Terry Beckner Jersey

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COLUMBIA, Mo. — There is a player expected to be selected in the middle of Rounds 4 or 5 of the 2019 NFL draft who at one time was held in higher regard (by at least one publication) than six eventual first-round picks in last year’s draft — including Derwin James, Roquan Smith and Josh Rosen — and the likely No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft (Kyler Murray).

However, when said player — University of Missouri defensive lineman Terry Beckner Jr. — was recently reminded of his high school days, back when Rivals.com ranked him 36th overall and ESPN had him as high as No. 2 in 2015, the 22-year-old just shrugged.

While the 6-foot-4, 296-pounder’s path to the NFL turned out to have a few more roadblocks than he would have expected, there’s still zero doubt for Beckner that his career remains right on schedule.

“Forget what everybody expects of me,” Beckner said. “I already know what I’ve got within myself.”

‘His work habits, they’ve changed’

Beckner bounced back from a rough start at Missouri to become a two-year starter and team captain as a senior. Missouri’s defensive line coach Brick Haley leaned on him heavily in 2018.

“Terry is so much more mature than he was when he got here,” Haley said. “He’s a young man that has actually done the things we’ve asked him to do, and he’s grown to be a man — always on point and taking care of his business.”

Beckner started five of 10 games as a true freshman and did enough to be named a freshman All-American despite a season-ending right knee injury. But after he tore the ACL in his left knee in the middle of a less productive sophomore campaign — which came months after he was briefly suspended from the team for possession of less than 35 grams of marijuana (a misdemeanor) — there was uncertainty around Beckner when Haley was hired in December 2016.

“His work habits, they’ve changed [since then],” said Haley, who added that Beckner also used to have a tendency to miss class or show up late to functions.

Shortly after Haley was hired, the two sat down and had a heart-to-heart. Haley reminded Beckner that if he wanted to play in the NFL, he’d have to act like a pro first. He was a grown man, Haley told him, and it was time for Beckner to start acting like it. No one would be texting him or following him to class, there would be no hand-holding.

“And he said, ‘You know what coach? You’re right. That’s my responsibility and that’s what I need to do,’” Haley recalled. “And I watched him take the bull by the horns, and there was never another conversation after that situation where we were worried about Terry Beckner going to class or showing up late. He was always there, on time and doing what he was supposed to.”
Beckner blossomed late in Missouri career

Haley’s arrival coincided with Beckner’s junior season at Missouri, when he had the option of declaring for the NFL. And after his first two seasons at Mizzou didn’t go as planned, Beckner realized he was coming too close to not living up to his potential.

“You gotta mature at some point — you can’t be a kid forever,” Beckner said. “[As an upperclassman], you’re about to play grown men in the NFL so you might as well start acting like one before you get there. I had a lot more to give to the game than I was giving it.”

A refocused Beckner in 2017 recorded career highs in tackles (38), tackles for loss (11), sacks (seven) and quarterback pressures (five) in 13 starts. And when he decided to come back his senior year to improve his draft stock, he was so respected by his teammates that he was named a team captain.

During a strong senior campaign in which he logged 34 tackles (11½ for loss), 3½ sacks and five pressures in 13 starts, Haley says Beckner regularly held his defensive teammates accountable. A passionate speech during a d-line meeting the week of the Georgia game in September served as a turning point for his leadership.

Scott Miller Jersey

Bowling Green State University WR Scott Miller (21) scores a touchdown against the University of Toledo during 2017 rivalry game.

BOWLING GREEN — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted Bowling Green receiver Scott Miller with the 208th overall pick Saturday in the NFL draft.

Miller finished his time at Bowling Green third in school history in receiving yardage and caught 23 touchdown passes in his final three years at BGSU.

An undersized player listed at 5-foot-11 and 166 pounds, Miller stood out as one of the fastest players in the draft.

Miller was not invited to the NFL combine or the top-tier all-star games, but ran a hand-timed 4.32 40-yard dash at Bowling Green’s pro day and received late interest in the draft process.

The Barrington, Ill., native caught 215 passes for 2,867 yards in four seasons with the Falcons, and served as BGSU’s primary kick returner during his first two seasons with an average of 18.4 yards.

Miller was the only offensive player the Buccaneers selected during the draft, and the receiver should have a solid chance to make the team’s 53-man roster.

The Tampa Bay roster includes star receiver Mike Evans along with Chris Godwin, and the team signed veteran Breshad Perriman in the offseason to go along with last year’s fifth-round pick, Justin Watson.

The Buccaneers lost receiver and punt returner Adam Humphries to Tennessee, which signed him to a four-year, $36 million deal.

Tampa hired former Arizona head coach Bruce Arians as its coach this offseason.

Matt Gay Jersey

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In 2012, Matt Gay was scoring 18 goals as part of an Orem High boys soccer team that made it to the state semifinals.

His next stop was at UVU, where he was a talented soccer player for the Wolverines.

But this is a guy who kicked a 54-yard field goal in a high school football game and once made one from 72 yards in practice for the Tigers, so there was always the thought that he would go back to the gridiron.

Eventually Gay joined the Utah football team and had a spectacular career, including winning the 2017 Lou Groza Award as the best kicker in college football.

Now Gay is taking the next step as he heads to the NFL. He was drafted Saturday by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the fifth round of the NFL draft (145th pick overall).

Gay was the fourth Ute player selected in the NFL draft and the second specialist as punter Mitch Wishnowsky was taken in the fourth round by the San Francisco 49ers.

The draft analysis on NFL.com written by Mark Dulgerian emphasized that Tampa Bay was addressing a specific need with the selection.

“The Bucs were abysmal in the kicking game last season, hitting on just 74.1% of their field goals (4th-worst in the NFL),” Dulgerian said. “Gay has a booming leg and should help the points per game column for an offense that ranked 3rd in total yards.”

During the post-draft press conference, Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht said Matt Gay is a big guy with a big leg who can kick it far and accurate both in Utah and at sea level. He said he likes Gay’s accuracy from distance beyond 40 yards and said the Bucs have a coach with an emphasis on kickers and finds them very important.

“We’ve exhausted everything we can to try to find a kicker,” Licht said. “We’ll continue to, like every other position. We’ve drafted one, we’ve signed free agents, UFAs, street free agents, gone to Denmark. We like this guy.”

In the seventh round (236th pick overall), former Westlake quarterback John Ursua, who played receiver at Hawaii and chose to declare for the NFL draft after his junior season, was selected by the Seattle Seahawks.

Dion Caputi tweeted from his @NFLDraftUpdate Twitter account that Ursua helped himself by putting up some good measurables during the pre-draft process.

“Small, rocked out slot profile with great athleticism,” Caputi tweeted. “He had a really good Pro Day that probably got his name called before the end of the draft.”

Ursua told radio station 710 ESPN Seattle after being selected that he was fielding calls about signing as an undrafted free agent until Seahawks coach Pete Carroll called and said they were on the clock and picking him. He said it meant a lot that Seattle would trade a pick next year to come and get him.

Other Utah County players who had appeared to at one point be locks to be drafted ended up going all three days without hearing their names called.

Former five-star recruit Porter Gustin from Salem Hills and former Lone Peak quarterback Chase Hansen (who played linebacker at Utah) were both hampered by injuries, which might have made NFL teams hesitate to select them.

Hansen was the first local player to accept a free agent contract, signing with the New Orleans Saints shortly after the conclusion of the draft.

Timpview’s Dax Raymond, who had a solid career at tight end for Utah State, also had to wait to sign a free agent deal, signing with the Chicago Bears.

As of press deadline, Gustin had yet to sign a contract.

Mike Edwards Jersey

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Former Kentucky Wildcats safety Mike Edwards and Tight End CJ Conrad held a workout on Monday morning to showcase their talents to NFL scouts. Since both players had to sit out the NFL combine due to injuries, this was their first time for scouts to see the players participate in drills.

Missing time for an injury was completely new ground for Mike Edwards. He never missed a game in his entire 4 year career with the wildcats, including starting his last 44 games with the team.

