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2023 NFL Draft: Ranking the ACC’s top 10 prospects as Clemson defense loaded with talent

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The ACC fell short of placing a team in the College Football Playoff despite a strong season from Pittsburgh. The upcoming regular season represents a clean slate, and Clemson should feature one of the most talented defenses in college football. Although early days, CBS Sports took a gander at the best NFL Draft prospects in the tradition rich conference entering the 2022 campaign:

Davis does a great job of shooting gaps and creating chaos in the opponent’s backfield. He does a good job of stacking and shedding blockers to make an impact in the run game. 

The depth of Clemson’s defensive line allows the team to rotate players and keep everyone fresh. It has a lot of talent along the front seven. In addition to Myles Murphy, Trenton Simpson, Bryan Bresee and Davis, defensive tackle Ruke Orhorhoro, edge rusher Xavier Thomas and edge rusher K.J. Henry have NFL potential. Thomas, in particular, is poised to showcase his talent this season.

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The buzz surrounding Nelson began early in the process. He has great size for the position and long arms to dictate competition in the trenches. If the technique matches in 2022, there is an opportunity to rise significantly in an offensive tackle class that appears wide open. A wealth of talent at the position has flooded the NFL in recent years with Rashawn Slater, Tristan Wirfs, Penei Sewell and others chief among them.

8. Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College

Flowers has been on the NFL’s radar for a few years now. An injury to quarterback Phil Jurkovec impacted the receiver, as there were a lot of missed opportunities during which Flowers had slithered behind coverage. He ranked No. 23 in yards per reception (16.95) among wide receivers with at least 40 receptions in 2021. With a healthy Jurkovec, the Pittsburgh native will have a good chance to remind talent evaluators of his potential. 

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The nation’s No. 1 overall high school recruit in 2020 missed most of last season with a torn ACL. The talent is evident, but it is unknown what to reasonably expect from Bresee coming off the injury this season. The Maryland native carries his weight really well and is just a natural athlete. He does a good job of stacking blockers while peering into the backfield and has good top end speed.

Connecticut quarterbacks are having a bit of a moment as both Kentucky’s Will Levis and Van Dyke are considered potential early draft choices. The latter throws with touch and does not panic when pressured. However, there is at least one moment each game where he unnecessarily throws into coverage. Experience can resolve some of those frustrations. 

While his ability to make plays with his legs may fall short relative to other quarterback prospects, he is capable of making accurate throws off-platform. He ranked No. 11 in passer efficiency last season, according to TruMedia. Players above him include Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, Alabama’s Bryce Young and Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett.

It could be easy to take Bergeron for granted because nothing he does is overwhelming, but he is consistent. Similar to Virginia Tech’s Christian Darrisaw, it just looks easy for the Quebec native at times. He plays with good leverage and balance and has an even-keeled style of play. Active eyes allow him to pick up stunts into his gap. 

Cornerback Garrett Garrett Williams is another prospect who has the talent to join this list by season’s end.

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4. Josh Downs, WR, North Carolina

The NFL has shown a willingness of late to add wide receivers who are traditionally undersized: Wan’Dale Robinson, Tutu Atwell, Jahan Dotson, etc. Downs was one of the most productive wide receivers in college football a year ago, and that had a lot to do with his ability to create chances for himself. He does a good job of creating leverage with body mannerisms and precision into his breaks. Downs finished third in yards after the catch (757) last season, according to TruMedia, behind Western Kentucky’s Jerreth Sterns (1,135) and Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba (791).

3. Tony Grimes, CB, North Carolina

Grimes has good size and great speed for the position. He profiles as an NFL man coverage cornerback, but the ball production has just not been there yet. With so much talent in that Tar Heels secondary, it should create more opportunities for the Virginia Beach native to compile statistics. If he puts it all together, there is a good chance that he is one of the first cornerbacks off the board next April. 

Grimes was one of the rare football reclassifications who moved from the 2021 recruiting class to 2020. As a result, he should be one of the younger cornerback prospects available.

Simpson is one of the most versatile defenders in this potential NFL Draft class. He is not Micah Parsons but could excel in a similar role allowing him to play in the box, rush the passer and cloud passing lanes. The Charlotte native finds himself around the ball often because of his quick key and trigger. First-year defensive coordinator Wes Goodwin has a lot to work with this season.

When comparing size, Murphy stacks up to last year’s No. 1 overall selection — Travon Walker. Murphy is a good athlete but is realistically not going to match Walker’s historic NFL Combine performance. Murphy does have more exposure to what would be considered a traditional edge rusher role than Walker at the same point in his career. The former shows active hands and an ability to turn speed to power. When attempting to identify the likely first-round selections in the preseason, Murphy jumps out.

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World Cup's 101 Most Memorable Moments: Croatia's Cinderella story

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Luka Modrić led Croatia to a storybook run at the 2018 World Cup. This is moment No. 48.



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3 NFL Teams Likely Headed Towards A Losing Season

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(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

 

As week four of the NFL season comes to a close, several NFL teams are doing poorly this season.

While some of those teams can rebound, others might have no hope for a better season.

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However, there are three teams who are clearly heading towards a losing season in 2022.

So who are those teams, and why will they have a losing record in 2022?

 

3. New England Patriots

While head coach Bill Belichick might hate to admit it, the New England Patriots miss Tom Brady.

The team is off to their second consecutive 1-3 start to a season, which doesn’t bode well for Belichick.

However, the Patriots won’t rebound this season like they did in 2021.

While Brady helped them rebound in 2001, and Mac Jones in 2021, they have neither QB currently.

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Brady is with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers while Jones is out with an ankle injury.

But his injury, and timetable for return, is still unknown.

With him out, and now with the team’s backup QB out, the Patriots are in danger of starting 1-4.

Unless Jones can return, and give Belichick a miracle season, the Patriots might have their first losing season in over 20 years.

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2. Detroit Lions

Lions’ fans had so much hope for the 2022 season.

However, the team continues to disappoint, which is nothing new for the franchise.

The team started the season with an attempted late quarter comeback against the Philadelphia Eagles.

But their attempt to defeat the Eagles fell short.

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In week four, the Lions allowed 48 points to the Seattle Seahawks, a team who’s seen as one in a rebuilding season.

The worst part about the loss was how the Seahawks had zero punts in that game, with their drives resulting in five touchdowns.

While the Seahawks were posting records, the Lions defense was a wreck.

Rookie defensive lineman Aidan Hutchinson, who some see as the savior of the Lions defense, has been a disappointment.

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Outside his one good game against the Washington Commanders, he has 6 tackles and zero sacks in his three other games, with four of the tackles being assisted.

While injuries are plaguing the team, they have no answers to improve their 2022 season.

 

1. Houston Texans

The Houston Texans are the only NFL team remaining that’s yet to win a game.

However, with them trading Deshaun Watson, and not getting a QB to replace him, it’s not odd to see them as a winless team.

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While the team has some good things going for them, they won’t have a winning season.

They are too far gone, despite their solid pass defense that held Russell Wilson to only 14 completions.

But even with a solid pass defense, they struggle because of their poor run defense.

If they could fix that, it gives the Texans hope they can win games.

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However, it won’t be until next season that they will probably improve that run stop game.

That means this season will be another lost season for the Texans.

With the way they are going, they are leading the pack for the worst record in 2022.

The post 3 NFL Teams Likely Headed Towards A Losing Season appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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Albert Pujols hits his 703rd career home run, passing Babe Ruth for second-most career RBIs in MLB history

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St. Louis Cardinals’ Albert Pujols hits his 703rd career home run, passing Babe Ruth for second-most career RBIs in MLB history.



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