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Old 02-21-2012, 02:53 PM    (permalink
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Oakland Raiders Free Agency Recap



Quarterback:
New GM Reggie McKenzie reportedly considered letting go of QB Carson Palmer and attempting to resign the much cheaper Jason Campbell, but was dissuaded by others in the Raiders organization. So, Palmer will remain the started headed into 2012. Terrell Pryor, selected in the 3rd round of the supplemental draft last offseason, will also remain on the roster and will battle free agent pickup Vince Young for the job. Young signed a low end deal with no guaranteed money, so it's possible that he may be released if he loses the battle for the backup job in training camp.

Running Back:
Most notably, the Raiders traded oft-injured but talented RB Darren McFadden to the division rival Denver Broncos for a first round pick. Al Davis may not have approved of the move, but this was a clear sign that this is McKenzie's team now. The move picked up a first round pick for the Raiders who were lacking their own as a result of the Carson Palmer trade. After the trade, the Raiders resigned their own free agent in RB Michael Bush. Bush is a big bruising back who will be the primary ball carrier to pair with lightning quick 2nd year player Taiwan Jones. The Raiders weren't done however and also picked up shifty 3rd down back Mewelde Moore, formerly of the Steelers. Moore would be the best pass catching and pass blocking back on the roster and will likely see duty in passing situations. Fullbacks Marcel Reese and Manase Tonga remain on the roster as well.

Wide Receiver:
This is a position of immense talent and youth for the Raiders. There is plenty of speed to be had between DHB, Jacoby Ford, Denarius Moore and Louis Murphy. Derrick Jones rounds out the group as a 5th WR. The team did not make any additions or subtractions here.

Tight End:
The well rounded Kevin Boss remains the clear starter at the position, backed up by Brandon Myers, David Ausberry, and Richard Gordon. The team did not make any signings or releases here either.

Offensive Line:
The team made resigning center Samson Satele one its top priorities and he returns to the team in that position. That keeps the left 3/5 of the line stable with Jared Veldheer at LT and Stefan Wisniewski at LG. Incumbent RG Cooper Carlisle will battle with athletic youngster Bruce Campbell and the recently signed veteran Jacob Bell for the starting RG spot. Joseph Barksdale remains the starter for now at RT while the team brought in veteran Guy Whimper from the Jaguars as a backup swing tackle option.

Defensive End:
This remains an area of need for the Raiders, as Matt Shaughessy was the only true 4-3 DE already on on the roster. Lamarr Houston would be best served moving inside to DT. The team did add former Buc William Hayes for depth at the position.

Defensive Tackle:
As previously stated, the team would like to move Lamarr Houston into the DT spot to rotate with Richard Seymour and Tommie Kelly. Desmond Bryant is another backup already on the roster. The team also added former Bengal Jonathan Fanene and Marcus Thomas, who played under new head coach Dennis Allen in Denver. They will provide depth to the position as well.

Linebacker:
Despite his hefty prince tag, LB Aaron Curry has remained on the roster and figures to start on the weakside. Rolando McClain remains at MLB for now, though his legal issues may become a problem down the line. The team signed former Bronco Joe Mays as a backup at the MLB position just in case. Mays played under Allen in Denver and is familiar with the scheme. Kamerion Wimbley remains the starter at the SAM position. The team also brought in former Buc Geno Hayes who has a good deal of starting experience. He can backup any of the positions in a pinch.

Corner:
With the release of Stanford Routt early in the offseason, the Raiders were left with very little at the position. Youngsters DeMarcus Van Dyke, Chimdi Chekwa and Bryan McCann return to the roster, as do new additions Shawntae Spencer and Kelly Jennings, two experienced veterans. The best corner currently on the roster is likely Jason Allen, who had a career year in Houston last season. There figures to be a wide open competition during training camp between these players to determine the final pecking order.

Safety:
Tyvon Branch was allowed to walk and eventually signed with the Redskins. That leaves Michael Huff the starter at FS and Marvin Mitchell at SS with Jerome Boyd in a backup role. The team also added former Raven Haruki Nakamura to bolster the position. He may challenge Mitchell for the starting SS job.

Specialists:
Seabass and Lechler. Nuff said. Plus speedzzzz at WR to return kicks and punts.
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Old 02-21-2012, 04:54 PM    (permalink
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Bucs Match Deal on Michael Bennett
by DC Insider Rick Bennett

The Buccaneers have exercised their option to match the deal the Buffalo Bills offered to restricted free agent DE Michael Bennett.

To clear enough cap space to match a Mid-level deal, the Bucs released the following players, saving ~$4 million in cap space.

WR Sammie Stroughter
DE Daniel Teo'Nesheim
DE Nick Reed
RB Kregg Lumpkin
TE Zach Pianalto
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:36 PM    (permalink
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New Cardinals flock to Arizona

The Arizona Cardinals held multiple press conferences today to introduce the plethora of new players to the public. The 1st of the day was for Peyton Manning needless to say this was the most highly anticipated.

 

When asked why Manning had chosen the Arizona Cardinals he replied with simply, "It's the best situation for me and my family, Larry Fitzgerald and I have gotten close throughout the years and both of us have the same drive and desire to win a Championship here in Arizona".  Also at the press conference was his former leading receiver Reggie Wayne. Wayne was brought on after the signing of Manning along with WR Robert Meachem to provide the All-Pro QB with enough fire power to start WWIII.  Wayne ended up signing for lower than expected and said, "There simply wasn't a market for me, but Arizona is better than anything I could of wished for".



The next press conference was for bookends Matt Light and Jeff Backus who will start at left and right tackle for the Cardinals. While neither are premiere talents at their position both are grizzled veterans and should benefit from Manning's pre and post snap reads. Both were excited for the opportunity to be a part of what looks like a special team.



And the last press inference of the day was held for the only defensive addition to the Cardinals, OLB, Anthony Spencer. Spencer hadn't found many suitors until later in the Free Agency process but once they did come calling he had his heart set on Arizona.  With a guaranteed starting spot and an elite d-line in front of him Spencer may very well have found the right situation to reach his potential.

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Old 02-22-2012, 08:13 AM    (permalink
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Report: Two Teams Trying to Trade Up for Griffin?


#2 or #3 Pick?

The Colts couldn't even wait for the draft to officially begin before announcing that they are taking Stanford QB Andrew Luck with the #1 overall pick.

Now, it looks like a bidding war has ensued for the next two picks. Rumors are swirling that both the Browns and Redskins are trying to strike 11th hour deals to secure the rights to Baylor's Robert Griffin III.

The Browns make sense in that they have less of a distance to cover between their pick at #4 and the #2 pick. They also have two first rounders to work with thanks to their draft day trade last year with Atlanta. They currently sport incumbent Colt McCoy and the recently signed Kevin Kolb at QB...neither is an ideal starting option.

Washington, meanwhile, famously missed out on signing Peyton Manning and currently have recent free agent signees David Garrard and Matt Leinart at QB. They have more of a distance to cover in order to get into position to draft Griffin but may be the more desperate team.

The Rams have reported spoken with both teams and currently have a deal all but finalized with one of them. Should things fall through, the other will be in a great position to land Griffin. Apparently, one of the teams does have a contingency deal in place already with the Vikings, who hold the #3 pick, should the Rams stay at #2.

Keep an eye on this story as it continues to develop.
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:33 AM    (permalink
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Indianapolis Colts Free Agency Recap



Quarterback: Well, Peyton Manning will be officially moving on from the franchise where he has spend the last 13 seasons. He was simply owed too much bonus money to keep and the wedge driven between he and owner Jim Irsay was too great to overcome. The Colts have already announced that they will draft Stanford QB Andrew Luck with their #1 overall pick. Luck figures to be the day 1 starter as a rookie, just as Manning once was. After releasing last year's QBs Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky, the Colts were left without a backup option, so they signed long time veteran Chad Pennington. Pennington sat out the 2011 season after suffering an offseason knee injury but will return to action this year as the veteran mentor for the youngster Luck.

Running Back: This is a position the Colts have remained steadfast at so far this offseason, making no additions or releases. Joseph Addai will head into 2012 as the starter backed up by Delone Carter and Donald Brown Jerome Felton will apparently remain the team's FB.

Wide Receiver: Once a position of great strength for the Colts, the receiver position suddenly looks very thin. The team overpaid to resign Pierre Garcon who, while he had a career best year in 2011, was not worth the Elite WR money the Colts paid to him. He will now be Andrew Luck's primary target at the position. Long time veteran Reggie Wayne was not retained and will join Manning in Arizona. The oft-injured Anthony Gonzalez was also allowed to walk and has not yet signed with another team. Austin Collie and Blair White are currently the #2 and #3 receivers. Look for the Colts to add another player to the position, potentially in the mid-rounds.

Tight End: The Colts apparently came very close to releasing Dallas Clark, but opted to keep him. He will head into 2012 as the starter at the position. He will be backed up by Brodie Eldridge and Anthony Hill while previous backupJacob Tamme signed as a free agent in Atlanta.

Offensive Line: This remains an area of serious concern for the Colts, especially now that they'll be protecting a rookie QB instead of a wily vet like Manning. Second year player Anthony Castonzo will likely be called upon to anchor the LT position and the team did resign Quinn Ojinnaka who started 3 games for them last year as insurance. Veteran center Jeff Saturday jumped to the division rival Jaguars as a free agent, as did backup Mike Pollack who went to the Eagles. Guard Ryan Diem signed a deal with the Bengals. Jamie Richard and second year man Ben Ijalana will likely be asked to man the guard spots. The Colts badly need more help along the o-line and could use new starters at C and RT.

Defensive Line: The Colts will reportedly be switching to a 3-4 base defense with Chuck Pagano at head coach. Due to previous GM Bill Polian's preference for tiny defenders, the Colts will need to really overhaul their defensive roster in order to make the switch. Some combination of Fili Moala, Antonio Johnson, Tyler Brayton and Drake Nevis will fill out the starting spots and depth on the three man defensive line. The team also resigned DE Jamaal Anderson who will be added to that mix as well. DT Shaun Rogers was signed to be the likely starter at NT and would be the only player of the group with experience on a 3-4 DL. Additional help may be picked up here via the draft.

Outside Linebacker: The Colts would have liked to bring back stud pass rushers Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney to man the OLB spots in their 3-4 defense, the team only managed to resign Mathis. Freeney was released in an attempt to reduce his salary but opted to instead jump ship to Cincy where he will remain a 4-3 DE. Jarret Johnson does have experience in Pagano's defense from their days in Baltimore and will be play opposite Mathis. The transition to the 3-4 may also help the Colts get something out of apparent first round bust Jerry Hughes who will also convert to OLB and may see work as a situational pass rusher.

Inside Linebacker: Veterans Gary Brackett and Ernie Sims were both shown the door, leaving Pat Angerer as the only likely starter on the roster. The team did manage to resign Philip Wheeler who may find more success in Pagano's attacking defense as it is similar to what he played in during college. Kevin Bently, AJ Edds and Scott Lutrus will battle for the backup jobs.

Corner: The Colts retained restricted free agent Jacob Lacey on a one year tender, and he figures to start if healthy. Jeraud Powers is the only other Colt worth mentioning at the position which was a revolving door last year. Justin Tryon was added as a low level free agent signing. This may be another position where the Colts could bring in help via the draft.

Safety: The Colts released two former starters in Melvin Bullitt and David Caldwell leaving Antoine Bethea as the most sure thing at the position. Jermele Hines and Joe Lefeged would battle for the other safety spot if the season started today.

Specialists: Adam Vinatieri and Pat McAfee remain the current kicker and punter respectively. Lefeged, who handled return duties last year, would likely handle them again without additional players being added.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:25 AM    (permalink
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Dallas Cowboys Free Agency Recap



Quarterback: Tony Romo remains the starter obviously, but backup Jon Kitna has retired, leaving Stephen McGee as the de facto backup. While plenty of outsiders question Romo as a starter, it's pretty clear that Cowboys see him as their franchise QB. It's possible that the Cowboys draft someone in the mid-rounds to develop as the future backup.

Running Back: Felix Jones is likely to remain the primary starter, though a healthy DeMarco Murray will certainly challenge him for that role. Chauncey Washington is currently the 3rd back on the roster and could be upgraded. Tony Fiammetta was retained on a one year RFA tender to play FB.

Wide Receiver: Miles Austin and Dez Bryant remain the clear starters while Jesse Holly, Kevin Ogletree and Dwayne Harris return as depth players. The Cowboys did lose breakout 2011 receiver Laurent Robinson to the Bengals via free agency however, so look for them to make a move in the draft to add a possible #3 WR.

Tight End: Jason Garrett LOVES calling plays for the TEs...most notably screen passes...so he'll be saddened at the loss of Martellus Bennett to the Bears. Jason Witten remains at starter backed up by primary blocking TE John Phillips. This could be another position for the Cowboys to use a mid-round pick on, likely on an athletic pass catching TE to develop.

Offensive Line: The Cowboys seem set at the tackle spot with starters Doug Free and Tyron Smith, backed up by Jeremy Parnell. The team resigned guard Montrae Holland to compete with/backup Kyle Kosier, Derrick Dockery and 2nd year man David Arkin. Center is the most likely position to see a potential upgrade where starter Phil Costa struggled badly last year. He is backed up by 2nd year players Bill Nagy and Kevin Kowalski.

Defensive Line: Rob Ryan's first year was a mixed bag. He'll lose Marcus Spears at DE but gain free agent signing Red Bryant who was a starter in Seattle and is probably better suited to the 3-4 end position anyway. Jason Hatcher, Kenyon Coleman and Clifton Geathers will provide the other starter and depth. Jay Ratliff remains the starter at NT, though the long rumored move to DE could finally be in the works. Josh Brent is the team's backup NT. The team also took a free agent flier on Tommie Harris whose role in the 3-4 is not year clear. He may just be used as a situational pass rusher if he makes the final roster at all.

Outside Linebacker: All world pass rusher DeMarcus Ware returns as one starter, but the team lost Anthony Spencer to free agency. Returning players Victor Butler and Alex Albright will battle free agent pick Erik Walden for the other starting job, possibly being joined by any draft picks the Cowboys make at the position.

Inside Linebacker: Long time starters Keith Brooking and Bradie James are free agents who have not been resigned, leaving Sean Lee as the top returning player at the position. Second year player Bruce Carter will have the inside track for the other starting job with free agent pickup Tim Dobbins as the primary backup for now.

Corner: This was easily the biggest trouble area of Dallas last year and it remains as such right now. Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick would be the starters if the season started today, but both struggled with injuries and inconsistency last year. Long time veteran Terrence Newman was released. Free agent Alan Ball has struggled badly at both CB and S, but is reported to be a favorite of owner/GM Jerry Jones, so he was resigned for depth. Look for this position to be addressed early and possibly often in the draft.

Safety: This was another position that struggled for Dallas in 2011. They return starter Gerald Sensabaugh and also resigned Abram Elam. The Cowboys should not want to enter the 2012 season with those two as starters however, so other moves should be made. Craig Steltz, a former Bear, was added as depth and a special teams player.

Specialists: Dan Bailey returns as the kicker, however, the team has not yet signed a punter. Former punter Mat McBriar remains a free agent and may be resigned if the position is not addressed during the draft. The Cowboys may not wish to risk starters Felix Jones and Dez Bryant to injury any long as the primary return men, but could stand to upgrade Kevin Ogletree who is the secondary return man for both punts and kicks.
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:10 AM    (permalink
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Miami Dolphins Free Agency Recap



Quarterback: The Dolphins were one of the teams in the Peyton Manning sweepstakes, but lost out of the former Colt. Instead, they signed former Packer Matt Flynn. Flynn will compete with incumbent Matt Moore for the starting job, and should win it easily. Pat Devlin remains the team's 3rd QB from last year and could be challenged for the job if Miami chooses to use a mid-late round draft pick on a developmental QB.

Running Back: Reggie Bush finally found some success in the NFL and should retain his role as starter. Second year man Daniel Thomas should see an increased role as well. The Dolphins will retain RFA Lex Hilliard as the 3rd RB with Charles Clay at FB.

Wide Receiver: Brandon Marshall remains as the team's #1 target with Brian Hartline and Davone Bess as the #2 and #3 options. Clyde Gates is the only other notable name on the roster for depth. The team did add veteran free agent Donald Driver from the Packers. While his on-field contributions will likely be minor at best, he could be very helpful in teaching new head coach Joe Philbin's offense to the rest of the team along with Flynn.

Tight End: The Dolphins return the solid but unspectacular Anthony Fasano at starter backed up by Will Yeatman and Jeron Mastrud.

Offensive Line: Jake Long will remain the starter at left tackle, no question. The Dolphins also brought in free agent Anthony Collins to compete with Marc Colombo for the RT job. Former Packer Chad Clifton was brought in as another backup option and, like Donald Driver, to help the transition to Philbin's offense scheme. The team lost long-time starter Vernon Carey at RG, where he'll likely be replaced with John Jerry to go with Richie Incognito at LG. Adding some additional depth here may be a possibility in the draft. Mike Pouncey is the starter at center where he'll be backed up by free agent acquisition Fernando Velasco.

Defensive Line: Dolphins new defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle will probably run a lot of hybrid looks next year as the team transitions from a 3-4 to a 4-3. The team lost former starters Paul Soliai and Kendall Langford as free agents, while Jared Odrick and Randy Starks will play end in the 3-4 or tackle in the 4-3. The team added former Bengals Frostee Rucker (a DE) and Pat Sims (a DT) to aid with their transition. Rucker is a good base 4-3 end and Sims can play NT in either scheme. Andre Fluellen was another low-level signing to add depth.

Linebacker: Stud pass rusher Cameron Wake will likely transition between 3-4 OLB and 4-3 DE quite a bit next season, as will Koa Misi. Kevin Burnett and Carlos Dansby will remain the starters at ILB in the 3-4 and will have to adjust when running the 4-3. Frank Zombo was also added as a low-level signing and could be the team's 3rd LB in both schemes. It may be a position to consider addressing, especially since Burnett was awful last year.

Corner: The Dolphins return with their solid starting duo of Vontae Davis and Sean Smith. Nolan Carroll, Jimmy Wilson and Jonathan Wade currently provide the depth.

Safety: Most notably, the Dolphins added former Bengal Reggie Nelson who had a career year in Cincy last year under Kevin Coyle. The team also cut and resigned Yeremiah Bell to a cheaper deal. They appear to be the team's starters with Reshad Jones and Tyrone Culver providing the depth.

Specialists: Dan Carpenter returns as the kicker with Brandon Fields at punter. Gates and Bess currently share the return man duties.
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:18 PM    (permalink
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A breaking report comes out of Kansas City that comes as direct response to the acquisition of Quarterback, Ryan Tannehill. The Kansas City Chiefs have rleased Matt Cassel, the player whom many thought was the answer to KC's issues when Scott Pioli came to town. Cassel's release will save the Chiefs 7.5 mil in 2013 and 9 million in 2014. They still have Orton signed to a one year deal for approximately 5 million dollars. Who could foresee the Chiefs owing their 1 and 2 in 2013 12.5 million dollars with no true long term answer? They have that answer in Ryan Tannehill who will not start until the Head Coach feels he is ready. He will compete for the job but he will have to beat out Kyle Orton in training camp/preseason.



Scott Pioli could not stop glowing like a post-prom co-ed who was the date of the varsity QB. But he got his varsity QB. Scott thinks the with the current coaching staff, personnel and the foundation Ryan has mentally and physically can lead to numerous Division Championships pushing the Chiefs closer to their overall goal, the Superb Owl.




( I AM AN AWESOME WRITER and GM)
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<TACKLE> i will ngata give you a bj raji
<+BOE> Scott, with Burfict's character concerns (whether legit or not) you think Pioli would draft him. :D
<+ScottWright> Why not. Baldwin does need a sparring partner...
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Originally Posted by Hermstheman83 View Post
What's with the hate on Ricky Stanzi? Those youtube clips of him with the hulk hogan theme music instantly make him better than Luck.

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Old 02-22-2012, 08:20 PM    (permalink
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Matt Cassel Trade Official

Chiefs save $7.5 Million and Cassel will be available to sign in the 3rd FA period.

(I accidentally deleted the good post......grrr....)
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:30 AM    (permalink
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Top Offseason Moves: NFC North
by DC Insider Rick Bennett

Green Bay Packers:

1.) Signing Jared Gaither and Keeping Scott Wells - Keeping the team's league MVP QB healthy was one of their utmost priorities this offseason. Veteran Chad Clifton moved on via free agency and Marshall Newhouse is better suited for a backup swing tackle/spot starter role. Gaither finished last season strong in San Diego and really revived his free agent stock. If he remains healthy, he should give Rodgers the best blind side protector he has had as a pro. One could almost copy paste the reasoning above for Wells here. Wells is a veteran center and the brains on the offensive line. Him staying in town will help keep some consistency in front of Rodgers.

2.) Trading Jermichael Finley - The Packers swapped some picks with Buffalo in exchange for franchised TE Jermichael Finley. While talented, he was inconsistent and had issues with dropped passes, which is a major no-no in an offense that requires a high level of efficiency. Plus, the Packers have so many other offensive weapons that he won't be missed much.

3.) Signing Dennis Dixon - With Matt Flynn moving on, the Packers were left without an experienced backup for Aaron Rodgers. Dixon was lost in the backup QB shuffle in Pittsburgh but will be the primary backup here. The Packers have traditionally developed their backups well, allowing many to become starters elsewhere. Dixon will now have that same opportunity while the Packers get a talented backup in case something should happen to Rodgers.

*Most Questionable Move*: While I did laud them for trading Jermichael Finley away, they really didn't have anyone to immediately step up on the roster to replace him at the position. The team did sign former Viking Visanthe Shiancoe, but he's far from a great athletic pass catcher. He'll bring a bit of well roundedness, but I'm not sure about his fit in the overall offense.

Detroit Lions:

1.) Signing Marcus McNeill and Eric Steinbach - The Lions o-line hasn't exactly been a strength of the team in recent years. Long time starter at LT Jeff Backus has moved on to Arizona while the team parted ways with underachieving RT Gosder Cherilus. McNeill carries a BIG injury risk, but when healthy, is one of the league's better LTs while Steinbach was cut from Cleveland more for salary reasons than for any decline in his play. (Cleveland tried to get him back in fact.) Both will be starters tasked with keeping Matt Stafford upright and opening holes for the sub-par run game.

2.) Signing Lofa Tatupu - Tatupu was a former pro bowler at MLB for Seattle but battled injuries towards the end of his tenure there and sat out all of last season. With the loss of Stephen Tulloch to the Bills as a free agent, Tatupu has a great shot, if he's returned to good health, to start at MLB for the Lions.

3.) Resigning Kevin Smith - While Smith was far from the best RB available, his experience in the system and desire to play for the Lions made him a valuable signing with question marks surrounding Jahvid Best and Mikel Leshoure due to their health. Smith showed last season that he can be an effective ball carrier if called upon.

*Most Questionable Move*: Signing Bob Sanders and Brandon Merriweather: The cap space strapped Lions needed help at safety and solved it by....signing these two? Sanders has the uncanny ability to hit IR sooner and sooner each season while Merriweather was cut by New England and benched by Chicago, two teams who had major issues at the safety position, in a one season span. If the Lions are counting on either to start, they're in store for some major disappointment.

Chicago Bears:

1.) Signing Dwayne Bowe and Martellus Bennett - One of the things plaguing the Bears passing attack the last few seasons was the lack of a great possession target for Jay Cutler. The Bears had a ton of smaller, speedier pass catchers but none who could be trusted to bring down a jump ball. Bowe immediately becomes the team's #1 WR while Bennett immediately becomes the best pass catching TE on the roster.

2.) Taking a chance on signing Jason Smith
- Smith rose to be selected #2 overall by the Rams a few years back by virtue of being a super athletic LT prospect, but quickly flamed out in St. Louis. With the Bears current starters at tackle being J'Marcus Webb and the coming-off-of-injury Gabe Carimi, Smith should at least be a developmental backup swing tackle. If anyone can get something out of Smith, it'll be new offensive coordinator Mike Tice.

3.) Signing Jason Campbell
- Caleb Hanie proved last year that he wasn't up to the task of being the team's backup QB, and he remains unsigned at this time. With only 2nd year developmental QB Nathan Enderle behind coming-off-of-injury Jay Cutler, the Bears needed a new backup and they chose well by signing Jason Campbell. Campbell did not receive offers as a starter anywhere, and has proven throughout his career that he can be a solid if unspectacular game manager when starting.

*Most Questionable Move*: Signing Rashean Mathis to a big deal. Mathis' overall play had been declining for the last few seasons even before suffering a season ending knee injury last year. Interest was minimal by the rest of the league, including the Jaguars who barely even made a play to keep him. I think the Bears overpaid for an aging, injured player here. Better, cheaper options were available.

Minnesota Vikings:


1.) Signing Shaun Hill
- Hill is a great veteran backup QB option and I'm surprised he didn't receive more interest. The Vikings were without a veteran mentor for young Christian Ponder and Hill will provide that while also providing the ability to start for stretches and be effective. This was a great move.

*Most Questionable Move*: Signing Tracy Porter and OJ Atogwe to big deals. The Vikings needed major secondary help, no doubt, but paying all of that money to these two? Porter is a solid corner but nothing special. He's not going to single handedly shut down the Megatrons, Jordy Nelsons and Dwayne Bowes of that division. So paying him an Elite deal is definitely a questionable move. The same goes for signing Atogwe to a Quality deal. The Redskins wanted nothing to do with him after just one season. He's a gambler who blows too many coverages. I think this pair of secondary additions will do more harm than good for the Vikings the next couple of years.
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Top Offseason Moves: NFC East
by DC Insider Rick Bennett

NY Giants:

1.) Trading Osi Umenyiora - Osi has been disgruntled with his contract situation for as long as I can recall, and the Giants simply had too many other pass rushers to ever justify paying him. So, after several years and some holdouts, the Giants have finally sent him out of town to a team where he can get paid. With guys like JPP, Tuck and Kiwanuka still on the roster to get after opposing passers, he won't be missed much in NY.

2.) Trading for Jonathan Vilma - MLB was a position of serious issue for the Giants last year, and it was only stabilized with a Chase Blackburn band-aid midway through the season. Vilma may no longer be the pro-bowl caliber playmaker he was in his youth, but he's a certain upgrade over the Giants other potential MIKE LB candidates and didn't cost very much in trade compensation.

*Most Questionable Move* - Letting all of their depth escape, particularly at CB. This tends to happen to the Superbowl champs, where their free agents have their value inflated and jump ship for more money, but it was particularly bad for the Giants this year. But to get so robbed at CB, a position with weak depth to begin with, and have your answer be the oft-injured and aging Terrence McGee? Yikes. They better draft someone. What's that? No? A WR you say? From the GM's college no less? Ugh...

Dallas Cowboys:

1.) NOT franchising Anthony Spencer - It was rumored be happening, and even owner GM Jerry Jones said that he would do it...but in the end, the team opted not to. Spencer isn't a bad player, but he wasn't worth franchise money. Not even close. He never really developed as a pass rusher and couldn't even take advantage of the attention DeMarcus Ware draws to get after the passer. You probably won't even notice much of a drop off to Victor Butler and Erik Walden at the position, and it may even be an improvement.

2.) Signing Red Bryant - The team cut perennial underachiever Marcus Spears finally, and to take his place, they signed former Seahawk Red Bryant. Bryant has had a couple of quietly solid seasons in Seattle as a base 4-3 end. That's hardly his ideal position, as he doesn't add much as a pass ruhser. His size and skills will be better utilized in Dallas' 3-4 front.

