Sunday, April 29, 2007

What In The World?

"Hey, what the hell is going on out there?!"

Ok, I had a rough day yesterday. Didn't get much sleep and got up right around 11:30. I rubbed the crust from my eyes and threw on ESPN, knowing that the Draft started at 11 today...but what happened next literally took me until now to try and fathom (I still can't by the way). So ok, I know sometimes I can be wrong. Hey, that's what happens when you put your neck out there and write your opinions down. You can't always be right. I am the first to admit that I have swung and missed on a bunch of different things, but this one took the cake. All along, I said there was no way the Pats would ever go after Randy Moss (yeah, I remember italicizing that, don't worry). So when I got up this morning, still half-drunk from my escapades last night, I literally went to my bathroom and ran water on my face for five minutes, then went back and went on to see if it was true...and there it was. The words Randy Moss and New England Patriot consecutively, and I lost my mind. The actual transcript of what I was saying probably shouldn't be repeated. Basically it was all the words I can't say to my Mom (well I've probably slipped a couple times, but I didn't mean to...honestly) and other loud noises I was screaming that may have been in some kind of third-world tribal language (you get the idea...or maybe you don't...I dunno?). Guys, Randy Moss is a New England Patriot. That's right...Randy Moss...Randy Moss!!! Holy...sorry, I mean I'm really trying not to curse here, but this whole transaction only conjures up a beautiful stream of optimistic swearing the likes of which I haven't had in quite some time. Anyway, the Raiders, who were all over the freggin' place in the Draft this year, decided that the fourth rounder the Pats got from the Niners was the best deal they were going to get for Moss, who they have been trying to dump ever since Lane Kiffin (yeah, I don't know either...I think he was the O-Coordinator at Southern Cal?) decided that Moss was all done in Oakland. Moss basically gave up on the team, which has been his big "red flag" all along. What if this guy was only out for himself and not a team player...what are the Pats supposed to expect? Here's what I think: First of all, yeah, Moss is going to have his "moments," but trust me, it's not going to be a Keyshawn/Tuna kind of relationship, where you could see Johnson on the sideline screaming at Parcells to "give him the damn ball" (at least that's a rough translation of what was said). Trust me, if Moss tries any of that, he's done, and the thing is, the Pats are so loaded with receivers after this past offseason (adding to Caldwell, Gaffney, Jackson (who may or may not play), and Troy Brown, you now have Stallworth, Welker, and Kelley Washington), that Moss is pretty much dispensable. Not saying that any of the guys they currently have right now are better or even as good as Moss (they're not), but with Tommy Terrific at the helm, the receivers they already had could have definitely handled the workload (so long as Reche Caldwell does not play too much in the playoffs, I think we'll be all set on that end...)

(Playoffs? Playoffs???!)

Moss is going to add another element to this offense though, and it will be one the Pats haven't had since Irving Fryar from way back when (ok, I mean if you don't remember him, you totally get a pass...that's kind of a freak thing I know that being 22 years old...can't say I'm normal). Moss is going to demand a lot of attention, and when you consider that Stallworth will be on the other end (almost got 1,000 yards last year), Gaffney and Caldwell in the slot, with Washington or Brown playing as the Z-receiver in five-receiver shotgun sets (by the way, expect a bizarre amount of those this year...are you kidding?...with the receivers they have?...I think defenses are going to have to be in dime for the entire game, which means hello Laurence Maroney rushing for like 1,300 yards), this team is going to be oh so hard to contain. Holy crap I am losing my mind right now. This is like when the Sox were going after Helton, and I could picture the kind of lineup they would be putting out there...ok, but this is real. This isn't like some kind of fantasy lineup...this is actually going to happen. The only question left is what number Moss is going to wear (I am going to take a stab and say #89, but if Troy Brown doesn't come back, it will be close between 80 and 89...his #84 is worn by Watson, his #88 from Marshall is taken by newly acquired Kyle Brady, and his #18 from Oakland is Donte's...but I hear these things can be negotiated, and Moss has a lot of money...a lot of money). Regardless of numbers, you are now looking at the favorites to take it all down. It's not even a question. The Colts have put it in neutral, while the Pats, who were a dropped pass away from going to the Super Bowl (blink damn it!...blink!), have completely overhauled any kind of weakness they may have had from last year and have not only made up for it, but now, they have become strengths on the team (getting Meriweather adds a hard-hitting safety they were lacking in Harrison's absence, their questionable core of receivers have become the best group in the league, and the hole that never was filled after Willie McGinest left for Cleveland last year, is now being filled by a pro-bowler...goodnight nurse). I am so pumped about this upcoming season I can't even stand myself right now...and it's April! What am I going to do until August...wait, this just in, the team with the wall will be performing a dance on the American League's collective faces (and even the NL on occasion).

The Sox went to the Bronx over the weekend and took two of three from the Yanks (oh by the way, thanks for showing the loss on national TV and not the two wins...really, much appreciated...idiot!) Again, they are doing what they need to do at this moment in time, which is to dominate and get as much space in between them and New York as possible. I am fully aware that the Sox are not "meltdown-proof" (see the Boston Massacre: parts one (1978) and part two (last year)), so it's early to deem them the favorites to win the whole thing (unfortunately, Belichick doesn't coach the Sox...I mean I don't get it, just have Tito come in around August, and you'll be all set!...naw, I'm kidding most definitely, I love Francona...the guy's the man, and literally has all the job security on God's green Earth going for him right now). However, I'm loving how the Sox seem like they are in a kind of groove where it's a different guy every night (that is unless Alex Cora is out there, because he's going to do something every time he's out call me crazy, but Cora is one of the keys that will determine if they just make the playoffs or are able to make a playoff run). I'm loving the bullpen man. Are you kidding me right now? Okajima has been on fire (again, it's early for him, but he has been simply outstanding), Donnelly is doing exactly what I thought he would do, basically being the set-up guy in between Timlin's appearances, and shutting people down as well, and then, well there's the closer...don't make me gush...come on now! Anyway, the starting pitching has been overall solid thus far, with a few hiccups here and there. Dice-K is still throwing smoke, which is encouraging. He's been hit up a few times in his start, but still, I love how he is able to keep his composure, and really seems like he's embracing Boston (notably because we've embraced the crap out of him and will continue to do so). Also, hello Josh Beckett. I knew you were out there somewhere. After a season of longball theater last season, Beckett has settled in to his #2 role quite nicely right now, simply dominating everyone he has played. This guy had it all along, and I knew it, but the only thing that was keeping him from living up to his potential was whatever kind of issues he had going on in his head. His stuff is electric, and it's obvious that he has regained the confidence that he started with last year. I think that this will be an adjustment that will hold up for the long haul, because Beckett has already been around the league once, so hitters know what he's coming with ("here comes the heat") and they are still looking ridiculous right now. Wake has been fantastic, but again, for whatever reason, he can't get any runs. I have a theory on this. I think that because he is so slow to come to the plate, he is actually putting his fielders to sleep, which doesn't bode well when they are up to bat and the opposing pitcher is throwing smoke right by them. It's kind of like what happens when you have been facing a knuckleballer all game long, and then, a guy like Farnsworth or Zumaya comes in and starts throwing high 90s fastballs, the hitters have no chance. I don't know, it's just kind of curious about how Wake gets no run support whatsoever, so that's my little theory I'm throwing out there...sleep on it, maybe it will make sense. Oh, and by the way, I need to now tonight Jon Lester, I need you more than ever. Please, let the higher powers from above make sure this kid is going to be ok, and that he will be able to return to his role as the fifth starter, because I'm not sure I can handle all this Julian Tavarez face time (he pitched decently today, but giving up a three-run homer to Minky never really sits well with me). I'm so pumped about this team though. This is going to be a fun summer, and what's going to make it better? DirecTV w/ NESN and a Boston bar right down the street...

"If you try sometimes, you get what you need."

True that.

Anyway, I'm sure Fitzy is going to be losing his mind on his upcoming webcast. If you like hearing from annoying Boston guys, you'll love this guy, and if you don''ll love this guy. Anyway, I put his site up under "Links" (Townie News), so definitely check that out. I have a feeling that this is going to be like a ten minute segment. It's gonna be wicked pissah for sure (also the name of his webcast).

So, that's all for now. Finals week happens to be, well, this week, and it's really started to get to me. At the one end, college is over, meaning that I have to make the transition from college student to alcoholic...not so sure how smooth that's going to be. And then, at the same time, I've been waiting for this my entire life. My own place, with satellite TV, in warm weather, next to a Boston bar...basically everything I could have ever wanted. Now, if only I can get a job to keep the dream alive, that would definitely be nice. I'm super stoked about the future though man, and why not? Moving up to Charlotte next Monday, getting satellite put in on Tuesday, taking a mini vacation until the 14th, whereby I'll be getting on a bus and touring baseball parks for college credit...and did I mention going to Shea on a Saturday for Mets-Yankees? Even if I did, I could care less, and if it seems like I'm rubbing this in...ummm...sorry? You should have taken a Maymester class. It's pretty good. And then, if all goes well, I'll be starting my internship on the 28th, two days after I get back from everything is kind of locking into place (well...not everything...but a large majority...wish it was everything though...(sigh)). Sorry to get emotional there. Well, that does it for now. I have absolutely no idea when the next time I'll be able to write anything, because these next couple of weeks are going to be nuts. I'm definitely doing the road trip diary though, because there are going to be long stretches to go on that bus (is it weird that there will be more chicks than guys?...I was looking at the roster, and it looks to be about 60/40 female...I have no problem with that, but I would have figured it would have been a sausage fest on that bus, but that was a pleasant surprise...and it's not even what you think; I'm happy because now, the bus won't smell that bad...seriously, that's all I'm saying about that...seriously!), so that will be a nice way to pass the time. I still have absolutely no idea what I have to do for the class, and quite frankly, I want some cheese doodles! Haha, no I'm just kidding. Really, I don't care what my obligations are. I mean, if I have to write about anything sports-related...well, you can kind of get the idea from's not the most difficult thing in the world for me to do.

Ok, have a good week everyone. Good luck for those taking finals this week, and for anyone taking them eventually. Congrats to all the hopeful graduates! Class of 2007 kid! Right on! Alright, take care now. Peace.


Saturday, April 28, 2007

Ok, Even I'm "Drafted Out"

"When I wake up tomorrow, will you still feel the same?"

So I was so tired today that after I found out the Pats had traded out of their pick, I went back to my place and crashed the freak out. I was all done. The Draft is a grind man. Seriously, it's wicked tough to sit on a couch for five straight hours and try and pay attention to something. I don't know, I kind of like to get out sometimes, but today, I had no choice. I waited for today for the entire year, and it came, and it didn't disappoint. There were ups and downs throughout it all, with some major stories (Quinn, Ginn, Calvin...yes I tried to keep rhyming there) that emerged. But now, let's stray a little bit from the Draft, because I have a ton of time to kill before the Pats pick again.

So the NBA Playoffs have been going on, and strangely, I haven't really talked about it...until now. I happened to check out two games last night. First, Chicago took on the defending champion Miami Heat. The Heat are starting to look like the early '90s Celtics here. It just seems that there's nothing left in the tank for these guys. The Heat just looked tired and awkward, while the "Baby Bulls" were running circles around them. All of a sudden, this team looks like they have what it takes to contend for the Eastern Conference title (not going to rush into saying they are championship material yet...not too far off though). The key, in my opinion, has been the play of Ben Wallace down low, as he has neutralized Shaq the entire series, meaning the Heat have become a one-man operation, and right now, in the NBA, you need a second fiddle, because D-Wade, although amazing, simply is not good enough to make it happen by himself. The Bulls, on a whole, have been playing outstanding defense. When you factor in that three of the Bulls (Deng, Hinrich, Gordon) can go for at least 20 a night, you are going to have major issues stopping them. Wallace may not get 20 (actually, if he gets 10, it's considered to be amazing), but he knows his role, and he's picking up where he left off in Detroit, playing solid defense and crashing the hell out of the boards. The Heat had a lead last night, but the as the game wore on, and the Bulls were able to put in fresh bodies, headlined by super-subs Andres Nocioni and P.J. Brown, Chicago simply blew by the Heat, and Miami simply could never find their bearings in the fourth. With the series at 3-0 in favor of the Bulls, the Heat will try to put together a last-gasp effort to try and keep the series alive, but I really can't see that making much of a difference in the long run.

