Boise State senior S Darian Thompson is "an aggressive playmaker with good closing speed for his size and instincts that have turned him into a ball hawk," according to Sports on Earth's Matt Brown.
"Thompson has started 32 games in his Boise State career, and he's one of several veteran standouts returning to what should be an excellent defense," Brown wrote. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Thompson had seven interceptions, 71 tackles and five tackles for loss in a huge 2014 campaign. The analyst grades Thompson as the No. 17 safety in the nation.
Ball State senior WR Jordan Williams' "speed is more than adequate to make plays downfield, and he tracks the ball very well down the sideline," writes NFL Media draft analyst Chad Reuter.
"He possesses a thick build that makes it difficult for smaller corners to press him at the line or fight for the ball downfield," Reuter wrote. "The last MAC receiver picked in the second round was Greg Jennings, a two-time Pro Bowler for Green Bay during his stint there; it won't be a surprise if Williams has similar success in the right situation." The 6-foot-2, 224-pound Williams earned a preseason Rds. 4-5 grade from TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline recently.
USC sophomore WR/CB/KR Adoree' Jackson is "potentially one of the best cornerbacks in the country [and] his role on offense could expand as well," observes Sports on Earth's Matt Brown.
"He's primarily a cornerback, but the Trojans are using him at wide receiver, with the hope that he's the next Chris Gamble/Charles Woodson type," Brown wrote. "Jackson is one of the best athletes in college football, and USC wants to get him on the field as much as possible." Brown says Jackson is the fifth-best corner in the NCAA. The 5-foot-10, 182-pound Jackson, a five-star recruit, was the Pac-12 Freshman Defensive Player of the Year in 2014, posting 49 tackles, nine pass breakups, a forced fumble and four TFL. He also averaged 29.7 yards per kick return with two touchdowns.
Arizona State senior OW D.J. Foster's "athletic ability and competitiveness will help him learn and thrive quickly at his new position," believes NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein.
Foster is moving from RB to WR -- though Arizona State offensive coordinator Mike Norvell says Foster will be played at every single skill position this year -- which Zierlein believes "should bode well for his chances on the next level." The scribe ranks Foster as the No. 9 receiver in the land. "Scouts are interested to see how Foster handles a full-time workload at receiver, but with his instant acceleration and willingness to finish his runs after the catch, my guess is that Foster's athletic ability and competitiveness will help him learn and thrive quickly at his new position," Zierlein wrote.
Ole Miss junior WR Laquon Treadwell "has some of the smoothest footwork off the snap that you will find for any wideout in college football," believes NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein.
The scribe ranks Treadwell as the No. 8 receiver in the country, a surprisingly low grade. "His stutter-steps into his routes and into his breaks create confusion and separation, and he runs like a running back after the catch with a combination of elusiveness and necessary toughness to rip through arm tackles," Zierlein wrote. "The negatives? Treadwell runs basic routes at Ole Miss and he must prove he can return at full-speed after suffering a broken fibula and dislocated ankle last season." The 6-foot-2, 212-pound Treadwell hauled in 48 receptions for 632 yards and five touchdowns for the Rebels last season prior to that November injury.
ESPN 300 defensive lineman Keyshon Camp committed to USC.
The Trojans' 2016 class is loaded. At present moment, it features eight ESPN 300 prospects, including top-five OLB Mique Juarez and No. 2 dual threat QB Matt Fink. "Camp can immediately help with depth, but in the big picture could give the Trojans a valuable player who can offer some versatility to the unit with the ability to move around depending on the front, need and match-ups much like they did with [Leonard] Williams and to an some extent Delvon Simmons," wrote Craig Haubert. "Camp can battle in a phone booth, but he also moves well for size and can be an active presence down the line of scrimmage. He needs to continue to develop, but flashes ability to be a disruptive pass-rusher with good get-off quickness, active hands and ability to be able to get offensive linemen off balance with double moves."
Baylor junior S Orion Stewart "developed into an impact player over the course of his sophomore season," according to Sports on Earth's Matt Brown.
"The secondary was the weak link of the Baylor defense last year, but with an outstanding line up front and all four starters returning to the defensive backfield, things may go more smoothly in 2015," Brown wrote. "While shoulder surgery has limited him this offseason, he's in line to be a key playmaker for a playoff-contending Baylor team." The analyst grades Stewart as the No. 13 safety in the nation. The 6-foot-2, 200-pounder finished with 81 tackles and four interceptions last year. Make sure to monitor his health, as Stewart recovered from shoulder surgery this offseason.
NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein documents that Auburn redshirt junior OG Avery Young "did an admirable job at right tackle last season, but he is best-suited inside at guard, which is where he is expected to start this season."
"Young has a big bubble and is a decent heads-up blocker with the ability to be effective as a short-puller," he wrote. "Young's biggest issues are his lack of bend and his limited change-of-direction ability. His background at tackle should help strengthen his interior pass protection." Young's older brother Willie is a starting DE for the Bears and his cousin Thomas Davis is a playmaker for the Panthers.