Dec 312015
 
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Jalen Ramsey, Florida State Seminoles (November 28, 2015)

Jalen Ramsey – © USA TODAY Sports Images

2016 NFL Draft Prospects: December 31, 2015 Bowl Games

by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Sy’56

HOUSTON

#3 CB William Jackson – 6’2/195

Fourth year senior, started off at a Community College for a year. He started showing signs of being a lockdown corner towards the end of 2014. Kind of a late bloomer, took him awhile to improve his body awareness and coordination. Still has a lot of room for growth. He can turn and run with anyone. Long strider with long arms, that’s nice to have against deep passing games. He isn’t very physical though and his ability as a press corner isn’t good. Upside prospect here that will need time to develop. 4th or 5th rounder.

#44 LB Elandon Roberts – 6’0/230

Fourth year senior that played a year at Morgan State. Pretty much a non factor until 2015. I’ve seen the Houston defense three times and Roberts is one of my top sleepers in the draft. This kid is a tackling machine. He can fill different roles. Fast and powerful with good body control. Violent intentions. He is a great mover in coverage, has the wiggle in his hips and tremendous balance. Roberts is undersized and may not be the fastest straight line athlete but what I look for in linebackers, Roberts has it all. Might be an ideal fit for the 4-3 WLB role.

#23 S Trevon Stewart – 5’9/195

One of the most productive careers you’ll find. Career started off with a bang as a freshman where he led all newcomers in the nation with 126 tackles. Showed the same ability in 2013 but also picked off four passes. Some started discussing him as a next Earl Thomas type. Not so fast there. Stewart is aggressive and feisty, yes. But he doesn’t have that kind of speed of reaction in coverage. Stewart’s lack of size is a major liability. He isn’t a guy to trust in deep coverage. Very grabby. He didn’t really take off to another level at any point. Late rounder at best that could be a great special teamer.

FLORIDA STATE

*#8 CB Jalen Ramsey – 6’1/201

Many expect him to come out. He’s likely a top 5 pick if he does. Widely considered the top defensive back in this class. He is also a track athlete. Ramsey can do several things on the field that make you say wow. I think he is better suited for safety however. He is a great tackler that wraps up and can deliver a blow. He has a nice feel for the game. With that said, as strictly a corner he is sloppy. Poor technique and lazy efforts at times. He knows he is talented and he cuts corners because of it. He can be beat by a good route runner with ease. If I draft him, I am letting him roam the field as a FS. He can be a star there.

*#44 DT DeMarcus Walker – 6’3/281

Junior that hasn’t come out. Had a huge 2015 season and many think he’ll enter the draft. Walker is a DT/DE hybrid. They move him around a lot to exploit matchups. He is too quick and elusive for interior guys, but too strong and powerful for the tackles. He would fit in nice with the hybrid NFL schemes. Very versatile kid that has a knack for finding the action. It can be hard to find DL that get in on the action so often. Walker is that kind of guy. If he comes out he is likely a top 45 guy.

#5 LB Reggie Northrup – 6’4/254

Fourth year senior. Core special teamer for a couple years and took over at MLB in 2014, leading the team in tackles with 122. Northrup was starting to look like a 1st round prospect, but tore his ACL and MCL in the Rose Bowl last January. He missed the 2015 spring but came back to start every game in 2015, again leading the team in tackles. Knowing he still has more recovering to do, I think this kid has the upside of a Pro Bowler. He owns the inside gaps as a run defender. He has the range to reach the sidelines. Effective blitzer and quick reaction guy. I don’t have much on him as a cover man. He may need to come off the field on 3rd downs but I think with another offseason of full recovery and training, he can be a starter in year one. Top 60 kind of guy.

*#27 CB Marquez White – 6’0/184

Third year junior. Also plays basketball for the Seminoles. Not sure what his plans are for this winter/spring. I haven’t spent a ton of time scouting White but I do think he is a more natural cover corner than Ramsey. More refined from a technique perspective. Has the length and quick feet to be a solid press corner. Shows a physical side. It seems to me that QBs avoid throwing his way more than Ramsey. We’ll see if he declares. Could be a 2nd round talent.

#99 DT Nile Lawrence-Stample – 6’1/323

Fifth year senior. Blue collar run defender that has some solid 3-4 NT potential. Plays low and strong. Tough as nails. Does the dirty work and probably goes overlooked by the common fan. Scouts know there is value with this kid. 4th or 5th rounder that is limited but some defenses really need this guy.

#24 LB Terrance Smith – 6’4/231

Fifth year senior that missed 2011 with a knee. Height/weight/speed guy that will do great in workouts. Interesting case here. He has some outstanding tape from early in his career. He was expected to be one of the top defenders on this team in 2015, but for whatever reason it didn’t pan out. He looked lost at times. When he isn’t in space chasing guys down, he looks very average. I wanna do more digging on him to see if there was an undisclosed injury or off field problem. 2015 is a mystery to me. He didn’t reach half the level I was expecting to see. I still think he has 4th or 5th round potential.

Other Notables:

#1 S Tyler Hunter – 5’11/205
#42 FS LaMarcus Brutus – 6’0/208

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OKLAHOMA

#3 WR Sterling Shepard – 5’10./193

If I had to choose one receiver in this class for my slot position, it’s this guy. I think Shepard has 100+ catch per season potential. He has elite stop and go ability. He’ll always be able to run himself open. Very competitive guy, loves to get after it in traffic. Doesn’t shy from contact. Strong hands and very good ability after the catch. Off the field Shepard is a tireless worker that is constantly trying to find the smallest of advantages to make himself better. If he can be put in to the right role, we are talking about a guy that will be among league leaders in receptions every year. I’ll have a 1st round grade on him.

#74 RG Nila Kasitati – 6’4/315

Fourth year senior. Doesn’t really look the part, might be a bit too soft and unathletic. Will bend poorly at times. But this guy can run block with the best of them. Very smart and savvy. Very powerful hands. When his feet are under him he can block anyone. If he can get in to better shape he has starting potential. Late rounder but one I would easily gamble on for development if he checks well off the field.

*#1 LB Dominique Alexander – 6’0/220

Third year junior that is 50/50 on declaring. Big 12 Freshman of the Year and Freshman All American in 2013. Leading tackler. Very rangy, fast, and quick. Might be an ideal 4-3 WLB prospect. He can make plays all over the field. Can be a 3 down guy for a team right away. Has some star potential in him. He’ll make plays that a lot of guys simply are unable to. If he comes out he could be a top 45 guy. 3rd rounder at worst.

#19 OLB Eric Striker – 6’0/222

Popular name here. Fourth year senior that almost came out after last season. Has big time production. Led the Sooners on TFL and sacks each of the past three seasons respectively. Striker doesn’t pass the initial eye test. He is short. Doesn’t carry a lot of weight. Doesn’t have a long reach. He can produce in the NFL though. He can cover better than you would think. He defends the run with awareness and intelligence. Very savvy and quick reaction type. Striker has made some very good OL look foolish over the years. He isn’t a fit for everyone but knowing how solid of a kid he is off the field, Striker will make it happen in the NFL one way or another. Day 2 prospect.

#91 DE Charles Tapper – 6’4/283

Fourth year senior. He won’t jump off the screen and he hasn’t had enormous production. But talk to any Big 12 coach or player and they will tell you Tapper is one of the best DEs in the country. He is blue collar. Owns the line of scrimmage, rarely gets beat by a lone blocker. Very disciplined and smart. Has the physical tools that coaches love. He is NFL ready from day one. He’ll be a very solid DE in the NFL. Safe pick. Day 2 guy.

*#15 CB Zack Sanchez – 5’11/179

Fourth year junior. I’ve been told he is coming out but haven’t seen anything for sure. Some guys really like him. 12 INTs over the past 2 years. I think those numbers are a little inflated, I don’t think he is NFL ready. He has poor technique and gets away with murder downfield. Very grabby. I do like the attitude though and he tracks the deep ball well. I just think he needs another year. 4th or 5th rounder if he comes out.

CLEMSON

*#10 MLB Ben Boulware – 6’0/235

Third year junior. Hasn’t declared yet and I am split on whether or not he will. If he comes out, he will likely be my top LB in this class. I may even have a top 15 overall grade on him. Boulware is always around the ball, run or pass. Very instinctive and quick to the action. Low center of gravity and appears slippery to blockers. He is fast and powerful. Very good tackler that delivers a violent pop to ball carriers. Emotional leader of this team and is always on fire. Boulware is a 10 year starter in the NFL.

*#2 CB Mackenzie Alexander – 5’11/190

Third year sophomore. Broke on to the scene in 2014 with a Freshman All American season. I’ve been watching him all year and he has the goods from a physical perspective. Length, strength, speed, quickness, agility….it’s all there. Alexander is a fighter, constantly mixing it up with the opponent. If I had to nitpick, I’d say he struggles to maintain his physical ability when the ball is in there air. He loses balance and traction and has a tendency to get very grabby downfield. All in all he has the talent to be a star but there are several mechanical components to his game that need to be worked on. If he comes out he can be a top 15 guy.

*#90 DE Shaq Lawson – 6’3/275

Third year junior. Hasn’t announced a decision yet. Lawson wasn’t much of a factor until this year, playing behind Vic Beasley for his first two years. He really broke out this year and put himself in to 1st round territory. Lawson leads the nation with 22.5 tackles for loss. He is a complete defensive end that excels against both the run and pass. I can’t quite make up my mind on him. He’s good, but is he top 10 good? He lacks a couple of ideal physical traits but he has a technique-savvy player with a relentless motor. That is usually a nice combination when scouting a guy with such good production. I’ll spend more time on him in the coming months but he has a legit shot at being my #1 DE. I don’t see a major difference between him and Bosa.

*#98 DE Kevin Dodd – 6’5/278

Fourth year junior. Missed 2013 with injury. Dodd doesn’t get the attention that Lawson does but some people will have a higher grade on him. He has an NFL-ready body. A true 4-3 DE here that could start early in his career. He hasn’t seen the attention from opposing OLs that Lawson has, but I don’t want to use that against him too much. Power defender that shows proper mechanics across the board. Could be another 1st rounder.

#44 LB BJ Goodson – 6’1/250

Fifth year senior. Probably won’t get the attention that Boulware does but this guy is a player. Very physical, mean linebacker. A perfect fit for what we used to see in Pittsburgh and Baltimore. Might not be the elite athlete that some are looking for but some LBs have a way of using sneaky speed and that’s Goodson for you. He can change a run defense from day one.

*#1 FS Jayron Kearse – 6’4/210

This year junior with some nice bloodlines. Nephew of former DE Jevon Kearse, cousin to former CB Philip Buchanon. Very experienced. Solid triangle numbers. Some love this kid but I think he is too long for his own good. Takes a long time to react and change direction. Misses too many tackles for a safety. He just isn’t comfortable or fluid as a mover. I think he is a late rounder if he comes out, others will say top 100.

Other Notables:

#19 WR Charone Peake – 6’3/215
#78 LG Eric Mac Lain – 6’4/305
#74 RT Joe Gore – 6’5/290

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MICHIGAN STATE

#18 QB Connor Cook – 6’4/220

Fifth year senior. A career record of 34-4 over his 3 seasons as the starter. He is in the running for the first QB overall. A good game against Alabama could go a long way. Has the size and arm strength. I have seen a ton of Cook over the past two years and I won’t have a 1st round grade on him. I may not have a 2nd round grade on him. He gets flustered in the pocket under pressure. He looks afraid at times. Doesn’t seem to be confident from the pocket unless he is completely clean. Another thing I want to look in to…he isn’t a team captain. A fifth year senior that plays QB and has been the starter for 3 years isn’t a captain? There may be something there.

*#74 OT Jack Conklin – 6’6/325

Fourth year junior. Began his career as a walk on. Became the starting LT right away in 2013 and was a Freshman All American. Conklin has been one of the top LTs in the country for years now, he is one of my favorites. He’s been a little nicked up with a knee in 2015 and it has definitely slowed him down. Tonight will be the freshest he’s been in awhile, looking forward to the matchup. He is a blue collar bruiser. Very big and tough. Shows refined mechanics from head to toe. Very hard worker. He doesn’t have the elite movement and it may prevent his grade from being top 10 overall, but he’ll likely finish as a 1st rounder.

