2016 NFL Mock Draft

By: David Parks
Twitter: @_Parksie

We’re down to a mere 17 days left until the 2016 NFL Draft. By now, most front offices have zeroed in on a handful of players they want to target. Others are still weighing their options, specifically trades.

I don’t bother trying to project trades, but it’s safe to say several will happen. Last year’s first round featured four moves, the most notable being San Diego trading up two spots with San Francisco to nab Melvin Gordon. Last year was odd however, in that it marked the first year since 2010 that no trades took place in the top ten. [Read more…]

2016 NFL Draft: Prospect Rankings by Position

2016 NFL DRAFT

Paxton+Lynch

With the NFL Scouting Combine less than a week away, David Parks unveils his top prospects at each position.

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2016 NFL Draft Big Board (2.0)

By David Parks

Sadly, the end of college football is here.

“Trapped in a show hole?”

“Nah… Trapped in a sports hole.”

[Read more…]

Way Too Early Top Ten for the 2016 CFB Season

By: David Parks
Twitter: @_Parksie

This is the way too early preseason top ten.  Chances are I don’t like your team and obviously have them too low.  SPOILER:  No poll really matters until mid-October (Except this one).

Off we go…

The real reason Nick Saban is smiling? The #1 ranking in this poll obviously

The real reason Nick Saban is smiling? The #1 ranking in this poll obviously

1) Alabama

Yes Derrick Henry is gone. Yes they’re likely losing three defensive linemen to the first round along with their middle linebacker. Yes their defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach is leaving. But we’ve seen this script before, and when has it mattered? The Tide are stocked at every position on the field and until the head coach himself leaves, it won’t matter which of his assistants come and go. [Read more…]

2016 NFL Draft Big Board (1.0)

By David Parks
Twitter: @_Parksie

As the end of the college football season draws near, players will make their intentions known on whether or not they will chase their NFL dreams or return to school for their senior year(s).  With that, comes the inevitable task of ranking draft prospects.

It’s one of the most exact inexact sciences that exist.  Few teams do it well, and even then, there’s no such thing as a perfect draft.

Even a guy like Joey Bosa isn't a sure bet

Even a guy like Joey Bosa isn’t a sure bet

[Read more…]

Previewing the Big Games: College Football Week 2

By Aaron Hyden
PSDC College Football Contributor

After a very eventful first week of the college football season, with title contenders showing that they have some more work to do, we’re already at the eve of the second week. Opening jitters should be moving out of the way by now, and the truth (positive or negative) should start to shine through starting here. We have some big games to look forward to, but there are three that stand out above the rest, and those are the games I’ll be breaking down here. When the weekend is over, I’ll be back to break everything down yet again, hopefully improving on my 2-1 prediction record from last week.

No. 19 Oklahoma at No. 23 Tennessee: With both teams on the rise and coming off of impressive performances last week, eyes are set on this game, with people looking to the future. The winner shows that they might be a legitimate contender on the season, while the loser goes back to the drawing board.

jalen-hurd-1

Photo Credit: tennessee.247sports.com

Photo Credit: tennessee.247sports.com

Tennessee rushed for 399 yards last week, nearly having three players top the 100-yard mark, with Alvin Kamara going for 144, Jalen Hurd getting 123 and QB Joshua Dobbs getting 89 yards of his own. It was the school’s best single-game rushing performance in over 20 years, but now, that running game goes up against an Oklahoma run defense that ranked 11th in the country last season in yards allowed and 10th in yards per game allowed. The Volunteers won’t reach 400 rushing yards again this week, but if they can get some sort of consistency with their three-headed monster, you have to like their chances. [Read more…]

Project Shanks College Football Week 1 Review

By Aaron Hyden
PSDC College Football Contributor

A very newsworthy first week of the college football season is now in the books, and before our eyes can look ahead to the second week, we have to look back at what we’ve learned from the first set of games that took place across the country. From the players to the teams, and everything in between, here are the biggest takeaways after college football’s first week, in no particular order.

