Tag:Draft Tracker
Posted on: April 24, 2009 1:30 pm
Edited on: April 24, 2009 1:37 pm
Posted on: April 22, 2009 3:48 pm
Edited on: April 24, 2009 12:30 pm

Chad Reuter: Trading up

Setting stage for draft swap meet


NEW YORK -- The flurry of activity on the first day of the NFL Draft last year included 11 trades involving first- or second-round picks, and there could be at least that many this Saturday.

Last year's figure didn't even include the trades of top 64 picks for veteran players. We've already had two such deals this year, with Chicago including its first-round pick in the deal with Denver for quarterback Jay Cutler and the Eagles shipping several picks, including No. 28 overall, to Buffalo for left tackle Jason Peters.

A Cleveland quarterback (Derek Anderson or Brady Quinn) and various pass-catchers such as Anquan Boldin, Braylon Edwards, Tony Gonzalez and/or Chad Ocho Cinco could all be moved on or before Saturday for one or two first-day picks, as well as a second-day pick or possibly a player.

Buffalo, Denver and Detroit figure to be the biggest players in the first round because each team has two selections. The Patriots own six of the top 97 picks, so they could also make a move or two on Saturday.

Teams are leaking to the media that they want out of the top 10 because of the multi-million guaranteed bonuses awarded to those players. The price for those initial selections could decline, however, based on teams' desire to move a bit down the board (but not too far down, as to miss out on the top prospects).

Despite the bellyaching, there is enough interest in Southern California quarterback Mark Sanchez that a trade into the top 10 could very well happen. At least one trade within the top 10 is also likely, with Sanchez, wide receiver Michael Crabtree, linebacker Aaron Curry, offensive tackle Eugene Monroe or defensive tackle B.J. Raji the focus of any potential deal.

Here are 25 pick swaps to watch for on the draft's first day. An NFL team's trade value chart was used to make sure appropriate picks were involved in each scenario.



(Chad Reuter is a senior analyst for NFLDraftScout.com.)

Posted on: April 22, 2009 12:55 pm
Edited on: April 24, 2009 12:30 pm

Pete Prisco: Better-Than Team

Better-Than Team: Sleeper scouting starts with McGee


During the 2007 college football season, I would watch Texas A&M games and think how unfair their offense was to quarterback Stephen McGee.

Dennis Franchione, then the coach of the Aggies, used a spread offense that featured plenty of option runs for McGee.

Yes, McGee is a talented runner, racking up four 100-yard games. But he also has a big arm. That offense wasn't preparing him for the NFL, but did Franchione care? It was his offense.

So every single time I would watch the Aggies play, I would curse the screen. Let the kid play quarterback, not that thing you're running, Coach Fran.

Franchione got in trouble with the school that year when it was revealed he was selling a secret e-mail newsletter to boosters that included inside information.

What was the title: How to hold back a talented passer?

Franchione was fired after that season, replaced by former Green Bay Packers coach Mike Sherman. It was expected McGee would get his chance to play quarterback in an NFL-friendly offense.

One problem: He injured his throwing shoulder and was limited to three starts. He healed enough to play again, and showed well in the East-West game. But he never really got the chance to show off his arm.

He has a strong arm, even if he's raw throwing it. At 6-feet-3 and 223 pounds, he also has good size and he's a tough kid, as evidenced by the way he took on tacklers as a runner.

McGee won't be a first- or second-round pick, but I think he's worth a look in the third round. Once a good coach gets with him and works on the fundamentals, McGee will become a better NFL passer than he was in the college game.

That's why he heads up my annual "Better-Than" team, a list of 20 players I think are better than the scouts' projections.








Posted on: April 21, 2009 1:14 pm
Edited on: April 24, 2009 12:32 pm

Chad Reuter: Mathematical Mock

Numerical order: Mock drafting by the numbers


Even the best mock drafts miss on six or seven players in the first round. An author who accurately projects eight players to the correct team in the first round deserves praise for his work.

That makes studying trends and using history a good way to take some of the "over-thinking" out of the mock draft equation.

The mock draft below is based on how the past 15 drafts unfolded. To place players in each slot, the first, second (also known as the median) or third quartile slot values for each position-rank combination (quarterback being No. 1, tight end No. 3, etc.) were used, with the average value used as a tiebreaker. The strength of the 2009 class at each position determined the quartile values used.

Using statistics to determine a mock will lead to some very unlikely scenarios, especially when a certain position group is considered strong or weak. This year, the offensive tackle class is strong (although eight won't go in the first round like last year) so the math puts players like Andre Smith and Michael Oher too far down the board. The 2009 safety class is a bit weak at the top (unless you rate Malcolm Jenkins as a free safety) so it's unlikely one will be picked in the late first round, as is typical.

By the same token, using math will point to some players who might not go as high (or as low) as people expect. Some mock drafts had tackles Ryan Clady, Chris Williams and/or Brendan Albert going in the top 10, but none made it. A similar situation could happen this year. Not everyone had Darren McFadden going to Oakland at No. 4 in 2008, but historically it made sense. The same appears to apply to Chris "Beanie" Wells, as he could sneak into the top 10 despite being picked by most mock draft authors to go in the 14-16 area.

Check out the mock...


(Chad Reuter is a senior analyst for NFLDraftScout.com.)


