Archive for April 27, 2012

2012 NFL Draft: Taking a Look at Where Running Backs Might Land Today

Lamar Miller

The first round of the 2012 NFL Draft had quite a few surprises. None more than the fact that three running backs went on Thursday. This spits in the face of the supposed devaluation of that position in the draft.

Trent Richardson, Doug Martin and David Wilson all heard their names called yesterday, you can bet three or four more will today as well.


Lamar Miller, Miami (F)

This is a prospect hat many experts had as the No. 2 overall running back in the draft. Miller could get some play in the early second round.  It probably just wont be in the top three. The St. Louis Rams, Indianapolis Colts and Baltimore Ravens will all probably go in another direction.

The Denver Broncos at 36 are probably his first real possibility. After that you are looking at a major drop-off in terms of need until the New York Jets select at 47.


Chris Polk, Washington

He was considered a first-round pick just a few months ago, but has since fallen on some hard times. Polk struggled a great deal at the Senior Bowl and didn’t impress anyone after a pedestrian combine performance.

There is still some major talent here to be had. You are looking at the aforementioned Broncos as a landing spot. A real wildcard here could be the Rams with the third of three second-round picks at 45. After that, Polk is probably looking at late second or early third round value.


LaMichael James, Oregon

There is a strong possibility that James goes much higher than most of the experts project. He has true game-breaking ability at the line and could be utilized in the form of a Darren Sproles. I think that the Bengals might actually make a play for him in the second. Other than that, he represents third-round value.


Robert Turbin, Utah State

I have him rated much higher than most other experts, but do truly believe that Turbin could be a difference-maker at the next level. You are probably looking at a mid third-round or early fourth-round pick here. That would represent great value.


Isaiah Pead, Cincinnati

This running back has continually jumped draft board over the course of the last couple weeks and will probably be the 5th running back overall off the board. The St. Louis Rams, with one of their three second-round picks, are options here.







2012 NFL Draft: Seattle Seahawks Select OLB Bruce Irvin with No. 15 Overall Pick

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The Seattle Seahawks traded their first-round pick (No. 12 overall) to the Philadelphia Eagles for their first-round pick (No. 15 overall), fourth-round pick (No. 114 overall) and sixth-round pick (No. 172 overall).

With the No. 15 overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Seahawks drafted West Virginia’s Bruce Irvin.

Irvin is an incredible athlete who gets after the quarterback with remarkable efficiency.

However, this was the undeniable first surprise pick of the draft. Well, downright shocking to be sure. Irvin epitomizes the idea of the “red-flag prospect.” He’s had numerous run-ins with the law, even spending two weeks in jail amidst dropping out of high school (later received his GED).

The outside linebacker was initially projected as a mid-second to third-round prospect. With that said, Pete Carroll and the Seahawks must believe he can realize his potential as one of the premier pass-rushers at the NFL level.

Even more so than Melvin Ingram?

2012 NFL Draft: Cincinnati Bengals Select CB Dre Kirkpatrick with No. 17 Overall Pick

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The Cincinnati Bengals selected Alabama’s Dre Kirkpatrick with the No. 17 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Kirkpatrick certainly fulfills a need at corner for the Bengals with his great physicality and understanding of complex coverages.

He does lack elite speed and NFL bulk at just 186 pounds. At 6’2” however, he possesses the length to matchup with AFC North receivers.

His toughness and sure tackling will prove of great value in stopping Ray Rice, the bruising running back of division rival Baltimore Ravens. The same goes for the Cleveland Browns’ first-sound selection, Trent Richardson.

Looks like the former teammates will have to abandon their prior allegiance while with the Crimson Tide.

In another light, how do the Oakland Raiders feel about the pick they could have had if not for the trade for Carson Palmer in 2011? The Raiders are desperate at the cornerback position and would have loved Kirkpatrick’s physical presence.

2012 NFL Draft: Best Players Available On Day Two


The first day of the 2012 NFL Draft was filled with some stunners. Among them the Seattle Seahawks selecting Bruce Irvin No. 15 overall and the San Francisco 49ers going with A.J. Jenkins at 30.

This means that some prospects that I gave first-round grades to have fallen to the second day of the draft.  Let’s take a look at a few.

Courtney Upshaw, Linebacker, Alabama (#16)

The Alabama prospect has been falling down the draft boards in recent weeks, but should have still gone in the first round. Some team is going to get some tremendous value in the second round.

Lamar Miller, Running Back, Miami (#18)

Most experts had Miller as the second ranked running back in the draft. Now three backs have gone before the Miami prospect, who might have to wait a little bit to get drafted today. Great value!

