2016 NFL Draft: Foster Farms Bowl

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


* Consensus top 15 pick OLB/RB Myles Jack won’t be playing today due to a meniscus injury.

#97 DT Kenny Clark, JR (6’2 | 310 | 5.14)

Not as flashy of an athlete as most top prospects, but Clark has been ridiculously productive in the middle of the Bruins defense since he took the field his freshmen year. This season Clark racked up 62 tackles, 8.5 for loss, and 4.5 sacks which are way above-average for a 3-4 NT. Clark is one of the best pure run stopping NTs in college football and a probable first round pick if he declares for the draft. He uses his long arms well to shed blockers, has enough burst to disrupt plays if interior linemen pull, and has the strength to anchor well against double teams.

Clark is a little smaller than traditional 3-4 nose tackles, but has proven over the last three seasons that he is plenty big enough to handle the nose position with a combination of elite quickness, strength, and technique. The Chicago Bears are in good shape at NT with last year’s 2nd rounder Eddie Goldman, but Clark has the versatility to play the 5-technique if needed and could give the Bears another play-maker on the D-line.

Projection: 1st round 

#24 RB Paul Perkins, rJR (5’10 | 210 | 4.50) 

Not a big back, but has great patience and an explosive cut-and-go burst once he finds a hole. Perkins uses his low center of gravity well to both slip under bigger tacklers and bounce of smaller defenders. He’s not as easy to bring down as you’d think for a player that looks smaller than his listed 210 pounds.

Perkins is a well rounded back who gives a solid effort in pass pro, can catch the ball out of the back field and has enough strength to fight for an extra yard or two in short yardage situations. Perkins has also been very consistent with an average of 1,423 yards, just a tad under 6 yards per carry, and 11 TDs over the last two seasons. He’s also averaged 25 catches per season at almost 10 yards per reception since taking the field three seasons ago.

He doesn’t stand out with any one particular attribute, he just consistently produces when given a chance. His best fit at the next level is probably in a one-cut offense where he can use his vision and burst effectively, but Perkins could also find a niche as a dangerous third down back. Watching him play reminds me a bit of a slightly bigger and sturdier version of Andre Ellington.

Projection: 3rd round 

Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

#9 WR Jordan Payton SR (6’0 | 212 | 4.54)

Not a burner and doesn’t stand out athletically, but has reliable hands and a wide frame that he uses very well to shield defenders on both short routes and back shoulder fades. Payton developed good rapport with freshmen QB Josh Rosen and has been the Bruins most consistent receiving option with an average of 1,011 yards over the last two seasons and 11 TDs in that span.

Payton’s above-average size, mediocre NFL speed, good hands, and the ability to use his body to box-out DBs should make him attractive enough to NFL teams to hear his name called at some point early on day 3. I project Payton as a backup outside receiver, but has the potential for more and could develop into a solid red-zone weapon with his ability to catch back shoulder fades and use his wide-frame to shield defenders.

Projection: 4th-5th round

Next: Nebraska