Photo Credit: USA Today

Photo Credit: USA Today

1. A few early contenders for the National Championship struggled in their first games. Even in victory. TCU, Baylor, Michigan State, Auburn and Oregon were all ranked in the top 10 to start the season, and even though they all came out victorious, none of them had an easy road to get there, and questions popped up left and right. [Read more…]

Previewing the Big Games: College Football Week 1

By Aaron Hyden
PSDC College Football Contributor

With the 2015 college football season already underway, and the first Saturday slate of games kicking off, it’s time to preview the big games from Week 1. Teams from all over the country are beginning their journeys towards a possible National Championship, but it all begins with the season’s first game. I’ll be back when the week is over to review the goings-on and see how close my predictions were. Let’s not waste any more time, though.

No. 15 Arizona State vs Texas A&M: Arizona State is quickly becoming a chic selection as a National Championship dark horse contender, and that discussion starts because of their offense. QB Mike Bercovici stepped in for injured starter Taylor Kelly last season, throwing for 1,445 yards and 14 touchdowns in what was essentially three-and-a-half games. Last season’s leading rusher, DJ Foster, has been switched to WR to replace Jaelen Strong, while Demario Richard takes Foster’s place at RB.

Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

A&M needs to improve on a defense that ranked 103rd in the nation, out of 128 teams, last season, including being No. 114 in rushing yards allowed per game. Former LSU Defensive Coordinator John Chavis joins the team in that same role this season, and that gives Aggies fans lots of hope, as Chavis led one of the country’s top defensive units every season in Baton Rouge. [Read more…]

2016 NFL Draft Prospects: Safeties

By Aaron Hyden
PSDC College Football Contributor

In football, safeties are literally and figuratively the last line of defense, sometimes the only things between opposing offenses and the end zone. More and more, safeties are asked to be Jacks of All Trades, capable of playing against the run or the pass, and to see the entire field play out in front of them. This requires people playing the position to be smart, instinctive and to have the ability to be versatile in what they do. This year’s class of safeties is certainly no different, with many players who have experience at multiple positions, or in multiple schemes.

1. Nate Andrews, Florida State – Perhaps the surest tackler of any safety in the country, Andrews is a tough, physical player that plays all over the field. He isn’t the biggest (5’11”, 210 pounds) or fastest (4.52 40) player you’re going to find, but with his intelligence, instincts and nose for the football, he doesn’t have to be.

Photo Credit: Florida State Athletics

Photo Credit: Florida State Athletics

One of Florida State’s top leaders, he leads by example and is, arguably, the hardest worker on the team. His teammates love his attitude, and they play hard for him. That type of leadership, especially at a young age, is very attractive to NFL front offices, who are often dealing with “me first” types of players. [Read more…]

2016 NFL Draft Prospects: Cornerbacks

By Aaron Hyden
PSDC College Football Contributor

Thanks to Richard Sherman’s boisterous ways, the cornerback position has become a more attention-getting area of football. Teams are looking for these players that can shut down entire halves of the field at their best, changing game plans of opposing offenses and forcing them to look elsewhere. It’s an important position, with high risks and high rewards, and it takes a special type of player to be successful in this day and age of ultra athletic wide receivers running like gazelles all over the field. Leading the pack in the Class of 2016 is my pick for the best overall prospect, and as close to a “sure thing” as you’re going to find this year.

1. Vernon Hargreaves, Florida – If you’re looking for the prototypical “shutdown” CB, look no further than Hargreaves. He isn’t the tallest CB (5’11”) out there, but he plays much bigger than his height would indicate because of his physicality. He has no problem jamming WRs at the line of scrimmage, and doesn’t allow them to get the best of him as they move down the field. His body control and instincts are top level, and his closing speed helps to eliminate issues when the occasional mistake is made.