The Pistons finally put the Magic out of their misery today, completing the sweep of Orlando with a 97-93 victory. Dwight Howard is an unbelievable talent, but the Magic still need to add some more pieces around him to seriously consider making a run at a series win. Again, the Magic are going to have money to spend in the offseason, with Grant Hill's unbelievable contract finally coming to an end , the Magic will be looking for a second scorer (Rashard Lewis maybe?). Also, they tapped Jameer Nelson to be their point guard of the future, but he certainly hasn't lived up to his first-round billing yet, so Orlando will also be looking for help bringing the ball up the court (Chauncey? Mike Bibby? Earl Boykins?). Anyway, Orlando did an admirable job with the pieces they had to even make the playoffs (I know it's the Eastern Conference, but still...). And what more can anyone say about Detroit? This is a unit. Sure, they could have guys that could try and stand out ('Sheed, Rip, Chauncey...heck even Tayshaun), but instead, they band together by using their core guys mixed in with some wily veterans (McDyess and C-Webb) to create an unstoppable force. There is a reason this team was ranked number one in the East and have dominated the conference for the last four or five years. Minimizing egos equals wins, and this is especially true in the NBA. It's funny because individual players (Kobe, LeBron, T-Mac) run the league and feed to the ratings, but when it comes down to it, it's still a team game, and no one represents that more than the Pistons, who look as though they are going to roll on into the East finals. I think a matchup with the Bulls will be very intriguing, featuring Big Ben against his old team, and really, the Bulls are starting to emulate what the Pistons have done, so you will be looking at two teams with very similar strategies. Defense, FG%, and most importantly, teamwork.

Speaking of all this, I found it very interesting that, in an ESPN article I was reading the other day, Shawn Marion is a completely different person than I had pictured. Marion is basically just out for himself, and wants more credit than what he is given. I mean this guy is something else. First of all, he's getting a max contract. Second, he's playing on arguably the biggest offensive juggernaut of our lifetimes. Third, Phoenix is in the playoffs every year, they are led by probably the best player in the league, and will always be in contention for a title run. But yet, it's not enough for Marion. He wants the individual accolades. I mean, obviously it would be nice for Marion if he got his all-star selections, and got named to All-NBA teams, but you have to question the timing of all of this. He also insinuated that he would trade his place right now on the Suns in order to get more individual recognition somewhere else. Do you really need that right now? With the rest of the West looking as vulnerable as ever (more on that later), the timing of this is just completely wrong. Also, I think Marion is regarded as one of the best fifteen or twenty players in the league, and just because he hasn't apparently received the kind of fame he was looking for, that doesn't mean that it will never come, but it seems that until it does, Marion will feel the way he feels, which is too bad because I really don't think he understands what the general perception is for the kind of player he is, which is this: freggin' amazing.

Dallas got one of the all-time worst first round draws for a #1 seed in NBA playoff history. Playing a team that has literally owned them for the last year-and-a-half, the Mavs find themselves with their backs against the wall, down two games to one to Golden State, with their home-court advantage gone up in smoke. The Warriors are an example of a team that just matches up well against certain teams, and causes total headaches in certain situations. A perfect example is the matchup between Baron Davis and Jason Terry. Terry is simply overmatched against Davis, who is constantly driving the ball to the hoop and dishing the ball to Biedrins down low, or going outside to J-Rich or Monta Ellis, who has caught fire down the stretch. Dallas has looked, as put it, "ordinary" throughout the series. The problem has been that the Warriors have out-paced the Mavs so far, which doesn't bode well considering that the Mavs love to push the ball, and have the speed to get back on defense (I believe they were second in the league in FG% allowed). However, when you have a team that is even faster and more tenacious, that's going to be a problem. Also, to say that the Warrior fans were pumped for the game last night would be the understatement of the decade. They were rocking and rolling last night (side note: where the Warriors play is literally in the same lot as the Oakland Coliseum, which I totally dig; it's almost like a college setting where everything is in one place...very convenient). The Mavs have to win Game 4, or else they're done. What's going to make it tough is that they are once again playing in Oakland, and from all indications, these fans aren't letting up anytime soon. This leaves the door wide open for Phoenix, San Antonio, or even Houston to get into the Finals without having to play the best team in the league this year.

'Melo and the boys lost to the Spurs today, putting them down 2-1 in the series. Anytime Manu Ginobili has eleven free throw attempts, you know something is up. I would put most of the blame on Steve Blake, as he's allowing Manu to penetrate into the lane, forcing their big men (Nene and Camby) to get off their men and try and defend shots. Not good. What also isn't good is that the Nugs are only playing with eight guys, with only two guys (Najera and J.R. Smith) being the only ones to get "actual" minutes. Obviously, stamina has become an issue for them, because they looked tired down the stretch. A.I. and 'Melo both went over 44 minutes again today. These guys are used to it, but still, it has to still get to you after a while. I mean this is the playoffs. It's not as though these are just regular season games where, if you lose, there's always tomorrow. Every game counts, and this was a critical loss because Denver took one at San Antonio, and would have been in the driver's seat with a game lead and home court. Denver had a real tough time behind the arc (3-12, 25%), which is key when you consider the Spurs shot very well from outside (9-21, 42.9%). In my opinion, I would definitely try and stretch the defense, because according to those numbers, it seems like the ball gets funneled into the paint a lot. When you have Iverson and J.R. Smith on the outside, you're definitely going to want more impact from their perimeter shooting than that. Iverson is the key to this series. Tim Duncan is going to do what he does night in and night out (25 and's clockwork), so Iverson is going to have to step up and become the leader on this team. 'Melo is my boy, but I don't believe he is the one who is going to be able to light the kind of fire that A.I. can. Also, when you consider Iverson basically had to carry the Sixers on his back for a decade, I would assume that it would be much easier for him to assume leadership, and at the same time, know that he has weapons around him so that he will not be keyed-up like he was in the past. This next game is another big one, much like the Dallas/Golden State series, for the team down 2-1. If Denver can pull off Game 4, they will even up the series, and send the Spurs reeling. I would probably switch defenders and put Iverson on Manu and Blake on Parker. The thing is, I can't really tell, when Manu gets the ball, if he is thinking pass or shoot. With Parker, he definitely does his fair share of driving, but not nearly as much as Ginobili, and is also a pass-first guard, so an adequate defender like Blake will have an easier time attempting to control Parker than he would with a slasher like Manu.

Well, I'm officially drained. Seriously, I feel in a heap on my bed when I got home today. I literally could not move at all. As I was writing this, the Pats traded away their third rounder to Oakland for their 7th this year and 3rd next year. I mean I guess they really don't have any interest in anyone right now. I still would like to see them take a gamble on Michael Bush, who is probably the biggest name left out there (along with Antonio Pittman from Ohio St.). As for tomorrow, the Pats have 10 picks. I'm not sure about this, but I have to say that's going to be the most of anyone. Here's how they're looking right now (round-pick in round (overall)):

4-11 (110)
4-28 (127)
5-34 (171)
6-6 (180)
6-28 (202)
6-34 (208)
6-35 (209)
7-1 (211)
7-37 (247)

Here are some guys I think the Pats should take a look at tomorrow:
Michael Bush, RB, Louisville
Brandon Siler, ILB, Florida
Jared Zabransky, QB, Boise St. (please take him, I'm begging you!...Statue of Liberty play!)
Kenneth Darby, RB, Alabama
Aundrae Allison, WR, East Carolina
Dallas Baker, WR, Florida
Ben Patrick, TE, Delaware
Josh Beekman, G, Boston College
Manuel Ramirez, G, Texas Tech (just to get massive name confusions...if he has dreads, it's a lock)
Keith Jackson, DT, Arkansas
Zak DeOssie, OLB, Brown
Rory Johnson, OLB, Ole Miss
David Irons, CB, Auburn
C.J. Gaddis, CB, (gulp) Clemson
Josh Gattis, S, Wake Forest

The Pats only had one pick today, and it was definitely a bit of a head scratcher, getting the troubled safety Brandon Meriweather from Miami. I would just think that the red flags for "off-the-field" character issues would be waving pretty high and true. Again, I have a lot of faith in what the Pats do, but I kind of find it hard to root for this pick. Again, maybe it's just me, but I would have liked to have seen them take a guy that wasn't as flamboyant as a guy like Meriweather is, which is why I thought all along that Posluszny would be a perfect fit. Again, Meriweather is a tremendous talent, but I find it fascinating that they would take a gamble on him. I'm thinking they know something I don't, because if he is like the guy I envision he is, there's no way they would have taken him.

By the way, I mean I think the Niners will have a good team next year, but I'm really hoping they tank. This is what happens when you get a future first-rounder. The Niners are going to be like the pseudo-Yankees of the NFL this year for me. I'm going to cringe every time they do something good, every time they win, every Frank Gore rush, every Nate Clements pick...basically anything positive for the Niners is not going to be good for me. However, I don't think they will be too, too good, so I'm expecting the Pats will be picking around 18 or 19 with the Niners pick, and also at #32, because you know who's taking it all this year (ok, our linebackers are Vrabel, Bruschi, Thomas, and's over, forget it).

Alright, hopefully I can put something together tomorrow to wrap up the Draft/Sox-Yankees series. Have a good night all. Thanks for reading. Peace.


NFL Draft: Hour #6

5:00: Dallas is great on Draft Day. Just so unpredictable. First, they trade out of the first round with Cleveland. Then, they trade back into it, giving up the Browns' second, and their own third, and fifth to get to #26.

5:06: So Spencer is the pick, and once again, a "hybrid" kind of guy goes to Dallas. This is the third one in the first round in recent memory (DeMarcus Ware and Marcus Spears in 2005). Spencer was a guy that a lot of people were really high on, and honestly, when I brought into account the "hype" factor, I'm kind of surprised he lasted this long.

5:08: Although I hate to say it, I have a pretty good feeling the Pats are trading out of the first round (of course, if they swing a trade like Dallas did with Cleveland, I'll be a lot happier).

5:12: With the Saints on the clock, I'm kind of leaning towards Olsen here.

5:15: However, after further analysis (i.e. listening to people on the TV...and not just Kiper), I'm liking either Olsen or Chris Houston, because the Saints really do need some help in their D-backfield.

5:18: Due to time restraints, the Pats will be the last pick I will be covering today.

5:19: Kind of a shocker at #27, as the Saints went with Meachem. I mean it makes sense when you look at it in an overall sense. They lost Joe Horn, and suddenly, there was a gaping hole across from Marques Colston. So it is a good pick, just one of those picks that you didn't really think about.

5:20: Alright, here we go...what do we got?

5:26: No, seriously, who do we's time to get my grub on. Bill, help me brother.

5:31: We traded out...cant say I didn't see it coming. Niners are drafting now. I'm out. Peace.


NFL Draft: Hour #5

4:00: With Jacksonville on the clock, the pick should probably be Reggie Nelson. The Jags cannot keep their safeties healthy, and with the departure of Deon Grant, they literally have no safeties left.

4:03: Yeah, saw that coming.

4:04: So what is Wade Phillips going to do with Dallas' pick at #22? I mean, I could easily see what the Tuna was going to do while he was running things, but I'm not sure what Phillips' philosophy will be. Dallas is always looking to trade down, which is an interesting possibility.

4:07: Ah yes, Ed Werder chiming in, so you know that the rumors are swirling around Cowboys camp. I think the pick is going to be receiver. Again, I like Meachem, and also, Dwayne Bowe from LSU is a possibility.

4:11: I still can't see Michael Johnson throwing down on suds after a run. Also, I guess he goes to a bar that doesn't have a doorman...cut off sleeves? Who are you? Me?

4:15: So Cleveland just traded up...Brady, get the cobwebs out of your're about to get drafted.

4:16: With the 22nd pick in the 2000 Draft? Anyway, "finally," Quinn gets taken. Cleveland again has got to be feeling good. They got both the guys they were considering at #3.

4:21: Upon further review, the Browns just got hosed on that deal. Their second rounder and a first rounder next year to move up? Considering no one was really willing to draft the guy, why not wait until the very end of the first round? That just seems like an incredible amount to give up. Ok, anyway, when are the Pats picking? Seriously, sometimes, it's not the best thing to be the best, and this would be, well, the only time.

4:27: So are we going to see any other receiver go in the first round? If so, this is definitely the place.

4:29: KC is taking way, way too long considering we're up next. Oh come on!

4:31: Dwayne Bowe to KC. I like it. Again, Bowe is a solid pick, and also, the Pats are on the clock now, so who cares?

4:33: It seems no one is showing the kind of enthusiasm for this pick that I am...what's the deal with that? Again, I gotta say it's Posluszny. The guy is just a perfect fit and such a Belichick type of guy.

4:36: Getting some fresh air. The anticipation is killing me.

4:40: That was amazing. Anyway, beers #5 and #6...didn't double-fist, but I forgot I was going to be annoying and count the amount of beers. So, sorry...I guess?

4:45: Go!!! Go!!! Come on now!

4:46: Ok, Meriweather is a good player, but I mean...really? I'm kind of taken back by this, and yet, I trust them so much that, hopefully, they saw something in him that I haven't, because I think this guy is trouble, and more importantly, he's from the U. Wilfork is from the U, and he has turned into a great team player, but this guy..."I'm not so sure about that."

4:51: The pick is in, but of course, ESPN is going to commercial. I still think the Panthers are hot for Greg Olsen, and if Olsen was their guy all along, this was an absolute brilliant move.

4:55: Ok, right school, wrong guy. Not saying that Beason was not the right pick though, because he absolutely is. They needed help at linebacker because Dan Morgan has never been right, so Beason was a good pick. Now that we have Meriweather, no way can we have two Miami guys in the first round...just no way.

4:58: It's so nice out, why not spend another five hours inside?

NFL Draft: Hour #4

3:05: As we get closer and closer to the Pats drafting, I will tell you this right now: If Sidney Rice ends up on the Patriots, you will see me in a Sidney jersey as soon as his official number is announced. I don't care how broke I am, that will be mine. In life, there are three things I really need: food, booze, and Sidney Rice.

3:07: Hey, ESPN threw up another Brady Quinn stat (tied for third in the NCAA in TD passes...apparently Stanford's D isn't what it used to be). And he's in the commissioner's "private quarters?" Suzy Kolber, what is this? A loading vessel? Private quarters? "There's a vast sea mate, you can't come back from that." Sorry, random Seinfeld reference.

3:12: So apparently, the Wisconsin faithful did not dig the Justin Harrell pick all that much. I mean that was really a stretch taking Harrell that high. I think he was around a mid-second round value, considering he missed ten games last year with a biceps injury. Hey, I'm not an expert on evaluating talent, but when you have a guy like Olsen out there, and in need of a receiver, I'm not sure about taking a DT there.

3:17: So Wright is officially in the zone with the Jags on the clock. It's kind of curious that the Draft Tracker was taken off during commercials for the first time today while Jacksonville on the clock. He is just sweating because Brady Quinn is still on the board, and the crew has been talking about their QB situation. This could get ugly.

3:22: The minutes are ticking by, and Wright is getting more and more antsy. I don't know how much more he can take.

3:23: Well, relief of sorts, I guess. Sure, the Jags just traded out of their pick and are drafting at 21st, but then again, that just means he has to sit and pray that Quinn is taken off the board by then. Because it will be the same song and dance if they pick 21st.

3:25: The Jags definitely got some value by trading down, getting Denver's first, third, and sixth rounders for Jacksonville's pick at #17. The Broncos ended up with Jarvis Moss, who many had forgotten about considering Spencer's rapid climb up the board, and he was actually who I thought they would be taking there. Thankfully, they did not show Moss blocking any of the field goals against us in November. That was nice.

3:35: Leon Hall went to Cincinnati, which was definitely about right considering I had Chris Houston going there, but basically, I was just figuring Hall would be off the board by then. Again, I love Hall, and the Bengals clearly needed to help themselves in the defensive secondary, with Tory James going to your New England Patriots.

3:39: I'm going through serious Spurrier commercial withdrawals. Didn't they run click-clack last year like 50 times? Are they going to just hit me with it all at once?

3:40: The Titans are on the clock, everyone is thinking receiver here. Logically, I would think Meachem would be an easy pick here. He's a guy who has been rising up the Draft board, and was able to build himself up to "game ready" last year after sitting out the entire 2005 season.

3:47: The Titans took Griffin, and I have to say I'm a little disappointed because I thought he would be a good pick up for the Pats, who desperately need help at safety. They kind of threw a curve there, and to be honest, I'm not too thrilled.

3:49: I've just made the executive decision to cut this off after the first round, because I am wicked tired, and, I kind of want to check out the Sox game because I missed it last night.

3:56: The Giants fans are straight up wannabe Jets fans. They're trying to be annoying, but come on, the Jets fans will never be topped...ever...and it's not really a bad thing that they don't.

3:58: G-MEN! Aaron Ross is a smart pick. They needed corner help with Sam Madison basically all by himself back there. Ross will be an impact player. I thought they would get some help for their line with Staley, but this was definitely filling a need.

NFL Draft: Hour #3

2:02: I mean really, the Brady Quinn talk is going to get incredibly old, and he may not go for a good long while.

2:04: Okoye is off the board. This guy is going to be a freak. Watch how much Mario Williams improves because of him. Okoye is going to be incredible. Youngest player ever drafted in the NFL.

2:06: I got Carriker going to the Niners. I think this would be a real good fit because the Niners are in desperate need for help on their line, and they have been making strides to improve the D with the signings of Nate Clements and Michael Lewis.

2:10: Is the Draft moving quicker than normal? The question was brought up, and I have no answers.

2:15: San Fran is definitely pacing themselves, so obviously they got the message that the Draft was moving too fast.

2:18: Ok, kind of a shocker, but Patrick Willis is a beast. A "lock" for sure. San Fran is a team that is going to be on the rise, especially considering what division they play in.

2:22: Does the Madden curse apply to commercials? Reggie, what are you thinking? Why even chance it? Endorse 2K sports if you're going to do video games, but Madden?

2:24: I have 5-to-1 right now that a Charlie Weis interview is upcoming (live via satellite...or from the gastro clinic as Wright pointed out)

2:26: Totally awesome that they let Bruce Smith announce the Bills' pick. What's even better is that Bruce Smith announced a non-Brady Quinn pick, meaning the free fall will continue. It's funny because Lynch was rumored to be going to the Bills awhile back, but then, the pick turned into Willis. So with Willis gone, this was a logical pick, because they have a huge hole at running back, and they haven't really gone out and done anything to fill it...that is until now.

2:30: Totally pumped that the Sox are on TV today. What really would be my motivation to go outside today? Actually, a beer run is imminent, so you never know. Maybe food too, I don't know, I don't know if I'll have time.

2:31: Daydreaming about my new place during the commercials. I may not have any furniture or money, but I'll have my TV hooked up to satellite, watching Red Sox games, then going to the Boston bar, which I'll probably walk to (that's nice!) to pour over the details. So nice, so nice.

2:35: Beer #4 (getting slower I know...there's still time, trust me...I'm pacing myself)

2:39: Love the Carriker pick. This kid is so tough, and he proved in the Combine that he's the real deal. The NFC West has done a real good job so far, with Brown, Willis, and Carriker.

2:44: J-E-T-S! Yes, the anticipation is over for Jets fans to be completely devastated. Or maybe not. Actually, I don't think they will because there is a new regime in place, and Mangini has been guided by the Belichick/Pioli tandem, so I really think they will actually start drafting wisely. I know you're disappointed, I know.

2:47: So now the question lingers: What are the Jets going to do? They have been showing coverage of D-backs. All of a sudden, I'm thinking Darrelle Revis is the best corner in the Draft, and not Leon Hall. The reason is because they are both equal in skill, but Revis adds a whole 'nother element in terms of the return game. I like Revis here, but you never can tell. I said Olsen here, and it definitely could happen, especially when you consider the Packers, who need a TE, could definitely take Olsen at #16. So trading with the Panthers, the only other team in the market for Olsen, makes sense.

2:53: Revis was definitely worth trading up for, and Carolina made an incredible deal, because now, unless the Pack take Olsen, the Panthers could wind up with Olsen at #25. Otherwise, they are still looking for a safety, so Reggie Nelson, if still available, could be a possibility.

2:57: Pittsburgh did not take long at all on the clock. I really came around on Anthony Spencer, the DE from Purdue. I saw footage of him against Notre Dame, and he looked really good. I guess knocking Brady Quinn around helps your cause.

2:58: Timmons started to drop after the Combine, but is a special talent, and it will be interesting to see how well he can transition into the 3-4, especially when you consider the Steelers are under a new coaching staff.

NFL Draft: Hour #2

1:02: Arizona reached for Brown, but I love the pick. I think they probably could have traded down, but this was such a need for them, and he is a top-10 talent, so I really think 'Zona made the right move.

1:03: Beer #3

1:04: This is the official tug-of-war of the Draft...the 'Skins. Trade down? Draft Okoye? Draft Landry? Right now, they have a definite potential because Miami and Minnesota have been hot for Quinn, and Washington has no other picks today!

1:08: The first Celtic discussion has officially come up. I'm going to be on the bus for the 22nd, but I will figure out some kind of communication so I can find out. One or two, it doesn't matter to me anymore. Give me one of them, I'm all about that.

1:12: Thank you LaRon Landry. The first actual "hey, I actually got drafted" moment of the Draft. Get excited! You're playing a game and getting millions of dollars to do it. I'm more excited than like all of these guys, which is ridiculous and sad I know.

1:15: I think Keyshawn has "Jaworski" syndrome, where if there is no talk about receivers, he has basically been rendered useless. Jaws can't talk unless they are talking about quarterbacks, the Eagles, or mad men who study film 24/7

1:18: Brady Quinn holds how many Notre Dame records? Oh yeah, right. Hey, when I forget that two minutes from now, I hope ESPN will remind me for the seventh time.

1:19: Totally was just reminded about Takeo Spikes going to Philly. Also, Fletcher went to the Redskins, meaning there is no way the Bills don't take Willis at #12, that is unless someone wamboozles them and moves up the board and takes him, which is a very real possibility (hint hint, we have two first round picks, and are willing to move).

1:26: I'm liking Peterson to the Vikings. I really like Chester Taylor, but I feel he's more of a "split time" back, so Peterson will take some of the load off him

1:29: Great catch: Someone slipping on a VA Tech pin on Peterson's suit, which he apparently didn't have on. It's like "well, if he's not going to wear it begin with, why make him?"

1:30: We're sitting at #8 with the Falcons, and this is one of those Arizona picks where I really don't know what the call is. I said Okoye, but the Falcons really wanted Johnson, and now that he's out of the picture, I would think they would want to trade down. Anderson may be a reach at this point (also when I have him ranked him behind Carriker as far as DEs).

1:33: So what is the deal with this? Atlanta's on the clock, and yet, all the talk is about Brady Quinn going to Miami, and how it's a "good fit" for him. Yeah, playing the Pats twice a year, real good spot.

1:38: Boomer makes the "hey, by the way, the Falcons are on the clock" reference. Good stuff.

1:39: Anderson is a good pick, especially when you consider how fast he moves for a 285 pounder. The Falcons definitely wanted Landry, and were trying to move up to get Johnson, but Anderson definitely fills a need they have.

1:42: Just realizing there was literally no outcry about Johnson going to the Lions. I mean four receivers in six years? I don't care how bad they ended up, there is no way you should be taking that many receivers that high in the Draft over that span of time.

1:46: Ok, it's kind of ridiculous how long the 'Fins are taking. I think they may be considering the kind of damage Brady Quinn is about to cause their franchise.

1:47: Fan poll just came in, Quinn is third in the voting behind Hall and Revis for who Miami should take. If Quinn doesn't go here, Trent Green is a Dolphin, and I will be happy to witness one of the potential biggest slides in Draft history...but it's not going to happen unfortunately.

1:50: OHHHHHH!!! TED GINN!!! YES!!! I love the Dolphins right now. This is one of the biggest ongoing stories in the history of the Draft. After the Bills, it's all over for Quinn. Honestly, I think Cleveland has to start thinking about trading up, and if they do, it could be considered one of the better drafts by anyone. I don't even like Brady Quinn, but if they end up with Joe Thomas and Quinn, the Browns will be in the lead for the best draft this year.

1:54: The shock waves are still setting in. Unbelievable. Trent Green is so a Dolphin. I would expect the announcement to come down anytime today.

1:57: The Wally the Green Monster commercial is still amazing.

1:59: So if Quinn didn't start slipping, would they really show this flashback of famous "waiting" moments for first-round QBs? Also, they were all quarterbacks. Notice that a guy like Okoye, who is rated higher than Quinn on most boards, is slipping just as much, yet no one really says anything about that. Totally ridiculous.

NFL Draft: Hour #1

12:02: That pre-show montage totally sucked. Troy Smith? Yamon Figurs? I mean how much were these guys asking for to appear in this spot?

12:03: Booing Keyshawn never felt so right for Jets fans. I'm looking forward to this.

12:06: Look at Brady Quinn tear up that Washington defense. Love that ND schedule.

12:07: John Madden is afraid to be on the cover of Madden cover because he is going to be affected by the curse...basically meaning he will die...again, Vince Young is cooked.

12:09: Goddell is way more personable than Tagliabue, who basically looked like he was subconsciously going "the teleprompter is way too far out there" and "where are we again?"

12:12: We had our first TV difficulties regarding digital cable (Wright sat on the clicker, temporarily pausing the TV...and we flipped...I just hope he is able to recover from this).

12:13: I say Oakland stays on the clock for eleven minutes. They already know they're getting Russell, yet they need face time to say "hey, we are the absolute worst team in the league."

12:16: There is no one left at ESPN. Apparently someone else thought this was a big deal.

12:19: Keyshawn's first slip-up: "He's a guy whose physical like Randy Moss and myself."...Randy Moss?! You want to talk about a guy who has absolutely no physicality. He doesn't even go over the middle.

12:20: Who is JaMarcus Russell talking to? I mean really, he seemed like he was surprised to go #1. Calvin Johnson was looking up like he could go there. Doesn't anyone notify these guys?

12:22: Beer #2

12:25: Is Calvin Johnson happy or sad? If he's happy, is he happy he's going to the Lions, or happy they are like "we're drafting you, but you're not staying here."...Oh thank you! Thank the Lord!

12:27: The Bucs are trying...trying, but the Lions want #4 and both the Bucs' second round picks, meaning Johnson is officially stuck in Matt Millen hell for the next five years.

12:29: We will say "the pick is in" after every single pick (by the way, there will be a venue change at around 5:30...this is going to get interesting, because I don't know where I'm going.

12:31: The official word on Calvin: "Hey, at least it's not Oakland."

12:32: Cleveland is going to make a homer pick with Brady Quinn. And there goes the franchise.

12:34: They velcro the name onto the jersey. See, that's interesting, because on the one hand, you got the name on there, which is nice, but on the other hand, it looks like s***, so I'm not really sure how to fully interpret that.

12:36: Spurrier on the Under Armour commercial: Outstanding..."Yeah, click clack." Show that a thousand more times please.

12:37: Interesting note: the Jags were in the top 10 in both offense and defense, yet finished 8-8, which brings me to my original point: Don't schedule the Patriots.

12:38: Joe Thomas on the "Foxey Lady" has officially taken over has the most awesome thing that's happened today, replacing...I don't even know.

12:41: And finally, a shocker. Joe Thomas has been rewarded for not showing up, going to Cleveland at #3. Good for him not breaking a tradition with his Dad though. This guy is one of the true "locks" of the Draft in my opinion...good for 'dem!

12:43: Is Arizona really taking Peterson now? I like the whole two-back thing, but I mean come on now. You have Edge and absolutely no line. They need to trade down and get Levi Brown, or get someone...anyone for Leinart.

12:46: Tampa's phone has to be ringing off the hook. And they might get Peterson? What?! This is a time where they need Gaines Adams.

12:48: Brady Quinn is going to Minnesota or Miami, but the questions are not going to stop. Very reminiscent of Aaron Rodgers, but it's not going to be as severe...but I really wish it was. I mean that was nice.

12:51: I really like how Gaines Adams is trying to bring the "lines on the side of your head" back into play. I mean I would have done it, but no one really follows the jersey/beat-up hat/basketball shorts look, so I'm not sure if I'm a trend setter or not.

12:54: This was a riveting talk about how we, after four years, can spot someone attempting to hand out fliers, and then, planning the walking route based on that. Forget boxing, flier avoidance is the "sweet science."

12:57: I am so clueless about who 'Zona is going with right now. Mark May is liking Levi Brown. Finally, something we can agree on (that guy is the Tim McCarver of college football...ugh...)

1:00: And we've ended hour #1 on a bright spot. Michael Smith, who has always been a great writer for the Globe, is now getting a bunch of face time, which is awesome because he's completely biased, and he is actually bringing up the respectability that Michael Holley shunned.

And So It Begins

11:32: In the magical land of Wright Culpepper's apartment. He of course rocking the Jags (Jones-Drew) and I with my Pats shwag (Bruschi as always). Apparently the Raiders have notified Russell that he's going #1...unless they swing a trade...I love the Raiders. So suspenseful. Love it.

11:34: Beer #1 (this is going to be either funny or annoying...I can't decide)

11:35: Wright's parents are coming over later. This is going to be interesting.

11:37: Antwaan Randle El: Unanimously a bad pickup for the 'Skins...product of the system

11:39: "Kiper got botox on his hair." Nice, first botox reference of the day.

11:43: Goddel can pronounce names...always a good sign. That Brett Favre mispronunciation was classic, and oddly enough, I missed that the first time around

11:45: "I'm not so sure about that" is the official phrase of the day. A running counter for that is almost mandatory, and yet I will resist.

11:47: And Jason Taylor went where?...the Zips of Akron!

11:49: None of us will buy a Gaines Adams jersey regardless of where he ends up.

11:50: "Mike Vick made his flight!"

11:51: Still, awesome that the NFL is paying tribute to VA Tech. Say what you want, but there will never be enough support to be given to the Hokies.

11:52: By the way, Bruce Smith will be starring as Marcellus Wallace in "Pulp Fiction 2." (that got a little bit of a laugh...hey I'm trying man!)

11:53: That was arguably the worst moment of silence in the history of moments of silence. Seriously, how can you expect people to be quiet after they've been drinking since 6 in the morning?

11:57: Ed Werder in Oakland? This is going to get some serious getting used to.

11:59: One minute to go!

11:59: Latest: Johnson could go to the Bucs or the Falcons. Anyway you slice it, Johnson is going #2, the question is whether or not the Lions will trade him before or after they pick...or maybe they keep him, who knows?


Mock Draft Quickie

No time for analysis:

  1. Raiders- Russell
  2. Lions- Johnson
  3. Browns- Quinn
  4. Bucs- Adams
  5. Cards- Thomas
  6. Skins- Landry
  7. Vikes- Peterson
  8. Falcons- Okoye
  9. Fins- Brown
  10. Texans- Hall
  11. Niners- Carriker
  12. Bills- Willis
  13. Rams- Revis
  14. Panthers- Nelson
  15. Steelers- Spencer (DE, Purdue)
  16. Pack- Lynch
  17. Jags- Anderson
  18. Bungles- Houston
  19. Titans- Ginn
  20. G-Men- Staley
  21. Broncos- Woodley
  22. Cowboys- Ross
  23. Chiefs- Meachem
  24. Pats- Posluszny
  25. Jets- Olsen
  26. Eagles- Griffin
  27. Saints- McCauley
  28. Pats- Merriwether
  29. Ravens- Kalil
  30. Chargers- Bowe
  31. Bears- Smith
  32. Colts- Beason

Pre-Draft Festivities

"If I like their race, how can that be racist?"

8:02: And a happy Draft Day to everyone! I figured I would try this out and see how it went before I actually got into the real thing. Got up in Charlotte at 6:30 this morning because, frankly, on Draft Day, the only means that I actually trust to get me up is my "mental alarm," so I willed myself up and hit the road (also doesn't hurt that I was sleeping in an air conditioned room with no blanket). Anyway, this is an official disclaimer about today: I may get insanely personal, and I may say things that might be a little harsh, but when you are filling eight hours, and consuming alcohol, these things may happen. So, let the madness begin!

8:11: Want to mention that I went on my third interview with Northwestern Mutual, and from all accounts, they seem to like me (at least this is what they tell me to my face), so things are looking good on the job front. Also just got a new place and I'm moving up there on the 7th of May (1.2 miles from the Boston bar...oh that had no affection on my decision at all...yeah...). I am so psyched because I'm getting DirecTV with the sports package...oh man is that going to be amazing. Plus, I'm getting DVR, so basically I'll just become a shut-in. Kind of weird when I was signing the papers yesterday. I had this strange sensation in my stomach, like things were actually coming to this point. It's like "wow, this is no joke anymore, things are getting really serious." There's going to be the job and taxes and insurance and planning for a family. It really has taken me back some. Hopefully this feeling will die down some, but for right now, it's really a lot to take in.

8:17: Apparently, people have caught onto the Black Keys like I have. After watching them on Conan (a performance that literally blew my face off), I decided that this was "the band" for me right now (their link is listed below). It's a duo that really captures the '70s down home, funky style of rock (here's another great live performance). Anyway, after hearing "Your Touch," I heard it on the new AmEx commercial featuring Shaun White, and the new episode of "Entourage," so once again, it appears I'm about a month behind the latest thing, which also reminds me, I really have to give new music more of a chance than I do. Just because there's not as much good music out there now doesn't mean that the quality of the good stuff has gone's just a lot harder to find it than it used to be way back when.

8:27: I didn't get to catch the Red Sox game last night, which was totally bogus, but the mood from my other friends was basically "forget that" (or another F-word of the sort) in terms of going out to Matthews (about 15 minutes from my buddy's place) because, for whatever reason, the game wasn't on national TV. However, I watched the bottom line and saw the highlights, and I have to say, we really need to continue to beat the holy crap out of them right now while they're at their weakest point. On a side note, I forgot to give "mad propers" to Hideki Okajima (yeah, the other Japanese guy), who has been absolutely lights out so far in his first major league stint. Again this is going to be a "wait-and-see" process like it is with Dice-K, meaning I won't be so quick to judge him, and probably am going to hold off on his "greatness" until about June or July. But so far, I'm really liking what I'm seeing. On another note, as soon as I saw Wily Mo hit a grand slam, I immediately said "who the hell would throw him a fastball?" The answer, apparently, is Chris Ray, because he threw a pitch that literally is exactly in Wily's sweet spot (just on the outside corner) and absolutely belted it. If you want to get him out, throw curveballs! I think some of this has to do with the fact that Ray is on my fantasy team, and from what I can gather, three earned runs in 2/3 an inning...yeah, not so good.

8:38: By the way, had sushi for the first time last night...not bad. My friend happened to hold up on the whole guacamole joke in terms of wasabi, which apparently is a staple for a "make everyone laugh so hard they start crying" kind of moment. I kind of liked the sushi with a fork and knife, but apparently that's a taboo in the sushi industry (I don't know, I feel like when I eat something with a fork and knife, I can appreciate it more...I mean call me weird, but I started eating pizza like that around three years ago and haven't looked back...I'm telling you, I'm out there).

8:41: I promised a three-round mock draft, but due to time restrictions, here's what I'm going to do: After I take a bit of a cat nap, and shower, and do all those wonderful things I'm sure you want to here all about, I'm going to post the final first round prognostication, and then, throughout the day, I will be posting the rest of Day One's picks. I know this is kind of "cheating" in a way, but there's really no time for me to try and break down every team and every pick right now, so the first round (which I think will last for about six hours) will definitely be a good time to do so.

8:44: Honestly, do you remember the last time you went into Draft Day being totally clueless about who would go #1 (even last year, Mario Williams was signed the day before)? I still think Oakland would be crazy not to take Russell, and be even more crazy to take Brady Quinn, who I have said time and time again will be miserable in the pros. If the pick is Calvin Johnson, I can't really blame them in those regards, because he is simply the best player coming out this year.

8:46: As of right now, my gut feeling tells me the Pats are going linebacker, then defensive back in Round One. If I had things my way, I would go either Posluszny/Beason at 24, and Griffin/Weddle at 28. Apparently, Weddle is slipping down the board, and Eric Wright, the former Southern Cal DB who eventually ended up on UNLV because of some "off-the-field" issues, has taken over has the defensive back "on the rise." I think if Weddle is still around at, say #40, the Pats should do a similar maneuver like they did last year, and trade up and get this guy. I mean Weddle is the real deal, and he fits Bill's "do anything for the team" type of character profile.

