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    April 18
  • (10:00 AM): Guess who’s coming to Easter dinner … it’s a long weekend for most of the country but there won’t be much of a break for NFL personnel people with the draft now less than three weeks away. Later today, for example, St. Louis will have a contingent at Clemson to work out WR Sammy Watkins. The Rams actually also had Watkins in for a pre-draft visit earlier in the week, suggesting that the team may in fact have some serious interest in him despite the fact that head coach Jeff Fisher was recently quoted as saying that he felt the Rams had enough at the position ti win now. Of course, the Rams could be just feigning interest in Watkins to try and convince team like Detroit, who are known to be thinking of moving up to get Watkins, that St. Louis may take him themselves. That’s a lot of feigning though! At the same time, Detroit will have Southern California WR Marqise Lee in for a visit today. Lee likely would be a reach at #10, such that the only way he’d end up in Detroit would be if the Lions moved down, but it likely won’t hurt the Lions bargaining position if they do a little hinting that they actually have other options. Meanwhile, it will be a busy day in Houston on Monday when the Texans host both South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney and Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel. The Texans also visited with Central Florida QB Blake Bortles earlier in the week and will have Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater in next Wednesday. And Manziel will warm up for his visit with the Texans with a private workout with Cleveland on Saturday.
    April 17
  • UGA QB has solid workout … Surprisingly, only 23 NFL teams bothered to send reps to Georgia’s pro day yesterday, but those that did reportedly saw a pretty good performance by former UGA QB Aaron Murray. Despite being less that 5 months removed from a season-ending torn ACL, Murray reportedly moved well despite wearing a brace on his knee and threw the ball even better as he completed 48 of 54 passes thrown during his scripted workout on a crisp cool, windy afternoon. And at least half of those misses reportedly were catchable balls that were dropped. Scouts have long been divided on Murray, who had a remarkably productive career at UGA, but he isn’t all that big at just a tad over 6-1, plus he isn’t overly athletic and isn’t going to knock down any walls with his arm strength. However, Murray has great vision, sees the field very well and throws nicely on the move, and is just super efficient distributing the ball. As a result, he appears to have made a late rally up draft boards around the league and could start to get some serious consideration as early as the latter part of this year’s second round.
  • Tide QB works out for Browns … Former Alabama QB A.J. McCarron is the latest QB prospect to be worked out by Cleveland. McCarron is also expected to be one of several top QB prospects to visit the Browns at their facility next week. So far, the Browns have worked out Central Florida’s Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville, Fresno State’s Derek Carr, and Jimmy Garoppolo of Eastern Illinois, along with Pitt’s Tom Savage and Keith Wenning of Ball State, while Bortles and Carr are also expected join McCarron for next week’s onsite visit. Meanwhile, the Browns will also work out Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M over the weekend, while they’ll work out Georgia’s Aaron Murray next week; Murray will also reportedly visit the Browns next week.
  • Legal issues for USC CB … Its been a rough week or so for South Carolina CB Victor Hampton, who was arrested last week for disorderly conduct after a heated argument with his sister. In addition, New York City police would like to speak with Hampton, as well as former USC DT Kelcy Quarles for questioning in a nightclub assault case. In that incident, a third former Gamecock, DE Chaz Sutton reportedly suffered a minor knife would to his shoulder, while a club promoter suffered what have been described as “extensive facial injuries’ after allegedly being attacked by three men. For his part, Quarles has adamantly denied that he was involved and claims he was never in fact at the club in question. Hampton and Quarles are considered to be potential mid-round prospects for next month’s draft while Sutton is more a late-round or free agent candidate.
    April 16
  • (9:00 AM): Clowney may yet work out for team, Bortles continues to visit … South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney has backtracked ever so slightly from his less-than-well received announcement earlier in the week that he won’t be doing any more pre-draft workouts. According to his agent, Clowney may do abrief workout for one team, but only for 5 minutes with no lifting. According to the agent, Clowney doesn’t want to risk injury this close to the draft, plus he feels that he did enough at his pro day earlier in the month. No word, though, on whether Clowney has actually agreed to work out for a specific team or whether it will be a first-come first-served type of thing! At the same time, onsite visits continue today with Central Florida QB Blake Bortles in Houston to visit the Texans who have the #1 pick overall. Bortles is coming off a visit with Oakland earlier this week. Meanwhile, Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater is heading home after a two-day visit with Minnesota; he also worked out for the Vikings over the weekend. And for the record, the Texans will also have Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel in for a visit next Monday and Tuesday.
  • (12:01 AM): Browns to work out Manziel … With just over three weeks to go until the start of the 2014 draft, it appears the consensus opinion on this year’s QB class may actually be widening. If nothing else it appears that a number of teams with early picks this year and major issues at the position are still not 100% convinced that this year’s top QB prospects are worth a premium. Jacksonville head coach Gus Bradley, for example, responded to a question whether the QB-needy team would select a QB with the 3rd pick overall by saying that the Jaguars are ‘still gathering information’ and that the evaluation would likely go on right up until the draft. Another piece of that evaluation process, though, will fall into place this weekend when Cleveland works out Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel in College Station. The Browns' private workout with Manziel is especially important because they were one of two teams that did not attend his Pro Day last month; the Browns also did not interview Manziel at the combine. The Browns, who have the 4th and 26th picks in this year’s opening round, have already worked out all the other major QB prospects and are also expected to include a number of them including Blake Bortles of Central Florida and Fresno State’s Derek Carr among the players they bring in next week for pre-draft visits.
  • UGA pro day on deck … Georgia will hold its annual pro day later today, and while it won’t exactly be an event like Johnny Manziel’s public workout at Texas A&M, expect NFL personnel types to be out in force. In particular, they’ll be looking at QB Aaron Murray, who will work out despite being less than 5 months removed from tearing an ACL in the Bulldogs final regular season game last December.
    April 15
  • (12:01 AM): Lets make a deal … We’ve made no bones about the fact that we aren’t big fans of mock drafts, especially at this time of the draft process. There are simply so many mocks out there few of which do much more than recycle the same names into slightly different spots. Of course, it would be easy if the actual draft was that neat, but it seldom is with surprise picks popping up all the time to upset the proverbial draft apple cart. Then there are trades. The draft is almost always full of them with most coming more or less out of the blue. Since we don’t quite want to become a ‘mock-free zone’ every year we try and have a little fun with our annual Trade projection to spice things up. We aren’t really trying to predict actual trades, because that’s almost impossible, but what we do try and do is project trades that do make some sense for both teams with the idea of providing some sense of what it might cost to make a particular deal at a particular place in the draft. Technically we could also have included several more rounds to give a further idea as to what teams making trades might expect to get, or lose, by trading later round selections, but at the same time we really didn’t want to get carried away. The one thing that jumped out at us, though, when we stopped at the end of the first round was just how many good players were still on the board. Granted there was a bit of a run on QBs in the trade projection, but still it would appear there are going to be some very good players available when the second day's selections kick ff on the evening of May 9th which could trigger a whole new round of trades as teams will have almost a full day to mull over what is still available entering day two.
  • Clowney nixes future workouts … South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney has informed NFL teams that he will no longer accept requests for private workouts, although he will continue to visit teams at their local facilities. In fact, Clowney was reportedly in Detroit yesterday for a pre-draft visit with the Lions, who obviously would have to move way up from the tenth pick to have any shot at Clowney who is expected to be one of the first 2-3 players selected at next month’s draft. Needless to say people around the league are going to complain about Clowney’s decision, but the simple fact is that if any NFL doesn’t know what he can do on the field by now they just haven’t been paying attention. He’s got all world physical skills and the only real question about Clowney is his work ethic and there is nothing a private workout can answer about that aspect of his make-up. There is also the unstated issue of not wanting to risk an injury after Clemson G/T Brandon Thomas tore an ACL while working out for New Orleans late last month which nobody really wants to address. For the record, Clowney did participate in private workouts with at least St. Louis and Atlanta prior to his pronouncement, although he does not appear to have worked out with Houston, which has the #1 pick overall and seems to be leaning heavily in his direction; however, the Texans were all over Clowney at his pro day and have had him in for a private visit. Meanwhile, among other visits of note Oakland will be hosting Central Florida QB Blake Bortles later today, while Buffalo LB Khalil Mack will be among a contingent of visits in Minnesota.
  • FSU RB arrested over weekend ... Former Florida State RB James Wilder was arrested over the weekend in Tampa on a bench warrant related to a charge of driving with a suspended license. Wilder, a later-round prospect for the upcoming draft, spent a few hours in jail before being released on bail. In fact, Wilder has had more than his share of minor run-ins with police over things like suspended licenses, although its not likely to affect his final draft grade.
    April 14
  • (10:00 AM): Rams host top WR ... Despite the fact that head coach Jeff Fisher has gone on record as saying he thinks his team has 'enough' receivers to win in the NFL, St. Louis will be hosting Clemson WR Sammy Watkins on a pre-draft visit later today. And just to show they are genuinely interested in selecting him with the 2nd pick, the Rams will also travel to Clemson and work out Watkins on Friday. What isn't clear in the wake of Fisher's earlier comments is whether the Rams are genuinely interested in Watkins or are simply trying to drum up interest in trading down from the #2 pick given its known for example that Detroit is seriously entertaining the idea of trying to trade up for Watkins. Stay tuned!
  • (12:01 AM): Weekly draft buzz update ... The NFL was all atwitter over the weekend as a results of reports of leaked Wonderlic scores and more 'shaky' workouts from Louisville QB teddy Bridgewater. What they all mean and other stuff are the theme in the latest edition of the draft buzz file.
    April 13
  • (12:01 AM): Super combine running in Motor City … The NFL’s so-called Super Combine - though it really should be called something like the Combine-Lite - is underway in Detroit this weekend and will wrapuplater today. The Super Combine is the culmination of the NFL’s series of a dozen or regional combines for college grads who were not invited to the regular combine in Indianapolis, as well as other veteran league hopefuls. The 130 players invited to the Super Combine were the best of those at the regional events. And while they remain longshots, a few players from the Super Combine do make it on to NFL rosters come fall. Last year, for example, four players who participated at a regional combine were ultimately drafted, while 69 ultimately made it to an NFL training camp and 10 made a 53-man roster during the season.
  • Shoulder shelves Pitt RB … Pitt RB Isaac Bennett originally suffered what was at first diagnosed as a sprained shoulder a week ago.  Subsequent testing determined the injury to be worse than originally thought, with the ultimate decision to perform surgery on the running back’s shoulder next week. Bennett will miss the rest of spring practice as well as summer workouts, but the Panthers are hopeful he will be available sometime in August. The 5-10, 205 Bennett, a second-tier prospect for the 2015 draft, ran for almost 800 yards and 7 TDs last fall
    April 12
  • (5:30PM) LSU LB shot ... Former LSU LB Tahj Jones is reportedly in serious condition in hospital after being shot in the abdomen. Jones, a second-tier type prospect for the upcoming draft who participated in the Tigers' pro day last week, was shot ironically by Brandon Winey, a former LSU OT, when both apparently went to see the same woman. At only 205-pounds Jones is somewhat undersized for a LB, but could have gotten some free agent looks as a potential special teamer.
    April 11
  • (7:00 PM): That didn't take long ... No surprise here as Cleveland has matched the 5-year, $42M deal transition free agent C Alex Mack signed with Jacksonville earlier in the week. Cleveland had 5 days to match and if they hadn't the Browns would not have received any compensation.
  • Top future WR prospect gets the boot … Missouri has dismissed junior WR Dorial Green-Beckham, a potential top prospect for either the 2015 or 2016 drafts, from the team after his latest off-field issue. There were ultimately no charges laid against Green-Beckham, however, there isn't much doubt that he was involved in an incident in which he forced his way into an apartment of a friend of his girlfiend whom he then reportedly pushed down a flight of stairs. The victim decided not to press charges but it was enough for the school as Green-Beckham has a number of off-field incidents on his docket as he was arrested three months ago on suspicion of felony distribution of a controlled substance, but charges have not been filed in the case. He was also arrested for marijuana possession in October 2012 but later pleaded guilty to an amended city violation of trespassing. On the field, the 6-5 Green-Beckham, who was the top-rated recruit in the country two years ago, had a break out year last fall when he had a team leading 59 receptions including 12 for TDs. Green-Beckham could transfer to an FBS school, but would have to sit out the 2014 or he could be eligible immediately if he transfers to a lower level school. Green-Beckham will not be draft eligible until the 2015 draft.
  • (12:01 AM):,/i> Draft goes cultural big time … Not to date ourselves, but we started following the draft in the early 1970s and have seen it grow from a sub-cult within a sub-cult to a major event on the sports calendar. Never in our wildest dreams, though, did we even imagine anyone would ever make a mainstream movie on the draft. The draft has truly arrived, though, as ’Draft Day’ starring Kevin Costner opens later to day in theatres across the country. From trailers we have seen, Costner appears to be playing Crash Davis, who has morphed from career minor league catcher to the G.M. of the struggling - a least they got that part right - Cleveland Browns. And just to show he made a good career move, Davis/Costner appears to have a younger love interest (Jennifer Garner) in Draft Day than he did back in Durham 26 years ago! Reviews to come!
  • Top future safety re-emerges as Cardinal … According to family sources, former Georgia SS Josh Harvey-Clemons will transfer to Louisville. The 6-4, 225-pound Harvey-Clemons, who was actually recruited as a LB out of high school, is considered to be a possible top pick at either the 2015 or 2016 drafts, although he will have to clean up his act after being kicked out of Georgia for repeated violations of team policies that included a suspension for unspecified reasons from the Bulldogs‘ bowl game this past year as well as an earlier 4-game suspension for a second violation of the school's marijuana-use policy. At Louisville, Harvey-Clemons will be reunited the Cardinals’ new defensive coordinator Todd Grantham who had the same job at UGA.
  • Rising WR blows off workout … Gil Brandt of NFL.com is reporting that Florida State WR Kelvin Benjamin ‘blew off’ a workout with a scout from an identified team because he was ‘too tired.’ Whether this will have any impact on Benjamin's draft stock remains to be seen, but it can‘t help given that he is a player whose work ethic and conditioning have been called into question. The 6-5, 240-pound Benjamin saw his grade fall after a pedestrian combine performance, however, there have been hints in recent days that he has possibly been moving back the boards of several teams in need of help at the position. At the same time, there has been some speculation that Benjamin was simply following the advice of an agent who perhaps didn’t want him working out because of the possibility or because of concerns that the team in question was in fact unlikely to select him. Indeed, some questions are being raised about the proliferation of private workouts as a result of the extended period until the draft. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk has a piece about the issue for those that haven’t seen it yet.
    April 10
  • Draft clocking ticking; month to go … The 2014 draft will kick off a month today. Hang in there guys.
  • Guess who's coming to dinner ... Interesting day of on-site visits coming up on Thursday as South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney will be one of several players in Jacksonville to meet with the Jaguars. The Jaguars will also be hosting QBs Derek Carr of Fresno State and Aabama's A.J. McCarron. The Jaguars had WRs Sammy Watkins of Clemson and Texas A&M's Mike Evans in for visits on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Johnny Manziel road show moves on to Tampa Bay after the former Texas A&M star spent the better part of two days in Oakland earlier in the week. Interesting that the Bucanners, who pick 7th continue to check out the top QBs; indeed, in addition to Manziel, Tampa Bay has also had Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville and Eastern Illinois' Jimmy Garoppolo in for visits earlier this week.
    April 9
  • (12:01 AM): LSU pro day on sked … One of the last big pro days gets underway later this morning when LSU hosts its workout. The LSU pro day won’t rival the glitz of earlier workouts like that at Texas A&M late last month, but it figures to be almost as well attended as LSU has a passel of prospects for the upcoming draft. And no former Tiger will get more scrutiny later today than QB Zach Mettenberger, who will reportedly do something close to a full workout despite the fact that he tore an ACL late in LSU’s final game of the year. Mettenberger, who had been considered to be a potential late first round prospect for the 2014 draft prior to the injury, certainly appears to have a number of teams intrigued. Indeed, he had so many requests for private interviews from teams that he had to meet with Oakland and New England earlier this evening. It will also be an important day for WR Jarvis Landry who tweaked a hamstring running the 40 at the combine and wasn’t able to do anything else in Indianapolis. In the end, Landry was credited with a very slow, for a receiver, 4.77 40-clocking at the combine, so he will be hoping to take advantage of the second opportunity to improve on that number, and then do what he does well and that’s run crisp routes and catch the ball in positional drills to re-establish himself as a solid second-round candidate.
    April 8
  • (11:00 AM): If its Tuesday it must … update ... Add a couple of more names to the Jacksonvilledance card as NFL.com is reporting that not only are Johnny Manziel and Khalil Mack visiting the Jaguars today, but they'll be joined by Auburn OT Greg Robinson. And UCLA OLB Anthony Barr will be in Jacksonville along with QB Derek Carr tomorrow ... After spending the past couple of days in Oaklandon a pre-draft visit with the Raiders, former Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel will be in Jacksonville Tuesday for meetings with Jaguars team officials. Jacksonville has the 3rd pick in this year’s draft and are one of the teams in need of a young QB, however, the signals from the Jaguars remain mixed as to whether they will actually pull the trigger and take a passer with their first-round selection. However, like most of the other teams with early picks this year, the Jaguasa re doing their due diligence on the position. In fact after Manziel leaves later today, the Jaguars will have Derek Carr of Fresno State in for a visit tomorrow and then LSU’s Zach Mettenberger will visit on Thursday after his pro day tomorrow. At the same time, Manziel will have company in Jacksonville today as the Jaguars will also have former Buffalo LB Khalil Mack in for a visit. Mack is widely considered to be the 2nd best defensive player available in the 2014 draft field behind South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney; in fact, Mack might actually be the safer pick of the two as he doesn’t come with Clowney’s work ethic issues. Mack will also be visiting St. Louis which ahs the second pick overall this year on Thursday. Meanwhile, LSU’s Mettenberger has become something of a hot item on the draft circuit. He had been considered to be a late first round type prospect as the season evolved last fall, but tore an ACL late in the year. However, he will take part in the LSU pro day tomorrow and already has a line up of teams planning to talk privately with him tomorrow including Houston and Oakland. What makes Mettenberger, who does have one of the strongest arms in this year’s draft, attractive to teams is that he gives them the option of drafting a very good position player with their early first round pick butstill getting a solid young developmental QB in the second round. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay will have Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater in for a visit today. Bridgewater has kind of dropped off the radar after a poor pro day last month, but probably remains the most game-ready young QB in the 2014 draft. And the fact that Bridgewater is in Tampa Bay seems to indicate that the Buccaneers,who have the 7th pick next mont, still haven't ruled out taking a QB despite signing veteran QB Josh cCown to compete wit second-year man Mike Glennon. Stay tuned!
  • Saints match offer sheet for RFAS … New Orleans Saints has opted to match the offer sheet Atlanta signed New Orleans restricted free agent safety Rafael Bush to last week. Had the Saints not matched Bush would have joined Atlanta and there would have been no compensation as Bush was an undrafted free agent coming out of college.
  • (12:01 AM): Top QBs to visit Texans ... Whether Houston selects a QB with the #1 pick at the 2014 or not, no one will accuse them of not doing their homework. The Texans has announced they will be hosting both Blake Bortles and Johnny Manziel, the two QBs that most analyst regard as worthy of the #1 pick, later this month. There has been speculation that the Texans were leaning toward to taking South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney with the #1 pick after his strong pro day last week, but clearly the QBs still appear to be in play. Indeed, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, one of the more plugged in team beat writers around the league, has the Texans taking Manziel in his latest mock draft. For his part, Manziel is currently on the way home after spending the better of the past couple of days in Oakland meeting with the Raiders.
    April 7
  • (3:00 PM): Top OG prospect tears ACL ... Clemson OG Brandon Thomas, one of the top prospects at the position for the 2014 draft, tore an ACL while working out last week. Thomas has been seen as a potential second day pick for the upcoming draft, but likely will now drop a round or two.
  • (12:01 AM): Draft clock ticking; projection updated ... With the 2014 draft now just over a month away - hang in there guys - the GBN three-round 2014 projection, has been updated. Please note, though, as we have noted in the past, we aren't by nature big fans of mock drafts or at least how so many folks react to them. Needless to say we aren't likely to hit many teams spot on at this time; heck, even the vast majority of teams around the league still likely don't have a clue who they will actually be picking on May 8-9. What a mock draft can do, though, is provide some indication as to which players are going to be available at various points in the first three rounds depending on a set of assumptions. In this particular mock, for example, the underlying assumption is that the QBs go relatively early. It should also be noted, the players slotted to the respective teams in this mock are not who we would pick, but reflect our best educated guess as to what that particular team is likely to do at that point.
  • Raiders hosting QB Manziel … TexasA&M QB Johnny Manziel is in Oakland at this hour and will have a pre-draft visit with the Raiders tomorrow. The Raiders have the 5th pick overall in next month's the NFL draft and have been doing their due diligence checking out this year‘s top QB prospects, although after acquiring Matt Schaub from Houston earlier this off-season, Oakland still isn’t necessarily a lock to take a QB with their opening round pick. The Raiders are also known to like Fresno State’s Derek Carr. Meanwhile, hard to know if it means anything, but Manziel was a guest of Dallas owner Jerry Jones during the NCAA college basketball semi-final doubleheader on Saturday evening in Arlington. 
    April 4
  • (11:30 AM): Bills get embattled vet WR for late pick … Buffalo has acquired veteran WR Mike Williams from Tampa Bay for the 185th pick in the 6th round at the 2014 draft. Williams had been a dependable receiver with the Bucs prior to an injury-marred 2013 season in which he had just 22 catches. But he’s had more than his share of off-field incidents that culminated last month when he was stabbed in the leg by his brother during a domestic dispute. Williams is actually from Buffalo and played for Bills’ coach Doug Marrone at Syracuse. With the deal the GBN trade mart, picks by team list and the 2014 draft order have been updated. For the record, Buffalo and Tampa Bay now both have 6 picks at the upcoming draft. In fact, both teams had been thought to be considering a receiver with their opening round pick in this year's draft. Tampa Bay, now in particular could be tempted to grab a WR like Texas A&M's Mike Evans with the 7th pick overall to pair with returning starter Vincent Jackson. Meanwhile, the Bills have the 9th selection and could also look at Evans if he is still there as neither Williams nor Stevie Johnson can really be relied. However, this is a deep draft at the position and both teams could get some help at receiver in the second or third rounds.
  • (10:00 AM): FSU WR may be hot again … More like warming up maybe, but the name of Florida State WR Kelvin Benjamin has started to pop up in media reports in recent days. The 6-5, 231-pound Benjamin, who had been considered to be a potential top 20 prospect prior to the scouting combine, but did not run all that well in Indianapolis, had kind of dropped off the opening round radar for a while. However, he will be making a visit with St. Louis later today and there have been reports that the New York Jets were very intrigued. The Jets have the 18th pick in this year’s opening round. Obviously, the Rams aren’t going to consider Benjamin with the second pick overall, but they have a second opening round selection at #13; they also have the 44th in the second round which would probably be too late to get him. Interestingly, while the Rams have, or will have most of the top name candidates for the #2 pick, in for pre-draft visits, they currently have no visit scheduled Clemson WR Sammy Watkins, although they are said to be considering a private workout with him. Watkins had been considered one of the hop prospects for the #2, along with OTs Greg Robinson of Auburn and Texas A&M‘s Jake Matthews, both of whom will make visits, however, St. Louis head coach Jeff Fisher indicated earlier in the week that he felt the Rams already had enough at WR for the team to win. For the record, the Rams will reportedly also have South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney in for a visit in the next week or so; they have also had visits from Michigan OT Taylor Lewan, Oklahoma State CB Justin Gilbert, Ohio State LB Ryan Shazier and Notre Dame DT Stephon Tuitt, all of whom would be likely targets for the 13th pick. As noted, teams are allowed to bring in as many as 30 out-of-town prospects for interviews and medical tests, but players cannot work out for the team during these visits.
  • Did they or didn’t they … Cleveland was one of two teams that reportedly did not have a representative at South Carolina’s pro day earlier in the week where DE Jadeveon Clowney had a strong workout. Nobody actually takes attendance at these things, but there were several reports that nobody saw anyone in Browns paraphernalia at the USC pro day. However, the Browns have said they had a rep at the South Carolina pro day, although they aren’t saying who it was. It certainly wasn’t any of the team’s senior personnel people as they have been crisscrossing the country working out the top QB prospects for the draft. For those that have been out of the country, the Browns, who have the 4th pick at this year’s draft, have raised eyebrows because of their somewhat unconventional approach to the major pro days of late. In fact, nobody at all from Cleveland went to Johnny Manziel’s workout at Texas A&M last week, and while G.M. Ray Farmer did attend those of QBs Blake Bortles of UCF and Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater, the rest of the Browns senior staff did not.
  • Broncos closing gap on ’Hawks … No, they aren’t getting a second chance at the Super Bowl, at least not this year, but Denver has closed the gap on Seattle in the chase to get the most compensatory picks at the 2015 draft. With DE Robert Ayers signing with the Giants eralier in the week, the Broncos are now lost a net of 5 free agents this off-season, one behind Seattle which is down a net of 6 free agents so far. Houston is also down 5 free agents so far this year, while Green Bay and Kansas City are each down 4 UFAs and Carolina and Baltimore down a net of -3 free agents. Comp picks are awarded each spring based on a formula which factors in how many unrestricted free agents a team loses versus how many they sign and at what salary the previous year.
    April 3
  • (12:01 AM): GBN Big Board updated ... With the pro day schedule coming to an end, the GBN Big Board ranking the top 300 prospects for the upcoming draft, has been updated. As noted in the past, what we try to do with the Big Board is rank players based how we think NFL teams have them graded as per the latest intel, rather than necessarily representing how our own scouts have them ranked.
  • Clowney aces pro day workout … By all accounts. South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney had a very good day at the school’s pro day yesterday. That and other related stuff are the theme of the latest daily draft buzz file
    April 2
  • (9:00 AM): x-Eagles WR stays in NFC East ... He came, he left, he came back as Washington has reportedly agreed to a deal with former Philadelphia WR DeSean Jackson on a multi-year deal. Jackson was unceremoniously dumped by the Eagles last week amid allegations of gang ties, but quickly found a suitor in Washington which hopes that he will provide QB Robert Griffin with a legitimate big-play target. Meanwhile, all the Giants and Cowboys can do is say 'rats' as they will still have to face Jackson twice a year. No word on what they are saying in Philadelphia where they will also now have to face a motivaed Jackson a couple of times during the regular schedule.
  • Cards QB in Foxboro too ... Turns out that not only is enigmatic Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel visting with New England today, but former Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater will be thereat the same time. Again, hard to know what is the Patriots' game plan. New England has the 29th pick overall this year and both Manziel and Bridgewater figure to be long gone by that time. However, ther ehas been some speculation that Patriots' back-up QB Ryan Mallett could be available in a trade as he will become a free agent after the upcoming season. And given that Tom Brady isn't getting any younger could the Patriots be thinking about possibly moving up closer to the top 10 this coming May to find a young QB to groom as his ultimate replacement. Of course, Bill Belichek could also be just pulling the collective chain of the NFL media; remember the Patriots also broght in Tim Tebowon a well-publicized visit several years back. However, all the Patriots needed to do to create some buzz was to have Manziel in for a visit; brnging in a second top 10 prospect at the position looks more like a trend. Stay tuned!
  • (12:01 AM): Top-ranked DE to serve … There won’t be quite the razzle-dazzle that characterized Johnny Manziel’s pro day at Texas A&M last week, but there’s still plenty of buzz surrounding South Carolina’s pro day tomorrow where DE Jadeveon Clowney will be the featured attraction. It certainly doesn’t appear as if any ex-presidents will show up - and there is still no definitive word whether Clowney will workout in shoulder pads and helmet - but there will be a crowd in Colombia. Indeed, the school is reporting that it has already issued over 120 media credentials including passes for the football writers from the local papers in Houston and Jacksonville. And lest anyone thinks that Houston, which has the #1 pick this year, has already settled on picking a QB with the top pick, the Texans are sending a full 8-man contingent to the USC workout including head coach Bill O’Brien, GM Rick Smith and even owner Bob McNair, a South Carolina alumnus. The Texans are also known to have arranged a private meeting with Clowney. Clowney, who ran an impressive 4.53 40 at the combine, is not expected to participate in any further physical testing, but will be doing positional drills at DE; he could also work at LB if any 3-4 team asks him to. The workout starts at 11 AM ET and both the NFL Network and ESPN are providing coverage, although because there just isn’t as much to see with a DE as with a QB they may cut in and out. Meanwhile, speaking of Manziel, he is reportedly in New England at this hour and will be visiting with the Patriots tomorrow. In fact, its Manziel’s first official visit, but it obviously won’t be his last. Not sure, though, why the Patriots would be visiting with Manziel, who is projected to go in this year’s top 10 picks, but it may give the former Aggie star the chance to meet Bill Belichek and Tom Brady.
    April 1
  • Positional rankings updated ... No April's Fools, the GBN positional rankings have been updated based on the latest intel. And the GBN Big Board will also be updated within the next day or so. Stay tuned!
  • More Manziel questions from Vikes’coach … About the only dissenting words after Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel’s pro day last week came from Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer who grumbled about the workout being a ’sideshow” that placed “too much emphasis on style instead of substance.” Then after the Vikings met with Manziel in numbers the following morning for a private workout and dinner, Zimmer said that he grilled the former Aggie star about whether he was going to be a “celebrity” going forward or was going to be the first guy into the facility each day. No word, though, on exactly what Manziel had to say in response, although its likely that he at least verbalized all the right answers. What isn’t clear at this point is whether Zimmer is simply saying out loud what every personnel person in the league is thinking, whether the Vikings have real reservations about Manziel’s pro prospects, or whether he’s maybe blowing a little smoke hoping that Manziel will be available when the Vikings get on the clock with the 8th pick. No question that no team has put more effort into evaluating this year’s QB crop than the Vikings.
  • Rams sign former #1 WR … Former Tennessee WR Kenny Britt, the Titans’ first-round pick in 2009, has signed with St. Louis where he will be re-united with Rams’ head coach Jeff Fisher. Fisher was the Titans’ head coach when Britt arrived. While Britt has had more than his share of off-field issues and has only sined aone-year show metypr deal, the signing may be one more small sign that St. Louis is unlikely to select Clemson WR Sammy Watkins with the 2nd pick overall this year. Over the weekend, Fisher indicated that he felt that the Rams had enough at WR with which to win football games. There has been speculation that if the Rams didn’t trade out of the 2nd pick, that there choice would come down to either Watkins or one of OTs Greg Robinson of Auburn or Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews.
    March 31
  • (12:01 AM): This and that ... Still not a lot of buzz out there with the draft now less than 6 weeks away, but here's a quick summary of what's out there coming out of the last weekend.
  • Pro days wind up with a couple of key dates ... The annual pro day schedule is down to the last few schools, and while there won't be any of the fireworks that characterized Johnny Manziel's day at TexasA&M last week, there are still a couple of major workouts left on the schedule. Certainly, the headliner this week will be the South Carolina pro day where DE Jadeveon Clowney, arguably the top overall prospect for the upcoming draft, will get his last chance to impress NFL personnel people en masse. Here is the rest of the updated pro day schedule. As in the past, we’ll be updating and analyzing the key results from the different pro days around the country. At the same time, NFL.com also has some good coverage of the pro days on their pro day blog.
  • Guess who's coming to dinner ... With the pro day process now winding down, the draft focus switches to on-site vists and private workouts. Every team is allowed to bring up to 30 out-of-town prospects to their HQ for interviews and follow-up medicals; however, players are not allowed to work out when they visit the teams. NFL teams are also allowed to bring an unlimited number of local prospects to their facilities, agai for interviews and medicals. And while there really doesn't appear to be a strong correlation between the players teams bring in for visits and those they actually select, it is possible to glean some potentailly useful interesting info from suh visits. On the one hand, if a team brings a number of players in for visits at a particular position then there is a pretty good chance they willbe looking at that position sometime early in the draft. At the same time, because teams don't want to waste their execs time meeting and greeting players they will never have a chance to select, if a player is visiting a lot of teams with picks in the same area of the draft, for example, near the end of the opening round, then it is likely that is where that player is being graded. Meanwhile, if teams still want to work out a player they must do so at either the player's college or hometown. For now, here's avery preliminary list of confirmed on-site visits or private workouts.
  • Browns begin QB road search ... One of the intriguing sub-plots of the pro day results over the past couple of weeks was that Cleveland, which may need a QB more than any team in the league, pretty much stayed away from the workouts involving the top prospects at the position including Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater and Blake Bortles of Central Florida. GM Ray Farmer did attend the latter two workouts, but the rest of the staff, including head coach Mike Pettine apparently had more important things to do. In fact, the Browns skipped Manziel's private workout late last week entirely, in the process missing out on the opportunity to meet former President George Bush I who did attend. The Browns reasoning has been that there really isn't much to be learned from these scripted sessions and instead plan to work out each of the top QB prospects privately. And they'll get started when they put Derek Carr of Fresno State through his paces later today. Interesting that the Browns are starting with Carr in that he is generally considered to be the 4th QB in this year's draft class, but there continues to be something of a buzz that he's actually the Browns' favorite, although it is looking less and less likely that he'll make it to Cleveland's second opening round pick at #26. There also isn't any word yet who the Browns will be working out next.
  • Packer thots … Long-time GBN friend and regular contributor Pigskin Paul Guillemette has some thoughts on the Packers’ upcoming draft which may have some lessons for other teams.
    March 28
    March 27
  • (12:30 PM): Manziel nails pro day ... TexasA&M QB Johnny Manziel just wrapped up a solid pro day workout in College Station that attracted a throng of NFL personnel people, a national television audience, as well as a former president. And while there were a few glitches, Manziel threw the ball as well as could be expected; overall he showed very active feet, better than advertised arm strength and nice touch, especially on the deep balls. Through a 60-pass scripted routine, two passes went off the fingertips of the intended receiver, while several other intermediate routes were on the back hip of the receiver. Bottom line is that the jury is still out whether Manziel is a legit top ten prospect, but any team looking for a reason not to take him early will likely have to look elsewhere.
  • (9:00 AM): No follow-up medical for Tide OT ... Jason LaCanfora of CBS sports is reporting that Alabama OT Cyrus Kouandijo will not require a post-combine medical recheck in Indianapolis. There have been reports that Kouandjio had been failed on some team's medical exams at the combine because of a potentially chronic knee issue stemming from an injury early in his Alabama career. However, according to LaCanfora did not fail physicals and in fact his knee is clean and will not require further testing. Kouandjio is still to be considered to be a potential first-round pick this year although he is more of a late-rounder coming off avery disappointing combine in which he barely broke 5.6 runnin the 40.
  • Pro day circuit detours north … While Johnny Manziel is doing his thing down in Texas later today, McGill OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif will be going through his own private pro day in Montreal. In fact, Duvernay-Tardif is believed to be just the second Canadian-based player ever to hold an NFL type pro day. Former McMaster RB Jesse Lumsden, who eventually signed with Seattle, but never played in the NFL because of injuries and has since moved on to the Canadian Olympic bobsleigh team, is the only other CIS player to have had personal pro day. Canadian players can participate in the CFL evaluation camp for the Canadian league draft, which was held last weekend, but Duvernay-Tardif opted to skip that event. Otherwise, the 6-5, 315-pound Duvernay-Tardif has prepared for the draft just like most NFL hopefuls south of the border. He was one of the Canadians invited to the East-West Shrine all-star game and this week in special preparation for his pro day took the week off from the night shift he works at a Montreal hospital as part of his medical degree training. And at least two NFL teams - Arizona and Buffalo - have indicated they will be attending his pro day later today, while Duvernay-Tardif reports that he has already arranged pre-draft visits with Arizona, Cleveland and Seattle. In fact, maybe since Cleveland won’t be attending Manziel’s workout in Texas maybe the Browns can scare up a scout to attend Duvernay-Tardif’s workout. And while NFL draft stuff, even if it involves Canadians, gets almost no traction at all in Canada at this time of year where if it doesn’t involve skates and sticks it simply doesn’t matter, the Duvernay-Tardif has generated at least a little press coverage. In fact, Duvernay-Tardif is one of several potential picks at the upcoming draft including Virginia DT Brent Urban, Oregon LB Bo Lokembo, Penn State OG John Urschel, and Notre Dame WR T.J.Jones. Indeed, if nothing else, Duvernay-Tardif and Urschel are runaway leaders for the title of top true student-athletes in this year’s NFL draft class.
    March 25
  • (1:00 PM): One change to draft order ... Thanks to reader Chris Z for the tip as there is one update to the selection order for the 2014 draft which was postedearlier in the day. Baltimore, in fact, does not have the 234th pick from Miami in exchange for OT Bryant McKinnie. The Ravens will only get a 7th round pick from the Dolpjhins for McKinnie in 2015. As a result, Baltimore actually has 8 picks this year, while Miami has 7. As noted earlier, St. Louis and the New York Jets curerntly have the most picks for the upcoming draft as both have 12 picks apiece, while San Francisco, Jacksonville, Houston and Dallas each have 11 and Cleveland and Atlanta have 10 each. Here’s the updated list of picks by team.
  • (12:01 AM): Browns to skip Johnny Football workout … Cleveland G.M. Ray Farmer revealed during an interview at this week’s NFL Annual Meeting that that he will not be attending Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel's private workout on Thursday. Farmer did attend the pro days of Teddy Bridgewater and Blake Bortles last week, however, the rest of the Browns‘ key decision makers including head coach Mike Pettine did not attend. Farmer downplayed the value of scripted workouts and instead indicated that the Browns will have their own private workouts with the top prospects at the position. Farmer also indicated that the Browns are not currently ‘leaning in any direction’ with regards to the 4th pick and are not committed to taking a QB with the pick. In fcat, Farmer went too say that the Brwons are comfortable with the notion of Brian Hoyer taking over as the Browns' full-time starter after he went 3-0 last fall in a relief role before missing the rest of the year with a foot injury. Farmer also said that he wanted to keep people speculating on what the Browns are going to do with their top pick. "Right now the systems that we're using are based on keeping everybody in the dark … no one really knows what we're doing… " However, no one would forgive the folks in the Dawg Pound if they had a 'we have seen the enemy and he is us' moment and were a little worried that the only people in the dark are the Browns themselves! Stay tuned.
    March 24
  • (7:30 PM): Comp picks awarded; Ravens, Jets, Steelers big gainers … The NFL has announced that a maximum 32 compensatory choices for the 2014 draft have been awarded to 13 teams. Baltimore and the New York Jets led the way with each team receiving 4 comp picks, the maximum any team is allowed. In fact, Baltimore ended up with an extra 3rd round pick, along with two in the 4th and a 5th rounder, while the Jets received one extra 4th rounder and three in the 6th round. Meanwhile Pittsburgh (in rounds 3, 5, and 6), Houston (4, 6 and, 7), Atlanta (4, 7 and 7), St. Louis (6, 7, and 7), and Dallas (7, 7, and 7) got three comp picks each, while Green Bay (3 and 5), Detroit (4 and 4), and Cincinnati (6 and 7) each received a pair of comp picks and San Francisco (3), New England (4) and the New York Giants (5) received one each. Comp picks are awarded based on a formula which factors in net losses of free agents from the previous year, along with the salary, playing time and postseason honors of free agents either signed or lost.
  • Ravens get vet C for future 5th … Baltimore has acquired C Jeremy Zuttah from Tampa Bay in exchange for what is being described as a 5th round pick in 2015.
  • Combine north wraps … The CFL evaluation camp for Canadian prospects for the 2014 draft wrapped up in Toronto with some noteworthy performances, although likely none that comes close to vaulting anywhere near potential free agent status south of the border. Laval CB Adam Thibault, for example, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.45 seconds despite tweaking a hamstring late in the run, while Montreal CB Antoine Pruneau had a 4.49 clocking. The 6-0, 205-pound Thibault also clocked respectable times of 4.03 in the short shuttle and 6.88 in the 3-cone and had a 37.5” vertical and 18 reps in the bench press, while Pruneau had agility drill times of 4.05 in the short shuttle and 6.78 in the 3-cone. Meanwhile, McGill LB Jesse Briggs wasn’t necessarily all that highly regarded even by CFL scouts heading in to the CFL camp, but put on an athletic show as the 6-1, 222-pounder had a 4.57 clocking in the 40, along with a 38.5-inch vertical and 27 bench press reps. At the same time, mammoth Montreal OT David Foucault (6-8, 320), one of the top 2-3 prospects for this year’s CFL draft, ran a decent 40 as he posted a 5.28 clocking despite suffering from the after affects of the flu, but only managed 22 reps in the bench press. Here are all the numbers from the CFL evaluation camp. This year’s CFL draft takes place on May 13th with the expansion Ottawa Redblacks holding the #1 pick. McGill OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif did not participate in the CFL evaluation camp and instead will hold a private workout in Montreal on Thursday where he hopes to attract some scouts from the NFL.
    March 21
  • (10:00 PM): QBs on the move ... Oakland has acquired veteran QB Matt Schaub from Houston in exchange for a 6th round pick. Meanwhile, the New York Jets have signed former Philadelphia QB Michael Vick and released former starter Matt Sanchez. The Jets moves aren't likely to impact what they do at the 2014 draft. However, the jury is still out on whether the Raiders' acquisition of Schaub might temper the likelihood Oakland takes a QB with the 5th pick overall this coming May. Raiders' head coach Dennis Allen did immediately name Schaub the Raiders' starter, however, he added that it was 'for now'. Speculation is that the Raiders will still take a QB with the 5th pick, but plan to let him sit and learn for at least a year behind Schaub. With the Houston-Oakland trade, the Trades file has been updated as has the picks by team listing.
  • (9:00 AM): Texans' sign vet QB; 'Hawks wait on top FA DE ... Early reports yesterday indicated that defending Super Bowl champion Seattle had signed DEJared allen, the former Minnesota star pass rusher. However, Allen ulimately left Seattle without signing a contract and instead will mull over the Seahawks' offer this weekend. As a result, Seattle still has yet to sign any unrestricted free agents, while they have lost 6 and continue to hold the early inside position on picking up compensatory selections at the 2015 draft. On the other hand, Carolina, which had also been 0-6 in terms of free agent signings, got their first UFA to come to terms yesterday when they signed former Pittsburgh WR Jericho Cotchery, although the Panthers are still down a net 5 unrestricted free agents. Houston is also down 5 UFAs so far this year, while Pittsburgh and Kansas City are down 4 each and Baltimore and Cincinnati are inus three. Comp picks for the 2015 draft will be determined by a formula that includes net free agent losses, as well as the money involved in a team's respective free agent gains and losses. Houston did sign veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, who played last year with Tennssee, although because he was released prior to the start of the footbal year, he does not count in the UFA signings. The addition of Fitzpatrick, a ten-year veteran with extensive starting experience with St. Louis, Buffalo anf the Titans, has led to speculation that the Texans may be close to dealing Matt Schaub. Indeed, there have been persistent rumors that the Texans have talked seriously with both Oakland and Cleveland about a deal for Schaub. Its unlikely that the acquisition of Fitzpatrick is going to significantly impact the Texans plans for drafting a QB at the 2014 draft, however, it does give them a relatively chap veteran option if they were to decide to select a player at another position, such as DE Jadeveon Clowney, with the first pick overall, while taking a more developmental type QB with a later pick. Same story for both the Raiders or the Browns should either acquire Schaub, who struggled mightily in 2013, but had been a solid starter previously. Both the Browns, who pick 4th, and the Raiders who have the next selection, are believed to be keen to add a QB early in this year's draft, but Schaub would give them a fall-back position if they aren't sold on a QB with their top 5 selection. Stay tuned!
  • March 20
  • (3:30 PM): Steelers won't lose pick for sideline incident ... Good news for Pittsburgh as the NFL has confirmed that the Steelers will not be docked a draft pick as a result of the incident last fall in which head coach Mike Tomlin was guilty of sideline interference. That leaves the Steelers with 6 2014 picks.
  • (1:00 PM): Top OT prospect to be charged … Michigan OT Taylor Lewan, a top 10 prospect for the 2014 draft, reportedly will be charged with three misdemeanor counts of assault stemming from an incident after the team’s game with Ohio State this season in w. The charges stem from a confrontation that took place about which two Buckeyes’ fans reported being assaulted. Lewan has countered saying he was trying to break up a fight. Not clear if this will affect Lewan’s draft grade, but NFL teams have known about the incident since early in December. If convicted, Lewan could face up to 90 days in jail and a fine.
  • Ravens get 7th for OT … Baltimore has confirmed that they will receive a 7th round pick at the upcoming draft from Miami in exchange for OT Bryant McKinnie. The trade actually took place during the season, but was only listed as conditional. While its only a last-round pick, it will be appreciated in Baltimore which only had 4 picks at the upcoming draft, although the Ravens are expected to be awarded several compensatory picks when those are announced in the next couple of weeks.
  • (12:01 AM): Draft clock continues to tick ... Seven weeks -less than 50 days -to go until the 2014 draft! Hang in there guys ...
    March 19
  • (5:00 PM): Bortles passes pro day exam, but may have missed an “A” … According to the early reports here and here UCF QB Blake Bortles had what is being described as a ‘solid’ workout in front of NFL personnel evaluators, including several small armies of those from teams with early picks at this year’s draft. Among those attending today’s workout, foe example, were GM Rick Smith, head coach Bill O'Brien and QB coach George Godsey from Houston which owns the #1 pick overall, along with Jacksonville GM David Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley; Oakland head coach Dennis Allen, Tampa Bay GM Jason Licht and head coac Lovie Smith, and Minnesota GM Rick Spielman, head coach Mike Zimmer and offensive coordinator Norv Turner. In addition, the Texans, Jaguars, Raiders and Vikings all had extensive private meetings with Bortles prior to his actual on-field workout. Meanwhile, Cleveland GM Ray Farmer also attended, but as they did with Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater earlier this week, Browns' head coach Mike Pettine, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and QB coach Dowell Loggains all apparently had more important things to do and skipped Bortles pro day. However, Farmer did reportedly meet with Bortles prior to his workout this morning and the Browns have scheduled a private workout with him for. And its still too early to know whether Bortles did enough to pass Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater as the #1 QB prospect on any of those teams boards; its also still too early to know whether Borles did enough to convince Houston that he was worthy of being selected first overall this coming May. During his workout, Bortles reprtedly showed plenty of arm strength and nice touch on the underneath stuff, but wasn’t as accurate on several deep balls. In fact, for the record, Bortles only completed41 of the 50 passes he threw today, although several were dropped. Still that's not great in an event where some QBs have only had 2-3 balls hit the ground in the past. And reading between the lines Bortles certainly had a better workout than Bridgewater did earlier this week, although it still doesn’t appear it was the kind of home run performance like Andrew Luck put on a couple of years ago. Houston coach Bill O’Brien for example, was quoted as saying"it was a good workout. He made all the throws, shows good footwork. I was impressed, “ while Jacksonville’s Bradley, whose Jaguars have the 3rd pick overall, was quoted as saying he thought “it was a good day” for Bradley, adding that "there are always things, for him, I'm sure he'd like to do better, but I thought it was a good workout." However, Bortles, along with Bridgewater, both appear to have left some room for Derek Carr of Fresno State, who has his pro tomorrow, and Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel who works out next week.
  • (12:01 AM): More fallout from 'average' QB pro day ... The hot draft topic around the NFL is whether Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater's disappointing pro day performance earlier this week has hurt his draft stock. That and several other topics are discussed in this week's edition of the Draft Buzz file although truth be told its been rather quiet on the draft front since the opening of the free-agent signing frenzy last week.
    March 17
  • (12:30 PM): Mixed reviews from Bridgewater pro day ... The early reports from today's Louisville pro day regarding QB Teddy Bridgewater have been mixed at best. For starters, Bridgewater weighed in at barely over 205 pounds, down from 214 at the combine. Recall that one of the major concerns about Bridgewater have always been that he wasn't that big or thick and could have trouble handling the pounding an NFL QB routinely experinces over a 16-game schedule. Bridgewater then ran an unofficial hand-timed 4.78 in his first 40 run, which probably translates into something in the 4.80-4.85 range, but did not run a second heat. And in the passing phase of the workout Bridewater's performance is being described by those in attendance as 'average'at best which is disappointing for a QB working throgh a scripted set of passes throwing against air. Meanwhile, a couple of other NFL execs who appear to be at the UL pro day include Houston G.M. Rick smith and Jacksonville owner Shad Khan who are joining their respective head coaches.
  • Free agent signings impact on draft ... We were planning on writing a piece on the potential impact of some of the free agent signings and losses from around the league through the first week of the new football schedule, but a couple of other analysts beat us to the punch so rather than pretty much duplicate what they wrote here are links to a pieces by Rob Rang of CBS Sports and Bryan Fischer of NFL.com.
    March 14
  • (9:00 AM): Dolphins to get conditional 7th for OT Martin ... Thanks to reader Bill D for the tip as several local sourcesin San Francisco are indicating that 7th round pick the 49ers sent to Miami in exchange for OT Jonathan Martin is actually a conditional pick based on whether Martin is on the 49ers opening day roster this coming September. With this completion of this deal, the GBN Trade Mart and picks by team file.
  • MIA RB gives up football ... San Diego State RB Adam Muema has apparently given up football citing something about the world is going to end! The troubled Muema, who was actually a very productive back for SDSU this past season when he ran for over 1,300 yards, became a story last month when he abruply left the combine before working out ostensibly because God told him that's what he should do. Muema then disappeared for almost a week after leaving the combine and was eventually found by friends at the airport in Florida he'd flown to from Indianapolis.
  • Gator WR, small school LB get extra years … Florida WR Andre Dubose has been granted a 6th year of eligibility after he missed the entire 2013 season because of a torn ACL suffered in fall training camp last August. Dubose was originally a superstar recruit with track speed, but he has never been very productive as a receiver although he has been a dynamic KO returner with 4 returns for scores in his career. Meanwhile, Eastern Washington LB Ronnie Hamlin has also been granted a 6th year of eligibility by the NCAA as a result of the fact that he missed both the 2009 and 2010 seasons with knee injuries. The 6-1, 235-pound Hamlin is on pace to set the school record for career tackles after posting 140 in 2013.
    March 13
  • (10:30AM): Saints to get 5th for RB Sproles ... New Orleans rportedly will get a 5th round pick from Philadelphia in exchange for RB Darren Sproles in a trade that is expected to be formally announced later today. The Eagles currently have two 5th round picks, their own, plus one from the Patriots acquired in a deal for DT Isaac Sopoaga last year, although it has not yet been confirmed as to which of those picks the Saints will get.
    March 12
  • (7:00 PM): Browns clean QB house ... Still not exactly clear where they go from here, but Cleveland cleared the decks at QB by releasing both veteran QBs Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell earlier this afternoon. The Browns are still left with Brian Hoyer at the position, but he is reported to be on the trade block after tearing an ACL late last season.Of course, the Browns have made no secret of the fact that they will be taking a QB early and often at the upcoming draft, but clearly the release of both Weeden and Campbell will heighten speculation that Cleveland could almsot be forced to use the 4th pick overall on the position if they don't come up with another veteran to help them over the immediate hump. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay may have taken QB off the table as a posiibility for the 7th pick overall after signing former Chicago back-up, and sometime starter, Josh McCown who is expectedto compete with Mike Glennon for the #1 job with the Buccaneers next fall. The Buccaneers could still opt to select a developmental type QB at the upcoming draft, but are more likely now towait until the later rounds, while focusing on other positions with their early picks. Stay tuned!
  • (4:00 PM): Bucs release CB Revis; save draft round ... After failing to find a trade partner, Tampa Bay has released veteran CB Darelle Revis who becomes a free agent. The Buccaneers had acquired Revis from the Jets in a deal that included a 4th round pick this year that would have escalated to a #3 if the player was still on the Tampa Bay roster after 4 PM ET today. Since he's not, the Jets will only get the Bucs 4th rounder this year.
  • Slow times in SoCal ... Still waiting for results from today's Alabama pro day, but there are numbers available from both the Oklahoma and Southern Cal pro days which were also held today with some disappointing 40 times being reported at the latter. Here's what we have so far in the latest updates from the Pro Day Blog.
  • 49ers move two picks for vet QB, OT … Jacksonville has unloaded QB Blaine Gabbert to San Francisco in exchange for the 49ers 6th round pick in 2014 and a conditional selection in 2015. And then late this evening, Miami and the 49ers confirmed that embattled Dolphins' OT Jonathan Martin was heading back to the Bay area for an undisclosed pick, believed to be a late rounder. In fact, its likely to be one of the three 7th round picks currently own as they traded their lone 6th to the Jaguars in the Gabbert deal earlier this evening. With the deal, Martin will be reunited with 49ers head coach John Harbaugh whom he played for at Stanford.
    March 11
  • (12:01 AM): Second week on pro day sked continues ... The second week of the 2014 pro day schedule continues later today with workouts at UCLA and Michigan State among several on-campus workouts today. In fact, both the Bruins and Spartans have top 10-15 prospects in UCLA OLB Anthony Barr and MSU CB Darqueze Dennard. Then things really heat up on Wednesday with pro days at Alabama, Oklahoma, Southern Cal and Michigan. Here is the updated pro day schedule over the next 6 weeks. As in the past, we’ll be updating and analyzing the key results from the different pro days around the country. At the same time, NFL.com also has some good coverage of the pro days on their pro day blog.
  • Football year kicks off ... The 2014 NFL football calendar year officially gets underway as of 4 PM ET later this afternoon. At that time, all teams have to be under the 2014 salary cap; teams may also begin signing unrestricted free agents as well as make trades as of later today. In fact, teams have been allowed to sort of talk with unrestricted free agents since Saturday and, in all likelihood, several will have also agreed on contract terms, although those deals can not be officially noted until 4 o'clock today. Aong UFAs who have believed to have signed include former Kansas City OT Branden Albert, while Seattle has reportedly resigned DE Michael Bennett to a multi-year deal. As in the past, the GBN will be keeping track of the free agent signings on the Free-agent Scoreboard. Needless to say, many teams plans for the upcoming draft will be impacted by which free agents they lose and/or are able to sign. At the same time, compensation picks for the 2015 draft will be determined by signings and loses of UFAs between now and June 1st. Meanwhile, the trade mart could be nothing if not interesting with a number of top stars reportedly being shopped including Tennessee RB Chris Johnson, Chicago DE Julius Peppers, Tampa Bay CB Darrelle Revis, and Carolina WR Steve Smith.
    March 10
  • (12:01 AM): Second week on pro day sked kicks off ... The second week of the 2014 pro day schedule kicks off later today with workouts at South Florida and Louisiana Tech among several on-campus workouts today. Things really heat up on Wednesday thoug with pro days at Alabama, Oklahoma, Southern Cal and Michigan. Here is the updated pro day schedule over the next 6 weeks. As in the past, we’ll be updating and analyzing the key results from the different pro days around the country. At the same time, NFL.com also has some good coverage of the pro days on their pro day blog.
  • Backing off on QBs … Questions about just how good this year’s QB class for the 2014 draft is may have some teams rethinking their options at the position. One story that won’t go away, for example, is that Houston has explored the possibility of acquiring QB Ryan Mallett from New England. The Texans need to upgrade at QB, but reportedly aren’t convinced that any of this year’s top prospects at the position are worth the #1 pick overall in the 2014 draft especially with a defensive game change like South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney on the board. And the speculation that the Texans are interested in Mallett has only gotten louder since Houston hired Bill O’Brien, the former Patriots’ offensive coordinator who worked with Mallett in New England. The Patriots selected Mallett, who will be a free agent at the end of the upcoming season, with a third round pick at the 2011 draft. Speculation is that the Patriots are likely to be looking for the Texans second round pick, the 33rd overall, in exchange for the former Arkansas star. At the same time, though, John McClain, the Texans' beat writer with the Houston Chronicle has opined that Houston's interest in Mallett may in fact be minimal, but they may be intrigued by Cleveland's Brian Hoyer, who is coming off an ACL injury, but also spent time with O'Brien with the Patriots. And McClain may be onto to something as O'Brien is known to run a somewhat comlicated offense that requires a good decison-maker to run it and that was never Mallett's M.O. Meanwhile, the fact that Jacksonville was able to resign Chad Henne to a 2-year deal prior to the start of free agency means the Jaguars won’t necessarily be forced to pick a QB with the 3rd pick overall. Indeed, the buzz around the league is that the Jaguars are leaning toward using the #3 pick on a positional rather than a QB for the second straight year. And Minnesota G.M. Rick Spielman kind of played down the position when he was quoted at a post-combine interview starting that the Vikings, which have the 8th pick overall, don’t want to ‘box themselves into having to take a quarterback if there’s another player that’s very significant at another position.’ Spielman added that he thinks there could be some decent options at the position in the second and third rounds. For the record, Spielman also said he thinks there could be a lot of movement in this year’s opening round as teams look to put themselves into position to grab the particular player that they really like. Of course, all of this just could be just posturing but often where there is a little smoke there is some fire. Stay tuned!
  • This and that … LSU QB Zach Mettenberger will reportedly throw the ball at the school’s pro day on April 9th. Mettenberger had been considered to be one of the top 5 prospects at the position for this year’s draft, but tore an ACL in the Tigers’ season finale. What Mettenberger is hoping to do is show teams that he is well on the road to recovery and perhaps deserves some consideration as early as the second round by teams that didn’t get a QB in this year’s opening round … Northern Illinois FS Jimmie Ward will have a screw inserted in his foot in the next few days to help his recover from an injury that prevented him from working out at the combine. Despite the injury, Ward was able to participate in the NIU pro day where he had an impressive workout including a 40 clocking in the 4.50 range and a 38-inch vertical jump. Ward is not expected to be sidelined all that long and may be able to hold private workouts for teams prior to the draft.
    March 7
  • Rams here there and everywhere !!! ... After St. Louis checked out big-time OT prospects Greg Robinson of Auburn and Texas A&M's Jake Matthews at their respective pro days earlier in the week, the burning question around the league was whether the Rams would show the same kind of interest in Clemson WR Sammy Watkins at his pro day on Thursday. The simple answer is they did as St. Louis G.M. Les snead led another large contingent to the Tigers' pro day where Watkns reportedly had a strong showing in receiving drills. The Rams have the second pick overall at this year's draft and it appears that if they keep the pick that the logical choice for the Rams would come down to Watkins or one of the two OTs. And while the Rams have expressed an interest in trading out of the #2 pick, there is also some speculation that St. Louis could also consider grabbing Watkins with the #2 pick and then try and trade up from the 13th pick back into the top ten to get one of the OTs. Stay tuned.
  • Noted surgeon weighs in on Tide OT knee issue … Famed sports surgeon Dr. James Andrews has reportedly sent a memo to all NFL teams stating that the condition of Alabama OT Cyrus Kouandjio's isn't as bad as some published reports. It was reported over the weekend that several teams had taken Kouandjio off their boards after he was diagnosed with an arthritic condition in his knee at last month’s scouting combine. Andrews noted that there is some wear on the knee, but there as been no change in his condition since he had surgery to repair a torn ACL back in 2011.
  • Frogs corner to have shoulder surgery … Texas Christian CB Jason Verrett, one of the top 4-5 players at the position for the upcoming draft, will undergo surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder. However, it appears that Verrett should ready to go by the time NFL training camps open up later this summer.
    March 6
  • Getting up close and personal … If St. Louis doesn’t take an OT with the #2 pick at this May’s draft it won’t be because they didn’t do due diligence in scouting the top prospects at the position. In fact, Rams‘ offensive line coach Paul Boudreau was the guy calling the shots for both Auburn’s Greg Robinson and Jake Matthews of Texas A&M, the top two OT prospects for the upcoming draft, when they went through position-specific drills at their respective pro days earlier this week. For good measure, Rams’ G.M. Les Snead also attended both pro days and the Rams contingent met privately with Matthews after his workout on Wednesday. One additional issue the Rams may be considering as they work out the various OTs will be if their grades for Robinson and Matthews are similar. If that were to be the case it would it makes it easier for the Rams to move down several spots if another team wanted to move up to the #2 pick to take either a QB, or perhaps South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney if he were still on the board, whereas it might he harder to move down if St. Louis ended up liking one of the two significantly more than the other. Now it will be interesting to see what kind of representation the Rams send to the Clemson workout later today to check out WR Sammy Watkins who one would figure might be the one player other than an OT that St. Louis might use the second pick on. Stay tuned!
  • Hometown docs give Tide OT thumbs up, sort of … Team medical officials have given Alabama OT Cyrus Kouandjio a qualified bill of health at least for the short term. It was reported during the combine that several teams may have taken Kouandjio off their boards because of a potentially chronic knee condition. However, team physician Dr Ian Cain reportedly told Ian Rapoport of NFL.com that while Kouandjio tore his ACL and an MCL during his freshman year and that there has been what he described as some ’minor articular cartilage wear in the knee‘ he played 27 games after the injury, never missed a practice, and never had the knee treated adding that ‘these kinds of cartilage injuries are common in sports.’ Alabama trainer Jeff Allen also expressed confidence in Kouandjio’s ability to have a normal pro career, but also warned that there was indeed an issue with the knee that is “going to have to be paid attention and dealt with, with the understanding at times it may limit him," although that might not happen until 5-6 years down the road. Folks can read the full NFL.com article for themselves, but reading between the lines it just sounds like the issue is still going to give NFL teams pause. Kouandjio had been considered to be a top 10 prospect earlier this year, but his stock has slipped of late such that he is no longer a lock to be a first-round pick at all. And that's if the knee in fact checks out. Of course, running a sundial time of almost 5.6 seconds in the 40 at the combine also hasn't helped his grade.
  • Browns snub Johnny Football … More evidence that the early draft romance between Cleveland and TexasA&M QB Johnny Manziel is waning comes with the admission by the Browns that they didn't interview the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner at last month’s combine. Teams were allowed to interview as many as 60 players at the combine and most teams try and interview guys on their radar. This comes on the heels of reports late last week that the Browns were intrigued by Fresno State QB Derek Carr and were considering selecting a player other than a QB with the 4th pick and then angling to get Carr with the 26th pick later in the opening round.
  • Clemson prospects to sit season opener … Clemson has announced that four veteran players including DE Corey Crawford, CB Garry Peters and OG David Beasley have been suspended from the Tigers’ season opener next fall for one of those proverbial violations of team rules. All three are seniors with at least late-round potential for the upcoming draft.
    March 4
  • (1:00 PM): Tigers' OLB has solid workout ... All 32 NFL teams were reportedly represented at today's Auburn pro day where DE/OLB Dee Ford, who did not run at the combine because of a medical issue, has had a prettyy good day. Ford ran in the 4.60-4.65 range in the 40, had a 36.5" vertical and a 10-4 BJ, while posting 29 reps in the BP. All would have been among the leaders at the position in Indianapolis, although his 40 time was probably a little slower than he was hoping for. The GBN pro day blog has the other numbers from the early returns at the Tigers' pro day.
  • (9:00 AM): Whither Irish DE ... We are trying to follow up on conflicting reports regarding the workout schedule of Notre Dame DE Stephon Tuitt. A number of sources have Tuitt listed as having a private pro day workout scheduled at Notre Dame today. There was also a tweet to the effect that Tuitt had run a 4.8 40 in preparation for today's workout. However, Tuitt just underwent surgery to have a fractured left foot repaired and is expectedto require 6-8 weeks of rehab time. That would still give him time to possibly workout for NFL teams in the 2-3 weeks prior to May's draft, but it would seem allost impossible for him to be working out today. Stay tuned.
  • Tag day comes and goes … The deadline for NFL teams to designate free agents as either franchise or transition players passed on Monday with a total of6 players receiving tags. Of those, New Orleans TE Jimmy Graham, Carolina DE Greg Hardy, Washington DE Brian Orakpo, and Jets PK Nick Folk were designated as their team’s franchise player, while Cleveland designated star C Alex Mack as its transition player as did Pittsburgh with OLB Jason Worilds. Interestingly, New Orleans designated Graham as an exclusive franchise player which means he can negotiate with other teams, but if he signs an offer sheet with another team, the Saints can match or receive two-first round picks as compensation. Meanwhile, Mack and Worilds are also able to sign offer sheets with other teams which the Browns or Steelers can match respectively to keep the player. However, if the offer sheets aren’t matched there is no compensation. And with a ton of caps space, Cleveland, in particular, is expected to be in a position to match just about any offer for Mack.
  • NC State OT gets redshirt … North Carolina State LT Rob Crisp has been granted a redshirt year and will return to school for the 2014 season. Crisp, who had been considered to be a mid-to-late round prospect for the 2013 draft, but ended up missing the final 10 games of the past season after suffering a concussion. At the same time, N.C. State has also applied for a 6th year of eligibility for veteran FS Jarvis Byrd, who suffered missed the latter half of the 2013 season with a major knee injury. Byrd also missed the entire 2010 and 2011 seasons with earlier knee injuries.
    March 3
  • (12:01 AM): Big Board updated … With the 2014 scouting combine now in the books and members of the NFL personnel community fanning out across the country for the start of the pro day schedule, the GBN Big Board has been updated based on results from the combine, as well as the latest intel. And, as we have noted in the past, this ranking is represents our best assessment of what a typical NFL draft board would look like at this time - should such an animal exist - rather than how we would necessarily rate the players ourselves.
  • Carr up; Manziel down … There appears to be a growing sentiment around the NFL that Fresno State QB Derek Carr may have passed Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel as the #3 passer on a number of boards around the league. The latest indicator of that is a report from Los Angeles that Oakland, which has the 5h pick in this year’s opening round, has Carr graded higher than Manziel. That comes just days after reports from Cleveland that the Browns were seriously considering passing on a QB with the 4th pick overall with the intention of angling to draft Carr with their second opening round selection, the 26th overall, which they acquired from Indianapolis for RB Trent Richardson last season. It would appear however that if Carr is truly the Browns guy they will have to trade up from their 2nd pick to get him. At the same time, it does appear that most teams still have Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville and Central Florida’s Blake Bortles as the top two prospects among the QBs, but it does appear as if there is still a lot of sorting out to do at the position. In particular, what isn’t totally clear if the reported closing of the gap between Carr and Manziel reflects the fact that Carr’s status is on the rise or Manziel’s is falling or that it is a bit of both. On the one hand, if Manziel is slipping it could potentially take one of the QBs out of this year’s top ten mix. On the other if Carr is indeed on the rise there is a distinct possibility that four QBs could go in the first ten picks this coming May. Stay tuned only 66 days to go!
  • Bear LB to skip spring … Baylor MLB Bryce Hager, an intriguing possibility for the 2015 draft, will miss spring practice this year after undergoing surgery last month to repair torn abdominal and adductor muscles. The 6-2, 235-pound Hager led the Big XII in tackles in 2012, but missed much of last season with a groin injury. However, team officials are confident that Hager should be fully recovered for the start of summer camp in early August.
    March 1
  • (9:00 AM): Cap set at $133M … The NFL has reportedly sent out a memo to all NFL teams that the 2014 salary cap has been set at $133 million. That’s over $10M more than last year and is significantly higher than most teams were expecting this year. As a result, almost suddenly jus about every team in the league has considerably more money to spend on free agents when the new NFL year starts on March 11th. It also likely means that more teams will be able to address issues with free agents and could be in a better position to simply go after the best player at the upcoming draft. At the same time, salary numbers have been set for players tagged as franchise players. A QB that is franchised, for example, would get almost $17M in 2014, while umbers for other positions are: RB $9.5M; WR $12.1M; TE $7.1M; offensive linemen: $11.7M; DE $13.1M; DT $9.75M; LB $11.5M; CB $11.8M; S $8.43M; and kickers $3.56M. New Orleans has reportedly tagged star TE Jimmy Graham, while Carolina will reportedly tag emerging DE Greg Hardy. Meanwhile the Jets have reportedly tagged PK Nick Folk.
  • Huskies TE has foot surgery; may be out past draft … Washington TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, one of the top 4-5 prospects at the position for the 2014 draft, underwent surgery yesterday to stabilize a stress fracture in his left foot that doctors discovered during medical testing at last week’s scouting combine in Indianapolis. Given that the expected recovery time is estimated at 8 weeks, it is unlikely Seferein-Jenkins will be able to participate in Washington's pro day on April 2nd, however, there is a chance that Seferein-Jenkins could be able to work out for pro teams at a private workout in the 2-3 weeks before the draft. The good news for Seferein-Jenkins is that because he opted to have the surgery now, he should be 100% when training camps open in late July.
  • Dolphins denying multiple trade rumors … Miami officials have reportedly denying published reports that they are shopping DE Dion Jordan, the team’s #1 pick at the 2013 draft. The Dolphins are also denying trade rumors involving star WR Mike Wallace and DE Cameron Wake. The Dolphins have also reportedly said that star C Mike Pouncey, who was identified as a tangential player in the Jonathan Martin bullying report isn’t going anywhere. So there!
  • Red Raider OL gets extra year … Texas Tech OT Rashad Fortenberry has been granted a medical hardship and will be eligible to play next season. The 65, 290-pound Fortenberry missed all but three games in 2012 because of a back injury.
  • Missing RB resurfaces … The strange story of former San Diego State RB Adam Muema took a turn for the better when he reportedly turned up at his training facility in Florida after going incommunicado for five days after abruptly leaving last week’s combine because ‘God told him to’. According to one report, Muema did fly back to Florida last Monday, but then for some reason spent the week at the airport in Miami. According to a family source, Muema will get some help.
  • (12:01 AM): Defensive secondary grades tweaked ... Positional rankings for the cornerbacks and safeties have now been posted based on data from last week's scouting combine. The plan is to have a new big board rankin the top 200 plus prospects for the 2014 up sometime ealy next week. Stay tuned!
    February 28
  • (12:01 AM): Defensive line, LB grades tweaked ... Positional rankings for the DEs and DTs, as well the OLBs and MLBs have now been posted based on data from last week's scouting combine.
  • College players coming and going … Utah State has confirmed that QB Chuckie Keeton, who suffered a tear of both the ACL and MCL in his knee during an early-October loss to BYU last season, will miss spring practice this year. However, the Aggies are still hopeful that Keeton will make a full return to health for the start of summer camp. There is better news across the state at Utah where junior QB Travis Wilson has been cleared for non-contact drills this spring. There were fears that Wilson might never play again when he was diagnosed with an intracranial arterial condition after suffering a concussion last season. The 6-5, 240-pound Wilson has the prototype size and arm strength of a top prospect at the position, but still needs to improve his accuracy and decision-making in the pocket. Meanwhile, two Mississippi juniors have been granted an extra year of eligibility by the NCAA and will now be eligible through 2015. DE C.J Johnson, a 6-2, 235-pound edge rusher who led the team with 6.5 sacks in 2012, and starting OG Aaron Morris were both granted medical hardship waivers by the NCAA. The 6-4, 330-pound Morris, who tore an ACL in the Rebels’ season opener last fall, in particular could be of interest to NFL teams whenever he does enter the draft. At the same time, Marshall DE James Rouse Marshall has been granted a 6th year of eligibility by the NCAA after he missed the entire 2012 season with an Achilles tear and all but the first three games of the previous year with a back injury. The 6-4, 270-pound Rouse led the Herd with 6 sacks last fall.
    February 27
  • (3:00 PM): Offensive line grades tweaked ... Positional rankings for the OTs, OGs, and Cs have now been posted based on data from last week's scouting combine. Interesting that we have new #1s at each position, although the old top-ranked players at the position haven't gone very far.
  • Ten weeks and counting ... For those that keep track of these things, the 2014 draft gets underway 7 weeks from today. And here's a summary of some the latest draft buzz with 70 days to go until the draft.
  • Still hard at work ... Never one's to rest on their laurels, our crack scout staff is taking advantage of the break between the combine and start of the pro day sked to review and update our positional rankings and big board based on what transpired at the combine. For now, here are updated ratings for the QBs, RBs, WRs, and TEs with the rest to come as they become available.
    February 25
  • (9:00 AM): DBs running 40s ... The defensive backs have started running their 40s and we'll be following all the highs and lows on the Combine blog.
  • (12:01 AM): Combine down to final day in Indy ... The annual scouting combine wraps up in Indianapolis later today after the defensive backs go through their on-field physical testing and positional drills. The CBs and safeties hit the field at 9 AM ET later this morning with coverage again on the NFL Network. We'll also be blogging the days highs and lows.
  • This and that … Notre Dame DE Stephon Tuitt did not particpate in Monday’s workout for defensive linemen after he was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his foot during the medical resting portion of the combine; Tuitt is expected to have surgery within the next week and will require 6-8 weeks recovery time, but the injury is not considered to be that major … Never sure what to make of the combines agility tests including the 3-cone drill and short shuttle; seems half the time a guy has a time near the top of his position in one, but then is near the bottom in the other. So just for fun we added the times of the two shuttles for the LBs who ran at Monday’s combine session. The lowest total time was recorded by somewhat unheralded South Dakota OLB Tyler Starr who was the only LB to go under 4-seconds flat in the short shuttle. The more interesting result though was that the absolute worst total time among the LBs was posted by Alabama’s CJ Mosley,one of the top 2-3 LBs in this year's draft class. For the record, UCLA’s Anthony Barr was also near the top as was Stanford OLB/DE Trent Murphy who did not run well in the 40, but was quicker in the agility drills … Interesting comments by Jacksonville head coach Gus Bradley after the team interviewed all three of this year’s top QB prospects in Johnny Manziel of Texas AM, UCF’s Blake Borles and Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville. Bradley said that Bortles had the ‘stronger‘personality, while Manziel was a ‘mix of both personalities‘, although its not clear whether he was referring to him being a mix of Bortles and Bridgewater or a mix of Manziel and Johnny Football. Could be a little of both! Whatever, Bradley and the Jaguars told all three guys after their interviews that they would be seeing them again … Northern Illinois QB Jordan Lynch did some drills at RB after Sunday‘s positional tests for the QBs ...
    February 24
  • This and that … If Jacksonville doesn’t come out of the 2014 draft with an upgrade at QB at least no one will accuse the Jaguars of not doing their homework after the team reportedly had interviews with 10 different QBs at this week’s combine. For the record, the Jaguars met with over half the 19 total QBs in Indianapolis including Johnny Manziel of Texas AM, UCF’s Blake Borles and Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville, the consensus top three at the position. The Jaguars also reportedly met with Fresno State’s Derek Carr, A.J. McCarron of Alabama and LSU’s Zach Mettenberger among the others … For the record, Kent State RB Dri Archer’s 40 time of 4.26 was the second fastest since the NFL started publishing official combine results in 2006. Archer was two-hundredths of a second slower than the record of 4.24 set by former East Carolina and current Tennessee RB Chris Johnson in 2008 … South Carolina DE Jadeveon may ultimately set the world on fire during combine workouts as he has been predicting for several weeks now, however, he got off to something of a slow start in the weightlifting portion of the defensive linemen’s rotation on Saturday when he only managed 21 reps in the bench press. And while that figure doesn‘t sound overly impressive, its also not necessarily that way out of line for a DE of his size. The top BP figure for the DL was turned in by Boston College DT Kaleb Ramsey, while Pitt DT Aaron Donald had 35, Minnesota DT Ra’Shede Hageman had 32, and Notre Dame DE/DT Stephon Tuitt had 31. On the other hand, Arizona State’s Will Sutton finished near the bottom of the DT pack with just 24 reps, while LSU’s Anthony Johnson and Caraun Reid of Princeton had 20 each. Meanwhile, UCLA DE Cassius trailed the DEs with just 14 reps, while Michael Sam of Missouri had 17 and Jackson Jeffcoat of Texas and Aaron Lynch of USF had 18 each. At the same time, maybe the most important story from the Lbs’ bench press was that UCLA OLB Anthony Barr, a potential top 10 prospect for the upcoming draft, had just 15 reps, fewer than every other player at the position who did lift. In contrast, Buffalo’s Khalil Mack had 23 reps, while C.J. Mosley of Alabama did not lift. Top BP numbers among the Lbs were recorded by Michigan State’s Max Bullough and Cal’s Khairi Fortt, both of whom notched 30 reps. LB Ryan Shazier, said he's dealing with a tweaked hamstring himself and doesn't know if he'll run in drills Monday … There wasn’t a whole lot new to report from Sunday’s weigh-in for the DBs other than perhaps the fact that Michigan State CB Darqueze Dennard, one of the top two rated corners for the upcoming draft, checked in with a very short arm length of just over 30 inches. That was almost three full inches shorter than the reach recorded by Oklahoma State CB Justin Gilbert whom Dennard is battling for the top grade at the position ... And you an’t make this stuff up: San Diego State RB Adam Muema left the combine on Sunday without working out reportedly because he was "following God" who told him if he missed the workouts, he'd play for the his favorite team Seattle. "Can't go wrong with God" Muema said. That led to some speculation that Muema had signed with the big guy’s sports agency, but it turns out that group has yet to approved by the NFLPA. Muema says he will still participate in San Diego State’s pro day next month, but this can hardly be good for his draft grade.
    February 23
  • Bad day all around for Tide OT … One of the top stories of the first day of on-field workouts at the combine was the miserable day endured by Alabama OT Cyrus Kouandjio, a one-time top 10 prospect, who ran a painfully slow 5.60 40 and looked stiff and sluggish in the other drills. That may not have the worst of his day, though as the NFL Network is reporting that a number of teams dropped his grade dramatically or took him off their boards completely after the team’s physicals revealed that he had an arthritic knee condition. Meanwhile, the NFL did not permit Washington TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins to participate in the position’s on-field drills on Saturday after medical testing done at the combine revealed he had a pre-existing foot condition and there are concerns he may not be 100% for the Huskies pro day early in April. And Kansas State OT Luke Lucas, the biggest prospect at the position at the combine, could be sidelined for as much as two months after he was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his left foot.
    February 22
  • (10:00 AM): Big uglies, TEs heading home; skill guys to hit field ... The offensive linemen and TEs are heading home from Indianapolis after completing their scouting combines earlier today. In fact, it was an impressive week for the OL, although the TEs may have left pro teams with as many questions as when they arrived in town earlier in the week. Today's final edition of the Combine Blog has some final thoughts on the offensive linemen and TEs, as well as a wrap the measurement session for the defensive linemen.
  • (9:00 AM): Combine testing underway ... The on-field testing pat of the scouting combine in Indianapolis is underway at this hour with the offensive linemen and TEs doing their physical testing and positional drills.
    February 21
  • (12:01 AM): More combine numbers ... Official measurement numbers have been released by the NFL Combine for QBs, RBs, and the WRs, as well as the bench press numbers for the offensive linemen and TEs. We also have some thoughts of our own on the highlights from Friday's numbers. The real fun at the combine starts later this morning when the offensive linemen and TEs hit the field for on-field drills. The NFL Network will be covering the on-field tests starting at 9 AM ET and we'll be blogging the highs and lows of today's physical testing. Meanwhile, the QBs, RBs, and WRs will do the bench press later today, while the defensive linemen and LBs will go through the measurement regime and the CBs and safeties arrive in Indianapolis to begin their 4-day cycle of combine activities.
  • Browns almost traded picks for 49ers coach … There’s a story that's almsot to crazy to believe circulating this evening that Cleveland had a deal in place to trade several draft picks to San Francisco for 49er head coach Jim Harbaugh. According to the report, though, the deal collapsed when Harbaugh, who is from the area, decided against making the move. The 49ers have vehemently denied the report, while the Browns have been largely noncommittal other than to say they are happy with Mike Pettine whom they eventually did sign for the job. Whatever, it does appear there is some tension in the relationship between Harbaugh and the 49ers despite the fact the team has played in the NFC championship in each of the past three seasons and went to the Super Bowl in 2012.
    February 20
  • This and that … There is a palpable buzz around the combine in Indianapolis that this year’s draft is light-years better than last year’s. In fact, the thinking around the league appears to be that this may be one of the best drafts ever and certainly one of the best in the past couple of decades … From the ‘damned by faint praise’ file, outspoken South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier responded to a questions about his enigmatic former star DE Jadeveon Clowney’s work ethic in an NFL Network by saying it was “OK”. Wonder if Clowney, the consensus #1 prospect for the 2014 draft, will get asked about that during team interviews at this week’s combine … Jacksonville G.M. Dave Caldwell, who’ll be making the 3rd pick overall come May 8th, that Jaguars will be interviewing QBs Teddy Bridgewater of Louisvlle, Central Florida's Blake Bortles and Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, the top-three rated passers in the year‘s draft. However, it sounds like the Jags may not necessarily be over-enamored with any of the thee as Caldwell also hinted that it might be beneficial for the team to trade out of the third spot because of the draft’s depth ... New Tampa Bay head coach Lovie Smith indicated would not rule out taking a QB with the 7th pick if a ‘franchise’ guy were available when they made the selection. A lot of observers thought the Buccaneers might be inclined to stick with Mike Glennon, last year’s mid-round pick who started 13 games last fall and posted the best passing statistics of any rookie passer in the league, for another year and look at other positions, but Smith has obviously put QB on the table for the Bucs … Detroit head coach Jim Caldwell made little effort to hide the fact that the Lions will be taking “a real strong look at” receivers this off-season in an effort to finally find a reliable outside threat to take some of the pressure off Calvin Johnson. And certainly with the Lions will get a look at several top WRs with the 10th pick this year such as Texas A&M’s Mike Evans and Marqise Lee of USC, although Clemson’s Sammy Watkins, this year’s top-rated prospect at the position is expected to be gone - perhaps even long gone - when Detroit gets on the clock ... Baltimore, which will have the 17th pick on May 8th after losing a coin flip with Dallas earlier this week, will interview both Eric Ebron and Jace Amaro, arguably the top-two TEs in this year’s draft class.
  • Surgery for OSU QB … Ohio State QB Braxton Miller, a top prospect for the 2015 draft, will undergo surgery on his throwing shoulder which he injured in the Orange Bowl against Clemson. However, the injury is not believed to be serious and Miller is expected to good to go when the Buckeyes open spring practice next month. Meanwhile, CB/S Cody Riggs has indicated he will be transferring from Florida to Notre Dame this spring after he graduates. The 5-9, 190-pound Riggs started 26 games for the Gators over the past three years and will be eligible immediately because he has graduated.
    February 19
  • (11:30 AM): Cowboys win flip; will pick 16th; Ravens 17th ... The first order of business at this week's scouting combine in Indianapolis was actually the coin flip to break the tie between Dallas and Baltimore for the 16th and 17th picks in the opeing round of the 2014 draft which was won by the Cowboys. As a result, Dallas will have the 16th pick in the opening round, along with the 47th in the second and 78th in the third, while Baltimore will have the next pick in each of the first three rounds. As a result of the coin flip, the 3-round selection order for the upcoming draft, as well as the Picks by team files have been updated.
