Tag Archive | "NFL Draft"

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NFL.com’s Huguenin believes Ravens MLB Mosley is rare three down player

Posted on 10 May 2014 by WNST Audio

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Rotoworld’s Norris unsure of scheme fit for Ravens DT Jernigan

Posted on 10 May 2014 by WNST Audio

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Former Towson RB West picked by Browns in round three

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Former Towson RB West picked by Browns in round three

Posted on 10 May 2014 by WNST Staff

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Former Towson running back Terrance West was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the third round of the 2014 National Football League Draft on Friday night.

West was the sixth running back taken in this year’s draft and the 94th overall selection.

West becomes the fifth Towson football player to be drafted and the highest ever selection. Offensive tackle Jermon Bushrod was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the fourth round at pick No. 125 overall in 2007. Running backs David Meggett (1989) and Tony Vinson (1995) were each chosen in the fifth round and kicker Randy Bielski was chosen in the 12th round in 1980.

West was Cleveland’s fourth pick in the first three rounds. The Browns selected cornerback Justin Gilbert with the eighth overall pick and then traded back into the first round to grab Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel with the 22nd overall pick. Cleveland selected offensive tackle Joel Bitonio with the third pick in the second round (No. 35 overall) and also picked outside linebacker Chris Kirksey from Iowa earlier in the third round.

A three-time All-America running back, West was a consensus All-America first team selection in 2013 when he led all college football players with 2,509 rushing yards and 42 touchdowns.

Honored as the 2013 Colonial Athletic Association Offensive Player of the Year and a finalist for the 2013 Walter Payton Award, West led the Tigers to the NCAA FCS championship game. With a record of 13-3, the Tigers were national runners-up.

With 2,509 rushing yards, West shattered the NCAA FCS single season record of 2,326 yards set by Jamaal Branch of Colgate in 2003. He also broke the NCAA FCS record with 42 touchdowns, eclipsing the record of 39 set by Omar Cuff of Delaware in 2007.

In his three-year career at Towson, West ran for 4,849 yards on 802 carries with 84 touchdowns. His 84 career rushing touchdowns tied the NCAA FCS record set by Adrian Peterson of Georgia Southern from 1998 to 2001.

West, who also caught two touchdown passes in his career, ended his career with 86 total touchdowns scored. He ranks third on the NCAA FCS all-time list of touchdown scorers. Brian Westbrook of Villanova holds the record with 89 touchdowns while Peterson is second with 87 touchdowns.

The winner of the Jerry Rice Award as the top freshman in NCAA FCS in 2011, West earned All-CAA first team honors three times. During his career, West was named as the CAA Offensive Player of the Week seven times.

In 2013, he scored at least one touchdown in all 16 games for the Tigers. He also ran for more than 100 yards 12 times and had four 200-plus-yard games. In the Tigers’ NCAA FCS quarterfinal victory over No. 2 Eastern Illinois, he set an NCAA FCS playoff record by rushing for 354 yards. He also scored five touchdowns against Eastern Illinois.

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B&B Big Story Banter: NFL Draft 1st Round

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B&B Big Story Banter: NFL Draft 1st Round

Posted on 09 May 2014 by Brett Dickinson

BD: Barry with the first round in the books, it definitely did not disappoint with intrigue and drama.  Looking over the first 32 selections, several teams hit on big time players that fill big time needs.  With that being said, what selections do you think were the best in terms of value of the pick and team fit? 

BK: There were three picks that stood out as being the best, and all of them came in the final third of the NFL Draft. In a night filled with trades and uncertainty, three teams got significantly better with their selections.

The bronze goes to the Carolina Panthers, who selected Florida State wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin with the 28th overall pick. Benjamin is a big target (6’5″, 240 lbs) that Cam Newton will love throwing the ball to. With Steve Smith, Brandon LaFell, and Ted Ginn Jr. no longer with the team, wide receiver was a clear position of need. While Penn State’s Allen Robinson or Indiana’s Cody Latimer may have been safer selections, I appreciate the Panthers’ willingness to take Benjamin, who can reach his high ceiling for a team that will give the opportunity to lead the team in targets and touchdowns.

My silver medal goes to the Minnesota Vikings for their second selection, nabbing quarterback Teddy Bridgewater with the last pick in the first round. The Vikings engineered a trade with the Seahawks to grab Bridgewater, who was a favorite to be the number one overall pick when the draft process began. This pick was outstanding for a number of reasons. The Vikings did not reach for a quarterback with their first selection (9th overall after trading back with the Cleveland Browns), presumably because Blake Bortles was off the board. Instead, the Vikings jumped back in to the first round at the appropriate time. There is little doubt that the Houston Texans would have taken Bridgewater with the first pick in the second round today, which would have given the Texans a franchise quarterback to go along with Jadeveon Clowney. Despite a shaky Pro Day, many NFL draft scouts still had Bridgewater as their number one overall player. To get that kind of player with the last pick in the first round is a very good get.

There is no debating who gets the award for the best pick of the night, and it comes from a team that will host the Baltimore Ravens this season. The New Orleans Saints trading up to take former Oregon State wide receiver Brandin Cooks. The Saints had to make some difficult roster decisions this offseason, parting company with WR Lance Moore and trading away another offensive weapon in Darren Sproles. In Cooks, the Saints get a faster and stronger version of DeSean Jackson, without the off-field issues. Need I say more? The Saints kept their two big targets in Jimmy Graham and Marques Colston, and the diminutive Cooks will fit in nicely as a slot receiver. For a team that loves to throw the ball, Cooks should find himself as the early favorite for Rookie of the Year.

On the other hand, there were some selections in last night’s first round that weren’t so good. Brett, which picks stood out to you as being the worst?

BD: Per usual, there were certainly some head scratches in the first round.  Though each team’s evaluation for each player is completely different, there has to an understanding of a prospects value.  Selecting someone that could be available 15-20 picks later is a reach and we saw several teams do that.

Marcus SmithThe obvious choice for biggest reach is the Philadelphia Eagles selection of Louisville outside linebacker Marcus Smith.  They did make the smart decision by acquiring an extra 3rd round pick by moving down four slots to 26 overall. As the clock ran down, the feeling was they were trying to move down again, but couldn’t get a deal in place.  So the team obviously went with the player they were targeting all along.  And though he does fill one of their biggest needs, while be a natural scheme fit, Smith would have likely been available in the middle of the second round.  Hence making it the worst pick in the first round.

Now the pick directly afterwards left a similar feeling, when the Arizona Cardinals took Washington State safety Deone Buchanon with the 27th pick.  Another team that moved down to add extra picks, who drastically reached for on the guy they wanted.  Most notably about this pick, Northern Illinois S Jimmie Ward was rated much higher by almost everyone, yet went three picks later.

Another pick that was somewhat confusing did not involve a reach, but major questions with the position the team targeted.  The Dallas Cowboys selection of Notre Dame offensive lineman Zack Martin had everyone shocked, especially the Baltimore Ravens, who were reported to be highly interested in him. The Cowboys play in a high octane offensive division, against the Eagles, Redskins and Giants, while having the worst defense in football in 2013.  Electing to improve the offensive line, instead of upgrading any number of needs on the defensive side of the ball makes little sense.

Ryan ShazierFinally, it is always nice to take a jab at the Pittsburgh Steelers and it seems like a big miss for them with the 15th overall pick. Ohio State outside linebacker Ryan Shazier is a nice prospect, but was certainly a reach, while also not filling any of their long list of needs.  The Steelers selected an edge rusher last year in Jarvis Jones, while paying Jason Worilds a lot of money at the same position as well.  With other prospects with better value to a team retooling, Shazier seemed like a luxury pick the team could not afford to take this early.

In the end, we will not really see the whole plan in place until Saturday, when all the picks unfold and give an idea on how each team wanted to attack the best three days in any sports off season.

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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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Thyrl, Ryan envision Ravens going O-Line in first round

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Thyrl, Ryan envision Ravens going O-Line in first round

Posted on 08 May 2014 by Ryan Chell

Thyrl Nelson’s 

1st rd (17)- Taylor Lewan, OT-Michigan

Analysis: The Ravens retained their left tackle in Eugene Monroe in the off-season, but the belief is that the Ravens would run to the podium to draft Michigan OT Taylor Lewan. The belief is that he could be off the board well before Baltimore drafts, but he is a guy that has been called a “beast” by members of his Wolverine coaching staff and would start immediately at right tackle with the hopes that one day he would be the dominant left tackle of the future for the Ravens.

2nd rd (48)-Jimmie Ward, FS-Northern Illinois

Analysis: A 3-time all-MAC selection and 2013 All-American, the clear-cut 2nd FS on the board behind Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix of Alabama. In 2013, he led Northern Illinois in tackles (95), interceptions (7) and pass deflections (12).  Taking Ward or another free safety would allow 2013 1st rd-pick Matt Elam to return to his more natural strong safety position and would likely relegate free agent acquisition Darian Stewart to backup duty or create a nice training camp battle.

3rd rd (79)-Jarvis Landry, WR-LSU

Analysis: Landry, who has made it known that he’s a Ravens fan, would become the first ever LSU Tiger to be drafted by the Baltimore Ravens. Leaving after his junior year, he and Odell Beckham combined to be one of the better dynamic duos in a receiving corps. He finished 2013 with 77 receptions, 1,193 yards and 10 TDs. Has the ability to go up and get a ball, but is only listed at 5’11.

3rd rd (99)-Tre Mason, RB-Auburn

Analysis: Thyrl Nelson expects that the Ravens will take a RB that could be a fit in Gary Kubiak’s zone-blocking scheme. Tre Mason, 5’8-207, has the build of a Ray Rice and ran in a similar offense at Auburn. A physical back with a hidden burst of speed as well.

4th rd (134)-Antonio Richardson, OT-Tennessee

Analysis: While the Ravens draft Taylor Lewan and immediately put him in the starting lineup, the Ravens like to take tackles on occasion to develop  and have a project to work on. It’s tough to not immediately start a 6’6, 336-lb tackle, but his game might be raw at the NFL level.

4th rd (138)-Zach Kerr, DT-Delaware

Analysis: The Ravens have gone down to the FCS level the last couple years to find players that might not be getting some attention from other NFL teams. Most of these players were capable of starting at the FBS level, but just weren’t getting the playing time or lost tight competitions. The Ravens are all too familiar with the University of Delaware having reached out there to draft both their quarterback, Joe Flacco and center, Gino Gradkowski. Zack Kerr, who transferred out of Maryland after Ralph Friedgen’s departure, would be expected to be a key piece in replacing Arthur Jones, who left in free agency to the Indianapolis Colts.

5th rd (175)-Tajh Boyd, QB-Clemson

Analysis: Boyd, a three-year starter for Clemson and ACC Player of the Year in 2012, has fallen down the draft boards. Or isn’t the hyped-up QB this year. He holds school records in touchdowns (107) and passing yards in 11,904, and would be a better backup option for Joe Flacco than Tyrod Taylor due to his skills as a passer. Taylor, a 6th-rd pick of the Ravens in 2011, is entering the final year of his deal and may have fallen out of favor with the coaching staff.

6th rd (194)-Chris Davis, CB/KR-Auburn

Analysis: Nelson has the Ravens taking not only a CB, but a KR here as well. If Asa Jackson and Jacoby Jones are expected to be bigger parts of the defense and offense respectively, the Ravens would like to have other options on special teams to return the ball. Would be interesting though for the Ravens to take two Auburn players with a GM in Ozzie Newsome hailing from their Iron Brown rivals in Alabama.

Ryan’s Picks

1st rd (17)-Zack Martin, OG-OT, Notre Dame

Analysis-Reportedly, the Ravens-especially offensive line coach Juan Castillo-love Zack Martin. They love him so much-they didn’t bring him in for a visit to Owings Mills because they didn’t want to telegraph their interest in Martin-a three-year starter on the Irish offensive line. There also may be a bigger possibility that Martin is available to the Ravens at 17 as opposed to Lewan. He could be a candidate to start immediately at right tackle for the Ravens, or play left guard and swing Kelechi Osemele out to RT.

