Al's Hot NFL News and Rumor Blog
Starting on Saturday April 14th I'll be updating and adding notes to this section periodically during the day.
05/01... We were hit by a double-whammy this weekend because on Sunday I had server problems due to Adelphia's change over to Time Warner which lasted into Monday evening and then had problems with the site
...anyway...at least it didn't happen last week...this is my last post for the 2007 Draft but My 2008 Draft page will be up and running before too long...My only regret last week was changing up My Mock as I posted My Final Mock on Friday before the 8:00 pm (est) deadline for The Huddle Report to monitor the picks...Every year The Huddle Report monitors the Top 100 Media Mocks on the internet and this year I finished in the Top 10 (8th overall) but would have finished first had I not taken DE Jarvis Moss and WR Anthony Gonzalez out of My First Round...I dropped Moss because I thought the Broncos were going to be able to pull off their trade attempt with the Texans and take Amobi Okoye (the player they were targeting) and had that happened Moss would have dropped out of the first round from what I was told on Friday because much like Brady Quinn he didn't have a suitor for the rest of the round...I also had Gonzalez going to the Colts and Ginn Jr. going to the Dolphins for well over a week but changed the picks in My Final Mock...I also had 86 prospects going in the Top 100 as per my Final Rating Board which would have had me tied for first overall had I submitted a Top 100 list...If you're a first time visitor to this site or My Blog this is what you've missed over the past few months....Enjoy the Summer!
04/28...Well it's here!...The Draft is just hours away and these are some of the things to watch for today...The Randy Moss trade - It's common knowledge that the Raiders want to deal Moss today because if they can't find a trading partner the team will eventually cut him...the Packers are still the favorites to acquire Moss, with the Jaguars and Patriots running close second....Michael Turner - My regular readers know that I've had Turner headed to the Titans for weeks but the team may also add WR Mike Williams to their roster this weekend as well...as unproductive as Williams has been...a move to the Titans to re-unite him with OC Norm Chow may be just what the doctor ordered for the former Trojan...Williams was never a fit in the Lions offense...Darrell Jackson - Back in my 04/20 column I noted that Jackson would be dealt on Draft weekend with the Niners being rumored as a team that would step to the plate for his services...this is a great fit for a Niners team that needs a veteran WR on their roster...Calvin Johnson - The Lions are reportedly set on taking C.J. with their pick... **if you do nothing else, scroll down to my 04/22 column and read it!...On Sunday - I will be posting My thoughts on todays happenings....Enjoy The Draft!!!
04/27...(08:40 pm)...The latest buzz has the Denver Broncos making an attempt to move up to the Lions pick at #2 if the Raiders pass up Calvin Johnson...the Broncos would first make a deal with the Texans to move up to the #10 spot and then make a deal with the Lions for Johnson...the Lions would then own the tenth pick in the Draft which would put them in position to take LB Patrick Willis...the only problem with that scenario is the Broncos don't have enough fire-power to move up from the 10th pick...unless...they were to throw in their first round pick in the 2008 Draft as part of a deal...stay tuned!
04/27...(03:55 pm)...The reported trade between the Broncos and Texans won't be finalized (if it goes through) until the Texans are on the clock.
04/27...(03:35 pm)...To follow up on an earlier report that the Browns could be shopping Braylon Edwards the latest rumor floating around and reported by Ed Werder of ESPN has the Browns and Raiders talking about swapping first round picks with the Browns throwing in WR Braylon Edwards as part of the deal...I'm not so sure if I see anything coming out of this but keep in mind that Browns Gm Phil Savage has known Russell since he was a young boy and moving up to the Raiders pick would make sense because the team could land Russell and please Browns fans who seem to dislike the idea of taking Brady Quinn with their pick...on the other hand...the Raiders would then take QB Brady Quinn a favorite of Coach Kiffin with the third overall pick and would have passed up both Russell and Calvin Johnson in the process...stay tuned!
04/27...(02:25 pm)...As I first mentioned back in my 04/18 column the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans are reportedly closing in on a deal that will include both teams swapping first round picks with the Broncos moving up to #10 and the Texans moving down to #21...the Broncos have their sights set on three prospects DE's Adam Carricker and Jamaal Anderon and MLB Patrick Willis...stay tuned!
04/27...(11:55 am)...Rumors coming out of Cleveland have the Browns possibly shipping Braylon Edwards out of Cleveland if the team took Calvin Johnson with their first pick in the Draft...Johnson to Cleveland is picking up steam but it will be a moot point if C.J. comes off the board at two...the Browns have reportedly called several NFL teams to guage their interest in Edwards.
04/27...(11:45 am)...I've tweaked My Draft Board for the final time with grade changes on several prospects.
