Tag:Tim Tebow
Posted on: April 23, 2010 7:44 am
 

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 11:36 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 11:05 pm
Edited on: April 22, 2010 5:14 pm
 

The TEs...

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1.     Aaron Hernandez Fla – I kind of see this guy as a Dallas Clark-type.  Clark is a better blocker, of course, but Hernandez can stretch the field.  Trust me, he made Tebow look like a better QB than he was.  Most people I’ve seen think Hernandez is no better than the 3rd TE available.  But he didn’t have a torn ACL or a season-ending back injury as far as I know.  Plus, he actually played football in real games in 2009.  In my mind, that counts.  Big time.

2.     Jermaine Gresham Okl – He would be number one on this list if not for the torn ACL that wiped out his 2009.  I’ve had a torn ACL, and (while I’m no pro athlete) that is about the worst injury outside of a torn Achilles’ tendon that a football player can have.  At the very least, I believe that this injury will limit Gresham’s longevity.  At most, it will stunt a once promising prospect’s growth.

3.     Jimmy Graham Mia (Fl) – Call me a sucker but I think there is something to this “former basketballer becomes TE” thing.  Plus, the U has a history of producing talented TEs. Jimmy doesn’t have the numbers, but he has the athleticism.  I put him here at #3 on a hunch.  Let’s see if I’m onto something.

4.     Anthony McCoy USC – I’m curious to see if the positive test for Mary Jane hurts his stock.  I don’t think it will, based on recent draft history.  Talent trumps the dabbling in the sticky-icky-icky.  But he’ll already be in the substance abuse program. So only certain bold teams will include him on the board come draft weekend.

5.     Dennis Pitta BYU – He isn’t fast but he can catch and he can block.  I wasn’t initially high on Pitta, but I am skeptical of a TE class that many “experts” think is topped by two guys who missed all of 2009.  I think that moves the very solid Pitta up on the list of available TEs.

6.     Rob Gronkowski Ari – This guy might be #1 on some lists.  But he hurt his freaking BACK!!  While lifting weights!  Everything revolves around the back and he has had back surgery!  And football players need to be able to lift weights.  I see Gronkowski as one of the biggest risks in the draft.  That’s why he’s #6.  He’s got loads of talent, but some guys can’t withstand the punishment of pro football.

7.     Dorin Dickerson Pitt – He’s an athletic freak who played all over the place in college.  I see him as a poor man’s Hernandez.  He has a lot to prove as far as blocking is concerned but he can be an immediate weapon in the passing game.  If the right team drafts him, he could have an impact in 2010.  If not, he could end up on the practice squad. 

8.     Ed Dickson Ore – I should probably have him at least above Dickerson.  But Dickerson’s workouts were so damned good.  Honestly, Dickson likely fits in with more teams’ schemes.  But I’ll stick with my gut.

9.     Clay Harbor Mizz St – This is a small-school guy with a good workout season under his belt.  Teams will like his versatility as a TE/H-back, but he will have to adjust to a much higher level of competition.

10. Andrew Quarless PSU – A lot of talent, and attitude to match.  He has off-the-field question marks surrounding him after suspensions at Penn State.  Plus, he has “GODS GIFT” tattooed on the backs of his arms.  Yes, in block letters, with no apostrophe.  That fact almost made me drop him out of the top 10.  But he’s also got pretty good hands and speed. 

Workout warrior: Jameson Konz Kent – Played a little FB, a little LB, a little TE…he’ll find a role.  Plus, doesn’t at least one guy from Kent make it every year?

Guy whose name I like: Tony Moeaki Iowa – Injuries were a problem in college.

Guy who could move to FB: Garrett Graham Wisc – FB/TE tweener.

Another guy I’ve seen on the rise lately: Mickey Shuler PSU – The other Penn State TE.  He has enjoyed a good offseason.

And another guy for no good reason: Colin Peek Ala – All I can say is that during the BCS Championship Game, Brent Musberger called him a “dandy” TE.  Good enough for me.

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Posted on: April 21, 2010 10:53 pm
Edited on: April 22, 2010 4:52 pm
 

The QBs...

