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What Pete Carroll to Seattle Could Mean For The Seahawks Draft

Published: January 8, 2010

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Rumors continue to swirl this evening about Pete Carroll being courted for the now vacant head coaching job in Seattle.  While nothing is definite (yet), let’s take a moment and speculate on just what that could mean for the Seahawks in the upcoming draft.

The Seahawks are coming off a forgettable 5-11 campaign, one that saw the eventual termination of Jim Mora Jr.  While the roster needs for the Seahawks may seem plenty, really filling the void at just a few spots would go a long way.

The most staggering stat that you see when running down the rankings of 2009 is that Seattle was 30th in pass defense, 22nd in interceptions.  If you ever wanted to hire a guy to help with that, Carroll’s your man.  He’s held defensive coordinator positions and defensive backs coaching gigs at various collegiate and NFL stops in his career.  He’s got an impressive pedigree of defensive players from USC in the NFL now (Troy Polamalu, Lofa Tatupu, Clay Matthews, Brian Cushing, etc), so picking the right players to fit a team should be no problem.

Seattle has two first round selections in the 2010 draft, the sixth spot and 14th spot.  If Carroll is gunning for a defensive back with either spot, he can probably count out Tennessee’s Eric Berry, who is a virtual lock to be a top five pick. 

That leaves Carroll’s own All-American project, safety Taylor Mays.   Mays was built up to be the west coast Eric Berry, but his senior season was not overly impressive.  He ended with only one interception, and his size (6-3, 236) leaves many wondering if he may eventually project as a linebacker.  Though he does bring tremendous speed to the table.

So then what about Florida’s shut down CB Joe Haden?  He’s only  a junior, but has declared for the draft and is ranked by many to be the top corner in the draft. 

Carroll would have his choice between Mays and Haden, but Haden may be the safer pick for a true DB. 

The other need for Seattle is on offensive line, with a group that was in the bottom third of the league in sacks allowed.  Many think Oklahoma State OT Russell Okung will be a top 5 pick, just out of the Seahawks’ reach.  Should he fall to the sixth spot, there’s no reason Seattle shouldn’t snatch him up.  By far the best tackle in this year’s class.

Should Okung be gone, there are numerous other tackles to choose from.  The best though is Anthony Davis from Rutgers.  At 6-6 325 he’s a massive size perfect for run blocking in the NFL, something the Seahawks must improve upon (they finished 25th in run yards per game).  Other potential OL picks would be Bruce Campbell from Maryland, Bryan Bulaga from Iowa, or USC’s own Charles Brown.

Filling the defensive back and offensive line with first round talent would be a great start for Carroll.  But we know the Trojans are more than grinders and smash mouth defenders.  He’s got a vast array of offensive weapons, and perhaps he’d be looking for that in the first round.

Many have suggested the Seahawks should target a quarterback.  With a QB class that’s pretty deep, there’s no need to get on in the first round.  You’ll have Bradford and McCoy and Clausen go off in the first round likely, but there will be talent behind them with guys like Jevan Snead from Ole Miss and Dan LeFevour from Central Michigan.  Carroll can afford to be patient with a QB, since Hasselback still has some good years left.

But perhaps a speedy tailback that’s versatile in the passing game would help?  Look no further than Clemson’s CJ Spiller, a dynamic playmaker from the running back position and as a wideout.  Spiller excels best, however, in the return game.  Seattle had 109 receptions from the running back position in 2009, proving the guys in the backfield do more than just run with the ball. 

Seattle does have a decent pair of backs in Julius Jones and Justin Forsett, so it would be hard to see exactly where Spiller would fit in right away beyond special teams.  Do you use a first round pick on a special teams guy?  It may not hurt to help Seattle’s aging receiving corps and get a wideout.  There’s plenty in this draft, and either Illinois’ Arrelious Benn or Cincinnati’s Mardy Gilyard should be lingering in the second round for Carroll to pounce on.

Look for an interesting draft from Seattle regardless of who their coach is.  With so many potential roster spots to fill and two first-round picks, big decisions await the new head man at Qwest Field.

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2010 NFL Mock Draft—First Round: Non-Playoff Teams Only

Published: January 8, 2010

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‘Tis the season for the 2010 NFL Mock Draft bonanza!

One of the best parts of the NFL offseason is all the mock drafts that are produced and updated over and over again.

This is very entertaining and a great way to keep fans clued into who their team could possibly draft in April.

The following is a mock of only the first round, non-playoff teams in the upcoming draft since there is no real telling where playoff teams will end up there is no real reason to make any predictions for them until after the Super Bowl.

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2010 NFL Draft Rankings: Offensive Tackles

Published: January 8, 2010

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2010 NFL Draft Rankings: Offensive Tackles

1.     Russell Okung (Oklahoma State)

Height: 6’5″

Weight: 300 lbs.

Projected Round: Top 5

Okung is a complete tackle, one that will do very well in the NFL. He is one of the few offensive players in this year’s draft to show true progression, both in his statistical achievements and understanding of the game. He is an ox on the line and a light foot in the open field. He has every quality needed to succeed at the next level and maybe even take the first pick in the draft.

Okung is a strong, patient pass blocker that does a great job at extending blocks and using his long arms and legs to sustain the rush. He needs to learn to keep his pads lower at times, but if he senses any sort of defeat, he is quick to push his man off balance or get low for the cut block.

He has great force in blocking down the field, getting a great initial pop on the defender. Okung is better at using angles to cut his man inside or outside rather than sheer strength, something that will benefit him at the professional level and only requires a little time in the weight room to perfect.

Okung has all the pieces you look for in a left tackle in the NFL and will most assuredly be the first tackle taken in April. He has no character problems and will be a great addition to any squad.

Teams that will target him: St. Louis, Kansas City, Cleveland


2.     Anthony Davis (Rutgers)

Height: 6’6″

Weight: 325 lbs.

Projected Round: Top 25

Davis is in the second position simply for his dominant run blocking. He hasn’t been asked to do a whole lot in Rutgers’ offensive scheme (traps, pulls), but he has all the athleticism you look for in a left tackle. He has a flawless work ethic and can play a number of positions at the line, a true scholar of the game.

Davis’ size will be his greatest attribute; his long arms are well suited in knocking over undersized ends and linebackers taking poor angles. At times, he depends upon his initial pop to sustain the block rather than sticking to his man and extending the play.

Davis has the sheer force and tenacity to create a gaping hole on either side of the line. He has the athleticism to catch the Sam linebacker off balance and drive the lane into the secondary. He does a great job staying within the defender’s pads; he is rarely victim of a holding penalty. His durability typically outlasts the man on the other side of the line, and he is consistent as he is strong.

Although questionable at times, Davis will show up big at the combine and cause his draft stock to rise considerably, making him my number two tackle taken in the draft. He will fit in well with a team who has more than one hole at the line because he can assist in whatever capacity is required.

Teams that will target him: Oakland, Indianapolis, Houston


3.     Charles Brown ( USC)

Height: 6’6″

Weight: 295 lbs.

Projected Round: Top 25

Brown was a tackle with great potential at the beginning of his junior season, finally getting the starting position after Sam Baker was taken in the 2008 Draft. Even then, his potential was evident.  ut after a stunning senior season, Brown is among the O-line elite in this year’s draft.

His athleticism is more dominant than his strength, but that isn’t meant to imply that Brown isn’t one of the stronger tackles in this year’s class. He relies on a quick pop to throw his defender off balance but doesn’t always drive his feet to sustain the block. His major strength is his ability to discern the motives of the rusher, going inside to cut off the blitz and jumping outside to mirror the defender.

Although he is an adequate run blocker, his technique and mechanics still need considerable work. He leans on the defender at times rather than driving him down the field. He is considered a quick lineman but doesn’t always follow through with his blocks down the field and could do a better job at creating additional run lanes in the secondary.

All in all, Brown is a gifted young man with enormous potential at the next level and, with proper coaching, could blossom into a pro-bowl tackle within his first three years. Look for a team with a low draft pick and pedigreed coaching to give Brown a spot on their roster.

Teams that will target him: San Diego, Indianapolis, New Orleans


4.     Trent Williams (Oklahoma)

Height: 6’5″

Weight: 290 lbs.

Projected Round: 1-2

As the only returning starter on Oklahoma’s offensive line, Williams had his work cut out for him, both in physical demand and leadership potential. Moved from right to left and back to right tackle throughout his career, he has had the chance to prove himself on both sides of the line.

As a run blocker, Williams is above average at best. His speed isn’t consistent and his arm extension is his best weapon against blitzes from the secondary. He will struggle against quick under-sized ends in the NFL.

When blocking for the runner, though, Williams is dominant at the very least. Fires off the line faster than anyone else on this list. His snap anticipation sometimes causes trouble in the form of false starts, but he makes up for it with a tenacious push on his man.

He struggles in a zone blocking scheme, failing to move his feet adequately at times.  He is best when confined to a small space in traffic; he struggles when given the responsibility of managing open space.

Williams’ progression isn’t great, but it isn’t bad, either. His return to school for his senior year will play a major role in the way teams look at him, but it’s unclear as to how long he will have to wait to be drafted. Look for a team to look at him as a potential player at the guard position or an anchor on the right side to pick him up.

Teams that will target him: Detroit, Washington, New England


5.     Bruce Campbell (Maryland)

Height: 6’7″

Weight: 310 lbs.

Projected Round: 1-2

Campbell was unlikely to enter this year’s draft until he, well, declared for this year’s draft. Although there is little to no doubt of his potential at the next level, there are some concerns about his past injuries and whether or not his durability can remain intact in the NFL.

Campbell gave the struggling Tarrapin offense a decent chance for success in ’09, although Turner and company still haven’t found their stride. With more than a few offensive line starters departing, Campbell was among the few elite players left and had to overachieve the entirety of the year.

While most expect him to hit his ceiling early in the NFL, Campbell is strong as he is quick. He has a tremendous pop in the pass blocking scheme, though he over-extends at times, causing the outside rushers to use a second move to get to the quarterback.

Campbell has elite strength as a run blocker and will undoubtedly do the same at the next level. I don’t know if he is ready to be an NFL left tackle, but he could certainly provide some girth in any position on the front. He has the speed to get down the field quickly and provide a second and third block for an advancing runner.

Campbell’s issue with grades will cause his stock to fall further than he’d like, but he can prove his physicality at the combine and make himself a contender to be a top-five OT rookie in 2010. Look for a team that has a sufficient enough line to make Campbell a personal project.

Teams that will target him: Denver, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati


6.     Ciron Black (LSU)

Height: 6’5″

Weight: 322 lbs.

Projected: 2-3

Black is another offensive lineman who could have done very well had he declared for the 2009 draft, but he opted to stay to further develop his technique. Although he lacks superior athleticism, he has great strength and versatility on the line.

As a pass blocker, Black is marginal at best due to his slow kick slide and his sluggishness off the snap. His long reach, though, will make up for it as he can reach the outside rusher and use a mean cut block if all else fails.

Black’s size is his greatest asset in creating run lanes, and he has sufficient straight-line speed to reach the next level and bowl over small corners and safeties. He has elite upper body strength and does very well at staying low and using his low center of gravity to create a push and open up the lanes.

He doesn’t always seal off the rush when it matters most, but he has a level of consistency that most other lineman at his level lack. His progression in college is something scouts look for and, while his stock is floating between elite and above average, the combine will be his opportunity to prove he is ready to compete at the next level.

Even though he has only ever played as the blind-side anchor for LSU, he has the ability to play multiple positions and that may be the deciding factor for a team looking at Black. Look for a team with needs in their run blocking scheme to look closely at him.

Teams that will target him: Houston, Arizona, Philadelphia


7.     Bryan Bulaga (Iowa)

Height: 6’6″

Weight: 312 lbs.

Projected Round: 2-3

Bulaga comes from a long pedigree of good linemen at Iowa and will likely continue the trend in the NFL. His progression at Iowa is something to be desired by other fellow linemen in this year’s class and, while he lacks the physicality needed to be dominant at this position at times, his athleticism makes up for it.

Bulaga’s pass blocking skills are marginal, but it’s unclear as to how well he could do with an offensive scheme that features it. Iowa isn’t a passing juggernaut but he has all the tools needed to be elite at the next level.

As a run blocker, he is better than most, progressing nicely from year to year. Most noticeably, he became less content to focus solely on the first line of defense his senior year and turned his sights on getting to the next level and create the secondary blocks needed to turn the back loose.

Bulaga is one of those linemen who could go either way in the NFL; he could become a backup who excels at filling the holes in most teams’ revolving door line or he could find a permanent home as a guard and, eventually, a right tackle. Of course, I’ve been surprised before and it’s always possible for a marginal player to find their stride at the professional level. Look for a team with shallow depth on the line to look closely at Bulaga.

Teams that will target him: Carolina, New York Jets, Green Bay


8.     Selvish Capers (West Virginia)

Height: 6’5″

Weight: 298 lbs.

Projected Round: 3-4

Protecting Pat White in the versatile West Virginia offense has forced Capers to remain athletic and quick, creating a unique profile for the upcoming draft. Capers made the switch from Tight End to right tackle in ’07, but showed no signs of difficulty in the transition. Rather, he excelled and began to increase his build to adjust to the new position.

It is Caper’s athleticism that sets him apart from the other linemen on this list. He lacks consistency in some of the mechanics that most others have mastered, but he has a desire to learn and the ability to progress that will overcome those downsides.

Even though he has a tremendous cut block, he goes to it too quickly at times. He presents a solid anchor as a pass blocker but doesn’t always keep his body low enough and loses his balance.

As a run blocker, Caper presents a tenacious pop and uses his quick feet to drive the defender far from the play. West Virginia’s spread offense doesn’t always call Capers to get set in a three point stance so transitioning to the next level may be difficult for the young man. He is quick off the line, but loses count of the snap sequence too much, resulting in unnecessary penalties.

He runs with surprising fluidity for a lineman down the field, getting to the next level fast and causing damage to an unsuspecting secondary. No matter the position he is called on to play, Capers is a football player at heart and his tenacity on the line will not go unnoticed by scouts. Look for teams to depend on his versatility and athleticism to contribute at the professional level and give Capers a chance at success.

Teams that will target him: Minnesota, Baltimore, Houston


9.     Kyle Calloway (Iowa)

Height: 6’7″

Weight: 317 lbs.

Projected Round: 3-4

Calloway is another lineman that comes from the Iowa pedigree of NFL-ready players who transition to the next level well. The only real controversy surrounding Calloway is his run-in with the law when he was pulled operating a Moped while intoxicated. Other than that, he is good at what he does and should receive deserved recognition come draft day.

Calloway does a wonderful job at mirroring the defender as a pass blocker. He stays low and becomes a wall at which defenders love to punch and get through but have little success. He uses his reach at times when he should use his feet, and doesn’t use his lower body to drive the outside rush, but he adjusts nicely to a variety of moves by elite ends and utilizes a mean cut block.

Run blocking is arguably Calloway’s forte, using his size to push the defender in any direction he desires. He does well to keep his hands inside and avoid penalties that often call the play back. He is a fighter at heart; he plays through the whistle each and every play.

Calloway has efficient speed and uses that quickness to get down the field and reach the secondary to create an extended run lane. Overall, he has tremendous upside and, even though he won’t be a top five tackle in the draft, will eventually blossom into an elite player at any position on the line.

Teams that will target him: San Francisco, Seattle, Cleveland


10. Sam Young (Notre Dame)

Height: 6’8″

Weight: 320 lbs.

Projected Round: 3-4

Young comes from a pro-style offense which will make his transition easier than most. Although he lacks superior athleticism and quickness, he has massive size and strength, an upside that will not go unnoticed by pro scouts.

Pass blocking is not something that Young excels in which is a large concern for a pass-happy NFL. His lack of quickness inhibits his lateral agility and ability to reach the outside rusher and maintain his balance. Against the elite ends of the NFL, Young will most likely have to rely on the cut block to protect his quarterback.

What keeps Young on the top ten list is his ability to be a wrecking ball in the run game. His technique still leaves something to be desired, but his size allows him to create holes that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible. He has tremendous initial pop and, if he can keep his balance, will drive the defender all the way down the field.

Four years as a starter has given Young more than enough experience and tremendous awareness on the field. He hasn’t shown as much consistency as some would like to see, but his sheer physicality will demand attention on draft day. He will probably never reach left tackle status, but could be a force on the right side or in the middle should that become a factor at the professional level. Look for a team needing beef on the front to give Young a spot on their roster.

Teams that will target him: Houston, Seattle, Tampa Bay


These, and other rankings, can be read at

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USC RB Joe McKnight Declares for 2010 NFL Draft: Where Does He Rank?

