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Pounding the Table: Draft Breakdown analysts debate trending NFL Draft topics

Written by Chris Nicolaou on March 3, 2016

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 05:  William Jackson III #3 of the Houston Cougars celebrates after a defensive stop against the Temple Owls at TDECU Stadium on December 5, 2015 in Houston, Texas. Houston won 24-13 to win the AAC Championship over the Temple Owls.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

In this collaboration, Draft Breakdown NFL Draft analysts Matt LaPan and Chris Nicolaou debate several trending NFL Draft topics.  

Does William Jackson lll deserve to be in the first round now?

Matt: No.

After a terrific week at the NFL Scouting Combine, many have elevated cornerback William Jackson III into the 1st round. He has good size (6-0) and long arms (31 3/4”) and showed terrific speed and agility. He ran a 4.37-second 40-yard dash and had a broad jump of 116 inches.

Jackson has shown throughout his time at Houston he has proved to be a smooth athlete with good footwork and very good ball skills. With all of that said, Jackson will not crack the top 31 in 2016.

The 2016 NFL Draft has a good amount of 1st-Round talent at cornerback. With Jalen Ramsey, Vernon Hargreaves III and Eli Apple all likely 1st Round picks, (read more…)


Joe Marino’s Scouting Combine Notes: Defensive Backs

Written by Joe Marino on February 29, 2016

Ramsey Coveer

You can see all the testing results on our Combine Results Tracker. The focus of this recap article will be to analyze highlights/lowlights that you cannot simply read off the chart.

    • West Virginia S KJ Dillon covered ground in a hurry in drills and it was apparent that he knows how to take proper angles. He is the best safety prospect that nobody is talking about.
    • Houston CB William Jackson was among the most natural in drills. He transitioned his hips and changed directions with fluidity and quickness. I had him as a top-15 pick in my latest mock draft and look for him to continue to “ascend”.
    • Maryland DB Sean Davis is very intriguing. He is athletic and has a well-built frame. After flashing today and at the Senior Bowl, I am excited to evaluate his game tape.
    • Built up for being a (read more…)

Joe Marino’s Scouting Combine Notes: Defensive Line and Linebackers

Written by Joe Marino on February 28, 2016

darron lee cover

You can see all the testing results on our Combine Results Tracker. The focus of this recap article will be to analyze highlights/lowlights that you cannot simply read off the chart.

Defensive Lineman

  • UCLA DT Kenny Clark was nimble on his feet, changed directions with ease and maintained excellent leverage through drills.
  • Boise State EDGE Kamalei Correa is an explosive football player and the same can be said for the way he went through drills. Everything he does is 100MPH and that’s the type of mentality you want at 3-4 outside linebacker. His intensity was unmatched today.
  • Maryland DL Quinton Jefferson had a good day in drills. He looked balanced and natural navigating through bags and changing directions.
  • Nebraska DT Maliek Collins had a difficult time maintaining leverage through drills.
  • Michigan DT Willie Henry truly emphasized displaying violence in his hands. Everytime he had the chance to (read more…)

2016 Proves to be a Historically Slow Receiver Class

Written by Joe Marino on February 27, 2016

fuller cover

We just witnessed the slowest group of wide receiver 40-yard dashes at the Scouting Combine in over a decade.

Average 40-yard dash time of WRs at Combine was 4.56 seconds – slowest average time for WRs at a Combine in 11 years the data has been kept.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 27, 2016

Marino’s Take:  Wow! Speed has always been valuable in the NFL and there isn’t much of it to be had in this years receiver class. If you are a team that is in the market to add speed to your offense, this year’s draft does not offer many options. There are numerous examples over the past several years of teams taking a receiver in the first round whose all-around skill set was lacking but they had top-end speed which lead to a team investing a high asset in them. Phillip Dorsett, Tavon Austin (read more…)


Joe Marino’s Scouting Combine Notes: Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers and Tight Ends

Written by Joe Marino on February 27, 2016

Wentz Feature

You can see all the testing results on our Combine Results Tracker. The focus of this recap article will be to analyze highlights/lowlights that you cannot simply read off the chart.

