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Bucky Brooks

Bucky Brooks


Drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the second round of the 1994 NFL Draft, Bucky Brooks played for five different teams (Buffalo, Jacksonville, Green Bay, Kansas City and Oakland) in five NFL seasons. After his playing career was over in 1999, Brooks joined the Seattle Seahawks' pro personnel department as a regional college scout. He served in the same capacity for the Carolina Panthers from 2003 to 2007, before joining CNNSI.com as a football analyst. He joined NFL Media in 2009.


May

Is Tyrann Mathieu the most valuable defender in the NFL? That's the question Arizona Cardinals officials must answer as they negotiate a long-term extension with the former third-round pick, who said recently he wants "to get paid as a top defen... more

The process of building a championship roster requires a team to excel in two key areas: player acquisition and player development. General managers and coaches must work together to target the right guys for the schemes utilized on each side of th... more

The Pittsburgh Steelers are well-positioned to make a run at Super Bowl LI. And while many cite the Pittsburgh Steelers' electric offense as the likely driving force, I believe their emerging defense will be the catalyst of their success in 2016. I... more

The Tennessee Titans aren't expected to make a run at the AFC title this season, but general manager Jon Robinson and head coach Mike Mularkey quickly are putting down the foundation for a championship squad in Nashville. NFL defenses are increasin... more

Best draft classes Worst draft classes Some draft classes come with more questions than others. Here is Bucky Brooks' take on the five teams that earned "C" grades for their efforts in the 2016 NFL Draft: NOTE: Draft classes are grouped b... more

Best draft classes Worst draft classes Who truly knocked it out of the park on draft day? Here is Bucky Brooks' take on the six teams that earned "A" grades for their efforts in the 2016 NFL Draft: NOTE: Draft classes are grouped by grade... more

Former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks is performing a division-by-division assessment of the 2016 NFL Draft, spotlighting notable picks and handing out grades for each team. Below is his review of the NFC South. (NOTE: Click on the tabs to see ot... more

Former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks is performing a division-by-division assessment of the 2016 NFL Draft, spotlighting notable picks and handing out grades for each team. Below is his review of the AFC South. (NOTE: Click on the tabs to see ot... more

Former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks is performing a division-by-division assessment of the 2016 NFL Draft, spotlighting notable picks and handing out grades for each team. Below is his review of the AFC North. (NOTE: Click on the tabs to see ot... more

Former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks is performing a division-by-division assessment of the 2016 NFL Draft, spotlighting notable picks and handing out grades for each team. Below is his review of the NFC North. (NOTE: Click on the tabs to see ot... more

Former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks is performing a division-by-division assessment of the 2016 NFL Draft, spotlighting notable picks and handing out grades for each team. Below is his review of the NFC West. (NOTE: Click on the tabs to see oth... more

Former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks is performing a division-by-division assessment of the 2016 NFL Draft, spotlighting notable picks and handing out grades for each team. Below is his review of the AFC West. (NOTE: Click on the tabs to see oth... more

Former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks is performing a division-by-division assessment of the 2016 NFL Draft, spotlighting notable picks and handing out grades for each team. Below is his review of the AFC East. (NOTE: Click on the tabs to see oth... more

Former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks is performing a division-by-division assessment of the 2016 NFL Draft, spotlighting notable picks and handing out grades for each team. Below is his review of the NFC East. (NOTE: Click on the tabs to see oth... more

April

The 2016 NFL Draft still has yet to play out, but scouts have already proclaimed this collection of prospects to be one of the most talented in years, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. Evaluators have raved about the defensive tackle cl... more

The Rams opt for the most pro-ready quarterback in the draft to serve as the face of the franchise for the next decade. Despite the stable of quarterbacks already on the Eagles' roster, Doug Pederson targets the North Dakota State standout as the... more

The pre-draft process is an intel-gathering mission on prospective employees. And although certain prospects tend to attract groupthink in the scouting community, others generate the varied opinions that come from 32 different franchises with 32 uniq... more

With the 2016 NFL Draft on tap at the end of this month, Bucky Brooks is breaking down the biggest areas of need for every team in the NFL, division by division. Below is his look at the AFC East. AFC West NFC West AFC North NFC North... more

With the 2016 NFL Draft on tap at the end of this month, Bucky Brooks is breaking down the biggest areas of need for every team in the NFL, division by division. Below is his look at the NFC East. AFC West NFC West AFC North NFC North... more

With the 2016 NFL Draft on tap at the end of this month, Bucky Brooks is breaking down the biggest areas of need for every team in the NFL, division by division. Below is his look at the NFC South. AFC West NFC West AFC North NFC North... more

With the 2016 NFL Draft on tap at the end of this month, Bucky Brooks is breaking down the biggest areas of need for every team in the NFL, division by division. Below is his look at the AFC South. AFC West NFC West AFC North NFC North... more

With the 2016 NFL Draft on tap at the end of this month, Bucky Brooks is breaking down the biggest areas of need for every team in the NFL, division by division. Below is his look at the AFC North. AFC West NFC West AFC North NFC North... more

With the 2016 NFL Draft on tap at the end of this month, Bucky Brooks is breaking down the biggest areas of need for every team in the NFL, division by division. Below is his look at the NFC North. AFC West NFC West AFC North NFC North... more

With the 2016 NFL Draft on tap at the end of this month, Bucky Brooks is breaking down the biggest areas of need for every team in the NFL, division by division. Below is his look at the NFC West. AFC West NFC West AFC North NFC North... more

With the 2016 NFL Draft on tap at the end of this month, Bucky Brooks is breaking down the biggest areas of need for every team in the NFL, division by division. Below is his look at the AFC West. AFC West NFC West AFC North NFC North... more

This is a tightly contested debate between Wentz and Jared Goff, but in this scenario I say Jeff Fisher sticks with the blueprint. If you remember, years ago he took Steve McNair out of Alcorn State. He was a small-school standout. He sat for a coupl... more

The pre-draft process is an intel-gathering mission on prospective employees. And although certain prospects tend to attract groupthink in the scouting community, others generate the varied opinions that come from 32 different franchises with 32 uniq... more

Keeping Marcus Mariota upright in the pocket is Mike Mularkey's top priority. Tunsil is a franchise left tackle with exceptional movement skills, balance and body control. The small-school standout is a prototypical dual-threat quarterback with the... more

The pre-draft process is an intel-gathering mission on prospective employees. And although certain prospects tend to attract groupthink in the scouting community, others generate the varied opinions that come from 32 different franchises with 32 uniq... more

March

Oooh! It seems LaDainian Tomlinson struck a nerve with some cornerbacks a few days ago when he suggested that there wasn't a single "shutdown" corner in the NFL today. But you know what? He's right. There isn't a cornerback in the game who occup... more

The NFL's shift toward an aerial game has made pass catchers the marquee players on nearly every team's offense. Wide receivers and tight ends are suddenly coveted at a premium, with more teams putting the onus on the quarterback to toss the ball all... more

The pre-draft process is an intel-gathering mission on prospective employees. And although certain prospects tend to attract groupthink in the scouting community, others generate the varied opinions that come from 32 different franchises with 32 uniq... more

The pre-draft process is an intel-gathering mission on prospective employees. And although certain prospects tend to attract groupthink in the scouting community, others generate the varied opinions that come from 32 different franchises with 32 uniq... more

After watching the Houston Texans fall short of championship expectations due to a scattershot offense that lacked sizzle and pizzazz, coach Bill O'Brien and general manager Rick Smith have gone all-out to upgrade a troublesome unit this offseason. W... more

Jalen Ramsey - DB, Florida State: Finding a dynamic quarterback of the defense is a top priority with Dick LeBeau intent on building a dominant defense in Tennessee. Carson Wentz - QB, North Dakota State: The small-school standout is a prototypic... more

The pre-draft process is an intel-gathering mission on prospective employees. And although certain prospects tend to attract groupthink in the scouting community, others generate the varied opinions that come from 32 different franchises with 32 uniq... more

The process of building a championship team reminds me of playing a hard-fought game of dominoes in the park. A player must be able to react quickly to the moves executed on the table and make an effective counter to stay one step ahead of the oppo... more

The pre-draft process is an intel-gathering mission on prospective employees. And although certain prospects tend to attract groupthink in the scouting community, others generate the varied opinions that come from 32 different franchises with 32 uniq... more

The pre-draft process is an intel-gathering mission on prospective employees. And although certain prospects tend to attract groupthink in the scouting community, others generate the varied opinions that come from 32 different franchises with 32 uniq... more

The pre-draft process is an intel-gathering mission on prospective employees. And although certain prospects tend to attract groupthink in the scouting community, others generate the varied opinions that come from 32 different franchises with 32 uniq... more

Top 50 rankings: Jeremiah Brooks Davis Zierlein Last updated: April 26, 2016 Ramsey is a versatile defensive back with dynamic playmaking skills and instincts. Ramsey will make an immediate impact as a hybrid safety/corner/slot defe... more

Laremy Tunsil - OT, Ole Miss: With ownership demanding better protection of Marcus Mariota, the Titans could elect to expend their top pick on the best offensive tackle in the draft. Jared Goff - QB, Cal: Hue Jackson could elect to snag the most... more

In the wake of the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine, former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks spotlights 10 particular prospects who made big impressions, for better or worse, in Indianapolis: Winners Jared Goff, QB, Cal : The ultra-polished pocket pass... more

February

Former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks is spotlighting the prospects who make a mark -- for better or worse -- at the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine. On Monday, the defensive backs took the field. Here are Brooks' impressions from Indianapolis: Day 1... more

Former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks is spotlighting the prospects who make a mark -- for better or worse -- at the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine. On Sunday, the linebackers and defensive linemen took the field. Here are Brooks' impressions from... more

Former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks is spotlighting the prospects who make a mark -- for better or worse -- at the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine. On Saturday, the quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends took the field. Here are Brooks' impressio... more

Former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks is spotlighting the prospects who make a mark -- for better or worse -- at the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine. On Friday, the offensive linemen and running backs took the field. Here are Brooks' impressions from... more

Quarterbacks Running backs Receivers O-linemen Pass rushers Defensive backs With the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine upon us, Bucky Brooks is ranking the top prospects at key positions. Today's focus: defensive backs. 1) Jalen Ramsey... more

Quarterbacks Running backs Receivers O-linemen Pass rushers Defensive backs With the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine upon us, Bucky Brooks is ranking the top prospects at key positions. Today's focus: pass rushers. 1) Joey Bosa, DE,... more

Quarterbacks Running backs Receivers O-linemen Pass rushers Defensive backs With the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine upon us, Bucky Brooks is ranking the top prospects at key positions. Today's focus: wide receivers. 1) Corey Coleman... more

Quarterbacks Running backs Receivers O-linemen Pass rushers Defensive backs With the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine upon us, Bucky Brooks is ranking the top prospects at key positions. Today's focus: offensive linemen. 1) Laremy Tun... more

Top 50 rankings: Jeremiah Brooks Davis Zierlein Ramsey is a versatile defensive back with dynamic playmaking skills and instincts. Ramsey will make an immediate impact as a hybrid safety/corner/slot defender from Day 1. Bosa is a... more

Quarterbacks Running backs Receivers O-linemen Pass rushers Defensive backs With the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine upon us, Bucky Brooks is ranking the top prospects at key positions. Today's focus: quarterbacks. 1) Jared Goff, Cal... more

Laremy Tunsil - OT, Ole Miss: With ownership demanding better protection of Marcus Mariota, the Titans could elect to expend their top pick on the best offensive tackle in the draft. Jared Goff - QB, Cal: Pep Hamilton's experience developing youn... more

Quarterbacks Running backs Receivers O-linemen Pass rushers Defensive backs With 2016 NFL Scouting Combine upon us, Bucky Brooks is ranking the top prospects at key positions. Today's focus: running backs. 1) Ezekiel Elliott, O... more

When Bucky Brooks graded the 2015 rookie classes of all 32 NFL teams , 12 received "C" marks for a lack of production. Here's what he had to say about the groups that struggled: Cleveland Browns Round 1 (No. 12 overall) : Danny Shelton, nose tackl... more

Best rookie classes Worst rookie classes When Bucky Brooks graded the 2015 rookie classes of all 32 NFL teams , 12 received "C" marks for a lack of production. Here's what he had to say about the groups that struggled: Constant turnove... more

When Bucky Brooks graded the 2015 rookie classes of all 32 NFL teams , eight received "A" marks. Here's what he had to say about those exceptional groups that stood out from the rest: Buffalo Bills Round 2 (No. 50 overall) : Ronald Darby, cornerba... more

Best rookie classes Worst rookie classes When Bucky Brooks graded the 2015 rookie classes of all 32 NFL teams , eight received "A" marks. Here's what he had to say about those exceptional groups that stood out from the rest: Despite a... more

The 2015 NFL season is in the books -- and now it's time to turn toward the 2016 NFL Draft. Before the NFL Scouting Combine shines the spotlight on the next crop of incoming talent, Bucky Brooks is taking a division-by-division look back at each NFL... more

The 2015 NFL season is in the books -- and now it's time to turn toward the 2016 NFL Draft. Before the NFL Scouting Combine shines the spotlight on the next crop of incoming talent, Bucky Brooks is taking a division-by-division look back at each NFL... more

The 2015 NFL season is in the books -- and now it's time to turn toward the 2016 NFL Draft. Before the NFL Scouting Combine shines the spotlight on the next crop of incoming talent, Bucky Brooks is taking a division-by-division look back at each NFL... more

The 2015 NFL season is in the books -- and now it's time to turn toward the 2016 NFL Draft. Before the NFL Scouting Combine shines the spotlight on the next crop of incoming talent, Bucky Brooks is taking a division-by-division look back at each NFL... more

The 2015 NFL season is in the books -- and now it's time to turn toward the 2016 NFL Draft. Before the NFL Scouting Combine shines the spotlight on the next crop of incoming talent, Bucky Brooks is taking a division-by-division look back at each NFL... more

The 2015 NFL season is in the books -- and now it's time to turn toward the 2016 NFL Draft. Before the NFL Scouting Combine shines the spotlight on the next crop of incoming talent, Bucky Brooks is taking a division-by-division look back at each NFL... more

The 2015 NFL season is in the books -- and now it's time to turn toward the 2016 NFL Draft. Before the NFL Scouting Combine shines the spotlight on the next crop of incoming talent, Bucky Brooks is taking a division-by-division look back at each NFL... more

The 2015 NFL season is in the books -- and now it's time to turn toward the 2016 NFL Draft. Before the NFL Scouting Combine shines the spotlight on the next crop of incoming talent, Bucky Brooks is taking a division-by-division look back at each NFL... more

The 2015 NFL season is in the books -- and now it's time to turn toward the 2016 NFL Draft. Before the NFL Scouting Combine shines the spotlight on the next crop of incoming talent, Bucky Brooks is taking a division-by-division look back at each NFL... more

The 2015 NFL season is in the books -- and now it's time to turn toward the 2016 NFL Draft. Before the NFL Scouting Combine shines the spotlight on the next crop of incoming talent, Bucky Brooks is taking a division-by-division look back at each NFL... more

The 2015 NFL season is in the books -- and now it's time to turn toward the 2016 NFL Draft. Before the NFL Scouting Combine shines the spotlight on the next crop of incoming talent, Bucky Brooks is taking a division-by-division look back at each NFL... more

The 2015 NFL season is in the books -- and now it's time to turn toward the 2016 NFL Draft. Before the NFL Scouting Combine shines the spotlight on the next crop of incoming talent, Bucky Brooks is taking a division-by-division look back at each NFL... more

The 2015 NFL season is in the books -- and now it's time to turn toward the 2016 NFL Draft. Before the NFL Scouting Combine shines the spotlight on the next crop of incoming talent, Bucky Brooks is taking a division-by-division look back at each NFL... more

The 2015 NFL season is in the books -- and now it's time to turn toward the 2016 NFL Draft. Before the NFL Scouting Combine shines the spotlight on the next crop of incoming talent, Bucky Brooks is taking a division-by-division look back at each NFL... more

The 2015 NFL season is in the books -- and now it's time to turn toward the 2016 NFL Draft. Before the NFL Scouting Combine shines the spotlight on the next crop of incoming talent, Bucky Brooks is taking a division-by-division look back at each NF... more

The 2015 NFL season is in the books -- and now it's time to turn toward the 2016 NFL Draft. Before the NFL Scouting Combine shines the spotlight on the next crop of incoming talent, Bucky Brooks is taking a division-by-division look back at each NFL... more

The Tennessee Titans own the top pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, but the strong collection of talent in this year's class could entice a team to swing a deal to grab a franchise player at the top of the draft. Given some time to assess the prospects in t... more

In Super Bowl 50 , the Denver Broncos sent a resounding message to the football world that defense still wins championships in today's NFL. Given some time to evaluate the All-22 Coaches Film of the Broncos' masterful defensive performance, here are... more

Five keys to victory for Denver Five keys to victory for Carolina The Carolina Panthers roll into Super Bowl 50 as the hottest team in the NFL, yet they face a Denver Broncos squad that poses a tremendous challenge, with its stifling defense... more

January

With Reese's Senior Bowl practices now complete, here's an updated look at the top five prospects at each position. » Top 5 prospects by position 1.0 Quarterbacks 1. Jared Goff , California 2. Carson Wentz , North Dakota State 3. Conno... more

Five keys to victory for Denver Five keys to victory for Carolina Two years after getting blown off the field in Super Bowl XLVIII , the Denver Broncos are back on the biggest stage in football. How can Peyton Manning and Co. change their for... more

Tim Heitman/USA Today Sports North Dakota State's Carson Wentz is rated among the top QB prospects in this year's draft. The Reese's Senior Bowl has always been viewed as the crown jewel of the college all-star game season. NFL scouts and... more

With East-West Shrine Game practices under way, the Senior Bowl taking place next week and the NFL Scouting Combine a little more than a month away, the pre-draft process has swung into gear. With that in mind, I thought I would release my 2016... more

Print the shirts! The New England Patriots will head into Mile High and knock off the AFC's No. 1 seed behind an indefensible offense that is poised to shred the Denver Broncos' star-studded defense. Given some time to break down the All-22 Coaches... more

With the 2016 NFL Draft season now under way, here's a look at the top five prospects at each position. Quarterbacks 1. Jared Goff , California 2. Carson Wentz , North Dakota State 3. Connor Cook , Michigan State 4. Paxton Lynch , Memphis... more

Laremy Tunsil - OT, Ole Miss: After watching Marcus Mariota take a pounding in the pocket, the Titans could elect to invest heavily in the offensive line to make sure their franchise quarterback thrives going forward. Jared Goff - QB, Cal: Hue... more

The best game planners in the NFL can craft scripts that accentuate the strengths of the quarterback while minimizing the signal caller's deficiencies. Although the play designer must factor in the skills of his perimeter playmakers, his primary goal... more

NFL evaluators will wait for three years to determine whether their prized prospects have lived up to the expectations that accompanied their arrivals as top picks. With the 2015 regular season in the books -- and with the Chiefs, who had the top pic... more

The Green Bay Packers seemingly face long odds heading into Saturday's Divisional Round matchup against the Arizona Cardinals, considering the 38-8 beatdown delivered by Bruce Arians' squad when Aaron Rodgers and Co. visited in Week 16. And yes, th... more

Matthew Emmons / USA TODAY Sports Deshaun Watson will return as one of CFB's top talents for the 2016 season. It's not whether you win or lose, but it's how you play the game. Youth coaches frequently utter that phrase to young players... more

The playoffs provide plenty of opportunities for first-year players to thrive on the biggest and brightest stage. Last year, we watched Malcolm Butler become a household name on the strength of a fantastic play in Super Bowl XLIX. With the postseaso... more

Football is the ultimate team sport, but success in the NFL is directly tied to the performance of the quarterback. Teams with legitimate playmakers at the position always have a chance to hoist the trophy at the end of the season, while teams withou... more

The 2015 NFL playoffs are upon us. Beginning this weekend, the top teams in the NFC and AFC will fight for the right to meet in Super Bowl 50. Before the action kicks off with Wild Card Weekend , I thought I'd examine the strengths and weaknesses of... more

The 2015 NFL playoffs are upon us. Beginning this weekend, the top teams in the NFC and AFC will fight for the right to meet in Super Bowl 50. Before the action kicks off with Wild Card Weekend , I thought I'd examine the strengths and weaknesses of... more

Ben Liebenberg / NFL Christian McCaffrey had more than 100 yards rushing and receiving in Stanford's Rose Bowl win. PASADENA, Calif. -- NFL scouts are always instructed to pay close attention to young players that jump off the screen when... more

December

ATLANTA -- Whenever I hear multiple scouts refer to a top prospect as a "baller", I make it a point to check him out in a big game to see if the performance matches the hype. After hearing the buzz on Florida State CB Jalen Ramsey, I couldn't wait to... more

The Minnesota Vikings aren't necessarily considered legitimate Super Bowl contenders this season, but a deep dive into the All-22 Coaches Film reveals a budding heavyweight adhering to the kind of blue-collar formula that helped the San Francisco 49... more

Marvin Gentry/USA Today Sports Paxton Lynch threw for just 108 yards in Memphis' Birmingham Bowl loss to Auburn. Paxton Lynch has been one of the hottest names in college football after guiding Memphis into prominence with his spectacular... more

It's hard to imagine a team that started 1-5 finding its way to the Super Bowl, but the Kansas City Chiefs are poised to do just that in Super Bowl 50. I know that statement will draw the ire of fans of the Patriots, Broncos and Bengals, but the fa... more

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Art Briles has transformed the Baylor Bears into legitimate title contender behind a high-powered offense that has routinely featured NFL-caliber talent on the offensive side of the ball. But NFL scouts are paying close attention to... more

Troy Wayrynen / USA TODAY Sports UCLA's Kenny Clark is among the top interior defensive linemen in college football. SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Defensive coordinators still believe elite units feature disruptive playmakers down the middle of the... more

The Washington Redskins are on the verge of clinching the NFC East, spurred by a red-hot offense that's beginning to find its rhythm behind a sizzling quarterback (Kirk Cousins) and a pair of dynamic pass catchers on the perimeter (DeSean Jackson and... more

Lynne Sladky / Associated Press Brandon Doughty (12) led Western Kentucky to victory in the Miami Beach Bowl. MIAMI -- The lack of quality quarterbacks in the NFL forces scouts to take a long, hard look at any prospect that displays a hint o... more

When AJ McCarron stepped in for an injured Andy Dalton last Sunday, the young Bengals backup had an extremely short NFL résumé, with just three preseason appearances and a handful of regular-season snaps under his belt. McCarron proceeded to compl... more

The New York Jets' defense was expected to fuel a playoff run in Todd Bowles' first season at the helm, but it has been the solid contributions of a blue-collar offense that has Gang Green in position to nab a postseason berth with four games remaini... more

With Week 14 of the college football season in the books, here's a look at who's on the rise and who's in decline based on the weekend's action. Stock down Connor Cook, Michigan State, QB: Despite leading the Spartans to the Big Ten title and ear... more

The Houston Texans have climbed to the top of the AFC South behind a stellar defense that's beginning to look like the dominant unit everyone envisioned when defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel took over in 2014. With a four-game winning streak keyed... more

Can the Detroit Lions make a run at a playoff berth? The thought seemed outlandish a month ago, when the Lions were sitting at 1-7, but a three-game winning streak behind a revamped offense and a surging defense has Jim Caldwell's squad looking lik... more

November

Butch Dill/Associated Press Alabama's Derrick Henry is one the top contenders for the Heisman Trophy. With Week 13 of the college football season in the books, here's a look at who's on the rise and who's in decline based on the weekend's... more

Sunday was a very good day for Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In addition to climbing back to .500 on the season, the Bucs scored more points (45) than they had in any game since their 48-21 win over the Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVI... more

Kelley L Cox / USA TODAY Sports Stanford's Christian McCaffrey leads the nation with 2,807 all-purpose yards. With Week 12 of the college football season in the books, here's a look at who's on the rise and who's in decline based on the... more

Jay Cutler is ballin'! That was my immediate reaction after poring over the 10th-year pro's numbers during the Chicago Bears' recent hot streak. From Week 4 on, Cutler has compiled a 98.7 passer rating on the strength of a touchdown-to-interceptio... more

With Peyton Manning on the shelf due to injury , the Denver Broncos are handing the reins to fourth-year pro Brock Osweiler. How will this affect Gary Kubiak's 7-2 team in this Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears -- and possibly beyond? Former N... more

Though they'd added a handful of young playmakers over the past two drafts, Gus Bradley's Jacksonville Jaguars were not viewed by many as a team poised for an offensive breakout. But while the team hasn't quite put it all together on the field, the... more

Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press Oklahoma's Sterling Shepard has posted career-best numbers in receiving yards (1,003) and TDs (9) this season. With Week 11 of the college football season in the books, here's a look at who's on the rise and... more

What's wrong with the Packers' offense? That's the question everyone's asking after watching Green Bay struggle in back-to-back games against a pair of heavyweight defenses in the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers . The Aaron Rodgers-led unit... more

The Buffalo Bills were expected to emerge as legitimate contenders in the AFC behind a stifling defense and high-powered offense featuring explosive playmakers on the perimeter. While the D is having a tough time finding its identity, the offense is... more

Keith Srakocic/Associated Press UNC QB Marquise Williams has accounted for 22 touchdowns through nine games this season. With Week 10 of the college football season in the books, here's a look at who's on the rise and who's in decline based... more

The St. Louis Rams have quietly emerged as legitimate contenders in the NFC behind an offense that's creating headaches for defensive coordinators everywhere, led by rookie back Todd Gurley and young receiver Tavon Austin. Considering this attack has... more

I'm fascinated by Johnny Manziel's development in Cleveland. When the Browns took him with the 22nd overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, they appeared to put the former Heisman Trophy winner and polarizing prospect on the franchise-quarterback track... more

Through eight weeks of NFL play, certain players have risen to hero status for their teams, lifting their respective squads with remarkable individual performances. The midpoint of the 2015 campaign is a good time to highlight these MVPs. But rather... more

Gerry Broome/Associated Press Clemson QB Deshaun Watson continued to shine Saturday in a win over North Carolina State. With Week 9 of the college football season in the books, here's a look at who's on the rise and who's in decline based on... more

October

Andrew Luck has been celebrated as the next great NFL quarterback since his arrival in the league back in 2012, but the hype is screeching to a halt due to the fourth-year pro's dismal performance so far this season. The former No. 1 overall pick has... more

How has Dan Campbell quickly transformed the Miami Dolphins into playoff contenders? That's the question I've been grappling with since the Dolphins reeled off two impressive wins in the aftermath of Campbell's promotion to interim head coach, keep... more

Matt Bush/USA Today Sports Mississippi State's Dak Prescott finished eighth in the Heisman voting last season. With Week 8 of the college football season in the books, here's a look at who's on the rise and who's in decline based on the... more

Do the New York Jets have the best defense in football? That's the question observers are asking after watching coach Todd Bowles' squad suffocate opponents through the first few weeks of the 2015 season. Gang Green's defense ranks first overall... more

It's hard to play good defense in today's pass-happy NFL, but some teams are getting stellar production from their defensive backs by teaching an old-school technique that helps cornerbacks break more quickly on short throws in their area. "Keying th... more

What's wrong with the Legion of Boom? That's the question running through everyone's minds after watching the Seahawks squander yet another fourth-quarter lead in Sunday's loss to the Panthers . The defense's subpar effort in the later stages of g... more

Tony Avelar/Associated Press Running back Christian McCaffrey led Stanford to a win over UCLA last week. With Week 7 of the college football season in the books, here's a look at who's on the rise and who's in decline based on the weekend's... more

The Patriots are off to another sizzling start behind an explosive offense that is lighting up scoreboards around the NFL. The unit leads the league in nearly every major statistical category -- total yards per game (423.8), passing yards per game... more

Defense wins championships. That mantra is frequently uttered in meeting rooms around the NFL, but in the past, the Denver Broncos have leaned on a high-powered offense to fuel their title runs. However, the arrival of coordinator Wade Phillips ha... more

Rick Bowmer/Associated Press Utah's Devontae Booker has rushed for 665 yards through five games. With Week 6 of the college football season in the books, here's a look at who's on the rise and who's in decline based on the first half of the... more

