Posted on: January 5, 2012 12:50 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 3:35 pm
South Carolina junior WR Alshon Jeffery and cornerback Stephon Gilmore have decided to enter the 2012 NFL Draft, ESPN's Joe Schad reported.
Jeffery had 88 catches for 1,517 yards and nine touchdowns as a sophomore, when defenses zeroed in on then-freshman phenom Marcus Lattimore. Without Lattimore, who suffered a torn ACL in October, Jeffery drew more attention and wasn't aided by a midseason switch at quarterback. He finished with 49-762-8 in 2011.
NFLDraftScout.com projects Jeffery as a fringe first-round pick. He's ranked 40th overall and fifth among wide receivers.
"I would like to thank the fans, my teammates, Coach Spurreir and everyone involved for all the opportunities South Carolina has provided me," Jeffery said, according to Schad. "I am proud to say I will always be a Gamecock."
The 6-foot-4 receiver was ejected from the Capital One Bowl on Monday after shoving Nebraska CB Alfonzo Dennard, a small, pesky cornerback who is also in the first-round mix. He has been frustrated when unable to separate and uses his body to shield receivers from the ball. If he runs near 4.6 in the 40 as NFLDraftScout.com expects, he is unlikely to be a first-round pick.
Gilmore and Jeffery have yet to hire agents, per the report, and therefore can return to South Carolina if they so choose by Jan. 14.
Gilmore has played mostly off-man coverage and has good size but fits best in a zone system. His size and skill set are comparable to Bears zone corner Charles Tillman, a second-round pick in 2003. Gilmore is an aggressive tackler and asset against the run. At 6-1, 193, he could work his way up from his current spot -- 50th overall -- in the NFLDraftScout.com rankings and be a pleasant surprise.
Posted on: January 2, 2012 8:24 am
Due to New Year's Day falling on a Sunday this year all of the traditional bowl games played on this day were moved to Monday. For football enthusiasts it just means an extension of an already dramatic college football season.
Whether you are a hardcore fan preparing yourself to watch every second you can of the six games on tap today or just want to have a handy Who-To-Watch guide for the few minutes you get to sneak away from your job to check the game, I've got you covered with one head to head matchup NFL scouts will be watching.
Here they are:
Penn State DT Devon Still vs. Houston C Chris Thompson: The 6-4, 310 pound Still currently ranks No. 8 on NFLDraftScout.com's 2012 board for all prospects. Opposing him is Houston's Thompson, a 6-2, 285 pound technician who we rank as a likely free agent (rated No. 38 amongst centers). Don't think that the Cougars won't have a plan for Still and the rest of a talented Penn State defensive line. The beauty of Houston's spread offense is that it gets the ball out of Case Keenum's hands so quickly that often bigger, more athletic pass rushers are limited in what role they can have. Couple that with the fact that Thompson is a wily veteran who earned his second consecutive All-Conference USA honors this season (last year he won it playing guard) and we have an interesting matchup to start off the day.
Capital One Bowl
Nebraska CB Alfonzo Dennard vs. South Carolina WR Alshon Jeffery: Scouts circled this one in red ink, and Jeffery should do the same. He's against the clock to prove he's not overhyped in an offense that caters to his natural skills. Jeffery, a junior, has a 6-inch and nearly 25-pound advantage on the Nebraska senior cornerback. Dennard's late-season push to work back into first-round conversation would get an exclamation point if he muzzles the gifted but undisciplined Jeffery.
Michigan State DT Jerel Worthy vs. Georgia C Ben Jones: There may not be a defensive tackle in the country blessed with a more impressive combination of burst off the snap and strength than Michigan State's junior defensive tackle. Playing in the SEC, however, has prepared Jones for just this type of matchup. While the All-SEC center may lack Worthy's power and athleticism, the senior is tough-minded, technically sound and a legitimate top 75 pro prospect, in his own right. If nothing makes you happier during the holidays than a good old fashioned battle in the trenches, this is the showdown to watch.
Florida DT Jaye Howard vs. Ohio State C Mike Brewster: Just like in the Outback Bowl, I expect the television analysts to focus on matchups between the skill position players in the Gator Bowl but winner of the Gator Bowl will likely be the team that gets more from their senior in the middle. Howard is quietly among the better, all-around senior defensive tackles and is being viewed by some 3-4 clubs as a possible conversion to defensive end. Brewster isn't flashy but is a tough guy who always competes and is starting his 49th consecutive game. Each is listed by NFLDraftScout.com as potential mid round picks.
