Archive for April, 2012

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I tried to watch as much of the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft as I could, but as it started at 1.00am on Friday morning here in England I feel happy in the fact I made it to Ryan Tannehill being picked at #8 overall by the desperate Miami Dolphins.

When I woke up about five hours later I checked out NFL.com and Rotoworld to find out the 24 first-round picks selected that I missed whilst dreaming of Robert Griffin III lifting the Vince Lombardi Trophy some time this decade.

Perhaps the biggest first-round head-scratcher to me was the Cleveland Browns picking the oldest rookie in NFL history at #22.

Yes the Browns managed to, by handing in a single scrap of paper, simultaneously wipe the grin from incumbent quarterback Colt McCoy’s baby face, and also puzzle many Cleveland fans across the world.

Their selection of Brandon Weedon, the 28-year-old (who will be 29 in October) can be arguably seen as a bad move, as the former draft pick of the New York Yankees baseball team (yes I am not going mad) has spent much of his throwing arm’s energy pitching in the minor leagues.

He does have the added advantage of maturity, leadership, experience with one of the biggest sports franchises on the planet and a calm temperament that will equip him well to run an NFL huddle, but he is around 5-6 years older than the rest of his rookie class.

Unlike the Indianapolis Colts and the Washington Redskins who opted for super-stud senior quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III (pictured above) hoping they will still be leading their team in the 2020s, it is unlikely that Weeden will be heading up a Browns team anytime past 2016.

The Browns did the safe thing and moved up to #3 (moving up just one pick) to get the best running-back prospect in the draft with ‘Bama’s Trent Richardson as their first selection.

I was pretty upset that the Cowboys managed to swoop in and draft LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne at #6. The Rams gave up the opportunity to pick at that spot, just like they gave up the chance to pick at #2 (having traded with the Redskins). Fortunately for St Louis they managed to get themselves an LSU alumni for themselves, and most likely someone they did not think would be available at #14.

Their selection, Michael Brockers the defensive tackle, will start from day one. Like cornerback, it is incredibly hard for a defensive tackle to make an immediate impact. Most rookie defensive tackles take at least a year to get into the groove. There are exceptions like the Detroit Lions Ndamukong Suh, but this is rarer that a blood soaked T-bone.

It also chokes me that the New England Patriots managed to avoid trading down again, instead selecting two future NFL starting defensive players, nabbing Syracuse defensive end Chandler Jones at #21 and then one of my personal favourites Dont’a Hightower, the 2012 NCAA National Championship winning inside linebacker from the Alabama Crimson Tide.

The Jaguars also showed some balls by moving up to #5 to piss-off Rams head-coach Jeff Fisher (who originally held the #6 spot) and draft the best wide-receiver in the 2012 draft class, Justin Blackmon from OSU.

I did like the Lions selection of offensive tackle Riley Reiff the humongous offensive tackle from Iowa. With Matthew Stafford living up to his #1 selection expectation in 2011, Detroit needed to do all they could to make sure he stays standing every week.

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Browns trade up to #3 to get Trent Richardson. This means Monterio Hardesty is never going to get a shot. Had a feeling the Vikings were not committed to Matt Kalil the offensive tackle from USC.

Browns are saying a lot with this move:

– Our RBs are rubbish
– Colt McCoy is our quarterback
– We are prepared to make a bold move to secure our guy

Not sure how happy Trent will be when he gets his muddy brown New Era cap, but he will become an instant hero in Ohio.

Well done Cleveland, you did the right thing. The Dawg Pound must be barking loudly now.

Justin Blackmon - my shock #3 pick by the wideout starved Minnesota Vikings

Anyone who knows the difference between a touchdown and a touchback knows that this year’s NFL Draft already has two players locked in, but from pick 3 onwards there is no doubt in my mind that it will be much more of a roller-coaster than many mock-draft writers have predicted.

Below is my attempt at a top 10 NFL 2012 Mock Draft, including the position, team drafting, player I am predicting will be picked and why…

1) Indianapolis Colts…select Andrew Luck, QB Stanford

2) Washington Redskins…select Robert Griffin III aka RG3, QB, Baylor

These two picks are locked tighter than an upstream-swimming salmon’s sphincter as Luck is rated as the best quarterback prospect in the past 20 years, and the Redskins traded the farm to swap number 1 picks with the St Louis Rams.

