Tag:NFLDrafTscout.com
Posted on: January 19, 2012 12:16 pm
 

NFL: record 65 underclassmen eligible for 2012

The NFL announced Thursday morning that a record-breaking 65 underclassmen have been granted special eligibility for the 2012 draft. The previous high was 56 which last occurred a year ago. So much for the theory that lesser contracts for high draft picks would curtail the mass exodus of young players into the NFL.

Prominent among the list, of course, is Stanford's Andrew Luck, Baylor's Robert Griffin III, Alabama running back Trent Richardson and a host of other supremely talented underclassmen that we covered in this underclassmen tracker.

While college coaches are likely bemoaning the loss of so many talented players today, NFL teams couldn't be happier. Frankly, this was an average senior class at most positions and the underclassmen have greatly improved the talent level. In fact, if one were to go group by group, they'd find that an underclassmen ranks at the top of 10 of the 15 offensive and defensive positions on NFLDraftScout.com's board. An even greater testament to the impact underclassmen will have on this draft class, consider that of the highest ranked 11 prospects graded by NFLDraftScout.com, 10 are underclassmen. Penn State defensive tackle Devon Still, currently ranked eighth overall, is the exception. Following Still and North Carolina's Quinton Coples, however, are four underclassmen -- each of whom could be first round picks.

Three of the 65 underclassmen listed by the NFL I watched in person practicing at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in Carson, California over the past few days. You can read about my impressions of Miami's Brandon Washington (OG) and Aldarius Johnson (WR), as well as Boston College's Max Holloway in this writeup following Tuesday's practice.

Besides the players we'd already known to be leaving school early, there were a few surprises on the NFL's official list. One, Miami's Johnson, I just mentioned. The others are Texas running back Jamison Berryhill, Kansas State running back Bryce Brown, Minnesota tight end Tiree Eure, Syracuse wide receiver Dorian Graham, Purdue guard Ken Plue, Oklahoma State defensive back Johnny Thomas, and Syracuse defensive back Phillip Thomas.

Below is the full list of names released this morning from the NFL.

 

Player

Pos.

College

Alexander, Alvester

RB

Wyoming

Allen, Dwayne

TE

Clemson

Baker, Edwin

RB

Michigan State

Ball, Mike

RB

Nevada

Berryhill, Jamison

RB

Texas

Blackmon, Justin

WR

Oklahoma State

Brockers, Michael

DT

Louisiana State

Brown, Bryce

RB

Kansas State

Burfict, Vontaze

LB

Arizona State

Charles, Orson

TE

Georgia

Claiborne, Morris

DB

Louisiana State

Cox, Fletcher

DT

Mississippi State

DeCastro, David

G

Stanford

Eure, Tiree

TE

Minnesota

Forston, Marcus

DT

Miami

Gilmore, Stephon

DB

South Carolina

Givens, Chris

WR

Wake Forest

Graham, Dorian

WR

Syracuse

Griffin, Robert

QB

Baylor

Hampton, Jewel

RB

Southern Illinois

Harris, Cliff

DB

Oregon

Hightower, Dont’a

LB

Alabama

Hill, Stephen

WR

Georgia Tech

Hillman, Ronnie

 RB

San Diego State

Holloway, Max

DE

Boston College

Hosley, Jayron

DB

Virginia Tech

Jackson, Janzen

DB

McNeese State

James, LaMichael

RB

Oregon

Jeffery, Alshon

WR

South Carolina

Johnson, Aldarius

WR

Miami

Johnson, Damaris

WR

Tulsa

Jones, Chandler

DE

Syracuse

Kalil, Matt

T

Southern California

Kirkpatrick, Dre

DB

Alabama

Konz, Peter

C

Wisconsin

Kuechly, Luke

LB

Boston College

Lewis, Ronnell

DE

Oklahoma

Luck, Andrew

QB

Stanford

Manning, Terrell

LB

North Carolina State

Martin, Jonathan

T

Stanford

Massie, Bobby

T

Mississippi

Mercilus, Whitney

DE

Illinois

Miller, Lamar

RB

Miami

Osweiler, Brock

QB

Arizona State

Page, Eric

WR

Toledo

Paige-Moss, Donte

DE

North Carolina

Perry, Nick

DE

Southern California

Pierce, Bernard

RB

Temple

Plue, Ken

G

Purdue

Poe, Dontari

DT

Memphis

Randle, Rueben

WR

Louisiana State

Reiff, Riley

T

Iowa

Richardson, Trent

RB

Alabama

Robinson, Josh

DB

Central Florida

Sanu, Mohamed

WR

Rutgers

Scott, Darrell

RB

South Florida

Streeter, Tommy

WR

Miami

Thomas, Darron

QB

Oregon

Thomas, Johnny

DB

Oklahoma State

Thomas, Phillip

DB

Syracuse

Trotter, Barrett

QB

Auburn

Vernon, Olivier

DE

Miami

Washington, Brandon

T

Miami

Wilson, David

RB

Virginia Tech

Worthy, Jerel

DT

Michigan State




Posted on: January 14, 2012 5:20 pm
 

Initial invitation list for 2012 Combine

By following the links below you can see the names of the 231 college prospects reported to have been granted an initial invitation to the 2012 Scouting Combine.

This list is one of two prepared prior to the Combine scheduled for February 22-28 in Indianapolis. This list only includes senior prospects. Underclassmen have until Sunday to petition the NFL for early entry into the draft. Once the league has compiled this list of underclassmen a new expanded list will be sent out including them and a handful of senior prospects who surprised scouts during senior all-star games.

Click on each position to see the list of players invited to the 2012 Scouting Combine. Or, if you want to see NFLDraftScout.com's rankings of all the prospects currently available for the 2012 draft, simply click here.

Offense

Quarterbacks:
Running Backs:
Tight Ends/H-Backs:
Wide Receivers:
Offensive Linemen:

Defense

Defensive Linemen:
Linebackers:
Defensive Backs:

Special Teams

Specialists:

Posted on: January 14, 2012 2:19 pm
Edited on: January 14, 2012 2:27 pm
 

Wyoming's Alexander latest RB to make NFL jump

Each year the NFL draft gets a considerable boost in talent with underclassmen. The giving is especially good this year it seems at running back as the position that many feel has become the draft's strongest got yet another boost with a surprise early declaration from Wyoming running back Alvester Alexander.

Listed by Wyoming at 5-11, 208 pounds Alexander burst onto the scene as a true freshman for the Cowboys in 2009 leading the team with 640 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. A year later, Alexander enjoyed his most productive season, breaking the school's single season (14) and single game (five) records for most touchdown scored.

Alexander's production slipped as a junior. Though he ran for 695 yards and six touchdowns in 2011, the Wyoming offense was built around quarterback Brett Smith, who led the team with 710 rushing yards and 10 scores.

An upright runner with only average elusiveness and speed, Alexander may struggle with the jump in competition at the NFL level. He was rated by NFLDraftScout.com as the No. 42 rated runnning back in the class of 2013. Considering the talent already assembled for the 2012 draft he may have an uphill fight to rank any higher this year.

Wyoming issued a statement on Alexander's behalf announcing the junior running back's decision but head coach Dave Christensen sounded less than thrilled with Alexander's move.

"“Alvester has decided that he wants to make himself eligible for the NFL Draft at this time,” said head coach Dave Christensen in a statement.  “He feels that this decision is best for he and his family.  It is his decision to make, and we can only wish him the best of luck as he pursues this next step in his career.  We thank Alvester for his contributions over the past three seasons, including helping us to earn two bowl appearances.”

Local sports anchor Jack Nokes of K2TV.com also expressed some surprise with Alexander's decision.












Posted on: January 14, 2012 1:12 pm
 

WR Shepard runs a reverse; returning to LSU

In the same way that LSU's Russell Shepard insinuated that he was leaving for the NFL or transferring to another program, the junior wide receiver reversed himself and announced that he will be returning to the Tigers for his senior season.

"I would like to tell everyone that I had a great talk with my family and Coach Miles and I will be attending LSU for my senior season..."

This stands in direct contrast to the tweet Shepard sent out following Monday night's loss to Alabama in the BCS Championship.

It read: "Thanks for your support Tiger Nation...but I have to do what's best for my family and myself...Geaux Tigers."

From the beginning Shepard's comments appeared to have more to do with his frustration for seeing just three snaps in the LSU's loss rather than having had gained positive feedback from NFL scouts. 

Shephard, a highly recruited quarterback and wide receiver prospect out of high school, flashed some big play ability throughout his career with the Tigers but had been passed up on the depth chart. His junior season was marred by an early suspension and he caught just 14 passes in 2011 for 190 yards and four touchdowns. 

With fellow junior receiver Rueben Randle off to the NFL, Shepard's chances at having a much stronger role in 2012 is good. Randle led the team in catches, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns and that production will have to go somewhere. At this point Shepard is NFLDraftScout.com's No. 12 ranked receiver in the class of 2013.
Posted on: January 13, 2012 9:17 am
Edited on: January 13, 2012 9:20 am
 

Report: LSU losing WR Randle to pros as well

The fact that LSU only passed for 53 yards in the BCS Championship game certainly is slowing down their receivers from making the early jump to the NFL.

According to multiple reports LSU junior Rueben Randle will be joining teammates Morris Claiborne, Michael Brockers and fellow receiver Russell Shepard as an early entrant into the 2012 NFL draft.

The news was first reported by TigerSportsDigest.com, which claimed that Randle's decision was made over a family dinner Wednesday and that the papers to be filed with the NFL were sent in Thursday.

While Shepard's decision is a bit puzzling, Randle's jump to the pros had been anticpated. Listed by the official website for LSU athletics at 6-4, 208 pounds, Randle was the Tigers' most productive receiver in 2011. He led the team in catches (53), receiving yards (917), average yards per catch (17.3) and receiving touchdowns (eight) and garnered First Team All-SEC accolades from the conference coaches.

He leaves LSU having started 24 of a possible 39 games and with 94 catches for 1,621 yards and 13 touchdowns over his career.

