Saturday, April 30, 2011

Bengals Draft Notes


Well the QB of the future is Andy Dalton! I for one am excited about the pick. Going into this draft my top two QB's were Locker and Dalton. Everyone makes a big deal about arm strength, but in the NFL accuracy rules and other than Christian Ponder, Dalton is the most accurate QB in this draft. Yes Locker's accuracy was down this past season, but it wasn't in other seasons and he's such a hard worker that completion percentage will be up around 60% or higher for his career. Anyway Locker is a Titan anyway so it's irrelevant.

In the third round they took Moch a LB from Nevada. This guy has huge upside and ran a forty in the 4.4's. He should be able to help the Bengals get some pressure on the QB. I don't hate this pick, but in the NFL winning starts up front and the Bengals have done nothing yet in that area. I'd like to see them go Guard or Defensive Tackle with this pick in the 4th round. I really like Clint Boling the Guard from Georgia. He's one of the best players on the board and looks like he'll be sitting there when the Bengals pick here in the 4th. We have the new future QB it's time to help out that offensive line and help him out. The weapons are there at WR and TE, a good O line and this offense could be one of the best in the NFL.

Other than Boling, Ballard the DT from Iowa is available as well. While I think the Green and Dalton picks were necessary they have to understand that winning football starts up front. They're never going to be a consistent winner until they are good on the lines. Last year the Bengals weren't very good against the run and in the AFC North if you can't stop the run you can't win. They still need Safety help as well and my favorite Safety in this draft is still available in Quinton Carter. I'm hoping he slides to the 5th or the Bengals can move back up into the 4th and get him.

That never happens though, you never see the Bengals target a guy they really like and move up and get him. I don't think they've made a draft day trade since they moved back in 2004 and passed on Stephen Jackson to get Chris Perry, OOPS! Maybe that's why they never trade. That and the scouting department is so small and incompetant that they aren't really sure who's good. It seems like they go by ESPN's board

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Bengals Draft Day 2


With the fourth pick in the draft the Cincinnati Bengals select AJ Green, Wide Receiver, Georgia. It's probably the correct pick with Chad likely on his way out. I would've been happy with him or Patrick Peterson, the Cornerback from LSU. I now believe the Bengals have the best young group of receivers in the NFL with Green, Simpson, Shipley, and Gresham. They have lots of weapons and should be an attractive job for a veteran free agent QB.

Hopefully the Bengals can get Andy Dalton with their pick in the 2nd round tonight. He was my 2nd favorite QB going into this draft behind Locker. I thought Locker may slip into the late first round and the Bengals maybe could trade up to get him. After the Titans took him at 8 and the Vikings took Ponder at 12, I thought Dalton wouldn't be far behind and there was no way the Bengals would get him. Now though he is still sitting on the board and the Bengals have the 3rd pick tonight. If they want him though they aren't going to be able to sit on that pick. Someone is going to trade up with New England to get him so that is what the Bengals should do. It shouldn't cost them much to move up two spots, so hopefully the atriots have someone they like a lot and don't want to move back too far.

Dalton is the 2nd most winning QB all time in college football, there's something to be said for someone who is a winner. The Bengals need more players like that, that know how to win, are used to winning, and expect to win. That's how I want my football players to be, especially the leaders and the person who is going to be the future at QB. It's time to build this team with character guys. I'm tired of me first players that run their mouth all the time and don't really care about the team.

Going forward in the draft there are some other positions that need to be filled. If they do get Dalton they need to add some talent to that offensive line. Who know's if Andre Smith is going to pan out. I didn't like it when they made that pick. There were a ton of red flags, the weight, the combine fiasco, the whole agent swap thing. That really showed his character when he hired Rick Smith to boost his draft stock and then fired him right after he was drafted for Alvin Keels. Speaking of Keels, he got crushed by Mike and Katie in negotiations so that didn't really work too well for Andre. Now he's been hurt the entire time and is fat and out of shape. He hasn't produced at all in two years. I'm willing to give him one more season to see what he has.

They do need to improve at Guard though. Bobbie Williams is old and on the decline and Mathis and Livings aren't very good. I wouldn't mind at all if they went Guard/Guard in the 3rd and 4th round if there are players there that they like. If they do get Dalton they need to have a good line before he ever plays a down. Even if they do draft Dalton I hope they go out and get a veteran on a one or two year deal and let Dalton sit for a little while and learn. He seems like a bright guy and it shouldn't take him long to learn the offense, but the statistics show when a QB sits his chances for success are a lot higher.

Also the Bengals need a Safety. Now they aren't going to be able to fill every hole they have with impact players right away. Winning football starts up front so I'd like to see them adress the lines earlier in the draft, but they should be able to find someone who can back up and can contribute on special teams right away. Quinton Carter is a Safety I really like and he could be had in the 4th or 5th round. He has Safety size but has fluid hips like a CB. Carter could end up being a real steal in this draft.

Honestly I think this team is a couple years away from being a real contender, but there are now some peices in place and if they can land Dalton I'll be really excited about the future of this team.

Carson Palmer


Well the Bengals took AJ Green with the fourth pick in the draft last night. I now believe the Bengals have the best young core of WR/TE's in the NFL with the emergence of Jerome Simpson at the end of last season. Add to him Shipley, Gresham, Caldwell and now Green and you have an array of weapons that hasn't been this potent in Cincinnati since 2005.

