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2015 BRONKO NAGURSKI TROPHY WATCH LIST UNVEILED
88 players get consideration for defensive player of the year
DALLAS (FWAA) – The 2014 Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner Scooby Wright III tops the 88-man 2015 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List announced by the Football Writers Association of America on Friday.
Wright, a junior linebacker from Arizona, will seek to become only the second player in the 22-year history of the award to win it twice after Northwestern's Pat Fitzgerald in 1995-96. Ohio State end Joey Bosa, another first team FWAA All-America from 2014, also returns as a junior to challenge Wright.
Photo - DE Joey Bosa - Ohio St
There are five FWAA second-teamer All-Americas from a year ago on the 2015 Watch List: Michigan State end Shilique Calhoun, and defensive backs Kendall Fuller of Virginia Tech, Jeremy Cash of Duke, Jalen Ramsey of Florida State and Michael Caputo of Wisconsin.
Frank Coyle is a long time scout with nationwide ties with coaches, scouts and player agents. He is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Bronko Nagurski, Lombardi, Jim Thorpe etc for the past 20 years.
Players may be added or removed from the watch list during the course of the season. Once again, the FWAA will announce a Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week each Tuesday from early September through mid November. If not already on the watch list, the honored player will be added at that time. The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce five finalists for the 2015 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Nov. 19.
The Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner will be chosen from those five finalists who are part of the 2014 FWAA All-America Team. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the association's entire membership, selects the 26-man All-America Team and eventually the Nagurski finalists. Committee members, then by individual ballot, select the winner, the best defensive player in college football during the FWAA's 75th anniversary year.
The annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet, presented by ACN, will be held on Dec. 7 at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte. In addition to the 2015 Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner's announcement, the banquet will also celebrate the recipient of the Bronko Nagurski Legends Award. Ohio State's Randy Gradishar, a member of the FWAA's 1973 All-America team and a College Football Hall of Famer, will be honored. Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn will be the keynote speaker at the banquet.
The FWAA has named a National Defensive Player of the Year since 1993. In 1995, the FWAA named the award in honor of the legendary two-way player from the University of Minnesota. Nagurski dominated college football then became a star for professional football's Chicago Bears in the 1930s. Bronislaw "Bronko" Nagurski is a charter member of both the College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame.
2015 BRONKO NAGURSKI TROPHY PRESEASON WATCH LIST
LB Dominique Alexander, Oklahoma
DE Jonathan Allen, Alabama
DB Budda Baker, Washington
DB Dante Barnett, Kansas State
DE Derek Barnett, Tennessee
LB Kendell Beckwith, LSU
DB Vonn Bell, Ohio State
LB Vince Biegel, Wisconsin
DT Andrew Billings, Baylor
DB Quin Blanding, Virginia
DB Briean Boddy-Calhoun, Minnesota
DE Joey Bosa, Ohio State
LB Kentrell Brothers, Missouri
DE DeForest Buckner, Oregon
LB James Burgess, Louisville
DE Shilique Calhoun, Michigan State
DB Maurice Canady, Virginia
DB Michael Caputo, Wisconsin
DB Jeremy Cash, Duke
DT Kenny Clark, UCLA
DT Maliek Collins, Nebraska
DB Tony Conner, Ole Miss
DE Kamalei Correa, Boise State
LB Su’a Cravens, USC
DT Sheldon Day, Notre Dame
DE Ken Ekanem, Virginia Tech
LB Kyler Fackrell, Utah State
LB Leonard Floyd, Georgia
DB Kendall Fuller, Virginia Tech
DE Myles Garrett, Texas A&M
DT Adam Gotsis, Georgia Tech
DB Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida
LB Myles Jack, UCLA
DB William Jackson, Houston
DB Adoree’ Jackson, USC
DE Jordan Jenkins, Georgia
DT Gerrand Johnson, ULM
DB Jonathan Jones, Auburn
DT Chris Jones, Mississippi State
DB Karl Joseph, West Virginia
DE Bronson Kaufusi, BYU
DE Carl Lawson Auburn
LB Darron Lee, Ohio State
DB William Likely, Maryland
DB Jordan Lucas, Penn State
DT Luther Maddy, Virginia Tech
LB Curt Maggitt, Tennessee
DT Corey Marshall, Virginia Tech
LB Blake Martinez, Stanford
LB Tyler Matakevich, Temple
DB Danzel McDaniel, Kansas State
DB Adrian McDonald, Houston
LB Cassanova McKinzy, Auburn
DB Jalen Mills, LSU
DB Fabian Moreau, UCLA
LB Antonio Morrison, Florida
DB Eric Murray, Minnesota
For the Rest of the Bronko Nagurski Watch List - go to next page
Rams Select OT Isaiah Battle in the NFL 2015 Supplemental Draft
The St. Louis Rams has selected former Clemson left OT Isaiah Battle in the 5th round pick in Thursday NFL Supplemental Draft. The Rams will forfeit their fifth-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Battle was the only one of 7 players available in this class who was selected. He was the first player selected in the NFL Supplemental Draft since 2012.
The other six eligible prospects, West Georgia edge rusher Darrius Caldwell and defensive tackle Dalvon Stuckey, Houston defensive end Eric Eiland, Connecticut tight end Sean McQuillan, Kansas defensive back Kevin Short and North Carolina Central wideout and returner Adrian Wilkins were not chosen. They are all considered rookie free agents and may sign with any club. They also must fit in the rookie salary gap this year.
The Rams’ decision by general manager Les Snead and head coach Jeff Fisher continued the St. Louis focus on offensive linemen after using four draft choices in the NFL Draft 2015 on that unit. They used their second, third, fourth and sixth round picks on Rob Havenstein, Jamon Brown, Andrew Donnal and Cody Wichmann. Havenstein and Brown lined up with the first team at right tackle and right guard during the Rams' OTA and recent mini camp practices. This group of linemen followed the selection of left tackle Greg Robinson as the #2 overall pick in NFL Draft 2014.
Battle played in 27 games for the Tigers over the past three seasons, starting 11 of 12 games at left tackle a year ago and 16 contests, overall. He did not allow a sack in the 12 regular season games in 2014. He has the physical skill set for the left tackle position where his combination of height (6’6” 312 lbs.), arm length (35 3/8") and the agility to slide easily that allows him to mirror edge rushers. He's also quick to the second level and can re-direct to adjust in space. He is still a raw prospect with marginal functional strength and inconsistent technique that will be easily exposed vs NFL defenders. His inconsistencies and lapses in technique combined with his below average weight room strength (12 reps at Pro day) were red flags to some scouts. His off the field issues were also disturbing and threatened his college eligibility.
The Supplemental selection order is different from the regular NFL Draft. The teams are slotted into three groups based on their won/loss percentage the previous year and are then placed in a lottery with the official order not being released to the public. The Jacksonville Jaguars won this lottery and held the first pick of each round of the 2015 Supplemental Draft with the Seattle Seahawks awarded the final pick. The Rams were given the 8th overall pick.
Teams interested in selecting a player contact the league via email with a list of the players they would draft and the round in which they would take them. It is possible that another team also placed a 5th round bid on Battle, but lost out because St. Louis was slotted ahead of them.
Battle and any other players signed following the draft are immediately eligible to play in the NFL. The Rams get their first look at Battle in practice when training camp opens for rookies on July 27.
NFL Supplemental Draft 2015 - July 9, 2015
Pro Prospects Supplemental Preview - Free Issue for Full Subscribers
Prospects for NFL Supplemental Draft 2015
The NFL will conduct the Supplemental Draft 2015 on Thursday, July 9th for players who rescind their remaining college eligibility. This draft has been a short process annually that considers special situations for players that are at least three years removed from high school. All 32 teams will participate in the weighted process that is divided into three tiers with seven prospects entered for this year’s selection draft. Teams with six wins or less from last season will make up the first group, followed by a second group of non-playoff teams and finally a third group of the twelve playoff teams. Each team submits the name of the players via email that they want to draft with the round they would like to select them. The club with the highest selection will be awarded the player. In the case of two teams drafting the same player in a round, the club with the worse record last season will win the prospect. Players not selected in this draft class will then become free agents eligible to sign with any team.
Any team that uses a selection in the Supplemental Draft will forfeit their choice in the corresponding round of the NFL Draft 2016. The new draft prospects will be considered part of the rookie salary pool along with the players from the NFL Draft 2015 and they must fit under the current contract structure and overall salary cap. No players have been drafted the past two summers. In 2013, the Browns used their #2nd round pick on wideout Josh Gordon, the only overall selection chosen in the process. He has been a Pro Bowl receiver who set new NFL records two years ago. But he has also been suspended annually for failing drug and alcohol tests and is currently suspended.
Most prospects in a Supplemental class provide little initial impact because of the late signing that caused them to miss all of the OTAs and mini-camp practices. The NFL office has considered terminating this draft process after only minimal interest by clubs.
Prospects for NFL Supplemental Draft 2015
These players are eligible for the NFL Supplemental Draft after not declaring for entry in the NFL Draft 2015. They have lost their eligibility for the upcoming college season.
