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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

2010 Post-Combine NFL Mock Draft v1 - Round 1

PICK 1
RAMS: Ndamukong Suh

Everyday it's looking more like the Rams are going to take Sam Bradford at the top of the draft, and after his workout, you can hardly blame them.  The problem is that you are talking about drafting a guy who now has a history of injury problems and are going to put him behind a porous offensive line.  They are a couple of picks away from a very good defense, and they should stay on that track.  There will be QB's who will improve their team available later. 

Suh is the best player in this draft.  In my opinion, Eric Berry and Dez Bryant were the only other 2 who impacted a game like he did.  Put him on the line beside Chris Long and you just made life difficult for the opposing O-Line which goes a long way toward having a true strength on your football team.

And let's be real.  You have to have a strength at some portion of your team that is better than what the opponent puts in front of them if you ever want to win in this league.



PICK 2
LIONS: Gerald McCoy


The Lions have made some moves to shore up their D-Line but McCoy can be a dominant force at DT.  Putting him beside Sammy Hill with Vanden Bosch on the edge is one hell of a D-Line.  For the logic behind this, please see the third paragraph of pick 1.

You have to physically beat them at some point to win. 



PICK 3
BUCCANEERS: Eric Berry

The Buccaneers have needs all over the field, and Berry is the best player on the board.  He is good enough to take over either starting position at safety for the Bucs when he walks in the door.  Now that I'm thinking about it, he could probably start at linebacker, running back, or wide receiver too.



PICK 4
REDSKINS: Russell Okung

As has been noted previously, the Skins offensive line is old and is crumbling fast.  They need a cornerstone tackle to replace Chris Samuels right  now.  Okung was rated at the top of the board by some last year, and then he stayed.  He should start from day one for the Skins.



PICK 5
CHIEFS: Trent Williams


I love the moves that the Chiefs have made to shore up their O-Line this off season.  2 new starters on the interior of the O-Line was huge for them.  However, they cannot have Ryan O'Callahan starting at tackle if they want to throw the ball at all.  Trent Williams has been the best player on an outstanding O-Line for the Sooners, playing up and down the line.  His talent and flexiblity give the Chiefs what they need now and moving forward.



PICK 6
SEAHAWKS: Bryan Bulaga


The Seahwaks have got to have a lead tackle.  Their line has been disentegrating since they went to the Super Bowl a few years back.  Bulaga proved that he can stand up to premier D-End talents when he shut down Derrick Morgan.  He can play either Tackle position and has the potential to be a long-term starter.



PICK 7
BROWNS: Sam Bradford

The Browns have the O-Line pieces in place, but have not been able to find a consistent answer at QB.  Bradford has the potential to be a franchise QB, if he can stay healthy.  If they can put Bradford behind center, his accuracy will make the most of the meager skill position weapons that they have.  They will need to get him another wideout and/or tight end later in the draft, preferrably someone with good deep speed.



PICK 8
RAIDERS: Joe Haden


The Raiders are a hair away from putting a dangerously good defense on the field.  Joe Haden would give them a bookend corner for Asomugha.  With the pressure they can bring with their front 7 and these 2 at corner, they might not need to average 15 points a game to make the playoffs.

PICK 9
BILLS: Anthony Davis



The Bills need a starting tackle.  Anthony Davis may be better suited to right tackle than left after playing in a run based offense at Rutgers, but he is definitely an NFL talent.  If he can develop his pass blocking, to go with his road grader run blocking, the Bills will have a cornerstone. 



PICK 10
JAGUARS: Rolando McClain

The Jags are solid around the field but need some difference makers.  McClain was a standout on one of the premier defenses in the country.  He is tough and talented, and just the kind of MLB the Jags could use to lead their young defense.



PICK 11
BRONCOS: Dez Bryant


The Broncos want to run more multi receiver sets, but really need a second outside receiver.  This is especially true with the potential departure of Brandon Marshall.  Marshall, Bryant, and Royal would be as good a set of 3 receivers as you are going to see in this league.  Possibly good enough to hide the lack of talent at the QB position.  If they can find a taker for Marshall, then bringing in a premier athlete at WR becomes even more key.



PICK 12
DOLPHINS: Sergio Kindle


Sergio Kindle is a beast who bounced back and forth between OLB and DE for the Longhorn defense.  He made plays despite constant double teams.  He is not LT, but is probably as close as Parcells is going to find in this draft and with Porter in Arizona and Jason Taylor on the way out due to age, the Fins need a new OLB right now.

PICK 13
49ERS: Terrence Cody



The 49ers are running a 3-4 and Nosetackles are key.  Cody is a monstrous DT who is deceptively athletic.  The second coming of the Refridgerator, it is just too perfect for him to join Singletary in San Fran.



PICK 14
SEAHAWKS: CJ Spiller

The Seahawks need weapons, and CJ Spiller is the definition of the word.  He can score running, receiving, and returning like noone else in this draft.  He locked up his spot as the best back in this draft by running a sub 4.4 at the combine.  This is the kind of player that causes problems, which is what they are sorely lacking in the northwest.



PICK 15
GIANTS: Jermaine Gresham


The Giants are great on paper, but Gresham is a rare player at tight end.  Without his injury, he is a top 5 talent.  I haven't heard anything negative about his recovery, and he would be an instant upgrade for the Giants, who would have then gone, in 2 drafts, from worries about who is going to catch the ball, to loaded at the receiving skill positions.



PICK 16
TITANS: Derrick Morgan

Morgan is one of the top 2 defensive ends in this draft and has less injury history than Carlos Dunlap.  He has good size and can rush the passer, and the Titans' cupboard is care along the D-Line.  He can't do it all, but he is a potential replacement for VanDen Bosch.



PICK 17
49ERS: Golden Tate

Tate is the closest to NFL-ready wide receiver in this draft.  He has great deep speed, catches the ball well, and is better than some running backs with the ball in his hands.  The only reason he is not the best receiver in this draft is.....Dez Bryant.  Pairing him with Michael Crabtree will make a huge difference for the niner offense.



PICK 18
STEELERS: Earl Thomas

The Steelers lack of depth in the secondary was exposed last year.  Polamalu is a stud, and when he is in, he erases a lot of their shortcomings.  However, when he was out, they were bad.  Thomas is a top 5 player at every secondary position in this draft.  If they pair him with Troy at safety, they may be the best tandem in the league.  If he plays corner, he could very well vie for rookie of the year.  The difference between Thomas and Eric Berry is very small.



PICK 19
FALCONS: Taylor Mays

Signing Dunta was big for the Falcons who were victimized by the pass last year.  Putting Mays behind him to patrol and play free safety would make it huge.  He can run with nearly any receiver in the leagues and hits like a linebacker.  He needs to get coached up a bit, but the potential is...well....Sean Taylor v. 2.0.



PICK 20
TEXANS: Kyle Wilson

Losing Dunta Robinson makes CB a priority.  Kyle Wilson is a shutdown corner, he locked up every receiver he saw last year.  You can't play the Colts twice a year without quality corners, so the texans have to have him.



PICK 21
BENGALS: Mike Iupati

Iupati is a mauler at guard.  He has very good speed and drive for a lineman, and regularly gets to the second level on his blocks.  Assuming Andre Smith shows up as himself this year, putting Iupati beside him makes their offensive line scary...potentially.



PICK 22
PATRIOTS: Carlos Dunlap

If he had stayed healthy, Dunlap may have been fighting for a top 10 spot this offseason.  The Gator defense was not the same without him in it, and we all saw how good it was this year.  He has the size and speed to play any of the outside positions in the 3-4, and the Patriots have a need at DE with the loss of Jarvis Green.  Dunlap is perfect for them....damnit.



PICK 23
PACKERS: Bruce Campbell

The Packers gambled last year by not picking up depth at OT and it killed them.  They need to have depth to keep Aaron Rodgers alive.  Campbell is raw, but his measurables are amazing.  They will need to coach him up, but the only thing that will keep him from being a Pro Bowl LT is him.



PICK 24
EAGLES: Maurkice Pouncey

The Eagles though they were set with one Andrews at Tackle and the other at Guard.  Well, the one at Guard just got cut.  Pouncey can play all 3 interior line spots at a high level, with the age of their line, that flexibility will mean a lot to Philly.



PICK 25
RAVENS: Sean Weatherspoon

The Ravens love to draft unique athletes for their defense.  Weatherspoon is a freak at linebacker.  A multi-year starter and star in the Big 12, very few backers can run and hit like him.  Additionally after playing in a pass-happy conference, he is good in coverage too.  A very solid pick to give the linebacking corp an injection of youth.  If they can get Adalius to come back, they will be loaded.



PICK 26
CARDINALS: Jason Pierre-Paul

Pierre-Paul is a one trick pony right now, but oh what a trick it is.  He is a rediculous pass rusher with big-time speed at the DE spot.  The Cards love to bring pressure, so he is perfect.



PICK 27
COWBOYS: Vladimir Ducasse

The Cowboys have 2 needs: Offensive Line and Safety.  Ducassd is a raw, but talented lineman with big time potential.  He could help at guard now and should develop into a solid tackle.  There is some question if his footwork will be good enough for left tackle, but he is mauler and right tackle is a pretty safe bet. 



PICK 28
CHARGERS: Patrick Robinson

After trading Antonio Cromartie, the Chargers should look at another Nole to fill in at corner.  Robinson does not have Cromartie's size, but he does have his speed and, arguably, better coverage skills.  He is also more ready coming into the league after starting for multiple years in Tallahasee.



PICK 29
JETS: Brandon Spikes

Spikes was the leader of the Gator defense.  He is smart, mean, and hits like a truck.  Rex is going to love him.



PICK 30
VIKINGS: Jerry Hughes

The Vikings are loaded and Hughes is the best player on the board.  He can play either OLB or DE and is a big time pass rusher.  They will look to move him to OLB where they have had some unfortunate injuries and draft misses over the past few years.



PICK 31
COLTS: Dan Williams

The Colts rush defense got exposes in the playoffs.  Their defense is improving, but they need more meat up the middle so that that they speed linebackers can run sideline to sideline.  Dan Williams has nosetackle size with big-time athleticism.  He should be an instant upgrade for the Indy rush defense.



PICK 32
SAINTS: Greg Hardy

Great Hardy is a big time DE talent.  He is huge, and talented, and missed the boat a bit by coming back for his senior year.  He would have gone 10 picks earlier last year, at minimum.  A steal for the Saints who are rebuilding a big along their front 7.

Monday, March 29, 2010

2010 Post-Combine NFL Mock Draft v1 - Round 2

PICK 33
RAMS: Jimmy Clausen QB

The Rams may very well take a QB at the top of the draft, but I don't think that the QB's out there are sure enough bets that they should fly off the shelves.  If they can get a great lineman and still get Clausen here, they should absolutely do it.  Clausen is as ready a QB for the NFL, and has the mobility to have a chance to survive St. Louis' rickedy Line, as they are going find.

PICK 34
LIONS: Jahvid Best RB

If only he had not played superman, Jahvid Best may possibly have a Heisman trophy right now and would likely be a top 10 pick.  He is that talented.  He has better size than Spiller and runs a sub 4.5.  If he stays healthy, this is a Pro Bowl level of talent.

PICK 35
BUCCANEERS: Arrelious Benn WR

Arrelious Been was one of the most heralded Wide Receiver recruits coming into college in several years.  Unfortunately, for him, he went to play for the Illini with Juice Williams.  There are no questions about his ability.  He has good size, strength, and hands.  But.....we haven't seen him do it yet.  Is that due to him, or due to playing with a poor passing QB in a poor passing Offense.  He has the potential to become a #1 type....we'll see


PICK 36
CHIEFS: Aaron Hernandez TE

Drafting Aaron Hernandez as a Tight End is kind of hedged bet.  He has the size and speed to be an outside receiver.  He is likely best described as an H-Back and is good enough with the ball in his hands, that he was highly involved with the Gator's spread-option attack.  6'2" 250 lbs and a 40 yard dash in the 4.5 second range.  A great pick for offensive flexiblity for the Chiefs.

PICK 37
REDSKINS: Everson Griffin DE

The Skins are building a vicious defense as they move to a 3-4, but need edge players.  Griffin is a nice bookend to Sergio Kindle.  Griffin may be a DE to Kindle's OLB, but they can both rush the passer in a big way.

PICK 38
BROWNS: Damian Williams WR

Due to a decent amount of depth at wideout in this draft, the Brown get a chance to draft a #1 kind of talent in the second round.  Williams is not as explosive as some, but he has been the go to guy for USC for the last couple years.  That might just be more pressure than he will feel in Cleveland....you know, fans used to winning and all that.  We all know Holmgren is going to want to see the ball tossed about a bit, so another wideout is needed.  Williams would be a great get.

PICK 39
RAIDERS: Ciron Black OT

Getting Jamarcus is old LT back would be a nice move for the raiders.  Black is a monster tackle, who would be a huge addition for their budding rushing offense.  Unfortunately, it won't make Russell a more accurate passer.  He could still make one heck of a fullback though.  Oh  yes, about Black.  He is a monster tackle who is a bit rough.  However, he could plug in as a run blocking Right Tackle right now and their O-Line would be more complete than it is now.

PICK 40
SEAHAWKS: Art Jones DT

Jones was hidden on a bad team, but he is a real talent at DT.  The Seahawks need strength in the middle of their line to take better advantage of their talent LB corp.  Jones is a run-stuffer and can get a push up the middle.  Another solid DT in a deep draft for DT's.

PICK 41
BILLS: Colt McCoy QB

Colt McCoy is the winningest QB in Texas history.  He is a winner and an athlete.  People question his arm strength, but with him at QB, the long ball was a staple of the texas offense.  He is an underrated athlete and as good an athlete as you are going to see at QB.  He is a steal for the Bills.

PICK 42
BUCCANEERS: Daryl Washingon LB

Washington was very productive and consistent at ILB during his time at TCU.  He has good speed and was the heart of one of the top defenses in the country.  A nice young player for the Bucs.

PICK 43
DOLPHINS: Jaren Odrick DE/DT
Odrick is just the kind of horse that Parcells likes to have at the front of his 3-4.  His blend size, athletic ability, and raw strength make him a viable option at all 3 D-Line positions.

PICK 44
PATRIOTS: Brandon Graham DE/OLB
Graham is a bit of a tweener in the 3-4 between D-End and OLB.  He is a good athlete and a steady, heady performer.  Belichek will make him a star.

PICK 45
BRONCOS: Chad Jones S

The Broncos have a strong defense, but they are aging at the back of their secondary and Chad Jones is the kind of flexible, talented player to let them prep for the retirement of their safeties.  He has the speed and size to fill in at either position.  A HUGE hitter.

PICK 46
GIANTS: Marvin Austin DT/DE

Marvin Austin is a vastly talented D-Lineman.  He has the size to play DT, but the athletic ability to play D-End.  If the Giants can keep this young man motivated, he has pro-bowl potential.

PICK 47
PATRIOTS: Joe McKnight RB

McKnight was a bit watered down due to the quality depth in the USC backfield.  The upside to that his that he has a lot of tread left on the tires.  He is a very good all around back with a big of speed to get outside.  A quality player for depth in New England.

PICK 48
PANTHERS: Jarrett Brown QB

Jarrett Brown really exploded onto the scene with Pat White in the NFL.  He is a smart quarterback with big-time physical tools.  The Panthers are thin at QB, and he has the potential to be a difference maker if they can let him develop for a year or two.  He is another QB who will have to get used to being under center.

PICK 49
49ERS: Reshad Jones FS

Reshad Jones is one of the best safeties in Georgia Bulldog history.  He and Rennie Curran were the do-it-all guys for the Dawg defense.  He is a sure tackler, with good size and speed.  With the pressure that Coach Mike likes to bring, a top-flight free safety is key.

PICK 50
CHIEFS: Dezmon Briscoe WR

Dezmon Briscoe was the one weapon that the Jayhawks had that noone could take away with superior talent.  He is a tall, fast receiver that is alwasy open because he is great in the air.  A hometown hero playing in nearby lawrence, he will be a legit deep threat from day one, complimenting the veteran wideouts that the Chiefs have.  Could develop to a great running mate for Dwayne Bowe.

PICK 51
TEXANS: Ryan Matthews RB

The Texans have talent at RB, but noone has stepped up and claimed that starting role.  Matthews is a big-time back, who showed better-then-expected long speed.  He is a one-cut type of back, which is perfect for the zone blocking schemed that Houston uses.