#76 RG Donovan Clark – 6’4/325

Fifth year senior. Major test for him tonight. I think he can match up well against these big time Alabama DTs. Clark is as strong and powerful as it gets. If he gets inside position with his hands, game over. He drives guys backward more than any guard in the class. Big time run blocker. He can be out-moved by faster defenders though. Little limited at the second level and as a pass blocker. Day 2 guy I think.

#66 C Jack Allen – 6’2/296

Fifth year senior. Four year starter. Two time All American. Allen is the top center in the class according to some. Missed some time this year with an ankle. Leader of the OL, responsible for a lot pre-snap. Kind of like a second quarterback. Allen gets his hands on quick and will work his tail off through the whistle. Nice test for him tonight, as the one question I have is the ability to hold his ground against elite power. He’ll see plenty of that tonight.

#16 WR Aaron Burbridge – 6’1/208

Fourth year senior. Has been a steady contributor all for years. Became a go to guy in 2015, showing more big play ability than he had in previous years. He is thick for a WR. Capable of pushing DBs around and getting to where he wants. Lacks top end speed but he is an explosive route runner underneath. He can get open. Limited upside but a guy that can be a solid #4 or #5 WR in the NFL. Day three prospect.

#89 DE Shilique Calhoun – 6’5/250

Fourth year senior. Almost came out last year, wisely chose to return for senior season. I wasn’t big on Calhoun last year but he looks a lot better right now. More quick twitch and reaction. Has the explosive first step when they let him loose to put a tackle on his heels. Calhoun has very good body control when he is moving at full speed and that is a big part of what makes him so effective. He can change his path at any second. First round grade here.

#8 DE Lawrence Thomas – 6’4/305

Fifth year senior. Incredibly versatile. I think he could fit in to any scheme and he could play inside or outside. That is rare to truly find. He’s been at LB, FB, DT, and DE for the Spartans. Thomas can get off the ball well with a lot of power and leverage. Good adjustments and post-engagement moves. Not a household name but he’ll be a productive player.

#92 DT Joel Heath – 6’6/296

Fifth year senior. Won’t jump off the stat sheet or the game tape but if you watch a lot of Michigan State, you’ll have a deep appreciation for Heath. He has a high upside. Very big and physical. Has good reach and nice frame. NFL coaches will look at him and think major potential. I don’t think he will be a star but he can be a solid rotational guy that can fill multiple roles. He has versatility. He sets the tempo inside for this tough defense. Day three guy.

#26 SS RJ Williamson – 6’0/216

Fifth year senior. Has been a steady contributor all four years. A lot of tackles and has shown a knack for the big play. He made some nice plays early in the year and I circled his name a few times. He tore his biceps in October and needed surgery. Looks like he is coming back for this game. Good for him and it will be a good test. I need to see more of him but he was having a great year prior to the injury.

Other Notables:

#45 LB Darien Harris – 6’0/220
#36 CB Arjen Colquhoun – 6’1/202

ALABAMA

*#2 RB Derrick Henry – 6’3/242

Third year junior. Heisman winner. Old school bruiser that would have been a top 10 pick a decade ago. Henry isn’t the most exciting guy to watch but he’s effective. He wears a defense down. Always pushing the pile, always delivering blows to defenders. He needs space though. If he can’t get to the open field, he isn’t as effective. He doesn’t elude defenders, he won’t miss contact in short spaces. I don’t like how upright he is and long limbed he is, it just screams injury because defenders will be diving at his knees from day one.

*#88 TE OJ Howard – 6’6/242

Hasn’t declared yet, many expect him to. Some think he is the top TE prospect in then nation. I don’t see it. He is very tools rich and could develop in to a matchup problem at the next level. He is a sub par blocker though and I don’t see anything special about his speed or quickness. Maybe he just doesn’t get the looks because of the scheme. I don’t know. Some say he is a 2nd rounder, I think more like 4th/5th.

#70 C Ryan Kelly – 6’5/297

Fifth year senior. Team leader. Three year starter. Very good interior blocker that has the size and strength to stone defensive tackles. Active feet and good flexibility. He can be a day one starter in the NFL. High upside center that I have a 2nd round grade on.

#17 RB Kenyan Drake – 6’1/210

Fourth year senior. A lot of hype surrounding this kid early on, as he’s always been a part of the RB rotation. Drake has been marred by injuries the past two years. When he’s on the field though, you are talking about elite level explosion and speed. He scares defenses every time he touches the ball. And we aren’t talking about a little guy here, he’s got some meat on those bones. If he can get the ball in space, he can outrun anyone. He won’t do much to create on his own though and he just doesn’t have the feel for finding lanes and creases. Dynamic threat but he is not a fit for every team. The injury woes may bump him down to round 5 or 6.

#76 RT Dominick Jackson – 6’6/315

Transferred from JUCO in 2014. Didn’t start until this year. Big physical guy that has interesting tools. Long and stout. Good feet in space as a run blocker. He can drive guys back consistently. Struggles against speed to the outside. Has the ability to play inside in the NFL I think. Day three guy.

*#86 DT A’Shawn Robinson – 6’4/312

Third year junior that has been dominating from day one. All American DT. Plays DE and NT in their multi front scheme. He is a major matchup problem for any lone blocker. He can beat you in several ways. He doesn’t jump off the stat sheet but that isn’t his game. You have to watch him to appreciate it. He demands a lot of attention. He doesn’t get pushed back. He shows a lot of range in pursuit, just a crazy good athlete. 1st rounder, maybe a top 10 guy.

#90 DT Jarran Reed – 6’4/315

Fourth year senior, JUCO transfer. Early in the year I said Reed was a better player than Robinson. I’m not sure I still believe that but Reed makes up for less natural talent with a relentless, overly aggressive style. This guy can help change a culture of a defense. All out kind of guy all the time. He makes a ton of tackles from the DT position. Shows tremendous hand power, always delivering a violent blow to blockers. I like Reed a lot, maybe as a top 20 guy.

*#4 FS Eddie Jackson – 6’0/194

Third year junior. Haven’t heard much about his decision to stay or go but I think 2015 proved he is one of the top safeties in the nation, if not the best. All American. Made the move to FS from CB and he has 6 INTs with an amazing 230 return yards and 2 TDs. He is a game changer. Very rangy. Very fast. Won’t shy from contact and makes a lot of difficult tackles. Everything I want in a safety, Jackson has and I think the best has yet to come. I may have a 1st round grade on him if he comes out.

#19 LB Reggie Ragland – 6’2/252

Fourth year senior. This school just continues to pump out NFL caliber inside linebackers. Ragland is the next one. He’s not the athlete that CJ Mosley was a couple years back but he is just as good of a run defender. He can own the inside running game. Great tackler. Takes on blocks. I think he has a lack of range to the outside though and he may be a two down guy only or a 3-4 only guy. Still valuable but not to every scheme. Day 2 pick.

*#93 DL Jonathan Allen – 6’3/283

Third year junior. Pass rush specialist that may have played his way in to a 2nd round selection this year. Led the team with 10.5 sacks. He’s not on the field for a large percentage of plays and in college, that bothers me a little. I need to see more of him defending the run, playing more assignment based football. Some are saying he has 1st round potential but I’ll probably have him as a day 2 guy if he comes out.

#5 CB Cyrus Jones – 5’10/196

Fourth year senior. Jones could be drafted in the top 100 overall based on his return ability alone. He is the best in the country. Very shifty and fast. Great vision. Could potentially see a move to WR down the road a la Devin Hester. As a CB, Jones has struggled with consistency. He doesn’t stick to WRs in man coverage the way you would think he can based on his workouts. I don’t see the natural feel for coverage, which is essential for the position. Not sure where to peg him. Probably a 3rd or 4th rounder..

Other Notables:

#14 QB Jake Coker – 6’5/234
#16 WR Richard Mullaney – 6’3/208
#30 LB Denzel Devall – 6’2/252
#25 LB Dillon Lee – 6’4/242
#24 S Geno Matias-Smith – 6’0/194

Dec 302015
 
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Su'a Cravens, USC Trojans (October 8, 2015)

Su’a Cravens – © USA TODAY Sports Images

2016 NFL Draft Prospects: December 30, 2015 Bowl Games

by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Sy’56

AUBURN

#5 WR Ricardo Louis – 6’2/215

Fourth year senior that hadn’t been given much opportunity until this year. He still looks raw to me, which is typical of receivers that come from this kind of system. He has some tools to work with. Auburn gave him a lot of rushing attempts as well. He can be explosive with the ball in his hands. Best case he is a late rounder.

#8 LB Cassanova McKinzy – 6’3/253

Fourth year senior that has been moved all over the defense. Part of me thinks it has helped him appear more versatile to scouts while part of me thinks his growth as a player has been stunted by the constant movement of positions a la Mathias Kiwanuka. He’s been productive everywhere. I think McKinzy can be an elite 3-4 linebacker or an above average 4-3 linebacker. He is extremely powerful on the move. Very good blitzer and very effective in pursuit. He has the short area explosion to beat blockers to a spot and the strength to deliver violent hits. He misses too many tackles to be strictly a run defending linebacker. He could be a guy that changes to pass rusher on 3rd down. Versatile tool set here but he won’t work in every scheme. Coaches need to be careful with him. Day 2 guy.

#17 LB Kris Frost – 6’2/240

Fifth year senior. Two plus year starter. Has the triangle numbers that coaches want to work with. Second on the team in tackles. Appears to be a technician type, works hard to do things the right way. I think he lacks the natural feel for the position that I look for but he can hang around. There is untapped potential with him I think. 5th or 6th rounder that could at least be a good special teamer.

#3 CB Jonathan Jones – 5’10/181

Fourth year senior. A lot of fight in this undersized body. Jones can be beat by the bugger, more physical receivers routinely. He will be limited in the NFL when it comes to his role and position on the field. But this kid fights hard and can move with anyone. He has good body control underneath and always has another gear to catch up if need be. Very fast and agile. Jones gets his hands on a ton of balls. 23 pass breakups and 7 INTs over the past two years. Day 3 corner that could out perform several CBs drafted ahead of him.

#82 WR Melvin Ray 6’3/215
#6 DE DaVonte Lambert – 6’2/280
#24 FS Blake Countess – 5’10/185

MEMPHIS

*#12 QB Paxton Lynch – 6’7/245

Hasn’t declared yet but many expect him to be a top 5 pick if he does. He’s been a flavor of the month type. In a class that lacks the true no doubt prospect at QB, many have turned to Lynch as the guy with the highest upside. The body is there. The arm is there. The stats are there. The arm is there. He does have almost everything I want in a QB prospect. I question the accuracy though. I question his ability to read defenses quickly and efficiently from the pocket. I think he presents a much bigger risk than someone like Goff. I will say this though, Lynch is awfully similar to what we saw out of Ben Roethlisberger in 2004 when he came out of Miami (OH). If he comes out I would have a 2nd round grade on him but he would likely be a top 10 guy at worst.

#77 LT Taylor Fallin – 6’6/330

Fifth year senior. 3 plus year starter. Fallin has had a couple not so serious injuries over his career but all in all, he is a solid NFL prospect. I don’t think he projects to left tackle in the league. He looks like a guard to me. Just doesn’t keep his head up and feet moving out in space. He looks good when things are in front of him. Could be a really good run blocker but he can be beat by quality pass rushers. Day three guy but someone that could evolve in to a quality starter.

#87 WR Tevin Jones – 6’2/223

Fifth year senior. Won’t jump off the screen. Won’t stand out on the stat sheet. But Jones is one of my WR sleepers in this class. He has elite level ball skills. Built like a truck and shows precise route running ability. Jones didn’t get a ton of looks in this offense that loved to spread the ball around. He got the short end of the stick and in another offense, he could be a bigger name. Also a very good special teams defender which is important for late round WRs. I like this kid as a day three gamble.

#5 WR Mose Frazier – 5’11/190

Fifth year senior that initially walked on after playing at Arkansas Pine-Bluff. Led the team in catches each of the past two years. Slot receiver type that has dynamic speed and agility. Can be a nice underneath weapon for someone. He may run sub 4.4 at the combine and/or Pro Day. He doesn’t factor downfield too much and struggles to get the ball in traffic, but in space he can be a threat. Day three guy here.

Other Notables:

#40 TE Alan Cross – 6’1/235
#53 LB Leonard Pegues – 5’11/243

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NC STATE

#54 LT Joe Thuney – 6’5/295

Fifth year senior. Versatile guy that has seen plenty of action at RT, LG, and LT. Solid and strong presence. Can anchor against the bigger defenders and showed good footwork on the edge this year. I think he projects inside at the next level. Has starter potential down the road. 4th or 5th rounder.