8:49: I think Mel Kiper dumbed down the amount of hair spray he's using. Can anyone back me up on that?

8:51: Ok, well I'm wicked tired, so I'm going to go take a nap, because today is going to be a long day. This went well. I think once I start doing it more, it will come a little more naturally. I will be checking back in hopefully around 11-11:30. I'm going to be watching the Draft at my friend Wright's place (he may be referred to as "Sweater" at some point today...don't ask...ok, chest hair joke...I know, juvenile...I told you not to ask!), so it's basically on him as to when I can start up this little shindig. Take care now. Peace.


Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Calm Before The Storm

"Shining down like water."

With only two days left to go until the 2007 NFL Draft, the rumors have been swirling around, and some of them could have a huge impact on who goes where. In certain scenarios, teams will be looking to gain a veteran who has playing experience who can play now over a building project that will take a few years to bloom. Some fan bases can't wait two or three years for top prospects. They want results now. After all, this is America, pretty much the most impatient nation in the world. So, some teams will be looking to franchise the future in order to find a fix right now.

The biggest rumor going right now has to be the Larry Johnson situation in Kansas City. It seems that KC is thinking that there will be no way they will be able to re-sign LJ, as he is playing out the final year of his rookie deal. From the sound of it, Johnson is going to be looking for a contract that will pay him more than the 7-year, $60 million deal LaDainian Tomlinson received from San Diego two years ago. Also, there is already a lot of bad blood between LJ and the Kansas City organization after his rookie year, where Dick Vermeil knocked his work habit, and got absolutely no playing time because of the incumbent Priest Holmes. Johnson has rushed for 1,700 yards the last two seasons and has positioned himself as the second best runner in the league. When you factor in the fact that the NFL increases its salary cap every year, you can understand why Johnson is feeling the way he does. Also, considering the Chiefs line, which was once probably the best in the league, is getting older and older. Will Shields retired, and their outside tackles, Kyle Turley and Chris Terry, may not have enough gas left to be able to contain the pressure that will come from the corners. The Chiefs will be compensated with a "sandwich" pick if they are unable to re-sign Johnson (a sandwich pick meaning that Kansas City will receive a pick that puts them in the middle of two rounds, hence the name "sandwich;" with Johnson's value, it will almost surely be in between the first and second rounds). Another option they may try is franchising Johnson, but it would probably end up being like a Lance Briggs-like situation (more on him later). So, with all that considered, it would seem like the Chiefs could attempt to try and get something more than just a sandwich pick. However, it would appear KC will be asking a whole heck of a lot, because there is absolutely no way any team will get anything close to the caliber back of Johnson in the Draft (Peterson looks great, but come on, do you think he has the potential to rush for 1,700 yards in nine games like LJ did two years ago?). So far, from what I have gathered, the teams interested have been the usual suspects in terms of teams in dire need of a runner (Cleveland, Buffalo, Green Bay, Tennessee), but no one has been able to put up the kind of deal the Chiefs want in return (probably two first-rounders and a defensive starter). The Chiefs also have Michael Bennett sitting on the bench, so it's not as though they have nothing to fall back on (he's no LJ, but with the line right now, Bennett should approach 1,000 yards). This will be an ongoing story, because it would change the entire landscape of not only the Draft, but the entire league. This guy is a franchise-changer. He can literally account for 7-8 wins by himself each year, so considering if he winds up on a team like the Packers or the Titans, they instantly become not only a contender to make the playoffs, but a contender to wind up in the Super Bowl. Dead serious on that one.

Speaking of Kansas City, they have another guy who has been piping the rumor mill for almost two months, QB Trent Green. Teams like Miami and Cleveland have been inquiring about Green for the whole time, and still, no progress has been made. Miami is just dying to make this trade. They realize that Daunte Culpepper (again, more about him later) was a huge mistake, and is not nearly dependable enough to stay healthy for the entire season. Then, when you consider that their backup is Kiko Calero, you know the Dolphins are in the market for someone to step in behind center for the upcoming year. What remains to be seen is if the interest the Dolphins have in the top two QBs in the Draft (Russell and Quinn) is greater than what they have for a proven veteran like Green, who has said he wants to play for two or three more years. As of right now, the teams cannot come to terms on compensation. The Chiefs want a second rounder, while the Dolphins have been rumored to only want to give up a fourth rounder. What is interesting is that Kansas City's GM referenced the Wes Welker trade to the Pats, and how if the Pats gave up a second and seventh rounder for Welker, it would seem that a starting QB would garner a little more than a second day pick. This deal, if it were to be completed, would greatly change how the Dolphins draft. They would definitely be willing to trade down, because they are still a team with a lot of needs, including defensive backs, who are readily available at the tail end of the first round.

Daunte Culpepper is all but out in Miami, and it seems as though it won't matter if they get Green or not. The Dolphins will be attempting to trade up, and if they can't accomplish that, they will be selecting someone in the second round (Drew Stanton or Trent Edwards), and Miami will try and get someone else to hold down the fort until their new guy is ready (maybe Josh McCown?). So, they will either release or trade Culpepper, and a rumored location has been Oakland, which is very intriguing considering who already resides on that team. Could reuniting Randy Moss and Culpepper possibly turn both their careers around? I'm a little cautious about this though. Oakland's line is horrible, and their running game is not much better, meaning defenses will be able to key up on Moss and the deep passing game. Still, it's apparent that Moss needs someone to bomb the ball because he has struggled mightily since his arrival in Oakland. Here's something to think about: If the Raiders do end up with Culpepper, what do they do with the #1 pick? Personally, I think they have no choice but to get JaMarcus Russell. Even though Calvin Johnson is by far and away the best prospect in the Draft, the Raiders desperately need someone to take the reigns of the offense for the long run. You have to realize that Culpepper is not going to be the long-term solution. However, his build and style of play closely resembles that of Russell. If the Raiders can create some kind of offensive gameplan to work around the likes of Culpepper, it would create for a much smoother transition into the offense for Russell. Johnson looks like a great prospect, but I have never had too much confidence in receivers going near the top of the Draft. But these are the Raiders, meaning that they are unpredictable and ready to mix it up a little. Definitely stay tuned for that.

There is still no resolution in the Lance Briggs fiasco, but things are getting a lot less cloudy for Briggs' future. At the initial outset, the Redskins looked like they were the front-runners, offering a switch of first-round picks (Chicago would move to #6, Washington down to #31) for Briggs, which at the time seemed like a fairly good deal for the Bears, especially when you consider that Briggs has already threatened to sit out ten games of the regular season if he is given only his one year "franchise" tenure. However, the Bears balked, and decided that there were better deals out there (apparently, if LB Rocky McIntosh, the 'Skins second rounder from last year, was included in the deal, it would get done). Recently, two more teams have joined the fray. Tampa has said to have significant interest in Briggs, and if they can not get Calvin Johnson (if the Raiders do not draft Johnson, I find it hard to believe that he will end up anywhere else but Tampa), the Bucs could use its pick at #4 to try and obtain Briggs. Also, Tampa just cleared up room in its salary cap by releasing LB Shelton Quarles (who may have a small impact of his own, especially if he ends up on Indy with former head coach Tony Dungy; it would definitely mean the Colts would be focusing on the defensive backfield, especially if they can't retain Nick Harper), so it would seem like they have the means to get Briggs, but again, they are dying to get Johnson, and are basically doing whatever they can (including trading up to #1 with Oakland) to get him. Denver has also joined in the fold after the departure of long-tenured linebacker Al Wilson, but will need to come up with a major deal to pull that off, as they are picking at #21, which further inclines me to believe that the Broncos will be looking at guys like Lawrence Timmons, Paul Posluszny, or Jon Beason to fill their need.

This one kind of hits close to these parts, as Carolina is apparently fed up with Kris Jenkins, and is looking to move him. Reportedly, Jenkins has had difficulty keeping his body in "game condition," as he's put on nearly 25 pounds since the start of last year. About three or four years ago, Jenkins was considered the best defensive tackle in the league, and the heir apparent to Warren Sapp as far as the most dominant interior lineman in the game. However, Jenkins' wok ethic has really slowed down his progress, and he has fallen back into mediocrity thanks to the multiple injuries he has suffered over the past couple of seasons (played four games in '04 and only 1 in '05). Recently, however, coach John Fox has come out and said Jenkins will be back with the Panthers next yearThe Broncos showed initial interest, but now it seems the Rams, who happen to be picking one spot ahead of Carolina, appear to be the front-runners, and the current rumored deal has been the switching of first rounders and a second day pick in this year's or next year's Draft for Jenkins. If Scott Linehan (coach of St. Louis) is able to turn Jenkins into a diligent worker, then I don't see any reason that Jenkins cannot return back to his Pro Bowl-form (will be 28 years old and in his seventh season, so he still has plenty of time to right the ship; the only doubt is in his desire, as he has all the tools necessary to be a real presence up front).

The last name of great significance would have to be Michael "The Burner" Turner (I think anytime anyone mentions him now-a-days, they have to throw in "the burner;" I mean that's a great nickname, but in casual conversation, can we just say Michael Turner every once in a while? Maybe that's just me, I don't know). Tennessee has been the front runner all along for Turner had the fourth most yards per carry last year in a season of rushing for more than 500 yards in the history of the NFL! San Diego has come out and said that the chances of Turner continuing to backup LT are "around 70%." Still, I would have to imagine that San Diego will at least entertain offers, as it will take at least a first-round pick swap and another first day pick to land Turner (may even be another first rounder next year). What I find fascinating is that most "veteran for draft pick" trades that come up are suddenly using the "Deion Branch barometer" in determining what kind of value they can get back for a on-the-cusp veteran (on-the-cusp meaning that he isn't a star yet, but definitely has that potential, which is true about Branch because, when he was with the Pats, he was clearly the #1 guy, but not really a "star" by any standards). Here's the thing: Seattle got absolutely screwed on that trade. First of all, they already had a #1 receiver in Darnell Jackson, so clearly, they were looking for someone to upgrade their receiving core (which I said time and time again was the best all-around bunch in the NFL, even better than Wayne/Stokley/Harrison because there were at least five guys on that team that could be at least a #2 receiver on just about every team), but giving up a first-rounder for him? That simply was a dumb move. Seattle would have been just fine without Branch (who did put up good numbers with them: 53 receptions for 725 yards). They also should have had a lot more leverage as far as how much they would give up, as it was a certainity that Branch was willing to sit out the entire season if the Pats did not offer a suitable, long-term deal. So why did they have to give up so much for him? Not saying it will pan out this way, but at pick #24, you will probably have your pick of guys like Sidney Rice, Dwayne Bowe, Dwayne Jarrett, and Anthony Gonzalez. So, instead of paying a guy like Branch top 10 receiver money (which I'm still not convinced he's worth), they could have waited it out, started the group of Jackson, Nate Burleson, D.J. Hackett, and Bobby Engram (who was hurt for a good part of the year, I'll give them that) and drafted a guy like Rice or Jarrett that have tremendous size and would have caused headaches for the NFC West corners, many of whom are undersized and inexperienced (Antrel Rolle and Tye Hill come to mind). Anyway, getting back to Turner. This guy actually seems like he could be worth trading a first round pick for. Unless this is a complete illusion brought on by defenses that were worn down after Tomlinson ran all over them, Turner has the physicality and the quickness to be an every-down back. Another thing is that Turner only has 157 rushing attempts in three seasons, so he is still relatively young and probably has a lot of wear left on the tires. Tennessee is clearly desperate for two skill positions, running back and wide receiver. If they are able to get Turner, they will go head-on after one of the top tier of receivers coming out this year (as if they weren't already doing that anyway).

Well, the last mock draft will be coming at you tomorrow as soon as I get back from Charlotte. Again, the running diary will be going on all of Saturday afternoon. Check back about once an hour to see what my impressions were on the first day (I'm pretty sure I'll only do the first two rounds...hey, that's still like eight hours...good times). Until then, have a good one. Peace.


Monday, April 23, 2007

East Lansing And Beyond

“Nobody said it was easy.”

