Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Matt Barkley will stay at USC for his senior season

Posted by Brad On December – 22 – 2011

Matt Barkley staying put….2012 QB class rests in the hands of RGIII

USC QB Matt Barkley has decided to stay at USC to complete his four-year run as starter for the Trojans.  Rumors began to swirl late in the decision process that Barkley wished to compete for the BCS Crown, make a run at the Heisman and No. 1 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Barkley’s decision will surely disappoint the quarterback-needy teams at the top of the 2012 NFL Draft.  He would have factored into the early stages of round one with the likes of Robert Griffin III.  Barkley, instead, will battle it out with the likes of LSU, Alabama, and Oregon for the National Championship in the Trojans first post-sanctions bowl bid.

While leaks of information streamed through the cracks all day, Barkley’s decision to return comes as a shock given his ties to tackle Matt Kalil.  For over a month, speculation grew that Barkley and Kalil were a package deal.  Kalil announced over a week ago that he would be entering the 2012 NFL Draft which led to assumptions of Barkley’s exit from Troy.

The fate of the 2012 QB class now lies with Robert Griffin III from Baylor.  If Griffin joins Barkley in the college ranks, the 2012 QB class will suffer a major blow.

Matt Barkley’s draft fate decided today

Posted by Brad On December – 22 – 2011

4:00 P.M. ET will determine his fate

‘The Decision:  Part Deux.’  USC Junior QB Matt Barkley will be announcing his decision to either stay at USC for his senior season or enter the 2012 NFL Draft today at 4:00 p.m. ET.

Barkley is one of the top prospects eligible for the 2012 NFL Draft and figures to be a top 5-10 pick in April’s draft.  Fellow SC teammates Matt Kalil and Nick Perry have already jumped ship for the NFL while safety T.J. McDonald announced his intentions to stay at SC for his senior season.

Barkley and Kalil have been talked about as a package deal but the late buzz was that Barkley would stay at SC to finish what he started.  The three-year starter sat out two seasons of potential bowls due to NCAA sanctions and speculation is beginning to arise that he could seek out the opportunity to take USC to a BCS Bowl in 2012.

If Barkley declares he will be in a heated battle for the No. 2 QB spot behind Andrew Luck. 

We will anxiously await Barkley’s decision with Redskins, Browns, and Dolphins fans.

2012 NFL Draft Prospects Preview: MAACO Las Vegas Bowl

Posted by Brad On December – 22 – 2011

The MAACO Las Vegas Bowl features the 11-1 Boise State Broncos and the 6-6 Arizona St. Sun Devils.  This game marks the final collegiate game for Boise QB Kellen Moore.  It’s also ASU’s HC Dennis Erickson’s final game roaming the ASU sideline.

Both teams feature talent that could litter each round of the 2012 NFL Draft.  Boise State features at least six players that figure to be drafted come April.  Arizona St. gives us one of the top LB prospects in the country in Vontaze Burfict.  Burfict needs a huge performance in this contest to raise his sliding draft stock.  It’s unsure whether Burfict will start this game as he was removed from ASU’s final regular season game following two personal foul penalities.  A guy to watch for ASU is QB Brock Osweiler.  The 6’8 gun slinger is a likely 2013 prospect but he could surprise and enter this season given the coaching change.

Guys to keep an eye on:

Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona St. #7 (Junior)

Burfict’s talent and intensity are undeniable but he has looked very average this season.  He ended the season on a low note as he was removed from the team’s final regular season game following two personal foul penalties.  Burfict has practiced with the second team throughout bowl preparations but I would be shocked not to see him on the field early and often.  Burfict is one of the most physically gifted players in the country and has top 15 talent.  Burfict may have the most to gain or lose based on his bowl performance than any other prospect in the 2012 NFL Draft.  Burfict is going to have to apply pressure to Moore and hold Doug Martin in check for the Sun Devils to stand a chance. Read the rest of this entry »

USC Safety T.J. McDonald will return for his senior season

Posted by Brad On December – 21 – 2011

With Nick Perry and Matt Kalil announcing their intentions to enter the 2012 NFL Draft, the Trojans needed a bit of good news.  It comes in the form of junior safety T.J. McDonald.  USC has released a statement confirming McDonald will return for his senior season leaving their starting back seven intact.

