NFL Draft Countdown | No.9 Manti Te’o

Pros: A tackling machine, Te’o opted to return for his senior season, where he will once again serve as the leader and glue of the defensive unit. The former five-star recruit coming out of high school in Hawaii, Te’o is one of the few blue-chip recruits who lived up to the billing starting all four years for the Fighting Irish. Te’o moved from outside to inside linebacker in 2010 as Notre Dame switched from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 scheme under defensive coordinator Bob Diaco, providing experience in both formations. His sideline-to-sideline coverage is arguably the best of anyone at his position at the college level but he has also proven that he can penetrate the backfield and create chaos

Cons: A great run-stuffer, Te’o needs to improve his coverage dropping back when covering tight ends and receivers out of the backfield. His footwork has been

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NFL Draft Countdown | No.8 David Amerson

Pros: Blessed with great size and athleticism, Amerson is built to cover even the tallest and fastest receivers with his 6’3 height, 4.4-speed and tremendous leaping ability. After starting nine games as a true freshman, Emerson switched from boundary cornerback to field corner prior to his sophomore season. He has gotten bigger and stronger and has learned to spend extra hours in the film room.

Cons: He was burned a few times on the double move early on in his career and can tend to over-anticipate at times due to his aggressiveness. He will need to tame down his willingness to jump the gun in the pros. Due to his long arms, Amerson can sometimes get tangled up off the line of scrimmage when tangling with receivers.

Quote of Note: “He has quick feet and great hands and good instincts. He is

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NFL Draft Countdown | No.7 Sam Montgomery

Pros: One of the Tigers team leaders, Montgomery plays with ferociousness on the field, LSU head coach Les Miles says “He’s very emotional, plays with great passion, and I want him to stay that way.” Montgomery was timed in the 4.4-range coming out of high school and has shown his power coming off the edge while displaying one of the quickest first steps in the nation.

Cons: Has played with both his hand in the dirt and standing up but tends to get stood up against some of the more massive lineman in the SEC. Some scouts feel he is a bit of a ‘tweener,’ as he has the frame to bulk up but might cost him some speed, is he an end or a backer?

Medical Report: He missed the final eight games of 2010 after suffering a season-ending knee injury but seemed to have

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NFL Draft Countdown | No.6 Landry Jones

Pros: A pure pocket-passer, Jones resume includes vast experience, starting 34 consecutive games entering his senior campaign. Has displayed more than capable arm strength throughout his career to make all the throws and operates extremely well off the playaction.

Cons: There has been some talk of shortening up his throwing motion but the biggest knock on Jones is his tendency to fold under pressure once the pocket collapses—he needs to improve his mobility. At times Jones tends to overthrows his receivers. He saw his touchdowns decrease with the emergence of Blake Bell and the “Belldozer” package during 2011.

Quote of Note: “He’s got pretty good command of what we’re doing offensively. He’ll tell you what the offensive line is supposed to do, when protection’s a bust, when you’re supposed to make a different call, he understands those things.”

— Oklahoma Quarterback

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NFL Draft Countdown | No.5 Jarvis Jones

Pros: Talk about exploding onto the scene, that’s exactly what Jones did as one of the premier pass-rushers in the country. The defensive team captain has racked up numerous accolades during his course of destruction through the SEC. He came to the Bulldogs as an inside linebacker and was converted to the outside in defensive coordinator Todd Grantham’s 3-4 defense, adding versatility to his game.

Cons: Still developing as a pass-rusher, Jones skillset remains raw and he will need to enhance his arsenal for beating opponents on the outside edge. Once he puts it all together, its scary what he can become.

Medical Report: He suffered a sprained neck during his freshman season at USC, which nearly ended his career.

Quote of Note: “Disruptive edge rusher, sure tackler, defensive leader. The perfect combination, the prototypical 3-4 outside linebacker. A top five [overall]

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NFL Draft Countdown | No.4 Sammy Watkins

Pros: Impressive. In one word, that is Sammy Watkins. He had one of the more memorable freshman seasons for a wide receiver (82/1219/12) in recent memory, becoming just the third ever true freshman to earn First Team All American honors (Herschel Walker, Adrian Peterson). Separation. Whether it is running routes or after the catch, Watkins has the ability to get open coming out of breaks and take it the distance once the ball is in his hands. His game speed has another gear that is unordinary, which also makes him a dangerous return man—Watkins loves to return kicks as well as punts.

Cons: There are not many weaknesses in Watkins’ game on the field. Getting stronger will come with time and Watkins said he has worked on improving his lower leg strength. Like most wide outs, blocking can improve. Off the field, he was

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NFL Draft Countdown | No.3 Tyler Bray

Pros: As a freshman, Bray took over the starting job from Matt Simms and showed immediate star ability. The California native has progressed steadily on picking up on defensive reads and improving his accuracy—has a strong enough arm to make all the throws. Bray places good touch on his pass attempts, he knows when to zip it and when to float it.

Cons: Despite his vast improvement, Bray still needs to be more consistent with his decision-making. While Bray has great height (6’6), his frame appears fragile and one has to wonder whether he can sustain the impact of NFL caliber hits over time. He could stand to fill out his frame and improve his mobility in the pocket.

Medical Report: A broken right thumb held him out of action the remainder five weeks of the season in 2011.


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NFL Draft Countdown | No.2 Jadeveon Clowney

Pros: An immediate impact starter as a freshman at the SEC level, Clowney has the most impressive combination of athleticism and explosion of any defensive lineman in college football. His burst off the ball snap is where the battle begins for opposing linemen, who then have to deal with his size, strength and speed. The South Carolina native can play inside and out but has rare pass-rush qualities that could translate into being an elite defensive end at the next level.

Cons: Coaches have criticized Clowney for not practicing hard enough at all times. Ironically, he seems to come up with big plays during critical moments, which is something he’s ben doing since high school—Clowney logged a remarkable 52 ½ sacks during his final two seasons. However, his conditioning has come into question since his arrival at South Carolina. He admitted that the playbook

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NFL Unrestricted & Restricted FA Signings


(Based on official notification to NFL office as of 5/16/12)

1)     139 UNRESTRICTED free agents signed with a NEW team:





Arizona Cardinals

DB William Gay



DB James Sanders



G Adam Snyder

San Francisco


Baltimore Ravens

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NFL Draft Countdown | No.1 Matt Barkley

Scouting Report: A four-year starter who has improved his accuracy immensely each season, Barkley brings leadership intangibles and intelligence. The California native has displayed impressive maturity during his development and possesses all the physical tools that NFL teams look for in a franchise quarterback. His experience running a pro style offense makes him an ideal fit for a West Coast style of offense at the next level. Barkley said he intends to practice refining his footwork and throwing mechanics and becoming “a coach on the field.” Another area he will need to tame is his tendency to force bad thrown balls. Some NFL scouts have questioned his accuracy on the deep ball. Regardless, Barkley will be in contention for the number one overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Medical Report: Needed surgery on his throwing wrist to help with stiffness and inflammation prior

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