Hope everyone out there is enjoying this beautiful weekend. Who would have thought that it would be as warm here in East Lansing, MI as it was in South Carolina? I’m up here visiting the campus of Michigan State while seeing my friend, and I have to tell you, MSU’s campus destroys USC…destroys. I am as proud as anyone that I am going to join the USC alumni (it’s taking a long time to get here though). All I’m saying is that you really don’t know about “college living” until you go to some of these places and take it all in. I think the reason behind it is that USC is located in the heart of Columbia, which happens to also double as the state’s capital. So basically, you have to build around a city, making space an issue. I’m not saying that USC isn’t great and beautiful…it is. However, when you have a school like Michigan State that is located on what seems to be a never-ending plot of land, it blew me away how grand and majestic it was. I hate to say it, but I feel the same way about Clemson. It’s like the city was built around the college, and not the other way around. Anyway, that’s about enough gushing as probably all you can stand. The point I’m making is it’s absolutely gorgeous up here, and apparently, even better in the fall when the trees have all their leaves (I guess that’s kind of obvious, but I’ve been hearing that a lot this weekend).

Obviously the Draft is basically the only thing on my mind. I mean this thing takes over my life for like the entire month of April (or as I refer to it, “NESN Withdrawal Month”). This seems to be the most uncertain the Draft has been in quite some time (I am fully aware that I keep mentioning that, but still, I can’t get over how many different possibilities could happen…exciting stuff if you get your kicks off of this, which fortunately I do). Of course, what makes everything great is who is sitting at the top of the Draft board. I mean does it get any better than Al Davis? You want to talk about unpredictable? Here’s “Exhibit A” (“Who knows what he’s going to do? He fires people like it’s a bodily function!”). As if the Draft wasn’t great enough. As far as a comparison, think of it like a pyro at an Exxon station…pretty volatile…cannot wait.

I think there’s some kind of conspiracy regarding radio stations and how many good songs they’re allowed to play every hour. Do you ever catch yourself totally “vibing out” when a station (literally any station by the way) plays like four or five songs in a row you totally dig, and then all of a sudden, like it was some unwritten law, a song comes on that is so not happening. I find this especially true with ‘80s music. I mean I’m all about tunes from then, but sometimes, I find myself being like “I know the ‘80s were wild times, but people actually liked this one?” Basically my point is why can’t a station just keep playing songs that the masses enjoy, and not try and hit every little demographic out there (totally adding radio program director to the list of “jobs I think I would be exceptionally good at, but know there’s absolutely no way I will ever be able to do it”…ugh, such a long list for my un-talented self)?

Oh by the way…how ‘bout them Red Sox?” The three game sweep of the Yanks became official last night, with none other than Paps shutting the door in the ninth in two straight games. Oh, and did I mention four homers in a row on Sunday! Yeah, that’s happened for the Sox, umm…never. It’s so cool when you are witnessing history “first hand” (hey, when watching a game in HD, it’s close enough). I think this is true regardless of the fact if it’s positive or negative. Like I remember when Chris Bosio tossed a no-hitter against the Sox way back in the day (’95?). It totally sucked watching my favorite team in the world get completely dominated like that, but at the same time, it was like “wow, this guy is going nuts on us, and he has a chance to do something that is fairly rare in this game…I’m definitely intrigued.” Anyway, Sunday was incredibly positive in that regard. I also learned a bunch of things from the three-game set:

  1. I mean I love Wily Mo, but the dude has such a case of “Cerrano” going on, it’s completely ridiculous. I mean you have to think Torre is telling Posada, or later Nieves, to be like “if you put down one finger while Pena is up, you’re so getting sent to Columbus.” I mean Wily Mo needs some serious help laying off the slow stuff. Also, he needs to try and be more of a contact hitter instead of trying to smoke everything. I can’t even count the number of times last year where he swung so hard, and ending up hitting cue shots right in front of the plate. I’m dead serious when I say he really needs to go to Pawtucket for awhile, because he doesn’t nearly get the kind of reps in Boston that he would in AAA. So…just throwing that out there, and it would actually be nice if someone listened to me for once.
  2. Dustin Pedroia is going to be amazing, but these next couple of months are going to be incredibly rough. I can’t even imagine what’s going through his head? “Ok, I’m playing second for the Sox, and we’re playing the Yankees at Fenway on national TV in front of 37,000 people…(pause for endless stream of obscenities and other expletive material). However, he showed a lot of promise, especially in the field. Now, the question will be if he can carry over the poise he shows in the field to the plate. Someone eventually is going to have to sit him down and tell him that the uppercut swing is not going to fly if you’re a 10-15 homer guy.
  3. A-Rod is the best player in the game. I’ve tried numerous times to convince myself otherwise, but in the end, the facts are there, and no one right now is even close to the level he’s at. However, in being the best player, he has also showed that, in the past, when it counts…nothing. I am almost ready to call him the Peyton Manning of baseball…he’s clearly the best at his position, and has numbers to make him a sure-fire first ballot hall of famer, but when it comes down to the big moments (of course, Peyton got over this hump), yeah, not so much. I would say that a change of scenery would do him good, but realize that, most likely, this is going to be his best shot at a title. I think there would be about two or three teams that can a.) afford him and b.) offer him the kind of protection like he’s getting right now in that order. If he opts out of the remaining three years of his pre-existing deal, people are going to start to wonder if he is just out for himself or if he actually has the desire to win a championship.
  4. If the Sox were looking for a stretch to take advantage of the Yankees and create some space between them in the standings, now is going to be the best time. Clearly, their pitching is so roughed up and completely non-Yankee like (oh yeah, really reached back for that adjective). Wang is scheduled to come back later this week, but even he can’t solve all the problems they have. Sure, their starting pitching is completely decimated at this point, but they are going to have guys come back pretty soon to cover up the holes. I think the bullpen is easily their biggest concern right now. When you have a 6-2 lead going into the eighth inning, it should be all over but the crying if you look in terms of who is at the back-end of their relievers. I mean…it’s Mo. The guy with one pitch who can locate better than almost any pitcher out there. Yet when I saw him pitch his one appearance on Friday night, I couldn’t get over how awful he looked. First of all, his velocity has gone down about 7 MPH, and for those of you who don’t know, that is an absolutely huge difference. Second, he can’t locate, which is bad news considering he only has one pitch, meaning it’s not as though he can say “well this one isn’t working tonight, better try something else.” No. It’s cut fastballs, and that’s it. This is what used to, and really still does, frustrate the hell out of me. “He’s got one pitch! How is he so good!” The key was that Rivera would set guys up big time. Against lefties, he would jam them inside, then locate on the outside corner, with the ball sweeping across the corner at the very last second. And to righties, he was able to throw the ball down the middle, then have it tail off, causing hitters to either miss entirely, or hit cue shot ground balls. I mean the guy was extremely effective, and is arguably the greatest closer to ever live (for my money…yes). But now he looks like a mere mortal out there. He seems weak, and certainly doesn’t strike the fear into batters like he once did. It’s funny because now, on the other side of the line, you have Papelbon, who, as of right now, cannot be touched. No one, and I mean no one has figured this guy out yet. Plus, it seems like he gets stronger and stronger with each out, which is tricky when you’re facing a guy who throws right at about 100 MPH with his fastball, then can drop the hook in at about 80-82 MPH. Plus, he has a great cutter. Not as good as the one Rivera used to throw, but still, it gets the job done. To me, it seems like the game is evolving to the point where you need at least three effective pitches to get people out, not like back in the day, when all a pitcher needed was his “out pitch” to get himself out of a jam. So the Yankees definitely need to be concerned with this, because up until now, they have been in cruise control as far as dealing with closers. They never really accounted for the fact that Rivera could get older and start losing some of his stuff. What they really need is similar to what they had back in the mid ‘90s, when John Wetteland was the guy in the ninth, but they had Rivera coming up, and it was a certainty that he would be “the guy” eventually once Wetteland wore down. I look to Detroit and see a similar set of circumstances. The Tigers have Todd Jones closing now, but know that it’s only a matter of time until he can’t do it anymore, and the job will belong to Joel Zumaya, but until that day comes, they will rely on Jones to keep up his end, while Zumaya is the eighth inning guy, and just waiting in the wings for his opportunity. Look for the Yanks to start looking for someone come July, this of course assuming Rivera continues to struggle like he has (almost a month through, he has no saves and has blown two).
  5. Dice-K is going to be a great pitcher, and probably will win in excess of 20 wins a season, but already, I can tell that people are a little too high on him right now. The guy has some of the best stuff I have ever seen, but his lack of experience dealing with major league hitters is going to catch up with him. I will say he has shown a tremendous amount of poise throughout everything. The negotiations dealing with his posting, the contract issue, Spring Training, and now, being at Fenway, where literally billions of people are watching and studying his every move. Nothing really seems to affect how he handles himself. However, I have seen some moments when he will get flustered with himself in a certain situation. As long as he can keep those moments to a minimum, and learn to adjust to the workload that goes along with pitching in the MLB, he will be fine. Still, I want to see how hitters adjust to him once we get into June and July, and a detailed scouting report is going to be out on him, then you are really going to know how good Dice-K can be (I’m not trying to sound pessimistic; trust me, this guy has got the goods, but I caution myself and everyone out there to not get to high up on the guy because, eventually, he will struggle, and people have got to understand that it’s an inevitability; people will have the right to get down on him, but in the same token, they have to realize that this guy is here for six years; it’s not as though this is a one year experiment; so you have to be excited about the potential this guy has)
  6. Major League Baseball is absolutely right to be scheduling these games on the weekend, and thus, getting them on national TV. Sure, it’s April, but still, you have to know that a win in April is just as important as a win in September. So, when you hit the stretch run, these games are even more significant in terms of the standings and the tie-breaker, which is division wins (ahem, thank you 2005 Red Sox for the crash course on that…had the same amount of wins at the end of the year, but because of the tie-break, ended up getting the wild card and had to go on the road to play Chicago, the inevitable champs, while New York hosted Oakland). And also, why hide what people really want to see? You know that people are going to be glued to these games because the rivalry is larger than life (although there have been subtle things that have kind of dumbed it down a little…the WS title of ’04, while amazing, slightly lessened the emphasis on the Yanks). Still, people will watch it every single time that it’s on. The same thing applies to the Cubs/Cardinals series, which is really starting to pick up steam after the Tribune sold the Cubbies and they started flashing the green to free agents (which is the reason I believe Zambrano is going to sign an extension here…the times are changing, and it seems like Chicago is much more willing to over-pay their stars, which certainly wasn’t true about the old team). Sure, MLB is basically a publicity whore by doing this, but at the same time, they are satisfying the general public and the demand that games like these call for.

I can’t get into UFC or Pride or any of that kind of stuff. Here’s my logic behind that: I don’t really like that much violence. Sure, I definitely appreciate boxing and wrestling (fake and real), but when I’m watching this stuff, it’s like…wow. I mean these guys are really going at each other. And then, when they’re down, they still beat the crap out of the guy. Unbelievable! Even in real fighting when a guy goes down, generally, you allow him to get up (generally, unless this is like “Rose Down Valley Stream” and that kind of stuff…fictional movie gangs are tremendous). However, this thing is really getting popular. The fights are bringing in a ton of money, and TV shows are starting to pop up more and more. Maybe it’s just me, but is this kind of a reflection on society right now? I just think people are a little too pissed off at the moment. Again, this is just my philosophy, and if you can’t understand…groovy, but allow me to explain. Look at fake wrestling and boxing from back in the day. It was all about gamesmanship. It wasn’t about trying to incapacitate someone. It was about the spirit of competition (which UFC definitely has). I mean guys can get really, really messed up in these fights. Sure, in boxing, you will have your fair share of injuries, and once in a while, something really bad, but the rate of serious injuries has got to be way higher in “the Octagon” than it would be in “the squared circle.” The reason I’m bringing this up is that I was watching a promo for a fight coming up on Spike (which by the way, is totally genius that they have Pay-Per-View-like fights on basic cable; if nothing else, I give the heads of these companies credit for thinking outside the box in the attempt to become relevant), and was really taken back by it. I mean, it was the promo! This is the stuff that they advertise with on ESPN, meaning that there is probably way worse than that going on (and there is). I don’t know, call me “soft” or what not, but I’m just not sure this is the kind of thing we as a country need right now. Not sure putting emphasis on violence is the best statement to be making.

