Tag:NFL Draft
Posted on: April 25, 2011 10:04 pm
Edited on: April 28, 2011 12:06 pm
 

Would Cardinals consider A.J. Green?

Posted by Andy Benoit

For the man many have described as the “safest” and “most NFL ready” player in the 2011 Draft, you sure don’t sA. Green (US Presswire) eem to hear much about A.J. Green. The Georgia wide receiver is projected by many to be selected No. 4 overall by the Bengals.

But pause and ask yourself, why is that the case? The Bengals have three young receivers in Jordan Shipley, Andre Caldwell and Jerome Simpson. True, Caldwell and Simpson have been inconsistent if not downright ineffective. But Bengals owner Mike Brown has never been big on admitting his mistakes. His tendency is to keep high draft picks who turn into bad players on the roster as long as possible.

What if Green falls past the Bengals (who badly need a defensive end, by the way) and gets scooped up by the Cardinals? Given the presence of Larry Fitzgerald and rise of Steve Breaston and Early Doucet in ’09 (not to mention the intriguing flashes of last year’s third-round rookie, Andre Roberts), the notion sounds ridiculous. But Sports Illustrated's Peter King floated the idea in his most recent Monday Morning Quarterback and backed it up with a little known nugget:

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For those who've asked about Larry Fitzgerald's frame of mind if Green's the guy, I don't think the Cards are worried. Fitzgerald won't be doubled as much with Green on the other side. And for those who've wondered why in the world the Cards would take another receiver with so many holes on the roster, remember this: As Dez Bryant free-falled last year, the Cardinals seriously considered trying to run up into the late-first round area to try to get him.

To be clear, this is NOT a prediction that Green will go to Arizona. The Cardinals have greater needs at quarterback and outside linebacker. But the chances of Green going to Arizona appear to at least be greater than zero.

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Posted on: April 25, 2011 12:22 pm
Edited on: April 25, 2011 12:31 pm
 

Cats should take biggest gamble: Pass on Newton

Posted by Will Brinson

No less than 48 hours ago, I told a relative at Easter that I had "fully talked myself into the Panthers taking Cam Newton." That's a by-product of several things, including: a) the franchise's need for a "face" that people care about, b) the unparalleled upside that Newton represents, c) the lack of any decent quarterback on the roster and d) the need to sell tickets and get fans re-invested.

When I woke up on Monday though, I felt entirely differently, and now I'm pretty sure that the Panthers absolutely need to pass on Newton, acquire as many decent assets as they can, and focus on getting Andrew Luck in 2011. (Quite conveniently, Clark Judge is hearing they'll do just that.)

That's not saying they should "tank" -- and, disclaimer time: I'm actually a Panthers fan, so that would be kind of miserable for me. They shouldn't. No one should tank in the NFL because, unlike the NBA or MLB, things can change quickly, and teams can become successful overnight.

But have you seen Carolina's schedule? It's nuts. There are -- at most -- five winnable games on the slate in 2011, and it wouldn't matter who they had quarterbacking, as long as that person is either a rookie or a second-year Jimmy Clausen, because it's going to be a struggle.
Panthers' Problems

Obviously the Panthers get the Falcons, the Saints and the Buccaneers twice in 2011, and only an insane optimist could expect more than two wins against those three times total. Two, which is dangerously hopeful, would include a win against the Bucs at home and either a random upset of Atlanta or New Orleans, or a late-season win where one of those teams doesn't trot out their full "A-team" because their seeding decision has been settled.

Look at the rest of the schedule, and the even the most bullish fan would find a hard time arguing that, with Cam Newton and/or Jimmy Clausen at the helm, the Panthers will win five games. I mean, where are the wins? Against the Cardinals, in Arizona, during the opening week of the season? Maybe.

Week 2 against the Packers can already be ruled out, as can Week 12 against the Colts in Indy and the Week 15 matchup against the Texans in Houston; all of those teams have too much offense for the Panthers to compete. So let's say they lose those three games and go 1-5 in the division.

