By Chadd Cripe
ￂﾩ 2013 Idaho Statesman
SATURDAY, APRIL 27
Gavins gets tryout
Former Boise State cornerback Jerrell Gavins has accepted a mini-camp tryout with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he said Saturday. I have not heard back from any other possible free-agent signees.
Other Boise State hopefuls shut out
Cornerback Jamar Taylor was the only Boise State player drafted this year ￢ﾀﾔ the first time since 2010 that the Broncos didn￢ﾀﾙt have multiple players taken.
Now the undrafted-free-agent frenzy begins. Boise State should have a bunch of those. Candidates include tailback D.J. Harper, linebackers J.C. Percy and Tommy Smith, cornerback Jerrell Gavins, fullback Dan Paul and defensive tackle Mike Atkinson.
Jamar Taylor: ￢ﾀﾘI￢ﾀﾙm more focused than ever￢ﾀﾙ
Taylor, the former Boise State cornerback, had to wait longer than he￢ﾀﾙd hoped this week but was selected with the No. 54 overall pick in the second round Friday night by the Miami Dolphins.
I caught up with him this morning.
￢ﾀﾜThe first day was a little stressful,￢ﾀﾝ Taylor said. ￢ﾀﾜYesterday was a new day. It was less stressful, especially hearing my name called.￢ﾀﾝ
Taylor watched both days of the draft at home in San Diego with his immediate family. Four cornerbacks were drafted in the first round.
￢ﾀﾜI got hopeful because we talked to some teams that said they were going to get me,￢ﾀﾝ he said. ￢ﾀﾜThey passed me up. I got a little frustrated but at the same time I knew God had a plan for me and I just had to wait for my time.
￢ﾀﾜ￢ﾀﾦ That￢ﾀﾙs just like coming out of high school. It adds fuel to the fire. I￢ﾀﾙm going in with a big chip on my shoulder. I￢ﾀﾙm ready to learn from all my teammates and all my coaches and contribute to the team the best way I can so we can be successful.￢ﾀﾝ
He visited the Dolphins before the draft, did his pre-combine workouts at a facility down the street from the Dolphins￢ﾀﾙ training facility and knew the Dolphins had a couple scouts at his pro day workout in March. Still, he wasn￢ﾀﾙt thinking they would take him until his phone rang and showed a Florida number.
￢ﾀﾜI talked to everybody in the organization,￢ﾀﾝ he said. ￢ﾀﾜThe first thing I was thinking about was let￢ﾀﾙs get to work.￢ﾀﾝ
Taylor reports to mini-camp Thursday. He already knows the area from his time training there.
￢ﾀﾜI know how Miami can get you in trouble, but I￢ﾀﾙm more focused than ever,￢ﾀﾝ he said. ￢ﾀﾜI want to go and make an impact. So I￢ﾀﾙm not going to let the Miami lifestyle get to me at all.
￢ﾀﾜIt feels so weird, being a Dolphin. ￢ﾀﾦ I￢ﾀﾙm so used to being a Boise Bronco.￢ﾀﾝ
D.J. Harper￢ﾀﾙs wait could be long
Former Boise State tailback D.J. Harper could be a victim of the falling value of running backs in the draft. Only six have been drafted (through 23 picks of the fourth round). Since the third round began, only one has come off the board.
Midway through the fourth round, NFL.com had Harper ranked as the No. 24 running back available.