Quarterbacks

  • Michigan State QB Connor Cook’s release and throwing motion really stood out today. It is efficient and compact; ideal for getting the ball out quickly.
  • On the contrary, TCU QB Trevone Boykin’s release is elongated and he “cocks” the football.
  • Cal QB Jared Goff’s ball placement, as he displayed on tape, was outstanding all day. Coupled with his terrific footwork and you see why he is my top rated QB in this class.
  • Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg was erratic with the football in drills. Several passes got away from him and sailed over his intended target.
  • Louisiana Tech QB Jeff Driskel’s ball loses notable velocity as it approaches his target and will even nose dive before reaching his (read more…)

Jaylon Smith has nerve damage, first round unlikely

Written by Bryan Perez on February 26, 2016

jaylon-smith-matchups

Jaylon Smith’s injury is worse than previously feared, as NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport is reporting that the Fighting Irish linebacker does in fact have nerve damage in his injured leg:

Difficult day for #NotreDame LB Jaylon Smith, who had his medicals. Ankle & knee nerve issues, teams believe he’s out for 2016 — at least

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 26, 2016

BP’s Take:  Terrible, terrible news.  Smith is one of the top-five overall talents in this class, but his leg injury is far worse than any of us could have expected.  Nerve damage can be the death blow to any athlete’s career, especially one who plays a position so dependent on movement skills and overall burst/quickness.  Smith is likely to be a day-three pick now and could suffer a fall worse than Marcus Lattimore (RB, South Carolina) did in 2013.  Here’s to a speedy (read more…)


Joe Marino’s Scouting Combine Notes: Offensive Line and Running Backs

Written by Joe Marino on February 26, 2016

Derrick Henry Feature

You can see all the testing results on our Combine Results Tracker. The focus of this recap is to analyze highlights/lowlights that you cannot simply read off the chart.

Offensive Line

  • LSU OL Vadal Alexander struggled with movement skills and labored through drills. After playing tackle in college, it’s apparent that he will need to kick inside to guard in the NFL to have a chance. He will not be able to survive on an island on the outside against the NFL’s talented and athletic edge rushers.
  • Everything that Stanford G Josh Garnett does is explosive. His ability to drive off his feet and burst is excellent. He is a road-grading run blocker that has plug-and-play potential in a power scheme.
  • Michigan State OT Jack Conklin showed good fluidity in drills, particularly when asked to move laterally. He showed quick feet and efficient ability to slide. Known for (read more…)

Alabama LB Reggie Ragland Drops 12 lbs.

Written by Bryan Perez on February 26, 2016

Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland

 

Alabama LB Reggie Ragland weighed in at 247 lbs at the 2016 Scouting Combine, 12 lbs lighter than his Senior Bowl weight, according to NFL Network’s Chase Goodbread.

Alabama LB Reggie Ragland promised he’d come down from 259 (Senior Bowl). Did just that. Weighed 247 in Indy. Dropped 12 in only a month.

— Chase Goodbread (@ChaseGoodbread) February 26, 2016

BP’s Take:  This is very good news for Ragland who appeared way too thick and a tick slow during the week of practices at the Senior Bowl.  Ragland didn’t look terrible, as he was every bit the thumper in contact drills that you’d expect.  But he was clearly carrying too much weight and appeared out of shape.  The 12 lb weight loss not only puts him in position to perform better at the Scouting Combine, but it is an indication that he works hard and (read more…)


Another High-Profile Prospect Skipping the 40-yard Dash

Written by Bryan Perez on February 26, 2016

tunsil

The potential No. 1 overall pick — Ole Miss OT Laremy Tunsil — has decided to skip the 40-yard dash at the 2016 Scouting Combine, according to NFL Network’s Kim Jones.

Per @KimJonesSports, Laremy Tunsil will not run the 40 at the #NFLCombine. He’ll do so at his pro day on March 28. pic.twitter.com/2KlEl5VOxj

— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) February 26, 2016

BP’s Take:  The 40-yard dash isn’t nearly as critical of a drill for offensive linemen as it is for the skill players and athletes on defense.  Instead, scouts are more interested in dancing bears’ 10-yard split.  While it’s disappointing that we won’t get a time for Tunsil, it certainly makes the Ole Miss Pro Day that much more interesting on March 28th.  It will be a packed house, as both Tunsil and WR Laquon Treadwell will offer NFL teams their one and only (read more…)


Clemson CB Mackensie Alexander Not Participating in Combine Drills

Written by Bryan Perez on February 26, 2016

alexander

Clemson star cornerback Mackensie Alexander will not participate in the 2016 Scouting Combine, according to NFL Network’s Rand Getlin.  Alexander is recovering from a hamstring injury and expects to fully participate in school’s pro day.

First round CB prospect Mackensie Alexander will wait until his Pro Day on March 10th to do his on-the-field drills. Ready to put on a show.

— Rand Getlin (@Rand_Getlin) February 26, 2016

BP’s Take:  Injury-related withdrawals from the Scouting Combine are common, especially when the injuries involve hamstrings or knees.  There’s no reason for Alexander to take a chance during what will be the biggest job interview of his life.  It’s especially important for defensive backs to be 100% healthy, as scouts, coaches and general managers pay close attention to the position group’s athleticism and movement skills.  Speed rules the day in the secondary, and Alexander will have a chance to prove (read more…)


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