2017 NFL Draft Day 3

2017 NFL Draft Day 3: Future Stars

The first two days and three rounds of the NFL draft have finished. The third day of the draft is rounds four through seven. These players drafted on day three sometimes do not even make the roster. So what players remaining, after day two, have a chance to become stars in the NFL? Here are some who may answer that question.

Chad Kelly, QB, Ole Miss

2017 NFL Draft Day 3

(Photo Credit: Chuck Cook, USA TODAY Sports)

Chad Kelly is flying high under the radar. Kelly is the nephew of Buffalo Bills legend Jim Kelly. Chad Kelly had a pretty solid career while at Ole Miss. Going 14-8 as a starter and even notched a win against Alabama. Kelly threw for 6,858 yards, 50 touchdowns, and just 21 interceptions. He also added 958 yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground in his career.

Kelly had a lot of problems off the field that have derailed his career. He was kicked off the team at Clemson for actions against the coaching staff. Once he left Clemson he landed at East Mississippi Community College, more commonly known as Last Chance U. There Kelly led EMCC to a 12-0 season and an NJCAA National Football Championship.

If Kelly has learned from his past mistakes and can be a model citizen off the field then there is a chance he can become a star in the NFL. He has great arm strength and can make NFL throws. Kelly has played primarily in the shotgun and will need to work on his under center mechanics. Also he has great touch passing skills and is much better when moving outside the pocket and throwing. If a team takes a risk in the sixth or seventh round there is a good chance Kelly becomes an NFL starter one day.

Dede Westbrook, WR, Oklahoma

Dede Westbrook was one of the top five receivers in all of college football last season. Some would argue he was the best. Last season he had 80 receptions, 1,524 yards, and 17 touchdowns. Westbrook is an excellent route runner with big play capability. In the open field, Westbrook is explosive and turns a lot of good plays into big plays. Some say his size is an issue but make no mistake, Westbrook could be a scary playmaker in the NFL.

 

Donnel Pumphrey, RB, San Diego St.

Donnel Pumphrey is only still available because of his size, 5-foot-8 and 176 pounds.. The Las Vegas product is the all-time leading rusher in NCAA history. NFL tacklers will be able to arm tackling him but that is only if they can catch him. He is so quick and fast that when he sees a hole he hits it without a second thought.  Pumphrey may not become an every-down back in the NFL but he can create momentum-changing plays. One NFL team will be very happy one day because of the risk they took on him.

 

Malachi Dupre, WR, LSU

Malachi Dupre has fallen mostly because LSU has not had a quarterback capable of helping any receiver. LSU has had some of the worst quarterback play in the country which is why Dupre only put up 98 receptions, 1,609 yards, and 14 touchdowns in his three years at LSU. If you throw the ball in Dupre’s direction there is a good chance he will catch it. He has one of the best catch radii of all the prospects. He will have to work on his route running but with a solid quarterback Dupre could break out as the next great LSU wideout to turn pro.

Ryan Switzer, WR, North Carolina

2017 NFL Draft Day 3

(Photo Credit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OC3Yp4T7KI)

Ryan Switzer may be the most underrated, underappreciated player in this draft. Similar to Dede Westbrook and Donnel Pumphrey, size is the only reason for that. In his senior season at North Carolina, Switzer snagged 96 receptions for 1,112 yards, and six touchdowns. He has also proven to be a great return man who returned seven punts for touchdowns in his collegiate career. Switzer can be a Wes Welker or Julian Edelman type playmaker in the NFL and that is a reason teams should draft him as soon as possible.

Connor Harris, LB, Lindenwood

Connor Harris could have been a first round pick. He has it all, the size, the speed, and the intangibles. Teams seem to be holding it against him that he played in division II but Harris is a tackling machine. Harris holds the record at 633 career tackles. He has the ability to drop in coverage and has shown impressive ball-hawking skills as well. Any team that drafts him is getting a player who doesn’t have to come off the field and is a prototypical, old-school linebacker.

