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Two of five NFL executives polled by NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah pegged Stanford DL Solomon Thomas as the player who will generate the most talk coming out of the NFL Scouting Combine.

Ashland TE Adam Shaheen, Texas Tech QB Pat Mahomes and Vanderbilt LB Zach Cunningham received the other three votes. As for Thomas, one executive said that he expects the 6-foot-3, 275-pounder to post an "Aaron Donald-type workout" and called the Stanford standout a "freak show." The other executive notes that he is "incredibly explosive" and will "destroy the change-of-direction drills."
Source: NFL.com
Feb 23 - 5:48 PM

Pro Football Focus compared Stanford DL Solomon Thomas to Seattle Seahawks DL Michael Bennett.

"Thomas is more of a run-first player than Bennett, but they both fill a similar role as a base defensive end with the ability to kick inside as pass-rushers," noted the PFF analysis team. This past season, the outlet graded the 6-foot-3, 275-pounder as the No. 1 run-defender among interior defensive linemen. There is some question as to just what position Thomas will play at the NFL level -- NFL Media's Lance Zierlein believes he could see work as an "early down defensive end who moves inside to defensive tackle on passing downs." He could be selected in the first half of the first round come this spring's draft, potentially within the top 10 picks.
Feb 21 - 10:39 PM

Stanford hired former UC Davis HC Ron Gould to serve as RB coach.

Gould served as head coach at UC Davis from 2013-2016. He was fired in November. USC was also reportedly hot on his trail as they look to shore up their own coaching staff, but while he did ultimately grab a job in the Pac-12, it wasn't with the Trojans. Now joining Stanford HC David Shaw's staff, Gould replaces Lance Taylor, who took a WR coach position with the Carolina Panthers. In a statement, Shaw said, "Ron is a great teacher. He brings an impressive resume of working with and developing some outstanding players."
Feb 16 - 4:13 PM

Stanford signed three-star 2017 DT Dalyn Wade-Perry.

Wade-Perry held off on committing to Stanford until mid-January, but stuck by that pledge to sign with the Cardinal on February 1. Rivals ranked him as the No. 47 defensive tackle prospect in the 2017 class. Scout.com's Brian Dohn refers to the 6-foot-3, 335-pounder as "a disruptive force in the middle of the line of scrimmage." Dohn's outlet sees him home as the No. 2 prospect at his position in the state of New Jersey.
Source: Scout.com
Feb 14 - 9:07 PM

An AFC senior personnel executive described Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey as a bigger, faster version of Los Angeles Chargers RB Danny Woodhead.

"He has some tools (catching and return skills) that I like, so that will help his value," he said. "He is more of a balance, body-control type of runner. He's not really a dynamic slasher. He has some shake and wiggle, but I don't know if he has that special pitter pat." NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks gives New England Patriots RB Dion Lewis as his comparison for McCaffrey, while an NFC senior personnel executive warned Brooks not to comp C-Mac to Reggie Bush. "I don't think he is nearly as explosive or as dynamic as Bush was when he came out of USC," the exec said. "With that being said, I think we saw how NFL teams used Bush as a pro. I think you do the same thing with McCaffrey. ... I don't see him carrying the load. I see him catching the ball out of the backfield or getting the ball on some gadgets. I might be wrong, but I just don't see him as a full-time guy."
Source: NFL.com
Feb 14 - 1:58 PM

An NFC scout and an NFL executive both believe Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey does not profile as a "full-time," focal point RB.

"He will make some plays, but I don't think he can be your No. 1 guy," the scout said, despite comparing him to Brian Westbrook. "I don't see him carrying the load. I see him catching the ball out of the backfield or getting the ball on some gadgets," the executive added. We think McCaffrey can absolutely see 12-plus touches per game, and displayed skills between the tackles as well as creating big plays. Contact balance will be a major skills teams need to make a decision and evaluation on.
Source: NFL.com
Feb 14 - 11:03 AM

ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. wrote that he views Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey as an every-down back.

McCaffrey's draft position is one of the hardest to gauge in this 2017 pool. There is no denying his statistical production at Stanford, but as one AFC personnel director said near the end of December, some teams are likely going to view him as more of a complimentary or third-down cog rather than a bellcow. Kiper, for one, is all in on McCaffrey as a centerpiece in the NFL. On his most recent Big Board, the longtime ESPN draft analyst slots the 6-foot, 202-pounder in at No. 16.
Feb 11 - 2:50 PM

Inside USC's Scott Wolf passes along that former UC Davis HC Ron Gould "has emerged as a candidate" to replace the departed Tommie Robinson as USC's running backs coach.

Robinson took the riverboat down to LSU earlier this week. Per Football Scoop, Gould has been linked to several open RB coach gigs this offseason. He had served as head coach at UC Davis up until November of this past season, when the Aggies fired him. Prior to working at UC Davis from 2013 to 2016, Gould served a 16-season stint as running backs coach on staff with Cal.
Source: Inside USC
Feb 10 - 8:58 PM

Stanford signed four-star 2017 FB Sione Heimuli-Lund.

Heimuli-Lund was a longtime -- and we mean longtime -- Stanford commit, having pledged himself to HC David Shaw's cause all the way back in November of 2015. ESPN notes that the 6-foot-1, 237-pounder could be an immediate special teams contributor and has potential as both a fullback and a linebacker at the collegiate level.
Feb 10 - 7:38 PM

NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein wrote that Stanford DL Solomon Thomas "might end up getting pegged as an early down defensive end who moves inside to defensive tackle on passing downs."

An AFC director of scouting who spoke with Zierlein broached concerns about his potential position at the next level, telling the analyst that Solomon is "not big enough for inside and he's not as long as you like on the outside." Zierlein understands this point, but writes that in his estimation "there is no doubt that [Solomon] will be a disruptive, productive pro." In his most recent mock draft, Rotoworld's Josh Norris tags the 6-foot-3, 275-pounder to the San Francisco 49ers at No. 2 overall.
Source: NFL.com
Feb 9 - 3:52 PM

New 49ers GM John Lynch said the team will create an extra "competitiveness and toughness grade" in the hopes of finding prospects "who love football the most."

It is not a revolutionary concept, as it screams "coach speak" and is somewhat expected from a former player. We will never know how much this impacts the team's final decision, but you can surmise that the club will not draft players with questions around their passion for the game. The full interview is interesting, as Lynch adds the team's quarterback search could continue into 2018.
Source: KNBR
Feb 8 - 11:08 AM

Stanford signed four-star ATH Connor Wedington.

Wedington was uncommitted as of Christmas. He took an official visit to Stanford in mid-January and committed to the Cardinal two days before National Signing Day. He's a superb all-around athlete and should be able to contribute as a return man in addition to his duties as running back. Stanford did a tremendous job filling some of their offensive gaps with this signing class. Wedington -- Rivals' No. 155 overall prospect -- will have a chance to learn behind Bryce Love this coming season.
Source: Scout.com
Feb 4 - 7:01 PM

Pro Football Focus analyst Jordan Plocher compared Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey's playing style to that of former Rams RB Marshall Faulk.

Plocher writes that McCaffrey's "playing style, high football IQ, vision & versatility" are reminiscent of Faulk, adding that the Stanford standout is "part RB/part WR." Golden words, for sure. A consensus as to just where McCaffrey will land in the draft does not yet appear to have coalesced, though. In December, an AFC personnel director predicted that the running back's grades "are going to be all over the place," depending on whether teams view him as a true bellcow or more of a complimentary option. We have seen several mock drafts which have him landing with the Patriots at the end of Round 1, but until we are further along in the process, such projections should be considered nothing more than speculative thought experiments.
Feb 3 - 6:14 PM

Stanford received a verbal commitment from four-star 2017 ATH Saiid Adebo.

Stanford is putting together one of our favorite recruiting classes in the current cycle, particularly on offense. They currently hold commitments from five of ESPN 300's top 65 prospects, all on the offensive side of the ball. Adebo can be counted among that lot, with the outlet ranking him as their No. 58 overall recruit for 2017. The 6-foot, 180-pounder was a longtime Notre Dame pledge, but backed off from that commitment earlier this month. ESPN's scouting crew notes that while he is raw in the technical aspects of the game, he "shows natural play-making instincts."
Jan 30 - 5:43 PM

Stanford redshirt senior QB Ryan Burns now plans to stay with the Cardinal.

This is a course reversal after a report from earlier that month stated that Burns intended to transfer. We'd guess that the change of heart has to do with the serious knee injury Keller Chryst suffered in the bowl game. Chryst is out for the spring, and he's no sure bet to be available for the start of the season, either. That had left redshirt freshman K.J. Costello as the school's only healthy scholarship QB for the spring. Burns threw for 1,065 yards with a 5/7 TD/INT ratio last season. At this time, Burns, Chryst and Costello and ESPN 300 prospect Davis Mills should all be considered candidates to make starts in 2017.
Source: ESPN
Jan 25 - 12:59 PM


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