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RB in the first round, is it worth it?

October 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

One of the topics that will be debated to no end this season is the value of the RB position in the current NFL. From 1964 to 2012, every single NFL Draft had at least one RB selected in the first round. After almost 50 years of consistent value for the position, the narrative on RBs has been changing. In both the 2013 and 2014 NFL Drafts, no RB was selected in the first round. As throwing is in vogue and creating space with the passing game becomes the norm, many teams are moving away from the workhorse RB and more toward a committee of RBs or specialized role for those players.

Even the RBs who have been workhorses this season, like DeMarco Murray and LeVeon Bell, are extremely active in catching the football and pass blocking. Many fans are starting to question how much a team needs to invest in the RB position now. With breakout players in the last few seasons coming from late round and undrafted players like Alfred Morris, Andre Ellington, Zac Stacy, Isaiah Crowell, and others, the general mindset of finding RB gems late seems as lucrative as drafting a first round RB. Also, the last elite RB prospect in the draft was Trent Richardson, who has been a gigantic bust. All signs points to waiting on RB until at least the 2nd round if not later.

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Even with evidence on the contrary, the ingredients of the 2015 are ramping up to have the RB position be very valued. First, RB has become a hole for a number of NFL teams like the Baltimore Ravens and Minnesota Vikings with recent off field events. Second, and most importantly, there is an elite talent at RB this year in Georgia’s Todd Gurley and some other intriguing RBs as well like Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon, Alabama’s TJ Yeldon, and Indiana’s Tevin Coleman. Todd Gurley, recently suspended due to payment for autographs, has a similar look to Trent Richardson coming out of Alabama. He has a huge body that can take punishment at 6’1 231 pounds but still has the speed and athletic ability to avoid tackles and have breakaway speed. He catches and blocks well, seemingly the full package. Will a team like the Minnesota Vikings or Baltimore Ravens be willing to take Gurley in the first round? Or will all teams wait like the last two years?

There have been plenty of busts, but an elite RB can be a game changer for offenses. The 2007 draft brought Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch who have dictated their team’s offense for years. Lynch was a major factor in helping Seattle win a Super Bowl. As defenses continue to focus on sacrificing size for speed, there could be a push back to getting physical runners who can break tackles. There have been plenty of first round busts at the position from Cedric Benson to Chris Wells to Jahvid Best sometimes for talent but many times injury has been the factor due to the brutal beating of the position. That could lend to the theory of passing on the elite talent to ultimately draft later round runners and keep them fresh.
Ultimately, it appears to be safer and better if a team saves drafting RBs for later rounds and doesn’t make a huge investment with the injury and bust rate, but it won’t stop teams from trying for the upside. Todd Gurley will likely go in the top half of the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft and could prove a mistake if his straight legged running style leads to injury. The RB position certainly isn’t dead, but it’s value will continue to decrease and has already affected team’s approaches to the NFL Draft.

NFL Draft Recap: Virginia Tech at Pittsburgh

October 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

Virginia Tech at Pittsburgh

The ACC is not shy at having Thursday night primetime national games and Virginia Tech at Pittsburgh was no different. The press box was filled at the start of gametime including 17 NFL Teams (Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans,) with 26 total NFL personnel. Three of those teams sent their General Managers in Pittsburgh’s Kevin Colbert, Minnesota’s Rick Spielman, and Buffalo’s Doug Whaley. The best players in the game may have actually been true sophomores with Virginia Tech CB Kendall Fuller (brother of first round rookie Kyle Fuller,) and Pitt offensive weapons WR Tyler Boyd and RB James Conner. That being said, there were plenty of seniors with potential to be drafted or at least get picked up on an NFL team, especially on the Virginia Tech defense.

Pitt Offensive Tackle TJ Clemmings (68)

Clemmings Gets off the snap well, but plays very high in stance. He doesn’t have the movement skills to handle speed rushers, but his long arms and frame are excellent with tons of potential. Clemmings started his Pitt career at Defensive Line and has shown great progress in his career. In this game, Pitt didn’t run offense toward him early, but as the game progressed they went back to the experience right side. Sealed a nice block for a James Conner TD in the 4th quarter and was wrecking in the run game throughout the game. A potential top 100 pick who could go even higher due to his upside.

Pitt Right Guard Matt Rotheram (74)

Rotheram is aggressive at the point of attack and uses his size to his advantage. Big man with power, but lacks the finesse in pass protection. Led the way on a James Conner TD run by crashing inside and sealing it for a big hole. Not going to pull much, but there is a lot of upside at 335 pounds and it could entice a team to sign him as an undrafted free agent.

Pitt Defensive End David Durham (44)

Good hand usage and good leverage. Keeps working and got a big sack in the first quarter. Undersized, but he has good leg strength and a solid swim move. Not going to scare anyone with his size (6’2 240,) but finds ways to get pressure and disrupt QB timing. Might not have the pro upside to be drafted, but could catch on with a team.

Pitt Free Safety Ray Vinopal (9)

Played back in Cover 2 a lot and played the deep zone if he read pass. Got eaten up by blocks when attacking the run, but solid in coverage. Went downhill after WR screen plays and runs where help defense was needed. Shows good burst and closing speed. He showed some good 1 on 1 coverage ability. This was one of Vinopal’s best games of his career as he forced Virginia Tech to respect him. Made a crushing downhill blow to essentially force a fumble in the flat. An ideal special teams player, Vinopal just doesn’t have the speed, arm length, and body to be drafted.

Virginia Tech Defensive End Dadi Nicolas, Junior (90)

Pitt ran offense away from him early, but he was showcasing closing speed and effort on run plays to the other side. Got pressure on the QB and usually used his speed and athleticism to get around Senior RT TJ Clemmings. Pitt was paying special attention to him, often double teaming but he couldn’t beat it. Read a WR screen and hustled to make the tackle. When Pitt ran to his side, he crushed Qb Chad Voytik. Showed power and speed as a potential professional DE. Top 100 player.

Virginia Tech Safety Kyshoen Jarrett (34)

Kyshoen Jarrett had an up and down game, but he is an intriguing prospect with a lot of upside. He got caught flat footed on Tyler Boyd TD and was out of position. Seems indecisive, wasting movement as he reads the QB juking back and forth in coverage, but did well reading and reacting to the screen game. He has pro athletic ability and can transition out of his back pedal very quickly. Jarrett seemed to shadow Tyler Boyd a bit presnap as the game progressed. Late in the first half, he tried to attack James Conner and got run over. There is some downside with Jarrett in the run game, but he is a intriguing playmaker in the Virginia Tech secondary.

