USC running back Javorius ‘Buck’ Allen has decided to forgo his final year of college eligibility and enter the 2015 draft, Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports reported today (via Twitter). The redshirt junior ran for 1,489 yards and 11 touchdowns for the Trojans in 2014, adding another 458 yards through the air on 41 receptions. For the most part, draft experts are in agreement on Allen’s stock, with ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, and CBSSports.com all ranking the USC back between eighth and 10th among 2015’s running back prospects — that makes him a likely third- or fourth-round pick.
Here’s more from around the NFL, in the midst of the league’s divisional playoff weekend:
- Now that the Ravens have been eliminated from the playoffs, Baltimore will have to make free agent decisions on Justin Forsett and Torrey Smith, shore up its secondary, and add a pass-catching tight end, among other things, writes Field Yates of ESPN.com (Insider-only link).
- In the view of Joel Corry of CBSSports.com (Twitter link), the Ravens should at least give Forsett a one-year deal worth the $3MM that Ray Rice had been scheduled to earn in 2015.
- Chip Kelly‘s interview with Chris Polian of the Jaguars for the Eagles‘ general manager position has taken place, a source tells Geoff Mosher of CSNPhilly.com (Twitter link).
- Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link) hears from a source close to Dick LeBeau that the longtime coach would still like to be a defensive coordinator, after resigning from his Steelers position today. Cole points to the Cardinals as a possible match for LeBeau if current DC Todd Bowles lands a head coaching job elsewhere.
- Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap examines the upcoming offseason for the Bears and new general manager Ryan Pace, writing that while Jay Cutler may have made a “convenient scapegoat” in 2014, the team’s problems ran much deeper than Cutler.
- A pair of 49ers defenders, cornerback Perrish Cox and outside linebacker Dan Skuta, played large roles for the club in 2014 after spending most of their respective careers in backups. With Cox and Skuta both facing potential free agency, Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle takes a look at what’s next for the duo.