PICK 52
STEELERS: Rob Gronkowski TE

With a healthy season, Gronkowski would have been in the running for the top TE in the nation.  He is a great all-around player at the position.  The Steelers use their tight ends heavily in their offense, and if Gronkowski can come back healthy, this will be a huge pick.

PICK 53
EAGLES: Toby Gerhart RB

The past few years, the Eagles have wilted in short yardage situations.  Gerhart is the best big back to come out of college ball in several years.  He catches and blocks well enough to play early, and on early downs.  Should be a great change of pace for the smaller, quicker, shady McCoy.

PICK 54
PACKERS: Warren Donovan

Warren Donovan is a big, press corner.  That fits the Packers personality perfectly.  They have a quality pair of corners, but they are aging.  Getting Donovan in, gives them depth in case of injury, and eliminates one concern down the road.

PICK 55
RAVENS: Dorin Dickerson TE

Dorin Dickerson is a rediculous athlete at TE.   He is faster than most Wide Receivers, and is athletic enough that he has worked at multiple positions at Pitt.  The downside to that is that he has not spent as much time at TE as the other TE's in this draft.  A bit upside pick, and would tie in great with the new Wideouts that Baltimore has gotten by giving them a threat up the seam.

PICK 56
CARDINALS: Kerry Meier TE/H-Back

Meier was supposed to be the QB of the future when he came to KU.  Instead he battled Dezmon Briscoe for the all-time catches record in Lawrence.  He does not have great speed, but he uses his body very well, runs great routes, and has stellar hands.  He can flex out, and block a little.  A great teammate.  Should be a great underneath weapons for the Cardinals

PICK 57
COWBOYS: Morgan Burnett S

The Cowboys needs new starters at both safety spots.  Burnett is a top 5 at both positions, and should allow them to pick the one they feel worse about and plug him in.

PICK 58
CARDINALS: Brian Price DT

In a lot of years, Price would be a first round pick.  With the DT's this year, he barely makes it into the second around.  He is a big motor guy who can get pressure from the DT spot.  Has been consistently productive for UCLA in spite of regular double teams.

PICK 59
COWBOYS: Danario Alexander WR

Alexander was starting in front of Jeremy Maclin early in his career.  The injury bug has visited him a few times, unfortunately.  If he stays healthy, he is a first round talent.  The Cowboys can afford the risk for the chance of a home run.  If healthy, is at least a #2 wide receiver with good speed.

PICK 60
CHARGERS: Micah Johnson LB

Micah Johnson is a beast at LB and the Chargers are aging.  A big backer with good speed and a mean streak.

PICK 61
JETS; Brandon Lafell WR

Initially, LaFell was being considered as a very high draft pick.  He ran slower than expected at the combine, which has him still on the board at this point.  He is a big target who catches the ball well.  Very reminiscent of the other LSU wideouts to come out the past few years. 

PICK 62
VIKINGS: Javier Arenas CB/KR

Arenas is a small corner who can really run.  Will initially be a weapon in the return game, with appearances in nickel and dime situations.  A perfect cover-2 kind of corner

PICK 63
COLTS: Nathaniel Allen FS

Allen is another quality safety in this draft full of them.  He has great range and good size, and will give the colts a quality DB for depth due to recent injury history.

PICK 64
SAINTS: Rennie Curran OLB

The Saints need speed on the edge of their defense.  Curran is as fast as any linebacker in this draft, and as fast as most of the running backs.  He fights off blockers better than would be expected at his size and can really go sideline to sideline.

Friday, March 26, 2010

2010 Post-Combine NFL Mock Draft v1 - Round 3

Pick 65
RAMS: George Selvie DE

Selvie is a monster pass rusher who got outshown by his new teammate Pierre-Paul.  In pryor years he was, arguably, the most disruptive pass rusher in the country.  A great bookend for Chris Long.

Pick 66
LIONS: Myron Rolle SS

Rolle is a first round talent at SS who is a Rhodes Scholor.  The problem is that he took a year off to be a Rhodes Scholar.  He would the second piece to a great pair of safeties in Detroit though, give them half of a tremendous defensive backfield.

Pick 67
BUCCANEERS: Lamarr Houston DT/DE(3/4)

Houston is a very explosive DT who was honorable mention Big 12 at DE before moving inside.  If that doesn't sound like a 3/4 Defensive End, I don't know what does.  He moves very well for a 300 lb guy with a 4.85 40 yard dash. 

Pick 68
CHIEFS: Darrell Stuckey SS

Stuckey was one of the leaders of the Jayhawks reversal of fortunes.  He is a touch smaller than you would like in a SS, but he is a sub 4.5 guy and a very sure tackler. 

Pick 69
RAIDERS: Jacoby Ford WR/KR

C.J. Spiller was not the fastest player on the Clemson team, Ford was.  He is a legitimate wide receiver, with track speed.  A bit undersized, but wonderfully explosive with the ball in his hands.  Just the kind of player that the Raiders love to draft.  He will instantly improve their return game and if they are smart, they will give him at least a handful more touches each game.

Pick 70
EAGLES: O'Brien Schofield DE

Schofield was a monster his senior year at Wisconsin.  He played with his hand on the ground a lot for them, but was looking very good at OLB at the senior bowl before tearing his ACL.  This is a pick for the future, but the upside is huge and his pass rush ability fits what the Eagles do on defense wonderfully.

Pick 71
BROWNS: Kam Chancellor FS/DB

Chancellor is a poor man's Taylor Mays.  Big, fast, and a vicious hitter.  He has played outside linebacker, corner, and free safety at a high level, and that kind of flexibility and talent is just what rebuilding teams like the Browns need.

Pick 72
BILLS: Larry Asante SS

Asante is a converted linebacker who is still improving as a safety and came on really strong at the end of last season.  He is very good close to the line, but has proven himself capable in man to man coverage.

Pick 73
DOLPHINS: Cam Thomas NT

Cam Thomas is 6'3", 330 lbs.  Just the kind of monster athlete the Fins need at Nose Tackle.  Throw in the fact that he is a very good athlete for his size and he is almost guarnateed to require a double team.

Pick 74
JAGUARS: Navorro Bowman

Physcically, Bowman is, arguably, the best Outside Linebacker prospect in this draft.  But like a handful of other Nittany Lions, he had trouble staying out of trouble.  If they can keep him on the field, he will be a steal for the Jags.

Pick 75
BEARS: Mardy Gilyard

Gilyard was mess coming out of High School.  He thought he was a star, and got himself kicked out of school.  Now, he is what he though he was.  (Channelling Denny Green lol)

He can run, he can catch, and he has a chance to be in the league for awhile.

Pick 76
GIANTS: Eric Norwood

Norwood is a tremendous athlete and linebacker.  He was a team leader for the Cocks for 4 years, never missing a game.  He is a prototype for a 3-4 Outside Linebacker.

Pick 77
TITANS: Jordan Shipley

Shipley's measurables are not great, relative to other Wide Receivers, but this guy makes plays.  He is a weapon in the return game as well as the passing game, has great hands, and proved himself nigh uncoverable while at Texas. Vince needs guys who can make plays for him, and Shipley should be a great slot receiver in the NFL.

Pick 78
PANTHERS: Major Wright

Wright is a solid Free Safety with a nose for the ball.  He has been a bit overshadowed on a rediculous Gator defense, but he would likely start sooner rather than later for the Panthers.  To put him in perspective, he started a freshman for the Gators and never let go of that job.  That is saying a lot with the talent they have coming in.

Pick 79
49ERS: Dexter McCluster

McCluster dropped after his 40 time was not as good as expected at the combine.  However, he was a weapon all over the field for the Rebels, and the 49ers need weapons.  McCluster can step in immediately in the slot, moving to running back for 3rd down situations.

Pick 80
BRONCOS: Josh McNeil C

McNeil is the second rated center in this draft and has been a star in the SEC lining up against some monstrous DT's. 

Pick 81
TEXANS: Charles Brown OT

Brown is the best Offensive Lineman coming out of USC this year.  He is one of the premier pass blocking Tackle prospects this year, but needs more size and strength for the run game.  However, with the Texans running a zone blocking scheme, he should be a perfect fit, and has the frame to gain the weight.

Pick 82
STEELERS: Selvish Capers

Capers played in a zone blocking scheme most of his career, which makes projecting him a bit difficult for teams that don't run that scheme.  However, he has been opening expansive holes for a prolific spread rushing attack and has room to gain more weight.  He is very spry, having moved from Tight End, but still has a lot of room for improvement.  He is best a right tackle, and should be a decent fit in Pittsburgh's version of the spread.

