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There were 15 seniors on the Nebraska 2013 two deep depth chart. Of which it looks like four have a NFL draft grades. Several others could be undrafted free agents who sign contracts or receive tryout invites with teams following the selection process. This is just an early projection that could change following the NFL scouting combine and university sponsored pro days.

The best bet for a first or second day selection is CB Stanley Jean-Bapiste. SJB received praise from NFL scouts during the season and turned heads at Senior Bowl practices in Mobile Alabama. Most draft services have Baptiste on the fringe of the top ten CB’s in this draft. In 2013 14 CB’s were drafted in the first 3 rounds of the draft. This year’s group of CB’s is projected to be deeper than in 2013.                                                                                                                                                                                                           Early projection for SJB 3rd round.

 

Going into the 2013 season many would have guessed offensive guard Spencer Long would have been the highest drafted Husker in the 2014 draft. As a first team all Big ten selection and 2nd team AP All America selection Long had the skins on the wall to be considered one of the top ten guards in the 2013 class. A torn ACL in October however makes the evaluation process more difficult. Long has been projected by draft services in the top 15 guards in this year’s class. In 2013 16 guards were selected in the 7 round draft.                                                                                                                                                                                                   Early projection for Spencer Long 6th round

Quincy Enunwa lead all Big 10 receivers with 12 touchdown catches in 2013. Enunwa’s size at 6’2 227 pounds and production as a 4 year player would make you think he is a lock to be drafted, maybe not. WR is probably the deepest position in this year’s draft and Enunwa doesn’t have elite speed. That and the drops he has had the last two seasons mean that Quincy has to have a superior performance in his workouts leading up to the May 8th draft.                                                                                                                     Early projection for Quincy Enunwa 7th round

Two other two players who seem to have the best chance to be drafted are CB Ciante Evans and QB/WR Taylor Martinez. Evans had the chance to practice and play in front of scouts at the NFLPA Bowl. He didn’t register any stats in the game but just getting the opportunity was valuable. Martinez will have to show what he can do at another position other than QB in front of scouts at the Nebraska pro day or there is a slight chance he could get an invite and be ready to work out at the scouting combine in Indianapolis February 19th to the 25th. Martinez is still recovering from the foot injury that put an early end his career at Nebraska.

Both players could do enough leading up to the draft to sneak into the 7th round 

 

UDFA                        Position Rank

Jeremiah Sirles           OT #29

Brent Qvale                OT #32

Andrew Rodriguez      OG #26

Jason Ankrah              DE #33

Jake Long                   TE #32

 

Some Husker draft Notes 

In 2012 of the 29 seniors on the Husker roster only 2 were drafted. The fewest amount since 2008.

From 2001 to 2008 35 Huskers were drafted

From 2009 to 2013 19 Huskers were drafted

From 1993 to 1997 32 Huskers were drafted

 

 

Issued to Media Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013

 

“I want to thank our administration and Shawn Eichorst in particular, for his continued and full support that he has given me and our football program since his arrival on campus.   I am honored to represent this university and its great fans and I’m proud to lead this program into the future.

I apologize for reacting emotionally yesterday and for showing frustration both with the game officials and the media.  I fully understand and respect their difficult jobs, and I regret any and all actions or words which may have shed a negative light on our program and university. Accountability is a core belief throughout our program, and as the head coach, I must set and maintain a high standard.

Our football staff is hitting recruiting full throttle and looking forward to the upcoming bowl game.  We are committed to working with Shawn and our entire department staff to continue to build this program and bring championships back to Nebraska.”

I started following the NFL draft as a Junior in high school. I remember sitting in biology class with my radio in my pocket and single ear piece strung up my shirt ending behind my ear. Back then the draft was held during the day at the beginning of the week. As a Saints fan 1986 taught me the best way to build a playoff team was through the Draft. Jim Mora (Playoffs?) and Jim Finks drafted a starting tackle Jim Dombrowski , two starting running backs Dalton Hillard and Rueben Mayes and a great pass rusher Pat Swilling. After that year I read a story about Joel Buchsbaum, the original Mel Kiper, minus the cool hair and personality. Joel had hundreds of video tapes of college games all over his Brooklyn apartment that he used to provide his draft analysis for Pro Football Weekly.

