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Pack previewed … In the past decade or so, no team in the NFL has made better use of the draft than the Green Bay Packers and GBN Associate Editor Pigskin Paul Guillemette isn’t going to argue as he previews the Packers in the latest edition in his series of NFL divisional previews.
Supp draft date set … The NFL has announced that this year’s supplemental draft will be held next Thursday, July 9th. Four players are known to be available for the supp draft including Clemson OT Isaiah Battle who could be selected with a reasonably early pick. Other players who has applied to the supplemental draft include DT Dalvon Stuckey and DE Darrius Caldwell, both of West Georgia, and North Carolina Central WR/KR Adrian Wilkins. Unlike the regular draft, to choose a player in the supplemental draft teams submit a ‘bid’ indicating the round they would take the player and the player is awarded to the team bidding the earliest round. If more than one team bids in the same round then that player is awarded to the team with the earliest pick in that round. The selection for the supplemental draft is also different from the regular draft in that it is set by a weighted lottery among three groups of teams: those with 6 or fewer wins in 2014; the other non-playoff teams; and playoff teams. If a team is awarded a player in the supp draft then they forfeit their pick in the same round in the regular draft. Players not selected in the supp draft then become free agents eligible to sign with any team.
A very happy and safe (not to mention either dry or cool) CANADA DAY to all our fellow Canucksters!!!
USU WR/PR gets boot … Its been a bad week all around for Utah State. Last week, four members of the USU team, including a couple of starters were injured in an an automobile wreck. Then this morning the school announced that WR/PR JoJo Natson has been dismissed from the program for one of those violation of unspecified team rules. Natson isn’t very big at barely 5-7, 160 and was a solid enough possession receiver who caught 51 passes in 2014, but really shined as a punt returner where he was 10th in the nation last fall with an 11.7 yards per return average and also brought two back for scores.
Ole Miss OT charged in odd domestic dispute … Mississippi junior OT Laremy Tunsil, a top 5-10 prospect for the 2016 draft, was charged yesterday for domestic violence after he reportedly stepped into the middle of an incident involving his mother and stepfather and landed a punch on his stepfather. While domestic violence has become the new offense not to be charged with in sports, its difficult to imagine that unless there are new facts that Tunsil will face any additional discipline.
USU NT injured in car wreck … Utah State NT Travis Seefeldt was one of four Aggie football players injured in an accident involving an SUV and a tractor trailer. Two others were injured in the accident including a member of Utah State women’s softball team. All the injured were listed in critical condition as of last night. The 6-2, 300-pound Seefeldt, who had 35 tackles including a couple of sacks last fall, was considered to have late-round or free agent potential for the 2016 draft. At the same time, though, there has been some promising news regarding the accident that Missouri DT Harold Brantley was involved in last week. Brantley suffered multiple injuries including a broken tibia, knee ligament damage and multiple fractured ribs when the car he was travelling in rolled over. He was initially listed in serious condition, but his status has since been upgraded to good following knee surgery, although it is not yet known when he will be able to get back to training.
Clemson OT to enter supp draft … Next month’s supplemental draft just got a little more interesting with word that Clemson OT Isaiah Battle will make himself available for this summer’s supp draft. Battle indicated that he had decided to turn pro because he had just become a father; however, there are reports out of Clemson that he had also been found to be in possession of marijuana by police after he was stopped for speeding earlier this month, although no charges were ever filed. The 6-5, 310-pound Battle who reportedly runs in the 5-flat area for the 40 had been considered to be a possible late second day pick at the 2016 draft.
CFL season kicks off … The first full week of the 2015 Canadian Football League regular schedule kicks off later this evening when the Ottawa RedBlacks play the Alouettes in Montreal at 7:30 PM ET. Later this week, the defending Grey Cup champion Calgary Stampeders host Hamilton on Friday night at 9 PM ET, while there is doubleheader on Saturday with Toronto hosting Edmonton at 5 PM ET, while Winnipeg will be in Saskatchewan at 8 PM ET. Each team in the CFL plays an 18-game schedule with the divisional champions set to meet in the 103rd edition of the Grey Cup game in Winnipeg on November 29th (so bring your woolies!). Here is the full CFL schedule
Missou DT injured in car crash … Missouri junior DT Harold Brantley was reportedly seriously injured in a car crash yesterday. While a little undersized at 6-3, 280, Brantley is considered to be a decent second-tier prospect for the 2017 draft with some upfield ability after he posted 54 tackles and 5 sacks last fall.
Pitt WR charged for DUI … Pittsburgh junior WR Tyler Boyd, a leading prospect for the 2016 draft, has formally been charged with driving under the influence following a traffic stop late last week. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for August 5th. No official comment from the school on supplementary discipline as Pitt will likely let the legal process play out, but Boyd will likely face some kind of suspension if convicted.
