Five Down - Combine Edition  

Posted by Walter

Five Down - Five players who cost themselves a lot of money at the combine (again, in no particular order)

5) Zach Miller, TE Arizona State

Walter: Not only did his main competition, Miami's Greg Olsen, perform brilliantly, but Miller's performance alone would have been enough to drop him out of round one. Once thought of as a Todd Heap clone, Miller was downright awful catching the football, and his 40 time is somewhat disgraceful for a TE. Miller ran a 4.89 in the 40, putting him on par with guys like Quinn PitcocK (DT who ran a 4.9), Adam Carriker (DE who ran a 4.9) and Charles Johnson (DE who ran a 4.87). I am pretty certain that none of those guys are going to be trying to separate from safeties and linebackers while running pass routes.

Frazier: It was seen as a two-horse race heading into the combine for the top TE off the board. Well, the race is over. As good as Olsen looked, Miller looked equally terrible. It's not like the kid had astounding numbers in college, and at Arizona St. he wasn't exactly asked to block a lot, so it's time to question whether he's even the second best guy out there. He didn't show great hands, he didn't show great athleticism, he has never shown an ability to block. If I'm thinking about drafting a tight end, and I'm too late for Olsen, it's probably time to start looking at some project guys. Chandler from Iowa is bigger, faster, and actually had to block in college. Now, that's something to consider. Hell, I might even start considering basketball players or other athletes, because Miller did less than impress.

4) Gary Russell, RB Minnesota

Walter: Russell entered Indy as this year's answer to Maurice Clarett, a talented yet troubled former big 10 running back. Unfortunately for Russell, he left the combine the same way Clarett did......disgraced. Russell flunked out of Minnesota last year, so he has had plenty of time to work on his 40 time. Yet this weekend in Indianapolis he clocked in at the 4.8 range, which, perhaps ironically, is exactly where Maurice Clarett was a few years ago. Though Russell was never considered a very high pick to begin with, had he run in the 4.5 range he would have been drafted. As things stand now, I doubt any NFL coach has any use for him.

Frazier: It's just kind of sad, really. This kid had one chance to get things back on track. He HAD to run a good time, and blow people away at the combine. Look, he's already seen as having a potentially poisonous personality, so the only way you can make up for that is to have incredible skill. And show that you are willing to work for it. Well, if he couldn't discipline himself to run a good time for the chance for millions of dollars, what are the odds he'll be able to push himself once he signs a big contract? I just hope that the kid starts making some better decisions, or his life could turn tragic.

3) Quentin Moses, DE Georgia

Walter: Is it OK for me say that I am enjoying Moses' free fall? It's not? Well whatever, I am. I have always hated Moses' game, and I hate one dimensional players like him who parlay a single skill into first round consideration. Moses entered the combine known as a speed rusher who wasn't all that interested in being physical and helping to stop the run. Well, as it turns out he isn't really all that physical, as his mere 17 bench reps will attest to (I mean come on, Josh Wilson, a 5'9'' DB from Maryland put up 20), and he really isn't all that fast. Moses really needed to burn a time in the 4.6 range, like fellow end Gaines Adams did, but instead Moses plodded along with a 4.82. To put this in perspective, it took Adam Carriker less than one tenth of second longer to run his 40 and he nearly doubled Moses' bench press output.

Frazier: Moses is in free-fall mode on virtually everyone's draft board, and there is a damn good reason for it. He's a speed rusher except he's not fast. And he's not exactly strong enough (17?!) to break away from monstrous NFL tackles. Everyone has been torching his performance in Indianapolis, and we're more than happy to pile on. Especially since Quentin isn't the type to want to pile on to, let's say, a running back as he breaks through the line. Gaines Adams and Adam Carriker have all helped themselves tremendously with good workouts and Jamal Anderson is much more well-balanced. So there is no knowing where Moses will land.

2) Reggie Nelson, S Florida

Walter: This may be a bit unfair to Nelson, because, unlike with the other guys on this list, Nelson didn't do anything himself to cause his stock to fall. Nelson ran a 4.48 in the 40, which is pretty good, but it certainly didn't blow anyone away. However, the guy who did blow people away was LSU's Laron Landry with his 4.35. Most pundits had Landry and Nelson as the consensus top two safeties in the draft in some order. Today, however, there is no doubt that Landry will be the first guy off the board. Nelson's game is predicated on speed and his ability to cover. He is not a dynamic run support player like Landry, and with his limited experience at Florida he really needed to run well at the combine. He didn't and now may fall to the back end of round 1 while he watches Landry get snapped up in the top 10.

Frazier: It's a situation sort of like Miller's. It was a two-man race, and now it ain't. Unlike Miller, Nelson at least didn't kill himself with his workouts. Still, he won't be the first safety off the board. That discussion is over. And he didn't blow anyone away. No one who is pretty set at the safety position is going to look at him and say "we NEED this guy". So whoever happens to need a safety will eventually pick him up. Not exactly a glowing report.

1) Jon Beason, OLB Miami

Walter: I was somewhat skeptical of Beason from the beginning and I couldn't believe some pundits had him ahead of Poszlusny as the # OLB available (yes I am talking to you Mike Mayock of the NFL Network). Well, Puz didn't blow anyone away at the combine (he ran a somewhat pedestrian 4.65) but Beason's performance was even worse. Beason checked in at only 6'0'', and reportedly looked a bit heavy at 237 lbs. Well, evidently the extra pounds didn't come from working out as Beason ran a very slow 4.72 in the 40 and only benched 225 lbs. 19 times. Beason simply isn't big enough to play any spot in an NFL linebacking corpse than the weak side OLB, and after his combine performance I bet a lot of teams are wondering if he is fast enough to play there.

Frazier: Not fast enough. Not strong enough. And a little under-sized. Ouch. People thought he was going to push Puz, but that ain't going to happen now. Puz was stronger, faster, and a hell of a lot more productive in college. So that's pretty much all you need to know about that. This year's LB crop isn't overloaded with talent, so he was primed to make a move. Except he didn't. Beason dropped because this was a huge opportunity for him. He went to the U, he's supposed to be a physical freak. But he was pedestrian, and that's not a compliment.

Just for kicks, three guys I thought would hurt their draft stock at the combine but didn't:

Robert Meachem, WR Tennessee

Walter: Meachem put all his eggs in one basket by coming out early in this loaded wideout draft. He was betting that he'd burn a sub 4.4 in the 40 and he did.

Antonio Pittman, RB Ohio State

Walter: Like Meachem, I thought it was a disastrous decision for Pittman to come out early. After Peterson, Pittman was probably the mos impressive RB at the combine as he showed up at over 200 lbs. and was still able to run the 40 in 4.4. He should be the third RB taken and could push Marshawn Lynch to be the 2nd.

Leon Hall, CB Michigan

Walter: I have thought Hall was overrated all year, and I still do. The Big 10 was watered down this year and Hall struggled against top competition. Still, he worked out much better than I ever thought he would and solidified himself as the top CB in the draft. His sub 4.4 in the 40 (4.39) was much faster than I thought he was capable of.

Five Up - Combine Edition  

Posted by Walter

Five Up - Five guys who made a ton of money for themsevles at the combine (in no particular order)

5) Greg Olsen, TE Miami

Walter: Going into the combine it was a two horse race between he and Zach Miller to see who'd be the first of a very weak TE crop to be taken off the board. Not only did Olsen completely distance himself from Miller by running a 4.46, but he may have even boosted his draft position into the top 15 by proving that their is at least one elite level tight end in this draft. While Olsen's time was outstanding, he is a converted WR so it was not completely unexpected. His 23 bench press repetitions, however, is very solid for the position, let alone for a player as fast as he is.

Frazier: This guy showed that his production drop at Miami was a symptom of an awful, awful, atrocious offense. He blew away every other TE in the 40 (beating the next closest by a full 2-tenths). He also showed off more than respectable strength, and was good with his hands. He was totally overhyped last year at Miami, and then totally forgotten as his team slipped into offensive purgatory. I thought it was suicide coming out after such a disappointing year, but it was the right move. Olsen is clearly (CLEARLY) the cream of this TE crop, and his excellent combine showing means that he is a legit talent in his own right. Teams that weren't thinking TE may have to re-evaluate things, and while many expected him to slide all the way to the Bears, it looks like he'll probably be gone by then. He has the combine to thank for it.

4) Anthony Gonzalez, WR Ohio State

Walter: With all the hype on guys like Calvin Johnson and Robert Meachem, Gonzalez quietly put together an outstanding performance at the combine. With Tedd Ginn injured, Gonzalez finally was able to ply his trade outside the shadow of everyone's favorite speedster and showed that he has the chops to be an outstanding NFL wideout as well. Gonzalez blistered a very solid 4.4 in the 40, but his best performances came in the drills that emphasize quickness, and agility. Gonzalez's times in the short shuttle (4.08), 3 cone drill (6.54) and vertical jump (38') were amongst the best for any WR. These drills are essential to a guy like Gonzalez who projects best as a slot man in a West Coast scheme.

Frazier: Gonzalez showed way more athleticism than anyone gave him credit for. It was assumed that he was slow and awkward, and it's sad to say, but the light tone of his skin may have played a part in that perception. It also didn't help lining up across from a speedster like Ginn. Frankly, he has every chance to have a more productive career than Ginn. It is an incredibly deep WR draft, and so he desperately needed to have a good showing to keep his name in the mix. Well, he did that, and if he meets the needs of a team, he showed the skills to slip ahead of some of the bigger names.

