One WR back in; another out … Rutgers has announced that WR Leonte Carro has been re-instated to the team and is expected to play Saturfay when the struggling Scarlett Knights host 4th ranked Michigan State. The move comes a day after a charge of simple assault charge stemming from that parking lot scuffle involving an ex-girlfriend several weeks back. The victim, who reportedly into it with Carroo’s current flame and her mother before the player intercede, has reportedly opted not to proceed with the case. Carroo still faces some minor conditions including attending an anger management class, although he still claims he was innocent. On the other hand, Tennessee WR Pig Howard, one of the better kick returners in college football, has been dismissed from the program for an unspecified violation of team rules. Meanwhile, new details have emerged on the incident that got Auburn WR Duke Williams kicked off the team a couple of weeks back. Williams reportedly punched two security guards, a bartender and another person at a local bar following the team’s win over San Jose State – imagine what he would have done had the Tigers lost – after one of his friends was denied entrance. Williams had been considered to be a possible late first round pick this coming April, but the latest indiscretion likely may have been the last straw for more than one NFL team which have reportedly been taking him off their boards entirely.
‘Who caught Pigskins eye’ in college football this week … Every week, GBN Associate Editor Pigskin Paul Guillemette reviews the college prospects that caught his eye this past weekend; here’s the link to his report from the latest week on the college football schedule.
Top safety done for year … West Virginia has announced that senior All-American FS Karl Joseph, a second-day prospect for the 2016 draft who currently leads the nation with 5 interceptions, will miss the remainder of the season after sustaining a knee injury in a non-contact drill on Tuesday during practice. Prior to the injury Joseph had started all 42 games in his career in which he has 284 tackles, 9 interceptions, and 8 forced fumbles.
GBN projection updated … With the NFL at the quarter pole of the 2015 regular season, it seemed like an appropriate time to update the GBN’s projection for the opening round of the 2016 draft, now just over 200 days away. And as we usually note at this time of year, while we always enjoy hearing people’s comments on the various picks, it is still a little early to be getting the ‘what are you guys smoking up there? … the Buckaroos will never EVER take a …. ‘ type comments. What in fact what one is trying to do at this time of year is make an educated guess based on the latest intel as to what kind of players are going to be available at different stages of this year’s opening round.
LBs feeling the pain … Oklahoma State senior LB Ryan Simmons is tweeting that he requires season-ending surgery after tearing both an ACL and PCL in the Cowboys’ game with Kansas State. Because Simmons is a senior, and this is his final season of eligibility, the end of his 2015 season would also mean the end of his collegiate career. It will also be touch-and-go whether Simmons, a mid-to-late round prospect for the upcoming draft, will be healthy enough to work out for pro scouts prior to the draft. Meanwhile, Mississippi MLB C.J. Johnson, another second-tier prospect for 2016, will miss the next 4-6 weeks after tearing an MCL in the Rebels’ loss at Florida; Johnson will also require surgery. Earlier in the week, it was announced that Michigan OLB/rush end Mario Ojemudia would miss the rest of the season with an Achilles injury; Ojemudia, who did have a couple of sacks to date this season, though, was more of a free-agent type.
Pigskin ranks the pros … With the NFL at the quarter pole, GBN Associate Editor Pigskin Paul Guillemette has run the tapes, scanned the schedules and deconstructed the stats in the process of power ranking the 32 teams in the league. and just to make it more fun, we’ll be using the inverse of the rankings as the basis for an updated version of the GBN first-round projection to be posted a little later this week. Stay tuned!
Vikes get late rounder as part of vet trade … Minnesota has acquired a 6th round pick from San Francisco as part of a deal in which the Vikings sent starting MLB Gerald Hodges to the 49ers with Minnesota getting rookie C Nick Easton in return.
Injured LB Jack to enter draft … UCLA junior LB Myles Jack didn’t waste anytime deciding on whether he would be turning pro this winter after tearing an MCL earlier this season. Jack has reportedly already withdrawn from school and is preparing for the 2016. Jack had been considered to be a potential top 10 prospect prior to the injury. While nominally a LB jack is a special athlete who has been used by the Bruins’ as a RB, nickle back and kick returner. His rehabilitation from the surgery is projected to take 4-6 months. That could have Jack ready to workout for pro teams as early as January, but it could also be as late mid-March which means he’d miss the combine, but should be ready for UCLA’s pro day and private workouts.
