Wednesday, April 27, 2011

2011 NFL Mock Draft

1. Carolina Panthers- Cam Newton (QB, Auburn)
Although this is an extremely risky pick, Cam might have the best upside of any player in the entire draft. The Panthers have repeatedly said they need a franchise quarterback and are willing to wait for him to develop. The question is does Cam have what it takes to turn his raw ability into production in the NFL? This pick will certainly cause some controversy.

2. Denver Broncos- Marcell Dareus (DT, Alabama)
Dareus is not only an elite prospect but will immediately fill a glaring need. The Broncos are converting to a 4-3 defense and desperately need a defensive tackle to anchor the line. At 320 pounds, Dareus shows surprising quickness and could develop into one of the DTs in the NFL.

3. Buffalo Bills- Von Miller (OLB, Texas A&M)
With no real pass rush threat the Bills need to address this issue. Von Miller is arguably the top prospect in the draft and should prove to be a force coming off the edge for many years to come. He should fit perfectly as an OLB in the Bills 3-4 scheme, which is what he was familiar with in college.

4. Cincinnati Bengals- A.J. Green (WR, Georgia)
As one of the top receiving prospects to come out over the past decade, A.J. Green should be able to step in and immediately contribute for this Bengals offense which has a lot of question marks. A receiver with his combination of size, speed, hands, route running ability, and vertical ability hasn't come around since Calvin Johnson four years ago.

5. Arizona Cardinals- Patrick Peterson (CB, LSU)
While Blaine Gabbert would be a very tempting pick here, they have an almost equally large need at cornerback across from Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Peterson is the better prospect overall and is the last of the elite prospects. Most experts consider him the top player in the entire draft. His freakish athletic ability should prove to be an excellent pick for the Cardinals.

6. Cleveland Browns- Robert Quinn (DE/OLB, UNC)
Arguably the best DE in a draft class loaded with talent at that position, Quinn has the athletic ability to convert to a 3-4 OLB and torment opposing QBs for years to come. A year long suspension and past health concerns may scare some teams away from taking him, but all indications show that he should be good to go.

7. San Francisco 49ers- Blaine Gabbert (QB, Missouri)
With Jim Harbaugh now at the reigns, he will want to find a franchise quarterback to develop since it seems the Alex Smith debacle will finally be coming to an end. Harbaugh is just the man to harness Gabbert's natural athletic ability and teach him a pro style offense after playing in a shotgun system for his 3 years at Missouri.

8. Tennessee Titans- Da'Quan Bowers (DE, Clemson)
Bowers was an absolute freak last year leading the nation in sacks until suffering a knee injury late in the year. While many doctors haven't given his knee the best of grades and he didn't have the best showing at the combine and his pro day, it would not be surprising if a team grabbed him early regardless. Think Terrell Suggs in 2003.

9. Dallas Cowboys- Tyron Smith (OT, USC)
The Cowboys desperately need an offensive tackle and most agree Smith is the best of the bunch. Although this is one of the weakest offensive tackle classes in recent memory, Smith is extremely athletic for his weight and should protect Tony Romo for years to come. He will need to work on his run blocking ability but should serve as a fine pick.

10. Washington Redskins- Julio Jones (WR, Alabama)
With arguably the worst receiving corps in the entire NFL and Santana Moss becoming a free agent, the Redskins need a talented receiver to step in immediately and contribute. Many experts believe he could turn out to be a better player than A.J. Green due to his build and freakish athleticism. It is not often a 6'3" 225 pound receiver runs a sub 4.4 40 at the combine on a broken foot.

11. Houston Texans- Prince Amukamara (CB, Nebraska)
It would not be surprising at all of the Texans selected a CB two years a row in the first round after how awful their pass defense was last year. Amukamara is a very safe pick who should help solidify their secondary for years to come.

12. Minnesota Vikings- Nick Fairley (DT, Auburn)
While considered a potential #1 pick immediately following the BCS Championship game, questions about his slight weight and lack of production before last season sent his stock plummeting. While he is considered to be a "boom or bust" type player, it would not be surprising to see Vikings take a chance on him at this point in the draft.

13. Detroit Lions- Anthony Costanzo (LT, Boston College)
For too long have the Lions gone without a legit LT to protect Matt Stafford. After all of the injuries he suffered last year, the Lions should be desperate to get him some protection. This pick will allow Jeff Backus to slide right and play guard, where he is better suited at this point in his career.

14. St. Louis Rams- J.J. Watt (DE, Wisconsin)
Head coach Steve Spagnuolo will almost certainly want to upgrade on defense and give Chris Long some help with the pass rush on the other side of the line. While there are quite a few options available that can serve that role, Watt is probably the best available. Aldon Smith is another option.

15. Miami Dolphins- Mark Ingram (RB, Alabama)
As the third player being selected from Alabama in the top half of the first round, the former Heisman Trophy winner should step in right away and be effective. This once scary rushing attack needs a serious infusion of youth. Ricky Williams is just too old and they aren't expected to resign the fragile free agent Ronnie Brown. Ingram should provide relief for QB Chad Henne as he needs to show this year that he is a franchise QB.

16. Jacksonville Jaguars- Aldon Smith (DE/OLB, Missouri)
The Jaguars have desperate for a pass rush for years now and Smith is arguably the best player available. Although Smith was a "one year wonder" similar to Nick Fairley, his raw skills are just too good to pass up.

17. New England Patriots- Mike Pouncey (C/G, Florida)
Pouncey is the typical safe and versatile prospect Belichick has come to love. With Logan Mankins' possible departure Pouncey should step right in and make Belichick continue to look like a genius. Pouncey is arguably the best player available at this point as well.

18. San Diego Chargers- Cam Jordan (DE, California)
The Chargers need to solidify that defensive line and it will be a steal if Cam Jordan slides this far. He will fit perfectly as a DE in the Chargers 3-4 system at 285 pounds.

19. New York Giants- Akeem Ayers (LB, UCLA)
Lots of question marks arise when discussing the Giants linebacker corps. Ayers may not be the best available at this pick but the Giants have the luxury to make a pick to fill a need here. He has been a late riser in mock drafts and could prove to be an excellent pick here.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Ryan Kerrigan (DE, Purdue)
The Buccaneers had one of the worst pass rushes in the league last year. Lucky for them this draft is full of pass rushers. Kerrigan is the best available who is ideally suited as a 4-3 DE.

21. Kansas City Chiefs- Gabe Carimi (OT, Wisconsin)
The Chiefs are still in the process of solidifying that offensive line to give Cassel protection. Carimi is a safe pick who can play on either side of the line.

22. Indianapolis Colts- Cory Liuget (DT, Illinois)
Liuget is totally legit and should be a real safe pick for the Colts. It seems as if the Colts always need help with their rush defense and Liuget is a steal at this point of the draft. Although Polian hasn't been the best with early round picks recently, he should turn his luck around with this pick.

23. Philadelphia Eagles- Muhammad Wilkerson (DT, Temple)
The local prospect could go here at this point simply because he is the best player available. DT isn't necessarily a big need for the Eagles, but then again they are pretty set everywhere. A quarterback certainly won't be picked here.

24. New Orleans Saints- Nate Solder (OT, Colorado)
They need a left tackle and Solder is the best available. Done.

25. Seattle Seahawks- Jake Locker (QB, Washington)
The local boy going here would make a lot of sense. Charlie Whitehurst clearly isn't the answer at QB and Locker's upside could prove to be just too tempting. His questionable accuracy may never allow him to develop into an effective starting QB in the league, but he should have plenty of time to learn and develop as the Seahawks aren't going anywhere anytime soon.

26. Baltimore Ravens- Jimmy Smith (CB, Colorado)
Smith has some of the best raw ability regardless of position in the entire draft, yet many question marks may lead teams shying away from him in the first round. The Ravens have a massive need at cornerback though and might be willing to take a chance on him. They have enough defensive veterans to make sure he will keep his head on straight.

27. Atlanta Falcons- Adrian Clayborn (DE, Iowa)
The Falcons need help with the pass rush opposite John Abraham and Clayborn could be a steal at this point.

