Draft Misc - Football Wiretap
Pats To Bring McFadden In For Talk
The Patriots are planning to bring running back Darren McFadden in for a talk before the 2008 NFL Draft, according to the Boston Globe. New England has the seventh overall selection in the draft, with RealGM's NFL insider Jeff Risdon listing McFadden as the fourth selection in the Draft.
Dallas Rules Out Trade Into Top Five For McFadden
Jerry Jones has ruled out making a trade that would put the Cowboys in position to select running back Darren McFadden in next month's NFL Draft, according to the San Antonio Express-News. "I have no intent at all of moving into the top five," Jones said on Friday. "A team can get crippled, and I mean seriously crippled from a financial standpoint by being up there in the top five or six," Jones said. "It's a real negative." "Nobody wants in there, and the teams in there, they want out. This is a very tough draft anyway when it comes to evaluating the talent and then trying to match up that with the millions it takes to operate at the top of the draft," Jones added. Jones, however, hasn't ruled out making a play for McFadden if he happens to fall out of the top five.
Draft Prospect Benedict Found Dead At Home
Heath Benedict, an offensive lineman from Newberry College in South Carolina, was found dead at his home on Wednesday evening, according to NFL.com. Police said that no foul play is suspected in the death of the 24-year-old. He participated in last month's NFL combine. "He was a big, tough man, but he had a very gentle heart," Newberry President Mick Zais said. "He was a teddy bear."
2008 Mock Draft, Version 5.0
Some changes spawned by free agency and also some more info gleaned from various reliable sources. As always, this does not necessarily represent what I would do, but rather what I believe is going to happen. Regarding New England?s pick at #7 overall, I have Matt Ryan as the pick. Before you spit-take your coffee, an explanation: I?m picking the slot, not the team. Do I think the Patriots would seriously take Matt Ryan--no way! I believe they are trading down, and that Matt Ryan will be the seventh overall pick. Because at this point I do not know their dancing partner (though I?ve got a good idea who!), I?m going to leave the teams where they are slotted. There are a couple of other slots where I?m doing the same thing, and I?ll indicate this in the explanation. Now that the Deangelo Hall deal is done, the Falcons will have picks 34, 35, and 48 overall. That makes Atlanta a prime candidate as a trading partner. I will be fairly surprised if the Cowboys wind up picking at both #22 and #28 as well; they might get bundled to move up, but I believe the more likely scenario is they trade down with one of the picks. Round 1 1. Miami Dolphins: Chris Long, DE, Virignia In the last mock I had Matt Ryan here, but I?ll give you two reasons for the change. First is courtesy of those who convinced me Bill Parcells believes he can win more quickly with a strong defense and an average QB. I buy that argument. I also believe the Josh McCown signing buys them another year to see if John Beck can be a Parcells guy, or if McCown himself can be that guy. Chris Long is the epitome of a Parcells guy, a non-stop physical player with a high football IQ who hates losing more than he loves winning. 2. St. Louis Rams: Jake Long, T, Michigan I?m even more convinced the Rams will take Long after Michigan?s pro day. They seem relatively unfazed by the prospect of pulling the plug on the Alex Barron experiment, and I also get the vibe the plan is for Long to get up to NFL speed for a year on the right side and then swing over to replace Orlando Pace at LT. I?ve received conflicting info regarding their plan if Jake Long is not on the board; one person told me Chris Long, but someone higher up the front office chain steered me towards Glenn Dorsey. Since he is the person who told me last March they were taking Adam Carriker, I?ll trust him. 3. Atlanta Falcons: Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC Surprise! After hammering in every prior mock how the Falcons covet Matt Ryan and would take him if he is available, yet Ellis is the pick here. Why? Enough people who know new coach Mike Smith have convinced me just how integral having a dynamic DL is to him, and Ellis is a proven disruptive playmaker. Ellis gets the nod over Glenn Dorsey because he is more explosive into the backfield and has enough versatility to move around on the line, an important trait when a team is undergoing as massive a reconstruction as these Falcons. 