Weekly Update

Back From Wentz You Came

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

NFL Draft News:


  • North Dakota State QB Carson Wentz became the first human to walk on the moon. OK, maybe not quite that much, but we should all send fruit baskets to the offices of NFL Media. Their staff collectively fainted over Wentz’s Pro Day. Let’s back up. Things got off to a tumultuous start. 32 NFL teams were credentialed for the event, but 14 were waylaid by a snowstorm and Fargo waits for nobody. Browns HC Hue Jackson did manage to make it, conveniently. A bold tweet by NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt started an avalanche of hype. Brandt wrote that it was one of the best Pro Days he had ever seen as Wentz completed 63-of-65 passes. Sam Bradford holds the title of Best Ever Pro Day in Brandt’s eyes. I’m a Rams fan, so it would actually figure that we would trade up to draft Wentz only for him to turn into Sam Bradford.


  • The NFL Media guys lost it after the Wentz results started pouring in. Daniel Jeremiah termed his day “an A if not an A-plus” while Mike Mayock said that it only furthered his belief that Wentz was the best in show at that position. The lone vocal dissenter, at least early, was TFY Draft Insider’s Tony Pauline, who referred to it as a “very good workout, but not a great workout as some have proclaimed.” That counts as a thrashing in the world of Carson Wentz.

 

  • Cal QB Jared Goff’s hand earned a different measurement on Pro Day than it did at the NFL Scouting Combine. The latter measurement should help Goff, as he found an extra eighth-of-an-inch added to what had previously been a nine inch measurement. Goff himself was somewhat sheepish about the whole situation, saying that he hadn’t actually done anything differently and believed the initial measurement was wrong. “I haven't done anything with it, I don't think it grew,” Goff told NFL Network.

  • 26 teams showed up to watch Grand Valley State’s Pro Day on Friday. Well, more specifically, they showed up to watch DE Matt Judon, who led the country in sacks last season with 20 while playing for the Division II Lakers. He met with the Bucs and Eagles, with individual workouts scheduled with the coaches from New England, Arizona and New Orleans over the next week-plus.


  • A scout relayed that Utah RB Devontae Booker’s knee passed medical scrutiny at the NFL Scouting Combine last month. A torn meniscus sidelined Booker in November, after which the team’s offense cratered.  Speaking of which, QB Travis Wilson apparently scraped by during Thursday’s Pro Day with just enough moxie that he could actually draw practice-squad consideration after the draft, per TFY Draft Insider’s Tony Pauline.


  • One mystery team asked Auburn WR Ricardo Louis to work out at corner on Pro Day. Louis was cool with that, saying, “Whatever team wants me, whatever position, it doesn't matter, as long as I play in the league. I want to play as long as I possibly can and produce and be a part of the reason why we win a Super Bowl with whatever team I'm on.” Louis caught 46 passes for 716 yards and four touchdowns last season while playing for the crumpled wreck that was the 2015 Auburn Tigers. He last played the defensive side of the ball when he was in high school. You do you, NFL mystery team.

 

  • Navy QB-turned-RB-plus-possible-WR Keenan Reynolds returned to the spotlight, running a 4.56 forty and registering jumps of 37.5 inches (vertically) and 10 feet (broad) on Pro Day. A hamstring injury forced him out of Senior Bowl action back in January and he actually suffered another one during that first run of the 40 on Pro Day. He wouldn’t run again. Assuming he’s able to stay on the field, he offers versatility galore.

 


  • Remember tiny-handed Jared Goff? We’ve got more on him. Browns assistant coach Pep Hamilton actually doused balls with a Gatorade bottle after Goff was done with his real throws. Goff then attempted a ridiculously small number of wet-ball throws, like that would factor into the evaluation. All in all, his Pro Day last Friday went about as well as it could have gone. On actual throws that weren’t part of some elaborate Browns mind game, Goff completed 61-of-69 passes.


  • In an informal CBS Sports poll of NFL personnel ranging from scouts to general managers, Ohio State QB Cardale Jones received five votes as most-underrated, tying with Maryland DE/OLB  Yannick Ngakoue. One scout said of Jones, “If the plan is to develop the young quarterback rather than play him immediately, anyway, why not take the bigger, stronger athlete and let your coaches unlock his potential?" Jones has been a hot draft speculation commodity of late, with NFL Media’s Daniel Jeremiah predicting earlier in the week that he would be off the board by the end of the second round.


