Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

2015 NFL Free Agency Predictions

Posted by Brad On March - 6 - 2015

"Ndamukong Suh"

The annual free agent prediction article draws more vitriol than any non-QB draft-related article on the site. With a loaded class of free agents this year’s predictions may be more polarizing than any other. Combine that with the fact that teams have more expendable cash than ever before and it’s a free agency perfect storm.

Rarely do splash free agent signings pan out over the long haul. However, with the likes of Ndamukong Suh, Randall Cobb and potentially Darrelle Revis hitting the open market that historical perspective may be changing course.

Come next Tuesday the doors open, so we will be finding out where some of the big fish land by this time next week. With this in mind, here’s my predictions on how free agency will pan out.

Ndamukong Suh – Record breaking deal with Miami

Suh’s franchise tag number kept Detroit at bay. Now, Suh will test the open market. Unfortunately for Detroit fans I don’t Suh making it past his first visit. All signs point to Miami as a player for Suh. While they don’t (currently) have enough cap space to get this monstrous deal done we are likely to see the exodus of Mike Wallace and others to make it work.

Darrelle Revis – Stay in New England

Revis shouldn’t technically be on this list but we’ll leave him there as he won’t be back on his current deal. Revis got a taste of winning in New England and will have to consider leaving a winning culture for less green pastures elsewhere. New England is likely to lose Devin McCourty so losing Revis would be detrimental to a much improved secondary last season. Revis will get paid on another short deal (2-3 years, probably frontloaded) to stay in Foxborough.

Randall Cobb – Monster deal in Oakland

The Packers drafted Davante Adams with the possibility of losing Randall Cobb in mind. Cobb will be paid like a true No. 1 receiver because of his versatility to impact the game in so many facets. Oakland is likely to out price the competition at a $10-11M/year deal – leaving all other bidders in the dust. While it’s a ton of money, Oakland needs to surround its young, promising QB with weapons at all costs. Read the rest of this entry » «2015 NFL Free Agency Predictions»

2015 NFL Draft Top 100

Posted by Brad On February - 19 - 2015
"Eddie Goldman"

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

With the NFL Combine is underway in Indianapolis, we’ll see boards moving all over the place in next week or so. As usual we’ll see a whole lot of overreaction in the national media – however teams that draft well realize the function of the event and move minimally. It can’t be said enough – the NFL Combine is a piece (a small one at that) of a player’s overall evaluation. Teams will be paying close attention to the medicals and confirming what they’ve seen on tape. Pay close attention to positional drills as they are telling of physical tools that transfer to the field. While the 40-yard dash is sexy, it has little correlation to a player’s on-field ability.

The most hyped story leading up the event is which QB’s will throw. It matters the least. If we learned one thing from last year, it was the overvaluing of how a player throws in shorts and t-shirt.

Don’t get me wrong, when I have a free minute I’ll be eyes glued to NFL Network this weekend. That said, you won’t see any drastic movement up or down my board. Read the rest of this entry » «2015 NFL Draft Top 100»

2015 NFL Mock Draft: Pre-Combine Mock Draft

Posted by Brad On February - 12 - 2015
"Amari Cooper"

Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

With the Shrine and Senior Bowl’s in the books and the 2015 Champs identified it’s officially draft season. The NFL Scouting Combine is less than a week away from opening the gate leaving me with no other choice than to release a mock draft. After several pushes from some of you, I’ve completed two rounds for your perusal.  

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

This pick is likely to come down to Mariota and Winston…glad I don’t have to make this pick. I don’t see either being cornerstone, franchise QB’s but I like Mariota considerably more than Winston.                                                              

2. Tennessee Titans – Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska

The Titans could take whichever QB Tampa doesn’t select. However, I think they ride Mettenberger next season and take a pass rusher with this selection. The Titans beefed up their defensive coaching staff, now they need to add talent to the roster.                                                            

3. Jacksonville Jaguars – Dante Fowler, OLB, Florida

This one was tough. I like Leonard Williams (my top rated player in this draft) but Gus Bradley needs a guy that can bring it off the edge. Fowler is a perfect scheme fit for Bradley and is my early odds-on favorite to win DROY honors.                                                              

4. Oakland Raiders – Leonard Williams, DT/DE, USC

Oakland has to be ecstatic to team Khalil Mack and Leonard Williams up for the next 15 years. Obviously the Raiders hit a homerun in last years draft with Mack and Carr. This year’s effort would be off to a great start if they could land Williams.                                                           Read the rest of this entry » «2015 NFL Mock Draft: Pre-Combine Mock Draft»

2015 NFL Draft Underclassmen Tracker

Posted by Brad On January - 10 - 2015
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 NFL Draft set a record with 98 underclassmen declaring. With the college football season coming to a wrap in the next month, we will begin to slowly hear the names of this year’s early entrants. Underclassmen have until January 15 to declare for the 2015 NFL Draft. It’s unlikely we’ll see last year’s number topped but not out of the question. With names already rolling, we begin our yearly exercise of tracking early entrants. We’ll keep this list running as new names emerge leading up to January 15. New this year will be a rumor section to keep readers abreast of anything heard. 

