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Rotoworld's Josh Norris's First Big Board - No QB in Top 25

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  • Rotoworld's Josh Norris's First Big Board - No QB in Top 25

    NFL Draft Rankings: Big Board
    Thursday, January 14, 2016

    I really like this upcoming draft class. Perhaps the names at the top of the draft aren’t quarterbacks, but there is plenty of talent to be found. Specifically, defensive line and linebacker are the strongest positions.

    So much of the process is still left. All Star games, Combine workouts, Pro Day workouts, prospect visits, etc. These rankings and evaluations are fluid, but I hope to post them every other week, opposite a mock draft.

    1. UCLA LB Myles Jack
    Where He Wins: The complete package at the position, and a complete linebacker is as valuable as it has ever been. Jack’s movements are uncommon. His lower half swivels when adjusting to what is in front of him, and his first steps are explosive and springy, quickly eating up ground to make a play others cannot. Jack is equally as aggressive between the tackles as he is in coverage. At UCLA, he was even asked to play opposite receivers and did not look out of place in coverage. Jack is a foundation piece to build with and around.

    2. Ohio State EDGE Joey Bosa
    Where He Wins: Explosion to power is the name of Bosa’s game. Don’t expect an edge bender when watching Bosa. Instead admire his burst off the line and powerful hands to jolt his opponent, then press and walk them back or shed to make a play in the backfield. Expect Bosa’s jumps (vertical and broad) to be excellent. I would not ask him to drop into coverage. Why waste the pass rushing potential more than it is necessary? Bosa is also an outstanding run defender, shedding one, two or even three blocks at times to make a play at the line of scrimmage.

    3. Baylor WR Corey Coleman
    Where He Wins: Functional athleticism helped Coleman win both “small” and “big” while at Baylor, and the latter is difficult to find with a 5’10/190 lbs receiver. Coleman will win contested catches, elevating over corners or adjusting with body control to haul in targets. Add that on top of vertical speed, quickness in and out of breaks and yards after catch ability, and Coleman has the tools to be an all-around receiver.

    4. Ole Miss WR Laquon Treadwell
    Where He Wins: Obviously I would not argue with anyone who ranks Treadwell as the top receiver. I love both prospects. Treadwell displayed his physical dominance in college both before and after the catch. Treadwell fits the No. 1 receiver template at 6’2/210 lbs. His game did not slow down in 2015 after returning from a horrific leg injury. Treadwell can win at every level of the field with position and agility for someone of his size. He is used to catching erratic targets away from his body.

    5. Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott
    Where He Wins: A foundation piece of an NFL offense and a complete back. Zeke’s eyes and feet are so in tune that he seamlessly shifts his line to accommodate blocking strengths and positioning. Elliott turns plenty of three yard gains into eight yard carries with balance, agility and power. He might be the best pass protecting running back I’ve seen out of college, on top of being a solid receiving option.

    6. FSU DB Jalen Ramsey
    Where He Wins: “What position will he play?” will be a question frequently asked throughout the process. Ramsey has the tools to succeed at multiple positions. Some teams will evaluate him at just one spot. A few will see a versatile playmaker with the size, athleticism and aggression to move around and make an impact at a variety of alignments. Ramsey can win at the catch point, make tackles in the box, blitz and even return kicks.

    7. Ole Miss T Laremy Tunsil
    Where He Wins: Most games Tunsil shows you everything you want. Balance, functional strength, posture, length, hands, nastiness, etc. The game against Auburn might have been his most challenging, but Carl Lawson plays like a future first round pick.

    8. Notre Dame T Ronnie Stanley
    Where He Wins: Many will question Stanley’s strength and/or power. By this I think they mean anchor versus power. I believe Stanley combination of length, frame, footwork and athleticism is enough of a combination to get by with possibly adequate strength. I’ve seen him display an aggressive temperament on multiple occasions.

    9. Baylor DL Andrew Billings
    Where He Wins: Billings might be labeled as a nose tackle by some, but he is so much more. I expect Billings to play multiple gaps and alignments, similar to Star Lotulelei early on with the Panthers. Billings can will at the line of scrimmage and also behind it. He is nimble for a big man with athleticism to gain initial ground and power to press his opponent backwards. An injury slowed down Billings for a few games. He was on the field for 77.9% of the school’s defensive snaps this season.