#12 QB Jacoby Brissett – 6’4/231

Fifth year senior that started off at Florida. Dual threat that is still a pass first, run second kind of guy. Good decision maker from the pocket, protects the ball and avoids the head scratchers. Solid game manager type. Brissett has average arm strength but consistent accuracy. I think he can stick somewhere as a backup for a few years at the very least. You can work with a guy like this. Day three prospect.

#90 DE Mike Rose – 6’3/252

Fifth year senior. Leader of the defense. Ton of experience. Rose lost about 15 pounds prior to the 2015 season and it made a huge difference. He showed some signs of being a top tier pass rusher this season. Very refined from a technical standpoint. Strong hands, light feet. He finished 2nd in the ACC with 10.5 sacks this year. He faced off against some future NFL OL this year and he simply looked better than those guys. Rose won’t be a household name but I am confident you’ll know who he is in a couple years.

#11 CB Justin Burris – 6’0/207

Fifth year senior. Four year starter. Not a speed and quickness guy but Burris fits the mold of corners that have the size and length to alter guys at the point of attack and throw off the timing of what offenses want to do. Burris has some nice tape against his toughest competition this year. There is some sleeper potential here. Late rounder.

Other Notables:

#71 LG Alex Barr – 6’8/318
#60 C Quinton Schooley – 6’2/299
#1 SS Hakim Jones – 6’2/206

MISSISSIPPI STATE

#15 QB Dak Prescott – 6’2/230

Fifth year senior. Almost came out last year, wisely chose to return for his senior season and he did everything scouts said he needed to do. He cleaned up his mechanics. He showed better decision making from the pocket. He cut down on turnovers. Prescott is going to be a favorite among some NFL coaches. He has the talent. All American and 1st Team All SEC in 2015. Prescott changed the Miss State program in his five years there. He can handle the leadership role and all that goes with it. Top tier kid on and off the field. In a year where the QB rankings will be different all over the league, I still see Prescott as an option for being the first one taken.

*#1 WR De’Runnya Wilson – 6’5/220

Third year junior. Haven’t been told he’s coming out but he may choose to after a couple of strong years and Prescott leaving school. Wilson is a matchup problem. Very tall and long but has some bulk to him as well. I don’t think he completely understands how to use his body yet but there is an upside here that coaches will want to work with. When he attacks the ball, he can get to it before any DB. Lacks the top end speed and there is some developing coordination going on with him still so there is a risk here. Maybe a 3rd rounder.

#70 LG Justin Malone – 6’7/320

Fifth year senior. Missed 2013 season with a foot injury. Has been a 3+ year starter. Bug and physical guy with a great wingspan. Hard guy to get around. Plays with good knee for a guy this big. There is a lot to work with here. I’ve been told there may be something chronic going on with that foot so he will need some extra medical screening but he has an upside you want out of a day three pick. Already has some NFL ready traits to him.

#23 CB Taveze Calhoun – 6’1/180

Fifth year senior and 3 year starter. Long and lengthy cover man that has the quick turnaround speed to stick with speed downfield. Has always been a good ball skill guy. Can get his hands on a lot of passes. I’ve seen games where QBs don’t throw his way for an entire half. Calhoun has the ability to start in the NFL. If he was more physical he could be a 2nd rounder. As of now I have him around 100 overall type.

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TEXAS A& M

*#74 OT Germain Ifedi – 6’6/335

Fourth year junior. Not sure if he is coming out or not. Some said he would be the next 1st round caliber OL to come out. He hasn’t lived up to expectations but there is a definite upside. He has tools, namely size and natural power. He can stifle the strongest of defenders with his long arms. He has the feet of a right tackle though, not the left side. There are some legit concerns about his work ethic and desire to get better. Conditioning has been an issue since day one for him and even watching his film now, it’s easy to notice how deflated he gets late in games and drives respectively. He could be a day 2 guy if a coach sees the upside but more likely a 4th or 5th round grade.

#5 RB Tra Carson – 6’0/235

Fifth year senior that started off at Oregon and sat out 2013 after transferring. Led the Aggies in rushing the past two years respectively. Bruiser with some long speed if he can reach the open field. I think he has some interesting upside. Catches well. Blocks well. Wasn’t in the best offense for his abilities. Day three back that could easily factor early in his career at the next level.

#56 C Mike Matthews – 6’2/290

Fourth year senior. Three year starter. The next Matthews in line, this family has been in the NFL for years and it is worth something. Matthews is a tad undersized but big enough for center in the NFL. Technician with good footwork. Mechanics are always on. Smarts are always on. Excels blocking at the second level. Maybe an eventual starter once he can gain some man strength.

#1 CB De’Vante Harris – 5’11/185

Fourth year senior with a ton of experience. Solid cover man that lacks a physical side. Doesn’t track the ball well downfield, may be best with things in front of him. Day three guy.

Other Notables:

#83 DT Alonzo Williams – 6’4/305
#95 Julien Obioha – 6’4/280

LOUISVILLE

#98 DT Sheldon Rankins – 6’2/303

Fourth year senior. Broke out in his first year as a starter in 2014 with 8 sacks and 13.5 TFL. Added another 6 sacks and 12 TFL in 2015. Rankins is very stout and very active. These are the kind of DTs I really like. They are tough to block because they can play with a really low center of gravity and there is enough athletic ability to out-maneuver blockers. He is very well developed physically and mechanically. May not be a top tier prospect but I bet he contributes early in his career and out performs several DL that are drafted ahead of him.

*#25 SS Josh Harvey-Clemons – 6’5/230

Fourth year junior that played 2 years at Georgia. I need to see more of him, I’ve only seen him in passing. Someone I trust told me this kid has some Chancellor in him which is some high praise. We’ll see. I don’t have an evaluation on him yet.

*#92 DE Devonte Fields – 6’4/245

Big 12 Freshman of the Year at TCU in 2012. He wasn’t coachable and had some issues off the field, was eventually dismissed from the program. Spent a year at Community College and is now here. Had a nice year. 8.5 sacks and 19.5 TFL. Reports are he matured and there are no issues off the field and he’s been a saint with this coaching staff. Has the first step burst and bendability that coaches want. He has another year left if he wants it, but I’ve been told he has the NFL in his scope. If he checks off the field well, he can be a day two guy that fits best in the 3-4 schemes.

#13 LB James Burgess – 6’1/228

Fourth year senior and 3 plus year starter. Speed and explosion is his game. Very fast to react and will often beat blockers to a spot. Wrap up tackler that delivers violent blows. He can cover well. True three down linebacker that needs to be in space to be most effective. Won’t thrive in traffic. Top 100 guy for sure.

Other Notables:

#78 RT Aaron Epps – 6’7/288
#44 Pio Vatuvei – 6’2/296

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USC

#6 QB Cody Kessler – 6’1/215

3 year starter. Enters the bowl game with 87 TDs/18 INTs over his career. He was my favorite senior QB coming in to this season and he still is. He played in a pro-style offense with a ton of pre-snap responsibility. He’s been making NFL-caliber reads. The learning curve with him will be a lot less than some of these guys coming from the shotgun-only, spread offenses. I like Kessler under pressure. He hosts a quick release and accuracy. He’s tough in the pocket. There is a height issue and an arm power issue. He doesn’t drive the ball downfield and I don’t think even he has the confidence throwing to the far sidelines. He may be limited physically. The comparison I have always seen with him is Drew Brees. A guy that can absolutely thrive in the right system with the right coach. But he’s not a guy that succeed anywhere. 2nd or 3rd round is possible but round 4 or 5 is more likely.

*#21 LB Su’a Cravens – 6’1/225

Third year junior, third year starter. Has been a stud from day one. Safety/Linebacker hybrid that was mainly at LB in 2015. I think that is where his future is in the NFL unless someone can find a Kam Chancellor role for him. He isn’t as good though. Cravens lines up all over the field. It seems like they just tell him to attack the action. He is constantly around the ball. Very fast and decisive, consistently reaching the ball carrier before a blocker even has an opportunity to get his hands on. Cravens is more than an athlete. He is very smart and aware, very mechanical as a tackler. If he can pack just a little bit of weight on without losing speed, he could be a star in the NFL. A true 3 down linebacker that can cover, rush the passer, and defend the run at a high level respectively. I think he deserves a 1st round grade for most schemes.

#99 DT Antwuan Woods – 6’1/320

Fifth year senior. Has been a solid contributor for four seasons. Initially comes across as a one dimensional run stuffer but he has move movement ability than you think. He plays real hard. Always wins the leverage battle. Tremendous lower body strength. He can be an immediate contributor to a team that needs a run stuffer. Day three guy but one that will out perform several guys drafted ahead of him.

#52 DT Delvon Simmons – 6’5/295

Started off at Texas Tech for two years, sat out 2013 because of the transfer. I think he is a very good 3-4 DE prospect. He can overpower guys, just a country strong kind of kid. Doesn’t get moved. There is some quick twitch to him as well, he can react well and get off blocks. There is some interesting upside here. Day three guy.

Other Notables:

#23 RB Tre Madden – 6’1/223
#31 FB Soma Vainuku – 6’0/255
#56 LB Anthony Sarao – 6’0/235
#93 DE Greg Towsend – 6’3/275

WISCONSIN

#61 LT Tyler Marz – 6’7/325

Fifth year senior and three year starter. Very solid technician here. I remember watching him in 2014 thinking he would be a potential early declaration. I loved his consistent approach to defenders. Excellent body control. Easy hand power. The more I have watched however, the more holes I see. Marz may not be a good enough athlete for the left side. He doesn’t bend very well either. Good speed rushers with good leverage will eat him up. Drew Ott, DE from Iowa, absolutely dominated him this year. It was an ugly performance for Marz especially considering Ott is the kind of DE that Marz should thrive against. I am now thinking he may need a move inside. 3rd or 4th rounder.

#38 LB Joe Schobert – 6’2/236

Fourth year senior. Has had 32 TFL over past two years. Schobert isn’t your traditional Wisconsin linebacker. He excels in space and has plenty of long speed to him. He can play well against the fastest offenses in football. Very savvy as a blitzer off the edge. Takes the proper angles and will finish plays. Schobert struggles to perform in traffic. Good blockers can lock him up. He may need to be a weak side guy in a 4-3 so he can track plays from behind. Very good in pursuit but not so much when the action comes at him. 4th or 5th rounder.

#7 S Michael Caputo – 6’1/206

Fifth year senior. We are all looking for the next Jum Leohnard, some say this is the kid. He’s made a few All American teams over the past two years. Excels in space tackling, a lost art among defensive backs these days. Nice guy to have out there for that reason alone. Savvy in coverage but there is some stiffness to him. Won’t make a ton of plays in coverage. Could be a solid special teamer and backup for both safety positions. Day three guy.

Other Notables:

#86 WR Alex Erickson – 6’0/197
#2 Joel Stave – 6’5/219
#3 S/WR Tanner McEvoy – 6’6/231
#5 CB Darius Hilary – 5’11/187

Dec 292015
 
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Corey Coleman, Baylor Bears (October 17, 2015)

Corey Coleman – © USA TODAY Sports Images

2016 NFL Draft Prospects: December 29, 2015 Bowl Games

by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Sy’56

CALIFORNIA

*16 QB Jared Goff – California – 6’4/215

Widely, but not unanimously, considered the top QB prospect in this class. As clean a thrower as you will find in the group this year. Spins it real well and is very far along when it comes to putting proper touch and zip in the ball depending on the situation. Top tier accuracy. I like his poise. He is always under control, never too high and never too low. That’s important. Has better running ability than you think. Goff had a rough stretch halfway through the season. Just got caught up trying to in games by himself. I am totally confident in him as a passer. My issue is the same one I had with Sam Bradford years ago. Does he have the body to take hits on a weekly basis from NFL pass rushers? You’d hate to spend a high pick on a guy that in only a matter of time will break in half. Goff needs bulk, and plenty of it. Still will be a 1st rounder and is in the running for #1 overall.

