Player News

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NFLDraftScout.com's Dane Brugler compared Western Michigan CB Sam Beal to Miami Dolphins CB Cordrea Tankersley.

Brugler writes that Beal possesses "[s]mooth hips and [the] lower body to turn and run with minimal wasted movements" while additionally "[d]isplay[ing] the recovery quickness to regain body position after a false step." He views the 6-foot-1, 196-pound corner as a potential third-round selection for July's supplemental draft. We have not seen a player selected in these proceedings since 2015, but should an NFL team invest a pick in Beal -- we fully expect this to happen -- they would have to forfeit their corresponding pick from next year's draft.
Jun 21 - 4:49 PM

Western Michigan junior DB Brad Tanner left the team earlier this offseason.

Tanner (6'1/190) joined the Broncos as a three-star recruit in the winter of 2016. In two seasons with the program, he saw the field in 18 games, recording 16 tackles and a pass breakup in that space. The junior's next move is currently a mystery, as he has yet to announce an intent to transfer.
Jun 21 - 1:42 PM

Western Michigan redshirt freshman DT Dezmond Lance (undisclosed) has been medically disqualified for the 2018 season.

While this medical disqualification has been confirmed by the Broncos, the program is not divulging the exact issue which has forced Lance's sidelining. The 6-foot-2, 262-pounder was a three-star recruit in HC Tim Lester's 2017 recruiting class. His loss thins WMU's depth along the defensive line, but Lance was not expected to see an extensive role this season.
Jun 21 - 12:33 PM

Western Michigan redshirt sophomore RB Matt Falcon (knee) has been medically disqualified for the 2018 season.

Falcon (6'1/235) has seen a once-promising career fall away from him due to a variety of knee injuries. The former four-star recruit twice sustained ACL tears before he had even embarked on his senior year of high school ball. He had been committed to Michigan, but those injuries had the Wolverines backing off him to offer only a medical scholarship. Falcon subsequently signed on with Western Michigan. After taking a redshirt in 2016, he was again waylaid by a knee injury during August camp a year ago, ultimately managing to appear in just one game during the most recent campaign. With Falcon officially disqualified from playing, expect the Broncos to lean on Jamauri Bogan and LeVante Bellamy for the coming season.
Jun 21 - 11:59 AM

NFL Draft Scout's Rob Rang projects Western Michigan CB Sam Beal to be selected in the third round of the supplemental draft.

Rang believes Beal (6'0/185) is an "exciting prospect" who "uses his long arms to corral receivers off the line of scrimmage, limiting their ability to get a clean release and choking passing lanes as routes progress. Beal has light feet and loose hips, allowing him to change directions smoothly to effectively stick to the hip of receivers." Rang believes Beal could have even warranted first-round consideration if he had been able to play another season at Western Michigan. If a team decides to take a chance on Beal, they would sacrifice the corresponding round's selection in next spring's draft.
Jun 15 - 1:23 PM

Western Michigan HC Tim Lester said that CB Sam Beal's eligibility was "compromised because he didn’t meet minimum credit specifications," hence his decision to declare for the supplemental draft.

As can tend to be the case with some of these late moves, academics are at the heart of the matter with Beal's decision. He could have declared for April's draft proper over the winter, but had instead been aiming to return to school. Course correcting, now. Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel spoke with one NFL scout who views the departing WMU corner as a potential second-round selection. That's rarified air. The highest such selection to date came when the Browns used a second-rounder on Josh Gordon in 2012.
Jun 6 - 2:47 PM

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports that Western Michigan CB Sam Beal has declared for the supplemental draft.

Beal (6'1/185) earned second-team All-MAC honors for the most recent campaign, recording 22 tackles with a pair of interceptions and 10 pass breakups this past season. He kicked around an early declaration for the 2018 NFL Draft, but opted to forego that. The pull of professional football is apparently just too alluring for the Broncos standout. Should a team draft Beal as a supplemental pick, it would cost them a corresponding round's selection in next spring's draft. He has the potential to land as a first-round supplemental pick -- the highest to date was the Browns' use of a second-rounder, reportedly on Josh Gordon in 2012.
Source: NFL.com
Jun 6 - 12:35 PM

Western Michigan redshirt junior WR Giovanni Ricci was moved to tight end this spring.

