Saturday, April 26, 2008


Welcome to the 2008 NFL Draft liveblog! Keep refreshing, as I'll just keep making edits to this post.

2:44 PM
God, I forgot how much I hated ESPN.

I'll kick things off by saying I like Miami's trade for Anthony Fasano and Akin Ayodele. Fasano's at least good enough to start for a rebuilding team, Ayodele is fine.

2:52 PM

Did the ESPN cameraman just confuse McFadden and Dorsey? Also, apparently Matt Ryan has "IT."

2:53 PM

OH GOD MATT RYAN TALKING. His voice is...lilting?

3:01 PM

Matt Ryan: Personable! Surely a pro on the football field.

3:03 PM


Oh, wow, they actually didn't wait.

1. Miami Dolphins: Jake Long, OT, Michigan

I said it yesterday - the best guy available, and just what a rebuilding franchise needs. Extremely safe pick at a crucial position.

TIME FOR THE RAMS! Everyone's saying Chris Long goes here.

3:05 PM

Okay, end the liveblog now, the highlight of the night's already happened: ESPN shows Chris Long, who is...watching the draft on the NFL Network.

3:09 PM

2. St. Louis Rams: Chris Long, DE, Virginia

Ehhhh. A good pick in and of itself, but I still think last year's pick, Adam Carriker, is better at DE than DT. But still, hard to complain - like the other Long, a safe pick for a bad team.

Atlanta's on the clock! Maybe there'll finally be a pick I can rip.

3:16 PM

3. Atlanta Falcons: Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College

Chris Berman just said the Falcons are "literally" turning over a new leaf. If only I gave him enough credit to think that was a funny Ryan Leaf reference. So yeah, Matt Ryan, essentially Patrick Ramsey but with "IT", with intangibles. Hopefully "IT" or intangibles includes an offensive line. This isn't going to end well, though there's at least the suspense of if people will want him out of town by the time Michael Vick gets out of prison.

C'mooooooooon Oakland.

3:25 PM

4. Oakland Raiders: Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas

Thank God the Jets won't be taking him. He's their best running back, so it's not a DISASTER of a pick, but still. Really? He'll be decent if character issues don't knock him out of the league. And hey, on the bright side, at least they may dumbly cut Michael Bush and let him succeed somewhere else. And, for the record, I think Michael Bush has the potential to be much better than McFadden ever will be.

C'mon Hermanator, do something dumb!

3:33 PM

5. Kansas City Chiefs: Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU

Good pick! He's very good. Like the Rams pick, can't complain, but if New Orleans was offering their pick and more, trading down and grabbing Clady might have been worth it.

Jets time, please take Gholston.

3:36 PM


3:42 PM

6. New York Jets: Vernon Gholston, DE, Ohio State

WOO! And Chris Berman immediately kills my buzz by making his usual bad "AND THE JETS HAVE WON THE SUPERBOWL!" joke when the crowd cheers. I have trust in the Jets to not fuck Gholston up, so he should be scary good in 2010 or so.

Time for the Pats pick, which should be fascinating. Keith Rivers?

3:49 PM

Saints trade up! Sedrick Ellis time, most likely.

3:51 PM

...New York Patriots? Stupid Goodell.

7. New Orleans Saints: Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC

Excellent pick, Ellis was the best player available, fills a need, just wonderful. Hopefully they didn't give up too much to the Pats.

Now what does Baltimore do - will they be smart and take Brohm or will they...oh, they traded the pick. Jacksonville trades up from 26 to 8. Oooh.

3:55 PM

Pats get #10 and a third-rounder, Saints get #7 and a 5th-rounder. Not too bad at all, it seems, though we'll see who the picks wind up being.

3:59 PM

8. Jacksonville Jaguars: Derrick Harvey, DE, Florida

Dumb, especially with what they probably gave up. Very dumb. Harvey's a good player, but this is an extreme reach and an extreme price to give up for a player who I don't think is considerably better than fellow DEs Phillip Merlin and Quentin Groves. Duuuuumb.

Bengals are up!

4:04 PM

Oh jeez, Jacksonville gave up a 1st, two 3rd and a 4th. I guess they could've given up a future first, but still.

4:05 PM

9. Cincinnati Bengals: Keith Rivers, LB, USC

Excellent pick. Much like Leon Hall last year - safe pick, fills a need, excellent character. He'll be solid for years, if never a superstar.

Patriots back on the clock.

4:11 PM

10. New England Patriots: Jerod Mayo, LB, Tennessee

Ooh, a bit of a surprise, but a good pick. Mayo's a versatile, talented player than they can probably sign a bit cheaper than the slot, and he'll probably be a player more productive in the NFL than in college, like fellow Tennessee Volunteers Travis Henry Michael Munoz, not Tee Martin, I guess Peyton Manning can beat a team from Florida now, so him. But yeah, very good pick, especially when ESPN's rumor mill was saying this would be Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie. Shit.

Time for the Bills to reach for Devin Thomas!