Who dey! It might seem hard to consider the Cincinnati Bengals legitimate title contenders, based on their recent flameouts in postseason play , but Marvin Lewis' squad should be feared, due to a dynamic offense that's lighting up scoreboards arou... more

A quarter of the season is in the books, with dominant teams and players emerging from the fray as the narrative of the 2015 campaign begins to take shape. Who has stood out thus far? Below I've listed my early selections for each individual award, b... more

AP Photo/Darron Cummings Ohio State's Ezekiel Elliott fueled the Buckeyes' win over Indiana on Saturday. With Week 5 of the college football season in the books, here's a look at who's on the rise and who's in decline based on the weekend's... more

Is it time to pull the plug on Colin Kaepernick? That's the question floating around the San Francisco 49ers in the wake of their franchise quarterback's horrendous performance against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 3 . The fifth-year pro's stat li... more

September

Rise up! That phrase captures the Atlanta Falcons' expectations when coach Dan Quinn tabbed Kyle Shanahan to revamp an offense that was loaded with star-studded talent on the perimeter. After watching the "Dirty Birds" run out to a 3-0 start behin... more

Mike Groll/Associated Press LSU running back Leonard Fournette continued to shine vs. Syracuse in Week 4. With Week 4 of the college football season in the books, here's a look at who's on the rise and who's in decline based on the weekend's... more

What on Earth is wrong with the Philadelphia Eagles' high-powered attack? The offense that torched opponents at will during the preseason has been unable to score points or generate first downs consistently. Chip Kelly's squad struggled mightily ag... more

The Arizona Cardinals have emerged as a legitimate contender in the NFC behind a high-powered offense that's clicking on all cylinders and leading the NFL in scoring . Bruce Arians has Carson Palmer playing the best football of his career and the two... more

Gerald Herbert/Associated Press LSU RB Leonard Fournette was dominant against Auburn in Week 3. With Week 3 of the college football season in the books, here's a look at who's on the rise and who's in decline based on the weekend's action.... more

I was hardly surprised when Rex Ryan boldly predicted the Buffalo Bills would field the NFL's No. 1 defense, but I did wonder how the defensive wizard would reshape the unit to help make it the premier defense in football. The boisterous defensive-pl... more

Whoa! That was my immediate reaction to Marcus Mariota's stat line -- 13 of 16 for 209 yards and four touchdown passes -- from his NFL debut. Heading into the season, I knew the reigning Heisman Trophy winner was a talented playmaker with a uniqu... more

Associated Press Cody Kessler helped USC to a win over Idaho on Saturday, while Everett Golson's Seminoles beat USF. With Week 2 of the college football season in the books, here's a look at who's on the rise and who's in decline based on th... more

To the dismay of many, I picked the New Orleans Saints to win the NFC South. Yes, I know their defense is a work in progress and their top playmaker (Jimmy Graham) departed during the offseason, but I'm all in on their revamped offensive approach, an... more

Wins and losses don't count in the NFL preseason -- but individual performances sure do. After each week's slate of preseason action, Bucky Brooks has been shining the spotlight on one notable player from each team in the league, grading that player'... more

With Week 1 of the college football season in the books, here's a look at who's on the rise and who's in decline based on the weekend's action. Stock up H-back Braxton Miller, Ohio State: The two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year quickly... more

Wins and losses don't count in the NFL preseason -- but individual performances sure do. After each week's slate of preseason action, Bucky Brooks has been shining the spotlight on one notable player from each team in the league, grading that player'... more

Yesterday, I looked at the NFL's top offensive divisions . Today, I'm turning my attention to the defensive side of the ball. How do the rankings shake out? See below: FOR OFFENSIVE RANKINGS, CLICK HERE 8) AFC South The Houston Texans are the... more

Scouts and coaches will tell anyone within earshot that preseason football doesn't count, but it definitely matters when it comes to projecting the potential of an offensive unit. Evaluators can quickly determine which teams have the pieces in place... more

Wins and losses don't count in the NFL preseason -- but individual performances sure do. After each week's slate of preseason action, Bucky Brooks will shine the spotlight on one notable player from each team in the league, grading that player's... more

August

Wins and losses don't count in the NFL preseason -- but individual performances sure do. After each week's slate of preseason action, Bucky Brooks will shine the spotlight on one notable player from each team in the league, grading that player's... more

Wins and losses don't count in the NFL preseason -- but individual performances sure do. After each week's slate of preseason action, Bucky Brooks will shine the spotlight on one notable player from each team in the league, grading that player's... more

Wins and losses don't count in the NFL preseason -- but individual performances sure do. After each week's slate of preseason action, Bucky Brooks will shine the spotlight on one notable player from each team in the league, grading that player's... more

Backfields Secondaries Receiving corps Defensive lines As we head into the 2015 NFL campaign, Bucky Brooks is identifying which teams have improved the most in particular position groupings since the end of last season. Today's focus:... more

Wins and losses don't count in the NFL preseason -- but individual performances sure do. After each week's slate of preseason action, Bucky Brooks will shine the spotlight on one notable player from each team in the league, grading that player's... more

Wins and losses don't count in the NFL preseason -- but individual performances sure do. After each week's slate of preseason action, Bucky Brooks will shine the spotlight on one notable player from each team in the league, grading that player's... more

Backfields Secondaries Receiving corps Defensive lines As we head into the 2015 NFL campaign, Bucky Brooks is identifying which teams have improved the most in particular position groupings since the end of last season. Today's focus:... more

Pipeline rankings: 1-5 6-10 11-15 16-20 21-25 Ric Tapia/NFL Ohio State's Joey Bosa is one of the most disruptive defenders in college football. With fall camps opening around the country this week, here's a look at my... more

Pipeline rankings: 1-5 6-10 11-15 16-20 21-25 Al Goldis/Associated Press Michigan State's Connor Cook enters 2015 as one of college football's top quarterbacks. With fall camps set to begin around the country this week,... more

Backfields Secondaries Receiving corps Defensive lines As we head into the 2015 NFL campaign, Bucky Brooks is identifying which teams have improved the most in particular position groupings since the end of last season. Today's focus:... more

Pipeline rankings: 1-5 6-10 11-15 16-20 21-25 Rogelio V. Solis/AP D'haquille Williams led Auburn with 45 catches for 730 yards last season. With fall camps set to begin around the country this week, here's a look at my... more

Pipeline rankings: 1-5 6-10 11-15 16-20 21-25 Doug Benc/AP DeForest Buckner led Oregon with 13 tackles for loss last season. With fall camps set to begin around the country this week, here's a look at my ranking of the... more

Backfields Secondaries Receiving corps Defensive lines General managers and coaches are always looking to improve the roster through player development/acquisition. Coaches, in particular, spend countless hours working with young player... more

Pipeline rankings: 1-5 6-10 11-15 16-20 21-25 Mark Humphrey/AP Quarterback Joshua Dobbs went 4-1 as Tennessee's starter last season. With fall camps set to begin around the country this week, here's a look at my ranking... more

July

EDITOR'S NOTE: On Friday, one day after the publication of this piece, Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks reached an agreement on a four-year, $87.6 million contract extension . In the wake of this mega deal, the sentiments expressed below rema... more

Football is the ultimate team game, but all positions are not created equal. Given the pass-happy nature of today's NFL, quarterbacks are clearly the most important players in the game, due to their responsibilities and direct impact on the outcom... more

Every general manager and head coach understands that it takes three seasons to fully evaluate a draft class, but that doesn't stop decision makers from counting on rookies to make immediate contributions. Teams will spend the entire offseason evalua... more

Head coaches and scouts are constantly evaluating their young players, looking for guys with the potential to make a major developmental jump. From my experience as a player and scout, I believe most NFL players make their biggest such gains between... more

The success of an NFL team is largely due to the talent on its roster, but the difference between good and great squads typically comes down to coaching. In a league full of astute tacticians and play callers, the best coaches come up with innovativ... more

Traditionalists are correct when they say franchise quarterbacks must be able to win from the pocket, but the changing dynamics of the pro game make it increasingly important that elite passers possess the ability to make big plays in a spontaneous... more

The pass-happy nature of the NFL has led observers to focus extensively on pass rushers and their sack totals, but championship defenses excel at stopping the run behind the play of a disruptive force on the interior. These defenders often toil in... more

The challenge of consistently moving the ball downfield on a variety of dink-and-dunk passes against an NFL defense makes every offensive coordinator covet the presence of a deep-ball specialist on the perimeter. Pass catchers capable of delivering... more

For all the attention offensive players receive, NFL football is still governed by big hitters and ferocious tacklers. I've heard head coaches frequently discuss the importance of winning the physical battle -- "outhitting" the opponent -- to tip the... more

All home fields aren't created equal. I discovered that fact when I played for the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs during the 1990s, and I've continued to see a handful of teams consistently dominate opponents in recent years due to the... more

The current emphasis on the quick-rhythm passing game in the NFL has made it imperative for elite offenses to feature a dynamic playmaker in the slot. Creative play designers are attacking voids in the middle of the field by abruptly getting the ball... more

Despite plenty of chatter about the diminishing role of running backs, many of the most efficient offenses in the NFL today are still fueled by the touchdown makers at the position. Play callers around the league cleverly craft game plans around the... more

The aerial evolution of the NFL has made it imperative for elite offenses to feature multiple playmakers on the perimeter. While most teams enter the season with an idea of who will play the key role as the designated WR1, over the course of the fal... more

June

Earlier this month, the San Diego Chargers announced that they're retiring LaDainian Tomlinson's number (21) with an official ceremony in November. It's a well-deserved honor for one of the best NFL players of the new millennium. That got us thinkin... more

Best Offensive Coordinators Best Defensive Coordinators Overall Rankings This week, I've been examining the guys behind the guys -- spotlighting the finest coordinators across the NFL landscape. After talking to folks around the league and... more

Best Offensive Coordinators Best Defensive Coordinators Overall Rankings The NFL seemingly has done everything in its power to legislate defensive football out of the game, but the top defensive coaches find a way to stop elite offenses wi... more

Best Offensive Coordinators Best Defensive Coordinators Overall Rankings There's nothing like watching an offensive maestro befuddle defenses with exceptional game planning and superb play calls. The best offensive coordinators in the NFL... more

It looks like the "small" receiver is back en vogue. The NFL is a copycat league, with coaches and scouts feverishly scouring tape from previous seasons for the next trend that will help their teams win. And after reviewing the All-22 Coaches Film... more

As the 2015 NFL season approaches, Bucky Brooks is poring over film to determine the best of the best in the league. Click on each group below for full analysis and rankings. Red-zone running backs CLICK IMAGE FOR FULL RANKING. Slot... more

There is no doubt that this is a quarterback league. NFL executives know the position is the most important piece of the championship puzzle, and teams are always on the hunt for talented signal-callers. But what if, in addition to finding the best... more

Offensive rookie projections Defensive rookie projections Coaches and scouts rarely discuss the expectations of prominent rookies with the outside world, but every front office looks for timely playmaking and significant production from key... more

Offensive rookie projections Defensive rookie projections Coaches and scouts rarely discuss the expectations of prominent rookies with the outside world, but every front office looks for timely playmaking and significant production from notab... more

Is Cam Newton really a $100 million man? The question ran rampant throughout Twitter after the Carolina Panthers lavished a five-year, $103.8 million extension on a quarterback with a 30-31-1 career record as a starter. The outrage took me by surp... more

The New York Jets are poised to make a legitimate run at the AFC East crown -- or, at least, a wild-card slot -- behind a championship-caliber defense and a talented collection of skill players with the potential to anchor a sneaky-explosive offense... more

May

When NFL coaches meet to discuss the challenges presented by the next game on the schedule, the conversation focuses first on identifying the biggest threats on the opposition's roster. Coaches carefully craft game plans to minimize these guys' impac... more

The recent emphasis on the quarterback position has led many to believe the presence of a franchise signal-caller is the only thing that matters when it comes to building a championship team in today's game. While it certainly is easier to make a ru... more

On Wednesday, the 11th- and 10th-ranked quarterbacks (Matt Ryan, No. 77, and Cam Newton, No. 73) in "The Top 100 Players of 2015" were revealed on NFL Network. While we wait to see how the upper crust at the game's most important position shakes out... more

Who is Jimmy Garoppolo? With Tom Brady suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season , this question has come to the forefront. More specifically, what kind of player is the second-year quarterback out of Eastern Illinois? Given some tim... more

The NFL certainly has shifted to a pass-happy approach over the past decade. With each passing year, teams are putting the ball in the air more and more, and a host of explosive playmakers are dominating the game from the perimeter. Thus, having a... more

Although it's too soon to completely rip any team's draft class, some hauls were less inspiring than others. In grading out the 2015 NFL Draft , Bucky Brooks found that six teams deserved "C" marks for one reason or another. Here's what he had to say... more

When Bucky Brooks graded all 32 teams for their 2015 NFL Draft hauls, he identified seven whose exceptional rookie classes were worthy of an "A" mark. Here's what he had to say about the teams that stood out from the rest: ATLANTA FALCONS:... more

Former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks is performing a division-by-division assessment of the 2015 NFL Draft, spotlighting notable picks and handing out grades for each team. Below is his review of the NFC East. (NOTE: Click on the tabs to see oth... more

Former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks is performing a division-by-division assessment of the 2015 NFL Draft, spotlighting notable picks and handing out grades for each team. Below is his review of the AFC East. (NOTE: Click on the tabs to see oth... more

Former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks is performing a division-by-division assessment of the 2015 NFL Draft, spotlighting notable picks and handing out grades for each team. Below is his review of the NFC South. (NOTE: Click on the tabs to see ot... more

Former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks is performing a division-by-division assessment of the 2015 NFL Draft, spotlighting notable picks and handing out grades for each team. Below is his review of the AFC South. (NOTE: Click on the tabs to see ot... more

Former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks is performing a division-by-division assessment of the 2015 NFL Draft, spotlighting notable picks and handing out grades for each team. Below is his review of the NFC North. (NOTE: Click on the tabs to see ot... more

Former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks is performing a division-by-division assessment of the 2015 NFL Draft, spotlighting notable picks and handing out grades for each team. Below is his review of the AFC North. (NOTE: Click on the tabs to see ot... more

Former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks is performing a division-by-division assessment of the 2015 NFL Draft, spotlighting notable picks and handing out grades for each team. Below is his review of the NFC West. (NOTE: Click on the tabs to see oth... more

Former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks is performing a division-by-division assessment of the 2015 NFL Draft, spotlighting notable picks and handing out grades for each team. Below is his review of the AFC West. (NOTE: Click on the tabs to see oth... more

General managers and head coaches covet speed and quickness when examining top prospects during the pre-draft process. Playmakers with the burst and acceleration to blow past opponents give defensive coordinators nightmares -- unless those coaches ha... more

April

The 2015 NFL Draft features a strong collection of talent that should rival the impact of the star-studded 2011 and 2012 classes. Just as those classes featured a handful of transcendent stars at the top of the board, this class is brimming with dazz... more

There is always a place in the NFL for a pass rusher with a non-stop motor and a knack for getting to the quarterback. Coaches and scouts are desperate to find disruptive playmakers in a league where offensive coordinators are increasingly leaning on... more

With the 2015 NFL Draft fast approaching, Bucky Brooks is breaking down the biggest areas of need for every team in the NFL, division by division. Below is his look at the NFC East. (NOTE: Click on tabs to see other divisions; click on team names to... more

With the 2015 NFL Draft fast approaching, Bucky Brooks is breaking down the biggest areas of need for every team in the NFL, division by division. Below is his look at the AFC East. (NOTE: Click on tabs to see other divisions; click on team names to... more

With the 2015 NFL Draft fast approaching, Bucky Brooks is breaking down the biggest areas of need for every team in the NFL, division by division. Below is his look at the NFC South. (NOTE: Click on tabs to see other divisions; click on team names to... more

With the 2015 NFL Draft fast approaching, Bucky Brooks is breaking down the biggest areas of need for every team in the NFL, division by division. Below is his look at the AFC South. (NOTE: Click on tabs to see other divisions; click on team names to... more

With the 2015 NFL Draft fast approaching, Bucky Brooks is breaking down the biggest areas of need for every team in the NFL, division by division. Below is his look at the AFC North. (NOTE: Click on tabs to see other divisions; click on team names to... more

With the 2015 NFL Draft fast approaching, Bucky Brooks is breaking down the biggest areas of need for every team in the NFL, division by division. Below is his look at the NFC North. (NOTE: Click on tabs to see other divisions; click on team names to... more

» Bucky Brooks' Big Board 1.0 | 2.0 Here is my third and final Big Board for the 2015 NFL Draft. 1. Leonard Williams , USC, DT Rise/fall: -- Smooth-moving athlete with the physical tools to be a transcendent star at the position. Wil... more

With the 2015 NFL Draft fast approaching, Bucky Brooks is breaking down the biggest areas of need for every team in the NFL, division by division. Below is his look at the NFC West. (NOTE: Click on tabs to see other divisions; click on team names to... more

With the 2015 NFL Draft fast approaching, Bucky Brooks is breaking down the biggest areas of need for every team in the NFL, division by division. Below is his look at the AFC West. (NOTE: Click on tabs to see other divisions; click on team names to... more

In the run-up to the NFL draft, it's easy to fall in love with sizzle over substance. Explosive athletes with a handful of highlight reel-worthy plays to their name can vault up the charts, while proven playmakers with workmanlike games seem to fall... more

The biggest compliment an NFL scout or coach can bestow upon a top prospect is to call him a "football player" in pre-draft meetings. The term is used to describe someone with the grit, toughness and instincts to excel at the highest level despite... more

Drafting a legitimate franchise quarterback is the quickest way to turn around a moribund organization. The addition of a young, talented signal-caller with exceptional physical tools and a high football IQ gives a sagging franchise an opportunity to... more

March

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Jameis Winston confirmed his status as the top quarterback in the 2015 class with an impressive performance in front of a large contingent of NFL evaluators at Florida State's pro day Tuesday. » 2015 pro days schedule, res... more

The draft-day trade market is always a reflection of supply and demand at marquee positions. Decision makers will evaluate the depth at each position group and pinpoint a player who could be the last of the crown jewels at a particular spot. Given so... more

The admission of former Nebraska pass rusher Randy Gregory that he tested positive for marijuana at the NFL Scouting Combine threatens to sink the stock of a player widely viewed as a top-10 talent. Given the changing climate of the NFL, here's how... more

At a time when running backs are seemingly being devalued on draft boards around the NFL, Todd Gurley has an opportunity to change the perception about the position. Yes, I'm sure scouts are wrestling with concerns over his recovery from a torn AC... more

It really takes about three years to accurately evaluate a draft class, but with a year's worth of time to review the performance and potential of the top players in the 2014 draft, I thought it would be fun to reshuffle the deck and see how picks mi... more

Nearly 25 years have passed since the Buffalo Bills' high-flying "K-Gun" offense was destroying the NFL with a frenetic pace and all-star cast of playmakers. Led by three Hall of Famers (Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas and Andre Reed), the unit powered Buf... more

The NFL's evolution into a pass-happy league has prompted general managers, scouts and head coaches to view cornerback as one of the marquee positions in the game. Teams invest heavily in cornerbacks who can shut down half of the field, as one can se... more

"What is Chip Kelly doing?" That's the question running through the minds of Philadelphia Eagles fans after watching the coach orchestrate a series of personnel moves that completely flipped the starting lineup and removed three Pro Bowl players... more

For all of the excitement generated by free agency in the NFL, I've been most intrigued by the clever utilization of trades by executives around the league this offseason. Teams are increasingly willing to deal away established playmakers for unprove... more

The aerial evolution of the NFL has made wide receivers hot commodities on draft day. Teams are willing to expend top picks on pass catchers with size, speed and explosiveness because recent history provides numerous examples of such players making a... more

Dorial Green-Beckham created quite a buzz with his spectacular performance at the NFL Scouting Combine a few weeks ago. Scouts left Indianapolis impressed with his size, athleticism and natural ball skills as a receiver. Most important, in meetings,... more

The pass-happy nature of the NFL has forced general managers and head coaches to value pass rushers at a premium. Evaluators view edge rusher as the most important defensive position on the field, and teams are willing to use a top pick on any prosp... more

The Buffalo Bills pulled off a shocking trade Tuesday when they agreed to send linebacker Kiko Alonso to the Philadelphia Eagles for running back LeSean McCoy. The move will land an All-Pro back in Buffalo, giving the Bills' offense a dynamic runner... more

With the 2015 NFL ScoutingCombine in the rearview, it's time for the next step in the pre-draft process: pro days. In advance of this month-plus, cross-country campaign, former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks provides 10 burning questions for this... more

February

General managers and coaches will spend the next few months preaching the importance of acquiring players with exemplary character and impeccable intangibles, but troubled prospects with extraordinary talent and athleticism are tough to bypass on dra... more

» Bucky's Big Board 2.0: Edge rushers surge up With the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine in the rear-view mirror, here is a look at the top five prospects at each position to give you a peek at some of the conversations that are taking place in draft... more

» Bucky Brooks' Big Board 1.0 With the NFL Scouting Combine now complete and new information revealed about the top prospects in the 2015 NFL Draft , this is a good time to adjust my Big Board. While I know my subtle changes will lead to a f... more

Former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks is spotlighting the prospects who make a mark -- for better or worse -- at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine. On Monday, the defensive backs took the field. Bucky provides his impressions from Indianapolis. Click... more

Former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks is spotlighting the prospects who make a mark -- for better or worse -- at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine. On Sunday, the defensive linemen and linebackers took the field. Bucky provides his impressions from... more

Former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks is spotlighting the prospects who make a mark -- for better or worse -- at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine. On Saturday, the quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers took the field. Bucky provides his... more

Former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks is spotlighting the prospects who make a mark -- for better or worse -- at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine. On Friday, the offensive linemen and tight ends took the field. Here are Bucky's impressions from... more

As the 2015 NFLDraft approaches, Bucky Brooks is examining the best fits for one high-profile prospect each week. CLICK ON EACH PLAYER'S NAME FOR FULL ANALYSIS. Shane Ray This Missouri product is arguably the best pure pass rusher in the dra... more

The devaluation of the running back position in recent NFL drafts -- no RB has gone in the first round since 2012 -- doesn't diminish the importance of having a dynamic talent in the backfield when it comes to competing with the elite teams in the le... more

With the East-West Shrine Game and Senior Bowl completed and the NFL Scouting Combine about to get under way in Indianapolis, the pre-draft process has swung into high gear. With that in mind, I thought I would release my 2015 NFL Draft Big Boa... more

As coaches and general managers prepare to make potentially franchise-altering decisions in the 2015 NFL Draft, now is the perfect time to look back and see how the choices made last year played out on the field. Bucky Brooks is reviewing and grading... more

As coaches and general managers prepare to make potentially franchise-altering decisions in the 2015 NFL Draft, now is the perfect time to look back and see how the choices made last year played out on the field. Bucky Brooks is reviewing and grading... more

As coaches and general managers prepare to make potentially franchise-altering decisions in the 2015 NFL Draft, now is the perfect time to look back and see how the choices made last year played out on the field. Bucky Brooks is reviewing and grading... more

The key to building a dominant defense in today's NFL is to start at the line of scrimmage. The general managers and coaches responsible for constructing the premier defenses in football typically began with a big-bodied defender who has the size,... more

As coaches and general managers prepare to make potentially franchise-altering decisions in the 2015 NFL Draft, now is the perfect time to look back and see how the choices made last year played out on the field. Bucky Brooks is reviewing and grading... more

As coaches and general managers prepare to make potentially franchise-altering decisions in the 2015 NFL Draft, now is the perfect time to look back and see how the choices made last year played out on the field. Bucky Brooks is reviewing and grading... more

As coaches and general managers prepare to make potentially franchise-altering decisions in the 2015 NFL Draft, now is the perfect time to look back and see how the choices made last year played out on the field. Bucky Brooks is reviewing and grading... more

As coaches and general managers prepare to make potentially franchise-altering decisions in the 2015 NFL Draft, now is the perfect time to look back and see how the choices made last year played out on the field. Bucky Brooks is reviewing and grading... more

As coaches and general managers prepare to make potentially franchise-altering decisions in the 2015 NFL Draft, now is the perfect time to look back and see how the choices made last year played out on the field. Bucky Brooks reviews and grades each... more

As coaches and general managers prepare to make potentially franchise-altering decisions in the 2015 NFL Draft, now is the perfect time to look back and see how the choices made last year played out on the field. Bucky Brooks is reviewing and grading... more

Marcus Mariota is the most dynamic quarterback prospect to enter the NFL since Michael Vick was selected No. 1 overall by the Atlanta Falcons in 2001. The Heisman Trophy winner has displayed a rare combination of speed, athleticism and passing ski... more

The New England Patriots' high-powered offense just took down one of the greatest defenses in NFL history. The unit dominated the action throughout much of Super Bowl XLIX, amassing 320 net passing yards against the Seattle Seahawks' vaunted "Legion... more

January

The Super Bowl is the ultimate showcase of star power, with Pro Bowlers routinely making pivotal plays throughout. However, history suggests an unheralded player could make the biggest play, the one that determines which team gets to hoist the Lomba... more

Five keys to victory for Seattle Five keys to victory for New England The media firestorm surrounding DeflateGate has diverted some attention from what we can actually expect to see on the field during Super Bowl XLIX , but many observers ar... more

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Jameis Winston , QB, Florida State Winston is the most NFL-ready quarterback in the draft. He is a nice fit in Dirk Koetter's quick-rhythm passing game. » Daniel Jeremiah's mock draft 1.0: Winston goes No. 1 2.... more

It's no coincidence that the NFL teams that enjoy the most long-term success also consistently knock the ball out of the park on draft weekend. Championship squads traditionally build through the draft, taking a cost-efficient approach toward sustain... more

MOBILE, Ala. -- Two days of practices are in the books here at the Reese's Senior Bowl, and Thursday will give prospects one last chance to shine in a practice setting with NFL evaluators watching. Here's a look at four who are impressing, and a co... more

MOBILE, Ala. -- We're only one day into the Senior Bowl at Mobile, Ala., but already a handful of prospects have made a positive impression, whereas a few who entered with something to prove got their week off to a slow start. » Nine standouts f... more

Five keys to victory for Seattle Five keys to victory for New England The Seattle Seahawks have an opportunity to become the first back-to-back champions in 10 years -- but to do so, they'll have to face the last team to pull off that feat: t... more

The Reese's Senior Bowl provides NFL scouts and coaches with a terrific opportunity to check out the some of the top prospects in the country in an ultra-competitive environment. Although all-star game performances shouldn't outweigh a prospect's... more

With coaches and scouts starting to project which players are the best fits for their squads, this is a look at the top five prospects at each position to give you a peek at some of the conversations that are taking place in draft rooms across the le... more

It's easy to pencil the New England Patriots into Super Bowl XLIX based on their recent history of destroying the Indianapolis Colts' defense. The Pats have rolled through Chuck Pagano's troops in their two most recent matchups; it is hard to imagine... more

The Green Bay Packers might be led by an MVP-caliber quarterback in Aaron Rodgers, but few are giving them a chance to knock off the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks on the road in the NFC Championship Game next Sunday. However, a clos... more

The recent devaluation of the running back in the NFL draft has led some observers to diminish the impact of the position, but the spectacular play of Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott during the Buckeyes' title run should serve as a reminder that runni... more

The College Football Playoff Championship Game will come down to which team wins the majority of matchups on the field. Although turnovers and miscues will certainly impact the outcome of the game, the final score will be decided by the play of the s... more

When the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys meet in Sunday's divisional playoff game , the most explosive offense in the NFL will square off against a no-name defense that's catching fire at the right time. This might look like a lopsided matchup o... more

Michael Yanow/NFL Jameis Winston has announced his intent to enter the 2015 NFL Draft. Florida State QB Jameis Winston has announced his intention to apply for early entry into the 2015 NFL Draft, and the decision isn't a surprise based on... more

It's not a coincidence the eight teams still standing in the NFL postseason all feature talented quarterbacks. The quarterback remains the most impactful player on the field; teams without a standout signal-caller are hopeless in big games when the... more

It is uncommon for NFL scouts to have an opportunity to see Heisman Trophy quarterbacks square off on a big stage, but the 101st Rose Bowl provided evaluators with a chance to see Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston battle it out in Pasedena. Mariota... more

