Thursday, April 30, 2015

2015 NFL Mock Draft

New location, same drama.
Well here we are again, one day before the draft. The perfect, and only time, it makes sense to draw up a mock draft. Sorry for trying to ride the coattails of Mike Mayock (who also waits until 24 hours before the draft to release his mock draft), but I like the way the guy thinks.

This should be one of the more interest drafts in recent memory. There is so much depth at the top of this draft that teams could go in so many different directions. So many players who were once thought to be top 10 picks are falling fast, and could even fall out of the first round entirely.

Here is my best guess at what might happen tomorrow.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Best and Worst Picks of Day 1


What a Day 1! Tons of trades, lots of intrigue. The top quarterbacks went off the board, but a lot later than most had expected. Receivers and defensive backs flew off the shelves like hot cakes.

Here is my breakdown of the best and worst picks of the day:


BEST:

1. The Browns making moves like stock brokers.
Say what you want about the way the Browns strangely moved around the board, but they clearly got the two players that they wanted and still netted the Bills' first round pick in 2015 (which we all can assume will be a very high pick). That is a major haul for a team with a lot of needs, but maybe not as many as people think. Brian Hoyer will get every opportunity to start in 2014 and allow Johnny Manziel to develop. This team is looking for a quicker turn around than most expect.

2. In two years, the Vikings added five first round players.
They netted an extra pick to move down one spot with their first pick pick to still land the only remaining elite pass rusher in this draft, Anthony Barr (that's pretty sad considering it was only the ninth pick). Then at the end of the night, they took the Seahawks' pick and the last pick of the night to steal Teddy Bridgewater away from the Texans, who most likely would have taken him with the first pick tomorrow night. In a passing league, they added a guy to hit the quarterback and a franchise caliber quarterback only one year after adding a receiver, a corner, and a pass rushing defensive tackle. That's a lot of firepower.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

2014 NFL Mock Draft ACE Style

Well it is less than 24 hours before the 2014 NFL draft. This is the time when people should start making mock drafts, not February. Either way, here are my thoughts on where the top 32 rookies will land.

Jadeveon Clowney will be the first overall pick, but
what team will have the pick when the card is turned in?
1. TEXANS: DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina

The Texans might not make this pick with both the Falcons and Bills rumored to be interested in securing Clowney, but the defensive end will be the first pick in this draft. There are simply too many questions surrounding the quarterbacks to pass on an athletic freak like Clowney. It might not be the right pick for whatever team takes him, but he will be the pick.

2. RAMS: OT Greg Robinson, Auburn

St. Louis is waiting around for Sam Bradford to become a franchise quarterback and their stable of wide receivers to turn into playmakers, so they will pass on both positions and take the best tackle in the draft to attempt to help Bradford stay heathy (good luck). This draft is very top heavy when it comes to offensive tackles so the Rams will not wait until the 13th overall pick to address the issue.

3. JAGUARS: WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson

With MJD in Oakland and Justin Blackmon suspended indefinitely, the Jags are in desperate need of offensive playmakers. Watkins might be the best player in this draft when everything is all said and done, and he will immediately make whatever quarterback the Jags start better on day one of 2014.

4. BROWNS: QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M

The signings of Vince Young and Tyler Thigpen were a sign of just how desperate the Browns organization is to simply find bodies to add to their quarterback room. The Browns have the best offensive tackle in football and the second best receiver in the league, so I'd be shocked if they took one of the tackles to play on the right side or reached for Mike Evans at this point. Khalil Mack will get a long look, but they took Barkevious Mingo with the sixth overall pick in last year's draft and paid over $40 million to Paul Kruger last season, so I have a hard time believing they would spend a top five pick on a player they wouldn't play all three downs. Manziel might not be the polished passer you want in a top 10 quarterback, but he has all the skills you need to be an elite quarterback and gives the Browns some optimism for their franchise.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Free Agency Breakdown 2014

Well it sure has been quiet some time since I have written anything about football, but truthfully I did not want to get caught up in the hype of offseason madness that always gets overblown. I have been waiting for the big chips to fall before I made any sort of reaction on how each team came out.

Here are my thoughts on the winners and loser of the 2014 Free Agency thus far:

WINNERS:

Guards might not be the sexiest human beings,
but Matt Slauson and Eben Britton were a big
reason the Bears offense made a jump in 2013.
Chicago Bears
: There was not a team in the NFL that did a better job of addressing their biggest needs in free agency. The Bears' offense was fantastic in 2013. They managed to keep guards Matt Slauson and Eben Britton with low level contracts for at least 2014 and signed Jay Cutler to a mega deal to keep him in Chicago for the rest of his career, hopefully.

Their defense was a total mess and they jumped right out of the gate to lock up defensive tackle Lamarr Houston, who is one of the more underrated interior linemen in the NFL. They also resigned Jay Ratliff to further strengthen that interior. Even if he is never the player he once was with the Cowboys, he is at worst a solid rotational lineman, which is still very valuable. After cutting ties with Julius Peppers to save an astronomical amount of cap space, they signed Jared Allen to replace Peppers and Willie Young to be a rotational lineman on the outside.

All in all, they kept their offense in check and they massively upgraded their biggest need in the middle of their defense. With some young linebackers hopefully making progress, these defense could take a big step forward. Look out for the Bears in 2014.

