Archive for the ‘NFL Draft’ Category

Joe Marino’s Talent Watch Week 7: Marcus Mariota and Brett Hundley Face Off

Thursday, October 9th, 2014
This weekend's marquee matchup with UCLA will be an opportunity for Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota to show he's the top quarterback in the 2015 draft. (Photo: Scott Olmos — USA Today Sports)

This weekend’s marquee matchup with UCLA will be an opportunity for Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota to show he’s the top quarterback in the 2015 draft. (Photo: Scott Olmos — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

This past weekend was the most exciting weekend of college football that I can remember in a long time. This week offers similar intrigue, featuring five games between teams who are both ranked in the top 25. Beyond that, there are several other matchups to keep an eye on with major conference implications.

From an NFL draft perspective, the attention should be on Oregon and UCLA, as two quarterbacks with high first-round aspirations will take center-stage. Before breaking them down, there were some great individual performances from last week to highlight.

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Joe Marino’s Talent Watch Week 6: Top Prospects on Display in Six Top-25 Matchups

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014
Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah, who plays Michigan State this week, has been an early star of the 2014 college football season. (Photo: Cary Edmondson — USA Today Sports)

Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah, who plays Michigan State this week, has been an early star of the 2014 college football season. (Photo: Cary Edmondson — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

With six games between top-25 opponents, including three such matchups where both teams are undefeated, Week 6 of the college football season will help shape the landscape for the rest of the season. This will also be a pivotal week for many of the nation’s top NFL prospects who will be showcased in the week’s key games. It will be interesting to see which players emerge and which disappoint. The lights will be shining as bright as they possibly can for midseason games.

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2015 NFL Draft Prospect to Watch: Eric Kendricks, ILB, UCLA

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
In the midst of another productive season, UCLA's Eric Kendricks is one of the 2015 NFL Draft's top linebacker prospects. (Photo: Geoff Burke — USA Today Sports)

In the midst of another productive season, UCLA’s Eric Kendricks is one of the 2015 NFL Draft’s top linebacker prospects. (Photo: Geoff Burke — USA Today Sports)

BBD Contributor: Brian Krosky

Eric Kendricks, who led the UCLA Bruins in tackles and the Pac-12 in tackles per game in 2012 and 2013, is the senior leader for a strong defense which has helped the team start 4-0. A honorable mention all-conference selection and UCLA’s co-captain in 2013, the 6’0″, 230-pound middle linebacker is off to a very strong start this year.

Kendricks was named the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week after a season opener against Virginia in which he totaled 16 tackles, forced a fumble (returned for a touchdown by a teammate) and returned an interception 37 yards for a touchdown. In total, Kendricks has already accumulated 47 total tackles this season.

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Joe Marino’s Talent Watch Week 5: Missouri’s Markus Golden, Shane Ray to Battle Talented South Carolina Offensive Line

Thursday, September 25th, 2014
Missouri's Shane Ray (56) and Markus Golden (33) form one of the nation's best pass-rushing combos. (Photo: Raj Mehta — USA Today Sports)

Missouri’s Shane Ray (56) and Markus Golden (33) form one of the nation’s best pass-rushing combos. (Photo: Raj Mehta — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

The more I study the eligible prospects for the 2015 NFL Draft, the clearer it is becoming that this is the year of the pass rusher. Outside of quarterback play, a pass-rush is the most important aspect of fielding a good football team, and this class provides plenty of players who can do just that. With no end in sight, I will continue to introduce pass rushers, including some who were not even on my radar entering the season but have emerged.

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2015 NFL Draft Prospect to Watch: Cedric Reed, DE, Texas

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014
Cedric Reed has been highly productive for the Texas Longhorns but has some limitations to overcome as an NFL prospect. (Photo: Evan Habeeb — USA Today Sports)

Cedric Reed has been highly productive for the Texas Longhorns but has some limitations to overcome as an NFL prospect. (Photo: Evan Habeeb — USA Today Sports)

BBD Contributor: Brian Krosky

For the first time since 1937, the Texas Longhorns had zero players taken in the 2014 NFL Draft. Cedric Reed hopes that was just a fluke.

Following in the footsteps of former teammates Alex Okafor and Jackson Jeffcoat, senior defensive end Reed is the focal point of a rejuvenated Texas defensive line under new head coach Charlie Strong. Listed at 6’5″ and 272 pounds by Texas’ official athletics website, Reed has great size for his position. An edge defender in Texas’ 4-3 scheme, he gives offenses a multitude of reasons to game plan for him.

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