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Tag:NFL Draft
Posted on: December 16, 2011 4:37 pm
Edited on: December 16, 2011 4:39 pm

Report: USC's Nick Perry to enter draft

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

For the second time in as many days, a key USC Trojan has reportedly elected to enter the 2011 NFL Draft.

Thursday it was tackle Matt Kalil announcing he would forgo his senior season in L.A., and on Friday's Pedro Moura reported that two-year starting defensive end Nick Perry had made the same decision. Sources cited in the report said that Perry had already signed with sports agency Lock Metz Malinovic, which currently represents multiple other former Trojans.

Perry is projected to be selected as early as the late first-round and could play as either a down lineman or a 3-4 outside linebacker at the next level.

Though not a surprise, Perry's decision will leave a sizable hole in the Trojans' 2012 defensive line rotation. His 9.5 sacks led the Pac-12, put him among the top 20 pass-rushers nationally, and equaled the output of the entire rest of the Trojan defensive line combined. His 13 tackles-for-loss were on shy of doubling the high for any other player on the team, and he ranked fifth on the Trojans in tackles overall.

Lane Kiffin has never shied away from encouraging his players to leave for the pros if their draft projection was optimistic enough, and even after Kalil and Perry he may not be done with 2011's early defections yet; quarterback Matt Barkley has been the subject of much speculation and safety T.J. McDonald could also decide to make the leap.

Posted on: December 15, 2011 10:32 pm
Edited on: December 16, 2011 12:50 am

USC tackle Matt Kalil to enter NFL Draft

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Although there had been a few rumors that he would return to school, USC left tackle Matt Kalil will forgo his senior season and apply for the NFL Draft. ESPN's Chris Mortensen first tweeted the news that Kalil would be leaving.

"It was definitely a tough decision because I love SC," Kalil told the LA Times. "But it’s a special opportunity. It’s time to move on."

Kalil did not allow a sack this past season and was one of the rocks for an offensive line that allowed the lowest sack total in the country. The 6-foot-7, 295-pounder also blocked four kicks on special teams when he wasn't protecting quarterback Matt Barkley's blind side.

Depending on who else declares for the NFL draft, Kalil is currently ranked as the third overall prospect in the 2012 NFL draft rankings - behind underclass quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Barkley. reported later that Kalil is expected to sign with agent Tom Condon of CAA Sports. Condon is a well-regarded agent who also represents Kalil's brother, Ryan, who recently signed a $49 million extension that made him the highest paid center in the league. The elder Kalil was a second round pick out of USC in 2007.

The winner of the Morris Trophy given to the Pac-12 best offensive lineman, Kalil will be tough for the Trojans to replace given limited depth at the position.

It is unclear whether Kalil's decision will have an effect on Barkley's decision to turn pro as well. The two are close friends and the left tackle previously said the two would either stay at USC together or leave for the NFL together.

Barkley has until January 15th to declare for the draft and has applied for an evaluation and met with coaches.

For more on Kalil's decision and the latest NFL Draft news, jump on over to the Eye on Football blog.

Posted on: December 14, 2011 6:36 pm
Edited on: December 15, 2011 7:20 am

Oregon's James denies report he is going pro

Posted by Tom Fornelli

UPDATE: LaMichael James has since denied the Oregonian report that he would be entering the NFL draft. 

James could have gone pro last season but instead decided to return to improve his draft stock, and did so by adding 15 pounds and returning punts.

Depending on who else will be declaring for the NFL draft, James is currently fifth in the NFL draft rankings at running back.

Though he still has a game left in his career at the Rose Bowl against Wisconsin, James is already Oregon's all-time leading rusher with 4,923 yards and also has scored more rushing touchdowns than any other back in school history with 52.

James turning pro would be a big loss for Oregon but it's not as if the Ducks are hurting at the running back position. Kenjon Barner rushed for 909 yards and 11 touchdowns this season, and he's expected to return for his senior year. Then there's DeAnthony Thomas, who had 1,011 total yards and 14 touchdowns in his first season while being named the co-Freshman of the Year in the Pac-12.
Posted on: December 14, 2011 11:09 am

Miami S Armstrong skipping NFL Draft, will return

Posted by Chip Patterson

With no postseason in their future and a roster full of NFL-caliber talent, many of the notable early declarations for the 2012 NFL Draft have come from Miami. But after wide receiver Tommy Streeter, defensive lineman Marcus Forston, and running back Lamar Miller all made their intentions known, one highly touted prospect has decided to return for one more year in Coral Gables.'s Brian London reports that junior safety Ray-Ray Armstrong will return for his senior season, electing not to join his fellow underclassmen in the NFL Draft. currently has Armstrong ranked as the No. 2 strong safety in the 2012 draft class, just behind Alabama's Mark Barron.

Armstrong was suspended from the first four games of the 2011 season as a result of impermissible benefits received from former Miami booster Nevin Shapiro. He was also forced to repay the nearly $800 in benefits he allegedly received from Shapiro and others during his recruiting. But after five productive games of getting back into the rotation on defense, Armstrong was shelved once again after putting his eligibility in jeopardy with a female friend. This friend happened to be president of PR Group, and tweets about their dinner at Prime 112 had the NCAA interested in determining if violations were committed.

The highly-touted safety was suspended for Miami's 23-19 loss to Florida State, but then cleared after the pair proved no wrongdoing at the dinner. Armstrong finished the season with only seven games of action, registering 34 tackles, one forced fumble and an interception.

