NFL Draft
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last updated: 6/30/06
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Scout.com breaks down Virginia linebacker Ahmad Brooks' recent Pro Day and his chances of getting drafted as high as round 2.

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The San Francisco 49ers continue to court troubled Virginia linebacker Ahmad Brooks.

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The following is a list of top junior quarterback prospects, very loosely ranked. It's still very early and things can change significantly -- new names will emerge and rankings will change in time.


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QUARTERBACK
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Brian Brohm ~ Louisville

Kyle Wright~ Miami-Florida

Chad Henne ~ Michigan

Erik Ainge ~ Tennessee

JaMarcus Russell ~ Louisiana State

Brett Myers ~ Iowa State

Matt Flynn ~ Louisiana State

Blake Powers ~ Indiana

Rhett Bomar ~ Oklahoma

Matt Ryan ~ Boston College

Brandon Cox ~ Auburn

Richard Kovalcheck ~ Tulsa

Alex Brink ~ Washington State

Brian Johnson ~ Utah

T.C Ostrander ~ Stanford

John David Booty ~ Southern California

Anthony Morelli ~ Penn State

Paul Smith ~ Tulsa

Sedale Threatt ~ Lehigh

Colt Brennan ~ Hawaii

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last updated: 6/29/06
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Mel Kiper chimes in on the recent NBA Draft. Takes the Toronto Raptors to task for drafting Andrea Bargnani first overall.

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Closer look at Michigan outside linebacker Prescott Burgess.

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Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn and wide receiver Jeff Samardzija have been named to the Rivals.com Preseason All-America First Team.

Rivals.com Preseason All-America First and Second Team.

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This would have been baseball star Joe Mauer's NFL draft year had he honored his football commitment with Florida State.

DD.com comment: Joe Mauer, who is only 23 and hitting close to .400, is a very special baseball talent, who no longer takes a backseat to Mark Prior -- as many felt he would during the 2001 draft (Twins "settled" for Mauer, knowing they couldn't afford the former USC fireballer).

Anyway, just our 2 cents: Minnesota needs to move this kid away from the catcher's spot -- like the Astros did with a young Craig Biggio in the early 1990's. Mauer is just too good of an all around player and you can't let him get beat up behind the plate and have his career shortened because of it.

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A lot of fans and draft sites (not us) yelled and screamed that the Bears needed to draft a linebacker in the early rounds last April to replace the underrated Hunter Hillenmeyer....Obviously, the Bears were not listening to the detractors.

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The Jacksonville Jaguars have waived undrafted rookie free agent tight end Greg Estandia.

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Undrafted free agent wide receiver C.J. Fayton was released by the Chicago Bears.

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The following is a list of top junior running back and fullback prospects, very loosely ranked. It's still very early and things can change significantly -- new names will emerge and rankings will change in time.


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RUNNINGBACK
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Adrian Peterson ~ Oklahoma

Marshawn Lynch ~ California

Antonio Pittman ~ Ohio State

Kyle Bell ~ Colorado State

Mike Hart ~ Michigan

Darius Walker ~ Notre Dame

Rudy Burgess ~ Arizona State (WR)

Albert Young ~ Iowa

Branden Ore ~ Virginia Tech

LV Whitworth ~ Boston College

Yvenson Bernard ~ Oregon State

Justin Forsett ~ California

Amir Pinnix ~ Minnesota

Rafael Little ~ Kentucky

Danny Ware ~ Georgia

Jamar Brittingham ~ Bloomsburg

Ramonce Taylor ~ Texas (legal problems?)

Charlie Jones ~ Miami

Gary Russell ~ Minnesota (eligibility?)

Ahmad Bradshaw ~ Marshall

Brad Lester ~ Auburn

Lance Ball ~ Maryland

Adam Ballard ~ Navy

Omar Cuff ~ Delaware

Jamario Thomas ~ North Texas

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FULLBACK
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Peyton Hillis ~ Arkansas (Has the skills of a RB)

Owen Schmidt ~ West Virginia

Jehuu Caulcrick ~ Michigan State

Jacob Hester ~ Louisiana State

Michael Pitre ~ UCLA

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last updated: 6/28/06
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It's that time again. Time to take a sneak peek at some of the better "senior" college football prospects for the upcoming season.

Today, we look at some of the top prospects from Pac-10 Conference. As always, doing a list this short, we could not include all worthy players -- particularly at wide receiver, defensive line and safety with this group.

The overall senior talent looks to be a bit down in the Pac-10 at running back, offensive tackle and linebacker, but that could change if some key underclassmen declare before the next draft. Defensive end Mkristo Bruce of Washington State and speedy safety Sabby Piscitelli of Oregon State are two very talented defensive prospects to keep an eye on going forward.


QB Trent Edwards ~ Stanford

RB Chauncey Washington ~ Southern California

FB Brandon Hancock ~ Southern California

WR Jason Hill ~ Washington State

WR Steve Smith ~ Southern California

TE Joe Newton ~ Oregon State

OT Andrew Cameron ~ California

OT Andrew Carnahan ~ Arizona State

OG Erik Robertson ~ California

OG Enoka Lucas ~ Oregon

OC Ryan Kalil ~ Southern California


DE Mkristo Bruce ~ Washington State

DE Loren Howard ~ Arizona State

DT Brendan Mebane ~ California

DT Jordan Hill ~ Arizona State

LB Desmond Bishop ~ California

LB Steve Dildine ~ Washington State

S Sabby Piscitelli ~ Oregon State

S Zach Catanese ~ Arizona State

S J.D. Nelson ~ Oregon

CB Daymeion Hughes ~ California

CB Tim Mixon ~ California


WR/RS Terry Richardson ~ Arizona State



Top Ten Pac-10 Prospects (alphabetical order).


LB Desmond Bishop ~ California

DE Mkristo Bruce ~ Washington State

QB Trent Edwards ~ Stanford

WR Jason Hill ~ Washington State

DE Loren Howard (inj) ~ Arizona State

CB Daymeion Hughes ~ California

OC Ryan Kalil ~ Southern California

TE Joe Newton (inj) ~ Oregon State

S Sabby Piscitelli ~ Oregon State

WR Steve Smith ~ Southern California

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Now, we'll take a closer peek at 6 "fascinating" senior prospects from the Pac-10 Conference.

QB Isaiah Stanback ~ Washington -- Stanback, who has a very strong arm and is said to possess sub 4.5 speed, is another quarterback to watch in the fall. While Stanback may have tremendous physical skills, he must improve on the field -- only completed 54% of his attempts and threw for 9 TD's (6 int's) in 2005....In his defense, the Huskies were an awful team in 2005 and he was making a switch from wide receiver. Stanback will need to have a big senior season to get squarely on the NFL's Day 1 radar, but the "potential" is there to impress NFL scouts....If Stanback falls short at quarterback, NFL clubs may look at him wide receiver -- where he began his career at Washington. Hasn't played baeseball since high school, but was still drafted by the Baltimore Orioles as an outfielder.

WR Steve Smith ~ USC -- Doesn't possess the blazing speed some other top prospects have, but he's a big time "playmaker", averaging over 16 yards per reception during his career. Smith even acknowledges the speed question mark, saying: "The way I run is deceiving. When people run next to me, I have speed."....He's not real big either, at probably a shade over 5' 11" and 195 pounds, but it's his glue like hands and quickness that seperates him from the pack. Sort of takes a back seat to teammate Dwayne Jarrett, who has the prototypical size and athletic ability NFL teams love....Smith is very similar to former Oregon State wide receiver Mike Haas, in the sense that he plays much better than he'll work out.

WR Jason Hill ~ Washington State -- An extremely gifted wide out, who can stretch the field and make acrobatic catches for the Cougars offense. Averaged 22 yards per catch in 2004 (45 receptions) and had 12 TD's. Had 62 receptions for 1,097 yards and 13 TD's last season, showing 2004 was no fluke....Has decent size at 6' 1", 212 pounds and seems to have excellent hands and solid all-around athletic ability. Hill wanted to enter the draft after the 2005 season, but wasn't projected to be picked in the top 2 rounds by NFL scouts, so he stayed. Could be a very strong prospect with a strong senior season. Questions remain about his footspeed, so he'll need to show well in workouts.

TE Joe Newton -- Had surgery last summer to repair a torn muscle in the lower part of his left leg, which sidelined him for the balance of the 2005 season. Newton, who was red-shirted as a true freshman, turned into a truly elite tight end prospect in 2004 as a sophomore, collecting 56 receptions and 7 TD's. Prior to the leg injury, some thought Newton rated as the best tight end in college football.....His injury was a crushing one for Oregon State head coach Mike Riley and the Beavers football team last season, but word out of Oregon is Newton is almost 100% healthy and rearing to go.

DE Loren Howard ~ Arizona State, from Northwestern -- At one point, this monster sized DE was considered a sure-fire Day 1 NFL prospect. Great combination of size, speed and power. Must overcome injury bug, which has plagued him since 2004, to become a legit NFL prospect again.....Howard actually decided to transfer in the summer of 2005 when he found out an injury would sideline him for his entire senior season at Northwestern. A native of Arizona, he has already garnered significant pre-season acclaim (Nagurski and Bednarik Watch List), despite the fact he hasn't stepped onto the field for almost 2 years.

S Zach Catanese ~ Arizona State -- Full sized defensive back that excelled for the Sun Devils last season (107 tackles) after arriving from a junior college. Catanese, who is 6’ 3’ and 225 pounds, has the size and run stopping skills of a linebacker and the athletic ability and speed to make an impact in the secondary. Will need another big season as senior to get squarely on the NFL's draft radar. Sort of an outside linebacker/safety hybrid, in the mold of former ASU stars Adam Archuleta and Darren Woodson.

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This is a perliminary "watch list" for the top small stars that were juniors in 2005. These players should be among the top senior prospects on the small school level next college football season.

QB Aries Nelson ~ Mississippi Valley State

QB Justin Rascati ~ James Madison

QB Matt Gutierrez ~ Idaho State

QB Josh Swogger ~ Montana

QB Justin Rummell ~ Earlham College

QB Jeff Smith ~ Georgetown College (Ky.)

