Tag:NFL Draft
Posted on: April 23, 2010 7:44 am
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The First Round in Primetime: The Day After

Well my mock was obliterated by the crazy Tyson Alualu pick at #10 by the Jaguars, Denver's 20 trades and a few other factors. I think the Browns pick was so-so because I had Haden rated as my #2 CB. I think the Raiders actually made a terrific pick in Rolando McClain. Cincy picked a TE that missed all of 2009 with a knee injury. Gresham's a good player but will he hold up?  Detroit traded back into the 1st round to take a RB with who suffered a serious concussion in 2009.  I thought the fact that concussions were a hot-bed issue would lower Jahvid Best's stock.  Guess speed triumphs over head injuries. At least they got the best player in the draft in Suh.  The Jets looked smart again since they got my #1 CB at the #29 spot in Kyle Wilson. New England took a CB that I am not too high on in Devin McCourty. Pittsburgh got the best center in the draft in Maurkice Pouncey. Baltimore traded out of the first round completely. San Diego took the best RB in Ryan Matthews. I think the Seahawks had a great 1st round getting Russell Okung, the best OT; and Earl Thomas, my personal favorite safety. And lastly, I think that Denver (who made about 4 or 5 trades last night) had the absolute looniest 1st round of any team. First they took the guy I had as the 9th best…at his position, in WR Demaryius Thomas. That's the guy with the broken foot who never ran a full-speed workout this offseason. That's the guy who only ran two patterns in his college offense. And then, they traded back into the 1st to take my 9th best QB in Tim Tebow. So now they have Kyle Orton, Brady Quinn, and Tim Tebow; they traded their best WR; they took a WR who I don't like; the have an awesome left tackle to block for their left-handed QB of the future (which makes zero sense); and they still have a gaping hole at MLB, center, TE, and probably a few other places I can't think of right this second. Mind-blowing. You know what I like best though? Jimmy Clausen could still end up with the Browns. I am floored that Tebow went off the board before Clausen and McCoy. I guarantee the Broncos will live to regret that.  The teams that draft Jimmy Clausen and Colt McCoy should send the Broncos a Thank You card.  I can't wait to see what happens tonight.

Posted on: April 21, 2010 11:46 pm
Edited on: April 22, 2010 5:04 pm
 

First Round Mock Draft

Here's my stab in the dark barring trades:
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1.     St. Louis – Sam Bradford QB Okl – It seems the Rams are hung up on him.  But if they need a QB, which they do, they should take Clausen.  I think they will live to regret this.  Not every guy who once shredded his shoulder is Drew Brees.

2.     Detroit – Ndamukong Suh DT Neb – They are tempted to take Okung, but Suh is a once-every-decade DT.  He was the best college player in 2009 and he’s the best player in this draft.

3.     Tampa Bay – Gerald McCoy DT Okl – They will do back-flips Jason Pierre-Paul style if Suh or McCoy is there.  Tampa is in better shape than any 1st round team.

4.     Washington – Trent Williams OT Okl – I’m buying the talk that the Skins think Williams fits their zone-blocking scheme better than Russell Okung.  Speaking of Okung…

5.     KC – Russell Okung OT Ok St – I am tempted to give them Eric Berry here but I belive that Scott Pioli won’t take a safety in the 1st round unless he trades back.  Which he may do.

6.     Seattle – C.J. Spiller RB Clem – Pete Carroll wants him and he can’t wait until #14.  That may burn him in his search for an OT.

7.     Cleveland – Jimmy Clausen QB ND – Mike Holmgren doesn’t want to wait around for guys like Colt McCoy or Dan LeFevour, possible 2nd round options, to adjust to the pro-style game.  He’ll take the most pro-ready QB.

8.     Oakland – Rolando McClain LB Ala – Maybe they will trade this pick to the Steelers for the suspended Big Ben.  But if they keep it, I think Oakland will make the ultimate “throw everybody off” pick and actually take a good player.

9.     Buffalo – Bryan Bulaga OT Iowa – I think elderly GM Buddy Nix will make some weird picks.  But this won’t be one of them.  I think Bulaga is right up their alley.  But they would also like Clausen if he falls to them.