3) Ryan Kalil, C USC

Walter: Hard as it may be to believe, Kalil was actually able to build on the momentum he created at the Senior Bowl. In Mobile Kalil showed us that he possessed the rate combination of power and speed for a center, and in Indy this past weekend he displayed just how powerful and fast he is. Kalil's sub 5.0 40 time (4.96) was somewhat hard to believe, especially after he was able to put up 34 reps of 225 in the bench press. By way of comparison, Tony Ugoh, considered by many to be one of the most athletic Tackles in the draft, wowed scouts by running a 5.06 and repping 225 32 times. Kalil is proving to be the best offensive line athlete in this draft not named Joe Thomas, and may do the unthinkable by getting picked in the top 15 as a center.

Frazier: He is very big, and very strong, and very athletic, and is going to be a solid center for a very, very long time. He'll get drafted and plug himself in on any line in the NFL for a decade. Kalil is from USC, which has an incredible tradition of o-linemen, and he has done them proud so far. Kalil has gone from "yeah, he's probably the best center, if we're dying for one, maybe we'll pick him up" to "this kid is better than the bum we've got, and the best player on the board right now, I don't care if it's top-20, we need him!" That equals millions of dollars. Congrats, kid.

2) Tim Crowder, DE Texas

Walter: Hey no surprise on my end. I have been hyping Crowder for weeks now as an underrated, and unheralded prospect in this draft. While he is not the physical specimen that someone like Adam Carriker is, Crowder has always been known as a big, strong, defensive end and someone you can anchor a defensive line with. At the combine, he proved that maybe it's a bit premature to say he's not Carriker's equal in terms of athletic ability. While Carriker is a full inch and a half taller, and 20 lbs. heavier than Crowder, the former Longhorn far outperformed his Nebraska counterpart by running a 4.69 (to Carriker's 4.9) and nearly repped 225 as many times (32 to Carriker's 33). I am not suggesting that Crowder has moved himself past Carriker. In fact, you could make every argument that Carriker's performance at the combine may have pushed him into the top 10 overall. But I am suggesting that perhaps now everybody else will take notice to what the323 has known all along: Tim Crowder is going to be a very good NFL player.

Frazier: It's rare that a big, athletic defensive lineman from Texas can fly under the radar. But after Crowder's slightly underwhelming season, he was the forgotten man for awhile. Then he started reminding people why he was making pre-season all-america lists. He was a solid preformer for the Longhorns, and has been showing people that he has the physical tools to excel at the next level. While he has been overshadowed by some excellent DE workouts, he has nothing to hang his head about. His own workout was excellent, and is going to make some NFL very, very happy.

1) Chris Houston, CB Arkansas

Walter: If you want to talk about guys who made themselves the most money at the combine, the list should start and end with Houston. Going into this past weekend, Houston was an afterthought when talking about potential first round CB talent (despite the fact that he absolutely locked down Dwayne Jarrett and Robert Meachem when they faced each other). After his other worldly combine performance, we're talking about Houston as a potential franchise CB. Houston everyone by blazing a 4.32 in the 40, and then before the collective jaws were even able to hit the floor, Houston pounded out 27 reps of 225 lbs. in the bench press. 27 REPS!!!! For comparison's sake, that is nearly 25% more reps than potential first round tackle Aaron Sears put up....and I doubt Sears can run the 40 in under 4.4 seconds. Houston's combine performance can be compared to what Vernon Davis did last year, and it could have a similar affect on his draft stock.

Frazier: Houston blew everyone away. Most teams don't even look at CB's until the 40 times are in, because speed is everything at that position. Then Houston blazed away a 4.32. Of course, he also showed that when he jams you, you stay jammed by hammering out 27 reps. Those are staggering numbers. Now, Houston gets a little forgotten because he got left on an island all year at Arkansas. They played lots of man coverage with very little safety help, so he did give up some big plays. But that's going to happen to any corner, no matter how good, when you ask him to be perfect on every play. But he did make a ton of big ones in college, and played against top competition all year. He also showed he's a physical freak. So now teams are looking at CB's finally, and the one they are looking at is Chris Houston. He was hard to miss.

Just for fun, here are three guys that may not have even been drafted but whose combine performances have all but locked up an NFL roster spot:

Derek Schouman, TE Boise State

Walter: I loved Schouman's soft hands and athleticism in the Bowl win over Oklahoma, but even I didn't expect the numbers he put up at the combine. His 4.74 40 is decent, but Schouman shocked everyone by putting up 27 bench reps, a 4.27 short shuttle, a 10'2'' broad jump, and a 37.5'' vertical, all figures were at or near the top for TE.

Dallas Sartz, OLB USC

Walter: Again, another player I absolutely loved at season's end, but who didn't even get an invite to the Sr. Bowl. Sartz is a big LB at nearly 6'5'', but he showed outstanding quickness in running a 11.34 long shuttle, a 4.13 short shuttle, and a 6.85 3 cone drill. Once again, all were near or at the top of his positional ranking.

John Wendling, S Wyoming

Walter: I hate to say I told you so.......wait a minute, no I don't. I love saying it. Anyways, Wendling is a triangle numbers wet dream after showing up in Indy at 6'1'' and 222 lbs., then proceeding to blister a 4.48 40 and rep 225 lbs. 22 times.

The323 NFL Draft Big Board (2/27 combine update)  

Posted by Walter

1. Calvin Johnson - Wide Reciever, Georgia Tech
Momentum - Steady
- 6'5'', 239 lbs. a 4.35 40 time and he's a model citizen! How can the Raiders not start considering him with the #1 overall pick?

2. Joe Thomas - Tackle, Wisconsin
Momentum - Rising
- Thomas came to combine at 6'6'' and 311 lbs. and then proceeded to prove just how athletic he is by running a 4.92 40. Thomas is the best left tackle prospect in a long time.

3. Jamarcus Russell - Quarterback, LSU
Momentum - Steady
- His missing the combine won't hurt his stock one bit, especially since his primary competition (Brady Quinn) wussed out as well.

4. Laron Landry - Safety, LSU
Momentum - Steady
- Landry measured at over 6'' and 213 lbs. then ran a 4.35 40, which is absurd given his run support skills. His triangle numbers are starting to look just ridiculous.

5. Adrien Peterson - Running Back, Oklahoma
Momentum - Steady
- All along Peterson has been saying he'd run a 4.4 but nobody really believed him. Well he did, and now could go as high as #3 to Cleveland.

6. Gaines Adams - Defensive End, Clemson
Momentum - Rising
- Despite coming to the combine at nearly 260 lbs., Adams ran a sizzling 4.64 to go along with some outstanding performances in the short shuttle and 3 cone drills.

7. Amobi Okoye - Defensive Tackle, Louisville
Momentum - Rising
- Okoye put on about 10 lbs. prior to the combine (showing up at 302 lbs.) yet he showed off his athleticism as he was one of only 5 DT to run a sub 5.0.

8. Jamaal Anderson - Defensive End, Arkansas
Momentum - Falling
- Anderson did not work out at the combine and was passed by Gaines Adams. He still has plenty of time to work his way back up boards though.

9. Adam Carriker - Defensive End, Nebraska
Momentum - Major Riser
- Is there anything this guy can't do. After displaying unheralded athleticism at the senior bowl Carriker (6'6'', 296) shows up and runs a 4.9 while putting up 33 bench reps. The guy is a freak.

10. Alan Branch - Defensive Tackle, Michigan
Momentum - Rising
6'5'' 324 lb. men who can rep 225 lbs. 33 times should not...I repeat should NOT, be able to run the 40 in 5.09.

11. Brady Quinn - Quarterback, Notre Dame

Momentum - Falling
- This is about where Quinn should be, and it could be where he ends up getting drafted (Miami or Houston). It is looking like a certainty that Quinn will be drafted after Russell.

11. Patrick Willis - Inside Linebacker, Mississippi
Momentum - Steady
- Willis performed very well at the combine, running a surprising 4.51. However, the only concern with him is his durability and his paltry 22 bench reps won't help.

12. Paul Poszlusny - Linebacker, Penn State
Momentum - steady
- Puz was just OK in Indy, running a 4.65 and putting up 22 bench reps....but his top competition at OLB struggled so his draft stock remains steady.

13. Levi Brown - Tackle, Penn State
Momentum - Steady
- Levi's 5.39 40 is not good. His 31 bench reps is good. Still, we know the big man can play. Joe Staley not working out keeps Brown as the consensus #2 tackle.

14. Dwayne Bowe - Wide Reciever, LSU
Momentum - Steady
- Bowe slimmed down for the combine but it didn't really help his 40 time. Still, he is a physical WR who doesn't solely rely on speed so it's not a huge deal for him.

15. Ryan Kalil - Center, USC
Momentum - Rising
- The little engine that could just keeps chugging. Kalil was a one man show at the combine: 4.96 40, 34 bench reps, and a 4.34 short shuttle. Maybe #15 to Pittsburgh isn't too high.

16. Justin Blalock - Guard, Texas
Momentum - Rising
- Blalock ran a respectable 5.1 for a guard, but what was really impressive was his 40 bench reps. What a monster this guy is going to be for some NFL team.

17. Leon Hall - Cornerback, Michigan
Momentum - Rising
- Still not squarely on the Hall bandwagon, but his 4.39 40 was very, very impressive for a classic Michigan corner.

