2011 NFL Draft

Bob Sanders’ impact on the draft

Bob Sanders is a former defensive players of the year who turns 30 on February 24. Normally, he would be one of the most coveted free agents on the market.

Sanders can still help a team, even if its only a part-time role

Unfortunately, Sanders has played more than six games just twice in his seven-year career, and the only real mark he’s made in the NFL is as one of the league’s all-time most injury prone players.

That said, a number of of teams will give him a call this offseason and his price tag is made more valuable by the lack of talent in this year’s draft. Anyone looking for an upgrade at safety is better off calling Sanders – even with the injury risks – than turning to the draft for help.

Rahim Moore is my highest-rated safety, with an early 2nd-round grade. After him there are four players with 3rd-round grades, but none of them are guaranteed answers for a team looking for a starting safety.

The best option for a team looking to upgrade the position would be to sign Sanders and then draft someone as insurance. A team like the Seahawks, Jaguars or Jets, which is hoping to compete in 2011, could role the dice on Sanders and then try to land someone such as Tyler Sash or Deunta Williams in the 3rd or 4th round. That way, even if Sanders gets hurt (which he will), he will at least be around to assist in the development of his replacement.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2011 NFL Draft, Colts, Jaguars, Jets, Seahawks Comments Off

Huge draft implications in Jets/Colts game… for the Chargers

The Chargers are huge Jets fans this weekend.

According to a report by ESPNNewYork reporter Rich Cirimi (via ProFootballTalk) the conditions of the Antonio Cromartie trade state that if the Jets advance past the Wild Card round of the playoffs the Chargers get a 2nd-round pick instead of a 3rd round pick.

That one-round jump is nothing to sneeze at.

With a 1st-round pick and two 2nd-round picks the Chargers would have the ability to be major players on draft day. Their biggest hole is right tackle, and they could easily land a starter with one of those three selections. They could also move up to select the guy the want if they were worried that someone such as Derek Sherrod may not be on the board at No. 18.

Another interesting development could come when a decision is made about Vincent Jackson. The Chargers are not likely to let him walk without getting something in return. So a sign and trade could very well net them yet another 2nd round pick. That may give them the ammunition to move into the top 10 if they wished to make a move for A.J. Green or possibly Julio Jones.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2011 NFL Draft, Chargers, Jets 2 Comments

32 reasons why no one in the NFL should want Moss

Cardinals – Need a lot more than one aging receiver to fix their quarterback situation.

Falcons – Why mess up a good thing between Matt Ryan and Roddy White?

Ravens – No room with Boldin, Mason and Housh. Moss would pout, ruin chemistry.

Bills – Ryan Fitzpatrick has been pleasantly surprising. Don’t mess with a good thing.

Panthers – Think Moss will be a good soldier on a team competing for the No. 1 pick?

Bears – Lovie and Martz have their hands full already with Jay Cutler in the locker room.

Bengals – T.O.  and Moss in the same locker room? No thanks.

Browns – If Mangini can’t get along with Braylon Edwards, how would Moss fit in?

Cowboys – The last thing they need is another distraction.

Broncos – Do you really think McDaniels will get along with Moss better than Marshall?

Lions – Can you picture Moss accepting role as a No. 2 receiver on a 2-5 team?

Packers – Chemistry on offense seems to be great. Don’t mess it up.

Texans – See above.

Colts – Manning prefers his no-name receivers. And it works just fine for him.

Jaguars – Last place Jags aren’t going anywhere. Don’t waste the money.

Chiefs – Already hold a big lead in a weak division. Why mess with what’s working?

Dolphins – Marshall and Moss is too much ego for any coaching staff to handle.

Vikings – Been there. Done that.

Patriots – Been there. Done that.

Saints – Brees seems to be doing o.k. for himself without an elite receiver.

Giants – Can you picture Moss backing up Nicks and Smith?

Jets – I think they’ve learned their lesson with Braylon Edwards.

Raiders – Been there. Done that.

Eagles – Been there. Done that.

Steelers – After trading Holmes, adding Moss would be a step backwards.

