Archive for the ‘NFL Draft’ Category

Joe Marino’s Talent Watch Week 3: USC’s Leonard Williams Emerging As One of Nation’s Best 2015 NFL Draft Prospects

Thursday, September 11th, 2014
Leonard Williams' standout performance through injury against Stanford last week proved that he's a star prospect. (Photo: Cary Edmondson — USA Today Sports)

Leonard Williams’ standout performance through injury against Stanford last week proved that he’s a star prospect. (Photo: Cary Edmondson — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

By Saturday morning, every team in college football will have taken the field. The season is in full swing. Oregon and USC secured big early-season victories this past weekend over Michigan State and Stanford, but most teams have yet to face a formidable conference opponent.

Even though Week 3 doesn’t offer the marquee matchups of previous weeks, every game counts and NFL scouts are always watching. This is a week highly ranked teams need to guard against a letdown loss.

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2015 NFL Draft Prospect to Watch: Alvin Dupree, DE/OLB, Kentucky

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014
Kentucky edge defender Alvin Dupree is one of the best athletes in college football. (Photo: Mark Zerof — USA Today Sports)

Kentucky edge defender Alvin Dupree is one of the best athletes in college football. (Photo: Mark Zerof — USA Today Sports)

BBD Contributor: Brian Krosky

He was in the top five of Bruce Feldman’s “Freaks” list for all college football players this year and he plays in the SEC. No, not for Alabama, LSU, or Georgia, but for Kentucky. Although Alvin “Bud” Dupree might not garner the national recognition that most players in the Southeastern Conference do, the senior edge defender is a player that should be in the spotlight and will most likely hear his name called early in next year’s NFL Draft.

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Joe Marino’s Talent Watch: Week Two

Thursday, September 4th, 2014
Leonard Floyd put himself on the map with an outstanding performance in Georgia's season-opening win versus Clemson. (Photo: Dale Zanine — USA Today Sports)

Leonard Floyd put himself on the map with an outstanding performance in Georgia’s season-opening win versus Clemson. (Photo: Dale Zanine — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

Prospects for the 2015 NFL draft have had their opportunities to make a first impression for the 2014 season. That said, the scouting process is a fluid one so putting too much stock into any single performance is foolish. Stacking consistent outings is vital and Week 1 is just the beginning of that process. As we dive into Week 2 of Talent Watch, let’s begin by looking back at the players who were most impressive in the inaugural week of the season.

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Joe Marino’s Talent Watch: Week One

Thursday, August 28th, 2014
Every Thursday this college football season, BBD's Joe Marino will provide analysis of some of the nation's top prospects—as well as prospect rankings and other fun features—in his weekly Talent Watch column.

Every Thursday this college football season, BBD’s Joe Marino will provide analysis of some of the nation’s top prospects—as well as prospect rankings and other fun features—in his weekly Talent Watch column.

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

I’ll never forget watching the 2003 NFL Draft. It was my third year of being truly interested in following football in a deeper level and keeping up with college football’s top prospects as they entered the NFL. In 2001, I began evaluating prospects and creating my own rankings and draft boards so by the 2003 draft, I felt like I was on my way to being the next Mel Kiper.

In the fourth round, with the No. 111 overall pick, the Buffalo Bills selected cornerback Terrence McGee out of Northwestern State and I was instantly humbled. Why? I had never heard of McGee. After all of my preparations, I didn’t even know a player who was taken in the fourth round. I took it hard and vowed to make sure this never happened again while taking my studies of players to an even deeper level.

Ten years later, a player here and there gets drafted that wasn’t on my radar but it’s very rare. This passion and drive for evaluating prospects has lead me to this great opportunity to share my work with you on Buffalo Bills Draft and now the debut of this scouting column. As for McGee, he went on to have a stellar 10-year career in the NFL; he holds six Bills franchise records and has been selected as an All-Pro on two occasions.

I have plenty in store for the 2014 season as I introduce a new crop of future NFL players. This column will be a great source to familiarize yourself with the prospects that will be selected next spring. Over the course of the season, I will feature more than 150 prospects for the 2015 draft as I highlight them in their biggest games, provide initial positional rankings, make predictions, and spotlight some of today’s best NFL draft analysts and football minds.

I hope you enjoy the 2014-15 College Football season and stay tuned as I share my thoughts.

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2015 NFL Draft Prospect to Watch: Leonard Williams, DL, Southern California

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014
USC junior defensive lineman Leonard Williams could be a top prospect in the 2015 NFL Draft. (Photo: Kirby Lee — USA Today Sports)

USC junior defensive lineman Leonard Williams could be a top prospect in the 2015 NFL Draft. (Photo: Kirby Lee — USA Today Sports)

BBD Contributor: Brian Krosky

Versatility is the name of the game in the NFL. Most players are now asked to do more than one job, and the ability to contribute in multiple capacities sets great players away from good players. This is especially true for defensive linemen, where the best players need to be able to rush the passer and stuff the run, play in both 4-3 and 3-4 schemes and adjust their talents to multiple roles. Leonard Williams, a 2013 third-team AP All-American from USC, has no shortage of versatility.

As a freshman in 2012, Williams played 3-technique defensive tackle on a defense coached by Monte Kiffin, who is now a member of the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff. The Pac-12 defensive freshman of the year, he totaled 64 tackles, including 13.5 for loss (8 sacks), while he also had four deflections, two fumble recoveries and an interception.

Last season, Williams occupied the 5-technique defensive end position under new USC defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast. He started 13 games and had 74 tackles, including 13.5 for loss (6 sacks), with two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. He suffered a shoulder injury against Oregon State on Nov. 1, and struggled with the recovery the rest of the year.

USC’s defensive scheme is changing yet again this year and Williams is set to play defensive end in the Trojans’ 3-4 alignment. He has two years of remaining eligiblity for USC, but should be a top prospect for the 2015 draft if he declares.

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