December

On Tuesday, I examined the biggest strengths and weaknesses for each NFC playoff team . Now it's time to take a look at the AFC field (with teams ordered by postseason seeding): 1) New England Patriots Next matchup: vs. Ravens/Bengals/Colts, Satur... more

Now that the 2014 playoff field is set , let's examine the crucial factors for each participant. Strategic planning and tactical adjustments can help a team mask its deficiencies in a game, but the best coaches are able to tilt things in their favor... more

It's easy to dismiss the Carolina Panthers based on their sub-.500 record, but the defending NFC South champions are heating up at the right time. The Panthers opened up December with three straight wins, and it appears this team could be rounding in... more

The pass-happy nature of the NFL makes it imperative for general managers to add pass rushers at every turn. While every decision maker would love to add an explosive edge player to the lineup with the requisite size and physical tools to thrive as a... more

In the spirit of the Salute to Service campaign , former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks spotlights players who are poised to have hero-like performances for their respective teams in Week 16 : Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers Matchu... more

The hype machine is humming in full effect after Oregon QB Marcus Mariota was named the Heisman Trophy winner over the weekend. Coaches like Tony Dungy and Jim Mora have compared the Ducks' standout to NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers , with Mora going so far... more

The Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks are out to prove that stellar defense can win championships in today's NFL. While the 'Hawks are aiming for their second Lombardi Trophy in as many seasons, the Cards are poised to make a deep postseason run... more

In the spirit of the Salute to Service campaign , former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks spotlights players who are poised to have hero-like performances for their respective teams in Week 15: Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers Matchup: at... more

It is not a coincidence that the top football teams in the country are also the programs NFL scouts target when searching for blue-chip players in the draft. The most talented teams typically win the majority of their games and eventually compete for... more

The NFL MVP award will likely go to Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Andrew Luck or Peyton Manning, given the quarterback-centricity of today's NFL, but the best player in the league is J.J. Watt -- and it's not even close. The 2012 Defensive Player of th... more

Whenever blue-chip prospects play in championship games, scouts pay close attention to their performance because it provides a preview of a player's potential in a game with NFL-caliber talent and intensity. When reviewing their efforts in these cont... more

Whenever I get an opportunity to see a blue-chip prospect play in a major conference championship game, I pay close attention to his performance because the speed, intensity and urgency mirrors NFL competition. I'm a firm believer that how a player p... more

In the spirit of the Salute to Service campaign , former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks spotlights players who are poised to have hero-like performances for their respective teams in Week 14: Odell Beckham Jr., WR, New York Giants Matchup: at... more

There is little doubt that the NFL scouting community agrees with Georgia head coach Mark Richt's recent assessment of Todd Gurley as a blue-chip talent, but the devaluation of the running back position threatened to diminish his value in the 2015 d... more

Tommy Gilligan / USA Today Sports Jameis Winston threw a career-high four interceptions in Florida State's win over Florida on Saturday. Quarterback is the most difficult position to evaluate for scouts, coaches and general managers. The... more

Otto Kitsinger/Associated Press Boise State running back Jay Ajayi rushed for 229 yards in a win over Utah State on Saturday night. The 2014 college football season is wrapping up, with bowl season just over the horizon. Here are six players... more

November

In the spirit of the Salute to Service campaign , former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks spotlights players who are poised to have hero-like performances for their respective teams in Week 13: Justin Forsett, RB, Baltimore Ravens Matchup: vs.... more

The Green Bay Packers have bounced back from a disappointing 1-2 start to re-emerge as legitimate title contenders. The team has a balanced, explosive offense and a playmaking defense -- all the components needed to make a deep postseason run. With... more

When scouts are assigned to evaluate the top prospects within their region, it is important to schedule multiple visits to the school to get an accurate gauge on the development of the player during his final season. While it is hard to shake the ini... more

Whenever scouts convene for draft meetings to discuss the top prospects in college football, general managers and coaches will ask evaluators to provide a pro comparison for each player. Although the comparison is loosely based on similar physical... more

In the spirit of the Salute to Service campaign , former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks spotlights players who are poised to have hero-like performances for their respective teams in Week 12: Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland Browns Matchup: at Atla... more

When considering contenders for Coach of the Year, voters should take a long, hard look at Andy Reid -- and appreciate the work he has done in Kansas City. While there are plenty of deserving candidates, including Arizona Cardinals head man Bruce Ari... more

Is it the talent or the system? That's the question scouts will wrestle with when they take a long, hard look at Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon during the pre-draft process. Despite shattering the single-game rushing record with a 408-yard effort agai... more

When Texas A&M announced that star offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi was moving from left tackle to right tackle prior to last week's Auburn game, I immediately thought it was an admission by the Aggies' coaching staff that the senior standout was unab... more

In the spirit of the Salute to Service campaign , former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks spotlights players who are poised to have hero-like performances for their respective teams in Week 11: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers Matchup: vs.... more

The Detroit Lions are sitting atop the NFC North and firmly entrenched in the race for the top seed in the conference. While we've grown accustomed to seeing the Lions fade down the stretch, the All-22 Coaches Film reveals a team that's rounding i... more

Bob DeChiara / USA Today Sports Louisville safety Gerod Holliman leads the nation with 13 interceptions. The changing dynamics of the NFL game have made the safety position one of the marquee spots on defense. Fueled by the desire to slow... more

Elaine Thompson/Associated Press Star CB Marcus Peters faces a big decision after being dismissed from the Washington football team. The changing climate of the NFL makes it tough for scouts and general managers to bring prospects with... more

In this installment of "Bucky's Best," former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks provides "Bucky's Beasts" -- the guys who are poised to produce spectacular numbers in Week 10: Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers Matchup: at New York Jets, Sun... more

The New England Patriots have been anointed AFC heavyweights following their impressive dismantling of the Denver Broncos , but Bill Belichick's bunch might not even be the best team in the AFC East. The Miami Dolphins (5-3), who beat the Pats in Wee... more

Richard Shiro / Associated Press Tennessee QB Josh Dobbs showed off his versatility in Saturday's 45-42 overtime win over South Carolina. NFL evaluators are always searching for the next potential franchise quarterback. Whether it is a senio... more

October

In his weekly Bucky's Best series, former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks identifies the must-see matchups of the weekend in college football. Most intriguing matchup TCU QB Trevone Boykin vs. West Virginia DC Tony Gibson It's not a coincidence... more

In this installment of "Bucky's Best," former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks highlights the can't-miss matchups to watch in Week 9 : Broncos' receiving corps vs. Patriots' defensive backs Denver Broncos at New England Patriots, Sunday, 4:25 p.m... more

We've reached the midpoint of the 2014 NFL season -- and it's time to highlight players who are operating at an MVP level. Rather than focus on the candidates for the NFL MVP award, however, I thought I'd broaden the discussion by singling out the... more

We've reached the midpoint of the season -- which means it's time to highlight players who are operating at an MVP level. Rather than focus on the candidates for the NFL MVP award, however, I thought I'd broaden the discussion by singling out the t... more

Elaine Thompson/Associated Press Washington's Shaq Thompson is the rare college player who can impact a game on both offense and defense. Whenever a blue-chip player is capable of making contributions on both sides of the ball, scouts... more

In his weekly Bucky's Best series, former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks identifies the must-see matchups of the weekend in college football. Best matchup in the trenches Clemson DE/OLB Vic Beasley vs. Syracuse OT Sean Hickey There is no questi... more

In this installment of "Bucky's Best," former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks highlights the can't-miss matchups to watch in Week 8 : Brandon Marshall/Alshon Jeffery vs. Darrelle Revis/Brandon Browner Chicago Bears at New England Patriots, Sund... more

The Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals square off Sunday in a midseason heavyweight battle between two 5-1 teams. This game pits one of the league's most explosive offenses against a stellar defensive unit that has played surprisingly well de... more

With the recent devaluation of running backs in the draft and free agency, many observers have fallen prey to the narrative that the NFL is a "quarterback-driven league," failing to see how the presence of a dominant playmaker in the backfield allevi... more

John David Mercer/USA TODAY There's a lot not to like about Jameis Winston, but his on-field play in big moments is not one of them. For all of the negative attention that Florida State QB Jameis Winston's off-field behavior has attracted... more

In his weekly Bucky's Best series, former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks identifies the must-see matchups of the weekend in college football. Most intriguing matchup Florida State QB Jameis Winston vs. Notre Dame QB Everett Golson The swirl of... more

In this installment of "Bucky's Best," former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks highlights the can't-miss matchups to watch in Week 7 : Cam Newton vs. Julius Peppers/Clay Matthews Carolina Panthers at Green Bay Packers, Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox... more

The Cleveland Browns are quietly emerging as legitimate playoff contenders behind a punishing offense spearheaded by a wily veteran and a tough running game. Following their dominant win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, I thought it was time to figure... more

Matt Cashore/USA Today Sports Notre Dame's Everett Golson will benefit from NFL teams becoming more accepting of smaller quarterbacks. The success of the Russell Wilson experiment in Seattle could pave the way for Notre Dame's Everett Golson... more

Associated Press Sooners CB Zack Sanchez made big plays on Saturday, while Mizzou QB Maty Mauk tossed four picks in a loss. With Week 7 of college football in the books, it's time to take note of who saw their stock rise and fall based on th... more

In his weekly Bucky's Best series, former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks identifies the must-see matchups of the weekend in college football. Most anticipated matchup in NFL circles Oregon QB Marcus Mariota vs. UCLA QB Brent Hundley This matchu... more

Georgia running back Todd Gurley has been suspended indefinitely by the University of Georgia Athletic Association as the star junior is being investigated for an alleged violation of NCAA rules . » Manziel showing support for Gurley The 2... more

In this installment of "Bucky's Best," former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks highlights the can't-miss matchups to watch in Week 6 : Dez Bryant vs. Richard Sherman Dallas Cowboys at Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, Fox Bryant has... more

When the New York Giants selected Odell Beckham Jr. with the 12th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, I believed it was the perfect marriage of prospect and scheme. The 5-foot-11, 198-pound receiver was one of the most explosive players in col... more

What's wrong with the Philadelphia Eagles' offense? That's the question many observers are asking after watching Chip Kelly's unit struggle over the past two weeks. Despite sporting a 4-1 record and scoring 30-plus points four times, the Eagles'... more

Jim Lytle/Associated Press Mississippi State's dual-threat QB Dak Prescott is emerging as a top Heisman contender. Traditionalists might not like the way the quarterback position is evolving in college football, but the presence of a... more

AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis Ole Miss QB Bo Wallace turned in a steller performance in leading the Rebels over Alabama on Saturday. With Week 6 of college football in the books, it's time to take note of who saw their stock rise and fall based... more

After a slow start to the season, the New York Giants caught the attention of the football world with a pair of resounding wins over the Houston Texans and Washington Redskins. The stellar play of Eli Manning combined with the emergence of an unher... more

In his weekly Bucky's Best series, former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks identifies the must-see matchups of the weekend in college football. Best WR-DB matchup Alabama WR Amari Cooper vs. Ole Miss DB Tony Conner Credit Alabama offensive coordi... more

EUGENE, Ore. -- There is nothing like having the opportunity to watch a franchise quarterback play in a big game with championship implications. The atmosphere mirrors the pressurized environment of playing in a prime-time game at the next level. Thu... more

In this installment of Bucky's Best, former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks highlights the can't-miss matchups to watch in Week 5: DeMarco Murray vs. Brian Cushing Houston Texans at Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS The transformation... more

September

We've reached the quarter mark of the 2014 NFL season -- and this is the perfect time to recognize the standouts from the first four weeks. While things will certainly change going forward, and while it's true that the six teams with a Week 4 bye hav... more

The pass-centric nature of the NFL makes it imperative for a dominant defense to feature elite pass rushers off the edges. Defensive coordinators constantly stress the importance of being able to disrupt the rhythm of the quarterback in personnel... more

Nati Harnik/Associated Press Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah scored three touchdowns in the Huskers' win over Illinois. With Week 5 of college football in the books, it's time to take note of who saw their stock rise and fall based on... more

In his weekly Bucky's Best series, former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks identifies the must-see matchups of the weekend in college football. Best matchup in the trenches Arkansas DE Trey Flowers vs. Texas A&M OT Cedric Ogbuehi Flowers intr... more

Rick Scuteri/Associated Press UCLA's Brett Hundley bounced back with a big effort vs. Arizona State in his return from injury. TEMPE, Ariz. -- Franchise quarterbacks must display the mental and physical toughness to perform when they are not... more

In his weekly "Bucky's Best" series, former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks highlights the can't-miss matchups you need to watch. Most favorable offensive matchup LeSean McCoy/Darren Sproles vs. 49ers' linebackers Philadelphia Eagles at San... more

In past seasons, Jason Garrett's Dallas Cowboys have favored a pass-centric approach on offense. While it certainly made sense to rely on a Pro Bowl quarterback (Tony Romo) and a talented set of receivers (headlined by Dez Bryant), this game plan did... more

James Guillory/USA Today Sports East Carolina quarterback Shane Carden is on the radar of NFL scouts. With Week 4 of college football in the books, it's time to take note of who saw their stock rise and fall based on the weekend's action.... more

Gerald Herbert/Associated Press Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott is gaining momentum after leading the Bulldogs to an upset win over LSU. When I scouted for the Carolina Panthers from 2003-2007, I was required to give every player a critica... more

In his weekly Bucky's Best series, former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks identifies the must-see matchups of the weekend in college football. Most favorable offensive matchup Texas A&M QB Kenny Hill vs. SMU defense The sophomore sensation has... more

Nick Marshall isn't a legitimate NFL quarterback prospect, but that doesn't mean he is incapable of leading the Auburn Tigers into the College Football Playoff as the director of one of college football's most explosive offenses. After watchin... more

In his weekly "Bucky's Best" series, former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks highlights the can't-miss matchups you need to watch. Most favorable offensive matchup Chris Johnson/Chris Ivory vs. Bears' run defense Chicago Bears at New York Jets... more

How did the Chargers crack the code? That's the question I asked myself after witnessing the San Diego Chargers' 30-21 win over the Seattle Seahawks from my press box seat in Qualcomm Stadium. While I wasn't completely surprised the Chargers were... more

Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press QB Brett Hundley played an active role on the sideline after exiting the Bruins' win over Texas with an elbow injury. The college football season is only three weeks old, but scouts are already completing thei... more

John Raoux/Associated Press Florida wide receiver Demarcus Robinson racked up 216 yards on 15 receptions vs. Kentucky. With Week 3 of college football in the books, it is time to take note of who saw their stock rise and fall based on the... more

In his weekly Bucky's Best series, former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks identifies the must-see matchups of the weekend in college football. Most intriguing matchup Georgia RB Todd Gurley vs. South Carolina defense The Heisman Trophy front-run... more

In his weekly Bucky's Best series, former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks highlights the can't-miss matchups to watch. Most favorable offensive matchup Peyton Manning vs. Chiefs' defense Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos, Sunday, 4:25 p.m.... more

The NFL boasts some of the best and brightest minds in football, but that doesn't mean the pro game isn't influenced by what high school and college teams are doing. The savviest coaches will borrow ideas from their brethren at the lower levels,... more

Ryan Kang/Associated Press Oregon QB Marcus Mariota put on an impressive performance in leading the Ducks over Michigan State on Saturday. When I started my career as a scout in 2000 with the Seattle Seahawks, I was advised by my college... more

Elaine Thompson/Associated Press Washington linebacker Shaq Thompson was productive on both defense and offense on Saturday. With Week 2 of college football in the books, it's time to take note of who saw their stock rise and fall based on... more

USA Today Sports Stanford offensive tackle Andrus Peat will be tested by USC defensive lineman Leonard Williams on Saturday. For all of the things that I love about watching football, I'm most fascinated by the chess match that takes place o... more

There is nothing like watching the chess match that ensues each week in the NFL. From observing the way crafty coaches implement exotic schemes to exploit mismatches to watching a pair of blue-chip players duke it out against each other, I've learn... more

If the quarterback position is viewed as the most important in football, then the backup should receive special attention in the team-building process. After all, the second-string quarterback is just a play away from having to step into the spotligh... more

AP Photo/Nati Harnik Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah is one of several running backs changing the perception of the RB position. Don't believe the hype suggesting the running back position is devalued in football. While the recent results of the... more

August

Jeremy Brevard / USA TODAY Sports Kenny Hill was every bit as efficient running Texas A&M's offense as his predecessor. Johnny who? That's what the college football world is likely saying after watching Texas A&M QB Kenny Hill put on a... more

Eugene Tanner/Associated Press USC CB Josh Shaw's draft stock is under review after he lied about saving his drowning nephew. When Josh Shaw misled USC officials with a fabricated story about rescuing his drowning nephew from a pool, he not... more

Since Sean Payton's arrival in 2006, the New Orleans Saints consistently have fielded one of the most explosive offenses in football. But this year's edition promises to be the most dynamic and versatile unit I've seen under his direction. Now,... more

Since Sean Payton's arrival in 2006, the New Orleans Saints consistently have fielded one of the most explosive offenses in football. But this year's edition might be the most dynamic and versatile unit I've seen under his direction. Now I know... more

When Mike Pettine announced his decision regarding the Cleveland Browns' quarterback competition Wednesday morning, I was surprised to see the first-year coach name Brian Hoyer the starter . Although I anticipated the veteran having the first crack a... more

Players to watch: QB RB WR OT Pass rushers Defensive backs Doug Benc / Associated Press Jameis Winston might have a hard time in 2014 replicating the level of success he enjoyed in 2013. NFL scouts are already lookin... more

Players to watch: QB RB WR OT Pass rushers Defensive backs Ifo Ekpre-Olomu's skill set makes him the top defensive back to watch heading into the 2014 season. The pass-centric nature of the NFL game has scouts scour... more

Players to watch: QB RB WR OT Pass rushers Defensive backs Texas A&M's Cedric Ogbuehi is one of the most intriguing offensive tackles in college football. The pass-happy nature of the NFL has turned talented offensi... more

Players to watch: QB RB WR OT Pass rushers Defensive backs Dave Martin / Associated Press Amari Cooper will be under close watch this fall as NFL teams continue to monitor potential future game changers. The wide-ope... more

Players to watch: QB RB WR OT Pass rushers Defensive backs John Bazemore / Associated Press The next "Beast Mode"? Todd Gurley's game is reminiscent to that of Seattle's Marshawn Lynch. The devaluation of the running... more

The Seattle Seahawks are poised to make a run at a second straight Super Bowl title, but this time around, the offense could play a much bigger role. The expanded playbook that this team has put on display in the preseason leads me to believe the uni... more

Jay LaPrete/Associated Press Ohio State QB Braxton Miller will miss the 2014 season after suffering a shoulder injury in practice. When the news broke about Ohio State QB Braxton Miller missing 2014 due to a season-ending shoulder injury, I... more

The Seattle Seahawks are poised to make a run at a second straight Super Bowl title, but this time around, the offense could play a much bigger role. The expanded playbook that this team has put on display in the preseason leads me to believe the uni... more

Scouts are already looking to the future to identify potential franchise quarterbacks in the collegiate ranks. Although it's way too early for speculation about what quarterbacks will become blue-chip players at the next level, evaluators are studyin... more

AP Photo/Ben Liebenberg Florida State QB Jameis Winston enters 2014 as the reigning Heisman Trophy winner. "I want winners!" The quote from former San Francisco 49ers head coach Mike Singletary effectively sums up the attitude that NFL... more

Tempo. That's the word buzzing around the NFL in 2014. Hoping to duplicate the success of fast-paced attacks run by teams like the Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, San Diego Chargers, Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints, several... more

Julio Cortez/Associated Press Florida State QB Jameis Winston will enter the 2014 season as a favorite to win the Heisman Trophy. I've been around the NFL long enough to know that capturing the Heisman Trophy doesn't ensure success at the... more

Joe Raymond / Associated Press Everett Golson is back in the Irish's starting lineup after missing the entire 2013 season due to a suspension. When Everett Golson returned to Notre Dame after sitting out the 2013 season due to an academic... more

For all the talk about today's NFL being governed by quarterback play, the surest way to consistently compete for the Lombardi Trophy is to field an elite defense that smothers opponents and creates scoring chances off turnovers. This has long been t... more

When I worked as a scout for the Carolina Panthers in the mid-2000s, then-coach John Fox would break up the season into quarters and set a goal to achieve a 3-1 record in each to ensure a playoff berth. While it's probably surprising to hear losses... more

The best defensive coordinators in the NFL are willing to step outside of the box to develop effective strategies for defending the hottest offensive trends. From crafting exotic zone-blitz schemes to using a variety of unique personnel packages to... more

Rankings: 1-5 6-10 11-15 16-20 21-25 Gerald Herbert / Associated Press T.J. Yeldon appears to be the next big-time Crimson Tide back primed to make the leap from college to the pros. When I was a scout in the NFL for th... more

Rankings: 1-5 6-10 11-15 16-20 21-25 Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press USC's Leonard Williams will enter the 2014 season at full health after playing through an injury last season. 6. Ohio State Buckeyes Players to... more

Rankings: 1-5 6-10 11-15 16-20 21-25 AP Photo/Victor Calzada Quarterback Brett Hundley has indicated this will be his final season at UCLA. 11. UCLA Bruins Players to watch: QB Brett Hundley, LB/RB Myles Jack, DT E... more

Whenever the "elite quarterback" discussion crops up in NFL circles, the same four names top the marquee. Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees represent the Mount Rushmore of quarterbacking in today's game, based on remarkable... more

Rankings: 1-5 6-10 11-15 16-20 21-25 Aaron M. Sprecher/NFL Texas A&M's Cedric Ogbuehi is among college football's top offensive tackles. 16. South Carolina Gamecocks Take a look ahead to the 2014 college football se... more

Rankings: 1-5 6-10 11-15 16-20 21-25 Rick Scuteri / Associated Press Arizona State's Jaelen Strong is showing he has the potential to be a No. 1 wide receiver at the next level. 21. Missouri Tigers Players to wat... more

July

The Baltimore Ravens fielded a scattershot offense in 2013 -- and, not coincidentally, they missed the playoffs, despite having won the Super Bowl one season earlier. Now, with new coordinator Gary Kubiak taking the reins, the unit could be poised fo... more

Michael Conroy/Associated Press Ohio State's Braxton Miller needs to show great improvement in the passing game to prove he's an NFL prospect at QB. I would never question Urban Meyer's football knowledge or his evaluation skills based on hi... more

Don Ryan / Associated Press Improvement in two critical areas could have Brett Hundley rapidly rising up draft boards. Whenever a college coach with strong NFL ties suggests that one of his players has the goods to be a star at the next leve... more

There's nothing like playing in the NFL. I proudly say that after spending five seasons in the league as a wide receiver/defensive back/kick returner with five different teams. Although I didn't earn Pro Bowl recognition, I had the opportunity... more

Chuck Burton / Associated Press Jameis Winston's playing style and collegiate offensive scheme are different from that of Cam Newton. When I worked as a scout for the Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers, I would frequently ask prospects... more

Whenever I speak to a young player trying to make his mark in the NFL, I advise him to find a Pro Bowler with similar skills and attempt to copy his career blueprint. I'm aware that most youngsters already model their games after the elite talents... more

When I was a defensive back for the Jacksonville Jaguars, I asked our defensive coordinator, Dick Jauron, a straightforward question: What is the key to building a dominant defense in the NFL? After pondering my question for a few minutes, Jauron... more

The NFL's aerial evolution over the past decade has changed the way defensive coordinators build their secondaries. Teams are placing a greater emphasis on adding athletic playmakers with versatile skill sets. While those traits havealwaysbeen cove... more

When I stepped onto the practice field adjacent to Arrowhead Stadium in 1997, I had no idea that my Kansas City Chiefs teammate Tony Gonzalez was on the verge of revolutionizing the tight end position in the NFL. While I was well aware of Gonzalez's... more

Is he clutch? That's the question I repeatedly asked myself while evaluating quarterbacks during my time as a scout with the Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers. For all of the physical attributes needed to thrive at the position, the ability t... more

The recent rise of the running-back-by-committee approach in the NFL has led to speculation that the position has been devalued in meeting rooms around the league -- a theory that was further advanced when no backs were selected in the first round of... more

The pass-centric nature of the NFL has turned left tackle into one of the marquee positions in football. Coaches and scouts place a high priority on keeping the quarterback upright, allowing him to comfortably make plays from the pocket. Thus, NFL... more

In this series, Bucky Brooks identifies the NFL's top 10 players within unique, skill-based categories. Hands and ball skills Whereas many evaluators place tremendous emphasis on speed, athleticism and agility when assessing pass catchers,... more

There's nothing that makes me cringe more than hearing any cornerback with a little skill touted as a "shutdown corner." While I certainly appreciate observers recognizing the benefits of having a guy who can shut down an entire side of the field, th... more

When I stepped into the NFL as a rookie receiver with the Buffalo Bills in 1994, I had the opportunity to watch Andre Reed put on a daily clinic with his exceptional skills as a pass catcher. Observing the future Hall of Famer refine his craft... more

Robert Mayer/USA TODAY Sports Clemson DE Vic Beasley returns for his senior season as one of college football's top pass rushers. When I was a scout for the Carolina Panthers, I was encouraged to value speed and athleticism as core traits fo... more

David Butler II / USA TODAY Sports QB Bryce Petty must show he is more than a product of the Baylor system. Is it the talent or the system? That's the question NFL scouts routinely wrestle with when evaluating quarterbacks directing... more

Football might be the ultimate team sport, but the NFL is dominated by larger-than-life talents -- those players who, through sheer force of skill and personality, seem able to single-handedly drive their squads. A player like that can become everyth... more

Football might be the ultimate team sport, but the NFL is dominated by larger-than-life talents -- those players who, through sheer force of skill and personality, seem able to single-handedly drive their squads. A player like that can become everyth... more

David Zalubowski/Associated Press Oregon's Ifo Ekpre-Olomu enters his senior season as one of the top defenders in college football. The pass-happy nature of the NFL has led scouts and coaches to search high and low for shutdown corners.... more

Football might be the ultimate team sport, but the NFL is dominated by larger-than-life talents -- those players who, through sheer force of skill and personality, seem able to single-handedly drive their squads. A player like that can become everyth... more

June

Football might be the ultimate team sport, but the NFL is dominated by larger-than-life talents -- those players who, through sheer force of skill and personality, seem able to single-handedly drive their squads. A player like that can become everyth... more

Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper has the ability to become a No. 1 receiver in the NFL. Whenever a young player makes key contributions for a national championship contender, NFL scouts tend to pay closer attention to his development... more

Football might be the ultimate team sport, but the NFL is dominated by larger-than-life talents -- those players who, through sheer force of skill and personality, seem able to single-handedly drive their squads. A player like that can become everyth... more

Football might be the ultimate team sport, but the NFL is dominated by larger-than-life talents -- those players who, through sheer force of skill and personality, seem able to single-handedly drive their squads. A player like that can become everyth... more

Football might be the ultimate team sport, but the NFL is dominated by larger-than-life talents -- those players who, through sheer force of skill and personality, seem able to single-handedly drive their squads. A player like that can become everyth... more

USC junior defensive lineman Leonard Williams has flashed potential but still has room for improvement. Whenever a respected college coach touts a young player as a potential impact player at the next level, NFL scouts take notice,... more

Bucky Brooks identifies the face of each NFL franchise, as well as the next player in line to take up the mantle.Click on each division for the complete breakdown. NFC North » Chicago Bears: Will their next franchise leader be a defender,... more

Football might be the ultimate team sport, but the NFL is dominated by larger-than-life talents -- those players who, through sheer force of skill and personality, seem able to single-handedly drive their squads. A player like that can become everyth... more

Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press Utah State QB Chuckie Keeton is looking to bounce back from a 2013 season-ending knee injury. The copycat nature of the NFL will lead coaches and scouts to search for the next big thing at the collegiate... more

Ben Liebenberg / NFL Jameis Winston can confirm to NFL teams that he has desirable off-the-field intangibles by getting his degree. It's been widely assumed in media circles that Florida State QB Jameis Winston will declare for the 2015 NFL... more

Michael Conroy / Associated Press Melvin Gordon averaged nearly eight yards per carry while rushing for 1,609 yards for the Badgers in 2013. A few weeks ago, I wrote that I expect the devaluation of the running back position to end in the... more

