Posts Tagged ‘UCLA’

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 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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Super Size Me: Big, Strong Guards in the 2014 NFL Draft

Friday, February 21st, 2014

The Buffalo Bills should be in the market for a guard on Day 2 of the draft, and UCLA’s Xavier Su’a-Filo would be among their best options. (Photo: Andrew Weber — USA Today Sports)

BBD Staff Writer: Eric Samulski

Last offseason, the Buffalo Bills let left guard Andy Levitre go and failed to amply replace him. Doug Legursky and Colin Brown proved to be below average starters, and the offensive line, especially the interior, got pushed into the backfield enough to neutralize most of running back C.J. Spiller’s game-breaking ability.

Also needing to take pressure off of EJ Manuel, finding solid pieces to fill out the offensive line is of utmost importance to the Bills this offseason.

Some people have suggested drafting an offensive tackle like Auburn’s Greg Robinson or Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews and shifting Cordy Glenn to right tackle or left guard, but most specifically, the Bills need to find someone who can fill the need at left guard. Based on Doug Marrone’s style of offense, the Bills are likely to look for a versatile offensive lineman who can block with power, but also has the athleticism to pull and get to the second level to help free running back C.J. Spiller.

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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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2013 Sun Bowl Prospect Preview: UCLA vs. Virginia Tech

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

The Sun Bowl will be the final game of Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas’ enigmatic college football career. (Photo: Ed Wolfstein — USA Today Sports)

BBD Contributor: Ryan Glaze

New Years Eve’s Sun Bowl (2 p.m., CBS) pits two major college programs seemingly headed in diverging directions. Frank Beamer’s once dominant Virginia Tech Hokies (8-4) have fallen on hard times and are mired in mediocrity in the middling ACC. Conversely, in his two seasons at UCLA, Jim Mora has brought the Bruins, formerly a Pac-10 doormat, back to relevance with a 9-3 record this season.

With a young roster loaded with talent, the future looks bright for UCLA. While scouts are likely to flock to El Paso to see star UCLA prospects Anthony Barr and Brett Hundley, a number of other talents will be showcased as well.

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