As if we needed anymore incentive to sign-up for DirecTV’s Sunday Ticket, they bring us this outrageous video – featuring a rapping Peyton & Eli Manning. This viral video is promoting DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket Max package and features lyrics by Andy Samburg and The Lonely Island. Read the rest of this entry » «DirecTV Sponsored Video: Football on your Phone»
We are in week two of the preseason, yet I feel like I’m in midseason form. The 2014 NFL Draft is already creating a ton of buzz with headliners like Jadeveon Clowney and Teddy Bridgewater having fans looking into the future – before we’ve kicked off the regular season. With the amount of buzz, the emails have flooded in requesting an updated 2014 NFL Mock Draft.
Ask and you shall receive. It’s about two weeks after it was promised but the wait was worth it. We used the Vegas Super Bowl odds to determine draft order, so this does not reflect my feelings on order of finish.
At this point, mock drafts are just about gauging players we think could rise up draft boards throughout the 2013 season. These are not intended to be accurate but rather start feeling out team needs and begin to gauge players value. Evaluating these guys is a fluid process that really doesn’t start to take any sort of shape until midway through this season – and often times beyond that point.
The next mock draft will take place after week one of the NFL season is in the books and we will continue to add a new mock each week of the season, leading up to draft season. After the break, check out the latest 2014 NFL Mock Draft. Read the rest of this entry » «Preseason 2014 NFL Mock Draft: Bridgewater to the Raiders, Clowney in the two-hole»
Our 2014 NFL Draft Primed series will run through the start of the college football season. We will spotlight players that are flying under the national radar but could become household names in the near future.
Virginia Tech’s defense has significant NFL talent. With much of the focus in the defensive backfield – with Antone Exum and Kyle Fuller and along the defensive line with defensive end James Gayle, it’s easy to overlook a 6-foot-0, 312 pound defensive tackle…or not.
Derrick Hopkins was a lightly recruited local kid from Highland Springs, Virginia that seemed destined for Virginia Tech. Hopkins older brother, Antoine, was a current Hokie defensive tackle when Derrick entered the program. Read the rest of this entry » «2014 NFL Draft Primed: Virginia Tech DT Derrick Hopkins»
We haven’t kicked off the 2013 regular season, yet we are bringing you the top fifty 2014 NFL free agents. It’s never too early to start keeping your eye towards the future of your team and the closet GM’s have begged for a list of available talent.
Some of the [expected] members of the 2014 free agent class have been locked up – no Matt Ryan, Ryan Clady, or Victor Cruz. Even without those big names, there are some intriguing names that could hit the open market.
The 2014 talent is rich on both side of the trenches with the possibility that young talents like Geno Atkins, Henry Melton, and Jared Veldheer all could potentially be available for the taking.
On offense there are several serviceable quarterbacks that have yet to ink new deals with their teams. With the demand at the quarterback position, it will be interesting to see how the 2013 season plays out for Jay Cutler, Josh Freeman, and Michael Vick. The running back position features some big names with Maurice Jones-Drew, Darren McFadden, and Ben Tate out there. The wide receiver and tight end position features quality at the top and some depth.
Outside of the defensive line, the linebackers are a top heavy group with Sean Lee, Brian Orakpo, and Brian Cushing all (potentially) free agents. The defensive back depth is fairly solid and has a headliner in Jairus Byrd. Byrd has yet to strike a long-term deal with the Bills and could demand a lot of cash on the open market at only 27-years old.
After the break check out the full breakdown of cap space and the top fifty 2014 NFL free agents. This post will be maintained here throughout the season and offseason as it’s sure to change. Read the rest of this entry » «2014 NFL Free Agents»
Eric Ebron – North Carolina
Age when drafted: 21
Hometown: Greensboro, NC
Collegiate Number: 85
Combine notables: N/A
Games Viewed: 2012 – Louisville, Miami, NC State, Maryland
Eric Ebron attended Ben L. Smith High School, where he was the 8th ranked TE in the country by ESPNU. Ebron was a standout on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball in high school. As a senior he caught 28 balls for 682 yards and 10 touchdowns, while accounting for 13.5 sacks at defensive end.
Ebron selected North Carolina over the likes of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisville, and a host of other major programs.
Ebron’s impact was felt immediately at UNC. As a freshman in 2011 he caught 10 passes for 207 yards and a touchdown. However his season didn’t end on a high note as he was unable to play in the Independence Bowl due to academic issues. It was clear from day one that Ebron had NFL skills as he combines speed and athleticism with surprising in-line blocking skills.
