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Clemson at Maryland NFL Draft watch notes

The key to the Clemson offense is obviously quarterback Tajh Boyd getting the ball to freshman phenom Sammie Watkins. That's allowed tight end Dwayne Allen to get open more easily this season. He's developing into arguably the best draft-eligible tight end in the nation with 22 receptions for 340 yards and four touchdowns heading into tonight's game.

It should be interesting to see if Maryland lines up linebacker Kenny Tate against Allen. Tate is perfectly suited to play Allen. He's strong physically and could make it hard for Allen to get off the line. Tate's shift from safety to more of a linebacker role has gone better than I expected, but he still projects as a safety in the NFL.

Clemson defensive end Andre Branch has really come alive of late. In his last two games, he has five sacks and eight tackles for loss. He's got a good burst off the line and has started to play with more strength. Tigers defensive tackle Brandon Thompson has been seeing more attention the past few games after wreaking havoc earlier in the season. Maryland doesn't have a great offensive line, so Branch and Thompson could both have good games.

This game also features to solid mid- to late-round running backs in Clemson junior Andre Ellington and Maryland senior Davin Meggett. Both have good speed and shiftiness to their game. Both are also undersized and don't break tackles especially well.

Blocking for Ellington is senior Chad Diehl, one of the best fullbacks in the nation. Fullback is a dying position in the NFL, but Diehl is a good one.

Keep an eye on Terrapins senior cornerback Cameron Chism, especially if he's lined up on Watkins. Chism has flashed solid ability at times this season and plays above his size.