For 2015 season previews we will be posting the top draft-eligible prospects at each position in each conference. Again, draft-eligible is the key here (redshirt sophomore to senior). I am sure someone will be left out, so feel free to leave recommended names in the comments or send them to my twitter account.
TCU senior QB Trevone Boykin
Boykin looked nothing like a quarterback in 2012. Even the Horned Frogs weren’t sold on him as their long term starter during the 2013 season. Then last season, Boykin shined. He succeeded inside of structure just as often as outside of it. Many athletic quarterbacks star in the latter: using mobility to stress the defense and maximize yards when breaking contain. Boykin now can make quick decisions and follow through with what is called. He and Josh Doctson have a great connection on endzone fades and downfield passes along the sideline.
Could Boykin be more composed under duress? Yes. Could he be more accurate? Yes. But based on last year’s development, we could see a more refined player this season.
TCU RB Aaron Green
It might be a surprise that a running back who did not really contribute until November would be listed atop his position. Green really stood out down the stretch, showing excellence in space and between the tackles. Expect TCU to put Green in the open field and allow him to make people miss, but they don’t have to for Green to produce quality gains.
TCU WR Josh Doctson
In its simplest form, wide receivers either win in the big game or the small game. Very few win in both. As you can see, Doctson wins in the big game.
Doctson can separate in his routes but really shines at creating that sliver of separation at the catch point and coming down with miraculous grabs. He lacks awareness and decisiveness after the catch to maximize extra yards.
Baylor WR Corey Coleman
Rather than pick a tight end to spotlight, I’ll go with another receiver in a conference that loves to isolate them. No one is better at this than Baylor. The Bears create one on one matchups and many times defenses answer with off coverage. Coleman covers ground so quickly that it puts stress on his opponent. He then shows fluidity to break routes back towards the quarterback, instantly generating a large amount of separation. He can struggle when forced to adjust his catch point, mainly on high targets.
Texas Tech T Le’Raven Clark
Right now, I do not view Clark as an immediate starter in the NFL. For that to happen, he needs to play with more strength while in pass protection. The strength he exhibits right now is natural (body size and arm length), but in order to maximize his ability those tools need to be functional.
Baylor DE Shawn Oakman
Oakman will be a divisive prospect. Maybe this comparison is off, but defensive prospects taking snaps “off” and wide receiver drops aren’t too dissimilar. These moments stand out and will impact playing time with certain coaches. However, other coaches understand how much of an impact high variance players can make.
Do not expect a flexible edge rusher when watching Oakman. He will rarely beat tackles around the corner with speed. His game is based on converting initial speed into power. He needs to maximize the balance advantage created on first contact and press or shed to sustain momentum.
Baylor DT Andrew Billings
The big man in the middle of Baylor’s defense will catch your eye and keep your attention. Billings plays with power and wants to attack upfield rather than waiting at the line of scrimmage. He is the uncommon 1 or 0 technique who can play a few steps in the backfield.
Baylor LB Taylor Young
Young was the surprise of the Big 12. The redshirt sophomore might not leave college after this season, but he is already playing at a high level. Young might be shorter than many linebackers (5’10"/225) but he packs a punch and works through traffic very well. He is at his best on blitzes and making open field tackles. I will be watching for his comfort in coverage this year.
Oklahoma State CB Kevin Peterson
I know many of you expected to see Karl Joseph’s name. I did not like what I saw.
Regarding Peterson, he plays on both sides of the field and has experience pressing or playing off. He locates the football while in man (which can be difficult to find at the college level) and plays the ball in the air. Peterson is coming off a knee scope.