Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Revival Begins — Spring 1992

Whenever a new regime takes control of a franchise in the NFL, you get all of the positive talk and “everything will change” talk, and more often than not, in the end, it’s just all talk. But looking back at the beginning of the Ron Wolf / Mike Holmgren / Brett Favre era in the Spring of 1992 through this newsletter that went out to Green Bay Packers season ticket holders, things were indeed going to be different. We now know that it was only five years later that the team the league thought would never win again, would be victorious in Super Bowl XXXI. The methods of excellence and philosophies that were established then continue to guide the team today. This is where the revival started. Enjoy, and look for the ways the league has changed since those days almost a quarter of a century ago.





















Sunday, May 01, 2016

Green Bay Packers Draft — Day 3

ROUND 4:
BLAKE MARTINEZ —ROUND 4 (#131 Overall)
College: Stanford
Position: ILB
Height: 6’ 2”
Weight: 237 lbs.
Year: Senior
Hometown: Tucson, Ariz.
High School: Canyon del Oro

OVERVIEW: In his first year as a starter in 2014, Martinez proved worthy of honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors by leading the Cardinal with 102 tackles, seven for loss, 4.5 sacks, and three interceptions. In Year 2, he played at an All-American level (third-team Associated Press, second-team USA Today) as the Cardinal won the conference championship, stuffing plays inside and moving to either sideline to rack up 141 tackles, 6.5 for loss. The 2015 first-team All-Conference pick again made plays against the pass this year, intercepting one pass and breaking up six others.

PRO DAY RESULTS: Vertical: 34 inches / 60-yard long shuttle: 11.68 seconds

ANALYSIS

STRENGTHS: Good muscle thickness and one of the most powerful, pound­-for­-pound players in the program. Has desired temperament to play in the middle. Physical, productive tackler. Downhill linebacker. Business-minded machine against the run, maintaining consistent gap responsibility. Disciplined on back-side squeezing cutback lanes. Stuffs second level leg blocks and keeps gliding down the line. Uses heavy hands at the point of attack. Plays square to line of scrimmage with eyes stuck on runner. Plus balance and keeps his feet. Will dart and dodge past oncoming, second level traffic in lateral pursuit of ball carrier. Improved against the pass from 2014 to 2015. Showed some functional ability in man coverage and is quick to close out throws and limit yards after catch. Offers instant special teams value. Willing worker on "teams" and finds the ball.

WEAKNESSES: Slow twitch with borderline play speed. Must transition from a power mindset to a little more quickness in everything he does. Will need quicker hands to jab and separate to stay clean against NFL linemen. Below average lateral quickness. Won't win many foot races to the perimeter and has little margin for error with his angles. Not athletic enough to recover if he gets hung up on a block for too long. Too easily fooled into vacating his positioning by play-­action. Doesn't have reactive athleticism to quickly recover back into his duties after biting on fakes. More of a block occupier than serious threat when blitzing. Average awareness dropping into zone coverage. Situational awareness needs work.

DRAFT PROJECTION: Rounds 5 or 6

NFL COMPARISON: Martrell Spaight

BOTTOM LINE: Full-­time starter over the last two years who plays with the temperament and ruggedness that Stanford wants in the middle of their defense. Martinez is a muscled-­up, throwback linebacker in a league that covets twitch and play speed over throwback traits. His special teams ability and overall tackle production is a big plus, but his draft stock might not match up with his elevated college production due to concerns over his quickness.
(NFL.com)

As a Senior (2015)
• Associated Press All-America third team
• USA Today All-America second team
• Phil Steele All-America second team
• All-Pac-12 first team
• Associated Press All-Pac-12 first team
• Phil Steele All-Pac-12 first team
• Butkus Award semifinalist
• Rotary Lombardi Award watch list
• Nagurski Trophy watch list
• Bednarik Award watch list
• Lott IMPACT Trophy quarterfinalist
• SI.com Midseason All-America second team
• Phil Steele All-America preseason fourth team
• Phil Steele All-Pac-12 preseason first team
• Athlon All-Pac-12 preseason second team
• Lott IMPACT Player of the Week (Dec. 1)
• 14 games played
• Team-high 141 tackles
• 10.1 tackles/game [first in Pac-12]
• 75 solo tackles
• 1.5 sacks
• Six pass breakups
• Team-high 14 tackles at Northwestern
• 10 tackles (2.0 tackles for loss), one interception vs. UCF
• 14 tackles (eight solo) at USC
• 12 tackles, one pass breakup at Oregon State
• 13 tackles vs. Arizona
• Seven tackles (1.5 tackles for loss) vs. UCLA
• 10 tackles vs. Washington
• 11 tackles (10 solo) at Washington State
• Four tackles at Colorado
• Five tackles vs. Oregon
• Nine tackles vs. Cal
• 12 tackles (10 solo), one pass breakup vs. Notre Dame
• 11 tackles (1.5 tackles for loss), one sack, one forced fumble in Pac-12 Championship Game 
• Nine tackles, 0.5 sack and a pass breakup in Rose Bowl

The Martinez File
• Played for head coach Dustin Peace at Canyon del Oro (Ariz.)
     • Attended Mountain View (2008-09) and Santa Rita (2009)
     • Tight end, running back and linebacker
• PrepStar All-West Region 
• Two-time Southern Arizona Defensive Player of the Year
• Canyon del Oro career record holder with 247 tackles
• 1,100 yards total offensive yards as a senior
• Lettered in volleyball and basketball
• Born in Tucson, Ariz.
• Full name is Blake Edmon Martinez
• Son of Marc and Carrisa Martinez
• Three siblings: Hailley, Madison and Logan
• Majoring in management science and engineering
(Stanford PR)




ROUND 4:
DEAN LOWRY — ROUND 4 PICK 39 (#137 Overall)
College: Northwestern
Position: DE
Height: 6’ 6”
Weight: 296 lbs.
Year: Senior
Hometown: Rockford, Ill.
High School: Boylan Catholic

OVERVIEW: The Chicago Tribune All-State pick decided to stay in-state to play for a Wildcats legend in head coach Pat Fitzgerald at Northwestern. Like Fitzgerald was during his time as a two-time Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Chuck Bednarik Award winner with the Wildcats, Lowry is a lunch pail player who brings effort on every snap. He’s also a better athlete than most people realize, showing the agility to spin off blocks and make plays in the backfield (15 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks in 2013-2014). His senior year capped an excellent career, with a highlight being his school-record six tackles for loss against Nebraska. He finished as a second-team All-Big Ten honoree with 46 tackles, 13.5 for loss, and three sacks. Lowry could play multiple spots along the line depending on his new team’s defensive scheme.

ANALYSIS

STRENGTHS: Comes off the snap with burst and good pad level. Gives chase on the backside with great motor and good play speed. Willing to pursue the ball with consistency or effort. When pad level is good, can generate effective speed-­to-­power attack. Has play frame to fit classic 3-­4 DE spot. Coaches praise his work ethic and team­-first mentality. Does the dirty work that helps others succeed. Always active. Tackle finisher who rarely allows runners to escape. Had as many tackles and more tackles for loss than Joey Bosa.

WEAKNESSES: Short arms and small hands prevent him from posting higher win percentage at point of attack. Not as aware of the ball as he needs to be. Needs to unhinge from blockers earlier when runners are in his neighborhood. Gets stood straight up at contact as bull rusher. Pad level and narrow base rob him of bull-­rush power when rushing from inside. Dull, straight-ahead rusher with no pass rush plan. Doesn’t threaten the edges of blockers. Marginal play­making change of direction.

DRAFT PROJECTION: Round 7 or priority free agent

BOTTOM LINE: Try-hard player with good size who is always active. While he won’t be considered a pass rushing threat, Lowry’s production was a function of effort and flashes of power and the aforementioned traits and qualities give him a good shot at being drafted and becoming an NFL backup.
(NFL.com)

2015: True senior ... Consensus Second-Team All-Big Ten honoree ... Picked up a spot on the All-Big Ten third team defense by Athlon Sports ... Critical part of the stout Northwestern defense that is in the top of the nation in scoring defense ... Ranks second on the team with 13.5 tackles for loss ... Set an NU single-game record and tied the sixth-best mark in Big Ten history with his six tackles for loss in the win over Nebraska ... Also notched two sacks in that game and was named NU's Defensive Player of the Game ... Tied for the team lead with eight quarterback hurries ... Picked up six tackles and 0.5 tackle for loss in win over Duke, earning Defensive Player of the Week for Northwestern ... Posted a pair of TFLs and 5 tackles in shutout of Minnesota ... Recorded five tackles and one tackle for loss versus Purdue ... Named to the fourth-team defensive team on Phil Steele's 2015 Preseason All-Big Ten Team.

2014: True junior ... Honorable Mention All-Big Ten honoree by league coaches ... Started all 12 games at defensive end and totaled 41 tackles, ranking second on the defense with 8.0 TFLs ... Matched career high with six tackles against Illinois, adding a PBU and a QB hurry ... Also had six stops at Notre Dame ... Tallied 1.5 TFL and forced a fumble at Notre Dame ... Had five tackles, including 1.0 TFL at Minnesota ... Collected 1.5 TFL and a pass breakup from DE spot at Penn State ... Showed versatility against Western Illinois by assuming the starting DT position and finished with four tackles, one sack and two pass breakups ... Posted five tackles and a half-sack against NIU ... Recorded one sack in season-opener vs. Cal ... Named NU's Defensive Player of the Game vs. Northern Illinois and the Defensive Big Playmaker vs. Notre Dame ... Academic All-Big Ten.

2013: True sophomore ... Started nine games at defensive end ... Tied for second on the team with 7.0 tackles for loss ... Third on the team with 4.5 sacks ... Posted career-high 1.5 sacks at Illinois ... Had one of five NU sacks vs. Michigan ... Missed action at Nebraska with an injury ... Tallied two assisted stops vs. Minnesota ... Notched a career-high six tackles against Ohio State, including five solo stops ... Also recovered a fumble against the Buckeyes ... Picked off a pass and returned it 19 yards for a touchdown against Maine ... Also forced a fumble against the Black Bears ... Credited with a pass breakup against Western Michigan ... Made first career start at defensive end against Syracuse ... Recorded first career interception and returned it 16 yards against Orange ... Added four tackles, 1.0 TFL and a pass breakup against Syracuse ... Tallied two tackles and a forced fumble in season opener at Cal ... Deflected pass that led to Collin Ellis' 56-yard interception returned for a touchdown.

2012: One of four freshmen to crack the lineup in 2012, playing in all 13 games as a backup to Tyler Scott ... 14 tackles on the year with 3.0 TFL's and six QB hurries ... Named to ESPN.com Big Ten All-Freshman Team ... Made his debut as a reserve defensive end at Syracuse and recorded one QB hurry ... Made a big impact vs. Vanderbilt with a fumble recovery, a QB hurry, two tackles and a pass deflection at the line of scrimmage ... Two stops against South Dakota ... Career-best three tackles (all solos) with a PBU and a QB hurry against Indiana ... Recorded two tackles at Penn State ... Posted two tackles, including a 10-yard TFL, against Nebraska ... Notched first career sack at Michigan State, dropping Andrew Maxwell for an 11-yard loss in the fourth quarter ... One stop in TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl win vs. Mississippi State.

