Posted on: April 12, 2010 1:29 pm
The shocking deterioration of the love affair between the Pittsburgh Steelers for their Super Bowl XVIII MVP Santonio Holmes resulted in his being traded late Sunday night to the New York Jets.
The action could have a significant impact on the draft stock of 2010 wide receivers Dez Bryant, Golden Tate and Demaryius Thomas.
Bryant, Tate and Thomas are expected to be the first three receivers drafted. There is growing sentiment, however, that none of the three might hear their name called Thursday during the first round. The trade of Holmes may have only made this possibility all the more likely to occur.
Teams strongly considering investing a first round pick (and millions of dollars) into a wide receiver will look at the Steelers as yet another example of a team being burned by a receiver's poor attitude and worse off-field decisions. Considering the questions surrounding Dez Bryant, teams that might have been on the fence regarding taking him could have been pushed over with the Steelers' obvious frustration with their own (now former) star receiver.
As the Bengals, Ravens, and Cowboys are all thought to be very high on Bryant, despite his reputation, he might still make the opening round. Tate and Thomas, however, despite obvious talents, could be another question.
With the Jets now solving their need for a receiver, they are likely eliminated from the surprising small number of teams in the bottom portion of the first round that are actively searching for a wideout.
Posted on: March 22, 2010 5:45 pm
Edited on: March 22, 2010 7:23 pm
According to release by the league, 19 NFL teams will get a total of 32 compensatory picks for free agent losses last year. These picks will be in conjunction with the selections teams already owned for next month's draft.
Eight teams were awarded multiple extra picks, with the New England Patriots leading the way with four picks. The Tennessee Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers each getting three compensatory picks.
The Cincinnati Bengals might have gained the most, however. While they "only" received two picks, they were awarded a 3rd and 4th, whereas the Titans, Steelers and Patriots were mostly given picks from the last two rounds.
According to the release:
Under terms of the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement, a team losing more or better compensatory free agents than it acquires in the previous year is eligible to receive compensatory draft picks .
The number of picks a team receives equals the net loss of compensatory free agents up to a maximum of four. The 32 compensatory choices announced today will supplement the 223 choices in the seven rounds of the 2010 NFL Draft (April 22-24). This year, the compensatory picks will be positioned within the third through seventh rounds based on the value of the compensatory free agents lost.
Compensatory free agents are determined by a formula based on salary, playing time and postseason honors. The formula was developed by the NFL Management Council. Not every free agent lost or signed by a club is covered by this formula.
Three clubs this year (Oakland, Miami and Tampa Bay) will each receive a compensatory pick even though they did not suffer a net loss of compensatory free agents last year. Under the formula, the compensatory free agents lost by these clubs were ranked higher than the ones they signed (by a specified point differential based upon salary and performance).
Thirty compensatory picks were awarded to clubs based upon the compensatory pick formula. By rule, two additional choices were awarded at the end of the seventh round to bring the total number of compensatory selections to 32, equaling the number of NFL clubs. The two additional picks were awarded to St. Louis and Detroit based upon the 2010 draft selection order.
This is the breakdown of the compensatory picks by round and team.
Posted on: March 5, 2010 11:27 am
Michigan pass rusher Brandon Graham, NFLDraftScout.com's top rated outside linebacker, will not be able to work out at Michigan's upcoming Pro Day March 12 due to a strained hamstring. He strained the hamstring while running his second attempt at the 40-yard dash at the Combine. He was credited with a 4.72 on his first attempt and lifted 225 pounds 31 times in his only other drill.
Graham, 6-1, 263 pounds, instead, is going to hold an individual pro day April 8 on the Michigan campus.
Graham is the first two-time MVP in Michigan's storied history. He totaled 138 tackles, 56 tackles for loss, 29.5 sacks, three fumble recoveries and three pass breakups, earning all-conference accolades after the 2008 and 2009 seasons. Graham was arguably the most dominant player on the field throughout the Senior Bowl practices and earned MVP honors during the game, itself.
Depsite the fact that Graham has already proven his ability on the football field, his workout could be very important in determining his final draft grade. Like former Michigan standout defensive end LaMarr Woodley, Graham is being projected to outside linebacker by many clubs operating out of the 3-4 scheme.
Perhaps what I, personally, like best about Graham is that he brings the same tenacity as a pass rusher that Woodley brought. Like his former teammate, Graham seems capable of making his biggest plays in the most critical moments.
As long as he is able to prove he can handle the change of direction necessary for occasional pass coverage, I expect Graham to be a first round pick and an immediate impact defender for a 3-4 club.
Posted on: March 2, 2010 12:52 pm
Top rated cornerback Joe Haden, a junior given a first round grade from the NFL Advisory Committee was unofficially timed by The NFL Network with two of the slower times in the 40-yard dash of any cornerback tested. He ran a 4.57 on his first attempt and followed that up with a 4.60.
Haden's slow times are sure to give scouts some hesitation when assigning him the top grade at cornerback. He has impressive game tape, but the Gators' aggressive pass rush rarely allowed opposing quarterbacks time to challenge him deep, something that had concerned me earlier .
As a historical comparison, no cornerback who ran as slow as Haden is currently being credited with running at the Combine was drafted earlier than the fifth round in last year's draft. Cornerback Joe Burnett was drafted by Pittsburgh with the 31st pick of the fifth round last year -- 168th overall -- with a 4.58.
It is important to note that The NFL Network's times have often been different than the "offiial" times provided later by NFL.com. This isn't likely to help Haden's cause, however, as typically the times recorded by the network have been faster than the ones put up by the website. CJ Spiller, for example, was initially credited with a 4.28 second time in the 40-yard dash on television, but his fastest time according to NFL.com was a 4.37.
Posted on: February 25, 2010 5:05 pm
Two years ago at the Combine Pittsburgh Director of Football Operations Kevin Colbert characterized the 2008 class of offensive tackles as "the best group I've seen in 24 years collectively." Considering that an NFL record eight offensive tackles were drafted in the first round, at least in one sense, he was proven correct.
Colbert again was willing to quantify a uniquely gifted lineman class. This time, however, he was describing the 2010 defensive line class.
"This draft, there are more defensive linemen than any draft I can remember in really 26 years I've been doing this," Colbert told the media at the Combine this morning. "It's not only depth, but the quality of the depth, as well."
I believe Colbert to be correct -- and wrote as much long ago.
We currently rate 9 defensive linemen among our top 32 prospects. They are, in order, Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh, Oklahoma DT Gerald McCoy, Georgia Tech DE Derrick Morgan, Florida DE Carlos Dunlap, USC DE Everson Griffen, Tennessee DT Dan Williams, South Florida DE Jason Pierre-Paul, Michigan DE Brandon Graham, Penn State DT Jared Odrick and UCLA DT Brian Price.
Few front office executives are as willing to go on the record with strong statements as Colbert.
Considering the accuracy of his past statement (and his teams' success in finding defensive linemen), perhaps more should adopt his honesty.
Posted on: February 25, 2010 10:45 am
As mentioned in a previous post, San Francisco GM Scot McCloughan and head coach Mike Singletary led off today's interviews.
They will be followed by: