Posts Tagged ‘James Hurst’

The 2014 All-Undrafted Team

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Although a knee injury didn’t stop Henry Josey from a productive 2013 season, it did lead to his going undrafted. (Photo: Spruce Derden — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

With a draft class that had been heralded as deep by people both inside and outside the league, we knew all along that there would be talented players to go unselected in the 2014 NFL draft.

Putting together an annual All-Undrafted team can be a challenge some years, as there are typically at least a couple positions where the well of draftable talent had run dry. Not this year. The difficult part of selecting this year’s best undrafted players wasn’t finding players worthy of the recognition, but rather deciding which players to leave off.

The following selections represent the prospects who bring the best skill sets and potential to the next level among the undrafted pool. That doesn’t necessarily mean they have the best chances to make the rosters of the teams who signed team, as some players have entered more favorable depth charts than others, but all of these players have enough ability to build a sustained NFL career.

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2014 NFL Draft Positional Breakdowns: Offensive Tackle

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews is the cream of this year’s offensive tackle crop. (Photo: John David Mercer — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

At least one offensive tackle has been selected among the first 10 selections in every draft but one (2005) since 2000. Premier talents like Jake Matthews and Greg Robinson, who I compared in-depth earlier this draft season, make it a near certainty that the trend will continue this year.

It would not be surprising to see Taylor Lewan join that mix and make this year’s draft the second consecutive with three top-10 offensive tackle selections.

An average of 19 offensive tackles have been selected in the last five drafts. I have draftable grades on 23 tackles this year which is a testament to the depth of this class. Intriguing offensive tackle talents can be found in every round of this year’s draft.

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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 Offensive Tackle Rankings for the 2014 NFL Draft

Friday, November 15th, 2013

Jake Matthews could follow in the footsteps of the three offensive tackles who were top 5 draft selections in 2013. (Photo: Thomas Campbell — USA Today Sports)

BBD Staff Writer: Joe Marino

The 2013 NFL draft proved that offensive tackle is considered one of the league’s premier positions, as three offensive tackles were selected among the first four selections. The top offensive tackle in this year’s senior class, Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews, may be even better than last year’s offensive tackles.

The team who draft Matthews will likely not have to worry about their left tackle spot for a long time. Overall, the senior class of offensive tackles for the 2014 NFL draft has good depth, with many players who have starter upside.

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James Hurst, A Top Draft Prospect Faced With Taking On Jadeveon Clowney

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

North Carolina left tackle James Hurst’s game will be put to the test Thursday night against South Carolina superstar defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. (Photo: Steve Mitchell — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

College football, and arguably its biggest star, will be back in action Thursday at 6 p.m., when superstar South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and the Gamecocks take on the North Carolina Tar Heels in a game televised nationally by ESPN.

The bulk of the attention leading up to this game has been placed on Clowney, and rightfully so: the junior is a virtually unanimous choice as college football’s best defensive player, is coming off of a 13-sack season and is projected to be a top-two selection in the 2014 NFL Draft.

That said, Clowney isn’t the only top prospect playing in Thursday night’s college football season opener. The second-best prospect in the game may be North Carolina left tackle James Hurst, the player Clowney will spend most of his night lining up directly across from.

Going into his senior season, Hurst is a legitimate first-round candidate for the 2014 draft. He is a very well-rounded offensive tackle with the all-around game to start on either side of the line, but to be a top draft pick in a class full of offensive tackle talent, Hurst must continue to get even better in his senior season.

Hurst starts his season with an opportunity to make a name for himself, for better or for worse. Facing Clowney will be the toughest test of his college football career, and it is likely that Hurst’s flaws will be exposed. But if Hurst can hold his own and conversely prove to be a tough test for Clowney, he will impress scouts and could vault himself into the top tier of offensive tackle prospects.

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