Posts Tagged ‘Tandon Doss’

Who says that there can’t be football excitement even with the NFL player lockout happening? With the NFL Draft a mere two weeks away, here is a preview of the top skill players and dark horses for the QB, RB, and WR positions. Included will be a top three for each of these positions, and one dark horse.

QUARTERBACKS

  1. CAM NEWTON- AUBURN UNIVERSITY. Regardless of what you think of his antics (or should I say, his father’s antics) this past season, the guy is an absolute stud. He came from a Junior College and led the Tigers to a BCS National Championship. He had 50 total touchdowns and 4,327 total yards passing and rushing the ball. He is the absolute definition of a “dynamic player.” It will be interesting to see who drafts him. We will see if the Panthers are dedicated to the development of Jimmy Clausen or not.
  2. BLAINE GABBERT- MISSOURI UNIVERSITY. Pro scouts are drooling over the potential of Gabbert, another player that was largely unknown before the season. In a draft where there isn’t a clear best quarterback prospect, Gabbert and Newton battle it out as the best prospects. Gabbert will still have to adjust to a pro style system, and if the Panthers take Newton, expect the Bengals to take Gabbert with the 4th overall pick.
  3. JAKE LOCKER- UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON. Talk about a turnaround a player could have in one season. Last year, Locker had scouts drooling with his potential and he would have likely been a top 5 pick. This year, scouts are not as impressed with Locker who struggled with consistency for the Huskies this past season. Locker didn’t show the leadership quality that he showed in his 2009 campaign, and his draft position will likely suffer from that. Expect him to be a late first round, early second round selection.

DARK HORSE– CHRISTIAN PONDER- FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY. Ponder put together a very nice season for the Seminoles this past season, but was plagued by injuries for most of the season. There wasn’t one single game he played where he didn’t have at least one injury. Some scouts had him as a first round pick before the season, but he will likely be an early second round selection in this draft. He has the ability to run, and is a very accurate passer, but doesn’t have the ability to throw the long ball.

RUNNING BACKS

  1. MARK INGRAM- UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA. Ingram is the clear-cut best running back in this draft. The only thing that hurts him, is that not many teams need a running back in this draft. One season after winning the Heisman Trophy, Ingram will likely be a mid first round selection. His ability to bust into the open field and evade tackles will help any team. I expect him to go to the Dolphins with the 15th overall pick.
  2. MIKEL LESHOURE- UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS. Leshoure had a huge year for the Fighting Illini. He is one of the few running backs in this class that can carry a big workload, but he will likely only be a second string player for most of his career. I expect him to go early in the second round, possibly going to the Patriots.
  3. DEMARCO MURRAY- OKLAHOMA UNIVERSITY. If players were able to enter the draft after their freshman seasons, Murray would have likely been a top 5 pick in the 2008 draft. However that is not the case, and his draft stock has since fallen drastically. With this running back draft class being very weak, I expect Murray to be a mid second rounder.

DARK HORSE- KENDALL HUNGER- OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY. Hunter was a very unknown prospect after his freshman season, but that quickly changed. Even though he is a lot smaller than scouts would like to see, he still offers a very unique ability to be far more elusive than his opposition. He really reminds me of Darren Sproles of the Chargers. I expect him to be a 4th or 5th round selection and he will make an NFL roster.

WIDE RECEIVERS

  1. A.J. GREEN- UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA. The Georgia Junior was suspended for the first four games of the season, but impressed scouts with the rest of his season. Green is an absolute physical specimen. He is 6’4″ and can run a 4.3 40 yard dash. Green reminds scouts of Andre Johnson of the Texans, one of the best players in the league. I expect Green to be picked by the Browns with the 6th overall pick.
  2. JULIO JONES- UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA.  Jones has had a very productive three years for the Crimson Tide. He has not been blessed with the greatest quarterbacks and played for a team that loves to run, but has still put up great numbers. He is a very viable deep threat and can run great routes. I expect him to be the 10th overall pick when the Redskins select him.
  3. RANDALL COBB- UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY. Cobb was one of the most elusive players in college football last year, but played football at a basketball school and did not get the recognition he deserved. Cobb was an All-American as a kick returner, and will likely be a starter at that position on any NFL team he goes to. He can also run great routes and is extremely fast. I expect him to go to the Bengals with the 3rd pick in the second round.

DARK HORSE- TANDON DOSS– INDIANA UNIVERSITY. You can call me a homer, but Doss really does have great pro potential. He put up great numbers for the Hoosiers, and is a great route runner. He can also be used as a special team kick returner. Although Doss isn’t the fastest player, he is great at running after he catches the ball. He has great hands and will be a great addition to any team.

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NFL Media Room

I had the pleasure of covering the NFL Combine as a member of the media on Friday and Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. My main focus was using social media to cover the event through Twitter, Facebook, and live-blogging.

Having not covered a media event of this magnitude, I spent the first hours just taking it all in and getting used to the surroundings. Its not everyday you see ESPN’s Adam Schefter walk by and standing over in the corner is Jaguars Head Coach Jack Del Rio. Its just one of those surreal moments the first time you are exposed to it.

TweetDeck from my computer

I used the Twitter account @IUSportCom to post messages throughout the two days including players quotes, pictures, and even a review of the food they were serving. The picture function was my best asset of the weekend. I could walk over to where a player or coach is talking to the media and snap a picture from my phone, within seconds I would have it posted to Twitter. This became really comfortable after awhile and I just really enjoyed it.

ESPN's Todd McShay

I had the pleasure of having a short conversation with ESPN’s Chris Mortensen about the world of social media. He said for himself the best use of Twitter is to let people know what ESPN is doing, where to find articles, and find breaking news. He came off as someone who is very aware of the social media world, but is just getting used to its applications. He ended the interview by saying that he doesn’t expect it to go anywhere but wants to know where its going next. I responded, “I’m working on it”, which got a little laugh.

We also had the pleasure of getting an interview with Indiana WR Tandon Doss who handled the media very well in my opinion. He was very laid back with us and answered every question. I’d expect him to shoot up the draft boards once he meets with NFL teams and regains full strength following groin surgery. ESPN Draft analyst Todd McShay also told us that Doss is probably the most underrated WR in the entire draft.

Indiana WR Tandon Doss

There were so many moments that I could list off from the weekend, but one that I will probably never forget was the media frenzy surrounding the entrance of Auburn QB Cam Newton. Rumors circulated that he would appear at the podium around 3:30pm ET. At about 3:40 media members came by asking around to various people when he was coming, where he would be, etc. Eventually an NFL staff member goes up to the podium to do a mic-check, something they had not done for any other prospect. Then as the buzz started to increase, an NFL liaison yelled to the room, “Cam Newton is on his way”. The next few minutes were like something I have never seen before.

Probably a hundred or so media members immediately flock to the podium. We had a great view from our table so we decided to not move closer. Newton walked in with the biggest smile then gave his speech and took questions. Just seeing the spectacle around one prospect, especially one who won’t be the top pick, is very surprising.

Cam Newton

My combine experience overall was something I will never forget. Using social media to tell a story while being around some very important people is just a comfortable setting for me to be in. I like the fast pace having to run across the room because they announce a top-WR like A.J. Green will be at the podium. Its just an experience that not everyone gets to witness. I hope I can have that same feeling once I find my dream job.

-Josh Bowles