High School: ESPN.com three-star honoree ... Ranked 47th overall among defensive ends and 20th best prospect in Illinois by 247Sports ... Ranked 95th overall among defensive ends by Scout.com and 115th overall nationally among defensive ends by ESPN.com ... SuperPrep All-Midwest honoree ... Chicago Tribune All-State and Champaign-News Gazette All-State selection ... IHCA 7A All-State honoree ... Northern Illinois Conference (NIC-10) Defensive MVP and Team MVP ... Recorded 65 tackles, 21 TFL's and 10 sacks ... Lettered twice in football and was a member of back-to-back 14-0 Boylan teams ... Lettered one year in basketball as a center and played baseball his freshman year ... Honor roll during his junior and senior years at Boylan, earning a NIC-10 Scholar Athlete distinction ... Recognized for Excellence in Business Law and Excellence in Marketing ... Coached by Dan Appino.

Personal: Born Dean Vincent Lowry ... Son of Margaret and John Lowry ... Played against fellow Wildcat Dan Vitale and former NU player Jarrell Williams ... Majoring in economics with a minor in business institutions.
(Northwestern PR)




ROUND 5:
TREVOR DAVIS — ROUND 5 PICK 26 (#163 Overall)
College: California
Position: Wide Receiver
Height: 6’ 1”
Weight: 188 lbs.
Year: Senior
Hometown: Martinez, Calif.
High School: Hawai'i/Alhambra HS
Experience: 1 Letter

OVERVIEW: Most people spend their lives trying to get to Hawai'i at least once, but Davis decided that two years in the Rainbow State was enough, especially after head coach Norm Chow was let go. He had started 10 times in his two years with the Warriors, racking up 45 receptions for 601 yards and five touchdowns. After sitting out a redshirt season in 2013, Davis became an all-purpose threat for the Bears, making plays as a receiver (24-399, five TD) and returner (424 kickoff return yards, 70 punt return yards) as a junior. He had 40 receptions in 2014 (one of six players hitting that mark) that covered 672 yards and two scores, and had 686 kickoff return and 45 punt return yards as well. Those sort of receiving/return numbers won't go unnoticed by NFL scouts.

ANALYSIS

STRENGTHS: Quality return man specializing in kick­offs with two touchdowns under his belt while at Cal. Former high school long jumper and sprinter with build­up speed to challenge deep safeties from the hash. Competitive runner after the catch with ability to make defenders miss and finish his runs with some authority. Hands are adequate.

WEAKNESSES: Track speed doesn't translate underneath. Needs runway to get going and can't hit jets out of his breaks for separation. Needs to improve hard vertical push to clear space for comebacks and outs. One­-speed, rounded routes need work. Struggles to release cleanly against quality press coverage.

DRAFT PROJECTION: Rounds 6 or 7

SOURCES TELL US: "He's a pretty good returner. I don't see him being drafted, but he could make a team as a return man and last receiver on the depth chart." -- NFC West scout

BOTTOM LINE: Wiry catch-­and-­run specialist whose NFL value rests in his return ability. Davis could be a difficult sell because he's not an NFL­-ready receiver, but a big combine could create late-round interest or elevate his stock as a priority free agent.
(NFL.com)

Career Stats
Davis played in 23 games with 11 starts during the final two seasons of his three campaigns at Cal after sitting out a 2013 redshirt campaign due to NCAA transfer rules following two seasons at Hawai’i in 2011-12. He finished his Cal career with 2,300 all-purpose yards including 1,071 yards receiving and seven touchdown catches on 64 receptions while he had 1,110 yards on 45 kick returns including two for touchdowns to tie a school record while his 24.7 kick return average is fifth in school history. Davis was one of the nation’s top kick returners as a 2014 junior, ranking second nationally with a 32.6 yards per kick return average and tied for second with two kick return touchdowns that both set school marks. Davis had both of the kick return touchdowns on back-to-back third-quarter returns to equal NCAA and Pac-12 single-game records during a monster game at Washington State in which he also had two touchdown receptions and totaled a career-high and team season-high 280 all-purpose yards.

Cal Career (2013 – Present)
• Played in 23 games with 11 starts during the final two seasons of his three campaigns with the program after sitting out a 2013 redshirt campaign due to NCAA transfer rules following two seasons at Hawai’i in 2011-12

• Finished his career with 2,300 all-purpose yards, registering 1,071 yards receiving and seven touchdown catches on 64 receptions, 1,110 yards on 45 kick returns including two for touchdowns, 115 yards on 14 punt returns and four yards on three rushes to accumulate his all-purpose yards total

• Ranked second nationally and led the Pac-12 with a single-season school-record 32.6 yards per kick return average that also tied for second both nationally and in the Pac-12 with a school-record two kick returns for touchdowns among his 13 kick returns for 424 yards as a junior

• Had one of the most memorable games by an individual in the history of Cal football in a wild 60-59 win at Washington State as a junior when he equaled NCAA and Pac-12 single-game records by becoming the 20th player in FBS history and the third in the Pac-12 to bring back two kick returns for touchdowns in a single game on consecutive kick returns of 100 and 98 yards while adding three receptions for 82 yards and a career-high two scoring catches including the game-winner on a 51-yarder from Jared Goff in the fourth quarter for a career-high four touchdowns that were the most by a Cal player in 2014 for a career-high 280 all-purpose yards

• Other marks set and record books entries established during his performance in the contest at Washington State as a junior included kick returns that tied for the third and tied for the seventh longest in school history, and single-game school records for kick return touchdowns (2), kick returns yards (198) and kick return average (99.0 ypr)

• Had a career-high and team season-high 138 yards receiving on three catches including a 75-yard touchdown from Goff as a 2015 senior against San Diego State

• Had a career-high seven receptions for 80 yards as a senior at Stanford

• Had a career-long 76-yard touchdown reception from Goff in the first game of his Cal career at Northwestern

• Had a career-high and career-long 16 yards rushing on a single rush in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl win over Air Force as a senior

• Had career highs of three punt returns and 31 punt return yards vs. Sacramento State with the longest punt return of his career a 24-yarder at Arizona, all as a junior

• Had at least one catch in each of his final 15 collegiate games and 22 of the 23 he played in at Cal

