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Tag:Eugene Monroe
Posted on: April 2, 2010 9:56 am
 

Economics could push Berry down the board

Tennessee safety Eric Berry is currently NFLDraftScout.com's 4th rated prospect for the 2010 NFL Draft. I've spoken to NFL scouts and front office executives who feel we have him rated too low, claiming that with the exception of perhaps Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, Berry is the surest thing of this year's class.

What those same league personnel have told me, however, is that Berry is likely to fall past these rankings in the draft, itself. He'll fall strictly because teams do not want to give a safety the money that goes with a top five pick -- or perhaps even money that goes with a top eight pick.

Take into consideration the contracts signed by players drafted with the No. 5-9 picks last year. Remember that contracts generally increase year to year, meaning that the first (or 50th) overall pick in 2010 is likely to sign a deal for more money than the man who was drafted with the same pick last year. 

Mark Sanchez, the fifth overall pick, signed last year a contract of five years for 50 million dollars, including 28 million in guarantees. By hitting certain incentives, Sanchez's contract could reach nearly 60 million. Sanchez's yearly average would be -- at minimum -- 10 million.

Andre Smith, taken a pick later by Cincinnati, signed a six year deal worth a maximum of 42 million, with 21 million guaranteed. Smith's yearly average is seven million. 

The seventh overall pick, Darrius Heyward-Bey, agreed to terms with the Raiders of a five year deal of 38.25 million with 23.5 million guaranteed. Heyward-Bey's yearly average is 7.65 million.

Eugene Monroe, the 8th overall pick, signed with Jacksonville for five years and 35.4 million, a yearly average of 7.08 million.

BJ Raji, drafted by Green Bay 9th overall, signed a five year, 28.5 million dollar contract. His year average is 5.7 million.

Each of these players -- a quarterback, two offensive tackles, a wide receiver and defensive tackle --  signed rich deals, but ones under the 2010 Franchise Tag tenders. This means that these rookies, while very well paid, would not earn more than the average of the top five current NFL players at their respective positions in average salary per year.

The problem for Eric Berry is that safety is the third lowest tendered position (ahead of only tight ends and kickers/punters) and has a franchise tag tender of 6.45 million dollars.

If Berry was to be drafted by a team earlier than the 9th pick, at least according to the deals from last year's draft, he'd be slotted to earn more money than the best at his position. Looking past the obvious question of fairness to established stars like Ed Reed or Troy Polamalu, the problem is that whichever team drafted Berry would find itself in a very difficult position five years later -- when Berry, assuming he played well, would likely be expecting a raise for his second contract. If drafted earlier than 9th overall, Berry's rookie contract would potentially be worth more than any deal a team would be willing to give him as a free agent. Unless the Franchise tender for safeties suddenly exploded, Berry's NFL team would likely be able to slap the franchise tag on him, guaranteeing him less than he'd earned in his original rookie contract.

I made the point in the introduction paragraphs of my mock draft  that NFL teams can use the cliche of taking the best available player as much as they'd like; the reality is that position value dictates many selections.

For Eric Berry, an unquestioned top five talent, the perceived value of his position could keep him out of the top eight in the 2010 draft.

Posted on: April 25, 2009 5:11 pm
 

Jaguars Take Eugene Monroe, GB on the clock

The Jaguars stand pat at #8 and get a talent in Eugene Monroe that deserved consideration much eariler. The free agent adidtion of Tra Thomas made this more of a value selection for the Jaguars, than addressing a huge need, but the Jags are better now.

The Green Bay Packers are now on the clock and are presented with an interesting dilemma.

Michael Crabtree is a terrific talent, but there may not be a stronger position for the Packers than wide receiver. They'd love to get their nose guard here with BJ Raji. The team also wants an offensive tackle and Michael Oher is as talented as any of the other 3 OTs that were selected ahead of him.

The options:

A. Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
B. BJ Raji, NG, Boston College
C. Michael Oher, OT, Mississippi
D. Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas

Ultimately, to win with the 3-4 defense, the Packers need to acquire a nose guard. Expect Raji to be the pick.
Posted on: April 25, 2009 5:04 pm
 

Bengals take Andre Smith, Oakland on the clock

I've been hearing for weeks that the Bengals' offensive line coach Paul Alexander absolutely loved Andre Smith's physicality and that the Bengals would take Smith over any other tackle available.

The Raiders are now on the clock. They have needs at OT, DT, and certainly at WR.

Possible picks include:

A. Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia
B. Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
C. Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri
D. BJ Raji, DT, Boston College
E. Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland

I have sources who claim that the Raiders have locked on to Heyward-Bey, just as the Bengals had locked on with Andre Smith. I, personally, feel that Heyward-Bey is a significant reach, at this point, though there is no denying his potential to track down deep passes from JaMarcus Russell, especially with opposing safeties crowding the line of scrimmage to slow the Raiders' developing ground game. 

The idea that any receiver is drafted ahead of Crabtree is crazy, but ultimately, that's my best guess...

Sorry... had to run and do a radio spot. Rather than erase everything I wrote, you can see my thoughts... It isn't just hindsight with these comments either, as I picked Heyward-Bey to the Raiders in my final mock, as well.
Posted on: April 25, 2009 4:42 pm
Edited on: April 25, 2009 4:46 pm
 

Seahawks take Curry, Jets trade up for Sanchez

As expected, the Seahawks took linebacker Aaron Curry with the 4th pick. The Browns were on the clock -- but traded to the Jets
 
Looks like the pick, instead, will be the New York Jets taking Mark Sanchez... An aggressive move by the Jets, but one that was necessary considering their lack of talent at the QB position.

