February , 2009

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Draft Tribune: Your Draft Authority

Source The Falcons search for Alge Crumpler’s replacement continues. The Falcons released the pass-catching tight end, a ...
"Based on the slow pace of negotiations, Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth is expected to ...
Jerry Jones will ask. He will also listen. Jerry seeks out opinions from within the ...
The 2009 NFL Scouting Combine has officially begun but the information you need is still ...
This is the first official, post-combine, Big Board from Pete Dymeck. This is not an ...
The year is 1987, and the SMU Mustangs are just five years removed from being ...

Archive for February, 2009

Pre-Spring Top 25

Posted by Administrator On February - 25 - 2009 ADD COMMENTS

We would like to switch things up a bit around here, especially since the combine dial is finally turned off! As many of you know, there is no offseason in football, whether it is in college or the pros. With that said, we will take a look at an early Spring Top 25 for college football.

1. Florida Gators
Who cares if they lost Percy Harvin? The core of the defense is returning and so is Tim Tebow.
2. Oklahoma Sooners
Sam Bradford, Jermaine Gresham lead this team but they have question marks on the offensive line.
3. Oregon Ducks
They lost some instrumental pieces but a down-year for USC and soft schedule will help.
4. Penn State Nittany Lions
The Rose Bowl blowout can not screw up their psyche. New wide receivers will need to step it up.
5. Ole Miss Runnin’ Rebels
Without a doubt, next to Tim Tebow is Jevan Snead in our preseason Heisman watch.

6. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
The triple-option led by RB Jonathan Dwyer is scary enough for the ACC, watch out nation.
7. Ohio State Buckeyes
We want to see QB Terrelle Pryor improve as a passer before we lean on him as the saviour.
8. LSU Tigers
This team will go only as far as the quarterback position will lead them. Right now, its Jordan Jefferson’s job.
9. Oklahoma State Cowboys
WR Dez Bryant might be better than former TTU WR Michael Crabtree. First game of season is vs. Georgia.
10. USC Trojans
The murky waters at quarterback, plus the significant losses on defense won’t help. Taylor Mays is back though.

11. Virginia Tech Hokies
Like OSU’s Pryor, we aren’t sold on Tyrod Taylor, the Hokies passer. If he improves, so do this team.
12. Alabama Crimson Tide
Won’t be as good as last year but not playing Florida or Georgia in the regular season truly helps.
13. Iowa Hawkeyes
Will have to win on the road this year but we really like QB Ricky Stanzi.
14. Georgia Bulldogs
Replacing Knowshon Moreno won’t be as hard as it will be to replace Matthew Stafford.
15. Florida State Seminoles
The offensive line is very experienced. The weaponry is inexperienced but could be explosive.

16. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
To put it gently, their soft schedule will only help them in 2009.
17. Texas Longhorns
Colt McCoy is a good quarterback but the losses on defense will set them back a year.
18. Boise State Broncos
They have one of the best passers in the country. Play in a weak conference. All is good from here.
19. Nebraska Cornhuskers
The Blackshirt defense is back and they will be good enough to keep Nebraska in the game.
20. Michigan State Spartans
Eight starters from the defense will return. Replacing Brian Hoyer will be easier than you think.

21. Miami Fl. Hurricanes
No controversy at quarterback plus a ton of experience from last year’s freshmen equals more wins in 2009.
22. TCU Horned Frogs
They lost a lot of core pieces on their great defense from a year ago.
23. Brigham Young Cougars
The offensive line will be new and untested but QB Max Hall will have a great season.
24. Pittsburgh Panthers
A lot of people have Rutgers here, not Pitt. The offense will miss LeSean McCoy but it should be okay in a year where the Big East takes a step back.
25. Tennessee Volunteers
Call us crazy, but in year one, we think head coach Lane Kiffin will do a fine job.

Just missed: Rutgers, Kansas, Utah, California, Central Michigan, Michigan, Illinois, Clemson, West Virginia, Colorado, UCLA.

DT Jones to have surgery

Posted by Administrator On February - 25 - 2009 ADD COMMENTS

Syracuse’s best defensive player will undergo chest surgery after a freak injury in the weight room.

Syracuse says defensive tackle Arthur Jones sustained a torn left pectoralis muscle while lifting weights on Feb. 23. An MRI confirmed the tear, and surgery is scheduled for next week.

The college says additional information regarding Jones’ recovery and activity level will be released as progress warrants.

Jones was a 2008 All-Big East first team selection last season as a junior. He ranks sixth on the Orange career record list for tackles for loss.

