Tag:Nfl Draft
Posted on: March 5, 2012 3:19 pm
Edited on: March 5, 2012 3:24 pm
 

Mathieu 'hopes' to go pro after 2012 season

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Whether on Twitter or in an interview, Tyrann Mathieu has never been one to shy away from speaking his mind. And so when the topic of the 2013 NFL Draft came up in a radio interview Friday, Mathieu didn't mince words: he intends to be in it.

"I hope so," Mathieu said on Philadelphia's 97.5 "The Fanatic" when asked if 2012 would be his final year in an LSU uniform. "If I'm fortunate enough."

Mathieu was speaking from the Maxwell Athletic Club dinner in Atlantic City, N.J., where he was on hand to receive the Bednarik Award as the nation's best defensive player for 2011. Mathieu missed the opening day of LSU spring practice but is expected to participate in Monday's drills.

It's honors like the Bednarik that make Mathieu's pronouncement more surprising for its timing and honesty than for its content itself. After a sophomore season that saw him travel to New York as a Heisman Trophy finalist and earn him multiple All-American nods, a successful junior year -- particularly in the realm of one-on-one coverage, the one area where Mathieu could (in this blogger's opinion) stand to sharpen his skills -- would leave him with little left to prove on an individual level.

After his Tigers' embarrassing defeat in the BCS national championship, though, there's still plenty of unfinished business on a team level entering 2012. But Mathieu also said he expects big things from LSU this fall.

"We’ve got a pretty good team coming back next year, pretty much the same team from a year ago minus the quarterback, a few receivers and obviously Morris [Claiborne] and Brandon Taylor and Ron Brooks in the secondary," Mathieu said. "But we have a lot of guys that are going to step up and make a name for themselves.”

Mathieu's name was already big enough that a draft declaration was already more "when" than "if"--meaning we can't blame him for making it a non-issue at nearly the first opportunity.

For more Tiger football, follow Glenn Guilbeau's CBSSports.com LSU RapidReports.

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Posted on: February 29, 2012 12:04 pm
 

PODCAST: Free Bruce Podcast w/Brett McMurphy

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Bruce Feldman and Bryan Fischer are back for the latest edition of the Free Bruce Podcast, and this week Bruce discusses the upcoming NFL Draft and his time in Indianapolis at the NFL scouting combine. They also cover which unheralded players may surprise people at the next level, as well as the differences in evaluating players at the NFL level and as high school recruits.

Then Brett "Sources" McMurphy joins the guys to talk about the latest in conference realigment, possible changes to the BCS and whether or not we can say goodbye to the 6-6 bowl teams of yore.

To listen, click below, pop the podcast player out in a new window, or download the mp3. And remember that all of the CBSSports.com College Football Podcasts can be downloaded for FREE from the iTunes Store. Enjoy:



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Posted on: February 22, 2012 3:12 pm
 

Garcia hoping "honesty" helps him to shot in NFL

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Stephen Garcia is hopeful for a shot with the NFL despite his mistake-plagued, alcohol-hampered past. And part of earning that shot may be accepting that the responsibility for that past falls entirely on himself.

"I've learned how immature I really was," Garcia told Scout.com NFL reporter Aaron Wilson in a lengthy, detailed interview. "I just didn't know exactly how important everything was until after I made all of those mistakes. I was trying to be like every other college kid, but you can't do that as a starting quarterback for an SEC team. Looking back, it sucks. I have nobody to blame but myself."

A native of Lutz, Florida, Garcia recently played in the "Battle of Florida" all-star game and said he spoke to scouts from multiple NFL teams there, including one from the Atlanta Falcons. Garcia said he was as up front as possible with the scout about his time at South Carolina.

"I went down the list and he said he appreciated the honesty," Garcia said. "He told me to stay on that track, and I will. I just wish I had changed earlier. I didn't fully understand until it was too late. I'm doing everything I can to do things the right way."

Garcia's trying to impress the pros with more than his candor, though. He said he's been working out with former Arena League quarterback John Kaleo in preparation for the Gamecocks' pro day, sharpening his mechanics and improving his accuracy.

But Garcia still faces an uphill battle to be drafted -- CBSSports.com's draft ratings call him the No. 26 QB in his class, and expect him to have to sign as a free agent -- and any prospect who admits he will have to "prove that I'm not an alcoholic" isn't going to be one teams will beat down the doors to take a flyer on.

