Tag:Brandon Marshall
Posted on: April 23, 2011 12:18 pm
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Vets' character ?s could (should) impact rookies

The end of the Collective Bargaining Agreement has put the 2011 (and future) NFL seasons in doubt. It has eliminated free agency and veteran trades (to this point) and put a damper on the enthusiasm that many fans have about next weekend's draft.

Perhaps the most unfortunate consequence of NFL teams not being able to communicate directly with their veteran players, however, has been the sudden rise in off-field problems for too many of the league's players.

The NFL world is buzzing this morning about the apparent stabbing of Miami wide receiver Brandon Marshall . This, of course, comes on the heels of Tampa Bay Bucs' cornerback Aqib Talib being charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and for Dallas' wide receiver Dez Bryant's silly controversy regarding he or his friend's inability to wear their pants at a level deemed appropriate by police working inside a shopping mall.

The troubles from these veteran NFL players are as wide-ranging as they are predictable.

As many draft fans know, each of these players was plagued by character questions when entering the NFL.

The actions of these (and other) players since the end of the CBA should serve as a reminder to NFL teams that for some players -- even if they don't like trouble, trouble seems to like them.

Others in the media have highlighted specific instances of criminal activity or character concerns with prospects. I, too, have reservations about many prospects in this draft, which is why I've consistently referred to intangibles as one of the primary factors when ranking players on my Big Board.

I (and more importantly, NFL teams) know of prospects being given first round grades from some with multiple arrests, multiple failed drugs tests (including some who failed at the Combine and/or team administered tests since the Combine), and even multiple abortions.

Wake up NFL teams considering these players. These guys aren't holding up red-flags -- they've planted brilliant scarlet banners on their front lawns.

Does anyone believe that players with these mistakes in their past are likely to improve when given a million (or multi) dollar contract?

Some NFL veterans are proving the opposite to be true -- which could (and perhaps should) be all the more reason to proceed cautiously with any and all prospects with legitimate character concerns -- regardless of their athletic talent.

Posted on: April 19, 2010 7:15 pm
 

Denver emerging as new candidate for No. 1 pick?

Cleveland Browns general manager Tom Heckert publicly announced that his team had held conversations with the St. Louis Rams about obtaining the No. 1 overall pick.

It will be interesting to see if the Denver Broncos are as forthcoming with their internal conversations.

I am told that some of the reason that Denver has been asking for picks rather than veteran players in return for Brandon Marshall and Tony Scheffler is that the club is considering making a significant proposal to the Rams for the first overall pick.

The Broncos feature Kyle Orton as their starting quarterback and recently acquired Brady Quinn, but head coach Josh McDaniels is thought to be very high on Sam Bradford and could see Orton as a stopgap starter until Bradford is ready to take over.

The Broncos own four picks within the draft's top 80 selections, including the 11th overall. Josh McDaniiels has shown a willingness to trade future picks in the past. He traded Denver's 2010 first round pick to Seattle last year for the right to move up in the second round and select Wake Forest cornerback Alphonso Smith.


Posted on: April 18, 2010 12:46 pm
 

McDaniels' defense of Dez telling?

The weeks preceeding the NFL draft is full of hyperbole and deceit. What NFL coaches, front office executives and scouts say on the record is often less than honest.

Rather than boldface lie to the media members they typically are paid to be honest with, most league members simply choose to not to comment about specific players.

Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli are a few of the more famous examples of NFL personnel who subscribe to this theory.

Denver head coach Josh McDaniels, formerly the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach under Belichick in New England, apparently operates under a different philosophy, going out of his way to defend Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant.

During his pre-draft press conference with Denver media, McDaniels was uncharacteristically candid when asked about Bryant and the apparently erroneous report that he had been taken off Denver's list of possible draft selections. McDaniels said as much, noting that  Bryant "is on our board."“I think you have to be careful with confusing character issues with some people that made some mistakes,” McDaniels said. ”This guy has never been arrested, he’s never had a drinking issue, he’s never done anything that’s put him in that position. He’s made a few mistakes that he wishes he hadn’t made. But I think there’s a difference. We enjoyed our visit with him. He did everything we asked him to do and had a smile on his face. We enjoyed the entire visit, and he did well.”
McDaniels' admission is interesting. If he hadn't said anything about Bryant, many likely would have assumed that the reports that the Oklahoma State star was off their board were true. End of story.