Pick 83
FALCONS: Ricky Sapp DE/OLB

Sapp is very fast and will give the Falcon's defensive coaching staff flexibility.  He can play OLB or put his hand on the ground in passing situations.  Initially, he is likely to be best used and most successful rushing the passer, but has shown some ability in pass coverage and plays the run well for an undersized DE.

Pick 84
BENGALS: Geno Atkins DT
Atkins is a very quick Defensive Tackle who should be able to provide an inside rush for the Bengals.  If they can find a DT who can require a double team in passing situations, their young Defensive Ends will be able to flourish.  Atkinds should be that guy.  For that matter, he can rotate to D-End if needed.  He runs a sub 4.8 at 280 lbs.  Think about that for a second.....damn

Pick 85
RAIDERS: Sean Lee LB
Lee is a first round talent who has excelled at both Inside and Outside linebacker.  There is concern about his injury history, but he recovered well enough to run a 4.6 at the combine.  If he is healthy, this is a steal in the third round.

Pick 86
PACKERS: Ben Tate RB
A lot of people outside SEC country don't know his name, but there was seriously consideration during the season for him being the best back in the country.  Don't forget, Mark Ingram is in the SEC too.  Tate only had one big season due being underutilized his junior year during Auburn's short experiment with the spread attack.  He is a very good all-around back and would be a significant part of the Pack's offense as a rookie

Pick 87
EAGLES: Mike Williams WR
Williams is one of the best WR talents in this draft, but he will drop due to some seriously concerns about his off the field issues and diva behavior.  Philly has dealt with that before and the potential of adding him as the third receiver behind Maclin and DeSean is huge.  With receivers like that, it won't matter who is the QB.  The Eagles are going to light up any secdondary in the league.

Pick 88
CARDINALS: Dekoda Watson OLB
Dekoda is as fast as most runningbacks, and is incredibly strong for his size.  He started 3 years at Florida State, and when you look at the linebackers coming out of Tallahassee, that is saying a lot.  True sideline to sideline speed and has the game experience to keep him in the right position.

Pick 89
CARDINALS: Perrish Cox CB
Cox is a premier athlete who is still improving as a corner.  He showed well enough this year that he should be able to plug in as a nickel or dime back while being a serious special teams contributor.  The Cardinals have quality corners, but this is a great depth pick and allows them to protect their other skill position players

Pick 90
COWBOYS: Jared Veldheer OL
Veldheer was the second most impressive lineman at the combine.  Some teams think he projects as one of the top 3 tackels in this draft, but he has not played against top level competition.  He is a very promising development prospect, and that is perfect for the Cowboys.

Pick 91
CHARGERS: Anthony Dixon RB
A big, fast back to paid with Darren Sproles as a change of pace.  Dixon is a poor man's Gerhardt, he doesn't make people miss, but he does get the tough yards.  After chasing Sproles, this is not what you want to see barreling down on you.

Pick 92
BROWNS: Montario Hardesty RB
Hardesty has good size, 4.5 speed, and can catch the ball.  Injury concerns over his knee should be nil after playing 3 years with no further significan time lost.  This is a great pick at this point in the draft as you get a back who could have easily been given a first round grade.

Pick 93
Vikings: Dan Lefevour QB
A great athlete at QB who has proven himself a winner.  He is best from a shotgun and it will take him a bit of time to transition to running an O from under center.  That said, he has the size and enough arm to play the position.  He has the potential to be a very good NFL starter in a couple years.

Pick 94
COLTS: Anthony McCoy TE
A big time athlete at tight end who is still developing.  He is a better blocker than Dallas Clark was coming in, maybe better than he is now.  Has soft hands and played in a pro-style offense in college.  One more weapons for Peyton to take advantage of.

Pick 95
SAINTS: Justin Woodall SS
A great athlete at safety that was overshadowed a little bit playing in the SEC.  He would have easily been a second around pick most years.  A sub 4.6 40 time at 220 lbs makes him very valuable commodity as he could play some LB in nickel situations as well as having the speed and skills to cover running backs and tight ends man to man.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

NCAA Basketball Postseason daily

THURSDAY MARCH 25TH
NCAA

BUTLER      63
SYRACUSE 59

A little shooter's touch on a couple shots was all that separated these teams.  The Syracuse zone disrupted the explosive offense that Butler has shown this year, forcing them to take more long jump shots than they would like.  The Butler man to man defense caused the Orange to hemorrhage turnovers.  At the end, a couple of those long jumpers fell for Butler.

WASHINGTON    56
WEST VIRGINIA 69

Don't feel too bad for these young Huskies.  They are set to reload.  A nice run after a dissapointing season.  They should be the favorite in the Pac-10 next year.  The Mountaineers survive and advance.....but how far can they go without Darryl "Truck" Bryant?

XAVIER                96
KANSAS STATE 101

Game. of. the. tournament.  There some iffy calls to keep this one going, but both teams were clutch, especially the backcourts.  Jordan Crawford showed that he is more than the kid who dunked on Lebron, and Jacob Pullen....well America, please say hell to the best guard in the Big 12.  World, Jacob....Jacob, World.

CORNELL     45
KENTUCKY 62

Well, Cornell played well for awhile, but there was just too much talent in those blue and white jerseys.
NCAATUESDAY MARCH 23RD
NIT

TEXAS TECH 87
MISSISSIPPI    90

This was a nice win for Mississippi, but it really illustrates the depth of the Big 12.  This was the SEC West Champs against a bottom half team in the Big 12 and the Rebels were hard pressed to win this one.

NORTH CAROLINA 60
UAB                           55

You can see the confidence growing for this young group of Tar Heels.  Roy has them playing good ball right now and with this post-season experience, they should be back strong next year.  I hope everyone enjoyed kicking them while they were down.  Cuz, well, that's over for awhile.

MONDAY MARCH 22ND
NIT

NEVADA             83
RHODE ISLAND 85

UCONN    63
VA TECH 65

KENT STATE 58
ILLINOIS         75

DAYTON       81
CINCINNATI 66


SUNDAY MARCH 21ST

GONZAGA  65
SYRACUSE 87

The Cuse Zone can hide a lot of problems, and their offense can cause a lot of them.  They blew out a very good Gonzaga team in this one.

GEORGIA TECH 66
OHIO STATE       76

The Buckeyes are for real.  I expect that this will not be their last win.

MICHIGAN STATE 85
MARYLAND            83

Another awesome game, with the teams exchanging buckets in the last 10 seconds.  Michigan State had the ball last, so they win, but they lost their best player.  That is a big problem for them.

MISSOURI            59
WEST VIRGINIA 68

Missouri was game, but just couldn't make the plays at the end.  This game was a bit closer than the final score.

CORNELL     87
WISCONSIN 69

Cornell OWNED wisconsin.  That covers it.

XAVIER          71
PITTSBURGH 68

Pittsburgh put together a nice rally to get it back close, but Xavier was able to finish it out late.  Jordan Crawford (famous for dunking on Lebron James), had another big game with 27 points.

TEXAS A&M 61
PURDUE        63

A tough, defensive game between 2 physical teams.  Purdue managed to get one more without Robbie Hummell.  Turgeon is proving that he is a great tournament coach.

CALIFORNIA 53
DUKE             68

Duke was Duke in this game.  Single and Smith led, but they did get a surprising contribution from Brian Zoubek who had 14.

SATURDAY MARCH 20TH
NCAA

SAINT MARY'S 75
VILLANOVA      68

The Gaels are better than advertised, and Omar Samhan is for real.  Here's his line against Nova, 32 points, 2 Blocks, 7 Rebounds.  Oh, and he was 13 of 16.

MURRAY STATE 52
BUTLER                54

Murry State was a tough matchup for Butler, but the Bulldogs know how to close out a game.  Great season for the Racers

OHIO             68
TENNESSEE 83

Ohio's starts matched up pretty well, with 3 of them reaching double figures.  But...you are not going to beat Tennessee without somethingh from your bench very often.  The caused 14 turnovers on their way to 83 points and a win. 

NORTHERN IOWA 69
KANSAS                  67

Well, who would have thought that Ali Farokhmanesh would be a household name.  This little man for the Northern Iowa Panthers has no fear shooting the ball and hit enough big ones to lead a balanced attack right past the overall #1 KU Jayhawks.  As well as Northern Iowa played, KU has noone to blame but themselves.  They overlooked the Panthers.  Well, that's a mistake you can't afford this time of year.

