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Northwestern redshirt sophomore CB Trae Williams underwent surgery to repair a torn Achilles earlier this spring.

Williams tore his Achilles during practice in March, but beyond that, no details are available to the exact circumstance which led to the injury. He is expected to be sidelined until at least October. This past season, the 5-foot-11, 200-pounder registered 42 tackles (1.0 for loss), an interception and seven passes defensed across 10 games played. Consider this a depth blow. Keith Watkins II and Montre Hartage are looking like probable starters at corner for the coming season
Source: Inside NU
May 26 - 4:44 PM

Northwestern junior WR Solomon Vault is expected to miss the 2017 season after undergoing lower-body surgery.

Per a team spokesman, Vault will likely take a redshirt for the coming season. After transitioning over from running back to wide receiver last offseason, the 5-foot-10, 190-pounder logged a 15-164-2 receiving line in 2016. His loss will be felt less in the receiving game and more in the return game -- Vault averaged 24.3 yards on his 23 returns last season, good for third-best in the Big Ten. His five career kick returns for touchdown are a school record.
Source: Inside NU
May 26 - 4:14 PM

ESPN's Mel Kiper ranks Northwestern redshirt junior QB Clayton Thorson as the No. 5 underclassmen QB prospect.

Thorson was dreadful in 2015 as a second-year freshman, but he broke through last season, throwing for 3,182 yards with a 22/9 TD/INT ratio. The 6-foot-4, 220-pounder has NFL size and athleticism, but he must improve his accuracy (58.6 percent completions last year; 50.8 percent in 2015).
Source: ESPN
May 24 - 3:51 PM

Land of 10's Corey Masisak ranked Northwestern senior RB Justin Jackson as the second-best running back in the Big Ten.

No surprise, but Masisak ranked Penn State's Saquon Barkley as the No. 1 back in the conference. Jackson slotted in right behind, followed by Iowa's Akrum Wadley and Ohio State's Mike Weber. This past season, the 5-foot-11, 185-pound Jackson rushed for a healthy 1,524 yards and 15 touchdowns across 13 games played. If he were to rush for 2,277 yards during the coming season, he would exit his Northwestern career as the NCAA's all-time leading rusher. As productive as he has been, that mark is probably beyond the pale for the Northwestern standout.
Source: Land of 10
May 22 - 6:46 PM

Northwestern senior DE Xavier Washington has been suspended indefinitely after being charged with felony cocaine possession.

According to the Daily Northwestern, authorities in Evanston were alerted to an off-campus disturbance at 2:30 AM on Sunday morning, after which they arrested the 6-foot-1, 235-pound Washington for possession of a controlled substance (in this case, cocaine). In the short term, he has been suspended indefinitely, but given the seriousness of this charge, this arrest could potentially see him kicked off the team. Washington registered 38 tackles (7.5 for loss) and 4.5 sacks this past season. Those 4.5 sacks tied him for second-most on the team.
May 2 - 5:28 PM

Patriots signed Northwestern WR Austin Carr.

Carr (6’0/202) struggled for playing time at Northwestern before breaking out as a fifth-year senior, amassing an 84-1,196-12 (14.2 YPR) receiving line en route to Big Ten Receiver of the Year and third-team All-America honors. PFF College called Carr the best slot receiver in the nation in 2016, yet he was snubbed for a Combine invite. While it is concerning that Carr runs 4.62 and didn’t do much of anything until age 23 – when every defensive back he faced was younger than him – Carr has many traits that translate to slot success in the pros, including an impressive 6.70 three-cone time. From a profile standpoint, he reminds of ex-Colts WR Austin Collie.
May 1 - 6:35 PM

Vikings selected Northwestern DE Ifeadi Odeanigbo with the No. 220 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft.

Odenigbo (6’3/258) spent his first two college seasons as a nickel rusher and started the final two, leading the Big Ten in sacks (10.0) as a senior and graduating with the second most sacks (23.5) in school history. Big Ten coaches voted him first-team all-conference last year. At the Combine, Odenigbo ran 4.72 and showed explosion with a 10-foot-7 broad jump. Odenigbo has a chance to be a useful special teamer and sub-package rusher in the pros.
Apr 29 - 5:53 PM

Colts selected Northwestern ILB Anthony Walker with the No. 161 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft.

