Tag:NFL Draft
Posted on: January 26, 2011 5:19 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2011 5:23 pm
 

OU's Quinton Carter wins Wooden Citizenship Cup

Posted by Chip Patterson

Oklahoma safety Quinton Carter wrapped up his career in Norman with a strong senior season, grabbing four interceptions and picking up 96 tackles - good enough for third on the team.  But Carter's efforts have not just been placed on the gridiron during his time as a Division I athlete.  He has been deeply rooted in the Norman community as well as his hometown of Las Vegas.  This week, the Sooner defensive back was recognized for his off-field efforts by being named the seventh Wooden Citizenship Cup winner

The Wooden Citizenship Cup is given annually to one athlete (all sports are considered) for the highest display of character in the sport, as well as making a difference in the lives of others.  Carter won the award over four other finalists: Kimberly Reeves, basketball, Agnes Scott College; Greg McElroy, football, University of Alabama; Sarah Lehman, basketball, Amherst College and Daniel Crawford, football, Denison University.

The senior has been involved in the SOUL Organization (Serving Others through Unity and Leadership) in Las Vegas, Norman Kindercare, the Oklahoma City Marathon, the University Center for Student Advancement and the OU Black Graduate Student Association.  Carter has been projected to fall somewhere in the second round, and will likely be one of the first free safety's selected in the 2011 NFL Draft.  My guess is that his new professional status will not hinder his giving to the community, and we will be hearing his name (for the right reasons) for years to come.
Posted on: January 25, 2011 4:10 pm
 

SEC linemen missing-in-action at Senior Bowl

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The Senior Bowl is one of those unique events that draws interest from both NFL diehards and college football fanatics, the former scoping out the next wave of professional stars and the latter getting one last look at some of the college game's brightest stars. CBS is covering the event accordingly, with plenty of coverage over at our NFL Draft homepage .

But as of this afternoon, there's a pair of prominent names from the SEC 's lines-of-scrimmage you won't see appearing as part of that coverage. One of them is fearsome LSU defensive tackle Drake Nevis, a first-team All-SEC selection this season who finished second only to Nick Fairley amongst league tackles in both tackles-for-loss and sacks.

That performance was enough to put Nevis on the first-round radar (if not into the first 32 picks in the current CBS mock draft ). But a "minor foot injury" has hampered his preparations for the draft and today he officially withdrew from taking part in the Senior Bowl. Nevis has continued to work out and will reportedly take full part in the upcoming NFL combine despite the injury, but he will not be able to improve his stock this week in Mobile.

The same will go for Florida offensive lineman Mike Pouncey, who after initially accepting his invitation to participate has now elected not to appear in the Senior Bowl or take part in the week's practices. His reasoning is unclear at this time, but after a disappointing senior season that saw the preseason all-conference selection struggle mightily with a conversion to center from his preferred guard position, it no doubt won't help his standing in the eyes of the scouts.

That doesn't mean he won't find an enthusiastic taker somewhere -- his brother Maurkice Pouncey was a first-round draft choice last year who'll take the field in the Super Bowl for the Pittsburgh Steelers -- but it nonetheless seems like a missed opportunity for the longtime Gator stalwart.

Posted on: January 24, 2011 3:10 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2011 3:11 pm
 

Janoris Jenkins arrested for marijuana possession

Posted by Chip Patterson

Florida cornerback Janoris Jenkins made headlines earlier this month his announcement to skip the NFL Draft and return to Gainesville for another season.  For new head coach Will Muschamp, it was a great display of leadership from one of the most talented upperclassmen on next year's roster.  Unfortunately that positive act was quickly offset with Jenkins' citation over the weekend for possession of marijuana.

The Gainesville Police Department informed the Associated Press that Jenkins was arrested for misdemeanor marijuana possession early Saturday.  He was in the bathroom at a nightclub and caught with a "clear baggie" of marijuana.  The misdemeanor charge is for an amount of marijuana less than 20 grams, and his court date has been set for February 17.

Of course this is a notable arrest for Muschamp's campaign to win Florida their first Fulmer Cup, "awarded" to the program with the worst collective criminal record.  Urban Meyer often was criticized for the off-field issues under his watch in Gainesville, and this arrest does suggest that little has changed.

The timing was also not ideal for Jenkins' arrest.  Being the midst of changing coaching staffs, and just two weeks after his big return announcement, it will not be easy to quietly sweep this story under the rug.  Jenkins would like to keep his name in the headlines for next year's NFL Draft, but he would prefer the story to be on the football field.  


