Draft Breakdown » Articles http://draftbreakdown.com NFL Draft Prospect Videos and More Tue, 18 Aug 2015 15:15:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 Jaylon Smith: Room to Improve http://draftbreakdown.com/jaylon-smith-room-to-improve/ http://draftbreakdown.com/jaylon-smith-room-to-improve/#comments Thu, 13 Aug 2015 16:44:53 +0000 http://draftbreakdown.com/?p=256998 One of the purposes of summer scouting is to develop a baseline for a player’s current skills. This helps frame the upcoming season performance. Did the player improve? Are his prior weak points dulled? Has he shown more NFL skills?

Under that backdrop I evaluated Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith. The rising true junior from Fort Wayne has created many waves in South Bend with his strong athletic ability and speed. No. 9 on the defense has proven his versatility, lining up at Mike backer, rush OLB, weakside nickel backer and even as a pseudo slot corner.

Both Daniel Jeremiah of the NFL Network and Matt Miller from Bleacher Report have gone on record this summer to call Smith their top defensive prospects entering the season. Many in the online draft community have followed suit, praising Smith’s playing speed, range and power. Listed at 6’2” and 235 pounds, (read more...)]]> jaylon-smith-matchupsOne of the purposes of summer scouting is to develop a baseline for a player’s current skills. This helps frame the upcoming season performance. Did the player improve? Are his prior weak points dulled? Has he shown more NFL skills?

Under that backdrop I evaluated Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith. The rising true junior from Fort Wayne has created many waves in South Bend with his strong athletic ability and speed. No. 9 on the defense has proven his versatility, lining up at Mike backer, rush OLB, weakside nickel backer and even as a pseudo slot corner.

Both Daniel Jeremiah of the NFL Network and Matt Miller from Bleacher Report have gone on record this summer to call Smith their top defensive prospects entering the season. Many in the online draft community have followed suit, praising Smith’s playing speed, range and power. Listed at 6’2” and 235 pounds, he’s got the kind of frame and size to fit any schematic vision.

Yet in watching Smith in eight total games (Rice, LSU, Stanford, Florida State, Purdue, Syracuse, Michigan–a game I attended–and Northwestern in that order), I saw a player with a lot of room for development. A lot more than expected, quite frankly, given the high praise from respected draft analysts. Here are a few of the areas where I want to see Smith take positive steps in the 2015 college season.

 

Last Man Standing

One of my biggest pet peeves in watching a defensive player is seeing someone consistently the last player moving after the snap. It happens to everyone at times, that’s just the nature of the beast. But when it’s noticeable throughout a game, it raises an eyebrow. I noticed it quickly with Smith, almost as if it’s his plan to gauge the initial offensive movement before committing to a reactive step. While I don’t care for this strategy, Miller (in a Twitter conversation) correctly noted Carolina Panthers star LB Luke Kuechly does this routinely and it hasn’t hindered him.

Nevertheless, I decided to keep a running tally of the times where Smith was the last player moving after the snap. In the first two games I got to 34. It changed a bit in the Stanford game, which was far and away his most impactful on the year. In that game he was moving a lot more with pre-snap reads, and that kept him on his toes and more prepared to react right off the snap.

I didn’t keep the running tally after that game, but in general this is something fairly common for Smith. The aforementioned Kuechly nod aside, the two players-as-prospects I most relate to this trait are Khaseem Greene and Alec Ogletree. Both are like Smith in that they rely a lot more on quick acceleration and superlative athleticism at the college level to compensate. That hasn’t exactly worked out too well at the next level for either; Greene got cut by the LB-needy Bears this offseason, while Ogletree has ranked in the bottom third of 4-3 OLBs in both his seasons in St. Louis, per Pro Football Focus.

 

Breakdown, Shakedown

This issue dovetails with the first. Because Smith is, err, overly patient at the snap, he often has to go full blast towards the play. Unfortunately that makes it quite tough to approach the point of attack under control. Here is where Kuechly stands out now and where Lance Briggs made a host of Pro Bowls in his great career, the ability to close on the ball under control while being at full gallop. Smith just doesn’t have that sort of body control or field sense.

What stands out here is that Smith pauses at the snap because he’s not all that instinctive. As is frequently coached now, players like this are often instructed to hold in place instead of taking a potentially false step if they’re not sure of what they are seeing. Irish coach Brian Kelly preached this in his days at Grand Valley State, where he often had superior athletes for the D-II level who weren’t necessarily the savviest football players. Smith is relying on his quickness and length to cover ground and get to the point of attack, and it does appear by design.

Unfortunately, his diagnostic skills are not to the level of Kuechly or Briggs. Right now he’s a lot more like Greene was at Rutgers, a pure see it/go get it linebacker instead of an immediate disruptor. Again, he rarely takes himself out of a play by guessing wrong. That’s a positive. Yet it would be nice if he had a little more bloodhound than greyhound to his game.

Here’s a play from the Rice game where two of Smith’s worst attributes are on full display:

He’s the last man moving on the defense by two full counts. That’s okay if he quickly reads and reacts, but Smith has zero sense of this slow-developing screen right in front of him. This should be a tackle for a short gain or even a play on the ball for a savvy linebacker, but Smith winds up being late to the party. There’s another great example at the 4:53 mark from the Stanford game where Smith is flat-footed a count after the snap, slow to read the play and misses a tackle on Ty Montgomery because of it. The same thing happens at the 2:53 mark in the Rice game. He gets beat for a touchdown on a short-yardage red zone stand in the Florida State game this way, too.

Another example comes from the LSU contest. His lateral agility on this play is great, but his body control is lousy. Smith cannot gather himself in time to properly square up the runner and make a tackle. The result? Roadkill…

Hopefully Smith learns to apply film study and get a better feel for what opposing offenses are trying to do. He’ll see that screen pass above again, and I want to see him attack it right away. Don’t just watch the quarterback but notice the linemen in front of him, the posture of the receivers and how they break from the line. There are clues there for Smith. He needs to read them quicker so he’s not approaching the play out of control and prone to overrunning or getting caught awkwardly by unexpected blocking.

 

Ballroom Blitz

Unless Smith winds up playing for Jim Schwartz or Lovie Smith in the NFL, he’s going to be asked to blitz from various LB spots. This is an area where Smith can really improve.

Every blitz is the exact same. Smith runs as fast as he can in a straight line right at the quarterback. Never mind that there might be a blocker in the way. They all look just like this:

He has absolutely no wiggle to his rush. His move is to try and blast through a brick wall. Every. Single. Time. When he’s unblocked Smith can be quite effective with his ear-pinned speed and he’s good at getting his arms up when the QB hurriedly throws the ball. But think about that for a minute…shouldn’t every defender be a good blitzer when unblocked? It’s kind of hard not to be good at that.

Smith led the Irish in sacks with just 3.5, and he actually surrendered more touchdown passes on blitzes (4) than sacks or forced turnovers (3) in the games I watched. He needs to add some variety to his pass rush repertoire. Mix in a spin move, or at least try to do something other than steamroll the blocker.

There really is quite a bit to like about Smith despite all the above negativity. He has tremendous physical tools to work with, and he’s very good at using his length and power as a tackler most of the time. Smith has proven quite adept in coverage, both man and zone. His ability to line up all over the formation is a real bonus. I love that he makes all the defensive calls.

If he can tighten the ship on the above problem areas, I can definitely see Smith being a first-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft should he declare. However, even with moderate improvement I really don’t buy him being a higher pick than Kuechly or Patrick Willis were. My preseason draft range for Smith is somewhere between 25-64 overall.

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Scouting Rewind: ’97 Peyton Manning vs Florida Gators http://draftbreakdown.com/scouting-rewind-97-peyton-manning-vs-florida-gators/ http://draftbreakdown.com/scouting-rewind-97-peyton-manning-vs-florida-gators/#comments Thu, 13 Aug 2015 14:40:35 +0000 http://draftbreakdown.com/?p=256976 We’re always looking to the future in the draft process. We analyze and evaluate prospects with the goal of accurately projecting their ability to play in NFL.

It got me thinking:  Why not ‘look back’ for once? I thought it would be a fun exercise to cut up a game from established superstars and look at the traits they exhibited in college and assess their development (or lack thereof) in the pros. 


I’m going to periodically post a collegiate game from one of today’s top NFL talents  as a way to explore how they’ve adapted to their strengths and weaknesses through their career.

First up is future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning. Manning has obviously had a highly decorated career in the NFL, but what does his college tape look like? One of the knocks on Peyton’s career has been his tendency to struggle in big game situations. In this 1997 bout versus the Steve Spurrier led No. 1 Florida Gators, Manning takes the Tennessee Volunteers into the Swamp for an early season matchup. Do his struggles in the NFL date back to his college days? What throws would you pick and choose to argue that Peyton Manning is a future franchise player? What plays would make you nervous about drafting him?

If you were starting to craft a scouting report on Peyton Manning, what notes would you make off of this game?

If you like this concept, engage with me on Twitter @McDraft2 and send suggestions for next week’s player!

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2016 NFL Draft Prospect Preview: Small School Watch List – Offense http://draftbreakdown.com/2016-nfl-draft-prospect-preview-small-school-watch-list-offense/ http://draftbreakdown.com/2016-nfl-draft-prospect-preview-small-school-watch-list-offense/#comments Wed, 12 Aug 2015 12:41:56 +0000 http://draftbreakdown.com/?p=256856 As promised, today’s 2016 NFL Draft prospect preview is a look at some of the top FCS, Division II, and Division III talents from the offensive side of the ball. If you missed yesterday’s defensive prospect watch list, you can find those players right here. As always, asterisks denote underclassmen.

Carson Wentz QB North Dakota State 6’6” 235

  • 2014 Stats: 228-358 (63.7%) 3111 YDS 25 TD 10 INT passing, 642 YDS 4.7 AVG 6 TD rushing, 1 REC 16 YDS 1 TD receiving

As a first-year starter last season, Wentz led the Bison to a fourth consecutive FCS championship, and was named the Most Outstanding Player of the title game. A tall, pocket quarterback prospect, Wentz has a strong right arm, and the mobility to buy himself time and make plays with his feet. The fifth-year senior has emerged as an early favorite of draft analysts, (read more...)]]> john robertsonAs promised, today’s 2016 NFL Draft prospect preview is a look at some of the top FCS, Division II, and Division III talents from the offensive side of the ball. If you missed yesterday’s defensive prospect watch list, you can find those players right here. As always, asterisks denote underclassmen.

Carson Wentz QB North Dakota State 6’6” 235

  • 2014 Stats: 228-358 (63.7%) 3111 YDS 25 TD 10 INT passing, 642 YDS 4.7 AVG 6 TD rushing, 1 REC 16 YDS 1 TD receiving

As a first-year starter last season, Wentz led the Bison to a fourth consecutive FCS championship, and was named the Most Outstanding Player of the title game. A tall, pocket quarterback prospect, Wentz has a strong right arm, and the mobility to buy himself time and make plays with his feet. The fifth-year senior has emerged as an early favorite of draft analysts, and could work his way into the second or third round range with another strong season.

John Robertson QB Villanova 6’1” 220

  • Two-star recruit out of Paramus, NJ in 2011
  • 2014 Stats: 197-301 (65.4%) 2846 YDS 35 TD 3 INT passing, 1078 YDS 4.7 AVG 11 TD rushing

Robertson redshirted in 2011, but became a starter the following year, and has rattled off three straight seasons with at least 1900 passing yards and 1000 rushing yards. Heading into his senior year, he’s already the school record holder in total offense, and the second-leading rusher in school history. Last season, he earned First Team All-American honors, and the Walter Payton Award as the top player in the FCS. Robertson has good instincts as a runner and a passer, and gets the ball out quickly and accurately. He’s likely to merit late round consideration in the draft next spring.

Tre Roberson QB Illinois State 6’ 205

  • Three-star recruit out of Indianapolis, IN in 2011
  • Granted a medical redshirt after a broken leg caused him to miss all but two games in 2012
  • 2014 Stats: 208-359 (57.9%) 3221 YDS 30 TD 10 INT passing, 1029 YDS 6.0 AVG 11 TD rushing

After three years at Indiana, Roberson transferred to Illinois State prior to the 2014 season, and led the Redbirds to a berth in the FCS Championship Game. In the process, the former Hoosier set school records for touchdown passes, yards per pass attempt, yards per completion, total offense, and quarterback rushing yards.




Vad Lee QB James Madison 6’1” 225

  • Three-star recruit out of Durham, NC in 2011
  • 2014 Stats: 282-465 (60.6%) 3462 YDS 30 TD 7 INT passing, 826 YDS 4.5 AVG 9 TD rushing

Lee redshirted in 2011, then spent two years playing in the triple option offense at Georgia Tech before transferring to James Madison where he could spread his wings as a passer. In his first season with the Dukes, he set school records for completions, passing yards, passing touchdowns and total offense.

Jason Vander Laan QB Ferris State 6’4” 241

  • 2014 Stats: 183-275 (66.5%) 2381 YDS 30 TD 7 INT passing, 1466 YDS 6.2 AVG 20 TD rushing

Vander Laan has started all 34 games he’s played in, and has led the Bulldogs to a 26-8 record over that span. Last season, he led all NCAA quarterbacks in rushing yards, and he was named the conference Player of the Year. During his career, Vander Laan has thrown for 5615 yards, rushed for 4411, and already holds the school record for total offense heading into 2015.

Kyle Washington QB Angelo State 6’5” 205

  • 2014 Stats: 265-417 (63.6%) 3236 YDS 34 TD 10 INT passing, 911 YDS 5.6 AVG 9 TD rushing

Washington redshirted in 2011 and saw spot action of the bench the following season. In 2013, he became the first player in school history to pass for over 2000 yards and rush for over 1000 in the same season.

Morgan Roberts QB Yale 6’3” 200

  • Three-star recruit out of Charlotte, NC in 2011
  • 2014 Stats: 248-371 (66.8%) 3230 YDS 22 TD 9 INT passing, 197 YDS 2.8 AVG 4 TD rushing

Roberts, a Clemson transfer, thrived in his first year as Yale’s starting QB, setting school records for completions, completion percentage, and passing yards in a season.

Alex Ross QB Coastal Carolina 6’1” 205

  • 2014 Stats: 271-422 (64.2%) 3389 YDS 20 TD 7 INT passing, 691 YDS 4.5 AVG 9 TD rushing

Ross has led the team to a 24-5 record since taking over as the starting quarterback. He was a first team All-Big South selection as a sophomore when he passed for 3093 yards and 26 touchdowns, and he followed that up by winning conference Offensive Player of the Year honors as a junior last season.

Daniel Sams QB McNeese State 6’2” 198

  • Three-star recruit out of Slidell, LA in 2011
  • 2014 Stats: 46-97 (47.4%) 624 YDS 7 TD 4 INT passing, 711 YDS 6.8 AVG 2 TD rushing

Sams began his career at Kansas State, and rushed for 807 yards and 11 touchdowns while splitting quarterback snaps as a redshirt sophomore in 2013. He was slated to move to receiver in the spring of 2014, but after finding himself buried on the depth chart, Sams opted to transfer to McNeese State. He will compete for the starting QB job again this fall, but will likely need to consider a position change at the pro level. Sams will turn 23 years old on October 1st.

Jacob Huesman QB Chattanooga 6’2” 220

  • 2014 Stats: 226-330 (68.5%) 2731 YDS 23 TD 8 INT passing, 1009 YDS 5.1 AVG 14 TD rushing

Huesman is a three year starter at quarterback for the Mocs, and he’s won back-to-back conference Player of the Year awards. The fifth-year senior is fifth in school history in passing yards, fourth all-time in rushing, and has already tied Chattanooga records for career passing and rushing touchdowns.

Joe Callahan QB Wesley 6’1” 215

  • 2014 Stats: 300-463 (64.8%) 4190 YDS 46 TD 10 INT passing, 94 YDS 1.5 AVG 5 TD rushing

Callahan has passed for 7789 yards and 75 touchdowns over the past two seasons. He finished second in the DIII ranks in both passing yards and touchdowns, and earned First Team all-conference honors.

Marshaun Coprich RB Illinois State 5’9” 205

  • 2014 Stats: 2274 YDS 6.1 AVG 27 TD rushing, 15 REC 54 YDS 3.6 AVG receiving

After a solid sophomore season, Coprich led the FCS in rushing yards and touchdowns last year. His performance earned him and FCS Player of the Year honor from the Touchdown Club of Columbus, and a First Team All-American selection from the associated press. Coprich was briefly suspended this past spring after selling marijuana to an undercover police officer, but he rejoined the team after agreeing to a plea deal.

Dy’Shawn Mobley RB Eastern Kentucky 5’11” 225

  • Three-star recruit out of Powell, TN in 2012
  • 2014 Stats: 1491 YDS 5.8 AVG 20 TD rushing, 33 REC 309 YDS 9.4 AVG 1 TD receiving

Mobley rushed for 300 yards and averaged over seven yards per carry as a sophomore at Kentucky in 2013, but frustration over lack of playing time led him to transfer to the FCS ranks. He stepped in last season and immediately and earned First Team all-conference honors, and the team’s Offensive MVP award.

Paul Stanton Jr. RB Harvard 5’9” 190

  • 2014 Stats: 990 YDS 6.7 AVG 11 TD rushing, 14 REC 115 YDS 8.2 AVG receiving

Stanton was a Second Team All-Ivy League selection as a sophomore in 2013, and a First Team choice last season. Through three seasons the senior running back is Harvard’s seventh leading all-time rusher, and his 27 rushing touchdowns rank fourth in school history.

Anthony Bilal RB Lake Erie College 5’7” 170

  • 2014 Stats: 2091 YDS 8.2 AVG 29 TD rushing, 7 REC 51 YDS 4.6 AVG receiving

Last year, Bilal broke his own school records for rushing yards and TDs in a season on his way to being named a Division II First Team All-American. In 31 career games he’s gained 4488 yards on the ground, and has averaged 6.8 yards per carry.

Marquise Cushon WR Pittsburg State 5’10” 162

  • 2014 Stats: 69 REC 1301 YDS 18.9 AVG 8 TD receiving, 242 YDS 10.5 AVG 1 TD, 25.9 KR AVG

Cushon is a three-time All-American track athlete who’s earned two conference titles in the triple jump. Last season he broke out on the football filed, leading the Gorillas in receiving yards and yards per catch. Cushon, who turns 23 years old in September, will hope to follow in the footsteps of John Brown, another slight but swift Pitt State receiver who was drafted in the third round of the 2014 draft.

Keelan Cole WR Kentucky Wesleyan 6’1” 167*

  • 2014 Stats: 75 REC 1557 YDS 20.8 AVG 21 TD

Cole is a two-time Great Midwest Athletic Conference Track Athlete of the Year, and is the school record holder in the 100, 200, and 400-meter events. On the football field, he also holds school records for receiving yards and touchdowns in a season.

Tim Brown TE West Chester 6’3” 235

  • 2014 Stats: 53 REC 1059 YDS 20.0 AVG 17 TD

Brown is undersized as a tight end prospect, but he dominated the competition last season finishing third in the DII ranks in touchdown catches, leading all tight ends in receiving yards, and ultimately earning First Team All-American honors.

Joe Haeg OT 6’6” 310

Haeg started 29 games at right tackle during the 2012 and 2013 seasons. After Billy Turner graduated to the NFL, Haeg moved to the left side as a junior and was named a First Team FCS All-American.

Shaq Anthony OT 6’5” 290

  • Three-star recruit out of Piedmont, SC in 2011

After redshirting in 2011 at Clemson, Anthony started five games over two seasons before transferring to Tennessee State. Last season, for the Tigers, he started six games between left guard and left tackle.




 

Other Players to Watch:

Kade Bell QB Jacksonville 6’1” 185

  • 2014 Stats: 227-376 (60.4%) 3181 YDS 31 TD 12 INT

Bell was First Team All-Pioneer League last year after setting a school record for passing yards in a season.

John Gibbs Jr. QB Alcorn St 6’6” 220

  • 2014 Stats: 189-324 (58.3%) 2482 YDS 21 TD 7 INT passing, 1006 YDS 7.5 AVG 11 TD rushing

Dalyn Williams QB Dartmouth 6’ 210

  • 2014 Stats: 181-268 (67.5%) 2119 YDS 21 TD 3 INT passing, 444 YDS 3.9 AVG 6 TD rushing

Brock Jones RB Gannon 5’10” 210

  • 2014 Stats: 1628 YDS 6.4 AVG 16 TD rushing, 19 REC 198 YDS 10.4 AVG 2 TD receiving

Jones was named the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Western Division Offensive Player of the Year as a first-year starter last season after seeing mostly special teams action as a freshman and sophomore.

Johnta’ Hebert RB Prairie View A&M 5’10” 195

  • 2014 Stats: 1063 YDS 6.3 AVG 12 TD rushing, 32 REC 269 YDS 8.4 AVG 2 TD receiving, 921 YDS 28.8 AVG 1 TD on kick returns

Hebert has rushed for 1970 yards and 17 touchdowns over the past two seasons, and provides added value in the passing (87 career receptions) and return games.

Withler Marcelin RB Rowan 5’10” 195

  • 2014 Stats: 1447 YDS 5.4 AVG 11 TD rushing, 12 REC 75 YDS 6.3 AVG receiving

Marcelin has rushed for over 1400 yards and scored at least 11 touchdowns in each of the last two seasons.

Calvinaugh Jones RB Concord 5’9” 200

  • 2014 Mountain East Conference Offensive Player of the Year
  • 2014 Stats: 1734 YDS 6.7 AVG 10 TD rushing, 16 REC 106 YDS 6.6 AVG receiving

Cameron McDondle RB Colorado State-Pueblo 5’8” 196

  • Second Team Division II All-American last season
  • 2014 Stats: 2014 YDS 6.0 AVG 16 TD rushing, 17 REC 124 YDS 8.3 AVG 2 TD receiving

Connor Kacsor RB Dayton 6’ 211

  • 2014 Pioneer Football League Offensive Player of the Year
  • 2014 Stats: 1547 YDS 6.1 AVG 17 TD rushing, 21 REC 122 YDS 5.8 AVG receiving

Sam Sura RB St. John’s (MN) 5’11” 200

  • 2014 Division III First Team All-American
  • 2014 Stats: 1769 YDS 5.9 AVG 19 TD rushing, 12 REC 129 YDS 10.8 AVG 1 TD

Geremy Alridge-Mitchell RB West Texas A&M 5’8” 203

  • Redshirted in 2011
  • 2014 Stats: 1369 YDS 5.5 AVG 21 TD rushing, 29 REC 242 YDS 8.3 AVG 1 TD receiving, 657 YDS 29.9 AVG 1 TD on kick returns

Joey Sonnenfeld WR Augsburg 6’3” 215

  • 2014 Stats: 70 REC 1219 YDS 17.4 AVG 14 TD

As a sophomore, Sonnenfeld led the team with 67 catches and 1087 receiving yards, and he led the conference with 13 touchdown catches.

Casey Osborne WR Delta State 6’3” 205

  • 2014 Stats: 76 REC 1007 YDS 13.3 AVG 9 TD

Osborne was a Second Team all-conference selection as a sophomore in 2013, and earned first team honors last year while leading the Gulf South Conference in receptions.

Chris King WR Duquesne 6’1” 196

  • 2014 Stats: 68 REC 1127 YDS 16.6 AVG 14 TD

Darrin Peterson WR Liberty 6’2” 190

  • Two-time First Team All-Big South selection
  • 2014 Stats: 85 REC 1379 YDS 16.2 AVG 12 TD

Nnamdi Agude WR Sacramento State 6’3” 195

  • 2014 Stats: 70 REC 1156 YDS 16.5 AVG 10 TD

Agude became a Second Team all-conference player last year in his first season as a full-time starter.

Nathan Mourik WR Southwest Baptist 6’2” 189

  • 2014 Stats: 65 REC 1398 YDS 21.5 AVG 13 TD

Andrew Williams WR Youngstown State 6’4” 195

  • 2014 Stats: 54 REC 976 YDS 18.1 AVG 6 TD

Cole Spurgeon WR/H-Back Colorado School of Mines 6’3” 235

  • Redshirted in 2011
  • 2014 Stats: 66 REC 939 YDS 14.2 AVG 11 TD

Joe Sommers TE Wisconsin-Oshkosh 6’3” 240

  • Second Team Division III All-American last season
  • 2014 Stats: 41 REC 669 YDS 16.3 AVG 3 TD

Cole Toner OT Harvard 6’7” 300

Toner was a First Team All-Ivy League selection as the team’s starting right tackle last season.

