Tuesday, July 5, 2011

HBCU Football MEAC Senior Prospect Watch Preview

The MEAC Football Conference represented the HBCU with the most draft picks for the 2011 NFL Draft with three players being selected: Kenrick Ellis, DT, Hampton going third round to N.Y. Jets, J.C. Culbreath, OT, SC State going to Detriot Lions in 7th round and Curtis Holcomb, CB, FAMU also going 7th round to San Francisco 49ers.

The 2011 HBCU All-Star Bowl Game Watch List has been compiled and while there may not be anyone in this years class as highly regarded as Ellis was around this time last year. The MEAC still have plenty of intriguing 2012 NFL Draft Prospects that scouts will be taking notice of for this college football season.

Senior Prospects to watch:

South Carolina State: returns a couple of Seniors from the MEAC top ranked defense that will be on the radar of NFL scout such as: DL Pat Washington; LB Donovan Richard; SS Christian Thompson (Auburn Transfer) and FS Dominique Ellis (NC State Transfer). SC State also returns First Team All-MEAC TE Antwanne Kerr. Richard is an very active LB and Washington is a versatile and productive DL. 

Bethune Cookman: the 2010 MEAC Co-Champions returns top players mostly on defense in DE Ryan Davis, LB Ryan Lewis, LB Reggie Sandilands and DB Michael Williams. Davis is their best player and is a terror coming off the edge. Williams received a sixth year and will lead a young secondary. All-MEAC OL Natiel Curry will anchor the offense.

Hampton: was 6-5 in 2010 and return some key senior starters. Leading the way is senior QB David Legree (Syracuse transfer) has an impressive arm but needs to improve his accuracy. Senior WR Isaiah Thomas will be his top target. Senior LB Julio Sanchez returns after missing all of 2010. DB Micah Pellerin (Souther Miss transfer) is a ball hawk and will lead the secondary along with FS James Butts.

Howard: had a down year in 2010 but return a couple of players that should turn things around in 2011 and catch the eye of NFL scouts. All-MEAC WR Willie Carter is probably the most talented receiver in the conference but last year suffered from bad QB play and a run style-option offense. OT Corey Gwinner is an underrated prospect that can rise with a standout senior year. On defense, Howard return DT Sackie Kerkulah and DE Corey Berry that should contend for all conference honors. Kerkulah is a returning All-MEAC performer and impressed on film last year.

Florida A&M: the 2010 MEAC Co-Champions graduated a heavy senior class last year but returns some prospects that will keep them competitive in 2011. Senior WR Kevin Elliot is a player with nice size and should be their top target, while OL Brandon Curry will lead them up front. Senior DT Jerry Willis is a decent player and their best DL. FAMU also return active LB's in Alvis Graham and Demarius Folsom.

North Carolina A&T:  returns the MEAC Conference leading returning rusher in Senior RB Mike Mayhew who shows real good instincts. They also return the conferences most exciting player in return specialist/DB Justin Ferrell as he made First Team All-MEAC as a CB and returner in 2010. He is on the small school prospect list of NFL Scouts to evaluate this fall.

Norfolk State: have several senior prospects returning that should have them contending for the conference championship with QB Chris Walley and OL Kendall Noble leading the offense. WR Victor Hairston will be Walley main target and Noble is one of the top returning lineman in the conference. On defense, DL Josh Turner and LB Corwin Hammond are the top standouts coming back on defense. Turner is a undersized DT that plays bigger than his size. Hammond is a sleeper and has potential as a weakside LB at the next level. DB Ricardo Volcin is an intriguing DB with nice size.

Morgan State: is lead by all conference Senior OL Lawrence Brewer on offense. They also return  TE Lamont Bryant who showed a lot of promise since arriving but has dealt with some character issues. Senior DB Reshaude Miller is the leader on defense and one of the top free safeties in the conference.

Delaware State: has one of the better LB's in the conference in Brandon Harvey who registered 85 tackles in 2010. Senior WR Darius Jackson is a small size receiver that has shown the ability to make plays from the slot position.

North Carolina Central: is moving up to Division I this year with their first year in the MEAC. The Eagles have a couple of seniors to look out for in LB Roger Stewart, DB David Ingram, WR Corey Harris and OL Julian Gray. Stewart makes plays in the backfield with leading the team in tackles for loss in 2010. Ingram is small but is their best cover corner and led the team with 3 int's last year.

