Tag Archive | "Dick Butkus"

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C.J. Mosley’s great, but Ravens’ draft class will be defined by who they take next

Posted on 09 May 2014 by johngallo

It’s a great start. But one player rarely makes for a great draft class.

It’s not surprising the Ravens took C.J. Mosley, a 6-foot-2, 235-pound inside linebacker out of the University of Ozzie Newsome, I mean Alabama.

What’s not to like: He runs a 4.63 40-yard dash and can jump 35 inches. He was one of the best linebackers available in the draft – one so good the Ravens would have picked him as high as No. 10, if you believe Ravens Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta.

“There’s no question in my mind that he’s going to be ready to play from Day 1,” Newsome, the general manager, said.

Mosley won The Butkus Award in 2013, given to the nation’s top college linebacker, after posting 108 tackles, forcing a fumble and defending five passes for the Crimson Tide.

“He’s the one guy that you can’t find anyone to say anything bad about him – how reliable, accountable and dependable he is on and off the field,” Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz said.

Coach John Harbaugh agreed.

“You’re going to love him,” he said. “You’re going to love his work ethic. You’re going to love his personality. He’s going to be in here Monday ready to go to work.”

Mosley is the sixth inside linebacker on the roster, but he was simply too good to ignore.

“We know we got better as a football team because of the way C.J. plays,” Newsome said.

Yes, Baltimore should be better with Mosley, but whether the Ravens can transform from a mediocre, 8-8 team to one that makes the playoffs will be determined by who they add with their final seven picks.

The Ravens have the Nos. 48 (second round), 79, 99 (third rounds), 134, 138 (fourth rounds), 175 (fifth round) and 194 (sixth round) picks, so they have plenty of chances to fill glaring weaknesses.

Here are three areas the Ravens must address:

Offensive line: If the season started tomorrow, who would start at right tackle? Raise your hand if you had Ricky Wagner, a fifth-round pick who played in all 16 games with two starts as a rookie last year. Upgrading an offensive line that was terrible in protecting Flacco and just as bad in creating holes for Ray Rice is critical if the Ravens are going to return to the playoffs. The Ravens have been superb at picking offensive linemen in the first round. Ogden (1996) played in 11 Pro Bowls and was enshrined in the Hall of Fame, while Ben Grubbs (2007) made one. The odd man out: Oher, who never lived up to his lofty expectations and signed with the Titans during the offseason.

Options:

Rounds: 2-4: Xavier Su’a-Filo, UCLA, 6-4, 307; Cyrus Kouandijo, Alabama, 6-7, 332; Morgan Moses, West Virginia, 6-6, 312; Jack Mewhort, Ohio State, 6-6, 309; Antonio Richardson, Tennessee, 6-6, 236; Cameron Fleming, Stanford, 6-5, 323; Billy Turner, North Dakota State, 6-5, 315; Michael Schofield, Michigan, 6-7, 301.

Rounds 5-6: Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, McGill, 6-5, 298; Justin Britt, Missouri, 6-6, 325; Seantrel Henderson, Miami, 6-7, 331; Matt Patchan, Boston College, 6-6, 302.

My pick: Richardson.

Safety: The Ravens’ bolstered the position by signing former St. Louis Ram Darian Stewart in free agency. Stewart played in 13 games (six starts) last season, when the 5-foot-11, 216-pounder made 36 tackles. The Ravens need someone to replace James Ihedigbo, who signed with Detroit during the offseason. The Ravens drafted Matt Elam in the first round last year as they try to find the next Ed Reed, a future Hall of Famer and former defensive player of the year who made eight Pro Bowls.

Options:

Rounds 2-4: Brock Vereen, Minnesota, 6-0, 199; Dezmen Southward, Wisconsin, 6-0, 211.

Rounds 5-6: Craig Loston, LSU, 6-1, 217; Vinnie Sunseri (recovering from torn ACL), Alabama, 5-11, 210; Ahmad Dixon, Baylor, 6-0, 212; Tre Boston, North Carolina, 6-0, 204.

My pick: Loston.

Running back: Rice, Bernard Pierce and Bernard Scott – that’s the Ravens’ depth chart at the position right now. If the Ravens enter the season with that Holy Trinity of Mediocrity, Flacco might have to throw until his arm falls off if the Ravens are to make a deep run in the playoffs. Rice, Pearce and Scott combined for 373 carries for 1,110 yards – an average of 2.9 yards per carry – and six touchdowns. If that happens this season, the Ravens will have a really high draft pick in 2015.