Virginia Tech Safety Detrick Bonner (8)

Played in the box a lot in the game. Can whiff going low at times, puts his head down, but reads offensive blocking well and plays downhill. He is a solid athlete that plays with closing speed and good size. Maybe not great at anything, but good at everything and has some high potential.

Virginia Tech Left Guard David Wang (76)

David’s brother Ed was a Virginia Tech graduate and 5th round NFL Draft pick Little more finesse, but handled spin move of Darryl Render well and kept his hips lined up. Not super athletic and a bit dumpy with his movements, and got abused a few times in pass protection, namely on a Darryl Render sack in the 3rd quarter. He has a limited ceiling, but could end up a solid reserve with development.

Virginia Tech Center Caleb Farris (79)

Farris was very solid in the run game and moves his feet well. He may have some starting potential in a zone blocking scheme. Got to the second level pretty well but never dominated a defensive player, even LBs when he got his hands on them. Doesn’t have the anchor, but has the technique down. Reserve at the next level.

Virginia Tech Left Tackle Laurence Gibson

Gibson is a bit undersized having just bulked up to 297 pounds, but he is explosive and a ver good athlete. Often in this game he was used in space or moving to the second level. He doesn't have the best anchor in the run game and can make mental lapses, but his intriguing athletic profile with a huge wingspan and nimble feet make him an upside player at the NFL player.

Tyler Boyd had another impressive game where he burned top sophomore CB Kendall Fuller for a 53 yard TD catch in the first quarter and even threw a pass back to QB Chad Voytik for 29 yards. Fuller had his moments with some nice tackles on screens and Virginia Tech put him on an island against Boyd with success plenty. James Conner continues to run well at a hulking 250 pounds and forcing multiple defenders to take him down. Look for all three for the 2016 Draft!

Prospect Comparison: Dante Fowler Jr vs. Shawn Oakman

October 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

If the right underclassmen declare, 2015 could be an extremely strong draft in the pass rushing category. There will be all shapes, sizes, and fits available to NFL teams from the lightning quick 235 pounds tweeners to the hulking 280 pound maulers who can penetrate. Two of the top underclassmen that fit the latter variety are Florida’s Dante Fowler and Baylor’s Shawn Oakman. Both are physical freaks whose tools & potential will appeal to NFL teams.


Both players are absolutely humongous and have the size and arm length to be successful base ends. Fowler is listed at 6’3 and 261 pounds with a huge wingspan that he often uses to avoid engaging with blockers. His size is an advantage and also allows for some versatility since he could play OLB in some 3-4 pass rushing schemes. Shawn Oakman’s size is apparent when you first set eyes on the Baylor defense. He is listed at 6’9 280 pounds with hulking muscles and a wingspan that will entice NFL teams. Oakman has versatility of his own with the ability to play Left End, Right End, 3-tech, 5-tech, or even a 1 or 0-tech if needed. Despite Fowler’s versatility, the size of Oakman gets the nod.

Advantage: Shawn Oakman

Athletic Ability:

For their size, both players flash excellent athletic ability. Dante Fowler gets off the snap extremely quick with a good first step and a wide range. He keeps his hips open which allows for flexibility and makes it difficult to get your hands on him. Bigger than any RB, he is on a similar athletic playing field as them and able to chase RBs down and make tackles. Shawn Oakman has great athletic upside for his size and shows how low he can get at his height with great bend. He isn’t overly lumbering trying to stop the outside run and has excellent closing speed when rushing the quarterback. He can be tight hipped and can limit that athletic upside with how he locks himself. Oakman’s size advantage doesn’t make up for the athletic ability Dante Fowler brings to the table.

Advantage: Dante Fowler

Pass Rush:

Dante Fowler’s first step is one of the best in the country and with his body size, it makes it very difficult to engage him in a block. He can keep offensive tackles at bay with his long arms and rush that way. He has 2.5 sacks for the year but has gotten plenty of pressure this season. Fowler struggles at shedding blocks and when engaged he gets engulfed and taken out of the play on a regular basis. Against good competition like Alabama, he struggled to even make an impact due to this. Oakman has stepped into his first consistent starting role this year and flourished. He has 5 sacks this year and utilizes both a bull rush and dip to get to the quarterback, even collapsing the pocket through strength if he can’t shed the block. A lot of his opponents have not been able to physically match up with him. He also has 3 additional tackles for loss, one in ever game except one. His biggest struggles have also been against his best competition, namely TCU. Oakman was caught playing pretty tight and struggling against the athleticism of the Horned Frogs offensive line, but he still found moments of pressure. All in all, Oakman has been the better and more productive pass rusher this season and also looks like he has the most upside.

Advantage: Shawn Oakman

Against the run:

Oakman’s size would seem to make him the ideal run defender as he can stand up to any run defender. He does have trouble getting out in space and unless he gets penetration and can disrupt in the backfield. He does play physical and can usually take RBs down on his own. Fowler has more versatility and closing speed and is a terror at getting to the sideline and containing the run. He will be an excellent run defender in the NFL and seems to read and react well to the run vs. the pass. His size and athleticism helps, and he can usually track and follow RBs if they try to get outside. Fowler doesn’t collapse against inside runs much, but when he does he usually contributes to the tackle.

Advantage: Dante Fowler

Both of these players are potential Top 15 picks with a good combine, but I seem to lean to the physical and pass rush upside to the raw Shawn Oakman in a lot of ways. Both could contribute if they are placed in the right defense and have the athletic prowess to become stud NFL defenders.

NFL Draft Preview: TCU vs. Baylor

October 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

TCU at Baylor

Two undefeated teams emerge from the Big 12 in the game of the week which includes plenty of prospects to know for the upcoming NFL Draft!


Bryce Petty, Baylor

Bryce Petty will continue to be a divisive prospect as one of the better senior QB prospects for the 2015 NFL Draft. After suffering cracked bones in his spine, it appears Petty’s season could be in jeopardy but he can back with a solid game against Texas last week. Baylor’s system can shield many flaws from QBs, but Petty appears to be one of the QBs who benefit from the system. He does read defenses well and gets the ball out quickly, two attributes that could make him a viable NFL quarterback, but the physical tools are limited. He doesn’t throw a tight spiral, leading to erratic ball placement on many of his throws. He won’t attempt to fit the ball into tight spaces and if he does, it usually goes poorly. Accuracy would appear to be a positive, but he doesn’t lead his WRs particularly well. Petty has enough tools to be a back-up in the NFL and maybe find his way into some spot starts a la Austin Davis, but he is not the potential top 100 pick many thought.

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Antwan Goodley, Baylor

Goodley has an intriguing build being under 6’0 but at 220 pounds. He has bulk to be a slot WR and take shots over the middle while he has shown big play ability down the field. He isn’t the most refined route runner and can get jammed at the line, but he has the physical talents to provide a #3 or #4 option for a pro team. If Goodley can blow up toward the end of the season and have a big offseason, he could emerge as a top 100 option.

Levi Norwood, Baylor

Norwood is a fluid all around WR who can provide a versatile bench option for an NFL team. He’s been one of the primary punt returners for Baylor and that might end up as his best NFL role. He has been sitting out with a wrist injury for most of the season and will have a chance to redeem his draft stock this week. He has solid hands but lacks separation ability at the college level which doesn’t bode well for the pros. A late round special teamer.


Spencer Drango, Junior, Baylor

Drango is a potential first round pick with some big time physical talents. At 6’6, 310 pounds, Drango moves like a 290 pounds tackle but plays with the power of his size. He has a ton of experience, but has yet to show the consistency to feel confident about him as a franchise left tackle. Drango does have a very good kick slide and flashes stud potential, but will have stretches of play where he gives up easy pressure. He doesn’t show a killer instinct and does do poorly against pure speed rushers. If Drango improves, he could end up a similar player to the Patriots Nate Solder, which may lead a team to draft him in the first round.


Chucky Hunter, DT, TCU

Hunter is a solid middle plug who could play NT or 3-technique depending on the scheme. He provides a solid run stuffer who stands up well against run blocking and has enough range to bring down a RB up the gut. Hunter won’t wow with big athleticism or a great first step, but he is technically sound with solid leverage and strength that could find him in a rotational role in the NFL. A midround pick could net a team a solid defensive line contributor and though he has lacked penetration this year, he should have potential to disrupt Baylor’s offense this week.

Shawn Oakman, DE, Junior, Baylor

Oakman is one of the most physically intimidating players in the whole country. Listed at 6’9 280 pounds, he has a gigantic wingspan and utilizes it to his advantage. As a first year starter, expectations were high for Oakman and he has lived up to expectations already notching 5 sacks so far this season and 2 additional tackles for loss. He is extremely strong, both in his upper and lower body and keeps offensive linemen at bay with his arm length. The athleticism from someone of his height and size is astounding, and he can play multiple positions along the defensive line both inside and outside, allowing for versatility in most defensive schemes. The upside is tremendous, but his starting experience is limited. Another big game for Oakman against TCU could prop him into the top half of the first round.


Bryce Hager, Baylor

Hager has been the go to leader for the Baylor defense for two years, playing middle linebacker and calling defensive changes and shifts for the team. He doesn’t have tremendous upside as his lateral mobility is limited, but Hager is a good form tackler and plays downhill. His coverage skills are inconsistent, but definitely not a strength. He is a likely late round pick with good back-up and special teams upside.


Sam Carter, SS, TCU

Carter is one of better pure in the box strong safeties in college football, but he doesn’t provide the athletic ability to have huge NFL potential. He has provided some solid special teams play along with his starting safety play, so a late round special teams pick is not out of the realm of possibility.

Kevin White, CB, TCU

White is an ideal nickel corner with good quickness and athleticism but his size (under 5’10 at 174 pounds,) will likely stop him from being more in the NFL. He has loose hips with great turn and run ability. He doesn’t make a ton of big plays, but every game White turns in a solid performance. Late round pick with nickel starting upside.

2015 NFL Mock Draft: October Edition

October 7, 2014 in Uncategorized

I developed my first mock draft of the season using Fanspeak’s On The Clock Premium simulator. It is worth the $2.50 investment to use for the year as you can take control of any team, trade down, and see how the draft could play out. I went through and tried it for each team and had a blast while seeing some tiered values already emerging. For my mock, I used the current NFL Standings. This mock is done to project scenarios and what NFL teams MAY do. Potential free agency was not taken into account. It definitely turned out interesting!

1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Leonard Williams DL/USC

Williams is a physical monster and though a step down from Jadeveon Clowney, he is close. Jacksonville is rolling with Blake Bortles, so this is a prime pick to trade down from if they in fact get the #1 overall pick. Increased pass rush would go a long way in retooling the Jaguars defense.

2. Oakland Raiders – Cedric Ogbuehi OT/Texs A&M

The new regime will have to make a choice about Derek Carr and the QB future. Take Marcus Mariota or go with Carr? The Raiders stupidly let Jared Veldheer go and will need to keep whatever QB they plug in upright. Ogbuehi has the most upside, even if he lacks polish.

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3. Tennessee Titans – Marcus Mariota QB/Oregon

Zach Mettenberger is a decent player, but if Ken Whisenhunt wants to turn this team around, he needs to hand pick a potential elite QB. Mariota would fit the system well and should gel with the young weapons the Titans have on the offense. The Titans aren’t as far off as many think, but the QB play has been downright awful.

4. New York Jets – Jameis Winston QB/Florida State

Even with some of the off field issues, Jameis Winston should go high. If the Jets have major front office and coaching turnover, Geno Smith’s days could be numbered. Winston has a long release, but the upside in undeniable as the Jets try to finally get out of mediocrity.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Brandon Scherff OT/Iowa

Tampa Bay is pretty abysmal, and it starts in the trenches. Scherff is an OT/OG hybrid and he could start on the right side for an eventual more to LT. The flexibility he brings would definitely help Tampa if they continue to try with Mike Glennon.

6. St. Louis Rams – Landon Collins S/Alabama

With no QB worth taking, and the recent picks on WRs/emergence of Brian Quick, the Rams could go right back to defense some more. Landon Collins isn’t a national name yet, but he is a phenomenal player and may be one of the best safety prospects in years. He can play strong or free safety and has incredible closing speed and ball skills, allowing the Rams defense to utilize turnovers to their advantage.

7. Washington Redskins – La’el Collins OT/LSU

The Redskins have plenty of problems but no huge glaring holes. Trent Williams continues to have health problems, and Tyler Polumbus isn’t much better. La’el Collins should be a workout warrior to send him high in the draft. 7 is a little high for his value, but it isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

8. Minnesota Vikings – Todd Gurley RB/Georgia

The fate of Adrian Peterson remains to be seen, but it is obvious the Vikings offensive plan was centered around having a top RB. Matt Asiata has been okay, but having an elite player at the position could reinvigorate this offense and help in Teddy Bridgewater’s development. Todd Gurley is that guy and a great fit for Norv Turner’s offense with his running style and catching ability.

9. Atlanta Falcons – Dante Fowler DE/Florida

The Falcons have not been able to find that front 7 pressure for years so a player like Dante Fowler who has the size and physical attributes to turn into a terror off the edge is required. He isn’t the best at shedding blocks, but he makes up for it with speed and strength. Fowler could stand up at LB or put his hand in the dirt, making him perfect for a hybrid system.

10. Chicago Bears – Randy Gregory DE/Nebraska

Gregory has been extraordinarily productive and should be one of the first pass rushers off the board. The Bears signed Lamarr Houston, Jared Allen, and Willie Young who all have been solid but there can never be enough pass rushers for a struggling defense. With the value at LB weak in this draft for the Bears system, more of a DE rotation could help the Bears defense get back to a dominant form.

11. Kansas City Chiefs – Ifo Ekpre-Olomu CB/Oregon

Ekpre-Olomu has had a rough season thus far and he is far from guaranteed in the top CB spot for the 2015 NFL Draft. He will likely come in under 5’9 and he gave up some key plays in the Washington State and Arizona games. That being said, success of smaller more technical corners like Jason Verrett should help Ekpre-Olomu go a tad higher. The Chiefs secondary has ben rough and upgrading at the #2 and #3 CB spot should help upgrade the defense.

12. New Orleans Saints – Shilique Calhoun LB/Michigan State

Calhoun has come up big in big games for Michigan State, and the New Orleans Saints are still lacking consistent pass rush from their outside linebackers. Calhoun could be a player to make the conversion to a 3-4 OLB and has been dropped into coverage some at MSU already. His versatility and tenacious hand usage could finally give the Saints the blindside pass rusher they have lacked.

13. Cleveland Browns – Amari Cooper WR/Alabama

We all know the Browns need WRs, even if Josh Gordon comes back clean off of the field. Amari Cooper might be a tad overrated at this point, but he falls to the Browns first pick, it could be an absolute steal for them. Cooper has solid size and great route running ability. He has improved every year in college and has been downright dominant this season. The potential to give Johnny Manziel enough weapons for the future to have success is crucial.

14. Miami Dolphins – Benardrick McKinney LB/Miss. State

Even with the emergence of Jelani Jenkins, the Dolphins need more help at LB. Beanardrick McKinney is an underrated LB who can play inside or outside at the professional level. He is a good cleanup tackler with some good pass rushing skills too. Look for him to be the first true LB off the board in April.

15. Houston Texans – PJ Williams CB/Florida State

With no real QB value here and the Texans potentially invested in one of their young QBs, the Texans could look at their CB depth as a major need. Kareem Jackson and Jonathan Joseph have been solid, but there is little behind them and little being developed as a future starter. PJ Williams is often overlooked on the Seminole defense, but he provides an immediate nickel option with good size and potential for the future.

16. Pittsburgh Steelers – Trae Waynes CB/Michigan State

Waynes will be a divisive prospect, similar to last year’s Michigan State CB Darqueze Dennard. Waynes is a little less stout, but taller than Dennard and has been great covering team’s #1 WRs this season. With Ike Taylor’s injury, the Steelers are left very thin at CB and it continues to be a glaring hole.

17. New York Giants – Jalen Collins CB/LSU

The Giants have Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on a big deal and Prince Amukamara has turned it around, but the depth at CB is horrid. Taking the upside player like Jalen Collins gives them depth and some development time with him. At 6’2 198 pounds, Collins could even play some safety. He has been beat plenty this year but could be an offseason combine gem.

18. Cleveland Browns (f/ BUF) – Ty Montgomery WR/Stanford

Why not double up at WR? Ty Montgomery is a sneaky pick to be the 2nd WR off the board. He is fast, electric, and productive even without Stanford using him in the correct way. He has had some costly drops recently, but the physical tools and big games are there. He would be a big bodied slot option and pave the way for the Browns to have one of the best young WR groups in the NFL.

19. Detroit Lions – Ellis McCarthy DT/UCLA

With Ndamukong Suh likely to move on, the Lions could move around their DTs to optimize success. Perhaps Caruan Reid is the heir apparent, but if not, a huge DT like Ellis McCarthy with some athletic ability fits the bill. Not only does he eat up space, but he is great at collapsing the pocket and would keep the Lions front 7 dominant.

20. San Francisco 49ers – Vic Beasley LB/Clemson

Beasley is a tough fit for the NFL with his lack of size and ability vs. the run, but he is a great pass rusher. SF usually opts for bigger OLBs but could try to add a smaller pass rusher to the mix to create mismatches. Beasley has been insanely productive and could go in the top ten of the draft if all works out right and a team falls in love with that athletic ability.

21. Baltimore Ravens – Sammie Coates WR/Auburn

Torrey Smith has lacked productivity and even with Steve Smith’s emergence, WR is still a glaring hole for the Ravens. Sammie Coates has his good days and his bad days, but those good days are great as a potential #1 NFL WR. He has big mitts and is still developing, but the Ravens would be a good place for him to learn from some veterans.

22. Carolina Panthers – Andrus Peat OT/Stanford

Peat isn’t all he is cracked up to be, as he can have some bad stretches against pass rushers, but his huge size and athletic ability should endear him to someone in the first round. The Panthers are still patching together an offensive line so developing someone like Peat is needed.

23. Green Bay Packers – Spencer Drango OL/Baylor

Drango is even more of an upside offensive lineman who has a ton of experience. He moves well in a phone booth with pretty long arms to boot. The Packers continue to be plagued by injuries an inconsistency on the offensive line and Drango would provide a versatile OT/OG option for them in the future.

24. Indianapolis Colts – Mario Edwards DE/Florida State

Edwards isn’t quite living up to the hype and his best position may be as a 5-technique in a 3-4 defense. The Colts don’t have huge holes, but with Arthur Jones hitting 29 and Corey Redding at age 34, getting a future DE with pass rush ability would be tremendous for them. Edwards has all the physical upside in the world, he just needs to bring the consistency.

25. New England Patriots – AJ Cann OG/South Carolina

The Patriots trade away Logan Mankins and they could replace him with a player similar to a young Logan Mankins in AJ Cann. Cann has good girth and plays a high Football IQ game. One of the more dominating guards in the country, Cann has a good chance to hear his name called on Day 1.

26. Arizona Cardinals – Shane Ray LB/Missouri

Missouri seems to keep finding ways to churn out pass rushers year after year and Shane Ray is next in line. He has the hip flexibility to stand up n a 3-4 defense and the Cardinals desperately need some help getting after the passer. Ray is 2nd in the country in sacks with 7 with an excellent first step and great dip and duck ability. He would be an ideal fit as a late first rounder for the Cardinals.

