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Player View, Top Rated Mississippi State Prospects
NOTE:Seniors and Juniors ONLY. List is based on current NFL Draft Scout player ratings within a players position and overall top 750. The higher the number, the better chance the player has to being drafted and/or signed. UNRATED and/or injured players (99 or 999 rating) may sometimes fall into order. Click player name for profile in separate window.
*Fletcher Cox heading into Jr season: The Eagles continued their offseason focus on defense in the draft, using their first three picks and four of their first five on defensive players. Their first-round pick, defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, and their second-round pick, linebacker Mychal Kendricks, both are expected to be Day 1 contributors. Cox is a freakishly athletic 294-pounder with 4.7 speed who can play inside and outside. He should flourish as a pass-rusher in defensive line coach Jim Washburn's wide-9. Kendricks, who ran a 4.47 forty at the combine, likely will be the team's season-opening SAM linebacker. The Eagles are bullish on his ability to cover tight ends. BEST PICK: Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox: The Eagles led the league in sacks last season with 50. They figure to be an even bigger pass-rushing force this season with a difference-maker like Cox inside. - The Sports Xchange
*Benardrick McKinney heading into rJr season: A closer look at the Texans' seven picks: Round 2/43 - Benardrick McKinney, LB, 6-4, 246, Mississippi State...The Texans traded up with the Browns to take an inside linebacker who won't start in Week 1. The team needs depth at the position. But McKinney could be a work in progress and may have been a reach. - The Sports Xchange
Gabe Jackson heading into rSr season: A closer look at the Raiders' picks: Round 3/81 - Gabe Jackson, G, 6-3, 336, Mississippi State...A powerful interior blocker, Jackson was a first-team All-America selection who had 52 starts in the SEC, home of the toughest defensive linemen in college football. A perfect fit for the Raiders' power running game, Jackson will be given every chance to unseat starting left guard Khalif Barnes. - The Sports Xchange
Jamar Chaney heading into rSr season: 2009 Senior Bowl Invite…2009 East-West Shrine Invite…2008: 1 GP; 1 GS; 5 Sol-12 TT; Started the only game he played during an injury-shortened season … Had 12 tackles in that brief appearance, the third double-digit tackle performance in his career … Suffered a broken leg on the next-to-last play of the season opener and a medical redshirt was requested to regain his final year of eligibility. 2007: 13 GP; 12 GS; 41 Sol-89 TT, 3.5 TFL, 4 PBU, 4 QBH; Earned second-team, All-Southeastern Conference by the league’s coaches … Led the Bulldogs with 89 total tackles … Made a spring-time move from outside linebacker inside to the middle and started during his junior season at that spot … Was sidelined most of State’s Week 8 game at West Virginia when he sustained a medial collateral ligament strain in Morgantown … Limited by an ankle sprain which curtailed his preparation for State’s Week 9 game at Kentucky, he did not make the opening call in Lexington and had just three tackles. 2006: 12 GP; 11 GS; 35 Sol-66 TT, 7.5 TFL, 2.5 SK, 1 QBH, 1 FR; Starting 11 times at weak side linebacker … Finished third on the club with 66 total tackles. 2005: 11 GP; 3 GS; 14 Sol-31 TT, 1 QBH; Played in all 11 games during his true freshman season, earning three starting calls at weakside linebacker to close the campaign.
Derek Sherrod heading into Sr season: 2010: An All-SEC selection in 2009 and 2010, Sherrod helped pave the way for the Bulldogs to lead the SEC and finish ninth nationally in rushing with 227.6 yards per game. This season, Sherrod has helped Mississippi State bulldoze its way to 219.3 rushing yards per game, which ranks 15th nationally. He has helped the top 25 Bulldogs achieve their most wins since 2007. The team captain has started 34 games and appeared in 46 contests for his career...2009: Selected All-Southeastern Conference Second Team by the SEC Coaches...Helped pave the way for the Mississippi State running attack that finished the regular season ranked ninth nationally with a 227.58 yard-per-game average. The Bulldog offensive line allowed just 20 sacks on the season, down from 36 the year prior. Sherrod lead the team in blocking grades nine times, and posted a remarkable 97 percent grade in State's season-ending win over its in-state rival...2008: Played in 11 games, starting 10 times at left tackle . . . Did not play in the season opener at Louisiana Tech due to injury, and did not start Week 2 . . .2007: Played in all but two games (11 of 13) during regular season in his freshman season at Mississippi State . . . Failed to see game action only in the season opener against LSU and in Week 5 at South Carolina.