  • (12:01 AM): Combine gets underway … The annual scouting combine gets underway in Indianapolis later today when the offensive linemen, tight ends and specialists arrive for registration and orientation, as well as preliminary medical tests and x-rays; they’ll also start the interview process in which every team is permitted to meet up to 60 combine participants for 15 minutes. The offensive linemen and TEs will ultimately hit the field for their on-field testing on Saturday. Next up are the QBs and other skillposition players who arrive in Indianapolis to begin the combine process on Thursday, with their field tests on Sunday.
  • Thots from NFL.com guru ... NFL.com draft analyst Mike Mayock held a 2.5 hour plus media conference call during which he answered a wide range of draft related questions. For those that didn't hear it, NFL.com has some of Mayock's key thoughts from today's transcript heading into this week's combine.
  • Rising UGA S gets the boot … Georgia junior FS Josh Harvey-Clemons, potentially a leading prospect at the position for the 215 draft, has been dismissed from the program for one of those undisclosed violationa of team rules. Harvey-Clemons was actually already in the midst of a 4-game suspension for a second violation of the school’s marijuana-use policy when the latest issue arose. Harvey-Clemons can now transfer, but would have to sit out the 2014 season if he went to another DIA school; on the other hand, he would be eligible to play immediately if he transferred to a FCS program.
    February 17
  • (12:01 AM): Road to the draft runs thru Indy … The NFL’s annual scouting combine, arguably the most important week on the draft calendar other than the draft itself, gets underway in Indianapolis on Wednesday and runs through next Tuesday. Here’s a quick preview of the combine by the numbers.
  • Tag days kick-off in NFL … Starting today NFL teams have a two-week window of opportunity to apply a franchise tag on one of their unrestricted free agents. Franchised players can be designated as either exclusive or non-exclusive free agents. Players tagged with the exclusive franchise designation are prevented from signing with another team, but will paid an amount equal to the five highest-paid players at the position in the current year. That salary becomes guaranteed the moment the offer is accepted by the player, however, until the player signs the tender, it may be withdrawn at any time. Players who are designated non-exclusive franchise players may still negotiate and sign an offer sheet with another team, but the franchise player’s current team has seven days to match the offer sheet. If the franchising team doesn’t match, the signing team forfeits two first-round draft picks to the player’s former team.
  • This and that … More than one NFL personnel person did a bit of a double-take late last week when Central Florida coach George O’Leary reportedly questioned whether Blake Bortles, his own QB, was an elite prospect. Turns out that O’Leary’s comments were taken out of context; what he did say was he didn’t think any of this year’s QB class were in the same class as Andrew Luck in 2012. Here is the full transcript of O’Leary’s thinking … Speaking of this year’s QB group, new Cleveland Ray Farmer had some possible hints as to what the Browns may do at the position at the upcoming draft in a Q and A with Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Despite the fact that the combine is yet to play out and that the draft is still almost two months away, Farmer indicated that he has pretty much made up his mind which QB the the Browns will be targeting this coming May. Farmer also hinted that the guy he was looking just might be a bit of a surprise; he also suggested the 4th pick ‘wasn‘t necessarily’ where the Browns will take their QB. What wasn’t quite clear regarding the latter was whether the Browns might try and move up or down from the 4th pick to get their QB or would target a passer with a later selection. The Browns currently have 5 picks in the first three rounds including an extra opening round selection, the 26th pick overall which they acquired from Indianapolis for RB Trent Richardson, so Cleveland has the ammunition to take either approach were they so inclined ... QBs also have to be on the mind of Houston’s personnel department, however, it appears there is a pretty good debate going on in the Texans war room whether they take a QB like Johnny Manziel, the eminently popular 2012 Heisman Trophy from just down the road at Texas A&M, or go with South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney, arguably the best player in this year’s draft. Of course, Clowney comes with his own questions after an undistinguished year in which he appeared to dog it much of the year. However, given that nobody in a football program knows a player’s work ethic more than the strength and conditioning Houston may have something of a leg up when it comes to evaluating Clowney’s work ethic as Craig Fitzgerald, the Texans’ new strength and conditioning coach held the same position with South Carolina during Clowney‘s freshman year at the school. Houston may also have a leg up if they decide to select Clowney with the #1 pick at this year’s draft as Fitzgerald is known as one of the most intense, demanding conditioning coaches in the game and if anyone can light Clowney’s sometimes flickering flame its him … Needless to say there will be much sorting out later in the week at the combine, however, the buzz around the league is that Michigan OT Taylor Lewan may have moved back up into the top 10 on a lot of boards around the league. It also appears that UCLA OLB Anthony Barr, who had been considered to be 1-2 among non-QB prospects with Clowney much of the fall, may have slipped closer to the middle of the opening round. No questioning Barr’s intensity and productivity, but he likely lacks the pure athleticism and explosion off the edge of a true elite prospect.
    February 14
  • (12:01 AM): Combine sleepers ... Every year the list of players invited to the scouting combine in Indianapolis includes a handful of players who probably aren't household names even in their own homes. This year is no exception with the 2014 combine roster including a number of way under the radar prospects. The first edition of this year's Sleeper file has a quick profile of several of the most unheralded prospects at this year's combine.
    February 13
  • (12:01 AM): Axe falls in New Orleans … New Orleanshas some holes to fill on defense after the Saints released veteran OLB Will Smith, FS Roman Harper and CB Jabari Greer and announced that MLB Jonathan Vilma will not be re-signed. All that may have the Saints looking hard at that side of the ball in the early rounds of the 2014 draft.
  • Raiders sign CFL cup star … Oakland has signed RB Kory Sheets who was this year’s Grey Cup MVP with Saskatchewan of the CFL. Sheets played the last two seasons with the Roughriders during which time he ran for almost 2,900 yards and 23 Tds in 31 games, topping it off wit 197 yards in the Riders 2013 Grey Cup win over Hamilton. Sheets was originally signed by San Francisco as an undrafted free agent out of Purdue in 2009 and eventually played in two games with Miami later that year. He also spent the 2011 season on Carolina’s practice squad. Meanwhile, Minnesota has signed former Minnesota LB Simoni Lawrence who played the past two seasons with Hamilton, while Indianapolis has signed OLB Henoc Muamba, the CFL East‘s Outstanding Candian Player last year with Winnipeg.
  • Bearcats QB gets extra year … Cincinnati QB Munchie Legaux is one of two Bearcats to have been awarded an extra year of eligibility because of an injury. Legaux suffered a gruesome knee injury early in September this past fall and ended up missing the rest of the year with torn ligaments including an ACL. The 6-3, 210-pound Legaux, who has started 14 games in his Cincinnati career, is an excellent athlete, but only average passer and may ultimately get some looks from pro teams as a receiver. Meanwhile, WR Shaq Williamson, who led the Bearcats wit 78 catches his past season, will now have two years of eligibility remaining this coming year, as a result of a knee injury that caused him to miss the entire 2011 campaign.
  • This and that … Interesting piece in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on why the Rams may NOT take an OT with either of their two - #s 2and 13 - in this year’s opening round … UCF QB Blake Bortles is saying that - as of now - he plans to do a full workout at next week’s combine including participating in the on-field throwing drills a week from Sunday. In the past, of course, more than one top-rated QB has opted not to throw at the combine, but wait for either their pro day or private workout … Both of WRs Sammy Watkins of Clemson and Texas A&M’s Mike Evans have indicated that they will run the 40 at the combine. In fact, pro scouts are expecting Watkins to put in a quick time. However, there will be more pressure on Evans to run well as a lot of teams are concerned about his quickness and explosion and worry about his ability to generate separation at the next level. For the record, Evans has indicated that he will not participate in the Aggies’ pro day on March 5th but will instead workout for pro scouts at Johnny Manziel’s private workout on March 27th… Pittsburgh G.M. Kevin Colbert was quoted during a local press conference as describing the 2014 draft as “the deepest he's seen in 30 years“, but with so many undergraduates declaring early for this year‘s draft, there is a danger that more players than usual won‘t be ready for the NFL right away.
    February 11
  • (11:00 AM): Shake up continues in Cleveland … Cleveland will announce this hour that the team is promoting assistant G.M. Ray Farmer to general manager to replace incumbent G.M. Mike Lombardi who will leave the team. At the same time, CEO Joe Banner will step down in the next two months. The 39-year old Farmer is considered to be a rising star in the NFL personnel world and was a finalist for the Miami G.M. job last month. In fact, Farmer was considered to be the favorite to get that job, but passed on a second interview with the Dolphins to stay in Cleveland. Farmer came to the Browns last spring after spending seven seasons as the director of pro personnel in Kansas City. With Cleveland he takes over an organization which has appeared dysfunctional at times, but will have some toys to play with as the Browns have a league high 5 picks in the first three rounds of this year’s draft including an extra 1st first rounder.
  • (12:01 AM): ‘Johnny Football’ to hold private workout …. Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel has reportedly decided that he will be throwing for pro scouts at a scripted private workout on March 27th rather than at the Aggies’ pro day on March 5th. Manziel has yet to confirm whether he will throw at next week’s scouting combine in Indianapolis, although the fact that he will be holding a private workout suggests that it is unlikely that he will also do the full workout in Indy. Needless to say there’ll be something of a kerfuffle if Manziel only throws at his private workout, but some network will cover it live and he’ll be selected about where he would have been taken anyway.
  • Vikes want more picks … Minnesota G.M. Rick Spielaman said at team event over the past weekend that he’d like to end up with 10 picks at the 2014 draft. The Vikings currently have 8 picks at the upcoming draft including the 8th pick overall, along with an extra 3rd rounder acquired from Seattle, currently the 96th pick at the end of the round. However, Spielman also indicated that the Vikings were prepared to be both ‘flexible’ and ’aggressive’ with the 8th pick suggesting that the team could trade down for more picks or back up for a certain player. Spielman also downplayed the Vikings’ need for a QB, but there is little question that Minnesota is likely to be one of the teams in the market for one of this year’s top prospects at the position. If the Vikings were to get a QB with their top pick, whether or not they actually had to move up, Minnesota then would be in a position to move down from some of their later picks.
    February 10
  • (12:01 AM): Top prospect comes out … If the 2014 draft wasn’t already interesting enough, former Missouri DE/OLB Michael Sam has announced that he is gay. Sam reportedly informed his Missouri teammates prior to the start of the season and played the year without incident. Sam had been considered either a late second or early third day prospect for the upcoming draft so it will be interesting to see what impact if any his announcement will have on his ultimate grade. At the same time, expect the league to encourage somebody - anybody - to select Sam in that range to avoid the embarrassment of having the first openly gay draft prospect to be either not selected or to have his grade fall because of his orientation.
  • Looking for some help … Our old friend Russ Lande, aka G.M. jr, the former NFL scout who is currently head scout with Montreal of the CFL and draft analyst with Sports on Earth is reaching out to football fans on the part of a friend who lost a child to Sudden Unexplained Death in Children and holds an annual silent auction to raise money to help prevent SUDC from happening to another family. You can find out everything about this charity and the auction at Remembering Casey.
    February 9
  • (6:00 PM): Vols LB charged in party incident …. Tennessee MLB A.J. Johnson, one of the top prospects at the position for the 2015 draft, was one of two Volunteers who were arrested on alcohol-related charges and resisting arrest over the weekend. Johnson, a first-team all-SEC selection last season, was charged with purchasing alcohol for a person underage and resisting arrest. Not the kind of thing that any prospect wants on their resume, however, it does sound mostly like a college party that got a little out of control.
    February 7
  • (11:00 AM): Combine invite list posted … It does not appear as if the NFL Combine people have posted it themselves, but several sources with league connections including NFL.com and CBSSports have posted this invite list to this month’s scouting combine which gets underway in just under two weeks in Indianapolis. This year, 335 prospects for the 2014 draft will be poke, prodded and questioned by NFL personnel people at the combine. And while it is not quite a perfect match who gets invited to the combine is a pretty good precursor to who gets picked at the actual draft as every year about 85% of all players selected at the draft were at the combine. So there are some clues in who gets invited and who doesn’t. The fact that so many underclassmen entered this year’s may be one reason why there are so many good prospects who were not invited to this year’s draft including Wyoming QB Brett Smith, who had been rated as one of the top 10 passers in this year’s draft on most lists around the internet (including ours), along with QBs Casey Pachall of TCU, Washington’s Keith Price, Garrett Gilbert of SMU, and Missouri’s James Franklin; RB Rajon Neal of Tennessee; TEs Ted Bolser of Indiana and Alex Bayer of Bowling Green; OTs Kanarious Gates of Georgia, Oklahoma’s Daryl Williams, Danny Kistler of Montana, Nebraska’s Jeremiah Sirles, and Kevin Graf of USC; OG Austin Wentworth of Fresno State; C Zac Kerin of Toledo; DEs Ben Gardner of Stanford and South Carolina’s Chaz Sutton; DTs Beau Allen of Wisconsin and Oklahoma State’s Calvin Barnett; Lbs Glen Carson of Penn State, DeDe Lattimore of South Florida, Denicos Allen of Michigan State and USC’s Morgan Breslin; CBs Carrington Byndon of Texas, Walt Aikens of Liberty and North Dakota State’s Marcus Williams; and safeties C.J. Barnett of Ohio State, Hakeem Smith of Louisville, Nickoe Whitley of Mississippi State and Kansas State’s Ty Zimmerman. On the other hand, unheralded - often even in their own homes - players invited to the combine include UNLV RB Tim Cornett, WRs Walt Powell of Murray State and Georgia Southern’s Al Wilson, TEs A.D. Denham of Utah and Missouri Western State’s Reggie Jordan; Iowa OG Conor Botelli, Grand Valley State C Matt Armstrong; DTs Tenny Palpoi of Utah and Mike Pennel of Colorado State-Pueblo, and CBs Brandon Dixon of Northwest Missouri State, Florida Atlantic’s Keith Reasor, and Todd Washington of Southeastern Louisiana.
  • Sooner QB switches to TE … Interesting development at Oklahoma where QB Blake Bell has opted to switch to TE rather than transfer. The 6-5, 255-pound Bell, affectionately known at OU as the ‘Belldozer’ has never played the position, but has been a successful running QB for the Sooners an could ultimately be a bit of a sleeper at the position for the 2015 draft.
  • Jags looking hard at QBs … All signs continue topoint to Jacksonville seriously considering a QB with the 3rd pick overall at the 2014 draft. G.M. David Caldwell estimated, for example, that he’ll spend anywhere from 20-25% of his pre-draft preparation evaluating the position. At the same time, Jags’ head coach Gus Bradley has been quoted as saying Jacksonville has to upgrade at the position. Recall that early in the draft process last year a full contingent of Jaguars’ front office people worked out former West Virginia QB Geno Smith, but in the end took OT Luke Joeckel with the second pick and never did take a QB in the 2013 draft. Meanwhile, there continues tobe some speculation that Cleveland might consider trading for Washington backup QB Kirk Cousins who says he would be open to a trade to Cleveland, although such a deal would likely cost the Browns their second round pick this year, if not the 26th pick overall which they acquired from Indianapolis in the deal for RB Trent Richardson. The Browns could be a destination for Cousins as he played for new Cleveland offensive co-ordinator Kyle Shanahan past two years in Washington. However, the Browns are still expected to explore all options at the position including taking one with the 4th pick in this year’s draft. In particular, the Browns are believed to be very enamored with Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M.
    February 3
  • (10:00AM): First three rounds set ... Congratulations to Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks after they won the franchise's first NFL title with last night's thumping win over Denver. And with the Super Bowl in the books, the selection order for the first three rounds of the 2014 draft has been set, of course, barring trades as well as the adition of any compensatory picks at the end of the third round. In fact, Seattle will have the final regular pick in each round, while Denver will have the second to last.
  • Let the building begin ... The new NFL year does not officially get under way until March 11 when all teams have to be under the salary cap and can begin signing free agents. However, teams can begin the process of getting down to that cap by releasing veteran players beginning today.
  • On to Indy ... With the Super Bowl in the books, the NFL focus turns to the 2014 draft starting with the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis which gets underway in just over two weeks. In fact, most teams gave their scouting and personnel departments a little time off last week, but they will all begin convening in their respective war rooms over the course of the next two weeks to put together their preliminary boards for the upcoming draft. In the course of the process they will be identifying the particular players they may want to focus their attention at the combine and at the various pro days across the country in March.
    February 1
  • (12:01 AM): Picks by team updated … The final selection order for the 2014 draft won’t be available until the compensatory picks are announced sometime in either late March or early February. For now, here is the latest listing of this year’s picks for each team. San Francisco currently has the most confirmed picks with 12, while Cleveland 10 and Jacksonville 9. On the other hand, Baltimore currently has only 4 confirmed picks, while Tampa Bay has 5, although both the Ravens and Buccaneers may have unconfirmed picks acquired in trades.
  • Owner: Jags to draft QB, maybe more in May … Jacksonville owner Shad Khan told reporters in New York yesterday that the Jaguars will definitely be taking a QB - and ‘maybe two” at the upcoming draft. What Khan didn’t commit though was the Jaguars using the third pick overall at this year’s draft on the position. And sitting at the 3rd pick the Jaguars are assured that at least one of this year’s top prospects at the position - Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel or Blake Bortles of Central Florida - will be available when Jacksonville gets on the clock. Meanwhile, incumbent starting Cleveland QB Brian Hoying indicated during an interview that he is pretty much resigned to the Browns taking one of this year’s top QBs with the 4th pick. At the same time, Atlanta G.M. Tom Dimitroff, whose Falcons have the 6th pick, did not rule trying to work out a trade up the board in order to acquire South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney, arguably the best non-QB prospect - and just maybe the top overall prospect - in this year’s draft . However, Dimitroff went on to add that he thinks this year‘s top 10 is very strong, such that the Falcons will get a very good player if they stay at #6.
    January 29
  • January 28
  • (9:00 AM): Senior Bowl game wrap ... As has been noted, NFL teams tend toput much more stock in Senior Bowl practices rather than in the actual game. Indeed, NFL personnel people had pretty much cleared out of Mobile by Wednsday evening. However, every team gets a tape of the game and one can rest assured their scouts will have already broken down the film. Or crack scouting staff did the same and check in with their Senior Bowl game report with who played well and who maybe didn't play as well.
    January 27
  • (12:01 AM): Positional rankings; Big Board updated ... With the all-star games now in the books, the GBN positional rankings and Big Board ranking of the top 200 prospects for the 2014 draft have been updated. Now its on to Indy for the annual scouting combine which gets underway on February 19th in Indianapolis.
    January 25
  • (11:00 AM): Tradition continues in Mobile ... With the kick-off for this year's Senior Bowl game now just hours away, our Pigskin Paul Guillemette checks in with his annual all-Senior Bowl week team.
    January 24
  • (11:30 AM): That's a wrap ... Its an off-day at the Senior Bowl in Mobile as the players rest upfor tomorrow's game. However, it ain't an off-day for us as we continue to pour over the film and notes from this week's pracice sessions. In the process, we've put together some final thoughts from this week including our picks for the guys who helped themslves the most in Mobile over the past few days in our Senior Bowl practice warp-up.
  • (12:01 AM): Revolving rosters continue in Mobile …The injury bug continued at this week’s Senior Bowl in Mobile meaning their will be more roster changes before Saturday’s game. Louisiana-Lafayette LB Justin Anderson was added to the North roster as insurance for UCLA LB Jordan Zumwalt, who is being listed as questionable for Saturday's game with a minor injury. Meanwhile, three other North players - WRs Shaq Evans of UCLA and Northwestern’s Kain Colter, along with Virginia Tech James Gayle will definitely miss the game with injuries. The injuries to Evans and Gayle are believed to be minor, but Colter withdraw from the game at the end of this week’s practices in order to have surgery to a repair a pre-existing ankle injury. Colter will be replaced on the North roswter by former Missouri WR L’Damian Washington. Meanwhile, Jackson State CB Quan Cox has been added to the South roster to help replace CBs Aaron Colvin of Oklahoma and Florida’s Jaylen Watkins.
  • Tide QB explains Mobile absence … Alabama QB A.J. McCarron, the Mobile native who passed on the chance to play in the week’s Senior Bowl, said he took the advice of his doctors to rest his body following the season in which he had toe, shoulder and hamstring injuries that hampered him just about the entire year. McCarron was a three-year starter at Alabama and earned a reputation as a brilliant game manager, but pro scouts were hoping he’d play in Mobile to put to rest questions about his arm strength. And while his absence likely won’t hurt his draft grade, McCarron probably missed an opportunity to show that he was more than a product of the great players around him at Alabama.
  • Husker QB injury detailed … Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez played in only four games this past season because of a plantar plate tear in a metatarsophalangeal joint on his left foot that is believed to have occurred in the Huskers’ season opener back in September. Martinez is reportedly now pain free in the foot, although he is still not 100%, but hopes to be at full speed for Nebraska’s proday on March 6th next month. The athletic Martinez is only a marginal QB prospect for the upcoming draft, but could get some looks as a WR or DB.
  • Browns, Falcons make big personnel moves … The final coaching domino fell earlier this week when Cleveland hired Buffalo defensive co-ordinator Mike Pettine as the team’s new head coach. The Browns were the last team to hire a new coach, although there growing concerns in Cleveland that they might not find anyone to take the job after a sometimes chaotic job search. Meanwhile, Atlanta has hired former Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli as their new assistant G.M. Pioli, who is a close personal friend of current Falcons’ general manager Thomas Dimitroff, previously worked in the front offices with Cleveland, Baltimore, New England the New York Jets and is considered to be one of the league’s best personnel people.
  • Big Ten RB/KR gets extra year … Northwestern RB Venric Mark, who doubles as one of the most electric kick returners in college football has been granted a fifth year of eligibility by the NCAA after he played in only two games this past season because of hamstring and ankle injuries. Mark ran for almost 1,400 yards in 2012 when he also returned a couple of punts for TDs, but injured a hamstring in fall camp that knocked him out of three of Northwestern’s first three games this fall and then missed the back half of the season after fracturing an ankle.
  • Heels LB suspended … North Carolina LB Travis Hughes, a second-tier prospect for the 2015 draft, has been suspended from all team activities after he was charged with assault as a result of an altercation with a university parking attendant. Hughes has had a previous run-in with police when he was charged with possessing drug paraphernalia last year.
    January 23
  • (9:00 AM):Super Bowl Buzz building … ‘The’ big game is still over a week away, but already there is a real buzz growing about this year’s Super Bowl in New York next weekend. Certainly, the NFL and CBS network execs have to be thrilled with a match-up of arguably the league’s best teams this year in Denver and Seattle in a match-up of arguably the NFL’s two best teams this year. And the game won’t lack for storylines as Peyton Manning and the potent Broncos’ offense battle Richard Sherman and the stingy Seahawks’ defense. And with a record audience expected to tune in at some point next Sunday, there are also expectations some Super Bowl betting records to be broken. For the record, sports bookmakers such as bwin are currently listing Denver as a slight favorite. Figure, though, that football fans, both fanatic and casual, will also be betting on just about anything that moves including the weather at the Meadowlands and whether it will impact the start of the game.
  • (8:30 AM): Day tthree wrap from Mobile ... The real heavy lifting at the Senior Bowl took place on Wednesday with the second of two days of full pad practices. And our Pigkin Paul Guillemette, editor and publisher of the Pigskin Pauls Place was at ground zero today and checks in with reports on both the North and South practice sessions yesterday.
  • (9:00 PM): OU corner tears ACL ... Its the reason attending an event like the Senior Bowl is such a risk as rising Oklahoma CB Aaron Colvin tore an ACL during a practice session in Mobile earlier today.
  • (12:01 AM): Numbers from Senior Bowl meat market … Not a whole lot to really get excited about at today’s weigh-in session at the Senior Bowl in Mobile. Of the 6 QBs in Mobile this week, for example, only Virginia Tech’s Logan Thomas was over 6-2, while Fresno State’s QB Derek Carr, Jimmy Garopollo of Eastern Illinois and David Fales also each had relatively small hands at just over 9 inches. Indeed, there wasn’t much size at all at the other skill positions, although Vanderbilt WR Jordan Matthews, a border-line first round prospect, was impressive enough as he measured in at a solid 6-3, 210 with big hands and a nice catch radius. At the same time, TEs C.J. Fiedorowisz of Iowa and Fresno State’s Marcel Jensen both passed the eyeball test as did several offensive linemen including Arkansas C Travis Swanson, Tennessee State OG Kadeem Edwards and OTs Morgan Moses of Virginia and rising small-school star Billy Turner of North Dakota State. The award for the best-looking guy on the day, though, just maybe goes to Minnesota DT Ra‘Shede Hageman who measured in at a studly 6-6, 318 with a 34“ reach. In fact, from a purely eyeball test standard the best looking group may have been the defensive linemen as Kareem Martin of North Carolina, California‘s Deandre Coleman, West Virginia‘s Will Clarke and Brent Urban of Virginia all looked really good in shorts. There were also some impressive size on the corners including some less than household names such as Walt Aikens (6-1, 205) of Liberty, Keith McGill (6-3, 214) from Utah, Dontae Johnson (6-2, 199) of North Carolina State, and Stanley Jean-Baptiste (6-2, 215) from Nebraska. On the other hand, guys whose lack of prototype size could hurt them going forward toward the draft include Wisconsin MLB Chris Borland (5-11), Oklahoma WR Jalen Saunders (5-9, 164), Arkansas DE Chris Smith (6-1), and OLBs Jonathan Brown (6-0, 224) of Illinois and Florida State’s Telvin Smith (6-3, 218). Meanwhile, among other notable prospects, Stanford DE/OLB Trent Murphy weighed in at only 252 pounds which is light for a 4-3 DE, meaning is best looks may be as a 3-4 OLB. Same story, sort of, for Notre Dame tweener G/T Zach Martin who measured in at over just 6-4, which is probably tall enough for a pro LT, but his very short - for an NFL OT - 32 inch arms are going to dog him until draft day. Interesting numbers for odd-sized DTs Aaron Donald of Pitt and Arizona State’s Will Sutton. Both were under 6-1 with Donald weighing in at 288 and Sutton at 315. For Donald, that’s bigger than scouts were expecting, but will it be enough to hold the point of attack in the NFL. On the other hand, the issue with Sutton is will he be quick enough at that weight. Sutton tore up the Pac-12 in 2012 playing at around Donald’s weight, but saw his production fall way off last fall after he bulked up to a reported 305 and now he is even bigger. It also didn’t help that Sutton’s arms measured less than 31 inches which is very short for a lineman of any kind. Here are the full heights and weights from Monday’s Senior Bowl weigh-in.
  • Ex-Canes OG heads west … Former Miami G/T Malcolm Bunche has reportedly landed at UCLA where he will be eligible to play in 2014. Bunche was once considered to be a top prospect, but he never really developed and played little this past season at Miami. As is a 4th year player who has graduated he will not have to sit out a season after transferring.
    January 20
  • (12:01 AM): Two more draft slots set; two to go ... It will be Denver versus Seattle in the 2013 Super Bowl in New York in two weeks which is the way it should be as the Broncos and Seahawks were the best teams in the league this year. And with Denver's win over New England and Seattle's victory over San Francisco two more positions in the opening round selection order for the 2014 have been set. New England will have the 29th pick, while San Francisco will select 30th. The final two picks will go to the two Super Bowl teams. For now, here is the updated selection order for the first three rounds of this year's draft.
  • On to Mobile … The NFL draft show moves to Mobile this week for the annual Senior Bowl. Because underclassmen, who will make up a significant proportion of this year’s opening round, are not eligible to participate in the Senior Bowl, plus the fact a number of top seniors have opted to pass on the event, the Senior Bowl isn’t the most important stop on the road to the draft, however any time pro teams get 100 quality prospects on the field at the same time they’ll be paying attention. And mush of the attention this week will be on the QBs including Derek Carr of Fresno State, San Jose State’s David Fales, Tajh Boyd of Clemson and Jimmy Garopollo of Eastern Illinios. In fact, Carr could be the highest rated player for the 2014 draft in Mobile this week. Meanwhile, other Senior Bowl participants with at least some first-round potential include G/Ts Cyril Richardson of Baylor and Notre Dame’s OT Zack Martin, Arkansas C Travis Swanson, Stanford DE Trent Murphy, BYU OLB Kyle Van Noy and DTs Ra’Shede Hageman of Minnesota, Pitt’s Aaron Donald and Will Sutton of Arizona State. Here is the full rosters. Practices in Mobile get underway Monday afternoon following the morning weigh-in. The real practice sessions get underway on Tuesday and Wednesday with coverage provided by the NFL Network, while the actual game kicks-off Saturday afternoon at 4 PM ET again on NFL Network.
  • Shrine star going to Mobile … Just maybe the most intriguing in player in Mobile this week could be Eastern Illinois QB Jimmy Garopollo who received a late invitation to the Senior Bowl after being named the MVP at last Saturday’s East-West Shrine game in St. Petersburg. QB Jimmy Garopollo will replace former Alabama QB A.J. McCarron who declined to attend this week’s game despite the fact it is in his home town. Garopollo was far and away the best player on the field in St. Pete as he completed 9 of 14 passes for 100 yards and a TD. Garopollo may not have quite the arm strength to rate as a first-round lock, there is no passer in college football who gets rid of the ball quicker from the snap to the release. Garopollo also throws a tight spiral, has nice touch and an move around the pocket, although his accuracy drops when he has to reset his feet or throw on the run. And while he is still considered to be a second round prospect for the upcoming draft, with a strong showing in Mobile Garopollo could position himself to be solidly in the debate to be the 5th QB off the board after top 10 prospects Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel and Blake Bortles of Central Florida, as well as Fresno State’s Derek Carr, who like Garopollo will be in Mobile this week.
  • More ‘mo’ for Manziel … In the end, the most talked about prospect at the Senior Bowl may not even be in Mobile, at least as a player. Indeed, there is a very quiet buzz around the NFL that teams with early picks may be warming to Texas A&M redshirt sophomore QB Johnny Manziel as a possibility to be among the very first players selected this coming May. Well-respected former NFL personnel guru and now NFL.com analyst Gil Brandt, for example, has Manziel rated as the #1 prospect overall on his latest top 50 listing. Meanwhile, there have been rumors floating around all week that Cleveland, which has the 4th pick, may even consider trading up to acquire Manziel. If nothing else, the Browns, who still don’t have a head coach, have the ammunition to move up as they have 10 picks at this year‘s draft including two in the first round and 5 more in rounds 2 thru 4. Meanwhile, neither Houston head coach Bill O’Brien, whose Texans have the #1 pick this year wouldn’t rule out taking Manziel at #1, although it appears that the Texans are a long way from making a decision about the top pick. Interestingly, O’Brien also indicated that Texans’ owner Bob McNair would ‘lead‘ the decision process about the pick, with G.M. Rick Smith and McNair’s son, Cal, also involved. There were similar sentiments expressed by Oakland G.M. Reggie McKenzie who also wouldn’t rule out taking Manziel, whom he called a ’playmaker’ with the 5th pick. In that interview, McKenzie did indicate that finding a dependable QB was the Raiders’ #1 priority at this year’s draft.
  • Look ahead for Chiefs' D … No one needs look farther than the Kansas City Chiefs for proof that in the NFL one can go from last to first - or at least close to it - in a hurry. However, after falling short in the playoffs, the Chiefs will be looking for even better things in 2014, especially from the offense. GBN special analyst Bill Birmingham breaks down the Chiefs' defense with an eye to what they might be looking for at the upcoming draft in the first edition of the BB Report.
  • Shrine week numbers … On the theory that it is always better to be late than never, courtesy of Optimum Scouting here are the key player measurements from last week’s Shrine week practices. If there is a general observation from the height and weight numbers from the East-West game is that there were some awfully small guys at the skill positions on both sides of the ball and some awfully big guys along the lines. A couple of numbers of note: Eastern Illinois QB Jimmy Garoppolo was tall enough at a tad over 6-2, while he weighed in at a healthy 225, although he didn’t look quite that thick on the hoof. Same story for 6-3, 225-pound Cornell QB Jeff Mathews, while Northern Illinois QB Jordan Lynch at least measured in at over 6-0, although just barely; same for Washington QB Keith Price. Meanwhile, Michigan State MLB Max Bullough weighed in a very solid 265; indeed, one could make the case that in this day and age that may be too much for a 3-down LB such that maybe Bullough should try and drop 10-15 pounds prior to the combine in order improve his quickness and lateral agility and range.
    January 19
  • <(8:00 PM): Pats lock up late pick ... As a result of their loss to Denver in the AFC championship game earlier today, New England will have the 29th pick in the opening round of the 2014 draft. The loser of the this evening's NFC title contest between Seattle and San Francisco willclinch the 30th pick this year, while Denver and the winner of the NFC game will divvy up the final two spots after the Super Bowl.
  • (5:00 PM): NFL releases final underclassmen list … A total of 98 juniors and redshirt sophomores have been deemed eligible for the 2014 draft by the NFL which released to finallist of underclassmen eligible to be selected at this May’s draft. In addition, the NFL’s finallist did no include 4 juniors - Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater, Southern Cal SS Dion Bailey, Alabama DE/OLB Adrian Hubbard and Arizona State OLB Carl Bradford - who technically did not have to apply because they are 4th year juniors who have already graduated. The list release by the NFL included LSU RB Alfred Blue who had been granted an extra year of eligibilty, but opted to enter this year's drfat. The finallist also included a half a dozen players who had not previously announced they were entering the draft including Brown RB John Spooney, California DE Chris McCain, Boston College sophomore CB Albert Louis-Jean, North Carolina State DT Carlos Gray, Bethune-Cookman OT Terrence Hackney and Alabama State WR Jamel Johnson. Of the 6, Hackney, a one-time star recruit at Ole Miss who was a FCS All-American in 2012 but did not play last year because of academics, is the most interesting. On the other hand, the one player who had announced he would be entering the draft but does not show up on the list is New Haven TE Mike Flacco, the younger brother of Ravens' QB Joe Flacco who spent a number of years playing minor league baseball before returning to football this past season.
    January 18
  • (10:00 AM): Second draft entry deadline coming up … Underclassmen who applied to the NFL for early entry to the 2014 draft, but ha=ven't signed with an agent or accepted other benefits have until the end of the day today to withdraw their applications without penalty if for some reason they have had a change of heart. Once today's deadline has passed the NFLwil release the final, official list of underclassmen available for this May's draft. So far, Our unofficial list has a record year 96 juniors and redshirt sophomores who declared in one way or another that they were entering this year's draft; that breaks last year's record of 73 by a wide margin.
  • Heads keeping rolling in Texas … In the wake of this year’s dismal 2-14 record, Houston has fired Director of Pro Personnel Brian Gardner, along with scout Kevin Murphy.
    January 17
  • (9:00 AM): Top SEC S dinged games this fall ... Georgia safety Josh Harvey-Clemons, a junior in 2014 who has the physical tools to be one of the first players off the board at the 2015 draft, has been suspended for the first three games of the upcoming season for a violation of team rules which are believed to do with the school’s drug policy. The penalty is a continuition of the ban Harvey-Clemons received from the team's bowl game earlier this month.
  • Senior Bowl adds three ... The annual kibuki dancde of player comings and goings in advance of next week's Senior Bowl in Mobile continued with the announcement that Marshall TE Gator Hoskins, Oklahoma C Gabe Ikard and Michigan State SS Isaiah Lewis have been added to the roster.
  • (12:01 AM): Looking down the road … Don’t know if all that many NFL teams draft strategically in the sense that they don’t force an early pick on a weak position when that position is likely to be much stronger the following draft, but if they do they now have a better idea what players are going to be available in 2015 now that the 2014 draft class is pretty much set. Of course, a whole lot is going to change between now and May 2015, but at least for now it looks like the 2015 draft could be loaded at QB with as many as 4 players at the position with the physical tools to be considered to be the #1 pick overall including Florida State redshirt sophomore (in 2014) Jamies Winston, juniors Marcus Mariota of Oregon and UCLA‘s Brett Hundley, and Baylor senior Bryce Petty. Plus there will be some solid depth at the position. It should also be another deep year at OT after a flurry of juniors opted to pass on the 2014 draft and return to school including Cameron Erving of Florida State, Texas A&M’s Cedric Ogbuehi, La’el Collins of LSU, Sean Hickey of Syracuse, and Iowa’s Brandon Scherff. There could also be a star-studded RB class including juniors like T.J. Yeldon of Alabama, Georgia’s Todd Gurley, Mike Davis of South Carolina, Duke Johnson of Miami and Wisconsin’s Mel Gordon. Meanwhile, after something of a down year, there could be some pretty good edge rushers in the 2015 draft including junior-to-be DEs Randy Gregory of Nebraska, Shilique Calhoun of Michigan State, Mario Edwards of Florida State and Southern Cal’s Leonard Williams, along with senior OLB Vic Beasley of Clemson and DE Greg Reed of Texas and Georgia junior OLB Jordan Jenkins.
  • Second Bama player out of Senior Bowl … Alabama LB C.J. Mosley has become the second former Tide player from Mobile who will not be participating in next week’s Senior Bowl in Mobile. Mosley’s decison to withdraw from the game comes several days after QB A.J. McCarron indicated that he had declined an invitation to attend the all-star classic on the advice of his agent. Needless to say game organizers are disappointed that neither McCarron nor Mosley will be in town for the game. Pro scouts are particularly disappointed that McCarron won’t be on the field n Mobile where he would not have the best supporting in college around him. Indeed, it’s a strange decision by McCarran - or at least by his agent - given that he is considered to be a 3rd round prospect at best for the upcoming draft and could have used the exposure in Mobile to prove to pro teams that he has better than average arm strength. Instead, McCarran - or his agent - looks a little like he’s got something to hide. Mosley, on the other hand, really has nothing to prove in Mobile, particularly in a setting which isn’t particularly LB friendly. The Senior Bowl, though, did get one Alabama player back as junior DE/OLB Adrian Hubbard accepted an invitation to play in Mobile.
  • Two more juniors added to early entry list … The names of two more juniors who have opted to enter the 2014 draft have become known (again thanks to reader LP for sniffing them out) as Bethune-Cookman FS Nick Addison and McNeese State TE Nic Jacobs reportedly filed paperwork with the NFL to be eligible for the upcoming draft. Jacobs is a 6-5, 260-pounder who played two years at LSU before transferring and could be something of a sleeper this coming May. Addison is a 6-1, 180-pound FCSAll-American who picked off 9 passes over the past two years, but is considered to be more a free agent type prospect.
    January 16
    January 15
  • (7:00 PM): Big one gets away; smaller one doesn't ... We believe the deadline for underclassmen to file paperwork with the NFL in order to be eligible for the 2014 draft has passed (although it is possible it is actually at midnite tonight). Whatever it has been a very quiet with only one player - California junior RB Brendan Bigelow - joining the ranksof underclassmen who have already announced their intention to turn pro this winter. However, Bigelow is not considered to be more than a frnge prospect. Indeed, the biggest news of the days so far is that Clemson junior DE/OLB Vic Beasley, who could have conceivably generated some serious late first round interest this May, has decided to return to school for his senior season next fall.
  • Texans’ owner waxes poetic about top DE prospect … Interesting comments about South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney from Houston owner Bob McNair in an interview posted on the Texans’ NFL website. McNair, whose Texans own the #1 pick overall at the 2014 draft, called Clowney ‘a remarkable player who is a once-in-a-decade kind of physical specimen.’ McNair compared Clowney favorably to former Houston DE Mario Williams whom the Texans took with the first pick in the 2006 draft and even went so far as to say Clowney may actually be the better athlete. McNair also downplayed Clowney’s disappointing 2013 season in which he had just three sacks after posting 13 the previous year that brought into question the player’s work ethic and cast some doubts about his draft stock. McNair also implied that the Texans could select Clowney with the #1 pick who could give the Texans a dynamic pass rush when paired with J.J. Watt. Houston desperately needs a QB more than another DE, though, which has led to some speculation as to McNair‘s real agenda in talking up Clowney. Of course, McNair, who also went to South Carolina, could just be bragging on a fellow alum; however, he could be trying to drum up some interest in a possible trade for the top pick. In fact, the Texans have made no secret of the fact that they would be willing to listen to offers for the top pick. And because it appears there will be several QBs with top 10 potential in this year‘s draft, the Texans could afford to move down several spots from #1 and still get one of Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville, Central Florida’s Blake Bortles and Johnny Manziel from just up the road at Texas A&M. The problem for the Texans, though, it may be just as tough a sell to get another team to trade up to the #1 to get a QB when there are several of roughly equal ability on the board. Enter Clowney who is far and away the top DE in this year’s draft and teams looking to get the former South Carolina star might have to move up that far as St. Louis is also believed to be more than eager to trade out of the second pick. Stay tuned the fun and games is just getting started!!!
  • Vet Pats’ backup on the market … While the attention of team’s with early picks and QB needs appears to be on this year’s draft class, there have been passing rumblings that more than one such team may be willing to kick the tires on New England back-up QB Ryan Mallett as a fallback option. In fact, Houston is one team that has factored into that buzz, in part, because new Texans’ had coach Bill O’Brien was offensive co-ordinator and QB-coach with New England during Mallett’s rookie season in 2011. Another team that has been associated with Mallett is Cleveland which has the 4th pick.
    January 14
  • (5:00 PM): LSU OT La'el Collins confirms return to school ... In the end, SU LT La'el Collins did in fact confirm at his press conference that he will pass on the 2014 draft and return to school for his senior season next fall.
