March , 2009

Sideline Scouting

Draft Tribune: Your Draft Authority

Fred Taylor’s days as a Jaguar are over. The club released the 11-year veteran Monday, ...
The Houston Chronicle is reporting the Washington Redskins will do everything they can financially do ...
Former Pitt tailback and Bishop McDevitt product LeSean McCoy insists he has no regrets about ...
"Vikings quarterback Gus Frerotte, who was 8-3 as a starter last season until he got ...
Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount said Saturday his indefinite suspension from the football team stemmed ...
The Jets went from one quarterback question to another, from whether Brett Favre would return ...

Archive for the ‘Featured’ Category

Torry Holt wants out

Posted by Administrator On March - 5 - 2009 ADD COMMENTS

Seven-time Pro Bowler Torry Holt, a mainstay of the Rams’ Greatest Show on Turf teams, has asked for his release, league sources told the Post-Dispatch on Wednesday. But the Rams still have 12 days to grant his wish.

Holt, 32, is due a roster bonus of $1.25 million March 17, so it’s highly unlikely he will be a Ram beyond then. But the Rams could still try to trade him until then, meaning any potential trade partner wouldn’t have to compete for his services, as would be the case if he were released.

Today marks only the seventh day of the free agency period. But more than 100 players already have either signed with new teams or re-signed with their old squad. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been committed in new contracts.

Realizing he no longer fits in the team’s plans, Holt is seeking closure on his time in St. Louis, as well as an opportunity to find a job ASAP.

Many of the top available receivers in free agency have gotten new contracts. Laveranues Coles (Cincinnati), T.J. Houshmandzadeh (Seattle), Nate Washington (Tennessee), Brandon Jones (San Francisco), Bryant Johnson (Detroit) and Jabar Gaffney (Denver) have signed with new teams.

Michael Clayton (Tampa Bay) and Devery Henderson (New Orleans) have re-signed with their old squads. Antonio Bryant was given the franchise tag by Tampa Bay.

As of Wednesday evening, there were some older receivers still on the market, however, including Marvin Harrison, 36, Joey Galloway, 37, Bobby Engram, 36, Amani Toomer, 34, and Ike Hilliard, 32. In addition, the New York Giants may eventually dump Plaxico Burress at some point because of his off-field problems.

Holt, the No. 6 overall draft pick by the Rams in 1999, has caught more passes (817) for more yards (11,872) than any receiver in the NFL this decade. Over his entire 10-year career, his average of 80.1 yards a game is the highest for any receiver in league history. Overall, Holt is 11th in career receptions (869) and 14th in career receiving yards (12,660).

At the start of the 2008 season, Holt said he wanted to make his 10th NFL campaign special — both from a team standpoint and an individual standpoint. At the start of training camp at Concordia University Wisconsin, he indicated that winning was more important than money or individual achievements at this stage of his career.

But 2008 turned out to be disastrous on several fronts. Coach Scott Linehan was fired four games into the year, and the team finished with a 2-14 record, struggling mightily on both sides of the ball.

Holt’s production plummeted. He finished with 64 catches for 796 yards and three touchdowns. The TD total was a career low. His totals for receptions and reception yards were the lowest since his rookie season. And his string of eight-straight 1,000-yard seasons was snapped.

Near the end of the 2008 season, Holt issued a blunt “no comment” when asked if he wanted to return to the Rams in 2009. He has one year left on his contract and currently counts $10.2 million against the Rams’ salary cap. Trading or releasing him would save the team $8 million this season, which comes in the form of a $6.65 million base salary, a $100,000 offseason workout bonus and the $1.25 million roster bonus.

League sources indicated over the weekend that the Rams were trying to trade both Holt and another Rams seven-time Pro Bowler, left tackle Orlando Pace. But so far there appear to be no suitors for either player.

Holt could not be reached to comment Wednesday.

Rams general manager Billy Devaney, when reached Wednesday night, said, “Our only comment is no comment.”