-Press Releases for the 2011 HBCU Bowl All-Star Game (www.hbcubowl.com) will be coming soon. New updates regarding TV broadcast production, coaching staffs, website, entertainment events and apparel, etc. are on the way!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

HBCU 2011 NFL Draft Prospects Results

The 2011 NFL Draft weekend resulted with a total of four HBCU Football players drafted. Kenrick Ellis, DT, Hampton University (did not participate in 2010 HBCU Bowl) went to the N.Y. Jets in the third round,  J.C. Culbreath, OL, SC State - Detroit Lions, Frank Kearse, DL, Alabama A&M - Miami Dolphins and Curtis Holcomb, CB, Florida A&M - San Francisco 49ers were all drafted in the seventh round. The NFL draft also marked the second straight year that the San Francisco 49ers have drafted a CB from a MEAC School in the 7th round with SC State Phillip Adams going in 2010 and making the team (read story on 49ers.com http://bit.ly/jH3XWG). There were a few more highly regarded HBCU NFL prospects such as Ricardo Lockette, WR, Fort Valley St; David Mims, OL,Virginia Union and Jordan Miller, DL, Southern University that could of went on the last day (4th-7th round) but will become hot undrafted free agent commodities when the CBA Labor deal is resolved. Below is a scouting report on this years HBCU NFL Drafted players:

Selected by: Detroit Lions
Round: 7
Pick (Overall): 6 (209)
Johnny Culbreath (OT)
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 323 lbs.
Conference: MEAC 
Scouting Report: Best OL in the MEAC last two years. Athletic lineman with good feet and long arms. Plays with a mean streak and has a future at RT or OG. Needs to be more consistent.

Selected by: Miami Dolphins
Round: 7
Pick (Overall): 28 (231)
Frank Kearse (DT)
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 315 lbs.
College: Alabama A&M
Conference: SWAC
Scouting report: Good size DL with versatility to play DE or DT in Miami's 3-4 scheme. Quick and agile player that has the potential to develop into a solid contributor on the line. Needs to consistently get off blocks and play with better leverage.

Selected by: San Francisco 49ers
Round: 7
Pick (Overall): 47 (250)
Curtis Holcomb (DB)
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 190 lbs.
College: Florida A&M
Conference: MEAC
Scouting report: One of the top CB's int the MEAC the last 2 years. Better in man than in zone and display good hips. Candidate to be a nickel DB at the next level. Needs better footwork in coverage.
49ers Trent Baalke’s Film Review: Curtis Holcomb: http://bit.ly/jheHq4 

Selected by: New York Jets
Round: 3
Pick (Overall): 30 (94)
Kenrick Ellis (DL)
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 346 lbs.
College: Hampton
Conference: MEAC
Scouting report: D1-A transfer that was the most dominate defensive player in the conference. Will be looked to replace pro bowl NT Kris Jenkins and has all the tools to do so. Very explosive, quick and strong player with perfect size for the nose in a 3-4 defense. Needs to play with more of a motor on a consistent bases and disappear in moments sometimes.

The 2011 HBCU All-Star Bowl Game will be played the weekend of December 17th at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. We are currently gathering our Player Watch List for this years game.  Look out for news and press releases coming soon.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Mearablog Podcast: Taber Small Interview - HBCU NFL Draft Expert

Mearablog Podcast: Taber Small Interview

Executive Director of Player Personnel, CEO of Team Player Management, former player at the University Connecticut and HBCU Draft expert Taber Small joins me to talk HBCU draft prospects. With D1 prospects getting most of the coverage from the media, Taber and I talk standouts on both sides of the ball and who will be the next HBCU NFL great.

Listen here:

Monday, April 25, 2011

HBCU 2011 NFL Draft Prospects Preview

HBCU 2011 NFL Draft Prospects Preview 

With the highly anticipated NFL Draft event this weekend. Below are the players that stood out during the 2010 HBCU Bowl All-Star game & week and are expected to be drafted, signed as undrafted college free-agents or receive mini-camp try-outs. In last years NFL Draft, San Francisco 49ers Phillip Adams from SC State and Baltimore Ravens Ramon Harewood from Morehouse were drafted and participated in the 2009 HBCU Bowl All-Star game.  
-Ricardo Lockette, WR, Fort Valley State :  Projected 3rd-5th Rd. Great size and speed. Impressed a lot of teams at NFL Combine.
-Frank Kearse, DT, Alabama A&M : Projected  5th-7th Rd. nice size, long arms athletic big man. 
-Teryl White, DT, NC Central : Projected 6th-PFA. Has a chance to be first player drafted from the school since former NFL DT Greg Peterson in 2007. Fits best in as 4-3 DT.  
-Jordan Miller, DT, Southern : Projected 6th-PFA. Underrated prospect. very athletic and strong big man with starter potential 
-Edawn Coughman, OL, Shaw : Projected PFA. Good pass protecter that will move inside to gaurd. 
-Eugene Clifford, SS, Tenn St : Projected 5th-7th Rd. Former Ohio St big time recruit. Big hitter w/good size. 
-Johnny Culbreath, OL, SC State : Projected 5th-7th Rd. Best lineman in MEAC last 2 years. Good size and will move inside for NFL.  
-Curtis Holcomb, CB, Florida AM : Projected PFA. Good size cormer. better fitted for zone. needs better footwork. 
Quinton Spears, LB, Prairie View A&M : Proj FA - Mini-camp. Tall lanky DE. Will have to make move to LB and get stronger.
Larry Donnell, TF, Grambling St : Projected 6th-PFA. Great height, size and hands for the position. Needs to be more physical. Developmental player with great upside.
-Ricardo Silva, FS, Hampton : 7th-PFA. Decent size safety with good tools . Took game to another level in Senior year. Needs to stay confidant in his game.
-Phillip Sylvester, RB, Florida AM : Projected 6th-PFA. Very quick and fast ball carrier. runs strong for small frame. will need to impress as a returner.
-David Erby, LB, SC State: Projected FA. Undersized LB that plays with real good instincts. speed and size scares teams. may fit better in CFL.  
-Ronnie Childs, WR, Albany St : Projected PFA. Tall rangy WR with a break out senior year. good hands.  
-Marquez Gibson, DB, Benedict : Projected PFA. Good size DB with above average athleticism. Can play safety and corner. 
-Jamaree Gordon, WR, Kentucky St : Projected PFA. Small size WR with great speed and quickness. open eyes during HBCU Bowl week.
-Prath Wilkerson, CB, Albany St : Projected 6-7th Rd. Underated CB with nice size. Makes plays on the ball and good understanding for the position.
-Derrin Nettles, DT, Morehouse : Projected 6th-PFA. Most dominate defensive player in SIAC conf. Very productive DL. Good strength and quickness. 
Sidney Tarver, DE/LB, Tennesse St : Projected 7th-PFA. Versatile player that can line up at any position on defense. Missed the HBCU Bowl week with exams. Impressed at Pro day.
-Jacques Rickerson, CB, Alabama St: Projected PFA. Former Florida Gator with character issues. Has the stills to be a late draft pick but off the field scares teams.  
-Frank Warren, RB, Grambling St : Projected 7th-PFA. Instinctive runner with good cuts and gets down hill. lacks speed to get around the corner. not very elusive. 
-Raymond Webber, WR, Arkansas Pine-Bluff : Projected 5th-7th. King size WR with sure hands. Put up super numbers as a Senior with over 100 catches. Lacks breakaway speed.  
-Derrick McPhearson, WR/DB, Bowie St/Illinois : Projected PFA. Former Illinois 5 star recruit. Great athlete that will need a defined position at the next level. Measurables will get him in camp.  
-Josh Boudreaux, QB, Arkansas Pine-Bluff : Projected FA. Real good size QB. Moves well in pocket. Raw skills. Could move to TE.
-Matt Johnson, OB, Bethune Cookman : Projected FA. MEAC Off. player of the Yr. Small QB who ran the spread option to perfection. Will have to transition to another position (WR) or find a place in CFL.
-Jaime Short, CB, Norfolk St : Projected FA. Great size for corner. looks better suited as a safety.
-Josh Harrison,OL, SC State : Projected FA. Good interior OL with nimble feet. Stepped up his game in his Senior.
-Juan Corders, DE/LB, Winston Salem-State : Projected FA. Versatile LB that fits in a 3-4 defensive.  scheme. Good instincts.  
