2016 NFL Draft Prospect Spotlight: Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State

Written by Joe Marino, Senior NFL Draft Analyst on May 25, 2015

Does your favorite NFL team need a quarterback? If you are reading this article about a college quarterback in May, 3 months before the start of the college football season and almost a year before the 2016 NFL Draft, that is probably the case.

You’re in luck; Connor Cook is a good one and is building the type of resume that NFL decisions makers are hoping for when they are  evaluating quarterback prospects. Entering his third season as the Spartans starting quarterback, Cook has some impressive achievements including:

  • Lead his team to 3 consecutive Bowl game wins.
  • 2013 and 2014 Second-Team All-Big Ten Selection.
  • Lead his team to an impressive Big Ten Championship game victory over Ohio State in 2013 and was named MVP of that game.
  • Lead his team to a Rose Bowl victory in 2014 and was named the games offensive MVP.
  • Orchestrated a 20-point fourth quarter comeback (read more…)

2016 NFL Draft Prospect Spotlight: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame

Written by Joe Marino, Senior NFL Draft Analyst on May 23, 2015

We have seen many players attempt to fill big shoes and ultimately never even come close to measuring up. Prior to Ronnie Stanley taking over as Notre Dame’s starting left tackle at the start of the 2014 season, Zack Martin started every game at that spot since October 16, 2010.  Martin started a school record 51 consecutive games and played at an extremely high level. After being voted as the Notre Dame Offensive Lineman of the Year for 3 consecutive seasons, Martin was a 1st round pick of the Dallas Cowboys. He went on to start all 16 games and was a First-Team All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection as a rookie.

After starting 13 games as Notre Dame’s right tackle in 2013, Stanley kicked over to the left side and started all 13 games in 2014. He replaced Martin admirably and was named the Notre Dame Offensive Lineman (read more…)

2016 NFL Draft Quick Look – Quarterbacks

Written by Chad Dinkins on May 22, 2015

Connor Cook - Featured

With the 2015 NFL Draft in our rear-view mirror and a season with little writing behind me, it is now time to get a jump start and dive into the 2016 NFL Draft.  Over the last four years, I have studied draft-eligible players with notes and grades but simply haven’t had the time to publish my work.  I am fortunate to be given that platform through DraftBreakdown.com and am looking forward to publishing a lot more content this year.

The highlight of each and every draft is the quarterback position.  I am a firm believer that the NFL will always be a league won from the pocket and this draft showed more of that line of thinking with the players selected.  We only saw seven quarterbacks drafted and five were considered pocket-type passers.  The major question mark on Marcus Mariota was his ability to play from the pocket with NFL concepts.  Until (read more…)

2016 NFL Draft Prospect Alert: Jalen Ramsey, Safety, Florida State

Written by Colin Beaury, Analyst on May 22, 2015

Jalen Ramsey pic

When Jalen Ramsey arrived at Florida State as a Rivals and Scout.com five-star recruit, he was accompanied with high expectations. He was a day one starter in 2013 and was the first cornerback to start a game for FSU in his true freshman season since Deion Sanders. A football and track star from Brentwood, TN, Ramsey punctuated his first season as an undefeated National Champion.

Ramsey spent much of his sophomore campaign in a safety/slot corner role, a credit to his athleticism and versatility.  He logged 79 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, 12 passes broken up, 2 interceptions and 2 forced fumbles in 2014 earning him 2nd team All-America honors. He was the ultimate chess piece for a one loss Seminoles team that saw four defensive players taken in the first three rounds of the 2015 draft.

This past week, Ramsey added an ACC long jump championship to his resume:

(read more…)

2016 NFL Draft: Can Cardale Jones Improve on his Impressive 3-Game Run?

Written by Rob Donaldson, Analyst on May 22, 2015

Cardale Jones

At the conclusion of last college football season, I along with millions of other football fanatics marveled at what the Ohio State football team was able to accomplish after having lost not just one, but two starting quarterbacks in a single season.

The player who undoubtedly benefitted the most from Ohio State’s championship run, at least in regard to draft status, has to be the 6-5 250 pound redshirt junior quarterback Cardale Jones. Despite the fact that Jones has only started a mere three games in his collegiate football career, before the 2015 NFL draft declaration deadline many evaluators, fans, and media types were left on the edge of their seats awaiting his announcement on whether or not he would choose to turn pro. Once he gave his announcement that he would be returning to school, it inevitably set in motion a narrative that is sure (read more…)

2016 NFL Draft: Is Tyler Boyd (Pitt) the next great receiver prospect?

Written by Ryan Coon, Analyst on May 21, 2015

tyler boyd

The NFL has been pretty spoiled in the last half decade when it comes to rookie receivers.  The old rule of thumb was that it took three full seasons for a receiver to learn the offense and become a major contributor to the team.

