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NFL Media's Mike Mayock compares Notre Dame QB DeShone Kizer to Philip Rivers.

"I think he has the most upside (in the QB draft class), the highest ceiling. But he is 12-11 as a starter at Notre Dame. He played a lot of bad football with the game on the line in the fourth quarter this year. That is not acceptable," Mayock said. "But he is 6-foot-5, 235. He has that kind of prototypical franchise quarterback look, a Philip Rivers type ... if he gets everything right." Like Rivers, Kizer could also use some time to marinate on the bench while developing. Rivers threw only 30 passes in his first two NFL seasons. Kizer will be at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis later this week.
Source: NFL.com
Feb 27 - 2:39 PM

Fox Sports' Peter Schrager believes the 49ers go the QB "route" with the No. 2 pick.

Schrager projects DeShone Kizer for the pick, but the position rather than the player is what matters here. Schrager says Brian Hoyer or Matt Schaub could be brought in "to keep the seat warm." Our own Josh Norris has ranked Kizer as the No. 1 quarterback in the draft for some time, but we are surprised by how many share that sentiment: Schrager, Daniel Jeremiah and Mike Mayock, to name a few.
Source: Fox Sports
Feb 27 - 11:00 AM

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said the team is open to any position in the first round except for quarterback.

"We’ll go for the best player," Lewis said. "And we’ll get a really good player and hopefully the guy will have a strong, healthy career." Overall, it is not a surprise that the Bengals will bypass quarterback in the first round, but the mindset of being complacent at the position is interesting. Andy Dalton is not among the top players at his spot, and his contract is very team friendly. If the Bengals wanted to pursue a better option, although that is easier said than done, Dalton's contract is easy to move on from. But the Bengals remain certain Dalton is their guy.
Source: Bengals.com
Feb 27 - 9:46 AM

NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah told Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports that "11 of the 17 [interceptions thrown by Clemson QB Deshaun Watson in 2016] were what I deemed poor reads where he’s forcing the football and it was a decision-based mistake."

Speaking on Feldman's podcast, The Audible, Jeremiah said, "That to me is troubling, especially in that type of system. Coming out of a similar type of system, you can look at Marcus Mariota who only had four interceptions. Dak Prescott only threw five picks. Deshaun Watson had 17. That’s an issue for me." Jeremiah tells Feldman that he does not view Watson as a Top-10 pick at this juncture. One slight bit of context on the interception comps from DJ -- comparing their final collegiate seasons, Watson threw 134 more passes than Mariota and 102 more than Prescott.
Source: FOX Sports
Feb 26 - 12:50 PM

ESPN's Gerry Hamilton writes that Notre Dame four-star 2018 WR Micah Jones possesses "impressive fluidity for his size."

Jones measures out at a strong 6-foot-5, 196 pounds. "Difficult high-point, contested catches in traffic are made with consistency with the ability to take and play through contact," Hamilton writes. While Jones lacks an elite top-end speed component, the analyst refers to him as a "true red zone mismatch." Over at Rivals, Jones lands on their 2018 master list at No. 158 overall.
Feb 24 - 8:30 PM

247Sports' Evan Sharpley notes that Notre Dame freshman T Josh Lugg "demonstrates ample athleticism to play multiple positions on the line of scrimmage."

Sharpley observed a noticeable improvement from Lugg in his senior season at North Allegheny Sr. High (Pennsylvania), writing that the 6-foot-7, 293-pounder "[p]layed with extreme confidence" this past season. The analyst would like to see Lugg improve on his pad level and first step now that he is transitioning over to collegiate play. As he played in a run-heavy offense in high school, he still has work to do in improving his pass protection. Lugg's frame is ideal for packing on a bit more playing weight without losing any of his athleticism.
Source: 247Sports
Feb 23 - 4:35 PM

Notre Dame received a verbal commitment from four-star 2018 ATH Braden Lenzy.

Lenzy visited Notre Dame on February 11, a visit which helped seal the deal for his pledge. "When I was there, I felt so welcomed and it was just so easy to see myself there," said the 6-foot, 165-pounder. While he plays two-way ball at Tigard High (Oregon), he will likely open under HC Brian Kelly as a wide receiver. Lenzy ranks as Rivals' No. 238 overall prospect for the 2018 class. Notre Dame has been on a roll this month, having netted commitments from five players since February 13. Of their 11 current pledges, a hearty seven land on the Rivals250.
Feb 23 - 2:26 PM

ESPN's Gerry Hamilton writes that "[v]ersatility is the name of the game for [Notre Dame four-star 2018 verbal S commit Derrik] Allen."

