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2015 NFL Draft: Week 2 Prospect Preview

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    started a topic 2015 NFL Draft: Week 2 Prospect Preview

    2015 NFL Draft: Week 2 Prospect Preview

    2015 NFL Draft: Week 2 Prospect Preview
    By Dane Brugler | Senior Analyst
    September 4, 2014 12:16 pm ET

    Although the slate of action for week two of the college football season isn't as monumental as last week, there are a handful of pivotal match-ups that will help shape the college playoffs, led by Michigan State traveling west to play Oregon. These two programs have played four times in the past with the home team winning each match-up, another factor that favors the Ducks. However, the Michigan State defense is comparable to Stanford's, which has shut down the Oregon offense the past two years.


    QB MARCUS MARIOTA, rJR, Oregon (6-4 | 215 | 4.52 | #8)
    The early favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, Mariota is the ideal quarterback orchestrating the Oregon offense with his intelligence, athleticism and tools as a passer. He is a quick thinker and diagnoses the action with a calm demeanor, swift eyes and light feet in the pocket to feel his way around the noise, extending the pocket or picking up yards on the ground with his gazelle speed. Mariota has a tendency to stare down his targets at time, but he throws well on the run with excellent field vision and the arm talent to spray passes to all levels of the field. Michigan State's aggressive defense will be an excellent test for Mariota's anticipation and ability to manipulate defenders.

    DE SHILIQUE CALHOUN, rJR, Michigan State (6-4 | 257 | 4.72 | #89)
    A year ago at this time, the Spartans pass rush was a question mark, but Calhoun emerged as one of the top up-and-coming defensive ends in the country in 2013. He finished with a team-best 7.5 sacks last season and notched his first sack of the 2014 campaign last week. Calhoun bends well off the edge with natural flexibility and coordination in space to easily change directions, something that will be tested when Oregon threatens the edges. Calhoun needs to develop a functional power element to his game and his snap anticipation and technique are both underdeveloped, but the unpolished skill-set shows a lot of promise and facing an athletic and versatile offense will be an excellent test.

    CB IFO EKPRE-OLOMU, SR, Oregon (5-9 | 195 | 4.46 | #14)
    Arguably the top cover cornerback in all of college football, Ekpre-Olomu is widely considered the top senior defensive NFL prospect by several in the scouting community. He has many of the requisite skills to survive in both press and off-man, displaying quick diagnose skills, twitchy reaction time and the athleticism to break on the ball. Ekpre-Olomu shows swivel hips, smooth footwork and explosive lower body skills to close in a hurry on the ball. He lacks ideal strength and build and can be easily tied up by blockers on the perimeter, but he doesn't shy from throwing his body around in run defense. Ekpre-Olomu vs. Michigan State's Tony Lippett will be an outstanding match-up to study in this game.

    FS KURTIS DRUMMOND, rSR, Michigan State (6-1 | 200 | 4.58 | #27)
    Although the Michigan State secondary lost cornerback Darqueze Dennard from last year's No. 1 ranked defense, Drummond is the senior member of the Spartans' defensive backs. He is a well-rounded player with the anticipation and pursuit downhill to close in the ground game while also showing the coordinated body control and timing in coverage to make plays in pass defense. Drummond has a lean body type and needs to consistently finish once he makes contact with the ballcarrier, but he understands angles and plays with the confidence needed at the position. With Dennard, Denicos Allen and Max Bullough gone from last year's squad, Drummond has stepped into a leadership role in 2014.

    RB JEREMY LANGFORD, rSR, Michigan State (6-0 | 205 | 4.47 | #33)
    When discussing the top running backs in the Big Ten, Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah and Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon immediately come to mind. But Langford isn't far behind in terms of NFL potential, rushing for 1,422 yards and 18 touchdowns last season. He runs low to the ground with excellent pad level and energetic feet to get the most out of every touch. Langford is a workhorse type with a hard-nosed, no-nonsense style of running the ball, getting stronger as the game progresses. Against Oregon he needs to show improved patience to work around his blockers, but will also be heavily relied upon in the screen game and in pass protection – two areas that will promise him early playing time in the NFL.