The Bengals are now on the clock.

The Bengals have multiple needs. They'll have to consider Michael Crabtree, especially with the loss of TJ Houshmandzadeh and the antics of Chad Ochocinco. Other areas of concern are BJ Raji and OT Eugene Monroe. There is even talk they make take a pass rusher like Brian Orakpo or RB Beanie Wells.

Ultimately, however, I believe the team has locked in on Alabama OT Andre Smith with this pick. 
Posted on: April 25, 2009 4:30 pm
 

KC takes Tyson Jackson, Seattle on the clock

Some will characterize Jackson as a surprise to the Chiefs, but Jackson, the preeminent 5-technique of this draft, makes sense as the Chiefs transition from a 4-3 to 3-4 scheme.

The Seahawks are now on the clock. They are considering the following 4 players with this pick.

A. Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forest
B. Mark Sanchez, QB, USC
C. Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
D. Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia

The Seahawks, like every other team this high, is hoping to trade out of the pick. Denver is a possibility. The Broncos and Redskins are possibilities.

Ultimately, if Seattle is unable to trade out, they'll likely take Curry, the safest combination of athleticism and character of this draft. Curry also fills a clear need given the trade of Julian Peterson to the Lions and the fact that current franchise-tagged linebacker Leroy Hill has yet to sign his tender with the Seahawks.
Posted on: April 25, 2009 4:20 pm
 

St. Louis takes Jason Smith, KC on the clock

As expected, the Rams took the ultra-athletic Jason Smith with the second pick, putting the Chiefs on the clock.

The Chiefs selection at #3 is there this draft could go haywire. Scott Pioli is actively trying to trade this pick and could have interest from clubs looking to get ahead of Seattle, who could take WR Michael Crabtree, QB Mark Sanchez, or LB Aaron Curry.

Ultimately, the Chiefs are going to struggle to trade this pick, which likely forces them to consider one of three options here:
A. LB Aaron Curry
B. DE Tyson Jackson
C. OT Eugene Monroe

Each would fill an area of concern for the Chiefs. Ultimately, the safest and best fit for the Chiefs is Jackson, who could give Kansas City a Ty Warren-like presence at defensive end.
Posted on: April 25, 2009 4:08 pm
 

And just like that it is official...

The Detroit Lions, as expected, just made Matthew Stafford the first pick of the draft.

The St. Louis Rams are now on the clock.

The Rams are thought to struggling to decide between the tackles Jason Smith and Eugene Monroe. Smith has the higher upside. Monroe is the safer pick due to his experience at tackle and guard.

The Rams are trying to create interest in their pick by talking up Mark Sanchez, even, reportedly attempting to fly him in to St. Louis.

Expect the Rams ultimately to take Jason Smith if they are unable to entice a team to trade up.
Posted on: April 24, 2009 7:20 pm
 

OT that slips by STL could keep slipping...

It is generally assumed that the St. Louis Rams are going to take one of the top tackles with the second overall pick. The consensus is that the pick will be either Baylor's Jason Smith or Virginia's Eugene Monroe.

The tackle not selected by the Rams could take a serious tumble down the board, according to the latest rumors circulating throughout the league.

The Chiefs will consider one of the tackles, especially Monroe, I'm told. However, most believe the Chiefs have locked in on either Wake Forest linebacker or LSU defensive end Tyson Jackson with third pick and will allow either tackle to continue to slide past.

Seattle also has concerns along the offensive line and are thought to be higher on Jason Smith. Still, they seem to be focused more, at this point, on USC quarterback Mark Sanchez, Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree and Curry, should he remain available.

Cleveland, is obviously set at left tackle with young Pro Bowler Joe Thomas, but may consider one of the tackles for the right side. The fifth overall pick on a right tackle seems is pretty steep, however, especially when insiders suggest the Browns are locking in on either Sanchez or Boston College defensive tackle BJ Raji.

Cincinnati would seem like the logical landing point for the tackles, but I'm told offensive line coach Paul Alexander loves Andre Smith and wants to take him over any other tackle in this draft. Few teams take their position coaches' opinions into account more than the Bengals, and it isn't difficult to understand why, considering the success the Bengals have had in developing several quality (non-first round) offensive linemen over the years, including Eric Steinbach, Stacy Andrews and Andre Whitworth, among others...

The Raiders certainly need help along the offensive line, but I'm told Al Davis is going to devote much of the draft towards acquiring weapons for JaMarcus Russell... I'd argue that protecting his blindside would be a good way to towards helping Russell out, but the Raiders think differently than most teams on draft day and seem to be leaning towards a receiver...

The Jaguars could be the first realistic option for the falling tackle -- and even they are certainly no lock considering the fact that they signed Tra Thomas in free agency... Watch out for a small trade up from Green Bay (#9) or San Francisco (#10) who would each welcome the falling tackle on their team.

Considering the tackle passed by St. Louis at #2 could be available this late, some lucky team may be poised to be one of the few top ten drafting teams to actually get a bargain on draft day.
 
 
 
 
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