Funnily enough the last time we has two such high-profile quarterbacks get selected in the top two draft picks it was the Colts at #1 who selected Peyton Manning, and the San Diego Chargers at #2 who picked a bust bigger than Dolly Parton’s when they nabbed Ryan Leaf.

3) Minnesota Vikings…select Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State

Yep I’m in a minority here, as most experts have USC offensive tackle (pictured above) being selected by the Purple People Eaters, but I am gambling on the Vikings getting a stud wideout to go with their stud running-back Adrian Peterson and a primary target for second year quarterback Christian Ponder.

4) Cleveland Browns…select Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

A nation championship winning back and the best prospect since the aforementioned Adrian Peterson. Richardson is a thoroughbred who can find the holes, catch the ball and play a full 60 minutes. The Browns made the decision not to go after RG3 so must have some sort of faith in Colt McCoy. They did however let Madden poster-boy Peyton Hillis go, and have the glass-kneed Montario Hardesty as their top back. Richardson will bring back some ruggedness to the Browns, a team who people respected in the 1980s – honest they did. 

5) Tampa Bay Buccaneers…select Morris Clayborne, CB, LSU

Veteran Buccs cornerback Ronde Barber simply cannot go on, despite signing an extension earlier this year. The Buccs have a young team and they need a dominating corner to do what Ronde did for over a decade. Clayborne could possibly go at #3 to the Vikings. Any corner that gets selected this high had better be special, and I’m not talking special-teams special. Patrick Petersen was picked as a corner in the same slot last year and he ended up in the Pro-Bowl. Clayborne I doubt will have the same rookie impact.

6) St Louis Rams…select Matt Kalil, OT, USC

The Rams would have had their heart set on Blackmon, but this is my mock draft so they have to fish elsewhere for a big catch. With Cleveland and Tampa addressing need Kalil, the best tackle available, will be the chosen one by the Rams. Yes they got Roger Saffold last year, but with Kalil the Rams will have their best offensive lineman since Orlando Pace. 

7) Jacksonville Jaguars select…Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State

This is one team with needs at defensive line, wide receiver and depending on how much optimism you have for 2011 1st Rd pick Blaine Gabbert, a new quarterback. The Jags will have a number of options here but Cox has the best combination of durability, strength and speed. Putting Cox alongside Tyson Alualu will give the Jags a formidable combo for the 2010s. 

8) Miami Dolphins select…Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M

The Fins have sucked harder at quarterback than Kojack would at an international lollipop licking contest. Matt Moore is not the answer and neither have been some of the hideous signal callers that have been starting in Miami over the past decade. Tannehill is in a class of his own in this draft. He is a top ten talent, but not a top 5 one. Tannehill has great awareness, but maybe that awareness will trigger his spidey-sense to steer clear from the Dolphins. It’s unlikely  as he will be very likely to be in aqua and white no sooner than you can spot a pair of surgically enhanced breasts on Miami Beach. 

9) Carolina Panthers select…Mark Barron, S, Alabama

A second member of the Crimson Tide to get selected in the top 10, Barron is the number one safety available by a country mile. He comes armed with a national championship ring and some classy leadership skills. The Panthers struck gold in the 2011 draft with Can Newton, Barron is not that sparkly, but he is a solid silver pick and can bring his ball hawking skills to Carolina, with immediate game 1 impact. His 12 picks in college is pretty respectable. 

10) Buffalo Bills select…Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

Despite having the drawback of going to Cretin High School (yes it’s true) Floyd is a game-changer, who can catch the small passes and make them into big gains. The Bills have got a respectable defense, bolstered by the big free-agency signing of Mario Williams. They now need a wideout to take the pressure off Steve Johnson. This could in-part help the Bills become legit once again. 

Can’t wait for tomorrow night, not sure I will make it much past Andrew Luck standing there with the ginger prince, but my ipod will be knackered out Friday morning as I read through the selections made as the rain batters the window and my six moth old batters my eardrums. 

The sexiest footwear ever

This is without doubt the sexiest pair of Nike trainers I have ever seen. I have a battered pair of Black and White Air Max and they served me well, but boy would I love a pair of these babies.