Stephen Hill, Wide, Receiver, Georgia Tech (#19)

To say that I was shocked that the San Francisco 49ers chose A.J. Jenkins ofr Hill would be an understatement. Hill possesses the build and talent to be a dominating receiver despite still being raw.

Cordy Glenn, Guard, Georgia (#20)

Another player that I am shocked the 49ers passed up on at 30. Many experts had Glenn going in the top 20. Look for him to get some play early in the second round today.

Jonathan Martin, Offensive Tackle, Stanford (#24)

If you are tasked to protect the blindside of Andrew Luck and succeed, you should get some first-round play. Martin might not be a left tackle in the NFL, but will be one hell of a player.

Coby Fleener, Tight End, Stanford (#26)

I really thought that Fleener would be the only tight end to go in the first round. There were multiple teams looking into drafting the talented player, however he fell. Should go relatively early today.



2012 NFL Draft: Best First Round Selections

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The first round of the 2012 NFL Draft is in the books and boy was it one heck of a ride. Overall, eight trades were made, most of them occurring in the top ten.

Some teams reached tremendously, while others stood up and made some great picks. Let’s take a look at some of the best from day one.

The Dallas Cowboys were able to trade up eight spots in the initial round to draft the consensus top defensive player in the entire 2012 NFL Draft, Morris Claiborne. He fits a tremendous need in the secondary and can team up with Brandon Carr, turning a weakness into a strength.

I had David DeCastro as the No. 5 overall prospect in the entire 2012 NFL Draft. He fell and fell big time. The Pittsburgh Steelers weren’t too upset about it as they picked him up. He fits a position of tremendous need and probably represents the best value of any first-round pick.

In probably my favorite move of the entire first round, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers traded back into the back end of day one to draft Doug Martin, my second rated running back in the draft. He is going to give them a tremendous amount of value with this selection. Moreover, Martin is going to help out a great deal in both the running and passing game. Probably the best all-around back in the draft.

The San Diego Chargers were able to grab a top ten talent with the 18th overall pick in the draft yesterday. Melvin Ingram continued to slide down the board as the first round progressed Thursday night and I have no idea why. The Chargers now have a great outside linebacker tandem in Ingram and Antwan Barnes.






2012 NFL Draft: St. Louis Rams Select DT Michael Brockers with No. 14 Overall Pick

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The St. Louis Rams traded their first-round pick (No. 6 overall) to the Dallas Cowboys for their first-round pick (No. 14 overall) and second-round pick (No. 45 overall) in the 2012 NFL Draft.

With the No. 14 overall selection, the Rams landed LSU’s Michael Brockers.

Brockers is a massive young man at 6’6”, 322 pounds.

While having totaled only two career sacks, Brockers excels at stuffing the run up the middle. He’ll occupy the interior offensive linemen, freeing up the linebackers to make plays on opposing ball-carriers.

Defensive-minded head coach Jeff Fisher clearly wanted to draft for defense in the initial rounds. Trading down in the first round for multiple picks speaks to his and the Rams’ draft strategy.

Now it’s time to get Sam Bradford some help at wideout and pass-protectors to enable him to throw the ball to those offensive weapons.

2012 NFL Draft: Less Than Two Hours, Are You Ready?

Andrew Luck

After months upon months of speculation, conjecture, rumors, posturing… and much more, the 2012 NFL Draft is FINALLY upon us.

Are you ready? The league made the decision to go with prime time Thursday evening coverage for the first round a couple years ago. I wasn’t too happy about it at that time, but have since reversed course. The draft itself now goes by much more rapidly due to limited time clock, plus it lasts three full days.

It promises to be fluid process this evening. There will be more trades than in the past and will be a bunch of surprises.

Here at Pro Football Nuts we will have a full breakdown first round events following the initial round tonight and into the morning tomorrow. Our experts what went right, what went wrong, surprises occur, trade that are made and everything else draft related.

During the draft itself you can check out and follow my live blog over at Bleacher Report.

So, as Anthony “Boobie” Dixon of the 49ers says “LEGGO.”


NFL Draft Rumor: San Francisco 49ers Eyeing Janoris Jenkins at No. 30


I just received an email from a credible source that the San Francisco 49ers are “seriously” interested in drafting troubled but talented cornerback prospect Janoris Jenkins with the 30th overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft tonight.

Without getting into too much detail, he indicated that they have “had serious internal discussions, weighing both the positives and negatives that he brings to the table.”