10. Jacksonville – Derrick Morgan DE GT – They never would have got the premiere DE at #10 in past years.  They should send a “Thank You” card to all of the 3-4 teams in the league.

11. Denver – Maurkice Pouncey C Fla – They want McClain but he’s gone.  A 10-year starter is a good, albeit not exciting, pick here.

12. Miami – Eric Berry S Ten – If the Chiefs and Browns don’t take him, I think he could fall.  He’s a talented player at a time when, I think, people are hesitant to give safeties big money.  The Dolphins have so many options here it will be hard for them to go wrong.

13. San Francisco – Kyle Wilson CB Boise St – I believe they have him higher on their board than Joe Haden.  And CB is a need pick for a team with no real GM.  A curious situation.

14. Seattle – Anthony Davis OT Rut – The Hawks gambled that a top OT would be there at #14 and they were right.  It’s just that Davis has the most questionable attitude of the OTs taken so far.

15. NY Giants – Mike Iupati OG Idaho – The fans want McClain.  The team might too.  But he’s long gone now.  Iupati fills a need and he’s an excellent, and versatile player.  Fans will applaud this pick…later.

16. Tennessee – Carlos Dunlap DE Fla – Surprise choice here, but I don’t think they trust Jason Pierre-Paul this high.  Dunlap is a Florida grad like former Titan star Jevon Kearse.  The Titans overlook Dunlap’s recent DUI because of his 4.6 speed.

17. San Francisco – Rodger Saffold OT Ind – SF needs a tackle.  I’m betting that they have Saffold rated higher than workout freak Bruce Campbell and SoCal guy Charles Brown.

18. Pittsburgh – Joe Haden CB Fla – I honestly think the Steelers would rather have Kyle Wilson.  If they trade up with Oakland or some other top 10 team, they may take Wilson earlier than anyone would have thought.

19. Atlanta – Brandon Graham DE Mich – I think the ATL sees Graham as their version of Dwight Freeney.

20. Houston – Earl Thomas S – I feel like Thomas can fit in here at S or CB.  This would be a steal for the Texans.  I could also see them taking another favorite of mine: Ryan Matthews.

21. Cincinnati – Aaron Hernandez TE Fla – A big shocker here.  But Cincy has some blockers at TE and Hernandez is the best receiving TE in the draft.  I’m guessing that they see Hernandez as a Dallas Clark-type of player to go along with Ochocinco and Antonio Bryant.

22. New England – Jared Odrick DT PSU – The Pats find their replacement for Richard Seymore.  Odrick is an athletic DT that can be shifted to DE in the 3-4 sets.  Seems like a classic Patriots’ pick.

23. Green Bay – Devin McCourty CB Rut – I would rather see them pick Patrick Robinson or Kareem Jackson, but I think they’re buying the McCourty hype.  They could take an OT here like Charles Brown, Bruce Campbell, or Vladimir Ducasse.

24.  Philidelphia – Jason Pierre-Paul DE USF – They might take a CB here, but I think they will be too tempted by JPP’s athletic ability if they stay put here.  But all I’m hearing is that Philly wants to trade up.

25. Baltimore – Kareem Jackson CB Ala – The Ravens grab a young, physical CB who fits their style of play.

26. Arizona – Colt McCoy QB Tex – I just have a hunch that the Cards are not satisfied with Matt Leinart and Derrick Anderson as their top two QBs.

27. Dallas – Bruce Campbell OT – The Boys need an OT and Jerry Jones loves athletes.  This just makes sense to me.

28. San Diego – Ryan Matthews RB Fres St – The Chargers get a replacement for LaDanian Tomlinson.

29. NY Jets – Sergio Kindle OLB Tex – Rex Ryan grabs a guy who can learn under Jason Taylor for a year.

30. Minnesota – Morgan Burnett S GT – The Vikes don’t buy the Taylor Mays hype so they grab this fast riser.

31. Indianapolis – Sean Weatherspoon LB Mizzou – He seems like a prototypical, fast Colts ‘backer.

32. New Orleans – Everson Griffen DE USC – The Saints need a replacement for Charles Grant on the D-line.

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Posted on: April 21, 2010 11:41 pm
Edited on: April 22, 2010 5:42 pm
 

The Safeties...