Quarterbacks

Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

Jameis Winston, QB, Florida St.

Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA

Running Backs

B.J. Catalon, RB, TCU

Braylon Heard, RB, Kentucky

Buck Allen, RB, USC

T.J. Yeldon, RB, Alabama

Dee Hart, RB, Colorado St.

Trey Williams, RB, Texas A&M

Josh Robinson, RB, Mississippi St.

Tevin Coleman, RB, Indiana

Duke Johnson, RB, Miami

Mike Davis, RB, South Carolina

Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia

Jay Ajayi, RB, Boise St.

Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin

Matt Jones, RB, Florida

Wide Receivers 

Tacoi Sumler, WR, Appalchian St.

Zach D’Orazio, WR, Akron

Jaquel Pitts, WR, Trinity International

DaVaris Daniels, WR, Notre Dame

George Farmer, WR, USC

Breshad Perriman, WR, Central Florida

Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama

Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona St.

Chris Harper, WR, Cal

Deontay Greenberry, WR, Houston

Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma

Nelson Agholor, WR, USC

Stefon Diggs, WR, Maryland

Nigel King, WR, Kansas

Shaq Roland, WR, South Carolina

Sammie Coates, WR, Auburn

Devin Funchess, WR/TE, Michigan

Lemar Durant, WR, Simon Fraser

Tight Ends

Jesse James, TE, Penn St.

Jean Sifrin, TE, Massachusetts

Tyler Kroft, TE, Rutgers

Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota

Offensive Line

Patrick Miller, OT, Auburn

Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford

D.J. Humphries, OT, Florida

Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami

Donovan Smith, OT, Penn State

Jeremiah Poutasi, OT, Utah

Tyler Moore, OG, Florida

Defensive Line

David Irving, DT, Iowa St.

Ellis McCarthy, DT, UCLA

Arik Armstead, DT, Oregon

Eddie Goldman, DT, FSU

Darius Philon, DT, Arkansas

Danielle Hunter, DE, LSU

Mario Edwards, DE, Florida St.

Shane Ray, DE, Missouri

Christian Covington, DT, Rice

Xavier Cooper, DT, Washington St.

Jordan Phillips, DT, Oklahoma

Rakeem Nunez-Roches, DT, Southern Miss

Deion Barnes, DE, Penn St.

Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska

Leonard Williams, DT, USC

Eli Harold, DE, Virginia

Linebackers

Darien Rankin, LB, North Carolina

Max Flores, LB, Northern Colorado

Benardrick McKinney, LB, Mississippi St.

Max Valles, LB, Virginia

Shaq Thompson, LB, Washington

Kwon Alexander, LB, LSU

Dante Fowler, OLB, Florida

Cornerbacks

Charles Gaines, CB, Louisville

Jacoby Glenn, CB, UCF

Ronald Darby, CB, Florida St.

P.J. Williams, CB, Florida St.

Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan St.

Alex Carter, CB, Stanford

Jalen Collins, CB, LSU

Marcus Peters, CB, Washington

Lorenzo Doss, CB, Tulane

Safeties

Chris Hackett, S, TCU

Landon Collins, S, Alabama

James Sample, S, Louisville

Gerald Holliman, S, Louisville

Durell Eskridge, S, Syracuse

Specialists

Easton Wahlstrom, LS, Arizona St.

Brad Pinion, P, LSU

Rumors
Read the rest of this entry » «2015 NFL Draft Underclassmen Tracker»

2015 NFL Draft: Top 100 Prospects

Posted by Brad On January - 7 - 2015
"Dante Fowler 2015 NFL Mock Draft"

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

After last year’s draft crop, the 2015 class looks like a relative bystander. While no class can be judged on paper and before stepping foot on an NFL field, I see this class as a relatively strong group. The headliner, for me, is USC DL Leonard Williams. He’s as impressive a player that I’ve evaluated since 2009.