OLD DOMINION 68
BAYLOR              67

ODU had no answer for LaceDarius Dunn.  He put 26 to lead the Bears.  When he scores efficiently (9 of 16), the Bears win more often than not.

WASHINGTON 82
NEW MEXICO  64

And the PAC-10 is not done yet.  Washington is peaking at the right time and with Gaddy and Thomas in the backcourt, this is very promising for Husky fans looking down the road.

BYU                      72
KANSAS STATE 84

Few teams can run with K-State, BYU is not one of them.  Almost as few teams can shoot like BYU, K-State can.  That about covers this one.  Jacob Pullen our shot Jimmer Fredette as he put up 34 to lead the Cats to the sweet 16 for the first time since 1988.

WAKE FOREST 60
KENTUCKY       90

Wow, so the over-under on wildcats leaving this year.....3?  This team is loaded.  When Patterson scores 4, and you still put up 90...yeah...that's just sick.

NIT

NORTH CAROLINA 76
MISSISSIPPI STATE 74

This was the best game I saw on saturday, IMO.  It was back and forth the whole second half, with Larry Drew II finishing it late with a tough layup over the country's leading shot blocker. 

JACKSONVILLE 64
TEXAS TECH     69

Jacksonville came in wanting to prove that the Arizona State game was not a fluke.  Well, after taking Texas Tech to overtime.....they have proven themselves quite nicely.  They didn't get the win though.  Great, Great, GREAT game.

NORTH CAROLINA STATE 52
UAB                                        72

UAB lead wire to wire, proving themselves to be a better team that the ACC also-rans from NC State.

FRIDAY MARCH 19TH
NCAA

MORGAN STATE 50
WEST VIRGINIA  77
West Virginia overcame a slow start to pull away from Morgan State.   This is the kind of performance that the Mountaineers needed to start their run in this year's tournament.

MINNESOTA 54
XAVIER          65

Minnesota should not have been a tournament team.  Xavier was a bubble teams and they put the Golden Gopher down in convincing fasion.

CORNELL 78
TEMPLE    65
 Cornell is not your typical Ivy League team.  They are more athletic than advertised, with decent length and
 they can really shoot it.

SIENA     78
PURDUE 65

Yeah, about the demise of Purdue after the injury to Robbie Hummel.  Yeah, not quite as advertised.  This is a nice win for them, and should give them a big confidence boost going into round 2.  They do miss him, don't doubt it, but they have some nice players.

MISSOURI 86
CLEMSON 78

Missouri is a great team....remember the 40 minute of hell?  Well this is version 2.  They don't have Todd Day hanging around, but they cause a lot of problems for opposing teams.

OAKLAND     66
PITTSBURGH 89
Yeah, Oakland, thanks for stopping by.  Rough draw.

WOFFORD    49
WISCONSIN 53

Yeah....well, Wofford lost by 4....WAIT....4 points?

Wisconsin needs to play better than this, or this will be a short stay in the tourney.

UTAH ST.       53
TEXAS A&M 69

Mark Turgeon in the NCAA at Wichita State and he is proving that not to be a fluke as A&M.  This is a nice win, if you saw Utah St. play this year.  They are a good shooting team with some very skilled post players, but the Aggies were too much for them today.

FLORIDA ST. 60
GONZAGA     67

The Noles held the score down where they like it, but the Zags surged late behind 14 second half points from Matt Bouldin.

GEORGIA TECH  64
OKLAHOMA ST. 59

This game shocked a lot of people.  A nice redeeming win for the ACC in a match up #7 seeds from the ACC and Big 12.

ARKANSAS PINE BLUFF 44
DUKE                                  73

Yeah, good job with the play-in.  Here's your free T-Shirt.  Everybody drive home safe now.

NEW MEXICO ST. 67
MICHIGAN ST.      70

This was a tight game, but the tournament experience of the Spartans shown through as Kalin Lucas had a career high and Raymond Morgan pulled them through late.

VERMONT  56
SYRACUSE 79

Yeah, hope you enjoy the memory of that upset a few years back, because the Orange was having none of that.  They dominated the Catamounts from start to finish.

LOUISVILLE  62
CALIFORNIA 77

First blush you have to wonder if the Pac-10 was not as bad as people said, but then reality hits.  This was #1 in the PAC-10 against #6 from the Big East.  That said, Cal dominated this game, leading by double digits for most of the second half.   This is a team that can play with just about anybody if they shoot it well.  Teams with a legitimate Center are going to cause them issues though.

UC SANTA BARBARA 51
OHIO STATE                 68

The only thing surprising thing about this game was that John Diebler was the star.  He was highly regarded coming out of High School, but has been inconsistent.  If this was a coming out party rather than just a good game for him, the Buckeyes just became scary.

HOUSTON    77
MARYLAND 89

Houston did what they wanted early, setting a fast pace to the game.  Problem is, all that succeeded in doing was giving the Terps a chance to show how well rounded they are.  The Terps stayed in it until they could settle in and pull away.  Oh, and 21 and 17 from Jordan Williams was  nice surprise.



THURSDAY MARCH 18TH
NCAA

FLORIDA                 92
BRIGHAM YOUNG 99

The young gators played a hell of a game.  Truth be told, they probably let one slip through their fingers here.  Lloyd's 26 points and timely shooting kept BYU in the game, until Fredette could take back over.  Great game....2 OT's in the first real game of the tourney.  Gotta love it....oh, and Fredette....he put up 37.

OLD DOMINION 51
NOTRE DAME     50

This was one of the trendy upset picks, and it was right.  ODU led most of the game, with Notre Dame scratching their way back into it late.  Luke Harangody has got to be sick to play this badly.  He didn't have a bucket till the closing minutes.  So much for him being a great team leader and competitor.  He got shut down, and Notre Dame went with him.

ROBERT MORRIS 70
VILLANOVA         73

Bob led the whole game with the Wildcats just squeaking into OT.  Then they got just enough out of Scottie Reynolds to survive.  A scary game, but I am willing to bet that Nova comes out a whole lot more motivated and sharp for the second round.

MURRAY STATE 66
VANDERBILT      65

Another of the trendy upsets that came true.  This was a shocker for me.  Vandy is a very balanced team, with a talented front court scorer, but the athleticism that Murray State runs out there was more than enough to equalize.  A great game, played hard till the last seconds.

You know....some of these mid-majors aren't too bad ;)

SAM HOUSTON STATE 59
BAYLOR                           68

SHSU was very a very game opponent for Baylor in this opening round.  They were actually leading until few minutes were left in the game.  That is one of the differences between the small conference champs and the big conference contenders.  You learn how to close in the Big 12, or you don't go dancing.  Baylor advances, but the Bearkats can be proud.

SAINT MARY'S 80
RICHMOND      71

Omar Samhan was dominant and Saint Mary's kept their momentum rolling.  Now they get to take a shot at Villanova.  Saint Mary's guards are good, but are they good enough to match up with Scottie Reynolds and company?  We'll know soon.

BUTLER 77
UTEP      59

Butler is the Gonzaga of this century.  They are no longer a good team, they are a good program, and they show it year after year.  A dominant showing against a very solid UTEP team in round 1 behind the 7 3's of Shelvin Mack is a bit of statement to those who wondered how Butler would match up against more physical teams.

NORTHERN IOWA  69
UNLV                        66

All year long, if you didn't score 70 points against Northern Iowa, you lost.  Well, for those who were curious, that rule of thumb applies outside the Missouri Valley conference too.   A huge 30 ft 3 point shot from Ali Farokhmanesh with under 5 seconds left sealed the win for the Panthers.

KENTUCKY                        100
EAST TENNESSEE STATE not near enough

The "other" freshman guard for Kentucky lit up East Tennessee state.  Eric Bledsoe was one of the highest rated guards coming into college this year, but with John Wall on the team he has been under the radar all year.  Well, that's over.  31 points has him on everyone's radar, and that kind of production in the backcourt with John Wall is just what the dr. ordered for the wildcats.

OHIO                  97
GEORGETOWN 83

If you would have told Hoya fans that they were going to score 83 points, they would have felt pretty good about their team's chances in round one.  Well, when you give up 13 3's to the other team, 83 is not going to do it.  Georgetown's inconsistent defensive effort caught up to them.  To put his in perspective, the Ohio Bobcats were the 9 seed in the MAC conference tournament.  Yeah.....this is a huge upset, brackets be damned.





