In today’s edition we give you a little more information on Jake Locker and his recent decision as well as the word surrounding Ryan Mallett. We also cover several other SEC and ACC players exploring their draft options. What are former Penn State and UVA transfers up to? And what’s the latest word surrounding Abilene Christian’s talented tackle Tony Washington?
- On Friday we gave TFY Draft readers the heads up that Steve Sarkisian was working overtime to try and keep quarterback Jake Locker on the team for one more season. Seemingly Sarkisian’s efforts worked as news broke yesterday in which Locker announced he will return to Washington for his senior season. Sources have told us there is some wiggle room for Locker to still enter the draft. It is also worth noting that Locker was selected by the Anaheim Angels in the tenth round of last June’s MLB draft.
- The 64-million dollar question; will Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett enter the draft? It’s anyone’s guess as of right now. Everyone we’ve spoken with say there’s no clue as to where Mallett will play next season. Even his Razorback teammates have told us and other people they are not quite sure what Mallett’s decision will be.
- South Carolina tight end Weslye Saunders is seriously considering entering the draft. Saunders comes off a career season with totals of 30 receptions for 360-receiving yards, though he was bothered with an ankle injury late in the season. Saunders is consulting with a number of people and has applied to the NFL Advisory Committee seeking an opinion on his draft grade.
- Even though he spent the entire season on the sidelines nursing a knee injury, Jermaine Gresham is still ranked as the number one tight end by NFL scouts. This has as much to do with a void of talent at the top of the position as it does with Gresham’s great physical skills.
- Rutgers offensive tackle Anthony Davis has changed his cell phone number and is not responding to text messages. In other words he’s entering the draft and has likely settled on representation. Scouts we’ve spoken with think that despite a disappointing junior campaign Davis is a first round prospect. That said his off the field antics have scouts and NFL decision makers a bit unsettled and could push Davis out of the top 32 selections of the draft. Those we’ve spoken with feel Davis has All Pro potential at the next level yet at the same time has a bust factor in his personality.
- Another junior offensive tackle likely headed to the NFL is Bruce Campbell of Maryland. We’ve mentioned all along Campbell was seriously considering opting for the draft and those close to the Maryland program are preparing for life without Campbell next season.
- We’ve received more information that seemingly confirms our earlier reports stating Virginia defensive back Ras-I Dowling will enter the draft. We must state this information was received before the Cavaliers announced Latrell Scott as their head coach. We fully expect Scott to make a push to keep Dowling. Scouts we’ve spoken with are not sure whether the large secondary prospect is better off at safety or corner in the NFL.
- Virginia Tech defensive end Jason Worilds has petitioned the NFL advisory committee for an opinion on his draft grade. Sources from Blacksburg feel Worilds is likely to enter the draft. The red-shirt junior started the season strong before fading at the end of the campaign. He finished the year with 9.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. Scouts have likened him to a poor mans Darryl Tapp.
- Former Cavalier defensive lineman Jeff Fitzgerald, who played with Kansas State this season, is climbing up draft boards. Recently listed as a riser in our weekly SI.com column, scouts think Fitzgerald could be selected as early as the second round.
- Former Penn State receiver Chris Bell, who transferred to Norfolk State last season then posted 51 receptions for 958 yards, may enter the NFL Draft. Bell is consulting a number of people and hopes to receive a grade from the advisory committee. Sources told us Bell left Penn State because he was not receiving playing time. The Nittany Lions had two receivers (Derrick Williams and Deon Butler) drafted last April while a third, Jordan Norwood, was an undrafted free agent but presently sits on the practice squad of the Philadelphia Eagles.
- One former Penn State player headed back to college is defensive tackle Phil Taylor, now with the Baylor Bears. Taylor started the season hot but fizzled in the middle of the campaign and lost his starting job. Sources told us Taylor was poorly conditioned and must come back in 2010 with a better attitude.
- A few miles northwest of Waco, in Abilene, Texas, there’s still a lot of scuttlebutt about ACU’s big offensive tackle Tony Washington. In the beginning of November we alerted readers that a number of teams had removed Washington’s name from their draft board for a severe off the field issue. Earlier today we spoke with a higher up in the league that told us that even though Washington grades out as a third round prospect teams have already said they will not select him next April.
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Here is the list of the forty senior offensive linemen invited to the NFL combine next month. Notes are included as are the names of those notables not on the first official list of invitees. Enjoy this TFY Draft exclusive, which will be updated as underclassmen are added and more names come in.
|C||Theodore Larsen||North Carolina State|
|C||Matt Tennant||Boston College|
|G||Brandon Carter||Texas Tech|
|G||Chris DeGeare||Wake Forest|
|G||Shawn Lauvao||Arizona State|
|G||Eric Olsen||Notre Dame|
|G||Shelley Smith||Colorado State|
|T||Selvish Capers||West Virginia|
|T||Kyle Jolly||North Carolina|
|T||Russell Okung||Oklahoma State|
|T||Cole Pemberton||Colorado State|
|T||Ed Wang||Virginia Tech|
|T||Tony Washington||Abilene Christian|
|T||Sam Young||Notre Dame|
Notes: Just five centers were invited to the combine this year and one of them, Jeff Byers of USC, played guard last season. We listed Byers as a guard in our rankings. The other immediate interchangeable center/guard on this list is Joseph Hawley of UNLV. Matt Kopa of Stanford, who is on this list, is seeking out and will likely receive a sixth year of eligibility and hopes to return to Stanford next season.
Notably Missing: John Estes/C/Hawaii, Chris Marinelli/G-T/Stanford, Reggie Stephens/C-G/Iowa State, Sergio Render/G/Virginia Tech, Kenny Alfred/C/Washington State,
Here is the list of the thirty three senior receivers invited to the NFL combine next month. Notes are included as are the names of those notables not on the first official list of invitees. Enjoy this TFY Draft exclusive, which will be updated as underclassmen are added and more names come in.
|WR||Seyi Ajirotutu||Fresno State|
|WR||Alric Arnett||West Virginia|
|WR||Brandon Banks||Kansas State|
|WR||Donald Jones||Youngstown State|
|WR||Kevin Jurovich||San Jose State|
|WR||Chris McGaha||Arizona State|
|WR||Preston Parker||North Alabama|
|WR||Chastin West||Fresno State|
|WR||Blair White||Michigan State|
|WR||Kyle Williams||Arizona State|
Notably Missing: Bryan Anderson/Central Michigan, Greg Mathews/Michigan, Terrell Hudgins/Elon, Naaman Roosevelt/Buffalo, Freddie Barnes/Bowling Green