Photo Credit: USA Today

Photo Credit: USA Today

His aforementioned physical style of play is an added bonus against the run or against screen passes. He enjoys contact, and isn’t afraid of shedding blocks to lay a hit on a ball carrier. The stereotype of CBs, especially the stars, is that they shy away from contact. You don’t have that issue here, making him something of a dual threat as a defender. [Read more…]

2016 NFL Draft Prospects: Linebackers

By Aaron Hyden
PSDC College Football Contributor

As the game of football continues to evolve, the linebacker position continues changing with it. With different defensive fronts, hybrid schemes and better athletes comes a different direction for the position. You have LBs that are strictly on the field to provide a pass rush, and are basically players who were defensive ends, but are too light to play DE anymore. You have the “traditional” LBs, who stay in their spots and rack up the tackle stats, playing sideline-to-sideline. It seems like every team has a different fit, and therefore, a different set of ‘Backers to play with. This is another loaded position in the Draft, with plenty of names fighting it out for first-round spots.

1. Scooby Wright, ILB/OLB, Arizona – Wright isn’t someone that you would refer to as an elite level athlete. He runs a 4.65 40, which isn’t bad at all, but compared to the 4.4’s and 4.5’s that some LBs run, his number doesn’t jump out at you. What he doesn’t have in elite athleticism, he makes up for it with world class instincts and a motor that simply doesn’t stop. When you watch an Arizona game, you’d swear that Wright ends each of them with 20+ tackles. He’s around the football like he was playing on offense, whether it’s making tackles, stuffing the run, pressuring the quarterback, forcing fumbles, and so on. His 2014 numbers (163 tackles, 29 tackles for loss, 14 sacks, six forced fumbles) are what your LBs would get if you fired up a season in NCAA Football on your PS3.

Photo Credit: USA Today

Photo Credit: USA Today

If there’s anything people can point to and say Wright needs to improve at it, it would be his pass coverage. Some would tell you it doesn’t matter much, though, because that isn’t what his game is. He can sometimes fall into a one-dimensional spell when it comes to his pass rush moves, but that is something that he can easily improve on, making him an even better prospect for 2016. [Read more…]

2016 NFL Draft Prospects: Defensive Line

By Aaron Hyden
PSDC College Football Contributor

The cornerstone of a great defense (some would say of an entire football team, in general) is a great defensive line. The pass rush that it creates makes life easier for the back end of the unit. Opposing running games would thrive in the open field without a great run defense at the line, clogging up holes. A good defensive lineman is often asked to do so many things these days, and the best ones do it with relative ease. The names on this list make great impacts on the games they play, whether it is being in a quarterback’s face every time they step back to throw the football, being ready to smash a running back before he can even get momentum built up, using his size advantage to affect a kicker’s attempts, or all of the above.

1. Joey Bosa, Defensive End, Ohio State – Many are calling Bosa the “next JJ Watt,” and for good reason. Bosa simply lives in opposing backfields, making life hell for anyone with a football in their hands. In his two seasons at OSU, he has a total of 99 tackles, 34.5 of them going for a loss, to go with 21 sacks and four forced fumbles… all while regularly being double-teamed or avoided altogether in the run game. Like Watt, Bosa plays with a great motor, always working hard and playing tough, no matter the score or situation.

Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images

Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images

At 6’6” and 275 pounds with a 4.7 40, Bosa is in the mold of the prototypical NFL defensive end. He has great strength, elite quickness, long arms, fast hands and he combines them with tremendous instincts to change games. As a pass rusher, he is multi-faceted, able to get to QBs whether he’s lined up on the inside or the outside. He sheds blocks as if they were set up by people half his size, doing so with a variety of different moves, meaning that opposing linemen have to be ready for any move at any time. Those moves also allow him to blow up holes and running room for RBs, closing up gaps as soon as they open. He is as close to unblockable as they come. [Read more…]