Ebron’s breakout year would come in 2012 as a sophomore as he emerged into Bryn Renner’s favorite target. Ebron started 11 games (missed Virginia game due to illness) notching 625 yards on 40 receptions and 4 touchdowns. Read the rest of this entry » «2014 NFL Draft: Eric Ebron Preseason Scouting Report»
We are three weeks away from the 2013 college football season kickoff, so no better time to release our position by position 2014 NFL Draft rankings. As always, these are fluid but they give a good insight into how we see things shaking out after evaluation of a whole lot of 2012 tape.
The 2013 NFL Draft saw one quarterback taken in the first round – EJ Manuel. The 2014 quarterback class could be historically good if everything pans out as it should. There’s a boatload of talent in a deep senior class with headliners being David Fales and Stephen Morris and plenty of quality depth with the likes of Tajh Boyd, A.J. McCarron, Aaron Murray and host of others.
The underclassmen could ring the bell for this class. The knock on the 2013 was the lack of an elite headliner at the game’s most coveted position. The 2014 class won’t lack for a headliner as Teddy Bridgewater could be talked about with the game’s elite when it’s all said and done. Behind Bridgewater there’s a handful of intriguing names that could top the draft with solid junior seasons – Devin Gardner, Cody Fajardo, Braxton Miller, and more.
It’s rare that third-year sophomores declare for the draft, even rarer would be a redshirt sophomore quarterback declaring. That could be the case this season as Brett Hundley, Marcus Mariota, and Kevin Hogan bring elite NFL tools to the table.
Without further ado, here’s our rankings 1-25 on the top draft eligible quarterbacks. Read the rest of this entry » «2014 NFL Draft: Preseason Quarterback Rankings»
With most college programs in camp, here are a few players that I have seen live (or whose tape I’ve seen) that could have monster seasons for their collective programs. The majority of these players are not household names but they will be before the season comes to an end in January.
Storm Johnson – RB, UCF
Johnson is from Loganville, GA and was rated one of the top ten backs in the country coming out of high school. He originally started his career at the University of Miami but decided to transfer to UCF following his freshman season in Coral Gables. He is a physical back that runs well inside but also has enough speed and quickness to make people miss in the open field. With his size of 6’0/ 215lbs and durability, he is a load to bring down and is capable of punishing defenders if need be. Johnson had 75 yards on only 12 carries against the undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes last season. Read the rest of this entry » «Five Collegians Flying Under the Radar»
After hearing questions asked by the media at training camp practices and seeing reaction on twitter, I came to the conclusion people don’t understand how scouting departments approach the preseason. Having worked both on the pro and college sides in the NFL, I’ve seen it all when it comes to scouting the preseason. I also spoke with two former NFL executives who worked with me in Philadelphia on this topic. Phil Savage worked under Ozzie Newsome for years before becoming the GM in Cleveland from 2005-08, while Louis Riddick ran pro departments both in Washington and Philadelphia. Beside the NFL draft, the month of August is the greatest time for NFL franchises to manipulate and add to their roster. The best scouting departments really separate themselves from the pack over the next month. Read the rest of this entry » «How NFL Teams Scout the Preseason»
NFL’s Future will kick off a new series that will feature future stars in the making. We will run the series periodically throughout the college season as take a look at the new crop of collegiate players.
Towards the end of the 2012 college football season, there wasn’t a better receiver in the country than Alabama’s Amari Cooper. The scary part – he was a true freshman.
Cooper found himself on the biggest of stages as a baby-faced 18-year old as he emerged into AJ McCarron’s top receiving threat on Bama’s National Title team. Yet there was nothing baby-faced or 18-years old about Cooper’s game. Cooper has size at 6-foot-1 and 202 pounds. He has track speed – his mother started him in track at an early age. His route running is that of the most experienced SEC receiver, although he wasn’t asked to run a varied route tree in 2012. Don’t get that confused with poor route running ability – Cooper sticks his foot in the dirt and changes directions with relative ease. And his hands, leaping ability and concentration were as good as any in the country. Read the rest of this entry » «Futures: Amari Cooper has it all»
Recent articles from Greg Bedard of SI.com/theMMQB.com and Chris Brown of Smart Football/Grantland have highlighted the offseason for defensive coordinators, specifically their read-option missionary trips to college football campuses.
The NFL has been historically slow to catch up to what guys in the lower divisions have been drawing up in the dirt. Brown’s piece touches on Rich Rodriguez and his Glenville State staff drawing up the zone read because they were “just trying to get a first down.” Much of the innovation at any level starts with disproportionate talent level trying to catch up – hence formations and concepts such as the pistol and zone-read being born.
“It’s easier to read someone, than it is to block them.”
In most pro-style offenses – the offense gives the defense the number advantage of at least one (the quarterback). It becomes an 11-10 advantage for the defense. The option offense gave the numbers back to the offense by leaving a defender unblocked and incorporating the quarterback as a potential running threat – flipping the number advantage to 11-10 for the offense. Read the rest of this entry » «The Golden Age of NFL offenses: Adding to the zone read»