View Articles From:

2016 NFL Draft Prospect Preview: Illinois Fighting Illini

Written by Justin Higdon on July 14, 2015

vangelo bentley

For the first time in three seasons under Head Coach Tim Beckman, the Fighting Illini of Illinois achieved bowl eligibility in 2014. The team managed six regular season wins despite enduring an injury to starting quarterback Wes Lunt, and a stretch in which they dropped five of six games. Late November wins over Penn State and Northwestern got the Illini into the Heart of Dallas Bowl where they lost 35-18 to Louisiana Tech. Things didn’t get easier for Beckman after the season, as a number of former players from both Illinois, and his previous post at Toledo, accused the coach of rushing athletes back from injury, harassment, and threats to take away scholarships. Beckman has weathered the storm for now, but his 12-25 record in Champaign warmed up his seat even before the unflattering picture of his character emerged. The Illini have some decent talent on the roster, but (read more…)

2016 NFL Draft Prospect Preview: Michigan Wolverines

Written by Justin Higdon on July 14, 2015


Michigan began the Brady Hoke era with an 11-2 record that included a victory over Ohio State, and a Sugar Bowl win over Virginia Tech. But over the next three seasons, the Wolverines managed to go just 20-18, dropped three games to the Buckeyes, lost both bowl appearances, and even failed to muster the six wins needed for postseason eligibility last season. Enter Jim Harbaugh, a true “Michigan Man,” who’s motivational stylings figure to play better in the college ranks than they did in the NFL. For Harbaugh, a former Michigan quarterback, this gig is the “dream job” in the same way Ohio State was for Urban Meyer. Harbaugh will be counted on to improve the team’s disappointing quarterback play, revive the stagnant player development, and put the Wolverines back in contention for Big Ten titles and college football playoff berths. Here’s a look at the draft-eligible talent he’ll have (read more…)

2016 NFL Draft Prospect Preview: Michigan State Spartans

Written by Justin Higdon on July 14, 2015

jack conklin

Michigan State and Head Coach Mark Dantonio were riding high after following the 2013 regular season with Big Ten Championship and Rose Bowl victories, but the Spartans were humbled early last year in a 19-point loss to Oregon on the road. Dantonio and his crew rattled off six wins in a row, but then took a second loss on the chin at home against Ohio State. Sparty can take some solace in the fact that his only defeats came at the hands of the National Championship Game participants, and that State also managed to squeak out a bowl win against Big 12 co-champion Baylor. So, despite the losses of Jeremy Langford, Tony Lippett and Trae Waynes to the NFL, the returning Spartans should once again compete for a conference title and a top ten national ranking. Here’s a look at Michigan State’s top draft-eligible talent for the coming season. (Asterisks (read more…)

2016 NFL Draft Prospect Preview: Ohio State Buckeyes

Written by Justin Higdon on July 14, 2015

cardale jones throw

After losing their starting quarterback to an injury, and dropping an early-season home game to Virginia Tech, Ohio State seemed destined for a minor rebuild in 2014. Instead, the switches turned on for redshirt freshman QB J.T. Barrett and a number of young defensive starters, and the Buckeyes rattled off 13 straight victories en route to a National Championship. Now 38-3 in four seasons as head coach, Urban Meyer may have his most talented squad to date. He and his athletes enter 2015 with targets on their backs, but a breezy confidence in their skill and depth. Back in 2004, 14 Buckeyes were selected in a single draft. Another College Football Playoff run, and this group will challenge that record. Here’s a look at the stacked group of draft-eligibles suiting up in Columbus this fall. (Asterisks denote underclassmen)

Summer Scouting: Corey Robinson, WR, Notre Dame

Written by Bryan Perez on July 14, 2015


The ‘dog days of summer’ is my favorite time of year to scout players. It’s the most honest phase of the scouting process, as “group think” has yet to take shape and the opinions you form are free from the “final answer” pressure.

When I scout players during the summer, I use a smaller sample size of film that I combine with background research about the prospect’s career and character. I never place a grade on a player during this round of evaluations, but there are times when I get that “gut feeling” about a guy and his likely ascent up the draft board. So far this summer, the player who has impressed me the most is Notre Dame’s Junior WR Corey Robinson.

