Archive for the ‘NFL Draft’ Category

Saturday Slate: College Prospects to Watch in Week 9

Friday, October 24th, 2014

2015 NFL Draft

NEPD Staff Writer: CJ Sousa

Whatever your opinion might be about the controversial ending to the Notre Dame vs Florida State game Saturday night, this one fact can’t be debated. Jameis Winston can flat out ball on a football field. He had one horrendous decision in the second quarter when he was in full retreat mode backwards, stopped, and flung a pass high over the middle which was easily intercepted. However, take away that one play from Winston, and he played a flawless game. He came out on fire in the second half, completing his first thirteen passes and he ended the night with 273 yards and 2 touchdowns.


Scouting Report: Shawn Oakman, DE Baylor

Friday, October 24th, 2014

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

The Patriots are entering a tough stretch of their schedule. These next six 6 games could very well define not only their season, but their draft status as well.  Unfortunately, they will not be playing at full strength, especially on defense, which will make this stretch even more difficult. Last week, the loss of Jerod Mayo was clear, especially against the run. Now the Patriots will be without Chandler Jones, arguably their best (and maybe only) pass rusher.  With the position being so thin now, it highlights how important it is to have a stable of pass rushers at the team’s disposal. That is why I decided to continue my look at potential pass rush options for the upcoming draft and give Shawn Oakman a look. (more…)

The Turf Report Mid-Season Rankings: Upperclassmen on Patriots’ Radar

Saturday, October 18th, 2014
NCAA Football: Wisconsin at Northwestern

Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon could join former teammate James White in New England’s backfield next season. (Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports)

NEPD Staff Writer: Ken Vetrano

With the Turf Report taking the past couple weeks off, figured it would be appropriate to return with some mid-season rankings. Lets take a look at who’s stood out from the pack, and which amateur backs might be donning a flying Elvis on their helmet next fall?

Last Sunday’s season ending knee injury to Stevan Ridley has cast some uncertainty in Foxborough as to what the Patriots will do after this season at running back. Both Rildey and Shane Vereen are impending free agents, and there’s no guarantee either will return after 2014. The following are potential Junior and Senior prospects that should be appealing to New England this spring. I broke them down into three tiers and detailed the ones that could land on Belichick’s radar.


Saturday Slate : Week 8 College Prospects to Watch

Saturday, October 18th, 2014
How will Winston top his latest blunder?

How will Winston top his latest blunder?

NEPD Staff Writer: CJ Sousa

And the capital of the college football world is…Mississippi? Huh? You may have never thought it was possible, but the two best teams in the country are Ole Miss and Mississippi State. I thought Ole Miss would struggle last week…quite the contrary. They took care of Texas A&M rather easily. Get out your 2017 NFL draft big board’s however, A&M true freshmen WR Speedy Noil will be at the top of the list. Reminds me of Sammy Watkins, except I think Noil is farther along than Watkins was his freshmen year at Clemson.

Autograph Gate: Week 7 saw my number 1 overall prospect, Todd Gurley, suspended indefinitely for receiving compensation for his autographs. I know what you’re saying, number 1 overall for a RB is insane. I agree, and if I was on the clock at No. 1 I wouldn’t be taking Gurley. But to me he’s the best player in all of college football, so that ranking is justified. I actually think him being suspended is a positive for Gurley. NFL evaluators have seen more than enough to know Gurley’s once-a-decade ability, and this suspension (if he doesn’t play another snap this year) all but guarantees he will be healthy for the NFL combine. I see Gurley as a top 5 talent, and I don’t see the Vikings (wherever they end up) passing up the opportunity to draft the best RB prospect since…well… Adrian Peterson. But it’s too early for that talk. Also in autograph gate, the ‘always something’ Jameis Winston. Seriously, if it isn’t one thing its’ another. As of 10/15 he is still clear to play, but the future looks shaky. Not playing the rest of the year could hurt Winston, and maybe even see him fall out of the top 3-5 picks where he seemed to be all but a lock. (more…)

Scouting Report: Alvin “Bud” Dupree, DE/OLB Kentucky

Friday, October 17th, 2014

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken:

There were so many good games this past weekend. Thank you to whomever invented the DVR because <–more–>it got a workout and I cannot wait to re-watch some of these epic match-ups.  The other night, my wife and I sat down to watch TV and she went to the DVR memory, looked over at me and said “there is a lot of football on here, it is getting hard to find my shows.”I tried to explain that it’s for the job, but I am not sure she is buying it.  Last night we saw a Jets team come in and give the Patriots a real scare and the defense really struggled in both run and pass defense.