Vikes-Broncos discussing Cutler

Posted by Administrator On March - 4 - 2009 ADD COMMENTS

The Vikings lost out to Seattle in their pursuit of free-agent receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh on Monday, but that didn’t mean all was quiet at Winter Park.

The Denver Post reported the Vikings are among the teams that have expressed interest in Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler, and talks between the sides were believed to be ongoing Monday. It remains unclear what the Vikings might be offering.

The news broke three days after the Vikings completed a trade that sent a fourth-round draft pick to Houston for Sage Rosenfels. He and Tarvaris Jackson are expected to compete for the starting quarterback job, but neither is at the level of Cutler, a 2006 first-round pick who made his first Pro Bowl this past season. The Vikings made inquiries about Cutler’s availability at the NFL scouting combine last month.

Vikings coach Brad Childress was elusive when asked at Rosenfels’ introductory news conference whether the team would add a top-tier quarterback.

“Don’t know, I’m not clairvoyant,” Childress said.

Cutler, 25, and the Broncos have been at odds since reports surfaced over the weekend that the team was involved in talks with Tampa Bay and New England that would have sent Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel to Denver. That would have reunited Cassel with new Broncos coach Josh McDaniels, who had served as New England’s offensive coordinator. Cassel ultimately was dealt to Kansas City.

Cutler, who also is being sought by Detroit, has reportedly refused to meet with the 32-year-old McDaniels in recent days. The Broncos have attempted to downplay the trade reports.

“We don’t want to trade Jay,” McDaniels told the Post. “We never did. He’s our quarterback.”

Minnesota Star-Tribune

Crabtree to KC? Mock Draft Updated

Posted by Administrator On March - 4 - 2009 ADD COMMENTS

We are back with an updated version of the mock draft. After some of the big signings in free agency, the picture is starting to clear up. Still, we do not have a consensus number one overall pick but when you read our reasoning behind the selection, you can only grin and nod in agreement.

1. Detroit Lions - QB Matt Stafford (Georgia)
The trade of backup Jon Kitna to Dallas signals one thing — The Lions will draft a quarterback. The question is when? With recent investigative journalism being done, it has been revealed that the curse of Bobby Layne expired in 2008 and that Matt Stafford hails from the same high school as Bobby Layne (Highland Park HS, Texas). Stafford also brought Highland Park HS its first state championship in football since Bobby Layne did it 48 years prior.

The bottom line is that the Lions are not in a position to win right away and they need a new face to their franchise. Stafford would serve them well as he gets one or maybe two years to develop in a dire situation. Being surrounded by WR Calvin Johnson & RB Kevin Smith is encouraging though.

2. St. Louis Rams - OLB Aaron Curry (Wake Forest)
Steve Spagnuolo is as defensive-minded of a coach as we will ever see. Like Detroit, the St. Louis Rams are not in a position to win today but could set themselves up to compete for the future and would do so boldly with this selection despite how desperate they appear to be on the offensive line.

3. Kansas City Chiefs - WR Michael Crabtree (Texas Tech)
Offensively, the Chiefs need some playmakers. The offensive line is not as bad as it appears. The Chiefs gave up 37 sacks, an improvement on 55 sacks allowed in 2007. The offensive line could be bulked up but that should come later, even with Jason Smith and Eugene Monroe on the board.

Kansas City does roster Dwayne Bowe, a fabulous receiver that is entering his third year. After him, the depth on the roster is terrible at wide-out. Plus, the addition of Crabtree and QB Matt Cassel should keep RB Larry Johnson & TE Tony Gonzalez satisfied enough to stick around with new GM Scott Pioli and company. Like Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald before him, Crabtree could have a franchise-saving impact despite having surgery on his foot in the near future.

4. Seattle Seahawks - OT Jason Smith (Baylor)
We have said it for months now, the Seahawks will make a move to solidify the wide-out position in free agency and draft an offensive lineman to lock things up on the front line. Smith, the best prepared prospect in this draft is a former tight end but his skills in protecting the passer’s blind spot are tremendous. Add in the fact that OT Walter Jones is nearly done playing football and this is a no-brainer.

