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Jawan Jamison declares for NFL Draft

There had been some speculation about this, but looking at this logically, it didn't really make a lot of sense. Jamison had a good season, and is an improving player, but he had trouble staying healthy this year, and could have definitely improved his stock with a good 2013. Some would argue that this year's crop of RBs is going to be weak, but I still don't really see Jamison being a high pick. If he came back and had a strong 2013, his stock would have probably risen to the third round range. Perhaps Jamison sees his stock rising during the pre-draft workout process, or is worried about the well-documented short shelf live for running backs in the pros. Rutgers should be fine with former blue chipper Savon Huggins starting, who did look good in his limited opportunities this season. The problem is more behind him, where the team has walk-on Paul James, speedster Ben Martin, and spark plug Des Peoples, none of whom have seen especially a lot of in game action. That doesn't mean that they can't play, but this definitely will open up the competition in April. Dontae Ayres is signed for this year's class, and there's always the possibility that Rutgers could try to get back into the mix with some other RB prospects as well. Sure, this is a loss. Jawan Jamison is a good player, and although I think Huggins probably has more raw talent, Jamison's slashing running style was a better fit for Kyle Flood's offense than Huggins, who is more of a straight-ahead type. It's not devastating though. It'll be tough, but Huggins can fill Jamison's shoes. Losing a potential first round pick in Logan Ryan, at a spot where Rutgers is hurting for depth looms as a far bigger loss.

NFL scouts on Mohamed Sanu

Every year the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has great draft coverage where they directly pull comments from scouts. They mostly have positive things to say about Sanu - he's smart (with a good wonderlic), tough, will do the dirty work etc..., but give him a solid second round grade because of concerns about his athleticism. That unfortunately seems likely given the depth at receiver in this year's draft. Sanu is ranked 7th among WR prospects, below big time question marks like Alshon Jeffery and Stephen Hill. That seems like a failure of expected value. With Sanu, you know he's going to turn into a Muhsin Muhammad-type who will sting around the NFL forever. A few of these other ones, teams are gambling that they will turn into stars instead of fourth receivers. Update: here are some more comments in a similar vein.

Joe Lefeged's draft stock

It would be nice to have more draft content now, but the ongoing NFL labor dispute is really putting a cramp on the flow of information right now. One bit of news is that Pro Football Weekly projects Lefeged to go in the fifth round this weekend. PFW annually surveys scouts around the NFL to build a loose projection of each player's stock. The latter part of the NFL draft is pretty much a crapshoot depending on each individual team's value board and roster needs, so most likely Lefeged will be picked at some point on day three. Rutgers fans still have fond memories of Lefeged breaking onto the field as freshman via Coach Schiano's package emphasizing blitzers coming out of the defensive backfield. He was a solid starter over the past few years. Maybe a few coverage mishaps in 2010, but that was really exacerbated as the front seven on defense wore down and wasn't able to generate enough of a pass rush to bail the secondary out on a consistent basis. Good guy though, and Lefeged also had a great 2010 as a kick returner. He possesses excellent straight line speed. Between KR duties, and Schiano's continued emphasis on blocking punts and kicks, Lefeged should not have much trouble sticking on a roster as a rookie special teamer. That's really a player's ticket into the NFL if they aren't going to be an immediate starter. Special teams coupled with good workout numbers make PFW's fifth round projection a realistic possibility. Most of the other Rutgers draft hopefuls will probably have to prove themselves as undrafted free agents, although players like Alex Silvestro should get decent chances to prove themselves on the next level. RU for the most part will take a step back though from the draft this year after producing several impressive hauls as of late. Rising seniors like Manny Abreu, Justin Francis, and David Rowe should be in heavier demand next spring

Joe Lefeged at the Senior Bowl

Linked above is a story from last week about Joe's training regiment. Most reviews haven't been kind to Joe Lefeged at the Senior Bowl practices, although there isn't much out there. I have heard that he looked to be in very good shape though (5'11, 208 according to official measurements), so there's always the chance make up ground at (presumably) the Combine and at Pro Day and team workouts. Lefeged looked good as a returner in practices but didn't take very good angles supposedly. One report had him talking with the Vikings and Raiders in Mobile.

Lefeged, Lowery, Freeny to play in postseason all-star games

The Rutgers athletic department announced yesterday that Joe Lefeged had been selected to play in the Senior Bowl, with Antonio Lowery and Jon Freeny also playing in new game that will likely battle Texas vs. the Nation (which is actually called the NFLPA Game now) for supremacy. One factor that I want to talk more about as the NFL Draft season kicks into gear over the next few months is how extenuating circumstances ruined what was looking like a very good defense through the first half of 2010. That poor play undoubtedly hurt their stock, although good professional scouts ought to have an ability to take context into account. A couple Scarlet Knights will catch on as late round picks/UDFAs and stick around in the NFL. Alex Silvestro stands out as another player who will deserve some looks, and Brandon Bing should at least get a few workouts after he runs a sub-4.4 at Pro Day.

NFL, union at odds over rookie salaries

Labor strife isn't limited these days to New Jersey and the Christie administration. According to NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith, the conflict over escalating rookie salaries is one issue that increases the likelihood of a lockout next summer. That's all the more reason for an Anthony Davis to declare this year and get his name on a contract. It's easy to see the incentive for him, and for the NFL to make this a bone of contention in the talks. Two years ago, Leodis McKelvin signed a five-year, $19.4 million contract at #11 overall. That figure increased to a cool $25 mil last year for Aaron Maybin. This could be Anthony's last chance to cash in on the gravy train before a hard rookie cap goes in place.

Rutgers fans really, really don't like ESPN's Todd McShay

A Chicago report mentions that a group of Rutgers fans were heckling Todd McShay yesterday at Radio City Music Hall. Hey, guys, what gives? It's the lord's work and all, but why not go to the spring game instead? What's striking about this story is that the exact same thing happened last year. Is there any chance that the exact same group of people made the pilgrimage up to New York to resume their derision? What's truely ironic about this is that Rutgers fan Dan Levy from On the DL is one of a handful of voices on the internet who have actively defended the frequent punching bag McShay from criticism. He's been beaten up so much over the past few years that he's really turned into an easy target....and yet I can't manufacture any sympathy at all, because ESPN really does bring it on McShay through overexposing him to death.

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