4. Oakland Raiders: Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas No change from the last mock, despite some pretty virulent hate mail from disgruntled Raiders fans. I?ll use blunt words so the average Raiders fan can understand this: your owner doesn?t give a crap what the team needs, or what you think he should do. When Al Davis sees a RB with McFadden?s size run a sub-4.4 40, he sees the young Marcus Allen who won him a Super Bowl. And McFadden has perhaps the highest ceiling of any player in this draft, the ability to dictate defensive adjustments to help out young heavyweight QB Jamarcus Russell. 5. Kansas City Chiefs: Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU One well-respected scout believes the NFL player Dorsey most resembles is Chiefs legend Neil Smith, a menacing line anchor with enough agility and quickness to make plays in the backfield. Kansas City has never really replaced Smith despite lots of prominent attempts. Having a dominant D-Line is integral to the Tampa 2 defense coach Herm Edwards favors, and paired with NFL sack champ Jared Allen, Dorsey could provide that and help the Chiefs win some of those 17-13 games. 6. New York Jets: Vernon Gholston, DE/OLB, Ohio State Proving at his pro day he?s more than agile enough to play in space as a 3-4 OLB, Gholston is an ideal fit for the Jets. Though he has stated repeatedly he prefers to play with a hand on the ground, his quick play diagnosis and explosive first step with balance will allow him to make the transition relatively painless. New York sorely needs an impact pass rusher to make life easier on their secondary. 7. New England Patriots (from SF): Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College: Read the explanation above; I?m picking the player and slot, not the team! If by some small chance the Patriots hold onto the pick, it will be either Keith Rivers or more likely Leodis McKelvin, though they vastly prefer Vernon Gholston. That would leave Ryan for the Ravens, and I have a hard time believing they would pass on him. If Ryan is off the board already, the slot goes to any of the players above who would be bumped down. 8. Baltimore Ravens: Ryan Clady, T, Boise State Though they have more pressing needs at other spots (CB, WR, maybe QB), GM Ozzie Newsome will not hesitate to put off those needs if he can get a potentially dominant LT to replace the retiring Jon Ogden. If Clady answers the questions about his intensity and level of competition, the Ravens transition from one Hall of Famer to, at worst, a perennial Pro Bowl-caliber player at one of the highest profile positions on the field. It?s not their most pressing need, but Newsome has proven in the past he won?t bypass better talent at one spot for slightly lower talent at a position of greater need. 9. Cincinnati Bengals: Keith Rivers, LB, USC This might seem a bit high for Rivers, who is the type of player who leads a team in tackles every year for a decade but does so without a lot of sizzle or panache. That suits the Bengals, who have enough flamboyance elsewhere and sorely need a stalwart defensive leader. Rivers can play any of the LB spots and has the athleticism to handle the hybrid 3-4/4-3 defense the team is allegedly going to run. I?ve been told by a person who would know that the talk of a RB here is strictly a smokescreen. If Chad Johnson gets dealt (I highly doubt that, but stranger things have happened!), then all bets are off regarding this and their other picks. 