Q: After Baldwin (PITT) got a short list of top WR’s n Big East??
A: Yeah, it’s a really short list. The list almost ends with Baldwin. Armon Binns from Cincinnati is a name to look out for, but other than that, it’s a pretty thin conference WR wise. There could always be someone who does the Marshawn Gilyard thing and steps up in a big way out of nowhere.
Q: Why isn’t Robert Quinn a good fit as a 3-4 OLB?
A: 270 pounds is widely regarded as too big to play 3-4 outside linebacker, plus the position as a whole is pretty much a crapshoot because it doesn’t exist in college for the most part. If anything, Quinn is too talented to draft and try to move to a position he’s never played before. Vernon Gholston was regarded as a player who couldn’t bust, but he did because he had to move to 3-4 outside linebacker.
Q: Ryan Williams is my pre season Heisman pick. What say you?
A: Williams certainly could, but you can’t underestimate the effect of Darren Evans (who looked like a future Heisman in his own right as a Freshman in 2008) coming back from injury and what that could do to his carrries. I still say Mark Ingram has to be the favorite, but you can’t count out any of the quarterbacks, Terrelle Pryor, Ryan Mallett, Jake Locker, Andrew Luck, and Jacory Harris. Jacquizz Rodgers is a sleeper too. He’s going to put up a ton of all purpose yards, but will he get the recognition playing for Oregon State that he deserves is the question.
Q: The bears never seem to get any talent..they straight suck at drafting..how long since theyve had a number 1 reciever
A: Never. They’ve never had a #1 receiver, at least not that I can remember.
Q: Why do you think it was a bad thing for the Cardinals to pass on Clausen…me, I’m glad we did.
A: Matt Leinart and Derek Anderson have a combined one good season between them and taking a guy widely projected to be a top 10 pick at either 26 or 47 could have made them the favorites to win that weak division again next year. I have a lot more faith in Clausen than Leinart or Anderson, though we’ll see what those guys have this year.
Q: Packers-Jets in the Jerrydome??
A: Certainly possible. The Packers are my sleeper team and if Sanchy continues to develop at quarterback (meaning doesn’t throw 20 picks again) then you’d have a hard time finding a more stacked team than the Jets. Obviously the Saints and Colts are going to be right there again. They didn’t have great drafts, but then again they didn’t need to. The Cowboys may have more offensive weapons than any team in the league. You can’t count out the Patriots or the Chargers either, and same with the Vikings if Brett Favre returns and don’t sleep on Baltimore either. I can’t remember a year where there have been so many teams that I could see hoisting the trophy at the end of the year.
Questions/Comments I get on Twitter/Facebook/Email
Q: I’m still hoping that if Berry isn’t there at 7 the Browns trade down a few spots
A: He’ll be there. The top 6 is full of 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 win teams. None of them are going to spend top 6 money on a safety, even if he is one of the best safety prospects in a long time. I would be very surprised if Berry went top 6. If he isn’t, they’ll try to trade down, but they may have to take a lesser value to do so like last year.
Q: Raiders might actually do something right BY getting Mcnabb..if it happens
A: The only reason McNabb for a 2nd rounder would be a good move for the Raiders is because you know that Al Davis is going to make a bad pick with that 2nd rounder. That’s the sad state that franchise is in. In fact, they might as well trade every pick for a veteran. They almost never make a smart pick, especially early. If the Raiders get McNabb, they get him for one year, unless they franchise him (and piss him off) or way overpay him. McNabb wants a championship and Oakland is not the place that’s going to win it for him. They have way too many other needs and way too screwed up of a front office. McNabb isn’t magic. If he couldn’t win with the good supporting casts he had in Philly, he won’t win in Oakland. The most the Raiders can get from him is one .500+ season. For most teams, that’s not worth a 2nd rounder, but for this team, it is because 2nd rounder are virtually valueless to them.
Q: Would u consider tebow a lock for the second round due to change in his mechanics or will he fall further
A: At the end of the day, some one will grab him in the 2nd round, whether it’s Jacksonville trading back up into the 2nd to take him, or New England taking him as an ATH, or Green Bay taking him as an ATH, or Minnesota looking at him as a replacement for Favre.
Q: How much better do you honestly see Detroit and Chicago getting
A: For all Chicago has done, I don’t think they are much better. They will get better next year just because Brian Urlacher will be back from injury and because Jay Cutler will have more time getting familiar with his receivers and that offense. That being said, their offensive line and receivers are atrocious. Jay Cutler barely has any one to throw to and he will barely get any time in the pocket behind that line, which, in Mike Martz’ vertical attack, is not a good thing. They have two decent running backs, but their offensive line isn’t going to help them out a lot and they still have major holes in their secondary. Julius Peppers helps, but he’s not going to turn this team around by himself.
Detroit could be a sleeper next year, if they draft Russell Okung. This front 7 is actually pretty decent. Kyle Vanden Bosch should have a good year in Jim Schwartz’ system. Cliff Avril is a good pass rusher. Sammie Lee Hill is promising. Corey Williams was a steal of a trade. He’s great in a 4-3. Ernie Sims, Julian Peterson, and DeAndre Levy at linebacker were the strength of the defense last year. Their secondary is still a bit of a mess, but if they can get more young playmakers in the secondary, along with a better pass rush, this pass defense won’t be as atrocious next year. Offensively, you have your franchise quarterback with some good receivers. If you can protect him and he develops as he should, this is a 7-8 win team next year with good promise for the future. They’re still a 2-3 year project before they get to the playoffs and start winning 9,10, 11 games, but they’re heading in the right direction finally.