-Charles Smith, OL, Texas Southern : Projected 6th-PFA. Good size lineman. Best OT in the SWAC. Has a future as a RT or OG.
-Malcom Jenkins, DE, Elizabeth City St : Projected FA. CIAA Def. Player of the Year. Made most of his sacks against weak competition. Undersized and needs to show a second gear.
Deangelo Branch, RB, Norfolk St : Projected FA. steady and productive runner. not special in any area. does everything well. 
Jayson Ayers, DE, SC State : Projected PFA. Good pass rusher that was limited with injurie sin Senior year. Missed HBCU Bowl week due to a knee injury.
-Dionte Dinkins, CB, Fort Valley St : Projected 5th-7th. Nice size corner with good feet and long arms. Always matched up against opponents best WR.
-Darius Johnson, LB, Hampton : Projected PFA. High character guy and very smart player. Good fit as a weakside LB in a 4-3 scheme.  
-Larrone Moore, WR, Delaware St :  Projected 6th-PFA. Return man with good hands. Great speed and acceleration.
-Kendall Robinson, DE, Grambling St : Projected FA. College DE that will have to make A move to LB.
-Andre Carroll, DT, Delaware St : Projected 6th-PFA. Underrated player. very active DL and makes a lot of plays in the backfield; should be rated higher.  
-David Mims, OL, Virginia Union : Projected 4th-7th Rd. Great size tackle with long arms. good strength and feet. Has the ability to start as a LT. Will probably start out as a RT.  
-Walter Sanders, RB, St. Augustine : Projected FA. CIAA Off. Player of the year. best chances as A 3rd down back.
-Malcolm Taylor, DE, Alcorn St : Projected FA. Best DE in the SWAC last 2 years. Didn't have the Senior that everybody hoped. Will need to transition as a 3-4 OLB .
-Semaj Moody, CB, SC State: Projected PFA. Has ability to be a nice nickel corner for next level. runs well with receivers. 
Jermain King, WR, WV State : Projected PFA: Good looking and productive WR. Helped himself during HBCU Bowl week with his play.
Raymond Williams, RB, Shaw : Projected PFA. Versatile RB with return ability. Change of pace back.
-Dexter Manley, WR, Elizabeth City St : Projected 7th-PFA. Good size receiver and athlete. Has been injury prone 
-Darnell Burks, DB, Fort Valley St : Projected PFA. Versatile player with good speed. played mostly saftey. will need to develop more as a corner for the next level.  
Richard Medlin, RB, Fayetteville St : Projected FA. Decent size RB with good skills and ability as a returner. Can surprise if he makes it to camp.
-Terry Griffin, DT, Elizabeth City St : Projected PFA. Very big DT that gets great push. clogs holes and moves well for his size.  
-Jalil Johnson, CB, Jackson St : Projected FA. CB with good hips and feet. needs to get stronger.  
-Darian Barnes, DL, Tuskegee: Projected 7th-PFA: Very explosive player with great athleticsim. Has skills to be a good pass rusher at next level.  
Trevon Williams, OL, Fort Valley State : Projected PFA. Skills to be a backup RT or OG. Prospectus as a rotation OL.
-Brandon Peguese, LB, Hampton : Projected 6th-PFA. South Florida transfer with good range as a LB. Good blitzer and highly productive.  
Justin Wells, OG, St. Augustine: Projected Mini-Camp. Strong interior OL with size for a NFL center. needs to develop more of his game for a chance.
Jason Thompson, DE, Fort Valley St : Projected PFA. Very active DE with nice size. Not very explosive but can be a good rotational player in NFL.
Arkee Smith, FS, Bethune Cookman : Projected FA. Play making safety with good range. needs to stay healthy.
KJ Black, OB, Prairie View A&M : Projected FA. Good size QB with arm to make the throws. need to improve onm deep ball and stay healthy.
-Joe Hills, WR, Tenn St : Projected PFA: South Carolina transfer with real good size. Is a little stiff but uses his body well to make catches away from the defender.
-Marshall McFadden, LB, SC State : Projected PFA. Good size inside LB with great instincts. Bounced back from injury and had another productive year. strongside LB for next level.  
-Kemar Scarlett, PK, Morgan St : Projected PFA. Good strong leg with accuracy. Can stay in the league for a couple years if he continues to develop.
Julius Wilkerson, LB, SC State : Projected PFA. Weakside LB with good ability against the run and in coverage.
Terrael Williams, OL, Jackson State: Projected FA. Big lineman with good long arms. If drops weight will help his chances.

2010 HBCU Bowl Week Video
 Draftnasty.com traveled to Atlanta, GA this past week to check out the 2nd Annual HBCU Bowl's top NFL draft prospects. Executive Director of Player Personnel Taber Small and the HBCU selection committee put together some of the best athletes available from the historically black colleges for representatives from over 25 NFL teams, with several other professional leagues also in attendance. The week consisted of a Monday morning combine that preceded a week of practice conditions that sometimes dipped as low as 14 degrees in temperature.

Monday, April 18, 2011

HBCU NFL Draft Prospect: Frank Warren, RB, Grambling St University

Grambling St RB Frank Warren is one of the most decorated running backs in HBCU College Football history. Warren had a great career at Grambling St with breaking the schools all time leading rusher record (3,910 yards) and also breaking the single season rushing record with 1,592 yards in his senior year. His rushing totals moved him past the great Walter Payton (my favorite NFL player of all times) on the SWAC all-time rushing list. He also showed a nose for the end zone with 18 touchdowns in 2010 and 34 total career touchdowns. Warren was named 2010 SWAC Offensive Player of the Year and first team SBN Black College Sports All-American. He put up big performances against Mississippi Valley St (209 yards) and Southern (106 yards) in the Bayou Classic. Warren is a strong ball carrier with vision and instincts between the tackles. Reads defenses, finds the running lanes, and follows blocks everywhere on the field. Has a burst and deceptive speed, playing faster than his 40 time. Flashes ability on the outside or cutting back in a small area and avoiding piles. Strong carrying the ball, breaks tackles, and picks up yardage off initial contact. He impressed professional scouts during the HBCU Bowl All-Star week practices with his down hill running style and ability to hit the open hole. NFL scouts do have their concerns on him with not being as an elusive enough runner who can create yardage and also his ability to turn the corner or beat defenders around the edges at the next level. His recent pro day numbers has increased those concerns a little in the eyes of scouts. But in recent history pro day numbers have not always been the best indicators for the success level of running backs at the NFL level. His running style is similar to former Bowie State RB Issac Redman who has found success with the Pittsburgh Steelers and is not a blazer. Frank Warren has been a very productive runner on the college level since his sophomore campaign and is serviceable interior running back who could make it as a third back on an NFL roster if he is able to impress in training camp.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

HBCU NFL Draft Prospect: Ricardo Silva, FS, Hampton University

Ricardo Silva was a first team All-MEAC Conference performer for Hampton University in 2010 and the leader of the defensive secondary. He possess nice size at 6-1 210 lbs and his play in 2010 put him on the radar of NFL scouts. He put up solid numbers as a Senior leading the secondary with 74 tackles and 4 interceptions. Silva is good-looking athlete who started his college football career at Towson University for two years then transferred to Hampton and made an immediate impact when joining the team and became a two year starter. Silva is a physical and tough football player while playing the second half of his senior season with a nagging hip pointer but never missed a game. He gets good depth and range in coverage and shows enough sideline-to-sideline speed. Silva show good jumps on the football because of his instincts and makes plays around the football. He played up near the line of scrimmage more often this season and did a nice job reading his run keys and quickly closing the breakdown from the backside. During the HBCU Bowl All-Star week he did a nice job of recognizing routes and ability to redirect and cover up receivers in zone. He also showed the ability to cover receivers when staying with them in man coverage and the agility to turn and run without losing much speed. Silva needs to improve with consistently making the tackle, taking proper angles and not over pursuit when asked to break down in tight areas. He also has a little tightness in his hips and has tendency to be high in his drops. Silva does display the above-average physicality when asked to play in man coverage on the outside and during his senior season did a nice job getting into receivers and re-routing them off the line. He impressed NFL scouts at his recent pro day with low 4.5 40 times, 35 inch vertical jump and 21 bench press reps. Overall Ricardo Silva is a underrated safety prospect with good instincts and his best football is a head of him. He will increase his chances of making a roster with his play on special teams and ability to show versatility as a safety.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

HBCU NFL Draft Prospect: Larrone Moore, WR/RS, Delaware St

Larrone Moore was a game breaking wide receiver and kick returner for Delaware State. He was also the top sprinter on Delaware State’s indoor and outdoor track & field teams. He is an explosive skill player who always produces whenever the ball is in his hands. He does a good job with nicely settling into the open spot on the field and making himself an available target. Gets vertical and adjusts nicely to the ball in the air on errant throws. He also has a good feel when setting up the screen plays and getting underneath. Moore impressed NFL scouts during the HBCU Bowll All-Star week with his skills running after the catch and also his great speed and quickness in the return game. Moore plays tough and battles opponents to come away with the ball and also shows a burst of speed and keeps his feet moving on contact. He is an elusive return specialist displaying the ability to make people miss, finding the open lanes and quickly get through them. At the HBCU Bowl combine in December, he ran in the low-mid 4.4's and ran the second fastest 20 yard shuttle time of 4.18. Moore needs to learn to use his great speed and improve route precision. He also has a tendancy to body catch on some passes and needs to consistantly catch the ball with his hands. Moore ran in the low-mid 4.3's at his recent pro day last week and also showcased a 10'4 broad jump. He has peaked the interested of some NFL teams with up coming scheduled private workouts for the Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars this month. Overall, Larrone Moore is a decent size receiver at 6'0'' 196 lbs and offers potential as a third/fourth receiver and return specialist for the next level. He will need to impress in the return game in training camp to increase his chance to make an NFL roster.

