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USC OLB Gustin out for year with ankle … Southern California announced late yesterday that veteran LB Porter Gustin will miss the rest of the year after breaking an ankle in the Trojans’ win over Colorado. Gustin will undergo surgery, but hopes to be ready go at some point during the draft process. And Gustin will be an interesting prospect for NFL teams to deal. He’s a talented player – he’s currently ranked 7th among OLBs on the GBN positional listing – who has 7 sacks in just 6 games to date this year. However, Gustin also has had durability issues in his career which could impact his final grade. In addition to missing half this year, Gustin missed 10 games last fall with toe and knee injuries which needless to say will give teams pause.
Top pick still too close to call … Updated: With all but the Monday night game to play this weekend, its simply too close to call which team will be sitting atop this week’s updated opening round selection order for the 2019 draft. As a result of New England’s dramatic win over Kansas City in the Sunday night game, the NY Giants edged ahead of Indianapolis – by .001 – for the top pick, but the margin of difference between the respective strength of schedules of the Colts and Giants is so small that who holds the top pick this week won’t be decided until after tonight’s Monday nigh game between San Francisco and Green Bay. A 49ers win and the Colts move back to #1, while the Giants will hold the top pick if the Packers win. Ironically, who ultimately picks #1 overall this year could come to the second last week of the schedule when the Colts and Giants play in Indianapolis on December 23rd. Meanwhile, the rest of the top ten and beyond, at least for this week, also won’t decided until after tonight’s game as the 49ers will have the 3rd pick with a loss in Green Bay, but will drop down with a win with Arizona moving up to #3 and Oakland to #4. Stay tuned as we’ll have the full selection order after tonight’s game.
UM DE Gary out for Badgers … Michigan DE Rashan Gary, a top 5-10 prospect for the 2019 draft, is not in uniform for tonight’s game against Wisconsin because of a shoulder injury. In fact, it is the second week in a row that Gary has not played as he also missed last week’s win over Maryland. According to Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, Gary has been dealing with an Acromioclavicular AC injury, which a google search identified as a dislocated shoulder.
Pigskin’s prospects’ review and preview posted … With a little over 15 hours until college football Saturday kicks off, GBN Associate Editor Pigskin Paul Guillemette has posted both his weekly prospects review column in which he highlights players who caught his eye last weekend, along with a preview of prospects to watch in this week’s games.
Tide CB down for year; other college injury notes … Alabama has now confirmed that star junior CB Trevon Diggs, the brother of Vikings’ WR Stefon Diggs, will be out for the rest of the season because of the broken foot he incurred Saturday in the Tide’s win over Arkansas. Diggs will undergo surgery later this week and is expected to be out 4-6 months. That time frame is somewhat problematic for Diggs if he still wants to enter the 2019 draft. Diggs has second day potential were he to opt to enter the 2019 draft, but four months and Diggs could just make the combine, but a 6-month recovery period would make it problematic to even be able to workout before the draft. Elsewhere, Appalachian State RB Jalin Moore, #23 on the GBN’s rankings for the position, suffered what appeared to be a serious leg injury during last night’s win over Arkansas State and could miss significant time. Meanwhile, Boise State DE David Moa, #22 on the GBN’s DE ranking, is out for the rest of the regular season with a calf injury that has limited him to just one game so far this season. Boise State is hopeful that Moa could be available to play in the Broncos’ bowl game at the end of the year; it is also possible that Moa could petition the NCAA to get a 6th season of eligibility to be able to return next season. GBN Investigative College Football reporter Larry Parker contributed to this story.
Giants #1 in initial opening round selection order … With New Orleans well on the way to winning this evening’s Monday nighter, the GBN decision desk has given us the green light to publish the first weekly opening round selection order for the 2019 draft were it to be held today.
Tide CB Diggs out indefinitely with foot injury … Not much has gone wrong for top-ranked Alabama so far this fall, however, the Tide did take something of a hit this past weekend when junior CB Trevon Diggs, a potential second-day pick at the 2019 draft if he were to opt to turn pro, suffered a broken foot in the big win over Arkansas on Saturday and is out indefinitely.
Safety rankings posted … The staff warmed up for tonight’s Monday nighter by finishing off the safety ranking for the upcoming draft.
We are #1 … The NY Giants came into the week sitting way down at the 8th pick in the proverbial if the draft were held this week selection order for the opening round of the 2019, but due to a series of odd developments they come out of the weekend sitting on the first pick overall, at least for this week. For starters, the Giants found another way to lose a heartbreaker when Carolina’s Graham Gano kicked a 63-yard FG on the last play of the game to hand them a frustraing 33-31 loss. At the same time, a number of other 1-win teams all won their games, while the Giants strength of schedule was lowered significantly when the other three NFC East teams all lost their games. Meanwhile, if the draft were held this week, Indianapolis would have the second pick, while San Francisco would pick 3rd, Arizona 4th and Atlanta 5th. We’ll have the full opening round selection order as it stands this week after tomorrow night’s Monday nighter.
Cards-Niners to shake up early selection order … We’ll be posting the first full ‘if the draft were held today’ selection order for the opening round of the upcoming draft at the conclusion of this weekend’s games. And there could very well be some movement in the top 5 in today’s action as Arizona, the NFL’s last remaining winless team which currently would have the #1 pick were the draft held today, plays at San Francisco in a late afternoon game; the 1-3 49ers currently would flip with the NY Jets for the 3-4 picks. Those same Jets will host Denver in one of today’s early games. Meanwhile, Houston, which currently sits on the 2nd picks overall, hosts Dallas in the Sunday night game later today.