Posted on: January 19, 2011 2:00 pm
 

Record 56 underclassmen declare for draft

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Now that the deadline for college football underclassmen to declare for the NFL Draft has passed, teams and fans know for sure who they'll be getting back for another season, and who they won't.  What we also know is that with the NFL releasing the official list of underclassmen who have declared on Wednesday, that we have a record class.

Fifty-six players have decided to leave college early this season and seek their NFL dreams.  The most ever to do so.

Which is pretty ironic, really.  The fact that their could be an NFL lockout next season is well known amongst football fans everywhere, even if those same fans are scared to admit it.  So you would think that with potential labor strife looming on the horizon, that college players would prefer to stay in school for another season.

Which makes sense on the surface, but there's another factor in play here.  Yes, there may not be an NFL season in 2011, but we don't know for sure.  What we do know for sure is that, 2011 season or not, by the time the 2012 NFL Draft comes around there's likely going to be a rookie salary cap.  So while a top pick like Da'Quan Bowers or Nick Fairley can come out this season and sign a deal with a huge signing bonus, he may only be eligible to make 20% of that if he returned to school for another season.

So it seems that the kids want to cash in while they still can.
Posted on: January 18, 2011 10:27 am
Edited on: January 18, 2011 10:56 am
 

What I learned from the ACC (Bowl Edition)

Posted by Chip Patterson

1. Florida State is an early favorite for 2011
- After dropping back-to-back games to North Carolina State and at home to North Carolina, Florida State looked like they had not completely shaken the consistency issues that have plagued the Seminoles in the last couple of seasons. In order to have a shot at the ACC title, Florida State would need to win out the final month of their ACC schedule. Not only did first-year coach Jimbo Fisher get his team to the ACC Championship Game, but they put up an impressive performance against Virginia Tech then followed it with a convincing win over South Carolina, the champions of the SEC East.

If one of the chief concerns for the Seminoles in 2011 is replacing Christian Ponder, then fans should feel very confident in their chances with E.J. Manuel at the helm. Manuel filled in for Ponder on three different occasions near the end of the season, culminating with his Chick Fil-A Bowl performance that helped seal the 26-17 win for Florida State. Additionally, all three of Florida State's top rushers (who combined collected 1,863 yards rushing and 17 touchdowns) are all returning next season. Florida State not only looks like an early ACC favorite, but perhaps a national favorite as well heading into the 2011 season.

2. If Russell Wilson is done, he went out in style - Russell Wilson was assumed to be as good as gone by many at the conclusion of the 2010 season. The junior quarterback has already been drafted by the Colorado Rockies, is engaged, and would be able to graduate in May if he chooses to do so. But after N.C. State's 23-7 victory over West Virginia in the Champs Sports Bowl, Wilson hinted that he may have interest in playing football professionally as well.

"I want to be a starting quarterback in the NFL one day, and I want to be a starting second baseman in Major League Baseball one day," Wilson said to reporters after the game. "No matter what, I work my butt off every day to try to be the best and that's my mindset."

The January 15 deadline to declare for the NFL draft has come and gone, and if Wilson decides he wants to rejoin the Wolfpack after participating with the Rockies in Spring Training he will still have that option. Clemson quarterback Kyle Parker did the same thing heading into the 2010 season with the Tigers. However, if Wilson decides to join the Rockies and start cashing in on his baseball career, he will wrapped up his college football career with a nearly flawless 275 yard, 2 touchdown, 0 interception performance that earned him Champs Sports Bowl MVP honors.

3. Virginia Tech can't shake the big game curse - The Hokies have been incredibly dominant in the ACC since joining the conference in 2004, but they have struggled to match that superiority with big-time wins on the national level. Virginia Tech has won the conference title four times in the last seven years, and appeared in four of the six ACC Championship Games. But against teams ranked in the top 5 nationally, the Hokies are 1-27 all-time and 1-19 during Frank Beamer's tenure in Blacksburg. Many figured that the Orange Bowl would be a chance for the Hokies to shake the stigma of failing to perform against top teams, and at halftime it looked like they might have a chance to pull the upset.

But in the second half Andrew Luck picked apart Bud Foster's defense while Stanford held Tyrod Taylor and the Virginia Tech offense scoreless while the Cardinal ran away with the 40-12 victory. However, it is important that Hokies fans don't dwell on the failures against the top 5 heading into 2011. With the kind of turnover Virginia Tech is expecting on both sides of the ball, defending their conference title will be a difficult task on its own.

4. ACC Coastal dropped the ball - This is more of a season-long lesson, but the ACC Coastal continued to be the less impressive division through the end of the bowl season. In the preseason polls, there five ACC teams in the Top 25, with four highest ranked teams (Virginia Tech, Miami, Georgia Tech, North Carolina) all coming from the Coastal Division. Not only did the balance of power appear to shift towards the Atlantic Division during the season, the bowl records from the postseason also indicate that the Atlantic may be the superior division.

Coastal teams went 1-3 during the postseason, with only North Carolina squeaking out their double overtime win over Tennessee in the Music City Bowl. The Atlantic, on the other hand, saw Florida State, Maryland, and N.C. State all pick up impressive victories in their bowl games. With the talent that Florida State and Maryland are bringing back, it would be surprising to see the media side with a new division heading into the 2011 season.

5. Ralph Friedgen left Randy Edsall a winning squad - Friedgen had an emotion al final game as Maryland's head coach, as his team bludgeoned ECU 51-20 in the Military Bowl. The players dedicated the beatdown to their head coach on his way out, capping off an impressive finish to the season that saw the Terps climb one game away from an ACC Championship Game appearance. But the time has come and gone for Ralph Friedgen fans to be upset with his dismissal from Maryland. Former Connecticut coach Randy Edsall has been hired, and the Terps are moving forward. What Friedgen did leave was a young and talented Maryland squad that will be a real threat in 2010. Edsall was a safe hire for athletic director Kevin Anderson, and the former Huskies head coach brought in some firepower with offensive coordinator Gary Crowton.

The last couple seasons have not been pleasant for Crowton, catching the blame from LSU fans for an offense that ranked near the bottom of the SEC in 2009 and 2010. But he saw his most successful season in his first year with Matt Flynn under center, and Terps fans will hope that a talented quarterback like ACC Freshman of the Year Danny O'Brien will recreate that success of the 2007 LSU offense under Crowton's direction.

Posted on: January 14, 2011 12:53 pm
 

Nick Fairley declares for draft

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Auburn made a living out of defying expectations this season, but unfortunately for them, expectations have finally won out when it's come to early draft declarations. Cam Newton announced he was taking his skills to the NFL last night, and today Lombardi Award winner and national championship game defensive MVP Nick Fairley made it official: he's forgoing his senior season on the Plains to go pro as well.

Though Fairley reportedly became emotional during the announcement and thanked the "Auburn Nation" for their support, the decision couldn't have really been all that difficult. An unstoppable force on the Tiger defensive line this season and one coming off of a dominating performance in the BCS title game, Fairley is the No. 1 defensive tackle in the draft according to many and could go as high as the No. 1 overall pick. Barring some kind of catastrophe in pre-draft workouts, Fairley is a mortal lock to go in the top five; our draft gurus here at CBS have him at No. 3 and No. 4 in their current mocks , respectively.

Combine that kind of payday with the facts that Fairley is already four years out of high school (having spent two seasons, one a redshirt, at a Mississippi junior college) and has won virtually every honor there is for a defensive lineman to win on both the team and individual level, and there was really only one choice for Fairley to make. Like his teammate Newton, Fairley was more blinding supernova than enduring college star -- he started only two games and recorded just 3.5 tackles-for-loss in 2009, before blowing up for 24 this year -- but that won't keep him from being remembered at Auburn (and in college football in general) for a long, long time.

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 12, 2011 12:08 pm
Edited on: January 12, 2011 12:32 pm
 

Michael Floyd returning to South Bend

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Well here's a bit of surprising news, and very good news for Notre Dame fans.  Wide receiver Michael Floyd, who many considered a sure thing to leave school and enter the NFL Draft, is totally doing the opposite.  Notre Dame announced on Wednesday afternoon that its star wide receiver was going to return to school for one more season.

"This was one of the toughest decisions I have ever had to make in my life," Floyd said in a release. "On the one hand, there was Notre Dame. This place has been an incredible home to me and the relationships I built here are ones I know I'll have for the rest of my life. On the other hand, there was the NFL. It has always been a lifelong goal to play football at the highest level and that is something I look forward to doing at some point. However, I'm pleased to say I will be returning to the University of Notre Dame for my senior season in 2011.

"I'm returning to Notre Dame for three reasons: to earn my degree, return Notre Dame to the top and improve myself as a player."

While Floyd may have seemed like a sure thing to enter the draft, apparently with a draft class full of wide receivers like A.J. Green, Julio Jones and plenty of other studs, Floyd may have been a third round pick.  He may feel by returning for another season and entering the draft next year he'll have a much better shot of being selected in the first or second round.

Whatever his reasoning is, I'm sure Brian Kelly doesn't care.  He's just happy to have one of the biggest weapons on his offense back for another season.  Even though he's only played at Notre Dame for three seasons, Floyd already holds the school record for most touchdown catches in a career with 28, and has caught 171 total passes for 2,539 yards.  Those marks place him second and third, respectively, on Notre Dame's all-time list.  Odds are that by the time he does finish his senior season, he'll own all three marks.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com