Tag Archive: JUCO transfer

From now until the season starts I will be previewing the prospects from Big-12, ACC and Big East teams for the upcoming season. My colleague at NFL Draft Monsters Justin Higdon (follow him on Twitter @afc2nfc) will be covering the SEC, Pac-12 and Big-10 and you will be able to read those posts on NFL Draft Monsters. Check them all out to get ready for the 2013 NFL Draft by identifying the prospects you need to learn about!

Today I am previewing the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The Gophers had a rough first year under Head Coach Jerry Kill, going 3-9 including 2-6 in the Big-10. They lost three of their four out of conference games last season to USC, New Mexico and North Dakota State (though ND State went on to win the Div-II national championship) but if the Gophers are going to surprise and qualify for a bowl game in 2012 they are going to need to be perfect out of conference and try to win a couple games in conference again. This year they open with UNLV away, then get New Hampshire, Western Michigan and Syracuse at home. Their conference schedule is tough though, because after they play Iowa away and Northwestern at home they play Wisconsin away, Purdue, Michigan, at Illinois, at Nebraska and finish the season with Michigan State in TCF Bank Stadium. Beating Wisconsin, Michigan, Nebraska and Michigan State is going to be an especially tall order, so if Minnesota wants to go to a bowl game their best bet is to split the four games against Iowa, Northwestern, Purdue and Illinois. If they are going to do that MarQueis Gray is going to have to throw better, more accurately and more efficiently and the running game is going to have to take as much pressure off of Gray as possible to move the offense up and down the field. The Gophers’ wide receivers are largely unproven, and the offensive line recently lost returning starting right tackle Jimmy Gjere for good as a result of concussions. There are a lot of question marks on the Gophers offense, but they have some underrated talent that might emerge in time for them to send this batch of seniors to a bowl game.

On defense the Gophers are looking to rebound from one of their worst performances in the last decade, as they gave up 31.7 points per game despite returning 8 starters on that side of the ball. This year they return 6, and hope to improve on the total yards allowed (403) and more specifically, rushing yards allowed (189 per game, 4.9 ypc average). If their defensive line play improves, which will be spear-headed by DL Wilhite and Ra’Shede Hageman in my opinion, their two stud linebackers Mike Rallis and Keanon Cooper can make more plays at or behind the line of scrimmage. And an increased pass rush might help the Gophers improve on their pathetic four interceptions that they managed in 2011. If they are going to upset a couple Big-10 teams this year and go to a bowl game they are going to need some opportunistic turnovers and stops, and that starts with the defensive line and the front 7. If they can stop the bleeding versus the run, cause some turnovers and pressure passers better this unit will improve considerably even if it doesn’t all show up on a stat sheet. So without further adieu, here are the prospects to keep an eye on for 2012:

Gray played WR and QB the first two years he was on the Gophers, but he was the full-time quarterback when healthy as a junior. If he can stay healthy and progress he could give the Gophers a chance at a bowl game and earn himself a shot at the NFL. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

MarQueis Gray, QB- Gray is the face of the program and if the Gophers are going to get to a bowl game this season it is going to be up to him to raise his level of play and become more efficient. He was an athlete when he came to the Gophers but thanks to Adam Weber he was forced to get on the field as a receiver, and the 6’4”, 245 pounder had 48 receptions for 645 yards and 6 touchdowns his first two seasons here (42 receptions, 587 yards and 5 touchdowns as a sophomore). But after Weber graduated Head Coach Jerry Kill wanted to have their best player have the ball in his hands on every snap, so Gray was moved to quarterback. He is very much a work in progress as a QB, showing impressive arm strength and velocity along with plus size and athleticism. To get a shot at being a NFL quarterback he is going to need to improve his accuracy, his mechanics, his pocket poise and his overall efficiency. It’s a tall order, especially for a guy who spent two years at wide receiver, but many believe Gray is ready for a significant jump in year two of Kill’s offense and year two of being a starting quarterback. I believe he will account for more passing yards and touchdowns than he did last year (1,495 with 8 touchdowns and 8 interceptions) but even if he is more productive it doesn’t necessarily mean he will have a shot to be drafted as a quarterback. He has plenty of potential, but if quarterback doesn’t work out he will get a shot to play receiver in my opinion.

Gillum hasn’t taken a snap for the Gophers yet, but there are high expectations for him in the organization and I think he will give the Gophers a chance to reclaim some of their lost running game glory from the days of Marion Barber and Laurence Maroney.

James Gillum, RB*- Gillum is a junior college transfer who hasn’t even played a down of football for the Golden Gophers yet, but according to their current offensive coordinator Coach Kill and the staff he brought with to the Gophers have been recruiting Gillum for three years, but finally got him to leave junior college and come to the Gophers. He is supposedly a “program-changer” and boy could the Gophers use one of those, particularly on offense and at running back no less. Gillum is listed at 5’11”, 204 pounds but Coach Kill has proclaimed that he is “210 or 215, and a very strong 210 or 215.” Whether that is true or not, Gillum has the size, strength and speed to be an impact player on the Gophers offense, even if he isn’t an elite back by Big-10 standards. Just having a running back eclipse 1,000 yards and 8+ touchdowns would be a dramatic improvement, and based on the limited footage I have been able to find I believe Gillum is capable of that. He was very productive in junior college, totaling 2,339 yards and 25 touchdowns in two years, and is ready to make an immediate impact for the Gophers. He is consistently, if not constantly, lauded as a strong, mentally tough individual and really seems to “get it” based on what I have been seeing and reading about him. He was an early-enrollee so he was able to go through an entire offseason and spring with the team, and quickly ascended to the top of the running back depth chart and became the leader of the position group. Redshirt sophomore running back Donnell Kirkwood was quoted as saying: “He’ll get on me, he’ll get on [David] Cobb, he’ll get on Devon [Wright] just as well as I get on anyone. He shows us that he is the oldest and he probably is – I’ll have to say – the most mature in some of the ways, but he kind of rubs off on all of us. When he gets serious, we’ll kind of get serious… He can take things other players can’t. Coach would get on one of the other players and then get on him. And the difference between them, you can tell how he took it versus how another player took it. He’s very mentally tough.” I love what I have been able to read about him, and I’m very excited to see how he does this season. He has the size, athleticism, strength, balance, shiftiness and has flashed some vision, so I have high hopes for him. I don’t know anything about his ability to catch out of the backfield or to pass block, but I know he can run the ball effectively. I have a feeling he’s going to surprise a lot of people that aren’t familiar with Minnesota Gophers football, and they could really use a lift in the running game.

Brandon Green, WR- Green is a 6th year senior and is the leading returning receiver on the team despite only catching 15 passes for 190 yards and one touchdown. This group of receivers is DYING for a playmaker or two to emerge, and Green may be one of the most likely receivers to step up. The 6’0”, 190 pound receiver had two receptions for 50 yards in the spring game and returns with 18 career starts. If Gray improves as a passer, and passes much more often than he runs (213 pass attempts and 199 rushing attempts in 2011) then Green could improve considerably on his numbers from a year ago. He flashed potential as a freshman and sophomore, totaling 41 receptions, 591 yards and two scores in those two years, but then he sustained a season ending injury in 2010 and wasn’t all the way healthy in 2011. He should be 100% for 2012 though, and that might mean being Gray’s go-to guy on offense.

Devin Crawford-Tufts is an Edina High School graduate, and I hear people that graduate from there are particularly eloquent and talented in whatever they choose to do.

Devin Crawford-Tufts, WR**- Crawford Tufts will be henceforth referred to as DCT because his name is so long. DCT went to the same high school that I did (though he is obviously younger than I am, being a true sophomore) but the 6’2”, 195 pounder got a little playing time as a true freshman, catching 8 passes for 158 yards and showing a knack for big plays, including a long reception of 61 yards. The Gophers desperately need playmakers at receiver, particularly ones that can make big plays vertically, and DCT is going to have an opportunity to step up and make those plays. He isn’t listed as a starter, but I’d be surprised if he didn’t improve on those numbers considerably and make some big plays downfield this season. After all, he is an Edina Hornet (Green and White ‘til I die).

Ed Olson, OT*- Olson is only a junior, but he has the potential to be a NFL player after he graduates. He is the longest tenured starter on the offensive line and returns with 18 career starts all at left tackle, and will likely play left tackle for the next two years for the Gophers. At 6’7”, 305 pounds he has NFL size, though he could stand to add some weight to his lower body. He has pretty good feet and long arms, plus he plays with an aggressive, nasty demeanor which I love. I am interested to see if his play is more consistent and I want to see him have more of an impact in the run game than I have seen thus far. As the Gophers’ current top lineman, if they are going to reestablish a running game like they used to have with Marion Barber and Laurence Maroney (that actually feels like two decades ago) they are going to need an improved push up front. For the Gophers, that starts with Olson.

DL Wilhite, DE- Wilhite is the elder statesmen of the defensive line, returning with 17 career starts. The 6’3”, 250 pound defensive end flashed potential last year with 16 tackles and 3 sacks, but he is more of a high-effort player than a dynamic sack artist. He has burst and speed, but he is relatively undersized and struggles once contact is initiated by the offensive lineman, which helps explain why he didn’t have any tackles for loss in the run game. He doesn’t have a great repertoire of pass rush moves at this point, and if he doesn’t beat the tackle with speed and he gets engaged he usually struggles to disengage and make the play. If he has gotten stronger and worked on his pass rush moves he could provide a much needed boost to the Gophers’ defense, but I’ll be a little surprised if he truly breaks out this year.

Ra’Shede Hageman, DT*- Hageman doesn’t have a career start to his name, but his size alone catches your eye. He is both the tallest and heaviest Gophers defensive lineman I see on the roster, measuring at 6’6” and tipping the scales at 300 pounds. He played in all 12 games last season and had 13 tackles, 1.5 TFL and 2 sacks, but I think he has the potential to exceed that easily as a junior even though it is his first year as a starter. The Gophers desperately need improved defensive line play, and I’m anxious to see if Hageman can provide it.

Keanon Cooper, OLB- Cooper is one of the leaders of the defense along with middle linebacker Mike Rallis, and he and Rallis had to help rally the team together after the tragic loss of Gary Tinsley, who died as a result of an enlarged heart. Tinsley was the Gophers second leading tackler last season, and led the team in tackles for loss, and as a tribute the team will wear “GT 51” patches on their jerseys for the 2012 season. Cooper happened to be Tinsley’s roommate and happened to be the man who found Tinsley’s body the morning after he died in his sleep. He has flashed some read and react skills, but I want to see more of him from that aspect. He is a former defensive back and as a result the 6’0”, 220 pound linebacker closes on the action quickly and is the team’s second leading tackler who returns only to Rallis, having accumulated 77 tackles, 5 TFL, 1 sack, 2 pass break-ups and 2 forced fumbles as a junior. He’s undersized for the position, but he’s one of the key cogs of the Gophers defense.

Mike Rallis is another Edina High School graduate playing for the Gophers, and I expect him to top 100 tackles and provide a stabilizing presence in the middle of the Gophers’ defense in 2012.

Mike Rallis, MLB- I never could have dreamed that any prospect preview I could have done would involve not one but TWO former Edina Hornets, but that day has come. Rallis was a running back and linebacker for Edina and I remember many instances of him breaking tackles, making big hits and ripping off big runs to help my former high school win as many games as it did while I went there. It’s hard to believe he is the starting middle linebacker for the Gophers now after walking on after graduating from Edina, but at the same time it isn’t. I’ve heard multiple people talk about his leadership capability, one even saying that even before he was an upper-classmen he was “the leader in the room” when the linebackers got together. He is certainly bigger now than he was in high school, as he is listed at 6’2”, 245 pounds and has the size to get a shot at the next level. He is the leading returning tackler on the Gophers, totaling 83 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 2 pass break-ups and a fumble recovery as a junior. It will be really fun to watch an Edina Hornet play on either side of the ball for the Gophers this upcoming fall, and I can’t wait to see Rallis break the 100 tackle mark this year.

Troy Stoudermire, CB- Stoudermire is a former wide receiver and he demonstrated those ball skills as he accounted for two of the four interceptions the Gophers had as an entire team last season. The 5’10”, 200 pound corner also added 24 tackles, 3 tackles for loss and 3 pass break-ups. He started his career with two consecutive seasons with over 1,000 kick return yards, totaled 789 as a junior and then only got a chance to return 8 kickoffs as a senior because his season was cut short by injury. He set a conference record in his first three seasons as a kick returner, and figures to add to that record as a senior. He may not be an elite corner, but his unique mix of talents both as a receiver and corner in addition to his knack for returning kicks will earn him looks from NFL talent evaluators.

