Saturday, April 30, 2011

Mock Draft Revisited

I'm pretty pleased with my first round mock draft despite only two direct hits. I was within five slots of 20 different draftees; not a great number, but not terrible.

I hit 27 of the 32 first rounders as well. Again, decent but not spectacular.

Good hits: Green (4); Jones (6); Quinn (15); Pouncey (16)

Bad misses: Ponder (mock: n/a vs. actual 12); Heyward (19 vs. 31); Bowers (20 vs. n/a)

Friday, April 29, 2011

NFL Draft Thoughts - Day One

*If I'm the Browns at this point, here is what I do:

1- Trade pick 37 for a 2012 first rounder and a fourth rounder this year.
2- Trade pick 59 for a 2012 first rounder.
3- Use the rest of my 2011 picks on defensive players.
4- Make sure there is no football in 2011.
5- Draft an entire offense (specifically wide receivers) in 2012 when they will have four first round picks.

Cleveland fans can expect a lot more of this
with no skill position players for Colt to throw to.

*If I'm the Bills, I am taking Da'Quan Bowers at 34. To think they could get Dareus and Bowers without trading anything would have been unthinkable last month.

*I still think Ryan Mallett will be the best quarterback in this draft. Whoever gets him at this point is getting a steal.

*Best of Day One:

-Lions: Good luck running against these guys with Nick Fairley and Suh.

-Giants: Prince fell into their laps and they grabbed him. Well done.

-Eagles: Danny Watkins is not a sexy pick, but he fills an area of need.

*Worst of Day One:

-Panthers: I don't think they got the best player in the draft despite having the top pick. To me, that's inexcusable.

-Texans: How could they pass on Prince? Their secondary was/is awful, and the depth of the defensive linemen in this year's draft is far greater than that at cornerback.

-Jaguars: Quarterback was not the problem. Now, they have two of them and no second round pick.

*Need More Info:

-Cardinals: Adding Patrick Peterson vastly improves this defense, but who will line up under center?

-Patriots: Eventually, they have to use some of these future first round picks that they acquire, don't they? Ingram would have been perfect for them.

-Jets: Will passing on Bowers come back to haunt them if the Patriots or Bills take him early in the second round? Muhammad Wilkerson better have been worth it.

*I know they were on a tight deadline, but for Don Banks and Mel Kiper to leave Brooks Reed and Akeem Ayers, respectively, out of their second round mock drafts puts the whole exercise into question.

Ten Best Remaining after Day One

1. Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

His knee might not be 100%, but DQB is clearly the best talent available.

2. Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA
3. Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas
4. Brooks Reed, LB, Arizona
5. Kyle Rudolph, TE, Buffalo
6. Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State
7. Brandon Harris, CB, Miami
8. Mikel Leshoure, RB, Illinois
9. Ryan Williams, RB, Virginia Tech
10. Randall Cobb, WR, Kentucky

Other Notables: Andy Dalton, QB, TCU; Colin Kaepernick, QB, Nevada; Marvin Austin, DT, North Carolina; Juston Houston, DE, Georgia; Jabaal Sheard, DE, Pittsburgh

Thursday, April 28, 2011

NFL Draft Running Diary

Update: Twitter only from here on out. I'll update this tomorrow with a transcript.

7:45 - last guy in the green room (herzlich excluded bc < 1 year removed from crushing cancer): randall cobb

7:33 - scariest of all draftees in attendance: marcell dareus; least scary: blaine gabbert.

Gabbert looks like former NHLer Jeremy Roenick

7:30 - guy announcing all draftees in attendance alphabetically somehow called cam jordan before julio jones. whoops.
Not doing much to dismiss the notion football players/fans are not intelligent.

7:20pm - i left work a bit early today (645pm) so i could see the first round in its entirety. one of the 10 best days of the year An annual tradition - the running diary of the first round of the NFL Draft. Let's get after it.

*Items in italics are tweets.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Final NFL Mock Draft (Top 40)

Here is my final mock draft which includes mock trades.


1. Panthers: DT Marcell Dareus, Alabama - I am adamantly opposed to drafting a defensive lineman with the top pick, in large part because it has never worked. In my second mock draft, I said:

Since the NFL Draft came into existence in 1967, five defensive tackles have been selected first overall: Walt Patulski, Kenneth Sims, Russell Maryland, Steve Emtman, and Dan Wilkinson. Combined, these five made one Pro Bowl.

However, with their new head coach - the defensive-minded Ron Rivera - running the show, I think this is the direction Carolina will ultimately go.

If they really wanted Cam Newton, everyone would know already (no need to be coy when you have the top pick), but we don't which means the Panthers have doubts about him. Dareus has climbed the ranks since the season ended for a few reasons, namely impressive workouts and interviews (especially when compared to Nick Fairley).