Various questions I get asked
“im not sold on these other qbs..bradford is overrated and clausen is a punk wouldnt surprise me if clausen went to pro day in a white limo” (From Twitter)
And if he does, does that make him a bad quarterback? As long as he follows the law, doesn’t get suspended, and doesn’t get into fights with teammates/team official, I don’t care what a player does with his free time as long as he’s 100% football when necessary, games/practice/film study. He’s had an amazing year, in a pro style offense, at age 20, with about half the talent that Tebow/McCoy/Bradford (in 2008) had around them, despite playing through a foot injury. The only major concerns with Clausen are that he could be a one year wonder. He had a horrible sophomore year before his amazing junior year, but I really did see a changed quarterback from 2008 to 2009 in terms of his on the field maturity and decision making so I think he could be changed for good. The other concern is that he didn’t win a lot of close games. All of Notre Dame’s losses were by 7 or fewer points so while Clausen played amazing, if he had played just a little bit better when it mattered, his 4th quarter stats were a bit lower, his team could have been 8-4 or 9-3. However, I’m not going to make mountains out of molehills with those. Clausen is still a very capable NFL quarterback.
“Where’s LT going?” (From anonymous)
Depends on how much he wants to play. He says he wants to win a Super Bowl, but if playing time is an issue for him as well his options could be limited, and by limited I mean very limited. New England is the only place that makes sense given those two necessary qualifications. If he doesn’t mind being a #2 guy, his options widen up. Philadelphia, who just released Brian Westbrook, could make sense. LT can still pass block and pass catch well, which seems to be all Andy Reid cares about in a back, and he could also be that goal short yardage guy they need. However, I’m not sure the Eagles would swap out one old vet for another, Westbrook for LT. I don’t know how much of an upgrade LT would be over Westbrook and you don’t just release Westbrook, a face of the franchise, unless you want to get younger at the position or upgrade the position and I’m not sure LT does either. Other interesting possibilities, Pittsburgh (Willie Parker is a free agent and sucked all last year), Houston (not necessarily a contender per se, but they’re on the rise and need running back help, also LT is from Texas), and Minnesota (imagine Brett Favre, Adrian Peterson, and LT on the same field, a marketer’s dream).
“What do you think the chances are of the Bucs getting Berry? I hope they do.” (From emailer)
Berry makes some sense there with Head Coach Raheem Morris being a former defensive backs coach, but I’d only do that if both McCoy and Suh were off the board. Those two guys fill so much of a bigger need, play positions that rank higher in terms of positional value, and are overall better prospects (slightly). Even if both are off the board, Berry is a risk because of his position. There’s a reason no one has taken a safety in the top 3 since 1991. If you take a safety in the top 3 and he doesn’t become a perennial Pro Bowler, you wasted a pick. I love Berry’s talent and upside, but if he’s even just an above average player (great not excellent), he’s not worth that pick, and you look foolish. There are plenty of great safeties in the league, but the excellent ones, the elite ones, guys like Troy Polamalu and Ed Reed, are the rare ones and those are the ones that really change a defense and take them to the next level. If the Bucs take Berry at 3, they better hope he becomes that type of player and not an Adrian Wilson or Kerry Rhodes (great, but not excellent).
“Who are your draft sleepers?” (From Twitter)
Depends what you mean by that. If you mean sleepers by players I have rated higher than other people, Damian Williams of USC is the first one on my mind. Solid consistent hands, excellent route running, NFL ready, knows how to get open and makes all of the catches, quietly had a 1000 yard year this year with a freshman quarterback in a pro style offense, good height, lacks elite strength and speed, but he also has a very humble nature (part of the reason for the lack of hype). He’s everything you could want out of a future #1 option. He’s the most NFL ready wide receiver in this draft class. The Seahawks and Pete Carroll, who has experience with Williams at USC, should consider him at 14. He’s my top wide receiver and, by comparison, I couldn’t even vote for him as top receiver on ESPN because he wasn’t one of the ten choices. Other guys, Rafael Priest of TCU, Bill Stull of Pittsburgh, Jermaine Cunningham of Florida, and Mike Neal of Purdue, are all guys I have rated significantly higher than most places.
If you mean guys who could shoot up draft boards and go higher than you think, you have to look at small school guys who are getting their first national attention this week at the combine. Jared Veldheer is the name that sticks out. Tiny school playing for Division II Hillsdale, but hasn’t missed all start in his entire career, 4 year starter, and I think, though the numbers might not be accurate, that he gave up a grand total of like one or two sacks in his career at Hillsdale. He’s got elite NFL size, 6-8 or 6-9 and 325 pounds. I’ve never seen him play because of his small school, and I don’t think most NFL scouts have either, and I have him currently penciled in late in the 3rd to Dallas, but once he shows himself on a national stage on the combine, he could be an early 2nd rounder. If what I’ve heard of him is true, he could be very dominant in drills and he’s reportedly a physical freak who could run a 5.02-5.08 40 at the combine at 6-9 325. Al Davis will literally shit his diaper if that happens.