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Tag:NFL
Posted on: February 1, 2012 9:43 am
 

NFL: No plans to sell fans tickets to Combine

With the NFL continually finding new ways to market itself and the insatiable appetite fans have for all things football it has been theorized by many that it is only a matter of time before the league begins selling tickets to the annual Scouting Combine. 

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello informed the media at the Super Bowl, however, that he knows of no plan to this citing crowd noise as a deterrent. 

Only recently has the NFL allowed anyone other than league personnel into the workouts. Media has generally been asked to remain in a different part of the building away from the workouts. With NFL Network cameras being allowed to record some of the action in recent years, a few select members of the media have been allowed to come in and watch the quarterbacks throw to wide receivers in recent years.

I have been fortunate enough to be among those allowed in for several of these workouts. I can tell you from experience that the inside of the stadium during these workouts is quite different from that of a game or even practice. While the players and a few coaches/scouts are down on the field, league personnel is generally scattered throughout the lower level seats and suites. The place is eerily quiet other than the occasional shouts of encouragement from players to each other. 
 
The 2012 Scouting Combine will be held in Lucas Oil Field in Indianapolis during the final week of Feburary.  The initial list of players invited to attend the workout can be found here. National Football Scouting, the organization that puts on the Combine, has not yet released the final invitation list, which includes underclassmen and perhaps a few other seniors who piqued the interest of scouts during recent all-star games. 


 

Posted on: December 8, 2011 5:53 pm
 

NFL supplements Indy Combine with eight others

The NFL announced on Thursday it is creating eight regional combines to supplement the national Combine held annually in Indianpolis.

Per the league's announcement, the regional combines were created to specifically target three groups of potential players:
  • Players eligible for the 2012 draft not able to participate at the Indianapolis combine
  • Players with collegiate experience who want to gauge their pro potential
  • Players with some pro experience attempting to get back into the league

The first regional Combine will be held January 28 in Los Angeles. This is the only regional Combine on the west coast and the only one not held at an NFL facility.

The full regional combine schedule is:

Date

Location

Facility

January 28

Los Angeles, CA

Orange Coast College-Lebard Stadium

February 4

Houston

Methodist Training Center

February 11

Baltimore

Baltimore Ravens Training Facility

February 18

Tampa Bay

One Buccaneer Place

February 25

New York/New Jersey

Atlantic Health Jets Training Facility

March 3

Chicago

Halas Hall

March 10 & 11

Atlanta

Atlanta Falcons Training Facility

March 17

Cleveland

Cleveland Browns Training Facility

The new Combine workouts are designed to function as the Indianapolis event operates. Players will be measured and asked to perform all of the athletic tests -- like the bench press, vertical jump and 40-yard dash -- that occur in Indianpolis. The players who impress the most in the regional combines may then be invited to a newly created NFL Super Regional Combine to be held at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan on March 30-31.

While the athletic tests are critical to prospects getting their names out there, some of the more underrated elements of the traditional combine will be more difficult to replicate. Teams rely on the extensive medical testing done at local hospitals while athletes attend the Indianapolis combine. Similarly, athletes are shuttled through team interviews in Indianapolis, making the entire process a well-organized, smoothly running event.

Legitimate pro scouts and NFL personnel will, of course, be on hand to make sure the regional combines go as planned. That said, don't expect to see general managers or head coaches parading about the sidelines at these events. Each team will be sent all of the information compiled during the regional workouts.

Every team is looking for the next great diamond in the rough. These combines are designed, in part, to aid in this process.

But with the draft less than a month after the Super Regional, most decision-makers will be focusing on who'll they be targeting in the first round not in the late rounds or undrafted free agency. 

For those looking for more information on the NFL's regional combines, check out their website here.

Category: NFL Draft
Posted on: November 27, 2011 10:43 am
 

Nightmare end to injury-filled Sr season for Dye?

UCLA safety Tony Dye said prior to Saturday night's showdown with cross-town rival USC that the thought of leaving his Bruins without having ever beaten the Trojans would be "personally damaging to me."

Unfortunately, the humbling 50-0 score isn't all that may prove personally damaging to Dye. The UCLA senior also suffered an injury to his right leg that cause trainers to help the safety off the field and led to Dye being carted off the sidelines to take x-rays.