He's safe, although not exciting.

2. Broncos: CB Patrick Peterson, LSU - Denver, and new head coach John Fox, have been linked to Dareus for some time, but I think this scenario works out great for them. Peterson might be the most talented player in this class, and they can grab a defensive lineman early in the second round as there is plenty of depth at the position.

3. Bills: DE Von Miller, Texas A&M - Talent meets needs. The Bills defensive line porous to put it kindly. Miller was a workout warrior that worked his way up draft boards late in this process (red flag). Hopefully, he makes the loyal fans of Buffalo forget about bust Aaron Maybin. Newton would also be tempting here.

4. Bengals: WR AJ Green, Georgia - The. Best. Player. In. The. Draft. He also plays a position of need, and he has some character concerns so he'll fit right in.

5. Cardinals: QB Blaine Gabbert, Missouri - Larry Fitzgerald might not want a rookie quarterback throwing him the rock, but Gabbert would be the best fit for this franchise. He reminds me a lot of Mark Sanchez, the fifth pick of the 2009 NFL Draft, in that he is solid but not spectacular. He can be successful; just don't expect Kurt Warner.

6. Browns: WR Julio Jones, Alabama - From Mock Two:

The Browns haven’t had a 1000-yard receiver since 2007. This season, they finished 30th in passing yards per game, had no wide receiver eclipse 500 yards receiving, and were one of seven teams league-wide to throw more interceptions than touchdown passes. If they truly believe in Colt McCoy at quarterback and want to give him an honest evaluation, Mike Holmgren and Co. will surround him with some desperately-needed playmakers. Jones fits the bill. After being the top recruit in the country coming out of high school, he led the Crimson Tide in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns in each of his three seasons in Tuscaloosa.

7. 49ers: QB Cam Newton, Auburn - I haven't seen any other mock drafts drop Newton this far, but I don't slipping past seven despite the fact he really isn't a great fit for new head coach Jim Harbaugh's offense.

8. Titans: DT Nick Fairley, Auburn - The comparisons to Albery Haynesworth are shallow and off-base. They have similar builds, play the same position, and can both be dominant, but the character issues are way overstated on Fairley.

9. Cowboys: DE JJ Watt, Wisconsin - A bookend for DeMarcus Ware.

10. Redskins: DE Aldon Smith, Missouri - A bookend for Brian Orakpo.

11. Texans: CB Prince Amukamara, Nebraska - Back to Mock One:
At one point this year, Houston's secondary was called "the worst ever." I'm not sure if I would go that far, but they did allow the most passing yards per game by any team since 2005. In my mind, they should make a run at newly-minted free agent CB Nnamdi Asomugha and take Amukamara (and not only to drive the Texans' beat writers crazy trying to type these names every day). The two of them wouldn't cure all of Houston's ills, but it would help.

12. Vikings: QB Jake Locker, Washington - Joe Webb is not the answer. Had Locker declared for the draft in 2010, he would have been a consideration for the top pick. He's a freak athlete that was working with subpar skill position players. He'll be just fine throwing to NFL receivers.

13. Lions: OT Tyron Smith, USC - Mock One:

Priority #1 in Detroit has to be keeping QB Matthew Stafford healthy. Protecting him would be a good idea.

14. Rams: DT Corey Liuget, Illinois - With AJ and Julio off the board, the value is on the defensive linemen.

15. Ravens*: DE Robert Quinn, North Carolina - The Ravens are great at identifying talent. Mock Two:

Surprisingly, the Ravens struggled to get to the quarterback this season. They recorded only 27 sacks, tied for fourth-worst in the league....Since character issues are not an issue on the Ravens (Ray Lewis / Donte Stallworth: murder or Terrell Suggs: domestic abuse, just to name three), they won’t mind that he punches people as long as he can rush the passer. Doesn’t it seem like every year a very good defensive player falls to the Ravens? In 2007, it was Haloti Ngata (11th overall); in 2009, it was Paul Kruger (57th); in 2010, it was Sergio Kindle (43rd) and Terrence Cody (57th).

I was descring Adrian Clayborn, but the same premise applies. Quinn won't fall all the way to 26 so Ozzie Newsome jumps up to grab this top-10 talent.

16. Steelers+: G Mike Pouncey, Florida - Here is one rumor I do believe - Pittsburgh would love to pair the Pouncey twins on their offensive line. Makes a lot of sense to me.

17. Patriots (via Oakland): OT Anthony Castonzo, Boston College - New England grabs the local product to solidify the O-Line.