This move should give Ricci a better shot at playing time this fall. The Broncos plan to start blocking specialist Odell Miller, and they don't have a ton behind him. Ricci will be used as the receiving TE.
May 27 - 4:14 PM

Syracuse redshirt senior CB Juwan Dowels transferred to Western Michigan as a graduate.

Following a freshman redshirt his first year on campus, Dowels went on to appear in 24 total games for the Orange. He looked to be coming into his following a 2015 season in which he posted 40 tackles, an interception and five passes defended, but was largely undone by a knee injury in 2016 and came out to more modest effect last year. As a graduate transfer, he'll be eligible to play immediately at Western Michigan once the upcoming campaign kicks into gear.
May 10 - 3:49 PM

Buccaneers signed Western Michigan RB Donnie Ernsberger.

Ernsberger (6’3/241) played fullback, special teams, and tight end for the Broncos, logging just one career carry but a 45/528/11.7/5 receiving line and earning second-team All-MAC as a senior. Ernsberger ran 4.78 at the Combine with 32nd-percentile SPARQ results. A jack of all trades but master of none, Ernsberger should compete for special teams snaps right away and offers enough versatility to eventually carve out a minor offensive role, likely as a situational lead blocker and checkdown option.
May 3 - 5:37 PM

Steelers signed Western Michigan RB Jarvion Franklin.

Franklin (6’0/239) graduated at the Broncos’ all-time leader in rushing yards (4,867) and all-purpose TDs (56), averaging 5.2 career yards per carry with 61 receptions. Franklin’s had a high college fumble rate and showed sub-par athleticism at the Combine, managing 13th-percentile SPARQ results with 4.63 speed and a 9-foot-1 broad jump. Lacking explosive burst and not particularly physical despite his size, Williams is a long shot for an extended NFL career.
May 3 - 11:53 AM

Western Michigan senior CB Sam Beal considered declaring early for the 2018 NFL draft.

Beal (6'1/185) was a second-team All-Mid-American Conference selection in 2017 and said he gave declaring for the NFL "some thought." He ultimately decided to stay for another year to finish up his education. With a track background and someone who can play press coverage, WMU cornerbacks coach Nick Sanchez believes he is "what the NFL is looking for." If Beal has another solid year of play at Western Michigan as a senior he should be in good shape to be selected in the 2019 NFL draft.
Apr 30 - 2:23 PM

Bengals selected Western Michigan CB Darius Phillips with the No. 170 overall pick in the NFL draft.

Phillips (5’10/193) converted from wideout to cornerback as a sophomore and went on to become a three-year starter, earning first-team All-MAC in each of his final two seasons and tying a Division-I record for most career pick sixes (5), part of Phillips’ 12 career INTs. Also prolific in the return game, Phillips scored five career kickoff return TDs and one TD on a punt. Phillips managed a 4.54 forty in Indy but improved to 4.4-flat at Western Michigan’s Pro Day. Phillips is an undersized slot corner prospect with immediate return value.
Apr 28 - 3:27 PM

Steelers selected Western Michigan OT Chukwuma Okorafor with the No. 92 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft.

Okorafor (6’6/320) grew up in Africa and didn’t play offensive line until his junior year in high school, then became a 39-game starter for Western Michigan, flipping from right to left tackle as a junior and earning first-team All-MAC in both of his final two years. Okorafor looks the part with a massive build, but his tape reveals a prospect in need of technical work. Okorafor also tested out as a lowly ninth-percentile SPARQ athlete in Indy. Not yet 21 years old, Okorafor is a probable multi-year project.
Apr 27 - 10:36 PM

An anonymous scout told Bob McGinn Football that Western Michigan OL Chukwuma Okorafor "looks like Tarzan."

He looks like Tarzan," said the scout. "Good athlete. Just not real aware. Mental is a real concern. Played pretty good against the good competition. Against the lower level he didn’t play quite as well. Disinterested at times. He’s just not nasty and struggles to learn." Okorafor mostly played left tackle for the Broncos, but most project him to move inside to guard at the highest level. A team that believes he can be a bookend could take him in the first 64 picks. At guard, he likely goes in the third-to-fourth.
Apr 26 - 6:56 PM


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