NIT


WEDNESDAY MARCH 17TH

NIT
TULSA            74
KENT STATE 75

Kent State erased a 9 point second half deficit to take the lead and win with 20 second left.  These games are what the post-season tournaments are about. 

ILLINOIS STATE 42
DAYTON              63

Dayton recognized that to beat the Redbirds you have to keep their backcourt of Eldridge and Phillips in check.  They did just that, holding the duo who averages 25 a night between them to 12, shutting Phillips out entirely.  An amazing defense job against an explosive offensive team has them moving on.

NORTHWESTERN 64
RHODE ISLAND    75

Northwestern was only in this game because they are in the Big 10.  They should have been at home, studying.  Now they can get back to that.

QUINNIPIAC      61
VIRGINIA TECH 81

Va. Tech. was upset that they got snubbed and they took it out on the underdog Bobcats.  They had great passion and energy winning the rebounding battle against, statistically, the top rebounding team in the country.

WEBER STATE 62
CINCINNATII  76

Cincy's athletes and defense were just a bit too much for Weber State in this one.  Sometimes it's easy to remember that an average recruit to a big conference school would be a recruiting home run for the smaller schools.  Games like this remind us of that.

TROY            65
MISSISSIPPI 84

Troy was outclassed by a motivated Ole Miss team.  Terrico White's 27 led the Rebels, who looked to be on a mission to prove that they should have gotten a bid.

NEVADA              74
WICHITA STATE 70

This was a game of runs, and Nevada had the last one.  This win is better than people realize as the Wolfpack just handed the Shockers their first home loss of the season. 

ST. JOHN'S 71
MEMPHIS   73

This was a great ending.  It also illustrates how far Memphis fell when Calipari left.  But as coach John likes to say.....Survive and Advance....that's what the Tigers did. 

ILLINOIS             76
STONY BROOK 66

Due to a scheduling conflict, the #1 seed Illini had to play on the road in the first round.  Yeah, that didn't matter.  They looked very solid against a well-coached Stony Brook team.  Congrats to the Seawolves on their first postseason appearance in 11 years.....and don't let the door hit ya.

CBI/CIT

I looked at these and realize....noone cares except the fans of these teams.   Here's the link


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The latest SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE

Ok, when the greatest gladiator of my generation, undisputedly until UFC came along, is trying to save his status as a celebrity by racing pigeons...yeah....that's just messed up.

This is not only true because of the fact that Mike Tyson, he of the ear shaped dental floss, tribally decorated face, and domestic abuse charges, is going to be cradling and cooing to small delicate, feathered creatures.

This is not only true because there are actual "competitive" racers available to race him.  I am not surprised that they are willing to race him on TV.  I am surprised that they exist.  Seriously?  Racing birds?

Here is the problem.  People are going to watch this crap?  Really?  REALLY? 
I know they are.  I know this for one simple reason. 

I know this because there is absolutely no redeeming facet to this show idea.  It is stupid, moronic, and one more chance for the American people to laugh at a fallen celebrity clutching to the last vestiges of fame.

Mike.....the cameo in the Hangover was ok.  UFC would have been ok.  but pigeons????

Yeah....I am going to church.  I got some praying to do.

Oregon is the new Miami

The Oregon Duck football has surged onto the scene the past few years.

They are loaded with talent like they have never had before, and it is becoming increasingly obvious why.  It becomes a whole lot easier to stockpile talent, when you have no regard for the character of the players you are bringing onto campus.

These are not kids getting free loaner cars, or free clothes, or even cheating on exams.

These are legitimate criminals.  They should not be getting the benefit of a SCHOLARship.  They have been given a gift, but that gift comes with strings. 

If you cannot control yourself enough to act according to the rule of law, you should get a one way ticket home.

I wonder if they are going to strip wins from Oregon for the games these criminals played in....Oh, that's right.   They get to play in even more of them.

Good Job NCAA....Hey Masoli...the message here, in case you missed it, is that you are fine, as long as you don't hang out with Deion.

Monday, March 15, 2010

My 64 Teams

Well, every year a group of old men get together and decide which division 1 teams get a chance to play for the national title.  Every year I, and most other fans, think that they screwed up.

So, this year, I decided to do my own.  After all, I am smarter than they are, right?

I used a 3 step process.
1. Mark off the automatic bids
2. Identify teams with 22+ wins and 10+ wins in conference and mark off the ones of that group that I thought should be locks.
3. User combination of winning %, conference winning %, RPI, and SoS to determine who should fill out the rest of the bracket. 

Below is what I got. 

You will notice that I gave a little more love to the mid-majors.  This is because of the numbers.  None of the top-10 RPI conferences were without 2 teams that were tourney ready.  My bracket, unlike the official, reflects that.

click on the bracket to expand

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

College Football Alignment Followup

Last fall I put together a suggestion for a college football realignment, designed to solve a number of issues with the current college football landscape and bowl system.  This is the followup, showing the projected changes and effects of that suggestion.

Per that suggestion, the teams that would have been included in the suggested 8 team playoff were as follows, by Region.

        
North East Region: Penn State Nittany Lions
South East Region: Florida Gators
Pacific Region: Boise State Broncos
Mountain Region: Brigham Young Cougars
South Central Region: Texas Long Horns
Eastern Region: Alabama Crimson Tide
Central Region: Nebraska Corn Huskers
Great Lakes Region: Ohio State Buckeyes

Looking at this list, I saw that a lot of quality teams were not going to get a chance at the National Title.  This led me to consider expanding the field to include the top 4 from each region and having a tournament that included all of the bowl games.  This would be half the size of the Men's basketball tourney, but it would account for all of the games and the proposed payment system could be adjusted.

______________________________________________________________________

Here are the seeds that were garnered by record for that tourney, listed by first round game.

1. Florida Gators
32. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
A battle of offensive masterminds and Blue Chip QB's.  It would be interesting to see how Clausen and Tate could fair against the vaunted Gator D.  Who am I kidding, Clausen would be lucky to survive against that D-Line with the crappy protection offered by the Irish line.

8. Brigham Young Cougars
25. Stanford Cardinal
It seems like these 2 are battling for QB prospects every year.  Watching them play would be like watching a scrimmage.  Intelligent passing games balanced with a big back rushing attack and solid, but unspectacular defenses.  This would be a tight, tight game.

9. Texas Christian Horned Frogs
24. Arizona Wildcats
This would have been much more intriguing with both Gronkowski's on the field.  After seeing what the Husker's D did to the WildCats, it is pretty clear how they would fair against the Horned Frogs.  Jerry Hughes would have been shooting for a career game.

16. Nebraska Cornhuskers
17. Georgia Tech YellowJackets
The best option attack in the country against Suh and his buddies.  Strength against Strength is what football used to be about.  The purists would love love loooooove this one.

13. Virginia Tech Hokies
20. North Carolina Tar Heels
Big time game as the 2 and 3 from the Eastern Region bump heads again.  These were 2 of the most talented Defenses in the country.  This would be one of the best hitting games of the year.

12. Penn State Nittany Lions
21. Wisconsin
Old School Big Ten game.  The Lions would be favored, but if the Badgers were able to get healthy, they could give them a big time run for their money.

5. Boise State Broncos
28. Mississippi Rebels
The Broncos always want their shot at the teams from the big conferences.  This is the kind of game that would give them the chance to prove that they deserve it.  Ole Miss is trying to be an up and coming, and Broncos would be doing their damndest to choke the life out of them.

4. Cinncinatti Bearcats
29. Boston College
I don't know what to say here.  If this is Cincy with Bryan Kelly, I think they blow BC out.  If this is Cincy without him, the BC toughness grinds them down.

3. Texas Longhorns
30. Kentucky Wildcats
A game with 2 wide open passing attacks.  The Cats D would be the question.  Texas would win, but the Cats might just show that they are a little better than advertised.

6. Pittsburgh Panthers
27. Oklahoma State Cowboys
Both of these teams are known for recruiting but now showing it on the field.  With Dez Bryant, OSU is probably the favorite, but can they score on Pitt without him?

11. Ohio State Buckeyes
22. Houston Cougars
Big 10 D against C-USA spread.  You know what, screw that, this is the Run-n-Shoot v. 2.  I am not sure the Bucks have enough D-Backs to stop the cougars, but I know the cougars don't have the horses up front to slow down either of the Buckeye lines.