Johnthan Banks heading into Sr season: A closer look at the Bucs' picks: Round 2/43 - Johnthan Banks, CB, 6-2, 185, Mississippi State...Banks is a tall, physical cover corner in the Richard Sherman mode that fits well in the Bucs' defensive scheme. He had 16 career interceptions for the Bulldogs, tying a school record and was the Jim Thorpe Award winner in 2012. Will learn a lot playing alongside Darrelle Revis and Dashon Goldson. - The Sports Xchange
Preston Smith heading into Sr season: A closer look at the Redskins' 10 picks: Round 2/38 -- Preston Smith, LB, 6-5, 271, Mississippi State...As a senior defensive end, Smith recorded a tackle for a loss in 12 of the Bulldogs' 13 games and became the only player in SEC history to be named the conference's top defensive lineman three straight weeks. Smith led Mississippi State with 15 tackles for loss, 15 quarterback hurries and nine sacks while adding two interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), two forced fumbles and two blocked kicks. He'll begin his Redskins career at outside linebacker. - The Sports Xchange
Quentin Saulsberry heading into rSr season: 2010: Started all 12 games, mostly playing right guard but received two starts at center. 2009: Started all 12 games at left guard … Helped the Bulldog offense lead the SEC and finish ninth nationally in rushing offense, averaging more than 227 yards per game … Helped pave the way for running back Anthony Dixon to set a new school record with 1,391 yards on the year. 2008: Started all 12 games of the year at right tackle. 2007: Redshirted.
K.J. Wright heading into Sr season: 2010: Wright finished second on the team with 98 total tackles (51 solo) with 8.0 tackles for loss and 3 sacks in 2010...2009: Posted 82 tackles in 2009 and finished second on the team with 6.5 tackles for loss and emerged as a leader of the defensive unit...2008: Started all 12 games during his sophomore season at one outside linebacker position . . . Finished second on the club with 72 total tackles, recording at least two hits in every game during the year . . . Led the team with nine tackles for loss (minus 55 yards), a team-best four of which were quarterback sacks (minus 41 yards) . . . Credited with a tackle for loss in eight contests . . . Also deflected three passes and forced one fumble . . .2007: Played in 10 straight games during his freshman season, from Week 4 through the end of the season (includes the bowl game) . . . Recorded seven tackles and recovered one fumble during his first season.
Darius Slay heading into Sr season: A closer look at the Lions' picks: Round 2/36 - Darius Slay, CB, 6-0, 192, Mississippi State...He blew scouts away running a 4.34 at the combine, and he did it despite a slight meniscus tear. The Lions believe the injury will not require surgery and he is the big, fast, press corner they have been searching for. He will compete with Bill Bentley and Jonte Green for the right cornerback spot. - The Sports Xchange
Anthony Dixon heading into Sr season: 2009 Senior Bowl Invite…2009: Charged with driving under the influence in July 2009 after officers found him intoxicated with two empty champagne bottles on the floorboard of his car. He refused a field sobriety test and declined a breath intoxication test at the department, according to the report. 2008: 12 GP; 12 GS; Rush: 197-869-4.4-7; Rec: 20-117-5.8-2; Led the club and finished fifth in the Southeastern Conference by rushing 197 times for 869 yards, a 4.4-yard per carry average, and seven touchdowns … The three scores gave him 34 career touchdowns, the most in school history. 2007: 13 GP; 12 GS; Rush: 287-1066-3.7-14; Rec: 14-167-11.9-2; Only missed starting against UAB at mid-season on a coach’s decision … He became just the seventh back (ninth occurrence) in school history and the first Bulldog sophomore ever to surpass 1,000 yards rushing in a single season … Finished seventh in the SEC in rushing yards per game (82.0) and 10th in scoring (7.4 points per game) … He was third in the league in scoring touchdowns (14), second among all running backs … His rushing attempts easily eclipsed the previous MSU record (236; James Johnson, 1998) … Was named State’s Offensive Player of the Game in the 2007 AutoZone Liberty Bowl win over Central Florida … Rushed 24 times for 86 yards, a 3.6-yard per carry average, and the game’s deciding six-pointer in a 10-3 win over the Knights. 2006: 12 GP; 5 GS; Rush: 169-668-4-9; Rec: 4-42-10.5-0; Rebounded from missing substantial time during preseason camp with an ankle injury … He finished 10th in the Southeastern Conference in rushing, second among all freshmen … Suffered a broken little finger on his left hand on Tuesday the week of the Auburn game … Underwent surgery on Wednesday morning to correct the fracture … Despite not practicing the remainder of that week, led the Bulldogs by rushing 15 times for 69 yards, a 4.6-yard average, against the Tigers. Was named the Rivals.com National Freshman of the Week for his play in the Bulldogs’ Week 10 win over Alabama, a performance that included season-high rushing attempts and yardage … Rushed 25 times for 121 yards, a 4.8-yard per rush average, in the victory at Tuscaloosa.
