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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Zane Beadles Utah Offensive Guard 2010 NFL Draft

Zane Beadles heads the Ourlads Scouting Services LLC list of offensive guards projected to go in the top three rounds of the 2010 NFL Draft:

Plays left tackle, but is projected to move inside to guard. Plays in a spread offense. Smooth footwork in pass protection with good body quickness, change of direction, and the ability to redirect and recover. Starts in a preset two-point stance. Plays with good arm extension. Physical, blue collar player that will maul a defender in the running game at times. Plays with a good base in both the running game and pass protection. Quick enough to cut off an inside slant move. Smooth feet in transition on twist or "x" stunts. Flashes an explosive punch. Can run the pass rusher up the field and around the quarterback. Asked to cut block in the spread formation. Rarely overextends as a run blocker. Brings his feet with him. A forced knee bender that stays engaged. Locks on the breast plate and steers the defender.

John Estes Hawaii Center 2010 NFL Draft

John Estes joins Matt Tennant and Justin Walton as draftable centers in Ourlads Scouting Services eyes in 2010:

Plays in the spread offense where he shotgun snaps on every down. Explosive punch in pass protection. Quick hands with the ability to create separation. Physical player with quick feet to balance, slide, and adjust his blocks on the defender. Gains an advantage with his active feet. Moves his feet on contact. Good knee bend with a strong two arm extension lockout. Effective helping his guards inside in pass protection. Has the physical tools to play on the line of scrimmage and not get knocked back. Maintains position on pass rusher and is alert to blitzes. Can anchor and stop a charge. Rarely does he get driven back. Struggles at times on angles to cut off pursuit on the second level. Has the lateral agility and quickness versus a slant move.

Justin Walton Baylor Center 2010 NFL Draft

Justin Walton is one of the top centers that will be drafted in 2010 NFL Draft. What Ourlads Scouting Services LLC has to say:

A three-year starter that transferred from Arizona State. Has done both the shotgun snap in the spread and conventional snap to the quarterback under center. Position/wall off type blocker. Creates inside running lanes by turning the down defender. Solid on the block back or "choke" block. Plays on his feet. Good agility and balance in close quarters. Plays with a good base and works to finish his blocks. Will drop his head at times in pass protection but generally slides and adjusts his mirror to wall off defender. Good hand quickness to lock out and position hands on the breast plate and get push on his target. Strong and crafty, but needs to be more consistent with his ability to recover and anchor in pass protection.

Matt Tennant Boston College Center 2010 NFL Draft

Matt Tennant leads the list of top center prospects heading into the 2010 Draft according to Ourlads Scouting Services LLC. What Ourlads has to say:

Three-year starter in a zone blocking scheme. Has done it all. Snapped in the spread, shotgun, and conventional formations. A physical player that is mobile and stays on his feet. Works his feet on contact. Sudden first step quickness to gain position and control of the defender. Effective on pulls coming out easy on his initial move with quickness and snap. Accelerates quickly and has the ability to adjust on the move and in space. Plays with good awareness to pick up a blitz and help guards in pass protection. Keeps his feet and stays up on block on the second level linebackers. Keeps his feet in traffic. Good agility and balance. Needs to gain weight and get more overall body strength to handle nose tackles.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Patrick Robinson Florida State Defensive Cornerback 2010 NFL Draft

Patrick Robinson, Florida State is one of the top rated big corners available for the 2010 NFL according to Ourlads Scouting Services LLC:

Thirteen starts over the past two years. Big corner that is physical and can run. Plays the boundary corner and is alert enough to use the sideline as the 12th man in the running game. Intercepted six passes in 2007, including one each in five consecutive games. Has made big plays over his career, including blocking PATs that were returned for scores. Has the speed to run backs down from behind. Takes good pursuit angles on plays away from him. A good athlete with foot quickness and hip flexibility. Good change of direction and recover ability. He can stick his foot in the ground and drive off quickly. Sticky man cover ability. Flashes a quick burst and acceleration speed. Appears to have a strong upper body. Locks out his arms and separates from blockers. Good on run support. Willing tackler that will wrap up. Shows good awareness to recognize offensive set tendencies and react quickly to his keys. Plays with poise and confidence.

Sergio Kindle Texas Outside linebacker 2010 NFL Draft

Sergio Kindle has the raw talent to be an All Pro outside pass rusher according to Ourlads Scouting Services LLC:

A talented but troubled pass rusher that will be a two-year starter if he makes it through the 2009 season without incident. He crashed his car into an apartment building in June. In 2007 he was arrested on a drunken driving charge. Could contribute as a pass rushing defensive end or a strong side linebacker on the next level. A high maintenance player that tallied 10 sacks and 12 ½ tackles for loss. A good athlete that has natural edge pass rushing ability. Sudden first step quickness. Can accelerate off a block and burst to the ball carrier. Out of control as a tackler at times. He must be accounted for in an offense’s blocking schemes. Could be a dominating 3-4 edge pass rushing right end if he grows up.

Micah Johnson Kentucky Inside linebacker 2010 NFL Draft

Micah Johnson,University of Kentucky is one of the top rated senior inside linebackers coming out for the 2010 Draft according to Ourlads Scouting Services LLC :

Two-year starter that was active and productive despite a high ankle sprain that hindered him the last part of the 2008 season. A big inside linebacker that can run and work downhill. Has good coverage awareness. Experienced in both man-to-man and zone coverage. A good wrap up tackler that plays square to the line of scrimmage and keeps leverage on the ball. Good lateral agility and quickness to play down the line of scrimmage. Runs through his tackles with a thud. Works to finish pursuit and plays to the whistle. Good anticipation and instincts. A take-on linebacker that doesn’t stay blocked. Plays with a good base and has the quickness to slip blocks. Has the strength to separate. Gums up the inside running lanes and is an effective blitzer. He doesn’t jump around. Sees ball, it registers and he reacts quickly.

Brandon Spikes Florida Inside linebacker 2010 NFL Draft

Brandon Spikes is the top inside senior linebacker according to Ourlads Scouting Services LLC summer grades:

Three-year starter with good instincts and the tools to star on Sunday. Collision tackler that is always around the ball. Opponent’s game plan for him is to try and wall him off and cut him. Had four interceptions returning two for touchdowns. Runs through ball carrier when tackling. Active in both the run game and pass coverage. Can run with backs in man to man coverage. Quick to break up on the ball in front of him. Scrapes quickly to the outside and cuts off the backs’ angles. Works his way through traffic and can hold his ground on plays directly at him. Tough, aggressive, and competitive. Plays with knee bend and has the quickness to shuffle and make plays parallel to the line of scrimmage. Strong enough to tackle the ball carrier and the blocker. Productive with 224 tackles over the past two years.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Terrence Cody Alabama Nose Tackle 2010 NFL Draft

Terrence Cody may become a hot commodity with all the 3-4 teams if he gets himself in shape. The San Diego Chargers are suffering on defense because of the season ending injury to Nose tackle Jamal Williams. The way Ourlads Scouting Services LLC sees Cody:

Junior college transfer. Will be a two year starter for the Tide. A two-down run player that occupies space and blockers. Wide body that can stack at the point. Can be tripped up with low and reach blocks. Comes off the ball high. Strong to neutralize and control blocks. Can stack a double team at the line of scrimmage. Marginal agility and ability to change direction. Can be explosive in a small area. Battles in close quarters. Strong upper body. Thick waist and lower body. Gets upfield push. Also used as a lead blocking back at times.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Corey Wootton Northwestern Defensive End 2010 NFL Draft

Corey Wootton is working his way back from his torn ACL and will not be 100% until 2010. However, he was Ourlads Scouting Services LLC top rated 4-3 end heading into the fall:

Four-year starter that was voted the team’s most valuable player in 2008. Tore his right ACL in the fourth quarter of the 2008 Alamo Bowl. Had surgery on January 15th. Received a medical hardship year for 2005 because of a neck injury. Productive over his career. Had 10 sacks and 16 tackles for loss in 2008. A good effort player that draws several holding calls a year. A good athlete with lateral quickness to skate down the line of scrimmage. Uses his long arms to pull and jerk offensive tackles. Will use double moves to rush the passer. Good first step quickness. Big hands to control and disengage the blocker. Has the feet to move and separate from a block. Good use of hands. Experienced in zone drops to get underneath the out patterns in the flat. Needs more upper body strength to consistently stack and control the blockers.

Sean Weatherspoon Missouri Outside linebacker 2010 NFL Draft

Ourlads Scouting Services LLC top outside linebacker heading into the fall:

Three-year starter that got some playing time as a freshman. An outstanding athlete that can run and play sideline to sideline. Productive with 282 tackles over the past two years to go along with 28 tackles for loss and eight sacks. He also had two interceptions he returned for touchdowns. Mentally and physically tough. He is instinctive, smart, and competitive. Explosive run through target type hitter. Wrap tackler in the open field. A three-down linebacker that is versatile enough to play inside or outside in any scheme. Plays square to the line of scrimmage. Can play coverage or blitz from a variety of positions. Has a burst to the ball carrier. Intense and focused. Plays with good knee bend and shoots his hands to get under and leverage the offensive lineman. Rarely gets caught up in traffic.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Jared Odrick Penn State Defensive Tackle 2010 NFL Draft

Film study on Jared Odrick this past summer brings Ourlads Scouting Services LLC to conclude with a strong senior year the second round might be his landing spot:

Three-year starter that is versatile enough to be a 4-3 tackle or a 3-4 end. A disruptive player that gets upfield pressure. Instinctive to diagnose play after controlling opponent. Quick to find the ball. Feels pressure and reacts on the move. Reacts to angles and combination blocks. Sudden first step quickness. Plays the run with stout inline strength. Quick to stack and shed. Uses the arm over move rushing the passer. Fights through blocks and is strong at the point of attack. Hustles to get in on play. Will finish pursuit. Gets his hands up as a pass rusher. Can push the pocket if he bends his knees and plays with leverage. Effective on twist stunts. Naturally strong. Usually double teamed. Thick lower body.

Arthur Jones Syracuse Defensive Tackle 2010 NFL Draft

The way Ourlads Scouting Services LLC sees Arthur Jones heading into his senior season:

Three-year starter that plays hard and controls his area of responsibility. Takes good downfield pursuit angles on plays away. Hustles downfield on passes. Finishes plays. Can stop and stack plays at the point of attack. Quick to shed and locate the ball. Good lateral quickness down the line of scrimmage. Can push the pocket. Uses his hands and leverage to his advantage. A former state champion wrestler. Relentless in his play. Makes several "hustle" plays. Good intensity and production. Can be single blocked at times if he gets too high. Gets his hands up rushing the passer. Has experience in zone coverage drops. Made 15 tackles against Notre Dame last fall including 1 ½ sacks and 4 tackles for loss. Had surgery in February of 2009 for a torn pectoral muscle.

Ndamukong Suh Nebraska Defensive Tackle 2010 NFL Draft

Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska Ourlads Scouting Services LLC top rated defensive tackle:

Three-year starter that led the team in tackles. His last name is pronounced "Sue." His first name, Ndamukong, means "house of spears." Plays left defensive tackle. Has long arms and a big thick body. Explosive strength at the point of attack. Exceptional use of hands and arms. Can two gap. Can’t be single blocked. Strong hands to control the blocker. Doesn’t stay blocked. Quick to shed. Sudden punch and separation. Has the strength to pull and jerk. Quick arm over moves. Has a bag of tricks to rush the passer. Usually double teamed and chipped. A good athlete that can push the pocket and defeat the blocker. Has two interceptions for touchdowns and has caught a touchdown pass after lining up at fullback. Instinctive with quick reactions. Can feel pressure and react on the run. Outstanding balance and agility. A wrap up tackler in the open field when dropping on a zone blitz. Keeps leverage on the ball. A playmaker that dominates his competition. Nebraska rarely subs. Plays hard the whole game.

