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Duke QB out for year … Duke QB Thomas Sirk, a second-tier prospect for the 2017 draft, will miss the entire upcoming season after apparently re-aggravating an Achilles tendon injury he suffered in February. Sirk’s rehabilitation had reportedly gone smoothy until this week, when he was scheduled to return to full team practices. The 6-3, 220-pound Sirk passed for more than 2,600 yards and ran for another 800 last year, when he led the Blue Devils to a surprise 8-5 record. He was also named the co-MVP of Dukes 44-41 overtime win over in Indiana in the Pinstripe Bowl, the Blue Devils’ first bowl win since 1961. Sirk has used his redshirt year but will be able to apply for a 6th yera of eligibility as he also missed the 2013 season with an earlier Achilles’ injury.
Turk starting to limber up … With the third week of the NFL pre-season schedule now nicely underway it means that the first round of roster cuts can’t be far behind. In fact, all teams have to have reduced their rosters to the initial 75-man roster by the end of business on Tuesday. And because teams don’t like to keep players they are going to release around any longer than they have to, expect teams that have played their game this week to start announcing roster cuts almost anytime. Of course, those that survive the first-round of cuts won’t be able to get too comfortable as the final round of roster reductions down to the opening-day 53-man roster are due by 4 PM ET on September 3rd.
Prelim GBN prospects list posted … A little later than usual, but the annual GBN list of prospects for the 2017 draft has been posted. Please note that while the players in the various positional groups are ranked roughly according to their ability, but it is hardly meant as a definitive ranking at this time. We also included underclassmen, although we tended to focus on those most likely to jump to the NFL this winter.
Football train coming down the track … The start of the 2016 football season is now just over a week away with the opening weekend of the college campaign scheduled for next week. We’ll be warming up for the season with a full week of preview reports next week previewing the start of the college year starting with the release of our annual list of top pro prospects for the upcoming draft in the next couple of days. Then Pigskin Paul and the rest of the guys will be by with their picks and pans predictions for the college season next week. We’ll also have our fearless forecast for the upcoming NFL season which is set to start the following week. And part of our prep for the 2016 pro campaign will be our first ‘real’ projection for next spring’s draft. So whether you are a natural fan of either – or both – the college and/or the pro games, whether you follow the draft as the ultimate in religious experiences, or whether your football interests are more along the lines of fantasy football or predicting the outcomes of the games, stay tuned! It should be a great ride.
Rooks who ‘caught the eye’ of Pigskin in week two of pre-season ... GBN Associate Editor Pigskin Paul Guillemette has reviewed the tapes from each of last weekend’s pre-season games with an eye on how some of this year’s rookie crop fared in their taste of live NFL action. Here’s Pigskin’s report on which first-year players caught his eye last weekend.
Senior Bowl watch list posted … For those that have not seen it already, the Senior Bowl has posted its initial watch list which includes almost 400 seniors their scouts are watching for this year’s game. The Senior Bowl will then whittle the list down to the 100 or so players that will be invited to this year’s game in Mobile. The Senior Bowl week is scheduled for the week of January 23 this week with the game to kick-off on January 28th.
Browns get Pats pick for OLB Mingo … Cleveland has acquired a 5th round pick in the 2017 draft from New England in exchange for OLB Barkevious Mingo, the 6th pick overall in 2013 who has been a major disappointment with the Browns. With the acquisition of the 5th rounder from the Patriots, Cleveland now has extra 1st, 2nd and 5th round picks next April, although they do not have a 4th rounder. Here is the updated list of traded picks for next year’s draft.
Pats get late conditional pick for vet C … Washington has acquired New England C Bryan Stork for what is being described as a conditional 7th round pick in 2017. The trade was made official earlier today despite the fact that Stork informed Washington officials that he might retire once the two teams reached an agreement. New England was going to release Stork if they had not been able to make a deal. Stork has had injury problems in the past including some issues with concussions.
Bolts rescind Bosa offer … San Diego has pulled its latest contract offer to DE Joey Bosa, the Chargers’ first-round draft pick this past April, and have indicated that they will restructure a new deal that would reflect him playing less than a full season. Bosa, the 3rd player selected overall this year, has missed all of training camp as his agents and the team wrangle over how much of his $17 million signing bonus he’ll get up front, as well as offset language in the case he gets cut. What still isn’t clear is whether Bosa would be willing to sit out the season. If he ultimately doesn’t sign with the Chargers (or another team if his rights are traded,), Bosa would go back into the 2017 draft.