Chargers – Vincent Jackson is back.

49ers – Can you picture Moss being happy in last place in the worst division?

Seahawks – The last thing Mike Williams needs right now is a bad influence.

Rams – Last thing this young, overachieving team needs is a bad influence like Moss.

Bucs – See above.

Titans – Kenny Britt has enough issues to overcome without Moss influencing him.

Redskins – McNabb and T.O. didn’t work. Why would it work with Moss?

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 49ers, Bears, Bengals, Bills, Broncos, Browns, Buccaneers, Cardinals, Chargers, Chiefs, Colts, Cowboys, Dolphins, Eagles, Falcons, Giants, Jaguars, Jets, Lions, Packers, Panthers, Patriots, Raiders, Rams, Ravens, Redskins, Saints, Seahawks, Steelers, Texans, Titans, Vikings 1 Comment

10 Observations From Week 1

1. Arian Foster is the answer to all of the Texans problems. They’ve been looking for a feature back since entering the league. Jonathan Wells, Domanick Davis Williams, Ahman Green, Steve Slaton and many others have tried and failed to fill that hole. Now Foster looks like the real deal.

2. I missed the end of the Cowboys-Redskins game, but when I heard the game ended on a holding penalty the name Alex Barron immediately popped into my head. Sure enough, it was Barron who blew the game for the Cowboys. He may be the least disciplined player in the game – regardless of position. He’ll lose his starting job, and maybe his job altogether, as soon as Marc Colombo is healthy.

3. But I shouldn’t put all the blame on Barron. Tony Romo and Tashard Choice, what were you thinking at the end of the first half?! A shovel pass is possibly the last thing that should have happened on that play. Throw a hail mary, throw it out of bounds, or just take a sack! Anything is better than a shovel pass. That was destined to fail.

4. The Steelers are in serious trouble if Max Starks doesn’t get healthy soon. Jonathan Scott replaced Starks on Sunday and, according to ProFootballFocus.com, allowed three quarterback pressures on the 10 pass plays in which he was on the field. Tony Hillis is also an option to replace Starks at left tackle. And if they get really desperate, rookie Kyle Jolly is on the practice squad.

New York Jets Braylon Edwards is called for running into the kicker on Baltimore Ravens Billy Cundiff in the second quarter on Monday Night Football in week 1 of the NFL season at New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on September 13, 2010.    UPI /John Angelillo Photo via Newscom

Braylon Edwards commits one of the Jets 14 penalties, running into Billy Cundiff on a FG attempt.

5. The Jets might be the least disciplined team in football, and I’m not at all surprised. What do you expect when you put that many egos one roster, led by a coach that has little control over his players. Rex Ryan is a hell of coach, but he isn’t real big on discipline and it shows on the field. The Jets committed 14 penalties for 125 yards, 10 of which came in the 1st half. For a team that isn’t expecting much out of its offense, that’s simply unacceptable.

6. What happened to the Dolphins offense? Surely the Bills defense, in their first game running a 3-4 system, didn’t improve dramatically from a season ago. The Dolphins didn’t turn the ball over, controlled the clock for over 36 minutes and yet only put 13 points on the board (the other two points came on a safety). Here’s one idea to jump start the offense: get more than two receivers involved. Brandon Marshall and Davon Bess were the only wide receivers with a catch on Sunday. They need to find away to get Brian Hartline involved. He’s their Wes Welker.

7. The Bucs and Browns may be the two worst teams in football. The Bills were in the discussion, but they actually looked better than expected on Sunday, at least on defense. The Rams were also in the mix, but nearly pulled off a win over the Cardinals. But the Browns and Bucs played a nearly unwatchable game this weekend. That game very well may have decided the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Jake Locker, pack your bags for Cleveland.

8. According to ProFootballFocus.com, Peyton Manning dropped back to pass 59 times on Sunday and was sacked, hit or pressured on 25 of those plays. That’s a remarkable 42.5 percent of his pass plays. That’s bad news for the Colts offensive line, but it also calls attention to just how freaking amazing Manning is at playing this sport. Despite all that pressure he didn’t throw an interception and completed over 70 percent of his passes.