14. Miami Hurricanes
19. Oregon State Beavers
Young, improving team.  Quizz against the Canes.....yeah, I am watching this one.

15. Texas Tech Red Raiders
18. West Virgina Mountaineers
The best passing spread attack against the best running spread attack.  Defense be damned.....yeah....watching this one too.

10. Oregon Ducks
23. Missouri Tigers
Estimating 72 points for the over/under.  Both of these spread attacks are balanced and the defenses can play too.  Oregon has more vets and their backs are a bit better, but Missouri is closer than people think and Gary Pinkel can coach.

7. Iowa Hawkeyes
26. Clemson Tigers
Can the Hawkeyes run with the Tigers.  Spiller and Jacoby can run like very few in the country, while the Hawkeyes have a great O-Line and run down hill.......This would be a fun one.

2. Alabama Crimson Tide
31. Utah Utes
Heh, think Bama might be up for this one after last year?  Oh, just maybe.

_________________________________________________________________

As you can see, there are a number of interesting story lines and I am hard pressed to say that there are any teams that would be able to complain that they had not had a fair chance to make it.  The seedings are from the regular season, so questions about how the bowls results may have affected couldn't be taken into account, but still the seedings overall were pretty accurate....well with exception of the holy mess that the BearCats coaching staff and Athletic Department made of december.

After the season, I did a review of the records of the teams overall, against their region, and against Upper Division Teams.  Using those records, the European-style promotion/demotion system would result in the following regional alignments.  The Green Teams moved into the Upper and the Red moved out.

REGION: NORTH EAST
Major Division
1. Penn State
2. West Virginia
3. Pittsburgh
4. Boston College
5. Buffalo
6. Rutgers
7. Temple

Minor Division
1. Connecticut
2. Virginia
3. Syracuse
4. Akron
5. Navy
6. Maryland
7. Kent State
8. Army

Notes: This region's promotions are a perfect example of what this system gives you.  Rutgers and UConn are going to fight every year to stay in the Upper group, while teams like Temple will peek periodically and jump for a year or two.  This will help their recruting much more. 

REGION: SOUTH EAST
Major Division
1. Florida
2. Southern Mississippi
3. Miami
4. Georgia
5. Georgia Tech
6. Clemson
7. South Florida

Minor Division
1. Troy
2. South Carolina
3. Central Florida
4. Florida State
5. Auburn
6. Florida Atlantic
7. Tulane
8. Florida International

Notes: This Region is loaded and few would argue that FSU and Auburn are better than Southern Miss.  All we have to work on is the numbers from their schedules though, and neither of them played particularly well against the region.  Of course, they were not playing the same teams as Southern Miss  either. 


REGION: PACIFIC
Major Division
1. Boise State
2. Oregon
3. Nevada
4. Oregon State
5. Stanford
6. Southern California
7. California
 
Minor Division
1. Fresno State
2. UCLA
3. Idaho
4. Washington
5. Hawai'i
6. San Jose State
7. San Diego State
8. Washington State
 
Notes: This is a region full of fringe teams.  Outside of the bottom 3, it has good strength from top to bottom and because of that, there will be a lot of movement. 
 
REGION: MOUNTAIN
Major Division
1. Brigham Young
2. Texas Tech
3. UTEP
4. Utah
5. Air Force
6. New Mexico State
7. Arizona
 
Minor division
1. Wyoming
2. Colorado
3. Arizona State
4. UNLV
5. New Mexico
6. Colorado State
7. Utah State
 
Notes: This is a really week region, so bad teams like New Mexico State would get a shot periodically.  Of course, with them having a better shot at the big games, they will become better teams. 
 
REGION: SOUTH CENTRAL
Major Division
1. Texas
2. Houston
3. Oklahoma
4. Southern Methodist
5. Louisiana Lafayette
6. Oklahoma State
7. Texas Christian
 
Minor Division
1. Tulsa
2. Louisiana Monroe
3. Texas A&M
4. Lousiana State
5. Baylor
6. Louisiana Tech
7. Rice
8. North Texas
 
Notes: LSU was screwed by their strength of schedule.  They had a bit of a down year in the SEC while Lafayette played the cupcakes of the region.  That said, this region has enough good teams, that a solid team will be demoted most every year.
 
REGION: EASTERN
Major Division
1. Alabama
2. Wake Forest
3. Virginia Tech
4. North Carolina
5. Tennessee
6. North Carolina State
7. Duke
 
Minor Division
1. Kentucky
2. Ohio
3. East Carolina
4. Louisville
5. Vanderbilt
6. Marshall
7. UAB
8. Middle Tennessee State
 
Notes: Duke is improved, but not this improved.  That said though, this is the point.  Give the lower edge teams hope and something to play for. 
 
REGION: CENTRAL
Major Division
1. Nebraska
2. Iowa
3. Missouri
4. Mississippi
5. Illinois
6. Arkansas
7. Northwestern
 
Minor Division
1. Mississippi State
2. Kansas State
3. Minnesota
4. Kansas
5. Iowa State
6. Memphis
7. Arkansas State
8. Northern Illinois
 
Notes: Think on this, The #10 team in this region, was a game away from going to the Big 12 championship.  This Region may not have the heavyweights that some others do, but it is full of solid programs and some good coaching staffs.
 
REGION:GREAT LAKES
Major Division
1. Cincinnati
2. Ohio State
3. Central Michigan
4. Wisconsin
5. Bowling Green
6. Notre Dame
7. Purdue
 
Minor Division
1. Michigan State
2. Michigan
3. Ball State
4. Western Michigan
5. Miami, OH
6. Toledo
7. Indiana
8. Eastern Michigan
 
Notes: They love their football around the Great Lakes and this would be a hotly contested region.  Most of the better MAC teams tossed in with the class of the Big 12, plus the up and coming Bearcats.  You can go ahead and feel bad for Indiana and Eastern Michigan.

Monday, March 1, 2010

2010 Pre-Combine NFL Mock Draft - Round 1

2010 Pre-Combine NFL Mock Draft




Here we go, first guess. The combine is started, but the results aren’t in, so I am going to toss
this in under the wire.



Round 1




Pick 1




The Rams have little but needs, so looking at any one position to fill would be a mistake. The best approach when you are this bad is too look at your areas of strength and take the best player that fits into one of the other positions. The list of strengths for the Rams is damn short. Suh is the best player available in this draft. Putting him in the middle of their D-Line with Chris Long and Leonard Little on the edges give them an area of their team which can be a strength.





Pick 2




Quite a few of the teams have McCoy and Suh rated near even. I don’t know about that after the display that Suh put on late in the season. There is no questioning McCoy’s talent and consistent production though.

As for the pick being right for the Lions, They have some players in the back 7 of their defense, but they have to get better production out of their line if they want to have a solid defense. Putting McCoy beside Sammie Hill gives them a solid pair of young tackles that will free up their talented linebacking corp to make more plays. It wouldn’t be wrong for them to take a premier offensive tackle, but I just don’t think that any of them can make the immediate impact that McCoy can.





Pick 3




The Bucs are old, Berry is the best player available. He has the talent to be the kind of playmaker to make an average defense look very solid. Putting him at the back of this defense give
the Bucs one of the more talented defensive backfields in the NFC. Now, about those lines.





Pick 4




There are 2 big problems with the Redskins, IMO. Daniel Snyder’s meddling and a damn old offensive line. Snyder says that he is going to stay out of Shanahan’s way, but the line is still aging quickly. Shanny likes athletic offensive lines and we know that he can make an offense work with Clinton Portis in the backfield. Okung is a premier talent at Offensive Tackle.





Pick 5




The Chiefs gave their fans hope at the end of last season by dumping Larry Johnson so that Jamal
Charles could run wild from their spread formations and getting some turnovers from their young defense. They were approaching legitimacy, but they have 2 serious areas of weakness. Wide Receiver and Offensive Line. They need a legitimate threat at wideout to pair with Dwayne Bowe down the road. They should be able to find linemen later in the draft to shore up the O-Line.

Dez Bryant is the class of this year’s receiver class. Noone in college football could cover him and few in the NFL will be able to.





Pick 6




The Seahawks have been procrastinating drafting Walter Jones’ replacement for several years, but time is up. It is going to kill Pete Carroll to draft a linemen in his first draft, but he is smart enough to recognize that the success of this team is going to depend on keeping Hasselbeck healthy and finding a running attack. Anthony Davis was the anchor of a very effective Offensive Line at Rutgers. He is a monster in the running game and he faced up against some of the better pass rushers in the country in the Big East.