Though Randle was limited by sticky coverage from Alabama's 'Dre Kirkpatrick throughout much of the team's two battles in 2011 (combined five catches for 32 yards), ironically enough it was Randle's a three-catch, 125 yard effort against the Tide in 2010 that served as his "breakout game." Randle scored a 75 yard touchdown in that contest, the longest of his career. Kirkpatrick was one of three Alabama juniors to announce that they too are leaving the SEC early for the NFL.

Due largely to his rare combination of size and speed, Randle is currently ranked as NFLDraftScout.com's No. 6 receiver for the 2012 draft with a second round grade.

Posted on: January 12, 2012 5:45 pm
 

LSU DT Brockers joining Claiborne, Shepard in NFL

Earlier today the LSU Tigers announced that junior cornerback Morris Claiborne would be heading off to the NFL.

A little later, another junior -- wideout Russell Shepard -- made the surprising decision to join him.

Les Miles' chances at the Tigers winning the SEC again in 2012 was made significantly more difficult with the news that yet another LSU player is finishing his collegiate career early and heading off to the pros.

Redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Michael Brockers is also making the jump. He told the assembled media during his press conference Thursday that he'd received feedback that he'd be a late first round to early second round pick.

"I heard my progression and my physical build would put me high in the draft," Brockers said. "You only get this opportunity once, so I wanted to take advantage of it."

"I was focused on winning a national championship," Brockers said. "After the game was over, we lost and it was a nasty taste in my mouth, but I can move on from that and focus on the future…It was a family decision. We came together and we thought about the pros and cons about every situation. We just thought about every detail and this is the conclusion we came up with."

Brockers signed with LSU as a 250 pound defensive end. He's grown into a 6-6, 306 pound monster for the Tigers and earned Second Team All-SEC pick in 2011, recording 54 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, two sacks, a forced fumble, an interception and blocked a field goal against Alabama in Monday's BCS Championship loss.

Brockers' strength and length make him an ideal candidate to return to defensive end for a 3-4 club. His power, quickness and growing frame are sure to intrigue 4-3 teams, as well. It is this versatility and Brockers' obvious upside that had him rated as NFLDraftScout.com's No. 2 defensive tackle in the class of 2014. Though he'll be joining a talented group of defensive linemen in the 2012 draft and certainly could have improved his stock with two more years of collegiate eligibility, don't think NFL scouts will mourn his decision to enter the league early. Brockers, after all, was as impressive as any LSU Tiger in the BCS Championship game (seven tackles, tackle for loss, blocked kick) and appears to be just scratching the surface of his significant potential.
Posted on: January 12, 2012 4:33 pm
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Posted on: January 12, 2012 1:45 pm
Edited on: January 12, 2012 2:44 pm
 

Claiborne, Shepard leave for NFL. More to come?

With the two most talented teams in the country not playing their final game until Monday night, scouts expected to see a late flurry of underclassmen from Alabama and LSU announce their NFL decisions this week. The deadline for early entry into the 2012 draft, after all, is Sunday.

Sources close to LSU junior cornerback Morris Claiborne confirmed to NFLDraftScout.com this morning that the 2011 Thorpe Award winner has played his final season for the Tigers and will be heading to the NFL.

The news comes on the heels of a significantly more surprising defection from another LSU underclassman. Junior wide receiver Russell Shepard took to Twitter to announce that he's submitting his name into the NFL lottery, as well.

Claiborne's early entry was anticipated. NFLDraftScout.com's top-rated cornerback since October, Claiborne is silky smooth in coverage and possesses rare ball skills for the position. Claiborne started opposite eventual No. 5 overall pick Patrick Peterson in 2010 and led the Tigers with five interceptions. Opponents challenged him early in 2011 with Peterson now a member of the Arizona Cardinals and Claiborne was even better as a junior, again leading the team in pass thefts (six) and also serving as a big play specialist as the team's kickoff returner.

The decision by Shephard, on the other hand, was a stunner and may have more to do with Shephard's frustration with LSU than his standing with NFL scouts.

Shephard, a highly recruited quarterback and wide receiver prospect out of high school, flashed some big play ability throughout his career with the Tigers but had been passed up on the depth chart and only saw three snaps in the BCS title game. Shephard caught just 14 passes in 2011 for 190 yards and four touchdowns.

He was NFLDraftScout.com's No. 12 ranked receiver in the class of 2013 but will fall significantly lower than that in our 2012 rankings due to a strong senior class of receivers and the number of talented underclassmen at the position who had already announced their intentions to enter this April's draft.

"Thanks for your support Tiger Nation...but I have to do what's best for my family and myself...Geaux Tigers," served as Shephard's Twitter announcement that he's heading off to the NFL.

As surprising as Shephard's decision is, it may not be the last for the Tigers. Several other talented LSU underclassmen are thought to be considering making the jump to the NFL, including another receiver Rueben Randle and two supremely talented defensive linemen -- defensive tackle Michael Brockers and Sam Montgomery, each of whom are redshirt sophomores.

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