Posted on: June 12, 2010 10:14 am
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Posted on: April 22, 2010 11:15 pm

Big names slipping top story of the 1st Round

For many, the biggest story of the first round will be Tim Tebow. Or the jump of Tyson Alualu. Or the high number of trades. The fact that seven defensive backs made the first round. The "second" run on offensive tackles that many (including myself) had projected never materializing...
However, the most surprising result might be how three of the most well known names in college football slipped completely out of the top 32.

Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen, USC's Taylor Mays, and Texas' Sergio Kindle entered the draft viewed by some as three of the "safer" picks to make the first round. While Clausen and Mays, in particular, were projected by many to slip, few thought they'd actually slip out of the first round entirely.

If the NFL had hoped to build drama for their Friday coverage, they couldn't have hoped for much more of a story. Many of the most recognizable players in the draft are still waiting to hear their names called.

Posted on: April 21, 2010 3:36 pm
Edited on: April 21, 2010 8:11 pm

Scout: If Gerhart was black 1st round "for sure"

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: April 10, 2010 10:59 am

Scout: Clausen good, Tate better at Pro Day

Despite all of the attention heaped upon Jimmy Clausen's workout yesterday, the true star on the field, one scout in attendance told me, was Clausen's former wide receiver, Golden Tate.

"Clausen was good. Give him credit. He fired the ball in there better than I thought he would and he handled the pressure well. He looked like he was having fun out there, and that was important to the guys who questioned his leadership," the high ranking scout told me on the condition of anonymity.

"But, the best player on the field was Tate. No question."

Tate's strong showing doesn't surprise me -- nor should it surprise any one who has done any legitimate film review of him.

While I'm always hesitant to make comparisons of college players to NFL standouts, I've consistently compared Tate to Panthers All-Pro Steve Smith.

Smith (5'9, 185) and Tate's (5-10, 199) lack of prototypical size might be the most obvious reason for the comparison, but in reality, this is just one of the several attributes each player brings. Both are more like running backs after the catch than wide receivers, showing not only the agility and acceleration to make defenders miss and pull away from them -- but also the vision to set up downfield blocks and the willingness to cut back into the middle (where few undersized receivers are willing to go). Both are short in stature, but giants in terms of toughness and physicality.

What I like most about Tate (and Smith) is that despite their height, they each boast spectacular timing and body control during their leaps for contested passes. Few, if any receivers, consistently win more "jump balls" than these two so-called "undersized" receivers. 

And let's not forget that Tate is far from just a workout warrior. Sure, his 4.42 time in the 40-yard dash at the Combine was impressive, but his production at Notre Dame was even better. Tate won the Biletnikof Award as the nation's best receiver, breaking school records for receptions (93) and receiving yards (1,496) and tying the mark for receiving touchdowns (15). He also scored two touchdowns as a runner and another as a punt returner. 

When Tate falls out of the first round -- and according to sources throughout the league there is a growing consensus that he will -- don't take that as a sign that he's been overrated or that his former quarterback was the best Notre Dame player last year.

If taken with anything less than a first round pick, Tate will prove to be one of the great steals of the 2010 draft.

Posted on: March 22, 2010 5:45 pm
Edited on: March 22, 2010 7:23 pm

19 teams awarded compensatory picks

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.

Round 3

  • Cincinnati -- 96th overall
  • Tennessee -- 97
  • Atlanta -- 98

Round 4

  • Cincinnati -- 131

Round 5

  • Pittsburgh -- 164
  • Atlanta -- 165
  • Pittsburgh -- 166
  • Minnesota -- 167
  • San Diego -- 168
  • Green Bay -- 169

Round 6

  • Carolina -- 202
  • Jacksonville -- 203
  • Carolina -- 204
  • New England -- 205
  • San Francisco -- 206
  • Tennessee -- 207

Round 7 

  • Indianapolis -- 240
  • Tennessee -- 241 
  • Pittsburgh -- 242
  • Philadelphia -- 243
  • Philadelphia -- 244
  • Seattle -- 245
  • Indianapolis -- 246
  • New England -- 247 
  • New England -- 248 
  • Carolina -- 249 
  • New England -- 250 
  • Oakland -- 251
  • Miami -- 252 
  • Tampa Bay -- 253
  • St. Louis -- 254
  • Detroit -- 255

Posted on: March 19, 2010 12:14 pm

OLB Watson loses 14 pounds for Pro Day

Much has been made of Florida State's Dekoda Watson and his sculpted build. As the official Seminole site boasts on his player profile, Watson measures 48" across his shoulders, but only 26" across his waist.

Watson certainly looks the part of an elite athlete, but has struggled with injury and inconsistency throughout his career. He's also been characterized by some scouts as a linebacker/safety 'tweener.

Watson helped his cause considerably at the Combine by measuring in at 240 pounds, only six pounds lighter than other outside linebacker measured in Indianapolis.

It is natural that players' weights fluctuate a bit in the weeks in between the Combine and Pro Day.

However, the remarkably trim Watson lost 14 pounds, measuring in at 226 pounds at his Pro Day Thursday.

I'm far from a nutrionist or athletic trainer, but losing 14 pounds in roughly three weeks is suspicious. It would seem to be evidence that Watson intentionally gained weight to measure in more impressively at the Combine, before losing the weight to run faster at his Pro Day. For the record, Watson was impressive in drills at the Combine, despite the additional weight, leading all OLBs with a 4.56 second showing in the 40-yard dash.

Thursday, he was timed in the mid 4.4s, a spectacular time for any linebacker.

A picture that demonstrates Watson's physique is below, courtesy of Warchant.com.

Dekoda Watson

Posted on: March 10, 2010 6:01 pm

Rutgers OT Anthony Davis unable to workout

I mentioned in an earlier post about how important it was for Rutgers' star offensive tackle Anthony Davis to work out well during today's Pro Day after a disappointing week of interviews and drills during the Combine.

While Davis may have been willing, apparently his stomach was not.

Davis did not work out for scouts during the Rutgers Pro Day today due to complaints about a stomach virus.

I spoke to scouts there who weren't willing to question Davis' integrity, but did admit his inability to work out did put his already slipping stock in an even worse position.

"We had questions about him before. There are some guys at our place who are willling to give him the benefit of the doubt... But damn, sooner or later, you've got to see some fire from this kid."

Posted on: February 25, 2010 1:41 pm

OT Trent Williams offers first Combine surprises

Trent Williams just got finished with his media interview. His answers may have provided the two most significant surprises of the day so far.

For one, he measured in at 6-4 ("and a half") and 315 pounds.

These numbers will ease concerns that Williams won't be able to handle playing outside. Scouts typically want tackles in the NFL to be at least 6-4. His arms measured in at 34. The reports I had received in the days prior to the Combine that Trent Williams would measure in short were obviously mistaken.

Williams' size wasn't the only surprise of his interview. He also expressed that he felt more comfortable playing "on the left side" where he has played "all of his life." Williams, for the record, started all 13 games at left tackle in 2009, taking over for Phil Loadholt. Prior to this season, however, he'd started only the 2008 season opener at left tackle; the rest of his 25 career starts for the Sooners came at right tackle...

Give Williams credit... He struggled early in the year making the adjustment to the left side, but was increasingly comfortable there as the season went on.

I've spoken to scouts from various clubs who feel he can remain on the left side in the NFL. 

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