*Most Questionable Move* - Most of the Cowboys moves were pretty low level, so none are particularly questionable. Signing Tommie Harris might be the only one that left me scratching my head though. He doesn't have a place in the 3-4 front really, as he's not stout enough to play end. If they brought him in as a situational interior pass rusher, that might be alright, but his burst has been getting worse for several years now.

Philadelphia Eagles:

1.) Swapping Jacksons at WR - By this, I mean signing Vincent Jackson and trading away Desean Jackson. The team still has a speedy deep threat in Jeremy Maclin who is far less of a headache than Desean, so adding a big bodied jump ball receiver like Jackson should really help out Michael Vick by giving him a nice safety outlet. Meanwhile, they picked up a first rounder by trading Desean and saved money against the cap which they used to better their LB and OL situations by signing AJ Hawk, Gosder Cherilus and Mike Pollack. All likely starters. Not bad at all.

*Most Questionable Move* - NOT trading Asante Samuel. It's pretty clear that he would like to get out of Philly and it's pretty clear that Philly would like to move him. His salary price tag and the Eagles asking price were both simply too high however.

Washington Redskins:

1.) Signing Chris Myers - Myers was a pro-bowl center in Houston and a perfect fit in the ZBS employed by Mike Shanahan in Washington. The two were also together for a few years with the Denver Broncos. Great fit.

2.) Signing Eddie Royal - This is definitely a roll of the dice for the Redskins, and a good one too. Royal had a great year as a rookie under Mike Shanahan but dropped off in subsequent seasons. He should be given a shot in Washington as the #2 WR to the recently signed Marques Colston.

*Most Questionable Move* - Paying the big money to London Fletcher. Fletcher is a big part of their defense and was still playing at a high level...but a Quality level deal to bring him back? Seems high considering how little interest a LB in his upper 30s got on the open market. They probably could have stood to wait a bit and offer him a little less in Round 2.
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Top Offseason Moves: NFC South
by DC Insider Rick Bennett

New Orleans Saints:

1.) Franchising Drew Brees - It was hard to think of something nice to say to be honest...No matter what other losses the team suffered, they could not afford to lose Drew Brees. As long as they have him, they'll be able to compete for a championship. It'll just be a little harder because...

*Most Questionable Moves* - They lost a good portion of their starting defense. The team gambled and lost by cutting Will Smith and Roman Harper. Resigning both to cheaper deals was the plan, but the market had other ideas, happily paying both of them. Additionally, they lost Jo Lonn Dunbar to the Rams where he joins former DC Gregg Williams and Tracy Porter to an Elite deal with the Vikings. Their DT depth also took a hit with Aubrayo Franklin and Shaun Rogers both leaving for likely starting jobs elsewhere. And to top it all off, they traded Jonathan Vilma to the Giants. Even if he wasn't worth his salary anymore, they still sent away yet another starter from last season. And in return, they brought in...Tom Zbikowski, Leroy Hill and Ernie Sims? Not to mention overpaying Pacman Jones to come in as the likely nickel corner. And I've yet to even mention their offensive losses in Carl Nicks, Colston and Meachem.

Atlanta Falcons:

1.) Signing veteran depth - The Falcons didn't really make any big, splashy moves but they did add to the overall depth of their roster. Guys like Channing Crowder to play in Mike Nolan's defense (replacing the lost Curtis Lofton) and Andre Gurode (who will likely start at C replacing Todd McClure) are under the radar moves that will help the team. Marcus Trufant at CB is another as he didn't cost much and, when healthy, can still contribute as a starting CB.

2.) Taking chances on some low-key veterans - Guys like Steve Smith, Jacob Tamme, and Trevor Scott come to mind here. All have the potential find a niche with team in which they can be productive. Smith will likely be the slot WR to take advantage of the openings underneath caused by Roddy White and Julio Jones on the outside. Tamme will backup and contribute in 2 TE sets with Tony Gonzalez and gives them insurance should Gonzalez retire after this year. Scott was a productive role player early on with Oakland but missed time due to injuries the last two seasons. He could certainly contribute in a Kroy Bierman-like role as a rotational DE.

*Most Questionable Move* - None seem particularly questionable, though they may have overpaid just slightly to keep aging pass rusher John Abraham in town. Pass rushers were drawing premium deals on the market though (see Carter, Andre), and this was perhaps the only way to ensure they'd get him back as they have no one else on the roster capable of getting consistent pass rush.

Carolina Panthers:

1.) Signing Dominique Foxworth - The Panthers were in such bad cap space (due in large part to overpaying their own players last year) that they lacked the room to do much of anything. Foxworth, if he recovers from the injuries of the last few seasons, can be an adequate starting caliber CB.

*Most Questionable Move* - Just about everyone they signed last year.

Tampa Bay Bucs:

1.) Signing Finnegan and Landry - The Bucs had a TON of cap space and major needs just about everyone. One of the areas most sorely in need of help was the secondary. The Bucs brought in a true #1 CB in Finnegan who should help them slow down the passing attacks the NFC South has going. Landry will give them the best "enforcer"t type they've had at safety since John Lynch. He's a tough in-the-box safety but a little risky because of his mild case of Bob Sanders syndrome. Every time you blink, he's getting banged up.

2.) The middle of the pack signings - The Bucs did a good job grabbing some guys who will be solid contributors even if they aren't the biggest and best at their positions. Mike Tolbert will make for a hard-to-tackle partner with Blount if nothing else, and Ahmard Hall should do a great job of blasting open holes for them to run through. Joel Dreessen is a solid #2 TE who has played a lot the last two seasons. Dan Connor will be a tackle machine LB even if he isn't really special in any way. Tim Jennings should be an adequate #2/#3 CB behind Finnegan.

*Most Questionable Move* - Or non-move in this case...they should have gotten someone to compete with Josh Freeman. He was awful last season and now, entering his 4th year, faces a make-or-break situation. They brought in David Carr, but he's a true backup...not competition. If Freeman doesn't turn it around, this will be a wasted year for finding their QBotF.
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Top Offseason Moves: NFC West
by DC Insider Rick Bennett

San Francisco 49ers:

1.) Keeping most of their own FAs - Not really one in particular, but they kept almost all of their key contributors from last year's playoff run including Alex Smith, Carlos Rogers, Dashon Goldson, and Adam Snyder. They also retained some depth in players like Ted Ginn and Chilo Rachal.

*Move I'm Most Neutral On* - Not really questionable or good in my mind, but trading for Desean Jackson. The first they gave up for him will be worthwhile if he returns to his dominant deep-threat form after being paid his long term deal...but I just don't like the move all that much. Alex Smith isn't exactly a deep ball tossing QB and they have the exact same player as a return man in Ted Ginn, so they won't be getting the maximum overall value out of Jackson. I'm overall very "meh" on this move.

Seattle Seahawks:

1.) Keeping David Hawthorne - Hawthorne was one of the better MIKE LBs available on the market but Seattle ponied up the money to keep him in town. It'll be a great boon for their defense to get him back.

2.) Signing Chad Henne - Henne was never outright awful as a Dolphin, but he never seemed to progress beyond being average either. Still, he should be an upgrade over Tarvaris Jackson and he'll actually be able to put his strong arm to use if Sidney Rice gets healthy. Plus, they didn't have to overpay like so many teams do in order to get QBs.

*Most Questionable Move* - More like non-move...I think they could have done more. With San Fran returning the same dominant team from last year and Arizona quickly becoming a contender by adding Peyton Manning, I think Seattle might get left in the dust. I think they'll be a solid team, but that won't be good enough to compete for that division next year.

Arizona Cardinals:

1.) Signing Peyton Manning - The last time the QBs took a chance by starting a future HoF QB, they damn near won the Superbowl. The team already had a great WR in Fitzgerald, and now they've added Peyton to throw him the ball. Great move by the team and great fit for the player.

2.) Locking up Calais Campbell - Campbell had to be retained at all costs and the Cardinals did, first with the franchise tag and then used that as a starting point to lock him up long term. He's one of the best 3-4 DEs in the game today and a key part of their defense. Keeping him is to their defense what adding Peyton is to their offense.

*Most Questionable Move* - Not addressing the o-line further. Peyton got by in Indy with awful o-line play for years, but now that he's got a long-term risk with his neck, better o-line play is a must in front of him. The Cardinals scrambled to do what they could, but will aging veterans Matt Light and Jeff Backus be enough? What about the guards and the center? This will be the Cardinals biggest question mark next season and may be the determining factor in how far they actually go.

St. Louis Rams:

1.) Signing Manningham - The Rams badly need a #1 WR and can't constantly try to fill the position with so-so free agents and mid-round draft picks. Jeff Fisher is notorious for never putting much value on the WR position, so it's good to see the Rams start off by signing a better target for Bradford. Better WRs were available this offseason, but the Rams managed to get Manningham on a Quality deal rather than the Elite many feared it would take to bring him in.

2.) Signing Jo Lonn Dunbar - Dunbar was a solid starter in New Orleans last season, and the Saints did want him back. But the Rams offered a bit more money and the opportunity to keep playing for DC Gregg Williams to get him into town. He should be a good running mate for James Laurinaitis (holy ****, I spelled that right the first try.)

*Most Questionable Move* - Not signing a veteran backup for Sam Bradford. He was injured on and off quite a bit last year and has generally been ineffective since the end of his rookie year. Guys like Shaun Hill and Jason Campbell would have been attractive backup options, but the Rams basically signed no one and head into the draft with only Tom Brandstater behind Bradford.
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Top Offseason Moves: AFC North
by DC Insider Rick Bennett

Baltimore Ravens:

1.) Signing Ahmad Brooks - The Ravens lost starters Jarret Johnson and Jameel McClain to free agency, while having very little in the way of proven depth at the position. Brook has racked up 18 sacks in the last 3 seasons, with a career high 7 last year in his first year a full time starter. Brooks is a great addition to the Ravens LB corps.

2.) Adding o-line depth - Though the team did retain top free agent Ben Grubbs, they also needed to bolster their depth all across the line. The team successfully resigned Matt Birk, last year's starting center, and Bryant McKinnie, a solid spot starter and swing tackle. They also got former Raven Jason Brown back after a largely underwhelming stint with the Rams that saw him get cut this past offseason. The Rams tried to bring him back, but the Ravens were offering just as much money and a better chance to compete for a championship. He will compete with Birk for the starting center role and backup the guard positions.

3.) Signing Cedric Benson - Benson has rushed for over 1000 yards the last 3 years, but his YPC and overall effectiveness has been trending downward. He doesn't bring much versatility as a RB, but should do well in the role Ricky Williams had last year behind Ray Rice. He also figures to pick up the team's short yardage and goal line duties.

*Most Questionable Move* - Resigning Ben Grubbs to an Elite deal. Don't get me wrong, if they didn't he would have gone to one of the many other interested teams for the same deal. But the Ravens already have one highly paid guard on the roster in Marshall Yanda, and with locking up Ray Rice long term, extending Joe Flacco and with Michael Oher headed for free agency after the 2013 season, this money may be needed elsewhere. (And that's all without mentioning the need to replace certain long time defenders coming in in the next few years.) Grubbs is a great player, but guard typically isn't a position where you pay top dollar for two players.

Pittsburgh Steelers:

1.) Signing Vernon Carey - The Steelers were in the worst shape of any team in the league when it came to cap space entering the offseason, and they had to scramble with a ton of restructures and releases in order to get under. They managed to get far enough under to go after one top free agent, and Vernon Carey was their pick. He'll immediately become the starting RG and could also play RT in a pinch if Willie Colon continues to get hurt.

2.) Signing Aubrayo Franklin - The team cut long time starting NT Casey Hampton this offseason, leaving them without anyone to man the position. Franklin was a good under-the-radar signing as he was cheaper than Hampton, younger than Hampton, doesn't have the weight/conditioning problems of Hampton that we know of, and isn't coming off an ACL injury that required surgery.

*Most Questionable Move* - It's pretty hard to pinpoint any exact move, but the restructure (IRL) of so many players, essentially converting their base salaries into guaranteed money in the future, may come back to bite the team down the line. They're essentially counting on a raise in the salary cap and also some of their older veterans retiring to rebuild without actually rebuilding. It's a definite risk.

Cincinnati Bengals:

1.) Signing Dwight Freeney - I wouldn't have considered them players in the Dwight Freeney market after he was initially cut by the Colts, but they had the money to spend and will allow him to remain in the 4-3, two very appealing options for Freeney. With a talented young team around him on both sides of the ball, the presence of someone like Freeney could be a factor that pushes them from a simple one-and-done playoff contender to Superbowl contender status. Epic move.

2.) Signing Laurent Robinson and de-tagging Jerome Simpson - I can safely say that when the Bengals announced their intention to franchise tag Jerome Simpson, I wasn't the only one scratching my head. Once they succeeded in signing one of the cheaper (and quite honestly, better) free agent options at the position to play across from AJ Green, the Bengals wisely pulled the tag off of Simpson.

*Most Questionable Move* - An Elite level deal for Terrell Thomas. Perhaps if he was fully healthy, this move would have made sense. He was the Giants top corner in 2009 and 2010, but missed all of last year with an ACL injury. Now, the Bengals have given him a ton of money without knowing how effective he'll actually be on the field this season.

Cleveland Browns:

1.) Signing Rocky McIntosh - McIntosh looked to be one of the better up and coming linebackers in the league a few years ago, but he just wasn't the same player when Washington converted to the 3-4 defense. Now, he'll come back to the 4-3 in Cleveland and kick outside to play next to franchise player D'Qwell Jackson, giving Cleveland two athletic linebackers.

2.) Signing Jammal Brown - More than a few people raised an eyebrow when it was announced that the Redskins were releasing Brown, a guy they traded for just a few years ago. He's had a little trouble staying healthy, playing in 12 games last year, but is still a great option at RT and the Browns got him for a fairly reasonable deal. He and Joe Thomas will make great book end tackles to protect whoever plays QB.

*Most Questionable Move* - Heading into the draft with only Colt McCoy and FA pickup Kevin Kolb at QB. The Browns will have a chance to add someone with...more actual talent...than either guy, but if this is their big plan to address the QB situation, Cleveland is in for another lousy year passing the football. These are two backup quality QBs and shouldn't be this close to the starting job.
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Top Offseason Moves: AFC East
by DC Insider Rick Bennett

New England Patriots:

1.) Signing Michael Griffin - This was just a perfect fit no matter how you look at it. It might have been the best pure fit of any move all offseason. The Patriots went right out, made their case to Griffin, threw a great deal in front of him and brought him up to play in New England. After getting to the Superbowl with the likes of James Ihedigbo and Sterling Moore playing extended periods in the secondary, Griffin will look like a god send.

2.) Signing Manny Lawson - Lawson didn't get much attention last offseason before signing with Cincinnati, but after he further established himself as one of the league's better coverage linebackers there, he got more attention this offseason. If nothing else, the Patriots at least removed one of the guys who could help another team slow down their TE attack by signing Lawson.

*Most Questionable Moves* - Not getting a deep threat WR and not better addressing the pass rush. If bringing back Randy Moss after a year of retirement is the Patriots best answer to their biggest offensive question mark, then the team is in for another long season of Brady and Gronk carrying the passing attack. A deep threat to loosen up all of that underneath coverage would have done wonders...instead, they bring in Randy Moss again. And the pass rush was only addressed by a couple of mid-level signings once again. Two of the Patriots three biggest areas of concern remain as such.

NY Jets:

1.) Keeping Sione Pouha - The Jets resisted the urge to tag Pouha again this year, and it paid off. They managed to bring him back at a more cost efficient long term deal to keep their NT in the fold.

2.) Signing Deon Grant - Paying Mid level money to a 33 year old 3rd safety might seem like a bit much, but the beauty in this move is that Grant will bring the veteran leadership that they are losing with Jim Leonard. Leonard was too big of injury risk to bring back on bigger deal. Grant should provide an upgrade to his position if for no other reason that him staying healthy.

*Most Questionable Move* - Not bringing in a QB to compete with Mark Sanchez. This was predictable, but foolish. The team didn't even bring in a new backup QB at all. So I take it they plan to roll into 2012 with Sanchez as the unquestioned starter and Greg McElroy as the only backup? No one to push Sanchez? This is something the team should have attempted to address, but did not.

Buffalo Bills:

1.) Signing Cliff Avril and Stephen Tulloch - One might look at the two Elite deals handed out to these guys with a raised eyebrow, but as a package deal, they immediately upgrade the Bills front 7. Avril easily becomes the team's best pass rusher and should slot in nicely at DE alongside Marcel Dareus and Kyle Williams, two very quality DTs. And Tulloch immediately becomes the team's best LB who will be able to take advantage of how clean those two DTs keep him.

2.) Trading for Jermichael Finley - While the team did resign last year's starter in Scott Chandler, Finley is definitely a major upgrade. While he's inconsistent and drops a good deal of passes, he's capable of being a dynamic playmaker at the TE position when things are clicking for him. Between acquiring him, franchise tagging Stevie Johnson to bring him back and getting Fred Jackson healthy, the Bills appear to be in good shape with their top 3 offensive players.

3.) Keeping their own free agents - A lot of teams seem to struggle with doing this and it really hurts the chemistry of the team, even if the players aren't particularly great. The Bills succeeded in bringing back LT Demetrius Bell, the afore mentioned Scott Chandler, CB Drayton Florence (who they cut and resigned cheaper,) LB Kirk Morrison, LB Shawne Merriman (who they also cut and resigned cheaper,) S and nickel LB Bryan Scott, and DE Chris Kelsay (who is another they cut and resigned cheaper.)

*Most Questionable Move* - Signing Terrell Owens. The Bills did a great job of filling needs and bringing back their own key pieces, but there isn't a player alive who can do more damage to team chemistry than TO. He behaved himself the last time he was in Buffalo, but he also contributed a lot more on the field than he probably will this time. Coming off of a year long retirement and an ACL surgery will probably minimize his on-field contributions, and TO simply isn't a guy I can see accepting a limited role as a 3rd or 4th WR.

Miami Dolphins:

http://draftcountdown.com/forum/show...8&#post2868138
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:08 AM    (permalink
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Top Offseason Moves: AFC South
by DC Insider Rick Bennett

Houston Texans:

1.) Keeping Mike Briseil - Particularly after losing Chris Myers as a free agent, keeping Brisiel at guard was a must for the Texans. Luckily, there wasn't much interest in him on the open market and the Texans brought him back on a reasonable deal.

