Tag:Prince Amukamara
Posted on: April 15, 2011 12:33 pm
 

Offseason Checkup: San Francisco 49ers

Posted by Will Brinson



Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups



The 49ers were doomed almost from the very start of last season. After all, check out their schedule for the first five games – the Seahawks, the Saints, the Chiefs, the Falcons and the Eagles (all made the playoffs and combined for a 51-29 record while knocking off the 49ers) – but two weeks after running through that gauntlet, San Francisco fell to the Panthers also. So, that’s not too good.

Neither, for that matter, was coach Mike Singletary, who was fired after Week 16, and neither was much of anybody else. The offense ranked 24th in the league – almost a miracle considering Alex Smith and Troy Smith traded off starting QB spots and RB Frank Gore missed the last five games because of a fractured hip – and though the defense was actually slightly better than average, San Francisco just couldn’t put it together under Singletary’s leadership.




Quarterback Issues

When Singletary named Troy Smith as his starting QB midway through the season, you knew neither of them were long for their respective jobs. When Singletary replaced andinjured Alex Smith with Troy Smith in Week 10 and then switched back to Alex the next week (and then continued to switch the two throughout the rest of the year), there was almost no chance San Francisco would win consistently.

Actually, the trouble began earlier in the season during that infamous Sundayy Night Football game when the San Francisco fans booed Alex Smith and demanding to see the backup QB, and Singletary thought hard about replacing him with David Carr. Smith then led a near comeback attempt vs. the Eagles. Still, not a great sequence for San Francisco.


1. Patient History
We gave the patient history of this position in the section above, so now, let’s figure out what the 49ers will do about it. They actually could keep Alex Smith – they’ve already offered him a one-year contract – but it’s unclear whether Smith will sign it. But yeah, it might make sense for San Francisco to look for quarterbacks in the draft. And remember, Kevin Kolb and Donovan McNabb are still out there as well.

2. Jim Harbaugh
He’s got zero NFL head coaching experience, but 49ers fans have to be excited about the possibilities (considering his success at Stanford and because his brother, John, has done such a bang-up job with the Ravens), and considering he’s getting paid $25 million over five years, he’d BETTER have more success than Singletary. And don’t forget: San Francisco also hired Trent Baalke as GM in the offseason. So, the 49ers are kind of starting over.

3. Cornerback
Nate Clements is fine at one CB spot, but Shawntae Spencer didn’t have a great year last season. Which is why it makes sense for San Francisco to grab either LSU’s Patrick Peterson or Nebraska’s Prince Amukamara with the No. 7 pick in the draft.




The defense is good enough to compete. The 49ers LB corps with Patrick Willis and Takeo Spikes (and maybe Manny Lawson) is pretty darn good, and the defensive line, led by Justin Smith, does a nice job as well. The problem here is offense, and not just at QB either.

Gore is coming off a bad injury, and WR Michael Crabtree still hasn’t broken out in a big way. Assuming Harbaugh can get the respect of his team right away – something Singletary struggled with last season – San Francisco could get back to 8-8. Which means the 49ers could contend for the NFC West crown.

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Posted on: March 30, 2011 8:50 pm
 

Player invites keep going out for NFL draft

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Andy already told you about how Alabama WR Julio Jones and Iowa DE Adrian Clayborn said they were accepting the NFL’s invitation to attend the NFL draft at New York’s Radio City Music Hall.

Looks like they’re not going to be the only ones.

According to NFL.com, more than 20 invitations have been sent out, and quite a few have already accepted.

Those include Texas A&M linebacker Von Miller (although he’s one of the plaintiffs in Brady vs NFL ), Alabama DL Marcell Dareus, Alabama RB Mark Ingram, Clemson DE Da'Quan Bowers, Auburn DL Nick Fairley and Nebraska CB Prince Amukamara.

The NFL has not yet confirmed who the league has invited.

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Posted on: March 25, 2011 12:07 pm
Edited on: March 27, 2011 12:49 am
 

Offseason Checkup: Seattle Seahawks

Posted by Josh Katzowitz



Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups . Also, check out our checkup podcast:





The Seahawks were subjected to much ridicule when they became the first team in playoff history to enter with a losing record (for that, we can thank the incredibly weak NFC West – not to mention the Rams, who fell to the Seahawks in Week 17 in a game that would have allowed St. Louis to win the division with an 8-8 mark).