When I played for the Oakland Raiders in the late 1990s, defensive coordinator Willie Shaw told us that the pass rush is far more important than the coverage in the NFL. He believed disrupting the timing and rhythm of the quarterback was paramount to... more

I've been around a lot of NFL offensive coordinators during my time as a player and scout, and I've seen that the best play callers have a keen understanding of how to build around their best players. When I played for the Green Bay Packers, I... more

Jameis Winston's uneven performance vs. Miami was a minor blemish on an otherwise outstanding 2013 season. Whenever a first-year quarterback guides his team to the national championship and claims the Heisman Trophy , scouts take notice. Thi... more

I remember how, back in my scouting days with the Carolina Panthers, team officials raved about Julius Peppers' impact on the franchise as a young player. The 2002 Defensive Rookie of the Year notched 12 sacks during his debut season, providing a... more

It takes three full years to evaluate a draft class, so it's time to take a long, hard look at the 2011 NFL Draft . Of course, various situations and circumstances greatly affected the impact several players made on their respective teams, but excuse... more

When the St. Louis Rams hired Gregg Williams as their new defensive coordinator in January, offensive coaches around the NFL immediately took notice. This appears to be the perfect marriage of coach and personnel, the type of development that could... more

May

Players to watch: QB RB WR OT Pass rushers Defensive backs Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press Leonard Williams has flashed the potential to be a premier pass rusher at the next level. The quickest way to improve a de... more

When I played with the Green Bay Packers in the mid-1990s, I watched Brett Favre take the NFL by storm with a receiving corps that featured several playmakers on the perimeter (Robert Brooks, Antonio Freeman and Andre Rison), including a dynamic 1-2... more

The Pittsburgh Steelers' failure to make the postseason the past two seasons largely can be blamed on a defense that has looked old and slow at critical moments. Despite the team's attempts to add young, talented defenders in prior drafts, the patchw... more

The common denominator among the NFL's elite is the presence of a franchise quarterback under center. Teams with blue-chip signal-callers routinely find themselves in the Super Bowl hunt, while those without established QBs struggle to win consistent... more

When Bucky Brooks graded all 32 teams for their 2014 NFL Draft hauls, he identified seven whose exceptional rookie classes were worthy of an "A" mark. Here's what he had to say about the teams that stood out from the rest (click on team names for fu... more

It's obviously way too early to completely tear apart any team's draft class, but it is fair to say some hauls are less inspiring than others. In grading out the 2014 NFL Draft , Bucky Brooks found that six teams deserved "C" marks for one reason or... more

Bucky Brooks is performing a division-by-division assessment of the 2014 NFL Draft, spotlighting notable picks and handing out grades for each team. You'll find the NFC West evaluation below; click here for other divisional breakdowns. The most... more

Bucky Brooks is performing a division-by-division assessment of the 2014 NFL Draft, spotlighting notable picks and handing out grades for each team. You'll find the AFC West evaluation below; click here for other divisional breakdowns . John Elwa... more

Bucky Brooks is performing a division-by-division assessment of the 2014 NFL Draft , spotlighting notable picks and handing out grades for each team. You'll find the NFC East evaluation below; click here for other divisions . After being regarded... more

Bucky Brooks is performing a division-by-division assessment of the 2014 NFL Draft, spotlighting notable picks and handing out grades for each team. You'll find the AFC East evaluation below; click here for other divisional breakdowns . Brandt:... more

Bucky Brooks is performing a division-by-division assessment of the 2014 NFL Draft , spotlighting notable picks and handing out grades for each team. You'll find the NFC South evaluation below; click here for other divisional breakdowns . The... more

Bucky Brooks is performing a division-by-division assessment of the 2014 NFL Draft , spotlighting notable picks and handing out grades for each team. You'll find the AFC South evaluation below; click here for other divisional breakdowns . Schein:... more

Bucky Brooks is performing a division-by-division assessment of the 2014 NFL Draft , spotlighting notable picks and handing out grades for each team. Seven teams earned "A" grades for their draft hauls, while six teams received"C" marks . Click on... more

Bucky Brooks is performing a division-by-division assessment of the 2014 NFL Draft , spotlighting notable picks and handing out grades for each team. You'll find the NFC North evaluation below; click here for other divisional breakdowns . The... more

Bucky Brooks is performing a division-by-division assessment of the 2014 NFL Draft , spotlighting notable picks and handing out grades for each team. You'll find the AFC North evaluation below; click here for other divisional breakdowns . The... more

The first day of the 2014 NFL Draft was full of surprises, with several unheralded prospects sneaking into the first round. Although scouts are prepared for every scenario on draft day, the opportunity to sit back and reassess the options heading int... more

It's hard to know what to believe in the days leading up the 2014 NFL Draft . General managers and scouts are floating smokescreens and misinformation to the public to keep opposing decision makers guessing on draft day. How to watch the NFL draft... more

The key to draft-day success is correctly identifying and selecting prospects at the appropriate value. Although keen observers routinely acknowledge the inexact science of this process, bombing on early selections can set a franchise back for years.... more

Pass rushers are always coveted at a premium on draft day. General managers and scouts spend countless hours poring over game tape looking for disruptive edge players with the speed, power and burst to pummel quarterbacks in the backfield. Whil... more

Picks Nos. 1-8 Picks Nos. 9-16 Picks Nos. 17-24 Picks Nos. 25-32 NFL.com Illustration MOCK DRAFTS: Bucky Brooks 6.0 | Daniel Jeremiah 6.0 | Charles Davis 6.0 | Mock Draft Central Every NFL team has to prepare for the... more

In advance of the 2014 NFL Draft, Bucky Brooks is examining the best team fits for one high-profile prospect each week . Today, he takes on Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr . PREVIOUS: Jadeveon Clowney | Sammy Watkins | Blake Bortles | Justi... more

Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Team-by-team Position-by-position Quarterbacks Round 1 (overall pick No. 3) Jacksonville Jaguars: Johnny Manziel , Texas A&M Round 1 (5) Oakland Raiders: Blake Bortles , UCF Round 1 (26)... more

Picks Nos. 1-8 Picks Nos. 9-16 Picks Nos. 17-24 Picks Nos. 25-32 NFL.com Illustration MOCK DRAFTS: Bucky Brooks 6.0 | Daniel Jeremiah 6.0 | Charles Davis 6.0 | Mock Draft Central Every NFL team has to prepare for the... more

Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Team-by-team Position-by-position Arizona Cardinals Round 1 (overall pick No. 20): Dee Ford , DE, Auburn Round 2 (52): Stephon Tuitt , DE, Notre Dame Round 3 (84): Tom Savage , QB, Pittsb... more

Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Team-by-team Position-by-position The 2014 NFL Draft is a week away, so teams are putting the finishing touches on their draft boards and going through the possible scenarios that could occur on d... more

Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Team-by-team Position-by-position 65. Houston Texans: Troy Niklas , TE, Notre Dame Bill O'Brien's experience utilizing double tight end sets in New England could lead him to take a big, athletic... more

Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Team-by-team Position-by-position 33. Houston Texans: AJ McCarron , QB, Alabama The Texans have all of the offensive weapons needed to be a force in the AFC, so they simply need a quarterback wi... more

Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Team-by-team Position-by-position 101. Houston Texans: Nevin Lawson , CB, Utah State 102. Washington Redskins: Walt Aikens , CB, Liberty 103. Atlanta Falcons: Craig Loston , SS, LSU 10... more

April

The collection of prospects who will be available in the 2014 NFL Draft is widely considered one of the most talented in recent memory. Of course, for the sake of perspective, similar things were said about the 2011 and 2012 classes, which yielded Ca... more

Picks Nos. 1-8 Picks Nos. 9-16 Picks Nos. 17-24 Picks Nos. 25-32 NFL.com Illustration MOCK DRAFTS: Bucky Brooks 6.0 | Daniel Jeremiah 6.0 | Charles Davis 6.0 | Mock Draft Central Every NFL team has to prepare for the... more

In advance of the 2014 NFL Draft, Bucky Brooks is examining the best team fits for one high-profile prospect each week . Today, he takes on Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans . PREVIOUS: Jadeveon Clowney | Sammy Watkins | Blake Bortles | Justin... more

» More draft do-overs: 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2008 | 2010 | 2012 It might take three years to determine whether a player can cut the mustard in the NFL, but that shouldn't discourage evaluators from making strong assertions about a player's... more

The devaluation of running backs in the NFL draft has spawned a narrative that the position is no longer vital to offensive success. However, as we saw throughout the 2013 postseason , the presence of an effective ground game is essential to winning... more

Picks Nos. 1-8 Picks Nos. 9-16 Picks Nos. 17-24 Picks Nos. 25-32 NFL.com Illustration MOCK DRAFTS: Bucky Brooks 6.0 | Daniel Jeremiah 6.0 | Charles Davis 6.0 | Mock Draft Central Every NFL team has to prepare for the... more

In advance of the 2014 NFL Draft, Bucky Brooks is examining the best team fits for one high-profile prospect each week . Today, he takes on Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald . PREVIOUS: Jadeveon Clowney | Sammy Watkins | Blake Bortles |... more

» More draft do-overs: 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2008 | 2010 There's nothing like looking back at a previous draft armed with knowledge and perspective on how each prospect developed. While it's unfair to the decision makers who ultimately pulle... more

The draft is less than a month away, but scouts are still working hard to put the finishing touches on draft boards across the league. With team visits, private workouts and background searches nearly completed, we can begin to make solid assertions... more

When I worked as a scout for the Seattle Seahawks, my college scouting director -- Scot McCloughan, who went on to become general manager of the San Francisco 49ers before returning to Seattle as a senior personnel executive -- told me in pre-draft... more

In advance of the 2014 NFL Draft, Bucky Brooks is examining the best team fits for one high-profile prospect each week . Today, he takes on LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham . PREVIOUS: Jadeveon Clowney | Sammy Watkins | Blake Bortles | Justin Gi... more

» More draft do-overs: 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2008 There's nothing like looking back at a draft armed with information and insight on how players and teams have developed since that point. In 2010, the debate at the top of the board centered o... more

The 2014 NFL Draft is as deep and talented as any collection of prospects that I've evaluated in my 20-plus years around the league. Although the conversation centers around the top prospects on the board, it's the unheralded players surging up... more

One of the biggest factors in a successful draft selection is finding a player that ideally fits a team's respective scheme. While talent and mental makeup are also critical factors, the perfect mesh between prospect and scheme can produce remarkable... more

The Heisman Trophy is awarded annually to "the most outstanding player in college football," but receiving the honor doesn't guarantee success at the next level. In fact, history suggests the winner, despite an impressive collegiate résumé, is unli... more

What's up with the buzz surrounding quarterback Tom Savage ? That's the question that I've been wrestling with since my colleague, Gil Brandt, began to rave about the potential of the Pittsburgh standout last fall. The wily evaluator likened Sa... more

The trade market on draft day is driven by supply and demand at a particular position. Teams will assign value to every player in the draft, but place a bullseye on the players viewed as "tipping points" at each position. Although these players might... more

In advance of the 2014 NFL Draft, Bucky Brooks is examining the best team fits for one high-profile prospect each week . Today, he takes on North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron . PREVIOUS: Jadeveon Clowney | Sammy Watkins | Blake Bortles | Justi... more

» More draft do-overs: 2003 | 2004 | 2005 There's nothing like looking back at a draft to see where the coaches and scouts got it right or wrong with their evaluations. Although evaluators don't have the benefit of hindsight when making selec... more

I've said before that Jadeveon Clowney is the most talented defensive end prospect that I've seen in my 20-plus years around the NFL. He validated that opinion with his sensational workout at South Carolina's pro day Wednesday. Measuring 6-foot-... more

March

» Bucky Brooks' previous Big Board The pre-draft process is almost over, with pro days set to wrap up in a few weeks. As a result, scouts and coaches are spending extra time in the film room to see if the production and performance displayed on... more

In today's pass-happy NFL, it's imperative for general managers and coaches to stockpile multiple receiving threats on the perimeter. League rules restricting contact on pass catchers down the field make it nearly impossible for defenses to stop... more

The NFL draft is similar to the stock market, with the value of prospects fluctuating because of workouts, film evaluation and market analysis. General managers, coaches and scouts are closely monitoring the quarterbacks in the 2014 class, in particu... more

In advance of the 2014 NFL Draft, Bucky Brooks is examining the best team fits for one high-profile prospect each week . Today, he takes on Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. PREVIOUS: Jadeveon Clowney | Sammy Watkins | Blake Bortles | Justi... more

Johnny Manziel yelled "Boom" after firing a 60-yard bomb to Mike Evans to cap an epic pro-day workout Thursday, and his enthusiastic outburst symbolizes the hammer that he might have dropped on the rest of the 2014 QB class with his spectacular show... more

» More draft do-overs: 2003 | 2004 There's nothing like reviewing previous drafts to see where NFL evaluators got it right or wrong on draft day. Although there are several factors that determine whether a prospect plays up to expectations, it... more

The increasingly pass-centric nature of the NFL has rendered running backs second-class citizens in most offenses. Though complementing a stout defense with a strong running game remains the blueprint for winning a Super Bowl title, the fascination w... more

In advance of the 2014 NFL Draft, Bucky Brooks is examining the best team fits for one high-profile prospect each week . Today, he takes on Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. PREVIOUS: Jadeveon Clowney | Sammy Watkins | Blake Bortles | J... more

» More draft do-overs: 2003 There's nothing like looking back at a previous draft to see where scouts got it right or wrong in a given year. Here, I want take a stab at the 2004 NFL Draft armed with the knowledge of how each player in the clas... more

Teddy Bridgewater finally put his talents on the display in front of a host of NFL general managers, coaches and scouts Monday at his pro day , and the performance was underwhelming to say the least . The consensus top-ranked quarterback in most... more

"Defense wins championships." During my time as a scout with the Carolina Panthers, I routinely heard John Fox recite this familiar adage in personnel meetings. He constantly stressed the importance of playing tough, physical defense. Battista:... more

In advance of the 2014 NFL Draft, Bucky Brooks is examining the best team fits for one high-profile prospect each week . Today, he takes on Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. PREVIOUS: Jadeveon Clowney | Sammy Watkins | Blake Bortles | Justin Gi... more

In today's passing league, wide receivers are marquee players in free agency. Teams are willing to pay top dollar for pass catchers with blue-chip characteristics -- guys who can help maximize a franchise quarterback. Perusing the 2014 free-agent cla... more

In advance of the 2014 NFL Draft, Bucky Brooks is examining the best team fits for one high-profile prospect each week . Today, he takes on Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack. PRIOR INSTALLMENTS: Jadeveon Clowney | Sammy Watkins | Blake Bortles | J... more

Brooks: Best fits for top prospects In advance of the 2014 NFLDraft, Bucky Brooks is examining potential landing spots for high-profile players in this class. READ The 2014 NFL Scouting Combine is in the books, but several prospects still... more

February

Drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the second round of the 1994 NFL Draft, Bucky Brooks played for five different teams (Buffalo, Jacksonville, Green Bay, Kansas City and Oakland) in five NFL seasons. After his playing career was over in 1999, Brooks jo... more

In advance of the 2014 NFL Draft, Bucky Brooks is examining the best team fits for one high-profile prospect each week . Today, he takes on Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert. PRIOR INSTALLMENTS: Jadeveon Clowney | Sammy Watkins | Blake Bo... more

» Bucky Brooks' initial 2014 NFL Draft big board The NFL Scouting Combine is in the books, with coaches and scouts leaving Indianapolis with a better feel for the 2014 NFL Draft class following exhaustive interviews and workouts with top... more

PRIOR WORKOUT GROUPS' WINNERS AND LOSERS: OL, TE | QB, RB, WR | DL, LB INDIANAPOLIS -- The final day of the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine put the spotlight on defensive backs. While this group might lack the sizzle of some of the DB classes of year... more

INDIANAPOLIS -- After a full weekend of offensive workouts, the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine shifted to the other side of the ball on Monday, with defensive linemen and linebackers hitting the Lucas Oil Stadium turf. Who stood out in the on-field action... more

INDIANAPOLIS -- The second day of on-field workouts at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine featured the glamour positions: quarterback, running back and wide receiver (a high-interest group, to say the least). Here are my thoughts on the prospects who stoo... more

INDIANAPOLIS -- The first day of workouts at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine is in the books. While a number of prospects sent their stocks soaring up the charts, a few players now will need to make amends for poor performances during their pro day wor... more

In advance of the 2014 NFLDraft, Bucky Brooks is examining the best team fit for one high-profile prospect each week. Derek Carr With NFL bloodlines, as well as an enticing combination of arm talent and athleticism, this quarterback has w... more

In advance of the 2014 NFL Draft, Bucky Brooks is examining the best team fits for one high-profile prospect each week. Today, he takes on Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles. Past installments cover Jadeveon Clowney and Sammy Watkins .... more

The NFL Scouting Combine is viewed as a glorified track meet by some observers, but scouts and coaches view the event as a four-day job interview. Personnel men will bombard top prospects with a variety of questions to assess their background profile... more

The NFL Scouting Combine ranks as the marquee pre-draft event on the calendar of every scout and personnel man in the league. Evaluators anxiously await the performances of top prospects to see if their physical dimensions, athleticism and football... more

In advance of the 2014 NFLDraft, Bucky Brooks is examining the best team fits for one high-profile prospect each week. Click here for the debut subject of this series, Jadeveon Clowney. As for today's installment ... With the prominence of the... more

There is a direct correlation between quarterback play and winning games in the NFL. Teams with elite quarterbacks or superb game managers routinely find their way to the winner's circle, while others struggle to compete at a high level. Although the... more

The NFL has taken to the air inrecent years, with offensive coordinators exploiting favorable rules restricting defensive contactwith receivers downfield. Although the risk of turning the ball over or having a negative play increasesthe more... more

The conclusion of the Super Bowl officially kicks off the 2014 NFL Draft season. Teams are currently huddled up in pre-NFL Scouting Combine meetings attempting to set their initial draft boards. Coaches and scouts are discussing their fall reports a... more

Positional top 5 rankings: QB RB WR TE OT OG-C DT DE OLB ILB CB S The 2014 quarterback class doesn't have a sure bet at the position, but features a pair of intriguing franchise quarterback possibilities in Tedd... more

Jadeveon Clowney certainly hasn't lacked for attention over the past few years. College football observers lauded Clowney's every move during his sophomore year at South Carolina. NFL scouts and coaches were anything but bashful in projecting his t... more

The NFL has always been viewed as a copycat league, with coaches and scouts quick to adopt and implement strategies from successful organizations. From schematic innovations like the zone-read offense and Pistol formation to the tweaking of game-day... more

Defense wins championships. That's what coaches have been preaching for decades, but the transformation of the NFL into a passing league has led many observers to speculate that championships are won on the strength of a quarterback directing a... more

January

The Reese's Senior Bowl wrapped up over the weekend, but the analysis continues in draft rooms around the NFL. Scouts and coaches will discuss the performances of each player in meetings, with an all-star game grade issued based on their play in prac... more

The storyline heading into Super Bowl XLVIII is the NFL's No. 1 offense battling the No. 1 defense for the Lombardi Trophy. While that matchup certainly looms large, I believe the game likely will be decided by the other showdown: the Seattle Seah... more

The Reese's Senior Bowl is viewed as the crown jewel of the college all-star season. NFL coaches and scouts scour the tape of this contest to determine which prospects have the skills to emerge as difference makers at the next level. Here are a few... more

The Reese's Senior Bowl is regarded as the crown jewel of the college all-star season, with elite prospects dotting the rosters at every position. Given the importance scouts place on the performance of players in highly competitive matchups, the pra... more

The fourth day of workouts at the Reese's Senior Bowl represents the final dress rehearsal for both squads. Players are finally comfortable with the playbook and their respective roles within the scheme. Additionally, coaches are increasingly comfort... more

The third day of workouts at the Senior Bowl are viewed as the most important practices of the week. Players are finally comfortable with their teammates and the playbook, leading to better performance on the field. In addition, the players have a be... more

The second day of workouts at the Senior Bowl are typically more enjoyable to watch because prospects are beginning to get comfortable with the playbook and their surroundings. The speed and tempo of drills draws closer to an NFL pace, with prospects... more

The Super Bowl XLVIII matchup between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks pits the NFL's No. 1 offense against the league's top defense. Denver has steamrolled over elite defenses throughout the season, but the Seahawks' D presents a unique... more

It's been 20 years since I walked into Ladd-Peeples Stadium hoping to prove to NFL scouts that I was one of the top players in the 1994 draft. I eagerly accepted my invitation to the Senior Bowl with that thought in mind, but I remember the self-doub... more

Christopher Hanewinckel / USA Today Sports Eastern Illinois QB Jimmy Garoppolohas been impressive at East-West Shrine Game practices. The East-West Shrine Game is still a few days away, but scouts have already seen enough from the top... more

Mark J. Rebilas / USA Today Sports Arizona CB Shaquille Richardson has impressed scouts with his size, speed and coverage skills this week. The third day of practices at the East-West Shrine Game provided scouts with plenty of opportunities... more

Positional top 5 rankings: QB RB WR TE OT OG-C DT DE OLB ILB CB S It's hard to find a safety capable of thumping against the run, while displaying the range, instincts and awareness to thrive as a centerfielder... more

Positional top 5 rankings: QB RB WR TE OT OG-C DT DE OLB ILB CB S The transformation of the NFL into a passing league makes it imperative for defenses to feature long, rangy athletes on the perimeter. The 2014 c... more

Positional top 5 rankings: QB RB WR TE OT OG-C DT DE OLB ILB CB S It's hard to find linebackers capable of playing against the run and pass in the box. The 2014 class, however, features a number of playmakers wi... more

Positional top 5 rankings: QB RB WR TE OT OG-C DT DE OLB ILB CB S The increased utilization of hybrid 3-4 defenses has made outside linebacker a marquee position in the draft. Coaches and scouts love hybrid play... more

Positional top 5 rankings: QB RB WR TE OT OG-C DT DE OLB ILB CB S The top defenses in football traditionally feature standouts at the defensive tackle spot. Coaches search for big-bodied studs with strength, pow... more

Positional top 5 rankings: QB RB WR TE OT OG-C DT DE OLB ILB CB S NFL coaches and executives place a premium on acquiring elite pass rushers to offset the brilliant quarterback play dominating the league today.... more

Positional top 5 rankings: QB RB WR TE OT OG-C DT DE OLB ILB CB S Here are my top five interior offensive linemen prospects for the 2014 NFL Draft: 1. Xavier Su'a-Filo , UCLA The most intriguing prospect a... more

Positional top 5 rankings: QB RB WR TE OT OG-C DT DE OLB ILB CB S The collection of offensive tackles in the 2014 class might be the deepest and most talented group NFL scouts have seen in about a decade. There... more

Positional top 5 rankings: QB RB WR TE OT OG-C DT DE OLB ILB CB S The tight-end position has become the focal point of the passing game for several NFL teams. Part of that is because of the superior athleticism... more

Positional top 5 rankings: QB RB WR TE OT OG-C DT DE OLB ILB CB S The league rules banishing excessive contact on the perimeter have encouraged more NFL offensive coordinators to put the ball in the air to take... more

Positional top 5 rankings: QB RB WR TE OT OG-C DT DE OLB ILB CB S The running back position is devalued in the draft, but a look at the teams seriously competing for the Super Bowl title suggests the position re... more

Ron Chenoy / USA Today Sports San Jose State CB Bene Benwikere's cover skills and instincts have impressed scouts at the Shrine Game workouts. A driving rainstorm led to alternative workouts at the East-West Shrine Game on Tuesday, but scout... more

The NFL frequently is described as "a quarterback league," but the winning game plans from this postseason remind us that relying on a strong ground game -- fueled by a workhorse runner or a collection of backs -- remains a critical component of play... more

Bradley Leeb / USA Today Sports Eastern Illinois QB Jimmy Garoppolo had an FCS-best 5,050 passing yards with 53 TDs and nine interceptions. The East-West Shrine Game is one of the marquee events on the calendar of NFL scouts. Evaluators... more

The Seattle Seahawks have been considered a legitimate Super Bowl contender all season, but it was a resounding34-7 win over the New Orleans Saints in Week 13 that prompted many to tout the team as the best in football. The Saints are unquestionabl... more

Ben Liebenberg / NFL Jameis Winston rebounded from a lackluster first half to rally the Seminoles to the national championship. The mark of a great player isn't how well he performs when things are going well, but the championship traits tha... more

Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press Michigan State QB Connor Cook impressed Bucky Brooks with his poise and accuracy against Stanford in the Rose Bowl. The 100th Rose Bowl was considered the marquee matchup of the bowl season by several scout... more

The term "franchise quarterback" is loosely applied in the football world, but there are only a few signal callers that fit the criteria when scouts break down their games. These quarterback prospects are transcendent stars who exhibit the critical t... more

December

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel has announced his intention to apply for early entry into the 2014 NFL Draft. His latest on-field performance in the Chick fil-A Bowl gave a hint as to his potential at the next level. NFL evaluators pay close... more

The Green Bay Packers enter the NFC playoffs with an 8-7-1 record, but opposing defensive coordinators are shaking in their boots at the prospect of defending one of the most explosive offenses in football. While the naysayers will suggest that... more

Jesse Johnson / USA TODAY Sports DT Ra'Shede Hageman gets a national showcase when Minnesota plays Syracuse in the Texas Bowl. The top general managers and coaches in the NFL understand that the league is not only about player acquisition,... more

The Dallas Cowboys shocked the NFL world with their dismantling of the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 7 . The much-maligned defense held the Eagles -- second in the league in scoring -- to just three points, leaving coach Chip Kelly searching for answer... more

Otto Kitsinger/Associated Press Buffalo LB Khalil Mack recorded six tackles in the Bulls' Famous Idaho Potato Bowl loss. Scouting prospects from small schools is one of the biggest challenges NFL scouts encounter. While evaluators can... more

Reinhold Matay/Associated Press UCF QB Blake Bortles is a buzzy prospect at the moment, but he may take time to develop in the NFL. The draft is nearly six months away, but the hype machine is already in overdrive building up prospects into... more

It's amazing how quickly things can turn around in the NFL. A talented unit can struggle for weeks, before finding a rhythm that sparks a deep postseason run. It happened last season for the Baltimore Ravens under the direction of quarterback Joe Fla... more

Don Ryan / Associated Press Another season of college ball could make Marcus Mariota into the ultimate weapon in the pocket. The hunt for a quarterback is an on-going exercise in NFL draft rooms. Wily evaluators constantly monitor the colleg... more

AP Photo/Gus Ruelas Utah cornerback Keith McGill has the size and athleticism to intrigue NFL teams. It's not a secret that the NFL is a copycat league, with general managers, coaches and scouts prone to copy the traits of the league's most... more

Associated Press NFL scouts were paying attention when Jimmy Garoppolo and Terrance West faced off in the FCS playoffs last weekend. The NFL is a league built on players from big schools, but that doesn't mean general managers and scouts... more

The 2014 draft has been touted as one of the deepest and most talented collection of prospects that NFL scouts have seen in some time. Naturally, most of the attention has focused on a group of quarterbacks that show the potential to develop into... more

The Kansas City Chiefs have enjoyed a spectacular turnaround season, sparked in part by a rejuvenated offense that recently has found its stride. Critics scoff at the notion of an Alex Smith-led attack striking fear in the hearts of defenses. Tell th... more

The Heisman Trophy award is presented annually to the most outstanding player in college football. While some of the award winners have enjoyed distinguished careers in the NFL , there have been a number of Heisman Trophy winners who have failed to... more

Brandt Brooks Davis Jeremiah Goodbread Greenspan Huguenin NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks names his 2013 college football All-American and picks for the season's major awards: Award picks Heisman Trophy: Jameis Winston,... more

The New England Patriots were rounding into form as true Super Bowl contenders ... before Rob Gronkowski suffered a season-ending injury . Popular opinion suggests such a substantial setback -- losing one of the best position players in football -- c... more

Ranking the bowl teams: 1-10 11-20 21-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 61-70 Bucky Brooks ranks all the college bowl teams based on the quality of their NFL prospects. Ranking the bowl games Because college football apparently needs... more

Ranking the bowl teams: 1-10 11-20 21-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 61-70 Bucky Brooks ranks all the college bowl teams based on the quality of their NFL prospects. Ranking the bowl games Because college football apparently needs... more