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1.     Earl Thomas Tex – I think that Thomas is closer to being “the next Ed Reed” than the next guy on this list.  He had 8 INTs last year and forced 5 fumbles in the last 2 seasons.  Some say he’s too thin, but he weighed over 200 lbs at the combine.  He blazed a 40 in the 4.3 range at his pro day and that was only a shade faster that what he ran in Indy.  Plus, Thomas seems like a willing tackler to me.  He’s very young and he will keep getting better.  One of my absolute favorite guys in this draft.

2.     Eric Berry Ten – Berry’s another ballhawk.  He looks the part of a high 1st round pick.  But I am concerned with his tackling.  He tends to launch himself at his opponents instead of actually wrapping them up.  That won’t fly in the NFL.  He will improve on this, but I think Thomas is ahead of him at this point.

3.     Nate Allen USF – I’ve only seen a few games in which Allen has played, but he is seemingly getting a lot of attention from scouts.  I never claimed I knew more than they did.  So I think Allen will be a 2nd rounder.

4.     Morgan Burnett GT – Another fast riser.  Could he go in the first round based on his size and his speed?  Maybe.  But I still see him as a mid 2nd rounder.  But he’s better than the more hyped Taylor Mays.

5.     Major Wright Fla – So highly touted out of high school.  Another guy who might have gone higher a year from now if he had gone back to college in 2010.

6.     Myron Lewis Van – He’s projected as a safety because he was a bit slow for CB.  He has great size and was a 3-year starter in a tough conference.  I think he’s underrated.

7.     Taylor Mays USC – I think some team may buy into him as a 1st round pick.  But his poor coverage skills and his bulky size have knocked him down in my book.  He’ll be great running in a straight line chasing the guy who just toasted him on a deep ball though, because he does have blazing straight-line speed for a big man.  That may have been harsh.

Guy who will make a good major league baseball left-handed pitcher: Chad Jones LSU – I’m kind of kidding.  I think there is a role for Jones.  He has impressive size and he had one of the best punt return TDs I’ve ever seen during a game in 2009.  He is a terrific baseball player too.

Guy whom some teams might have rated in the same class (or higher) than Mays: Kam Chancellor VT – He had a nice week at the East-West Shrine game.  He has good speed and LB size.  Speaking of his size, he may actually be moved to LB by some teams.

Another guy who may be moved to LB: Barry Church Tol – One of my sleeper guys.  He’s versatile.

OSU guy: Kurt Coleman OSU – I think he will go in the late 4th or 5th and he will make a team.  He’s a tough kid.

Rhodes Scholar guy: Myron Rolle FSU – another 4th or 5th round guy who will find a roster spot.  Obviously he’s a smart guy, but he also has been away from the game for an entire year.

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Posted on: April 21, 2010 11:36 pm
Edited on: April 22, 2010 5:39 pm
 

The CBs...

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1.     Kyle Wilson Boise St – I first noticed Wilson in 2008, but I really got tuned in to him during the current offseason.  This guy has premiere cover skills and he has shown that against WRs from bigger schools during his regular season career and the ’09 All-Star game season.  While his Jr. year looked better in many ways, His offseason showings have alleviated many of the concerns people had about him.  I have also heard that he has caught the eyes of several NFL scouts recently, causing some teams to rank him above the more hyped, number two corner on my list.  I agree with those scouts, and I’m about to tell you why.

2.     Joe Haden Fla – I like Haden.  He’s a great athlete.  He was a high school QB with his path blocked by a guy named Tebow.  So he moved to CB to fill a Florida need.  Considering his relative inexperience, he’s done well.  But my concern stems from the footage I’ve seen of him allowing too many catches in front of him.  He was initially pegged as a top 10 selection until a slow 40 at the Combine caused his stock to drop.  I think Haden would have been best served to return for his Sr. season.  But I understand that uncertainty about the NFL labor situation probably drove his decision to leave early.  That being said, I think being picked in the 15-20 range, will allow him to develop without the heavy scrutiny associated with a higher pick.  If he goes higher than that, people may be disappointed.

