Articles

2016 NFL Draft Prospect Preview: Nebraska Cornhuskers

Written by Justin Higdon, Senior Draft Analyst on June 22, 2015

defensive tackle Maliek Collins (7) of the Nebraska Cornhuskers

By their second season in the Big Ten, the Nebraska Cornhuskers had earned a berth in the conference championship game. Head Coach Bo Pelini’s 2012 team was blown out by Wisconsin that night, and the Huskers dropped a number of key conference matchups over the next two seasons. Pelini has been fired and replaced by longtime Oregon State head man Mike Riley. Riley’s hiring came as a surprise for a couple of reasons. For one, he seemed like a lifer with the Beavers; and for two, while Riley’s teams had gone 85-66 since he returned from a brief stint in the NFL, he was just 6-12 in Pac 12 play over the past two seasons. Still, the veteran coach maintained a competitive program where a perennial doormat had resided in the past, and the general feeling is that he will attract a higher quality of recruits at his new (read more…)


2016 NFL Draft Prospect Preview: Michigan Wolverines

Written by Justin Higdon, Senior Draft Analyst on June 21, 2015

derrickgreen

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…)


Early 2016 NFL Draft All-Big Ten Offensive Prospect Team

Written by Chris Ross, Analyst on June 21, 2015

Christian Hackenberg

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…)


Rob Donaldson’s 2016 NFL Draft Preview: Myles Jack, LB, UCLA

Written by Rob Donaldson, Analyst on June 21, 2015

Myles Jack

You think it and Myles Jack does it. He’s athletic, instinctual, charismatic, and highly productive all while offering an extremely rare aspect of positional versatility. A former 4-star outside linebacker recruit (per Rivals) from Bellevue, Washington, Jack recorded 87 tackles last season as well as 121 yards from scrimmage and showed flashes at numerous offensive and defensive positions.

Jack is poised to have a major breakout season; with Eric Kendricks no longer in the mix, Jack will assume a much larger role on defense.

Defensive Production

2014:  87 tackles, 8 tackles for loss, 0 sacks

2013:  76 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 1 sacks

Offensive Production

2014:  113 yards, 4 yards per carry, 3 touchdowns

2013:  267 yards, 7 yards per carry, 7 touchdowns

Strengths

  • Plays with excellent closing speed/acceleration; I project him based on tape as a 4.45 type of player.
  • Offers great positional (read more…)

2016 NFL Draft Prospect Preview: Temple Owls

Written by Derek Rizzuto, Analyst on June 21, 2015

temple main

After an abysmal two-win 2013 campaign, Temple’s football team took huge strides to improve to 6-6 last year. The Owls look to continue growing in 2015, Matt Rhule’s third season as head coach. This year’s squad returns the entire starting defense, which last season ranked fourth nationally in points allowed per game. With that stingy defense, Temple looks to be a darkhorse in the AAC this season, but they are in desperate need of playmakers to compliment junior QB P.J. Walker on the offensive side of the ball. Here is a look at some possible draftees from this year’s group. (Asterisks denote underclassmen)

Kyle Friend C 6’2 305

• Two-star recruit out of Mechanicsburg, PA • 33 career starts heading into senior season • Honors include multiple All-Academic Team nods & All-conference selections

Friend, who is going into his senior season as a three-year starter, is a durable player who has never (read more…)


Top Tackles To Watch In 2015

Written by Matt LaPan, Analyst on June 19, 2015

stanley

Offensive tackle is known as one of the most important positions on a NFL roster. The tackle position has become a “money position”, with the top 10 tackles in the NFL averaging a base salary of over $7.8-million. To place the franchise tag on an offensive lineman in the NFL will cost a team $12.943-million.

This has not been lost in the NFL Draft. Since 2011, 22 offensive tackles have been selected in the 1st round of the NFL Draft – an average of over four tackles selected per year. This includes five in the 1st round of the 2015 draft, and 24 tackles selected overall.

That means there is a lot of money to be made, or lost, by the top tackle prospects as they approach the 2015 NCAA football season and begin their draft journeys. Some of the top tackles in the class include Ronnie Stanley from (read more…)


2016 NFL Draft Prospect Preview: Missouri Tigers

Written by Ryan Coon, Analyst on June 19, 2015

maty_mauk

Gary Pinkel has to be on the short list of most underrated coaches in college football.  All he has done in his 15 seasons at Missouri is compile 113 victories, ten bowl games, two Big 12 North Championships, and two SEC East Championships on his way to becoming the winningest coach in Missouri Tiger history.

While the Tiger’s turnaround started over a decade ago, it took some time for Pinkel to land recruits worthy enough to emerge as high draft picks in the NFL.  The cultivation of notably talented recruits is commonplace now.  Mizzou has had four 1st round picks in the last six years, and has had ten players selected in the first three rounds since 2009.  They have become a haven for NFL talent, developing names like: Jeremy Maclin, Aldon Smith, Justin Smith, and Sheldon Richardson, just to name a few.

Pinkel’s expectations are lofty after two straight SEC East Championships and Mizzou (read more…)


2016 NFL Draft Prospect Preview: Michigan State Spartans

Written by Justin Higdon, Senior Draft Analyst on June 18, 2015

cook

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.


2016 NFL Draft Trait Based Scouting: Connor Cook (QB, Michigan State)

Written by Ryan Dukarm on June 15, 2015

connor cook

There are many ways to scout talent for the NFL, with numerical scales, athletic metrics, character evaluation, advanced statistics and film study all playing their part in the evaluation process. The way I (and many others) go about scouting players is through trait-based evaluation. I am a disciple of the Scouting Academy, run by former NFL scout Dan Hatman, and this is where I was introduced to the idea of the trait-based evaluation system. I highly recommend his course to anyone looking to improve their ability to evaluate football players of any level.

Every position has a set of traits that are important to the success of the player in becoming a top competitor at any level. In this series, I will publish a scouting report on players at different positions and evaluate how their traits stack up to NFL standards. The strengths and weaknesses section does not contain all of the traits for (read more…)


2016 NFL Draft Prospect Preview: Iowa State Cyclones

Written by Mitch Militello, Analyst on June 15, 2015

ISU

Iowa State is historically known as a basketball school, and recently it has been no different. With their basketball program still on the rise, their football program has only managed five wins in the past two seasons combined. Now as the Cyclones head into the 2015 season, they look to make a small step forward in the high-flying Big XII. However, reaching the desired six wins to become bowl eligible will be a struggle this season. Here is a look at some of the draft-eligible players coming out of Ames this season. (Asterisk denotes underclassmen)

Quenton Bundrage, WR, 6020/192

  • 3-star recruit out of Palmetto, Florida and Manatee High School

Earned his role as “the guy” in the Cyclones offense in the summer leading up to the 2014 season but unfortunately tore his ACL in the first series of the season opener. He’s an outside receiver only with (read more…)


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