Re: ***2014 PATRIOTS DRAFT THREAD***
posted at 2/17/2014 5:35 PM EST
Rich Gosselin is a good sports writer. He always does well with the draft and prospects. I need to check out the two below. Chancellor is 5"8" 186lbs, not sure on his 40.
Gosselin: Why the NFL should've invited SMU's Garrett Gilbert, North Texas' Brelan Chancellor to combine
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports/USA TODAY Sports The most important aspects of the combine are often the ones that get the least publicity — players measuring in, going through the medical checks and the team interviews that could put many questions to rest or raise an entirely new set of concerns. So with more than 300 NFL draft hopefuls attending the second biggest off-season event on the NFL calendar — and the only that draws team owners, team executives, league officials, coaches, agents and potential future stars to the same venue— this week will be far more than just a two-man show. — Associated Press 1 of 6
Published: 16 February 2014 10:52 PM
Updated: 16 February 2014 11:34 PM
The top 335 draft prospects will gather in Indianapolis this week for the NFL’s annual scouting combine.
But I find it hard to believe that any gathering of the top 335 draft-eligible prospects would not include a single player from SMU or North Texas.
More specifically, I find it hard to believe that SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert and North Texas wide receiver Brelan Chancellor will not be joining me in Indianapolis this week.
Gilbert was once the most heralded schoolboy quarterback in the land, selected by Parade magazine as its national Player of the Year in 2008.
Gilbert threw for two touchdowns off the bench in the national title game against Alabama as a true freshman at Texas, then went on to start 14 games for the Longhorns over the next two years before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury in 2011.
Gilbert transferred to SMU in 2012 and rebuilt his career under June Jones. He passed for 2,932 yards and 15 touchdowns in his first year learning a new offense in 2012, then threw for 3,528 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2013 before a knee injury ended his season in the 10th game.
Gilbert averaged 352.8 yards per game passing in 2013, fourth best in the nation. The only draft-eligible quarterback ahead of him was invited the combine, Derek Carr of Fresno State. Carr was among the 19 quarterbacks who will be in Indianapolis this weekend. But no Gilbert.
And no Chancellor. The NFL deemed 48 wide receivers worthy of invitations to the combine, including players from Coastal Carolina, Saginaw Valley State and Georgia State. But one of the best dual-purpose returners in this draft must sit at home waiting for his pro day.
In addition to catching 47 passes at North Texas, Chancellor finished fifth in the NCAA in punt returns with an average of 16.1 yards and 11th in kickoff returns with an average of 27.6 yards. With the growing premium on special teams in the NFL, it’s hard to believe the combine whiffed on Chancellor.
Players are invited to participate by a committee of 8-12 NFL talent evaluators, including representatives from the two major scouting combines (National and Blesto) plus 8-10 NFL teams.
But combine snubs are obstacles Gilbert and Chancellor can overcome. There were 29 non-combine players selected in the 2013 draft and 166 undrafted college free agents who played as rookies in the NFL last season.
The NFL didn’t invite SMU wide receiver Cole Beasley or safety Chris Banjo to the 2012 combine. Neither was drafted, but both have gone on to start games in the NFL, Beasley with the Cowboys and Banjo the Packers.
The NFL also failed to invite North Texas running back Lance Dunbar and tight end Jamize Olawale to the 2012 combine. Both went undrafted, but Dunbar now plays for the Cowboys and Olawale the Raiders.
I like the chances of Gilbert and Chancellor joining that fraternity in 2014. And so do their coaches.
Gilbert had a 500-yard passing game against Temple, a couple of 400-yard games against Cincinnati and Rutgers and 300-yard days against Texas A&M and Texas Tech. He also rushed for six touchdowns and has the size the NFL covets in a quarterback — 6-4, 225 pounds.
“If an NFL teams takes Garrett’s last three games of 2012 and any games they want to grade from this year — just grade the games when the light went on in our offense — I believe Garrett Gilbert would grade out in the top three quarterbacks of this draft,” Jones said. “Maybe the very top.”
Caliber of competition can’t be an issue for Chancellor. Not after he broke a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown against then No. 9 Georgia in September. He also returned a punt 65 yards for a score against Rice, caught an 85-yard TD pass against Idaho and rushed for two touchdowns in the Heart of Dallas Bowl against UNLV.
“I’d be shocked if Brelan Chancellor is not on an active roster after the final cuts are made that first day of the 2014 NFL season,” North Texas coach Dan McCarney said.
“There’s a fire burning inside of him all the time. I’m sure he’s been sold short many times in his career. But he doesn’t flinch. He doesn’t give in to adversity. He just goes on about his business and finds a way to prove a lot of folks wrong … again.”
If the NFL never missed on a player, Wes Welker wouldn’t have played a down on Sundays. He wasn’t invited to his combine. That was five 100-catch seasons and five Pro Bowls ago. The NFL was wrong on Welker. And I believe the league is wrong on Gilbert and Chancellor.