Posted on: April 20, 2009 4:00 pm
Edited on: April 24, 2009 12:33 pm

Rob Rang: Playing it safe

Looking for safe draft picks? Check out these future stars


While the on-field activity between the pro day season and the NFL Draft crawls to a near standstill, the media and public interest in the prospects only intensifies.

With little workout news to report, rampant speculation regarding failed drug tests, poor practice habits and the inability to play different positions (or in different schemes) occupies too many headlines. It's enough to leave one with the impression that next week's draft lacks any talented, hard-working prospects at all.

Call me a hopeless optimist, but I believe the reality to be considerably less gloomy than some of my peers. Some of the boom-or-bust prospects in this draft will be, after all, booms.

There are no "sure things" in the inexact science of the NFL Draft. But those less willing to gamble on draft day will keep a close eye on the following eight players who were characterized to me as the "safest" by a menagerie of scouts and front office personnel.

Aaron Curry, OLB, Wake Forest: Though I've listed the safest players alphabetically, it is fitting that Curry tops the list. The Butkus Award winner is characterized by many, including NFLDraftScout.com, as this year's safest pick and the top-rated player overall. His statistics (332 tackles, 45.5 tackles for loss, three interceptions returned for scores) are eye-popping, and his performance at the combine, where he led all linebackers in four of the six categories he tested in, is a testament to his athleticism. In the words of one NFL general manager, Curry is also "off the charts" in terms of his intangibles. A team captain and four-year starter who signed with Wake Forest as a relatively unheralded prep talent, Curry has the work ethic and desire to be great.


(Rob Rang is a senior analyst at NFLDraftScout.com.)



Posted on: April 17, 2009 6:48 pm
Edited on: April 17, 2009 6:50 pm
Posted on: April 17, 2009 12:50 pm
Edited on: April 17, 2009 5:46 pm

Frank Cooney's Film Room: Top QB Prospects



QB/Specialist prospects: Just three shine in thin pass class

Depth is severely lacking among the quarterbacks eligible for this year's NFL Draft, but there is a trio of prospects that has done an excellent job of splitting the opinion of scouts. For every strength, there appears to be a potentially money-wasting weakness.

Georgia junior Matthew

Stafford is the top-rated quarterback, according to rankings by NFLDraftScout.com, and is a strong bet to be the No. 1 overall pick by Detroit. He is rocket-armed and a fierce competitor, but Stafford's game lacks finesse and there are serious questions as to whether he will be more than a strong arm that impresses fans with deep bombs while frustrating coaches with forced passes.
Fellow underclassman Mark Sanchez has all the tools to be an elite quarterback in the right system. But with only 16 career starts at Southern California, the meat of his resume is frighteningly thin for a team considering spending top 10 money on a franchise quarterback.

The most intriguing first-round prospect among quarterbacks is Kansas State junior Josh Freeman. At 6-6 and nearly 250 pounds, he is taller than Stafford and Sanchez while also possessing excellent arm strength. But his mechanics need a lot of work, which led to plenty of inconsistency in college.

It's an extraordinarily weak crop of senior quarterbacks. West Virginia's Pat White is the top-rated one by NFLDraftScout.com, but is considered a better wide receiver prospect by many scouts.

Here is a closer look at the top quarterbacks, kickers and punters in this year's draft (heights and weights are listed; *denotes underclassmen):


1. Stafford, Georgia, 6-2, 225

Stafford is a classic, drop-back passer and take-charge leader. He enters the draft as an underclassman despite the Bulldogs' disappointing 2008 season, but Stafford still played well enough to complete 235 of 383 passes for 3,459 yards, 25 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, his most productive season. Although he is not a true running threat, he moves well enough in the pocket to buy time. He has the elite arm strength it takes to throw any pass and is especially impressive with trajectory and location of deep passes that give receivers time and a tangent to get to the ball. But with that ability goes the occasional overconfidence that will lead to trouble until he gauges the speed of defenders in the NFL. That will be especially true on medium and crossing patterns, passes that he hasn't perfected and throws wobblers too often while trying to muscle the ball to a target.


Frank Cooney is a senior analyst for NFLDraftScout.com.

Posted on: April 16, 2009 7:01 pm
Edited on: April 16, 2009 7:04 pm

Chad Reuter: The right man for the job

Forget stats, teams are just looking for perfect fit

Writing weekly mock drafts for three months forces one to consider every possibility. But in some cases, a player is such a natural fit with one team that others don't warrant consideration.

In 2008, Matt Ryan seemed the obvious pick to fill the leadership void created by the Michael Vick saga in Atlanta. Most figured Arkansas alum Jerry Jones would love speedy Razorbacks RB Felix Jones and look for a cornerback like Mike Jenkins with the Cowboys' two late first-round picks.

Teams could choose to move up to get their man. For example, the Cowboys wanted Jenkins badly enough last April that they traded up three spots -- ahead of corner-hungry San Diego -- to get him.

Not all of these natural fits will click as the puzzle pieces fall into place on draft day, but they add to the intrigue of a drama-filled event.

Connor Barwin, DE-LB-TE, Patriots: The Mike Vrabel clone just seems like a great fit for the Patriots at the top of the second round -- if they don't pick a linebacker in the first round.


Chad Reuter is a senior analyst for NFLDraftScout.com.

(Connor Barwin)



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