Thursday, January 6, 2011

NFL Draft Prospect: Andrew Luck Staying at Stanford for Senior Season

Andrew Luck will return to Stanford for his senior season. This is a big blow to the Carolina Panthers as they will no longer be able to select Luck. This is a very unexpected move, and will definitely shake up the draft a lot.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2011 NFL Mock Draft (1st Edition)

1. Carolina Panthers-Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

The Panthers make the no-brainer pick and select Luck, the best quarterback prospect in a long time. Some question his arm strength, but they are really just nitpicking. Luck is very nearly the perfect quarterback prospect, and he should be an effective starter for a long time. 

2. Denver Broncos-Patrick Peterson CB, LSU

Champ Bailey isn’t getting any younger, and the Broncos need help at the cornerback position. They select Peterson who is as close as it gets to a sure thing when talking about cornerbacks. With Bailey to mentor him for a year or two, Peterson should be a shutdown corner in no time. 

3. Buffalo Bills-Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

The Bills need a lot of help, but unfortunately neither A.J. Green or DaQuan Bowers, the remaining top prospects, really fill positions of need for the Bills. Instead they select Fairley who can step in and be a force at the 3-4 defense end position.

4. Cincinnati Bengals-DaQuan Bowers, DE, Clemson

Defensive end is not a huge need for the Bengals, but they are not quite sure they want to give up on Carson Palmer yet. They decide to take Bowers who will be a force on their line for years to come. 

5. Arizona Cardinals-Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina

Arizona is ecstatic that Quinn falls into their lap. He provides an instant pass rush that they have been looking for and should be more than capable of playing the OLB in the 3-4 scheme. 

6. Cleveland Browns-A.J. Green, WR, Georgia

A.J. Green, the best receiver prospect since at least Calvin Johnson perhaps Randy Moss, is still available for the Browns. They can’t resist going and getting Green as a #1 target for Colt McCoy for years to come. 

7. San Francisco 49ers-Ryan Mallet, QB, Arkansas

San Francisco considers Cam Newton here, but instead they go with the somewhat safer bet and select Mallet. San Francisco has enough weapons on offense that Mallet should be able to fit in and succeed. 

8. Tennessee Titans-Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

The Titans select the Prince here and hope he will grow into the lockdown corner he can be. Cortland Finnegan’s play has declined somewhat lately, perhaps letting Amukamara take on Andre Johnson and Reggie Wayne will help him out a little.

9. Dallas Cowboys-Marcel Dareus, DE, Alabama

Dareus falls right into the Cowboys lap, and they can’t resist taking a solid 3-4 end with pass rushing ability. Dareus should come in and start consistently for years to come. 

10. Washington Redskins-Cameron Newton, QB, Auburn

Washington is the team that decides to take a risk on Cam Newton. With McNabb likely gone and Rex Grossman not being the answer, the Redskins take Newton. If nothing else, Newton will come in and give people a reason to care about the Redskins again. However, I think Newton will be the next star in the NFL. 

11. Houston Texans-Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon St

Houston selects a defensive tackle that can come in and take some of the pressure of Mario Williams in the pass rush. 

12. Minnesota Vikings-Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri 

Minnesota consider Locker here, but they decide that Gabbert is the safer pick. With Adrian Peterson providing a strong running game, Gabbert should have some time to pick apart opposing defenses. 

13. Detroit Lions-Allen Bailey, DE, Miami

The Lions consider Brandon Harris but decide to go with his teammate instead. They take a defensive end to make their defensive line even more of a strength.

14. St. Louis Rams-Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

The Rams get the wide receiver they were hoping for. Jones has all the physical ability in the world and with a little more work on his concentration he should be a great targer for Sam Bradford for years to come. 

15. Miami Dolphins-Jake Locker, QB, Washington

The Dolphins get the last of the top tier quarterbacks and one that could end up being very good. Locker will have something to prove after an average senior year. Having Jake Long protecting his blindside and Brandon Marshall catching his passes should help. 

16. Jacksonville Jaguars-Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa

Pass defense is a problem for the Jaguars. They will definitely be looking to improve their secondary and some point in the draft, but here they decide to improve their pass rush and help their pass defense through pressure. Clayborn will come in opposite Aaron Kampman and should provide a much improved pass rush. 

17. New England Patriots (From Oakland)-Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama 

New England could improve their front seven here, but instead they make a luxury pick of sorts. They take Mark Ingram greatly improve their running game. Tom Brady can carry a team, but having Ingram to take part of the load off can only help. 

