Weekly Update

Dak-street (Oh) Boy

Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET




NFL Draft News:

 

 

  • Arrested for DUI late Saturday night/early Sunday morning, Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott’s breathalyzer tests returned inconclusive a few days later. Which isn’t to say he’s out of the woods. No sir. NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein believes that teams on the fence about Prescott as a prospect may just allow this situation to be the impetus that boots him off their draft boards. “If he's a guy who was just barely alive and half the building was for him and half was not for taking him, this might be enough to get him scratched," Zierlein said. "That's how he could potentially get hurt. If you like Dak Prescott already, and there's nothing else in his background that's a red flag as it pertains to alcohol, I don't think this is going to hurt him badly. Daniel Jeremiah was more fatalistic: "This will cause scouts to go back and do more background work on him. It's terrible timing." Prescott apologized on Sunday and has been expressing remorse in conversations with teams ever since.


  • It was a huge week in the Mississippi State-draft-prospect-vehicular-malfeasance department. Projected early-Day 2 pick DL Chris Jones was arrested mid-week for speeding and driving with a suspended license. Jones was released after meeting bail. This relatively minor misdeed won’t affect his draft status. Might be best for De'Runnya Wilson to turn his keys in for the next few months, though.

  

  • Pro Football Focus calls Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg the draft's most overrated prospect. Michael Renner’s explanation is hilarious: "His 64.0 accuracy percentage was the second-worst in all of college football, while his accuracy on bubble screens was only 84.6 percent. Bubble screens! I’m not sure how an NFL team will ever be able to change that wild inaccuracy." Hack was the worst quarterback in the entire country in 2014, according to PFF’s metrics, and he wasn’t a whole lot better last year. 

 

  • Texans HC Bill O'Brien gave local product Baylor WR Corey Coleman instruction throughout his Pro Day workout and then praised Coleman afterwards. "He's a good player on tape, very productive," O'Brien said. "He looked good today. The way he ran will help him." Coleman ran his 40-yard dash anywhere between 4.33-4.40, depending on whose stopwatch you were peeking at. The revamped Texans may decide to go for the offensive overhaul kill in the draft, adding a burner to put across from DeAndre Hopkins. With Brock Osweiler and Lamar Miller giving the backfield a pungent new car smell, Coleman's addition could render this offense outright flammable. PFF comps Mr. Coleman to Steve Smith, a popular conflation. The site also believes he's a top-10 talent and the most underrated prospect in the entire class. With at least a coin flip's chance that Coleman will be available when Houston comes on the clock at No. 22, this match makes too much sense to happen in real life.

 

  • Baylor DT Andrew Billings ran a 4.92 forty at the Pro Day event, which he said “was the fastest I've ever run." News dropped Wednesday that Billings received an invitation to the NFL Draft. He’s a first-rounder.

 

  • Continuing on the Baylor theme, HC Art Briles has not given up hope of convincing basketball power forward Rico Gathers to play football for him in the fall. Gathers intended to declare for the NFL Draft despite not being able, because of basketball obligations, to participate in either the Combine or Baylor’s Pro Day. The burly 6-foot-8, 275-pounder, a great athlete and a bruiser, has all the athletic tools necessary to excel in the NFL. But he’d do well to hear Briles out here. As I’ve written before, it’d be a shame to waste those gifts by washing out of the NFL prematurely because his acclimation process took too long.

 

  • The Titans are reportedly still shopping the No. 1 pick. This will be, I swear to you, the last time I report that until there's something new to add. The Titans will be shopping that puppy until they turn the card in.

 

  • NFL Media's Albert Breer reported that the NFL flagged Clemson edge rusher Shaq Lawson's right shoulder at the Combine. Lawson will return to Indianapolis for medical rechecks. For his part, Lawson says he "definitely" does not need surgery. "My shoulder's fine," Lawson said. "It's something I've been playing with for three years, so I'm ready to go get (the recheck) over with and show them I won't have a problem with it."

     

  • Baylor CB Xavien Howard will visit the Titans, Bucs and Dolphins, while Ohio State CB Eli Apple will visit or meet with at least 16 teams in the next six weeks, including the Jaguars, Bucs, Rams and Dolphins. The Dolphins and Bucs are scheduling scores of projectable corners for meetings or visits. Howard blazed a 4.38 second 40-yard dash at Wednesday's Pro Day.

 

 

The following dispatches are all from the incomparable Tony Pauline of TFY Draft Insider. He’s been reporting for Walter Football since Pro Day season began.


  • The New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles are interested in under-the-radar Youngstown State LB Terrell Williams as a "backup linebacker/core special teams player." The 6-foot-1, 242-pounder ran a 4.68 forty and posted 31 reps on the bench at his pro day last week.

 

  • Virginia Tech edge rusher Dadi Nicolas interviewed with the Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins and Green Bay Packers at the Hokies' Pro Day festivities. Nicolas reportedly had a great workout.

 

  • Ohio State DE Joey Bosa will visit the Tennessee Titans, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys and Jacksonville Jaguars in the coming weeks. Mr. Bosa also dined with the Chargers this week. I hope they let him order whatever he wanted.

  • UCLA LB Aaron Wallace has become quite popular after a breakout senior season. He will visit the Colts, Bucs, Browns and Raiders in the coming weeks. Send postcards!

 

  • The Panthers appear to have prioritized finding a slot receiver to compliment Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess in the draft. On Thursday, they worked out Pitt WR Tyler Boyd and Cincinnati WRs Chris Moore and Johnny Holton. Speaking of Boyd, he also met with the Jacksonville Jaguars, L.A. Rams, San Diego Chargers and San Francisco 49ers this week. As for the Bearcat receivers, Holton also sat down with the Detroit Lions and 49ers and Moore met with the Chargers.

 

 

Quotable:

 

 

  • The Rookie Scouting Portfolio’s Matt Waldman rhapsodizes over Oregon QB Vernon Adams as having "a lot of starter tools" but cautions that Adams won’t get a chance to put them on the display unless the NFL surprises by “[giving] an undersized player a real chance." Adams doesn't boast Marcus Mariota's size or athletic starter kit, but Waldman declares that Mariota’s heir is actually better outside of structure and more aggressive downfield. "If he proves a quick study and a durable option, Adams’ future is no worse than that a of a backup capable of helping his team in bind," Waldman wrote. “One NFL personnel employee I know likes career backups with the mobility element because its harder for opponents to prepare for on short notice.”

  

  • Former Redskins and Texans GM and current NFL Media analyst Charley Casserly said “I don't think [UCLA LB Myles Jack] gets past the Jacksonville Jaguars.” The Jags sit at No. 5. "This guy is a Pro Bowl outside linebacker in that system,” he said. “He's a run-and-chase guy. He can line up and cover outside; he's really a versatile guy."

 

  • Michigan State QB Connor Cook penned a piece for MMQB this week that included a very intriguing section touching on his experience of getting grilled at the Combine. Evaluators wanted him to respond to reports that he had a prickly personality and wasn’t a leader. "I understood why they wanted to know," Cook wrote. "It is a big deal. I gave them an answer that I feel is truthful: I just didn't get the votes [to be named a team captain]. Being a captain is a title, but nobody needs a title to lead. Not being a captain never hindered my ability to lead, and it never made me doubt myself. It did, however, make me want to work harder and be the best quarterback I can be." Cook added this nugget: "I should be one of the first quarterbacks taken on April 28." April 28 is the date of Round 1. Rounds 2-3 arrive the next night.

 

  • An anonymous NFC executive scoffed at the idea that Cal QB Jared Goff isn’t the best quarterback in the class. "I wish somebody would start some rumor to get (Jared) Goff to fall in the draft. Let's get that small-hand talk going! We would take him tomorrow," the executive said. "He's the best quarterback in this draft and it's not as close as the media is making it sound."


Conflation Station:

 

 

  • Sports Illustrated's Doug Farrar compares Michigan State edge rusher Shilique Calhoun to Olivier Vernon. "He was a bit of a one-trick pony in college, but based on raw physical tools, I think that Shilique Calhoun will reward the NFL team that takes him with a first few seasons that could rival that of any 4–3 end in this class," Farrar wrote. "When we talk about high-ceiling players, this is a perfect example. At this point, he Vernon comparison is more tied to Vernon’s early NFL career and his time in college."

