Last year the PAC 12 had four of the initial 13 players selected in the draft. This year they have potentially the top prospect from the senior class as well as the top rated senior quarterback and the conference is poised to inject a lot of talent into the NFL next April.
|3-4||Viliami Moeakiola||S||Arizona State||4Jr|
|4th||D.J. Foster||RB||Arizona State||4Sr|
|5th||Antonio Longino||ILB||Arizona State||5Sr|
|5th||Christian Westerman||G||Arizona State||5Sr|
|6th||Vivii Teofilo||G||Arizona State||5Sr|
|6th||Scooby Wright III||ILB||Arizona||3Jr|
|6th||Dustin Stanton||T||Oregon State||4Jr|
|6th||Jordan Simone||S||Arizona State||5Sr|
|6th||Storm Woods||RB||Oregon State||5Sr|
|6th||Ellis Jefferson||WR||Arizona State||3So|
|6th||Kweishi Brown||CB||Arizona State||4Sr|
|7th||Mike Bercovici||QB||Arizona State||5Sr|
|7th||Sean Harlow||T||Oregon State||3Jr|
|7th||Larry Scott||CB||Oregon State||5Sr|
|7-FA||Lloyd Carrington||CB||Arizona State||5Sr|
|FA||Leon McQuay III||S||USC||3Jr|
|FA||Nicholas Kelly||C||Arizona State||4Sr|
|FA||Victor Bolden||WR||Oregon State||3Jr|
|FA||Gavin Andrews||T||Oregon State||4Sr|
|FA||Caleb Smith||TE||Oregon State||4Sr|
|FA||Kody Kohl||TE||Arizona State||4Jr|
|FA||Dominique Williams||WR||Washington St||5Sr|
|FA||Isaac Seumalo||C||Oregon State||4Jr|
|FA||Gary Chambers||WR||Arizona State||5Sr|
|FA||Ricky Ortiz||FB||Oregon State||4Jr|
|FA||Demetrius Cherry||DE||Arizona State||5Sr|
|FA||Joshua Mitchell||C||Oregon State||4Sr|
|FA||Joesph Dahl||G||Washington St||5Sr|
|FA||Taylor Taliulu||S||Washington St||4Sr|
|FA||Jeremiah Allison||ILB||Washington St||4Sr|
|FA||Kache Palacio||OLB||Washington St||4Sr|
The Wildcats are amongst a handful of programs in college football where the coaches are able to get a lot out of a little, meaning the staff extracts all the talent possible from their players. The end conclusion are solid athletes that are not given high grades by scouts.
A lot of people like Cayleb Jones and while he’s a big bodied receiver who wins out in battles Jones is also a one gear athlete with limited quickness.
Conversely I believe David Richards is slightly underrated. He’s another big body receiver with solid hands but gets lost in the shuffle of Arizona’s receiver rotation. He’s someone who’ll go undrafted then ends up making a roster in 2016.
Opinions on linebacker Scooby Wright are varied. While some like him I feel he’s an undersized two-down defender with limited upside. I’m told the feeling from Wright’s camp is he’ll feeling draft worthy next April.
Keep an eye on offensive tackle Freddie Tagaloa, the Cal transfer who I’m told is looking very good.
The opinion on potential prospects from Arizona State is wide ranging.
Some scouts consider D.J. Foster a late round pick while others feel he’s mid round talent. I agree with the latter. Foster is a skilled ball handler with an elusive style that can help a team in a variety of ways, which may the problem. Many are split on his best position at the next level; running back or receiver.
Arizona State has a nice combination at safety in junior Viliami Moeakiola and senior Jordan Simone.
Moeakiola is more the complete safety and a steady run defender who also looks good in coverage. Simone lacks great size and speed but offers terrific instincts and a hard charging style.
The team also has a terrific guard tandem in Christian Westerman and Vivii Teofilo, both last day picks on my board but linemen with the ability to play in a run oriented system on Sunday.
Several west coast scouts have told me while they like Cody Kessler of USC they feel Jared Goff has franchise potential. And though I like Goff, I’m not ready to anoint him to that level just yet.
The junior is patient and poised in the pocket and displays a nice degree of accuracy on throws. I also like his command of the offense but Goff is rail thin and unless he fills out, he may struggle holding up at the next level.
Receiver Kenny Lawler is a nice sized target for Goff and has a good degree of upside in his game.
Last year at this time I was singing the praises of Chaz Green, the underrated Florida lineman who was ultimately selected in the third round. I feel Stephane Nembot is a likely comparison as few have him on the radar screen as anything other than a potential late round pick. But watching Nembot the past three seasons you’ll see the makings of a potential starter on the NFL level. I like his size (6’ 6”/310) quickness and athleticism. I presently grade Nembot as a fourth rounder, right around where I had Green at this time last year.
The Ducks had five players drafted last April including a pair in the first round and two more on the second day. Its only fair to say had he not been injured seventh round pick Ifo Ekpre-Olomu would’ve added to the second day list.
There won’t be the same abundance of talent in 2016 but the team does possess the player many scouts feel is the top senior prospect in the nation.
Deforest Buckner is an explosive defensive lineman that shows himself to be a disruptive force. He’s impossible to move from the point of attack and if he can’t make the play he’ll occupy gaps and allow teammates a free run to the ball. How does he compare to Arik Armstead, his former teammate who left early for the draft to become the 17th selection? Most scouts agree that while Armstead is the better athlete Buckner is the better player at this point in their respective careers.
Some will be surprised I have Chris Seisay ranked so early but I was blown away by his film, limited as it was. Seisay saw a lot of action late in the year, especially when Ekpre-Olomu was down for the count, and looked good in every aspect of the cornerback position.
When I watched Evan Baylison film I kept thinking Crockett Gilmore; a well rounded tight end that’s solid as a pass catcher and dominates blocking.
The Beavers have two underclassmen tackles to keep an eye on, Sean Harlow (son of former first round pick Pat Harlow) and Dustin Stanton. In my opinion Stanton’s a little more rounded and definitely stronger.
Larry Scott is a cornerback who deserves more mention. He offers solid ball skills and better size than former teammate Steve Nelson, third round pick of the Kansas City Chiefs last April.
Andrew Luck not withstanding the belief amongst scouts is most of the players entering the league from Stanford are pretty tapped out and don’t possess great upside. And though there will be exceptions it’s the primary reason Stanford prospects are selected later than initially anticipated. The implication being the coaching staff is first rate and gets the players to play above their level of ability.
Linebacker Blake Martinez is a solid prospect who makes most of his plays with hustle and instincts rather than brute force. I could see a 3-4 team taking him in the middle rounds.
One “sleeper” I like on the Cardinal defense is Kevin Anderson, who primarily lines up in a three point stance but projects to outside linebacker. Anderson is a high revving defender who plays smart football. He also comes with next level measurables.
Receiver Devon Cajuste has outstanding measurables but plays spotty football. Cajuste looks dominant during some games then is a non factor in others. The poor quarterback play at Stanford is part of the problem. Cajuste will be the main wide out this season and the end result will dictate much of his draft stock next April.
The talent amassed by the Bruins from several top recruiting classes will finally be available to the NFL next April.
Kenny Clark is a difference maker on the defensive line. He’s an explosive interior lineman that’s impossible to handle or move from the point of attack. While there’s room for improvement I like his entire game and feel he comes with terrific upside.
Myles Jack is another forceful defender at linebacker. Very sudden in his game, Jack flashes on the scene and is a disruptive force. He’s not only good up the field but also stands out in pursuit and plays with a vicious style. The lack of size and growth limitations are an issue as Jack will fit just a few schemes at the next level.
Talk to ten difference people about cornerback Fabian Moreau and you’ll get fifteen different opinions, that’s how varied thoughts are about his game. He’s a well built defensive back with solid ball skills. I’m concerned as Moreau struggles making plays with his back to the ball and loses out in battles. Though I’ve seen some early projections for him I grade Moreau as a middle round nickel/dime back.
The Trojans hope to contend for conference supremacy and possess a lot of next level talent on the roster.
Su’a Cravens is a forceful safety, disrupting the action up the field against the run while showing competent ball skills in coverage. Cravens is big boy, maybe too big for safety and may get consideration as a one-gap linebacker.