“I did pretty good,” said Edwards of his performance. “I could’ve done better. I tweaked my hamstring a little bit running that last 40. Nothing major. I wanted to do the shuttle because I feel like it was one of my best drills. But I think I showed enough. People question my speed, I showed them my speed. I showed I could jump a little bit. And definitely my position drills.”

Edwards measured in at 5-foot-10 and 203 pounds at today’s workout. He ran a 4.5 on both of his 40 attempts with a 37 inch vertical. Since he tweaked his hamstring, he did not participate in the 3 cone drill or shuttle drill. However, Edwards did participate in his position drills.

Out of the 32 NFL teams, 12 were represented at the workout, those being the Browns, Jaguars, Lions, Broncos, Seahawks, Raiders, Chargers, Jets, Bengals, 49ers, Redskins, and Titans.

Currently, Edwards is projected as 2nd or 3rd day draft pick. He most likely won’t be one of the top 5 safeties off the board. Given his production at UK though, he’s talented enough to be a starter at the next level. It’s all dependent on a team’s ability and willingness to develop Edwards.

The NFL Draft takes place on April 25-27 in Nashville, Tennessee. Edwards should be one of the many Wildcats to hear their name called this year.

Anthony Nelson Jersey

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The 2019 NFL Draft promises to have a lot of star power on the defensive side of the ball. Even though most of the attention will be focused on the first round selections, plenty of quality defenders will be available on the second and third days of the draft that can contribute right away on NFL rosters. Among these is former Iowa Hawkeye defensive end Anthony Nelson. Attending Waukee High School in Iowa, Nelson started both his junior and senior seasons. In his two seasons, he racked up 12.5 sacks, 29 tackles for loss, 10 forced fumbles, nine fumble recoveries, and a J.J. Watt-like 24 passes defended. A first-team all-district as a senior, Nelson followed in his father Jeff’s footsteps to play at Iowa.

After redshirting in 2015, Nelson appeared in all 13 games in the 2016 season, getting one start. Despite only starting one game, he finished second on the team in sacks, notching seven. In 2017, Nelson finally led the team with 7.5 sacks and was an honorable selection All-Big Ten in his first season as a full-time starter. As a redshirt junior, Nelson finished his collegiate career with a 9.5 sack season in 2018, this time finishing as a third-team All-Big Ten. With plenty of production under his belt to go along with plenty of upside, Nelson decided to forgo his senior season and enter the NFL draft.
Strengths

has the look of an NFL defensive end from a length standpoint;
athleticism in workouts translate on the field;
shows great football I.Q. on the field;
if he can’t get to the quarterback, he gets his hands up to knock the ball down;
once he beats a tackle to the outside, he uses exceptional leverage to push the pocket and win his assignment;
likewise, once he beats a lineman to the inside, he uses leverage to win not-always-favorable match-ups;
uses his hands to set up swim moves;
has flexibility and experience lining up all along the defensive line in sub-packages;
despite not showing exceptional strength, is able to hold his ground when engaged;
makes plays near the sidelines and down the field on screens, sweeps, and short passes;

Weaknesses

not overly powerful at the point of attack;
can play too high at times;
sometimes seems a bit slow off the ball (although this could be assignment-driven to counter spread offenses; other times he explodes off the ball);
could stand to add a little more mass;
stronger in the pass game than in the run game;
will probably start career off in nickel situations before maturing to a full-time role

NFL Comparison: Brian Robison

Teams with Need at Position: Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, Seattle Seahawks

Projection: Third to fifth round
Bottom Line

While not a premier name, Nelson’s pass-rushing ability will not go unnoticed as the draft goes late into its second day. In today’s NFL, teams can’t get enough pass rushers and a team running a 4-3 defense will recognize the tape and ability Nelson possesses. His flexibility and athleticism will make it hard for a team to keep him on the bench during his entire rookie season. Likely a one or two-down player to begin his career, Nelson has a good skill set and body frame to build on to maybe one day become a solid, every-down player in the league.