That leaves a home matchup against Jacksonville in Week 3, a trip to Chicago in Week 4, a home matchup against the Redskins in Week 7 followed by the Vikings coming to town in Week 8, a Week 10, post-bye matchup against the Titans in Charlotte and a trip to Detroit in Week 11. Winning three of those games, based on the success that the 2010 team had, would be considered a tremendous success. That's a 4-12 record for the season, a miserable year, and a learning experience with regard to whether Jimmy Clausen can be the future of the franchise (my answer is no, but Marty Hurney apparently still wants to find out).
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It's also probably good enough to land them the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, which will net them Andrew Luck of Stanford, unless he decides he really loves graduate school.

And yes, I understand that this is a game of chicken that no NFL front office can reasonably play; it predicates itself on thinking that your team will be awful, and that's not a mindset you see in the NFL. But the schedule is what the schedule is, and then there's this: everyone in this draft is pulling trigger on a quarterback.

Most folks believe that there's a chance six -- SIX! -- quarterbacks could be gone as early as the first round. If six of the 10 (or so) teams that are truly desperate for quarterback help take a first-rounder, there's a pretty good chance that they won't even be looking for Luck come next year, significantly improving the Panthers chance that they would wind up with the most coveted option in the 2011 draft, even if they didn't finish with the worst record. (For instance, if the Bills draft Blaine Gabbert or Cam Newton third overall and finish 2-14, are they taking Luck? They can't.

And that should be the scariest fact for Hurney and new coach Ron Rivera when they start looking at their options for the coming season: even if they do take Newton, they could finish with the worst record in the NFL (in fact, one could argue drafting Newton improves their chances ...) and be faced with a decision on having to draft their third straight franchise quarterback. That's something that isn't even considered an option. Even if Luck was there, Carolina would have to think defense, which would be a shame.

Look, landing Luck vis-a-vis the No. 1 overall pick next year is far from a guarantee. But the odds of it happening for Carolina are at least as good, if not better, than hitting a home run with Cam Newton.
Posted on: April 25, 2011 10:50 am
Edited on: April 25, 2011 12:24 pm
 

25 rookies will appear at NFL Draft in New York

Posted by Will Brinson

The NFL just announced the specific 25 rookies that will appear at Radio City Music Hall on Thursday when the NFL Draft takes place.
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The number of players for 2011 is an all-time, record high for invitees -- 17 players attended in 2010 and that was the previous record for rookies who showed up at the NFL Draft.

That's fascinating since there's currently a bit of a situation going on with the lockout, but it's understandable, because there's really no clear-cut way in which the draft will shake out come Thursday night, especially because the Panthers hold a top pick that will set of a chain reaction of dominos when they select, and they have yet to tip their hand.

Player Position School
Prince Amukamara CB Nebraska
Akeem Ayers LB UCLA
Adrian Clayborn DE Iowa
Randall Cobb WR Kentucky
Marcell Dareus DT Alabama
Nick Fairley DT Auburn
Blaine Gabbert QB Missouri
A.J. Green WR Georgia
Mark Herzlich LB Boston College
Mark Ingram RB Alabama
Cameron Jordan DE California
Julio Jones WR Alabama
Ryan Kerrigan DE Purdue
Corey Liuget DT Illnois
Von Miller LB Texas A&M
Rahim Moore S UCLA
Cam Newton QB Auburn
Patrick Peterson CB LSU
Mike Pouncey OL Florida
Aldon Smith DE Missouri
Tyron Smith OT USC
Phil Taylor DT Baylor
Danny Watkins OG Baylor
JJ Watt DE Wisconsin
Ryan Williams RB Virginia Tech
Posted on: April 21, 2011 7:26 pm
Edited on: April 21, 2011 7:28 pm
 

Podcast: discussing the draft, 2011 schedules

Posted by Will Brinson

Andy Benoit and I disagree about how the NFL chose to schedule its Week 1 contests. Plus, we jump into the quarterback issue of the 2011 draft.