2nd rd (48)-Jimmie Ward, FS-Northern Illinois

Analysis: I agree with Thyrl that the Ravens agree they can wait and address their free safety need later in the draft. If they do pass on Clinton-Dix with the first selection, they likely will see where the market lies and circle in on Jimmie Ward quickly-maybe being forced to move up and get him.

3rd rd (79)-Martavis Bryant, WR-Clemson

Analysis-Everyone talks about Clemson WR Sammy Watkins, but junior WR Martavis Bryant, who visited Owings Mills, brings size and sure hands to the NFL level. He stands at 6’4, 211 and would pair with Marlon Brown in becoming another potential red zone target for Joe Flacco.

3rd rd (99)-Keith McGill, CB-Utah

Analysis: Like death and taxes, the Ravens drafting a CB is a given. Utah CB Keith McGill would be called upon to fill the void left by Corey Graham in free agency. Standing at 6’3, 214 lb,  he’s a more physical corner back that would pair nicely and allow CB Lardarius Webb to move inside and play the slot receiver in nickel situations. Missed the 2012 season with a shoulder injury but returned to have 12 pass breakups in 2013.

4th rd (134)-CJ Fiedorowicz; TE-Iowa

Analysis: With the Ravens need to get bigger, Iowa TE CJ Fiedorowicz stands at 6’6, 265 lb and could be an intriguing weapon for Joe Flacco to throw the ball to down the field and in the end zone. Familar with the Ravens coaching style having played under former Ravens assistant Kirk Ferentz at Iowa, he would be a nice pairing with Dennis Pitta, free agent acquisition Owen Daniels, and H-back Kyle Juszczyk. Numbers were not as impressive in the Hawkeye offense due to the ball-control tempo ran at Iowa.

4th rd (138)-Ka’Deem Carey, RB-Arizona

Analysis: Much like with Thyrl’s projection with Tre Mason, Ka’Deem Carey has the same size as Ray Rice. Could either take over for Rice or be the next Ray Rice in this offense. Had back-to-back 1800-yard seasons for the Wildcats with 41 TDs.

5th rd (175)-Preston Brown, ILB-Louisville

Analysis: Provides the Ravens with some depth at the inside linebacker after the loss of Jameel McClain to free agency. Arthur Brown and Daryl Smith will likely start for the Ravens but need backups in the team’s 3-4 scheme.

6th rd (194)-Keith Wenning, QB-Ball State

Analysis: Wenning, a four-year starter at Ball State, holds the Cardinals passing records for touchdowns (92), and set a school record for touchdowns in a season with 35 in 2013. Came to Owings Mills on an official visit, and the only MAC QBs to finish with more passing yards in their careers were Ben Roethlisberger and Byron Leftwich. Likely would spell the end of the Tyrod Taylor era in Baltimore.

 

If you missed our explanations of the projected picks, check the BuyaToyota.com Audio Vault!

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Brett, Barry both see Ravens taking tackle in first round

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Brett, Barry both see Ravens taking tackle in first round

Posted on 08 May 2014 by Brett Dickinson

Brett and Barry gave their thoughts on possible Ravens draft picks last Saturday.  Listen to there audio segment HERE.

Here is Barry Kamen’s mock draft for the Baltimore Ravens:

 

1 (17): G/T Zack Martin, Notre Dame

The Ravens think very highly of Martin, who can be the team’s left guard or right tackle for years to come.

 

2 (48): SS Deone Bucannon, Washington State

NFL Combine star would be a great addition to the secondary. Physical style, coupled with being a three-time captain in college is exactly what the Ravens seek.

 

3 (79): Edge player Trent Murphy, Stanford

With great height and large hands, Murphy can be a pass-rushing threat in the mold of a Paul Kruger. Can learn from two of the best edge rushers in the NFL (Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil) and be a starter in a couple of years.

 

3 (99): RB Devonta Freeman, Florida State

A pending suspension for Ray Rice makes running back a need. Freeman is a great scheme fit, and was not given a heavy workload in college. The more tread on the tires, the better.

 

4 (134): WR Brandon Coleman, Rutgers

Prince George’s County native would be a first round pick if he had better hands. This pick will be a great project for new wide receivers coach Bobby Engram.

 

4 (138): CB Antone Exum, Virginia Tech

Has experience playing cornerback and safety, in addition to special teams prowess. Depth player who could steal the third corner job from Asa Jackson or Chykie Brown.

 

5 (175): TE A.C. Leonard, Tennessee State

Character concerns with this selection, but a raw talent who could really benefit from a year with Owen Daniels as his mentor.

 

6 (194): QB Keith Wenning, Ball State

I am not buying the Ravens drafting a quarterback any higher than this selection. Wenning was brought in for a visit, and the time has come for Tyrod Taylor to be tested or replaced.

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Here is Brett Dickinson’s mock draft for the Baltimore Ravens:

 

1 (17): OL Zack Martin, Notre Dame

Martin is not only a good athlete to fit the zone blocking scheme, but provides versatility as he can play any position along the line. The Ravens will have to decide what his best position will have, but either way he helps upgrade a porous unit from last year.

2 (48): WR Javis Landry, LSU

The Ravens have tried to upgrade the weapons around Joe Flacco all off season and will need to bring in some youth as well.  Landry has good hands and is a strong wide out to catch balls over the middle.

3 (79): FS Terrance Brooks, Florida State

The free safety spot is in need of desperate help, in order to move last year’s first round pick back to his natural strong safety spot.  Brooks is a good coverage defensive back that can play the “Ed Reed role” in the center of the field.

3 (99): RB Devonta Freeman, Florida State

After last year’s debacle in the running game, and Ray Rice’s off field issues, the Ravens need depth in the backfield. Freeman is a one cut back that fits in the zone blocking scheme, while having good hands to catch the ball as a check down option.

4 (134): CB Terrance Mitchell, Oregon

The loss of Corey Graham has thinned out the cornerback core.  Mitchell not only adds depth, but versatility with his ability to play all over the defensive backfield.

4 (138): LB Yawin Smallwood, Connecticut

Even after drafting Arthur Brown last year, the Ravens could use extra depth at the MLB position in their 3-4 front.  He is a good tackler that can fill in gaps in the middle of the defense.

5 (175): DT Shamar Stephen, Connecticut

With Art Jones now in Indianapolis, the Ravens need to find a replacement for his spot on the depth chart. Stephen is a big body but does have some ability to penetrate the backfield and open things up for Elvis Dummervil and Terrell Suggs.

6 (194): OLB Khairi Fortt, California

Even though the Ravens are set at starters for the OLB position, but need to inject youth into the position.  Fortt is a situational pass rusher that has experience on the edge in a 3-4 scheme.   Side Note: A change in my original pick to provide more depth to a position of need.

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manziel

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Houston, there’s no problem: Johnny Manziel is the No. 1 pick

Posted on 06 May 2014 by johngallo

I really wanted to dismiss Johnny Manziel as the top pick.

I wanted to justify knocking him down a few rungs on the board because he’s a “running quarterback,” and you know what running quarterbacks don’t do? Win Super Bowls. I heard Manziel’s name, and I thought of Michael Vick – a guy who will get your team on ESPN’s top plays but not a Lombardi Trophy.

I thought it was just too risky to take Manziel No. 1 because that’s what history told me. Since 1990, 14 quarterbacks have been taken first overall, yet just two – Peyton and Eli Manning – have won the Super Bowl. But what’s even more glaring is that eight – Tim Couch, David Carr, Carson Palmer, Alex Smith, JaMarcus Russell, Matthew Stafford, Sam Bradford and Cam Newton – haven’t won a playoff game. That leaves Drew Bledsoe, Vick and Jeff George and Andrew Luck as top picks who have won at least one playoff game, though in fairness, Luck likely won’t be on this list long.