18. Chargers: DE Cameron Jordan, California

19. Giants: DE Cameron Heyward, Ohio State - Back to back Camerons.

20. Falcons%: DE Da'Quan Bowers, Clemson - John Abraham cannot play forever. Once Atlanta sees Bowers slipping, they'll jump up to grab him.

21. Jets&: DE Adrian Clayborn, Iowa - A potential top-5 pick coming into the season, he underperformed a bit at Iowa this year. However, he seems like a Rex Ryan-type player to me and all Jets fans want to forget about Vernon Gholston as quickly as possible.

22. Colts: OT Nate Solder, Colorado - Protect Peyton in any way possible. I also could see Mark Ingram going here.

23. Eagles: OT Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin

24. Saints: CB Jimmy Smith, Colorado - Two Buffaloes sandwich a Badger. KFC, take notice.

25. Bills^: QB Ryan Mallett, Arkansas - He's slipped a bit, but there is no doubting his arm - a necessary tool in the Buffalo cold.

26. Dolphins*: RB Mark Ingram, Alabama - Miami gets their man despite dropping down 11 spots.

27. Bucs%: CB Brandon Harris, Miami - The quicker they get a replacement in, the quicker everyone forgets about Aqib Talib.

28. Patriots: LB Brooks Reed, Arizona

29. Bears: DT Phil Taylor, Baylor

30. Chiefs&: LB Akeem Ayers, UCLA - Kansas City gets their man despite dropping eight slots.

31. Jaguars+: DE Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue - Jacksonville geths their man despite dropping 15 slots.

32. Packers: WR Jon Baldwin, Pittsburgh - Donald Driver's replacement.


33. Patriots (via Carolina): RB Mikel Leshoure, Illinois
34. Seahawks^: OT Derrek Sherrod, Mississippi State
35. Bengals: QB Andy Dalton, TCU
36. Broncos: DT Muhammad Wilkerson, DT Temple
37. Browns: TE Kyle Rudolph, Notre Dame
38. Cardinals: OT Ben Ijalana, Villanova
39. Titans: QB Colin Kaepernick, Nevada
40. Cowboys: G Danny Watkins, Baylor

* = Trade: Miami trades 15 to Baltimore for 26 and others
+ = Trade: Jacksonville trades 16 to Pittsburgh for 31 and others
% = Trade: Tampa Bay trades 20 to Atlanta for 27 and others
& = Trade: Kansas City trades 21 to New York for 29 and others
^ = Trade: Seattle trades 25 to Buffalo for 34 and others


*Forget the "draft pick value chart." If I am Carolina, I trade down with Houston at number 11 and pick up an extra 2nd rounder this year and some picks next year. The Texans would take Peterson, and the Panthers could take the best player on the board at 11.

*Many of the mock drafts I have seen are very similar. In a year with no clear cut top choice, let alone consensus first rounders, most will be waaaay wrong (this one not excluded).

*Top Ten in Ten (Looking back ten years from now, these will be the best players):

1. AJ Green
2. Patrick Peterson
3. Mark Ingram
4. Julio Jones
5. Da'Quan Bowers
6. Brooks Reed
7. Rahim Moore (S, UCLA)
8. Ryan Mallett
9. Von Miller
10. Ryan Williams (RB Virginia Tech)

*I found it very interesting that The National Football Post ranked Cam Newton as the third best prospect in the draft... with the first name of Cam. They had Cam Jordan and Cam Heyward ranked (significantly) higher. I tend to agree that Newton will be picked too high, but NFP grossly underrates him (49th overall prospect).

*Ten of the top 11 picks come from the SEC or Big 12 (I'm lumping Nebraska here since they are technically still part of the conference).

*Biggest Movers from my first Mock draft in January:

A. Smith - up 20 spots
Liuget - up 19
Bowers - down 18
Watt - up 17
Mallett - down 17
Miller - up 14
Rahim Moore - out of top 40
Stephen Paea - out of top 40

*Monkeywrench players (I could be off by 20 or more spots): Locker, Taylor, Kerrigan, Dalton

*Potential Surprise First Rounders (of those not in my top 40): Christian Ponder, Drake Nevis

Podcast Archive...

...can be found here.

Thanks again to Danny Knobler of and The Tri-State Sports Guys.

Next podcast: May 26th at 10pm.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tonight's Podcast: 10pm ET

Danny Knobler from and Mike & O (Tri-State Sports Guys) will be joining me at 10pm tonight to discuss MLB, the Mets, the Yankees, and some college baseball. Call in.

The dial-in number for anyone with questions/comments/thoughts: (917) 889-3190

Link to live podcast:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

NFL Draft Thoughts with One Week To Go

-I am not buying the Panthers taking Cam Newton with the top pick. Maybe I'm naive, but if they wanted him, they would have let it be known. The pick is there for the taking ... if someone else actually wants it, that is.

