Friday, April 29, 2016

2016 Draft: First Round Reaction

Best Pick: Cardinals take Robert Nkemdiche.

                This pick made perfect sense. The Cardinals get a highly productive and talented lineman who can collapses the pocket and raw attention from Chandler Jones and Calais Campbell. While he slid due to his off-the-field issues and streaky effort, Bruce Arians has dealt with those before. The Cardinals have a support system in place and Tyrann Mathieu can be a great mentor is moving past these types of issues. They got a top 10 talent without having to give up a single pick to get him. Great Pick.

Worst Pick: Titans trading up to take Jack Conklin

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

2016 Mock draft

1. Los Angeles Rams – Carson Wentz – QB– North Dakota State
                While taking the local Cali-boy makes a ton of sense from a marketing perspective, there’s just too much about Wentz that fits with what Jeff Fisher likes to do. Wentz is big, athletic and was a very productive senior form a smaller school. Sound like anyone we associate with Jeff Fisher? (Steve McNair) I see them putting Wentz in the same backfield and Todd Gurley and letting him grow in the same way Ben Roethlisberger grew, leaning on a great running game and a strong defense.

2. Philadelphia Eagles – Jared Goff – QB– California
                Eagles fans will most likely have mixed feelings on having Goff slip to them at two. But given what happened the last time they took a QB with the second overall pick, they needn’t be. Goff is a perfect fit into Doug Pederson’s version of the west coast offense and should settle the QB questions that have been plaguing the Eagles wince Donovan McNabb was traded away following the 2009 season.

3. San Diego Chargers – Laremy Tunsil – OT – Ole Miss
                Philip Rivers has been sacked 155 times since Marcus McNeil left after the 2011 season. Their success is tied to being able to keep the aging Rivers productive and upright. Tunsil gives them a stud offensive tackle who can do that. As much a defensive prospect such as Jalen Ramsey or Joey Bosa will be tempting here, the Chargers aren’t going to be fielding a top-five defense next year.

4. Dallas Cowboys – Jalen Ramsey – FS – Florida State
                While the Cowboys have ranked 31st in sacks each of the last two years, the athletic prowess of Ramsey is going to impossible to pass up. The Cowboys have been searching for an elite free safety since the days of Ken Hamlin and find one sliding to them in Ramsey. Strengthening the defensive backfield will also help give the pass rush a few more seconds to find the QB.

5. Jacksonville Jaguars – Myles Jack – LB – ULCA
                We’ve seen enough players recover from Torn ACLs in recent years for me to dismiss it as a major problem. Jack might not fit any specific need for the Jags, but they are in need of talent more than anything. Jack will provide them with the type of impact sideline-to-sideline defender that keyed the 2000s Ravens and 2002 Bucs defense.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Denver Broncos acquire Vernon Davis

                The Denver Broncos sent a late round pick in the 2016 and 2017 draft to the San Francisco 49ers for tight end Vernon Davis and late round pick in the 2016 draft.

                The Broncos really got a steal in this trade. While Davis’ production has been on backsliding in the last two years, most of that can be traced to the regression of the 49ers organization as a whole. He’s been needed as more of a blocker to keep Colin Kaepernick upright while he worked through progressions at a slower and slower pace. Even when he was out running routes, he was on the receiving end of mostly bad throws that didn’t put him in a position to make plays.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

2015 Mock Draft

1.       Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jamies Winston – QB – Florida State
The off-the-field concerns about Winston are real. But he’s also really the only QB in this draft who can be an impact player next year.

2.       Tennessee Titans – Marcus Mariota – QB – Oregon
I’m not a believer in Mariota, but I do believe that someone will want him badly enough to trade for him. I think the Titans take him and try to leverage a trade from one of them teams that wanted him.

3.       Jacksonville Jaguars – Dante Fowler Jr. – DE – Florida
I know that Leonard Williams is the consensus best player in the draft, but I think that the Jags have a good enough interior defensive line to focus on their edge rush. Fowler can bring them the strong edge rusher they’ve been looking for.

4.       Oakland Raiders – Amari Cooper – WR – Alabama
Again, I know that I’m passing on the best player available here, but it’s still the Raiders. I think they’re committed to getting a big play receiver and Cooper is everything you could want from a receiver prospect.

5.       Washington Redskins – Leonard Williams – DL – USC
While the Redskins have addressed their interior line during free agency, I think they jump at the chance to get the best defensive prospect in this draft. They can live with a sub-par outside linebacker if Williams is causing havoc from the interior.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Faclons fan's Draft Wishlist

I’m going to be clear, this is not a mock draft or a statement of who the Falcons MUST come out of the draft with. This is just the players I would like to see in a Falcons uniform when the season begins. I’m going to include a number of prospects at a number of positions who could go through the first four rounds. I know they can’t take everyone, but I’m doing this more to illustrate that the draft can be successful with a number of selections.

Vic Beasley – DE/OLB – Clemson 
Some have labeled Beasley as a workout warrior. I just don’t buy it. He was just too productive at Clemson. His workout more likely confirmed what was seen on tape and I think he’ll be a big time edge rusher with Dan Quinn pushing him. The concerns about his technique are also things I think that Dan Quinn can work to refine.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Giants Take Another Receiver in the First Round?

                Despite the emergence of offensive rookie of year Odell Beckham Jr., the Giants may be looking to add more weapons during the 2015 NFL Draft.

                This actually makes some sense because, in spite of ranking 7th in the league in passing yards and 9th in passing touchdowns, the Giants receiver base was far from steady this past season. Beckham missed the first four weeks of the season as well as the entire preseason with a nagging hamstring injury. Victor Cruz missed the entire season after suffering a torn patellar tendon in week 6. Beyond those two, the Giants receiving corps. has been far from stellar. Kevin Ogletree, Reuben Randle and Preston Parker are all strictly backups and package players. If Cruz takes longer to return from his injury or his speed is sapped, it’s conceivable that the Giants would be looking for a legitimate threat opposite Beckham (assuming he plays all 16 games) next season.

                Prevailing wisdom is that the Giants would address either the offensive or defensive line during the first round and address receiver in one of the later rounds. But does picking a receiver in the second or third round, even a deep class, yield results?

                In seven of the last nine drafts, the Giants have taken a receiver in the first three rounds of the draft, for a total of 8 receivers. Of those eight, only two (Steve Smith and Beckham) have received pro bowl nods, with Hakeem Nicks being the only receiver to eclipse the 1000 yard mark more than once. The others, Sinorice Moss, Mario Manningham, Ramses Barden, Randle and Jerrel Jernigan have done little to settle the receiver issue. Moss, Barden and Jernigan were back of the roster players who rarely saw the field on offense and almost never had the ball in their hands. Manningham and Randle have found more success, each pushing at points to be a starter, but neither were able to hang onto the job. Randle still has a chance to show his development, but is better suited to the slot. Nicks or Manningham could return as a free agent, though it is unlikely.

                To put into context how badly the Giants have muffed the scouting of receivers during the last nine years, here are some of the receivers who were taken following the Giants selection of a receiver. 2010 and 2013 have been excluded because the Giants did not select a receiver in those drafts and it can be assumed they felt as if they had no need to address the position. 2014 is also being excluded because one cannot say for certain how good the other receivers would be in that particular draft. For 2009 since they took two receivers it will be marked from the point that they took Hakeem Nicks.

2006: Greg Jennings, Brandon Marshall, Marques Colston
2007: Jacoby Jones, James Jones (Debatable on how good they would be compared to Steve Smith, but both are still in the League and Smith isn’t.)
2008: Pierre Garcon, Stevie Johnson
2009: Mike Wallace, Julian Edelman
2011: Cecil Shorts
2012: T.Y Hilton

                This group accounts for 9 pro bowl selections, (not counting Jones’ selection as a returner in 2012) 25 1000+ yard seasons and 404 receiving touchdowns. While there are clear differences in talent, any one of these receivers could have been an upgrade over the current crop of receivers the Giants have. And all were available when the Giants selected receivers, the vast majority of which are no longer with the team.

                Consider also that Cruz and Parker were both undrafted free agents in 2010. Cruz signed with the Giants immediately while Parker spent the first few years of his career with Tampa Bay. Both remain on the roster while drafted Jernigan, Manningham and Nicks are all looking for work.

The draft isn’t the Giants only option however. Corey Washington, an undrafted rookie out of Newberry, was reminiscent of Victor Cruz in the 2014 preseason  and could be an intriguing option should he continue to develop. They have also signed Juron Criner from the Raiders and Dwayne Harris from the Cowboys. Criner has never developed and shouldn’t be counted on while Harris has been more impactful as a special teams player. Neither provides an upgrade over the in-house options.

The Giants certainly could go after a receiver in this draft. There is a ton of talent at all stages and it could give the Giants much needed insurance in case Beckham gets hurt or Cruz is slow in recovering. However, waiting until the second or third round to address the position would be a mistake. The last nine drafts have shown that Jerry Reese’s evaluation of mid-round receivers has bene spotty at best. The Giants need to either go for broke with a first round pick (Amari Cooper or Kevin White could still be on the board at 9) or wait and pick up UDFAs. At the least they should consider drafting another receiver during day three to give them more options should a second or third rounder not pan out.