05/18/15 - Braxton Miller, rSr, Ohio State, 6-1, 215 (DS#999 QB)[Newsfeed] Ohio State AD Gene Smith: Braxton Miller told me he's staying...Braxton Miller still hasn't made any public comment on his future with Ohio State, letting the rumor mill concerning a possible trandferchurn. But his athletic director told ElevenWarriors.com last Thursday that in private, Miller has pledged to remain in Columbus for his senior season. "He's not going anywhere," Gene Smith said. "Where's the rumors? He's never said [he would leave]." That someone as close to the situation as Smith would go on record with this much confidence that his former Heisman candidate quarterback didn't want a transfer -- he repeated himself that Miller is "not going anywhere" -- might be the most positive sign for Buckeyes fans yet.
At the same time, though, there is one minor catch: Smith said the conversation when Miller assured him he would remain in Columbus happened (in Smith's words) "well before spring ball." "He's working out in the weight room and we got into a conversation and I just asked him, I said, 'You good? All these rumors out there, you good? You need some help if you want to transfer?'" Smith said. "He said, 'Mr. Smith, I'm not going anywhere. I love it here.'" Smith wrapped up the interview by arguing a transfer "would have happened" already if that was what Miller wanted, and he has a point -- with spring practice now a month in the rearview mirror and August already on the distant horizon, time is unquestionably running short. - Jerry Hinnen, CBSSports.com
05/07/15 - John Ross III, Jr, Washington, 5-11, 182 (DS#999 WR)[Newsfeed] Speedy Washington wide receiver/defensive back John Ross III will miss the season after suffering a leg injury during spring practice. Washington announced Ross' injury Thursday. Ross, a sophomore last fall, had minor knee surgery following the 2014 season but suffered a leg injury doing light work on the side during spring drills. The school did not specify the nature of Ross' injury. The loss of Ross takes away possibly Washington's most dynamic playmaker. Ross only had 17 catches last season, but caught four touchdowns and averaged more than 21 yards per reception. Ross also returned two kickoffs for touchdowns and has three kickoff returns for scores in his two seasons, with a few of others called back by penalties. Ross was an honorable mention all-Pac-12 selection as a return specialist last season, but also showed his athleticism starting three games at wide receiver and four at cornerback when the Huskies needed additional depth in the secondary. - AP Sports
05/07/15 - *Todd Gurley, Jr, Georgia, 6-1, 222 (DS#1 RB)[Newsfeed] Gov. Nathan Deal has signed into law the "Todd Gurley bill," making it a crime punishable by up to a year in jail to entice student athletes to break NCAA rules by taking money. Deal's office said Thursday that he had signed House Bill 3, numbered to reflect the jersey number of the famous University of Georgia running back who was kicked off the Bulldogs' football team for four games last fall for accepting money for autographs. Gurley was the 10th overall pick in the NFL draft last week. Gurley was a leading contender for the Heisman Trophy last year before the autograph suspension. Then he suffered a year-ending knee injury his first game back and announced in December he'd end his collegiate career for the NFL. - AP Sports
05/06/15 - Deshaun Watson, So, Clemson, 6-3, 190 (DS#4 QB)[Newsfeed] Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson believes he won't miss a beat despite sitting out all spring after knee ligament surgery. And the Tigers most dynamic player insists he'll return at full speed once he's cleared to cut loose this summer. The slender signal-caller said he's on track for a full recovery heading into his sophomore year after an offseason of injuries and frustrations. Watson suffered injuries to his collarbone, a finger on his throwing hand and the ACL in his left knee during a late November practice. Despite the knee injury, the 6-foot-2, 205-pound Watson helped the Tigers end their five-game losing streak against South Carolina with a 35-17 victory. Watson had surgery two weeks later. While he wasn't on the field this spring, Watson said he and coach Dabo Swinney agreed he'd stay involved on the sidelines in mentally unspooling and cataloging each snap the offense took. "I'm there mentally to take every rep that every other quarterback takes to make sure that I'm staying prepared," he said.