18. San Diego Chargers-Ryan Broyles, WR, Oklahoma

The Chargers consider boosting the pass rush, but instead select Broyles. Broyles is a stud receiver and should provide a great compliment to Malcom Floyd. With another weapon like him, Philip Rivers will find it even easier to pick apart opposing defenses. 

19. New York Giants-Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA

The Giants select Ayers here based on pure potential. They know he had a less than stellar senior year, but they know he has the ability to once again be a dominant player. 

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Cameron Jordan, DE, California

Tampa Bay addresses a need here and selects a defensive end that they think can home in and improve their defense. Tampa Bay is poised for success next year and Jordan can only help. 

21. Seattle Seahawks*- Brandon Harris, CB, Miami

The Seahawks wanted a Quarterback here, but with all the members of the top tier gone they are not quite ready to take Christian Ponder. Instead they go with Brandon Harris. Marcus Trufant is getting old and the Hawks need someone across from Walter Thurmond.

22. Kansas City Chiefs*-Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia

The Chiefs are thrilled to see Houston fall to them. They pick up one of the top 3-4 OLB in the draft who will only improve their already stiff defense. 

23. Indianapolis Colts*-Anthony Costanzo, OT, Boston College

The Colts need to protect their investment, Peyton Manning, and they need help on their offensive line. Costanzo thought to be the top tackle in the draft by some and his quick feet and smarts make him the perfect fit for the Colts. 

24. Philadelphia Eagles*-Aaron Williams, CB, Texas

The Eagles offense is dynamic with Vick, McCoy, Jackson, and Maclin and their offensive line is solid. Here they add Aaron Williams to shore up the secondary that is beginning to look vulnerable for the first time in awhile. 

25. Green Bay Packers*-Ryan Kerrigan, OLB, Purdue

Frank Zombo and Erik Walden have flashed potential, but it is time the Packers get a legitimate threat across from Matthews to share the pressure. Kerrigan is a hard-nosed player and he should fit in well with the Packers. 

26. New Orleans Saints*-Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri 

The Saints pick up Smith to help their pass rush. Will Smith isn’t getting any younger, and Aldon should come in and be a force. 

27. Chicago Bears*-Stefen Wisniewski, C, Penn St.

The Bears are happy to see Wisniewski fall to them. He is a heady player that could play guard until Kreutz is ready to retire.

28. New York Jets*- J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin 

Shaun Ellis appears to be leaving and Watt is a player that could step in day one and be a pro bowl 3-4 DE. He has the size and ability that the Jets look for as they continue to improve their defense. 

29. Baltimore Ravens*-Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma St. 

Shocked that Blackmon has fallen this far, the Ravens snatch him up. Receiver isn’t a huge need for the Ravens, but the idea of pairing Blackmon with Boldin is too good to pass up. 

30. Pittsburgh Steelers*-Janoris Jenkins, CB, Florida

The Steelers consider taking Sherrod here and boosting the offensive line, but they believe Jenkins can become the #1 corner they have been looking for.

31. Atlanta Falcons*-Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi St.

The Falcons are happy to take Sherrod and will insert him wherever they need him on the offensive line, most likely at left tackle where Sam Baker seems to be failing. 

32. New England Patriots*- Jeremy Beal, OLB, Oklahoma

After making the luxury pick of Ingram earlier in the round, the Patriots get back to business selecting stars for years to come. Beal should come in and provide a strong pass rushing presses the Patriots. 
  • *- Subject to Playoffs

Monday, January 3, 2011

2011 NFL Draft Order

Here is the current 2011 NFL Draft Order. The order is not yet completely finalized due to the playoffs, but the first 20 picks should be correct. Teams with like records are put in order according to their strength of schedule. The harder the schedule, the later a team picks. However, in future rounds this order shifts. 