Speaking of 2005, that is the last year that Carson Palmer has been relevant in the NFL. Now he wants out! Well good riddents, you haven't been any good since Kimo Von Olhoffen smashed your left knee up. If the Bengals land Andy Dalton in the 2nd round tonight they will instantly be just as good at the QB position, if not better.

Carson you haven't done anything since you had that loaded offense, with a stacked offensive line. The only way you can produce is to have a stacked offense around you. If everything is not perfect, you aren't worth a crap. Lets site the end of the second game against the Ravens last year. The Bengals had the ball with a couple minutes left on the clock and a TD would win the game for them. Carson took off on a third down play, he was running and fumbled the ball without being touched. Not only wasn't he touched, no one was even around him. That tells me that he is scared to death on that football field.

So now he wants out. The Bengals have been the problem this entire time, not him. Well lets trade him to a team that doesn't have a loaded offense and watch what's left of his career go the rest of the way down the crapper. Carson you have exactly zero playoff wins and have had a good to great group of WR's your entire career. So lets send him to a place like Seattle with no good WR's and show the rest of the NFL you really are garbage. I'll admit that the Bengals are a poorly run organization, but Carson Palmer is as much if not more to blame for all the losing. His play the last few years has been atrocious. The decision making has been terrible. The only reason they won the division in 2009 was because of Benson and the dominant defense.

So now the Bengals have this new group of talented young receivers. It's time to get a real QB in here and win some games. I really hope Carson doesn't change his mind and decide to come back. If he does it will just be a waste of having all of those weapons on the outside and at TE. The Bengals need a QB who hasn't lost all confidence and isn't scared to death in the pocket. I've never seen a supposed leader of a team basically take his ball and go home, but that is what Palmer is basically doing. So go home you quitter, I want a real QB in here, I want Andy Dalton. By the way you can take your brother with you, because once your gone his days of riding your coat tail to stick on an NFL roster are over. I heard Jordan has been calling the WR's trying to get them to come throw with him. Does he think that he's the new starting QB in this city now that you are gone Carson? What a joke, your brother has zero talent and has to know once you are gone he's gone. Maybe your next team will let him tag along and take up a valuable roster spot as well though.

To sum it up it sickens me that despite your less than mediocre play you threaten to take your ball and go home. You had no problem with the Bengals when you signed that contract to make all that money several years ago. Now though you want traded and think some other team will pay you 50 million over the next four years. Don't you know that you aren't worth that much money and are basically untradable due to that rediculous contract that you haven't earned. So no one is going to trade for that contract and you are going to have to retire and make good on your threat. I hope you do because I really don't wanna suffer through more seasons with you as the QB making terrible decisions.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Thoughts on Draft


We are two days away from the NFL Draft, Lockout version 2011. Cincy Sports just put out the final edition of the Big Board and there are some differences in the status quo of other sites player rankings that seem to follow suit with Todd McShay and Mel Kiper of ESPN. For one Cam Newton is rated 33rd on the board. I just do not think he has the tools to be an elite NFL QB. Bill Parcells gave the numbers of QB's that are taken in the first round and their success rate and the results are staggering. Only about 5 percent become Super Bowl caliber QB's. More than half are busts. When you watch Newton on Gruden's QB Camp on ESPN you could just tell he doesn't have the same intelligence as the other QB's on that show.

The QB I have rated the highest isn't Newton or Gabbert, it's Jake Locker. Last year Locker may have been the number one overall pick. He went back to Washington for his Senior season and the critics picked apart his game. Locker still has all the tools, has the intelligence, and took a Washington team that wasn't nearly as talented as the teams they played to a winning record and a bowl game in which they beat Nebraska. I'm going out on a limb and guaranteeing that Locker will be the best QB in this draft class. If he somehow slides into the twenties I would love to see the Bengals trade back up into the first round and grab him to be the QB of the future.

Winning football starts up front at the line of scrimmage. For some reason the Bengals can't seem to understand this, at least Mike Brown can't. He wants the flashy skill player with a name because he thinks it will sell tickets. If he only would realize that a winner would sell tickets faster and better. Now that's not saying I would be opposed to an AJ Green pick, I think he's a special talent. What I do want to see out of the Bengals is for them to land at least one, if not more, of the talented defensive lineman in this draft class. This class is absolutely loaded on the defensive line and some quality players will likely be able to be had into the third round. I want to see them get someone to help Peko stuff the run inside and someone to help Carlos Dunlap get after the QB.

Another thing with the Bengals draft strategy is they need to adapt the approach of teams the consistently draft well and win consistently. That is to take the best player on their board not the biggest need of the team. When you draft a player you are drafting him for several years, if not an entire career. Team needs change from year to year, but the players you draft stay on your team year after year. You want the best players you can possibly get, especially in the first round. Now this year the best player available and team need are probably going to coincide. The Bengals need a legit WR 1 and AJ Green will likely be one of the best players available. But I wouldn't be opposed to the Patrick Peterson pick either. He is the top player on my board and J Jo's contract is up and he has been often injured lately. Also Peterson is going to be a lock down CB with rare speed and size for a CB. Plus he is a dangerous return man that would give the Bengals a returner of the caliber of Cribbs and Hester, that's a huge weapon. If I'm making the call that would be one I would agonize over because I believe both players will be elite. That being said I think it would be easier to fill a WR of Green's caliber than it would be to find a CB that's on the same level as Peterson and would take the CB and try to turn this defense into a dominant defense like the 2000 Ravens in which Marvin Lewis was the coordinator and won a Super Bowl.

NFL Draft Big Board 2011

Final Edition

  1. Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

  2. Marcell Dareus, DT/DE, Alabama

  3. Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M

  4. AJ Green, WR, Georgia

  5. Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

  6. Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

  7. Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

  8. Robert Quinn, DE/OLB, North Carolina

  9. Da Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

  10. Tyron Smith, OT, USC

  11. Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois

  12. Jake Locker, QB, Washington

  13. Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri

  14. Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

  15. Cameron Jordan, DE, California

  16. Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama

  17. Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin

  18. Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado

  19. JJ Watt, DE, Wisconsin

  20. Mike Pouncey, OC, Florida

  21. Nate Solder, OT, Colorado

  22. Muhammad Wilkerson, DE, Temple

  23. Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College

  24. Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor

  25. Brooks Reed, DE, Arizona

  26. Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame

  27. Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State

  28. Andy Dalton, QB, TCU

  29. Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue

  30. Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA

  31. Brandon Harris, CB, Miami

  32. Derek Sherrod, DT, Mississippi State

  33. Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

  34. Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa

  35. Justin Houston, DE, Georgia

  36. Mikel Leshoure, RB, Illinois

  37. Jonathon Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh

  38. Aaron Williams, CB, Texas

  39. Titus Young, WR, Boise State

  40. Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami

  41. Danny Watkins, OG, Baylor

  42. Rahim Moore, FS, UCLA

  43. Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State

  44. Ras I Dowling, CB, Virginia

  45. Randall Cobb, WR, Kentucky

  46. Ryan Williams, RB, Virginia Tech

  47. Marvin Austin, DT, North Carolina

  48. Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas

  49. Clint Boling, OG, Georgia

  50. Kelvin Sheppard, LB, LSU

  51. Johnny Patrick, CB, Louisville

  52. Quinton Carter, FS, Oklahoma

  53. Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State

  54. Orlando Franklin, OG, Miami

  55. Benjamin Ijalana, OT, Villanova

  56. Bruce Carter, LB, North Carolina

  57. Jabaal Sheard, DE, Pittsburgh

  58. Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland

  59. Mason Foster, LB, Washington

  60. Allen Bailey, DT, Miami

  61. Tandon Doss, WR, Indiana

  62. Brandon Burton, CB, Utah

  63. John Moffitt, OG, Wisconsin

  64. Lance Kendricks, TE, Wisconsin

  65. Greg Little, WR, North Carolina

  66. Jurrell Casey, DT, USC

  67. James Carpenter, OG, Alabama

  68. Daniel Thomas, RB, Kansas State

  69. Terrell McClain, DT, South Florida

  70. Shane Vereen, RB, California

  71. Kenrick Ellis, DT, Hampton

  72. Delone Carter, RB, Syracuse

  73. Rodney Hudson, OC, Florida State

  74. Marcus Cannon, OT, TCU

  75. Martez Wilson, LB, Illinois

  76. Joshua Thomas, CB, Buffalo

  77. Curtis Brown, CB, Texas

  78. Vincent Brown, WR, San Diego State

  79. Kendall Hunter, RB, Oklahoma State

  80. William Rackley, OG, Lehigh

  81. Christian Ballard, DT, Iowa

  82. Austin Pettis, WR, Boise State

  83. Dion Lewis, RB, Pittsburgh

  84. Colin Kaepernick, QB, Nevada

  85. Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Oregon State

  86. Jaiquawn Jarrett, FS, Temple

  87. Jarvis Jenkins, DT, Clemson

  88. Ricky Stanzi, QB, Iowa

  89. Luke Stocker, TE, Tennessee

  90. Davon House, CB, New Mexico State

  91. Stefen Wisniewski, OC, Penn State

  92. DJ Williams, TE, Arkansas

  93. Shiloh Keo, SS, Idaho

  94. Shareece Wright, CB, USC

  95. Jerrell Jernigan, WR, Troy

  96. Quan Sturdivant, LB, North Carolina

  97. Gregory Salas, WR, Hawaii

  98. Jeremy Beal, DE, Oklahoma

  99. Tyler Sash, SS, Iowa

Thursday, April 21, 2011

One Week Until Draft


Exactly one week from tonight the NFL Draft will start! I love this new format for a couple of reasons. First is that the draft is broken down into three days, with the first round being in primetime on a Thursday night. Second because the draft is broken down to three days, teams get a chance to evaluate what happened in round one and make plans for the next six rounds overnight and not rushed into doing it immediately. It also gives teams more time to make moves and trade up or down based on what has happened and who's left on the board. The Bengals have the third pick in the second round and that pick becomes very valuable because if someone is still sitting there that a team really loves the Bengals could get multiple picks for that second round pick.

Anyway the Bengals have the fourth pick in the first round and there's been some debate as to who they should take. One thing is I hope they don't take a QB with that pick, especially Cam Newton. Despite all his athletic ability he's not that great of a passer. The most important thing for an NFL QB to have is accuracy. People make huge deals about a QB's arm strength and his athletic ability, and while those things are nice I'll take the most accurate of QB's over QB's with those traits any day of the week. Any QB that makes it to the NFL has good enough arm strength, give me the QB who is accurate and makes the correct decisions that can read a defense and know exactly where the ball needs to go. I don't think there are any QB's that are elite in those areas in this draft so getting the franchise QB of the future is not in the cards in this draft. They should try to get a veteran free agent as a stopgap for a year or two.