    Other Michigan State prospects to watch:

    CB Trae Waynes, rJR (6-1 | 183 | 4.53 | #15)
    WR Tony Lippett, rSR (6-3 | 190 | 4.49 | #14)
    DE Marcus Rush, rSR (6-2 | 255 | 4.86 | #44)
    LT Jack Conklin, rSO (6-6 | 300 | 5.09 | #74)
    ILB Taiwan Jones, SR (6-3 | 252 | 4.76 | #34)
    RB Nick Hill, rSR (5-8 | 197 | 4.40 | #20)

    Other Oregon prospects to watch:

    DL Arik Armstead, JR (6-7 | 296 | 4.97 | #9)
    C Hroniss Grasu, rSR (6-3 | 297 | 5.12 | #55)
    OLB Tony Washington, rSR (6-3 | 250 | 4.73 | #91)
    OLB Derrick Malone, rSR (6-2 | 220 | 4.68 | #22)
    LT Jake Fisher, SR (6-6 | 299 | 5.22 | #75)
    RB Byron Marshall, JR (5-9 | 201 | 4.47 | #9)

    Other match-ups to watch:
    USC at Stanford
    Sat., Sept. 6, 3:30 p.m. ET
    Stanford, Calif. -- ABC

    The USC offense scored 52 points in the season opener, but goes on the road to face a stout Stanford defense in this match-up. RS senior TE Randall Telfer (6-4 | 260 | 4.77 | #82) didn't record a reception last week against Fresno State, but his ability to work the middle of the field will be important if Stanford overloads the edges. The Cardinal defense has several senior prospects worth watching in this game, including ILB A.J. Tarpley (6-2 | 238 | 4.84 | #17), DE Henry Anderson (6-6 | 295 | 5.06 | #91) and SS Jordan Richards (5-11 | 208 | 4.57 | #8).

    The two most impressive prospects in this match-up will face off in the trenches with USC junior DL Leonard Williams (6-5 | 298 | 4.88 | #94) and Stanford junior LT Andrus Peat (6-7 | 312 | 5.28 | #70). Both have the potential to be elite-level prospects in the 2015 NFL Draft due to their rare physical gifts. Senior WR Ty Montgomery (6-2 | 215 | 4.46 | #7), who is in the discussion to be the top senior wideout drafted in the spring, recorded five catches for 77 yards and a score last week, adding a punt return for a touchdown.

    Other USC prospects to watch:

    WR Nelson Agholor, JR (6-1 | 190 | 4.49 | #15)
    OLB J.R. Tavai, SR (6-2 | 250 | 4.79 | #58)
    ILB Hayes Pullard, rSR (6-1 | 235 | 4.73 | #10)
    QB Cody Kessler, rJR (6-1 | 210 | 4.95 | #6)

    Other Stanford prospects to watch:

    OLB James Vaughters, SR (6-2 | 254 | 4.73 | #9)
    CB Wayne Lyons, rJR (6-1 | 196 | 4.56 | #2)
    QB Kevin Hogan, rJR (6-4 | 228 | 4.72 | #8)
    DE Blake Lueders, rSR (6-5 | 260 | 4.89 | #43)

    East Carolina at South Carolina
    Sat., Sept. 6, 7 p.m. ET
    Columbia, S.C. -- ESPNU

    The offense is the strength of the East Carolina squad, led by senior WR Justin Hardy (6-0 | 188 | 4.49 | #2), who has Mr. Reliable for the Pirates and became the school's all-time leader in receptions (274) last week in the opener. He already holds the ECU record for receiving yards (3,134) and touchdown catches (27). Senior QB Shane Carden (6-2 | 221 | 4.92 | #5) is the point guard of the Pirates' offense and while he doesn't have a skill-set that screams NFL, he is a winner with a competitive appetite that will win over coaches during interviews.