*Most Quesitonable Move* - Losing so many players. It was a given that they weren't going to be bringing back Mario Williams due to his salary demands. They tried to bring back Chris Myers, but the Redskins simply had more money, the same system and a head coach he liked playing under before. They released Jacoby Jones and brought in an aging Santana Moss to replace him...I'm not so sure about that deal. Luckily they did cut and resign Kevin Walter to a cheaper deal to keep their WR up slightly.

Tennessee Titans:

1.) Getting Matt Hasselbeck back cheaper - It has been announced that there will be an open competition between Hasselbeck and Jake Locker for the starting QB job this season, and if that is the case, Hasselbeck was simply making too much money to be a backup. The team released him, he tested the market, and then chose to return to the Titans on a cheaper deal. This was a gamble that paid off.

2.) Bringing back Jordan Babineaux - Babineaux was a quality in-the-box SS for the Titans last year, and they kept him on a modest deal. This is all the more important seeing as how they lost Michael Griffin. Babineaux will provide some stability at the safety position as they try to fill Griffin's shoes next to him.

*Most Questionable Move* - Overpaying some veterans. I realize they needed pass rush, but a Quality deal for Will Smith? Even the Saints only made an effort to bring him back on a cheaper Mid level deal. Along those same lines, signing Steve Hutchinson to a Quality deal and Todd McClure to a Mid level deal? Both are solid veterans but past their primes and on the down slope of their careers. Signing Curtis Lofton was another move I'm not sure about. The team liked Colin McCarthy last year, so I'm not totally sure why this one was made. I think they panicked when some of the bigger free agents started signing and they still had money to spend.

Jacksonville Jaguars:

1.) Signing Aaron Ross - They resisted the urge to get into the bidding for some of the higher level guys and came away with a solid player on a Quality level deal. Not bad.

2.) Keeping Jeremy Mincey - Mincey was the Jags best pass rusher last year and the team made it a priority to keep him around. There wasn't a whole lot of interest from other teams, but the Jags gave him a market level deal to ensure that he stays.

3.) Acquiring the WRs - The Jags landed Brandon Lloyd and Jerome Simpson on Quality level deals, and those two instantly become their top two receiving threats. And the Jaguars need all the help they can get there, because Blaine Gabbert needs all the help they can provide.

*Most Questionable Move* - Signing Andre Carter to a Quality level deal. Yes, he had a good year before getting hurt in New England last year, but he's 33 and has been wildly inconsistent in his career, never once posting back to back double digit sack seasons. I think a Quality level deal was just too much for a guy won't be around for more than maybe 2 seasons.

Indianapolis Colts:

http://draftcountdown.com/forum/show...7&#post2868017
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:44 AM    (permalink
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Top Offseason Moves: AFC West
by DC Insider Rick Bennett

Denver Broncos:

1.) Signing Mario Williams - You can't logically start off anywhere else but with this. The Broncos had plenty of cap space and needed all the defensive help they can get, so why not make Mario Williams the highest paid defensive player ever? Adding Mario to a front 7 containing last year's DRotY Von Miller is sure to give a major boost to the team's pass rush. It also puts Williams back in the 4-3 defense where he has had the most success.

2.) Signing John Carlson - While I would say that they overpaid for a TE who missed all of last year due to an injury, if they hadn't paid him a Quality level deal, he would have ended up elsewhere as half the league made him mid-level offers. This is a good move that will net them a well rounded TE, I just don't know how much help it will offer Tim Tebow specifically, as throwing to the TE usually requires throwing into traffic which isn't exactly a strength of his. (Using the worth "throwing" at all when talking about Tebow should be a sign that we're not talking about a strength.)

*Most Questionable Move* - Signing Jim Leonard to a Quality level deal. I know the Broncos had plenty of cap space, but Leonard isn't exactly a freak athelete, elite playmaker at the position. He's quite undersized and had both of his last two seasons ended by injury. A Quality level deal is some serious overkill.

San Diego Chargers:

1.) Addressing Nose Tackle - The Chargers made signing Paul Soliai their top priority to fill their void at NT. He's a solid player in his prime and should make the entire defensive front around him more effective, as good nose tackles are apt to do. They also took a flier on bringing in former Steeler Casey Hampton as a backup. Hampton has a fair share of issues, but as a backup NT, he should work out well.

2.) Adding o-line help - The Chargers lost their top two OTs in Jared Gaither and Marcus McNeill, so they did well to bring back long time center Nick Hardwick. He'll provide some consistency on the line at the very least. They also brought in former Falcons first round pick Sam Baker. Baker will probably take over at LT where he can be solid but does have his struggles, as evidenced by his benching in Atlanta. Low risk move though as he wasn't particularly expensive.

*Most Questionable Moves* - I can think of two that were equally questionable. The first was signing Kroy Bierman to a Quality level deal to move him to a stand up OLB position. Bierman was never an elite pass rush, but was a solid well rounded 4-3 DE. I'm sure he can still get by thanks to his high energy motor, but I don't think he'll ever make for a great pass rushing OLB. Additionally, not addressing the WR position better. The team still has Malcolm Floyd and is hopeful that Vincent Brown will continue his development, but they have no one to replace Vincent Jackson. And those they did bring in, Mike Sims-Walker and Chaz Schilenz, carry too many concerns to pencil in as contributors.

Oakland Raiders:

http://draftcountdown.com/forum/show...6&#post2867226

Kansas City Chiefs:

1.) Signing Carl Nicks - Obviously, this is first and foremost. Nicks is considered one of the best guards in the league and he'll make for a huge improvement on the Chiefs o-line.

2.) Keeping Kyle Orton - Orton was actually somewhat effective at the end of last season and was worth keeping around for another year. Other teams were interested, but the Chiefs offered him the most money to stay. With the recent release of Matt Cassel and the drafting of a first round QB, Orton definitely has the inside track to be the starter in 2012.

*Most Questionable Move* - Franchising Carr over Bowe. The team hoped to keep them both, but placed the tag on the wrong one I believe. At CB, they already had Brandon Flowers locked up so losing Carr wouldn't have been as devastating, but at WR, they only had unproven 2nd year player Jonathan Baldwin behind Bowe.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:02 PM    (permalink
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Patriots draft Konz, Boykin, Chapman, Smith on first two days


Center Peter Konz was New England's top draft pick in 2012.

The New England Patriots concluded the first two days of the NFL Draft having acquired Wisconsin center Peter Konz in the first round and Georgia cornerback Brandon Boykin, Alabama nose tackle Josh Chapman, and Notre Dame safety Harrison Smith in the second round. New England surprised many observers by trading up twice during the draft period. The Patriots parted with a third-round pick in order to move up from the #27 overall pick to the #22 overall pick to select Konz and a fourth-round pick in order to move up from #63 overall to #58 overall for Chapman. Additionally, New England consummated a trade with the Ravens which sent the #31 overall pick and a fifth-round pick to Baltimore for the #61 overall selection (used to select Smith) and the Ravens' first-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft in a move that mirrors the Patriots' swap with the Saints in 2011. Backup nose tackle Ron Brace was traded to the Saints for fifth-round picks in both 2012 and 2013 minutes after the team drafted Chapman to replace him.

After re-signing center Dan Connolly during the free agent period, New England's decision to climb the draft board for Konz may come as a surprise, but the Patriots reportedly had the anchor of Wisconsin's offensive line graded out as a better prospect than recent top centers Maurkice and Mike Pouncey. Konz is 6'5" and 315 pounds and plays with a nasty, aggressive demeanor. Having played in Wisconsin's zone-blocking system, he displayed the ability to perform many responsibilities that the Patriots will ask him to handle and could edge out Connolly to become the team's starting center as a rookie. Connolly will eventually settle into a role as a swing reserve, with experience playing both guard positions and center. New England is flexible along the offensive line, with Connolly, Ryan Wendell, and Rich Ohrnberger possessing the versatility to line up at guard or center. Marcus Cannon is expected to succeed Brian Waters as the club's long-term right guard, but played extensively at right tackle in 2011. Mark LeVoir backups up Nate Solder at left tackle but has some experience on the right side as well.

Boykin, Chapman, and Smith are all expected to fulfill specific roles on New England's defense. Bill Belichick described the appeal of Boykin as "being able to add a three-year starter with versatility on offense, defense, and special teams." The senior SEC cornerback is one of the draft's fastest players and has been used as a weapon all over the field; he is expected to immediately take over as New England's kick returner and will challenge Kyle Arrington to become the team's top slot cornerback. The Bulldogs have also used Boykin as a wide receiver thanks to his incredible athleticism and strength.

Chapman has already anchored a two-gap 3-4 defense in college at Alabama under Nick Saban. He is mature, with a great anchor and the ability to redraw the line of scrimmage and command double teams with his bulk and strength. New England likely felt that Ron Brace was a risk considering his slow development so far and injury history. Chapman's presence will allow the Patriots to rest defensive star Vince Wilfork more often, as well as move Wilfork to defensive end in certain situations, where he has excelled. Carefully manging the big man's snaps was a priority going into the draft process, and Belichick noted in a press conference that the opportunity to add a quality nose tackle does not present itself often, which was the reason for the Patriots' move.