04/27...(10:45 am) Quick Hits...Now that Michael Turner has signed his tender offer from the Chargers it paves the way for Turner to be dealt on Draft day...Turner had to be under contract with the Chargers for the team to include him in any trade...look for Turner to be dealt to the Titans on Saturday for the Titans second round pick (#50) and 2008 Draft pick compensation.......I expect Calvin Johnson to be in a Buccaneers uniform in 2007 after they move up and switch picks with the Lions...there's been talk that the Bucs might call the Lions bluff and stay put at #4 because they feel the Lions will pass up C.J....the only problem with that is the Cleveland Browns sit between Tampa and Johnson and Cleveland's pick at #3 would be an inviting target for a team like the Vikings or Falcons to move up to since moving up to three is less costly (400 pts) than moving up to two...the bottom line is if the Bucs want Johnson they will move up to the Lions pick to get him.....other teams picking in the top 10 that could be involved in a Draft day trade include Washington (very desperate to move down and add picks), Atlanta (they will explore the possibility of moving up for Johnson but will likely target the Redskins pick at #6 to secure the services of LaRon Landry), Minnesota (they could consider moving up for Brady Quinn if the Browns decide to pass him up, or move down if LaRon Landry is off the board at #7), Miami ( they might consider moving up for Brady Quinn) and Houston (looking to move down to recoup picks that they dealt in the Matt Schaub trade).
04/27...Cleveland Browns GM Phil Savage has gone on record and stated that his team isn't downgrading Adrian Peterson despite the recent report of Peterson reinjuring his collarbone...the Browns own the third pick in the Draft and Peterson is one of a few prospects that has been linked to the Browns pick at #3...I've had Brady Quinn going to the Browns in My Mock since February and Peterson's injury (despite what Savage has stated) further enhances my belief that he won't be the pick for the Browns...keep in mind...On Draft day every GM has to "sell" his Owner on why he believes the player they are taking is the right pick for their team...a team picking in the top part of the Draft will be dishing out a boatload of guaranteed money and that teams GM has to convince his owner that he's 100% sold on this prospect and there should be no doubts or negatives attached to this pick...I love Adrian Peterson because he has a chance to be a special player...but...he has three things working against him - his previous injury history, his up-right running style which makes him susceptible to taking hits and the fact that he has already broken his collarbone which is an injury that has a tendency to re-occur especially the way Peterson will take a pounding in the NFL...those factors would make it hard for me to convince my Owner that Peterson is the right pick for my team that high in the Draft and that he comes with no strings attached.....I'll be posting My Final Mock with several changes later today and keep it here for all the latest Breaking Draft News.
04/26...(09:00 pm)...I pointed out in my 04/25 column that Ted Ginn Jr. is picking up steam heading into the Draft and the reason the Rams traded for Dante Hall was because they knew that Ginn wouldn't be on the board at their pick...the latest rumors have Ginn Jr. linked to the Dolphins pick at #9....our 2008 NFL Draft page is up.
04/26...(04:45 pm)...Michael Turner has signed his tender offer from the San Diego Chargers...this means Turner will play for the Chargers and get payed the amount that they tendered him...however...this doesn't mean that Turner won't be dealt by the Chargers in the next three days.
04/26...(11:45 am)...Add OT Joe Staley and CB Darrelle Revis to the list of players that are picking up steam just two days before the Draft...the latest word is Staley won't make it past the Patriots pick at #24... I've had Staley going to the Giants pick at #20 since late last week...as for Revis...he's replaced Leon Hall as the top CB in the Draft according to two league sources and could be taken as high as the Texans pick at #10.
04/26...The latest news on the condition of Adrian Peterson's collarbone hit the airwaves on Wednesday, but all 32 NFL teams knew about his condition since the Combine...his collarbone will cause him to miss a teams mini-camp in May, but is expected to be completely healed by training camp...however...NFL teams have a reason to be concerned because collarbone injuries have a tendency to re-occur especially if a person takes a pounding like Peterson will in the NFL...it will be interesting to see how far this will cause Peterson's stock to drop come Saturday....go figure...just yesterday I had mentioned that things were too quiet on the NFL front!...I will be tweaking My Mock once again today...My Final Mock will be posted sometime tomorrow afternoon...just a reminder...I'll have all the latest up to the minute Draft news posted in this section or added to the top of this page in the Headlines section.
04/26...(2:30 pm)...Quick Hits...Look for QB Josh McCown to be dealt by the Lions sometime this weekend...the Lions are looking for a second day pick in the fifth round range in return...rumors continue to circulate regarding a potential draft day trade between the Packers and Raiders involving WR Randy Moss...and last but not least... this is just a hunch...but I expect a major pre-draft trade or something to take place sometime before Saturday...it's been too quiet this week, which could mean "calm before the storm".
04/25...(1:00 pm)...The St.Louis Rams acquired KR/WR Dante Hall from the Chiefs today to fill the void that they had on special teams in their return game...my take on this trade is this...the Rams have done their pre-draft homework and have stacked their board, but they (like every team) have gone through their own mock draft and scenarios in which a player like WR/KR Tedd Ginn Jr. would be available to them at pick #13...reading between the lines in this trade tells me that Rams feel that Ginn will already be off the board before they pick, so they made the deal with the Chiefs today for a 5th round pick...had the Rams waited until Draft day, the Chiefs could have upped their asking price for Hall had Ginn been taken before the Rams had picked...Ginn has been picking up steam this week and has been linked to at least three teams picking in the top 11 picks of the Draft.
04/25...(9:15 am)...I've updated My Mock with several changes in both rounds one and two.
04/25...(8:00 am)...The Patrick Willis to Denver rumors are really picking up steam this week...I originally mentioned it in My 04/18 column and went over it again yesterday on 04/24.