Ranking the bowl teams: 1-10 11-20 21-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 61-70 Bucky Brooks ranks all the college bowl teams based on the quality of their NFL prospects. Ranking the bowl games Because college football apparently needs... more

Ranking the bowl teams: 1-10 11-20 21-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 61-70 Bucky Brooks ranks all the college bowl teams based on the quality of their NFL prospects. Ranking the bowl games Because college football apparently needs... more

Ranking the bowl teams: 1-10 11-20 21-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 61-70 Bucky Brooks ranks all the college bowl teams based on the quality of their NFL prospects. Ranking the bowl games Because college football apparently needs... more

Ranking the bowl teams: 1-10 11-20 21-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 61-70 Bucky Brooks ranks all the college bowl teams based on the quality of their NFL prospects. Ranking the bowl games Because college football apparently needs... more

Ranking the bowl teams: 1-10 11-20 21-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 61-70 Bucky Brooks ranks all the college bowl teams based on the quality of their NFL prospects. Ranking the bowl games Because college football apparently needs... more

Michael Conroy / Associated Press Ohio State QB Braxton Miller showed off his skills as a runner vs. Michigan State but struggled in the passing game. There's nothing like watching prospects perform in a big game with significant... more

Jordan Lynch probablywillfall short in his quest to win the Heisman Trophy, but he is certainly one of the best college players that I've seen step between the lines in the last 20 years. The Northern Illinois standout is a quintessential playmak... more

The college football regular season is nearing its conclusion, but the quarterback race continues to heat up with the top quarterbacks putting it down over the past few weeks. From Jameis Winston cementing his status as the Heisman Trophy frontrunner... more

The Chicago Bears were expected to vie for the NFC title with a vastly improved offense complementing a suffocating defense that had traditionally ranked among the NFL's best. While the offense has lived up to the billing in coach Marc Trestman's fir... more

Tony Ding/Associated Press Ohio State's Carlos Hyde is among the top RB prospects in the 2014 draft class. Ohio State's Carlos Hyde continues to build a strong case to be one of the top running backs selected in the 2014 draft. The 6-foot,... more

Tony Ding/Associated Press Ohio State QB Braxton Miller entered the season as a top Heisman Trophy candidate. Braxton Miller is not ready for the NFL. That's not a slight to the considerable talent, athleticism and potential that the... more

November

The college football season is nearing an end, but the race for the top spot in my quarterback rankings is still in flux. The disappointing performances of Marcus Mariota, Johnny Manziel and Bryce Petty have paved the way for unheralded Derek Carr to... more

Johnny Manziel might've lost out on his bid for his second consecutive Heisman Trophy award with his disappointing performance against LSU , but don't expect the showing to significantly impact his value in the eyes of NFL evaluators. The redshirt... more

The Pittsburgh Steelers got off to a woeful start this season, but they've shown signs of life in recent weeks. Mike Tomlin's troops have reeled off five wins in their last seven games and rejoined a pack of AFC playoff contenders hoping to catch fi... more

Bill Wippert / Associated Press Boston College RB Andre Williams went from 584 rushing yards last season to over 2,000 as a senior. Is Andre Williams a one-year wonder? That's the question NFL scouts are pondering after watching the Boston... more

The 2014 draft class is expected to feature one of the deepest quarterback pools in recent history. In fact, there has been speculation in NFL circles that the reason E.J. Manuel was the only quarterback selected in the first round of the 2013 draft... more

The college football season is nearing its end, but scouts are just beginning to dig into the top quarterback prospects to see if their games are ideally suited to the next level. Evaluators are paying close attention to performances in rivalry games... more

Christopher Jackson / Associated Press West Virginia RB Charles Sims has rushed for 943 yards and nine TDs and also has 43 receptions. The reported devaluation of the running back position has, in my opinion, been greatly exaggerated.... more

Can the New York Giants go from worst to first in less than two months? That's the question running rampant in New York on the heels of a four-game winning streak that has the G-Men just 1½ games behind the NFC East-leading Philadelphia Eagle... more

Charles LeClaire / USA Today Sports Pittsburgh DL Aaron Donald leads the nation with 22.5 tackles for loss and also has 10 sacks. The copycat nature of the NFL leads scouts to search for prospects with characteristics similar to those of the... more

Tony Avelar / Associated Press Oregon State WR Brandin Cooks leads the FBS in receptions and receiving yards and is second in receiving TDs. Who is the best wide receiver in the Pac-12? If you polled general managers and scouts before the... more

The NFL's transformation into a passing league has made it imperative for every offense to prominently feature a dynamic pass catcher in the game plan. With league rules restricting significant contact in the defensive backfield, receivers with explo... more

Associated Press Wisconsin RBs Melvin Gordon and James White have each rushed for 11 touchdowns this season. Melvin Gordon and James White could change the perception of the Wisconsin running back in NFL circles. For years, NFL scouts have... more

USA TODAY Sports Stanford LBs Trent Murphy and Shayne Skov dominated in the Cardinal's win over Oregon. Shayne Skov and Trent Murphy were already household names in the Pac-12 conference, but the NFL world has been buzzing about the duo in... more

As we enter the 12th week of the college football season, the cream is starting to rise to the top in the quarterback rankings. Jameis Winston, Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel and AJ McCarron have set themselves apart from the pack with their stead... more

Entering this season, the San Francisco 49ers were expected to contend for a Super Bowl title. In addition to a stout defense, Jim Harbaugh's team was supposed to feature a dynamic offense with a rising star at quarterback. However, the 49ers have... more

Dave Martin/Associated Press Alabama's AJ McCarron will attract attention from NFL teams in search of a QB with winning traits. AJ McCarron has earned the dreaded "game manager" label from skeptics clouded by his modest individual statistics... more

Jadeveon Clowney is the best defensive prospect to ever step between the lines, right? That was the buzz that dominated football conversations after Clowney obliterated Michigan's Vincent Smith with a hit that made every highlight reel for the next... more

The college football season is reaching the tipping point, with several big games on the docket over the next few weeks. The performances of the quarterbacks is often the deciding factor in these matchups, providing evaluators with plenty of chances... more

Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP MikeMcCoy spent four seasons with the Denver Broncos before becoming head coach of the San Diego Chargers. Whenever a player or coach faces a former team, he has the opportunity to take advantage of the secrets and... more

Chuck Burton/Associated Press Florida State running back James Wilder, Jr. is just one of the many weapons Jameis Winston has at his disposal. For all of the attention Jameis Winston has received as the key to Florida State's re-emergence as... more

Stew Milne / Associated Press Northern Illinois QB Jordan Lynch ranks fourth in the FCS with 1,150 rushing yards. If an NFL offensive coordinator wants to add an explosive element to his game plan next season, I would suggest taking a long,... more

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports Michigan State defensive end Shilique Calhoun has scored three touchdowns this season. The NFL is such a copycat league that scouts are always comparing current prospects to former pros. This is especially true... more

Whenever a cornerback is labeled "nickel" corner in the scouting process, some observers view it as a slight to a prospect's game. However, defensive coaches consider it the most difficult position to fill, based on the tremendous challenges associat... more

October

As the 2013 college football season enters its 10th week of play, we are starting to see some of the top quarterbacks separate from the pack with their performances. Marcus Mariota, Johnny Manziel and Jameis Winston have emerged as the frontrun... more

It goes without saying that Calvin Johnson, who shattered Jerry Rice's NFL single-season record for receiving yards in 2012 (1,964, breaking the old mark of 1,848), should be considered the best receiver in the league today. Some might even suggest... more

Nick Lucero / NFL Pedestrian performances in back-to-back losses have dropped the NFL draft stock of UCLA's Brett Hundley. In his weekly Scout's Take notebook, former NFL scout Bucky Brooks takes a look at the biggest developments in college... more

In every draft, there are a handful of players that earn the "risk-reward" designation on draft boards across the league. These guys exhibit tremendous athletic potential on the field but are beset with character flaws and behavioral issues that lead... more

The college football season is just nine weeks old, but I've never seen better quarterback play at this level. Now, I know traditionalists will likely disagree with my assertion, but signal callers across the country are putting up ridiculous... more

They're back! That's what the NFL world is saying about the Carolina Panthers, who have reeled off three wins in four games to insert themselves into the playoff conversation . Carolina (3-3) has reached the .500 mark by exhibiting a level of... more

AP Photo/Gerry Broome North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron could have a major impact on an offense once he gets to the NFL. In his weekly Scout's Take notebook, former NFL scout Bucky Brooks takes a look at the biggest developments in college... more

For years, the Wizard of Westwood moniker has belonged to John Wooden, but the revival of UCLA's football program under the direction of Brett Hundley should prompt Bruins fans to affix the nickname to the young superstar quarterback. The redsh... more

The College Football 24/7 Quarterback Tracker is supposed to focus on the best-performing quarterbacks in the college game, but I can't avoid speculating about the pro potential of the outstanding collection of quarterbacks playing on Saturdays.... more

Robert Griffin III's highly anticipated return at the outset of this season was supposed to trigger an inspired NFC East title defense from the Washington Redskins. However, the second-year pro has struggled to find his rhythm, and the Redskins' offe... more

In his weekly Scout's Take notebook, former NFL scout Bucky Brooks takes a look at the biggest developments in college football and how the NFL community is reacting to them. Last week's nationally televised game between Rutgers and Teddy... more

The quickest way to transform the fortunes of an NFL franchise is to draft a transcendent star quarterback. History is littered with examples of superstar quarterbacks orchestrating impressive turnarounds for struggling franchises, particularly those... more

The college football season is at the midway point, and we are starting to see the cream rise to the top in the quarterback tracker rankings. Led by Johnny Manziel, Tajh Boyd and Teddy Bridgewater, the headliners of a deep and talented collection of... more

With Michael Vick's hamstring injury, Nick Foles is expected to step into the starting quarterback role for the Philadelphia Eagles' road game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers . This news has led to speculation that coach Chip Kelly might be forced... more

Phil Sears / Associated Press Jameis Winston's ability to extend plays only adds to his repertoire of dynamic skills. In his weekly Scout's Take notebook, former NFL scout Bucky Brooks takes a look at the biggest developments in college... more

Raj Mehta / USA TODAY Sports Ohio State's Bradley Roby has been criticized for his performance against Wiscosnin WR Jared Abbrederis. The sophistication of the NFL passing game enables savvy offensive coordinators to exploit mismatches on th... more

There's nothing like watching top players duke it out in a big game with national championship implications on the line. While it is probably a bit of an exaggeration to suggest either LSU or Georgia as a legitimate national title contender, there is... more

In his weekly Scout's Take notebook, former NFL scout Bucky Brooks takes a look at the biggest developments in college football and how the NFL community is reacting to them. The college football world has been buzzing following USC's dismissa... more

The Cleveland Browns seemingly raised the white flag on the 2013 season when they shipped Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts a couple of weeks ago following an 0-2 start. Most observers, myself included, believed the rest of this year could... more

September

The changing nature of the football landscape has led offensive coordinators to covet quarterbacks with a combination of arm talent, athleticism and savvy. The top quarterbacks at every level have the ability to torment the defense with their arm and... more

Who says coaching doesn't matter? I hope that LSU fans have a better appreciation for quality coaching after watching new offensive coordinator Cam Cameron work his magic with Zach Mettenberger. The former NFL head coach and offensive coordinator h... more

This week's list doesn't feature major surprises at the top of the board, but a few unheralded signal callers crack the lineup with Missouri's James Franklin and Ohio State's Kenny Guiton earning distinction. While most expected Franklin to enjoy a... more

If you thought the Indianapolis Colts were one-year wonders -- based on their 2012 storybook ride into the playoffs -- you thought wrong. We're witnessing the emergence of a new bully in the AFC. Fresh off a statement win over the San Francisco... more

Gerald Herbert/Associated Press LSU running back Jeremy Hill has off-field issues, but there's no doubting his ability on the field. The classic, downhill running back is on the verge of extinction in college football, but that only makes NF... more

David J. Phillip / Associated Press Texas A&M WR Mike Evans dismantled the Alabama defense in the Aggies' loss last weekend. The college football world tuned in to watch AJ McCarron and Johnny Manziel shoot it out when Alabama visited Texas... more

This week's list features a bit of a surprise at the top of the board, with Oregon's Marcus Mariota supplanting Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater at the No. 1 spot. Although Bridgewater has continued to play at a high level early in the season, Mariota'... more

The AFC West was expected to be one of the weakest divisions in the NFL, but the surprising emergence of the Kansas City Chiefs as a playoff contender threatens to debunk that notion. The Chiefs have dispatched a pair of opponents in impressive fashi... more

Prior to Alabama's highly anticipated matchup against Texas A&M last week, I believed quarterback AJ McCarron to be much more than a game manager (I wrote about it here , here and here ). My viewpoint remains the same after watching McCarron's impre... more

When Johnny Manziel and AJ McCarron take the field in one of the biggest games of the college football season, NFL scouts will spend most of the day comparing and contrasting their impressive games. While each guy brings a set of skills that is condu... more

The college football season is only three weeks old, but quarterbacks are already making strong statements about their talent and potential with their play on the field. Last week, Michigan's Devin Gardner had a coming out party in the Wolverines' 41... more

Now this is the Reggie Bush I expected would rip up the NFL from the get-go. Racking up 191 total yards on 25 touches in the Detroit Lions' 34-24 win over the Minnesota Vikings , Bush was sensational as a runner/receiver on the fast track at Ford... more

When I was an NFL scout, there was nothing like watching a prospect play in a big game to determine if he had the goods to play at the next level. After witnessing Michigan's Devin Gardner's performance against Notre Dame Saturday night, I'm convinc... more

Lynne Sladky / Associated Press In just a little over one season, Duke Johnson has established himself as one of the nation's top running backs. The University of Miami has featured some of the top running backs in college football history,... more

The advent of social media has made life tougher on scouts since top prospects are touted as sure bets based on a flash on a highlight reel. However, there are rare instances where a prospect lives up to billing, which is why NFL evaluators are smitt... more

The Green Bay Packers made a concerted effort to revamp their running game when they selected a pair of running backs, Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin, in the 2013 NFL Draft. I believe this infusion of talent in the backfield, particularly Lacy, co... more

AP Photo / Eric Gay While Johnny Manziel's antics rub some the wrong way, there have been many star NFL QBs with similar on-field swagger. I might be the one dissenting voice in the room, but I believe the criticism of Manziel's behavior in... more

August

When Georgia visits Death Valley on Saturday to take on Clemson, a host of NFL executives and scouts will pay close attention to what unfolds on the field. While both teams have a number of NFL-caliber playmakers running around on both sides of the b... more

We might be hours away from kickoff of the 2013 college football season, but NFL scouts have been researching a deep and talented pool of quarterbacks for some time now. In fact, the depth of the next few QB classes is so impressive I believe it was... more

The start of the college football season signals the beginning of a fact-finding mission for NFL scouts. Most will enter the fall with a host of questions surrounding the top prospects in the country, with the answers ultimately determining which guy... more

Preseason football is not an accurate predictor of regular-season success, but you certainly can track trends that will appear on the field when the real action commences. In the 2013 preseason, I see more and more teams turning to no-huddle offense... more

For all of the attention Brian Kelly receives for his offensive wizardry, it has been his commitment to building a powerhouse defensive line that has keyed Notre Dame's return to prominence. Of course, we have always heard coaches wax poetic about... more

The six-game suspension of All-Pro linebacker Von Miller will force the Denver Broncos to alter their approach on both sides of the ball. This development not only impacts the philosophies and schemes devised by John Fox and his coaching staff, but... more

As a young scout for the Seattle Seahawks, I learned from wily defensive coordinator Ray Rhodes that playmakers are valued at a premium on defense. He repeatedly told me defenders with a proven track record of delivering game-changing plays should be... more

Uh-oh! That was the collective reaction of defensive coordinators around the NFL when the New England Patriots' offense rolled in their preseason opener against the Philadelphia Eagles. Of course, preseason performances are not always reliabl... more

The proliferation of the spread offense (and read-option) in football has led college and NFL defensive coordinators to covet multidimensional linebackers with exceptional athleticism and playmaking skills. Ideally, edge players in hybrid 3-4/4-3... more

The preseason is all about finding answers to the burning questions that dominated the offseason. Coaches are assessing schemes to see if they'll be effective in game action, while scouts are checking out players to see if the biggest roster holes ha... more

Which cornerback is the most dangerous defender: Marcus Roberson or Loucheiz Purifoy ? That's the dilemma SEC quarterbacks will face on a weekly basis when deciding which of the Florida Gators' ultra-talented cornerbacks should be targeted in the... more

To field a legitimate contender in today's NFL, a head coach must first focus on building a team capable of competing with the heavyweights in the division. In the NFC South, that means having a squad that can match the firepower of the Atlanta Fal... more

A few weeks ago, I created a bit of a stir when I touted Miami's Stephen Morris as arguably the most talented quarterback in college football . My proclamation came after witnessing Morris light it up at the Manning Passing Academy in workouts. The... more

The running back position has been devalued in the NFL, but coaches will still find a role for runners who exhibit game-changing skills. One player who will prompt evaluators to reassess their thoughts on the position is Arizona junior Ka'Deem Carey.... more

July

With the Chicago Bears, it has always been about defense. From George Halas' heyday to the reincarnation of the "Monsters of the Midway" under Mike Ditka, this organization has always leaned on its defense to spearhead championship pursuits. Th... more

Who is the best player in college football? When I posed that question to several players at Pac-12 Media Day last week, I expected to hear the names Jadeveon Clowney or Johnny Manziel. But the most common name mentioned was Marqise Lee. Of course,... more

There is little doubt that quarterback play ultimately determines which teams emerge as contenders in the NFL. Teams with top-notch quarterbacks typically remain in the hunt, while all others tend to fall by the wayside. Given that premise, I thoug... more

The impressive pro debuts of Cam Newton, Colin Kaepernick, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson have changed the way the NFL views dual-threat quarterbacks. Instead of casting aside mobile playmakers in favor of traditional pocket passers, teams are... more

Does character really matter? A question that has garnered a lot of attention over the years in NFL war rooms around draft season -- when college prospects are being scrutinized beyond the playing field -- has become a big discussion point more... more

Who's on the spot in 2013? On Monday, I identified one player on each AFC team . Now it's time to spotlight the NFC representatives. Some are green, some are seasoned vets, but all of the players listed below head into the 2013 campaign facing a grea... more

With training camps opening across the NFL this week, players are beginning the final push for the 2013 campaign. While everyone is under the microscope at the dawn of a new season, some guys demand more attention than others. Below, you'll find one... more

In my NFL career, I was fortunate enough to play on the same teams as three Hall of Fame defensive ends (Derrick Thomas , Reggie White and Bruce Smith ), but I've never seen a young edge rusher with the talent and potential of South Carolina's Jadev... more

After taking some time to dig into the 2012 college game tape and have a few conversations with my scouting buddies around the NFL, I came up with a list of 10 unheralded prospects to watch in the fall.... more

The ink is barely dry on the 2013 NFL Draft sheets, but already scouts are looking ahead to the 2014 NFL Draft. While it is too early to make hard assessments on the depth and talent of the overall class, it appears teams looking for quarterbacks, sk... more

The changing dynamics of the NFL these days have led title contenders to rely on explosive offenses rather than shutdown defenses. Teams lucky enough to land an elite quarterback often build around the talents of their marquee star. From... more

THIBODAUX, La. -- When I was a young scout with the Seattle Seahawks, I remember then-coach Mike Holmgren and Ted Thompson (who was in the Seahawks' front office at the time) stressing the importance of evaluating quarterbacks in person. Extens... more

The toughest job for an offensive play caller is designing a system that maximizes the talents of the roster, particularly those of the quarterback. The task is more difficult when the team is heading into training camp without a clear-cut starter at... more

In the NFL, quarterbacks ultimately are judged by their ability to bring home the brass ring. Signal-callers who nab the ultimate prize reside among the legends of the game, while their unsuccessful counterparts routinely get cast aside among the... more

It happens every fall. A player bursts onto the scene, makes a big play or helps his team win a pivotal game, and the collective football world celebrates his arrival as a true difference maker in the NFL. Let's get ahead of the curve! In advance of... more

It happens every fall. A player bursts onto the scene, makes a big play or helps his team win a pivotal game, and the collective football world celebrates his arrival as a true difference maker in the NFL. Let's get ahead of the curve! In advance of... more

It happens every fall. A player bursts onto the scene, makes a big play or helps his team win a pivotal game, and the collective football world celebrates his arrival as a true difference maker in the NFL. Let's get ahead of the curve! In advance of... more

It happens every fall. A player bursts onto the scene, makes a big play or helps his team win a pivotal game, and the collective football world celebrates his arrival as a true difference maker in the NFL. Let's get ahead of the curve! In advance of... more

It happens every fall. A player bursts onto the scene, makes a big play or helps his team win a pivotal game, and the collective football world celebrates his arrival as a true difference maker in the NFL. Let's get ahead of the curve! In advance of... more

June

It happens every fall. A player bursts onto the scene, makes a big play or helps his team win a pivotal game, and the collective football world celebrates his arrival as a true difference maker in the NFL. Let's get ahead of the curve! In advance of... more

It happens every fall. A player bursts onto the scene, makes a big play or helps his team win a pivotal game, and the collective football world celebrates his arrival as a true difference maker in the NFL. Let's get ahead of the curve! In advance of... more

It happens every fall. A player bursts onto the scene, makes a big play or helps his team win a pivotal game, and the collective football world celebrates his arrival as a true difference maker in the NFL. Let's get ahead of the curve! In advance of... more

It happens every fall. A player bursts onto the scene, makes a big play or helps his team win a pivotal game, and the collective football world celebrates his arrival as a true difference maker in the NFL. Let's get ahead of the curve! In advance of... more

To maintain a championship-caliber roster, NFL executives and coaches must routinely evaluate their personnel and establish a hierarchy at each position. These determinations impact which guys are re-signed in free agency and how teams feature player... more

If you live by the blitz, then you die by the blitz. Those words are uttered frequently in defensive meeting rooms across the NFL. They also capture the disposition of Rex Ryan heading into a make-or-break year with the New York Jets. Instant De... more

The need to diversify the passing game to combat Tampa 2 coverage has made the slot receiver a valuable weapon for offensive coordinators around the NFL. Astute play callers frequently align their top receiver in the slot to take advantage of favorab... more

Does the play caller really matter? Breer: Who's really in charge? When it comes to building an NFL roster, hierarchies vary from team to team. Albert Breer reveals all 32 power structures. More ... In the NFL, there's no doubt about it... more

The New England Patriots have owned the AFC East for the better part of a decade, but this could be the year the Miami Dolphins supplant Tom Brady and Co. atop the division. Jeff Ireland and Joe Philbin have assembled an offense with the potential to... more

It goes without saying that drafting is an inexact science. Despite spending countless hours poring over tape, conducting interviews and scrutinizing workouts, scouts often are unable to definitively project a prospect's pro potential. Schein:... more

JaMarcus Russell might be the biggest flop in NFL history, but I'm certain he will be on an NFL roster in 2013. I know that statement will draw the ire of Raider Nation, based on Russell's disastrous tenure in Oakland, but he is too young (27) and... more

"It's now or never!" That's the common refrain uttered in meeting rooms across the NFL when general managers, coaches and scouts convene to discuss the fates of former top picks who are underperforming. As a rule, teams will give first-round pic... more

General managers and scouts will often give top draft picks three seasons of playing time before making definitive judgments about their abilities. This is to allow blue-chip prospects enough time to hone their skills and fully maximize their immense... more

May

The Cleveland Browns' offense has been short on surprises in recent years. The unit has finished among the NFL's worst in each of the past three seasons, ranking a dismal 25th in total offense (and averaging just 18.9 points per game) in 2012. Such... more

The devaluation of the running back position has been fueled by the belief among NFL coaches and scouts that talented runners can be identified at any stage of the draft. From Terrell Davis to Willie Parker, teams have routinely discovered gems in... more

Which quarterback would you want to lead your franchise over the next 10 years: Andrew Luck or Colin Kaepernick? That's the question I posed on Twitter a few days ago to see if NFL fans preferred a traditional quarterback or a dual-threat playmak... more

The pre-draft evaluation process can be unkind to prospects without exceptional athletic attributes. The emphasis on workouts in shorts and shirts means quality football players with a perceived lack of explosiveness can be overlooked. However, talen... more

The process of building a Super Bowl champion starts with constructing a team that has the capacity to win a division. Top 100 Players of 2013 Make sure you vote for the Top 100 players of 2013. Voting ends May 31. Get your vote in. More ...... more

Matt Barkley could be the next Tom Brady and should be the Philadelphia Eagles' quarterback of the future. Brandt: Ready-to-go rookies Gil Brandt looks beyond the prospects picked in Round 1 to find nine rookies in a position to make an immedia... more

Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel won the Heisman Trophy in 2012, but his pro potential remains very much up in the air. Johnny Manziel, better known as "Johnny Football," might be the best player in college... more

As the dust settles following the 2013 NFL Draft, Bucky Brooks is taking a division-by-division look at how each team fared, handing out grades and highlighting notable picks. He tackles the NFC West below. Click here for other divisions. The ar... more

As the dust settles following the 2013 NFL Draft, Bucky Brooks is taking a division-by-division look at how each team fared, handing out grades and highlighting notable picks. He tackles the AFC West below. Click here for other divisions. Peyton... more

As the dust settles following the 2013 NFL Draft, Bucky Brooks is taking a division-by-division look at how each team fared, handing out grades and highlighting notable picks. He tackles the AFC South below. Click here for other divisions. The... more

As the dust settles following the 2013 NFL Draft, Bucky Brooks is taking a division-by-division look at how each team fared, handing out grades and highlighting notable picks. He tackles the NFC South below. Click here for other divisions. The... more

As the dust settles following the 2013 NFL Draft, Bucky Brooks is taking a division-by-division look at how each team fared, handing out grades and highlighting notable picks. He tackles the AFC North below. Click here for other divisions. The... more

As the dust settles following the 2013 NFL Draft, Bucky Brooks is taking a division-by-division look at how each team fared, handing out grades and highlighting notable picks. He tackles the NFC North below. Click here for other divisions. Jerem... more

April

Now that the 2013 NFL Draft is over, it's time to take stock of how each team fared. Bucky Brooks takes a division-by-division look, assigning grades and highlighting notable picks. AFC East » Buffalo Bills: Putting their faith in draft-day... more

As the dust settles following the 2013 NFL Draft, Bucky Brooks is taking a division-by-division look at how each team fared, handing out grades and highlighting notable picks. He tackles the NFC East below. Click here for other divisions. The NF... more

As the dust settles following the 2013 NFL Draft, Bucky Brooks is taking a division-by-division look at how each team fared, handing out grades and highlighting notable picks. He tackles the AFC East below. Click here for other divisions. The Ne... more

Associated Press Teddy Bridgewater, Jadeveon Clowney and Marqise Lee (from left to right) demand attention at the college level. The ink is barely dry on the 2013 NFL Draft sheets, but already scouts are looking ahead to the 2014 NFL Draft.... more

If you ask any current or former NFL scout how long it takes to determine the quality of a draft class, they will quickly suggest waiting at least three years. However, in the age of instant gratification/analysis, we are effusive in praise and... more

Associated Press Despite his USC pedigree, Matt Barkley went untouched through the first three rounds of the draft. Astute evaluators can find quality players at every stage of the draft, which makes Day 3 an important one in the minds of... more

NEW YORK -- The first round of the 2013 NFL Draft was full of surprises, which left several blue-chip prospects on the board heading into the second day of the event. From Geno Smith and Matt Barkley to Tank Carradine and Manti Te'o , several Pro... more

The days leading up to the NFL draft are nerve-racking for general managers and scouts. In addition to researching and evaluating all of the players in the draft, teams have worked through all of the possible scenarios to come up with a game plan for... more

The 2013 NFL Draft has been lauded for the depth and talent in the second/third-round range. Executives have openly discussed the minimal differences between the 10th-ranked player and those ranked in the 40s. This assessment has not only led many... more

NFL executives and scouts have characterized the 2013 NFL Draft class as one that lacks superstar talent at the top of the board but is littered with quality prospects down the line. John Elway, Denver Broncos' executive vice president of footb... more

I've always wondered how different the NFL draft would be if it were conducted immediately after the regular season. Evaluators would make draft decisions based solely on grades compiled from film study, avoiding the influence of spectacular workouts... more