That hasn’t been the case in the last few drafts.  Dez Bryant, A.J. Green, Julio Jones, Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, and Odell Beckham Jr. have all been drafted in the first round and become superstars as rookies.  They have been voted to nine Pro Bowls combined.

If you’re a college football fan, you weren’t surprised to see these players jump out of the gate.  They dominated in college and were household names before they played their final season.  Will the 2016 class keep the streak alive and produce a sensational receiver that excels in the NFL day one?  One candidate to watch going forward is Pitt (read more…)

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

Written by Chris Ross, Analyst on May 20, 2015

Ezekiel Elliott

1. Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State*

Ohio State’s workhorse running back down the stretch last season, Ezekiel Elliott has the potential to be a first round selection next year provided he remains effective this season. Elliott certainly has the size, vision and power you want to see in a running back, and with over 1800 yards and 18 touchdowns last season, including a 220 yard, two touchdown performance in the National Championship game, Elliott proved he could be productive against top competition. It wouldn’t be the least bit surprising to see Elliott go early in the first round of the 2016 draft if he is able to replicate his production from this past season.

2. James Conner, Pittsburgh*

A classic power back, James Conner has the look of a workhorse back at the next level. He will need to show more in the way of receiving this season, but with his (read more…)

2016 NFL Draft First Look: Jared Goff (QB, Cal)

Written by Ryan Coon, Analyst on May 19, 2015


The 2016 Quarterback class looks to be much deeper than the 2015 class, but there still aren’t any sure-fire, can’t miss prospects.  What the 2016 class does have is a handful of QBs that could turn into Pro Bowlers at the next level, something the 2015 class lacked.

Jared Goff is one of those quarterbacks.

As the only true freshman QB in Cal history to start a season opener, Goff had his ups and downs.  He showed the ability to learn from his mistakes and that he has a short term memory, as he overcame a mid-game benching against Oregon.  He persevered through the season and ended up throwing for over 3500 yards with a 2:1 TD/INT ratio, setting many single-game passing records along the way.

As a sophomore, Goff built on his 2013 season by throwing for over 3900 yards with 35 touchdowns and only 7 interceptions, while leading the Bears to four more victories (read more…)

2016 NFL Draft: Small School, Big Potential: Kenneth Dixon, RB, LaTech

Written by Derek Rizzuto, Analyst on May 19, 2015

Kenneth Dixon

Let me kick things off by introducing what this series will be all about. I will be looking at players that are not from your “power 5″ conferences (SEC, ACC, PAC 12, BIG 10, BIG 12) that could potentially become household names by the time the 2016 NFL Draft rolls around.

For the first installment, I will be analyzing running back Kenneth Dixon out of Louisiana Tech. Dixon is listed at 5’10” and 212 pounds. He loves to play with a downhill, no-nonsense demeanor. Dixon has run for 1,000+ yards in two of his three seasons at Louisiana Tech with the lone exception being his sophomore year when he missed multiple games with a foot injury. During his junior campaign he amassed 1,684 yards from scrimmage (1,299 rushing and 385 receiving) using a impressive blend of pass catching ability and hard-nosed running. Going into his senior season he has already accounted for 61 (read more…)

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

Written by Chris Ross, Analyst on May 18, 2015

Christian Hackenberg

1. Christian Hackenberg, Penn State*

Playing in a new offensive scheme with below-average receivers and an offensive line that couldn’t block anything, Christian Hackenberg’s production fell off in a big way last season, going from 20 touchdowns and 10 interceptions as a freshman to 12 touchdowns and 15 interceptions last season. That said, Hackenberg has the skills to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. He’s got plus arm strength, and he goes through his progressions consistently. If he can improve his decision-making under pressure and stop forcing ill-advised throws, Hackenberg could very well be a top-five pick in the 2016 draft.

2. Connor Cook, Michigan State

Had he entered the 2015 draft, Connor Cook likely would have been a top-10 selection due to the dearth of talent at the position.  Luckily for him, however, Cook still has a good chance at (read more…)

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