Wisconsin FS Aaron Henry vs. Oregon RB LaMichael James: The key to stopping the "Quack Attack" is the same as it is with most offenses: take away the running game. Without a dominant front line, the Badgers will have to demonstrate extraordinary discipline in the back half of their defense. Fortunately, they boast a terrific all-around defender in Henry, a former cornerback who has earned all-conference honors after each of his two seasons at free safety. Scouts, of course are even more familiar with James as he's led the country in rushing yards the past two years. If James is to leave Oregon after this season as those close to the program expect, notching yet another 20-plus carry game (he has seven this year) against a traditionally stout defense could help convince scouts the 5-9, 195-pound back has the toughness to be successful in the NFL.
Oklahoma State FS Markelle Martin vs. Stanford TE Coby Fleener: If there is a safety in the country with as many responsibilities looming as Wisconsin's Henry, it is Martin. At 6-1, 198 pounds Martin doesn't have the bulk scouts generally prefer, but his coverage skills and penchant for the big play have made him NFLDraftScout.com's top-rated senior at the position. It will be those coverage skills that are put to the test against Andrew Luck and his favorite target, the 6-6, 245-pound Fleener. With little speed on the flanks, Stanford's passing game attacks the field down the middle. As such, the winner of this one on one battle could very well determine the Fiesta Bowl champion.
Category: NFL Draft
Tags: Aaron Henry, Alfonzo Dennard, Alshon Jeffery, Ben Jones, Chris Thompson, Coby Fleener, Devon Still, Fiesta Bowl, Florida, Georgia, Jaye Howard, Jerel Worthy, LaMichael James, Markelle Martin, Michigan State, Mike Brewster, Nebraska Houston, NFLDraftScout.com, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Penn State, South Carolina, Stanford, Wisconsin
Posted on: October 6, 2011 1:51 pm
Steve Spurrier is known throughout the country for his ability to score points. With two of the elite skill position players in the game in sophomore running back Marcus Lattimore and junior wideout Alshon Jeffery he has the star power to take advantage of his scheme and aggressive play-calling.
Whatever success the Gamecocks will have in 2011, however, can be directly attributed to the play of their defensive line.
Senior Melvin Ingram has emerged as the most dangerous and versatile defensive lineman in the country. He's already scored touchdowns on defense and special teams, currently ranks third on the squad with 26 tackles, is tied for the team lead with two interceptions and leads the SEC with 7.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. He's been recognized as the SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week twice already (and another time as the Special Teams Player of the Week), including this past week when he ravaged reigning BCS champion Auburn for 11 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and a career-high three sacks. He also recorded an interception when Auburn attempted a fake field goal.
The 6-2, 276 pound Ingram has proven to be simply too quick and instinctive for interior offensive linemen to handle. A former defensive end, he's been moved inside this season due to the presence of two other, highly talented defensive ends for the Gamecocks -- true freshman Jadeveon Clowney and junior Devin Taylor.
Many considered Clowney to be the elite prep prospect in the country and his signing with South Carolina was met with great fanfare. His play thus far has proven that the hype was well justified as he's behind only Ingram in terms of tackles for loss (five) and sacks (four) on the team. Listed at 6-5, 254 pounds, he already has the looks of a future NFL star. In another couple of years, he could be scary.
Taylor, 6-6 and 260 pounds, has the length and athleticism NFL scouts are looking for but hasn't played with nearly the consistency or produced the big plays that Ingram and Clowney have. Taylor's height has caused him to struggle, at times, this season with making tackles in close spaces. Scouts characterize him as a "bit stiff" and unable to change directions quickly enough to adjust in space. This was evident in South Carolina's close win over Navy when Taylor was credited with a season-high nine tackles, but missed opportunities for even more stops near the line of scrimmage. To Taylor's credit, he has proven a more reliable tackler in recent games. Considering his upside, continued improvement could lead to his ultimately being graded as a better pro prospect than Ingram, despite the fact the lesser production (19 tackles, four tackles for loss, one sack).
If South Carolina is able to solve their issues at quarterback and emerge as the BCS bowl contender they appear to be, a significant portion of the credit should go to their defensive line. NFL scouts certainly are doing so...
Posted on: September 26, 2011 3:44 pm
Florida State junior cornerback and return extraordinaire Greg Reid is in trouble with the police.
According to a report from the AP, Reid was arrested at 2:30 am this morning by Tallahassee police on charges of resisting arrest and perjury. Reid was attempting to hide a friend who was looking to evade police after having been stopped earlier.
The Tallahassee Democrat is reporting that Reid was jailed in lieu of a $500 bond. It also reports that Reid's lawyer, Tim Jansen, believes that Reid shouldn't have been arrested in the first place.
Reid was suspended for the Seminoles second game of the 2011 season (Charleston Southern) for breaking unspecified team rules. He was held out of the Seminoles loss to the Clemson Tigers this past weekend due to a knee bruise suffered the week earlier in a loss to Oklahoma.
The Seminoles certainly could have used the playmaking Reid on the field Saturday against the suddenly pass-happy Clemson Tigers. Sophomore quarterback Tajh Boyd completed 62.2% of his passes for 344 yards and three touchdowns in the big conference win.
