Posts Tagged ‘Shaquil Barrett’

2014 NFL Draft Positional Breakdowns: Outside Linebackers

Sunday, April 20th, 2014

Buffalo’s Khalil Mack is the star talent in a strong class of outside linebacker. (Photo: Kevin Hoffman — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

This year’s crop of outside linebackers offers exactly what the NFL wants: Versatile edge defenders who can be moved around and contribute in a variety of roles within a multi-front defensive scheme. The value is diminishing for prospects that lack versatility.

Talent should be found throughout at the position, but the sweet spot is in the second to fourth rounds, where I have 12 players graded.

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2014 East-West Shrine Game: Most Intriguing Prospects at Each Position

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Tennessee running back Rajion Neal is one of the potential draft steals playing in Saturday’s Shrine Game. (Photo: Randy Sartin — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

College football all-star game season is here, a time for the nation’s top senior prospects to catch the eyes of NFL scouts in a variety of showcase games, including Saturday’s Shrine Game (4 p.m. ET, NFL Network).

There are a plethora of intriguing prospects participating in the game.

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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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Khalil Mack and More Prospects to Watch on Bowl Season’s Opening Saturday

Saturday, December 21st, 2013

Khalil Mack will be in the spotlight when Buffalo plays San Diego State on the bowl season’s opening day. (Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

The opening Saturday of bowl season may not feature college football’s marquee teams, but it certainly does include some of the nation’s marquee talent.

The prime game on the schedule is the Las Vegas Bowl, which kicks off between two ranked teams, No. 20 Fresno State and No. 25 USC, at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC. To find out more about the top NFL draft prospects playing in the game, including arguably the nation’s top senior quarterback prospect in Fresno State’s Derek Carr and two of college football’s best wide receivers in Fresno State redshirt sophomore Davante Adams and USC junior Marqise Lee, check out Joe Marino’s Prospect Preview of the game.

Saturday’s other three bowl games also each include players whose names should be called in the 2014 NFL draft.

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Joe Marino’s Senior Outside Linebacker Rankings for the 2014 NFL Draft

Saturday, December 7th, 2013

Buffalo’s Khalil Mack is the best of a star-studded class of senior outside linebacker prospects. (Photo: Kevin Hoffman — USA Today Sports)

BBD Staff Writer: Joe Marino

The senior outside linebacker class rivals offensive tackle in terms of having the most potential for first-round draft picks. Any of the top four would be valid first-round picks, while there are plenty of guys who are solid Day 2 selections.

There are several unique skill sets among the class. Whether a 3-4 defense is looking for a pass-rusher off the edge, or a 4-3 defense is looking for a rangy player, there are players who can help in this group.

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