RB Arkee Whitlock ~ Southern Illinois

RB Alonzo Coleman ~ Hampton University

RB Germaine Race ~ Pittsburg State

RB Pierre Rembert ~ Illinois State

RB Lex Hilliard ~ Montana

RB Steve Baylark ~ Massachusetts

RB Jeremy McCoy ~ Alcorn State

RB Clifton Dawson ~ Harvard

FB Reuben Mayes ~ Grambling

TE Ben Patrick ~ Delaware

TE Daniel Bettis ~ Appalachian State

TE Ryan Fuselier ~ Dartmouth

TE Patrick Bugg ~ Eastern Kentucky

TE Justin Aroila ~ Rocky Mountain College

TE Justin Carter ~ Angelo State

WR David Ball ~ New Hampshire

WR Laurent Robinson ~ Illinois State

WR Henry Tolbert ~ Grambling

WR Ashley Wright ~ Yale

WR James Banks ~ Carson-Newman

WR Andy Birkel ~ Northern Colorado

WR Charlie Spiller ~ Alcorn State

WR Tyrone Timmons ~ Mississippi Valley State

WR Ryan Voss ~ Eastern Illinois

WR Anthony Merritt ~ North Alabama

OT Brent Pousson ~ McNeese State

OT Elliot Vallejo ~ Cal-Davis

OT Clyde Reed ~ South Carolina State

OT Jacob Bender ~ Nicholls State

OT Judd Altman ~ Richmond

OG Tucker Peterson ~ New Hampshire

OG Matt Isenhour ~ Appalachian State

OC Ed McCarthy ~ Yale

OC Ryan Jewell ~ Youngstown State


DE Martin Jackson ~ Alcorn State

DE Chris White ~ Cal Poly

DE Marques Murrell ~ Appalachian State

DE Michael McFadden ~ Grand Valley State

DT Felipe Foster ~ Western Carolina

DT Justin Frick ~ North Dakota State

DT Damion DeRosia ~ Saginaw Valley State

MLB Justin Durant ~ Hampton University

MLB Johnny Baldwin ~ Alabama A&M

MLB Kyle Shotwell ~ Cal Poly

MLB Cameron Siskowic ~ Illinois State

OLB Zak DeOssie ~ Brown

OLB Chad Nkang ~ Elon University

CB Dre Dokes ~ Northern Iowa

CB Travarous Bain ~ Hampton University

CB Codera Jackson ~ Youngstown State

CB Courtney Brown ~ Cal Poly

DB Keldrick Holman ~ Stephen F. Austin State

DB Calvin Bannister ~ Hampton University

S Kenny Chicoine ~ Cal Poly

S Tristan Burge ~ Eastern Illinois

S Jeremy Wiggins ~ Appalachian State

S Kenneth Halvorson ~ Wisconsin-LaCrosse

S Daren Stone ~ Maine

S Vincent Dancy ~ Jackson State

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last updated: 6/24/06
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One of the better small school prospects, who has received very little national recognition, is Yale's dominating 6' 5", 300 pound offensive tackle Ed McCarthy, who has started 30 consecutive games for the Eli's at three different spots -- guard, center and left tackle.

McCarthy, who played tight end and defensive end in high school, is a top caliber athlete for an Ivy League offensive lineman, with terrific strength, balance and excellent footwork. On top of that, his on-field resume is nothing short of spectacular: McCarthy was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Year as a freshman -- a very rare feat for a guard. He moved to center the next season and was promptly named 2nd team All-Ivy League as a sophomore in 2004. Last season, he moved to left tackle and was even better than ever -- chosen the Eli's offensive line MVP in 9 of Yale's 10 games and named 1st team All-Ivy as a junior.

Folks, we aren't sure of McCarthy's NFL draft prospects yet, but he's a great Ivy League player, who we think has a chance to play guard or center in the NFL. And, let's not forget, the Ivy league has a history of producing solid NFL lineman, including current Minnesota Vikings Pro Bowl center Matt Birk, who played tackle at Harvard.

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Florida State coach Bobby Bowden dismissed receiver/kick returner Kenny O'Neal for "conduct detrimental to the team," losing a promising big-play option.

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Texas senior defensive ends Brian Robison and Tim Crowder have been named to the 'watch list' for the Ted Hendricks Award.

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The San Francisco 49er are interested in Virginia linebacker Ahmad Brooks.

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The Miami Dolphins new GM meets with Virginia linebacker Ahmad Brooks.

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Can't be more specific, but...Please support our site by helping those that support our site....This helps keep DD.com's content free for all.

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last updated: 6/23/06
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Despite missing the June 16-18 mini-camp, linebacker Rocky McIntosh says he has been getting more and more comfortable in the Redskins' defense.

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Cleveland has cut 5 undrafted rookies including quarterback Dustin Almond.

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More detailed info from Virginia linebackers Ahmad Brooks supplemental draft Pro Day.

DD.com comment: We assume Brooks' fairly impressive workouts yesterday will likely assure he's drafted in the Supplemental draft. How high he's selected, that's a different question?

Brooks' athletic ability and football skills have never been questioned -- talent wise, he's first round caliber. Nonetheless, teams will have to weigh other factors into the equation -- injury history (knees), conditioning and character and coachability.

It will be fascinating to see where he's drafted. We think off-field issues will drop him into the 3rd round area, at the very least. But you never know, because the supplemental draft is such a different situation -- 32 teams bid on only 1 or 2 worthy NFL prospects most seasons, which means some teams may have a tendency to "reach" for the top talent.

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Closer look at improving West Virginia defensive tackle Keilen Dykes, who is coming off a 5 sack, 8 tackles-for-loss sophomore season in 2005.

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DD.com Feature: We look at 20 top transfers for the upcoming season. 16 Division 1-A to Division 1-A transfers hoping to make an impact and 4 former Division 1-A quarterbacks hoping to catch the eyes of scouts at the 1-AA level.

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James Finley of Oregon, a gifted JUCO transfer who reeled in 57 receptions for 571 yards and 2 TD’s in 2005, is one of the more physical wide receivers in college football and is definitely a player to watch closely this upcoming season.

Finley, who was originally recruited by national powers like USC and Oklahoma coming out high school, had a productive D-1 debut season in 2005 under less than ideal circumstances. First of all, the Ducks lost top quarterback Kellen Clemens midway through the season. Also, the scheme Oregon implemented last season mostly allowed Finley to run only shorter routes -- 5 to 10 yards. Basically, he was used for making the tough catches to keep the chains moving.

With Demetrius Williams heading to the NFL, Finley should be the Ducks go to receiver this season. At a solid 6’ 2" and 205 pounds, he’s got the size and hands to be a top possession receiver. But according to a source close to Finley, he was timed by Oregon coaches at 4.43 (hand) during the spring, so he may also be a receiver that can beat corners deep, given the chance to run down field.

As we mentioned, Finley is a physical player, that includes his toughness as a blocker. He actually hit top USC defensive end Lawrence Jackson so hard on a block last season, both were knocked out of the game for a few plays.

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last updated: 6/22/06
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Ole Miss linebacker Patrick Willis optimistic regarding his high-profile foot recovery.

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Our very good friends at www.jetnation.com did a very informative online chat with NY Daily News writer Rich Cimini last night.

Here are some rookie Hi-Lights from the chat:

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First round picks D'Brickashaw Ferguson (LT) and Nick Mangold (OC) have looked solid in workouts and are both slated to start as rookies.

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Second round pick Kellen Clemens, a quarterback from Oregon, has showed a great arm and has a promising future, but isn't quite ready to step into the fray.

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While a significant number of Jets fans on message boards and inside chat rooms brutally attacked the franchise for "reaching" in the 3rd round for Anthony Schlegel (ILB) and Eric Smith (SS), both have done nothing but impress the Jets new coaching staff and a skeptical New York media so far.

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Fourth round pick Leon Washington, a running back from Florida State, is expected to make an impact on special teams as a rookie.

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Fourth round pick Brad Smith, a former Big 12 QB moving to WR in the pros, has struggled with injuries. He's also had trouble getting off the line at wide receiver. It's still early, but some in the NY media feel this pick, which Jets fans seemed to have universally loved, might turn out to be a "reach".

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DD.com looks at nine Division 1 transfers that could make a significant impact for their new teams on offense this upcoming season:

QB Brent Schaeffer ~ Ole Miss, from Tennessee -- Extremely atheltic 6' 1", 190 pound left-handed quarterback with a rocket arm -- draws comparisons to Michael Vick frequently. Began his career at Tennessee, where he started the first game of the 2004 season as a true freshman. Eventually, he was displaced by fellow true freshman Erik Ainge, so he moved to a JUCO and then made his way to Ole Miss, where he seems to fit the Rebels system fairly well. Cousin of former Heisman runner-up Brad Banks (QB-Iowa). Schaeffer was named Ole Miss' starting QB the day he signed.

QB Richard Kovalcheck ~ Vanderbilt, from Arizona -- While it's doubtful Vandy will find another quarterback with Jay Cutler's special talent anytime soon, this transfer from Arizona will definitely help the program in the short term. Showed decent skills for the Wildcats as a freshman and sophomore the last 2 seasons, but his production was spotty at times (16 TD's/18 Int's in '04 and '05 combined) and he was never able to seize Arizona's starting job fulltime, despite numerous chances. Playing for Vandy will be a fresh start and having a young, rising receiver like Earl Bennett in Nashville will help him considerably. Granted immediate eligibility by the NCAA and will have 2 seasons of eligibility remaining. Could be a very good college quarterback, but his pro potential is yet to determined.

QB Rocky Hinds ~ UNLV, from USC -- Young gunslinger will take on athletic Shane Steichen for the Rebels number one quarterback spot. Folks at USC had high hopes for the strong armed quarterback from Los Angeles, but he just got lost in the talent mix with the Trojans. Is 6' 4", 225 pounds and reportedly ran a sub 4.5 coming out of high school.

RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis ~ Ole Miss from Indiana -- This 5' 11", 215 pound power back rushed for over 1,700 yards and 12 TD's for the Hoosiers during his freshman and sophomore seasons combined. Pretty good receiver out of the backfield, who is more of a north and south back that can run between the tackles than a finesse type. Green-Ellis has been one of the Rebels best players this spring, so there is a great deal of hope he'll juice up the Rebels' running game. Will be a redshirt junior this upcoming season.

FB Brock Bolen ~ Louisville via Illinois -- When Illinois signed this 235 pounder with surprising speed and toughness they envisioned he'd be another Mike Alstott for them. He just really didn't get the chance he wanted, so he left UI after his freshman season. Was regarded as the top prep fullback prospect in the nation by many publications after rushing for over 6,000 yards and scoring an amazing 103 TD's in high school. Played briefly for the Illini in 2004 as a true freshman, running the ball 11 times for 52 yards. With Michael Bush starting, don't expect Bolen to get the majority of rushes, but the Cards would be absolutely foolish if they didn't incorporate this redshirt sophomore into their offense this season. Too talented, powerful and speedy (sub 4.6) to be a J.A.B.B. -- Just Another Blocking Back.

WR Adarius Bowman ~ Oklahoma State, from North Carolina -- The Cowboys reel in a big time wide receiver prospect in the form of the 6' 4" Bowman. Will team with D’Juan Woods in hopes of giving OSU's previously anemic areial attack some punch. Former two-time Mr. Football in Tennessee has solid speed, to go with the nice height. Will be a junior this upcoming season. Another talented prospect who has left North Carolina in recent seasons due to off-field issues.

WR Biren Ealy ~ Houston, from Arizona -- At one point, the tremendously gifted Ealy looked like a emerging Pac-10 star. Mostly due to off-field problems, the 6’ 3", 195 pound speedster has wandered around aimlessly since 2004 and has barely been a blip on the NFL's radar. That can change with a big senior season in Houston. But at this point, he is not even guaranteed a starting job with the Cougars. Ealy hopes to fit in somewhere with an emerging Houston team, that features tremendous offensive talent.

WR Patrick Carter, Louisville from Georgia Tech -- Younger brother of Tim Carter, who plays wide receiver for the New York Giants. 6' 3", 215 pounder was one of the top ranked quarterback prospects in the nation coming out of high school. Switched to wide receiver in 2004 as a redshirt freshman and returned 26 punts (219 yards) for Georgia Tech. Expected to add speed, size and athletic ability to an already stacked Cardinals team, which will feature several big name transfers on offense.

OT Akim Millington ~ Illinois, from Oklahoma -- The talent starved Illini find a potential gem in the form of the 6' 6", 320-pound Millington, who could be a Big 10 star at some point. Only a junior, so he has two seasons of eligibility remaining. Should fit in well with a fairly talented Illinois offensive line.

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last updated: 6/21/06
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University of Alabama linebacker Juwan Simpson, a possible NFL prospect, has agreed to enter a drug-court program.

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Recent fifth-round pick Ingle Martin is the Green Bay Packers newest quarterback project.

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LSU sprinter and wide receiver Xavier Carter will announce that he will forgo his remaining two years of collegiate eligibility to pursue a professional track career.

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Another Cincinnati Bengal in trouble: Recent 3rd round pick Frostee Rucker faces battery and vandalism charges.

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Tennessee rookie quarterback Vince Young still running with the ball.

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Clemson senior defensive end Gaines Adams, a top NFL prospect, is one of 42 preseason candidates for the Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year.

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last updated: 6/20/06
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The Houston Texans banking on a super Mario Williams to star at defensive end.

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Former CFL quarterback Casey Printers impressing the new Kansas City Chiefs coaching staff.

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Fifth-round selection Parys Haralson became the fifth of San Francisco’s nine draft picks to sign with the team when he inked his rookie deal Monday.

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Tulsa offensive tackle Jeff Perrett named Outland Trophy Candidate.

DD.com comment: Perrett, a native of Alberta, Canada, was selected in the 3rd round (24th overall) by the Montreal Alouettes in April's CFL draft. So, if the giant tackle fails to make the NFL after his career is done at Tulsa, expect him to have a job waiting for him in Quebec.

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Embattled No. 1 draft pick Santonio Holmes and injured QB Ben Roethlisberger visit the Steelers' South Side headquarters.

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The Cincinnati Bengals have traded quarterback Dave Ragone to the St. Louis Rams less than a month after picking him up on waivers.

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Despite losing veteran starters Claude Wroten and Kyle Williams to the NFL draft, the LSU Tigers are very excited about junior defensive tackle Glen Dorsey, who some believe will be a high impact player in the SEC.

The 6' 2", 284-pound Dorsey told The Daily Reveille last month that he sees himself as a mixture of last season's interior line tandem of Williams and Wroten (Williams hands; Wroten's athletic ability). Dorsey said even with the loss of both starting defensive tackles, the Tigers line will not miss a beat.

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The Kansas State football program received great news earlier this month, when rugged safety Marcus Watts was cleared to play this season.

DD.com comment: Watts, a junior from Hays, Kansas, dislocated his hip in the final game of the 2005 season and some feared it could be a career threating injury. When healthy, the speedy and cerebral Watts is one the better safeties in America. He's already noted as an NFL caliber special teams prospect, but if he can add some weight and stay healthy, there is no doubt Watts can play safety in the NFL.

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Highly respected NFL.com Senior Draft Analyst Gil Brandt looks at the top 150 (or so) prospects in the upcoming senior class.

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Ole Miss fans are hoping transfers Brent Schaeffer and BenJarvus Green-Ellis can help jump start the Rebels' offense.

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The Washington Redskins have signed three of their recent draft picks, including linebacker Kevin Simon.

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If 6' 5" Dallas Cowboys rookie Pat Watkins makes the team, he will be one of the tallest safeties ever to play in the NFL.

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last updated: 6/19/06
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Arizona State, which may have the best overall talent in the Pac-10, returns a pair of NFL caliber quarterbacks: Sam Keller and sophomore Rudy Carpenter.

DD.com comment: We were impressed with senior Sam Keller last season, prior to the injury. He's got NFL tools, but lacks experience. A fight for playing time as a senior certainly won't help his development, however.

Keller made our 2005 Junior Watch List last winter. By the way, we fully intend to update our rankings soon, as this group has now become seniors.

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Fixed Link: Closer look at NFL prospect Xavier Carter, a wide receiver/track star at LSU.

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The Baltimore Ravens have traded a conditional draft pick for Indianapolis Colts safety Gerome Sapp.

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Hawaii center Samson Satele named to the Outland Trophy Watch List -- Full list of 54 players named to Outland watch list.

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Virginia junior defensive end Chris Long, son of Hall of Famer Howie Long, named to the watch list for the Ted Hendricks Award -- Entire Watch List.

DD.com comment: Ted Hendricks was Howie Long's teammate in the early 1980's with the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders.

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Cleveland is impressed enough with first round pick Kamerion Wimbley, a DE at FSU, that they expect him to be in the teams' 3 man rotation at OLB as a rookie.

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MinnesotaVikings.com: All eyes on rookie quarterback Tarvaris Jackson.

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last updated: 6/18/06
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Every so often, it seems, a pretty special left tackle can be found dominating at the Division 1-AA level. With that in mind, keep a very close eye on Northern Iowa junior Chad Rhinehart, who has a chance to be a legitimate NFL prospect after he's done playing for the Panthers.

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The Sports Network takes a comprehensive look at the top wide receivers & tight ends in I-AA football.

DD.com comment: As always, The Sports Network does a great job covering I-AA football. We aren't sure if they featured transfers in the above list, but Delaware has a tight end named Ben Patrick coming in for one season from Duke....He should immediately be on the NFL's draft radar due to his size, speed and overall skills. Patrick, who is 6' 4" and 270 pounds, had 62 receptions for Duke in 2004 and 2005 combined.

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A player who impressed us in 2005 is Texas Tech defensive tackle Chris Hudler. Word in Texas is Hudler had a big spring for the Red Raiders, registering 3 sacks in two spring games. Not bad for a 6' 3", almost 300 pounder that is mostly expected to stop the run.

While watching Hudler last season, we saw a underrated player with impressive strength and sneaky quickness off the ball. By no means is he considered a sure-fire draft pick, at this point. But if he fares well as a senior, NFL teams will have to take notice.

DD.com comment: Some would suggest Hudler's partner at defensive tackle for the Red Raiders, senior Ken Scott, is already on the NFL's draft radar. Scott, a 6' 2", 315 pound run-stuffer, is related to NFL sacks specialist Michael Strahan.

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Word we are getting, is Texas A & M sophomore safety Devin Gregg put together a nice spring of football, following a impressive showing in the latter part of his freshman season in 2005. He expects to start for the Aggies this season....Gregg, who packs quite a punch at 5'11" and 195 pounds, is believed to run a sub 4.5 and can bench press 410 pounds, which is the record for defensive backs at A & M.

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It's Official: Notre Dame wide receiver/pitcher Jeff Samardzija signs with the Chicago Cubs and will join the Boise Hawks.

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Quarterback or wide receiver, it doesn't matter to Dolphins rookie Marcus Vick - as long as he's on the roster.

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last updated: 6/17/06
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Toronto Argonauts running back Ricky Williams rushed for 97 yards in his CFL regular-season debut Saturday afternoon.

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New York Jets offensive lineman Nick Mangold and D'Brickashaw Ferguson likely to start as rookies.

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The San Francisco 49ers have signed sixth-round draft pick Marcus Hudson.

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ESPN's draft analyst Mel Kiper's most recent top 25 rankings of the best senior prospects.

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ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper's guesstimates, Notre Dame safety Tom Zbikowski has moved into the first round of the next draft.

DD.com comment: Per our site's policy, since we debuted in early 2004, we don't rank players with more than one season of eligibility remaining with the senior class, until they officially declare for the draft. Because Tommy Z. has 2 seasons of eligibility remaining, you won't immediately see him in our main rankings, when we update them (coming soon).

Thing is, Ed Zbikowski's NFL Combine comments in the article above are consistent with everything we've read and been told: Tommy Z. has every intention of renouncing his final season of eligibility at Notre Dame and entering the NFL Draft, so maybe we should rank him with the seniors with an asterisk near his name? Those around him can't be anymore direct -- He wants to play in the NFL as soon as possible.

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The Chicago Cubs welcomed Notre Dame wide receiver/pitcher Jeff Samardzija to Wrigley Field yesterday.

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The Philadelphia Eagles have signed a pair of draft picks: linebacker Omar Gaither and defensive tackle LaJuan Ramsey.

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Former University of Kansas track star Leo Bookman is hoping to use his speed to make the Packers, after a long while away from football.

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last updated: 6/16/06
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The Patriots have waived rookie defensive lineman Remi Ayodele and rookie wide receiver Jakari Wallace.

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Packers Notes: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers looks shaky; rookie OLB A.J Hawk looks solid.

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For informative features, checkout The Sports Hookup, a new and very good all-around sports site -- lots of NBA Draft and World Cup coverage this month.

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With longtime Jags star Jimmy Smith retiring, current backup Ernest Wilford eying top wide receiver spot in Jacksonville.

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For the first time since 2004, former Cleveland first round pick Kellen Winslow Jr. steps onto the football.

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The Illinois State Redbirds expect to follow gifted wide receiver Laurént Robinson this season.

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Closer look at rising University of Arkansas defensive tackle Keith Jackson Jr., who is the son of former Philadelphia Eagles All-Pro tight end Keith Jackson.

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A look at twelve Big 12 newcomers that could make a difference this season, including Texas quarterback Jevan Snead.

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Star USC junior wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett's rent deal with the Leinart family violated college rules, but he won't miss any games due to it.

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Notre Dame two-sport star Jeff Samardzija and the Chicago Cubs have reached an "agreement in principle" on a baseball contract.

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Onye Ibekwe, who played basketball at Long Beach State last season, will try to make San Francisco 49ers as a tight end.

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DD.com looks at seven Division 1 transfers that could make a significant impact for their new teams on defense this upcoming season:

DE Loren Howard ~ Arizona State, from Northwestern -- At one point, this monster sized DE was considered a sure-fire Day 1 NFL prospect. Great combination of size, speed and power. Must overcome injury bug, which has plagued him since 2004, to become a legit NFL prospect again.....Howard actually decided to transfer in the summer of 2005 when he found out an injury would sideline him for his entire senior season at Northwestern. A native of Arizona, he has already garnered significant pre-season acclaim (Nagurski and Bednarik Watch List), despite the fact he hasn’t stepped onto the field for almost 2 years.

DT Nate Robinson ~ Akron, from Rutgers -- A top caliber athlete heading to the MAC. The 6' 5", 315 pound Robinson, once considered a major impact recruit at both Miami (Florida) and Rutgers, will try to jumpstart his career for a talented Zips team. Despite all the fanfare of being Greg Schiano's top recruit ever at Rutgers, Robinson never really did big things at the New Jersey school. Zips hope that will change at Akron. Should have 2 seasons of eligibility remaining (redshirt junior).

CB Eric Wright ~ UNLV, from USC -- This athletic cornerback looked like a rising Pac-10 prospect after he started 4 games for the Trojans' 2004 national championship team as a freshman. Off-field problems got him bounced from USC, so the 5' 11" speedster took his act to Vegas. The defensively challenged 2005 USC team could've used Wright's skills last season. Will be a redshirt sophomore for the Rebels this upcoming season and team with NFL prospect John Guice at cornerback.

S Michael Hinton ~ Ohio, from Virginia Tech -- The Ohio Bobcats add a ACC caliber athlete to their already strong defense, led by NFL prospects Matt Muncy (MLB) and T.J. Wright (CB). Hinton, a junior, brings speed and size (6' 2", 200) to OU's defensive backfield. Bobcat fans are already eagerly awaiting his debut in green and white.