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The 2013 NFL Super Regional Combine at Cowboys Stadium was a showcase event for the underrated and overlooked prospects in this year's draft class. These players -- many of whom hail from small schools and have obscure backgrounds... more

It really takes three seasons to accurately grade a draft class, but at this point, the 2011 NFL Draft looks like one of the most talent-laden crops in NFL history. From top to bottom, the draft produced numerous game changers with the potential to... more

Which Nnamdi Asomugha will show up in San Francisco? That's the question scouts around the NFL are mulling over, with the three-time Pro Bowler agreeing to a one-year deal (worth up to $3 million) with the two-time reigning NFC West champions... more

Kevin Terrell/Associated Press KevinKolb's numbers actually weren't that bad with the Arizona Cardinals, but his injury history remains a concern. The Buffalo Bills and veteran quarterback Kevin Kolb have agreed to a two-year contract worth... more

March

The end of the pro day circuit signals the beginning of pre-draft meetings for most organizations around the league. Scouts convene at team facilities for the next few weeks to put the finishing touches on the draft board prior to April's event. Alt... more

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Tyrann Mathieu was considered one of the top defenders in college football until a series of off-the-field incidents prematurely ended his career at LSU. Mathieu's character concerns dominated the discussion about him in the ensu... more

Associated Press Alex Smith, Ed Reed and Elvis Dumervil (from left to right) promise to make noise with their new teams in 2013. The key to building a consistent winner in the NFL is drafting and developing your own talent. While the top... more

Rick Osentoski/Associated Press JayCutler is not a run-first quarterback, but his athleticism is a good fit for the Chicago Bears' revamped offense. Marc Trestman set the football world abuzz when he announced his plans to incorporate the... more

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Mike Glennon is a franchise quarterback. That statement certainly will draw the ire of evaluators with a lesser opinion of the North Carolina State product, but my experience in the NFL as a player and scout leads me to believe Gle... more

The Seattle Seahawks have climbed into the ranks of the NFL's elite by stockpiling top-notch playmakers on both sides of the ball. Coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider have been daring and courageous in their pursuit of blue-chip tal... more

Associated Press Wes Welker (left) has eclipsed 100 catches in five of the last six years, but Danny Amendola is four years younger. Wes Welker's exit from the New England Patriots for greener pastures with the Denver Broncos sent shockwaves... more

The Buffalo Bills' decision to drop quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick will certainly alter the team's approach heading into the 2013 NFL Draft. General manager Buddy Nix has gone on the record with his desire to find a franchise quarterback this year .... more

Associated Press Wide receivers MikeWallace (left) and GregJennings are poised to strike it rich when free agency begins. The transformation of the NFL into a passing league has turned receivers into marquee players on the free-agent market... more

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Is Ryan Nassib really a franchise quarterback? Breer: 2013 QB class unsettled Think Geno Smith is a lock to be the first QB drafted? Think again. Albert Breer says others still have time to climb. More ... That's the quest... more

Production or potential? That's the question scouts must address when assessing Dion Jordan . With a spectacular performance at the NFL Scouting Combine, the former Oregon standout proved himself to be one of the top athletes in the 2013 NFL D... more

The process of building a draft board is exhaustive, with scouts and coaches picking apart game tape and workouts to determine which prospects are worthy of high grades. Although scouts are taught to base their evaluations primarily on game tape, the... more

Shhhh! I'm about to let you in on a little secret that is circulating through scouting circles following the NFL Scouting Combine: Michigan State's Le'Veon Bell is the best running back in the 2013 NFL Draft, and it's not even close. Now, I... more

February

INDIANAPOLIS -- Scouts and coaches will tell you that most evaluators leave the NFL Scouting Combine with more questions than answers after watching top prospects work out for four days in Indianapolis. With a little bit of time to reflect on the... more

INDIANAPOLIS -- The 2013 NFL Scouting Combine has officially concluded, but scouts are still talking about the impressive collection of defensive backs that was on the field Tuesday. Evaluators saw several standout performances that certainly enhance... more

INDIANAPOLIS -- The third day of workouts at the NFL Scouting Combine featured defensive linemen and linebackers. Most observers have cited the front seven as one of the strengths of the draft, and scouts were paying close attention to the standouts... more

Michael Conroy/Associated Press Quarterback Tyler Bray threw 34 touchdown passes (to 12 interceptions) during his final season at Tennessee. INDIANAPOLIS -- Tyler Bray might be the most gifted passer in the 2013 NFL Draft, but teams haven't... more

INDIANAPOLIS -- Who is Cordarrelle Patterson ? That might be the question on the minds of casual NFL draft observers after seeing the Tennessee wide receiver's name posted at the top of the charts , but scouts and coaches can't stop raving about t... more

Associated Press West Virginia quarterback GenoSmith (left) offers a similar game to former No. 1 overall pick SamBradford. The 2013 NFL Scouting Combine is on the horizon, which means evaluators are working around the clock to finish up... more

Ben Liebenberg/NFL Manti Te'o hopes, in the eyes of NFL evaluators, his on-field play overshadows the recent girlfriend hoax incident. Manti Te'o was considered one of the crown jewels of the 2013 NFL Draft class following a spectacular regul... more

USA TODAY Sports/Associated Press SMU's Margus Hunt (left) and BYU's Ezekiel Ansah are both new to football, but their versatility entices scouts. The biggest challenge when it comes to evaluating college players is accurately projecting thei... more

The NFL Scouting Combine is a proving ground for NFL hopefuls, but most of the work is done behind closed doors. Prospects must convince general managers, scouts and coaches they can handle the rigors of the pro game by delivering impressive answers... more

Thomas Campbell /USA TODAY Sports Luke Joeckel is one of the top prospects in the draft, with most expecting the tackle to make an instant impact. Offensive tackles have always been valued at a premium, but with the NFL's recent transformatio... more

At the conclusion of Super Bowl XLVII, coaches and scouts across the NFL immediately turned their attention to the 2013 NFL Draft . Team officials are busy at work this week putting together their initial draft boards heading into the NFL Scouting Co... more

At the conclusion of Super Bowl XLVII, coaches and scouts across the NFL immediately turned their attention to the 2013 NFL Draft. Team officials are busy this week putting together their initial draft boards ahead of the NFL Scouting Combine. While... more

The copycat nature of the NFL prompts executives and coaches to closely study the reigning Super Bowl champions each year for insight on how to claim future Lombardi Trophies. Following their 34-31 victory in Super Bowl XLVII, the Baltimore Ravens ha... more

January

When Jim Caldwell replaced Cam Cameron as the Baltimore Ravens' offensive coordinator following a Week 14 loss to the Washington Redskins , few were expecting the first-time play caller to resurrect an offense that had struggled to find an identity... more

The best coaches in the NFL understand that their teams must evolve over the course of the season, to maximize the strengths of their personnel. The evolution of the San Francisco 49ers' offense has resulted in the clever postseason utilization of th... more

The 2013 draft class has been described as a group devoid of star power at the quarterback position. In fact, cynics have suggested that none of the quarterbacks in this year's class will be able to match the immediate impact and production of recent... more

MOBILE, Ala. -- The first few practices at the Senior Bowl are routinely marred by inconsistent play from top prospects, due to the anxiety of performing in a stadium full of scouts, coaches and general managers. Evaluators certainly understand the... more

Associated Press N.C. State quarterback Mike Glennon (left) and BYU pass rusher Ezekiel Ansah could shoot up draft boards. The Senior Bowl (Sat., 4 p.m. ET, NFL Network) is the premier game on the college football all-star circuit. NFL scouts... more

The Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers have traveled an arduous path to Super Bowl XLVII. The Ravens, who are chasing the second Super Bowl title in franchise history, battled through a spate of defensive injuries while the offense forged an... more

The NFC Championship Game features quite a matchup: the high-powered offense of the Atlanta Falcons taking on a San Francisco 49ers defense that is regarded as one of the best in the NFL. While traditionalists still believe that defense wins... more

TAMPA, Fla. -- Don't expect Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein to embrace a move to another position in the NFL. "I know I'm a quarterback," the highly decorated playmaker emphatically told me during an interview for an upcoming episode of... more

Now, that we've reached the Jan. 15 deadline for underclassmen to declare for the 2013 NFL Draft, scouts are working hard to put together draft boards that accurately reflect the available talent in this year's class. Although each team's draft ranki... more

The East-West Shrine Game (Saturday, 4 p.m. ET, NFL Network) is a must-see stop on the college all-star circuit because it routinely showcases some of the sleeper prospects with the potential to become difference-makers at the next level. At last... more

We're down to the final four teams in the NFL playoffs, and there isn't a clear-cut favorite to take home the Lombardi Trophy. Each team can advance to Super Bowl XLVII if it's able to play on its own terms on Championship Sunday -- something that is... more

The selection of the Pro Bowl roster is akin to a popularity contest in high school, with established names taking precedence over the performance and production of unheralded players. The All-Pro team, on the other hand, is a true representation of... more

Wild Card Weekend is history, and now it's time for the top-seeded teams in the AFC and NFC to enter the playoff fray. The stakes couldn't be higher in the divisional round, with the right to play on Championship Sunday on the line. Let's take a clos... more

There's nothing like watching playoff football at this time of the year. Coaches and players approach the game with a renewed sense of urgency; with a spot in the conference championship game on the line, it's "win or go home." Given the level of par... more

NFL/US Presswire Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o (left) and Alabama guard Chance Warmack both project as first-rounders in April. The BCS Championship Game is always a must-see event for NFL scouts because it routinely features the best... more

Associated Press Wild-card opponents MarshawnLynch (left) and AlfredMorris are two of the NFL's most punishing running backs. Who says the running back position has been devalued? That certainly is not the opinion of most playoff... more

Associated Press/NFL/US Presswire Geno Smith, Matt Barkley and Mike Glennon (left to right) could be the first three quarterbacks selected in April. It's not a coincidence that the majority of coaches and general managers who were displaced... more

December

Associated Press Wisconsin's Montee Ball (left) and Stanford's Stepfan Taylor are two of the top running backs in college football. Last week, I took a look at many of the top college football prospects getting a chance to shine on the stage... more

What's wrong with the San Francisco 49ers' defense? That's the question likely running rampant through the minds of offensive coordinators around the NFL after seeing the Niners surrender 30-plus points in back-to-back games against the New Englan... more

US Presswire/Associated Press West Virginia's Geno Smith (left) is the top QB on most draft boards, but N.C. State's Mike Glennon is rising. Late-December bowl games provide NFL scouts with several opportunities to see top prospects duke it o... more

The Dallas Cowboys are coming off a heartbreaking loss to the New Orleans Saints in Week 16, but I believe their offense is rounding into postseason form heading into a massive NFC East showdown with the Washington Redskins. In fact, I'm convinced... more

The Seattle Seahawks are arguably the hottest team in the NFL behind an offense that has exploded over the past few weeks. Led by Russell Wilson, the unit has posted 50 points in consecutive games and evolved into one of the more difficult offenses t... more

Associated Press/US Presswire UCLA's Johnathan Franklin, Baylor's Terrance Williams and Duke's Sean Renfree (left to right) merit NFL attention. The beginning of the college bowl season represents a fascinating time for NFL scouts. Evaluators... more

Associated Press Denver Broncos linebacker VonMiller (left) and San Francisco 49ers LB AldonSmith are wreaking havoc on foes. The seismic shift that turned the NFL into a passing league has made it imperative that elite defenses feature... more

Incredible. That's the only word that aptly describes Adrian Peterson's performance with the Minnesota Vikings this season, still less than a year removed from major knee surgery. AdrianPeterson The four-time Pro Bowler has been sensati... more

The college football regular season is in the books, and all the attention now turns to the bowl games. Bucky Brooks takes the opportunity to re-order his top 25 players who are at least three years removed from high school. (*Denotes non-senior)... more

The Cincinnati Bengals (7-6) venture into Lincoln Financial Field to take on the Philadelphia Eagles (4-9) in a Thursday night battle on NFL Network (8:20 p.m. ET). NickFoles The Bengals are trying to rebound from a disappointing loss to... more

Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh surprised the football world on Monday when he fired Cam Cameron with just three games remaining in the regular season and promoted Jim Caldwell to take over as offensive coordinator. While the timing certai... more

The Houston Texans have become a juggernaut this season, but they face a crucial test on Monday night when they visit the New England Patriots . Can the new kids on the block hang with a perennial AFC power, or will the Pats prove they're still the... more

On Saturday, I will join millions of viewers watching the Heisman Trophy award presentation (8 p.m. ET, ESPN) to see which player the voters have anointed as the best in college football. Although I don't have an official vote for the honor, after... more

How do you stop the pistol offense? RobertGriffin III That's the question defensive coordinators around the NFL should pitch to their college colleagues prior to facing the Washington Redskins. Fueled by the arrival of Robert Griffin II... more

When it comes to the Denver Broncos (9-3) and Oakland Raiders (3-9), throw out the records. These bitter AFC West rivals, who square off on NFL Network on Thursday night (8:20 p.m. ET), hate each other, and the fuel of emotions has helped spark a fe... more

The rest of the NFL might not want to hear this, but the New England Patriots' offense is built to win the Super Bowl this year. Already the league's most prolific offense in terms of scoring and yardage , the unit is designed to create proble... more

Ben Liebenberg/NFL Highly productive running back Montee Ball has helped guide Wisconsin to three straight Rose Bowl appearances. Montee Ball might not hear his name called on the first day of the 2013 NFL Draft, but he will be an impact... more

November

John Bazemore/Associated Press Georgia junior Jarvis Jones has 10.5 sacks this season heading into Saturday's SEC title game against Alabama. Football scouts quickly will tell you that the Southeastern Conference is a hotbed for NFL talent. T... more

What is Jim Harbaugh doing in San Francisco? That's a question some folks are asking after the San Francisco 49ers head coach named Colin Kaepernick the starter, despite the healthy return of Alex Smith. In making the decision, Harbaugh opts for a... more

It's not often that a regular-season game creates the atmosphere of a playoff contest, but the Thursday night battle between the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints (8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network) has the potential to turn into an epic affair.... more

Mike Roemer/Associated Press The Packers' AaronRodgers (left) and the Bears' JayCutler are both dealing with leaky offensive lines. The battle for supremacy in the NFC North should be one of the most compelling to watch over the final... more

Tim Heitman/US Presswire Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones has thrown 120 touchdown passes (along with 50 interceptions) in four years. Landry Jones is the biggest enigma in the 2013 quarterback class. The Oklahoma senior is arguably the mo... more

Melina Vastola/US Presswire Defensive end Cornellius "Tank" Carradine leads the ACC with 10.5 sacks and leads Florida State with 69 tackles. The college football season is winding down, but scouts are just starting to narrow their focus on th... more

The Week 12 schedule begins with a three-course football feast on Thanksgiving Day. Here are the key questions and my predicted outcomes for Thursday's games: Houston Texans (9-1) at Detroit Lions (4-6) 12:30 p.m. ET, CBS Can MatthewStafford p... more

Ben Liebenberg/NFL.com USC quarterback Matt Barkley has struggled to make his mark in his final season of college football. When Matt Barkley returned to USC for his senior year, it was likely with visions of bagging a national championship a... more

Alix Drawec/NFL Utah DT Star Lotulelei has the physical dimensions (6-foot-4, 325 pounds) and athleticism scouts salivate over. Is Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei worthy of the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft? That's the... more

The final month of college football's regular season provides NFL scouts with several matchups that ultimately will determine the draft fate of some of the top prospects in this year's draft class. While most evaluators will not admit to being swayed... more

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-4) have crept back into the NFC playoff picture behind an explosive offense this franchise hasn't since the days of Doug Williams, Ricky Bell and Jimmie Giles. Jeremiah: Who has the edge? NickFairley vs. Jeff Saturday... more

Thursday night's AFC East showdown between the Miami Dolphins (4-5) and Buffalo Bills (3-6) is shaping up to be something of an elimination game on NFL Network (8:20 p.m. ET). While both teams have been competitive at times this season, a lack of... more

Drew Brees is one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history, but the New Orleans Saints are better when the running game is the foundation of their offensive game plan. DrewBrees I'm sure fans of the perennial Pro Bowler will take umbrage wi... more

John David Mercer/US Presswire Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel is a do-everything quarterback who represents the cutting edge of the position. "Johnny Football" is the wave of the future at the quarterback position. Traditional NFL... more

The college football season is past the midway point, but scouts are just beginning to form strong opinions on NFL hopefuls based on their performances in big games against conference rivals. When I was scouting for the Carolina Panthers and Seattle... more

The 1985 Chicago Bears have been the standard for defensive domination in the NFL for almost three decades, but watching Lovie Smith's troops terrorize the league in the first half of the 2012 campaign, there might be a challenger to the throne.... more

The battle between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts does not offer the winner AFC South supremacy, but it's still a big game for both teams. The Colts (5-3) have reeled off three straight wins and are looking to remain in the playoff... more

Associated Press PeytonManning's Broncos, JayCutler's Bears and RussellWilson's Seahawks are gunning for football's top prize. The NFL season has hit the halfway point, yet there isn't a clear-cut favorite in either conference. In... more

Ben Liebenberg/NFL Kenjon Barner guided Oregon to a thrilling 62-51 win over USC, piling up 321 rushing yards and five touchdowns. Is it the system or the player? That's the question scouts must address when assessing the pro potential of... more

The final college football season for top NFL prospects is a roller coaster ride. The preseason hype surrounding a player's potential is routinely followed by harsh criticism that seemingly sends his stock tumbling down the charts. Part of the... more

October

Before the season started, the midseason matchup between the Kansas CityChiefs and San DiegoChargers seemed like it might have playoff implications. Instead, both AFC West rivals are looking to get their seasons back on track. The Chargers (3-4)... more

Uh oh! That's what defensive coordinators around the NFL are uttering after watching Peyton Manning find his groove as the quarterback of the Denver Broncos. The four-time MVP has been on a sensational run over the past five games, completing 68.5... more

Bob Donnan/US Presswire N.C. State QB Mike Glennon's stock is rising after a prolific performance in a narrow loss to North Carolina. Mike Glennon might be the best quarterback available in the 2013 NFL Draft. I know that statement will... more

Dave Martin/Associated Press Quarterback Aaron Murray has thrown at least two touchdown passes in six of Georgia's seven games this season. There is nothing better than watching top prospects square off in big games in the month of October.... more

The Minnesota Vikings have emerged as early contenders in the NFC, but a showdown with the Tampa BayBuccaneers on NFL Network's Thursday Night Football (8:20 p.m. ET) will give the nation a chance to see what this team is all about. Propelled by th... more

Defense still wins championships in the NFL. That's why the Minnesota Vikings shouldn't be dismissed as viable contenders in the NFC. A defense that has traditionally ranked among the best in the league has not only regained its swagger, but is... more

The college football season has reached its midpoint, and NFL scouts have begun their grades on players. Find out which college players have stood out so far. (*Denotes underclassmen.) http://www.nfl.com/podcast/nfl-draft-tracker-podcast... more

The Carolina Panthers' decision to dismiss general manager Marty Hurney on Monday certainly caught me by surprise, but I see it as the first of many moves owner Jerry Richardson will make in an attempt to turn around a franchise that has fallen on h... more

RG3 for MVP? As absurd as that question would have appeared prior to the season, given Robert Griffin III's rookie status on the Washington Redskins, the spectacular performance from the No. 2 overall pick over the first six weeks of the season has... more

There certainly will be no love lost when the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers meet in a battle for NFC West supremacy. The Seahawks (4-2) enter the game riding the momentum of a thrilling victory over the New England Patriots, while the 49... more

"U MAD BRO?" That was the caption on a picture tweeted out by Richard Sherman that depicts the Seattle cornerback taunting Tom Brady after the Seahawks' 24-23 victory over the New England Patriots on Sunday. While this certainly isn't a shini... more

Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press Linebacker Manti Te'o played an integral role in Notre Dame's thrilling overtime defeat of Stanford on Saturday. Manti Te'o is the best defensive player in college football, and it's not even close. While fans of... more

Margaret Bowles/Associated Press Undrafted free-agent rookie BrandonBolden averages a robust 5.6 yards per carry for the New England Patriots. The New England Patriots continue to field one of the NFL's most explosive offenses, but the unit... more

The Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2) travel to Nashville to take on the Tennessee Titans (1-4) in what promises to be a hard-hitting affair. Although these two teams hold a combined record of 3-6 entering this game, the Steelers know this is an opportuni... more

Harrison: Week 6 Power Rankings With five weeks in the books, the league hierarchy still is taking shape. Elliot Harrison updates his pecking order. More ... The San Francisco 49ers were widely considered to be the top team in the NFC prior... more

Tim Heitman/US Presswire West Virginia's Geno Smith stood tall against Alex Okafor and the rest of Texas' stout defense on Saturday. AUSTIN, Texas -- Geno Smith is the real deal. That opinion should certainly not surprise anyone who read th... more

NFL/Associated Press USC's Matt Barkley (left) and West Virginia's Geno Smith both display the tools necessary to succeed in the NFL. When USC Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley faltered on the national stage against the Stanford Cardinal, he n... more

The St. Louis Rams (2-2) welcome the Arizona Cardinals (4-0) to the Edward Jones Dome for a pivotal NFC West battle (8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network). The Cardinals are one of three unbeaten teams in the NFL, and they have created quite the buzz with a... more

The Minnesota Vikings have been one of the NFL's biggest surprises during the early part of the season. A team expected to finish in the cellar of the NFC North has jumped out to a 3-1 start and sits tied atop the division with the Chicago Bears. W... more

US Presswire South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore (left) and Michigan State's Le'Veon Bell are two multi-talented running backs. Don't believe the hype about the extinction of the running back. Although the NFL has become a passing league... more

September

What's wrong with Michael Vick? That question likely is running rampant through Philadelphia Eagles headquarters after seeing Vick suffer through a miserable three-game stint to start the season. The 10th-year pro is only completing 55.2 per... more

Jennifer Stewart/US PRESSWIRE The Arizona Cardinals rank second in the NFL with 12 sacks, including five of Philadelphia Eagles QB MichaelVick. Does the NFL's top defense reside in the desert? Jeremiah: Birds of a feather? The Cardinals... more

The Baltimore Ravens are set to host the Cleveland Browns in an intriguing AFC North matchup on Thursday Night Football (8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network). This game might appear decidedly lopsided on paper, but the bitter historical rivalry between these... more

Melina Vastola/US Presswire Already known for his physical talents, E.J. Manuel has faced questions about his big-game ability. Is E.J. Manuel a franchise quarterback? That was the question circulating throughout the scouting community... more

Steven Bisig/US Presswire Powerful defensive lineman RedBryant is an integral piece in the Seattle Seahawks' highly versatile front seven. The Seattle Seahawks quietly are emerging as a playoff contender behind one of the NFL's top defenses.... more

The Carolina Panthers host the New York Giants in a critical NFC showdown on Thursday Night Football (8:20 p.m ET, NFL Network). This Week 3 game obviously doesn't have immediate playoff implications, but its winner goes over .500 and gets in positi... more

It's about time. That's what Buffalo Bills executives and coaches are likely saying after watching running back C.J. Spiller emerge as the NFL's most explosive player in the early goings of this season. Harrison: Week 3 Power Rankings Who's on... more

Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press Senior quarterback Matt Barkley and the USC Trojans were upset by Stanford in Palo Alto on Saturday night. PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Matt Barkley is still the best quarterback prospect in the 2013 draft class,... more

Robert Griffin III's scintillating debut gave the Washington Redskins an upset win over the New Orleans Saints and earned the rookie quarterback NFL Offensive Player of the Week honors. But coach Mike Shanahan and his offensive coordinator (and son)... more

The Green Bay Packers host the rival Chicago Bears on Thursday Night Football (8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network). This is a pivotal early-season matchup in the NFC North. The Packers (0-1) are coming off a disheartening home loss to the San Francisco 49ers... more

The seismic shift of NFL offenses from the ground to the air has led some to dismiss the Super Bowl prospects of the San Francisco 49ers, due to concerns about their "old school" attack. But after watching the Niners take down the Green Bay Packers 3... more

L.G. Patterson/Associated Press Outside linebacker Jarvis Jones flashed his unique skill set in Georgia's 41-20 trouncing of Missouri on Saturday. "He may be the best defensive player in American." That's Georgia coach Mark Richt on outside... more

The news of the collective bargaining agreement appeals panel overturning the NFL's suspensions of four players for their involvement in the New Orleans Saints' "bounty" program could change the short- and long-term plans of multiple teams for the 2... more

Matt Slocum/Associated Press JasonBabin thoroughly enjoyed JuanCastillo's scheme last season, racking up 18 sacks for the Philadelphia Eagles. When Andy Reid made the surprising decision to appoint longtime offensive line coach Juan Castill... more

Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy has been hailed in some circles as one of the brightest offensive minds in football following his outstanding work with Tim Tebow in 2011. McCoy implemented a zone-read offense built upon principles uti... more

US Presswire Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert has the size, speed and general athleticism to make a mark in the pass-happy NFL. The evolution of the passing game in the NFL is transforming the tight end position. Teams are searching fo... more

August

Jeff Gentner/Associated Press West Virginia's Geno Smith is a do-it-all quarterback with a shot at winning the Heisman Trophy this season. The chase for the Heisman Trophy is similar to a NASCAR race, with candidates' reputations... more

Associated Press/US Presswire DarrelleRevis, RayRice and DeMarcusWare (from left to right) make an unparalleled impact every Sunday. NFL executives form contingency plans to deal with the loss of key players during portions of the season,... more

Most NFL coaches treat the third preseason game as the final dress rehearsal for the regular season. From extensive game planning to extended action for the first stringers, Week 3 provides a glimpse into the potential of teams and players across the... more

Most NFL executives would never admit to making a roster decision based solely on a single performance in August, but Week 3 games in the preseason certainly carry significance in the evaluation process. Coaches approach these exhibition contests lik... more

When the Miami Dolphins announced Monday that Ryan Tannehill will be their starting quarterback in Week 1, they became the fourth NFL team to give the top job to a rookie signal-caller. Tannehill will join the Indianapolis Colts' Andrew Luck, the... more

Joe Nicholson/US Presswire MattFlynn (right) seems to be the Seattle Seahawks' top dog at quarterback, but RussellWilson's not far behind. Earn everything. The Seattle Seahawks have this saying plastered at the opening of the tunnel... more

A report that the San Francisco 49ers will likely limit Randy Moss' playing time to 20-25 snaps per game created quite a buzz in league circles. Most observers have a tough time envisioning a team desperate for a No. 1 receiver limiting the playing... more

Chuck Burton/Associated Press The tag team of running backs DeAngeloWilliams (left) and JonathanStewart helps carry the CarolinaPanthers. The Carolina Panthers are investing heavily in their running backs, even while most NFL teams are... more

Mark Duncan/Associated Press Cleveland Browns rookie running back TrentRichardson has gone under the knife twice in the past six months. One of the jobs of a general manager is to put together contingency plans to handle the injury setbacks... more

Twelve teams kicked off Week 1 of the preseason on Thursday night. The remaining 20 clubs take the field Friday through Monday. Here is a quick primer for all 10 games: FRIDAY New York Jets at Cincinnati Bengals What to watch for: Tim... more

NFL.com has dispatched several writers to report on the 32 training camps. Bucky Brooks details his visit with the Seattle Seahawks. (Click here for the complete archive of Training Camp Reports. ) WHERE IS NFL.COM? The Seahawks are holding... more

NFL.com has dispatched several writers to report on the 32 training camps. Bucky Brooks details his visit with the Oakland Raiders. (Click here for the complete archive of Training Camp Reports. ) WHERE IS NFL.COM? The Raiders host training... more

NFL.com has dispatched several writers to report on the 32 training camps. Bucky Brooks details his visit with the Arizona Cardinals. (Click here for the complete archive of Training Camp Reports .) WHERE IS NFL.COM? The Cardinals hosted a n... more

NFL.com has dispatched several writers to report on the 32 training camps over the next few weeks. Bucky Brooks details his visit with the Kansas City Chiefs. (Click here for the complete archive of Training Camp Reports .) WHERE IS NFL.COM?... more

Bill Nichols/Associated Press This offseason the Kansas City Chiefs added one of the fastest players in the NFL, cornerback Stanford Routt.   The track speed at the Olympic Games always leaves people in awe, but NFL fans get to see that kin... more