18. Chris Houston - Cornerback, Arkansas
Momentum - Major Riser
- Are you kidding me!!!! 4.32 speed and 27 bench reps for a corner!!!! How has this guy slipped below the radar for so long?

19. Greg Olsen - Tight End, Miami

Momentum - Major Riser
- WOW. Everyone thought this draft was devoid of a blue chip TE (the323 included), but Oslen proved us all wrong with a 4.46 and 23 bench reps.

20. Tedd Ginn Jr. - Wide Reciever, Ohio State
Momentum - Falling
- Ginn didn't run at the combine but a lot of his competition did run, and ran well (Meachem, Gonzalez, Rice). We'll still give Ginn the benefit of the doubt but he has to light up the turf at the OSU pro day.

21. Reggie Nelson - Safety, Florida
Momentum - Falling
It's not that a 4.48 is a bad time, but when your main competition (Laron Landry), who is already a better run support player, blisters a 4.35.....well that's not going to be good for your draft stock.

22. Robert Meachem - Wide Reciever, Tennessee
Momentum - Steady
- His 4.39 is just outstanding, and if Ginn doesn't deliver in Columbus, Meachem has positioned himself to be the top deep threat off the board.

23. David Harris - Inside Linebacker, Michigan
Momentum - Major Riser
- Originally viewed as simply a thumping run stuffer, Harris shocked everyone with a 4.59 40 in Indy. By way of comparison, that time beat supposed "speed OLB's" Paul Poszlusny by .06 and Jon Beason by .13.

24. Aaron Ross - Cornerback, Texas
Momentum - Rising
- Ross didn't exactly light up the combine, but he performed quite well (4.44 and 17 reps) so let's not forget how good he looked at the Sr. Bowl.

25. Sidney Rice - Wide Reciever, South Carolina
Momentum - Rising
- The forgotten man made his presence known in Indy. A 4.45 is very solid for a man his size, and his 39.5 vertical is just ridiculous. Also, word was that he was the most impressive WR running routes and catching the ball in drills.

Fell off the board: Lawrence Timmons (FSU), Darrell Revis (Pitt), Joe Staley (C. Mich.), Dwayen Jarrett (USC)

just missed the cut......Jarrett, Revis, Anthony Gonzalez (OSU), Tim Crowder (Texas), Tony Ugoh (Arkansas)

Reader Mail!  

Posted by Frazier

Ok, so we don't get a whole lot of it, but we're always thrilled when we do. Here is the latest edition:

Subject: Jarrett Falling!

Dear 323:

Jarrett is the newest example of teams over-relying on speed, quickness off the line is important, but entire bodies of work are being ignored in lieu of an artifical indicator. The 40 is like the SAT's, it's not completely useless, but ignoring a GPA in favor of a test score is no indication of how hard a guy will study at your university...and yes I'm thinking of Mr. "Frazier" when I write that. You could easily put together a list of all-time combine busts, guys who saw their stock vastly overinflated due to higher than expected combine performances. I'd love to see you boys go at it.
The Baron Von Nutenstein


The 323 really does love Jarrett. Trust me, I saw him in person, and he was phenomenal. He has great hands, great size, and was dominant in college. It's just one thing: so was Mike Williams. Now, Williams apparently had more character issues than anyone was aware, and his lack of conditioning with the Lions has been unsettling. However, the comparisons are there to be made. Williams slipped because he lacked a great 40 time, and the same could be said for Jarrett. It also hurts that while Jarrett hasn't been able to show us anything lately, Bowe was tearing up Senior Bowl Week, and moving way up most charts. Although I think the 323 would favor Jarrett over Ginn any day of the week (and twice on Sundays, when they play the games), Ginn won't be a bust, and Jarrett might be. Ginn has too much inate talent, namely his speed, to be completely worthless. But every year a wide receiver (or three) turn into complete busts, and it just looks like Jarrett might be falling into that gap. I'm a Jarrett fan, and even I can't ignore the Williams comparisons, and they make me nervous. So yeah, Jarrett is slipping. Unfortunately for him, right now USC wide receivers are in the "show me" pile. Jerry Rice may have run a 4.6, and in his case it certainly didn't indicate anything. But Jarrett also ain't Jerry, and he might be Mike.

Jarrett has an opportunity to be a real mover if he runs well at the combine. His stock may be as low as it's going to get.

As for myself... In my defense, I didn't work very hard for my SAT score either, so I think it was pretty representative of my college career.

Finally, we'll take a look at the all-time combine busts. This definitely deserves some thought. Thanks for reading. Thanks even more for writing.


PS: Fuck the LAPD.

Prove It!  

Posted by Walter

It's no secret that the NFL Combine is the make or break event for most collegiate prospects. But with the workouts mere days away, which players have the most to prove?

Dwayne Jarrett, WR USC

Calvin Johnson is everybody's number 1. Most pundits had Tedd Ginn ahead of Jarrett at season's end. Dwayne Bowe lit up the Senior Bowl and pulled ahead of Jarrett. And with Robert Meachem and Anthony Gonzalez set to run sub 4.4's this weekend, Jarrett needs a drop dead performance just to avoid falling out of the first round. Look, we here at the323 have been in Jarrett's corner from day 1, but if he runs a 4.6 or worse at the combine the whispers about how he won't be able to separate from NFL corners, and his similarities to former Trojan BUST Mike Williams will become a lot louder.

Gaines Adams, DE/OLB Clemson

At season's end Adams was clearly the best Senior defensive line prospect in this draft. However, once Arkansas' Jamaal Anderson jumped the battle to be the first end off the board officialy began. Anderson is more raw, but he is also a more complete player, eliciting comparisons to the great Richard Seymour. While Adams did nothing to hurt his stock at the Senior Bowl, another DE, Nebraska's Adam Carriker, made a lot of noise and may have made this a three horse race. Even a sub 4.6 40 may not be enough to wrestle the top spot from Anderson and Carriker, but if Adams runs well and performs well in OLB drills he could lock up a top 5 grade.

Trent Edwards, QB Stanford

Edwards is an interesting player. With such a dropoff at QB after Jamarcus Russell and Brady Quinn, the third spot is there for Edwards' taking. However, he really needs a drop dead combine to climb that high. Stanford was so terrible under Edwards' watch that scouts aren't going to be impressed at all with his tape and numbers. Thus, if Edwards wants to climb into the first two rounds of the draft he is basically going to have to build his entire resume this weekend. Luckily for Edwards he has the size, arm strength, and athleticism to impress at the combine, but he'd better do just that or else he risks falling all the way to the middle rounds.

Mike Bush, RB Louisville

Bush has a unique skill set and anyone who reads his scouting report will immediately think Jamal Lewis. However, as talented as Bush may be he has major durability concerns which cost him all but one half of football during his senior season. Bush's uiniqueness and value as a prospect was derived from his unparalleled size-speed combination. If he can't run as fast and fluid as he did prior to the injury, he's just another guy. Despite his size, Bush is not a particularly powerful runner. He is very tall (6'3'') and he runs upright. If he's lost his speed then he is just an oversized back and an injury waiting to happen.

Brian Leonard, RB Rutgers

Leonard took a huge risk by dropping weight for the Senior Bowl and trying to establish himself as an NFL running back, as opposed to the versatile fullback position he played so well in college. As a 240 lbs. back, Leonard was a huge weapon as a powerful inside runner with deceptive speed. Many of his shortcomings were overlooked because of how fast and how well he caught the ball for a man his size. If he dropped 20 lbs. and failed to get substantially faster, he has really hurt his draft stock. Leonard really needs to run a sub 4.5 40, because at 220 lbs. he is no longer looked at as a true fullback.

Brandon Merriweather, S Miami

Merriweather's talent is absolutely undeniable. However, so too are his character and off field problems. Merriweather is an oustanding playmaker at free safety, and is really the equal of potential top 15 pick Reggie Nelson in terms of coverage ability. I have no doubt that Merriweather will continue to make plays and run fast (as he did at the Senior Bowl), but unlike the other players on this list the most important part of the combine for Merriweather will be meeting with teams and proving that his troubled past is well behind him. If Merriweather can prove to just one team that he has matured and will no longer be a problem child, he could find himself sneaking into the back end of the first round.

Brady Quinn, QB Notre Dame

Earlier today, Quinn actually pulled out of the combine, instead choosing to focus on Notre Dame's upcoming pro day. This was a huge mistake for Quinn and now he is really behind the 8 ball. Quinn is already behind Jamarcus Russell and he is falling fast. Russell badly outplayed Quinn the last time they were on the field together, and by pulling out of the combine Quinn is foregoing his opportunity to even the score. This shows a lack of confidence, and a lack of competitiveness on Quinn's part. Quinn's best chance of passing Russell (and avoiding sliding all the way out of the top 5) was to outperform him head to head at the combine. Now that he won't have that opportunity, he will need a once-in-a-lifetime drop dead performance at the ND pro day to turn some heads.

Quick Hitch...  

Posted by Frazier

It's been awhile since we ran some hitches around here, but there's still a lot to talk about in the world of college football. I know the big man has been running our aggressive draft coverage, and doing a great job, but we still need to focus on what next year holds for college football.

There couldn't be a better place to start than with the defending champs. Now, of course, is the time of year when ESPN and other places run nice puff pieces about teams looking to "turn things around" or "keep the momentum up" and those sorts of things. The question is, should we take any of them seriously. Here is the piece regarding Tim Tebow.