28. New England Patriots- Cameron Heyward (DE, Ohio State)
The Patriots have a void to fill after Richard Seymour departed for the Raiders and Heyward will fill it perfectly as a 3-4 DE. Heyward is a very safe pick who should be able to contribute immediately.

29. Chicago Bears- Aaron Williams (CB/S, Texas)
Williams' versatility should prove vital for the Bears in that they need help all over their secondary.

30. New York Jets- Stephen Paea (DT, Oregon State)
DT is a glaring need after Kris Jenkins was cut and Paea is by far the best nose tackle available right now. His combine record-breaking bench press performance is the kind of thing Rex Ryan will love as well.

31. Pittsburgh Steelers- Kyle Rudolph (TE, Notre Dame)
Rudolph is the best player available here and should become a suitable target for Roethlisberger.

32. Green Bay Packers- Mikel Leshoure (RB, Illinois)
Ryan Grant is coming off a knee injury and although James Starks proved to be a very effective running back in the playoffs this year, they could use an elite running back to really take this offense to another level, if that's even possible.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Fantasy Tight End Rankings

Tier 1
1. Jason Witten- Dallas Cowboys
2. Tony Gonzalez- Atlanta Falcons
3. Antonio Gates- San Diego Chargers

Tier 2
4. Dallas Clark- Indianapolis Colts
5. Owen Daniels- Houston Texans
6. Chris Cooley- Washington Redskins

Tier 3
7. Greg Olsen- Chicago Bears
8. Zach Miller- Oakland Raiders
9. Kellen Winslow- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
10. Dustin Keller- New York Jets
11. John Carlson- Seattle

Tier 4
12. Visanthe Schiancoe- Minnesota Vikings
13. Brent Celek- Philadelphia Eagles
14. Brandon Pettigrew- Detroit Lions
15. Jeremy Shockey- New Orleans Saints
16. Vernon Davis- San Francisco 49ers
17. Bo Scaife- Tennessee Titans
18. Heath Miller- Pittsburgh Steelers

Fantasy Wide Receiver Rankings

Tier 1
1. Larry Fitzgerald- Arizona Cardinals
2. Andre Johnson- Houston Texans

Tier 2
3. Randy Moss- New England Patriots
4. Calvin Johnson- Detroit Lions
5. Steve Smith- Carolina Panthers

Tier 3
7. Roddy White- Atlanta Falcons
8. Greg Jennings- Green Bay Packers
9. Anquan Boldin- Arizona Cardinals
10. Reggie Wayne- Indianapolis Colts
11. Wes Welker- New England Patriots

Tier 4
12. Marques Colston- New Orleans Saints
13. Dwayne Bowe- Kansas City Chiefs

Tier 5
14. T.J. Houshmandzadeh- Seattle Seahawks
15. Roy Williams- Dallas Cowboys
16. Braylon Edwards- Cleveland Browns
17. Chad Ochocinco- Cincinnati Bengals

Tier 6
18. Antonio Bryant- Tampa Bay Buccanneers
19. Vincent Jackson- San Diego Chargers
20. Brandon Marshall- Denver Broncos
21. Terrell Owens- Dallas Cowboys

Tier 7
22. Bernard Berrian- Minnesota Vikings
23. Desean Jackson- Philadelphia Eagles
24. Santonio Holmes- Pittsburgh Steelers
25. Santana Moss- Washington Redskins
26. Jerricho Cotchery- New York Jets
27. Anthony Gonzalez- Indianapolis
28. Eddie Royal- Denver Broncos
29. Lee Evans- Buffalo Bills
30. Torry Holt- Jacksonville Jaguars

Tier 8
31. Kevin Walter- Houston Texans
32. Derrick Mason- Baltimore Ravens
33. Donald Driver- Green Bay Packers
34. Donnie Avery- St. Louis Rams
35. Devin Hester- Chicago Bears
36. Ted Ginn- Miami Dolphins

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fantasy Running Back Rankings

Tier 1
1. Adrian Peterson- Minnesota Vikings
2. Matt Forte- Chicago Bears
3. Steven Jackson- St. Louis Rams
4. Maurice Jones Drew- Jacksonville Jaguars

