Posted on: July 10, 2010 2:28 pm
The Buffalo Bills surprised many with their selection of Clemson running back C.J. Spiller in the first round considering their already talented backfield and the number of otherwise gaping holes on their roster.
One of those gaping holes is at wide receiver. Terrell Owens, who led the team in both catches (55) and receiving yards (829) is gone. As is Josh Reed. Lee Evans remains a quality wideout on one side, but the club has yet to see a return on their investment in Roscoe Parrish or James Hardy.
The 5'11, 196 pound Spiller with 4.32 speed has the body control and quick feet necessary to gain separation and showcased reliable hands when used as a running back, wide receiver, punt returner and kick returner at Clemson.
Buffalo head coach Chan Gailey recognized Spiller's versatility recently.
"We can split him out and try to create a mismatch out wide," Gailey said. " ... It just creates a lot of matchup problems in our opinion with defenses. I know in talking to George Edwards, our defensive coordinator, he said every time you have a guy like that you better know where he is on the field, you better know what his assignment is and what he does from that spot. So we feel we have a chance to create some very good matchups in our favor with a guy like C.J." It isn't a surprise that Buffalo would use Spiller at receiver, necessarily. A similarly gifted athlete as Reggie Bush, many forecasted that he'd be used in a similar capacity as the New Orleans' Saints all-purpose dynamo.
Depending on how many times the creative Gailey moves Spiller wide, the former ACC Player of the Year could actually play a role more similar to the one Percy Harvin played with the Minnesota Vikings last year.
Posted on: April 25, 2009 6:38 pm
A couple of quick picks have me playing catch-up on the blog.
The Browns decided to actually make a pick and went with Cal center/guard Alex Mack, who has the size, strength and versatility to compete against the physical defenses in the AFC North. Mack is a safe pick, but is a bit anticlimatic considering the high profile names and the repeated trade backs. Still, games in this division are won in the trenches and this move improves Cleveland there.
As I reported on the blog last night, Percy Harvin had been jumping up draft boards over the past few days and goes to the Vikings 22nd overall. His agility and speed make a great deal of sense for an offense needing an infusion of playmakers at receiver and returner. It is a surprising move considering the Vikings preference for high character players after the Loveboat scandal a few years ago...
The Patriots traded back with the Baltimore Ravens, who selected Mississippi OT Michael Oher, a top ten talent who slipped to this point in the draft because teams are so overcome with the concerns about his personality. Ozzie Newsome once again shows why he's one of the NFL's best, aggressively moving up to get a player than should have been taken a long time before.
Posted on: April 24, 2009 9:53 pm
Two weeks ago I was told that Florida receiver Percy Harvin had "very little chance" of making the first round by a high-ranking member of an NFL team. Other sources, while not quite so strong in their opinion, thought it also likely the former Gator would slip out of the opening round. Some even speculated that he'd slip out of the first day entirely.
Over the past 24 hours, however, Harvin seems to be making a terrific comeback. Based on conversations I've had over that time I moved him from a mid 2nd round pick in my last mock draft to going to the Tennessee Titans with the 30th pick of the first round and there is significant buzz circulating that he could be going much higher. Minnesota head coach Brad Childress recently met with Harvin and some think he could be the Vikings' choice at #22.
Posted on: April 22, 2009 11:47 am
Foxsports.com's Alex Marvez is reporting that Florida wide receiver Percy Harvin and North Carolina wide receiver/return specialist Brandon Tate both tested positive for marijuana at the Combine. He cites two sources and attempted to reach agent Joel Segal, who represents both Harvin and Tate for comment, but did not have his calls returned.
Harvin has top ten athleticism, but the positive test, when combined with the previous character red-flags on Harvin's resume could lead to a significant drop on draft day. A handful of teams I've spoken with in the past few days feel that the character concerns are significant enough to knock him out of the first round entirely. Some even suggested Harvin could be knocked out of the first day.
Tate, who flashed first day talent as a receiver and returner throughout his career before tearing the ACL and MCL in his right knee in his senior season, could be knocked out of the draft entirely due to the positive test.
Just as newsworthy is that, according to Marvez's source, "Harvin and Tate were the only high-profile players to flunk their combine drug tests."
Posted on: March 19, 2009 1:06 am
I wrote an article detailing the high profile prospects from these Pro Days, but until the article is up, here are some of the highlights...
At Florida, Percy Harvin was the show. He didn't run the 40 because he ran well at the Combine, but really looked good in positional drills. Running routes and catching passes might seem like an obvious trait required for a receiver, but Florida's offense doesn't utilize many of the pro routes, so Harvin had to show well here. He did...
Louis Murphy and Cornelius Ingram also helped their cause.
The Penn State Pro Day might have been the story of the day, as two big names really boosted their stock with eye-popping performances.
OLB/DE Aaron Maybin trimmed over .25 seconds off of his 40 from the Combine and looked great in drills. Maybin ran in the high 4.5-4.6s at 253 pounds... WR Derrick Williams also shaved considered time off his 40, running in the high 4.3s to low 4.4s.
Illinois CB Vontae Davis didn't have to run at his Pro Day, but did so and looked great doing it. Some are saying he could jump ahead of Malcolm Jenkins with his performance.
Finally, there were over 50 scouts, including a handful of OL coaches at the Cal Pro Day to see C Alex Mack. He wasn't able to do the workout at the Combine due to an ankle sprain, but looked good in the workout... His 40 and times in other drills would have ranked among the elite at the Combine...