McDonald was widely considered the most likely to return of the four juniors (Perry, Kalil, and Matt Barkley).  He possesses all the physical tools of a top safety but lacks consistent production and may improve his stock if he can consistently dominate during his senior season.  McDonald figured to factor into the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft had he declared.

The junior finished the 2011 season with 69 tackles and 3 INT’s down from a sophomore season that saw him collect 89 tackles and 3 INT’s.

The last of the four to decide for USC remains quarterback Matt Barkley.  He is the biggest fish in the USC pond for Lane Kiffin and could make or break USC’s hopes at a National Title run in their post-suspension season.  While most expect Barkley to declare it’s leaning towards staying at this point.

2012 NFL Draft Bowl Game Review: Ohio vs. Utah St.

Posted by Brad On December – 21 – 2011

In most cases we try to preview the game rather than review but birthday celebrations caught me by surprise and I wasn’t able to get to this contest.  You didn’t think I would let my Bobcats slip past me.  For more reasons than being an alumni I will look at the 2012 NFL Draft prospects featured in this contest taken by the OU Bobcats.  Here’s a look at the top prospects for each team:

Lavon Brazill, WR, Ohio #7

Brazill showed his toughness during the 2011 season as he played most of it on a torn meniscus.  This game was a typical game by OU’s gamebreaker.  He made big plays when they counted including an impressive catch on 4th down with a defender draped all over him.  Brazill is a quick twitch player that lacks elite size (5’11, 190) to become a No. 1 receiver in the NFL.  Brazill could find a home in the slot for a team drafting in the mid to late rounds.  He finished the season with 72 receptions for 1150 yards and 11 TD’s.  He posted 8 grabs for 108 yards and a TD in this contest.  Brazill could be a solid value in the 5-7 round range.  If he makes it into round 7, someone is getting a steal.

Noah Keller, LB, Ohio #47

Keller is a guy you can’t help but notice when you watch OU, which I do frequently.  Keller is a tackling machine that is always around the football.  This game was a very typical game for Keller with 11 tackles.  Keller is not going to blow anyone away with his measurables but he’s a guy that has the instincts to make a team and be an immediate contributor on special teams.  Keller is a late round sleeper that may go undrafted.  I don’t think the team that picks Keller up (or drafts him) will be disappointed.

Joe Flading, T, Ohio #56

Flading was an All-MAC First-Teamer that is likely headed for UDFA.  He may get some looks from the NFL because he’s so raw but there is talent there.  Flading is a mauler that lacks technique and is undersized for the position (6’4, 292).  He may have to move inside to guard in the NFL.  He looked solid in this contest as he was clearly the best OL on either side.

Bobby Wagner, LB, Utah St #9

Wagner is a name that has flown up draft boards as of late.  Wagner is more of an OLB despite some listing him as an ILB.  He has put together 3 consecutive 100+ tackle seasons.  He showed in this game why he’s moving up draft boards quickly.  He’s got a very good motor that makes him a major pain to block for opponents.  He has a ton of speed and athleticism and could easily work his way into the end of round two come April.

Robert Turbin, RB, Utah St #6

Robert Turbin is rumored to be leaving Utah St. early and we can see why.  The junior back has a thick, powerful build that would lend itself well in the NFL.  At 5’10, 221 Turbin showed his power on several occasions during this contest.  He also showed a shiftiness that would surprise some.  At times, he relied too much on his feet rather than just hitting the hole and gaining positive yards.  Turbin is a little raw as a runner but he could be a nice prospect in the 3-4 round range.

Week 15 NFL Draft Order

Posted by Brad On December – 20 – 2011

The Andrew Luck sweepstakes isn't over just yet

With the “Suck for Luck” power(less) rankings running the course, we look ahead to the all-important speculative draft order.

The final weeks of the season should be as interesting as ever with Indy’s surprise win over Tennessee on Sunday.  The list gets slimmer as several teams join the likes of the 7 and 8 win hopefuls vying for a Wild Card.  For that purpose we won’t include any of those teams already at 7/8 wins in our rankings this week.  Here’s a look at a whole bunch of speculation:

1.  Indianapolis Colts (1-13)

Strength of Schedule:  .536

Remaining Games:  vs. Houston, @Jacksonville

Forecast:  Indy managed to make the Andrew Luck sweepstakes interesting in the final weeks of the 2011 season with a win over Tennessee.  If they sneak out another win, it could be real interesting as St. Louis isn’t beating San Fran or Pittsburgh and Minnesota is not good.  As I wrote on Monday, Minnesota is the team to watch in this race as their strength of schedule is close to Indy’s.

Projected Win Total:  1

2.  Minnesota Vikings (2-12)

Strength of Schedule:  .567

Remaining Games:  @ Washington, vs. Chicago

Forecast:  Minnesota is emerging as a legitimate player in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes.  They have the easiest road to victory of the top three teams with Washington and Chicago left but they are pretty miserable.  A healthy Adrian Peterson should help them to one more victory and keep them out of the Andrew Luck running.

Projected Win Total:  3 Read the rest of this entry »

Is the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft still in play?

Posted by Brad On December – 19 – 2011

Indy makes it a sprint to the No. 1 spot with their win on Sunday

We had stuck a fork in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes as it looked that the Indianapolis Colts would run away with the prize.  The Colts win on Sunday over the heavily favored Tennessee Titans may have opened the door for the Minnesota Vikings to sneak into the No. 1 spot in the 2012 NFL Draft.

The Colts now sit at 1-13 with the Vikings and Rams at 2-12.  With two games left to play anything is possible at this point.  The Rams are the long shot in the group with a .590 strength of schedule (before Baltimore/San Diego and Pittsburgh/San Francisco play).  The Rams do have to the toughest path to a win with Pittsburgh and San Francisco remaining on their schedule.  In all liklihood, they will finish with two wins.

The Colts host Houston on Thursday night and go to Jacksonville to close the season on New Year’s Day.  Jacksonville is a team in disarray and Houston played miserably against Carolina yesterday.  While it remains unlikely that they could win out, it’s not out of the realm of possibility. Read the rest of this entry »

Week 15 Picks Against the Spread

Posted by Brad On December – 18 – 2011

The Five-Star locks of Week 15

Profetta’s Picks

Washington (+6.5) @ N.Y. Giants

Both teams are operating with patchwork O-lines right now, so both QBs could feel some heat in this one. I trust Eli Manning to handle the pressure better than Rex Grossman, but my gut says that the Giants don’t cover.

Prediction: Giants 20, Redskins 13

Green Bay (-13.5) @ Kansas City

The absence of Greg Jennings only means that dynamic rookie Randall Cobb finally has an opportunity to get in on the fun.

Prediction: Packers 40, Chiefs 7

New Orleans (-7.5) @ Minnesota

The Saints could be looking ahead to the Week 16 Monday Night matchup against the Falcons, but with Drew Brees and his deep, talented group of targets facing the Vikings’ porous secondary, it shouldn’t matter.

Prediction: Saints 35, Vikings 24

Seattle (+3.5) @ Chicago

The Bears will bottle up Marshawn Lynch and force Tarvaris Jackson to beat them. Here’s where the injuries to the Seattle O-line catch up. Julius Peppers dominates as Chicago wins an eyesore of a game.

Prediction: Bears 13, Seahawks 9

Miami @ Buffalo (-1.5)

The Bills offer absolutely no pass rush and Ryan Fitzpatrick has been so ineffective that I wouldn’t be surprised if we begin to see a few mock drafts that forecast the Bills taking a QB pretty soon.

