NFL Media's Lance Zierlein says Oklahoma State RB Chris Carson "is an immediate winner of the eyeball test, but that hasn't always been true of his running style."
"His shift from finesse to a more power-based running style fits his size and physical attributes and gives him a better shot of playing on Sundays," Zierlein wrote. "Carson is suited to a downhill attack that allows him to be the hammer rather than the nail, but he's unlikely to create for himself with elusiveness or speed. If Carson works out well, he could hear his name called on Day 3." In nine games last year, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Carson earned honorable mention All-Big 12 notice by logging 559 yards and nine touchdowns on just 82 carries and catching 13 passes for 128 yards and a score.
Cal hired Fresno State's Tony Tuioti as outside linebackers coach.
Tuioti was actually a football staffer at Michigan last season. He was hired as part of Jeff Tedford‘s first coaching staff in December, only to be poached two months later by Justin Wilcox.
New Mexico State hired Washington State control coach Chase Holbrook as TE coach.
Holbrook is a former prolific Aggie quarterback who owns the school’s single-season and career records for passing, passing attempts, completions, touchdowns, total offense and total touchdowns. "We are really excited about Chase coming back to New Mexico State," HC Doug Martin said. "Having a former great quarterback that has his name written all over the Aggie record book will have a huge impact on us taking that next step. Chase really believes and cares deeply about the football program here. To have a coach of his talent join our staff makes us a better program immediately."
West Georgia DT Jason Carr will "likely get invited to a camp on his size and length alone," writes NFL Media's Lance Zierlein.
"Carr is a long way from being an NFL prospect, but teams could see him as a developmental project that can pack on the pounds and potentially plug-in as a space-eating defensive tackle down the road," Zierlein wrote. Earlier in his career, Tennessee coaches, thinking Carr needed more of a "sense of urgency" in his play, tried to switch him to OL. Carr balked and bolted. At West Georgia, Carr logged 37 tackles, 5.5 for loss and a sack in 2015 and23 tackles, 4.5 for loss and two sacks in 2016. The 6-foot-5, 300-pound Carr looks the part, but he hasn't always played it.
Mississippi State finalized a four-year contract extension with HC Dan Mullen.
Mullen will make $4.5 million this season. Heading into his ninth season in Starkville, Mullen holds a 61-42 record. He's 12 wins away from tying Jackie Sherrill's school record.
NFL Media's Lance Zierlein believes Nebraska TE Cethan Carter is a block-first tight end who unfortunately "lacks the size and ability to sustain at the point of attack to handle in-line blocking duties on the next level."
"He may not have the hands or route separation to handle pass-catching duties on the next level and he has played sparingly on special teams," Zierlein wrote. "To carve out a spot on a roster, Carter will have to prove that he can do one of those things well." Zierlein may not love him, but former St. Louis Rams HC Mike Martz is high on Carter's NFL potential. Carter was on Martz's team at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. Said Martz of the 6-foot-4, 229-pounder: "He’s got length. He’s got juice to get upfield. He’s got speed — not just real speed, he can change direction." Carter was voted an honorable mention All-Big Ten selection last year.
An NFC director of player personnel says Virginia Tech S Chuck Clark is just a "JAG (just a guy)."
"I guess you like him more than me because I think he's JAG (just a guy)," he said. "He's instinctive but what else? I don't see anything special. To me, he's a backup who will always be looking over his shoulder for his roster spot." Clark made 94 stops, 2.5 TFL and two pass break-ups last year. "Clark is a little smaller than the NFL norm and that will likely hurt him some on draft day since the safety position is often drafted based heavily on physical traits," NFL Media's Lance Zierlein wrote. "Clark is a willing tackler who can play a combo safety role thanks to his instincts and ball skills. Position coaches may end up liking him much more than the evaluators who are tasked with finding traits-based talent. Clark could become a third safety who works his way into playing time."
Northwestern senior RB Justin Jackson didn't submit paperwork to the NFL's college advisory committee.
Jackson wasn't at all interested in bolting for the NFL after capping off his third straight 1,000-yard campaign. "I felt like it was in my best interests to come back and fine-tune my skills," he said. "Plus, I've put so much work into this whole school thing, I figured I might as well finish it out." Only eight players in FBS history have ever recorded four straight 1,000-yard seasons. Jackson sits at 4,485 career rushing yards heading into his last season. He hopes he won't get dinged for his heavy workload when he enters the NFL next season. "I have no idea how NFL scouts think," he said. "But hopefully they'll look at my production and the fact that I haven’t missed any games, and I hope that can be a plus."