 

  • Farrar was throwing comps around like Mardi Gras beads this week. Here are a few others: He likened Texas A&M OL Germain Ifedi to La’el Collins. “Like La’el Collins, Ifedi can be uncontrolled and struggles with second-level blocking at times, but has a nice array of workable attributes,” Farrar wrote.


  • South Carolina State DT Javon Hargrave to Timmy Jernigan. "Hargrave has additional small-school stigma, but he also has the potential to be that type of player—he’ll need to be in a 4–3 base front to find success, but in the right system, and once he’s been coached up to meet the next level, he’s got enough tape showing him as a possible bright spot for his NFL line," Farrar wrote.


  • Ohio State WR Braxton Miller to Randall Cobb. "There’s absolutely no question about Miller’s athleticism; the thing that will push him into the second or third round is his relatively limited palette," Farrar wrote. "To be honest, that would be the best place for him to start: as a second- or third-day draft pick who has to work his way up the latter."

 

  • Virginia Tech CB Kendall Fuller to Bradley Roby. "While I’m not as sure about Kendall’s technique,especially his body control and occasional recklessness, I do believe that he can be a quality NFL starter," Farrar wrote. "Most likely, it would be with a team that plays a lot of nickel, with Fuller either in the slot or otherwise unburdened by the No. 1 role."


College Football News:

 

 

  • Baylor redshirt senior QB Seth Russell, who suffered a fractured bone in his neck in October, participated in a scrimmage Friday after receiving complete medical clearance. Russell will now duke it out with true sophomore Jarrett Stidham for the starting job. In that offense, either talented signal-caller could theoretically win the Heisman next season.


 

  • Pittsburgh redshirt junior RB James Conner returned to the practice field Tuesday, participating in calisthenics and handoff drills. Conner is coming off one of the worst years a human being could have. The Heisman and NFL hopeful suffered a torn MCL in September and then was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma. Conner can’t be stopped by eight-man collegiate boxes, cancer or shredded ligaments. The only thing that slows him is considering the global repercussions of a Ted Cruz White House. And hey, we’re all human.


  • A minor soft-tissue injury kept LSU junior RB Leonard Fournette out of a few spring practice sessions this week. He’s fine. But we won't be so long as the author keeps linking to fallacious photographs. Won't happen again. I will only link to real photos from this point forward.


  • LSU redshirt senior TE Dillon Gordon is still waiting for the NCAA to rule on his medical hardship waiver request. Gordon is not the only prospect whose future remains up in the air as the consortium’s crack clearinghouse team binge watches House of Cards in the Poconos on a 1 million-inch 4k television that puts the Dallas Cowboys' video board to shame. Oppressors - They’re just like us!


  • Illinois hired former Buccaneers LB coach Hardy Nickerson to serve as defensive coordinator. Now, I know what you’re thinking. But listen, I wouldn't include this tidbit for the singular purpose of linking to Hardy's Monsters of the Gridiron card, okay? I’m to stay on topic. That's the entire premise of a notes column; you provide news and leave the riffraff for the rabble-rousers. So, like, I would never link to Ronnie “The Rattler” Lott’s card in an item about Hardy Nickerson. Because then I'm undermining the foundational tenet of a communicative medium for no good reason at all. And while we're talking about this, in the interest of clarification, you also won't catch this cat gratuitously linking to Renaldo “Raging” Turnbull’s card; or Bruce “Piledriver” Armstrong’s, or John “Runaway Train” Randle’s, or Chester “Renegade Raider” McGlockton’s or Ray “Scarecrow” Childress’, or Jesse “Tarantula” Tuggle's or Eric “Eric the Red” Swann's. Digression is not my style, jah feel?


I’m moving to Kansas City next week, you crazy kids, but the column must go on and so it shall. Please be nice to the substitute teacher next Friday. I’ll return the following week, presumably typing with Shane Ray’s Kansas City tattoo affixed to my back.


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