Tag:Big 12
Posted on: July 10, 2011 1:06 pm
 

Sooners' disruptive CB Fleming makes the grade

The Oklahoma Sooners received good news over the weekend as senior Jamell Fleming has returned to the program after leaving the school prior to spring semester due to academics.

The 5'11, 192 pound Fleming had earned Honorable Mention All-Big 12 accolades last year after leading the Sooners with five interceptions and ranking second in the entire country with 19 passes defensed. Fleming not only demonstrated an ability to make big plays -- he did so in critical games, coming through with two interceptions against NFLDraftScout.com's top-rated senior quarterback for the 2012 NFL Draft Ryan Tannehill (Texas A&M), an interception against Florida State's Christian Ponder (now a Minnesota Viking as the No. 12 overall pick of the 2011 draft) and was recognized as the Defensive Player of the Game in Oklahoma's 48-20 thrashing of Connecticut in the Fiesta Bowl largely due to his 55-yard interception return for a touchdown in the third quarter. The return for a score was the longest by any Sooner in the Bob Stoops era.

NFL scouts will certainly be keeping an eye on Fleming. Besides his prowess as a cornerback, Fleming has also demonstrated the hustle and reliable open field tackling skills to be a force on special teams. Fleming led the Sooners with 18 special teams tackles in 2008 and was second on the club with nine a year later.

Fleming, according to the depth chart on Oklahoma's official team page, is currently listed as second behind sophomore Gabe Lynn. Should he be able to re-emerge as a standout starter for the Sooners, he certainly ranks as one to watch for the 2012 draft. NFLDraftScout.com currently rates him as a 5th-6th round value and the No. 17 rated cornerback, overall.
Posted on: April 5, 2011 4:38 pm
Edited on: April 5, 2011 4:41 pm
 

Thomas runs once (4.6), steadies stock in process

Kansas State running back Daniel Thomas needed to run the 40-yard dash to reassure scouts that he had enough speed to translate his collegiate success into the NFL.

As it turns out, he was only able to run it once.

According to Herbie Teope of Time Warner Cable Metro Sports, Thomas was unofficially clocked at 4.60-4.61 seconds in his first attempt at the 40-yard dash. I've since been able to confirm with an NFL source on the scene that Thomas ran in the "low 4.6s."

Citing a strained quad muscle, Thomas was unable to run the event a second time. He was, however, able to make it through the shuttles and positional drills.

Thomas measured in at 6-0, 228 pounds -- two pounds lighter than he had weighed in at the Combine in late February.

Due to hamstring injuries, Thomas had been unable to perform at the Senior Bowl, the Combine or Kansas State's original Pro Day.

For all of his muscle strains suffered since the season ended, it is important to note that Thomas showed excellent durability while with the Wildcats. He started every game during his two seasons at Kansas State, earning First-Team All-Big 12 honors and leading the conference in rushing yards both years.

The time, while certainly not explosive, shows that the powerful and surprisingly agile Thomas does have enough speed to be successful in the NFL. He isn't a breakaway threat, but has the ability to gain yardage in chunks.

Among the teams present for the workout were the New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints and St. Louis Rams, according to Teope. 

Thomas is NFLDraftScout.com's No. 5 rated running back and No. 72 rated player overall . He's viewed as a 2nd-3rd round prospect.

Posted on: April 5, 2011 2:03 pm
 

Scouts heading to KSU, 'Bama for late Pro Days

Over the next few hours we can expect to hear the results from late pro days for Kansas State running back Daniel Thomas and Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy .

Regardless of how each performs in shorts, their NFL grade should have largely been already determined by scouts, as Thomas and McElroy's production on the field speaks for itself.

The 6-0, 230 pound Thomas proved a star running back for the Wildcats after a junior college career in which he played quarterback. Thomas was recognized as the Big 12's Offensive Newcomer of the Year in 2009 and led the conference in rushing yards each of his two seasons with the Wildcats. He leaves KSU with 2,850 rushing yards and 30 touchdowns on the ground in only two seasons.

McElroy led Alabama to a national championship in his junior season and saw his production rise dramatically in 2010. In his two starting seasons in the Tide's pro-style offense, McElroy threw 37 touchdowns and only nine interceptions. McElroy, 6-2 and 220 pounds, threw just 10 interceptions in 658 career attempts or for one every 65.8 attempts, which is the best mark in school and SEC history.

Despite their gaudy production against high caliber competition, each has significant questions to answer -- not the least of which is their health.