Last season, Jones recorded 60 tackles, including 13 for a loss of yards.


Warner wants top 5 dollars

Posted by Administrator On February - 25 - 2009 ADD COMMENTS

The agent for Kurt Warner said he expected the quarterback and the Cardinals to have a contract agreement by now and hopes the team isn’t using his client’s desire to stay in Arizona against him.

Agent Mark Bartelstein said Warner deserves a salary among the top “four or five” quarterbacks in the NFL, no matter where he plays. According to Bartelstein, those five earn an average of about $14.5 million per year.

In an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday night, Bartelstein declined to say what the Cardinals were offering.

“It’s unfortunate,” Bartelstein said. “I thought it would get done quickly, but it hasn’t. We’ll keep working on it.”

Barring an agreement, Warner will become a free agent Friday.

In an interview on Sporting News Radio, the 37-year-old quarterback said he was leaning toward either signing with Arizona or retiring.

At this point in his career, Warner said, “you don’t want to go and start over, you don’t want to have to rebuild. You want to be able to be a part of something you’re comfortable with, where the pieces are in place to be successful.”

Warner also doesn’t want to move his wife and seven children.

His comments add to the leverage the Cardinals have in their negotiations, but Bartelstein said it would be unfair to pay the quarterback less than he deserves just because he wants to stay put.

“I really hope it doesn’t get used against him that he’s a Cardinal,” the agent said.

Cardinals general manager Rod Graves didn’t return a message left on his cell phone.

Bartelstein downplayed Warner’s comments, saying: “Things change quickly. … When the phone rings, you’ve got to listen.”

Warner was a bargain last season, earning about $4 million, plus incentives, while at the controls of a prolific passing game that led the Cardinals on an improbable run to the Super Bowl. In four playoff games, Warner completed 68 percent of his passes for 1,147 yards and 11 touchdowns with three interceptions.

Warner wants a deal for two years, with a possible option for a third. Both he and his agent were keenly aware that in the current economic downturn, there is little public sympathy for an athlete arguing over a few million dollars.

“The last Kurt or I want is for anyone to feel sorry for him,” Bartelstein said. “That’s not his or my style.”

But Warner said that pay is the way an organization can show its commitment to a player and his value to a team.

“My bottom line is I want to keep this team together and I want to have a chance to win a championship, and that’s the most important thing,” Warner said in the radio interview, “and I want to be compensated as well because I know these are probably going to be the last two years I’m going to play.”


Top 25 Big Board

Posted by Administrator On February - 25 - 2009 ADD COMMENTS

This is the first official, post-combine, Big Board from Pete Dymeck. This is not an indicator of mock drafts but rather how he feels the prospects rank in how they will perform on Sunday’s.

1. OT Eugene Monroe, Virginia
2. DE Everette Brown, Florida State
3. LB Aaron Curry, Wake Forest
4. OT Jason Smith, Baylor
5. CB/S Malcolm Jenkins, Ohio State

6. DE Brian Orakpo, Texas
7. TE Brandon Pettigrew, Oklahoma State
8. DE Robert Ayers, Tennessee
9. OT Michael Oher, Ole Miss
10. DT B.J. Raji, Boston College

11. WR Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech
12. CB Alphonso Smith, Wake Forest
13. QB Mark Sanchez, USC
14. LB Brian Cushing, USC
15. WR Jeremy Maclin, Missouri

16. ILB Rey Maualuga, USC
17. CB Vontae Davis, Illinois
18. QB Matt Stafford, Georgia
19. RB Knowshon Moreno, Georgia
20. DT Peria Jerry, Ole Miss

21. WR Hakeem Nicks, North Carolina
22. DT Jarron Gilbert, San Jose State
23. OLB Clint Sintim, Virginia
24. TE James Casey, Rice
25. DE/OLB Aaron Maybin, Penn State

Stafford wants to be a Lion

Posted by Administrator On February - 25 - 2009 ADD COMMENTS

Quarterback Matthew Stafford is welcoming the prospect of being selected by the Lions with the No. 1 overall pick in April’s draft with open arms — literally.

In a Sports Illustrated profile on Stafford titled “Searching for Bobby Layne” — the issue hits newsstands today — senior NFL writer Peter King shares some behind-the-scenes tales from last week’s NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis.

“I’m being completely honest, and it has nothing to do with money — I would love to go to Detroit,” Stafford told King, echoing comments he made in a 15-minute news conference earlier Friday at the combine. “My friends say, ‘C’mon, gimme a break.’ But I’m a competitive guy. The Lions have passionate fans, a great stadium, and I’d be throwing to the biggest freak (Calvin Johnson), with the most talent, of any receiver in the NFL.”

The Lions’ top brass, including head coach Jim Schwartz, had a two-hour dinner with Stafford on Thursday night in Indianapolis. By all accounts, it went well. Well enough, in fact, that Stafford felt comfortable enough the next day to sneak up behind Lions president Tom Lewand and give him a bear hug, King reports.

“Come on!” Stafford told Lewand, laughing. “Let’s go! I’m ready!”


Mock Draft updated, shuffled around

Posted by Administrator On February - 25 - 2009 ADD COMMENTS

1. Detroit Lions - OT Eugene Monroe (Virginia)
While the plans to draft quarterback Matt Stafford went up in smoke at the combine as competitors to the number one overall pick rose to the occasion. Eugene Monroe had a spectacular combine but by not putting too much stock into an event chock full of workouts, he still makes the most sense for the Lions.

2. St. Louis Rams - OLB Aaron Curry (Wake Forest)
Steve Spagnuolo, the new head coach for the Rams, needs to build up the offensive line but how can he pass on the best defensive prospect since Mario Williams? Curry showed at the combine that he has a rare combination of speed and strength. His performance on Saturday’s translates well to Sunday’s.

3. Kansas City Chiefs - OT Jason Smith (Baylor)
The Kansas City Chiefs need one more offensive lineman to nearly complete its transition from the Roaf & Shields’ days. Simply put, Jason Smith is the most athletic offensive lineman of this group and he would bode well for a young team looking to compete in the AFC West.

4. Seattle Seahawks - QB Matt Stafford (Georgia)
With just two years remaining on a $47 million contract, the Seahawks will likely look for quarterback Matt Hasselbeck to restructure his current deal or hit the road after the 2009 season, since the contract will be finished after the 2010 season. Usually a new regime signals a new quarterback and that should be in the plans for a franchise that is just a few seasons removed from a Super Bowl run.

5. Cleveland Browns - DE Brian Orakpo (Texas)
Even though he does come with some injury issues from his senior season, the Browns will get an electrifying pass rusher to add to their empty cabinet of pass rushers.

6. Cincinnati Bengals - DT B.J. Raji (Boston College)
The Cincinnati Bengals probably need to commit to B.J. Raji here for the simple fact that they have a paper mache defensive line, one that is extremely vulnerable to the run.

7. Oakland Raiders - WR Michael Crabtree (Texas Tech)
Al Davis will think he is getting the best player in the draft at seven and won’t pass up on this opportunity, even if Crabtree requires a screw in his foot.

8. Jacksonville Jaguars - CB/S Malcolm Jenkins (Ohio State)
The Jaguars need an offensive lineman or inside linebacker here too. With Jenkins, they get someone that will likely play safety and team up with Reggie Nelson for the next decade.

9. Green Bay Packers - OLB Brian Cushing (USC)
Rising back into the first round after an excellent combine is this former USC Trojan. The Green Bay Packers need linebackers as they are short at depth for their new 3-4.

10. San Francisco 49ers - CB Vontae Davis (Illinois)
From what we are hearing, Davis put the questions on his character to rest with his interviews at the combine. Add in his excellent numbers and we have a prospect that is back to where he started off in September, the top ten. The scary thing about this projection is that it teams him up with his underachieving brother Vernon Davis.

11. Buffalo Bills - DE Robert Ayers (Tennessee)
The Bills get solidified on the defensive end by giving Aaron Schobel some comfort from the other side of the line. This will improve their pass rush, especially when the drive to December gets going and the defense needs more diesel. Ayers is an elite pass rusher, that is the bottom line.

12. Denver Broncos - ILB Rey Maualuga (USC)
Too bad for Denver. The Broncos pick where Aaron Curry and Brian Cushing will be out of reach. Still, a team switching to a 3-4 needs linebackers, especially ones that can stuff the run. The only problem is, will Maualuga’s hamstring injury nag him in the pros too?

13. Washington Redskins - QB Mark Sanchez (USC)
We are finally saying what everybody else wants to say. The quarterback situation in D.C. is becoming murkier day by day. Jason Campbell doesn’t seem to fit the Zorn offense and his play down the stretch arguably cost the Redskins a playoff berth.

Still, the Redskins do have problems on the offensive line but Campbell has plenty of experience and yet he is still miles behind the other quarterbacks in the NFC East. Campbell’s contract is up after 2009 and the Redskins’ GM, Mr. Vinny Cerrato has emphatically stated that they are not talking about a contract extension with Campbell. Like we said not too long ago either, Jason Campbell is a bust.

