Okay, so the first player I am going to do is considered the highest rated prospect this year: Jadeveon Clowney. He is the number 1 rated DE according to the list. For those of you who do not know, he played for South Carolina. He is number 7. He is listed at 6'6" 274 pounds. The first game I am going to look at is South Carolina vs. Tennessee. This game was midseason taking place on October 19, 2013. I've provided the youtube film from it for your reference if you'd like to critique my assessment of his performance in this game.
The very first thing I noticed was his ability to get up field. On almost every play he seems to be able to push his way upfield. On running plays he also seems to be able to hold his block and keep his position. I think this comes from great lower body strength. You can also see his athleticism on display. He seems to be incredibly agile and capable of missing people just flat out miss him.
However, I think he relies on his athleticism too much at times. If you notice, he seems to be so eager to get up the field, that he completely fails to set the edge leaving a hole where he used to be.
The most important thing I noticed in this game is that he seems to be ahead of everyone on the field. Watch the ball get snapped. Almost every time he is the first one to react on offense or defense, whether it be extremely noticeable or barely noticeable. This explosion and quickness will likely lead to a lot of sacks in the NFL.
Another positive thing is his ability in open space as a defensive end. When he has to go to open space in this game and act as a linebacker, he is always moving towards the ball, and is either the first one there or right there as the tackle is being made.
However, there were some other issues I noticed in this game. For one, he tackles a little too high. This could lead to some issues in the NFL. Combined with his tendency to overplay and push it up field sometimes, I think you will see offenses find running room to his side, at least at first. Also, it seemed like once a play got beyond him, he would stop. He needs to remember to always be going in the NFL.