10. New Orleans Saints: Leodis McKelvin, CB, Troy The Saints badly need a reliable cover man who can also make plays at corner, and that describes McKelvin to a ?T?. He?s a little smaller (5?10?, 190) than the other top CBs, but his amazing recovery speed and fluidity out of his breaks separate McKelvin. He?s also clutch--nearly 80% of his plays on the ball (INTs and passes defensed) came on 3rd down. And though they need a dynamic return man about as much as Howie Mandel needs a barber, McKelvin is also a top-flight punt and kick returner 11. Buffalo Bills: Devin Thomas, WR, Michigan State Thomas is tearing up draft boards after tearing up Big Ten defenses last fall. He is a lethal open-field runner with an ideal blend of size (6?1?, 215) and speed (4.4 40 with a 1.47 first 10--that?s outstanding). Showing very strong hands and the ability to line up all over the field, Thomas is a perfect fit for the Bills, who need a sizeable complement to Lee Evans and Roscoe Parrish. Consider this about Thomas: he was more productive as both a receiver and return man than the more heralded Desean Jackson, plus he?s significantly bigger and accelerates faster to boot. 12. Denver Broncos: Chris Williams, T, Vanderbilt Williams more closely fits the agile, technically proficient tackle the Broncos prefer for their running style than the other tackles on the board. He?s also got experience protecting QB Jay Cutler?s backside. Denver typically is one of the most active draft-day movers, and if they feel they can move down and still get strong value with either Williams or a WR (they love Desean Jackson), Mike Shanahan will have no problem making a deal now that he wrested complete control over personnel decisions. 13. Carolina Panthers: Derrick Harvey, DE, Florida The Panthers struggled to generate consistent pressure on the quarterback last season, and it can?t all be laid upon Julius Peppers? subpar effort. And with Peppers entering the last year of his deal, having a contingency plan and someone to help him is a very good idea. Harvey has an effective barrage of pass rush moves and also holds the edge well against the run. Many scouts like him better than former Gator teammate Jarvis Moss, the Broncos 1st rounder last season who showed strong potential. The Panthers are one of the teams that could be involved in trading up for Matt Ryan. Also, if the Bengals take Harvey (and they might), Carolina would be happy ?settling? for Jeff Otah here. 14. Chicago Bears: Jeff Otah, T, Pittsburgh The Bears have the weakest skill position talent in the NFC, but upgrading the offensive line can only help Ced Benson, Rex Grossman et al. Otah is a massive bookend who is still learning how to play, but he has proven to be a quick study and has the functional bulk to move inside if needed. When a team has multiple line spots to fill like Chicago, that versatility and upside are valuable assets. The Bears are another team that might move up to snare Matt Ryan or perhaps Ryan Clady. 15. Detroit Lions: Mike Jenkins, CB, South Florida The Lions brought in upgraded starters at CB in Brian Kelly and Leigh Bodden, but Kelly is nearing the end and Bodden has struggled with injuries. Jenkins is an ideal Tampa 2 scheme cover corner, a smart athlete with great closing speed who brings the wood in run support. He actually reminds me of a younger Brian Kelly, only faster. Detroit is going through great pains to bring in guys coach Rod Marinelli trusts, and Jenkins fits that mold perfectly. 16. Arizona Cardinals: Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Illinois Another pick where it?s not the primary need, but such a talent at a position that does need upgrading is too tempting to pass up. Mendenhall has all the trappings of Willie Parker, who became a star under Coach Whisenhunt, and his ability to bounce runs outside the tackles is a nice contrast to Edgerrin James. Taking a corner here makes a lot of sense as well. 17. Minnesota Vikings: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, Tennessee State DRC has more than proven he can play with the big boys, and his pedigree (his cousin led the AFC in INTs) helps his cause. Adding to the secondary is imperative for a team that plays both DET and GB twice every season, even if the Lions will use the 4 wide set less often. I?m told by reliable sources the Vikings are not interested in either a WR or a QB with this pick. 18. Houston Texans: Jonathan Stewart, RB, Oregon His recent toe surgery might scare some teams off, but the Texans desperately need an impact RB. Stewart?s package of power, speed, and receiving ability would allow Coach Kubiak to get the offensive balance and clock-munching drives the team sorely needs to make the next step forward. They couldn?t go wrong with any of the aforementioned CBs if their concerns over Stewart?s health change--and the Texans are more sensitive than most to injury issues. 