We promise, it's worth listening to --- just hit the play button below and don't forget to Subscribe via iTunes.

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .
Posted on: April 21, 2011 3:03 pm
 

Team legends to announce 2nd round picks at draft

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The NFL announced today that 32 “legendary alumni” representing each team will announce the second-round picks live from the podium Friday during the draft.

Three teams (the Panthers, Dolphins and Jets) don’t have second-round picks, so their representatives will announce those respective teams’ third-round picks.

And now, the list:

Arizona Cardinals, Aeneas Williams (CB)
Atlanta Falcons, Jessie Tuggle (LB)
Baltimore Ravens, Peter Boulware (LB)
Buffalo Bills, Andre Reed (WR)
Carolina Panthers, Brad Hoover (FB)
Chicago Bears, Richard Dent (DE)
Cincinnati Bengals, Anthony Muñoz (OT)
Cleveland Browns, Paul Warfield (WR)
Dallas Cowboys , Charles Haley (DE)
Denver Broncos, Shannon Sharpe (TE)
Detroit Lions, Barry Sanders (RB)
Green Bay Packers, Jim Taylor (FB)
Houston Texans, Aaron Glenn (CB)
Indianapolis Colts, Jeff Herrod (LB)
Jacksonville Jaguars, Donovin Darius (S)
Kansas City Chiefs, Willie Lanier (LB)
Miami Dolphins, Sam Madison (CB)
Minnesota Vikings, Chris Doleman (DE)
New England Patriots, Andre Tippett (LB)
New Orleans Saints, Willie Roaf (OT)
New York Giants, Joe Morris (RB)
New York Jets, Marty Lyons (DT)
Oakland Raiders, Willie Brown (DB)
Philadelphia Eagles, Troy Vincent (DB)
Pittsburgh Steelers, Franco Harris (RB)
St. Louis Rams, Marshall Faulk (RB)
San Diego Chargers, Natrone Means (RB)
San Francisco 49ers, Dwight Clark (WR)
Seattle Seahawks, Cortez Kennedy (DT)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, John Lynch (S)
Tennessee Titans, Jevon Kearse (DE)
Washington Redskins, Doug Williams (QB)

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Category: NFL
Posted on: April 21, 2011 2:15 am
 

Elway praises Newton by way of Nick Saban

Posted by Will Brinson

It's become kind of a de facto assumption that the Panthers will take Cam Newton with the first overall pick -- in fact, both of our latest mock drafts have that happening -- but there's always a chance he could be sitting there at No. 2 when the Broncos are on the clock.

Denver would then have a very interesting choice: trade the second pick or draft Newton. They could do neither, of course, but it stands to reason there's a team interested in trading up for Newton's services. And it sure seems, based on what John Elway said at a pre-draft Broncos press conference Wednesday, that they'd at least be interested in taking a look at the Auburn product.

"One of the interesting things is we went down and saw Nick Saban when we were down at Alabama's Pro Day, and we're talking about obviously all his players and then we asked him about Cam, and he said that team would not have won four games if it wasn't for Cam Newton," Elway said in a press conference Wednesday. "That tells you how much of a special player he is."

That's strong praise indeed ... or just a pot shot at a rival. But probably strong praise.

Even if they did want Newton on board, don't expect the Broncos to tip their hand about it, just like they'll continue to keep guarded any calls they've had re: trades.

"Most of those calls with likely occur the day of the draft," GM Brian Xanders said. "It starts at 6 p.m., Mountain Time, so those hours preceding we could get calls or we might not get any calls."

Yup, that's the ambiguity of the next week or so -- no one's talked to anyone else and every team loves every prospect on the board.

Hell, for all we know, the Newton love-fest coming out of Denver's press conference was an elaborate smokescreen to keep the Panthers away from Alabama's Marcel Dareus.

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Posted on: April 20, 2011 6:22 pm
Edited on: April 20, 2011 6:55 pm
 

Teams down on Andy Dalton ... for his hair color?