Super Bowl winners Joe Flacco (18th), Ben Roethlisberger (11th) and Trent Dilfer (sixth) weren’t even the first quarterbacks taken in the first round in 2008, 2004 and 1994, respectively. Aaron Rodgers was picked 24th overall in 2005. Drew Brees was picked in the second round in 2001. Tom Brady went in the sixth round, after 198 players had been selected. Hell, Kurt Warner wasn’t even drafted and would have taken $6 an hour if a team offered, which would have been 50 cents more than he was making an hour stocking shelves at the Hy-Vee grocery store in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

I read about Manziel’s celebrity lifestyle and thought he’s too busy being the man off the field to be the man off it, much like I did when Mark Sanchez thought he was the biggest thing to hit New York since King Kong.

But then I did some research, looking past Manziel’s highlight-reel plays and ability to hang with so many hot chicks that he’d make Hugh Hefner envious.

Manziel’s running fuels his passing. Without his legs, Johnny Football would be just plain ol’ Johnny.

There’s a difference between being a “running quarterback” and one who uses his speed to extend plays.

Consider: Manziel had 521 more rushing yards and 27 more first downs on scrambles more yardage than any quarterback from a BCS automatic qualifying conference – ACC, American Athletic, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC and Pac-12 – in the past two years. He had 29 rushes for at least 20 yards, which led the SEC, the nation’s best league, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

“I don’t know really who you would compare Jonny Manziel too,” George Whitfield, Manziel’s personal quarterback coach, told ESPN during an interview on May 6.

Try Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. As a senior at Wisconsin in 2011, he led all BCS automatic qualifying conference quarterbacks with 416 rushing yards on scrambles, including 18 that went for at least 10 yards.

All Wilson has done since entering the NFL as a third-round pick is win a Super Bowl and more games than any other quarterback the past two seasons combined.

Maybe Manziel is really Wilson’s long lost twin who just lives a vastly more public lifestyle? It’s scary because the statistical comparison is there.

“I don’t see them as an exact match, but I definitely do get it,” Whitfield told ESPN. “Russell Wilson came into the league seasoned, mature and played an awful lot of football and played a lot of baseball and Johnny looks up to him. I just don’t know if those two are carbon copies.”

Maybe not carbon copies, but very, very close, according to measurements.

Height: Manziel: 5-11¾; Wilson: 5-11

Weight: Manziel: 207; Wilson: 204

Hand size: Manziel: 9 7/8; Wilson: 10¼

Arm length: Manziel: 31 3/8; Wilson: 31

40-yard dash: Manziel: 4.68; Wilson: 4.55

Broad jump: Manziel: 113 inches; Wilson: 118

Vertical jump: Manziel: 31.5; Wilson: 34

Three cone drill: Manziel: 6.75; Wilson: 6.97

I wasn’t too high on Russell entering the 2012 draft. Maybe it was because I thought – and still do – the Big Ten is inferior to the SEC. Or maybe, it was because I never saw him win a big game since the Badgers lost to Michigan State, Ohio State and Oregon. And maybe, it was because Wilson didn’t carry the Badgers.

Regardless, I was wrong.

But I’m right about Manziel.

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They Might Be Ravens: Taylor Lewan

Posted on 02 May 2014 by Tony Wisniewski

He’s big, smooth, and funny.

Yea, Taylor Lewan can crack up a room.  During his tenure at Michigan, he became well-known for his finger-mustache “Englishman” impression.

The down-side is that he has a bit of legal baggage stemming to an alleged fight last December.  According to Lewan, speaking on his own behalf, he denies any altercation, dismissing the notion that he was doing anything beyond breaking up a fight between others.

It’s plausible, the only problem is that he faces three charges–one which includes the more serious tag of “aggravated assault.”

For now it’s a he-said-he-said incident, but it’s a red-mark heading into the draft; not to mention that there is chatter out there about a past incident of intimidating a rape victim.  Certainly not the type of SEO Tags you’d want as a first-round pick.

The Good:  Being a former d-lineman, he’s quick and possess above-average foot-work.  Much has been said about his mean-streak, which is a great thing when it comes to offensive tackles.  He’s big enough and athletic enough to play either side of the line.

