Posts Tagged ‘South Carolina’

Joe Marino’s Talent Watch: Week One

Thursday, August 28th, 2014
Every Thursday this college football season, BBD's Joe Marino will provide analysis of some of the nation's top prospects—as well as prospect rankings and other fun features—in his weekly Talent Watch column.

Every Thursday this college football season, BBD’s Joe Marino will provide analysis of some of the nation’s top prospects—as well as prospect rankings and other fun features—in his weekly Talent Watch column.

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

I’ll never forget watching the 2003 NFL Draft. It was my third year of being truly interested in following football in a deeper level and keeping up with college football’s top prospects as they entered the NFL. In 2001, I began evaluating prospects and creating my own rankings and draft boards so by the 2003 draft, I felt like I was on my way to being the next Mel Kiper.

In the fourth round, with the No. 111 overall pick, the Buffalo Bills selected cornerback Terrence McGee out of Northwestern State and I was instantly humbled. Why? I had never heard of McGee. After all of my preparations, I didn’t even know a player who was taken in the fourth round. I took it hard and vowed to make sure this never happened again while taking my studies of players to an even deeper level.

Ten years later, a player here and there gets drafted that wasn’t on my radar but it’s very rare. This passion and drive for evaluating prospects has lead me to this great opportunity to share my work with you on Buffalo Bills Draft and now the debut of this scouting column. As for McGee, he went on to have a stellar 10-year career in the NFL; he holds six Bills franchise records and has been selected as an All-Pro on two occasions.

I have plenty in store for the 2014 season as I introduce a new crop of future NFL players. This column will be a great source to familiarize yourself with the prospects that will be selected next spring. Over the course of the season, I will feature more than 150 prospects for the 2015 draft as I highlight them in their biggest games, provide initial positional rankings, make predictions, and spotlight some of today’s best NFL draft analysts and football minds.

I hope you enjoy the 2014-15 College Football season and stay tuned as I share my thoughts.

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2014 NFL Draft: 10 Prospects Whose Tools Are Better Than Their Tape

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

While Anthony Barr’s physical tools stand out, his on-field play is not quite as outstanding. (Photo: Gary A. Vazquez — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

More times than not, good football players are also good athletes with prototypical physical traits, but being a great athlete and having great size does not necessarily mean one is a great football player. Every year, there are players whose draft stock is defined more by their measurables than what they have actually done on the football field. That is due in large part to NFL teams drafting players based on what they can become rather than who they are.

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2014 NFL Draft: 10 Prospects Whose Tape is Better Than Their Tools

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

Chris Borland isn’t the biggest or fastest linebacker, but he makes plays every time he is on the football field. (Photo: Brace Hemmelgarn — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

In an ideal world, every prospect would have the prototypical size and athletic ability that scouts envision to play a given position, but that is far from the case. Despite that, every year rookies who didn’t check an important box still succeed at the professional level. Whether it’s Anquan Boldin and his 4.72-second 40-yard dash dominating at wide receiver, or London Fletcher playing linebacker at a high level for 16 seasons at a height of 5’10″, limited physical traits do not preclude a player from NFL success.

The 2014 NFL draft class has several players who perform well on tape but lack the desired physical tools for their positions.

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2014 NFL Scouting Combine Impressions: Day 3 (Defensive Line and Linebackers)

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Aaron Donald was the star among defensive linemen at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine. (Photo: Pat Lovell — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

Monday’s on-field portion of the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine featured the draft’s best defensive line and linebacker prospects as the depth of the draft continued to prove itself in workouts. While no prospect was able to officially record a sub-4.5 second 40-yard dash, there was plenty of speed and athleticism on display alongside a few disappointments.

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Nine Possible No. 9 Overall Picks for the Buffalo Bills

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews could be an immediate upgrade on the Buffalo Bills offensive line. (Photo: Thomas Campbell — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

The National Football League is officially in its 2014 offseason, meaning that the entire league (well, maybe not quite yet for the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks) is shifting its attention to how it can make its team better for next season.

While free agency and possibly trades will be an important step, there is no bigger opportunity to improve a roster than the annual NFL draft, which will be held May 8-10 this year. The Buffalo Bills, by virtue of their 6-10 record, hold the No. 9 overall selection in the first round of this year’s draft.

A top-10 pick is always a valuable commodity, and the Buffalo Bills sit in a good position. The Bills should have the opportunity to draft a very good talent who provides an immediate upgrade at that slot, and although they have some needs, they have a roster well-rounded enough to have the flexibility to draft for the best player rather than the biggest roster hole.

We won’t know for sure who will be available at the No. 9 overall pick until the No. 8 overall pick has been announced on May 8, but there will be no shortage of speculation around the pick nonetheless. The Bills should be able to come up with nine worthy candidates to be their first-round pick; the following nine options (plus one, see end of page 2) might be their best.

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