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Pre-Draft Insider News & Notes: Week of 4-9

April 15, 2012 10:33PM
Pre-Draft Insider News & Notes: Week of 4-9
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Apr

Two-plus weeks left until the draft starts. Here is the latest buzz and news swirling around the league and scouting community. April 13th- Jets hope to move up? Dallas the other direction?
April 13th, 10PM

- This may come as no surprise but the chatter is getting louder from league insiders that the primary strategy for the New York Jets in round one would be trading up for Melvin Ingram of South Carolina. Who are potential trade partners? The Jacksonville Jaguars for starters, though we hear there will be competition for that selection if it comes into play.

- Scouts are mixed as to where Cam Johnson of Virginia best fits at the next level; as a 4-3 defensive end or 3-4 outside linebacker. We feel he’s best suited for the former as do many around him. That said Johnson is receiving heavy interest from a number of 3-4 teams including the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers.

- Speaking of the Dallas Cowboys, we’ve been pretty good about knowing the teams moves in advance but their draft plans have been a bit tougher to pinpoint this year. Cordy Glenn was the name passed around at the combine and over the past few weeks we’ve spoken about Dontari Poe and Mark Barron being targets for the team. The latest we hear is the team is very high on David DeCastro and will also explore opportunities to trade down in round one.

- Illinois receiver AJ Jenkins has been a very busy prospect. The senior wide out is scheduled to make 30 pre-draft visits around the league, he has already completed five private workouts for teams and has another five workouts over the next week.

- Sources tell me the Cleveland Browns are looking hard at Keyshawn Martin in the third/fourth round as a slot receiver/return specialist.

- Underrated and overlooked defensive lineman Julian Miller of West Virginia is receiving a lot on interest from the New England Patriots and St Louis Rams. Presently Miller looks like a 6th or 7th round choice.

- We are hearing the New England Patriots have given draftable grades to just six true tight ends this year (true meaning a college TE they don’t project to H-back/fullback).

April 12th, 2:15PM

- Just four and a half months removed from knee surgery, Oklahoma receiver Ryan Broyles worked out for almost a dozen teams today. Broyles ran two forty’s which clocked in the 4.57/4.58 second range. He was scheduled to run twelve routes but scouts decided they had seen enough at the halfway point, as many were impressed with Broyles performance so soon off his knee injury.

April 12th, 1:50PM

- Several sources have confided in me that a number of schools around the country have not released, or have been very slow releasing, medical and injury information on specific players, which was requested by NFL teams. In the past its been a mere formality but due to confidentiality concerns and HIPAA regulations some schools have been slow to release these records. In several instances players intervened to make sure the material reached the teams who made the request. Players that did not attend the combine have been affected by this the most. In some instances players were told they would not be graded, and therefore have little chance of being drafted, if the information was not received.

- Underrated tight end Michael Egnew had seven private workouts with teams around the league. In each instance the franchise working out Egnew sent their tight end coach. That’s a large number for a player that attended the combine.

- We hear teams like the versatility and potential of Washington guard Senio Kelemete. The senior is presently carrying 305-pounds, versus his playing weight of 285-pounds, and has taken well to his pre-draft weight training regiment. Teams that have shown large interest in Kelemete include the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings.

- On Tuesday we reported the Chicago Bears may consider Shea McLellin of Boise State in the first round. At some point in the draft the franchise will select an undersized speed rusher to play defensive end. Another player they are very high on would be Tim Fugger of Vanderbilt, who will be making an official visit to the team’s facilities.

April 11th, 8:15AM

- The New York Jets are bringing in a host of players today for official visits. Josh Bush/S/Wake Forest, Chris Givens/WR/Wake Forest, Zach Brown/LB/North Carolina and Robert Turbin/RB/Utah State are all expected at the teams facility. Also hearing Michael Smith/RB/Utah State may be on hand as well.

April 10th 11PM


- Small school guard Amini Silatolu is a very busy man these days, flying around the nation to visit NFL franchises. The Midwestern State product has taken official visits to see the Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions, with the Cowboys and Lions also working out the large blocker. The buzz continues to be Silatolu will be off the board by the 42nd pick.

- We’ve been told the top five safeties on boards around the league are Mark Barron of Alabama, Harrison Smith of Notre Dame, George Iloka of Boise State, Trent Robinson of Michigan State and Brandon Hardin of Oregon State, though the order of the last three differ depending on the team. The wildcard is Antonio Allen of South Carolina while Oklahoma State’s Markelle Martin is the biggest dropper.

- Depending on the team you speak with cornerback Jayron Hosley of Virginia Tech is rated as the fourth or fifth cornerback on boards. This has as much to do with teams liking Hosely as it does the continued fall of Janoris Jenkins.

- We’ve been told there’s a very real chance the Chicago Bears use their first round selection on Kendall Wright as they are looking for a receiver that can line up in the slot. We hear worry about Johnny Knox ever returning to prior form after his back injury late last season also factors into this . The team also has an interest in Shea McClellin of Boise State, whom they would use at defensive end.

- During our combine coverage we noted that defensive players from the New York Jets were ordered to lose weight in the off season with the hopes of improving team speed on that side of the ball. Thus far I’ve been told inside linebacker Bart Scott is down to 233-pounds after playing at 248-pounds last season. 2011 rookie Kendrick Ellis is down almost a dozen to 340-pounds. On the other hand running back Joe McKnight has purposely watched his weight go in the other direction and presently tips the scales at a solid 212-pounds. For McKnight it was just a case of being consistent in off-season workouts and conditioning, something he was rarely dedicated to in the past.

- Former Florida safety Will Hill, who was not selected in the 2011 draft and did not play football last season, is gaining interest from both the New York Jets and New York Giants. The Giants have invited Hill to the teams local pro-day later this week and the Jets may also do the same.

- With a dire need at safety expect the Jets to load up at the position, possibly in the late rounds and definitely after the draft. Jerron McMillian and Trevor Coston, two safety’s from Maine, as well as sleeper Chad Faulcon of Montclair State, are all being brought into to teams facility for the local pro-day later this week.

- Another team interested in Chad Faulcon are the Jacksonville Jaguars, who brought the safety in for an official visit. The Jags are also sending strong signals to JoJo Nicolas of the Miami Hurricanes. Nicolas has surprisingly received limited interest around the league, though we grade him as a draftable player.

- Finally, another small school defensive back, this one Albion cornerback Chris Greenwood, is gaining a lot of attention. Greenwood has official visits with the Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins and Oakland Raiders. The Colts are also reportedly showing interest in the aforementioned JoJo Nicolas.



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  Pre-Draft Insider News & Notes: Week of 4-9

ScRAM208April 15, 2012 10:33PM