Pick 7




The Browns need to put an end to their QB controversy. Sam Bradford has the talent to be a franchise QB and the pressure in Cleveland won’t be much higher than it was in Norman. If they can keep him healthy, he can be the man. Draft him, ditch whichever of your vets you can get a better price for.





Pick 8




All the Raiders need to do to win games is to put a QB on the field who can throw a catchable
ball. They have those guys and aren’t going to invest more money in the position with the money that they have invested in Jamarcus. Al loves speed though, and the idea of a pair of lockdown corners should have him drolling. Joe Haden is the highest rated coming out and he can fly. He could be the last piece to a truly dominant defense.





Pick 9




The Bills made the mistake of not replacing their left tackle and they paid for it all season. Some people are screaming for them to pick up a new quarterback, and that is not a bad idea. However, if you can’t protect him it doesn’t matter. The need on the offensive line became even more dire with the news of Brad Butler’s retirement. They now need to find starters at both Left and Right tackle. Bruce Campbell is a beast at tackle and has the potential to be a big piece of a successful
offensive line.





Pick 10




The Broncos were much better than expected last year and are just looking for small
improvements. This pick may change if they can’t resign Brandon Marshall. If he leaves, they will need to work to pick up either Dez Bryant or a premier FA wideout. As they sit now, they need to
get more quality depth for their 3-4. They hid some issues with a strong pass rush and a good secondary, but whenever they weren’t playing from ahead, their defense got exposed. McClain was the heartbeat of Crimson Tide’s defense and should transition very well to Inside Linebacker in the Broncos scheme.





Pick 11




The Jags made 2 very good picks to give them new starting tackles last year so they may look
elsewhere. I think that, with one more pick along the line this year, they can build a moster offensive line for MJD to run behind. Bottom line is, their QB is not great, and MJD will kill if you get him to the second level. Both of these require a premium offensive line. Bulaga played a couple of spots at Iowa and is a roadgrader who will either transition well to Guard or put Eben Britton
inside.





Pick 12




Parcells and his boys are building something in Miami. Their secondary is primed, their offense is
young and dynamic. They have 2 area of need. They need 1 more dynamic threat at receiver, preferably a tall one who can be a redzone threat. They need depth in the front 7. Their line is not what they need it to be and their outside linebackers are aging quickly. Terrance Cody is the best NoseTackle prospect in a draft full of good tackles. He will eat space, keeping the linebackers clean to make plays. They will need to make some moves for outside linebackers in this draft though.





Pick 13




The Niners are improving quick on the west coast, but they don’t have a long term answer at
quarterback. Clausen is a cool head and has the talent. Clausen to Crabtree could be the kind of connection that they haven’t seen in the Bay area in a lot of years.





Pick 14




After getting a new cornerstone tackle, Seattle needs weapons. They have a lot of players who are solid and can move the chains. What they don’t have is that player who can turn a first down into a home run. Noone in this draft does that like Spiller. Look for them to spot him at back, and flex him to the slot. Even in the NFL, not many linebackers or safeties are going to be successful running with Spiller in a pattern.





Pick 15




The Giants free safety position was exposed when their pass rush was lessened due to injuries
last year. Mays may not be the best safety to come out this year, but he is one of the best that we have seen in the last several years. He is big, rangy, and will make receivers regret their trips to the meadowlands.





Pick 16




Singletary loves defense and his line is the weakspot of a strong niner unit. Price may fit better as a defensive end rather than a Nose Tackle in singletary’s preferred 3-4 alignment, but he has great quickness for a man his size. He has the size and athletic ability to play all 3 positions on that line.





Pick 17




The Titans draft good players at the top of their drafts. They don’t worry about need as they believe they can always find a place for a good player. Williams has been the Anchor of a group that has sent several highly rated players into the league the past few years. He played both tackle spots and guard while at Oklahoma and can do the same for Tennessee. He should be an immediate upgrade for at least one of their positions.





Pick 18




The latest version of the Steel curtain is aging quickly. They are solid but will lose players steadily over the next few years. Derrick Morgain is the highly rated 3-4 end in this draft and has the size and ability to be a perfect fit in the Steelers scheme.





Pick 19




The Falcons defense needs to step up. They made some moves to shore up the defensive line, but it remains to be seen how effective those will be due to Peria Jerry’s injury last year. However with their lack of talent in secondary, that has to be their focus. Earl Thomas is unique in that he
has shown that he can excel at both Safety and Cornerback.





Pick 20




The Texans are so close to being a really good team. They can legitimately draft the best player rather than draft for need at this point. Mike Iupati is the best guard in this draft by a good distance. He is as strong as a bull and athletic enough to pull with authority and drive through
to the second level.





Pick 21




The Bengals surprised the world last year, but they will not be a surprise this year. Dan Williams gives them a DT with star potential to plug in the middle of their defense to keep their strong young linebacker corp clean and running.





Pick 22




Kindle is just the kind of player that the Patriots love. He can play multiple positions, has exhibited leadership ability, and is used to winning. Pairing him with Mayo will be a nightmare for the rest of the AFC East. This pick becomes even better with the expected departure of Adalius Thomas.





Pick 23




The Packers defense is still in the middle of its transition to the 3-4. B.J. Raji was a big piece of what they needed to make that move, and Carlos Dunlap will be the second big draft pick on that
line. He is a wonderfully/horribly disruptive pass rusher with the size to play the position in the 3-4.





Pick 24




The Eagles defensive scheme is predicated on pressure. Trent Cole is the best pass rusher that they have along the D-Line in Philly, but he needs a running mate. This JUCO transfer made George Selvie an also-ran, which is pretty much all anyone should need to hear about his pass rushing ability. If the Eagles can get pressure with their front 4, it will make their blitz
packages that much more effective.





Pick 25




The Ravens needs receivers badly. Arrelious Benn is a prospect that never got the chance to shine. He has a great frame and strength, with good speed and reportedly does very well with the ball in the air. Additionally, he has shown that he can block his position well, which will be welcome in the Ravens offense.





Pick 26




The Cardinals are good team that is going to be sitting, waiting to see if Leinart is going to pan out now that he is the only option. Don’t be surprised if they don’t go looking for a veteran backup just in case. One way to make life easier for him is to get a good pass-catching tight end. Gresham
is a better receiver than most of the wideouts. It will be interesting to see how he is after recovering from his injuries, but he hands will still work and even with a decline in athleticism he would be a top-rated athlete at his position.





Pick 27




The Cowboys line is getting old. They need to start bringing in replacements for there long time big men. Brown has been overlooked a bit after a disappointing season in Los Angeles. He is a very athletic tackle with great feet after moving from tight end to tackle. He is a very good tackle who is still learning to play the position. He should have a chance to sit and learn putting him in good position to succeed when they need him to.





Pick 28




The Chargers are a team in flux. LT is out, Merriman is on his way out pretty soon. There is an
awful lot of talent left in San Diego though. They need middle linebackers right now and the athletic ability to move around in the positions. Brandon Spikes was the leader of a great Florida
defense. He has the head to call the defense and the speed and hitting to play all 4 positions if needed. Plugging him in will give the Chargers one of the top units in the league with flexility going forward.





Pick 29




Rex Ryan is going to build a monster of a defense. Warren gives them a 3rd quality corner and a future running partner for Revis. They want to force you to run the ball. Warren was very productive in a difficult situation the last few years in Ann Arbor and may have the talent to give the Jets what they are looking for.





Pick 30




Antoine Winfield has been doing this awhile. The Vikings are loaded and preparing to replace an aging corner is the biggest problem we can find. Well, outside of quarterback situation. Neither of the top QB prospects will be available at this point however, so look for the Vikings to pick up one of the best athletes in the draft. Patrick Robinson is a lockdown talent at corner. Very few can run like he does.





Pick 31




The Colts love speed on defense and Jerry Hughes is a perfect fit for their scheme. He is a disruptive force on defense with great athleticism having moved over from running back. He projects very well to linebacker and has already proven that he can play with his hand on the ground on the outside.





Pick 32




The Saints are strong across the board obviously, having won the whole ball of wax this season. That said, their offense is the relative strength of their team. Sean Weatherspoon has the speed to play in their scheme, but is better against the run than some of their current players.