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: Offensive Line

By Aaron Hyden
PSDC College Football Contributor

Year in and year out, football teams of both the professional and collegiate variety produce star after star on offense, with quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and the occasional tight end getting all the publicity for making things happen. Almost without fail, though, the offensive linemen on those teams don’t get the recognition they deserve for what they do. Your team’s running game is the best around? Thank the “hog mollies” that are paving the way up front. Your team’s QB is putting up all kinds of big passing numbers? Thank his blockers for keeping him upright.

This year’s group of O-Line prospects features another group of stud tackles at the top, followed by depth at all three positions to round things out. NFL teams need to build their franchises around players like this, and there will be a couple more squads to have that opportunity next year.

1. Laremy Tunsil, Tackle, Ole Miss – A very athletic blocker with the ability to succeed in the running or passing games, Tunsil came into college as a heavily-recruited player, and has lived up to the hype. He’s super quick out of his stance when the ball is snapped, which allows him to take on speed rushers coming in off the edge, where that athleticism comes in handy and keeps him fighting.

Photo Credit: USA Today

Photo Credit: USA Today

In the run game, he uses his skill set to push holes open for his backs. Although he possesses a lot of strength, he doesn’t play in an offense that allows him to truly showcase it all the time. He isn’t what is considered a “road grader,” as he more finesses his way through run blocking, so he’ll have to show more of his power in 2015 if he wants to prove to NFL teams that he is the total package. [Read more…]

2016 NFL Draft Prospects: Tight Ends

By Aaron Hyden
PSDC College Football Contributor

When you look at the Class of 2016’s group of tight ends, you aren’t going to see anyone like a Rob Gronkowski or a Jimmy Graham, who can come in and become superstars immediately. What you will see is a group that is deep on those who can, and should, contribute immediately. You don’t need to catch 100 passes a year to be a successful NFL TE, and there could be a handful of players in college right now that will prove that in the future.

1. Hunter Henry, Arkansas – Some have referred to Henry as somewhat of a one-dimensional player, pointing at the fact that he doesn’t have eye-popping stats to back up their claims. What those people fail to realize is that Henry plays in a run-first offense, and has also had some very spotty quarterback play to deal with on top of that. He has caught a total of 65 passes since arriving at Arkansas two years ago, for a total of 922 yards and six touchdowns, so it isn’t like he’s just standing around, growing cobwebs.

Photo Credit: wholehogsports.com

Photo Credit: wholehogsports.com

In that run-first offense, Henry really shines, as he is a tremendous blocker. He’s strong off the snap and isn’t afraid to get in there and make room for his running backs. That’s a trait that NFL teams love to have in their TEs, but far more often than not, they merely have to settle on someone who “only” catches passes. [Read more…]

2016 NFL Draft Prospects: Wide Receivers

By Aaron Hyden
PSDC College Football Contributor

When you take a look at the group of wide receivers that lead the Class of 2016, one of the first things you notice is that there is no Amari Cooper here. There is no Sammy Watkins. There is no AJ Green. There isn’t a player that is a “sure thing” to dominate and do the same as a pro, without any sort of red flags, deserving or otherwise, popping up. It’s another deep class, with somewhere in the vicinity of 20 names being mentioned as people who could be drafted before the third round is over. There just isn’t that stud of the class to be head and shoulders above everyone else, which is actually a good thing. It means the names on this list will be in competition with each other all season long, jockeying for that top spot.

1. Tyler Boyd, Pittsburgh – In Boyd, Pitt has a player who has been successful in putting up numbers since the day he showed up on campus. In his first two seasons, he has a total of 163 receptions, totaling 2,300 yards and 15 touchdowns. He has the combination of size (6’2”, 200 pounds) and speed (has run a sub-4.4 40) that pro scouts drool over, and has the on-field intangibles that will transfer to the NFL. He works hard, is not afraid to play a physical game, is a very solid route runner and has a knack for making the clutch catch when his team needs him to.

Tyler-Boyd-Pittsburgh

Photo Credit: Matt Freed/Post-Gazette

The term “on-field intangibles” was used because of a DUI arrest that he had during the offseason. It will keep him out of the team’s season opener, but those closest to him and the program say it was a kid making a mistake, and not a troublemaker with poor decision making, as is the case with some college kids with arrests on their record. He has to stay out of trouble to even think about keeping the top WR spot on most teams’ draft boards, but if he can, he should succeed again in 2015. Pitt also returns their starting QB from last season, Chad Voytik, which should allow the duo to continue picking opposing secondaries apart. [Read more…]

A Walk-Off Home Run on an Intentional Walk?

Ole Miss third baseman Austin Anderson destroyed a walk-off home run against Auburn on what was an attempted intentional walk. Has this ever happened before? It’s an incredible feat to watch.

10 Reasons Marshall Henderson Will Be Ineligible Before Next Season

By Robbie Marbury
PSDC Big Man

If you have watched any basketball over the past two weekends, you have heard of Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson. Henderson is a junior shooting guard for the Rebels, who has a reputation for less than perfect behavior. Henderson has been a lightening rod off the court, like being arrested as a high school senior for trying to buy $800 worth of marijuana with counterfeit money, or drinking with Rebel fans in Kansas City hours after winning their first NCAA Tournament game. And he also has been a lightning rod on the court, like taking a drag off a fake joint and flicking it, or flipping off fans in Kansas City for calling his sister a whore (supposedly), or this fun fan interaction after beating Auburn.

After beating Vanderbilt in the SEC Tournament Henderson said: “I’m out here just tying to get this money.” Which led almost everyone to assume that he did not plan on playing at Ole Miss next season, although the only place he would be getting money to play basketball is probably Turkey.

Henderson is four years removed from high school, and has bounced around from Utah, to Texas Tech (where he never played), to South Plains College, and now to Ole Miss. So, he is probably ready to blow off college on move on to the next step; getting paid to play, legally. Personally, I don’t think he would ever make a NBA roster. People want to compare him to Jimmer Ferdette and Jason Williams (the white one), but both were way better ball handlers and more consistent shooters. Also, he is strictly a two-guard and unfortunately he’s only 6’2″. After realizing all of this, Henderson said he plans to come back to Ole Miss next season. Good call.

The only problem with Henderson coming back to Ole Miss next year is that he has to stay eligible over the summer, and stay in the good graces of Ole Miss officials. That is easier said than done. Henderson is a star, in a small college town, he is about to go bananas.

These are the 10 most likely reasons why Marshall Henderson will be declared ineligible before next season:

1. Henderson receives free Taco Bell after smoking out one night and the NCAA declares him ineligible for receiving impermissible benefits. [Read more…]