Chris White heading into Sr season: 2010: Selected All-SEC Football Second Team by the SEC head football coaches...White finished fourth in the conference with 105 total tackles and was named the 2010 Cellular South Conerly Trophy winner last week, recognizing him as the best collegiate football player in the state of Mississippi...ranked fourth in the SEC in tackles and tackles for loss (15.5) and eighth in the league with six sacks...2009: Started all twelve games in 2009 finishing the season with 75 total tackles/44 solo with 4.0 tackles for loss...JUCO: Named first-team all-America and first-team all-Region XXIII by the National Junior College Athletic Association following his sophomore season . . . Selected the Mississippi Most Valuable Player in the inaugural Mississippi Bowl, which pitted Mississippi Gulf Coast against Georgia Military Institute, two of the premier junior college programs in the country . . . In addition to being a stalwart on defense for MGCCC in that game, he caught a touchdown pass as a blocking back in a short yardage situation . . . Led his junior college team to back-to-back state junior college championships, making 204 total tackles . . . Had four pass interceptions and four fumble recoveries, returning three for touchdown . . . Helped head coach Steve Campbell’s Gulf Coast team to a 10-2 record and to a No.4 finish in the final NJCAA poll . . . Recorded more than 100 tackles on the season for the Bulldogs.
Charles Mitchell heading into Sr season: A closer look at the Falcons' picks: Round 6/192 - Charles Mitchell, SS, 5-11, 202, Mississippi State...He should provide some depth and have a chance to contribute immediately on special teams. He was a hard hitter with 188 tackles and four career interceptions. He played as a true freshman after being named the state's Gatorade player of the year. - The Sports Xchange
Derek Pegues heading into Sr season: 2007: 13 GP; 13 GS; PR: 27-268-9.9-1 KR: 24-544-22.7-0; 32 Sol-50 TT, 2 TFL, 5 INT, 7 PBU, 1 FR; Named first-team, All-Southeastern Conference at free safety by the Associated Press and by national web site Rivals.com . . . Earned second-team, All-SEC by the league's coaches . . . Started all 13 games at free safety for the Bulldogs as a junior . . . Registered 50 tackles, including two for loss (minus 3 yards) . . . Had five pass interceptions (120 yards and one touchdown) and seven pass deflections . . . His interception total was sixth highest single-season mark in school history . . .Credited with one fumble recovery . . . Returned 24 kickoffs for 544 yards, a 22.7-yard average . . . Finished 10th in the SEC in kick return average (22.7) . . . Also returned 27 punts for 268 yards, a 9.9-yard average, with one touchdown . . . Finished fourth in the SEC in punt return average (9.9) . . . Made a spring move from cornerback to safety where he quickly established himself as an all-star performer . . . Pre-season all-Southeastern Conference candidate by both the league's coaches and writers. 2006: 12 GP; 12 GS; PR: 25-350-14-1 KR: 29-687-23.7-0; 26 Sol-32 TT, 1.5 TFL, 4 INT, 5 PBU; Arrested in April 2006 for assaulting an off-duty police offer after he tried to break up a on-campus fight. Named second-team, all-Southeastern Conference by the league's coaches and recruiting web site Scout.com . . . Won the starting job at one cornerback to open his sophomore season . . . Started all 12 games . . . Also handled all kick returns during his sophomore campaign. 2005: 11 GP; 0 GS; PR: 1-2-2-0 KR: 28-559-20-0; 10 Sol-14 TT, 1 INT, 2 PBU, 1 FF; Played in all 11 games during his true freshman season for Mississippi State . . .Contributing both on special teams and as a valuable reserve in the secondary, he totaled 14 tackles on the season.