"It's kind of stressful because I don't know where the hell I'm going to be," Garcia said. "Hopefully, I'm playing in the NFL in the fall. Nothing's guaranteed. It's a waiting game. Nobody likes waiting around, but it is what it is. My head is clear. I'm more focused, and I'm ready to take on this next step in my life."

That step may or may not prove to be the step Garcia wants it to be. But if the remorse and maturation he expresses throughout the interview is genuine, that might be a bigger step than a chance at professional football would be anyway.

For more of Garcia's comments -- on Steve Spurrier, fatherhood, his insistence that he doesn't have "a drinking problem" -- read the full Taylor interview. It's well worth your time. 

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Posted on: February 6, 2012 3:22 pm
Edited on: February 6, 2012 4:06 pm
 

Report: Charges against Dre Kirkpatrick dropped

Posted by Chip Patterson

Former Alabama cornerback and 2012 NFL Draft prospect Dre Kirkpatrick did himself no favors with potential employers by getting charged with possession of marijuana less than a week after declaring for the draft. But according to the Sports Business Journal's Liz Mullen, the charges against Kirkpatrick have been dropped.

The details of the arrest indicate that Kirkpatrick claimed to be unaware of the drugs' presence when he was a passenger in a truck driven by former Alabama player Chris Rogers. The vehicle was pulled over in Bradenton, Fla. after being spotted driving on the wrong side of the road.

Kirkpatrick is listed as the No. 10 overall prospect in the 2012 NFL Draft, and Rob Rang has the Tide cornerback drafted by Dallas at No. 14 in his most recent NFL Mock Draft. Pro Football Talk's Evan Silva suggested that the arrest likely would not affect Kirkpatrick's draft stock, but the dropped charges should assist in putting this matter away and moving forward.

For all the latest player rankings and mock drafts, head over to our NFL Draft Home.

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Posted on: February 3, 2012 8:08 pm
 

Home of Michigan WR Hemingway burglarized

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

A month ago, now-former Michigan wide receiver Junior Hemingway was enjoying one of the greatest moments of his life. Sadly, he's now likely suffering through one if its worst.

CarolinaLive.com reported that Hemingway's Conway, S.C. family home was burglarized Friday morning, with the thieves knocking down the front door and stealing nearly $5,000 worth of goods. Among the items missing were a large screen television and -- most painfully -- many of Hemingway's mementos from his Wolverine career, including jerseys and bowl rings.

"The sad thing is, this stuff just can't be replaced," Hemingway father Kenneth Hemingway said. The incident marks the second time in four months the home has been burglarized.

The one silver lining: the thieves left Hemingway's Sugar Bowl MVP trophy untouched on the home's living room coffee table. Hemingway won it with 2 highlight-reel receptions for 63 yards and Michigan's only two touchdowns of the 23-20 win, leading to a memorably emotional postgame interview.

Hemingway was not in Conway at the time of the burglary, as he's currently training in Atlanta for the upcoming NFL Draft combine and Michigan's Pro Day. According to NFLDraftScout.com, Hemingway ranks as the No. 46 wide receiver prospect in the 2012 draft and is not currently projected to be drafted.

Anyone with information on the burglary is asked to call Horry County law enforcement tip line available at CarolinaLive.com.

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Posted on: January 17, 2012 3:38 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 10:43 pm
 

Tide's Kirkpatrick arrested on marijuana charges

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

In a development that will surely do his draft stock no favors, recently declared Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick was arrested Tuesday morning and charged with possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana.

As originally reported by The Big LeadKirkpatrick's arrest is part of the available public record at the website of Manatee County (Fla.) Sheriff's Department. A search for the arrest yields the following record:

 

According to the Associated Press, the local police report states that Kirkpatrick was a passenger in a truck driven by fellow former Alabama player Chris Rogers, 25. The truck was pulled over in Bradenton, Fla., after being spotted driving on the wrong side of the road. A police dog alerted officers to the presence of drugs, and a small amount of marijuana was found on the floordboard at Kirkpatrick's feet.