WR/KR Adrian Wilkins - North Carolina Central
TE Sean McQuillan - UConn
OT Isaiah Battle - Clemson
DE Darrius Caldwell - West Georgia
DE Eric Eiland - Houston
DT Dalvon Stuckey - West Georgia
CB Kevin Short - Kansas
OT Isaiah Battle #79 - 6’6” 312 lbs. - Clemson - Sp. 5.20
Big agile junior tackle has made nice progress over his late career, totaling 27 games with15 starts for the Tigers. At his pro day workout in front of 26 NFL teams, he measured in at just over 6-6 and 312 lbs. with 35.5” arms and an 85” wingspan. He timed in 5.21 and 5.29 and had a 24.5” VL and posted an 8.5” BJ with 12 reps. His leaping and weight lifting numbers were below average while the speed time was average. He had a key role in each of Clemson’s Bowl wins over top-25 teams the past three postseasons. In 2014, he played left tackle in 12 games with 11 starts and 10 games with four starts in 2013. He has improved annually at left tackle in his three seasons with the Tigers after starting at Military academy after HS. He shows the ability to slid in pass protection and use his huge reach (35.5”), though he needs further technique and strength work. His level of development is very suspect despite intriguing size and agility skills. His marginal power fails to get a push in the run game and failed to sustain vs top pass rushers late on the down. A few off the field issues including failed drug tests, motor vehicle violation and charged related to a fight have all hurt his cause for an early 3rd day selection. This kid has starting NFL tackle skill set, but is not there currently. Boom or bust prospect and probable middle round pick.
DE Darrius Caldwell #9 - 6’4” 250 lbs. - West Georgia Sp. 5.05
Caldwell was a one-time highly regarded Illinois recruit who had nice close of his career at WG after a JC and stay at Illinois. He has fine length with long arms and quick burst to develop further. He lacks bulk and needs to put on weight if he expects to play with his hand on the ground. Currently, he fits the attack backer role better where he can be effective attacking the line. In 2014, he started 15 games and had 69 tackles with 18.5 TFL, 13 sacks, 2 FR and 1 FF for 1st team Gulf Conference. At his pro day, he is just under 6’5” and in the 250 lbs. range. He had an impressive vertical of 35.5”, though his 40 time was over 5.0 and his 6 reps on the bench press were not very impressive or up to NFL standards. Camp type with some upside, but needs strength and technique work to be more than a PS performer.
DT Dalvin Stuckey #41 - 6’2” 300 lbs. - West Georgia Sp. 5.5
Wide body mobile tackle flashes quickness and power on the inside. He signed with Florida St after a highly rated HS prospect. He moved on to Pearl River CC where he gained JC All-American honors. At his pro day, he measured in at 6’2” 302 lbs. and ran the 40 in the 5.50 area and did only 10 reps in the lifting. In 2014, he started 11 games and had 40 tackles with 9.5 TFL, 4 sacks, 2 FR and 3 FF. Type with talent but raw from playing experience perspective. He needs an offseason program to improve technique and overall strength. FA signee and possible PS performer. Best fit a three technique in 4-3 scheme.
NFL 2015 Offseason Workout Program Schedule
The NFL 2015 offseason continues after completing another excellent NFL Draft class. Teams are completing their OTAs over the next two weeks before starting veteran June mini camps that incorporate new veteran free agents and draft choices into the existing veteran rosters.
Most mini camps will begin early to mid June that will be the final preparation of new rosters prior for their August training camp preseason start.
Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, teams were allowed to begin Phase 1 of offseason workouts in late April, the activities are limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation over two weeks. Phase 2 is three weeks long and began for most teams in early May. In this phase, players can participate in positional drills, but no live contact or team offense vs. team defense drills are allowed. Now teams prepare to head into Phase 3, or OTAs, which is a four-week-long period during which teams can conduct 10 days of organized team activity, including 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills.