Posted by Will Brinson

The peak of NFL disinformation -- the week before the NFL Draft -- is about to get into full swing, but it's gotten a pretty good start already, what with the silly "Ryan Mallett can't NOT party when he's in Charlotte for a single night to meet with Carolina" rumors.

But a rumor surrounding Andy Dalton might be even more ridiculous than the Mallett business -- according to Peter King of Sports Illustrated, there's at least one coach on one team in the NFL who's concerned about Dalton because -- wait for it -- he has red hair.

"Has there ever been a red-headed quarterback in the NFL who's really done well?" a coach asked one reporter last week, according to King. "It sounds idiotic, but is there any way that could be a factor? We've wondered."

King's article is about the "inexact science of choosing a quarterback" in the NFL Draft and it's spot on, because, well, it's 2011 and teams are still absolutely whiffing on early-round signal callers, despite hours of tape and piles of personnel reports.

NFL Draft

But someone's worried about Dalton because he's -- and apologies if this offends anyone -- a ginger? Come on.

Should people be concerned about whether or not success at TCU translates to success at the NFL level? Sure, why not (Ben Roethlisberger would like a word, however). Should be prospective teams worry about his arm strength? Definitely. You want a strong-armed quarterback.

Is there a possible issue with the fact that Dalton's coming from a spread offense? Well, yeah, but you could ask the same question about Blaine Gabbert.

Dalton's also the all-time leader in victories by a TCU quarterback, after passing Sammy Baugh (!) in his senior year. He also threw for 10,314 yards in four years at TCU, threw just 30 interceptions and completed almost 62 percent of his passes over his four-year career. 

Despite all that, he deserves scrutiny, for sure, because some team could invest a lot of time and money in his services. But even Eric Cartman would agree that worrying about whether or not his hair color might cause him to be a failure at the professional level is a bit over the top.

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Posted on: April 20, 2011 3:54 pm
Edited on: April 20, 2011 3:54 pm
 

Agents and Panthers say Mallett really was sick

Posted by Andy Benoit
R. Mallett (US Presswire)
Earlier today we passed along a report from Brad Briggs of the National Football Post that said Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett skipped his April 9 meetings with the Panthers after being out on the town the night of April 8.

Mallett’s agents (J.R. Carroll and David Dunn), as well as the Panthers organization, have issued statements (received via Pro Football Talk) rebuking these reports.

From the agents:

“There is absolutely no truth to the unfounded and irresponsible report that Ryan skipped his visit with the Carolina Panthers on April 9 because he was too sick after a late night out on the town the previous night.  Rather, Ryan had dinner with club officials from the Panthers on the evening of April 8 and then returned to his hotel that evening along with Julio Jones.  Ryan and Julio were together the entire time that evening until Ryan and Julio turned in for the night around 10:00 — 10:30 pm.

“Upon returning to his hotel room, Ryan became ill and was up most of the night and into the morning with flu-like symptoms.  Keep in mind that this was Ryan’s fourth team visit in the previous week and that Ryan had crisscrossed the country with stops in Cincinnati, Fayetteville, Seattle, Fayetteville again and Minneapolis before Charlotte.  Nevertheless, Ryan met with Panthers representatives on the morning of April 9 as scheduled and informed the club at that time that he was extremely sick.  Carolina officials decided to send Ryan back to his hotel room for some medicine and additional rest in hopes that they could meet with Ryan later that morning.  Ryan did as instructed and contacted Panther officials later that morning to resume his meetings with club officials.  However, given that Ryan was still sick, Carolina officials decided to cancel the remainder of Ryan’s visit with the team.”

Ryan Mallett
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From the Panthers:

“Ryan Mallett came for a visit to Charlotte two weeks ago. He had dinner with our coaches the evening he arrived and came down from his hotel room for a scheduled breakfast meeting the following morning upon which time he informed a staff member that he had been sick all night with nausea. We told Ryan that if he was ill to remain in his room as long as the nausea existed. We took him to the airport later that afternoon for his scheduled flight.”

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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