9. The Falcons offense couldn’t have been more predictable. Hand off to Michael Turner, pass to Roddy White, hand off to Michael Turner… and so on. They need to get others involved in the offense if they’re going to improve upon Sunday’s pitiful showing. The Steelers defense is good, but not that good. Offensive coordinator Mike Mularky played right into the Steelers hands with a terribly uncreative game plan.

10. And finally, I’m not even sure what to say about Calvin Johnson’s touchdown that wasn’t. Clearly he caught the ball. The NFL needs to do away with these nonsense rules that throw common sense out the window.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Browns, Buccaneers, Colts, Cowboys, Dolphins, Falcons, Jets, Lions, Steelers, Texans 1 Comment

2010 Draft Grades: Jets

Considering what they had to work with, the Jets did alright for themselves. They added a few players that can contribute, but nothing special.

I really like Kyle Wilson but I just don’t see how he makes sense for the Jets as a 1st-round pick. They’re set at cornerback with Antonio Cromartie and Darrelle Revis, making Wilson the likely nickel corner. He’s a perfect fit for that role, but why spend a 1st-round pick on that position? A pass rusher such as Jerry Hughes or Sergio Kindle would have made more sense.

I also have concerns about the selection of Vladimir Ducasse. I love him as a developmental prospect, but it appears as though the Jets are plugging him at left guard from day one. He was completely over-matched at the Senior Bowl and I just don’t see how he’ll be able to handle himself as a starter in the NFL as a rookie. His potential is unlimited, but I wouldn’t want to rely on him as a starter early in his career.

I think Joe McKnight is a perfect fit for the Jets in the 4th round. They clearly had concerns about Leon Washington’s health before trading him to Seattle and McKnight should be able to fill that role. I don’t think he’s as explosive as Washington, but he’ll still be able to fill his role in the Jets offense.

They may have reached for John Conner in the 5th round, but they view him as the eventual replacement for Tony Richardson at fullback. Richardson is 38, so a starting job could open up for Conner sooner rather than later.

I have very mixed feelings about the Jets draft as a whole. With just four picks they managed to get three players who will see significant playing time as rookies. However, I think took the best available player (Kyle Wilson) at a time when a slight reach for a need may have made more sense. And then they addressed needs later in the draft, putting them in a position where they’ll need to rely on rookies in 2010 when they may not be ready for the NFL.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Draft Grades - 2010, Jets Comments Off

How does the Holmes trade shake up the draft?

With Santonio Holmes on his way out of Pittsburgh, suddenly the draft intentions of the Steelers and Jets are becoming a little more clear.

Prior to the trade most mock drafts had the Jets taking either Golden Tate or Demaryius Thomas. Both of those options now seem like longshots. With Jerricho Cotchery, Braylon Edwards and Holmes, the Jets have enough players fighting for the ball already.

With receiver off their list of needs, the Jets likely turn their attention to the defensive side of the ball. Given the depth of hybrid defensive end/linebackers in this year’s draft, its likely that someone falls to the the Jets. Jason Pierre-Paul, Brandon Graham, Sergio Kindle and Jerry Hughes could all be options.

Clemson v Georgia Tech

Could Thomas now be a target of the Steelers?

Its also possible that they’ll consider Terrence Cody. Both Kris Jenkins (30) and Sione Pouha (31) are getting up there in age, and the Jets may want to build for the future at nose tackle.

As for the Steelers, wide receiver now becomes an option in the 1st round. I previously had them selecting Dez Bryant in earlier versions of my mock draft, but stated that it was simply a luxury pick. Now, it would become more of a need-based selection. Three of the Steelers top four receivers – Hines Ward, Mike Wallace, Antwaan Randle El and Arnez Battle are over 30. Three of them are also 6’0″ or shorter.

The need for a big receiver has never been greater, and Roethlisberger has been calling for one for years. Limas Sweed has failed to pan out, and it may be time for the Steelers to try again. Bryant and Demaryius Thomas are both options in the 1st round.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Jets, Steelers 1 Comment