Here￢ﾀﾙs where I￢ﾀﾙll track the players from Boise State, the Mountain West, the WAC and Boise State opponents drafted:
5. DE Ziggy Ansah, BYU, Lions
17. OLB Jarvis Jones, Georgia, Steelers
22. CB Desmond Trufant, Washington, Falcons
47. TE Gavin Escobar, San Diego State, Cowboys
48. RB Le￢ﾀﾙVeon Bell, Michigan State, Steelers
52. OLB Jamie Collins, Southern Miss, Patriots
54. CB Jamar Taylor, Boise State, Dolphins
68. CB Leon McFadden, San Diego State, Browns
79. WR Markus Wheaton, Oregon State, Steelers
82. DT John Jenkins, Georgia, Saints
84. SS Shawn Williams, Georgia, Bengals
86. OL High Thornton, Illinois (Mountain View HS), Colts
93. CB Will Davis, Utah State, Dolphins
102. WR Josh Boyce, TCU, Patriots
105. FS Duke Williams, Nevada, Bills
106. TE Dion Sims, Michigan State, Dolphins
119. S Phillip Thomas, Fresno State, Redskins
126. DE William Gholston, Michigan State, Bucs
128. WR Quinton Patton, Louisiana Tech, 49ers
134. CB Sanders Commings, Georgia, Chiefs
153. DE Stansly Maponga, TCU, Falcons
163. OT Jordan Mills, Louisiana Tech, Bears
176. OT David Quessenberry, San Jose State, Texans
182. RB Kenjon Barner, Oregon, Panthers
192. SS John Boyett, Oregon, Colts
202. CB Khalid Wooten, Nevada, Titans
208. CB Jeremy Harris, New Mexico State, Jaguars
209. WR Brice Butler, San Diego State, Raiders
218. CB Jordan Poyer, Oregon State, Eagles
230. RB Kerwynn Williams, Utah State, Colts
234. QB Zac Dysert, Miami (Ohio), Broncos
IDAHO STATESMAN DRAFT STORIES
April 27: Jamar Taylor drafted by Dolphins
April 27: Hugh Thornton drafted by Colts
April 26: Boise native Hugh Thornton has overcome a difficult childhood that included his mother￢ﾀﾙs murder to become an NFL prospect.
April 25: Jamar Taylor￢ﾀﾙs work ethic made him a possible first-round pick
March 22: Boise State￢ﾀﾙs pro day workout
March 21: Jerrell Gavins tries to overcome his short stature
February 27: Jamar Taylor￢ﾀﾙs combine performance
February 25: D.J. Harper￢ﾀﾙs combine performance
January 26: Jamar Taylor excels at Senior Bowl practices
FRIDAY, APRIL 26
Colts take Boise native Hugh Thornton at No. 86 (third round)
Thornton, who attended seventh through 11th grades in the Treasure Valley and played at Mountain View and Boise, was a four-year starter at Illinois. He graduated from high school in Oberlin, Ohio.
Dolphins take Boise State CB Jamar Taylor at No. 54
Taylor was the eighth cornerback chosen, falling a little farther than expected. He was the fourth taken in the second round.
￢ﾀﾜI have a real big chip on my shoulder right now and I￢ﾀﾙm going to continue to work,￢ﾀﾝ Taylor said on a Dolphins webcast.
Former Nevada wide receiver Rishard Matthews plays for the Dolphins. He tweeted, ￢ﾀﾜI can say from experience we just grabbed a great player in Jamar Taylor.￢ﾀﾝ
ESPN￢ﾀﾙs Mel Kiper Jr. said he ranked Taylor as the No. 4 corner in the draft.
￢ﾀﾜI thought he was a marginal prospect coming into this season,￢ﾀﾝ Kiper said on the air. ￢ﾀﾜHe really stepped it up. He￢ﾀﾙs one of the stronger corners you￢ﾀﾙll ever find. ￢ﾀﾦ He went from maybe the fifth round to the second round based on his performance this season.￢ﾀﾝ
Added ESPN￢ﾀﾙs Todd McShay: ￢ﾀﾜTaylor had one of the best burn percentages of all the cornerbacks in this draft. I think he￢ﾀﾙs going to be a really good player.￢ﾀﾝ
ESPN￢ﾀﾙs Trent Dilfer also liked the pick: ￢ﾀﾜHe knows what￢ﾀﾙs coming. He understands route concepts. He understands situations. He understands everything that￢ﾀﾙs going to come at him.￢ﾀﾝ
Taylor is the ninth-highest drafted Boise State player of all-time. He is the seventh player drafted in the first two rounds since Chris Petersen became the head coach in 2006.
Taylor was an All-Mountain West first-teamer last season and a four-time academic all-conference honoree. He started 35 games and grabbed seven interceptions.