04/25...The latest Draft buzz has the Washington Redskins being enamored with LSU Safety LaRon Landry...
this could be the case...but I'm not buying it!...it's common knowledge that the Redskins want to move out of the sixth pick in the Draft and if the Draft falls like I think it will Landry will be the only top-rated player that will draw attention to their pick...the Redskins have just one first day pick and needs on their defensive line to shore up their run defense and to put pressure on the QB...with just one first day pick, that's one chance to fill those needs if they keep the pick...on the other hand, the Falcons picking at #8 covet LaRon Landry (the player they are targeting in the Draft if they're unsuccessful in moving up for Calvin Johnson) and know they need to move ahead of the Vikings to guarantee his selection...what the Redskins have done (through the media) is tell the Falcons that they too have interest in Landry, so the only way to secure him is to move up to their pick...I can see this deal being worked out on Draft day with the teams switching places in the first round, the Falcons securing Landry and the Redskins taking a defensive lineman and acquiring the Falcons third round pick for the switch...both teams would then come away with a player that they really need with their pick...I had that trade included in a previous Mock and will likely include it in my next first round Mock update.
04/24...(6:00 pm)...Mississippi LB Patrick Willis is really picking up steam this week heading into the Draft...I've had Willis pegged as the Bills first round selection in My Mock for nearly two months now...but...the possibility that Willis will be on the board when the Bills pick at #12 is growing smaller by the day...these are the two scenarios in which Willis will make it into the Top 10 of the Draft...#1 - Patrick Willis will become a Lion if the Lions deal the second overall pick in the Draft to the Falcons because DE Gaines Adams (their first preference) will already be off the board at pick #8...#2 - I pointed out in My 04/18 column that the Texans and Broncos could become trade partners on Saturday because the Texans want to move down to recoup picks that they dealt in the Matt Schaub trade...the Broncos on the other hand want to move up to land a top-flight DE with their pick...however...the latest steam has the Broncos being interested in replacing Al Wilson with Patrick Willis in the middle of the their defense and a trade with the Texans picking at #10 would accomplish just that if the Lions don't move down and take Willis themselves...and last but not least...the Niners picking before Buffalo could take Patrick Willis with their pick at #11.
04/24...(1:45 pm)...Billy Devaney Sr. Personnel Executive for the Atlanta Falcons stated today on Sirius NFL Radio that the Falcons are indeed interested in moving up to the Lions pick at #2 if Calvin Johnson is passed-up by the Raiders...Devaney also stated that he would be shocked if S LaRon Landry was still available at the Falcons pick at #8...this confirms what I was told by a source and had posted in My 04/23 column.
04/24...(12:15 pm)...I've tweaked My Final Draft Board and have highlighted one prospect at nearly every position that I feel has great value and will exceed expectations at the next level.
04/24...(11:45 am)...I'm really starting to get a feeling that the Bears will deal Lance Briggs on Draft day because they don't want to pay the type of money he is seeking and their are several teams interested in his services...
Lance Briggs is better than any of the OLB prospects in this draft...thus I believe that any team that is in need of an OLB (and is willing to spend a first round pick on that prospect) would be better served dealing their pick to the Bears for Lance Briggs...don't be surprised if this scenario plays itself out on Saturday.
04/24...(10:55 am)...According to several reports there are as many as 5 teams (Bills, Bucs, Broncos, Giants and Redskins) interested in Bears LB Lance Briggs.
04/24...(9:25 am)...I've just updated My Mock once again with a few changes in the top eleven picks.
04/24...(7:30 am)...Add the Steelers pick at #15 to the mix of desireable slots in which teams are targeting to move up to in the Draft because some if not all of the top CB's will still be on the board along with the only TE worthy of a first round pick...I mentioned earlier that the Packers slot at #16 is also drawing interest.
04/24...Their are rumors floating this morning that the Raiders will take Calvin Johnson with the first pick in the Draft IF the Chiefs trade Trent Green to the Dolphins...the reasoning is the Dolphins will then release Daunte Culpepper and the Raiders will make a play for him...I'm not sold on that rumor, but back in my 03/24 column I mentioned that Oakland would be Culpeppers landing spot if and when he is released by the Dolphins...I still think the Raiders will take JaMarcus Russell.....in my latest mock from 04/23...I have the Packers and Saints involved in a Draft day trade which is pure speculation on my part...but...if you look at the Saints situation they have two great needs (TE and CB) heading into the Draft with the #1 need being a CB to pair with Mike McKenzie...the Saints have the 27th pick in the Draft and all of the top CB's will be off the board unless they reach for one in the next group...by time they pick in the second round (#58) the second tier of CB's will also be gone...so the Saints will miss out on a CB that has the potential to start from day one...if they move up to the Packers spot at #16, they will be guaranteed a top-flight CB or the best TE in the Draft in Greg Olsen...unless the Packers take TE Greg Olsen at #16 they would be better served to move down, acquire extra picks and still be able to take a Marshawn Lynch later in the round...Packers Gm Ted Thompson has stated that two teams have inquired about their pick, so stay tuned!