• Added four tackles

• Wore No. 9 during his final two seasons at Cal after he wore No. 82 in his first campaign with the Golden Bears in 2013

• Totaled 109 receptions, 1,711 yards receiving and 12 touchdown receptions in four seasons of collegiate action including his two seasons at Hawai'i

OTHER:
• Full name is Trevor Lee Davis
• Born July 4, 1993
• Parents are Mark Davis and Linda Norman-Davis
• Major is sociology
(California PR)




ROUND 6:
KYLE MURPHY — ROUND 6 PICK 25 (#200 Overall)
College: Stanford
Position: T
Height: 6’ 7”
Weight: 305 lbs.
Year: Senior
Hometown: San Clemente, Calif.
High School: San Clemente

OVERVIEW: Murphy played like a solid right tackle prospect as a second-team All-Pac-12 pick his junior year, his first full year as a starter. In 2015, however, the brother of former Harvard and Minnesota Vikings tackle Kevin Murphy slid to left tackle and improved greatly in pass protection while maintaining his toughness in the run game. He combined with left guard Joshua Garnett as first-team All-Conference picks on the blind side of quarterback Kevin Hogan, who reaped the benefits of their play.

ANALYSIS

STRENGTHS: Has good feel for the position. Very aware in pass protection seeking out blitzes and twists and takes consistent angles up to the linebackers in the running game. Once he gets moving in space, is able to open up his hips and run with a relatively athletic gait. Plays with strong hands and good placement that can snatch and latch if he gets there first. Makes low pad level a priority in run game. Is usually low man and will use good leg drive or snap hips to secure the block. Adequate change direction in space. Patient second level blocker allowing the block to come to him. Outstanding work with teammate Joshua Garnett with combo blocks and double teams. Doesn’t lean in pass protection and can gain decent ground with his kick ­slides.

WEAKNESSES: Feet are just average from a quickness standpoint. While he can be a little slow out of his stance and off to the races when moving laterally. Will get antsy pre-­snap. Tape shows him getting some headstarts that weren’t called by college officials. Troubling anchor issues as pass blocker. Will get stiff legged at impact in protection, raising pad level and losing anchor leverage. Needs to play more flat­-footed when shooting his punch. Speed to power rushers give him problems so may need to make inside hand placement a greater priority.

DRAFT PROJECTION: Rounds 5 or 6

SOURCES TELL US: "I don't think you can play him for at least a year until he gets stronger. He's a good run blocker but I don't know if he's strong enough to play on the right side or quick enough to play left." -- AFC general manager

NFL COMPARISON: Ty Sambrailo

BOTTOM LINE: Interesting prospect full of juxtapositions. On one hand, he’s an athletic mover in space, but his foot quickness is just average. While he plays with good bend, leg drive and low pad level as a run blocker, he tends to play too tall and lose his anchor against bull­ rushers. Murphy plays with good tackle instincts and shows enough potential to become an eventual starter in the NFL if he can improve his overall strength and tighten up some of his pass protection flaws.
(NFL.com)

As a Senior (2015):
• Phil Steele All-America third team
• All-Pac-12 first team
• Associated Press All-Pac-12 first team
• Phil Steele All-Pac-12 first team
• Rotary Lombardi Award watch list
• Outland Trophy watch list
• Athlon preseason All-America fourth team
• Athlon preseason All-Pac-12 first team
• ESPN.com All-Pac-12 preseason first team
• Phil Steele preseason All-Pac-12 second team
• 14 games played
• Starting left tackle

The Murphy File:
• Played for head coach Jonathan Hamro at San Clemente (Calif.)
• Three-year varsity letterwinner
• SuperPrep, PrepStar and MaxPreps All-America
• Five-star recruit by Rivals and Scout
• Four-star recruit by ESPN
• Nation’s third-best offensive tackle and 19th-best overall recruit by Rivals
• Nation’s fourth-best offensive tackle by Scout and ESPN
• California’s second-best recruit by Rivals and SuperPrep
• 27th on ESPN’s Top 150 list
• 11th overall among recruits by 247Sports
• Nation’s top offensive lineman and 16th recruit overall by SuperPrep
• Cal-Hi Sports ESPN All-State 
• Three-time all-South Coast Conference
• South Coast Conference MVP as a senior
• Two-time Orange County Register all-Orange County 
• Participated in 2012 U.S. Army All-American Bowl 
• Recipient of U.S. Army’s Glenn Davis Award
• Lettered in track and field
• Sea View League shot put champion
• Born in Mission Viejo, Calif.
• Full name is Kyle Neil Murphy
• Son of Gary and Keri Murphy
• Three older siblings: Kelly, Kasey and Kevin
     • Brother, Kevin, played at Harvard (2008-11) and spent time with the Minnesota Vikings
• Majoring in science, technology and society (innovation, technology and organizations)
(Stanford PR)




Saturday, April 30, 2016

Green Bay Packers Draft — Day 2

ROUND 2:
JASON SPRIGGS — ROUND 2 (#48 Overall)
College: Indiana
Position: Offensive Tackle
Height: 6’ 7”
Weight: 305 lbs.
Year: Senior
Hometown: Elkhart, Ind.
High School: Concord

OVERVIEW: Spriggs excelled in his senior season, catching second-team All-Big Ten accolades along with the eyes of scouts. The four-year starter also was named first team All-American by the Football Writers Association of America and third-team honors by the Associated Press. Spriggs had a scary moment on the field in 2014 against Michigan State, as he was taken to the hospital after suffering a helmet-to-helmet blow. But since them he has shown the build (6-foot-7, 307 pounds), anchor in pass protection and willingness to block through the whistle to be the type of prospect NFL offensive line coaches will covet at left tackle.