Root Sports sideline reporter Petros Papadakis said the injury "doesn't look good" as Dye left the field in the second quarter. Results of any medical tests are expected to be released Sunday.

The leg injury continues an awful season for Dye, who entered the year as UCLA's most highly touted NFL prospect. Dye entered the year having already started three seasons at strong safety. He was recognized as the Bruins Co-MVP last year (along with now Tennessee Titans linebacker Akeem Ayers) after leading the team with 96 tackles. He was moved to free safety this year to put him in position to make more plays on the ball and to take over for Rahim Moore, a second round pick by the Denver Broncos.

It didn't take long for Dye's senior season to get sidetracked, however. Dye suffered through neck stingers September 10 against San Jose State and though he attempted to play through bouts of pain, numbness and tingling against Texas a week later, he was ultimately pulled and hadn't played until November 19 against Colorado. He considered taking a medical redshirt on the year but elected to return to the field, posting two tackles against the Buffaloes. Dye was held without a tackle prior to getting hurt against USC.

Should the leg injury be as serious as fear, the decision unfortunately, could turn out disastrous for Dye's NFL hopes.

Dye currently has 23 tackles in 2011.
Posted on: September 2, 2011 10:57 pm
Edited on: September 3, 2011 10:50 am
 

Under the Radar Week One Match-ups

You can check out the top players and match-ups to watch this weekend here on the front page of NFLDraftScout.com

But if you want five more intriguing scouting match-ups to watch this weekend? Check these out:

1. Appalachian State WR Brian Quick vs. Virginia Tech CB Jayron Hosley

Hosley led the Football Bowl Subdivision last year with nine interceptions, but the 5-10, 172-pound zone corner faces a 6-foot-5, 220-pound strider in Quick (who averaged 18 yards a reception and scored nine times in 2010) this weekend. Scouts will be quite interested to see if Hosley can handle Quick's size on slants or on jump balls in the red zone; it could portend his value as an outside corner or limit him to the slot at the next level.

2. Memphis DT Dontari Poe vs. Mississippi State C Quinton Saulsberry

Memphis' 6-foot-5, 350-pound junior tackle is a star on the rise, but he'll need to prove he can hold his ground and shed the strong blocks of Saulsberry, who moves inside to center (his likely NFL position) for his senior year to take advantage of his stout build and low center of gravity. If Poe uses his quick feet to get around Saulsberry or push him (and the double teams likely to come) into the backfield, and decides to leave school early after a successful season, he could be among the top five draft-eligible tackles in the 2012 class.

3. Montana CB Trumaine Johnson vs. Tennessee WRs

Johnson is this year's six-foot-plus corner from outside major college football who will challenge for a top 100 draft slot (Derek Cox-2009, Akwasi Owusu-Ansah-2010, Cortez Allen-2011). Not only does he have the size scouts like at the position, but also the ball skills (13 career interceptions, 23 pass break-ups. His physicality as a tackler, footwork, and straight-line speed will be challenged this week, however, going up against Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray and his tall and fast fellow sophomores, receivers Justin Hunter and Da'Rick Rogers.

4. Tennessee-Chattanooga QB B.J. Coleman vs. Nebraska Defense

A former Volunteer quarterback is also trying to earn scouts' respect this fall. Coleman, who transferred from Tennessee before his redshirt sophomore year due to his perceived lack of opportunity to become the starter, and his Moccasins will likely be overmatched by the Cornhuskers' defense. But even if the 6-foot-5, 220-pound pocket passer's statistics aren't great, he can scouts he possesses the poise to handle Nebraska's pressure and arm strength to make throws against any small opening the Blackshirts give him.

5. Louisiana-Lafayette TE Ladarius Green vs. Oklahoma State Defense 

One of the top tight ends in the country plays in the Sun Belt Conference, typically in the shadows because of a lack of national television coverage. But the 6-foot-6, Green is starting to get his due. He had big games against Georgia (4 catches, 87 yards, touchdown) and Arizona State (7-97-1) last season and finished 2010 with 100-yard performances in four of the last five games. He also made six receptions for 64 yards vs. LSU in 2009. Despite his height and long strides downfield, Green's foot quickness in routes and explosion off the snap are NFL-worthy. OSU must keep an eye (or two or three) on this future top 150 pick if they want to keep the Ragin' Cajuns in their place.