*#4 WR Kenny Lawler – 6’3/195

Junior that hasn’t declared yet. He is 50/50 as of right now. Led the Bears in catches and TDs. There aren’t any real standout WRs on this team but Lawler has the best tool set and upside. He is the best hands catcher of the bunch and he hosts a nice combination of height/reach/leaping ability to make him a mismatch for most corners in one on one situations. Lawler can be tossed around by more physical cover men and is too easily altered by contact, but with the NFL trending towards quicker release passing games, Lawler could easily find a starting spot early in his career. If he comes out I see a day 2 pick here.

#9 WR Trevor Davis – 6’2/180

Fourth year senior. Came in to 2015 on everyone’s radar as one of the top kick returners in the country. He broke out as a WR as well. It helps to be in this scheme with this QB but he made some elite plays. Really good concentration downfield. Tracks the ball with balance and speed. He may be the fastest WR on this team, he can really run away from people. Slight frame and limited route tree will hurt his grade a little. Looking at a 4th or 5th rounder here with some interesting upside and roster versatility.

#1 WR Bryce Treggs – 6’0/181

Four year contributor, mainly as a screen game factor. Nobody has given this kid a ton of attention but he has a level of explosion and acceleration that lot of these other WRs do not. He can go from 0-60 in a blink. Tough with the ball in his hands, constantly gaining extra yards after contact. He is a a bit of a gimmick player but he can find a role somewhere. I think he has enormous upside from the slot. Day three target here with high potential.

#89 TE Stephen Anderson – 6’3/230

Fourth year senior. Listed as a tight end and I guess he starts with his hand in the firt every now and then, but he plays more WR than anything in this spread attack. Anderson has shown glimpses over his career of being a big time matchup problem. He was a huge factor in 2014. He may have actually suffered from a system full of quality WRs that simply got more looks from Goff. Anderson is a tweener without special physical traits. So I don’t see the point in spending anything more than a 7th rounder on him but like I said earlier, he’s made plenty of plays over his career. Someone could fall for him and draft him earlier,

Other Notables:

#10 WR Darius Powe – 6’3/220
#73 Jordan Rigsbee – 6’4/300
#13 DE Kyle Kragen – 6’2/245
#41 DE Todd Barr – 6’2/240
#7 LB Jalen Jefferson – 6’2/240

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NORTH CAROLINA

#12 QB Marquise Williams – 6’2/225

Fifth year senior. Was a backup for a couple years then took over in 2013 because of injury. Started off as a running QB that would be a passer second. Really turned a corner in 2014, setting several single season records. He’s been the leading rusher in addition to a very solid pocket passer. Williams is going to get a shot somewhere. He has the talent and the intangibles. He has choppy footwork and will lose his release point at times. I’ve seen him get too aggressive near the red zone and make some costly mistakes as well. He has what a lot of offensive coaches want to work with though. Anywhere from round 3-5 I think.

#14 WR Quinshad Davis – 6’4/220

In 2012 Davis was being talked about as the next big thing among ACC WRs. He had one of the best seasons for freshman in SCC history. 2013 was more of the same with 10 TDs…but 2014 didn’t go as planned. His weaknesses are obvious. He has a hard time getting open from man coverage. He has speed but lacks the short area quickness and agility. I think Davis can be a lethal red zone threat in the NFL but there are techniques and nuances to the position he needs to really work on. He has a high ceiling. If he works out well he could be a 3rd or 4th rounder.

#78 RG Landon Turner – 6’4/325

Fifth year senior. Three year starter. Turner is massive from head to toe, I wouldn’t be surprised if he weighs in higher than what he is listed. Naturally he is a very good straight ahead blocker, he can win battles in the run game consistently. He doesn’t get out of his stance laterally very well and he lumbers in pass protection. He can dominate guys when his hands are inside though. There is potential here. Good test for him in this game. 4th or 5th rounder.

#42 LB Shakeel Rashad – 6’2/235

Perhaps the linebacker that improved his stock the most via his game tape in this class. Rashad was a little-used rush linebacker/bandit for three years until the Tar Heels implemented a new scheme. He’s second on the team in tackles and shows top tier speed to the sidelines. He is a pursuit linebacker that works well in space. He doesn’t bring that ability to coverage and he struggles in traffic to find the ball, but Rashad’s speed and ability to close will be sought after. 4th or 5th rounder.

Other Notables:

#98 DT Justin Thomason – 6’4/295
#10 MLB Jeff Schoettmer 6’2/235

BAYLOR

*#1 WR Corey Coleman – 5’11/190

Fourth year junior that has already declared. I could write 300 words alone on his statistical accolades. Coleman was known as a workout warrior, hosting a team best 40, 3 cone, and vertical on a squat full of elite athletes. 2015 from start to finish may have put him in to top 10 consideration. His route tree is limited and the Baylor offense is very stat-happy, but Coleman has traits that will be attractive to teams in need of a young playmaker. Coleman has elite ball skills. Hands catcher. Will come away with the ball in traffic. I’ve seen several contested catches where it looks like he was being hung on to by defenders. Coleman is a strong kid. Plenty of muscle, tough after the catch. My issue with him is lack of effort on running plays, poor body language when things don’t go his way. He is a different player when the ball isn’t coming to him. That stuff worries me, especially with the WR position. He’ll be a first rounder but it he completely dominates the Combine, he could be the first WR taken.

#58 LT – Spencer Drango – 6’6/310

Fifth year senior. Has been starting his entire career. Has been the top LT in the Big 12 for a few years now. Drango almost came out in 2014 after an All American season. I think he will make a move to guard in the NFL ideally. He is a very good run blocker, can maintain power on the move. Lacks the ideal length and foot speed for the outside but in a pinch he could play tackle. Team leader, very good intangible guy. He is a blue collar player that will have a long career in the league. He is maybe the surest prospect on this team. Late 1st round is possible.

*#32 RB Shock Linwood – 5’8/195

Third year back that hasn’t declared. Big time explosion and change of direction. He may seem undersized but now a days with the committee approach tat many teams use, Linwood can be the gamebreaker most teams are looking for. He may run a sub 4.4 and I think he has more vision and awareness that some of the other backs that have cone out of Baylor in recent years.

#4 WR Jay Lee – 6’4/220

Fifth year senior. Lee is a height/weight/speed guy that doesn’t get thrown to a lot but he’s made several plays that leave you wishing he had more opportunities. The scheme and spacing helps but he has an upside based on tools that could get him drafted in round 4 or 5. He’ll need time to develop.

#2 DE Shawn Oakman – 6’8/280

Fifth year senior that started off at Penn State. Sat out 2012 because of the transfer to Baylor. Oakman almost came out after an 11 sack season in 2014, but that was only his first year as a starter and wisely chose to go back to school in 2015. Oakman is arguably the biggest “freak” in this class. What he can do in workouts is remarkable and rare. He has a combination of measurables that are very rare. He will be drafted based on upside, as he’s shown flashes of complete dominance. If you watch him a lot though, you’ll notice there are a ton of plays where he simply doesn’t factor. He still has some awkwardness to movement in short spaces. He doesn’t react well. He can really lumber around when it comes to changing direction. A guy this tall will always have a hard time winning the leverage battle, veteran NFL OL love to play against that. It will be a long road for him. He’ll make someone drool though and could be a 1st rounder.

*#75 DT Andrew Billings – 6’2/300

Another underclassmen here, most expect him to come out. Has world class level weight room strength. He has set world records among weightlifters. Interesting prospect here. He looks really stiff to me. Doesn’t bend that well and won’t easily change direction. But he is explosive from a standstill and he has a lot of functional strength. He is being coached by the same guy that coached Aaron Donald, and he has been quoted saying Billings can be a better player in the NFL. That is extremely high praise. Upside guy here but at the very least he can be a stout run defender. 1st rounder if he comes out.

#92 DE Jamal Palmer – 6’3/250

Fourth year senior. Backup for 2 years, starter for 2-ish. His 2014 ended after just 5 games because of a knee. Palmer is the guy that jumps off the screen when you turn Baylor on to watch Oakman. He is explosive out of his stance and he has a violent approach to blockers. Relentless motor, wants to finish every play himself. He can react and change direction faster than Oakman, he can change direction faster. I’m not saying he’ll grade out higher but the gap between the two is not nearly as large as some want to think.

Other Notables:

#73 LG Blake Muir – 6’5/310
#61 Jarrell Broxton – 6’5/330

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NEVADA

#6 RB Don Jackson – 5’10/210

This will be my third look at Jackson. From what I’ve seen, he looks like a guy that could have a top 100 overall grade on my board. He has the NFL body already. Very muscular from head to toe but he also has the quick and agile lower half. He misses initial contact often and will surge through tacklers, always falling forward. Very aggressive, angry runner. Has rushed for just under 2,000 yards past two years. Hasn’t been used much as a receiver. I will spend more time on him in the coming months but I like what I see so far.

#8 DE Ian Seau – 6’3/250

Nephew of the late Junior Seau. Fourth year senior that spent a season at Community College. 1st Team All Mountain West in 2015, led team with 15.5 TFL and 9 sacks. Emotional leader of the defense that is constantly hustling to the ball. Relentless style. Bends the corner well and plays with stable legs and a strong upper body, Seau lacks some physical gifts but he can make up for some with consistent effort and positioning. He plays mechanically sound. 5th or 6th rounder that may fit best in a 3-4 OLB role.

#94 DE Lenny Jones – 63/270
#55 DT Rykeem Yates – 6’2/280

COLORADO STATE

*#82 WR Rashard Higgins – 6’2/190

Junior that most are expecting to leave early. 1st Team All American in 2014 after an amazing, nation leading 1,780 yard and 17 TD performance. He didn’t match that production in 2015 but it may have been impossible to do so. I saw a lot of Higgins last year and this year. While his stat line is different by a long shot, I actually like what I see now more than what I saw in 2014. Higgins does everything well. He runs quick routes that can get himself open. He attacks the ball in the air with his hands. He can outrun defensive backs downfield. What I would like to see more of is the effort as a blocker and selling routes against man coverage. If Higgins works out well, he will be a 1st rounder and potentially one of the first five WRs taken.

#86 TE Kivon Cartwright – 6’4/245

Sixth year senior that had a redshirt in 2010 and missed 2014 with a slow healing foot injury that required multiple surgeries. Was invited to the East/West Shrine game. Prior to the injury, Cartwright was on his way to being a top tier TE prospect. 2015 was a slow road back but he showed signs of being the guy everyone thought he would be. He can get behind a defense with above average speed. He makes tough catches in traffic. I want to see more out of him as a blocker. It seems he tries to simply get his hands on the defender rather than drive through them. I don’t think he has the potentual to be a receive-only TE, so he’ll need to clean that up.

#26 FS Kevin Pierre-Louis – 6’1/215

Fifth year senior. His teammate Trent Matthews gets more attention but I like Pierre-Louis more. He has the speed, both vertically and downhill, that jumps off the screen. He is very decisive and will attack the ball carriers. Good tackler. Can flip his hips and catch up to receivers. I need to see him more but in a class that lacks cover safeties, I think this kid has an interesting upside.

#31 OLB Cory James – 6’0/245

Fifth year senior and four year starter. James has played the strong side and in the middle. Both positions work for him, he has the tools/skills for them respectively. James is stout. He can take on a block without losing ground. He has the speed to reach the sidelines. He does look stiff in coverage and doesn’t offer much as a blitzer, but he has special team and solid backup potential. The body is there and he can fit in to multiple roles. Limited upside. 5th or 6th rounder.

Other Notables:

#71 RT Sam Carlson – 6’4/295
#25 WR Joe Hansley – 5’10/180
#9 DE Martavius Foster – 6’4/270
#90 DE Joe Kawulok – 6’6/250

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LSU

#74 RT Vadal Alexander – 6’6/329

Fourth year senior with a ton of starting experience. Has played in 48 our of 49 career games with 45 starts. Has played RT and LG. Will be playing RT in this game. 2nd Team All American in 2015. Alexander is massive, the kind of massive that makes other big guys look average. He is a punishing run blocker that can render a defender useless if he gets off the ball well and gets his hands locked on. Elite level power. His footwork and reaction speed can be exploited by low pad level speed rushers, but even those guys have ahard time getting around the wingspan of Alexander. He could project to guard or RT in the NFL. Day2 caliber pick.

*#77 OL Ethan Pocic

Third year junior that has not declared. There hasn’t been a ton of chatter about him coming out but I’ve been told he is 50/50 at this point. If he comes out, we are talking about one of the top 3 interior linemen in the class. Pocic moves very well. Easy bender and easy mover in space. He is stout at the point of attack, really anchors himself against power guys. He plays hard through the whistle. Pocic led the team in pancake blocks. He is a young kid with plenty of physical development to come. He can play all the interior spots, it simply makes a lot of sense for him to come out. He could be a top 45 pick.