04/23...(11:30 am)....Don't be surprised if the San Francisco 49'ers make an attempt to move up into the first round from their pick in the second round (pick#42) in an attempt to land one of the players they are targeting in the Draft...the latest buzz has the Niners leaning toward OT Levi Brown with their first pick (#11) in the Draft and moving up for a top rated WR later in the round...the Niners are said to covet Tennessee's Robert Meachum and have more than enough ammunition (10 picks in the first 4 rounds) to make such a move...elsewhere... rumors are still circulating that the Falcons will make a concerted effort to move up into the Lions pick and land WR Calvin Johnson in the Draft...this rumor isn't as far fetched as people might think because the Falcons have the ammunition (two second round picks #39&44) to make the move and the Lions want desperately to move down in the Draft...the Lions have two prospects targeted (Gaines Adams and Patrick Willis) and one of them will be available at the Falcons pick...on to another topic...a player that is really picking up steam this week is Michigan ILB David Harris...there are rumors floating around that both the Patriots and Broncos are eyeing Harris who I've had projected in My Mock going to the Lions with the 34th pick overall...but now, there's a good chance that Harris won't make it out of the first round.
04/23...We're less than a week away from the Draft and several rumors are beginning to float around the league
...the first being the ridiculous rumor that the Chiefs have Larry Johnson on the block...lets see...last time I checked L.J. was the teams Bell-Cow and the lone weapon (sorry Tony Gonzalez) on a Chiefs offense that no longer scares people to begin with...I believe the rumor started because the Chiefs have brought in numerous second tier Hb prospects that interest them in the Draft...the reason for that is to find a back that can lighten the load on L.J. this season...there's zero chance that the Chiefs will move L.J. this season...sticking with the Chiefs...
I was talking to one of my solid Draft sources this weekend and he told me that he's heard that the Chiefs first round pick might be a bit of a surprise to some of the draftniks out there...last year's first round pick DE Tamba Hali was a bit of a reach in some peoples minds...I've heard that Chiefs Coach Herm Edwards is said to covet CB Eric Wright of UNLV, but I highly doubt they plan on taking him with their first pick in the Draft...but then again
...........just a reminder to everyone...I will be posting any and all of the Hot Breaking News in this section all week long during the day and will be updating My Mock again later this morning...On Wednesday...I will be posting My Personal Favorites at every position for the Draft, they are prospects that don't figure to be drafted in the first two rounds of the Draft.
04/22...(9:15 am)...The San Diego Chargers are one of only three teams to bring Louisville HB Michael Bush in for a personal visit...the Chargers are shopping around for Michael Turner's replacement despite the rumors that they intend to keep Turner for the upcoming season...the other two teams that brought Bush in for a visit were the Patriots and the Dolphins.
04/22...My Sunday morning thoughts...If I'm picking for the Detroit Lions at the #2 spot, I'm taking WR Calvin Johnson plain and simple...a DE like Gaines Adams that can fly off the edge or an OT like Joe Thomas would be nice, but they don't score TD's and put points on the board!...just ask the Texans how much better they were last season by passing up Reggie Bush and Vince Young for Mario Williams...Calvin Johnson makes a Lions offense (that was pretty good near the end of last season) so much better and gives the Lions franchise something to hang their hat on going into every single game...the Colts proved for quite some time that you can win games with a very average defense...or go back even further in the 1980's when Qb Dan Fouts led Air Coryell into the playoffs without a defense...the bottom line is...if the Lions stay put at #2, it has to be Calvin Johnson because the Draft is also all about value and some will argue that CJ is worth the first overall pick in this Draft.
04/21...(4:00 pm)...I've heard this from more than one solid source so I think it's worth posting...the latest rumor floating around the league has a draft day deal between the Bucs and Lions all but dead because the Bucs thinking is they won't need to move up for Johnson because he will fall to them at #4...I'm not entirely buying it because even if the Lions pass on Johnson with their pick, the Browns picking at #3 still fall in the way of the Bucs landing Johnson at #4...if Johnson is available at the Browns pick, there will be several teams (Atlanta, Minnesota and Washington) that will give the Browns a call about moving up for CJ...however...if Tampa stays put and Johnson is taken before they pick, the Bucs might throw a monkey wrench in everyone's mock with the selection of Hb Adrian Peterson...back in my 04/11 column, I noted that Peterson is a personal favorite of Jon Gruden and might be the Bucs fall-back plan if Calvin Johnson is taken before they pick...stay tuned!
04/21...One NFL prospect that has flown way under the radar this season, but is considered to be one of the Draft's "sneaky sleepers" is Central Connecticut State's Justise Harrison...Harrison is a back with a good combination of size and speed who lettered for 3 seasons at Rutgers...in his freshman season at Rutgers, Harrison ran for 550 yards and scored 8td's for the Scarlet Knights...because of a crowded backfield he transferred and played one season at Milford Acadamy and then his senior season at Cent Conn St....Harrison dominated the competition at Cent Conn St. as he ran for an ave of 167.9 yds per game and scored 20 tds...he also led the entire nation in 2006 in all purpose yards from scrimmage at 199.8 per clip...he also averaged 6.7 yards per carry and had 7 td's over 50 yards in length...in his homecoming game versus St. Francis (Pa.) Harrison put on a clinic scoring the first two times he touched the ball and had 197 yds rushing in the first quarter alone!!!...he finished the game with 322 yards rushing...you can be sure that Harrison is on the Patriots Radar Screen because Pats GM Scott Pioli is a Cent. Conn St. alum and was spotted in attendance at that game...at his Pro Day, Harrison was measured at 6-0 222 and ran a 4.60 forty which is a bit slower than his ave forty time of 4.55 but ran the short shuttle in 4.15, ran a 6.94 three cone, had a 39" vertical and a 10-0 broad jump...as I noted earlier Harrison is one of those "sneaky sleepers" that several NFL teams have rated on their board in the hopes that another NFL team doesn't beat them to the punch.