27. San Diego Chargers – Jaelen Strong WR/Arizona State

The Chargers have been relying on Eddie Royal as their WR2 and Keenan Allen is getting blanketed game after game. Adding some receiving talent could continue this offensive cog running and make them downright dominant. Jaelen Strong has good hands with some deep speed to boot. He would fit the offense well and his high point ability is great. Workout numbers may not flash, but the Chargers front office has been focused on drafting football players over workout warrior and Strong fits the bill.

28. Philadelphia Eagles – Cameron Erving OL/Florida State

Cameron Erving has had plenty of struggles early this season, but he has shown dominance before and has versatility to play OT or OG. The Eagles have had a rash of injuries on the offensive line and even with a healthy Jason Peters and Lane Johnson, they could use some interior line help with someone to groom to take over for Jason Peters in the future. Erving has the power to play guard and the athletic ability to play tackle, he just needs to put it all together.

29. Cincinnati Bengals – Kurtis Drummond S/Michigan State

Drummond could be next in line of senior safeties to sneak into the first round. The Bengals have committed to improving the secondary and as Reggie Nelson slows down, the Bengals will want to have a replacement ready. Drummond is great in the center field and has big time playmaking ability. He also has the size to match up on TEs, something the Bengals definitely are in need of.

30. Dallas Cowboys – Michael Bennett DT/Ohio State

Dallas’ defense has exceeded expectations and though the secondary could still use a big upgrade, the value just isn’t great in the late first round. If Ken Bishop doesn’t develop, the Cowboys could still use a penetrating 3-technique. Michael Bennett is on the smaller side, but he is an excellent penetrator with great intangibles to boot. He could provide pass rush up the middle and fit one of the most important positions of this defense.

31. Seattle Seahawks – Devin Funchess WR/TE/Michigan

Michigan’s woes could hurt Devin Funchess’ stock, but he is dominant at finding open holes in the zone. Seattle has a solid blocking TE in Luke Wilson while Zach Miller is encountering more injuries. Funchess could provide a flex TE option to pair with the rest of the Seahawks WRs and continue giving Russell Wilson more to work with.

32. Denver Broncos – Shawn Oakman DE/Baylor

Oakman is a mammoth standing at 6’9 280 pounds while playing a pass rushing DE spot. He will be versatile for a 3-4 or 4-3 defense and with some creative usage could be a dominating pass rusher. The Broncos have used more of a base end at LE, and Oakman could develop into one of those.

50. Buffalo Bills – Connor Cook QB/Michigan State

If the Bills are out on EJ Manuel, they might as well try to replace him earlier rather than later. Cook has NFL size and NFL zip with great intangibles off of the field. With Michigan State QB success as of late in the NFL, Cook’s pedigree could work to his advantage. He is very different than Manuel and Orton and would take some development when under pressure, but with the Bills O-line improving, Cook with time to throw could be deadly at the pro level.

NFL Draft Preview: Nebraska vs. Michigan State

October 3, 2014 in Uncategorized

This Big Ten showdown could determine the winner of the conference and has plenty of big time NFL prospects on both sides of the ball, especially the skill positions.


Connor Cook, Junior, Michigan State

Cook is a super intriguing quarterback prospect in a year with a very uncertain second tier of QBs. Cook is listed at 6’4 220 pounds and it is apparent how he towers over his skill position players while on the field. He is not asked to win games by himself at Michigan State (he only thrown more than 13 passes in one of MSU’s four games this year,) but possesses some big physical talents. He has solid zip on the ball and a good NFL arm. He does have trouble with his ball placement and accuracy down the field, but makes up for this with his presnap adjustments and play action prowess. Cook could be an underrated QB if he declares and develop into an NFL starter. He is key if the Spartans want a win against Nebraska.

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Running Back:

Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska

Abdullah has raced onto the national scene this year and is pushing for a Heisman campaign on the undefeated Corn Huskers. He has been insanely productive, running for over 200 yards in three games this year as well as scoring a touchdown in every single game he has played in. Abdullah has a lethal combination of quickness and power allowing him to push a pile at the college level as well as make defenders miss in open space. He is also a decent pass catching option and has returned kicks throughout his four years at Nebraska. He is a touch undersize at 5’9 195 pounds and isn’t a speed demon, likely around the 4.50 mark for his 40 time, but he does get up to speed very quickly and that acceleration can prove valuable in the NFL. Abdullah has captured the national attention, and if Michigan State can’t stop him, being showcased in this big game could help his draft stock. He may not be drafted up to his press clippings, but is a definite top 100 pick. The question will be if he is a 3 down between the tackles back or merely a diverse weapon in a committee at the pro level.

Jeremy Langford, Michigan State

Langford is almost a polar opposite to Ameer Abdullah. He has a bigger build (6’1 208 pounds,) and was expected to be more of a workhorse RB this year for the Spartans. With the emergence of the smaller senior RB Nick Hill, there has been more of a split in carries, hurting some of what Jeremy Langford an impressive prospect. Last season, he had 292 carries and averaged almost 5 yards a carry while also catching 28 balls. He is Le’Veon Bell lite as a prospect (not the current version of Bell,) with slow acceleration and speed, but does avoid tacklers and catches passes to make a big impact. Langford is the type of RB prospect who won’t be for every team, and may be a fringe top 100 pick, but if a team wants a committee back between the tackles with some versatility, Langford could be their choice. Expect a heavy workload against Nebraska.

Wide Receiver:

Kenny Bell, Nebraska

Bell, affectionately nicknamed “Afro Thunder” is Mr. Reliable for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, especially on 3rd downs. At 6’1 185 pounds, Bell has a slight frame but good hands and route running ability to be relied upon in big game spots. With Nebraska’s offense centered around the run, Bell doesn’t get a ton of opportunities to showcase his abilities. He won’t burn you deep, he won’t break a ton of tackles after the catch, but the reliability makes Bell an ideal late round candidate in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Tony Lippett, Michigan State

Lippett, the go to WR for the Spartans, is a jack of all trades that is drawing solid NFL Draft grades. A QB in high school, Lippett’s 6’3 height makes him an ideal red zone target while his speed paves way for big play action passes down the field. He is on the thin side, and it shows, but he has taken some big shots and punishment and kept going. With a good rest of season and combine, Lippett could be a top 100 pick with a good combination of productivity, metrics, and big play ability that will endear him to NFL teams. A big Lippett touchdown could help lift the Spartans over the Cornhuskers.