One guy who could come in and help that defense is Alvin Dupree, so I decided to focus on him in my scouting report for the week.  Here is what I saw on the film. (more…)

Saturday Slate: Week 7 College Prospects to Watch.

Friday, October 10th, 2014

NCAA Football: Mississippi State at South Carolina

NEPD Staff Writer: CJ Sousa

Wow. WOW. What a weekend in college football. Week 6 saw huge upsets, thrilling conclusions to games, and with Katy Perry getting substantial ESPN TV time, everyone truly went home winners Saturday (Except you, Alabama fans). Week 7 poses some just as important big time match-ups, but first let’s recap quickly.

SEC Battle Royale: It was truly separation Saturday in the SEC. First, Mississippi State took care of Texas A&M, and in convincing fashion. MSU QB Dak Prescott looked like a Heisman contender, and even though Prescott’s counterpart Kenny Hill compiled nice stats, he didn’t play so well. His favorite receiver was MSU LB Richie Brown, who caught 3 interceptions. The prospect everyone is talking about, MSU OLB Benardrick McKinney impressed throughout. Great flow, great anticipation… I’ve officially bought into the Junior ILB/OLB’s hype. In what was one of the ugliest games you’ll ever watch, Florida remains a contender in the SEC East after outlasting Tennessee 10-9. UF DE Dante Fowler Jr. was an animal and dominated the under matched Volunteers’ line. (more…)

Scouting Report: Ameer Abdullah, RB Nebraska

Thursday, October 9th, 2014


Everything is right in the world again. The Patriots played well….like the Patriots. Hopefully that will continue throughout the season and draftniks will be trying to figure out who the Patriots will be interested in at pick #32. Depending on how the Patriots handle the contracts of Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen, one possibility will be drafting a running back, so this week I decided to give Ameer Abdullah a closer look.


Abdullah is listed at 5’9″ and 190 pounds, but he looks and plays much bigger on film. He is a decisive runner and shows no hesitation in the backfield.  He has good vision, trusts what he sees, and explodes through the hole. Abdullah does not lose momentum when cutting. He has a compact frame, a nice combination of balance and power, and stays low. He is quicker than fast,does not try to bounce everything outside, and likes to run between the tackles.  He also hits defenders rather than being hit. His low center of gravity makes it difficult for defenders to wrap him up and get big hits on him. Even when there is not a lot of running room, Abdullah falls forward to maximize his yardage. Very rarely does he down on first contact or by a single tackler. He was not used a ton in the passing game of the games I watched, but he did look comfortable catching the ball and his stats in prior years indicate that he can be an effective pass catching option.  In the play I highlighted below, you can see several of Abdullah’s positive traits, including vision, decisiveness, balance, low center of gravity, and his ability to gain yards after first contact.

Abdullah has had a lot of carries in his career at Nebraska, which is always a little worrisome for running backs. He does not possess elite speed for the position and will never be a home-run threat in the NFL. Abdullah has also been fortunate to run through some very large holes, which have helped him rack up impressive numbers. Another aspect of his game that he must work on if he wants to be considered an every-down back in the NFL is his pass protection. Hopefully with coaching and a willingness to learn, he can improve this aspect of his game. In the play below you can see that his technique and effort are not great, which forced his QB to rush the throw.


There is a lot to like about Ameer Abdullah so his game should translate well to the NFL. While he may lack elite size and speed, his other traits for the position are top notch. He plays much bigger than his size and has never had any major injuries.  Abdullah plays with a mean streak, always looking to run through defenders and fight for extra yards.  You rarely see him get tackled for a loss. He must work on his pass protection if he wants to be an every down back in the NFL. Because Abdullah lacks that home run threat potential that players like Guryley and Gordon have, I would not give him a first-round grade but he could be a nice addition to the Patriots beyond that.

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