The Bad:  Legal issues aside, he’s only been playing offensive tackle since his senior year of high school.  There’s a question over whether or not he’s willing to work at his craft, as–with many gifted athletes–he relies a lot on his flat-out talent, rather than developing the necessary skill.

The Reality:  Lewan will like go in the top 15 picks–perhaps even as high as mid-top-10.  While it initially looked like he’d be a possibility for the Ravens at pick 17, it seems as if that idea–or as Ozzie Newsome would say,”ship”–has sailed.

 

See the initial “They Might Be Ravens” post here.

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McCrary to announce Ravens’ second round pick at NFL Draft

Posted on 02 May 2014 by WNST Staff

The National Football League announced today that 32 NFL former players, one representing each team, will announce live on Friday, May 9, second-round Draft picks from Radio City Music Hall. This marks the fourth year in which each selection in the second round is announced by a former player.

The list of players scheduled to make selections includes 11 Pro Football Hall of Famers, with five from the Class of 2014. Combined, these players have nearly 20 Super Bowl championships and 150 Pro Bowl appearances between them.

Arizona Cardinals, Aeneas Williams (S)**

Atlanta Falcons, Claude Humphrey (DE)**

Baltimore Ravens, Michael McCrary (DE)

Buffalo Bills, Andre Reed (WR)**

Carolina Panthers, Mark Carrier (WR)

Chicago Bears, Mike Singletary (LB)

Cincinnati Bengals, Ken Riley (CB)

Cleveland Browns, Eric Metcalf (WR)

Dallas Cowboys, Dat Nguyen (LB)

Denver Broncos, Gene Mingo (HB)

Detroit Lions, Herman Moore (WR)

Green Bay Packers, James Lofton (WR)

Houston Texans, Chester Pitts (G)

Indianapolis Colts, Marvin Harrison (WR)

Jacksonville Jaguars, Brad Meester (C)

*Kansas City Chiefs, Curley Culp (DT)

Miami Dolphins, Larry Little (G)

Minnesota Vikings, Joey Browner (S)

New England Patriots, Willie McGinest (DE-LB)

New Orleans Saints, Morten Andersen (K)

New York Giants, Harry Carson (LB)

New York Jets, Chad Pennington (QB)

Oakland Raiders, Willie Brown (CB)

Philadelphia Eagles, Mike Quick (WR)

Pittsburgh Steelers, Terry Hanratty (QB)

St. Louis Rams, Kevin Carter (DE)

San Diego Chargers, Jamal Williams (DT)

San Francisco 49ers, Dennis Brown (DE)

Seattle Seahawks, Walter Jones (T)**

Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Derrick Brooks (LB)**

Tennessee Titans, Kevin Dyson (WR)

Washington Redskins, London Fletcher (LB)

Hall of Famers are listed in bold and the class of 2014 is indicated by **. The Kansas City Chiefs, marked with a *, do not have a second-round selection, barring a trade into Round 2. Curley Culp will announce their Round 3 pick.

The 2014 NFL Draft will continue the three-day format introduced in 2010, with the first round broadcast in primetime at 8:00 pm ET on Thursday, May 8. Rounds 2 – 3 will air at 7:00 pm ET on Friday, May 9. The Draft concludes with Rounds 4-7 on Saturday, May 10 at 12:00 pm ET. The NFL Draft will be broadcast on NFL Network and ESPN/ESPN2. Fans also may watch the live NFL Network stream on NFL Mobile from Verizon and follow the NFL Draft conversation on Twitter with #NFLDraft.

In addition, Round Two of the NFL Draft will be sponsored by Bud Light, the official beer sponsor of the NFL. To kick off the fourth year of its sponsorship, Bud Light will provide 32 NFL fans – one representing each team’s fan base – a VIP experience at the Draft including a dinner reception with the players. Additionally, one of the winning fans will receive the opportunity to announce his or her favorite team’s second round draft pick on stage with the player, and the other 31 fans will serve as card carriers for their teams’ pick.

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