    The South Carolina offense appeared stagnant in the season opening loss to Texas A&M as RS senior QB Dylan Thompson (6-3 | 219 | 4.83 | #17) struggled through the air and junior RB Mike Davis (5-9 | 216 | 4.52 | #28) couldn't get going on the ground, re-injuring his ribs, making him questionable for this game. Regardless of who is toting the rock for the Gamecocks, RS senior LG A.J. Cann (6-3 | 318 | 5.18 | #50) will be opening holes in the run game and will often match up with ECU RS senior OLB Maurice Falls (6-3 | 247 | 4.67 | #48).

    Other East Carolina prospects to watch:

    CB Detric Allen, SR (6-0 | 200 | 4.59 | #4)
    WR Cam Worthy, rSR (6-2 | 220 | 4.59 | #9)
    DT Crishon Rose, rSR (6-4 | 303 | 5.08 | #93)
    RB Breon Allen, SR (5-8 | 190 | 4.52 | #25)

    Other South Carolina prospects to watch:

    LT Corey Robinson, rSR (6-7 | 348 | 5.33 | #53)
    TE Rory Anderson, SR (6-5 | 232 | 4.73 | #81)
    SPUR Sharrod Golightly, rSR (5-10 | 205 | 4.57 | #9)
    DT J.T. Surratt, rSR (6-2 | 305 | 5.08 | #97)

    Michigan at Notre Dame
    Sat., Sept. 6, 7:30 p.m. ET
    South Bend, Ind. -- NBC

    After lining up as a tight end most of his career, junior WR Devin Funchess (6-5 | 230 | 4.73 | #1) is playing full-time on the outside as a receiver in 2014 and made the transition flawlessly last week, recording seven catches for 95 yards and three scores against Appalachian State. With junior CB KeiVarae Russell (5-11 | 190 | 4.50 | #6) still suspended amid academic fraud allegations, Funchess is poised for another productive day. The main question for the Michigan offense – can RS senior QB Devin Gardner (6-4 | 218 | 4.62 | #98) be consistent?

    The Irish offense is young with only two senior starters: TE Ben Koyack (6-4 | 261 | 4.77 | #18) and RG Christian Lombard (6-5 | 315 | 5.26 | #74). While not as dynamic a pass-catcher as Tyler Eifert and not as physical as Troy Niklas as a blocker, Koyack is the next future pro in South Bend, which has been a NFL tight end factory over the last decade. Lombard missed all of 2013 due to injury, but looked stout last week against DT Christian Covington and Rice. Senior LB Jake Ryan (6-3 | 235 | 4.68 | #47) continues his transition to MLB.

    Other Michigan prospects to watch:

    DE Frank Clark, SR (6-2 | 270 | 4.76 | #57)
    CB Raymon Taylor, SR (5-10 | 182 | 4.52 | #6)
    CB Blake Countess, rJR (5-10 | 183 | 4.52 | #2)
    OLB Desmond Morgan, SR (6-1 | 232 | 4.76 | #48)

    Other Notre Dame prospects to watch:

    DL Sheldon Day, JR (6-2 | 290 | 4.94 | #91)
    CB Cody Riggs, rSR (5-9 | 190 | 4.56 | #2)
    RB Cam McDaniel, SR (5-9 | 207 | 4.56 | #33)
    C Nick Martin, rJR (6-5 | 295 | 5.30 | #72)

    BYU at Texas
    Sat., Sept. 6, 7:30 p.m. ET
    Austin, Tex. – FOX Sports 1

    Although he's always been a dangerous threat with his legs, junior QB Taysom Hill (6-2 | 221 | 4.62 | #4) has really come a long way with his development as a passer and is the catalyst of BYU's offense. He will be without arguably his best lineman with senior OT Michael Yeck (6-8 | 292 | 5.83 | #77) expected to miss this game, still nursing a broken toe. On defense, Texas has two seniors who could be top-100 draft picks with impressive 2014 seasons: DE Cedric Reed (6-6 | 271 | 4.89 | #88) and CB Quandre Diggs (5-10 | 204 | 4.53 | #6).