Larrone Moore Highlight video

Friday, March 18, 2011

HBCU NFL Draft Prospect: Marquez Gibson, DB, Benedict College

During Marquez Gibson career at Benedict College he established himself as one of the top safeties in the SIAC Football conference the last two years. Gibson was selected First Team All-conference in both his Junior and Senior seasons. He was also selected First Team All-American after his Junior season. As a Senior, Gibson led the Benedict defense in total tackles with 58 and also interceptions with 6 from his free saftey position. He tore the labrium in his left shoulder in the second week of his Senior season but didn't miss a game showing his toughness. Gibson is a versatile and fluid safety who displays good skills in coverage. He played closer to the line in Benedict's cover 3 defense scheme as a strong safety. He also lined up over the slot receiver in nickel situations, quick flipping his hips in transition, and effectively runs laterally with opponents. He impressed NFL Scouts during the HBCU Bowl All-Star week showing a nice burst to the ball out of his plant while displaying decent sideline-to-sideline range in coverage. Scouts requested during the bowl week to see him play some cornerback as well. He tested very well for NFL scouts at the HBCU Bowl Combine with 4.50, 4.53 40 times and a 35 inch vertical jump. Gibson is a physical player and displays above average ball skills and is also very quick up the field to defend the run. Gibson does tends to come up the field a little too quickly at times and gets caught out of position. He also needs to stay lower in his back paddle. His aggressive play causes him to miss some open field tackles and he needs to do a better job of wrapping up while tackling. Gibson is a nice sized defensive back at 6-1 205 lbs who flashes very good athleticism. He displays the closing speed and the ability to get up field for the next level. He also shows good hands to make the interception. Gibson has shown a lot of skill the past two seasons and is a resilient player who works hard on the field. He offers possibilities as a rotating safety for a zone/man system, and has a special teams capabilities which will help his chances with making a roster for the next level.

Marquez Gibson Highlights

Friday, March 11, 2011

HBCU NFL Draft Prospect: Juan Corders, DE/LB, Winston-Salem State

Juan Corders was a steady and versatile player during his career at Winston-Salem State. He was also a great leader on defense being named team captian three times. Corders mostly played LB until transitioning to DE for his senior year were he made First-Team All-CIAA in 2010. He's a strong, instinctive and disciplined player that is best when defending the run. Displays good quickness moving up the field to fill gaps, plays with a nice degree of urgency, and is a solid wrap up tackler. Diagnoses the action, plays his assignments, and gets depth on pass drops. Corders occasionally lined up at OLB on certain plays but mostly played in a three-point stance and was primarily used as a pass rusher in 2010. He also played middle linebacker when Winston-Salem would switch to a 4-2 defensive scheme on passing downs. During the HBCU Bowl All-Star week Corders impressed NFL scouts with how well he moved in action and made plays around the ball. Scouts did have some concerns about his showing of marginal skills in pass coverage during the bowl week. He needs to show more of a short area burst of speed and the ability to sustain it in action. He also struggles getting off blocks once engaged at the point of attack and is better suited rushing the passer from the two-pont stance. Overall I believe Corders is a solid linebacker and an underrated prospect for the next level. He possesses great size at 6-2 250 lbs as well as a good feel for the OLB position. He's been a solid player on the college level and offers good upside as a potential NFL role player. Possesses marginal size/speed numbers for the next level, and he projects to linebacker in a 3-4 alignment.

Juan Corders Highlight film

Friday, March 4, 2011

HBCU NFL Draft Prospect: Jamaree Gordon, WR/KR, Kentucky State

Jamaree Gordon is an explosive skill player that plays with great quickness in his all-around game and also shows a great burst when running away from defenders. Gordon was a big play receiver for Kentucky State in his senior year making second team all-conference as a receiver and first team all-conference as a returner in 2010. He quickly changes direction while not losing speed and is fluid releasing off the line of scrimmage. He immediately gets to top speed and is a solid pass catcher who extends to make the reception away from his frame. Gordon impressed scouts during the HBCU Bowl All-Star week with his agility, route running, and abililty to make defenders miss after the catch. He also impressed scouts at the HBCU Bowl Combine with his blazing 4.38, 4.42 40 times. Gordon displayed both soft and strong hands with the ability to catch the ball away from his body during the HBCU Bowl All-Star Week. He also displayed his big play ability in the HBCU Bowl All-Star game with a 71 yard touchdown reception to give the West squad the lead in the third quarter. He effectively knows how to use the sidelines, plays with good balance, and is a solid athlete. Gordon is not big in stature at 5-9 178 lbs and needs to develop more upper body strength because he struggles in battles getting of the line and is sometimes limited by his size. His size also limits him as a blocker and he could be over matched by bigger defensive backs at the next level. He committed to Clemson out of high school but due to academic requirements ended up at Kentucky State where he was also a 2010 DII All-American in track and field. Gordon overall is a terrific athlete and an explosive skill player who can contribute at the NFL level as a slot receiver and return specialist.