Watson might have to prepare for a very hype-filled second season. The Atlantic Coast Conference enters the season without several of its most-talked-about players from the past few seasons like Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley and Louisville receiver DeVante Parker. Watson's poise and productivity have him prepped to fill up that void - as long as he stays healthy. He passed for 1,466 yards, 14 touchdowns and two interceptions in eight games, just five of them starts. Swinney said Watson has grown in football smarts and confidence, maturing from a promising freshman to a polished performer who nearly pulled off an upset over the Florida State Seminoles in Tallahassee last fall. - AP Sports
05/06/15 - Dashon Hunt, rSo, Oregon State, 5-08, 182 (DS#999 CB)[Newsfeed] Oregon State CB Dashon Hunt retires after spinal stenosis diagnosis...Oregon State cornerback Dashon Hunt has played his last football game, retiring from the sport after being diagnosed with spinal stenosis. "It was truly a blessing to have been apart of the #OregonStateFootball team but sadly my days of playing is over due to a condition that I was born with called #SpinalStenosis," Hunt announced on his Instagram account. "This team will forever be my team and I will always support every single brother of mine on it through their football careers and life. And a message to all my teammates 'just because I can't play on the field with yall, best believe I'ma be on the sideline helping and watching yall strive towards greatness because our team is bound for great accomplishments in these upcoming years. I love all yall as my own brothers and I'll always be here for every last one of yall' And to everyone else who has supported me throughout my career thank you very much from the bottom of my heart and God Bless you all!" - Chip Patterson, CBSSports.com
05/06/15 - Braxton Miller, rSr, Ohio State, 6-1, 215 (DS#999 QB)[Newsfeed] Urban Meyer: Braxton Miller is 'excited for 2015 as a Buckeye'...Ohio State coach Urban Meyer will be asked about Braxton Miller's status with the team in most every bit of media availability between now and the beginning of fall camp. It has to be frustrating for Meyer, but it comes with the territory of being the defending national champions and carrying three successful college quarterbacks on a roster that is expected to contend again in 2015. By now we know the company line on Miller. The potential of immediate eligibility in 2015 makes him a "plug and play" option for any school looking for answers at the quarterback position. But Miller, working his way back to full health this spring, insists that he wants to finish his career as a Buckeye and compete for the starting job against J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones.
Alabama and Florida State have been frequently mentioned landing spots for Miller, but so far there are more rumors than reports, with even Miller's visits to Birmingham for shoulder surgery and rehab becoming a talking point. On Monday, Meyer told Dan Patrick that he doesn't listen to the "hearsay," and said all indications point to Miller playing for the Buckeyes in the fall. "That surfaced in January and I asked him and he said 'absolutely not' and obviously young people, anyone is allowed to change their mind," Meyer said. "I have not heard it, I did not ask him, one of our strength coaches did and he said I don't know where that's coming from. So I would say Braxton is staying is all indications that I'm getting. And all I can go by is -- I don't go by hearsay, I just talk to the people involved and he seems to be extremely happy and excited for 2015 as a Buckeye." - Chip Patterson, CBSSports.com
05/05/15 - *Shane Ray, rJr, Missouri, 6-3, 245 (DS#3 DE)[Newsfeed] A closer look at the Broncos' nine picks: Round 1/23 -- Shane Ray, OLB, 6-3, 245, Missouri...A week before the draft, the Broncos could not have dreamed that Ray would be available. An April 26 citation for marijuana possession changed that, and sent his stock tumbling to where the Broncos only had to move up five picks to get him. He won't start immediately, but could play half the snaps rotating in for Pro Bowlers Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware, giving each a breather. - The Sports Xchange
05/05/15 - *Shane Ray, rJr, Missouri, 6-3, 245 (DS#3 DE)[Newsfeed] Broncos benefit from drug arrest to get Ray...Make no mistake: if Shane Ray was not stopped by police and cited for marijuana possession last weekend, he is not a Denver Bronco today. Ray was the No. 10 player on the Broncos' draft board. A week before the first day of the 2015 NFL Draft, they could not have conceived of a situation in which he could be available without sacrificing multiple draft picks -- including, perhaps, a future first-rounder. But as he fell through the teens and into the 20s, the Broncos waited. When Kentucky outside linebacker Alvin "Bud" Dupree went to the Steelers with the No. 22 overall pick, the Broncos had to act, and quickly made a deal with the Detroit Lions, a team with that general manager John Elway had discussions about trade possibilities in the days leading up to the draft. "We thought it was too good to be true that he was still there," Elway said. Denver sent two fifth-round picks -- one this year and one next year -- and center Manny Ramirez to the Lions to move up five picks -- from No. 28 to 23 -- for Ray, who does not fill an obvious immediate need, but does give the Broncos immediate depth at outside linebacker, a position where they had none after chronic knee problems forced them to waive third-year veteran Quanterus Smith on April 28. - The Sports Xchange
05/05/15 - *Shane Ray, rJr, Missouri, 6-3, 245 (DS#3 DE)[Newsfeed] Broncos benefit from drug arrest to get Ray...The Broncos have two Pro Bowl outside linebackers: Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware. But Miller is in the option year of his rookie contract and Ware turns 33 in July. With little depth, the Broncos needed a third pass rusher who can spell Miller or Ware -- and perhaps conserve Ware's snaps, making him fresher and more effective. "The game is played in nickel (formations) these days -- probably more than 60 percent in our division will probably be in some form of nickel defense. That's just the way it is," coach Gary Kubiak said. "You look at him as a starter. Even though we talk about rotations, you look at him as a starter."
Ray had 14.5 sacks in the rugged SEC, possesses a quick first step, a good variety of moves and, as Elway noted, he plays with "his hair on fire," underscoring his January proclamation that he wanted a team that, if it lost in the playoffs, would go out "kicking and screaming," and not meekly capitulate as it did during three of its last four postseason defeats, which included two losses by 35 points. "You see the effort down-in-and-down-out, you see the chase, the passion in play," Kubiak said. "That's what you want on your team." - The Sports Xchange
05/05/15 - *Shane Ray, rJr, Missouri, 6-3, 245 (DS#3 DE)[Newsfeed] Broncos benefit from drug arrest to get Ray...It's a team that still needs reinforcements on the offensive line, at inside linebacker and potentially at nose tackle, some of which they could target on the draft's second day. But the Broncos' offseason plan paid off. They focused on finding veteran options at every position to ensure that they weren't boxed into reaching for a specific position in the draft, and could instead let the board fall and take advantage of a falling prospect -- even one that wasn't the most pressing need. That flexibility made it possible to capitalize on Ray's descent. And as he joins the Broncos, he is as confident as he is contrite. "All the teams that passed on me that were in the top 10, I feel like they made a huge mistake," Ray said. "And as a Denver Bronco, I plan to show them about the mistake they made." - The Sports Xchange
05/05/15 - David Parry, rSr, Stanford, 6-1, 308 (DS#24 DT)[Newsfeed] The Colts' fifth-round pick, nose tackle David Parry, was a preferred walk-on at Stanford. He turned down FCS scholarship opportunities from Northern Iowa and Illinois State as well as several Ivy League programs. Parry earned a scholarship with the Pac-12 school after his freshman season with the team. Parry added that he was surprised to learn that he'll be playing for the same NFL team as college teammate Henry Anderson. "I sent a text to Henry pretty much right after I got drafted by the Colts and we're both pretty juiced to be back together. I haven't talked to Andrew (Luck), Griff (Whalen) or Coby (Fleener) in a little bit, but I'm sure it's going to be good to see all of those guys," he said. - The Sports Xchange
