Draft Decisions: NFC West

Draft Decisions: NFC West
Josh Norris went through the NFC West draft press conferences to find out why each team made every single selection.
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A team of Rivals analysts note that while uncommitted 2020 ATH Malik Berry has a linebacker's frame, he is expected to start at quarterback during the upcoming season at Free State High (Kansas).

Berry is listed at 6-foot-3, 210 pounds. He impressed onlookers during the Rivals 3 Stripe camp regional in Chicago over the weekend. Just what position the athletic talent ends up focusing on for the collegiate level figures to clarify over the next two years. We've seen career paths like that of former Iowa State student-athlete Joel Lanning -- who started out as a quarterback in Ames before eventually moving to linebacker -- but they are pretty rare. The two positions require wildly divergent skill sets.
Source: Rivals
May 24 - 3:16 PM

Western Kentucky redshirt senior P Jake Collins transferred to Northwestern as a graduate.

Perfect fit for the Wildcats, here. Northwestern's starter at punter last year was Hunter Niswander, who has exhausted his eligibility. Exit one three-year starter, enter another in Collins, who averaged 40.2 yards per punt with the Hilltoppers last autumn. His fine work netted him All-Conference USA honorable mention at the end of the campaign. While HC Pat Fitzgerald and company are now sitting pretty at punter in Evanston, Collins' exit from Western Kentucky leaves the team in a lurch. Expect a heated competition in August camp.
May 24 - 2:55 PM

A team of Rival analysts tabbed uncommitted 2019 S Amir Abdullah as one of the players who came onto their radars at the Rivals 3 Stripe camp regional in Chicago this past weekend.

Abdullah (6'1/194) first made noise in combine testing on Saturday, when he notched a 4.50-second run through the 40-yard dash in addition to posting a 38-inch vertical jump. He kept up the heat during Sunday's performance, with Rivals noting that he showed a surprising amount of toughness and verve in man-on-man coverage, plus all kinds of range. Abdullah has yet to receive an FBS offer, but successful spring camps such as last weekend's often work to serve as springboards.
Source: Rivals
May 24 - 1:48 PM

Kentucky redshirt junior S Marcus Walker was arrested on Thursday on suspicion of trafficking marijuana and cocaine.

Walker (6'1/208) was arrested in the early-morning hours on Thursday. He's being accused of trafficking five pounds of marijuana and four grams of cocaine. A drug paraphernalia charge is also on the docket, here. Connecting the dots further, per the authorities, a search warrant for Walker's home resulted in the finding of a large amount of cash. Kentucky is aware of the arrest and in the process of gathering information. As of yet, they have not moved to suspend the redshirt junior. The former four-star recruit worked mostly as a special teams cog last season.
May 24 - 1:26 PM

Uncommitted four-star 2019 WR John Metchie said that Penn State and Alabama were the two leaders for his pledge.

Metchie (6'0/195) is aiming to visit both programs this summer. He's previously been to Happy Valley, but has yet to make the journey down to Tuscaloosa. Alabama intrigues him due to its success in pumping out NFL receivers of late in Amari Cooper and Calvin Ridley. He's more similar in build to Cooper than Ridley. On the 247Sports composite board, Metchie slots in at No. 260 overall.
Source: 247Sports
May 24 - 1:09 PM

Bleacher Report's Kerry Miller views Temple redshirt senior WR Ventell Bryant as a candidate to bounce back from a down 2017 season.

Bryant (6'3/180) developed nicely from his redshirt freshman into his redshirt sophomore year, but his production plummeted last season, when he managed to catch just 29 passes for 280 yards. No touchdowns. The reception and yardage marks were career lows for the wideout. While it was an incredibly discouraging campaign, Bryant should not be considered a lost cause quite yet. With Adonis Jennings and Keith Kirkwood graduating, he should receive plenty of looks in August and beyond. Miller goes so far as to predict that Bryant could log a receiving line in the neighborhood of 60-1000-10 this year.
May 24 - 12:56 PM

Rivals analyst Josh Helmholdt predicts that uncommitted three-star 2019 WR Kyren Williams will pledge to Michigan.

Williams (5'9/191) was rocking the maize and blue on his gloves at the Rivals 3 Stripe camp regional in Chicago this past weekend, but more substantively is also planning an official trip to Michigan for the summer. He's got official visits lined up with Missouri and Notre Dame as well. While Rivals lists Williams a receiver -- he's their No. 50 wideout in the class -- he also has respectable chops as a potential collegiate running back.
Source: Rivals
May 24 - 12:35 PM

Sports Illustrated's Chris Johnson tabs Florida State sophomore RB Cam Akers as a darkhorse Heisman candidate who is "almost definitely going to put up big numbers in new head coach Willie Taggart’s up-tempo offense."

Johnson believes that Akers is going to shred regardless of who ends up winning the starting quarterback gig in Tallahassee. The former five-star back burst onto the collegiate scene with an FSU freshman record 1,024 rushing yards last season. While the 5-foot-11, 210-pounder will almost certainly put up impressive numbers this year, Johnson notes that his Heisman candidacy will take a hit if the Seminoles are just ho-hum on the whole (as they were a year ago). We'd additionally forward that while Akers will be taking the bulk of carries, the presence of Jacques Patrick -- 134 totes of the rock in 2017 -- will likely sap at least a little of his statistical juice.
May 24 - 12:22 PM
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