Posts Tagged ‘NFL Draft 2009’

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)

bucccccccccccccTwo of the busier teams so far in the NFL Free Agency period have been the London bound Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New England Patriots.

The Buccaneers have given the Washington Redskins a run for their money with the following moving to the sunshine state;

***BIG GAINS***

Kellen Winslow – Tight End (from Cleveland by trade) This guy is a stud and maybe the best Buccs TE since Jimmie Giles.

Derrick Ward – Running Back (from New York Giants) A burner who will add great value to the backfield, with Earnerst Graham and Skoda Williams – well he breaks down far too many times to be called Cadillac.

Mike Nugent – Kicker (from New York Jets) I always think of either gold or chicken nuggets when I read out his name, Nugent is a good young kicker.

In addition Tampa re-signed – Tight End Jerramy Stevens, Wide Receiver Antonio Bryant, Wide Receiver Michael Clayton (not the one played by pretty boy George Clooney),  Safety Jermaine Phillips, Wide Receiver Cortez Hankton.

***BIG LOSSES***

Jovan Haye – Defensive Tackle (to Tennessee)

Philip Buchannon – Cornerback (to Detroit)

In addition Tampa released Linebacker Derick Brooks, Running Back Warwick Dunn, Wide Receiver Ike Hilliard, Linebacker Cato June and will not re-sign Quarterback Jeff Garcia.

So what does all this mean for new head coach Raheem Morris?

Pretty simple – heading into the 2009 NFL Draft the focus for the Buccs will be on defense.

It also means that Wembley bound Tampa Bay will need to get an offensive protagonist and a good one at that as the inclusion of Ward, Winslow and keeping Antonio Bryant means the supporting cast is already in place.

Luke McCown, Brian Griese and the unproven Josh Johnson do not make me think 11-5 and playoff win, more like 7-9 and another season of frustration. The consensus is that this is a rebuilding year for Tampa Bay, but if they do manage to get a stud qb in the next month then they can help expectations rise to a 10-6 or 11-5 season. Matt Cassell would have surely had more immediate fun/wins here than at Kansas City?

The current FA quarterbacks left who have started many games – JP Losman and Byron Leftwich (I still love the memeory of his college offensive linemen carrying him as he fought injury as a Marshall QB – see below) are not really the answer.

I am not ignoring the need for the Buccs to upgrade their offensive line, but defense is where the Buccs will be drawing in new blood at the 2009 draft.

With Derrick Brooks released and Ronde Barber getting older (maybe 1 or 2 seasons left realistically) the team will look for a stud linebacker in round 1. Someone like  Clay Matthews (the younger) or James Laurinaitis would be great picks for the Buccs.

Young defensive players such as Barrett Ruud, Gaines Adams, Aquib Talib, Quincy Black and Sabby Piscitelli are all players you would describe as having a huge upside, and Ruud was worthy of a spot on the NFC 2008 Pro Bowl roster.  

With some clever drafting and a few tweaks in Free Agency the Buccs can be a force to be reconed with, and as ever those people fortunate enough to get (and afford) tickets to the Tampa Bay v New England NFL game in London in October will be able to see of all the moves in March mean success in 2009-10.

The Buccs are doing the right thing by getting younger – but 2009 may be a tough year ahead.