--Contributed by Chad Reuter, Senior Analyst for NFLDraftScout.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ChadReuter.

Category: NFL Draft
Posted on: August 28, 2011 12:00 pm
 

NCAA all-purpose yardage record holder suspended

Most fans outside of Conference USA football have probably never heard of Tulsa's Do-Everything Damaris Johnson.

This, despite the fact that he was a Second Team All-American last season and enters his senior campaign having already set NCAA records for the most kickoff return yardage (3,417) and all-purpose yardage (7,796) for a career. Far from a one year wonder, Johnson has been a superstar since first stepping onto the field as a true freshman for the Golden Hurricane. He led Conferece USA with 2,475 all-purpose yardage in 2009, leadng the team with 10 touchdowns and producing 51 plays of 20 yards or more. Johnson enjoyed his best season to date as a sophomore, averaging a gaudy 224.4 all-purpose yards per game before "dropping" to 202 yards per contest last year. He was his most lethal last year in terms of turning yardage into touchdowns, however, scoring a career high 13, including seven rushing, four receiving and one each on kickoff and punt returns.

The 5-7, 172 pound Johnson isn't viewed as a potential high draft selection by NFLDraftScout.com regardless of his production. In fact, at this time, he's rated by NDS as the 37th best WR prospect in the country and a likely late round or free agent prospect. He does have good timed speed (4.42) and lateral agility to make defenders miss, however -- traits that could lead him to success in a limited role at the professional level.

Unfortunately, for as good as Johnson has been on the field, he's not so good as to justify receiving over a thousand dollars worth of goods from a local Macy's store and be only charged 34 cents -- precisely what authorities are accusing he and his girlfriend (who worked the register at the store) of doing.

The girlfriend -- Chamon Jones -- was booked into Tulsa County Jail at 3 am Friday, according to this report from Eric Bailey of The Tulsa World. Bailey cites the police report which asserts that Johnson used his girlfriend's debit card twice in the week prior to her arrest to purchase goods. He purchased $1569.09 worth of merchandise but was charged only 12.91 by Jones. He also purchased 1,238.75 worth of goods on another occasion, but was charged only the 34 cents.

Jones has since been released on bail. She is officially been charged with embezzlement.

Johnson has not been officially charged with anything, but that didn't stop Tulsa head coach Bill Blankenship to suspend his All-American indefinitely.

"They [police] hardly even know anything more. We're just operating on what we know at this point in time," Blankenship said. "We're going to let it all fall and we'll talk about it on Monday."

Tulsa opens their season Saturday at top-ranked Oklahoma.

Unfortunately, they made be doing so without their best weapon.



Posted on: August 18, 2011 9:53 am
Edited on: August 18, 2011 9:54 am
 

Supplemental re-scheduled for Monday; Pryor in

The NFL has alerted its 32 teams that the league's annual Supplemental Draft will take place on Monday, August 22 and that former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor has been added to the list of players eligible to be selected.

Teams now have six total players to consider. They are, in alphabetical order: Western Carolina cornerback Torez Jones, Georgia running back King, Lindenwood University/Allen Wranglers (IFL) defensive end Keenan Mace, North Carolina defensive end Michael McAdoo, Pryor and Northern Illinois safety Tracy Wilson.

The NFL has taken some heat for its handling of Pryor and re-shuffling of the draft. The draft, like all things connected to the league, was originally postponed due to the prolonged CBA negotiations. Generally, the draft is held on or around July 15, approximately 10 days prior to the opening of training camps. This year teams were originally informed that the draft would take place yesterday (Wednesday, August 17) before the league announced that it was pushing the draft back indefinitely, presumably to further investigate whether Pryor should be allowed eligibility.

Ultimately, the NFL did relent and allow Pryor in, though the former Buckeye quarterback certainly isn't getting off easily for his role in the "tattoo scandal" that rocked the university and contributed to Jim Tressel losing his job.

Per the NFL's release, Pryor is eligible to be selected in the supplemental draft, but he will NOT be allowed to practice or play in the first five games of the 2011 season.

Forcing Pryor to remain off the field for roughly a third of the season will have a definite impact on his draft stock. I've spoken to several teams with interest in the dynamic running/passing threat, with many teams suggesting that a middle round pick was likely needed to secure his services. Ineligible to play for that long could push Pryor into the fifth round. Of the remaining players in the draft, McAdoo and King are the likeliest to also get drafted, though both appear to have late round prospects, at best.