*#65 LT Jerald Hawkins – 6’5/305

Another third year junior that has not yet declared but it looks like he will. I don’t like him much. Every game of his I have seen, I’ve made notes about how easily he was pushed back. He doesn’t dominate anyone. He has the length and feet, but I don’t see the guy that can lock a guy up and control. Maybe there is an upside I just don’t see.

*#18 CB Tre’Davious White -5’11/191

Third year junior, third year starter. 2nd Team All SEC and Thorpe Award Semifinalist. Wears the coveted #18 jersey for LSU. White is one of the best corners in this class if he comes out. Elite press cover ability with long arms and a strong jab at the line and easy turn ability. Can run with anyone downfield. QBs did not like throwing in his direction this year. He can do it all and showed some high level punt return ability to boot. 1st rounder if he comes out.

*#52 MLB Kendall Beckwith – 6’2/252

Third year junior that has not declared yet, but did submit the paper work looking for his grade. Between the tackles thumper that fits best in a 3-4 scheme. Can dominate at times. Very physical and hard to move. Fills the lanes hard, blitzes well. Will locate the football fast and work his way to it. Knows how to finish. Definitely has a lack of speed to the outside and shows heavy feet in coverage. I would advise him to go back to school, as there are too many holes in his game that the NFL just hates to see these days. He may need to play at a lighter weight.

*#92 DE Lewis Neal – 6’2/264

Third year junior that has not declared, but many think odds are trending towards him leaving early. Neal got off to a hot start in 2015, totaling 7 sacks in 6 games. A sprained ankle that he opted to fight though hampered him the rest of the season, notching only 1 sack the rest of the way. He is shorter than ideal and may not have ideal length for the 4-3 DE role. He can beat blockers off the edge though. Plays low to the ground with a strong base and quick hands. I think he should go back for another year, there isn’t anything that screams special in him. He could fall in to round 4 or 5 easily.

#45 LB Deion Jones – 6’1/227

Fourth year senior. Had to wait until this year to get a starting nod. He played really well all year, leading the Tigers in tackles. Jones is a little smaller than ideal but he can play big against blockers. Violent player that delivers a pop. He can stay on the field all three downs, showing decent coverage ability. I’ve seen Jones miss too many tackles in space. He is a weak side guy, so that is an issue. He is not Kwon Alexander from last year. I see him as a 4th or 5th rounder.

#28 FS Jalen Mills – 6’0/196

Fourth year senior and four year starter at CB and S. Has the movement ability to play both in the NFL. Very good footwork. He is quick and mechanically sound. Smart player, always moving in the right direction. He made a few All American teams although I think that was based on popularity more so than performance. Mills is a solid player but he isn’t very physical. He doesn’t have the catch up speed I want out of this style of a guy either. He had a great year in 2013 but didn’t take the next step up. He was hampered by an ankle early, missing 6 games and slowed in others. Solid cover man that can back up a few spots but I don’t think he has starting potential.

Other Notables:

#11 LB Lamar Louis – 5’11/227

TEXAS TECH

#62 LT Le’Raven Clark – 6’6/308

Fifth year senior. Has been First Team All Big 12 for three years in a row. Clark has received a ton of accolades from the media and coaches throughout his career. He rarely gets beat one on one. While he doesn’t always look the part and his technique is very inconsistent, Clark gets the job done. He can project to guard or tackle at the next level. He has a nice combination of size, strength, and foot quickness. Right now I see him as a 3rd round type that could be a versatile backup early in his career.

#21 RB Deandre Washington – 5’8/200

Fifth year senior that sat out a year with a torn ACL. Very good 3rd down back type with hands and blocking ability. High effort guy. I can see him being a factor for someone in the screen game. He has a nice feel for setting up blocks and defenders. Good acceleration and change of direction. 5th or 6th rounder here that can bring excitement to an offense.

#10 OLB Pete Robertson – 6’3/238

Fifth year senior. This is the one guy on this defense that I think has top 100 potential. Robertson is a fierce, aggressive player that pursues hard and angry. He has cruel intentions. Very powerful kid. Has some straight line speed to him as well but lacks the quick wiggle out of his hips. Might not be a guy that beats blockers off the snap but he can play. He makes guys adjust to him and Robertson is playing through the whistle at all times. He has led the Raiders in TFL and sacks each of the past two years. He can fit in somewhere. 3rd or 4th rounder.

Other Notables:

#9 DE Branden Jackson – 6’4/270

Dec 282015
 
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Eric Murray, Minnesota Golden Gophers (September 3, 2015)

Eric Murray – © USA TODAY Sports Images

2016 NFL Draft Prospects: December 28, 2015 Bowl Games

by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Sy’56

PITTSBURGH

*#23 WR Tyler Boyd – 6’2/200

Third year junior that will most likely declare. Top prospect of the day. Has been drawing comparisons to Larry Fitzgerald since day one. All American receiver that has a big time skill set. NFL ready right now. First player in ACC history to record 1,000+ yard receiving seasons in freshman and sophomore seasons. Boyd doesn’t have the top tier triangle numbers but neither do a lot of the top WRs in football. He is as savvy as it gets, knows the game inside and out. Tremendous body control and ball skills make him a guy that QBs can throw to with a ton of confidence. Some minor off field issues need to be checked out but at the end of the process I except him to be a a first rounder.

#86 TE J.P Holtz – 6’4/250

Fourth year senior, starter for all four of those years. He’s been pretty much the same guy production wise every season but there were a few more big plays in 2015. Holtz has really good foot speed/quickness. He can get open underneath and sneak behind the second level more so than you would think. He had a few drops in the two games I scouted. He is a limited player but someone that can do everything well enough to make a roster somewhere. Late rounder.

#5 DE Ejuan Price – 6’0/250

Fifth year senior that started off at linebacker. Tore a pec in 2012 and had to sit out the year. Only played half of 2013 before injuring back, forcing him to miss the rest of the season. Once again missed all of 2014 with another pec injury. Price finally put together a healthy year in 2015 and he broke out in a huge way. 1st Team All ACC. 19.5 TFL and 11.5 sacks. Price will make a move to 3-4 OLB in the NFL. He is very short and stout, a build that gives him a big leverage advantage. He doesn’t do well off the snap but he can get rid of blockers and his relentless motor helps him make plays as things break down. His injury woes will scare some teams away but someone will be drawn to his ability to finish plays. He is a relentless, powerful defender. Maybe a 4th or 5th rounder if his medicals check out.

#6 CB Lafayette Pitts – 5’11/195

4 year starter. Very aggressive player that will play a physical brand at the point of attack. Very hands on kind of guy. Pitts has had stretches that lasted weeks where he looked like a top 100 overall player, but also ones where he was taken off the field by the coaching staff. Very inconsistent player that doesn’t have the short memory you hear defensive coaches talk about. Someone can take a chance on his talent in the late rounds. The ability is there.

**********************************

CENTRAL MICHIGAN

#54 C Nick Beamish – 6’3/310

Fifth year senior. Has started every game of his career. Has the body type and lower body strength for inside. Ideal kind of guy to man the position. He is smart and vocal. Very aware and rarely gets caught out of position. Good enough athlete to work in space, more than enough strength to handle the big boys. I think he gets drafted day three. Starter potential.

#89 TE Ben McCord – 6’4/240

Fifth year senior. Broke out in 2015 with a solid line of 37/370/5. Moves well and can easily line up in space and move with defensive backs. Good hands catcher, makes me think he was under utilized his first three seasons. He isn’t a good blocker though, lacks presence and power. Won’t get movement on anyone. Developmental guy that is likely a priority UDFA.

#21 SS Kavon Frazier – 6’0/218

Wore #5 all year but he is wearing the #21 jersey honoring a fallen teammate. Only pkayer on the team to wear it twice this year. Leading tackler, had a big senior year and may have played himself in to being drafted in the top 150. 2nd Team All MAC. Built like a linebacker. Attacks downhill hard, can lay the lumber. He isn’t a speed guy and he won’t cover well in the NFL. Limited but could find a role as a run defender. Late round or UDFA.

MINNESOTA

#31 CB Eric Murray – 6’0/199

2nd Team All Big 10 two years in a row. 3 year starter that has a shot at being a 1st round pick. Top prospect in this game. Murray combines size, speed, physical presence and awareness to make himself one of the top senior cover men in this class. I’ve only seen him twice and he wasn’t challenged much. I’ll need to do more work on him. His name comes up from almost everyone I speak with when talking about the top cornerbacks. There isn’t anything about his game that screams weakness. His lack of career INTs (2) has more to do with teams not throwing his way. He can be a shut down guy.

#26 LB De’vondre Campbell – 6’5/239

Fourth year junior. Played one year at junior college. Has the triangle numbers that could get him drafted based solely on that. Shows some ability as a weak side guy with his ability to pursue across the field and finish plays. He looks strong on the move and will tackle well, but he looks weak in traffic. Struggles to take on blockers. He is an upside guy that could be a Special Teams monster. 5th or 6th round.

#29 CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun – 5’11/190

Fifth year senior. Played a year at Junior College and missed 2013 with a knee. Very productive in 2014 and 2015. Solid cover man with anticipation and awareness skills. Very savvy. Good decision maker that rarely seems fooled. Might be limited athletically but has enough to be a factor in the NFL. Not quite on the same level as Murray but Calhoun will get selected. Probably a day 3 guy.

Other Notables:

#1 WR KJ Maye – 5’10/194
#55 Theiren Cockran – 6’6/258
#11 S Antonio Johnson – 6’0/208

Dec 262015
 
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Keyarris Garrett, Tulsa Golden Hurricane (November 21, 2015)

Keyarris Garrett – © USA TODAY Sports Images

2016 NFL Draft Prospects: December 26, 2015 Bowl Games (Late Games)

by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Sy’56

TULSA

#1 WR Keyarris Garrett – 6’4/215

Fifth year senior. Missed 2013 with a broken leg. Here we have a boom or bust WR prospect that may have more upside than any WR in the entire class. I’ve seen a lot of Garrett and there is a combination of traits to his game that you simply won’t find every year. I honestly see glimpses of a young Randy Moss at times. Garrett has incredible length and acceleration. He will make catches that are nearly impossible to most players, and he makes them look easy. However the negatives to his game are obvious and need to be fixed if he is going to get a shot at playing in an NFL offense. He body catches too often. He rounds his routes. And he is incredibly thin. Garrett may be a little bit of a project but I’ll say it again, the upside is right up there with the best WRs in this class.

Other Notables:

#76 LG Garrett Stafford – 6’5/300

VIRGINIA TECH

#88 TE Ryan Malleck – 6’5/253

Fifth year senior. Missed 2013 with a shoulder injury. Malleck is a solid every down, traditional TE that can be a factor in the trenches as a blocker and in space as a receiver. His lack of physical ability is apparent, but he can do enough to work underneath. He catches balls with defenders on top of him. He willingly puts his body on the line. He won’t stretch the field and he won’t make the defense alter anything, but he can be a solid backup TE. 6th our 7th rounder.

#90 DE Dadi Nicolas – 6’3/223

Fifth year senior. Almost came out after a huge 2014. Unfortunately he really disappointed in 2015 after some were expecting him to be a 1st round caliber performer. Nicolas is really light. He will need to be an OLB in a 3-4 scheme. He is a straight line athlete with good burst off the edge, something he didn’t get to do enough of in 2015. His flexibility is great and he can play a physical brand. My issue with him is that he doesn’t have a great feel for the game and doesn’t react well to the action. He also struggles to deal with head on blocks against the run. Someone is going to see the pass rush upside and take him in rounds 3-4.

#40 LB Deon Clarke – 6’1/227

Fourth year senior. Plays a position that yields production. A lot of straight line blitzing off the edge. He is an explosive athlete that plays hard and physical. Not sure he can handle that role in the NFL, may need to play 4-3 WILL or SAM. He doesn’t have a ton of experience in coverage though so it will be a tough go for him. Someone will like the upside based on his triangle numbers. Late rounder.

