Archive for the ‘College Football’ Category

Legion of Boom: 2014 Prospects Who Fit the Super Bowl Champs Prototype

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

Calvin Pryor isn’t as big as Kam Chancellor but brings the same intensity and hard hitting ability as the Seahawks safety (Photo: US Presswire)

By Marc Sluis, Staff Writer

While Super Sunday was anything but in terms of being an entertaining and competitive game, it might have answered an age old question. Which is better, a dominant defense or potent offense? If you take the Seahwaks victory as a barometer it seems the prior. That’s certainly what most of the media would have you believe in the immediate aftermath of the game, a time where overreaction trumps reality. That being said it’s clear that the Pete Carroll led defense in the Pacific Northwest utilized a particular blueprint to counteract the rise of the passing game. Like any successful scheme it relies on the personnel available, but what gets Carroll and GM John Schneider league wide respect is the process they followed to build a team around a philosophy.

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Examining Patriots’ Reserve/Future Contract Signings

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

New England signed former Notre Dame, Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens halfback Jonas Gray on Jan. 6. Others have joined him under the reserve/futures category since. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

With a dozen players set to hit unrestricted free agency March 11, the New England Patriots personnel department has its share of influential decisions to make this offseason. But with nine others signing reserve/future deals this January, the to-do list has gotten a little lighter for head coach Bill Belichick and Co.

Reserve/future signings occur before the start of the League Year. Any player not on an NFL team’s active roster at the end of the previous season is eligible. And in New England’s recent memory, it’s been a worthwhile course of action.

New England’s notable reserve/futures from the past include fullback James Develin, defensive tackle Armond Armstead, as well as current Arizona Cardinals pass-rusher Marcus Benard, Oakland Raiders wideout Andre Holmes, Houston Texans linebacker Jeff Tarpinian and Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ross Ventrone.

Some have gone on to have success in Foxborough; some have gone on to have success elsewhere. So while it remains to be seen where this year’s group will end up, all of whom have a locker and an opportunity. (more…)


2014 NFL Draft Close-Up: Texas Tech Tight End Jace Amaro

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury, a 2003 Patriots draft pick, optimized the versatility of Jace Amaro this fall. And since then, No. 22 has emerged as one of the premier tight ends in the 2014 NFL draft. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

In the coming weeks and months leading up to the 2014 NFL draft, NEPatriotsDraft.com will profile college prospects that potentially fit the needs and draft seating of the New England Patriots. In this second installment, we will take a closer look at the film behind Texas Tech tight end Jace Amaro.

Jace Amaro isn’t fused to one position on the football field. But if there was a title suited for Texas Tech’s 21-year-old junior, it would be called “new-age” tight end.

An evolving position across the NFL landscape, coaching staffs are finding ways to mismatch defensive personnel with tight ends that can catch first and block second. In turn, general managers and scouting departments are searching for prospects with the size, the fluidity and the skill to be used interchangeably within an offense.

The 6’5”, 260-pound Amaro fits the prototype. (more…)


2014 NFL Draft Close-Up: Notre Dame Nose Tackle Louis Nix III

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Notre Dame’s Louis Nix III plays with force rarely seen in a nose tackle prospect, and NFL scouting departments have taken note. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

In the coming weeks and months leading up to the 2014 NFL draft, NEPatriotsDraft.com will profile college prospects that potentially fit the needs and draft seating of the New England Patriots. In this first installment, we will take a closer look at the film behind Notre Dame nose tackle Louis Nix III.

Louis Nix III won’t win a track meet. He won’t run a 40-yard dash in under 5.2 seconds, either. But his 6’2”, 342-pound mass, multiplied by his downhill quickness off the snap, has equaled force for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish defense.

And largely due to his fulfillment of Isaac Newton’s second law, the 22-year-old redshirt junior finds himself ranked as the top nose tackle prospect in the 2014 NFL draft. (more…)


2014 NFL Draft: FCS (and below) Prospects To Watch

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Jimmy Garoppolo hails from Eastern Illinois, which also produced Tony Romo. Can he also become a franchise level QB? (Photo: US Presswire)

By Marc Sluis, Staff Writer

Most fans, and even some scouts, think that NFL talent can only come from big, traditional schools like Alabama, Texas or Ohio St. What about those that aren’t even FBS schools? No way right? Tony Romo, Marques Colston, Vincent Jackson, Jared Allen, Jahri Evans, Victor Cruz and Joe Flacco are all current players who will tell you something different. Want to include former NFL stars? The list expands to names like Walter Payton, Terrell Owens, Larry Allen, Michael Strahan and someone named Jery Rice.

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2014 NFL Draft Stock Update: Who’s Rising?

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Tre Mason, who helped lead the Auburn Tigers to the BCS Title Game, has run his way into the first round discussion (Photo: US Presswire)

By Marc Sluis, Staff Writer

Even though most prospects don’t go through fundamental changes in their talent level or skill set during the year, their stock certainly fluctuates like it does. The same phenomenon occurs in finance as stock prices surge and dip daily despite very little actually changing at the company level. It’s a little different scenario when you’re dealing with evaluating people like us draftniks do, but that is part of the fun. The bowl season is over and the All-Star or Senior circuit is just underway, so let’s take a look at whose stock has risen the most recently. (more…)


2014 NFL Mock Draft: Postseason Edition

Monday, January 6th, 2014

Blake Bortles capped a great season with a big bowl victory, and potentially a big pro pay day (Photo: USPresswire)

By Marc Sluis, Staff Writer

It’s that time of year again. Draft season is heating up. The nation’s focus may still primarily be on the playoffs, but for scouts and draftniks things are about to The draft landscape is fluid and some of the landmark events like the combine and Senior Bowl will play a role but let’s do our best job guessing what could happen. (Draft order used is prior to the first round of the playoffs)

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