Thursday, April 21, 2005Mock Draft (Round 3 Completed)
Cesar: I love this Mock Draft stuff Corey. I don't care if you are working in Pnomh Penh next year, this is going to be an perennial event for us. San Fran tops the 3rd rd with a pick that they can't believe fell at their doorstep. Kevan Barlow was a major disappointment last year and some depth is needed as well.
66 St. Louis (from Miami) -- Barrett Ruud, LB, Nebraska
Corey: Great value pick for St. Louis, another addition to a defense that always needs work, especially after giving up 400 rushing yards against Atlanta in the playoffs.
67 Cleveland -- Atiyyah Ellison, DT, Missouri
Corey: Demarcus Ware is planned to be at the OLB spot, so help at the DT spot is sorely needed. DT's continue their reign on the 2005 Draft.
68 Tennessee -- Jerome Mathis, WR, Hampton
Corey: Norm Chow needs a few weapons and Tennessee is going to take the flyer on this small school superhero. If Mathis went to Virginia instead of Hampton he'd be a top 15 pick.
Cesar: Damn, Mathis was going to be in my coming mix. Good pick.
69 Oakland -- Ernest Shazor, S/LB, Michigan
Cesar: Oakland's needs LB and DL help. This guy is simply the best value left on the board and it's hard to believe he is still there.
Corey: Shazor is a safety, you're moving him to linebacker?
Cesar: He's a OLB/S tweener. He's 228 lbs and runs a 4.70 40. The top 5 safeties in this year's draft average 215 lbs and run 4.50 40. Thomas Davis is the only exception.
70 Miami (from Chicago) -- Justin Tuck, DE/OLB, Notre Dame
Corey: Gotta go with more value. Nick Saban is looking for so many things he doesn't pick for need at this stage but talent and this guy is probably the best on the board.
Cesar: How in the hell was he left on the board! That's grand theft.
71 Tampa Bay -- Oshiomogho Atogwe, S, Stanford
Cesar: In consecutive offseasons the team has lost both John Lynch and Dwight Smith. They go out west to get this underrated safety.
Corey: That's a mouthful
72 Detroit -- Adrian McPherson, QB, FSU/Indiana Firebirds
Corey: Detroit has Joey Harrington and Jeff Garcia as quarterback, that basically means they need a quarterback. McPherson's not only the best on the board, he might be the best in the draft.
Cesar: Well...well Big C. That was a FANTASTIC pick. I have simply forgotten about A McPherson. He made a bad choice in life about the gambling thing (who cares). A Rae Carruth he ain't.
73 Houston (from Dallas) -- Adam Snyder, OG/OT, Oregon
Corey: Houston needs to continue building protection for David Carr and getting tougher up front.
*note* At this stage we started making multiple picks to get this done before lunch on Friday.
74 N.Y. Giants -- Eric Green, CB, Virginia Tech
Cesar: The Giants feel this pick was not going to be at #74. It is. Will Allen will play out his last year as a Giant and may find serious competition for a starting position in '05.
75 Arizona -- Matt McCoy, OLB, San Diego State
Cesar: The Cardinals will need an upgrade at the LB position.
Corey: The already got an upgrade (I think) at the uniform position. First the tough bird not the Ball State jersey design. Way to aim high!
76 Denver (from Washington) -- Eric Shelton, RB, Louisville
Corey: You know the Broncos love running backs and you and I are a big fan of Mr. Shelton
77 Philadelphia (from Kansas City) -- Michael Boley, OLB, Southern Miss
Cesar: Philly is having a sensational draft: C Crowder, C Fason, R White. And there's 2 picks to go left in the 3rd round! Not good news for the 'Boys, 'Skins, and GMen. Add another LB to to the equation.
78 Houston -- Roscoe Parrish, WR, Miami
Corey: Houston gets a deep threat to go along with the monster that is Andre Johnson. Parrish is small but he's extremely quick and tougher than one would expect.
79 Carolina -- Gerald Sensabaugh, S, North Carolina
Cesar: Carolina gets a safety on the rise. Was an All-American in the Div IAA. Transferred to UNC and excelled as well. Look for the momentum to continue at the pro level.
