The latest scouting news and notes coming from the Big Ten, Big East and Mid-American conferences. Who is rising up draft boards and what players are heading in the other direction? Here’s the latest from out on the road including news on a number of prospects from these leagues that are ready to enter the 2010 draft.
– Several sources have told us Rutgers offensive tackle Anthony Davis will enter the draft after the season. In fact most have said it would be more of a shock if the big pass blocker was not in April’s event. How high will Davis be selected? The consensus seem to think somewhere in the second half of round one, though we think he could break into the top 15 choices of the frame.
– After his sophomore season at South Florida defensive end George Selvie was anointed as a franchise defensive prospect and likely top ten pick in the draft, but that was two years ago. Those we’ve spoken with these days think Selvie is a second round selection and could slide into the third frame. In five games this season Selvie has totaled two sacks with 4.5 tackles for loss. South Florida opened the season against Wofford, Western Kentucky and Charleston Southern. With Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, West Virginia then Rutgers on the schedule, Selvie needs a lot of production in quick manner to salvage his draft ranking.
– One player from the Big East getting a lot of praise recently is Pittsburgh tight end Nate Byham. Byham is a large athlete who does a fine job with his blocking duties besides reliably catching the ball when called upon. A Senior Bowl invitation could be in the equation for Byham.
– It’s been a dreary season again at Louisville but receiver Scott Long is drawing praise from NFL scouts. Long, who was handed a free agent grade entering the season, is off to a fast start with 23 receptions in five games, averaging 17.8 yards per catch. Long missed extensive time as a junior in ’08 with knee and foot injuries.
– Arrelious Benn is expected to enter the draft according to people familiar with the Illinois program. Benn has struggled this season in large part due to erratic quarterback play on the offense besides an ailing ankle.
– Over the past few days several sources have told us Iowa tackle Bryan Bulaga will enter the draft at the end of the season. In fact a number of former Hawkeyes are also saying Bulaga will leave for the NFL after the ’09 campaign. The timing of this is surprising considering Bulaga has missed three of Iowa’s six games this season with a medical condition.
– Northwestern’s Corey Wooten is still struggling to regain his prior form off the knee injury he suffered in last year’s bowl game. Just nine months removed from surgery and sources have told us Wooten still deals with pain in his surgically repaired knee the day after games.
– There’s no word yet on what highly rated Wisconsin tackle Gabe Carimi may do at season’s end. Sources have told us Badger head coach Bret Bielema is doing all he can to keep Carimi away from the people that want to discuss his next level potential.
– Penn State cornerback AJ Wallace received late round grades from NFL scouting services, but don’t tell that to people close to the Nittany Lions program. Those around the team say while Wallace is physically impressive he rarely watches film and in general just doesn’t get it.
– Western Michigan signal caller Tim Hiller has been off to a slower start than expected. Given a mid-to-late round grade entering the season, Hiller’s play on the field has led many to think he could end up as a free agent next April. The bigger issue Hiller may face are questions about his injury history. One source told us Hiller could be red-flagged as a medical risk by NFL teams due to several knee injuries he’s dealt with in the past.
– Ohio receiver Taylor Price is moving up draft boards. We praised Price during our MAC preview last August and scouts love his size and reliability. They also think his 4.33/forty speed is enticing but feel the offensive scheme of the Bobcats plus their poor quarterback play is largely responsible for the lack of big play ability we’ve seen from Price.
– Jameson Konz of Kent State is a sleeper creeping up on scouts. The former defensive end moved to tight end in 2008 but redshirted after injuring his ankle during the first game of the season. He was graded as a “wait and see” player by scouting services prior to the start of the ’09 campaign. Konz has really taken off this season and is watching his game rapidly develop. At 6-foot, 3-inches and 222-pounds Konz is more of an H-back/move tight end for the next level.
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