    The Longhorns had no problem with North Texas last week, but didn't escape healthy on offense with two key seniors sidelined for the foreseeable future: QB David Ash (6-3 | 227 | 4.68 | #14) due to concussion symptoms and C Dominic Espinosa (6-4 | 300 | 5.23 | #55) with a broken ankle. BYU junior DE/OLB Bronson Kaufusi (6-7 | 263 | 4.78 | #90) was named the FBS Independent Defensive Player of the Week after his two sack performance vs. UConn in the season opener and is an intriguing underclassman on the NFL radar.

    Other BYU prospects to watch:

    CB Robertson Daniel, SR (6-1 | 198 | 4.56 | #4)
    TE Devin Mahina, rSR (6-6 | 247 | 4.83 | #84)
    SS Craig Bills, rSR (6-1 | 205 | 4.68 | #20)
    DT Marques Johnson, rSR (6-2 | 308 | 5.23 | #99)

    Other Texas prospects to watch:

    RB Malcolm Brown, SR (6-0 | 228 | 4.59 | #28)
    OLB Jordan Hicks, rSR (6-2 | 244 | 4.73 | #3)
    WR Jaxon Shipley, SR (6-1 | 193 | 4.54 | #8)
    DT Malcom Brown, JR (6-4 | 320 | 5.24 | #90)

    Virginia Tech at Ohio State
    Sat., Sept. 6, 8 p.m. ET
    Columbus, Ohio -- ESPN

    The experience of the Virginia Tech offense is the interior of the offensive line, led by seniors LG David Wang (6-2 | 298 | 5.08 | #76) and C Caleb Farris (6-3 | 303 | 5.12 | #79). Both will be tested against the Buckeyes talented defensive line, led by senior DT Michael Bennett (6-2 | 288 | 4.96 | #63), although Ohio State will be without junior DE Noah Spence (6-3 | 252 | 4.68 | #8), who isn't eligible to return from his suspension until next week. This is the first meeting ever that Ohio State and Virginia Tech will meet on the football field.

    Ohio State has only two seniors starting on offense and both project as draftable players: TE Steve Heuerman (6-5 | 255 | 4.68 | #86) and WR Devin Smith (6-1 | 197 | 4.46 | #9). Heuerman isn't elite in any one area, but is well-rounded as both a blocker and pass-catcher and will be matched up often with Virginia Tech senior FS Kyshoen Jarrett (5-11 | 192 | 4.57 | #34), who is arguably the Hokies' best defender. Seniors DT Luther Maddy (6-0 | 292 | 5.02 | #92) and FS Detrick Bonner (6-0 | 194 | 4.56 | #8) are also considered draftable prospects.

    Other Virginia Tech prospects to watch:

    DE Dadi Nicolas, rJR (6-3 | 218 | 4.69 | #90)
    LT Laurence Gibson, rSR (6-6 | 274 | 4.96 | #63)
    ILB Chase Williams, rSR (6-2 | 215 | 4.68 | #36)
    WR Demitri Knowles, rJR (6-1 | 178 | 4.57 | #80)

    Other Ohio State prospects to watch:

    CB Doran Grant, SR (5-11 | 193 | 4.49 | #12)
    ILB Curtis Grant, SR (6-3 | 240 | 4.73 | #14)
    RB Rod Smith, rSR (6-3 | 231 | 4.64 | #7)
    RT Darryl Baldwin, rSR (6-6 | 308 | 5.27 | #76)

    Colorado State at Boise State
    Sat., Sept. 6, 10:15 p.m. ET
    Boise, Idaho – ESPN2

    A possible top-40 draft pick next spring, senior LT Ty Sambrailo (6-5 | 315 | 5.27 | #51) suffered a sprained MCL injury and will be sidelined for this game, but should return to the field in less than a month. Despite the loss, the Rams have several playmakers on offense worth watching, including senior TE Kivon Cartwright (6-4 | 245 | 4.78 | #86) and junior RB Dee Hart (5-9 | 187 | 4.48 | #10), who transferred to Colorado State from Alabama. The top NFL prospect for the Boise State defense is senior SS Jeremy Ioane (5-10 | 192 | 4.59 | #10).

