The Troubled Scout

The Skins recently hired Scot McCloughan to be their GM. He is a great talent evaluator, but comes with a lot of baggage.

Read this story by Seth Wickersham to find out the good, the bad and the ugly of McCloughan’s situation. Great piece.


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Underclassmen Keep Coming

Penn State TE Jesse James is headed to the NFL. This is a weak TE class so I don’t blame him a bit. Tons of potential. Flashed at PSU, but never became the player he could have. Good NFL prospect.

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Mizzou DE/LB Shane Ray is headed to the NFL. Should be a 1st round pick.

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I have not seen this kid play, but I’m certainly intrigued.

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More Noles Headed to the NFL

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Jameis Goes Pro

Florida State QB Jameis Winston made it official…he’s in the draft. There was some talk that he might come back to FSU, but I don’t think that was ever a real possibility. Winston was a great player for the Noles, but I don’t think Jimbo Fisher wanted any part of that circus again.

There is no question that Winston is a very talented QB prospect. The big question with him is character. I’ve never met him and don’t have any inside scoops on what kind of a person he is. As an outsider, I wouldn’t touch him with a ten foot pole.

The rape allegation bothers the heck out of me (as it should any rational human being), and Winston’s casual attitude about the situation is very unsettling. I wasn’t there and I don’t know what happened, but what I do know is that if anyone ever accused me of rape, I’d be walking on egg shells for a long time. Winston acts like nothing happened at all.

He’s had some knucklehead incidents that on their own aren’t that bad, but when combined with the rape allegation show a pattern of troubling behavior. That phrase doesn’t seem harsh enough, but I’m at a loss for the right words.

Some people will say to focus on the player and forget character. I just don’t know how you do that with Winston. It will be very interesting to see when he goes and who drafts him.


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Some Combine Changes

As the NFL’s Scouting Combine becomes more and more of a media event, changes will occur. The schedule has been shaken up this year to help TV viewers. In the past, on-field workouts began on Saturday with the OL. That group will now go on Friday. This allows weekend viewers to see skill players on Saturday and then DL/LBs on Sunday.

Dane Brugler has the full details.

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Draft Notebook

* Michigan State QB Connor Cook is going back to college. Good. Anyone who watched him play against Baylor in the bowl game could see that he’s got talent, but also some big time issues. Cook needs a clean pocket or he can really struggle. His decision-making becomes erratic and his accuracy can be a problem even on simple throws.

I don’t know if those issues will go away in a year, but Cook can work on them. He’s not ready for the NFL right now.

* Alabama QB Blake Sims did not play well at all in the Sugar Bowl. He wasn’t accurate. He didn’t make quick decisions or good ones. His arm wasn’t overly impressive. At his very best, Sims looks like a poor man’s Russell Wilson. He wasn’t anywhere close to that in the bowl game.

* I was impressed by Oregon LB Tony Washington. They list him at 6-3, 250. He showed the ability to cover or attack up the field. Washington had 4 total tackles, a sack, a FF and he returned a fumble 58 yards for a TD. He looks like a good athlete. Won’t be an early pick, but has NFL potential. Could play SAM in the 3-4 or the 4-3.

* Ohio State WR Devin Smith is a really good downfield receiver. Lots of guys have the ability to go deep, but Smith locates the ball well, adjusts to it and then has good hands. This is a guy you want to add to your team if you throw the ball deep. He had receptions of 40 and 47 yards against Alabama.

* I’m glad Melvin Gordon didn’t break Barry Sanders records. Gordon has had a great year for Wisconsin and he’s a fun player to watch, but it drives me crazy that kids today get so many more games. Sanders had 11 games count in his 2, 628 yard season. Gordon played 14 games this year. Sanders didn’t even get to count his bowl stats.

I do think Gordon will be a good NFL back. He’s got good size and can run in traffic. He was special in college because of his ability to get to space and turn gains into long TDs. Some of that will carry over to the NFL, but obviously some of it won’t. Gordon was 34-251-3 in his final game for the Badgers.

* Baylor QB Bryce Petty is a hard player to get a read on. At his best, he looks like an NFL starter. Petty has good deep accuracy. He doesn’t have a cannon, but shows functional arm strength, maybe better. He generally is a good decision-maker and seems comfortable running BU’s crazy no-huddle attack.

There are some times when Petty struggles and you start to think he might be just another system QB that piled up huge numbers in college and won’t pan out in the pros.

I like Petty and think he can be a good starter in the right system.

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Elite DL Turning Pro

Gregory should be a Top 10 pick. He is an outstanding pass rusher who can play OLB for 3-4 teams or DE for 4-3 teams. He has good size and athleticism.

Williams is truly an elite prospect. He can be devastating up front. 3-4 teams will covet him as a DE. He goes 6-5, 295 and is an impact player. Williams finished 2nd on USC in total tackles. He also had 7 sacks and 3 FFs.

4-3 teams will be mixed on Williams. They’ll all want him, but some will see him as a DT, while others like him at LDE. Williams has the strength and power to be a stout run defender. He’s explosive and able to make plays in the backfield.

I’ll be shocked if Williams isn’t gone in the first few picks, barring some weird issues.

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CB Class Gets Bigger, Better

A pair of Juniors opted for the NFL.

Michigan State’s Trae Waynes will skip his Senior season. As you can see below, he has excellent man cover skills.

CB needy teams (like the Eagles for sure) will also be happy that Stanford’s Alex Carter is NFL bound. He goes about 6-0, 200. Carter picked off 1 pass and broke up 9 of them this season.

His dad was NFL corner Tom Carter. Good bloodlines.

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Big TE is in

This is a weak TE class so Williams absolutely made the right call. He showed his big time ability in the bowl game, catching a pass downfield and then hurdling a defender. Size…hands…athleticism. Everything you want in a TE. His numbers won’t be great, but that’s only because Minnesota doesn’t throw the ball very much.

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Maryland WR is in

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