Jamaree Gordon Highlight Film

Friday, February 25, 2011

HBCU NFL Draft Prospect: Edawn Coughman, OL, Shaw University

Edawn Coughman at 6'4'' 305 lbs anchored a Shaw offensive line that led the CIAA football conference in scoring offense (42.1 points per game) and total offense (387.4 yards a game). Coughman is a solid pass protecting offensive lineman with a nice degree of upside potential. Moves well on his feet, displays solid footwork sliding out to protect the edge and blocks with good fundamentals. Fights with his hands throughout the action, makes effective use of body positioning and seals defenders from the action. He's a versatile lineman spending time between guard, right and left tackle in his career. Coughman battled a right ankle injury during his senior season but did not miss a game showing his toughness. During the HBCU Bowl All-Star week, Coughman impressed NFL scouts with his quick feet, arm strength and overall pass protection ability. He also tested fairly well at the HBCU Bowl Combine with 24 bench press reps, low 5.2 forty times and a 4.91 20 yard shuttle time. Coughman is not a natural knee bender especially on running plays and struggles to adjust at times which limits him to confined quarters. He also needs to consistently show more explosion and power at the point of attack. Coughman fits best in a run zone blocking scheme where he can reach, get out on the perimeter and cut block. He is currently being tutored at WPI by former NFL Denver Broncos offensive lineman and two time super bowl champion Tony Jones. Coughman was mostly a tackle in college but he will be asked to kick inside at guard for the next level. He has the skill set to be a good rotation lineman at the next level but he is a prospect that will need sometime to develop on the practice squad.

Friday, February 18, 2011

HBCU NFL Draft Prospect: Prathon Wilkerson, CB, Albany St

One of the top corners in DII football, Prathon Wilkerson, is a true sleeper prospect. Wilkerson stands out on film and had a break-out senior year in 2010 at Albany State with 38 tackles, 16 total PBUs, and 8 interceptions. He has a good understanding of the cornerback position and possesses decent size at 5-10 195 lbs. Wilkerson is a physical and instinctive cornerback who displays good footwork in all directions of the field, quickly breaks to the action, and has a nice burst out of his plant. He bates quarterbacks on pass plays by giving the illusion that the wide receivers are open, then jumps the route and proves he has good hands by rarely dropping interceptions. Wilkerson is a solid open field tackler and breaks down under control to wrap-up. He did a good job at practices during the HBCU Bowl week staying with receivers, reading routes and breaking on the ball. At times he gets a little high in his backpedal and looks somewhat stiff in transition. Scouts also wonder about his man coverage skills and long speed with receivers at the next level because of the competition he faced at the DII level. Wilkerson tested well at the HBCU Bowl combine with 4.5 forty times and 16 reps on the bench. He looks best suited to fit into a zone scheme system, but his ability to make a NFL roster in camp will rely on his special teams skill and his versatility in the secondary.

Prathon Wilkerson film

Friday, February 11, 2011

HBCU NFL Draft Prospect: Derrick McPhearson, WR/DB, Bowie St

Derrick McPhearson is a former four star high school football recruit who started his college career at Illinois University. McPhearson, aside from being a star football player, was a legitimate baseball prospect in high school and spent some time in the minor league system. During his football career at Illinois he showed inconsistent hands and was known for not running sharp routes. McPhearson ran into some trouble at Illinois and after two years transferred to Hampton University and then finally ended up at Bowie State for his last year in 2010. He has nice size at 6'0'' 195 lbs and was a versatile player this past year at Bowie, starting the first five games at cornerback and then the last five games at wide receiver. After watching film on McPhearson I believe his skill sets are best suited on the offensive side of the ball and he is an explosive athlete with great speed and agility. During the HBCU Bowl All-Star week, McPhearson showed his quickness, skills as an elusive pass catcher and his potential as a return specialist. He is fluid releasing off the line into routes but needs to do a better job of staying low out of his breaks and coming back to the ball. He nicely adjusts to the errant throw, makes the reception in stride and is effective when he extends to catch the pass away from his frame. McPhearson impressed the scouts on hand at the HBCU Bowl combine with his mid 4.4 forty times, 37 inch vertical jump and 10'8" broad jump. Some scouts requested at practice during the HBCU Bowl week to see him in the defensive secondary because of his great athleticism. He also has great NFL bloodlines with his father playing two years for the Patriots and his brother Gerrick being drafted by the NY Giants in the 6th round in 2007. McPhearson transferred schools multiple times and his playing time was limited the last two years in his career with some off-the-field issues. Those combined concerns along with him still looking to play professional baseball have raised red flags in the NFL scouting community. McPhearson has the potential to be a productive fourth or fifth receiver and return specialist on the NFL level, yet he must be totally committed to football and display maturity as a player and person.