Not exactly great insight, although I'm sure Gator fans are enjoying the daydreams of consecutive titles right now. While everyone can agree that Tebow is a better fit for Meyer's offense, that doesn't mean that it's necessarily going to work. There's a big difference between running Alex Smith all over the place at Utah, and Tebow trying to do the same against SEC defenses. Now, I tend to think that it will have some success, at least until one of the behemoths at LSU or Georgia get a clean shot at Tebow. That's when things will get interesting.

Not to mention the fact that Tebow also has to minimize mistakes, and manage the game maturely like Leak was able to do. Being explosive is great, but you don't want to make big plays for both teams.

Finally, Tebow's mechanics need some work. He didn't look comfortable throwing from the pocket last year, and he's going to need to get better at that aspect. He is a strong kid, and has lots of potential, but he needs to develop, and quickly. So it might be nice to dream about Tebow running the show, but the kid has a lot to prove.

Tim is going to need to refine his mechanics if he
is going to build on the success this year. This
picture alone is enough to make a Gator fan cringe.

The323 NFL Draft Big Board (2/19 update)  

Posted by Walter

1. Calvin Johnson - Wide Reciever, Georgia Tech
Momentum - Rising
- simply the most complete prospect in the draft, time to give him the top spot....permanently

2. Jamarcus Russell - Quarterback, LSU

Momentum - Steady

3. Joe Thomas - Tackle, Wisconsin
Momentum - Steady

4. Laron Landry - Safety, LSU
Momentum - Steady

5. Adrien Peterson - Running Back, Oklahoma
Momentum - Rising
- I'm still concerned about his durability, but his talent is unique enough to mitigate some of those concerns

6. Jamaal Anderson - Defensive End, Arkansas
Momentum - Rising
- whether he goes ahead of Adams will be determined at the combine, but Anderson is the more complepte player

7. Gaines Adams - Defensive End, Clemson
Momentum - Steady

8. Amobi Okoye - Defensive Tackle, Louisville
Momentum - Rising

9. Brady Quinn - Quarterback, Notre Dame
Momentum - Falling
- it's not that I don't think Quinn will be a solid NFL starter, it is that I think there are some throws he just can't make

10. Patrick Willis - Middle Linebacker, Mississippi
Momentum - Rising
- outside of Landry, Willis is the biggest impact defensive player in this draft

11. Paul Poszlusny - Outside Linebacker, Penn State
Momentum - Falling

12. Levi Brown - Tackle, Penn State
Momentum - Steady

13. Adam Carriker - Defensive End, Nebraska
Momentum - Steady

14. Dwayne Bowe - Wide Reciever, LSU
Momentum - Steady

15. Reggie Nelson - Safety, Florida
Momentum - Rising
- there are no more overrated players in the NFL than safeties that can tackle but can't cover, Nelson is the rare prospect who is GREAT in coverage

16. Lawrence Timmons - Outside Linebacker, Florida State
Momentum - Major Riser
- nobody has more impressive triangle numbers, and you simply cannot ignore the NFL success of Seminole LB's

17. Ted Ginn Jr. - Wide Reciever, Ohio State
Momentum - Major Riser
- still overrated as a WR, there is little chance he will be a complete bust because of his ability to run vertical and dominate the return game

18. Alan Branch - Defensive Tackle, Michigan

Momentum - Steady

19. Justin Blalock - Guard, Texas
Momentum - Rising

20. Ryan Kalil - Center, USC
Momentum - Rising
- if ever there was a player born to play for the Steelers it was Kalil, but even with Hartings' retirement #15 may be too high......maybe

21. Leon Hall - Cornerback, Michigan
Momentum - Falling

22. Darrelle Revis - Cornerback, Pittsburgh
Momentum - Steady

23. Robert Meachem - Wide Reciever, Tennessee
Momentum - Major Riser
- if he blazes a 4.3 as expected at the combine, he could see an exponential rise in his draft stock

24. Joe Staley - Tackle, Central Michigan
Momentum - Steady

25. Dwayne Jarrett - Wide Reciever
Momentum - Major Faller
- concerns about his speed are still lingering and he'll have to run well to allay them, he's being left behind by the other WR's

fell off the board: Charles Johnson (UGA)

just missed the cut.............Aaron Ross (Texas), Victor Abiamiri (ND), Arron Sears (TN), Ben Grubbs (Auburn), Brandon Merriweather (Miami)

Overrated/Underrated - Defense  

Posted by Walter

Defensive End

Overrated: Quentin Moses, Georgia
If you haven't figured it out yet, as a fan and coach, I favor players who are versatile and can contribute in more than one area of the game. Moses is decidedly not that. Moses burst onto the scene as the replacement for David Pollock by registering 11.5 sacks in 2005, but that number fell to only 4.5 in 2006. This was a huge problem because Moses does not contribute in other areas of the defensive scheme. He is not a physical player, and isn't all that interested in taking on blocks in the running game. All in all, Moses does one thing well: speed rush the quarterback. He reminds me a lot of Jevon Kearse, who will register his share of sacks but has always been a liability in the running game. Moses is currently graded as a first round pick, but at only 257 lbs. he looks more like a situational player in the mold of a Robert Mathis or Carlos Hall (both late round picks). Moses just doesn't do enough things well to warrant an early pick, and is not nearly the all around prospect that his teammate Charles Johnson is.

Underrated: Tim Crowder, Texas
A recent trend in NFL drafts has been the vast underrating of Longhorn defensive lineman. Guys like Casey Hampton, Shaun Rogers, and Cory Redding all slipped past the first round for one reason or another, then went on to have pro bowl caliber NFL careers. Crowder looks like the next great player to fall into that category. Crowder is a big, strong end at 6'4'' and 270 lbs., but what I like best about him is the improvement he has shown over the past 4 seasons. Crowder had perhaps the quietest 10 sack season in the country in 2006, not to mention his 18 tackles for a loss. While Crowder does not have the overall athletic ability NFL teams covet in ends, in my eyes he projects as a long term strong side defensive end in a 4-3 scheme, who will play the run well and contribute 7-9 sacks per season. Great teams need players like Crowder, and some team is going to get a gem in the 2nd or perhaps even the third round.

Defensive Tackle

Overrated: Alan Branch, Michigan
Branch is perhaps the most overrated defensive prospect in the entire draft. He is huge at 6'6'' and 331 lbs., there is no doubt about that, but Branch just doesn't have the production that you look for in anything other than a nose tackle. Branch does certain things well, most notable he takes on blockers and eats up space. But that is the job of a nose tackle in a 3-4, not a 1 or 3 technique in a 4-3. Branch played in 37 games as a collegian, but he registered only 9 sacks and 18 tackles for a loss in those games. This tells me that short of taking up space, Branch is not going to make very many plays for you. Now don't get me wrong, Branch could end up being a pro bowl player on the nose in the right 3-4 scheme, but last time I checked nose tackles are not in that much demand. Hell, there isn't even a single nose tackle in the NFL hall of fame. If a team drafts Branch looking for a space eater in the middle of a 3-4 they will get what they want, but the hype surrounding this guy makes him sound like he has the ability to play inside in the 4-3 and make plays in the opposing team's backfield. If you're expecting that from Branch, you're going to be very disappointed.

Underrated: Jay Alford, Penn State
At only 6'3'' and 288 lbs. I understand why Alford is nearly devoid of hype. He is very undersized for inside play in the NFL, but you have to consider Alford's production during his last two years at Penn State. Alford has posted back to back 8 sack seasons playing against Big 10 offensive lineman, many of whom will be drafted into the NFL. That said, just about all of Alford's production comes in the pass rush. He isn't great against the run, and will probably be even worse in the NFL. However, if used correctly, an NFL team could definitely take advantage of Alford's quickness and agility by using him initially as a situational pass rusher in the 3 technique. A team like the New Orleans Saints would be a great fit for him as he could be teamed with Hollis Thomas (an excellent run stopper) to form quite a potent duo. Remember, some of the greatest interior pass rushers ever are undersized players who use their quickness (remember John Randle?) to elude guards....who are usually the lineman who were too clumsy and awkward to play tackle.


Overrated: Job Beason, Miami
Beason passes the eyeball test at 6'0 and 236 lbs., and the fact that he runs a 4.55 40 makes him all that much more appealing. Yet, regardless of how unreal his triangle numbers are, Beason just didn't make that many plays for the Hurricanes during his career. His Junior year, Beason accounted for only 66 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and 8 tackles for a loss. Not exactly numbers that scream first round pick (where many pundits have him going). Beason does have a lot going for him, most importantly the lineage of great Miami linebackers, so the insane hype surrounding him is not unexpected. But haven't we learned that no matter how good a player looks, if he doesn't produce on the field there is a reason for it. I mean take a guy like Lavar Arrington. By no means am I comparing Beason to him, but looking at Arrington you'd think he would make every tackle and be unblockable in the pass rush. Yet he isn't because he free lances too much, and doesn't understand his positioning. Again, I am not accusing of Beason of these shortcomings, but the example just serves to illustrate the point that whenever a player struggles to produce there is a reason, many times that will not appear in your physical attributes or stat sheet.

