Posted on: March 31, 2011 8:37 pm
Outside linebacker Von Miller told ESPN he will attend the NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 22 days after he's scheduled to be in court as a plantiff in the antritrust lawsuit the NFL players have filed against the league.
The former Texas A&M star is one of 20 players that have been invited to the draft, according to the NFL Network.
Other names reportedly on the invite list include defensive tackle Marcel Dareus, wide receiver Julio Jones and running back Mark Ingram from Alabama, Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert and teammate defensive end Aldon Smith, Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley, LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson, Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers, Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn, Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green, Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara, USC offensive tackle Tyron Smith and Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt.
Auburn quarterback Cam Newton and Cal defensive end Cameron Jordan have also been invited, according to ProFootballTalk.com.
All are among NFLDraftScout.com's top 20 overall rated prospects.
Jones told Sirius NFL Radio that he will attend the draft, while Clayborn announced on his Twitter page that he'll be there and Smith told the NFL Network at his pro day that he'll be at Radio City Music Hall. Washington quarterback Jake Locker said at his pro day that he received an invitation, but will watch the event at home with his family.
"I appreciate the invite, but for me, I want to be with the people that have been with me my whole life and helped me get to this point, and I want to share that experience for them," Locker told NFL Network. "Not all of them would be able to come to New York with me."
The NFL Players Trade Association said it will have an event over draft weekend, but that it won't interfere with the draft itself, after weeks of rumors that prospects were being asked not to attend.
--Derek Harper, NFLDraftScout.com Executive Editor
Posted on: March 31, 2011 8:17 pm
Edited on: March 31, 2011 8:17 pm
The Detroit Lions will still lose one pick in the 2012 draft, but have had a seventh-round pick this year reinstated following an appeal on tampering charges, the NFL Network reported.
Commissioner Roger Goodell penalized the Lions on Feb. 18 for comments defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham, who held the same role with Kansas City from 1995-2000, made about players still under contract with the Chiefs in February 2010.
"(Kansas City) keeps wanting to dump their players. I would like to be there to catch a lot of them because I know a couple of those guys," Cunningham told the Detroit Free Press before the start of free agency last offseason.
Posted on: March 31, 2011 7:51 pm
Edited on: March 31, 2011 7:52 pm
Weslye Saunders' road to the NFL has encountered yet another speed bump with the NFL Network reporting the former South Carolina tight end will undergo surgery to have a pin inserted into his fractured foot Friday.
This type of surgery typically takes six to eight weeks to recover from. Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones turned in a blistering performance at the scouting combine in February despite having a fractured foot, then underwent surgery and is expected to get his walking boot off next week. Saunders went through South Carolina's pro day on Wednesday with the injury.
Saunders was suspended for the entire 2010 season after lying to the NCAA twice regarding details of trips he took to Atlanta and Washington D.C. last summer with friend Marvin Austin, the former North Carolina Tar Heel who was the focal point of an investigation into alleged improper benefits received from agents. Saunders was eventually kicked out of the program by coach Steve Spurrier.
Saunders said he paid his own way, but lied to protect friends, fearing he'd get them in trouble - although he claimed not to know what for.
"I panicked," Saunders said at the combine. "There's no excuse for lying. I wasn't truthful and forthcoming. I did hold back on information in the first two interviews. The third time I laid everything out on the table.
"It felt like they were investigating a murder. It was in the middle of summer, they put me in a hot room in the Carolina Inn and stuck two tape recorders in front of me for four hours."
Saunders said he hopes he can regain his reputation. As for his draft stock, he's unlikely to get back his preseason status -- he was NFLDraftScout.com's top-ranked tight end in August.
"At the end of the day, I think everyone realizes I made a mistake, I suffered greatly for that mistake," he said. "I never was arrested. I never failed a drug test. I never was on academic probation. I think we'll get a chance to prove ourselves."
Posted on: March 31, 2011 7:17 pm
LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson issued a statement Thursday saying he has no relationship with Willie Lyles, who runs a Texas-based recruiting service called Complete Scouting Services that is being looked at by the NCAA. In an ESPN.com report, former Texas A&M coach Van Malone said Lyles told him that other schools were offering Peterson $80,000 and the Aggies would have to "beat" that if they wanted Peterson to commit to Texas A&M.
"I have never had any type of relationship with Willie Lyles and he had no influence on my decision to attend LSU, or any other school for that matter," Peterson said in a statement. "He had no involvement with my recruiting process and I resent the fact that my name has come up in these allegations. I chose LSU because it's a great school with a great football program. I never received nor was I offered anything to go to LSU and anyone saying otherwise is being dishonest."
Malone is now an assistant defensive coach at Tulsa.
Lyles' agency is also being scrutinized for its relationship with the Oregon Ducks. The school paid Lyes' agency $25,000 a few weeks before Temple, Texas running back Lache Seastrunk signed with the Ducks.
Peterson is NFLDraftScout.com's No. 1 overall rated player, and these allegations aren't expected to have any affect on his stock with NFL teams.
--Derek Harper, NFLDraftScout.com Executive Editor.
