ESPN's Brett McMurphy reports that Northwestern HC Pat Fitzgerald has been awarded a contract extension which will keep him at the school for "at least the next 10 seasons."
The exact monetary and length figures for Fitzgerald's extension have not yet been disclosed. He has been manning the Northwestern ship since 2006 and has compiled a 77-62 record over the last 10 seasons. During the past campaign, the Wildcats finished 6-6 in the regular season before coming through with a win over Pitt in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl.
Jets GM Mike Maccagnon offered a strong hint that the team will not be targeting Oklahoma RB Joe Mixon due to his past assault case.
"We vet this stuff as thoroughly as we can," Maccagnon said, later adding that "I'd rather make sure we focus on players that are good players and ideally good people and good members of our society." Presumably, Mixon is now off the Jets' board, though it should probably be noted that Maccagnon never explicitly stated that Mixon was off the table. If he is, the Jets are not alone on that front. Six of 11 NFL personnel executives polled by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said that they had scrubbed Mixon completely. Even with his very highly-publicized case scaring multiple teams off, it would be a surprise if he is not drafted by the end of Day 2.
Georgia has released four-star 2017 T D'Antne Demery from his letter of intent following his domestic violence arrest on Saturday.
Demery had been expected to enroll at Georgia in June. That will no longer be happening. The 6-foot-5, 290-pounder was arrested after allegedly getting into a physical confrontation with his girlfriend following an escalating argument on Saturday. Whether Demery finds another collegiate home at the FBS level before August camp is very much an open question.
Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline hears that the Cowboys are targeting USC CB Adoree' Jackson with their first-round pick.
Sitting at pick No. 28, the Cowboys are squarely in the projected draft sweet zone for Jackson. According to Pauline, they are also intrigued by Clemson's Cordrea Tankersly, who could be a Day 2 option for them should Jackson either have already flown off the board or they instead opt to take a first-round pass-rusher. Along with the Cowboys, the Texans, Eagles, Browns, Bucs and Titans reportedly all had visits with Jackson during the draft process.
ESPN Radio's Danny Kanell shredded Michigan S Jabrill Peppers and Alabama LB Reuben Foster for their diluted Combine drug tests.
Foster's diluted test was reported last week, while Peppers' was reported on Monday. Kanell is not having any of it, saying, ""I cannot understand how guys can be this dumb where they can’t stay out of trouble in the most important job interview of your life. You know exactly when the combine is going to be." Oddly (or not, depending on your viewpoint), Kanell's main gripe, here, is not that Foster and Peppers were potentially using marijuana, but only in the timing. He said, "It’s entirely easy to go through the NFL, you can smoke all the weed you want as long as you’re smart about it." That comment does a pretty good job of capturing the hypocrisy of the NFL in a nutshell.
An NFL area scout told Yahoo Sports during the college season that Texas Tech QB Pat Mahomes is "who we wanted Johnny Manziel to be."
"That’s both a good and a bad thing. He’s a gamer, but he’s a real project," the scout said. Most comparisons are relatively boilerplate, but this is a sort of sideways one that makes a lot of sense. Like Johnny Football, Mahomes is a player who excels at conjuring something out of nothing. Unlike Manziel, he comes with none of the off-field baggage and offers more pure arm talent. Other scouts have tossed out Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre as similar to Mahomes in their ability to improvise in the moment.
An NFL scout who spoke with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel said that UCLA T Connor McDermott is "unassuming and gets his job done."
"He’s a better athlete than you realize. He’s like Nate Solder. He won’t go that high but he plays like that. He could be a starter," the scout said. These are complimentary enough words, but there is legitimate concern as to whether the 6-foot-8, 307-pounder has the required strength for the NFL. Another scout who spoke with the Journal-Sentinel noted that McDermott "doesn’t play with any power and he doesn’t bend real well." We have heard this scuttlebutt before when it comes to the UCLA offensive lineman, with one AFC South scout saying that McDermott is "[j]ust not strong enough to play in our league."
Per Pro Football Focus, Wyoming WR Tanner Gentry's 22 receptions on passes of 20 or more yards in 2016 was tops among all receivers in this draft pool.
Western Kentucky WR Taywan Taylor ranked second, with 20 deep catches of his own. This past season, the 6-foot-1, 208-pound Gentry caught 72 passes for 1,326 yards and 14 touchdowns. His has been a relatively quiet draft process. Outside of a report from Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline that the Patriots and Ravens both met with Gentry around his pro day, we have heard little buzz regarding possible interested teams or a possible draft slot. Pauline tags Gentry with a seventh-round grade.