19. Philadelphia Eagles: Desean Jackson, WR/KR, California The lightweight Jackson would help these birds kill two needs with one stone--a dynamic return man and a receiver who can make things happen in the open field. He?s not the #1 WR they covet, but I?m not sure they see anyone in this draft who plugs that hole. I tend to be a harsh judge on Jackson as a receiver, but Andy Reid?s offense would play to his strengths. This could also be a slot/player pick, not necessarily the team. 20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Malcolm Kelly, WR, Oklahoma The word that always comes up when scouts talk about Kelly is ?smooth?. He?s the best big-play threat of the taller wideouts and knows how to create space for himself. The caveat is that ?smooth? can quickly morph into ?soft?, and Jon Gruden reacts to ?soft? the way Billy Packer does when Duke doesn?t get a call. Many believe they prefer Desean Jackson with this pick, but I would also not rule out Kentwan Balmer or Pat Sims. 21. Washington Ethnic Slurs: Calais Campbell, DE, Miami FL The very tall (6?8?) Campbell has the athleticism to become an impact pass rusher, or at worst be a major passing lane disruptor. The Skins recently hired his position coach from Miami to coach their DL, and that kind of familiarity can mean a lot on draft day. Campbell isn?t real sturdy against the run and his effort sometimes wanes, but as part of a DE rotation he should be an effective pro. With Andre Carter, Demetric Evans, and Philip Daniels, Washington can bring him along slowly and reap the benefits down the line. 22. Dallas Cowboys (from CLE): Limas Sweed, WR, Texas No player?s reputation took a bigger unmerited hit than Sweed?s did courtesy of his wrist injury, which basically washed away the last 9 months of his career. Some of us still remember the physical WR with amazing body control, strong hands, and the sneaky speed that few tall guys exhibit. Trust me, Jerry Jones remembers that guy too. If Sweed is off the board, don?t think the Cowboys just automatically default to the next WR on their board--bolstering the DL and secondary are high on the priority list too. 23. Pittsburgh Steelers: Branden Albert, G, Virginia Albert shined in the physical ACC under former Jets coach Al Groh. He is the top interior line prospect in the draft, but several scouts have confirmed Albert could develop into a stud bookend tackle, if needed. The Steelers are in the midst of an OL overhaul, and Albert?s versatility and experience in a pro-style offense make him a perfect fit. 24. Tennessee Titans: Kentwan Balmer, DT, North Carolina Balmer is the active widebody the Titans need inside to complement Albert Haynesworth. Some worry about his sudden emergence after basically doing nothing of note his first seasons in college, but in recent drafts the Titans have been more than willing to take a chance on players like that--and have often been handsomely rewarded. 25. Seattle Seahawks: Dustin Keller, TE, Purdue No player helped his stock raise higher this offseason than Keller, the physical marvel of the Combine who amazingly took it up a notch at his pro day. Watching film of Keller shows he?s used to making tough catches with his hands and does a great job setting up his routes, a la Dallas Clark. The Seahawks desperately need a reliable receiving TE who can force defensive adjustments, and Keller fits the bill perfectly. 26. Jacksonville Jaguars: Philip Merling, DE, Clemson Recent sports hernia surgery puts a ceiling on Merling?s draft stock, but if he doesn?t rush the recovery he should be fine my midseason. Widely regarded as the most well-rounded of the top DEs in this draft, Merling controls the edge very well and has flashed the ability to make some plays in the backfield. 27. San Diego Chargers: Aqib Talib, CB, Kansas The Chargers put a premium on making big plays and pressuring the offense into mistakes and turnovers, then capitalizing on those mistakes. That is precisely what Talib does best--baiting the QB into a bad throw and making the tough catch after flashing exceptional closing speed. San Diego needs to restock the secondary with more youthful talent, though they also represent an ideal candidate to trade out of the 1st round so a team like Atlanta or Kansas City can trade up to snare the QB of their choosing here. 28. Dallas Cowboys: Dajuan Morgan, DB, North Carolina State Morgan is rocketing up draft boards thanks to an awesome senior season where he flew all over the field making plays and backed it up with impressive workout numbers. He is primarily a safety but played CB for two years and has the footwork and closing speed to handle playing nickel. That versatility gets him drafted ahead of Kenny Phillips, a better overall safety but a more limited player. The Cowboys desperately need a guy just like Morgan, a safety who can keep plays in front of him and also cover receivers like a corner. 29. San Francisco 49ers (from IND): Mario Manningham, WR, Michigan Judging by all the recent hype surrounding his rising stock, NFL teams aren?t too concerned about Manningham?s awful ending to his collegiate career, or his apparent fear of being touched while he?s running. At Michigan?s pro day pretty much the entire 49ers offensive staff met with Manningham and it sure seemed like a mutual admiration society. When he?s on his game he can be the dynamic downfield threat the team sorely needs, and he doesn?t lack for confidence--an important trait in a Mike Martz offense. 30. Green Bay Packers: Reggie Smith, DB, Oklahoma Of the remaining crop of corners, Smith is the best fit for the pressing, physical style the Packers employ. He also can play safety and provide very solid run support. With both starting CBs nearing the end of effectiveness and some lingering questions at safety, Smith?s versatility and knack for making plays at key moments are a great fit in the land of butterburgers and beer. 31. New York Giants: Dan Connor, LB, Penn State Despite lacking ideal measurables, Connor passes the on-field eyeball tests with flying colors. His ability to play any LB spot is quite appealing to the Giants, who lost two LBs and might move Kiwanuka back to DE. Connor will never be an All Pro, but you can pencil in 104 tackles and a couple of fumble recoveries every year for the next decade. New England lost their pick as punishment for violating NFL rules concerning the use of video recording equipment Round 2 32. Miami Dolphins: Chad Henne, QB, Michigan 33. St. Louis Rams: Curtis Lofton, LB, Oklahoma 34. Atlanta Falcons: Joe Flacco, QB, Delaware 35. Atlanta Falcons (from OAK): Kenny Phillips, S, Miami FL 36. Kansas City Chiefs: Brandon Flowers, CB, Virginia Tech 37. New York Jets: Brian Brohm, QB, Louisville 38. Baltimore Ravens: Jerod Mayo, LB, Tennessee 39. San Francisco 49ers: Gosder Cherilus, T, Boston College 40. New Orleans Saints: Anthony Collins, T, Kansas 41. Buffalo Bills: Quentin Groves, DE, Auburn 42. Denver Broncos: Andre Caldwell, WR, Florida 43. Carolina Panthers: Erin Henderson, LB, Maryland 44. Chicago Bears: Felix Jones, RB, Arkansas 45. Detroit Lions: Matt Forte, RB, Tulane 46. Cincinnati Bengals: Pat Sims, DT, Auburn 47. Minnesota Vikings: Fred Davis, TE, USC 48. Atlanta Falcons (from HOU): Tracy Porter, CB, Indiana 49. Philadelphia Eagles: Tashard Choice, RB, Georgia Tech 50. Arizona Cardinals: Antoine Cason, CB, Arizona 51. Washington Ethnic Slurs: James Hardy, WR, Indiana 52. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Trevor Laws, DT, Notre Dame 53. Pittsburgh Steelers: Justin King, CB, Penn State 54. Tennessee Titans: Early Doucet, WR, LSU 55. Seattle Seahawks: Chilo Rachal, G, USC 56. Green Bay Packers (from CLE): Sam Baker, T, USC 57. Miami Dolphins (from SD): Beau Bell, LB, UNLV 58. Jacksonville Jaguars: John Carlson, TE, Notre Dame 59. Indianapolis Colts: Xavier Adibi, LB, Virginia Tech 60. Green Bay Packers: Jermichael Finley, TE, Texas 61. Dallas Cowboys: Kevin Smith, RB, Central Florida 62. New England Patriots: Patrick Lee, CB, Auburn 63. New York Giants: John Greco, G/T, Toledo Round 3 64. Miami Dolphins: Eddie Royal, WR, Virginia Tech 65. St. Louis Rams: Lawrence Jackson, DE, USC 66. Kansas City Chiefs: Lavelle Hawkins, WR, California 67. New England Patriots (from OAK): Ahtyba Rubin, DT, Iowa State 68. Atlanta Falcons: Duane Brown, T, Virginia Tech 69. Carolina Panthers (from NYJ): Roy Schuening, G, Oregon State 70. Chicago Bears: John David Booty, QB, USC 71. Jacksonville Jaguars (from BUF): Tavares Goodman, LB, Miami FL 72. Buffalo Bills: Martin Rucker, TE, Missouri 73. Minnesota Vikings (from DEN): Donnie Avery, WR, Houston 74. Carolina Panthers: Jordy Nelson, WR, Kansas State 75. San Francisco 49ers: Shawn Murphy, G, Utah State 76. Detroit Lions: Marcus Howard, LB, Georgia 77. Cincinnati Bengals: Jamaal Charles, RB, Texas 78. New Orleans Saints: Martellus Bennett, TE, Texas A&M 79. Houston Texans: Vince Hall, LB, Virginia Tech 80. Philadelphia Eagles: Ezra Butler, LB, Nevada 81. Arizona Cardinals: Cliff Avril, DE/OLB, Purdue 82. Minnesota Vikings: Jordon Dizon, LB, Colorado 83. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Chris Johnson, RB, East Carolina 84. Washington Ethnic Slurs: Dre Moore, DT, Maryland 85. Tennessee Titans: Kellen Davis, TE, Michigan State 86. Seattle Seahawks: Marcus Harrison, DT, Arkansas 87. Detroit Lions (from CLE): Chris Ellis, DE, Virginia Tech 88. Pittsburgh Steelers: Paul Hubbard, WR, Wisconsin 89. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jonathan Wilhite, CB, Auburn 90. Chicago Bears (from SD): Red Bryant, DT, Texas A&M 91. Green Bay Packers: Kendall Langford, DE, Hampton 92. Dallas Cowboys: Geno Hayes, LB, Florida State 93. Indianapolis Colts: Josh Barrett, S, Arizona State 94. New England Patriots: Charles Godfrey, CB, Iowa 95. New York Giants: Jerome Simpson, WR, Coastal Carolina The Bears and 49ers swapped spots in the 3rd round based on the tampering charges surrounding Bears LB Lance Briggs.
Price Too High For Dallas To Grab McFadden?
The price might be too high for the Cowboys to trade up in next month's draft to grab Arkansas running back Darren McFadden, according to The NFL Network. Is seems as though the pair of first round picks that Dallas has aren't enough to move into the top five. They might have to throw in their second-rounder, in addition to the two first-rounders, in order to land in the top five. Even then, there is no guarantee McFadden will be there when it's time for their selection.
Dolphins Interested In Henne And Flacco?
In need of a young quarterback, the Dolphins appear to be interested in Chad Henne and Joe Flacco heading into next month's draft, according to the Miami Herald. The Dolphins are looking to take one of the two quarterbacks with their second-round pick.
Glenn Dorsey: I Didn't Have Surgery
LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey, who could be the top overall pick in next month's draft, said on Wednesday that he did not have arthroscopic surgery on his knee last fall, according to the Charlotte Observer. "There's nothing wrong with my knee," he told the Orlando Sentinel. "It's like people are just throwing stuff out there to try and create a buzz."
Stewart Undergoes Foot Surgery
Oregon RB Jonathan Stewart underwent surgery Wednesday afternoon to repair a fracture near the top of his foot. The decision to have the surgery now was made so that Stewart could be ready for training camp. Jeff Risdon of RealGM most recently had him selected 18th by the Houston Texans.
Olympic Champion Gatlin Showcases Talent
Olympic sprint champion Justin Gatlin showed off his skills for scouts on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press. He was present for Tennessee's pro timing day. He is the reigning 100-meter Olympic champion, but faces an eight-year ban for a doping violation. He is appealing the punishment. Gatlin took part in Tampa Bay's rookie mini-camp last year.
No Fitzgerald, Eagles Look To Draft WR
Having lost out on elite receivers like Randy Moss, Javon Walker and Larry Fitzgerald, the Eagles may begin looking for a wide receiver in next month's NFL Draft, according to the Philadelphia Daily News. RealGM's Jeff Risdon has a handful of top-flight wide receivers going in the first round of his latest Mock Draft, including Desean Jackson to the Eagles at the 19th pick. Click to view Jeff's latest Mock Draft.
Raiders Set On McFadden If He's There At 4?
When the Raiders staff got word of Darren McFadden?s blazing 40 time at the Combine, they all resigned themselves that he is the pick no matter what they need or who else is available.
Rams Prefer J. Long, Gholston And Clady Over Dorsey And C. Long
The Rams, according to a source close to RealGM's Jeff Risdon, have more interest in Vernon Gholston and Ryan Clady than they do in Glenn Dorsey, Darren McFadden, or Chris Long.