    10. Oregon DL DeForest Buckner
    Where He Wins: Has the tools to be extremely disruptive versus the run and rushing the passer. Right now Buckner shines against the run thanks to his size, length and strength to shed. Those tools can work as a pass rusher, but right now the awareness to shed and create space is not there on a consistent basis. He could play a variety of alignments up front based on personnel packages. He played on 85.5% of the school’s snaps this season.

    11. Louisville DL Sheldon Rankins
    Where He Wins: A true interior disruptor. Rankins was asked to play next to the center, guard and outside of the tackle this year. He’s at his best getting upfield off the snap with explosion and agility. He’s quite strong for a compact defensive tackle. Disruptors like Rankins can be difficult to find in any class. Rankins was on the field for 79.4% of the school’s snaps.

    12. Alabama DL Jonathan Allen
    Where He Wins: Only played on 40% of the school’s snaps, but Allen made an impact in every game. Of Alabama’s three defensive linemen, he gets upfield and disrupts more than any others. Especially when pass rushing. Allen is ahead of his time in terms of hand use. Watch for his push-pull technique. He gets on his block and gets off of it, which can be difficult to find at the college level.

    13. Eastern Kentucky EDGE Noah Spence
    Where He Wins: The former Ohio State Buckeye is an outstanding talent. Most pass rushers win one way, either with speed or power. Spence has the potential to win in both areas. A lot will be made about Spence’s past and “character concerns,” but what if they aren’t concerns any longer?

    14. Ole Miss DL Robert Nkemdiche
    Where He Wins: Production was definitely minimal, but Nkemdiche offers plenty of disruption potential. After playing outside early in his career, Nkemdiche looks at his best inside. His natural athleticism is an advantage there, winning around heavy footed offensive linemen off the snap or through weaker opponents.

    15. Notre Dame LB Jaylon Smith
    Where He Wins: Jaylon is very athletic, capable of covering gaps and plenty of ground. Like most linebackers, Smith is at his best against the run and looked more aggressive at the point of attack this season. He is above average in coverage and has even shown the ability to rush the passer as a blitzer. I have no comment on the injury.

    16. Ohio State WR Michael Thomas
    Where He Wins: Michael plays the position in a similar fashion as Demaryius Thomas. He can take short passes and surprises with acceleration and balance to pick up yards after the catch. A large portion of Thomas’ catches were made within ten yards of the line of scrimmage, but he can also win vertically and adjusts to the football while it is in the air.

    17. Florida CB Vernon Hargreaves III
    Where He Wins: 2014 was far better for Hargreaves than 2015. Still, I don’t think talent just disappeared. The corner can be aggressive at the catch point, closing on receivers after the catch when in off coverage and when playing the run. He allowed separation on deep routes this season. When he’s on, Hargreaves plays with intensity and fights for positioning to beat receivers to their point.

    18. Clemson EDGE Shaq Lawson
    Where He Wins: Shaq Lawson shows a variety of moves to win versus his opponents, displaying intent and awareness as a pass rusher. Lawson will take advantage of linemen who overextend and win around the edge. Then he can win inside after tackles compensate on the edge. He even displayed a successful spin move. He is just as successful against the run as he is rushing the passer.

    19. Kansas State OL Cody Whitehair
    Where He Wins: Many expect Whitehair to be the next tackle to guard transition. Why can’t he succeed at guard? The answer I point to is his wide base that has been and might be an issue against edge rushers with speed. It was the same for Zack Martin. Whitehair has powerful hands and will control you in tight spaces when in proper positioning. Guards can be just as important as tackles.

    20. Georgia LB Leonard Floyd
    Where He Wins: Evaluators have been able to see Floyd play from practically every linebacker alignment. He lined up at the second level more often this season and was still an effective pass rusher when asked to be. He lacks strength when getting upfield, but Floyd can bend around the corner, which some staffs prioritize despite its scarcity.

    21. Florida DL Jonathan Bullard
    Where He Wins: I have reservations about Bullard’s athleticism, but I love his ability to win as a defensive end against the run and impact passing downs when lining up inside. Bullard can win with power immediately or can win with length to shed and make the tackle.

    22. Oklahoma WR Sterling Shepard
    Where He Wins: Perhaps the best route runner in this class. Shepard is already precise in some of his breaks, creating separation and sustaining it. On top of that, Shepard looks like an above average athlete for the position and can come down with circus like grabs. He seems like a sub-six-foot receiver who wins outside or in the slot.

    23. Alabama TE O.J. Howard
    Where He Wins: After two years (plus a few games) of clamoring for Howard to be a focal point of Alabama’s offense, he finally was in the National Championship Game. The tight end can get open in the intermediate level with athleticism and body positioning, but what stood out was his yards after catch capability. He has plenty of straight line speed which will be maximized by accurate passes.