Harrison Smith joins Michael Griffin and Patrick Chung in the back end of the Patriots' defense. He is considered an excellent diagnostian and tireless worker with terrific leadership skills. Smith often plays in the box, but has experience in center field as well; he is considered very aggressive as well as a violent hitter and quality form tackler. New England has experimented with three-safety sets in the past, attempting to use former Patriots such as Brandon McGowan and Jarrad Page as rovers. Smith is also expected to provide quality depth for Patrick Chung, who missed a handful of games in 2011 and whose absence was accompanied by a significant drop-off in the effectiveness of New England's defense.

New England still has one pick remaining in the fifth round along with three selections in the sixth round.
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Old 02-24-2012, 02:06 PM    (permalink
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Packers improve the front seven


Packers draft Nick Perry (left) and Kendall Reyes (right) in the first two rounds of the draft.

In the first two rounds of the NFL Draft the Green Bay Packers defensive end, Nick Perry and defensive tackle, Kendall Reyes. Dom Capers and Mike McCarthy had already said going into the draft that they were looking to add to a defense that ranked last in the NFL last year and so they did by picking up two exciting defensive talents.

In the first round, general manager Super Packer deceided to make a trade with the Titans giving up their first, third and fifth to move up 8 spots. With the pick Green Bay selected Nick Perry, USC who will make the common transition to outside linebacker in Dom Capers 3-4 defense. It was obvious from the end of the season that the Packers would be looking to improve their second outside linebacker spot due to the inconsistency of Frank Zombo, Brad Jones and Erik Walden.

In the next round the Packers stuck to their word of adding to the defense by drafting DT Kendall Reyes, Connecticut. Reyes' value as been on the rise since he performed very well at the Senior Bowl and it is believed to be one of the main reasons Super Packer deceided to hand the card in with Kendall's name on it.

The Packers next draft pick is in the 4th round of the NFL Draft, where it is believed they will be looking to further add to the defensive side of the ball.


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Old 02-26-2012, 11:40 AM    (permalink
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With the fourth round in the books, here's an overview of one draft "expert's" top 32 available players!


1. Levy Adcock, OT, Oklahoma State – Right tackle/guard tweener. Injury kept him out of the Senior Bowl, combine snub.
2. Brandon Mosley, OT, Auburn – Converted tight end. JUCO player with good upside but needs development.
3. Trevor Guyton, DE, California – Big player, experience in Cal’s version of the 3-4. Could play DE in either scheme.
4. Nick Foles, QB, Arizona – Mid-round developmental QB. Great size, solid arm.
5. Cyrus Gray, RB, Texas A&M – Back-to-back 1000 yard, 12 TD seasons. Solid overall player
6. Josh Robinson, CB, Central Florida – Underclassmen CB that probably should have stayed in school. Scheme versatile.
7. Marcus Forston, DT, Miami (FL) – Early entry. 3 tech
8. Chris Givens, WR, Wake Forest – Another early entry, had a big season, underrated player, could definitely be a number 2.
9. Ronnie Hillman, RB, San Diego State – Back-to-back monster seasons. Good size.
10. Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin – Undersized QB with great athleticism. Great college player, tough to project to NFL.
11. Eric Page, WR, Toledo – Early entry WR. Projects well to the slot
12. B.J. Coleman, QB, Chattanooga – Raw QB, with great tools. Starting potential.
13. Chris Rainey, RB, Florida – Speedy third down back
14. Jack Crawford, DE, Penn State – Still learning the game of football. Solid athlete, rotational player
15. Robert Turbin, RB, Utah State – One of two Utah State backs in the draft. Good size, franchise back potential
16. Cliff Harris, CB, Oregon – Second rounder on tape, MAJOR off-field questions
17. Deangelo Peterson, TE, LSU – Underused TE that was hurt by awful LSU QBs. Solid athlete, H-back size
18. Olivier Vernon, DE, Miami (FL) – DE/OLB tweener. Freak athlete, will test off the charts. Raw on the field.
19. Keenan Robinson, OLB, Texas – Good size, mediocre athlete. Could play any LB spot in a 4-3 and probably inside in a 34.
20. Omar Bolden, CB, Arizona State – Forgotten CB due to injury that caused him to miss senior year. Starting potential.
21. Brian Linthicum, TE, Michigan State – Combine snub, solid overall player. Decent blocker, good receiver
22. Tyrone Crawford, DE, Boise State – Quality rotational DE with good size and athleticism.
23. Josh Kaddu, OLB, Oregon – Athletic linebacker that projects as a WLB in the NFL.
24. Eddie Whitley, FS, Virginia Tech – Good tackler, zone safety. Combine snub
25. Derek Wolfe, DT, Cincinnati – DT/DE tweener. Has been rising up boards lately.
26. Dwight Bentley, CB, Louisiana-Lafayette – Big Senior Bowl week has him rising boards. Scheme versatile CB.
27. Duke Ihenacho, SS, San Jose State – Great size and speed. Injuries derailed him mid-career but had a good senior year that’s put him back on teams’ radars.
28. A.J. Jenkins, WR, Illinois – Productive senior season. Good speed. Plays like a number two, slot receiver size.
29. Terrance Ganaway, RB, Baylor – Oversized power back.
30. TJ Graham, WR, North Carolina State – Slot receiver/return man. Good Senior Bowl week
31. Cory Harkey, TE, UCLA – Premier blocking back in this class. Great size, some think he could be an OT/OG convert although his short arms make that unlikely.
32. DeQuan Menzie, CB, Alabama – Gamer who is a better player than athlete.
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Old 02-26-2012, 12:21 PM    (permalink
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New England Patriots select Posey, Forston in fifth round


Marcus Forston was one of New England's fifth-round picks.

The New England Patriots traded up twice in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft, sending the #163 and #193 overall picks to the Denver Broncos and #182 and #183 overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars for the #139 and #140 picks, respectively, selecting Ohio State wide receiver DeVier Posey and Miami Hurricanes defensive tackle Marcus Forston with the two choices. Posey started two full seasons for the Buckeyes in 2009 and 2010 before being suspended for much of the 2011 season. He measured in at 6'2" and 211 pounds at the NFL Combine and ran a 4.50 in the 40-yard dash. His size, acrobatics, and ability to track the ball likely all factored into New England's decision to add youth to the wide receiver corps.

Forston was projected to be a first or second-round pick coming into the season, but suffered a torn ACL early on and decided to declare for the draft regardless. He is a 6'1", 301 pound defensive tackle known for his bulk and ability to knife into the backfield, and could be groomed as a five-technique in New England's three-man fronts. Forston is the second Hurricane on New England's defensive line, joining team captain Vince Wilfork in the trenches. The Patriots made upgrading the defensive line a priority in free agency and the draft, signing Kendall Langford and Marcus Spears to play defensive end in odd fronts and Matt Roth as a pass rusher and "elephant" linebacker. Kyle Love and Gerard Warren were both re-signed by the club, and they spent a second round pick on Alabama nose tackle Josh Chapman in addition to drafting Forston in the fifth round.
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Old 02-27-2012, 12:12 AM    (permalink
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Colts Conclude Defense-Heavy Draft

After selecting Standford quarterback Andrew Luck first overall in this year's draft, the Indianapolis Colts focused on defense the rest of the way. Coach Chuck Pagano's fingerprints were clearly visible with each pick sent to the podium.

Round 1: Andrew Luck - QB - Stanford

Most expected this pick, and indeed the commissioner had not finished speaking before a Colts runner stood to the right of the podium with Lucks name on a pre-printed draft card. Luck was the future QB of the Colts the moment Indy lost to Jacksonville at the end of the 2011 season.

Round 2: Dontari Poe - DT - Memphis

Poe is a massive prospect, at 6'4 and 346 lbs. But even with his monstrous build and solid college reputation, Poe's 44 reps on bench press at the combine impressed even the biggest skeptics. With 32" arms he is slightly squattier than expected, but that matters less for a nosetackle prospect. Coach Pagano understand the importance of talented big men in the middle and will attempt to use Poe in a manner similar to how he used Haloti Ngata in Baltimore.

Round 3: Jared Crick - DL - Nebraska

GM Ryan Grigson continued to build the defensive trenches with this pick. A high-value selection, the Colts took a chance in not selecting a center here. Crick had some productive years both with and without Ndamukong Such next to him at Nebraska, but his final season was cut short due to injury. Crick is able to fit as a 3-4 DE, 4-3 DT, and even a 4-3 power DE, so coaches Pagano and Manusky should be able to move him around in the hybrid scheme Pagano intends to implement.

Round 3: Josh Norman - CB - Coastal Carolina

The Colts turned their attention to the defensive backfield with this pick. Norman is another small-school acquisition. His reported height of 6'2 turned out to actually be 6', but 6' and 200 lbs is still a solid height and weight for a corner. Norman is a man and press coverage corner which signals yet another step away from the Cover 2 zone defense the team previously ran. To obtain this pick the Colts traded away their 4th and 5th round picks to and switched 7th round picks with New Orleans.

Round 5: Derek Wolfe - DL - Cincinnati

The Colts put the final touches on their new defensive line rotation with another versatile pick. Wolfe compares to Crick in size and high-motor playing style, racking up a surprising 9.5 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss his final year at Cincinnati. Wolfe can play 3-4 DE, 4-3 DT, and even 4-3 power DE and should find a home in the Colts new hybrid scheme. To obtain this pick the Colts traded away their 6th and 7th round picks to Philadelphia. The team still has a compensatory pick at the end of the 7th round.
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:17 AM    (permalink
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Best Available per CBS Sports
by DC Insider Rick Bennett

1.) RB Ronnie Hillman, SDSU - Super productive if slightly undersized back.