04/20...(9:30 am)...According to one of my trusted sources the Seahawks have WR Darrell Jackson on the trading block and one of the teams that is rumored to be interested is the San Francisco 49'ers...it's common knowledge that the Niners need help at the receiver position and have a boat load (10 picks of which 8 are in the first four rounds) of Draft picks in their arsenal...the Seahawks on the other hand are stacked at the receiver position and have just two first day picks with the first coming in the second round (pick #55)...stay tuned!
04/20...This year's Draft has several good QB prospects that teams can target in the third round of the Draft...after JaMarcus Russell and Brady Quinn there's a bit of a drop-off, but after Quinn there are 5 QB's that have a chance to become NFL starters and all of them could come off the board in the Draft's first day...there are varied opinions throughout the league on the prospects, but from what I'm hearing Trent Edwards could become the 3rd QB off the board and may go as high as the second round...after Edwards...Drew Stanton, Jon Kolb, John Beck and Troy Smith all carry similar grades...I have six QB's going in the first day according to My Draft Ratings Board with Troy Smith carrying a 4th round grade going into the Draft.
04/19...(8:00 pm)...There are several rumors floating around the internet regarding Alan Branch's health in regards to a leg injury that NFL teams have uncovered...as I reported back on Friday in my 04/13 column (the first to break this news on the internet or on the tube) Alan Branch has shin splints and nothing more than that. ..his condition isn't believed to be anything that will hinder him long-term and NFL teams aren't downgrading him because of it...so...as I have stated numerous times over the years...be careful what you read and whom you believe at this time of the year.
04/19...NFL teams have known since February that Calvin Johnson, Gaines Adams and Amobi Okoye all tried smoking pot at one time in their lives and although it may appear shocking to some, it's just another day at the office for NFL teams and their personnel departments...the fact that all three came out and admitted they tried the drug at one time is being commended by the NFL clubs because of the prospects honesty...as far as I know none of the three tested positive for the drug at the Combine and aren't believed to be daily users of the weed...
My Draft Ratings Board is complete with final grades on all the prospects in the Draft, but it won't be posted until later this morning after I give it a final check down.
04/18...(5:30)...Trade rumors continue to circulate throughout the league as the sand in the hour-glass continues to dwindle leading up to the Draft...just yesterday I mentioned that the Texans were interested in moving down in the Draft and one day later the Denver Broncos have entered the trade rumor circle today as a team that is interested in moving up in the Draft...back in my 03/19 column I mentioned that the Broncos were interested in trading up and had contacted the Lions about the availability of the second pick in the Draft...the Broncos have been unsuccessful in their attempt to land a pass-rushing DE this off season but have an extra third round pick (#70) that they could package with their own third rounder (#86) which according to the NFL trade chart would put them in the range to move up to the Texans pick at #10...there's a good chance that both DE's Jamall Anderson and Adam Carricker will both still be on the board at the Texans pick...and...both teams are very familiar with each other since Texans Coach Gary Kubiak and GM Rick Smith both worked together at Denver with Mike Shanahan.
04/18...Once again don't believe the hype that the Chargers will be keeping Michael Turner since it appears no team is willing to part with a first and third round pick for his services...back in my 03/30 column I noted that a Draft day trade will likely happen because the teams interested in Turners services want to see how the Draft plays itself out that day...they also know that if the Chargers keep Turner they will receive nothing in return after the 2007 season when his contract runs out.....I'm in the final stages of stacking My Draft Board and will have it up and posted by tomorrow.
04/17...(03:45 pm)...Wisconsin OT Joe Thomas has revealed that during his visit with the Detroit Lions the team told him that they would play him at either left guard or right tackle if they used their pick on him in the upcoming Draft.
04/17...(12:30 pm)...Rumors are swirling throughout the league that the 10th pick in the Draft owned by the Houston Texans is available via trade...the Texans are fielding offers for the pick which could be acquired before Draft day for the right price...stay tuned!
04/17...The latest trade rumors have the Tampa Bay Bucs offering their entire first day of the Draft to the Raiders for the rights to the first pick in the Draft...the Bucs and Lions have been talking for weeks about switching picks, but the Bucs won't make a pre-draft deal with the Lions until they are sure that the player they're targeting (Calvin Johnson) is available to them at #2...by trading with the Raiders, the Bucs would assure themselves of landing Johnson hook, line and sinker.......several Draft propsects are starting to slip down the board with less than 2 weeks to go and they include...OT Tony Ugoh...DT Tank Tyler...LB Brandon Siler...DE Quentin Moses...and WR Sidney Rice...there are also several propsects that will slip due to character concerns ...I've updated My Mock once again with numerous changes as the Draft picture is starting to become clearer.