5. Cleveland Browns - OLB/DE Brian Orakpo (Texas)
Orakpo is a thrilling player to watch. In 2008 versus Oklahoma, he applied pressure to Heisman Trophy winner QB Sam Bradford for all four quarters as he blitzed past OT Phil Loadholt. Despite eyebrow-raising issues with his knee, this is the consensus pick for Cleveland, unless of course, Aaron Curry is still floating on the board.

6. Cincinnati Bengals - OT Eugene Monroe (Virginia)
This is the best-case scenario for Cincinnati. With Eugene Monroe still on the board, they can significantly upgrade their left tackle spot and put someone their with enough talent to protect QB Carson Palmer. Also, this leaves the Bengals without the option of taking a boom or bust prospect like DT B.J. Raji.

7. Oakland Raiders - WR Jeremy Maclin (Missouri)
Crazy or not, the Oakland Raiders need to get past the days of a washed up Jerry Rice, bummed out Randy Moss, and overpriced Javon Walker. With only Johnnie Lee Higgins and Chaz Schilens to throw the ball to, how can one expect JaMarcus Russell to progress? Still, the offensive line is weak but Maclin makes the most sense here for an organization that makes no sense whatsoever.

8. Jacksonville Jaguars - CB/S Malcolm Jenkins (Ohio State)
Drayton Florence was a bust in Jacksonville and will likely head back to the west coast to rejoin the San Diego Chargers. S Reggie Nelson can’t do it all by himself. The Jaguars are in a sticky situation because they need help in plenty of areas but most importantly the secondary and offensive line. With Jenkins, they get not just the best player available but one that will confidently fill a need.

9. Green Bay Packers - DT B.J. Raji (Boston College)
Don’t expect a Warren Sapp-like impact immediately. Raji missed all of 2007 for controversial reasons. Once he becomes a millionaire, will he still have the intentions of playing at a high level? We can not doubt his skill set though. His greatest attribute is his tenacity.

10. San Francisco 49ers - DE/OLB Everette Brown (Florida State)
Sideline Scouting thinks that Everette Brown is the best pass rusher in this draft. He will do fine in stopping the run as well. Brown is a Mike Singletary kind of guy. The release of Tully Banta-Cain signifies the need to make some changes with the pass rushers. Brown would fill a void immediately.

11. Buffalo Bills - OLB/DE Aaron Maybin (Penn State)
In a strong faith of commitment to preparing for the NFL Draft, Maybin added 20 lbs. of weight to his frame. While this may still be considered a reach by some, the Buffalo Bills have proved that they will not hesitate to reach for a guy as they did in 2008 with CB Leodis McKelvin & in 2006 with S Donte Whitner. Buffalo needs to upgrade its defensive end and outside linebacker position. Brian Cushing is an option here as well.

12. Denver Broncos - ILB Rey Maualuga (USC)
Everybody is banking on the Denver Broncos going defense with this pick. While it makes sense due to the fact that they are transitioning from a 4-3 to a 3-4 and linebackers would be high in demand, we have an inside source telling us that one of the top two running backs could very easily be added to the stable in Denver.

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 Brian Cushing (USC)
Amazingly enough, three former USC Trojans get drafted in three consecutive picks. What is still amazing is that we refuse to drink the kool-aid on this year’s crop of offensive linemen and still have Michael Oher and Andre Smith waiting to get drafted.

15. Houston Texans - CB Vontae Davis (Illinois)
The Houston Texans solidified their need for a defensive end by signing Antonio Smith, a free agent from NFC Champion Arizona. Their next largest need is in the secondary. Davis could actually end up playing safety too.

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 - DE Tyson Jackson (LSU)
Fans in the Big Apple might boo this selection but it makes clear sense. The Jets need a defensive end for the 3-4, not an outside linebacker. Jackson, a big-bodied pass rusher would fit in well here as in a 4-3 he would be a defensive tackle most likely.

18. Chicago Bears - WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (Maryland)
The Bears are starving to improve their offensive line but they lost WR Marty Booker and have yet to sign any significant addition at wide receiver. Heyward-Bey is rough around the edges but the Chicago Bears’ offense has been rough around the edges for twenty years.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - DE Peria Jerry (Ole Miss)
Tampa Bay is starving for a quarterback but this may be a reach for Josh Freeman as he didn’t have the combine that most expected he would have and jump into the first round like Joe Flacco from a year ago. The Bucs are rebuilding their defense and what better way to start with the next Pat Williams.

20. Detroit Lions (via Dallas) - TE Brandon Pettigrew (Oklahoma State)
By drafting a tight end here, the Lions get a reliable blocker and a reliable receiving option for young QB Matt Stafford. Pettigrew reminds us of Dallas’ Jason Witten that is it making us scratch our heads as to why he wouldn’t be drafted higher. Matt Millen is gone now so Detroit needs to take baby steps. The defense is still an issue though.

21. Philadelphia Eagles - RB Knowshon Moreno (Georgia)
The city of Philadelphia is restless. They lost their leader S Brian Dawkins to free agency. QB Donovan McNabb wants roster upgrades and the front office appears to be reluctant to do so. RB Brian Westbrook appears to be on his last leg and the selection of Moreno would ease Westbrook’s role in the offense and make him much more effective. A stunning decision like this would boost morale in the city of brotherly love.

22. Minnesota Vikings - OT Andre Smith (Alabama)
Andre Smith’s actions are gut-wrenching. Still, Minnesota should be more than inclined to draft him since they desperately need an upgrade at right tackle. Smith is a viable right tackle prospect more so than he is at left tackle. Despite the growing pains he may bring along with him, this guy is still a top ten talent but has a mindset of a teenager.

23. New England Patriots - CB Alphonso Smith (Wake Forest)
Chris “Beanie” Wells was an option here until the Patriots signed RB Fred Taylor. After a tumultuous season where the secondary lagged behind most of the league, it is time to say good riddance and draft a true cornerback. Sure, Smith is undersized but he brings much more to the table than say, Deltha O’Neal.

24. Atlanta Falcons - S Louis Delmas (Western Michigan)
The brass in Atlanta seem to be fixated with this kid. Delmas is not quite a household name but Atlanta no longer needs one with QB Matt Ryan in the house. He would bring a lot to the table as a rookie and make the brass forget about the departed Lawyer Milloy much quickly.

25. Miami Dolphins - WR Hakeem Nicks (North Carolina)
The Dolphins have a guy that can stretch the field in Ted Ginn. Check. The Dolphins have a reliable underneath receiver in Davone Bess. Check. The Dolphins still need a possession receiver. Check. Nicks will not blow anyone away with his timed speed but he has the best hands in this draft and knows how to get open.

26. Baltimore Ravens - OLB/DE Larry English (Northern Illinois)
The Ravens defense will suffer tremendously in 2009 if they do not replace their lost linebackers. English would be better suited to play as a stand-up pass rusher in their defense. He brings a lot to the table in stopping the run as well.

27. Indianapolis Colts - RB Chris “Beanie” Wells (Ohio State)
Tagged with the one of the worst run defenses in the NFL, the Colts need to upgrade the interior of their line and have yet to do so in free agency. Still, the ground game was somewhat ineffective for the Colts last year and the year before. Joseph Addai has been dealing with nagging injuries while the passing game has suffered and become more predictable.

28. Philadelphia Eagles (via Carolina) - OG Duke Robinson (Oklahoma)
The signing of OT Stacy Andrews is a significant one for Philadelphia. It will allow them to move OG Todd Herremans to right tackle, opening up a space on the interior for Duke Robinson. If Herremans struggles on the outside, Robinson could then move there.

29. New York Giants - S William Moore (Missouri)
The Giants secured two of their biggest needs by signing DE Chris Canty & OLB Michael Boley. Now, they can rejuvenate the safety position. Kenny Phillips, last year’s first round pick as a cornerback, looks like a keeper but Michael Johnson struggled in his playing time while James Butler moved on to free agency.

