a 3-4 DE. He's a big asset against the run where he has explosive power to push offensive lineman around and use it to jar balls loose from running backs. He does well against double teams. He hasn't shown much as a pass rusher. He lacks closing burst and the agility to beat offensive lineman will skill moves. Works hard on and off the field. Good student. (2nd round)
Keith Tandy West Virginia CB Sr. 5'10 200 lbs
Good ball skills, instincts, recognition and run support, but lacks some of the athleticism, quick twitch and strength to really excel as a starting CB. Covers punt returns. (4th round)
Chad Diehl
Clemson FB Sr. 6'1 258 lbs
A block only FB with little receiving or running value. Big contributor on special teams. (Mid to late rounds)
Player School Pos. Class Height Weight
Antoine McClain
Clemson OG Sr. 6'5 320 lbs
Mason Cloy Clemson OC Sr. 6'3 297 lbs
David Smith Clemson OG Sr. 6'4 321 lbs
Landon Walker Clemson OT Sr. 6'5 287 lbs
Rennie Moore Clemson DT Sr. 6'3 269 lbs
Kortnei Brown Clemson DE Sr. 6'4 242 lbs
Phillip Price Clemson OT Sr. 6'5 300 lbs
Don Barclay West Virginia OG Sr. 6'3 306 lbs
(Late rounds)
Julian Miller West Virginia DE Sr. 6'3 256 lbs
(Late rounds)
Brad Starks West Virginia WR Sr. 6'2 193 lbs
(Late rounds)
Tyler Urban West Virginia TE Sr. 6'4 251 lbs
Najee Goode West Virginia ILB Sr. 6'0 240 lbs
Josh Jenkins West Virginia OG Sr. 6'3 307 lbs