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Monthly Archives: January 2011

Mock Draft: January 27, 2010

Welcome to our inaugural Mock Draft. And by we, I mean Isaac as I’m doing this first. We’ll have a combined version for later, however, I figured I’d give it a first go, then listen to these other chuckleheads mock my mock draft. Let’s begin: 

1. Carolina Panthers: Da’Quan Bowers, DE – They already see what they lost in Julius Peppers, so I feel like they will be looking for his immediate replacement. Having a pincher attack of Charles Johnson and Bowers would be dangerous.
2. Denver Broncos: Nick Fairley, DT – Rumors are that the Broncos are switching back to a 4-3 defense. Since most of their D-line is more suited for 3-4, they’ll be looking for an immediate impact player to take at this spot.
3. Buffalo Bills – Trade to Tennessee Titans: Blaine Gabbert, QB – Gabbert’s been moving up the the draft boards and there will be several teams vying for him. The reason why I have Tennessee trading up is because they will believe that the Cardinals will draft him if available. And because Buffalo has a bunch of needs, they’ll stock up on picks.
4. Cincinnati Bengals: AJ Green, WR – The Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens show is over. They’ll be looking for someone else here who can make big time plays. And he may be the one thing that keeps Carson Palmer in football.
5. Arizona Cardinals – Trade to Washington Redskins: Cam Newton QB – Mike Shanahan loves himself some mobile QBs with good arms. He also has a penchant of trading up when players could still fall to him. And Arizona will be trading down to catch value as no QB is worth the pick at this point in the draft.
6. Cleveland Browns: Marcell Dareus DT – With rumors of Shaun Rogers being on the outs, they’ll be looking for a big body. However, look for Dareus to be the bust of the top 10. He has some attitude and work ethic issues.
7. San Francisco 49ers:  Patrick Peterson CB – They need some corner help and Peterson will be the best available at this point. They will consider Locker or Mallet, but if Peterson is here, they’ll take him.
8. Buffalo Bills: Stephen Paea DT – Paea is the best player available to better equip the Bills for their 3-4 move. There are some interesting players to take such as Von Miller, but I think they’ll go with bulk as there is slim pickins for 3-4 D-linemen.
9. Dallas Cowboys: Prince Amukamara CB – Instead of going with an offensive lineman (a larger need in my opinion), Jerr-ah will go with the sexy Prince pick here. While CB is a need, if they played the 2nd round right, they could get a decent CB and have Nate Solder on their team.
10. Arizona Cardinals: Robert Quinn DE/OLB – The best available and also a player who can step in for aging Clark Haggans and Joey Porter. They would love to get a QB here, but they may also be throwing their hat into the ring for Andrew Luck next season.
11. Houston Texans: Von Miller OLB – They’re switching to a 3-4, so getting a pass rusher who is a bit more of an OLB mold will be a necessity. And with Mario Williams and Von Miller, their secondary will improve a bit.
12. Minnesota Vikings: Ryan Mallet QB – Ryan Mallet has some personal issues that make him drop some places. However, he had a good season at Arkansas and Leslie Frazier and his staff will be able to whip him into shape.
13. Detroi Lions: Nate Solder OT – They get their heir to Jeff Backus. A huge need for a team that has a young QB who hasn’t been healthy his 2 years in the league. And the fact that Jerry Jones will pass on him will make the Lions salivate with anticipation.
14. St. Louis Rams: Julio Jones WR – While Donnie Avery and Laurent Robinson have shown promise, they both got injured early last season and the rest of the WR department is a bunch of who-is-that-guy’s. So Julio will be drafted to make a potent offense with Stephen Jackson, a stable O-line and Sam Bradford.
15. Miami Dolphins: Ryan Kerrigan DE – While they could look to blow up the wild-cat offense, I think they will look to improve their defensive line. And Kerrigan would give Cameron Wake more freedom to destroy QBs as he’ll command serious offensive line consideration.
16. Jacksonville Jaguars: Adrian Clayborn DE – They have Aaron Kampman, but I think they’ll be looking for another DE just because Kampman went down with an injury. And if there are two things that the Jags like to draft in the first round, it’s defensive linemen and terrible wide receivers. Don’t look for Jack Del Rio to all of a sudden change.
17. New England Patriots: J.J. Watt DE – They’re still looking for a replacement for Richard Seymour and Ty Warren hasn’t been as effective since Seymour’s departure. So look for the pick they used to trade away Seymour to pick up his replacement in Watt.
18. San Diego Chargers: Cameron Jordan DE – They need some big bodies to help stop the run. However, they may consider a long snapper here just because last year was so horrendous.
19. New York Giants: Mike Pouncey C – Shaun O’Hare is an older player and Eli needs a good snapper to prevent Eli Manning Face from happening. They may consider Mark Ingram though as he is still there and both Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs could be departing.
20. Tamp Bay Buccaneers: Akeem Ayers OLB – They will be looking to improve their pass rush as they currently have no one of value to get to the QB. Ayers is good at that and is best available.
21. Kansas City Chiefs: Tyron Smith OT – The Chiefs’ offensive line has been serviceable. However, a ground and pound attack that averaged 4.7 yards per carry. This will also allow Brandon Albert to consider moving to a position he’s more suited for, such as right tackle or offensive guard.
22. Indianapolis Colts: Anthony Castonzo OT – The second OT taken in a run of three. The Colts had one problem, protecting Peyton Manning. And because they couldn’t do it, they had an early exit from the playoffs and almost didn’t make the playoffs. Offensive line will be the #1 thing they focus their attention on.
23. Philadelphia Eagles: Gabe Carimi OT – The Eagles had the same problem as the Colts and it took its affects as the season wound down. If Michael Vick is given some time, he may break some records next season in passing yardage and DeSean Jackson will break some receiving yard records. By a lot. Enter Carimi, John Runyan-over 2.0.
24. New Orleans Saints: Corey Liuget DT – The Saints will be looking for run support, and pairing Sedrick Ellis with Liuget will give them a Williams Wall-esque defensive front.
25. Seattle Seahawks: Jake Locker QB – The Hawks need to find someone to replace Matt Hasselbeck. While Hassellbeck can still play, Locker is from Washington and wouldn’t mind some time on the bench learning.
26. Baltimore Ravens: Brandon Harris CB – The only weakness they have on the D is the cornerback spot. If they aren’t able to get a huge name like Champ Bailey (or if the CBA isn’t signed) at CB, they’ll take Harris and sit on their laurels.
27. Atlanta Falcons: Kyle Rudolph TE – Matt Ryan has gotten used to a good tight end receiving threat in Tony Gonzalez. However, Tony’s getting up there in age and finding a replacement should be a top priority. Rudolph is the best TE option out there, so don’t be surprised if he’s chosen here over a WR.
28. New England Patriots: Justin Houston OLB – Their current OLBs are a bunch of no-names, so getting a better pass rush will be The Mastermind’s second point of business. Defense wins championships, after all.
29. New York Jets: Cameron Heyward DE – He can play 3-4, which is something that Rex Ryan may fall in love with. Also, their d-line is ancient. Getting some youth there is a must. Unless Darrelle Revis can play DE and put on 100 pounds.
30. Chicago Bears: Derek Sherrod OT – Someone needs to protect Jay Cutler. He got sacked more than any other QB this year. Sherrod is an immediate improvement to what is currently there. And Jay may finally look happy knowing someone has his back.
31.* Green Bay Packers: Mark Ingram – The former Heisman winner has fallen to the best possible opportunity for him. It’s unclear if Ryan Grant will be able to perform like he did before his injury and Brandon Jackson and James Starks as a combo isn’t that appealing. Ingram will provide an immediate spark for Aaron Rodgers and perhaps turn this team into a super team.
32.* Pittsburgh Steelers: Joseph Barksdale OT – With both Max Starks and Willie Colon coming off season ending knee injuries, the Steelers will be looking for a solid, young player to either replace one or be solid rotation for them. This may be the steal of the draft behind Ingram

Alright, let’s see what you guys have to say.

* Since the Super Bowl hasn’t been played yet, these 2 picks haven’t been decided yet.

Written by:
Isaac Rickert, NFL Enthusiast
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Barry Sanders vs Emmitt Smith

I’ll bet geography makes a big difference in your opinion here, and I’m from Michigan (though a lot of people in Texas saw Barry at Oklahoma State). That being said, Barry Sanders is the superior pure talent for many reasons. His only downfall was that he lacked the social or bonding skills that made Emmitt the better teammate. This could be due to playing for the Detroit organization, which doesn’t seem to value winning like the Cowboys or just a character flaw.

Stats to back me up:

Barry Sanders 10 seasons, 15,269 yards – 1,527 yds/season
Emmitt Smith 15 seasons, 18,335 yards – 1,222 yds/season

Plays of 20+ yds:
Barry Sanders 113 – Emmitt Smith 94

Plays of 40+ yds:
Barry Sanders 42 – Emmitt Smith 17

Fumbles
Barry Sanders 19 – Emmitt Smith 38

Emmitt had 5 more seasons to accumulate the big plays, but just lacked the explosiveness of Barry. Most people know, that if Barry didn’t suddenly retire he could have easily amassed 20,000 rushing yards.

Also, I think everyone would agree that the offensive line of the Cowboys was superior to that of the Lions. If Barry had that line, he would have rushed for a few hundred more yards each season, getting his average near 2,000 yds/season. Sterling Sharpe once said this on ESPN.

Overall, I think Barry is a top 3 running back of all time along with Walter Payton and Jim Brown. Emmitt would be top 6 or so in my opinion. If I went back in time to start a franchise in 1990, Barry Sanders would be my running back.

——

Josh Sherwood, Sports Fan

The Case for Trading DeAngelo Williams & Steve Smith

The Carolina Panthers are just terrible this year. And with a terrible team, you have to start making moves so that you can rebuild. And the start of that for the Panthers should be trading DeAngelo Williams and Steve Smith to any willing team.

Let’s start with DeAngelo Williams. When Williams is healthy, he’s the starting running back. However, he splits carries fairly regularly with his backup, Johnathan Stewart, a former first round pick. Since Williams has gone on injured reserve this year, Stewart has gotten the majority of the carries and their third stringer Mike Goodsen, who hasn’t performed terribly.

With Stewart taking the majority of the carries, they’ve won yet another game and have looked less than dismal. So trading Williams won’t kill the team completely. And since Williams, while injured, still has trade value due to his younger age (27) and his Pro Bowl appearances, they should be able to get a second rounder at worst.

Steve Smith is only slightly different. He has had a terrible year. He wasn’t able to develop much chemistry with Matt Moore before he went to the IR and then hasn’t been able to establish anything with rookie and former Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen.

Smith is on pace for his worst season since he got injured in the first game of the season in 2004. This is more than likely a fluke. However, he has also voiced his displeasure of Clausen. Smith has even yelled at Clausen during a poor performance.

Both of these players are still young and, from what we can still assume, talented. But their window is closing. With a team that has a lot of needs, it may be better to try to get some value from players who are starting to see the signs.

There are plenty of teams who will be willing to pay the price for either of these former Pro Bowlers. And with the needs the Panthers have, they should take the chance.

Written by:
Isaac Rickert, NFL Enthusiast