Saturday, April 28, 2012

My Top 5 Draft Stinkers

With the changes in Blogger, I needed to simplify my blog layout with the new background as the other design had become unreadable.

Anyway and back to content...

After a weekend of absorbing a volcanic eruption of NFL draft news, I laughed the loudest or shook my head the most at the following five items.

Note: I organized this as a "David Letterman Top List"; well top 5 instead of to 10.


What happened to Rutgers prospect, Mohamed Sanu, during the draft was certainly a head-shaking moment.

With his family and friends gathered around him, some goofball pranked call him, pretending to be an official from the Bengals.

Sanu then believed that he had been drafted.

It took several minutes before the ruse was revealed--leaving Sanu and family wiping the egg off their faces.

Sanu was eventually drafted by the Bengals, so all is well that ends well.

But, who does that to someone else?

I think NFL commissioner Roger Goodell should grant a violence waiver for Sanu as he should be allowed to pummel the prankster that spread so much misery on the first day of the NFL draft.


It was reported by ESPN that Browns' officials had assured current starting QB Colt McCoy that they would not draft a QB in the first round.  Then they drafted QB Brandon Weeden in the first round.  So, who is not being honest here?  The source of the story?  The Browns?  Colt McCoy?

Who knows or cares.

No matter the profession, an organization's management should always be pursuing opportunities for improvement.  Colt McCoy may or may not be the signal-caller of the future in Cleveland.

They wanted to add competition, had targeted Weeden, then likely became concerned that he would not be available beyond the first round.  As such, they selected him.

Let two players compete and designate the top performer as the starter.

Save the promises (alleged promises) for your significant other.


I had projected LSU CB Morris Claiborne to go to the Buccaneers with the fifth pick.  He is considered the best cover corner in the draft, and has excellent size and speed. Well, the Bucs traded back, and the Rams lost out on the WR they wanted, so they traded the pick to the Cowboys who drafted Claiborne at six.

Prior to the draft, the media reported that Claiborne had bombed his Wonderlic test--the exam given to prospects to help NFL execs gauge intelligence.  In an interview, Claiborne stated that he "blew off the test"--arguing that is why he scored poorly.

Blew off the test?

How could you not take this test seriously?

I would much rather hear him say, "I did not feel well," or "I was having a bad day," or "I just did not perform that day."

Anything other than I blew it off as he had plenty of time and resources to prepare for it.

Makes me question what else Claiborne will blow off with his new freedoms as a highly paid professional.


The Redskins package a deal to move up and select franchise QB prospect Robert Griffin III.  They have a limited number of picks after round #1, and are considered well behind division rivals the Giants, Cowboys, and Eagles.

So what does a struggling team do with their 4th round pick?

Add an offensive or defensive lineman to better control the line of scrimmage?

Grab a receiver or running back?

Select a linebacker?

No, no, and no.

The Washington brain-trust chooses another QB: Kirk Cousins from Michigan St.

How many QBs are the Skins going to play at the same time this year?

I'll be interested to see it, if the answer is more than one.

Good grief.

Note: USA Today writer Nate Davis wrote a thoughtful defense of this selection, but adding another QB  this early with so many other immediate needs is highly questionable; especially considering the Skins released veteran QB John Beck, leaving them with no experienced passers. 


Yes, my Buccaneers were awful last year.

Yes, we had many holes on the roster to fill entering the draft.

Yes, the Bucs passed on some good players to select the guys they did.  But, the same can be said about the Jaguars, and their officials chose Cal punter Bryan Anger in the 3rd round.

A punter? In the 3rd round?

For such a lousy team?

I think this amusing selection will create a new football fan fad--keep a running list of the first 31 players that those Jaguars passed on to draft a non-scoring kicker.  It will be fun for years to come to count how many contributors, starters, all-pros, and maybe even a hall-a-famer that Jacksonville passed on to choose a punter.

So no matter how bad things are for us Tampa fans, it definitely is worse to be cheering for the Jacksonville Jags these days.

Or maybe, I should refer to them as the future "Los Angeles Jaguars."