With all that said I have been doing some level of a mock draft and player ranking since that year. Trust me I understand how meaningless they are but it’s like a habit I can’t seem to break.

1) Kansas City – Luke Joeckel (OT) Texas A&M: Personally I prefer Eric Fisher but I suspect Andy Reid goes with the big school Tackle. surprise pick Sheldon Richardson DT Missouri.

2) Jacksonville – Geno Smith (QB) West Virginia: I am torn between Smith and Dion Jordan. I’m going with the theory that QBs get overdrafted and that the Jags aren’t happy with Gabbert.  Surprise pick Dee Miliner CB Alabama

3) Oakland – Sharriff Floyd (DT) Florida: The Raiders love big athletic guys that’s Floyd. I personally would rank him behind Star and Richardson but Floyd fits the Raiders style. Surprise pick Ezekiel Ansah DE BYU.

4) Philadelphia – Eric Fisher (OT) Central Michigan: Fisher was the best player during the Senior bowl practices dominating nearly everyone he faced. Surprise pick Star Lotulelei.

5)   Detroit – Ezekiel Ansah (DE) BYU: The Lions need help in the secondary but I think the freak nature of Ansah will be too difficult to pass up. Ansah is very raw which causes people to compare him to Jason Pierre Paul.  Ansah is a long way from JPP right now. Surprise pick Lane Johnson OT Oklahoma.

6) Cleveland – Dee Milliner, (CB) Alabama: This is where I would take Star Lotulelei the big DT from Utah. Star would fit well in the middle of the new Brown’s defense. OG and CB however are big needs and I don’t think the Browns take a G this early. Surprise pick Chance Warmack

7)  Arizona – Dion Jordan, (DE) Oregon: The Cards would be ecstatic for the draft to fall this way. Jordan is a great athlete and is scheme versatile. Surprise pick Lane Johnson.

8) Buffalo – Tavon Austin (WR) West Virginia: Buffalo needs more playmakers.

9) New York Jets – Kiki Mingo (DE/OLB) LSU: The Jets are in a great spot with two picks in the top 13.  They need QB, LB, CB and RB help. Mingo has a ton of upside and should fit really well as a 3/4 OLB.

10) Tennessee – Chance Warmack (OG) Alabama: I think the Titans go OG here whether it’s Warmack or Jon Cooper from UNC.  Surprise pick Kenny Vaccaro S Texas

11) San Diego – Lane Johnson (OT) Oklahoma: Need to protect Rivers. They could also go interior OL with Jon Cooper or if Warmack fell to them.

12) Miami – Xavier Rhodes (CB) Florida State:  Miami had an interesting FA offseason, the other big need would be at OL but I think they take Rhodes over Jonathan Cooper.

13) NY Jets (trade w TB) – Star Loutlelei (DT) Utah: This is a guy that is easily a top five player in terms of talent. Some teams may be scared off by the health concerns.

14) Carolina – Sheldon Richardson (DT) Missouri: One of my favorite players in the draft. Richardson is a beast and can play all along the LOS. If he was taken number one overall I wouldn’t be surprised by the pick.

15) New Orleans – Jarvis Jones (OLB) Georgia: Jones has dropped in many mock drafts for any number of reasons. He has made plays vs some very good players while with the Dawgs. Fits into the Saints new 3/4 defense.

16) St Louis – Cordarrdelle Patterson (WR) Tennessee: One year wonders have struggled with the transition to the NFL at the WR position. Patterson is also a long strider that will hurt he and his QB coming out of breaks. Freak athlete however.

17) Pittsburgh – Keenan Allen (WR) California: Allen is just solid. Runs great routes, very good hands and could control the middle of the field in the mold of Anquan Boldin.

