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2016 East West Shrine Game Week Begins

Written by Bryan Perez on January 18, 2016


Most major media outlets and NFL Draft analysts focus their time and all-star game coverage on the Senior Bowl, as many of the nation’s top senior prospects commit to the week of practices and interviews in Mobile, Alabama in an effort to enhance their already lofty draft stock.  But those who cover the draft closely know that the real kickoff to the draft season is the East West Shrine Game, where many next-tier seniors put their skills on display in front of the same number of “NFL people” as that which will show up at the Senior Bowl.  The biggest difference between the two games is the lack of media presence in Tampa versus the wave of humanity that makes the trip to Mobile.

We’re fortunate to have one of our Senior Draft Analysts, Jeff Risdon, on the ground in Tampa.  He’ll be posting some pieces here on Draft Breakdown throughout (read more…)

Why Pitt WR Tyler Boyd is a First Round Talent

Written by Joe Marino on January 16, 2016

Tyler Boyd is arguably the most dynamic offensive player in the 2016 NFL Draft class.

Boyd’s career at Pittsburgh got off to a tremendous start and it didn’t take long for scouts to ohh and ahh over his skills. As a true freshman, Boyd tallied 85 catches for 1,174 yards and seven touchdowns in a truly historic season. His total number of receptions and receiving yards broke the freshman school records in both categories that were previously held by the sensational Larry Fitzgerald. Additionally, he broke Sammy Watkins’ ACC record for receptions in a season by a freshman. That is some incredible company to be in.

In Boyd’s sophomore season, he was even better as he totaled 1,261 receiving yards and averaged an impressive 16.2 yards per catch despite working with a new starting quarterback. His junior and final season at Pitt showcased a different set of skills (read more…)

Making the Case for Kenneth Dixon

Written by Chris Nicolaou on January 15, 2016

Kenneth Dixon

  Every evaluator has their own personal rankings.

This year, a bevy of running backs will be available for NFL & fantasy teams to consider. The early consensus, and in my opinion the correct one, is that Ezekiel Elliott will be the first running back taken.

Now, for the second running back drafted…that’s a toss-up.

There are many backs worthy of being the second selected, but today, let’s go the tape and make the case for Louisiana Tech’s Kenneth Dixon.

Ranking the 2016 Senior Bowl Quarterbacks

Written by Bryan Perez on January 15, 2016

Jacoby Brissett gets a chance to prove his draft worth

The 2016 Reese’s Senior Bowl week begins on Tuesday, January 26th with the all important weigh-ins and the first of three heavily scrutinized days of practice.  And despite the rush of underclassmen who have made their NFL intentions known over the last few weeks — and potentially more to come over the next three days — my focus remains on the senior class.

I decided to put together a pre-Senior Bowl ‘ranking’ of each positional group based on my film review and research of readily available background information.  It’s impossible for any one evaluator to know everything about every player on the game’s roster — both on and off the field — but it’s critically important to familiarize yourself with each prospect in order to fully appreciate their practice performances.  You can’t determine the risers or fallers if you don’t have a working knowledge of who they are and what (read more…)

Divisional Playoffs Two-Round Mock Draft

Written by Matt LaPan on January 13, 2016


After a wild week of Wild Card playoff games, teams are in full preparation for the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs. For most teams, the season is over and draft preparation is in full swing. With the Senior Bowl fast approaching, the draft order is sure to be turned on its head after players perform well for scouts in Mobile, Alabama.  Before then, let’s take a look at who teams could be looking at.

Shaq Lawson Heading to the NFL, Declares for Draft

Written by Bryan Perez on January 13, 2016


Clemson’s star EDGE defender Shaq Lawson has decided to turn pro, according to multiple reports.  Lawson is one of 90 underclassmen who have declared for April’s NFL Draft.

BP’s Take:  This one isn’t surprising at all.  Lawson had a phenomenal season for Clemson and was one of the main reasons why the Tigers made it to the National Championship.  He had an impressive 12.5 sacks and 25.5 TFL, displaying an appealing fusion of pass rush and run stuffing skills.  At and estimated 6’3″ and 270 lbs, Lawson is a scheme-diverse talent who fits as a DE in both a 43 and 34 front; he’s certain to be on just about every NFL team’s wishlist.  He’s a lock to go in the first round, with the top-10 being within reach.  He’d be an appealing option for the Chicago Bears at the No. 11 pick overall.

Andrew Billings Declares for 2016 NFL Draft

Written by Bryan Perez on January 12, 2016


Baylor’s Andrew Billings, the Big 12 Conference’s co-defensive player of the year, declared for the 2016 NFL Draft today according to

BP’s Take:  We were waiting for this one.  Billings was riding the fence on whether he’d turn pro this year, with a report earlier in the season suggesting that he was going to return for his senior year.  Today’s announcement is a pleasant surprise for the NFL Draft community, as another potential first rounder has been added to the mix.  Billings is a short and stocky interior defensive lineman and I think his best fit is probably as a 3Tech in a 43 front.  His biggest issue will be his length; the Scouting Combine will be critical for him mostly because we’ll get an accurate height and arm length measurement.  That said, I’m not all that concerned if he comes in a little shorter (read more…)

O.J. Howard to Meet with Nick Saban About Turning Pro

Written by Bryan Perez on January 12, 2016


According to, O.J. Howard is expected to meet with Nick Saban before deciding whether to declare for the 2016 NFL Draft.  The meeting is expected to take place tomorrow.

BP’s Take:  We’ve been waiting for Howard to put his immense talent on display for the last couple of years, and he chose the biggest stage to finally breakout last night in Alabama’s National Championship victory over Clemson.  His five catches went for 208 yards and 2 TDs, including a long gain of 63 yards that all but sealed the victory for the Crimson Tide.  At times, Howard looked more like a play-making wide receiver than he did a tight end and with the value of the pass-catching tight end at an all-time high, Howard’s skill set will garner a lot of first-round interest.  In fact, from a purely athletic and physical make-up standpoint, Howard looks the (read more…)

Connor Cook Declines Invitation to Senior Bowl

Written by Bryan Perez on January 10, 2016

Connor Cook 18


According to multiple reports, Michigan State QB Connor Cook has declined his invitation to the 2016 Senior Bowl.

BP’s Take:  While disappointing, this doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Top senior prospects turn down the draft season’s biggest all-star game every year, with guys like Kevin White (Bears) and Bud Dupree (Steelers) backing out of the week’s festivities last year. Both players went on to be first-round picks. For Cook, turning the game down will raise a ton of questions about his arm and his desire to compete, but he’ll have a chance to answer them all by throwing at the Scouting Combine.  If he chooses to skip the workouts in Indy, too, then he can all but kiss his first-round hopes goodbye.

Evaluating Rutgers WR Leonte Carroo

Written by Joe Marino on January 9, 2016

The NFL produced only seven running backs that topped 1,000 rushing yards in 2016, the lowest total since 1991. On the contrary, 26 wide receivers eclipsed the 1,000 yard receiving mark. The value of having receivers that can create offensive production is at an all-time high in the NFL.

NFL teams in search of finding a young, talented receiver to add to its arsenal of offensive weapons must have Rutgers WR Leonte Carroo on its radar. Selected as the team MVP and offensive MVP as a senior, Carroo put together an outstanding college career that demonstrated consistent growth as a player throughout. That steady progress included a yards per game average that rose from 47.8 in 2013, to 83.5 in 2014 and 101.1 as a senior this past season. Carroo caught 29 touchdown passes over his final three seasons with 10 each in his junior and senior years.

(read more…)

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