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My Top 10 Mock Draft

Every year, I try to mock the Top 10 NFL draft picks accurately.

For the selections that I miss on, I pay older kid a quarter or something.

If a team makes a draft-day trade that I did not predict, then I am out of luck.

He looks at my efforts as "easy money," but in any event, here goes:

1) Colts: Andrew Luck, Stanford, QB
2) Redskins: Robert Griffin III, Baylor, QB

Freebies.  Then it gets tough.

3) Vikings: Matt Kalil, T, USC

The Vikings have done a fantastic job in convincing everyone that they are not sold on one player and want to trade down--and they may do that.  If not, they could go CB or WR here, but Minnesota needing OL help and since no CB or WR is the best non-QB in this draft, I say they go Kalil here.

Note: I see reports are that the Bills are interested in trading up for Kalil.

4) Browns: Trent Richardson, RB, Bama

The Browns have so many holes, they could could win with any of five players here.  I see Cleveland needing an immediate offensive playmaker and I think Richardson is the best non-QB in the draft.  They would have to consider a WR and QB, but Richardson trumps everyone.

5) Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

As a Bucs fan, I would love to see Richardson fall to them, but I don't expect it. Tampa signed a free agent CB to start, but with an aging CB Ronde Barber trying to give it one more try and CB Aqib Talib's felony trial later this summer, the best cornerback in the draft would be a tough pass.

Note: With Talib,  I laughed at the report a few weeks ago that Bucs management was interested in trading him. Trade? A guy who may be soon sentenced to a lengthy stay in prison?  If the Eagles can only get a 7th round pick for great cover CB Asante Samuel--well, that should speak volumes about Talib's current trade value. 

6) Rams: Justin Blackmon, WR, Okla. St.

Who will be sweating the most on draft day?  I say Rams' officials--I believe they traded down calculating that the best WR would still be available at pick 6. Yet, I would not be shocked if the Vikings or Browns grab Blackmon.  If that happens, the Rams would grab which player from above was still there--hoping then it would be Claiborne.  They would then pursue WRs later.

7) Jaguars: Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina

I think the Jags would love to get WR Blackmon here, but since he won't be available, they take the top pass rusher.  I think a more appealing pick for Jags fans would be WR Michael Floyd though.

8) Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M

The Dolphins have not had much luck getting players on the free agent market, and failed to address their need for a long-term solution at QB.  I am not sure if Tannehill is the answer, but the public pressure will be too much to resist.  Miami takes the best QB on the board.

9) Panthers: Fletcher Cox, DT, Miss. State

The Panthers were bad on defense last year so obtaining the best DT in the draft at #9 would be a win.  I can see the Panthers taking a chance here and going with combine star DT Dontari Poe, but it appears that Cox is ready to play now--appealing to a team that expects to compete this season in the NFC South.

10) Bills: Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa

Offense line picks are valuable but never sexy for fans.  I think the Bills would consider S Mark Barron here--as he has been rocketing up draft boards--but their roster seems to be strong at safety and taking S Donte Whitmore in the top 10 a few years ago, did not pan out.  Also, Michael Floyd would be appealing for the Bills, but being boring and drafting an OL would make the most long-terms sense here.

Since my son is a Broncos fan, I also always give a try with Denver...

25) Broncos: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Bama

I think the Broncos would drool if WR Stephen Hill, RB David Martin, or G David Decastro was still available, but I don't see that happening. So, the Broncos would want to go DT or CB here. Many experts are saying DT Poe, but I see him as too much of a risk for a team that expects to win now.  Kirkpatrick is arguably the best corner in the draft, and certainly playing in the SEC, is used to seeing the best receivers every week.

Note: I think Oklahoma State QB Brandon Weeden may be a steal in this year's draft.  The former professional baseball pick is consistently down-graded for being "too old" at 28.  I just see the guy as mature--and who is 6'4, runs a 4.8 forty, and has a great throwing arm.    


Ok, there you have it.

Enjoy the first day of the draft tomorrow.

Despite my arguments, I am sure I'll be a little poorer afterward.  


AFTER DRAFT UPDATE: I was 5 for 11 so older son was happy.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Best Name

Which player has the best name in next weeks NFL draft?

I say it is a defensive end/outside linebacker from the University of Illinois named Whitney Mercilus.

Mercilus is leaving the NCAA after a successful junior year in which he was named the best defensive end in the country in winning the Ted Hendricks Award.

He led the nation with 16 sacks, and also had 9 forced fumbles.

Most scouts have him listed as either second or third best at his position.

But what about the great name for an NFL sack artist?

I can hear an announcer saying this:

"One word about the pass rush in today's game: Mercilus!"


"Another Mercilus pummeling!"

I think a great football name should count for at least bonus points; considering all the areas that teams evaluate potential draft picks.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Trent Goes to the Prom

It seems that I have been focusing on the negative in football lately, so to get out of my rut, I don't want to miss a chance to highlight Trent Richardson's good deed:

Alabama star Trent Richardson took his gridiron moves to the dance floor this weekend when he attended prom with a 17-year-old cancer survivor.

WBRC-TV reports that Richardson and Courtney Alvis arrived Saturday night at Boutwell Auditorium for Hueytown High School's prom.

He was sporting a white tuxedo while she was wearing a red dress. Richardson agreed to attend the dance with Alvis after her uncle contacted some of his friends at Alabama.

He didn't go to his own senior prom, but he said he wanted to attend Alvis' dance because his own mother is a cancer survivor...

Alvis was diagnosed with leukemia last year and is now undergoing chemotherapy treatments.

I blogged before about how I like Richardson the athlete and I am glad that the public is getting to know Richardson the person as well.

I'm not sure if my Buccaneers will draft him or not with the fifth pick, but it is difficult not to see him as an impact player in the NFL this coming season.

You can go here to see how Richardson was dressed for the big night.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I Told You So

This post is directed at my father a Razorback fan.


Dad, I told you so.

I know how you hate the sound of that from your goofy son, but it applies in this situation.

Do you remember our conversation after the news broke that Atlanta Falcons head coach Bobby Petrino fled in the dark of night during the middle of a season to take the University of Arkansas job?

I opined that Razorback Nation will regret that hiring.

To be the leader of an organization and bail on your people like that was unreal.

I felt that he was untrustworthy.

I have nothing against his coaching record, which is obviously very good, but one sleeps much better at night when you know that an honest individual is in charge.

And Coach Petrino's lies evidently caught up with him in Fayettville.

He was fired today.

I can't blame university officials for firing Petrino; despite the arguments being made that his excellent football abilities outweigh the problems in his personal life.

I don't think those defenders have a full understanding of the institution's liability that Coach Petrino has introduced with his alleged relationships and then (again allegedly) hiring someone to work for the school--based on qualities other than job skills and abilities.

As more information is released on the former coach and the employee in question, Jessica Dorrell, the story won't be going away anytime soon.

I hope the University of Arkansas finds an honest and talented replacement, and that Bobby Petrino gets his life straightened out--though I don't want to see him back in the NFL.  

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Down in the Dolphin Dumps

Several media reports have made been released regarding (including this one) how the Miami Dolphins are viewed as a team to eschew in free agency--despite the good tradition, fantastic weather, and willingness of ownership to spend money.

With all the assets there, becoming a destination to avoid almost always takes lots of managerial effort.

I feel sorry for Dolphin fans, and I have always liked the "Fins", but have no sympathy for their current leadership.

When General Manager Jeff Ireland asked then prospect Dez Bryant if his mother was a prostitute during an interview, I thought Bryant showed great restraint in not breaking the Miami leader's nose.

Instead, Bryant accepted Ireland's apology when it was offered by phone later.

In the general manager's apology, he even felt comfortable in stating that he "meant no disrespect" to Dez.


Talk about bad judgment followed-up by lousy judgment.

Yes, it requires steady arrogance and mismanagement to create a toxic environment that NFL free agents will want to avoid.

Sorry to see the Dolphins team is perceived as having that.

Best of luck with the draft Dolphins management, you'll need it to compete against the other NFL franchises who have signed experienced players that want to suit-up for their new team on game night.