Scouting the Senior Bowl: Tyler Ervin, RB, San Jose State

Written by Bryan Perez on January 3, 2016


Tyler Ervin, the senior running back from San Jose State, is a player who I hadn’t scouted all that closely until his name was added to the list of 2016 Senior Bowl participants.  He’s an interesting addition to the game in large part because I’m curious as to where the coaching staff will line him up during the week of practices.

Ervin is an all-purpose talent, accruing yardage as a runner, receiver and kick returner.  He had an impressive year as a rusher in 2015, totaling 294 carries for 1,601 yards and 13 TDs (5.4 YPC).  It was by far his best year as a running back, as his previous career high was 888 yards rushing in 2014.  He’s proven to be a valuable target in the receiving game with 45 catches for 334 yards and 2 TDs this season alone.  He’s caught 87 passes during his time as (read more…)

Scouting the Senior Bowl: Kenyan Drake, RB, Alabama

Written by Bryan Perez on January 2, 2016


Kenyan Drake is probably best known for the gruesome leg injury he suffered five games into the 2014 season against Ole Miss.  It was about as bad of a broken leg as you’ll see in football, and it created serious doubt as to whether he’d be able to regain the impressive form that he displayed during his freshman and sophomore seasons.

Drake accepted his invitation to the 2016 Senior Bowl after a senior year that answered most of the injury-related questions.  While he wasn’t as explosive or confident of a runner this past season, he’s still an intriguing option at the running back position because of the likelihood that his best football will be played in 2016 and beyond.

Drake finished this past year (excluding Alabama’s National Championship game) with 76 carries for 407 yards and 1 TD.  He averaged 4.8 YPC, which is a far cry from his (read more…)

Scouting the Senior Bowl: Kenneth Dixon, RB, LA Tech

Written by Bryan Perez on December 31, 2015


Running back is one of my favorite positions to scout.  Maybe it’s because I grew up during the golden era of the running game, watching the likes of Barry Sanders (Lions) and Emmitt Smith (Cowboys).  The NFL was still a quarterback-driven league back then, but the value (non-monetary) of the every-down back was at an all-time high.

But as much as I love watching and evaluating the position, it still presents some of the most unique challenges when projecting a player’s likely success in the NFL.  Yes, running backs can make the most immediate impact as rookies, but they can also wash out of the league if they are sub-par pass protectors, have ball security issues, or simply lack the athleticism to make the jump from productive collegiate back to capable NFL starter.

Despite the many variables that ultimately impact a running back’s pro career, the challenge to uncover the (read more…)

Scouting the Senior Bowl: Jeff Driskel, QB, La Tech

Written by Bryan Perez on December 29, 2015


Jeff Driskel has experienced one of the more interesting journeys to the Senior Bowl.  Once considered an elite quarterback recruit and the future of the position for the Florida Gators, Driskel’s time in Gainesville was defined by unmet expectations and inconsistent play.  A season-ending leg fracture in 2013 was a large factor in what went wrong for him, as he started 11 games as a sophomore for the Gators.  He came back in 2014 to start only 6 games and eventually decided to transfer for his final season of eligibility.  He chose Louisiana Tech, a decision that has salvaged his draft stock.

Prior to La Tech, Driskel looked like an average (at best) collegiate quarterback.  He totaled 3,411 yards, 23 TDs and 20 INTs between the 2012 to 2014 seasons with 20 total starts.  In 2012, he ran for more than 400 yards and 4 TDs which was consistent (read more…)

Russell Athletic Bowl Scouting Watch Guide

Written by Jeff Risdon on December 29, 2015

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One of the more intriguing bowl matchups features two teams who had real shots at making the College Football Playoff until the very end. Baylor and North Carolina also offer a host of future NFL players to watch on ESPN at 5:30 on Dec. 29th.

The featured performer was set to be Baylor wideout Corey Coleman, he of the prodigious production. Unfortunately he recently underwent hernia surgery and will miss this game. As long as he heals properly, I still like Coleman a lot; he’s in need of fine tuning with his routes and blocking but has an Antonio Brown-like ability to get open and finish the play on deeper opportunities.