Thomas, NFLDraftScout.com's fifth-rated running back of the 2011 draft, was unable to play in the Senior Bowl or perform in either the Combine or KSU's initial Pro Day due to a nagging hamstring injury.

McElroy did play in the Senior Bowl, but cracked a bone in his right (throwing) hand that sidelined him for the Combine throwing session and Alabama's initial Pro Day.

The biggest question scouts have about Thomas is his speed. He has been estimated at anywhere between 4.55 and 4.70 in the 40-yard dash. Obviously, the better he does Tuesday, the higher his stock could raise. Scouts would also like to see Thomas catch passes out of the backfield. Thomas caught 27 passes as a senior, but rarely anything more complicated than screens or simple swing passes.

For McElroy, NFLDraftScout.com's 10th rated quarterback , the question is about his arm strength, or, as the case may be, his lack of it. McElroy has enough zip to fit through windows down the middle, but struggled, at times, putting enough drive on the ball on passes outside of the hashes. Too often his deep passes fluttered, as well.

NFLDraftScout.com will keep you posted on how each all-conference star does in their workouts today.

Posted on: March 16, 2011 11:34 am
Edited on: March 16, 2011 11:36 am
 

Nebraska DE Allen plans Pro Day for April 6

Capitalizing on the number of scouts who may already be in the area for Kansas State running back Daniel Thomas' rescheduled Pro Day , Nebraska defensive end Pierre Allen will be working out for scouts at 10 am on April 6.

The Cornhusker pass rusher was unable to perform at the Combine due to a strained right calf muscle. Furthermore, Allen wasn't able to participate in the bench press because of a right wrist injury he sustained while at the Senior Bowl. 

Allen, 6-3 (and a 1/2) and 273 pounds, is expected to do all of the measureable workouts, as well as perform in DL and/or LB drills, as requested.

Though Allen's sack totals dropped from five to 3.5 last season, his tackle numbers improved. As such, he was recognized as a First-Team All Big-12 defender by league coaches with 65 tackles, including 11 tackles for loss. Allen was especially productive in the loss to Washington in the Holiday Bowl, racking up a team-high eight tackles (seven solos), including a tackle for loss. 

A three-year starter for the Blackshirts, Allen's strength and length make him one of the better of the second tier defensive linemen in this draft and a likely 3rd-4th round pick.



Posted on: March 15, 2011 2:32 pm
Edited on: March 15, 2011 7:16 pm
 

Daniel Thomas reschedules Pro Day for April 5

As I noted last night , Kansas State running back Daniel Thomas would not be working out for scouts during his school's Pro Day workout today.

Thomas is still struggling with the same hamstring problems that kept him out of the Senior Bowl and sidelined for the Scouting Combine in late February.

He has, however, announced a new date for his workout -- April 5 at the Kansas State facility. His workout is scheduled to begin at 2 pm CT.

Thomas, a junior college quarterback, has been spectacularly productive for the Wildcats, rushing for a combined 2,850 yards and scoring 30 touchdowns on the ground. He earned First Team All Big-12 honors after each of the past two seasons.

Despite his production, teams have concerns about the 6-0, 225 pound Thomas' pure speed. He has been estimated by scouts in the 4.55-4.65 range. A significantly faster or slower time could impact his draft grade more severely than most running backs considering that teams have some concerns with how well he'll transfer his natural runnning skills to the NFL. Thomas has played only two seasons at running back and was the obvious focus of Kansas State's offense.

Thomas is currently NFLDraftScout.com's No. 5 rated running back .



Posted on: February 25, 2011 3:46 pm
 

KSU RB Thomas shorter than expected, won't run

Kansas State running back Daniel Thomas measured in shorter than expected and will not be able to participate in workouts at the Combine this week due to a "tweaked" left hamstring.

Thomas was listed by Kansas State at 6-2 and 228 pounds, but came in at 6-0 (six foot and one quarter inch, actually) and 230 pounds.

Generally speaking, athletes measuring in smaller than expected can have a negative effect on their grade. In Thomas' case, however, it could help his cause. Taller backs, especially ones with an upright running style like Thomas, expose their bodies (and the football) to too many collisions.

Thomas will work out at Kansas State's Pro Day on March 15. Thomas' workout could prove critical to his final draft grade as teams questions his straight-line speed. He's been estimated in the high 4.5 to low 4.6 range by scouts.