As we know every class will be judged by the QB’s. Hence why many are speculating a down class for 2015. Let me get this out of the way before FSU fans begin the attacks. Jameis Winston didn’t fall to No. 84 just because of his off the field escapades. When I evaluated his work from this and last season, I saw too much erratic play to warrant a grade any better than a 3rd. I know many will disagree and I’ll face the vitriol of Noles Nation but it’s where the chips fell when I graded him.

Ok, now that we have QB’s out of the way this class will have it’s share of pass rushers. This could be the year of the pass rusher with as many as eight pass rushers carrying first round grades. The WR class won’t top the 2014 class but it’s a pretty good one. The surprise may be Kevin White, who I slotted as my tenth best prospect. White has everything I would want in a WR at the next level, including being a lunch pale guy which I love from a wide receiver.

It’s important to keep in mind, this is a first run through of the top 100 knowing that it will change as players declare or opt to stay in school and as I continue to grind on some tape of these prospects and more.

RANKPLAYERPOSITIONSCHOOL
1Leonard WilliamsDT/DEUSC
2Randy GregoryDE/OLBNebraska
3Ronnie StanleyOTNotre Dame
4Amari CooperWRAlabama
5Dante Fowler Jr.OLBFlorida
6Shaq ThompsonOLBWashington
7Shane RayDE/OLBMissouri
8Todd GurleyRBGeorgia
9Marcus MariotaQBOregon
10Kevin WhiteWRWest Virginia
11Denzel PerrymanLBMiami
12Eddie GoldmanDTFlorida St.
13Eli HaroldDE/OLBVirginia
14DeVante ParkerWRLouisville
15Alvin DupreeDE/OLBKentucky
16Jordan PhillipsDTOklahoma
17DeForest BucknerDEOregon
18Danny SheltonDTWashington
19Maxx Williams IIITEMinnesota
20Marcus PetersCBWashington
21Andrus PeatOTStanford
22Landon CollinsSAlabama
23T.J. ClemmingsOTPitt
24Paul DawsonOLBTCU
25La’el CollinsOTLSU
26Brandon ScherffOTIowa
27Malcom BrownDTTexas
28Mario EdwardsDEFlorida St.
29Duke JohnsonRBMiami
30Vic BeasleyOLBClemson
31Cedric OgbuehiOTTexas A&M
32Melvin GordonRBWisconsin
33Arik ArmsteadDT/DEOregon
34Ereck FlowersOTMiami
35Devin FunchessWR/TEMichigan
36Kevin JohnsonCBWake Forest
37Jake FisherOTOregon
38Trae WaynesCBMichigan St.
39Jaelen StrongWRArizona St.
40Nate OrchardDE/OLBUtah
41Michael BennettDTOhio St.
42Cameron ErvingCFlorida St.
43P.J. WilliamsCBFlorida St.
44Lorenzo MauldinOLBLouisville
45Danielle HunterDE/OLBLSU
46Tevin ColemanRBIndiana
47Dres AndersonWRUtah
48Ty SambrailoOTColorado St.
49Benardrick McKinneyLBMississippi St.
50Cody PrewittSOle Miss
51Jay AjayiRBBoise St.
52Justin HardyWREast Carolina
53Owamagbe OdighizuwaDEUCLA
54Grady JarrettDTClemson
55Eric KendricksLBUCLA
56Ameer AbdullahRBNebraska
57AJ CannOGSouth Carolina
58Bryce PettyQBBaylor
59Dorial Green-BeckhamWROklahoma
60Shilique CalhounDEMichigan St.
61Zach HodgesDE/OLBHarvard
62Ifo Ekpre-OlomuCBOregon
63Nelson AgholorWRUSC
64Alex CarterCBStanford
65Rashad GreeneWRFlorida St.
66Quentin RollinsCBMiami (OH)
67Ronald DarbyCBFlorida St.
68Lorenzo DossCBTulane
69Clive WalfordTEMiami
70Hauoli KikahaDE/OLBWashington
71Brett HundleyQBUCLA
72David JohnsonRBNorthern Iowa
73Josh HarperWRFresno St.
74Henry AndersonDEStanford
75D’John SmithCBFlorida Atlantic
76Dezmin LewisWRCentral Arkansas
77Jeremiah PoutasiOTUtah
78Jesse JamesTEPenn St.
79Max VallesOLBVirginia
80Derron SmithSFresno St.
81Ryan DelaireDE/OLBTowson
82Jalen CollinsCBLSU
83T.J. YeldonRBAlabama
84Jameis WinstonQBFlorida St.
85Ty MontgomeryWR/KRStanford
86Matt JonesRBFlorida
87Hroniss GrasuCOregon
88Jaquiski TarttSSamford
89Sammie CoatesWRAuburn
90Mike DavisRBSouth Carolina
91Christian CovingtonDTRice
92Sean MannionQBOregon St.
93Markus GoldenDEMissouri
94Senquez GolsonCBOle Miss
95Jeremy LangfordRBMichigan St.
96DeAndre SmelterWRGeorgia Tech
97Tyler LockettWRKansas St.
98Trey FlowersDEArkansas
99Doran GrantCBOhio St.
100Laken TomlinsonOGDuke