Jake Butt, TE, Michigan

Jake Butt is the victim of a bad injury at the worst time. Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffery got a lot of heat for skipping their bowl games but had Jake Butt done the same then he wouldn’t have torn his ACL for the second time in his career. Butt would have been a second round pick without the injury but now teams are scared. He averaged 11.9 yards per reception for his career and is a guaranteed first down waiting to happen. Every team in the NFL needs a tight end that can get them out of a jam like that. If Butt can become healthy and get a shot, he has a great chance of being a top 10 tight end in the league.

 

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“From Our Haus to Yours”

SEC 2016-2017 Preview

After an entertaining SEC Media Week, I am doing a quick preview of one of the strongest conferences in the land.

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

SEC Player of the Year: LSU’s Running Back Leonard Fournette

For me it is a two horse race for the POTY for the SEC. It will be either be LSU’s running back Leonard Fournette or Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly. I think I am leaning closer to Fournette. He is just one of the unicorns of College Football. He is so powerful and so strong, and he can catch the ball out of the backfield. He does it all for the Tigers on the offensive side of the ball.

Last year, Fournette accounted for the 45% of the offensive touchdowns, which lead the nation. I think Fournette will comeback this season on mission to prove he should have been in New York last year. Fournette will easily have 2000+ yards on the ground and about 300+ yards receiving. With dual threat quarterback Brandon Harris improving from last year to spring ball and throughout the summer it will make the defense have to defend more than Fournette.

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

SEC East Champion: Tennessee Volunteers

The SEC East is pretty much Tennessee’s to lose. The Vols are really only competing with Georgia and Florida for the crown in the East and that is not saying too much. This is because of all the turnover that UGA will have this year. And because Florida will have to play a new quarterback since former starting quarterback Will Grier is no longer there. Second year Coach McElwain has a great core of receivers for whoever the quarterback is but, I would not count on a new starter to take any team to Atlanta for a SEC Championship Game.

Tennessee is just the strongest team in one of the weakest divisions in College Football. South Carolina has a new coach, and possibly a new quarterback that has never played a down of college football.  Vanderbilt is still climbing out of the basement of the SEC, but they do return a good defense. I think this year will be the year we look at as Vandy’s take off year. They will probably still miss a bowl game but the nation will know that Vandy is finally playing football again.

Do you see where I am going with this? Tennessee is the only logical choice to win the division. They have one of the best backfields in the league with quarterback Joshua Dobbs and running back Jalen Hurd. On the defensive side they return seven starters from their stalwart defense of a year ago. Tennessee should run away with the East crown, but it is the SEC East. Anything can and will happen.

Courtesy of AP

Courtesy of AP

SEC West Champion: LSU Tigers

On this side of the conference, we have one of the strongest division in College Football. My big favorites for the West are LSU, Bama and Ole Miss. All of those teams have great reasons why they can win the Division.

LSU with their tandem of Brandon Harris and one of the greatest running backs in school history, Leonard Fournette. Alabama still has Nick Saban, so it does not matter who their quarterback is because most of their quarterbacks are just game managers anyways. Ole Miss has the best quarterback in the conference with Chad Kelly. He is also the only quarterback in the conference with a win against the reigning National Champion Alabama Crimson Tide.

I think the division will be decided on Novemeber 5th when Alabama comes to LSU to play them under the lights of Death Valley. Whoever wins that game most likely wins the division. I think it will be LSU. We all should know that Saban has not found a way to stop a true dual threat quarterback. Until he shows that he can I will always pick the dual threat quarterback against Coach Saban. And LSU also plays Ole Miss at home this year but, they play Arkansas and Texas A&M on the road this year. Both teams look to be very dangerous this year and could spoil some teams National Championship aspirations.