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1.     Jimmy Clausen  ND – This is controversial to be sure.  Call me crazy, but I’m over the spiky-haired, high-school-championship-ring-showi
ng presser Clausen had preceding his commitment to Notre Dame.   Jimmy C had a 68% completion percentage as a junior.  He was a 3-year starter.  And he played in a system that required him to take some snaps from center (wonder of wonders).  I think he’s the only QB this year that can start immediately.  Some question his attitude and maybe he is cocky.  But I saw him taking notes at John Gruden’s ESPN QB camp.  He wants to get rid of that perception that he’s arrogant.  This kid has it in him and I think some teams know it.  They just won’t admit it.  Clausen won’t experience an Aaron Rodgers or Brady Quinn type free-fall this draft.  Call it a hunch, but I like the guy.

2.     Sam Bradford Okl – Even if this guy hadn’t injured his throwing arm twice in 2009, I’d have my doubts.  He played in a spread.  Sooner QBs haven’t exactly had a shining success rate.  He seemed unsure when under heavy pressure.  He just doesn’t seem to have that fire, that “it” that an NFL starter should have.  I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt because so many scouts have him ranked so high, and because no other QB really stands out physically or mentally to me.  But if I were on St. Louie’s draft team, I’d be pushing for them to take Clausen.  Bradford seems like a boom or bust pick to me.  Good luck Sam.  And good luck to whoever takes him.

3.     Colt McCoy Tex – He’s got the winning percentage.  He’s got the completion percentage.  I’m not too concerned with his height.  But he seems too nice.  NFL players need that edge.  QBs need to be leaders of men.  Can Colt be an NFL starter?  Yes, I think he can.  But I don’t think it will be this year or next.  It’s going to take some time for him to establish himself as more than a humble kid with question marks about his toughness and size.  I really question that last throw against Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship game.  Seriously, what was he thinking?  He has a lot to learn.  But not as much as the rest on this list.  McCoy is the last of the 3 guys I think has a chance to be a decent starter within the next few seasons.

4.     Dan LeFevour Central Mich – At first, I loved this guy.  Like Tebow, but a righty, so better (more on that later).  But his competition was less than stellar.  And questions have emerged about arm strength.  I still like him and I think he can overcome his limitations, but how long will that take?  To me, the specter of Charlie Frye looms: a MAC QB with good numbers against…well, MAC teams.  LeFevour has a long way to go.

5.     Jonathan Crompton Tenn – Crompton has come on strong.  I think the facts that he improved the last half of the 2009 season under pro-style coach Lane Kiffen and he shined in workouts helped his stock.  Crompton is hit-or-miss (aren’t they all?).  I personally think he has high upside.  He has shown the ability to improve.  A patient team will nurture him.  An impatient team will ruin him.

6.     Zac Robinson Okl St – This guy is the most underrated so far.  He has the arm.  He has the ability.  Give him some time and he will be a top-notch backup at the least.  I see this guy as a surprise gem down the road.

7.     Tony Pike Cin – I can’t get into this guy.  He’s a system QB.  He’s kind of thin.  He’s had injuries.  Can he be a solid backup for a good team?  Sure.  Is he worth a pick before round 4?  No.

8.     Levi Brown Troy – I don’t have much to go on but a gutsy bowl game duel against LeFevour.  But Levi stepped up with something on the line.  I just have a feeling he can succeed long term in the right situation.  He’d be a good developmental pick for a team with 2 established QBs.   How many of those teams exist?

9.     Tim Tebow Fla – The thing I hate most about Tebow isn’t the goody-goody image.  I certainly don’t hate his college success.  I hate that he’s left-handed.  Few teams are equipped with the personnel to develop a lefty.  How many teams have a premiere right tackle?  Seriously?  This guy is not Steve Young, or Boomer Esiason.  He might not even be Matt Leinart.  Plus, I think that Tebow is too focused on correcting his throwing motion.  He looked like a robot on his pro day.  I appreciate his work ethic but jeesh.  Did anyone else think it was odd that while questions abound about his ability to take a snap from center, he did not have a center snapping to him at the pro day?  Why didn’t he have a center?  Was that his call or the teams at the workout?  I was absolutely dumbfounded by that.  If you have a 6th rounder to throw away, use it on Timmy T.  Otherwise…

10.  John Skelton Fur – Did I mention this QB class was weak?  Skelton has the size and the laser…rocket arm.  But whom has he played against?  Some people seem to think he’s like Joe Flacco.  Some people also seem to think Modern Family is a funny show.  I’m just not sold.

