Archive for the ‘NFL Draft’ Category

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.

Saturday Slate: NFL Draft Prospects to Watch in Week 6

Saturday, October 4th, 2014

landon collins

NEPD Staff Writer: CJ Sousa

IT IS UPON US! The big time conference match ups begin this week. The crowds are a little louder, the hits are a little harder, and the games certainly mean that much more. But before that excitement, let’s do a quick recap of week 5.

Eyes on the SEC: Saturday started with Tennessee giving a legitimate scare into 17 point favorite #12 Georgia. I see Georgia having big issues down the road if QB Hutson Mason can’t improve his play. If not for the heroic effort of RB Todd Gurley (Just give him the damn’ Heisman already), this would have been a different story. Gurley ended with a career high 208 yards and scored 2 touchdowns. His power, strength, and speed is unmatched across college football. Tennessee freshmen RB Jalen Hurd will be a name to keep an eye on. He grinded out 119 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries against a good Georgia front 7. A&M came back to beat Arkansas in a wild one at Jerry World in OT. A&M QB Kenny Hill lit it up (386 yards, 4 TD, 1 Int), in a season saving effort to climb out of a 14 point 4th quarter hole. Arkansas RB Alex Collins (who I have as the 3rd best RB in the conference) shined as he ran for 131 yards and a touchdown. And in a wild night cap, Missouri went on the road and beat South Carolina in a revenge game from last season. Mizzou scored 14 unanswered to stay in the SEC east race, beating the Gamecocks 21-20. (more…)

Scouting Report: Marcus Peters, CB Washington vs. Hawaii and Stanford

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

With a quarter of the season already in the books, it seems the Patriots have more questions than answers. It has been the better part of a decade since fans have questioned if the team has what it takes to make the playoffs rather than can  they win the Super Bowl. As draftniks, we’ve become accustomed to the Patriots having late-round draft picks. This year, if Coach Belichick and the team cannot  turn the season around, we may be drafting in uncharted waters.  With so much uncertainty, no prospect can be overlooked because the Patriots may be picking much earlier than usual. Because of this, I decided to look at one of the top CB prospects, Marcus Peters.


Peters has good size for the positions, coming in at 6’0″, 190 lbs. He shows an ability to play press man, off man, and zone coverage and looks comfortable in all three schemes. Peters is consistently lined up with the opposition’s best wide receiver, showing his confidence. He also shows good play recognition and quick reactions. When he plays in press man he shows a good backpedal and an ability to stay low, which gives him great change of direction. He also has aggressive hands to jam the receiver at the line of scrimmage. Peters has fluid hips and does not lose any speed when coming out of his backpedal. Because of his aggressive nature, he plays much bigger than his size and uses his body well to cut off routes or force the WR out of route. Sometimes it even looks as though he is running the route better than the WR. He has potential to be a true shut down corner at the next level.


Marcus Peters’ overall game is fun to watch, but there are some aspects that he needs to improve on if he’s going to be an elite corner at the NFL level. Aggressiveness, one of Peters’ biggest positives, is also his biggest negative at times. At one one point in the game, I saw him peeking back at the quarterback only to have the WR run past him. He also looks to jump routes and can get burned by the double move. So far in the games I have watched, it has not come back to hurt him, but it is something that offensive coordinators in the NFL will look to exploit. Peters also shows an inconsistent effort in run support. At times, he shows a willingness to come up and make a tackle on a RB or on a WR while running a screen play, and he is actually pretty good at it, but there are far too many examples of him “dancing” with a WR and allowing someone else to make the play. He is not alone in needing to improve in these areas though as these are common issues for just about every CB in college football. Peters’ aggressiveness off the field is also a concern. His tantrum on the sideline of a game earlier this year caused him to to be benched for the Illinois game. Finally, I noticed that Peters relies more on his athleticism rather than technique at times, especially against lesser competition.


Marcus Peters possesses all of the skills you look for in a CB. He has a unique blend of athleticism and aggressiveness but he walks a fine line between aggressive and over aggressive in many facets of his game.  If he can clean up some of these issues, he has what it takes to be an elite corner at the next level.


Saturday Slate: Week 5 College Football Prospects To Watch

Friday, September 26th, 2014

NEPD Staff Writer: CJ Sousa

Party of one, you may be seated Mississippi State. In what is by far the best division in college football (SEC West), Mississippi State finally deserves to sit at the contenders’ table.

The Bulldogs owned week 4 by going into Death Valley and beating #8 LSU and ending their 14 game losing streak against the Tigers. MSU QB Dak Prescott threw for 268 yards and 2 touchdowns, while also beating the Tigers on the ground with 105 yards and 1 touchdown. While that upset was going on, another one was brewing.


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