04/16...(4:00 pm)...Despite a less than stellar workout due to his lingering injury Ohio State WR Tedd Ginn Jr. is picking up steam as the Draft gets nearer and might make it into the Top 10 of the Draft after all...I've just updated My Mock and have him going in the top 10...I've also added his teammate Anthony Gonzalez to the first round in My Mock.
04/16...There are less than two weeks left until the Draft and within the next two weeks the Draft will sort itself out as the picture becomes clearer the nearer we get...during the next two weeks I'll be posting nuggets of information that you won't find anywhere on the net like my tidbit on Michigan DT Alan Branch which I posted on Friday...in other words...when "scoopage" is passed on to me...I will pass it on to you in this section........the battle for the right to be the third QB selected in the Draft is sorting itself out as the winner appears to be Trent Edwards of Stanford by a nose over MSU's Drew Stanton...however...beauty is in the eye of the beholder and chances are if you visitied all 32 NFL teams none of them would have the same ranking order.
04/14...Way back in my 02/17 blog I noted that several NFL Scouts hinted that there won't be as much of a difference (ratings wise) between OT's Joe Thomas and Levi Brown in the final rankings of the two prospects when the entire Draft evaluation is complete...the general perception amoung several media outlets is Thomas will be a Top 5 pick while Brown has a chance to slip as far as the Giants pick at #20...don't believe the hype...
I was reminded by my source of that statement just yesterday and the latest word out there is Brown won't make it out of the top 10...there's also an outside chance that Brown could be the Draft's first big surprise pick on Saturday morning by the Arizona Cardinals with the fifth pick overall.
04/13...(6:30 pm)... DT Alan Branch's draft stock has taken a bit of a hit recently because he didn't turn in a good workout performance at the Combine or at his pro day....the rumors started that Branch wasn't in the best of shape for his workouts...well the latest regarding Branch could have something to do with that...the latest word circulating throughout the scouting community is that Branch has shin splints which may have hindered him in his workouts...NFL teams are checking into this matter to make sure that nothing is more serious with Branch...stay tuned!
04/13...(11:30 am)...The latest rumors/news coming out of Detroit has the Lions taking WR Calvin Johnson with their pick in the first round and then trading him to the highest bidder....my take on that is this...the Lions and Bucs have already had trade discussions regarding switching picks in the first round of the Draft... but if a deal isn't completed while the Lions are on the clock, they will take Johnson with their pick which will give them an extra 30 minutes to work out a trade with Tampa or more time to work out a trade with another team...if the Lions aren't able to find a suitor for Johnson, he will then become a Detroit Lion.
04/13...Quick hits...The Tampa Bay Bucs traveled to Georgia on Friday to workout WR Calvin Johnson...Head Coach Jon Gruden brought his own QB Chris Simms along to throw passes to Johnson at his workout........the Redskins are traveling to Ohio on Monday to workout Ted Ginn Jr. and are bringing QB Jason Campbell along for the trip to throw to Ginn.....the Randy Moss trade rumors have quieted down for now, but expect the Raiders
to make an attempt to deal Moss on Draft day with the Packers and Jaguars being the front-runners to acquire Moss...Randy's Draft day market value is a third round draft pick........CB Jeoffrey Pope of Howard has caught the attention of several NFL teams after the numbers he put up at his pro day workout...Pope is 5-11.5 and 186
and ran a pair of blazing forties being timed at 4.29 and 4.30...he also recorded a 35" vertical...a 9-11" broad...
a 4.17 short shuttle....a 7.13 cone and did 15 reps at 225 on the bench...Pope has the tools that every defensive backfield coach would love to work with even though Pope wasn't able to translate his talent to the field on a consistent basis at Howard....If Pope goes undrafted, he will be a high priority free agent......I'm in the final stages of stacking and completing our Draft board and will have My Draft Rating Board up and posted next week with every prospect assigned a final draft grade....and last but not least....My Second Round Mock is finally done.
04/12...Tedd Ginn Jr. finally ran for the NFL teams on Wednesday and turned in a solid performance considering he was less than 100%...several NFL teams had representatives in attendance with the Rams leading the way with 6 staffers including Coach Linehan...the Rams could be creating a smokescreen with their interest in Ginn so that a team like the Bengals or Titans move up to their pick enabling the Rams to move down and add an extra choice or two...but the Rams added a big redzone WR in Drew Bennett but lost both Kevin Curtis and Shaun McDonald (two smaller type WR's in the Ginn mold) to free agency and Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce are both getting up there in years...plus...the Rams witnessed first hand what a speedy return man like Devin Hester can do for a team when they lost to the Bears in a MNF contest in '06...however...the possibility exists that Ginn could be off the board when the Rams pick since the Redskins have a private workout scheduled for Ginn on Monday....remember...speed kills at the next level.
04/11...Rumors are circulating around the league that Bucs HB Carnell "Cadillac" Williams is on the trading block and could be moved on Draft day...Bucs Coach Jon Gruden has been talking up Adrian Peterson which most observers believe is just a smokescreen to draw interest to the Bucs pick for a team that has Peterson high on their Draft want list...however...Peterson could wind up being a surprise pick for the Bucs if they fail in their attempt to move up in the Draft for WR Calvin Johnson.... their have been whispers that the Bucs organization has been dissapointed in the return they've received for the former 5th overall pick in the 2005 Draft and would consider moving him for the right price...on to prospect news...Tennessee DT Justin Harrell's stock is on the rise after proving to the Scouts that he's fully recovered from a torn bicep muscle which caused him to miss much of the 2006 season...Harrell was measured at 6-4.3 300 at the Combine and did 24 reps at 225 on the bar...but at his pro day workout Harrell showed the teams in attendance that he's getting back to strength as he did 31 reps at 225 and has gotten his weight up to 314...Harrell is considered to be one of those "rare" big men that can move and will be highly sought after on Draft day in what is considered to be a weak Defensive Tackle class... Harrell won't make it out of the first round of the upcoming Draft......and last but not least...I've added another prospect to my Sleeper list and he's a player that has flown way under the radar screen for most of the season.
04/10...Lions Coach Rod Marinelli wants to improve his overall team speed on his defense and is said to covet both DE Gaines Adams and MLB Patrick Willis in this Draft...the Lions will also be shopping HB Tatum Bell on Draft day and might settle for a third round pick in return for the former Bronco back ..... elsewhere...I pointed out that Daunte Culpepper's days as a Dolphin could be numbered back in my 03/24 blog... the Dolphins are entertaining both JaMarcus Russell and Brady Quinn this week and will make an attempt to move up in the Draft if one of the two slips down to the Redskins pick at #6...of the two...Brady Quinn is the most likely to fall....if Quinn is available when the Redskins pick at #6, the Dolphins will make an attempt to move ahead of the Vikings to land the QB of their future...Miami owns two second round picks and would sent their extra pick (Patriots # 60 for Wes Welker) to the Redskins as compensation for the move...the Redskins have been looking for a trading partner and want to move down in the Draft to acquire picks that they would use to fill needs on the Defensive side of the ball...the Patriots pick (via Miami) that they would acquire in the trade is fair compensation according to the Draft chart for the move......in my Wednesday 04/11 blog I'll let you in on a prospect that has moved into the first round of the Draft and an NFL running back that could be donning a new uniform in 2007.
04/09...I'm glad some of the major media outlets like ESPN are getting up to speed on the Draft since they posted this report which includes talk of the Lions and Bucs swapping places in the first round with the Bucs moving up to the second spot for Calvin Johnson...as all of my regular readers know...I "let the cat out of the bag" on that trade nearly a month ago in my Mock Draft.
04/06...I've had LSU QB JaMarcus Russell going to the Raiders with the first overall pick in the Draft in My Mock since I posted My first Mock back in January...however...I've been told by several sources that they believe the Raiders organization isn't 100% sold on Russell despite Owner Al Davis's comparison of him to John Elway...the Raiders are questioning Russell's dedication to the game and are said to be "a bit more than concerned" with Russell's weight and his ability to keep his weight under control...on the other hand...the Raiders are said to covet Calvin Johnson which could complicate matters if the team also acquires QB Josh McCown from the Lions...in other words...JaMarcus Russell is no longer "a lock" to go to Oakland with the first pick...by acquiring McCown (a highly underrated young QB) the Raiders could pass on Russell and take the best player in the Draft in Johnson and rid themselves of Randy Moss who would likely be a threat to undermine Head Coach Lane Kiffin...from a team chemistry standpoint...McCown and Johnson might be the best combination.
04/05...I expect a record number of first round trades in this years Draft with several teams in the Top 10 wanting to move down and add picks...the Lions, Browns, Redskins, Vikings and Texans could all attempt to move out of their pick depending on how the Draft unfolds...the Niners, Bills and Panthers who all own picks in the Top 15 could also move down on Draft day...several teams that might want to move up that have been active in trades in past Drafts include the Broncos, Cowboys, Patriots and Eagles...I expect at least one of those teams to move up into the Top 15 of the Draft since there are plenty of teams willing to move down...the Broncos picking at #21 have already made an attempt to move up back in February when they contacted Detroit about the Lions second overall pick in the Draft...the Bronco's number one need this offseason (finding a DE that can rush the passer) has yet to be filled in free-agency... so the Broncos could become players to move up on Draft day if a DE like Jamaal Anderson were to fall to the Texans ( pick #10) or Niners (pick #11)...the Broncos don't own a pick in the 4th or 5th rounds of this Draft... but have two picks in the third round which is enough ammunition to allow them to move up into the Niners or Texans pick to fill their biggest need.
04/03...Michael Turner and his Agent Bus Cook were in Tennessee visiting the Titans on Monday to "get acquainted" with the Titans organization...both the Chargers and Cook are hoping to strike a deal with an NFL team within the next two weeks...Before the Draft!...the reason being is just four days ago there were reports that there were five teams (Dallas, Green Bay, NY Jets, Buffalo and Tennessee) pursuing Turner...it now appears to have just been a smokescreen created by either the Chargers or Turner's Agent in the hopes that one of the teams would step up to the plate and make a deal for Turner...within the last three days two of the teams Green Bay and Dallas have both denied that they are interested in the Chargers back and the Jets pursuing Turner doesn't make too mush sense considering they just plucked Thomas Jones from the Bears...it appears that it's just a two team race (Buffalo and Tennessee) for Turner which the Chargers are hoping doesn't last until Draft day because one of those two teams could take a halfback with their first round pick which would considerably weaken the Chargers bargaining power since just one team would be left in the race...elsewhere...
