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Tag:Denver Broncos
Posted on: April 22, 2010 10:15 pm
 

Intangibles worth proven with Tebow over Clausen

The question I answered more often than any other in the weeks preceeding this year's draft was about Tim Tebow and his intangibles.

The second most asked question might have been about Jimmy Clausen and his perceived lack of these same intangibles.

With Tebow leaping Clausen to be the second quarterback selected, we've seen proof of the value of leadership, as there may not be a quarterback coach in the country that would argue Tebow is a more gifted passer -- at least at this point -- than Clausen.



Posted on: April 21, 2010 10:36 pm
Edited on: April 21, 2010 10:37 pm
 

First Round Stunners, Part Two

My fellow senior analyst Chad Reuter and I wrote up five bold predictions each in articles here and here .

Like Chad, I elected to push the boundary with the definition of "bold," predicting a trade with the first pick among other things. I fully recognize that the Rams aren't likely to make this trade. I've spoken to enough people in the league, however, that caused me to feel there was a reasonable enough chance of it occurring that I listed it.

Last year , I went out on a limb and predicted that Tyson Jackson, not Aaron Curry, would be the first defensive player selected and that Andre Smith would be a top ten pick. Chad had the even better bold (and true) prediction, picking the Raiders to take Darrius Heyward-Bey at No. 7.

We were ridiculed at the time for our picks and some ended up not happening. A few, however, ended up being true. I don't anticipate either of us getting all five of our predictions correct this time either, but would be disappointed if we don't pull off at least a few of them.

Because these predictions are such conversation-starters, I thought I'd include a few more that I considered using in the original article.


  • In the "do as I say, not as I've done" department, watch out for Georgia Tech wideout Demaryius Thomas to jump way up in this draft. Some teams, in fact, have him rated higher than Dez Bryant -- and that isn't just due to Bryant's so-called character concerns. I mention the "do as I say" aspect as I don't have Bryant listed on my 4/19 mock draft. After conversations with a few more team sources over these past few days, however, I've been lectured enough to change my thinking on this kid and will certainly be moving him up for the final mock I'm finishing tonight (available Thursday morning). I've acknowledged his dazzling physical upside in the past, but what I hadn't realized is how impressive "Bay-Bay" has done in interviews. The perception might be that Thomas isn't pro-ready due to his time in such a run-heavy offense, but he has dazzled teams in interviews with his on and off-field intelligence. Considering he scored a 34 on the Wonderlic -- second best among all WRs (Eric Decker had a 43) -- perhaps this shouldn't have surprised me (34 on the Wonderlic; second best among WRs), but I admit, it did. I'd still be a bit surprised if he jumped ahead of Bryant, but I'd certainly no longer be stunned.  
  • With all due respect to Mr. Mel Kiper, Jr., Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen absolutely remains in play for the Seattle Seahawks. I don't feel strongly enough to have included it among my original bold predictions, but I would not be the least bit surprised if Pete Carroll took Clausen. He knows him well; much better than he knew Charlie Whitehurst before making the trade for him. He couldn't have. Whitehurst hasn't played. If Seattle was willing to gamble picks on a quarterback they couldn't possibly have known as well as Carroll knows Clausen just to solidify the position, they could do it again. Consider that if Seattle hadn't traded for Whitehurst and given him millions, many would be assuming at this point that Seattle would be strongly considering the former USC recruit. Because of that deal, most aren't. I'm not sure that is a safe assumption.
  • I believe center Maurkice Pouncey is being heavily considered by the Denver Broncos. They own the 11th pick and I can't imagine them taking him there, but they can't afford to trade down too far if they want to get him, as there are several teams in the mid to late teens who love Pouncey. There is a bigger dropoff between Pouncey and the No. 2 rated center (either Baylor's J.D. Walton or Boston College's Matt Tennant, depending on the team) than between the top-rated and second-best prospect at any other position in this draft. To put it into perspective how rare taking a true center in the top half of the draft is, note that the last time it happened was 1993 when the Cleveland Browns selected Steve Everitt from Michigan with the 14th overall pick.



Posted on: April 20, 2010 8:52 am
 

Advice to Rams: If not 100% on Bradford, trade

As I reported a week ago and Cleveland Browns' general manager Tom Heckert publicly confirmed two days later, the St. Louis Rams are having internal discussions about trading out of the No. 1 pick.

With the several potential suitors (Cleveland, Washington, Seattle, Denver), it is possible that the Rams get the 3,000 "points" as required in the draft pick trade chart every team and media member refers to in these situations.

Far be it from me to offer the Rams, and specifically general manager Billy Devaney, advice on the situation, but I'm going to anyway:

Dear St. Louis Rams,

If you are not 100% sure that Bradford is the answer to your problems, trade the pick.

Even if it means getting less value than the talking heads think you should.

Sincerely,

Rob Rang

Trading out of the No. 1 pick for less than its perceived value will likely generate some negative reaction from other teams and the media.

The reality is, the Rams, winners of only 6/48 games over the past three regular seasons have holes throughout their roster. The 2010 draft is as deep and talented as any we've seen in over a decade. The money saved on not utilizing the first overall pick would cover the extra players.