Tampa Bay Bucaneers: Alterraun Verner and Michael Johnson might not be household names for the average NFL fan, but they are young players who have yet to play their best football. Verner is undersized, but he plays bigger than he is. He was one of the best corners in football last year and his physical play matches what new coach Lovie Smith likes out of his corners. Johnson is an athletic freak at 6'7 and I am sure reminds Lovie of a young Julius Peppers. They do not make many human beings like Johnson and he should be the pass rusher that the Bucs' have sorely needed since the Jon Gruden era.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Darrelle Revis: A Buc Killer


The Bucs have landed another playmaker in the back end of
their defense, but is Darrelle Revis worth his new contract?

The Bucs may have managed to give up less than the Jets wanted to acquire Revis, but it is his new hefty contract that could cause a lot of headaches in years to come. People will say that this is a great contract for the Bucs, but I think otherwise. Paying $16 million dollars a year for a corner back is ludicrous. Even if Revis is back to 100%, this is too much money for any defensive player. The NFL is a league in which you need a quarterback to win, and since winning quarterbacks cost around $17-20 million to retain, that does not leave much money for the other 52 players on the roster.

I strongly believe that Revis is the most dominant defensive player in the league, but with the majority of teams running some form of the spread offense, shutting down one offensive player does not have the effect that it used to. Teams will still be able to throw away from Revis, like they did for years playing against a once dominant Nnamdi Asomugha in Oakland.

Technically, there is no guaranteed money in Revis’ new contract, but since the Bucs gave up two high picks for him, there is almost no situation in which he is not on the team for the next two seasons, even if he is plagued by injuries and/or inconsistency. In that case, there is almost an assumed guaranteed $32 million. After those first two years, the Bucs will then still be paying a 30 year old player $16 million a season if they want him to stay on the team. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Is Joe Flacco Elite?

Joe Flacco got rid of his moronic mustache and
then won a Super Bowl. Coincident, I think not.
The short answer, no. Now here is the long answer.

This will be a question that rages on all offseason long. With Flacco's contract up, he will certain want to be paid like he is elite after one of the most impressive runs by a quarterback in playoff history. However, I do not think it would be wise for any team to pay him with the likes of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, and I truly doubt the Ravens will make that mistake.

The conversation on Flacco's worth might rage on for another year or more because it is likely that the two sides do not find any common ground in their contract negotiations and Flacco gets the Franchise Tag for one more season before he is handed the elite money he desires.

Back to the question at hand. Let's start with what it means to be an elite quarterback. To be an elite quarterback, you must be the unquestioned leader of your team, you must be able to win by putting your team on your back, and you must make the players around you better. Has Flacco done all of that through the last four playoffs games? Absolutely. However, to be considered elite, you must do all of those things consistently. Four games, no matter how important those four games are, should not quiet the questions about Flacco's wild inconsistencies that he has shown throughout his career.

Friday, July 6, 2012

TOP 32 QBS FOR 2012

I love to do this every year because there is so much turnover from year to year. Players fall off the map (Donovan McNabb) and new faces jump into the mix (two players who have yet to even play a snap in the NFL). There are a lot of differing opinions when talking about quarterbacks but here is my list of guys who I would want leading my franchise in 2012 if I had to take them just for one season.

  1. Aaron Rodgers (Last year: 3): If you could design the perfect quarterback, it would be Aaron Rodgers. He has a huge arm, he can accurately throw the ball anywhere on the field, and he is a threat to run the ball at any time. Rodgers is so good that despite going 15-1 and having the most impressive regular season of any quarterback ever, he is extremely disappointed with himself because he came up short in the playoffs. Look for him to be even more focused in 2012 on winning a championship. He could be the best quarterback the league has ever seen if he can continue to play anywhere near the same level as he has been the last two years.
  2. Tom Brady (Last year: 1): Brady might be the best quarterback the NFL has ever seen, but Rodgers edges him out barely because of his superior athleticism. No one makes mediocre players look like Hall of Famers like Brady does. And most importantly, he still wins a ton of games in both the regular season and the playoffs.
  3. Drew Brees (Last year: 4): Brees shattered Dan Marino’s passing record last season and people barely noticed thanks to Rodgers’ season. Brees always finds a way to improvise when a play breaks down and makes something out of nothing. He is helped by a great system and a lot of role players who fill specific needs, but do not underestimate how good this guy is. The Saints need to pay him whatever number he is asking and be happy they have a quarterback who will single handedly win them 10 games a year. 
  4. Eli Manning (Last year: 9): People thought I was giving Eli favoritism when I ranked him at 9th last year. Little did we know that 9th was way too low for this guy. Eli carried his team to yet another Super Bowl in which they were an underdog in almost every playoff game. There is not a quarterback in the league who was more clutch when his team needed him most, but he needs to be more consistent before he jumps into the top three.
  5. Ben Roethlisberger (Last year: 6): Big Ben continues to develop as a quarterback and is getting better every year. His size and his arm strength make him almost impossible to game plan around. He can break three tackles in the pocket and then throw up a perfect deep pass to one of his many speed receivers. He gives the Steelers the chance to score on every play. Again, more importantly, he wins a ton of games every year.