Monthly Archives: April 2012

Post-draft thoughts

We contributed to National Football Authority’s draft coverage throughout the NFL Draft weekend. Here’s our draft coverage:

Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon (right) meets QB Blaine Gabbert, via

Jaguars trade up for Justin Blackmon

Panthers select Luke Kuechly

Five surprises of the first round

10 surprises from the second & third rounds

Five draft losers

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FR: 2012 NFL Mock Draft

I usually write up a long mock draft piece, but since I’m going to be on the radio in upstate South Carolina

Andrew Luck

Andrew Luck (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

on Monday afternoon, I figured I’d go ahead and post my mock draft order. Watch for more details and opinions leading up to the draft on Thursday.

UPDATE: We’ve included links to some Tweets and links for more context on these picks.

  1. Indianpolis Colts – QB Andrew Luck, Stanford
  2. Washington Redskins (from St. Louis Rams) – QB Robert Griffin III, Baylor
  3. Minnesota Vikings – OT Matt Kalil, USC
  4. Cleveland Browns – RB Trent Richardson, Alabama
  5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – CB Morris Claiborne, LSU
  6. St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins) – WR Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State
  7. Jacksonville Jaguars – DE Chandler Jones, Syracuse
  8. Miami Dolphins – QB Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M
  9. Carolina Panthers – DT Fletcher Cox, Mississippi State

10. Buffalo Bills – WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame

11. Kansas City Chiefs – DT Michael Brockers, LSU

12. Seattle Seahawks – MLB Luke Kuechly, Boston College

13. Arizona Cardinals – DE Melvin Ingram, South Carolina

14. Dallas Cowboys – CB Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina

15. Philadelphia Eagles – DT Dontari Poe, Memphis

16. New York Jets – OG David DeCastro, Stanford

17. Cincinnati Bengals (from Oakland Raiders) – S Mark Barron, Alabama

18. San Diego Chargers – OL Cordy Glenn, Georgia

19. Chicago Bears – OT Riley Reiff, Iowa

20. Tennessee Titans – CB Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama

21. Cincinnati Bengals – DE Quinton Coples, North Carolina

22. Cleveland Browns (from Atlanta Falcons) – WR Kendall Wright, Baylor

23. Detroit Lions – DE Courtney Upshaw, Alabama

24. Pittsburgh Steelers – DT Jerel Worthy, Michigan State

25. Denver Broncos – MLB Dont’a Hightower, Alabama

26. Houston Texans – OT Jonathan Martin, Stanford

27. New England Patriots (from New Orleans Saints) – OLB Shea McClellin, Boise State

28. Green Bay Packers – OLB Andre Branch, Clemson

29. Baltimore Ravens – C Peter Konz, Wisconsin

30. San Francisco 49ers – WR Stephen Hill, Georgia Tech

31. New England Patriots – CB Janoris Jenkins, North Alabama

32. New York Giants – RB Doug Wilson, Boise State

One more link: Colts/Coby Fleener (at 34?)


Filed under Football Relativity, NFL draft

2012 Schedule Analysis

The National Football Authority team wrote division-by-division schedule analysis pieces. I contributed to three of them:

NFC South

NFC West

AFC South

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Why Quentin Coples isn’t overrated

For National Football Authority, we break down the draft stock of North Carolina DE Quinton Coples. While many analysts are saying Coples is overrated, we discuss why he is a top-20 pick and which teams will be the best fit for his skills and background. Click here to read all about it.

DE Quinton Coples, via

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What does Joe Vitt decision say about Saints?

For National Football Authority, we break down the New Orleans Saints’ decision to name Joe Vitt as their interim head coach. What does this say about the Saints hierarchy? What about the other assistants on staff? Click here to find out.

Saints interim head coach Joe Vitt, via

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FR: 2012 Pre-draft trades

In this post, we compare the significance of the trades made in the NFL between the opening of the 2012 offseason and the NFL draft. We’ll follow up this post, as usual, with posts on player-based trades during the draft and then in the offseason leading into training camp. As is usual with our Football Relativity posts, the 10 level is for the most significant trades, and the 1 level is for the least significant.

New Jets QB Tim Tebow, via

10 – Miami Dolphins trade WR Brandon Marshall to Chicago Bears for 2012 and 2013 third-round picks – Marshall fell off the national radar a bit in Miami, but he is still a true No. 1 receiver who is a catch machine. Plus, in Chicago he is reunited with Jay Cutler, with whom he had so much success in Denver. The cost isn’t bad, especially when you consider that the Bears had an extra third-rounder this year from the Greg Olsen trade. But Marshall’s off-field troubles – which included a police-involved incident just before the trade – obviously wore on the Dolphins. Still, if Marshall can stay out of trouble, he’s a huge addition for the Bears, who have not had a receiver of his talents in eons. His presence will allow Chicago’s other receivers to fall into more appropriate complimentary roles, which should make the Bears offense more potent. It’ll be interesting to see if Marshall can do what it takes to make that happens.