Published: January 8, 2010

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USC running back Joe McKnight declared for the 2010 NFL Draft on Friday, and this could change how the draft order of available running backs shakes out. This isn’t a deep draft for running backs–only one may go in the first round–but there are still many good ones available. Here’s a look at the top 10, and McKnight’s place in that group.

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NFL Mock Draft Top Five: Feel Free to Mock

Published: January 7, 2010

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While it’s insane to think its possible to predict an entire NFL draft, it might be within the realm of possibility to figure out the first five picks.

Below is the best estimation of the first five picks of the 2010 NFL draft based upon scouting reports, team needs, coaches’ philosophical styles and gut instinct. Enjoy and feel free to rip me a new one in the comments section. 


St. Louis Rams: Ndamukong Suh

While the more traditional route would have the Rams taking a QB, no QB in this draft makes passing on Suh a realistic possibility.

Suh lives in opponent’s backfields in run or pass plays, as his combination of strength, acceleration, lateral quickness, high motor and violent hands make him virtually unblockable. Suh is the type of player that will not only have impressive stats but will also positively impact that the stats of his teammates.

Chris Long’s sack numbers would increase with the attention Suh demands while at the same time freeing James Laurinaitis in the run game. With Suh on the defensive line and last year’s second overall pick, left tackle Jason Smith, in the fold the Rams will have their line of scrimmage effectively anchored for a decade on both sides of the ball.

Quarterback will continue to be a massive problem and Suh won’t solve that, but the Rams are so horribly lacking in talent that they may not even be ready for developing a young QB.

The last thing the Rams need is a Alex Smith, David Carr, Tim Couch or JaMarcus Russell type situation, and Suh appears to be a new age Reggie White. The Rams should take solace in what the Texans did when they took Mario Williams number one overall and traded for Matt Schaub later.   

Detroit Lions: Eric Berry

It’s rare for a defensive tackle to be taken first overall, it would be a history making precedent for the Lions to take a safety with the second overall pick.

And yet that is exactly how special Tennessee Junior Safety Eric Berry is.

Berry is not just a player, he is a culture changer, as his mere presence can change the outlook and morale a team has entering a game. Yes, they already have one of the league’s premier young safeties in last year’s second round pick Louis Delmas, but that shouldn’t prevent Berry from being the pick.

Delmas and Berry have a chance to be the league’s most talented safety duo since LaRon Landry and the late great Sean Taylor laced em’ up together briefly for the Redskins.

It’s like Berry was created in a science lab. Ed Reed’s ball-hawking, the tackling of Troy Polamalu, Ray Lewis’s leadership and infectious love of the game combined with the ability to lock down the slot as a nickel cornerback in man to man situations and an innate ability to time the blitz when rushing the quarterback.

A Lions defense featuring Berry, Delmas, Ernie Simms, DeAndre Levy and Cliff Avril would be one of the most athletically explosive, versatile and entertaining defenses in the NFL.

Tampa Bay Bucs: Gerald McCoy

When the Bucs traded Gaines Adams to the Bears for a 2nd round pick in the 2010 draft they may have gotten a great deal but they also lost their only worthwhile, young defensive lineman.

With Josh Freeman established as the franchise cornerstone, it is now time for the Bucs to focus on rebuilding their defense. Oklahoma fourth year junior defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has the most explosive first step of any defensive tackle to enter the NFL since the Bears’ Tommie Harris.

McCoy can shoot a gap and reach a QB before he even reaches the end of his three-step drop. Head Coach Raheem Morris may not run a pure cover-2 defense, but his defensive philosophy is not far off. Morris asks his defensive lineman to penetrate instead of plug, which is the perfect role for McCoy. McCoy is talented enough that he may in fact be able to fill the massive shoes Warren Sapp left vacant when he left for the black hole. 

Washington Redskins: Sam Bradford

It will be interesting to see Bradford’s reaction, a member of the Cherokee nation, when a team with a horribly offensive and racist name drafts him.

Bradford has the accuracy, arm, foot speed, athleticism and moxie that new Head Coach Mike Shanahan looks for in a QB. Bradford is coming off shoulder surgery to his throwing arm though and is not guaranteed to be ready for training camp, let alone rookie camp.