18) Dallas – Kenny Vaccaro (S) Texas: One of my favorite players in this draft. Can do multiple things in coverage from the slot to being the deepest. Very good tackler as well.

19) NY Giants –  Jonathan Cooper (OG) UNC: Cooper probably will go higher than this but I just going need for each team and this is where he fell. Cooper is just behind Warmack in terms of the OG position although is a little smaller and quicker than Warmack.

20) Chicago – Alec Ogletree (LB) Georgia: One of the top 5 players in this draft in my opinion. ILBs don’t normally get drafted as high but Olgetree is special. The Bears fans will love the way he plays.

21) Cincinatti -Matt Elam (S) Florida: One of the best tacklers in the draft. Should solidify the Bengals pass defense.

22) St Louis – Eddie Lacey (RB) Alabama: I know most people don’t have a RB going in the 1st round but I still think this is the best pick for the Rams so what the heck.

23) Minnesota – Slyvester Williams (DT) North Carolina: I wouldn’t be surprised if the Vikes take a WR here at this spot. I would take Robert Woods I they go that direction. Williams can really get up the field from the 3 tech spot. Plus they like the name Williams on the D-Line.

24) Indy – Datone Jones (DE) UCLA: Jones does so many things well and he is not limited to any specific scheme. Both strong at the point of attack and quick enough to resemble JJ Watt at times.

25) Minnesota – Justin Hunter (WR) Tennessee: Justin Hunter isn’t the freak athlete that Patterson is but he is by far the better more polished receiver. Hunter has underrated top end speed and perfect NFL size. *This is the area where I see someone moving back into the 1st round for EJ Manuel.*

26) Green Bay – Tyler Eifert (TE) Notre Dame: Another playmaker for Aaron Rodgers it’s almost unfair.

27) Houston -Kevin Minter (LB) LSU: If you want to see how effective Minter can be watch the first half of the Florida game. He was all over the field. After he left with a leg injury Florida ran all over the Tiger’s defense.

28) Denver – Bjorn Werner (DE) Florida State: Werner has a lot to work on and some like his teammate Tank Carridine better at the next level. I think he will fit into what Denver does well. It also helps to be on the other side of Von Miller when it comes to be single blocked.

29) New England – Desmond Trufant (CB) Washington: Trufant is tough and likes taking on the best the other team can offer. At the Senior bowl he would jump in front of other guys in the one and one drills to match up with the best WR’s. The best of the Trufant brothers.

30) Atlanta – Zach Ertz (TE) Stanford: Eventually Tony Gonzales will retire and this gives the young fella a chance to learn from the master. Ertz is a better inline blocker that Eifert and has very good hands as well.

31) San Fran – Margus Hunt (DE) SMU: Hunt is still very raw but he is one of the strongest point of attack guys you will ever see. He really needs to work on his get off but this is the perfect place for him to learn.

32) Baltimore – Arthur Brown (LB) Kansas State: One of the most underrated guys in this draft. Other LB’s get pub because of where they played in college. Brown was the glue to a very good defense at K-state.

“Sugar” Shane               Josh Tweeterson
Parts Unknown, IA      Means streets of North O

5’5          Height          5’11
140         Weight          170
61          Reach            74
0          Rhoads            1
1(M)       Ramen            0
1(M)       Cigarettes         0
0           CWS Produced  1
Dew          Drinks         Spirit Zero
Free Clothes   Fav teams   Dallas

.5            GirlFriends      1

Let’s start with some numbers about this recruiting class. Nebraska finished this recruiting cycle with a composite score of 15th in the country. That’s averaging Rivals, Scout and 24/7 together. Not bad especially when you compare it to Nebraska’s avgerage Rival ranking since 2004 which is 24.4. Still top 25 but if you compare it to the average ranking of the national champion over those years, 6.7 NU still has a way to go.

In my 4 years of doing a Super 6 from Nebraska’s recruiting class this year is the most difficult because of all the talent. There are so many student athletes that I feel will have success in this class that narrowing it to a small number isn’t easy. So here are my top six, two that just missed and a sleeper.