    While the Rams have an explosive ground game, the top running back prospect in his contest is the Broncos RS junior RB Jay Ajayi (6-0 | 216 | 4.54 | #27), who recorded 86 yards rushing (4.3 ypc) and 93 yards receiving on 12 catches (7.8 average) last week against Ole Miss. The top senior prospect for Boise State on offense is WR Matt Miller (6-3 | 220 | 4.59 | #2), who will often find himself lined up with Colorado State senior CB Bernard Blake (6-0 | 185 | 4.52 | #23) – this match-up will be one scouts study when evaluating both prospects.

    Other Colorado State prospects to watch:

    QB Garrett Grayson, rSR (6-2 | 220 | 4.84 | #18)
    ILB Max Morgan, rSR (6-1 | 231 | 4.79 | #40)
    OLB Aaron Davis, SR (6-0 | 220 | 4.76 | #37)
    RB Treyous Jarrells, JR (5-7 | 188 | 4.51 | #3)

    Other Boise State prospects to watch:

    CB Bryan Douglas, rSR (5-9 | 176 | 4.63 | #1)
    QB Grant Hedrick, rSR (6-0 | 195 | 4.76 | #9)
    CB Cleshawn Page, SR (5-9 | 174 | 4.43 | #3)
    WR Dallas Burroughs, SR (5-9 | 165 | 4.38 | #81)

Related Topics


  • Nick
    Kiper's final 2018 NFL draft Big Board
    by Nick
    Kiper's final 2018 NFL draft Big Board and position rankings
    7:48 AM ET
    Mel Kiper Jr.
    Football analyst

    The 2018 NFL draft is here -- and now we can finally figure out where all of these quarterbacks are going.

    Below are my "final" Big Board and "final" position rankings for the class of 2018. I'm putting "final" in quotation marks because I'll be making a few tweaks up until the draft begins (Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN and the ESPN app, in case you were wondering). I'll be talking to more sources and adjusting my rankings based on what I hear. And remember, my Big Board is not a prediction of where prospects will be drafted, only where I have them ranked.

    Notable: My Big Board goes to 300 prospects, and my position rankings cover more than 700. But it's important to note that the cutoff for undrafted free agents starts around 35 for positions like wide receiver. That means approximately 90 wide receivers have grades that are nearly identical. In short: Players ranked from 150 to 250 on my board are similar. It's splitting hairs.

    1. Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
    Previous rank: 1
    Barkley is the best prospect in this draft. His testing numbers at the combine -- 4.40 40-yard dash and 41-inch vertical -- were elite at any size, much less a 6-foot, 233-pound back. Barkley plays with tremendous balance, a great lower body and quick feet. He's a stellar runner both inside and outside the tackles, and he showed in 2017 that he's a true three-down back. He had 54 catches after having 48 combined in his first two seasons at Penn State. Barkley is a special talent.

    2. Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State
    Previous rank: 2
    Chubb could have entered the 2017 draft and been in the first-round discussion. At 6-4, 269 pounds, he shows good takeoff from the edge, and he has an excellent mix of speed and power. You saw some of that speed and explosion at the combine, where he ran a 4.65 40 and had a 36-inch vertical. Chubb had 10 sacks and 25 tackles for loss (tied for second in the FBS) in 2017 and had 10 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss in 2016. Chubb doesn't have quite as high of a grade as Myles Garrett did last year, but he's in that same tier.