05/05/15 - David Parry, rSr, Stanford, 6-1, 308 (DS#24 DT)[Newsfeed] A closer look at the Colts' eight picks: Round 5/151 - David Parry, NT, 6-2, 300, Stanford...A former preferred walk-on in college Parry teamed with fellow Colts draft pick Henry Anderson to form a tough one-two punch on the Stanford defensive line. Parry played with a "chip on the shoulder" attitude that should continue through to the NFL. What he lacks in overall athletic skills, Parry makes up with hard work and guile. - The Sports Xchange
05/05/15 - Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Sr, Oregon, 5-09, 192 (DS#15 CB)[Newsfeed] A closer look at the Browns' 12 picks:.Round 7/241 - Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, 5-9, 192, Oregon...Ekpre-Olomu suffered a torn ACL preparing for a college playoff game in January. If not for the injury he might have been a second-round pick. He can play outside or in the slot and projects as a gunner on punt coverage. His name means "something that fits you well." - The Sports Xchange
05/05/15 - Randall Telfer, rSr, Southern California, 6-4, 250 (DS#21 TE)[Newsfeed] A closer look at the Browns' 12 picks: Round 6/198 - Randall Telfer, TE, 6-4, 260, USC...Telfer has an injury history that includes knee surgery and foot surgery. He is more a blocking tight end than a receiver, but he says he can be a "well-rounded" tight end. He said he learned from former Trojans and Browns tight end Jordan Cameron. - The Sports Xchange
05/05/15 - Cedric Ogbuehi, rSr, Texas AM, 6-5, 306 (DS#7 OT)[Newsfeed] A closer look at the Bengals' nine picks: Round 1/21 - Cedric Ogbuehi, T, 6-5, 306, Texas A&M ... The Bengals are convinced that if not for a torn ACL suffered in the Liberty Bowl last December, Ogbuehi would've been a top-10 pick. Chances are great that Ogbuehi won't be ready to play at the start of the season, but that didn't dissuade the Bengals from taking him. They love his athleticism and quick feet. - The Sports Xchange
05/05/15 - Cedric Ogbuehi, rSr, Texas AM, 6-5, 306 (DS#7 OT)[Newsfeed] OT Ogbuehi clearly a pick for Bengals future...The Cincinnati Bengals drafted for the future when they selected Texas A&M offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi in the first round Thursday night. Ogbuehi suffered a torn ACL in Texas A&M's Liberty Bowl win against West Virginia last December but that didn't dissuade the Bengals from taking him with the 21st overall pick. Ogbuehi (6-foot-5, 305) was a first-team All-SEC pick by conference coaches last season and a first-team All-America choice by the Walter Camp Football Foundation. The injury benefitted the Bengals. "I frick'n love him," said offensive line coach Paul Alexander. "There is no way we have a chance at this guy if he doesn't get hurt. He's a top-of-the-draft player. There's no question that this guy has rare feet and athleticism that you see in the very best offensive linemen in the league."
The Bengals won't need Ogbuehi to play right away, which is good given his injury. While Ogbuehi said he is aiming to be ready to participate in training camp, the Bengals won't be as aggressive. They don't need to be. Andrew Whitworth is one of the top left tackles in the game in, while Andre Smith and Eric Winston return as experienced right tackles. All three are entering the final years of their contracts, however, so Ogbuehi's future is coming. This is the 11th time the Bengals have drafted an offensive lineman in the first round; Ogbuehi is the seventh tackle to be drafted in the first round by Cincinnati. This is the fourth time they've selected a tackle No. 1 since Alexander became the offensive line coach in 1995. His other three first-round tackles were Willie Anderson (1996), Levi Jones (2002) and Smith (2009). Whitworth was a second-round pick in 2006. - The Sports Xchange
05/05/15 - Cedric Ogbuehi, rSr, Texas AM, 6-5, 306 (DS#7 OT)[Newsfeed] OT Ogbuehi clearly a pick for Bengals future...Alexander told Ogbuehi during the player's pre-draft visit to Cincinnati about his current and former players, the success they have had and his expectation that Ogbuehi can have a similar career. Alexander said that got Ogbuehi excited. "I did," said Ogbuehi. "They've all had a lot of success and they've all played long careers, so it's a good sign for me. Every guy that they drafted in the first round has had great careers." The Bengals knew they would have plenty of options when their turn came around at No. 21. They weren't going to be at the mercy of having to reach for a need. Their main target heading into the first round was on either side of the line of scrimmage.
Their positioning improved as the first round progressed. They were helped when St. Louis and San Diego made Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon the first running backs taken in Round 1 since 2012. Three cornerbacks - Trae Waynes (Minnesota), Kevin Johnson (Houston) and Marcus Peters (Kansas City) - were taken off the board as well. Head coach Marvin Lewis said the team's medical staff gave Ogbuehi clearance from a draft standpoint. Just how soon he'll be able to play this season remains to be seen. "We'll have to judge that once he gets here and we're laying hands on him every day, before we know where he is," said Lewis. "Obviously this is more of a nine-month injury, minimum, anyway. He had surgery in early January, so you're looking at September (at the earliest)." - The Sports Xchange
05/05/15 - *Jay Ajayi, rJr, Boise State, 6-0, 221 (DS#6 RB)[Newsfeed] A closer look at the Dolphins' seven picks: Round 5/149 - Jay Ajayi, RB, 6-0, 221, Boise State...This was an interesting pick because the Dolphins needed a power running back. The problem is many teams stayed away from Ajayi because medical reports said one knee is almost bone-on-bone. Regardless, Miami might have a steal with this one. If Ajayi can stay healthy he could push Lamar Miller for the starting job. - The Sports Xchange
05/05/15 - Nick O'Leary, Sr, Florida State, 6-3, 252 (DS#8 TE)[Newsfeed] A closer look at the Bills' six picks: Round 6/194 -- Nick O'Leary, TE, 6-3, 247, Florida State...The grandson of golf legend Jack Nicklaus will have a chance to make the Bills because their tight end depth chart is thin behind free-agent signee Charles Clay. O'Leary was the 2014 John Mackey Award winner as the nation's best tight end. He set FSU tight end records for receptions (114), yards (1,591), and touchdowns (18). He has excellent hands, but his lack of speed will curtail some of that big-play ability. - The Sports Xchange
05/05/15 - DeAndre Smelter, rSr, Georgia Tech, 6-2, 226 (DS#38 WR)[Newsfeed] A closer look at the 49ers' 10 picks: Round 4/132 -- DeAndre Smelter, WR, 6-2, 226, Georgia Tech...Nothing about Smelter says "draft me," especially in the middle rounds. He was a baseball player at Georgia Tech until forced to switch sports because of a shoulder injury. He then became a wideout on a run-oriented team who proceeded to blow out his knee during the 2014 season. Alas, Baalke has a history of taking a risk on high-potential athletes who need an NFL "redshirt" season. Smelter will certainly have a good one from whom to learn his craft in 49ers veteran Anquan Boldin. - The Sports Xchange
05/05/15 - *Todd Gurley, Jr, Georgia, 6-1, 222 (DS#1 RB)[Newsfeed] A closer look at the Rams' nine picks: Round 1/10 - Todd Gurley, RB, 6-1, 222, Georgia...The Rams believe he is a transcendent back that will help make their entire team better. The only question in the short term is when he will be available to play as he recovers from a torn ACL. Gurley's explosiveness and big-play ability will go a long way toward improving the Rams' offense. - The Sports Xchange
05/05/15 - *Todd Gurley, Jr, Georgia, 6-1, 222 (DS#1 RB)[Newsfeed] RB Gurley fits Fisher's personality...St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher loves running backs. When his Tennessee Titans advanced to the Super Bowl in 1999, it was with Eddie George, the 14th overall choice in the 1996 draft. In eight seasons with Houston and Tennessee, George rushed for 10,009 yards and 64 touchdowns. After George, it was Chris Johnson, who rushed for 2,006 yards for Fisher in 2009. Thus, it really wasn't that much of a surprise when the Rams gambled heavily Thursday night, selecting Georgia running back Todd Gurley with the 10th overall choice in the draft. It surely fits Fisher's philosophy.
While Fisher didn't want to compare Gurley to George, who rushed for 10,009 yards and 64 touchdowns in eight seasons with Houston and Tennessee, he did say of Gurley, "He's special, but they're different. They have different running styles. But when the career is all said and done, he can be that guy." George also believes that. He texted Fisher after the pick, writing, "Congratulations. Great pick." Gurley becomes the seventh running back on the Rams' roster and marks the fourth consecutive year the Rams have selected a runner in the draft: Isaiah Pead in the second round in 2012, Zac Stacy in the fifth round in 2013 and Tre Mason in the third round last year. - The Sports Xchange
05/05/15 - *Todd Gurley, Jr, Georgia, 6-1, 222 (DS#1 RB)[Newsfeed] RB Gurley fits Fisher's personality...Taking the immensely talented Gurley is a risk because he is rehabbing from a torn ACL in his left knee suffered in the fourth quarter of the Bulldogs' Nov. 15 game against Auburn. That game was his first one after returning from a four-game suspension for accepting more than $3,000 for autographed memorabilia. The Rams were present at Gurley's medical recheck on April 18 at Indianapolis, and Fisher said, "His rehab is coming along fine. We don't know when he's gonna be on the field competitively, but we do know he's not having any issues right now and the docs say he's ahead of schedule."
Gurley, who said he was surprised to be selected by the Rams and didn't visit the team in recent weeks, also echoed Fisher's sentiment, saying, "There is no timetable. I know I have a lot of work to do. But opening day is a realistic goal." Said Fisher, when asked if Gurley could be playing at the beginning of the regular season, "There's always that possibility, but we're not going to be specific as to when. I will tell you this: we're not going to rush it. We may be a little on the conservative side. This is our running back of the future, so it makes no sense to subject him, to put him in a bad situation sooner than we have to. We've got outstanding backs on our roster and he's going to add to that group. When that happens we don't know, but he's going to be the running back of the future for a number of years." - The Sports Xchange
05/05/15 - *Todd Gurley, Jr, Georgia, 6-1, 222 (DS#1 RB)[Newsfeed] RB Gurley fits Fisher's personality...There was significant discussion among the Rams' hierarchy about the wisdom of adding another player with a torn ACL history, especially considering the injuries suffered in successive years by quarterback Sam Bradford and tackle Jake Long. Both are no longer Rams. Pead missed the 2014 season, also with a torn ACL. But, they believed it was worth the risk to acquire a talent like Gurley. Fisher admitted the ACL issues have "been a concern of ours. But every situation is different. We don't have reservations about him getting back to full speed and 100 percent. That's not going to be an issue with him."
Snead said the Rams only had a chance at Gurley because of the injury. "It was a bonus to be sitting there at 10 and get him," Snead said. "It was a consensus that he's a player that helps everybody: our defense, he helps our offense, our offensive line, our receivers, our quarterback. That's the pick in a nutshell." Added Fisher, "A talent like him comes along once in a great while. His body of work speaks for itself. The athletic ability, the strength, the explosion, the acceleration, the instincts he has as a runner. He also has great hands out of the backfield. He's that complete back. We have a good group; we really like our group in the room, but this is an opportunity that we could not pass up." - The Sports Xchange
05/05/15 - *Todd Gurley, Jr, Georgia, 6-1, 222 (DS#1 RB)[Newsfeed] RB Gurley fits Fisher's personality...Last season, the 6-foot-1, 226-pound Gurley rushed for 911 yards on 123 attempts (7.4 per rush) and nine touchdowns in just six games. In his Georgia career, he totaled 3,285 yards and 36 touchdowns, averaging 6.4 yards per carry. The pick of Gurley came after the Washington Redskins selected Iowa tackle/guard Brandon Scherff fifth overall and the New York Giants picked Miami tackle Ereck Flowers one choice in front of the Rams. Three picks after the Rams, the New Orleans Saints chose Stanford tackle Andrus Peat.
Conventional wisdom had the Rams selecting a lineman in the first round, but Fisher went against the grain. That prompted an obvious question to Fisher and Snead: "Who's going to block for him?" To which Snead said, "They did make this thing a three-day event. We have to live through Friday and Saturday, so we'll see if we can help improve that position there. We'll still let the board guide us, but ... we're well aware." - The Sports Xchange