Combine Bradford’s inexperience running a pro-style offense, with the Sooners he ran an offense almost exclusively out of the Shotgun, with his injury history, it is obvious Bradford should not play as a rookie.

That should not be a worry though for Shanny, who can always force current Redskins QB Jason Campbell to stay another year. The Redskins will have Bradford learn from the bench for a year while fully healing his shoulder and then Shanny will have him in the Pro Bowl in no time.

Kansas City Chiefs: Rolando McClain

Chiefs’ General Manager Scott Pioli made it evidently clear during last years draft when he reached for LSU’s Lawrence Jackson, that he doesn’t care what outsiders think about his rebuilding the Chiefs.

Hence Rolando McClain, a pick many would consider a massive reach but something that is right up Pioli’s alley.

McClain would instantly become the Chiefs’ leader both emotionally and intellectually while also being an every down player for the Chiefs’ defense. McClain is almost like the Peyton Manning of defense, constantly gesturing, adjusting and intimidating.

With McClain you’re not just getting a player, your getting an extra defensive assistant coach. Though McClain lacks elite speed, he can go sideline to sideline and also possesses the strength and hip explosion to shed blockers at the point of attack. McClain may be a slight reach, but he shouldn’t disappoint Chiefs fans the way Jackson has. 

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Ndamukong Suh Headlines Too Early 2010 NFL Mock Draft

Published: January 7, 2010

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The Journey to the draft is about to begin.

Well, actually, it already has begun for 20 NFL teams. The playoffs begin Saturday, Jan. 9, and will go all the way to Sunday, Feb. 7 when a new champion is crowned.

That being said, we already know the top 20 draft order, except for some coin flips that will determine certain draft positions.

I will also unveil my formula of what I would do if I were the GM, and what I think the team will do.

Let’s not waste any more time and dive right into the (Too) Early 2010 NFL Mock Draft.


1. St. Louis Rams

What I would do—Jimmy Clausen, QB Notre Dame

I am not backing down on this pick yet. Does Ndamukong Suh make sense? Of course he does, but the Rams need a face of the franchise, and they need to get Steven Jackson some help. 

What they will do—Suh, DT Nebraska

Can you blame them? No, and if they make this pick I will not chastise them one bit. I just think the need for a quarterback trumps them taking another defensive lineman early.


2. Detroit Lions

What I would do— Russell Okung, OT Oklahoma State

The Lions have 120 million reasons to make this pick. It may not be popular or sexy, but Matt Stafford is already struggling with injuries, and getting a potential franchise LT would be a nice start.

What they will do—Gerald McCoy, DT Oklahoma

No Suh, no problem for Detroit. I don’t know why they like Jeff Backus and his eight sacks given up this year, but they do. So apparently, they will go with defense, and wait until Stafford’s arm falls off before they decide to protect him.


3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

What I would do—Suh

What a fit that would be. Suh is one of the top two or three prospects in the draft, so why do I have him falling to three? Because the other two teams have glaring needs that can be filled with excellent prospects.

What they will do—Eric Berry, S Tennessee

Again, there is nothing wrong with this pick. If he is there, they take him and then needn’t worry about the safety position for the next five to six years. I can’t really see any problems with this working out for them.


4. Washington Redskins

What I would do—Berry

Was talking with a buddy of mine the other day, and he was more than disenchanted with the idea of a QB being taken at four. I couldn’t agree more, but hey, I am a writer and not an NFL exec. Berry would be a great QB for the defense that, really, is not that far away from being top five in the league. Does he get them there? Maybe, but if he fell to them there is no way they should pass him up.

What they will do—Sam Bradford, QB Oklahoma

New coach, new QB? Seems to have worked for other teams around the league, and Bradford is the accurate, ball control passer that Mike Shanahan likes.


5. Kansas City Chiefs

What I would do—Anthony Davis, OT Rutgers

Davis is already climbing most boards, and while I am not a fan of the so-called board climbers, I do see the ability; especially with all the athleticism he possesses.

What they will do—Okung

I guess it will depend on the week with who is going here. Okung is still the best OT prospect in my eyes, but he was off the board in my draft scenario; so Davis is the pick.