Abe M’Bodj G Bryant 6’3” 305

Bryant is a two year starter at right tackle for the Bulldogs, with additional experience at right guard.

Garrick Mayweather Jr. G 6’3” 319

  • Two-star recruit out of Baton Rouge, LA in 2012

Mayweather has started 28 games at left guard for the Rams over the last two seasons.

Bruce Johnson C Maine 6’3” 295

  • Redshirted in 2011

An all-conference First Team selection in 2014, Johnson has started 24 games at center for the Black Bears over the past two seasons.

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2016 NFL Draft Prospect Preview: Small School Watch List – Defense http://draftbreakdown.com/2016-nfl-draft-prospect-preview-small-school-watch-list-defense/ http://draftbreakdown.com/2016-nfl-draft-prospect-preview-small-school-watch-list-defense/#comments Tue, 11 Aug 2015 12:57:03 +0000 http://draftbreakdown.com/?p=256858 Taking a break from the team-by-team previews, here’s a look at some of the 2016 NFL Draft-eligible prospects from the FCS, Division II and Division III ranks. I’ve compiled quite a few names here, so I’ve broken them up into two separate posts. We’ll kick things off today with the defense, but check back tomorrow for the offensive side of the ball. As always, asterisks denote underclassmen.

Noah Spence DE Eastern Kentucky 6’3” 255*

  • Five-star recruit out of Harrisburg, PA in 2012

As a sophomore at Ohio State two seasons ago, Spence racked up 7.5 sacks among 14 tackles for loss before he was hit with a suspension for a failed drug test prior to the Buckeyes’ Orange Bowl loss to Clemson. A second failed test washed away Spence’s entire 2014 season and closed the Ohio State chapter of his career. For a minute or two, the (read more...)]]> Noah SpenceTaking a break from the team-by-team previews, here’s a look at some of the 2016 NFL Draft-eligible prospects from the FCS, Division II and Division III ranks. I’ve compiled quite a few names here, so I’ve broken them up into two separate posts. We’ll kick things off today with the defense, but check back tomorrow for the offensive side of the ball. As always, asterisks denote underclassmen.

Noah Spence DE Eastern Kentucky 6’3” 255*

  • Five-star recruit out of Harrisburg, PA in 2012

As a sophomore at Ohio State two seasons ago, Spence racked up 7.5 sacks among 14 tackles for loss before he was hit with a suspension for a failed drug test prior to the Buckeyes’ Orange Bowl loss to Clemson. A second failed test washed away Spence’s entire 2014 season and closed the Ohio State chapter of his career. For a minute or two, the rumor mill even had Spence declaring for the 2015 NFL Draft. Instead, he opted to transfer to Eastern Kentucky and play for Urban Meyer’s childhood pal Dean Hood. If Spence can keep his personal issues in check and put together a productive season for the Colonels, this is likely to be his final season in the college ranks.

Teddy Corwin DE Illinois State 6’5” 260

  • Two-star recruit out of St. Louis, MO in 2011
  • Redshirted in 2011
  • 2014 Stats: 98 TKL 12.5 TFL 7.5 SCK 10 QBH 1 FF 3 INT 4 PBU 1 BLK

Corwin was a breakthrough star for the FCS runners-up last season, and was named First Team all-conference after tying for third on the team in sacks, and tying for the team lead in interceptions. Corwin is a former high school tight end, and is an experienced special teamer who has blocked three kicks in his college career.

James Cowser DE Southern Utah 6’4” 258

  • 2014 Stats: 87 TKL 29 TFL 11.5 SCK 4 QBH 3 FF 2 PBU 2 BLK

Cowser set a Big Sky Conference record for tackles for loss last season, and has collected 61.5 tackles for loss and 29.5 sacks over the first three years of his college career. Cowser is a 2009 high school graduate, who redshirted and spent two seasons on a Mormon mission, so he will be one of the older prospects in college football this season.

Jonathan Woodard DE Central Arkansas 6’6” 271

  • 2014 Stats: 56 TKL 18.5 TFL 10 SCK 1 INT 1 PBU 2 BLK

Woodard was the 2014 Southland Conference Defensive Player of the Year, and his 25 career sacks are second in school history.

Chris Landrum DE Jacksonville State 6’3” 263

  • Three-star recruit out of Sweet Water, AL in 2011
  • 2014 Stats: 32 TKL 9.5 TFL 3.5 SCK 4 QBU 3 FF

Landrum has amassed 20 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks in two seasons for the Gamecocks since transferring from Auburn after the 2012 season.

Devaunte Sigler DT Jacksonville State 6’5” 292

  • Three-star recruit out of Mobile, AL in 2011
  • 2014 Stats: 36 TKL 9 TFL 3.5 SCK 2 FF 1 INT 2 PBU 1 BLK

Sigler played sparingly for two seasons at Auburn before he was dismissed for a violation of team rules. He returned to his hometown where his young daughter lived, and worked as a brick mason while he waited for a release to free him up to attend another school. Signer landed at Jacksonville State and was finally eligible to play last season, and he tied for second on the team in sacks his former Auburn teammate Landrum.

Connor Underwood LB Indiana State 6’3” 240

  • 2014 Stats: 94 TKL 25 TFL 13.5 SCK 11 QBH 3 FF 4 PBU

Underwood redshirted in 2011 but has been an impact player ever since. The 2014 AP Second Team All-American holds school records with 52.5 tackles for loss and 28.5 sacks through his first three seasons.

Solomon St. Pierre CB Sioux Falls 5’11” 171

  • 2014 Stats: 63 TKL 2 FF 10 INT 2 INT return TD 13 PBU

St. Pierre has intercepted 13 passes in 29 career games, and his total last year led all of Division II. The fifth-year senior was a first team All-American last season.

Leondre Simmon CB St. Lawrence 6’1” 180

  • 2014 Stats: 17 TKL 2 TFL 5 INT 10 PBU 1 FR TD defense, 16 REC 260 YDS 16.2 AVG 5 TD



Simmon starred as a two-way player last season, and finished second on the team in both interceptions and touchdown receptions. The senior corner is an intriguing athlete who also started 20 games for the Saints’ basketball team, averaging 4.3 points and 4.4 rebounds per game, and tying for the team lead in steals.

Matt Smalley CB Lafayette 5’10” 195

  • 2014 Stats: 61 TKL 5 TFL 2 SCK 1 INT 11 PBU

Smalley has starred on defense and special teams for the Leopards over the past two years. He had his best overall season as a sophomore in 2013, when he intercepted five passes, averaged 29.6 yards per kick return, and returned two kicks for touchdowns.

Michael Jordan CB Missouri Western 6’ 200

  • 2014 Stats: 37 TKL 1 FF 4 INT 1 INT return TD 12 PBU 1 BLK

Jordan was a First Team Division II All-American last season as a redshirt junior, and has collected 11 interceptions and 25 pass breakups in 35 career games.

Jordan Shaw S Shorter 6’2” 215

  • 2014 Stats: 89 TKL 0.5 TFL 2 FF 8 INT 1 INT return TD

Shaw redshirted in 2011, then served as the backup quarterback for a year before moving to defense in the spring of 2013. He has intercepted 10 passes in two seasons, and his record-setting performance last year led to Division II Second Team All-American honors.

Tim Kilfoy S Northern Iowa 6’1” 215

  • Two-star recruit out of Davenport, IA in 2012
  • 2014 Stats: 73 TKL 5.5 TFL 1 FF 4 INT 2 INT return TD 2 PBU

Kilfoy returned from injury last season to earn First Team all-conference honors, and to tie a school record with his two interception return touchdowns.

Jourdan Wickliffe S Eastern Illinois 6’1” 200

  • 2014 Stats: 62 TKL 2 TFL 4 INT 1 PBU

A graduate of St. Charles Preparatory School in Columbus, Ohio (Go Cardinals!), Wickliffe has been a First Team All-Ohio Valley Conference selection two years running, and has intercepted nine passes to this point in his college career.

 

Other Players to Watch:

Chima Uzowihe DE Liberty 6’2” 250

  • 2014 Stats: 42 TKL 14 TFL 8 SCK 1 QBH 3 FF 1 PBU 2 BLK

Uzowihe has been a First Team all-conference selection two years in a row, and has amassed 17 sacks among his 27 tackles for loss in his college career.