Walker (6’1/238) turned pro as a redshirt junior after starting all three years at middle linebacker, leading the Big Ten in tackles for loss as a sophomore (20.5) and earning second-team all-conference in 2016. Something of a surprise early entrant, Walker did not help himself with 21st-percentile athletic results before the draft. He shows tight-hipped coverage limitations on tape and isn’t a true thumper. A good college player whose NFL transition will be an uphill climb, Walker’s best early-career bet will be to become a special teams demon.
Apr 29 - 2:49 PM

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.
Apr 24 - 6:57 PM

Pro Football Focus' Gordon McGuinness writes that Northwestern WR Austin Carr is "a prime candidate" to "be productive from the slot after being drafted late."

Carr caught 12 touchdowns out of the slot this past season, the third best mark for any receiver in this draft class. His 1,247 yards were good for fourth best from the slot. McGuinness' outlet has previously compared the 6-foot-1, 200-pounder to Jags wideout Allen Hurns, writing that "both players are particularly adept at finding and setting in holes against zone defenses."
Apr 17 - 2:07 PM

Pro Football Focus compared Northwestern LB Anthony Walker to Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Kwon Alexander.

Pro Football Focus sees the similarity in a troubling arena, that of the missed tackle. Indeed, the outlet graded Walker as the 199th (!) linebacker in FBS tackling efficiency for the 2016 season. In total, the 6-foot-1, 238-pounder missed 19 tackles, 17 of those coming against Big Ten competition. The PFF analysis team is reasonably concerned by that. They are also reasonably concerned with his work in coverage, with the outlet noting that Walker "seems to get lost in transition at times, and doesn’t show the same athleticism going backward as he does when attacking the line of scrimmage." Walker is a likely Day 3 selection for the draft later this month.
Apr 2 - 3:43 PM

BTN.com's Tom Dienhart believes that Northwestern junior WR Flynn Nagel is a leading contender to replace the production of WR Austin Carr.

"He is a veteran target who has good hands. Nagel also has underrated quickness. Don’t be shocked if he becomes the go-to man for (QB) Clayton Thorson," Dienhart wrote in his spring notes. He additionally checked off receivers Jalen Brown (an Oregon transfer), Charlie Fessler and Andrew Scanlan as names to watch. For his part, the 5-foot-11, 190-pound Nagel caught 40 passes for 447 yards and two touchdowns in 11 games played. It might be a bit much to expect him to match the 90-1247-12 receiving line Austin Carr posted in 2016, but at the very least, he is in line for a decent statistical boost during the coming season.
Source: BTN.com
Apr 2 - 2:35 PM

Pro Football Focus compared Northwestern WR Austin Carr to Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Hurns.

"Much like Carr, Hurns spends a majority of his snaps in the slot position, but is hardly just an underneath receiver. He can also work the intermediate routes," notes the PFF analysis team. "Both players are particularly adept at finding and settling in holes against zone defenses." Carr exploded for a 90-1247-12 receiving line this past season, earning PFF's top grade for a wide receiver along the way. Notes the outlet, "He runs smart routes and makes tough catches, and could be a reliable security blanket for a quarterback." He could draw interest on Day 3.
Apr 1 - 1:54 PM

A director of scouting for an AFC team told NFL Media's Lance Zierlein that Northwestern LB Anthony Walker is "playing way too heavy right now."

"But, hey, he's always productive and he plays in a physical conference, so that's a plus. He can run but he's not a great athlete. I think he'll be a much better player if he plays around 230," the scouting director explained. Walker checked into the Combine measuring out at 6-foot-1, 238 pounds. Zierlein compares him to Dolphins LB Kiko Alonso and is optimistic enough about his professional outlook, writing that the Northwestern standout "could become a decent starting linebacker within his first few years."
Source: NFL.com
Mar 19 - 3:45 PM

Northwestern senior RB Justin Jackson didn't submit paperwork to the NFL's college advisory committee.

Jackson wasn't at all interested in bolting for the NFL after capping off his third straight 1,000-yard campaign. "I felt like it was in my best interests to come back and fine-tune my skills," he said. "Plus, I've put so much work into this whole school thing, I figured I might as well finish it out." Only eight players in FBS history have ever recorded four straight 1,000-yard seasons. Jackson sits at 4,485 career rushing yards heading into his last season. He hopes he won't get dinged for his heavy workload when he enters the NFL next season. "I have no idea how NFL scouts think," he said. "But hopefully they'll look at my production and the fact that I haven’t missed any games, and I hope that can be a plus."
Source: ESPN
Feb 27 - 5:20 PM


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