Brock Vereen, FS*- Vereen is one of the most experienced defenders on the Gophers’ defense despite entering his junior season. He has 16 career starts and is the third leading returning tackler on the roster behind Rallis and Cooper. The 6’0”, 195 pound free safety had 67 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 7 pass deflections and 1 interception as a sophomore, and will look to improve on those numbers as a junior. That will have a lot to do with how the defensive line does, because if they can ramp up the pressure it will make things a lot easier on a secondary that returns only three of the four interceptions they had as an entire team last year. If there are any playmakers that can change that in 2012, it’s Stoudermire and Vereen.

From now until the season starts I will be previewing the prospects from Big-12, ACC and Big East teams for the upcoming season (and I apologize that I haven’t gotten one done in a while!). My colleague at NFL Draft Monsters Justin Higdon (follow him on Twitter @afc2nfc) will be covering the SEC, Pac-12 and Big-10 and you will be able to read those posts on NFL Draft Monsters. Check them all out to get ready for the 2013 NFL Draft by identifying the prospects you need to learn about!

Today I am previewing TCU. TCU hasn’t had the easiest of offseasons due to their drug related issues, especially pertaining to the drug bust that occurred last February. That hurt their depth and put them under the microscope when they already had plenty of eyes on them after agreeing to go to the Big-East, then changing course again when a spot in the Big-12 opened up. The step up in competition alone is intriguing enough to keep an eye on, but with the added unwanted attention from a drug scandal TCU has plenty of people watching them this year. Luckily they return plenty of talent on offense, particularly at quarterback with Casey Pachall, running back with Waymon James and Matthew Tucker, and wide receiver with Josh Boyce, Skye Dawson and Brandon Carter. Their offensive line has been gutted though, and they don’t have much returning experience outside of senior right guard Blaize Foltz. The offense should fit in pretty well with the Big-12 though, as they can run the ball effectively and air it out quite well due to their talent at the skill positions.

Contrary to what has been Patterson’s mantra at TCU, the offense is expected to be the stronger of the two units, not the defense as has been customary. The defense was gutted as well thanks to graduation and in part the drug bust, and now they have plenty of question marks throughout the defense. The lone standout remaining is defensive end Stansly Maponga, who had 9 sacks last year and is TCU’s best bet to put any pressure on Big-12 offenses that, traditionally, love to pass the ball. TCU’s defense won’t be awful, especially since Patterson is a very good coach and a bright defensive mind, but there will likely be some significant growing pains in the first 4-6 weeks of the season. That means it is all the more imperative that Pachall and the offense get off to a strong start right off the bat, so the defense can get their feet under them. There are some speculating that TCU could have a 10+ win season this year, but I think 8 or maybe 9 is more realistic. I think they will drop a couple Big-12 games thanks to their defense, and while their offense has plenty of talent at the skill positions I think Pachall will be under considerably more pressure this year than he was as a sophomore thanks to the turnover on the offensive line. With that said, here are TCU’s prospects to keep an eye on:

Pachall has plenty of arm talent, but his inconsistent mechanics (such as his release, which dips to his waist) and varying release angles can hurt his accuracy.

Casey Pachall, QB*- Pachall is entering his junior season and his second full season as a starter with pretty lofty expectations considering what he was able to accomplish as a first year starter, replacing the revered Andy Dalton no less. He threw for a TCU record 2,921 yards (and completed 67% of his passes while doing so) as well as 25 touchdowns and only 7 interceptions. Not bad for your first 13 games as a starter. But he will have an even bigger test this year as he returns to a team with plenty of skill position talent on offense, but a lot of question marks along his offensive line and throughout his defense. That means there will be more pressure on Pachall, both to be a leader and to be even more productive, but also literally when he drops back to pass. Pachall has the size, the arm strength and the athleticism that you want in a quarterback standing at 6’5”, 216 pounds and having the mobility to extend plays when flushed from the pocket, threaten defenses if they don’t respect him on zone-read plays, and pick up yardage if the defense gets too far upfield and doesn’t keep an eye on him in man coverage. His accuracy is good, not great, but when I’ve watched him there haven’t been many throws that have been way off target despite his inconsistent mechanics.

Pachall has plenty of raw talent, the question is will he be able to master the mental part of the game as well as the mechanical aspect. His throwing motion could use tweaking, and he doesn’t consistently throw with the same mechanics. There are times when he stands tall in the pocket and delivers a throw and takes a hit as a result, and there are other times when he fades away from the pressure, rushes his throwing motion and throws an inaccurate pass in the face of the pass rush. He definitely has a live arm and can make all the throws from an arm strength standpoint, but I haven’t been impressed with his ability to identify pressure pre-snap, or to make adjustments at the line of scrimmage. This likely has a lot to do with him being a sophomore in his first season as a starter, but it’s still something I took notice of and want to see him improve now that he has a year of starting experience under his belt. Pachall has shown that he can make big throws when his team needs them, whether it’s on 3rd down or late in a game (see 2011 game against Boise State) but his gunslinger mentality also opens him up to errant throws and mistakes. He clearly trusts his arm and also his receivers (most notably Josh Boyce) and it will be interesting to see if that mentality and trust gets him in any more trouble against improved Big-12 competition this season.