This pick will put the ‘Skins in a win-win situation, Jason Campbell too. If Campbell improves upon his very mediocre numbers, he will want to leave and the ‘Skins will be ready with Sanchez behind him. If not, the ‘Skins can dump Campbell and still be prepared to keep the ball moving at quarterback.

14. New Orleans Saints - OLB/DE Aaron Maybin (Penn State)
The Saints should be hunting for another defensive back but they need to start lining up their priorities. One is that they need another outside linebacker.

15. Houston Texans - CB Alphonso Smith (Wake Forest)
For his size, Alphonso Smith can turn the lights on and be another showstopper in the NFL. He already thinks he is Deion Sanders. Smith helps turn this secondary into a competitive one but yet the Texans still do not get the defensive end they need.

16. San Diego Chargers - OT Michael Oher (Ole Miss)
Starting right guard Mike Goff is a 33-year old free agent and the right tackle spot is up in the air. San Diego would get the ideal right tackle of this draft at a cheap price by our standards.

17. New York Jets - WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (Maryland)
The Jets fans know how to get disappointed on draft day as their franchise has always made questionable picks. The Jets need a quarterback, cornerback, inside linebacker, and defensive end. It wouldn’t be bad at all for them to take Heyward-Bey as Laveraneus Coles has already hit his peak as a receiver.

Still, Jeremy Maclin is left on the board and this would be enough to upset the fanbase on draft day once again.

18. Chicago Bears - WR Jeremy Maclin (Missouri)
Chicago needs a wide receiver, don’t they? If anyone is starving for one, it is this franchise so to us Maclin at 18 is a no-brainer.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - DE Peria Jerry (Ole Miss)
Another sound selection by the Buccaneers. This helps to sure up their run defense in a major way.

20. Detroit Lions (via Dallas) - OLB/DE Clay Matthews (USC)
The Lions are still looking for a quarterback but they can improve the defense by snagging the multi-dimensional Clay Matthews here.

21. Philadelphia Eagles - TE Brandon Pettigrew (Oklahoma State)
The Eagles, if they don’t trade their first round picks away like usual, get a steal with this kid. Pettigrew is the kind of roster-upgrade quarterback Donovan McNabb is looking for.

22. Minnesota Vikings - OT Andre Smith (Alabama)
Watching Andre Smith slide could have a gut-wrenching effect on all lazy athletes out there, but maybe it will be a wake-up call. Smith has unquestionable talent and the Vikings need to upgrade the right tackle position. This seems to make perfect sense but will Smith prove to be worth a first round selection like his talent implies or does he have a fifth round mentality?

23. New Orleans Saints - RB Knowshon Moreno (Georgia)
The Patriots are bringing in veteran RB Fred Taylor for talks, implying heavily that they would like to improve their depth at the running back position as they have several question marks, beginning with Laurence Maroney.

24. Atlanta Falcons - S Louis Delmas (Western Michigan)
The brass in Atlanta seem to be fixated with this kid.

25. Miami Dolphins - CB D.J. Moore (Vanderbilt)
The ‘Phins get a star in coverage and a star on special teams. Moore is a guy that Parcells would love to have on his team.

26. Baltimore Ravens - OLB Clint Sintim (Virginia)
Addressing their biggest hole only makes sense at this point in time.

27. Indianapolis Colts - DT Jarron Gilbert (San Jose State)
The best player available at the position they need the most. It only makes sense.

28. Philadelphia Eagles (via Carolina) - OG Duke Robinson (Oklahoma)
This could be Eben Britton or Will Beatty but it won’t be if the Eagles re-sign Tra Thomas. If they do, expect to see them kick Shawn Andrews out to right tackle, therefore opening up a spot at guard for Duke Robinson to get drafted here.

29. New York Giants - WR Hakeem Nicks (North Carolina)
Unless the Giants can get T.J. Houshmandzadeh or Anquan Boldin, this is the only viable choice for them with all of the top linebackers off of the board.

30. Tennessee Titans - DE/DT Tyson Jackson (LSU)
Albert Haynesworth is leaving and that opens up a major hole on the defensive line.

31. Arizona Cardinals - OT Eben Britton (Arizona)
Mike Gandy is just average at left tackle so upgrading him, or moving Levi Brown over and plugging Britton in at right tackle only makes sense.

32. Pittsburgh Steelers - OT William Beatty (Connecticut)
The Steelers are usually inclined to drafting the best overall player. In this case, an offensive tackle worthy of a top 25-selection falls right into their lap.