  • 'Canes pair return to school; OT to transfer ... Both of Miami juniors OLB Denzel Perryman and OG Jon Feliciano have confirmed that they will be back at school next fall. In a somewhat surprising move, though, junior G/T Malcolme Bunche has reportedly left the program and will transfer for his final year of eligibility. Bunche was oncethought of as a potential rising star on the OL but started just one game this past season. Because he has alread graduated, Bunche will not have to sit out a year if he transfers to another FBS program.
  • (3:00 PM): Cardinal S enters draft; RT still thinkn' ... Stanford has confirmed that FS Ed Reynolds will beleaving school and entering the 2014 draft where he figures to be one of the first safeties off board somewhere in the mid-to-late second-day range. Meanwhile, Stanford is still waiting to hear from RT Cameron Fleming as to whether he also intends to turn pro this winter.
  • (2:00 PM): LSU loses RB; keeps LT ... LSU lost one today, but won another big one as junior LT La'el Collins has a pressconference at 4 PM ET later this afternoon at which time he is expected to announce that he will return to school for his senior season next fall. Collins is the third big-time college OT to decide stay in school next fall joining Texas A&M's Cedric Ogbuehi and Florida State's Cam Erving as quality junior OTs passing on this year's draft with the intention of upping their grade for the 2015 draft. Meanwhile, LSU RB Alfred Blue has decided to enter the draft despite the act he had been awarded an extra year of eligibility by the NCAA.
  • (9:00 AM): One Pac-12 LB in; one out of draft ... Arizona State has confirmed that star junior OLB Carl Bradford has opted to enter the 2014 draft. Earlier this year Bradford indicated that he likely would return to school, but clearly changed his mind; he's a disruptive 3-4 type edge rusher who had 8.5 sacks and 10 othertackles forloss this fall and figures to be a second-day pick this coming May. On the ther hand, Southern California junior MLB Hayes Pullard has announced he will return for his senior year in 2014. The deadline for underclassmen thinking of entering the 2014 draft comes up at the end of business on Wednesday.
    January 13
  • (4:00 PM): Four more underclassmen join draft ... With the clock ticking on underclassmen thinking of entering the 2014 draft, juniors David Yankey, an All-American OG from Stanford, and Arizona RB Ka'Deem Carey, along with a pair of LSU redshirt sophomores, RB Jeremy Hill and OG Trai Turner have announced they will be turning pro this winter. Underclassmen have until Wednesday to file paperwork with the NFL to be included in this year's draft.
  • Ole Miss LB gets another year … Mississippi LB/DE D.T. Shackleford has been granted a 6th year of eligibility after he missed both the 2011 and 2012 seasons with torn ACLs. Shackleford moved up to DE this year and finished the season with 44 tackles including a couple of sacks and 5.5 other tackles for loss; he was also named the Music City Bowl’s defensive MVP.
    January 12
  • (5:00 PM): Tide SS to enter draft ... There are multiple media reports that Alabama junior SS Vinnie Sunseri has decided to enter the 2014 draft despite missing much of the current season with a torn ACL. However, Sunseri made aquick recovery and reportedly could have played in the Sugar bowl earlier this month, but was held out so he would not use up a year's eligibility. Sunseri is a 210-pound thumper with top 100 potential, although his projecte 40 time is only in the mid-4.6 range.
    January 10
  • (11:00 PM): Small-school safety enters draft ... Jacksonville State junior FS Pierre Warren is the latest underclasmen to report entering the 2014 draft. Warren is 6-0,205, with decent speed - he has a projected 40 time in the 4.55 range - as well as excellent ball skills; indeed, he had 5 picks and 12 other pass breakups this fall, although he is still considered to be primarily a post-draft free agent. Meanwhile, Florida State junior RB Devonta Freeman will reportedly formally confirm on Monday that he will also be entering this year's draft. On the other hand, disruptive Arizona State OLB Carl Bradford will return to school for his senior season next fall.
  • (8:00 PM): Cal NT latest to jump to NFL ... California junior NT Vilami Moala is the latest underclassman to announce that he will be entering the 2014 draft. The 6-1, 340-pound Moala, a late round or free agent prospect for this May's draft, had 37 tackles this past fall including 1.5 sacks in his first year in which he had significant playing time. On the other hand, Stanford has announced that junior DE Henry Anderson and ILB A.J. Tarpley will be back at school next fall. The Cardinal, though, are still waiting for decisions from G/T David Yankey, FS Ed Reynolds, and RT Cam Fleming.
  • (3:00 PM): FSU WR declares for draft ... Emerging Florida State redshirt sophomore WR Kelvin Benjamin has reportedly declared for the 2014 draft according to multiple sources. At 6-5, 235, Benjamin is built more like a TE and still has to prove to NFL personnel people that he has better than average footspeed, but he has real upside and was a major mismatch this past season in which he caught 54 passes for over 1,000 and 15 TDs, including the game winner in the waning moments of the BCS national title game earlier this week.
  • (9:00 AM): One TE in; one out of draft ... Notre Dame junior TE Troy Niklas has reportedly decided to enter the 2014 draft. Niklas is a 6-6,270-pound former OLB who has evolved into a solid blocking TE with decent hands and the ability to get open underneath, although he isn't particularly fast and isn't going to stretch defenseson on a consistent basis. Niklas figures to be selected somewhere in the latter part of this May's second day or early third. At the same time, Florida State junior TE Nick O'Leary has announced he will be back at school next fall. O'Leary is one of three Seminoles who announced yesterday that they would be back at FSU totry and defend their national title who also included RB Karlos Williams and OG Josue Matias. Meanwhile, new Texas head coach Charlie Strong got a bit of a welcoming gift after signing on with the Longhorns as juniors Cedric Reed, an emerging DE who had 10 sacks in 2013, CB Quandre Diggs and RB Malcolm Brown announced they will be back at school next fall.
    January 9
  • (7:00 PM): Four Tide juniors go pro; OSU QB stays ... Pretty much as expected Alabama juniors Cyrus Kouandjio, Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix and OLB Adrian Hubbard confirmed at a press conference late this afternoon that they would be entering the 2014. They ill be joined by fellow Tide junior DE Jeffery Pagan, a 3-4 specialist who currently appears to be rated somewhere in the mid-rounds. On the other hand, Ohio State junior QB Braxton Miller has let school officials know he'll be back in Columbus next fall for one more kick at the can. Same story for Nebraska junior RB Ameer Abdullah, who has announced he'll also be reurning for his senior season next year.
  • (3:00 PM): Tide juniors expected to announce draft entry … Alabama juniors Cyrus Kouandjio, Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix and Adrian Hubbard are expected to announce they will be entering the 2014 draft at a press conference scheduled for 4:30 loal time (5:30 PM ET). LT Kouandjio is expected to be one of the first three OTs off the board this coming May, possibly as early as the top 10.Clinton-Dix, arguably the top-rated safety for the upcoming draft, is also expected to be a first-round pick, although more likely closer to the end of the opening round, while OLB Hubbard is considered to be a more a second-day pick, although the 5-5, 255-pound edge rusher also has some upside. Meanwhile, rising Florida State junior DT Timmie Jernigan has also confirmed his entry into this year’s draft, as has Auburn junior RB Tre Mason. Jernigan has a chance to be the #1 DT in this year’s draft, while Mason received a third-round grade from the NFL’s draft advisory committee, despite breaking former superstar Bo Jackson's school single-season rushing mark at Auburn, that included a 195-yard rushing performance in this week’s BCS national title game against Jernigan and Florida State. On the other hand, Texas A&M OT Cedric Ogbuehi has announced that he will be returning to school for his senior season next fall. Ogbuehi had been considered to be a potential top 15-20 candidate for this year‘s draft, but hopes to raise his draft grade with a shift to LT next fall, after playing on the right side opposite of Jake Matthews, arguably the 2014 draft’s top OT prospect, this past season year. Underclassmen have until next Wednesday to file paperwork with the NFL to be included in the 2014 draft.
  • (12:01 AM): Top OT; two other Noles to return to school … The offensive line depth at the 2014 draft took a hit when Florida State junior OT Cameron Erving announced he will be returning to FSU for his senior campaign next fall. Erving had been considered to be one of the top 4-5 prospects at the position with the top 15 potential. Erving was one of three Seminoles to announce today that they will be back to defend next fall as WR Rashad Greene, who led the team in receiving, and ruggedOG Tre Jackson also said they’ll be back next year. However, Florida State - and the NFL - are still waiting to hear from three other FSU underclassmen who are believed to be mulling over their futures including junior DT Timmy Jernigan and RB Devonta Freeman as well as redshirt sophomore WR Kelvin Benjamin. Jernigan and Benjamin in particular also have top 10-15 potential if they do opt to turn pro this month. Underclassmen have until January 15th to file paperwork with the NFL to be eligible for early admission to the 2014 draft.
    January 8
  • (7:00 PM): Irish RB sets new underclass record ... Notre Dame junior RB George Atkinson has become the 74th underclassman to have announced in one way or another that they will be entering this year's draft. That breaks the record number of juniors and redshirt sophs to enter a draft set last year in 2013 draft. However, with a week to go until the deadline for underclassmen to apply to the league for admission to this year's draft, and a number of top junior and redshirt soph prospects still unheard from, the record will almost certainly go higher once all is said and done. Underclassmen have until January 15th to apply to the league for admission to the 2014 draft.
  • (2:00 PM): 'Johnny Football' ties one last college record ... Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel has confirmed that he has indeed filed paperwork with the NFL for eligibility for the 2014 draft where he will almost certainly be the most talked about prospect in the country. Manziel also becomes the 73rd underclassman to have announced in one way or another that they will be entering this year's draft tying last year's record number of juniors and redshirt sophs who entered the 2013 draft. However, with a week to go until the deadline for underclassmen to apply to the league for admission to this year's draft, and a number of top junior and redshirt soph prospects still unheard from, that record will almost certainly smashed by the time all is said and done.
  • (10:00 AM): TE 5th SC junior to enter draft ... In a bit of a surprise, Southern California junior TE Xavier Grimble has decided to forego his final year of eligibility and make himself available for the 2014 draft. Last week, there were reports that Grimble was leaning toward returning to school for the upcoming season. The 6-5, 250-pound Grimble figures to be one of the top 4-5 TEs off the board this year; he is likely to be selected somewhere in the latter part of the second day or early third this coming May. Grimble is the fifth USC junior to turn pro this month, joining WR Marqise Lee, SS Dion Bailey, C Marcus Martin and DE George Uko in this year's draft field. Grimble is also the 72nd underclassman to have announced in one way or another that they will be ntering this year's draft. That'sone short of last year's record number of juniors and redshirt sophs who entered the 2013 draft.
  • (12:01 AM): Here’s Johnnnnny … One of the surprises from the announcements from college underclassmen whether they are in or out of the 2014 draft was the almost deafening silence from Texas A&M super sophomore QB Johnny Manziel. Indeed, the thinking regarding Manziel, based on many of his own comments last off-season, were that he couldn’t wait to get to the pros. And while Manziel still hasn’t made any official announcement, there are reports he has chosen an agent - which of course would end his college eligibility - and will formally announce that he has applied to the NFL for entry to the 2014 draft in the next day or so. Manziel, who became the first freshman ever to win the Heisman Trophy when he was named the top player in college football last year, will be a challenge for pro scouts as he isn’t a prototype NFL pocket passer. His potential value to a struggling franchise was underscored when it was revealed that the most watched bowl game of the year was not last night’s dramatic BCS title game between Florida State and Auburn, but A&M’s Chick-Fil-A game with Duke. Manziel may simply be waiting to be the guy who breaks the record for the number of underclassmen entering the draft which stands at 71 this evening, just two shy of last year’s record of 71. The latest underclassmen to enter the draft include Florida State junior RB James Wilder has announced he will be entering this year’s draft after the Seminoles BCS national championship over Auburn. So did Ball State junior WR Willie Snead, an All-MAC first teamer, who had 106 receptions for over 1,500 yards and 15 TDs this fall. However, at barely 5-10 and 195 pounds and with a projected 40 time over 4.65 seconds, Snead is not a measurables guy and is only a late round or free agent prospect. At the same time, New Haven sophomore TE Michael Flacco, a 3rd team DII All-American, has also opted to enter the upcoming draft. And if the name sounds vaguely familiar, he is indeed the younger brother of Baltimore QB Joe Flacco. UNH’s Flacco, though, took the long route to the NFL as he spent 4 years playing minor league baseball before switching to football this summer. Flacco is 6-5, 245 with pretty good athletic ability, but he is very raw, although he did average almost 20 yards per catch on 30 total receptions, 9 of which went for TDs this fall. And because he’s already 26, Flacco may not be drafted at all, but likely would at least get a serious free agent tryout.
    January 7
  • (5:00 PM): Tiger OT; Cowboy WR enter draft ... Auburn redshirt sophomore LT Greg Robinson, a 6-5, 320-pounder with remarkable quickness and agility for such a big man, has announced he will be entering the upcoming draft, where he could ultimately be a top 5-10 pick. At the same time, Oklahoma State junior WR Josh Stewart has also announced that he will be entering the 2014 draft. The 5-10, 185-pound Stewart, who doubles as one of the coutyr's best punt returners, led the Cowboys with 60 receptions this fall, while he finished th in the nation with a 16.7 yards per punt return attempt which included two for TDs.
  • (4:30PM): Vols LB to return to school ... Tennessee junior MLB A.J. Johnson, who figured to be one of the first players at the position off the board had he entered the 2014 draft, has instead opted to return to school for his senior season next fall.
  • (4:00 PM): Missou 'comeback kid' enters draft ... Missouri junior RB Henry Josey, who made a remarkable recovery from a potentially career ending injury, has annnounced he will be leaving school and entering the 2014 draft. Josey tore both his ACL and MCL, and also ruptured patellar tendons, in a devastating 2011 injury, and did not play at all in 2012, but returned this fall to rush for almost 1,200 and 16 touchdowns during the Tigers' magical season. Because of the injury, though, Josey is unlikely to be drafted, but could get a free agent call.
  • (10:00 AM): Star FCS back to enter draft … Thanks again to reader LP, our super-underclassman sleuth for the tip as record-shattering Towson junior RB Terrance West has announced he will be entering the 2014 draft after leading the Tigers to the division championship game this year. The 5-10, 225-pound West ran for over 2,500 yards and 41 TDs this fall. There are still some questions about West’s pure speed, but if he runs well enough at the combine he could get some late second day looks at the 2014 draft. Meanwhile, there are reports from LSU that junior RB Jeremy Hill, who was thought to be a lock to enter the draft, may now be leaning toward returning to school.
  • (12:01 AM): Beavers QB confirms decision to return to school … Oregon State junior QB Sean Mannion has confirmed that he will be returning to school in 2014 and will not be entering the upcoming draft. The strong-armed Mannion had been considered a hot prospect for 2014 at the mid-point of the season, but slumped somewhat in the second half of the game.
  • UAB RB latest to enter draft … Thanks again to reader LP for the heads up as Alabama-Birmingham junior RB Darrin Reaves has opted to enter the 2014 draft. The 5-9, 210-pound slasher averaged just over 1,000 yards per year the past two years playing for a lousy team. Reaves is still considered to be a late-round or free agent type prospect. Reaves is unofficially the 64th underclassman to have announced in one way or another that they will be entering the upcoming draft. Underclassmen have until January 15th to file paperwork with the NFL in order to be eligible for this year’s draft.
  • To trade or not to trade … There is a pretty good chance there will trades early on at the 2014 draft. Indeed, both Houston with the #1 pick overall, and St. Louis with the second, have al;ready let it be known that they would be willing to move those picks for the right price. In that vein, Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Dispatch has a nice rundown of the Rams options to trade the second pick overall, while Chris Fedor of the Pain Dealer has some thoughts on whether Cleveland, which has the 4th pick, might be interested in moving up the top-rated QB in this year‘s draft.
    January 6
  • (4:00 PM): Duck CB to stick with school hilites junior update ... In something of a surprise Oregon junior CB fo Ekpre-Olomu, who had been the one of the top-rated players at the position for the 2014 draft, has opted to return to school for his senior season. Early last week, there wee reports that Ekpre-Olomu had decided to enter the draft, however, he had quickly denied those reports and said he was still weighing his options. Ekpre-Olomu is the second potential first-rounder to return to the Ducks as star redshirt soph QB Marcus Mariota made the same decision last week. Meanwhile, Baylor junior Lache Seastrunk has confirmed that he will be entering the draft where he should be one of the first backs off the board. At the same time, Central Florda junior QB Blake Bortles confirmed at a press conference this afternoon that he will indeed be entering the draft. And Bortles wasn't the only former Knight to get in on the act as junior RB Storm Johnson also indicated he was headed to the pros this winter.
  • (2:00 PM): Gator edge rusher enters draft … Florida junior OLB Ronald Powell has opted to forego his final year of college eligibility and enter the 2014 draft. Once the top recruit in the country coming out of high school, Powell was projected to be a top 10 prospect, but tore an ACL in the Gators’ spring game in 2012 and didn’t play a down that fall after requiring additional surgery later in the year. Powell returned to action this fall and still wasn’t 100%, but still had 4 sacks. He projects to be a mid-to-late round prospect this year, but has the athletic ability to go higher if he checks out at the combine.
  • (12:01 AM): BCS era comes to an end with title game … The preliminaries are done and its time to get down to the only bowl that really counts this year as top-rated Florida State plays Auburn for the national championship in Pasadena at 8:30 PM ET on ESPN later this evening. This is the final game in the so-called BCS era as the D1A title next year will go to a 4-team playoff. And while this year’s national title doesn’t appear to feature the same kind of draft depth that has characterized recent games, these are still two very talented teams each of which has a LT with top 10 potential. Here is a quick preview of who to watch with an eye toward the 2014 draft in tonite's championship game.
  • Irish DE enters draft ... Notre Dame DE Stephen Tuitt has confirmed that he will be leaving school and entering the 2014 draft. Tuitt entered the season rated as a potential top 5-10 pick this coming May, but was never really 100% after undergoing off-season surgery for a sportsd hernia caused his stock to dip somewhat. Still, the 6-5, 295-pounder is still t worst a latter opening round prospect with the potential to move back up if he shows well at the combine.
  • Two more WRs entering draft … Oregon junior RB/WR/KR D’Anthony Thomas has announced he will be entering the 2014 draft. Thomas was an electric playmaker in his three years with the Ducks with electric quickness, however, at just 5-9 and 170 pounds he’s somewhat small by NFL standards and will need to find ateam willing to find ways to get him the ball. Right now, Thomas is considered to be a third-day prospect, but he has the kind of athletic ability to blow up the combine and move up boards around the NFL. Meanwhile, Indiana junior WR Cody Latimer has also indicated that he will be throwing his name in the proverbial draft hat this spring. And Latimer, who has a nice size-speed could be something of a sleeper after catching 72 passes for over 1,000 yards this past season.
  • Underclassmen closing in on new record … With the above announcements, the number of underclassmen who have indicated in one way or another that they will be entering the upcoming draft has reached 60. And with another ten days to go until juniors and redshirt freshman have to get paperwork into the NFL to be included in the upcoming draft, it appears that last year's record of 73 underclassmen apply for the 2013 draft is in some real jeopardy. In fact, there is a still a number of big-name underclassmen who have yet to be heard from including TexasA&M QB Johnny Manziel; RBs Lache Seastrunk of Baylor and Ka’deem Carey of Arizona; Florida State WR Kelvin Benjamin and TE Nick O’Leary; OTs Greg Robinson of Auburn, Florida State’s Cameron Erving, and Cedric Ogbuehi of TexasA&M; Stanford G/T David Yankey; Alabama DE/OLB Adrian Hubbard; Florida State DT Timmie Jernigan; Tennessee ILB A.J. Johnson; Oregon CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu; and safeties Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix of Alabama and Stanford’s Ed Reynolds. Underclassmen have until January 15th to file paperwork with the league office in order to be eligible for the 2014 draft.
    January 5
  • (9:00 PM): UCF QB to declare for draft ... Central Florida junior QB Blake Bortles will reportedly formally announce that is entering the 2014 draft tomorrow. Bortles is being mentioned as a possible contender to be the first player selected this coming May.
  • (5:30 PM): LSU WRs enter draft ... Yahoo Sports is reporting that according to multiple sources, LSU junior WRs Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry will both formally announce tomorrow that they will be entering the 2014 draft. Both had almost 1,200 receiing yards this past season when Beckham, the Tigers' big-play threat outside, had 59 receptions, while Landry had 77. Both are also rated among the top 10 receivers on the GBN positional board for the upcoming draft.
  • (2:30 PM): WR Watkins, two other Tigers enter drafts ... There are unconfirmed reports that Clemson junior WR Sammy Watkins has opted to enter the 2014 draft where he is projected to be a top 5-10 pick. Watkins is one of three Clemson juniors who have reportedly decided to enter the 2014 draft as fellow WR Martavis Bryant and CB Bashaud Breeland will also toss their hats into the draft ring this year. Bryant is an intriguing 6-5 prospect with deep speed who averaged over 20.5 yads per catch this year, although he only had 39 totals catches, while Breeland is a5-11, 195-pounder with decent ball skills who pickedoff 4 passes and broke up 13 other passes. Both Bryant and Breeland are considered to be third-day prospects. Meanwhile, there are unconfirmed reports that UCLA redshirt sophomore QB Brett Hundley has decided to return to school for his junior season.
  • (9:00 AM): Ole Miss WR enters draft … Mississppi has announced that junior WR Donte Moncrief will forego his final year of eligibility and enter the 2014 draft. The 6-2, 214-pound Moncrief, who caught 12 passes over the past cople of years is currently rated as a second-round prospect.Moncrief is the 7th rated WR on the GBN positional board; he's also the 51st underclassman to have announced in one way or another that they are turning pro this winter.
  • January 4
  • (7:00 PM): One in; one out for Bucks ... Ohio State junior OLB Ryan Shazier has reportedly opted to forgo his final year of college eligibity and enter the 2014 draft where he is projected to be a late first-round prospect. However, Ohio State also got some great news today when junior QB Braxton Miller announced he will be back for his senior season next fall. At the same time, UCLA junior OF Xavier Su'a-Filo has also informed school officials that he will be entering the upcoming draft. Su'a-Filo is a second-round prospect who figures to be one of the first players at the position off the board this coming May. The defections of Shazier and Su'a-Filo brings the number of underclassmen to announce in one way or another that they are turning pro this winter to an even 50.
  • (9:00 AM): Missou DE latest to enter draft ... Missouri junior DE Kony Ealy announced last night's thrilling Cotton Bowl win over Oklahoma State that he will be entering the 2014 draft. And in a down year at the position the 6-5, 270-pounder who had 8 sacks this past season, could ultimately get some late first round consideration come May 8th. For now, he is the 4th rated DE on the GBN positional board. Ealy is the 48th underclassmen to announce in one way or another that they are turning pro this winter.
  • (12:01 AM):Three more enter draft … Three more underclassmen have announced they will be entering the 2014 draft including star Southern California WR Marqise Lee, a projected top 20-25 pick this coming May. Meanwhile, LSU junior DT Ego Ferguson and Oregon State DE Scott Crichton have also both decided to forgo their final years of college eligibility and enter the upcoming draft. Ferguson, the #4 rated DT on the GBN positional board, is an early-to-mid second round prospect with the upside to ultimate sneak into the late first round, while Cricton, the 10th rated DE on the GBN board, is a late third o early 4th round candidate. Meanwhile, Central Florida QB Blake Bortles reportedly received a first-round grade from the NFL’s special draft advisory committee which could spur him to enter the upcoming draft. On the other hand, Oregon State junior QB Sean Mannion only received a 3rd round grade, which could be the final straw that sends him back to school for his senior season. With the entry of Lee, Ferguson and Crichton, the number of underclassmen who have declared in one way or another that they will be entering the upcoming draft to 47.
  • Top pick could be on the market … Speaking to local reporters in an end-of-year interview, Houston owner suggested that the Texans would be open to trading out of the #1 pick at the upcoming draft. McNair was quoted as saying “Maybe we’ll trade down and pick up more picks and still get a QB that can do the job, and also get that outstanding defensive player.” McNair also confirmed that QB was the Texans biggest need, but that the team would still be open to taking an impact defensive player even if they stay at #1. There has been speculation that Houston is interested in 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel who played his college football just down the road at Texas A&M.
    January 3
  • (2:00 PM): 2nd Gator CB to go pro ... Florida junior CB Marcus Roberson reportedly told school officials earlier today that has decided to leave the program and enter the 2014 draft despite missing almost half of the past season with injuries. The 5-11, 195 Roberson is the 11th rated CB on the GBN positional board and figues to be a late second or early third day pick this coming May. Roberson is the second Florida junior CB toenter this year's draft as Loucheiz Purifoy announced his intention to turn pro in December. In the meantime, Florida officials are still waiting to hear from junior DE Ronald Powell, who is also reprportedly considering a jump to the NFL this winter. Powell was conisdered to be a possible top 10 prospect heading into the 2012 season, but tore up a knee prior to that year and was never 100% this past fall.
  • (12:30 PM): Two more juniors jump to NFL ... A couple of more juniors have indicated they will be entering the 2014 draft. South Carolina WR Bruce Ellington, who had a terrific Cap One Bowl game against Wisconsin earlier this week,will give the NFL a shot this year as well as California OLB Khairi Fortt. Both are intersting prospects Ellington was a potential starter on the SC basketball squad this winter, but at just 5-9 had limited hardwood options at the next level; Ellington had 43 catches this season and topped it off with a dominating 6-catch, 140-yard outing in the Gamecocks' bowl win. Meanwhile, Fortt was one of several players who left Penn State two years ago in the wake of the Sandusky scandal; he's 6-2, 240 with sub-4.7 speed who could be an attractive third-day target for 3-4 teams, although he has never posted big sack numbers. For now both are considered to be mid-round prospects; the GBN has Forrt rated as the 14th best OLB prospect, while Ellington is 16th among WRs. The addition of Fortt and Ellington brings the number of underclassmen who have reportedly declared for the draft in one way or another to 43 with many of the big name underclassmen still to make their decisions public.
  • (Noon ET): Ducks' CB enters draft ... Oregon has announced that junior CB Terrance Mitchell has decided to make himself available for the 2014 draft. The 5-11, 190-pound Mitchell is a three-year starter with 38 career starts who had 5 picks in 2013; he is considered to be an early third-day prospect. Meanwhile, the NFL is still waiting to hear from Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon's other junior corner, who is projected to be one of the first 2-3 CBs off the board this coming May if as expectedhe opts to enter the upcoming draft.
  • (11:30 AM): Bowl week keeps continuing ... Bowl week continues with another couple of games later this evening (although for some reason they overlap badly). Old Big 8 and later XII rivals Missouri and Oklahoma State meet in the Cotton Bowl, while Ohio State and Clemson will dual in the Orange.
  • (9:00 AM): Other Cards receiver to stay ... While former Louisville WR Damian Copeland has opted not to take a 6th year of eligibility and return to the Cardinals next fall, star junior WR Devante Parker has announced that he will return next fall for his senior campaign.
  • (12:01 AM): Jags, Falcons to coach Senior Bowl … The Senior Bowl has announced that the coaching staffs of Atlanta and Jacksonville will coach the teams in this year’s game in Mobile. As a general rule, the teams - usually one from each conference - with the worst records that have not changed coaching staffs are invited to handle the Senior Bowl teams.
  • No surgery for Clowney; hopes to take combine by storm … South Carolina junior DE Jadeveon Clowney, one of the top 2-3 prospects for this year’s draft, likely won’t be in Mobile this year - at least not in a football uniform - buys he plans to do a full workout at the combine in late February. Of course, more than one top prospect has changed their mind once they get closer to Indy in the part. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, Clowney also told local reporters after the team’s Cap One Bowl win over Wisconsin that he is no longer planning on having surgery on his foot to repair bone spurs which hampered him all season.
  • Cardinal WR to enter draft … Louisville has announced that WR Damian Copeland, who would have been eligible for a 6th year next fall, has opted to enter the upcoming draft. The 6-1, 190-pound Copeland was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA earlier this season because he missed most of 2011 with a hamstring injury. Copeland had 58 catches for 780 yards and 5 touchdowns this past season, but is still considered to be more a likely free agent prospect.
    January 2
  • (8:00 PM): LSU DT latest to enter draft ... LSU junior DT Anthony Johnson announced on Twitter on earlier this evening that he’ll forgo his senior year and enter the 2014 draft. Johnson is projected to be a second-day pick this coming May.
  • (5:30PM): Trio of WRs bolt for NFL ... Today was a bonanza for NFL teams that will be looking to upgrade at WR at the 2014 draft as three top underclass receivers confirmed they will be entering this year's draft including Texas A&M redshirt sophomore Mike Evans, along with juniors Allen Robinson of Penn State and Oregon State's Brandin Cooks. The 6-5, 225-pound Evans is considered to be a top 10-15 prospect for the upcoming draft while Robinson and Cooks are second-round candidates although both have the upside to move up into the opening round with strong pre-draft workouts
  • (11:00 AM): Bears re-up QB Cutler … Chicago has resigned veteran starting QB Jay Cutler to a seven-year contract extension. Cutler was in the final year of his contract and there were rumblings that the Bears were prepared to move in a different direction. And if Cutler had become a free agent he likely would have been a target for one of the teams like Houston with a big need at the position and an early pick at the 2014 draft. However, with Cutler now back in the Bears’ den for an extended, there is one less option on the market for teams needing a QB in 2014.
    January 1
  • (5:00 PM): Anything 1 can do, 1a can do just as well ... Moments after South Carolina's win over Wisconsin in some bowl earlier this afternoon, Gamecocks' junior DE Jadeveon Clowney confirmed the worst kept secret in college football in that he will in fact be entering the 2014 draft where he figures to be one of the first 2-3 players off the board despite a less than awesomne 2013 season.
  • (2:30 PM): Top QB prospect confirms draft entry ... Multiple league sources are reporting this afternoon that Louisville junior QB Teddy Bridgewater has opted to enter the 2014 draft where is projected to be one of the first 2-3 players off the board.
  • (11:00 AM): New Year's bowl fest ... If its New Year's Day it means a bunch of Big Ten teams are playing a bunch of SEC teams in bowls all across the country! Indeed, there are 6 bowl games on today's sked with three involving Big 10-SEC match-ups. The best game of the day - and maybe the best bowl outside the national championship contest later this month - is the Rose Bowl which features a potentially classic match-up between teams that play the game the old-fashioned way, while today's night cap offers one of the best QB match-ups of the year. Here is our quick and sometimes irreverant preview of who to watch with an eye toward the 2014 draft in today's college bowl games.
  • (10:00 AM): Cooks still stirring … There were reports late last night that Oregon State junior WR Brandin Cooks had entered the draft, but he later tweeted that he has yet to make a decision and will make an announcement sometime in the New Year. There have also been rumblings that Oregon State junior QB Sean Mannion, who announced some time ago that he would be returning to school for the 2014 season, has been rethinking his decision and could still opt to turn pro this winter. Meanwhile, the NFL is waiting this day to hear from both red shirt sophomore QBs Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M and UCLA’s Brett Hundley, both of whom ended their seasons in grand style yesterday and have top 10 potential if they do enter the draft. Both were non-committal after their team’s respective bowl wins yesterday, although Manziel is almost assuredly turning pro in the next two weeks, while Hundley could be a tougher call.
  • Top DT to miss bowl … LSU junior DT Ego Ferguson, a possible late first round pick this coming May if he opts to enter the 2014 draft, did not travel with the team to Florida and will not play in the Outback Bowl against Iowa later today because of an undisclosed medical issue.
  • #1 has a new #1 … Houston, which has the first pick overall at the 2014 draft, has signed former Penn State coach Bill O’Brien to take over the Texans. O’Brien is ano-nonsense type who ran a pro style offense with Penn State.
    December 31
  • (4:00 PM): 3rd SCTrojan junior to enter draft ... The exodus of underclassmen from Southern California continued today as junior DE George Uko announced he will be leaving school and entering the 2014 draft. The 6-3, 275-pound Uko, who had 5 sacks last year, figures to be a mid-round pick this coming April. Previously, USC had lost SS Dion Bailey and c Marcus Mrtin to this year's draft and are sre still waiting for the big shoe to fall as they wait for star junior WR Marqise Lee to announce his expected departure.
  • (11:30 AM): Tech TE declares for draft … Texas Tech junior TE Jace Amaro announced after last night’s Holiday Bowl win over Arizona State that he will be entering the 2014 draft. Amaro figures to be one of the first couple of players off at the position at the upcoming draft after setting a new NCAA record for most receiving yards by a tight end in a single season with 1,352 yards. Amaro also had 106 receptions on the year.
  • (9:00 AM): Bowl parade continues ... There are 4 more bowl games on the schedule later today. We aren't going to sugercoat anything though as it is one of the saddest New Year's Eve bowl lineups we can ever remember. Still, there are several prospects worth watchin including an intriguing potential dual in today's early game between two of the better RBs in the country. Meanwhile, Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel wraps up his college career against Duke in the sorely named Chick-Fil-A Bowl this evening. and no 3-point shots will not be allowed in that one.
    December 30
  • (8:00 PM): UDub RB, Heels C enter draft ... To no one's surprise, Washington junior RB Bishop Sankey has declared for the 2014 draft where he is projected to be one of the first 3-4 backs off the board most likely in the middle of the second day. The 5-9, 200-pound slasher rushed for a school-record 1,870 yards this season. Sankey is the second Washington junior to declare for the draft in the past couple of days as TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins announced his intention to turn pro after te Huskies' win over BYU in the Fight Hunger Bowl on Friday. Meanwhile, North Carolina C Russell Bodine has also announced his intention to enter this May's draft. The 6-3, 310-pound Bodine is a two-year starter who has also playedsome at OG, although he is still a later round prospect. The decisions by Sankey and Bodine bring the number of underclassman who have announced in one way or another that they will be leaving school and entering this year's draft to 32. Underclassmen have until January 15th to file paperwork with the NFL to be included in this year's draft.
  • (3:30PM): AAC Cards S enters draft ... The NFL is stillwaiting to hear fficially from Louisville juniors Teddy Bridgewater and WR Devante Parker as to their intentions for the 2014 draft, however, Cardinals' FS Calvin Pryor has announced he will be entering the upcoming draft where he figures to be one of the top safeties off the board. Pryor becomes the 30th underclassman to announce in one way or another that they will be leaving school and turning pro this winter. At the same, RB Dominique Brown and DE Lorenzo Mauldin, a pairof other Louisville juniors have confirmed they'll be back in school next year. There is also an unconfirmed report that Washington junior NT Danny Shelton has also indicated that he will be returning to school for his senior season. And with Pryor's entry into the field, the GBN safety and Top 100 rankings have been updated.
  • (3:00 PM): First three rounds set, sort of ... The final 12 picks in each round still have to be finalized based on playoff results, plus there is also the possibility one or more teams are awarded a compensatory 3rd round pick, but here is what the first three rounds of this year's draft currently looks like based on the non-playoff picks which have been settled as well as known trades. Compensatory picks are usually announced in early April.
  • (10:00 AM): Big Bowl week gets underay ... For football fans who didn't get quite enough pigskin action in the just-completed NFL regular schedule, college bowl action really starts to heat up with 14 games scheduled over the next 3 days, including a quartet of games later today. It starts with Navy and Middle Tennessee in the Military Bowl which kicks off in a couple of hours at 11:45 AM ET. Then it will be Georgia Tech and Ole Miss in the Music City Bowl at 3:15 PM ET, followed by Texas and Oregon in the Alamo Bowl at 6:45 PM and then Arizona State and Texas Tech in the Holiday Bowl at 10:15 PM ET. All four games are on ESPN. And while the Navy-MTSU game might be the weakest of all 688 bowls in terms of pro prospects, each of today's other three games has at least several players to watch. We'll be back shortly with a preview of who to watch in those games.
    December 29
  • (11:30 PM): Top 20 picks set ... The 2013 regular season is now in the books meaning the first 20 picks at the upcoming draft are now set. The remaining 12 slots will be dtermined by results from the playoffs. For now here is the full, unofficial first-round selection order for the 2014 draft.
  • (5:00 PM): CSU RB enters draft ... Emerging Colorado State redshirt sophomore RB Kapri Bibbs has announced that he will forgo his final two years of college eligibility and enter the 2014 draft. The 5-10, 205-pounder Bibbs had a breakout year this season during which he ran for over 1,700 yards and scored 31 TDs, in the process joining Barry Sanders and Montee Ball as the only other D1A backs to score 30 or more times in a season. NFL teams still want to see Bibbs run, but he has a chance to be aong the first backs off the board if he does time well at the combine. Indeed, for now we have him rated as the #5 RB at the position with the potential to be off the board around the mid-to-later part of the second round.
  • (10:00 AM): Tough break for UNC OT … North Carolina LT James Hurst, a leading second-tier prospect at the position for the 2014 draft, broke his left leg during the Tar Heels’ 39-17 victory against Cincinnati in the Belk Bowl on Saturday and obviously will be sidelined for a while. Hurst, who was starting his 49th career game, has been projected as a second-day pick at the upcoming draft. The injury has been described as a non-displaced fracture in the left fibula, but its not clear how long it will affect Hurst’s preparation for the combine in February.
  • Top QB prospect played with knee injury … Oregon sophomore QB Marcus Mariota revealed that he played the final month of the schedule with a partially-torn MCL in his left knee. The month off between the bowl and the Ducks’ regular-season finale, though, has reportedly allowed Mariota to get back to 100%. Mariota, who had been projected to be one of the first 4-5 players off the board if he had entered the upcoming draft, instead announced he will be back in school next fall.
  • (9:00AM ): Husky TE to enter draft ... Washington junior TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins announced after the team's bowl win over BYU Friday evening that he will be entering the 2014 draft where he is expecte to be a late first or early second round pick. Meanwhile, UW junior RB Bishop Sankey said after the game he is undecided about his future and hoped to make a decision in the next week or so. The deadline for underclassmen to declare is January 15th.
    December 28
  • (8:00 PM): Bonus coverage, le fin … In keeping with the theme of the eternal questions being asked by the various bowls, the poser in tonight’s final game is why isn’t the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl played in western New York rather than Tempe. Makes sense to us. And while a bowl match-up between 7-5 Michigan and the equally 7-5 Kansas State probably doesn’t even excite the fans in their local communities, at least pro scouts get a treat with a last chance to check out rangy Michigan LT Taylor Lewan (#77, 6-7, 315) who has his detractors among NFLpro personnel people, but still appears to be carrying a top 15-20 grade for the upcoming draft. However, Lewan is likely the only player even remotely likely to get a first-day call this year, although Michigan WR Jeremy Gallon (#21, 5-8, 185) is a pesky possession receiver wit second-day potential, while RT Michael Schofield (#75, 66, 305), RB Fitz Toussaint (#28, 5-9,, 210), NT Quinton Washington (#76, 6-3, 305) and SS Thomas Gordon (#30, 5-10, 210) and CB Courtney Avery (#5, 5-10, 175) are later round or free agent candidates. K-State also has several solid mid-to-late round senior prospects in FS Ty Zimmerman (#12, 6-0, 205), massive OT Cornelius Lucas (#78, 6-8, 330) and RB John Hubert (#33, 5-7, 195). The Wildcats most exciting players, though, are juniors like electrifying WR/KR Tyler Lockett (#16, 5-10, 175) and tweener DE Ryan Mueller (#44, 6-2, 245).
  • (3:00 PM): Bonus coverage continued, part deux … Saturday’s best game should be the Russell Athletic Bowl between 9-3 Miami of the ACC and ACC-bound 11-1 Louisville. Needless to say pro scouts will be trooping to Orlando to get one last look at Louisville junior QB Teddy Bridgewater (#5, 6-3, 220), who has been penciled in as the projected #1 pick this coming May on the majority of mock drafts. Bridgewater certainly put up top pick type numbers this season - a 70% completion rate and 28 TD passes against just 4 picks - the Cardinals never really took off this fall and left pro scouts looking for more. Meanwhile, veteran DE Marcus Smith (#91, 6-2, 255) earned AAC defensive player of the year honors this fall after posting 12.5 sacks, although he is still more of a third-day type prospect. Same for fellow veteran defenders like FS Hakeem Smith (#29, 6-0, 180) and LB Preston Brown (#2, 6-0, 255). In fact, other than Bridgewater, the Cardinals’ best prospect for 2014 may be his big-play target junior WR Devante Parker (#9, 6-2, 205). Of course, Miami also has a QB with something to prove in senior Stephen Morris (#17, 6-2, 215) who has been all over boards this season. Morris works behind an NFL-sized offensive line which includes OT Seantrel Henderson (#77, 6-7, 345) and RG Brian Linder (#65, 6-5, 320). Henderson, in particular, has first-round physical tools, but his development has been slowed by injuries and other off-field concerns. Meanwhile, junior OLB Denzel Perryman (#52, 6-0, 240) is an emerging star on the other side of the ball who could have early second-day potential if he opts to turn pro this winter. At the same time, other Miami players to watch include TE Asante Cleveland (#82, 6-4, 260), WR Allen Hurns (#1, 6-2, 195), DTs Justin Renfrow (#78, 6-5, 320), Curtis Porter (#96, 6-1, 315) and Luther Robinson (#93, 6-2, 305), DEs Shayon Green (#51, 6-2, 265) and junior Anthony Chickillo (#71, 6-3, 275), MLB Jimmy Gaines (#59, 6-2, 235) and safeties Kacy Rodgers (#22, 6-1, 215) and A.J. Highsmith (#30, 5-11, 210).