Randy Gregory: Nebraska has no one like him on the roster. Gregory looks like one of those defensive playmakers you see at the top programs in the country. He can be both a wide defensive end type that lines up over or outside the TE or a standup OLB in a 30 front. I hope that is how NU uses Gregory in its Joker front with three down linemen and one rover who can pick his gap to rush. If Pelini uses Gregory correctly he certainly could put up Demarrio Williams type numbers. Gregory has the kind of body type that could carry another 10 or 15 pounds and still maintain his quickness.

Marcus Newby: Newby does everything expected of an OLB well. He can rush off the edge, drop in coverage on a TE and fill the hole in the run game. He is a solid tackler who takes great angles with outstanding instincts. In the end I wouldn’t be surprised if Newby makes at least two all conference teams. You rarely see a guy with this kind of change of direction at his size.

Adam Taylor: Big strong physical running back that reminds me of a combination of Mark Ingram and Montee Ball. Taylor might not beat you in a 40 yard dash but his first couple of steps is extremely explosive. His 10 meter will be one of the best on the team. Taylor squats 450 pounds and is extremely dedicated to his craft. Right now he’s working out twice a day trying to get even more powerful. All those things are great but what I like most is his patience getting to the hole. On film you see him allowing his blocking to develop and then hitting the hole with ease. Taylor will be the next great I-back in Husker history.

Terrell Newby: Reminds me of a smaller Ryan Williams because of how he sprints when in open field. Newby is a natural cutter who doesn’t lose speed while making guys miss. He breaks some tackles but for the most part Newby will make you miss. I expect he will start off as a kickoff returner and 3rd down back. He plays at such a high speed he will have to develop some patience at the next level. Hopefully we will get to see both Newby and Taylor in the backfield together in a couple of seasons. It could make for an exciting diamond (Bone) look with Imani Cross.

Ernest Suttles: This kid stood out since the first time I saw him on film. Then we spoke to him on the radio and I was amazed by Suttles. He is still very raw after moving from New York as a basketball player to Tampa and transitioning into football, but he is far ahead of where you would expect. He is a natural athlete with unique aggressiveness and quickness. It will be difficult to keep him off the field because he will excel in practice. My only hope is that he doesn’t put on too much weight and remains a true DE. On tape in played a lot of 5 tech (DE) in a 3/4 scheme. Future all conference player.

Maliek Collins: When I first saw Collins tape I gushed over him so much on twitter than one person joked that I made him sound like the next Suh. That’s a stretch of course but trust me Collins is as good as any DT on campus right now. His tape shows him equally aggressive on defensive and offensive line. He can beat your double team with strength or quickness. Collins has that kind of initial punch that gets you to rewind the tape. We asked Collins about his wrestling background and he said he never wrestled as a young kid but after reading that wrestling makes you a better football player he tried out for the his HS team. The first year he didn’t make the team but after a year of work he succeeded in his goal. Collins will play early especially now with the loss of Chase Rome.

Just missed

Chongo Kondolo: If I had my wish I would like to see Chongo get the chance to play OT for Nebraska. He reminds me of the kind of physical freak Bill Callahan liked in his offensive linemen. Chongo has long arms, a great build and really can run. Watching his film his first strike almost always knocks the defender off balance. He gets a little high at times but his strength can make up for that. I think he has the most upside of any offensive linemen in this class.

Tre’vell Dixon: I’m not sure where he will play but after talking to people who watched him play in high school this great athlete will find a spot and succeed. I would like to see him as a wing back type that you move all over the field. Dixon has great top end speed and exceptional elusiveness along with sneaky strength. If NU chooses to play in as a DB I think it will take a little longer to get on the field but he could make a nice nickel back or later in his career a safety.