4:16 PM

11. Buffalo Bills: Leodis McKelvin, CB, Troy

Meh. Better than reaching for any of the receivers on the board, and McKelvin at the very least will be an excellent return man. He'll probably be a solid corner at the worst, plus Troy has become an excellent program for sending defensive players to the pros. I think McKelvin was a bit overrated, and would've rather had Jenkins or mayyyyybe even Antoine Cason from Arizona - but yeah, not Devin Thomas, not Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, a solid enough pick.

4:21 PM

12. Denver Broncos: Ryan Clady, OT, Boise State

Solid pick - he slid a bit to where he probably deserves to be. Not a sure thing by any means, but I like him slightly over Branden Albert or Chris Williams. Kind of the offense equivalent of Vernon Gholston - should be upper-tier in two or three years if he's not screwed around with.

4:26 PM

13. Carolina Panthers: Jonathan Stewart, RB, Oregon

Not good news for DeAngelo Williams. Or Jonathan Stewart, really. Stewart has the potential to be the best back in this draft, and has the potential to have an Adrian Peterson-like impact, but um, an offensive line is kind of necessary for that. It's a deep draft for tackles, so we'll see what the Panthers do later in the draft, but offensive line should've been much more the priority.

4:34 PM

14. Chicago Bears: Chris Williams, OT, Vanderbilt

The right pick. No WR worth taking here, I'm not exactly sure Cedric Benson is a bust yet, and Rashard Mendenhall isn't all that impressive. Should at least stick in the league, and could develop into something great.

4:41 PM

Chiefs trade up! Did the Lions actually do the right thing? Whaaaaa.

4:42 PM

15. Kansas City Chiefs: Branden Albert, OG, Virginia

Guard/tackle Branden Albert. The right pick since they need offensive line and he's versatile, but he's raw, so it's no guarantee it'll pan out. I'd take him over Otah, it's a need, it's a gamble, it's the right one.

4:50 PM

Detroit did the right thing! They move up in the third and get a fifth. Trade helps both teams.

4:51 PM

16. Arizona Cardinals: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, Tennessee State

Frankly, who knows with these I-AA players, but this guy was taken way too early. I thought legacy only applied to the Ivy League, not the NFL. He wouldn't get half the type without the "Cromartie", and he's a raw but fast player that I wouldn't take ahead of Jenkins, Cason, or the previously taken McKelvin. He could be a star, but he's still the kind of guy you take a flier on late in the second round, not someone you take this high, even though other teams were willing to. At least he didn't go top ten, though.

5:01 PM

Sorry for the delay, had to be away from the computer for a bit.

17. Detroit Lions: Gosder Cherilus, OT, Boston College

A...great pick. Really. Kinda forgot about him in the glut of tackles, but he may wind up being better than anyone but Long. And he doesn't have the downside of Albert, Jeff Otah, or even Chris Williams. And it's not Rashard Mendenhall. Wow.

Baltimore trades up to 18 for Houston's pick. Otah or even KU's Anthony Collins could be available later for the Texans. And Baltimore's pick looks like it's...

18. Baltimore Ravens: Joe Flacco, QB, Delaware

Like Cromartie, unproven and taken way too high. These I-AA guys are a crapshoot, but a franchise QB should've at least beaten out Tyler freakin' Palko at Pitt. He could develop into a solid QB, he could be Giovanni Carmazzi. Like Cromartie, he's the guy you take a flier on in the second round, not someone you TRADE UP to take before Brian Brohm or Chad Henne.

5:08 PM

Carolina trades up with Philly - probably Otah here, kinda curious with Philly trading out of the first round again.

5:09 PM

19. Carolina Panthers: Jeff Otah, OT, Pittsburgh

A big project. Could be something great, but will probably follow the Dewayne Robertson career path - be decent, but get traded a few years down the line after John Fox gets fired. This will not help Stewart have the Adrian Peterson-type rookie season, although it will help the offensive line down the...line.

5:15 PM

Philly gets Carolina's 2nd, 4th, and 2009 1st. Well done, Andy Reid.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Aqib Talib, CB, Kansas

CHARACTER CONCERNS! Although if Eric Wright could succeed for the Browns so far, Talib should be fine. Very good pick, especially when I was expecting Devin Thomas. Great pick for the system, actually, since the Cover 2 plays to his strengths, or covers his weaknesses.

5:19 PM

Oh, Talib's character concern is pot - IN PRO SPORTS, WHAT? Who cares.

5:26 PM

Atlanta trades up for Washington's spot. Huh.

5:28 PM

21. Atlanta Falcons: Sam Baker, OT, USC

Ooh. Should stick in the league, unsure if he was really worth trading up for though. Probably won't be a left tackle, but probably got a bit underrated after injury concerns this past year. Could've been much more of a reach, but....ehhhhh. Worth it with the run on tackles, I guess.

5:36 PM

22. Dallas Cowboys: Felix Jones, RB, Arkansas

Perfect. Jones may not be an every-down back, but he's an excellent committee back. And here, he's needed to be...a committee back! Beautiful.

5:42 PM

23. Pittsburgh Steelers: Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Illinois

Okay. He'll be fine. I'm sad for Mewelde Moore. A nice pick - not much more, not much less, and excellent for a young backup.

So will the Titans choose Bennett, Sweed, or the wrong receiver?

5:49 PM

24. Tennessee Titans: Chris Johnson, RB, East Carolina

HORRIBLE. HORRIBLE. HORRIBLE. Take Bennett, he's the best and safest WR. Take Sweed, him and VY played in college together. If you want a RB/WR from Conference USA, TAKE ANTHONY ALRIDGE, HE'S ACTUALLY BEEN PLAYING AS A RECEIVER. Fucking awful. Fucking idiotic, especially for a team that took Chris Henry last year. Fucking horrible.

5:57 PM

Dallas trades up! Hm, must be urgent.

25. Dallas Cowboys: Mike Jenkins, CB, South Florida

Excellent. Might be the best cornerback in the draft, and is a safe pick at the very worst. Dallas is having a very good draft.

6:04 PM

26. Houston Texans: Duane Brown, OT, Virginia Tech

Probably a bit of a reach, but hey, they've always needed a tackle. A bit of an upside pick, but versatile and should wind up somewhere on the offensive line if he doesn't develop into a left tackle.

6:08 PM

27. San Diego Chargers: Antoine Cason, CB, Arizona

Excellent, safe pick. He'll be a solid cornerback for years, with the potential for more. I'd have taken him over Cromartie definitely, and about even with the rest taken so far.

6:10 PM

Eagles apparently trade a 4th for Lorenzo Booker. Loved the pick when Miami took him, definitely worth the flier.

6:14 PM

28. Seattle Seahawks: Lawrence Jackson, DE, USC

I like the pick - Jackson was a guy I felt had slipped, but he got taken high enough where he's a solid pick rather than a steal. Solid player, was kind of hoping they'd take a QB of the future in Brohm or Henne.

6:17 PM

29. San Francisco 49ers: Kentwaun Balmer, DT, North Carolina

Well, why not. Good pick for a nose tackle - highly rated out of HS but never came on until his senior year. For the need, a good pick.

6:20 PM

Jets trade up to take Green Bay's spot...please be Brohm or Henne.

6:23 PM

The Jets fans chanting for Devin Thomas are idiots.

6:26 PM

30. New York Jets: Dustin Keller, TE, Purdue

Ehhhhh. Better pick than Devin Thomas, but I don't think he was worth trading up for. I don't hate the pick, but it's fine and they didn't give up too much. Still was hoping for the QB of the future, though.

Is Kenny Phillips to the Giants a complete lock?

6:33 PM

31. New York Giants: Kenny Phillips, S, Miami

Yes he is. Stupid easy pick. He's not Ed Reed, but an excellent value at this point, and easily the top safety.

6:36 PM


32. Miami Dolphins: Phillip Merling, DE, Clemson

Great value, probably should've taken a QB though. Excellent developmental player, though.

6:39 PM

33. St. Louis Rams: Donnie Avery, WR, Houston

Whoa, big upset as the first WR off the board. It's not completely dumb, though, as Avery has elite-level speed and a history of production for the Cougars. Honestly, as a high-risk, high-upside attempt for a home-run receiver, this might have been a better choice than Devin Thomas.

6:43 PM

Thank you, local commercials. WHO DID THE REDSKINS PICK? I MUST KNOW!

34. Washington Redskins: Devin Thomas, WR, Michigan State

Oh. Well then. Like Trent Edwards last year, Thomas fell to where I can't really mock his selection anymore. I still don't think he'll amount to much, though.

6:45 PM

35. Kansas City Chiefs: Brandon Flowers, CB, Virginia Tech

Excellent pick. I don't think he'll be a superstar, but he should be a good #2 at the worst.

6:49 PM

36. Green Bay Packers: Jordy Nelson, WR, Kansas State

Ehhhhhh. Not that he'll be a bad player, but Bennett would've definitely been a better pick, and a number of guys possibly could've been - Sweed, Doucet, or in a riskier mold, James Hardy or DeSean Jackson.

6:54 PM

37. Atlanta Falcons: Curtis Lofton, LB, Oklahoma

Excellent pick, unlike Matt Ryan. Lofton's a bit on the small side, but he's one of those high-motor gamers, and should be very good for years to come.

6:58 PM

38. Seattle Seahawks: John Carlson, TE, Notre Dame

Meh. Solid enough pick, Carlson got a bit underrated after UND's horrible year, but they probably could've done better. QB of the future, QB of the future.

7:04 PM

39. San Francisco 49ers: Chilo Rachal, OG, USC

Yay linemen! Raw, high-upside pick - he'll probably develop into something solid at the least.

7:10 PM

40. New Orleans Saints: Tracy Porter, CB, Indiana

SPEED! A pretty good value this late on the board, and it fills a need. Very good pick, even if Porter's not a sure thing.