  • (1:00 PM): Bonus coverage, con’t … The big question at the Belk Bowl in Charlotte is what the heck is a belk anyway? Is it a fruit native to the Carolinas? Perhaps a flower or a tree. Whatever it is there is a bowl game, although this year’s match-up between 6-6 North Carolina and a nondescript 9-3 Cincinnati team makes people pine for a real college football playoff. Ironically, UNC which barely squeaked into the bowls actually has the far better pro prospects, especially for 2014 than the Bearcats. Junior TE Eric Ebron (#85, 6-4, 245), for example, is a potential mid-opening round candidate who figures to be the one of thetop 2-3 TEs off the board this coming May. Meanwhile, veteran LT James Hurst (#68, 6-6, 305) is an underrated second-day type, while FS Tre Boston (#10, 6-0, 205) and DE Kareem Martin (#95, 6-5, 265) could also get some late second-day interest. For its part, Cincinnati has several later round prospects in QB Brendan Kay (#11, 6-4, 235), MLB Greg Blair (#51, 6-1, 255) and TE Blake Annen (#86, 6-4, 250), however, the Bearcats best players are underclassmen such as LT Eric Lefeld (#71, 6-5, 295) and DE Silverberry Mouhon (#92, 6-3, 245).
  • (10:00 AM): Utah TE declares for draft … Utah junior TE Jake Murphy is the latest underclassmen to announce that he will be entering the 2014 draft. The 6-4, 255-pound Murphy caught 25 passes this past season including 5 for scores as despite missing 4 games with a wrist injury. Murphy also averaged over 16 yards per catch this season, but lacks real open field seam so figures to be more a later round prospect for the upcoming draft. Murhy is the 28th underclassmen to have declared in one or another for the upcoming draft.
  • Lets go bowling … There are 4 bowl games on the schedule for today to get folks warmed up for tomorrow’s penultimate day on the NFL schedule. Today’s bowl fest starts with the Pinstripe Bowl in New York between Notre Dame and Rutgers at Noon ET, followed by Cincinnati against North Carolina in the Belk Bowl at 3:20 PM and then the Russell Athletic Bowl between Miami and Louisville at 6:45 PM. Michigan and Kansas State then wrap things up in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl in Tempe at 10;15 PM.All games are on ESPN. Needless to say from a draft perspective, the best game today is probably the Miami-Louisville match-up in Orlando which will feature Cardinals’ QB Teddy Bridgewater, who has been the first player on the majority of mock drafts to date. The Rutgers-Notre Dame dual at Yankee Stadium, though, is also worth a look. Indeed, despite only going 8-4 coming off their appearance in last year’s national title game, Notre Dame should have at least a couple of players chosen in this year’s opening round for the second time in three years, although robust NT Louis Nix will not play because of an injury. On the other hand, big DE Stephen Tuitt (#7, 6-5, 305), who has had asrong second half of the year after a slow which saw his stock dip early in the year, will be in uniform. There’s also an outside chance the Irish could have a third player chosen in this year’s draft as veteran LT Zach Martin (#70, 6-4, 305) is one of several solid second-tier G/Ts who will be available in this May’s draft. Notre Dame also has several other solid senior prospects who should get mid-to-late round interest including OLB Prince Shembo (#55, 6-2, 255), CB Bennett Jackson (#2, 5-11, 180), ILBs Carlo Calabrese (#44, 6-0, 245) and Dan Fox (#48, 6-2, 240), WR/KR T.J. Jones (#7, 5-10, 190) and QB Tommie Rees (#11, 6-2, 210). The player that pro scouts are most intrigued to see at Yankee Stadium today, though, may be Rutgers’ junior WR Brandon Coleman (#17, 6-5, 220) who has already announced he will be entering the upcoming draft despite a very disappointing 2013 season. Many considered the 6-5 Coleman to be a first-round prospect with a ton of upside prior to the start of the season, but he was never 100% during the season after undergoing pre-season knee surgery so scouts want to see where he is physically after getting a few weeks off to rest and heal. Meanwhile, DE Marcus Thompson (#48, 6-2, 260) who led the Knights with 5.5 sacks this fall, could get some late-round or free agent interest. If there is some excitement in the Rutgers’ program though its with several outstanding young players including sophomores RB Paul James (#34, 5-11, 205), TE Tyler Kroft (#86, 6-5, 245), and DT Darius Hamilton (#91, 6-4, 275) and redshirt freshman MLB Steve Longa (#3, 6-0, 230). We'll have previews of who towatch in the later games - well later!
  • (12:01 AM): Trio entering May draft … Three more underclassmen have announced they will be foregoing their final year of college eligibility and entering the 2014 draft including Boise State DE Demarcus Lawrence, Wyoming QB Brett Smith and Southern California C Marcus Martin. Lawrence, a 6-2, 245-pound tweener, had 10.5 sacks and 10 other tackles for loss last fall and could get some early third-day consideration this coming May, while Smith and Martin are later round or free agent types. With these moves, the number of underclassmen to have declared in one or another for the upcoming draft is up to 27. There have also been internet reports that Oregon CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, potentially one of the first 2-3 corners off the board this spring were he to enter the draft, has decided to return to school, however, the player has told local media outlets that he has not made up his mind and will only make a decision after the Ducks’ appearance in the Alamo Bowl against Texas on December 30th. Meanwhile, emerging Nebraska sophomore DE Randy Gregory said he has no plans to enter this year draft. Underclassmen have until January 15th to file paperwork to be included in the 2014 draft.
    December 27
  • (7:00 PM): Bonus coverage; part deux … The Washington versus BYU match-up in the Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco at 9:30 PM ET on ESPN is arguably the best bowl to date in terms of prospects for the upcoming draft with a number of players with at least second-day potential expected to be on the field. The Huskies, for example, are led by an offense that features some of the best skill-position talent in the country including junior RB Bishop Sankey (#25, 5-9, 205), a slasher who figures to be among the first backs off the board this coming April, while TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (#88, 6-5, 270), a gifted receiver who can block, is the top-rated two-way prospect at the position for the upcoming draft. Meanwhile, scouts remain divided on Huskies’ QB Keith Price (#17, 6-0, 205), who isn’t all that big, but is a playmaker who has completed over 65% of his pass attempts this fall including 20 for scores against just 5 picks. On the other side of the ball, big junior NT Danny Shelton (#71, 6-0, 320) could also get some late second-day consideration, while SS Sean Parker (#1, 5-10, 190) isn’t all that big but can find the ball. Not to be outdone, BYU has a leading second-day prospect of its own in OLB Kyle Van Noy (#3, 6-3, 235), a disruptive playmaker whose sack total dipped from 13 in 2012 to just 4 this fall, but still had 16 total tackles along with 2 interceptions this season. At the same time, rangy WR Cody Hoffman (#2, 6-3, 215) and DT Eathyn Manumaleuna (#55, 6-2, 295) are third-day candidates, while SS Daniel Sorenson (#9, 6-1, 210), TE Kaneakua Friel (#82, 6-4, 250), MLB Uani Unga (#41, 6-0, 230) and receivers Skyler Ridley (#17, 5-11, 185) and JD Falslev (#12, 5-8, 185) could get some free-agent interest.
  • Cal junior receiver enters draft ... California junior TE/WR Richard Rodgers has announced that he will be entering the upcoming draft. Rodgers is a 6-4, 245-pound tweener with 4.70 type speed who played as an inside slot receiver this fall after lining up at TE his first couple of years with the Bears. Rodgers had 39 receptions this fall, but averaged 15.6 yards per catch.
  • (1:00 PM): Bowl parade continues ... There is another triple header of college bowl games on tap for today starting with Maryland versus Marshall in the Military Bowl at 2:30 PM ET, followed by Syracuse versus Minnesota in the Texas Bowl at 6 PM ET, and concluding with BYU and Washington in the Fight Hunger Bowl at 9:30 PM this evening. All three games are on ESPN. If nothing else, the Marshall-Maryland game may finally answer the age old question of whether a turtle can hearing a thundering herd going by. Unfortunately, the Terp-erd match-up is one of the thinnest in terms of prospects for the upcoming draft, although Maryland does have a decent edge-rushing LB in Marcus Whitfield (#41, 6-2, 250) who had 9 sacks this fall after barely playing his first two years on campus, while Marshall has a good H-back type receiver in Gator Hoskins (#26, 6-2, 245) who had 23 TD receptions over the past couple of seasons. Meanwhile, back in the late 1950s Minnesota and Syracuse could have conceivably played for the national title, although pride is just about all that's on the line this evening. However, this game does have some interesting talent for the upcoming draft including Minnesota DT Ra'Shede Hageman (#99, 6-5, 310) who has opening round potential. For its part, Syracuse has a couple of juniors with mid-round potential including RB Jerome Smith (#45, 5-11, 220) who has declared for the draft and LT Sean Hickey (#60, 6-5, 295) who is yet to announce, while LB Marquis Spruill (#11, 6-0, 225), DT Jay Bromley (#96, 6-3, 290), C Macky McPherson (#59, 6-2, 290) and TE Beckett Wales (#85, 6-2, 240) are later round or free agent types. We'll have a preview of the day's night cap, which does have some pretty good prospects for 2014, a little later .
  • (9:00 AM): Top young WR enters draft … The Fresno Bee is confirming this morning that star Fresno State red shirt sophomore WR Davante Adams hold told team officials that he entering the 2014 draft. The 6-1, 200-pound Adams led the Mountain West Conference in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns in each of the past two seasons including 131 catches for over 1,700 yards and 24 TDs this past season. Adams reportedly only received a 3rd round grade from the NFL’s special draft advisory committee because of concerns about his pure foot speed, (although we are starting think the committee gives just about everyone that requests an evaluation a 3rd round score!).In fact, if Adams can post something close to a 4.5 clocking for the 40 at the combine he could start to attract some serious late first round consideration as he is already a polished receiver who runs nice routes and has great hands and concentration.
  • (12:01 AM): SC DE nipped for speeding again … South Carolina junior DE Jadevon Clowney, one of the top prospects overall for this year’s draft, was stopped by local police for driving well above the speed limit for the second time this month. According to the AP, Clowney was clocked driving at almost 85 MPH on an interstate close to the South Carolina campus for which the speed limit is 55. Clowney had been pulled over for driving at a speed of 110 mph in a 70 mph zone earlier this month. This probably isn’t going to have much impact on Clowney’s ultimate draft grade, although it’s also not going to help.
  • Pitt hurting at bowl … Pittsburgh WR Devin Street was not in uniform for the Panthers Little Caesar’s Bowl date against Bowling Green on Thursday. Street, a potential mid-round prospect for 2014, has been hobbled by a nagging ankle injury since late November; he had hoped to be able to play in the bowl after missing Pitt’s season finale against Miami, but clearly wasn’t able to go. Meanwhile, Pitt QB Tom Savage was forced to leave yesterday’s bowl game with a rib injury.
    December 26
  • (11:30AM): Bonus coverage … There are a couple of bowls on the college schedule later this evening when Pittsburgh plays Bowling Green in the Little Caesars Bowl at 6 PM ET, while Northern Illinois meets Utah State in the Poinsetta Bowl at 9:30 PM. Both games are on ESPN. And while the early bowls sometimes aren’t much more than glorified fillers, both games have an interesting player or two to watch. Indeed, there is more than one college football analyst who’ll make the case that Pitt DT Aaron Donald (#97, 6-0, 285) was the best player in the country this fall. Donald, who had a remarkable 26.5 tackles for loss this season, including 10 sacks, is an odd size, but has exceptional quickness and strength, along with a relentless motor and should start attract some interest from NFL teams early on the second day of this year’s draft, although there are questions where he would actually fit on a pro team at that size. The Panthers also have an underrated big-play threat in rangy WR Devin Street (#15, 6-3, 190), while QB Tom Savage (#7, 6-5, 230) has NFL size and arm strength. The Panthers also have several other potential free agent targets in FS Jason Hendricks (#25, 5-11, 180), NT Ty Ezell (#50, 6-305, LT Juantez Hollins (#70, 6-5, 330) and LG Ryan Schleiper (#6-4, 310). For its part, Bowling Green doesn’t have anyone who appears to be a lock to be drafted this year, although veteran TE Alex Bayer (#82, 6-3, 255) is a solid two-way type who will play in next month’s Shrine all-star game. At the same time, FS BooBoo Gates, C Chief Kekuewa (#65, 6-2, 300), WR Shaun Joplin(#9, 6-1, 200) and DT Ted Ouellette (#93, 6-3, 285) are potential free agent targets. Meanwhile, no one will begrudge Northern Illinois if the Huskies would rather be somewhere else than San Diego on Boxing Day as the previously undefeated NIU was on the verge of earning a BCS bowl bid before losing a shocker to Bowling Green in the MAC conference title game. However, the Poinsetta Bowl will have to do as a swan song for star dual-threat NIU QB Jordan Lynch (#6, 6-0, 215), a Heisman finalist this year who accounted for 80 TDs over the past two season, although he is still considered to be a marginal prospect for the upcoming draft. Indeed, the Huskies best prospect for 2014 may actually be FS Jimmie Ward (#15, 5-11, 195) who also isn’t real big, but can find the ball. In fact, the best prospect in this game is likely USU C Travis Larsen (#58,6-3, 315), who should get plenty of third-day interest this fall while MLB Jake Doughty (#51,6-0, 230) and CB Nevin Lawson (#1, 5-9, 180) are solid potential free agents.
  • (10:00 AM): Top Spartan LB suspended for Rose Bowl … Michigan State has suspended MLB and team captain Max Bullough for a an unspecified violation of team rules making him ineligible to play in the Rose Bowl on January 1st. Bullough, a third team All-American who had 76 tackles, including 9.5 for loss, this season, is considered to be a mid-to-late round prospect for the 2014 draft, although he will now of course have some 'splainin' to do when interviewed by teams at the combine.
  • (12:01 AM): Top UM OT denies assault allegation ... Michigan LT Taylor Lewan, a potential top 10-15 pick at the 2014 draft, is denying an allegation that he assaulted an Ohio State fan at an Ann Arbor bar after the Wolverines'loss to the Buckeyes' late last month. Lewan has not been charged or arrested, but was one of several people interviewed by police following the incident. According to Lewan he was 'just trying to help out a situation and break up something.'
    December 25
  • (10:00 AM): Cal CB enters draft ... California junior CB Kam Jackson has announced that he will be entering the 2014 draft rather than return to school for his final year of eligibility next fall. The 5-9,175-pound Jackson, who had 42 tacklesalong with apick and 5 other pass breakups this past season, is considered to be a potential late third day pick at the upcoming draft. Jackson is the 22nd underclassmen to have declared in one or another for the upcoming draft. Underclassmen have until January 15th to file paperwork to be included in the 2014 draft.
    December 24
  • December 23
  • (9:00 PM): USC SS enters draft … Pretty much as expected Southern California junior SS Dion Bailey has formaly announced that he will be entering the 2014 draft rather than return to school for his final year of eligibility next fall. Bailey, who is consideredto be a potentiallate second day pick at the upcoming draft, is the 21st underclassmen to have declared in one or another for the upcoming draft. Underclassmen have until January 15th to file paperwork to be included in the 2014 draft. In fact, As many a half dozen other USC juniors are contemplating entering the draft. WR Marqise Lee, for example, is expected to announce that he willalso be entering the draft sometime within the next couple of weeks, while TE Xavier Grimble, MLB Hayes Pullard, CB Josh Shaw, OT Aundray Walker and DT George Uko are all reportedly exploring their options.
    December 22
  • (8:00 PM): Top pick to go down to final week ... Whether Houston or St. Louis ends up with the first pick overall at the 2014 draft will not be decided until the final week of the schedule after both the Texans and Washington lost earlier today. St. Louis acquired Washington's first round pick this year in a trade with Redskins. Houston would clinch the #1 pick this year with a loss at Tennessee next Sunday or a Washngton win at the Giants. However, St. Louis could also end up with the #1 pick if Houston wins at Tennessee, while the Redskins lose to the Giants. The one thing we know for sure is that Houston will end up with either the first or second picks this coming May. For now, though, if the draft were to be held this week, Houston would pick first, followed by St. Louis, Jacksonville, Oakland and Cleveland, although there is only a 1-game difference in the SOS of the Raiders and Browns. In fact, if Atlanta loses in San Francisco in the Monday night game tomorrow, there will be virtually no change in the top 10-11 picks in this week's early selection order. On the other hand, if Atlanta somehow upsets the 49ers tomorrow night, the Falcons would drop from 6th to 8th with Tampa Bay and Minnesota moving up one spot to 6th and 7th respectively. As usual, the full first-round selection order will be posted after the Monday night game tomorrow, with updates posted as they happen.
    December 21
  • (10:00 AM): Lets go bowling !!! … The college football bowl season kicks off later today with four games on the slate starting with Washington State versus Colorado State in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl at 2 PM ET on ESPN. Then Fresno State and Southern Cal hook up the day’s best game at the Las Vegas Bowl at 3:30 PM ET on ABC, followed by Buffalo and San Diego in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl at 5:30 PM ET on ESPN, while Tulane and Louisiana-Lafayette wrap the day up in the New Orleans Bowl at 9 PM ET again on ESPN. And while this year’s overall bowl line-up is probably one of the saddest in memory - perhaps in a very fitting way to end the BCS era - today’s fare, at least in terms of potential draft prospects, is very good , especially for early bowls. Indeed, today’s games include a couple of top ten prospects for the upcoming draft as well as several other really good prospects. As noted the most intriguing game of the day is the Fresno State-USC game which features Bulldogs’ QB Derek Carr (#4, 6-3, 210) who is currently in the mix to be one of the first QBs off the board this coming May. Carr has a very talented receiver in redshirt sophomore WR Davante Adams (#15, 6-1, 200),who figures to be a second-day candidate if he opts to turn pro this winter, while LT Austin Wentworth (#72, 6-5, 305) is a solid later round prospect. For its part, Southern Cal has a top 20 prospect in junior WR Marqise Lee (#9, 6-0, 195), who is expected to announce his intention to enter the draft after today’s game despite an injury-marred season. In fact, USC offcials will be holding their collective breaths after today’s game as as many as a half a dozen Trojan underclassmen are at least thinking about joining Lee in jumping to the pros including TE Xavier Grimble (#86, 6-4, 250), SS Dion Bailey (#18, 6-0, 200), OT Aundray Walker (#70, 6-5, 300), DE George Uko (#90, 6-3, 275), MLB Hayes Pullard (#10, 6-0, 230) and CB Josh Shaw (#26, 6-0, 195). Meanwhile, DE Devon Kennard (#42, 6-2, 260), the one-time star MLB turned pass rushing DE, OT Kevin Graf (#77, 6-5, 300), and OG John Martinez (#59, 6-2, 310) are solid late round prospects. Arguably the best prospect to play in today’s bowls, at least other than a QB, is Buffalo OLB Khalil Mack (#46, 6-2, 245), an ultra-athletic two-way playmaker. The Bulls also have an underrated back in Branden Oliver (#32,5-8, 205), along with big-play WR Alex Neutz (#19, 6-2, 205). For San Diego State, junior RB Adam Muema (#4, 5-9, 205), who just announced he will be entering the draft, and WR/KR Colin Lockett (#24, 6-0, 180), FS Nat Berhe (#20, 5-10, 190), OT Bryce Quigley (#78, 6-5, 295), and LB Nick Tenaha (#36, 6-2, 225) are also decent later round or free agent candidates. Meanwhile, players to watch in today’s opener between Colorado State and Washington State include CSU TE Crockett Gilmore (#10, 6-5, 255), veteran C Wes Richburg (#70, 6-3, 300), OT Jared Biard (#78, 6-6, 315) and DE Shaquil Barrett (#56, 6-2, 250). Lastly, the best thing about the night cap between Tulane and ULL is that the fans of both teams don‘t have far to go to get to the game. In terms of players to watch, Tulane WR Ryan Grant (#3, 6-0, 190) is an underrated receiver, while ULL has an active MLB in Justin Anderson (#34, 6-1, 235).
    December 20
  • (9:00 PM): Badger back out; Orange RB in draft … Wisconsin redshirt sophomore RB Melvin Gordon, who ran for almost 1,500 yards this season and leads all D-1A backs in yards per carry over the past couple of seasons, has announced that he will be returning to school for his junior campaign next fall where he hopes to work on his blocking and receiving skills. Meanwhile, Syracuse junior RB Jerome Smith has had a change of heart and will turn pro this winter. The 5-11, 230-pound Smith had told local reporters that he would be returning to school earlier this month, but obviously changed his mind; Smith ran for over 800 yards and 11 scores this fall and is considered to be a mid-round prospect for the 2014 draft. Smith is the 20th underclassmen to have declared in one or another for the upcoming draft. Underclassmen have until January 15th to file paperwork to be included in the 2014 draft.
  • (12:01 AM): Star game update … The GBN is pleased to announce that for the 4th straight year we’ll be partnering with Pigksin Paul Guillemette, editor of Pigskin Paul’s Place in covering next month’s Senior Bowl and East-West Shrine all-star games. Senior Bowl week gets underway in Mobile on January 20th with the game slated for Saturday, January 25th, while the Shrine game goes a week earlier in St. Petersburg. And based on the names of players who have already accepted invitations to play in the two games, they should be a couple of telling weeks. The Senior Bowl, for example, will have a who’s who list of veteran QBs in Mobile including Fresno State’s Derek Carr, Tajh Boyd of Clemson, San Jose State’s David Fales, Stephon Morris of Miami and Logan Thomas of Virginia Tech. There is also an expectation that Mobile native A.J. McCarron of Alabama will also be in town for the game, while Aaron Murray of Georgia had also accepted an invite to play in Mobile but will miss the event after suffering a torn ACL late last month. At the same time, other potential first-round prospects scheduled to be in Mobile include CBs Darqueze Dennard of Michigan State and TCU‘s Jason Verrett, Vanderbilt WR Jordan Matthews, Arkansas C Travis Swanson, BYU OLB Kyle Van Noy, along with DTs Ra’Shede Hageman of Minnesota, Will Sutton of Arizona State and Penn State’s Da’Quan Jones. Meanwhile, the East-West game invite list includes QBs Keith Wenning of Ball State, Jeff Matthews of Cornell and Notre Dame's Tommy Rees; RBs James White of Wisconsin, Ben Malena of Auburn, and Sam Houston State’s Tim Flanders; Michigan WR Jeremy Gallon; OTs Justin Britt of Missouri and USC’s Kevin Graf; Cs Gabe Ikard of Oklahom and Tennessee's James Stones; DEs Devon Kennard of USC, Josh Mauro of Stanford and Larry Webster of Bloomsburg; and CBs Carrington Byndom of Texas and Bene Benwikere of San Jose State. The full invite list to date for the Senior Bowl is available here, while East-West players are available on the Shrine’s twitter feed.
  • Bears’ S cleared in assault case … Baylor FS Ahmad Dixon was cleared of any wrongdoing by a grand jury from an incident in which he reportedly assaulted a man he thought had stolen his television set. Dixon, a second team All-American is an early third day prospect for the 2014 draft who will be at next month‘s Senior Bowl in Mobile.
    December 19
  • (9:00 AM): Latest underclass updates ... A couple more under-the-radar juniors opted to enter the 2014 over the past day or so, along with some other underclass doings plu some other stuff highlight this week's edition of the scouts notebook.
    December 17
  • (7:30 PM): USF DE enters draft ... South Florida redshirt sophomore DE Aaron Lynch has announced he will be leaving school and entering the 2014 draft. Lynch is an athletic workout warrior type who was originally a freshman All-American at Notre Dame in 2011, but transferred to USF and sat out in 2012. Expected to dominate with his new team, Lynch struggled mightily at the start of the season but came on late, finishing with 6 sacks and 6.5 other tackles for loss and was named to the All-American Athletic Conference first team. For now, Lynch is probably only a potential mid-round prospect, but has the athletic sklls to blow up the combine which could move up his grade. With this announcement, the list of declared juniors and junior scoreboard, as well as the DE rankings have been updated.
  • Beavers’ QB returning to school and other underclass updates … There are reports that Oregon State junior QB Sean Mannion will not be entering the upcoming draft, but rather will return to school for his senior season. Meanwhile, the NFL is still waiting to hear from record-setting Beavers’ junior WR Brandin Cooks, this year’s winner of the Biletnikov award winner after hauling in 120 passes for over 1,600 yards and 15 TDs this past season. Cooks reports he won’t decide until after Oregon State’s bowl game in Hawaii later this month. If as expected he does to decide to enter this year’s draft, Cooks, who isn’t all that big, but has exceptional quickness and hands, will almost certainly start to attract interest from pro teams early in the second day. Meanwhile, Kentucky junior DE Za‘darius Smith has also announced he will be returning to school for his senior season. Smith had 6 sacks this past season after transferring in from a junior college. Smith‘s announcement comes just a day after Bud Dupree, another Wildcats’ junior DE, announced that he would be returning for his senior campaign. At the same time, Southern Cal junior WR Marqise Lee says he won’t make a formal decision as to whether to enter this year’s draft until after Saturday’s bowl game against Fresno State, but certainly sounds like someone who is playing his final college game this weekend. Same story at Clemson where juniors Sammy Watkins and Vic Beasley have both indicated that are ‘leaning’ toward entering the draft, especially if as expected they get first-round grades from the NFL’s special draft advisory committee.
  • Tide OG has surgery; out for bowl … Veteran Alabama OG Anthony Steen will likely miss next month’s Sugar Bowl after having surgery to repair a torn labrum. However, Steen, a mid-round prospect for the upcoming draft, appears likely to be ready the combine and other pre-draft workouts.
    December 16
  • (12:015 AM): Texans edge closer to #1; top 14 picks set ... Houston moved that much closer to wrapping up the #1 pick overall at 2014 draft as a result of a 25-3 loss to Indianapolis in one of today's early games. That dropped the Texans' record to 2-12, the worst record in the NFL. As a result, the Texans will hold the #1 pick in the 'proverbial if-the-draft-were-held-today' selection order for the first-round for the 2014 draft for at least another week. Meanwhile, the battle between Washington and Atlanta for the second pick came down to a last-minute missed two-point conversion by the Redskins which allowed the Falcons to escape with a 27-26 win. Because of that result, St. Louis which owns the Redskins #1 pick at the upcoming draft, will stay at the #2 spot. However, the Falcons win shakes up the rest of the top ten. Jacksonville moves back up to #3 following a loss to Buffalo, while Oakland would pick 4th, followed by (5) Cleveland, (6) Atlanta, (7) Tampa Bay, (8) Minnesota, (9) Tennessee, (10) Buffalo, (11) Giants, (12) Pittsburgh, (13) Jets, and (14) St. Louis. Note though that if Baltimore defeats Detroit in the Monday night game Buffalo and the Giants would end up in a flip situation for the 10th and 11th picks. Meanwhile, the rest of the opening round won't be finalized until after the Monday nighter later this evening. As usual, the full updated opening round selection order will be posted after tomorrow night's Monday nighter.
    December 14
  • (4:30 PM): Rutgers WR enters the draft ... Despite a disappointing 2013 season, Rutgers junior WR Brandn Coleman has announced that he will forgo his final year of eligibility and enter the upcoming draft. The6-5, 225-pound Coleman had just 32 catches this fall after undergoing pre-season knee surgery; still because of his size alone Coleman is likely to start to get some looks from pro teams as early as the mid-second day range.
  • (1:00 PM): FCS safety to enter draft ... Western Kentucky junior FS Jonathan Dowling has opted to enter the upcoming draft. Dowling was originally a reasonably well-regarded recruit at Florida before transferring to WKU. Dowling, a 6-2, 200-pound ball hawker who picked off 9 passes over the past two seasons, is considered to be a later round prospect. With this move the GBN list of declared juniors as well as the junior scoreboard have been updated, along with the saftey rankings. Meanwhile, across the state, Kentucky junior DE Alvin 'Bud' Dupree has announced that he will be staying in school for his senior season.
    December 13
  • (1:15 PM): FCS TE to enter draft ... Thanks to reader LP for the tip as there are unconfirmed reports that Tennessee State junior TE A.C. Leonard has opted to enter the upcoming draft.Leonard was originally a well-regarded recruit at Florida where he played as a true freshman, but ultimaely left the program after being charged in a domestic incident with his live-in girlfriend. At 6-4, 245, Leonard is more an H-back type but is a better than average receiver who had 85 receptions over the past couple of years at TSU, although he is still considered to be more a very late round or free agent prospect. With this move the GBN list of declared juniors as well as the junior scoreboard have been updated, along with the TE rankings.
  • (1:00 PM): Bonus coverage; part deux … Saturday’s FCS quarter-final triple-header starts with two-time defending national champion North Dakota State hosting Coastal Carolina at Noon on ESPN. This game may also be the best of today‘s three games in terms of potential prospects for the 2014 draft. ND State, for example, has at least a couple of decent third-day prospects in athletic LT Billy Turner (#77, 6-5, 315) and ball-hawking corner Marcus Williams (#1, 5-10, 195), while QB Brock Jensen (#16, 6-3, 225), DE Cole Jirik (#93, 6-4, 250) and NG Ryan Drevlow (#60, 6-3, 285) could attract some post-draft free-agent interest. Meanwhile, Coastal Carolina has a couple of skill players worth watching in WR Matt Hazel (#84, 6-1, 190) and RB Lorenzo Taliaferro (#15, 6-1, 230), while massive OG Jamey Cheatwood (#72, 6-4, 335), who played LT for a couple of years, has NFL size as well as surprising quickness. In contrast, its unlikely anyone will be drafted from Saturday’s second game between Jacksonville State and Eastern Washington at 4 PM on ESPN3, although JSU does have one of the better kickers in the country in Griffin Thomas (#88, 6-0, 200), while EWU CB T.J. Lee (#31, 5-9, 190) and C Ashton Miller (#66, 6-2, 300) have some free-agent possibilities. In fact, the best players in this game are underclassmen including the EWU passing combination of sophomore QB Vernon Adams (#3, 6-0, 190), a Walter Payton finalist, and freshman WR Cooper Kupp (#10, 6-1, 195), while the JSU offense is charged by junior RB Damarcus James (#32, 5-9, 220). Same story for New Hampshire at SE Louisiana at 7 PM on ESPN which isn‘t likely to produce any draft picks, although SE Louisiana junior QB Bryan Bennett (#3, 6-2, 205) and UNH junior WR R.J. Harris (#15, 6-0, 200) were both FCS All-Americans this fall. The top seniors in this game are LB Cqulin Hubert (#51, 6-0, 250) and LT Gasten Gabriel (#76, 6-5, 310) of Southeasten Louisiana.
  • (9:00 AM): Bonus coverage … With major college football taking a break this weekend - with the exception of Army-Navy - the college football focus shifts to the FCS which rather quaintly determines its national champion with a full playoff system. This weekend, FCS has four quarterfinals starting with Towson at Eastern Illinois this evening at 8 PM ET on ESPN2 in a game that features a trio of very good NFL prospects. Eastern Illinois QB Jimmy Garoppolo (#10, 6-2, 225), in fact, may be the best overall prospect for the 2014 draft outside the ranks of FBS schools. For the record, the strong-armed Garoppolo has thrown for over 4,700 yards and 51 TDs this fall and is rated by many teams as a second-day candidate for the upcoming draft. EIU also has a solid second-tier WR prospect in Erik Lora (#8, 5-10,190) who has caught 105 passes to date for over 1,400 yards and 18 scores. Meanwhile, Towson has n emerging star of its own in junior RB Terrance West (#28, 6-1, 230) who is just 7 yards short of cracking the 2,000 yard mark for the season. Then tomorrow, there will be an FCS triple-header including Coastal Carolina at #1 North Dakota State at Noon on ESPN, followed by Jacksonville State at Eastern Washington at 4 PM on ESPN3 and New Hampshire at SE Louisiana at 7 PM on ESPN. We’ll have a quick preview of who to watch in Saturday’s games a little in the day.
  • Bulldog QB done for year … Mississippi State QB Tyler Russell had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder earlier this week and will miss the team’s bowl game later this month. The 6-5, 220-pound Russell was considered to be one of the better pure pocket passers in college football, but played little this fall because of a string of injuries; indeed, Russell missed a month after suffering a concussion in the Bulldogs’ season opener and then missed more time with a sprained his ankle before suffering the shoulder injury.
    December 11
  • December 10
  • Top prospect ticketed for speeding … South Carolina junior DE Jadeveon Clowney reportedly was pulled over by state police on the weekend and cited for doing 110 mph in a 70 mph zone in his Chrysler 300. Clowney, of course, is arguably the top-rated prospect for the 2014 draft other than the QBs despite a less than dominating season this fall. In fact, rather than hurting his ultimate grade, pro scouts may give him a pass as it’s the fastest Clowney has been also season.
  • Top S has knee scoped … Alabama junior FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix had his knee scope following the team’s loss to Auburn last week. Clinton-Dix, who is considered to be the top prospect at the position for the 2014 draft, should be able to start practicing again in a couple of weeks so the injury is not expected to impact his draft status.
  • Hawkeyes junior OT to return to school … Iowa junior LT Brandon Scherff has announced that he will be passing on the chance to enter the 2014 and instead will return to school for another year with the Hawkeyes. The 6-5, 310-pound Scherff had been considered to be a rising star of this year’s draft class with an early second day grade and the potential to move up into the opening round.
  • MCL sidelines Irish OG … Notre Dame OG Chris Watt will not play again this year after suffering an injury to his MCL in the Irish’s loss to Stanford late last month. Watt reportedly will not require surgery, but will miss Notre Dame’s bowl date with Rutgers in the Pinstripe Bowl later this month. Meanwhile, veteran Duke RT Perry Simmons, who has 50 career starts for the resurgent Blue Demons tore an ACL in the team’s ACC championship game loss to Florida State. Simmons wasn’t considered to be more than a fringe draft prospect, although he might have generated some free agent interest.
    December 9
  • (12:01 AM): Top ten picks set ... almost With Sunday's games in the books, the early selection order for the opening round of the 2014 draft were it to be held this week has been pretty much set. Houston, which lost on Thursday night, of course, will hold onto the #1 pick for at least another week, while St. Louis, which has Washington's selection, moves up to the #2 pick, followed by Atlanta at #3, Minnesota at #4, and Jacksonville at #5. Meanwhile, Cleveland and Oakland will have the 6th and 7th picks, although there is almost no difference in their respective strength of schedules, while Buffalo would select 8th, with Tampa Bay 9th and Pittsburgh tenth. As usual, the full, updated weekly first-round selection order will be posted after the Monday night game.
    December 8
  • (11:30 AM): Reports indicate Steelers will indeed lose pick to sideline mess ... Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports is reporting this morning that Pittsburgh will indeed lose a still-to-be-decided late round pick at the 2014 draft to complete the punishment for head coachc Mike Tomlin's sideine interference in the team's loss to Baltimore last week. Tomlin was fined $100,000 for the incident, but the league also added a rider to the fine that the team could still be docked a pick or pick, but that would not be decided until later. Original speculation was that the pick would be included only if the action affected Baltimore's ultimate playoff status, the chances of which were slim given that the Ravens did win the game. However, acording to league sources the Steelers will lose a late-round pick which will be announced after compensatory picks are announced.
  • (9:00 AM): UConn LB to enter draft ... Thanks to reader LP for the tip as UConn junior MLB Yawin Smallwood has announced he will forego his final year of college eligibility and enter the 2014 draft where he is projectedto be an early third day pick. The 6-2, 245-pound Smallwood has over 300 tackles over the past three years including 118 this fall; he also had 4 sacks and 4.5 other tackles for loss, as well as a pass interception in 2013. Meanwhile, there are uconfirmed reports tht former Oregon junior TE Colt Lyerla has signed with an agent and will be enetring this year's draft. The ultra-athletic Lyerla had been rated as one top 2-3 prospects at the position for the upcoming draft, but his stock may have nose-dived after he abruptly bolted the team in mid-season for undisclosed personal resasons.
    December 7
  • (12:01 AM): Championship weekend in college football ... There is a huge day of college football scheduled for later today with conference championship games scheduled for the Big Ten, SE, ACC and Pac-12. Here are quick previews of players to watch in today's key late games with an eye toward the upcoming draft.
  • Irish NT to go pro ... Notre Dame NT Louis Nix III has reportedly signed with an agent meaning that he will be entering the 2014 draft despite the fact he had a year of eligibility remaining. Nix hasn't played since undergoing surgery in late Novemeber to repair a torn MCL, but is still expected to be a first round pck this year.
    December 6
  • (5:30 PM): Vols 'tiny' OT to enter draft ... Tennessee junior OT Antonio Richardson has announced he will entering the 2014 draft. The 6-5, 330-pound Richardson, who actually is known as 'Tiny' is projected to be a late first or early second round pick this coming May.
  • 49ers to get better pick … This one flew under the radar just a bit a couple of weeks back, but the conditional 3rd round pick in 2014 San Francisco received from Kansas City to complete the trade for QB Alex Smith met the conditions to escalate to a 2nd rounder as the pick was conditional upon the Chiefs winning 8 games this year. Of course, the Chiefs who are in the hunt to win the AFC West are already 9-3. The 49ers had also received a prior 2nd rounder in 2013 as part of the deal. As a result, of the change the GBN Trade Mart has been updated.
    December 5
  • (3:00 PM): FSU QB dodges legal bullet; won't face charges ... Star Florida State redshirt freshman QB Jameis Winston will not be charged with sexual assault after local police nd prosecutors determined there was little chance of getting a conviction. Winston is a leading candidate to win this year's Heisman Trophy and of course has a chance to lead his Seminoles to the national championship game next month IF they can defeat upstart Duke in the ACC title game on Saturday. The fact that he has been cleared should also set up a fascinating dual next fall between Winston and Oregon QB Marcus Mariota to see who will be the #1 pick at the 2015 draft. Winston was investigating by authorities after reports circulated that a woman had told police that she had been was sexually assaulted at a party last winter at which time it appears that both had been under the influence of alcohol. For his part, Winston never denied that a sexual encounter had taken place, but claims that it had been consensual.
  • (9:00 AM): Big Board updated ... The GBN 'Big Board' ranking of the top 125 overall prospects for the 2014 draft has been updated. Please note this ranking is not necessarily how we have the players rated at the GBN, but rather they reflect our best guess based on the latest intelligence as to how we think NFL teams have this year's prospects graded, although of course there will be considerable variation from team-to-team on how individual players rank.
  • (12:01 AM): Defensive positional rankings tweaked ... With the NFL at the quarter pole and the colleges wrapping up their season, the GBN positional rankings for the defense have been updated.
  • No tag for Bears QB fuels speculation … Interesting story out of Chicago where Bears’ GM Phil Emery ruled out applying the franchise tag to QB Jay Cutler if the free-agent-to-be veteran does not resign before the start of the NFL year in March. The Bears have also put off negotiating with Cutler until after the season. All that has fueled some speculation that Chicago may not be all that interested in bringing Cutler back next fall. And if the Bears were in fact to cut ties with Cutler they would very likely be in the market for a QB with an early pick at the 2014 draft, although journeyman Josh McCown has played well enough the past few weeks with Cutler sidelined. In fact, Emery attended the Missouri-Texas A&M game last Saturday where Aggies’ QB Johnny Manziel was the featured attraction. Manziel, though, likely would be long gone by the time get on the board this coming May as 6-6 Chicago would have the 17th pick were the draft held today. At the same time, if Cutler did become a free agent, he could be signed by one of the teams expected to be looking hard the QB class with an early pick at this year’s draft.
  • Early Xmas for us … We got our first Christmas present of the year when we received a comp copy of old GBN friend Palmer Hughes’ 2014 Draft Notebook. Lots of good stuff for those looking for a nice Christmas stocking stuffer. Here’s more info, as well as how to order.
    December 4
  • SEC safety has ACL surgery … Mississippi State safety Nickoe Whitley underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL earlier this week. Whitley is considered to be a solid 3rd day prospect for the upcoming draft. Whitley actually suffered the injury way back in mid-September, but continued to play and in fact had 5 interceptions this fall, however, it appears unlikely that he will be able to work out for pro teams prior to the draft.
  • (8:00 AM): LSU QB has torn ACL ... ESPN is reporting that LSU QB Zach Mettenberger tore an ACL during last Saturday'swn over Arkansas. Needless to say, Mettenberger won't play again this season;indeed, the injury couldnot have come at a worse time as Mettenberger almost certainly won't be able to work out for NFL teams prior to the draft and likely won't be available when training camps open next July. Metteberger had been considered to be a mid-to-late first round prospect for the upcoming draft, but the injury likely willcloud his immediate draft prospects.
    December 3
  • (7:00 PM): Ducks QB, C to return to school ... In a move that could have rippl ramifications for the 2014 draft, Oregon redshirt sophomore QB Marcus Mariota has announced that he will will be returning to school next fall despite the fact that he is considered to be potential top 2-3 pick. The defection of Mariota could push several other QBs up the board this coming May given the importance of the position. One potential beneificiary, for example, is Fresno State QB Derek Carr, who reportedly is now being looked at as at least a possible top 10 prospect by a lot of teams around the league with the upside to go higher. Indeed, the ultimate irony would be if Carr climbs into the top 5 and gets a look from Houston, which currently would have the #1 pick overall were the draft held and of course selected Carr'solder brother David with the first pick at the 2002 draft. The fact that Mariota has decided to return to school could also impact the decision of several other underclass QBs such as UCLA redshirt soph Brett Hundley as they ponder their decision to enter this year's draft. And if nothing else, Mariota's decsion to return to school has shaken up the QB rankings for the upcoming draft. Meanwhile, Oregon junior C Hroniss Grasu, a three-year starter along the Ducks' offensive line, has also announced that he is returning to school for his senior season.
