Posts Tagged ‘Preston Brown’

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 Buffalo Bills Pre-Draft Visit Tracker

Friday, April 11th, 2014

The Buffalo Bills continued to look at big receiving target by visiting with Austin Seferian-Jenkins on Friday. (Photo: Matt Kartozian — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

As the Buffalo Bills prepare for the 2014 NFL Draft, they are allowed to bring up to 30 players to One Bills Drive for on-site pre-draft visits. Though it’s dangerous to read too much into those visits for projections, they can be a good indicator into not only what prospects the Bills want to get to know better, but also what schools, positions or types of players the team might be keeping a close eye on.

The Bills brought in three more prospects for visits on Friday, and all of them are realistic fits for Buffalo. Washington tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde would be strong second-round choices as offensive playmakers, while Liberty cornerback Walt Aikens could add size and versatility to the secondary as an intriguing small-school sleeper.

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2014 NFL Draft: Linebacker Options to Fix Buffalo’s Run Defense

Sunday, January 12th, 2014

If the Buffalo Bills choose to improve their linebacker corps with the No. 9 overall pick, UCLA’s Anthony Barr is one possible option. (Photo: Andrew Weber — USA Today Sports)

BBD Staff Writer: Eric Samulski

The Buffalo Bills improved in many ways under a new coaching staff in 2013, but stopping the run continued to be a problem. The Bills ranked 28th in the NFL in run defense, allowing 129 yards per game, 4.4 yards per carry and 19 runs of longer than 20 yards.

Middle linebacker Kiko Alonso had a tremendous rookie year, totaling 159 tackles and two sacks, but he showed far more value in coverage, sometimes being swallowed up by blockers in run defense. If the Bills are going to get better against the run as a team, they need to spend the offseason adding more stout talent around Alonso in the linebacker corps.

With that in mind, the Bills should have their eyes on some of the following linebackers in the upcoming draft who excel against the run. Most of these players have experience in versatile defenses or possess skill sets that would lend themselves to defensive coordinator Mike Pettine’s hybrid system.

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Teddy Bridgewater, DeVante Parker and Other Prospects to Watch in Russell Athletic Bowl

Saturday, December 28th, 2013

Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will be in the spotlight in Saturday’s Russell Athletic Bowl vs. Miami. (Photo: Andrew Weber — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

Although the bowl season spotlight shines brightest after New Year’s Eve, few NFL draft prospects will face higher expectations going into their bowl games than Louisville junior quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, the projected No. 1 overall pick should he declare for the 2014 NFL draft, will when the Cardinals (11-1) play the Miami Hurricanes (9-3) Saturday in the Russell Athletic Bowl (6:45 p.m. ET, ESPN) in Orlando.

Bridgewater will certainly be in the spotlight Saturday evening, . His leading wide receiver, DeVante Parker, is another potential early-round draft selection if he declares for this year’s draft as a junior. His quarterback adversary in this game, Miami’s Stephen Morris, is also an intriguing NFL prospect.

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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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