Neck injury ends career of Canes’ WR Richards … It wasn’t all good news at Miami today where the Hurricanes rallied from a 20-point deficit to defeat Florida State 28-27 in a rivalry game earlier this afternoon as afterwards the program announced that star junior WR Ahmmon Richards’ football career is over because of a neck injury. Richards had been considered to be a potential first round pick in April, but hasn’t played since suffering an injury early in the Canes season-opener against LSU.
Pigskin’s prospects preview … With another intriguing day of college football on the horizon, here’s who GBN Associate Editor Pigskin Paul Guillemette’s will be watching with an eye toward the upcoming draft.
College prospect injury update … There are updates on a couple of injury situations involving top prospects for the 2019 draft we have been following. Stanford RB Bryce Love is listed as questionable for Saturday’s game with Utah because of a lingering ankle injury. Love has actually been dealing with the injury much of the year, but it was exascerbated late in this past weekend’s loss at Notre Dame when an Irish defender rolled on it. This is something that pro scouts will be looking at seriously during pre-draft testing as Love was also slowed by an ankle injury in the latter part of the 2017 season. Meanwhile, Miami is hinting that star junior WR Ahmmon Richards, who has not played since the season opener, may redshirt. Richards had been considered to be one of the top 4-5 prospects at the position for the upcoming draft entering the campaign.
Youth could be served in this CB class … What’s the old phrase? ‘Youth will be served’ or some such holds true in the initial GBN CB rankings (posted here) as redshirt sophomores Greedy Williams of LSU and Washington’s Byron Murphy are rated 1st and 3rd overall respectively at the position. Of course, if either of those two don’t enter this year’s draft the CB position will be significantly thinned out as there isn’t a whole lot of elite potential otherwise.
Pigskin’s weekly college football prospects review … With the fifth full weekend of the college season now in the books, GBN Associate Editor Pigskin Paul Guillemette weighs in with some observations about players who caught his eye this week.
DL rankings posted … The consensus around the NFL is that 2019 will be the ‘year of the defensive lineman’ at the upcoming draft. On the one hand, DE is loaded with Ohio State’s Nick Bosa currently rated as the consensus #1 prospect overall, while Clemson’s Clelin Ferrell and Rashan Gary of Michigan also both have top 10 abilityle, with 6-7 Raekwon Davis of Alabama and Boston College’s Zach Allen not all that far behind. Meanwhile, productive college edge rushers like Austin Bryant of Clemson, Miami’s Joe Jackson, TCU’s Ben Banogu, Montez Sweat of Mississippi State and Michigan’s Chase Winovich head up a solid second-tier DE grouping. as good as the DEs are, the DTs aren’t all that far behind. Indeed, if any player is going to challenge OSU’s Bosa for the #1 ranking, it will likely be Houston junior DT Ed Oliver. Along with Oliver, Clemson’s Dexter Lawrence, Dre’Mont Jones of Ohio State and Alabama redshirt sophomore Qunnen Williams also have top 5-10 potential, while Christian Wilkins, yet another Clemson defensive lineman, Jerry Tillery of Notre Dame, and Mississippi State’s Jeffrey Simmons also have later first round ability. Here are the initial GBN DE and DT positional rankings.
Irish G/T Bars out for year … Notre Dame’s big win over Stanford on Saturday evening came with a cost as the Irish announced this morning that veteran 5th year G/T Alex Bars, one of their team captains this year, will miss the rest of the year after tearing both an ACL and MCL in the game. The 6-5, 315-pound Bars was considered to be a solid mid-to-late round prospect for the upcoming draft. However, because of the timing of the injury and the rehabilitation – it is projected that the recovery period will be somewhere between 6-9 months – that it also appears unlikely that Bars will be able to work out for pro scouts before the draft.
Cards NFL’s last winless team; hold #1 pick for another week … After losing 20-17 to Seattle in a late afternoon game, Arizona is the NFL’s last remaining winless team. The Cardinals came into the week as one of three winless teams, but both Houston and Oakland got off the schneid with overtime wins over Indianapolis and Cleveland respectively. As a result, Arizona will also hold onto the #1 pick in the proverbial ‘if the draft were held today’ selection order for the 2019 draft for at least another week. Meanwhile, if the draft were held this week, the NY Jets and San Francisco would have the 2-3 picks in some order, while Buffalo, Detroit, Indianapolis and Houston are grouped in the 4-7 area.
Super weekend on college sched … After a couple of relatively quiet weeks, the college football schedule really heats up this weekend with as many as five games involving teams ranked in the top 25. In fact, there are a couple of games involving Top 10 teams when #4 Ohio State plays at #9 Penn State in what looks like it could be the game of the year in the Big Ten, while #8 Stanford plays at #7 Notre Dame in what is essentially a national playoff elimination game. The only problem is that both those games start at the same time (7:30 PM ET) on different networks so keep those clickers handy. Needless to say, with so many quality games on this week’s schedule there are plenty of top prospects for the upcoming draft. With that in mind, here’s GBN Associate Editor Pigskin Paul Guillemette’s weekly preview of the games/players he’ll be watching with an eye toward the upcoming draft on Saturday. Meanwhile, while it likely isn’t on anyone’s list of ‘must-see’ games on this week’s schedule, NFL scouts will be closely monitoring tomorrow night’s match-up between Virginia Tech and #22 Duke. (And no, that is not a misprint, its the unbeaten Blue Devils and not the Hokies who are ranked.) What scouts will be watching for is whether rising Duke junior QB Daniel Jones is indeed back in the lineup. Jones had been expected to miss at least a month after suffering a fractured clavicle two weeks ago, but it’s now possible he’ll be back in half that time.