Other Notables:

#92 DT Luther Maddy – 6’2/283

************************************

UCLA

#9 WR Jordan Payton – 6’1/212

Fourth year senior. Has led the Bruins in receiving each of the last two seasons by fairly wide margins respectively. Senior Bowl player here. Strong and physical hands catcher. Ball doesn’t wiggle at all upon contact. Scouts will like is refined route running ability and awareness of the defense. He will be a good situational receiver that you want on 3rd downs. Top tier kid off the field, too. Probably lacks the top end speed and agility to be considered anywhere before rounds 3-4.

*#24 RB Paul Perkins – 5’11/210

Fourth year junior that has not yer declared. Many think he will. He’s been the leading rusher for the Bruins by a long shot each of the past two seasons respectively. I think he’s proven himself and doesn’t need a third straight year of 225+ carries. Perkins is a little light in the pants but he excels at cutback runs, missing the meat of a tackle and gaining extra yards after contact. Very good at keeping his momentum moving forward as he dodges tacklers. I need to see more in terms of blocking and catching but based on what I see now, he is looking like a 4th or 5th round back that has solid rotation potential.

#54 C Jake Brendel – 6’4/305

Fifth year senior. Four year starter that has been a team captain since his redshirt sophomore season. One of the top centers in the Pac 12. His weaknesses are not something I want to see at the position. He is often late out of his stance and he has a hard time playing low and strong. Brendel is going to struggle with the combination of speed and power you see from NFL defensive tackles. He is smart, very experienced, and knows the mental side of the game very well. But there will need to be a fair amount of physical development before he can be relied on. Late rounder.

*#97 DT Kenny Clark – 6’3/310

Underclassman that hasn’t declared yet but many think he’s coming out. There are some that consider this guy to be one of the top defensive tackles in the class. He has some “freak” in him. Built like a fire hydrant. Country strong guy that will make an NFL defense more physical from day one. I need to spend some more time on him. He jumps off the screen at times but only in small flashes, just to disappear for long stretches. Maybe a little bit of a conditioning issue. Maybe a little bit of a length issue. Maybe some inconsistent technique. He isn’t short on talent though and I bet he turns heads at the combine. As of right now I see him as a 2nd rounder but easily could see a jump in to the 1st.

#51 OLB Aaron Wallace – 6’3/240

Fifth year senior that wasn’t a factor until this year. Will be a Shrine game participant. Has some tools to work with. Length, speed, hand power. He can rush the edge but probably needs time to develop lower body strength and flexibility. Nothing special here but his tools and some decent tape from 2015 could get him drafted late.

Other Notables:

#7 WR Devin Fuller – 5’11/195

NEBRASKA

#71 LT Alex Lewis – 6’6/290

Fifth year senior. Started off at Colorado for two years, one of which he was a ful season starter at LG, grading out as the second best OL on the team. Involved in an ugly off field fight that put him in jail for 45 days. Sat out in 2013 because of the transfer. Two year starter at LT for Nebraska. Lewis is a technician, a very good one. He almost always has his balance and his mechanics from head to toe are spot on. He lacks a go-getter mentality. He doesn’t attack. He doesn’t drive block. But he does react well and is always under control. Not a bad thing but not my ideal OL. He has the triangle numbers and footwork to play the left side and coaches will like his NFL-ready technique. 3rd-4th rounder.

*#7 DT Maliek Collins – 6’2/300

Third year junior. Hasn’t declared yet but the paper work is in and some think he will have a first round grade. He had a slightly disappointing year in 2015 but every game I watched he was seeing a ton of double teams. He is really quick and low off the snap. His game is all about gaining the initial advantage and causing the offense to adjust. I fail to see the every down contributor here though. Too often do I see him getting pushed around or ridden out of the play. He is an all or nothing kind of guy. He isn’t a first rounder on my sheet but maybe a 3rd/4th right now.

*#98 DT Vincent Valentine – 6’3/320

Another junior that hasn’t declared but he did ask the Advisory Board for a grade. Valentine doesn’t get the attention of Collins but I like him more for most schemes. He won’t be a top tier pass rusher and his upside is limited, but I trust a guy like Valentine. He doesn’t get pushed around. He is smart and savvy, sticks to his assignments, and will make plays when they are there. He is a tough guy for a lone blocker to take head on. Valentine offers better value than Collins and he may end up with the better grade on my board if they both come out.

Other Notables:

#32 RB Imani Cross – 6’1/240

Dec 262015
 
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Jason Spriggs, Indiana Hoosiers (August 30, 2014)

Jason Spriggs – © USA TODAY Sports Images

2016 NFL Draft Prospects: December 26, 2015 Bowl Games (Early Games)

by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Sy’56

CONNECTICUT

#22 S Andrew Adams – 6’0/198

Fifth year senior. 3 year starter. Leader of the defense and by far their best prospect. This will be only my second look at Adams, a guy that can play both safety spots. Some expect him to be a 4th or 5th rounder. Strong and reliable tackler that approaches the point of attack hard. Will finish off plays. He can make plays in coverage but he isn’t a range guy. I don’t think the athleticism is good enough to be considered a guy that will make a big difference in deep coverage. Need to see more though.

Other Notables:

#95 DE Kenton Adeyemi – 6’4/287
#90 DT Julian Campenni – 6’0/302

MARSHALL

#3 WR Davonte Allen

Fifth year senior. Stood out to me last year when I was scouting the Marshall QB. Has the body. Long and strong with big hands. Will swallow the ball on contact. Tough with the ball in his hands after the catch. He may run 4.4 and if he does I think he has a good shot of being drafted. He has some deep threat potential.

#47 RB Devon Johnson – 6’1/244

(Not playing due to back injury. He should be back for the East/West Shrine game)

#31 LB Evan McKelvey – 6’2/218

Fifth year senior. Started off at safety for the Herd. Made the move to LB in 2012. Tore left ACL in 2012. Tore right ACL in 2014. This guy is a player. Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year in 2015. Tackling machine that is all over the field. Leader of the team. Packs a punch in a frame that has room for growth. McKelvey will need to pass a lot of tests when it comes to the medicals but I’ll take him on my team any day. At the very least he can be a core special teamer. 5th or 6th round if the knees check out.

Other Notables:

#19 WR Deandre Reeves – 5’10/179

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MIAMI

#11 WR Rashawn Scott – 6’2/203

Fifth year senior. Sat out a good portion of 2013 because of a suspension and missed all of 2014 because of a shoulder injury. Had a nice but unspectacular year in 2015. Scott is tools-rich. The body type is there. He has some long stride speed once he gets going downfield. Usually has the length advantage over anyone that is covering him. Actually out-maneuvered FSU’s star CB Jalen Ramsey this past fall on more than a few occasions. More on Ramsey in a few days, though. Scott can be attractive to a lot of scouts and coaches but man he is really sloppy as a route runner and pass catcher. Lacks consistency all over. Upside will get him drafted late.

#2 S Deon Bush – 6’1/205

Started off on fire in 2012 and everyone thought he was going to be the next big thing at safety. He’s battled some minor injuries that forced him to miss time but nothing major. Bush doesn’t stand out to me on tape. He doesn’t get after it consistently as a tackler. He’ll make some highlight reel hits but those don’t impress me as much as a guy that is constantly in the mix and taking down ball carries in wide open space. He doesn’t get his hands on a ton of balls either. I don’t see top tier athletic ability nor do I see the essential instincts. Maybe a 4th or 5th round caliber guy that can backup in the NFL.

#3 CB Tracy Howard – 5’11/192

Has been in and out of the starting lineup the past four years. I think he got the short end of the stick as a result of the poor coaching staff and overall program. Howard can play. I’ve seen him matched up on an island against some of the top WRs in the ACC and he can hold his own. He moves well, reacts well, reads thrings before they happen. May not be overly physical, may not be a playmaker, but he can make a roster and stick as a backup. 5th or 6th round.

#17 LB Tyriq McCord – 6’3/241

Fourth year senior. Never panned out after being highly sought after out of high school, typical of a lot of Miami guys these days. Started off as a pass rusher only and moved his way back to the second level in 2014. This kid still shows flashes though. Even though he is off and on the field a lot, there is talent. He can explode from a standstill and obliterate a target. He has the speed and length. Sexy prospect but does he have any football player in him? He gets fooled real easily. Gets caught in traffic a lot. Maybe he can stick as a special teamer somewhere. Late rounder or priority UDFA.

Other Notables:

#6 WR Herb Waters – 6’2/199
#47 DT Ufomba Kamalu – 6’6/295
#93 DT Calvin Heurtelou – 6’3/315

WASHINGTON STATE

#80 WR Dom Williams – 6’2/200

Fifth year senior. Leaves school as one of the all time leading receivers in school history. Being a focal point within the Mike Leach scheme will do that to you. Williams is rail thin. There is some toughness to him but he gets altered by contact with defensive backs too easily. He isn’t a quick in and out guy, more of a long strider that can get behind a defense. Williams has the hands and coordination along with good tape and size to get himself drafted late.

#56 LT Joe Dahl – 6’4/310

Fifth year senior that started off at Montana. Has played LG and LT for the Cougars, the last two at LT. Dahl has the feet but lacks the essential flexibility and hand power. His punches don’t re-direct anyone. There will be a lot of strength development needed here. Practice squad guy for a year at least. UDFA most likely.

Other Notables:

#63 LG Gunnar Eklund – 6’7/305
#40 LB Kache Palacio – 6’2/231
#3 LB Ivan McLennan – 6’4/233
#99 DE Darryl Paulo – 6’2/255

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WASHINGTON

#82 TE Joshua Perkins – 6’4/226

Fifth year senior. Among the all time TE receiving leaders at Washington. Perkins is a receiving threat-only kind of guy right now. He is too small for the traditional role in the NFL but as teams start to migrate away from that, he may be attractive to some scouts. I wouldn’t call him a top tier matchup problem though. He doesn’t have the explosion or agility to strike fear in to a defense and we aren’t talking about an overly physical guy. Maybe an upside based 7th rounder.

#1 WR Jaydon Mickens – 5’11/170

Second all time on Washington’s career receptions list. Small, quick, jittery slot type with good after the catch ability. I’ve only seen him twice. He had a n easy time getting open against man coverage and he didn’t have any drops. He’ll have to run really well if he wants to get drafted.

#42 LB Cory Littleton – 6’3/227

Three year starter. Washington has a couple pieces on defense with long term upside and Littleton is the best of the bunch. He needs weight room strength, however. Against quality blockers, he gets locked on to easiliy and doesn’t have the moves to get off them. There is a nice frame there to work with though. Late rounder at best.

Other Notables:

#65 C Siosifa Tufunga – 6’3/314
#41 OLB Travis Feeney – 6’4/226
#90 DT Taniela Tupou – 6’2/288

SOUTHERN MISS

#88 WR Mike Thomas – 6’1/200

Transferred to Southern Miss prior to the 2014 season. Showed flashes last year but he broke out big in 2015, setting single season records for the program. Thomas is a big play guy. He has the speed to get behind a defense and shows consistent ball skills in traffic. He really attacks the ball. Strong hands catcher. Somewhat of a sleeper here that could be had in the 5th or 6th round. High upside.

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INDIANA

#78 LT Jason Spriggs – 6’7/305

Best prospect in the game. Four year starter and quietly is one of the top OL in this class. Spriggs has the size and frame to go with the light and balanced feet. He doesn’t always play the power game very well but he has an aggressive style and will play through the whistle. Spriggs is very far along when it comes to technique and mechanical development. Could be a 1st round prospect, possibly even top 15 overall.

#7 QB Nate Sudfeld – 6’6/240

3 year starter that missed half of 2014 with a shoulder injury. Was a big time get for Indiana in 2012 recruiting, as he was a very sought after player. Sudfeld will leave as the all time leader in passing yards and TDs in school history, but his career was never what most were hoping for. Big and powerful arm. Brave and decisive in the pocket. Struggles to make accurate throws under pressure and will often have mechanical breakdowns. Sudfeld is a middle round QB that someone will be excited about. He has legit NFL arm power. To me, he looks the part but his tape is too inconsistent to warrant anything higher than that.

Other Notables

#56 DE Nick Mangleri – 6’5/270

DUKE

#87 WR Max McCaffrey – 6’2/200

Fourth year senior. Son of former WR Ed McCafrey. Brother to Stanford star RB Christian. Three year starter that has been a steady, yet unspectacular presence for the Blue Devils. He is a sure route runner that can consistently run himself open underneath. Could be a nice third down target for someone. He does exactly what you would think a son of a former blue collar WR would do. Catches the ball with strong hands. Competes hard. Overcomes any lack of physical disadvantage with savvy movement and awareness of the defense. I like guys like this more than most. Likely a late rounder.

#16 S Jeremy Cash – 6’2/210

Three time All American safety that has a legit shot at being drafted in the top 45. Started off at Ohio State, transferred right away and sat out 2012. Cash is a legit strong safety prospect, no doubt. Some think he is top tier based purely on his production but I think the scheme and role had a lot to do with that. He pretty much roamed all over the field and was able to freelance. Not a bad thing at all and he certainly performed well, but I didn’t see enough plays in coverage over the past couple of years He isn’t Kam Chancellor. Hay may not even be Rashad Jones. But in the right scheme in the right role, Cash will help a defense early in his career.

Other Notables:

#62 C Matt Skura – 6’2/305
#89 TE Braxton Deaver – 6’5/245
#80 TE David Reeves – 6’5/255
#40 LB Dwanye Norman – 6’1/216

Dec 242015
 
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Kevin Byard, Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (September 12, 2015)

Kevin Byard – © USA TODAY Sports Images

2016 NFL Draft Prospects: December 24, 2015 Bowl Games

by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Sy’56

MIDDLE TENNESSEE

#20 FS Kevin Byard – 5’11/223

Fifth year senior. Will leave school as one of their all time greats. Has been starting since his redshirt freshman season. School record for career INTs (19). I bet if Byard was 3 inches taller and simply played at an SEC school, we are talking about a potential 1st rounder. His awareness and intelligence stands out on tape. He knows exactly what is going on around him in deep coverage at all times. He can turn his hips and accelerate well enough. He is a physical downhill tackler that is reliable in space. My only grip with him is the long speed. He won’t catch up to guys if they get by him and his range to the sideline in pursuit is limited. I’ve seen speed players outrun his angles more than a few times. Maybe a 3rd rounder because of the all the things he can do for a secondary, just needs to run fast enough.

Other Notables:

#80 WR Ed’Marques Batties – 6’0/198
#6 RB Jordan Parker – 6’1/214
#38 LB T.T. Barber – 6’1/238
#24 LB Cavellis Luckett – 6’0/241
#22 SS Quay Watt – 6’0/204

WESTERN MICHIGAN

#70 LT Willie Beavers – 6’5/309

Fifth year senior and three year starter. Has some impressive tape against some of the best pass rushers the nation has to offer. He held his own against Joey Bosa and Shilique Calhoun, showing flawless and consistent mechanics, lower body strength, and easy awareness. I’ll be curious to see where he actually measures out, as I don’t think he has the ideal length for the outside. Beavers looks like a guard to me and I think he can be a 4th or 5th round pick there. He does the little things well and he has more than enough talent.

#7 CB Ronald Zamort – 5’10/174

Fifth year senior. Three year starter. 51 pass break ups over past three years which is among the nation’s leaders. May be another smaller than what he is listed. His lack of presence is noticeable. He gets pushed around by bigger receivers. He is a guy that will need to rely on quick feet and speed to last in the NFL and I’m not sure it’s good enough. He’s a fighter though. Very competitive and somehow gets his hands on a lot of balls. Has a feel for the position. UDFA, maybe draftable late.

Other Notables:

#1 S Rontavious Atkins – 6’0/207

************************************

SAN DIEGO STATE

#72 RG Darrell Greene – 6’4/315

I haven’t seen San Diego State yet this year, so this will be my first look at Greene. Three year starter. Honorable Mention All Mountain West in 2014. Was among 5 players that were suspended for the first 5 games of the 105 season for a violation of team rules last summer. I haven’t done any digging on what he did but that’s a hefty price, so it wasn’t little. I’ve been told he projects to be a backup in the NFL, maybe a 6th or 7th rounder. I need to get eyes on him though, this will be my first look.

Other Notables:

#71 RT Pearce Slater – 6’7/331
#46 FB Dakota Gordon – 5’10/236

CINCINNATI

*#11 QB Gunner Kiel – 6’4/208

Former #1 QB High School QB has had a wild ride. He hasn’t been practicing with the team because of an off field, non-disciplinary issue. So he may not even be playing in this contest. Many think he will declare for the draft. Kiel went to Notre Dame and redshirted, then had to sit out a year because of the transfer. He has all the arm talent you want in a QB and he is pretty mobile as well. Good feel for the game, can process information and find his reads consistently. He gets erratic when there is pressure around him and will rush a lot of throws. Mechanically he has a lot of work to do. If he comes out he could be a 4th or 5th rounder.

#15 WR Chris Moore – 6’2/190

Fifth year senior. He actually isn’t on the field as many as some of the other senior WRs they have, but Moore has the highest upside. His size and speed will open eyes. Very impressive skills. He can really get up there and out reach defensive backs. Strong and aggressive in traffic. Moore has the quick burst to deep speed that has made him one of the best deep threars in the nation over the past three years. Maybe a late rounder here.

#19 WR Shaq Washington – 5’9/179

Fifth year senior. Set the Bearcats career record for receptions this season (238). Small and shifty but has a power presence to him. He breaks a lot of tackles and will move defenders back that try to tackle him once he has a head of steam. He ran a very simple route tree art Cincinnati so it’s hard to tell how quickly he could transition to the NFL. But physically he has a solid potential out of the slot. Late rounder.

Other Notables:

#2 WR Mekale McKay – 6’5/210
#3 WR Johnny Holton – 6’2/191
#25 WR Max Morrison – 6’1/182
#80 WR Alex Chisum – 6’3/200
#92 DE Silverberry Mouhon – 6’3/255
#9 CB Leviticus Payne – 5’10/192

Dec 232015
 
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Darian Thompson, Boise State Broncos (October 31, 2015)

Darian Thompson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

2016 NFL Draft Prospects: December 23, 2015 Bowl Games

by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Sy’56

BOISE STATE

#1 WR Shane Williams-Rhodes – 5’6/173

Fourth year senior. Every year of his career, Williams-Rhodes was a high catch/low yardage receiver. He is a gimmick player, most often being used in the screen game and underneath. I am pulling for this kid. He plays with as much heart and desire as anyone. He tries to block harder than guys that are 6’6/250. But at the end of the day, it is very rare to see a player this small make it in the NFL. He has some return ability so there is a chance he could be in the mix for a roster spot somewhere. UDFA most likely.

#4 S Darian Thompson – 6’2/212

5th year senior, has been starting since the second half of his redshirt freshman season. 1st Team All Mountain West in 2014 and 2015. Might be the top prospect in this game. His 19 career INTs are the best in MWC history. Thompson isn’t an enforcer but he tackles well and he can move downhill to close a gap in a blink. He may not be a top end speed guy but he shows range to roam the deep half. He is a very well balanced defensive back that has starting potential in the NFL. It’s expected to be a so-so safety group and Thompson has an outside shot at being the top senior of the group.

#5 CB Donte Deayon – 5’9/155

Fourth year senior and three year starter. Three years in a row he was a 2nd team All MWC performer. Deayon is a movement based CB. He can stick to guys but he won’t alter anyone at the point of attack. He plays hard but he we won’t impact the game physically. He can easily be overwhelmed by the game’s bigger, more physical receivers. Corners this size have a very hard time sticking around. UDFA type but he will get a look from someone as a slot corner.

Other Notables

#72 C Marcus Henry – 6’3/286
#69 DE Tyler Horn – 6’5/268

NORTHERN ILLINOIS

#45 LB Boomer Mays – 6’0/244

Fifth year senior and three year starter at middle linebacker. Absolute bull between the tackles that can own the inside gaps. Will beat up blockers. Will fill the lanes hard and drive through ball carriers. Smart and instinctive guy. He is exposed when he has to move laterally, though. Just doesn’t have the speed to the sidelines. Can be an OK cover guy but to me he is a two down player. Best fit is the 3-4 scheme. Maybe a 5th or 6th rounder.

#29 CB Paris Logan – 5’9/195

Fifth year senior and 3 year starter. Undersized but tough as nails. Tackles very well and shows no hesitation in going after the ball carrier. Reliable in space. Can play a few different roles in coverage but it at his best in an aggressive man scheme. He gets his hands on and reads the flow, reacts quickly. Teams will go out of their way to avoid throwing at him. 5th or 6th rounder.

#44 OLB Perez Ford – 6’0/227

Two year starter that has seen time as a rush linebacker and DE. If I had to make a list of 5 sleepers that I think have star potential, Ford would be on it. He is undersized and will need a year or two to pack weight on. He needs a team that will show patience. But there are traits here that are rare to find. He is such an easy bender. He gets off the ball real fast. He has long arms and knows how to use quick hands and body positioning to get the advantage. Ford had a great second half of the year. He led the team in sacks. His potential is sky high and I don’t see anyone talking about him.

Other Notables:

#55 C Andrew Ness – 6’3/314
#11 WR Juwan Brescacin – 6’4/230

*****************************************************

GEORGIA SOUTHERN

#16 SS Antonio Glover – 6’1/200

Fifth year senior. Tools-rich safety with length and speed. Has a lot of things that coaches want to work with. Light started to come on this year with 6 INTs. Physical player as well that wraps up well. Pretty good player in space. Held his own against Georgia. He struggles to read and react in coverage, doesn’t drive out of his pivot and tends to be a step behind too often. Still a guy that will be drafted based on upside, maybe round 5 or 6.

#37 LB Antwoine Williams – 6’3/248

Fourth year senior. I’ve been told he is going to test extremely well in workouts. Big time height/weight/speed guy with the length and NFL ready body. That is graeat and all and I can see what scouts like, but man he was awful against Georgia. He gets lost among blockers too often. Linemen can lock him up. He doesn’t change direction very well. I think physically he has some attractive tools but that only means so much at LB. I’m not sure he feels the game. He could be drafted though because those hard to find tools are there

BOWLING GREEN

#8 RB Travis Greene – 5’10/189

Fifth year senior. Set the school record for rushing yards in 2013 but hasn’t really taken off from there. He may not have the build for the NFL RB position. He is elusive. Shows the hip swivel and easy foot quickness while moving at full speed. He can catch the ball. Willing blocker. Probably a candidate for 3rd down duty in the NFL if he can find a backfield that isn’t crowded.

#11 QB Matt Johnson – 6’0/219

Fifth year senior. Missed 2014 with a nasty hip injury. Came back with a monster season in 2015. 4,700 yards/43 TDs/8 INTs and 68.8% completion percentage. What is most impressive about him is the toughness and short memory. Johnson takes as many shots deep downfield as anyone. His stats are not just a result of an easy scheme. He lacks size. His accuracy is annoying-ly inconsistent on easy throws. He takes too many hits. But this kid is a gamer. I like him. Late rounder or UDFA worth looking at.

Other Notables:

#6 TE Chris Gallon – 6’4/246
#53 RG Alex Huettel – 6’3/309
#92 DT Zach Colvin – 6’3/29

Dec 192015
 
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Vernon Butler, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (October 30, 2015)

Vernon Butler – © USA TODAY Sports Images

2016 NFL Draft Prospects: December 19, 2015 Bowl Games (Late Games)

by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Sy’56

SAN JOSE STATE

#7 RB Tyler Ervin – 5’10/177

Fifth year senior. Was nicked up early in his career, missing some considerable time with a shoulder and ankle, respectively. Had a HUGE year in 2015. Second in the nation behind only Heisman hopeful Christian McCaffrey in all purpose yards. Ervin did not get a ton of carries until 2014 but since then, he’s really blossomed in to a legit prospect in the backfield. His return ability alone was good enough to get him drafted but now we are looking at a guy that some teams may want as a 3rd down back. Can he block? Can he put some weight on? Can he hold on to the ball in the NFL? Those are my questions on him. Likely a late rounder as of now.

#72 LT Wes Schweitzer – 6’5/314

Fifth year senior. Three year starter. Team Captain. This is another guy I am very intrigued by. I saw him play against Auburn and not only did he look like he belonged, but dominated. Very impressive blocker on the move in space. They do a lot with him and he showed the ability to stick with SEC caliber athleticism in the open field but also showed the power and mechanics to handle their big boys up front. He looks like he needs a year of strength development but I think there is a future as a starter in the NFL here. Whether its at guard or tackle I’m not quite sure yet, but he has the ability.

