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Tag:2011 NFL Draft
Posted on: January 13, 2011 3:12 pm
Edited on: January 13, 2011 3:24 pm
 

LSU's Ridley declares for draft on Facebook

Posted by Chip Patterson

We sit in the era of social media, and while reporters try to be the first to tweet out breaking news - some athletes have become savvy enough to beat the public to the punch.  LSU running back Stevan Ridley has decided to launch his NFL Draft Facebook campaign with a video of his draft declaration.  

Ridley thanked his family, teammates, and the many coaches and administrators at LSU in this video on his Facebook page.  He wished his best to the team in 2011, and let his fans know that they can keep up with Ridley's draft preparation and interact with Stevan on his Facebook page.

For a prospect like Ridley, who is absent from CBSSports.com's recent mock drafts and is only ranked #21 of all junior running backs, the social media campaign can be a way to raise your status heading into draft day.  With such a flood of talented players in the game right now, and so many teams using multiple running backs in their rotation, all Ridley needs to do is catch the eye of one team to get his best shot at making an impression in the NFL.  

Players who are able to develop a following through social media may carry more intangible upside than a player who grades better in a few combine drills.  When sometimes all players need is a chance, we are entering an age where you have to work every angle you've got.  In the Not For Long league, that includes building your own fan base.
Posted on: January 7, 2011 10:16 am
Edited on: January 7, 2011 10:17 am
 

Report: Dion Lewis will declare for NFL draft

Posted by Chip Patterson

Pittsburgh running back Dion Lewis might be playing his final game as a Panther in the BBVA Compass Bowl on Saturday, according to a local report.  Multiple sources have confirmed to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the sophomore will "likely" declare for the NFL Draft, leaving two seasons of eligibility on the table at Pitt.

Lewis, the 2009 Big East Offensive Player of the Year, saw a drastic decline in production from his freshman season - often having to split carries with fellow running back Ray Graham.  According to the Post-Gazette, Lewis filed papers with the NFL earlier this season to get information on his draft status.  He was told last week he would likely be a third round pick.  

Unless there is a last-minute change of heart, Lewis is expected to make the announcement sometime next week.  With Pittsburgh still searching for a coach (and a direction) it might be time for Lewis to make the jump while memories of that breakout 2009 season are still lingering in the mind of scouts.
Posted on: January 6, 2011 10:44 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2011 10:46 pm
 

Ryan Broyles returning to Oklahoma

Posted by Chip Patterson

Stanford quickly became an early favorite for 2011 with Andrew Luck's announcement that he will be returning to school next fall.  You can go ahead and add Oklahoma to that list of early favorites with wide receiver Ryan Broyles also announcing his return for 2011.  

"Personally, I know I can mature as a person and a player and get myself better prepared for the NFL," he said in his official release. "I want to win more championships and break every record possible as a receiver. I'm fortunate to have the players around me who can help me achieve those goals."

Broyles finished the regular season as the nation's leader in receptions per game, and third in receiving yards per game.  With Landry Jones still under center, there isn't any reason to believe they can't repeat some of that success again next year.  Also, Broyles' announcement came one day after linebacker Travis Lewis announced he would return to Norman for his senior season to win a championship.  

Bob Stoops' team was frequently overlooked as a contender in 2010, because of road losses to Missouri and Texas A&M.  But with a Big 12 Championship and Fiesta Bowl title under their belt, next year's squad is focused on reclaiming the top spot in college football.
Posted on: January 6, 2011 8:50 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2011 8:55 pm
 

Ryan Mallett declaring for 2011 NFL Draft

Posted by Chip Patterson

No huge shock here, but Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett has made it official he will enter the 2011 NFL Draft.  The redshirt junior still has a year of eligibility left at Arkansas due to his transfer from Michigan, but the time has come for the talented quarterback to take his talents to the next level.  Mallett made the announcement official through a school press release, showing his deepest thanks to the Arkansas community for their support over the last three years.
"Playing in the NFL is a goal of mine and I am grateful to the people that have prepared me to take the next step. Coach (Bobby) Petrino is a winner, a man of character and the hardest worker I have ever seen. I'd also like to thank Coach (Garrick) McGee for everything he has done for me and in particular helping develop my mental approach to the game. The leadership of Chancellor David Gearhart and Director of Athletics Jeff Long is a model for me and I am extremely appreciative of the tireless work they do for all University of Arkansas students every day. The Razorback fans are the greatest in the country and their support for me and the team throughout my career has been humbling. Arkansas is where my heart is and I'm proud to say that I will always be a Razorback."

Mallett led the SEC in passing touchdowns (32), passing yards (3,869), and finished the season with a 64.7% completion percentage.  He is projected to fall in the top half of the first round, including as high as #8 in a recent CBSSports.com Mock Draft.  With his 6-6, 238 pound frame, Mallett has the physical attributes to step right in and make an immediate impact for an NFL team.  He'll be missed in Fayetteville, but his departure really isn't much of a surprise to Razorback fans.
Posted on: January 6, 2011 4:02 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2011 4:07 pm
 

VT's Evans declaring for NFL Draft

Posted by Chip Patterson

After the Orange Bowl, Virginia Tech running back Darren Evans made it clear that he was going to seriously consider his options regarding the 2011 NFL Draft.  The redshirt junior has one year of eligibility left with the Hokies, but has been leaning towards turning pro for some time.  On Thursday, he made his decision official via a school release.

“After sitting down with family, I’ve decided to declare for the NFL Draft,” Evans said in the official release. “I felt like this is the best opportunity for me and my family. This was a tough decision because Virginia Tech was good to me and my family and I had fun. I was blessed to play at Virginia Tech and at that level of football. I have plans to graduate and I will, but the NFL has always been a dream so it’s hard to pass it up right now.”

This decision makes sense for a couple of reasons.  Evans got married last winter, and the opportunity to provide for his young son is not something that he is prepared to risk.  He tore his ACL the summer before the 2009 season and it forced him to miss the entire year.  He has been dinged up a few times this season as well, but nothing serious enough to greatly jeopardize his status.  Still, one more injury to his knee could shut the window of opportunity to play professionally.  During his redshirt freshman season, Evans was the ACC Rookie of the Year and Orange Bowl MVP.  When he returned to the lineup in 2010, he shared the backfield duties with 2009's star Ryan Williams and sophomore David Wilson.

“I’m very happy for Darren and his family,” running backs coach Billy Hite said. “At the same time, I’m very sad because of the kind of player he is and he’s an even better person than he is a player. We’re really going to miss him in our football program and I obviously want to wish him the best of luck with his future in the NFL.”
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com