Clemson: Sammy Watkins, Tajh Boyd Establish Themselves As Top NFL Draft Prospects In Orange Bowl

By keithanderson
Steve Mitchell- USA TODAY SPORTS

The Orange Bowl lived up to the hype with two potent offenses going at it down to the wire. In the end, it was Clemson who came out on top over the Ohio State Buckeyes, mostly thanks to their star wide receiver Sammy Watkins.

Watkins was sensational, racking up 16 catches, 226 yards and two touchdowns, one of which came on a crucial fourth down to put Clemson within two points. His ability to run after the catch was huge as Clemson used him on screens early and often in this game. Watkins was aided by star quarterback Tajh Boyd, who had over 500 yards of total offense and six total touchdowns. He is now tied for most wins in school history. Both him and Watkins cemented themselves as top prospects in the 2014 NFL draft.

It was not an easy win for Clemson as the opposing offense was electric in their own right. Carlos Hyde rushed for over 100 yards and a touchdown, helping to take the pressure off stud quarterback Braxton Miller. Miller played an inspiring game, tossing for 246 yards and accounting for four total touchdowns despite playing with an apparently injury.

With an exceptional season, Watkins is nearly a lock to go top-10 in the draft. He possesses the game-breaking speed and elusiveness that pro teams covet. Boyd is a bit more difficult to project as there are some questions about his decision-making and development despite his numbers and the arm. He is currently more of a second-rounder than a first, but the combine, as well as the desire of multiple teams for a quarterback, could change that.

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