Injuries force vet Badger C to retire … Wisconsin C Dan Voltz, one of the top prospects at the position for the 2017 draft, has opted to retire from football because of injuries. Voltz started 27 games with the Badgers, but also missed a number of games with injuries including a torn ACL suffered in October last fall.
Irish S gets the boot; CB suspended … Updating yesterday’s report from Notre Dame in which 6 players were arrested in two separate incidents over the weekend, starting SS Max Redfield, one of 5 players arrested and charged with possession of marijuana, while also facing a more serious charge of possession of an unlicensed handgun, has been dismissed from the team. Meanwhile, CB Devin Butler, who is recovering from a broken foot and likely will not be available to play until October, has been suspended indefinitely after he was charged with battery on a police officer and resisting arrest following a scuffle at a local bar during which he reportedly was tasered by the police.
Canes WR under investigation for rental car usage … Sources at Miami are indicating that WR Stacy Coley is one of several Hurricanes being investigated for using cars from a luxury car rental agency in exchange for future promises. Coley is considered to be a potential second day pick at the 2017 draft. Fellow senior Jermaine Grace, a LB who led the team in tackles last fall, and junior DE Al-Quadin Muhammad, the Hurricanes’ leading sacker in 2015, are also being investigated by Miami for using cars from the same rental agency. Another LB, Juwon Young was suspended indefinitely earlier this summer after not being forthcoming with school officials about the matter and was eventually removed from the roster and will not return. No word yet on what kind of disciplinary action Coley and the other could be facing. The Hurricanes open the season against Florida A&M on September 3rd.
Irish rocked as 6 players arrested … The Notre Dame football program suffered a major blow last night when 6 players were arrested in two separate incidents. The players included a pair of seniors with 2017 draft hopes in safety Max Redfield and CB Devin Butler. Redfield was one of 5 players was one of 5 players arrested and charged with possession of marijuana, while Redfield also faces a more serious charge of possession of an unlicensed handgun. Meanwhile, Butler, who is recovering from a broken foot and likely will not be available to play until October, was charged with battery on a police officer and resisting arrest following a scuffle at a local bar.
Rising Gator CB to miss opener following scuffle … Emerging Florida junior CB Jalen Tabor has been suspended from all team activities and will have to sit out the Gators’ season opener against UMass on September 3rd after he was involved in what has been described as a ‘pretty serious’ scuffle with sophomore TE C’yontai Lewis. There are reports that the fight extended past practice and eventually resulted in a team meeting. This is the second time that Tabor, an All-SEC selection last year after he picked off 4 passes and broke up a total of 18, has been suspended for a game after he was forced to sit out the Tennessee game last season for an unspecified violation of team rules.
Top RB prospect dinged … Star LSU junior RB Leonard Fournette, a top 5-10 prospect for the 2017 draft, is in a walking boot at this time after suffering a sprained ankle at practice earlier today. Sources at LSU are indicating that the injury is minor, but it is still disconcerting with the start of the season less than three weeks away. LSU opens its schedule on September 3rd with a game against Wisconsin in Green Bay.
Baylor fears status of vet DT … There are concerns that senior DT Byron Bonds, who has not practiced so far this month because of a knee injury, could ultimately miss the entire season. The 6-2, 290-pound Bonds is a quick interior defender who had been considered to be a late round or free agent prospect for the 2017 draft.
Saints #1 breaks leg; to miss first part of season … New Orleans rookie DT Sheldon Rankins, the 12th player selected at the 2016 draft, will miss as many as 6 weeks after breaking his leg during a practice session. The good news for Rankins and the Saints is that the injury happened early enough in the pre-season that Rankins he actually won’t miss more than the first 2-3 weeks of the regular.
Top SEC RB headed to DII … Former Auburn RB Jovon Robinson has announced that he will play his final year of eligibility at DII Valdosta State. Robinson was rated as the top junior college recruit in the country two years ago, but after an up-and-down campaign with the Tigers last fall was kicked off the team for several off-field issues.
ESPN rates rook training camps … For those that haven’t seen it, ESPN has a neat rundown how every 2016 draft pick has performed thru the first couple of weeks of training camp.
Vandy OT to miss second straight year … Vanderbilt LT Andrew Jelks will miss a second straight season due a knee injury. Jelks did not play at all in 2015 after tearing an ACL in preseason camp and will now also miss this season due to a knee injury. Its not clear whether this is a new injury or the lingering effects of last year’s issue. Jelks is a fifth-year senior who could petition the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility at the end of the season, although a decision on how the player and school will proceed has not yet been decided. The 6-5, 305-pound Jelks had been considered to be a bit of a sleeper rising star along the offensive line after he was named to the SEC All-Frosh team in 2013 and then started all 12 games in 2014 at LT.