Prediction: Dolphins 19, Bills 10 Read the rest of this entry »

2012 NFL Mock Draft: New Faces, New Places

Posted by Brad On December – 17 – 2011
1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
It’s hard telling what the Colts will do with Manning but they have made it clear they intend on selecting Andrew Luck with the first overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. No one can disagree about that choice but what they do with Manning will be up for debate. Right now, Andrew Luck is shopping for homes in the suburbs of Indianapolis.
Other selections: None
2. St. Louis Rams: Matt Kalil, T, USC
Profetta talked some sense into on this one. I got a little hung up on the fact that St. Louis will have a ton of money racked up on the offensive line. What I forgot was just how bad St. Louis was at protecting Sam Bradford and Co this season. Kalil is just too much of a sure thing to pass on because of money that you have spent on the line already.
The Rams are likely to field trade offers and had I mocked trades in this mock draft I probably would have had this pick moved. As the draft draws near I will mock trades as they are sure to happen. If I were doing it this go around, I would have had the ‘Skins picking here and taking RGIII. That would drastically change the outlook of this version of the 2012 NFL Mock Draft.
Other Selections: Trade, Justin Blackmon
3. Minnesota Vikings: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
The Vikings would have loved for Kalil to still be here but he’s not. They will likely choose between Claiborne and Blackmon. Not a bad decision to make as both offer a ton of upside. Their secondary is atrocious, so the edge goes to the lockdown corner. Alabama stayed completely away from Claiborne as they respected his body of work in 2011. Claiborne has can’t miss written all over him.
If the Rams pass on the opportunity to trade out of their pick, the Vikings will field a ton of calls to get ahead of Cleveland for the services of RGIII. The Redskins, Dolphins, Seahawks, and Chiefs could all come calling.
Other Selections: Trade, Riley Reiff

8. Carolina Panthers (coin flip): Riley Reiff, T, Iowa
The Panthers have needs at areas that don’t warrant this high of a pick. They will likely look to trade out of this selection to move down for extra picks. Unfortunately for them, all the QB’s, Richardson, and Blackmon will be off the board. If they stay here, they could look at a tackle. Jordan Gross isn’t getting any younger and Jeff Otah can’t be counted on due to injuries. Cam Newton is the franchise and they look to ensure his health by selecting a tackle. Tackle is definitely not their biggest need but Reiff is loaded with potential. He’s an athletic guy that uses his hands as well as anyone in this draft. He will have to get stronger but he can rely on superior technique. If they trade down they could look at a corner, linebacker, defensive tackle or wide receiver.
Other Selections: Michael Brockers
Read the rest of this entry »

Explaining the 2012 NFL Draft QB rankings

Posted by Brad On December – 16 – 2011

See where RGIII really ranks by the numbers

Enough of the RGIII may be taken before Luck talk.  RGIII and Barkley both had better seasons than Luck.  No doubt.  But when it comes to NFL prospects, they don’t get much better than Luck. 

The 2012 NFL Draft is loaded with top level quarterback talent.  The evaluation of quarterbacks is the toughest to judge due to the number of areas to evaluate.  I break down quarterbacks in six major categories with subcategories and score them based on those rankings.  For the purpose of this evaluation, I’m showing only the major categories.

This is my vein attempt at answering the numerous emails I receive about how I rate players and should give an elementary look at my system of rating.  Here’s a look at where each quarterback ranks in each individual category.  The QB’s I chose to rank are Andrew Luck, Matt Barkley, Robert Griffin III, Landry Jones, Ryan Tannehill, Nick Foles, and Brandon Weeden. 

Arm Strength

  1. Nick Foles
  2. Landry Jones
  3. Brandon Weeden
  4. Ryan Tannehill
  5. Robert Griffin III
  6. Matt Barkley
  7. Andrew Luck

There isn’t a Ryan Mallett arm in this draft.  The closest thing to it is Nick Foles, who possesses very good arm strength.  The next four were fairly similar as I would rate them above average as a whole. Barkley and Luck were very close and slightly above-average.  Luck doesn’t possess a cannon but his arm is comparable, if not stronger, than Manning’s was coming out of Tennessee.  Read the rest of this entry »

  • Help NFL’s Future reach 500 Facebook Likes. Each individual Facebook Like that we receive on our way to 500 will be entered into a drawing for a Visa Gift Card. The value of the gift card will be determined by how many months it takes us to get to 500. The quicker we get there, the higher the value.
  • Follow nflfuture on Twitter
  • Archives