Defensive End:

Shilique Calhoun, Junior, Michigan State

Calhoun came into the season with one of the top defensive line grades in the country, but has struggled to get pressure so far this year. Last season, Calhoun had 7.5 sacks, 14.0 tackle for loss, as well as 3 TDs (2 fumble returns and 1 interception return). This season, Calhoun has 2 sacks, 1 against Jacksonville State and 1 against Wyoming, while struggling when the Spartans played Oregon earlier this season. Calhoun has super long arms to match his 6’5 256 pound frame and has shown excellent abilities to shed blocks and get into the back field. Offensive lines have adjusted to him and when double teamed with TE or back help, he doesn’t seem to be able to use the same pass rush moves to get by. He is a prototypical 4-3 Left End and has a shot for the first round with his production and athletic ability, but needs to show dominance as a junior to meet those expectations.

Randy Gregory, Junior, Nebraska

Gregory is another potential 1st round DE who is off to a fast start this season. Gregory was a JUCO transfer who had a dominant sophomore season for the Cornhuskers with 9.5 sacks and 16.0 tackles for loss. He has reeled off 4.5 sacks in the last two games against Miami (FL) and Illinois. His fast first step is his calling card. When Gregory gets off the snap, he can duck around the tackle and be in the big field almost immediately. He has a variety of pass rush moves, making him extremely difficult to block. Add in scheme versatility at the next level as a 4-3 LE or 3-4 OLB, and Gregory will be mighty appealing to NFL teams. He may not have the run stuffing skills or coverage skills, but as long as he keeps getting to the QB, NFL teams won’t care. Gregory terrorized MSU last season and should get at least a sack again this year.

Marcus Rush, Michigan State

Rush has been passed over due to Calhoun’s dominance, but he is a pretty good DE in his own right. A bit on the small side at 6’2 245 pounds, Rush could be an ideal candidate as a reserve 3-4 OLB at the next level. He already has 2.5 sacks through 4 games and uses leverage to get past offensive linemen. His big game was against Oregon, getting into the back field to stop the run often as well. Rush isn’t a super athlete, doesn’t have great size nor does he seal the edge extremely well, but he does everything pretty good. A midround pick to look out for in April.


Taiwan Jones, Michigan State

Jones has been rock solid in the middle of the Spartan defense and is an intriguing mid-late round pick in the NFL Draft. Jones is stout at 6’3 252 pounds and is a solid thumper in the middle with some pass coverage skills to boot. He doesn’t give much in the way of pass rush or if asked to go against super athletic players in coverage, but he should be a solid reserve and special teamer at the next level.

Defensive Back:

Kurtis Drummond, FS, Michigan State

Drummond will compete to be one of the top senior safeties taken in the 2015 NFL Draft. Drummond has big range and size at 6’1 202 pounds and can play the center field position in the NFL. He is a big time playmaker, already with 2 INTs this season, and has very good coverage ability. He isn’t great in the box, but is very capable of playing the run. Drummond could follow in the trend of senior safeties being taken last in the first round unexpectedly.

Prospect Comparison: OT Brandon Scherff vs. Cedric Ogbuehi

September 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

Left Tackle is always a position in demand during the NFL Draft, and this year will be no different. Many years underclassmen will dominate the top of the OT rankings, but two seniors stand out as potential top ten picks. Cedric Ogbuehi of Texas A&M and Brandon Scherff of Iowa have their ups and downs, but are good prospects that can be potential franchise left tackles.


The bigger the better for offensive lineman, as long as they can move effectively. Iowa’s Brandon Scherff stands at 6’5 320 pounds with good girth and a back end anchor that can work against power rushers. Cedric Ogbuehi is no slouch himself at 6’5 300 pounds, but he has a thinner gut and lower body that has been a bit of trouble against more power rushers. Scherff’s frame is a little bit dumpy and not as defined, while Ogbuehi has a muscular frame that looks impressive and more like a linebacker than an offense tackle. Even with that, Scherff gets the size advantage and it also will allow him to be versatile and move positions down the line if need be.

Advantage: Brandon Scherff

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Athletic ability is Cedric Ogbuehi’s calling card. He moves off the snap tremendously well and has a very solid kick slide. He has fluid footwork and rarely lets a speed rusher get around him to get pressure on the quarterback. Ogbuehi has also been used as a lead blocker on outside runs, QB runs, and screens. Brandon Scherff does move well for a player of his size. He stays balanced and has fluidity for a 320 pounder. He can get caught kick sliding to the edge though and struggles against speed. Scherff does have explosive ability in the run and pass game and his quickness off the snap is pretty special. Both players have solid athletic ability, but Ogbuehi gets the athletic advantage.

Advantage: Cedric Ogbuehi

Pass Blocking:

Brandon Scherff’s explosive play helps him against pass rushers and he can usually put down a power rusher with ease. He does have short arms, so when he faces speed rushers with a variety of pass rush moves, he does not always keep them away from his body. Scherff’s kick slide is solid, but he does play too high in it and his pad level can lead to technique problems. He punches well and wins more than he loses, even against some of the best pass rushers in the Big Ten. Scherff wins with technique and power over pad level and foot speed. Ogbuehi has a huge wingspan and athletic feet that he will use to put down opposing pass rushers. He is lightning quick to engage and get into his kick slide, especially if defenders attempt to seal go around the edge on him. Having QBs like Johnny Manziel and Kenny Hill have definitely helped him do his job well, but there is no doubt he is a major talent. Pass blocking is a strength for both players, and both should be solid handling the blind side in the NFL but Ogbuehi gets the advantage with his long arms and dominance against speed rushers. He is much more inconsistent than Scherff (see the 2014 Arkansas game,) but the upside is there.

Advantage: Cedric Ogbuehi

Run Blocking:

Brandon Scherff is a dominant force in the run game. He uses his size, anchor, and strength to his advantage. He stays low in the run game and explodes through his pads to jolt the defender, even on stunts. He almost always finished blocks and will try to lay the opposing defender on the ground. The killer attitude combined with his size and strength provided a sealed edge for outside runs and not allowing defensive linemen to disengage and make plays vs. the runner on inside runs. Cedric Ogbuehi is a solid run blocker but unspectacular. He plays more of a finesse run blocking game and tries to keep punching the defender instead of making immediate contact. He does use good pad level in the run game and can secure the opponents pads, not allowing them to shed the block and get at the RB. Scherff definitely takes this category and a power run team may prefer him.

Advantage: Brandon Scherff

The first senior offensive tackle to come off the board will likely be one of these two men, and it may come down to personal preference and scheme from the team that takes them. Scherff lacks pass protection upside, but his size and power make him an ideal candidate in that scheme. Ogbuehi has all the physical upside but his inconsistency, especially in the run game, puts more risk into drafting him.