Options:

Rounds 2-4: Carlos Hyde, Ohio State, 6-0, 230; Bishop Sankey, Washington, 5-10, 209; Tre Mason, Auburn, 5-9, 207; Jeremy Hill, LSU, 6-1, 233; Andre Williams, Boston College, 5-11, 230; Terrance West, Towson, 5-9, 225; Devonta Freeman, Florida State, 5-8, 206; Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona, 5-9, 207.

Rounds 5-6: Charles Sims, West Virginia, 6-0, 214; Lache Seastrunk, Baylor, 5-10, 201; Jerick McKinnon, Georgia Southern, 5-9, 209; James White, Wisconsin, 5-9, 204; De’Anthony Thomas, Oregon, 5-9, 174

My pick: Thomas.

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Maryland’s Tate, Gilman’s Kiser named to Butkus Award Watch Lists

Posted on 16 July 2012 by WNST Staff

CHICAGO – (July 16, 2012) – The 28th annual Butkus Award® selection process to honor the nation’s best linebackers begins today with announcement of the collegiate and high school pre-season watch list.

Each watch list contains 51 candidates, honoring the now-retired professional jersey number of Dick Butkus, who is regarded by NFL Films as the best defensive player in football history.  The selection panel is comprised of 51 coaches, evaluators and journalists, coordinated by Pro Football Weekly.

The Collegiate Butkus Award watch list includes 51 candidates from 38 universities.  Manti Te’o of Notre Dame is the only returning finalist, after having won the inaugural High School Butkus Award in 2008.  Jarvis Jones of Georgia is a returning semi-finalist.

The High School Butkus Award watch list includes 51 candidates from 50 high schools across 22 states.  Florida (8), Ohio (5) and Texas (5) have the most prep players on the watch list.

Candidates in addition to those appearing on the watch list may be considered for the Award.

Semi-finalists will be named October 22, finalists November 20, and winners will be notified on or before December 4.  The Professional Butkus Award winner will be announced in January 2013. Winners will be featured in a television special a week before the Super Bowl.

2011 Butkus Award winners:

       Professional: Tie.  DeMarcus Ware, Dallas Cowboys, and Terrell Suggs, Baltimore Ravens.

       Collegiate: Luke Kuechly, Boston College, the NFL’s ninth overall draft pick by the Carolina Panthers.

       High School:  Noor Davis, Leesburg High School, Fla., now at Stanford University.

The Butkus Award was expanded in 2008 to honor linebackers at three levels while helping spread the word about Butkus’ I Play Clean™ initiative which encourages teens to eat well, train hard, and play with attitude instead of resorting to steroids and related drugs.  More information is available at www.iplayclean.org or at www.facebook.com/i.play.clean.

The Butkus Award, www.thebutkusaward.com or www.facebook.com/51.butkus, is presented by the Butkus Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization. It is part of the National College Football Awards Association, a coalition of the major collegiate awards. More information is available at www.NCFAA.org.

COLLEGIATE WATCH LIST:

  • Denicos Allen, Michigan State University
  • Dion Bailey, University of Southern California
  • Steve Beauharnais, Rutgers University
  • Chris Borland, University of Wisconsin
  • Jonathan Bostic, University of Florida
  • Arthur Brown, Kansas State University
  • Jonathan Brown, University of Illinois
  • Max Bullough, Michigan State University
  • Jamie Collins, University of Southern Mississippi
  • Ja’Gared Davis, Southern Methodist University
  • Zaviar Gooden, University of Missouri
  • Jeremiah Greene, University of Nevada
  • Khaseem Greene, Rutgers University
  • Alanzo Highsmith, University of Arkansas
  • Gerald Hodges, Penn State University
  • DeVonte Holloman, University of South Carolina
  • Andrew Jackson, University of Western Kentucky
  • Jelani Jenkins, University of Florida
  • A.J. Johnson, University of Tennessee
  • Nico Johnson, University of Alabama
  • Christian Jones, Florida State University
  • Jarvis Jones, University of Georgia
  • Uona Kaveinga, Brigham Young University
  • A.J. Klein, Iowa State University
  • Jake Knott, Iowa State University
  • Cameron Lawrence, Mississippi State University
  • Travis Long, Washington State University
  • John Lotulelei, University of Florida
  • Brandon Magee, Arizona State University
  • Michael Mauti, Penn State University
  • Lerentee McCray, University of Florida
  • Kevin Minter, Louisiana State University
  • Nick Moody, Florida State University
  • Damontre Moore, Texas A&M University
  • Sio Moore, University of Connecticut
  • James Morris, University of Iowa
  • C.J. Mosley, University of Alabama
  • Trent Murphy, Stanford University
  • David Nwabuisi, Northwestern University
  • Sean Porter, Texas A&M University
  • Keith Pough, Howard University
  • Kevin Reddick, University of North Carolina
  • Douglas Rippy, University of Colorado
  • Etienne Sabino, Ohio State
  • Shane Skov, Stanford University
  • Kenny Tate, University of Maryland
  • Bruce Taylor, Virginia Tech University
  • Manti Te’o, University of Notre Dame
  • Chase Thomas, Stanford University
  • Cornelius Washington, University of Georgia
  • Tom Wort, University of Oklahoma