By publicly defending him and claim that Bryant remains on their board, however, McDaniels could be attempting to create interest in the pick or preparing Denver Broncos fans for the possibility that Bryant will be their pick.

On the one hand it might seem odd that Denver would take Bryant considering that they just got rid of a similarly gifted receiver in Brandon Marshall and his laundry list of character concerns.

It is worth noting, however, that Josh McDaniels' success in the NFL have been tied to two offenses blessed with spectacular receiver play -- the Broncos with Marshall and the Patriots with Randy Moss.

As talented a coach as McDaniels may be, entering the 2010 NFL season without a headlining talent at receiver might be more risk than drafting Bryant would be...




Posted on: April 17, 2010 10:38 am
Edited on: April 17, 2010 10:40 am
 

Multiple teams talking trade

Many have speculated that the alteration in the the NFL draft schedule is going to lead to more trades than before.

According to sources throughout the league, the St. Louis Rams (owners of the first pick), Seattle Seahawks (6, 14) Cleveland Browns (7), Denver Broncos (11), Miami Dolphins (12), New England Patriots (22), Philadelphia Eagles (24) and Dallas Cowboys (27) are all actively exploring trade opportunities.

The Cleveland Browns have been one of the more aggressive teams, speaking with the Rams about moving up to get Sam Bradford with the first overall pick, but also exploring dropping down, as well.

The Seahawks would like to add a pick between their second first (14) and their only second rounder (60th overall). Their recent mini camp proved they have significant holes to fill on both sides of the ball.

Denver has wide receiver Dez Bryant and center Maurkice Pouncey high on their board. They will consider Bryant at 11, but if he's off the board, they'd like to drop down a few spots and still get Pouncey.

Miami would like to recoup the second round pick they lost in the trade for Brandon Marshall and feel that the player they're likely to get at No. 12 won't be significantly better than one they might get in the lower teens or twenties. With their need for a playmaking wide receiver filled, look for the Dolphins to add a front seven defender.

The Patriots already own three second round picks, but Bill Belichick believes the second round is where the values lies in this draft.

It has been reported (originally by Sports Illustrated's Peter King) that the Eagles were aggressively looking to move up. I have been able to confirm this, but counter to King's story, which has Philadelphia looking to move up for either Eric Berry or Earl Thomas at safety, I'm told a different player is the Eagles' real target. Middle linebacker Rolando McClain, given the team's need for a thumper inside and the significant drop-off at the position after McClain, would seem a likely candidate.

Dallas is also exploring aggressive trade-up options. Owner Jerry Jones loves Dez Bryant and will consider moving into the late teens should the Oklahoma State receiver fall to that point.

The first round of the 2010 draft is shaping up to be every bit the drama-filled event the NFL had hoped in moving it to primetime Thursday night. 

Posted on: April 14, 2010 4:07 pm
 

Marshall trade frees 'Fins to get creative in 1st

Adding the explosive No. 1 receiver they've needed for years in Brandon Marshall will allow the Miami Dolphins an opportunity to go in various directions with their first round pick, the 12th overall of the draft.

Most believe the Dolphins will add a front seven defender with the pick. Nose guard Dan Williams would be a perfect fit if still available considering the eight-game suspension levied against incumbent starter Jason Ferguson. With the club moving away from aging pass rushers Joey Porter (and potentially Jason Taylor), a young pass rusher like Jerry Hughes, Brandon Graham or Sergio Kindle is also a possibility.

Another intriguing option that is quietly gaining momentum is Clemson running back C.J. Spiller.

The Dolphins finished 4th in the NFL in rushing last year, but sources throughout the league tell me that they've dangled Ronnie Brown in trade talks in the past, frustrated by his struggles with durability.  Ricky Williams led the team in rushing yards last season, but can't be relied upon for ever. He turns 33 next month.

With the speedy Ted Ginn, Jr. reportedly on the trading block, adding a big play candidate like Spiller to their backfield (and return game) makes sense.

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