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Scouts Inc. projects Mississippi State ILB Benardrick McKinney as a 4-3 middle linebacker.

"But he has the size and athleticism to be a strong inside linebacker and even a 3-4 outside linebacker or 4-3 right defensive end," wrote Todd McShay. McKinney will attend the NFL Draft in Chicago, an indication that there's a chance he could go in Round 1 (though we see Round 2 as a more likely possibility). The 6-foot-4, 245-pounder, who boasts an impressive combination of size and athleticism, recorded 243 total tackles, 7.5 sacks, eight passes defended, and one forced fumble during his MSU career.
Apr 18 - 11:37 PM

NFL Media draft analyst Charles Davis said Philadelphia's nightmare draft scenario is Cleveland consummating a trade for Oregon QB Marcus Mariota.

"If Mariota begins to slide a bit, we all know which direction the chatter will turn to -- when will Chip Kelly make a move up from No. 20 to land his former Oregon quarterback?" Davis wrote. "Kelly has said he won't mortgage the future to trade up for Mariota, but if he falls to the Giants at No. 9, it should surprise no one if GM Jerry Reese's phone starts ringing." Of course, this assumes that the Titans aren't able to extract a ransom for the No. 2 pick. But we'll play along in the thought exercise, which probably works just as well for the No. 2 slot itself. Davis said the Browns, one of two teams that have two first-rounders (Saints), have more ammunition in draft equity to move up the board than Philadelphia and could do so if properly motivated. "Well, that would be a buzzkill, to say the least, in Philadelphia," he wrote.
Apr 18 - 11:22 PM

Vanderbilt DT Vince Taylor posted 36 repetitions on the bench press at Vanderbilt's Pro Day.

That number would have led all defensive linemen at the Combine. It certainly earned him attention, but Taylor, who can play either 4-3 DT or 3-4 NG, is essentially useless as a pass rusher, which probably seals his fate as a UDFA. "Taylor lacks great size but his weight room strength shows up on tape as he's tough to move off his spot. Better yet, he shows surprisingly light feet and is a fiery competitor who pursues to the edges," wrote CBS Sports' Rob Rang. "Taylor only has phone-booth quickness, however and isn't much of a pass rush threat. He did improve throughout his collegiate career and has the stout frame and effort to surprise if given an opportunity."
Source: CBS Sports
Apr 18 - 11:03 PM

ESPN's Todd McShay believes Miami ILB Denzel Perryman "projects best as a middle linebacker in a 4-3 scheme, but he could also play strong inside linebacker."

Agreed, and for the reasons McShay states. "He isn't the most athletic guy but is an outstanding tackler who was the leader of the Hurricanes' defense," he wrote. Perryman is absolutely not for everyone, but he's going to be a productive player if he finds the right scheme. NFL Media's Lance Zierlein likens Perryman to D'Qwell Jackson. "Early-down linebacker who can make plays against the run but will struggle if isolated in coverage," Zierlein wrote. "Perryman is a lunch-pail worker who enjoys the physical part of the game."
Apr 18 - 10:49 PM

CBS Sports' Rob Rang believes Washington State WR Vince Mayle "could prove [to be] a poor man's Anquan Boldin."

"Mayle lacks home-run speed," Rang said. "I see a combination of size, balance, strength and toughness, however." Mayle ran forties between 4.56 and the mid 4.6s at his personal pro day. "Need an example of Mayle's toughness? He didn't drop a ball during his combine pass-catching drill (or Senior Bowl, for that matter) despite competing with a broken right thumb," Rang wrote. We agree on the evaluation. Mayle was always going to be knocked for his lack of speed, but he has traits which can't be taught. The 6-foot-2, 224-pound former basketball player hauled in 106 passes for 1,483 yards and nine touchdowns across 12 games last year.
Source: CBS Sports
Apr 18 - 10:33 PM

Michigan WR Devin Funchess "was pushed around more than you would expect for a receiver of his size, but played most of 2014 season on bad ankle he injured in game two against Notre Dame," according to NFLDraftScout.com's Frank Cooney.

The injury is important to note, because many are willing to blame all of Funchess' 2014 struggles on poor effort. We tend to see it as a blend of the bum wheel, poor quarterback play, worse offensive scheming and an attitude which may have deteriorated due to the team's struggles. "Funchess is a matchup nightmare. He is a former high school basketball player who uses his big body to post up smaller defenders as a great possession receiver," Cooney wrote. "He played with more aggression, confidence and quickness before injury in week two last year, but showed moxie playing hurt the whole season." Regarding effort, Funchess responded: "I know that I was giving my all for my team, so they can have their opinion, but I know the truth."
Source: CBS Sports
Apr 18 - 10:13 PM

ESPN's K.C. Joyner writes that Alabama RB T.J. Yeldon "is known for his top-end speed and breakaway ability, but his goal-line conversion ability is a skill that sets him apart."

Yeldon cashed in seven touchdowns on nine rushes from at or inside the 2-yard line in 2014. "This showing was not an anomaly, as he had seven touchdowns in eight rush attempts in that scenario in 2013," Joyner wrote. "Add those seasons together and it equates to an 82.3 percent touchdown conversion rate. To put this total into perspective, note that according to ESPN Stats & Information, college rushers converted carries from at or inside the 2-yard line into a touchdown an average of 59.3 percent of the time last year. This shows Yeldon is that rare type of back who can convert drives into six points a very high percentage of the time." Yeldon, compared to Le'Veon Bell and Frank Gore, will hear his name called on Day 2.
Apr 18 - 9:54 PM

Reese's Senior Bowl Executive Director and ESPN Insider Phil Savage said the hypothetical trade of Philip Rivers and picks for the No. 2 pick "makes so much sense" for both the Titans and Chargers.