Underrated: Stephen Nicholas, South Florida
In past years, the mere fact that Nicholas played at South Florida would have been enough to explain his lack of hype....however that is no longer the case. Under Jim Leavitt, South Florida has become a major force in the Big East, even beating West Virginia this season when they were ranked in the top 10. Nicholas' numbers are just absurd. He has posted back to back 80 tackle seasons (over 100 in 2006), back to back 7 sack seasons, and back to back 15 tackle for a loss seasons. In 2006 Nicholas even broke up 7 passes for good measure. What do these numbers say? Well, basically they tell me that Nicholas is just all over the field, making plays in every facet of the defense. Nicholas is undersized at only 225 lbs., he has a fine frame at 6'3'' and adding weight is one of the easiest things for an NFL player to do. In a perfect world, Nicholas would play the weak side in a 4-3 defense, but his 4.7 speed may not be fast enough. Still, he can work on that, and I truly believe that Nicholas can help an NFL team immediately as a weak side backer, or a nickel linebacker because he is so good at blitzing and zone coverage.

Defensive Backs

Overrated: Marcus McCauley, Fresno State
McCauley is 6'1'' with 4.35 speed, so he sounds like he should be the next great NFL corner. Thing is, he just doesn't really care about football. How else can you explain his overall mediocre collegiate career, and his generally uninspiring senior season? Playing for Fresno State in a non BCS conference, McCauley should have dominated every single opponent he played. He didn't. McCauley's tackle totals went up each of the past three years (a bad thing for corners as it indicates a greater number of passes completed in front of him), despite the fact that he played in fewer games. In the past two seasons, he's intercepted only one pass, and he was repeatedly torched by top notch competition. McCauley is a classic player whose ability as a football player just doesn't match his measurables. Of course, coverage technique is coachable while triangle numbers are not, so McCauley could still end up being a solid NFL corner. Still, in my experience the best players are the ones who love the game and really care about it, and McCauley does not strike me as that type of player or one who is all that interested in being coached.

Underrated: Josh Wilson, Maryland
Aside from sharing sprinter's speed, Wilson is the opposite of McCauley. Wilson is undersized at only 5'9'' and 190 lbs. but he is absolutely fearless in run support, and actually a hell of a lot more physical with receivers than he is given credit for. Most importantly though, is the fact that Wilson squeezes every iota of ability out of his 190 lbs. while guys like McCauley are content languishing in mediocrity. Wilson loves football, and is the type of player who you would expect to start out as a situational player, but work his way into more and more playing time. Wilson's size may force him to start his career strictly as a situational nickel back (playing the slot man like many undersized defensive backs), but Wilson is the type of player who has a nonstop motor and does enough little things that coaches will want him on the field as much as possible.

Overrated/Underrated - Offense  

Posted by Walter

The NFL Draft if not a science. If you put 20 different personnel evaluators in a room and asked them to list the top 20 prospects in the draft, you'd no doubt get 20 lists that look absolutely nothing alike. As far as college players go, beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. Where one team sees a lanky, 6'4'' quarterback with questionable arm strength and lackluster mechanics, another team sees Tom Brady. There are a million different stories just like Brady's, as are there a million stories about overhyped, overrated losers who cost NFL personnel directors their jobs. In fact, hype can mean everything for a future NFL draftee. I mean outside of Chestnut Hill who had ever heard of Mike Mamula before his combine performance hyped him into a top 10 pick? Vernon Davis? But hype can be a dangerous thing, so here I go attempting to remove the hype factor and identify players at each position who are hyped too much (overrated), and hyped too little (underrated).


Overrated: Brady Quinn, Notre Dame
It's become somewhat chic to bash Quinn, so I am going to take the high road. It's not that I don't think Quinn can be a legitimate NFL QB, because I do. It's just that someone who has so consistently buckled against the top defense's in the nation should not be considered a potential #1 overall pick. For the past two seasons Quinn has put up awesome numbers throwing to supremely talented pass catchers (Stovall, Fasano, Samardzjia, McKnight, Carlson), but his performance has flat out stunk against top defenses. Make all the excuses you want for him, but Quinn's hype overshadows his mediocre performance.

Underrated: John Beck, Brigham Young
It's amazing that Beck has flown so far under the radar. Consider the following: (1) he comes from a school with a rich heritage of NFL signal callers, (2) he put up all america caliber numbers playing against legitimate D1 competition (in 2007 alone he faced Arizona, Boston College, TCU and Utah), and (3) he has improved his game in each of his three seasons as a starter. Yes he is a bit undersized at only 6'2''. And yes his mechanics need some work. But Beck completed nearly 70% of his passes this season (!!!) with a 32/8 ratio. Not impressed? Consider his numbers against the top four aforementioned teams he played in 2007: 66%, 1421 yards (355/gm.), and a 9/2 ratio. Beck may never be a star but he deserves some draft love.

Running Back

Overrated: Marshawn Lynch, California
Despite the fact that this is a weak running back draft, the overhype surrounding Lynch has been amazing. Lynch was an uber-recruit coming out of highschool, and he really made a name for himself as a big play backup to JJ Arrington as a Freshman in 2004. Sadly, Lynch has been living off of that reputation ever since. His yards per carry have dropped in each successive year, and Lynch no longer displays the break away electricity that made him such an appealing back in the first place. Most pundits still consider Lynch the second best option in this draft because he does somewhat blend power and speed (especially when compared to many of the other backs who are all one trick ponies), but I can't help but wonder what is more valuable: a guy like Lynch who has above average power and above average speed, or a guy who is simple outstanding at one of those.

Underrated: Darius Walker, Notre Dame
How can this be? A Notre Dame player underrated? Well, when you play in the shadow of everyone's golden boy this can happen. We here at The 323 have been adamant all season that Walker, and not Quinn, was the most valuable Irish player. Despite the fact that we won't have the opportunity to be proven right next year (when Walker would have been a senior and the MAN on offense), Walker will show everyone what we were talking about in the NFL. Walker possesses ideal size for an NFL back, at a compact 5'10'' and 208 lbs, and is quicker than he is fast. He is a natural runner, who has great ability to feel where the hole is. His style reminds me at times of Priest Holmes. Unlike Lynch, Walker improved his numbers each season, increasing his yards, yards per carry, receptions, and receiving yards in each of the past three seasons. The only knock on Walker's production is that he didn't get into the endzone very much, but anyone who has watched a Notre Dame game in the last year knows that the primary goal one the Irish get inside the 10 yard line is to pad Brady Quinn's stats by throwing fades to the oversized wideouts.

Offensive Line

Overrated: Ryan Harris, Notre Dame
Wait a minute, isn't the first excuse I hear from Brady Quinn apologists that his offensive line was so terrible that he never had time to throw? How then can one of his lineman be considered a potential top 2 round pick? Look, nothing against Harris personally, but physically he couldn't handle the likes of LSU, USC, and is he going to handle NFL lineman. Like Mamula, Harris looks the part. He has a very nice frame, and looks very cut and athletic. Harris will no doubt excel at the combine, further pushing his absurd draft stock up boards. The problem for Harris is that football isn't played on the RCA Dome turf without pads on. Running fast and lifting weights will help you get drafted, but it won't help you block a 280 lb. defensive end.

Underrated: Kyle Young, Fresno State
Gotta love this guy. Young is huge at 6'5'' and 330 lbs. He played guard, tackle, and center in college. He's mean, he's nasty, he's basically everything you'd want an offensive lineman to be. Yet nobody is talking about him. The knock on Young is that he doesn't really have a position. He's too immobile to play center, he's not athletic enough to play guard, blah blah blah. Where I come from there's a place where you put 6'5'' 330 lbs. men who play like they just ate nails for breakfast and genuinely enjoy kicking the snot out of's called right tackle. Some NFL team is going to be very happy when they draft Kyle Young, stick him at right tackle, watch him outphysical everybody he goes against, and run behind him every time you need to pick up a crucial 3rd and 2 for the next 10 seasons. Will Young give up some sacks in pass protection? You bet he will. But his contributions to your team's toughness, physicality, and intimidation factor will far outweigh his shortcomings. Think Jon Runyan and Erik Williams.

Tight End

Overrated: Greg Olsen, Miami
Maybe it's unfair to denigrate Olsen for his poor production at Miami, I mean he did have no capable QB throwing him the ball. That said, it's not like he's a wideout and he needs a stud QB to hit him on those pinpoint post patterns. He's a tight end who should make his living by settling into zones and catching relatively easy balls to throw. Whichever it may be, the fact remains that in 32 collegiate games Olsen caught a paltry 85 passes. For you math whizes that's less than 3 per game. Even more disturbing is the fact that at 6'5'' and 250 lbs. he was only able to get into the endzone six times during his whole career, and only once his senior year. I mean what's all that size and speed good for if you can't get into the endzone. And it's not like Olsen provides a real boost in the running game. He doesn't have a whole lot of interest in blocking, he doesn't catch a ton of balls, he's not a force in the redzone.....why is this guy thought of as a first round pick? Yeah, I don't know either.

Underrated: Johnny Harline, Brigham Young
We already have John Beck on here, why not his favorite target. Consider Harline the polar opposite of Olsen. Harline isn't 6'5'' with 4.5 speed....he's more like 6'4'' with 4.8 speed, but he also isn't sitting here with virtually no production on his resume. Harline played only two seasons at BYU, amassing 25 total starts. In those 25 starts Harline caught 121 passes for nearly 1800 yards and 17 TD. While it's true that at only 240 lbs. Harline isn't really strong or tough enough to be much of a factor in an NFL running game, but hell, neither Olsen or Zach Miller (the other top TE prospect) have any interest in blocking.