DT Michael Marquardt ~ Arizona State, BYU -- If adding Loren Howard to an already strong D-Line wasn't enough, ASU also brings in the run-stuffing Marquardt, who has bulked up since his days as a defensive end in Provo. Has already impressed Sun Devils coaches in spring practices and is expected to team with Jordan Hill to give ASU a formidable starting DT tandem. Marquardt arrived at BYU in 2000, so he's not a kid. Should have 1 season of Pac-10 eligibility left.

CB Daniel Charbonnet ~ Texas Tech, from Duke -- Can it be that a Duke transfer heading to Texas Tech really runs a sub 4.4 in the 40 yard dash?....A natural cornerback/track star, who started a few games outside for the Blue Devils as a true freshman in 2004. However, with Vincent Meeks and Dwayne Slay headed to the NFL, Charbonnet "might" start out at safety for the Red Raiders. Regardless, this 5' 11", 200 pound speedster (who once ran a 4.32 40 in front of college recruiters) belongs at cornerback in the Big 12. Houston area native could become a huge fan favorite at Texas Tech.

DE Tranell Morant ~ Arizona State, Florida -- If adding Loren Howard and Michael Marquardt to an already strong D-Line wasn't enough, ASU also bags Morant, a top notch 6' 5", 290 pound athlete with next level skills. Morant, a once highly regarded prep star, needs to stay healthy and focused to make a difference for the Sun Devils. So far he's done that, being tentatively named a starter at DE. Should have at least 2 seasons of eligibility remaining.

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last updated: 6/15/06
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Varying opinions on Baltimore's second round draft pick, guard Chris Chester from Oklahoma.

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The Green Bay Packers are currently starting rookies Daryn College and Jason Spitz at left and right guard, respectively.

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While safety Tom Zbikowski's focus has returned exclusively to Notre Dame football, plans already are in the works for his next professional boxing match.

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Troubled Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry turned himself in late Wednesday afternoon on three counts of an unlawful transaction with a minor.

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In an attempt to hasten the "internationalization" of the NFL (like the NBA and NHL), the league has assigned 8 NFL Europe national players to NFL practice squads.

DD.com comment: NFLEurope.com is very informative and a great web site for fans to enjoy. However, head photographer Wayne Paulo's photos stink, in our opinion -- bird cage liner quality. NFLE.com and it's surfers deserves better than that.

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Speaking of international players, here is a German kid, playing in the U.S, to watchout for in the future: Sebastian Vollmer.

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According to DD.com friend Kevin, Fresno State's Marcus McCauley, a top senior cornerback prospect, has signed to play in the East West Shrine Bowl (All-Star game)....Kevin also told us Fresno State head coach Pat Hill informed McCauley his Senior Bowl papers were coming soon.

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Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi is back in classic form -- looking better than ever.

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The Washington Redskins have officially signed sixth-round pick Reed Doughty.

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Former Sun Belt Conference quarterback Steven Jyles, who signed with the CFL prior to NFL Draft, is impressing the Edmonton Eskimos.

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Record-smashing Grambling State quarterback Bruce Eugene will be cut by New Orleans due to weight issues.

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last updated: 6/14/06
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Buffalo Notebook: Rookie defensive backs Donte Whitner and Ashton Youboty report to summer school.

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West Virginia's Jason Gwaltney, who was ranked as the No. 3 running back in the country by Rivals.com for the 2005 recruiting class, intends to move to linebacker next season.

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The San Francisco 49ers announced today that they have signed three draft picks to contracts.

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During the 2005 season, we spent quite a bit of blog space writing about Arizona State safety Zach Catanese, who excelled for the Sun Devils last season (107 tackles) after arriving from a junior college. Catanese, who is 6’ 3’ and 225 pounds, has the size and run stopping skills of a linebacker and the athletic ability and speed to make an impact in the secondary.

More good news for ASU fans?

For this upcoming season, some are predicting ASU will get another pleasant surprise at safety in the form of 6’ 2", 220 pound redshirt junior Josh Barrett, who reportedly ran a blistering 4.27 40 at the schools’ spring Pro Day. For Barrett to reach his potential, he’ll need to show his bad luck with injuries is behind him. He has been unable to do that since his career began in earnest at ASU in 2004, but he was healthy this spring and looked like a potential impact performer.

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Young Penn State linebacker Spencer Ridenhour happy to have biggest fan back from Iraq.

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Clemson is looking for someone to replace top NFL prospect Tye Hill at cornerback next season and early word is 2005 sophomore (junior-to-be) C.J Gaddis will get the first chance to take that spot. Gaddis has been a productive player for the Tigers at safety.

He's an elite athlete that has already been drafted by Major League Baseball (Seattle) and possesses terrific strength for his size (about 5' 11" and 205 pounds). Tigers know he'll be a physical corner, but does he have enough speed to play outside in the ACC?

Either way, this former Clemson quarterback has more than enough speed to play safety for Clemson and should be a fine NFL prospect down the line.

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Head coach Charlie Weis won’t let Notre Dame get overconfident.

DD.com quote: Charlie Weis: "I know [Jeff Samardzija] is a first-round draft choice in the NFL. If we don’t mess it up, he’ll be a high pick. I get a lot of phone calls about him".

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Patriots first-round pick Laurence Maroney has enjoyed a strong start to his professional career, showing soft hands and quick feet .

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Following Ben Roethlisberger's motorcycle accident, veteran Tommy Maddox claims he's open to returning to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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Ben Roethlisberger is expected to be healthy again. But former Steelers first round pick Gabe Rivera didn't get a 2nd chance after a traffic accident.

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last updated: 6/13/06
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Closer look at Carolina Panthers rookie wide receiver Taye Biddle, who ran the 40-yard dash in 4.28 seconds during his pro day workout, but didn't get drafted.

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed free agent wide receiver Ben Nelson, who was recently named the AFL Rookie of the Year.

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have released undrafted rookie free agent defensive end Moe Thompson.

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University of Houston senior quarterback Kevin Kolb has been selected to play in the next East-West Shrine Game.

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The Carolina Panthers hope rookie first round draft pick DeAngelo Williams can give the team a boost on kickoff returns.

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Rookie linebacker DeMeco Ryans fitting in well with Texans.

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Veteran quarterback Steve McNair enjoys first practice in Baltimore.

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Back in our May 7th blog/draft notes, we took a look at the top senior prospects from the Big East Conference, by position. Today, we are going to take a closer peek at 5 "fascinating" senior prospects from the Big East Conference.

RB Michael Bush ~ Louisville -- Rushed 132 times for 734 yards and 7 TDs in 2004, despite sharing playing time with current NFL back Eric Shelton. Last season, as the Cardinals feature back, rushed 205 times for 1,143 yards and 23 TD's.....At 6' 3" and 240 pounds, he brings a nice combination of speed and power to the table for the Cards. Decent receiver out of the backfield. Is a former high school quarterback, so watch out for him on trick plays. Is believed to possess good (not great) speed (4.64?), but it's his power, vision, balance and quickness that make him a possible first round pick. Could stand to lose a little weight, but he is not "too fat" by any means.

TE Dan Murray ~ Connecticut -- Keep a very close eye on this 6' 5", 250 pound Bay State native next season. Dan is a tremendous athlete, who excels at catching the ball and stretching the field. With a NFL caliber quarterback leading the way for the Huskies in 2004 (Dan Orlovsky), Murray looked like a rising star as a sophomore (28 receptions, 14 YPC average and 5 TD's).....But the Huskies had huge problems at quarterback in 2005 and his stats dropped a bit (23 receptions and 3 TD's). Still the talent is there for Murray to be considered a next level player, following in the footsteps of 2005 UConn picks Dan Orlovsky and Alfred Fincher.

RB Brian Leonard ~ Rutgers -- This redshirt senior is the best fullback in country and a first round talent that will probably be selected in the second or third round simply because the fullback position has been devalued by NFL teams. He is the complete package - runner, receiver, and blocker. Leonard scored 17 touchdowns last season (11 rushing; 6 receiving). Great athlete, with excellent speed, balance and vision as a runner, who could probably be a feature back at the next level. Thing is, will he get the chance to run the ball a lot in the NFL, or will he be relegated to Moose Johnston status?

LB H.B. Blades ~ Pittsburgh -- His full name is Horatio Benedict Blades. 6 ', 245 pound middle linebacker, who brings toughness, intensity and solid sideline to sideline speed to the Panthers defense. Very productive player at Pitt (286 career tackles), who earned first team All-Big East honors in 2004 and 2005. Son of Bennie Blades, who was drafted in 1988 by Detroit and was an impact performer for the Lions for almost a decade.

TE Clark Harris ~ Rutgers -- Another redshirt senior, who considered entering the draft after last season. This talented 6' 6", 256 pound tight end had a bit of a disappointing season in 2005, compared to 2004, but still racked up 584 receiving yards last season. Dropped some passes and his reception totals were down quite a bit from 2004, as Rutgers had so many options on offense. His blocking is so - so, but he does feel he improved a bit in that area. Nonetheless, with a solid senior season and decent workouts, he has the physical talent to be a 2nd to 4th round prospect.

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last updated: 6/12/06
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Rams top draft choice Tye Hill enjoys going up against the likes of Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt.

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His college studies behind him, former Ohio State star A.J. Hawk was back in Green Bay learning NFL football.

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Video of the heavyweight bout between Notre Dame safety Tommy Z. and Rob Bell.

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Kansas State's leading rusher last year, Thomas Clayton, has been suspended for one game following a misdemeanor battery conviction.

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Penn State notes: Injury update for All-America linebacker Paul Posluszny.

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The Chicago Bears signed fullback J.D. Runnels, their sixth-round draft choice.

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The Chicago Cubs appear ready to sign Notre Dame wide receiver Jeff Samardzija -- wants to play both baseball (MLB) and football (NFL) at the highest level.

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The Indianapolis Colts officially signed undrafted rookie wide receiver Ed Hinkel and waived offensive guard Chip Myrick and linebacker Cole Snyder on Monday.

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Breaking NFL News: Pittsburgh Steelers star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger injured in motorcycle crash.

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Notre Dame safety Tom Zbikowski wins pro boxing debut -- TKO in 49 seconds.

Pic1     Pic2     Pic3     Pic4     AP1     AP2     AP3    

DD.com comment: The crowd assembled for Tommy Zbikowski's first professional fight was a raucus and bloodthirsty one, primed for action long before gospel singer Bebe Winans sang the Notre Dame fight song. The barrage dispensed by "Tommy Z" on tomato can Robert Bell did not disappoint these fans; like a vintage Tyson fight it was tremendously violent - over before it started.

Granted it is extremely tough to evaluate Zbikowski's skills, as either a possible NFL safety or professional boxer against the level of competition he went against Saturday night.

That being said, Zbikowski definitely displayed toughness, explosion and aggression as he dispensed with Bell, who was wobbled immediately. Highlights included several fierce body blows, crisp left jabs for the first knockdown and an overhand right that literally spun Bell like a top. It wasn't so much a boxing match as a rout. Zbikowski showed off a killer instinct and took care of business as a professional who left nothing to chance.

Donned completely in white silk with gold gloves, with fellow Fighting Irish stars QB Brady Quinn and WR Jeff Samardzija (as Polish flag bearer) leading him into the ring, it was easy to imagine a future where a smartly managed Zbikowski trained himself up to the level of legitimate heavyweight fighter, perhaps even a contender. As Bob Arum no doubt knew before the fight, the kid has star power and he happens to fight in a premier weight-class that sorely lacks it.