Here are the cornerbacks drafted ahead of Taylor:
9. Dee Milliner, Alabama, Jets
12. D.J. Hayden, Houston, Raiders
22. Desmond Trufant, Washington, Falcons
25. Xavier Rhodes, Florida State, Vikings
36. Darius Slay, Mississippi State, Lions
43. Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State, Bucs
51. David Amerson, North Carolina State, Redskins
Mocks place Jamar Taylor in late second round
Former Boise State cornerback Jamar Taylor could slip into the late second round, according to mock drafts for the second round produced by Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN.com, Bucky Brooks of NFL.com and Scouts Inc. of ESPN.
Kiper has Taylor going 59th to the Patriots, Brooks has him going 58th to the Broncos and Scouts Inc. has him going 54th to the Dolphins.
Analyst Charley Casserly said Thursday night on NFL.com that he could see 10 cornerbacks going in the second round and he considers Taylor the best of that group.
Meanwhile, ESPN￢ﾀﾙs Todd McShay lists Taylor as the No. 7 player available and the top cornerback.
NFL DRAFT SCHEDULE
Thursday ￢ﾀﾔ first round (6 p.m.)
Friday ￢ﾀﾔ second and third rounds (4:30 p.m.; ESPN coverage switches to ESPN2 at 6 p.m.)
Saturday ￢ﾀﾔ fourth through seventh rounds (10 a.m.; ESPN coverage switches to ESPN2 at 5 p.m.)
The draft airs on ESPN and the NFL Network.
BOISE STATE￢ﾀﾙS TOP PICKS ALL-TIME
12. OT Ryan Clady, 2008, Broncos*
19. DE Shea McClellin, 2012, Bears*
29. CB Kyle Wilson, 2010, Jets*
30. DE Markus Koch, 1986, Redskins
31. RB Doug Martin, 2012, Buccaneers*
31. FB David Hughes, 1981, Seahawks
44. WR Titus Young, 2011, Lions
47. OT Daryn Colledge, 2006, Packers
54. CB Jamar Taylor, 2013, Dolphins
61. S Gerald Alexander, 2007, Lions
* indicates first-round picks
BOISE STATE￢ﾀﾙS TOP PICKS AT CORNERBACK
29. Kyle Wilson, 2010, Jets
54. Jamar Taylor, 2013, Dolphins
137. Frank Robinson, 1992, Broncos
143. Orlando Scandrick, 2008, Cowboys
THURSDAY, APRIL 25
Jamar Taylor drops to second round
Former Boise State cornerback Jamar Taylor was not drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday night. Taylor was considered a borderline first-rounder. Four cornerbacks were taken ￢ﾀﾔ Dee Milliner of Alabama (9, Jets), D.J. Hayden of Houston (12, Raiders), Desmond Trufant of Washington (22, Falcons) and Xavier Rhodes of Florida State (25, Vikings).
￢ﾀﾜWasn’t in Gods plan #noworries,￢ﾀﾝ Taylor tweeted.
Teams to watch in the second round include the Jaguars (1), 49ers (2), Eagles (3), Lions (4), Bengals (5), Titans (8), Buccaneers (11) and Chargers (13). The Patriots, who are at 20, could be interesting because they have a lot of picks available if they want to trade up.
Here come the corners
When the Oakland Raiders took Houston cornerback D.J. Hayden with the 12th pick, they increased the chances of Boise State￢ﾀﾙs Jamar Taylor landing in the first round. Alabama￢ﾀﾙs Dee Milliner went No. 9 to the New York Jets.
The Falcons took Washington￢ﾀﾙs Desmond Trufant at No. 22, trading up to get him. Taylor and Florida State￢ﾀﾙs Xavier Rhodes are the top two corners remaining. The Colts, Broncos and Patriots are among the teams in the market.
No. 5 Ansah ￢ﾀﾘarrived￢ﾀﾙ vs. Boise State
BYU defensive lineman Ziggy Ansah went to the Detroit Lions with the No. 5 pick in the draft. His breakthrough moment came last season against Boise State, on that goal-line stand at the 1-yard line.
Ansah tackled D.J. Harper for a 1-yard loss on first-and-goal at the 1, combined to tackle Harper for a 1-yard loss on second-and-goal at the 2 and helped stuff the quarterback sneak on fourth-and-goal at the 1.
