Tag:NFL draft
Posted on: January 3, 2012 1:36 pm
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Posted on: January 2, 2012 4:03 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 3:42 pm
 

Huskies RB Polk entering NFL Draft

Fourth-year junior running back Chris Polk is leaving the University of Washington a year early to enter the 2012 NFL Draft.

"Chris had a terrific career at Washington and deserves the opportunity to move on to the next level," Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian said in a statement. "We wish him nothing but the best in what I'm sure will be a great professional career."

Polk is the No. 4 running back eligible for the 2012 draft and the No. 56 overall prospect, according to NFLDraftScout.com, behind only Alabama's Trent Richardson, Miami's Lamar Miller and David Wilson from Virginia Tech. All are underclassmen, with Miller already declaring his intention to enter the draft. Richardson and Wilson have yet to play their bowl games.

Polk, who has already earned his bachelor's degree in American ethnic studies, leaves as the second all-time leading rusher in Huskies history with 4,049 yards in 40 games. He is behind only Napoleon Kaufman (4,106) on the school's career rushing list. Polk's 799 career carries and average 101.2 rushing yards per game are school records.

Polk is a strong interior runner who has the burst to get through the line and the power to break tackles. He's not a naturally explosive outside runner, and is primarily a North-South runner who has good vision for cutback lanes. Polk lacks true breakaway speed, but has plenty of speed to rip off yards in chunks. He doesn't get caught from behind often.

Coaches will value Polk's willingness and competency as a blocker as well. Like most college backs, he has to work on his technique, but Polk doesn't shy away from oncoming blitzers. 

Polk also increased his versatiliy by becoming far more involved in the Huskies' passing attack in 2012.


Posted on: December 8, 2011 10:34 am
Edited on: January 6, 2012 3:50 pm
 

Cowboys' Blackmon: 'It's that time to go' to NFL

Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon is NFLDraftScout.com's top-rated receiver for the 2012 NFL Draft, and he indicated he's ready to move on to the next level after the Cowboys play Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl.

"I'm pretty sure that it will be (my last game)," Blackmon told ESPN.com.

A finalist for the Biletnikoff Award, Blackmon has 113 catches for 1,337 yards and 15 touchdowns this season.

"I think it's just time," he said when asked why he's ready to turn pro. "It's that time to go. I came back last year to win a Big 12 championship, set us up for a BCS bowl and I think we did that."

Rob Rang has Blackmon going No. 2 overall to St. Louis in his current mock draft, but he'll have to put together solid on-field workouts and off-field interviews between now and the draft.

Blackmon has good size at 6-1, 212 pounds, is physical and has as strong a pair of hands as and receiver in the country. But he lacks great top-end speed, has a DUI arrest in 2010 and is fighting the history of former stud OSU receivers such as Adarius Bowman and Rashaun Woods who flamed out in the NFL. 

Blackmon could find early success in the NFL using his physicality out of the slot on slants and crossing patterns, and he's a strong runner who can make defenders miss in the open field.

--Derek Harper, NFLDraftScout.com Executive Editor
Posted on: December 6, 2011 1:49 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 3:50 pm
 

Luck says he's 'absolutely' ready for the NFL

Stanford junior quarterback Andrew Luck said he's "absolutely" prepared to go to the NFL after the Cardinal finish their season in the Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma State on Jan. 2.
  
"I think I'm going to hopefully play professional football if a team will have me," Luck told ESPN on Monday night, per NFL.com.
   
That might be the understatement of the year.
  
Projected as the top prospect available in the 2012 draft by NFLDraftScout.com since the end of last April's draft, Luck is one of five finalists for the Heisman Trophy to be announced Saturday.
  
Luck likely would have been the top overall pick last year, but returned to Stanford for his redshirt junior season to pursue his architectural design degree and believed it was understood he'd go to the NFL after this season.
  
"I thought it was pretty formal or understood when I came back for my final year, so I have no clue if I'll make a formal announcement or not," Luck said.
  
Many NFL scouts have touted Luck as the best quarterback prospect entering the NFL in the past two decades. And he could well end up in Indianapolis, where the 0-12 Colts have been without injured Peyton Manning all season.
  
The Vikings and Rams are the next closest teams to the top pick, but each have two wins with four games to play.
  
"It will work itself out," Peyton's father, Archie Manning, told Will Brinson and Ryan Wilson of CBS' Eye on Football Tuesday afternoon when asked about the Colts' quarterback situation.
  
Luck has thrown for 3,170 yards with 35 touchdowns and nine interceptions this season.


Posted on: December 5, 2011 6:42 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 3:51 pm
 

'Canes WR Streeter takes leap of NFL faith

Miami Hurricanes defensive tackle Marcus Forston declaring for the NFL Draft didn't cause big ripples. The surprise was that wide receiver Tommy Streeter decided to join him and sign with agent Drew Rosenhaus, according to CBSSports.com's Bruce Feldman.

Streeter will start off as a projected third-round pick by NFLDraftScout.com. But at 6-feet-5 and 215 pounds, he has the potential to be a workout warrior. Right now, his rating is based almost solely on potential.

Entering his junior season, Streeter had only five career catches. But he exploded for 46-811-8 in 2011 as he became high school teammate Jacory Harris' favorite target. The big key for Streeter will be his workouts - he doesn't have a verified 40-yard dash time yet and this year's receiver class has the potential to be quite deep. If Streeter doesn't run in the 4.4-second range and otherwise work out extremely well, he could easily slide into mid-round status.

For perspective, the late-bloomer wasn't rated among NFLDraftScout.com's top 20 junior wide receivers all year.

Forston leaving a year early was pretty much expected. While he has been dominating at times, he has also finished two of the past three seasons injured. He is currently projected as a third- or fourth-round pick by NFLDraftScout.com, but easily to vault into second-round consideration if he can prove he's fully recovered from the knee injury that ended his season in October.

Forston was one of eight players who was suspended for Miami's opening game at Maryland because of taking extra benefits from a former booster.

The Hurricanes are still waiting on decisions from redshirt sophomore running back Lamar Miller and safety Ray Ray Armstrong, who could be potential first-round picks if they leave school early.

Miller is projected as the No. 2 running back eligible for the 2012 draft behind Alabama's Trent Richardson. Armstrong is the No. 2-rated strong safety behind the Crimson Tide's Mark Barron.

--Derek Harper, Executive Editor, NFLDraftScout.com.   


Posted on: July 26, 2011 12:49 pm
 

Ten impactful UDFA signings thus far

Over the past 16 hours or so I've watched as veteran NFL reporters all over the country have taken to undrafted free agency with a feeding frenzy to try to capture the excitement that the scouts and fans all feel now that football is back.

As such, we're seeing undrafted free agents from Goofball State that have very limited chance at actually making an NFL roster being celebrated as if they were a team's first round pick. The reality is that many of the players being signed and celebrated today won't last long.

There are plenty of exceptions, however. These are the ten impactful free agent signings as I see them this morning.

NGs Ian Williams/Sealver Siliga -- 49ers: With incumbent starter Aubrayo Franklin likely to leave via free agency, the 49ers had a hole up front. Williams and Siliga were the two best interior run stuffers available in my opinion. In adding both of them, San Francisco helped themselves at this position as much as could be expected at this early point in the process.

WR Dane Sanzenbacher -- Bears: Sanzenbacher wasn't my highest rated WR available in undrafted free agency (Terrance Toliver was -- he reportedly signed with Houston), but he is a perfect fit for a Mike Martz offense due to his sharp route-running, toughness and reliable hands. Sanzenbacher can make this team and he'll do so by becoming one of Jay Cutler's favorite targets.

QB Adam Weber -- Broncos: Signing Weber almost surely means that the Broncos are going to attempt to move veteran Kyle Orton. I know that Weber was being looked at by a number of teams. He doesn't possess the ideal measureables as he's shorter and owns less of an arm than some talents available, but he's a gutty gunslinger who I could see sticking.

DE Brandon Bair -- Chiefs: I've been quite critical of several of the Chiefs' decisions with their 2011 draft class, but I love the signing of Bair as a developmental defensive end for their 3-4 scheme. Physically and mentally tough, he'll fit right in with this club.

TE Mike McNeill -- Colts: Colts fans saw how relatively easy it was for Indianapolis to continue to feature their athletic tight ends even after losing Dallas Clark to injury because Jacob Tamme is a receiver hybrid with good hands and athleticism. McNeill is cut from the same cloth.

RB Graig Cooper -- Eagles: It isn't that I think Cooper is going to wrestle away significant playing time from LeSean McCoy any time soon, but Cooper (when healthy) has shown starting caliber traits. Cooper is one of several nice signings by Philadelphia.

WRs Kerry Taylor/Tori Gurley -- Packers: The Packers are likely to get some competition for the rights to James Jones and love to push their incumbent receivers with young talent. Taylor and Gurley are each talented players who struggled with injury and inconsistency throuhgout their respective careers but could surprise.

LB Jeff Tarpinian -- Patriots: I spoke to several teams in the days preceding the draft that thought Tarpinian could go as high as the fifth round due to the relative lack of talent at linebacker in this class. Injuries pushed him to free agency. The Patriots could get rewarded for this gamble.

DE Pierre Allen -- Seahawks: Allen was viewed as a 4th-5th round pick by NFLDraftScout.com for much of the pre-draft process, but a nagging hamstring injury kept him from running prior to the draft. As such, he slipped into free agency. Seattle has a myriad of needs, but few loom larger than along the defensive line. Allen could be the crown jewel of what appears to be one of the better free agent classes in the league. 

RB John Clay -- Steelers: A perfect schematic fit, the bruising Clay would give the Steelers the interior power runner that they've often featured in Pittsburgh. If he's motivated (and he certainly should be), Clay could add a degree of size and physicality to this running game.

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: July 5, 2011 4:48 pm
 

Longhorns speedster to focus on Olympic dream

Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin will redshirt the 2011 football season so the Texas Longhorns junior can focus on training for the 2011 World Championships in South Korea and trying to train for the 2012 Summer Games in London.

Goodwin, NFLDraftScout.com's No. 37-rated junior wide receiver, won the 2011 USA Outdoor Track & Field national long jump title with a jump of 27'4" - which qualified him for the 2011 IAAF World Championships Aug. 27-Sept. 4.

Goodwin has caught 61 passes for 604 yards over the past two seasons, and said he intends to return to the football field.

"I can't say thanks enough for the incredible support from Coach (Mack) Brown, the whole staff and my teammates in this decision," Goodwin told The Daily Texan. "I'm still going to be around football as much as possible supporting them every step of the way next season and will be ready to go with two years left when I fully return. Until then, I'm looking forward to having a great year with (track and field head) Coach (Bubba) Thornton and my track and field teammates as I try to fulfill my dreams of bringing home gold to the United States and everyone at Texas."

Goodwin had been slated to be the Longhorns' No. 3 returning wideout in 2011.

--Derek Harper, NFLDraftScout.com Executive Editor 

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