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.
Florida State may rule the ACC when it comes to national rankings but from the perspective of NFL war rooms Virginia Tech is the place to be. I count at least five Hokies as top 90 picks led by a pair of underclassmen corners. Here are the rankings of 129 NFL prospects from the conference.
|1-2||Jalen Ramsey||Florida State||CB||3Jr|
|1-2||Kendall Fuller||Virginia Tech||CB||3Jr|
|2nd||Brandon Facyson||Virginia Tech||CB||3So|
|2nd||Dadi Nicholas||Virginia Tech||DE||5Sr|
|3rd||Bucky Hodges||Virginia Tech||TE||3So|
|3rd||Ken Ekanem||Virginia Tech||OLB||4Jr|
|4th||Jacoby Brissett||North Carolina Ste||QB||5Sr|
|4th||Josh Jones||North Carolina St||S||3So|
|4th||Chuck Clark||Virginia Tech||CB||3Jr|
|4-5||D.J. White||Georgia Tech||CB||4Sr|
|5th||Adam Gotsis||Georgia Tech||DT||4Sr|
|6th||Chris Griffin||Georgia Tech||T||3So|
|6th||Ryan Switzer||North Carolina||WR||3Jr|
|6th||Nile Lawrence-Stample||Florida State||DT||5Sr|
|6th||Terrance Smith||Florida State||ILB||5Sr|
|6th||Davis P.J.||Georgia Tech||OLB||3Jr|
|6th||Juston Burris||North Carolina St||CB||4Sr|
|6th||Corey Marshall||Virginia Tech||DT||5Sr|
|6th||Connor Wujciak||Boston College||DT||5Sr|
|6th||Ryan Malleck||Virginia Tech||TE||5Sr|
|6th||Brice Hunter||Florida State||S||5Sr|
|6-7||Nate Andrews||Florida State||S||3Jr|
|6-7||Mike Strizak||Boston College||OLB||4Jr|
|7th||Demontevious Smith||Georgia Tech||S||5Sr|
|7th||Bobby Wolford||Boston College||FB||4Jr|
|6-7||Desmond Lawrence||North Carolina||CB||4Jr|
|7th||Patrick Gamble||Georgia Tech||DT||4Jr|
|7th||Nigel Williams||Virginia Tech||DT||4Jr|
|7th||Mario Pender||Florida State||RB||4Jr|
|7th||Reggie Northrup||Florida State||ILB||4Sr|
|7th||Mehdi Abdesmad||Boston College||DT||5Sr|
|7th||Jonathan McLaughlin||Virginia Tech||T||3So|
|FA||Brandon Chubb||Wake Forest||ILB||5Sr|
|FA||Dajuan Drennon||North Carolina||DE||3So|
|FA||Nazir Jones||North Carolina||DT||3So|
|FA||Landon Turner||North Carolina||G||5Sr|
|FA||Luther Maddy||Virginia Tech||DT||5Sr|
|FA||Brian Walker||North Carolina||CB||3Jr|
|FA||Jabari Hunt-Days||Georgia Tech||DE||4Sr|
|FA||Deon Clarke||Virginia Tech||OLB||4Sr|
|FA||David Grinnage||North Carolina St||TE||4Jr|
|FA||Marquel Lee||Wake Forest||OLB||3Jr|
|FA||Shadrach Thornton||North Carolina St||RB||4Sr|
|FA||Wyatt Teller||Virginia Tech||G||3So|
|FA||Demitri Knowles||Virginia Tech||WR||4Jr|
|FA||Giorgio Newberry||Florida State||TE||5Sr|
|FA||Steven Daniels||Boston College||ILB||4Sr|
|FA||Donovan Riley||Virginia Tech||CB||4Sr|
|FA||Jerod Fernandez||North Carolina St||OLB||3So|
|FA||Marquez White||Florida State||S||3Jr|
|FA||Derrick Mitchell Jr||Florida State||DT||5Sr|
|FA||Chris Milton||Georgia Tech||CB||5Sr|
|FA||Javonta Golden||Georgia Tech||S||5Sr|
|FA||Justin Simmons||Boston College||S||4Sr|
|FA||Sam Rogers||Virginia Tech||FB||3Jr|
|FA||Tylor Harris||Wake Forest||DT||4Sr|
|FA||M.J. Salahuddin||North Carolina St||ILB||4Jr|
|FA||Harris Williams||Boston College||G||5Sr|
|FA||Cam Serigne||Wake Forest||TE||3So|
|FA||Freddie Burden||Georgia Tech||C||4Jr|
|FA||Joseph Thuney||North Carolina St||G||5Sr|
|FA||Michael Rose||North Carolina St||DE||5Sr|
|FA||Marquise Williams||North Carolina||QB||5Sr|
|FA||Quinton Schooley||North Carolina St||C||4Sr|
|FA||Justin Thomason||North Carolina||DT||4Sr|
|FA||Jeffrey Schoettmer||North Carolina||ILB||4Sr|
|FA||Robert Brewer||Virginia Tech||QB||5Sr|
|FA||Michael Giacone||Boston College||TE||4Sr|
|FA||Dylan Intemann||Wake Forest||T||5Sr|
|FA||B J Goodson||Clemson||OLB||4Sr|
|FA||Quinshad Davis||North Carolina||WR||4Sr|
|FA||Hakim Jones||North Carolina St||S||5Sr|
Scouts will closely monitor the return of Mehdi Abdesmad whom they’ve stamped as a late round pick. The senior defensive tackle played in just three games last season before being sidelined with a knee injury. He’s big and athletic but must prove he’s fully healthy and start piecing together a full game.
