Posted on: April 21, 2010 3:36 pm
Edited on: April 21, 2010 8:11 pm
Stanford running back Toby Gerhart would be a first round pick if he were black, according to a longtime NFL scout anonymously quoted in an article published today by Yahoo.com's Michael Silver.
“He’ll be a great second-round pickup for somebody, but I guarantee you if he was the exact same guy – but he was black – he’d go in the first round for sure,” the scout said. “You could make a case that he’s a Steven Jackson-type – doesn’t have blazing speed but he’s strong and powerful and versatile."
Gerhart led the nation with 1,871 yards and 27 touchdowns last year, finishing second in the Heisman Trophy race to Alabama's Mark Ingram -- who ran for 213 yards and 10 touchdowns less despite playing in 14 games last year. Gerhart played in 13 games.
Stereotyping Gerhart as just another white hope at running back is obviously unfair. Considering his underrated top-end speed, lateral agility and quick feet, it also isn't accurate. I've steadily made comparisons to former Cincinnati Bengals standout back Rudi Johnson with Gerhart.
Despite comparing him to a former Pro Bowl back, I agree with the first part of the scout's statement in that Gerhart is likely to be taken in the second round.
I believe, as I told Jon Wilner in this article for the San Jose Mercury News, that first round picks are generally reserved for running backs with explosive speed. I believe the color of Gerhart's skin won't have anything to do with where he is ultimately selected.
In a draft as talented as this one at hard-to-find positions such as offensive tackle and the defensive line, I expect it to be even more difficult for a third running back to sneak into the first round.
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 13, 2010 9:04 pm
Cincinnati offensive line coach Paul Alexander put Indiana offensive tackle Rodger Saffold through an intense workout during the Hoosiers' Pro Day Friday. Some throughout the league are taking it as a sign the Bengals are very high on Saffold and potentially likely to draft him.
Coaches traveling to Pro Days to work out players is hardly a newsbreaking event, but the Bengals, perhaps because they have the smallest scouting staff in the NFL, tend to rely heavily on the opinions of their coaches on draft day.
It was Paul Alexander, sources tell me, that supplied the primary argument for the team selecting Andre Smith with the sixth pick of the draft last year.
I was told of his preference before the draft, which is why I correctly predicted the Bengals would select the enigmatic blocker.
Saffold, according to sources, was very impressive in the workout.
Saffold impressed scouts throughout the season, but really stepped up his play during the week of practice at the East-West Shrine Game. I believe he would have been the best tackle at the Senior Bowl, had he been invited to Mobile.
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: August 31, 2009 1:23 pm
Edited on: August 31, 2009 1:26 pm
The Bengals and sixth overall pick Andre Smith are rightly excited to have finally agreed to terms. The 31 day holdout, however, is going to need considerable time before he can positively impact the Bengals' offensive line. Offensive line coach Paul Alexander was quoted by Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com about Smith's potential to earn back his starting spot at right tackle immediately.
Smith is "not going to start anytime soon," Alexander said... "It's impossible," Alexander said of getting Smith in there quickly. "I'm not afraid to put rookies in there, but this guy is so far behind, he's got so much work to do ... it's going to be an intense year for him.
Smith had been viewed as the Day One starter at right tackle for the Bengals. His selection cleared the way for the Bengals to let long-time bookend tackles Levi Jones and Willie Anderson go over the off-season. Andrew Whitworth has taken over at left tackle and in Smith's absence, 2008 second round pick Anthony Collins has been starting at right tackle. Though Collins has been a bit inconsistent, coaches have been positive about his improved play in his second season.
It remains to be seen just what kind of shape Andre Smith is in. Alexander sounded concerned about Smith's current weight and his history of allowing it get out of control. Rumors had circulated that Smith's weight had ballooned to over 380 pounds in the past, though at the Combine Smith told the media he had never been over 345. He weighed in at 332 at the Combine and claimed he played at 330 while with the Tide.
Smith worked out with the team in Sunday's afternoon practice, but was limited to mainly conditioning drills. As Hobson noted in his blog posting, Smith started every spring practice, was sent daily notes from the classroom sessions from training camp (as well as tests), and watched the Bengals' first three preseason games while poring over his playbook.
It will take time for Smith to acclimate. Given the length of his holdout and the relative security the Bengals are feeling with Collins at right tackle, it may not be until midway through the season that Smith begins earning consistent playing time. Eventually, however, his ability to knock defenders off the line of scrimmage in the running game will likely prove to much to keep him off the field. For a Bengals team that struggled running the ball last season and thus far this preseason, Smith's emergence would be welcomed.
Posted on: April 25, 2009 4:42 pm
Edited on: April 25, 2009 4:46 pm
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 24, 2009 7:20 pm
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.
Posted on: April 16, 2009 12:09 am
The news that Alabama offensive tackle Andre Smith changed agents with less than two weeks to go until the draft will likely earn a collective yawn from most draft fans -- and potentially NFL teams -- but it shouldn't.
For a player battling the perception that he lacks intelligence, discipline, focus or all three, the decision to change agents may only reinforce the concern. This, of course, comes after Smith's suspension for the Sugar Bowl, his leaving the Combine early, and the decision to run the 40-yard dash at his Pro Day shirtless.
It is entirely possible that Alvin Keels, his now former agent, deserved to be fired. It is also entirely possible that Smith's reported new agent -- Ian Greengross -- may do a better job of helping Smith make better decisions. It is also entirely possible that neither is true.
That Andre Smith is a top ten caliber prospect is largely agreed upon by NFL scouts. Most scouts I've talked to believe he'll be drafted somewhere between picks 6-10, with the Cincinnati Bengals (#6), Green Bay Packers (#9) and San Francisco 49ers (#10) each appearing to be possible landing spots.
Considering the rash of erratic decisions Smith has made over the past four months, this latest one shouldn't come as a surprise.
And the fact that erratic decisions are quickly becoming the norm for a young man about to receive tens of millions of dollars should cause teams concern.