Melvin Gordon Scouting Report

Posted by Brad On January - 5 - 2015
"Melvin Gordon"

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Melvin Gordon – Wisconsin

Height: 6000      

Weight: 213

Age when drafted: 22

Hometown: Kenosha, WI

Position 1: RB

Position 2: N/A

Collegiate Number: 25

40: TBD

225: TBD

VJ: TBD

BJ: TBD

3-cone: TBD

Games Scouted: 2013 – Arizona St, Ohio St, Penn St 2014 – LSU, Nebraska, Ohio State, Auburn

Background: Melvin Gordon attended Bradford High School in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He earned the Wisconsin Gatorade Football Player of the Year after a senior season that saw him rush for over 2,000 yards. Gordon doubled as a track athlete with PR’s of 6.39 at 55 meters and 10.95 at 100 meters. In addition, Gordon excelled as a long jumper with a personal best of 23 ft 7 in. Gordon was regarded as a 4-star recruit and considered Iowa, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Originally he committed to Iowa but chose Wisconsin instead.

As a freshman, Gordon rushed for 98 yards before injuring his groin and receiving a medical redshirt. Stuck behind, Montee Ball and James White as a sophomore, Gordon flashed his gamebreaking ability in the Big Ten Championship Game when he went for 216 yards on just nine carries. 2013 would be Gordon’s coming out party as he rushed for 1,609 yards and 12 touchdowns. Gordon returned to Wisconsin for his junior season in 2014 and solidified himself as a top 3 back in the country. Gordon rushed for 2,336 yards (before Outback Bowl) and 26 TD’s on his way to a Heisman finalist campaign. Read the rest of this entry » «Melvin Gordon Scouting Report»

2015 NFL Draft: Top 20 Draft Order Official

Posted by Brad On December - 28 - 2014

"Marcus Mariota"The 2014 NFL regular season is in the books (sigh). For twenty teams that means they are looking at 2015 already, with 12 teams remaining left standing. Earlier today, we highlighted our top 25 free agents and now we focus on the draft. 

With the lack of franchise QB’s available on the market (draft/free agency), the No. 1 pick holds real value this year. Tampa Bay went down to the wire in the Marcus Mariota derby. Barring some major issues leading up to late April’s draft, Mariota is the odds-on-favorite to be taken atop the draft and take the reins for Lovie Smith’s squad. 

I could see things beginning to get interesting at No. 5, 6, and 7 with the Redskins, Jets, and Bears picking. All four teams have major question marks at the QB position. Without a lot of top-end talent at the position, these teams could be left on the outside looking in when it comes to their future signal caller. 

As you can see 2015 won’t be lacking storylines and we are sure to be following them as they hit.

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2. Tennessee Titans

3. Jacksonville Jaguars

4. Oakland Raiders

5. Washington Redskins

6. New York Jets

7. Chicago Bears

8. Atlanta Falcons

9. New York Giants

10. St. Louis Rams 

11. Minnesota Vikings

12. Cleveland Browns

13. New Orleans Saints

14. Miami Dolphins 

15. San Francisco 49ers

16. Houston Texans

17. Kansas City Chiefs

18. San Diego Chargers 

19. Cleveland Browns (f/BUF)

20. Philadelphia Eagles

21. Cincinnati Bengals 

22. Pittsburgh Steelers

23. Detroit Lions

24. Arizona Cardinals

25. Carolina Panthers

26. Baltimore Ravens

27. Dallas Cowboys

28. Denver Broncos

Top 25 2015 NFL Free Agents

Posted by Brad On December - 28 - 2014
"Ndamukong Suh"

Will Suh hit the open market and if so will he become the NFL’s richest defender?

The 2015 NFL free agent class looks very solid on paper. With more than a few headliners this could be an interesting offseason. That said, don’t expect many of these top names to leave for the ‘greener’ pastures of the NFL free agent market. The free agency start kicks off at 4 P.M. EST on March 10. It figures to be interesting, as always as we could see the richest contract for a defensive player come with Ndamukong Suh looking to break J.J. Watt’s 6-year, $100 million deal. Below is the list of impending free agents.
Read the rest of this entry » «Top 25 2015 NFL Free Agents»

2015 NFL Mock Draft 3.0

Posted by Brad On December - 3 - 2014
"Dante Fowler 2015 NFL Mock Draft"

USA TODAY Sports

The college football regular season is in the books and now things get real interesting in year one of the CFB Playoff system. If I’m taking an honest look at my evaluations at this point, it’s easy to say I’m very far behind. With a new gig and finishing up my Master’s degree, my attention hasn’t been focused on the draft as much as usual. That said, I feel I have a pretty good bead on quite a few of these prospects. You’ll notice some major differences between this mock and most others in positioning of players and maybe a couple of names that you didn’t anticipate landing where they did. Two years ago, I did some so much review that paralysis by analysis set in. This year, I’ve watched about 30 prospects in depth and maybe 30 others with a glancing view. With that I feel confident that the honing in process is setting in. Enjoy!

1. Oakland Raiders – Leonard Williams, DE, USC

The Raiders may look to move out of this spot with the QB-needy teams lining up for Marcus Mariota. If the draft order falls in this direction, my money would be on Oakland moving out – wise considering their needs. If they stay it will be hard to pass on Leonard Williams. Teaming Williams up with the young defensive talent (Mack and Moore) would be wise.

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

If no one trades up to No. 1, it would be tough to see Mariota sliding beyond TB. Mike Glennon and Josh McCown are clearly not the answer moving forward for this team. The Bucs and Lovie Smith need an offensive building block to pair with stud WR Mike Evans. This could be a great fit for Mariota as well as there is offensive talent to build around him with.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars – Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska

I’d have to think Gus Bradley personally delivers this card to the Rodger Goodell if Gregory is on the board when the Jags pick. The Jags defense isn’t far off from being a very good unit and Gregory could give them the much needed pass rusher to push them over the edge. Read the rest of this entry » «2015 NFL Mock Draft 3.0»

2015 NFL Draft: A look at the Top 32

Posted by Brad On November - 5 - 2014

"Marcus Mariota"

For all intents and purposes, these rankings serve as our first ‘real’ insight into how the 2015 NFL Draft class will eventually pan out. While these are certain to change – as we are just getting into the real evaluations – I feel fairly comfortable saying there won’t be too drastic of changes forthcoming. Particularly at the top of these rankings with Marcus Mariota, Leonard Williams, and Amari Cooper I’m comfortable saying we aren’t likely to alter the top three much – if at all. 

One quick note, I haven’t rated any third-year sophomores although guys like Gerod Holliman, Germain Ifedi, Ronnie Stanley, and Jordan Phillips could make serious cases to be included on this list. I’ll hold off on any sophomores until official announcements have been made.

1. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

This No. 1 ranking reflects how worried I am about Mariota’s level of ‘Alpha Male’. What a joke. I can’t give any credence to this statement. Mariota’s skill set is through the roof, and not just his off-the-charts athleticism. Mariota is the clear cut No. 1 for me and I think teams will be looking to jump up to get a player with his upside at the most important position in sports.

2. Leonard Williams, DT/DE, USC

I’m not sure that I love the top of this draft but these first two guys are guys that are worthy top draft picks. Williams could easily surface as a top overall pick given his versatility and skill level. I’ve seen nothing thus far that gives me an ounce of doubt that he can dominate the line of scrimmage at the next level, making him a top five lock in my book.

3. Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama

Any doubts I had about Cooper with his injuries are long forgotten. His play this season is making me go back to my feelings about after a dominate freshman season. He’s the real deal and I wouldn’t argue against him being taken one overall in this draft.

4. Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska

Watching the development of Randy Gregory has been scary. I don’t think he’s maxed out in the least in terms of his potential which should have him in the conversation as the first overall pick.

5. Marcus Peters, CB, Washington

I think Marcus Peters is the best corner in the 2015 draft class…and it’s not close. Off the field issues aside, he’s worth a look very early in the draft with his combination of size, athleticism, and ball skills.

6. Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia

The autograph signing fiasco should positively impact Gurley as it alleviates some of the season’s wear and tear. I’m sure there’s some NFL decision makers that are crossing their fingers that he is held out the entire year. It doesn’t look like that will happen but a shortened season may be a good thing for Gurley. Read the rest of this entry » «2015 NFL Draft: A look at the Top 32»