Some call boxing the sport of kings, and there was a time not too long ago when this was a true statement. When done right it is, at least in this writer's eyes, almost unparalleled entertainment. Boxing in recent years, especially at the heavyweight division, has suffered from over-hype and a lack of marketable stars in their primes at the same moment as other marketable stars, such as the Ali/Frazier/Foreman hay-day of decades past. Fight fans have rightfully become jaded, the base of the sport carved away by octagon rings and other contact sports.

All indications prior to Saturday were that this was Zbikowski's lone foray into the world of professional boxing, and maybe that's the smart move. They all aren't as easy as Robert Bell.

But for one night, and maybe only one night, there was a heavyweight in the Garden, a heavyweight in the boxing world that captured imagination, a heavyweight that made a bout that lasted less than a minute actually worth the price of admission. In the big picture, this is as rare a commodity, if not rarer than a playmaking safety on an NFL team.

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Back in our May 19th blog/draft notes, we took a look at the top senior prospects from the Western Athletic Conference, by position. Today, we are going to take a closer peek at 5 "fascinating" senior prospects from the WAC Conference.

OC Kyle Young ~ Fresno State -- Regarded by many as the top center prospect in the nation. When the Bulldogs have needed to gain the important yards in the rushing game the last few seasons, they've followed big Kyle up the middle and results were usually positive....Young is big for a center (6' 5", 330 pounds), but is uniquely agile and athletic for his size. Very intelligent player, who is pound per pound very strong. If "tall center" Ryan Cook could be drafted in round 2 by the Vikings recently, there is no reason an athlete like Young can't go as high or higher.

QB Jeff Rowe ~ Nevada -- Exciting 6' 5", 220 pound quarterback with a fairly strong and accurate arm and surprising mobility (rushed for 6 TD's as a junior). Had a great season in 2005 for the Wolfpack, completing 62% of his attempts for 2,925 yards and 21 TD's. Has thrown 22 interceptions the last 2 seasons (10 in 2005), so cutting down on mistakes will help him. Also, a little added bulk to his frame would be beneficial. Overall, he's a very good quarterback with a lot skills. Sort of reminds us of former Utah star Alex Smith, currently with the 49ers.

CB Marcus McCauley ~ Fresno State -- Widely considered the best defensive prospect in the WAC. Nice sized cornerback (6' 1", 200), who runs fairly well and is a solid overall athlete in coverage. McCauley plays very fast defending against the run and closing in on backs and receivers on screens. Hard hitter in coverage, who tackles as well as most strong safeties. How high McCauley's drafted, will depend on how fast he's timed by NFL teams. Overall, he's a very good prospect and definitely a player to watch next season.

FS Leonard Peters ~ Hawaii -- Warriors speedy free safety and a viable NFL prospect missed most of 2005 with an MCL tear sustained early in the season. Prior to the injury, Peters was clearly Hawaii's best player and unquestioned leader on defense. Was granted a 5th season of eligibility recently and the hope is, he'll regain his "reported" 4.45 speed in the 40 yard dash and intensity. Led the Warriors with 120 tackles and four interceptions in 2004.

WR Paul Williams ~ Fresno State -- Very athletic 6' 2", 200 pound receiver, who has long arms and possesses terrific leaping ability. We've seen Williams make a lot of acrobatic catches, so he's a wide out with excellent body control and improving hands....Williams is very highly regarded as an athlete within the Fresno State program. Only had 5 receptions for 70 yards as a sophomore in 2004, but broke out last season with 43 receptions for 729 yards and 7 TD's. Needs a good senior season, followed by solid workouts, to get squarely on the NFL's Day 1 radar.

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last updated: 6/11/06
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Clemson defensive end Gaines Adams and middle linebacker Anthony Waters on Nagurski Trophy Watch List.

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Miami Dolphins undrafted free agent rookie Marcus Vick impressing as a wide receiver?

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Joe Paterno's focus on seasoning inexperienced starters at Penn State.

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Former Heisman Trophy winner Eric Crouch has finally made the roster of a professional football team as a quarterback.

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So which is it going to be, Jeff Samardzija?....Pro baseball or pro football?

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Back in our May 23rd blog/draft notes, we took a look at the top senior prospects from the Sun Belt Conference, by position. Today, we are going to take a closer peek at 4 "fascinating" senior prospects from the Sun Belt Conference.

OL Brandon Cox ~ Louisiana-Lafayette -- Towering and powerful 330 pound offensive lineman, who has played tackle and guard for the Ragin' Cajuns. Some believe he's the Sun Belt's best NFL prospect. Very powerful and durable player, who's a terrific run blocker. Could use a little more polish as a pass protector, but the Texas native is a humble person and hard worker, so expect that aspect of his game to improve. Probably projects as a Day 2 of the draft type guard at this point, but it's still very early in the evaluation process. One thing is for sure, NFL teams will be watching him closely and he'll get a chance, in some form.

WR Johny Quinn ~ North Texas -- Talented receiver/track star, who has sprinter's speed and is the Eagles' most polished route runner. This 6', 200 pounder will sort of remind Sun Belt fans of current NFL wide receiver Brandon Stokley.....Quinn was named to the All-Sun Belt Conference team in 2004 and 2005. Heading into his senior season, he ranks among the top 10 players in North Texas history in receiving yards (sixth, 2,085), receiving touchdowns (tied for fourth, 17) and receptions (eighth, 130). On the surface, the numbers aren't that impressive, but North Texas is traditionally a very running back friendly program.

LB Antwan Barnes ~ Florida International -- An outstanding athlete with blazing speed off the edge, Barnes began the 2005 season at outside linebacker before being moved to defensive end after week two. Had a monster 2005 season for the Golden Panthers, collecting 11 sacks and 15.5 TFL's....Will team with talented FIU linebacker, Keyonvis Bouie, to lead a potentially very stout Panthers defense this upcoming season. At "only" 6' 1" and 230 pounds, Barnes will have to make it at the next level as a linebacker. The 21 year old Barnes was recruited out of high school by the likes of LSU, Michigan State and Miami (Florida).

FB Aaron Sanchez ~ Florida Atlantic -- Emerged as a triple threat starting fullback for the Owls in 2004 -- running, receiving and blocking. Was looking to take his game to higher level in 2005, but suffered a leg injury during the winter and never played last season. Sanchez took a redshirt in 2005 to rehab the leg and came back looking better than ever in this April's Spring Game....While the 5' 10", 225 pound Sanchez may be a bit of long shot to make it the NFL, at this point, he should be a very entertaining player to watch as a senior, if he gets a chance to run with the ball a lot this season.

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last updated: 6/10/06
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The New York Jets have signed rookie free agent running back Nick Hartigan and waived rookie free agent running back DonTrell Moore.

DD.com comment: Hartigan was Division I-AA's leading rusher at Brown University in 2005. He holds Ivy League records for career touchdowns (54), career rushing touchdowns (52), and career points (324).....Moore holds New Mexico and Mountain West Conference records with 4,973 career yards rushing, ranking 13th in NCAA Division I-A history.

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Look at the Seattle Seahawks highest paid undrafted rookie, quarterback Travis Lulay.

DD.com comment: Lulay's a pretty intense and gifted athlete, which few saw because he played at the D1-AA level. We doubt Mike Holmgren will give him a look at safety or wide receiver (like a Mike Martz might), but it would not be a terrible idea. At the very least, the Hawks should try him out on kick coverage, until they can find a spot for him at quarterback.

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Notre Dame safety Tommy Zbikowski ready to come out punching at Madison Square Garden.

DD.com comment: Draft Daddy will be covering the event ring side, so remember to come back for blow-by-blow recap and exclusive pictures this weekend. It's not every day that a possible first round prospect practices the sweet science at the Garden. Could you tell we are excited?

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Raiders insider: Young quarterback Andrew Walter sees better chance to play.

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Undrafted rookie free agent Martin Nance standing tall so far with the Buffalo Bills.

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With Chris Henry's off-field issues and Kevin Walter's move to Houston in free agency, the Cincinnati Bengals are actively searching for a quality third receiver.

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2005 first round draft picks Mike Williams, of the Detroit Lions, and Matt Jones, of the Jacksonville Jaguars, moving in opposite directions?

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Gil Brandt, NFL.com Senior Analyst, reveals his list of top offensive players 25 or younger.

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last updated: 6/09/06
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Chargers cornerback Drayton Florence hopes to keep first round pick Antonio Cromartie on the bench.

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The Indianapolis Colts will announce the signing of Iowa wide receiver Ed Hinkel today.

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University of California seniors Brandon Mebane and Daymeion Hughes have been named to Nagurski Trophy Watch List.

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Some more top defenders named to the Nagurski Trophy Watch List.

Michigan State senior linebacker David Herron

Arkansas senior linebacker Sam Olajubutu

Alabama-Birmingham junior defensive end Larry McSwain

Miami senior safety Brandon Meriweather

Miami senior lineman Baraka Atkins

Kansas sophomore cornerback Aqib Talib

Louisiana State senior safety LaRon Landry

Oregon senior safety JD Nelson

South Florida senior linebacker Stephen Nicholas

Florida junior linebacker Brandon Siler

Florida International senior linebacker Keyonvis Bouie

Texas senior safety Michael Griffin

Michigan senior cornerback Leon Hall

Michigan senior linebacker LaMarr Woodley

Virginia senior cornerback Marcus Hamilton

Ole Miss senior linebacker Patrick Willis

Boise State senior linebacker Korey Hall

Utah senior cornerback Eric Weddle

Utah senior defensive lineman Kelly Talavou

Notre Dame junior safety Tommy Zbikowski

Georgia defensive end Quentin Moses

Oregon State senior strong safety Sabby Piscitelli

Penn State senior linebacker Paul Posluszny

Rutgers sophomore safety Courtney Greene

Tulsa senior linebacker Nick Bunting

Arizona State senior defensive end Loren Howard

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TCU defensive ends Tommy Blake and Chase Ortiz, both impact juniors, have been named to Nagurski Trophy Watch List.

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The Buffalo Bills released starting left guard Bennie Anderson and undrafted rookie defensive end Matthew Rice today.

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St. Louis Rams running back Marshall Faulk is considering retirement because of knees problems.

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The Green Bay Packers have cut defensive tackle Donnell Washington, a third round pick in the 2004 NFL draft.

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Wisconsin Badgers All-American offensive tackle is not just another "average Joe".

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Ohio State will have a graduate at quarterback this fall, after Troy Smith receives his diploma Sunday.

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Inside? Or outside?....Green Bay Packer rookie linebacker Abdul Hodge will take either position.

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Feature on Arizona Cardinals undrafted rookie free agent Darrell Hunter, a speedy cornerback from Miami (Ohio).

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Closer look at the Chicago Bears 2005 first-round draft pick, RB Cedric Benson, who has been working with the first team offense in offseason practices.

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SMU senior safety Joe Sturdivant, who was once recruited by most top 20 schools, named to Nagurski Trophy Watch List.

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In our May 14th blog/draft notes, we took a look at the top senior prospects from Conference USA, by position. Today, we are going to take a closer peek at 4 "fascinating" senior prospects from C-USA.

