Entry for February 27, 2008

Well, I thought it would be interesting to take two distinct looks at the Draft, place them side-by-side and see what happens. One of the reasons I like the Draft so much is that two Draftnics, who really donít see the Draft very differently, can have such different picks. So I thought it would be interesting to contrast them together, so it would be easier to see the differences. So here is a mock Draft from a friend the site, and my picks and comments added for contrasting value.

Going into the combine so a lot can change thatís why I wanted to kinda take a stab pre-combine with a fresh mock draft I share with you right here to see if there is some subtle rotation of new faces while some olds ones drop down a bit.  Sounds like fun so here it goes tell me what you think post-combine. If you can?

thanks, wes

ps.  there is no right or wrong.

1. Miami - Chris Long DE, Virginia 6-4 275 You know Miami will try like hell to trade out of the top pick for starters their expensive & secondly like to address multiple needs, yet is there a clear cut consensus #1 pick? I don't think so, you could make the argument for three or four. Therefore I'm going plain & simple with the highest rated player, don't know if they stay in a 3-4 defense or not but Long could play OLB or traditional 4-3 RDE.

My Pick: Matt Ryan. Word out of Miami is that they have Chris Long as their number one and Matt Ryan as their number two. I just canít see them passing on the QB. This Franchise has been held hostage by the QB position since Marino retired.

2. St. Louis - Glenn Dorsey DT LSU 6-2 316 Need to get stronger up front & Dorsey will improve the interior D.

My Pick: Same. This pick just looks to perfect to happen.

3. Atlanta - Darren McFadden, RB Arkansas 6-2 210 I really don't think he slides past unique opportunities & converting the Falcon offense to a spread attack with Vick returning @ QB & McFadden has his out would be interesting to watch. Not to mention RB is a high priority with Warrick Dunn facing retirement.

My Pick: Chris Long. Again I think these are the two most likely players to be taken here.

4, Oakland - Sedric Ellis, DT 6-1 308 USC Stays home & anchors the Raiders DL. excellent pocket push & motor will also help stop the run.

My Pick: Same. Another pick to perfect to happen.

5. Kansas City - Jake Long, OT 6-7 315 Michigan Should address tackle with 1st pick, their choice but Jake seems ready to start as a rookie without a huge risk.

My Pick: Same. Another pick to perfect to happen.

6. NY JETS - Ryan Clady, OT 6-6 316 Boise State I can see Jet fans now screaming their approval or not, anyway this is probably my biggest departure from the norm here because I just feel they have the chance to assemble/complete a really great offensive line unit. doesn't matter who is the QB if he can't execute, am I right? Along with LT D'Brickashaw, C Nick Mangold, Clady would be an excellent fit on the right side.

My Pick: Darren McFadden. The more I think about it the more I like McFadden going to Atlanta. So with McFadden gone, who falls. Could it be Sed Ellis? I do like the Clady fit for the Jets, but it seems awfully early to me.

7. New England - Vernon Gholston OLB 6-4 258 Ohio State Pats depend on a pass rush from the outside linebacker position, in the Super bowl it turned out to be a weakness. They want to stay aggressive & will resign Assante Samuel so the play here is to upgrade their aging LB's.

My Pick: Same. This pick just makes me nervous. With Vrabel, Colvin, and Thomas OLB is not a priority. I would prefer an Inside ĎBacker, but Gholston is a super-freak, and he should explode at the Combine where his athletic abilities will really shine. However, I am moving more and more towards Leodis McKelvin. There is a lot of depth at CB in this years Draft, but a lot of scout question how many will be Number One CBs. The more I watch McKelvin, the more I think he will be a #1 in the new NFL, where touching a WR is a worse crime then Video Taping;-) He dominates the man he is covering, without ever really touching him. It is amazing to see. He backpedals so perfectly and always keeps himself in position see the QB and the WR, and make a play on the ball, and somehow never or rarely puts his hand on the WR. Being a physical Corner in college is not necessarily a positive in the NFL. Being a Corner who can consistently completely cover a WR without any contact is worth his weight in Salary Cap gold.  

8. Baltimore - Matt Ryan QB 6-5 224 BC slides here because of need more than anything, a very good prospect, size, technique & leadership but will need to grow into the position with the Ravens, if someone takes him sooner that is weighted too much on need, I think he struggles with athletic ability.

My Pick: Brain Brohm. The biggest question in the first round is can Baltimore pass on a QB, especially with all the O-Tackles available.

9. Cincinnati - Phillip Merling DE 6-5 272 Clemson ascending player who fills a position of need, has the size to play in a three point stance or standing up. this is a player who should really stand out @ his position in the combine.

My Pick: Keith Rivers. Interesting pick, I watched Merling dominate against B.C. I wasnít really sure who he was before the game, but I sure knew his name after the game. I see him more as a 20-30 pick, but I canít really argue with him in the top ten after what he did against my B.C. Eagles. I picked Rivers, because I think the Bengalís Linebackers are just terrible.

