Aaron Mannicci’s Early Look at the 2016 NFL Draft’s Running Back Class

Written by Aaron Mannicci, Analyst on June 9, 2015

Credit: Tim Heitman (USA TODAY Sports)

1. Ezekiel Elliot, Ohio State* 

Ezekiel Elliot became a household name during Ohio State’s championship run last season, and is primed for an even bigger junior campaign as the Buckeyes look to repeat with another loaded roster on campus in Columbus. The six-foot, 225 pounder possesses a rare combination of size, speed and quickness between the tackles to go along with vision that is among the best in the nation. Elliot finds openings and reads defenses as well as any ball-carrier in this class, and it really isn’t all that close. The Missouri native is a shifty, slippery back, and consistently makes poor tacklers pay the price.

Elliot possesses all of the traits that NFL teams covet at the running back position, and his production down the stretch in 2014 speaks for itself. Topping last season’s 1,878 yard and 18 touchdowns won’t be easy, however a very productive junior (read more…)

2016 NFL Draft Prospect Preview: Cincinnati Bearcats

Written by Justin Higdon, Senior Draft Analyst on June 9, 2015


(By Derek Rizzuto and Justin Higdon)

After getting off to a slow start in 2014, Cincinnati, led by Head Coach Tommy Tuberville, stormed back to claim a share of the AAC title. The Bearcats started the year 2-3, but thanks in part to the strong play of quarterback Gunner Kiel, the team reeled off seven straight wins to finish the season 9-3. The Bearcats lost several key starters from the defensive side of the ball and the the offensive line, but with an experienced receiving corps that features five seniors, Kiel and company look to take another AAC crown. Here’s a look at some possible draftees from this year’s squad. (Asterisks denote underclassmen)

2016 NFL Draft: An Overview of Leonard Floyd

Written by Gabe Burns, Analyst on June 8, 2015

Leonard Floyd

In my previous two player overviews, I looked at a couple of impact defenders in Vernon Hargreaves III and Joey Bosa. In keeping with the defensive theme, my latest player overview analyzes another defender with big potential. While he isn’t the top-ten lock like Hargreaves and Bosa, Georgia EDGE defender Leonard Floyd is a very intriguing prospect.

Who is Leonard Floyd?

Leonard Floyd attended Dodge County High School in Eastman, Georgia. Aside from playing linebacker and tight end on the football team, Floyd was also a track athlete. He was rated as a four-star recruit and top-ten linebacker in the country. Floyd committed to the University of Georgia before enrolling in Hargrave Military Academy, a prep school in Chatham, Virginia where he would retain his four-star status and commitment to UGA.

Floyd came to Athens carrying high hopes that he managed to live up to in 2013. Playing in (read more…)

2016 NFL Draft Preseason Scouting Report: Trevone Boykin, QB, TCU

Written by Joe Ferraiola, Analyst on June 8, 2015

Trevone Boykin

The 2016 QB class looks to be one without a premier player at the position. The position is filled with a bunch of average-to-solid quarterbacks that are separated by the smallest of margins. There doesn’t seem to be an Andrew Luck-caliber quarterback in this draft class and unless a prospect has developed at a rapid pace in the spring and summer months, it looks to stay that way.

That said, there are many interesting quarterback prospects to evaluate this draft season.  One such player is TCU’s Trevone Boykin.

College Texas Christian University

Height 6’1”

Weight 208

Year Senior

Hometown Dallas, Texas


Season 2012-2013:   12 games, 292 Att, 167 Comp, 57.2 Cmp%, 2054 yards, 7.03 YPA, 15-10 TD-INT, 24 sack, 126.4 Rating

Season 2013-2014:   12 games, 176 Att, 105 Comp, 59.6 Cmp%, 1198 yards, 6.80 YPA, 7-7 TD-INT, 15 sack, 122.0 Rating

Season 2014-2015:   13 games, (read more…)

2016 NFL Draft Prospect Preview: Baylor Bears

Written by Mitch Militello, Analyst on June 8, 2015


In the first year of the College Football Playoff era, the boys down in Waco looked poised to be one of the four teams with a shot at the title. Unfortunately for them, they fell just short as they were named the No. 5 team in the selection committee’s final rankings. All year, Art Briles offense put up video game numbers and they blew out the majority of teams on their schedule, only losing to West Virginia and Michigan State. As we head into the 2015 season, there is a bit of uncertainty as they must replace Bryce Petty at QB. If they can find a viable replacement, they look like they could be one of the top teams in the country yet again. Here is a list of the Baylor seniors that will make an impact this season and some of the Bears’ top junior prospects for the 2016 NFL Draft. (read more…)

2016 NFL Draft: Big-Time Backers, Kendell Beckwith (LSU)

Written by Mitch Militello, Analyst on June 4, 2015

Beckwith 1

In the second installment of Big-Time Backers, I take a look at Kendell Beckwith, the impact Middle Linebacker from Louisiana State.

