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Tag:2011 Draft
Posted on: April 27, 2011 11:59 am
Edited on: April 28, 2011 11:56 am
 

Three spicy draft rumors for you

Posted by Andy Benoit

A person can go crazy trying to keep up with all the various draft rumors with the first round now less than 36 hours away. That said, here are three very credible NFL reporters who have gotten involved in the hoopla. We’ll pass along their tidbits:

*John McClain of the Houston Chronicle believes the Texans want to trade up to snag either Von Miller or Patrick Peterson.

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*Peter King of Sports Illustrated reports that the Falcons are trying to trade up to get either A.J. Green or Julio Jones. (King says it’s unlikely they’ll succeed.)

Jason La Canfora of NFL Network says the Steelers “will exhaust all possible scenarios to trade up” and get Mike Pouncey (which would obviously extend their current league-high for Pouncey’s on the roster from one to two).

Make what you want of this information. Or, just do the sane thing and wait a few hours for the first round of the draft to actually play out.

UPDATE 12:41 p.m. EST: Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette calls the idea of Mike Pouncey being a Steeler "a fantasy".

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Posted on: April 27, 2011 9:11 am
Edited on: April 28, 2011 11:57 am
 

Ranking the NFL's 32 final draft decision makers

Posted by Andy Benoit

There are many ways a person could rank the top draft decision makers for each NFL team. Among those criteria: team history of success; number of first-rounders who have panned out; the number of late-round gems discovered; consistency of the players developed within the organization.

But without a scientific formula, sometimes the best rankings can derive from a standard eyeball/smell/gut test. Thus, here is a ranking of all 32 “final draft decision makers” in the NFL.

Lists like these tend to attract criticism and rebuttals. Have at it -- this is meant to be a discussion starter.

1. Bill Polian, ColtsB. Polian (US Presswire0
Sticks unwaverlingly to his formula: invest in a small handful of elite skill position players on offense and playmakers on defense, and then surround them with low cost youngsters who fit your scheme. In the 2000s he led the Indianapolis Colts to a Super Bowl win and annual division titles. In the '90s he ushered in the most successful expansion franchise in NFL history (Carolina Panthers) and oversaw the four-time AFC Champion Buffalo Bills.

2. Kevin Colbert, Steelers
Doesn't get much attention because A) he rarely does interviews; B) the Steelers are often drafting late in the first round and C) he's almost always looking two or three years ahead when drafting players, which minimizes the hype of Pittsburgh's rookie class. These methods have brought in guys like LaMarr Woodley, Troy Polamalu, Lawrence Timmons, Mike Wallace and Maurkice Pouncey to name five.

3. Ted Thompson, Packers
It took major intestinal fortitude to pull the trigger on Aaron Rodgers when Brett Favre was still on the roster and many believed the 2005 Packers were in position to "win now." Virtually the entire Packers Super Bowl roster this past year was comprised of players who were drafted by the organization and in their prime. That's perfect planning paying off.

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4. Bill Belichick, Patriots
The best trader of picks the NFL has seen since Jimmy Johnson. Like an alchemist, he regularly turns one late first-round selection into two or three solid contributors who fit the Patriots' ever-changing system.

5. Mickey Loomis, Saints
Is batting about .750 with his high-round draft picks, and has managed to snag several small-school gems in middle to late rounds (See: Jahri Evans, Marques Colston, Jimmy Graham, who was primarily a basketball player at Miami).

6. Ozzie Newsome, Ravens
Simply has a knack for connecting on stars. His latest include Haloti Ngata, Terrell Suggs, Ray Rice and (maybe) Michael Oher and Joe Flacco. Because of good mid-round drafting, depth is generally a plus for this club. The only true black eye on Newsome’s resume is the Kyle Boller pick, for which Brian Billick shares equal blame.

7. A.J. Smith, Chargers
Supposedly not the most likeable guy in the room, but that's in part because he has a gift for ruthlessly getting the most out of his resources. Part of that is replacing players a year too soon rather than a year too late.

8. Andy Reid, Eagles
Aside from Green Bay, Philadelphia is the only NFC team that has consistently drafted for the future first and the present second. Because of that, the Eagles are able to stay afloat when they do miss on a high-round pick.

9. Mike Holmgren, Browns
Jury is still out in Cleveland, obviously. But a person's track record has to count for something, right? And Holmgren's is pretty good.

10. Mike Tannenbaum, Jets
Home runs (D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Nick Mangold, Darrelle Revis -- who was a grand slam -- and possibly Mark Sanchez) outnumber strikeouts (Kellen Clemens, Vernon Gholston). Willing to be aggressive and trade up to get his guy. So far, it's worked well.

11. Jerry Reese, Giants
Has done a superb job building off the foundation that Ernie Accorsi put in place.

12. Thomas Dimitroff, FalconsT. Dimitroff (US Presswire)
Ex-New England front office executive instantly turned the rudderless post-Vick Falcons around by nailing the Matt Ryan pick. Has since retooled the offense with solid role players and upgraded the speed on defense.

13. Mark Dominik, Buccaneers
Made the bold commitment for the Bucs to get younger on both sides of the ball. Already, those young players have turned out a 10-6 record, putting the team a year or two ahead of schedule. The decision to draft Josh Freeman one day could lead to a Lombardi Trophy.

14. Marty Hurney, Panthers
For the most part, Panthers have been consistently competitive for 10 years despite the absence of a star quarterback. How? Solid offensive line (Jordan Gross and Ryan Kalil were successful high draft picks), good running game (DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart were two more successful high picks) and a staunch defense (Jon Beason has more than lived up to first-round billing).

15. Scott Pioli, Chiefs
Was an integral part of the Patriots dynasty and is showing a knack for finding players who fit the Chiefs’ scheme.

16. Billy Devaney, Rams
Has not been at the helm long; will soar up this list if his 2011 draft class turns out to be anything like his 2010 class.

17. Mike Shanahan, Redskins
A nod to experience more than anything. Shanahan The GM has never been as good as Shanahan The Coach. But Shanahan The GM has still been around the block a time or two and knows exactly what he wants. Having Bruce Allen handle some of the technical GM duties is helpful.

18. Ken Whisenhunt/Rod Graves, Cardinals
Only one player they've taken in the first three rounds has not contributed (Cody Brown). The rest all have been part of a club that has won postseason games two of the past three seasons.

19. Jerry Angelo, Bears
Seems to have a slightly better feel for the veteran market than the rookie market, but we're nitpicking. Has done a fine job finding players who fit Lovie Smith’s Cover 2 defense. Offensively, he’s building around Jay Cutler (for whom he traded significant picks to get).

20. Mike Reinfeldt, Titans
The assumption is he occasionally has to cater to the demands of Bud Adams, which could be a challenging wrinkle to his job. Overall, has constructed a deep roster and seen a few gambles pay off (notably Chris Johnson in 2007).M. Reinfeldt (US Presswire)

21. Rick Spielman, Vikings
Too many busts early in his tenure, though some of that was beyond Minnesota's control (Kenechi Udeze's health issues, Erasmus James' injuries). While forcing a few picks into the lineup, the Vikings also have gotten their money's worth from top picks Percy Harvin, Sidney Rice and Adrian Peterson (considered a risk because of injury problems at Oklahoma).

22. Jerry Jones, Cowboys
Yes, the Cowboys have a talented group. But a bulk of that talent was acquired when Bill Parcells was around.

23. Martin Mayhew, Lions
Still waiting to see what becomes of the major investments on offense (outlook appears good but still not certain).

24. Jeff Ireland, Dolphins
Brand new in his role as top decision maker. It wouldn't be fair to judge him based on what his former boss (Parcells) did.

25. Gene Smith, Jaguars
In two years has shown willingness to rebuild in bunches by using back-to-back draft picks on the same position. In that time, not a lot has changed in Jacksonville's bottom line, though there is legitimate optimism about this franchise's direction.

26. Pete Carroll, Seahawks
It's way too early to judge. His first draft class looks like it could turn out to be spectacular at the top (Russell Okung has star traits, Earl Thomas has shown flashes and many like Walter Thurmond) but very few men have successfully worn the GM hat while coaching.

27. Trent Baalke, 49ers
The Niners' draft record during his two years as VP of Player Personnel was iffy, but he wasn't the final decision-maker then. His first draft class will likely prove to have produced long-term starters with the first four picks (Mike Iupati, Anthony Davis, Taylor Mays and NaVorro Bowman). Iupati, in fact, seems destined to be a perennial Pro Bowler.T. Baalke (US Presswire)

28. Buddy Nix, Bills
Bills are full of overachievers, but part of overachieving is not being very talented. The Aaron Maybin air ball in 2009 puts a damper on what was otherwise a solid draft class. But Nix, a national scout at the time, wasn't fully responsible for that draft class. His 2010 draft class is off to a slow start but its still in the judgment phase.

29. Rick Smith, Texans
Houston is overhauling its defensive scheme after spending five years investing first-round picks on players who were supposed to fit that scheme.

30. Mike Brown, Bengals
He would be a great fantasy drafter because he always takes the best player. Problem is, in the real draft, team chemistry needs to factor into your decisions. Those "best players" Brown takes are often available because of character red flags.

31. John Elway, Broncos
No track record to evaluate.

32. Al Davis, Raiders
One apparently solid draft (2010) does not erase years of atrocious ones.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .


Posted on: April 26, 2011 6:22 pm
Edited on: April 28, 2011 12:01 pm
 

Is Andy Dalton really a top-10 pick?

Dalton Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Since when did Andy Dalton become a top-10 pick for this week’s NFL draft? Hell, when did he become a first round pick? I must have missed that memo, but apparently, somebody thinks quite highly of the former TCU quarterback.

That team, according to NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora is the Titans – who apparently are thinking of picking Dalton with the No. 8 pick (rather than, as convention (and our mock draft gurus Rob Rang and Chad Reuter) dictates, go with Auburn DT Nick Fairley).

La Canfora’s sources told him that Tennessee – which, after losing Vince Young and probably Kerry Collins, is in desperate need of a starting quarterback whose name happens not to be Rusty Smith – considers Dalton an elite prospect who is less of a risk than the other quarterbacks who might fall to No. 8.

Considering Auburn’s Cam Newton and Missouri’s Blaine Gabbert likely will be off the board by the time the Titans pick, Tennessee could want to avoid Washington’s Jake Locker and Arkansas’ Ryan Mallett and pick Dalton instead. The Titans also could be worried that by the time they get to their second-round pick, Dalton would be gone.

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Greg Cosell of the NFL Network disagrees, telling the Sacramento Bee that Dalton is no better than (gasp!) a fourth-round pick.

“He won't go there. He'll go higher," Cosell said. "But he doesn't throw it very well. He doesn't spin it very well. He's a guy you'll have to camouflage. He needs a strong running game to be successful."

Either way, it’s nice to know that Dalton’s red hair might not be that big a consideration with at least one NFL team.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .


Posted on: April 26, 2011 3:38 pm
Edited on: April 28, 2011 12:02 pm
 

Marcus Cannon diagnosed with cancer

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Marcus Cannon, a bubble first-round pick and a former OT from TCU, has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Pro Football Talk reports.

Cannon Cannon, who is listed as the No. 31 selection for Pittsburgh according to Chad Reuter’s mock draft (Rob Rang doesn’t have Cannon going in the first round), had been aware for years of a benign mass in his stomach/pelvic area.

But he underwent a biopsy recently, with the results sent to all 32 teams, and the test came back positive for the cancer – which, PFT explains, is treatable.

Doctors are recommending chemotherapy, which would last about 12 weeks and presumably would then allow him to try to continue his football career.

• Thurs. 7 p.m. ET: NFL DRAFT Live coverage

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Posted on: April 26, 2011 10:48 am
Edited on: April 28, 2011 12:04 pm
 

Report: Houston, Ballard test positive for THC

Posted by Will Brinson

Amid all the all-encompassing insanity of the lifted lockout, here's some potentially damaging news for a pair of prospects, just 48 hours before the NFL Draft: Georgia LB/DL Justin Houston and Iowa DL Christian Ballard have reportedly tested positive for marijuana.

That's according to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports (whose tweet somehow almost got lost in the maw that is the legal discussion regarding the lockout), who notes that the pair are "2 highly-graded defensive draft kids."
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And he's right: Houston is the No. 44-overall player on our draft board. Ballard is ranked 59th overall.

Neither of the players' respective agents returned comments to Glazer, but expect them to be asked plenty of questions over the next few days, particularly as teams decide whether or not they want to risk drafting either of the players with the reported news floating out there.

But considering that the failed tests reportedly occurred at the NFL combine, if the reports are true, then teams are already aware of the issues at hand.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: April 25, 2011 10:04 pm
Edited on: April 28, 2011 12:06 pm
 

Would Cardinals consider A.J. Green?

Posted by Andy Benoit

For the man many have described as the “safest” and “most NFL ready” player in the 2011 Draft, you sure don’t sA. Green (US Presswire) eem to hear much about A.J. Green. The Georgia wide receiver is projected by many to be selected No. 4 overall by the Bengals.

But pause and ask yourself, why is that the case? The Bengals have three young receivers in Jordan Shipley, Andre Caldwell and Jerome Simpson. True, Caldwell and Simpson have been inconsistent if not downright ineffective. But Bengals owner Mike Brown has never been big on admitting his mistakes. His tendency is to keep high draft picks who turn into bad players on the roster as long as possible.

What if Green falls past the Bengals (who badly need a defensive end, by the way) and gets scooped up by the Cardinals? Given the presence of Larry Fitzgerald and rise of Steve Breaston and Early Doucet in ’09 (not to mention the intriguing flashes of last year’s third-round rookie, Andre Roberts), the notion sounds ridiculous. But Sports Illustrated's Peter King floated the idea in his most recent Monday Morning Quarterback and backed it up with a little known nugget:

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For those who've asked about Larry Fitzgerald's frame of mind if Green's the guy, I don't think the Cards are worried. Fitzgerald won't be doubled as much with Green on the other side. And for those who've wondered why in the world the Cards would take another receiver with so many holes on the roster, remember this: As Dez Bryant free-falled last year, the Cardinals seriously considered trying to run up into the late-first round area to try to get him.

To be clear, this is NOT a prediction that Green will go to Arizona. The Cardinals have greater needs at quarterback and outside linebacker. But the chances of Green going to Arizona appear to at least be greater than zero.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .


Posted on: April 25, 2011 10:50 am
Edited on: April 25, 2011 12:24 pm
 

25 rookies will appear at NFL Draft in New York

Posted by Will Brinson

The NFL just announced the specific 25 rookies that will appear at Radio City Music Hall on Thursday when the NFL Draft takes place.
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The number of players for 2011 is an all-time, record high for invitees -- 17 players attended in 2010 and that was the previous record for rookies who showed up at the NFL Draft.

That's fascinating since there's currently a bit of a situation going on with the lockout, but it's understandable, because there's really no clear-cut way in which the draft will shake out come Thursday night, especially because the Panthers hold a top pick that will set of a chain reaction of dominos when they select, and they have yet to tip their hand.

Player Position School
Prince Amukamara CB Nebraska
Akeem Ayers LB UCLA
Adrian Clayborn DE Iowa
Randall Cobb WR Kentucky
Marcell Dareus DT Alabama
Nick Fairley DT Auburn
Blaine Gabbert QB Missouri
A.J. Green WR Georgia
Mark Herzlich LB Boston College
Mark Ingram RB Alabama
Cameron Jordan DE California
Julio Jones WR Alabama
Ryan Kerrigan DE Purdue
Corey Liuget DT Illnois
Von Miller LB Texas A&M
Rahim Moore S UCLA
Cam Newton QB Auburn
Patrick Peterson CB LSU
Mike Pouncey OL Florida
Aldon Smith DE Missouri
Tyron Smith OT USC
Phil Taylor DT Baylor
Danny Watkins OG Baylor
JJ Watt DE Wisconsin
Ryan Williams RB Virginia Tech
Posted on: April 21, 2011 7:26 pm
Edited on: April 21, 2011 7:28 pm
 

Podcast: discussing the draft, 2011 schedules

Posted by Will Brinson

Andy Benoit and I disagree about how the NFL chose to schedule its Week 1 contests. Plus, we jump into the quarterback issue of the 2011 draft.

We promise, it's worth listening to --- just hit the play button below and don't forget to Subscribe via iTunes.

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com