Morning Links

Steve O Speak

Wide Receivers Declare For The NFL Draft: In the coming weeks a number of junior receivers are expected to enter the NFL Draft to perhaps make it the strongest receiver draft class in its history. Yesterday a pair of quality receivers put their name into the ring, and while neither are expected to be first round picks their presence helps give teams viable 2nd and 3rd round options as well. Torrey Smith of Maryland has been rumored to go for a little while, and was all but assured of leaving with the coaching change for the Terps. He isn’t a very big and tall receiver, but he has very good size to go along with his top speed. He should hear his name called in the early 2nd round. DeAndre Brown from Southern Mississippi is a bit more of a surprise, considering he is coming off a weak injury filled year. At 6’6″ 240 lbs, he profiles as the big receiver every team is looking for. Despite his poor numbers he should still hear his name called by the end of the 3rd round. Given the low profile of his school and marginal talent around him, he may have thought his draft stock wouldn’t improve too much with another season.

Maryland Could Be Zeroing In On Malzahn: With Maryland’s bowl game over their coaching search is expected to ramp up this week and a new coach could be in place by the new year. While multiple reports have them targeting Mike Leach, a couple reports have them in on Gus Malzahn who is currently Auburn’s offensive coordinator. While Leach would be a solid option, I really believe Malzahn would be the man who could turn this program into something special. He has two stints as an offensive coordinator in the SEC, which will give him plenty of credibility with recruits down south. Also, he brings an innovative offensive system that has worked in the SEC and could have a huge advantage in a weaker ACC Conference. If Maryland can land Malzahn, this program will be headed in the right direction for years to come.

Newton and Fairley Haven’t Thought About the NFL Draft: Now I realize it is for the best for them to not acknowledge their status for the NFL Draft just yet, but who do they really think they are kidding. Both players are expected to enter the draft and be early picks, so this is more of a non-story than anything else. I just wanted to make sure I nipped it in the bud before people started wondering what their draft status was. While Newton gets all the hype and prestige, it is actually Fairley who is the better player and likely higher draft pick. Fairley should hear his name called within the first five selections, and profiles to be one of the top penetrating defensive tackles in the game. For those fans who want your team to grab either Newton or Fairley, have no fear as they will both have their names called this April.

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