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Oregon junior De'Anthony Thomas ranks as Mel Kiper's top draft-eligible RB for the 2014 Draft.

"Is he a running back?" Kiper asks. "He's a little bit of everything, but he's a running back on my board because handing him the ball is the quickest way to get it to him, and getting him the ball is the most important thing... Thomas will never be a bulk-carry runner, and he doesn't have the route-running skills of a guy like Tavon Austin, who he might be compared to based on the burst." Oregon will likely be running a similar offense in 2013, but it will be interesting to see if anyone takes a step back after the school lost Chip Kelly to the NFL.
Source: ESPN
Thu, May 16, 2013 09:34:00 AM

The Dallas Cowboys hosted Youngstown State edge rusher Derek Rivers for an official pre-Draft visit on Wednesday.

Michigan State defensive lineman Malik McDowell was also at team facilities. The Cowboys badly need an edge rusher, with owner Jerry Jones on record talking about the importance of finding a "war daddy" pass-rusher. Last year, Benson Mayowa led the Cowboys with just six sacks. Though a bit small for what the Cowboys system typically looks for, Rivers would be just what the doctor ordered for that anemic pass rush. At the FCS level last year, he posted 15 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss.
Source: ESPN
Apr 20 - 12:21 PM

Bob McGinn spoke with one NFL scout who believes Tennessee RB Alvin Kamara could start for the Packers.

"He’s a hell of a lot better than (Ty) Montgomery," the scout said. Other evaluators were not as thrilled, calling Kamara as secondary back or passing down role player, bringing up that he didn't even start at Tennesee until Jalen Hurd left the program. Kamara likely has enough fans in the NFL to be a top 50 pick.
Apr 20 - 11:39 AM

Bob McGinne spoke with one NFL scout who believes LSU RB Leonard Fournette is "head and shoulders" superior to other prospects at his position.

"He’s a freaking beast," another evaluator said. However, a few of McGinn's sources were not as optimistic. "The more I watched him, he can’t create at the line of scrimmage," said another scout. "The last guy that had that same issue was Darren McFadden." Fournette will be at his best with a coaching staff that understands he will have success with a running game built around him. That sounds obvious, but NFL coaches don't always handle it that way. Fournette how power and straight-line speed.
Apr 20 - 11:24 AM

USC CB Adoree' Jackson visited the Texans, Eagles, Cowboys, Browns, Bucs and Titans, according to Aaron Wilson.

A few teams in the later part of round one are considering Jackson, but his most likely target area is at the top of round two. Jackson is an incredible athlete who is a playmaker with the ball in his hands. We are sure many position coaches see him as a moldable piece of clay.
Apr 20 - 11:15 AM

When asked about Ohio State CB Gareon Conley's "rise" up draft boards, Eagles VP of Player Personnel Joe Douglas said it is the public catching up to what the NFL thinks.

We have mentioned the same, and Rotoworld's Josh Norris has ranked Conley as a top two corner in this class. Conley was asked to face off against numerous top receivers on the right, left and even in the slot. He has a larger sample size of snaps than Marshon Lattimore and tested in the 86th percentile.
Apr 20 - 11:04 AM

NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah spoke to five NFL executives, and three of them believe Clemson's Deshaun Watson will be the first QB drafted.

Mitchell Trubisky received one vote as did Patrick Mahomes. For weeks we all believed Mitchell Trubisky would be the first quarterback off the board, but Watson is generating buzz and much of it is due to his collegiate resume. "None of these guys are franchise-type, no-brainer picks, but he's the closest to what you'd want at the position," one executive told Jeremiah. The Bears at three are very possible.
Source: NFL.com
Apr 20 - 10:46 AM

The Raiders hosted NC State S Josh Jones for a last minute visit, according to Rotoworld's Josh Norris.

Team visits concluded this week, but Jones snuck in one final trip. The Wolfpack safety likely fits somewhere on the second day and could see the field early on. The Raiders invested a first round pick in Karl Joseph recently, but they lack a third safety and Reggie Nelson is not getting younger.
Apr 20 - 8:49 AM

The San Francisco 49ers hosted LSU RB Leonard Fournette for a pre-Draft visit on Wednesday.

As the Sacramento Bee noted in its report, "there has been chatter for two months" that the 49ers would take Fournette No. 2 overall. We'd be a little surprised by that, as new head coach Kyle Shanahan has preferred multi-dimensional backs with receiving chops in the past (to say nothing of the fact that San Francisco has bigger needs on its decimated roster). We don't yet know what type of decision-maker new 49ers general manager John Lynch is, however, and Lynch may view Fournette as a franchise-changing talent. We'll find out next week.
Apr 19 - 6:54 PM

An NFL scout gave Wisconsin edge rusher T.J. Watt a higher grade coming out of college than his older brother, Texans' All-Pro J.J. Watt.

"I gave him a higher grade than his brother (J.J.)," he said. "All he does is make plays. He’s Clay Matthews. Probably more explosive. I guess he’s learned pass-rush techniques from his brother. Uses his hands well." During the NFL Combine athletic tests in Indianapolis, the 6-foot-4, 252-pounder led all linebackers in the vertical jump (37), broad jump (10-8), short shuttle (4.13), three-cone (6.79) and hand size (11). "He’s more of a ‘Sam’ or 3-4 outside linebacker," another one scout. "He’s physical, tough. He tested out well. Plays hard." A third scout critiqued: "Needs to play with more strength and base. On the ground too much." Watt should go early in Round 2 if he isn't taken in Round 1.
Apr 19 - 6:03 PM

Texas Tech QB Pat Mahomes acknowledged that he senses Texans HC Bill O'Brien's interest in him.

"I feel like a lot of coaches like me, but especially coach O'Brien. I think my personality and how real I am, those are things beyond what I can do on the field that he likes," Mahomes said. "It seemed like the way I was answering questions, I think he knew that I knew what was going on. You can tell when coaches have a confidence in you." On Monday, Mahomes was in Houston to meet with Texans' officials. Four other teams have shown strong interest in Mahomes, having scheduled him for both a pre-draft visit and a private workout: the Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns and New York Jets. Mahomes said he's met with 21 different teams during the pre-Draft process. He's looking like a first-round probability at this point.
Source: NFL.com
Apr 19 - 4:57 PM

Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline reports that "several teams" are concerned that Alabama CB Marlon Humphrey is "too much of a straight-line defender" who "can only play in limited schemes."

Those teams, per Pauline, are comparing Humphrey’s playing style to former Tide CB Dee Milliner, the No. 9 overall pick in 2013 by the New York Jets. That's obviously an ominous conflation. Milliner has been limited by injuries to only 21 career games. When on the field, he's been routinely lit up. As for Humphrey, he doesn't figure to last long in Round 2 if he isn't taken in Round 1.
Apr 19 - 3:53 PM




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