Posted on: July 12, 2010 12:40 pm
Each year the Mannings (Archie and sons Petyon, Eli and Cooper) hold their Manning Passing Academy for high school and collegiate "skill position" football players. Though running backs, wide receivers and tight ends are also invited to the camp, the quarterbacks always receive the most attention.
For the fifth consecutive year this year's camp was held on the Nicholls State University campus; the former home of the New Orleans Saints' training camp. This is the 14th year the Mannings have been holding their camp.
This year the collegiate quarterbacks invited read like a Who's Who of the game. Washington's Jake Locker was invited, but couldn't attend. Miami's Jacory Harris, Arkansas' Ryan Mallett and Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor were other high profile passers also unable to participate.
Among the more high profile players who did participate, however, included:
Jordan Jefferson - LSU
Jerrod Johnson - Texas A&M
Colin Kaepernick - Nevada
Case Keenum - Houston
Andrew Luck - Stanford
Greg McElroy - Alabama
Kellen Moore - Boise State
Christian Ponder - Florida State
Taylor Potts - Texas Tech
Matt Simms - Tennessee
Nathan Stanley - Mississippi
Brandon Weeden - Oklahoma State
Tyler Wolfe - Northwestern State (La.)
T.J. Yates - North Carolina
Much of the clinic is open to the public. According to sources in attendance, Stanford redshirt sophomore Andrew Luck is clearly the most gifted of the group. He showed a strong NFL-caliber arm and the accuracy to attack all levels of the field. Luck recently went on the record stating that he planned to graduate from Stanford before pursuing professional football.
Another young talent, Tennessee's Matt Simms (son of Phil, brother of Chris) also impressed, I'm told.
Kaepernick surprised some with his velocity. The 6-6, 220 pound Wolfpack quarterback is well known for his production (20 TDs/6 INTs, as well as 1,183 rushing yards, 16 TDs last year), but is viewed by many scouts as a product of coach Chris Ault's "pistol" offense.
FSU's Christian Ponder, who tied with Locker for the highest QB grade given by National scouts, was characterized as being good, but not spectacular. In Ponder's defense, he underwent shoulder surgery in the off-season and may have been still working out some of the kinks.
Category: NFL Draft
Tags: Alabama, Andrew Luck, Archie Manning, Arkansas, Boise State, Brandon Weeden, Case Keenum, Chris Simms, Christian Ponder, Colin Kaepernick, Eli Manning, Florida State, Greg McElroy, Houston, Jacory Harris, Jake Locker, Jerrod Johnson, Jordan Jefferson, Kellen Moore, LSU, Matt Simms, Miami, Mississippi, Nathan Stanley, Nevada, Nicholls State University, North Carolina, Northwestern State, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Peyton Manning, Phil Simms, Ryan Mallett, Stanford, T.J. Yates, Taylor Potts, Tennessee, Terrelle Pryor, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Tyler Wolfe, Washington
Posted on: December 30, 2009 1:54 pm
Let's be real clear about this from the start -- NFLDraftScout.com rated Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh as the number one senior prospect in August. He's been atop every one of the many mock drafts I've penned already this year. I see no reason why he won't be atop every other 2010 mock draft I write. I don't know of anyone who touted him as a Heisman candidate before I did.
In fact, Bo Pelini and Suh's family might be the only ones higher on this young man's ability than I am.
And yet, I think he's going to struggle to make his typically dominant impact against Arizona today in the Holiday Bowl.
The Wildcats feature a true spread offense. Rarely does quarterback Nick Foles hang on to the ball for long, one of the reasons why Arizona has allowed only 11 sacks on the year (tied for 10th fewest in the FCS).
One could make the point that many of the offenses Suh faced in the Big 12 also feature the spread offense, including Texas, who Suh so infamously ravaged in the Big 12 Championship. Those teams, however, didn't have a month to prepare.
Against top teams with more typical pro-style offenses (Virginia Tech, Colorado, Kansas State, Iowa State), Suh averaged an eye-popping 7.5 tackles, a sack, 2 PBUs and .75 blocked kicks per game.
The two Big 12 teams using a true spread offense as wide as the one the Wildcats will use today were Kansas and Texas Tech. In those two contests Suh was held relatively in check, averaging only 3.5 tackles and 1 tackle for loss.
