NEWS AND NEAR NEWS

Media outlets wishing to interview Colin Lindsay or Pigskin Paul Guillemette about the draft or other football topics should email the editor or call 613-692-1088

Panthers shuffle scout staff … Carolina has reorganized its scouting department in the wake of former assistant GM Brandon Beane departure to Buffalo. Mark Koncz, the team’s pro scouting director, has been named the director of player personnel and will have responsibilities for both the college and pro divisions. Meanwhile, Jeff Morrow takes over as the Panthers’ director of college scouting; he replaces Don Gregory, who had held that job the past decade, but now becomes an executive scout. Former pro scout Matt Allen was promoted to director of pro personnel; Jonathan Fields shifts from an assistant college scouting role to an assistant pro scouting position, while Eli Montague becomes an area scout.

Gator WR dinged for pot possession … Florida junior WR Antonio Gallaway, a top prospect for the 2018 draft, was cited last weekend for possession of marijuana last weekend. A bag containing marijuana was found in Callaway’s after the car in which he was a passenger was pulled over and the officer smelled marijuana. Callaway has a June 6 court date. He is also likely due for some supplementary discipline from the school that could include a suspension from the Gators’ season opener against Michigan on September 2nd. The NFL probably isn’t going to care too much about the pot charges, although the fact that Gallaway was cleared of a sexual assault last year after he claimed that he was too high to have had sex may give a few teams pause. The bigger concern for the NFL may be that at the time of the arrest, Gallaway was riding around in a car with a 40-year old known criminal. Those kind of people have a tendency to follow players to the NFL. Callaway was the Gators’ leading receiver last season when he had 54 catches for 721 yards and three touchdowns.

Ex-Ducks RB returns as Beaver … Interesting story from the far coast as former Oregon RB Thomas Tyner, who retired from football two years ago because of a shoulder injury, has opted return to college football, although it will be at Oregon State this time around. The 5-11, 200-pound Tyner, a speedster who held the state record for the 100M, rushed for almost 1,400 yards and 14 TDs in two seasons with the Ducks, but sat out the 2015 season with the injury and then announced his retirement prior to last season.

Browns sign top pick … Cleveland announced within the past hour that DE Myles Garrett, the first player chosen at the 2017 draft, has agreed to terms with the club on a 4-year rookie contract worth over $30M including a more than $20M signing bonus. The contract also includes the standard fifth-year club option. The signing of Garrett comes a couple of days after Jacksonville announced the signing of RB Leonard Fournette, the 4th player selected at last month’s draft.

Bills add another rising young exec to front office rebuild … Buffalo continued to rebuild its front office personnel department by hiring Brian Gaine as VP of player personnel. The Bills had originally interviewed Gaine as a a candidate for their vacant GM job that ultimately went to Brandon Beane. Gaine comes over to the Bills from Houston where he had held essentially the same job he will handle in Buffalo. Gaine is his second big front-office hire for Buffalo in recent days following the addition of Joe Schoen as assistant general manager Sunday.

Tech WR Giles transfers to LSU … Former Texas Tech WR Jonathan Giles, one of the top young receivers in college football, has announced that he will transfer to LSU. The 5-11, 185-pound Giles was a Biletnikoff Award finalist last year when he led the Red Raiders with 69 receptions for almost 1,200 yards and 13 TDs. Giles must sit out the 2017 season to satisfy NCAA transfer regulations and will have two years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2018.

Next year’s draft looks strong at QB, WR and OT … The 2018 draft is still over 11.5 months away and much can happen between now and April of next year, but a preliminary perusal of next year’s draft class suggests that the offensive positions of strengths for next year’s draft will be at quarterback, wide receiver, and offensive tackle. That’s the conclusion GBN College Football Investigative Reporter Larry Parker came to in perusing the offensive positions for next year’s draft, although of course much can change between now and next April. Here’s the full report.

Pigskin posts thots on Browns, Raiders’ drafts … As we’ve noted, we here at the GBN aren’t big on ‘draft grades’ per se which doesn’t mean that one can’t have opinions. And that’s what GBN Associate Editor Pigskin Paul Guillemette has on the drafts of both Cleveland and Oakland in the latest in series of post-2017 draft thots.

Bills add assistant GM … Buffalo has hired Joe Schoen as assistant general manager. Schoen had been director of player personnel with Miami the past three years. Schoen represents the first big hire by new Bills’ General Manager Brandon Beane who cleaned house in the personnel department following the draft.

Colts reshuffle personnel staff … New Indianapolis G.M. Chris Ballard continues to reshape the team’s player personnel department. The Colts’ announced that Ed Dodds has been named VP of player personnel, while Rex Hogan becomes VP of player personnel. At the same time, Morocco Brown was named director of college scouting, Kyle Childress college scouting coordinator, and Brian Decker player personnel strategist. The Colts lured Dodds away from Seattle where he was assistant G.M. to John ed Schneider, while Hogan was director of college scouting with the Jets. Meanwhile, Decker is an interesting story; he’s a former Green Beret who previously worked for Cleveland where he produced psychological assessments of draft prospects and is expected to do the same with the Colts. The moves came about to fill the voids created when the team dismissed VP of Football Operations Jimmy Raye and director of college scouting T.J. McCreight, along with scouts Brandon Brown and Ahmad Russell.

