NFL MOCK DRAFT

Draft-2014-e1389404247238

1.Houston Texans
Jadeveon Clowney

I really just don’t see the Texans getting enough from anyone to trade down unless the Falcons make a big move like they did for Julio in 2011. I’d give it a 40% chance of happening. More than likely, they’ll keep the pick and take the safest player in the draft. He may not have played 100% on every snap in college, but if you get game planned against every game, and double teamed on a regular basis, I’m sure it does get frustrating. Clowney will be better in the pros than he was in college, especially with JJ Watt taking away some attention.

Note* There is a chance that Khalil Mack could be picked instead, since some think he would fit better in a 3-4.

2.St Louis Rams
Sammy Watkins

This is the most likely position to be traded, possibly to the Lions. If the Rams keep the pick, they should take Watkins, and give Bradford a true weapon they mistakenly thought they were getting last year in Tavon Austin. A WVU alum myself, I saw a lot of their games and honestly think Stedman Bailey has a higher upside for the than Austin. Watkins would give them a true no 1 receiver who could really open up that offense. The Lions would take Watkins as well, and the thought of him lined up across from Megatron, with Golden Tate and Reggie Bush in the mix as well…that’s just frightening.

3.Jacksonville Jaguars
Khalil Mack

The Jaguars have alot of holes to fill, and alot of choices at number 3. They could take Manziel, but I think they’ll try to trade back as well. If they keep the pick, I say they take Khalil Mack out of Buffalo. This kid is an absolute beast, and reminds me of Von Miller as far as size and speed is concerned.

4.Cleveland Browns
Greg Robinson

The best offensive lineman finally goes off the board at 4. Many years he’d be the 1st overall pick, and is alot better prospect than Fischer or Joeckel from last year. This guy will probably be a future all-pro lineman. He’s 350 lbs, runs a sub 5 second 40 yard dash, and can do backflips. What more do you want?

Note* Strong possibility they take Manziel here, but they could wait for a QB at their next first round pick at 26

5.Oakland Raiders
Mike Evans

Evans is the 2nd best receiver in this extremely deep WR draft, and the newly acquired Schaub needs a good weapon like Evans to make him feel comfortable. After losing Andre Johnson, his confidence level has gotta be at an all time low. Evans is a few inches taller than Johnson at 6′ 5″ and is very fast for his height (4.53 40 time).

Note* They can grab their QB of the future at 36, especially if Derek Carr is still available.

6.Atlanta Falcons
Jake Matthews

If the Falcons don’t trade up and take Clowney or Mack, I think they’ll take the safe route and pick up Jake Matthews or Taylor Lewan. Both are outstanding lineman, but Matthews has the bloodlines, and is a more consistent player in my opinion.

7.Tampa Bay Bucaneers
Odell Beckham Jr

The first “reach” of the draft goes to the Tampa Bay Bucaneers, who were probably set on Mike Evans falling to them at 7. Evans would have given them a Vincent Jackson clone, which might have been good for their new quarterback Josh McCown (he was quite spoiled in Chicago with Marshall and Jeffery). Beckham is a great consolation prize, and should still really help open up Tampa’s offense opposite VJax.

8.Minnesota Vikings
Blake Bortles

New Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner runs a similar system that Bortles ran in college, and Christian Ponder is clearly not the answer in Minneapolis. Great fit, althought I’m sure they’d like to have him in the 2nd round. They also have some big holes to fill on the defensive line and at the linebacker positions, so CJ Mosley and Aaron Donald could be good fits here as well.

9.Buffalo Bills
Eric Ebron

With the top two tackles already gone, I think the Bills will opt for an offensive playmaker to help EJ Manuel. Eric Ebron is easily the best TE in the draft, and gives them a big athletic red zone threat like Jimmy Graham.