NFL.com has dispatched several writers to report on the 32 training camps over the next few weeks. Bucky Brooks details his visit with the Jacksonville Jaguars. (Click here for the complete archive of Training Camp Reports .) WHERE IS NFL.COM?... more

Wade Payne/Associated Press Tennessee Titans rookie linebacker Zach Brown has been a world-class athlete throughout his football career.   The Summer Olympics are supposed to be the ultimate athletic showcase, but not all of the world's... more

July

Some might think the New Orleans Saints' offense is going to take a step back without suspended coach Sean Payton at the controls. But as I see it, nothing could be further from the truth. The offense will flourish with offensive coordinator Pete... more

Associated Press Asante Samuel (left) is a top playmaker in zone coverage, while Nnamdi Asomugha excels playing man-to-man.   In today's NFL, is it better to have a ball hawk or a lockdown defender as your No. 1 cornerback? That was the... more

Tom DiPace/Associated Press The Tennessee Titans will miss receiver Kenny Britt if he's suspended, but they have other offensive options.   The Tennessee Titans were likely putting together contingency plans for receiver Kenny Britt, who is... more

Rich Addicks/Associated Press While Matt Hasselbeck (left) enjoyed some fine performances last season, Jake Locker showed great promise.   Do you pick the winner of a quarterback competition based on production or potential? That is the... more

Associated Press Darren Sproles (left) replaced Reggie Bush in New Orleans, but both players enjoyed a productive 2011 campaign.   The devaluation of the running back position has been greatly exaggerated. In fact, I would suggest that... more

Tony Tribble/Associated Press While C.J. Spiller (left) is a promising young back, 31-year-old Fred Jackson has produced at a high level.   Chan Gailey created quite a stir when he suggested the Buffalo Bills could split carries between... more

Who is the better No. 1 receiver: Vincent Jackson or Brandon Marshall? That's the question several front office executives grappled with during the offseason while assessing two of the NFL's top receivers on the open market (Jackson as an unrestric... more

Stephen Morton/Associated Press Connor Barwin enjoyed a breakthrough season in his third year with the Texans, piling up 11.5 sacks in 2011.   Wade Phillips might fall short as a head coach, but there is no denying his greatness as a... more

Matt Ryan or Joe Flacco? That's a question I would like to ask coaches and scouts if we could re-do the 2008 NFL Draft . Both quarterbacks have been outstanding players for their respective franchises and are on the verge of joining the ranks of th... more

June

Mark J. Rebilas/US Presswire Kevin Kolb (left) and John Skelton will go head-to-head for the starting job at Arizona Cardinals training camp.   Kevin Kolb or John Skelton? That's the biggest question in the mind of Arizona Cardinals coac... more

US Presswire Chargers head coach Norv Turner (left) and Eagles boss Andy Reid are both coming off disappointing 8-8 seasons.   How do you measure a coach's greatness? In the NFL, coaches are judged solely on their ability to win the Super... more

The recent revelation of a trade request by the Minnesota Vikings' Percy Harvin has put the spotlight squarely on one of the NFL's most explosive multi-purpose weapons. While most have focused on Harvin himself, the swirl of attention prompted me to... more

Tom DiPace/Associated Press Versatile defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson displayed an ability to wreak havoc as a rookie last season.   The New York Jets have been one of the top defenses in the NFL under Rex Ryan, utilizing a 3-4 scheme... more

The proliferation of the passing game in the NFL has led to a renaissance of the tight end position. Teams are building passing games around the talents of big, athletic pass catchers over the middle of the field. The results have been spectacular.... more

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The San Francisco 49ers were on the verge of capturing the NFC crown a season ago, but a scattershot offense kept them from reaching their potential. San Francisco ranked 26th in total offense and 29th in passing offense. Howev... more

Matt Ludtke/Associated Press The Packers' defense had no answer for Ahmad Bradshaw and Co. in the Giants' 37-20 playoff triumph in Green Bay.   The Green Bay Packers' championship aspirations went up in smoke a season ago behind a faltering... more

Ask any defensive coordinator in the NFL what it takes to build a championship unit and he'll stress the importance of being strong down the middle. This is nothing new. The premise of featuring blue chip players at defensive tackle, middle linebac... more

Associated Press New Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter (left) should help Matt Ryan become a truly elite quarterback.   The Atlanta Falcons have been on the verge of title contention over the past few seasons, but an underachieving... more

Associated Press Ray Rice (left) and Matt Forte have both rushed for more than 4,000 yards in their first four years in the NFL. The running back position has been devalued around the NFL, but there are still a handful of runners capable of putti... more

In the NFL, coaches will spend time in the film room studying the schemes of the most productive teams from the previous season to see if there is a tactic that can be copied and implemented into their respective playbooks. Given the success of the... more

May

Charles LeClaire/US Presswire New offensive coordinator Todd Haley should help point the Steelers' attack in the right direction. The installation of Todd Haley as the Pittsburgh Steelers' offensive coordinator has concerned some about the... more

The proliferation of the passing game in the NFL has made it imperative for defenses to feature at least one dominant pass rusher along the front line. In most cases, coaches would prefer that their top defender align at defensive end to create immed... more

In the NFL, coaches and scouts refuse to use injuries as an excuse for lackluster performances on the field. However, it is apparent that teams are negatively impacted when top players leave the field for extended absences. Just look at the disappoin... more

Associated Press While Eli Manning (left) has a pair of Super Bowl rings, Tony Romo boasts the raw skills evaluators salivate over. Editor's Note: On Thursday, former NFL wide receiver Amani Toomer made headlines when he told SirusXM NFL Radio th... more

Ben Liebenberg/NFL Wes Welker has produced some unbelievable numbers in his Patriots tenure, but how much of it is the system? Wes Welker is one of the most prolific pass catchers in NFL history, but the New England Patriots would be wise to not... more

US Presswire Tom Brady, Charles Woodson and Ray Lewis (from left to right) continue to play at an elite level well into their 30s. At a time when most players nearing the age of 30 are being run out of the NFL, a handful of wily veterans will... more

Evan Pinkus/Associated Press Mark Sanchez threw a career-high 26 touchdown passes last season, but turned the ball over 26 times, as well. Mark Sanchez is entering his fourth season as the New York Jets' starting quarterback, and it is certainly... more

The proliferation of the passing game in the NFL has made it imperative to have a No. 1 receiver on the roster to compete with the elite teams in the league. The lead receiver is now the second-most important offensive position in the game (behind... more

The Baltimore Ravens might be without the services of reigning Defensive Player of the Year Terrell Suggs for the entire 2012 campaign, but I don't expect their defense to experience a drop-off. In fact, I believe the Ravens will continue to rank a... more

The more things change, the more they stay the same. That's what opponents will soon realize after facing Andrew Luck and a rebuilt Indianapolis Colts offense that is eerily similar to the unit that dominated the AFC for more than a decade. Altho... more

NFL.com analysts Bucky Brooks and Chad Reuter are handing out grades for every team following the 2012 NFL Draft . Click the team name to see each team's entire class. Denver Broncos: C+ John Elway and John Fox have enjoyed an outstanding... more

NFL.com analysts Bucky Brooks and Chad Reuter are handing out grades for every team following the 2012 NFL Draft . Click the team name to see each team's entire class. Houston Texans: B- Rick Smith used the draft to accentuate an already pote... more

Mark J. Rebilas/US Presswire Jonathan Vilma has been suspended for the entire 2012 season for his role in the Saints' bounty program. The fallout from the New Orleans Saints' participation in the bounty program threatens to wreck their 2012 seaso... more

NFL.com analysts Bucky Brooks and Chad Reuter are handing out grades for every team following the 2012 NFL Draft . Click the team name to see each team's entire class. Baltimore Ravens: B+ Ozzie Newsome and Eric DeCosta come away with another... more

NFL.com analysts Bucky Brooks and Chad Reuter are handing out grades for every team following the 2012 NFL Draft . Click the team name to see each team's entire class. Buffalo Bills: B- Buddy Nix has done a good job of rebuilding the roster i... more

April

Ben Liebenberg/NFL As a junior last season at USC, Matt Barkley threw for 3,528 yards with 39 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Matt Barkley will be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. That is my expectation after conducting a... more

Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press USC's Robert Woods is one of the nation's top receiver prospects heading into the 2012 college season. With the 2012 NFL Draft in the books, scouts are already casting their eyes toward next year's crop of talent.... more

It is fairly unrealistic to judge a draft class immediately after the event, but it's never too early to speculate about which teams enjoyed successful weekends. From the New England Patriots retooling a suspect defense with exceptional playmakers... more

We've reached Day 3 of the 2012 NFL Draft, and there are still a few intriguing names on the board. While all of these players are not "blue-chip" quality, they possess a few attributes that could allow them to enjoy success at the next level. After... more

The second day of the 2012 NFL Draft will provide teams with plenty of quality talent, but savvy evaluators must find a way to work up the charts to nab an overlooked blue-chip prospect. Based on Thursday night's events, here is I how envision the s... more

The days leading up to the NFL draft are always full of interesting rumors, myths and misinformation. The endless speculation is designed to create panic and uncertainty from decision makers who have specifically targeted prospects to add to their... more

The draft is only hours away, so teams around the league are diligently putting the final touches on their respective draft boards. General managers and personnel directors are running through various trade scenarios and mock drafts to prepare for ev... more

I've often wondered how different the NFL draft would look if it was conducted closer to the conclusion of college football's regular season. Scouts would have to base their opinions solely off game tape and avoid the influence of the NFL Scouting... more

It is not a coincidence the NFL's perennial title contenders are also the teams that routinely walk away with the best draft classes. Teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers and New York Giants... more

In the NFL, it takes about three years to fully evaluate a draft class. Coaches and scouts understand that it takes some time for some players to acclimate to the speed, intensity and tempo of the pro game. In addition, it takes some players more tim... more

It is fascinating to look back at previous drafts to track the progress of highly regarded prospects. While some of the early-round selections have started to make their mark as elite players, others have struggled finding their way in the league.... more

It's amazing how quickly things change in the scouting world when it comes to evaluating prospects. Players see their draft stock fluctuate up and down like a roller coaster based on performances at postseason bowl games, the NFL Scouting Combine... more

The 2012 NFL Draft is less than a month away, so scouts are meeting around the clock to put the finishing touches on draft boards as pro days come to a close. Although team visits, private workouts and medical evaluations could alter the landscape... more

March

There are a few schools lauded in the scouting community for their ability to consistently develop pro-caliber players, and Alabama has been at the top of the list since Nick Saban arrived in 2007. The former NFL head coach runs his program like a pr... more

It's a foregone conclusion that Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III will be the first two quarterbacks to come off the board on draft day following their spectacular pro-day performances a week ago. The workouts confirmed scouts' opinions on each pros... more

The New York Jets' surprising acquisition of Tim Tebow has been the subject of much debate since the news broke Wednesday. After a few days to reflect, I wanted to see how those close to the parties involved believe the move will impact the franchis... more

Ben Liebenberg/NFL The Jets saw for themselves the impact Tim Tebow can make in a Week 11 loss to the Broncos last November. Uh-oh! That's what defensive coaches around the NFL should be saying after getting wind of the finally consummated tra... more

The Indianapolis Colts seemingly have made a decision about the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft , with Andrew Luck appearing to be a lock for the selection. However, a number of scouts have yet to see Luck throw in person and he must answer a few... more

After limited participation in the NFL Scouting Combine , Robert Griffin III will unveil his talents for the world to see at Baylor's Pro Day on Wednesday. Scouts and coaches will be in attendance to see if the Heisman Trophy winner lives up the hype... more

The Denver Broncos' acquisition of Peyton Manning certainly has placed the team among the ranks of the AFC elite. The offense should become one of the most explosive units in the league, and Manning's thumbprint undoubtedly will be on the game plan,... more

The Buffalo Bills made a huge splash in free agency with their signing of Mario Williams , but the move instantly spawned a series questions for evaluators across the league. Here are three questions that stood out in my mind when I saw the signing... more

The Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions fielded offensive juggernauts a season ago, but the most explosive offense in the NFC North in 2012 will reside in Chicago. Oh, I know that statement will appear to be a knee-jerk response to the blockbuster... more

Brian Spurlock/US Presswire Peyton Manning, who turns 36 later this month, has turned the ball over more frequently in recent seasons. Peyton Manning has been on the market for almost a week, and four teams are in hot pursuit of his services.... more

Free agency will start Tuesday afternoon, and there is plenty of talent set to hit the open market. From explosive pass catchers to elite pass rushers, teams have many options to fill the voids on their respective rosters. In fact, there is so m... more

Michael Conroy/AP LSU's Michael Brockers was a hot commodity in January, but a lackluster combine definitely hurt his draft stock. The NFL Scouting Combine is a major factor in the evaluation process, but scouts place a greater emphasis on pro d... more

Dave Martin/AP Stephen Hill put on quite a show in Indianapolis, running a 4.36 40-yard dash and excelling in receiver drills. Who is Stephen Hill? That's one of the biggest questions floating around in scouting circles after the former Georgi... more

The news of the New Orleans Saints operating a "bounty" program from 2009 to 2011 under defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has created quite a stir since the news broke Friday, but I will let you in on a dirty little secret: The practice is common... more

February

INDIANAPOLIS -- The final day of workouts at the NFL Scouting Combine provided scouts with an opportunity to see several of the top prospects display their immense talent and potential. Here are a few of the notable standouts in my mind ... (Clic... more

The third day of workouts at the NFL Scouting Combine provided scouts with an opportunity to see several of the top prospects display their immense talent and potential. Here are a few of the notable standouts in my mind ...  (Click on prospect'... more

The second day of workouts at the NFL Scouting Combine provided scouts with an opportunity to see several of the top prospects display their immense talent and potential. Here are a few of the notable standouts in my mind: (Click on prospect's name... more

The first day of workouts at the NFL Scouting Combine provided scouts with an opportunity to see several of the top prospects display their immense talent and potential. Here are a few of the notable standouts in my mind: (Click on prospect's name... more

INDIANAPOLIS -- The copycat nature of the NFL is routinely revealed on draft day. Teams will attempt to duplicate the success of their rivals by acquiring players with characteristics and skills that are prevalent in the game's biggest stars. Last... more

INDIANAPOLIS -- The NFL officially determined the final 2012 NFL Draft order on Friday morning with coin flips between the Miami Dolphins and Carolina Panthers, as well as the Kansas City Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks. The Dolphins (8th overall pick... more

INDIANAPOLIS -- The NFL Scouting Combine lacks the appeal of a competitive game, but fans can still glean valuable information from watching prospects work out in shorts. Here are some of the players your favorite team will study at Lucas Oil Stadiu... more

Tony Gutierrez/US Presswire The trade market for Robert Griffin III will be affected by the results of Friday's draft tiebreaker coin flips. INDIANAPOLIS -- On Friday morning, the NFL will conduct a series of coin tosses to determine the final... more

With the NFL's aerial explosion in recent years, scouts and coaches are scrambling to find big, athletic defenders in the secondary to match up with these basketball types at receiver that are ruling the league. Teams are eschewing diminutive corne... more

The evolution of the passing game in the NFL has forced coaches and scouts to alter the job description for linebackers. Teams are intent on identifying disruptive playmakers with the speed and quickness to harass the passer, while also possessing th... more

The flurry of offensive production during the regular season appeared to de-emphasize the importance of defensive football in the minds of many, but the New York Giants' unexpected title run will lead some franchises to focus once again on that side... more

The headlines and attention typically heads in the direction of skill players, but championship teams are built around a collection of stalwarts along the offensive line. Teams capable of controlling the line of scrimmage are able to impose their w... more

As the NFL shifts to a league built upon the pass, more teams are seeking explosive playmakers at wide receiver and tight end to create mismatches in space. In the 2012 NFL Draft class, there are several intriguing options at both positions, with... more

The evolution of the NFL into a passing league has seemingly devalued the running back position, but the 2012 NFL Draft class features several prospects capable of impacting the game as runners or receivers out of the backfield. Brooks: Value pick... more

The 2012 NFL Draft class is loaded at the quarterback position, with Stanford's Andrew Luck and Baylor's Robert Griffin III pegged as can't-miss prospects at the top of the board. Both are elite-caliber playmakers capable of reversing the fortunes o... more

Alabama safety Mark Barron has undergone double hernia surgery and will miss the NFL Scouting Combine , according to several reports Friday. While his initial prognosis is reportedly good following the surgery, Barron's draft status could take a... more

Dave Martin/AP Trent Richardson finished third in Heisman Trophy voting after his 1,679-yard, 21-TD season for Alabama. Trent Richardson might be the best player in the draft, but the running back from Alabama is not assured of being a top-10 pic... more

Andrew Luck is presumed to be the No. 1 overall pick after being hailed by scouts across the league as the most pro-ready prospect to enter the NFL draft since Peyton Manning. However, the prospect generating the most buzz heading into the NFL Scouti... more

The NFL has always been a copycat league. Franchises routinely examine the blueprints of Super Bowl champions to see if there are elements that can be replicated for desired results. This is especially true when a team wins multiple titles in a short... more

INDIANAPOLIS -- Who says coaching doesn't matter? Not anyone who watched Tom Coughlin and Kevin Gilbride put together a brilliant offensive game plan that keyed the New York Giants' victory in Super Bowl XLVI . From the clever utilization of... more

INDIANAPOLIS -- In guiding the New England Patriots and New York Giants to Super Bowl XLVI, Bill Belichick and Tom Coughlin have been able to solve the pressing issues for their respective teams. Although some woes came on the offensive side of the b... more

January

INDIANAPOLIS -- Five years ago, Super Bowl XLII turned on the unexpected performance of David Tyree. The Giants' unheralded pass catcher tallied three receptions for 43 yards and a touchdown , but it was his improbable 32-yard catch over Rodney Har... more

INDIANAPOLIS -- The New York Giants and New England Patriots have advanced to Super Bowl XLVI due to their ability to identify and exploit favorable matchups on both sides of the ball. While both staffs will spend an inordinate amount of time comi... more

The fourth day of Senior Bowl practice was moved inside on Thursday due to severe weather conditions. Although the walkthrough provided little in the way of evaluation, it gave me plenty of time to reflect on some of my observations from the week:... more

The third day of practice at the Senior Bowl typically provides scouts with an opportunity to finally see prospects at their best. Players from both squads are finally comfortable in their new surroundings, and their gradual mastery of the playbook a... more

MOBILE, Ala. -- To get an accurate assessment of a prospect's pro potential, you must evaluate his performance in pads. On the second day of Senior Bowl practice, Mike Shanahan and Leslie Frazier put their respective squads in pads and you could s... more

Tom Brady could collect his third NFL MVP award in the coming weeks, but Vince Wilfork is the reason the New England Patriots are headed to Super Bowl XLVI. The eighth-year pro was the most dominant defender on the field in the AFC Championship Ga... more

MOBILE, Ala. -- The Senior Bowl is the crown jewel of the college all-star circuit. The game annually showcases the top talent in a draft class, and the 2012 contest is certainly no different. Several of the top-rated prospects at their respective... more

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The fourth day of practice at the East-West Shrine Game marks the day when coaches shift their emphasis from providing evaluation opportunities to preparing for the game this weekend. While watching Bobby Ross and Brad Childre... more

Here are the players who could ultimately decide if their team will advance to Super Bowl XLVI : Ravens: Joe Flacco, QB It's not a secret that this game will be decided by the performance of Flacco. For all his accomplishments during his four-year... more

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The third day of practice at the East-West Shrine Game provided scouts with another opportunity to see the top prospects work out in pads. The pace and tempo of practice was certainly pro-like in nature, and you could see pla... more

The Baltimore Ravens are on the cusp of a Super Bowl appearance behind a hard-hitting defense that routinely diffuses some of the league's most explosive offenses. However, the New England Patriots' high-octane offense poses unique challenges and... more

The second day of practice at the East-West Shrine Game (Saturday on NFL Network , 4 p.m. ET) provided scouts with the opportunity to see top prospects workout in pads. The change in practice attire doesn't appear significant on the surface, but th... more

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The East-West Shrine Game is scheduled for this weekend, so I had to pack my bags to head down to St. Petersburg to watch some of the this year's draft prospects square off in a series of competitive practices that will play a... more

Alix Drawec / NFL Andrew Luck has been under close watch by NFL teams for quite some time. As eyes begin to shift toward the 2012 NFL Draft in New York in late April, NFL.com draft analyst Bucky Brooks presents his top 50 prospects right now.... more

As eyes begin to shift toward the 2012 NFL Draft in New York in late April, NFL.com draft analyst Bucky Brooks presents his top 10 prospects right now.... more

Michael Crabtree, San Francisco 49ers, WR: The 49ers have relied on their ground attack to keep games close, but the Saints' potent offense could trigger a shootout. Crabtree has shown explosive potential when given opportunities, so Alex Smith coul... more

If the adage about defenses winning championships still holds true, the New York Giants have more than a puncher's chance at capturing the Lombardi Trophy in a few weeks. Led by a defensive unit that is starting to flex its muscles, the Giants are... more

Associated Press Alabama's Courtney Upshaw (41) tackles LSU's Kenny Hilliard* during Monday's BCS title game. The opportunity to watch LSU and Alabama battle in the BCS Championship Game was an evaluator's dream. Both squads are loaded with futur... more

Associated Press Alabama's Courtney Upshaw (41) tackles LSU's Kenny Hilliard (27) during Monday's BCS title game. For a talent evaluator, there is nothing like watching two squads loaded with NFL-caliber prospects square off in a high stakes batt... more

The San Francisco 49ers are a title contender behind a stifling defense that has suffocated some of the NFL's top offenses. But they face a tremendous challenge in a New Orleans Saints' offense that has been sizzling since the middle of the season.... more

US Presswire Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, left, finished second to Baylor's Robert Griffin III in the Heisman Trophy voting. The college bowl season provides scouts with another opportunity to assess the potential of top prospects in... more

Touted as one of the most dangerous playoff contenders going into the stretch, the Pittsburgh Steelers are reeling from the loss of running back Rashard Mendenhall as they head into the postseason. While most view his season-ending injury as... more

Chris Morrison/US Presswire Stanford QB Andrew Luck completed 27 of 31 passes for 347 yards and two touchdowns against Oklahoma State. GLENDALE, Ariz. -- As an evaluator, you love any opportunity to watch top prospects square off on a big stage.... more

In a league governed by quarterback play, scouts, coaches and general managers are always looking for the next big thing at the position. The league's next franchise quarterback might be Aaron Rodgers' backup in Green Bay. With Rodgers resting in t... more

December

Most of the attention going into games is on the stars, but lesser-known players often end up being the difference-makers. Here are a few players who could have a big impact in Week 17: Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos, WR: With the Broncos' playo... more

Luc Leclerc / US Presswire Getting Tim Tebow under duress is a big key to keeping him from taking control of games. With Tim Tebow coming off the worst performance of his young career, I wanted to know if defensive coordinators around the... more

Jerome Miron / US Presswire Robert Griffin's performance in the Alamo Bowl could tell scouts a lot about his NFL potential.   With the college bowl season well under way, scouts have been tuning in closely to get one final look at the stars... more

It has only been one season, but the 2011 draft class might rank as the best crop of talent in NFL history. That's quite a statement considering it typically takes three years to evaluate player performance in scouting circles, but the remarkable p... more

After watching nearly an entire season of football, I'm convinced the Pittsburgh Steelers are the team to beat in the AFC. The Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots will certainly dispute that notion based on their regular season accomplishment... more

Most of the attention going into games is on the stars, but lesser-known players often end up being the difference-makers. Here are a few players who could have a big impact in Week 16: Plaxico Burress, New York Jets, WR: The opportunity to knock... more

Ben Liebenberg/NFL Quarterback Matt Barkley announced Thursday he will return to USC for his senior season next fall. Matt Barkley's bypassing of the 2012 NFL Draft might have cost him millions in the short term, but the decision to spend anothe... more

In a copycat league, coaches are not afraid to steal elements from successful game plans designed by their counterparts. And with the way Kansas City throttled Green Bay's offense in Sunday's 19-14 upset , defensive coordinators around the league are... more

The matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and San Francisco 49ers could've been a preview for Super Bowl XLVI with both teams residing near the top of their respective conferences. After watching the 49ers come away with an impressive 20-3 win , h... more

US Presswire / Associated Press Calvin Johnson (left), Matthew Stafford (center) and Nate Burleson will be a bad matchup for any playoff team. OAKLAND -- The Detroit Lions are on the cusp of clinching their first postseason berth since 1999, a... more

Most of the attention going into games is on the stars, but lesser-known players often end up being the difference-makers. Here are a few players who could have a big impact in Week 15: Chris Harris and Jonathan Wilhite, Broncos, CBs: A spate of... more

Bucky Brooks recently shared his view on Coach of the Year , and why he thinks Denver's John Fox should win the award. Below, he shares his picks for the rest of the Associated Press' end-of-season awards, beginning with Defensive Player of the Year.... more

Who says coaching doesn't matter? Supporters in San Francisco and Houston certainly will attest to the value of an exceptional leader after watching their franchises claim division crowns despite facing difficult circumstances. For their work, Jim... more

Most of the attention going into games is on the stars, but lesser-known players often end up being the difference-makers. Here are a few players who could have a big impact in Week 14: Michael Griffin, S, Titans: Defensive coordinator Jerry Gray... more

Scott Sewell/US Presswire Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill needs some work as a passer, but his athleticism helps set him apart. With the college football regular season wrapped up, NFL.com draft expert Bucky Brooks is rolling out his top 10 college... more

Mitch Stringer / US Presswire Notre Dame's Michael Floyd is viewed as one of the best pure pass catchers in all of college football. With the college football regular season wrapped up, NFL.com draft expert Bucky Brooks is rolling out his top... more

Mitch Stringer/US Presswire Virginia's Chase Minnifield has the pedigree (son of former NFLer) and talent to play corner at the next level. With the college football regular season wrapped up, NFL.com draft expert Bucky Brooks is rolling out his... more

Matt Cashore/US Presswire Boston College's Luke Kuechly led the nation with 191 tackles, averaging nearly 16 per game. With the college football regular season wrapped up, NFL.com draft expert Bucky Brooks is rolling out his top 10 college player... more

Kyle Terada/US Presswire Oregon's LaMichael James is a small, multi-purpose running back who thrives in the Ducks' spread offense. With the college football regular season wrapped up, NFL.com draft expert Bucky Brooks is rolling out his top 10... more

Tim Heitman/US Presswire North Carolina DE Quinton Coples had 7.5 sacks this season, after recording 10 as a junior. With the college football regular season wrapped up, NFL.com draft expert Bucky Brooks is rolling out his top 10 college players... more

Ben Liebenberg/NFL Stanford guard David DeCastro is considered to be the best interior lineman in college football. With the college football regular season wrapped up, NFL.com draft expert Bucky Brooks is rolling out his top 10 college players b... more

Brian Spurlock/US Presswire Russell Wilson threw three TD passes in Wisconsin's win over Michigan State in the Big Ten title game. Each Monday throughout the college football season, NFL.com draft expert Bucky Brooks will share his notes and... more

Most of the attention going into games is on the stars, but lesser-known players often end up being the difference-makers. Here are a few players who could have a big impact in Week 13: Brandon Jacobs, Giants, RB: The Giants' bruising running back... more

November

Derrick E. Hingle/US Presswire With Drew Brees (left) and Devery Henderson, the Saints have the NFL's top-ranked passing attack.   If you're looking for the NFC team with the firepower to challenge the Packers for the crown, you might want... more

Associated Press Stanford's Andrew Luck has the physical tools and leadership skills to be a great NFL quarterback.   Each Monday throughout the college football season, NFL.com draft expert Bucky Brooks has shared his notes and evaluations... more

Most of the attention going into games is on the stars, but lesser-known players often end up being the difference-makers. Here are a few players who could have a big impact in Week 12: Steve Smith, Riley Cooper and Jason Avant, Eagles, WRs: Vince... more

Tony Sparano will likely have a tough time retaining his job, but he's not going down without a fight. Miami's on a three-game winning streak behind an offense that's come alive as the unit has jelled down the stretch. Here are three contributing... more

Carlos Osorio/AP Lions RB Kevin Smith exploded for 201 total yards and three touchdowns against the Panthers in Week 11.   The Lions found an unlikely remedy for their offensive woes Sunday, turning to running back Kevin Smith in the middle... more