Friday, February 4, 2011

HBCU NFL Draft Prospect: Darian Barnes, DE/LB, Tuskegee University

Prospect Darian Barnes was a defensive end in college but is projected to be a rush outside linebacker at the next level in a 3-4 alignment for NFL teams. Barnes has an impressive frame with an athletic looking build at 6-3, 245 lbs and 34 inch arms. His athletic ability jumps out on film, but he is raw. He explodes off the snap with a great first step, keeps his feet moving on contact, and is fluid in changing direction. Barnes plays with a good degree of quickness, immediately alters his angle of attack and shows a burst of closing speed baring down on the play. On film, Barnes shows good spin, dip and swim moves when rushing the passer. He effectively uses his hands, plays with good knee bend and pad level. Breaks down well and gives a lot of effort hustling around the field. Barnes showed his pass rushing skills during the HBCU Bowl week getting the best against most of the selected offensive lineman in one-on-one drills and in team sessions. He stood out in the HBCU Bowl All-Star Game constantly getting pressure on the quarterback and registering two sacks. He did not run for scouts at the HBCU Bowl combine, but is reported to run in the mid 4.6s. Barnes did show his strength for scouts with 22 reps on the bench. In watching film on Barnes, it shows that he has a tendency to bite on play-action passes and get caught up the field and out of position. Sometimes Barnes gets easily blocked on plays away from the ball which leaves him lost in traffic during the play. Barnes primarily lined up in a three-point stance in college and was not asked to drop back in coverage, which is a concern for scouts in projecting his transition to fit as a LB in a 3-4 scheme. Barnes is the type of player that teams look to develop on practice squad and hope will contribute over time. He will also have to impress and contribute on special teams to increase his chances at the next level. Barnes offers a good degree of upside potential and is a solid developmental prospect for the next level.
Darian Barnes youtube film

Friday, January 28, 2011

HBCU NFL Draft Prospect: Phillip Sylvester, RB, Florida A&M

Phillip Sylvester, FAMU RB, started off slow in 2010, but finished the season very strong with some big performances against then undefeated Bethune-Cookman, Hampton and NC A&T. In watching Sylvester, the things that stood out to me were his speed, quickness and elusiveness. He's a smaller back at 5-8, 185 lbs, which is a concern for NFL scouts, but they love the fact that he has the speed and acceleration to take it the distance on any play. Sylvester has the feet, wiggle and change of direction that you like in a back. He also displays good instincts and has the ability to make the first defender miss. He does a decent job of setting up his blocks, but needs to show more consistency in this area and he also needs to run with better pad level as he has a up right running style. After watching film, it is evident that Sylvester runs hard, breaks tackles, and does not go down on the initial contact. Sylvester is the type of player that you want to put in space to make plays. Durability is not a big concern for Phillip, but he has battled some injuries in his career. During the HBCU Bowl week he was the most impressive back on the East roster. He also impressed the NFL scouts on hand at the HBCU Bowl Georgia Dome combine with his 4.3 and 4.4 40-yard dash times. Sylvester is currently training at the Success Athletic Training Facilities and I expect him to put up an even faster forty time at his pro day in March. Sylvester catches the ball well out of the back field and will have to make his mark at the next level as a return guy and change of pace back. He's a good blocker for someone his size but might not fair well against the linebackers that he will face at the next level. Sylvester should get an opportunity in a NFL training camp where he may surprise some people, but he will have to establish himself as a return man to better his chances at the next level.

Friday, January 21, 2011

HBCU NFL Draft Prospect: Jordan Miller, DT, Southern University

After watching film on Southern University's DT Jordan Miller this past season; the first thing that stood out to me was his explosive first step and quickness off the ball. He stays low out of his stance and gets good leverage at the point of attack; he's also very active with his hands and displays good strength while holding his gap. Miller showed a lot of his quickness and strength against the offensive lineman during the HBCU Bowl week last month and was unblockable at times; especially in one-on-one drills. He put up very good workout numbers at the GA Dome HBCU Bowl Combine held on Monday during the week with 30 reps on the bench and running a 5.1 in the 40 (considering he just finished a full football season).  Miller has a unique football story, he didn't play football until his senior year in high school and only played in a few games. He decided to walk-on at Southern University and was still learning the nuances of the game his first two seasons. Everything started coming together for him in his Junior year at Southern with leading the team with five and a half sacks and eleven tackles for loss. Miller had an even more productive Senior year with nine sacks and fifteen tackles for loss, but it was over shadowed by his team losing record and two other DT prospects in the SWAC conference in Arkansas Pine-Bluff Ibraham Abdulah and Alabama A&M's Frank Kearse getting most of the publicity. But Miller deserves to be mentioned with them in his own right and scouts have taken notice.

Jordan Miller youtube film