Second Round

33. Detroit Lions - DT Ron Brace (Boston College)
Still, no quarterback but Brace is just as good as former teammate B.J. Raji

34. Kansas City Chiefs - RB Chris “Beanie” Wells (Ohio State)
Larry Johnson is unhappy and Kolby Smith shredded his knee.

35. St. Louis Rams - QB Josh Freeman (Kansas State)
This puts pressure on Bulger to perform up to his contract plus provides insurance for the future.

36. Cleveland Browns - CB Darius Butler (Connecticut)
The second biggest need is now filled for Cleveland.

37. Seattle Seahawks - WR Kenny Britt (Rutgers)
This is a huge need, especially for a team that could take a quarterback in the first.

38. Cincinnati Bengals - OT Jamon Meredith (South Carolina)
A versatile lineman here is needed. Meredith can play tackle & guard.

39. Jacksonville Jaguars - OT Troy Kropog (Tulane)
Setting a solid foundation upfront will work wonders for the Jaguars.

40. Oakland Raiders - DE Michael Johnson (Georgia Tech)
Extremely athletic. Johnson is one of the fastest defensive ends in the draft.

41. Green Bay Packers - DE/OLB Larry English (Northern Illinois)
English would play outside linebacker and join Cushing as the Packers revitalize their depth chart.

42. Buffalo Bills - OC/OG Max Unger (Oregon)
Just what the doctor ordered for the Bills as they need a center.

43. San Francisco 49ers - WR Percy Harvin (Florida)
The 49ers get an explosive playmaker at a cheap price. Can he end the curse of Gator wide-out’s?

44. Miami Dolphins - ILB James Laurinaitis (Ohio State)
Bolstering the inside linebackers with Laurinaitis should work out for the ‘Phins.

45. New York Giants - RB LeSean McCoy (Pittsburgh)
Losing Derrick Ward to free agency hurts, especially when Brandon Jacobs is dinged up.

46. Houston Texans - DE Connor Barwin (Cincinnati)
A multi-threat that can play on both sides of the ball.

47. New England Patriots - CB Victor Harris (Virginia Tech)
Provides help at cornerback, gives the Patriots more security against the pass.

48. Denver Broncos - DT Evander Hood (Missouri)
Gives the Broncos an interior bully that can plug holes.

49. Chicago Bears - OT Phil Loadholt (Oklahoma)
The Bears are not happy with their offensive line so they will make a move to upgrade.

50. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - DE Paul Kruger (Utah)
Gaines Adams needs a pass rushing partner on the defensive line.

51. Dallas Cowboys - S William Moore (Missouri)
Upgrading the safety position is a must for Jerry Jones.

52. Philadelphia Eagles - RB Donald Brown (Connecticut)
Giving Brian Westbrook some relief with an every-down back is good for now and the future.

53. New York Jets - QB Nate Davis (Ball State)
The Jets get a signal caller that they can rely on in down the road.

54. Minnesota Vikings - CB Jairus Byrd (Oregon)
The secondary is okay but it all leans on the front-seven too much.

55. Atlanta Falcons - TE James Casey (Rice)
Providing the young Matt Ryan with another weapon, one over the middle only makes sense.

56. Miami Dolphins - DT Sen’Derrick Marks (Auburn)
A run stuffer that will start at nose tackle in 2010.

57. Baltimore Ravens - WR Brian Robiskie (Ohio State)
A good, dependable wide-out is necessary for the further development of Joe Flacco.

58. New England Patriots - OC Alex Mack (California)
This could become a problem for New England down the road. Mack can play guard too.

59. Carolina Panthers - QB Rhett Bomar (Sam Houston State)
If Bomar can prove he left his baggage behind, this could be a steal ten years from now.

60. New York Giants - DT Fili Moala (USC)
The interior is solid but it lacks difference makers.

61. Indianapolis Colts - S Rashad Johnson (Alabama)
Another weapon in the defensive backfield is necessary, especially with Bob Sanders’ health.

62. Tennessee Titans - CB/S Sean Smith (Utah)
The depth is inadequate for a team of this caliber.

63. Arizona Cardinals - OLB Tyrone McKenzie (South Florida)
Bolstering the defense and making it quicker and stronger happens with just this one pick.

64. Pittsburgh Steelers - OG Herman Johnson (LSU)
Once again, the Steelers take the best player available. This will dramatically improve their chances of a Super Bowl repeat in 2009.

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Combine: Friday Notes

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Suspended Duck

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