The Bears have another receiver who can step up and earn himself some scouting points in Jay Lee. Some were surprised when he was among the first announced Senior Bowl players, but No. 4 has a lot (read more…)

Scouting the Senior Bowl: Dak Prescott, QB, Mississppi State

Written by Bryan Perez on December 28, 2015


Dak Prescott started his senior season as a player with a lot to prove.  His value for the NFL Draft was a true unknown, as many analysts began the year assuming that Prescott would become the next athletic quarterback likely to be forced into a position change to maximize his NFL opportunities.

The trending narrative around Prescott seems to be that he’s done enough during his 2015 campaign to be evaluated as a true quarterback prospect.  He finished his career at Mississippi State owning 38 school records, including: total TDs (107); pass attempts (1,085); completions (678); completion percentage (63%); passing TDs (64); passing yards (8,742); rushing yards by a quarterback (2,411); and 100 yard rushing games by a quarterback (9).  Needless to say, he was Mississippi State football during his tenure ‘under’ center.

In terms of his 2015 season as a quarterback, he threw for 3,313 yards, 25 (read more…)

Where Does Notre Dame DT Sheldon Day Fit in the NFL?

Written by Joe Marino on December 28, 2015

When comparing my notes from studying Sheldon Day’s tape after the 2014 season to what they say after studying the 2015 season, what you would read is truly night and day. Pun intended. Hobbled by a knee injury in 2014 and ankle injuries in 2013, Day put together a strong senior year and is truly entering the draft season after playing his best football.

A two-time team captain, Day returned to school for his senior season to see the Fighting Irish complete a 10-win regular season and earn a date with #7 Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl on New Year’s Day. Despite losses to Clemson and Stanford, it was a bounce-back year for Day and the Notre Dame team as they are ranked 8th in the College Football Playoff Rankings headed into the Fiesta Bowl. In 2015, Day set new career highs in tackles, tackles for loss (read more…)

Quick Lane Bowl Scouting Preview

Written by Jeff Risdon on December 28, 2015


Minnesota and Central Michigan will hit Ford Field at 5 PM ET on Dec. 28th in the Quick Lane Bowl. I’ll be in attendance with my son, treating him to his first bowl game.

These two teams share a lot of commonality. Both teams are maroon and gold, which makes wearing team colors in the stands a little more complicated than normal. Neither team runs the ball well. Both also are led by NFL prospects in the secondary, and that’s where the focus here lies.

Minnesota has a pair of NFL-ready corners in Briean Boddy-Calhoun and Eric Murray. Both are bound for All-Star games, with BBC ticketed for the Shrine Game and Murray headed to Mobile and the Senior Bowl.

Murray stands out for his physicality. He’s only average size (listed at 5’11”/196, closer to 5’10.5”/190) but he’s got a vicious jam and the initial short-area quickness to follow it. (read more…)

Mental Checklist: Quarterback Play Part I

Written by Kyle Crabbs on December 27, 2015


With the college football and NFL regular seasons winding to a close, it’s time again to shift focus towards the NFL Draft. With that in mind, I’ll be focusing some time into my specifics of positional evaluation across the board over the winter: what to watch, where to look and the mental thought process to help you maximize the most of your scouting efforts in 2016.  – Kyle Crabbs, Director of Scouting at NDT Scouting –


Quarterback play: it’s a bear to process. There’s no way around it. The amount of detail, levels, outside influence and variables at play on any single snap can all attribute to the net result of offensive reps. But it doesn’t have to be as foreign as speaking Mandarin! The more concrete and consistent your though process can become on a snap by snap basis, the more you will continue to develop a consistency (read more…)

Scouting Watch Guide: Dec. 26th Bowls

Written by Jeff Risdon on December 25, 2015


Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, whatever holiday lights your fire! After a one-day rest where basketball took center stage and my Cavaliers once again came up short to Golden State, it’s time to get back to the gridiron.

Instead of breaking down every game, for the six games on the 26th I will only highlight 12 players from the games. I decided to play with my kids and enjoy a rare warm Christmas on the eastern shores of Lake Michigan instead of huddling up and writing exhaustive breakdowns.

On the 12th day of Christmas, GM Santa gave to me…

Devon Johnson, RB, Marshall

The burly runner will be on display in the St. Petersburg Bowl (11 AM on ESPN). He might want to get used to playing in Tropicana Field, as he will be back there for the Shrine Game in a few weeks.

I’ll watch him in (read more…)

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