Archive for the ‘College Football’ Category

2014 NFL Draft Close-Up: Florida State Defensive Tackle Timmy Jernigan

Monday, March 17th, 2014

Florida State’s Timmy Jernigan proved to be an inside presence worth accounting for as a junior in 2013. The defensive tackle is viewed as a likely first-round draft pick this May because of it. (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 seventh installment, we will take a closer look at the film behind Florida State defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan.

Timmy Jernigan is hard to miss – not only for his 6’1”, 299-pound frame and tight-fitting untucked jersey, but for his disruptive nature at the defensive tackle position.

It’s been evident dating back to his days at Columbia High School in Lake City, Fla., where a large No. 8 amassed 77 tackles, 32 tackles for loss, 14 sacks and one interception as a senior in 2010, also adding four touchdowns on offense.

Jernigan found himself recognized as a five-star recruit. He was ranked the fourth-best defensive tackle in the nation by Scout.com. He was ranked the second-best defensive tackle in the nation by Rivals.com. He was ranked 17th overall on the ESPNU 150. He was named All-USA first-team defense by USA Today. He was a 2011 U.S. Army All-American.

And not long after, he was a Florida State Seminole. (more…)


Takeaways from Thursday’s Conference Call with ESPN NFL Draft Analyst Mel Kiper Jr.

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. shared his thoughts on the NFL draft and free agency in a conference call Thursday. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

With college pro days underway, free agency in full swing, and the 2014 NFL draft under two months away, ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. shared his insight on a media conference call Thursday morning.

Kiper, who has been part of ESPN’s draft coverage since 1984, offered a different perspective on the prospects and the organizations set to cross paths at Radio City Music Hall this May. And with the League Year changing along with the personnel plans of each organization, there was no shortage of discussion.

Here are some of Kiper’s draft thoughts on the prospects and the potential interests around the league. (more…)


2014 NFL Combine: Analyzing Athleticism

Saturday, March 8th, 2014

Donte Moncrief surprised many with his breakout performance at the combine, but who is the most athletic split end prospect? (Photo: US Presswire)

By Marc Sluis, Staff Writer

The NFL Scouting Combine developed as a central location for evaluators to convene and, well, evaluate future NFL talent. There are multiple drills, tests, medical checks and grueling interviews designed to analyze everything about a prospect and whether or not he’s worth the million dollar investment.

(more…)


2014 Patriots Seven-Round Mock Draft: Pre-Free Agency Edition

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Bill O’Brien is no longer Penn State’s head coach. But the former Patriots coordinator has left behind prospects that could fit New England’s interests, like No. 91 DaQuan Jones. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

It’s March, and that means things are starting to take shape across the football landscape.

The NFL Scouting Combine closed along with February. The deadline for teams to use the franchise tag passed Monday, March 11 at 4 p.m. ET. The door to unrestricted free agency opens March 11. And college pro days are starting up as spring draws near.

Boxes are being checked, but the 2014 NFL draft is still over two months away.

In other words, there are a lot of moving pieces in play. Much will hinge on the next couple of weeks. And like all 31 other organizations, the same is true for head coach Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots.

Veteran safety Steve Gregory has been released, trade discussions have been floated around, and there is variability when it comes to New England’s salary cap.

Who will be re-signed, who will restructure, who will depart – it’s hard to say at this moment.  Yet if the war room was set and the Radio City Music Hall festivities were tomorrow, how might it all unfold for the Patriots?

Here is a pre-free agency seven-round mock draft scenario, with trades and compensatory picks included. (more…)


2014 NFL Draft Close-Up: Notre Dame Defensive Lineman Stephon Tuitt

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Stephon Tuitt’s size, speed and consequent versatility made him one of the most impactful defensive linemen in college football. He is seen as a first- or second-round NFL draft choice because of it. (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 sixth installment, we will take a closer look at the film behind Notre Dame defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt.

Size. Strength. Speed. Versatility.

As a defensive lineman and tight end at Monroe Area High School in Monroe, Ga., Stephon Tuitt brought all four traits to the table. And after the football program went 0-20 during his sophomore and junior campaigns, his traits helped lead a turnaround.

Tuitt and the Hurricanes went 11-2 in 2010, forging it into the third round of the Georgia Class AAA state playoffs. In the process, Tuitt forged into the recruiting picture.

He found himself ranked the 38th overall prospect in the nation by Sports Illustrated and 22nd by Rivals.com. He found himself competing in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas, as well as the Team USA vs. The World All-Star Game in Austin.

Shortly thereafter, he found himself in South Bend, Ind., as member of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. (more…)


NFL Scouting Combine vs. Patriots Draft Picks: A Four-Year Study

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Illinois’ Michael Buchanan hit New England’s criteria at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine. And he fit the draft board as a seventh-round flier that April. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

The NFL Scouting Combine is what it is.

It is a way to meet prospects off the field and evaluate how their game film translates on the field. It is not a be-all, end-all in determining a draft hopeful’s future, but it is a way to compare and contrast physical and athletic measurements in a neutral environment.

And when teams apply their respective criteria to the subjects at hand, trends are the byproduct, as Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots have evidenced over the last several years.

The Patriots personnel department has drafted 36 players since 2010. The collection consists of two quarterbacks, two running backs, three tight ends, four wide receivers, three offensive tackles, one center, three defensive ends, two defensive tackles, six linebackers, five cornerbacks, three safeties and a punter.

Six of whom had to wait until their pro days, while 30 of whom were invited to Indianapolis.

But courtesy of the NFL.com and NFLDraftScout.com archives, here’s a closer look into their vital numbers by position. Because while we do not know what the future will bring this May, history is often a trajectory of the future. (more…)


2014 NFL Draft Close-Up: Minnesota Defensive Tackle Ra’Shede Hageman

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Ra’Shede Hageman’s story has ventured far beyond football. But on the field, the Minnesota defensive tackle has emerged as one of the top prospects in the 2014 NFL draft class. (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 fifth installment, we will take a closer look at the film behind Minnesota defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman.

What Ra’Shede Hageman has overcome in his 23 years far exceeds any cut or trap block.

The battles he’s overcome far exceed the game of football, as author and SBNation.com contributor John Rosengren illustrated in a moving piece this November.

Born Ra’Shede Knox on Aug. 8, 1990, his biological mother was an addict; his biological father passed on before he got to know him. He and his younger brother were placed in foster care four years later, while his older brother followed a different path. And after living in handfuls of homes, it wasn’t until 1998 that Ra’Shede finally found a permanent one with attorneys Eric Hageman and Jill Coyle.

Adoption wasn’t the end of his adversity, though. It wasn’t the end of his struggle to fit in. It was, however, a new starting point. Many hurdles have tested Hageman since then, but the past has failed to define him; it has only defined his strength.

And for the 6’6”, 311-pound defensive tackle, that strength has turned into force on the football field. (more…)







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