One of the better NFL Draft features you can regularly find online is "Ask 5" from Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Network. The concept is simple: Ask five different personnel people a single question, post the answers. The answers themselves can be interesting.
The question this week was about players who have the most to prove before the draft. If you've listened to the last few podcasts Matthew Fairburn and I have done, I've said Derek Carr of Fresno State. That's because Carr hasn't exactly played a tough defense this year. He'll be tested Saturday against Southern California. The Trojans are 32nd in the nation in passing yards allowed and features a frontline that can really get after the passer.
The biggest knock on Carr is his footwork when the blitz is coming around him. Look for linebacker/end Devon Kennard and defensive tackle Leonard Williams to pressure Carr regularly. How he responds will go a long way in determining how he's viewed by scouts. The evaluators Jeremiah spoke with cited the Senior Bowl as a place Carr could raise his stock. We've had Carr as a top five pick for a bit, so the stock is high already. It will be interesting to see if the perception changes on Carr over the next month.
Other players the evaluators noted were Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas, South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and Arizona State Will Sutton. Some interesting quotes, so check it out here.
Breaking down Clowney
There have been broad concerns about the effort Clowney gives on a play-to-play basis. You've seen people say it. You may have said it. But when, exactly, does it occur? Can you actually point out a specific play where Clowney isn't giving his best effort? A deeper look on Clowney, from the great Brett Kollman of Battle Red Blog, shows that the effort issues can be attributed somewhat to lingering injuries this season.
Muema deletes tweet
San Diego State running back Adam Muema tweeted his intention to enter the 2014 NFL Draft earlier this week. As Jeremy Mauss at Mountain West Connection points out, that tweet can no longer be seen because Muema took it down. Mysterious. Could Muema be backing out of the draft? Muema hasn't gotten his grade back from the NFL Draft advisory committee, so he might just be waiting for it before making his final decision. Regardless, Muema said he was going pro, so we still have him in the underclassmen tracker.
Calhoun turns down the draft
If Shilique Calhoun of Michigan State were in the 2014 NFL Draft, there would be a strong argument to be made that he's the best 4-3 defensive end after Clowney. Now that argument won't even take place. Calhoun said this week that he's "committed" to returning to Michigan State for his senior season. Calhoun seemed spurned by being named just a second-team All-American.
No evaluation request from Bennett
Ohio State defensive tackle Michael Bennett has really stood out at times this season. Despite flashing disruptive potential, he has chosen not to seek an evaluation from the advisory committee. While that does not necessarily cement it that Bennett is going back to OSU for his senior season, it would be a surprise to see him in the draft. Speaking of Ohio State, did Bradley Roby make a mistake by not coming out last season?