Junior wide out Mike Williams is poised for a big season, which will equate to a big move up draft boards. Williams is a smooth possession receiver with game controlling skills.
Safety Jayron Kearse is another big bodied prospect with a tremendous amount of upside. He flashes big time skill but needs to consistently play at a high level.
Jeremy Cash has a game I like as he’s a tough run defender with better than average ball skills. He’s potentially a second day prospect if he plays well this season then tests well in the run up to the draft.
For all the accolades thrown towards corners PJ Williams and Ronald Darby last April, Jalen Ramsey was the most consistent Seminole defensive back on film in 2014. He comes with terrific size, a developed game and offers a huge upside. I could easily see Ramsey jumping into the top 25 picks of next April’s draft after a good junior season.
Several scouts grade cornerback D.J. White as a middle round pick but there a number of teams that have stamped him as the top senior at the position. Though I like his upside White struggles making plays with his back to the ball, which is always a red-flag for me.
Keep and eye on Jabari Hunt-Days, who missed last season with injury. I’m told he’s looked terrific as a pass rusher in the early going and is a prospect really flying under the radar screen.
Louisville offers three draftable defensive tackles with Sheldon Rankins being the best. The senior is well thought of by scouts as he combines power with playmaking ability.
Cornerback Tracy Howard draws a variety of opinion. Most scouts feel he’s free agent material, something I agree with, though I’ve been told he’s also received a few middle round grades. Howard offers solid ball skills but poor size/speed numbers which I believe will knock him out of the seven rounds.
Deon Bush justifiably gets a lot of ink but I’m very excited for the return of Rayshawn Jenkins whom I ranked as a middle round pick after his 2013 campaign. Jenkins missed last season with injury but is reportedly back to full health.
The Tar Heels have a pair of junior corners to watch. Desmond Lawrence offers nice size and sold ball skills while Tar Heel coaches rave about Brian Walker. Receiver Ryan Switzer is another junior UNC coaches speak highly of.
North Carolina State
There’s a lot of buzz Jacoby Brissett.
The senior has the arm strength and athleticism for the next level and I also like his patience in the pocket. Brissett is not a run first signal caller as he plays with a lot of passer intangibles. He needs to improve the details of the position as he’s a bit slow going to secondary targets and sprays throws on occasion but the tools are available for a big move up draft boards.
I’ll let others fawn over receiver Tyler Boyd and running back James Conner, both terrific pro-prospects. I want to speak of the great talent on the Panthers offensive line.
Adam Bisnowaty is a terrific prospect who can play either tackle spot at the next level. He’s fundamentally sound and makes great use of angles and body positioning to block the edge.
Dorian Johnson is a dominant mauler who annihilates defenders at the point of attack. He drives opponents off the ball and opens up the running lanes. Johnson is not a natural knee bender and shows some stiffness in his game but still offers starting potential on Sunday’s.
Jaryd Jones-Smith could end up the best of the bunch as he’s big, dominant and athletic. He really stood out on a rotational basis in 2014 and comes with great upside. Unfortunately the talented sophomore will miss the ’15 campaign after recently injuring his knee during conditioning activities.
Its been a struggle for Syracuse on the field and in war rooms very recently and there isn’t much light at the end of the tunnel.
Quarterback Terrel Hunt is an interesting case. Hunt possesses next level physical skills and flashed big time ability as a sophomore but makes a lot of questionable decisions and shows immaturity in his game. His potential is enormous but the ability to pull it together and play disciplined football is a big question.
Senior cornerback Maurice Canady is highly thought and scouts stamped him as a middle round choice but I feel junior Tim Harris is the better pro-prospect as he’s more explosive and seems more confident. Harris needs to improve his play when his back is to the ball but could develop into second day material.
Junior quarterback Greyson Lambert has terrific physical skills and looks impressive in the pocket. His decision making and accuracy are another matter altogether. For every outstanding throw Lambert makes he follows it up with a pass which makes you shake your head. In many ways he reminds me of another passer from the state of Virginia, Jim Drunkenmiller.
The talent in the Hokie secondary is terrific.
Kendall Fuller has long been labeled the most talented of the Fuller brothers and shows the ability to shut down opponents. Make sure to watch Brandon Facyson who returns to the fold after missing last season with assorted leg injuries. He looked brilliant on film during the 2013 campaign and is reported to be back at full health.
The other potentially dominant junior prospect on the Hokies roster is tight end Bucky Hodges. The athletic redshirt sophomore displayed dominant big play abilities last season as well as a large degree of consistency. His upside is enormous and despite the fact I’ve stamped him as a third round prospect, Hodges has first round potential. People close to the program tell me Hodges will bolt for the NFL if he puts together a productive campaign in 2015.
I’m sure the haters will be out in full force when I say I’m not in love with Dadi Nicholas and feel he’s overrated by many, even area scouts. He’s a very effective but undersized college pass rusher. Though reported to have run the forty in the mid 4.5’s, I don’t see that sort of player on film or a defender who shows great speed in lateral pursuit, something he’ll be required to do at the next level.
After having a player selected in the first round last April its quite possible no one from Wake Forest is selected at any point next year.
I’m a fan of Brandon Chubb, the nose tackle who projects to inside linebacker. He’s tough, smart and very quick but I struggle to see how he’s anything other than a late seventh round prospect.