2.) CB Dwight Bentley, LA-Lafayette - Productive small school CB.

3.) QB Ryan Lindley, SDSU - Raw but talented developmental QB with great physical tools.

4.) RB Tauren Poole, Tennessee - Solid but inconsistent RB who could make for a decent backup.

5.) TE DeAngelo Peterson, LSU - Undersized TE out of a big program.

6.) DL Brett Roy, Nevada - Undersized DT who may project better to 3-4 DE.

7.) RB Dan Herron, Ohio State - Solid inside runner who could be a good compliment/backup at least.

8.) C Quentin Saulsberry, Miss State - Experienced starter lacking ideal physical tools.

9.) S Eddie Whitley, Virginia Tech - Solid and experienced free safety.

10.) WR Eric Page, Toledo - Ultra productive slot receiver and return man.

11.) CB Mike Harris, Florida State - Solid corner with good size out of a big program.

12.) RB Vick Ballard, Miss State - Big bruising runner.

13.) OLB Kyle Wilber, Wake Forest - Undersized pass rusher who could be used situationally in the 3-4.

14.) OG Lucas Nix, Pitt - Massive mauling interior blocker.

15.) P Brian Anger, Cal - Seriously, a punter. One with an awesome last name wasted on a punter. Tell me that wouldn't be a better name for a linebacker.

16.) RB Terrence Ganaway, Baylor - Big power back of monstrous proportions.

17.) TE Brian Linthicum, Michigan State - Experienced TE.

18.) H-back Evan Rodriguez, Temple - Been compared to a poor-man's Aaron Hernandez.

19.) OT Matt Reynolds, BYU - Experienced and solid all around tackle who, like most BYU prospects, is a bit older than usual.

20.) OLB Emmanuel Acho, Texas - Solid 4-3 WILL LB type.

21.) QB BJ Coleman, Tenn-Chattanooga - Thickly built developmental QB prospect.

22.) CB Micah Pellerin, Hampton - Small school CB prospect with good size.

23.) DE Jack Crawford, Penn State - Quality DE still learning the position.

24.) S Tramain Thomas, Arkansas - Experienced FS type.

25.) OG Rishaw Johnson, Cal-PA - Talented small school interior lineman.
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:07 AM    (permalink
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An updated look at the Best 32 players available. Should be noted that this is pre-combine rankings...

1. Brandon Mosley, OT, Auburn - Converted tight end. JUCO player with good upside but needs development.
2. Ronnie Hillman, RB, San Diego State - Back-to-back monster seasons. Great speed, elusive. Showed up to the combine with much better size than expected
3. Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin - Undersized QB with great athleticism. Great college player, tough to project to NFL.
4. Eric Page, WR, Toledo - Early entry WR. Very productive, projects as a slot guy in the NFL in the Davone Bess mold
5. B.J. Coleman, QB, Chattanooga – Raw QB, with great tools. Starting potential down the line
6. Jack Crawford, DE, Penn State – Still learning the game of football. Solid athlete, rotational player that’s okay against both the run and the pass but not great at either
7. Olivier Vernon, DE, Miami (FL) - DE/OLB tweener. Freak athlete, will test off the charts. Raw on the field.
8. Brian Linthicum, TE, Michigan State - Combine snub, solid overall player. Decent blocker, good receiver
9. Eddie Whitley, FS, Virginia Tech – Good tackler, zone safety with solid overall skillset. Combine snub, should be a good special teamer
10. Dwight Bentley, CB, Louisiana-Lafayette – Big Senior Bowl week has him rising boards. Scheme versatile CB.
11. A.J. Jenkins, WR, Illinois – Productive senior season. Good speed. Plays like a number two, slot receiver size. Had a pretty good overall combine
12. Terrance Ganaway, RB, Baylor – Oversized power back. Solid overall combine.
13. Cory Harkey, TE, UCLA – Premier blocking back in this class. Great size, some think he could be an OT/OG convert although his short arms make that unlikely.
14. Tauren Poole, RB, Tennessee – Strong north/south runner that fits best in a one cut system
15. Ryan Lindley, QB, San Diego State – Toolsy QB with tons of upside. Poor decision making an spotty accuracy.
16. Tyler Nielsen, OLB, Iowa – Smart, instinctive linebacker. Well coached, good in coverage, undersized.
17. Quinton Saulsberry, C, Mississippi State – Versatile OL that can play any interior line position.
18. Emmanuel Acho, ILB, Texas – Lacks athleticism but has great instincts, sheds well, and tackles well. Versatile, can play all across 4-3 or inside in a 3-4.
19. Lucas Nix, OG, Pittsburgh – Solid athlete, good power, best fit in a man blocking scheme but good enough athlete to play in a ZBS as well.
20. D'Anton Lynn, FS, Penn State – College corner that made the move to safety at the Senior Bowl. Got better every day and showed promise
21. Julian Miller, DE, West Virginia – Good overall production but is a true DE/OLB tweener.
22. Charles Brown, CB, North Carolina – Good size and speed. Stock was hurt from UNC scandal and all the suspensions. Starting potential
23. Mike Daniels, DT, Iowa – Undersized 3 tech.
24. Case Keenum, QB, Houston – Super productive QB. Undersized, needs to be in a west coast offense
25. Dan Herron, RB, Ohio State – Bigger back that runs well inside, could be the thunder to someone else’s lightning.
26. Tank Carder, ILB, Texas Christian – Instinctual undersized linebacker that doesn’t have a great fit but tough to ignore all the production.
27. Adrian Robinson, OLB, Temple – Undersized DE/OLB tweener that looks to be a third down pass rush specialist
28. Chad Diehl, FB, Clemson – Arguably the top traditional fullback in this class.
29. Kyle Wilber, OLB, Wake Forest – Intriguing late round 3-4 OLB type. A bit small but highly productive with a nice skillset.
30. Vick Ballard, RB, Mississippi State – Big bruising back
31. Jacquies Smith, DE, Missouri – Undersized DE with intriguing athleticism.
32. Jaymes Brooks, OG, Virginia Tech – A bit undersized, might be able to move to center. Interior lineman with good flexibility and athleticism
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Old 02-28-2012, 07:40 AM    (permalink
BeerBaron
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Best Available per CBS Sports - UPDATED 2/28
by DC Insider Rick Bennett

1.) RB Tauren Poole, Tennessee - Solid but inconsistent RB who could make for a decent backup.

2.) DL Brett Roy, Nevada - Undersized DT who may project better to 3-4 DE.

3.) RB Dan Herron, Ohio State - Solid inside runner who could be a good compliment/backup at least.

4.) CB Mike Harris, Florida State - Solid corner with good size out of a big program.

5.) OLB Kyle Wilber, Wake Forest - Undersized pass rusher who could be used situationally in the 3-4.

6.) P Brian Anger, Cal - Seriously, a punter. One with an awesome last name wasted on a punter. Tell me that wouldn't be a better name for a linebacker.

7.) RB Terrence Ganaway, Baylor - Big power back of monstrous proportions.

8.) TE Brian Linthicum, Michigan State - Experienced TE.

9.) H-back Evan Rodriguez, Temple - Been compared to a poor-man's Aaron Hernandez.

10.) CB Micah Pellerin, Hampton - Small school CB prospect with good size.

11.) OG Rishaw Johnson, Cal-PA - Talented small school interior lineman.

12.) CB Keith Tandy, West Virginia - Zone corner, former high school QB

13.) S Branden Taylor, LSU - Solid all around safety from a great college defense.

14.) RB Davin Meggett, Maryland - Solid if unspectacular workhorse type back.

15.) WR Rishard Matthews, Nevada - Highly productive and thickly built possession WR.

16.) RB Bobby Rainey, W. Kentucky - Short but powerful and productive workhorse back.

17.) TE Kevin Koger, Michigan - Raw TE with some upside who didn't fit Michigan's system in his time there.

18.) OT Tom Compton, South Dakota - Small school developmental OT with upside.

19.) WR Jordan White, W. Michigan - Highly productive MAC receiver.

20.) FB Emil Igwenagu, UMass - The best blocking fullback in the draft.

21.) LB Chris Galippo, USC - Likely 3-4 ILB who doesn't stand out in any one area.

22.) S Tysyn Hartman, Kansas State - Safety with intriguing size and height.

23.) LB Tyler Nielsen, Iowa - Solid all-around 4-3 OLB type who struggled with some injuries.

24.) RB Brandon Bolden, Ole Miss - Big power back.

25.) WR AJ Jenkins, Illinois - Productive receiver with average physical tools.

26.) WR Marquis Maze, Alabama - Undersized slot receiver and return man from a highly successful program.

27.) QB Chandler Harnish, N. Illinois - Athletic spread QB who put up great stats but has questions about arm strength and accuracy.

28.) TE George Bryan, NC State - Big, productive TE with soft hands.

29.) OG Josh LeRibeus, SMU - Good smaller conference interior lineman.

30.) DE Donte Paige-Moss, UNC - Athletic pass rusher who had a bad year in 2011 topped off by an ACL injury.
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