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Three and Out: Quarterbacks

Written by Bryan Perez on September 18, 2015


Each week during the college football season, Senior NFL Draft Analyst Bryan Perez will be offering four thoughts about the evolving 2016 NFL Draft landscape. 

The quarterback position is always fun to scout.  It’s the hardest to get right and has the greatest consequences if a first rounder busts.  The inherent risk involved with grading a quarterback as a starting-quality prospect is itself a deterrent to doing good, honest work; it takes a strong-minded person to ignore the backlash and criticism of their potentially unpopular quarterback grades.

What I’ve seen happen over the last few drafts is the swell of group-think when it comes to quarterbacks.  The opinions are generally vanilla with very few analysts or experts stepping outside their comfort zone to bang the table for a guy who may not be considered “the” guy.  In part, that’s due to the lack of blue-chip prospects (before the Winston – Mariota draft).  But (read more…)

2016 NFL Draft Week Three Roundup

Written by Justin Higdon on September 17, 2015

Connor Cook 18

Last week, Kevin Clark of the Wall Street Journal published a report on the NFL’s perceived quarterback crisis. League executives and coaches are frustrated by the level of preparedness in prospects moving from college spread offenses to the pros. Many QBs graduate from upper echelon programs to the pros without taking snaps from under center, or ever truly learning how to read certain defenses. This left Browns GM Ray Farmer, among others, wondering if it’s possible to build a contending NFL team that minimizes the importance of the most important position in sports.

On the surface this quarterback drought may seem legitimate. 2012’s second overall pick, Robert Griffin III, is hanging by a thread after setting the world on fire as a rookie. The lone first rounder of the 2013 class is banished to the bench, and the heralded 2014 class is off to a rough start (yes, even (read more…)

Zeek Bigger Draft Path: Growth Through Adversity

Written by Matt LaPan on September 17, 2015

Photo By: Rob Goldberg Jr. Photos, East Carolina Athletic Department

Since early January, the East Carolina Pirates have had one Saturday circled on their calendars, September 12 at Florida. After falling 28-20 on a late interception from Florida in the Birmingham Bowl, the Pirates have had a built in date for a chance at redemption.

That bid at redemption fell short, however, as another game-ending turnover doomed East Carolina’s bid to upset their SEC foe in a 31-24 loss.

With the crushing defeat, Zeek Bigger and the Pirates were left with a sour taste in their mouths after missing an opportunity to defeat a “Power 5” opponent. With these losses has come an opportunity for growth and learning for Bigger.

“Some things didn’t go our way,” Bigger said when he addressed the media, postgame. “But we’re proud we fought our way to the end. I have to give props to Florida. We fell short, but we’ve still got more to (read more…)

CFB Week 2 Scouting Watch Guide

Written by Jeff Risdon on September 11, 2015

Dak Prescott and MSU face a big test in LSU

Last weekend’s action got our feet wet with college football, also whetting our appetite for more. Initial impressions formed now are subject to validation or change.

It’s important to be malleable and open-minded about a prospect over the course of a season. Too many hidden factors could impact a performance in any given week. Repeated viewings take away some of those variables and provide a clearer picture of the prospect as a whole. Try and remember that as you watch a prospect coming off a polarizing game last week.

This week’s slate is surprisingly light, the weakest we’ll see all year in terms of power matchups. If you’re panicking about the end of summer, this is a great Saturday to put football on the back burner and enjoy one last weekend of fun in the progressively fading warm sun.

Marquee Matchups: Week 2

Written by Luke Easterling on September 11, 2015


Each week, Senior NFL Draft Analyst Luke Easterling will take a look at some of the best 1-on-1 matchups in college football featuring potential 2016 NFL Draft prospects.

Massachusetts WR Tajae Sharpe 6’3″, 188 | Senior | #1

If you’re looking for a sleeper to keep an eye on at receiver this year, look no further than Sharpe, who racked up 1,281 yards on 85 receptions for the Minutemen last season, snagging seven touchdowns and averaging just over 15 yards per catch. Sharpe put up solid numbers against Power-5 competition last season (Penn State, Boston College, Vanderbilt, Colorado), while dropping a 13-catch, 239-yard performance against Ball State.