7:16 PM

41. Buffalo Bills: James Hardy, WR, Indiana

Hey, back to back Hoosiers. I like the pick - he's like a safer version on Thomas. Excellent size and athleticism, but very raw, but he's actually produced in college. Should eventually develop into an excellent weapon alongside Lee Evans.

7:20 PM

42. Denver Broncos: Eddie Royal, WR, Virginia Tech

Um...alright. Pretty baffling - Royal wasn't overly productive and is pretty much just a return man. And he's not Devin Hester or anything. Just...baffling, especially with Bennett, Sweed, and, in the same exact mold, DeSean Jackson still on the board. Did they set up a robot to make this pick automatically assuming all those guys would be off the board? I mean, what.

7:23 PM

Minnesota trades up with Philly - oh god, if they take an actual QB, this may be the start of a dynasty.

7:24 PM

43. Minnesota Vikings: Tyrell Johnson, S, Arkansas State

Well, still a good pick - Johnson's a close #2 to Phillips at safety and was an absolute stud at AK State.

ESPN still lists Minnesota at 48, so they may not have traded that 2nd rounder - they may get that QB yet. Although the Bears are on the clock, so they get first dibs.

7:26 PM

ESPN updated their list - nevermind. Sigh. Tarvaris Jackson - really.

7:28 PM

44. Chicago Bears: Matt Forte, RB, Tulane

Should've been Henne or Brohm, but I still really like the pick. Forte's a pretty safe pick, he'll at least be a physical RB to back up Benson, if he doesn't wind up eventually taking the job for his lonesome.

7:34 PM

45. Detroit Lions: Jordon Dizon, LB, Colorado

Ooh, interesting. Dizon's a low-measurables, excellent-motor guy who'll probably stick if not excel.

7:38 PM

46. Cincinnati Bengals: Jerome Simpson, WR, Coastal Carolina

Who knows? Apparently he's a deep threat, I have no idea what Earl Bennett or Limas Sweed did to people.

7:44 PM

47. Philadelphia Eagles: Trevor Laws, DT, Notre Dame

Very good value here - Laws is a pretty good, high-motor guy, and the best DT left.

7:46 PM

48. Washington Redskins: Fred Davis, TE, USC

Excellent value - Davis is as good as Keller, who the Jets traded up to get late in the first. And Davis is in the same mold - all catch, no block.

7:51 PM

49. Philadelphia Eagles: DeSean Jackson, WR, California

Excellent excellent excellent pick. Fills a need for depth at receiver, fills a need as a return man, just beautiful. Philly really didn't even need a first-rounder, they've gotten two first-round talents in the second.

7:55 PM

50. Arizona Cardinals: Calais Campbell, DE, Miami

Another excellent value pick. Campbell's 6-8 and a great developmental prospect - he could be scary come 2011 or so.

8:01 PM

51. Washington Redskins: Malcolm Kelly, WR, Oklahoma

Very good pick, though I'd rather have taken Sweed or Bennett. Fills a need, an still excellent value, though.

8:05 PM

52. Jacksonville Jaguars: Quentin Groves, DE, Auburn

Jacksonville traded up to get this pick. So...they traded for Derrick Harvey why, then?

8:08 PM

53. Pittsburgh Steelers: Limas Sweed, WR, Texas


Tennessee takes Bennett here or their draft is horrible.

8:17 PM

54. Tennessee Titans: Jason Jones, DE, Eastern Michigan

A nice pick of an underrated guy, but still - idiots.

8:19 PM

55. Baltimore Ravens: Ray Rice, RB, Rutgers

Lotta R's. Pretty solid pick - he might wind up being better than McGahee pretty soon.

8:22 PM

56. Green Bay Packers: Brian Brohm, QB, Louisville

The Madden Curse strikes Aaron Rodgers - they drafted a QB way better than him.

Miami's next - if it's Henne, they have an excellent draft.

8:27 PM

57. Miami Dolphins: Chad Henne, QB, Michigan

Beautiful. Henne's as much of a sure thing as any QB in this draft, sorely what this team needs. Beautiful.

8:33 PM

58. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Dexter Jackson, WR, Appalachian State

A raw project - if Jerome freakin' Simpson went off the board, why not. I feel bad for Earl Bennett, unless he winds up at like Dallas or the Giants.

8:38 PM

59. Indianapolis Colts: Mike Pollak, C, Arizona State

Easily the best center out there, low-risk, should be pretty good and hey, he gets to be groomed by some pretty good guys. The Colts are good at this.

8:43 PM

60. Green Bay Packers: Patrick Lee, CB, Auburn

Huh. Well then. A bit of a reach - Lee is mediocre, and there are guys like Reggie Smith, Justin King, Charles Godfrey, Trae Williams, and others on the board.

8:46 PM

61. Dallas Cowboys: Martellus Bennett, TE, Texas A&M

An excellent gamble. An elite prospect out of high school, an insane physical specimen, but didn't really produce up to that level. He could easily blossom into something great, and with Witten around, there's not an insane amount of pressure or anything. I'm loving Dallas's draft.

8:48 PM

62. New England Patriots: Terrence Wheatley, CB, Colorado

Safe, solid pick who'll contribute. Shit.