10.Detroit Lions
Justin Gilbert

There’s a strong chance the Lions will trade up on draft day, but if they stay at 10, Gilbert is an easy choice. The NFC north is filled with playmaking WRs, and the Lions can’t cover any of them. Gilbert is extremely athletic, has great ball skills, and is an elite return man.

11.Tennessee Titans
Anthony Barr

Who doesn’t need a long athletic edge rusher in today’s NFL? Anthony Barr (6′ 4″, 255 lbs) has great speed and he racked up 23.5 sacks over the last two years with the Bruins. Barr moved from RB to OLB 2 years ago, so his upside is extremely high.

*Note- New Titans linebacker coach Lou Spanos was Barr’s defensive coordinator UCLA.

12.New York Giants
Aaron Donald

The Giants would have loved to take Ebron here to give Eli another weapon, but he’ll likely be gone by 12, so they would need to trade up to do so. If they stay at 12, Donald makes a lot of sense for the G-men as their D-line isn’t anywhere close to what it used to be. Donald is the premier DT in this draft, and should make an instant impact with his incredible speed and instincts most interior lineman don’t possess.

13. St. Louis Rams
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

Clinton-Dix would fit nicely in St. Louis, as they already have a great defensive line that can bring the pressure (Robert Quinn is a MONSTER) and force bad throws for him to pick off. He’s got great size, instincts, and can play the run as well as the pass. He’s THE elite safety in this draft, and should step in day 1 as a starter for the Ram’s below average secondary.

14.Chicago Bears
Timmy Jernigan

There’s a lot of talk that Aaron Donald is who they want, but I doubt he’ll drop this far. If he’s not there, the Bears will likely trade back. If they stay put, Timmy Jernigan is the next best interior lineman.

15.Pittsburgh Steelers
Darqueze Dennard

Steel City needs a CB like Donald Sterling needs a dark hole to hide in. Dennard is a physical cornerback that excels in press coverage, and perfectly fits in with the Steeler’s physical culture. He’s active and aggressive against the run, and will learn a lot from Ike Taylor over the next few years.

16.Dallas Cowboys
Johnny Manziel

Jerry wants Johnny, and if he somehow falls to the Boys, there is no doubt in my mind they’ll take him. Don’t know how long he’d last in the NFC East though with his current frame.

17. Baltimore Ravens
Taylor Lewan

18. NY Jets
Odell Beckham Jr

19. Miami Dolphins
Zack Martin

20. Arizona Cardinals
Derek Carr

21. Green Bay Packers
CJ Mosley

22. Philadelphia Eagles
Brandin Cooks

23. Kansas City Chiefs
Teddy Bridgewater

24. San Francisco 49ers
Kyle Fuller

25. San Diego Chargers
Marqise Lee

26. Cleveland Browns
Ryan Shazier

27. New Orleans Saints
Demarcus Lawrence

28. Carolina Panthers
Morgan Moses

29. New England Patriots
Dominique Easley

30. Cincinnati Bengals
Jason Verrett

31. Denver Broncos
Cody Latimer

32. Seattle Seahawks
Austin Sefarian-Jenkins

freeagency2014

NFL Free Agency Live Update Big Board- (updated with signings every 30 mins)

The prize of 2014 free agency, former Buffalo Bills star safety Jarius Byrd
The prize of 2014 free agency, former Buffalo Bills star safety Jarius Byrd

Free agency is an exciting time in the NFL, especially for the fans of the the subpar teams who think that “one more piece” could be all they need to take the next step. It has happened before, with _______ in ______ (insert story here) but it’s not the norm. Just ask the Redskins (

Free agency is great for filling a few spots, and even better when you don’t end up losing your current players in the future by giving out inflated contracts. Here are the top 100 players of Free Agency, separated between positions.

WRs
This is a very deep receiver class, which bodes well for teams like the Redskins and Jets. It’ll be interesting to see if Seattle can keep Baldwin or Tate, as they are both highly rated on my big board.

1. Eric Decker
2. Anquan Boldin
3. Golden Tate
4. Julian Edelman
5. Hakeem Nicks
6. Doug Baldwin
7. Emmanuel Sanders
8. Jeremy Maclin
9. Andre Roberts – agreed to terms with Redskins 4 year/16 mil
10. Lance Moore
11. Riley Cooper – resigned with Eagles
12. Kenny Britt
13. James Jones
14. Ted Ginn
15. Sidney Rice

simponsprediction

#SB48 Seahawks vs Broncos – Super Bowl Prediction

If the Denver Broncos played the Seattle Seahawks 10 times, the Broncos would walk away with 7 or 8 wins, in my opinion. Although the “Legion of Boom” is extremely talented, “The Sheriff” is playing at an all-time level right now. You also have to remember that he’s got #83, #88, and #87 at his disposal (not to mention “Orange Julius” if he can stay healthy).

Denver Broncos Offense

I’m really looking forward to seeing how well the “12th man” is represented in New York. I think it could make a significant impact on the game.

12thman

 The Seahawks have  an unbelievable 17-1 home record under Russell Wilson, compared to a 9-7 road record.
richard-shermanRichard Sherman was quoted a couple weeks ago giving Peyton a hard time for "throwing too many ducks". Peyton hilariously admitted that Sherman was right in this brief interview:

All things considered, I think the Seahawks are going to find a way to shock the nation and come away with a win tomorrow.

 Seattle- 20
 Broncos- 17

Sorry Peyton.

manningface

Super Bowl Commercials

  • Bud Light – “Up for Whatever”

  • Dannon – Full House Crew

  • Doritos – Finger Cleaner

  • SodaStream – Scarlett Johansson

    Classic Super Bowl Ads

    • Coca-Cola – Mean Joe Green (1979)

    • The Introduction of Apple (1984)

    • Wendy’s – Where’s the Beef? (1984)

    • Pepsi – Cindy Crawford (1991)

    • McDonald’s – MJ vs Larry (1993)

    • “Bud” “Weis” “Er” (1995)

    • Monster.com – “When I Grow Up” (1999)

  • Reebok – Terry Tate Office Linebacker (2003)
    • E-Trade – Baby Commercial (2008)

    • Volkswagen – The Force (2011)

    • Budweiser – Clydesdales (2013)

    Week 6 #GIFsOfTheWeek

    Week 6 #GIFsOfTheWeek

    Hell of a game winning drive by Brady capped by this.

    Hell of a game winning drive by Brady capped by this.

    Steve Smith's HUGE block on Kyle Rudolph

    Steve Smith’s HUGE block on Kyle Rudolph

    Giovanni Bernard is good for one play like this a week.

    Giovanni Bernard is starting to do this a lot. He’s a star in the making.

    Lonely Tom Brady, even Edelman won't shake his hand.

    Lonely Tom Brady, even Edelman won’t shake his hand.

     

    Is Andre Drummond the next great big man in the NBA?

    Andre Drummond Detroit

    The Detroit Pistons haven’t had the best luck this season, but they did have one hell of a draft before it started. They took Andre Drummond, the 6’ 11”, 275 lb center from Uconn, with their first round pick (9th overall). When Drummond dropped all the way to the ninth spot in the draft, the Pistons didn’t hesitate to grab the closest physical specimen to Dwight Howard since…Dwight Howard. Once considered a top 3 prospect, he slipped all the way to ninth because many thought the teenager’s easy going attitude on the court reflected a lack of love for the game. Drummond was rarely seen without a smile on his face, and his Uconn team underperformed to say the least.

    It turns out he’s just a really happy guy that loves life. When asked about his “work ethic concerns”, Drummond responded with this: “I’m a very kind hearted person. I always look out for other people. On the court, I play with a smile on my face and sometimes people misunderstand that as not playing hard or not taking the game seriously. But that’s just me. I enjoy the game of basketball and I always have a smile on my face.”

