Posts Tagged ‘James Morris’

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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2014 Outback Bowl Prospect Preview: LSU vs. Iowa

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

Jarvis Landry (No. 80) and Odell Beckham (No. 3) have formed a dynamic duo at wide receiver for LSU this season. (Photo: Crystal LoGuidice — USA Today Sports)

BBD Staff Writer: Eric Samulski

Injured and showing chinks in a usually stellar defense, Les Miles’ LSU Tigers finished 2013 with 9-3 record and a defense that ranked just 45th in the nation. Their offense improved with the maturation of senior quarterback Zach Mettenberger, but after he suffered a torn ACL in LSU’s regular-season finale against Arkansas, the Tigers will need to win a bowl game without him to earn its fourth straight 10-win season.

Iowa, on the other hand, came into the season with no expectations and seemed to be meeting that low bar. Their Nov. 2 loss to Wisconsin dropped them to 5-4, but the Hawkeyes seemed to flip a switch at the end of the season, beating Purdue and Nebraska on the road and coming from behind to beat Michigan at home to finish the year with an 8-4 record. On Wednesday, the Hawkeyes will put their ball control, ground-based offense up against a surprisingly electric LSU offense in the Outback Bowl (1 p.m., ESPN).

Wednesday’s game will be a battle of physicality versus explosion; the only surprise is which one the typically-stout Tigers has become.

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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: Big Ten Conference Sleepers to Watch

Sunday, June 30th, 2013

Michigan State linebacker Max Bullough may be overshadowed by the other top linebackers in the 2014 NFL Draft. (Photo: USA Today Sports Images)

BBD Staff Writer: Joseph Curtis

The Big Ten Conference had an uncharacteristically low amount of players selected in the 2013 NFL Draft. In 2013, only 22 Big Ten players were selected, although their average for the previous five drafts was 32.

As the penultimate pick of the first round, Travis Frederick was the only Big Ten selection of the first round. Had two more selections passed without a Big Ten pick, it would have been the first time the Big Ten didn’t have a first-round selection since 1953.

The outlook for the 2014 draft, however, looks better. Led by Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan and Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby, it won’t be long before a Big Ten player hears their name called next May.

Lewan and Roby are potential top-10 draft picks, but there are many more Big Ten prospects to watch as well. Let’s take a look at some of the conference’s sleeper prospects.

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