#8 CB Jimmy Pruitt – 6’0/203

Started all four year of his career. Mostly at CB but does have 11 starts at safety. He looks the part with the size and length, light feet and quick reactions. But there is too much weakness I see when it comes to tracking balls downfield and tackling. He isn’t a physical guy and he doesn’t have the catch up speed downfield. The essential traits to either DB position aren’t there for him. UDFA type.

GEORGIA STATE

#9 WR Donovan Harden – 5’11/175

Fifth year senior. Played two years at Illinois State and had to sit out a season because of transfer rules. Missed training camp and the first 3 games of 2015 with a broken bone in his foot. Came back strong and solidified his likelihood of being drafted. Harden is a speedster. May run in the 4.4 range and despite lacking ideal size, he can get up in traffic and come down with the ball. He is a tough guy. I think there is potential here to man the slot on a team that consistently puts 3 WRs on the field.

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OHIO

#75 LT Mike McQueen – 6’6/287

3 year starter that has played LG and LT. Has the feet and frame for the outside. Has the frame teams will look for. This is only my second look at him and I think he is a high upside guy. Late rounder.

#81 TE Keith Heitzman – 6’4/255

Played a 4 year career at Michigan, mostly at DE but made a good move to TE in 2014 after injuries to the actual contributors. Heitzman transferred as a Grad student to Ohio after Harbaugh took over. He has had a solid season at Ohio and showed potential to be a true two way tight end. Physical blocker that can take on DEs and LBs alike and showed some easy catching ability. I think he is an UDFA that could make a team.

#41 CB Ian Wells – 5’11/202

Fifth year senior. Haven’t scouted him yet. Some are saying he is a better prospect than Travis Carrie from a couple years back. He was one of my top sleepers of 2014 and he’s been playing well in Oakland relative to his 7th round draft position. I am looking forward to seeing this guy.

APPALACHIAN STATE

#49 DE Ronald Blair – 6’4/270

Top prospect in the game. Was a JUCO guy prior to transferring to App State in 2014. Has some tools. Wide frame that could easily add some more bulk. Really long arms and big hands. Blair jumped off the screen early in the year against Clemson. He was lining up all over the place and was able to beat different blockers in different ways. He is stout against the run, shows really good pad level and upper body strength. Has refined rush moves and appears slippery to blockers. Lacks the top end athletic ability but he can play. I think he can be a middle round guy that needs a year to develop in to a versatile starter.

#21 S Doug Middleton – 6’0/210

Strong safety type that showed really good tackling. Wraps up and hits hard. Can take guys down in the open field. Haven’t given him a hard look yet but he will be a late round possibility because of his ability to run and hit. Strong presence.

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ARKANSAS STATE

#15 WR Tres Houston – 6’2/199

Played three years at Arkansas State and one in Community College. Upside guy that has some length and speed to him. Makes tough, highlight reel catches. He showed some refined ability as a route runner as well and I think there will be teams that see a lot of upside here. He’s a big play guy but seems to struggle to get away from physical corners. As of right now he is a long strider that will need time to develop. Late rounder or UDFA.

#23 WR JD McKissic – 5’11/193

Fifth year senior. Has played in the wide open spread attack all four years. His first two seasons he combined for 185 catches and 1,872 yards including some return duty and a few carries each game. He has been their jack of all trades athlete but his production has slightly decreased over the past two years. Exciting guy to watch but there isn’t anything that jumps off the screen athletically. Product of a system but he likely gets a shot as an UDFA somewhere.

#19 TE Darion Griswold – 6’5/255

Fifth year senior. Interesting athlete here that some teams will view as potentially the next late round TE that blossoms in to a star. Former QB and basketball player. He has the frame and movement ability to work with. I saw him a few times in 2015 and I don’t see the upside that some do. He gets beat up in the trenches and there are rarely times where he jumps out at me. Late rounder maybe based on upside only.

LOUISIANA TECH

#28 RB Kenneth Dixon – 5’10/213

A four year career full of accolades. Freshman All American in 2012. 2nd Team All Conference USA in 2013 despite missing 2 games. Became the school’s all time leading rusher in 2014. 2 TDs shy of tying the all time rushing TD career record. Dixon is a guy that consistently makes the first man miss. He has the late shifty movement ability to miss the meat of a huit and the lower body strength to keep moving. Dixon is a complete back. He blocks, he catches, he protects the ball. My fear with him is he’s taken a ton of hits over his career. He’ll have over 800 carries by the time he leaves school. Mid rounder at best.

#6 QB Jeff Driskel – 6’4/231

Fifth year senior that transferred from Florida last spring. He had a very good year for Tech and it may have saved his chance of being drafted in 2016. He got the short end of the stick at Florida and fresh start here was the best thing that could have happened. Driskel has the talent as a runner and passer. He has top tier intangibles. Being at Florida brought out the worst in him and while he is far from a first round grade, someone can easily see him as a draftable QB to stash on the bench for a year or two. He will be one of my top 10 QBs in this class. He’ll be at the Senior Bowl.

#9 DT Vernon Butler – 6’3/316

Top prospect in the game. Some guys really like Butler, labeling him a borderline 1st rounder. I’m not quite there but I do think he is a day 2 caliber prospect with big time upside. He looks like a man among boys at times. He won’t get pushed around. Very stout at the point of attack, big time strength and thickness. He will make plays on the move away from the line and he can make an impact as a pass rusher. He’ll be a starter in the NFL.

Other Notables:

#21 CB Adairius Barnes 5’11/186
#6 S Kentrell Brice – 5’11/198
#8 DE Vontarrius Barnes – 6’4/253

Dec 192015
 
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Bronson Kaufusi, BYU Cougars (October 2, 2015)

Bronson Kaufusi – © USA TODAY Sports Images

2016 NFL Draft Prospects: December 19, 2015 Bowl Games (Early Games)

by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor Sy’56

ARIZONA

#77 RT Lane Maiava – 6’5/301

Fifth year senior. Torn ACL in 2012. Played both guard spots in 2014 for half the season. Starting RT in 2015. Strong upper body and can control guys when his hands are inside. But he plays really high and I’ve seen him against 3 NFL prospect caliber DL and he was outclassed strength wise. So a guy that plays high and lacks staying presence, I tend to steer clear of them. Late rounder at best.

#4 WR David Richards – 6’4/213

Fifth year senior. 2+ year starter that never really developed in to what they were hoping for. Tough for WRs in that kind of scheme though, especially guys that need to get downfield to show their worth. Nice height and length and a good catcher of the ball that lacks quick twitch and acceleration. UDFA type.

*#33 LB Scooby Wright – Arizona – 6’1/246

Junior that has not yet declared and I don’t think he will. He had one of the best seasons ever in 2014 production wise and cleaned up at the College Football Awards night, including the award given to the nation’s top defensive player. 2015 has been a nightmare, though. He tweaked his knee week 1, then had a regular season ending foot injury 2 weeks later against UCLA. He is telling people he’ll be back for the Bowl Game, we’ll see. I’m not as in to him as some are. The scheme is really set up for him to produce. He gets credit for getting it done but looking at the movement and power presence, he’ll have a hard time in the NFL meeting expectations. Solid mid round prospect if he comes out but I wouldn’t be comfortable drafting him early especially after the injuries.

#11 S William Parks – 6’1/194

Has played both the bandit and spur position in their 3-3-5, both vital components to their scheme. Parks is probably the highest upside draft guy in this game because he can do a lot of things. He can be physical, tackles well, has the movement ability to cover. The length and versatility are always sought after by NFL teams late in drafts. That is where I think he goes.

#8 DE Reggie Gilbert – 6’4/262

Fifth year senior. Consistent 4 year starter that has seen time at DT and DE in their hybrid scheme. Most likely a 4-3 DE in the NFL. There isn’t much to brag about here other than he can bend well and plays hard. He doesn’t get off blocks and he won’t beat anyone off the edge with speed. Priority UDFA type.

NEW MEXICO

#6 RB Jhurell Pressley – 5’10/203

Fifth year senior. Has averaged almost 7 yards per carry for his career, which is ridiculous. He’s the kind of guy that you say if he was another 10-15 pounds heavier, we are talking about a potential 1st or 2 rounder. His slight frame has to worry you a little, he is a slight 203 pounds. Very loose hips and each change of direction with nice top end speed make him a fun watch. At the end of the day though I think he will struggle with ball security and pass protection in the league. That is enough to not even consider him for some teams. Late rounder at best.

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BYU

#10 WR Mitch Matthews – 6’5/210

Intriguing guy to some people. Long strider with the obvious size advantage. Caught a lot of passes and TDs over the past two years (125 and 20 respectively). I don’t see the quick twitch and I think he will get beat up in the NFL. His size doesn’t play to his advantage as much as I want. Late rounder, maybe a UDFA.

#72 LT Ryker Matthews – 6’6/322

Lethargic pass blocker with bad footwork. He can catch your eye as a run blocker though with some strong leg drive and effective hands. I think he makes a move to guard at the next level but won’t be drafted. UDFA type.

#90 DE Bronson Kaufusi – 6’8/280

Four year contributor, played in all but 2 games over his career. I really like this guy. Initially I thought he was unathletic and too big for his own good, but the more I watch the more I am intrigued. He is a guy that you really need to watch from start to finish in a few games to understand and appreciate his game. Realtive to his level of competition, Kaufusi can dominate a game much like JJ Watt. He is moved all over the point of attack. He is so big and so long but has enough mobility and quick reaction to exploit one on one matchups a variety of ways. He has the NFL body already and I think he can start in the NFL right away. What is his true position? I think 4-3 DE is best but like Watt, he would probably work in a role where he can be moved around between the C and A gaps. If he can test well at the combine I think he can be a 2nd rounder.

UTAH

#23 RB Devontae Booker – 5’11/212

*Will miss the game after a meniscus surgery he had a couple weeks ago. Unfortunate. Some think he is a top 3 back in this class.

#2 WR Scott, Kenneth – 6’3/208

6th year senior that has lost two seasons to injuries (ankle and knee). I haven’t see him jump off the screen yet but a few people say his upside is much higher than what you would initially think. Long strider with strong hands. Does some little things well like route running, selling double routes, blocking, consistently catching with hands. I would like to see him beat guys one on one more though. Late rounder but if he can test well he could sneak in to the middle rounds.

#60 C Siaosi Aiono – 6’2/310

Fifth year senior with experience at RT and C. Leader of the OL. Has the feet and short area quickness to play against speed. Even for a shorter guy I catch him playing too high often. Doesn’t play the power game as well as I want out of an inside guy. Solid college guy but don’t think he can hack it as a starter or even a primary backup. UDFA type.

#7 QB Travis Wilson – 6’7/233

4 year starrer and will leave Utah with a few career passing records. People were real excited about him after his freshman year. Had an unusual combination of size, speed, and arm strength. Real tough kid but he’s battled injuries throughout his career. His tools are enticing but he never took the step up to the next level. He’s real inconsistent and doesn’t have that feel or clock in the pocket. I could see him getting drafted late based on tools but I don’t think he has it.

#41 LB Jared Norris – 6’2/240

Fifth year senior. One of the best linebackers in the Pac 12, fought some nagging injuries this season but still played well. He is old school. Tough and gritty, can smash blockers and ball carriers in the mouth. Enforcer in the middle of the field. Probably won’t test well athletically but he has average to above average game speed. He can be moved around, productive blitzer off the edge. I like his feel for the game but I do think he will be limited speed wise. 4th/5th rounder that could start right away in a few schemes.

#51 DE Jason Fanaika – 6’3/270

Will be a 24 year old rookie. Spent 2 years at Utah State before leaving school to aid his family while his father had Cancer. Played at Utah past two years and became one of their top pass rushers. He isn’t quick or fast, but he gets a lot of production from consistent hustle and grit. Strong guy. Not sure he has the tools to play DE in the NFL but he’ll get a shot. Late rounder or priority UDFA.

#13 LB Gionni Paul – 5’10/225

Started off at Miami in 2011 and 2012. Actually showed some big time playmaking ability in 2012, earning a couple of weekly awards. He transferred and sat out in 2013. Started for a couple seasons at Utah and he jumps off the screen at times. Real quick and shifty. Hard guy for blockers to get a hold of. He has made some crazy-athletic plays. He has a lot going against him, namely his lack of size, but he plays hard and knows where to be and how to get there. He is a guy I am looking for in late rounds or UDFA period. I think he can surprise.

Other Notables:

#9 S Tevin Carter – 6’1/215
#53 LB Jason Whittingham – 6’2/245
#34 RB Bubba Poole – 6’1/197