Tier 2
5. Michael Turner- Atlanta Falcons
6. Deangelo Williams- Carolina Panthers

Tier 3
7. Steve Slaton- Houston Texans
8. Clinton Portis- Washington Redskins
9. Chris Johnson- Tennessee Titans
10. Frank Gore- San Francisco 49ers

Tier 4
11. Ronnie Brown- Miami Dolphins
12. Kevin Smith- Detroit Lions
13. Ladanian Tomlinson- San Diego Chargers
14. Ryan Grant- Green Bay Packers
15. Marion Barber- Dallas Cowboys
16. Brandon Jacobs- New York Giants
17. Brian Westbrook- Philadelphia Eagles

Tier 5
18. Darren McFadden- Oakland Raiders
19. Reggie Bush- New Orleans Saints
20. Chris Wells- Arizona Cardinals
21. Knowshon Moreno- Denver Broncos
22. Derrick Ward- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
23. Pierre Thomas- New Orleans Saints
24. Ray Rice- Baltimore Ravens
25. Thomas Jones- New York Jets
26. Cedric Benson- Cincinnati Bengals

Tier 6
27. Joseph Addai- Indianapolis Colts
28. Jamal Lewis- Cleveland Browns
29. Larry Johnson- Kansas City Chiefs
30. Willie Parker- Pittsburgh Steelers

Tier 7
31. Jonathan Stewart- Carolina Panthers
32. Fred Jackson- Buffalo Bills
33. Lendale White- Tennessee Titans
34. Ahmad Bradshaw- New York Giants
35. Felix Jones- Dallas Cowboys
36. Donald Brown- Indianapolis Colts
37. Lesean McCoy- Philadelphia Eagles
38. Rashard Mendenhall- Pittsburgh Steelers
39. Chester Taylor- Minnesota Vikings
40. Jerious Norwood- Atlanta Falcons
41. Glen Coffee- San Francisco 49ers

Fantasy Quarterback Rankings

Tier 1
1. Drew Brees- New Orleans Saints
2. Tom Brady- New England Patriots
3. Peyton Manning- Indianapolis Colts

Tier 2
4. Kurt Warner- Arizona Cardinals
5. Aaron Rodgers- Green Bay Packers
6. Matt Schaub- Houston Texans
7. Philip Rivers- San Diego Chargers
8. Tony Romo- Dallas Cowboys

Tier 3
9. Donovan McNabb- Philadelphia Eagles
10. Matt Ryan- Atlanta Falcons
11. Jay Cutler- Chicago Bears
12. Carson Palmer- Cincinnati Bengals

Tier 4
13. Matt Hasselbeck- Seattle Seahawks
14. David Garrard- Jacksonville Jaguars
15. Brett Favre- Minnesota Vikings
16. Matt Cassel- Kansas City Chiefs

Tier 5
17. Jason Campbell- Washington Redskins
18. Chad Pennington- Miami Dolphins
19. Trent Edwards- Buffalo Bills
20. Kyle Orton- Denver Broncos
21. Ben Roethlisberger- Pittsburgh Steelers
22. Eli Manning- New York Giants
23. Joe Flacco- Baltimore Ravens

Tier 6
24. Daunte Culpepper- Detroit Lions
25. Byron Leftwich- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
26. Jake Delhomme- Carolina Panthers
27. Jamarcus Russell- Oakland Raiders
28. Shaun Hill- San Francisco 49ers

Tier 7
29. Marc Bulger- St. Louis Rams
30. Mark Sanchez- New York Jets
31. Brady Quinn- Cleveland Browns
32. Kerry Collins- Tennessee Titans

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Mike Singletary Speaks About Michael Vick

After months of silence, San Francisco 49ers head coach Mike Singletary has finally publicly spoken regarding the possibility of acquiring QB Michael Vick. "I don't want to say absolutely not...but I certainly don't want to say yes". As passive as this sounds, it is absolutely the most promising news we have heard regarding Vick possibly playing in the NFL once again. My most recent post dealt with the San Francisco seeming like an ideal spot for him to land, so this serves as even more encouragement for things to take shape.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Potential Team For Michael Vick

On Tuesday at about 4 AM, former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick was released from prison at Fort Leavenworth in Leavenworth, KS and taken back home to Hampton, VA by his fiancee. Most are expecting him to be re-instated by commissioner Roger Goodell, but it is an entirely different question if he will ever be a starter in the NFL again, much less effective as he once was. Thus far he has been linked to three teams, the Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams, and San Francisco 49ers. The Raiders and Rams have both denied that they have any interest in him. Thus, if any team is most likely to sign him, it will be the 49ers. At this point it is just totally speculation though, they have not even publicly stated anything about the situation. But still, when one considers their situation, it would seem like an ideal place to end up.

San Francisco has arguably the worst quarterback situation in the league. Alex Smith has been an immense disappointment and has one more year to shed his bust label. Shaun Hill won some games last year, but is by no means even close to being a premier quarterback in the league. He seems to be just a "game-manager" at best, a poor man's Jeff Garcia. At his age he won't ever become a premier passer. This team has been disappointing for quite some time now and have not had a franchise quarterback really since Steve Young retired. They have the opportunity to bring in another left-handed, mobile quarterback now to bring them back to the promised land. In that weak NFC East, a quick turn around is possible.

After drafting WR Michael Crabtree this year, he will need someone to regularly get him the ball and I just don't see Smith or Hall being that guy. They could sign him to a 1 year contract, see how everything goes, and then go from there. With Mike Singletary as the new coach there, he will keep Vick in line to ensure that he focuses solely on rebuilding his football career. Also, San Francisco has a great running back in Frank Gore and drafted another running back in Glen Coffee to complement him. They should improve upon their already strong running game and will support Vick greatly. This will take lots of pressure off Vick when it comes to getting him accustomed to the game again.

There are multiple issues when it comes to signing Vick though. The first topic which has to be discussed is his actual effectiveness as a quarterback. Many teams in the league would never want him regardless of the legal issue because he is not a true pocket passer. We can go on and on debating as to whether his style of play can be just as effective as dropping back in the pocket, but what we do know is that he did win games and took the Falcons to the playoff multiple times and even won in the playoffs too with his style. He even once led his team to a victory at Lambeau Field to send his team to the NFC championship game.

Some other issues are his lack of accuracy and ball security. Even with his lack of pass attempts due to his constant rushing, he has never completed 60% of his passes in a given year. This is terrible for a player who was considered a "franchise quarterback" for a team for multiple years. Some of this may come from his gun-slinger's mentality and cannon of an arm, but other gun-slingers in the league, who actually attempt almost twice as many passes as him, can achieve at least 60%. Jay Cutler and Brett Favre are perfect examples of "franchise quarterbacks" who can stake that claim.

He averages four fumbles a season, which is a concern. He does not protect the ball when he rushes and puts himself at risk. Turning the ball over is unacceptable to head coaches in the NFL, so he will first have to work on this if he wants to snag a starting gig.

Most importantly, he has been out of the game for two years and will have to take huge mental strides to become a starter again. His instincts were not quite the best to begin with, so this will serve as the most challenging aspect to overcome.

You can say what you want about Michael Vick, but he was the most dynamic quarterback in the NFL when he played and knows how to win in the playoffs. The 49ers now have a receiver who has all the potential in the world to help Vick, a coach who will ensure that Vick gets his life straight and focuses on football, and a strong running game to support him. San Francisco has yet to comment on him, so this leads me to believe that they are at least somewhat interested. Only time will tell as the off-season progresses.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

2009 NFL Draft First Round Review

1. Detroit Lions- Matthew Stafford, QB- Georgia
A good selection in that they now have a very talented and accomplished franchise quarterback to develop. Some think the Lions are following the formula for failure though. His occasional mental lapses are a concern but he should be fine if he is given enough time to develop. Has a very solid receiving corps surrounding him but will need that offensive line improvement to avoid becoming a bust. Has lots of potential.

2. St. Louis Rams- Jason Smith, DE- Baylor
A fine pick. QB Marc Bulger needed more protection and now he will get it. Should be their franchise LT for years to come. RB Steven Jackson should look to benefit from his presence too after a few disappointing recent years.

3. Kansas City Chiefs- Tyson Jackson, DE- LSU
A somewhat surprising pick in that most scouts did not have Jackson rated this high. He is a true DE in a 3-4 scheme though, which is very hard to find, which increased his value. New GM Scott Pioli has made a name for drafting based on scheme so it makes sense he would covet Jackson's skill set. A very safe player who should be effective for them for years to come.

4. Seattle Seahawks- Aaron Curry, OLB- Wake Forest
A great selection considering that he is the best player in the draft. Needed to fill that WLB slot with Julian Peterson's departure. A little surprising that they did not take an LT considering Walter Jones' age and health. Will contribute immediately and be one of the best linebackers in the league for many years.

5. New York Jets- Mark Sanchez, QB- USC
Traded up and made a great selection. Only had to give up their first rounder, second rounder, and three reserves for their new potential franchise quarterback. Is considered a very safe pick, even considering his 16 collegiate starts, and should be a solid quarterback atleast.

6. Cincinnati Bengals- Andre Smith, LT- Alabama
A good but risky pick. Had a horrendous offseason. Very immature and could have serious weight and conditioning issues in the NFL. Was dominant in college though. This pick was based on his tape. Eugene Monroe would have been a safer pick, but the Bengals obviously viewed him as a better LT.

7. Oakland Raiders- Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR- Maryland
Very shocking, even for owner Al Davis. Was picked simply because of his speed. Not the best pick considering that Michael Crabtree and Jeremy Maclin, with 4.4 speed, were available. Most think this pick was terrible. Would have been smart to trade back with the Jets and pick him at 17 because he still would have been there. However, the Raiders got their guy who will fit their scheme. Will complement QB Jamarcus Russell's big arm and has the most upside of any receiver in the draft, but a very risky pick, especially this high in the draft. Heyward-Bey does gets more criticism than he deserves. Could end up being the best receiver in this class given his blazing speed and good size, but has a steep learning curve.

8. Jacksonville Jaguars- Eugene Monroe, LT- Virginia
Good pick for the Jaguars. Needed to bolster that offensive line after their injury struggles, and then QB David Garrard's struggles, last year. Will learn from their new free agent LT Tra Thomas. Could have drafted DT B.J. Raji, considering their need and his skill, but Monroe is solid.

9. Green Bay Packers- B.J. Raji, DT- Boston College
Excellent pick for Green Bay. Will plug the middle and allow their new 3-4 scheme to flourish. Will take the pressure off every other defensive player. Should be very effective.

10. San Francisco- Michael Crabtree, WR- San Francisco
A no-brainer. Arguably the best player in the draft fell to them to fill the biggest need on their team. Should contribute immediately. One of the best receivers to enter the league this decade.

11. Buffalo Bills- Aaron Maybin, DE- Penn State
A somewhat risky pick but has lots of upside. A pure pass rusher. Has the quickest first step off the line in the draft. Very explosive. Will need to show he can defend the run. A one year wonder. Has lots of potential.

12. Denver Broncos- Knowshon Moreno, RB- Georgia
A questionable pick considering how many running backs are on the roster, including all the free agents they signed in the offseason. Also, running back is usually not a position that is valued this high. Moreno is a fine back though who should start and take pressure off new QB Kyle Orton.

13. Washington Redskins- Brian Orakpo, DE- Texas
An excellent pick. No one expected him to fall this far. Was the best player available and will fill a huge need at DE for the Redskins. Is very versatile and will also play OLB for them too. Should be a star in the league given his skill set, production in college, and work ethic.

14. New Orleans Saints- Malcolm Jenkins, CB- Ohio State
Great pick. Extremely solid, underrated cornerback. Will help to continue improve the subpar Saints secondary immediately. Does not have elite combine speed but did not show it at Ohio State. A very mature, and intense player who should become the leader of the defense within a few years.

15. Houston Texans- Brian Cushing, OLB- USC
Could be the missing link to a playoff berth. Will fill a need at OLB and start immediately. A very solid player with a great work ethic. .

16. San Diego Chargers- Larry English, DE/OLB- Northern Illinois
A surprising pick. A pass rusher was not a need for San Diego and most scouts had him rated in the late first or early second. Could have traded down to select him. Amassed many sacks in college but will need to learn how to drop back in coverage as the OLB in their 3-4 scheme. Will be an insurance policy for OLB Shawne Merriman.

17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Josh Freeman, QB- Kansas State
The new franchise quarterback for Tampa Bay. New head coach Raheem Morris, has obviously learned from his predecessor's mistake in never developing a young quarterback. Has a cannon for an arm and a huge 6'6" frame. Surprisingly athletic. Will need a few years to develop mentally. Has the most potential of any quarterback in the draft, but also the most bust potential.

18. Denver Broncos- Robert Ayers, DE/OLB- Tennessee
An excellent selection for the Broncos. Will play outside linebacker in their 3-4 scheme and take pressure off the underrated DE/OLB Elvis Dumervil. Is projected to successfully learn the position by most scouts. Was not expected to be avaiable this late. Denver snagged the best player available to fill a huge need.

19. Philadelphia Eagles- Jeremy Maclin, WR- Missouri
Arguably the best pick in the draft thus far. The Eagles made a great move in trading up to grab the premier receiver. Projected as a top 10 pick, the Eagles improved upon their below average receiving corps to give QB Donovan McNabb yet another marquis receiver in the draft in consecutive years. Will need to work on his physicality and tweak his hands, but should help contribute immediately given WR DeSean Jackson's immediate success last year.

20. Detroit Lions- Brandon Pettigrew, TE- Oklahoma State
Although this pick was criticized by some because he is only a tight end, he is a top 10 player and a complete tight end, a rare find in today's game. He will not only help in pass blocking but will be a solid receiving threat for QB Matt Stafford for years to come. A great pick by the rebuilding Lions.

21. Cleveland Browns- Alex Mack, C- California
A very surprising pick. Already had an elite offensive line and Mack was not considered the best player available at this point. Probably could have gone elsewhere considering that they are rebuilding. Mack should be solid though.

22. Minnesota Vikings- Percy Harvin, WR- Florida
The Vikings got their guy. The most explosive first round pick since RB Reggie Bush. Unfortunately like Bush, he will need to work on the technical aspects of his position if he is to have an immediate impact, which Minnesota is expecting in him.

23. Baltimore Ravens- Michael Oher, LT- Mississippi
A surprising pick considering their solidarity on the offensive line. Baltimore even traded up to get him. Regardless, he was one of the best players available and has a ton of upside.

24. Atlanta Falcons- Peria Jerry, DT- Mississippi
A great pick for Atlanta. Jerry was one of the best players available and he will fill a huge hole at DT after Grady Jackson packed his bags for Detroit. They had been coveting all off-season.

25. Atlanta Dolphins- Vontae Davis, CB- Illinois
Another great pick in which a team got their guy. Davis is a freak athletically and has potential to be a premier cornerback in the league. The Dolphins need a corner and they got him at a huge bargain.

26. Green Bay Packers- Clay Matthews, USC
Yet another great pick to fill a hole. Green Bay traded up to snag a great pass rusher to play opposite DE/OLB Aaron Kampman in their new 3-4 scheme. Their defense is now complete after addressing their two biggest needs, which coincidentally are probably the two most important positions in a 3-4 scheme.

27. Indianapolis Colts- Donald Brown, UConn
A typical pick by president Bill Polian. Once again they drafted someone who plays an offensive skill position that is technically sound. Should contribute immediately due to that attribute and due to RB Joseph Addai's struggles last year. Should also figure into the passing game for QB Peyton Manning too.

28. Buffalo Bills- Eric Wood, C- Louisvile
Surprising they did not go with LT William Beatty from UConn given former left tackle Jason Peter's departure. Wood will help with the pass protection though. Was one of the best players available at this point.

29. New York Giants- Hakeem Nicks, WR- North Carolina
Along with WR Michael Crabtree, the most NFL-ready receiver in the draft. A very safe pick. Will step in and perform immediately, which is what the Giants need the most after releasing WR Plaxico Burress.

30. Tennessee Titans- Kenny Britt, WR- Rutgers
The Titans addressed probably their biggest need by selecting the very underrated receiver. Will be a great complement to free agent pick up WR Nate Washington. It's surprising they actually picked a receiver considering how long they have gone without picking one in the first round and after their signing of Washington. Great pick.

31. Arizona Cardinals- Chris Wells, RB- Ohio State
How did he slip this far? Unbelievable pick by the Cardinals. He was by far the best player available and will immediately be a star in the league. Will drastically improve their pitiful running game, which was really their only weakness last year.

32. Pittsburgh Steelers- Evander Hood, DT- UConn
Great pick by the Steelers. Is a very agile DT who will play DE in their 3-4 scheme, which probably fits him best. Hard to find these types of players. Should be very effective for them given his skill set.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Brett Favre Potential Re-Un-Retirement?

With all the rumors swirling around regarding Favre potentially returning to the NFL yet again, and Favre's and his agent Bus Cook's constant denials of the possibility, it turns out they have been untruthful yet again. Brett Favre just needs to man-up and admit that he cannot get over being retired, and cannot get over his severe bitterness toward the Green Bay Packers G.M. Ted Thompson. What strikes me is that why would the Vikings even accept him? Yes they do not have the greatest quarterback situation, but do the Vikings not realize that Favre wants to play for them mainly just because they are in the NFC North and he would get to face the Packers twice? If Favre comes back, it should be solely because of his love for the game, not because of any spite he may feel towards the Packers' front office.

Another huge issue is that it seems the Vikings are not even considering Favre's physical status. Even if his x-rays determine that he does not need surgery, that does not mean his biceps and shoulder are completely healed. Considering his age, I really doubt they have healed properly. Favre does not even know because, according to him, he has not touched a football in four months. Does that sound like someone who is truly coming back because of his love for the game?

Even if he is completley healthy, the Vikings have to realize that his age will most likely catch up to him again this year. Surprisingly though, they do not seem concerned. Did they not see how terrible he was last year when his body started breaking down? Although Sage Rosenfels and Tavaris Jackson are not ideal starting quarterbacks at the moment, Sage has never been given a chance to start but has shown lots of potential as a backup. Tavaris has improved every year too and could potentially develop into the quarterback the Vikings intended him to be as soon as this year given the new weapons they Vikings have going into this year. I really think it will be a bad move to sign Favre but it will surely be very interesting to see how the situation plays out.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mark Sanchez Hitting It Big In The Big Apple

After having the top selling rookie jersey last week, and currently on pace to beat Oakland Raiders' RB Darren McFadden 2008 mark last year, New York Jets rookie QB Mark Sanchez may have already sealed the starting quarterback job in the Big Apple. According to Rich Cimini of the New York Daily News, Rex Ryan "has made it abundantly clear, without saying so, that his plan is to make Mark Sanchez the opening-day starter" based on word around the Jets' training camp. Rex was in Baltimore in 2008 when QB Joe Flacco was the opening day starter and never looked back so it makes sense that he would think Sanchez could handle it too. Many questioned whether Flacco would be ready given that he played at the University of Delaware, a Division 1AA school, and due to the Ravens' lack of an ideal receiving corps surrounding him. Most experts originally figured Sanchez would not be ready anytime soon due to his 16 collegiate starts and the Jets' lack of an ideal receiving corps also.

If anything Sanchez would have an advantage over Flacco when it comes to starting immediately. He did play at USC which is immensely abundant in talent and runs a very complicated pro-style offense. Also, he is known as a poised, smart decision-maker with an unbelievable work ethic and amazing accuracy, which makes his learning curve much lower. Flacco was seen as more of a raw gun-slinger. Sanchez knows that the job is his to lose, especially afer the success of last year's starting rookie quarterbacks in Flacco and the Atlanta Falcons' quarterback Matt Ryan. Fortunately, he loves challenges like these and does all he can to impress those judging him. A perfect example of this was him deciding to throw at the combine when there was no need to, unlike Matt Stafford. Rumor is that he actually learned a significant portion (around 20 full plays) the night he got his playbook and executed each of them flawlessly the next day in his first day of training camp. Only time will tell, but I bet he will end up starting immediately given his attributes.