    628x471

    Another widely believed criticism of Drummond coming out of college after his freshman year (who graduated high school in 3 years instead of 4) was his age. Drummond was only 19, and he was viewed to be a long-term “project” type of player, that wouldn’t be able to contribute much to any team for a few years. Luckily for the team that took a chance on him, both of those statements turned out to be wrong.

    Since he was considered to be a project player, and was dealing with a minor back problem through training camp, Drummond began the season playing only 10-15 minutes a game at first. This tactic quickly became unpopular with fans after just a few games of watching him soar over defenders, finishing jams with a ferocity unseen at the Palace since Ben Wallace.

    As the season went on, it was evident that Andre was a special player. Every game would feature at least one freakishly athletic dunk, a monstrous block, and about 1 rebound per minute. That was all while he was only got 15 minutes a game. On January 29th, Drummond had his first true “breakout game”. Here is a highlight video of Drummond’s 18 rebounds and 18 points in 27 minutes of playing time!

    Fans urged the coaches to put the rookie phenom into the starting lineup, but just when the idea was gaining traction within the organization, he was sidelined for nearly 30 games with a bad back bruise. By this time the Pistons had realized that Drummond was very special, so they were extremely cautious about bringing him back less than 100% (especially considering it was a back injury).

    Drummond was only back in the lineup for a few games before the Pistons finally decided to give him a starting role. Although head coach Lawrence Frank stuck with his “limited minutes” approach to the rapidly developing big man, he finished with a team high 17 pts, 4 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 2 steals…in only 20 minutes of playing time. The next game he got 22 minutes and delivered 8 pts, 14 rebounds, 2 assists and a block. Just a few games later against the Cavaliers, Drummond couldn’t be stopped. He scored 29 points and pulled down 11 rebounds, single handedly winning the game for the Pistons.

    The last 6 games of the Pistons season, Frank was more generous with Drummond’s minutes, averaging 29.5 mpg, and Drummond didn’t disappoint. He averaged 12.3 points per game, 8.5 rebounds per game, 1.5 steals per game, and 1.3 blocks per game. He did all this with unbelievable efficiency, shooting an astounding 70% from the field! Here’s a great video of Drummond, showcasing his astounding athletic ability:

    Drummond made it clear this season that he should have been taken in the top 3 picks of the 2012 NBA Draft. When comparing his numbers to #1 pick Anthony Davis, he matches up quite favorably. Both players dealt with injuries that shortened their season but Anthony Davis started 60/64 games that he dressed, dwarfing Drummond’s 10 starts (out of the 60 games he dressed for). That’s 28.8 mpg for Davis compared to only 20.5 mpg for Drummond.

    Number one pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Anthony Davis.
    (Per 36) is a popular stat in basketball to help project what bench players/non starters would do given a starters amount of minutes (36). Here is what you get when you average out Drummond’s stats vs the Anthony Davis’s (the first overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft) stats:
    Rebounds per game- Drummond (13.2) Davis (10.2)
    Points per game- Drummond (13.8) Davis (16.9)
    Field Goal %- Drummond (60.8%) Davis (51.6%)
    Blocks per game- Drummond (2.8) Davis (2.2)
    Steals per game- Drummond (1.7) Davis (1.5)

    As you can see, Drummond is better in nearly every category per 36 minutes, and as he begins to develop into the superstar he will become, his minutes will only increase. He is already has great defensive instincts, and they will only get better as he grows. His offensive game is requires a lot of work, but when you can get a double/double every game with just putbacks, you’ve got a good foundation to build from. I would be extremely surprised if he wasn’t getting 30+ minutes a game next season right from the start. Expect to see this young man all over NBA headlines for years to come, especially in the highlight reels with dunks like these:

    Drummond dunking over Ersan Ilysova

    A man Drummond’s size should not be able to dunk the ball between his legs.