30. Tennessee Titans - TE James Casey (Rice)
Don’t expect to see the Titans act shy about this selection. Head coach Jeff Fisher drafts who he wants, when he wants. Sure, the departure of DT Albert Haynesworth in free agency may appear to open up a large hole on the interior but while Haynesworth was injured last year, rookie DT Jason Jones stepped in and was effective in impressive fashion.

James Casey gives the Titans a viable option, one that they hoped to receive when they signed free agent TE Alge Crumpley last year.

31. Arizona Cardinals - OT Eben Britton (Arizona)
HC Ken Whisenhunt should stick to the local area and draft this former Wildcat. Left tackle Mike Gandy is overrated and played above his head last season. Right tackle Levi Brown may be better off where he is now and the selection of Britton would give the Cardinals more lee-way on the offensive line.

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. The tackle position in Pittsburgh is just average despite winning a Super Bowl with the guys upfront last year.

Second Round

33. Detroit Lions - DT Jarron Gilbert (San Jose State)

34. New England Patriots - OT Jamon Meredith (South Carolina)

35. St. Louis Rams - CB D.J. Moore (Vanderbilt)

36. Cleveland Browns - ILB James Laurinaitis (Ohio State)

37. Seattle Seahawks - QB Josh Freeman (Kansas State)

38. Cincinnati Bengals - RB LeSean McCoy (Pittsburgh)

39. Jacksonville Jaguars - OT Troy Kropog (Tulane)

40. Oakland Raiders - DE Michael Johnson (Georgia Tech)

41. Green Bay Packers - DE/OLB Clay Matthews (USC)

42. Buffalo Bills - OC/OG Max Unger (Oregon)

43. San Francisco 49ers - WR Percy Harvin (Florida)

44. Miami Dolphins - DE Robert Ayers (Tennessee)

45. New York Giants - WR Kenny Britt (Rutgers)

46. Houston Texans - OLB Clint Sintim (Virginia)

47. New England Patriots - O/ILB Tyrone McKenzie (South Florida)

48. Denver Broncos - RB Donald Brown (Connecticut)

49. Chicago Bears - OT Phil Loadholt (Oklahoma)

50. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - CB/S Sean Smith (Utah)

51. Dallas Cowboys - OG Herman Johnson (LSU)

52. Philadelphia Eagles - TE Shawn Nelson (Southern Miss)

53. New York Jets - CB Victor Harris (Virginia Tech)

54. Minnesota Vikings - CB Darius Butler (Connecticut)

55. Atlanta Falcons - DE Connor Barwin (Cincinnati)

56. Miami Dolphins - OC/OG Alex Mack (California)

57. Baltimore Ravens - WR Brian Robiskie (Ohio State)

58. New England Patriots - TE Cornelius Ingram (Florida)

59. Carolina Panthers - QB Nate Davis (Ball State)

60. New York Giants - DT Fili Moala (USC)

61. Indianapolis Colts - DT Ron Brace (Boston College)

62. Tennessee Titans - CB Coye Francies (San Jose State)

63. Arizona Cardinals - DE Paul Kruger (Utah)

64. Pittsburgh Steelers - DT/DE Mitch King (Iowa)

Free Agency - First Thoughts

Posted by Administrator On March - 1 - 2009 ADD COMMENTS

48 hours ago, the open season on free agency kicked off with Albert Haynesworth receiving a 7-year, $100 million contract. This may seem like a solid deal as Haynesworth is considered to be one of the top defensive players in the league but once you scratch the surface, you will find that this may be a costly mistake for the Washington Redskins.

This “titan” of a defensive tackle has a reputation of only playing for money. In two contract seasons, Haynesworth has accounted for 14.5 sacks. In his five previous seasons, Haynesworth has amassed a total 9.5 sacks. Without a doubt, a statistical representation of his play implies the fact that Haynesworth, a former first round pick, only turns the heat up when money is on the line.

Add in the fact that Haynesworth has had multiple run-in’s on and off the gridiron and we have a very suspect individual that may actually throw it in neutral now that he has his money. This could prove to be a costly risk for the Washington Redskins.

