Greg Bedard of theMMQB.com is amongst the best football analyzers in sports. As such, his extensive profile of South Carolina junior defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is a must read.
It has varying degrees of opinion on Clowney with Bedard believing the hype, despite calling him stiff as an edge rusher. There are a lot of great, anonymous, quotes from NFL evaluators in Bedard's piece. Many will disagree, but I thought this one summed Clowney up perfect:
"This year, there’s a lot of plays where he comes off the ball super hard, and if the ball is away he just kind of chills and watches the play."
Does that classify Clowney as being lazy? Not really. Does it classify Clowney as someone who is playing it safe? Sort of. If you're Clowney and you saw the knee of former teammate Marcus Lattimore get bent and broken in every which way, can you blame him for being cautious?
It also touches on Clowney needing a good defensive line coach in the NFL, how he would work as a strongside linebacker in a two-gap defense and a lot more. To this point, it's the definitive breakdown of Clowney as a prospect.
Kelvin Benjamin love spreading
A lot of people are on Florida State redshirt sophomore Kelvin Benjamin now after posting 14 receptions for 331 yards and five touchdowns in his last two games. We currently don't have him ranked because we're hesitant to add eligible sophomores. Many expect Benjamin to go pro because he'll be 23 by the time the draft takes place in May. At 6-foot-5, 234 pounds, there's a lot to love about Benjamin. He can do things like this:
Benjamin consistently makes difficult catches like those. He's strictly an outside receiver, but his size and speed combination is unique. The point of contention with Benjamin is his hands. He's the classic "make tough catches and miss some easy ones" receiver.
Doubts about Bridgewater?
There is no other way to say it: Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was not good in the first half against Cincinnati. He completed just six of 14 passes for 86 yards with one touchdown and an interception. It wasn't necessarily a case of receivers dropping passes, either. Bridgewater's passes were just off target. Don't be surprised by the time May comes around that there's a hot debate between Bridgewater, Derek Carr and another quarterback. The biggest negative that will be cited about Bridgewater is his frame and if he can handle being hit in the NFL.
Between now and Jan. 15, the deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft, prepare to hear about a lot of players getting evaluated by the NFL Draft advisory committee. These are about as interesting as which teams talk to players at the Senior Bowl. If a player is good, or even questionably good, they're going to get evaluated. The latest is Melvin Gordon of Wisconsin. George Uko of Southern California is another.
Brandon Scherff going back to school
Iowa left tackle Brandon Scherff decided against entering the 2014 NFL Draft. The mauling junior was named first-team All-Big Ten this season and projected as a possible first-round pick next year. Now that he's going back for his senior season, Scherff will take out an insurance policy next season, according to the Cedar Rapids Gazzette. now the attention will turn to Auburn's Greg Robinson. While he's only a redshirt sophomore, Robinson is playing well on the nation's hottest team. NFL teams will love his physical style and size. Robinson's offensive line coach thinks he can be the No. 1 pick in 2015 if he goes back to school.
Southern California tight end Xavier Grimble is also leaning toward going back to school for his senior season, the LA Times reports.
Odds for No. 1
Football Outsiders projects the Houston Texans as having an 66.5 percent chance of having the No. 1 pick in the draft followed by the St. Louis Rams (via the Washington Redskins) have a 14.9 percent chance.