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

Written by Bryan Perez on December 29, 2015

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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…)


Scouting the Senior Bowl: Jacoby Brissett, QB, NC State

Written by Bryan Perez on December 24, 2015

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The 2016 Reese’s Senior Bowl has been announcing the names of accepted prospect invites over the last several weeks.  It’s an exciting time for NFL Draft media, as we can finally start preparing for who we are likely to scout for the week in Mobile, Alabama.

One of the notable differences between this year’s game and last year’s  — on paper, at least– is the list of quarterbacks who have agreed to participate.  Last year’s crop was woefully bad.  It looks like this year’s will be fun to watch.

I’ve already touched on one of those quarterbacks, Cody Kessler, here.  This piece will focus on the senior passer from NC State.

Jacoby Brissett was one of the more exciting quarterbacks that I studied during the summer months leading up to the 2015 season.  He met my expectations this year, although he didn’t take that massive jump into first-round consideration.

(read more…)


Scouting the Senior Bowl: Cody Kessler, QB, USC

Written by Bryan Perez on December 22, 2015

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Cody Kessler, the redshirt senior quarterback from the University of Southern California, has been selected to participate in the 2016 Reese’s Senior Bowl.  He’s making the right choice by participating in the game, as his stock as a NFL Draft prospect is far from set.  One thing’s for sure:  He needs to have an overwhelmingly good week in order to enter the “Day 2″  discussion.

Kessler enjoyed a productive final season as a Trojan throwing for 3,315 yards and 28 TDs (with 6 INTs).  He completed over 67% of his passes and added four TDs on the ground.  For his career, Kessler surpassed 10,000 yards passing with 87 TDs.  He had a better year in 2014 when he set school records for completion percentage (69.7%) and completions while tying the school record for TD passes (39).  His accolades include Pac-12 honorable mention after the 2013, 2014 and 2015 seasons.

Physically, Kessler barely (read more…)


Marmot Boca Raton Bowl Scouting Watch Guide

Written by Jeff Risdon on December 22, 2015

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Temple vs. Toledo, 7 PM ET on ESPN

Temple and Toledo meet in the Marmot Boca Raton Bowl, and there will be many players on the field who will see action on Sunday in 2016 and beyond.

The Owls have several prominent prospects, three of whom are bound for the Senior Bowl…

2016 @seniorbowl commits in action today: @USUFootball LB Kyler Fackrell, @Temple_FB LB Tyler Matakevich, DL Matt Ioannidis, DB Tavon Young

— Patrick Woo (@P_Woo) December 22, 2015

Tyler Matakevich is the most notable. The Bednarik Award winner as the nation’s top linebacker racked up a prodigious amount of tackles, 126 to be exact. The first-team All-American is a superb college football player. Will he be an impact pro? That remains to be seen, but I’m skeptical. He’s listed at 6’1” and 230 and an area scout validated that for me. That’s (read more…)


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