    3. Roquan Smith, ILB, Georgia
    Previous rank: 4
    Smith is getting buzz as a potential top-eight pick. His tape is too good, and he's too athletic -- he ran a 4.51 40 at the combine -- for teams to be worried as much about his size (6-0, 237). He can get sideline to sideline in a hurry. A season after recording 95 total tackles and five tackles for loss, Smith had 137 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks in 2017. He can blitz up the middle or off the edge, and I think he could play inside or outside linebacker. He's just a fun player to watch, and he was one of the best players on the field in both of the Bulldogs' College Football Playoff matchups.

    -04-24-2018, 04:08 PM
  • Nick
    Gil Brandt's Hot 100: Laremy Tunsil is top prospect in 2016 NFL Draft
    by Nick
    Hot 100: Laremy Tunsil is top prospect in 2016 NFL Draft
    By Gil Brandt
    NFL Media senior analyst
    Published: April 18, 2016 at 01:08 p.m. Updated: April 19, 2016 at 01:48 p.m. 848 Likes | 45 Comments

    This is the 56th year that I have done rankings of NFL draft prospects. In the early years, from 1960-66, we put together a pre-fall rankings because from 1960 until the first common draft in 1967, the draft took place on the first Monday after Thanksgiving Day (for example, the 1966 draft took place on Nov. 27, 1965).

    In those days, we had about one percent of the information on prospects that we have today. Back then, there were not a lot of confirmed heights, weights and speed times that we have access to today.

    Prior to 1960, interest in the draft was almost nonexistent. At the 1964 draft, which was held on Dec. 2, 1963, we had less than 10 media personnel attend. This year, according to Greg Aiello of NFL PR, the league will issue around 1,700 credentials to media from around the world.

    Here are my Hot 100 prospects for the 2016 NFL Draft.

    1. Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss
    Tunsil (6-foot-6, 310 pounds, no 40 time) missed seven games during the 2015 season. In the six games that Tunsil did start, he didn't allow a sack, was called for one holding penalty and three false starts. Tunsil will play in the NFL for many years at a high level.

    2. Jalen Ramsey, CB, Florida State
    Ramsey (6-1 1/4, 209, 4.41 40) was a three-year starter for the Seminoles, and started 14 games as a true freshman (three at cornerback and 11 at safety). He was the first true freshman since Deion Sanders in 1985 to start at cornerback for FSU.

    3. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
    Elliott (5-11 3/4, 4.47 40) rushed for 1,800-plus yards the previous two seasons. In the national championship win over Oregon, Elliott rushed for 246 yards and four touchdowns. He's a very good blocker with plus-type hands. Elliott is durable, very competitive and smart. He will be a very strong candidate to be the NFL's offensive rookie of the year in 2016.

    4. Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
    Bosa (6-5 5/8, 274, 4.75 40) worked out better at Ohio State's pro day than he did at the NFL Scouting Combine. He father -- John Bosa -- and uncle -- Eric Kumerow -- were both first-round draft picks of the Miami Dolphins. Bosa had 26 sacks over three seasons at Ohio State.

    5. Myles Jack, OLB, UCLA
    Jack (6-1, 243, no 40 time) has not yet run the 40-yard dash for scouts, but had a good pro-day workout on March 15 (40-inch vertical and 10-foot-4 broad jump). Jack played just 140 snaps before going down with an injury early in the 2015 season. Jack is an outstanding athlete who could also play safety or all three linebacker positions. Jack will be a Week 1 starter in the NFL.

    6. DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
    Buckner (6-7 1/4, 286, 5.05 40) was the...
    -04-19-2016, 05:06 PM
  • Nick's Best Remaining Players: Day 2
    by Nick
    Brugler on best remaining players per
    -- By Dane Brugler, --

    FRISCO, Texas -- After the selection of 32 players in the highly-celebrated first round of the 2018 NFL Draft Thursday, plenty of surprisingly good names were available to reset boards for Day 2, Friday.