Here￢ﾀﾙs Boise State coach Chris Petersen￢ﾀﾙs take, as told to ESPN the Magazine:
“We played BYU in our third game of the 2012 season. Thursday night, national TV. It was a super-tight game when we recovered a fumble on their 1-yard line in the second half. Well, BYU has been strong along the defensive front for decades, but their best defensive end [Eathyn Manumaleuna] was out with an injury, so we were thinking we might have an advantage. We were going right at that position. But suddenly this No. 47 blasted in and dropped [running back] D.J. Harper for a loss. Next play, he did it again. They ended up stopping us on downs. We had zero information on No. 47, so our staff was scrambling for a roster, asking, ‘Who is this guy?’ He was so big, we wondered if maybe BYU had a jersey mix-up and one of its starters had switched numbers for a couple of plays or something. It turned out that Ansah had just never really played before. I don’t know how many tackles he had, but it was a lot. And he also blew up a fake punt attempt. On one hand, we felt like, Man, how could we let some unknown guy beat us like that? Then when we saw what he did the rest of the year, it was like, Oh, he did that to everybody. Unfortunately, he had his arrival moment against us.”
Ansah finished with a team-high eight tackles, including 2.5 for loss and a sack. Here￢ﾀﾙs what BYU defensive line coach Steve Kaufusi told ESPN the Magazine:
“After the Boise game, I ran up to Ziggy with the stats. I told him he had eight tackles, two and a half for a loss, broke up a pass and had the first sack Boise had given up all year. This is a guy who had seven tackles in all of 2011. I was going crazy; he just smiled and said, ‘Thanks, Coach, I think I did good too.’ I don’t think he understood what he’d done. And he did it on national TV, with everybody in the NFL watching.”
Here are the picks to watch for Jamar Taylor
The former Bronco likely will be the fourth or fifth cornerback selected in this year￢ﾀﾙs NFL Draft. The guys likely to go ahead of him are Dee Milliner of Alabama, D.J. Hayden of Houston and Xavier Rhodes of Florida State. Desmond Trufant of Washington also is a possibility.
The earlier the run on cornerbacks begins, the better for Taylor￢ﾀﾙs chances of landing in the first round. Here are his most likely landing spots in the first round, from earliest to latest:
Steelers (17), Giants (19), Bears (20): This seems too early, but all three are reportedly in the market for a cornerback and if there￢ﾀﾙs a run Taylor￢ﾀﾙs name could get into the mix.
Colts (24): This seems like a more realistic top end and is about the point where Taylor￢ﾀﾙs agent expects his name to surface. The agent, Ron Slavin, estimated Taylor would go from 25 to 45.
Broncos (28): This will be a key pick whether or not it￢ﾀﾙs Taylor. If the Broncos take a cornerback, Taylor￢ﾀﾙs first-round chances are strong.
Patriots (29): The Patriots worked out Taylor and are considered on the hunt for a cornerback. However, they￢ﾀﾙre notoriously difficult to peg ￢ﾀﾔ and they often trade back. So even if they do take Taylor, it could be by trading to a lower pick.
Falcons (30): This is considered the most likely potential first-round landing spot for Taylor ￢ﾀﾔ and it would be a great situation for him with a playoff-ready team. The Falcons also worked him out and there￢ﾀﾙs a connection that could help ￢ﾀﾔ the Falcons￢ﾀﾙ offensive coordinator is Chris Petersen￢ﾀﾙs good friend Dirk Koetter, so it￢ﾀﾙs likely no team knows more about Taylor than the Falcons if they￢ﾀﾙre seriously interested.
Ravens (32): Remember last year that Boise State tailback Doug Martin snuck into the first round at No. 31 because the Buccaneers traded up into the bottom of the first rather than wait until Friday and risk losing their guy. Taylor could be in a similar situation as one of the top prospects available going into the second round. If someone wants him badly enough, they could move into this spot.
Here is the story I wrote about Taylor for today￢ﾀﾙs paper.