3.     Patrick Robinson FSU – People are all over the map about this guy.  He’s been somewhat inconsistent given his natural ability.  But I think Robinson has the skill set to rise to the challenge.  I won’t be shocked if he is a late first round pick.

4.     Kareem Jackson Ala – A fast riser of late.  He has pretty good size for a CB, but I’m not wowed by the footage I’ve seen.  Jackson though, has experience lining up against some pretty good competition in the SEC.  He could start out as a nickel guy for an experienced team.  I could see Philly or Baltimore jumping on him in round one.

5.     Akwasi Owusu-Ansah Ind (Pa.) – I put him here because he ran a blazing 40 time at his pro day.  He also has skills as a return man.  It seems that occasionally a small school guy like Owusu-Ansah emerges as a steal, so I’m betting on that.  Plus, I am somewhat underwhelmed with what lies beneath him on this list.

6.     Perrish Cox Ok St – He was suspended for his bowl game.  He was banned from his pro day.  He didn’t impress with his Combine 40 time.  But Cox would be ranked much higher if not for some recent transgressions.  Plus, he has been a dynamic return man; a skill that may sway some teams in and of itself.  Some guys can overcome off-the-field issues and I just have a hunch that Cox may be a guy whose play overshadows his questionable attitude.

7.     Chris Cook Va – A big CB with good 40 times.  I think his value has increased because some teams may view him as a safety at the next level.

8.     Alterraun Verner UCLA – Ultra-productive at the outset of 2009, but he fell off as the season progressed.  He had a great pro day though, and that should raise his stock in the eyes of some teams.

9.     Devin McCourty Rut – I’m not sure why so many people are so high on this guy.  He made very few picks and the only thing that stands out to me is the number of tackles he made.  Don’t you want your CBs to make plays on the ball rather than making tackles?  To me, he let the man he was covering have too big of a cushion in too many instances.

10.  Amari Spievey Iowa – What’s that?  I’m letting my Big Ten bias show?  Well maybe so.  But I haven’t seen enough of USF’s Jerome Murphy or WF’s Brandon Ghee to rank them ahead of the Hawkeye.  So sue me.

Guys who could have been #10 on my list: Murphy and Ghee.

Guy who is a sweet kick returner but a so-so at best CB: Javier Arenas Ala.

And this guy went to USC and had a good pro day: Kevin Thomas – Don’t sleep on this guy.

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Posted on: April 21, 2010 11:32 pm
Edited on: April 22, 2010 5:35 pm
 

The ILBs...

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1.     Rolando McClain Ala – Honestly, he’s the only guy I can see thriving at ILB no matter what team takes him.  There were questions about his speed after he didn’t run at the Combine.  Then he showed up in the 4.6 range at his pro day.  He’s plenty fast and plenty productive in my book.  Some team in the top 15 will be very happy with McClain.

2.     Sean Lee PSU – I think he will be the first PSU LB drafted thanks to Bowman’s issues away from the field.  Lee has decent size for the position even if a 3-4 team takes him.  He had a knee injury in 2008, which may worry some teams but he appears to be adequately recovered from that.

3.     Jamar Chaney Miss St – He has good size and speed.  He ‘s helped himself with a good offseason.

4.     Pat Angerer Iowa – He’s on the small side but he’s aggressive and tough.  I saw a lot of Iowa, so maybe I have some of their guys ranked too high, but I don’t think so.  He will at least help immediately on special teams.  In fact, I think he could thrive in that role.

5.     Donald Butler Wash – This is another guy whose helped himself with a great offseason.  I wish I had seen more of him in game action, but unfortunately I started this project a little too late to see many Pac 10 games that weren’t on national TV.

6.     Brandon Spikes Fla – I felt that I had to include him on this list because he seemed to make a lot of plays in college.  But when I looked back, he seemed to be at his best as a So.  Maybe his shockingly surprising lack of speed caught up with him and he was living off of his reputation.

