QB Matt Joeckel will transfer from Texas A&M to TCU.
Joeckel graduated and will be eligible to play immediately. This is a really smart destination for Joeckel, who is heading to a team that hasn't ranked above eighth in total offense in either of its two seasons in the Big 12. In addition, the only returning QB with any experience, Travone Boykin, finished last year as a WR. TCU coach Gary Patterson hired co-OCs Doug Meacham and Sonny Cumbie to design an uptempo, no-huddle attack like the one Joeckel is leaving at Texas A&M.
Georgia coach Mark Richt says RB Keith Marshall, and WRs Malcolm Mitchell and Justin Scott-Wesley are expected to be healthy enough for "voluntary" summer workouts.
Each suffered torn ACLs last year. Georgia hasn't ruled out redshirting Marshall next season, mostly because he's blocked by Todd Gurley at the moment. If the Bulldogs give him an extra year to heal, he'd have two seasons eligibility left after Gurley likely declares for the draft in 2015.
NFL Media draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah said in a Thursday teleconference that the Bears might use the No. 14 pick to fill a safety need.
"I think they'll have shot at one of those top two guys, Ha Ha Clinton Dix from Alabama, Calvin Pryor from Louisville," Jeremiah said. "HaHa Clinton-Dix might be a little more attractive to them just as a playmaker over the top, kind of a little more range than Pryor." Clinton-Dix could also draw attention from the Lions at No. 10 and the Rams at No. 13. Chicago is also closely monitoring the DT prospects.
NFL Media draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah said on a teleconference Thursday that if the Chiefs don't take a WR at No. 23 overall, Minnesota DT Ra'Shede Hageman would be a good fit.
In addition to Hageman (6-foot-6, 310 pounds), Jeremiah pointed to Notre Dame DE Stephon Tuitt (6-foot-6, 304 pounds) as a potential target for Kansas City. The analyst said both can rush the passer "but also can be a 5-technique and hold the point of attack." Hageman and Tuitt are interesting players to compare, as both are supremely athletic and disappointing on tape. Hageman played DT in a 4-3 for Minnesota, but could be a 3-4 end, while Tuitt was a 3-4 DE at Notre Dame but could play DT in a 4-3. ESPN's Todd McShay also sees a fit between the Chiefs and Hageman, though he doesn't believe Kansas City will tab a DL in the opening stanza.
Tennessee G Zach Fulton and Notre Dame G Chris Watt worked out for the Bears on Friday.
Both are expected to audition as both guards and centers. "Every team has had me snap at least a few times every time they came in," Watt said. Added Fulton: "I’ve been working on my snaps." Watt, a 6-foot-3, 310-pounder, projected to go between Rds. 3-4, spoke to the NFL's increased value on versatility: "Most of the teams want me to be able to know the three interior positions. That’s the best way to get onto the field."
Scouts Inc.'s Kevin Weidl identified Alabama WR Kevin Norwood as "one of my favorite prospects" and a Day 3 sleeper.
Weidl knows why Norwood isn't being discussed more, mentioning the prospect's lack of "elite explosiveness on tape" which renders him "a possession-type receiver." However, the analyst loves Norwood's hands and his willingness to go over the middle. "Norwood is still growing into his frame and must continue to develop his overall strength," Weidl wrote. "However, he should be one of the wide receiver prospects teams could get great value for in the fourth-round range because of the unusual depth of this year's receiver class. Norwood will be a strong fit for teams like the Broncos or Patriots, who rely on their receivers' timing and reading coverages on the fly."
The Raiders hosted UCF QB Blake Bortles for a pre-draft visit on Monday.
It's not certain that Bortles will be available when Oakland gets on the clock at No. 5, but the odds are far better right now than they were one month ago. ESPN's Todd McShay wrote earlier this month that if the Raiders select a QB at No. 5, it's going to be Bortles. The Raiders currently have Matt Schaub, Trent Edwards, Matt McGloin and Terrelle Pryor on the roster.
Wisconsin WR Jared Abbrederis position coach at Wisconsin, Chris Beatty, said several NFL scouts and coaches have called Abbrederis "one of the best route runners in the draft."
Abbrederis famously annihilated first-rounder Bradley Roby in September for 10 catches, 207 yards and a touchdown. "Roby is a great player," Beatty said. "Jared made him look average on that day. I mean, the guy couldn't keep up with him." Abbrederis is lost in the shuffle a bit amidst a deep WR class, and his measurables (6-foot-1, 195 pounds, 4.50 forty) aren't off-the-charts. However, he's a low-floor prospect who should stick. "He's one of those guys who pays attention to every little thing in the meeting," Beatty said. "He's a film guy, and he's been in a pro-style offense for four years, five years. He knows what those routes look like -- he's run them over and over. So he knows what comebacks look like, where sometimes the spread-offense guys don't have that background."