HIGH SCHOOL WATCH LIST:

  • Alex Anzalone, Wyomissing High School - Wyomissing, PA
  • Josh Banderas, Lincoln Southwest High School - Lincoln, NE
  • Eric Beisel, Rockwood Summit High School - Fenton, MO
  • Al-Rasheed Benton, Shabazz High School - Newark, NJ
  • Nigel Bowden, Central High School - Macon, GA
  • Buddy Brown, Williamstown High School - Williamstown, NJ
  • Sean Constantine, Bellevue High School - Bellevue, WA
  • Chans Cox, Blue Ridge High School - Lakeside, AZ
  • Deoundrei Davis, Cypress Woods High School - Cypress, TX
  • Michael Deeb, American Heritage College Prep School - Plantation, FL
  • Garret Dooley, Rochester High School - Rochester, IL
  • Dajuan Drennon, Timber Creek High School - Sicklerville, NJ
  • Victor Egu, De La Salle High School - Concord, CA
  • Brooks Ellis, Fayetteville High School - Fayetteville, AR
  • Reuben Foster, Auburn High School - Auburn, AL
  • Ben Gedeon, Hudson High School - Hudson, OH
  • Jermaine Grace, Miramar High School - Miramar, FL
  • Nigel Harris, Hillsborough High School - Tampa, FL
  • James Hearns, Lincoln High School - Tallahassee, FL
  • Deon Hollins Jr., Fort Bend Marshall High School - Missouri City, TX
  • Darrien Howard, Chaminade Julienne High School - Dayton, OH
  • Michael Hutchings, De La Salle High School - Concord, CA
  • Trey Johnson, Central Gwinnett High School - Lawrenceville, GA
  • Melvin Jones, Washington Marion High School - Lake Charles, LA
  • Walker Jones, Evangelical Christian High School - Cordova, TN
  • Shane Jones, Moeller High School - Cincinnati, OH
  • Cameron Judge, Oaks Christian High School - Westlake Village, CA
  • Peter Kalambayi, Butler High School - Matthews, NC
  • Tim Kimbrough, Warren Central High School - Indianapolis, IN
  • Micah Kiser, Gilman High School - Baltimore, MD
  • E.J. Levenberry, C.D. Hylton High School - Woodbridge, VA
  • Courtney Love, Cardinal Mooney High School - Youngstown, OH
  • Michael McCray, Trotwood Madison High School - Trotwood, OH
  • Daniel McMillan, First Coast High School - Jacksonville, FL
  • Mike Mitchell, Prestonwood Christian Academy - Plano, TX
  • Dorian O’Daniel, Our Lady of Good Counsel - Olney, MD
  • Johnny O’Neal, West Laurens High School - Dublin, GA
  • Nick Ramirez, Lees Summit West High School - Lees Summit, MO
  • Doug Randolph, Woodberry Forest High School - Woodberry Forest, VA
  • Duke Riley, John Curtis Christian High School - River Ridge, LA
  • Isaac Savaiinaea, Punahou High School - Honolulu, HI
  • Jaylon Smith, Bishop Luers High School - Fort Wayne, IN
  • Reggie Spearman, Simeon Academy - Chicago, IL
  • Matthew Thomas, Booker T. Washington High School - Miami, FL
  • Stacy Thomas, Gulliver Prep High School - Miami, FL
  • Cameron Toney, Huntsville High School - Huntsville, AL
  • Gerald Turner, Goose Creek High School - Goose Creek, SC
  • Corey Vereen, West Orange High School - Winter Garden, FL
  • Brett Wade, Kennedale High School - Kennedale, TX
  • Paul Whitmill, Bastrop High School - Bastrop, TX
  • Tim Williams, University Laboratory High School - Baton Rouge, LA

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