Ciron Black LSU Offensive Left Tackle 2010 NFL Draft

The way we see Ciron Black:
A four-year starter that red-shirted his freshman year. All four years the massive giant with long arms started at left tackle. Plays with a good base in the running game. Looks the part with his thick butt and legs. A mauler in the run game that needs to improve his use of hands as a pass protector and a run blocker. Has a tendency to have technique breakdowns in the heat of the battle and just horse collar an edge pass rusher. Question functional play strength at times. Shows the attitude and aggression to stay square and run the defender up the field or shadow a pass rusher. Good body control for a big man on pulls. Needs to improve his footwork as he has a tendency to get his feet crossed at times. Raw talent.

Trent Williams Oklahoma Left Offensive Tackle 2010 NFL Draft

Four-year starting experience. Played right tackle in 2008, but will be featured as a left tackle in 2009. Plays in a spread offense at times in a two-point preset stance. Can extend his arms and lock out to punch and force separation. Can sit down and stop a charge. Plays with a good base. Mirrors his man with good head position, quickness, and balance in pass protection. Effective to seal on down blocks. Will waist bend and get lazy feet at times in pass protection but has the ability to redirect with natural body control. Can cut edge rusher quickly on flat passes. More of an angular body build lacking the thickness in the lower body. Athletic in space with the ability to adjust and sustain his target on the move. Stays balanced with good knee bend and the change of direction. Shortcomings include his ability to wall off high motor double move edge pass rushers, inconsistent finish on his blocks, and his lack of violence and intensity in his play.

Russell Okung Oklahoma State Left Offensive Tackle 2010 NFL Draft

Ourlads Scouting Services LLC The way we see Russell Okung:

A four-year starter that is as talented as any left tackle in the 2010 draft. Plays with good knee bend and base. Athletic and equally as productive as a run blocker or pass protector. Long arms and big hands to lock out and control a pass rusher. Effortlessly works the pass rusher up the field past the quarterback. Will use his hands to maul and engulf a defensive tackle. Demonstrates the ability to redirect and shift weight quickly. Sudden to pivot and turn then run. An explosive knee bender that can shock, control, and drive his target. Takes good angles to the second level to wall or cut off pursuit. Good body control, quickness, agility, and balance to sustain his blocks. Brings his feet when he comes off the ball. Can snap his hips and dominate his man. Effective player that has the physical tools to start on the next level. One hole in his game that could be improved is his ability to finish his blocks more consistently.

Anthony Mc Coy Southern California Tightend 2010 NFL Draft

Two-year starter that was the backup tight end as a freshman. A hand catcher that will reach and extend for the ball. Plays both in the slot and in the conventional tight end area. Long arms. Aggressive blocker in the run game. Stays engaged and works to finish. Quick to reach and cut on the backside away from play. Will catch the ball in traffic and is athletic after catch. Good open field instincts, acceleration and stop and go quickness. Can make the tough catch and hold the ball on contact. No hold up coming off the line of scrimmage. Good body control in and out of routes. Fluid, not stiff or mechanical. Can separate from a safety or linebacker and get open. Has an injury history. As with most Trojan tight ends, he is high maintenance. Suspended in the spring for missing classes.

Mark Herzlich Boston College Outside linebacker

The 2008 Atlantic Coast Conference's defensive player of the year Mark Herzlich announced this week that he is cancer free. The physical outside linebacker was Ourlads Scouting Services LLC top 3-4 rush linebacker heading into the fall. Herzlich was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma a malignant tumor most often found in bone or soft tissue. Early detection reportedly contributed to the success of treatment. The productive defender had a sensational junior year with 110 tackles, 6 interceptions, 8 passes broken up, 2 caused fumbles and 2 fumble recoveries. He announced that he will play next year at Boston College and enter the 2011 draft.

Bryan Bulaga Iowa Junior Offensive Tackle

Iowa's Bryan Bulaga one of the nation's top junior NFL left offensive tackle prospects returned to practice after missing the Iowa State, Arizona and Penn State games with a thyroid condition. The 6-6, 320 pound three year starter and all-Big Ten tackle may play against the Hawkeyes next opponent Arkansas State (10/3/09) according to head coach Kirk Ferentz. Ourlads Scouting Services LLC does not comment on underclassmen in regards to their draft status until they have filed their official papers with the NFL office in January.

Important NFL Dates:

OCTOBER 20-Trading deadline.
JANUARY 3 -Final week of the regular season.
JANUARY 9-10 Wild-card playoffs.
JANUARY16-17 Divisional playoffs.
JANUARY 24 Conference championships.
FEBRUARY 7 Super Bowl XLIV-Miami.
MARCH 5 Free agency period starts.
APRIL 22-23-24 2010 NFL DRAFT-In July NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced that the Draft will be held over three days and on prime time television. The first round will get things rolling on Thursday night. Friday, teams will be drafting the second and third rounds. Saturday will conclude the draft with rounds four-seven.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Taylor Mays, Southern California Free Safety 2010 NFL Draft

Taylor Mays is a height, weight and speed athlete that will get a look at both strong and free safety.The way we see him after summer film study.

Four-year starter whose father, Stafford Mays, played eight years in the NFL as a defensive lineman. Big, fast, and an explosive hitter. When he’s dropped down in the box, he’s another linebacker. A middle of the field enforcer type safety that can run sideline to sideline. Competitive with physical toughness and the willingness to initiate contact. Plays at a high level of competency. Will light you up as a tackler, but does not always wrap up. He expects the velocity of his impact hit will get a ball carrier down. Has rare catch-up speed. Recognizes and reacts to run or pass quickly. Productive in run support. Willing to force. An aggressive train wreck type hitter that attacks the line of scrimmage. Plays off the blocker and makes the tackle in the open field. Can match up with receivers nose to nose. A confident player that closes quickly on the ball. Inconsistent to play the ball in the air.

Jordan Shipley Texas Wide Receiver 2010 NFL Draft

Jordan Shipley, Longhorn wide receiver and return specialist is one of Ourlads top receivers in 2009. The way we see him:

Received a sixth year from the NCAA after red-shirting in 2004 because of left knee surgery. Missed all 12 games in 2005 due to a right hamstring injury. Possesses outstanding natural hands and is a skilled route runner. Returned a kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown against Oklahoma. Three year starter makes the tough catch. Can adjust to a poorly thrown ball. Holds the ball on contact. Good agility and body control. Forces separation with the defensive back. Good open field instincts after he catches the ball. Competitive receiver that is consistent without the ball. Good effort as an inline blocker. Plays fast. Can make the deep overhead catch. Caught 89 passes for 1060 yards and 11 touchdowns. Averaged 10.2 yards on 6 punt returns and 26.3 yards on 15 kickoff returns.

Brandon LaFell LSU Wide Receiver 2010 NFL Draft

Brandon Lafell, Ourlads Scouting Services LLC top senior wide receiver:

Three-year starter with explosive speed. Can play all the receiver positions and stretch the secondary as a deep threat. A tall athletic receiver that is a big target on inside routes. Physically big enough to break a tackle and deliver a blow into a defender. Has long arms and big hands. A willing blocker that can adjust on the move. Somewhat of a long strider, but is quick enough to get off press coverage. Good body control when making a catch. Has courage, concentration, and production between the hash marks. Holds the ball on contact. A big target that will battle a defensive back. He won’t turn down the ball. Good reactions in a combative environment. Played with young and inexperienced quarterbacks and made catches any way that he could…hands, cradle, body, and wrist.

Charles Scott LSU 2010 NFL Draft

What we said about LSU running back Charles Scott heading into his senior season:

The bruising runner is a two year starter. Rotated his first two years and averaged over 6.5 yards per carry in mop up duty. As a junior he rushed for 1174 yards and 18 touchdowns. Runs from the "I" formation and hits the crease with body lean, strength, and power. A tackle to tackle runner that lowers his pads and runs hard. Anticipates his cuts without a loss of speed. Has talent, production, and good running skills for a big back. Drives legs on contact and gains yards with effort, leverage, and strength. Can get the tough two and three yards. Strong short yardage runner that is not easy to tackle. Good hands with the ability to catch all routes and production as a receiver. A feature back that can cut and finish his runs.

C.J. Spiller Clemson 2010 NFL Draft

Ourlads Scouting Services LLC take on C.J. Spiller:

A bolt of lightning type runner that is a threat to score as a receiver, ball carrier, and return specialist. For all practical purposes, will be a four year starter after the 2009 season. His first three years he rotated with Cleveland draft choice James Davis. Plays in a one-back spread offense. Prior to this fall he is the all-time, all purpose yards leader at Clemson. With 921 yards, he will be the most productive Atlantic Coast conference performer in all purpose yards. This is a football player that is also a track All-American. He displays good vision and cut back ability. Productive run skills both inside and on the perimeter. Displays rare quickness to make the first tackler miss. Quick reactions to make positive yards on a poorly blocked play. Has the hands to catch all pass routes with good eye-hand coordination. A clutch player that can make a play in crucial situations. As a kickoff return specialist he shows an instant burst and acceleration. As a punt returner he can take one step and go, or uses his stop and go moves to make defenders miss. Finishes his runs with strength and determination. Academic All-ACC.

Colt McCoy Texas NFL 2010 Draft

Ourlads Scouting Services LLC take on Colt McCoy:

Will be a four-year starter in the Longhorn spread offense attack. In 2008 he set the NCAA single season record for completion percentage at an unbelievable 76.7 percent. Was the team leader in rushing with 561 yards and 11 touchdowns. Plays with good pass protection and a clean pocket. Steps into his throws. Accurate on the move on roll out and dash type patterns. Rolls away from pressure in the red zone. Throws an inordinate amount of horizontal ball control pass routes. Plays a lot of pitch and catch with wide open receivers. Rarely does he laser the ball through a tight window in the defense. Good height for the position and has functional playing speed and quickness. A right handed passer with good athletic ability and a quick release. As mentioned previously, ultra accurate on short and medium patterns. A tough kid that can take a hit. Shows good leadership, consistency, and discipline with the football. Makes solid decisions. Has a natural feel in the passing game to anticipate and time up his passes. Arm strength to make a big play in the red zone when the window of opportunity is small is still questionable.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

LeGarrette Blount, Oregon Running Back

LeGarrette Blount was suspended from the Oregon Ducks football program for the season after connecting with a punch to Boise State's defensive end Byron Hout jaw after the Duck's loss in the season opener to Boise State. Blount was Ourlad's second rated senior running back heading into the fall after Clemson's C.J. Spiller. Blount will continue to practice with the Ducks and work toward graduation. What we said about Blount heading into the fall:

Physical running back that plays in a spread offense. Strong runner that has good speed and is not easy to bring down. More of an upright runner that can get downhill with good vision and running instincts. Determined straight ahead runner. A goal-line type back that can muscle his way into the end zone. Gains yards after initial contact. Gives effort and finishes his runs with power. An aggressive back that doesn’t shy away from contact. Flashes some shiftiness in the open field. Athletic enough to hurdle low cutting defensive backs. Had 17 touchdowns in 2008, alternating with Jeremiah Johnson. A junior college transfer that was suspended in February 2009 for missing conditioning workouts and academic class work. A high maintenance back with talent.

Oklahoma's Jermaine Gresham will enter 2010 Draft

Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma's All-America tight end will enter the 2010 NFL Draft despite suffering a knee injury during fall camp requiring surgery on his cartilage that ended his 2009 season. Gresham was Ourlad's top tight end heading into the fall.What we said:

Productive two-and-a-half year starter that caught 66 passes for 950 yards and 14 touchdowns. Plays his best in big games with 8 catches for 82 yards in the Big 12 championship game along with 8 catches and two touchdowns in the BCS title game against Florida. A hand catcher that can catch the ball in traffic and in close quarters. Good upfield acceleration after catch. Can make the first tackler miss at times or run through them. Lines up in the slot, out wide, and in the traditional tight end area. Can make the tough over shoulder catch. Can separate in man to man coverage. Competitive player with explosiveness. Blocks with good balance. A knee bender that stays on blocks. Plays better against the best opponents. A match up nightmare for most safeties and nickel corners.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tim Tebow, Florida 2010 NFL Draft

Florida's Heisman winning quarterback Tim Tebow produced a game performance against the Kentucky Wildcats overcoming a week of flu before a corner blitz knocked him out of the game in the third quarter. He sustained a concussion from the explosive hit.Reports out of Gainesville have Tebow recovering from the concussion and the flu during the Gators bye week. Tebow is our top rated senior quarterback heading into the fall. This is what we said about him after summer film study:

Three-year starter that may be the most decorated football player in college football history. Left handed passer. Big, strong, smart, and athletic with rare intangibles. Rotated his freshman year with Chris Leak. Has directed the Gators to two national championships in three years. Has thrown 67 touchdown passes and only 11 interceptions in the past three years. Only player in NCAA history to rush and pass for at least 20 touchdowns in a season. Physically and mentally tough. A take charge guy that leads his teammates. Consistent and reliable. Performs under pressure. Plays with confidence. Durable. Can shake off arm tackles and take a hit. Disciplined with the football. Loves to play quarterback. Has a feel for the game. Can make a flat footed throw with a man in his face. Has the ability to make defenders miss and still see the field. Can make a good situation out of a bad one. A competitor with will, passion, and fire to get the job done. Can read coverages but will work to master the NFL complexities. Throws strikes when he has a clean pocket as a drop back passer, but has the ability to throw on the run. Accurate short and medium. Has a variety of deliveries. Will need to work on all the nuances of NFL quarterback play. He has mastered the spread multiple offense that is run first. With the same work ethic, he has a chance and skill level to master NFL quarterback play.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Jeremy Jarmon Supplemental Pick

Kentucky's junior defensive end Jeremy Jarmon was the only selection in the mid-July supplemental draft. He was taken in the third round by Washington. The Redskins now forfeit their 2010 third round pick. Jarmon declared for the draft after he was ruled ineligible for his senior year because of a failed drug test. He had a positive test for a banned diuretic dietary supplement he purchased at a health food store. Jarmon has graduated with a degree in political science. Prior to his suspension, he decided to return for his senior year after a mediocre grade report from the NFL evaluation committee. The athletic defensive end is a good fit for the 'Skins' 4-3 scheme as he played left end for the Wildcats and at times was reduced inside to play defensive tackle. Productive over his career, he had 17 1/2 sacks in three years. He was red-shirted his freshman year for development and started 31 of 38 career games. Jarmon has been timed under 4.80 seconds in forty yards and shows first step quickness with 1.64 seconds in the 10.

THE WAY WE SEE HIM: Has all the athletic numbers and production to succeed on the next level. Thick build and butt to stack double teams. Needs more upper body strength to lock out and separate from long-armed offensive tackles. Question his instincts. Loses ball on occasion. Can bend his knees and get push and play with leverage. Needs to be under control when stunting and twisting. Flashes production, but will run by ball carrier. Does an excellent job of getting his hands up when rushing the passer. Has batted down several passes over his career. In 2008 he was second on the team in pass deflections. Can improve his hand strength and his use of hands to disengage blocker. Flashes the tools to play on Sundays, but needs to be more consistent as a tackler, backside pursuit effort, and first step quickness. Solid third round pick.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

2009 NFC South Draft Review

Atlanta Falcons

The Falcon defense was the focal point of the draft with seven of
the eight picks selected to add a few starters and upgrade the
depth in the secondary. General Manager Tom Dimitroff and Head
Coach Mike Smith accomplished many things and overcame
adversity like many teams have never seen. Now the pair can do
what no GM and coach combination have done in Atlanta history
– produce back-to-back winning seasons and earn a place in the
playoffs two years in a row. Tony Gonzalez will be a major player
in accomplishing those goals. Linebackers Mike Peterson and
Spencer Adkins fit into the 4-3 scheme. Three defensive backs
headed by William Moore were another priority that was filled in
the second, third, and fifth rounds. The Falcons’ top choice,
Peria Jerry, is disruptive in his play and was a major need to
upgrade the defensive front as was lesser known Vance Walker.
Peria Jerry is a one gap explosive player that is intense and
plays with good leverage. He upgrades Grady Jackson who is
now in Detroit. He controls the line of scrimmage with good hand
use and lateral quickness. William Moore was drafted to replace
Lawyer Milloy who was not re-signed. He has all the skills and
range to be successful on Sunday. Moore is big, fast, and athletic
and can play the run in the box or play deep coverage. Chris
Owens will compete for the right cornerback position. A physical
player, he has good athletic ability. Despite his size he is a good
tackler in run support. He may start out as a nickel corner and
make his mark on special teams’ coverage. Lawrence Sidbury
has a chance to get on the field early in his career because of the
underachieving pass rush ability of Jamaal Anderson. He has
excellent first step quickness and some interesting tools, but is
raw in his overall game. Corner William Middleton is a sleeper
selection that was not invited to the Combine, but showed up
strong in pre-draft workouts. He is athletic with good straight
line speed (4.46/40). He’s a developmental prospect with kickoff
return ability. Garrett Reynolds is an angular developmental
tackle that is long and loses functional playing strength when he
plays high. He needs to add bulk and strength to have a future in
the league. Spencer Adkins is a developmental workout warrior
that started five games at Miami. He has questionable instincts
and struggles to shed blockers. He is likely a practice squad
candidate. Vance Walker adds depth to the defensive line. A
sleeper pick, he has good upper and lower body strength. He
should work into the front rotation with his functional strength
and the ability to fight double teams. GRADE: AVERAGE.

FREE AGENCY: The biggest off-season acquisition for the
Falcons was the trade of a 2010 second round pick for All-Pro
tight end Tony Gonzalez. Mike Peterson played for Mike Smith at
Jacksonville and will start at strongside linebacker. Brett Romberg
will back up Todd McClure at center.

Carolina Panthers

The Carolina Panthers are talented and have the fire power to
make another Super Bowl run. However, they are in a very
competitive division with New Orleans and Atlanta. Tampa Bay
appears to be in a rebuilding mode. Long time Indianapolis
defensive coordinator, Ron Meeks, will tweak the defense. The
running game will remain strong with Jordan Gross up front and
DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart hammering the ball
between the tackles. Steve Smith remains as a premier feature
receiver and Jake Delhomme’s first passing option. The Panthers
addressed its two top draft priorities in the defensive line by
drafting pass rusher Everette Brown and tabbing defensive tackle
Corvey Irvin. Secondary help was also added with utility corner/
safety Sherrod Martin. Everette Brown was drafted in the second
round, but Carolina gave up a 2010 first round pick to select him.
He slipped to the second round because of his fringe height, not
because of his ability. Some ball clubs were unsure if he was an
outside 3-4 linebacker or a four-man front end. It was undeniable
that he was blessed with excellent initial quickness and an
outstanding first step. The Panthers knew that his athletic ability,
productivity, and burst were too good to ignore, especially with
an uncertain Peppers’ situation. Sherrod Martin is a versatile
and athletic defensive back that can play press corner or safety.
He’s active and physical in run support and on special teams.
Corvey Irvin adds depth to the defensive line. He is strong enough
to get inside pressure. A knee bender that can push the pocket,
Irvin is a physical player with long arms. Mike Goodson is a
complementary back that can change up from the power running
of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. He is elusive with
good hands and flashes a burst to turn the corner. If he stays
healthy and competitive, his natural speed and talent will get him
on the field. Fullback Tony Fiammetta will be battling veteran
Brad Hoover for playing time. He is very similar to Hoover as a
hard-nosed lead blocker that has reliable and consistent hands
to catch the ball as needed. He will contribute on special teams.
Duke Robinson was a steal in the fifth round if he works and
plays to his ability. He is a good fit for the power running attack
with his long arms and big hands to engulf and maul a defender.
He has the talent to start as a rookie if he stays focused and will
compete. Captain Munnerlyn is a fringe athlete that has some
hip stiffness in his turns. A tough and aggressive corner, he will
add depth and contribute on special teams as a returner and
coverage player. GRADE: ABOVE AVERAGE.

FREE AGENCY: The Panthers put the franchise tag on Julius
Peppers, but Peppers has not signed the tender at press time.
Jordan Gross did get his deal done with $54 million over six years.
He is Carolina’s best offensive lineman and the leader up front.
The losses were depth on both sides of the ball that were filled
with draft choices.

New Orleans Saints

The New Orleans Saints filled two holes in the secondary with
draft selections Malcolm Jenkins and Chip Vaughn. Fourth round
pick, Stanley Arnoux’s pro career was put on hold after an injury
in rookie mini camp. Sean Payton set the bar unrealistically high
for the Saints’ faithful by making a run to the NFL Championship
in his rookie season as a head coach in 2006. The natives are
restless after two consecutive disappointing seasons and ache
to be a part of the Super Bowl experience. Payton’s offense is led
by Drew Brees, one of the leagues’ most competitive and
productive players. The running attack needs to be elevated to
more than an after thought. The defense has taken a big hit the
past two years and now aggressive minded Gregg Williams gets
his chance to stop the bleeding and help New Orleans win the
NFC South Division. Malcolm Jenkins was the best combination
corner/safety in the draft and he played right into the Saints’
wheelhouse. The big athletic corner will get a shot to start at
corner, mainly to match up with the big wide receivers in the
division. Tracy Porter played well before he was injured and lost
for the season. Jabari Greer played solid for Buffalo and will
compete with Jenkins. Chip Vaughn is another rookie defensive
back that will have the opportunity to compete for a starting
position at safety. He is big, athletic, can run, and is physical in
the run game. A tough and aggressive impact hitter, he is
disciplined in his play which will endear him to Williams, the
Saints’ defensive coordinator. Stanley Arnoux ran into some hard
luck in his first rookie mini camp practice by rupturing his left
Achilles tendon. He is expected to miss the 2009 season. Arnoux
had the athletic skills to play in the middle or on the weak side in
the Saints’ 4-3 scheme. A three down linebacker, he is instinctive
and aware in both the running game and in coverage. A playmaker,
he has quick feet and good lateral quickness. Thomas Morstead
will compete with Glenn Pakulak for the Saints’ punting job. He
has good leg strength, averaging over 44 yards as a junior. He
will also contribute as the backup place-kicker. Morstead was
coached at SMU by former NFL special teams’ coach Frank Gansz.

FREE AGENCY: Middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma signed a fiveyear
$34-million dollar deal with seventeen million guaranteed.
Vilma is a smart three down linebacker that is key to Williams’s
defensive scheme. Darren Sharper was signed to give a veteran
presence and groom young ascending safeties. Heath Evans will
start at fullback. The remainder of free agency signings were
veterans to add depth; Dan Campbell (TE), Rod Coleman (DT),
Darnell Dinkins (TE), Jabari Greer (DC), Nick Leckey (OC), Paul
Spicer (DE), and Anthony Waters (OB).

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay is in a head coaching, offensive and defensive scheme
transition. There will be some growing pains for Raheem Morris,
the Bucs’ new head coach. Compounding the numerous
organization changes, Tampa Bay plays in the tough NFC South
where the teams always compete like dogs in a meat house. There
was not much money spent in free agency, but Derrick Ward is a
solid NFL running back. Josh Freeman, the first pick for the new
regime, maybe the face of the franchise if he lives up to his midfirst
round selection. He was a reach as the 17th pick in the draft
mainly because of his decision making and his accuracy combined
with anticipation. Fundamentally, his footwork needs more balance
with crossover and rhythm steps. Also his playing instincts are
questionable. He has undeniable tools to play on Sunday, but is
years away in a complex offense. Roy Miller is a high effort, blue
collar athlete that works to finish plays. He will have a chance to
work into a front rotation with aging Ryan Sims and Chris Hovan.
Miller is intense and competitive. A good technique player, he is
always around the ball. Kyle Moore can play end, but is light in
the britches to play and anchor at defensive tackle. He has an
angular build with long arms and big hands and needs more
upper and lower body strength. A developmental project, he has
decent measurables. Xavier Fulton is the sleeper of the Bucs’
draft if he can overcome past shoulder problems. He possesses
outstanding athletic ability with long arms and big hands. He
has experience at both right and left tackle. He has left tackle foot
quickness. Fulton shows good use of hands to punch and control
defenders. He should eventually be the swing tackle. E.J. Biggers
is a speedy corner that runs in the 4.40 forty range. Competitive
and focused, he has good leaping ability when matched up
against big receivers. He has good upper body strength, putting
225 pounds up nineteen times. He will compete for a nickel corner
position and special teams coverage spot. Sammie Stroughter
is an undersized receiver with fringe speed. Quicker than fast, he
has been productive over his career. He has average athletic
ability, but plays better than he tests. Durability will always be a
question mark as he was injured most of his career. GRADE:

FREE AGENCY: The Bucs were not major players in the veteran
signing wars, but they feel Derrick Ward will team with Earnest
Graham and often injured Carnell Williams to help establish a ball
control running game. Ward signed a four year contract worth
$17 million dollars. Six million is guaranteed. Antonio Bryant
established himself as a number one receiver and received the
franchise tag for one year at $9.884 million dollars. Linebacker
Angelo Crowell, quarterback Byron Leftwich, and kicker Mike
Nugent will all compete for starting jobs. Major losses were aging
veterans Derrick Brooks, Warrick Dunn, and Joey Galloway.

2009 AFC South Draft Review

Houston Texans

Houston is progressing nicely and added some needed personnel to
continue their quest to make the playoffs for the first time in team
history. Free agent Antonio Smith will strengthen a front line full of first
round draft choices. Brian Cushing, the Texans’ first round pick, is
talented and will contribute by stopping both the run and playing the
pass. The defense is the key to the playoff run as is the health of
quarterback Matt Schaub. Schaub’s durability will always be a question
because now the Texans don’t have underrated Sage Rosenfels to fall
back on. A major injury to Schaub could bring Houston crashing back to
the bottom of the AFC South. Brian Cushing was drafted to help
stabilize the linebacker position that has been racked with injuries for
the past several years. The sticky wicket is if he can stay healthy for a
whole season. If he does, he will team with DeMeco Ryans and give the
Texans a pair of impact linebackers. Connor Barwin is very versatile
and Houston sees him as a pass rushing defensive end that could get on
the field in pass downs with Mario Williams, Antonio Smith moving
down inside, and Barwin rushing off the left side. Antoine Caldwell is
a versatile center-guard combination that adds depth to an improving
offensive line. Durable and smart in his play, he has the ability to
recover in pass protection. He is athletic with a thick lower body.
Glover Quin is another two for one player that has experience at both
corner and safety. He has the strength and savvy to play press corner.
He is built like a safety with good overall body strength and will not shy
away from contact. He is a developmental player that averaged over 30
yards a kickoff return his senior year. Anthony Hill is a run blocking
tight end with better than average hands. He has experience at lining up
in the slot or wing position and sealing the end of the line of scrimmage.
He helps upgrade the edge running game. James Casey fits the theme
of the Texans’ draft of versatile athletes. The best thing he does is catch
the ball in his hands and should team with Owen Daniels in the red zone
to take pressure off Andre Johnson. Brice McCain is a speedy cover
corner that excels in man-to-man coverage. He is shorter than ideal, but
has good leaping ability. He will compete for the nickel/dime corner job
and special teams’ coverage. Troy Nolan will get a look at free safety
after a big play career at Arizona State. He scored five touchdowns in
two seasons. Four were on interceptions and one was a fumble recovery.
He is instinctive with good anticipation. His fringe athletic ability and
marginal speed for the position kept him from being drafted higher.

FREE AGENCY: Former Cardinal Antonio Smith was guaranteed $12.5
million dollars of a $35 million dollar contract over five years to play
opposite Mario Williams. Smith can constrict the running lanes and
rush the passer from an inside position. Shaun Cody will be in the
defensive line rotation and compete with Amobi Okoye for a starting
position. Cato June will back up at the Will linebacker spot. Dan
Orlovsky was signed as the backup quarterback.

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts have made several off-season dramatic changes in
their coaching staff. First and foremost, Head Coach Tony Dungy
retired. Dungy was the man that kept his head when everyone
around him was losing theirs. Classy and consistent were his
hallmarks. Offensive coordinator Tom Moore, offensive line
coach Howard Mudd, and defensive coordinator Ron Meeks
were three other major losses. In a quarterback driven league,
the Colts still have one of the best in Peyton Manning. For years,
great quarterbacks have covered up poor position play on both
sides of the ball, bad draft picks, and organizational shortcomings.
The league’s reigning MVP will carry the Colts to the playoffs
once again with his dedication and heady play. Donald Brown
will have every opportunity to work into the backfield rotation
with Joseph Addai. He combines a pick, slide, and glide running
style with bending and weaving when he breaks into the second
level. He’s a change of pace back with good hands to catch the
ball and get upfield. Fili Moala was the first of two three-hundred
pound run stuffers that the Colts drafted in 2009. To be effective
inside at tackle he must keep his knee bend to anchor and hold
his ground. His angular build is not ideal for an inside player.
Jerraud Powers fits the Colt profile at corner with his scrappy
press cover two play. He is a physical player that doesn’t shy
away from contact. He is willing to force and contain. He is a
competitor with quick feet and change of direction. Austin Collie,
just like all Colt receivers, has consistent hands to make the
catch. Additionally, he is a good route runner and will compete
for the ball in a crowd. He will have a major learning curve because
Indy requires the receivers to know all the receiving positions
before they get on the field. Terrance Taylor is perfect as an
inside leverage defensive tackle with his low center of gravity.
He comes off low and hits with an explosive force. Strong enough
to stack a double team, he will be very effective in a rotation.
Curtis Painter will compete with Jim Sorgi for the backup spot
behind Peyton Manning. He has always been productive and
accurate as a short and medium area passer. He is a rhythm and
timing passer that fits into the Colts’ scheme. Pat McAfee has
big shoes to fill when long-time punter Hunter Smith was not resigned.
McAfee averaged 44.7 yards on 62 punts and also has
experience on kickoffs and field goals. He consistently had hang
times in the 4.35 to 4.70 range. The Colts gained the pick in a
trade with Philadelphia. Jaimie Thomas is athletic for the guard
position and has a chance to make the team if he cleans up his
inconsistencies and breakdown of technique. He plays better in
a confined area than in space. GRADE: ABOVE AVERAGE.

FREE AGENCY: As usual, the Colts sign their own free agents. This
year Matt Giordano, Tyjuan Hagler, Kelvin Hayden, Freddy Keiaho,
Jeff Saturday are all back in the fold. Adam Seward was signed to
compete for a linebacker position. In an unusual move, Ed Johnson
who was released after an off-field incident involving drugs in 2008
was re-signed. Johnson started 16 games his rookie year.

Jacksonville Jaguars

General Manager Gene Smith drafted a pair of the top offensive tackles
for the future and signed a veteran Pro Bowl tackle in free agency. That
should help insure David Garrard some needed protection that he didn’t
have in 2008. Pass catchers like free agent Torry Holt, a healthy Mike
Walker, and rookie Mike Thomas, along with an upgraded running game
will also help. Eugene Monroe fell to the Jaguars at number eight and
will compete with free agent pickup Tra Thomas for the left tackle
spot. The rangy, long-armed athlete is a pass protector first. He uses
his hands effectively in pass protection with good hand placement and
an explosive punch. He played upright in a two-point stance in both
the run and pass game in college but will need to learn to work from a
three-point stance. Eben Britton was a second round choice and will
compete with inconsistent Tony Pashos at right tackle. Another big
athletic offensive tackle, he will team with Monroe to be the future
cornerstones of the offensive line. He has all the physical tools,
toughness, technique, and competitiveness to start as a rookie. Terrance
Knighton is a long-armed run player that will compete for a position in
the front rotation. The wide-bodied developmental tackle is a
competitive and athletic bull rusher that needs technique work. Derek
Cox must have impressed the Jacksonville brass somewhere because
the team gave up a second round pick in the 2010 draft and a 7th round
pick in the 2009 draft to select him in the third round. He is a height,
weight, and speed prospect that flashes a closing burst on the ball. A
physical player, he will get a shot at corner and safety to make the
team. He ran a 4.45 at his pro day and will contribute on special teams’
coverage. Mike Thomas is the sleeper of the Jags’ draft. The explosive
hand catcher rarely drops a ball. Competitive and scrappy, he is quick
in and out of his cuts. He is a playmaker that gets open and makes
plays. Thomas can make a defender miss in the open field. He is a good
route runner that will compete as a special teams’ returner. Jarett
Dillard, like Thomas, is shorter than ideal but possesses outstanding
hands and eye-hand coordination. He runs precise routes with good
body control. Quick and sudden in his movements, he is a natural
receiver that can make the clutch catch and the off-target pass reception.
Zach Miller is an athletic small college quarterback that was drafted as
a tight end/H-back projection. He played in the Cactus Bowl as a tight
end and caught five passes for 116 yards and a touchdown. Rashad
Jennings fell to the seventh round but has a chance to make the team
as a between the tackles power runner. He is an outstanding athlete that
presses the hole when he runs the ball. He has good instincts and feel
for running the ball. Tiquan Underwood is an athletic receiver with
rare speed, a leggy vertical receiver with inconsistent hands. He is more
of a long strider that builds up speed as he goes down the field. He is a
developmental player with unique tools. GRADE: ABOVE AVERAGE.

FREE AGENCY: Ten-year veteran Torry Holt brings a veteran presence
to an unstable receiving corps. Rookies Mike Thomas, Jarett Dillard,
and Tiquan Underwood will be given every opportunity to compete for
playing time after the purging of Matt Jones, Reggie Lewis, and Jerry
Porter. Offensive tackle Tra Thomas and strong safety Sean Considine,
both signed from the Eagles, are expected to start. Aging and injury
prone Fred Taylor signed with New England.

Tennessee Titans

Jeff Fisher’s teams are always in the Super Bowl hunt and this year is
no different. Jovan Haye was added in free agency and Sen’Derrick
Marks was drafted filling one of the Titans’ draft priorities. Three
defensive backs were also drafted to upgrade special teams’ coverage
and secondary weak spots. Kenny Britt is a possession type long
strider that builds up speed as he goes down the field. Although he was
productive over his career, he is not a natural hand catcher. He will
compete with Justin Gage at one wide receiver spot. He has the tools to
help the Titans improve their passing game, but he must improve in
every phase of his game. Sen’Derrick Marks played with ankle injuries
during his junior year, but was an underachiever in most phases of his
game. The Titans are going to need his best effort to work into the front
rotation of Jovan Haye, Jason Jones, and Tony Brown. He may be
more athlete than playmaker. Jared Cook is an athletic tight end that
needs to improve his blocking and receiving skills to make the team. He
may be more athlete than football player. Cook lacks playing consistency
and inline functional strength to block ends and linebackers. Ryan
Mouton is a good athlete that closes quickly on the ball. A tough and
competitive corner, he is a willing tackler and hitter. He will back up Pro
Bowler Cortland Finnegan and compete for a nickel or dime corner
position. Gerald McRath projects to be the backup to productive
Keith Bulluck. He is very athletic, active, and instinctive in his play. He
has excellent straight line speed, makes plays all over the field, and will
contribute on special teams. Troy Kropog will back up Pro Bowler
Michael Roos. He is more physical than athletic in his play. In college
he played left tackle. He plays with good technique and quick feet and
is crafty in his play. Javon Ringer is a smart and instinctive runner that
drives his legs on contact. Athletic with quickness and cutting ability,
he is a change of pace type back that has returned kickoffs in the past.
He has better running skills than Chris Henry. Jason McCourty is a
workout warrior that ran in the 4.35 range this spring. A developmental
project, he flashed kickoff return ability his senior year. Dominique
Edison adds more youth to the Titan receiving corps. A small college
athlete, he has size and speed. He is a developmental project that needs
work on his routes and the nuances of receiver play. Ryan Durand is a
developmental guard that is more tough and physical than athletic.
Nick Schommer has good size and speed for a free safety, plus good
tackling skills. He is a tough physical player that should contribute on
special teams’ coverage. He is a developmental player that is smart and
instinctive. GRADE: ABOVE AVERAGE.

FREE AGENCY: Nate Washington helped upgrade a very mediocre
receiving corps. He received a $27 million dollar contract with $9 million
guaranteed over six years. The Titans also signed Kerry Collins to a
two year deal to throw to the new group of receivers. Rob Bironas, a
money kicker, was extended for four more years at $3 million a year, $5
million guaranteed. Jovan Haye was signed to help lessen the blow
from the Albert Haynesworth departure. Return specialist Mark Jones
replaces Chris Carr who departed for Baltimore. Patrick Ramsey will
compete with Vince Young for the backup spot behind Collins.

Monday, August 10, 2009

2009 NFC West Draft Review

Arizona Cardinals

The defending NFC champions should not lose focus on the job
at hand with Ken Whisenhunt’s and Kurt Warner’s previous
Super Bowl experience. Whisenhunt has added stability to the
coaching staff and Warner’s leadership in the locker-room can’t
be underestimated. The Cardinals addressed needs at running
back, outside linebacker, offensive line, and defensive end. Free
agency also filled a hole at corner with the signing of Bryant
McFadden. Chris Wells was a steal at the 31st pick in the draft
and will help upgrade one of the league’s worst running attacks.
He should shine in a one-back set with receivers spreading the
defense out. He is a power runner that is not easy to tackle in
space. Cody Brown will add youth to a veteran but aging group
of outside linebackers. He has the athletic ability to upgrade the
position, but has questionable instincts. He has good first step
quickness and a burst to the quarterback once he gets by the
blocker. Rashad Johnson is an instinctive safety with good ball
skills. He will try to unseat Matt Ware as a backup to Antrel Rolle
and be a force on special teams. Greg Toler is an athletic corner
that played semi pro football and eventually landed at St. Paul’s
College in Southern Virginia. A raw developmental talent, he has
speed, skills, and quickness. Herman Johnson is a huge mauler
with long arms and catcher’s mitt hands. He’s projected to back
up Reggie Wells at left guard but will also get a look at right
tackle. Athletic for his size, he has the ability to quick position a
defender and bury them in the run game. Will Davis will compete
for a backup spot at linebacker. He has a quick first step and a
burst to get up the field. To make the team he will need to improve
his hand strength and the ability to disengage. LaRod Stephens-
Howling is an explosive Darren Sproles’ type runner that rotated
with LeSean McCoy. He fits the third down role that JJ Arrington
shined in last fall and was drafted to be a change of pace back.
Trevor Canfield was a seventh round bargain and should develop
into a solid pro. He is competitive and physical in his play and could
play four positions as a backup. He is a good football player that is
not always pretty but gets the job done. GRADE: ABOVE AVERAGE.

FREE AGENCY: Kurt Warner’s new contract and the franchise
tag placed on Karlos Dansby insures continuity on both sides of
the ball and another playoff run. Corner Bryant McFadden was
signed to upgrade size, coverage ability, and tackling opposite
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. McFadden fills a void that makes
the Cardinals’ secondary a team strength. Dan Kreider is a veteran
blocker that started his career with the Steelers and is penciled in
to start at fullback. Anthony Becht will compete at tight end with
Leonard Pope and Ben Patrick. Oliver Ross was also brought
back to add depth in the offensive line. Defensive end Antonio
Smith will be a major loss.

St. Louis Rams

The St. Louis Rams added to their offensive line player pool in
free agency by signing center Jason Brown and drafting athletic
tackle Jason Smith. There is talent available, but it has not been
a cohesive unit to this point. Moving Jacob Bell back to guard
from right tackle should help. James Laurinaitis upgrades the
middle area of the run defense. He will have a lot to learn in Steve
Spagnuolo’s defense but he is a good fit. Pat Shurmer is installing
a run-oriented West Coast offense, featuring Steven Jackson
and that should take some pressure off the defense by controlling
the ball more. Jason Smith will start out at right tackle, however
the whole offensive line is a work in progress and may not be
solidified until September 13th on a trip to Seattle to open the
season. The physical long-armed athlete is an ascending player
that has all the tools to be a standout pass protector and run
blocker. Something that was just as important to the Rams as his
physical ability is his mental approach to being a pro; off-season
work habits, film study, coachability, and his desire to improve
his total game. James Laurinaitis is the starting middle
linebacker until he proves he can’t do the job. The instinctive
three down linebacker is technique conscious and smart. He
demonstrates all good middle linebacker traits: physical and
mental toughness, productivity, leadership, and is quick to read
and react. Bradley Fletcher is the sleeper of the Rams’ draft. A
big corner that is a good athlete, he can turn and run. He is
smooth in his transition and plays fast with a sudden drive on
the ball. He can match up with big receivers. An ascending player,
he may play best in man-to-man coverage. Defensive tackle Dorell
Scott has the size and the strength to win a spot in the front
rotation with Clifton Ryan and Adam Carriker. Scott is a good
athlete with a thick upper and lower body. He is a good effort
player that will finish long and short pursuit. He has the ability to
two gap. Brooks Foster is a raw athlete with an injury history
and limited starting experience. He is a hand catcher that has the
triangle height, weight, and speed numbers for the position. A
developmental receiver, he has a chance to make the club if he
stays healthy. Keith Null is a developmental quarterback that
was very productive at the Division II level. He played in a spread
offense and is a good size (6031, 222). Chris Ogbonnaya is a big
back (5116, 220) that was a part-time starter. He runs in the 4.60
forty range. The best thing he does is catch the football. Originally
he came to Texas as a receiver. He was a backup to Jamaal Charles

FREE AGENCY: The Rams stabilized their offensive line with the
signing of center Jason Brown. Brown was given a five-year deal
with twenty-million dollars in guaranteed money. Kyle Boller also
came over from the Ravens and will back up Marc Bulger who
struggled the past two years with poor offensive line play and
injuries. Strong safety James Butler started the past two years
with the Giants and knows Spagnuolo’s system. Mike Karney
was signed as a lead blocker for Steven Jackson after Dan
Kreider’s departure.

San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco stuck to their board selecting the highest rated player.
When receiver Michael Crabtree dropped to them at the tenth pick, the
card was ready to hand to the commissioner. Crabtree is a feature
receiver that will help the quarterback and keep Isaac Bruce from being
doubled. He will keep the opposing defense honest enough and take a
safety out of the box to help Frank Gore and the running game. The
49ers didn’t draft a needed pass rusher. Sacks will have to come from a
variety of blitzes and dogs. Jimmy Raye is the seventh offensive
coordinator in seven years and is more run and play pass oriented.
Michael Robinson will back up Gore, but third round pick Glen Coffee
will be in the mix. Mike Singletary has brought some physical and
mental toughness to a team that has had seven straight losing seasons.
Michael Crabtree has the talent to be the best wide receiver on the
team once he steps on the practice field. He doesn’t have the pelts on
the wall like veteran savvy Isaac Bruce does, but Crabtree’s talent level
is ascending. The red-shirt sophomore has outstanding hands and a
strong upper body. He gets open with his quickness and instincts. His
left foot fracture is still healing however. Glen Coffee was a major
reach in the third round. Not natural or instinctive, he is a leggy runner
that has problems with sharp cuts and change of direction. He lacks
long finish speed and has had ball security problems in the past. He’s a
north-south runner that is always going forward. He’s a third down
back. Scott McKillop has one critical factor that all middle linebackers
need – instincts. He has a nose for the ball and quick reactions. Tough
and physical attacking blockers, he has the ability to back up both
inside linebacker spots and compete on special teams. Nate Davis is a
developmental quarterback that has a strong arm. He played in a spread
offense where most of his receivers are running wide open. He flashes
a quick release once he makes his decision where to throw the ball.
Clearly a developmental project, he may be a practice squad player for
a time before he gets an opportunity to step on the field. He must
overcome a learning disability to absorb a complex NFL playbook.
Bear Pascoe is an inline blocking tight end with good hands. He will
make the team as the second or third blocker in sub packages. Physical
in his play, he works to finish his blocks. He is also a good downfield
blocker. Curtis Taylor is a free safety with good athletic ability. His
ticket to making the ball club is to clean up the inconsistencies in his
overall play and be able to contribute on special teams. Ricky Jean-
Francois started ten games in three years despite his explosiveness and
talent. Short on maturity, he gets lazy and plays high. A high maintenance
player, he has the ability to contribute; but as always – buyer beware.
Singletary may have to give him the Vernon Davis speech if he doesn’t
play up to his capabilities. GRADE: AVERAGE.

FREE AGENCY: Right tackle Marvel Smith has talent but has had back
problems for the past two years. He will compete with Adam Snyder
and Barry Sims. Fullback Moran Norris returns to the 49ers after a
stint in Detroit. Corner Dre’Bly, defensive end Demetric Evans,
linebacker Marques Harris, quarterback Damon Huard, and receiver
Brandon Jones are all reserves.

Seattle Seahawks

New Seahawks’ coach, Jim Mora, was weaned on a strong running
attack, complemented by the play action passing game and a
defense that is attacking with well disguised blitzes. Matt
Hasselbeck hopes to get back to his outstanding 2007 production
after working his way through a back injury last year. He will be
throwing to big ticket free agent T.J. Houshmandzadeh and a
healthy Nate Burleson and Deion Branch. Aaron Curry is a fast
twitched sideline to sideline linebacker that was taken in the first
round. Curry was recognized as the top defensive player in the
draft and his stock will soar if he can blitz as well as projected. He
essentially replaces aging former Pro Bowler Julian Peterson who
was traded to Detroit. The athletic linebacker joins Lofa Tatupu
and Leroy Hill to give the Seahawks a young group of impressive
tackling machines. Curry will fit in as a stack and shed linebacker
that is instinctive and aggressive. Max Unger may have been the
top utility offensive lineman in the draft. He will get every chance
to unseat Chris Spencer who has not developed as quickly at
center as projected. Right guard may also be an option if Rob
Sims doesn’t stay healthy. Unger is a strong drive blocker that
plays the game on his feet. Deon Butler is a small but speedy
receiver that catches the ball in his hands. He is elusive after
catch and can stop and start on a dime. He brings another
dimension to the Seattle receiving corps where most receivers
are tall. He does need route refinement however. Mike Teel is a
developmental quarterback that was productive in college. He
will compete with Jeff Rowe for the third position. Courtney
Greene is a free safety that is a rangy hitter. He’s a physical
tackler that is aggressive and competitive on special teams. He is
better as a box run player than playing off in coverage. Nick
Reed will line up at left end after a productive college career
where he recorded 29 ½ sacks and 51 ½ tackles for loss. A pass
rushing specialist, he lacks the bulk (6013, 245) to consistently
play the run as an end in a four man front. Cameron Morrah is a
good athlete that is an H-back type receiver that can adjust on
the move and in space. He has the ability to kick out an end
rusher in the power run game when in motion and on the move.
He lacks the bulk to be an inline blocker. Morrah is a hand catcher
that was particularly productive on the goal line. GRADE:

FREE AGENCY: Wide receiver TJ Houshmandzadeh was given a
five-year contract with fifteen-million in guaranteed money. The
2007 Pro Bowl selection strengthens a battered receiving corps
that was decimated by injuries in 2008. Colin Cole comes over
from Green Bay to fill Rocky Bernard’s spot at defensive tackle.
Cory Redding is versatile enough to rotate at defensive end and
defensive tackle. Major losses are Bernard, linebacker Julian
Peterson, and fullback Leonard Weaver.

2009 AFC West Draft Review

Denver Broncos

New Bronco coach Josh McDaniels rowed through rough waters after
his appointment, but Denver made some bold moves and upgraded the
roster with a dynamic running back, an anchor 3-4 end, and possibly
the best cover corner in the draft. A huge pocket pushing nose tackle,
the key to the 3-4 defense, is still needed. Knowshon Moreno is talented
enough to start on opening day because he is a three down back that has
been durable. He has a chance to be as effective for the Broncos as Matt
Forte, Steve Slaton, and Chris Johnson were for their teams. Robert
Ayers was drafted to anchor the right defensive end position. He has
good quickness and agility. He plays square to the line of scrimmage
and has long enough arms and big hands to keep the blockers off the
linebackers. Alphonso Smith will have every opportunity to win the
nickel corner position. Denver traded a 2010 first round draft choice to
draft him, so he won’t be sitting for long. He has special ball skills and
the innate ability to react to the ball. He is a versatile back that is
confident and poised. Darcel McBath is a free safety candidate that is
aggressive and competitive. He has been a consistent tackler over his
career and has more of a corner type build than a safety. He will compete
with Josh Barrett for a roster spot and a place on special teams. Richard
Quinn was a major reach in the second round. He is a run blocking tight
end that will team up with Daniel Graham in two tight end sets. A
developmental project, he may play early in his career because of Tony
Scheffler’s injury history. David Bruton has experience at both strong
and free safety. He has outstanding athletic ability, is strong and
physical, and has a good nose for the ball in run support. Seth Olsen
fits the McDaniel’s prototype of bigger offensive linemen. He will
compete with Chris Kuper at right guard. A smart and instinctive player,
he locks on his blocking target and runs his feet. Kenny McKinley may
follow in Eddie Royal’s footsteps and give the Broncos another young
ascending receiver. He is quick in and out of his breaks and possesses
foot agility and good field vision. Once the Broncos work their way
through the New England underachievers, McKinley should shine. Tom
Brandstater played in a pro style offense in college and played for
four different offensive coordinators. He’s a ball control passer that
will be given developmental time with Orton and Simms on the roster.
Blake Schlueter is an athletic center that will struggle to make the 53-man
roster with veteran Casey Wiegmann and Kory Lichtensteiger in front of
him. A good practice squad candidate, he has a chance to play in the league.

FREE AGENCY: Aging veteran Brian Dawkins was signed as much for
his leadership ability as he was for his football savvy. Dawkins, Andre
Goodman at corner, and Renaldo Hill at strong safety were all brought
in to team with Champ Bailey to upgrade a shaky secondary. Correll
Buckhalter and LaMont Jordan are journeymen running backs.
Linebacker Andra Davis knows the 3-4 defense. Darrell Reid was a
defensive utility player with the Colts. Ronnie Fields will work into
the defensive line rotation. Jabar Gaffney knows the New England
system at wide receiver. Kyle Orton has never seen so many good
receivers on his side of the field before being traded to Denver.

Kansas City Chiefs

Rushing the quarterback was the Chiefs’ number one team weakness in
2008 and the draft or free agency did not bring them any closer to
solving the problem. Tyson Jackson, as are most 3-4 ends, is a run
player not a pass rusher. Tamba Hali showed some pass rush ability as
a rookie, but that was from the down position. Defensive coordinator
Clancy Pendergast has his work cut out for him on the back end with
his secondary if he has no pass rush up front. With the exception of
Jackson and end Alex Magee, the draft did little to upgrade the roster
for the future. Tyson Jackson was the top 3-4 end in the draft and will
help anchor the Chiefs’ front. Glenn Dorsey, a natural 4-3 tackle, will
move to right end opposite Jackson. Jackson has run stuffing ability
and can hold his ground against double teams. He has the size, strength,
athletic ability, and arm length to be an effective two gap player. Alex
Magee is another versatile defensive lineman that projects to an end in
the 3-4. He has innate hand and foot quickness and is a good run player.
He has the strength to stack the run and keep blockers off the linebackers.
Donald Washington is an outstanding athlete with good ball skills and
leaping ability. Not a fundamentally sound player, he is undisciplined
in his overall play. He has the ability to be a cover corner despite hip
tightness in his turns. Colin Brown started two years at Missouri and
is considered a developmental project. Tall and rangy, he is a better pass
protector than a run blocker at this point. A fringe athlete, he has the
frame to carry more weight. He did not attend the Combine. Quinten
Lawrence is a speed wide receiver that missed seven games his senior
year and caught only twelve passes for 209 yards. He ran track at
McNeese where he had a best of 10.49 in the 100-meters. A
developmental prospect, he has a slender build. Due to ankle injuries he
did not work out at the Combine. Javarris Williams is a productive
back with more than 849 carries in college. An average athlete, he is
more of a power runner with good bulk than an elusive back. Jake
O’Connell is a developmental tight end that the Chiefs thought enough
of to trade their 2010 seventh round pick to draft him. Athletic with
good hands, he projects as an H-back, fullback, and tight end combination.
He has good hands but needs to get stronger as an inline blocker. Ryan
Succop has experience as a kicker, punter, and kickoff specialist. He
fell off the radar after straining an abdominal muscle in mid-October
through early November. He has good leg strength and has a career long
field goal of 55 yards. He has good accuracy on his field goal attempts,
hitting on 48 of 67 kicks. From the 40-yard line on in he has a 94
percent accuracy rate. He connected on 103 of 105 PATs. GRADE:

FREE AGENCY: Matt Cassel was Scott Pioli’s big ticket free agent
coming over from New England in a trade for a second round pick. Mike
Vrabel, an aging veteran, was brought in to bring leadership to a
rudderless defense ship. Mike Goff brings toughness and durability to
the right guard position. Zach Thomas and Corey Mays will rotate at
one inside linebacker spot and Monty Beisel will back up Derrick
Johnson. Pro Bowler Tony Gonzalez is a major loss. He was traded to
Atlanta for a second round draft pick.

Oakland Raiders

Verbal salvos have been fired at Al Davis for several years because of his
height, weight, and speed draft choices. This year was no different with
the drafting of Darrius Heyward-Bey and second round pick Michael
Mitchell. There is no question that both picks could have been drafted
later, but this draft was a potpourri of teams selecting height, weight,
and speed workout guys with little on the field production. Heyward-
Bey and Mitchell had some on the field credentials. Two of the Raiders’
top four draft choices addressed their biggest need which was wide
receiver. Only time will tell if the critics’ suspicions are confirmed.
Darrius Heyward-Bey is a vertical rare speed type receiver with
outstanding athletic ability. Not a natural hand catcher, but he has big
play ability and explosive speed to run away from defenders once he
catches the ball. He lacks elusiveness and moves in the open field. He is
a typical Raider draft choice. Michael Mitchell is an athletic height,
weight, and speed player that the Raiders consistently covet. He has
made several highlight film type hits. He has fringe instincts. Mitchell
makes the plays in front but struggles on deep plays. A developmental
project, he has raw skills. Matt Shaughnessy projects to a 4-3 defensive
end after playing a rush linebacker for four years. A productive high
motor player, he plays hard from snap to whistle. He has an injury
history and has never really improved his game from his sophomore
year forward. What you see may be what you get. Louis Murphy was
put in the Raiders’ crosshairs when he ran a 4.35 forty. This long
striding vertical receiver, like Heyward-Bey, is not a natural hand catcher.
A very good athlete, he lacks upper and lower body strength. He will
need developmental time but is a good sized target. Slade Norris started
his career as a safety, but after a stint at linebacker he became a pass
rushing defensive end. With his speed and athleticism, the Raiders will
move him back to linebacker and use him on pass rushing downs. Stryker
Sulak is an active edge pass rusher. He is athletic despite his hip
stiffness. He has been productive over his career with 115 tackles, 26 ½
tackles for loss, and 16 ½ sacks. He also forced 10 fumbles. Sulak has a
sudden first step when coming from the right edge. (Sulak has since been released by the Raiders.) Brandon Myers is a
consistent hand catcher and a good edge zone blocker. He must contribute
on special teams to make the roster. GRADE: BELOW AVERAGE.

FREE AGENCY: The Raiders’ two major free agent signings were already
in the house. Nnamdi Asomugha is now the highest paid defensive back
in NFL history. The Pro Bowl corner is big, smart, and athletic. Not to
be outdone at his position, Shane Lechler signed the highest contract
ever for a punter with nine-million dollars guaranteed. Cooper Carlisle
signed a contract to remain at right guard. Khalif Barnes gets new life at left
tackle, but has always struggled with injuries. Erik Pears will back up at
right tackle. Justin Miller has never lived up to his athletic ability to play
corner, but is special as a kickoff return specialist. Jeff Garcia is a winner
that has contributed to every team over his ten-year career.

San Diego Chargers

The Chargers added two offensive linemen to provide depth to an
inconsistent position in 2008. A.J. Smith drafted Larry English in the
first round to give the team some insurance if Shawne Merriman or
Shaun Phillips is out for any length of time. Last year the secondary
play fell off with no pass rush after the Merriman surgery. Jamal Williams
has had an outstanding but sometimes underrated career and long shot
rookie Vaughn Martin may get a look at nose tackle in the future. Larry
English will line up at the left outside linebacker spot behind Shaun
Phillips. Productive over his four year career, English had 57 tackles for
loss and 31 ½ sacks. He beat the college competition with first step
quickness. To be an elite pass rusher in the NFL he will need to develop
a variety of pass rush moves. A fast twitch athlete, he plays with his
motor wide open and has a passion for the game. Louis Vasquez is a
huge wide bodied guard that majors in pass protection. He is an aggressive
pass protector and run blocker that will compete for playing time at left
guard, the position he played at Tech. He has talent, but has unique
scheme requirements to overcome. Vaughn Martin played his college
ball in Canada and is green as a gourd. He played in the defensive front,
but needs technique work in every phase of his game. A size/speed
project, he has inconsistent skills and production. Martin will start out
at right end. Tyronne Green is a physical offensive lineman with raw
skills. He is shorter than ideal, but he has long arms and big hands to
control the defender. He needs developmental time to refine his game.
The Chargers are going to start him out at center where he can quick
position a defender and run his feet on contact. He will be the sleeper of
the San Diego draft. Gartrell Johnson is a power back with good
lower body strength. He is a two, three, and four yard back that lacks
breakaway speed. He has good hands to catch check down routes and is
always going forward. He has good body lean. Johnson had a breakout
game against Fresno State rushing for 285 yards. Brandon Hughes is a
zone type press man corner with good speed and athletic ability. He
gets a good jump on the ball and closes quickly. He may have a tough
time making the Charger roster, but has skills to play in the league.
Kevin Ellison will compete at strong safety behind Clinton Hart. An
intelligent player, he has good instincts and awareness. He is physical
in run support. Ellison is a big downhill safety that can ward off blockers,
keep contain, and force the action. He is active and motivated in his
play. He lacks straight line speed, but makes up for it with smarts and
anticipation. Demetrius Byrd was injured in a one-car accident April
19th when he lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a pole. He was
treated for head injuries and minor cuts and bruises. He is expected to
make a full recovery. Unable to attend mini camps and organized team
activities, Byrd will be behind and may be headed to PUP or the practice
squad. A good athlete, he is a vertical receiver and has unrealized potential.
He is a boom or bust type athlete. GRADE: AVERAGE.

FREE AGENCY: The Chargers have a talented and deep roster that has
very little wiggle room for a free agent to make the team. Only one free
agent was signed and that was Kevin Burnett, a special team’s warrior
for the Cowboys that rarely saw the field from the first to the third
downs. Burnett was signed to compete with Tim Dobbins and Matt
Wilhelm at one of the inside linebacker spots. The losses were minimal
with long time starting right guard Mike Goff signing with the Chiefs.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

NFL Trades Through End of 2009 Draft

This list covers the beginning of the trading
period through the end of the 2009 NFL Draft.

No.1 (02/27/09)
Cleveland Trades:
Winslow, Kellen TE Miami
Tampa Bay Trades:
Selection Choices: Round 2, 2009 #50
No.2 (02/27/09)
Houston Trades:
Rosenfels, Sage QB Iowa St.
Minnesota Trades:
Selection Choice: Round 4, 2009 #122
No.3 (02/28/09)
Dallas Trades:
Henry, Anthony DB South Florida
Detroit Trades:
Kitna, Jon QB Central Washington
No.4 (02/28/09)
Kansas City Trades:
Selection Choice: Round 2, 2009 #34
New England Trades:
Cassel, Matt QB Southern California
Vrabel, Mike LB Ohio St.
No.5 (02/28/09)
New York Jets Trade:
Selection Choice: Round 5, 2009 #153
Philadelphia Trades:
Sheppard, Lito DB Florida
No.6 (03/05/09)
New England Trades:
Selection Choice: Round 5, 2009 #159
Philadelphia Trades:
Lewis, Greg WR Illinois
Selection Choice: Unannounced
No.7 (03/16/09)
Detroit Trades:
Redding, Cory DT Texas
Selection Choice: Round 5, 2009 #137
Seattle Trades:
Peterson, Julian LB Michigan St.
No.8 (04/09/09)
Jacksonville Trades:
McDaniel, Tony DT Tennessee
Miami Trades:
Selection Choice: Round 7, 2009 #232
No.9 (03/23/09)
Miami Trades:
Satele, Samson C Hawaii
Selection Choice: Round 4, 2009 #126
Oakland Trades:
Selection Choices: Round 4, 2009 #108
Round 6, 2009 #181
No. 10 (04/03/09)
Chicago Trades:
Orton, Kyle QB Purdue
Selection Choices: Round 1, 2009 #18
Round 3, 2009 #84
Denver Trades:
Cutler, Jay QB Vanderbilt
Selection Choice: Round 5, 2009 #140; f/Sea
No. 11 (04/09/09)
Atlanta Trades:
Robinson, Laurent WR Illinois St.
Selection Choices: Round 5, 2009 #160
Round 6, 2009 #196
St. Louis Trades:
Selection Choices: Round 5, 2009 #138
Round 6, 2009 #176
No. 12 (04/13/09)
Carolina Trades:
Selection Choice: Unannounced
Green Bay Trades:
Jansen, J.J. LS Notre Dame
No. 13 (04/20/09)
Buffalo Trades:
Peters, Jason T Arkansas
Philadelphia Trades:
Selection Choices: Round 1, 2009 #28
Round 1, 2009 #121
No. 14 (04/23/09)
Atlanta Trades:
Selection Choice: Unannounced
Kansas City Trades:
Gonzalez, Tony TE California
No. 15 (04/25/09)
Cleveland Trades:
Selection Choice: Round 1, 2009 # 5
New York Jets Trade:
Coleman, Kenyon DE UCLA
Elam, Abram DB Kent St.
Ratliff, Brett QB Utah
Selection Choices: Round 1, 2009 #17
Round 2, 2009 #52
No. 16 (04/25/09)
Cleveland Trades:
Selection Choice: Round 1, 2009 #17; f/NYJ
Tampa Bay Trades:
Selection Choices: Round 1, 2009 #19
Round 6, 2009 #191
No. 17 (04/25/09)
Cleveland Trades:
Selection Choice: Round 1, 2009 #19; f/TB
Philadelphia Trades:
Selection Choices: Round 1, 2009 #21
Round 6, 2009 #195; f/Min
No. 18 (04/25/09)
Baltimore Trades:
Selection Choices: Round 1, 2009 #26
Round 5, 2009 #162
New England Trades:
Selection Choice: Round 1, 2009 #23
No. 19 (04/25/09)
Green Bay Trades:
Selection Choices: Round 2, 2009 #41
Round 3, 2009 #73
Round 3, 2009 #83; f/NYJ
New England Trades:
Selection Choices: Round 1, 2009 #26; f/Bal
Round 5, 2009 #162; f/Bal
No. 20 (04/25/09)
Denver Trades:
Selection Choice: Round 1, 2010
Seattle Trades:
Selection Choice: Round 2, 2009 #37
No. 21 (04/25/09)
New England Trades:
Selection Choices: Round 2, 2009 #47; f/SD
Round 4, 2009 #124
Round 6, 2009 #199
Oakland Trades:
Selection Choice: Round 2, 2009 #40
No. 22 (O4/25/09)
Carolina Trades:
Selection Choice: Round 1, 2010
San Francisco Trades:
Selection Choices: Round 2, 2009 #43
Round 4, 2009 #111
No. 23 (O4/25/09)
Chicago Trades:
Selection Choice: Round 2, 2009 #49
Seattle Trades:
Selection Choices: Round 3, 2009 #68
Round 4, 2009 #105
No. 24 (O4/25/09)
Buffalo Trades:
Selection Choices: Round 3, 2009 #75
Round 4, 2009 #110
Dallas Trades:
Selection Choice: Round 2, 2009 #51
No. 25 (O4/25/09)
Indianapolis Trades:
Selection Choices: Round 2, 2009 #61
Round 5, 2009 #165
Miami Trades:
Selection Choice: Round 2, 2009 #56
No. 26 (O4/25/09)
Denver Trades:
Selection Choices: Round 3, 2009 #79
Round 3, 2009 #84; f/Chi
Pittsburgh Trades:
Selection Choices: Round 2, 2009 #64
Round 4, 2009 #132
No. 27 (O4/26/09)
Detroit Trades:
Selection Choice: Round 3, 2009 #65
New York Jets Trade:
Selection Choices: Round 3, 2009 #76; f/NO
Round 4, 2009 #115; f/Was
Round 7, 2009 #228
No. 28 (O4/26/09)
Jacksonville Trades:
Selection Choices: Round 7, 2009 #232; f/Mia
Round 2, 2010
New England Trades:
Selection Choice: Round 3, 2009 #73; f/GB
No. 29 (O4/26/09)
New York Giants Trade:
Selection Choices: Round 3, 2009 #91
Round 5, 2009 #164
Philadelphia Trades:
Selection Choice: Round 3, 2009 #85
No. 30 (04/26/09)
New England Trades:
Selection Choice: Round 3, 2009 #89
Tennessee Trades:
Selection Choice: Round 2, 2010
No. 31 (04/26/09)
Philadelphia Trades:
Selection Choice: Round 3, 2009 #91; f/NYG
Seattle Trades:
Selection Choices: Round 5, 2009 #137; f/Det
Round 7, 2009 #213
Round 3, 2010
No. 32 (04/26/09)
Dallas Trades:
Selection Choice: Round 4, 2009 #117
Tampa Bay Trades:
Selection Choices: Round 4, 2009 #120
Round 7, 2009 #229; f/Chi
No. 33 (04/26/09)
New England Trades:
Hobbs, Ellis DB Iowa St.
Philadelphia Trades:
Selection Choices: Round 5, 2009 #137; f/Det
Round 5, 2009 #141; f/Cle
No. 34 (04/26/09)
Baltimore Trades:
Selection Choices: Round 4, 2009 #123
Round 6, 2009 #198
New England Trades:
Selection Choices: Round 5, 2009 #137; f/Det
Round 5, 2009 #141; f/Cle
No. 35 (04/26/09)
Baltimore Trades:
Selection Choice: Round 5, 2009 #141; f/Cle
Denver Trades:
Selection Choices: Round 5, 2009 #149
Round 6, 2009 #185
No. 36 (04/26/09)
Atlanta Trades:
Selection Choice: Round 5, 2009 #143; f/Oak
Dallas Trades:
Selection Choices: Round 5, 2009 #156
Round 7, 2009 #210; f/Det
No. 37 (04/26/09)
Minnesota Trades:
Selection Choices: Round 5, 2009 #158
Round 7, 2009 #221; f/Was
Washington Trades:
Selection Choice: Round 5, 2009 #150
No. 38 (04/26/09)
New Orleans Trades:
Selection Choices: Round 7, 2009 #222
Round 5, 2010
Philadelphia Trades:
Selection Choice: Round 5, 2009 #164; f/NYG
No. 39 (04/26/09)
Denver Trades:
Selection Choices: Round 7, 2009 #235; f/Atl
Round 5, 2010
Detroit Trades:
Selection Choice: Round 6, 2009 #174
No. 40 (04/26/09)
Carolina Trades:
Selection Choice: Round 6, 2009 #202
Oakland Trades:
Selection Choices: Round 7, 2009 #216
Round 6, 2010
No. 41 (04/26/09)
Indianapolis Trades:
Selection Choice: Round 6, 2010
Philadelphia Trades:
Selection Choice: Round 7, 2009 #222; f/NO
No. 42 (04/26/09)
Kansas City Trades:
Selection Choice: Round 7, 2010
Miami Trades:
Selection Choice: Round 7, 2009 #237; f/Car

2009 AFC North Draft Review

Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore addressed several need positions, drafting heir
apparents to offensive tackle, pass rusher, defensive back,
linebacker, tight end, and running back. Joe Flacco could have
used another feature pass catching wide receiver; however, one
may emerge from the depth and talent at the position. The
offensive line is in a minor state of flux with Jared Gaither taking
over at left tackle. He made numerous mental mistakes in 2008.
Ben Grubbs has the talent to be a future Pro Bowl player. Matt
Birk is new, but solid at center. Marshal Yanda is still recovering
from injury, so Chris Chester may start at right guard. Willie
Anderson is the right tackle for now. Michael Oher is the wild
card that may be used to plug the first leak. The Ravens look to
have a solid future with an ascending quarterback in Flacco, a
strong running attack that can finish a game, a top five defense,
and solid special teams. Michael Oher was important enough to
the Ravens’ future that they traded up to get him. He has the
ability to play either tackle, but will start out on the right side. He
plays with good knee bend and balance in his base. He is equally
as strong in the run game as he is as a pass protector. Oher has
some playing deficiencies, but nothing that can’t be overcome.
Paul Kruger will start out as an outside linebacker and put his
pass rush skills to the test opposite Terrell Suggs. Active and
relentless in his play, he can control an offensive tackle and will
beat a tight end one-on-one. Lardarius Webb was called a poor
man’s Ed Reed before the draft. Now he can learn to play in the
secondary from the real deal. Webb is tough and has good ball
skills. While learning the nuances of NFL secondary play he will
contribute on coverage and return special teams. Jason Phillips
is tough and instinctive and is a good fit to back up Ray Lewis.
He tore a meniscus in his left knee at the Combine that will keep
him out about twelve weeks, but he has the talent to make the
team and contribute on special teams. Davon Drew is more receiver
than blocker at tight end. He has experience playing several
receiving positions. He will add depth to the team with the injury
histories of Todd Heap and LJ Smith. Cedric Peerman was the
most athletic running back at the Combine and had the fastest
forty-time for the backs. If he stays healthy he has a chance to
make the team as a third down back. GRADE: ABOVE AVERAGE.

FREE AGENCY: Veteran center Matt Birk comes over to the
Ravens from Minnesota to fill the loss of Jason Brown who signed
with St. Louis. Domonique Foxworth will replace long-time corner
Chris McAlister who was not offered a new contract. Chris Carr
is a dangerous kickoff and punt return specialist. Brown and
linebacker Bart Scott were two major losses.

Cincinnati Bengals

Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good, but the Bengals had luck
and draft preparation on their side in this draft. Cincinnati drafted
perhaps the best offensive tackle, one of the top inside linebackers, a
multi-tooled pass rusher, and a big pass catching tight end. Quality and
depth were acquired throughout the eleven selections. Andre Smith is
going to start at right or left tackle; wherever line coach Paul Alexander
feels the talented blocker is more comfortable. If he demonstrates
consistency in his overall game, his future is unlimited. He was the most
naturally gifted offensive lineman in the draft. Rey Maualuga will give
veteran Dhani Jones a run for his money at the middle linebacker spot.
He is an explosive downhill player that will fill the running lanes with
an impact hit. The bottom line is that he is very powerful, quick, fast,
and can cover the pass. Michael Johnson has a chance to make a
statement and move ahead of Frostee Rucker and Antwan Odom. He is
more physically gifted than either end. If he plays to his athletic numbers,
he has a chance to be special. Chase Coffman was a steal in the third
round and gives Carson Palmer another medium to short area clutch
receiver. The high cut classic receiving tight end will give match-up
problems to defenders in the red zone and will snatch anything close to
him. Jonathan Luigs will battle Kyle Cook and Dan Santucci for the
center position. Another solid pick by the Bengals will help solidify the
offensive line for the future. Kevin Huber didn’t have to change
addresses after he was drafted by the Bengals. He led the country in net
punting both his junior and senior years in college. Morgan Trent fits
into Mike Zimmer’s defensive scheme as a cover-two press corner. The
big athletic three-year starter is active, smart, and plays with good
awareness. Bernard Scott is one player with a shady background that
the Bengals rolled the dice on in the 2009 draft. He is extremely talented
and athletic. If this leopard changes his spots, he can help win games as
a running back and a return specialist. Fui Vakapuna fills a void as a
true short-neck blocking fullback (5111, 244). If he can stay healthy, he
will contribute as a lead blocker and occasional pass catcher. Athletic
Clinton McDonald is an undersized defensive lineman (6016, 285) but
is very productive with seven sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss. He must be
a slant and angle type player to be effective. He adds depth. Wide
receiver Freddie Brown is a possession type that has size and good
hands. He had twelve catches for 125 yards in the win over Alabama in
the Sugar Bowl. A developmental receiver, he had a strong senior year
and a good spring workout. GRADE: GOOD.

FREE AGENCY: Receiver Laveranues Coles was the big ticket free agent
signee after Houshmandzadeh left for Seattle. JT O’Sullivan will back up
Carson Palmer. Defensive tackle Tank Johnson will rotate at that position.
Big hitter Roy Williams knows coordinator Mike Zimmer’s scheme and
will be covered up in passing situations. Houshmandzadeh was a major loss.

Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland Browns’ best off season move may be one they didn’t
make, and that was to keep Brady Quinn instead of making a possible
trade to Denver. The winner of the Quinn, Derek Anderson quarterback
battle will benefit from the new bevy of wide receivers and upgraded
offensive line. The Browns hit a homerun with their selection of center
Alex Mack and a pair of ascending pass catchers in Brian Robiskie and
Mohamed Massaquoi in the draft. The Browns needed a productive
pass rusher, but Kamerion Wimbley is on board and has the talent to be
a ten sack a year player if defensive coordinator Rob Ryan can keep
offenses from sliding their protections his way. David Veikune is a try
hard pass rusher, but will get a look at inside linebacker first. Alex
Mack is an upgrade at center and is the total package of leadership,
athletic ability, toughness, and intelligence. He joins Joe Thomas where
the two young building blocks should anchor the Browns’ line for years
to come. Brian Robiskie strengthens the receiving corps opposite
Braylon Edwards. A consistent hand catcher, he will help both young
quarterbacks by snatching the ball and limiting route running mistakes.
He should be able to break into the receiver rotation with his skills and
polish. Mohamed Massaquoi had a strong senior year where he caught
NFL caliber passes from Matt Stafford. He’s a possession type receiver
that has ascending skills. David Veikune is a great effort player that is
quick off the ball and is disruptive in his play. He will get a shot at an
inside linebacker spot, but may be used as a third down pass rusher. A
work in progress, Veikune has special skills, work ethic, and intensity.
Kaluka Maiava has borderline measurables and physical pro skills. To
make his mark, he must excel on special teams and play in a covered up
scheme. Don Carey is an athletic corner that is physical and quick.
He’s a developmental project that needs technique work but has the
ability to turn and run. He shows good recovery quickness. Coye
Francies has natural man-to-man coverage skills. He can turn and run
with no wasted motion. He is better in coverage than run support but
must become more technique conscious if he is to make the team. James
Davis is an explosive north-south upright runner that is not real elusive,
but will compete for a roster spot as a third down back. GRADE:

FREE AGENCY: Floyd Womack and John St. Clair were brought in to
solidify the right side of the offensive line. Womack needs to stay
healthy if he is to beat out Rex Hadnot. Sure-handed Mike Furrey and
David Patten add veteran depth and an insurance policy if Braylon
Edwards leaves and Donte’ Stallworth is still working his way through
the legal system. Robert Royal will rotate with Steve Heiden at tight
end. Ten-year linebacker veterans Eric Barton and David Bowens know
Mangini’s defensive scheme. Hank Poteat and Corey Ivy are both
system cornerbacks.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers needed to add some much needed youth to the offensive
and defensive lines. Defensive end Evander Hood and offensive guard
Kraig Urbik fit the bill. A speed receiver was third on the Pittsburgh
wish list and Mike Wallace has the talent and speed to stretch a secondary.
Depth at cornerback was addressed next with Keenan Lewis and Joe
Burnett. The smart money is on the Steelers again in 2009 because of
the organization’s consistency in sticking to its long time model of
success. Evander Hood brings some needed youth to the defensive end
position. A good athlete that plays hard, he is strong enough to two gap
and absorb blockers to let the Steeler linebackers make plays. He has a
tendency to play high but is very technique conscious. Kraig Urbik
will have an opportunity to compete for a starting guard position with
Darnell Stapleton. The physical drive blocker uses his hands effectively
in the run game and can sit down and anchor a bull rush. Mike Wallace
fills the hole left by Nate Washington who left for the Titans in free
agency. He possesses rare speed and athletic ability. Raw in every
phase of his game, he has the speed and quickness to give him a chance
to play early in his career. He also has kickoff return skills. Keenan
Lewis is a tall and rangy corner with good athletic ability. He excels in
man-to-man coverage. He has long arms and quick feet. He was drafted
to eventually take over for aging veteran Deshea Townsend at right
corner. Joe Burnett is the sleeper of the Steelers’ draft. The corner/
return specialist brings playmaking ability to the table in his quest to
make the team. Quicker than fast, he’s a good athlete that has loose
hips. He can turn and run. Like most Steeler draft choices over the
years, he can multi-task, excelling as a return specialist as a punt and
kickoff returner. He was the only player in 2008 that was ranked in the
top ten in both kickoff and punt returns. He was consistently productive
as a corner and returner over his career. Frank Summers is a power
runner that will get a chance to be a goal line hammer. He is a poor man’s
Jerome Bettis. Summers has a low center of gravity and a strong lower
body to break tackles. Ra’Shon Harris is a developmental end or nose
tackle, depending on how the Steelers want to play him. He must play
lower and with more leverage to have an NFL future, but he has some
raw tools. A.Q. Shipley is a technique conscious center that must do
everything right to make the active roster. A good athlete that plays low
and with good knee bend, he is tough and intense but must overcome his
short arms to control defenders. David Johnson played tight end in
college but projects to a fullback or H-back type contributor. A good
blocker in space, he can read and adjust on the run. A developmental
project as a lead blocking I-formation fullback, he has the ability to play
on Sunday if he finds and excels in his role. GRADE: ABOVE AVERAGE.

FREE AGENCY: The Steelers stuck with their prototype in free agency
and gave money to their own players and brought in a few cap friendly
free agents to add competition and depth. Keiwan Ratliff (DC), Shaun
McDonald (WR), and Dirk Johnson (PT) will all be hard pressed to
make one of the league’s strongest rosters.