Archive for June, 2009

Beanie Man - Can he be a fan thriller?

Beanie Man - Can he be a fan thriller?

It’s that quiet time of the year, where aside from the death of Michael Jackson, it’s a bad time for news on the NFL. Reading whether Brett Favre is going to suit up as a Minnesota Viking is hardy as exciting as the thriller in Manila.

If I was to make an off the wall comment such as showing huge concerns about the mental health of Chad Ocho Cinco then it could be argued that I was a little bit dangerous. I guess I do have Wimbledon to watch as Andy Murray looks to become the male tennis equivalent of Billie Jean King by winning a Grand Slam tournament in England.

So to stop the boredom and to prevent me having to sit in my living room and scream I have decided not to be beat, it is therefore time to list 5 things I am looking forward to in the 2009 NFL season;

1) Which if any rookie running backs can get 1,000 yards on the ground? I’m sure the likes of Beanie Wells and Knowshown Moreno wanna be starting something good right off the blocks. Will there be a late round superstar such as Shonn Green able to go against human nature or is the rookie  1,000 yard back strictly for 1st round selections only? 

2) Can Tom Brady make a comeback and show his skills at Wembley Stadium in October? Brady and Randy Moss certainly aren’t pretty young things but they do have the ability to light up what will undoubtedly be a cold and rainy day.

3) Will TO finally heal the world of pain he has caused to previous NFL franchises by being a poster boy for the Buffalo Bills? My early prediction is 60 catches for 850 yards and 6 touchdowns – not the projections the Bills want, but TO cannot go on for ever.

4) Will the Lions perform some magic and go from 0-16 to a playoff spot? I am confident every Lions player is staring back at the man in the mirror and wanting to erase the memory of 2008. The Miami Dolphins went 1-15 to 11-5 so why not the Lions going 10-6 and gaining a wildcard behind the skills of Calvin Johnson? The Cardinals put pressure on Larry Fitzgerald and the Cards ended up one drive short of a Vince Lombardi trophy.

5) John Madden was a rock, with you wishing he was coming back for 2009, but he is gone now. Chucky has replaced him, and as a Superbowl winning coach I for one will appreciate his words of wisdom.

Bronco LB Ayers - my bargain of the draft

Bronco LB Ayers - my bargain of the draft

The 20 team fantasy league that I run, the AMFL (Art Monk Football League), has recently held its annual NFL Rookie Draft. The players drafted in June 2009 do not play until 2010 so everyone in the AMFL gets a real life sneak preview of the people they drafted, providing they stay injury free in 2009.

The format for my league is that everyone gets 5 picks, so a total of 100 picks will be made. Owners are allowed to trade picks in advance, but not during the draft.

My team in the AMFL was headed for a bad season so I decided to trade some of my better players for draft picks before the season began. This meant I ended up with 10 picks (10% of the entire draft!)

Here are the picks I ended up making, and alongside the pick is a bit of the though process that went behind the selection. The number on the left is where I picked in AMFL draft and the number in brackets (..) is the actual position the player was drafted in the 2009 NFL draft.

2 (5)     – Mark Sanchez QB USC Trojans / New York Jets

I hoped that Sanchez was not selected number one and I lucked out. The #1 replicated the NFL as Matthew Stafford went top overall. I think Sanchez has arrived in the perfect place. He is all Hollywood in his looks and style and has that Joe Namath kind of appeal that the likes of Ken O’Brien or Chad Pennington could never have. Sanchez may not start week 1 but he will start by week 17. Jets WR and TE are ok, so I reckon Sanchez can get 1,500 yards and 6-10 tds as a rookie.

7 (8)     – Eugene Monroe OT Virginia / Jacksonville Jaguars

Monroe has a lot of positive comments written about him and to me he had an edge over Andre ‘bouncy breasts’ Smith. Monroe should start from day 1 2009 and The Jags do love to run the ball. I am high on Rashard Jennings who the Jags drafted late, and I think Monroe can use his size and strength to anchor the OL until 2020.

20 (19) – Jeremy Maclin WR Mizou Philadelphia Eagles

Can the Eagles do it twice in a row, and make a rookie WR a real star? I think they can. After years of absolute dross on the flanks (such as Todd Pinkston) Maclin can have immediate impact. Maclin at the very least should take one or two balls back to the house on kick or punt returns. I don’t even like the Eagles but I have confidence that Maclin can get about 45 catches and 600 yards with 5 total touchdowns.

26 (38) – Rey Maualuga ILB USC / Cincinnati Bengals

My first so called ‘reach’ compared to the NFL place he was picked. Malu… u know the rest was predicted to be a first round pick by most ‘experts’. He is a hitting machine. Before you call me a USC fan I actually support Penn State in NCAA ranks. I have seen some crazy hits made by Mal on YouTube and he rocks da house. Being reunited with Keith Rivers will help, but ultimately Mal will make the Bengals D a bit harder and a bit stronger.

