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Tag:Armanti Edwards
Posted on: August 13, 2010 2:41 pm
 

Greg Hardy (2 sacks) impressive in NFL debut

Defensive end Greg Hardy entered his senior season rated by NFLDraftScout.com and most NFL teams as a potential first round pick.

Instead, with another year of injuries and odd behavior, the former Ole Miss enigma slipped to the sixth round, where the pass-rush needy Carolina Panthers made him the 175th overall selection.

The Panthers certainly looked wise last night as Hardy collected five tackles, including four for loss and two sacks in his NFL debut last night against the Baltimore Ravens. According to league insiders, Hardy throughout training camp has been one of the more impressive late round selections, thus far and his impressive first game was not a surprise. Hardy's sacks came on back to back plays in Baltimore's opening drive of the third quarter. Perhaps most impressively, his two sacks racked up 17 yards in loss for the Ravens and came against the team's most mobile quarterback, former Heisman winner Troy Smith.

Hardy showed off the impressive blend of power and burst off the edge that had helped him emerge as one of college football's best pass rushers early in his career. Hardy earned First-Team All-SEC accolades in 2008 as a sophomore with an eye-popping 18.5 tackles for loss, conference-leading 10 sacks and three forced fumbles.

Numerous injuries -- including a stress fracture in his right foot, a broken wrist and multiple injuries sustained in a car accident in July of 2009 -- kept Hardy from the field for much of the 2009 and 2010 seasons. Hardy missed eight full games and significant playing time in a host of others during that time.

The ESPN crew of Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski and Jon Gruden not surprisingly spent much of their Carolina rookie analysis on second round quarterback Jimmy Clausen (who also played well, at times, last night) and converted wide receiver Armanti Edwards, a third round selection.

Hardy and veteran Tyler Brayton headlined an impressive first game for the much-maligned new-look Carolina defensive line. Hardy and Brayton contributed four of the team's six sacks on the night against a quality Baltimore offensive line.

Considering the loss of not only Julius Peppers, but fellow defensive line starters Maake Kemoeatu and Damione Lewis, it could be Hardy who ends up having a more significant impact for the Panthers as a rookie.

Hardy's (and Clausen's) performance was highlighted by the Carolina Panthers' team website , which quoted Hardy following the game:

"We were just trying to do our job and not worrying about a lot of outside people talking about Pep[ppers],” Hardy said. "I'm just trying to find my place as a rusher in this league. I've got a lot of speed, and when I get everything down, I think that will be an asset.”



Posted on: May 3, 2010 6:01 pm
 

Five biggest gambles of the draft

Considering the money and time invested, every draft selection ever made is, by definition, a gamble.

However, there are always a group of picks made each year that surprise me with their brazen and obvious risk. These are the picks that either earn general managers and scouting directors the admiration of fans and foes, alike, or result in unemployment.

These are the five moves that I thought were the boldest gambles of the 2010 draft.

  1. Denver's trading up to get Tim Tebow: You knew this would be on the list, but I believe it belongs No. 1 for reasons you may not have considered. The gamble isn't just that Tebow is, in the opinion of most, at least a year away from contributing. If you've followed my blog at all you know that I've argued for three years now that Tim Tebow could be a successful NFL quarterback and warranted second round consideration. I acknowledge that Tebow is a gamble in himself, but to trade up so aggressively to get him -- the Broncos gave up 2nd, 3rd and 4th round picks (OLB Sergio Kindle, TE Ed Dickson and TE Dennis Pitta) to Baltimore makes the selection significantly more brazen. Add to this fact that by drafting two wide receivers coming off foot injuries (Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker) in the first three rounds to package with Tebow, the team may not get much out of the early round picks in 2010. It is in this way where I really believe Denver's pick of Tebow was especially gutsy (some might say foolish), as the Broncos received stunningly little from their top picks of the 2009 draft, as well. The team got 19 tackles (and no sacks) from first round pass rusher Robert Ayers and 14 tackles (no INTs) from second round cornerback Alphonso Smith. By the time some of Josh McDaniels' talents start to contribute, the Denver head coach may be standing in the unemployment line. This team needed immediate contributors and they, instead, gambled on potential.  
  2. Carolina trading up to make QB Armanti Edwards a WR: Like the Tebow pick, I'm not as surprised with the fact that Carolina drafted Edwards or that he is being asked to convert to receiver or even that he went in the third round (despite NFLDraftScout.com ranking him as a 5th round pick). I'm stunned that Carolina was so aggressive in trading up to get him. The Panthers traded their 2nd round pick (to the Patriots) next year for the right to draft Edwards in the third round (No. 89 overall). Using what amounts to two top 100 picks on a project just seems like too much gamble for a team with as many holes as Carolina. 
  3. Tyson Alualu at 10: I don't consider this to be the gamble that many others, apparently do. Sure, I get that Alualu was a reach at No. 10. He likely would have been on the board in the early 20s. Sources throughout the league tell me the Jags actively worked the phone attempting to trade back out of this pick as they knew taking Alualu this high would invite criticism. When they weren't able to get a decent deal, they stayed put and took their guy. I like Alualu's game and feel that his underrated athleticism, incredible work ethic and position versatility made him one of the safer picks in the draft. While I don't believe Alualu will ever be a superstar, I do believe he'll prove a quality starter in the NFL for ten years or so. Despite what I think, the perception is certainly that GM Gene Smith and the Jaguars reached. If Alualu is a disappointinment -- even if just at first -- Smith could be on the hot seat.   
  4. Dallas/Buffalo/Kansas City ignoring OTs: In Dez Bryant, CJ Spiller and Eric Berry, respectively, I believe the Cowboys, Bills and Chiefs may have three of the most impactful rookies from the 2010 draft. However, the cost of ignoring offensive tackle in the first, second, third and fourth rounds may come back to bite these clubs. All three teams have significant questions at offensive tackle and considering how talented this year' crop was at the position, I'm stunned these clubs didn't make adding help upfront more of a priority. 
  5. San Diego trading up to get Ryan Mathews: I believe Ryan Mathews is the best all-around back in this draft and that his skill-set perfectly fits what was missing in the San Diego offense last season. That said, in making the biggest jump in the first round (trading up from No. 28 to No. 12), the Chargers are investing an awful lot in a running back that was unable to stay healthy during any of his three seasons at Fresno State. San Diego general manager AJ Smith is one of the league's gutsiest on draft day and this could pay off big, but this deal is like doubling down on 12 in black jack. It only looks brilliant if it works out. 


Posted on: February 28, 2010 11:22 am
 

Impressions from first QB-WR session -- QB Report

I was among the fortunate handful of media members allowed to venture inside Lucas Oil Stadium to watch this morning's quarterback and wide receivers workouts. Because I have to head back out to cover the second session in just a few moments, I don't have enough to time to really break down the 20+ players I watched.

However, here were my impressions of a few noteworthy players.

Of the quarterbacks, the two most impressive players were the Browns, as in West Virginia's Jarrett Brown and Troy's Levi Brown.

Jarrett Brown threw with the zip and general accuracy that had impressed me at the Senior Bowl. He drove the ball on the dig, slant and out-routes and had good accuracy and trajectory on the post-corner and deep ball. One point of significant concern is that he is still quite rough in dropping back from center. He gains good depth with his two first steps, but they're slow. His next three steps are rushed and clumsy. However, he sets up and has a compact delivery. No passer in the first session had the same explosive zip out of their hand as Brown.

Levi Brown was slightly less impressive with his overall accuracy, but nonetheless stood out in this marginal group. He drove the ball with authority, showing good accuracy and zip on underneath routes. He also threw with good trajectory on the deeper routes. He consistently hit his man, but at times forced them to break stride.

The lack of preferred arm strength exposed at the Senior Bowl by Oregon State's Sean Canfield was again seen here. Canfield has good accuracy and timing. He was one of the few passers able to consistently hit his receiver in stride, and was able to "drop it in the bucket" on the post-corners -- one of the more difficult throws. However, on any pass longer than 10 yards, Canfield's passes have too much arc.

The quarterbacks who threw were: West Virginia's Jarrett Brown, Troy's Levi Brown, Oregon State's Sean Canfield, Penn State's Daryll Clark, Appalachian State's Armanti Edwards, BYU's Max Hall, Western Michigan's Tim Hiller and Northwestern's Mike Kafka.
Posted on: December 12, 2009 4:49 pm
Edited on: December 12, 2009 6:42 pm
 

Need football? Montana-App State scout-worthy

With the Heisman Trohy presentation the only major college football action of the day, fans can still get their Saturday fix with the Montana-Appalachian State Division I semi-final playoff game today televised on ESPN at 4:00 pm EST.

I'd recommend watching this game strictly for entertainment value as these two offenses will keep the scoreboard lit up and this level, unlike certain others that will remain nameless, have done the right thing and instituted a playoff system to award a true champion.

NFL scouts, however, are watching this game because of the talent in it, as well, however.

In fact, Appalachian State quarterback Armanti Edwards and Montana wide receiver/punt returner Marc Mariani have the featured Diamond in the Rough prospects from our last two issues of Draft Slant, respectively. Montana free safety Shann Schillinger and offensive tackle Levi Horn are seniors scouts have their eyes on.

Edwards, 5-11, 185 pounds, lacks the size scouts want at quarterback, obviously, but is an absolute playmaker as a run and pass threat. He has plenty of arm strength, and as I noted in last week's Slant, he makes some legitimate NFL throws. He's a very similar talent as former WVU quarterback Pat White, who the Dolphins used a second round pick on last April.

Mariani, 6-0, 185, has legitimate downfield speed and agility to earn looks from NFL teams, but like Edwards, Mariani is a better football player than size/speed athlete. This kid runs terrific routes and has very good hands.

Few players at this level have earned more individual honors as Edwards and Mariani. If you get a chance to check out this game, you'll quickly see why...

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