Sharpe has the frame of a No. 1 NFL receiver, though he could use a little more bulk, but it’s clear he has the physical tools to translate successfully to the next level. He’s proven he can win jump balls consistently, as (read more…)

Three and Out: Week 1

Written by Bryan Perez on September 11, 2015


Each week during the college football season, Senior NFL Draft Analyst Bryan Perez will be offering four thoughts about the evolving 2016 NFL Draft landscape. 

The first week of the college football season is in the books and we’re one game into week two.  It’s (obviously) way too early to pass judgment on any of this year’s crop of likely prospects, but it’s certainly a worthy task to search for ‘concerns’ or ‘trends’ that could likely become part of the player’s final scouting report and grade.

First Down:  Myles Jack is a bad man.

And by bad, I mean good.  Of all the players that I watched this week, Jack was by far the most impressive.  It wasn’t about his position-specific performance, because to be honest, there were a few warts there.  But I couldn’t help but fall in love with the way he plays the game.  He’s mean.  He’s angry.  (read more…)

College Football Week One Review: Quarterbacks

Written by Ryan Dukarm on September 11, 2015


This is the first in a weekly series I plan on doing this college football season. Rather than doing a series of full scouting reports in the middle of the season I wanted to look at one game from each player at a certain position each week. For example, this week I put together notes on six quarterbacks from their week one games. If you ever have suggestions for what position or specific player you want to see let me know on Twitter! (@DBRyan_Dukarm)


Christian Hackenberg vs Temple

Has elite arm strength and velocity on his throws, can hit receivers out of their breaks going along the sidelines. One thing I like about his pocket movement is his first reaction when faced with pressure around the edge is to climb the pocket and keep eyes downfield. Does not have touch to effectively work crossing routes without perfect timing because (read more…)

Zeek Bigger Draft Path: Hard Fought Win

Written by Matt LaPan on September 10, 2015

Photo By: Rob Goldberg Jr. Photos, ECU Athletic Department

The first full week of the college football season has come and gone. The weekend was filled with upsets, wild finishes and the obligatory early-season blowouts. Week 1 of the season for Zeek Bigger and the East Carolina Pirates did not feature any of those, however, as the Pirates fought to the end to get a season-opening 28-20 win over Towson. Despite some criticism, Bigger and the Pirates are focused on the victory.

“A win is a win,” Bigger said when asked about the game. “Wins are hard to get. We’re 1-0. We got 1-0 out of the way and now it’s time to get ready to play another game.”

The 1-0 was much more than just another game for the senior linebacker, though. The victory came in front of a near-capacity crowd at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, marking the final opening game for Bigger. “There was a lot of emotions, I (read more…)

2016 NFL Draft Week Two Roundup

Written by Justin Higdon on September 10, 2015

derrick henry

The college football season kicked off last Thursday with the battle of the Carolinas, and closed out with the defending-champion Ohio State Buckeyes cruising (in the second half, anyway) to a win over Virginia Tech. The opening week featured a number of eye-opening performances, but perhaps the most noteworthy was turned in by UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen. In last Saturday’s win over Virginia, the 18-year true freshman passed for 351 yards and three touchdowns while completing a staggering 80% of his passes. Rosen is not draft-eligible until the conclusion of the 2018 season, but he’s already got people salivating over his potential. I was thrilled to see the young man exceed the lofty expectations he carried into his first start, by showing poise that belied his lack of experience, and pinpoint accuracy down the field. Rosen can’t be expected to perform to that level every week, and he’s sure to (read more…)

CFB Week 1 Watch Guide: Saturday

Written by Jeff Risdon on September 5, 2015

Reggie Ragland and Alabama are among the featured games

College football kicked off Thursday night with some entertaining tilts and great performances by the likes of Josh Doctson, Jake Butt and more. Now it’s time for the second half of the long football weekend, which extends through Monday night when the defending national champs look to avenge their one loss from 2014.

Here is who I’ll be watching for scouting purposes on Saturday and Sunday and what I want to see from these players. Always remember: players can have great games but still not impress in terms of NFL potential. The converse is true as well. Scouts are looking for translatable traits and football skills more than stats. Keep that in mind as you imbibe in our country’s greatest game.

Now grab your notepads, program your DVRs and let’s watch some football!

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