Wide Receiver

Overrated: Ted Ginn Jr.
So what do we know about Ginn? Well we know he is fast.....really fast. We know that he is a great kick returner. We know that he is a great big play threat. That it? No, we also know that he is slight at only 180 lbs. We know that he tends to disappear in games when teams play over the top coverage on him? We know that he isn't all that tough (I think that was him limping around the sidelines in the national title game as his Buckeyes were getting torched). All in all, we know that Ginn is somewhat of a one trick pony. There may be no better wideout in this draft for running a fly pattern, but there may be no worse wideout for running an eight yard dig on third and 7. You know what Ginn is? He is the classic player who is just unstoppable in video game football, but just sucks in real life. Like Mike Vick is an unstoppable force in Madden, yet on the field for every big play he makes he does 3 little things to help his team lose. Ginn will catch his share of long touchdowns in the NFL, but for every TD he catches he'll also give you a 5 yard gain on third and 6, or the alligator arms on a skinny post.

Underrated: Matt Trannon, Michigan State
Trannon only makes it here because just about nobody is talking about him.....and they should. Trannon is a combine lover's wet dream. He is a legit 6'5'', 235 lbs., and runs the 40 in 4.6 seconds. Oh, by the way, did I mention Trannon also played basketball in East Lansing, so yes he can jump as well. By way of comparison, Florida's Dallas Baker runs an identical 40 time, weights nearly 30 pounds less, is 2 inches shorter, and is projected by some as high as the third round. Now I don't want to get ahead of myself with Trannon, but it's hard to understand why he has been so ignored. Forgetting his unreal triangle numbers for a moment, Trannon actually has some decent production. We know how maddeningly inconsistent the Michigan State offense has been under Drew Stanton, but Trannon has managed to put up back to back 500 yard seasons. Further, his reception and yard totals have improved in each of his 4 seasons. Trannon is a project, no doubt about it, but how is nobody talking about such a unique physical specimen.

Defense tomorrow...............

2007 NFL Draft - Team Needs  

Posted by Walter

Team Needs - AFC

New England Patriots

  • Wide Receiver - Caldwell is a FA, Brown is old, Jackson has shown nothing
  • Linebacker - Bruschi is almost done, Vrabel is better on the outside, really need a ILB
  • Defensive Back - if Samuel stays they are solid with him and Hobbs, could use an upgrade at both safety spots
  • Running Back - should be looking for a late round replacement for Corey Dillon, Kevin Faulk isn't getting any younger

New York Jets

  • Defensive Back - Dyson is solid but Miller stinks, this needs to be a CB
  • Tight End - they have no talent at the position to speak of
  • Defensive Tackle - if they want to play the 3-4 they have only one player (Shaun Ellis), need a nose and another end (Von Oelhoffen sucks)

Miami Dolphins
  • Defensive Tackle - almost no one under contract, Holliday and Traylor stink anyways
  • Defensive Back - Will Allen is OK at one corne but they have nothing at the other CB spot (A Goodman) or eith safety (Hill and Bell)
  • Quarterback - Culpepper looks done and Harrington is not the answer

Buffalo Bills
  • Offensive Line - specifically at right tackle, 3 interior guys are no names as well
  • Linebacker - Spikes is a shade of his former self, Fletcher is productive but old
  • Defensive Back - if they lose Clements they need another corner
  • Running Back - early if they give up on McGahee, late if they keep him

Indianapolis Colts
  • Linebacker - OLB specifically, especially if Cato June leaves, Morris is solid but old at SLB, Brackett is OK in the middle
  • Defensive Back - Sanders and Bethea are a great young safety tandem, but Harper and David are just so so as corners
  • Defensive Tackle - Boog McFarland is still solid, but Raheem Brock is only average, a young stud would really help

Houston Texans
  • Offensive Line - so what else is new, they have nothing here
  • Defensive Tackle - they have nothing on the defensive line other than Mario Williams, pass rusher would be huge
  • Defensive Back - Dunta Robinson is a keeper but they don't have adequate play at either safety spot

Tennessee Titans

  • Defensive End - Vanden Bosch is good but injury prone, they have nothing onthe other side
  • Defensive Tackle - Robaire Smith is good vs. the run, this is even more pressing should they drop Haynesworth
  • Cornerback - Pacman is a stud, but Reynaldo Hill and Andre Woolfolk are not starters

Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Defensive Back - Rasheen Mathis is one of the best but they need a starter opposite him, Deon Grant is fine at free but need a SS
  • Outside Linebacker - they love Daryl Smith in the middle, but Greisen and Ingram are not long term answers
  • Quarterback - I don't think they are sold on either Leftwich or Garrard

Baltimore Ravens
  • Offensive Line - Ogden might retire, Pashos (RT) is only average, pretty good on the interior though
  • Running Back - Jamal Lewis looks done, and Mike Anderson is not the answer
  • Linebacker - only if Adalius Thomas leaves, Suggs and Scott are great, but Ray Lewis is not getting any younger

Cincinnati Bengals
  • Defensive Back - rumors are that Deltha O'Neal and Tory James are gone, Joseph is good but they have nothing else, could use a safety too
  • Tight End - they have nothing and could really use a weapon here
  • Offensive Line - need a starting guard if Steinbach leaves, and Richie Braham is old and injured at center

Cleveland Browns
  • Defensive Line - Ted Washington is old at NT, and they have nothing at DE for the 3-4
  • Offensive Line - specifically at tackle, they need both tackles
  • Running Back - Droughns is sure not the answer in the backfield, Harrison was only a late round pick
  • Defensive Back - Bodden is a solid starter but they need a corner opposite him, Baxter was terrible

Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Offensive Line - they really need a center now that Hartings has retired, Kendall Simmons (G) and Max Starks (T) are also question marks
  • Defensive Back - Ike Taylor and Desheah Townsend have ability but are inconsistent, they are all set at safety but could use an impact corner
  • Linebacker - they are set for starters but could use some depth

San Diego Chargers
  • Defensive Back - Jammer and Florence are adequate, McCree is OK at FS, Kiel is already gone so they have nobody at SS
  • Wide Reciever - Vincent Jackson looks like a keeper, but McCardell is old and Parker sucks
  • Linebacker - Phillips and Merriman are great on the outside, but Godfrey and Edwards are old and won't play much longer

Denver Broncos
  • Defensive Line - they are a bunch of castoffs and were adequate this past year, but basically their isn't a single impact player
  • Defensive Back - the death of Darrent Williams leaves a whole at CB (or FS if Foxworth slides over to CB), Lynch is getting old at SS
  • Offensive Line - they don't put a premium on this, but Meadows, Foster and Pearman are only average starters

Oakland Raiders
  • Quarterback - Brooks was a disaster and Andrew Walter hasn't shown anything
  • Offensive Line - lots of high draft picks here, probably won't give up on Gallery, Grove is a good young center, really need a RT and RG
  • Wide Reciever - tons of talent with Moss and Porter, but terrible attitude

Kansas City Chiefs
  • Offensive Line - Roaf retired last year, Shields retired this year, Turley is not all the way back, outside of Waters and Wiegman they need 3 starters
  • Defensive Tackle - Ron Edwards and James Reed?, Sims was a bust and they need to give up and move on
  • Wide Receiver - they have nothing here, Kennison is their best and Parker is a 4th WR at best
  • Defensive Back - Ty Law and Pat Surtain are old and they have no depth behind them, they could use some youth at safety as well

Team Needs - NFC

New York Giants
  • Defensive Back - Demps and Wilson are OK at safety, Webster was a disaster at one CB spot and Madison is getting old at the other
  • Offensive Line - they lost Whitfield to retirement, Petigout they cut, and Kareem McKenzie is terrible
  • Linebacker - Pierce is great, but they cut Emmons and Arrington

Dallas Cowboys
  • Defensive Back - Newman and Roy Williams are good, but Anthony Henry is only adequate, and they really need a ballhawking free safety
  • Offensive Line - Columbo (RT) stinks, Rivera (RG) is old, Kosier (LG) stinks, Flozells Adams is old, they could use a tackle and a guard
  • Defensive Line - Canty is a keeper, but Spears has been a bust and Ferguson is old at the nose

Washington Redskins
  • Defensive Line - Cornelius Griffin is old, Andre Carter is their best defensive lineman, they really need an impact DE or DT or both
  • Defensive Back - they have Sean Taylor and Carlos Rogers, but Troy Vincent (FS) is old, and they have no other starting caliber corners
  • Offensive Line - they have good starters, but virtually no depth, Jansen (RT) is the most injury prone, Rabach (C) is the worst player

Philadelphia Eagles
  • Linebacker - Trotter is solid but old, they really need help on the outside
  • Wide Reciever - Reggie Brown is good but they have nothing after him, they almost never take WR though
  • Defensive Back - Sheppard and Brown are good at the corners, but Dawkins is getting old and they have no SS

Detroit Lions
  • Offensive Line - they pay Jeff Backus like a top LT but he isn't, they need starters at every position
  • Quarterback - Kitna is not the answer, although Martz likes Orlovsky and doesn't really want a project
  • Defensive Line - James Hall is OK, but aside from Cory Redding they have nothing, they need a DT and DE

Green Bay Packers
  • Defensive Back - Al Harris is a good cover man, Nick Collins is a good FS, but Charles Woodson is old and Manual sucks at FS
  • Wide Reciever - Driver is old, Jennings is decent, but they could use a stud here
  • Running Back - Ahman Green is coming to the end and Vernand Morency is not the answer

Minnesota Vikings
  • Wide Reciever - Travis Taylor is a bust and they have nothing else, they desperately need a stud
  • Defensive Back - they are old at safety (Sharper and Smith), Winfield is getting old, and Smoot is a bum
  • Offensive Line - they are all set with McKinnie and Hutchinson, but the right side is terrible at both spots

Chicago Bears
  • Tight End - Desmond Clark is adequate but a playmaker here would really help their QB
  • Offensive Line - talented but old at many spots (Tait, Brown, Miller) and they could really use some depth
  • Linebacker - Hunter Hillenmeye is OK and they only really need a player here is Briggs leaves
  • Defensive Back - if Briggs stays they could certainly use a "cornerback of the future" to push Nathan Vasher (who is incredibly overrated)

Atlanta Falcons
  • Defensive Back - Deangelo Hall is great, the safeties are old, and they really need another corner
  • Wide Reciever - Petrino loves to throw and they need a stud on the outside
  • Defensive Line - if Kerney leaves they need an end, but otherwise they could use some youth inside at DT (maybe a pass rusher to spell Jackson)

Carolina Panthers
  • Linebacker - they need a MLB and an OLB to play opposite Thomas Davis
  • Offensive Line - other than Jordan Gross they don't have a lot, especially in the running game
  • Quarterback - Delhomme has been a revelation but he started to show signs of slowing down, they need a QB of the future and an immediate backup
  • Tight End - Jeff King is an intruiging player, but they haven't had an impact pass catcher since Wes Walls

New Orleans Saints
  • Defensive Back - Mike McKenzie is OK but Fred Thomas was terrible, and they badly need a SS to play next to Bullocks
  • Linebacker - they always draft linebackers but none are ever any good
  • Defensive Line - the ends are great but neither tackle is anything special
  • Tight End - not a huge part of their offense but an elite pass catcher would add a new dimension

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Defensive Line - Rice is getting old and Dewayne White is gone, they also need help inside after losing Sapp and McFarland the past two seasons
  • Wide Reciever - Galloway is getting old, Stovall is a project, and they don't really have anything else for Gruden's famed passing attack
  • Defensive Back - specifcally they need to fill both safety spots, and Ronde Barber, while still playing at a high level, isn't getting any younger
  • Quarterback - Gradkowski and Simms are not pro bowl caliber, Drew Stanton would be a good fit and I personally think Quinn would be a star in Gruden's offense

San Francisco 49ers
  • Defensive Line - Bryant Young is old, Marque Douglas was good, but they need youth, especially if they want to go to the 3-4
  • Defensive Back - aside from Shawtae Spencer they have nothing, they need a CB and both safety spots
  • Linebacker - Lawson and Moore are solid on the outside, but they need a MLB especially if they want to go to the 3-4
  • Wide Reciever - perhaps a more immediate concern but can be addressed later in the draft, Antonio Bryant is a solid starter but they could use a slot man

Seattle Seahawks
  • Offensive Line - Locklear and Jones are still great, they really need two starting caliber guards though
  • Defensive Back - Trufant is OK, but they need another corner and could use an upgrade for both Babineaux and Boulware at safety
  • Defensive Line - the starters are OK but they could use some depth, Wistrom is getting old and they could use someone to play next to Bernard inside

Saint Louis Rams
  • Linebacker - Will Witherspoon is OK in the middle but they have nothing on the outside
  • Defensive Line - Claude Wrotten has potential, Jimmy Kennedy was a 1st rounder, but neither is great, they also need an end opposite Little
  • Defensive Back - Ty Hill looked OK as a rookie, Fakhir Brown is actually pretty decent, but nobody is special back there

Arizona Cardinals
  • Offensive Line - like the Texans what else is new, they really need a left tackle
  • Defensive Line - aside from Darnell Dockett and the project that is Gabe Watson inside they have nothing, they really need a DE
  • Defensive Back - Robert Griffith and David Macklin stink, so they could use a corner and a safety

2007 Mock Draft 2nd Round-Part 2  

Posted by Walter

49. Jacksonville Jaguars - Troy Smith, QB Ohio State

Walter: The Jags would probably prefer Drew Stanton, but Smith is also the type of mobile, accurate QB the coaching staff likes (aka the exact opposite of Byron Leftwich). The Jags don't have the skill position personnel or coaching to excel in the vertical passing game, but Smith gives them the type of improvisational presence they haven't had since Mark Brunell left.

FF: Do we need a third quarterback? Really? I am not ready for another project. Let's just play consistently. Also, this kid folded in the big game. Ugh. I am sick.

50. Cincinnati Bengals - Greg Olsen, TE Miami

Walter: If Olsen is available this is an absolute lock. Zach Miller and Olsen run neck in neck, and the Bengals, who are loaded at every skill position other than TE, are ecstatic to add another dimension to their offense this late in the draft.

FF: If we can stay out of jail, we're dangerous. We have awesome skill players, but who the hell is our tight end? I love it.

51. Tennessee Titans - Justin Harrell, DT Tennessee

Walter: Robaire Smith is a keeper, but Albert Haynesworth might be on his way out thanks to his mediocre play and character concerns. Harrell is a hometown product who is tough as nails, and may be able to start right away.

FF: I just hope he isn't into stomping on people's faces. I loved the kid at Tennessee, and I'm more than happy that I can follow him in the pros.

52. New York Giants - Chris Houston, CB Arkansas

Walter: Houston would be a huge pickup for a Giants secondary that couldn't cover anyone in 2006. Houston is an NFL ready coverman, who excelled in college against top competition. This would be excellent value this late in the draft for the G-Men.

FF: Dear god do we need secondary help! I couldn't be happier. The only thing better would be for us to draft consistent play from Eli.

53. Denver Broncos - Eric Weddle, DB Utah

Walter: The untimely death of Darrent Williams leaves the Broncos thinner in the secondary, and the versatile Weddle may be the answer. While someone like Eric Wright could also be a possibility, Weddle's presence would allow starting FS Dominique Foxworth to slide right over the Williams' vacated CB spot.

FF: This just makes me sad. Weddle can step in and play Williams' position, but it's just such a tragedy that it's come to this. Let's just move on.

54. Dallas Cowboys - Ryan McBean, DT Oklahoma State

Walter: McBean is probably a better fit as a DE in the 3-4 but he is the best DT prospect left. Chris Canty is a keeper at one end spot, but Marcus Spears has been somewhat of a disappointment. Probably a reach here, and I may eventually rethink this pick.

FF: The defensive completely fell apart at the end of the year, so I think it's the right move. We just couldn't stop opponents from scoring. Not that I know who this guy is or anything.

55. Kansas City Chiefs
- Buster Davis, MLB Florida State

Walter: With Kendrell Bell and Derrick Johnson on the outside, the Chiefs badly need a stud in the middle. Davis may not look the part, but he is a tackling machine who will instantly improve any defense he plays for. Secondary is also a concern, but Davis is a better prospect than any of the defensive backs available.

FF: I am THRILLED! This guy is the opposite of Derrick Johnson. He might not have the measurables, but he is going to make plays. I also love how he lights up opponents. A tackling middle linebacker is a HUGE boost. I love it.

56. Seattle Seahawks - Charles Johnson, DE Georgia

Walter: Bryce Fisher and Grant Wistrom are solid starters but they are getting up there in age. Johnson is a solid all around end prospect who will immediately infuse youth and depth to the Seattle defensive line.

FF: I like it. We've got a good team, but we can always use some more defensive pressure. I also like building for the future. Nice pick!

New York Jets - Jarvis Moss, DE Florida

Walter: Moss is just a defensive athlete who is more like a new toy for head coach Eric Mangini. Just like his master, Belichick, Mangini likes to change up fronts and bring pressure from different directions. Moss is the type of player who can line up in any number of places and either rush the passer or drop into coverage.

FF: The Mangenius is going to find ways to get this kid involved. He's an amazing athlete, and will terrorize quarterbacks. He can be one of those hybrid DE-LB guys. I love it!

58. Philadelphia Eagles
- Stewart Bradley, OLB Nebraska

Walter: The Eagles badly need some youth and depth at the OLB position, and Bradley fits the bill. Coach Andy Reid tends to prefer bigger linebackers who can take on blocks (J Trotter and D Jones come to mind) and Bradley is probably the best in this draft at doing that.

FF: We got our receiver, and now we will get back to work on defensive. We helped the line last year, let's help the backers this time around. Still not sure where we've fallen off defensively.

59. New Orleans Saints - HB Blades, MLB Pittsburgh

Walter: The Saints have invested a number of high round picks in linebackers in recent years, but to no avail. Blades is a rugged, polished middle backer who will solidify the Saints ability to stop the run, and could end up being a steal this late in the draft. Look for him to start right away.

FF: Our linebackers played valiantly last year, but just weren't that good. This kid showed some real production. Can't say I'm disappointed.

60. New England Patriots
- Lamar Woodley, DE/OLB Michigan

Walter: Just like Mangini picking Moss, Woodley is an attractive guy to Belichick because he is capable of lining up in different places and doing different things. Woodley reminds me of a shorter version of Willie McGinest, and I would expect Belichick to take advantage of his skill set in a similar way.

FF: Like Belichick won't know how to use him? Second coming of Willie McGinist? Oh god, that would be perfect. We really, really missed Willie.

61. Baltimore Ravens - Jason Hill, WR Washington State

Walter: Brian Billick loves Wazzou recievers (he drafted Devard Darling about 2 rounds too early a couple of seasons ago) and in Hill he gets a good one. Derrick Mason looks done, and Hill is almost a perfect compliment to Mark Clayton. I also wouldn't be shocked if the Ravens took Drew Stanton or Troy Smith if either was available.