    Brandon Knight’s Unlucky Year

    Brandon Knight is a very promising young guard in the NBA, but this just hasn’t been his year. It all started at NBA All Star Weekend in the Rising Stars Challenge.  The Rising Stars Challenge is a pretty laid back game overall with the best rookies and sophomores playing against each other. There are usually a few amazing plays during the game, and unfortunately for Knight, he was on the wrong end of one. The video below shows an amazing dribbling display by THE best young PG in the NBA, Kyrie Irving:

     

    Kyrie Irving Destroys Brandon Knight’s Ankles

    Kyrie Irving spoke to assembled reporters about the sequence with Knight after the game, and apparently their rivalry goes back to their days as prep stars:

    “Q: When you started going after it with Brandon Knight, how did that whole thing even develop?

    A: Just happened, honestly, a couple of plays down, going down the court with him. But more or less, that kind of rivalry with me and B. Knight has been happening since high school, since we started playing against each other. We were battling for the one and two spot in high school. He’s a good friend of mine. It’s great competition.”

    While it got some exposure on Sports Center for a day or two, people pretty much forgot about the incident. What happened a month later though, will end up being the dunk of the year, and is quite unforgettable:

     

    DeAndre Jordan’s Dunk Of The Year

    Its unfortunate that someone trying to play tough defense (in a league where that rarely happens) gets punished like this. Knight at least had a good sense of humor about the event, tweeting this after the game:

    @BrandonKnight07

    “It wasn’t in the scouting reports that the clippers threw lobs lol”

    (The Clippers are nicknamed “Lob City” for a reason, with Chris Paul throwing up several alley oops a game to Blake Griffin and Deandre Jordan among others)

     

    Sprained Ankle/Losing Streak (See earlier crossover by Kyrie Irving to see why his ankles were weak to begin with)

    Just a few days after the dunk heard round the world, Knight severely sprained his ankle, and missed the next 2 weeks. The Detroit Pistons have lost 13 of their last 15 games and with Knight and rookie phenom Andre Drummond healthy again, hopes were high for the last few games of the season. After mounting a furious comeback to get within 3 with only 2:00 minutes remaining last night against the Celtics, Knight’s streak of bad luck struck again:

     

    Knight’s Wide Open Missed Layup

    While some will argue that it didn’t decide the game, everyone knows that basketball is a game of momentum. Before the missed layup, the Pistons had ALL the momentum and were leading a late game comeback to steal the win…before that miss.

    Knight really is a great young player for the young Pistons squad, and he will continue to get better…2013 just wasn’t his year.

    stephcurry

    The San Antonio Spurs/Golden State Warriors series is must see TV (Steph Curry is incredible).

    Stephen-Curry-shooting

    If you only need ONE reason watch this series, meet Steph Curry. The 3 year pro and very small (6’3” 185lb) point guard out of Davidson may be the best pure shooter of our generation. During the 2012-2013 regular season, Curry shot 45.1% from the field and 45.3% from 3 point land. Yes you read that correctly, he actually shot a HIGHER percentage from beyond the arc. He broke Ray Allen’s record for most 3 pointers made in a season with 284 total (beating the old record by 14). Curry can shoot the lights out each and every night, but he’s also very unselfish. During the playoffs, he has averaged 8.8 assists per game (#1 overall in that category). He has ridiculous handles, can knock down a shot from anywhere, and makes his teammates better. This young man is quickly turning into a superstar, and a fan favorite in the NBA.

    Here is a great highlight video of the phenominal young point guard:

    Game 1 of the series was an insant classic. Curry, who finished with 44 points and 11 assists in the game, went on a stretch in the 3rd where he made 7 straight shots and scored 22 points in the 3rd quarter ALONE. However, there is another great point guard in this series besdies Curry, and his name is Tony Parker.

