Archive for the ‘NFL Draft’ Category

2015 East-West Shrine Game Notes: Day 2 East Practice

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015
Mike Singletary's East squad took the field for their second Shrine Game practice Tuesday morning. (Photo: Dan Hope)

Mike Singletary’s East squad took the field for their second Shrine Game practice Tuesday morning. (Photo: Dan Hope)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

The pads came on Tuesday morning as the East team took the field for its second day of practices at Shorecrest Preparatory School in St. Petersburg, Fla., as more than 50 senior 2015 NFL draft hopefuls took the field once again with a chance to impress scouts and media in attendance.

It looks as though this week’s East practices, run by former NFL head coach and Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary, might not have as much value for evaluators as West practices, as Singletary and his coaching staff have insisted on running offense vs. offense/defense vs. defense for extended portions of practice, along with significant segments of special teams sessions.

Still, there were a number of players who stood out across a variety of positions Tuesday—many for good reasons, but a few because they look overmatched.

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2015 East-West Shrine Game Notes: Day 1

Monday, January 12th, 2015
St. Petersburg High School is the backdrop for this week's West team practices at the Shrine Game. (Photo: Dan Hope)

St. Petersburg High School is the backdrop for this week’s West team practices at the Shrine Game. (Photo: Dan Hope)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

Monday was the first of four practice days at the East-West Shrine Game in St. Petersburg, Fla., where more than 100 senior prospects for the 2015 NFL draft are competing in an effort to raise their stocks and prove to league scouts that they have the skills to be successful pros.

The first day is somewhat of a precursor to Tuesday’s and Wednesday, when the teams will be in full pads and the intensity will pick up. Wet conditions at both practices also put a damper on the evaluation process, as players had to compensate for weather. Nonetheless, every moment at the Shrine Game is an opportunity to impress, or potentially disappoint, someone watching.

There were a number of players who already took advantage of that opportunity as they started out Shrine Game week with strong performances in their opening practice—at least in my view.

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2015 NFL Draft Prospect To Watch: David Cobb, RB, Minnesota

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015
David Cobb has emerged as one of the 2015 NFL Draft's top running backs after a strong senior season. (Photo: Jesse Johnson — USA Today Sports)

David Cobb has emerged as one of the 2015 NFL Draft’s top running backs after a strong senior season. (Photo: Jesse Johnson — USA Today Sports)

BBD Contributor: Brian Krosky

Although it has to be seen whether a running back will be in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, in what could be the third year in a row without one, the running back position is among the deepest in the upcoming draft class. There are many ballcarriers who could be selected on Day 2 or early on Day 3 and have an immediate impact on the team that drafts them, and one of them is Minnesota’s David Cobb.

A senior and two-year starter at Minnesota, Cobb has accepted a Senior Bowl invite. According to the Gophers’ official athletics website, Cobb measures at 5’11″ and 220 pounds. His thick legs and overall stocky build fits the mold of him as a player, a north-south runner with power.

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2015 NFL Draft Prospect to Watch: Jake Fisher, OT, Oregon

Monday, January 5th, 2015
Jake Fisher has a chance to emerge as one of the 2015 NFL Draft's top offensive tackle prospects. (Photo: Scott Olmos — USA Today Sports)

Jake Fisher has a chance to emerge as one of the 2015 NFL Draft’s top offensive tackle prospects. (Photo: Scott Olmos — USA Today Sports)

BBD Contributor: Nat Jordan

Evaluating offensive prospects from Oregon is always difficult because unless they are drafted by Chip Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles, their NFL offensive system will differ drastically from the Ducks offense. Many have raised concerns about the legitimacy of quarterback Marcus Mariota, the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner and potentially the 2015 NFL draft’s No. 1 pick, arguing that he plays in an offense where receivers are often wide open and anybody can complete passes.

Offensive tackle Jake Fisher falls into the same trap. Mariota doesn’t drop back a lot to pass, and the line is almost never asked to form a true pocket for longer than two or three seconds. We can only judge Fisher’s ability in pass protection from the first couple of steps he takes. Is he good, or is he good for two seconds?

Fisher was a backup guard in 2011, his freshman season, but got reps in 13 games. He became the starter at right tackle in 2012, and kept that role all the way up to this season, when he moved over to the left to protect Mariota’s blind side after an injury to Tyler Johnstone. This year, he’s burst himself onto the NFL draft scene with some eyebrow-raising performances at left tackle against top teams, including most recently the Florida State Seminoles.

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2015 NFL Draft Prospect to Watch: Justin Hardy, WR, East Carolina

Friday, January 2nd, 2015
The all-time FBS leader in receptions, Justin Hardy projects to the NFL as a slot receiver. (Photo: James Guillory — USA Today Sports)

The all-time FBS leader in receptions, Justin Hardy projects to the NFL as a slot receiver. (Photo: James Guillory — USA Today Sports)

BBD Contributor: Brian Krosky

There was some controversy when East Carolina’s Justin Hardy, the Football Bowl Subdivision’s all-time leader in receptions, was left off of the semifinalist list for the prestigious Biletnikoff Award. He was the 2014 winner of the Burlsworth Trophy, which is given to the nation’s top former walk-on.

Hardy surpassed former Oklahoma wide receiver Ryan Broyles this year for the record in career receptions, and currently has 376 with one more game to go in his final season. Going into the Birmingham Bowl on Jan. 3, Hardy leads the nation in receptions per game (9.17), is sixth in receiving yards per game (111.2) and is 20th with nine receiving touchdowns.

The third-team Associated Press All-American has accepted a Senior Bowl invite, and will look to continue to elevate his draft stock.

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