Joshua Gordon DE Minnesota State 6’2” 255

  • Redshirted in 2011
  • 2014 Stats: 82 TKL 21 TFL 17.5 SCK 1 QBH 5 FF 5 PBU

Gordon set a school record for sacks on his way to being named the conference Defensive Player of the Year, and a First Team Division II All-American last season.

Clayton Callicutt DE Angelo State 6’4” 275

  • 20 career sacks in three seasons
  • 2014 Stats: 76 TKL 20 TFL 8 SCK 8 QBH

Alex Hoff DE Linfield 6’3” 240

  • First Team Division III All-American in 2014
  • 2014 Stats: 52 TKL 27.5 TFL 15.5 SCK 5 QBH 3 FF 1 PBU

Victor Ochi DE Stony Brook 6’2” 240

  • First Team all-conference selection last season
  • 2014 Stats: 57 TKL 16.5 TFL 11 SCK 2 FF 2 QBH

Steve Ambs DE Ursinus 6’2” 245

  • 20 sacks and six forced fumbles in 29 career games
  • 2014 Stats: 84 TKL 20.5 TFL 12 SCK 3 FF 4 PBU

Javon Hargrave DT 6’2” 295

  • 2014 Stats: 55 TKL 24 TFL 16 SCK 12 QBH 3 FF 2 PBU 1 FR TD

Hargrave finished fourth in the FCS in sacks last season, and has the highest total of any returning player at that level.

Tyler Henderson LB Minnesota State 6’3” 235

  • 2014 Stats: 122 TKL 11.5 TFL 4.5 SCK 2 FF 1 INT 5 PBU

Henderson led the team in tackles each of the last two seasons, and he was named a First Team Division II All-American as a redshirt junior last year.

Don Cherry LB Villanova 6’1” 240

  • 2014 Stats: 134 TKL 21.5 TFL 10 SCK 1 QBH 5 FF 4 PBU

Cherry was the runner-up last season for the Buck Buchanan Award for best FCS defender.

Cory Magwood LB Furman 6’2” 232

  • 2014 Stats: 123 TKL 3.5 TFL 1 FF

Warren Gatewood CB Alcorn State 6’ 175

  • 2014 Stats: 34 TKL 1 TFL 3 INT 13 PBU

Dallas Jackson CB Jacksonville 6’ 180

  • 2014 Stats: 47 TKL 1 FF 5 INT 4 PBU

Jermaine Hough CB Jacksonville State 5’10” 180

  • Eight interceptions and 22 pass breakups in three seasons
  • 2014 Stats: 36 TKL 4 TFL 4 INT 7 PBU

Tre Jones CB Mount Union 5’10” 175

  • 11 career interceptions
  • 2014 Stats: 50 TKL 2.5 TFL 1 SCK 1 FF 7 INT 14 PBU

Alex Kocheff S Mount Union 5’10” 205

  • 2014 Stats: 87 TKL 11 TFL 4 SCK 3 FF 3 INT 5 PBU

Kocheff was a Division III First Team All-American last season after leading the Raiders in tackles for the second consecutive year.

Najee Bright S Alabama State 6’2” 180

  • Nine career interceptions
  • 2014 Stats: 44 TKL 1.5 TFL 5 INT 7 PBU
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Chris Ross’ Way-Too-Early Top 5 2016 NFL Draft WR Rankings http://draftbreakdown.com/chris-ross-way-too-early-top-5-2016-nfl-draft-wr-rankings/ http://draftbreakdown.com/chris-ross-way-too-early-top-5-2016-nfl-draft-wr-rankings/#comments Sun, 09 Aug 2015 02:59:27 +0000 http://draftbreakdown.com/?p=255700 1. Tyler Boyd, Pitt*

A silky-smooth route runner with good deep speed and reliable hands, Tyler Boyd has more than enough talent to become an excellent professional receiver. Boyd contests 50-50 balls well, and while he will likely need to bulk up to hold up in the NFL, Boyd has a lot of the same qualities that I observed in Odell Beckham Jr. coming out of LSU. If he can put behind a DUI from earlier this offseason and again thrive this season, Boyd could very well be the first receiver off the board next year.

2. Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss*

An exceptionally talented athlete, Laquon Treadwell was playing very well last season before an injury cut his campaign short. Like Boyd, Treadwell has a very polished skill set, running good routes and displaying great hands. The biggest concern with Treadwell is how he will return from the broken leg (read more...)]]> Tyler Boyd

Getty Images

1. Tyler Boyd, Pitt*

A silky-smooth route runner with good deep speed and reliable hands, Tyler Boyd has more than enough talent to become an excellent professional receiver. Boyd contests 50-50 balls well, and while he will likely need to bulk up to hold up in the NFL, Boyd has a lot of the same qualities that I observed in Odell Beckham Jr. coming out of LSU. If he can put behind a DUI from earlier this offseason and again thrive this season, Boyd could very well be the first receiver off the board next year.

2. Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss*

An exceptionally talented athlete, Laquon Treadwell was playing very well last season before an injury cut his campaign short. Like Boyd, Treadwell has a very polished skill set, running good routes and displaying great hands. The biggest concern with Treadwell is how he will return from the broken leg and dislocated ankle that ended his 2014 season prematurely. If he can come back this year and regain his pre-injury form, Treadwell will likely be a first round selection; however, if he shows any lingering effects from the injury Treadwell’s draft stock may slip.

3. Josh Doctson, TCU

Although he isn’t as recognizable as some of the other names on this list, Josh Doctson is up there with the best receivers in the country in terms of pure talent. Blessed with excellent hands and great ball-tracking skills, Doctson consistently impresses with his ability to make difficult catches. He lacks polish as a route-runner, though with better coaching at the next level, he should improve in that area. The part of Doctson’s game that really jumped out at me while I was watching his film was his talent in the red zone. The TCU product uses his excellent hands, leaping ability and 6’3″ frame to his advantage and will likely be a threat to consistently put up 10+ touchdowns per year in the NFL. He needs to clean up his route-running a bit, but Doctson has the talent to be a force.

4. Mike Williams, Clemson*

>


A big-bodied receiver with an exceptionally large catch radius and excellent ball-tracking skills, Mike Williams is another guy that needs to clean up his route-running, but has the talent to become an outstanding receiver at the next level. He’s got the size at 6’4″, 210 pounds to dominate smaller cornerbacks, and while he doesn’t have elite speed, he has enough to get by. His raw as a technician, but Williams has enough talent to be an early round selection.

5. Duke Williams, Auburn

In terms of pure athleticism, Duke Williams might be the most gifted receiver in this class. Williams possesses a rare combination of size and speed, and he has excellent size for the position. He’s not a true burner, but Williams has more than enough quickness to gain separation from corners. Unfortunately, despite his athletic ability, Williams is likely going to struggle to adjust to the NFL game right away. He lacks a lot of experience at the position, and it shows in his play. He rounds off way too many routes, and he constantly body-catches the ball, leading to plenty of drops. That said, If he lives up to his immense potential, Williams could be special player in the NFL.

Also Check Out:

2016 NFL Draft Prospect Preview: Arizona Wildcats

Laremy Tunsil: Room to Improve

Robert Nkemdiche: Room to Improve

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2016 NFL Draft Prospect Preview: Minnesota Golden Gophers http://draftbreakdown.com/2016-nfl-draft-prospect-preview-minnesota-golden-gophers/ http://draftbreakdown.com/2016-nfl-draft-prospect-preview-minnesota-golden-gophers/#comments Sun, 09 Aug 2015 00:36:26 +0000 http://draftbreakdown.com/?p=256836 The Minnesota Golden Gophers finished this past regular season just one win shy of a berth in the Big Ten title game. Instead the team had to settle for a Citrus Bowl bid, were handled by Missouri, and dropped to 8-5 on the year. The Gophers’ record overall and in conference was still good enough to produce their best season under current Head Coach Jerry Kill, but the 2015 team has lost workhorse running back David Cobb, star tight end Maxx Williams, and the defense’s two leading tacklers, linebacker Damien Wilson and safety Cedric Thompson. Kill’s crew has a home date with a dangerous TCU team to kickoff the season, but follow with seven winnable games heading into an early November trip to Columbus to face Ohio State. The Gophers have a decent opportunity to top, or at least match last year’s record. Here’s a look at the draft-eligible players (read more...)]]> Boddy-CalhounThe Minnesota Golden Gophers finished this past regular season just one win shy of a berth in the Big Ten title game. Instead the team had to settle for a Citrus Bowl bid, were handled by Missouri, and dropped to 8-5 on the year. The Gophers’ record overall and in conference was still good enough to produce their best season under current Head Coach Jerry Kill, but the 2015 team has lost workhorse running back David Cobb, star tight end Maxx Williams, and the defense’s two leading tacklers, linebacker Damien Wilson and safety Cedric Thompson. Kill’s crew has a home date with a dangerous TCU team to kickoff the season, but follow with seven winnable games heading into an early November trip to Columbus to face Ohio State. The Gophers have a decent opportunity to top, or at least match last year’s record. Here’s a look at the draft-eligible players they’ll be working with in the fall.