Giants close out the night next!

8:53 PM

63. New York Giants: Terrell Thomas, CB, USC

Very good pick, some injury concerns. One of the better players left. Good for the Giants.

So that's it for Day One - I won't give any full-on grades or anything, I'll let that wait until the draft is over - but off the top of my head, I like Miami, Dallas and Philly's drafts, while Tennessee are king idiots. In terms of second day coverage, I'm playing it by ear, but until next time, same Feely time, same Feely channel.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Seriously, I'm Not Dead: A Belated(?) 2008 NFL Draft Preview

Alright, here we go. A maybe quick, maybe not, we'll see summation of my thoughts on the 2008 draft class. I'll be liveblogging, at the very least, the first day of the draft tomorrow - the second day's still up in the air, I may have some family commitments due to Greek Easter, but I'll definitely chime in early next week on my second day thoughts at the worst. FOOTBALL SEASON IS STARTING BACK UP. So, let's kick it off with my top five prospects:

1. Jake Long, OT, Michigan: The Dolphins got it right, although honestly, that says more about the lack of a standout player in this draft than anything else. I don't think Long is quite Joe Thomas, but he's an extremely safe pick. At worst, he'll be very good, and at best, he'll be a ten-year franchise tackle and a Pro Bowl mainstay.

2. Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU: The knee injuries are a bit of a concern - God, what cheapshots by Auburn - but he's every bit the prospect as Long. I gave Long the #1 ranking because of the premium I put on his position, and again, the minor injury concerns with Dorsey, but Dorsey's also a guy who, at worst, will be a very good player (and may have a reputation to get voted to the Pro Bowl a bunch of times anyway.)

3. Brian Brohm, QB, Louisville: Yes, really. Brohm is the best QB in this class by a mile, and the only one with superstar potential. He's a four year starter with a wonderful pedigree, and the only real concern is injuries - ironic that he actually stayed healthy his senior year, but got knocked down possibly a round because...well, his team's defense was awful? Louisville was only a 6-6 team, but that was no fault of Brohm, as without him they'd...well, probably still be 6-6, but that's only because backup Hunter Cantwell may be the best QB in the '09 class. But the point stands.

4. Chris Long, DE, Virginia: Barely over #5. Probably the safest pick in this draft, kind of like A.J. Hawk a few years ago - he'll step in and contribute immediately, even if he doesn't have the supposed upside of some other guys. That's not really much of a knock though - the other guys have the potential to be the best in the NFL at their position (well, Indy and New England have pretty good QBs, so maybe not Brohm), while Chris Long will probably "only" be a many-time Pro Bowler at best. Not bad when there seems to be no real worst case scenario.

5. Vernon Gholston, DE, Ohio State: He's going to be very good. He's going to need time to develop, so someone could possibly fuck it up, which is why I have him below Chris Long. But still - dude's scary, and if bad coaching hasn't ruined him (say, if he winds up in Oakland and God only knows what happens) in two or three years, he'll be one of the league leaders in sacks.


1. Brian Brohm, Louisville

2. Chad Henne, Michigan: I went back and forth between him and Ryan, but gave Henne the edge for consistency throughout his college career. Four year starter, completion percentage around 60%. The fact that there's really nothing to say about Henne and I have him #2 in the class kind of underscores the blahness of this group. He's projected about where he should go - second-roundish. He'll be a fine NFL quarterback, best case have a career path like Chad Pennington, where he'll be a decent starter with maybe a top-tier year or two sprinkled in, and worst-case he'll wind up as a Brian Griese-type spot starter/top backup.

3. Matt Ryan, Boston College: The same guy as Henne, except he's been doing it only three years and tied for #2 in the NCAA in interceptions (thank you, North Texas's Giovanni Vizza). Ryan's a fine QB, nothing more, nothing less - though, to be fair, he WAS the best offensive player in the ACC when Clemson didn't feel like showing up. God the ACC was horrible last year. Anyway, let's play WHICH QUARTERBACK WOULD YOU WANT BASED ON THEIR 2007 STATS:

1. 388/654 (59.3%), 4507 yards, 6.9 yards/att, 31/19 TD/INT
2. 308/473 (65.1%), 4024 yards, 8.5 yards/att, 30/12 TD/INT
3. 359/510 (70.4%), 4343 yards, 8.5 yards/att, 38/17 TD/INT

QB #2 looks the best - efficient both in terms of completions as well as TD's vs. INT's. That's Brian Brohm. QB #3's also pretty good - the TD/INT ratio isn't as shiny, but man, look at that completion percentage. That's Colt Brennan, he of the supposedly untouchable statistics in the Hawaii offense that does nothing but pass. Yet Matt Ryan, QB #1, somehow had 25% MORE attempts than Brennan (and I realize Brennan had some injury problems, but 25%?) and...meh. He looks like a decent guy who got a bunch of counting stats because his team threw the ball a hell of a lot. I don't mean to dump on Ryan, but the man's just not worthy of a top 10 pick. He should probably go around the same place as someone who I saw as a comparison, a perfect comparison for the disappointing but perfectly fine career that I see Ryan having - the last pick of the 2002 first round, Patrick Ramsey. Please wind up somewhere with an offensive line, Matt!