Thomas, who led the Big 12 in rushing each of his two seasons with the Wildcats, is currently NFLDraftScout.com's No. 7 rated running back. He rushed for 2,850 yards, which makes him the second-leading rusher (behind Darren Sproles) in Kansas State history.
Posted on: January 7, 2011 7:32 pm
 

Peterson vs. Fuller worth price of admission

LSU junior Patrick Peterson, who I currently project to be the first cornerback to ever be the No. 1 overall pick in an NFL Draft , is one half of a spectacular individual matchup that makes for must-watch scouting in tonight's Cotton Bowl.

Unless you are a fan of Big 12 football, you may not know Jeff Fuller, but he's quietly ascended among the top ten wide receiver prospects potentially available for the 2011 draft.

The 6-3, 215 pound Fuller is the Aggies' Von Miller on offense -- a superstar that must be accounted for on every single snap. Having caught nine, seven and 12 touchdowns over his three seasons in former Green Bay Packers' head coach Mike Sherman's pro-style offense, Fuller is a proven commodity capable of taking over games.

Peterson is such a rare combination of size, agility and straight-line speed that there isn't a receiver in the college football who I believe can consistently get open against him. If Peterson doesn't bring his "A" game against Texas A&M, however, Fuller can make some big plays on him  -- especially if junior quarterback Ryan Tannehill gets time in the pocket.

As T.O. might say, get your popcorn ready. Tonight's showdown between Peterson (who I believe to be the best player in college football) and Fuller (among my favorite sleeper candidates to sneak into the first round) should be among the elite individual matchups of the entire bowl season.

Should you want to scout these two (and the rest of the Cotton Bowl) "alongside" me, feel free to check out my posts on Twitter tonight.
Posted on: December 22, 2010 11:55 am
 

Five Top 75 Prospects You Don't Know

The Bowl season is always one of my favorite times of the year for scouting. The biggest reason is simply time management. With only a few games a day or week to scout, I have time to catch up on some of the film that I'd glossed over earlier.

The same applies to NFL scouts. With many home for the holidays, they're easier to get on the phone and exchange notes.

It is during this time that I'm usually able to pinpoint a few prospects across the country that are viewed as legitimate 2nd or 3rd round prospects by scouts but are perhaps not getting the media attention you'd expect for players with such high grades.

Here are five players that are earning these high grades but aren't yet generating a buzz in the mainstream media.

Learn these seniors' and juniors' names now. You'll be hearing them a lot more often soon.

WR Tandon Doss, Indiana: I listed the five prospects alphabetically, but it is appropriate that Doss leads off the list. With the likes of A.J. Green, Justin Blackmon, Julio Jones and so many other top underclassmen receivers generating all of the attention there are a host of talented wideouts not getting enough hype. At the top of that list in my opinion is the Hoosiers' Doss, a 6-3, 200 pound junior who quietly led the Big Ten with 175.8 all-purpose yards per game. How disrespected is Doss? The Big Ten media only recognized him as a Second Team all-conference player. The league's coaches, on the other hand, made him a First Team choice. 

RB Jamie Harper, Clemson:
With NFL teams increasingly moving towards a committee of running backs, big backs are finding more opportunities to run and catch rather than just be relegated to blocking duties. Running and catching is precisely what the 5-11, 235 pound junior does well. Scouts on hand for Harper's 197 all-purpose yards in the win over Florida State left gushing about his power, quick feet and soft hands... 

CB Curtis Marsh, Utah State: Marsh might just be the hottest senior defensive prospect in the country right now. Switching from running back to cornerback only two years ago, Marsh has shown rare agility and straight-line speed for a man of his size (6-1, 200). The Senior Bowl has noticed, reportedly inviting Marsh to the game. 

CB Johnny Patrick, Louisville: Patrick wasn't on my original list (BYU OT Matt Reynolds was), but his standout performance last night in the Beef O'Brady's Bowl matchup against Southern Miss only confirmed what I'd seen on tape earlier in the year . Patrick was beaten for a TD early, but I love the competitiveness he showed throughout the rest of the game, forcing a fumble, blocking a kick, providing lockdown coverage and coming up aggressively in run support. The four-letter network that covered the game last night rank Patrick 35th among cornerbacks. NFLDraftScout.com ranks him 6th (among seniors).

DT Muhammad Wilkerson, Temple: Wilkerson has received some attention this year, but not nearly enough. The past two seasons Wilkerson, a junior, has averaged 65 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks. If Wilkerson had enjoyed this production in the SEC or Big 12 rather than the MAC, he'd not only be considered a first round pick, he'd be in the top 20. As more scouts break down his tape, don't be surprised if he ends up there.

Remember that for complete draft coverage, be sure to check out NFLDraftScout.com or simply click here.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com