QB Jordan Palmer ~ UTEP -- So he doesn't have a cannon arm like his older brother Carson, but who does?....The tall Palmer (6' 5") played some tight end in high school, so he's still learning the quarterback position. Has struggled some with accuracy during his career, but he's a quarterback that throws the ball down field a lot, so a lower completion percentage is expected. Threw for 6,321 yards and 56 TD's in 2004 and 2005 combined, so he's put up some gaudy stats for UTEP. Nonetheless, Palmer must cut down on the mistakes (interceptions) to bring his game to a higher level.

QB Kevin Kolb ~ Houston -- Conference USA gunslinger possesses a rocket powered arm, despite only being about 6' 2". Had a monster season as a freshman (23 TD's/4 ints), but has struggled a little with accuracy and interceptions since -- throwing 30 TD’s and 21 Int’s in 2004 and 2005 combined. Vastly underrated athletic ability as a runner and is extremely tough, which he needs, since he gets sacked a lot (sacked 42 times in 2004 and 29 times in 2005).....Kolb sort of reminds us of a "bulkier" Kellen Clemens, former Oregon quarterback, who was drafted by the New York Jets in April. Like Clemens, Kolb will need to step up his play as a senior and, more importantly, cut down on the interceptions. The Cougars should have some excellent targets for Kolb this season in the form of Vincent Marshall and Biren Ealy, a high impact transfer from Arizona.

WR Aundrae Allison ~ East Carolina -- A speedy target for quarterback James Pickney. Allison was leaning towards entering the NFL draft following the 2005 season, but did not, mostly due to a knee injury (he should be fully recovered now). He is "believed" to possess sub 4.5 speed and has an uncanny knack of making tacklers miss and gaining more yards after the catch....Last season, the 6' 1" Allison, a junior college transfer, collected 83 receptions for 1,024 yards and 7 TD's. Became the first player in the schools history to exceed 1,000 yards receiving in a season. Because he jumped to Division 1 from the junior college ranks in 2005, he doesn’t have a lot of big game experience. Keep a close eye on him going forward, as he could be one of the better, albeit lesser known, receivers in the talented senior class.

WR Johnnie Lee Higgins ~ UTEP -- Was quarterback Jordan Palmer's top wide receiver in 2005 and the duo is returning to further terrorize C-USA rivals this season. Although Higgins isn't real big -- listed at 6' and 180 pounds, he's a big time deep threat with a nose for the end zone (19 TD receptions in 2004 & 2005). In addition to the impressive straight line speed (4.45 in the 40?) he possesses, he’s got nice quickness and acceleration, which helps make him a top notch kick returner for UTEP. Higgins is the cousin of speedy NFL cornerback Quentin Jammer (Chargers).

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last updated: 6/08/06
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Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis breaks media silence, clears air on several issues.

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Chicago Bears sign 2 draft picks -- defensive end Mark Anderson (5th rd) and guard Tyler Reed (6th rd).

The Bears also waived cornerback Ricky Williams, who was an undrafted rookie free agent out of Bethune-Cookman.

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The Minnesota Vikings have signed veteran defensive lineman Ross Kolodiej.

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Auburn Senior linebacker Will Herring has been named to the Bronko Nagurski Watch List.

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University of Washington quarterback Isaiah Stanback was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 45th round of Wednesday's major league draft, as a center fielder.

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Ethics in NFL -- Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis in the hot seat.

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Carolina Panthers fan Q&A with recent first round draft selection DeAngelo Williams.

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Rookie center Greg Eslinger fits in well with the Denver Broncos.

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Michigan State two-sport athlete Matt Trannon might not be back on the Spartans basketball team next season because the wide receiver may choose to focus solely on preparing for the NFL draft.

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Recently aquired quarterback Steve McNair named starter for the Baltimore Ravens; Tennessee gains fourth round pick in exchange.

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In our May 22nd blog/draft notes, we took a look at the top senior prospects from the Southeastern Football Conference, by position. Today, we are going to take a closer peek at 7 "fascinating" senior prospects from the SEC.

QB Chris Leak ~ Florida -- Very highly regarded recruit out of the prep ranks, who’s had a solid career for the Gators. Heady, in the pocket style quarterback, who studies a lot of film and can read defenses well. Has a fairly strong and accurate arm, is very good at spreading the ball around the field and doesn’t throw a lot of interceptions. Leak’s down side is his lack of ideal size (6‘, 210 pounds) and his glaring lack of mobility. Struggled in a new system early in 2005, but improved as the season went along. Flirted with the idea of jumping to the NFL after his junior season, but wasn’t projected as a Day 1 selection, so he decided to return. Kind of reminds us of NFL veteran Jeff Blake.

LB Patrick Willis ~ Mississippi -- Extremely underexposed, top level NFL prospect. Was only 20 years old in 2005, as a junior, but that didn’t keep him from totally terrorizing SEC opponents last season -- Had 90 solo tackles and 9.5 TFL’s. Good sized linebacker (6‘ 2", 235), with excellent sideline to sideline speed. Is a very intense competitor, who has the on-field demeanor of current NFL star Ray Lewis. Considered jumping to the NFL early after the 2005 season, and the general feeling was he would be a borderline 1st to 2nd round pick. With a big senior season at Ole Miss, could be slam dunk first round draft pick.

LB Will Herring ~ Auburn -- This former high school quarterback has been a starter for the Tigers since his freshman season. Per our eyes, he continues to get better all the time. Will be moved from his usual safety spot to linebacker this season. Cerebral player, who is very good against the run and is a sure tackler. His coverage skills at safety were considered solid, but should be very good at linebacker. Herring’s NFL potential will largely be determined by how well he fares in post season workouts -- does he have the speed to play safety at the next level?....Is he big enough to play linebacker in the NFL?.....Don’t read anything into the fact he was moved to linebacker. He’s athletic enough to excel at safety (ran a 4.53 40 out of high school). It was just a matter of Auburn coaches wanting to get their defensive leader closer to the line of scrimmage in a running friendly conference.

S LaRon Landry ~ Louisiana State -- Gifted safety, who really considered leaving for the NFL early after the 2005 season. Was projected as a 2nd round pick, but could’ve gone higher if he had great postseason workouts. Landry is a hard hitter, who fares well against the run and has good enough speed to excel in coverage -- is reported to possess sub 4.5 speed at 6’ 2" and 200 pounds. Looks a bit skinnier than his listed weight, so he could benefit by adding a fewer extra pounds to his frame. A very good safety prospect. His older brother Dawan Landry, also a safety, was drafted (5th round) by the Baltimore Ravens in April.

DE Quentin Moses ~ Georgia -- Speedy, impact defensive end, who could easily lead the SEC in total sacks as a senior and go on to be a high NFL draft pick. Had a stellar 2005 season for the Bulldogs, collecting 11.5 sacks and 20.5 TFL’s for the season. Only weighs about 250 pounds, so he’ll either have to add some bulk to his 6’ 5" frame, or play outside linebacker at the next level. Terrific all-around athlete, who excelled in basketball and football in high school.

WR Andre Caldwell -- Florida -- Former Parade All- America, who was once ranked as the No. 1 high school receiver in the country by Rivals.com. This 6’ 1", 200 pound wide receiver came on strong as a sophomore in 2004, collecting 43 receptions for a 16 yard average. Was off to a strong start in 2005, before he broke his right leg during a week 3 win against Tennessee and had season-ending surgery. Going into last season, Caldwell was seen as one of the Gators' most important players, because so much of UF's new spread offense depends on speedy receivers who can be used as running backs. Has 2 seasons of eligibility reamining, after receiving a medical redshirt for the 2005 season. Younger brother of former Gators star Reche Caldwell.

OT Arron Sears ~ Tennessee -- Sears is a tough and versatile performer for the Volunteers, who has game experience at every position on the line including center. Excellent run blocker that can establish a new line of scrimmage using above average leverage and explosion out of his stance. Very serviceable pass blocker who rarely gets beat. At 6' 4" might be just shy of the ideal height scouts look for at the left tackle position. Considered jumping to the NFL after the 2005 season, but was told by NFL scouts he projected as a third or fourth round draft choice. Sears decided to stay in school to improve his draft stock.

**
last updated: 6/07/06
**

Iowa quarterback Drew Tate sinks a hole-in-one, but has to forgo $25,000 prize.

*****

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis says Chris Henry and draft pick A.J. Nicholson have shamed the team.

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Former University of West Virginia right fielder Stan Posluszny was drafted in the 34th round of the MLB Draft today by Seattle.

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The St. Louis Rams have added veteran free agent defensive tackle Jason Fisk to their D-Line mix.

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Los Angeles-Anaheim has selected pitcher Jake Locker in the 40th round of the MLB Draft today. Locker, who we featured in our blog notes Saturday, is a athletic quarterback that is committed to attend the University of Washington.

DD.com comment: Jake Locker is considered to be the best football prospect Washington has signed in several years. He's also a much better baseball prospect than the 40th round selection would indicate......Basically, LA-Anaheim wasted a draft pick because the chances are very slim that Jake Locker shuns Washington football and the team loses his draft rights the minute he attends his first college class.

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Tennessee ended their stalemate with quarterback Steve McNair on Wednesday and traded the former MVP to the Baltimore Ravens, pending a physical.

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After just six seasons in the NFL, Brian Urlacher has accomplished nearly everything as a player. However, the five-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker believes he can still improve.

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Closer look at recent St. Louis Rams 7th round draft pick Tony Palmer, a guard from Missouri.

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Alabama strong safety Chris Keys has been dismissed from the team for violating team rules, coach Mike Shula said Tuesday.

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Another look at the Rivals.com top 100 high school seniors.

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The Toronto Argonauts' "other" former Heisman Trophy winner, Eric Crouch, hoping to secure Boatmen's number three quarterback spot.

DD.com Trivia: The Toronto Argonauts, founded in 1873, are notable for being the oldest team in Canada or the USA to still retain its original name.

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Surprising 1992 first round draft pick Tommy Maddox, who earned a Super Bowl ring in early February, swings toward pro golf career.

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Quick look at a pair of quarterbacks in Jacksonville: Byron Leftwich, who runs the Jaguars offense, and James Harris, who runs the Jags draft and has the final say on all roster and coaching moves.

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Seattle Seahawks surprising 2005 first round pick Chris Spencer says he hasn't given up on starting this season.

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Notre Dame two-sport standout Jeff Samardzija discusses his plans for the future after being the 5th-round selection of the Chicago Cubs -- wants to play both sports at the next level.

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Former UCLA safety Jarrad Page, who was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the seventh round of the NFL Draft last month, was again a seventh-round selection Tuesday, but this time by Los Angeles-Anaheim in the Major League Baseball Draft.

DD.com comment: This is a "no-brainer" to us. Page should play football. We followed his baseball progress in 2004 & 2005 and there is no evidence at all, based on his numbers at UCLA, that he's a serious Major League Baseball prospect.....With that said, Page is far from a given to make the Chiefs. We think he would've went undrafted, had it not been for the fact that KC Chiefs president Carl Perterson went to UCLA and has a very noticeable "soft-spot" for former Bruins.

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last updated: 6/06/06
*****

Rivals.com Question & Answer: Florida State running back Lorenzo Booker.

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If the NFL approves, the Buffalo Bills will send backup tight end Tim Euhus to New Orleans for Courtney Watson. Both were 2004 draft picks.

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Former University of Florida quarterback/wide receiver Gavin Dickey was drafted in the 12th round of the MLB Draft by Seattle. Dickey is a speedy outfielder, who has a .290 career batting average for the Gators.

