Prince Amukamara

Winners from Rounds 1-3: New York Giants

Jerry Reese continues to use patience to land great players for the New York Giants. They didn’t fill any glaring holes, but they got three great players who had fallen for various reasons.

Amukamara should step right into a starting role for the Giants

In the 1st round the Giants ended Prince Amukamara‘s free fall at No. 19. The certainly didn’t need a cornerback, but they lacked a true shutdown corner and Amukamara has a chance to be that guy. I had him at No. 6 on my board and I believe he will be a star in New York.

Marvin Austin fell due to concerns about his character, but entering the 2010 season he was viewed as a potential top 10 pick. He’s going to head to New York with a huge chip on his shoulder. That, coupled with the discipline Tom Coughlin will instill in him is going to turn Austin into a great player.

And in round three it was more of the same as they grabbed Jerrel Jernigan, whom many expected to come off the board in the 2nd round. I’m not sure how Jernigan will fit in with the Giants, but you can’t argue with the value and you can never have too much depth at receiver.

Overall, it has just been a very smart, methodical draft by Reese. He trusts his draft board and sticks with it regardless of his needs. It’s a great approach and it’s why he is quickly gaining respect as one of the best GMs at managing the draft.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2011 NFL Draft, Giants Comments Off

The Redskins Draft Strategy

Over the offseason, I’ve been attempting to figure out my best guess for what Mike Shanahan and company will do in their first real¬†offseason. Shanahan and Allen have had their staff for a full year now, and are now familiar with all the players. Shanahan knew the players only by film last offseason, but now knows what he truly has. It will take a couple seasons before Shanahan is fully comfortable, but he is on his way. In all of the mock drafts, most people have the Redskins selecting from a pool of players consisting of Julio Jones, AJ Green, or Jake Locker- often stating WR and QB as the biggest needs. But, this is my take on the Redskins approach, come April 28th. Read more

Posted on by Matt Peterson in 2011 NFL Draft, Redskins 1 Comment

Rams interested in trading down

Rams GM Billy Daveney has stated that he and his staff are already discussing the possibility of trading down on draft day.

It makes perfect sense and is probably their dream scenario unless Julio Jones is on the board.

The Rams only glaring need is a wide receiver, but only Jones and A.J. Green are likely to get top 15 grades from many teams. However, there could be two or three receivers – Torrey Smith, Jon Baldwin and Titus Young – worthy of a late 1st-round selection.

In addition to receiver, two other primary areas of need in St. Louis – outside linebacker and cornerback – are lacking mid-1st-round talent, making the move even more likely. In a situation where Jones, Akeem Ayers, Prince Amukamara and Jimmy Smith are all off the board, the Rams may be forced to trade down or settle for someone at a position that doesn’t fill a hole.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2011 NFL Draft, Rams Comments Off

Prince Amukamara scouting report

Prince Amukamara CB Nebraska
Ht: 6’0″

Wt: 205

Strengths:
Converted running back who showed steady progress throughout his career. Impressive size and speed. Looks very fluid in man coverage. Can turn and run with any receiver. Physical at the line of scrimmage. A hard worker with top intangibles.
Weaknesses:
Still learning the position. Needs to do a better job of turning to see the ball in the air rather than just reacting to his man. Puts forth some effort in run support, but prefers to just swipe at players legs rather than wrap them up.
Comments:
Amukamara may actually be underrated due to the hype surrounding Patrick Peterson as the elite cornerback in this year’s class. In nearly any other year, Amukamara would be the top prospect at his position. He has the size and speed to be a shutdown corner and his career path has shown a steady rise, giving teams reason to believe his best football is still ahead of him.
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2011 1 Comment

A quick “what if Luck stays in school” mock draft

It seems like every day a new reporter finds “sources” to tell him that Andrew Luck is leaning toward staying in school. I’m inclined to call “BS” on anyone who says Luck is leaning towards staying at Stanford, especially since it sounds as though Jim Harbaugh is as good as gone. But I’ll humor those who think he’s staying for a moment and throw together a quick mock draft based on the scenario that he stays. Here’s the top 10 of the “what if Luck stays” mock draft…

1. Panthers – Da’Quan Bowers – DE – Clemson
The Panthers don’t need a quarterback, so they won’t take one unless Luck is there. Their pass rush was abysmal this season, and they missed Julius Peppers even more than anyone could have anticipated. Bowers is coming off a monster year and should be an instant-impact pass rusher at the next level.

2. Broncos – Patrick Peterson – CB – LSU
With Josh McDaniels gone, the Broncos may be ready to give up on Tim Tebow after just three games. However, I don’t think they’ll reach for someone like Newton or Mallett with the second pick. The safe bet is to take Peterson, the best available player. Champ Bailiey may not return, and even if he does he’s on the downswing of his career.

3. Bengals – A.J. Green – WR – Georgia
One of the biggest decisions any team has to make this offseason is the Bengals’ looming decision about Carson Palmer. They could cut him loose and draft a new franchise quarterback here. I don’t think they’re willing to give up yet, however. A.J. Green is an elite talent and could be the young receiver Palmer needs to get the offense back on track.

4. Bills – Ryan Mallett – QB – Arkansas
The Bills need a quarterback to build around and should be able to get one in this year’s draft. But who will it be? Mallett, Locker and Newton are all worth considering. It’s pure speculation at this point, but I think Chan Gailey and Buddy Nix will lean toward the strong-armed Mallett.

5. Cardinals – Prince Amukamara – CB – Nebraska
The Cardinals are another team in need of a quarterback, but I expect Ken Whisenhunt to push for them to bring in a veteran. ¬†As a result, they’ll turn their attention to the defense in the draft, landing either Amukamara, Cameron Jordan or Nick Fairley here.

6. 49ers – Cam Newton – QB – Auburn
Until a GM and a coach are in place it’s tough to predict how the 49ers will handle the draft. But one thing is certain: they need a quarterback. If they need to make a decision between Newton and Locker, expect Newton to be their guy.

7. Cowboys – Cameron Jordan – DE – California
Jordan isn’t nearly the most well-known of the top 3-4 defensive ends, but I believe he is the best of the bunch. The Cowboys will be looking to improve the defense, making Jordan a strong possibility here.

8. Texans – Nick Fairley – DT – Auburn
The Texans need to address their secondary, but with Peterson and Amukamara off the board they must turn their attention to the defensive line. Fairley is an elite pass-rushing interior lineman who reminds me of Ndamukong Suh.

9. Lions – Robert Quinn – DE – North Carolina
The Lions offense is progressing, but the defense still has some holes. Kyle Vanden Bosch hasn’t worked out and the Lions will likely look to upgrade their pass rush this offseason. Quinn may be the best pass-rushing end available in this draft class.

10. Browns – Julio Jones – WR – Alabama
The Browns are now committed to Colt McCoy, but now they need to supply him with some weapons. Jones, Justin Blackmon, Michael Floyd, Jon Baldwin and Torrey Smith could all be options depending on who leaves early for the draft.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2011 NFL Draft, 49ers, Bengals, Bills, Broncos, Browns, Cardinals, Cowboys, Lions, Panthers, Texans 1 Comment