-Von Miller has sky-rocketed up draft boards. In my first mock, I had him going 17th to New England. Now, he might not slip past the Cardinals at number five. Be careful of these helium prospects. The lineage of these guys failing is much longer than them succeeding (Tyson Jackson, Mike Mamula, Vernon Gholston come to mind immediately). Time will tell.

-Christian Ponder. Really? I don't see it. And, certainly not in the top 20.

-A few years ago, San Francisco got lucky when the top prospect (M-chael Crabtree) fell into their laps with the 10th pick. Will it be deja vu with Patrick Peterson this year?

-I don't think Da'Quan Bowers is falling out of the top 10. The only reason teams tell the media they have "failed" him on their physical was to have him slip. I'm guessing Tampa Bay failed him four times so they can get him at 20.

-I hope Cal DE Cameron Jordan and USC TE Jordan Cameron get picked by the same team.

-I'm leaning towards putting four quarterbacks in my mock draft (Newton, Gabbert, Locker, Mallett) with two more in my top 40 (Dalton, Kaepernick). Ponder would get popped in the top 50.

-Teams looking to trade up into the end of round one should call the Jets. With free agents all over the roster, they could use some extra picks this year.

Upcoming Schedule

April 26: Podcast (guests to include MLB write Danny Knobler and The Tri-State Sports Guys)

April 27: Final NFL Mock Draft (trying to do two rounds; will see if time permits)

Brandon Wood: Future Mets 2B?

Quick post, only slightly longer than a tweet....

The Mets should make a move to acquire the recently DFA'd Brandon Wood. He will likely cost only a fringe prospect as his major league numbers to date have been abysmal.

Reasons for:

-He can't be worse than Luis Castillo or Brad Emaus.

-He has power. In 2005, he hit 43 jacks at Rancho Cucamonga (high-A). Over his eight-year minor league career, he averaged a homer every 18.6 at-bats while slugging .536.

-He's cheap and under team control through 2014.

-He has never been given a long leash.

Reasons against:

-The strikeouts

-Pressure of New York

Monday, April 18, 2011

Separated at Birth?

A rock hyrax and San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Crazy Early Season Stats

*Despite having zero plate appearances this season, Kansas City OF Jarrod Dyson has stolen three bases (tied for 11th best in all of MLB) and scored two runs.

*Jeff Samardzija has walked nine batters in six innings. Anyone need a wide receiver?

*Jered Weaver and Dan Haren have combined for more wins than 20 teams in baseball.

*In standard 5x5 roto baseball, Arizona UTIL Willie Bloomquist has been the second best hitter in all of baseball (1-5-9-6-.348).

*Courtney Cox is 46 years old. Shocking, I know.

*Jonny Gomes leads the league with 13 walks. Why? I'm not sure.

*Yunel Escobar has never hit more than two triples in a season. He had two triples in his first 19 at bats this year.

*Asdrubal Cabrera has never hit more than six home runs in a season. He has four already this year.

*Going into Wednesday, Mike Napoli had homered in over 21% of his at bats yet he only started five of his team's first 11 games. I don't get it.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

How Does This Not Garner More Attention

Just a great idea all around. Check out the bracket:

Let's Recap

Olympic Sports (after 2012):

Women's Ski Jumping

No Longer an Olympic Sport (after 2012):


Freddie Freeman Will Never Be an All Star

How do I know this? Simple.

He's a yawner. Literally. He yawns during games.

I have seen parts of only two Braves games this season, and in both games, he was caught on camera yawning. This is a guy in his early 20's, batting .150 in his first extended big league action, and it seems like he doesn't have a care in the world.

Great players take pride in performing. At the very least, they pretend to care.

Maybe I am overreacting, but Freeman isn't one of those guys.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Separated at Birth?

Actor Chris Noth and Kentucky C Josh Harrellson

Mark Buehrle, He Is Not

After fielding a swinging bunt, Arizona pitcher Joe Saunders did his best, err, worst Mark Buehrle impression and flipped the ball half way to second base.

This is how it should have been done.

NCAA Prediction

UConn 72, Butler 63

Friday, April 1, 2011


Here is my entry into the Vegas Watch Over/Under pool:

10. Kansas City U69.5
9. Cleveland U71.5
8. Chicago W O85.5
7. Philadelphia U95.5
6. Houston U71.5
5. Detroit O84.5
4. Arizona U72.5
3. Chicago C O82.5
2. Florida O81.5
1. New York Y O90.5

Tiebreaker: Shin Soo-Choo OBP - .399

Separated at Birth?

American Idol contestant Casey Abrams and this red toy poodle.