10. New Orleans - Mike Jenkins CB 6-0 200 South Florida Good size, skill set & fills #1 need. will need to show up & produce @ the combine otherwise I would expect McKelvin to overtake him as the top cover corner.

My Pick: Dan Connor. Connor is really dropping like a stone, something I donít really understand. I truly believe that in two or three years he will be judged as a top ten player to come out of this Draft. If I were the Pats Iíd pull a Bill Walsh and trade down two or three times, picking up some Second Round picks, and pounce on him in the 20s. But, if New Orleans doesnít take Connor, taking a CB would really help this defense. Either way I think the Saints are sitting pretty as CB and LB are their top two needs, and they should have their pick of three or four players.

11. Buffalo - Kentwan Balmer DT 6-5 308 North Carolina once again another ascending prospect who should really wow scouts/media @ the combine, very impressed watching him workout @ the Senior Bowl, has ideal hard to find natural NFL DT size, who can easily add more weight to his frame. With the end slots covered this would really help solidify the Bills DL.

My Pick: Leodis McKelvin. I keep giving the Bills a CB, yet I think their Corners played better then expected. Word out of Buffalo is that they want a DT in the First Round, that can only mean they are focused on Balmer, because Dorsey and Ellis will be long gone, and the rest of the DTs are borderline First Rounders at best.

12. Denver - Chris Williams OT 6-6 320 Vanderbilt ZBS quick, athletic tackle does not need long arms for the system fills void left by Matt Lepsis.

My Pick: Ryan Clady. I like the fit of Chris Williams to the Broncos. The more I think about it the more I believe he fits their system. He is a finesse blocker who is super-smooth and has excellent feet. His arms are a little short for a Left Tackle, but he moves backwards so well I donít think that will be a problem. I have been moving Clady down and Williams up the past few weeks. Clady looked so huge when you watched him at Boise, against lower level competition, but really didnít look as physically imposing at the Combine with players from Division 1. With players at lower levels sometimes they stand out soooo much they rise so fast, but the question becomes do there natural talents still stand out against similar talent players.

13. Carolina - Brian Brohm QB 6-3 227 Louisville Delhommes return is questionable, not going to mention the back-up, needless to say this is another need pick & Brohm has an NFL arm that has been groomed for the next level.

My Pick: Ryan Clady. It will be interesting to see where Clady and Brohm fall, in many ways they are the key to the understanding the Second part of the draft. There are the top six or seven players, then about 9 or 10 players who could go in any order. I am struggling to find a comfortable hole for both those players. I suppose we will have to wait for the rumors.

14. Chicago - Rashard Mendenhall RB 5-11 220 Illinois Benson is out, they already traded Thomas Jones so they need to address RB & I feel they get the best pure package here at a position of need.

My Pick: Andre Woodson. I really like this pick. Mendenhall makes a lot of sense for the Bears. I have been viciously and remorselessly attacked for giving the Bears Woodson. Woodson was an excellent college QB, who I happen to agree, does not translate well to the NFL. However, to say that the Bears donít need a QB is just stupid.

15. Detroit - Jeff Otah OT 6-6 340 Pittsburgh Need is to solidify the OL Otah can start right away @ RT or either guard position which should really help on a number of fronts.

My Pick: Mike Jenkins. I think the Lions should a Left Tackle, and that if Clady or Otah slips to them they would be fools not to take one of them. However, word out of Detroit is that they want to replace both starting Corners, and they will take one if not two Corners in the first two rounds.

16. Arizona - Kenny Phillips FS 6-2 208 Miami Should help strengthen secondary, starter from day one will help to be mentored to some degree by Hurricane alum Rolle.

My Pick: Dominique Rogers-Cromartie. I love DRC and I think he is going to blow up at the Combine. The one thing you have to remember about DRC is that he is a track guy, and when they are doing track events, like the Combine, he will dominate. Philips is really falling as he played terrible last season. He played great his Sophomore year and teams are trying to figure out if his decline was an aberration or a trend.

17. Minnesota - Derrick Harvey DE 6-5 242 Florida Really sorry about Udeze (leukemia) James has not been outstanding for them either. when it comes to sack totals @ the end of the day Harvey has the style & speed to be at the top of his class.

My Pick: Derrick Harvey. A pass rushing force for a team that needs a passrusher.

18. Houston - Leodis McKelvin CB 5-11 190 Troy Excellent back peddle, ability to read plays with make-up speed if beaten. better tackler than advertised, aggressive break on ball, very fluid no wasted motion, very aggressive in run support.

 My Pick: Jonathon Stuart. I just canít believe McKelvin will still be on the board at 18. The more I watch them the more I think DRC and McKelvin are not only the top CBs in the draft, but top ten talents as well. Plus, I think adding a bruising Corey Dillon-type RB to this Offense would really propel it into something interesting.

19. Philadelphia - Calais Campbell DE 6-7 280 Miami Address biggest need, thought it would be Merling but Cincy surprised everyone taking him early. Calasis could be a steal here & could play either end position.

My Pick: Kentwan Balmer. Our first real disagreement. I do not like Cambell at all. I believe he is vastly over-rated. He is slow, stiff, and plays way to high. I have him rated in the Second Round, more because of how high other Draftnics have him rated more then anything Iíve seen on film. I see a giant full of brute force, but little or no finesse or athleticism, and anyone who thinks he is athletic enough to play Outside Linebacker must immediately go to his local optometrist. In fact, Iím not sure he has the Athleticism to play 4-3 DE. I think he is a 3-4 5-Technique DE, or I would try to pump him up and move him inside to DT. My apologize to all the Cambell fans. Plus, word out Philly is they are asking, ďWhereís the beffĒ, and are taking a Big Lineman, either O-Tackle or D-Tackle. So if they take Cambell, maybe they see him as a D-Tackle as well.

20. Tampa Bay - DeSean Jackson 6-0 180 WR Cal Brings outside threat to stretch the field need to start grooming replacement for Galloway to go along with Clayton.

My Pick: Chris Williams. Interesting pick of DeSean. I donít have a feel for Tampa yet. However, word out of Tampa is that Cadillac may be done, and taking a RB on the first day is a priority. The RB depth in this years Draft is really astounding. So the question becomes, do you take one of these great talents in the First Round, or what to get one of the great slider RBs that will be taken lower then they should? Players like Chris Johnson and Felix Jones in Round Two, or Tashard Choice, and Jamaal Charles in Round Three.

21. Washington - Keith Rivers 6-2 240 OLB USC BPA. projected him much earlier possibly to New England but after that teams seem focused on addressing needs so he falls to the Skins providing outside pass rush & adding athletic ability. would be a mistake to draft someone to replace Sean Taylor with 1st pick (big shoes to fill) dynamic Rivers gives them another playmaker.

My Pick: DeSean Jackson. Interesting pick here. I just canít see Rivers falling this far, but stranger things have happened in the Draft before. I still think they go DE, or a player to help Cambell. Especially with the signing of Zorn, I think you have to start thinking Offense here.

22. Dallas - Malcolm Kelly 6-4 220 WR Oklahoma Big, athletic, playmaker to develop next to Owens. too early to go RB with resigning Barber, a lot of scouts think that Kelly is the top WR in this draft class.

My Pick: Malcolm Kelly. Another pick to perfect to happen.

23. Pittsburgh - Anthony Collins 6-6 310 OT Kansas I'm probably the first to put him in the 1st rd. but feel he is the next best tackle available. long term pick, typical Steelers tough player with attitude.

My Pick: Aqib Talib. Another interesting pick. Collins has the feet and athleticism to play LT in the NFL, and could be a nice fit here. I just donít like their Corners, in fact, I see them Drafting multiple DBs.

24. Tennessee - Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie 6-2 180 CB/FS Tennessee State With Jones returning DRC gives them a solid secondary both young & talented. I'm not sold on any WR at this point, there are several good free agents available like Bernard Berrian & the titans have the cap space to get things done there instead.

My Pick: Kenny Philips. Titans are tough to figure, and I keep coming back to Limas Sweed. But can they take him here? My brother broke his wrist when he was a kid, and it never healed right. I am always nervous when I here someone broke their wrist, and his re-injuring it at the Senior Bowl made me very nervous.

25. Seattle - Jonathan Stewart 5-10 235 RB Oregon Shaun Alexander is not getting any younger & acquiring a franchise RB late in the 1st rd. makes a lot of sense while schooling JS to take over full time rushing duties.

My Pick: Rashard Mendenhall. I like Mendenhall more then Stewart, and I think he will keep moving up as we move closer and closer to the Combine. Either one would be a nice fit here.

26. Jacksonville - Dan Connor 6-3 233 MLB Penn State This is a Rio pick, like adding a coach (himself) on the field who will take on his personality. this represents great value here as well & should make the defense more difficult to move the football on than ever.

My Pick: Reggie Smith. Oh no you didnít! Put my boy way down here;-) Connors is one of those player teams will regret passing on for year to come. If he is here, the Jags must take him. I just think the Jags need help in the Secondary at multiple positions, and Smith can play multiple positions, most importantly he could be a 2 or 3 Safety, or a 2 or 3 Corner.

27. San Diego - Pat Sims 6-4 312 NT Auburn. would look great playing NT in a 3-4. not sure how healthy or how many more years Williams has but this brings in another long term foundation player to keep strong up front.

My Pick: Red Bryant. Same thought different player. I may be over-rating Bryant a little. I just like what he did in his Bowl game and at the Senior Bowl. Sims has as much talent as Bryant, but does he have the desire?

28. Dallas - Felix Jones 6-0 200 RB Arkansas Jones replacement, brings the speed to compliment Barbers power. Dallas adds two offensive playmakers to build for the future while improving Romoís weapons to win a Super Bowl now.

