Tag:NFLDrafTscout.com
Posted on: January 10, 2012 12:13 pm
Edited on: January 10, 2012 12:28 pm
 

Konz leaves Wisconsin for NFL

Wisconsin junior center Peter Konz will enter the 2012 NFL Draft as expected, the school announced Tuesday.

Konz is NFLDraftScout.com's top-ranked center in a class that could produce several interior offensive linemen within the first 50 picks. The Wisconsin junior, in fact, is NFLDraftScout.com's No. 24 ranked player, overall.

Konz learned last week that he had been "highly rated" by the NFL draft advisory board despite missing three games with a dislocated left ankle.

He returned and played well in the Rose Bowl loss to Oregon.

Konz and Stanford junior offensive guard David DeCastro are projected as likely first round picks by NFLDraftScout.com's analysts Rob Rang and Dane Brugler.

Konz started 31 games at Wisconsin and is one of three offensive linemen moving on, including coveted offensive guard prospect Kevin Zeitler.

The Badgers' offense could be hard hit by defections. Offensive coordinator Paul Chryst was named head coach at Pittsburgh, quarterback Russell Wilson's eligibility expired and wide receiver Nick Toon, another player with a grade warranting a top-50 selection, is also gone.

Wisconsin also lost run-game coordinator Joe Rudolph, and assistant coach targeted by head coach Bret Bielema as Chryst's successor.


Posted on: January 10, 2012 9:37 am
Edited on: January 10, 2012 12:24 pm
 

Griffin meets with Briles, draft decision looming

Robert Griffin III met with seven sports agencies and then again with Baylor coach Art Briles as he weighs the decision of whether to return to the Bears for his senior season or enter the 2012 NFL Draft.

The deadline for underclassmen to enter the draft is Sunday.

"He's really contemplating what he feels like is the thing that's going to give him peace," Briles said.
The 2011 Heisman Trophy winner and NFLDraftScout.com's No. 2-ranked quarterback prospect, Griffin met with prospective agents with Baylor compliance officers present to ensure he wasn't sacrificing his eligibility should he opt to return to college football. He first had his parents, both Army sargeants, interview agents and provide him feedback.

Griffin, 6-2, 220, earned his bachelor's degree a year ago after graduating high school a semester early to enroll in January 2008. He's on pace to earn his masters in communication in May and is engaged to be married.

There are no character-related questions with Griffin, who said he arrived at Baylor with the NFL as a Plan B.

"Plan B can overtake Plan A if they come knocking at your door," he said. "Who are you to turn down the NFL."
Indeed, a lot changed for Griffin in the span of one season. At this time last year, he said he received feedback from the NFL Draft Advisory Board that he was likely to be a second- or third-round pick. In a loaded quarterback class that included five quarterbacks in the top 35 selections, Griffin might have been overlooked.

If he decides to turn pro, that's unlikely this time around.

Stanford's Andrew Luck, the top-rated prospect by NFLDraftScout.com, and Griffin are expected to be the only sure first-round picks. As such, each is projected by NFLDraftScout.com's Rob Rang and Dane Brugler's as top five picks in their latest mock drafts. Some might include Ryan Tannehill of Texas A&M, but his raw skills after just two years at the position make him more of a risk.

Risk should be a consideration for Griffin, who missed most of the 2009 season with a knee injury.

After throwing for more than 4,000 yards with 37 touchdowns and only six interceptions, Griffin has opened many eyes. He also had 699 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. Former Colts head coach Tony Dungy is on the record that he might even draft Griffin, not Luck, with the first overall pick. He won't be the only one with that opinion, regardless of how flawless the Stanford redshirt junior has been and scouting reports will be in April.

Griffin isn't without some concerns with evaluators, who want to verify his height and weight before projecting him as a franchise quarterback. On appearances alone, there are scouts who are concerned Griffin doesn't have the sturdy build to withstand the rigors of taking pounding in and outside of the pocket in the NFL.

But like Newton in 2011, about whom there were concerns he could throw accurately in an NFL-style offense, it's also worth considering whether Griffin has a reasonable facsimile in the NFL.

Griffin said he patterns his game after Steve Young -- a mobile quarterback who thrives on efficiency -- but can't help but see the comparison many have drawn between 2011 No. 1 overall pick Newton and Griffin.

Griffin owns 46 Baylor records, and in 41 games completed 67 percent of his passes (800 of 1,192) for 10,366 yards with 78 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. He had 33 rushing touchdowns and 2,254 yards.


Posted on: January 9, 2012 6:09 pm
 

NFLPA all-star game announces 1st junior player

The NFL's Player Association raised some eyebrows back in November with the announcement that it would sponsor a post-season all-star game and invite underclassmen as well as top-ranked senior prospects to participate.

In the past, the NFL had generally been unwilling to recognize all-star games that catered to underclassmen for fear that it would be perceived that the game or the league was attempting to push amateur athletes into the professioanl ranks too soon. The changing NFL landscape in which many of the top prospects are underclassmen, however, has led all-star games to consider other alternatives to boost interest.

All-star games have toyed with this notion in the past. I attended the East-West Shrine Game practices back in 2004 when that prestigious all-star game allowed Stanford defensive tackle Amon Gordon to participate despite the fact that he was only a junior.

While allowing underclassmen to participate may drive better attendance during the game, itself, it also guarantees that no NFL scouts will be attending the practices. NFL personnel are prohibited in attending all-star practices or games in which underclassmen are participating.

The fact that scouts won't be on hand to evaluate prospects, however, won't keep the players from participating. Scouts, after all, will get their hands on the practice and game tape, regardless.

The NFLPA game, to be held in the Home Depot Center in Carson, California on January 21, is apparently carrying through with their promise to invite underclassmen. On Monday, Miami junior offensive lineman Brandon Washington was among the nine players the NFLPA Game announced on their Facebook page as having accepted an invitations.

Not surprisingly, Washington is the most highly regarded of the 39 prospects the NFLPA has thus far confirmed as playing in the game. Washington is currently graded by NFLDraftScout.com as a solid second round value and is currently our No. 3 rated offensive guard, overall.


Posted on: January 9, 2012 2:01 pm
Edited on: January 9, 2012 6:09 pm
 

DE Taylor returning to South Carolina for 2012

In senior Melvin Ingram, junior Devin Taylor and heralded true freshman Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina's defensive line featured more individual talent than any other unit on Steve Spurrier's team during the 2011 season.

The Gamecocks will certainly miss Ingram's versatility but with the announcement Monday that Taylor will be returning in 2012 for his senior campaign, South Carolina will again feature an extraordinary pass rush combination next season.

Scouts have long had high regard for Taylor, listed at 6-7, 260 pounds by the Gamecocks. With Ingram lining up inside at defensive tackle, Taylor started all 13 games opposite Clowney in 2011, recording 42 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and six sacks. The numbers, while certainly respectable, were actually a bit of a disappointment, as Taylor earned First Team All-SEC honors in 2010 with 46 stops, including 13 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks.

"I still have some things I'd like to accomplish at Carolina before I go on to the next level," said Taylor in a statement released by the university.

Taylor is currently ranked by NFLDraftScout.com as the No. 4 defensive end for the 2013 draft.  

Posted on: January 7, 2012 2:10 pm
Edited on: January 7, 2012 2:18 pm
 

Report: Ole Miss loses RT Massie to NFL

A few weeks ago I noted that NFL teams in need of help at offensive tackle were hoping for a significant influx of talent from underclassmen to save a weak 2012 crop of seniors.

As expected, Southern Cal's Matt Kalil, Iowa's Riley Reiff and Stanford's Jonathan Martin all accepted the challenge. On Friday, another junior offensive tackle decided that he too would be making the jump and attempting to take advantage of the talent vacuum at the position this year.

According to a report from the Clarion-Ledger, Mississippi right tackle Bobby Massie is heading to the NFL.

The Clarion-Ledger report does not quote Massie nor any members of the Ole Miss program. Instead, they cite Massie's Facebook account, which reads, "2012 season I will be playing on Sundays. It was fun Ole Miss."

If Massie is indeed leaving school early for the draft, it isn't a surprise. It was well known that Massie was considering making the jump. He and fellow Rebel offensive lineman A.J. Hawkins each petitioned the NFL Advisory Committee for a grade.

The actual grades given by the committee are rarely leaked (which is why this story is interesting)

NFLDraftScout.com had projected the 6-6, 325 pound Massie as a possible 2nd round pick to begin the 2011 season. A disappointing year for the Rebels caused his stock to slip a bit as the year went on but a top 75 remains a possibility due to Massie's rare blend of size, strength and durability.

An extremely highly touted prep prospect who originally signed with Virginia Tech and was heavily recruited by Alabama and others, Massie played an extra year at the prep level for Hargrave Military Academy before seeing action with the Rebels. Once on the field for Ole Miss, however, Massie quickly established himself as a standout. The long-armed, surprisingly nimble Massie started the final 29 games of his career at right tackle for the Rebels.

Though he never earned post-season honors while at Ole Miss, the Rebels' struggles at quarterback played a role. Mississippi rotated three quarterbacks in 2011 and their differing styles contributed to a talented offensive line that had been counted on as a team strength struggling. The Rebels, in fact, gave up 34 sacks last year which was just one behind Kentucky for the worst in all of the SEC.

When scouts break down Massie on tape they will see a fundamentally flawed prospect but one with a great deal of natural talent. Considering the concerns scouts have about the senior class of tackles available in the 2012 draft, Massie could prove one of the more intriguing raw speciments at the position.

Massie currently ranks fifth among NFLDraftScout.com's 2013 tackle prospects.

Posted on: January 7, 2012 1:28 pm
Edited on: January 7, 2012 1:29 pm
 

Mackey Award winner Allen heading to NFL

Two days after a humbling loss to West Virginia in the Orange Bowl, the Clemson Tigers lost one of their most prolific offensive weapons to the NFL.

Junior tight end Dwayne Allen, the 2011 Mackey Award recipient as the nation's top tight end, made a formal announcement through the university that he is forgoing his senior season.

"I want to first thank all of my teammates, my teammates from the 2011 team and teammates from past years," said Allen. "Without them this would not be possible.

"I also want to thank my coaches, Coach Dabo Swinney, my position coach Danny Pearman and offensive coordinator Chad Morris. They have helped me grow as a player and as a person.

"Finally I want to thank everyone in Tiger Nation for their support over the years. I want to especially thank them for being patient with me.

"I am basically turning professional because I feel I am ready. This is the appropriate time. I have matured as a player and a person over the last four years at Clemson and this experience has prepared me for the next level. I have just 13 hours (of course work) left to graduate and I will be a proud Clemson graduate."

The 6-4, 255 pound Allen has ranked as NFLDraftScout.com's top tight end prospect for the the 2012 draft virtually all year long. Allen received consensus All-American honors following a 2011 season in which he caught 50 passes for 598 yards and eight touchdowns in helping Clemson capture their first ACC crown in 20 years. The catch, yardage and touchdown single-season totals broke school records and helped Allen tie John McMakin (1969-1971) with 93 receptions and 12 touchdowns for the most of each from a Clemson tight end in his career.

"Never have I been more proud of a player's development than Dwayne Allen," said Head Coach Dabo Swinney. "Clemson has made a huge impact in his life and he has helped Clemson achieve at a level not seen in 20-plus years. Dwayne has a great future, and I fully support his decision to enter the NFL. I look forward to watching him continue his journey. He will be a great ambassador for Clemson for years to come."

Posted on: January 6, 2012 8:53 pm
 

Stanford OT Martin received 1st rd grade from NFL

On Tuesday Stanford left tackle Jonathan Martin announced via Twitter his decision to enter the 2012 draft.

According to a source close to Martin, the decision was a difficult for the second team AP All-American.

Martin only made the decision after getting a first round grade from the NFL Advisory Committee and receiving positive feedback from scouts on hand for his final game, an overtime loss to Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl.

The 6-6, 305 pound Martin is one of a trio of talented junior left tackles expected to earn early to mid first round consideration. Based on his size and athleticism, some view Martin as having greater potential than either Southern Cal's Matt Kalil or Iowa's Riley Reiff. Martin is currently NFLDraftScout.com's No. 3 rated offensive tackle but is also our No. 12 rated prospect, overall.

A league source on hand for the Fiesta Bowl was impressed with Martin against the Cowboys and specifically noted that Martin's physicality impressed him.

"That's been one of the knocks people have had about him," the scout told me Friday evening on the condition of anonymity. "No one is going to confuse the guy with Jake Long in that regard, but I've seen too many so-called finesse left tackles wind up being Pro Bowlers to worry about that too much with a guy as big and athletic as [Martin] is. He'll be fine."

With the NFL shifting to an increasingly pass-happy league, athletic left tackles are as valuable as they've ever been. It is that athleticism that could intrigue a host of teams picking inside the top 20.

As such, Martin is currently projected by NFLDraftScout.com's Rob Rang and Dane Brugler to be drafted within the first half of the draft.
Posted on: January 6, 2012 7:51 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 7:56 pm
 

Oregon's LaMichael James off to the NFL

And then there was one.

With Oregon's LaMichael James confirming Friday that he's forgoing his final year of eligibility, only Alabama's Trent Richardson remains among elite running backs yet to declare their intentions for the 2012 NFL Draft.

James followed Virginia Tech's David Wilson and Temple's Bernard Pierce in announcing Friday that they intend to enter this year's draft.

"My experience at the University of Oregon has been one unlike any other, and one I will never forget," James said. "I am grateful for the people I have met, the things I have learned, and the amazing community I have had the privilege of being a part of over the last three-and-a-half years."

James rushed for 1,805 yards and scored 18 touchdowns this season, and concluded his college career with 159 yards in Oregon's 45-38 victory over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.

The question with James will be his 5-foot-9, 185-pound frame and what role teams believe he can play in the NFL. He's sixth among running backs and No. 80 overall among prospects for the 2012 draft, according to ratings by NFL DraftScout.com.

However, there will be teams that covet his ability to use a low center of gravity, quickness and acceleration to produce explosive plays on the ground and as a potential return man. He has drawn comparisons to successful former NFL backs including Warrick Dunn and Brian Westbrook. Rob Rang compared him to another undersized back in this Week 11 Breakdown. 

"I am 100 percent behind LaMichael," Oregon coach Chip Kelly said. "He is a very special person and certainly will be remembered as one of the very best players ever to wear a uniform at the University of Oregon. It has been a pleasure to coach him for the four seasons he has been here and is comforting to know that he will obtain his degree this spring. I could not have asked anymore from him and I am confident he will be a success at the next level."

James joins Wilson, Pierce, Miami's Lamar Miller, Washington's Chris Polk and San Diego State's Ronnie Hillman in announcing they will forgo their remaining eligibility - Miller and Hillman are redshirt sophomores.

Assuming Richardson joins in on the fun, as expected, running back is shaping up as the 2012 draft's deepest position.


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