Armstrong's decision is not particularly surprising, especially considering his limited chances to promote himself to NFL scouts. The frequent run-in's with eligibility concerns may also throw red flags to NFL organizations, so it would benefit the junior to return with goals of a complete season to showcase his talent. Armstrong has shown great potential in what little time he has spent on the field for the Hurricanes, but could arguably improve his stock significantly with another season at "The U." 

For all the latest news and mock drafts, check out our 2012 NFL Draft page

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Posted on: December 11, 2011 11:24 pm
Edited on: December 11, 2011 11:24 pm

Manti Te'o returning for senior season

Posted by Tom Fornelli

It's safe to say that Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly found himself with a giant smile on his face Sunday night. Linebacker Manti Te'o made the announcement that he'd be returning to Notre Dame for his senior season instead of leaving to enter the NFL draft.

Te'o was projected to be a first round pick in the draft if he did decide to leave early, but instead made an impromptu announcement about his decision while in Newport Beach, California for an awards ceremony in which he was a nominee. His father confirmed the news to the Chicago Tribune via text message.

Which is very good news for the Notre Dame defense in 2012. The unit finished 34th in the country in yards against per game in 2011, and was 28th in scoring defense, and now its leader will be returning for another year. Te'o led the Irish in tackles (111), tackles for loss (12) and sacks (4.5) during the regular season.

Te'o's return is even more important when considering that the Irish defense will lose 6 starters to graduation this year, including the entire secondary.
Posted on: December 1, 2011 11:30 am
Edited on: December 1, 2011 12:38 pm

Barkley submits paperwork to the NFL

Posted by Tom Fornelli

It's not a final decision by any means, but USC quarterback Matt Barkley has submitted paperwork to the NFL, though he has not yet declared for the NFL Draft. Barkley simply submitted his standard evaluation request that most draft-eligible juniors turn into the NFL when they're considering leaving school early to get a better idea of what NFL scouts and talent evaluators think of them.

If word comes back that Barkley should expect to be an early first round pick, it could sway his decision about whether to leave USC or return for his senior season. He has until mid-January to make his decision. Barkley is the second-ranked quarterback according to's NFL Draft rankings.

Barkley filed the paperwork at the suggestion of his head coach, Lane Kiffin, though Kiffin hasn't made it a secret in recent weeks that he's hoping his quarterback comes back, even if he's not going to pressure him into it.

The 2012 season will be probation free for USC, which means that it will be eligible to play for a Pac-12 title and for a bowl game. With such a young and talented roster this season, there are many who believe that if Barkley were to return for his senior season that USC would be a legitimate threat to win a national title next season.
Posted on: November 23, 2011 7:24 pm
Edited on: November 23, 2011 7:24 pm

Justin Blackmon leaning toward the NFL

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Earlier on Wednesday we found out that Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck is likely going to leave Palo Alto after the season to enter the NFL Draft. Well, it appears he'll have some underclassmen company.

Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon told The Oklahoman on Wednesday that he's leaning toward foregoing his senior season in Stillwater and declaring himself for the draft.

“Right now, I think that would be the best thing for me,” Blackmon told the paper. “So that will probably happen.”

Blackmon won the Biletnkioff Award in 2010 as the nation's best wide receiver, and though his numbers have dropped off a bit in 2011, he's still had a productive season for the Cowboys. Blackmon has caught 103 passes for 1,241 yards and 15 touchdowns on the season. Blackmon finished 2010 with 111 receptions for 1,782 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Blackmon is the fourth ranked NFL draft prospect in the 2012 class, and our mock drafts see him as being the third or fourth selection off the board.
Posted on: November 23, 2011 3:02 pm
Edited on: November 23, 2011 3:02 pm

Report: Luck not re-enrolling at Stanford

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Remember last year when Andrew Luck was probably going to be the first pick in the NFL draft but surprised a lot of people by deciding that he was going to return to Stanford for another season? Well, maybe Andrew just didn't want to play for the Carolina Panthers but likes the idea of taking over from Peyton Manning in Indianapolis, because according to a Yahoo report, Luck is not re-enrolling for classes at Stanford next semester.
Two people close to Luck said the Stanford quarterback is not expected to take classes next quarter. Instead, Luck is expected to declare and focus on preparing for the 2012 NFL draft, in which he is expected to be the No. 1 overall pick.

That move counters speculation by some that Luck would possibly return to Stanford for another season or at least threaten to manipulate who will take him in the NFL draft. Luck is a senior, but redshirted as a freshman in 2008, giving him the option to play one more season.
Apparently it's a lot harder to turn down the prospect of being a multi-milionaire two times than it is just once.

Luck will likely be the top pick in the NFL Draft this spring if he is in fact leaving Stanford, as he's our top-ranked draft prospect here at

There had been some talk about Luck returning to Stanford for another year, which may still happen, but it seems that the prospect of possibly winning a National Championship or Heisman Trophy -- which he may still win this season -- isn't enough to overcome the risk of suffering an injury that could hurt his professional future.

As for what Luck's absence would mean to the Stanford program, it'd be a very big loss. Since Luck became Stanford's starting quarterback in 2009 the team has gone 30-7 with appearances in the Sun Bowl and Orange Bowl. In the three years prior to Luck's debut, the Cardinal were 10-26 and hadn't been to a bowl game since 2001.
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