I see a lot of Mark Sanchez when I watch Cody Kessler. That’ not a knock as I believe if Kessler is used correctly, unlike the way Sanchez was during much of his career with the New York Jets, he can start and be a successful signal caller on Sunday. Kessler is an accurate passer who does not make mental errors but has size limitations.
Anthony Sarao will be downgraded as he’s not even 6-feet tall but on film he’s a terrific linebacker with a complete game. In the right system he will produce at the next level.
The current belief is Zach Banner will enter the 2016 draft but unless he significantly improves his game its a mistake off the ’14 film. Banner is a big bodied blocker but a lineman who shows little in the way of balance or the ability to consistently finish blocks due to his lack of balance.
The Utes enter the season with more than a half dozen seniors considered draftable by scouts. Overall I don’t see any prospect that really stands out.
Jared Norris is a smallish linebacker with incredible instincts. Norris is always around the ball making positive plays, defending the run or covering the pass. In the end I consider him a smaller version of James Laurinaitis; a very steady defender that does not make mental mistakes.
I want to like receiver Ken Scott but there’s just to much inconsistency in his game. He plays like a dominant game controlling receiver in many instances than just as quickly has catchable throws bouncing off his hands.
Unlike last year the Huskies won’t have any first round picks in the next draft but do offer one of the most underrated linebackers in the conference.
Travis Feeney is a terrific athlete and a three down prospect at linebacker. He’s quick up the field defending the run, gets depth on pass drops and also stands out in pursuit. I think his instincts need a bit of brushing up but believe if he plays productive, mistake free football Freeney could move into the third round.
Not much from the Cougars. Dom Williams is a smallish receiver who could slide into the late rounds based on his return skills.
Last April the Big 12 placed a pair of players in the first round, including the seventh pick of the draft as well as the final selection of the frame. In 2016 they may be hard pressed to place a single player into round one. Here are rankings and notes on 111 next level prospects from the conference.
|2-3||Cody Whitehair||Kansas State||G||5Sr|
|3rd||Daryl Worley||West Virginia||CB||3Jr|
|3-4||Emmanuel Ogbah||Oklahoma State||DE||4Jr|
|5th||K.J. Dillon||West Virginia||S||4Sr|
|5th||Noble Nwachukwu||West Virginia||DE||4Jr|
|5-6||Glenn Gronkowski||Kansas State||FB||4Jr|
|6th||Seth Jacobs||Oklahoma State||OLB||4Jr|
|6th||Pete Robertson||Texas Tech||OLB||4Sr|
|6th||Keenon Ward||Texas Tech||S||4Jr|
|6th||Kevin Peterson||Oklahoma State||CB||4Sr|
|6th||Rushel Shell||West Virginia||RB||4Jr|
|6th||Adam Pankey||West Virginia||G||4Jr|
|6th||Michael Hunter||Oklahoma State||CB||5Sr|
|6th||Karl Joseph||West Virginia||S||4Sr|
|6-7||Jordan Willis||Kansas State||DE||3Jr|
|6th||Tyler Orlosky||West Virginia||C||5Sr|
|7th||Wendell Smallwood||West Virginia||RB||3Jr|
|7th||Marquis Lucas||West Virginia||G||5Sr|
|7th||Danzel McDaniel||Kansas State||CB||4Sr|
|7th||Le’Raven Clark||Texas Tech||T||5Sr|
|FA||Ryan Simmons||Oklahoma State||ILB||4Sr|
|FA||Dante Barnett||Kansas State||S||4Sr|
|FA||Jhajuan Seales||Oklahoma State||WR||4Jr|
|FA||Jimmy Bean||Oklahoma State||DE||5Sr|
|FA||Deandre Washington||Texas Tech||RB||4Sr|
|FA||Nicholas Kwiatkoski||West Virginia||ILB||5Sr|
|FA||Corey Avery||x- Kansas||RB||3Jr|
|FA||Jordan Sterns||Oklahoma State||S||3Jr|
|FA||Marcell Ateman||Oklahoma State||WR||3Jr|
|FA||Kyle Rose||West Virginia||DT||5Sr|
|FA||Branden Jackson||Texas Tech||DE||5Sr|
|FA||Morgan Burns||Kansas State||CB||4Sr|
|FA||Davis Webb||Texas Tech||QB||3Jr|
|FA||Christian Brown||West Virginia||DE||4Jr|
|FA||Nate Jackson||Kansas State||CB||5Sr|
|FA||Jeremy Seaton||Oklahoma State||FB||5Sr|
|FA||Terrell Chestnut||West Virginia||CB||5Sr|
|FA||Zachary Crabtree||Oklahoma State||T||3So|