  • Buffs WR; SC CB to enter draft; BU QB stays home … Colorado jnunior WR Paul Richardson has announced that he will skip his final season of eligibility and enter the 2014 draft. The 6-0, 170-pound Richardson is a tad on the spindly side, but he has been a very productive receiver catching 79 passes for almost 1,300 yards and 10 scores this season; he is considered to be a second-day prospect for the upcoming draft. Meanwhile, there are reports that South Carolina junior CB Vic Hampton will also be ntering the upcoming draft, although there hasn‘t been anything official from the player or school as of yet. On the other hand, Baylor junior QB Bryce Petty has indicated that he will be definitely returning to school next fall forhis senior campaign. for the 2014 season.
  • SC DE Clowney may stick around for bowl … While there is absolutely no doubt that he’ll be turning pro this winter, South Carolina junior DE Jadeveon Clowney, has still never really officially said he’ll be entering the upcoming draft where he is expected to be a top 5 pick, if he isn‘t the first player chosen overall. Indeed, Clowney participated in senior day activities this past weekend before the Gamecocks big win over state rival Clemson. Clowney has also indicated that he will not make a decision about when to have surgery on the bone spurs in his foot that have slowed him all season long until after USC‘s bowl game is announced. There had been speculation that Clowney would have the surgery immediately after the team‘s regular season finale to give himself the maximum time to rehab before the combine in late February.
    December 2
  • December 1
  • Gator CB appears headed to NFL ... Nothing has been stated officially, but Florida junior CB Loucheiz Purifoy told an ESPN sideline reporter that he would leaving school and declaring for the 2014 draft shortly after the Gators' disappointing season-ending loss to Florida State. Purifoy had been considered to be one of the top 2-3 CB prospects prior to the season, but did not have a great year and now figures to be a second-day candidate this coming May.
    November 30
  • November 29
  • X-UGA RB to enter draft … Alabama State junior RB Isaiah Crowell has announced he will be foregoing his final year of eligibility and will enter the 2014 draft. Crowell has rushed for almost 1,100 yards and 15 touchdowns this season in which he has averaged 6.6 yards per carry. The 5-10, 190-pound Crowell was originally a big-time recruit at Georgia where he lead the team in rushing in 2011, but was dismissed from the program after facing a weapons charge, although that charge was ultimately dismissed.
    November 28
  • (3:00 PM ET): Another tight vote for rook of the week ... After last week's relatively lackluster week for NFL rookies, there were some pretty good outings this past week resulting in yet another close vote for the GBN 'Rook of the Week'. Click here for the details of an interesting week in this week's Rookie Report.
  • November 27
  • (12:01 AM): Award finalist lists out … The finalists for college football’s individual awards other than the Heisman Trophy have been announced. And while we don’t put a lot of stock in these awards as indicators of a players potential draft status, they do generally indicate which players have had good years. The final nominees for both the Maxwell Award for the college player of the year and the Davey O’Brien QB of the year are sophomore Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M, senior A.J. McCarron of Alabama, and Florida State red shirt freshman Jameis Winston; the finalists for the Doak Walker award for the top RB are juniors Ka’Deem Carey of Arizona and Washington‘s Bishop Sankey and Boston College seniorAndre Williams; the nominees for the Biletnikoff award for top receiver are TexasA&M sophomore Mike Evans and juniors Sammy Watkins of Clemson and Oregon State‘s Brandin Cooks; the finalists for the Mackey award for top TE are Washington senior Austin Seferian-Jenkins and juniors Eric Ebron, of North Carolina and Florida State‘s Nick O’Leary; the Outland Trophy for outstanding lineman nominees are Pittsburgh DT Aaron Donald, Texas &M LT Jake Matthews, and Baylor G/T Cyril Richardson; the nominess for the Chuck Bednarik Award for Defensive Player of the Year are UCLA OLB Anthony Barr, Pitt DT Donald, and Alabama LB C.J. Moseley; Barr and Mosley are also finalists for the Butkus award long with Buffalo’s Khalil Mack, Ohio State junior Ryan Shazier and Shane Skov of Stanford; the Thorpe Award for top defensive back are seniors Lamarcus Joyner of Florida State; Justin Gilbert of Oklahoma State and Darqueze Dennard of Michigan State; the Lou Groza Award for top place kicker are Roberto Aguayo of Florida State, Anthony Fera of Texas and Marvin Kloss of South Florida; and the nominees for the Ray Guy Award for top punter are Tom Hornsey of Memphis; Drew Kaser of Texas A&M and Cody Webster of Purdue. Meanwhile, The 10 finalists for the Manning award which goes to the top QB in the country include seniors Tajh Boyd of Clemson, Jordan Lynch of Northern Illinois, Alabama’s AJ McCarron, Aaron Murray of Georgia and Fresno State‘ Derek Carr; juniors Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville and Bryce Petty of Baylor, redshirt sophomores Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M and Oregon’s Marcus Mariota; and Florida State redshirt freshman Jameis Winston. Manziel was the winner of the 2012 winner, the first freshman winner in its eight-year history.
  • Former Vandy WR to enter draft … Former Vanderbilt WR Chris Boyd has reportedly decided to enter the 2014 draft rather than transfer in the wake of his suspension from the program earlier in the year. Boyd was dismissed from the Commodore program after he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor accessory charge in the rape investigation that resulted in the arrest of four of Boyd's former teammates on sexual battery charges. The 6-3, 205-pound Boyd could be an interesting late-round prospect as he is a big receiver with good hands who had 81 receptions including 13 for scores in his first two years with the program.
  • Vet RB out at TCU … Texas Christian senior RB Waymon James apparently is no longer a part of the football team. James was suspended earlier this month for violating unspecified team rules and has not played the last two games. The 5-8, 205-pound James is a slasher who had once been considered to be an interesting second-tier prospect after leading the team in rushing in 2011 with 875 yards and a 7.2 yards per carry average, but played in only two games last fall because of a knee injury before this season‘s off-field issues.
  • Behind the scenes at the combine … We don’t normally reference articles from political pages, but this excerpt Nicholas Davidoff’s “Collision Low Crossers: A year inside the turbulent world of NFL football” at Salon.com has some behind the scenes insight from the combine.
    November 26
  • UNC Te to enter draft ... North Carolina junior TE Eric Ebron hasannounced that he will skip his senior season and enter the 2014 draft. Ebron made the decision early so he will be able to participate in this weekend's senior day ceremony before the Tar Heels host Duke. Ebron has already caught 50 passes this fall and is projected to be the first player at the position off the bard this coming May, possibly as early as the middle of the opening round.
  • Sooners boot vet RB ... Oklahoma has reportedly kicked senior RB Damien Williams off the squad after he was suspended for a second time this season for violating team rules. Williams had been consideredto be one of the top senior prospects at the position for the upcoming draft, but has seen his stock plummet of late as he has only run for 550 yards this fall
    November 25
  • Canada goes green ... The Saskatchewan Roughriders won the 101st edition of the CFL's Grey Cup game with a 45-23 win over Hamilton in frigid Regina. Former Purdue RB Korey Sheets was named the game's MVP after he rushed for 197 yards, in the process breaking the CFL championship game record which had stood since 1956.
    November 24
  • (11:30 AM): UGA QB done for year ... Pretty much as feared, Georgia has confirmed that star QB Aaron Murray tore an ACL in last night's win over Kentucky and will undergo season-ending surgery later this week. Team doctors expect Murray to make a full recovery, however, given that the usual timeframe for recovery from a torn ACL ranges from 9 months to a year, Murray will also miss the re-draft testing process and likely will not be ready to go when training camps next summer. That's all rather ironic for Murray who was starting his 52nd straight game for the Bulldogs this week. While scouts remain divided on his pro potential, there is no question that Murray was one of the most productive passers in college football history as he threw for over 13,000 yards and 121 TDs during his career, both of which are all-time bests for the SEC.
    November 22
  • Tech CB to miss 4-6 weeks ... Virginia Tech CB Kyle Fuller will miss the next 4-6 weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a groin muscle injury earlier this week. Fuller is expected to ultimately make a full recovery, but could miss the rest of the Hokies' schedule this fall including any possible bowl game. Fuller, who is considered to be a mid-round prospect for the 2014 draft with some upside, had been off to a solid start this season, only to be limited by the groin issue the last month or so.
    November 21
  • (7:00 PM): Season over for top Irish DT ... Notre Dame junior DT Louis Nix, one of the top-rated prospects at the position for the 2014 draft, underwent surgery to repair a torn MCL earlier today. As a result, Nix will miss the rest of the season including the school's bowl. While he has a year of eligibility remaining, Nix is still expected to enter the upcoming draft. Indeed, having the surgery now rather than waiting until after the season will give him more time to rehab and prepare for the draft.
  • Bucks CB heading to NFL … Ohio State has confirmed that junior CB Bradley Roby will be entering the 2014 draft. Roby had been considered to be a potential top 10-15 prospect prior to the season, but has had an up-and-down year such that he is no longer a lock to be even selected in the upcoming opening round. Meanwhile, there are reports that Texas A&M OT Cedric Ogbuehi has had a change of heart and will at least consider his options regarding entering the 2014 draft. Ogbuehi had indicated earlier this year that he would return to school next season and o play LT and improve his overall draft grade.
    November 19
  • (12:01 PM): Jags keep top pick; others still to be decided … After losing at home to Arizona on Sunday afternoon, Jacksonville will hold onto the first pick overall at the 2014 draft at least for another week. On the other hand, there will be some shuffling of the top ten selection order were the draft to be held this after Tampa Bay won for the second straight week thumping division-rival Atlanta. Indeed, the Buccaneers, who came into the week sitting on the 2nd pick overall, will slip down to the 5th selection. However, its still too close to call between Minnesota, Atlanta and Houston, the league's other 2-8 teams, for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th picks. How close is it: after Sunday's games Minnesota would have the second pick followed by Houston and then Atlanta. But if Carolina wins the Monday night game later this evening, Hoouston and Atlanta would flip the 3rd and 4th picks. And if the Patriots defeat the Panthers later tonight, Houston would move up to #2, with Minnesota dropping to #3 and Atlanta to #4. If indeed, the Patriots knock off the Panthers bumping Houston into the #2 pick, it would set up a #1 versus #2 game this coming weeknd as the Texans are scheduled to host Jacksonville this coming Sunday. As usual, the full, updated first-round selection will be posted after tonight's Monday night game.
  • College football notes … Florida junior CB Marcus Roberson was suspended from the Gators’ game against South Carolina for one of those proverbial violation of team rules issues. Robeson is expected to enter the 2014 draft where he has late second-day potential. Meanwhile, Ohio State RB Carlos Hyde was not allowed to start the Buckeyes’ game against Illinois, reportedly for missing classes. The chastised Hyde then ran for 270 yards of total offense and 5 TDs in OSU’s 60-35 win. Washington won’t know for another day or so whether QB Keith Price will be available for the final two weeks of the season. Price was forced to leave Friday night’s loss to UCLA after falling awkwardly on the shoulder; he had an MRI on Saturday, but results have yet to be announced.
    November 16
  • (12:01 AM): Star game cancelled … The Texas versus the Nation all-star game which had been scheduled for the first Saturday in February has been cancelled, although organizers reportedly hope to be up and running again next fall. As the name implied, the Texas-Nation game featured players from Texas playing a team made up of players from the rest of the country. With the cancellation of the Texas-Nation game, there are 9 all-star games left on the schedule starting with the DIII game in Salem, Virginia on December and culminating with the Senior Bowl which is set for January 25th in Mobile.
    November 15
  • (9:00 AM): Clemson QB gets scare, but appears to be okay … Clemson coaches and fans got a real scare when star QB Tajh Boyd had to be helped off the field after injuring his shoulder at the end of the 3rd quarter in last night’s win over Georgia Tech. Boyd did not return to the game, but was seen on the sidelines taking some practice throws later in the evening. Preliminary x-rays were reportedly negative and there are reportedly no broken bones but only a bruised sternum and collar-bone. Earlier in the game, Boyd, who is considered to be a late-first round candidate for the 2014 draft, broke for NC State and current San Diego QB Philip Rivers conference record for career TD passes. And with a game against an FCS opponent - the Citadel - next week, Boyd will have some time to rest up for the Tigers intra-state showdown with South Carolina in their regular season finale the following week. Meanwhile, Southern Carolina RB Silas Redd has been ruled out of tomorrow night’s big game in LA against 4th ranked Stanford because of a knee injury suffered last week against California. It has been a trying year for Redd who has only played in 5 games because of nagging knee and leg issues.
  • Bonus coverage ... Pretty good Friday night college football fare this evening as UCLA hosts Washington at 9 PM ET in a game with a number of very good prospects for the 2014 draft starting with star Bruins' OLB Anthony Barr (#11, 6-3, 245), a one-time FB who is currently challenging South Carolina DE Jadevon Clowney to be the top-rated defensive player for the upcoming draft, although Barr's production is down somewhat this year as he has faced a lot of double teams. For the record, Barr has 6 sacks through 9 games this year after he posted 13.5 in 2012. Pro scouts will also be focused on redshirt freshman QB Brett Hundley (#17, 6-3, 230) who had been talked about as a possible top 5 candidate earlierin the season; however, his grade apears to have slipped somewhat after a couple of less than sterling performances in recent weeks. No question about Hundley's arm strength or accuarcy - he's still completing close to 70% of his pass attempts - but his mechanics and poise under pressure have come under greater scrutiny. For good measure, the Bruins also have one of the better interior offensive linemen in the country in junior OG Xavier Su'a-Filo (#56, 6-3, 305), who has actually spent some time filling in at LT this fall and figures to get some early second-day interest if he decides to enter this year's draft. Other UCLA veterans with mid-to-late round potential include DE Cassius Marsh (#99, 6-3, 270), WR Shaq Evans (#1,6-1, 215), and MLB Jordan Zumwalt (#3, 6-2,235). The latter combines with junior MLB Eric Kendricks (#6, 6-0,230) to give UCLA one of the most active pairs of ILBs in the country. Despite three losses this fall, it does appear that Washington is back in the big time after several down years. In particular, the Huskies are led by an offense that features some of the best skill-position talent in the country including junior RB Bishop Sankey (#25, 5-9, 205), a slasher with second-day draft potential who is 3rd in the country in rushing with an average of over 145 yards per game, while TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (#88, 6-5, 270), a gifted receiver who can block, is the top-rated prospect at the position for the upcoming draft, although he hasn't has not had quite the expected year so far to date. Meanwhile, scouts remain divided on junior QB Keith Price (#17, 6-0, 205), who isn’t all that big, but is a playmaker who has completed over 65% of his pass attempts this fall including 18 for scores against just four picks.
    November 14
  • (9:00 AM): Bonus coverage ... Not sure what the NFL schedule maker was thinking, but tonight's Thursday night NFL Network game between Indianapolis and Tennessee will have almost no bearing whatever on the early selection order at the 2014 draft! Meanwhile, over on ESPN, their Thursday night college game has Georgia Tech, which still has ambitions to make it to the ACC title game, at 8th ranked Clemson, which still hopes to make a BCS bowl, at 7:30 PM ET. And while Clemson has just about all the big-name prospects for the 2014 draft in this game including first-round candidates QB Tajh Boyd (#10, 6-1, 225), junior WR Sammy Watkins (#2, 6-0, 205) and junior DE/OLB Vic Beasley (#3, 6-3, 245), Georgia Tech has a number of very good players of its own worth a look including DE/OLB Jeremy Attaochu (#45, 6-2, 245), a very good edge rusher with second-day potential, along with undersized, but active SS Jemea Thomas (#14, 5-10, 195), rangy CB Louis Young (#8, 6-0, 195), OLB Brandon Watts (#11, 6-1, 240), SB Robert Godhigh (#25, 5-7, 190), RB David Sims (#20, 5-11, 225) and G/T Will Jackson (#52, 6-3, 295).
  • Hokie PK gets the boot… Virginia Tech PK Cody Journell, one of the better kickers in college football, has been dismissed from the program for one of those ubiquitous violation of team rules. Journell has had issues before, though, as he was suspended for a game earlier this year; he was also charged with felony breaking and entering, a charge that was later reduced to a misdemeanor in 2011. Journell made 44-of-58 career FG attempts, although he was off this fall as he connected on just 10-of-16 tries this season.
    November 13
  • (8:00 AM): Sex investigation could shake upcollege football ... Multiple media sources are reporting that star Florida State redshirt sophomore QB Jameis Winston is under investigation for a sexual assault from an incident last December. No charges have been filed and Winston has denied the allegations through his attorney who claims it was his understanding that the case had been closed some time ago. However, if the story ineed has legs there are some retty profound implications for college football. Florida State is currently ranked second in the BCS rankings and appear to be on track to get an invitaion to this year's national championship game in Pasedena in January. Meanwhile, Winston is the consensus leading candidate to win this year's Heisman Trophy. Most scouts will also tell you that Winston would be a lock to be the first player selected at the upcoming draft, however, as a redshirt freshman won't be eligible to turn pro until 2015. Stay tuned!
  • (12:01 AM) Bonus coverage … They’ll play the MAC regular season game of the year later this evening when 18th ranked Northern Illinois hosts once beaten Ball State at 7:30 PM ET on ESPN3. At stake is the MAC West division spot in the conference championship game with NIU also eyeing bigger fish as the 9-0 Huskies still have dreams of busting into the BCS picture. The game also features a dual between a pair of outstanding non-AQ senior QBs in Jordan Lynch (#6, 5-11, 215) of NIU and Ball State’s Keith Wenning (#10, 6-2, 220). Lynch, in particular, could very well be in the thick of the Heisman discussion if he played at a more prominent progam. For the record, Lynch has already run for over 1,100 yards and 12 scores while completing 63% of his pass attempts , including 19 for TDs against just 5 picks. For his part, BSU’s Wenning also has a 63% completion rate and has a 27-5 TD-interception ratio. Pro scouts will also be watching ball-hawking NIU FS Jimmie Ward (#15, 5-10, 195) who isn’t all that big but has excellent instincts and range. Meanwhile, other BSU Cardinals to watch include TE Zane Fakes (#88, 6-2, 240), WR/KR Jamill Smith (#2, 5-8, 140), OT Matt Page (#75, 6-5, 300), OG Jordan Hansel (#70, 70, 6-3, 325), DE Jon Newhouse (#11, 6-2, 240), and DT Nate Ollie (#92, 6-0, 295), although other than perhaps TE Fakes, none is more than a marginal draft prospect.
    November 12
  • ((1:00 PM): Bonus coverage ... Mid-week games on the MAC aren't usually must-see TV but tonight's game with Buffalo at Toledo at 7:30 PM on ESPNU offers another chance to check out Bulls'LB Khalil Mack (#46, 6-2, 245), an outstanding two-way backer who is considered to be a legit top 10-15 prospect for the upcoming draft. Buffalo also features a very productive back in Branden Oliver (#32, 5-8, 205) who is on pace to rush for over 1,500 yards this fall, while WR Alex Neutz (#19, 6-2, 205) is a very good possession receiver. Toledo also has a very good RB in David Fluellen (#22, 5-11, 215), although he may not play because of a leg injury.
  • College injury update … NNorthwestern RB/KR Venric Mark, who had been considered to be one of the best kick return specialists in the 2014 draft class, will not play again this season because of a fractured ankle. Because Mark only played in 3 games this fall, he is expected to seek a medical redshirt and return to school next fall … While he’s not considered to be much more than a marginal draft prospect, it appears unlikely that Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez will play again this season because of a foot injury that reportedly gets worse with any activity and may require six to eight months to heal. Martinez entered the season with hopes of getting some Heisman consideration, but has limited to just four games this fall because of injuries to his shoulder, hip, abdomen and finally the foot ... Texas DT Chris Whaley, a later round or free agent prospect for the upcoming draft, will miss the rest of the year after suffering a knee injury in the Longhorns win over West Virginia on Saturday evening … Oft-injured Southern California RB Silas Redd is listed as questionable for this week’s big game with Stanford after he was forced out of last week’s win over California with an undisclosed knee injury.
    November 8
  • (9:00 M): Top QB prospect has knee issue … For those that missed it last night, Stanford knocked off previously unbeaten Oregon 26-20 to pretty much end the Ducks‘ dreams of a shot at the national championship. There are also unconfirmed reports that star Oregon redshirt sophomore QB Marcus Mariota, a potential top 2-3 pick at the 2014 draft if he opts to go pro this winter, has been playing with a sprained MCL in recent weeks. The full extent of the injury isn’t known, but Mariota has been playing with a brace on his knee and has not been running as much of late. In fact, after taking a hard hit against the Cardinal last night, team doctors tested the knee before allowing him to return to the game. For the record, Mariota did not have a particularly good game against Stanford. Mariota's numbers weren't necessarily all that bad as he completed 20 of 34 pass attemtps for 250 yards and a couple of scores and was not picked off, but he fumbled twice and missed several wide-open receivers. However, its unlikely that one-sub-par game against a really strong pass rush will affect his draft grade all that much.
  • Bears stay bearish but lose WR … While high-flying Oregon stumbled last night at Stanford, unbeaten Baylor made a statement with a 41-12 trouncing of Oklahoma that may have pushed the high-scoring Bears into the national debate. However, the win did not come without cost for Baylor as explosive, big-play WR Tevin Reese was lost for the rest of the regular season with a dislocated wrist. The 5-9, 170-pound Reese, a mid-to-late round prospect for the 2014 draft, has averaged almost 25 yards per catch this fall and scored 8 TDs in the Bears 9 games.
  • (12:01 AM): Vikes win; may have said goodbye to top pick ... Minnesota rallied to beat Washington 34-27 in the NFL Network's Thursday night game to up their record to 2-7. In the process, the Vikings likely took themselves out of the chase for the #1 pick at the 2014 draft as Minnesota is now two games clear of both Tampa Bay and Jacksonville, both of which are still looking for their first wins of the year. In fact, its possible that Minnesota could come out of the weekend sitting on the 5th pick in the proverbial if the draft were held today 2014selection order depending on how Pittsburgh and Atlanta fare as both teams also have two wins but have weaker strength of schedules. Pittsburgh will be home to Buffalo on Sunday, while Atlanta hosts NFC-leading Seattle.
  • USC OLB to have surgery … Southern California OLB Morgan Breslin is scheduled to undergo hip surgery within the next couple of weeks and will miss at least the rest of the regular season, although scholl officials are holding out hope that he could return for the Trojans’ bowl game. Breslin, who had 4.5 sacks in the 5 games he was able to play this fall after racking up 13 in 2012, is considered to be a second day prospect for the upcoming draft, although he obviously will have to be thoroughly checked out medically.
  • Top college linemen list down to dynamic dozen … Semi-finalists for this year’s Lombard Award which given to college football’s best offensive or defensive lineman or linebacker has been announced and includes a kind of who’s who at these positions for the 2014 draft. The 12 semifinalists in no particular order include OTs Jake Matthews of Texas A&M, Taylor Lewan of Michigan, and David Yankey of Stanford, who is projected to play inside at the next level; OG Cyril Richardson of Baylor; DEs Jadevon Clowney of South Carolina, Trent Murphy of Stanford and Missouri‘s Michael Sam; Pittsburgh DT Aaron Donald; OLB/DEs Anthony Barr of UCLA, Clemson‘s Vic Beasley and Kyle Van Noy of BYU; and Alabama LB C.J. Mosley. The inclusion of Clowney is something of a surprise as he hasn’t had a very good year, although he is still considered to be the top defensive prospect for the 2014 draft. On the other hand, the most glaring omission from the list is Buffalo OLB Khalil Mack, who might actually be getting some Heisman hype if he played for a big-time AQ program, while Colorado State DE Shaquil Barrett also could make a case for inclusion.
    November 7
  • (12:01 AM): Prime time with a draft edge ... The guy who puts together the FL schedule must be a big fan of the draft as two of the league's three prime-time games this weekend likely will have a bigger impact on the final selection order for the 2014 draft than this year's playoff lineup. The Thursday night game on the NFL Network, for one, has Minnesota, which would have the 3rd pick overall were the draft held this week, hosting Washington. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay, which is currently sitting on the top pick this year, hosts Miami in the Monday nighter.
  • Big night in college football ... Its not often that the Thursday night college football fare is more compelling than the mid-week NFL game, but certainly appears to be the case this week as there are not one, but two excellent games with national implications on tap. Its starts at 7:30 PM ET on FoxSports1 when 6th ranked Baylor, and its high-octane offense, host 10th ranked Oklahoma, while 3rd-ranked Oregon faces #5 Stanford in potentially one of the games of the year on ESPN at 9 PM. And both games feature a number of top prospects for the 2014 draft. Here's a quick preview of the players to watch in tonight's games with an eye toward the upcoming draft.
  • Other SC DT appears headed to pros … It appears that South Carolina junior DT Kelcy Quarles will be entering the 2014 draft. At least that’s what his father said in an interview with a local media outlet earlier this week. The 6-3, 300-pound Quarles leads the Gamecocks with 7 sacks and 4 other tackles for loss; he has excellent quickness for a big interior defender and should start to attract some interest from pro teams in the latter part of this year’s second day.
    November 6
  • Irish DT may need knee surgery ... There are reports that Notre Dame DT Louis Nix could require surgery at some point to deal with tendonitis in one of his knees. Nix, a top 10-15 prospect for the upcoming draft, has missed the last two games because of knee issues. Nix also has a small MCL tear, but that injury is not considered to be serious. Not clear yet whether the surgery, which one would expect to come at the end of the season, will impact Nix's prepfor the draft; also no real way to tell whether the issue will affect his ulimate grade, however, it can hardly help.
  • Season done for Heels’ QB … A disappointing season is now history for North Carolina QB Bryn Renner who is scheduled to undergo surgery later today on his non-throwing shoulder and is out for the season. Renner has a detached labrum as well as a fracture in his shoulder blade. No word yet on whether Renner will be ready for pre-draft workouts including the combine at the end of February. Renner put up excellent numbers at UNC including a 67% career completion record, over 8,200 passing yards and a pass efficiency rating that is the highest in ACC history. However, the Tar Heels were never big winners in his tenure - including a very disappointing 3-5 so far this fall - such that Renner is only considered to be a mid-round prospect for the upcoming draft.
    November 5
  • Big Board tweaked … As a result of clues picked up from the NFL, the GBN Big Board ranking of the top 100 prospects for the 2014 draft has been tweaked.
  • Bonus coverage … Draft watchers will get a chance to check out one of the top prospects for the 2014 draft who doesn’t get much national exposure when OLB Khalil Mack (#46, 6-2, 245) and his Buffalo teammates host Ohio at 8:00 PM ET on Tuesday evening on ESPN2. While he may not be all that familiar to casual football fans, pro scouts certainly know all about Mack who is considered to be a top 10-15 prospect for the upcoming draft. For the record, Mack has 7 sacks through the Bulls’ first 8 games this fall, as well as 4 other tackles for loss; for good measure he’s also solid in coverage and has picked off 3 passes and broken up four others. Buffalo also has a pretty good back in Branden Oliver (#32, 5-8, 205), who is on pace to run for close to 1,500 yards this fall, while WR Alex Neutz (#19, 6-2, 205) is a big-play receiving threat. Meanwhile, Ohio has a very efficient QB in Tyler Tettleton (#4, 6-0, 200).
  • Top OT prospect goes bad boy … Michigan LT Taylor Lewan, a top 10 prospect for the upcoming draft, raised some hackles this past weekend after he was involved in several on-field incidents during the Wolverines 29-6 loss to cross-state rival Michigan State. In fact, there were some calls for Lewan to be possibly be suspended as a result of a face-mask rip on State DB Isaiah Lewis, although it appears unlikely the conference will take any further action, especially after Lewan publicly apologized. The issue also likely isn‘t to impact Lewan‘s overall grade from draft scouts as most teams like their offensive linemen to be on the nasty side, although most teams will likely at least want to take a longer look just in case there are any underlying issues.
  • Cards cut rook pick after arrest … Arizona has released rookie TE D.C. Jefferson, a 7th round pick at the 2013 draft, after he was arrested and charged with DUI late last week. Jefferson, who reportedly sideswiped another vehicle, had a blood alcohol content that was twice the legal limit. The 6-5, 255-pound Jefferson, who played at Rutgers, had played in four games with the Cardinals this fall, but had yet to catch a pass.
    November 4
  • (12:01 AM): Bucs, Jags 1-2 after wacky weekend ... Tampa Bay looked like they would finally get off the schneid as the winless Buccaneers led Seattle by 17 points in the second half, but alas it was not to be as the Seahawks rallied in the 4th quarter and ultimately won in OT. That dropped the Buccaneers to 0-8 and leaves them tied with idle Jacksonville at the bottom of the NFL standings. However, Tampa Bay's strength of schedule is slightly weaker than of the Jaguars meaning the Bucs would have the #1 pick if the draft were held this week, while Jacksonville would select second. Meanwhile, Minnesota dropped to 1-7 with a tough last minute loss in Dallas and will maintain the uncontested ownership of the 3rd pick at least for another week. The big 'mover' in the 2014 selection order were the NY Giants who were on their bye, but drop from the 4th pick to #7 after Pittsburgh, Atlanta and Houston all lost to fall to 2-6 and move ahead of the Giants into the 4th, 5th and 6th spots respectively as all three currently have weaker strength of schedules than the Giants. As usual, the full, updated selection order for this year’s draft were it to be held this week will be posted after the Monday night game.
    November 3
  • College football injury update …. For those that missed it late Friday night, Southern California junior WR Marqise Lee made a dramatic return to the lineup when he caught a 71yard TD pass on the Trojans first play from scrimmage in their win at Oregon State. Lee finished the game with 5 catches for 105 yards. Lee sprained a knee late in September and had played in only one game since. Meanwhile, Notre Dame NT Louis Nix did not play for a second straight week in the Irish’s tight win over Navy. Nix has been sidelined with tendonitis in a knee. Same story, for Wisconsin LB Chris Borland who sat out the Badgers win at Iowa because of a hamstring problem. Borland was able to test the leg during pre-game warm-ups, but ultimately wasn’t able to go; Wake Forest WR Mike Campanaro, one of the most productive receivers in college football history, will miss 4-6 weeks after breaking his collarbone early in a 13-0 loss at Syracuse on Saturday. Campanaro, who has caught a pass in 30 straight games, has 229 career catches including 67 through 8 games this fall. The injury likely means that Campanaro will miss the rest of the season, but could be available if the Deacons make a bowl.
  • Vols DT career done … Tennessee DT Maurice Couch has been ruled permanently ineligible for accepting improper benefits. Couch, who has not played since the second week of the schedule, reportedly received just over $1,200 from an agent. Tennessee, though, reportedly will appeal. The 6-2, 300-pound Couch has been a sometime starter with the Vols and had 38 tackles, including a sack last fall.
    November 1
  • Bonus coverage … There will be a potentially interesting game in the Pac-12 later this evening when Oregon State hosts Southern California at 9 PM ET on ESPN2. The good news for pro scouts is that it appears USC junior WR Marqise Lee (#9, 6-0, 195) will return to the lineup after missing several weeks with a sprained knee. Lee had been considered to be a possible top 5-10 prospect for the upcoming draft, but durability questions have dropped his grade of late. The Trojans are also hoping to have junior TE Xavier Grimble (#86, 6-5, 250), a second-day prospect who has been slowed the last couple of weeks by an ankle injury. On the other hand, DE/OLB Morgan Breslin remains sidelined. Other USC players to watch include RB Silas Redd (#25, 5-9, 200), OT Kevin Graf (#77, 6-5, 300), DE/OLB Devon Kennard (#42, 6-2, 260), MLB Hayes Pullard (#10, 6-0, 230) and junior SS Dion Bailey (#18, 6-0, 200). This game also offers another chance to check out Oregon State junior QB Sean Mannion (#4, 6-5, 220) a prototype pocket passer who continues to lead the nation in passing and could ultimately end up in the top 5-10 discussion this spring. Mannion will be throwing to the Beavers’ prolific junior WR Brandin Cooks (#7, 5-10, 185) who could get some late second day consideration this coming May if he opts to go pro this winter. Meanwhile, OSU junior DE Scott Crichton (#95, 6-2, 260) also has some second-day potential.
    October 31
  • (1:00 PM): Bonus coverage ... In the grand scheme of things tonight's Pac-12 game between Arizona State and Washington State on ESPN at 10:30 PM ET isn't all that big a deal on the national stage, but it does offer an opportunity to check out several interesting prospects especially ASU DE Will Sutton (#90, 6-1, 305) one of the most disruptive interior defensive linemen in the country. Meanwhile, other Sun Devils with at least some mid-round potential include RB Marlon Grice (#1, 5-11, 205), TE/HB Chris Coyle (#87, 6-2, 225), OT Evan Finkenberg (#62, 6-4, 295) and junior DE/OLB Carl Bradford (#52, 6-0,245). At the same time, WSU FS Deone Bucannon (#20, 6-0, 200) is an emerging second-day prospect in the secondary.
  • Top Sun Belt LB suspended … Western Kentucky LB Andrew Jackson has been suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules. Jackson, a 255-pound tackling machine, is considered to be a mid-round prospect for the 2014 draft who could go higher if he runs better than the 4.85-4.90 40-time that he is currently projected to run.
    October 30
  • (9:00): Trade deadline passes with whimper ... Prior to yesterday's trade deadline the NFL was alive with rumors of several big-name players being shopped, however, when all wassaid and done, there was actually only one minor deal in which New Engalnd acquired DT Isaac Sopoaga, along with a 6th round pick in 2014 from Philadelphia in exchange for a 5th-round pick next May. As a result, the GBN Trade file has been updated.
    October 29
  • (3:00 PM): Top 5T to miss rest of year ... Stanford DE Ben Gardner will reportedly miss the rest of the season after tearing a pectoral muscle. The 6-3, 275-pound Gardner is considered to be a mid-round prospect for the 2014 draft; he has 4.5 sacks to date after posting 7.5 last fall. The injury comes at a bad time for the 6th ranked Cardinal which is scheduled to play second ranked Oregon in one best matchups of the year a week from Thursday.
  • Let's make a deal ... The NFL trade deadline comes up at 4 PM ET later this afternoon. And while in the past there have been few veterans dealt prior to the deadline, there are at least plenty of rumors about the league about players who could be available. Stay tuned!
    October 28
  • (12:01 PM): Jags, Bucs hang onto top pick, Vikes move up to #3 ... Jacksonville fared no better across the pond than they have done in the States as the Jaguars were swamped 42-10 by San Francisco in London on Sunday afternoon to run their record to 0-8. As a result, the Jaguars will hold onto the mythical #1 pick in the 2014 draft were it held this week. Tampa Bay also remained winless after losing to Carolina on Thursday, but the 0-7 Buccaneers have played one game less than Jacksonville. Howeve, there is almost no statistical difference between the strength of schedules of the Jaguars and Buccaneers so until one of them actually wins a game the top pick at the upcoming draft appears to be very much in play. Meanwhile, Minnesota dropped to 1-6 after losing to Green Bay on Sunday night; that moves the Vikings up to the 3rd pick after the Giants who won their second game of the year earlier on Sunday afternoon. The 2-6 Giants would pick 4th were the draft held this week followed by Pittsburgh, St. Louis with a pick acquired from Washington, Atlanta and Houston with the 5th through the 8th picks respectively. As usual the full updated weekly draft order will be posted after the Monday night game.
  • College injury update ... Southern Cal junior WR Marqise Lee did not play in the Trojans win over Utah on Saturday evening because of lingering problems with a knee. Lee banged up the knee late last month and returned to the lineup last week in the Notre Dame game, but wasn’t able to go against the Utes. Lee had been considered to be a potential top 5 this coming May, but has seen his grade plummet in recent weeks, in part, because of concerns about his durability. In fact, its possible that Lee could start seriously thinking about returning to school next fall to re-establish that earlier grade. Meabwhile, Oregon junior RB De’Anthony Thomas returned to the lineup after missing a month with an ankle issue in the Ducks’ win over UCLA on Saturday night, but aggravated the injury in the first half and did not play after the break. Virginia Tech CB Antone Exum, who tore an ACL playing pickup basketball back in January, finally returned to the lineup this past weekend, but probably wishes he just stayed in bed after the Hokies were absolutely stunned at home by Duke. For the record, Exum started the game but had only 1 tackle. Washington junior WR Kasen Williams broke his foot in the Huskies win over California and likely will miss the rest of the year. Williams is one of the better possession type receivers in the country and had been thought of as a potential mid-round prospect if he were to opt to enter the upcoming draft. Texas A&M junior OT Cedric Ogbuehi did not play in the Aggies’ win over Vanderbilt because of an undisclosed injury. Ogbuehi is considered to be one of the top OTs in the country, but has indicated that he will be returning to school next fall for his senior season.
    October 27
  • (12:01 AM): Top FB tears knee ... Oklahoma FB Trey Millard, by far the top-rated prospect at the position for the 2014 draft, will miss the rest of the season after tearing an ACL during the Sooners win over previously unbeaten Texas Tech on Saturday. Millard, who will have surgery in the next few weeks once the swelling has subsided, still hopes to be able to work out for pro teams in the weeks before the draft.
    October 25
  • (12:01 AM): Bucs lose to keep second pick … Tampa Bay left nothing to chance as the Buccaneers were never really all that close as the dropped a 31-13 decision to Carolina in the NFL Network’s Thursday night game. As a result, the Buccaneers’ record falls to 0-7 to tie Jacksonville for last place in the NFL standings. However, Tampa Bay has a somewhat stronger - currently .570 versus .559 - strength of schedule so the Jaguars will hang onto the #1 pick were the 2014 draft held today at least until Sunday, while Tampa would have the second pick.
  • Top 100 posted … With the college football season just past the midway point, the GBN ranking of the top overall 100 prospects for the 2014 draft has been updated.
  • Top DT dinged … Notre Dame DT Louis Nix, the top-rated player at the position for the 2014 draft, will not play in Saturday’s game at Air Force. Nix injured the shoulder in last weekend’s victory over Southern Cal and was held out of practice all week. There are also reports that Nix has been bothered lately by tendonitis in one of knees which may be of greater concern to pro teams than the shoulder issue which is not believed to be serious.
    October 24
  • (9:00 AM): Ex-Duck in coke bust ... Former Oregon junior TE Colt Lyerla was reportedly arrested overnight in the Eugene area and charged with unlawful possession of cocaine and interfering with a police officer. The athletic Lyerla had been considered to be a first-round prospect for the 2014 draft, but struggled through an indifferent season this fall before abruptly quitting the team earlier this month. And while NFL teams will often turn a blind eye to marijuana indiscretions, cocaine is another thing and Lyerla may have snortedhimself right out of the draft, if he wasn't already there.
  • Draft goes prime time again ... This week's Thusday night game on the NFL Network has a draft theme as Carolina travels to Tampa Bay, one of two remaining winless teams in the NFL. However, even if the Buccaneers lose this evening to fall to 0-7, Tampa Bay will still only sit second in the current selection for the 2014 draft as the Buccaneers will have a somewhat stronger strengthof schedule than Jacksonville, the league's other winless team. Jacksonville hosts San Francisco on Sunday afternoon.
  • Bonus coverage ... If the Buccaneers-Panthers match-up in the NFL turns out to be less than compelling then there is a college game with a couple of decent prospects on ESPN at 7:30 ET when Kentucky plays at Mississppi State. The Bulldogs have one of the top OG prospects in the country in Gabe Jackson (#61, 6-3, 335), while FS Nickoe Whitley (#5, 5-11, 205) is a solid second-tier safety candidate. Meanwhile, Kentucky's bet prospect is veteran MLB Avery Williamson (#40, 6-0,240), another later round possibility.
    October 23
  • (12:01 AM): Defensive back rankings posted ... Wrapping up our initial series of positional rankings of prospects for the 2014 draft, here are the CBs, along with the safeties.
    October 22
  • October 21
  • (4:00 PM): Ravens get pick for vet OT ... Miami hasreportedly acquired veteran OT Bryant McKinnie from Baltimore for what is believed to be a conditional late round pick. McKinnie became expendable in Baltimore when the Ravens acquired OT Eugene Monroe from Jacksonville last month. For McKinnie its a home coming of sorts as the 12-year veteran played collegiately at 'The U' where he was a first round pick. The NFL trade deadline is Tuesday October 29th at 4 PM ET.
  • Texans waive three rooks including premium pick ... Strggling Houston, which has lost 5 straight games, has released DEs Sam Montgomery and Willie Jefferson an RB Cierre Wood after they reportedly violated team rules at their hotel in Kansas City over the weekend. Montgomery was the Texans' 3rd round pick at the 2013 draft, while Jefferson and Wood were undrafted free agents.
    October 20
  • SC WR re-tweaks knee in college injury update … Southern California junior WR Marqise Lee reinjured his left knee in the Trojans 14-10 loss to Notre Dame last night. Lee, who had been projected to be a top 10 pick at the 2014 draft, originally injured the knee late in September, but returned to practice last week. Lee went on to start against the Irish and caught two passes for 18 yards in the first half before re-injuring the knee and watched the second half of the game from the sidelines in sweats. So far, though, no word from USC on the extent of the injury or how long Lee could be sidelined. Across town, UCLA junior LB Eric Kendricks, who led the Pac-12 in tackles in 2012, was taken to hospital for tests on his kidney during the first half of the Bruins' loss to Stanford on Saturday. Tests were negative and Kendricks was able to fly home with the team where he will be re-evaluated later today. Meanwhile, rising Wisconsin LB Chris Borland also watched the second half of the Badgers win over Illinois from the sidelines after he tweaked a hamstring in the first half and did not return. However, that injury is not believed to be serious and Borland is not expected to miss any further game time. Boise State QB Joe Southwick won’t be so fortunate after he broke his ankle and is expected to miss the rest of the season in the Broncos’34-17 win over Nevada. And oft-injured Florida junior DE Ronald Powell did not play in the Gators’ loss at Missouri because of an unspecified ankle injury.
