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Alshon Jeffery and Stephon Gilmore will enter the 2012 NFL Draft

Posted by Brad On January – 5 – 2012

Will Jeffery crack the top 15 after a down 2011 season?

ESPN’s Joe Schad is reporting that South Carolina WR Alshon Jeffery will enter the 2012 NFL Draft following a year full of ups and downs.

Alshon Jeffery’s struggles through the 2011 were well documented as he saw a significant drop in production in 2011.  Jeffery’s sophomore season was his breakout season with 88 receptions for 1,517 yards and 9 TD’s.  His junior season was filled with turmoil before it began.  Jeffery came into spring camp noticeably out of shape which became evident in the beginning of the season.  Jeffery labored in the beginning of 2011 and looked to run out gas midway through the season.  South Carolina’s offense was delivered several blows throughout 2011 including losing star RB Marcus Lattimore to injury and starting quarterback Stephen Garcia was dismissed from the team following a failed substance test.

Jeffery put up a strong contest in the Capital One Bowl against Alfonzo Dennard.  He grabbed 4 passes for 148 yards and a TD before being ejected from the game for an altercation with Dennard.

Jeffery was considered a top 10 prospect going into the 2011 season but has suffered a hit to his draft stock with his spotty performance and conditioning in 2011.  Jeffery lacks elite breakaway speed and struggled to get much separation this season.  He is a physical receiver that could be a major threat in the redzone.  Jeffery is still most likely to be taken in the first round and may go in the top 15 picks because of his upside.

Jeffery’s teammate at South Carolina Stephon Gilmore has decided to follow Jeffery in the 2012 NFL Draft.  Gilmore is a junior cornerback that has a rare blend of size and speed.  At 6’1″ 195 pounds Gilmore is a physical corner that was highly productive at South Carolina.  Gilmore accounted for 8 INT’s in three seasons and is one of the more physical tacklers at the CB position in the NCAA.

Gilmore figures to be a solid second rounder that could slide into the first round due to the upside he offers from a physical standpoint.

2012 NFL Mock Draft: Luck to Colts is a done deal

Posted by Brad On January – 5 – 2012

Dan Kadar

1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
This has been the obvious choice since at least December. The only unknown now is how the Colts will surround Luck with talent. The offense needs pieces on the line, the receiver group has been depleted and the run game is only ordinary. It’s a full-blown rebuild in Indianapolis, so they’re fortunate to have a franchise quarterback to build around.

Brad Clark

6. St. Louis Rams: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma St.
"2012 NFL Draft prospect, Justin Blackmon" St. Louis is set for picks, so I expect them to be aggressive in the draft. They could move back down or up from here and I wouldn’t be shocked. Taking Blackmon here makes a ton of sense and too much for me to ignore. While, I’m not sold on Blackmon this high, the Rams need to find a legitimate weapon for Sam Bradford with Brandon Lloyd looking to leave town.

Jeff Risdon

3. Minnesota Vikings: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
"2012 NFL Draft prosect, Morris Claiborne" With Antoine Winfield
nearing the end and Chris Cook’s status uncertain, the Vikings opt to
fill the huge need at corner. Their division has three excellent QBs and
legit #1 WRs and they must shore up the back end if they ever want to
compete in the NFC North.
Read the rest of this entry » «2012 NFL Mock Draft: Luck to Colts is a done deal»

2012 NFL Draft: Gator Bowl Recap

Posted by Brad On January – 4 – 2012

Mike Adams showed why he is a late first, early second with his Gator Bowl performance

The Gator Bowl featured two teams that would normally compete in a BCS Bowl fighting for a winning record.  Ohio State came out on the losing end in a fitting end to a season of turmoil.  Both teams will look to turn the page on their 2011 season and focus on integrating new coaching staffs in 2012.

Both squads feature a bevy of future NFL prospects but not much in the way of 2012 prospects (relatively speaking).  We will focus on a couple solid prospects for each team.  OSU has a two nice prospects on the offensive line, while Florida has an intriguing prospect on the defensive line.

Here’s a look at the top prospects for the 2012 NFL Draft in the Gator Bowl.

Ohio St.

Mike Adams, OT

Adams has all the physical tools to be an elite RT in the NFL.  The athleticism at his size is impressive.  In this contest I focused on his knee bend and base because taller tackles normally struggle with this.  I was impressed with both as he won numerous battles of leverage in pass protection and while run blocking.  There were a couple of times during this contest that Adams didn’t engage defenders long enough and allowed his guy to make tackles on the ball carrier.  Since coming back from suspension, Adams has looked very good in some tough matchups.  He is a late first or early second round pick in my book. Read the rest of this entry » «2012 NFL Draft: Gator Bowl Recap»

Montee Ball staying; Riley Reiff going

Posted by Brad On January – 3 – 2012

The Big 10 will be losing one of the top tackles in the country but Big 10 defenses will still have to deal with the top rusher.

Riley Reiff has chosen to forgo his senior season for the 2012 NFL Draft.  Reiff was a first-team All-Big Ten selection in 2010 and 2011 and figures to be a top 15 pick in April’s draft.  He has started 37 career games for Kirk Ferentz’s Hawkeyes.

Big 10 defenses will still have to deal with Wisconsin RB Montee Ball.  Ball has decided to stay at Wisconsin for his senior season.  Ball led the nation is rushing yards with 1,923 and tied Barry Sanders record of 39 total touchdowns.  Ball is coming off a 164 yard and 2 TD performance in a loss to Oregon in the Rose Bowl.

Keep a close eye on the Montee Ball reports as nothing has been confirmed by Ball or the University.  Reiff has confirmed the report to The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette.


Check out the up to date underclassmen watch here.

Vontaze Burfict to enter the 2012 NFL Draft

Posted by Brad On January – 3 – 2012

Where will Burfict land in 2012?

Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict declared for the 2012 NFL Draft on Tuesday joining a slew of other declarations on the day.

Burfict will be poked and prodded through the pre-draft process to see if his on-the-field indiscretions will hamper a bright NFL future.  Burfict has loads of talent but his propensity to draw personal foul penalties at inopportune times has been a source of dismay for his college coaches, so much so that it led to his benching during the final game of the regular season.

Burfict’s talent is undeniable but his play on the field doesn’t always match that level.  He’s a top 15 talent as a middle linebacker but has a tendency to overpursue ball carriers and seems to guess on gap assignments at times.  For all the negatives on Burfict there are a ton of positives.  He’s a sideline to sideline athlete that tackles with tenacity.  His aggression on the field can be positive for a MLB if a team can reign it in.

As the 2011 season wore on, it became clear that Burfict was becoming a thorn in the side of the ASU coaching staff.  NFL GM’s and scouts will surely talk to former ASU head coach Dennis Erickson who will likely not have kind words about the enigmatic Burfict.  Erickson has already described Burfict’s season as “average” which doesn’t bode well for him.  If he’s willing to say that publicly what will he spill in private to colleagues.

As always you can check out the list of underclassmen declarations here.

It’s been a tough 24 hours for Stanford Cardinal fans.  First came the devastating loss to Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl and now they find out their two top lineman will declare for the 2012 NFL Draft.

Jonathan Martin and David DeCastro will be forgoing their final season in Palo Alto to enter the 2012 NFL Draft as reported by multiple sources including John Walters of The Daily and Ralph Drusso of the Associated Press.  Jonathan Martin has confirmed reports via Twitter but David DeCastro has yet to confirm any such reports.

Both players are expected to hear their names called within the first fifteen picks of April’s draft.  Martin is our third ranked tackle and DeCastro is widely considered the top guard prospect and may be the first guard taken in the top 10 since Chris Naeole was taken tenth overall in 1997 by the New Orleans Saints.

Martin and DeCastro performed admirably in their final games in a Stanford uniform and will strike a major blow to a program already faced with losing Andrew Luck.

As always you can click here to check out the latest underclassmen declarations.

Catching up on today’s draft declarations

Posted by Brad On January – 3 – 2012

Sanu declares after all

This morning, we released an updated underclassmen watch board but it has drastically changed over the last several hours after a slew of declarations including a couple surprises.  Without further adieu, here’s a look at today’s draft declarations.

Mohamed Sanu of Rutgers has made himself eligible for the 2012 NFL Draft which is in contrast to a report from a New York newspaper in December.  Metro New York reported that Sanu would stay at Rutgers for his senior season.  As we reported at that point, the University athletic department released a statement saying that no Rutgers players have made their decisions.  It appears that Metro New York, a free NY newspaper, jumped the gun on this one.

Sanu is a do-it-all WR that compares favorably to Randall Cobb of the Green Bay Packers.  He should be a top 50 pick in April’s draft after a season that saw him catch 115 balls for 1,206 yards and 7 TD’s

Whitney Mercilus, an Illinois defensive end, made himself draft eligible today.  The raw pass rusher doesn’t have a ton of playing experience as he was late to take up the game but offers a ton of upside.  He led the nation in sacks during his junior season with 16 and should come off the board late in round one or early in round two.

Fletcher Cox, a defensive tackle from Mississippi St declared for the 2012 NFL Draft, as expected.  Cox finished his junior season with 14.5 TFL’s and 5 sacks.  He’s a fit in both the 4-3 or 3-4 which will make him a valuable commodity to 32 teams come April.  He, like Mercilus, should come off the board in end of round one, beginning of round two.

Terrell Manning, an outside linebacker from NC State will also make himself eligible for the 2012 NFL Draft.  The Wolfpack junior finished his junior season with 76 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 4 FF’s, and 3 INT’s.  Manning is a WILL linebacker in the NFL.  Manning could have used another season of production at NC State to work on his build/strength.  He will likely find a spot in the 3rd to 4th round range.

As always you can find an updated list of underclassmen here.

2012 NFL Draft: Fiesta Bowl Recap

Posted by Brad On January – 3 – 2012

Blackmon dominated last night in showing why he should be off the board early in April

Stanford and Oklahoma St. met in the 2012 Fiesta Bowl for what became an Instant Classic.  This game featured two different but explosive offenses and a ton of talent on both sides.

Four of our top 15 prospects were featured in this game and all four put on epic performances.  Unfortunately someone has to lose and for Stanford it would come at the hands of a freshman kicker.  We will spotlight the top draft prospects for both teams.

Here’s a look at the top 2012 NFL Draft prospects and their Fiesta Bowl performances.


Andrew Luck, QB

It’s almost sad that Luck couldn’t go out a winner after a remarkable career at Stanford.  He was his usual impressive self as he carved up the OSU defense.  Stanford ran to set up the pass as they did all season long and Luck made the most of his opportunities.  His one mistake in the game came on a great play by the defensive back.  This game really solidified Andrew Luck’s status as the No. 1 pick and the ‘next Peyton Manning’ tag.

Jonathan Martin, OT

Martin was dominant in this contest.  With some questioning his ability to play tackle in the NFL he showed just how silly that criticism is.  He picked up blitzes and anchored well in pass protection.  He won the leverage battle in the run game all night and if it weren’t for great games by Justin Blackmon, David DeCastro, and Andrew Luck we would be talking about Martin more.  Martin did miss a zone blitzer which resulted in a free rusher but outside of that he looked like a top 10 pick.  Martin’s arms will not grow nor will he become a top notch athlete overnight but the team selecting him will put up with those facts because he’s really good at what he does well. Read the rest of this entry » «2012 NFL Draft: Fiesta Bowl Recap»

2012 NFL Draft Underclassmen Watch

Posted by Brad On January – 3 – 2012

January 15 date is fast approaching

The 2012 NFL Draft class will set a new record of underclassmen who decided to make themselves eligible for the April’s draft.  Here’s a look at all 65 players:

Entering the 2012 NFL Draft

Jonathan Massaquoi, DE, Troy

Janzen Jackson, S, McNeese St.

Ken Plue, G, Purdue

Johnny Thomas, S, Oklahoma St.

Barrett Trotter, QB, Auburn

Phillip Thomas, S, Syracuse

Jamison Berryhill, RB, Texas

Tiree Eure, TE, Minnesota

Dorian Graham, WR, Syracuse

Alvester Alexander, RB, Wyoming

Darron Thomas, QB, Oregon

Rueben Randle, WR, LSU

Jewel Hampton, RB, Southern Illinois

Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

Dont’a Hightower, LB, Alabama

Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

Max Holloway, DE, Boston College

Bryce Brown, RB, Kansas St.

Orson Charles, TE, Georgia

Damaris Johnson, WR, Tulsa

Eric Page, WR, Toledo

Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor

Josh Robinson, CB, Central Florida

Bobby Massie, OT, Ole Miss

Edwin Baker, RB, Michigan St.

Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College

Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson

LaMichael James, RB, Oregon

Bernard Pierce, RB, Temple

David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech

Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin

Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona St.

Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech

Ronnell Lewis, OLB, Oklahoma

Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan St.

Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina

Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina

Jayron Hosley, CB, Virginia Tech

Ronnie Hillman, RB, San Diego St.

Riley Reiff, T, Iowa

Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona St.

Mike Ball, RB, Nevada

Darrell Scott, RB, South Florida

Jonathan Martin, T, Stanford

David DeCastro, G, Stanford

Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers

Terrell Manning, OLB, NC State

Whitney Merculus, DE, Illinois

Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi St.

Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma St.

Chris Polk, RB, Washington

Donte Paige-Moss, DE/OLB, North Carolina

Chris Givens, WR, Wake Forest

Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse

Robert Turbin, RB, Utah St.

Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis

Brandon Washington, T/G, Miami

Olivier Vernon, DE, Miami

Cliff Harris, CB, Oregon

Matt Kalil, T, USC

Nick Perry, OLB, USC

Lamar Miller, RB, Miami

Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

Marcus Forston, DT, Miami

Tommy Streeter, WR, Miami

Aldarius Johnson, WR, Miami

2012 NFL Draft order set for non-playoff teams

Posted by Brad On January – 1 – 2012

Luck to Indy is set but now where does RGIII land?

The top 20 of the 2012 NFL Draft has been (almost) finalized.  With the Giants/Cowboys winner getting the 4th seed, the loser would be out of the playoffs and into the field of 20 non-playoff teams.  Enough talking, here’s the first 20 picks of the 2012 NFL Draft:

1. Indianapolis Colts (2-14)

2. St. Louis Rams (2-14)

3. Minnesota Vikings (3-13)

4. Cleveland Browns (4-12)

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-12)

6. Washington Redskins (5-11)

7. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11)

8. Miami Dolphins (6-10) (coin flip)

9. Carolina Panthers (6-10) (coin flip)

10. Buffalo Bills (6-10)

11. Seattle Seahawks (7-9) (coin flip)

12. Kansas City Chiefs (7-9) (coin flip)

13. Arizona Cardinals (8-8)

14. Dallas Cowboys (8-8)

15. Philadelphia Eagles (8-8)

16. New York Jets (8-8)

17. Oakland Raiders (8-8) belongs to Cincinnati Bengals

18. San Diego Chargers (8-8)

19. Chicago Bears (8-8)

20. Tennessee Titans (9-7)

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