    Warriors Spurs NBA Playoff Game 3

    /METRO

    Down 89-104 with 3:57 left in the 4th quarter (and Tim Duncan dealing with the flu in the locker room), Parker and the Spurs made an incredible comeback and tied the game with a 3 pointer to send the game to OT. In the first overtime, the teams were evenly matched, and the game went into a 2nd overtime. With a 3 point lead and 44 seconds left in the game, the Spurs Manu Ginobli made a horrible mistake and forced a deep 3 (after shooting a horrendous 4-16 from the game) with lots of time left on the clock. The Warriors capitalized, quickly scoring with a Curry layup, then played solid defense and scored again giving them a 127-126 lead over the Spurs with only 3.9 seconds remaining. Ginobli quickly made up for his poor shooting by nailing a 3 pointer at the buzzer to win the game for the Spurs!

    Video of the game winning shot here:

    Warriors Spurs NBA Playoff Game 3

    Klaythompson

    Game 2 belonged to Klay Thompson. He scored 29 points in the FIRST HALF alone, and finished the game with 34 points and 14 rebounds, making 50% of his shots. Thompson and Curry together make the best shooting combo in the entire NBA, and they are both extremely young. This Golden State squad could be very scary for the next several years if they can continue to develop.Here is a video of Thompson’s insane 29 point first half.

    Game 3 was tonight, and the Warriors looked tired. Usually a great shooting team, the Warriors (including Curry) struggled to knock down shots all night. Tony Parker had an incredible first half (25 points on an unbelievable 11-14 shooting) and the Spurs never looked back. They took a 2-1 lead in the best of 7 series and will play Golden State away on Sunday. I expect Curry and Thompson to have big nights in front of their home crowd and tie the series back up at 2-2.

    500x305-brandt-draft-prospects

    The NFL Draft for dummies (Part 1 from 2013)

    The NFL Draft for Dummies

    The NFL Draft takes place each year in late April at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City (this year the draft is April 25-27). The draft provides new hope for the fan bases of every NFL team and is also deemed to be one of the most pivotal means of ensuring a great balance amongst all 32 teams. The NFL thrives on the belief that any of the 32 teams can beat another on “any given Sunday” and the NFL draft strongly helps maintain that competitive balance.

    The order of the draft is determined by each team’s (win/loss) record during the previous season, resulting in the 1st pick going to the worst team and the 32nd pick going to the super bowl winning team. This gives the weak teams from the previous season an opportunity to pick the top 5 or 10 college players in the draft. As good as the college talent has been lately, teams can turn their franchises around in just one great draft!

    Alfred Morris celebrates with Robert Griffin III.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

    Alfred Morris celebrates with Robert Griffin III.

    For example, the Washington Redskins have been a horrible team for the past few years and finished the 2011 season with the 6th worst record, earning them the 6th pick in the 2012 draft. In 2012, in order to secure a superior draft placement, they traded their future 2013 and 2014 first round draft pick positions to move to the 2nd overall draft pick in 2012. This action resulted in the ability of the Redskins to acquire super human rookie quarterback, Robert Griffin III.  In the 6th round of the draft, where star players are rarely found, the Redskins found a gem in rookie running back Alfred Morris (who finished 2nd in the league this year in rushing yards).

    Here is a highlight video that I created myself, showcasing some of Robert Griffin III’s immense talent and athleticism:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CT3XE_B95CE

    And here is a short video of Alfred Morris’s punishing run style and won’t-stop-mentality:

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1y03-lYvJjE
  • The Dreaded “Bust” Label
    Fantasy Sports Cheats

    The draft is not without its risks, and a first round pick can sometimes go horribly wrong. The San Diego Chargers franchise found this out the hard way when selecting heisman finalist quarterback Ryan Leaf one pick after Peyton Manning in the 1998 draft (#2 overall). The Chargers thought that Leaf would be their franchise quarterback for the next 10+ years but they were very wrong. Leaf was a prime example of a great college player that couldn’t handle the fame and pressure that the NFL brings. He had run-ins with the media, his teammates, and most recently, the law. Leaf played in only 25 games in his career throwing just 14 touchdowns and 36 interceptions and is considered by most to be the biggest bust of all time.