PRO DAY RESULTS: Vertical: 35 inches / 3-cone: 7.57 seconds

ANALYSIS

STRENGTHS: Athletic frame with long arms. Comes out of his stance with tremendous quickness and has elite lateral movement. Can get to extremely difficult backside cutoff blocks. Knee bender. As a move blocker, lands squarely in the strike zone and rolls hips and feet under him to to wash down defender or secure a down-block. Shows good patience in space with ability to become solid combination blocker in zone scheme. Looks to finish. Able to adjust his assignments on the fly. Is active with his hands in pass pro. Will throw jabs with both hands rather than offering them up for defensive ends to swat. Has tools to substantially slow pass rushers when timing his punch. Durable, four-year starter.

WEAKNESSES: Play strength needs improvement. Unable to match power as a base blocker and too easy moved off his spot. Struggles to cleanly absorb and eat contact without being jostled. Has crippling issue with over-setting in pass protection. Doesn't maintain much weight on inner half of his frame and has consistent issues redirecting his weight back inside with suddenness against inside moves. Doesn't use his length to his advantage often enough. Slows his slide when punching, allowing rushers opportunity to gain advantage around the corner. Needs stronger hands to snatch and control rather than just push. Ability to recover with power or athletic traits are a concern.

DRAFT PROJECTION: Round 2

NFL COMPARISON: Ryan Harris

BOTTOM LINE: Spriggs has outstanding athleticism, but his play strength and overall recovery ability are major concerns for a position as important as tackle. Spriggs followed up a strong week at the Senior Bowl with a very good showing at the combine and has solidified his standing as an early round tackle amongst evaluators. If he can improve his inside post and prevent counter moves from eating him up, he has a chance to be a solid NFL starter on the left side.
(NFL.com)

Spriggs, along with right guard Dan Feeney, became the fifth and sixth first team All-American offensive linemen in program history. He started 28 consecutive games to begin his career and made 47 starts in 48 games at left tackle.

2015 Honors: Football Writers Association of America first team All-American … also earned All-America recognition from Phil Steele, Sporting News, the Walter Camp Football Foundation, the Associated Press and Sports Illustrated … the first Outland Trophy semifinalist in school history … second team All-Big Ten (coaches and media) … received Indiana’s Chris Dal Sasso Award (Outstanding Lineman) … team captain.

2015 (Senior): Allowed just two sacks in 475 called pass attempts … finished with 79 knockdowns in a team-high 1,074 snaps … started all 13 games at right guard … Indiana finished first in the Big Ten in total offense, passing offense and scoring offense, while placing second in rushing offense ... the Hoosiers became the first team since Ohio State in 1995 to lead the league in total, passing and scoring offense ... IU led the conference in scoring offense for the first time since the Big Ten began using the entire season as the statistical champion in 1985 ... Indiana had not led the league in total offense since 1988 ... the Hoosiers became the fourth college football team to have a 3,500-yard passer, a pair of 1,000-yard running backs and a 1,000-yard receiver in the same year ... IU was one of only two Power Five conference teams with two 1,000-yard running backs (Baylor) ... the offensive line allowed 13 sacks, tied for the seventh fewest nationally ... Indiana set single-season school records with 475 total points, 6,556 total yards, 3,820 passing yards, 337 first downs and 168 passing first downs … IU offensive player of the week (Michigan) … six-time game captain.

2014 Honors: Honorable mention All-Big Ten (media).

2014 (Junior): Played in 11 games and made 10 starts at left tackle ... allowed just two sacks in 689 snaps ... recorded 45 knockdowns ... the team set a program single-season record with 3,163 rushing yards ... Indiana averaged 263.6 rushing yards per game (9th nationally, 3rd in the Big Ten) and 405.0 total yards (5th in the Big Ten) ... the Hoosiers gained 200 yards 10 times (T-9th nationally, 3rd in the Big Ten), averaged 5.9 yards per carry (8th nationally, 2nd in the Big Ten) and scored 29 times on the ground ... Tevin Coleman became the 18th player in FBS history to rush for 2,000 yards (2,036), which set a school record, is 16th on the FBS all-time list and sixth in Big Ten history ... Coleman was Indiana’s third unanimous and consensus All-American and finished seventh in Heisman Trophy voting.

2013 Honors: Honorable mention All-Big Ten (coaches and media).

2013 (Sophomore): Started all 12 games at left tackle ... Indiana set single-season records with 508.5 total yards per game, 38.4 points per game, 36 passing touchdowns and 62 total TDs ... the team averaged over 300 passing yards and 200 rushing yards in the same season for the first time in school history ... offensive line surrendered just one sack every 26.1 pass attempts, which ranked third in the Big Ten ... the Hoosiers were one of six teams in the nation to rank in the top 30 in total, passing, scoring and rushing offense ... IU offensive player of the week (Purdue).

2012 Honors: Honorable mention All-Big Ten (coaches and media) ... CollegeFootballNews.com Freshman All-American honorable mention ... ESPN.com and BTN.com Big Ten All-Freshman team ... 247Sports.com second team All-Big Ten.

2012 (Freshman): Started all 12 games, an IU true freshman record for an offensive lineman ... led the team with 80 knockdowns and surrendered just two sacks in 961 snaps ... offensive line led the Big Ten allowing just one sack every 31.8 pass attempts ... line did not allow a sack in five games and surrendered just one sack twice ... team led the Big Ten in passing offense (311.2), finished second in total offense (442.0) and fourth in scoring offense (30.8).