38 (18) – Robert Ayers OLB/DE Tenn / Denver Broncos

Many people did the proverbial head scratch when the Broncos selected Ayers at #18, so the fact I grabbed him at #38 to me was my biggest bargain in the draft. Moving on from the whole ‘one year wonder’ cliche, Ayers is a high-motor guy who likes to penetrate the line of scrimmage and disrupt offenses. He may not get monster stats as a rookie, but he should earn around 50-60 tackles and a sack and an int.

55 (45) – Clint Sintim OLB/DE Virginia / New York Giants

Yep a third linebacker in a row, but Sintim is in the perfect location to learn and develop. Look at the likes of Justin Tuck, and Osi, they have become huge stars. Sintim had 11 sacks as a senior and is gonna come in to spell the Giants established studs. The Giants will likely experiment with Sintim as DE and OLB, as is the trend for a lot of NFL teams. Again I got good value at #55.

67 (47) – Michael Mitchell SS Ohio / Oakland Raiders

This guy hits like a Mack truck but again was the victim of ‘what the hell did the Raiders draft him here for’ disease. He was dubbed the biggest reach of the draft (apart from guess who Raiders pick Heyward-Bey!) but when a team grabs him in the second round of the NFL draft he HAS to have some talent. Ok he is the highest Ohio player to be drafted since 1948 but I think a guy with a chip on his shoulder will play that bit harder. Go Mike!

80 (82) – Derrick Williams WR Penn State / Detroit Lions

OK this is a 100% homer pick, where I wanted to select a Nittany Lion, and I hope that Williams becomes the Lions #1 return man and an immediate #3 WR. He was projected 4 years ago to be a monster talent, but teams have dampened their enthusiasm. Lets call Williams an experiment. I got him almost the same time the Lions grabbed him. I hope he is a pleasant surprise on an NFL team that needs a hell of a lot more than just one pleasant surprise.

87 (81) – Roy Miller DT Texas / Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Maybe I was having dreams that Miller would become the new Warren Sapp. He is only 6 1′ but he has a big ol’ tree trunk of a body. 5.5 sacks as a senior and one against Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl shows that he knows how to sniff out quarterbacks. The guy was team mates with Brian Orakpo, and no doubt they both made each other better. The guy does have a 500lb bench press – best all time amongst Longhorns.

98 (88) – Ladarius Webb CB Nicholls State / Baltimore Ravens

At #98 there was still a huge choice of talent, but I needed a CB and went for Webb, a small school guy with a huge amount of talent. The guy has taken three kicks to da house in college. Despite his misdemeanours in his younger days, Webb has the ability to be a nickel or dime back as a rookie and will earn playing time even if the Ravens do not quite know where yet.

So how do YOU rate my draft ? I am Washington.

Note I did not pick a single Redskin – its a trap many fantasy drafters fall into, picking players from your favourite team.

Here were all 100 picks (NFL real pick in brackets) Draft done June 2009

TIMES ARE ALL PM USA EST (NFL)
1 Carolina Matthew Stafford QB (1)
2 Washington Mark Sanchez QB (5)
3 Dallas Michael Crabtree WR (10)
4 Atlanta Aaron Curry OLB (4)
5 Indianapolis Knowshon Moreno RB (12)
6 Cleveland Jason Smith OT (2)
7 Washington Eugene Monroe OT (8)
8 Cincinnati Percy Harvin WR (22)
9 Chicago Malcolm Jenkins CB (14)
10 Houston Brian Orakpo DE (13)
11 Tampa Andre Smith OT (7)
12 Denver BJ Raji DT (9)
13 Pittsburgh Darius Heyward Bey WR (7)
14 San Diego Aaron Maybin DE (11)
15 New England Michael Oher OT (23)
16 San Francisco Chris ‘Beanie’ Wells RB (31)
17 Oakland Tyson Jackson (3)
18 Miami Hakeem Nicks WR (29)
19 Cleveland James Laurinitas ILB (35)
20 Washington Jeremy Maclin WR (19)

1 Carolina Brian Cushing OLB (15)
2 Detroit Vontae Davis CB (25)
3 Dallas Brandon Pettigrew (20)
4 Atlanta Peria Jerry DT (24)
5 Indianapolis Clay Matthews OLB (26)
6 Washington Rey Maualuga ILB (38)
7 New England Larry English OLB (16)
8 Cincinnati Patrick Chung S (34)
9 Chicago Alphonso Smith CB (37)
10 Houston Louis Delmas S (33)
11 Tampa Donald Brown RB (27)
12 Denver Darius Butler CB (41)
13 Pittsburgh Josh Freeman (17)
14 San Diego Le Sean McCoy RB (53)
15 New England Evander Hood DT (32)
16 San Francisco Everette Brown (43)
17 Oakland Brian Robiskie WR (36)
18 Washington Robert Ayres OLB/DE (18)
19 Cleveland Connor Barwin OLB/DE (46)
20 ST Louis Paul Kruger DE (57)