Big Board tweaked … With the college season now settling nicely into the various conference races around the country, the GBN Big Board ranking the top 100 prospects for the 2016 draft has been updated. In particular, it appears that there is a growing consensus that there is an emerging top 5 for the upcoming draft including Ohio State DE Joey Bosa, Ole Miss DT Robert Nkemdiche, Notre Dame OT Ronnie Stanley, Florida State corner Jalen Ramsay and Cal QB Jared Goff. For the record, all are juniors. Then there is a solid emerging second-tier group including Ole Miss OT Laremy Tunsil, Florida CB Vern Hargreaves, Notre Dame LB Jaylon Smith, Oregon 5-tech DE DeForest Buckner and Michigan State QB Connor Cook. The fastest rising prospect in college football though may be Baylor junior WR Corey Coleman, who appears to have moved into the top 2-3 WRs on most teams board around the league. Meanwhile, WRs Josh Doctson of TCU and Notre Dame junior Will Fuller are also making moves in the second-day area. There is also some notable movement among the CBs with both LSU junior Tre’Davious White and Clemson redshirt sophomore Mackensie Alexander startting to show up in a lot of top 20s. What makes the ranking complicated at this time is the number of juniors with injury concerns that surely will impact their decision whether to turn pro this winter including LBs Myles Jack of UCLA and Arizona’s Scooby Wright, RBs James Conner of Pitt and Wisconsin’s Corey Clement, and Virginia Tech corner Kendall Fuller. Stay tuned
Still winless Lions’ #1 … With the NFL regular season pretty much at the quarter pole – already! – Detroit is the only remaining winless team after that shocking, unbelievable loss at Seattle this evening. As a result, the Lions are currently sitting on the #1 pick at the 2016 draft. However, its likely that it is going to take a while for the top 10 to take shape as there are 12 teams with one loss. Of those, Jacksonville would have the second pick were the draft held this week, followed by Chicago, Miami, Baltimore, Tampa Bay, New Orleans and Kansas City. However, Tennessee actually has the weakest strength of schedule of all the one-loss teams and would normally be sitting on the second pick, but the Titans had their bye this past weekend and have played one game less than the rest of the field. For the record, we’ll start posting the full, updated selection order for the upcoming draft as it stands every week, starting in a couple of weeks.
Troubled Auburn WR gets the boot … Auburn has dismissed WR D’haquille ‘Duke’ Williams has been dismissed from the football team. No specific reason has been given, but Williams has a long history of off-the-field troubles before and after his arrival At Auburn in 2014. Williams had been considered to be a possible second-day prospect for the 2016 draft after a breakout year last year when he emerged as the Tigers’ big-play threat, but has been virtually invisible this fall.
Pair of WRs dinged … Clemson has confirmed that star junior WR Michael Williams will miss the rest of the year with a neck injury. Williams suffered a small fracture in his neck when he ran into the goal post during the Tigers’ season opener. Williams was considered to be one of the top 4-5 receivers for the 2016 draft and he becomes another player who will have to decide whether to return to school next fall or enter the upcoming draft without having played this fall. Meanwhile, Ohio State senior Corey Smith, a late-round or free-agent prospect for the 2016 draft, will also miss the rest of the year with what is believed to be a broken leg.
And then there was one … Remaining winless team in the NFL that is after both Chicago and New Orleans got last play wins on Sunday. The Bears, who still figure to be a leading contender for the #1 pick, edged Oakland 22-20 on a last-minute 49-yard FG, while New Orleans beat Dallas 26-20 when Drew Brees hit C.J. Spiller with an 80-yard TD on the second play of overtime. That came after the Saints had missed a chip-shot 30-yard FG attempt on the final play of regulation to send the game to the extra period. That one remaining winless team is Detroit which plays in Seattle on Monday evening. And the chase is on for early picks at the 2016 draft; indeed, there are currently 13 teams with one win. It is still too early start posting the updated selection order for 2016 – we’ll start after the 6th week of the schedule – but if the draft were held this week, Tennessee and Jacksonville would have the first picks among the one-win teams as the Titans and Jaguars both have significantly weaker strength of schedules than the rest of the one-win pack, although its still early. Of course, because the Titans had their bye this past weekend, Tennessee has played one game fewer than the rest of the field.