Prep/Personal: Offensive tackle, defensive end and long snapper for head coach Tim Dawson at Concord High School ... Indiana Associated Press Class 5A All-State (defensive line) and Indiana Football Coaches Association (IFCA) Top 50 (offensive line) in 2011 ... three-year starter recorded 58 tackles, seven sacks, 19 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and three passes broken up ... returned one of the fumbles for a touchdown ... first team Elkhart Truth selection as an offensive lineman in 2011 and as a defensive lineman in 2010 ... team captain named Concord’s most valuable offensive lineman (2011) and defensive lineman (2010 and 2011) ... IFCA Junior All-State honoree ... selected all-conference as an offensive and defensive lineman in both 2010 and 2011 ... rated the No. 17 prospect in Indiana by 247Sports ... also a basketball, lacrosse and track and field standout ... parents are Rick and Michelle Spriggs ... born on May 17, 1994, Jason Michael Spriggs is a liberal studies major.
(Indiana PR)





ROUND 3:
KYLER FACKRELL — ROUND 3 (#88 Overall)
College: Utah State
Position: Linebacker
Height: 6’ 5”
Weight: 250 lbs.
Year: Senior
Hometown: Mesa, Ariz.
High School: Mesa
Experience: 2 Letters

OVERVIEW: A stand-up rush linebacker with length and agility, Fackrell came out the box strong for the Aggies, garnering all-conference honors in each of his first two seasons on campus (21 tackles for loss, eight sacks in 2012-2013). Fackrell suffered a torn ACL in the season opener as a junior but returned with in his final year, consistently making plays on the edge against the run (82 tackles) and attacking the backfield (15 tackles for loss, four sacks, two forced fumbles, five recovered). Scouts appreciate the maturity of a plyer who has gone through injury adversity, as well as taken on responsibilities via marriage and fatherhood. Fackrell and his wife, Elizabeth, welcomed a baby girl (Delaney) into the word early in 2015.

PRO DAY RESULTS: Short shuttle: 4.31 seconds / 3-cone: 7.24 seconds / Bench: 16 reps of 225 lbs.

ANALYSIS

STRENGTHS: Premium length and athleticism. Played quarterback and wide receiver in high school and lettered in basketball and volleyball. Rangy tackler who is able to shadow the ball all over the field. Has length and arm extension to punch and control the point of attack. Functional strength is good enough against the run. Has length and motor for tremendous tackle radius. Had 80 tackles or more in each of his last three full seasons. Had just five sacks, but often dropped into space. Potential is there to become plus pass rusher. Combines forward lean, hip explosion and long arms to crank up speed-­to­-power pocket push. Upfield burst covers substantial ground in first three steps. Has upper body turn and shoulder dip to slip under tackle’s shoulder and around the corner. Don’t sleep on his cover ability in space.

WEAKNESSES: Missed the entire 2014 season with an ACL tear. Can improve his hand play as pass rusher at the high side of his rush. When edge rush stalls out, has average counter attack. Long-strider who struggles to make sudden inside moves once he gets going upfield. High center of gravity combined with lean lower half make it difficult to play through redirect blocks with contact balance.

DRAFT PROJECTION: Round 3

NFL COMPARISON: Connor Barwin

BOTTOM LINE: When it comes to the length and athleticism teams will look for off the edge, Fackrell will be one of the poster boys. His field versatility, coverage talent and potential as a pass rusher could make him one of the fastest rising prospects in this draft and a future contender for a Pro Bowl nod.
(NFL.com)

HONORS: Phil Steele Fourth-Team All-American (2015); All-Mountain West First-Team (2015); Butkus Award Semifinalist (2015); Phil Steele First-Team All-Mountain West (2013, 2015); College Football News Sophomore Honorable Mention All-American (2013); All-Mountain West Second-Team (2013); College Sports Madness Third-Team All-Mountain West (2013); Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week (11/28/15; 11/16/15; 11/2/13); College Sports Madness Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week (9/27/13; 11/2/13); College Football Performance Awards National Linebacker of the Week (11/2/13); Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) Freshman All-American (2012); First-Team All-WAC (2012); WAC Defensive Player of the Week (10/5/12; 10/13/12); College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention National Linebacker of the Week (9/21/13; 10/13/12; 10/27/12). 

2015 PRESEASON HONORS: Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year; First-Team All-Mountain West; College Sports Madness First-Team All-Mountain West; Phil Steele First-Team All-Mountain West; Athlon Sports First-Team All-Mountain West; Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List; Butkus Award Watch List; Bronko Nagurski Award Watch List; Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List. 

RECORDS: Set a single-season school record with 12 quarterback hurries as a senior, including a single-game school record of six against Colorado State (10/3/15)... Ranks tied for 10th all-time in USU history with 125 career interception return yards... Returned an interception 99 yards for a touchdown against Hawai’i (11/2/13), which ranks as the third-longest interception return in USU and Mountain West history... Had nine career double-digit tackle outings... Scored two defensive touchdowns (interception, fumble recovery) and one offensive touchdown (reception) during his career... Is one of just 15 players in school history to earn first-or-second-team all-conference honors three times during a career. 

2015 (SR): Started all 13 games... Earned fourth-team All-American honors from Phil Steele’s Magazine and was named a first-team all-Mountain West selection as he finished the season ranking first in the nation with five fumble recoveries, while also ranking first on the team with his 15.0 tackles for loss, first on the team with his school-record 12 quarterback hurries and second with his 4.0 sacks... Was also named first-team all-MW by Phil Steele’s Magazine... Overall, he ranked sixth in the MW in tackles for loss (1.15 pg) and 27th in the MW in tackles with 82 (6.3 pg)... His 82 tackles (37-solo, 45-assist) were second on the team, as were his three games with double-digit tackles, all of which came against conference opponents... Tied for first on the team with his two forced fumbles, to go along with a defensive touchdown on a fumble recovery in the end zone against Nevada (11/21)... Was named the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week twice after performances against then-No. 21 Boise State (10/16) and Nevada (11/21)... Against the Broncos, he had 11 tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries, two quarterback hurries and a forced fumble... Against the Wolf Pack, he recorded 10 tackles, including 0.5 tackles for loss, two quarterback hurries and a fumble recovery in the end zone for a touchdown... Recorded double-digit tackles in three games, including a season-high 11 stops against Boise State... Also had 10 tackles against both San Diego State (10/23) and Nevada... Recorded at least five tackles in 11 of the 13 games he played in... Posted a career-high 3.0 tackles for loss against Colorado State (10/3) and had tackles for loss in nine games... Tied his career-high with 2.0 sacks against Southern Utah (9/3)... Six of his quarterback hurries were against CSU, setting the single-game USU school record, while adding two each against SUU, BSU and UN... His five fumble recoveries were against CSU, Fresno State (10/10) and Nevada, as well as two against the Broncos... Forced two fumbles during the season at Washington (9/19) and against Boise State... Was a semifinalist for the Butkus Award, honoring the nation’s best linebacker.