Briean Boddy-Calhoun CB 5’11” 188

  • Three-star recruit out of junior college in Coffeyville, KA in 2012
  • 2014 Stats: 51 TKL 2 TFL 2 FF 5 INT 9 PBU

Boddy-Calhoun arrived at Minnesota via the junior college ranks in 2012, and saw action as a reserve that season. In 2013 he started that year off with a bang, running an interception back 89 yards for a score in an opening day win over UNLV. Unfortunately, a knee injury ended Boddy-Calhoun’s season prematurely, and he missed all but two games that year. He returned to health in time for a full 2014 season and emerged as the Gophers’ top cover man. His five interceptions and nine pass breakups earned him First Team All-Big Ten recognition from the media, and a Second Team nod from the conference coaches. Having received a medical redshirt for his abbreviated 2013, Boddy-Calhoun returns for one final go around, and while he doesn’t have great size, his steady tackling and ball hawking ability are likely to merit at least mid round consideration from NFL teams next spring.




De’Vondre Campbell OLB 6’5” 241

  • Three-star recruit out of junior college in Hutchinson, KA in 2013
  • 2014 Stats: 75 TKL 6.5 TFL 2.5 SCK 1 QBH 1 INT (returned for a TD) 1 PBU 1 blocked FG

Campbell joined the Gophers from the Juco ranks prior to the 2013 season and amassed 41 tackles in a mostly reserve role. He became a full-time starter last season and finished third on the team in tackles. Campbell has an intriguing combination of size and speed, so it will be interesting to see if he’s given more pass rushing opportunities this season. He’s on the Butkus award watch list, but to this point he’s really only shown flashes of playmaking ability. Still, Campbell will be relied upon for leadership, and he’s certainly not lacking in confidence. The senior linebacker raised eyebrows last November when he declared TCU a much better team than the eventual national champion Buckeyes. He’ll get another look at both teams in 2015.

Eric Murray CB 6’ 196

  • Two-star recruit out of Milwaukee, WI in 2012
  • 2014 Stats: 69 TKL 2 TFL 1 INT 7 PBU

Across from Boddy-Calhoun, Murray had manned the other corner spot and has broken up a total of 17 passes in 26 starts over the past two seasons. His performance last season earned him Second Team all-conference recognition from the coaches. As a prospect, Murray has a good-sized frame, he’s a strong tackler, and he’s an experienced starter. If his speed checks out he may work his way into the late rounds.

Theiren Cockran DE 6’6” 257

  • Two-star recruit out of Homestead, FL in 2011
  • 2014 Stats: 23 TKL 7 TFL 4 SCK 1 FF 2 PBU

As a redshirt sophomore in 2013, Cockran was named Second Team All-Big Ten by the media in 2013 after posting 7.5 sacks in 13 games, but then saw his total dip significantly last year. The drop off has been attributed in some quarters to Cockran attracting more attention from opposing offensive linemen, but a closer look reveals that despite looking the part, he may not really possess the tools to be an imposing pass rush presence. Cockran doesn’t have ideal explosion off the ball, and appears stiff in his approach. Whether speed rushing or trying an inside spin, the fifth-year senior lacks smoothness and bend, and often gets off balance. The effort is there, but the talent level is average. Factoring his age into the equation – Cockran will be a 24-year old rookie – suggests a player who has a low ceiling for improvement at best, or is maxed out physically at worst. At this point he looks like a late round draft pick or priority free agent.

 

Other Players to Watch:

Damarius Travis FS 6’2” 215

  • Three-star recruit out of Pensacola, FL in 2012
  • 2014 Stats: 61 TKL 3.5 TFL 1 FF 2 INT 5 PBU

In 13 games (seven starts) last season, Travis finished fifth in the team in tackles and fourth in pass breakups. The big safety heads into his senior year as a full-time starter for the first time in his career.

Josh Campion OT 6’5” 310

  • Three-star recruit out of Fork Union Military Academy in VA in 2011

Campion redshirted in 2011 and has since started all 39 games of his college career. He has seen action at right and left tackle for the Gophers, but he will turn 25 years old this coming December.

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Scouting Notes: Kemoko Turay vs. UNC (2014) http://draftbreakdown.com/scouting-notes-kemoko-turay-vs-unc-2014/ http://draftbreakdown.com/scouting-notes-kemoko-turay-vs-unc-2014/#comments Fri, 07 Aug 2015 15:47:25 +0000 http://draftbreakdown.com/?p=256741 *taken from the(read more...)]]> *taken from the scouting notes section*

Elite pass rushers are hard to find, but Kemoko Turay displayed some traits in this game that suggest we could be looking at one by the time the 2016 NFL Draft rolls around.  This isn’t the only game that Turay flashed his natural traits to get to the quarterback, but it certainly showcased many aspects of his pass rush.

First, you can see how much quicker and athletic he is at the snap of the ball than the rest of the defensive linemen.  Just take a look at his first snap of the game.  The right guard has no chance against Turay’s inside stunt. Turay’s quickness is complemented perfectly by his flexibility and better than expected strength.  Watch him on this play; he uses his inside arm to keep the offensive tackle at bay, dips under his hands, shows great ankle flextion around the edge, and disrupts the pass:

Here’s another look at the same play:

In this next play, Turay looks like a seasoned pro.  He uses an effective slap and rip to blow right by the offensive tackle.  It’s amazing to think he only played two years of high school football (freshman and senior season):

Now, as good as Turay looked as a pass rusher in this game, he was equally mysterious against the run.  He entered the game during obvious passing situations which allowed him to pin his ears back and just ‘go’.  It will be interesting to see how he develops as an all-around football player (i.e., his discipline and effectiveness on running downs.)  At times, Turay looked a little wild and out of control in his effort to get to the quarterback. Only a RS Sophomore, Turay still has a lot of room to grow as a prospect.  The key for his ascent up the draft board will be his development in the run game while maintaining his production as a pass rusher despite 2015 opponents’ attempts to stop him.

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2016 NFL Draft Trait Based Scouting: Laquon Treadwell (WR, Ole Miss) http://draftbreakdown.com/2016-nfl-draft-trait-based-scouting-laquon-treadwell-wr-ole-miss/ http://draftbreakdown.com/2016-nfl-draft-trait-based-scouting-laquon-treadwell-wr-ole-miss/#comments Wed, 05 Aug 2015 18:58:49 +0000 http://draftbreakdown.com/?p=256715 The last two NFL Draft’s have seen an influx of young receiver talent into the NFL, as the new age of early contributors at wide receiver have seen players like Odell Beckham, Mike Evans, Sammy Watkins, Kelvin Benjamin, Amari Cooper, Kevin White and Davante Parker all drafted in the first round with the expectations of contributing early and often. The next in this highly talented group of young receivers is Ole Miss WR Laquon Treadwell. The only thing standing in the way of Treadwell being an early first round pick in 2016 is his health, as he suffered a gruesome leg injury in Ole Miss’ game against Auburn in 2014. Assuming he can return to full health in the 2015 season, Treadwell has a chance to be the top receiver selected in the 2016 NFL Draft. 

