NFL Draft Rumor Mill



Teams Grading Correa in Round 2

Updated March 31, 2016
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.



A lot has been made about how the 2016 NFL Draft is very deep along the defensive line. While there is a ton of talent on the inside of the line, there also are edge rushers who could have a number of players go off the board in the first few rounds. One player who has generated some buzz is Boise State outside linebacker Kamalei Correa. Some have projected him to be a late first-round pick and compared Correa to Packers linebacker Clay Matthews. In speaking with multiple team sources, Correa has been getting second-round grades.

The 6-foot-2, 243-pound Correa is an edge defender who will have to get stronger for the NFL. Teams view Correa as fitting best in a 3-4 defense as an edge rusher. One playoff team that is in the market for that position has a second-round grade on Correa. The general manager of that team said he's not real physical. Another team picking high that needs pass-rushing help has him on Day 2, and they feel at his size, he projects more to the second day.

Another 3-4 team picking high in the draft said that Correa is a good player, but not Clay Matthews. They say that Correa plays with energy, but is not as good or relentless as Matthews. They feel he is just okay against the run. They have a second-round grade on Correa as well.

Correa totaled 39 tackles with 11 for a loss, seven sacks and three forced fumbles in 2015. His best season came as a sophomore when he notched 59 tackles, 19 for a loss, two forced fumbles and 12 sacks. The junior's best fit could come as an inside/outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense. He had an impressive workout at the Combine.

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Negative Medical Reports for Kendall Fuller

Updated March 25, 2016
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.



In terms of a pure cover corner, some teams feel that Virginia Tech cornerback Kendall Fuller is the best in the draft. Across the league, teams love his tape from the 2014 season. Some scouts graded Fuller higher than Florida State's Jalen Ramsey and Florida's Vernon Hargreaves III based off that tape. However, Fuller missed almost the entire 2015 season with a knee injury. Sources say that Fuller's medical check at the Combine was not good, and as a result most teams are lowering him to the second day of the 2016 NFL Draft.

Sources said that if the Combine medical recheck goes well, he should be safe in the second round. One teams that is in the cornerback market and picking high in the first round said they had him as a first-rounder, but now view him more as a third. If this medical recheck goes well, the second round is reasonable. Another team picking in the top 10 that needs cornerback help said they had Fuller as a mid-to-late second after the medical.

Three other teams said they had first-round grades on Fuller, but because of the medical, they lowered him to the second. One playoff team said they lowered him to a late first, early second. Prior to that, they had him in the middle of the first.

Thus, there is a consensus around the league that Fuller is more of a second-day pick as it stands now with his medical recheck being critical. If that goes well, Fuller could get back into the first round, but after the Combine exam, it sounds like Fuller is more likely to go on the second day.

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Multiple Teams Grade Jonathan Bullard in Round 2

Updated March 20, 2016
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.



One of the players on the bubble between the first and second round is Florida defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard. The Gators standout had a superb senior year, but in a deep defensive line draft some talented players are going to slip to the second round. In speaking with sources at multiple teams, Bullard has been getting second-round grades.

Teams really like Bullard as a player, but scheme fit and size concerns could push him into the second round. Sources from 3-4 teams say Bullard (6-3, 285) lacks the length they like in defensive ends. They think they could get away with Bullard there, but it isn't an ideal fit. Teams that run a 4-3 feel Bullard would be an end on run downs and move inside in passing situations. From a variety of teams, scouts say that being a three technique defensive tackle in a 4-3 could be Bullard's best fit.

With those scheme issues, it leads sources to say that Bullard is a bit of a tweener. Even contacts on the Gators coaching staff said it was a challenge for a time for them to figure out how best to utilize Bullard. Still, sources said he has very good tape and often makes a play that gets them to say, "Wow!"

One thing working in Bullard's favor is teams don't see 31 first-rounders in this draft. Thus, some players with second-round grades are going to be selected on Thursday night. Bullard could be one of those players, but in surveying five teams, they all had a second-round grade on Bullard.

In 2015, Bullard totaled 66 tackles with 17.5 for a loss, 6.5 sacks and two passes batted. He was one of the SEC's best run defenders on the defensive line and demonstrated the ability to rush well from the inside. The year before, Bullard totaled 52 tackles with 8.5 tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks, and two passes batted while coming on strong late in the season.

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Teams Have Hard-Party Drug Concerns with Joey Bosa, Ezekiel Elliott

Updated March 15, 2016
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.



