Mark Herzlich

10 Bold Predictions for the NFL Draft

10. Al Davis will shake things up
Normally this wouldn’t be a bold prediction, but without a 1st-round pick Davis will have to get creative.  Perhaps he’ll trade into the 1st round in an effort to land Jason Campbell’s eventual replacement. Ryan Mallet certainly fits the mold of an Al Davis quarterback…

9. Two or fewer trades occur in 1st round
After this weekend, no one knows when the next time will be that teams will have opportunity to fill holes. This could be their only chance to address some needs before the free agency period – which may not be as active as we’re used to. Draft picks are more valuable than ever this year and most teams will be reluctant to part with them.

8. Patrick Peterson comes off the board within the first six picks
Most mock drafts have Peterson falling to the 49ers, but he won’t last that long (sorry Niners fans). Denver supposedly likes him. Buffalo is unpredictable, so who knows what they’ll do. Arizona could settle for him. Dallas could trade up. And if all else fails, the Browns will snatch him up at No. 6.

7.  Mark Herzlich has a looooong wait in Radio City Music Hall
Herzlich is one of the 25 players attending the draft, and while the cancer survivor will get a great ovation when he is finally selected, he’s going to be waiting awhile. He clearly lost a step after returning to the field this past year, and he is unlikely to come off the board with in the first three rounds. 

6. Three receivers go in the 1st round
A.J. Green and Julio Jones will go in the top 10, but someone else will join them later in the 1st round.  The Rams could trade back and select some such as Titus Young or Jon Baldwin. The Falcons and Jets are two others possibly interested in a receiver in the late 1st.

5. Mark Ingram falls to the late 1st… and possibly further
Running backs have such a short lifespan in the NFL and are so readily available in the middle rounds of the draft that teams are becoming increasingly less interested in spending high picks on them. Ingram is the consensus top available player at the position, but there are very few teams desperate to fill a hole at that position. If the Dolphins don’t take him at No. 15, he’ll fall into the 20s and possibly into the 2nd round.

4. The Jaguars shock us with their 1st round pick
It will be tough to top the Tyson Alualu selection, but GM Gene Smith will surprise us once again.  Maybe they decide to go for a quarterback? Mallett? Locker? Ponder? Or maybe they reach for a receiver? Titus Young? Torrey Smith?

3. Rumors of Da’Quan Bowers’ fall prove to be greatly overstated
Those screaming the loudest that Bowers knee is probably are probably the ones hoping he falls to them. I wouldn’t be shocked if he lands in Cleveland at No. 6 and I have a hard time seeing him fall further than No. 12 to the Vikings. Sorry Bucs fans, he’s not going be there at No. 20.

2. Jake Locker falls further than expected
Rumors have swirled that the Redskins may want him at No. 10. If I had to bet I’d say they do like him, but would prefer to wait until the 41st selection. Nothing he did on the field this year resembled a 1st-round pick, let alone a top-10 pick. Most teams love his talent – and it only takes one to make him a 1st-round pick – but he still has a 2nd or 3rd round grade on most draft boards. 

1. Only three quarterbacks will go in the 1st round
Despite rumors that as many as five signal callers could go in the top 32 picks, only three will actually come off the board – Newton, Gabbert and third (possibly to the Dolphins). Everyone else will wisely wait until the 2nd and 3rd round where less money will be on the line.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2011 NFL Draft Comments Off

Mark Herzlich scouting report

Mark Herzlich OLB Boston College
Ht: 6’4″

Wt: 244

Strengths:
Impressive size. Excellent instincts; a smart player who is rarely caught out of position. An aggressive pass rusher. Has a few pass-rush moves, but is at his best as a speed rusher off the edge. A team leader on and off the field.
Weaknesses:
Missed entire 2009 season recovering from cancer. Had a rod inserted into his left leg as part of his treatment. Suffered a stress fracture in his right foot in 2010. Suffered broken left hand in 2010. Timed speed is well below average. Struggles in coverage.
Comments:
Herzlich was a potential future 1st-round pick prior to being diagnosed with cancer. He’s returned to the field in 2010 after missing his junior year, but was not the same player. It’s possible that he’ll eventually return to form, but he appears to have lost a step which diminished his ability in coverage and as a pass rusher. He’s a hard worker and a fundamentally sound player, making him a very safe mid-round pick, but it’s possible that he’ll never be more than a backup if he doesn’t regain the speed he appears to have lost.
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2011 Comments Off

NFL Draft Q & A

Earlier this afternoon I took some time to answer a few of your questions on twitter. A lot of them really deserve more than just four or five word response, so I thought I’d take an few minutes to elaborate…

[quotetweet tweetid=38712523591131136]

It’s definitely possible that one or both could wind up in the top five, but I think they’ll ultimately fall a little further.

The Panthers aren’t taking a quarterback, despite some mock drafts linking them with Cam Newton. The Cardinals may consider it, but I think they’ll pass as well. Ken Whisenhunt really wants to bring in a veteran, and I think they will to appease Larry Fitzgerald as well.

That leaves the Bills. And after addressing their strongest position in the 1st round last year by taking C.J. Spiller, it’s anyone’s guess what they may do this time around. Newton and Gabbert are possibilities, but I think they’ll lean toward the best available player – A.J. Green or Patrick Peterson.

Read more

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2011 NFL Draft, Q & A Comments Off

Players to watch on Saturday

CHESTNUT HILL, MA - NOVEMBER 29:  Mark Herzlich #94 of the Boston College Eagles tries to get the crowd going in the third quarter against the Maryland Terrapins on November 29, 2008 at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Boston College defeated Maryland 28-21.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Mark Herzlich has a tough task, facing N.C. State's Russell Wilson today

The most intriguing player to watch this weekend is Boston College’s Mark Herzlich. One of the biggest questions I have about Herzlich is his athleticism. He’s facing N.C. State’s Russell Wilson today, possibly the most athletic quarterback in the ACC. It will be interesting to see how he fares.

I’m also excited to see Indiana quarterback Ben Chappell against Ohio State. Chappell is having an impressive season despite not having much talent around him, but Ohio State will be his toughest test of the season. He’ll be under pressure consistently, and how he holds up will go a long way towards determining his draft stock.

Christian Ponder is another quarterback to watch today. He won’t get tested often in the ACC this year, and facing Miami on the road will be one of his toughest tests. Miami has a talented secondary which could give Ponder trouble.

Florida cornerback Janoris Jenkins is another defense player to keep an eye on. Jenkins is Florida’s top cornerback, but LSU’s top receiver Terrence Toliver is five inches taller and far more physical than Jenkins. It will be interesting to see if the Gators assign Jenkins to Toliver. If they don’t, it will be a telling sign about how the coaching staff feels about his ability to face true No. 1 receivers. Jenkins lack of physical play is the biggest knock against him.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2011 NFL Draft Comments Off