|FA||Quenton Bundrage||Iowa State||WR||5Sr|
|FA||Paul Lewis||Oklahoma State||C||4Jr|
|FA||Edward Muldrow||West Virginia||S||5Sr|
|FA||Jared Barber||West Virginia||ILB||5Sr|
|FA||Brock Dagel||Iowa State||T||5Sr|
|FA||Sam Richardson||Iowa State||QB||5Sr|
|FA||Jamison Lalk||Iowa State||G||5Sr|
|FA||Boston Stiverson||Kansas State||G||5Sr|
|FA||Luke Hayes||Kansas State||G||4Sr|
|FA||Micah Awe||Texas Tech||ILB||4Sr|
|FA||Andrew Buie||West Virginia||RB||5Sr|
|FA||Matthew Kleinsorge||Kansas State||T||5Sr|
|FA||Marquel Bryant||Kansas State||OLB||5Sr|
|FA||Derrick Moncrief||Oklahoma State||OLB||4Sr|
|FA||Andre Davis||Kansas State||WR||4Sr|
|FA||Brandon Sheperd||Oklahoma State||WR||4Sr|
There was a bit of shock two months ago when I tweeted area scouts had stamped Shawn Oakman as a 3rd/4th round pick. After watching the film I understand why. Oakman is physically impressive and makes plays- on occasion. While he can be a dominant force it seems all too often Oakman is a “once blocked, stays blocked” type of defender. After watching the film I came away reminded of Quinton Coples.
Oakman could take a lesson in tenacity from his teammate, Andrew Billings. The fiery nose tackle plays non-stop and is a constant force, either disrupting the action or occupying blocks and allowing teammates to make plays. I’m probably underrating him a tad, but as is the case with most underclassmen I want to see his true computer numbers.
The same time I posted my tweet on Oakman, I also put out the news that some scouts view Spencer Drango as a late rounder, which I completely disagree with. Though he may not be the greatest athlete Drango has good size, length and football intelligence. He’s a great technician with next level starting potential.
I find ISU an easy team to root for but their next level talent leaves a lot to be desired. Receiver Quenton Bundrage, who hurt his knee during the initial game last season then missed the rest of the year, is the team’s top prospect but a free agent on my board. He offers solid size/speed numbers and was both dependable and productive in 2013.
Years of sub-par recruiting could hurt the Jayhawks on the field and will hurt them in NFL war rooms.
Running back Corey Avery graded as the teams top prospect but was dismissed from the program in early June.
That leaves offensive tackle Larry Mazyck, a massive blocker who dominates opponents when on his game but must improve every facet of his blocking.
I’ve been on the Cody Whitehair wagon the past three years as he’s a nasty, strong blocker effective in all areas of the game. Unlike scouts, I believe his best position at the next level is offensive guard rather than tackle.
Keep an eye on cornerback Danzel McDaniel. He offers next level ball skills and flashes the ability to shut down opponents. His deep speed in long coverage is a concern but I believe McDaniel can line-up as a dime back on Sunday’s in a zone system.
The West Virginia game notwithstanding when he was torched by Kevin White, Zack Sanchez has the makings of a first round pick. He offers next level ball skills and stands out making plays when his back is to the ball. Size is the question mark for Sanchez.
Poor size will also be an issue for linebacker Eric Striker, the linebacker who lives up to his name. He’s an explosive athlete but built more like a safety than a defensive front seven player.
For the most part the top Oklahoma State prospects in the draft have come from the offensive side of the ball. That changed when Justin Gilbert was selected with the 9th pick of the draft in 2014 and once again their top next level prospect is a defender.
Junior Emmanuel Ogbah is an explosive pass rushing end who plays with great athleticism, offers the ability to stand up over tackle and seems to have the growth potential to develop into an every down end.
When I watch the TCU film I am amazed the way the coaching staff extracts every ounce of ability from their players. The Horned Frogs don’t put great athletes on the field (think Paul Dawson and Chris Hackett) rather really good football players.
