The Sideline View's Lance Zierlein believes Clemson senior OL Brandon Thomas is a "late first to mid second round pick" due to his position versatility.
"There are some people really sleeping on Clemson's Brandon Thomas. He's going late first to mid second round and can play tackle in the NFL," Zierlein tweeted. It's a huge plus when a prospect can offer a team position versatility. If Thomas is able to step in and play where he's needed, it gives NFL teams some flexibility on their depth chart right away. Thomas has received comparisons to future Hall of Fame guard Brian Waters.
Scout Inc.'s Kevin Weidl believes Rutgers WR Brandon Coleman "exposed" Notre Dame CB Bennett Jackson's "warts" in the Pin Stripe Bowl tape.
"Bennett really struggled handling Coleman's size downfield," Weidl wrote. Jackson reportedly received a second-day projection from the advisory board prior to last season, but chose to return for his final season. It may have been a poor decision. NFL Media draft analyst and NBC Notre Dame football broadcaster Mike Mayock recently projected him as a fifth-round pick. Jackson's length will intrigue a team looking to bolster its secondary depth.
Wisconsin redshirt junior RB Melvin Gordon doesn't regret returning to school for another season.
Gordon very well could have been the highest-drafted RB in the 2014 class if he'd declared. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, in fact, recently reported that the Badgers' star was the top back on some draft boards this year. "Some guys thought I should have left," Gordon said. "They're just like, 'I told you so." Gordon rushed for 1,609 yards in 2013, good for 10th-most in the nation. "I feel I can catch," he said. "I just have to get the opportunity in the game, to show people. And I will this year. For the people who don't think I can catch, I'm definitely aiming to prove them wrong."
Former Hawkeyes cornerback William Lowe filed a lawsuit Monday in connection with a scandal three years ago that saw 13 players hospitalized after a high-intensity workout.
Lowe's suit contends that coaches and trainers didn't properly supervise him during the Jan. 20, 2011 workout. Lowe says Iowa was negligent in "developing and implementing a dangerous improper training program" and should pay unspecified damages for his pain and suffering. The suit states that Lowe and others reported "substantial leg pain and stiffness as well as abnormally dark urine" after that workout. Lowe never rejoined the team after the incident in question.
Matt Waldman of the Rookie Scouting Portfolio believes Eastern Illinois QB Jimmy Garoppolo has "dramatic" pocket presence problems and would leave him off his draft board entirely if he were a decision-maker.
"Is it impossible for Garappolo to address his pocket presence? Of course not," Waldman wrote. "Have I ever seen it when the issues are this dramatic? Not in recent memory." Waldman believes Garoppolo "sees phantom pressure" and consistently lacks "a clear plan on the field when the initial play doesn't work." The link below provides plenty of damning evidence via film available on YouTube to support Waldman's assessments. Garoppolo has the tools to succeed at the next level, but he needs plenty of work.
Minnesota coach Jerry Kill named redshirt sophomore QB Mitch Leidner as the team's starting quarterback.
"He's the number one guy, no question," Kill said. Philip Nelson's transfer to Rutgers over the winter removed most of the drama from the QB competition, as Leidner was the only quarterback with any game experience remaining on the roster. Leidner (6-foot-4, 235-pounds) started four games in 2013, showing more potential as a runner than as a passer. Kill says Leidner is a cross between two star QBs he mentored at Northern Illinois, Chandler Harnish and Jordan Lynch.
Denzel and Robert Nkemdiche have filed a counter-suit seeking $2 million against a man who sued and accused them of beating him up.
"Nkemdiche would state and show that he suffered and sustained harm, injuries, damages, and/or losses as a result of the false and defamatory statements made by plaintiff/counter-defendant Matthew Baird and that, therefore, Nkemdiche is entitled to a judgement against (Baird) for compensatory damages in an amount to be determined by the jury," the lawsuit reads. Denzel Nkemdiche was suspended for the school's 2014 opener against Boise State, while Robert hasn't been disciplined by the program.
Utah State CB Nevin Lawson "compares favorably with Baltimore's 2009 third-round pick, corner Lardarius Webb," according to Scout Inc.'s Steve Muench.
Lawson (5-foot-9 1/2, 190 pounds) asserted himself onto scouts' radars with good showings in both the East-West Shrine Game and Senior Bowl. He posted a 4.48 40-yard dash at the combine. "I was excited to see his tape as a result and he didn't disappoint. He is a quick-twitch corner with the instincts, quickness and balance to shadow receivers underneath plus he's fast enough to turn and run with receivers," wrote Muench. "His competitiveness and short-term memory when it comes to getting beat are also noteworthy." The analyst sees Lawson as a Day 3 pick and suggests the Falcons as a possible fit.