Mayock has four CBs, no Taylor, in mock
Mike Mayock of NFL Network released his mock draft Wednesday afternoon. It includes four cornerbacks ￢ﾀﾔ Dee Milliner of Alabama at 10, D.J. Hayden of Houston at 24, Xavier Rhodes of Florida State at 29 and Desmond Trufant of Washington at 30.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24
Jamar Taylor￢ﾀﾙs agent says he￢ﾀﾙll go in 25-45 range
Ron Slavin isn￢ﾀﾙt just guessing when he estimates his client￢ﾀﾙs draft position. He￢ﾀﾙs done a lot of research to get a feel for teams￢ﾀﾙ draft boards.
￢ﾀﾜI think Jamar will be the fourth or fifth corner taken,￢ﾀﾝ Slavin said.
Taylor￢ﾀﾙs rising stock is somewhat of a misperception, Slavin said. The four NFL scouts who live in Boise had him rated as a second-round pick or better all last season, he said. The others just caught up during the offseason.
￢ﾀﾜBoise is disrespected every year,￢ﾀﾝ said Slavin, who is based in Madison, Wis., but represents former Broncos Orlando Scandrick, Jeron Johnson and George Iloka.
Slavin signed Taylor because he likes his ￢ﾀﾜwork ethic and love of the game.￢ﾀﾝ
￢ﾀﾜThere are a thousand guys every year that come out that have talent,￢ﾀﾝ Slavin said. ￢ﾀﾜIt￢ﾀﾙs who wants it ￢ﾀﾦ and nobody wants it more than Jamar.￢ﾀﾝ
Taylor￢ﾀﾙs final landing spot will be determined in part by how many teams want to draft corners in the first round. Taylor is considered a strong candidate late in the first round, for teams like the Patriots (No. 29) and Falcons (No. 30). Cornerback is a popular need this year, particularly among a group of teams clustered from No. 27 to No. 42, Slavin said.
Below, I have compiled 23 mock drafts from across the Internet. Only six have Taylor in the first round.
What the analysts are saying
Mike Mayock, NFL Network, on Boise State CB Jamar Taylor: ￢ﾀﾜI am high on Jamar Taylor. ￢ﾀﾦ I think he’s a mid-second round pick. He’s got quick feet, he’ll tackle and like most Boise players, he’s tough and understands the game of football.
So trust me, I think Jamar Taylor is a starting corner in the NFL and I really like him.￢ﾀﾝ
Mayock on Boise State RB D.J. Harper: ￢ﾀﾜThe Harper kid I think is late draftable. I like him, but just because of that injury history and where he’s been, he’s kind of an interesting player. He’s one of those guys in this draft where you might get a bargain. ￢ﾀﾦ He’s got straight-line speed. He doesn’t have make-you-miss kind of speed. ￢ﾀﾦ I think teams are going to like him.￢ﾀﾝ
Todd McShay, ESPN, on Taylor: ￢ﾀﾜThe more I got to watch of him, and I just didn￢ﾀﾙt know a whole lot about him before I got into his tape, very consistent corner. The one hard part, I guess, about evaluating him, at least in my opinion, is I didn￢ﾀﾙt think this year has been the top competition when you kind of compare him against some of the other guys. Still, he was extremely consistent throughout the year. You look at the tackling, the ability to come up and support, he￢ﾀﾙs not the biggest or strongest guy, but he￢ﾀﾙs willing. His ball skills are adequate. But I think where he really stands out is the overall instincts, his ability to play in zone, man to man, read quarterbacks￢ﾀﾙ eyes and read routes of wide receivers. With the speed that he has, the fluid hips, the balance that he plays with, I think at the very least he can come in and contribute in the sub packages right away in the NFL, and it won￢ﾀﾙt surprise me maybe in year two if this guy is the starter. I think he￢ﾀﾙs a solid all around player and probably going to come off the board somewhere in the second round.￢ﾀﾝ
Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN, on Taylor: ￢ﾀﾜSenior Bowl week really helped Jamar Taylor a lot. ￢ﾀﾦ The things you look for in this league now, he has. He￢ﾀﾙll support the run. I think Jamar Taylor￢ﾀﾙs a borderline first-round pick. I project him possibly late first, at worst early-to-mid second. A lot of teams are going to look at corner late first, early-to-mid second, so there￢ﾀﾙs going to be a run on these guys. He￢ﾀﾙs going to be very heavily in that equation.￢ﾀﾝ
Kiper on Harper: ￢ﾀﾜMaybe a late-rounder, but I￢ﾀﾙm projecting him more as a priority free agent,￢ﾀﾝ Kiper said.