Hence the case moving forwards.
Receiver Josh Doctson is the teams top prospect as he’s a reliable wide out who displays solid run after the catch skill. Doctson lacks elite size/speed numbers which will push him out of the top 40 selections, though a number of scouts believe he is the top receiver from the senior class.
I like the potential of the team’s other receiver Kolby Listenbee, who flashes big play ability but needs to up his production a bit. Listenbee offers terrific measurables and the talent to line-up as a third receiver on Sunday.
Dylan Haines is a well rounded safety who’s fearless defending the run while also displaying top ball skills in coverage. He offers solid size and is coming off a breakout campaign, which he needs to build upon, but I believe he has second day potential.
Opinions are mixed on quarterback Tyrone Swoopes but put me in the camp of those who believe he’ll develop into a big time talent. Swoopes is a tremendous athlete with a next level arm but also a quarterback prospect that displays himself to be more passer than thrower. I love his patience in the pocket as he’s by no means a run first signal caller. I also feel he makes solid decisions. That said Swoopes is sort of on the fence at this point and must really turn the corner in 2015 and improve the nuances of his game if scouts are to fully move into his camp.
Le’Raven Clark is highly rated in many circles but I’m not a believer. On film I see a big guy who flashes athleticism but an offensive tackle who shows little in the way of balance or finishing strength.
After having a receiver selected in the early part of round one last April, the top NFL prospects on the WVU roster can be found in their secondary.
Daryl Worley offers the size and ball skills to be a starter at the next level. He shuts down opponents who only occasionally throw in his direction. I presently grade the junior as an early third rounder but rest assured, another good season will push him into the top 45 if he measures/times well.
Most scouts like Karl Joseph over K.J. Dillion, but I disagree. Dillon has a size advantage over his teammate and is significantly better making plays when the ball is in the air.
Alabama sits atop my draft board of the best NFL prospects in the SEC but their western division foe Mississippi is strong with three of the top six prospects in the conference. Here are rankings, ratings and notes on 168 NFL prospects from the SEC.
|1st||Germain Ifedi||T||Texas A&M||4Jr|
|2nd||Ricky Seals-Jones||WR||Texas A&M||3So|
|2nd||Da’Runnya Wilson||WR||Mississippi St||3Jr|
|2nd||Will Redmond||CB||Mississippi St||5Sr|
|3rd||Ben Brown||ILB||Mississippi St||4Jr|
|3rd||Josh Reynolds||WR||Texas A&M||3Jr|
|3rd||Shaan Washington||OLB||Texas A&M||3Jr|
|4th||Dak Prescott||QB||Mississippi St||5Sr|
|4th||Taveze Calhoun||CB||Mississippi St||5Sr|
|4-5||Zach Jones||S||Mississippi St||5Sr|
|4-5||Pharoh Cooper||WR||South Carolina||3Jr|
|5th||Kendrick Market||S||Mississippi St||5Sr|
|5th||Tra Carson||RB||Texas A&M||5Sr|
|5th||Andrew Kaser||P||Texas A&M||5Sr|
|6th||Michael Matthews||C||Texas A&M||4Sr|
|6th||Brandon Shell||T||South Carolina||5Sr|
|6th||De’Vante Harris||CB||Texas A&M||4Sr|
|6th||Justin Senior||T||Mississippi St||4Jr|
|6th||Joseph Cheek||G||Texas A&M||5Sr|
|6th||Isaiah Johnson||S||South Carolina||5Sr|
|6th||Brandon Wilds||RB||South Carolina||5Sr|
|6-7||Darius English||DE||South Carolina||4Jr|
|6-7||Chris Moody||S||South Carolina||4Jr|
|7th||Jerell Adams||TE||South Carolina||4Sr|
|7-FA||Chris Jones||DT||Mississippi St||3Jr|
|FA||Nick James||DT||Mississippi St||4Jr|
|FA||Alonzo Williams||DT||Texas A&M||4Sr|
|FA||Justin Malone||G||Mississippi St||5Sr|
|FA||Chaz Elder||S||South Carolina||4Jr|
|FA||Brandon Williams||RB||Texas A&M||5Sr|
|FA||Ralph Abernathy IV||RB||Tennessee||5Sr|
|FA||Timothy Gurley||S||South Carolina||4Sr|
|FA||Gerald Dixon Jr||DT||South Carolina||5Sr|
|FA||Ryan Brown||DE||Mississippi St||4Sr|
|FA||Gerald Dixon||DT||South Carolina||4Jr|
|FA||Julien Obioha||DE||Texas A&M||4Sr|
|FA||Devonta Burns||S||Texas A&M||5Sr|
|FA||Joe Morrow||WR||Mississippi St||5Sr|
As usual the Tide is loaded with top prospects and junior A’Shawn Robinson sits atop my board in the SEC.