NFL Draft Preview: UCLA vs. Arizona State

September 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

The Pac-12 has some good teams this year with plenty of draft able talent and the highlight is the Thursday night game of UCLA against Arizona State pitting one of the top underclass WRs going against some excellent defensive prospects.


Brett Hundley, Junior, UCLA

Brett Hundley is likely to be one of the most polarizing prospects in the 2015 or 2016 NFL Draft. Though he was injured last week, he looks likely to play against Arizona State and showcase his size and athletic ability. It is rare to get a 6’3 223 pound quarterback who has the arm to make NFL throws. The pure potential of Hundley could put him into the first round of the NFL Draft, though he still has struggles throwing accurately and reading defenses. Will a team take a chance high to develop him or could he fall due to lack of polish? If he plays through this game with his elbow injury with success, it could go a long way to establishing his toughness and putting him in the first round.

Taylor Kelly, Arizona State

Taylor Kelly unfortunately won’t be playing against UCLA due to a foot injury suffered against Colorado this season, but he is a prospect worth knowing. Kelly is on the smaller side, likely to come in just under 6’2 203 pounds, but he is mobile and excellent at rolling out in the pocket to throw the ball down the field. He has a gunslinger mentality, and often forces the ball into coverage leading to interceptions. Kelly is a tough player who takes plenty of shots and keeps going, and if he comes back healthy while effective, he could be a midround pick despite his size.

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Tight End:

De’Marieya Nelson, Arizona State

Nelson is a prototypical H-Back who can play TE and/or FB in the NFL. He has replaced record setting ASU TE Chris Coyle this year and has made the move from working primarily out of the back field (15 rushes last year,) to being in line. Nelson is on the smaller side at 6’2 235 pounds, but he has a high football IQ to find holes in the zone to make catches. His forte is in the blocking game where he has a low pad level and actually uses his lack of size to his advantage. Nelson has a lot of functional strength and decent anchor, but he isn’t the best athlete. The lack of size, speed, and athletic ability likely pushes him out of the draft, but he could be intriguing for a team to pick up as a free agent or take a chance on late.

Wide Receiver:

Jaelen Strong, Redshirt Junior, Arizona State

Strong is the toast of the senior WR class. He has excellent size at 6’3 215 pounds with huge hands that help him secure footballs. Strong uses his big body to box out corners and has his most success going up for passes above his head and fighting for the hard ones. He is a long strider with solid speed, though he is unlikely to be a deep threat at the professional level. Strong has a similar game to Chargers WR Keenan Allen in how he uses his route running and hands to win man-to-man battles. With a good season and workouts, Strong could end up in the late first round, but is likely a solid second day pick.

Offensive Line:

Malcolm Bunche, UCLA

Bunche is a former Miami Hurricane who transferred to UCLA for graduate school and immediately has become their starting LT. He is massive at 6’7 327 pounds, and excels in the run game with a big anchor and lower body power. His pass protection leaves a lot to be desired and he struggled mightily last year against top pass rushers and that trend seems to continue. He is a major candidate to move inside to guard as a pro. It is rare to find a player with his size and functional run strength, so Bunche is a high upside pick in the later rounds.

Defensive Line:

Ellis McCarthy, Junior, DT, UCLA

McCarthy is one of the top interior defensive line prospects this year and for good reason. He has the body of a nose tackle (6’5 325 pounds,) with the snap quickness of a 3-technique. He has an excellent first step and creates disruptions in the backfield every drive. He has improved by leaps and bounds every year of his college career and will be versatile to play 5-tech, 3-tech, 1-tech or even 0-tech in some NFL systems. UCLA allows McCarthy to work to his strengths and rush the passer while collapsing the pocket. Keep an eye out for McCarthy to be a gamechanger against Arizona State.

Owamagbe Odighizuwa, DE, UCLA

Odighizuwa has been a name many looked to last year to have an impact, but multiple torn knee ligaments kept him off the field and back for his fifth year at UCLA. Early this season, Odighizuwa has flashed the potential he showed early in his college career. His long arms and big trunk lead to a solid combination of finesse and power to beat OTs and get pressure on the quarterback. His combination of athleticism and experience make him an intriguing midround candidate. He hasn’t lived up in terms of production (only has 6.5 sacks over his first three years starting and none so far this season, but he is a moldable prospect teams could fall in love with.


Eric Kendricks, UCLA

A leader on the UCLA defense, Eric Kendricks brings a solid combination of tackle production, coverage ability, and quickness to the table. Though only 230 pounds (and he may tip the scales under that this offseason,) Kendricks hits hard and wraps up bigger runners extremely well. He is a technician at the insider linebacker position and profiles to play inside in a 3-4 or at SAM in the NFL. He has good lateral quickness, though doesn’t always explode from his hips. The NFL seems to let undersized linebackers drop, often for no reason, but Kendricks plays like a top 50 pick. Look for his draft stock to be on the rise.

Defensive Back:

Anthony Jefferson, SS, UCLA

Jefferson is an undersized strong safety, only 190 pounds, without good speed. He is often a liability in coverage and could definitely have struggles at the NFL level. Jefferson does provide some special teams ability and could make the NFL in return coverage. A late rounder at best, he will need to improve on the field to improve his stock.

Damarious Randall, FS, Arizona State

Arizona State doesn’t have many defensive pro prospects, but Damarious Randall is a jitterbug safety who flows in and out of deep coverage. He is on the smaller side and doesn’t give you much in the run game, but as a special teamer and coverage reserve, Randall could be an intriguing prospect and playmaker. A late rounder a the moment, a good end of the season and offseason could move him up.

Prospect Comparison: Amari Cooper vs. Nelson Agholor

September 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

Amari Cooper vs. Nelson Agholor

Two of the most storied programs in college football, Alabama and USC, both bring two top-notch WR prospects who should have an immediate impact at the NFL level. Both have seen some major changeover in offensive system and QBs over the last few years, but still find ways to be productive and prove their NFL talent.


Neither player is the size and physical freak combination we have seen from absolute top tier WRs in recent years (AJ Green and Julio Jones being the common example,) but both have their strengths. Agholor comes in at a solid height at 6’1 190 pounds, though his thin lower body leaves him susceptible to injury. Especially in the lower body, shots to Agholor can really rock him. Adding muscle may be helpful. Cooper checks in at a similar size to Sammy Watkins last year at 6’1 210 pounds, and his build shows it. He still has a bit of fragility to him, but Cooper has added muscle and is sustaining more shots this year successfully. Both have solid size to make catches, though not at an elite height.