"For the Tennessee Titans, they need to win now," Savage wrote on Twitter. The former NFL GM noted that Titans HC Ken Whisenhunt coached Rivers in 2013 and Rivers is from Athens, Ala., 1.5 hours from Nashville. "For the Chargers, (the trade) avoids stalemate/franchise tag in '16, answers long-term QB issue with Marcus Mariota and creates excitement if moving to LA," Savage tweeted.
Apr 18 - 9:39 PM

NFL scouts are impressed by Kansas State WR Tyler Lockett's "productivity as a shifty slot receiver and returner, (but) his diminutive size and medical background are cause for concern," reports NFLDraftScout.com's Frank Cooney.

"As long as he is healthy, Lockett can add firepower as a devilish slot receiver as well as kickoff and punt returner," Rang wrote. We will point out that Lockett's durability concerns are far less acute than most other prospects; he missed three games and a bowl game in 2011 with a lacerated kidney and missed two games with a hamstring issue in 2013. "Runs like the wind with speed to get behind the secondary on vertical patterns... sudden, decisive footwork off the snap and in his breaks to sell routes and attract holding penalties - dynamic and deliberate route runner... doesn't slow down in his cuts, showing sharp burst to create space... deadly stop-and-go and double moves with a strong understanding of how to separate in his routes," reads Dane Brugler's scouting report.
Source: CBS Sports
Apr 18 - 9:26 PM

Clemson LB Stephone Anthony's "take-on technique and play recognition will need to continue to improve, but he has explosive power at the point of attack and he has rare straight-line speed for his size," observed ESPN's Todd McShay.

"His position fits are the same as Perryman's -- he can play either 4-3 MLB or 3-4 SILB," wrote McShay, who ranks Anthony as the No. 51 player in the draft. That grade is about in line with industry consensus, which posits that Anthony has moved himself into firm second-round territory.
Apr 18 - 9:09 PM

William & Mary WR Tre McBride "does not show explosive speed, [but] he runs so smoothly that he lulls defenders into underestimating how much ground he is covering," writes NFLDraftScout.com's Frank Cooney.

"In a draft full of conspicuous talent at wide receiver, McBride becomes difficult to rate by comparison, especially since he played at a lower level in college," Cooney wrote. "He has potential, but may take a couple of years to pay off consistently." In addition to Cooney, both Rotoworld and NFL Media Senior Analyst and former Dallas Cowboys executive Gil Brandt like McBride. "McBride is a wide receiver who's probably going to surprise a lot of people who aren't draftniks. The fact that 18 teams were [at his pro day] to see him gives you a good hint of his abilities, and he's also had separate workouts with six teams," Brandt said.
Source: CBS Sports
Apr 18 - 8:55 PM

UCLA edge rusher Owamagbe Odighizuwa "is very similar to [MSU's Preston] Smith in that he is a strong run defender who could play either left defensive end in a 4-3 front or 5-technique in a 3-4 defense," writes ESPN's Todd McShay.

McShay ranks Owa No. 52 overall, ahead of the more heralded Mario Edwards Jr. of Florida State (62). We've been higher on Odighizuwa throughout the process and remain so. You simply don't see many prospects who can covert speed to power in this way, and, as a bonus, can play in both even and odd man fronts. We aren't privy to all the NFL's medical information, but you can bet teams will quadruple-check Owa's hip before pulling the trigger.
Apr 18 - 8:40 PM

NFL.com draft analyst Curtis Conway believes Oregon State QB Sean Mannion's pro-style experience makes him an undervalued draft commodity.

"He'll come in ahead of the game," said Conway, who also expressed attraction to Mannion's size (6-foot-6, 229). If you're a regular reader of this section, stop reading this blurb now, because we're about to assault the dead horse again. Simply put: Mannion is barely worth a late Day 3 pick. The immobile pocket passer only excelled in 2013, when Brandin Cooks was absolutely abusing Pac-12 corners. Mannion freaks out when things go wrong inside of structure, taking unnecessary sacks, forcing the ball to preliminary reads, or turning the ball over needlessly. He's going to be overdrafted.
Source: NFL.com
Apr 18 - 8:26 PM

East Carolina WR Justin Hardy "is a fierce competitor with huge hands that attack the ball and rarely drop it," according to NFLDraftScout.com's Frank Cooney.

"How can you not like this guy, who doesn't even complain about being ignored by the Biletnikoff Award panel after setting NCAA record for receptions? A lot of people will be curious to see where he goes and how he does," Cooney wrote. Hardy won the the Bulsworth Trophy as the nation's top walk-on in 2014. "It meant a lot, just having a trophy out there for guys like myself who walked on and then accomplished so much in your career, it's a great honor," he said. "It says a lot, that you go out there and do everything and give 110 percent."
Source: CBS Sports
Apr 18 - 8:09 PM

NFL Media analyst Charles Davis says that the worst-case scenario for Miami is that the draft's top three receivers are all off the board when they get on the clock in Round 1.

Louisville WR DeVante Parker was a popular pick for the Dolphins in mock drafts throughout the winter, but Parker's stock has been rising in recent weeks, enough so that it is now assumed that he won't be available at No. 14 overall. In fact, the Miami Herald's Armando Salguero recently reported that he's hearing Parker will be drafted before No. 14. "The nightmare for the Dolphins could be standing pat and watching Parker go before it's their time to pick," Davis wrote. "The consolation prize? It could be UCF WR Breshad Perriman at No. 14. He, too, is on the rise and some rank him as even with Parker. I still have Perriman sixth in my WR rankings, though."
Source: NFL.com
Apr 18 - 7:56 PM



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