Rams get really future Ravens’ pick for vet WR … St. Louis has traded WR Chris Givens to Baltimore for a conditional 7th-round pick in 2018. However, the pick could be moved ahead to the 2017 draft based on Givens’ productivity.
More college games previewed … As noted in the ‘Game of the Week’ preview posted earlier today, the college football schedule really starts to heat up this weekend with a bunch of key games between ranked opponents. GBN Associate Editor Pigskin Paul Guillemette weighs in on who to watch with an eye toward the 2016 draft in some of this weekend’s other big games.
Then there were three … Baltimore took advantage of a couple of missed FGs by Pittsburgh to edge the Steelers 23-20 in the Thursday night game last evening for the Ravens first win of the season. That leaves three remaining winless teams in the league including Chicago, Detroit and New Orleans. And two of those three will be featured in the league’s national TV games this weekend as New Orleans hosts Dallas on the Sunday night game, while Detroit travels to Seattle on Monday evening. The most meaningful ‘draft’ game, though, may be Sunday afternoon when Chicago hosts Oakland. The Bears are the odds-on favorite to earn the #1 pick this year and if they can’t beat the Raiders at home the odds will get even shorter.
Opportunities for Irish, Dawgs hilite college sked … The college football season really starts to heat up this weekend with 5 games involving teams ranked in the top 25. Maybe the two biggest games have #13 Alabama playing at #8 Georgia on Saturday afternoon, while 6th ranked Notre Dame goes to 12th rated Clemson in an evening game on national television. And while we are just in the first week of October, each game has national championship implications as both Georgia and Notre Dame see themselves as legitimate post-season contenders, but needless to say need wins in this weekend’s games to keep those dreams percolating. Here’s a quick preview of who to watch in this week’s big games with an eye toward the 2016 draft.
Ducks’ WR/KR could be out for year … There are unconfirmed reports that star Oregon WR/KR Byron Marshall could miss the rest of the year after undergoing surgery yesterday. Marshall, who has both 1,000 yard rushing and receiving seasons in his career, was carted off the field in the 3rd quarter of the Ducks’ shocking loss to Utah last Saturday which dropped Oregon out of the Top 25 for the first time since 2009. The speedy Marshall is considered to be a second-day prospect for the upcoming draft.
Hokie CB indeed done for year … Virginia Tech has confirmed their worst fear with the announcement that junior CB Kendall Fuller underwent surgery on his right knee yesterday and will miss the remainder of the 2015 season. Fuller sustained a torn meniscus during summer and tried to play through it the first three games of the season. Fuller had generally been considered to be the third rated CB in the 2016 drft class behind fellow juniors Vernon Hargreaves of Florida and Jalen Ramsey of Florida State and now faces the difficult decision whether to return to school to solidify his grade – but risk further injury – next fall, or take a chance and enter this year’s draft anyway despite a limited resume from this fall. The good news for Fuller is that the injury is not to an ACL and therefore should be ready for the combine and other pre-draft workouts if he ultimately decides to enter this year’s draft. Stay tuned.
Sparty LT to return – sometime – and other college notes … For what its worth Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio told local reporters that the Spartans have no new season-ending injuries to report. The implication is that the Spartans’ standout junior LT Jack Conklin, who left Saturday’s game with a knee injury, will play again sometime this season, although he offered no other details on the nature of the injury or when Conklin might actually return. Conklin is considered to be a top 20-type prospect for the upcoming draft. There is a similar story for Minnesota CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun, who is being listed as questionable for this week’s game with Northwestern. Boddy-Calhoun, a second-day prospect for 2016, was forced to leave last week’s win over Ohio with an undisclosed knee injury, but an MRI revealed that the All-Big Ten corner will not need surgery. And continuing the theme, the folks at Missouri are hopeful they have a similar story regarding MLB Kentrell Brothers, who currently leads the country in tackles. Brothers was carted off the field late in last week’s loss to Kentucky with what looked to be a ‘significant’ ankle injury. However, it now appears that Brothers could be a game-time decision when the Tigers play South Carolina this weekend.