  • Thor promised you no more updates about the Titans shopping the first pick until they’re actually shopping it. I am not Thor. GM Jon Robinson played coy over the weekend with USA Today, but did indicate that he had received several real actual calls that contained real actual words regarding the first overall pick. He gave no specifics beyond that, though, so it’s impossible to tell if anything’s actually close. It’s probably not. On Survivor, they chip sparks off flint for hours before they actually manage to start a fire. We are currently in the sparks-off-flint phase of things, with no actual sign of smoke yet.

 

  • The Dolphins and 49ers showed the most interest in Florida CB Vernon Hargreaves’ Pro Day on Tuesday, according to Florida CB Vernon Hargreaves. By all accounts, he performed admirably in his Pro Day work. He also offered a playful boast when asked whether he would draft himself , saying “Without a doubt, every time. I’m always going to pick me.”


  • Alabama CB Cyrus Jones has visits scheduled with the Ravens, Eagles, Bills and Saints. Rotoworld’s Josh Norris currently has Jones ranked 89th on Big Board 5.0.


 

  • Missouri LB Kentrell Brothers said that he was so nervous at the NFL Scouting Combine that when he first began the bench press, he dropped the weight on his stomach. The tackling machine quashed the nerves during Wednesday’s Pro Day, running a 4.72 40 (at the Combine, he ran in 4.89 seconds). Sometimes it just helps to have that home field advantage.


  •  USC LB/S Su'a Cravens revealed that most NFL teams are leaning toward the same future position for him. “I think a lot more teams are starting to want me more as a safety than a linebacker, It still depends on what team drafts me,” he said. He wouldn’t cut off any options. “I've been practicing for both. I can play both and I can plug in right now and go make plays, so it doesn't matter to me."


  • The Cowboys and Browns made moves that could potentially change their draft strategies, with the former signing Alfred Morris at RB, while the later signed the sad ghost of Robert Griffin III. Dallas owner Jerry Jones said after the signing that it would not change Dallas’ draft strategy. Essentially, they aren’t ruling out drafting Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott. Meanwhile, it’s impossible to view Griffin as anything of a sure starter. If the Browns like Goff or Wentz, there’s no reason they would pass in this spot. Griffin is signed on a two-year contract, at which point (if not earlier), the heir-apparent would be ready to start slicing and dicing the AFC North.


  • Louisiana Tech QB Jeff Driskel turned heads at his Pro Day on Tuesday, with TFY Draft Insider’s Tony Pauline saying that he threw “about 60 passes and all but two (one short, one just out of the reach of the pass catcher) were on the mark.” Driskel had meetings with the Lions, Broncos and Cardinals this week. All three clubs could use a bench project at quarterback.

Quotable: 

 

  • On the NFL Network’s Path to the Draft, analyst Daniel Jeremiah offered a bold prediction on Mr. 12-Gauge, Cardale Jones. "I think a lot of people say fourth round, maybe a little later -- he got benched this season -- I'm going to put him in the second round,” Jeremiah said. “It might be the bottom of the second round, but there's going to be a quarterback coach (or) an offensive coordinator who is going to go to the GM and say, 'This guy has such rare physical tools, give me some time to work with him, I will get it out of him.'” The analyst added that “[t]here is too much upside here. I think somebody risks it there in Round No. 2.”

 

  • NFL Media’s Brian Baldinger proclaimed Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott to be the best player in the draft pool while strongly urging the Cowboys to select him at No. 4. Talking on NFL Network, he said, “"I think he might be the best overall player in the whole draft. I don't think I'm overstating that. I think his tape shows that, When [Dallas] could not figure out a way to keep DeMarco Murray last year, that this team was going to go down, and they did. They went from 12-4 to 4-12. A lot of things happened, however, I think with that offensive line and the way they want to play football -- nothing against what (Darren) McFadden did (last) year, but we know his injury history -- they need a stud at that position. I think what their offensive success is predicated on.”


  • Pro Football Focus’ analyst Jeff Dooley noted that Arizona LB Scooby Wright could be a draft steal if he falls. “[H]e missed most of the 2015 season due to injury, He also had an underwhelming combine performance, which included a 4.90 40 time, leading some to question whether he’s anything more than a two-down player in the NFL. Our analysts share that concern, given that some coverage issues show up on his tape, but if he slips to the third round or later he could wind up being an enormous value,” Dooley wrote.