The big defensive tackle is a space eater with both power and movement skills. He can occupy the gaps or make plays behind the line of scrimmage as well as outside the box. Sources tell me they fully expect Robinson to enter the 2016 draft and word in the agent community is he’s already picked his representative, something not all that unusual.
My opinion of Dennis Pettway (6th/7th round area) differs from scouts (street free agent). Though he lacks great measurables Pettway is constantly around the action making positive plays. They’ll be a place for him in the NFL, likely as a three technique tackle.
The strength of the Razorbacks next level prospects can be found in the junior class.
Hunter Henry is an athletic pass catching tight end who consistently creates mismatches downfield.
Dan Skipper is a lot more than just a big body at tackle rather a surprisingly fluid athlete who can block the edge or dominate run blocking.
Keep an eye on receiver Keon Hatcher. He has shown flashes of next level ability the past two seasons and was quietly productive in 2014. He comes with average size/speed numbers but enough skill to line-up as a fifth receiver on Sunday.
I believe Shon Coleman has all the makings to be the next big time offensive line prospect from Auburn. He combines the size, strength and the athleticism to start at left tackle on Sunday’s.
From a size/speed point of view Cassanova Mckinzy does not measure up but he’s a disruptive defender and a terrific prospect that can be moved around the front seven by a creative NFL coordinator.
Kris Frost possesses next level mesurables but has shown a degree of inconsistency on the field. He played like a big time prospect in 2013 but never elevated his game last season.
There’s a lot of love in the scouting community for D’Haquille Williams as he possesses awesome size/speed numbers. In my opinion he also comes with an incredibly consistent game and is more athlete than polished receiver to this point.
To a man most scouts feel the cornerback duo of Brian Poole and Vernon Hargreaves are significantly overrated. Poole is considered a late ronder by scouts and Hargreaves is not mentioned on a number of underclassmen lists teams have assembled.
On the other hand Neal Keanu is a Gators secondary prospect that does not receive the credit he’s due. The productive safety stands out defending the run as well as covering the pass and rarely has breakdowns on the field. I’m a fan of his game though his next level grade will largely depend on works out prior to the draft. He reminds me of former Gators safety Major Wright.
I’ve been a proponent of Leonard Floyd since the end of his freshman season and feel he has top twelve potential. The way he finished the season last year was a concern as Floyd was non-existent for long stretches. Despite rumblings he would enter April’s draft he made the correct decision by returning for another year. Word from Athens is the talented defender will be used at several linebacker positions this season, which will only enhance his draft stock if he responds with production and consistency.
I’m told scouts like offensive lineman John Theus as a middle round choice but I don’t see it. He’s a servicable tackle but lacks the athleticism and footwork for the left side as well as the brute strength necessary to line up at right tackle.
Jordan Swindle is another SEC offensive lineman scouts think highly of. He’s relatively athletic on film showing the ability to block on the second level and control opponents at the point. That said he lacks footwork in pass protection, must improve his playing balance and consistently block with proper fundamentals.
Linebacker Josh Forest has terrific measurables and plays fierce, aggressive football but needs to develop a complete game. He moves with speed in all directions of the field, covers a good amount of area and is effective in both coverage and pursuit. Forest is not a strong open field tackler and at times has ball carriers running through his arms.
Its amazing how LSU is able to reload every year despite the mass exodus of underclassmen talent that’s becoming an annual ritual.
Tre’Davious White has big time talent and is poised to be the best next level corner from LSU since Patrick Peterson. He comes with better than average size, solid ball skills and makes plays with his back to the ball. If he pulls it together he’ll move into the top half of round one.