Former Tide QB released by CFL Argos … Former Alabama QB Blake Sims has been released by Toronto of the CFL. Sims, an undrafted free agent following the 2015 draft where he was not selected, had minicamp tryouts with Green Bay and Washington, but was not signed by either. In fact, Sims worked out with Washington as a RB, although he worked as a QB with Toronto.
49ers get future pick for P … Cleveland has acquired veteran P Andy Lee from San Francisco in exchange for a seventh-round pick in 2017. Lee, a three-time Pro Bowler in his 11th year in the league, became expendable when the 49ers drafted former Clemson punter Bradley Pinion of the fifth round of the 2015 draft.
DE Fields trial cancelled … We held off on reporting this for several days in order to get confirmation, but according to ESPN Louisville junior DE Devonte Fields will not have to go to trial after all to face a charge of misdemeanor domestic violence causing bodily injury to a family member. Instead, Fields June 17 trial date has been canceled and the charges will be dismissed if Fields completes an anger management course by June 24th. If he had been convicted, Fields would have faced up to one year in prison and a $4,000 fine and his status with the Cardinals’ football program could have been compromised. Prior to the incident, the 6-4, 250 Fields had been a rising edge rushing star who had been named the preseason Big XII defensive player of the year before the dismissal.
Supp draft gets third entry …West Georgia junior DT Dalvon Stuckey has become the third player to announce that he will be entering the 2015 Supplemental Draft. The 6-3, 300 Stuckey had 4 sacks, 5 other tackles for loss and 3 forced fumbles for West Georgia last fall after playing for two years at Pearl River in the JC ranks where he had ten sacks in two seasons. And while he never played at the FBS level it wasn’t because he wasn’t wanted. Indeed, Stuckey had been expected to play at Arizona State last fall, but academic reasons prevented that from happening, while he had previously committed to Florida State, Auburn and Miami at various times in his career, but never played for any of the three, again largely because of academic issues. Stuckey joins former West Georgia teammate DE Darrius Caldwell and North Carolina Central WR Adrian Wilkins on the list of players that will be available in this summer’s supplemental draft. The supplemental draft is usually held the second week of July every year.
MAC DE suspended … Bowling Green DE/OLB Byan Thomas, who had recently been granted a 6th year of eligibility, has been suspended indefinitely after he was reportedly charged with felonious assault stemming from a May 29 bar fight. The 6-3, 250-pound Thomas led the Falcons with 8 sacks last fall when he also had 7 other tackles for loss and forced five fumbles. Thomas was granted an extra year of eligibility after he redshirted in 2010 and then missed most of the 2011 season with a knee injury.
Sooner LB; two Irish back in football fold … There is still nothing official from the school, but according to a tweet from teammate CB Zack Sanchez, Oklahoma LB Frank Shannon is back with the team from a year-long suspension for violating the school’s Title IX sexual misconduct policy after a female student alleged Shannon sexually assaulted her at his off-campus apartment in late January 2014. No charges were filed, but universities are required by federal law to conduct independent investigations of all sexual misconduct allegations. The 6-0, 235-pound Shannon led the Sooners with 93 tackles in 2013 with 92 including a sack, while he also chipped in an interception. Meanwhile, Notre Dame has reportedly re-instated both CB KeiVarae Russell and DE Ishaq Williams, both of whom missed the entire 2014 season due to an academic suspension.
Second player enters supp draft … North Carolina Central WR/KR Adrian Wilkins has become the second player to announce they will be putting their name forward for this summer’s supplemental draft. Wilkins isn’t all that big at under 5-8 and 175 pounds and does not appear to have NFL quality receiving skills, but he has been very effective as a return specialist. In 2013, for example, he averaged over 30 yards per KO return and almost 13 on punts; he also led the FCS ranks with 5 return TDs that year, however, his numbers were all way down last fall. Wilkins joins West Georgia DE/OLB Darrius Caldwell on the list of players that will be available in this summer’s supplemental draft. The supplemental draft is usually held the second week of July every year.
College football musings … With the NFL now undeniably in the ‘off-season’ such as it is, GBN Associate Editor Pigskin Paul Guillemette has turned his attention – albeit briefly he promises us – to some recent developments at the college level which are highlighted in the latest edition of Pigskin’s football musings.
DII DE to enter supp draft … Pro Football Talk is reporting that former Illinois DE/OLB Darrius Caldwell is applying for this summer’s supplemental draft. Caldwell, who looks the part at 6-4, 245 with projected 4.75 speed, had 12 sacks at DII West Georgia last fall. Caldwell was originally a 4-star recruit at Illinois, but was ultimately dismissed from the program after two years for an unspecified violation of team rules. Caldwell then spent a season at Pearl River Community College before attempting to transfer to Arizona State last summer, but couldn’t qualify academically and ended up at West Georgia.