Eastern Kentucky edge rusher Noah Spence was a standout pass-rusher at Ohio State before positive tests for the party drug ecstasy led to him being kicked out of the program. At the Senior Bowl, teams interviewed Spence about his issues at Ohio State, and while he wouldn't name names, he said that he wasn't the only Buckeye player who was using ecstasy while partying. In speaking with sources at multiple teams, two of the players that teams suspect for that type of partying are defensive end Joey Bosa and running back Ezekiel Elliott.

To be clear, neither player had a positive drug test for ecstasy or molly (MDMA). However, Bosa was suspended for the opening game of the 2015 season. Ohio State didn't clarify the exact offense for the suspension, but Bosa told teams during the NFL Combine interviews that he was suspended because he refused to take a drug test. That counted as a positive and thus he was automatically slapped with the suspension.

Bosa told teams that he wouldn't take the test because he was going to test positive for adderall. He is said to have ADHD or ADD, so teams wouldn't have held that positive test for adderall against him and they feel he should have just gotten a prescription for the medication. Teams believe that Bosa knew he was going to test positive for worse drugs and that is why he refused to take the test. Bosa wouldn't admit to using ecstasy or molly, but he did admit that he likes to attend raves. He claimed that he likes going to raves for the "music," which teams found to be very questionable. Molly and ecstasy are common drugs used at raves.

At Ohio State, Bosa was a roommate with Ezekiel Elliott. Apparently, their shared place was a party destination, and Bosa told teams that he had to move out and get his own place to get away from all the parties that Elliott had going on. Sources say they suspect that Elliott was also using molly and ecstasy while parting. A number of Elliott's teammates in the Combine interviews told teams that Elliott was a partier, and a unique individual. They said they hung out with him some, but he rubbed some the wrong way. Sources from multiple teams said that Elliott didn't interview well at the Combine, while Bosa had mixed feedback. The skepticism of why he goes to raves and the refusal of the drug test bothered some evaluators.

Lastly, teams said they don't expect these concerns to have an impact on the draft stock of either player. They firmly expect Bosa to go in the top 10 and Elliott to be selected in the top 20. Sources don't believe either is a candidate to slide. Teams in the 20s expect Elliott to be long gone, while sources with the Titans have said that Bosa is still in the running for the No. 1 overall pick to Tennessee, but Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey is the current leader with the Titans (see below). While teams suspect Bosa and Elliott of using those drugs, they don't have view them as risks like Randy Gregory last year. Teams don't think that Bosa and Elliott are serious candidates to be landing suspensions and testing positive in the NFL. Thus, both should be high draft picks in the 2016 NFL Draft.

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Jalen Ramsey Now Favorite for No. 1 Overall Pick

Updated March 10, 2016
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.



In mid-January, sources with the Tennessee Titans said their preference was to trade down from the No. 1 overall pick and target a defensive back like Florida State cornerback/safety Jalen Ramsey. If the Titans were stuck at No. 1, the initial favorite was Ole Miss left tackle Laremy Tunsil. This week, sources with the Titans have told WalterFootball.com that Ramsey is now the favorite to be the No. 1 pick. They love the Seminoles defensive back on and off the field. To be clear, the pick has not been decided, and Tunsil is still in the running, but sources say that Ramsey is now the leading candidate to be the first-overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft.

For months, many around the league thought that Tunsil made the most sense. The Titans do have a good young left tackle in Taylor Lewan, who was taken high in the first round in the 2014 NFL Draft, but Tennessee led the NFL in sacks allowed last year, and they have to protect young franchise quarterback Marcus Mariota. However, Titans sources say they may sign a veteran tackle in free agency to go with Lewan. There are some veteran options available in the form of the Bengals' Andre Smith, Raiders' Donald Penn, Seahawks' Russell Okung, and Steelers' Kelvin Beachum. If they sign one of those veterans to a quality contract, that would increase the chances of Ramsey being the first pick.

Sources named Tunsil and Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa as being the other contenders for the top pick. In speaking to scouts, general managers and directors from multiple teams, they said Ramsey was phenomenal in the Combine interviews. The Titans feel that Ramsey was an alpha dog on a team filled with alpha dogs in college, and they say that he is an "awesome kid". Sources say that Tunsil and Bosa did "okay" in the Combine team interview, but they didn't express the same enthusiasm and fervor for either of them that they did for Ramsey. With Ramsey, they compare him to Richard Sherman and Charles Woodson as a corner and safety, respectively.

Staff at the Titans say that it isn't settled yet. Tunsil and Ramsey have their pro days at the end of the month, and of course, the pre-draft visits will be a factor as well. Last year, and the year before in December/January, sources at the Buccaneers and Texans told WalterFootball.com that they had leaders for the No. 1 pick (Jameis Winston, Jadeveon Clowney) and they ended up sticking with those players throughout the lead-up to the draft. In 2013, Kansas City changed late to Eric Fisher, and it appears this year, the Titans are in the midst of a more fluid situation with Ramsey having pulled ahead of Tunsil as the current leader for Tennessee.

