Posts Tagged ‘Mississippi State’

2015 NFL Draft Prospect To Watch: Preston Smith, DE, Mississippi State

Sunday, January 18th, 2015
The versatility Mississippi State's Preston Smith can bring to a defensive line makes him a potential early-round draft pick. (Photo: Spruce Derden)

The versatility Mississippi State’s Preston Smith can bring to a defensive line makes him a potential early-round draft pick. (Photo: Spruce Derden)

BBD Contributor: Brian Krosky

For a time this season, the Mississippi State Bulldogs were ranked No. 1 in the AP poll for the first time in the team’s history, which they achieved by playing and defeating some of the best teams in the SEC with a stout defense. One of the leaders on that defense was senior defensive lineman Preston Smith, who finished the year with 48 total tackles, nine sacks and two interceptions.

An interesting facet of Smith’s game is that he doesn’t have a definite position. In games this season he has lined up as a 0-, 1-, 3-, 5- and 7-technique along the defensive line. He has shown the ability to produce from anywhere on the field.

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Super Size Me: Big, Strong Guards in the 2014 NFL Draft

Friday, February 21st, 2014

The Buffalo Bills should be in the market for a guard on Day 2 of the draft, and UCLA’s Xavier Su’a-Filo would be among their best options. (Photo: Andrew Weber — USA Today Sports)

BBD Staff Writer: Eric Samulski

Last offseason, the Buffalo Bills let left guard Andy Levitre go and failed to amply replace him. Doug Legursky and Colin Brown proved to be below average starters, and the offensive line, especially the interior, got pushed into the backfield enough to neutralize most of running back C.J. Spiller’s game-breaking ability.

Also needing to take pressure off of EJ Manuel, finding solid pieces to fill out the offensive line is of utmost importance to the Bills this offseason.

Some people have suggested drafting an offensive tackle like Auburn’s Greg Robinson or Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews and shifting Cordy Glenn to right tackle or left guard, but most specifically, the Bills need to find someone who can fill the need at left guard. Based on Doug Marrone’s style of offense, the Bills are likely to look for a versatile offensive lineman who can block with power, but also has the athleticism to pull and get to the second level to help free running back C.J. Spiller.

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Quick Hits: 2014 East-West Shrine Game

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

San Jose State wide receiver Chandler Jones was one of the stars of Saturday’s Shrine Game. (Photo: Cary Edmondson — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

Before the Senior Bowl begins in earnest with practices on Monday, the biggest contest on the pre-draft all-star game schedule thus far came Saturday with the East-West Shrine Game, televised on NFL Network from St. Petersburg, Fla.

The East won Saturday’s game, 23-13, but the final score was essentially meaningless. Instead, the game served as the culmination of a week-long opportunity for 2014 draft prospects to showcase their talents to NFL coaches, scouts and executives in hopes of being among this year’s 256 draft selections.

Which players made impressions, positive or negative, in Saturday’s game? While it’s hard to make any big takeaways from the game, as the practices actually hold more value in the all-star game evaluation process, there were a players who might have made scouts want to go back and take another look at their tape, for better or for worse.

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Joe Marino’s Senior Running Back Rankings for the 2014 NFL Draft

Friday, December 13th, 2013

Carlos Hyde has broken out as the top senior running back with a fantastic season at Ohio State. (Photo: Andrew Weber — USA Today Sports)

BBD Staff Writer: Joe Marino

The running back position has decreased in draft value over the past few seasons. NFL teams have been able to find backs later in the draft who prove to be viable starters.

That’s exactly what I see in many of the senior running backs in the 2014 class. Some of them are situational-type players, but most of them are prospects that could fill the role of a starter who gets selected in the later rounds of the draft and proves to be a tremendous value pick.

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Joe Marino’s Senior Defensive End Rankings for the 2014 NFL Draft

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Stanford’s Trent Murphy stands out as the top defensive end of the senior class. (Photo: Jason O. Watson — USA Today Sports)

BBD Staff Writer: Joe Marino

The 2014 senior crop of defensive ends is full of hybrid type players who may project to play 4-3 defensive end or 3-4 outside linebacker at the next level. I based these rankings off of the positions these players primarily play in college, so all of the players ranked currently play defensive end.

The class doesn’t have any sure-fire top ten players but there are plenty of players with starter upside.

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