Draft Prospect Week in Review

As part of our year-round coverage of draft prospects and the NFL draft, we present another weekly edition of Tony Pauline's Week in Review. Names that Browns fans should be aware of, such as offensive tackle Brandon Phillips and cornerback Derrick Strait are mentioned in this week's round-up.

September 15

  • Oklahoma senior Lance Mitchell, a top linebacker prospect for April's NFL Draft , suffered a severe knee injury in Saturday's win over Fresno State It is believed that Mitchell suffered a torn ACL in his left knee and will be out for the year.  If Mitchell's injury is season-ending,  Oklahoma co-defensive coordinator Brent Venables hopes the junior college transfer will file for a medical hardship and return to Norman for another year.
  • Kentucky quarterback Jared Lorenzen sustained a sprained MCL when he was sacked by Derrick Pope early in the third quarter of the Wildcats loss to Alabama. While he still managed to finish the game, Lorenzen is scheduled to be re-evaluated to determine the severity of the injury.
  • Fred Gibson re-injured his hamstring after catching a 19-yard pass the first quarter of the Bulldogs victory over LSU.
  • University of Brandon Phillips, was lost in the first quarter with a right kneecap injury and is likely gone for the season.  The athletic Phillips was a solid sleeper candidate for next April's draft and a prospect scouts were keeping tabs on.  A fifth year senior, he could try and apply for a sixth year of eligibility.
  • The lawyers for suspended Maurice Clarett have stated they plan on asking the NFL to alter its rules so Clarett can enter the 2004 draft.  Though NFL lawyers will meet with Clarett's representatives commissioner Paul Tagliabue reasserted the NFL's position that it will fight any legal challenge to overturn the rule.
  • Steven Jackson suffered a left knee strain in Saturday night's victory over New Mexico State and limped off the field after rushing for 166 yards and two touchdowns. After an MRI examination on Sunday, Jackson has been cleared to play Saturday against Boise State, according to the school's web site.

September 16

  • One name that comes up when NFL scouts talk of pass rushing defensive ends is Kentucky Vincent "Sweet Pea" Burns. Burns leads the SEC in tackles for loss with nine and ranks second in sacks with a pair. He has a streak of nine consecutive games with at least one tackle for loss.
  • "The closest thing to Pollack would be Billy Ray Smith who I coached when he was a runner-up for the Outland Award two years in a row and was an All-American," Holtz added. "Smith was an undersized defensive end that makes all kinds of plays to win games. Pollack is the same way. He really is an excellent player, and I don't know how to block him."
  • NFL scouts feel the light has gone on for Michigan senior running back Chris Perry, who has been a major reason for the success of the Wolverines this season.  Through three games Perry has a total of 549 yards rushing and eight touchdowns.  He is quickly moving up draft boards in the eyes of many scouts.
  • Both Florida State coaches and NFL scouts really feel Seminole quarterback Chris Rix has matured. The senior passer has responded thus far in 2003, staying away from the costly error and brought his team back last Saturday against Georgia Tech.
  • According to BamaMag.com  Senior linebacker Cornelius Wortham has yet to see action this year rehabbing from a dislocated elbow suffered during fall camp and could sit out this year and return in 2004 for his final season of eligibility.

September 17

  • Bobby Purify  will miss Saturday's against Florida State after suffering an ankle sprain during CU's loss to Washington State this past weekend.  Purify, considered a late round running back for next April's draft, has a history of nicks and bruises that have kept him on the sidelines in college.
  • Maurice Brown could miss 4-6 weeks after suffering an ankle injury in Saturday's runaway victory over Iowa State.  Brown is considered a late round prospect in next April's draft and has almost five times as many receptions as his nearest Iowa teammate.
  • Michigan Wolverine defensive back Marlin Jackson was ticketed as a minor in possession of alcohol a month before assaulting a fellow student. Jackson pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and was suspended for the season opener against Central Michigan.  He is considered by NFL scouts as the premier secondary prospect in the nation.
  • Samie Parker during Saturday's lopsided win over Arizona and is questionable for Saturday's big contest against Michigan.
  • Marty Johnson has been suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules. Johnson hasn't played a game in 12 months; a foot injury has kept him on the sidelines this year and a torn ACL ended his 2002 campaign after just two weeks.  A 230-pound bruising back, he caught the eye of NFL general managers after totaling 400-yards in the Utes first two games of 2002.  The suspension is the latest in a shaky career, one which included a DUI conviction last summer.

September 18

  • Washington State quarterback Matt Kegel was been named Pac-10 offensive player of the week after leading the Cougars to a 47-26 upset against Colorado.  Kegel completed 17 of 33 passes for 310 yards with three touchdowns passes of  74, 77 and 12 yards.  Fore the year Kegel has completed 55% of his passes for 692 yards.  NFL scouts have been eyeing Kegel since spring practice.

  • Purdue junior receiver Taylor Stubblefield underwent therapy on his sprained left ankle.   and is hopeful to be able to play this Saturday's game against Arizona.  Off to a torrid start, Stubblefield has caught 23 passes in the Boilermakers initial two games of the season, which leads the Big Ten.

  • Tailback Frank Gore has been limited in practice because of soreness in his knee yet will play in Saturday's game against Boston College.  Gore missed all of the 2002 season after having his right knee surgically repaired, was noticeably limping and wearing a knee brace on the leg.  Considered by NFL scouts as the next great Hurricane running back, Gore is off to a sizzling start this season.

  • Chris Cooley suffered a fracture in his foot Saturday against Arizona State and is expected to miss four to six weeks.  Cooley, who was second in the nation amongst tight ends with six receptions per game, is considered a sleeper prospect for next April's NFL Draft.

  • Washington senior quarterback Cody Pickett was back at practice on Monday, throwing for the first time and looked good according to coach Keith Gilbertson.

September 19

  • Michael Clayton and center Ben Wilkerson, both suffering from ankle sprains, will be ready to go on Saturday when the Tigers face conference foe Georgia.  Underclassmen eligible for next April's draft, Clayton and Wilkerson are considered first round choices.
  • One of the of the few bright spots in a dismal season at Mississippi State has been the play of senior wide receiver Justin Jenkins. Averaging 7.5 receptions per game, Jenkins is second in the SEC and is catching the eye of NFL scouts with improved consistency. 
  • Oklahoma cornerback Derrick Strait will start Saturday for the 44th straight time as the Sooners take on UCLA.  Suffering a thigh muscle strain last week against Fresno State, Strait returned to practice yesterday.  He is considered a first round selection by NFL scouts in next April's draft.
  • Southern Mississippi quarterback Mickey D'Angelo will not start another game until late October after suffering his third concussion in two seasons. This opens the door for back-up Dustin Almond.  Both D'Angelo and Almond are considered NFL prospects for the future.

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