Arkansas RB Alex Collins may interest the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos, believes NFL Media analysts Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks.
"They've had a lot of injuries at that position," Jeremiah said of the Patriots. "They need somebody that can also protect the quarterback and help in the passing game, but can (also) grind out those tough yards. I think Alex Collins can give them that." Brooks sees a potential fit with the Super Bowl champions. "The Denver Broncos need a guy that's going to be a bell cow," he said. "A guy that can carry it 25 or more times. Alex Collins is a physical guy and can also do the zone run game. I think he's a good fit." The 5-foot-11, 206-pounder finished with a career-high 1,577 yards last year. We see some Thomas Rawls in him.
Florida State DB Jalen Ramsey missed only four tackles last season.
Ramsey's tremendous strides as a run defender have gone under-reported. You'll hear him referred to as a defensive chess piece and this is why: Ramsey is elite against both the run and the pass. In fact, Pro Football Focus graded him as the No. 1 corner in run defense. In PFF's overall grades, Ramsey graded No. 2 on the season behind Michigan’s Jourdan Lewis. Ramsey is nearly impossible to beat deep and allowed only 0.67 yards per coverage snap, a top-10 national showing.
NFL Media analyst Lance Zierlein lists Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott as the No. 4 overall prospect in this draft class.
Interestingly, the analyst compares the reigning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year (1,821 yards, 23 TD rushing; 27-206 receiving) to Edgerrin James. "Elite, three-down running back who has the ability to excel in every facet of the game," he wrote. "Elliott has rare combination of size, athleticism, pass-catching and blocking skills and his competitive nature is always bubbling on the surface. While he’s had to handle a heavy workload over the last two seasons, Elliot should still come out of the gates as one of the most productive young running backs in the league." Zierlein's NFL Media colleagues Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks recently discussed Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans as possible destinations for Zeke.
USC AD Pat Haden received medical attention after feeling light-headed while walking on Wednesday.
"[He] felt lightheaded, similar to how he felt at the Notre Dame game last October," USC's statement said. "He sat down outside Heritage Hall and the athletic department's medical personnel attended to him." The release went on to say that Haden was "alert and talking" and returned to his office under his own power. The 63-year-old Haden, it was previously announced, will retire on June 30.
The Denver Broncos and Minnesota Vikings were discussed about as possible landing spots for Alabama RB Derrick Henry by NFL Media analysts Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks.
"I look at the Denver Broncos, now you can transform into a physical, pounding team," Jeremiah said. "Get that zone run going, let him get downhill." Brooks' choice of the Vikings is a bit odd in that their incumbent is one of the NFL's best at the position. He thinks Henry would be a nice choice for the future. "(Minnesota) wants to run the ball," Brooks said. "You think about Adrian Peterson getting up in age. Why not bring in a young successor, put him in the backfield, allow him to learn for a year or so to get behind Teddy Bridgewater and let him run the rock."
Pro Football Focus' Zoltan Buday is slightly concerned that Louisville DL Sheldon Rankins struggled against the run in 2014 and regressed in that metric as the season went along in 2015.
To be fair, Rankins was tremendous against the run in 2015, recording the second-most run stops at his position. Much of that production came early, where Rankins posted a +2.0 PFF grade in each of his first seven games. He graded out above +1.0 in only one of his last six games. This is a whole lot of nitpicking for a great prospect. Over the past two years, Rankins logged 16 sacks, 14 hits and 53 hurries. "Rankins has been one of the best 3-4 defensive ends in college football over the past two seasons and will almost certainly be selected in the first round," Buday wrote.
Utah signed four-star JUCO T Garett Bolles.
ESPN ranks Bolles as the No. 2 JUCO prospect in the land, while 247Sports pegs him No. 3. Either way, he represents a big recruiting coup for the Utes, who flipped him off his BYU commitment. "Excellent overall size and displays great playing strength," noted ESPN. "Demonstrates very good leg drive once engaged and can create push in the run game. Good range as run blocker. Shows a tenacious demeanor in his play. Flashes effective kick step with good, balance and lateral agility."
NFL Media's Chad Reuter posits that recent failures of edge rushers similar in profile to Georgia OLB Leonard Floyd may hamper the prospect's draft standing.
The NFL likes rangy, lean pass-rushing prospects, but that type has always been a hit or miss proposition. "For every Clay Matthews, Manny Lawson, and Julian Peterson, there is a Dion Jordan or Barkevious Mingo," Reuter wrote. "Unfortunately for Floyd, the latter two were the more recent selections, leading scouts to wonder if Floyd has the strength and flexibility to consistently hassle quarterbacks on Sundays." Floyd didn't help his own case by posting only 3.5 sacks last year (he posted 6.5 and 6 the two years before that). "There's certainly nothing wrong with Floyd's 'want-to,' and his ability to blow through gaps and around the corner when in pass-rush mode are impressive," Reuter wrote. "As an early entrant, he has time to add onto his frame in a pro strength and conditioning program. He deserves to be an early-round pick, but how early will depend on teams' willingness to project another 20 pounds onto his frame."