1 Carolina Kenny Britt WR (30)
2 Detroit Shonn Green RB (65)
3 Dallas Sen’Derrick Marks DE (62)
4 Atlanta Alex Mack C (21)
5 Tennessee Eben Britton OT (39)
6 Tennessee Ron Brace DT (40)
7 Denver Andy Levitre OT (51)
8 Houston 3.45 William Beatty OT (60)
9 Chicago 4.00 Eric Wood OL (28)
10 Houston 4.15 Mohamed Massaquoi WR (50)
11 Tampa Fili Moala DT (56)
12 St Louis David Veikune DE/LB (52)
13 Pittsburgh Jarius Byrd CB (42)
14 San Diego Max Unger C (49)
15 Washington Clint Sintim OLB (45)
16 San Francisco 5.45 Michael Johnson DE (70)
17 Oakland Phil Loadholt OT (54)
18 Miami 6.15 Jarret Dillard WR
19 Cleveland 6.30 Austin Collie WR (127)
20 ST Louis 6.45 Sean Smith CB (61)
1 Carolina Jaron Gilbert DE (68)
2 St Louis Christopher Owens CB (90)
3 St Louis Kevin Barnes CB (80)
4 Atlanta William Moore S (55)
5 Indianapolis Rashad Johnson S (95)
6 Tenn Jared Cook TE (89)
7 Washington Michael Mitchell SS (47)
8 Cincinnati Jason Williams LB (69)
9 Chicago DJ Moore CB (119)
10 Houston 4.15 Glen Coffee RB (74)
11 Tampa Pat White QB (44)
12 Denver Darcel mcBath CB (48)
13 Pittsburgh Sherrod Martin S (59)
14 San Diego Sebastian Vollmer OT (58)
15 St Louis Juaquin Igesias WR (99)
16 St Louis Mike Goodson RB (111)
17 Denver Chase Coffman TE (98)
18 Miami Derek Cox CB (73)
19 Cleveland Kraig Urbik OT (79)
20 Washington Derrick Williams WR (82)
1 Carolina Deon Butler WR (91)
2 Detroit Travis Beckum TE (100)
3 Dallas Andre Brown RB (129)
4 Atlanta Duke Robinson G (163)
5 Indianapolis Donald Washington CB (102)
6 Tennessee Lawrence Sidbury DE (125)
7 Washington Roy Miller DT (81)
8 Cincinnati Ricky Jean-Francois-DT (244)
9 St Louis Henry Melton DE (105)
10 Houston Brandon Tate WR (83)
11 Tampa Louis Vasquez OG (78)
12 Denver Jasper Brinkley ILB (150)
13 Pittsburgh Alex Magee DT (67)
14 San Diego Deandre Levy OLB (76)
15 New England Robert Brewster OL (75)
16 San Francisco Jonathan Luigs C (106)
17 Oakland Antoine Caldwell OL (77)
18 Washington Ladarius Webb CB (88)
19 Cleveland Bernard Scott RB (209)
20 New England Mike Wallace WR (84)
21 Pittsburgh Deangelos Smith CB (143)

Is this kid a future Hall of Fame NFL QB?The news that a Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christianhigh school quarterback accepting an offer to become a Washington Huskie in 2010 is not something I would normally report on.

Wednesday’s news that this same QB declined an offer from the Fighting Irish Notre Dame would also seem somewhat inconsequential.

That this gun slinger is going into his senior high school season throwing passes to team mate WR Trey Smith, the son of Hollywood actor Will Smith (WR Trey Smith) AND  he is keeping backup QB Trevor Gretzky on the bench, the son of NHL ice hockey legend Wayne Gretzky is bizarre enough.

This is where it truly goes ‘radio rentals’ (for all you non UK fans this is Cockney rhyming slang for mental) as the passer in question (seen left wearing the #5 shirt) is none other that the son of four time Superbowl winning quarterback Joe Montana – Mr Nick Montana.

Trust me you could not make this up. Don’t believe me – click here.

This would be the UK equivalent of Hugh Grant’s son (not that I think he even has one), David  Beckham’s son Romeo and Ian Botham’s son (English cricket legend) all playing for the same school Sixth-Form football team (soccer).

As Dizzy Rascal would say ‘BONKERS’.

Only in America! And this ladies and gentlemen is why I love our friends over the other side of the pond.

Anyone ALREADY getting excited about the 2014 NFL Draft (assuming that Montana Jnr does not apply for NFL draft eligibility as a junior) ?