Posts Tagged ‘Christian Jones’

2014 NFL Draft Positional Breakdowns: Outside Linebackers

Sunday, April 20th, 2014

Buffalo’s Khalil Mack is the star talent in a strong class of outside linebacker. (Photo: Kevin Hoffman — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

This year’s crop of outside linebackers offers exactly what the NFL wants: Versatile edge defenders who can be moved around and contribute in a variety of roles within a multi-front defensive scheme. The value is diminishing for prospects that lack versatility.

Talent should be found throughout at the position, but the sweet spot is in the second to fourth rounds, where I have 12 players graded.

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2014 NFL Draft: Linebacker Options to Fix Buffalo’s Run Defense

Sunday, January 12th, 2014

If the Buffalo Bills choose to improve their linebacker corps with the No. 9 overall pick, UCLA’s Anthony Barr is one possible option. (Photo: Andrew Weber — USA Today Sports)

BBD Staff Writer: Eric Samulski

The Buffalo Bills improved in many ways under a new coaching staff in 2013, but stopping the run continued to be a problem. The Bills ranked 28th in the NFL in run defense, allowing 129 yards per game, 4.4 yards per carry and 19 runs of longer than 20 yards.

Middle linebacker Kiko Alonso had a tremendous rookie year, totaling 159 tackles and two sacks, but he showed far more value in coverage, sometimes being swallowed up by blockers in run defense. If the Bills are going to get better against the run as a team, they need to spend the offseason adding more stout talent around Alonso in the linebacker corps.

With that in mind, the Bills should have their eyes on some of the following linebackers in the upcoming draft who excel against the run. Most of these players have experience in versatile defenses or possess skill sets that would lend themselves to defensive coordinator Mike Pettine’s hybrid system.

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Scouting Notes: 2014 BCS National Championship Game (Florida State vs. Auburn)

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Kelvin Benjamin capped an up-and-down game with a championship-winning touchdown. (Photo: Gary A. Vazquez — USA Today Sports)

BBD Staff Writer: Joseph Curtis

Florida State won the final BCS National Championship Game, 34-31, rallying back from an early 21-3 Auburn lead to win the game on a two-yard touchdown pass from redshirt freshman quarterback Jameis Winston to redshirt sophomore wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin with just 13 seconds remaining in the game.

Led by athletes such as Benjamin and Auburn running back Tre Mason, who made a big play of his own when he scored a go-ahead, 37-yard touchdown for the Tigers with just 1:19 remaining in the game, both teams have a number of potential early-round NFL draft prospects.

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2014 BCS National Championship Game Prospect Preview: Florida State vs. Auburn

Monday, January 6th, 2014

Kelvin Benjamin is the X-factor on the Florida State offense. (Photo: Bob Donnan — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

BBD Staff Writer: Joe Marino

As you would expect when the two best teams in college football play for a title, there will be no shortage of NFL talent on the field when Florida State (13-0) plays Auburn (12-1) in Monday’s BCS National Championship Game (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).

While Heisman Trophy-winning Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is not eligible for the 2014 NFL draft as he is only a redshirt freshman, the case could be made that every player in Florida State’s starting lineup has NFL potential, many of whom are seniors or potential early-round picks if they declare.

Auburn does not have as much talent headed to the upcoming draft as the Seminoles do, but they have had a number of breakout stars this year whose draft stocks have soared as the Tigers have re-emerged as a championship contender.

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Joe Marino’s Senior Outside Linebacker Rankings for the 2014 NFL Draft

Saturday, December 7th, 2013

Buffalo’s Khalil Mack is the best of a star-studded class of senior outside linebacker prospects. (Photo: Kevin Hoffman — USA Today Sports)

BBD Staff Writer: Joe Marino

The senior outside linebacker class rivals offensive tackle in terms of having the most potential for first-round draft picks. Any of the top four would be valid first-round picks, while there are plenty of guys who are solid Day 2 selections.

There are several unique skill sets among the class. Whether a 3-4 defense is looking for a pass-rusher off the edge, or a 4-3 defense is looking for a rangy player, there are players who can help in this group.

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