Tag:Patrick Willis
Posted on: March 9, 2011 2:08 pm
Edited on: March 9, 2011 5:11 pm
 

Texas A&M OLB Von Miller wows scouts with 4.49

A well respected talent evaluator once offered to me a comparison of Texas A&M pass rusher Von Miller to 49ers inside linebacker Patrick Willis. Each, he said, played with uncanny balance and open field tackling ability.

Miller proved similar to the San Francisco star in another way Wednesday -- by wowing onlookers with breath-taking speed rare for his position.

Miller and Willis were each recorded at 4.51 seconds in the 40-yard dash at their respective Combine workouts. While Miller was unable to match the eye-popping 4.37 second time Willis had at his Pro Day at Ole Miss in 2007, he did wow onlookers with a 4.49 second showing this morning at Texas A&M's Pro Day, according to a source on the scene.

Like Willis, Miller didn't need to run after a strong overall performance at the Combine but did anyway, impressing scouts on hand with his straight-line speed and his trademark agility in positional drills.

Among the notable coaches in attendance today were a pair of talented coaches, former Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Billy Davis and Mike Zimmer for the Cincinnati Bengals.

Miller, the Butkus Award winner last season, recorded 27.5 sacks and 39 tackles for loss over the past two seasons. His ability to wreak havoc off the edge, highly competitive nature and maturity (he turned down NFL millions last year to return for his senior season) are all reasons why I rate Miller among the four elite prospects of the 2011 draft and currently project him fifth overall to Davis' Cardinals.



Posted on: September 8, 2010 9:06 pm
 

'Tis the season, so here are my NFL predictions

My CBS collegeagues Clark Judge and Pete Prisco made their NFL predictions here and here .

I thought I'd chime in with my thoughts, as well.

AFC East: Dolphins, Patriots, Jets, Bills
AFC North: Ravens, Bengals*, Steelers, Browns
AFC South: Colts, Texans*, Titans, Jaguars
AFC West: Chargers, Raiders, Chiefs, Broncos

NFC East: Cowboys, Giants, Eagles, Redskins
NFC North: Packers, Vikings*, Lions, Bears
NFC South: Saints, Falcons,* Panthers, Buccaneers
NFC West: 49ers, Cardinals, Seahawks, Rams

*Wildcard teams

Super Bowl pick: Packers over Ravens

MVP: QB Aaron Rodgers, Packers. Most talented combination of QB, skill position and OL. He's a strong, strong favorite in my mind.
Offensive Player of the Year: RB Adrian Peterson, Vikings. Favre struggles this time, so Viks are forced to rely on AP (who gets over the fumblitis). 
Defensive Player of the Year: ILB Patrick Willis, 49ers: When Willis leads the league in tackles this time (he did in 2010), fans will notice as the 49ers will run away with the NFC West (and potentially a bye).
Offensive Rookie of the Year: RB Ryan Mathews, Chargers. Mathews has talent and Norv Turner is going to give him every opportunity to be a star.
Defensive Rookie of the Year: DE Brandon Graham, Eagles. Perfect fit for this defense. Watch out for Oakland MLB Ro McClain too. Another perfect fit.
Comeback/Breakout Player of the Year: WR Mike Williams, Seahawks. Remember this guy? Pete Carroll does. I've seen it myself . Williams is back.
Stepback Player of the Year: RB Brandon Jacobs, Giants. I considered Favre, but he's too easy of a target with Sidney Rice's injury. Jacobs looked washed up last year and in the preseason. With the Giants giving Ahmad Bradshaw the nod, Jacobs could disappear in 2010.
Team on the Rise: Dolphins. Solid running game, Henne has the arm to keep Brandon Marshall focused, and DC Mike Nolan is among the best in the biz.
Team on the Decline: Bears. Spent their free agent millions on positions of relative strength, rather than their gaping weakness (OL).
Best Free Agent Pickup: DE Kyle Vanden Bosch, Lions. Love this player for this team. Steady vet helps Suh make this D formidable.
Worst Free Agent Pickup: WR Antonio Bryant, Bengals. Considering he's already off the team, how can there be a worse move?
Posted on: March 18, 2010 6:21 pm
 

McCloughan's leave of absence won't break 49ers

In this McDonaldized world of media in which readers demand the who, what, when, where and why a moment after news breaks, speculation has become rampant as to what impact might be felt on the 49ers plans for the 2010 draft after the news general manager Scot McCloughan is taking a personal leave of absence.

The timing, of course, is odd. The draft is little more than a month away and the 49ers own the 13th and 17th overall picks. For a team with young stars in Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, Patrick Willis, and Michael Crabtree, they appear capable of taking the next step and winning the NFL West Division. After all, the Cardinals are clearly weaker considering the loss of Kurt Warner, Anquan Boldin, Karlos Dansby and Antrel Rolle. The 49ers are coming off of their most competitive season in years, winning five of their six divisional games (including going 2-0 against Arizona) and finished just outside of the playoffs at 8-8.

McCloughan has a very good eye for talent. His ability to read the board and project which players will rise or slide is acknowledged by other teams throughout the league. He'll be missed in the San Francisco draft room, should it come down to that.

However, he's also surrounded himself with a quality staff. Director of Player Personnel Trent Baalke and director of Player Pro Personnel Tom Gamble are widely respected. Baalke was reportedly an early candidate for the Seattle general manager position.

Scot McCloughan's brother, Dave, is the 49ers' Director of College Scouting. He didn't earn this position with his last name. He was a standout safety drafted out of Colorado who spent time with the Seahawks, Packers and Colts before joining his father, Kent McCloughan, as a scout with the Raiders. 

While the perception is that draft boards are fluctuating every day with the improved workouts players are putting forth in Pro Days across the country, in reality, much of the hard work in preparing for the 2010 draft has already been done.

Whether he's the one actually making the pick or not, the 49ers 2010 draft will have Scot McCloughan's fingerprints on it.

Considering that the 49ers appear poised to take control of the NFC West -- largely based on players McCloughan drafted -- that's a good thing.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com