And for all of the talk about how difficult it is to trade out of the top pick, the last two teams that did so, received more than fair value for their courage -- though they weren't necessarily viewed as the consensus "winners" when making the deal on draft day.

The San Diego Chargers did it the unconventional way in 2004, selecting Eli Manning with the first pick and then shipping he to the Giants for the 4th overall selection, Philip Rivers, and three picks that the Chargers ultimately turned into Shawne Merriman and Nate Kaeding and veteran offensive tackle Roman Oben.

San Diego was involved in the last trade involving the No. 1 pick, as well, trading out of the top spot in 2001 to Atlanta. The Falcons got Michael Vick and the Chargers got the fifth pick, which they used on LaDainian Tomlison, as well as Atlanta's 3rd round pick in 2001 (Chargers selected CB Tay Cody), second round pick in 2002 (WR Reche Caldwell) and veteran receiver/returner Tim Dwight. Having not filled their quarterback need in the first round, the Chargers used their first pick of the second round on some guy named Brees.

There will be those that argue the Rams should simply ignore Bradford and use the top pick on their highest rated player, almost surely Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy.

Unfortunately for St. Louis, having spent high first round selections on the defensive line in 2007 (Adam Carriker) and 2008 (Chris Long) likely precludes the team from doing so.

My admittedly two-cent advice? Capitalize on the best deal you can get and trade out. Let someone else gamble on Sam Bradford's shoulder. Fill other areas of concern with the first round pick(s). And take the quarterback you really want -- Texas' Colt McCoy -- 33rd overall.

Who knows, maybe the short, remarkably accurate, gutty leader is the second coming of Drew Brees, after all.










Posted on: April 19, 2010 7:15 pm
 

Denver emerging as new candidate for No. 1 pick?

Cleveland Browns general manager Tom Heckert publicly announced that his team had held conversations with the St. Louis Rams about obtaining the No. 1 overall pick.

It will be interesting to see if the Denver Broncos are as forthcoming with their internal conversations.

I am told that some of the reason that Denver has been asking for picks rather than veteran players in return for Brandon Marshall and Tony Scheffler is that the club is considering making a significant proposal to the Rams for the first overall pick.

The Broncos feature Kyle Orton as their starting quarterback and recently acquired Brady Quinn, but head coach Josh McDaniels is thought to be very high on Sam Bradford and could see Orton as a stopgap starter until Bradford is ready to take over.

The Broncos own four picks within the draft's top 80 selections, including the 11th overall. Josh McDaniiels has shown a willingness to trade future picks in the past. He traded Denver's 2010 first round pick to Seattle last year for the right to move up in the second round and select Wake Forest cornerback Alphonso Smith.


Posted on: April 18, 2010 12:46 pm
 

McDaniels' defense of Dez telling?

The weeks preceeding the NFL draft is full of hyperbole and deceit. What NFL coaches, front office executives and scouts say on the record is often less than honest.

Rather than boldface lie to the media members they typically are paid to be honest with, most league members simply choose to not to comment about specific players.

Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli are a few of the more famous examples of NFL personnel who subscribe to this theory.

Denver head coach Josh McDaniels, formerly the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach under Belichick in New England, apparently operates under a different philosophy, going out of his way to defend Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant.

During his pre-draft press conference with Denver media, McDaniels was uncharacteristically candid when asked about Bryant and the apparently erroneous report that he had been taken off Denver's list of possible draft selections. McDaniels said as much, noting that  Bryant "is on our board."“I think you have to be careful with confusing character issues with some people that made some mistakes,” McDaniels said. ”This guy has never been arrested, he’s never had a drinking issue, he’s never done anything that’s put him in that position. He’s made a few mistakes that he wishes he hadn’t made. But I think there’s a difference. We enjoyed our visit with him. He did everything we asked him to do and had a smile on his face. We enjoyed the entire visit, and he did well.”
McDaniels' admission is interesting. If he hadn't said anything about Bryant, many likely would have assumed that the reports that the Oklahoma State star was off their board were true. End of story.

By publicly defending him and claim that Bryant remains on their board, however, McDaniels could be attempting to create interest in the pick or preparing Denver Broncos fans for the possibility that Bryant will be their pick.

On the one hand it might seem odd that Denver would take Bryant considering that they just got rid of a similarly gifted receiver in Brandon Marshall and his laundry list of character concerns.

It is worth noting, however, that Josh McDaniels' success in the NFL have been tied to two offenses blessed with spectacular receiver play -- the Broncos with Marshall and the Patriots with Randy Moss.

As talented a coach as McDaniels may be, entering the 2010 NFL season without a headlining talent at receiver might be more risk than drafting Bryant would be...




Posted on: April 17, 2010 10:38 am
Edited on: April 17, 2010 10:40 am
 

Multiple teams talking trade

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: April 26, 2009 10:17 am
 

Good morning NFL Draft

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 26, 2009 10:17 am
 

Good morning NFL Draft

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... 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com