In stunning, shocking, totally unexpected news, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel and wide receiver Mike Evans will enter the 2014 NFL Draft, according to NFL.com’s Gil Brandt.
Both players accomplished all they could in college, to say the least. In two seasons, Manziel threw for 59 touchdowns and 22 interceptions with 29 rushing touchdowns. While his rushing numbers were down in 2013, Manziel stayed about the same as a passer this season: In 2012, Manziel completed 68 percent of his passes for 3,706 yards and a 26/9 TD/INT ratio; in 2013 he completed 69 percent of his passes for 3,732 yards and a 33/13 TD/INT ratio.
Still, those are elite numbers. Whether Manziel can translate his somewhat reckless play to the NFL level is another story, though he’ll be fascinating to follow at the next level. Still, he’s projected as a top five pick in CBS Sports’ latest mock draft.
Evans caught 147 passes for 2,427 yards with 17 touchdowns in two seasons at College Station. The 6-foot-5, 225-pound wideout appears a first-round lock as well.
The last chance you’ll get to see the duo at the collegiate level will be tomorrow night against Duke in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. Duke enters the game with the No. 71 passing defense among FBS teams, allowing 233.2 yards through the air per game.
Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.
Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.
And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.
“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”
Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.
You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season? Watch lists are being whittled.
The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior. The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.
The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).
The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten. The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).
Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah