Major NFL-prospect notes from the road

Is the first underclassmen ready to declare his eligibility? What about some formerly injured top-prospects? How big a blow was Eric Winston's injury? After being on the road for two weeks here is the word in NFL scouting circles.

One underclassmen who is heavily leaning towards entering next April's draft, in fact many believe it is already a done deal, would be University of Memphis running back DeAngelo Williams.  Sized well at 215-pounds and just a hair under 5-10, Williams possesses the physical skills to be an early selection in the draft.  Capitalizing on a terrific sophomore season, he is poised to break just about every school and conference rushing record.  Is this a good move for Williams though?  While Williams would ordinarily be a fringe first round pick he has two things going against him next April if he declares; the depth of top senior talent at the top of the running back position as well as the fact that not many NFL teams may be looking for feature runners in the early part of the draft.

Another Memphis prospect gaining notice would be Albert Means.  Finally showing some life after three underachieving seasons, Means arrived in shape and ready to play football as a senior.  And while his consistency is still below a level scouts want, there is a feeling Means may be close to turning the corner.

What Frank Gore of Miami does after this season will be interesting but as of right now smart money has him staying in school.  After a pair of major knee injuries most feel Gore is back to prior form carrying the ball and still shows the ability to slash off defenders and make them miss.  Unfortunately it is apparent to those in the program Gore has lost about a half-step of speed from last season and is not yet 100%.

Many are saying the same about Florida State receiver Craphonso Thorpe.  The dynamic pass catcher slated to be a first round pick next April has been a little slower then hoped returning from his broken leg of a year ago, which has raised some red-flags.

How big was the gruesome knee injury to Miami Hurricane offensive tackle Eric Winston this weekend?  Sources said Winston's thought process had him leaning towards entering the draft where he would've competed with fellow Floridian Alex Barron to be the first offensive linemen drafted during the initial twelve picks.

There is a real belief amongst many that Georgia receiver Reggie Brown has surpassed his teammate Fred Gibson on draft boards and Brown will be selected prior to the enigmatic Gibson.  Showing a much steadier line of progress the past three seasons, Brown has been much more consistent and a hell of a lot tougher than his highly touted teammate.  Factor in Gibson's injury past and Brown should be selected almost a full round earlier.

Keep an eye on Miami Hurricane tight end Kevin Everett who has been getting better the more he plays.  Sitting behind Kellen Winslow Jr. last season, many compare Everett similarly as an athlete to Winslow and feel he has a great upside.


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