Guy from Troy: Boris Lee Troy – I learned during the course of my football watching and research that Troy had LBs named Boris Lee and Bear Woods.  That just sounded cool to me.

Guy who looked good at the East-West Shrine game: Reggie Carter UCLA – may have improved his stock based on that week alone.

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Posted on: April 21, 2010 11:28 pm
Edited on: April 22, 2010 5:32 pm
 

The OLBs...

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1.     Sean Weatherspoon Mizz – He has gained momentum during workout season, but new questions are being raised about his cocky attitude.  He has speed, and while he is somewhat undersized, he can play inside or outside depending on who picks him.  I see him as a late first rounder, but he could end up at #11 to Denver or #15 to the Giants.

2.     Sergio Kindle Tex – At times he’s a force, but there are character concerns.  He had a DUI in 2007, and in another incident, he crashed is car while supposedly texting.

3.     Jerry Hughes TCU – An undersized DE in college, he projects to a pass rushing OLB.  He’ll fit in best with a team who will give him time to learn a new position.  But by most accounts, his transition should be fairly smooth.

4.     Thaddeus Gibson OSU – Gibson is doomed by the probable bust that is the Vernon Gohlston pick a couple of years ago.  I don’t think that’s fair.  Gohlston looked stiff at OLB despite being an athletic freak at the combine the year he was picked.  I have read that Gibson has adapted well to OLB drills.  From what I saw at the combine, his transition will be easier.  I think some team will luck out with Thad in round 2.  And I’m not just saying that because I’m a Buckeye.  At least I don’t think I am.

5.     Koa Misi Utah – Another guy, like Gibson, who seems to have taken to a move to OLB. 

6.     Jason Worilds VT – I’m getting lazy now, so see Gibson and Misi.

7.     Ricky Sapp Clem – I could say “see above” for this guy too.  But it should be noted that he’s had injury issues.  Plus, I haven’t heard the raves about Sapp that I’ve heard about the last 3 guys.  I’ve also heard that his character needs to be assessed, but I admittedly couldn’t exactly find out why.

 

Guy with good workouts but who is on the small side: Daryl Washington TCU – seems ideal for what the Colts do on defense

Another small guy: Rennie Curran UGA – Maybe should have gone back for his Sr. season.

Guy who seems to be slipping because of off-the-field issues: Navorro Bowman PSU – Plus, he’s smallish.

Guy who was on the fast track before he got hurt: O’Brien Schofield Wisc – He was adapting nicely to a move from DE to OLB.  And then he blew out a knee.  Ouch.

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Posted on: April 21, 2010 11:24 pm
Edited on: April 22, 2010 5:29 pm
 

The DTs...

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1.     Ndamukong Suh Neb – This is a no-brainer to me.  During 2009, he was hands down the best player in college football.  He absolutely took over the Big 12 Championship Game.  Didn’t he have 4.5 sacks in that game?  Jason Pierre-Paul had only 2 more than that in his major college career!  If St. Louis is stuck picking #1, they may want to reconsider The thought of a risky pick like Bradford, and take the safe bet.  Especially considering that the guy Suh terrorized in that Big 12 game, Colt McCoy, might be there when the Rams pick early Friday evening.

2.     Gerald McCoy Okl – 4-3 or 3-4 teams would love him (he can line up at end in a 3-4 presumably).  I’ve heard he’s a better pass rusher than Suh, but the stats certainly don’t show that.  To me, McCoy is the obvious #2 on this list.

3.     Jared Odrick PSU – A fast riser right now because he can project to a 3-4 DE.  He may go as high as #7 to the Browns if they see him as this year’s Tyson Jackson.  I see him more as a late 1st round pick.  That would mean that a better team would be taking him and he’d have an easier road to success.

4.     Dan Williams Tenn – He didn’t stand out to me but because 3-4 teams put a premium on his size as a potential run-stopping NT, he could go as high as the top ten.

5.     Lamaar Houston Tex – In the National Championship game he looked so quick.  He was perhaps the best defensive player in that game on that day.  I could see him moving between DE and DT depending on what team takes him.  He has more value to a 3-4 team in my mind.