I love Kendell Beckwith’s explosion, tenacity and ability to make plays sideline to sideline as well as his instincts. I’d also love to know what his true computer numbers are.
Jerald Hawkins is a blocker that’s been highly considered on my board for the past two years. He’s a natural right tackle with better than average skills in pass protection.
The great recruiting classes ‘Ole Miss has signed in recent years will finally have an effect in NFL war rooms next April.
LaQuon Treadwell is the big, dominant receiver that projects well in today’s NFL. He’s smooth, almost graceful with natural hands and projects as a number one at the next level if he’s able to get back on track after his horrendous injury from late last season.
A lot has been said about tackle Laremy Tunsil lately, a prospect with great upside. Explosive at the point of attack, he displays enough footwork to slide off the edge on the left side as well as the strength to drive opponents off the line as a strong side run blocker. Tunsil still needs a bit of work on his game as he’s very inconsistent with his mechanics.
Tony Conner is a defensive back who does not receive due credit in my opinion. Conner, who can line up at safety or cornerback, is well sized, aggressive and comes with solid ball skills. I grade him as a third rounder but he has the talent to move into the second frame if he continues to improve.
Da’Runnya Wilson is another big time game controlling receiver from the Magnolia State. Like his counter part from ‘Ole Miss, Wilson physically beats down opponents and dominates the opposition.
Scouts love cornerback Will Redmond and though the overall talent is available, I don’t rank him as one of the better senior corners at this point.
Conversely I believe Taveze Calhoun, who was slowed by an ankle injury last season, is significantly overlooked. His ball skills and instincts are on a par with Redmond’s and I dare say Calhoun is more consistent.
Keep an eye on Ben Brown, a complete three down defender that offers second day potential.
Harold Brantley flashes big time ability on the inside at defensive tackle and will be the focus of opponents this season considering junior defections and graduations on the Tigers line. He’s explosive as well as athletic and can be very tough to handle.
Evan Boehm could contend for the top center spot next April. He’s a complete center that’s been very productive on the college level.
Expect a drop off in draftable talent coming from the South Carolina program the next few years compared to what its been in the past.
Possibly the most intriguing prospect is tight end Jerell Adams, who scouts feel is middle round value. Adams offers size (6-feet, 5-inches/230+ pounds), speed (4.6’s) and growth potential. What he lacks is productivity and a body of work. The potential is there for Adams to make a move up draft boards with a big senior season.
At one time I graded Chaz Elder as a potential last day pick but his game has fallen off and the big-bodied safety was almost non-existent last season.
The next level talent on the Volunteers roster offers a lot of upside.
Curt Maggitt is a physical specimen who flashes brilliance but needs to round out his game. I’ve stamped him as a fourth rounder but a top 75 selection is a possibility with a good campaign.
Corners Cam Sutton and receiver Marquiz North are pair of juniors with the potential to rise up draft boards.
I’ll be closely watching Ralph Abernathy IV, the versatile skill player who transferred from Cincinnati. Abernathy, who’s been ignored by scouts, can line up at receiver, in the backfield and help out as a return specialist.
This time last year I wrote glowingly about then offensive guard Germain Ifedi and predicted he was the next great offensive line prospect from A&M. I was even more impressed watching him at right tackle in 2014 and feel he’s being vastly underrated. Ifedi possesses the footwork and mobility to pass protect as well as the athleticism to block in motion. Though he needs to improve his run blocking strength Ifedi has the makings of a starting tackle at the next level who can play on the either left or right side. Word at present time is Ifedi will enter the 2016 NFL draft.
Ricky Seals-Jones is yet another big-bodied game controlling receiver from the SEC and a prospect with the ability to develop into a first rounder. Reynolds plays strong and shows a lot of consistency on the field.
Scouts I’ve spoken with view Tra Carson as a free agent prospect but I disagree and feel he could end up in the middle part of day three. He has the size and style to pound opponents on the inside but also enough short area quickness to evade defenders or piles.
Not a whole lot to get excited about at Vandy.
Scouts feel tight end Steve Scheu could develop into a late rounder but I feel his blocking is average and his speed is subpar.
Andrew Jelks, the high revving defensive tackle, is out of position in college and could get serious looks at middle linebacker next summer.