Background: Two year starter at Ole Miss as a true freshman and sophomore. Suffered (read more...)]]> The last two NFL Draft’s have seen an influx of young receiver talent into the NFL, as the new age of early contributors at wide receiver have seen players like Odell Beckham, Mike Evans, Sammy Watkins, Kelvin Benjamin, Amari Cooper, Kevin White and Davante Parker all drafted in the first round with the expectations of contributing early and often. The next in this highly talented group of young receivers is Ole Miss WR Laquon Treadwell. The only thing standing in the way of Treadwell being an early first round pick in 2016 is his health, as he suffered a gruesome leg injury in Ole Miss’ game against Auburn in 2014. Assuming he can return to full health in the 2015 season, Treadwell has a chance to be the top receiver selected in the 2016 NFL Draft. treadwell

Background: Two year starter at Ole Miss as a true freshman and sophomore. Suffered season ending broken leg and dislocated ankle against Auburn late last season, and is reportedly ahead of schedule in return to spring/summer practices. Tall and lean receiver with good athletic ability, rare burst, very good agility and balance, good COD and solid foot speed.

Pro Section: At the snap Treadwell displays a very good release, moves quickly off the line with his initial explosiveness vs Off coverage to eat up DBs cushion and displays ability to beat Press with his quick twitch and COD abilities. Solid play speed, combines his mental processing and initial burst to move down the field efficiently and force defense to respect vertical routes. Very good mental processing ability, finds the seam against Zone coverage across the middle and shows good ability manipulate DBs cushion against Man coverage. Can create instant separation at the top of his route by leveraging his rare play strength and length to push off and play physical with defenders. He displays solid separation quickness deep in the field, uses his COD to win on speed/fluid routes, and he can win on slants and other quick hitting routes because of his quick twitch and very good release from the LOS. He’s a very good natural hands catcher who plucks the ball out of the air at full extension away from his body. Elite adjust ability, wins routinely in contested catch situations and is unstoppable on back shoulder throws. His combination of height, length and strength provides elite physical tools to win on any throw, and should be an immediate red zone weapon for any team. Very good at accumulating YAC, has a combination of the strength to break tackles and the elusiveness in the open field to avoid defenders all together. Very good mental toughness, steps up in big situations like third down and red zone, and has game changing ability in clutch situations. Shows a good willingness to block on run plays and screens, willing to throw a shoulder at a DB and crack a linebacker.

Con Section: Adequate release vs Press coverage, once a defender establishes their hands on him he lacks the refined hand technique to swat away defenders arms and break their grip. Marginal separation quickness in the intermediate area of the field, struggles to quickly drop his hips and make cuts efficiently, right now runs a very limited route tree and struggles to create his own separation. Will have the occasional concentration drop, generally across the middle of the field. After the catch will get caught trying to make too many moves and running too far east-west rather than concentrating on getting more immediate yards upfield.

Projection: Overall, Laquon Treadwell is a starter in any offensive system at the NFL level because of his natural ability to adjust to any ball thrown his way. Relies on his rare hands and athleticism to make plays on the football and he provides a big play threat with the ball is in his hands. Struggles to release vs Press coverage once the defender establishes their hands and cannot lose a defender with his separation quickness.

At this point in the 2016 NFL Draft process everything is still fluid. Many questions surround the top WR prospects, as there are multiple players with off field concerns. Treadwell has been clean off the field and simply needs to make sure he returns to full health for the upcoming season. I can absolutely see Treadwell as a first round pick, and if he shows a season of top level production and health he has a legitimate shot at being a top ten selection in the 2016 NFL Draft.

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2016 NFL Draft Prospect Preview: Arizona Wildcats http://draftbreakdown.com/2016-nfl-draft-prospect-preview-arizona-wildcats/ http://draftbreakdown.com/2016-nfl-draft-prospect-preview-arizona-wildcats/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 12:21:52 +0000 http://draftbreakdown.com/?p=256343 After stumbling badly during a three year coaching stint with the Michigan Wolverines, Rich Rodriguez landed on his feet at Arizona. After back-to-back 8-5 seasons, The 2014 Wildcats started on a 5-0 run that included a stunning upset on the road at then-second ranked Oregon. Arizona lost to USC the following week, and UCLA three weeks later, but Rich Rod’s team rattled off four straight victories down the stretch to earn a shot to face the Ducks for the Pac 12 title. The rematch ended in a disastrous 51-13 defeat for the ‘Cats, and perhaps demoralized, they fell behind early and ultimately lost the Fiesta Bowl to Boise State. On the surface, Arizona’s season ended in disappointment, but their 26 wins in three seasons under Rodriguez is the best three-year stretch in team history. Record-breaking quarterback Anu Solomon returns as the starter, fellow sophomore sensation Nick Wilson will handle (read more...)]]> scooby wrightAfter stumbling badly during a three year coaching stint with the Michigan Wolverines, Rich Rodriguez landed on his feet at Arizona. After back-to-back 8-5 seasons, The 2014 Wildcats started on a 5-0 run that included a stunning upset on the road at then-second ranked Oregon. Arizona lost to USC the following week, and UCLA three weeks later, but Rich Rod’s team rattled off four straight victories down the stretch to earn a shot to face the Ducks for the Pac 12 title. The rematch ended in a disastrous 51-13 defeat for the ‘Cats, and perhaps demoralized, they fell behind early and ultimately lost the Fiesta Bowl to Boise State. On the surface, Arizona’s season ended in disappointment, but their 26 wins in three seasons under Rodriguez is the best three-year stretch in team history. Record-breaking quarterback Anu Solomon returns as the starter, fellow sophomore sensation Nick Wilson will handle the lead running back duties, and reigning Pac 12 Defensive Player of the Year Scooby Wright will look to add to his trophy case. Here’s a look at Wright, Solomon and the rest of the 2016 NFL Draft-eligible Wildcats suiting up this fall. (Asterisks denote underclassmen)

Scooby Wright III LB 6’1” 246*

  • Two-star recruit out of Santa Rosa, CA in 2013
  • 2014 Stats: 163 TKL 29 TFL 14 SCK 1 QBH 6 FF

Two years after coming to Arizona as a lightly-regarded recruit, Phillip “Scooby” Wright III put together one of the most statistically productive defensive seasons in recent college football history. His sophomore totals of 29 tackles for loss and six forced fumbles led the FBS ranks, and he was near the top of the leader boards for tackles and sacks. It seemed viewers couldn’t watch five minutes of an Arizona football game without hearing Wright’s name called in glowing admiration, and his eye-popping numbers propelled him to an impressive haul in awards season. Wright was a First Team all-conference and All-American selection, he was named the conference Defensive Player of the Year, and he took home the Bednarik, Nagurski and Lombardi Awards. Despite the dazzling numbers and the mantle full of trophies, Wright has his critics. Perhaps his hair-on-fire playing style lends itself to criticism for being out of position, or to questions about his overall athleticism, but Wright practically lives around the ball and there’s simply no denying the impact he makes behind the line of scrimmage. The occasional over-aggressive mistake can be erased or at least mitigated by the volume of lost offensive yardage his plays create. And Wright’s pre-draft testing in the 40, shuttles, and jumps is likely to surprise and quiet some of his detractors. The junior linebacker could possibly stand to play a more controlled game, but playmakers often have to take risks, and Wright should be hesitant to make adjustments that go against his natural instincts. He will be hard-pressed to top, or even duplicate last season’s spectacular efforts, but he should be a force on the Wildcats’ defense again this fall. Barring a setback, Wright is a good candidate to receive an early round daft grade and declare a year early.

Anu Solomon QB 6’2” 205*

  • Four-star recruit out of Las Vegas, NV in 2013
  • Redshirted in 2013
  • 2014 Stats: 313-540 (58.0%) 3793 YDS 28 TD 9 INT passing, 291 YDS 2.1 AVG 2 TD rushing

Last season, Solomon became the first Arizona freshman quarterback to start a season opener, and he posted 425 passing yards and four TDs in a 58-13 rout of UNLV. Against Cal in Week Four, he attempted a whopping 73 passes for a school-record 520 yards and five touchdowns. Then, a week and a half later, Solomon’s gutsy performance was instrumental to the surprise win over Oregon. On the season, he posted four 300+ yard passing games, four games with at least four TD passes, and he led all FBS freshmen in net passing yards. 2014 wasn’t all gravy though. Solomon was an inaccurate mess against UCLA, and over the final five games of the season he completed just 53.6% for three scores and four interceptions, and he ran 50 times for -13 yards (Note: sacks are included in NCAA rushing totals). Perhaps he hit a rookie wall, but he’ll need to be closer to his early-season self if the ‘Cats are going to really contend this year. Rodriguez has expressed confidence in Solomon’s work ethic and competitive nature, and the third-year sophomore enters 2015 as the unchallenged starter. While he isn’t likely to declare for the 2016 draft, another big season – this time minus the rough patch – will put him squarely on the radar of scouts everywhere next summer.