There are a few different ways a team can go about building a championship team. One is to have that elite QB that can carry you like the Colts with Peyton Manning. Another is to build a dominant defense like the 2000 Ravens or the Buccaneers when they had Warren Sapp and company on defense. The Bengals already have a pretty good defense and could be a couple players away from being flat out dominant. They could take Patrick Peterson in the first round and have a legit lock down Cornerback. This guy is as gifted as they come. He ran a 4.32 forty yard dash at the combine and he's 6'2" tall. That is big for a CB, but he's just as fast if not faster than the rest of the CB's currently in the NFL. Plus he has fluid hips and can stop and start fast. This guy is going to be able to shut out the best of WR's in the NFL very soon.

Now I know CB isn't the biggest need for the Bengals, but Joseph is a free agent so there's no guarantee he's coming back and he's been injured a lot throughout his career here. Even if they do sign Joseph to an extension you can never have too many good CB's in today's NFL where it's a pass happy league. Imagine having Peterson shutting down team's top WR's. Then you would have Hall and Joseph covering oppenents 2nd and 3rd WR's, who they will be able to shut down. If you can lock down opponent's WR's with one on one coverage that opens up your defense big time. On passing downs you will be able to blitz more defenders knowing your CB's will be able to stay with their men. It will take longer to get people open and the defensive lineman will have more time to sack the QB. With the emergence of Carlos Dunlap and his ability to get after the QB, opposing passers will not have long to get rid of the ball. Getting Peterson would make this defense almost impossible to throw on.

If the Bengals did decide to go that route they would be a good run stuffer to go with Peko and another good pass rusher away from being a dominant defense. If you have that dominant defense an average QB and a decent running game can have you in the playoffs and a title contender. They would also need to beef up the offensive line some to help with that running game and probably would need a new workhorse RB within a couple of years. Some parts are still going to need to be added whatever way they decide to go so being a legit Super Bowl contender is going to be a few years away no matter which route the Bengals go.

Most people have the Bengals taking AJ Green with that fourth pick and that would also be fine by me. We still wouldn't have an answer at QB, but when the Bengals did get their future signal caller some peices would be in place to have an explosive offense. Most draft "experts" agree that Green is the best WR since Calvin Johnson to come out and have him on that same superstar WR level as Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson, and Larry Fitzgerald. Adding Green to a receiving core of Shipley, Gresham, Simpson, and Caldwell would give the Bengals the best group of young WR's/TE's in the NFL. Simpson really emerged at the end of last season and if he can keep it going they will be lethal. Simpson himself was looking like a legit number one WR at times at the end of the season. Shipley looks like he'll be the best possesion/3rd down WR in the NFL other than Wes Welker. Gresham has all the tools to be a top 2 or 3 TE in the NFL. If they can beef up the line a little bit and get a good QB they will have an offense as good as the 2005 Bengals offense and probably better.

If you add an offense like that to an already pretty good defense with one of the best defensive coordinators in the league and you have a legit Super Bowl contender. Now if they can teach Marvin Lewis how to manage a game clock, make in game adjustments, and just be a good coach overall they may be on to something. Oh that and get a real GM who knows something about football!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mock Draft 2.0