2014 (JR): Played just one game during the season as he suffered a season-ending knee injury in the second quarter of the season-opener at Tennessee (8/31)... Recorded two solo tackles against the Volunteers. 

2013 (SO): Started all 14 games... Named an honorable mention Sophomore All-American by College Football News and earned second-team all-Mountain West honors as he finished the season ranking first on the team with 13.0 tackles for loss, tied for first with two forced fumbles and second with 5.0 sacks, while ranking fourth on the team with 82 total tackles (37-solo, 45-assist)... Averaged 5.9 tackles per game to rank 35th in the Mountain West... Also recorded three quarterback hurries, recovered one fumble, intercepted one pass and registered one pass breakup during the year... Had a career-high 13 tackles and tied his career-high with 2.0 tackles for loss against BYU (10/4), and had 11 tackles at San José State (9/27)... Was named the Mountain West's Defensive Player of the Week and College Football Performance Awards National Linebacker of the Week following USU's 47-10 home win against Hawai'i (11/2) as he recorded nine tackles, including 0.5 for loss, to go along with an interception return of 99 yards for his first career defensive touchdown, which ranks as the third-longest interception return in Utah State and Mountain West history... Scored his first career offensive touchdown against Weber State (9/14) on a 4-yard reception to become the first Aggie to score an offensive and defensive touchdown in the same season since 1964 when Earsell Mackbee had four receiving touchdowns and two interception returns for touchdowns... Had six-plus tackles in six games during the season and recorded at least 0.5 tackles for loss in 12 games... Was named College Sports Madness' Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week following USU wins at San José State and against Hawai'i, and an honorable mention national linebacker of the week from College Football Performance Awards following the USC (9/21) game as he had four tackles, forced a fumble and tied his career-high with 2.0 sacks. 

2012 (RS-FR): Started all 13 games... Earned first-team all-WAC honors and was named a Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) Freshman All-American as he finished the year ranking second on the team and eighth in the WAC with three interceptions (0.23 pg), third on the team and 13th in the WAC with 8.0 tackles for loss (0.62 pg), and fourth on the team and 13th in the WAC with 87 tackles (6.7 pg)... Those 87 stops rank tied for third all-time at Utah State among freshmen along with Jake Hutton who had 87 tackles in 2005... The single-season school record for tackles by a freshman is 123 set by Del Lyles in 1988, while Terrance Washington registered 93 tackles as a redshirt freshman in 2003... Finished second on the team with seven quarterback hurries, to go along with 3.0 sacks and three pass breakups... Had a career-high two sacks against San José State (10/13), as USU set a single-game school record with 13 sacks in the contest, and 0.5 sacks against both Texas State (11/3) and Idaho (11/24)... Blocked a 42-yard field goal attempt against New Mexico State (10/20)... Forced and recovered a fumble against SJSU... His three interceptions came against BYU (10/5), UTSA (10/27) and Toledo (12/15) in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl... Returned his interception against the Rockets 16 yards, his interception against BYU eight yards and his interception against the Roadrunners two yards... Recorded double-digit tackles four times during the year, including in back-to-back games against BYU and San José State with 10 and 11 stops, respectively... Had a season-high 11 tackles against Utah (9/7) and tied that total against both SJSU and Idaho... Had at least five tackles in eight games during the year... Had a career-high three quarterback hurries against UNLV (9/29)... Is the first player in school history to be named a FWAA Freshman All-American and was just the fourth freshman in school history to earn first-team all-conference honors... Earned WAC Defensive Player of the Week honors twice during the 2012 season in back-to-back outings against BYU and San José State, marking the first time since 1996 that an Aggie freshman has earned WAC Player of the Week honors in consecutive weeks... Was also the first WAC freshman to earn the award in consecutive weeks going back to 1999... Was named College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) honorable mention National Linebacker of the Week following games against SJSU and UTSA... Was one of 32 players, including defensive end teammate Jordan Nielsen, named to the CFPA National Freshman Performer of the Year Watch List. 

2011 (RS): Redshirted during his first season at Utah State. 

HIGH SCHOOL: A four-year letterwinner at Mesa (Ariz.) High School... As a prep senior, saw action in three games at quarterback and 11 games at wide receiver, as well as playing all 14 games at linebacker... Earned 5A-I all-region and all-Mesa Tribune honors on both offense and defense in leading the Jackrabbits to a 9-5 record and runner-up finish in the 5A-I state playoffs, Mesa HS's first 5A state championship game appearance in 17 years... Posted 68 tackles (25-solo, 43-assist) with eight pass break-ups, two interceptions and one forced fumble... On offense, tallied 36 receptions for 662 yards (18.3 ypc) with five touchdowns and a season-long of 63 yards... Also had 22 rushes for 159 yards (7.2 ypc) with three touchdowns and a season-long rush of 97 yards... Was also 22-of-38 (.579) passing for 334 yards (15.2 ypp) with four touchdowns and one interception... Had a 97-yard touchdown run, tying the second-longest rush in school history, which came on Oct. 2 as part of his 103 rushing yard outing along with four catches for 65 yards, earning him the U.S. Air Force Team Player of the Week award... As a junior, also earned team's MVP award after starting at quarterback, safety and kick/punt return specialist, along with 5A-I all-region honors... Also earned 5A-I all-region honors in both basketball and volleyball, and was a four-time letterwinner in basketball and a two-time letterwinner in volleyball. 

