Tag:NFL Draft
Posted on: April 29, 2011 10:14 am
Edited on: April 29, 2011 10:14 am
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Ravens still seeking a pick from the Bears

Posted by Andy Benoit

There was some confusion during the 26th pick in the first round of the draft Thursday night. The Ravens wound up accidentally passing on their selection because they got stuck on the phone with the Bears. The two teams were working out a trade in which the Bears would give their fourth-round pick to the Ravens to move up from number 29 to 26.

However, the Bears were supposed to call the league after finishing the deal but failed to do so.

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"It was our fault," Bears GM Jerry Angelo said, according to the Chicago Sun Times. "[The Ravens] did everything according to the rules.
"It worked out. We got our player." (That player was Gabe Carimi.)

The Ravens got their player, too (cornerback Jimmy Smith). The only harm done is that Smith, picked 27th, will now get a slightly richer contract than he would have received had he been picked 29th.

Angelo later called Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti to apologize. The Ravens, however, are still demanding a pick from the Bears (presumably that fourth-rounder). They have filed an appeal with the league and will get word about it on Friday or Saturday.

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Posted on: April 29, 2011 9:23 am
Edited on: April 29, 2011 9:35 am
 

Clausen shows up to work early Friday morning

Posted by Andy BenoitJ. Clausen

NFL Players are returning to work Friday morning. One of the first to show up at his team’s facility was Jimmy Clausen in Carolina.
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Sam Wyche of NFL.com reports that the Panthers had a voluntarily team meeting at 8:45 a.m. Clausen arrived at the team’s facility at 7:25.

Wyche asked Clausen the obvious question: what does he think of the Cam Newton selection?

"They've got to do what they got to do," Clausen said.

It will be interesting to see how Clausen and Newton jive when the two start working out and practicing together. As Joe Fortenbaugh of National Football Post points out, Clausen currently wears number 2 -- Newton's number at Auburn. Generally, rookies purchase their numbers from veterans. But how would it look for Clausen to sell to the man brought in to replace him so soon?

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Posted on: April 29, 2011 1:23 am
Edited on: April 29, 2011 3:17 am
 

First-round NFL Draft winners and losers

Posted by Will Brinson



WINNERS
Cam Newton: Not like it was a surprise to see him go No. 1 overall or anything, but now he gets his wish, and gets to become an entertainer and an icon in a city that needs reviving.

Von Miller: Everyone knew he could go high, but it was still surprising seeing him at No. 2. It's a great deal for both sides and he could be really dangerous in John Fox's scheme. He's produced a few good linebackers in his day.

Cleveland Browns: Holy freaking haul, Batman. The Browns could have really used a field-stretching wide receiver like Julio Jones (and Colt McCoy wanted one), but maybe Atlanta knew that, and it's why they gave up FIVE picks for the rights to grab Jones.

Nick Fairley: He fell, as everyone predicted. But as almost no one predicted (except Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News) he fell to the Lions. Which means unless he's traded, he'll never see a double team in his life playing next to Ndamukong Suh.

New Orleans Saints: Like the aggressiveness to come back and get Mark Ingram. Adios, Reggie Bush.

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Detroit Lions: See above. They needed a cornerback, but my goodness their defensive line is going to be absolutely ridiculous. Jim Schwartz can coach Fairley up and Suh can mentor him.

Indianapolis Colts: Bill Polian didn't have to do any magic. All he had to do was sit back and wait and let the tackle he needs to protect Peyton Manning's final years fall on down.

LOSERS:
Houston Texans: I can definitely see why they like JJ Watt. He's quite good. But Prince Amakamura was on the board and the Texans secondary makes swiss cheese look opaque. How they decided to pass on him is beyond me.

Carolina Panthers: Newton's either a home run or a total bust. There's no in-between with him. And that makes the pick difficult.

Atlanta Falcons: They gave up way too much in order to jump up and get Julio Jones. He's not a quarterback who changes every play with his presence, even though he'll help.

Minnesota Vikings: They drafted Christian Ponder ... because he helps them now? And they did it at the 12-spot?

Tennessee Titans: Jake Locker was a reach. Plain and simple.

Carson Palmer: Bluff. Called. (For now at least -- Andy Dalton in the second could change that.)