6. Seattle Seahawks

What I would do—Bruce Campbell, OT Maryland

Campbell is a bruiser, but more than that, he is a good-looking prospect at a need position for the oft-injured Seattle Seahawks offensive line. On top of that, if they are not intrigued with any of the QB prospects, then they need to find someone to keep Matt Hasselbeck upright.

What they will do—Anthony Davis

Just a better prospect in my eyes than Campbell. Will fill the same need though.


7. Cleveland Browns

What I would do—Bradford

Mike Holmgren will surely shake things up, and that means getting a franchise player.  The rest of the AFC North have their franchise passers, and are usually fighting for playoff position as the Browns sit watching. A defensive player crossed my mind, but I think Bradford has the ability to be special.

What they will do—Joe Haden, CB Florida

Nothing wrong with this pick here, just not one I would make. They need help on the defensive side of the ball and Haden should be a shutdown corner; but I just think that a franchise QB is too much to pass up.


8. Oakland Raiders

What I would do—Haden

Haden would be a great addition to the Raiders secondary and give them two great CBs.

What they will do—Bruce Campbell

Well, I don’t think the Raiders are interested in any of the QB’s on the board, and with Ryan Mallet not having declared yet, I think they go OT, which is not a bad thing. Campbell would bring toughness and add a nasty streak back to the Silver and Black.


9. Buffalo Bills

What I would do-McCoy

Chances of him falling this far are low, but in my eyes, this could happen. Of course that is why I am behind a computer and not in a luxury box watching the game every Sunday. McCoy is the second best DT prospect and he would be a welcome addition to the Bills defensive line.

What they will do—Derrick Morgan, DE Georgia Tech

Morgan is a fringe top 10 prospect. I guess that makes sense why he would be at No. 9 then. Morgan is an intriguing prospect because he has the size and speed that teams love, but with the switch to a 3-4 defense he may fall a little. The Bills, though, would love his ability to hold up against the run and rush the passer, so this may be where he ends up.


10. Jacksonville Jaguars

What I would do—Rolando McClain, LB Alabama

McClain is just a guy that gets the job done. He possesses so much talent to go along with his tremendous leadership ability that I don’t see how the Jags pass him up.

What they will do-Tim Tebow, QB Florida

I have fallen into the trap of believing Tebow is going to Jacksonville. I spent a couple of months trying to figure out how this makes sense, at all, and why the Jags would “waste” a pick on a project at QB. Then the last two home games happened and I realized they need to do whatever they can to keep that franchise there, even if it means making a reach at the 10th selection.

Tebow has a following like few others, and in Florida sports history, he is one of the most revered players ever. So even though I don’t agree with it and don’t like it, I will begrudgingly put him there…for now.


My early thoughts of WHAT I WOULD DO with the 11-20 picks:

11. Denver Broncos : Terrence Cody, NT Alabama

12. Miami Dolphins: Dan Williams, NT Tennessee

13. San Francisco 49ers: C.J. Spiller, RB Clemson (I will note this one before I get killed by the Niners fans. If they are moving to a more spread formation to suit Alex Smith, then I say get him a back who fits that mold better.)

14. Seattle Seahawks: Derrick Morgan

15. New York Giants: Mike Iupati, OG Idaho

16. Tennessee Titans: Taylor Mays, S USC

17. San Francisco: Trent Williams, OT Oklahoma

18. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jerry Hughes, DE/OLB TCU

19. Atlanta Falcons: Donovan Warren, CB Michigan

20. Houston Texans: Earl Thomas, S Texas

A little more in-depth look at 11-20 will come next week.

Thanks for the read.

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Oakland Raiders: An Early Look at the 2010 Draft

Published: January 7, 2010

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With this season already in the record books for the Oakland Raiders, it’s never too early to look to next year.

Next year starts with the evaluation of those college football players who will be selected in the upcoming draft, and whilst the Raiders are quite well stocked at some positions, in others they are in desperate need of some new blood.

Oakland has the No. 8 pick this year, and the chance to pick up a real difference maker.  But they have to address the same old problems that have dogged this team over the last seven years. That is, a poor run defense and a shaky offensive line.

Here are my candidates that I believe should be considered. There will be a lot of movement up and down draft boards between now and April, and this is just an early assessment.


The Raiders are in dire need of a right tackle at the very least. Mario Henderson has been hot and cold on the left side, but Cornell Green has been a liability and simply has to be replaced if this offense is going to make progress.

Don’t kid yourself, we could select Russell Okung of Oklahoma State, but he will be gone by the time the Raiders are on the clock.

Brian Baluga from Iowa declared for the draft today though, and would be a great fit. 

The Hawkeyes already use a zone blocking scheme, which would make the transition to the NFL and Cable’s offense much easier. Baluga is a dominating run blocker and also a good pass protector.  At 6’6” and 315 lbs, with considerable athletic ability, he is a prototype NFL tackle who could play either side.

Anthony Davis of Rutgers may have as much upside as any tackle in the draft. Again, he has prototype size, and certainly has the speed and agility to fit in at Oakland. He has really impressed as the season continued, and looks like a top 15 pick. He has no real weaknesses, and projects to be an excellent NFL tackle.

Trent Williams is the best offensive lineman on probably the best offensive line in the country at Oklahoma. He may lack the athleticism to be an elite left tackle, but especially early on he would most likely be asked to man the right side for Oakland. He is a strong run blocker, and would be an instant upgrade over Green.


The Raiders defense has had problems with tackling and discipline all season, and they have struggled at linebacker and defensive tackle. 

There have been questions asked of Kirk Morrison in the middle, and too many long runs plays have come straight over him. Depending on the CBA, he may be a free agent in March, along with Thomas Howard, Ricky Brown, and Jon Alston. 

Linebacker is therefore a big priority this offseason. 

Whilst Tommy Kelly has at times played well as the three technique tackle on the defensive line, the Raiders lack a true nose tackle to occupy blockers and clog the middle.

Rolando McLain of Alabama has all the physical attributes you look for in a middle linebacker, and has the speed/size combination that Al Davis loves. 

He is a sure tackler, who takes good angles to the ball, and is a high character kid. This would be a great selection, but McLain has yet to declare for the draft, so he remains a question.

Brandon Spikes has been the heart of an excellent Florida Gators defense. He is a ferocious hitter and plays the game with a real passion. 

Like McLain, he is a full-sized physical linebacker who can handle life in the middle. Spikes plays well in coverage, and had four interceptions in his senior year. He is a little less disciplined that McLain, but again, is a high character individual. 

He would be a reach in the top ten, but if he was available in the second or the Raiders traded down, he would be a good option.

Dan Williams from Tennessee has had an excellent senior year, and would give the Raiders the dominant presence on the interior of the defensive line that they have needed. 

Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy will be long gone, but Williams could be the ideal compliment to Tommy Kelly. Williams is the sort of defensive tackle that makes linebackers look good.

Any of these players would help address areas of weakness on the Raiders roster, and would also put an end to the run of poor first round draft picks that Oakland has made over the last 10 years. 



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2010 NFL Mock Draft: Where Will Jevan Snead Land?

Published: January 7, 2010

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Ole Miss quarterback Jevan Snead declared for the 2010 NFL Draft on Thursday, and this news could change the complexion of an already very fluid draft. This draft isn’t very quarterback-heavy, so adding another QB to the mix could change the plans of several teams. Here’s a mock draft that factors Snead’s decision into the mix.

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2010 NFL Mock Draft: Whose Stock is Rising and Whose is Dropping?

Published: January 7, 2010

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One of the most fun parts of the run-up to April’s NFL Draft is watching the “stock” of prospects as it rise and falls between the end of the college football regular season and the draft. Between bowl games, all-star games, and the NFL Combine, players positions will move up and down the board in a miniature version of Wall Street. Let the fun begin.

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5 Potential Players the Giants Should Consider Drafting in The First Three Rounds

Published: January 7, 2010

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If there is one thing the New York Giants have done exceptionally well over the last few years, it’s been the draft. Since 2002, Ernie Accorsi, and now Jerry Reese, have drafted several players who have contributed right away and have been impact players in the NFL (Jeremy Shockey, Osi Umenyiora, Philip Rivers, Chris Snee, Corey Webster, Justin Tuck, Brandon Jacobs, Steve Smith, Kenny Phillips and Hakeem Nicks.) The Giants have a pick in each round, that’s seven picks. Any follower can expect the Giants to do some serious damage with those picks. Here are my thoughts on five potential picks that New York may make with the 15th pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. (Subject to change after NFL Combine).

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