Kiper on OL Hugh Thornton of Illinois and Mountain View High: ￢ﾀﾜI see him to be a third-round pick. I look at Miami on a pick from Chicago at 82 would be a nice spot for him. I like him. I think when you look at his versatility, he can settle in and be a heck of a guard in this league. At 6-3 ￂﾼ, 320 pounds, with I think very good athletic ability overall for a player his size. Good movement, good agility.￢ﾀﾝ
Mayock on Thornton: ￢ﾀﾜKind of an interesting kid. He’s got positional versatility. And Illinois a couple years ago when they went with the split and the tight arrangements they had to play on both sides of the line, which I really like. People don’t understand how valuable it is to play with your left or right hand down in the dirt. I think the kid has played guard, he’s played tackle. Got some good movement skills. I like him inside. But I think because he can play probably four positions in the offensive line, it’s going to help him. But I think he’s kind of a mid round pick, somewhere in the fourth or fifth round.￢ﾀﾝ
LATEST RANKINGS AND MOCK DRAFTS
Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN
Mock draft (4/22)
Todd McShay, ESPN
Mock draft (4/21)
29. CB Jamar Taylor, Boise State (tier 5 ￢ﾀﾔ late first/early second round)
106. OL Hugh Thornton, Illinois/Mountain View HS (tier 7 ￢ﾀﾔ third round)
Stacking the board
Second round: CB Jamar Taylor, Boise State (grade: 89)
Third round: OG Hugh Thornton, Illinois/Mountain View (grade: 71)
Seventh round: RB D.J. Harper, Boise State (35)
Mike Mayock, NFL Network
Mock draft (4/24)
51. CB Jamar Taylor, Boise State
Position rankings (4/19)
Josh Norris, NFL.com
Seven-round mock draft (4/22)
20. CB Jamar Taylor, Boise State, Bears
114. OL Hugh Thornton, Illinois/Mountain View HS, Cowboys
Other NFL.com mocks
Gil Brandt (4/23)
Charley Casserly (4/19)
Matt Smith (4/17)
Note: Jamar Taylor an option for Patriots at No. 29.
Charles Davis (4/15)
Daniel Jeremiah (4/10)
Note: Jamar Taylor to Patriots at No. 29.
Bucky Brooks (4/8)
Akbar Gbajabiamila (4/1)
Peter King￢ﾀﾙs mock draft (4/24)
Don Banks mock draft (4/17)
30. CB Jamar Taylor, Boise State, Falcons
Chris Burke￢ﾀﾙs Big Board (4/17)
Note: Jamar Taylor not in the top 40.
CBSSports.com mock drafts
Rob Rang (4/21)
35. CB Jamar Taylor, Boise State, Eagles
Dane Brugler (4/22)
30. CB Jamar Taylor, Boise State, Falcons
Pat Kirwan (4/21)
Pete Prisco (4/21)
29. CB Jamar Taylor, Boise State, Patriots
Clark Judge (4/21)
Will Brinson (4/22)
64. CB Jamar Taylor, Boise State
152. OL Hugh Thornton, Illinois/Mountain View HS
Los Angeles Times
Mock draft (4/23)
48. CB Jamar Taylor, Boise State, Steelers
143. OL Hugh Thornton, Illinois/Mountain View HS, Bills
223. RB D.J. Harper, Boise State, Steelers
Mock draft (4/7)
Mock draft (4/20)
Video mock draft (4/23)
30. CB Jamar Taylor, Boise State, Falcons
Watch Jamar Taylor in defensive back drills on pro day.
About this blog post:
I will be posting NFL Draft news, notes and links in this spot throughout the week, rather than publishing a new post each day.