Associated Press Baylor's Robert Griffin III has showcased his passing and running skills from the QB position.   Each Monday throughout the college football season, NFL.com draft expert Bucky Brooks will share his notes and evaluations on... more

Most of the attention going into games is on the stars, but lesser-known players often end up being the difference-makers. Here are a few players who could have a great impact in Week 11 : Albert Haynesworth, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, DT: It is a sham... more

As the San Francisco 49ers sit at 8-1 and firmly atop the NFC West, Jim Harbaugh has touted Alex Smith as an elite quarterback. Although no one is ready to proclaim him as the next Joe Montana or Steve Young, the thought of Smith joining the ranks of... more

The Texans were just starting to create a buzz as the top team in the AFC until a foot injury sidelined Matt Schaub for the remainder of the season and thrust Matt Leinart into the starting role. Although the team has overcome the loss of its top... more

Matt Strasen / US Presswire Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon, a junior, has the skills to make an immediate impact in the NFL.   Each Monday throughout the college football season, NFL.com draft expert Bucky Brooks will share his not... more

Most of the attention going into games is on the stars, but lesser-known players often end up being the difference-makers. Here are a few players who could have a great impact in Week 10: Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas, Saints, RBs: The Saints a... more

Gary A. Vasquez / US Presswire Andrew Luck* is the best prospect in college football and could make some team very happy if he goes pro early.   The season is only at the halfway point, but some teams are already looking at the college game... more

In a league driven by the performance of the quarterback, the most successful coaches are adaptable and willing to cater their offensive systems to fit the skill set of the signal caller. In Denver, John Fox and his coaching staff are undergoing a... more

Marvin Gentry / US Presswire Alabama's Trent Richardson* was one of the few offensive players to make an impact in a defensive battle with LSU.   Each Monday throughout the college football season, NFL.com draft expert Bucky Brooks will sha... more

Most of the attention going into games is on the stars, but lesser-known players often end up being the difference-makers. Here are a few players who could have a great impact in Week 9: Mario Manningham, Giants, WR: The potential absence of Hake... more

The Kansas City Chiefs were left for dead after a dreadful three-game losing streak to start the season. However, Todd Haley's crew has surged to the top of the AFC West behind a resurgent defense that has started to punch opponents in the mouth. A... more

Kirby Lee/US Presswire Opponents had to account for Vince Young (right) last year, and that opened up running lanes for Chris Johnson.   What is going on with Chris Johnson? That's the question everyone is asking with the NFL's most explosiv... more

October

Associated Press North Carolina's Quinton Coples (90) is regarded as the top pass rusher in the country. Each Monday throughout the college football season, NFL.com draft expert Bucky Brooks will share his notes and evaluations on potential... more

Most of the attention going into games is on the stars, but lesser-known players often end up being the difference-makers. Here are a few players who could have a great impact in Week 8: Knowshon Moreno and Lance Ball, Broncos, RBs: The loss of Wi... more

If you haven't been paying attention to the NFC North, the Bears have awakened from their early season slumber and are quietly in position to make a run at a playoff berth. While most observers would point to the Bears' play on defense and special... more

Bucky Brooks, an NFL.com analyst since 2009, played in the NFL from 1994-99 and later worked as a regional college scout for NFL teams from 2000-07. CALABASAS, Calif. -- It is over. That's my opinion of Terrell Owens' career after watching him w... more

Gerry Broome/AP The Stanford offensive line has kept Andrew Luck clean this season, only allowing two sacks in seven games. Each Monday throughout the college football season, NFL.com draft expert Bucky Brooks will share his notes and... more

Most of the attention going into games is on the stars, but lesser-known players often end up being the difference-makers. Here are a few players who could have a great impact in Week 7: Corey Williams, Lions, DT: The challenge of stopping the Fal... more

Tim Heitman/US Presswire Jay Ratliff and the Cowboys are averaging 3.2 sacks per game, which ranks third in the NFL. The NFC East race is wide open. No one has emerged as the true leader, and each has had several issues during the first six... more

Associated Press Albert Haynesworth (left) is starting to make his presence felt in New England's surging defense. Don't look now, but the New England Patriots are starting to find their championship swagger on defense. That's right. The... more

Brett Davis / US Presswire Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill is new to playing quarterback, but he's shown the potential to be special. Each Monday throughout the college football season, NFL.com draft expert Bucky Brooks will share his notes and... more

Most of the attention going into games is on the stars, but lesser-known players often end up being the difference-makers. Here are a few players who could have a great impact in Week 6: Nate Solder, Patriots, OT: In Sunday's Cowboys-Patriots game... more

Associated Press With aggressive schemes and deft use of personnel, Mike Zimmer has built the NFL's top-ranked defense. Every week, Bucky Brooks will bring a scout's perspective to some of the hot topics around the league. Move over... more

Every week, Bucky Brooks will bring a scout's perspective to some of the hot topics around the league. With the Bills among the NFL's biggest surprises, one thing is becoming increasingly clear in Buffalo, the offense is built around the unique ta... more

Jason O. Watson / US Presswire Stanford QB Andrew Luck continues to impress with his play and ability to command the offense. Each Monday throughout the college football season, NFL.com draft expert Bucky Brooks will share his notes and... more

Jeff Hansch/US Presswire Bears tackle Chris Williams will have his hands full against the Lions pass rush on Monday night. Most of the attention going into games is on the stars, but lesser-known players often end up being the... more

Every week, Bucky Brooks will bring a scout's perspective to some of the hot topics around the league. If the Jets are serious about making a Super Bowl run, they must take the ball out of Mark Sanchez's hands. He's not ready to be the driving fo... more

With a quarter of the NFL season in the books, it's time to take a look at how the awards races are shaping up: Most Valuable Player La Canfora: Titans legit at 3-1 There's something brewing in Tennessee, writes Jason La Canfora, who points out... more

Gerald Herbert / Associated Press Tyrann Mathieu is making a name for himself as part of a strong cornerback tandem at LSU. Each Monday throughout the college football season, NFL.com draft expert Bucky Brooks will share his notes and... more

September

Ed Reinke/AP Rookie RB Kendall Hunter had nine carries and scored a touchdown against the Bengals in Week 3. Most of the attention going into games is on the stars, but lesser-known players often end up being the difference-makers. Here are... more

Kim Klement/US Presswire Matt Ryan has been sacked 13 times this season, which ranks as the third-highest total in the league. The Falcons were expected to make a run at the Super Bowl after a few splashy moves in the offseason. However, th... more

Every Tuesday, Bucky Brooks will bring a scout's perspective to some of the hot topics around the league. Hue Jackson has turned Darren McFadden into the league's top runner. Fans of Adrian Peterson and Chris Johnson will take umbrage with that... more

Ralph Freso / Associated Press Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict has become an intimidating force for opponents. Each Monday throughout the college football season, NFL.com draft expert Bucky Brooks will share his notes and evaluatio... more

Chuck Cook/US Presswire Devery Henderson, who has two 100-yard games this season, faces the No. 1-ranked Texans pass defense. Most of the attention going into games is on the stars, but lesser-known players often end up being the... more

Mark J. Rebilas/US Presswire Panthers rookie Cam Newton has been sacked eight times in two games, which ranks fourth in the NFL. Cam Newton has been absolutely incredible passing for 400-plus yards in back-to-back games to start his NFL... more

Every Tuesday, Bucky Brooks will bring a scout's perspective to some of the hot topics around the league. Is Ben Tate about to Wally Pipp Arian Foster? It is hard to believe a player one season removed from winning the rushing title could have a... more

Associated Press USC junior Matt Barkley has completed 69 percent of his passes in three games this season, all Trojans victories. Each Monday throughout the college football season, NFL.com draft expert Bucky Brooks will share his notes an... more

Eric Hartline/US Presswire Casey Matthews will have to play big if the Eagles hope to slow down Atlanta's Michael Turner. Most of the attention going into games is on the stars, but lesser-known players often end up being the difference-maker... more

Here are some of my observations after the first weekend of football. Patriots' two-headed monster at TE makes them tough to stop Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski have emerged as Tom Brady's most dangerous weapons behind their athleticism and... more

Tony Ding/Associated Press In his first two games this season, Notre Dame junior Michael Floyd has 25 catches for 313 yards and two touchdowns. Each Monday throughout the college football season, NFL.com draft expert Bucky Brooks will share... more

Some observations from the Green Bay Packers' 42-34 win Thursday night over the New Orleans Saints: » Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback in the game. It is crazy to make that statement after only one game, but the seventh-year pro has picked u... more

Rafael Suanes / US Presswire Lee Evans has added a new dimension to the Ravens' offense with his speed and vertical ability. The preseason is certainly not a true indicator of regular-season performance, but it does reveal certain things... more

Tim Heitman/US Presswire Kellen Moore is one of the best quarterbacks in college football, but his size could limit his pro potential. Each Monday throughout the college football season, NFL.com draft expert Bucky Brooks will share his note... more

Steve Mitchell/US Presswire Stanford's Andrew Luck widely is considered to be the most NFL-ready quarterback in college right now. The first weekend of the college season sends NFL scouts across the country to evaluate the top prospects in... more

August

Here are my observations from watching the New Orleans Saints' 40-20 preseason win over the Oakland Raiders Sunday night: » Sean Payton has the Saints' offense rolling. The unit appeared in midseason form against the Raiders while amassing 514 y... more

The third week of preseason represents a chance for starters play more. After watching nine games Saturday night, here are my observations: Matthew Stafford is lighting it up. He remains on fire after his impressive showing against the Patriots .... more

The third weekend of preseason games represents a chance for starters to get off the sidelines and put on a show. These games provide a deeper look at how teams plan to use their stars and newly-signed veterans.  Three games in, one thing is for s... more

Here are some of my observations after watching the Thursday night's preseason games: » Cam Newton is a great athlete, but needs to make significant strides as a passer. There is no doubt the No.1 overall pick is one of the finest athletes to pl... more

Tim Heitman/US Presswire Curtis Painter has struggled in the preseason for the Colts, with no touchdowns and one interception. To get a true gauge on how a team or player will perform during the regular season, focus on Week 3 of the... more

Here are my observations after watching the Giants beat the Bears 41-13 on Monday night: » The loss of Terrell Thomas significantly weakens the Giants defense. Thomas was unquestionably the team's top cornerback and the team lacks the depth to... more

Chuck Cook / US Presswire Terrelle Pryor will need to develop as a pocket passer to find success as an NFL quarterback. Terrelle Pryor is headed to Oakland to play quarterback after being selected by the Raiders in the third round of the... more

The second weekend of preseason football isn't necessarily just a dress rehearsal. The game plans crafted by coaches aren't as comprehensive as the ones used during the regular season, but they provide us with a glimpse at which teams and players hav... more

David J. Phillip / Associated Press Matt Schaub and the Houston Texans' offense are already on a roll like it's October. The second weekend of preseason football isn't necessarily just a dress rehearsal. The game plans crafted by coaches... more

The second week of the preseason allows coaches to get a better feel for their respective squads due to the extended play of their starters. Teams usually keep their first-teamers on the field until halftime to give their units plenty of time to esta... more

The second week of the preseason serves as a dress rehearsal for most teams since game-planning comes into play. Coaches spend more time preparing for their opponents, and their play-calling is designed to exploit weaknesses gleaned from their resea... more

The Pittsburgh Steelers reached the Super Bowl last season, largely because of the play of an experienced defense. But as quickly as things can change in NFL, a strength can become a point of contention. Fast forward to 2011 and a defense that now... more

Keith Srakocic / Associated press Mike Tomlin (right) is doing all he can to make sure the Steelers don't take a step back in 2011. Bucky Brooks recently visited Steelers camp in Latrobe, Pa. Here's what he saw. 1. Mike Tomlin doesn't wa... more

Bucky Brooks recently visited Cowboys training camp in Arlington, Texas. Here's what he saw. Observation deck 1. Jason Garrett is rebuilding the Cowboys in the mold of the franchise's championship teams under Tom Landry and Jimmy Johnson. The new... more

The third night of preseason football continued to provide answers to some of the looming questions that dominated the offseason. While one game will certainly not serve as a definitive evaluation on a player, it does provide an opportunity to make... more

The second night of preseason action didn't provide us with many competitive games, but it did offer up a few answers to some of the looming offseason questions. Some players who were expected to deliver big results showed they were capable of hand... more

AP/US Presswire From left to right: Philip Rivers, Michael Vick and Ryan Mallett all threw touchdown passes in their preseason debuts. The first night of preseason football turned into a showcase for quarterbacks around the league. Teams... more

Matt York/ Associated Press Kevin Kolb was Arizona's prize offseason acquisition after the team struggled to find consistency at QB in 2010. The first weekend of the preseason is upon us, and it's full of interesting matchups --... more

Frank Victores/US Presswire The physical advantage some teams have over opponents could be nullified with new NFL practice restrictions. The recently signed collective bargaining agreement means more than labor peace for the next 10 years.... more

Mike McCarn / Associated Press Drafting Cam Newton (left) and re-signing Charles Johnson (right) have strengthened a young roster with talent. The Carolina Panthers' strategy to dole out big money to retain several of their free agents --... more

Kirby Lee / US Presswire Raiders offensive coordinator Al Saunders could very well elevate Jason Campbell to the next level. This is the year Jason Campbell becomes a franchise quarterback. While that statement will sound outlandish to... more

Eric Risberg / Associated Press First-year Raiders coach Hue Jackson is bringing a fundamentals-first approach to Raiders camp. Bucky Brooks recently visited Raiders camp in Napa, Calif. Here's what he saw. Observation deck 1. There is a bu... more

Paul Sakuma/AP Quarterback Alex Smith went 3-7 as a starter in 2010 and is 19-31 overall in five seasons with the 49ers. Bucky Brooks recently visited 49ers camp in Santa Clara, Calif. Here's what he saw. Observation Deck 1. The 49ers lo... more

Jeff Chiu / Associated Press Part of Jim Harbaugh's focus in his first year is grooming rookie QB Colin Kaepernick. SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The culture is changing in San Francisco under Jim Harbaugh. The quagmire of dysfunction that existe... more

Charles Rex Arbogast/ AP After Jay Cutler was sacked 52 times in 2010, improving the offensive line was a top concern for the Bears. Nobody was perfect in 2010, even the defending Super Bowl champion Packers. So how did teams improve... more

Andrew Mills/The Star-Ledger/US Presswire The Patriots' pass defense got shredded by the Jets' Santonio Holmes and other receivers last season. Nobody was perfect in 2010, even the defending AFC champion Steelers. So how did teams improve... more

The Eagles already had one of the best offenses in the league, but this offseason has allowed them to add to their embarrassment of riches. The collection of talent will soon make opponents realize this is the most explosive offense assembled in rece... more

The New York Giants have given Osi Umenyiora permission to seek a trade , but is there a market for a 29-year-old pass rusher coming off a season in which he recorded 11.5 sacks and 10 forced fumbles? On the surface, there would appear to be a host... more

July

The Indianapolis Colts paid big money to keep Peyton Manning, but the move was necessary to keep the team's title hopes afloat over the next few years. Debate: Does deal really help Colts? Our experts wonder if Peyton Manning 's new deal can al... more

AP (From left to right) Plaxico Burress, Randy Moss and Braylon Edwards are all still available on the free agent market. Teams in need of a play-making wide receiver are weighing their options between Braylon Edwards, Randy Moss and Plaxic... more

Offensive coordinators around the NFL better hope Nnamdi Asomugha lands in either Houston or San Francisco, and not in New York with the Jets. The potential pairing with Darrelle Revis would make Rex Ryan's defense impenetrable and set the table for... more

Tim Heitman/US Presswire Vince Young left Tennessee on a sour note, but the embattled QB could be a sweet steal for the right team. If it's true that one man's trash is another man's treasure, then there are plenty of gems suddenly availabl... more

AP After letting Matt Hasselbeck walk, the Seahawks will turn to Charlie Whitehurst or Tarvaris Jackson at quarterback. Has Pete Carroll lost his mind? That's the only explanation for the Seattle coach's belief that Charlie Whitehurst or... more

The glitz and glamour of free agency typically casts the spotlight on a few marquee names, but quality teams do a great job of identifying under-the-radar talents on the open market. Let's take a look at 10 unheralded players poised to make an impa... more

Brett Favre should make another comeback. That's right. The quarterback, who's coming off the worst season of his illustrious NFL career, should grab the pads to make one final run at a Super Bowl. And he should do it with the Philadelphia Eagles.... more

US Presswire Randy Moss bounced around last season and, at 34, there's doubt about how much he has left to offer. The frenzied nature of free agency after the lockout is going to lead to several mistakes. Teams will rush to overpay for some... more

The loss of offseason work due to the lockout will challenge the planning and preparation of scouts and coaches, but teams with bulletproof blueprints and established rosters will enjoy a sizable advantage over their opponents when the regular season... more

In a typical year, the offseason is viewed as the time for teams to find answers to their quarterback questions. This year, however, the lockout has prevented several teams from properly assessing and addressing their respective situations. With the... more

The lockout is set to end and the ensuing free agent frenzy will be unlike anything we have seen. While teams and players have diligently studied available options throughout the offseason, the pressure of nabbing the right guy -- and players choosin... more

If the Cardinals successfully pry Kevin Kolb from the Eagles, don't immediately pencil in Arizona as NFC West champions. When you consider Kolb's inexperience (seven career starts) and potential learning curve transitioning into Ken Whisenhunt's... more

Cary Edmondson/US Presswire Michael Crabtree needs to perform on a weekly basis if the 49ers are to go where they want to in 2011. Step your game up! That's what San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh should tell No. 1 receiver Michael... more

The Cowboys need a leader. That's the biggest issue on a franchise that boasts a roster that is the envy of the league. While everyone points to the Cowboys' porous secondary or their leaky offensive line for why the team underachieved a season ago... more

If John Fox is sticking to his preference of wanting a "gamer"  as his starting quarterback, then the decision over who should open the regular season under center for the Denver Broncos is a no-brainer. The answer is Tim Tebow. That's right. Th... more

Matthew Emmons / US Presswire Michael Vick transformed himself from glorified third running back to legit pocket passer in 2010. Can he do it again? That's the question defensive coordinators around the league are asking as they ponder... more

Jonathan Brownfield / US Presswire Peyton Hillis could be poised for another huge season thanks to new coach Pat Shurmur. Peyton Hillis is not a one-year wonder. He is not a flash in the pan or a byproduct of being a star on a bad team.... more

Don Heupel / Associated Press Once a dominant force for the Chargers, Shawne Merriman has yet to appear in a game for the Bills. He's done. That's what scouts around the league are saying about linebacker Shawne Merriman after watching... more

Kerry Collins' surprising retirement Thursday will force the Tennessee Titans to alter their plans at quarterback. The team originally wanted to slowly groom Jake Locker , the eighth overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft , until he was ready to play... more

Reggie Wayne or Robert Mathis? With both players entering the final year of their contracts, that's the question Colts president Bill Polian is facing as he attempts to decide which veteran will give Indianapolis the best opportunity to make a sust... more

Nnamdi Asomugha arguably is the best cornerback in the game, but most teams would be wise not to break the bank for his services when he hits the open market. Not that Asomugha isn't worthy of commanding top dollar as a shutdown corner, but there a... more

This is the year that Chad Henne blossoms into a franchise quarterback. At least that's what Miami Dolphins coach Tony Sparano hopes as he heads into a make-or-break season with Henne penciled in as his starting signal-caller. There were high... more

June

John Munson/US Presswire Tom Brady has had many reasons to celebrate during 11 NFL seasons. We've finally reached the conclusion of the NFL Network's "The Top 100: Players of 2011" series, as well as the end of my own list of the league's be... more

AP Robert Ayers, Andre Smith, Larry English and Aaron Maybin were top-20 picks who have failed to produce. It's now or never. That's what scouts across the league are saying about several members of the 2009 draft class. As a general rul... more

Pay the man! That's my advice to the Tennessee Titans as star running back Chris Johnson contemplates a holdout prior to the 2011 season in an effort to land a new contract. It takes three years to figure out if a player can play in the NFL, and... more

Don't believe the hype. Even though Aaron Rodgers has put together an impressive résumé that includes a Super Bowl title and an MVP award, he is not in the same class with Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees. In fact, he might not even be wo... more

David Stluka / Associated Press Drew Brees' NFL career is highlighted by an MVP performance in Super Bowl XLIV. Just like the NFL Network's "The Top 100: Players of 2011" has attracted a lot of attention for the positioning of some of the... more

Mike Groll / Associated Press C.J. Spiller did not measure up to the hype that comes with being a ninth overall draft pick. NFL players make the biggest jump in their development from their first to second year in the league. Coaches and... more

Paul Jasienski / Associated Press Osi Umenyiora might put up big sack numbers, but his skill set isn't complete. Save the drama. That's what the New York Giants should tell Osi Umenyiora as he clamors for a lucrative contract extension.... more

David Drapkin / Associated Press Tiki Barber rushed for 1,000 or more yards in six of his final seven NFL seasons. Can a 36-year-old running back coming off a four-year layoff make a significant impact upon his return to the NFL? Yes.... more

As the NFL Network's "Top 100 Players of 2011" nears the top 20, the debate rages on about which players are the best at their respective positions. Last week, the conversation focused on Ray Lewis' ranking among the 31-40 best players in the game... more

Is it over? That's the question that comes to mind when viewing Vince Young's career prospects. Fueled by growing concerns about his character, work ethic and leadership ability, the Tennessee Titans are set to release or trade the sixth-year... more

Sharon Ellman / Associated Press Tony Romo's added dimension of athleticism makes him dangerous to defend. Hands down, the Dallas Cowboys have the best passing offense in the NFC East. In a division that features four of the league's top... more

NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks took questions from fans during his weekly chat on NFL.com. Even though he tackles the best questions during the chat, sometimes he feels the need to expand on some of his answers. Is Joe Flacco going to be the "franc... more

Brett Davis / US Presswire Arian Foster went from obscurity to being considered one the NFL's top players after his dynamic 2010 campaign. As NFL Network's "Top 100 Players of 2011" heads into the top 30 (Sunday, at 8 p.m. ET.), the debate... more

David Butler II / US Presswire It was only one game, but Matt Flynn's performance in New England might have sealed his fate as a future starter. In a league that is predicated on the performance of quarterbacks, scouts and coaches are alway... more

Greg Bartman / US Presswire Terrelle Pryor has several hurdles to leap over before he's ready to play in the NFL. Editor's note: This article was published in June, two months before Terrelle Pryor was ruled eligible for the supplemental... more

While hindsight is always 20/20, I wonder if scouts and coaches around the league would adjust their 2009 pre-draft quarterback rankings after watching Josh Freeman blossom into a star. Freeman has exceeded expectations and developed into a... more

Denny Medley / US Presswire Jamaal Charles finished second in the NFL with a career-high 1,467 yards rushing in 2010. The NFL Network's fantastic "Top 100 Players of 2011" series has sent my mind racing about the possibilities of putting... more

Once upon a time, a list that included Terrell Owens, Randy Moss, Chad Ochocinco and Plaxico Burress would look like the top nominees on a Pro Bowl ballot. Times have changed, and the veteran quartet is looking for one last hurrah. On the... more

May

Out with the old, in with the new? That's what appears to be happening in Cincinnati. Carson Palmer is holding firm to his trade-me-or-retire stance and the Bengals drafted Andy Dalton with that in mind. Even if Palmer opted to return, he's... more

Plaxico Burress is due to be released from prison on June 6, and the league is buzzing about his possible destination when the free-agency period commences. While it would seem a two-year layoff and questions about Burress' age (33), character... more

Rob Grabowski / US Presswire Sam Shields had two interceptions in the NFC Championship, including the game-clincher. Each year, we see a few unheralded players grab the spotlight with their surprisingly spectacular play. While some have... more

The Redskins opened up a can of worms when they didn't take a quarterback in the draft and then coach Mike Shanahan spoke highly of the unknown John Beck . Having so much faith in Beck, who has only four career starts under his belt, made many... more

Kathy Willens / Associated Press Santonio Holmes' knack for coming up with the big play in crunch time would make him valuable to any offense. NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks solicited questions from fans on the NFL's Facebook page this week.... more

NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks solicited questions from fans on the NFL's Facebook page this week. After reviewing the submissions, he tackles the posts that grabbed his attention. What kind of impact will  Nick Fairley make next to Ndamukong Suh... more

NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks solicited questions from fans on the NFL's Facebook page this week. After reviewing the submissions, he tackles the posts that grabbed his attention. What new (and possible rookie) coaches are you looking forward to s... more

NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks solicited questions from fans on the NFL's Facebook page this week. After reviewing the submissions, he tackles the posts that grabbed his attention. Should the Panthers open the 2011 season with Cam Newton as the sta... more

Beauty often rests in the eye of the beholder, but new coach Jim Harbaugh apparently sees something in Alex Smith that 49ers fans have missed over the past six years. On the surface, keeping Smith looks like a questionable move by a franchise... more

As hard as it is for coaches and scouts to admit their mistakes, the Saints seemingly acknowledged their error in expecting Reggie Bush to become a featured back by trading back into the first round to draft Mark Ingram . Although coach Sean... more

The Arizona Cardinals are only a quarterback away from reclaiming their lofty perch atop the NFC West. While most expected the team to address their biggest issue in the NFL draft, coach Ken Whisenhunt has seemingly set his sights on a trio of vete... more

The Arizona Cardinals are only a quarterback away from reclaiming their lofty perch atop the NFC West. While most expected the team to address their biggest issue in the NFL draft, coach Ken Whisenhunt has seemingly set his sights on a trio of... more

Count me as one of the many surprised by Wade Phillips' decision to shift two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Mario Williams to outside linebacker in the Texans' new 3-4 defensive scheme. Although I've been around the league long enough to understand t... more

Charles Cherney / Associated Press Gabe Carimi (with offensive line coach Mike Tice) should help fortify a porous Bears front line. NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks recently handed out grades for each team for the 2011 NFL Draft. Here... more

NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks recently handed out grades for each team for the 2011 NFL Draft. Here are the teams that were at the top of the class, scoring higher marks than their peers for overall draft hauls. Patriots' draft picks Rd Sel.... more

NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks is handing out grades for each team following the 2011 NFL Draft . Check back daily as he breaks down each team, division by division. Broncos' draft picks Rd Sel. # Player Pos. School 1 2 Von Miller... more

NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks is handing out grades for each team following the 2011 NFL Draft . Check back daily as he breaks down each team, division by division. Ravens' draft picks Rd Sel. # Player Pos. School 1 27 Jimmy Smith... more

NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks is handing out grades for each team following the 2011 NFL Draft . Check back daily as he breaks down each team, division by division. Falcons' draft picks Rd Sel. # Player Pos. School 1 6 Julio Jones... more

NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks is handing out grades for each team following the 2011 NFL Draft . Check back daily as he breaks down each team, division by division. Texans' draft picks Rd Sel. # Player Pos. School 1 11 J.J. Watt... more

NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks is handing out grades for each team following the 2011 NFL Draft . Check back daily as he breaks down each team, division by division. Cowboys' draft picks Rd Sel. # Player Pos. School 1 9 Tyron Smith... more

Andrew Weber / US Presswire Getting Ryan Mallett in the third round was among the picks that helped the Pats earn praise for their draft. NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks is handing out grades for each team following the 2011 NFL Draft... more

April

The last two drafts have given us Matthew Stafford and Sam Bradford, quarterbacks who were clear No. 1 overall choices. This year, there is no clear-cut No. 1, but there are so many teams desperate for a franchise-saving QB that some team -- or a... more

When I started working as a scout for the Seattle Seahawks in 2000, I had a memorable conversation with veteran secondary coach Dick Roach about what to look for when evaluating safeties. He started off by emphasizing the importance of football... more

I've long believed that cornerbacks are the best athletes in pro football. Although that statement would appear to be self-serving based on my brief career as a nickel corner, the premise actually arises from watching several of the game's best ma... more

As a scout, you often compare prospects against current and former pros to provide coaches with perspective on their potential. Although these visual clues don't always bear out, they are an essential part of the scouting process. When looking at... more

I wrote earlier this week about how the evolution of the NFL passing game has prompted defensive coordinators to build their units around dynamic edge rushers in an attempt to impact opposing quarterbacks . Although it is true that the presence of... more

The NFL's evolution into a passing league has altered the way that defensive coaches approach the draft. Rather than build their units under