Posted on: April 25, 2009 4:08 pm
The Detroit Lions, as expected, just made Matthew Stafford the first pick of the draft.
The St. Louis Rams are now on the clock.
The Rams are thought to struggling to decide between the tackles Jason Smith and Eugene Monroe. Smith has the higher upside. Monroe is the safer pick due to his experience at tackle and guard.
The Rams are trying to create interest in their pick by talking up Mark Sanchez, even, reportedly attempting to fly him in to St. Louis.
Expect the Rams ultimately to take Jason Smith if they are unable to entice a team to trade up.
Posted on: April 24, 2009 11:55 pm
CBSSports.com is reporting that the Lions have signed Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford to a six-year deal and will formally make him the first pick of the 2009 NFL Draft tomorrow.
There will be time enough for analysis.
More importantly, whether officially or not the 2009 NFL Draft has begun.
The Rams are on the clock.
Posted on: April 22, 2009 12:50 am
During his draft preview press conference with media Tuesday, Lions General Manager Martin Mayhew was candid with his opinion on the huge, often guaranteed salaries given to rookies.
“I think the system is broken. I think that’s been addressed and talked about. The way it’s setup, the idea I believe was to have teams who hadn’t been as successful have an opportunity to get better by picking first. Now, if you miss at that pick, or you miss early, which we have, it really sets you back even more – so it’s even harder to get out of that cycle. But I think that hopefully that will get resolved sometime in the near future.”
The system is broken. The huge money contracts given to the first picks of the draft has become more of a detriment than an advantage. A high pick obviously gives teams the an improved chance for a great player, but the financial risk is so great, a team can fall even further out of contention should that player be a bust.
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.
Posted on: April 17, 2009 2:42 pm
According to two independent sources, I've learned that the Detroit Lions are actively negotiating with the representatives for quarterback Matthew Stafford, Baylor offensive tackle Jason Smith and outside linebacker Aaron Curry for the right to be the first player selected in the 2009 NFL draft.
It had been suggested by some that Matt Stafford was essentially already signed, but today's news proves that this is clearly not the case.
Stafford, however, remains the favorite to be the final selection, though there is increasing speculation that the Lions, like many other teams at the top of this year's draft, are beginning to favor the safer prospects of the draft, rather than riskier boom or bust propositions like quarterbacks Stafford, USC's Mark Sanchez, and Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree.
Posted on: April 6, 2009 6:27 pm
The Seattle Seahawks own the 4th pick of the draft and are thought to be considering using the pick on the eventual successor to Matt Hasselbeck. Some have theorized that if the Detroit Lions were to select someone other than Georgia's Matt Stafford with the top pick that the Seahawks would end his "fall." Others believe the Seahawks may take USC's Mark Sanchez at #4 regardless of what the Lions do.
Through savvy decisions in free agency and trade, Seattle general manager Tim Ruskell has put the team in position to take the best available player with the fourth pick of the draft. The team entered the off-season with clear needs at receiver, offensive tackle, and defensive tackle but filled those with the signing of TJ Houshmandzadeh, re-signing of Ray Willis and trade for Cory Redding. They could look to fill their greatest remaining need at outside linebacker with Aaron Curry, if he was available, or look to the future with OTs Jason Smith or Eugene Monroe, receiver Michael Crabtree, or one of the quarterbacks.
Ruskell will be able to make a much more informed decision after this week's mini-camp.
The 33-year old Hasselbeck is expected to participate in the mini-camp, after missing 9 games last season with a bulging disk in his back.
Though there won't be anything even remotely resembling the physicality of a regular season game in this week's mini-camp, how Hasselbeck performs could be a critical component in the Seahawks' decision on draft day.
Sanchez is one of the real wildcards of the 2009 draft, with his projected team ranging from Seattle at #4, Jacksonville at #8 or San Francisco (#10) all the way into the deep teens with the Jets (#17) and Bucs (#19).
Posted on: April 1, 2009 4:58 pm
Mark Sanchez was his typical charismatic self and threw the ball well in his scripted workout today - better than he did at the Combine in February. Of his 50 throws, five fell incomplete but only two or three were inaccurate. He looked very smooth in his delivery, flattening his ball flight on out routes and showing more than adequate velocity.
Detroit Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan asked Sanchez to make some additional throws after the scripted portion of the workout was over. He threw some receiver screens, so Linehan could watch the flight of the ball up close, as well as a few roll-outs. Linehan talked with Carroll about five yards behind Sanchez as he threw.
The Trojan quarterback then launched a half-dozen deep balls, the first few were overthrown a bit but he eventually hit WR Patrick Turner on the sideline and former teammate TE Dominique Byrd down the hash. After he finished throwing, Sanchez spent time with the Lions' representatives.
Former USC and NFL quarterback Rob Johnson, who has been working with Sanchez this off-season, was also on hand for the workout.
Posted on: March 31, 2009 8:03 pm
According to multiple sources throughout the league, the Detroit Lions staff are raving about the workout put forth Tuesday by Georgia quarterback Matt Stafford.
Lions' head coach Jim Schwartz spoke to media at the owners' meetings last week and characterized Stafford's performance in Tuesday's workout as another critical element in the Lions' assigning their final grade on him. The Lions' offensive coordinator Scott Linehan was expected to orchestrate the workout -- a key difference from Stafford's Pro Day workout earlier in the month, when some suggested that Georgia quarterback coach/offensive coordinator Mike Bobo scripted the passing drills to highlight Stafford's strengths.
Schwartz explained how the Lions expected to change the workout to see if Stafford was indeed worthy of #1 overall consideration.
"You can put him in some situations and all of a sudden sort of throw some curveball, so to speak, at him -- see how he reacts, see how he handles that, see how he interacts with the other guys," Schwartz said. "Those are all things that you're probably going to see in a workout that you really couldn't see anywhere else."
Due to the fact that Stafford did not throw at the Combine, his performance at Georgia's Pro Day was important. Scouts in attendance told me that his throwing there was better than Matt Ryan's last year at Boston College's Pro Day. If the reports circulating through the scouting community are accurate -- that Stafford was even more impressive Tuesday -- the race to be the first pick of the draft could be nearing an end.