Keith Fitzhugh heading into Sr season: 2007: 13 GP; 4 GS; 32 Sol-58 TT, 5.5 TFL, 1 SK, 2 INT, 3 PBU, 1 FR, 2 FF; Played in all 13 games during his junior season, earning four starting assignments in the defensive secondary . . . Was a regular in the backfield for the final four games of the year . ...2006: 12 GP; 10 GS; 37 Sol-59 TT, 0.5 TFL, 1 INT, 3 PBU, 1 FR; Began his sophomore season as the team's regular strong safety . . . Played in all 12 games, he started 10 contests at the position . . .2005: 11 GP; 1 GS; 9 Sol-13 TT, 1 TFL, 1 INT; Played in all 11 games during his true freshman season, starting one time in the defensive backfield . . . Made 13 tackles on the year, including one for loss (minus 1 yard).
Pernell McPhee heading into Sr season: 2010: All-SEC Football First Team as selected by the SEC head football coaches...McPhee, a native of Pahokee, Fla., didn't put up the same astounding numbers of a year ago, but still finished the 2010 campaign with 9.5 tackles for loss, a pair of sacks, four pass breakups and a team-leading 12 quarterback hurries...2009: Started all 12 games in his first year as a Bulldog in 2009, led the team and finished among the leaders of the Southeastern Conference with 12 tackles for loss and five quarterback sacks. He also compiled 56 total tackles, four pass breakups and forced one fumble. The Pahokee, Fla., native earned SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week honors twice, and was selected to both the coaches and the Associated Press All-SEC Team. JUCO: Two-time junior college all-America who led the state’s junior colleges in quarterback sacks as both a freshman and sophomore, totaling 33 sacks during his junior college career . . . Earned first-team junior college all-America recognition by the National Junior College Athletic Association following a star-studded sophomore season for head coach Jeff Terrill at Itawamba (Miss.) Community College . . . Two-time all-state and all-Region XXIII player . . . Named first-team, All-Region XXIII at defensive end . . . Totaled a nation-leading 13.5 quarterback sacks during that sophomore season and 23.5 tackles for loss . . . Named first-team, pre-season junior college all-America by the National Junior College Athletic Association and J.C. Gridwire Magazine prior to his sophomore campaign . . . Earned second-team all-America by the NJCAA and J.C. Gridwire following his freshman season at ICC . . . Totaled 67 tackles that season and led the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges with 19.5 quarterback sacks during that first season.
Malcolm Johnson heading into rSr season: A closer look at the Browns' 12 picks: Round 6/195 - Malcom Johnson, FB, 6-2, 231, Mississippi State...Johnson caught 79 passes for 1,148 yards and 10 touchdowns for his career. The Browns are looking at him as a fullback first, but he also plays tight end. The Browns are looking for a starting tight end after losing Jordan Cameron to the Dolphins in free agency. He was a team captain in 2014. - The Sports Xchange
Vick Ballard heading into Sr season: A closer look at the Colts picks: 5/170 - Vick Ballard, RB, 5-11, 219, Mississippi State...A compactly-built runner, Ballard is expected to be a between-the-tackles type of runner for Indy. Hard-nosed runner who should push for playing time. - The Sports Xchange
Josh Boyd heading into Sr season: A closer look at the Packers' picks: Round 5/167 -- Josh Boyd, DT, 6-3, 310, Mississippi State...Boyd, a three-technique lineman better equipped to stop the run than collapse the pocket, will have to adjust to the nuances of a 3-4 scheme. Production by the sturdy three-year starter regressed last season, when he had only 1.5 sacks. - The Sports Xchange
*Josh Robinson heading into rJr season: A closer look at the Colts' eight picks: Round 6/205 - Josh Robinson, RB, 5-8, 217, Mississippi State...A sleeper in a draft sense who certainly made himself known against tough Southeastern Conference competition while in college. He's a strong inside runner who has shown the ability to break a play outside for additional yardage. Has good vision with the ball in his hands. Will battle with former college teammate Vick Ballard for a spot in the rotation. - The Sports Xchange
Matthew Wells heading into rSr season: A closer look at the Patriots' 11 picks: Round 6/178 - Matthew Wells, LB, 6-2, 215, Mississippi State...Wells is an undersized, speedy linebacker who will likely have to transition to a hybrid safety role, while his best chance to make the team and contribute will likely come on special teams. - The Sports Xchange
Dominic Douglas heading into Sr season: 2007: 13 GP; 11 GS; 38 Sol-78 TT, 8 TFL, 1 SK, 1 PBU, 2 QBH; Played in all 13 games of his junior season, earning the starting call at one outside linebacker position 11 times . . . Only missed the opening call in back-to-back weeks near mid-season...JC: Led the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges in solo tackles during his sophomore campaign for head coach Mike Smith at Hinds (Miss.) Community College . . . Registered 77 solo tackles, making 84 overall.
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