Archive for April, 2011

Ponder was perhaps the biggest shock at #12 to the Purple People Eaters

Not quite sure how I am awake at the moment. I kept awake until after 4am this morning in England eating ice lollies called Nobbly Bobblys watching a fascinating first round of the 2011 NFL draft.

I was then up 4 hours later to start watching coverage of Wills and Kate with my wife, before going out for a rather civilised ‘afternoon tea’ at a local hotel and leisure club. Man the scones were tasty.  This was followed up this evening with some Fish and Chips – how British!

Anyway enough nonsense about princes and paupers and on to Peterson’s Pouncey’s and Ponder’s.

This was a fun first round, from the aggression of the Falcons war room to nab Julio Jones, to the fact four gunslingers went off the board in the first 12 picks.

I’m left wondering many thoughts, including:

  • Will the Redskins regret not trading up to get either Jake Locker or Blaine Gabbert
  • Will the Vikings regret selecting Christian Ponder at #12 – a move forced on them by the Panthers, Titans and Jags
  • If Nick Fairley is as good in the NFL as he was in the NCAA in 2010 the Lions are a 2011 playoff team
  • Did the Saints come out of Round #1 as the biggest winners – getting Emmit Smith clone Mark Ingram at #28

My top 3 picks I loved: 
Phil Taylor DT to Browns at #21 – Browns played the first round like a fiddler on a roof, and getting the best NT in the country was a disciplined and bold move
Jimmy Smith CB to Ravens at #27 – This guy is a ‘playa’ and his character flaws will vanish in Baltimore thanks to Sir Lewis
Patrick Peterson CB to Cardinals at #5 – Another beast of a CB. Arizona could have gone qb but they made a very disciplined pick here and went talent over most urgent need

My top 3 picks I cringed at:
Cam Newton QB at #1 to the Panthers – The best long -term prospect on the board was Marcel Dareus DT
James Carpenter OL at #25 to the Seahawks – Seattle need a qb for 2012 and this was the time to get Andy Dalton
Tyron Smith OT at #9 to the Cowboys – This was a bit of a reach, Amakamura CB or JJ Watt would have been much better value for $

I think I have runs out of Nobbly Bobbly’s for the next few rounds tonight – i’ll have to stick to the Sprite Zero.

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Carolina to do the right thing and get Dareus??

I wont be winning $10m from Budweiser by predicting correctly all 32 picks but hey if you don’t buy a ticket you cant take part in the dance.

Here goes my annual leap into the pool of humiliation……..NFL Fan in England’s mock NFL Draft Round 1 2011.

Team – Predicted player, position, note.

1) Panthers – Marcel Dareus DT – This will be a minor shock but Dareus could do a Warren Sapp in Carolina

2) Broncos – Von Miller OLB – Broncos to give Tebow a chance and try and get defense upgraded

3) Bills – Cam Newton QB – Stunning move as Bills decide to get a new gunslinger to reverse fortunes

4) Bengals – Blaine Gabbert QB – This is possibly where Redskins trade up to but if not Bengals get their QB

5) Cardinals – Patrick Petersen CB – Cards need help in many places this is a best on board pick

6) Browns – AJ Green WR – Cleveland get the best WR in the draft

7) 49ers – Cameron Jordan DE – 49ers make their strong d-line even tougher

8) Titans – Nick Fairely DT – Titans get the next DL stud to stomp on ghost of fat Albert

9) Cowboys – Prince Amukamara CB – Cowboys need a new leader in the secondary

10) Redskins – Jake Locker QB – Only on the basis that Gabbert is gone and Redskins didn’t trade up

11) Texans – JJ Watt DE – The guy is like a human octopus arms everywhere and a big help to Super Mario

12) Vikings – Robert Quinn DE – Vikes wall is crumbling, now is the time to tear it down and start again

13) Lions – Tyron Smith OT – Lions are building up nicely and Smith will be an immediate starter

14) – Rams – Julio Jones WR – Rams smile as Jones surprisingly lands in their lap

15) Dolphins – Aldon Smith DE – Fins need quality injection in the d-line

16) Jaguars – Anthony Constanzo OT – Someone has to make holes for MJD and Rashad Jennings

17) Patriots – Mark Ingram RB – Green Ellis the Law Firm is not the answer, Ingram is.

18) Chargers – Mike Pouncey – OL – If he is as good as his twin Chargers are happy bunnies

19) Giants – Gabe Carimi OL – Giants o-line is old and Carimi is a workhorse lunch pail type.

20 ) Bucs – Corey Liuget DT – Tampa Bay combine McCoy and Liuget to form a formidable wall.