San Francisco 49ers: Unless they are actually trading for Kevin Kolb, anyway.

Da'Quan Bowers: Unless he magically got drafted and I missed that.

Chicago Bears: Just for causing the Ravens to miss their pick. For shame, Jerry Angelo.
Posted on: April 29, 2011 12:20 am
Edited on: April 29, 2011 3:19 am
 

How do rich get richer? The poor reach for QB's

Posted by Will Brinson

NEW YORK -- You wanna know how the rich keep getting richer? The poor keep reaching for quarterbacks, that's how.

In one of the strangest drags in recent history, four potentially disastrous quarterbacks went in the top-15 picks, as Cam Newton (1), Jake Locker (8), Blaine Gabbert (10) and Christian Ponder (12) were all of the board before we got halfway through the first round.


The fact that quarterbacks went early isn't shocking, because right now the league is quarterback-needy as hell. Lots of people projected a pile of signal-callers coming off respective big boards throughout the first round.

But by pulling trigger on some questionable quarterbacks so early in the draft, a bunch of teams -- who were drafting early for a reason -- ended up allowing a ton of top tier talent to fall down to a bunch of teams who were drafting -- you guessed it -- late for a reason.

The Colts (Anthony Castonzo), the Saints (Cameron Jordan and then Mark Ingram), the Giants (Prince Amukamara) and a number of other teams ended up hitting home runs with their first-round picks because teams who needed quarterbacks couldn't, for lack of a better phrase, keep it in their pants.

Look, the trio of Gabbert/Ponder/Locker could end up working out for these teams. Ponder's NFL-ready and could be an immediate benefit for the Vikings, while Gabbert and Locker have veterans -- David Garrard and Kerry Collins, respectively -- in front of them and will get a year or two to learn and get prepped to take over.

They could certainly end up being successful quarterbacks in the NFL, but they could also certainly be busts.

But the reason why they went so early isn't because they're guaranteed to be big-time successes in the NFL. They went early because 1) teams were limited in maneuvering because of the labor situation and, more importantly, 2) failed to recognize that in this draft, depth was present at positions that are not named quarterback.

There were certainly "lots of quarterbacks" but that has nothing to do with there being "significant depth at the position."

It's something that you expect general managers and the people who run teams to recognize. But for whatever reason, in this draft, they didn't.

Which is why we shouldn't be too shocked if we see a similar draft order in the first round of 2012 as we saw on Thursday night.

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Posted on: April 28, 2011 11:24 pm
Edited on: April 29, 2011 1:10 am
 

Falcons better hope Julio Jones is a home run

Posted by Will Brinson

NEW YORK -- Last season, I predicted the Atlanta Falcons would win the Super Bowl.

Obviously I was wrong, but it wasn't that far off -- they were arguably the best regular season team in the NFL. Just not the most explosive.

The latter problem showed up when Green Bay bolted out to a big lead in the NFC Championship Game and Atlanta couldn't even come close to mustering a comeback because they lacked the necessary explosiveness to do any damage in the second half.

By adding Julio Jones, they changed that, dramatically, and even in Mike Mularky's sometimes slow offense, the Falcons could put up big numbers if Jones does what they expect.

He better, though, because Thomas Dimitroff and Mike Smith just paid a pretty penny for him: four -- count them, FOUR -- draft picks in the first four rounds of the 2011 and 2012 NFL Drafts.

Atlanta gave up their first-round pick for 2011 (27th overall), their second-round pick for 2011, their fourth-round pick for 2011, their first-round pick for 2012 and their fourth-round pick in 2012. Yes, that is a TON of picks for one player.

And, yes, you may slow-clap for Tom Heckert now, because he just picked up a ridiculous haul of picks for an organization -- the Browns -- that needs in any number of positions.
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Now, look, it may not matter, it could work out for both sides, and the Browns may end up with the last pick of the first round next year. But that's cool -- they'll appreciate having a pair of first-rounders and the Falcons will appreciate winning a Super Bowl. 

Of course, that's probably a stretch. But the Falcons do have to win the NFC South in 2011 if they want to justify this move. 

The Browns, on the other hand, can sit back and stockpile assets with which to help Colt McCoy and the organization later down the line, sitting on a pile of early picks over the next two years and no real guarantee of success in 2011. 