Posted on: August 2, 2011 12:37 pm
Edited on: August 2, 2011 12:49 pm
 

Moss should be a slam dunk 1st ballot HOF

Randy Moss' retirement from the NFL was met with sighs of relief from defensive backs around the NFL and a collective "How soon does he make the Hall of Fame" question from pro football scribes and bloggers.

For talent evaluators, Moss' retirement is met with a different feeling, at least from this one.

It is met with appreciation.

Randy Moss' combination of size, acceleration, top-end speed and body control made him the dangerous wide receiver the NFL has ever known.

Moss wasn't the best receiver the league has seen. We all know that he was prone to listless, unmotivated play that sent him packing from more than one team. It is why, despite still undeniably possessing a big play ability that every team is looking, that Moss wasn't offered a competitive contract this off-season, leading to his retirement announcement.

We all know he didn't run the sharpest routes or possess the softest hands. He rarely demonstrated the physicality as a downfield blocker that a receiver with his size advantage could have.

The media tosses around the word "freak" to describe athletes with extraordinary athleticism. If there ever was an athlete that deserved the moniker, it is Moss. Put simply, tall skinny guys like the 6-4, 210 pound Moss typically don't have the muscle power in their lower body to generate the explosive acceleration and long speed that Moss so successfully used throughout his football career.

Too often Moss was miscast as strictly a deep ball threat. This is a valuable skill in the NFL, but demands "only" great speed. Moss' athletic brilliance was that he generated great speed so quickly. When he caught a slant, a hitch, a deep out or even a bubble screen, he had the burst to zip past the initial wave of defenders coming his way.

Moss' career numbers are astounding. He caught 954 passes for 14,858 yards and 153 touchdowns. He scored double digit touchdowns nine times over his career. You want big plays? He caught passes that gained his offense 40+ yards an amazing 76 times in his career. DeSean Jackson is often credited with his big play ability. Sure he's young and will hopefully continue his brilliant playmaking for a long, long time, but by comparison he's had 20. Moss' numbers are even more impressive when you consider that his boorish behavior often pushed him to new teams. In every case, he was expected by the fans (if not the coaching staffs) to be an instant savior of a passing attack.

That behavior may, unfortunately, be enough to keep some of the NFL scribes given the privilege of voting for the Hall of Fame to place some type of misguided moral code on their ballots.

Moss was among the truly elite, freakish players of his era. His ability to threaten the defense should be held in much the same regard as what Jim Brown, Walter Payton, Jerry Rice and Terrell Owens did as runners and receivers during their astounding careers.  The Cover-Two defense was created to help stop Moss and other big play artists.

If Moss isn't a first ballot Hall of Fame player, than I haven't seen one.



Posted on: July 27, 2011 12:41 pm
 

Ineliigible at OSU means Pryor eligible for Supp.

Any doubt as to whether former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor would be deemed eligibile for an NFL supplemental draft this summer likely was erased yesterday when Pryor's lawyer received a letter from Buckeye Athletic Director Gene Smith notifying their former star that he would have been found ineligible for the 2011 season.

With Pryor ineligible for next season, he fulfills the technicality the NFL needed to allow him into their special-case draft. Previously, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello had told Alex Marvex of FoxSports.com that Pryor, (like any player) was only eligible for the draft if their situation had been affected by "unforeseen circumstances."

While some would argue that a long-term suspension from Ohio State could have easily been foreseen considering the myriad of rule violations Pryor is accused of, with the ruling coming today -- long after the January 15th deadline in which underclassmen had to declare for April's NFL draft -- the Buckeye signal-caller has indeed found his eligibility taken away between the normally scheduled draft and the supplemental. This, traditionally, has been the deciding factor in allowing a prospect into the supplemental draft.

In a typical year, the NFL's supplemental draft is held approximately ten days before the start of training camps, or roughly July 15. This year, due to the extended lockout and the higher priority of veteran free agency, signing of draft picks, etc. the supplemental draft has been placed on the "back burner."

At this point, there appears to be three players likely to be found eligible for the supplemental draft -- Georgia running back Caleb King, North Carolina defensive end Michael McAdoo and Pryor.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com