1. Carolina Panthers
2. Denver Broncos
3. Buffalo Bills
4. Cincinnati Bengals
5. Arizona Cardinals
6. Cleveland Browns
7. San Francisco 49ers
8. Tennessee Titans
9. Dallas Cowboys
10. Washington Redskins
11. Houston Texans
12. Minnesota Vikings
13. Detroit Lions
14. St. Louis Rams
15. Miami Dolphins
16. Jacksonville Jaguars
17. Oakland Raiders
18. San Diego Chargers
19. New York Giants
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
21. Seattle Seahawks*
22. Kansas City Chiefs*
23. Indianapolis Colts*
24. Philadelphia Eagles*
25. Green Bay Packers*
26. New Orleans Saints*
27. Chicago Bears*
28. New York Jets*
29. Baltimore Ravens*
30. Pittsburgh Steelers*
31. Atlanta Falcons*
32. New England Patriots*
*- Subject to Playoffs

NFL Draft Prospect: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

With Jake Locker struggling this season, Andrew Luck has surpassed him as the top rated quarterback prospect. Luck, a redshirt sophomore, led Stanford to a 11-1 start to the season and an appearance in the BCS Orange Bowl. He has done so in impressive fashion, picking apart Pac-10 defenses and using both his strong arm and surprisingly effective legs to lead the Cardinal down the field. This is an improvement on his impressive freshmen year in which he threw for 2575 yards and 13 TD’s with only 4 INT. However last year, with so much attention on Toby Gerhart and the running game, Luck’s ability to carry the load was unknown. Those questions have obviously been answered and more. Luck has led his team to an impressive season, and he his now the undisputed top prospect in the draft. He is very nearly the perfect quarterback prospect and if he declares will no doubt be the #1 selection. 
Courtesy of Google Images
Luck has prototypical NFL size at 6-4, 235 and an arm capable of making all the NFL throws. He has also displayed ample athleticism and mobility, rushing for over 400 yards in limited attempts this year on top of 354 yards last year. This is an even more impressive number due to the fact that in college, sacks are deducted from a QB’s rushing yardage. Luck is the perfect quarterback prospect. He is smart and capable of making NFL reads. He has played in a pro-style offense the last two years under coach, Jim Harbaugh, and has been very successful. His arm strength is unquestioned, and his accuracy is superb. Luck also has displayed strong leadership ability. He truly has no flaws. Expect him to work out well and interview well before being chosen #1 by the Carolina Panthers. I would like to say more about Luck, but it would really be more of the same. He is perfect. 

NFL Draft Prospect of the Week: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

Courtesy of Google Images
Cameron Newton is a special, special quarterback. At 6'6, 250 pounds he is also a large, large man. Fans have not seen a quarterback so dominate at the collegiate level since Vince Young and Mike Vick before him. No one is questioning his ability to dominate at the collegiate level, but rather whether his skills will translate to similar dominance in the NFL. The problem is that before Mike Vick's resurgence this year the dual threat quarterback has not proven effective at the NFL level. Vick flashed some potential in Atlanta, but his shortcomings as a passer held him back. Young faces a similar situation in Tennessee. His physical skills have won a few games, but the Titans seem better off with a passing quarterback albeit Kerry Collins at the helm. The NFL is a pass first league and in order to be successful at the Quarterback position, one needs to be able to make quick decisions and deliver the football accurately and on time. This  does not mean dual threat quarterbacks cannot succeed in the NFL, but instead that they must truly be a dual threat. If a quarterback can beat a team with his arm, and also have the ability to extend plays and threaten the defense with his legs, this is when he becomes a special. Mike Vick has done that this year, and I believe Newton can bring similar skills to a team allowing him to  become a special player in the NFL.

Courtesy of Google Images
First, let's look at some of the things Newton does exceptionally well.  Obviously he is a very effective runner. This past year alone he has rushed for over 1400 yards and 20 touchdowns. Newton is as big as a linebacker, but as shifty as a running back. His running style is similar to Vince Young, but  he is even faster. It will be interesting to see what he runs in the 40-yard dash, but he will be fast enough to get the job done in the NFL. This man simply dominated SEC defenses, which as much as I hate to say it, are the best in the country. Physically he is second to none. If he does not pan out at quarterback, you could always move him to Wide Receiver or even Defensive End.

Newton is also a winner. He has led Auburn to an undefeated season and led them to comeback victories in more than one case. He has proven he can win the close game, and he will not be affected by media attention. Facing much criticism from the media and fans due to accusations of wrong doing against him, he was unfazed and led his team to victory. Newton also displays strong leadership skills and has earned the respect of his coach and teammates.

