nfldraftblitz draft dirt.
- It looks like San Diego State wide receiver Jeff Webb will enter this year's NFL Draft. After sending in his paperwork to receive his draft evaluation, he told coaches that all it would take for him to leave school is for the evaluation to project him being selected. The 6'2" 210lb junior caught 71 passes this year and would be a likely mid-late day 2 selection.
- Virginia junior offensive tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson has announced he'll be remaining in school.
- Oklahoma State running back Vernard Morency will return to the Cowboys for his senior season.
- Temple quarterback Walter Washington is considering following teammate Rian Wallace into the NFL Draft.
- Georgia safety Greg Blue will return to school for his senior season.
- We're being told that Auburn offensive tackle Marcus McNeill is "very likely" to enter the NFL draft, where he would likely be the first offensive tackle selected.
- Utah quarterback Alex Smith is likely to enter the draft.
- Don't be surprised if Texas' hold on underclassmen is broken this year as both Michael Huff and Rodrique Wright are considering there options. Given that Texas players simply don't enter early, we find there reluctance to comment to be rather condemning.
- While Matt Leinart initially said he'd be staying put, he's now getting advice from members of the USC coaching staff saying that it would be best for him to take advantage of his high draft stock and declare.
- Despite the fact the Memphis running back DeAngelo Williams fractured his fibula during the team's bowl game it appears he's still strongly leaning towards entering the draft. His injury should take no more than 2 months to heal and he'll be ready to workout before the draft.
- Virginia offensive tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson is telling people he'll be returning to the team for his senior season. With that being said, we're not listening to a word he says until after the team's bowl game.
- Michigan quarterback Clayton Richard has elected to play baseball for Michigan and isn't sure he'll be back with the football team. Don't expect to see him with the team anytime soon.
- We've been told by a source close to the Boise State program that offensive tackle Daryn Colledge is 50/50 on entering the draft and that if he had to make the decision today, he'd likely declare.
- LSU offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth will return to the team for his senior year.
- James Banks admitted that his knee surgery "led him down a dark and troubled path back into using drugs" and that he "resumed smoking marijuana recreationally soon after undergoing surgery in August." We're told he's likely to enroll at Chattanooga, where he'll be eligible to play right away.
- One scout tells us he thinks UAB receiver Roddy White "is the second best senior receiver in the country" behind only Michigan's Braylon Edwards.
- Oregon State wide receiver Mike Haas hasn't ruled out entering the draft.
- Look for Cincinnati quarterback to shoot up draft boards if he's able to ease NFL team's concerns about his off-the-field issues and supposed attitude problems.
- Marcus McNeil has been thinking hard about whether or not to turn pro and will make his decision soon.
- Texas defenders Rod Wright and Michael Huff will both wait until after their bowl game to make their decisions regarding the draft.
- One player who is quickly rising up draft boards with little fanfare from the media is Hampton WR Jerome Mathis. One scout we spoke to told us Mathis could find himself drafted in the early stages of day 2.
- Winston Justice has enrolled at USC, but he has also said he might enter the draft.
- Channing Crowder is very much on the fence about whether he will return to Florida next season or if he'll turn pro.
- When speaking with a prominent scout from a quarterback hungry team, set to select early in the draft, we were surprised to hear that it wouldn't bother him if USC's Matt Leinart and Cal's Aaron Rodgers stayed in school because the quarterback at the top of his team's board is Utah's Alex Smith. Whom he expects to declare, especially if the other two don't.
-Thomas Davis, Odell Thurman, Max Jean-Gilles and Greg Blue have all indicated they are thinking about returning to Georgia, but will wait until after the Outback Bowl to make a final decision.
- Nebraska cornerback Fabian Washington might not be ready to leave Lincoln behind, but he'll make his decision before Christmas. Expect us to have the story first.
- Justin Miller has not confirmed any stories about him entering the NFL, even though the team will not play in a bowl game. Miller will quietly confer with his family before deciding.