Advantage: Amari Cooper

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The athletic ability of both players is apparent. Cooper has excellent body control and has the athletic ability to go up for balls. He doesn’t always utilize his athleticism to the fullest extent, but appears to be improving in that area. Straight line speed is not his strength (though not a huge weakness). He is likely a 4.50-4.55 type player, so just good enough. Agholor definitely wins the straight-line speed category, likely coming in at .1 faster than Cooper (4.40-4.45). Agholor is faster than most corners as well as bigger than them, so he provides a deep threat and a man-to-man matchup nightmare with his athletic ability. He can whiff on body control at times for hard catches, but is definitely an NFL athlete.

Advantage: Nelson Agholor

Route Running:

This is not even a close comparison. Amari Cooper is one of the most refined route runners as a college WR in a long time. He has almost a full route tree from streaks, curls, comebacks, outs, slants, drags, and more. He has great cutting ability and utilizes his route running to get separation. He does sometimes go off the beaten path and move off of the route when reading coverage, but it seems to work. There could be an adjustment period due to the lack of top speed, but his cuts and mental fortitude in routes should put him in an elite route running class. Agholor can be a little lazy at times and has a limited route tree. It appears to be expanding this year, but he does waste foot movement when making cuts, especially on post routes. He loses speed coming out of his breaks which has turned into turnovers for his QB. It is an area that needs improvement from Agholor.

Advantage: Amari Cooper


Both players have trouble securing the easy passes and have too many drops over the course of their careers. Cooper really struggled with catches below his chest or at chest level as a sophomore, often cradling the ball and allowing it to bounce off of his body incomplete. Agholor started off his junior campaign with a few dropped passes on 3rd down and looks like he often tries to turn and run before securing the football. Amari Cooper seems to have improved into his junior season and has more concentration. He still is a body catcher, but is on the upswing. Agholor appears to be improving as the season goes on, but this will be the biggest knock on both prospects down the stretch. Cooper gets a slight edge, but neither has great ball skills.

Advantage: Amari Cooper

After Catch:

Nelson Agholor’s speed and athletic ability make him dynamic after the catch. He is elusive in the open field and can likely find use in the screen game at the next level to be a true weapon. He has solid juking ability and is a terror one on one. Amari Cooper brings more of a stout presence after the catch, utilizing his body and some power to evade tacklers. Though he may not have the straightline speed, he can accelerate quickly and take on defenders at full speed. This is a definite strength for both players, though Agholor may have more of that home run ability that teams looks for.

Advantage: Nelson Agholor

As a whole, both players might be slightly overhyped. Cooper’s lack of speed and focus when catching the football takes him out of the elite WR class of year’s past. Agholor is fast, but also slight with technique problems of his own. Cooper has potential to be a #1 WR in the NFL and will likely be drafted highly based on that potential and pedigree. Agholor could fall the way of USC WRs past (Robert Woods, Marqise Lee, etc,) and fall further than expected on draft day.

NFL Draft Preview: Mississippi State vs. LSU

September 18, 2014 in Uncategorized


Dak Prescott, Junior, Mississippi State

Prescott is a polarizing junior prospect whose grade differs depending on you talk to. At 230 pounds, he can handle the beating of a quarterback but it appears he will come in under 6’1 which is a kiss of death for quarterback prospects. Prescott has plenty of physical tools include a tight spiral and excellent deep touch passing. He has a bit of a gunslinger mentality which can cause turnovers, but he has been improving through his college career. With some height and football intelligence issues, Prescott could be a prospect who declares early but is disappointed as a 2nd day pick at best.

Running Back:

Kenny Hilliard, LSU
Terrance McGee, LSU

LSU has churned out numerous RBs into the NFL, most recently 2nd round pick Jeremy Hill, and next in line are Kenny Hilliard and Terrance McGee. LSU brought in 5 star recruit Leonard Fournette at RB, but he has not been able to hold off the productive seniors.
Kenny Hilliard is big bodied at 232 pounds but has good acceleration and vision to pick up plenty of yards. Hilliard averages over 5 yards a carry over the course of his college career by being tough to bring down and picking up an extra yard or two on ever rush. He may not be an every down back with his lack of receiving talent, but as a later round short yardage back with some upside, Hilliard is a name to follow.
Terrence McGee has been a complimentary player for his LSU career, a homerun threat to give an outside presence for players like Hilliard and Hill. McGee has solid size at 217 pounds, and also isn’t catching many passes in college, but he has a good top gear of speed and is utilized on a lot of counter and toss plays to the outside. McGee has been underutilized as an LSU runner, he averaged over 7 yards a carry as a junior on 86 carries, and has some upside with his size and speed. McGee is another later round flier type RB.
Advantage: Todd Gurley

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Offensive Line:

La’el Collins, OT, LSU

The top prospect in this game, La’el Collins started every game of his junior (and senior season thus far,) at LT. He also started every game of his sophomore year at LG, showing some versatility to kick inside if teams need him to. Collins is a physical freak standing at 6’5 321 pounds with long trunks for arms and legs. His physical prowess allows him to keep athletic defensive ends at bay in pass protection or maul them in the run game. He does need development as he can get caught in a lazy presnap set at times or get confused on stunts and more difficult defensive states. Collins has a shot at the first round, and is a player to track this season.

Vadal Alexander, Junior, OG, LSU

Alexander is only a junior, but going into his 2nd year starting at left guard and his 340 pound frame has allowed him to be a dominant run blocker with pulling ability to boot. This combination makes him one of, if not the, top guard prospect in the country. Even though many teams are moving away from a power run scheme, Alexander’s football intelligence and size can be a benefit and create running lanes at the NFL level.

Blaine Clausell, OT, Miss. St.

Clausell has been starting at Left Tackle since late in his freshman year. He is towering at 6’7, but doesn’t have the anchor or consistency to be a top tier NFL prospect. He is an above average pass blocker and average run blocker who struggles with top tier talent. He could be a candidate to move inside in the NFL, and the experience should make an easy transition to a role in the pros. Clausell is a late round pick who could play multiple NFL positions.


Justin Cox, Miss. St.

The Bulldogs starting FS Justin Cox provides good size with a big coverage range. Standing at 6’3, Cox can match up with TEs well or cover the back end of the defense. He is very tight hipped and doesn’t have the closing speed or fluidity that most NFL teams will look for. He has upside in both special teams and coverage at the next level. A solid midround pick, Cox could help himself with a good game against LSU.