The Redskins pounced on another questionable player at the start of free agency — cornerback DeAngelo Hall. Hall’s contract is way too pricey for an individual that has yet to prove he can be a difference maker when playing man-to-man coverage. Remember, this is the same cornerback that was let go by the horrid Oakland Raiders organization. Washington is Hall’s third team in two seasons.

Another free agency blunder happened in Arizona as they failed to re-sign star defensive end Antonio Smith. Smith signed on with Houston where he will have an impact immediately alongside Mario Williams and Amobe Okoye. The Arizona Cardinals now have a major question mark at defensive end and second-year player Calais Campbell will have a big pair of cleats to fill. Houston on the other hand now has someone that can get pressure opposite of Mario Williams, making this defensive line one to be reckoned with in 2009.

The Philadelphia Eagles failed to re-sign safety Brian Dawkins. This is a disappointing blow to a fanbase that has seen its fair share of questionable moves by the front office. Dawkins was an integral cog within the Eagles organization and is arguably a first ballot Hall of Famer.

Dawkins went on to sign with Denver for a five year, $17 million deal. It is obvious that Dawkins wanted a long-term deal done and the Eagles would rather sacrifice him than hold a spot on the roster for a 35-year old safety. Dawkins still has plenty of “Weapon X” in him but the contract with Denver will expire when he is 40 years old.

Kerry Collins re-upped with Tennessee. This is a bold move for this organization as it seems that they do not have faith in former offensive rookie of the year Vince Young. We can expect to see Vince Young get more playing time in 2009 but this is Collins’ job to lose.

Assuring their defense remains competitive while improving it at the same time, the New York Giants were quick to swipe outside linebacker Michael Boley, a free agent from the Falcons. Boley is an upgrade over Danny Clark and his impact should be felt in a move that we like a lot for the Giants. His ability to play the pass is impressive as he has tallied five interceptions in his young four year career.

The signing of Michael Boley will also allow the Giants to focus on a less important area in the draft where they can build depth and increase their talent.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made a bold move by trading picks to Cleveland for tight end Kellen Winslow. This all came a day after they released five key parts of their organization — LB Derrick Brooks, WR Joey Galloway, RB Warrick Dunn, LB Cato June, and WR Ike Hilliard. The rebuilding will continue for Tampa Bay so do not expect them to compete immediately.

In the biggest move of the free agency season, the Kansas City Chiefs traded its second round pick (34th) overall to the New England Patriots for quarterback Matt Cassel. In reasonable fashion we think that this deal will look more like the Scott Mitchell trade than anything else. To Kansas City’s credit, Cassel is more proven than any quarterback the Chiefs can expect to get with the 34th overall pick but his stock is inflated and could burst like the housing market in 2008.

Other Thoughts

Baltimore signed CB Domonique Foxworth to a rather large deal. Getting more money than expected, we doubt the return will exceed expectations as Foxworth has been nothing more than average since being drafted in the 2005 NFL Draft by Denver.

By signing OT Stacy Andrews, the Philadelphia Eagles now have a chance to plug Todd Herremans at right tackle and pursue a guard in the first round of the draft, like some sources have indicated they would.

The New York Jets made their run defense a heck of a lot better by signing ILB Bart Scott. Scott, a tackling machine that was let loose by the Ravens will now get to team up with ILB David Harris and form one of the best linebacker duos in the league.

We have said that Anthony Henry, the former CB for the Dallas Cowboys is overrated for a while now and the outright trade of him to Detroit for QB Jon Kitna just proves our point. The sad fact of the matter is that Henry is an upgrade over any CB on the Lions roster right now.

Despite signing OC Geoff Hangartner, the former center from Carolina, expect to see the Buffalo Bills to take a long look at centers in the upcoming draft.

Kurt Warner and his agent have had some serious talks with the San Francisco 49ers. Without a doubt, Warner would be an upgrade over Shaun Hill but he is not the long-term solution head coach Mike Singletary should be pursuing. We seen how ineffective Warner was in bad situations in cities other than St. Louis and Phoenix.

Several teams have been very quiet in free agency thus far, including the Green Bay Packers. Rumor has it that they are taking a long look at several key free agents, including former Jacksonville DE Paul Spicer. Spicer’s better days may be behind him but he could be a temporary band-aid for a defense switching to the 3-4.