According to the report, Rogers said he had bought the marijuana at a local house and was also charged. Kirkpatrick claimed he had been in the car when the purchase had been made, but was unaware what Rogers was buying.

The arrest occured at 12:48 a.m., with Kirkpatrick released shortly after having posted $120 bond.

Though it wasn't immediately clear why Kirkpatrick was in Bradenton, the city is home to the IMG Performance Institute, one function of which is to help athletes as they train for the NFL Combine.

Kirkpatrick declared for April's NFL Draft shortly after the Crimson Tide's resounding victory in the BCS national title game, and is universally expected to become a first-round selection. The former five-star recruit from Gasden (Ala.) and 2011 All-American is ranked the No. 10 overall prospect in the draft, and the current CBSSports.com mock drafts currently have Kirkpatrick as either the 6th or 7th overall pick. 

The arrest certainly won't keep Kirkpatrick from becoming a first-round millionaire come draft day. But depending on how seriously NFL teams take what might now viewed as "character concerns," his top-10 status could be in jeopardy.

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Posted on: January 14, 2012 9:04 pm
 

Oregon's Darron Thomas entering NFL Draft

Posted by Tom Fornelli

College football underclassmen have until January 15th to declare themselves eligible for the draft, and we have a rather surprising declaration with only a few hours to go before that deadline hits. Oregon announced on Saturday night that quarterback Darron Thomas has decided to forego his senior season in Eugene and will instead enter the NFL Draft.

“I came to this decision on behalf of myself and my family,” Thomas said in the official release. “I have a dream of playing in the NFL and I’m going to pursue those dreams.

“I would like to thank everyone in Oregon for all their support and I would thank the coaches for all their help, especially Coach (Chip) Kelly. I love my teammates and wish them the best of luck, and am confident they will continue the winning tradition that has been established. Last but not least, I thank all the Oregon fans for their help and support.”

It's a move that was so unexpected that Thomas isn't even listed among CBSSports.com's position rankings at quarterback. Which makes it hard to predict where Thomas would go in the draft, if at all.

Thomas threw for 5,910 yards and 66 touchdowns during his career with the Ducks, all while completing 61.2% of his passes.

Get caught up on the early-entry announcements HERE, and all the latest rankings, mock drafts, and breaking news check out the NFL Draft Home 

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Posted on: January 14, 2012 7:57 pm
 

LSU leading WR Rueben Randle entering draft

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

LSU may have kept one receiver in the fold. But their best one is off to the NFL.

Junior Rueben Randle -- the Tigers' leading receiver in their undefeated (and ultimately unfulfilled) march to the BCS National Championship game -- announced Friday that he would be forgoing his final season in Baton Rouge to enter this April's NFL draft. Randle's father Emmett Randle confirmed that his son had filed the necessary paperwork to join the draft as a third-year player.

“There was no one particular thing,” Emmett Randle told the Baton Rouge Advocate. “It was a combination of things that told him he needed to move on.”

One of those things is likely that Randle could prove to be a first-day draft pick; Emmett said that the NFL had graded Rueben as a potential second-round pick, and with prototypical pro size at 6'4", 208 pounds, Randle's stock shouldn't be harmed by pre-draft workouts.

It's that same rare combination of size and athleticism that made Randle one of the nation's most elite, highly sought-after recruits in the class of 2009, when he was regularly tabbed as one of the top five prospects at any position. The sky-high expectations meant that his production as a freshman and sophomore -- 44 total receptions, just over 700 yards -- was viewed as something of a disappointment.

Randle made good on his potential and then some in 2011, however, leading the Tigers with 53 receptions, 917 yards, and 8 touchdowns. His 17.3 average yards per-reception led the SEC among receivers with at least 50 catches. (We here at Eye on CFB named him first-team All-SEC for the impact his downfield receiving threat made on the LSU offense.)

So the move makes sense from Randle's perspective. But it won't make it any easier for the Tigers to take, not with Morris Claiborne and Michael Brockers having already elected to enter the draft as well. Fellow receiver Russell Shepard will be staying in Baton Rouge, but the national title game (as well as the Tigers' first meeting with the Tide) showed how badly the LSU offense needs to develop its deep passing game against truly elite defenses--and now the Tigers will lose their only bona fide downfield threat. The hole left by Randle's decision won't be an easy one for Les Miles to fill.

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