 

 

Guys I like more than other people: Clausen, LeFeVour, Robinson

Guy who made the biggest mistake coming out early: Jevan Snead Ole Miss.  I don’t know what he was thinking.  I don’t even know if he will be drafted.  He probably will, but it will be late.

Guy I like as a late pick but it makes little sense because he only started one full year and had 19 career TDs and 20 INTs: Mike Kafka NWU.

Guy who maybe should have replaced Skelton at #10 on my list: Armanti Edwards.  But alas, closed-minded NFL people look at his short stature and athletic ability and see a guy they can move to WR.

Just for kicks: Dominic Randolph Holy Cross.  Why not?  Aside from the top 3 on this list, he may have as good a shot as any.

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Posted on: April 21, 2010 10:48 pm
Edited on: April 22, 2010 4:47 pm
 

Allow me to introduce myself

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Well, I not going to lie.

For years, I’ve been an NFL Draft junkie.  I’m a lifelong fan of the Cleveland Browns.  It’s a burden I wouldn’t wish on anyone and a joy I cannot describe to those who aren’t in the know.  My football fandom dates back to a Browns playoff run that involved an INT by the late Don Rodgers of the great Dan Marino.  I remember The Drive, The Fumble, The Hiatus, and all of the other things associated with Cleveland football since then.  It has been a long, long time since my beloved Browns have given me, or any of my fellow fans, a degree of joy even the Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders have given their fans in recent years.  These years of futility led to the yearly NFL Draft becoming my personal Christmas.  Every year, in late April, hope springs eternal for fans like me.  Every year, in late April, a fan’s faith in his team is tested.  Hundreds of college kids strive for success in the league.  And fans like you and me question their worth.  We criticize Mel Kiper and his haircut.  Todd McShay and his red face.  Mike Mayock and his intensity.  They say a QB has a low arm angle.  Or this RB runs too tall.  Or this lineman has short arms.  Or this DB has tight hips.  And we think they are full of you-know-what.  We saw that guy thread a needle in a bowl game.  Or run over a highly-touted safety.  Or man-handle a stud defensive end.  We listen to them say things like “League insiders think (fill-in-the-blank) will never be an NFL QB” or “Sources tell me that (so-and-so) is the next Reggie White.”  And we scoff, or we applaud when our team picks that guy, or we just talk ourselves into a particular pick.   Well this offseason I wanted to see for myself.  If I watched some games.  If I watched some youtube clips.  If I read the scouting reports and watched the all-star games and followed the Combine.  Can I make some assessments?  The draft is the most imperfect of sciences.  Not just predicting ability, but heart and soul.  Dedication.  Sheer will.  It’s impossible.  But I still wanted to try.  So in the following posts leading up to a major football fan Holiday, I am going to try my hand at this.  I have emerged from my laboratory (desk in my kitchen) and looked into my crystal balls (my Sony flatscreen and my Macbook laptop) and used my magic potion (cheap vodka) and I have come up with my own player rankings for each position not named kicker, punter, or long-snapper.  I will tell you why Tim Tebow is my 9th favorite QB in a weak class.  Why Ryan Matthews is my favorite RB.  And why I don’t trust Dez Bryant or Jason Pierr-Paul (do any of you?).  So here goes.  I’ll start with the QBs and work my way to safety.  I focused on guys I have seen in at least a little bit of game or work-out action.  I figure, if I’m going to call Kiper or McShay out, let people call me out.  Comments are not only welcomed, but also encouraged.  Give me your worst or your best.  Next up, the QBs.  I hope you read and react.  Thanks.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com