For all of your draft related information, visit Sideline Scouting. This article was written by Pete Dymeck.

Team Needs - AFC East

Posted by Administrator On February - 27 - 2009 ADD COMMENTS

The AFC East is as competitive a division as there is in the NFL but with Tom Brady returning to the gridiron for the Patriots in 2009, could it return to a one-horse race?

Free agency and the NFL Draft always have an impact, whether it is a positive or negative one. In this edition of Team Needs, Pete Dymeck breaks down every need, not just the top two or three, for all four teams in the AFC East.

Buffalo Bills
Team Needs - Center, Tight End, Cornerback, Wide Receiver, Defensive End, Outside Linebacker
It is now official, the Bills released guard Derrick Dockery after signing him to a sizable deal in 2007. Now, with issues surrounding center Duke Preston, the Bills have two large holes on the offensive line. One thing that is likely to happen is for Duke Preston, the starting center in 2008, to move to guard and replace Dockery, opening up the competition at center. Melvin Fowler is the leading candidate for that job but look for the Bills to nab a center in the upcoming draft.

Robert Royal, the leading receiver at tight end has officially been waived. He was incredibly horrid at catching the ball and his yards after reception was terrible. He blocked decently but was a non-factor for the Bills. What Buffalo needs is a tight end that can be reliable over the middle, get yardage after the catch, and be a reliable blocker. Asking for a prospect like Jason Witten may be too much though.

The Bills spent a first round pick on cornerback Leodis McKelvin a year ago, plus roster Terrence McGee. McKelvin has showed flashes but struggled beating out Jabari Greer. McKelvin will likely overtake him this summer as the starting cornerback opposite of McGee but McGee himself may be a better nickelback than starting corner.

The Bills have a legit All-Pro in Lee Evans but his speed can only do so much, especially when he is double or even triple teamed. Acquiring a wide receiver that is ready today rather than tomorrow should be high on their priority list. James Hardy may not be ready for the kickoff of the 2009 season after shredding his knee. Maybe free agency will help in this area more than the draft but then again, Buffalo has been reluctant to spend the big bucks when it matters.

The Bills lacked a serious pass rush last year. Defensive end Aaron Schobel is effective but only when healthy, a problem he had last year. Ryan Denney and Chris Kelsay are just band-aids right now.

As for outside linebacker, see above. The Bills need one that can help in stopping the run but more importantly pursuing the quarterback. They signed Kawika Mitchell last season but he faded quickly after winning a Super Bowl with the New York Giants.

Miami Dolphins
Team Needs - Center, Offensive Tackle, , Offensive Guard, Cornerback, Linebacker, Defensive End, Wide Receiver
Samson Satele is an adequate center but he had some rough moments last year, especially when going against the 3-4 defense and the bigger nose tackles it comes with. Like Buffalo, the Dolphins are expected to address this issue in the draft rather than free agency. Alex Mack comes to mind.

Yes, the Dolphins first overall pick in 2008 went to left tackle Jake Long, and the pick was well spent but the right tackle position is a flimsy one. Vernon Carey is expected to be back and while he has had his moments in the sun, he has spent some days in the doghouse as well. Grooming a young right tackle behind Carey is part of getting back to the basics, something VP Bill Parcells does well.

Justin Smiley, the starting left guard, has played above his head when healthy but he has missed ample amount of time due to injuries, including missing eight games in 2008. Quite frankly, the Dolphins would not miss him if he was gone, and getting rid of him seems to be in the plans for Miami.

The cornerback position is okay but less than marginal. While Yeremiah Bell is a very solid playmaker, the ‘Phins lack an Asante Samuel-type of ballhawk.

Channing Crowder came to terms with the ‘Phins but they have some big question marks behind the starters. While Joey Porter is getting old, he is not showing any signs of slowing down. Quentin Moses, Reggie Torbor, and Kelvin Smith pose as journeymen.