    24. Ohio State LB Darron Lee
    Where He Wins: A true run and chase linebacker. Lee missed a few tackles this season, but he also puts himself in position to make plays other linebackers cannot. Lee is also an adequate blitzer.

    25. TCU WR Josh Doctson
    Where He Wins: Doctson produced so many highlight reel, acrobatic catches in the end zone and along the sideline. He can get open when working back towards the quarterback after winning vertical, resulting in easy separation.

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  • Nick
    2017 NFL Draft Round 4 #125: Rams select Samson Ebukam, LB, Eastern Washington
    by Nick
    SAMSON EBUKAM
    EASTERN WASHINGTON BIG SKY

    6'3"
    HEIGHT
    240LBS.
    WEIGHT

    OVERVIEW
    Nnamaka Samson Ebukam was born in Nigeria, but learned football early on in Portland, Oregon and excelled as a high school defensive end and tight end. Ebukam contributed as a true freshman, playing 15 games as a reserve (28 tackles, four for loss, three sacks). He was a second-team All-Big Sky selection as a hybrid linebacker/defensive end in 2014 (12 TFL, 7.5 sacks) and 2015 (7.5 TFL, four sacks). Samson was a team co-captain in his senior year, garnering third-team FCS All-American honors from the Associated Press with 15 tackles for loss and a team-leading 9.5 sacks.

    ANALYSIS
    STRENGTHS Explosive athlete with a background in basketball, javelin and shot-put in high school. Triggers out of his stance with quick-twitch as a rusher. Attacks the edge with plus burst and has the desire to keep working when he gets punched and controlled early. Wowed teams with a vertical leap of 39 inches and a sub 4.5 forty yard dash at his pro day. Plays with a suddenness when crashing down the line after ball carriers. Drawn to the play like a magnet. Lauded for intelligence and work ethic. Initial quickness creates disruption in run game. Chalked up 15 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles in 2016. Rangy with a willingness to pursue way down the field.

    WEAKNESSES Tends to play too frenetically at times. Will need to eliminate some of the wasted motion with his flailing arms and legs. Gets overly focused on blocker in front of him and will lose sight of ball carrier. Wins with raw athleticism over technique. Better hand usage must become a priority. Gets glued to blocks for too long and can be slow to disengage. One-speed pass rusher who doesn't generate as much speed to power as hoped. Lacks the size to play through redirect blocks. Needs to develop a more nuanced rush plan with workable counter moves for next level.

    DRAFT PROJECTION Round 5

    NFL COMPARISON Bryan Braman

    BOTTOM LINE Ebukam is a driven prospect with above average intelligence who is still in the process of matching his skill to his athletic ability. He lacks desired size and power to play with his hand in the ground and will have to move to an outside linebacker spot. Ebukam has a chance to get drafted on the third day and his speed, explosiveness, and motor could make him a special teams standout while a team works to develop him as a pass rusher.
    -04-29-2017, 10:05 AM
  • Nick
    Norris: E-W Shrine Review
    by Nick
    Norris: E-W Shrine Review
    Friday, January 17, 2014
    Josh Norris
    All Star Circuit

    Rather than breakdown the East and West rosters position by position, I decided to take this review a different way. Honestly, after the first day it was fairly obvious who the prospects were that had a chance to impress this week. Those players put on consistent performances each day, standing out in individual and team drills. With that said, these rankings are not based solely on this event (as you will see with some prospects that had “down” weeks), but rather how I rank the prospects moving forward. All postseason practices and games are used as an extra exposure, as complementary pieces, not the backbone of an evaluation.

    You will notice a trend in certain positions being listed. That was not on purpose, but I truly feel those spots generated the most talent this week and are some of the deeper positions in this year’s draft. As a side note, I will have my Senior Bowl preview posted soon along with updates throughout next week.

    1. QB Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois - There might have been certain points in the week where Jeff Mathews looked like a better prospect, but when comparing inseason action, the two are not close. Garoppolo has quick feet, quick eyes, and a quick release. As long as a quarterback can find open throwing lanes and/or throw from multiple platforms, I do not care about their height, but some evaluators were happy to see Garoppolo measure in over 6’2 and with a hand size of 9.13 inches.

    Teams will likely question his ability to work from center and hit patterns with timing and anticipation. Garoppolo certainly works through multiple reads, but there is a bit of an improvisational style to it. The progressions seem to be at his pace.

