Posts Tagged ‘Wisconsin’

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 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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2014 Capital One Bowl Prospect Preview: Wisconsin vs. South Carolina

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

Jadeveon Clowney will be the headline act in what is expected to be his final college football game when South Carolina plays Wisconsin. (Photo: Jeremy Brevard — USA Today Sports)

BBD Staff Writer: Joe Marino

There will be a plethora of NFL talent on display in Wednesday’s Capital One Bowl (1 p.m. ET, ABC) between Wisconsin and South Carolina. The headline player will be South Carolina junior defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, playing in what should be his final game before declaring for the 2014 NFL draft.

In what appears to be an evenly matched game, both teams have scored more than 34 points per game this season and have prolific rushing offenses.

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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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