Sleeper

Cethan Carter: When Carter first committed to the Huskers he was ranked as a two star. After watching how much progress he made from his junior to senior tape I see how the services initially missed on Carter. He reminds me of a slower version of Aaron Hernandez. Rummel High school used him all over the line of scrimmage and in the backfield. Carter can block in line with the best of them. What sets him apart is the way he plucks the ball and finishes the run after catch.

Of the 2012 class only Curry, Moss, C Jackson, Cross and Janovich played as true freshman. I would expect more from the 2013 class along with three of the JC guys. I could see as many as 12 newcomers playing this upcoming season.

 

Let’s start with some numbers about this recruiting class. Nebraska finished this recruiting cycle with a composite score of 17th in the country (CFBMatrix). That’s averaging Rivals, Scout, ESPN and 24/7 together. Not bad especially when you compare it to Nebraska’s avgerage Rivals ranking since 2004 which is 24.4. Still top 25 but if you compare it to the average ranking of the national champion over those years, 6.7 NU still has a way to go.

In my 4 years of doing a Super 6 from Nebraska’s recruiting class this year is the most difficult because of all the talent. There are so many student athletes that I feel will have success in this class that narrowing it to a small number isn’t easy. So here are my top six, two that just missed and a sleeper.

Randy Gregory: Nebraska has no one like him on the roster. Gregory looks like one of those defensive playmakers you see at the top programs in the country. He can be both a wide defensive end type that lines up over or outside the TE or a standup OLB in a 30 front. I hope that is how NU uses Gregory in its Joker front with three down linemen and one rover who can pick his gap to rush. If Pelini uses Gregory correctly he certainly could put up Demarrio Williams type numbers. Gregory has the kind of body type that could carry another 10 or 15 pounds and still maintain his quickness.

Marcus Newby: Newby does everything expected of an OLB well. He can rush off the edge, drop in coverage on a TE and fill the hole in the run game. He is a solid tackler who takes great angles with outstanding instincts. In the end I wouldn’t be surprised if Newby makes at least two all conference teams. You rarely see a guy with this kind of change of direction at his size.

Adam Taylor: Big strong physical running back that reminds me of a combination of Mark Ingram and Montee Ball. Taylor might not beat you in a 40 yard dash but his first couple of steps is extremely explosive. His 10 meter will be one of the best on the team. Taylor squats 450 pounds and is extremely dedicated to his craft. Right now he’s working out twice a day trying to get even more powerful. All those things are great but what I like most is his patience getting to the hole. On film you see him allowing his blocking to develop and then hitting the hole with ease. Taylor will be the next great I-back in Husker history.

Terrell Newby: Reminds me of a smaller Ryan Williams because of how he sprints when in open field. Newby is a natural cutter who doesn’t lose speed while making guys miss. He breaks some tackles but for the most part Newby will make you miss. I expect he will start off as a kickoff returner and 3rd down back. He plays at such a high speed he will have to develop some patience at the next level. Hopefully we will get to see both Newby and Taylor in the backfield together in a couple of seasons. It could make for an exciting diamond (Bone) look with Imani Cross.

Ernest Suttles: This kid stood out since the first time I saw him on film. Then we spoke to him on the radio and I was amazed by Suttles. He is still very raw after moving from New York as a basketball player to Tampa and transitioning into football, but he is far ahead of where you would expect. He is a natural athlete with unique aggressiveness and quickness. It will be difficult to keep him off the field because he will excel in practice. My only hope is that he doesn’t put on too much weight and remains a true DE. On tape in played a lot of 5 tech (DE) in a 3/4 scheme. Future all conference player.

Maliek Collins: When I first saw Collins tape I gushed over him so much on twitter than one person joked that I made him sound like the next Suh. That’s a stretch of course but trust me Collins is as good as any DT on campus right now. His tape shows him equally aggressive on defensive and offensive line. He can beat your double team with strength or quickness. Collins has that kind of initial punch that gets you to rewind the tape. We asked Collins about his wrestling background and he said he never wrestled as a young kid but after reading that wrestling makes you a better football player he tried out for the his HS team. The first year he didn’t make the team but after a year of work he succeeded in his goal. Collins will play early especially now with the loss of Chase Rome.

Just missed

Chongo Kondolo: If I had my wish I would like to see Chongo get the chance to play OT for Nebraska. He reminds me of the kind of physical freak Bill Callahan liked in his offensive linemen. Chongo has long arms, a great build and really can run. Watching his film his first strike almost always knocks the defender off balance. He gets a little high at times but his strength can make up for that. I think he has the most upside of any offensive linemen in this class.

Tre’vell Dixon: I’m not sure where he will play but after talking to people who watched him play in high school this great athlete will find a spot and succeed. I would like to see him as a wing back type that you move all over the field. Dixon has great top end speed and exceptional elusiveness along with sneaky strength. If NU chooses to play in as a DB I think it will take a little longer to get on the field but he could make a nice nickel back or later in his career a safety.
Sleeper

Cethan Carter: When Carter first committed to the Huskers he was ranked as a two star. After watching how much progress he made from his junior to senior tape I see how the services initially missed on Carter. He reminds me of a slower version of Aaron Hernandez. Rummel High school used him all over the line of scrimmage and in the backfield. Carter can block in line with the best of them. What sets him apart is the way he plucks the ball and finishes the run after catch.
Of the 2012 class only Curry, Moss, C Jackson, Cross and Janovich played as true freshman. I would expect more from the 2013 class along with three of the JC guys. I could see as many as 12 newcomers playing this upcoming season.

Plus, Minus, Even

Week 9 then verses now.

Nebraska enters into a four game stretch that should end in Indianapolis. It’s a spot this team should find quite familiar. In 2011 Nebraska easily handled Michigan State 24 to 3. That win put a seven and one Nebraska team in the driver’s seat of the Big Ten’s Legends division.

A week later the Huskers played an uninspired game at home verses Northwestern. This year the critical week nine game takes NU to East Lansing. Michigan State sets up perfectly for a Bo Pelini defense that has hit its stride since being embarrassed at Ohio State. NU last two opponents have averaged 244 yards a game.

So what will make the end third of 2012 different from the stretch run in 2011? A quick look at the NCAA stat page has its share of good and bad answers to that question. The biggest positive by far is the increase in pressure Nebraska has created in the opponent’s backfield. Last year at this time NU was tied for 83rd in sacks and 111th in tackles for loss. In 2012 the blackshirts are in the top two in both categories among big ten teams.

The Huskers are also in the top ten nationally in pass defense (12th in 2011) and pass efficiency defense (23rd in 2011). As for the other side of the ball NU was 51st in total offense after week 8 in 2011, the 2012 edition sits at 15th in the country. Scoring offense and rush offense are slightly higher ranked with one of the biggest jumps happening in pass offense (106th in 2011, 71st in 2012). Right now Nebraska and Taylor Martinez are averaging 225 yards a game passing, up from 160 yards a game in 2011.

There are a few negatives comparison that could detour the stretch run to Indy. Nebraska’s Turnover margin is minus one, ranking 107th in the country. The 2o11 Huskers were not great in the turnover category but still they were at even at this time last season. Net punting (75th in 2012, 32 in 2011) and scoring defense (55th in 2012, 33rd in 2012) are both lower ranked.

The remaining schedule matches up better as well. The season’s final four have a combined record of 19 and 14. In 2011 it was 23-10 with 8 and 1 Penn state and 7 and 1 Michigan on the schedule.

The quarterback verses Blackshirts matchup is quite favorable with Michigan state, Penn state and Iowa all having pass first, run rarely guys under center. Minnesota’s Robert Nelson has run the ball fairly effectively when needed, but certainly isn’t the runner that converted WR Marquis Gray was before being injured and moved.

The odds of Nebraska running the table in the big ten after the Ohio State loss was 800 to 1. Before the Michigan game the number dropped to 400 to 1. I’m guessing that number will be closer to 100 to 1 this week with good reason. Bo and company really do have all their goals still in front of them with a trip to Indy within their grasp.

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