    October 19
  • (12:01 AM): Injuries sideline receiver prospects … San Jose State has confirmed that veteran WR Noel Grigsby will miss the rest of the regular season with a torn MCL. Grigsby, one of the better possession type receivers in the 2014 draft class, is considered to be a mid-to-late round prospect for the upcoming draft. Grigsby underwent surgery for the injury in late September and could possibly be back for the team’s bowl game. However, if he doesn’t play again this season, he would be eligible to return for the 2014 season, although it certainly sounds like Grigsby would prefer to try his hand at the NFL next year. Meanwhile, emerging Miami junior WR Phillip Dorsett is expected to miss the next 4-6 weeks with a partially torn MCL he injured in the Hurricanes dramatic last second win over North Carolina on Thursday.
  • Top S prospect reinstated … Alabama junior FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix has been reinstated to the team after he served a two-games suspension for accepting a loan of under $500 from a member of the Alabama strength and conditioning staff. Clinton-Dix is generally considered to be the #1 prospect at the position for the upcoming draft should he opt to leave school early.
    October 18
  • Extended bonus coverage ... Tonight's college game on ESPN provides another chance to check out Louisville junior QB Teddy Bridgewater, the favorite to be the first player picked at the 2014 draft, when the Cardinals host Central Florida at 7:30 PM on ESPN. UCF actually has a ver good QB of its own in rising junior Blake Bortles.
  • More backtracking on Irish DE pro decision ... Notre Dame junior DE Stephen Tuitt continues to walk back a statement he made earlier in the week to the student newspaper that he intended top return to school for his final year of eligibility next fall. Almost immediately afterward, Tuitt put out a cryptic twitter that has since been deleted in which he is reported to have cautioned ’not to believe everything’ people read. Now, Irish head coach Brian Kelly has reiterated that no decision has been made one way or the other by Tuitt who was considered to be a top 10 prospect with J.J. Watt type potential entering the season, but has not had a particularly good year to date after reportedly putting on some weight.
    October 17
  • Bonus coverage … There is an interesting - at least from a draft perspective - Thursday night college game later this evening when unbeaten and 10th ranked Miami (5-0) plays at North Carolina (1-4) at 7:30 PM ET on ESPN. Indeed, as many as 5 NFL GMs are expected to be in attendance along with scouts from all 32 teams. For starters the game should feature a dual between two of the better senior QBs in the country in QB Stephen Morris (#17, 6-2, 215) of the Hurricanes and UNC’s QB Bryn Renner (#2, 6-3, 225), both of whom have NFL arms, although both have careers marked by some inconsistency; both have also been slowed at times this fall by injuries. Somewhat surprisingly, while Miami is the heavy favorite in this one, North Carolina may actually have the better pro prospects for the upcoming draft. Junior TE Eric Ebron (#85, 6-4, 245), for example, is one of the top 2-3 prospects at the position and has some first-round potential, while OT James Hurst (#68, 6-6, 305) is a solid second day candidate. Meanwhile, DE Kareem Martin (#95, 6-5, 265) and FS Tre Boston (#10, 6-0, 205) are decent mid-round prospects. For its part, Miami may lead the country in offensive line prospects, although the unit may also have as many questions as answers. And the biggest questions, both literally and figuratively surround veteran RT Seantrel Henderson (#77, 6-7, 345), once the top-rated recruit in the entire counrty who has elite physical tools, but has had a career plagued by injuries and off-field issues. At least Henderson will be in uniform this evening after being suspended last week for yet another violation of team rules, but likely won’t start. Same for junior LG Malcolm Bunche (#79, 6-6, 330) who has struggled with consistency this fall. With Henderson on the bench steady RG Brian Linder (#65, 6-5, 320), a mid-round prospect for 2014, will move over to RT where he‘ll get the chance to show-off his versatility. Meanwhile, other Miami players to watch include TE Asante Cleveland (#82, 6-4, 260), WR Allen Hurns (#1, 6-2, 195), DTs Curtis Porter (#96, 6-1, 315) and Luther Robinson (#93, 6-2, 305), DE Shayon Green (#51, 6-2, 265), and MLB Jimmy Gaines (#59, 6-2, 235), although none is more than a later round prospect. In fact, the Hurricanes big-play threats are explosive true sophomore RB Duke Johnson (#8, 5-8, 200) and junior WR Phillip Dorsett (#4, 5-9, 185), who is starting to generate a little buzz for the upcoming draft.
  • Aggie OT; Irish DE say they’ll be back … Texas A&M junior RT Cedric Ogbuehi, an emerging prospect along the offensive line, is being quoted on the school’s website as saying that he fully intends to return to school for the 2014 season when he expects to make the switch to LT and hopes to really improve his draft grade.
    October 16
  • (9:00 AM): College injury update … There is a rather long list of injuries in college football that will have an impact on the 2014 NFL draft. Nebraska OG Spencer Long, one of the better prospects at the position for the upcoming draft, for example, suffered a serious knee injury in the Huskers’ win over Purdue on the weekend and will be lost for the season. Long, who is considered to be a mid-round prospect for this May’s draft, is expected to undergo surgery tomorrow. Meanwhile, Arkansas DT Robert Thomas will also miss the rest of the season after he broke his leg in the Razorbacks’ loss to South Carolina this past Saturday night. Thomas, a late round prospect who was having a solid season which included 3.5 sacks, is expected to need 3-4 months of rehab and hopes to be close to 100% for the combine … Colorado State DE/OLB Shaquil Barrett is listed as questionable for this weekend’s game with Wyoming after he suffered an ankle injury in the first half of Saturday’s loss to San Jose State. Barrett is an emerging prospect who never did much as a regular DE for the Rams earlier in his career but has blossomed as an OLB this fall and actually is tied for the national lead in tackles for loss and is third nationally with 6.5 sacks ... Southern California DE/OLB Morgan Breslin continues to be sidelined indefinitely with a hip problem and will not play this weekend when the Trojans play Notre Dame in their annual rivalry game. USC did get some good news though when star WR Marqise Lee returned to practice earlier this week. Lee sprained a knee two weeks ago and did not suit up against Arizona last week, but is reportedly good to go against the Irish … Michigan OT Taylor Lewan, a top 10 prospect for the upcoming draft, is also expected to play this weekend when the Wolverines face off with Indiana. Lewan suffered an apparent head injury in the first half of last weekend's game against Penn State and did not play in the second half. QB James Franklin will only be out three to five weeks with a shoulder injury ... Missouri has confirmed that star QB James Franklin will miss 3-5 weeks after he dislocated his throwing shoulder during the Tigers’ monumental upset win at Georgia on the weekend. The injury comes at a terrible time for the suddenly hot Tigers as they put their unbeaten record on the line against Florida this weekend ... Elsewhere, enigmatic Miami OT Seantrel Henderson has been reinstated to the team after being suspended last week for violating team rules. However, Henderson, once the top recruit in the country, will not start Thursday night against North Carolina. Henderson remains an intriguing prospect for NFL teams as he has a unique blend of size and athleticism, but his off-field issues remain serious red flags.
    October 14
  • No 2 tries harder ... With the 0-6 New York Giants ensuring that they will hold onto the #1 pick for the 2014 draft were it held today for at least another week after losing in Chicago on Thursday evening, the draft focus today shifts to the second pick. However, the only drama regarding the second pick may be how badly Jacksonville loses as the Jaguars will be a 4-touchdown underdog play when they play at Denver, the NFL's best team through the first 5 weeks of the season, in a late afternoon game. On the other hand, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay, the NFL's other two remaining winless teams have at least winnable games as the Steelers play at the Jets in New York while Tampa Bay hosts Philadelphia which will be without starting QB Michael Vick. There will also be one less onewin team in the league at the end of the day as Minnesota hosts Carolina in a game that has been clouded by the tragic death of the young daughter of Vikings' star RB Adrian Peterson earlier in the week.
  • Top prospects plays ... For the record, South Carolina junior DE Jadevon Clowney was was on the field during the Gamecocks' 52-7 trouncing of Arkansas yesterday afternoon. For thos who haveb been in another galaxy, Clowney, one of the top 2-3 prospects for the 2014 draft, surprised everyone, including his own caoches when he announced just before USC's game last week that he couldn't play because of sore ribs which had everyone questioning his heart, toughness and commitment etc. And for the record, Clowney reportedly played well enough, although he only had one tackle. In fact, it was upset Saturday in college football as #5 Stanford was shocked at Utah, Missouri stunned #7 Georgia 41-26, Texas won the Red River shootout over #12 Oklahoma 36-20, and #18 Michigan lost a wild one 41-38 in overtime at Penn State. However, Missouri's big win over Georgia came at a price as star QB James Franklin separated his throwing shoulder and could miss the next 6 weeks or so. Missouri CB E.J. Gaines was also forced to leave the gam with a strained quad and his immediate availability is also in question. The unbeaten Tigers host Florida this coming weekend. Meanwhile, one aways wants to be careful making week-to-week changes in player grades for the upcoming draft, but while Louisville junior Teddy Bridgewater, arguably the top prospect overall for the 2014 draft, had only a so-so day when the Cardinals beat Rutgers on Thursday night, the next-rated 2-3 QBs all had really good games this week. Again, for the record, Bridgewater completed 21 of 31 passes for 310 yards and 2 scores in leading the unbeaten Cardinals to a sloppy 24-10 win overunranked Rutgers in which Bridgewater had a pick, was sacked twice and lost a fumble. Meanwhile, Oregon redshirt sophomore Marcus Mariota his on 24 of 31 passes for 366 yards and 3 scores and ran for 88 yards and another TD in the Ducks' 45-24 win at #16 Washington, while UCLA redshirt soph Brett Hundley completed 31of 41 passes for 410 yards and 3 TDs in the Bruins'37-10 win over California. And rising Oregon State star Sean Mannion certainly didn't hurt his stock when he threw for 493 yards on 34 for 51 passing including 4 TD throws in the Beavers 52-24 win at Washington State.
    October 11
  • (12:01 AM): Giants stick to model to keep 1st pick ... Going into tonight's game in Chicago the Giants had a net minus-13 turnovers in just 5 games, easily the #1 reason the team was 0-5 and went into the week sitting on the #1 pick in the 2014 draft were it to be held today. And the Giants pretty much stuck to the formula enroute to yet another loss this time 27-21 to the Bears. New York QB Eli Manning had two of his first 5 passes intercepted, one of which Chicago returned for a TD that turned out to be the difference on the scoreboard, and then had a third picked off with less than two minutes to play and the Giants deep in Chicago territory driving for a potential winning score. As a result, the Giants drop to minus-16 in turnovers and 0-6 in the win-loss column and will hold onto the first pick for at least another week.
    October 10
  • Rook award stays with AFC East ... For the fourth time in the first 5 weeks of the schedule, the GBN Rookie of the Week award goes to a player from the AFC East. Here are all the details in this week's Rookie Report of the season.
  • Young Frog DE could miss rest of year … TCU sophomore DE Devonte Fields, one of the best young defensive players in college football, reportedly will have surgery to repair a nagging foot injury and likely will miss the rest of the year. If he does not play again this fall, Fields could get a medical redshirt to preserve a year of eligibility, although its likely that he‘ll be headed to the NFL sooner than that, possibly as early as 2015. After racking up 10 sacks as a true freshman last fall, but was suspended for the first two games of the season for a violation of team rules.
    October 9
  • (12:01 AM): The best ever maybe … Prior to the start of the season the consensus around the NFL scouting community was that the 2014 draft would feature a good, but not necessarily exceptional QB crop. However, with the college still not yet at the mid-way point there are whispers about that this could actually be one of the better years at the position. That’s one of the themes in the latest edition of the Scouts Notebook. For the record, here is the first in-season GBN ranking of this year’s QB prospects, along with the RBs and FBs.
  • Panthers get #7 pick for LB Beason … Sources in both New York and Carolina are indicating that the Panthers will get a 7th round pick in 2014 from the Giants in exchange for veteran LB Jon Beason who was sent to the Giants earlier this week.
  • Put me in coach … really … In the wake of the media furor (also see this week’s Scouts Notebook) over the fact that South Carolina DE Jadevon Clowney opted to sit out last weekend’s game at Kentucky, he is stating publicly this week that he is committed to the program and will complete the season. However, that may not include this weekend’s game at Arkansas as Clowney is currently listed as questionable because of that rib injury. There had been some speculation that Clowney might be close to tanking the season to get ready for the draft. In particular, Clowney may want to get healthy as he has been slowed by bone spurs in one of his feet which will require surgery once his season is done.
  • A&M DT lost for year … TexasA&M Kirby Ennis will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL; the 6-3, 300-pound Ennis is considered to be a late round or free agent prospect for the 2014 draft.
    October 8
  • (9:00 AM): Star SC WR dinged again … Southern California junior WR Marqise Lee, the top-rated wideout for the 2014 draft, is listed as ‘day-to-day’ with a sprained knee and is considered unlikely toplay when the Trojans play Arizona on Thursday night. The injury is being described as minor, but may raise a red flag or two for pro scouts as it’s the third ‘minor’ injury that Lee, who isn’t all that big at around 190 pounds, has suffered this year. Lee missed time with a bruised shoulder suffered during fall training camp and then was slowed by a sprained ankle late last month. The good news for USC is that RB Silas Redd will reportedly finally be in uniform this week. Redd injured a knee last year and is back after undergoing two surgical procedures.
  • Canes big OT suspended for game … Miami OT Seantrel Henderson did not play in Saturday’s win over Georgia Tech after he was suspended for a game for one of those ubiquitous violation of team rules. Henderson will be back at practice this week and is expected to play when the unbeaten Hurricanes play at North Carolina a week Thursday. For the record, this week’s suspension was the third of Henderson’s career. Once the #1 recruit in the country, Henderson is only considered to be a mid-round prospect.
    October 7
  • (9:00 AM): Top TE leaves school … In something of a surprise move, Oregon junior TE Colt Lyerla, one of the top 2-3 prospects at the position for the 2014 draft, has left school for what are cited ass ’personal reasons.’ Lyerla did not travel with the Ducks to their game at Colorado this past Saturday after he was suspended for what was described as a violation of team rules. In fact, it has been a trying season as Lyerla was involved in public disagreement with Ducks’ head coach Mark Helfrich after he missed the Ducks' game against Tennessee with an illness. Lyerla complained publicly after Helfrich described his absence because of ‘circumstances’ though the TE later apologized. Lyerla was also reprimanded earlier this summer when he posted some conspiracy type comments about the Sandy Hook shooting tragedy. Lyerla has another year of eligibility, but apparently has already decided that he will be entering the upcoming draft. He’s a very athletic TE with considerable upside, but has never been all that productive on the field. And, of course, the off-field personal issues are going to have a lot of NFL teams doing extra due diligence on his maturity and stability.
    October 6
  • Top D prospect sits league game … South Carolina junior DE Jadeveon Clowney, one of the top 2-3 defensive prospects for the 2014 draft, did not play in Saturday night’s win over Kentucky because of bruised ribs. Clowney missed practice on Thursday with the injury and hoped to play this weekend but came out without his pads on prior to kick-off. Clowney, who entered the season as the consensus top-rated player at any position for the upcoming draft after he posted 13 sacks in 2012, has been bothered by assorted injuries and illness throughout the season including bone spurs in his right foot, and has just two sacks to date.
    October 5
  • (12:01 AM): On further review Tech CB won’t play yet … After receiving medical clearance earlier in the week to return to action this weekend, Virginia Tech CB Antone Exum apparently has decided he needs at least another week on the sidelines. Exum, a potential second-day pick at the 2014 draft, tore an ACL playing pickup basketball over the winter.
  • Bills, Browns out starting QBs … Cleveland and Buffalo both lost their starting QBs during Thursday night’s 37-24 win by the Browns. In fact, Cleveland’s Brian Hoyer is out for the rest of the season after tearing an ACL during the game. Hoyer was replaced by former starter Brandon Weeden who led the Browns to the win, but has struggled in the past. And no there is no truth to the rumor that Cleveland had acquired Matt Schaub from Houston. Reports did surface on the internet that such a trade had taken place, but turns out it was hackers. Meanwhile, Buffalo will be without rookie starter EJ Manuel for 2-3 weeks after he suffered a sprained LCL when hit along the sidelines. Manuel will be replaced by Jeff Tuel, an undrafted rookie free agent who really struggled after replacing Manuel against the Browns.
  • Utah State QB Keeton dinged … Utah State junior QB Chuckie Keeton suffered what could be a potentially serious leg injury early in Friday night’s game against BYU. Keeton was taken out with what appeared to be a left leg injury. His leg was wrapped and had ice put on it before taken to receive an MRI. It would seem as though Keeton’s night is done before the end of the first quarter, but now the question is just how severe the injury is and when he might be able to return to the help the Aggies.
    October 4
  • (9:00 AM): Giants close to deal for vet Panthers' LB ... The New York Giants have reportedly acquired former 3-time Pro Bowl LB Jon Beason for waht is being described as a late-round draft pick. The deal is contingent on Beason passing a physical with the Giants later today; however, while the physical is usually rather perfunctory nothing is given with Beason who has had multiple injuries over the past couple of years including microfracture srgery on a knee that is still nowhere near 100%. However, the Giants are desperate for help at LB after free agent signee Dan Connor was injured. Ironically, Beason lost his starting role in Carolina to former Giants Chase Backburn whom the Giants opted not to resign this off-season. Stay tuned.
  • Bonus coverage ... Speaking of heading west, the Friday night college schedule features a couple of interesting games as BYU plays at Utah State at 8 PM ET on CBS Sports Network, while San Diego State hosts Nevada at 9 PM ET on ESPN. The first game features a legitimate first round prospect in disruptive BYU OLB Kyle Van Noy (#3, 6-3, 235), while the Cougars expect to have WR Cody Hoffman (#2, 6-3, 21) back in the line-up after he sat out last week for disciplinary reasons. Meanwhile, it will be the third week in a row on national TV for Utah State and star junior QB Chuckie Keeton (#16, 6-2, 200), while USU C Travis Larsen (#58, 6-3, 315) is a decent late round prospect. The second game doesn't have quite the same level of draft talent, although Nevada junior DE Brock Hekking (#53, 6-3, 255) is an emerging edge rush prospect.
    October 3
  • Thursday nighter has draft implications … When the NFL schedule originally came out it appeared that Thursday night’s NFL Network game between Buffalo and Cleveland would have a major impact on the ultimate selection order for the 2014 draft as both teams were considered strong possibilities to end up with top 5 picks. Indeed, it looked like Cleveland had their sights on the top pick overall when the Browns traded RB Trent Richardson to Indianapolis two weeks ago. However, the Browns have won both their games since, including last Sunday’s upset win over division rival Cincinnati which evened their record at 2-2. Meanwhile, Buffalo is also 2-2 after shocking defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore last weekend. As a result, the winner of tonight’s game may have already played themselves out of a lottery pick, although Cleveland, which still needs a big-time QB, could still be in position to trade up into range to get one of this year’s top QB prospects as the Browns have a second #1 pick after getting Indianapolis’ top pick in the deal for Richardson.
  • Bonus coverage … For those that can’t sleep after tonight’s NFL game - and have a good cable package - there’s a pretty good chance to check out a couple of the top prospects for the 2014 draft when UCLA plays at Utah on Fox Sports 1. In fact, UCLA has a couple of potential top 5 prospects in redshirt sophomore QB Brett Hundley (#17, 6-3, 225) and OLB Anthony Barr (#11, 6-3, 245).
    October 2
  • (8:00 PM): Top safety suspended ... Alabama junior Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, the top-rated safety for the 2014 darft, has been suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules. As a result, Clinton-Dix won't play when top-ranked Alabama plays FCS Georgia State on Saturday in what should be a cakewalk for the two-time national champs. Whether the suspension extends past this weekend will give a better idea of the seriousness of Clinton-Dix' indisretion.
  • (1:00 PM): Trade updates .... Sources in Jacksonville are now reporting that the Jaguars will get 4th and 5th round picks at the 2014 draft from Baltimore in exchange for veteran LT Eugene Monroe, although final confirmation of the deal is still pending the formal physical that Moore will be required to undergo with the Ravens later today or tomorrow. The 26-year-old Monroe was the 8th player selected at the 2009 draft. With the departure of Monroe, the 0-4 Jaguars are expected to shift rookie OT Luke Joeckel, the second player selected at the 2013 draft, from RT into Monroe’s old spot at LT. As well, the Jaguars may not been done dealing veterans as RB Maurice Drew-Jones, TE Mercedes Lewis and even LB Paul Poluszny could also be dealt before the October 30th trade deadline. In fact, if the current report is confirmed the Jags would have ten picks at the upcoming draft including three 5th rounders - they also have a 5th from Detroit for WR Mike Thomas - and an extra fourth, along with their regular complement of picks. Meanwhile,sources in Pittsburgh are confirming that the Steelers have acquired veteran LT Levi Brown from Arizona in exchange for an undisclosed late round selection this year. Brown was the 5th player selected at the 2007 draft, athough he never lived up to expectations. With these deals the GBN Trade Mart has been updated.
  • Bucs shopping vet QB ... Tampa Bay is reportedly shopping QB Josh Freeman after he was replaced as the team’s starter by rookie Mike Glennon. Reports from Tampa Bay indicate however that the Bucs haven’t exactly been bowled over by offers for Freeman. As well, Freeman has asked the Buccaneers to simply release, which they may ultimately do but likely not until they have fully explored the trade option. Of course, the whole situation is further complicated by the fact that it was leaked that Freeman is in the league's substance abuse program, although the player later indicated that he inadvertently took the wrong drug for his ADHD condition. Stay tuned.
  • (12:01 AM): Tech CB cleared to play; other college injury updates … Virginia Tech has confirmed that senior CB Antone Exum has been cleared to return to action as early as this week when the Hokies play North Carolina. Exum, who had been considered to be a solid second-day prospect for the 2014 draft, tore his ACL in pickup basketball in January and has been rehabbing since ... Oregon junior RB/WR Oregon De'Anthony Thomas has been ruled out of Saturday's game in Colorado after spraining an ankle on the opening KO of last Saturday's game against Cal. While the injury is not believed to be serious enough to impact Thomas’ draft status, he is currently in a walking boot, but hopes to return the following week ... There are conflicting reports whether Wisconsin redshirt sophomore RB Melvin Gordon, potentially the top-rated prospect for the upcoming draft, will be available for the for the Badgers’ next game in two weeks against Northwestern. Gordon, who was forced out of last week’s loss at Ohio State with a tweaked knee, is officially listed as questionable for the game, but coach Gary Anderson expects him to be ready. Wisconsin also hopes to get back TE Jacob Pedersen, who has missed the past several weeks with a knee injury that appears to be more nagging than serious … Florida DT Dominique Easley has indicated that he will not be seeking an extra year of college eligibility and will be making himself available for the 2014 draft. Easley, who was also considered to be a second-day prospect for the upcoming draft, tore an ACL last, would have been eligible for a medical redshirt, but has apparently opted to take his chances with the NFL, although its unlikely he will be able to do a full workout prior to the draft. One reason that Easley has decided to turn pro this winter is that this is in fact the second torn ACL he’s suffered in the past three years. Meanwhile, the Gators have indicated that WR Andre Debose, who is also out for the year following ACL surgery, has not yet decided whether to petition the NCAA for a 6th year of eligibility that would allow him to play next season.
    September 30
  • (12:01 AM): Winless ranks drop by two … The number of winless teams in the NFL was reduced from 6 to just 4 this weekend as both Washington and Minnesota got their initial wins of the season leaving Jacksonville, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay and the Giants still looking for their first ’W’ of the year. And no it is not a misprint, but if the 2014 draft were held this week, the Giants and Steelers, who between them won four of the past 8 Super Bowls, would have the first and second picks overall respectively. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay and Jacksonville would pick 3rd and 4th respectively based on their opponents‘ collective winning percentage. As noted several times to date, its still a ad early to start posting the full, updated selection order for the 2014 draft, but give it another week or two.
  • College injury update … Ohio State safety Christian Bryant will reportedly miss the rest of the year after he broke an ankle in Saturday’s win over Wisconsin. Bryant had been considered to be a mid-to-late round prospect for the 2014 draft. Meanwhile, Louisiana-Monroe QB Kolton Browning will likely miss the rest of the season because of a torn quad muscle he suffered against Tulane this past Saturday.
    September 29
  • (9:00 AM): Kiffin out; Lee hurt in blowout USC loss ... The big news after Southern California's dismal 62-41 loss at Arizona State late last night was that embattled Trojans' head coach Lane Kiffin has been fired. The bigger news, though, may be that star junior USC WR Marqise Lee, a top 10 prospect for the 2014 draft, was carted off the field late in the game with a knee injury. Lee, who had become USC's all-time leading receiver earlier in the game, will undergho further tests later today, but the talk around the Trojans' bench after the injury was that it didn not look 'good'. Lee wasn't the only top Pac-10 junior WR to get bangd up this late last night as Oregon's De'Anthony Thomas was hurt on the opening kick-off of the Ducks' rout over Washington State and spent the rest of the night watching on crutches from the sidelines. Meanwhile, Wisconsin redshirt sophomore RB Melvin Gordon, who was emerged as the top prospect at that position for the upcoming draft, was also injurd in the Badgers' tough 31-24 loss at 4th ranked Ohio State. Gordon landed awkwardly after a tackle and appeared to bang a knee. He was walking under his own power on the sidelines, but did not return to the game.
  • Draft order games lowlite pro sked ... At least one winless team entering the weekend will get their first 'W' of the season as 0-3 Pittsburgh plays at 0-3 Minnesota in one of today's early games. Meanwhile, Jacksonville, which remains the presumptive favorite to end up with the #1 pick at the 2014 draft, goes after its initial win of the year when the Jaguars host Indianapolis in another early game. Same for the 0-3 Giants who will be in Kansas City looking for their first win of the year, while 0-3 Tampa Bay will host Arizona again in early games. Then at 4:25 this afternoon, Washington plays at Oakland in another key early season at least as far as the potential draft order for 2014 is concerned. The Washthings are the 6th team looking for their 1st win of the year, while Oakland is 1-2, but is considered to be one of several struggling teams that could end up with a very early pick this year.
    September 28
  • (9:00 PM): Star Coug WR to sit game … BYU WR Cody Hoffman was suspended from the Cougars' game Friday night against Middle Tennessee for violating one of those team rules. And at BYU one doesn’t have to do much to get suspended. Senior LB Spencer Hadley, for example, was suspended for at least 5 games earlier this season pictures of him drinking and partying in Las Vegas were circulated. For most college kids that sounds like Friday night, but at BYU, with its strict honor code, that’s a violation that will have a pro prospect scrambling to answer for at pre-draft testing. Hoffman, who leads all active FBS receivers in career receiving touchdowns with 28 and ranks third in both career receptions with 213 and career receiving yardage with 2,889, is considered to be a solid second-tier prospect for the upcoming draft.
  • SJS CB carted off field during loss to Aggies … San Jose State CB Bene Benwikere, a potential second-day prospect at the 2014 draft who entered the week 3rd nationally in pass breakups, was carted off the field with a head or neck injury that occurred while making a tackle in last night’s 40-14 loss to Utah State. Bewikere reportedly had movement in his extremities as he left the field, but remained in hospital overnight for precautionary reasons.
    September 27
  • September 25
  • (6:30 PM): Tweak turns to tear for Gators DT ... As feared, Florida DT Dominique Easley did in fact tear an ACL in a non-contact drill in practice earlier in the week and will miss the rest of the season. Easley, a quick, but small interior defender who likely will have to play as a 5-tech 3-4 DE at the next level, had been considered to be a mid-round prospect for the upcoming draft, but needless to say his status is now very much up in the air. If there is a positive for Easley, who tore the ACL in his other knee in 2011 and was just getting back to close to 100% from that injury, its that the injury happened early enogh that he might be able to participate in some way in pre-draft testing this spring.
  • Then there were three ... Speaking of first-year QBs, winless Tampa Bay has benched starting QB Josh Freeman and will replace him with rookie Mike Glennon, the former North Carolina State star who was the Buccaneers' 3rd round pick at the 2013. Meanwhile, Minnesota, another one of this year's 6 remaining winless teams could also have a change at QB this coming weekend as incumbent starter Christian Ponder has a rib injury. If he can't go when the Vikings are scheduled to play Pittsburgh, yet another of this year's winless teams, in London on Sunday, Ponder would be replaced by veteran Matt Cassell.
    September 23
  • (9:00 AM): Jags do it right … There was never much doubt that Seattle would pose a threat to Jacksonville’s path to the #1 pick at the 2014 draft, but the Jaguars left nothing to chance as they trailed 24-0 at the half, and 38-7 late into the 3rd period, enroute to a 45-17 loss that saw their record drop to 0-3. If there is a silver lining for the Jaguars its that they actually scored 17 points, albeit late in the game long after the issue was decided, against the NFL’s best defense. On the other hand, the Cleveland Browns obviously didn’t get the memo that the organization had opted to tank the season in the hopes of ending up with one of the top QB prospects at the 2014 draft when they traded away RB Terry Richardson last week. Instead, the Browns went out and shocked the Vikings 31-27 right in Minnesota with journeyman QB Bobby Hoyer at the helm. Meanwhile, other teams falling to 0-3 this week include Washington, Minnesota, Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh and the Giants. And yes it is just a tad early to start posting the updated draft order for 2014, but give it a couple of weeks.
  • Good news for ‘Canes’ QB … Miami QB Stephon Morris, who many analysts consider to be the top senior prospect at the position for the 2014 draft, is expected to a go when the Hurricanes host South Florida this coming weekend. Morris suffered what is being described as a bone bruise on his ankle early in Miami’s romp over FCS Savannah State this past weekend, but there were concerns at the time that he might have sprained an ankle which could potentially be a more serious injury.
  • Top MWC receiver out indefinitely … San Jose State WR Noel Grigsby, the current NCAA active leading receiver, is out indefinitely after injuring a knee in practice last week. The 5-10, 175-pound Grigsby, who was considered to be a mid-to-late round prospect for the 2014 draft, had 82 catches for over 1,300 yards last fall.
  • Top FCS QB out for awhile … Montana State has confirmed that veteran QB Denarius McGhee will not play again until at least the middle of October as he continues to rehab from a separated shoulder suffered earlier this month. While not overly tall at barely 6-0, the athletic McGhee, who had started 40 straight games prior to the injury, is considered to be one of the top 4-5 lower level prospects at the position.
    September 21
  • Noles’ LB suspended for game … Florida State OLB Christian Jones, one of the top prospects at the position for the 2014 draft, has been suspended from Saturday night's ‘huge’ game against Bethune-Cookman, for a violation of team rules.
    September 20
  • (12:01 AM): To QB as easy as 1-2-3 ... The 2014 draft wasn't supposed to be a real strong year at the skill positions, including QB, but the emergence of several impressive underclassmen may have NFL teams rethinking that consensus. That's the focus of this week's edition of the Scout's Notebook.
    September 19
  • (7:00 PM): Browns trade RB Richardson to Colts ... In something of a shocker, Cleveland has traded RB Trent Richardson, the 4th player selected at the 2012 draft, to Indianapolis for the Colts first round pick this coming draft year. In dumping Richardson and acquiring a second opening round pick this year, the 0-2 Browns appear to positioning themselves to get one of the top QBs at the 2014 draft. Stay tuned.
  • Buckeye duo return in prospect roundup … Ohio State junior QB Ohio Braxton Miller has returned to practice and is listed as probable for the team’s game this weekend against Florida A&M. Miller sprained the MCL in his left knee early in Ohio State’s season opening win against San Diego State and has not played since. Meanwhile, OSU senior Carlos Hyde is also reportedly back on the team after sitting out a three-game suspension to start the season. Hyde, who had been considered to be a potential mid-round prospect this year, was suspended earlier this summer when he was charged with assault after a brief altercation with a young women at a Columbus bar in July. Hyde was eventually cleared of all charges, but was still suspended for the 3 games. Meanwhile, BYU senior LB Spencer Hadley has been suspended indefinitely by the team for a reported violation of the school’s strict honor code which among other things forbids the use of alcohol and drugs as well as engaging in premarital sex. The 6-0, 230-pound Hadley, who had 55 tackles in 2012 including 3.5 sacks and 5.5 other tackles for loss, will reportedly miss at least 5 games at which time his case will be reviewed. Hadley is considered to be a second-tier prospect for the 2014 draft who likely will have to find his way to the NFL as a free agent. At the same time, Rutgers senior LB Jamal Merrell remains sidelined by what is being described as a kidney issue. If healthy, the 6-3, 225-pound Merrell, who runs well and had 83 tackles in 2012, could be something of a late-round sleeper at the upcoming draft. Rutgers hopes to have him back for the start of their conference schedule early next month.
    September 15
  • (11:00 AM): Top DE has foot issue … South Carolina junior DE Jadevon Clowney, who is projected to be one of the top 2-3 picks at the 2014 draft, was in a walking boot after the Gamecocks’ 35-25 win against Vanderbilt yesterday. In fact, Clowney was in the walking boot all week prior to the game outside of practice as he deals with what he is describing as ’painful’ bone spurs on his right foot. For now, Clowney says intends to play through the injury and have it cleaned out after the season. Clowney, who was bothered by the same condition last season although not a severely, has 10 tackles and 2 sacks through USC’s first three games after posting 13.5 sacks last season.
    September 13
  • (9:00 AM AM): Vols DT ruled ineligible … Tennessee DT Mo Couch has been deemed ineligible by the school. The 6-2, 300-pound Couch is only a back-up with the Vols, but had been considered a potential late-round or free agent type of prospect for the 2014 draft. Couch is the only active player to be linked to the latent improper benefit scnadal that has rocked the SEC. Couch is allegedly accepted a total of $1,350 from a former Alabama player who had reportedly been serving as a middleman between NFL agents and top players around the SEC. Stay tuned.
  • Rooks on waiver wire … New England has claimed DT Chris Jones off waivers from Tampa Bay. Jones was originally a 7th round pick by Houston at the 2013 darft, but was released prior to the seaon and signed by the Buccaneers. The Patriots made room on the roster for Jones by releasing undrafted rookie free agent C/G Josh Kline. Meanwhile, Houston placed OT David Quissenberry, a 6th round pick this year, on injured reserve. Meanwhile, Buffalo has promoted undrafted rookie free agent CB Johnnie Adams from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. The former Michigan State star had stints with both Houston and Indianapolis before landing with the Bills.
    September 8
  • (12:01 AM): Are you ready for some football!!! Of course you are with the first full weekend of the 2013 NFL season set to continue later today. And while we think that predictions are usually best left to the gypsies, we'll take a shot at it with our annual Fearless NFL Forecast, as well as our first first-round projection for the 2014 draft of the fall to help folks wile away the hours until the early games kick-off.
  • Better day for Bucks' QBs ... Officials at Ohio State are breathing a little easier after it was announced that star junior QB Braxton Miller only suffered a sprained MCL in Saturday's win over San Diego State and could very well play when the Buckeyes head west to play California next weekend. Miller, a Heisman Trophy contender and possible top 100 pick at the 2014 draft if he opts to leave school early, was carted off the field and did not return to the game. Meanwhile, there is still no word on the extent of the gruesome leg injury suffered by Cincinnati QB Munchie Legaux other than that he will remain in a Chicago hospital overnight while he undergoes furthyer tests. At the same time, TCU QB Casey Pachall has already had surgery on his non-throwing arm and is expected to miss substantial playing time after injuring it in the Frogs game on Saturday.
    September 3
  • (12:01 A): Cowboys get sort of rookie LB for future pick … Dallas has acquired OLB Caesar Rayford from Indianapolis in exchange for a conditional pick in 2015. For those that have never heard of Rayford you are not alone; he’s a 27-year-old edge rusher who was not signed as an undrafted free agent after he graduated from Washington in 2007 and went on to stops in the CFL and arena league since. Rayford, who is listed at a stork-like 6-8, 265 did lead the entire NFL with 5 sacks this pre-season. Meanwhile, Indianapolis has unceremoniously released FS John Boyett, a 6th round pick at the 2013 draft, after he was charged with disorderly conduct, public intoxication and resisting law enforcement during an altercation with police earlier this week. Boyett had been placed on the non-football injury list earlier this summer as he continued to rehab from two knee surgeries that ended his college career at Oregon prematurely last fall.
  • Tide WR retires; returns in same day … Alabama WR Kenny Bell has apparently had a change of heart and will be back at practice with the Tide later today after announcing that he was giving up football. Bell, one of Alabama’s big-play threats at WR who averaged over 25 yards per catch on 17 total receptions last fall, was considered to be a late-round or more likely free agent prospect for the 2014 draft.
    September 2
  • (7:00 PM): Dallas has acquired a conditional seventh round pick at the 2014 draft from Chicago in exchange for TE Dante Rosario. Meanwhile, Chicago also claimed DE David Bass, a 2013 7th round pick by Oakland who was released over the weekend. In another deal, San Francisco has acquired a conditional 7th round pick from Indianapolis in a deal for LB Cam Johnson. Johnson, a 7th round pick in the 2012 draft who did not play much last fall, Johnson, a 2012 seventh-round draft pick, had two sacks and blocked a punt that he recovered for a touchdown in Thursday's exhibition win at San Diego, but got caught up in the numbers game when the 49ers claimed WR Chris Harper, a 4th round pick this past April, from Seattle.
  • Top SEC QB listed as doubtful … Mississippi State QB Tyler Russell, who some scouts regard as the best pure pocket passer in the 2014 draft class, is being listed as doubtful for the Bulldogs home opener next weekend against Alcorn State after he suffered a head injury last weekend against Oklahoma State.
  • (11:00 AM): 49ers ink top cut ... The fun and games in the very competitive NFC West took an interesting turn this morning when San Francisco signed WR Chris Harper off the Seattle practice squad. Harper had been the Seahawks 4th round pick at the 2013 draft and was the highest player chosen at this past April's draft to be released as teams got down to Saturday's 53-man roster limit. In fact, he was the only player selected in the first four rounds to be released prior to the deadline, although Oakland has since released QB Tyler Wilson, who was selected 9 picks ahead of Harper in this year's 4th round.
  • (12:01 AM): The 2013 draft by the numbers … Its hardly an exact science, but the results for the 2013 draft class to date have been almost record-setting in terms of the number of rookies, both draft picks and undrafted free agents, that made an NFL roster over the weekend. Here’s a quick overview of some of the key results from this weekend’s roster transactions.
  • Dawgs WR out for year with ACL … The news didn’t get any better for Georgia on Sunday after the Bulldogs tough 38-35 opening night loss at Clemson as it was learned that emerging junior WR Malcolm Mitchell tore his ACL and will miss the rest of the season. What makes the injury even harder to take is that it occurred while doing the old ‘leap-and-bump’ TD celebration after a Georgia score. Mitchell, one of the most versatile athletes in the country, had been considered a potential early second-day prospect were he to enter the 2014 draft, but appear destined to return to school next fall. In fact, Mitchell has yet to red shirt and will have two years of eligibility remaining beginning next fall.
  • Draft picks on the wire … Even though NFL teams cut their rosters down to the 53-man opening day limit over the weekend, many have continued tinkering with their lineups. Oakland, for example, released QB Tyler Wilson, a 4th round pick this year, to clear up a spot on the roster. In fact, Wilson, who was taken with the 112th pick this year, becomes the highest drafted player this past April to be released. Meanwhile, Indianapolis also released RB Kerwynn Williams, a 7th round pick this year, while Tampa Bay claimed DT Chris Jones, a 6th round pick released by Houston, and Kansas City claimed DB Marcus Cooper, a 7th rounder released by San Francisco.
    September 1
  • (4:00 PM): Cowboys make pair of late trades … Dallas has acquired veteran LB Edgar Jones and a 7th round pick at the 2014 draft from Kansas City in exchange for the Cowboys’ sixth-round pick this coming May. Dallas also acquired a 7th round pick in 2015 from San Diego in exchange for veteran DT Sean Lissemore.
    August 31
  • (12:01 AM): Final cut listed … It took awhile, but we finally got all the cuts from today’s roster moves as NFL teams got down to the opening day 53-man roster limit. Teams will then be able to sign their 8-man practice squads after players released today clear waivers tomorrow afternoon. A couple of preliminary observations from today’s moves: by our unofficial count, fewer than 30 players selected at the 2013 draft were released this week; that’s a significantly lower number than in recent years. In fact, almost as many players drafted this year were placed on a reserve list as were released. We’ll have a full breakdown of these numbers once we get them confirmed in the next day or so.
  • Jax gets late pick for DT … There was only one trade in Saturday’s roster moves as Jacksonville acquired an undisclosed late round pick from Seattle for D’Anthony Smith. The Jaguars had originally had Smith on their list of players to be released this weekend, but opted to make the deal when the Seahawks came calling.