Posted on: March 30, 2011 2:29 pm
Ohio State defensive end Cameron Heyward was timed around 4.95 seconds in the 40-yard dash and posted a 35-inch vertical at his Wednesday workout, according to multiple reports.
Posted on: March 25, 2011 7:07 pm
Edited on: March 26, 2011 3:24 pm
The NFL announced today that 32 compensatory picks have been awarded to 23 teams for the 2011 draft. The complete pick-by-pick draft order can be seen here.
Under the rules for compensatory draft selections, a team losing more or better compensatory free agents than it acquires in the previous year is eligible to receive compensatory draft picks .
The number of picks a team receives equals the net loss of compensatory free agents up to a maximum of four. The 32 compensatory choices announced today will supplement the 221 choices in the seven round draft, giving the 2011 draft 253 selections total.
Compensatory picks cannot be traded.
The Carolina Panthers, due to the free agent loss of Julius Peppers (and quarterback A.J. Feeley) was rewarded with the highest compensatory pick this year. They were given a 3rd round selection, No. 97 overall. The Panthers also received the most picks total, earning three more selections.
The Baltimore Ravens, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers and Tennessee Titans each received two compensatory picks.
Here are the totals:
Posted on: March 10, 2011 2:01 pm
Storm showers and lightning cut short the University of Miami's Pro Day Thursday, forcing the Hurricanes to reschedule the event for March 25 at 9 a.m. Eastern.
Miami is expected to allow any players to participate in the drills on March 25 that had not been completed prior to today's weather delay.
Several of Miami's players were able to begin their workouts before the school's lightning detection alarm went off for the second time. Running back Damien Berry was the early "winner" of the abbreviated workout, shaving nearly two-tenths of a second from the 4.6 times he ran in the 40-yard dash at the Combine to a 4.45 today.
Most of the Hurricanes' top stars -- including wide receiver Leonard Hankerson, defensive lineman Allen Bailey and linebacker Colin McCarthy -- had informed teams that they would not be working out in the measurable drills today, instead choosing to rest on their impressive Combine results. Each player was, however, expected to do the positional drills, which brought quite a contingent of scouts, coaches and front office executives, including some of the league's biggest names. Bill Belichick, Mike Tomlin, Raheem Morris and Jack Del Rio were among the representatives of 29 teams listed by the school's official website as having been expected to attend Thursday's Pro Day.
Posted on: March 8, 2011 9:07 am
In yet another example of the undying thirst this world has for all-things football (and more specifically all-things Cam Newton), Auburn Pro Day workout will be broadcasted live today by ESPN3.com and the NFL Network.
The workout should feature defensive tackle Nick Fairley, offensive lineman Lee Ziemba and linebacker Josh Bynes, among other notable draft-eligible prospects for the BCS Champion Tigers, but, of course, the focus will be on the Heisman-winning Newton.
The pressure is on Newton to perform well after he struggled in his Combine throwing session. Newton's inaccuracy in Indianapolis caught some off guard as the reviews from his media-only workout outside of San Diego drew rave reviews. You can watch much of that workout here .
So, what does Newton have to do today to boost his stock?
In a word, improve.
After completing the easy ten-yard tosses to receivers during the gauntlet drill, Newton completed only 11 of his 21 passes at the Combine. Newton's struggles were due to the fact that his timing was off in his dropback from "center." He was a bit slow dropping back, forcing him to hurry his throwing motion. Too often he was throwing off his back foot with the ball leaving his hand too at an upward arc. This led to many of his passes sailing on him, especially on the deep out route, a pass requiring timing with his receivers.
Today, watch to see if Newton's timing is improved. It should be, as he'll be throwing to receivers he knows, as opposed to those he passed to in Indianapolis. Also, watch to see if Newton is stepping into his throws. This is essentially the weight distribution piece you've heard analysts refer to in the past.
Besides just the throwing session, it will be interesting to see how Newton's teammates rally around him. One of Newton's greatest attributes, according to scouts, is his leadership. Newton hadn't let the pressure of the big stage affect him in Auburn's undefeated season, but we might have seen cracks in the armor with his poor throwing session at the Combine. Newton needs a strong showing today. He also needs to show that he's having fun and be encouraging to his teammates. Today may really be all about Newton, but he can't let on that he believes that. This is Auburn's Pro Day, after all, not just Newton's.
I was on the field to watch the Pro Days that sent Mark Sanchez and Sam Bradford's respective stocks soaring. I anticipate a similarly spectacular and stock-boosting performance from Newton today. If we don't get it, perhaps Chad Reuter and I will have to change the No. 1 overall pick in each of our current first round mock drafts.
Fairley, too, could see a boost or drop based on how he performs today. For all of the concern about his "soft" body at the Combine, there is no denying his spectacular workout. The natural athleticism that has caused me (and many others) to characterize him as the most naturally talented prospect in the draft was on display there. What will be interesting to scouts will be if Fairley's conditioning has improved or lessened in the eight days since he worked out at the Combine.
Every NFL team is expected to attend the event. In fact, some are predicting that it will be the most heavily attended Pro Day of all time. This is all the more impressive considering that Arkansas and Oklahoma are hosting their Pro Day workouts today, as well. Auburn's Pro Day begins at 1:30 pm EST.