Tag:2011 NFL Draft
Posted on: April 21, 2011 2:15 am
 

Elway praises Newton by way of Nick Saban

Posted by Will Brinson

It's become kind of a de facto assumption that the Panthers will take Cam Newton with the first overall pick -- in fact, both of our latest mock drafts have that happening -- but there's always a chance he could be sitting there at No. 2 when the Broncos are on the clock.

Denver would then have a very interesting choice: trade the second pick or draft Newton. They could do neither, of course, but it stands to reason there's a team interested in trading up for Newton's services. And it sure seems, based on what John Elway said at a pre-draft Broncos press conference Wednesday, that they'd at least be interested in taking a look at the Auburn product.

"One of the interesting things is we went down and saw Nick Saban when we were down at Alabama's Pro Day, and we're talking about obviously all his players and then we asked him about Cam, and he said that team would not have won four games if it wasn't for Cam Newton," Elway said in a press conference Wednesday. "That tells you how much of a special player he is."

That's strong praise indeed ... or just a pot shot at a rival. But probably strong praise.

Even if they did want Newton on board, don't expect the Broncos to tip their hand about it, just like they'll continue to keep guarded any calls they've had re: trades.

"Most of those calls with likely occur the day of the draft," GM Brian Xanders said. "It starts at 6 p.m., Mountain Time, so those hours preceding we could get calls or we might not get any calls."

Yup, that's the ambiguity of the next week or so -- no one's talked to anyone else and every team loves every prospect on the board.

Hell, for all we know, the Newton love-fest coming out of Denver's press conference was an elaborate smokescreen to keep the Panthers away from Alabama's Marcel Dareus.

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Posted on: April 20, 2011 6:22 pm
Edited on: April 20, 2011 6:55 pm
 

Teams down on Andy Dalton ... for his hair color?

Posted by Will Brinson

The peak of NFL disinformation -- the week before the NFL Draft -- is about to get into full swing, but it's gotten a pretty good start already, what with the silly "Ryan Mallett can't NOT party when he's in Charlotte for a single night to meet with Carolina" rumors.

But a rumor surrounding Andy Dalton might be even more ridiculous than the Mallett business -- according to Peter King of Sports Illustrated, there's at least one coach on one team in the NFL who's concerned about Dalton because -- wait for it -- he has red hair.

"Has there ever been a red-headed quarterback in the NFL who's really done well?" a coach asked one reporter last week, according to King. "It sounds idiotic, but is there any way that could be a factor? We've wondered."

King's article is about the "inexact science of choosing a quarterback" in the NFL Draft and it's spot on, because, well, it's 2011 and teams are still absolutely whiffing on early-round signal callers, despite hours of tape and piles of personnel reports.

NFL Draft

But someone's worried about Dalton because he's -- and apologies if this offends anyone -- a ginger? Come on.

Should people be concerned about whether or not success at TCU translates to success at the NFL level? Sure, why not (Ben Roethlisberger would like a word, however). Should be prospective teams worry about his arm strength? Definitely. You want a strong-armed quarterback.

Is there a possible issue with the fact that Dalton's coming from a spread offense? Well, yeah, but you could ask the same question about Blaine Gabbert.

Dalton's also the all-time leader in victories by a TCU quarterback, after passing Sammy Baugh (!) in his senior year. He also threw for 10,314 yards in four years at TCU, threw just 30 interceptions and completed almost 62 percent of his passes over his four-year career. 

Despite all that, he deserves scrutiny, for sure, because some team could invest a lot of time and money in his services. But even Eric Cartman would agree that worrying about whether or not his hair color might cause him to be a failure at the professional level is a bit over the top.

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Posted on: April 19, 2011 3:00 pm
 

Hot Routes 4.19.11: Belichick is open to trades

Posted by Will Brinson



Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL).
  • BREAKING NEWS: Bill Belichick is willing to trade draft picks. Shocking, I know, right? Actually, Belichick was responding to the fact that everyone thinks they'll be trading. They probably will, because that's what they do, but for whatever reason, it's just assumed that everyone can have their pile of picks if they give something else up. Maybe the Pats actually want to nail some early-round picks this time. 
  • Our own Mike Freeman hopped on Pro Football Talk Live! (it is Live! and not Live, right?) with Mike Florio to talk about the labor situation, the draft and Jon Gruden. I think Florio's a decent enough looking fella, but I prefer to take him in the ear. Er, wait -- you can listen here and watch here.
Posted on: April 19, 2011 1:06 pm
Edited on: April 19, 2011 4:10 pm
 

Ex-Bucs QB King takes shot at Gruden's eval skill

Posted by Will Brinson

Jon Gruden is known as an "NFL Draft quarterback expert" of sorts. This is partially because he helped the Oakland offense become historically awesome, partially because he won a Super Bowl with Brad Johnson, and mostly because ESPN is marketing him as THIS GUY WHO KNOWS ABOUT YOUNG QUARTERBACKS, whether you like it or not.

One of his former "students," Shaun King apparently takes umbrage to this designation, too, and called Chucky out on The King David Show on WQYK-AM 1010 (via Joe Bucs Fan).

"I won’t watch [Gruden's quarterback camps]," King said. "I disagree with the premise of the show. The premise is that Gruden is some kind of quarterbacks guru and that having him as a destination for a rookie QB is the ideal situation for a rookie and that just hasn’t proven to the case."

Fortunately, just a short time after King ripped Gruden's development of young signal callers, Gruden was on a conference call with the media relating to his draft evaluation. And Gregg Rosenthal of Pro Football Talk was kind enough to ask about King's comments.

"I did fail miserably in developing Shaun King and I’m sorry he'll miss our show," Gruden responded.

Now that's just a funny burn, so props to Gruden for a) taking the question in stride and b) having a hysterical response ready.

Speaking of QB evaluations, our Chad Reuter talks Draft Risers/Fallers


Unfortunately, King's technically accurate -- the list of young quarterbacks that worked under Gruden isn't exactly a list of who's who in terms of successful guys in the NFL.

While with the Bucs, Gruden drafted Chris Simms (third round), Bruce Gradkowski (sixth round), and Josh Johnson (fifth round) and traded for fourth-rounder Luke McCown. While with the Raiders, Gruden picked up Marques Tuiasosopo (second round).

None of those guys have turned out to be anything remotely above average in the NFL (though Gradkowski, somewhat ironically, started for the Raiders).

Having pointed that out, Gruden's never tried his hand with a first-round talent, and he's obviously had plenty of success with veteran quarterbacks in the NFL. He did win a Super Bowl, after all; and one in which he beat the team he basically constructed, no less.

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Posted on: April 18, 2011 2:49 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 3:10 pm
 

Report: Mallett admits drug use to NFL teams

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Apparently, former Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett has had some stunning confessions in the lead-up to the NFL draft. As Pro Football Weekly reports, Mallett has admitted to using drugs to prospective employers.

Yet, he struck a different tone while talking to KRJ radio in Seattle earlier today, when Mallett described why he felt he got a raw deal from NFL.com’s Albert Breer in a previous story that discussed some teams’ concerns about his off-field activities.

Said Mallett (via sportsradiointerviews.com) : “Because Albert [Breer] doesn’t know me. Yeah, Albert doesn’t know me and Albert’s never been around me. Albert doesn’t know what kind of guy I am. That’s why I love these visits, being around the team, so they can see what kind of guy I am and what kind of person I am because all these reports about all this other stuff is mind boggling to me. I don’t know where he gets his information, but to me he got false information.”

Which naturally transitions us into today’s PFW report about Mallett's supposed drug use. One GM told PFW’s Nolan Nawrocki that it was the first time he ever heard a draftee admit that, and a league executive told him that he wouldn’t take Mallett at any point in the draft.

For the record, Breer’s story ran in early January, and the mention of Mallett’s off-field activities was 17 words long.

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Posted on: April 18, 2011 2:02 pm
 

Questions abound about Newton's readiness

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

When Jon Gruden had a chat with former Auburn QB Cam Newton, he put the potential No. 1 pick on the spot, and it didn’t go so well. Gruden asked Newton to call a play from Auburn’s offense, and frankly, Newton couldn’t do it.

To be fair, just what in the hell does “flip right double X jet 36 counter naked waglet 7 X quarter” mean, anyway?

I don’t know. And apparently neither does Newton. But Gruden, in the video below (via Sports By Brooks) , makes a good point about Newton’s readiness to play QB in the NFL.

The video is a little weird, because Gruden basically pounds Newton (but not in a jerkish kind of way). But Gruden also does a nice job exposing one of Newton’s big weaknesses heading into the NFL draft.

And you have to ask yourself? Is Newton really the player you want to take with the No. 1 pick?


CREDIT: ESPN TELEVISION by sportsxbrooks

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Category: NFL
Posted on: April 18, 2011 11:04 am
 

Source: Redskins want to trade down for QB

Washington might want to take FSU's C. Ponder (US Presswire). Posted by Pete Prisco

There have been some reports that the Washington Redskins are looking to trade up to draft a quarterback.

I hear it's the exact opposite.

According to a league source, the Redskins are looking to trade down in the first round with the idea they will draft either Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder (pictured at right) or TCU quarterback Andy Dalton.

The Redskins, who pick 10th overall, would like to get a second-round pick from a team in exchange for moving back to their spot in the first round. They could then use their two second-round picks to bolster the defense.

For a team that doesn't have a third-round pick, this scenario makes a lot more sense than trying to trade up.

The X-factor here would be if Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert were to fall to them at the 10th spot. The Redskins would likely take him there, rather than trading back.

One team that is said to be eyeing the 10th spot is the New England Patriots, who have two first-round picks and two second-round picks. The Patriots might have their eye on an edge rusher -- like Ryan Kerrigan of Purdue -- or a receiver like Julio Jones of Alabama.

No matter if they trade down or not, the Redskins have to get a quarterback in this draft. Donovan McNabb is on his way out and Rex Grossman isn't the answer and he's a free agent.

The only quarterback on the roster is John Beck. Not a chance he's the opening-day starter, which is why a trade back in th first round makes sense.

This post was cross-posted from Pete Prisco's Prisco's Points blog. For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: April 12, 2011 9:24 pm
 

Bowers' knee is causing many questions

Nobody seems to know what is going on with D. Bowers' knee. Posted by Josh Katzowitz

There seems to be plenty of confusion about the condition of Clemson DE DaQuan Bowers’ knee. Apparently, he’s been cleared to play by a number of team’s doctors, but others claim that he’s got a degenerative problem that will scare off teams who are looking for a DE.

We know that he didn’t work out at the NFL combine because he wasn’t 100 percent (even though curiously he said he was) , and we know he had to forgo Clemson’s original Pro Day because he wasn’t ready to perform. Then, he had a so-so personal workout that has plenty of teams worried about his future.

Sometimes, the word is that Bowers’ knee is doing great and sometimes, the word is that he might need microfracture surgery and that it’s already arthritic.

So, what’s the deal?

According to Pro Football Weekly, Bowers (along with USC OT Tyron Smith) received low scores during their NFL combine medical re-checks. That’s, um, not a good thing.

"He's talented," an NFL executive told PFW, "but that's a lot of risk to take. You might not get much in Year One and how long is he going to last? Our doctors said he would be lucky to play out his rookie contract. He's a very humble kid. You hope he could overcome it. But we couldn't take him where we are picking (in the middle third of the first round). Someone else might. We would discuss it in the second round."

It still would be surprising to see Bowers slip out of the first round completely – and, in reality, media reports can be unreliable for what a team or teams are really thinking – but if his knee IS degenerative, that’s a big problem for him.

All of it compelled Bowers’ agent, Joe Flanagan, to issue tonight a very long statement in response. You can read it here , but here’s a small taste:

"As to his progress and the feedback from the medical recheck, every team we've spoken to, including multiple GMs, has said that, overall, Da'Quan's knee has shown good healing, has continued to get better since the Combine, and, perhaps most importantly, showed absolutely no acute or remote ill-effects as a result of his April 1 workout (i.e. no swelling, no increase in laxity, etc.). We know of at least two "stations" (multiple doctors) at the recheck who improved his grade from the Combine. In short, their doctors indicated that the fact that the knee didn't swell up after a full pro-day workout, followed immediately by a week of visiting teams via air travel (which can increase swelling) is clearly a very positive sign. Bottom line: if it's holding up from a pounding in April, it should clearly hold up in August.

For the record, in their mock drafts, Chad Reuter has Bowers going at No. 12 to the Vikings while Rob Rang has him at No. 20 to the Buccaneers.

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