ESPN The Magazine is about five years away from catching Sports Illustrated as far as popularity and its overall contribution to the world of sports. They took what was basically the formula for Sporting News and improved on it. When I get my magazine in the mail, I know that I have reading material for a long, long time. Not saying that SI isn’t good. It absolutely is. I think what I mean to say is that ESPN just seems to be much more relevant and kind of “with it” than SI. It’s like SI is kind of the “antique” magazine, while ESPN is pushing the envelope a little more. SI will continue to be a great read, and extremely popular, but for my money, ESPN is about ten times better. The reason is because, first, you have ESPN personalities contributing, which is the kind of exposure that allowed “The Mag” to really get off the ground running. We all know who these guys are. Dan Patrick, Stuart Scott, Mike and Mike, etc. These guys are on TV and radio all the time. So, if they already have a bit of a “following,” then it would seem as though their fans would make a fairly smooth transition over to reading ESPN. I also like that ESPN is willing to try new things to make their magazine better. For example, the recent “baseball preview” felt like an almanac. I mean the thing was huge. SI will come out with “double issues,” but they don’t cover nearly the depth that ESPN does. I figured I would point that out because over the weekend, I happened to be reading both at around the same time, and found myself saying “man, ESPN is just so much better than SI.” Also, ESPN’s contributors seem to be a lot more witty and able to poke fun at things a lot more easily than SI. I compare it kind of to the New York Times and the New York Post. The Times is where you go to get the serious information and ground-breaking exposés. Whereas you get a similar flow of information in the Post, but there’s a lot more freedom and less of a set structure. Again, this is probably just me, but then again, I do have opinions…you did see the disclaimer at the top right?

Anyway, that’s all for now. The next post is most likely going to be the final “Mock Draft,” which I’m planning on getting to as close to the actual thing as possible. In addition, I am going to attempt to do a running diary of the Draft itself, but I have never done one of these (I e-mailed Bill to get any tips…nothing back yet). However, my attention span and alcohol consumption could hinder that, so stay tuned. Have a good rest of the week. Peace.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Final Position Rankings

"She's alone in the new pollution."

With all the pro days completed, it is now a wait and see process about who will be going where. So now, it will become an issue of personnel getting together and determining their boards. With that will come the leaks, which will start to give momentum to players who have been red hot. Guys like Amobi Okoye, who has seen his stock go to meteoric heights since the Combine and his pro day. So, these are my final rankings, but as shown from recent history, guys will see their stock rise and plummet literally hours before the Draft, and sometimes, even during the Draft. So now, I'm going to list the top 200 prospects in order of straight-up talent, with no bearing on what team is picking where. After that, I'm going to list every player that is eligible to be drafted. You can click on the name to check out their prospect profile, and also, there is room for round, pick, and team so you can play along at home. Well alright now:
  1. Calvin Johnson, WR, Georgia Tech
  2. JaMarcus Russell, QB, LSU
  3. Joe Thomas, OT, Wisconsin
  4. Gaines Adams, DE, Clemson
  5. Adrian Peterson, RB, Oklahoma
  6. Amobi Okoye, DT, Louisville
  7. Brady Quinn, QB, Notre Dame
  8. LaRon Landry, S, LSU
  9. Patrick Willis, ILB, Ole Miss
  10. Leon Hall, CB, Michigan
  11. Adam Carriker, DE, Nebraska
  12. Alan Branch, DT, Michigan
  13. Levi Brown, OT, Penn St.
  14. Joe Staley, OT, Eastern Michigan
  15. Marshawn Lynch, RB, California
  16. Chris Houston, CB, Arkansas
  17. Jarvis Moss, DE/OLB, Florida
  18. Robert Meachem, WR, Tennessee
  19. Jamaal Anderson, DE, Arkansas
  20. Greg Olsen, TE, Miami
  21. Reggie Nelson, S, Florida
  22. Jon Beason, OLB, Miami
  23. Michael Griffin, S, Texas
  24. Darrelle Revis, CB, Pittsburgh
  25. Ted Ginn, Jr., WR, Ohio St.
  26. Dwayne Bowe, WR, LSU
  27. Paul Posluszny, OLB, Penn St.
  28. Aaron Ross, CB, Texas
  29. Justin Blalock, OT/G, Texas
  30. Ryan Kalil, C, Southern Cal
  31. Charles Johnson, DE, Georgia
  32. Lawrence Timmons, OLB, Florida St.
  33. Dwayne Jarrett, WR, Southern Cal
  34. Marcus McCauley, CB, Fresno St.
  35. Anthony Spencer, DE, Purdue
  36. David Harris, ILB, Michigan
  37. Brandon Meriweather, S, Miami
  38. Brian Leonard, FB, Rutgers
  39. LaMarr Woodley, DE, Michigan
  40. Eric Weddle, CB/S, Utah
  41. Eric Wright, CB, UNLV
  42. Sidney Rice, WR, USC
  43. Tony Ugoh, OT, Utah
  44. Anthony Gonzalez, WR, Ohio St.
  45. Victor Abiamiri, DE, Notre Dame
  46. Justin Harrell, DT, Tennessee
  47. Trent Edwards, QB, Stanford
  48. Aaron Sears, OT, Tennessee
  49. Michael Bush, RB, Louisville
  50. Antonio Pittman, RB, Ohio St.
  51. Ben Grubbs, G, Auburn
  52. Quinn Pitcock, DT, Ohio St.
  53. Ben Patrick, TE, Delaware
  54. Tim Crowder, DE, Texas
  55. Aaron Rouse, S, Virginia Tech
  56. Demarcus Tyler, DT, North Carolina St.
  57. Zach Miller, TE, Arizona St.
  58. Daymeion Hughes, CB, California
  59. Brandon Siler, OLB, Florida
  60. Aundrae Allison, WR, East Carolina
  61. Kenny Irons, RB, Auburn
  62. Steve Smith, WR, Southern Cal
  63. Craig Davis, WR, LSU
  64. Ikaika Alama-Francis, DE, Hawaii
  65. Drew Stanton, QB, Michigan St.
  66. Josh Beekman, OG, Boston College
  67. Ray McDonald, DE, Florida
  68. Lorenzo Booker, RB, Florida St.
  69. Johnathan Wade, CB, Tennessee
  70. Josh Wilson, CB, Maryland
  71. Kevin Kolb, QB, Houston
  72. Tony Hunt, RB, Penn St.
  73. Fred Bennett, CB, USC
  74. Jason Hill, WR, Washington St.
  75. Tanard Jackson, CB, Syracuse
  76. Sabby Piscitelli, S, Oregon St.
  77. Justin Durant, OLB, Hampton
  78. Zak DeOssie, ILB, Brown
  79. David Irons, CB, Auburn
  80. H.B. Blades, ILB, Pittsburgh
  81. John Beck, QB, BYU
  82. Brandon Mebane, DT, California
  83. Tarell Brown, CB, Texas
  84. Leroy Harris, C, North Carolina St.
  85. Quentin Moses, DE, Georgia
  86. Samson Satele, C, Hawaii
  87. Stewart Bradley, OLB, Nebraska
  88. Mason Crosby, K, Colorado
  89. Johnnie Lee Higgins, WR, UTEP
  90. Troy Smith, QB, Ohio St.
  91. Chris Henry, RB, Arizona
  92. Manuel Ramirez, OG, Texas Tech
  93. James Marten, OT, Boston College
  94. Marshall Yanda, OG, Iowa
  95. Buster Davis, OLB, Florida St.
  96. Michael Coe, CB, Alabama St.
  97. Rufus Alexander, OLB, Oklahoma
  98. Antonio Johnson, DT, Mississippi St.
  99. John Wendling, S, Wyoming
  100. Scott Chandler, TE, Iowa
  101. Mike Walker, WR, Central Florida
  102. Jordan Palmer, QB, UTEP
  103. Josh Gattis, S, Wake Forest
  104. Paul Williams, WR, Fresno St.
  105. Brandon Frye, OT, Virginia Tech
  106. Courtney Taylor, WR, Auburn
  107. Rory Jackson, ILB, Ole Miss
  108. Dustin Fry, C, Clemson
  109. Yamon Figurs, WR, Kansas St.
  110. C.J. Gaddis, CB, Clemson
  111. Adam Podlesh, P, Maryland
  112. Daniel Bazuin, DE, Central Michigan
  113. David Jones, CB, Wingate
  114. David Clowney, WR, Virginia Tech
  115. Usama Young, CB, Kent St.
  116. Jackie Battle, RB, Houston
  117. A.J. Davis, CB, North Carolina St.
  118. Michael Okwo, ILB, Stanford
  119. Nate Harris, OLB, Louisville
  120. Ryan Moore, WR, Miami
  121. Derek Landri, DT, Notre Dame
  122. Jay Alford, DT, Penn St.
  123. Tim Shaw, OLB, Penn St.
  124. Daniel Bazuin, DE, Central Michigan
  125. Anthony Arline, CB, Baylor
  126. Matt Spaeth, TE, Minnesota
  127. Timothy Duckworth, OG, Auburn
  128. Roderick Rogers, S, Wisconsin
  129. Turk McBride, DT, Tennessee
  130. Jacoby Jones, WR, Lane
  131. Bo Smith, CB, Kentucky
  132. Stephen Nicholas, OLB, South Florida
  133. Doug Free, OT, Northern Illinois
  134. Dan Mozes, C, West Virginia
  135. Ronnie McGill, RB, North Carolina
  136. Gary Russell, RB, Minnesota
  137. Andy Alleman, OG, Akron
  138. Enoka Lucas, C, Oregon
  139. Cameron Stephenson, OG, Rutgers
  140. Earl Everett, OLB, Florida
  141. Chris Davis, WR, Florida St.
  142. Cory Anderson, FB, Tennessee
  143. DeShawn Wynn, RB, Florida
  144. Chansi Stuckey, WR, Clemson
  145. Gerald Alexander, S, Boise St.
  146. Mansfield Wrotto, OG, Georgia Tech
  147. Jared Zabransky, QB, Boise St.
  148. Jason Snelling, RB, Virginia
  149. Paul Soliai, DT, Utah
  150. Michael Johnson, S, Arizona
  151. Noland Burchette, DE, Virginia Tech
  152. Ryan Smith, CB, Florida
  153. Louis Leonard, DT, Fresno St.
  154. Kolby Smith, RB, Louisville
  155. Marvin White, S, TCU
  156. Corey Graham, CB, New Hampshire
  157. Anthony Pudewell, TE, Nevada
  158. Kasey Studdard, OG, Texas
  159. Tra Battle, CB, Georgia
  160. Keith Jackson, Jr., DT, Arkansas
  161. Juwan Simpson, OLB, Alabama
  162. Quincy Black, OLB, New Mexico
  163. Chris Denman, OT, Fresno St.
  164. Matt King, OLB, Maine
  165. Zach Cantanese, S, Arizona St.
  166. Ryan McBean, DT, Oklahoma St.
  167. Mario Henderson, OT, Florida St.
  168. Larry Birdine, DE, Oklahoma
  169. Kelvin Smith, ILB, Syracuse
  170. Clark Harris, TE, Rutgers
  171. Daren Stone, S, Miami
  172. Laurent Robinson, WR, Illinois St.
  173. Ramonce Taylor, RB, Texas
  174. Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, Marshall
  175. Maurice Price, WR, Charleston Southern
  176. Thaddeus Washington, ILB, Colorado
  177. Jon Cornish, RB, Kansas
  178. Tyler Palko, QB, Pittsburgh
  179. Dane Uperesa, OT, Hawaii
  180. Jon Newton, TE, Oregon St.
  181. Adam Koets, OT, Oregon St.
  182. Victor DeGrate, DE, Oklahoma St.
  183. Brannon Condren, S, Troy
  184. Uche Nwaneri, OG, Purdue
  185. Kenneth Darby, RB, Alabama
  186. Abe Brown, OLB, Louisville
  187. Johnathan Holland, WR, Louisiana Tech
  188. Doug Datish, C, Ohio St.
  189. Sam Olajubutu, OLB, Arkansas
  190. Herbert Taylor, OG, TCU
  191. David Patterson, DT, Ohio St.
  192. Dan Santucci, OG, Notre Dame
  193. Travarous Bain, CB, Hampton
  194. C.J. Wilson, CB, Baylor
  195. Antwan Barnes, OLB, Florida International
  196. Kevin Boss, TE, Western Oregon
  197. Tala Esera, OG, Hawaii
  198. Gabe Hall, OG, Texas Tech
  199. Allen Barbre, OT, Missouri Southern St.
  200. Chindeum Ndukwe, S, Notre Dame

Beck, John6-2216Brigham Young

Edwards, Trent6-3222Stanford

Getsy, Luke6-2223Akron

Gutierrez, Matt6-4232Idaho State

Huff, Kevin6-1217Tuskegee

Kolb, Kevin6-3220Houston

Korrodi, Toby6-3234Central Missouri

Leak, Chris5-11210Florida

Palko, Tyler6-2215Pittsburgh

Palmer, Jordan6-6231Texas-El Paso

Pinkney, James6-2208East Carolina

Quinn, Brady6-3226Notre Dame

Rascati, Justin6-2217James Madison

Ricard, Lester6-5222Tulane

Rowe, Jeff6-5226Nevada

Russell, JaMarcus6-6263Louisiana State

Smith, Troy6-1213Ohio State

Stanback, Isaiah6-2216Washington

Stanton, Drew6-3235Michigan State

Swogger, Josh6-4237Montana

Taylor, Zac6-2216Nebraska

Zabransky, Jared6-2219Boise State

Running Backs
Banks, Alvin5-11226James Madison

Battle, Jackie6-2235Houston

Booker, Lorenzo5-10193Florida State

Bradshaw, Ahmad5-9198Marshall

Buckley, Eldra5-9202Tennessee-Chattanooga

Bush, Michael6-3253Louisville

Clayton, Thomas5-10218Kansas State

Coleman, Alonzo5-10207Hampton

Cornish, Jon5-11206Kansas

Darby, Kenneth5-10213Alabama

Henry, Chris6-0228Arizona

Hunt, Tony6-0230Penn State

Irons, Kenny5-11195Auburn

Jackson, Brandon5-10210Nebraska

Lynch, Marshawn5-11217California

McGill, Ronnie5-10222North Carolina

Moss, Tyrone5-9231Miami (Fla.)