    Several players slipped due to medicals (Harold Landry, Maurice Hurst) while others simply didn't find a spot.

    For those still focused on quarterbacks, even after five were taken in first round, watch for needy teams to consider Oklahoma State's Mason Rudolph (No. 15 below) and Richmond's Kyle Lauletta (rated as No. 7 QB and No. 94 overall before draft).

    According to rankings, here are the top-50 prospects still available entering round two.

    So here is your cheat sheet when draft goes back on the air Friday at 7 p.m. ET.

    --1. Harold Landry, DE, Boston College (6-2, 252, 4.64, #7)

    Although his senior season didn't go as expected, due mostly to injuries, Landry still possesses the outstanding bend, shoulder dip and speed that NFL teams covet on the edges. Medical concerns could be the key reason he fell out of the first round.

    --2. James Daniels, OC, Iowa (6-3, 306, 5.23, #78)

    With his balance, punch and toughness, Daniels has the ingredients of a long-time NFL starter. He is quick to engage and control the point of attack, sustaining his mean streak through the whistle. Daniels had knee issues in college, is that the reason behind his fall?

    --3. Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP (6-2, 327, 5.15, #76)

    A mauler with elite grip strength, Hernandez loves to play the bully role regardless of the score or clock, displaying the natural power and surprising foot quickness to be a plug-and-play starter.

    --4. Connor Williams, OT, Texas (6-5, 296, 5.05, #55)

    The tale of two tapes: the 2016 game film for Williams shows a future top-20 draft pick, but his 2017 tape was a combination of uneven play and injuries, leading to concerns and questions. Half the league will have him on the board as a guard and the other half at tackle.

    --5. Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa (6-0, 196, 4.56, #15)

    Jackson shows the football intelligence and ball skills to excel as an outside zone cornerback in the NFL. He would be higher on this list, but his issues in run support and press-man coverage are bothersome.

    --6. Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU (6-3, 218, 4.54, #16)

    No receiver prospect in this class has a higher NFL ceiling than Sutton with exceptional athletic prowess for man his size. However, there will be a massive difference between the offense at SMU and that of whichever team drafts him.

    --7. Derrius Guice, RB, LSU (5-10, 224, 4.49, #5)

    Guice stresses defenses with his quick, explosive cuts and his angry run style make him tough to...
    -04-27-2018, 04:10 AM
  • Nick
    2014 NFL Draft: Small school, big dreams
    by Nick
    2014 NFL Draft: Small school, big dreams
    By Dane Brugler | Senior Analyst
    March 14, 2014 10:59 am ET

    The NFL is full of players who were unheralded out of college because they didn't attend a traditional powerhouse program. Joe Flacco, Vincent Jackson, Robert Mathis and Jared Allen are just a few examples of non-FBS players who were drafted from a “small school” to the “big time” and have thrived at the NFL level.

    Not every “small school” player enjoys sustained NFL success, but plenty get a chance each year. Over the last five years, an average of 25 non-FBS players have been selected on draft weekend. This year could have more, it could have less, but assuming there will be 25 small school prospects selected in May, here's my guess of the 25 non-FBS players who will hear their name called on draft weekend and in the order I think they'll be drafted:

    1. Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois – A quick-paced passer with a lightning-fast release who has his struggles with pressure, but projects as a NFL starter down the road.

    2. Billy Turner, OL, North Dakota State – The collegiate left tackle projects best inside at the next level where he can use his athletic feet and nasty demeanor to control the point of attack.

    3. Dakota Dozier, OL, Furman – Another collegiate left tackle who projects best inside and should find NFL success with his natural flexibility and quick reflexes.

    4. Isaiah Crowell, RB, Alabama State – Arguably the most talented running back in this draft class, the former SEC Freshman of the Year has a high NFL ceiling if he stays clean and committed.

    5. Pierre Desir, CB, Lindenwood – Tall and lengthy cover man who will need some time to adjust to the NFL game, but his natural instincts, make-up and athleticism project well to the pros.

    6. Terrance West, RB, Towson – An impressive player and person, the junior re-wrote the FCS record books this past season and offers an intriguing blend of power and quick feet.

    7. Caraun Reid, DT, Princeton – A quick-footed interior penetrator who has the skill-set to line up at different spots up front and will be attractive to both three and four man fronts.

    8. Jordan Tripp, OLB, Montana – Athletic and instinctive defender who read-and-reacts in a flash with the closing speed to play both sidelines and finish at the ballcarrier.

    9. Zach Kerr, DT, Delaware – A bulky, stout nose tackle, the 326-pounder is surprisingly light on his feet, but also offers the power to match his large frame and very good backfield vision.

    10. Jerick McKinnon, RB, Georgia Southern – A combine star, the former college quarterback opened eyes in Indianapolis with a 4.41 40-yard dash and 32 reps on the bench press.

    11. Walt Aikens, CB, Liberty – A surprise snub from the NFL Combine, the tall, long cornerback isn't a speedster, but...
    -03-16-2014, 05:35 PM
  • Nick
    Gil Brandt's Top 150 NFL Draft Prospects
    by Nick
    Hot 150: Gil Brandt's top-ranked prospects for 2017 NFL Draft
    By Gil Brandt
    NFL Media senior analyst
    Published: April 17, 2017 at 01:42 p.m. Updated: April 17, 2017 at 01:56 p.m. 0 Likes | 0 Comments

    This is the 57th year I have produced rankings of NFL draft prospects. In the early years when I was with the Cowboys, we had only a fraction of the information we have today, with very few confirmed measurements and times for prospects.

    But that has all changed. I can now look at my database and pull the confirmed short-shuttle or three-cone time of the 947th-ranked prospect instantaneously ... and in a matter of seconds have on my computer screen in front of me all the third-down-and-short run plays he was involved in at his Div. III school.

    It makes an evaluator's job easier and harder at the same time. There's so much more to consider with the overload of information, but ultimately it's more accurate info, which should (in theory) make draft boards around the league more informed and precise.

    With that said, here are my "Hot 150" prospects for the 2017 NFL Draft.

    Myles Garrett - DE, Texas A&M
    Three-year player with the Aggies. Has long arms (35 1/4 inches) and is very strong (33 bench lifts at the combine). Had 31.0 career sacks at A&M, with only 12 coming against SEC competition. Can be a game-changer, but needs to learn pass-rush moves. Just turned 21 last December.

    Leonard Fournette - RB, LSU
    Three-year player at LSU. First player in Louisiana history to win national high school player of the year honors twice. Started six games in 2014, rushing for 1,034 yards and 10 touchdowns, with a 5.5-yard average. He also had a 26.0-yard average as a kick returner. Led nation in 2015 with 1,953 rushing yards (6.5-yard average) and 22 touchdowns, finishing sixth in Heisman voting. Suffered left ankle injury in 2016 fall camp and did not play well, finishing with 843 yards and eight TDs in seven games. In two career games vs. Alabama, rushed for just 66 yards. Very explosive runner. Had best 20-yard time of any running back at the combine. Looks like a linebacker when you meet him in person.

    Solomon Thomas - DE, Stanford
    Spent three years at Stanford, but only played two after being redshirted in 2014. Strong (30 bench lifts at combine) and explosive (35-inch vertical). Has great short-area quickness. Very tough. Outstanding character, intelligence and leadership skills; could one day hold political office if he so chooses. Best position could be left defensive end, but will be a very good tackle because of speed and quickness.

    Marshon Lattimore - CB, Ohio State
    Was at Ohio State for three years but missed 2014 season with a hamstring injury that required surgery. After limited play in 2015, started 12 games. Was targeted 35 times last season, with...
    -04-17-2017, 04:12 PM