And maybe it's too early to try and criticize Dimitroff and Smith. After all, there's really nothing to justify doing so, as they've killed it thus far. But if something goes awry in 2011, there'll be some questions about this deal asked, particularly when Jones can only touch the ball but so many times a game.

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Posted on: April 28, 2011 5:32 pm
 

Newton to Carolina '99.9 percent' likely?

Posted by Andy Benoit

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We’ll know soon enough, but in case you can’t wait, we have a Cam Newton rumor to pass along. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen says a source tells him it’s 99.9 percent likely that the Panthers will draft the Auburn quarterback No. 1 overall.

One positive side effect of the lockout is that there has at least been some mystery surrounding the No. 1 pick. Last year, the Rams negotiated a contract with Sam Bradford well before Draft Day. The Lions did the same with Matthew Stafford in ’09, and the Dolphins did the same with Jake Long in ’08. But with the lockout in effect, the Panthers would not have been able to hash out an agreement with Newton even if they’d wanted to.

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Posted on: April 28, 2011 12:33 pm
Edited on: April 28, 2011 4:17 pm
 

Rumors of Pats trading up might be significant

Posted by Andy Benoit

There are multiple reports that the New England Patriots have talked with the Cleveland Browns about possibly trading up to the No. 6 overall pick. Given that these reports are coming out on Draft Day, it’s entirely possible that either the Patriots or Browns themselves are spreading the rumors (more likely the Browns, as they have a lot more to gain from the whispers).

Reporting rumors like these on Draft Day is almost fruitless given the plethora of false information out there and the fact that – HELLO – all this hoopla will be settled by the end of the night.

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But in the Patriots’ case, it’s interesting because of Robert Kraft’s role in the labor negotiations. The Patriots historically have avoided picks in the early part of the first round because they disdain the financial burden that comes with signing those players. But a rookie wage scale figures to be part of the next CBA, which would make early first-rounders more affordable.

Kraft is as dialed in as anyone on the labor situation. If his team is trading up the first round, that would be a strong indication that he truly believes a new CBA can be hammered out sometime this year. If the Patriots continue to avoid early first-round picks, perhaps that’s an indication that Kraft believes a CBA isn’t on the way until next year.

Given the drama that’s unfolded this week, it seems unimaginable that a new CBA will be reached anytime in 2011. But that’s just the momentum of the drama speaking. At some point, the owners will catch their breath and realize that in order to preserve their league, they’ll have to bargain with the NFLPA.

UPDATE 4:17 p.m. EST: ESPN's Chris Mortensen says the Patriots are looking to trade up to the Cowboys' spot at No. 9 and draft Cal's Cam Jordan.

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Posted on: April 28, 2011 9:59 am
Edited on: April 28, 2011 11:31 am
 

Green, Peterson would take less money at No. 1

Posted by Will Brinson

NEW YORK -- Being the No. 1 overall draft pick entails a lot of expectations. It also entails a lot of cash and a pretty big signing bonus.

Interestingly, two of the top choices in play for Carolina at No. 1 -- A.J. Green and Patrick Peterson -- both said that they would take less money to be picked at the top of the draft.

"Oh yeah," Peterson told CBSSports.com. "Being No. 1 -- that means a lot. A cornerback's never done that before."

Green agreed, though he obviously wouldn't be the first wide receiver taken at the top of the draft.

"Oh, definitely," Green said while speaking before his workout at the Gatorade Sports Science Lab. "It doesn't matter. Whatever it takes."

It's a pretty fascinating question (and, um, why I asked it, right?), because being taken in the No. 1 slot of the NFL Draft means that you're in the history books forever, be it for better or for worse.

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There would be substantially more pressure on Green, as an offensive player, because his stats can't ever be chalked up to "they won't throw his way" or any of the rationales sometimes applied to the success of cornerbacks.

That's not knocking Peterson, who clearly understands the impact and importance that being taken No. 1 would involve; the scrutiny on him as the only cornerback taken with the first pick would most certainly be intense.

But, by all accounts, he seemed ready to deal with whatever comes with being the first guy off the board.

And while both guys, if they're taken first, will almost inevitably be compared to Cam Newton for the rest of their careers, it probably behooves the Panthers to consider whether or not they could pull off an even bigger discount by making an unorthodox choice at the top of the draft.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com