Robinson enters the 2015 season as the likely No. 2 receiver for the Fighting Irish, but in my opinion, he has a chance to become the team’s best (read more…)

Early 2016 NFL Draft All-Big Ten Offensive Prospect Team

Written by Chris Ross on June 21, 2015

Aug 30, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes offensive linesman Taylor Decker (68) blocks Navy Midshipmen defensive end Paul Quessenberry (45) during the fourth quarter at M&T Bank Stadium. Ohio State Buckeyes defeated Navy Midshipmen 34-17.Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten might not put out as many NFL-caliber players on a yearly basis as the SEC but make no mistake, the conference boasts plenty of talent at a few key positions. A few players that figure to be among the best at their respective positions in the 2016 NFL Draft will come from the Big Ten, and many of these players should be very fun to watch during the 2015 season. The players on this list may or may not be held in high regard by the time the draft actually rolls around, but this list should provide a good idea of which players in the conference have legitimate NFL ability. Without further ado, here is an early All-Big Ten 2016 NFL Draft prospect team.

QB: Christian Hackenberg, Penn State

This one was a toss-up as the Big Ten could have as many as three signal-callers go in (read more…)

5 Way-Too-Early Contenders To Go No. 1 Overall In the 2016 NFL Draft

Written by Chris Ross on June 2, 2015

Sep 7, 2013; Oxford, MS, USA; Mississippi Rebels defensive end Robert Nkemdiche (5) sets up for a tackle during the game against the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mississippi Rebels defeated the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks 31-13.  Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

Even though the 2016 NFL Draft is still quite some time from now, it’s never too early to look ahead and guess at who the top prospects will be. Early signs point toward the 2016 class being loaded with several top-notch players, and while we won’t know for quite some time who the No. 1 overall pick will be in next year’s draft, these five players could very well cement themselves as the top players in the 2016 draft class. Without further ado, here are five early contenders to go No. 1 overall in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss*

A rare athlete at the defensive tackle position, Robert Nkemdiche has the size, quickness, and strength to become a truly special player in the NFL. Nkemdiche is a monster for opposing linemen to block as his raw power and quickness allow him to shed blocks with (read more…)

Chris Ross’ Way-Too-Early 2016 NFL Draft Top 5 RB Rankings

Written by Chris Ross on May 20, 2015


1. Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State*

Ohio State’s workhorse running back down the stretch last season, Ezekiel Elliott has the potential to be a first round selection next year provided he remains effective this season. Elliott certainly has the size, vision and power you want to see in a running back, and with over 1800 yards and 18 touchdowns last season, including a 220 yard, two touchdown performance in the National Championship game, Elliott proved he could be productive against top competition. It wouldn’t be the least bit surprising to see Elliott go early in the first round of the 2016 draft if he is able to replicate his production from this past season.

2. James Conner, Pittsburgh*

A classic power back, James Conner has the look of a workhorse back at the next level. He will need to show more in the way of receiving this season, but with his (read more…)

Chris Ross’ Early 2016 NFL Draft Top 5 QB Rankings

Written by Chris Ross on May 18, 2015

Christian Hackenberg

1. Christian Hackenberg, Penn State*

After bursting onto the scene as a freshman for Penn State, Christian Hackenberg fell off a bit last year. After posting 20 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions as a freshman, Hackenberg tossed only 12 touchdowns against 15 interceptions last season. Despite that decline, however, Hackenberg remains a very talented quarterback prospect. He certainly passes the eye test, standing at 6’4″, 236, and he has more than enough arm strength to get it done at the NFL level. Playing with subpar talent around him, Hackenberg still flashed an ability to make throws that other quarterbacks can only dream of. Obviously he will need to improve his decision-making to thrive at the next level, however, Hackenberg has the size and arm talent to become a special player.

2. Connor Cook, Michigan State

As perhaps the most pro-ready quarterback in the 2016 class, Connor Cook could be a rookie (read more…)

A Review of Bryan Perez’s 2015 Big Board

Written by Bryan Perez on May 8, 2015


One of the things I enjoy the most about the NFL Draft process is the ability to “scout” my  work; In an effort to get better every year, I look back at where I had certain players tiered and whether my evaluations matched – or at least came close to – the NFL’s valuation of that player.  Below is a review of where my top-32 ended up getting picked.  You can review my complete top-100 list by downloading a free copy of the 2015 NFL Draft guide HERE.

Page 11 of 13« First...910111213