Posts Tagged ‘Virginia Tech’

2014 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Can Logan Thomas Be An NFL Starting QB?

Friday, February 21st, 2014

Logan Thomas has the physical tools to be a star NFL quarterback, but will he ever develop enough as a passer to reach his potential? (Photo: Ed Wolfstein — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

Logan Thomas has the best physical tools of any quarterback in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Physically reminiscent of Carolina Panthers star and 2011 No. 1 overall pick Cam Newton, the Virginia Tech quarterback has a combination of size, athleticism and arm strength that is unmatched in this year’s draft class.

But while Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, UCF’s Blake Bortles and Fresno State’s Derek Carr are all being viewed as potential top-10 draft picks, grades on Thomas have ranged everywhere from the second round to undrafted free agency.

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

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Alabama inside linebacker C.J. Mosley stands out among senior inside linebacker prospects for the 2014 NFL draft. (Photo: John David Mercer — USA Today Sports)

BBD Staff Writer: Joe Marino

If you are looking for a rangy, middle linebacker for a 4-3 defense who can stay on the field every down, the 2014 NFL draft’s senior class is not for you if you miss out on Alabama’s C.J. Mosley.

Mosley is in a class of his own and deserves consideration as a top-20 draft selection. After that, we see a solid group of run-stopping thumpers who could pair with a more athletic player inside in a 3-4 defensive scheme to create a formidable duo, but who project to be two-down players.

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Joe Marino’s Senior Defensive End Rankings for the 2014 NFL Draft

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Stanford’s Trent Murphy stands out as the top defensive end of the senior class. (Photo: Jason O. Watson — USA Today Sports)

BBD Staff Writer: Joe Marino

The 2014 senior crop of defensive ends is full of hybrid type players who may project to play 4-3 defensive end or 3-4 outside linebacker at the next level. I based these rankings off of the positions these players primarily play in college, so all of the players ranked currently play defensive end.

The class doesn’t have any sure-fire top ten players but there are plenty of players with starter upside.

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