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2016 NFL Draft Prospect Preview: Small School Watch List – Offense

Written by Justin Higdon on August 20, 2015

john robertson

As promised, today’s 2016 NFL Draft prospect preview is a look at some of the top FCS, Division II, and Division III talents from the offensive side of the ball. If you missed yesterday’s defensive prospect watch list, you can find those players right here. As always, asterisks denote underclassmen.

Jaylon Smith: Room to Improve

Written by Jeff Risdon on August 13, 2015


One of the purposes of summer scouting is to develop a baseline for a player’s current skills. This helps frame the upcoming season performance. Did the player improve? Are his prior weak points dulled? Has he shown more NFL skills?

Under that backdrop I evaluated Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith. The rising true junior from Fort Wayne has created many waves in South Bend with his strong athletic ability and speed. No. 9 on the defense has proven his versatility, lining up at Mike backer, rush OLB, weakside nickel backer and even as a pseudo slot corner.

Both Daniel Jeremiah of the NFL Network and Matt Miller from Bleacher Report have gone on record this summer to call Smith their top defensive prospects entering the season. Many in the online draft community have followed suit, praising Smith’s playing speed, range and power. Listed at 6’2” and 235 pounds, (read more…)

Scouting Rewind: ’97 Peyton Manning vs Florida Gators

Written by Charles McDonald on August 13, 2015


We’re always looking to the future in the draft process. We analyze and evaluate prospects with the goal of accurately projecting their ability to play in NFL.

It got me thinking:  Why not ‘look back’ for once? I thought it would be a fun exercise to cut up a game from established superstars and look at the traits they exhibited in college and assess their development (or lack thereof) in the pros.

2016 NFL Draft Prospect Preview: Small School Watch List – Defense

Written by Justin Higdon on August 11, 2015

Noah Spence

Taking a break from the team-by-team previews, here’s a look at some of the 2016 NFL Draft-eligible prospects from the FCS, Division II and Division III ranks. I’ve compiled quite a few names here, so I’ve broken them up into two separate posts. We’ll kick things off today with the defense, but check back tomorrow for the offensive side of the ball. As always, asterisks denote underclassmen.

Chris Ross’ Way-Too-Early Top 5 2016 NFL Draft WR Rankings

Written by Chris Ross on August 8, 2015

Tyler Boyd

1. Tyler Boyd, Pitt*

A silky-smooth route runner with good deep speed and reliable hands, Tyler Boyd has more than enough talent to become an excellent professional receiver. Boyd contests 50-50 balls well, and while he will likely need to bulk up to hold up in the NFL, Boyd has a lot of the same qualities that I observed in Odell Beckham Jr. coming out of LSU. If he can put behind a DUI from earlier this offseason and again thrive this season, Boyd could very well be the first receiver off the board next year.

2. Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss*

An exceptionally talented athlete, Laquon Treadwell was playing very well last season before an injury cut his campaign short. Like Boyd, Treadwell has a very polished skill set, running good routes and displaying great hands. The biggest concern with Treadwell is how he will return from the broken leg (read more…)

2016 NFL Draft Prospect Preview: Minnesota Golden Gophers

Written by Justin Higdon on August 8, 2015


The Minnesota Golden Gophers finished this past regular season just one win shy of a berth in the Big Ten title game. Instead the team had to settle for a Citrus Bowl bid, were handled by Missouri, and dropped to 8-5 on the year. The Gophers’ record overall and in conference was still good enough to produce their best season under current Head Coach Jerry Kill, but the 2015 team has lost workhorse running back David Cobb, star tight end Maxx Williams, and the defense’s two leading tacklers, linebacker Damien Wilson and safety Cedric Thompson. Kill’s crew has a home date with a dangerous TCU team to kickoff the season, but follow with seven winnable games heading into an early November trip to Columbus to face Ohio State. The Gophers have a decent opportunity to top, or at least match last year’s record. Here’s a look at the draft-eligible players (read more…)

Scouting Notes: Kemoko Turay vs. UNC (2014)

Written by Bryan Perez on August 7, 2015


*taken from the(read more…)

2016 NFL Draft Trait Based Scouting: Laquon Treadwell (WR, Ole Miss)

Written by Ryan Dukarm on August 5, 2015


The last two NFL Draft’s have seen an influx of young receiver talent into the NFL, as the new age of early contributors at wide receiver have seen players like Odell Beckham, Mike Evans, Sammy Watkins, Kelvin Benjamin, Amari Cooper, Kevin White and Davante Parker all drafted in the first round with the expectations of contributing early and often. The next in this highly talented group of young receivers is Ole Miss WR Laquon Treadwell. The only thing standing in the way of Treadwell being an early first round pick in 2016 is his health, as he suffered a gruesome leg injury in Ole Miss’ game against Auburn in 2014. Assuming he can return to full health in the 2015 season, Treadwell has a chance to be the top receiver selected in the 2016 NFL Draft. 

Background: Two year starter at Ole Miss as a true freshman and sophomore. Suffered (read more…)

2016 NFL Draft Prospect Preview: Arizona Wildcats

Written by Justin Higdon on July 31, 2015

scooby wright

After stumbling badly during a three year coaching stint with the Michigan Wolverines, Rich Rodriguez landed on his feet at Arizona. After back-to-back 8-5 seasons, The 2014 Wildcats started on a 5-0 run that included a stunning upset on the road at then-second ranked Oregon. Arizona lost to USC the following week, and UCLA three weeks later, but Rich Rod’s team rattled off four straight victories down the stretch to earn a shot to face the Ducks for the Pac 12 title. The rematch ended in a disastrous 51-13 defeat for the ‘Cats, and perhaps demoralized, they fell behind early and ultimately lost the Fiesta Bowl to Boise State. On the surface, Arizona’s season ended in disappointment, but their 26 wins in three seasons under Rodriguez is the best three-year stretch in team history. Record-breaking quarterback Anu Solomon returns as the starter, fellow sophomore sensation Nick Wilson will handle (read more…)

2016 NFL Draft Prospect Preview: Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns

Written by Justin Higdon on July 30, 2015

Elijah McGuire

Under Head Coach Mark Hudspeth the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns have rolled to four straight 9-4 seasons, and have ended each of those years with wins in the New Orleans Bowl. Despite all of the victories, the team has yet to win an outright Sun Belt championship, though their 7-1 conference record last season was the best in the program’s history. Hudspeth is bound to attract attention from a more illustrious university one of these years, but he’s back commanding the Cajuns for at least one more run. If this year’s squad is to equal or surpass the successes of previous versions, the coach will need to find capable replacements for departed starting quarterback Terrance Broadway, and star defensive linemen Christian Ringo and Justin Hamilton. Luckily, Hudspeth has two electrifying playmakers returning on the offense. Here’s a look at the 2016 NFL Draft-eligible Cajuns, including the 2014 conference Player of the (read more…)

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