* * 1. Carolina Panthers- Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
I think Newton is the ultimate boom or bust candidate. He's not ready to play right now in the NFL but he will play right now. Players don't get that much money to sit on the bench, rookie or not. I think Newton is the pick here due to his athletic ability. Especially with the emergence of Vick this past season. Plus he has the size of Rothlesberger and will be tough to bring down if you can catch him. He has the ability, if he can figure out the position he could be the type of player to dominate games by himself.
2. Denver Broncos- Marcel Dareus, DT, Alabama
The Broncos are praying that Carolina takes a QB with the first pick. That will allow them to get a much needed top defensive lineman on the board. The Broncos are switching from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defense and do not have the right personnel. Their defense was atrocious last season. Dareus will give them that presense on the interior of that line, plus he has the versatility to play pretty much anywhere on the line and will create favorable match ups for himself by moving inside on passing downs and to DE on running downs. That also will confuse opposing offenses because you don't know where he's going to line up on any given play.
3. Buffalo Bills- Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M
The Bills have Tom Brady on their schedule twice a year, NUFF SAID! Seriously though the Bills lack that elite pass rusher and are now running a 3-4 defense. They drafted Aaron Maybin a few years ago to be that pass rusher, but that was under the previous regime and Maybin doesn't fit the new system on defense in Buffalo. Plus he hasn't quite lived up to expectations as a pass rusher. Miller is an athletic freak, with his size and speed. He's a LB that can run a forty in the 4.4's. He can do it all, rush the passer, drop into coverage, and play sideline to sideline against the run.
4. Cincinnati Bengals- Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
I know everyone and their brother has AJ Green mocked to the Bengals and I have for a long time. I'm making a switch though a week before the draft and here's why. I'm a firm believer in taking the best player on the board, especially in the first round. I know WR is the bigger need going into next season, but you don't draft players to play for you for one season. You take them for careers or atleast a good portion of their careers. That's why all the top drafting teams draft the best player available and not for need. Right now Peterson is my top overall player not just best available. While it's true the bigger need is at WR, right now we don't even know who the QB is going to be. I don't think the offense is going to be very good next year anyway, so it's time to build the defense into a 2000 Ravens type of defense. Peterson is going to be a lock down CB in the NFL for a long time. He has great size for a CB at 6-2 and has 4.3 speed. He can cover the bigger WR's and he has the speed to keep up with the speed WR's. He has fluid hips and great athleticism. He is simply the best player in this draft. Another reason to take him is Jonathon Joseph's contract is up and he has been injured often lately as well. I'm still for the Bengals resigning J Jo. That would give them three first round CB's and four if they get back Adam Jones. In today's NFL you can't have too many good cover CB's with all the pass happy teams. With those 3/4 back there in coverage, if they can get any decent pass rush (Carlos Dunlap) it's going to be next to impossible to throw on this defense. Also they'll be able to bring extra pass rushers often with that many guys that can shut down WR's. Imagine Leon Hall covering a teams number 3 WR. This pick could vault the Bengals into the best defense in the NFL, if they can step up their run defense to what it was in 2009. Also Peterson is an excellent return man so he brings something extra to the team. He is exciting to watch returning and would give the Bengals a returner that is a threat to take it to the house every time like Hester, Cribbs, Dez Bryant, and Desean Jackson. Having that on special teams would give the Bengals an edge on everyone in the division. It's time to build the D into a dominant one like the one Marvin won a Super Bowl with as D coordinator in Baltimore. And their QB was Trent Dilfer and I can't even remember who their WR's were. You can still win championships in the NFL by having a dominant defense. Plus Simpson started to emerge and there will be another stud WR next year, Alshon Jeffery from South Carolina. So my pick here would be the best player in this draft, Patrick Peterson.
5. Arizona Cardinals- Robert Quinn, DE/OLB, North Carolina
The Cardinals need to upgrade about the entire defense. They brought in Joey Porter last year at OLB which was almost laughable. The Cards need someone who can get after the QB desprately. They also need a QB, but I don't think Wisenhunt or Larry Fitzgerald wants a rookie QB. They will go after a veteran once there's a new CBA in place.
6. Cleveland Browns- AJ Green, WR, Georgia
This would be a negative of taking Peterson for the Bengals. The Browns will likely get AJ Green unless someone trades ahead of them. Green is also a special prospect, and if the Bengals take him I won't be upset one bit, but who do u want the WR or the CB that can shut down that WR. Especially with who the Bengals CB's would be I wouldn't be worried about Green being in Cleveland quite as much. But if the Bengals take Green, Peterson very likely could be the pick here.
7. San Francisco 49ers- Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri *
Maybe the Niners tank the season so they can get Andrew Luck next year and reunite Harbaugh with Luck. I doubt it though, the Niners have talent and a good QB could give them that weak division next season. Gabbert is probably the best QB in this draft and if he's available he's likely the pick.
8. Tennessee Titans- Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
Not too long ago Fairley was being mocked number one overall by lots of so called experts. He has some character questions though and can take over right where Albert Haynesworth left off when he left Tennessee. Every since then the Titans have needed a replacement at DT and Fairley is very talented and could dominate games and give opposing offenses headaches.
9. Dallas Cowboys- Tyron Smith, OT, USC
The Cowboys offensive line struggled starting week one last year when they had a game winning TD called back on an obvious holding penalty. It continued with them getting Tony Romo a broken collarbone. The Cowboys need serious upgrades along that offensive line and they can start with the best prospective Left Tackle in this draft. Smith has all the measurables to be a dominant LT in the NFL for years to come.
10. Washington Redskins- Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
The Redskins need help all over on offense. They probably would like to get Newton or Gabbert at QB, but neither will likely be available. They also don't have any real playmakers at the WR position. Jones will give them a legit number one WR as he has great size and speed. He reminds me of Anquan Boldin in his prime.
11. Houston Texans- Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
This draft should be easy for the Texans. DEFENSE, DEFENSE, and more DEFENSE! They brought Wade Phillips in to be the defensive coordinator and now need to get players to fit his system. They also need to do something to help their terrible pass defense. They can start with one of the two elite CB's in this draft since they have to play against Peyton Manning twice a year.
12. Minnesota Vikings- DaQuan Bowers, DE, Clemson
The Vikings need a QB as do a ton of other teams. However there's not one that is worth this high of a pick. People are saying Locker here, but teams are just throwing out smoke screens so don't believe everything you hear. Bowers knee has supposedly checked out and if that's the case he could be a steal here. This would give them an unbelievable pass rushing duo with Bowers and Jared Allen. Something they'll need with Aaron Rodgers in their division.
13. Detroit Lions- Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
Lions fans should hope the top two CB's are taken by the time they pick. The Lions do need a CB, but they need offensive line upgrades more than that. The face of their franchise is Matthew Stafford and he can't stay on the field. He gets injured easily, so he's going to need a dominant offensive line to live up to the hype.
14. St. Louis Rams- Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois
You know the Rams are keeping their fingers crossed one of the top two WR's fall to them here. Not going to happen. They also need LB's, but none are worthy of this pick. The Rams head coach won a Super Bowl with the Giants by having a dominant defensive line that pummeled QB's. He can try to do the same thing here as the Rams already do have some quality defensive lineman.
15. Miami Dolphins- Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
The Dolphins likely won't have Ronnie Brown any longer and Ricky Williams is too old to shoulder the load. Teams don't value RB's anymore, but Miami should as they love running the ball. Plus Ingram is a special talent at RB that can carry an entire workload. He's by far the best RB in this draft.
16. Jacksonville Jaguars- JJ Watt, DE, Wisconsin
The Jaguars brought in Aaron Kampman to be their top pass rusher before last season. He blew his knee out before the season started. Now they need a pass rusher again. With this draft being stocked full of defensive lineman this is set up well for Jacksonville. When you have pass happy teams like the Texans and Colts in your division you have to be able to rush the passer if you want to have a chance to win.
