Posts Tagged ‘Prospects to Watch’

Joe Marino’s Talent Watch Week 3: USC’s Leonard Williams Emerging As One of Nation’s Best 2015 NFL Draft Prospects

Thursday, September 11th, 2014
Leonard Williams' standout performance through injury against Stanford last week proved that he's a star prospect. (Photo: Cary Edmondson — USA Today Sports)

Leonard Williams’ standout performance through injury against Stanford last week proved that he’s a star prospect. (Photo: Cary Edmondson — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

By Saturday morning, every team in college football will have taken the field. The season is in full swing. Oregon and USC secured big early-season victories this past weekend over Michigan State and Stanford, but most teams have yet to face a formidable conference opponent.

Even though Week 3 doesn’t offer the marquee matchups of previous weeks, every game counts and NFL scouts are always watching. This is a week highly ranked teams need to guard against a letdown loss.

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2015 NFL Draft Prospect to Watch: Alvin Dupree, DE/OLB, Kentucky

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014
Kentucky edge defender Alvin Dupree is one of the best athletes in college football. (Photo: Mark Zerof — USA Today Sports)

Kentucky edge defender Alvin Dupree is one of the best athletes in college football. (Photo: Mark Zerof — USA Today Sports)

BBD Contributor: Brian Krosky

He was in the top five of Bruce Feldman’s “Freaks” list for all college football players this year and he plays in the SEC. No, not for Alabama, LSU, or Georgia, but for Kentucky. Although Alvin “Bud” Dupree might not garner the national recognition that most players in the Southeastern Conference do, the senior edge defender is a player that should be in the spotlight and will most likely hear his name called early in next year’s NFL Draft.

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2015 NFL Draft Prospect to Watch: Leonard Williams, DL, Southern California

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014
USC junior defensive lineman Leonard Williams could be a top prospect in the 2015 NFL Draft. (Photo: Kirby Lee — USA Today Sports)

USC junior defensive lineman Leonard Williams could be a top prospect in the 2015 NFL Draft. (Photo: Kirby Lee — USA Today Sports)

BBD Contributor: Brian Krosky

Versatility is the name of the game in the NFL. Most players are now asked to do more than one job, and the ability to contribute in multiple capacities sets great players away from good players. This is especially true for defensive linemen, where the best players need to be able to rush the passer and stuff the run, play in both 4-3 and 3-4 schemes and adjust their talents to multiple roles. Leonard Williams, a 2013 third-team AP All-American from USC, has no shortage of versatility.

As a freshman in 2012, Williams played 3-technique defensive tackle on a defense coached by Monte Kiffin, who is now a member of the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff. The Pac-12 defensive freshman of the year, he totaled 64 tackles, including 13.5 for loss (8 sacks), while he also had four deflections, two fumble recoveries and an interception.

Last season, Williams occupied the 5-technique defensive end position under new USC defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast. He started 13 games and had 74 tackles, including 13.5 for loss (6 sacks), with two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. He suffered a shoulder injury against Oregon State on Nov. 1, and struggled with the recovery the rest of the year.

USC’s defensive scheme is changing yet again this year and Williams is set to play defensive end in the Trojans’ 3-4 alignment. He has two years of remaining eligiblity for USC, but should be a top prospect for the 2015 draft if he declares.

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2015 NFL Draft Prospect to Watch: Michael Bennett, DT, Ohio State

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

Michael Bennett has versatility that gives him the potential to excel in any defensive scheme. (Photo: Greg Bartram — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

Very few NFL teams feature a strictly 3-4 or 4-3 base defense, as most employ a multi-front scheme where players are able to line up in different spots and show the offense a variety of looks.

Having players with the versatility to function in multiple spots, and in a variety of roles, is extremely valuable in being able to move players around and show different looks on defense. That versatility is what an NFL defense could get from Ohio State defensive lineman Michael Bennett.

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2015 NFL Draft Prospect to Watch: Jamison Crowder, WR, Duke

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

Duke’s Jamison Crowder could be the next small but dynamic wide receiver to be a high selection in the NFL draft. (Photo: Mark Dolejs — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

If you don’t think there’s a place and demand for small explosive receivers in the NFL, you haven’t been paying attention to the first rounds of the last two drafts. In 2013, the St. Louis Rams traded up with the Buffalo Bills to acquire the No. 8 overall pick and select Tavon Austin, a West Virginia product who is listed at 5’8” and 176 pounds. In similar fashion, the New Orleans Saints traded up seven spots to the No. 20 overall pick in this year’s first round to draft 5’10″, 189-pound Oregon State wide receiver Brandin Cooks.

Listed at 5’9” and 175 pounds by Duke’s official athletics website, senior wide receiver Jamison Crowder is built similarly to Cooks and Austin while possessing a comparable skill set to the recent first-rounders.

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