Rounding Up the Latest NFL Draft Buzz, Rumors and Speculation
With the combine behind us, we've officially entered NFL draft silly season.
But even though we know most of what we hear between now and April 25 will be flat-out lies perpetuated by NFL personnel and agents with various agendas, we'll still listen to each and every rumor that gets floated out on Twitter.
So here are a few of the latest headlines that have caused a buzz in the NFL draft world.
Manti Te'o Still a First-Round Prospect
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Manti Te'o is one of the most polarizing figures in this year's draft class, but he's getting some support from high-profile members of the media.
On Monday, Sports Illustrated's Peter King stated that he doesn't envision Te'o falling past the Bengals at No. 21 overall.
Kings report comes just a week after ESPN's Adam Schefter offered a similar sentiment on Twitter.
Manti Te'o does not make out of the first round.—Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 27, 2013
But it's worth noting that not everyone is back on board the Te'o bandwagon.
CBS Sports' Bruce Feldman spoke to an NFL source who said, "I'm just not sure he's good enough to offset the crap. It's a road I hope we don't go down. I'd rather find a better athlete."
Damontre Moore Interviews Poorly
Damontre Moore NFL Player Comparison
It was a rough combine for Damontre Moore.
He managed just a 4.95 in the 40-yard dash and put up an abysmal 12 reps on the bench press—one fewer than Arizona State punter Josh Hubner.
But the workouts apparently weren't the worst of it for Moore in Indy.
According to NFL.com's Gil Brandt, Moore also struggled in the interview process.
I left Damontre Moore off my mock draft, which many of you questioned. He didn't have very good workout at combine, or interview well.—Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) March 4, 2013
While poor workout numbers are never a good thing, they can easily be overlooked if the on-field performance warrants it.
But a poor showing during the interview process guarantees a tumble down the draft board.
Moore, who was once viewed as a potential top-five pick, is now considered a fringe first-round prospect.
Terrell Sinkfield Runs 4.19 40-Yard Dash
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According to FOX Sports North, Northern Iowa wide receiver Terrell Sinkfield wowed scouts with a 4.19 40-yard dash at the University of Minnesota's pro day on Monday.
Sinkfield also clocked a 4.27 on his first try and, despite a stumble, a 4.44 on his final attempt.
News of Sinkfield's time spread like wildfire throughout the Internet on Monday afternoon, but it's unlikely to have a significant impact on his draft stock.
Sinkfield caught 43 balls for 499 yards and was not highly regarded as a draft prospect prior to Monday's workout.
His speed might entice a team to give him a shot to earn a job as a return specialist, but Sinkfield did not return kicks or punts at UNI.
This was either a glaring oversight on the part of the UNI coaching staff, or Sinkfield's playing speed falls well short of his performance in the 40.
Expecting a Run on Cornerbacks
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According to Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net, we should be expecting a run on cornerbacks at some point during the first two days of the draft.
Pauline specifically mentions the 49ers and Saints as two teams who are rumored to be interested in adding a cornerback early in the draft.
He also mentions Boise State's Jamar Taylor and Mississippi State's Darius Slay as two prospects whose stocks are on the rise after strong combine performances.
You can count Rotoworld's Josh Norris among those high on Taylor. He has the Patriots selecting Taylor 29th overall in his latest mock draft.
Is Cordarrelle Patterson Smart Enough for the NFL?
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Cordarrelle Patterson was forced to attend a North Carolina Tech Christian Academy for a year after high school and then Hutchinson Community College for two years to get his grades up prior to enrolling at Tennessee in 2012.
But poor grades are easily overlooked by NFL scouts if it doesn't impact a player's performance on the field.
However, that may not be the case with Patterson.
A scout recently told Mark Eckel of The Times (Trenton, NJ), "I’m just not sure how smart he is. You’re going to have to keep it simple for him."
Each team will have a different view of how Patterson's intelligence will affect his draft stock, but with a limited number of potential suitors within the top 20 picks, this could definitely cause a draft-day fall.
Matt Barkley: Fourth-Round Talent
Matt Barkley NFL Player Comparison
You can count Greg Cosell of NFL Films among those expecting Matt Barkley to be a bust.
On Tuesday, Cosell went on the NFL Network and said that the former USC quarterback is only a fourth-round talent.
Among the many criticisms of Barkley, Cosell states that "he has average arm strength by NFL standards...his feet are not particularly quick, he has slower feet...he's a little shorter."
Barkley is expected to be a first- or second-round selection, but there will clearly be significant debate about where he belongs in the weeks leading up to the draft.
Ezekiel Ansah Didn't Train for Combine
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According Dan Pompei of the National Football Post, Ezekiel Ansah didn't train for the combine. Instead he simply continued to attend class at BYU.
Pompei also states that, according to Ansah's agent, the 40-yard dash at the combine was the first of his career.
This story has generated quite a bit of discussion over the past few days, but its possibly the most overblown report of the NFL offseason thus far.
For starters, there's nothing too unusual about continuing to attend class. Many top prospects drop out of school and enroll in a full-time training facility, but there are plenty who choose a different path.
The story about Ansah's 40-yard dash would be far more impressive...if there were any truth to it.
Technically, it may be the first time Ansah ran exactly 40 yards in a full sprint, but it's far from the first time he's competed in a similar event.
Ansah originally enrolled at BYU as a track athlete, so it should come as no surprise that he excelled at the 40-yard dash in Indianapolis.
Jamie Collins on the Rise
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Mike Mayock generated some buzz around Southern Miss linebacker Jamie Collins this week when he ranked him as the second best 3-4 outside linebacker, ahead of much more high-profile prospects, such as Barkevious Mingo.
Collins is an elite athlete, but with all the hype he's suddenly receiving, it's hard not to think of Gerald McRath—another former Southern Miss linebacker with elite athleticism who never panned out in the NFL.
ESPN's Kevin Weidl is among those who believe Collins' athleticism may be creating more buzz than he deserves:
Watched 4 CC tapes of Jamie Collins today. Has splash plays but Athlete>Player. Average FBIs and not a physical/aggressive player by nature.—Kevin Weidl (@KevinW_ESPN) March 2, 2013
Darrelle Revis on the Move?
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
Darrelle Revis has been involved in trade rumors for the past month, but they've begun to pick up steam since the 49ers acquired additional picks from the Kansas City Chiefs in the Alex Smith trade.
Now Revis has weighed in, saying he would love to play for the 49ers and help them win a Super Bowl.
A Jets-49ers trade would significantly shake up the draft and could potentially give the Jets the ammunition they need to make significant strides this offseason.
The Jets could potentially wind up with two first- and two second-round picks in this year's draft if they decide to move Revis.
If the Jets do end up stockpiling picks in this year's draft, speculation would likely heat up that they will roll the dice on a quarterback with one of the selections.
Christine Michael's Volatile Draft Stock
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Christine Michael spent a good portion of his senior year on the bench, including the entire 2013 Cotton Bowl.
But Mike Mayock says, in terms of talent, Michael is worth "at least" a second-round pick.
The issue for Michael isn't his talent, however; it's his off-field issues.
Michael struggled to get along with new Aggies head coach Kevin Sumlin in 2012 and then dug himself a deeper hole at the combine by sleeping through two interviews, according to Gil Brandt.
Given his obvious talent, Michael should still find his way into the top 100 picks, but if his senior year had gone differently, we could be talking about a first-round lock.