My Pick: Dre Moore.  I may be alone out here on the ledge, but I just donít see Felix going in the First Round. I like him as a runner, I know he has extra value as a Returner, and his averaging 8.2 YPC is astonishing, but I just donít think, in the end, he goes in the First Round. I do agree the only place to put him I the First Round Is this pick, if the Cowboys are picking here. I have them taking a WR and a NT in the First Round. I have been jamming those two needs into their slots for months. I donít know why, it didnít even feel right, I could move away from those picks. I have been informed by a passionate Cowboys fan that their biggest need is a Corner, and the more I think about the more I agree. I will have them take a Corner here or at 22, in my next Mock.

29. San Franscisco - Sam Baker 6-5 308 OT USC thatís right another tackle, hey they gave up a franchise high sack total (of course we know a lot of that could be on the QB) but they are losing Larry Allen (retirement) Justin Smilely (free agent) & Jonas Jennings (potential cap casualty). Baker fills a definite need.

My Pick: Early Doucet. Our second real disagreement. The more I watch Baker the Less I like him. He does not have great feet, and he has short arms. I seem him as a Guard and not a Tackle. I think he could slide all the way to the Third Round, especially with all the depth at O-Tackle in this years Draft. Plus, the 49ers WR stink. They can skip a WR here, because they have another pick in about 8 or 9 picks. Early Doucet will probably still be on the board at 38, 39, whatever they have, as I have him rated higher then most. Plus, Jordy Nelson, Mario Manningham, Andre Caldwell, Andre Royal, and Dexter Jackson will all probably be on the board. Plus, when you have a young QB, who you have invested 25-million in guaranteed money in, I can never argue with taking an O-Lineman. In fact, I may stick Gosder Cherilus here and Jordy Nelson with their Second Round pick.

30. Green Bay - Aqib Talib 6-2 202 CB Kansas picking Talib over Cason because of his experience in cold weather, both very good CB prospects here. Talib also has the size & physical advantage to play in the cover 2.

My Pick: Antoine Cason. Petty much the same pick. I have these two rated about the same. I think the Packer would be thrilled if either of this Corners dropped into their laps.

31. New England - Forfeited spy-gate

Is this the most over-blown, over-reported, over-hyped story ever. First, for the record, they DID NOT CHEAT. Anyone who says the Pats are cheaters does not what they are talking about. IT IS NOT ILLEGAL TO TAPE THE OPPOSING SIDELINE DURING A GAME! Can we please stop pretending that nobody knows that. It is against the rules to tape the opposing sideline from your own sideline, or anyplace your coaches might be able to see the tape during the game. Belichick has stated repeatedly that he understood the rules to mean that the tape could not be used for an advantage during the game, but since he uses it for future reference only, he never saw any need to hide it. All teams ďStealĒ signals. The Colts higher a guy, Mooney, who does nothing else but stand on the sideline and watch the opposing signals, not only does every team the Colts face know he does this, but he has the reputation as being the best in the game at stealing signals during the game. And, most teams video tape the opposing sidelines during the game, and continue to tape the opposing sidelines during the game, they just do it from a fully covered booth that their coaches do not have access to, as the rules clearly state they can do.

32. NY GIANTS - Gosder Cherilus 6-7 315 OT BC the pressure is going to be on Manning as Super Bowl champions so he is going to need insurance more than anything & to do that both pass protection while maintaining the ground attack will insure this happens.


My Pick: Patrick Lee. I just donít see them taking an O-Linemen here. I think the will take a corner, and Lee was one of the top three Corners at the Senior Bowl where I may have gone a little over exuberant with my pick here.
Entry for February 7, 2008

Pretty decent draft, but there is no way Miami Picks a QB, they need a DT, they really are not as bad on Defense as you proved this year, if not for all those injuries, they are yet again among the top on Defense (After all, it was only a season ago that pretty much this same defense (healthier) shutout the Patriots, and beat pretty badly a Superbowl headed Bear team). With a top D-linemen in the 1st, a Corner & LBer in with two of the next three picks in the 2nd and 3rd, and this Defense is good again. Nice try though, but kind of missed badly there.

First, thank you for the email, I have been meaning to Blog my Matt Ryan as first pick in the 2008 NFL Draft for a few weeks.

So first, yes, I am being a bit of a contrarian. Everybody has Glenn Dorsey as the number one pick, and while he is my number one rated player, and rumors are coming out of Miami the Big Tuna likes Chris Long. What if he doesnít go number one? The Draft will look very different. The Rams top need is O-Tackle and D-Tackle. They looked poised to take Jake Long. But, what if Dorsey is there and they pass on Long. How low does he go?   

Second, why do you think the Dolphins as ďOpen for businessĒ? Because they know they have to pick up a QB here and now. And of course, with Brohm and Ryan on the board they could trade down, pick up an extra pick or two, pay less, and still pick up there new franchise QB. Parcels said, ďThe most important position on the field is D-Tackle, except for Quarterback of course.Ē Miami must get a QB if they are going to become a legit Franchise again. This is not the NFL of ten years ago, all the rules of the game have been changed to benefit the QB. WRs cannot be touched. QBs cannot be touched. And, O-Linemen can now tackle D-Linemen and not get called for holding, especially the Colts O-Linemen! When we played them this season every time one of our D-Linemen got to side of one of their O-Linemen, they just tackled him. On almost every pass play a Colts O-Linemen tackled a Pats D-Linemen, not that it has anything to do with Bill Po-lyiní dominating the Competition Committee that rates, grades, hires, and fires NFL Referees. Since the 1960ís the QB has been the most important player on the field. Every decade the position became more and more important. And now-a-days it is the single most important aspect on the field at any given time.

So is Matt Ryan the best player in the Draft? no. I have him rated as the fourth best player, and all Draftnics have him or Brohm going fourth to Atlanta. Is the fourth rated player a viable choice for the top pick at the most over-important position on the field? Yes. Do you remember a player called Troy Aikman?  In the 1989 Draft Troy Aikman was the Fifth rated player in the draft. Most people rated Tony Mandarich, Barry Sanders, Deion Sanders, and Derrick Thomas above him. Everybody had at least three of the four rated above him. But, every Draftnic had Aikman going number one to Dallas, because QB is such an important position and the Dallas QBs were so pathetic. And this was before the rules were changed and teams could actually play defense when their opponents were passing the ball. Miami must take a QB this year if they want to develop into a Play Off team. Brohm, Woodson, or Ryan, I donít care. Trade down, just get the QB you think is the best. In my completely unhumble opinion, that is Matt Ryan.

The QB position has changed dramatically since Aikman was drafted in 1989. Now-a-days intelligence, preparation, and quick thinking are the three most important characteristics of a successful QB. Look at Brady, his number one asset is that nobody is better prepared on Sunday then him. Offenses, and Defenses, have become so overly complicated now-a-days, that QBs have to decipher a foreign language before they even reach the line of scrimmage. Then they have to know and understand what all other 10 players are Suppose to be doing on the next play, and he has to understand what the tendencies and differences each player brings to what they are Suppose to be doing on any particular play. Then he has to try and figure out what the defense is doing, and decide if he needs to audible and change everything he just figured out and start all over again. Then he can snap the ball, and the real hard part begins. I could not do this. Most QBs canít do this. The 7 Heavenly Intangibles of playing QB in the NFL are: intellectual quickness, retention, a ridiculous work ethic, leadership, toughness, and resilience. They are The, number one prerequisites to playing QB in the NFL. In my opinion, Matt Ryan is more advanced in the 7 Heavenly Intangibles then the other 2 QBs;-)


I believe Ryan is similar to Matt Hasselbeck in a lot of ways: size, smarts, demeanor, toughness, work ethic, temperament, and yes alumni. They even look and play similarly on the field physically. They both have about the same arm strength, and release. Only right now Ryan is much more advanced then Hasselbeck when he first came out of college. He ran a conservative offense for three years under Coach OíBrien, and last season under Coach Jagodzinski. Jagodzinski coached for 9 years in the NFL, the last of which he was Offensive Coordinator for the Packers. Last season Ryan played in the Packerís Offense. This gives him a huge advantage in experience and processing Pro Offenses over all the other QBs in this yearís draft.

Entry for January 21, 2008

Greetings Pats fans. Here is another letter from a fellow Draftnic;-

Hi,

You have some of Dan Connor's stats listed incorrectly.  He is 6.2 3/4 and now is 240 lbs (and putting on more  size) and runs a 4.5.  He is a tackling machine and would be a gift to the Pats at #7.  Exactly what the Pats need.

Please keep me updated on your mock.  You have some excellent features that I have not seen on any other sites.

Mike

First, thank you for the email, I have been meaning to blog/describe Dan Connor for a few weeks. I have a page on notes on him that I have been meaning to type up. So thank you for the motivation;-)

I have become a big Dan Connor fan. He is a guided missile on the field. He is faster and more physical then Paul Posluszny. He has fantastic instincts and intelligence. He is a terrific tackler, and a fantastic athlete. What sets him apart is his ability to read what the offense is doing, and break on the ball with amazing speed and accuracy. I recorded his Bowl Game, and focused in on him through the whole game. What impressed me most was a few plays. The first was a swing pass off to his left, he was lined up in the middle, read the play, swiveled his hips and exploded in a straight line to the right sideline and some how got in on the tackle, amazing speed, just a great display of great football instincts. The other, was three times in the first half, he was lined up in the middle, in his extra low stance, and right before the snap he stood up. You could see him staring into the backfield. He took a single step forward to get a better look, then turned and ran to his left like a guided missile, BEFORE the snap. Obviously, he saw something on tape, like when the RB is in his stance, and is suppose to run behind the Right Tackle, he move his left foot forward to get a better plant, or something alone those lines, because all three times he took off before the snap and split the Right Guard and the Right Tackle and met the RB just as he tried to run through that hole, just a great display of great football intelligence. He acts with impressive decisiveness. I love the way he plants and turns and gets to full speed in one or two steps. He has great feet and hips and turns and runs like a safety, and unfortunately that is my main concern, he looks like a safety on the field. Also, while his backpedal is effective, he moves backwards in coverage with great speed, it is spastic and ugly. Instead of switching feet in a quick backpedal, he spastically hops backwards with both feet hopping up-and-down at the same time, and looks like a Mexican jumping bean. The funny part is that he gets back into position with amazing speed and quickness, and is really exceptional in coverage, it just looks horrible awkward. But (okay heís the big but), he just looks SOOOO Small on the field. I would be shock if he is over 6-1 225 pounds. I did notice when he is in his two point stance he gets very low, lower then any other player on the field. So maybe he just plays with exceptional knee bend and with an extraordinarily low base. I have already said, if he is 0ver 6-2 and over 230 pounds the Pats should take him. And I am saying right here right now if he is 6-2.75 and 240 pounds, or bigger, he will be the steal of the 2008 NFL Draft at number 7.

I am weighting for official times and weights from the Combine before I change my sizes, and my ratings.

Entry for January 17, 2008

Hello Pats Fan, I have another interesting email for you-all.

I think you need to update players size information. Many was incorrect. Limas Sweed, you have him listed as 6'1" in reality he is 6'5"..a huge difference. 6'1" 220 lbs for Dan Connor is entirely incorrect. He is measured at 6'3" 233lbs. Another mistake I found is Kentwan Balmer. He has weighed in at 288lb, 12 less than what you have listed. I will just list any others now. Calias Campbell, 6'8" 282lbs. Rashard Mendenhall, 5'11 224lbs.I hope I don't seem to "pushy," but I would like to help your site. I got all of my information off of walterfootball.com

First of all, I am always grateful when I get emails from other Draftnics. I have already received info from fans of the Packers, Cowboys, Seakawks, and the Vikings and adjusted my Mock accordingly. The most difficult part of doing Mock Drafts is understanding the needs of all 31 teams! I think Team Needs are the most important and hardest aspect of a Mock Draft. The more Team Needs you understand the more you can read the draft. Finding the key need to each team is the secret to unlocking who they will draft.

Second, I believe my heights and weights are as accurate as anybodies. This is a topic I have wanted to Blog for a while. Please note, I am doing a Mock Draft BEFORE February. I have NEVER done a Mock before February. And in truth, I feel stupid doing it. But, I had a lot of requests so I did it: Before Underclassmen declare, Before the Senior Bowl, Before the Combine, Before Free Agency, and before I really had time to study each teams Needs. In case you havenít figured it out yet I think Team Needs are important;-)

Third, Heights and weights are vastly inaccurate currently, and will change as players train for the Combine. I usually find the lowest and lightest weights I see and take those. Height and weight are the most exaggerated and purposely misleading stats in sports. If Limas Sweed  is really 6-5, Iíll have him in my top ten, easily. Is Kentwan Balmer 288 Pounds? Maybe, but if he is you can bet his agent has him on a weight gaining program as we speak, or type, or read, or whatever;-) And, he will not weigh in February at the Combine what he weighs now. I still donít believe Calais Campbell is 6-8, no matter how many times I see it. Mendenhall is interesting though. I have Jonathon Stuart rated ahead of Mendenhall because he is listed 20 Pounds heavier then Mendenhall. If Mendenhall shows up at the Combine between 220-225, I may have to move him above Stuart. I like Stuart, but Mendenhall is quicker and has that make you miss shiftiness that I love so much.

I will be adjusting all my heights and weights when they are listed officially from the Combine results. To list them before is really a crapshoot. And, If Dan Connor is really 6-3 and over 230 pounds he will be listed on my website as the Pats pick at 7, and I will be openly campaigning for the Pats to draft him. But, man as good as he looks on the field, he sure looks small to me;-)

Entry for January 12, 2008

Todayís Blog is a reply to a nice email I received. Here it is: 

Fellow Draft Enthusiast

Found your site for the 1st time & was impressed with its thoroughness, something most sites lack as I'm sure your aware of.  so props for some excellent work! If you don't mind & have some time I would like to ask you a couple questions? Your opinion of Mike Jenkins?  from film I've watched he lacks the physical presence he will need to dominate @ the next level.  he is an arm tackler, not technically sound in run support & while he has good speed its his closing speed & ability to adjust for the ball in flight.  I also question the level of competition he's competed against.  adding everything up he seems more like the end of the 1st early 2nd rd. pick.  I like Flowers more with his ability to blanket cover his man.. last question, rate the RB class & why?  thanks, keep up the outstanding work, wes

Greetings,

Thank you for your kind words and for taking the time to email me.  As for questions, I love questions. They tend to end up on my Blog;-)

Mike Jenkins? I like Mike Jenkins. And I agree it is a little tougher judging players from lower levels. But, I tend to judge Corners by their ability to play the Bump and Run. The Pats are at their best when their Corners really press their opponents Wide Receivers. Jenkins may be the best Press Corner in the draft. He consistently makes plays in Press Coverage. He plays smart and shows superior instincts on the field. And when he makes a mistake, he has great closing speed. He is very physical at the line a scrimmage and can really bump a Wide Receiver off his route. He has excellent hips and can really turn and run after his bump. He is a very physical Corner who played more at FS last season then ever before. He looks big  on the field and is listed as 6í almost 200, But with smaller school players it can be hard to just; Like Ryan Clady, who looks like a Giant on the field, freakishly huge, but how much of that is the smaller players around him. And, this year is a strange year, the Corners this year are all so big? Both Malcolm Jenkins and Agid Talib are listed at 6-2, and Michael Jenkins, Reggie Smith, Jack Ikegwuonu, Terrell Thomas and Simeon Castille are all listed at 6í of above. I have never seen a Draft with such big Corners at the top of the Draft. The problem, some question his speed. But he looks plenty fast to me! He will need to run a 4.45 or under to stay in the First Round. And of course in the new Bill Polian NFL Corners are not allowed to touch his precious Wide Receivers. Corners are allowed to actually cover Wide Receivers in college, so when physical Corners come to the NFL they have a big adjustment. Jenkins is  no different, and his aggression is his best asset.

Flowers is an interesting prospect as well, a super athlete with a knack for staying on the hip of the man heís covering. But, he is small in the Assante Samuel mode, He can turn and run with any receiver. He is going to be a steal for someone in the 3rd or 4th Round, just like Assante. Usually smaller Corners are better at man coverage, but this year may be the exception.

As for RB I think Darren McFadden, Jonathon Stuart, and Rashard Mendenhall are the only First Round Running Backs in the Draft.

I really like McFadden. He so fast and tough on the field. The scary part about him is that he looks like he could add 10-20 pounds without losing much speed or quickness. I wish he were a little shiftier. Rumors have been swirling that he is not smart, but when he is on the field he definitely plays smart. I donít understand how he can play the QB position so well, and not be smart?

I always saw Stuart as a power back, but the speed he displayed in his Bowl game, at 230 pounds, was a revelation. I think he has similar talent to Steven Jackson, and I didnít think that before his Bowl Game. I thought he was much slower.

Mendenhall was another Back who I thought was more of a power back, but his Bowl game he displayed the big play ability that McFadden has showed all season. At 5-11 210 pounds he is not as big as the other two, but he has better quickness then both McFadden and Stuart.

Thank you for the email. I hope this helped.

Thanks,

TOM

Entry for January 10, 2008

Okay, itís draft time again. I just had my second child so I will try and blog as often as I can. So here it is blog number one- My opinion of the three Ohio State defenders in the Championship game

After watching the alleged Championship Game (the BCS is a joke), I was very disappointed with the Ohio State defense. Malcolm Jenkins looked lost on too many occasions, and Vernon Gholston looked completely lost in the running game. James Laurinaitis was making tackles all over the field, but didnít play behind the line of scrimmage at all? All his tackles were down field.

Jenkins was a huge disappointment for me. He seemed to be running around like a chicken with his head cut off. He didnít seem to have any focus or purpose in what he was doing on the field. He made one impact tackle, but was only in on one or two other plays. He has great size and great speed, but he needs some serious coaching. I still believe he is a top 15 pick. If he gets into a disciplined system with a disciplined coach that can focus his play and teach him what to do, what his responsibilities are, and how to read a play, he has the athleticism to be a great player.

Gholston looked like a young Dwight Freeney when he was passrushing. Freeney was an excellent Lineman at Syracuse. He showed up at the Combine and ran a sub-4.5 at 250 Pounds. Thatís why Indy took him so early. Insiders at Ohio State swear Gholston is going to run a sub-4.5 at the Combine, making him a perfect fit as a passrushing D-End in a Tampa Two. However, when he was moving backwards, as he dropped into coverage, all his grace and naturalness disappeared with every step, and he looked just as uncomfortable moving sideward down the line in pursuit. When Ohio State switched into a 3-4 hybrid, Gholston stood up and moved to Outside Linebacker. Again, he didnít look comfortable, and tried to move forward at every snap. He looked terrible trying to set the edge, and generally was useless in the running game. I thought he could play Linebacker, now Iím not so sure. However, his burst off the line when he is in pure passrush mode is beautiful to watch. I now believe he is the best pure passrusher in the draft, as he surpassed Mike Vrabelís single season sack record at Ohio State