Cayleb Jones WR 6’3” 215*

  • Four-star recruit out of Austin, TX in 2012
  • Honorable Mention All-Pac 12 last season
  • 2014 Stats: 73 REC 1019 YDS 14.0 AVG 9 TD receiving, 1 KR TD

Jones played 12 games as a freshman for Texas in 2012, but left Austin after being arrested for assaulting a men’s tennis player. Jones eventually pled no-contest to a misdemeanor assault charge as he sat out the 2013 season due to NCAA transfer rules. Finally back on the field last year as a third-year sophomore, the big receiver emerged as the team’s top target despite the return from injury of 2012 go-to guy Austin Hill. To this point, Jones’ off-field problem appears to be an isolated incident, and unlikely to hold him back in the eyes of most pro teams. He’ll be the top playmaker in the passing game again this year, and considering the flood of underclassmen receivers who’ve entered the draft in recent years, Jones is a good candidate to leave a year of eligibility on the table and turn pro.

 

Other Players to Watch:

Will Parks S 6’1” 194

  • Three-star recruit out of Philadelphia, PA in 2012
  • 2014 Stats: 81 TKL 13 TFL 1 SCK 2 INT 8 PBU

Parks started four games as a sophomore in 2012, before becoming a full-timer last season. He finished second on the team in tackles for loss and pass breakups, indicating comfort playing close to the line of scrimmage and covering deep down the field. Arizona safeties often function similar to linebackers, but Parks has size and ball skills that will interest pro scouts regardless of his school’s unconventional defensive alignment.

Reggie Gilbert DE 6’4” 262

  • Three-star recruit out of Laveen, AZ in 2011
  • 2014 Stats: 49 TKL 5.5 TFL 3 SCK 1 QBH 1 FF 1 PBU

Gilbert has made 34 starts and logged 10.5 sacks to this point in his career. He will be back for a fifth season this fall after being given an injury redshirt to account for missing all but six games as a freshman.

Cayman Bundage G 6’2” 281

  • Three-star recruit out of Oklahoma City, OK in 2012

Bundage has logged 25 starts at left guard over the past two seasons. As an undersized interior lineman, he could be worked out at center during the pre-draft season, but isn’t likely to be drafted.

David Richards WR 6’4” 213

  • Three-star recruit out of Palmdale, CA in 2011
  • 2014 Stats: 23 REC 211 YDS 9.2 AVG 1 TD

Richards redshirted in 2011 and has amassed 67 catches and five touchdowns in 35 games, including 13 starts, in three seasons since. He is likely to see his role in the offense expand this season.

Freddie Tagaloa OT 6’8” 316

  • Four-star recruit out of Richmond, CA 2012

Tagaloa transferred to Arizona after starting seven games and seeing time at right and left tackle in two seasons at Cal. He sat out last year due to NCAA transfer guidelines, and will be given a chance to earn a job in the starting lineup this fall.

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2016 NFL Draft Prospect Preview: Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns http://draftbreakdown.com/2016-nfl-draft-prospect-preview-louisiana-lafayette-ragin-cajuns/ http://draftbreakdown.com/2016-nfl-draft-prospect-preview-louisiana-lafayette-ragin-cajuns/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 02:14:54 +0000 http://draftbreakdown.com/?p=256340 Under Head Coach Mark Hudspeth the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns have rolled to four straight 9-4 seasons, and have ended each of those years with wins in the New Orleans Bowl. Despite all of the victories, the team has yet to win an outright Sun Belt championship, though their 7-1 conference record last season was the best in the program’s history. Hudspeth is bound to attract attention from a more illustrious university one of these years, but he’s back commanding the Cajuns for at least one more run. If this year’s squad is to equal or surpass the successes of previous versions, the coach will need to find capable replacements for departed starting quarterback Terrance Broadway, and star defensive linemen Christian Ringo and Justin Hamilton. Luckily, Hudspeth has two electrifying playmakers returning on the offense. Here’s a look at the 2016 NFL Draft-eligible Cajuns, including the 2014 conference Player of the (read more...)]]> Elijah McGuireUnder Head Coach Mark Hudspeth the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns have rolled to four straight 9-4 seasons, and have ended each of those years with wins in the New Orleans Bowl. Despite all of the victories, the team has yet to win an outright Sun Belt championship, though their 7-1 conference record last season was the best in the program’s history. Hudspeth is bound to attract attention from a more illustrious university one of these years, but he’s back commanding the Cajuns for at least one more run. If this year’s squad is to equal or surpass the successes of previous versions, the coach will need to find capable replacements for departed starting quarterback Terrance Broadway, and star defensive linemen Christian Ringo and Justin Hamilton. Luckily, Hudspeth has two electrifying playmakers returning on the offense. Here’s a look at the 2016 NFL Draft-eligible Cajuns, including the 2014 conference Player of the Year.

Elijah McGuire RB 5’11” 208*

  • Three-star recruit out of Houma, LA in 2013
  • 2014 Stats: 1264 YDS 7.6 AVG 14 TD rushing 45 REC 468 YDS 10.4 AVG 2 TD

McGuire is appointment television for college football fans. He stepped onto the field as a freshman and made an immediate impact, finishing the 2013 season with 863 rushing yards (8.4 yards per carry), 22 catches for 384 yards (17.5 yards per reception), and 11 total touchdowns. His dazzling performance earned him First Team All-Sun Belt and conference Freshman of the Year honors. McGuire was even better last season, piling up 1732 total yards from scrimmage and 16 scores, bringing his career total to 27 touchdowns in 26 games. He returns for his junior year as a two-time First Team all-conference player, and the reigning Sun Belt Offensive and overall Player of the Year. McGuire has added over 20 pounds to his frame since he stepped on campus, and checks in now at a solid 208 pounds. At the line of scrimmage he runs low and with explosiveness; and in the open field he shows quick feet to make defenders miss, and breakaway speed to pull away for big plays. To top it off, McGuire has shown the ability to run pass routes like a receiver. He has averaged 8.9 yards per play from scrimmage – a truly incredible number for a high volume running back – and he’s also able to return punts and kickoffs if needed. With power back Alonzo Harris having graduated, McGuire’s load is sure to increase in 2015, and another big year may be enough to send him packing for the NFL. In that case, his power, speed, receiving prowess, and outstanding productivity could land him in the draft’s second day.

Jamal Robinson WR 6’4” 205

  • Three-star recruit out of Slidell, LA in 2011
  • 2014 Stats: 15 REC 260 YDS 17.3 AVG 4 TD

As a sophomore in 2012, Robinson emerged as a big play threat, amassing 630 receiving yards on just 26 catches (24.2 yards per reception). In 2013, he was named Second Team All-Sun Belt after a 54 catch-862 yard-eight TD season. The senior receiver was off to a fast start last year, but meniscus and foot injuries kept him out of all but four games. At the conclusion of the season, Robinson was granted a medical hardship waiver, allowing him a redo of his senior year. He presents a big, strong target, and has been a reliable downfield and red zone threat. Through 30 career games, Robinson has averaged an eye-popping 18.4 yards per catch and has averaged a touchdown every other game. He’ll be breaking in a new quarterback this season, but Robinson figures to be the second most important player on the offense after McGuire.

 

Other Players to Watch:

Darzil Washington OLB 6’3” 243

  • Three-star recruit out of Edgard, LA in 2011
  • 2014 Stats: 22 TKL 6 TFL 5 SCK 1 FF and 1 blocked kick in 10 games

The well-traveled Washington originally attended Texas A&M and redshirted in 2011, played his freshman season at Eastern Arizona College in the Juco ranks, and then moved on to East Los Angeles College as a sophomore in 2013. He finished second on the Ragin’ Cajuns in sacks last season, and he’ll be counted on to help provide pass rushing and an emotional presence on the defense this year.

Mykhael Quave OT 6’5” 294

  • Two-star recruit out of Moss Point, MS in 2011

Quave redshirted in 2011, started 13 games at left guard the following year, and has settled in as the starting left tackle for the past 26 games.

Octravian Anderson OT 6’4” 295

  • Two-star recruit out of Shreveport, LA in 2011

Anderson is a veteran lineman who has made 26 consecutive starts at right tackle over the past two seasons.

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