Peterson, Adrian6-2218Oklahoma

Pittman, Antonio5-11195Ohio State

Race, Germaine5-10227Pittsburg State

Russell, Gary5-11217Minnesota

Smith, Kolby5-11215Louisville

Snelling, Jason5-11232Virginia

Walker, Darius5-10212Notre Dame

Ware, Danny6-0225Georgia

Whitlock, Arkee5-9195Southern Illinois

Wolfe, Garrett5-7177Northern Illinois

Wright, Dwayne5-11226Fresno State

Wynn, DeShawn5-10238Florida

Young, Selvin5-11217Texas

Allen, Jesse6-0247Virginia Tech

Anderson, Cory6-3259Tennessee

Anderson, Deon5-10236Connecticut

Castille, Tim5-11238Alabama

Ilaoa, Nate5-8248Hawaii

Leonard, Brian6-1238Rutgers

McClain, Le'Ron6-0257Alabama

White Jr., Stan6-1252Ohio State

Wide Receivers
Allison, Aundrae6-0202East Carolina

Baker, Dallas6-3207Florida

Ball, David6-1201New Hampshire

Bowe, Dwayne6-2217Louisiana State

Breaston, Steve6-0178Michigan

Clowney, David6-0184Virginia Tech

Davis, Craig6-1207Louisiana State

Filani, Joel6-2216Texas Tech

Ginn Jr., Ted6-0180Ohio State

Gonzalez, Anthony6-0195Ohio State

Hicks, Jarrett6-3212Texas Tech

Higgins, Johnnie Lee5-11184Texas-El Paso

Hill, Jason6-0210Washington State

Jarrett, Dwayne6-5213Southern California

Johnson, Calvin6-4237Georgia Tech

Jones, Jacoby6-3210Lane

Jones, James6-1207San Jose State

Jones, Onrea5-11202Hampton

Kent, Jordan6-3209Oregon

McDaniel, Marquay5-10205Hampton

McKnight, Rhema6-2212Notre Dame

Meachem, Robert6-3211Tennessee

Moore, Ryan6-2217Miami (Fla.)

Myles, Brandon6-1189West Virginia

Newton, Syvelle6-2217South Carolina

Price, Maurice6-1189Charleston Southern

Rabb, Jerard6-2201Boise State

Rice, Sidney6-4202South Carolina

Robinson, Laurent6-1193Illinois State

Robinson, Ryne5-8178Miami (Ohio)

Samardzija, Jeff6-4218Notre Dame

Smith, Steve5-11199Southern California

Stuckey, Chansi5-10185Clemson

Tabb, Carl6-1198Michigan

Taylor, Courtney6-1209Auburn

Trannon, Matt6-6237Michigan State

Walker, Mike6-2209Central Florida

Williams, Chandler5-11184Florida International

Williams, Paul6-1209Fresno State

Woods, D'Juan6-0208Oklahoma State

Tight Ends
Allan, Michael6-6255Whitworth

Boss, Kevin6-6257Western Oregon

Celek, Brent6-4261Cincinnati

Chandler, Scott6-7257Iowa

Coats, Daniel6-3257Brigham Young

Harline, Jonny6-4248Brigham Young

Harris, Clark6-5261Rutgers

Herian, Matt6-4242Nebraska

Herold, Zac6-5253Nebraska-Omaha

Miller, Zach6-5259Arizona State

Milner, Martrez6-4256Georgia

Murray, Dan6-5253Connecticut

Newton, Joe6-6256Oregon State

Olsen, Greg6-4252Miami (Fla.)

Patrick, Ben6-4270Delaware

Pudewell, Anthony6-4250Nevada

Rosario, Dante6-3225Oregon

Smith, Samuel6-2248Florida International

Spaeth, Matt6-7267Minnesota

Booth, Turner6-2260Michigan

Datish, Doug6-4302Ohio State

Fry, Dustin6-2326Clemson

Harris, Leroy6-2298North Carolina State

Kalil, Ryan6-3291Southern California

Lucas, Enoka6-3299Oregon

Mormino, Drew6-3301Central Michigan

Mozes, Dan6-2230West Virginia

Satele, Samson6-2311Hawaii

Sendlein, Lyle6-3305Texas

Alleman, Andy6-4302Akron

Beekman, Josh6-2321Boston College

Bennett, Nathan6-4310Clemson

Downing, T.J.6-4307Ohio State

Duckworth, Tim6-3304Auburn

Esera, Tala6-3308Hawaii

Grubbs, Ben6-3314Auburn

Jones, Mike6-5309Iowa

Morton, Bob6-3303Notre Dame

Palmer, Jonathan6-5335Auburn

Parker, Stephen6-3318Arkansas

Ramirez, Manuel6-3335Texas Tech

Santucci, Dan6-3296Notre Dame

Studdard, Kasey6-2307Texas

Ugoh, Tony6-5305Arkansas

Wrotto, Mansfield6-3316Georgia Tech

Yanda, Marshall6-4304Iowa

Offensive Tackles
Barbre, Allen6-4300Missouri Southern State

Blalock, Justin6-4329Texas

Brown, Levi6-4328Penn State

Free, Doug6-7318Northern Illinois

Frye, Brandon6-4302Virginia Tech

Harris, Ryan6-5299Notre Dame

Hilliard, Corey6-5318Oklahoma State

Marten, James6-7303Boston College

Sears, Arron6-4328Tennessee

Shackleford, Ken6-5322Georgia

Staley, Joe6-5302Central Michigan

Thomas, Joe6-6313Wisconsin

Uperesa, Dane6-4308Hawaii

Defensive Tackles
Alford, Jay6-3304Penn State

Branch, Alan6-6331Michigan

Brown, Kareem6-4290Miami (Fla.)

Harrell, Justin6-4305Tennessee

Johnson, Antonio6-3305Mississippi State

Landri, Derek6-2277Notre Dame

McDonald, Ray6-3281Florida

Mebane, Brandon6-1305California

Okoye, Amobi6-2287Louisville

Pitcock, Quinn6-3301Ohio State

Soliai, Paul6-4334Utah

Thomas, Marcus6-3296Florida

Tyler, DeMarcus 'Tank'6-2323North Carolina State

Defensive Ends
Abiamiri, Victor6-5271Notre Dame

Adams, Gaines6-5260Clemson

Ah You, C.J.6-4274Oklahoma

Alama-Francis, Ikaika6-5250Hawaii

Anderson, Jamaal6-6279Arkansas

Applewhite, Antwan6-3250San Diego State

Atkins, Baraka6-4278Miami (Fla.)

Bazuin, Dan6-3265Central Michigan

Biggs, Rondell6-2269Michigan

Birdine, Larry6-4261Oklahoma

Bruce, Mkristo6-6268Washington State

Burchette, Noland6-2263Virginia Tech

Carriker, Adam6-6292Nebraska

Crowder, Tim6-4271Texas

DeGrate, Victor6-3249Oklahome State

Ford, Jacob6-4249Central Arkansas

Hickman, Justin6-1254UCLA

Jack, Jason6-4271Texas A&M

Jackson, Xzavie6-3278Missouri

Johnson, Charles6-2272Georgia

McBean, Ryan6-5290Oklahoma State

McBride, Turk6-4276Tennessee

Moore, Jay6-5276Nebraska

Moses, Quentin6-5249Georgia

Moss, Jarvis6-6251Florida

Pittman, Chase6-5273Louisiana State

Robison, Brian6-2266Texas

Spencer, Anthony6-3266Purdue

Woodley, LaMarr6-2269Michigan

Inside Linebackers
Abbate, Jon5-11245Wake Forest

Bishop, Desmond5-2239California

Blades, H.B.5-11237Pittsburgh

Davis, Buster5-10244Florida State

Durant, Justin6-1235Hampton

Harris, David6-2239Michigan

Latimer, Zach6-2237Oklahoma

Nkang, Chad5-11220Elon

Okwo, Michael5-11232Stanford

Shaw, Tim6-1237Penn State

Siler, Brandon6-2238Florida

Taylor, Tony6-0236Georgia

Waters, Anthony6-3245Clemson

Willis, Patrick6-1240Mississippi

Zalewski, Mark6-2234Wisconsin

Arline, Anthony6-2199Baylor

Bain, Travarous6-0182Hampton

Bannister, Calvin5-7179Hampton

Bennett, Fred6-1195South Carolina

Brown, Courtney6-1205Cal Poly

Brown, Tarell5-11192Texas

Coe, Michael6-1190Alabama State

Davis, A.J.5-10192North Carolina State

Hall, Leon5-11193Michigan

Houston, Chris5-11185Arkansas

Hughes, Daymeion5-10192California

Irons, David5-10188Auburn

Jackson, Tanard6-0192Syracuse

Lewis, Reggie5-10196Florida

McCauley, Marcus6-1200Fresno State

Mixon, Tim5-9186California

Revis, Darrelle6-0197Pittsburgh

Ross, Aaron6-1192Texas

Scott, Kenny6-1179Georgia Tech

Smith, Ryan5-10168Florida

Wade, Jonathan5-10192Tennessee

Wilson, C.J.6-1195Baylor

Wilson, Josh5-9188Maryland

Wright, Eric5-11190Nevada-Las Vegas

Free Safeties
Barringer, Willis5-10211Michigan

Gaddis, C.J.6-0210Clemson

Gattis, Josh6-1213Wake Forest

Goldson, Dashon6-2202Washington

Griffin, Michael6-0195Texas

Landry, LaRon6-2205Louisiana State

Meriweather, Brandon5-11192Miami (Fla.)

Nelson, Reggie6-0193Florida

Paschal, Marcus6-0201Iowa

Payne, Kevin6-0216Louisiana-Monroe

White, Marvin6-1199Texas Christian

Strong Safeties
Bullitt, Melvin6-1201Texas A&M

Daniels, Jessie5-11216Louisiana State

Frampton, Eric5-11205Washington State

Johnson, Michael6-3211Arizona

Piscitelli, Sabby6-3224Oregon State

Rouse, Aaron6-4225Virginia Tech

Stewart, Antwan6-0193Tennessee

Weddle, Eric5-11200Utah

Ainsworth, Jesse6-3218Arizona State

Crosby, Mason6-1214Colorado

Medlock, Justin6-0201UCLA

Wingert, Brian6-1186Northern Iowa

Bliss, Kody5-10179Auburn

Graessle, Adam6-4215Pittsburgh

Podlesh, Adam5-11202Maryland

Sepulveda, Daniel6-3229Baylor

Have a good weekend everyone. Peace.