NFL Offseason Workout Program Schedule
Team - OTAs - Mandatory Camp
Arizona Cardinals May 19-21, May 26-28, Jun 1-4 - June 9-11
Atlanta Falcons May 26-29, June 2-3, June 5, June 9-12 - June 16-18
Baltimore Ravens May 26-28, June 1-3, June 8-11 - June 16-18
Buffalo Bills May 26-27, May 29, June 1, June 3-4, June 8-11 - June 16-18
Carolina Panthers May 26-28, June 2-4, June 8-11 - June 16-18
Chicago Bears May 27-29, June 1-3, June 8-11 - June 16-18
Cincinnati Bengals May 26-28, June 2-4, June 8-11 - June 16-18
Cleveland Browns May 26-27, May 29, June 1-2, June 4, June 8-9, June 11-12 - June 16-18
Dallas Cowboys May 26-28, June 2-4, June 8-10 - June 16-18
Denver Broncos May 27-29, June 1-2, June 4, June 15-18 - June 9-11
Detroit Lions May 26-28, June 2-4, June 8-11 - June 16-18
Green Bay Packers May 27-29, June 2-4, June 9-12 - June 16-18
Houston Texans May 26-28, June 1-2, June 4, June 8-9, June 11-12 - June 16-18
Indianapolis Colts May 18-20, May 26-28, June 1-4 - June 9-11
Jacksonville Jaguars May 26-28, June 1-2, June 4, June 8-9, June 11-12 - June 16-18
Kansas City Chiefs May 26-28, June 2-4, June 9-12 - June 16-18
Miami Dolphins May 26-27, May 29, June 1-2, June 4, June 8-11 - June 16-18
Minnesota Vikings May 26-28, June 2-4, June 8-11 - June 16-18
New England Patriots May 26, May 28-29, June 1, June 3-4, June 8-9, June 11-12 - June 16-18
New Orleans Saints May 26-28, June 2-4, June 8-11 - June 16-18
New York Giants May 27-29, June 1-2, June 4, June 8-9, June 11-12 - June 16-18
New York Jets May 19-21, May 26-28, June 2-5 - June 9-11
Oakland Raiders May 19-21, May 26-28, June 1-4 - June 9-11
Philadelphia Eagles May 26-28, June 1-2, June 4, June 8-11 - June 16-18
Pittsburgh Steelers May 26-28, June 2-4, June 8-11 - June 16-18
St. Louis Rams June 2, June 4-5, June 8-9, June 11, June 15-16 - June 18-19
San Diego Chargers May 26-28, June 1-3, June 8-11 - June 16-18
San Francisco 49ers May 19-21, May 27-29, June 1-4, June 4-5 - June 9-11
Seattle Seahawks May 26-27, May 29, June 1-2, June 4, June 8-11 - June 16-18
Tampa Bay Bucs May 26-28, June 2-4, June 8-11 - June 16-18
Tennessee Titans May 26-28, June 1-2, June 4, June 8-11 - June 16-18
Washington Redskins May 26-28, June 2-4, June 8-11 - June 16-18
NFL Draft 2015 Wrapup – La’el Collins Story Continues
The NFL Draft 2015 is in the books with many surprises and disappointments over the three day event. Chicago hosted the NFL Draft for the first time in over 50 years and put on a huge extravaganza that included coverage from all 32 team headquarters.
Draft Insiders’ Yearbook 2015 – Over 300 Scouting Reports – available Now
Draft Insiders’ 2015 Review – available this spring
Photo – OL La’el Collins – LSU
The class of underclassmen dominated the start of the 2015 NFL Draft with 7 of the top 10 picks and 20 of the 32 first-round picks from the late entrees. Florida St. headed the NFL Draft with redshirt sophomore QB Jameis Winston the first overall selection which started 11 total Seminoles selected over the seven rounds, the most of any school in the nation. Washington provided three #1 picks in DT Danny Shelton, CB Marcus Peters and LB Shaq Thompson. It was the first time since 2009 that one school provided three #1 picks, with Southern Cal accomplishing that unique feat. The Pac 12 also provided 9 overall first round selections this year, the most of any conference in the nation.
As usual, there were many of the 85 underclassmen that probably would have been wiser to stay in school and finish their eligibility and develop further as players. Some high profile prospects fell out of the first round and a few did not get called until the 3rd day of the NFL Draft or not at all over the seven rounds. The SEC had the most draft selections once again with 54 players followed by the ACC with 47, the Pac-12 39, the Big Ten 35 and the Big XII 26. The power five conferences provided over 75% of all players selected.
There were many exciting stories, though an equal number of tragic and shocking revelations. The story related to OL Ja’el Collins of LSU is one of the most bizarre articles in recent NFL Draft history. Collins was considered a mid-first round lock until an investigation related to the murder of an ex-girlfriend hit the news the week prior to the NFL Draft. Collins was eventually questioned by Baton Rouge police the Monday after the NFL Draft weekend. Though no indictment has been issued after the questioning, Collins was considered a person of interest at this point. The timing of the tragedy and inquiry shocked NFL brass and subsequently Collins was bypassed completely over the seven round event. He has been denied entry in the NFL Supplemental Draft 2015 or reentry into the NFL Draft 2016. He is basically a rookie free agent and allowed to sign with any NFL club interested in his services. Rookie free agent contracts are for three years which allows him to test veteran free agency after three seasons. Within days after the police inquiry, Collins spoke with a few clubs, namely the Bills and Dolphins. Clubs like the Giants and Saints are also highly interested in the versatile lineman who carries an early NFL starting grade. His signing should come over the next few weeks after several interviews and recruiting trips are completed. He projects as a rookie starting guard and the skill set to move to tackle in time.
Draft Choices by Conference
Big Ten 35
Big 12 25
Mountain West 10
Conference USA 6
Missouri Valley 4
Sun Belt 3
Ohio Valley 2
South Atlantic 2
Draft Choices by Schools
Florida St 11
Mississippi St 5
Ohio St 5
Oregon St 5
Arizona St 4
Michigan St 4
South Carolina 4
West Virginia 4