Posted on: February 26, 2010 9:54 am
The media is hunkering down inside Lucas Oil Stadium today for what promises to be an active day of interviews, as quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers are coming in, as well as a full slate of high profile NFL head coaches and front office executives.
The league does not prove the time table for when individual players will arrive in the media room for interviews, but does provide this information for the NFL personnel.
For those of you of interested, here is the schedule for those men:
Chicago Head Coach Lovie Smith -- 10:00
St. Louis General Manager Billy Devaney -- 10:15
Green Bay General Manager Ted Thompson -- 10:30
Washington Head Coach Mike Shanahan -- 10:45
Cincinnati Head Coach Marvin Lewis -- 11:00
Minnesota Head Coach Brad Childress -- 11:15
Atlanta Head Coach Mike Smith -- 11:30
New York (Jets) General Manager Mike Tannebaum -- Noon
New York (Giants) Head Coach Tom Coughlin -- 12:15
Houston General Manager Rick Smith -- 12:45
Green Bay Head Coach Mike McCarthy -- 3:00
Cleveland President Mike Holmgren -- 3:30
Tennessee Head Coach Jeff Fisher -- 4:00
All times are Eastern.
Posted on: April 26, 2009 10:17 am
Good morning to everyone...
Well, Day one is in the books and Day two begins in just a few moments. Expect the picks to come pretty fast and furious to start things off as the teams have had all evening to sift through the notes, digest what happened yesterday and react today.
Some of the initial surprises I had yesterday was the run on wide receivers, dropping of offensive tackles, the Oakland Reachers, and the Denver Blowups.
Certainly no one can fault the Giants and Titans for finishing the first round with receivers Hakeem Nicks and Kenny Britt, given their needs -- and many had forecasted the clubs would pick precisely who they picked -- but it was still a bit of a surprise to some veteran scouts to see those two clubs take wideouts in the first round. The Giants and Titans had historically stayed away from the position in the first round.
With receivers and pass rushers taking up so many picks, a few of the top rated offensive tackles slipped down the board. I saw the writing on the wall a bit with Eben Britton and William Beatty in a few late conversations with clubs heading into the draft, which is why I dropped each from my final mock, but I was surprised to see Phil Loadholt slip out. It did not surprise me at all, however, to see the Vikings end up with Loadholt. According to my sources, he was in strong consideration with their first pick, but the team couldn't pass up the opportunity for a playmaker like Percy Harvin.
I'm annually stunned by the some of the selections that come from the Oakland Raiders... I was among those who projected Heyward-Bey to the Raiders at #7. My fellow senior analyst Chad Reuter was the first to make this projection, I believe, and correctly forecast it among our 5 Bold Predictions, as well. However, the selection of the safety Mitchell in the second round sent shockwaves throughout the league. Interesting player with a lot of upside and certainly was moving up the board, but the two teams I polled immediately after the pick had him pegged in the 6th and 7th rounds, respectively.
And those Broncos... Wow. Don't get me wrong, I love the Moreno pick. Love it. But after that, things started to slip and then snowball terribly. Ayers at #18 didn't surprise me, but I'm lower on him than many are. I was stunned by the decision to trade next year's first round pick to the Seahawks for #37 overall. Only a few picks later, the Seahawks traded back into the 2nd round with Denver with their 3rd and 4th rounders. Not only did the total points from the 3rd and 4th round picks not equate to the value of Denver's second (so Seattle won this trade, according to the chart), by flipping 2nd rounders, the Seahawks essentially gave up a 3rd and 4th round pick for the Broncos 1st next year. Considering the Broncos finished last season 8-8 with Jay Cutler, this could turn out to be a historically bad trade for the Broncos.
It certainly puts a lot of pressure on the Broncos to draft well with the 3rd and 4th round picks acquired for this draft.
Have fun today...
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 2, 2009 10:58 pm
I believe the opposite.