If it weren’t for a myriad of off field issues Jenkins would be considered a top ten pick and would probably have challenged Morris Claiborne for the top overall spot at that position in the draft.

Issues as they relate to arrests at Florida, marijuana use both at Florida and North Alabama as well as an immature attitude, have all led Jenkins to see his draft stock plummet a great deal.

According to the source, San Francisco believes they “have the right mix of veteran leadership and coaching to help Jenkins grow as a person off the field.”

In terms of need, this is one area that the 49ers might look in the first round. You have to realize that this is a team that only has one glaring hole on both sides of the ball, that is the guard position.

Jenkins would provide great coverage skills, some of the best talent in the entire draft and fits a position of “need” in terms of talent and depth at cornerback.

He also fits in perfectly with the 49ers defensive scheme.

We shall see later today.


NFL Draft Day Rumors Part Un

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Happy draft day all.

Some reports indicate that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers might move up a couple slots to No. 3 with the Minnesota Vikings in order go guaranteed themselves Trent Richardson. The thought behind this is that the top running back prospect wouldn’t fall past the Cleveland Browns at four.

The Dallas Cowboys “are not expecting” Mark Barron to be available when they make the 14th overall selection this evening. This fits into recent indications that Buffalo and Kansas City could both be interested in the consensus No. 1 safety.

The Denver Broncos “would like” to trade out of the 25th pick. Team VP and GM John Elway said this “our preference would be to move back.”

Multiple general managers in the top ten of the NFL Draft believe that the Minnesota Vikings will pass up on both Morris Claiborne and Matt Kalil with the No. 3 overall pick in lieu of former Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon.

Do you honestly see that happening?

Oh, and the NFL is considering tabling the Pro Bowl. As if anyone cares following that pathetic performance earlier this year in Hawaii. Good Riddance!!

Back with more as the news flies.


2012 NFL Draft: Some Scouting Report Links For Offensive Prospects

Ladarius Green, Gabe Lemon

Over at Bleacher Report I have been tasked with doing scouting reports, well positives and negatives as they relate to some players in the 2012 NFL Draft set to take place today.

This article will provide you with a brief explanation of these reports and somewhat of a link dump. It might act as a good reference point for certain players drafted by your team over the course of the next three days.

Last week I took a look at why David Wilson would succeed as a running back in the NFL. He has the capability to be one of the best all-around backs in the 2012 Draft moving forward. I project the former Virginia Tech back to go in the second round.

Marvin Jones is one of the most underrated wide receiver prospects in the entire draft. He played in a pro style offense at California and has prototypical assets that scout look for in a true No. 1 wide receiver. I looked at a few different aspects of his game to watch out for.

A.J. Jenkins has been getting some play in recent days as a possible second-round pick. The former Illinois standout does possess some key aspects that will definitely intrigue front offices in the NFL. Despite this article focusing on five of his strengths, I still don’t project Jenkins to go until the third round.

I fully understand that there is Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III and then everyone else at the quarterback position in the draft. However, there still are some intriguing prospects in later rounds. Nick Foles is someone that was projected to be a first-round pick just a calendar year ago. I took a look at five different things that he does extremely well.

Many “experts” have Lamar Miller as the No. 2 running back in the draft behind Trent Richardson. However, I just don’t see it that way. Rather, Doug Martin sits in that position on my big board. I took a look at six of Miller’s biggest strengths and weaknesses heading into the draft.

Back in January I had Dwayne Allen as the top tight end prospect in the draft. This was before Orson Charles declared for the draft and Coby Fleener impressed a great deal in postseason events. I currently have the Clemson product as a second-round pick. Click here to find out why.

Much like Allen, Orson Charles was given illegitimate pegging as the top tight end in the draft. Following pedestrian performances at the combine and his pro day in Athens as well as a DUI arrest, Charles has seen his stock drop a great deal. He is now my No. 4 tight end in the draft. Find out some of his perceived strengths and weaknesses here.

Ladarius Green has overtaken the aforementioned Charles as the No. 3 tight end on my board. In fact, I believe he can be one of the most productive overall receiving threats in the draft. Read me blushing all over his capabilities here.

Cordy Glenn is, by far, the most versatile offensive lineman in the entire 2012 NFL Draft. He can play both inside and outside, but fits better as a guard. Check out what I have to say about Glenn’s skill-sets here.

So there you have it. Not some of the most “sexy” offensive prospects in the draft, but players that figure to translate well to the National Football League. Remember, not all the talent is found in the top ten.

I will be posting an article focusing on the defensive side of the ball later today.














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