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Top University of Florida recruit Riley Cooper, who we featured in Saturday's blog, was selected in the 15th round of the MLB Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies.

DD.com comment: Make no mistake about it, Cooper is a first round caliber baseball talent. But much like Jeff Samardzija, his MLB Draft stock plummeted due to his commitment to football.

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For more info on Major League Baseball's upcoming draft, check out MLB.com Draft Central.

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Iowa State junior wide receiver Todd Blythe picked as a pre-season third team All-American.

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With former Beavers star Mike Hass in New Orleans, which wide receivers will step up for Oregon State this season?

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The Chicago Cubs have drafted Notre Dame pitcher/wide receiver Jeff Samardzija in the fifth round of the MLB Draft today.

DD.com comment: Samardzija was considered a likely first round pick in the MLB Draft. It's likely his draft day is fall is due to MLB teams believing they can't pry him away from football.

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Philadelphia Eagles notes: wide receiver Todd Pinkston back on the field after 2005 injury.

*****

In our May 18th blog/draft notes, we took a look at the top senior prospects from the Atlantic Coast Conference, by position. Today, we are going to take a closer peek at 7 "fascinating" senior prospects from the ACC.

DE Gaines Adams ~ Clemson -- Widely regarded as a likely first round pick -- maybe even a top 10 pick. At "only" 260 pounds, his best asset is his blinding speed as an edge-rusher. Posted 9.5 sacks and 15 TFL’s last season. Has a long wing-span, which helps him terrorize quarterbacks -- 9 PD’s in 2005. Flirted with the idea of leaving Clemson after his junior season, but wisely decided to stay in school in order to gain some weight and improve as a run-stopper.

LB Anthony Waters ~ Clemson -- Big time ACC middle linebacker, who has the toughness and anticipation skills to snuff out the run and the overall speed and athletic ability to excel in coverage. Posted 109 tackles last season and has collected a total of 214 during his career. Also flirted with the idea of leaving Clemson after his junior year, but decided another season at Clemson would help his draft stock. Very likely day one draft selection, as long he continues to perform as well he has.

DE Baraka Atkins ~ Miami -- Has already graduated from Miami as a student, but will return for his senior season on the football field. Very good run-stopper, who is improving as a pass rusher. At 6’ 4" and "only" about 275 pounds, Atkins might be considered a bit of a defensive end/defensive tackle "tweener" by NFL teams. Some have suggested Atkins most ideal spot is at defensive end for a team that employs a 3-4 defense. We don’t see him as first round pick, at this point, but he’ll be on cusp of the first round if he adds some bulk and plays well as a senior.

FS Brandon Merriweather ~ Miami (Florida) -- The next great Miami safety, following in the footsteps of Ed Reed and Sean Taylor? Became a fulltime starter in 2005 and responded in a big way, leading the Hurricanes in both total tackles (112) and TFL’s (13) as a junior. Extremely emotional and intense safety, who runs like a cornerback and hits like a middle linebacker. Projects as a very likely top 50 pick, but could go even higher (first round) with solid senior season and excellent workouts.

QB Sam Hollenbach ~ Maryland -- His at all...excellent size (6‘ 4", 215), solid arm strength, quarterbacking pedigree, leadership skills and underrated athletic ability. But, where is the production and why all the interceptions?....Hollenbach could be a player that really shoots up draft boards if he has a big senior season. If not, he’ll just fade away as another 7th round/free agent type "project". Good news for Hollenbach is the Terps battered offensive line in 2005 should be much improved this season. Bad news, is he loses the best receiver, perhaps, in the schools history -- as superstar tight end Vernon Davis left for the NFL early.

DT Joe Anoai ~ Georgia Tech -- 6’ 3", 280 pound run stopping specialist, who seems to be a rising ACC player, despite the fact he‘s not your typical 300 pounder in the middle. There may be better defensive tackle prospects in the ACC than Anoai, but few are as important to their team as this gritty team player. Pretty quick athlete off the snap, evidenced by his combined 6.5 sacks and 18 TFL’s for the Yellow Jackets in 2004 and 2005. Joe Anoai is the son Sika Anoai, who was part of the famed 1980‘s WWF tag duo "The Wild Samoans".

CB A.J Davis ~ North Carolina State -- Is this 5’ 10", 190 pound cornerback/ ACC track star with reported sub 4.4 speed the next Tye Hill? It’s way too early to say that, but he does have the type of speed and athletic ability NFL teams look for at cornerback. Davis, who was extremely highly regarded coming out of high school, put it together in 2005 and really had a solid season for the Wolfpack -- 32 tackles, 2 Int’s and 7 PD’s. Feeling is, Davis should continue to improve as a cornerback this season and, due to his enormous speed and athletic ability, could be a day one NFL prospect.

**
last updated: 6/05/06
**

Carolina Panthers quarterback Chris Weinke is satisfied with his backup role.

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New York Giants receiver Jamaar Taylor retired Monday after two injury-plagued seasons in the NFL.

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The Philadelphia Eagles have released former University of Texas quarterback Matt Nordgren.

*****

Can a slimmer Desmond Clark be the answer at tight end for the Chicago Bears?

****

The Patriots have traded wide receiver Bethel Johnson to New Orleans for former first round pick Jonathan Sullivan.

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Former Iowa cornerback Antwan Allen, who went undrafted in April's NFL Draft, might face time in jail.

*****

Here is a familiar name (sort of) to follow in baseball's draft tommorow: Stan Posluszny, right fielder, University of West Virginia.

Stan "The Man" Posluszny projects as a mid to latter round pick in MLB's 50 round draft Action Photo.

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The Chargers are interested in signing veteran free agent cornerback Ty Law, who collected 10 interceptions in 2005 for the New York Jets.

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SportsLine.com takes an in depth look at Rutgers running back Brian Leonard, who may be the best "all-purpose" back in college football.

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Stars of the future: Rivals.com reveals their list of the best high school football prospects.

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After a brief "retirement", 24 year old former Michigan offensive tackle Tony Pape back in the NFL, hoping to start for the Miami Dolphins.

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In our May 9th blog/draft notes, we took a look at the top senior prospects from the Mountain West Conference, by position. Today, we are going to take a closer peek at 4 "fascinating" prospects from the MWC.

CB Eric Weddle ~ Utah -- Might be the most underrated college football player in America. Weddle has had a great career for the Utes and bigger things are expected this season. In 2005, he sparkled playing safety and cornerback, while also returning punts and lining up at wide receiver and running back for Utah at times. Going into last season, everyone knew Weddle was an impact safety, with good speed and great athletic ability. But when he lined up at cornerback and held Georgia Tech wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who is widely regarded as a future NFL first round pick, to 2 receptions for 19 yards in the Emerald Bowl last December, his legend grew even greater.

TE Jonny Harline ~ Brigham Young -- This 6’ 4", 245 pound junior college transfer broke into the Cougars lineup last season with a vengeance, pulling down 63 receptions for 853 yards and 5 touchdowns. Had eight receptions for 100 yards and one touchdown at Notre Dame and 10 catches for 123 yards against New Mexico last season. Harline is a fairly fast tight end, reportedly running the 40 yard dash in the 4.7 area. Like a lot of former great BYU tight ends, Harline's best asset is his receiving skills, which, coupled with his size, could make him an ideal H-Back at the next level.

LB Quincy Black ~ New Mexico -- Athletic linebacker, who got his first steady dose of playing time in 2005 and fared well -- 63 tackles and 3.5 TFL’s. He excelled in coverage, posting 5 PD’s and 1 interception. Perhaps the best defensive prospect to come out of New Mexico since Brian Urlacher was drafted in the first round of the 2000 draft. Although, at this point, Black isn’t considered a real high draft pick, a great senior season and superior workouts could elevate his draft stock significantly. Black is 6’ 2", 235 pounds and possesses a 42" vertical leap and tremendous brute strength -- 335 bench press.

QB Brett Ratliff ~ Utah -- Started the final 2 games of the 2005 season for injured starter Brian Johnson and responded in a big way -- throwing for 621 yards and 8 TD's against BYU and Georgia Tech. Ratliff has excellent size (6' 4", 224) and a strong and accurate arm. This former junior college transfer is flying below the radar, but he could explode into national prominence for the Utes with a huge senior season. Has NFL talent, he just needs a chance to display it.

**
last updated: 6/04/06
**

Minnesota Vikings continue to bumble with GM hire -- choice of Rick Spielman perplexing, considering his sub-par track record.

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Seven time Pro Bowl tight end Tony Gonzalez, at 30, is aging nicely and hopes to grow old with the Kansas City Chiefs.

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Recap/notes from this week's organized team activities: San Francisco 49ers.

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Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry has been arrested again, this time for allegedly driving while drunk.

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The Dallas Cowboys are still seeking to improve their overall defensive talent.

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Carolina Panthers 2005 first round pick Thomas Davis has been moved to outside linebacker.

****

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Do you think Ohio State running back Antonio Pittman or wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. will declare for the NFL draft after their junior seasons?

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Three relative "no-names" fighting it for the Patriots back up quarterback spots behind Tom Brady.

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The Patriots released undrafted rookie free agent safety Keon Jackson from Toledo.

*********

DD.com mailbag: I was very surprised to see the Eric Delausiers did not make your list of MAC NFL prospects. Was he overlooked because of his oppurtunity's up north, or was there some other reason? I believe this kid could make a NFL roster next fall, but as a TE. Although he will for sure play in the CFL, I would love to see him playing down south were he belongs -- Jack.


DD.com Reply: Jack, we think Eastern Michigan wide receiver Eric Delausiers is an excellent football player. We didn't mention him in our recent look at 9 top MAC senior prospects, but he was on our All-MAC Senior Prospects Team (May 17th blog).

He's a fine football player and will definitely be on the NFL's radar. There is still a long way to go before the next draft and things can change, but all our sources seem to feel Delausiers, a native of Montreal, tops out as a CFL player.

Why?

1) General feeling around football (and we've been told this by several sources) is due to his lack of top speed and inability to break free of defender jams off the line, he's a more likely CFL prospect.

2) Delausiers is currently 25 years old going into his senior season. Being a 26 year old rookie when he's NFL eligible won't help his cause.

3) Delausiers had a monster 2004 season for Eastern Michigan, but had a very average 2005 season. Must bounce back as a Senior, if he wants to play in the NFL.


DD.com note: We responded to Jack's question in the blog because he didn't leave a return address. Our policy is to answer every single constructive E-Mail we get, as long as we have a return address and don't accidently delete it....So, again, please leave a return address if you want a question answered and we thank all for their input. We do read and consider all opinions.

**
last updated: 6/03/06
**

USC quarterback Mark Sanchez won't face sexual assault charges.

*****

Pitt Panthers head coach Dave Wannstedt tries to turn things around after a poor 2005 season.

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Recap/notes from this week's organized team activities: Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys.

*****

A dynamic defensive tackle tandem for three seasons at the University of Oklahoma, Tommie Harris and Dusty Dvoracek are elated about being reunited with the Chicago Bears.

****

Cincinnati Bengals fifth round draft pick A.J Nicholson turned himself in to the Tallahassee Police Department this morning for his warrants issued Wednesday.

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ESPN.com: Notre Dame two sport superstar Jeff Samardzija promises he'll return to gridiron.

*****

As our long time readers know, we also happen to be baseball fans and have our eye on the upcoming MLB Draft. Jeff Samardzija isn't the only "impact" football player who must decide between football and baseball soon. A pair of talented 2 sport high school stars also appear to be likely high picks in the MLB Draft:

WR/OF Riley Cooper -- Impact, five-tool outfielder from Clearwater, Florida, who has signed a letter of intent to play football and baseball at the University of Florida. Cooper is, perhaps, the best high school football/baseball prospect since current Atlanta Braves star Jeff Francouer dominated on both the gridiron and diamond in the early 2000's.

Most expected Cooper would be a very high MLB pick, but he lost some momentum this spring when he injured his hand in a weird road rage incident and missed most of the baseball season. As a football recruit, he's a highly regarded wide receiver/ defensive back that stands 6' 4" and runs a sub 4.4 40. Word is he'll play football for the Florida Gators and there is no reason to believe a focused Cooper can't be an SEC football superstar in time.

QB/P Jake Locker -- A tough as nails 6' 3", 210 pitcher from rural Washington, who has signed a letter of intent to play football and baseball at the University of Washington. Locker possesses a 95 mph fastball and is also a great all-around athlete and hitter (outfield). He is not expected to be selected very high due to his commitment to football.

As a football player, this all-purpose quarterback is considered to be the best prospect UWA has signed in several years. Locker, who stated he will play football at Washington this upcoming season, could be the impact quarterback head coach Ty Willingham and Huskies fans have been looking for to turn things around.

**

Closer look at Northern Illinois speedy tailback Garrett Wolfe and some other talented Huskies.

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Vikings notebook: Free agent running back Chester Taylor "ready for the challenge"......NFL Europe All-Stars Ronyell Whitaker and Aaron Hosack impress new coaches.

****

Former NFL star Ricky Williams has lackluster CFL debut in exhibition game (4 rushes for 7 yards).

DD.com comment: Former Nebraska quarterback Eric Crouch also made his CFL debut for Toronto last night.

****

ESPN looks at some NFL Europe free agents (unallocated players) that have a chance to sign with NFL teams.

****

Wearing a brand new number, New Orleans rookie running back Reggie Bush is healthy and impressing on the practice field.

****

New Orleans has released the following undrafted rookies:

QB Joel Klatt, Colorado

TE Troy Bienemann, Washington State (injury)

LB Chris Moore, East Carolina

New Orleans signed veteran linebackers Jay Foreman and Tommy Polley with the open roster spots.

*****

The Philadelphia Eagles are hoping to convince world-class sprinter Justin Gatlin to give football a try.

****

The Seattle Seahawks have released rookie defensive tackle Garrett McIntyre, who was named the WAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2005 at Fresno State. McIntyre, an undrafted free agent, signed a contract with the Hawks on May 1st.

DD.com comment: We liked McIntyre a lot at Fresno, as all he did was "make plays" for the Bulldogs. We saw him take on several high draft picks during his career and he always held his own or excelled. However, we always thought NFL scouts would see him as a "tweener" -- Too small to play D-line in the NFL; not fast enough to play linebacker.

Nonetheless, we wouldn't count him out yet, as we bet he'll resurface somewhere (NFL Europe or the CFL) and maybe make another run at the NFL at some point. He's too good of a football player not to make at least some money playing pro football.

****

Houston Texans young wide receiver and Pro Bowl kick returner Jerome Mathis has been diagnosed with a foot fracture that will require surgery. Mathis is expected to miss at least the first 4 or 5 games of the regular season.

*****

Speaking of the Houston Texans, we have been told that rookie Damien Rhodes, a free agent running back from Syracuse, is "impressing people" down in south Texas and is a solid bet to make at least the practice squad, possibly as a wide receiver.

****
last updated: 6/02/06
**

NFL.com: With the arrival of former University of Texas star quarterback Vince Young in Tennessee, is there a real place for the option offense in pro football?

****

MLB.com: Notre Dame two sport superstar Jeff Samardzija has baseball scouts intrigued and concerned.

*****

The Philadelphia Eagles think recent fourth-round draft selection Jason Avant has enough speed to excel at wide receiver.

****

The New York Giants have waived undrafted rookie running back Jerod Void from Purdue.

****

A question once deemed laughable now must be asked: ACC or SEC, which one is the better football conference?

****

The Jacksonville Jaguars 2005 first round pick Matt Jones doesn't have Randy Moss' five Pro Bowls, but the Jags do believe he has some similarities to the Oakland Raiders' wideout.

****

In our May 17th blog notes, we took a look at the top senior prospects from the Mid American Conference (MAC), by position. Today, we are going to take a closer peek at 9 "fascinating" prospects from the MAC.

QB Luke Getsy ~ Akron -- The MAC has produced some great quarterback prospects in the last decade. Although Getsy, a former Pitt Panther, isn't an elite prospect at this point, he should definitely be on the NFL’s draft radar. Is listed at only 6' 2", but has a nice arm, top leadership skills and excellent athletic ability.

RB Garrett Wolfe ~ Northern Illinois -- Tremendously productive running back for the Huskies, who ran for well over 3,000 yards in 2004 and 2005 combined. Has averaged 6.5 yards per rush and ran for 34 TD's the last 2 seasons. Displayed excellent speed (4.45) at the Huskies Pro Day in 2005, but is only 5' 7" and 175 pounds. Not an elite prospect due to size limitations, but he’s very draftable.

WR Ryne Robinson ~ Miami (Ohio) -- At only 5' 10" and about 166 pounds, Robinson won't run over people, but he can use his top speed to run by them. An elite punt and kick returner, who's becoming a very good wide receiver for the RedHawks.

WR Scott Mayle ~ Ohio University -- Mayle, who doubles as a track star for Ohio, hasn't rung up huge reception totals for the Bobcats, but he's been a big play receiver and feared return specialist. Mayle's 40 speed is believed to be in the low 4.3's, which isn't bad at all for a 6' 1" athlete. Speed alone has him clearly on the NFL's radar.

OT Doug Free ~ Northern Illinois -- It's no surprise NIU's offense has been so productive recently, when you consider the caliber of offensive lineman they have put on the field. Free, without a doubt, is the best OL prospect this school has produced in a long time. A very athletic and nimble 6' 6", 305 pounder, who plays the game with intensity. Might be the best prospect in MAC and likely day 1 pick.

OT Joseph Staley ~ Central Michigan -- Staley, a high school tight end and track star, has been on the radar of NFL teams due to his unique athletic skills for a man his size: Ran a 4.7 40 at 6' 5" and 300 pounds at CMU's Pro Day. Improving as a lineman. May not be as highly regarded as Doug Free right now, but Staley is a player to watch.

DE Dan Bazuin ~ Central Michigan -- This 6' 3", 266 edge rushing terror led the nation in tackles for losses (26.5) and ranked second in sacks (16) during the 2005 season. Is a player that some compare to former MAC star, and 2004 first round pick, Jason Babin. Bazuin has been drawing significant attention from NFL scouts since his freshman season at CMU.

DE Jermaine Reid ~ Akron -- 6' 4", 275 pound Toronto area native, who has excelled at defensive end and defensive tackle for the Zips. Was always considered a solid run stopper, but improved significantly in 2005 as an edge rusher (7 sacks). Decent NFL prospect, who could be a star in CFL, if he doesn't project in the NFL.

LB Ameer Ismail ~ Western Michigan -- This 6' 2", 225 pound linebacker excels at chasing runners and quarterbacks down behind the line scrimmage -- Had 20 TFL's and 8 sacks in 2005. Pretty good speed, too. Is definitely a name to remember in the MAC.

***
last updated: 6/01/06
**

The Houston Texans hope they have a diamond in the rough in the form of Kevin Walter, a restricted free agent wide receiver from the Cincinnati Bengals.

**

Arizona Cardinals undrafted rookie cornerback Justin Wyatt trying to defy odds and make it in the NFL.

**

Denver Broncos rookie Elvis Dumervil acknowledges he carries a grudge -- still seething about being selected 126th overall in the recent draft.

*****

The Pittsburgh Tribune looks at Ivy League players in the NFL, including Jon Dekker, a rookie tight end from the Pittsburgh Steelers.

****

Scout.com: Winners and losers in free agency. The winners led by the Washington Redskins?

****

Canadian Football League to be seen in eight of top 10 U.S. television markets.

****

Closer look at University of Texas El-Paso senior quarterback Jordan Palmer, who looks like a solid NFL prospect.

*****

The Philadelphia Eagles expecting to move rookie 5th-round pick Omar Gaither to middle linebacker.

****

Philadelphia Eagles rookie offensive tackle Winston Justice feeling comfortable in the NFL.

****

Notre Dame two sport superstar Jeff Samardzija likes to have the ball in his hand with the game on the line.

*****

Fantasy football: More than any time in NFL history, tight ends have become focal points.

****

DD.Com Looks Ahead To The Top Seniors-To-Be in College Football.....These were juniors in 2005.

First Team -- Offense

QB ~ Brady Quinn -- Notre Dame

RB ~ Michael Bush -- Louisville

RB ~ Brian Leonard -- Rutgers

TE ~ Joe Newton -- Oregon State

WR ~ Jeff Samardzija -- Notre Dame

WR ~ Steve Smith -- Southern California

OT ~ Joe Thomas -- Wisconsin

OG ~ Corey Hilliard (OT) -- Oklahoma State

OC ~ Ryan Kalil -- Southern California

OG ~ Kasey Studdard -- Texas

OT ~ Justin Blalock (OG) -- Texas


First Team -- Defense

DE ~ Adam Carriker -- Nebraska

DT ~ Jay Alford -- Penn State

DT ~ Justin Harrell -- Tennessee

DE ~ Gaines Adams -- Clemson

OLB ~ Paul Posluszny -- Penn State

MLB ~ Patrick Willis -- Mississippi

OLB ~ Rufus Alexander -- Oklahoma

CB ~ Leon Hall -- Michigan

S ~ LaRon Landry -- Louisiana State

S ~ Eric Weedle (CB) -- Utah

CB ~ Michael Griffin (S) -- Texas



Second Team -- Offense

QB ~ Drew Stanton -- Michigan State

RB ~ Kenny Irons -- Auburn

RB ~ Alley Broussard -- Louisiana State

TE ~ Clark Harris -- Rutgers

WR ~ Jason Hill -- Washington State

WR ~ Courtney Taylor -- Auburn

OT ~ Doug Free -- Northern Illinois

OG ~ Brian Daniels -- Colorado

OC ~ Kyle Young -- Fresno State

OG ~ Samson Satele -- Hawaii

OT ~ Levi Brown -- Penn State


Second Team -- Defense

DE ~ Mkristo Bruce -- Washington State

DT ~ Kareem Brown -- Miami (Florida)

DE ~ Dan Bazuin -- Central Michigan

OLB ~ Brian Robison (DE) -- Texas

MLB ~ Desmond Bishop -- California

MLB ~ Anthony Waters -- Clemson

OLB ~ Quentin Moses (DE) -- Georgia

CB ~ Fred Bennett -- South Carolina

S ~ Sabby Piscitelli -- Oregon State

S ~ Brandon Merriweather -- Miami (Florida)

CB ~ Daymeion Hughes -- California



DD.com comment: We are actively working to update the sites rankings to reflect the next draft class. For know, checkout our spring rankings.

More Top 2005 Juniors

Some Top 2005 Sophomores

**
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