- The hype surrounding the underclassmen from the University of Virginia is warranted, but none of the players has expressed much interest in declaring for the draft. Expect more news after their bowl game.
- An underclassman has never left the University of Texas under Mack Brown, but safety Michael Huff may be the first to do so.
- One AFC scout told me recently that Maurice Clarett is currently a fringe second rounder on his board.
- In speaking with a NFC scout, we found out that his team has Dan Cody as the #1 overall defensive lineman.
- It's early on, but Houston Texans scouts are in love with LSU defensive end Marcus Spears.
- Looking for a fast-rising player? Oklahoma's Mark Bradley had an impressive year and is making himself very well known right now.
* Marcedes Lewis will return to UCLA next year.
* South Carolina offensive tackle Jabari Levey is seriously considering following his teammate Troy Williamson in entering the draft.
* Jesse Mahelona will be back at Tennessee.
*Santonio Holmes is telling people he's going back to Ohio State.
* In an interesting move, we've been told that Oregon tight end Tim Day will likely enter the draft. Day is a dominating blocker with soft hands, however he runs like an offensive lineman.
* Nick Saban has all but signed the contract to take over as the Dolphins coach.
* Louisiana Tech running back Ryan Moats is likely to enter the NFL Draft and he feels he doesn't have much left to prove in college and won't be able to significantly increase his draft stock.
* As we reported previously, Ciatrick Fason has decided to leave Florida and enter the NFL Draft.
* The following is a list of players who have petitioned the NFL Advisory Committee:
Brad Smith- Missouri
Frank Gore- Miami (FL)
Eric Shelton- Louisville
Leon Washington- FSU
Marion Barber III-Minnesota
Vernand Morency-Oklahoma State
TA McLendon- NC State
Troy Williamson- South Carolina
Todd Watkins- BYU
Santonio Holmes- Ohio State
Chris Henry- West Virginia
Derek Hagan- Arizona State
Heath Miller- Virginia
Marcedes Lewis- UCLA
Eric Winston- Miami (FL)
Jami Hightower-Texas A&M
Daryn Colledge-Boise State
Mathias Kiwanuka-Boston College
Justin Tuck-Notre Dame
Orien Harris-Miami (FL)
Anthony Schlegal-Ohio State
AJ Hawk-Ohio State
Adam Jones-West Virginia
Kelly Jennings-Miami (FL)
Jimmy Williams-Virginia Tech
Will Blackmon-Boston College
Brandon Browner-Oregon State
Nate Salley- Ohio State
James Sanders-Fresno State
* It's looking more and more likely that Florida inside linebacker Channing Crowder will indeed enter the NFL draft.
* It appears there is some genuine concern over the character of Texas running back Cedric Benson. In April of 2002 Benson was arrested in a Midland apartment after police responded to a call about loud music. The officers found small amounts of pot, drug paraphernalia and alcohol in the apartment. While the charges were later dropped, this remains in the minds of scouts and GM's. He was arrested and charged with misdemeanor criminal trespassing last October, when he reportedly kicked down an apartment door in an effort to recover a plasma television he claimed had been stolen earlier. Benson pleaded no contest and was sentenced to eight days in jail, fined $1,000 and ordered to pay restitution of nearly $500 for court costs and a damaged door in the apartment. A scout I spoke to said he wouldn't be surprised to see Benson's stock fall below both Auburn running backs and Cal's J.J. Arrington once teams really start digging into his personal history.
* Miami (Fl) offensive tackle Eric Winston was reportedly "99% likely to enter the draft" prior to his injury. While most feel the injury will keep him in school, it looks like he's still leaning towards entering the draft.
* Despite reports to the contrary, I've been told that South Carolina Troy Williamson is still entertaining the idea of entering the draft.
* Florida running back Ciatrick Fason and center Mike Degory are both very likely to turn pro.
But I still don't know what any team saw Thursday night that would have made them comfortable with waiting a round or two for the offensive lineman they wanted. ---Todd McShay
We just converted half our LB to DL. We have a 30m starting DL, it better be pretty friggin good.