17. New England Patriots- Cameron Jordan, DE, California
Jordan is the perfect fit at DE in a 3-4 defense. The Patriots got this pick from Oakland for Richard Seymour. They basically traded an aging Seymour who cost a lot of money for a younger cheaper, quality defensive end. Typical Belicheck manipulating the system to keep the Patriots dominant.
18. San Diego Chargers- Aldon Smith, DE/OLB, Missouri
The Chargers have needed a quality pass rusher since they made Shawn Merriman stop taking steroids. They drafted Larry English a couple years ago but he hasn't lived up to expectations. The Chargers have a talented offense, but their defense is horrid. With the amount of points they put up opponents are forced to throw the ball so having a quality pass rusher is a must.
19. New York Giants- Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
Eli Manning did not trust his offensive line last season. You could tell from the hurried throws and all the interceptions. That line is getting a little long in the tooth. Carimi may be the most NFL ready player in this draft and looks like he'll be a quality RT for a decade. Carimi is the type of player you need to win, a nasty blocker that pushes people around. It seems like Wisconsin just keeps turning out one good offensive lineman after another. When in doubt just draft an O lineman from Wisconsin.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
Smith is right up there with Peterson and Amukamara as far as talent goes. TB currently has an old CB in Ronde Barber and another in Talib that is a multi time felon. I wouldn't be suprised if they go CB in the first. It seems they're trying to build that defense with the first two picks going to DT's in last year's draft.
21. Kansas City Chiefs- Titus Young, WR, Boise State
This is my suprise pick in the first round. Many would consider this a reach, but they also would've considered Desean Jackson a reach a few years ago had he gone in the first round. Young is the same type of player as Jackson and would be a perfect compliment to Dwayne Bowe. They have to get Bowe some help or he will always be double and triple teamed and it'll be tough for Cassell to throw the ball.
22. Indianapolis Colts- Mike Pouncey, OC, Florida
The Colts need offensive line help pretty much across the board. Especially on the interior of that line. The Colts have a good Center in Jeff Saturday so Pouncey can come in and play Guard until Saturday decides to retire. This will also help them with their anemic running game. When you have Peyton Manning you need to keep the O line stocked with depth and talent. If you do that you will have a chance to win the Super Bowl every year. If I'm running the Colts I'm using a high draft pick on the offensive line about every year.
23. Philadelphia Eagles- Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
The Eagles have the most illusive QB in the history of the NFL with Mike Vick. He was still sacked a ton last year. Andy Reid loves to draft offensive lineman early and often and this year it also fits one of their biggest needs. If Vick has a good athletic offensive line the Eagles offense could be scary good.
24. New Orleans Saints- Muhammad Wilkerson, DT/DE, Temple
The Saints could use an upgrade across from Will Smith at DE and at DT next to Sedric Ellis. Wilkerson is a big guy who is versatile and could play both spots. With the amount of points the Saints offense is going to score, getting a defensive lineman that can get pressure would be a huge plus for the Saints.
25. Seattle Seahawks- Jake Locker, QB, Washington
This pick would be a fan favorite in Seattle, getting a hometown guy at QB. Locker may have been the top pick last year and still has the tools to be a very good QB in the NFL. This would be a good situation for Locker if Seattle can resign Hasselback and let Locker sit and learn for a year or two. I honestly wouldn't mind if the Bengals trade back into the first round and land Locker. He has tools to be a top overall pick and with Carson Palmer saying he's not coming back Locker could be our QB of the future.
26. Baltimore Ravens- Cameron Heyward, DE/DT, Ohio State
Heyward's best fit is probably in a 3-4 at defensive end. He does have the versatility to play DT in a 4-3 though. This would be a good fit for him in Baltimore at DE in their 3-4 playing across from Ngata. That would help the Ravens get back to stuffing the run unfortunately for Bengals fans.
27. Atlanta Falcons- Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue
In the playoffs against the Packers John Abraham looked exhausted. The Falcons need to get someone across from him to keep him from being doubled on every snap. Kerrigan has a motor that doesn't stop and will be a good pass rusher in the NFL.
28. New England Patriots- Justin Houston, DE/OLB, Georgia
Obviously the weak side of the ball was the defense for the Patriots last season. So don't be suprised if they go heavy on defense early in this draft. Houston is one of those tweeners that will come off the edge in the Pats 3-4 and give them another much needed pass rusher.
29. Chicago Bears- Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State
The Bears haven't had a first round pick in a couple years thanks to the Cutler trade. Their offensive line was the most inconsistent in the NFL last year. This is a bit of a reach for Sherrod in my opinion, but there's a significant drop off after Sherrod.
30. New York Jets- Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor
Good Nose Tackles are hard to find and the Jets have had injury problems with Kris Jenkins the past few seasons. If Taylor's foot checks out he should be a first round pick due to the lack of good NT's available almost every year.
31. Pittsburgh Steelers- Brandon Harris, CB, Miami
The Steelers secondary was beaten often by the Packers in the Super Bowl. Had they caught the ball the Steelers would've been blown out of that game. Harris would be an upgrade over either of their current CB's.
32. Green Bay Packers- Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA
The Packers are pretty solid pretty much everywhere. I think if Harris is available they'll take the CB, due to the age of Woodson. However he isn't, so they can go with another pass rusher across from Clay Matthews. When you have Aaron Rodgers you will score a lot and teams will be forced to throw on you so you need pass rushers.
2nd Round
33. New England Patriots- Mikel Leshoure, RB, Illinois
The Patriots have probably been mocked a RB in the first couple of rounds for the past five years. They have yet to take one, but I think this is the year. The could use a big bruising back to be their short yardage back and shoulder a lot of the carries.
34. Buffalo Bills- Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame
Everyone thinks Buffalo is going to take a QB early this year. I'm not so sure, Fitzpatrick played well last season and the Bills have stated he's the QB this year. Plus before you bring in a young QB you need to build a line and have weapons in place and Buffalo needs to add those weapons and that line.
35. Cincinnati Bengals- Danny Watkins, OG, Baylor
To win in the NFL you have to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. The Bengals can start by getting the best Guard in this draft. They need an upgrade at the LG position and Bobbie Williams is getting old and won't be at RG very much longer. Watkins is a well rounded Guard that can pass protect and run block very well. This should help get Benson back to form. A lot of fans will be calling for the Bengals to take a QB here, but I think they should get the line solidified first and worry about the QB next year. Maybe it's a rough season and they win the Andrew Luck sweepstakes.
36. Denver Broncos- Aaron Williams, CB, Texas
Champ Bailey's contract is up and he's not getting any younger. The Broncos defense was horrid last year. If they go defensive line in the first round they may do something to help shore up that secondary in the second round.
37. Cleveland Browns- Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
If the Browns go WR in the first round they almost certainly will take someone in the front seven on their defense in the second. Or if they take a defensive lineman in the first it'll be a WR in the second. Clayborn is a good player and could be a steal here in the second. This draft is loaded with quality defensive lineman so you may see some bigger named players fall at this position as teams will think that they can fill another spot and still get a good defensive lineman in the second or even third rounds.
38. Arizona Cardinals- Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas
While I do think that the Cardinals will opt for a veteran free agent to be their starting QB this year, if there's someone they like sitting there when they pick in the second they may pull the trigger. Mallett could develop into a top ten QB in the NFL.
39. Tennessee Titans- Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State
The Titans are kind of in the same boat as the Bengals as far as question marks at the QB position. Ponder is an accurate QB but doesn't have a huge arm. In my opinion the accuracy is much more important than having the cannon for the arm. Especially for a rookie QB who won't be asked to do much more than make short passes.
40. Dallas Cowboys- Ras I Dowling, CB, Virginia
Most people have the Cowboys figured for an offensive lineman and a CB for their first two picks and that sounds about right as that's their two biggest needs. Especially when one of your CB's moved out of the way of a tackle on national TV last season against the Redskins. That's embarrasing and if i'm that coach he's (Jenkins) never playing for me again. Their other CB is getting old and his biggest attribute was his track star speed which he is losing.
41. Washington Redskins- Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State