Browns 4th rounder injured; season in doubt … Cleveland CB Howard Wilson, a 4th round pick at last month’s draft, broke his kneecap during the team’s minicamp on Friday. Wilson will reportedly undergo surgery in the next week or so and could possibly miss the upcoming season.

Ducks’ OT only nesting one year … GBN College Football Investigative Reporter Larry Parker reports he is hearing that star Oregon LT Tyrell Crosby, who would be eligible for a redshirt year as he missed almost all of the past season with a foot injury, only intends to play the 2017 season with the Ducks and fully expects to enter the upcoming draft. At the same time, its interesting to note that Crosby is reportedly still not 100% this spring and that the team has not yet decided whether he will stay at LT this coming year or will slide back into OG.

More Pigskin draft thoughts … We don’t believe in draft grades here at the GBN, but we sure think a lot about what transpires every year. And GBN Associate Editor Pigskin Paul Guillemette has some more thoughts on last month’s draft including several related to what Cleveland dd with their QB situation. Here’s Pigskin’s full text.

Bills hire Beane as new G.M. … As expected, Buffalo has named Brandon Beane as the team’s new general manager. Beane was assistant G.M. with Carolina the past couple of year where he worked with new Bill’s head coach Sean McDermott.

Hogs’ RB Williams retires … Updating yesterday’s report on Arkansas junior RB Rawleigh Williams who was rethinking his football career after he suffered a potential career-altering neck injury during the Hogs’ spring game. After meeting with team doctors and coaches, Williams has decided to retire from the game. The 5-foot-10, 205-pounder previously underwent season-ending neck surgery in 2015, but bounced back last year when he rushed for over 1,300 yards and 12 TDs.

Iowa DE, UCLA LB top picks in CFL draft … Winnipeg chose former Iowa DE Faith Ekatitie with the first pick at last night’s CFL draft of Canadian players.  Saskatchewan followed that by taking UCLA LB Cameron Judge with the second pick, while British Columbia took McMaster WR Danny Vandervoort with the third. However, the CFL draft is always somewhat complicated by the fact that several of the league’s top prospects sign with NFL teams making their availability to CFL teams somewhat tenuous. This year, for example, former Mississippi State OT Justin Senior who was a 7th round pick by Seattle at last month’s NFL draft, wasn’t selected until the 5th round by Edmonton. The Eskimos also selected Maine LB Christophe Mulumba in the 3rd round; Mulumba is currently on a tryout contract with Tampa Bay. Meanwhile, Winnipeg took Manitoba OG Geoff Gray, one of the top rated CFL prospects who signed as an undrafted free agent with Green Bay, with the 8th pick, while Saskatchewan nabbed Laval TE Antony Auclair, another Tampa Bay signee, in the 4th round. Ottawa, the defending Grey Cup champions, got former UCLA DT Eli Anjou, the 2nd rated CFL prospect who signed on with Houston, with the final pick in the 4th round. Here is the full CFL draft.

SC LB cleared in bar fight; ex-Irish QB close to picking next school hilite college football notes … South Carolina LB Skai Moore, along with junior WR Deebo Samuel, have been cleared by local police from any involvement in a bar fight last weekend after reviewing video evidence. Local police determined that while Moore was at the bar, he was not involved in the fight, while Samuel was not in the bar at the time of the assault. Moore led the Gamecocks in tackles during his first three seasons with the program, but did not play in 2016 after undergoing neck fusion surgery. Meanwhile, Samuel led the team with 59 receptions and 783 yards last fall. Both are considered to have 3rd day potential for the 2018 draft draft … Former Notre Dame QB Malik Zaire who is transferring may announce his next stop on May 19th. Zaire who was thought to be the heir apparent at Notre Dame before being supplanted by DeShone Kizer is believed to be down to between Texas, Wisconsin and Harvard. And while those three schools aren’t quite in the same league when it comes to either football or academics, Zaire was a good student majoring in theater arts and peace studies at Notre Dame. As a graduate transfer, he will be eligible to play immediately at his new school … The immediate football future of emerging Arkansas junior RB Rawleigh Williams is on hold after he suffered a potential career-altering neck injury during the Hogs’ spring game. Williams and his family will meet with doctors and team personnel later this week to discuss his playing future. The 5-foot-10, 205-pounder previously underwent season-ending neck surgery in 2015, but bounced back last year when he rushed for over 1,300 yards and 12 TDs … Michigan State DE Demetrius Cooper, a second-tier prospect for the 2018 draft, will appear in court later this week to answer a charge that he violated the terms of a plea bargain he made in response to a misdemeanor assault and battery charge last year. Cooper was arrested last November when police alleged Cooper spit in a parking officer’s face when the officer attempted to issue him a ticket. One of the conditions of the agreement was that Cooper not consume alcohol, but the state alleges that he did.

Draft off-season over; everybody back to work … The OFFICIAL NFL draft off-season officially ends at Noon ET today. Its on to 2018!! Hang in there guys!!

Draft off-season officially begins … With the 2017 draft in the books, the OFFICIAL NFL draft off-season has begun!!!

Panthers sign top pick, two others … Carolina became the first team in the NFL to sign their 2017 first round pick as the Panthers have signed RB Christian McCaffrey, the 8th player selected at last weekend’s draft. The Panthers also signed OT Taylor Moton and FB/DE Alex Armah who were takn in the 4th and 6th rounds respectively.

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