The bowl season gives fans and scouts alike a chance to analyze NFL Draft prospects against solid competition. The bowl season schedule allows all eyes to be on each game. Here are the NFL Draft prospects in the 2018 Cotton Bowl Classic.
Clemson Tigers Prospects
Clelin Ferrell, DE
Ferrell is one of the many talented defensive linemen on Clemson. He is the most effective pass rusher and will likely be drafted early in the 2019 NFL Draft. For his career, 158 total tackles, 48 tackles for loss, 26 sacks, four passes defended and four forced fumbles. This season he has led the team with 10.5 sacks.
He is 6-foot-5 and 260 pounds, which is good size for an NFL defensive end. Getting drafted in the top five picks is not out of the question for Ferrell.
Projected draft range: Top 20 pick
Christian Wilkins, DT
Wilkins has been making plays on Clemson’s defense for years, but has stayed at Clemson when he could’ve already been in the pros. He has 187 total tackles, 39 tackles for loss, 15 sacks, 15 passes defended, four fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles. This season he has 46 total tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, two passes defended, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble.
At 6-foot-4 and 300 pounds, Wilkins is a solid size. His interior pass rushing and constant production will get him drafted in the first round.
Projected draft range: First round
Dexter Lawrence, DT
Lawrence was a highly-touted recruit who fits right into the talent along the Clemson defensive front. In his time at Clemson he has 131 total tackles, 18 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, one sack, four passes defended three fumble recoveries and one fumble forced. This season he has tallied, 36 total tackles, seven tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, one interception, three passes defended and one fumble recovery.
He has tremendous size at 6-foot-4 and 340 pounds. While Lawrence may not be drafted as highly as the two listed ahead of him on this list, but he could still be a first-round pick.
Projected draft range: First round-second round
*Lawrence will not play in this game after a failed drug test.
Other Clemson Tigers draft prospects: DE Austin Bryant (First round-third round), LB Tre Lemar (Second round-third round), S Isaiah Simmons (Second round-fourth round), OT Mitch Hyatt (Second round-fourth round), LB Kendall Joseph (Third round-fifth round), CB Trayvon Mullen (Third round-fifth round), CB Mark Fields (Fourth round-sixth round), WR Hunter Renfrow (Fifth round-seventh round), S Tanner Muse (Sixth round-undrafted free agent)
Notre Dame Fighting Irish Prospects
Jerry Tillery, DT
Tillery’s play over the last two seasons has been a major reason Notre Dame has been successful. As a member of the Fighting Irish, he has 133 total tackles, 23 tackles for loss, 12.5 sacks and three fumbles forced. In 2018 he has totaled 28 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, seven sacks and two forced fumbles.
He has great height and athleticism at 6-foot-7, but needs to add weight to his 305-pound frame. With seven sacks on the seasons he is one of the best pass-rushing defensive tackles in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Projected draft range: First round-second round
Julian Love, CB
Although he has played like one of the best corners in the country, Love isn’t getting as much recognition for the draft. That may change when people plug in his tape. In his career, he has 174 total tackles, six tackles for loss, five interceptions, three touchdowns, 38 passes defended, four fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles.
He doesn’t have the greatest build, but a lot of NFL corners are around his height and weight of 5-foot-11 and 193 pounds. He has been tested over the last two seasons and comes up with a pass break up a lot of the time.
Projected draft range: First round-third round
Te’Von Coney, LB
Coney has two straight seasons with over 100 tackles, which has helped improve his draft stock. He has 297 total tackles, 22.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, one interception, four passes defended, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble. For his senior season, he has 107 total tackles, nine tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, one interception, four passes defended and one fumble recovery.
He isn’t the tallest, but has a good build at 6-foot-1 and 240 pounds. Coney will likely be a day two selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, or at the very least early day three selection.
Projected draft range: Second round-third round
Other Notre Dame Fighting Irish draft prospects: TE Alize Mack (Third round-fifth round), DE Daelin Hayes (Third round-fifth round), OT Liam Eichenberg (Third round-fifth round), WR Chase Claypool (Third round-fifth round), OT Robert Hainsey (Fourth round-sixth round), C Sam Mustipher (Fourth round-sixth round), OG Alex Bars (Fourth round-sixth round), WR Miles Boykin (Fifth round-seventh round), LB Drue Tranquill (Fifth round-seventh round), OG Tommy Kraemer (Fifth round-seventh round), K Justin Yoon (Seventh round-undrafted free agent)
Make sure to check out our college football page for more updates and rankings.