The Maryland Terrapins haven’t been very well represented the past few NFL Drafts. The last three drafts combined only featured two Terps being selected, Kevin Dorsey (7th round in ’13) and Dexter McDougle (3rd, ’14). Not exactly great but there’s been a lot of turmoil the past few seasons with the coaching change, conference change, roster attrition, etc. Things are finally looking up for the Terps as they enter year one of B1G play with more on-field talent than they’ve had since probably 2008, when their roster featured nine future draftees. So who are the top prospects for the Terps this year eligible for the 2015 NFL Draft? We’ll start with the offense.
Senior QB C.J. Brown is a classic college dual threat QB, but unlike most in this category, actually shows some potential being able to throw the ball at the next level. His career stats aren’t bad (3,084 passing yards, 20/13 TD to INT with 1,162 rushing yards and 12 TD’s), but two things that desperately need to improve for him to boost his draft stock is improving accuracy (55.2% career completion percentage) and staying healthy (injuries and missed time virtually every year).
Brown has good size (6-foot 3, 210-pounds) and excellent speed (reported 4.4 40), and has a quick and compact delivery, though not mechanically perfect. He has good arm strength which should be highlighted this fall considering the ridiculous amount of speed at WR, all of whom are finally healthy. Brown could see his stock rise this fall if he plays to his ability, and most importantly, stays healthy.
Brown will be throwing to one of the best receiving corps in the nation in 2014, led by junior Stefon Diggs and senior Deon Long. Both are absolute speed demons with sub 4.4 times. Diggs has the higher ceiling in terms of pro potential, and is reminding a lot of people of former California Golden Bear DeSean Jackson.
He’s battled some injuries his first two years in College Park, but when he’s out there, he produces (88 receptions, 1,435 yards, 9 TD’s, 159 rushing yards). Another thing that’s boosts his stock is that he’s an electrifying return man who’s averaged nearly 27 yards per kick return with 2 TDs and nearly 10 yards per punt return. Considering his deep speed, lateral quickness, ball skills and return ability, Diggs should go high in the draft.
Long isn’t quite on the same level as Diggs in terms of playmaking potential, but he’s not far behind and is arguably more polished. He’s coming off a broken tibia and fibula suffered last year, and scouts will be looking to see if not only he’s fully recovered but to see if he comes back even stronger. He’s missed a lot of time due to bouncing around the past few years (West Virginia, New Mexico, Iowa Western CC, Maryland), and hasn’t had much opportunity to show off his impressive skill set, so this fall will be a huge season for him.