  • Top CB sits opener … Florida junior CB Loucheiz Purifoy, one of the top 2-3 prospects at the position for the 2014 draft, was one of 5 Gators to be suspended from the team’s season opener against Toledo on Saturday for breaking team rules. Purifoy was arrested this past winter for misdemeanor possession of marijuana, but those charges were dropped and are not believed to be related to the current suspension. Meanwhile, Penn State junior WR Allen Robinson did not play in the first half of the team’s 23-17 win over Syracuse for undisclosed disciplinary reasons. Robinson, a potential first round pick, then came off the bench to catch 7 passes for 133 yards, including a 51-yard TD, to help the Nittany Lions hold off the Orange. On the other hand, Georgia junior WR Malcolm Mitchell was in uniform when the Bulldogs kicked of against Clemson, but spent most of the evening on the sidelines with an ice bag on his knee after suffering an undisclosed injury early in the contest.
  • (9:00 AM): Final cuts coming ... The deadline for NFL teams to get down to their opening day 53-man roster is 6 PM ET later today. Some teams have already made some cuts with Buffalo and Jacksonville basically at the limit already, however, something in the neighborhood of 500 players still have to be released by the dinner hour today. As usual we’ll be tracking all this weekend’s roster moves.
  • Top CB to sit opener … Florida junior CB Loucheiz Purifoy, one of the top 2-3 prospects at the position for the 2014 draft, is one of 5 Gators to be suspended from the team’s season opener against Toledo later today for breaking team rules. Purifoy was arrested this past winter for misdemeanor possession of marijuana, but those charges were dropped and are not believed to be related to the current suspension.
    August 30
  • (3:00 PM): Cards IR top pick ... Arizona has placed OG Jonathan Cooper, the 7th player selected at the 2013 draft, on season-ending injured reserve because of a fractured leg sufferde during a pre-season game earlier this month. The Cardinals also released 13 players including undrafted rookie free agent WRs Dan Buckner and Charles Hawkins and C Adam Bice.
  • (2:00 PM): Eagles IR, cut 7th rounders ... Philadelphia got the ball rolling as NFL teams get down to the serious business of paring their rosters to the opening-day 53-man limit. All teams must be down to that number by 6 PM ET Saturday. The Eagles placed DE Joe Kruer, a 7th round pick this year on IR and released a dozen other players including DE David King, another 7th round pick this past April. The Eagles still have to make 9 roster moves to get to tomoorrow's limit.
  • Top TE to miss college opener … Washington junior TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, arguably the top prospect at the position for the 2014 draft, has been suspended for Saturday season-opener against Boise State as a result of a DUI charge in March. Earlier this summer Seferian-Jenkins spent a day in jail for the offense. That’s the bad news for Seferian-Jenkins; the good is that he was actually medically cleared to play in the opener against the Broncos after fracturing a pinkie finger in August.
    August 29
  • 49ers IR top UDFA … San Francisco has placed undrafted rookie free agent DE Lawrence Okoye on injured reserve with a knee injury. Okoye is the former British track star - he holds the national record in the discus and was a finalist at the 2012 Olympics - with intriguing physical skills, but who had never played football until this summer whom the 49er signed after this spring’s draft.
    August 28
  • (4:30 PM): Johnny Football suspended ... for a half!! Texas A&M sophomore QB Johnny Manziel, the first freshman ever to win the Heisman Trophy, has been grounded by the NCAA for the 1st half of the Aggies' season opener this weekend against Rice. The NCAA had been investigating Manziel for weeks in the wake of published reports that he had accepted large sums of money for signing autographs and other football memorobilia. However, it does not appear as if the NCAA was able to find the smoking gun that proved Manziel had indeed received anything directly for his services so suspended him for signing a large number of items knowing the the person he was signing them for would sell them for profit. So there! As noted earlier, while not a prototype NFL QB, Manziel has already indicated that this will be his last year in college football and that he will be entering the 2014 NFL draft this winter.
  • (12:01 AM): The Turk has come and gone ....for now NFL teams got down to the league's initial 75-man roster limit yesterday afternoon, but the really heavy lifting comes later this week when teams have to be get down to their 53-man opening day rosters. That deadline is Saturday at 6 PM ET. Interesting that through the firt round of cutsonly one player selected at the 2013 draft - Kansas City FB Braden Wilson, a 6th round pick this past April - was released. At the same time, though, a total of 14 draftees were placed on either injured reserve or the PUP list. That included three San Francisco picks - second round DE Tank Carradine, 4th round RB Marcus Lattimore and 5th round DE Quinton Dial - who were placed on IR, while Seattle placed a pair of 5th rounders - DT Jesse Williams and CB Tharold Simon - on injured reserve and PUP respectively.
    August 27
  • (10:00 AM): NCAA grills Heisman winner ... Texas A&M sophomore QB Johnny Manziel, the 2012 Heisman Trophy wnner, remains in the crosshairs of the NCAA over his alleged involvement in a scheme in which he reportedly received payment for signed autographs and other football memorobilia. Manziel was reportedly interviewed for over 6 hours by investigators from the NCAA yesterday. If it were found that Manziel had accepted the money he would almost assuredly be suspended, likely for the rest of the year. Most analysts believe though that the NCAA doesn't have any concrete evidence of any wrongdoing other than the original media reports and may be trying to scare Texas A&M into declaring Manziel ineligible themselves with the fear that the Aggies would have to forfeit any wins in which Manziel played this year if he were declared to be ineligible by the NCAA later this fall. Whatever happens the case it also appears that Manziel already intends to enter the 2014 draft, although its not clear just how he'll be evalated by pro scouts as he isn't that tall at barely 6-0 and doesn't have protype arm strength. Stay tuned.
  • (9:30 AM): Saints get vet LB from 49ers for late pick ... New Orleans has reportedly acquired veteran OLB Parys Haralson from San Francisco for what is believed to be a 7th round pick at the 2014 draft. The terms of the deal are expected to be released after Haralson passes a physical with the 49ers later today. If the deal is confirmed it would give the 49ers a second extra 7th rounder this coming May as they had earlier acquired a pick in the round from Carolina for safety Colin Jones. Meanwhile, Haralson is expected to try and help fill the vacancy on the Saints' defense that opened up when veteran OLB Will Smith was lost for the year.
    August 26
  • (2:00 PM): Seahawks IR 5th rounder ... Seattle has placed DT Jesse Williams, the team's 5th round pick at the 2013 draft, on injured reserve. Williams, was considered to be a potential late first round prospect this past spring, but his stock slipped because of concerns about a knee that is still bothering him.
  • (9:00 AM): Steelers IR late pick ... Pittsburgh got down to this week's 75-man roster limit by releasing 13 players, while veteran LB Sean Spence was placed on the PUP list and DE Nick Williams, a 7th round pick this past April, went on IR.
  • (10:00 AM): Top picks dinged ... Arizona rookie OG Jonathan Cooper, the 7th player selected at the 2013 draft, could miss the entire season after he broke his leg in last night's pre-season loss to San Diego. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh OLB Jarvis Jones was hospitalized with an undisclosed chest injury after he was tackled following an interception in the final quarter of the Steelers' overtime loss to Kansas City last night.
    August 22
  • (12:01 AM): Top star game releases watch list ... The Senior Bowl has announced its pre-season watch list of prospects for this year's game which is scheduled for January 25th in Mobile. The 400 or so players on the watch list will be whittled down to just over 100 for this year's game. And its no surprise that the SEC leads all conferences with 72 players on the list including 10 from defending national champion Alabama, while Notre Dame and Ohio State have 8 each. And while the major BCS conferences dominate the list, there are also 65 players from outside the ranks of D1A schools including Eastern Illinois QB Jimmy Garopollo, Stony Brook RB Marcus Coker, DEs Larry Webster of Bloomsburg and Ethna Westbrooks of West Texas A&M and Lindenwood CB Pierre Desir. 
  • Steelers rook RB to miss extended time ... Pittsburgh rookie RB LeVeon Bell, the Steelers second round pick at this year's draft, could miss as much as the first 6 weeks of the regular schedule with a Lisfranc injury in his foot. The former Michigan State star who was selected with the 48th pick this past April, was projected to be the Steelers starter this fall. 
  • Charges against top Cb dropped ... The misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge that has dogged Ohio State junior CB Bradley Roby, one of the top prospects at the position for the 2014 draft, has been conditionally dismissed as long as he completes a diversion program and stays out of legal trouble over the next year. Roby was originally charged with assault after he allegedly became involved in a scuffle with bouncers at a night club in Bloomington, Indiana earlier this summer, although video evidence reportedly appeared to clear Roby of any kind of battery. However, Roby will still miss at least the Buckeyes' season opener later this month against Buffalo.
  • Star USC WR dinged again ... Just a couple of days after he declared himself 100% recovered from a bone bruise in his shoulder, Southern California junior WR Marqise Lee, a top 10 prospect for the 2014 draft, had to leave Wednesday's intrasquad game after again falling awkwardly on the shoulder. However, the indications are that the latest injury is not serious and Lee should be good to go when the Trojans open their season in Hawaii next Thursday night. Meanwhile, the prognosis is not so positive for USC RB Silas Redd who likely will not be ready to play next week. Redd, who led the Trojans in rushing last fall after transferring from Penn State, underwent surgery after suffering a knee injury during spring practice and is still not 100%.
    August 21
  • (12:01 AM) Saints make early cuts … NFL teams don’t have to be down to the 75-man roster limit until next Tuesday, but New Orleans got a jump on the rest of the league by releasing 8 players and placing another on injured reserve to get close to the limit at least for now. Included among the Saints’ cuts was former Stanford OLB Chase Thomas, who was rated as one of the top undrafted rookie free agents following the 2013 draft. Thomas wasn’t employed long, though, as he was claimed off waivers by Oakland. As usual, we’ll be tracking all the cuts over the next couple of weeks through the September 1st deadline for teams to get down to their season-opening 53-man rosters.
    August 19
  • (12:01 AM): Are you ready for some football ... With the start of the college football season now less than two weeks away,
    August 18
  • (9:00 AM): Vet Irish LB retires ... Notre Dame OLB Danny Spond, who likely would have got some looks as a late-round or free agent 3-4 outside backer in 2014, has decided to give up football because of an undisclosed medical reason. The 6-2, 250-pound Spond had 39 tackles in 2012 despite missing a couple of games because of numbness on one sideof his body. He was seen at practice earlier this week walking with a cane.
  • (12:01 AM): Top picks to miss rest of pre-season ... Buffalo rookie QB E.J. Manual will miss the final two weeks of the pre-season after undergoing a procedure on a knee following the Bills' pre-season game this week. Manual, the 16th player selected at this year's draft, appeared to be on the verge of earning the Bills' starting job to open the season following two strong pre-season outings. Meanwhile, Cleveland OLB Barkevious Mingo, the 6th player taken this past April, will also miss the team's final two games after he suffered a bruised lung the Browns' game this week.
  • Top CB prospect to sit opener … Ohio State junior CB Bradley Roby, one of the top prospects at the position for the 2014 draft, will miss at least the Buckeyes’ season opener as a result of an incident outside a bar in Bloomington, Indiana late last month. Roby was initially charged with misdemeanor battery, but the charge was reduced to disorderly conduct yesterday and could be dismissed if Roby completes a pretrial diversion program. Ohio State opens its season August 31st against Buffalo.
  • SEC DB gets the boot … Auburn has kicked starting DB Demetruce McNeal off the team just hours after he was arrested and charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana. The 6-1, 195 McNeal, who can play both FS and CB, was the Tigers’ leading returning tackler with 90 and was considered to be a late-round or free agent prospect for the 2014 draft.
  • UCF gets second-tier WR prospect … Central Florida has confirmed that WR Jackie Williams has transferred from Alabama-Birmingham. Williams had been considered to be a free-agent type prospect for the upcoming draft after catching 52 passes in 2012, but will be forced to sit out the 2013 season before completing his eligibility next fall. Williams was abruptly dismissed from the UAB program last week for undisclosed reasons, although the dismissal does not appear to have anything to do with his behavior.
    August 14
  • (12:01 AM): Top DE returns to practice … Just a day after a visibly miffed South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier hinted that he might not be in uniform when the Gamecocks open the season later this month, star junior DE Jadeveon Clowney, the presumptive favorite to be the first player selected at the 2014 draft, returned to practice on Tuesday. Clowney, who has been sidelined with a bruised shoulder after missing time last week with a slight knee injury, drew Spurrier’s ire yesterday when he wasn’t at practice at all. Whatever, none of this is going to do much to alleviate the one concern pro scouts have regarding Clowney and that relates to his overall conditioning and work ethic.
  • Leading TE prospect breaks finger … Washington junior TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, arguably the top rated player at the position for the 2014 draft, could be sidelined for an extended period after he broke a pinkie finger that will require surgery. The 6-6, 275-pound Seferian-Jenkins, who caught 69 passes in 2012, was already something of a question mark for the Huskies season opener because of an off-season DUI charge for which he was sentenced to a day in jail.
  • Redskins’ 4th rounder out for year … Washington FS Phillip Thomas, a 4th round pick a the 2013 draft who was in the mix to start this fall, will miss the upcoming season after he suffered a torn Lisfranc ligament in his foot. Thomas will undergo surgery and is expected to be out four to five months.
    August 11
  • (9:00 AM): Better news for dinged star USC WR ... Southern California officials are hbreathing a little easier today after x-rays revealed that star junior WR Marqise Lee, a potential top 5-10 pick at the 2014, only suffered a bone bruise when he landed awkwardly after catching a pass at practice late last week. There had been fears that Lee, who was carted off the field and was seen with his arm in a sling after practice, might be out for awhile, but is now being listed as day-to-day. Lee isn't all that big at a listed 6-0, 195 and lacks true sprinter speed, but is a silky smooth receiver who had a remarkable season in 2012 when he caught 118 passes for over 1,700 yards.
    August 9
  • (12:01 AM): Vols DE/LB out 4-6 weeks … Tennessee DE Jacques Smith, a second-tier prospect for the 2014 draft, will reportedly miss 4-6 weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a fractured thumb. The 6-2, 245-pound Smith, who had 33 tackles and 2 sacks last fall will play DE this season, but could also get looks as a 3-4 OLB next spring.
  • LSU OG dinged … Veteran LSU OG Josh Williford suffered a serious concussion during practice on Thursday which may put his football career in jeopardy. Williford, who missed the final 7 games of the 2012 season because of an earlier concussion, reportedly was unconscious for about five minutes after he went down. The 6-6, 325-poiund Williford had been considered to be a late round or free agent prospect for the upcoming draft.
  • Bruins DE done for year; maybe longer … UCLA DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa will miss the upcoming season after undergoing a second off-season operation on his hip.
    August 6
  • (9:00 AM): Hokie CB to miss opener … Virginia Tech CB Antone Exum is now expected to miss the Hokies’ big season opener against defending national champion Alabama early next monh; in fact, its likely that Exum, who tore his ACL while playing pickup basketball in January, could mss the whole first month of the season. Exum is considered to be a top 100 prospect for the 2014 draft if the knee checks out at pre-draft testing.
    August 5
  • (12:01 AM): Johnny Football under scope again ... The NCAA is reportedly investigating whether Texas A&M redshirt sophomore QB Johnny Manziel, the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner, was paid for signing hundreds of autographs on photos and other football memorabilia during a trip to last year's BCS National Championship game in Miami. If the NCAA finds the allegations are true, Manziel, the first freshman ever to win the Heisman, could lose his eligibility. Manziel, who will be eligible for the 2014 draft, has already indicated that this will be his last season with the Aggies. Stay tuned!
    August 2
  • (11:00 AM): The Dyer has landed ... The latest, and hopefully last, stop on the long and winding college football saga junior RB Michael Dyer will be Louisville as the former Auburn star has reportedly been accepted to play with the Cardinals this fall. Dyer was originally a star recruit at Auburn in 2010 where he rushed for over 2,300 yards and 15 scores in his two seasons with the program, which included the run to the 2010 national championship during which Dyer was named the title game's MVP, but he transferred to Arkansas State after the 2011 season after being suspended from the Tigers’ bowl game that year. However, he was abruptly dismissed from Arkansas State just before the start of fall practice this year for an undisclosed violation of team rules; and just for good measure ended up testifying on behalf of the prosecution in a case in which several former Auburn teammates used his gun in a robbery. In the end, he didn't play last fall, but instead enrolled in tiny Arkansas Baptist where he supposedly concentrated on academics and life skills. And Dyer joins a loaded Louisville squad led by star junior QB Teddy Bridgewater, the consensus top prospect at the position for the 2014 draft; indeed, there are whispers that Louisville could be a dark-horse national championship candidate.
    July 31
  • (9:00 AM): No charges for Buck RB; still suspended ... First the good news for Ohio State RB Carlos Hyde: he won't face any charges after being named as a person of interest by police in an incident involving a female in a bar in Columbus a couple of weeks ago. The bad news for Hyde in the sometimes bizzarro world of college football: he'll still be suspended at least three games by the team. Hard to tell at this point whether all this will hurt Hyde's draft status, although it certainly won't help. The 245-pound Hyde, who an for just under 1,000 yards and 16 TDs last fall, is considered to be a second-day prospect for the 2014 draft.
    July 29
  • (2:00 PM): And then there were none!! ... Tennessee OG Chance Warmack, the last remaining unsigned first-round pick at the 2013 draft, has reportedly agreed to terms on a 4-year, 12.1M deal with the Titans. Warmack, the former Alabama All-American who was the 10th player taken at this year's draft, missed 4 training camp practices.
  • (9:00 AM): Every draft(nik) has a story ... All NFL camps are now officially open for business and with colleges set to open their pre-season training next week, the football season is bearing down on us. At the same time, the draft community is also starting to really gear up for the serious work of preparing for the 2014 draft. Of course, there is a certain similarity to the actual work - the rankings and mock drafts etc - every draft analyst has their own unique story. Indeed, Drew Boylhart of the very excellent Huddle Report has documented his own draft journey in "The Draftnik" which has just been released. Its a fascinating story of personal growth with much that just about anyone who follows the draft can relate to. Plus, there's lots of inside stuff on the draft process. "The Draftnik can be ordered at Amazon.com.
    July 24
  • (9:00 AM): Eagles sign big rook FS OT … Philadelphia has signed D1AA All-American OT Michael Bamiro from Stony Brook who was declared a free agent after the NCAA ruled that he was out of eligibility. The 6-8, 335-pound Bamiro, who had given up football after not being recruited out of high school, was considered to be late round prospect for the 2014 draft.
  • Horns LB gets extra year ... The NCAA has confirmed that Texas OLB Jordan Hicks has two years of eligibility remaining after he missed all but the first three games of the 2012 season with a hip injury. However, the 6-2, 240-pound Hicks, who was a high school All-American still could enter the 2014 draft if he is healthy and productive this fall.
    July 22
  • Corner fails physical; Bucs-49ers trade nixed ... Last week's trade between Tampa Bay and San Francisco in which the 49ers received veteran CB Eric Wright for a conditional late round pick in 2014 has ben voided after Wright failed his physical with the 49ers. Wright's rights were returned to Tampa Bay which promptly released him.
  • (11:30 AM): Two Bucks in trouble … A pair of Ohio State stars who could be early picks at the 2014 draft were involved in separate incidents over the weekend. Junior CB Bradley Roby, who likely would have been one of the top 2-3 CBs in the upcoming draft, reportedly was charged with battery resulting in bodily injury resulting from an incident at a bar in Bloomington, Indiana. Meanwhile, senior RB Carlos Hyde has been dismissed from the football program after he was named as a person of interest in a weekend assault against a female in a bar in Columbus, although as of now there are still no charges against the 245-pound Hyde who an for just under 1,000 yards and 16 TDs last fall.
  • (9:00 AM): Football season underway … For NFL fans the long off-season is finally over as training camps open this week. In fact, Miami and Dallas opened their full camps yesterday while all other camps will be open by next weekend. Here is the full NFL training camp schedule. And while there is lots going on right across the league, long-time GBN friend and partner Pigskin Paul Guillemette has some thoughts on what to expect at training camp at Green Bay, one of the favorites in the NFC this year.
  • Cowboys lose 3rd rounder for year … Dallas DE Tyrone Crawford, the Cowboys 3rd round pick this year from Boise State, tore his Achilles tendon on the first day of training camp and will miss the rest of the season.
  • Former Terp, Badger QB moves to DII … Former Maryland and Wisconsin QB Danny O’Brien has transferred to Division II Catawba. O’Brien, a 5th year senior, will be eligible immediately.
    July 20
  • (10:00 AM): Bucs get late pick for embattled CB … Tampa Bay has acquired what is being described as a conditional late-round pick at the 2014 draft from San Francisco in exchange for veteran CB Eric Wright. The trade comes less than two weeks after Wright was arrested on suspicion of DUI in Los Angeles.
    July 16
  • (12:01 AM): Top TE gets day in jail … Washington junior TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, the top-rated player at the position for the 2014 draft, pleaded guilty Monday to a charge of driving under the influence stemming from an automobile accident this past spring. Seferian-Jenkins was sentenced to 364 days in jail with all but one suspended. That one day will be July 31st. Washington begins fall camp a week later, although its not clear at this time whether Seferian-Jenkins will be allowed to participate. He remains suspended from team activities and there is still no word from team officials whether he will face any additional punishment.
  • Bronco personnel execs suspended … Denver has suspended director of player personnel Matt Russell indefinitely without pay and director of pro personnel Tom Heckert for one month without pay for their recent drunken-driving arrests.
    July 15
  • (12:01 AM): More controversy for Heisman QB … Teas A&M sophomore QB Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M, the 2012 Heisman Troph winner, did not finish his scheduled stay as a college coach/counselor at the Manning Passing Academy. There have been reports that Manziel had been partying and was sent home after he missed assigned several meetings and practice sessions. Camp officials, though, claimed those reports were inaccurate and that Manziel missed his assignments because he wasn‘t feeling well. Of course, the two reports aren‘t exactly mutually exclusive and it likely will be just one more thing Manziel, who has made a lot of other similar headlines this off-season, may have to explain whenever he does enter the draft.
    July 11
  • (2:00 PM): No players taken in supp draft; 6 free to sign as UFAs ... According to several sources, none of the 6 players available in today's supplemental draft were selected. As a result, all 6 are now eligible to sign as undrafted free agents.
  • (12:01 AM): Supp draft today; six entered … The NFL will hold its annual summer supplemental draft later today beginning at 1 PM ET. The league has announced that 6 players are eligible for today's draft including WRs O.J. Ross of Purdue and Houston’s DeWayne Peace; DEs James Boyd of UNLV and Cntral Florida’s Toby Jackson; UNLV DT Nate Holloway; and South Alabama CB Damond Smith. These players are eligible for the supplemental draft as they were also eligible, but did not declare for the entry draft last April and have lost their eligibility for the upcoming college season. Ross is perhaps the best known of the players available for today's draft; he was a reasonably well regarded recruit who caught 56 passes for the Boilermakers in 2012, although he barely averaged a measly 8 yards per catch. Ross is 5-9, 190 and reportedly runs in the mid-4.4 range for the 40, but was suspended indefinitely back in February for an undisclosed violation of team rules; it was his second suspension. Meanwhile, Peace was Houston’s leading receiver last fall with 54 receptions despite missing three games with an ankle injury; he’s 5-11, 190 with 4.55 speed and is academically ineligible for the upcoming season. The most intriguing prospects in Thursday’s draft, though, may actually be DEs Boyd and Jackson, both of whom were big-time recruits at USC and Georgia respectively. Boyd, for example, was a Parade All-American who started his career at USC as a TE and actually worked at QB before switching to DE at UNLV. If nothing else he looks the part at 6-5, 255 with a decent 40 clocking under 4.8; however, he didn’t make much of an impact in his only year at the position at UNLV in 2012. Jackson, who never qualified academically at Georgia and didn‘t play at UCF in 2012, again because of academics, also looks the part at 6-4, 260, but only runs in the mid-to-high 4.8 range in the 40. Meanwhile, South Alabama CB Smith is also getting some attention, at least from from Green Bay which tried to sign him in May after the 2013 draft, but were told he was not a free agent. The 5-11, 181-pound Smith, who reportedly ran in the low-to-mid 4.4 range at Jacksonville State’s pro day earlier this year, played originally at Western Michigan, but left after a fight with a teammate. Lastly, UNLV‘s Holloway is a massive 350-pound run stuffer who did not play in 2012, but did start 5 games in the 2010-2011 period. Unlike the regular draft, any team interested in a player in the supplemental draft submits a bid to the NFL indicating in which round they would take the player. The team submitting the lowest round is awarded the player; if more than one team bids on a player in the same round, the player is awarded to the team that had the earliest pick in that round at the 2013 draft. Any team that ultimately selects a player in the supplemental draft forfeits their pick in the corresponding round at next year’s draft.
    July 5
  • (9:00 AM): Trust everyone is having a happy and safe Independence Day weekend!
  • Gators QB signs pro deal… Florida junior QB Jeff Driskel has reportedly signed with MLB’s Boston Red Sox. The Sox selected Driskel in the 29th round of last month‘s amateur draft despite the fact he hasn’t played baseball since high school. Driskel, who is considered to be a possible mid-to-late round prospect for the 2015 NFL draft, has said that for now he is sticking with football and would only consider a future in baseball if things did not work out for him in pro football.
    July 1
  • (12:01 AM):Badgers DE becomes a Cane … Former Wisconsin DE David Gilbert, who originally announced he was retiring from football because of recurring foot problems, has had a change of heart and is transferring to Miami where he will be eligible immediately. Gilbert, who had four sacks in 2012, sat out most of the 2011 season because the foot problems and was sitting out spring practice this year after undergoing surgery to repair ligament damage in the same foot.
    June 22
  • (12:01 AM): Top RB prospect transfers … Former Houston RB Charles Sims has reportedly transferred to West Virginia where he will be eligible for the 2013 season. Sims, who had reportedly considered entering this year’s draft, opted to return to Houston for his senior season, but abruptly left school earlier this spring. At that time, there was some specualtion that Sims could consider entering this summer's supplemental draft. Sims, who has the potential to be a mid-round pick this coming April, Sims, ran for 851 yards and 11 TDs in 9 games last fall while also catching 37 passes.
    June 21
  • (9:00 AM): Tide OT has minor surgery … Alabama junior LT Cyrus Kouandjio had arthroscopic surgery on one of his shoulders following the end of spring practice. However, it doesn’t appear that the issue is particularly serious and Kouandjio is reportedly back lifting weights during summer workouts and is expected to be ready for the start of fall camp. Kouandijo is considered to be one of the top OTs in college football with first-round potential should he opt to enter the 2014 draft.
  • Charges against top RB dropped … One story we missed while we were away is the fact all charges against Arizona junior RB Ka’Deem Carey have been dropped. Carey had been charged with misdemeanor assault and disorderly conduct following a domestic incident involving his pregnant girlfriend. have been dropped. The 5-9, 205-pound Carey led the nation in rushing in 2012 with over 1,900 yards and scored 23 times.
    June 12
  • (12:01 AM): NFL thinking more changes to draft … Back in the day when working for a national agency there was a saying that HQ had a VP in charge of ’bad ideas!” Sounds like the NFL may have hired that guy as a consultant on their draft plans as Don Banks of Sports Illustrated reported yesterday that the league is exploring several options to make the draft more ‘fan-centric.“ According to the report, one possible future plan being analyzed by the NFL would be to hold the draft in different cities with the first round in one city, the second and third in another and the final rounds in a third. Huh! Another, and certainly more logical option would be to rotate the draft to a different city each year. Memo to the NFL: it’s a draft! A player draft! Its one of the most popular events on the league calendar because NFL fans - real football fans who care passionately about their team - care passionately about which players their team selects each year. And no matter how they try and gussy it up - and what’s next: picks being announced by scantily clad cheerleaders or fans voting for their team’s picks - its always going to be about the picks!
  • Breaking down the NFC North draft ... GBN analyst Dave Syvertsen continues breaking down the 2013 draft for each division with a look at the NFC North.
  • Vet QB leaves Badgers … He was going to be the next Russell Wilson, but it didn’t quite work out that way for QB Danny O’Brien, who has announced he will be leaving Wisconsin with one year of eligibility remaining. Like Wilson who transferred from North Carolina State to play for the Badgers his senior season, O’Brien came over from Maryland last summer, but lost the starting job early last and was buried deep on the Badgers’ depth chart heading into camp this fall. No word where O’Brien plans to enrol for the upcoming campaign.
    June 9
  • (9:00 PM): Bears trade former #1 pick to Bucs ... Tampa Bay has reportedly acquired OT Gabe Carimi from Chicago for what is being reported as a 6th round pick at the 2014 draft. Carimi was the Bears' #1 pick at the 2011, but was never able to live up to the hype especially after tearing up a knee late in his rookie campaign.
    May 29
  • (12:01 AM): Dates for 2014 draft set … The NFL notified teams on Tuesday that the 2014 draft will be held May 8-10 in New York at Radio City Music Hall. That‘s three weeks later that the draft normally would have been held. The NFL has reportedly been talking with the NFLPA about changing the football schedule, however, the change in dates for the draft is the only change we‘ll see this year. The scouting combine will go as usual in Indianapolis from February 19-25, while the new NFL year begins March 11th. The NFL will also again hold several regional combines on various dates from January 24th through February 16th. At the same time, no decisions has been made regarding dates for the 2015 draft and beyond. A variety of alternatives are being explored, teams were told, including holding the draft at Radio City or at other locations, either in the New York area or in other cities. NFL clubs were also informed that there would be no significant changes in the dates of other off-season events next year.
  • Raiders top pick out until camp … Oakland CB D.J. Hayden, the Raiders’ first-round draft pick at the 2013, will be out until training camp after undergoing abdominal surgery to have scar tissue removed. It is not clear whether the issue is related to the serious injury Hayden suffered late last season when he tore a blood vessel after a practice collision with a teammate at practice. The Raiders selected Hayden with the 12th pick overall last month after trading down from the 3rd pick with Miami.
    May 23
  • (9:00 AM): Top MAC WR becomes Jayhawk … Former Miami of Ohio WR Nick Harwell, a decent second tier prospect for the 2014 draft, reportedly will be moving on to Kansas. Harwell was one of the most productive receivers in the country over the past two seasons, but got the boot from Miami after he was arrested in March. Harwell pleaded guilty to one count of attempted theft and was sentenced to 90 days in jail, all but one of which was suspended. It is not clear whether Harwell, who caught 165 passes over the past two seasons including 97 in 2011, will have to sit out the upcoming season or will be eligible immediately.
  • (12:01 AM): Coug RB leaves program; may enter supp draft ... Houston RB Charles Sims has reportedly told school officials that he will not be returning to school for his senior season. Sims reportedly seriously considered leaving school after the 2012 season to enter this year's draft, but ultimately decided to return. Its not clear what Sims plans to do, but he could either transfer or enter this summer's supplemental draft. Stay tuned!
    May 17
  • Bills introduce new G.M. … Buffalo formally introduced Doug Whaley as the Bills‘ new G.M. in the wake of the resignation of former G.M. Buddy Nix; Whaley had been the Bills‘ assistant general manager. Along with Whaley, the Bills have named Kelvin Fisher as director of college scouting, while Jim Monos was hired as director of player personnel. Fisher comes to the Blls from Pittsburgh, while Monos spent the past eight years working as an area scout with New Orleans. Meanwhile, Kansas City rounded out its new personnel department by naming Will Lewis as director of pro scouting and Marvin Allen as director of college scouting, while Randy Ball was named pro scouting assistant and Trey Koziol an area scout. The Chiefs also promoted Mike Borgonzi to assistant director of pro scouting, Dom Green to assistant director of college scouting, Brett Veach to pro and college personnel analyst and Ryan Poles to college coordinator.
    May 14
  • (12:01 AM): Bills Nix steps down as GM … Buffalo has a new G.M. as Buddy Nix somewhat surprisingly stepped down on Monday and will be replaced by Doug Whaley , who moves up from assistant general manager. The 73-year-old Nix will stay with the team, though, as a special assistant to the G.M. Meanwhile, Arizona reshuffled its personnel department as Dru Grigson has been promoted to director of college scouting, while Quentin Harris has been promoted to director of pro scouting. Grigson had been a regional scout with the Cardinals who also named Josh Scobey as a pro scout, while Terry McDonough, who had been director of player personnel at Jacksonville, the past four years, was named the team’s eastern regional scout after being hired last week. At the same time, John Mancini becomes the Cardinals’ area scout for the midwest, while Debbie Pollom becomes college scouting coordinator, and Glen Fox and Darius Vinnett become scouting assistants. Marvin Allen, formerly a national scout with Atlanta has been named Kansas City’s new director of college scouting.
    May 9
  • (7:00 PM): Colt get conditional pick for C … Indianapolis has acquired a conditional pick in the 2014 draft from Baltimore in exchange for C A.Q. Shipley. No word on the conditions involved in the deal, but it may be something along the lines of the Colts get a late round pick if the player makes the Ravens’ opening day 53-man roster.
  • Cards add vet personnel man to front office … Arizona has reportedly agreed to terms with Terry McDonough, who was just fired after spending the past four years as the Director of Player Personnel at Jacksonville. It has not been announced what role McDonough will play with Arizona but he will be involved in scouting.
    May 7
  • (12:01 AM): Big DT goes #1 in CFL draft … Hamilton selected Calgary DT Linden Gaydosh with the first pick overall in Monday’s CFL draft of Canadian-born players. Winnipeg then took Eastern Michigan DE Andy Mulumba with the second pick, while Montreal took Calgary LB Mike Edem with the third selection which the Alouettes acquired from Montreal. In fact, it was a great draft for former Calgary Dinos as RB Steven Lumbula was taken 5th overall by Montreal with their own first round pick. In between, Saskatchewan selected Eastern Michigan OG Corey Watman with the 4th pick. Meanwhile, Toronto selected McMaster OT Matt Sewell with the 8th pick, while Edmonton grabbed Regina DT Stefan Charles two picks later. Both of the latter players were signed by Tennessee as undrafted free agents following last month's NFL draft. Here is the full CFL draft tracker.
  • Browns pick charged with DUI … Cleveland DE Armonty Bryant, who was selected in the 7th round of last month’s draft, was charged earlier this week with driving under the influence of alcohol. Last year, Bryant, from little East Central State of Oklahoma, pleaded no contest to a felony charge of marijuana distribution in a school zone.
  • Broncos reshuffle top personnel staff ... Denver has reportedly hired former Cleveland G.M. Tom Heckert as a 'personnel executive'. While that is a rather generic title it is likely that Heckert will assume some of the duties of former Broncos director of pro personnel Keith Kidd, who was informed his contract would not be renewed over the weekend.
    May 6
  • (9:00 AM): Final conditions for Smith trade reported … Peter King of Sports Illustrated is reporting in his Monday morning QB column this day that the conditional pick in 2014 San Francisco received from Kansas City to complete the deal for QB Alex Smith is a third rounder that could escalate to a second rounder if the Chiefs win at least 8 games this fall. The 49ers also received the Chiefs second round pick this year for Smith which they then artfully traded down with Tennessee for another third round pick in 2014 as well as emerging DE Tank Carradine.
  • Chiefs get new top personnel exec … Kansas City has hired Chris Ballard as the team’s new director of player personnel. Ballard, whose new job will entail overseeing both the Chiefs pro and college scouting departments, was director of college scouting for Chicago last year after spending 12 years with the Bears as a scout.
    May 3
  • (9:00 AM): Jag fill front office vacancies … Jacksonville acted quickly to fill in the team’s front-office vacancies created earlier in the week when the Jaguars fired Director of Player Personnel Terry McDonough, Pro Personnel Director Louis Clark and area scout Chris Prescott. Most notably, the Jaguars hired former Indianapolis G.M. Chris Polian as the team’s new director of player personnel. In addition, Kyle O’Brien was hired as the new director of college scouting and Paul Roell is the new assistant director of college scouting, while Mark Ellenz was brought in as the new Eastern Regional scout and Andy Dengler was promoted to assistant director of player personnel after serving the last two years as director of college personnel with the Jaguars.
  • Ravens sign pack of picks ... Defending Super Bowl champion has signed 6 of the ten players the team drafted last weekend, including FB Kyle Juszczyk, a 4th round pick, along with 5th round OT Ricky Wagner, 6th rounders OG Ryan Jensen and DE Kapron Lewis-Moore and 7th rounders CB Marc Anthony and WR Aaron Melette. Meanwhile, Chigago agreed to terms with two more picks by signing 4th round LB Khaseem Greene and 7th round WR Marquess Wilson. Earlier in the week, the Bears signed OT DE Cornelius Washington, the first draft picks to sign this year. The only draft picks the Bears have not signed are G/T Kyle Long, the team’s 1st round pick and second-round MLB Jon Bostic.
    May 2
  • (9:00 AM): Bears first to sign picks ... Chicago became the first team to sign any of its 2013 draft picks when the Bears signed OT Jordan Mills and DE Cornelius Washington to 4-year contracts. Mills was the Bears 5th round pick this year, while Washington was selected in the sixth round.
  • (12:01 AM): Pack writer beats pack; GBN well placed … For the third straight year, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Packers’ beat writer Bob McGinn led the way in the The Huddle Report's annual ranking of the accuracy of the top 100 draft boards of the 65 leading draft services around the country. For the record, 87 of the players McGinn had in his final Top 100 prospects for the 2013 draft were actually selected within the first 100 picks at last week's draft. Also for the record, the GBN tied with 5 other sites, including Scott Wright’s NFL Draft Countdown, for 7th place. Among some of the more widely-known draft experts, NFL.com analysts Mike Mayock and Gil Brandt were 12th and 30th respectively, while ESPN's Mel Kiper tied for 48th.
  • Browns, 49ers juggle front offices ... Cleveland released senior national scout Pat Roberts, who spent eight seasons with the club. At the same time, San Francisco has promoted Joel Patten to Director of Player Personnel, Matt Malaspina to Director of College Scouting, and Mike Williams to Director of Pro Personnel. Additionally, the team promoted Justin Chabot to National Scout, Steve Rubio to Regional Scout and Josh Williams to Pro Personnel Scout.
  • Top UFA comes off board … NFL teams continue formerly announce the signings of players who not selected at last week’s draft. Among recent announced signings, Kansas City, which had the #1 pick overall in the regular draft, agreed to terms with former Tennessee QB Tyler Bray, the top-rated undrafted player left on the GBN Big Board after the draft. Meanwhile, Detroit announced the signing of 11 players including former Western Michigan QB Alex Carder, along with UCLA TE Joseph Fauria and Texas Tech OT LaAdrian Waddle.
    April 29
  • Undrafted rooks coming off the board ... With the 2013 darft in the books, NFL teams have been scrambling to fill out their rosters with the top undrafted rookie free agents they can sign. In fact, by now most teams have signed their contingent of undrafted rookies, although many teams actually until after their rookie mini-camp to actually announce their signings. That's partly because their are two categories of rookie signings. Some players are signed for training camp, pending a physical, while others only get an offer to try-out at the team's mini-camp. As sch, we only post rookie free agent signings that have been officially announced by the respective teams. Of early signings that have been announced Jacksonville has signed QBs Matt Scott and Jordan Rodgers, the younger brother of Green Bay star QB Aaron Rodgers, while New Orleans signed QB Ryan Griffin, along with OLBs Chase Thomas and Eric Martin. Elsewhere Seattle signed OG Alvin Bailey, Purdue inked NT Kwame Geathers and CB Josh Johnson and Buffalo signed WR Da'rick Rogers.
    April 28
  • (12:01 AM): Just 364 days until 2014 draft ... Hang in there guys!! Just 364 days until the next draft, or as they are already calling it in the business 'The Clowney Lottery'! in honor of South Carolina junior DE Javedon Clowney who has already been designated the #1 pick next year. Just in case, we have posted our very first, very preliminary first-round projection for 2014. As in past years, though, anybody who sends in an e-mail along the lines of "the Buckeroos will never take a ..." will be suspended from the site for the next three months!
  • By the numbers ... We are still chewing over the data from this weekend's draft, but here are some preliminary numbers and general observations from the 2013 draft, although for now we want to do some more thinking before crowning this year's winners and losers.
    April 27
  • (7:30 PM): That’s a wrap … The 2013 draft came to an end with Indianapolis making former South Carolina TE Justice Cunningham this year’s ‘Mr. Irrelevant’ with the 254th and final selection in the 7th round. And while this year’s draft is in the books, there won’t be any rest, at least right away, for bleary-eyed NFL personnel people. That’s because they are already working the phones trying to sign the top undrafted players from this week’s draft. Players still available in the so-called ‘8th round’ include among others QBs Tyler Bray, Matt Scott, Ryan Griffin and Jordan Rodgers; RBs Cierre Wood and Onterrio McCaleb, WRs Da’rick Rogers; TEs Jake Stoneburner and Joseph Fauria; OTs Chris Faulk, and Xavier Nixon; OGs Alvin Bailey, Chris Barker, and Sam Brenner, C Braxston Cave; DE Wes Horton; DTs Kwame Geathers, T.J. Barnes and Cory Grissom; ILBs Kevin Reddick, Jonathan Stewart, and Tom Wort; OLBs Chase Thomas, Jake Knott, Lerentee McCray, and Etienne Sabino; CBs Nickell Robey, Adrian Bushell, Josh Johnson, Johnny Adams, and Greg Reid; safeties Tony Jefferson, Cody Davis, and Robert Lester; and kickers Ryan Allen, Brad Wing and Quinn Sharp. For the record, here are the players who were still on the GBN Big Board as well as the top undrafted free agents broken down by position.
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