 

  • Buffalo Bill GM Doug Whaley called Stanford QB Kevin Hogan the most NFL-ready in the 2016 pool based on his comfort-level in OC Greg Roman’s system. He spoke to the depth of this class of quarterbacks. “I think in this draft I don't know if there's a guy that's going to be able to step in from Day 1 and have complete success. Of course, there's always that possibility. But what I feel confident about in this draft is there's a lot of quarterbacks that need a year or two of seasoning that can project later in their career to be either very good Number 2s or solid Number 1s. So we're excited about that.”


  • NFL Media’s Daniel Jeremiah believes a kicker will be drafted before the end of the third round, that kicker being FSU’s golden-legged three-time All-American Roberto Agauyo. “I think absolutely [the kicking rule change will change draft strategy]. I go back to Nate Kaeding, who ended up going in the third round. The Bengals ended up taking a kicker out of Ohio State in the second round. I think we could see a kicker kind of challenge right on the edge there, second round (to) third round, I don't think Roberto Aguayo gets out of the third round."


Conflation Station:

 

 

  • Scout Inc’s Nathan Forster comped Notre Dame WR Will Fuller to Santonio Holmes and Torry Holt while noting that he doesn’t believe Fuller’s 6-foot, 186-pound measurement should be an issue at the NFL level.

 

  • Vikings DL coach Andre Patterson compared Montana DE Tyrone Holmes to his own team’s Everson Griffen.


  • NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt compared Oklahoma WR Sterling Shepard to Wes Welker, writing, “Shepard (5-10 1/4, 194, 4.48) will be a slot receiver in the NFL. He has great hands and quickness for the position, and reminds me a lot of Wes Welker.”


  • Brandt again blazing the comparison trail, noticing similarities between the games of Wisconsin LB Joe Schobert and Cowboys LB Sean Lee.

 

  • An NFL scout compared Notre Dame RB CJ Prosise to Duce Staley.


  • Brandt once more, this time comparing Auburn CB Jonathan Jones to Steelers CB Senquez Golson. The M. Night Shyamalan twist here is that the Steelers might actually draft Jones a year after they drafted Golson, who is currently rehabbing from a shoulder injury that forced him to miss his rookie season in 2015.

College Football News:

 

 

  • Georgia changed its transfer policies, somehow making the transfer slog more difficult. The Bulldogs now will no longer allow student-athletes to transfer to Miami (thereby, spiting HC Mark Richt. A man they already fired in public) or Florida (at least there’s an SEC connection here?). Florida State, not off limits.  


  • Nebraska redshirt senior WR Brandon Reilly was cited for a DUI last Friday morning. An officer spied him traveling 65 mph in a 60 mph zone early Friday morning and when he turned without signaling, that was the end of that. Reilly was Nebraska’s second-leading receiver last season, having caught 40 passes for 754 yards and four touchdowns last season. To this point, Nebraska has not handed out a suspension or punishment of any variety.


  • Mississippi State senior WR Fred Ross underwent groin surgery on March 9, the same day the Bulldogs opened spring practice. As you might expect, Ross will not be a participant this spring. HC Dan Mullen said of the decision, “We had a bunch of meetings on it and just thought it was better in where he’s at to go get that done right now so he’s back ready to rock and roll come fall at 100 percent.” Last year, he rock and/or rolled to a school-record 88 catches for 1,077 yards and five touchdowns.


  • TFY Draft Insider’s Tony Pauline reported that Iowa senior DE Drew Ott would enter the 2016 NFL Draft if the NCAA has not ruled on his medical hardship waiver within the next two weeks. It’s reached a point of ridiculousness, as Ott tore his ACL against Illinois all the way back in early October. And still, here we are months later, with no movement either way. I would say stay tuned, but you’ll be waiting a while. This is all a blow for the Hawkeyes, with HC Kirk Ferentz indicating that he doesn’t expect a decision in the next couple of weeks. That’s ominous.


  • Fortune named Nick Saban the 11th greatest current world leader. I wish I could provide context, but there isn’t any. That’s just what Fortune did. This seems as good a place as any to say farewell. Thor will be back next week. Peace.


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