    Many offenses rely on quick decision makers with a quick release, and Garoppolo can absolutely check these boxes. Things change a bit when pressured, as the quarterback has a tendency to drift laterally rather than step up or work from a phone booth. Garoppolo will end up in the crowded tier of passers after the top four, but do not be surprised if he tops that group. He displays mobility, touch, velocity, placement and a willingness to hit receivers at every level of the field. A second day selection is within reach for Garoppolo.

    2. CB Pierre Desir, Linwood - Long, athletic corners that can match up with receivers at the catch point will be coveted during the draft process. He might be a “small school” prospect, but Desir fits the bill. Standing at 6’1/197 with almost a 33-inch reach, Desir could wind up as one of the longest corners in this class.

    I always complain about college programs not implementing more press man coverage, especially since illegal contact does not exist at this level of football. Since it is not allowed in the actual all star game, Desir was limited to off coverage situations, something...
    -01-18-2014, 06:02 AM
  • Nick
    2019 Senior Bowl: Offensive prospects who'll have great value later in 2019 NFL Draft
    by Nick
    2019 Senior Bowl: Offensive prospects who'll have great value later in 2019 NFL Draft
    These offensive prospects likely won't go early in the draft but will have great value when they're picked
    By Chris Trapasso
    @ChrisTrapasso
    Jan 17, 2019 • 3 min read

    The 2019 NFL Draft will feature a defensive-heavy class of prospects, and many of the top offensive players are underclassmen.

    That means this year's Senior Bowl isn't oozing with first-round picks on the offensive side of the ball. So what? How about zeroing in on some prospects who'll ultimately come with outstanding value later in the draft? Those are always fun to identify.

    Keelan Doss, WR, UC Davis
    After emerging as a budding star in 2016 with 10 receiving scores, Doss put back-to-back 110-plus catch seasons on his collegiate resume, and he topped 1,300 yards in each of the last two years.

    At 6-foot-3 and around 210 pounds, he has an athletic frame that allows him to explode off the line, quickly gain then sustain speed downfield, contort his body to make receptions on inaccurate passes, and morph into a tall running back after the ball is in his hands.

    It'll be interesting to monitor how much difficulty Doss' combination of length and athleticism gives the Senior Bowl cornerbacks next week.

    Ryquell Armstead, RB, Temple
    Armstead plays with a lot of controlled power. What I mean by that is he doesn't simply look for contact and lower his head every time he carries the football. When defenders get to him, they bounce off because he runs so hard. Armstead is a north-south back with light feet capable of delivering a quick spin move or efficient jump cut at the second level to make linebackers miss.

    He's quicker than fast but sneaks through crevasses in the line between the tackles. Armstead won't hit many 50-yard home runs, but he's a blue-collar runner with deceptive athleticism who can be a quality No. 2 ball-carrier in the NFL because of his vision, wherewithal, and twitchiness.

    Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State
    Dillard needs to get stronger. There's no doubt about that. But he probably got more pass-protection reps than any other left tackle in the country over the past three seasons playing at Washington State, and his amazing athletic gifts allow him to stay under control and extraordinarily balanced essentially every time he's asked to block on a pass play.

    He'll likely be tested the most against bull rushes, but if Dillard shows improved anchoring skills in Mobile, the Washington State star will prove his worth as a high-quality value pick in the 2019 class.

    Myles Gaskin, RB, Washington
    All Gaskin did in his four-year career with the Huskies was piece together four-straight 1,200-plus yard seasons with 57 rushing scores at a hefty 5.6 yards per pop.

    He may not hit the 200-pound threshold,...
    -01-22-2019, 02:22 PM
  • Nick
    Kiper: Kevin White debuts on Big Board
    by Nick
    Kevin White debuts on Big Board
    West Virginia wide receiver makes his debut, while a top QB drops off
    Originally Published: October 22, 2014
    By Mel Kiper Jr.

    The biggest mover in this week's Big Board is Kevin White, the wide receiver out of West Virginia in the midst of a spectacular season. I just see a player who has made himself better. He has become a little bit stronger, wins more battles for the ball, and even looks more sudden in his movements than he did when he debuted for the Mountaineers last season after two years at the junior college level. There are some other changes, but White's addition is perhaps the most notable this week.

    I'll keep scouting reports consistent week to week throughout the season and only make changes regarding recent performances, unless my evaluation shifts. That said, let's dive back into "the process" and another season.

