Clay’s NFL Draft Cheat Sheet – New Year’s Six Edition

Clayton Smarslok With His Draft Cheat Sheet For The New Years Six Bowls.

As the final days of 2018 wind down, people are making their plans for their New Year’s celebrations, thinking of what resolutions they partake in for a few days and just enjoying the holidays. What you all need to be doing is watching the New Year’s Six bowl games, starting today. From each of those six games, we’ll look into one prospect that could possibly don green and white or whatever color scheme the Jets use next season.

December 29

Peach Bowl

#10 Florida vs #7 Michigan (12:00pm, ESPN)

EDGE Jachai Polite, Florida

The Jets have all but secured a top four selection in the upcoming draft. With such a dire need at the edge position, Polite is one of the names that will for sure be in the mix for their first pick. He was playing standing up this season in Todd Grantham’s defense, making a big difference in his play. He fits the defense while also filling a huge need on the edge.

Polite’s first step is up there with the best of them. He has a bevy of pass rushing moves but he will need to show more consistency against the run. He can be taken out of some plays, by physical linemen or not filling his gaps but what he does against the pass is too good for this team to ignore. The step up he took from his sophomore year to his junior year shows he has what it takes to keep improving, giving him potentially the highest ceiling of the pass rushers, excluding Nick Bosa.

Cotton Bowl

#3 Notre Dame vs #2 Clemson (4:00, ESPN)

EDGE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson

Just like Polite, Ferrell will be among the names thrown around for their first pick. While Ferrell may not have the ceiling of Polite, his floor seems to be higher. The Notre Dame offensive line has done a nice job keeping Ian Book clean and without Dexter Lawrence by Ferrell’s side it should be a nice test as to whether he can do it without some great help along the line.

Right now he may not be an exact fit on this defense because he’s more of a 4-3 defensive end, but we don’t know what this defense will look like after Todd Bowles is fired. If they stay in a 3-4 they cannot just rule him out as his skill set is still good enough to play standing up.

Orange Bowl

#4 Oklahoma vs #1 Alabama (8:00, ESPN)

OT Cody Ford, Oklahoma

This is an interesting name that has gained some momentum heading into bowl season. While he won’t be selected in the top 10, he has gotten some first round buzz. Based off limited film, Ford has the looks of an early day two player.

Ford is a big lineman at 6’4 330, who should get the chance to stick at tackle at the next level, although it wouldn’t be a shock to see him kick inside. He has both the physical and athletic traits to excel but will need some fine tuning in technique.

Going against an Alabama defense will, without a doubt, be the toughest obstacle on the field. The defensive front has several players that will be drafted, possibly five in the 2019 draft alone. If he can hold his own against the likes of Christian Miller, Terrell Lewis, Quinnen Williams and others, then that’s a great sign for his immediate future.

January 1

Fiesta Bowl

#11 LSU vs #8 UCF (1:00, ESPN)

IOL Garrett Brumfield, LSU

LSU has some big names like Greedy Williams and Devin White but with the former not playing and the latter not at a position of need, it’s Brumfield that’s the player in this game that has a chance to join the Jets next season. We all know the struggles on the interior and with a couple starters possibly gone next season, they’ll need to bring in some new, young bodies.

At best, Brumfield will be a target late day two, but more likely looking at a day three grade. He’s a great athlete for his size moving well while pulling or getting to the second level. From a technique standpoint you notice he’ll tend to bend at the hips at times reaching for his assignment. Brumfield has already gone against his best competition in the SEC but a well coached team in UCF is nothing to look past.

Rose Bowl

#9 Washington vs #6 Ohio State (5:00, ESPN)

CB Kendall Sheffield, Ohio State

The next in a long line of Ohio State cornerbacks getting drafted. Sheffield was in my first mock draft of the season but has fallen down the boards throughout the season. The Buckeye defense went through their struggles and Sheffield had a hand in that but not as much as you’d think.

While Sheffield may not be a first round talent anymore, he could be someone to look at in late day two. He has a smaller frame at the position but has lightning speed and great work in short areas. He’s a little feisty at the point of attack, using active hands resulting in many pass breakups.

There isn’t a top notch receiver that he’ll go up against but with Washington you can always expect some points to be scored and if they are to stop them, Sheffield should have a big day in it.

Sugar Bowl

#15 Texas vs #5 Georgia (8:45, ESPN)

WR Riley Ridley, Georgia

The brother of the Atlanta Falcons first round pick last season, Calvin Ridley. The younger Ridley is getting some love from this direction lately. He won’t grade as highly as Calvin did but expect him to get some noise for the late first and early second. The Jets currently don’t own a selection there but maybe there are some moves to be made with Ridley being a target.

Just like his brother, Riley is a fantastic route runner getting a clean separation very often. It’s a shame he hasn’t been utilized as often as he should but don’t let the lack of top production think he isn’t worth a high pick.

He has a ceiling of a number one receiver and the Jets could most definitely use one of those. He’ll likely face off against potential day two pick, Kris Boyd, but let’s not forget what Oklahoma did to this defense. Hopefully Ridley will get some targets and get the production that’ll give him the recognition he deserves.