Monday, April 11, 2011

Bengals Draft

* * Here's a little something of what the Bengals draft could like like. Scenario 1: 1st Round- AJ Green, WR, Georgia I hope Green is the pick, but wouldn't be opposed to Patrick Peterson or a defensive lineman. I will never be mad about using a top pick on a lineman for either side of the ball as long as the value is there. Winning football starts up front. That said Green is a rare talent at WR and elite WR's don't just grow on trees. If Green is the pick the WR core is set for years with Green, Shipley, Simpson, and Gresham at TE. That is the makings of an explosive offense with the best young core of receivers in the NFL. 2nd Round- Clint Boling, OG, Georgia An upgrade at LG has been needed since Steinbach left. Bobbie Williams is also getting old on the other side as well. I'd like to see the Bengals take Guards early this year and in next year's draft and solidify that position for years. Like I said winning football starts up front and if they don't take a lineman in the 1st they need to in the second. 3rd Round- Quinton Carter, FS, Oklahoma The Bengals are old and often injured at the Safety position. I watched this guy a lot at the Senior Bowl and he has fluid hips and can cover like a CB and hit like a Safety. Rahim Moore is often talked as the best Safety in this draft and I wouldn't mind him if they go that route in the 2nd but I believe Carter gives you better value in the 3rd. 4th Round- Ricky Stanzi, QB, Iowa Stanzi comes from a pro system at Iowa and is one of the most NFL ready QB's in this draft. He doesn't have huge upside but would be good value here and could be a very good backup in the NFL and if needed to start wouldn't lose games for you and with the Bengals switching to a west coast offense he doesn't need to have a rocket arm and he has good accuracy. Would be a good fit here and if Carson doesn't come back wouldn't be terrible for a 4th rounder in absolute last resort. Scenario 2: 1st Round- Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU I actually have Peterson atop my big board and this pick could make sense. Joseph's contract is up and he has been often injured as of late. Peterson is going to be a lock down CB and is also a dangerous return man. He has the size of a Safety and the speed of an elite CB. I think he's the best player in this draft and would shut down teams number one WR for years to come with Hall shutting down the number two. 2nd Round- Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami or Titus Young, WR, Boise State Young is a bit faster but Hankerson still has good speed and better size. Young reminds me of Desean Jackson. Hankerson may be the most underrated player in this draft. I would probably take Hankerson because the Bengals are going with the west coast offense and his size would be better for the shorter passing offense. Either way they would get a quality WR that can stretch the field and with the emergence of Simpson at the end of last year would have two good threats on the outside with Shipley in the slot and Gresham at TE. 3rd Round- John Moffitt, OG, Wisconsin Wisconsin is known for having quality offensive lineman and the Bengals need an upgrade at Guard. I'd love for them to land one of the big nasty offensive lineman from Wisconsin. Winning football starts up front and like I mentioned earlier I want a Guard early the next two drafts. Lets get that O line solidified.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Reds Finally Lose A Game

