One Texas underclassman is reportedly ready to enter the draft while another is staying in Austin. Another Penn State transfer is leaving college early and opting for the NFL Draft. A potential first round pick at tight end won’t be playing in his team’s bowl game this week. In depth information on the above plus more breaking underclassmen news and NFL Draft notes in today’s report.
– Late last week Maryland offensive tackle Bruce Campbell officially announced what we first reported in October then again on Tuesday; he’s entering the draft. This was no surprise but what could shock people is how early Campbell is selected next April. Sources we’ve spoken with have the big left tackle rated as early as the middle of round one.
– Also last week we reported that South Carolina tight end Weslye Saunders is seriously considering entering the draft. Despite reports to the contrary which came out after our initial story, we are hearing Saunders will almost definitely opt for next April’s event.
– Two months ago we reported that Texas junior defensive end Sam Acho was leaning towards entering the draft. We hear he’s pulled back from that thought as Longhorn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp has been in his ear. The feedback from NFL scouts has not been great and Acho feels another season under the tutelage of Muschamp will greatly benefit his draft stock. The word in the scouting community is Muschamp has helped make several Longhorns better pro-prospects by teaching them NFL techniques in college.
– One Longhorn that is likely on his way out the door is safety Earl Thomas. Highly rated by TFY Draft at the start of the season, Thomas has told those around him he is exploring his draft options. Thus far the feedback has been very good and Thomas could be a top twenty-five selection. The belief is Muschamp could tell Thomas the NFL is his best route if he gets a first round grade from NFL scouts.
– Former Penn State defensive tackle Abe Koroma, who played at Western Illinois this season, will enter the NFL Draft. We’ve been told it is a combination of grades plus being in the wrong system at WIU which forced Koroma’s hand. An explosive one-gap lineman, Koroma was released from PSU in August because of “personal reasons”. He was out of position in the Leathernecks 3-3-5 alignment and was eventually benched late in the year. Koroma has an outside shot to be a late round pick in April.
– We previously reported that another former Penn State defensive tackle, Phil Taylor who now plays with Baylor, will return for his final year of college ball. While that still remains the case sources have told us Taylor is asking the advisory committee for an opinion on his draft grade. Sources also told us Taylor’s poor play late this season can be directly attributed to a turf toe injury he had been struggling with.
– One active player still on the Nittany Lions roster, running back Evan Royster, is likely headed to the draft in April. Sources have told us an announcement could come soon after the team’s bowl game.
– Texas A&M defender Von Miller is also likely to play one more college game before entering the draft. Scouts have told us the Aggie junior ranks just behind Ndamukong Suh of Nebraska and Oklahoma’s Gerald McCoy on the list of the top defenders from the Big 12. Southwest area scouts think Miller, who is projected as an outside linebacker by most, could easily add 15-pounds to his frame and stay at the defensive end position. He presently grades out as a second round choice but sources have told us the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots have shown a lot of interest in Miller and could over-draft him in round one.
– Where does the future of Houston quarterback Case Keenum lie? Likely back with the Cougars in 2010 as things stand now. Sources have told us the only way Keenum enters the draft is if his coach, Kevin Sumlin, gets hired elsewhere, which does not seem to be the case at present time. Sumlin has been giving his signal caller rave reviews to NFL scouts. He’s compared Keenum favorably to Drew Brees, whom Sumlin has familiarity with. He was the receivers coach at Purdue from 1998-thorugh-2000. Sumlin has told scouts his quarterback is a much better vertical passer than most give him credit for. Keenum will seek advice from the advisory committee and most we’ve spoken with grade him as a third rounder.
– Where will Dez Bryant be selected next April? Scouts we’ve spoken with feel physically Bryant is as good, if not better, than Michael Crabtree, and some grade the Oklahoma State junior higher than the former Texas Tech wide out. That said there are even greater concerns about Bryant’s work ethic and character as compared to Crabtree’s. He’s been described as very immature.
– Sources have told us they expect Clemson junior defensive lineman Jarvis Jenkins will enter the draft. Jenkins is a tremendous athlete with outstanding size and the ability to line-up at defensive tackle or as a two-gap end.