PERSONAL: Born Nov. 25, 1991... Son of Darrell and Lori Fackrell... Has two sisters and one brother... Graduated from USU in the fall of 2015 in business administration... Married Elizabeth Luke in October, 2013, and the couple has a two-year old daughter, Delaney... Name is pronounced Kie-ler Fack-rull.
(Utah State PR)




Thursday, April 28, 2016

Green Bay Packers Draft — Day 1

Round 1 of the 2016 NFL Draft was tonight, and the Green Bay Packers chose DT/NT Kenny Clark from UCLA with pick #27. Utilizing their “Best Available Player” (BAP) strategy that most fans and media never seem to figure out, they get a player that can hopefully make the retirement of B.J. Raji a moot point. Round 2 is tomorrow night, and they may yet get the LB that everyone seems to think they should take. Here are some more photos of Clark (who wore #97 in college — we’ll see if fellow current DT Christian Ringo surrenders that number to him), followed by his bio from the official UCLA media guide:






















We also found this video highlights film on YouTube to see him in action with UCLA.

KENNY CLARK — ROUND 1 (#27 Overall)
College: UCLA
Position: Defensive Line
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 310 lbs.
Year: Junior
Hometown: San Bernardino, Calif.
High School: Carter
Experience: 2 Letters

OVERVIEW: Kenny Clark, Sr., went to prison in 2005, leaving 9-year-old Kenny, Jr. to mature faster than most of the boys his age. With the help of his mother and others, Clark maintained a good relationship with this father and turned the adversity into a positive, working hard to become an excellent high school player. He started four games as a freshman in 2013 (31 tackles, four for loss, one sack), then stayed a fixture in the lineup the following year. The 2014 second-team All-Pac-12 selection (58 tackles, 5.5 for loss) graduated to all-conference first team as a junior, using his strength and agility to finish second on the Bruins in tackles (75), tackles for loss (11) and sacks (six) despite lining up in the interior. Clark also showed a knack for batting down passes, breaking up five on the year.

PRO DAY RESULTS: 3-cone: 7.73 seconds

ANALYSIS

STRENGTHS: Former high school wrestler who can generate torque through upper body strength and leverage with power in his hips. Will hammer finesse guards and centers with initial punch and overtake the neutral zone. Quick to diagnose run direction and will race to set the edge against blocker. Low center of gravity and powerful core make him a challenging block to seal for linemen. Cranks up a nasty bull ­rush to collapse pocket when single blocked. Plays with plus instincts and football IQ. Has feel for trap blocks and double teams and is quick to read and react to screens. Can work his way through double teams and squeeze the gap.

WEAKNESSES: Short and missing arm length to be better tackle finisher. Allowed unusual amount of broken tackles (4) for an interior lineman. Not a quick twitch athlete. Needs to do a better job of bringing feet and hips through contact. Gets too anxious pursuing down line and can lose backside contain. Despite strength, lack of size will be challenging in some matchups. Straight line bull­ rusher with average lateral quickness for twists.

DRAFT PROJECTION: Round 2

SOURCES TELL US: "What bothers me about Clark is that he was so much better against weaker competition than he was against better talent. I like him, but not like everyone is hyping him up." 
—­ AFC Pac-12 scout

NFL COMPARISON: David Parry

BOTTOM LINE: Has the strength and talent to be a plug and play 4-­3 nose, but lack of size and concerns about his value on third downs could push his draft value into the second day. Clark's wrestling background gives him a huge leg up at the point of attack and he won't be 21 until October which means he's still filling out his frame. Would benefit from a year of rotational work as he continues to physically mature.
(NFL.com)

2015 — Starter in all 13 games for a total of 29 consecutive starts ... Third-team AP All-America ... First-team All-Pac-12 Conference selection (AP and coaches) ... Team co-captain ... Appeared on the Bednarik, Nagurski, Outland and Lombardi Award Watch Lists ... Recorded career bests in tackles (75-second on team and 25th in Pac-12), sacks (6.0-second on team and tied for 10th in Pac-12) and tackles for loss (11.0-second on team and tied for 14th in Pac-12) ... He had the third highest PBU total on the team with five.

2014 — Starter in all 13 games ... Made 58 tackles (sixth on the team), 5.5 for loss ... Selected to the second-team all-conference squad ... Posted a career-high eight tackles at UVa and at California (1.5 for loss) ... Registered seven stops in games at Arizona State and at Colorado ... Had at least four tackles in eight games.

2013 — Appeared in all 13 games with four starts ... Made 31 tackles, four for loss ... Had a best game of six tackles vs. Arizona State ... Credited with one forced fumble ... Had nine multiple tackle games ... Named Sun Bowl Most Valuable Lineman ... Presented the Ed Kezirian "Coach K" Award for Academic and Athletic Balance at the team banquet.

HIGH SCHOOL — A four-star recruit according to both scout.com and rivals.com … Ranked No. 187 nationally by scout.com … SuperPrep All-West Region selection and the No. 24-ranked defensive tackle in the country … Ranked as the No. 20 defensive tackle in the nation and the No. 34 overall prospect on the West 150 list, according to scout.com … Regarded as the nation’s No. 24 defensive tackle and the No. 39 overall prospect in the state of California by rivals.com … ESPN.com’s No. 56 recruit in California and the No. 41-ranked defensive tackle in the nation … The No. 25-rated prospect in the CA/NV/HI region according to PrepStar … CIF Eastern Division Defensive Player of the Year … Also on the wrestling team … Team went 12-1 in his senior season … Credited with 71 tackles, 11.0 sacks for 64 yards lost, five forced fumbles, one fumble recovery … As a junior, had 31 tackles, 8.5 sacks and 17 tackles for loss … Coached by Alex Pierce.

PERSONAL — Full Name: Kenneth Duane Clark, Jr. … Born in San Bernardino, CA… Parents: Kenneth and Leslie Clark … Has one brother and two sisters ... Lists the NFL's Ray Lewis as the athlete he admires the most … Enjoys spending time with his family ... Interested in becoming a coach.
(UCLA PR)