Posts Tagged ‘Prospect to Watch’

2014 NFL Draft Prospect to Watch: Arizona State OLB Carl Bradford

Friday, October 4th, 2013

Arizona State outside linebacker Carl Bradford is a likely mid-round selection if he declares for the 2014 NFL draft. (Photo: Matt Kartozian — USA Today Sports)

BBD Staff Writer: Joe Marino

Carl Bradford, a fullback coming out of high school, has transitioned into a playmaking outside linebacker for the Arizona State Sun Devils. After redshirting as a freshman in 2010, Bradford started the team’s bowl game against Boise State at the end of the 2011 season, and has become a fixture in the defense ever since. Bradford had a monster season as a redshirt sophomore in 2012, posting a very productive stat line of 81 tackles, 20.5 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks.

Bradford plays the “Devilbacker” position for the Sun Devils and can be seen lining up in a variety of ways. He is primarily an outside linebacker, but will frequently put his hand on the dirt and lineup as a defensive end on pass-rushing downs. Bradford also occasionally lines up as an inside linebacker.

Bradford’s Skill Set

Bradford is extremely quick and explosive off the ball, with an incredible first step when he lines up as a defensive end. He plays with a tremendous motor and there is an obvious suddenness to the way he plays.

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Austin Seferian-Jenkins: The Basketball Prototype Tight End of the 2014 NFL Draft

Saturday, June 29th, 2013

Austin Seferian-Jenkins has the potential to be an elite NFL tight end. (Photo: USA Today Sports Images)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

The National Basketball Association held its 2013 draft on Thursday night, in which 60 talented basketball players achieved their dream of being selected by an NBA team.

In recent years, however, the National Football League has begun to see an influx of talented basketball players with the athleticism to be professional athletes, but who just aren’t quite good enough to play in the NBA. The tight end position in football has proved to be a natural transition for many physically-gifted basketball wingers, where the size, athleticism and skill set of a basketball small forward can be ideal.

This modern trend of basketball players-turned-tight ends has produced some of the best tight ends in the NFL today, including Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates and Jimmy Graham. Meanwhile, while Rob Gronkowski and Vernon Davis weren’t college basketball players, both elite tight ends fit the physical prototype standard set by the basketball converts.

This trend has revolutionized the tight end position, and has scouts looking at tight end prospects much differently than they did in previous generations. If a team is going to invest an early draft pick in a tight end, they are looking for a player who has great size and length, great leaping ability and good downfield speed.

Scouts covet those type of athletic specimens in tight end draft prospects, and a background in basketball certainly doesn’t hurt. It certainly won’t hurt Washington junior Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who is projected to be the top tight end prospect in the 2014 NFL draft should he declare.

Seferian-Jenkins played college basketball as a freshman at Washington, but he is better known for his ability on the football field.

An explosive athlete listed at 6’6” and 266 pounds by Washington’s official athletics website, Seferian-Jenkins has ideal measurables to fit the NFL’s modern tight end prototype. While he must improve as both a football player on the field and a person off the field, Seferian-Jenkins truly has the potential to be an NFL superstar.

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2014 NFL Draft: What Stanford LB Shayne Skov Must Prove to Be Worth a Draft Pick

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Shayne Skov has been a great inside linebacker for the Stanford defense, but has some major flaws in his game he must improve in 2013. (Photo: USA Today Sports Images)

BBD Staff Writer: Joe Marino

Shayne Skov has already started 33 games at linebacker in his career at Stanford, and is back for another season as a fifth-year senior.

Skov got on the field early in his career at Stanford, starting seven games in 2009 as a true freshman. He had his best season in 2010 when he collected 84 tackles, 10.5 for loss and 6.5 sacks. His 2011 season was over in Week 3 due to a season-ending knee injury. He returned from injury in 2012 to start 13 games while compiling 81 tackles, 9 for loss and 2.5 sacks.

The 2012 version of Skov, however, was a disappointment. He really took a step back from what he displayed in 2010 as a healthy sophomore.

While his game had obvious flaws in 2010, there was reason to believe he could improve and potentially be a solid draft choice. After studying his 2012 season, there is a lot for Skov to prove in 2013 for me to consider him worthy of a draft selection.

Perhaps he was never fully healthy last season after coming back from the knee injury that cut his junior season short.. That said, he has an entire season in front of him to regain the optimism that surrounded him early in his career. Before I get into the flaws, let’s first examine what there is to like about Skov.

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2014 NFL Draft Prospect to Watch: USC DE Morgan Breslin

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

USC’s Morgan Breslin is one of the top pass-rushers in the 2014 draft class. (Photo: USA Today Sports Images)

BBD Staff Writer: Joe Marino

After 28 sacks in two seasons at junior college, Morgan Breslin took his talents to the University of Southern California to test his ability against the FBS ranks.

The result was a very strong junior season that included 62 tackles (19.5 for loss) and 13 sacks.

After finishing third in sacks nationally last season, Breslin is one of the nation’s top pass-rushers heading into his senior year.

Breslin is listed at 6’2’’ and 250 pounds by USC’s official athletics website. He played defensive end for the Trojans last season, but will start at outside linebacker in 2013 according to the team website.

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2014 NFL Draft Prospect to Watch: Arizona State DT Will Sutton

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Arizona State defensive tackle Will Sutton has the interior pass-rushing ability of a first-round pick, but he may not have the measurables. (Photo: USA Today Sports Images)

BBD Staff Writer: Joe Marino

Arizona State defensive tackle Will Sutton emerged last season as one of the nation’s top defensive linemen, and if he can follow up his junior year with a strong senior season, he could be one of the top defensive linemen off the board in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Sutton burst onto the scene during the 2012 season. He was named the Pat Tillman Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and was a first-team All-American. He had 63 tackles, 23.5 for a loss (second-most in FBS) and 13 sacks (third-most in FBS). He also forced three fumbles and deflected five passes.

Sutton, the son of former NFL defensive back and punt returner Mickey Sutton, first saw action as a true freshman in 2009. He started two games and saw action in 12. He accumulated 17 tackles with three for loss and one sack.

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