The spread offense was designed to get the ball out of the hands of the quarterback quickly to combat dominant penetrating defensive linemen just like Suh.
If he isn't as dominant today as he has been in the past, don't chalk it up to a lack of effort or his being overrated. NFL scouts certainly be.
Posted on: October 7, 2009 5:44 pm
I am as disappointed in the lengthy holdout by Michael Crabtree and his agent Eugene Parker as anyone. The decision to do so netted very little -- if any -- extra money and robbed Crabtree of the opportunity to have the breakout rookie campaign that his unique skill and San Francisco's need for a playmaking wide receiver made seem possible.
That said, for those of you who enjoy badmouthing professional athletes and some of their dubious decisions, laugh now, because Crabtree has the kind of talent to rival Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin as the premier pass-catchers of the NFC West division -- and he could do so within a year from now.
In ten years of scouting there is only one receiver I've seen with more natural talent than Crabtree and that was Calvin Johnson.
Prior to the draft, NFLDraftScout.com rated Crabtree as our top-rated prospect. I stand behind that assessment and applauded San Franciso for their decision to take him with the tenth overall pick.
I recognized the issues that came with Crabtree. His holdout, while longer than anticipated, surprised no one.
But believe me when I tell you, that among the scouting community, no one will be surprised when this kid develops into a Pro Bowl receiver, either...
Posted on: October 7, 2009 4:49 pm
Oklahoma State junior wide receiver Dez Bryant, arguably the best draft-eligible prospect at his position in the country, has been ruled ineligible by the university, reportedly for accepting property from an ex-NFL player.
The university broke the news by releasing a statement announcing his suspension. The partial statement is as follows:
Dez Bryant has been ruled ineligible for a violation of NCAA bylaw 10.1(d). Oklahoma State University has already begun the process of applying to the NCAA on his behalf for reinstatement. This incident does not involve anyone associated with the OSU football or athletic department staffs, any employee of the university, alumni, donors, or any third-party affiliated with OSU. OSU is taking this step because Bryant failed to openly disclose to the NCAA the full details of his interaction with a former NFL player not affiliated with OSU.
As part of their statement, the university also released a comment from Bryant:
"I made a mistake by not being entirely truthful when meeting with the NCAA. I sincerely regret my mistake and apologize to my teammates, coaches, OSU fans and the NCAA."
Despite former Texas Tech (and new San Francisco 49er) wideout Michael Crabtree earning most of the national attention, Bryant led the conference with 1, 480 receiving yards. His 19 touchdown receptions and sparkling 17.0 yard per catch average also led the Big 12. Through three games this season, Bryant was on pace to better his numbers, having posted 17 catches for 323 yards (19.0 YPC!) and 4 scores.
NFL scouts contacted with news of the story reserved comment until the details had been sorted out. Bryant reportedly had accepted property, including autmobiles, from a former NFL player. The speculation was that Bryant was given the property as a potential retainer for signing with an agent after this, his junior season.
The NCAA has the option to review Bryant's case and reinstate him. The early buzz, however, is that this isn't likely to happen given the grievous nature of the infractions. If suspended indefinitely, Bryant could sign with an agent, as he'll likely elect to declare himself eligible for the 2010 NFL Draft.
NFL teams certainly would question Bryant about his improper dealings, but as we saw last year with former Alabama offensive tackle Andre Smith (who was suspended for the Sugar Bowl due to similar charges), teams are often willing to overlook these indiscretions.
Posted on: April 17, 2009 2:42 pm
According to two independent sources, I've learned that the Detroit Lions are actively negotiating with the representatives for quarterback Matthew Stafford, Baylor offensive tackle Jason Smith and outside linebacker Aaron Curry for the right to be the first player selected in the 2009 NFL draft.
It had been suggested by some that Matt Stafford was essentially already signed, but today's news proves that this is clearly not the case.
Stafford, however, remains the favorite to be the final selection, though there is increasing speculation that the Lions, like many other teams at the top of this year's draft, are beginning to favor the safer prospects of the draft, rather than riskier boom or bust propositions like quarterbacks Stafford, USC's Mark Sanchez, and Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree.