Tuesday, December 30, 2014

What we learned from Jets' season finale

The Jets ended a dismal 2014 season in impressive fashion with a 37-24 comeback victory over the Miami Dolphins. Unfortunately for head coach Rex Ryan and general manager John Idzik, their fates had already been decided by owner Woody Johnson, who fired the duo early Monday morning. After a 4-12 campaign that netted Gang Green the sixth overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the roster holds far more questions than answers heading into what will be the Jets' most interesting offseason in a long time, but their meaningless Week 17 win provided a few potential glimpses into the team's future.

Read the rest at YES Network

Saturday, December 27, 2014

2015 NFL Draft: Military Bowl Scouting Preview – Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech

After a 2-3 start to the season, Cincinnati won their last seven games to finish 9-3 and 7-1 in the AAC. While the Bearcats enter the Military Bowl hot, Virginia Tech needed a win over Virginia in their final game to become bowl eligible. Even with that victory, the Hokies have lost four of their last six games, including a 6-3 double-OT loss to Wake Forest on Nov. 22.

While this year’s Military Bowl doesn’t feature any legitimate top-100 prospects, each team has a few players that could attract attention from NFL teams in the later rounds. 

Virginia Tech

Detrick Bonner, S, #8
Tasked mostly with playing centerfield for the Hokies, Bonner shows the skills to make an impact against the run and the pass. The 6-0, 195-pound safety comes up quickly in run support, but has a tendency to overpursue plays and doesn’t always break down effectively. His light frame is a detriment to his tackling ability, as most of the time he slides down to the ballcarrier’s legs to take them down.

Read the rest at Optimum Scouting

Friday, December 26, 2014

2015 NFL Draft: St. Petersburg Bowl Scouting Preview – Central Florida vs. NC State

Clayton Geathers will look to lead UCF to a Bowl win Friday.
Both Central Florida (9-3) and N.C. State (7-5) enter Friday’s St. Petersburg Bowl on winning streaks, with the Knights winning their last four games by a combined 88 points and N.C. State emerging victorious in their last two by 57 points. UCF is coming off an exciting 32-30 victory over East Carolina that earned them a share of the AAC title, while N.C. State rolled in-state rival North Carolina, 35-7, to cap a 7-5 season that would’ve been even better if not for a four-game losing streak in the middle of the year.

The impact NFL prospects in this game will be wearing UCF uniforms tomorrow, with two players who will find themselves in the top 100 of many big boards this offseason leading the way, one on each side of the football. 


Breshad Perriman, WR, #11
The son of former Lions wide receiver and 1988 second-round pick Brett Perriman, Breshad brings a similar draft grade to the table as his father once did. At 6-2, 209 pounds, Perriman high points the ball well and has very good hands, although he could improve his aggressiveness at the catch point. A deep threat that can get behind the defense, Perriman averaged over 22 yards per catch this year with nine touchdowns.

While Perriman is far from raw as a receiver and should be able to contribute early in his NFL career, he does need to develop better technique to reach his full potential as a pro. A junior who’s expected to declare for the draft, Perriman is one of two top-100 prospects on UCF’s roster.

Read the rest at Optimum Scouting

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Week 14 Rookie Report: Secondary focus discusses Roby, Gilbert and others

By the end of the NFL season, most of the league’s impact rookies have already made themselves known to the public. Some came out of the gates hot, like Kelvin Benjamin and C.J. Mosley, while others didn’t make an impact until the second of third month of the season, like Odell Beckham Jr. and Isaiah Crowell. With that in mind, Chris Tripodi takes a look at how some prominent defensive backs performed last week, as well as a few late-round picks that have seen a recent increase in opportunity thanks to injury. 

Bradley Roby (CB-Den)

Like most rookie cornerbacks, Bradley Roby has experienced an up-and-down year in his first NFL season. The 31st overall pick out of Ohio State has played behind Aqib Talib and Chris Harris this season, mixing in a few solid performances with some stinkers as well. Roby did battle with fellow first-round rookie Sammy Watkins on Sunday, and while the former Clemson star got the better of Roby for most of the afternoon, the first-year corner didn’t allow much to the Bills’ other receivers and made a great play to force an early turnover.

On the game’s first possession, Roby lined up in press coverage against Watkins. Beaten badly by a sudden slant route to the inside, Roby had to make up ground to catch up to Watkins after he made the catch. The corner noticed Watkins holding the ball in his left arm while he cut back towards him, and Roby smartly clubbed his arm down on the ball to force a fumble that was recovered by Denver in Buffalo territory. The drive resulted in no points for the Broncos, but it was a big play that helped set the tone for the Bills’ rough day on offense.

Read the rest at Draft Insider

Friday, December 5, 2014

2014 ACC Championship Game Scouting Preview

Despite entering Saturday’s ACC Championship Game with an undefeated record, the defending-champion Florida State Seminoles are barely hanging onto the final spot in the inaugural college football playoff. A loss to Georgia Tech would most likely bump them out of the playoff picture, fairly or unfairly, but it will be a tough task for the Yellow Jackets to knock off the Seminoles without arguably their top prospect, senior wide receiver DeAndre Smelter, who tore his ACL last weekend against Georgia. At 6-2 and 233 pounds with game-breaking speed, Smelter has accounted for 44 percent of Georgia Tech’s receiving yardage and 41 percent of their touchdowns through the air.

While the Yellow Jackets are a run-heavy team, ranking third in FBS with 333.8 rushing yards per game, the dynamic skill set of Smelter will be missed in the red zone, on third downs and on gadget plays that help their offense move down the field. Florida State has a few good prospects on their defensive line, but the Seminoles rank just 42nd in FBS against the run, allowing just over 145 yards per game on the ground. Georgia Tech will need to dominate the ground game and keep the ball away from Florida St. to have a chance to win this ballgame.

Florida State

Jameis Winston, QB, #5

One of the more divisive prospects eligible for the 2015 NFL Draft, redshirt sophomore Winston has endured a bumpy road on the field as well as off it lately. A four-interception performance against Florida last weekend marked the sixth consecutive game with a pick for Winston, including three games with multiple turnovers. Winston continues to show impressive memory loss and refuses to fold late despite his mistakes, but his decision-making and accuracy need to improve if the Seminoles want a legitimate chance at another title. Winston is the only QB with a chance to unseat Marcus Mariota at the top of the position rankings, but will need to clean up his play down the stretch.

Read the rest at Optimum Scouting