Posted on: April 27, 2010 1:01 pm
Each year there are players who slip through the cracks into undrafted free agency that, quite frankly, I'm stunned aren't drafted.
Here is my list of players who were undrafted but I feel could find a roster spot in the NFL.
Today I'm highlighting the defensive players (as well as their NFL franchise). Yesterday I listed the offensive players.
DE: Brandon Lang, Troy (signed by San Diego)
DT: Nate Collins, Virginia (signed by New York Giants)
DT: Jay Ross, East Carolina (signed by New Orleans)
DE: Mitch Unrein, Wyoming (signed by Tennessee)
OLB: Reggie Carter, UCLA (signed by Seattle)
ILB: Micah Johnson, Kentucky (signed by New York Giants)
OLB: Simoni Lawrence, Minnesota (signed by St. Louis)
CB: Patrick Stoudamire, Jr, Western Illinois (signed by San Francisco)
SS: Barry Church, Toledo (signed by Dallas)
FS: Jon Amaya, Nevada (signed by Miami)
CB: Devin Ros, Arizona (signed by Philadelphia)
Category: NFL Draft
Posted on: April 23, 2010 3:07 pm
Following the conclusion of the draft, I'll be providing grades for all 32 teams. I've begun the process of writing these grades up based on what transpired in the first round yesterday. I'll be posting comments for each team, by their division, in the blog over the next few hours.
Here is how I saw the action from the NFC East perspective:
Jerry Jones was known to be very high on Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant, and as suspected he traded up to get him when the talented wideout began to slip. Bryant is the playmaker that the Cowboys thought they were getting when they traded for Roy Williams, but in trading up to get a weapon for Tony Romo, the team may have lost their chance at getting a tackle who could protect their Pro Bowl quarterback.
New York Giants:
No team believes in building through the defensive line like the New York Giants and they reinforced this mantra with the selection of the talented, but raw pass rusher Jason Pierre-Paul in the first round. Pierre-Paul only started seven games at the D-I level, but has a tantalizing combination of size and explosiveness and can be developed slowly on a team that already features a strong rotation up front.
A year after spending great resources on improving the playmaking ability of their offense, the Eagles aggressively traded up to land defensive end Brandon Graham in an effort to improve their defense. While the 6-2, 270 pound Graham is a proven pass rusher who led the country in tackles for loss and won the Senior Bowl Defensive MVP honors, his selection was a surprise for the Eagles, considering the team had previously traded for another undersized pass rusher in former Seattle Seahawk Daryl Tapp.
Though there was plenty of speculation that the Redskins might go in another direction, in the end the team took offensive tackle Trent Williams. Williams’ athleticism makes him an ideal fit in Mike Shanahan’s zone blocking scheme. Williams will need to play with a greater sense of urgency in the NFC East, however, where he’ll be going up against the NFL’s best vision of pass rushers in an attempt to protect the newly arrived Donovan McNabb.
Posted on: April 17, 2010 10:38 am
Edited on: April 17, 2010 10:40 am
Many have speculated that the alteration in the the NFL draft schedule is going to lead to more trades than before.
According to sources throughout the league, the St. Louis Rams (owners of the first pick), Seattle Seahawks (6, 14) Cleveland Browns (7), Denver Broncos (11), Miami Dolphins (12), New England Patriots (22), Philadelphia Eagles (24) and Dallas Cowboys (27) are all actively exploring trade opportunities.
The Cleveland Browns have been one of the more aggressive teams, speaking with the Rams about moving up to get Sam Bradford with the first overall pick, but also exploring dropping down, as well.
The Seahawks would like to add a pick between their second first (14) and their only second rounder (60th overall). Their recent mini camp proved they have significant holes to fill on both sides of the ball.
Denver has wide receiver Dez Bryant and center Maurkice Pouncey high on their board. They will consider Bryant at 11, but if he's off the board, they'd like to drop down a few spots and still get Pouncey.
Miami would like to recoup the second round pick they lost in the trade for Brandon Marshall and feel that the player they're likely to get at No. 12 won't be significantly better than one they might get in the lower teens or twenties. With their need for a playmaking wide receiver filled, look for the Dolphins to add a front seven defender.
The Patriots already own three second round picks, but Bill Belichick believes the second round is where the values lies in this draft.
It has been reported (originally by Sports Illustrated's Peter King) that the Eagles were aggressively looking to move up. I have been able to confirm this, but counter to King's story, which has Philadelphia looking to move up for either Eric Berry or Earl Thomas at safety, I'm told a different player is the Eagles' real target. Middle linebacker Rolando McClain, given the team's need for a thumper inside and the significant drop-off at the position after McClain, would seem a likely candidate.
Dallas is also exploring aggressive trade-up options. Owner Jerry Jones loves Dez Bryant and will consider moving into the late teens should the Oklahoma State receiver fall to that point.
The first round of the 2010 draft is shaping up to be every bit the drama-filled event the NFL had hoped in moving it to primetime Thursday night.
Posted on: March 18, 2010 3:00 pm
There is a growing belief that wide receiver Dez Bryant, widely recognized as a top ten athlete, is slipping down draft boards.
The Cowboys might be hearing the same thing. They've scheduled the talented, but troubled for a private visit.
The Cowboys, at first glance, would initially seem like an odd fit for Bryant. Dallas, after all, currently owns the 27th pick of the draft and feature a talented receiving corps of Miles Austin, Roy Williams and Patrick Crayton.
Should Bryant fall into Dallas' lap, however, the All-American might be too splashy of a pick for Jerry Jones to pass up.
This was precisely the predicament that I and several members of the USA Today Sports Weekly crew found ourselves in when projecting a two round mock draft this morning.
I'm not at liberty to say if Dez Bryant was our pick for the Dallas Cowboys. The Sports Weekly Draft Preview will be on newstands soon.
Posted on: April 19, 2009 4:39 pm
There has been much speculation as to what the Chiefs will be doing with the 3rd pick of the draft. Most have projected Kansas City to take Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry. Some, myself included, have projected them to take Virginia offensive tackle Eugene Monroe.
A new contender has arisen, however, in LSU defensive end Tyson Jackson.
Though many view Jackson as a significant reach for a top five pick, Gil Brandt didn't seem to think so, telling the listening audience of his Sirius radio program that Jackson is a "top five pick. Put that in the bank."
The comment, in itself, is interesting but not specific to any team -- other than those within the top five, of course.
But considering that Jackson fits best as a defensive end in the 3-4 and that there are only two teams using the 3-4 in the top five (Kansas City and Cleveland), the options for where Brandt believes Jackson is going are limited.
New Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli is facing the tough task of molding a team built around a 4-3 scheme into the 3-4 alignment he helped build in New England. Pioli has a track record of using first round picks on the defensive line, utilizing first rounders to build standout trio of Richard Seymour, Vince Wilfork and Ty Warren. Jackson has been described to me by veteran scouts as a virtual clone of the Patriots' Ty Warren.
Considering the widespread belief that the Browns are focusing on either USC quarterback Mark Sanchez or Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree with the fifth pick, Brandt would appear to be referring to the Chiefs with his comment -- not that it really matters. The Lions and Rams aren't likely to consider Jackson with the first two picks of the draft and no team is going to offer up the collection of picks necessary to trade into the top two picks to get ahead of the Chiefs to nab Jackson.