FF: Our offense is fucking awful. This is exactly the sort of thing we need. Now we just need Lewis to figure himself out, or go another direction with our running game. Too bad fucking Billick will waste him because he isn't exactly the offensive genius he thinks he is.

62. San Diego Chargers - Brandon Siler, LB Florida

Walter: Donnie Edwards and Randall Godfrey are solid starters but they are both on the wrong side of 30. Siler is a class ILB who will need some seasoning, but should eventually become a strong NFL starter.

FF: I loved what Siler did in college, and we're fucking loaded. But we did get a linebacker shot last year, so a little depth here doesn't hurt.

63. Chicago Bears - Ryan Harris, OT Notre Dame

Walter: The Bears need depth and youth up front and Harris is the best offensive line prospect available. This pick will be dictated by their first pick though. If they go QB at the end of round 1, they could target Olsen or Iowa TE Scott Chandler here.

FF: The line looked a little flimsy in the super bowl, so this might be good. Really, we are all set on deffense. Another receiver wouldn't exactly kill us. Still, not a ton of needs.

64. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Brian Leonard, RB Rutgers

Walter: Another guy Gruden coached in Mobile, Leonard reminds many of a faster, more fluid Mike Alstott. After the Senior Bowl Gruden was reportedly smitten with the Rutgers star, and he would team with Cadillac Williams to form a potent 1-2 combination.

FF: Is this kid a running back, or a fullback? Put the pounds back on, and be a fucking bruiser. If he's a fullback, that's great, I love Alstott, but if he's just a slow running back, I mean, is this really compensation for the Booger?

2007 Mock Draft 2nd Round-Part 1  

Posted by Walter

33. Oakland Raiders - Ben Grubbs, OG Auburn

Walter: The Raiders O-Line was terrible in 2006, despite the fact that they do have some young talent. In fact, they are actually set at center (Jake Grove) and tackle (Robert Gallery and Langston Walker). Grubbs is perhaps the best and most athletic natural guard in the draft and is a steal at 33.

Frazier Fan: Really? I mean, I'd like to protect the new quarterback, but we also don't have a running game. At all. Come on, give our young head coach some weapons!

34. Detroit Lions - Tony Ugoh, OT Arkansas

Walter: Jeff Backus is a solid starter, but is getting old. With Brady Quinn now in tow the Lions desperately need a young tackle to protect his blind side for the next 10 seasons. Ugoh has first round size and talent, but falls into Detroit's lap due to excellent position depth.

FF: I guess it can't hurt. But we better be making some defensive improvements through free agency. Still, we have plenty of holes.

35. Cleveland Browns - Ryan Kalil, C USC

Walter: Even after taking Joe Thomas in round 1 the Browns still need OL help. Kalil is a starting caliber center right now who will push all pro LeCharles Bentley to gaurd, and give the Browns the best young O-Line nucleus in the entire league.

FF:I'm not super-thrilled about the whole thing, but we had a black hole at the center position last year. Frankly, I'm just concerned for Kalil's health. Be careful, you might be cursed!

36. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Victor Abiamiri, DE Notre Dame

Walter: Simeon Rice is getting old, and Dewayne White is all but gone in free agency. Abiamiri is incredibly talented but raw, and is a perfect fit as a strong side DE in Tampa's cover 2 scheme. Jon Gruden coached him in the Senior Bowl and we know how easily he falls in love with those guys.

FF: Yeah, it was great to see Booger McFarland win a super bowl this year, I just wish it had been from our friggin team! We gave him away, so we damn well better be getting younger on the D-line.

37. Arizona Cardinals - Aaron Sears, OT Tennessee

Walter: Assuming the Cards miss out on Joe Thomas in round 1, they will have to jump on the best tackle prospect left on the board at 37. Sears isn't a prototype like Thomas, but he should be a capable starter and can easily slide inside to guard if a better prospect later becomes available.

FF: Finally! We need o-line help, there is no doubt about that. Either Edge aged in dog years, or our line was a major problem. I'm getting excited...

38. New York Jets - Mike Bush, RB Louisville

Walter: Leon Washington proved in 2006 that he can be an effective half of a tailback tandem. Bush provides Eric Mangini with the thunder to Washington's lightning. Had Bush not hurt himself as a Senior he'd be long gone by now so the Jets are thrilled to get their hands on him.....assuming he's all healed up.

FF: Wait, who is this guy again? I'm pretty sure he got plenty of hype, and if he's healthy, yeah, this could work! I'd love more offensive balance. Rock on!

39. Minnesota Vikings - Marcus McCauley, CB Fresno State

Walter: Antoine Winfield is the only guy on the roster who is both healthy and a legitimate NFL cornerback, and he is getting old. McCauley has first round talent but hasn't always lived up to his potential. Still, at 39 he is well worth the gamble for the Vikes.

FF: Definitely liking the pick. This guy is friggin good, and Childress will keep his ass in line. It's the NFL, you gotta be able to defend the pass.

40. Houston Texans - Quinn Pitcock, DT Ohio State

Walter: Aside from the offensive line, the Texans biggest need is on the defensive front. After switching from the 3-4 to the 4-3 they desperately need defensive tackles to plug in. Pitcock fits the bill nicely, as a class 4-3 tackle who can probably compete to start from day 1.

FF: I'm still a little pissed about the Mario Williams thing, but maybe he'll blossom if we get him some help up front. So if he's good, maybe it's like getting two players!

41. Miami Dolphins - Jon Beason, OLB Miami

Walter: Zach Thomas is still great in the middle, and Channing Crowder looks good on the strong side, but that still leaves one open spot. Beason is a class 4-3 weak side backer, and the fact that he is a local product won't hurt one bit.

FF: Hmmmm, more help on the defensive side of things? Isn't that our strength? I like that he's a local guy, but that's about it.

42. Atlanta Falcons - Tank Tyler, DT NC State

Walter: Grady Jackson and Rod Coleman are great but old, and there are no other NFL caliber defensive tackles on the roster (Darrel Shropshire and John Babineux....please). Tyler won't have to start right away, but he would look good as a situational pass rusher for Jackson in 2007.

FF: We could use some help up the middle. I'm really not sure what is wrong with us, but I think this might help. Let's get tougher.

43. San Francisco 49ers - Anthony Gonzalez, WR Ohio State

Walter: Gonzalez may be a bit of a reach here, but the niners desperately need a playmaker on the outside. This actually wouldn't be a terrible landing spot for Gonzalez as he would be free to play as the slot reciever (his more natural NFL position) in SF's west coast attack.

FF: I love getting a wide receiver. We have the running back, the tight end, and the quarterback. Now we need someone to get open. I just don't know if this is the right guy. I keep hearing it's a deep year for WR's, and this guy still seems a little slow. Although, I love his college production, isn't he a #3?

44. Buffalo Bills - Marshall Yanda, OG Iowa

Walter: O-Line is a huge need for the Bills, especially at guard where they have only Duke Preston and Mike Gandy. Yanda is probably a better player right now than either of them, plus he has the ability to play right tackle where the Bill currently employ Terrance Pennington.

FF: We need some help. JP is a total disaster with rushers in his face, so this is a good move.

45. Saint Louis Rams - Anthony Spencer, DE/OLB Purdue

Walter: For years the Rams best and most productive defensive player has been Leonard Little. Spencer is a Little clone who projects as either a DE (a la little) or an OLB. Both are need areas for the Rams, and Spencer gives them a future pass rushing star to replace Little when he starts to slow.

FF: We need a better defense. I am sick of scoring 25 points and losing, and our offensive should be fine again. And everyone loves sacks!

46. Carolina Panthers - Drew Stanton, QB Michigan State

Walter: Jake Delhomme has been somewhat of a revelation, but his game has already started to deteriorate. Stanton is an incredible talent who will be best served apprenticing for a year before taking over in 2008 or 2009. He is a perfect fit for Carolina as he fits the bill as QB of the future, but is also polished enough to serve as their backup immediately (so long Chris Weinke).

FF: Don't we already have a quarterback with slithering ability, good athleticism, and shaky decision making? Stanton looked great one game, terrible the next. Or, against Notre Dame, it was literally half-to-half. Still, we need someone other than Weinke. I'm not sold.

47. Pittsburgh Steelers - Josh Beekman, OG Boston College

Walter: This may not be an immediate need for the Steelers as both Alan Faneca and Kendall Simmons are entrenched as starters, but the strength of the Pittsburgh offense has always been their line play and they badly need an infusion of youth. Beekman played some center in college and may even get a long look there with the retirement of Jeff Hartings. If Ryan Kalil is available here, he'd be a lock.

FF: I'm a fucking Steelers fan. Of course I want to be able to plow the road. I just hope he has a mean streak, because I'm ready to start hitting some people in the mouth.

48. Green Bay Packers - Brandon Merriweather, S Miami

Walter: Merriweather is a top 15 talent, but character concerns drop him all the way to the middle of the second round. The Packers addressed one need with Ted Ginn in round one, and they address another right here. Merriweather is such a good cover man he could probably start for the Pakcers at either free safety or cornerback in 2007.

FF: I LOVE this pick. Look, he's a great talent, and I don't have to be around him. Also, there isn't a whole lot of trouble to get into in Green Bay. Also, if this young man will listen to anyone, it'll be Brett Favre. I can't wait to watch him while I'm drinking a Schlitz, and eating some chedder.

The Team

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