Saturday, January 11, 2014

Dexer Moody, S, Albany St (gifs)

-Former Georgia commit, former Georgia State & Fort Scott C.C. player
-Now playing football and baseball (All-SIAC in both sports) at Albany St
-Switched from linebacker to defensive back at Albany St, and has play receiver for ASU
-Rumblings he could have declared or transferred to a bigger school after a 7 interception season in 2012
-Plus sized at 6025, 204
-Played everywhere on the field. Safety to nickel to linebacker to defensive end
-SIAC's defensive POTY
-At Medal of Honor Bowl
-ESPN's Kevin Weidl, among others, praising him at MOH:
-Team captain at Albany State
-Says between a 4.3/4.4 40 and 41-ish vertical:
-The Jaguars and Cowboys told him he'd be drafted as a safety:

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Austin Franklin, WR, New Mexico State (gifs)

-Missed first four games of the season.
-52 catches, 670 yards, and seven touchdowns in the eight games he did play, mostly coming in the last five games of the season.
-Small, but very fast WR.
-Declared for the 2014 NFL Draft.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Bryan Bennett, QB, SE Louisiana (gifs)

Bryan Bennett, QB, Southeast Louisiana (formerly at Oregon)

-First year at Southeast Louisiana. Battled Mariota for starting job in 2012.
-NFLDS HT/WT: 6016, 205

Friday, November 15, 2013

Joel Bitonio, OT, Nevada

-Started three years straight on Nevada's OL (which they call the "Union.")
-Five different OL coaches in his five year at Nevada.
-6'4" 315-pound tackle. Probably will bump in at the next level. Potential center?
-Good anchor. Finishes plays. Good enough in pass pro to keep up with Anthony Barr.
-Brian Polian (Nevada HC) said "People don't understand how good that guy is. When it's all said and done he'll be a 2nd- or 3rd-round draft pick."
-Finalist for the Campbell Trophy.
-Team captain.
-Didn't allow a sack his first two years as a starter. Number isn't updated for his senior year.
-Alex Means (Air Force LB) says he was the best OL he ever saw, including Michigan's linemen.
-Yahoo! named the Nevada OT duo (2012) the best in the Mountain West.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Quarterback Big Board

*Assuming Mariota and Petty don't declare*

1) Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville*-Top Two Pick Grade
-Clearly one of the top three quarterbacks in college football, and with Mariota returning, I don't think many (if any) teams will have Bridgewater ranked anything but their top quarterback heading into the draft.

2) Derek Carr, Fresno State-Early to Mid First Round Grade
-Carr was looked at as a guy "scared of the rush" coming into the season, but I don't think that was fair. In 2012, he was trying to protect a torn ab, which he was playing through. This season, it's been toned down, but, like a scout told me, "he sees very real pressure coming down his face on a low of downs." I wrote about how the "he's scared of the rush" narrative is false about two weeks ago:

3) Blake Bortles, UCF*-Mid to Late First Round Grade
-If you like McCarron, you're going to love Bortles. It's really as simple as that. He's McCarron with plus arm strength. I do wonder what has happened this past season there, though. I recall his arm being stronger in 2012. Maybe he was fighting through an injury in early 2013?

4) Zach Mettenberger, LSU-Second Round Grade
-Obviously the injury holds Mettenberger back, but I don't think he goes through a great drop. Pre-injury, he had the potential to slip into the back-end of the first round, but now I think he's a Day 2 lock. Some teams I've talked to are concerned with his "character," but others don't care at all. There's only so many prospects with his kind of arm talent, and his skill set and character aren't for everyone, but someone's going to feel like they stole him in Day 2, even if he can't play until 2015.

5) Brett Hundley, UCLA**-Second Round Grade
-Hundley didn't have the year that he planed for, but he's still a more than adequate prospects. At the time of the draft, he'll still only be 20 years old. To put that in perspective, Derek Carr will be 23. There's room to grow with Hundley, but that's exactly what he needs. He probably needs to sit on the bench for a year or so to refine his talents. I think Hundley's declaration is based on the NFLDAC.

6) Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M**-Second to Third Round Grade
-Manziel just seems like he's done with the way college football is covered. It's no one's fault but our own that he's leaving college "too early." I don't see him progressing much more in that style of offense either, though. One of those "it only takes one" players. I could see him lasting until the early third or going in the top ten. High variance in predicting where he'll land.

7) Brett Smith, Wyoming*-Third Round Grade
-One of the most underrated quarterbacks in college football is Smith. Unfortunately, he's not surrounded by the greatest team, so he doesn't get much pub. Remember, he almost single-handedly upset a ranked Nebraska team to start the season. With all the coaching changes going on in Wyoming, and his top receiver leaving, I wouldn't be surprised to see him bolt for the NFL. There's really not all that much separating him and Manziel.

8) Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois-Third Round Grade
-The biggest issue here is going to be his height. As a scout put it to me "you have to let the process run it's course on this one." He's listed at 6'3", but is likely closer to 6'1" or 6'0". If he's able to measure in at 6'2", it's an absolute win. It seems like other OVC players don't love his attitude, but he's just a very high competitor. Let's not pretend like the Mannings, Bradys, and Rodgerses of the world aren't the exact same way.

9) Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech-Third to Fourth Round Grade
-After 2012, it seemed like everyone was done with Thomas. Looking at him closer this year, you can see obvious improvement, and potential to be one of those Mettenberger/Carr level quarterbacks if he's able to put it all together. He's worked with Whitfield recently, and it's been a huge factor in his progression. Another thing to look at when you compare Thomas's stats to his tape: the players around him. There's really no experience on that team outside of him. I mean, they started the season with a true freshman left tackle. His offensive coordinator is the same one that broke records (not the good kind) at Auburn last season. With a change of scenery and a couple seasons to progress, he could be something real special.

10) David Fales, San Jose State-Third to Fourth Round Grade
-It seems like I'm much higher on Fales than the scouts I've talked to. It's not his arm they're worried about, either. Some just worry about short, non-super-athletic quarterbacks in today's NFL. I see the best ball placement in the class and improvement in velocity, especially fifteen plus yards down the field. I think his offense holds him back, too. With improved velocity to go with possibly the best vision and feet in the class, it's really just his small hands and athletic ability (which I don't think is bad, just not great) holding him back.

11) Aaron Murray, Georgia-Fifth Round Grade
-One of the big pluses that Murray had for me was that he could plug and play if needed to Day 1. I don't think he's a long-term NFL starter, but if you can get a smart backup that can spot start, he's worth a draft pick. We've seen guys like Jim Sorgi get nods over the Shaun Kings of the world because of their ability to hold a clipboard and be in the quarterback room on weekdays. With the injury, I don't think Murray hits that potential Day 1, but I honestly doubt any team was hoping they'd have to start him on Day 1 this season. He's still a very good backup type, with a brilliant mind and work-ethic, who has room for development.

12) A.J. McCarron, Alabama-Fifth Round Grade
-I don't understand the hype around A.J. McCarron, but that's not to say it's not real. I've had two people tell me that not only is McCarron highly regarded by teams, but two of them have them as their number one senior quarterback prospect. It seems like the feeling is that Saban is hyper-conservative in choosing when to throw the football, so McCarron doesn't flash in games like he does in practice. I guess we'll see in Mobile.

13) Jeff Mathews, Cornell-Fifth to Sixth Round Grade
-Coming into the season, Mathews was my top quarterback prospect. His head coach leaving for the CFL is a big factor in why his play has gone down. To go with that theme, J.C. Tretter, a fourth round pick in last year's NFL draft, graduating out was big for him, too. By all means, Mathews seems like a bright football mind, but his ability against the rush, with a poor offensive line, didn't bode well for his 2013 season. Mathews is a project with upside, but he's not a project for everyone. Look for a team like Arizona to pull the trigger here.

14) Stephen Morris, Miami-Fifth to Sixth Round Grade
-Morris is another quarterback I was high on coming into the season. Morris flashes big plays that no one else in the class will make, but for every one of those, there's a couple outlandish decisions. Another issue is his height and release point. The smaller guys need to find ways to not have their balls batted down at the line of scrimmage. Morris hasn't. There are some durability concerns with Morris too, as he gets "banged up" often, but nothing major.

15) Tajh Boyd, Clemson-Fifth to Sixth Round Grade
-A suggested comparison to Troy Smith from Ben Allbright is spot on for me. Going back to some older Ohio State games, they really do look like the same quarterback. Many scouts think Boyd will measure in at 6'2" plus, and is under-measured on internet sites. Bruce Feldman reported that he was taller than expected at the Elite 11 camp this off-season, as well. All in all, I don't dislike Boyd, but his ability to throw perfect rainbow throws in the ACC with monster receiver prospects doesn't really translate to the NFL. Talking to NFL types, it seems like Philadelphia would be a great spot for him. The Eagles offense is one of the view that include short throws in space and deep throws in volume without using much of the middle of the field. Chip Kelly once recruited Boyd to Oregon, too, which should be noted as Philadelphia went heavy in the draft for players Kelly was familiar with.

16) Tom Savage, Pittsburgh-Sixth Round Grade
-Gil Brandt called Savage a potential first round pick earlier in the season, but I don't think anyone else agrees with him. Savage is a lot like Mathews, but with a bigger issue against the rush. Savage has also bounced around his college career, starting at Rutgers before transferring to Arizona, then moving again after the Rich Rodriguez hiring. Most expect Savage will be drafted, but I haven't heard a non-Day 3 opinion on him.

Priority Free Agents:
Dustin Vaughan, West Texas A&M
Joe Clancy, Merrimack
Bryn Renner, North Carolina
Brendon Kay, Cincinnati
Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois
Keith Price, Washington

Kenny Guiton, Ohio State
Keith Wenning, Ball State
Garrett Gilbert, SMU