Springtime Top-30

Springtime Top-30
Amidst spring football practices, we're releasing our early Top 30 rankings, beginning with a surprise at the very top.
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    Norris: NFL Mock, Picks 1-10

    Norris: NFL Mock, Picks 1-10
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    Norris: NFL Mock, Picks 11-20

    Norris: NFL Mock, Picks 11-20
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    Norris: NFL Mock, Picks 21-32

    Norris: NFL Mock, Picks 21-32
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    Short: MLB Sleepers

    Short: MLB Sleepers
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    Stroup: Hardaway

    Stroup: Hardaway's value
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    Stroup: NBA Waivers

    Stroup: NBA Waivers
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    Norris Takes on the Combine

    Norris Takes on the Combine
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    Stroup: NBA Waivers

    Stroup: NBA Waivers

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A former Big 12 coach scoffed at the notion that Louisiana Tech WR Trent Taylor was somewhat comparable to former New England Patriots WR Wes Welker.

"I had a scout tell me he was just like Wes Welker which is crazy. Welker had a ton of punt return touchdowns (eight) and he was a lot stockier than Taylor. Taylor's a nice player from what I've seen but he's not in Wes' category," said the former coach. Taylor logged a hearty 136-1803-12 receiving line during the 2016 campaign and while he may not be Wes Welker, he could draw interest in the later rounds of the draft.
Source: NFL.com
Mar 26 - 3:58 PM

Pro Football Focus compared Illinois edge rusher Dawuane Smoot to Los Angeles Rams DE Robert Quinn.

Well that is a lofty enough comp. Explained the PFF analysis team, "Smoot doesn’t have anywhere near the bend that Quinn does, but they win in the same ways as pass-rushers." The outlet adds that "Smoot loves to get to the edge and turn the corner, but his lack of top-tier explosiveness might make that more difficult at the next level." While there was Day 1 buzz around Smoot as a draft prospect prior to the 2016 campaign, that has quieted off. One NFL DL coach who spoke with NFL Media's Lance Zierlein believes that Illinois did not properly utilize Smoot's talents during the past campaign.
Mar 26 - 3:51 PM

The Raiders, Titans, Saints and Steelers all met with Michigan TE Jake Butt prior to pro day on Friday.

Butt indicated during the week that he is ahead of schedule in his rehab of a severe knee injury suffered against Florida State in the Orange Bowl. Assuming no setbacks, the 6-foot-6, 237-pounder should be able to start ramping up football activities at some point in July. He is a probable Day 2 selection even with the injury concern.
Source: ESPN.com
Mar 26 - 3:44 PM

Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline relays that "[m]ost on hand" for Michigan's pro day believed that CB Jourdan Lewis' pending misdemeanor domestic assault charge will "push him into the very late rounds."

Lewis was charged with misdemeanor domestic assault following an argument with his live-in girlfriend earlier this month. He has plead not guilty to that charge and is next set to appear in court on April 12. While Lewis is working his way through legal troubles that are torpedoing his draft stock, he at least showed out well for his pro day work, with Pauline writing that the corner "looked exceptional in position drills and was head and shoulders above everyone else."
Mar 26 - 3:33 PM

An East regional scout for an AFC team said that Oklahoma State DT Vincent Taylor's ceiling might be as part of an NFL practice squad.

""I think he'll be a back-end-of-the-roster type or a practice squad player. He has some ability, but I just don't think he's ever going to play with balance because he's too high-cut," the scout said. This past season, the 6-foot-3, 304-pounder logged 51 tackles (13.0 for loss), 7.5 sacks and a pair of forced fumbles. That fine work was enough to earn him All-Big 12 distinction.
Source: NFL.com
Mar 26 - 3:23 PM

Georgia senior RB Nick Chubb has been running without a brace or wrap on his knee this spring.

Chubb had himself a somewhat down 2016 season after being waylaid by a serious knee injury the previous October. He ultimately finished out the campaign rushing for 1,130 yards and eight touchdowns. The 5-foot-10, 228-pounder subsequently opted to return to school for 2017 rather than jump to the NFL Draft. When asked how hurt he was during the 2016 season, Chubb gave a pretty fair assessment of his mindset, saying, "It’s just kind of different. I don’t know. I wasn’t hurt at all. I don’t know how to explain it. Maybe range of motion? Being able to move more, move quicker and better laterally. I think it was mental."
Source: Dawg Nation
Mar 26 - 3:08 PM

Michigan TE Jake Butt believes that collegiate athletes should be able to profit off of the use of their likeness.

"Why can I see 'I Like Jake Butt and I Cannot Lie,' I see those shirts and I'm living paycheck-to-paycheck in college. Who knows? Heaven forbid something happens in the NFL, can I really benefit off of it when it was at the most? No, I can't," Butt said during Michigan's pro day on Friday. His words hold just a little more weight, as he suffered major MCL and ACL injuries when the Wolverines took on Florida State in the Orange Bowl this past season. Said Butt, "I should be the example of why college athletes should be getting paid in college or why I can't use my name to benefit off my likeness in college."
Source: ESPN.com
Mar 26 - 2:54 PM

Pro Football Focus compared Toledo TE Michael Roberts to former Jacksonville Jaguars TE Damon Jones.

"At 6-foot-5, 270-pounds, Jones was a classic No. 2 tight end for the Jaguars from 1997–2001, doing strong work as a run blocker and catching 11 touchdowns as a red-zone threat," PFF's analysis team writes. "Roberts can fill a similar role in a two-TE-heavy offense, where he can block and catch touchdowns." During the past campaign, the 6-foot-4, 270-pounder received the outlet's highest overall grade and second-highest receiving grade for a tight end in this draft class. He ended the season having caught 43 passes for 514 yard and 15 touchdowns. The Bucs, Cardinals and Eagles are all expected to put him through private workouts in the near future.
Mar 26 - 2:40 PM
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