    When teams invest such a large amount of money in their first round pick, they expect that player to come in and make an immediate difference on their team. If that player fails, it can come with big consequences, usually to the head coach or GM. If you fail on a few first round picks in a row, you can set your franchise back 5 years or more. Take a look at this article by @rgroveslaw detailing the talent the Jaguars have passed on in the past 10 years.Here is a short video of the top 10 worst draft picks of all time:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bCWj4fbd9E

    War Rooms
    A general view of war room tables during the 2010 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, NY on Apr. 23, 2010. (Ben Liebenberg/NFL.com)

    A general view of war room tables during the 2010 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall.

    In the first round, each team has 10 minutes to make their pick. It may seem like a lot of time, but every person I’ve talked to that’s been in there says it goes by in a split second. Between the general manager, head coach, assistants, scouts, and other team personnel, the draft war room is extremely hectic. There’s discussion about which player the team should pick, or whether they should trade the pick away and move back in the draft to gain valuable picks. Teams typically use method if the player they really wanted has already been picked, and the next player they want isn’t projected to go until after their upcoming selection…or close enough to risk it at least. Each team has 7 minutes to make a pick in round 2, and 5 minutes in the last 5 rounds.

    Strategy for success – Build through the draft
    Teams that are the most successful in the NFL today focus on building the their team through the draft. The dominant teams of the last decade (New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, Baltimore Ravens, and Pittsburgh Steelers) all used the draft to find and retain the majority of their players. Having a successful free agency and making smart trades are the other two ways to build a team in the NFL, but these normally aren’t as effective as having a great draft.

    Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck, and Russell Wilson all had incredible rookie seasons in 2012 (although many spectacular rookies can often have a “sophomore slump”).

    Position Breakdown
    As for the positions that are targeted the most in the draft, they are constantly changing as the NFL evolves. The league has become extremely “pass happy” over the past few years and because of this, the quarterback position has never been more important in the draft. Teams will go all in and draft a quarterback in the 1st round, hoping to turn their franchise around and give their fans immediate hope for the upcoming season. It usually leads to increased ticket sales, and more theme parks for owners like Daniel Snyder. As Chargers found out with Ryan Leaf these gambles don’t always work. Sometimes desperate franchises will over reach on a quarterback with some known flaws, and hope that he can quickly overcome them, and become the face of the franchise. The pressure can sometimes become too much, and that leads to situations like Jamarcus Russell in Oakland (but that’s another story entirely – written by @tonymanfred).

    When you look at the opposite end of the spectrum you could draft a quarterback like Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, or Russell Wilson and be just fine. These three magnificent quarterbacks came in as rookies in last year, and absolutely took the league by storm. Thats the intrigue of the quarterback position in the draft.

    Running Back
    24. Minnesota Vikings (3-8-1)

    There are still game changing running backs like Adrian Peterson featured above, but the Vikings haven’t exactly thrived in Minneapolis recently. If you don’t have a decent quarterback, you can’t win in this league.Running backs be found in later rounds and still have very productive careers in the right scheme (see: Terrell Davis, Arian Foster, Alfred Morris, Lesean Mccoy and many more). There are a lot more running back by committee schemes then there were 5-10 years ago, so the position isn’t drafted nearly as high as it used to be.

    joethomasbeast

    Left Tackle
    Since the quarterback position has become so important, so has the position of the guy that protects his blind side. Joe Thomas (featured above with the intense pancake block) is one of the best LTs in the game, but like Minnesota, there is no sign of a quarterback in Cleveland. This year’s upcoming draft features two LTs (Luke Joeckel and Eric Fischer) that could be drafted href="http://www.sportlobster.com/hashtag/1"> #1 overall and 4 offensive lineman that could be taken in the top 10.