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NFL Draft Rumors from the Combine

Updated March 9, 2016
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.



The Combine is over, and we're into full draft season. The rumors are flying. Here's the latest look at what we're hearing.

Cleveland appears set on going with a quarterback. They like Carson Wentz much better than Jared Goff.

Owner Jerry Jones said Dallas won't take a quarterback at No. 4, and he's serious. We're hearing defensive lineman DeForest Buckner is the player the Cowboys really want.

Tampa Bay likes Eastern Kentucky defensive end Noah Spence as a player. But the Bucs have concerns off the field. Oklahoma State defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah could be the safer choice.

The Saints are hoping Alabama defensive A'Shawn Robinson makes it to No. 12. They need a defensive tackle and are really high on Robinson.

Defensive line is still the priority for Atlanta. But don't rule out wide receiver Laquon Treadwell if he's available. The Falcons need someone else in the passing game to go with Julio Jones.

Many mock drafts have cornerback McKenzie Alexander going to Carolina. But I'm told the Panthers aren't that high on him. Baylor cornerback Xavien Howard could be the alternative.

The buzz about Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg and the Houston Texans is real. Houston coach Bill O'Brien coached Hackenberg in college and is sold on him. O'Brien could probably get Hackenberg in the second round, but don't rule out the first.

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Who Interviewed Well/Poorly at the Combine?

Updated March 4, 2016
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.



After the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine, I reached out to sources across the league from a variety of teams to survey who were the players who did well in the Combine interviews and who were the players who interviewed poorly. An interesting list came together. Also, it is worth noting that beauty is in the eye of the beholder to a degree; some teams said a player didn't do well, while others said the opposite.

Players Who Interviewed Well:

USC outside linebacker Su'A Cravens
Ohio State offensive tackle Taylor Decker
TCU wide receiver Josh Doctson
Notre Dame wide receiver Will Fuller (multiple teams)
Alabama running back Derrick Henry
Stanford tight end Austin Hooper (multiple teams)
UCLA outside linebacker Myles Jack
Alabama center Ryan Kelly
North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz (multiple teams)
Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey (multiple teams)
Notre Dame cornerback KeiVarae Russell
Notre Dame left tackle Ronnie Stanley
Ohio State wide receiver Michael Thomas
Ole Miss left tackle Laremy Tunsil (multiple teams)

Mixed Feedback:

Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa
Pitt wide receiver Tyler Boyd
Cal quarterback Jared Goff (some teams said poor; others said he did well)
Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg
Arkansas tight end Hunter Henry
Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch

Players Who Interviewed Poorly:

Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook
Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott (multiple teams)
Indiana running back Jordan Howard
Ole Miss defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche (multiple teams)
Texas defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway

Longer Explanations:

  • Teams said that Ole Miss left tackle Laremy Tunsil was polite, laid back and confident. They said he is a smart kid who has been coached well. He isn't perfectly clean, but definitely is smart enough to not get in trouble.

  • A player teams love and said was very good was Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey. Sources from multiple teams said he is an "awesome kid." Of all the prospects, Ramsey had the most vehement positive feedback.

  • Ole Miss defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche needed to interview well to offset his off-the-field concerns, but he did a poor job according to multiple teams. As one source said, "[Nkemdiche] acted like a stoner, and that he was too good for everyone." Teams are very down on Nkemdiche and some said they won't consider drafting him in any round.

  • Multiple teams said that Notre Dame wide receiver Will Fuller is a bright kid and knew his position well from an x's-and-o's standpoint. They feel he can learn to be an inside or outside pro receiver.

  • As I tweeted during the Combine, the Browns said that North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz was a stud in the interview room. Other teams echoed that. They said he is a bright, smart kid with excellent play recall.

  • Cal quarterback Jared Goff got mixed reviews. Some teams said he did well and others said he did poorly. Sources said he did have good play recall.

  • Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook disappointed teams from an x's-and-o's perspective. They felt that with his years of starting experience in a pro-style system, he would have done better, but he had bad recall on plays. He also didn't show good knowledge of coverage, and didn't ease the concerns about him as a teammate.

  • Sources said that Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg has pretty good recall and knows coverage, and they like his tools. However, they would have liked him to make less excuses about some of the issues he had over the last two seasons.

  • Teams say Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch is very far behind from an x's-and-o's perspective. Teams like his skill set and athletic upside, and they don't think he's a bad kid. But he hasn't been taught much from a NFL scheme perspective coming from his college spread system. Sources felt that Lynch was behind the other early-round quarterbacks from an x's-and-o's standpoint.

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