21) Chiefs – Da’Quan Bowers DE – KC pick best person on their board

22) Colts – Phil Taylor DT – Colts get serious on d-line with a big big blocker

23) Eagles – Muhammed Wilkerson DT – Bit of a surprise but Eagles always value d-line strenght

24) Saints – Akeem Ayers – Saints need a spark at LB, and Ayers can light it up

25) Seahawks – Jimmy Smith CB – Character concerns go out the window – fans no longer sleepless

26) Ravens – Jonathan Baldwin WR – Time for the Ravens to get a fresh face and a successor to Mason

27) Falcons – Stephen Paea DT – Falcons d-line is ok but this will start to make it special

28) Patriots – Ryan Kerrigan DE – Pats say thankyou very much.

29) Bears – Danny Watkins OG – The whole world knows the Bears need to upgrade offensive line

30) Jets – Marvin Austin DL – The Jets get someone who will help from  right now

31) Steelers – Cam Heyward DE – Steelers like nothing better than boosting the d-line

32) Packers – Mikel Leshure RB – Surprising but Packers wont get him by end of 2nd.

The Bucs are coming back to Wembley.......maybe.

It was announced earlier this week that the NFL will be coming back to London for a fifth consecutive regular season showcase*.

* = Pending current lockout resolution by August 1. If unresolved game will be played in Tampa Bay, Florida.

This is fantastic news in the midst of quite a depressing offseason. I for one did not think the NFL would commit to a game in London this season, so finding out the Chicago Bears will be coming over from the Windy City to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is a real Easter treat.

It was the ’85 Bears, led by Jim McMahon, Walter Payton, Mike Singletary and Richard Dent that got me hooked on the greatest sport on earth.

In 1986 the Bears came and played the Cowboys in a pre-season game in London, unfortunately I was only 11 at the time and although I have a game program from the contest (given to me by my dad’s lovers son in law) I did not get to go to game itself.

The Bears are an institution here in England. They will always hold fond memories for those fans who were introduced to the NFL in the early and mid 1980s.

This game in October will be the first time that the NFL has scheduled two teams from the same conference, the NFC, and will also be the first time that a team has come back for a second bite of the NFL in London experience.

My register of interest form was filled in as soon as it came into my inbox.

Now I just have to wait and see if a bunch of billionaires and millionaires can get round the table and sort themselves out. Hey i’ll come out and be a peace ambassador for a small fee and some sideline passes for the game in October.

Roger – come on fella, you wouldn’t want to make 80,000 NFL fans in England mad would you?

Watt (#99) is looking to be drafted in top 20.

Have to admit most of my 2011 NFL draft knowledge will come from reading and listening to experts opinions as I only saw a minimal amount of live games.

There is however a few exceptions to this rule, and perhaps the most significant is former Wisconsin Badger defensive end J.J. Watt.

I must have seen Watt play at least four times, and each game he played like a true stud, including the loss to TCU in the 2011 Rose Bowl.

Watt has a fully charged motor for 60 minutes, and he will be sure to translate his talent from NCAA to NFL football without much difficulty.

He had an excellent combine, finishing near the top of every drill he participated in, and due to that impressive workout he may have moved from a top 20 pick to a top 12 pick.

One thing is sure whoever picks Watt wont be saying Watt have I done? They will be saying Watt a great pick.

I would love Watt to become a Redskin but I suspect Snyder will go Qb or Wr.

 

Sean Taylor - Happy Birthday in heaven

 

Today should have been Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor’s 28th birthday.

Instead it is the fourth birthday that his family, friends, former team-mates and fans are spending still mourning his loss.

Taylor died from bleeding after receiving a gunshot wound to the leg in November 2007 after burglars broke into his house for the second time in just over a week.

In just 55 games #21 managed to make 302 tackles, defended 41 passes, gained 2 sacks,  forced 8 fumbles and snagged 12 interceptions.

It was not statistics though that made Taylor an absolute fan favourite in DC and in Miami (he was a former Hurricane), it was his hard-hitting and his willingness to sacrifice his body on every play that made him a All-Pro talent.

Taylor had a unique body shape, the type of player you could identify even if he had no number on his jersey or no Redskin face on his helmet.

He made the 2006 Pro-Bowl and delivered probably the hardest Hawaii hit ever when he laid the smackdown on poor old Bills punter Brian Moorman.

That was how Taylor did his business, he left it all on the field.

Before his death in 2007 Taylor was leading the NFC with 5 interceptions, despite only playing 1o of 12 games to that point.

Redskins fans around the world have wondered what if Taylor hadn’t been injured and hadn’t gone home to Miami that weekend.

Ironically I was supposed to see Taylor play live against the Buccaneers in Tampa on 25 November 2007. As it was my wife and I went to the game, a loss to the Buccs.

We were at the airport in Orlando, travelling home, when the news came up on the screens in the departure lounge about Taylor’s passing.

I can still feel the sense of utter disbelief.

Both the Redskins and the NFC Pro-Bowl team fielded teams on the field with just 10 defenders as a mark of respect following Taylor’s death.

Sean Taylor you are still missed, and there never will be a player to replace you.

R.I.P

Great tribute video from ivegotgame23 – thanks man.