Posts Tagged ‘Jamal Merrell’

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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2013 Pinstripe Bowl Prospect Preview: Notre Dame vs. Rutgers

Saturday, December 28th, 2013

In what could be his final college football game, Notre Dame defensive end Stephon Tuitt will be a player to watch Saturday. (Photo: Matt Cashore — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Ryan Talbot

Notre Dame and Rutgers will “play ball” when they face off in the Pinstripe Bowl (Saturday, 12 p.m. ET, ESPN) at Yankee Stadium. Both Notre Dame (8-4) and Rutgers (6-6) took a step backward in 2013 after strong 2012 seasons. The Fighting Irish had an unbelievable 2012 season, going 12-0 before getting throttled in the national title game against Alabama. Rutgers started the 2012 season 7-0 before finishing the season 2-4. Neither team could match its win total from the year before in 2013, but a win Saturday could get one team off on the right foot as they head into 2014.

While neither team had great 2013 seasons, both have talent headed to the 2014 NFL draft, though Notre Dame’s roster has more overall talent.

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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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