When healthy and focused, Reid is among the better cover corners in the country. Last season he earned Honorable Mention All-ACC honors with three interceptions. Reid also enjoyed one of the greatest single-game performances of the year against South Carolina in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. Playing in front of his father, Reid posted four tackles, two forced fumbles, and four pass breakups. The 5-08, 186 pound Reid laid out South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore with an explosive, clean hit that ended the SEC star's night early. Though Alshon Jeffery was officially credited with nine catches for 130 yards, Reid more than held his own against the big receiver. He also contributed 71 yards as a returner.
Any extended loss of Reid could be a critical loss to a Seminoles team that is suddenly swooning. The arrest certainly won't do Reid, a true junior some thought might be looking ahead to the 2012 draft, any favors with pro scouts, either.
Reid is currently graded by NFLDraftScout.com as a 3rd round prospect and is rated as our No. 11 cornerback for the 2013 draft class.
Posted on: July 15, 2011 12:15 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2011 12:23 pm
For the purposes of scouting for the NFL, whether a player makes an all-conference team or not is less important than how I personally grade a player off tape, how a player performs in an all-star game, and many other factors.
It is, however, a tool that scouts can and often do use to ascertain which players rival coaches feel are legitimate difference-makers.
This is especially true in the SEC. The reasons are simple. There is a great deal of individual talent in the conference and a high number of the elite talent leaves early for the NFL as underclassmen, often creating quite a turnover on the all-conference list.
The SEC announced their official Coaches Preseason First, Second and Third all-conference lists this week. There were some surprises.
Here were the five that raised my eyebrow...
Posted on: June 22, 2011 3:16 pm
East Carolina cornerback Emanuel Davis, thought by some to be a top 100 prospect in the 2012 draft, was suspended by head coach Ruffin McNeill for the Pirates' opening game.
Davis, along with senior wide receiver Michael Bowman, were arrested early Saturday morning outside of a Greenville night club. Each had multiple charges, including resisting a public officer. Besides the suspension, Davis and Bowman have each been assigned 25 hours of community service and formal written apologies to all officers involved. This is in addition to whatever punishment the courts hand down.
Clearly, NFL teams interested in Davis and/or Bowman will be keeping a close eye on the situation. The reason for this blog post, however, isn't to merely mention that draftworthy prospects had run afoul of the law.
From a scouting sense, Davis' suspension is particularly disappointing as his toughest assignment of the year was going to come in the opener - as East Carolina will be playing Steve Spurrier's South Carolina Gamecocks and their young superstar wide receiver Alshon Jeffery.
Davis has steadily improved over his career. He enters his senior season with 27 career starts and is a two-time All-Conference USA pick. He recorded 54 tackles, nine pass breakups and two interceptions last season -- including an interception against Maryland in the Military Bowl. He isn't an elite prospect, but appears to have the tools to establish himself as one of the better all-around corners in the country this season. Davis is currently NFLDraftScout.com's No. 12 rated cornerback prospect for the 2012 draft.
Though East Carolina faces other talented opponents (including Virginia Tech and North Carolina), the Jeffery vs. Davis matchup in the opener could have been one of the best one on one battles of Labor Day Weekend. Jeffery, a redshirt sophomore and thus potentially eligible for the 2012 draft, is currently NFLDraftScout.com's No. 2 rated receiver among underclassmen.
With a strong performance against the 6-4, 233 pound Jeffery, the 5-10, 188 pound Davis could have really boosted his stock with scouts at the game and exposure for the awards and senior all-star game bids that would attract other NFL personnel.
For Davis, it is quite literally a "big" opportunity lost.
Posted on: June 20, 2011 1:38 pm
Edited on: June 20, 2011 6:17 pm
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Posted on: November 30, 2010 12:28 am
As an NFL draft analyst, I'm not always a big fan of All-American teams. All too often, members of the media voting on these awards concentrate solely on statistics or players from national title contending teams.
For this reason, the All-American team I've traditionally found to be the fairest is the one annually produced by the AFCA -- the American Football Coaches' Association.
As the article from the official AFCA website notes , coaches have been compiling this list since 1945.
2010 AFCA Coaches’ All-America Team
Category: NFL Draft
Tags: Adrian Clayborn, AFCA, All-American, Alshon Jeffery, Chase Beeler, Da'Quan Bowers, Gabe Carimi, Greg Jones, Jabaal Sheard, Justin Blackmon, Kendall Hunter, Kyle Martens, LaMichael James, Lance Kendricks, Lee Ziemba, Luke Kuechly, NFL Draft, Owen Marecic, Patrick Peterson, Prince Amukamara, Quinton Carter, Reggie Rembert, Rodney Hudson, Ryan Kerrigan, Stefen Wisniewski, Tank Carder, Will Snyderwine