    An asterisk denotes a junior for the 2014 season; two asterisks denote a redshirt sophomore.

    1. *Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon Ducks
    Completing more than 70 percent of his throws, hasn't thrown an interception -- and that's with a mess along the offensive line. But this will help Mariota; he'll be more ready for NFL life. He combines above-average accuracy and anticipation with an ability to get through his progressions and elite athleticism. How well he can take apart a defense with tools other than his legs matters in terms of how he is viewed as a prospect, but his ability to throw on the run or to simply take off and pick up chunk yardage as a runner is a major plus.

    2. *Leonard Williams, DL, USC Trojans
    Provides impact wherever he lines up. Quick for his size, he can move all over and won't get pushed around when he's inside. At his size (6-foot-5, 290 pounds), he's a special athlete who could line up as a defensive end and drive a tackle back, or line up on the outside shoulder of a guard and create problems with power and quickness. He's the kind of disruptive, versatile lineman who can succeed in any system. A potential No. 1.

    3. *Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama Crimson Tide
    Should hit 1,000 yards receiving this week. Crazy good season. He's neither a pure burner nor an impossible matchup threat given his size (6-1, 210 pounds), but there's nothing he doesn't do well. He separates with ease and also has a good sense of how to find space against a zone. Where he really stands out is his ability to make contested catches. His work rate is legendary down there and will be a big selling point.

    4. *Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska Cornhuskers
    Missed a lot of time early, but is now healthy, if not 100 percent. A super-athletic pass-rusher with a lean frame and exceptional quickness, he could be a 3-4 outside linebacker or add some weight and be useful in a 4-3 scheme. How well he can hold up at the point of attack, particularly against the run, will be an area scouts...
    -10-23-2014, 03:21 AM
  • Nick
    Pasquarelli - Rating the Rookie Offensive Lineman
    by Nick
    Barron projected as first OL off board
    Thursday, April 7, 2005
    By Len Pasquarelli
    ESPN.com

    Here is how ESPN.com rates the top 13 offensive line prospects in the draft:

    • OT Alex Barron (Florida State)
    Vital statistics: 6 foot 7½, 318 pounds, 4.86 in the 40, 19 bench press reps.
    Numbers game: Two-year regular at split-side tackle slot, mostly on the left side, and started in 24 of 25 games in his final two seasons. Began career with medical redshirt after tearing his right anterior cruciate ligament after the first four games in 2000. In 2002, was the backup to Todd Williams. Over final two seasons, he averaged eight knockdown blocks per game. In that period, never graded lower than 87 percent in blocking assignment efficiency. An Outland Trophy finalist.
    Upside: Terrific athlete who has all the physical qualities you want in a left tackle. Freaky-type workout numbers in all the key drills. A guy this big isn't supposed to be this flexible, but his vertical jump and change-of-direction skills verify he can be special. Long arms and a 90-inch wingspan. When he gets his hands on a pass rusher and locks out, and keeps the kind of natural separation all great pass protectors have, the deal is sealed. Very agile, moves well laterally, can mirror pass rushers. Quick enough to get out and block at the second level.
    Downside: Watch him on tape and there seems to be something, maybe a natural passion for the game, missing from his makeup. Not as tough as you want in the running game. Will struggle at times against smaller, quicker ends, and will get back on his heels and lose balance. Relies too much on natural ability, will get lazy and slide off blocks. Just doesn't dominate as consistently as he should.
    The dish: Given his innate tools, should be the first lineman taken, perhaps in the top 10. People question his desire, and justifiably so, but he's just too talented not to take.



    • OT Khalif Barnes (Washington)
    Vital statistics: 6 foot 5¾, 305 pounds, 4.92 in the 40, 26 bench press reps.
    Numbers game: Despite missing most of his senior season in 2004 after breaking his right wrist in the fifth game, logged 42 career starts. Unofficially, recorded 128 knockdown blocks in final two seasons. Began college career as a defensive lineman before moving to left offensive tackle late in his 2000 redshirt year.
    Upside: Exceptionally quick feet. Moves nicely laterally, can shuffle and stay in front of a defender. Big, long frame, and can probably handle another 10-20 pounds pretty easily. Takes good angles, stays balanced and will cut off the perimeter. Plenty quick enough to recover. Has flashed some nastiness in the past.
    Downside: Tends to just ride pass rushers upfield rather than redirect their charge and gets beat a little too often to the inside. A tad mechanical at times. Initial punch-out doesn't have the kind of...
    -04-12-2005, 01:53 PM
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