6.     Tyson Alualu Cal – Yet another guy who could be moved to DE in a 3-4.  He seems to be gaining significant momentum as the dawn of the draft approaches

7.     Terrence Cody Ala – A mammoth on the D-line.  But he is a very fat guy.  He may only be good for 20 plays a game.  Maybe even fewer than that.  But he has made a conscious effort to lose weight this offseason, and some 3-4 team will take him in the early to mid 2nd round at the latest.

8.     Cam Thomas UNC – He’s a big dude who can play NT in the 3-4.  I feel like a broken record when talking about these DT prospects.

9.     Brian Price UCLA – His conditioning has come into question because of a poor pro day.  He was projected in the 1st round early on but he is slip-sliding on the boards.

10. Mike Neal Pur – He was stellar at the East-West Shrine game and that has improved his standing.  He could be used at DE by 3-4 teams.

Guy who would be higher if not for injuries:  Arthur Jones Syr

Guys who will be picked higher than originally thought because they are big: Linval Joseph ECU and Torell Troup UCF – I don’t know much more about either guy to make a fair assessment.

Two Georgia guys: Geno Atkins and Jeff Owens UGA – They are on the small side so it may be hard for them to find a place in today’s NFL.

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Posted on: April 21, 2010 11:20 pm
Edited on: April 22, 2010 5:24 pm
 

The DEs...

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1.     Derrick Morgan GT – In this age of 3-4 defenses he is not valued as high as he would have been in years past.  But he can seriously get to the QB.  I think it would be a huge mistake for a 3-4 team to take him and try him at OLB, but it wouldn’t shock me if that happened.  Morgan is the perfect fit for a 4-3 team that needs a dominant pass rusher though.

2.     Brandon Graham Mich – Some have projected him at OLB in a 3-4.  I think he’s be best suited for a 4-3.  Yeah, he’s undersized for that scheme, but so was Dwight Freeney.  Graham has experience at end in the 4-3, so I say leave him there.  And if the right team takes him they won’t be sorry.

3.     Everson Griffen USC – There are questions about his dedication and he seemed to disappear when his team needed him.  But he ran in the 4.6 range and he is a big dude.  In the right 4-3 or hybrid scheme he could thrive.  He’d fit in best with a team that has a veteran locker room with guys who won’t let Griffen slack off.  New England anyone?

4.     Jason Pierre-Paul USF – He is the best D-lineman in the draft when it comes to doing back flips.  Check it out on youtube if you don’t know what I’m talking about.  But this guy scares the hell out of me.  He bounced around a couple of JuCos before landing at USF.  He started half a year.  He had 6.5 sacks, which isn’t exactly Earth-shattering.  He’s a huge risk.  I wouldn’t take him in the 1st round.  But some team will…maybe in the top half.

5.     Alex Carrington Ark St – I put him this high because 1) He’s had a great offseason and 2) He has the size to play end in either a 4-3 or a 3-4.  There is a new premium on guys like this and Carrington will likely get his named called relatively early because of that fact.

6.     Carlos Dunlap Fla – If size and 40 times were the only thing a guy was judged on, Dunlap would go in the top 5.  But teams will shy away in the Goodell age because not only did Dunlap get a DUI before the 2009 SEC Championship game, but because he also was neutralized by blockers at times.  That should not have happened to a guy that big and that fast.

7.     Corey Wootton NWU – Another guy who’d fit in as 3-4 end.  He has injury concerns but he appears to at least be recovering as the Draft looms.

Guys who might be 3-4 LBs: Jermaine Cunningham Fla and George Selvie USF – Cunningham will go way ahead of Selvie because Selvie has run some slllloooowww times in the 40.  But did anyone see Selvie in 2007.  Man, I thought he’d have been a sure-fire 1st rounder back then.  Now, I’m not positive he’ll be drafted.

Guys best suited for the 3-4 DE spot: Brandon Deaderick Ala, Clifton Geathers Scar, CJ Wilson ECU – I don’t know much about any of these guys except that they are big and some teams can use them.  Or at least, some teams will think they can use them.

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