Overall, Pachall impressed me with his tools, but playing quarterback is about a lot more than just having the size and arm talent to make the throws. As Trent Dilfer would say during the Elite 11 camp: “Right now, you’re a butcher, and you’re good enough to get away with just being a butcher. But I want you to be a surgeon, and that part comes from the mental aspect of the game.” That’s not a direct quote, but it’s the gist of what he told a college-bound QB from last year’s Elite 11 and it applies quite well to Pachall. Pachall is talented enough to not make great pre-snap reads, not work to improve his mechanics, not identify blitzes or his hot reads that well, and make throws without much anticipation and get away with it. But if he wants to take the next step and eventually be a NFL quarterback he needs to become a master of his offense, make checks at the line of scrimmage and make better pre-snap reads. He’s flashed the ability to come off of his primary receiver and scan the field which was encouraging, but I’d like to see more of that. Pachall and TCU will be under a microscope not only because they are moving into the Big-12, but because of all the drug issues TCU has been having recently (which resulted in Pachall admitting that he had used in marijuana, cocaine and ecstasy, though Patterson noted that Pachall “has passed 24 other drug tests that had been administered, including six since the failed test in February). Pachall isn’t the clean-cut choir boy that Andy Dalton was, but that’s not something you love to hear about the face of your football program. That news created quite a buzz on Twitter, but it shouldn’t result in a suspension of any kind for Pachall unless he continues to use them and fails a drug test, which to this point he hasn’t.

Waymon James, RB*- I have to say I’m a fan of Waymon James, but not just because of his on-field talent, but because his first name really cracks me up. That said, thanks to Ed Wesley’s departure for the Supplemental Draft earlier this summer, James and Matthew Tucker figure to get a lot more carries this season. Last year the carry load was distributed remarkably evenly (James with 121 attempts, Wesley with 120 attempts, and Tucker with 123 attempts). With Wesley and the 120 carries he accounted for last year now gone, James and Tucker figure to account for the majority of those touches. James is another shorter back, listed at only 5’8” but tipping the scales at an impressive 203 pounds. He clearly has a lot of lower leg strength, he catches the ball well out of the backfield and he has plenty of burst and straight line speed as well. He runs through arm tackles easily thanks to his lower body strength and ability to churn his legs and has the shiftiness to make guys miss and break off longer runs. I really like James and I think he should be featured heavily in TCU’s offense this year. He’s a smaller back, yes, but he can run between the tackles, break tackles, get tough yards in addition to providing burst, speed, and pass catching out of the backfield.

Matthew Tucker, RB- Tucker is the relative “thunder” to James’ lightning as he stands at 6’1”, 227 pounds and runs with some authority. He doesn’t go down to arm tackles and while I doubt he has much more than 4.5 speed he can rumble for big gains once he gets past the 2nd level. He is a senior this year and perhaps due to his size as well as his experience TCU likes to use him to pass block on 3rd down situations and seems to do a solid job. I’m not sure how great Tucker’s NFL prospects are at this point, but he is no slouch out of that TCU backfield. With Wesley gone, I imagine TCU will feature James and Tucker quite frequently with a couple of younger backs mixed in as well.

I’m a big fan of Josh Boyce, and I think he is ready to have a 1,000+ yard, 12+ TD season in the Big-12.

Josh Boyce, WR*- I have to say I am a big fan of Josh Boyce and I think he is my favorite NFL Draft prospect on TCU’s entire roster. Last season as a sophomore the 5’11”, 203 pound receiver caught 61 passes for 998 yards and 9 touchdowns and was undeniably Pachall’s go-to guy when he needed a big play or a crucial conversion. Boyce has very reliable hands and they are strong enough to rip the ball away when a defender contests him for a reception. He may not be a huge receiver, but he is pretty filled out and does a good job tracking and timing his leaps on 50/50 balls. He has shown that he can high point the ball and catches the ball very well with his hands outside of his frame. I don’t think he has 4.4 flat speed, but I think he is in that 4.45-4.5 range which is more than adequate to transition into the NFL when he chooses to leave TCU (either this year after his junior year or after he graduates as a senior. It would be fun to watch him and Pachall stay for two more years). Boyce may not be the biggest or the fastest, but he is a playmaker with great hands who runs good routes and is a well-rounded receiver. Will he be a #1 WR in the NFL? Probably not, but I think he can be a good slot receiver and perhaps even a quality #2. I am really looking forward to watching him this year.