4. John David Booty, USC: A more intriguing/risky version of the two guys above. He'll probably be a safe pick, as he has a pedigree and excellent college numbers, he's not viewed as much of an "upside" guy, but still, I have the lingering feeling this guy is undervalued. His one healthy year as a starter was comparable to one of Henne's or Ryan's best years, and he still put up very good numbers despite struggling with a thumb injury. I don't think he has the superstar potential of Brohm, but he could wind up the #2 QB in this class pretty easily.

5. Andre' Woodson, Kentucky: Hey, this guy. This forgotten guy. Not ready to be a starter at all at this point, but please explain why JaMarcus Russell was the slam dunk #1 pick in '07 and Woodson may fall to the second day. Because Russell beat Notre Dame in a bowl game? Everyone does that! Anyway, Woodson's an excellent developmental QB, and falling far could be a blessing if he winds up in a position to be brought along slowly. This guy, he has the potential to be the top QB in this class when all's said and done. Or he could be out of the league by 2011 because of bad mechanics.

6. Joe Flacco, Delaware: ???. These I-AA guys are a crapshoot - Flacco has nice numbers, nice size, but again, who knows with these guys. He's a better prospect than Tarvaris Jackson - how's that for faint praise? This is where "guy who may be pretty good" rates in this class relative to the other known quantities.

7. Dennis Dixon, Oregon: Another crapshoot guy. Who knows with the knee. Who knows if he had the capability to be a starter before the knee. Dixon had a 12/14 TD/INT ratio splitting time as a junior, then broke the fuck out his senior year, with a 67.6 completion percentage, a 20/4 TD/INT ratio, and hey, the guy can run too. He could very well be a one-year wonder, but hey, worth a shot.

8. Colt Brennan, Hawaii: There's SOMETHING there. Whether it's NFL talent or just the skill set to be the fucking awesomest Arena League QB ever, we'll see.

9. Paul Smith, Tulsa: He could easily be #6, as Smith is sort of Kevin Kolb Lite. Three year starter, not four. Tulsa wasn't quite as highly touted as Houston. And while both run neato offenses, Smith's college stats are a hair worse. Still, the guy's pretty good, and while a backup/3rd QB career is likely his future, I wouldn't be surprised if he wound up like, say, Tim Rattay, getting drafted very late and starting at the occassional point in time.

10. Erik Ainge, Tennessee: He really was awful those first two years. Still, he's gotten much better. Not much to get excited about, he'll probably stick around as...I dunno, whatever Chris Simms is sticking around as. Is Chris Simms still in the league? Wikipedia says Chris Simms is still in the league! Good for him.


Josh Johnson, San Diego: His 2007 stat line, just because it should be posted: 206/301 (68.4%), 2988 yards, 9.9 yards/att, 43/1 TD/INT. Yes, 43/1. And he ran for 726 yards and 2 TD. He probably won't stick, and if so it'll probably be at WR or something, but still - that's neat.

Kevin O'Connell, San Diego State: Looks like a quarterback, but as far as playing like one? Ehhhh.

Anthony Morelli, Penn State: See Kevin O'Connell, add in laughter instead of "Ehhhh."

Matt Flynn, LSU: Matt Mauck stuck around the league for a few years, so there's hope.

Alex Brink, Washington State: Like Paul Smith, could stick around the league for quite awhile, and maybe even start occassionally. He had a great individual college career while accomplishing pretty much nothing. He's like Ken Dorsey at Miami, but stuck in some horrible alternate universe.

Sam Keller, Nebraska: Ehhhh. I like him more than a lot of the other guys in this section (I definitely have him behind Brink, others I'm not so sure), but he probably won't amount to much.

Ricky Santos, New Hampshire: Named the top I-AA player of 2006, and put up some wacky stats (if not quite Josh Johnson wacky) over his career. Has an excellent four-year track record, and is regarded as having leadership and such, so he'll probably stick around for quite a bit.

Omar Haugabook, Troy: Raw as shit, but there's definitely something there, both physically and statistically. Definitely a guy worth a late-round flier as something more than training camp fodder.

T.C. Ostrander, Stanford: I've seen him in mock drafts. Why?


1. Jonathan Stewart, Oregon: Yeah, fuck it. He could easily be a bust, especially with his recent surgery, but if any guy has a chance to have an Adrian Peterson-esque impact, it's this guy. He's strong, he's fast, he's underrated for playing in the Pac 10, I'm a fan.

2. Darren McFadden, Arkansas: I don't see it. He's a top-15 talent, yes, probably a top-10 one, but I don't see the arguments that he's the best player in this class. He's not quite as overrated as Matt Ryan, but I see it as a similar situation, where Arkansas ran their offense through the man, and he was able to put up excellent counting stats that way. But yeah, he's still starting material, he could see a Pro Bowl or two, but as far as an absolute stud sure thing? Meh.