Laurinaitis is getting a lot of heat around these parts for his performance in the Championship Game. Granted, I was a little disappointed in how he took on blocks and his lack of impact when he was moving forward, but he did have 19 tackles and was making tackles all over the field. PFW writers were really jumping on his back for a crappy game, but I didnít see it that way. To me, the problem was the Ohio State defense. In the middle of the field, from 2-8 yards off the line of scrimmage, it seemed that the rest of the defense abandoned that rather important part of the field. If Laurinaitis didnít make the tackle in the middle of the field, no one did. He made every single tackle in the running game down field, and when he didnít the running back was flying into the secondary. Where were the other Linebackers and Safeties? That was a Lot of responsibility placed on his shoulders. By the second quarter LSU recognized this and started attacking Laurinaitis with everything. From multiple O-Lineman, the Fullback, and even sending Doucet in motion so he could run full speed straight into him in a vicious series of crack-back blocks. To me, Laurinaitis held up well considering he seemed to be Ohio States lone run defender? I did however think he was a little small, and tried to run around blocks a little too much. But if he bulked up a little, with his speed, smarts, Instincts, quickness, and toughness he would make a heck of an Inside Linebacker.

Entry for April 28, 2007

Itís a few hours before the draft and I have a few players to through at the dartboard and see what sticks. Backing the Pats into a corner on Draft is as near impossible as herding cheetahs. But here are a few players I think we might see on Day One. Here are some First Round Ideas:

Jarvis Moss DE/OLB. I think he is growing into a Pro Bowl player. He has had as tragic a start to a college career as any player has had to endure. Unknown to him he had a staph infection in his hip for almost three years. Suddenly two summers ago, it was discoverer and treated. That means he was playing college football sick and weak and unable to work out properly. He played the 2005 season still recovering from the infection, and still had 7.5 sacks. He played last season for the first time in FOUR YEARS(!!) completely healthy. By seasons end, he may have been the best player on one of the most talented college defenses Iíve ever seen. Now he is finally able to train and work out properly. He gained 8 pound of muscle (and still looked skinny) from the Combine in February to his Proday in April, and he still tested out as just as athletic. Some think he is more athletic than Jevon Kearse, whose nickname is ĎFreakí because he is such an athletic freak. In two or three years of healthy growth Moss could be a 280-pound DE/OLB

Anthony Spencer DE/OLB. Massive upper body and strength combined with great desire and pass rushing instincts. He has a chance to be a pass rushing monster. Had an amazing 26.5 Tackles For Losses, along with 10.5 Sacks last season. I just have a feeling the Pats might take him, and I donít know why. Iím not sure he can convert to OLB. If BB does, than I donít think he can pass on him at 28. Plus, he went to Purdue, and we all know how much BB likes those Purdue guys. Can you guess which college BB has drafted the most players from? LSU? Fresno State? Florida? No. No. No. The answer is Purdue, 8 players.

Michael Griffin DB. To me, Griffin is the type of player BB secretly loves. He has all those intangibles and tangibles Belichick seems to crave in a player. Production 250 TKL in the past two season. Special Team mavin, blocked 6 kicks in college. Versatile, played Corner early in his career, and was constantly switched between FS and SS the past few seasons. Loves the game, studies the game, and is obsessively competitive. Has excellent speed and really showed well in the short shuttle. Plus, he is ultra-disciplined. He grew up in a military family, which I think may be the final factor for BB

Here are some Third Round ideas:

C.J. Gaddis DB. Gets lost in name game. Gaddis has played all four positions in the defensive backfield. Just under 6-feet tall, and just over 200 pounds, and still ran a sub 4.4 at the Combine. He started all 12 games last season at FS, and garnered 100 TKL, 8 PBU, and 5 INT. Is a bigger, faster, taller Safety Corner Ďtweener like Eugene Wilson and Artrell Hawkins, plus he actually played Safety in college. I have heard form more than one source that the Pats like him. Depending on who they take with the first two picks, I think they will be deciding between Gaddis, Yanda, and DeOssie in the Third and Forth Rounds, which is why I would like to see them trade out of the First Round and pick up a Third, then they may be able to get all three of these guys.

Brandon Jackson RB. When the Pats pick in the Third Round he could be the best RB on the board. I really donít see the need for a RB that a lot of other Pats Fans seem to see. I would be shocked if they took a RB on day, and very surprised if they take a RB before the Sixth Round. However, if they are really worried about Maroneyís shoulders then they could look at a RB here. I like this kid and think he could develop into a Feature Back for a few years. At 5-11 and 210 pounds he ran 178 times for 893 yards and a respectable 4.5 YPC. Also caught 10 passes for 78 yards. Rushed for 4 TDs.

Daniel Bazuin DE/OLB. He is a nonstop motor player. Has good size speed ratio for conversion to OLB, 6-3, 265, 4.7 forty. Great production on the small school level, in the past two seasons he has garnered an amazing 140 TKL, 41.5 TFL, and 26.5 Sacks. Special Teams mavin, blocked two forth Quarter Field Goal attempts to save a victory against Kent State. Stepped it up against higher-level competition, which I think is the most important aspect of judging the small school wunderkinds. He had an excellent game against Michigan, and was Defensive MVP of the East West Shrine game where he garnered 2.5 Sacks.

Just a few players I think will tempt the Pats tonight.