Kendell Beckwith

Junior LB #52

HT: 6020 WT: 245


  • Originally from Clinton, Louisiana and East Feliciana High School. A Rivals 4 star player in the class of 2013. In his true freshman season at in Baton Rouge he served as a rotational linebacker playing in 12 games with no starts. In his second season in 2014, he earned a spot as the starting Mike Linebacker and had a productive season as one of the leaders of the LSU defense. In 2015, he looks to retain that starting spot and anchor the middle of Les Miles defense.


  • A superior physical specimen with ideal size and frame for the position. Built like a tank and combines a rocked-up upper body with a functionally (read more…)

2016 NFL Draft: Trait-Based Scouting Report of Kevin Hogan (QB, Stanford)

Written by Ryan Dukarm on June 4, 2015


There are many ways to scout talent for the NFL draft, with numerical scales, athletic metrics, character evaluation, advanced statistics and film study all playing their part in the evaluation process. The way I go about scouting players, as well as many others in the business, 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 learned 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 my weekly series, I will publish a scouting report on a player at different positions and evaluate how their traits stack up to NFL standards. The strengths and weaknesses section does (read more…)

2015 Heisman Watch: Trevone Boykin QB TCU

Written by Ryan Coon, Analyst on June 3, 2015

Trevone Boykin

Russell Wilson was a steal in the 2012 NFL Draft.  Looking back, do you wonder how someone who will soon sign one of the most lucrative contracts in NFL history wasn’t drafted until the third round (75th pick)?  Is it even more unfathomable that NFL pundits chastised John Schneider and Pete Carroll for wasting a pick on a quarterback after Seattle had wooed free agent Matt Flynn and signed him to a three year, $26 million dollar deal?

If NFL GMs could borrow Doc’s Delorean and set the date for April 26, 2012, Russell Wilson would be the second pick off the board, right behind All-World Andrew Luck.  The only knock on Wilson, albeit a big one, was his height.  Would he be able to succeed at the next level taking snaps behind 6’6″ linemen when he stood 5’11″?  We know the answer to that question now.

Fast forward four years and let (read more…)

Troy Altbaum’s 2016 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Vernon Hargreaves III

Written by Troy Altbaum, Analyst on June 3, 2015


A highly touted recruit out of Wharton High School, Vernon Hargreaves III has quickly established himself as one of the top cornerbacks in all of college football. He stands 5’11” and weighs 198 lbs. Although having experience playing as a freshman, Hargreaves broke out in his Sophomore season at the University of Florida and notched 50 tackles, 13 pass break-ups, 3 interceptions, and earned all SEC 1st team honors. Hargreaves has very little weakness in his game and should be one of the top collegiate defensive players in 2015.


  • Pretty good size for the position
  • Exceptional acceleration, agility, and speed
  • Closes quickly on routes
  • Smooth hips, very fluid
  • Great instincts
  • High football IQ
  • Great character off the field
  • Outstanding read and react ability
  • Quick feet
  • Ultra athletic
  • Versatility
    • Can play zone or man at a high level
    • Can play press or off
    • Can play outside or (read more…)

2016 NFL Draft Quick Look: Small School QB’s Part 1 of 2

Written by Chad Dinkins on June 2, 2015


One of my favorite things to do for the NFL Draft is to search the small-school players in an effort to find big-time talent. Throughout the summer, I will be listing players from small schools to keep your eye on.

I have scoured the nation for small-school quarterbacks with NFL talent and found ten prospects who caught my eye with their game tape.  They will be featured in a two-part series.  These players aren’t likely to be top draft picks, but they are guys to keep an eye out for in the late rounds and undrafted free agency. I’ll continue to circle back to this list throughout the season with updates – both good and bad – as well as new prospects as the year progresses.

Jason Vander Laan

2014 Stats: 235 rushes/1,466 yards/20 TD’s; 183 of 275/2,381 yards/30 TD’s/7 INT’s

Vander Laan is coming off a season at Ferris State that ended with him winning the (read more…)

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