In doing what many veteran league officials say is the cardinal sin of the NFL -- losing a young, franchise quarterback -- the Broncos have put themselves in the tougher position.
If they take full advantage of the two first round and third round picks they received for Cutler, perhaps this move doesn't come back to haunt them.
History is on their side in some ways, as the last trades to involve this many high picks occurred when the Saints and Vikings essentially traded their futures for the rights to Ricky Williams and Herschel Walker. I don't have to tell you how those trades turned out.
In reality, however, the marginal success rate of first round picks makes this quite the gamble on the Broncos' part. They had an established quarterback. Now, they're likely to enter next season with their season riding on the erratic play of Kyle Orton and Chris Simms.
With five picks now within the top 84, Josh McDaniel is building this team like the Patriots have done -- via the draft. The Broncos have given themselves the flexibility to do whatever they'd like in this draft and an awful lot of flexibility in next year's, as well.
They'll need it, because in many ways, they're starting from scratch.
Posted on: March 31, 2009 8:51 pm
Green Bay general manager Ted Thompson and Minnesota general manager Rick Spielman were among the scouts on hand to watch several UCLA Bruins perform in their Pro Day on the eve of the USC workout -- the last of the big Pro Days -- tomorrow.
The workout began with the disappointing news that oft-injured quarterback Ben Olson had once again hurt his right foot and would be unable to participate. Olson was rated as the top prep quarterback in the country in 2002, but has struggled with durability throughout his career and has broken bones in his right foot three times in the past year.
Another Bruin quarterback Patrick Cowan, who was not invited to the Combine, elected not to run and wasn't impressive in throwing drills, according to scouts in attendance, despite working with head coach Rick Neuheisel in preparation for the event.
The Bruins' one Combine-invite -- running back Kahlil Bell was unable to dramatically improve upon the disappointing 4.74 time he registered at the Combine in the 40-yard dash by clocking in the 4.7s again.
Scouts said the most impressive workouts were actually posted by punter Aaron Perez and by defensive linemen Tom Blake and Brigham Harwell.
Perez looked good in positional workouts, showing the strong leg that has led to his #7 ranking among all punters according to NFLDraftScout.com.
Blake, a little used defensive end who missed much of his senior campaign due to a sports hernia, showed better speed than expected, running in the 4.6s at 6-3, 265 pounds.
Harwell, who flashed enough in the first game of the season (Tennessee) to warrant my writing him up in Draft Slant, NFLDraftScout.com's weekly PDF available throughout the collegiate season, helped his cause by lifting the bench 36 times. Harwell, 6-1, 292 pounds, lacks the size and athleticism teams are looking for and has struggled with durability throughout his career, but still earned second team Pac-10 honors last year.
Posted on: March 25, 2009 4:06 pm
The NFL owners have voted to change the draft order -- and frankly, it is about time.
In the past, the draft order was strictly determined by wins and losses in the regular season. This will remain the case for the 20 teams that did not make the playoffs. Teams that do make the playoffs, however, will not be slotted based on how they perform in the playoffs, not their overall records.
Losers from the wild-card games will be given the 21-24 selections. Divisional round losers will be seeded with picks 25-28. Losers of the confrence championship games getting the 29th and 30th picks. The winner and loser of the Super Bowl will then, of course, receive the final two picks based on the championship game's outcome.
It always struck me as odd when teams who failed to make the playoffs were slotted to pick later in the draft than teams that had or when a team picked earlier in the April draft than the team they had beaten in the playoffs only a few months earlier.
The Philadelphia Eagles, for example, beat the Minnesota Vikings in the wildcard round of the playoffs last year. Despite the fact that the Eagles then went on to beat the Giants in the divisional round, before losing to Arizona in the NFC Championship, the Eagles (who finished with a 9-6-1 regular season record) were rewarded with the 20th pick of April's draft. The Vikings (10-6) and Giants (12-4) due to their better regular season records, have the 21st and 29th picks of the first round.