SEC Champion: LSU Tigers

Les Miles has to do this year. After everything that has happened this summer in Baton Rouge, that area needs something to bring them together. Just like how Clemson did something wonderful for the state of South Carolina after the summer they had last year. Not only that, but, Les Miles need this to get the LSU fans off of his back. Last year they wanted him fired and a SEC Championship will be a great rebuttal to those fans. Miles has a great team coming into this season and he needs to strike now before they miss their opportunity with Brandon Harris and Leonard Fournette.

 

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2016 Heisman Watch List

I just finished my Top Quarterback list and now it’s time for my Heisman Watch List. Some of the quarterbacks I listed before might appear here. When I rank these players, I take into account how far I think the team will go and how important that player is to that team’s success.

Christian Petersen/ Getty Images

Christian Petersen/ Getty Images

#5- Ohio State’s Quarterback J.T. Barrett

He is finally going to get his shot to really be the man at Ohio State. Every year he has had another great quarterback on the roster. He played behind Cardale Jones for bits of last season due to his ankle injury to end his 2014 season.

But now for the 2016 Buckeyes he has his chance to do what he could not do in the 2014 season. He has a chance to start the whole season, go to NYC for a chance to lift up the 25-pound bronze trophy named Heisman.

He has put up big numbers almost every time he’s touched the field. Even as a redshirt freshman in 2014 before his season-ending injury, he threw for over 2,800 yards, 34 touchdowns, and only 10 interceptions. Barrett also rushed for almost 1,000 yards and scored 11 touchdowns. In the limited time as a starter in 2015 he put up decent numbers coming in for an ineffective Cardale Jones. I believe with a full season of football at Ohio State with Urban Meyer’s offensive genius, he could get some Heisman votes.

AP Photo/ Thomas Graning

AP Photo/ Thomas Graning

#4-Ole Miss’ Quarterback Chad Kelly

On this list, he has what every player he wants on his resume, and a win against football royalty, the Crimson Tide of Alabama.

Kelly is also coming of a year where he and the Rebels only lost three games and won a New Year’s Eve bowl game. And individually he had a great season. He threw for 4,024 yards, 31 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions, while also rushing for 500 yards and had 10 touchdowns on the ground.

This was his first season as a starting quarterback. In my opinion his resume is already quite impressive. The 2016 Rebels will be looking for Kelly to take them to Atlanta for an automatic bid in the College Football Playoff, sorry, I mean a SEC Championship.

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

#3-Louisiana State University’s Running Back Leonard Fournette

I will say it now: Leonard Fournette was robbed of his chance to go to New York because he was up against Derrick Henry from Alabama that had 95 more rushes than him but only 266 more yards rushing than him.

If you give Fournette the same amount of touches as Alabama’s running back plus Fournette’s 6.5 rush average, Fournette finishes with 2,571 rushing yards. That same running back also had three more games than Fournette and Fournette had 162 more receiving yards than the Alabama running back.

Leonard Fournette was the best running back in the SEC last year and the second best running back in the nation. Therefore I believe he just got overshadowed by the Alabama Crimson Tide name. In 2016, Fournette and the LSU Tigers have a great chance to run the table and get to the Playoffs. Leonard Fournette will be almost everything for this LSU offense. If he does not get over 2,000 yards rushing I will be surprised. Fournette will be in New York this year for the Heisman Ceremony.

Harry How/ Getty Images

Harry How/ Getty Images

#2-Stanford Cardinals’ Running Back Christian McCaffery

McCaffery was the best running back in the nation in 2015 and possibly the best one coming into this season. He should have won the Heisman, but he is another running back overshadowed by a running back from Alabama.

In 2015, he rushed for 2,019 yards and eight touchdowns. He also was great at catching the ball; he had 645 receiving yards and 5 receiving touchdowns.

Also do not forget that he was also dangerous in the return game. As a kick returner, he averaged 28.9 yards per return, 1,070 kick return yards, and one touchdown. In the punt return game, he had 130 punt return yards on 15 attempts and had one touchdown.