But then, Seattle immediately thumbed its nose – and indirectly taunted the Giants and Buccaneers, both of whom missed the playoffs with 10-6 records – at the NFL by beating New Orleans (we can talk all day about how Seattle had an unfair advantage by getting to host an 11-5 team, but Seattle outclassed the Saints big time).

Seattle was a weird team to observe last season. The Seahawks were either pretty good (wins against the Chargers and the Bears attest to that), or they were absolutely horrid (remember the 33-3 loss to the Raiders and the 41-7 defeat to the Giants in consecutive weeks?). I never really got a handle on which Seattle team was going to show up each week, and I still couldn’t tell you whether the Seahawks were a good team last year. I kind of lean toward no, though.




Future franchise QB, Too much change

Matt Hasselbeck could return for another season, and honestly, that wouldn’t be a terrible decision, because he was decent enough last year for a 35-year-old quarterback. But his backup Charlie Whitehurst – who the Seahawks traded for last season – simply has not proved he’s a quality starter, and while third-stringer J.P. Losman started in Buffalo, there’s a pretty good reason he’s not doing it there anymore.

It seemed like coach Pete Carroll has turned over the roster about 15 times since he took over as head coach, and he’s lost a few assistants. At some point, there needs to be some roster and staff consistency, doesn’t there?



1. Franchise QB
Could Philadelphia’s Kevin Kolb be that quarterback? The Seahawks would have to give up, at the very least, a first-round draft pick (and probably a mid-round pick as well) in order to trade the Eagles, but Kolb could very well be the guy to replace Hasselbeck. Emphasis on the word “could” because Kolb, as far as I’m concerned, still has much to prove as a starting QB. And if Seattle doesn’t get Kolb (and can’t re-sign the unrestricted free agent Hasselbeck), what the heck happen

2. Offensive consistency
wks fired offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates after just one season, probably because they averaged less than 300 yards of total offense per game and perhaps because they thought they could get Josh McDaniels to take that job. Instead, they hired former Vikings offensive coordinator Darren Bevell to replace Bates and former 49ers head coach Tom Cable as the OL coach. Maybe that will work. And if not, Carroll won’t have a problem looking for a replacement.

3. Cornerback help
Seattle allowed 11 passes of 40-plus yards last year, and though that wasn’t necessarily always the fault of the 30-year-old Marcus Trufant and the underwhelming Kelly Jennings, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Seattle takes a defensive back in the first round of the draft. The top-two CBs in the draft (Prince Amukamara and Patrick Patterson) surely won’t be around by the time the Seahawks pick at No. 25, but Colorado’s Jimmy Smith is a definite possibility.




For a playoff team, the Seahawks have soooooo much room to improve. RB Marshawn Lynch (who, you’ll recall, did this against the Saints) was serviceable after landing in the Pacific Northwest, and Seattle signed WR Mike Williams to a three-year extension near the end of the season. But the offensive line needs help (the team has used 15 (!) players on the left side of the line in the past three years), and the Seahawks could forgo a cornerback and draft a lineman in the first round.

That said, remember the Seahawks play in the weakest division in football. So, you could mark them down as favorites to win the NFC West, and you actually have a pretty good chance of being correct. But this team, like last year’s squad, could be very flawed. And it might not be very good.

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Posted on: March 16, 2011 10:55 am
Edited on: March 16, 2011 1:11 pm
 

Hot Routes 3.16.11: Still #WINNING



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • What do Redskins GM Bruce Allen and Charlie Sheen have in common? WINNING, obviously. As in, “You should know that the current status of the Collective Bargaining Agreement will not disrupt our preparation for the 2011 season or swerve our focus from the Redskins’ objective -- WINNING.” What would have made this even more awesome? If Allen had added the word, “DUH.”
  • A woman has been convicted of killing the pregnant girlfriend of former Bears DB Shaun Gayle. A Lake County, Ill., jury found that Marni Young meticulously planned out an execution of a woman she considered a romantic rival for Gayle. The woman faces a 45-year maximum term. The victim was seven months pregnant with Gayle’s child.
  • Apparently, the Steelers are huge fans of the Pouncey family. As you know, C Maurkice Pouncey established himself as a huge presence for the Pittsburgh offensive line last year, and if Pittsburgh had the choice, it’d take Mike Pouncey in next month’s NFL draft and put him at right guard.

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Posted on: March 2, 2011 12:13 am
 

2011 NFL combine winners/losers

Posted by Will Brinson

This isn't every single winner and loser from the 2011 NFL combine, but it's five of each (and mostly bigger names) that really stood out to me. Take it with a small grain of salt, if only because the inclusion of someone like Cam Newton doesn't mean he won't be a top-five pick. It just means that his appearance at the combine didn't exactly solidify him as someone that's a can't-miss prospect. The combine almost never provides full-on proof of someone's status, but it can either answer some questions or really highlight some issues with various draft prospects.

Winners 

Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska -- People were knocking Amukamara for his speed before the combine. Uh, whoops: he ripped off a 4.43 (4.37 was his first unofficial time, by the by) and proved everyone wrong. Suddenly there's a decent chance both he and Peterson are gone by the end of the top-10 picks.

Julio Jones, WR, Alabama -- So it turns out that Jones did all the combine drills with a fractured foot. That's pretty impressive. It's way more impressive when you see that he somehow managed to close the gap between he and the consensus top wideout A.J. Green.

Marvin Austin, DT, UNC -- He and Robert Quinn were two UNC guys who helped themselves (most of the other ones didn't) at the combine. Austin, the guy who helped take the Tar Heels down via Twitter, has a pile of red flags, but the athletic upside in Indy is going to make someone take a chance on him much earlier than they would have a year ago.

Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State -- To paraphrase Neil Diamond, "I'm only gonna do one thing, but I'm gonna do it good." Paea could only lift at the combine but MAN did he lift, setting the record for 225-pound bench presses with 49.

Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State -- Ponder all of a sudden finds himself generating "first-round buzz" after a strong combine (on top of a very strong Senior Bowl). Two months ago, that would have been laughable.

Losers

Cam Newton, QB, Auburn -- Newton won't fall out of the top 10 in any mock draft between now and the time the NFL Draft happens because he's an absolute mutant of an athlete. But there are clearly red flags going up everywhere from his "entertainer" comment to the possibility that he underwhelmed teams in interviews to the poor showing he had when throwing the ball.

Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas -- Even if he did perform well on the field, his press conference performance and unwillingness to address drug rumors sunk his stock to the point that there are plenty of Ryan Leaf comps floating around.

Kendric Burney, CB, UNC -- Burney ripped up the Senior Bowl but that in-game action (some folks have said ) didn't translate to measurables, and a 4.75 40 isn't exactly the speed a tiny corner wants to show people looking to invest.

Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson -- If you're going to claim that you're "100 percent" at the combine -- even after surgery -- it's probably a good idea to participate in some of the drills, you know?

Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn -- Fairley's still got a very good chance of being the top overall pick in the draft, and the dude had some pretty darn good measurables at the draft. But the gap between he and Marcell Dareus is MUCH shorter than it was a week ago.

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Posted on: March 1, 2011 11:16 pm
 

DB draft class more than just Peterson, Prince

Robert Sands impressed scouts at the NFL combine (Getty). Posted by Rob Rang

Count me among those that is not at all surprised by the fact that LSU's Patrick Peterson and Nebraska's Prince Amukamara silenced a few critics today with their blazing times in the 40-yard dash and strong performances in other defensive back drills.

I certainly wasn't alone in believing these players would perform well. I spoke to various members of NFL scouting departments, agents, prospects and media in the weeks preceding the Combine that expected these two players to do well.

By only confirming the athleticism many of us recognized on tape, Peterson and Amukamara won't be boosting their stock much. Each was already viewed by many as potential top ten prospects.

Here are a few other defensive backs who boosted their stock even more with strong Combine workouts Tuesday.

  • Chimdi Chekwa, CB, Ohio State: A severely dislocated wrist suffered in the Buckeyes' Sugar Bowl victory over Arkansas kept Chekwa from performing all of the drills in Indianapolis, but he starred in most important one -- recording a 4.40 second showing in the 40-yard dash and reinforcing the belief that he's one of the nation's most underrated cornerbacks and a potential second round pick.
  • Robert Sands, S, West Virginia (pictured at right): Most are pegging UCLA's Rahim Moore as this year's top safety, but it was the size/speed freak Sands who enjoyed the more impressive Combine showing, Tuesday. The 6-4, 217 pound Sands surprised some with a solid time in the 40-yard dash (4.57) and standout performances, as well, in the leaps and shuttles. Don't be surprised if this Mountaineer winds up a top 75 pick.
  • Mark Legree, S, Appalachian State: Despite the fact that he was a three-time consensus All-American at Appalachian State with an eye-popping 22 career interceptions, Legree was only a late addition to the Combine. I've long been a fan of his instincts and ball-skills and love that he proved his athleticism against the so-called elite competition. I'm not going to say I expected him to turn in the second fastest time in the 40-yard dash of any safety at the Combine, but I have been very much of a fan of his for a while now...

And can prove it. 

Surprised I didn't list Demarcus Van Dyke as a Riser following his Combine-best 4.28 time in the 40-yard dash? Don't be. Scouts certainly weren't, as "DVD" was a well-known speedster who demonstrated his speed recently when asked to play at the Senior Bowl.

Besides, aren't DVDs meant to burn?


This entry was cross-posted from Rob Rang's NFL Draft blog. For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .

Posted on: March 1, 2011 10:40 am
Edited on: March 1, 2011 10:42 am
 

Amukamara puts to rest issues with his speed

Posted by Will Brinson

Prince Amukamara, CBSSports.com's second-highest rated cornerback and 10th-overall prospect, was the unquestioned star of the early defensive backs who ran the 40, posting an impressive (albeit unofficial) pair of times on Tuesday at the combine. On Amukamara's first run, he ran the 40 in 4.37 seconds, and in the second attempt, 4.44.

The biggest knock on Amukamara was his speed -- that probably shouldn't be a problem anymore.

As Chad Reuter notes, there are "still concerns about his recovery speed" but "in the right system" Amukamara will be a star.

Currently, Rob Rang has Amukamara being drafted by Dallas at ninth overall, while Reuter sees him going 11th to the Houston Texans.

If he continues to perform like he did this morning, there's a decent chance he won't even last that long -- someone like San Francisco could certainly make a play before he falls to the Texas teams.

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Posted on: February 27, 2011 5:44 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2011 7:28 pm
 

Peterson aims for 4.2 40 - and end to safety talk

Posted by Derek Harper

INDIANAPOLIS -- LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson is careful not to compare himself to Charles Woodson, but the two have struck up a friendship and Peterson admits, "I definitely want to pattern my game" after the Green Bay Packers star.

The top-rated prospect in the 2011 draft by NFLDraftScout.com, Peterson’s chances of securing a top five selection would certainly be helped with Woodson’s versatility. Some scouts consider Peterson a potential candidate to move to safety, but he hopes to dispel that thought with his combine workout Tuesday.

Peterson, who said he has seven percent body fat, is aiming to run in the 4.2-second range in the 40-yard dash despite adding about seven pounds of muscle and measuring in at 6-feet and 219 pounds.

"I feel pretty swift the way I am, I feel fast, I feel quick, I feel more fluid at the weight I am right now," said Peterson. "I don't want to go out there and try to kill myself trying to lose weight because I have very little body fat. I believe I’m good at the weight I’m at right now."

Peterson said he ran a 4.29 a week ago. If he can approach that time Tuesday, Peterson will secure his spot ahead of Nebraska’s Prince Amukamara as the clear No. 1 cornerback in the draft - and a 6-footer with good ball skills and that type of speed should finally squash talk of a move to safety.



Peterson said he’s willing to move if an NFL teams asks him to, but it’s clear his preference is to remain at cornerback. And the main weakness he pointed out was his lack of experience playing zone. But that can be considered a good problem to have because LSU teaches the much more difficult press corner technique.

"I want to work on my zone coverage. We barely did that at LSU,” Peterson said. “A lot of people are saying I can't backpedal and things like that, but I definitely can. I was just going through the style of play that (LSU defensive backs) coach (Ron) Cooper and (former LSU head) coach (Nick) Saban taught me. I definitely want to show the media, all you guys, that I can backpedal and change direction as well."

This entry was cross-posted from our NFL Draft Blog. For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
 
 
 
 
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