80 Minnesota -- Logan Mankins, S, Fresno St.
Cesar: Minnesota will shore up their O-Line with a guard on the rise thanks to his stellar senior season campaign.
81 St. Louis -- Stanley Wilson Jr., S, Stanford
Cesar: St. Louis adds a depth to their CB position. The son of "SB no show" Stanley Wilson Sr, Wilson Jr could be special.
82 New Orleans - Donte Nicholson, S, Oklahoma
Corey: The word for the day is value. The Saints grab their second safety on the first day. They needed a lot of help in the backfield and Nicholson is strong against the run. Chances are they've traded Darren Howard for another first-day pick.
83 Cincinnati -- Alfred Fincher, ILB, Connecuticut
Corey: Cincinnati is still monitoring the injured status of Nate Webster and Marvin Lewis needs to find a talented backup.
84 Baltimore -- Andrew Walter, QB, Arizona St.
Corey: A message has been sent to Kyle Boller, the time is now and Baltimore drafts a potential replacement if its necessary.
85 Seattle -- Kirk Morrison, ILB, San Diego St.
Cesar: Seattle gets the type of player you hate to underestimate. One of the most highly decorated linebackers in all of college football. We all know Seattle needs all the 'D' they can get.
86 Buffalo -- Ronald Bartell, CB, Howard
Cesar: Buffalo adds a a CB who has everything the NFL is looking for physically. One of the top sleepers in the draft.
87 Jacksonville -- Ryan Moats, RB, Louisiana Tech
Cesar: Now, this is an intriguing pick for Jax. Fred Taylor has hit the age of 30 and although he can do it all, this backup would be an excellent change of pace.
88 N.Y. Jets -- Kevin Everett, TE, Miami
Corey: Even thought the Jets traded for Doug Jolley, Chris Baker isn't the long-term answer in a two tight end set. Everett has strong potential.
Cesar: I had Everett originally picked for the Bills, until I saw a higher need for Buffalo. Everett was definitely on the radar.
89 Green Bay -- Jason Brown, C/G, North Carolina
Corey: The Packers are going to take this big center and see what he can do as a left guard. The rate of success should be high.
90 Atlanta -- Terence Murphy, WR/KR, Texas A&M
Cesar: Atlanta gets a sturdy, tough, and hard-working WR. This guy will make a solid #2 option in the year's to come.
91 Tampa Bay (from San Diego) -- Mike Nugent, PK, Ohio State
Cesar: Tampa Bay's needs now go into OG and DT. But let's think about this for a moment. How many fans out there in Buccaneer-land desire a dependable placekicker? After living through the ups and down of Martin Grammatica, they'll thank the FO for this gift.
92 Indianapolis -- Leroy Hill, CB, Clemson
Corey: Indianapolis continues building the defense for both starters and depth, it's important to get guys who are ready to contribute.
93 Pittsburgh -- Roydell Williams, WR, Tulane
Corey: Pittsburgh needs to get some more receiving depth and this is an underrated prospect, the type that seem to thrive in the Steelers organization.
94 Philadelphia -- Ray Willis, OT, Florida State
Corey: There's no way Philly is keeping all these picks so they have the luxury to take whoever they want. Willis is a good line prospect that doesn't have to be rushed into a game.
95 Arizona (from New England) -- Antonio Perkins, CB/KR, Oklahoma
Cesar: There were other CB's out there rated above Perkins, but they don't bring the ST abilities he does. AZ likes this versatile prospect.
96 Tennessee (Compensatory Selection) -- Vernand Morency, RB, Oklahoma State
Cesar: Chris Brown is not always healthy. Morency should spell relief. Tennessee thinks so.
97 Denver (Compensatory Selection) -- Nick Collins, S, Bethune-Cookman
Cesar: Kenoy Kennedy has gone bye-bye thru FA. Enter the small-school product for the Broncos.
98 Seattle (Compensatory Selection) -- Jovan Haye, DE, Vanderbilt
Cesar: A streaky player who is either great or average. At this point, Seattle will take average.
99 Kansas City (Compensatory Selection) -- Scott Starks, CB, Wisconsin
Corey: Kansas City continues trying to bolster a defense in need of everything with another strong defensive back prospect.
100 New England (Compensatory Selection) -- Frank Gore, RB, Miami
Corey: New England probably won't be able to keep Kevin Faulk pass this season so they will draft a backup for Corey Dillon that could eventually start.
101 Denver (Compensatory Selection) --Vincent Jackson, WR, Northern Colorado
Cesar: Hey, Rod Smith isn't exactly a young buck and Ashley Lelie hasn't stepped up to the plate. This prospect has a lot of upside and potential and also played basketball in college. One of the top sleeper prospects in the draft according to many experts.
Wednesday, April 20, 2005Couple of Tidbits...
Army/ESPN: Interesting story as Army's football team signs an exclusive TV contract with the networks of the Worldwide Sports Leader. The deal calls for one game a season to be on ESPN or ESPN2 with the rest on ESPN Classic or ESPNU.
Great deal for both sides. Army is without a conference so the TV will give them the necessary exposure to recruit and compete for a bowl (since ESPN runs most of those too) and all Army home and neutral site games will be available to the troops around the world.
"I can't begin to say what a big boost this is for our program,'' Army head coach Bobby Ross said. "I know people say that Dallas is America's team, but I think we are. In the past, the only opportunity they've really had to see us play was during the Army-Navy game.''
MNF/ESPN: R.D. talked about this yesterday [link] I might tomorrow. Basically the NFL overplayed its relationship with Disney and somehow got a sweetheart deal for NBC out of it...NBC made out like bandits, getting the premier game for the second half of the season AND the two Super Bowls that ABC was going to get.
The good thing about this MNF deal from a network standpoint is that the game will be available for free in the markets that the teams represent. That was crucial. I have a feeling the NFL is waiting to see if Rupert Murdoch really does launch a major all-sports network, if so they might get the deal for Saturday games. If not TNT might jump back into the fray (remember they did Sunday night games for the first-half of the year in the mid-90s).
Either with so much new money floating around, I expect the players and league to sign off on a new labor agreement much sooner.
Monday, April 18, 2005Mock Draft (Round 2 Completed)
33 San Francisco -- Brandon Browner, CB, Oregon St.
Cesar: San Francisco needs a lot. It's time to start on the defense now and maybe for the rest of the draft. This corner gets the nod over McFadden b/c of the huge heighth difference.
34 Cleveland -- DeMarcus Ware, OLB/DE, Troy
Corey: When you need as much as Cleveland, you're just looking for the hardest workers Romeo Crennel would like. Ware coming from small Troy and working his way into a top-round pick is the type of player he likes.
35 Philadelphia (from Miami) -- Roddy White, WR, UCLA
Cesar: Pinkston and Mitchell are as dangerous a combo of WR's as any CFL team out there. Yeah...that's CFL. Get it?
Corey: C'mon bro, Pinkston did man-up in the Super Bowl, unlike Fraud-Ex there...I think the Eagles will trade Mitchell for a box of cleats.
Cesar: Yeah, Pinkston did man-up in the SB...I'll take that back. Trade Mitchell for a box of cleats...lol
36 Tampa Bay -- Mark Clayton, WR, Oklahoma
Corey: Tampa Bay had success with Michael Clayton, how about Mark Clayton? Sounds like a winner and a much upgraded offense to this point.
37 Tennessee -- Chris Henry, WR, West Virginia
Cesar: Ok, Behind Drew Bennett and Tyrone Calico there is basically no depth at all for the Titans. Any team drafting this Big East product will be making a gamble on greatness with both a high risk as well as a high reward factor.
38 Oakland -- Anttaj Hawthorne, DT, Wisconsin
Corey: The Raiders have old (Warren Sapp) and really old (Ted Washington) at the tackle spots. Hawthorne is younger and relatively in shape so he can spell the two veterans when they get tired (which is pretty often). Hawthorne also recently got popped for failing the NFL's substance awareness tests -- if that ain't a Raider, I don't know what is.
39 Chicago -- David Baas, OG, Michigan
Cesar: Well, so much for staying away from Michigan collegians. The Bears got their star wideout to compliment Muhammad, so Rex Grossman has some big toys to chunk the ball to. He also has 2 capable RB's (T Jones and A. Thomas). This choice will make the Thomas' rush attack MUCH more capable. A 2nd round pick that is 1st rd material.
40 New Orleans (from Washington) -- Brodney Pool, S, Oklahoma
Corey: The Saints will not pass up a solid safety prospect if he's there. I give you Pool, a big leaper and a solid hitter. Great value here.
41 Detroit -- Luis Castillo, DT, Northwestern
Cesar: Detroit would like to draft a RT in the second, but they also would like to provide depth in the DT area. They'll probably see some OT value in the 3rd, b/c this Big Ten product is too good to pass up.
42 Dallas -- Matt Roth, DE, Iowa
Corey: Dallas is having a super draft. This is a prototypical Parcells kid. He's got a non-stop motor, he's a natural defensive end unlike Shaun Cody, who's a combined specimen. Now they've got naturals position linemen in Roth and Jason Ferguson along with the versatile lineman in Cody on a revamped defensive front.
43 N.Y. Giants -- Chris Spencer, C, Ole Miss
Cesar: The Giants have exhausted their allotted time and have turned in their pick. Looking at the boards they see a lot of remaining 'B' value in CB's, DT/DE's, RB's, and WR. They feel that these 'B' values will still be available in the later rounds. Big Blue continues to build an O-line fortress by adding this standout.
44 Arizona -- J.J. Arrington, RB, California
Corey: Arizona can fill holes at TE, QB, CB or RB here, so it comes down to taking the best player on the board. In this case they choose the running back from Cal. Started every game last season, 100 yards each time out, perfect West Coast offense running back.
45 Carolina -- Adam Terry, OT, Syracuse
Cesar: Mike Wahle was a big addition at the Guard spot. Adding this extra position to a thinning unit will be nothing but positive
46 Kansas City -- Mike Patterson, DT, Southern Cal
Corey: And the Giants' trash turns out to be Kansas City's treasure. As we've said before, any additional defense can do nothing but help this organization.
47 Houston -- Rian Wallace, OLB, Temple
Cesar: Oh the humanity! Houston's man was taken (Adam Terry) as they needed a top flight LT. They'll go with another need, LB. This man is one of the best ever to come out of lowly Temple.
48 Cincinnati -- Heath Miller, TE, Virginia
Corey: Cincinnati's tight ends had little or no production and with two strong receivers and a solid running game, a top-flight tight end was the last remaining weapon needed for Carson Palmer. Luckily the best tight end in the draft was still available.
Cesar: The 'Natti kidnaps the best TE in the draft at slot #48. Astonishing.
49 Minnesota -- Josh Bullocks, S, Nebraska
Cesar: Defense, Defense, Defense is needed now for Minnesota. This selection is very smart, a ballhawk, and a playmaker.
50 St. Louis -- Marcus Johnson, OT/OG, Ole Miss
Corey: Still need an offensive tackle to replace the soon-to-be-departed Kyle Turley and I think this one will still be on the board.
51 Green Bay (from New Orleans) -- Elton Brown, OG, Virginia
Cesar: The loss of Mike Wahle to Carolina is a big blow. The Packers must make amends here. They took Webster in the 1st and will continue to work on defense, but this selection had the physical tools to be special and is one of, if not the, top guard in the Draft.
52 Jacksonville -- Reggie Brown, WR, Georgia
Corey: Jacksonville needs help at wideout. Jimmy Smith isn't getting any younger and Reggie Williams may or may not be the answer. Still Byron Leftwich needs weapons.
53 Baltimore -- Fred Gibson, WR, Georgia
Cesar: Baltimore, too, needs another wideout. Signing Derrick Mason was a start - can't just stop there though. The 2 Bulldogs go back-to-back.
54 Seattle -- Bryant McFadden, CB, Florida State
Corey: The Seahawks continue to build on defense and get their cornerback prospect here in McFadden, he's tall and had a strong year for FSU.
55 Buffalo -- Chris Colmer, OT, N.C. State
Cesar: They traded the moon for JP Losman, the time to get value protection for him since Jonas Jennings is gone.
56 Denver -- Charlie Frye, QB, Arkon
*note* Cesar took picks 55 & 56 while I took the 57th (Jets) and 58th picks.
Cesar: They need a top backup for Plummer. Campbell had a great senior season, but his junior season takes some bite out.
57 N.Y. Jets -- Michael Roos, OT, Eastern Washington
Corey: Jets decide that this untapped small school prospect has the potential to replace Kareem McKenzie. Maybe he would've been around in the third round but that's 31 picks away.
58 Green Bay -- Jason Campbell, QB, Auburn
Corey: Green Bay needs a replacement for Brett Favre because retirement is imminent for #4 and Campbell is a guy who's just now coming into his own. He's got a lot of potential and will be a nice sponge.
59 Atlanta -- C.J. Mosley, DT, Missouri
Cesar: Atlanta has done well shoring up their LB corp taking Burnett in the 1st and signing FA Edgerton Hartwell. Depth at the DT position is next in line. Recognized as the best defender on one of the best defenses in the land in 2004.
60 Indianapolis -- Jonathan Babineaux, DT, Iowa
Corey: Colts continue to draft defense...This guy is a little undersized, but he's very active and will pair up nicely on one side with Dwight Freeney.
61 San Diego -- Chris Canty, DE, Virginia
Corey: Chargers get a guy that could've been a first rounder if not for an injury that caused his durability to put put in question. Still they get first-round pass-rushing value late in the second round.
62 Pittsburgh -- Alex Smith, TE, Stanford
Cesar: The Steelers will go for the next best TE in the draft since they passed up on Heath Miller in the first round.
63 Philadelphia -- Ciatrick Fason, RB, Florida
Cesar: Brian Westbrook is a gem, and like Tiki Barber, he needs a reliable backup to play 2nd fiddle once in a while.
64 New England -- Evan Mathis, OG, Alabama
Corey: Joe Andruzzi's gone. New England seems a guard that can replace his production and toughness on the field. They'll take a flyer on this SEC prospect.
Sunday, April 17, 2005Mock Draft Thoughts...
I know for a fact that I have Patriot fans, Jet fans, Giant fans, Seahawk fans, Bear fans, Cowboy fans and Steeler fans looking at the site and so far no one has complained...Hell R.D. seems to think Cesar and I should be contributing to the Cowboys war room.
However looking back on the first round that was, we've obviously got to compensate for some guys who might go in the first round..
Heath Miller: Should be a first rounder anywhere between the Jets at 26 and the Steelers at 30. I actually think he will be a Steeler. However I tried to explain the method for my madness since I chose the selections for both the Jets and the Steelers..
The Jets have a lot of holes to cover. They lost a lot in free agency. They've also went defense in the last three drafts with varying levels of success. The last three tight ends the Jets picked in the first round were all busts (Johnny Mitchell, Kyle Brady and Anthony Becht) and all those things play into a pick. We'd be fools if we ignored history.
As for the Steelers. I think they will choose the line over a tight end. They need a safety valve for Big Ben, but they need to replace the line more. Losing Keydrick Vincent, a former Lake Gibson High Brave...like me, was a major hit to their depth. He could line up at guard or tackle. Everything Pittsburgh does revolves around strong line play and frankly as good as Miller is with the ball, he's not the best blocking tight end in the world. They could find a better fit for their offense in the middle rounds.
Demarcus Ware: This was strictly a numbers game. There are roughly 5,000 OLB/DE hybrids in this draft and who's to know which one is preferred over which on each draft board. From the 10th pick on its hard to see who thinks Ware is better than David Pollack or Dan Cody or whoever.
As for other questionable picks, I know that its doubtful Cedric Benson will fall out of the top 10 but in this sort of draft its possible. It's also likely that Pac-Man Jones will not fall past 15 but can anyone honestly tell me why you've rather have him over Carlos Rogers? or even Justin Miller.
Again, it's a numbers game...Sure I reached for Alex Barron, sure I reached for Erasmus James but there are very few definites in the draft.
Either way I'm looking forward to the next two rounds...We'll be doing a lot of guessing and projecting. Anything within 5 picks of where we have them at should be considered a good prediction.
The Semi-Hot Corner (#1)
First and foremost, my team, The New York Mets Baseball Club...After a frightening 0-5 start they've won six in a row and are undefeated at home.
The good news is this club is completed smitten with Pedro Martinez and for good reason. He's just what this club needed according to Newsday's Mark Hermann [link]
"I'm very proud, I'm very aware of it," Martinez said. "It's nice to see that Shea Stadium had 55,000 people who wanted to see me. Seeing those people come over here is a good sign for the team, for management, and I hope I can continue to do that and I hope I can continue to be a ticket every time I come out.
"You're starting to see some Dominican flags and things like that. Everything is probably going to change. People are going to start following me, and I have a lot of people."
Martinez gives this club exactly what he gave the Red Sox -- a shot of credibility. His ego is big enough to think that he alone can erase a losing mentality, that he can erase years of cynicism from a fan base.
He's also got Mets fans feeling the rush. If the Mets are going to compete over the next few years it's going to be from the confidence generated from Martinez.
However not is all bright with the Mets. Mainly I'm talking about their bullpen, which is complete garbage. Let's do a quick rundown.
Manny Aybar: So far 5 outings and two holds. But one blown save and an 8.44 ERA isn't good from the 7th inning guy. With the top half of the Mets' pitching staff being primarily 6-inning guys, this is a crucial spot and Aybar isn't ready to handle it.
Mike DeJean: The one guy that was thought to be reliable in the bullpen had one disasterous outing, giving up four runs in a 9-5 loss to the Reds, but has been okay otherwise. Being the primary setup guy he can't continue to walk guys (four walks in 4.1 IP) but I don't think he's going to blow too many leads.
Felix Heredia: So far, so good for the left-handed setup man. He needs some work but in his two outings he's been perfect.
Roberto Hernandez: A pleasant surprise so far. Hernandez's velocity continues to be his best friend and it's a nice addition to a fairly soft throwing bullpen. I had my concerns about this guy but he's went through 4.2 IP with seven strikeouts, one walk, a hold and a victory. He's the best reliever the Mets have right now.
Dae Sung Koo: Mr. Koo is also doing well as a Met reliever so far. He's given up a few hits and walked a couple, but his stuff can be tough on righties.
Mike Mathews: He hasn't gotten much work but he worked his way out of a two-on, one-out jam in a 4-3 victory over Houston this week. He earned a win for his troubles.
Braden Looper: Herein lies the problem. Looper is atrocious right now as he's already blown two saves. The Mets went through this in 2003 when Armando Benitez blew four of his first seven save opportunities and much like Benitez, Looper's blown saves have been so dramatic that it's mentally effecting him. At 5.3 million, he'll be hard to deal but after blowing his second save Saturday, I don't expect him to man the closing spot alone much past May 15 unless he goes on a major hot streak.
So where will the Mets go? I expect them to continue to go after Danys Baez and now they can offer a starting pitcher like Aaron Heilman for eventually.
I would expect the bullpen situation to be shored up before the end of next month. There's no way Omar Minaya is going to see his $180 million dollar investments be foiled by blown saves.
Keep on Rockin'
John Rocker is back in New York and apparently he wants peace.
"To say I'm a lot more mature at 30 than I was at 24 or 25 is an understatement. I'm more grown up. There's not a whole lot I haven't been through," Rocker said yesterday in a private interview in the Ducks' dugout after the first day of Atlantic League spring training at the Homestead Sports Complex.
Not surprisingly he wants a shot at the big leagues. Right now I don't see it happening. The current John Rocker may be more mature, but he's not a good pitcher.
In his prime...year...he wasn't a good pitcher, but he could throw the ball 97 MPH, now he's not a good pitcher and his fastball rarely tops 89. He spent some time in the Devil Rays camp last year working on his curveball and trying to add a split-finger fastball. But apparently his speed is coming back and his business ventures are flourishing.
I don't think we'll ever see Rocker back in the big leagues, but it's definitely going to be interesting to monitor his time in New York, a very smart tactical move on his part to get his name back in the public limelight.
Sheffield Gets Off
Gary Sheffield expects to escape Thursday's fan incident without any punishment or fine. [ESPN] It's not surprising since he'd appeal whatever he was handed and by all accounts it seems that baseball wants everyone to forget about this incident before it escalates.
In the end it was much to do about nothing. The guy took a swipe at either the ball or Sheffield (it's hard to tell) and in the end he wanted to distract the outfielder more than anything else. Sheffield deserves some credit for holding himself back, the security guard who swooped in deserves the most credit for keeping the peace.
In the end it's now apparent that everyone, fans included, are sick of seeing the Yankees and the Red Sox. Let's move on.