9 – none

8 – Denver Broncos trade QB Tim Tebow and 2012 seventh-round pick to New York Jets for 2012 fourth- and sixth-round picks – While the Tebow trade was the highest profile deal of the offseason, it won’t be the most significant. That’s because Tebow ultimately doesn’t have the on-field capacity of taking away Mark Sanchez’s job and keeping it. Tebow will steal some snaps and quite possibly some starts away from Sanchez, but if he becomes the No. 1 QB he won’t perform well enough to keep it. The best-case scenario for Tebow is to get a year on the bench in the system to develop and hone his skills and make a run at the starting job in 2013. But New York’s fan base and media isn’t patient enough for that to happen, and so ultimately the Tebow experiment will fail. The Broncos saw this coming in Denver, so they sold low on Tebow, getting minimal value back for a former first-round pick. It’s another in the long line of disastrous consequences of the Josh McDaniels hire.

7 – none

6 – Philadelphia Eagles trade CB Asante Samuel to Atlanta Falcons for 2012 seventh-round draft pick – We discussed this deal in depth in this piece.

5 – Houston Texans trade LB DeMeco Ryans to Philadelphia Eagles for 2012 fourth-round draft pick and swap of 2012 third-round picks (Texans gain 12 spots) – Ryans was incredibly productive in Houston, but he was lost in the shuffle a bit when the Texans switched to a 3-4 defense last year. He turned into a run-down-only linebacker who wasn’t on the field on passing downs. So the Texans, who were in major cost-cutting mode this offseason, dealt him to Philadelphia. With the Eagles, Ryans can fit more naturally into a 4-3 defense as the middle linebacker, which was a major trouble spot last year. His presence and leadership should help Philly’s other young linebackers perform a little better, which will be a nice side benefit. It’s a shame that Ryans fell out of favor in Houston, because he can play when healthy, but credit to the Texans for recognizing that he was no longer a fit and getting something in return.

4 – Cincinnati Bengals trade OLB Keith Rivers to New York Giants for 2012 fifth-round pick – Rivers, a former top-10 pick, battled injuries throughout his Bengals career, and as a result showed only flashes of brilliance. The Bengals had to move on with Thomas Howard and Manny Lawson, which made Rivers expendable. He’s a bit of a lottery ticket for the Giants, but if he’s healthy he adds a play-making aspect to a linebacking corps that is solid but unspectacular. It’s the kind of gamble that a defending champion can take, because the team is deep enough that a fifth-round pick would struggle to make the roster.

3 – Carolina Panthers trade RB Mike Goodson to Oakland Raiders for OT Bruce Campbell – This is a classic deal in which teams trade players who have fallen out of favor and hope a change of scenery changes things. There’s a better chance of that happening in Goodson’s case, since he has delivered on the NFL level in the past. He showed in 2009 and 2010 that he is a quality runner, receiver, and returner who can back up Darren McFadden in Oakland. But Goodson developed fumbling problems last year and fell into Panthers head coach Ron Rivera’s doghouse. Campbell, a former fourth-round pick, has massive physical ability but has never lived up to his potential. But the Raiders tried him at guard, when he’s more naturally a tackle. The Panthers hope he can develop into a right tackle option who can back up or even replace Jeff Otah. Neither player figured in his old team’s plans, so taking a shot on someone else makes sense. But the Raiders are a little more likely to cash in on this deal.

2 – Philadelphia Eagles trade OT Winston Justice and a 2012 sixth-round pick to Indianapolis Colts for a 2012 sixth-round pick – Justice had fallen out of favor in Philadelphia and lost a starting job, but he’s still a replacement-level right tackle. That’s the role the Colts have in mind as they seek to stabilize a problematic offensive line in advance of Andrew Luck’s arrival. The bargain-basement price – moving down half a round in the sixth – was well worth it, even if Justice doesn’t hold a starting job all season.

1 – New York Jets trade QB Drew Stanton and a 2012 seventh-round pick to Indianapolis Colts for 2012 sixth-round pick – The Jets signed Stanton to be Mark Sanchez’s backup, but after trading for Tebow, they did right by Stanton and found him another place to be a No. 2. The change-of-direction cost the Jets $500,000, but at least they got a little bit of draft value in return. For the Colts, who had no backup quarterback, adding Stanton is a solid move that didn’t even cost them a draft pick. Instead, they dealt the sixth-rounder they got in the Winston Justice trade and moved down to the seventh. Getting Justice, Stanton, and a seventh-rounder for their sixth-round pick is really good value for a Colts team badly in need of depth.


Filed under Football Relativity, NFL trades

Is Jim Irsay Tweeting Colts draft strategy?

For National Football Authority, we try to break down Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay’s Tweets (key word: try) to see what it tells us about the franchise’s draft strategy. Click here to read all about it.

Colts owner Jim Irsay, via


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Interview with Jaguars DE Jeremy Mincey

For National Football Authority, we had the chance to interview Jaguars DE Jeremy Mincey. Mincey has a remarkable story of going from nearly retiring just two years ago to becoming a starter to cashing in as a free agent and staying in Jacksonville this offseason. Plus, he does a fascinating charity event in his hometown of Statesboro, Georgia, every offseason. Click here to read all about it.

Jaguars DE Jeremy Mincey, via

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Panthers re-sign WR Steve Smith

For National Football Authority, we break down the Carolina Panthers’ decision to re-sign Steve Smith. What does it mean for the Panthers’ offense and Cam Newton? What does it mean for their salary-cap situation? And what does it say about Smith? Click here to read all about it.

Panthers WR Steve Smith, via

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Will Gregg Williams ever coach again?

For National Football Authority, we analyze Gregg Williams’ NFL future. Will the suspended former Saints defensive coordinator ever coach for the Rams again? If not coaching, does he have any other career options? Click here to read all about it.

Gregg Williams, via

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