Posts Tagged ‘Greg Blair’

2014 NFL Draft Positional Breakdowns: Inside Linebackers

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Alabama’s C.J. Mosley is the only first-round prospect in this year’s draft class of inside linebackers. (Photo: Chuck Cook — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

The 2014 draft class of inside linebackers looks to be about par for the course. A variety of skill sets with an overall lack of quality at the bottom of the rankings is what I have come to expect from the position, and this year appears to be no different.

Alabama’s C.J. Mosley is far and away the premier talent of this group and will be on everyone’s early list for 2014 defensive rookie of the year. Depending on what teams are looking for, players with starter upside could be had throughout the first four rounds.

An average of 11 inside linebackers have been drafted each year over the past five drafts. I have graded 16 prospects as draftable this year.

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2013 Belk Bowl Prospect Preview: North Carolina vs. Cincinnati

Saturday, December 28th, 2013

Playing in his final college football game, North Carolina’s Eric Ebron is the top draft prospect to watch in the Belk Bowl. (Photo: Bob Donnan — USA Today Sports)

BBD Staff Writer: Joe Marino

North Carolina (6-6) started the season 1-5 before winning five of its last six games to become bowl-eligible and face Cincinnati (9-3) in Saturday’s Belk Bowl (3:20 p.m, ESPN). Cincinnati enters the game on a hot streak of its own, having won six of their last seven games.

North Carolina has made a habit of producing NFL prospects without having the onfield success to accompany their talent. That said, the headline player in this matchup, tight end Eric Ebron, has caught 55 passes for 895 yards and three touchdowns this season, proving himself as a player any NFL quarterback should want to have in their arsenal of weapons.

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

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Alabama inside linebacker C.J. Mosley stands out among senior inside linebacker prospects for the 2014 NFL draft. (Photo: John David Mercer — USA Today Sports)

BBD Staff Writer: Joe Marino

If you are looking for a rangy, middle linebacker for a 4-3 defense who can stay on the field every down, the 2014 NFL draft’s senior class is not for you if you miss out on Alabama’s C.J. Mosley.

Mosley is in a class of his own and deserves consideration as a top-20 draft selection. After that, we see a solid group of run-stopping thumpers who could pair with a more athletic player inside in a 3-4 defensive scheme to create a formidable duo, but who project to be two-down players.

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2014 NFL Draft: American Athletic Conference and Mid-American Conference Sleepers to Watch

Saturday, July 27th, 2013

USF defensive end Ryne Giddins could be a riser in the 2014 NFL draft class if he bounces back strong from an injury-riddled junior season. (Photo: Danny Wild — USA Today Sports)

BBD Staff Writer: Joseph Curtis

The Mid-American Conference has consistently produced a few selections in each NFL Draft. The American Athletic Conference, formerly known as the Big East, has produced a good amount of NFL talent.

As one of the power conferences, the Big East produced a good amount of selections, averaging 19.4 picks over the last five drafts. With an exodus of many of the conference’s top teams in progress, it remains to be seen whether the AAC will be able to sustain that production of NFL talent.

During that same five-year period, the MAC averaged 6.6 players selected. However, the MAC did produce the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, as the Kansas City Chiefs drafted Central Michigan offensive tackle Eric Fisher.

Top quarterback prospect Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville leads the draft-eligible talent for the AAC this season, while the MAC’s top prospects are Buffalo outside linebacker Khalil Mack and Kent State running back/wide receiver Dri Archer.

Although they do not play in any of college football’s major conferences, Bridgewater, Mack and Archer are already well-established names as prospect. Let’s take a look at some of the lesser-established names who could be sleeper prospects for the 2014 NFL draft.

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