* * Well the Reds winning streak is a thing of the past, for now. The Reds lost today to the Houston Astros 3-2, and while they now can't go 162-0, they are still on pace to go 135-27. We all know that's not going to happen either, but they are still looking really good and as long as they stay healthy I think a return trip to the playoffs is in the cards for this team. Things have gone really well in the first two series for the Reds. Other than the first innings for Volquez the starting pitching has been really good and has gone deep into every game. That has kept the bullpen off the field for long periods of time, thus keeping them fresh. That's going to pay dividends later in the year. The offense has been on fire up to this point. Stubbs has looked good in the leadoff spot and both he and Gomes have become more patient hitters walking more and striking out less. The catching duo of Hannigan and Hernandez are hitting the ball as well as any single catcher in all of baseball. They are manufacturing all these runs without Bruce really even getting going yet. While Votto has been decent he hasn't put up the numbers he will by the time this season gets in full swing. When those two get really going this team is going to be tough to stop at the plate. The Reds now go to Arizona and play a lowly Diamondbacks team that they should at least take 2 of 3 and maybe even sweep them. The Reds have a soft schedule this month and with Milwaukee and St. Louis struggling could jump out to a big lead early. That would be clutch for when some rough patches happen against the better teams in the NL. Also getting out to a big lead and being able to clinch somewhat early would be key for keeping players like Rolen fresh and healthy for the playoffs. If they can keep a comfortable lead in the Central they'll be able to rest starters more and more and get the bench players more at bats. That will prove to be huge come playoff time for fresh starters and bench players that have a good amount of at bats keeping them sharp. Things could be lining up for this team to make a deep playoff run and maybe even a championship in 2011.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Reds Sweep Brewers

* * The first series of the season is in the books for the Reds and it was a good one with a 3 game sweep of the Brewers who have been picked by many to dethrone the Reds atop the NL Central. It started on opening day on Thursday with the Reds winning with a dramatic walk off homerun by Ramon Hernandez. They pretty much dominated from there winning the next two games fairly easy. Today's game, the third against the Brewers, was complete domination by the Reds winning twelve to three with nineteen hits. The Reds crushed the ball today hitting four homeruns including two by Hanigan. Arroyo went seven innings coming off of mono and pitched a great game considering his circumstances. Like previously stated many talking heads predicted the Brewers to win the division due to them adding Greinke and Marcum, giving them a good pitching rotation to go with an already good offense. What many don't realize is the Reds hit the ball better than anyone in the National League last season and it looks like they are picking up right where they left off. It's still early but I think after what we've seen the Reds have to be considered the best team in the Central and it's their division to lose. Another plus is the Reds got to Milwaukee's bullpen early in two of the three games and already have made them overuse an average at best bullpen. Speaking of bullpens, I believe that is the difference between the Reds and the Brewers and Cardinals, and the reason the Reds will repeat as NL Central division champions. The Reds bullpen is considerably stronger than the Brewers and Cardinals. To win in a long season you need to get quality outings out of your bullpen and barring injury should perform much better than their oppenents in this division. The Reds may have the best offense in the Central, have the best bullpen, and although their starters may not be quite as good they are still good from top to bottom and may have the best depth. I also like the decision Dusty Baker made to get Scott Rolen out of the game once it got out of hand. I personally would like to see Rolen sitting day games when they follow night games. I'd like to see Rolen play about 100 games this season. I want him and the Reds need him fresh coming down the stretch and possibly the playoffs if they get back there. I'd give him atleast one and preferrably two off days a week and possibly a stint or two on the 15 day DL throughout the season. A healthy Scott Rolen gives the Reds a better chance to advance into the playoffs and make a deep run in October. So far so good in 2011 and Reds fans should be excited about what's to come. Even though it's early if I'm St Louis or Milwaukee I don't want to fall to far behind the Reds. Both are struggling and even though it's early if they get double digit games behind the Reds it's over for them. This team is too good and if they stay healthy there's no way they will surrender a double digit lead to anyone. So Cards and Brewers fans beware if you don't get it turned around early this season is going to be over quick for your teams.