We do not think that defensive end is as pressing of a need as some make it out to believe, as they have two very young and promising prospects in Kendall Langford & Phillip Merling, two draft picks from 2008. Still, Vonnie Holliday’s job is not as secure as before and the staff in Miami has not been shy about the fact that they lack quality depth at this position.

The situation at wide receiver is good for Miami, as long as Greg Camarillo rehabs well and returns to full form for 2009. With Camarillo, and two stars in the making with Ted Ginn and Davonne Bess, the Dolphins have plenty of depth with speedy playmakers that have no problems with dropping passes. What they need now is a big, physical wide-out that can break the jam at the line and make the tough, seven yards out receptions.

New England Patriots
Team Needs - Safety, Cornerback, Linebacker, Running Back, Offensive Tackle
Rodney Harrison is on the verge of ending his career as a Patriot. While the debate may rage on about whether or not he is Hall of Fame-worthy, one debate that is short and simple is the fact that the Patriots have a glaring weakness at safety. Antwain Spann is set to replace Harrion. Yes, you may need to Google Spann.

Cornerback, another problematic area for the Patriots, cost them dearly at times in 2008. Things got so bad for Bill Belichick & staff that they had to hire veteran Deltha O’Neal, whom was cut from the Cincinnati Bengals of all teams.

As for the linebacker position, the Patriots need to fill a spot on both the inside and outside. They have two potential budding stars in Jerod Mayo & Gary Guyton. Mayo was a first round pick in 2008 while Guyton went undrafted out of Georgia Tech, how ironic. Still, Mike Vrabel and Adalius Thomas, the starting outside linebackers, are closer to forty than they are to twenty while inside linebacker Tedy Bruschi will likely see his role diminish to backup Eric Alexander, whom by the way is not starter material.

The need at running back may be filled via free agency, as this organization has already talked with former Jaguars running back Fred Taylor. Still, Laurence Maroney can hardly stay healthy plus he is not an every down back. Also, sources close to Foxboro believe that Sammy Morris is more of a flash in the pan. Kevin Faulk on the other hand is close to retirement.

Matt Light and Nick Kaczur are solid starting tackles but Kaczur could be moved inside to replace Ryan O’Callaghan at guard and Light should be sent to the right tackle position, therefore opening up a spot at left tackle.

New York Jets
Team Needs - Quarterback, Running Back, Cornerback, Defensive End, Linebacker
Brett Favre retired and that left another controversy at quarterback. Will the Jets front office have faith in either Kellen Clemens, Erik Ainge, or Brett Ratliff as the franchise quarterback? Probably not but the early favorite is Ratliff, the big kid from Utah.

Thomas Jones had an incredible comeback season a year ago but we all are too familiar with what happens to running backs in their 30s. Backup Leon Washington is a great returner and change of pace back but he can not carry the ball every down. Jones will likely be a cap casualty after the 2009 season unless he restructures his deal while Washington is close to being a free agent.

Darrelle Revis, a former first round pick at cornerback is an up-and-coming All-Pro type of player but he needs some help in the secondary. The lack of depth at this position is worrisome and will pose problems for the Jets when they have to face Tom Brady twice a year.

Finding the right defensive end for Rex Ryan’s 3-4 defense may be tricky, as it appears that most defensive ends in this years draft would play outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. Still, Shaun Ellis will be 33 soon enough and Kenyon Coleman is a flop on the other side.

An inside linebacker to pair up with stud David Harris should be mandatory for the Jets and already their are talks of Ray Lewis coming to the Big Apple to team up with former defensive coordinator Rex Ryan.

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!”


Recent Comments

Sideline Scouting is in no way affiliated with the National Football League (NFL), NCAA, or any other entity unless stated otherwise.

Recent Comments

NFL Calendar

On Mar-4-2009
Reported by Administrator

Ratliff to replace Favre?

On Feb-16-2009
Reported by Administrator

Mock Draft updated, shuffled around

On Feb-25-2009
Reported by Administrator

Patriot tied to Bonds

On Feb-17-2009
Reported by Administrator

Something to Prove

On Feb-18-2009
Reported by Administrator