    Wide Receivers have always been a flashy position, and the physical specimens like Andre Johnson and Calvin Johnson go in the first 5 or 10 picks in the draft normally. As for the rest, they tend to fluctuate in draft position with each passing year, based on the overall talent pool that year in college. The majority of wide receivers tend to get drafted towards the middle rounds of the draft, as they can take a few years to develop and adjust to the NFL game (safeties also tend to follow this trend). Like anything else, there are definitely exceptions to the norm like AJ Green and Julio Jones. This dynamic duo was drafted #4 overall and #6 overall in the 2011 draft and have quickly become superstars in the NFL at their position. Here’s a video of two young and very talented wide receivers:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4a0lN0WpdZ8

    Over the past 3 years, linebackers (LBs)wide receivers (WRs), and cornerbacks (CBs) have been the most drafted positions by far. I expect this trend to continue as the league stays with the pass happy mentality.

    Cornerbacks
    elite-daily-richard-sherman-brandon-browner-seahawks (1)

    Seattle Seahawks starting cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner are widely considered the best cornerback tandem in the NFL.

    Teams focus heavily on drafting the perfect cornerbacks for their particular defensive scheme to counter the growing number of “elite quarterbacks” in the league. While cornerbacks have traditionally been under 6 feet tall, the Seahawks have opened a lot of eyes the past two years with their tall, long cornerback tandem of Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman. Look for teams to emulate Seattle in the upcoming draft and draft some of the bigger and longer cornerback prospects in college.

    As I’m sure you could have already guessed, the guys in charge of rushing and hitting the quarterback are also drafted quite frequently. Linebackers that can rush the passer have become hot commodities in the draft lately, and there have been some truly remarkable athletes at LB drafted the past few years. Here is a video of two of the best outside linebackers to be drafted in the past 5 years, Aldon Smith and Von Miller: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaPulnHX7ak

     

    The NFL draft is getting more and more popular each year, and has received better television ratings than the NBA Finals at times. It’s a great event for the fans, the players, and for the balance of the NFL. Teams that are near the bottom of the league can have a great draft or two and with a little luck, completely turn around their franchise. The system works. In the last 15 NFL seasons, there has been 10 different teams that have won the Super Bowl.

    The ability to search for the top talent and find “late round gems” has gotten progressively better since the popularity of the internet, and that’s only made the draft even more crucial for NFL teams. Even with all the information and expert scouting on college players, you’re never quite sure what you’re going to get with a draft pick until they get on the field and start playing. As a fan, there’s always going to be excitement, drama, and the chance that this is finally the year when your team hits the jackpot. This is the year that your team goes from the bottom of the division, all the way to hoisting the Lombardi trophy in February


    This was for last year’s draft, so just let me know what you guys want for part 2! Tweet @sportsaddresssf or comment below!

    Terry Showing Patience with Benitez’s Rotation Policy

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    Blues skipper John Terry has made just 3 league starts since suffering a knee injury last November. At 32, Terry knows he must be patient, especially with Gary Cahill set to return soon (possibly for the upcoming Liverpool match) from a troublesome knee injury himself. Terry was recently quoted briefly discussing Cahill’s return. He said: “With Gary coming back, I don’t know where that puts me in the pecking order. All I can do is train hard, and when I get a chance, play well. I’m fit, training every day and have been for the last 3 months, so I just wanted to set the record straight.”

    While Terry insists that he is fully healthy again, he also says he has no issues with Benitez’s rotation policy. Terry added: “I’m available but, at the same time, if the manager chooses not to pick me, there is not a problem. I’m Chelsea through and through and I want nothing more than to get Champions League football. If that means me playing, great, if not, I will be the biggest supporter in the dressing room. It’s down to me to work hard and maybe prove him wrong.”

    It’s great to hear Terry saying all the right things and being patient, but I believe he should be on the pitch. There has been talk of the possible acquisition of Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini so maybe there is hope for Terry with a new manager leading the Blues in the near future. Time will tell

     

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