"At corner, Allen flashes the ability to quickly read routes, explosive movement in transition and the burst to close and separate receivers from the ball," Hamilton explains. Should HC Brian Kelly utilize him as a safety, the analyst notes that "add[ing] strength and becoming a striker in the run game are areas to make gains." Hamilton believes that Notre Dame has a 95% chance of hanging onto Allen's pledge. He views Clemson as a (very) dark horse, here.
Feb 19 - 3:27 PM

Notre Dame received a verbal commitment from four-star 2018 WR Micah Jones.

"They talked about me being that ‘W’ position, or outside receiver, where Equanimeous [St. Brown] plays right now. They want to use my length over the middle, in the red zone and (catching) fades," said Jones in explaining his football fit with the Irish. At 6-foot-5, 196 pounds, he could, indeed, prove to be a lethal target in the red zone. Rivals ranks him as the No. 158 overall prospect in the 2018 cycle and the No. 1 prospect in the state of Illinois.
Source: Rivals
Feb 18 - 12:38 PM

NFL Media draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah compared Notre Dame QB DeShone Kizer to Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer.

Bucky Brooks, Jeremiah's partner in crime on the Move the Sticks podcast, doesn't think his co-host is far off here. Said Brooks, "I like that comparison. I believe he is that guy. I believe he is a flamethrower from the pocket. I believe, in a classic system, he could push it down the field. If you put him in Bruce Arians' system, he could do all of those things." Earlier this week, NFL Media's Mike Mayock anointed the 6-foot-4, 230-pound Kizer as his No. 1 quarterback prospect in the current draft class.
Source: NFL.com
Feb 17 - 6:52 PM

In his most recent mock draft, ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. does not have Notre Dame QB DeShone Kizer being drafted in the first round.

Two quarterbacks do go off the first-round board in Kiper's projection. It's just that neither of them is Kizer, whom NFL Network's Mike Mayock listed as the top gunslinger in the draft earlier this week. The longtime ESPN draft guru slots North Carolina QB Mitch Trubisky to the 49ers at No. 2 and Clemson QB Deshaun Watson to the Bills at No. 10. For a different angle, in his second mock draft of 2017, Rotoworld's Josh Norris tabbed all three of Trubisky, Watson and Kizer to be drafted within the first 15 picks.
Feb 16 - 4:26 PM

Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline is surprised that former Notre Dame S Max Redfield wasn't invited to the NFL Combine.

Per Pauline, NFL scouts stamped Redfield as a potential first-round pick entering this past season. Things went downhill from there, as Notre Dame dismissed Redfield in late August following an arrest on marijuana and gun charges.
Feb 16 - 3:19 PM

NFL Network's Charlie Casserly believes that New England Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo is better than any quarterback in the 2017 draft class.

"You look at [Garoppolo] coming out, the guy had a quick release, he's smart, he knows where to go with the ball. The guy is accurate, and he can make some plays on the move," Casserly said. In a recent mock draft, the former Texans general manager got creative and projected a trade of Garoppolo to the Browns for the No. 12 pick. This could well happen, though whether Garoppolo is actually worth a first-round pick is not a cut/dried issue. He has just two full career starts under his belt. Those came against average-at-best squads in the Cardinals and Dolphins while Tom Brady was sitting out on a four-game suspension to start the 2016 season.
Source: NFL.com
Feb 14 - 9:47 PM

Notre Dame HC Brian Kelly said, "We don't think there can be a better tandem at the tight end position [than freshman TE Brock Wright and freshman TE Cole Kmet]."

Wright lands at No. 29 in the ESPN 300 -- making him Notre Dame's highest-ranking 2017 signee -- but Kmet is an intriguing tight end prospect in his own right. The Worldwide Leader slotted the 6-foot-4, 220-pounder into their 2017 master list at No. 122. Scout.com notes that Kmet has shown noticeable improvement in his blocking over the past two seasons.
Feb 14 - 8:10 PM

Notre Dame received a verbal commitment from four-star 2018 CB Kalon Gervin.

Back in November, Gervin released a top four consisting of Oklahoma, Pittsburgh, Tennessee and West Virginia. Surprise, surprise, the 5-foot-11, 175-pounder has spurned that quartet to join HC Brian Kelly's crew. ESPN's Gerry Hamilton notes that Gervin's "quick reactions and ability to fluidly move in transition place himself in a ideal position to make plays on the ball, and he flashes a closing burst to attack the ball in the air." Hamilton's outlet ranks the corner as their No. 201 prospect in the 2018 cycle.
Feb 14 - 5:38 PM


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