3. Felix Jones, Arkansas: Worth a late-first pick. He holds the NCAA career record for yards per carry, so there's definitely something there. Just don't know what. At least Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams had years where they carried a whole workload in college - Felix Jones is much more of an unknown. He's an unknown quantity that will almost surely be very good - and in this class, that's where that ranks.

4. Rashard Mendenhall, Illinois: Meh. Never overly impressed me, but he's a solid back without much wear and tear on him. Probably shouldn't go top 15 or whatever people are projecting, but he should stick as long as he isn't run out of the league for being a supposed bust.

5. Anthony Alridge, Houston: Curveball! Alridge has been alternately listed as a RB and WR where I've seen him, and he's done both in college. He's a very good return man, a pretty good receiver, and oh yeah - as a junior he ran for 10.1 yards a carry. And not as a fluke, it was over 95 carries. Alridge has elite level speed and athleticism, versatility, and college production, and while it may be a bit of a flier, in a class this weak, he could at least be, say, a poor man's version of what Reggie Bush was supposed to be. Hey, that'd make him the real Reggie Bush! Neat.

6. Ray Rice, Rutgers: He's been flying a bit under the radar, though there's not much to say about him. He's very good, probably doesn't have the size or athleticism to be great, but should stick around as a committee back/backup for quite awhile.

7. Matt Forte, Tulane: A hard-nosed back with potential as a receiver who was productive as fuck at Tulane. Like Rice, probably doesn't have the physical tools to be a stud or anything, but he could easily be a physical back that winds up having an out of nowhere year, like say, Justin Fargas.

8. Jamaal Charles, Texas: Ehhh. Would've liked to see him do it again after his breakout junior year. Still, talent and potential are there, and hey, he had one more breakout year than a lot of guys do.

9. Mike Hart, Michigan: Good enough to stick, but too tiny/injured to guarantee doing much else.

10. Chris Johnson, East Carolina: Another one-year wonder, and much more of an out of nowhere one. Sure is fast, though. I'm not convinced.

11. Kevin Smith, Central Florida: 450 carries? Really? Based on talent, Smith could be bumped up past Hart at the worst and Rice at the best, but after 450 carries, I'm not sure he has anything left in him.


Steve Slaton, West Virginia: I've said for years he's a system back, I just figured before a few months ago that someone would waste a first-round pick before figuring it out.

Chauncey Washington, USC: Has been stuck with the "dumb" tag. I am skeptical of him.

Tony Temple, Missouri: Had the awesome Cotton Bowl, which pretty much assures him a chance to stick. Could be a solid backup, could be out of the league due to injuries by 2010.

Dantrell Savage, Oklahoma State: A solid running back, nothing more, nothing less. The type of guy who winds up undrafted and starting for the Broncos in two years.

Tashard Choice, Georgia Tech: Like Temple, another high-production, high-injury risk type. Probably has more upside than Temple.

Allen Patrick, Okahoma: Intriguing - never was a full-time back for the Sooners, but always looked pretty good. Could be the surprise of this class.

Justin Forsett, California: Meh. Size and speed (or lack thereof) are working against him, sadly. The type of guy who could stick if the stars align just right, but will probably wind up cut in training camp or some such.

Yvenson Bernard, Oregon State: Small, but was consistently productive and has the talent to stick. Probably not durable enough to ever be a starter, but there's committee back-type upside here if things play out correctly.

Ryan Torain, Arizona State: Physical back that had one great year coming out of junior college before missing most of his senior year with a foot injury. If he can get back to 100%, he could be a steal as a developmental back. If.

Jehuu Caulcrick, Michigan State: An intriguing prospect, just a big ol' dude who, at the very least, will be an excellent short-yardage/goal-line back. Which actually probably makes him the surest thing out of these guys.

Owen Schmitt, West Virginia and Peyton Hillis, Arkansas: TOKEN FULLBACKS


Devin Thomas, Michigan State: What? Because Malcolm Kelly sucked at his workout, Thomas may actually be the first receiver off the board. Um, I guess Troy Williamson was a better pick than Mike Williams, but does nobody learn from these workout warriors?

Earl Bennett, Vanderbilt: Probably the best receiver in a class I don't really like. Kind of like Chris Long, there's not much of a downside, and while he may not have "upside", the upside is a very good player while a lot of the other guys could be busts.

Limas Sweed, Texas: The other contender for best WR in this class - a bit of an unknown thanks to a wrist injury that cost him most of 2007. Should stick fairly easily, but I'm not sure if the star potential is there.

DeSean Jackson, California: His small size is a killer, but he should be an excellent return man at the very least. Definitely behind Bennett, but #3 behind Sweed at the worst.

Mario Manningham, Michigan: Hey, this guy. A forgotten man thanks to some sort of character issues. Chris Henry showed that's a concern and all, but in a class this weak, he's probably still worth a high second-rounder or so for a team jonesing for a WR. Could wind up being the best receiver in this class, or could wind up out of the league by 2012 or so.

Early Doucet, LSU: Like Bennett, a fairly safe pick, although Doucet comes with the downside of an injury history.

Malcolm Kelly, Oklahoma: OU receivers - meh. His horrible workouts were a killer, and just...blah. My gut feeling is he'll probably be a Rashaun Woods-type bust. (Yes, I know Woods was OK State, for the record.)

Adarius Bowman, Oklahoma State: Speaking of OK State, another forgotten man for reasons I'm not entirely sure of. Should wind up being a solid #2 or #3, and could easily be a steal if he drops to the later rounds.

James Hardy, Indiana: ATHLETICISM! Hardy was at least consistently decent before his breakout junior year, so I think his workouts are less of a red herring re: his potential than, say, Devin Thomas's.



You know, I'll leave the rest for the liveblog - frankly, the skill position players are always the most interesting to write about, and this took way longer than I had figured on. See you in 16 hours!

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Sorry for the lull - this whole working world thing has been taking up most of my time and exhausting me otherwise, but now that I seem to have a routine down and my first wave of licensing exams is done with, things'll get up and going again. Watch this space!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

BOWLNANZA 2008: The BCS Championship. Bowl.

#1 Ohio State (11-1) vs. #3 LSU (11-2)

This is really much too familiar. Unlike Florida last year, I feel LSU legitimately deserves to be here (yes, USC's playing better, but they lost to Stanford and can go away), but on paper, this is OSU and OSU's game easy. There's the perception that the Buckeyes are the result of a weak schedule, but even allowing that (which I don't agree with), they've absolutely dominated that weak schedule like a #1 team should. Their only win that was close was against Michigan State, in a game where OSU outgained the Spartans by 235 yards. They've racked up the offense - outside of the Michigan game, they've cracked 350 yards in all their wins - and absolutely dominated on defense, holding 5 of their 12 opponents under 200 yards. This is not a paper tiger. But that said, there are cracks in the armor - even though OSU held Michigan to only 95 yards, the Buckeyes' 281 yards and 14 points was their worst output of the year. And that was coming off the heels of the Illinois loss, an absolute sore thumb of an anomaly where OSU's elite run defense was gashed for 260 yards. A mobile QB can throw a wrench in Ohio State's machine, and uh oh, LSU has one of those in Ryan Perrilloux! As for the Tigers, they're a bit of an enigma. They started out as an absolute monster going on a five-game tear where they looked like one of the all-time great teams, including a 48-7 whipping of Virginia Tech. But after being punched in the mouth by Tim Tebow's Florida Gators, LSU hasn't looked nearly as good, Louisiana Tech game aside. There's been, obviously, the overtime losses against Kentucky and Arkansas, as well as games against Auburn and Alabama that weren't close statistically, but wound up as LSU wins by 6 and 7 points respectively. But the real headscratcher is their 41-24 win against the Mississippi Rebels, where that stout LSU defense somehow gave up 478 yards to the bad offense of a bad team. As much flak as OSU's gotten for playing in the supposedly weak Big Ten, I think we can agree that most of that conference is better than Ole freakin' Miss. And really, that game in particular among LSU's late stretch makes me say that, if Ohio State's offense hadn't been stumbling down the stretch, the Buckeyes would be the easy pick. If that Buckeye offense had been rolling all year, this would be a no-brainer - Ohio State would get their points against the LSU defense either way, and would likely be able to hold the Tigers to enough where they could win, say, a 28-24ish game. But with the OSU offense faltering a bit, the spectre of that LSU/Virginia Tech game lurks - LSU could absolutely shut down an ineffective offense and has the offensive talent to put things away early and make it ugly late. But Ohio State is easily better than Virginia Tech - the Hokies are near the bottom in terms of offense, and while they have the statistically great defense, offensive talent in the ACC is down to Matt Ryan and the skill position players for Clemson. But it's that little seed of doubt planted in the OSU/Michigan game that makes this interesting - yeah, OSU absolutely shut down that Wolverine offense, but LSU probably won't roll over so easy, and if the LSU defense plays at 100% of their ability, they're easily better than the Michigan D that the Buckeyes didn't look too great against. Still, I'll go with my initial gut feeling - that Ohio State defense is quite excellent, and I mean, come on, Ole Miss?

My Pick: Ohio State
Confidence: 1


Bowling Green (8-4) vs. Tulsa (9-4)

YARDS! Who gains the most yards per game in the NCAA? No, not Hawaii or Texas Tech, but the mighty Golden Hurricane of Tulsa, on the arm of QB Paul Smith and on the...something of one of the worst defenses in the nation. BGSU is slightly less extreme, but cut from the same cloth: throw it a lot, and have a porous MACtastic defense. BGSU's a legitimately fine team, and this'll be the type of shootout where either team can win, but Tulsa has the much more impressive resume, being able to outgun BYU and destroy Houston, while Bowling Green has been above-average is a horribly down year for the MAC. Tulsa should be the favorite, but it's about a 55/45 pick 'em, so just sit back and watch the fireworks.

My Pick: Tulsa
Confidence: 1