McCaffery broke Barry Sanders’ all-purpose record. That should equal a Heisman Trophy. He is the closest thing we have to a Reggie Bush today, he even wears #5. If he breaks his all-purpose record this year and does not get the Heisman it will be a crying shame. It will almost be as bad as Ohio State winning the National Championship game over Miami because of a phantom pass inference call.

Courtesy of The Sports Bank

Courtesy of The Sports Bank

#1-Clemson’s Quarterback Deshaun Watson

He is the best player right now in College Football. If he goes into the draft after this year, he will most likely be the number one pick.

Deshaun has only lost to teams that have been featured in the College Football Playoff (2014 FSU and 2015 Alabama). In addition, both of those squad had Heisman winners.

Watson is the ultimate leader. He will torch any defense with his feet or his arm strength. His resume speaks for itself. He threw for 4,104 yards, 35 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions last season.

On the ground, he ran for 1,105 yards and scored 12 times. He was in New York last year and coming into this season he has the best chance to win the Heisman. I think he and his team are favorites to win the National Championship.

Terrance’s Top Ten Returning College QBs #4 Chad Kelly

And at #4 spot on my list is….

AP Photo/ Thomas Graning

AP Photo/ Thomas Graning

#4 University of Ole Miss’s Chad Kelly-  Kelly had his first season of football last year as a Junior. Kelly started his collegiate career at Clemson. Kelly didn’t play much as a freshman because he was behind one of the great Clemson Quarterbacks, Tajh Boyd and he sat out his sophomore year due to transfer rules. He found his future home at Ole Miss. The 6’2″ QB did well in his full first season as a starting Quarterback. He threw for 4024 yards, 31 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions, while also rushed for 500 yards and had 10 touchdowns on the ground. Kelly led the Rebels to a 10-3 record including a bowl win against Oklahoma State, which was one of his best game of the season. Kelly came up big in many of the Rebels games this season.

On September 9th, the Rebels went down to Alabama for this SEC West showdown. The Rebels would win the game 43-37. The Ole Miss offense was hitting on all cylinders especially on Kelly’s miracle fling to Quincy Adeboyejo for 66 yards. For the game, Kelly threw for 341 yards and three touchdowns on the Alabama secondary. He also added 21 yards to the run game and one score on the ground. His passer rating was 171.3 and had an adjusted QBR of 95.8. This was Ole Miss’s first win at Bryant-Denny in about 25 years.

On November 7th, the Rebels had another SEC West showdown against Arkansas that had to be decided in overtime. The Rebels did not come out victorious, losing by a score of 53-52, but it was one of Kelly’s best games. He threw for 368 yards and three touchdowns, and also added 110 yards on the ground while finding the endzone three times using his feet. Kelly was hot, he completed over 70% of his passes, had a passer rating of 190.6, and a season high 98.3 QBR. Even though the team did not win, it showed how effective Chad Kelly could be if he is dialed into the game.

His last big game was against another SEC West bitter rival, Mississippi State. It was Senior Night, and their starting Quarterback, Dak Prescott wanted a win badly. Kelly and the Rebels out dueled Prescott and his Bulldogs. Ole Miss beat their rival 38-27. Kelly threw for 236 yards and had two passing touchdowns, while also having 74 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown. He had a 70% completion rate, 158.1 passer rating, and also had QBR of 94.2. Out of 13 games Kelly only threw for under 300 yards five times and threw for over 350 four times.

Next year’s Ole Miss team has the potential to be even better. Though, Kelly will be missing his one of his favorite receivers, Laquon Treadwell, and his left tackle Laremy Tunsil, he still should have great success. He should have another 4000 passing yard season and hopefully less interceptions than his junior year. Kelly has the potential to be a Heisman candidate and one of the first Quarterbacks taken in next year’s NFL Draft.