Character concerns and passing ability are where questions are raised regarding Newton. He was accused of accepting money to go to Auburn, but he was not suspended. He was also accused of stealing a laptop while at Florida, but he has refused to talk about the event. Obviously these are character concerns that should be taken into account, but most people seem to think that he is a very good kid and has matured a lot in the past few years. Teams will look into this during the draft interview process and we can expect to learn more then.
Courtesy of Google Images

The biggest question regarding Newton is his passing ability. Will he be able to run a pro-style offense, make the necessary reads, and get the ball where it needs to go. I for one believe he can. He has a 67% completion percentage and throws the ball with good to great accuracy, putting his throws right on the money. He also has superb arm strength and can get the ball where he needs it to go. It is not the physical throwing ability, but rather the mental that causes concern to most. Will he be able to read defenses and make all the reads necessary for a pro-style offense, rather than the half-field reads utilized in the spread? There really is no way to know at this point, but I think the risk is worth it. Newton has all the physical ability and with proper coaching he could become a dominant player in the NFL. The main thing is patience. He should not be thrown into the fire immediately because he will turn to what he does best and that is run, but give him time and I think he can grow into an even better quarterback than Mike Vick is now and possibly one of the most feared players in the NFL.

Updated NFL Draft Prospect Rankings

Hello World,
It's been awhile, but I am back to bring you all the NFL Draft information you need to know regarding the 2011 NFL Draft. Here are my updated positional prospect rankings.

1. Andrew Luck, Stanford
2. Cameron Newton, Auburn
3. Jake Locker, Washington
4. Ryan Mallet, Arkansas
5. Blaine Gabbert, Missouri
6. Christian Ponder, Florida St.
7. Nathan Enderle, Idaho 

Running backs

1. Mark Ingram, Alabama
2. Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech
3. DeMarco Murray, Oklahoma
4. LaMichael James, Oregon 
5. Daniel Thomas, Kansas St. 
6. John Clay, Wisconsin
7. Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma St. 

Wide Receivers

1. AJ Green, Georgia
2. Julio Jones, Alabama
3. Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma
4. Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma St.
5. Michael Floyd, Notre Dame
6. Jonathan Baldwin, Pittsburg
7. Ronald Johnson, USC
8. Austin Pettis, Boise St.
9. Jeremy Kurley, TCU
10. Titus Young, Boise St.

Tight Ends

1. Kyle Rudolph, Notre Dame
2. Lance Kendricks, Wisconsin
3. Weslye Saunders, South Carolina
4. Luke Stocker, Tennessee
5. D.J. Williams,  Arkansas

Offensive Tackles

1. Anthony Costanzo, Boston College
2. Nate Solder, Colorado
3. Derek Sherrod, Mississippi
4. Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin
5. Tyron Smith, USC
6. Demarcus Love, Arkansas
7. Matt Reynolds, BYU

Guards and Centers

1. Stefen Wisniewski, Penn St.
2. John Moffit, Wisconsin
3. Mike Pouncey, Florida
4. Marcus Cannon, TCU
5. Rodney Hudson, Florida St.

Defensive Ends

1. Da'Quan Bowers, Clemson
2. Robert Quinn, North Carolina 
3. Adrian Clayborn, Iowa
4. Allen Bailey, Miami
5. Cameron Heyward, Ohio St.
6. Cameron Jordan, California
7. Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue
8. Aldon Smith, Missouri
9. Jeremy Beal, Oklahoma

Defensive Tackles

1. Marcell Dareus, Alabama
2. Nick Fairley, AuburnMarvin a
3. Stephen Paea, Oregon St.
4. Marvin Austin, North Carolin
5. Drake Nevis, LSU


1. Akeem Ayers, UCLA
2. Travis Lewis, Oklahoma
3. Bruce Carter, North Carolina
4. Quan Sturdivant, North Carolina
5. Jeremy Houston, Georgia
6. Von Miller, Texas A&M
7. Dont'a Hightower, Alabama
8. Greg Jones, Michigan St.


2. Prince Amukamara, Nebraska
3. Brandon Harris, Miami
4. Aaron Williams, Texas
5. Janoris Jenkins, Florida
6. Brandon Burton, Utah
7. Rashad Carmichael, Virginia Tech


1. Rahim Moore, UCLA
2. DeAndre McDaniel, Clemson
3. Deunta Williams, North Carolina
4. Tejay Johnson, TCU
5. Mark Barron, Alabama
6. Jeron Johnson, Boise St.
7. Robert Sands, West Virginia

These are most of the main prospects at each position. I don't claim to be Todd McShay or Mel Kiper Jr, and I am not familiar with every single prospect that will be drafted. However, if you have a question about a certain prospect not listed just let me know, and I will research him.