Skye Dawson, WR- Dawson may not be as good of a prospect as Boyce, but plenty of people have their eyes on him now that he is a senior. He’s only listed at 5’9, 183 pounds but he compensates for that lack of size with dynamic speed. Whether he actually has sub 4.4 speed or not, his speed and burst is clear on the field and he is certainly dangerous any time he gets the ball in his hands, particularly in space. But that is the problem with Dawson, actually getting the ball in his hands. He has very questionable hands in my opinion and I have seen a number of passes hit him right in the hands and fall to the turf, including a TERRIBLE drop vs. Louisiana Tech on a ball that, had he caught it, could have been a 90 yard touchdown. Dawson has speed to burn, but if he continues to body catch and struggle to catch passes outside of his frame it is going to limit him as a receiver and make him less attractive to NFL scouts. He has flashed some ability as a kick returner, and although he only has 7 career returns he has 182 career yards, a 26 yard average per return. Now that Greg McCoy has graduated, perhaps he will get more opportunities to show he can be a difference maker as a return man as well.

Blaize Foltz, OG- Foltz is arguably TCU’s top returning offensive lineman, and boy will they need him since they lost so much experience up front. Foltz is a big, strong offensive guard who is listed at 6’4”, 310 pounds and is well known for his absurd weight room strength. Foltz does a pretty good job of translating this to the field, as he has impressive phone-booth strength and can drive opponents off the ball when he gets his hands on them and keeps his pads low. His downfall is when he is asked to be mobile, such as pulling or getting out on screens. He looks slow and struggles to quickly change direction when a fast defender closes nearby him and may struggle to mirror faster defensive linemen that can keep him off balance. Oftentimes when he gets his hands on a defender the play is over for him, but it will be interesting to see how he does against bigger and faster defensive linemen in the Big-12. He’s a good drive blocker, but I have questions about him as a puller and as a pass blocker right now.

Maponga may not be well known thus far, but he had 9 sacks last season and may be ready for another break-out campaign as a member of the Big-12 conference this season.

Stansly Maponga, DE*- Maponga has been on my radar for a long time now, I noticed him as a freshman and he is coming into his junior season this year. He’s a little undersized at 6’2” but is listed at 265 pounds which is impressive. He’s got some burst off the ball and fairly long arms for his size, but I am very interested to see if he can replicate his production (55 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 9 sacks and an impressive 5 forced fumbles) at a higher level of competition in the Big-12. He has some speed and burst, but right now he is still a mid-round guy for me. I like him, but he isn’t an elite pass rusher yet in my eyes. If TCU is going to hang with the Big-12’s best, they are going to need Maponga to terrorize opposing backfields. The defensive end opposite him, senior Ross Forrest, isn’t a special pass rusher by any means and mostly accumulates stats as a result of his motor. The Big-12 traditionally has a lot of high-flying passing attacks, so if TCU is going to compete for a 9+ win season their defense is going to have to step up. That means Maponga will have to replicate his production from a year ago.

Kenny Cain, OLB/S- Cain isn’t an elite NFL Draft prospect, but he is TCU’s leading returning tackler as a senior with 72 tackles (he actually led the team in tackles last year, totaling 2 more than Tekerrein Cuba and Tank Carder) while also adding 2 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 4 pass break-ups and an interception. He’s undersized at 6’1, 210 pounds and is a bit of a linebacker/safety hybrid, but if he continues to be a productive tackler and if he can demonstrate competency on special teams he will have a shot as an undrafted free agent if nothing else.

Jason Verrett, CB*- Verrett is a 5’10”, 180 pound corner whose first season with TCU after transferring from a junior college school was pretty productive. He had 58 tackles (the most of any corner for TCU since 2001 according to Phil Steele), 1.5 TFL, 4 pass break-ups and an interception. I haven’t seen him play much, but coming into his junior season he will definitely be on my radar.