David Carr arrived in Carolina to visit the Panthers on Monday and has a visit scheduled with Seattle later in the week...I believe Carr will land in Carolina because he has the best chance of furthering his career since Jake Delhomme has regressed the past two seasons and his backup Chris Weinke was allowed to hit the FA market and isn't expected to return...in Seattle, Carr would have to challenge Seneca Wallace for the backup job to starter Matt Hasselback...I still believe Carr has a chance to become a starter in the league and is coming off of a season in which he completed 68.3% of his passes.
04/02...The Chicago Bears will present the Redskins with a counteroffer today in the latest Lance Briggs saga...the counteroffer will reportedly ask the Skins to throw in a player like LB Lemar Marshall to complete the deal...if the Redskins accept the proposal...it will become a done deal with teams switching picks in the first round...even if the deal falls through the Redskins are determined to move out of the sixth pick and would love to make a deal with the Lions for the second overall pick to select Calvin Johnson...however...the Redskins lack the type of ammunition ( 2007 Draft picks) that would be required to swing the deal...unless...they include their first round pick in 2008 as part of the trade...Washington has other options like trading down and could find a trading partner in the Falcons who are said to be enamored with LaRon Landry...if the Falcons are determined to take Landry it would be in their best interests to swing a Draft day deal with the Skins or the Bears (who might own the pick if the Briggs deal goes through) because Landry might also be on the Vikings radar screen at #7...the Falcons have extra picks due to the Schaub trade and would only have to move up 200 points ( a third round pick) to swing the deal...I've had that trade included in My Mock since last week.
04/01...One Draft prospect that is climbing up the boards is Western Oregon TE Kevin Boss...several good football people have been telling me that this guy is the real deal and could be taken ahead of a few more more familiar names on Draft day...so I popped in a tape of the Indy Combine on Saturday and watched Boss in all of the TE drills including the gauntlet drill...I came away very impressed because other than Greg Olsen (the top TE on everyone's board) Boss looked like the best of the group as he displayed athleticism, balance and soft hands...Ive added Boss to my Sleeper Prospect Watch which has more on Boss and where he might land on Draft day......I'm in the process of evaluating this years talent and stacking My Draft Board which will be up and posted in the next two weeks....I've also shortened this page for easier navigation and have links to archives of content from my January thru March Blog posted near the bottom of this page...finally....it's that time of the year leading up to the Draft when I remind everyone that you can't always believe what you read and hear since many NFL teams are just blowing smoke and creating a smokescreen... unless you can trust your source...and remember this... don't believe anything you hear today... because it's April 1st... better know as April Fools Day.
03/30...Several NFL teams expressed their interest in Chargers backup HB Michael Turner during the NFL meetings this week according to Gm A.J. Smith...Smith declined to name the teams that inquired about Turner but the Bills and Packers are believed to be amoung that group...the Chargers are reportedly willing to part with Turner for a second round pick in the upcoming Draft...if both the Bills and Packers pass on HB's in the first round they may be involved in a race to land Turner in the second...chances are the Chargers will deal Turner to the "highest bidder" on Draft day which would make the Bills the favorites to land Turner as it stands right now ...the Bills pick 11th (#43 overall) in the second round while the Packers pick 16th (#48)...the Packers would need to trade up in the round and ahead of the Bills (or offer an additional pick) for Turner's services...the irony of all this is the Chargers could wind up taking Cal HB Marshawn Lynch with their first round pick to replace Turner as L.T.'s backup if both the Bills and Packers pass him up in the first round...stay tuned!
03/29...Dwayne Jarrett didn't dissapoint Scouts and NFL personnel in attendance at his workout on Wednesday because the times that he ran were what they expected of him...for weeks rumors persisted that Jarrett would run in the 4.6 range and that is exactly what he did clocking a 4.62 and a 4.67 in the forty...Jarrett "is what he is" which is a tall possession receiver that will provide a QB with a big red-zone target with reliable hands...will Jarrett fall out of the first round?...very likely...but I haven't had him included in My first round Mock for some time... elsewhere...I've dropped Cal HB Marshawn Lynch from my latest first round mock (for now) because I believe the Packers will pass him up with their first round pick and target TE Greg Olsen or a receiver for Brett Favre...after Lynch gets past the Packers there are only a few teams (Giants, Titans, Pats (maybe) and Colts) that need a back...the Giants have Brandon Jacobs and Rueben Droughns and numerous other needs...the Titans could really use a back like Lynch to compliment LenDale White (who reported to their offseason camp at 260+) but will the Titans take a chance and roll the dice AGAIN on a prospect that is perceived to have character issues coming into the Draft? ...keep in mind...possibly as early as next week Commissioner Goodell is going to announce a tougher player conduct policy for players that get in trouble off the field...he is also expected to announce stricter rules for NFL teams that select prospects with character issues going into the Draft...I expect the Commissioner's announcement to change the thinking and Draft strategy for NFL teams that took chances on players in the past.
03/28...Today is a big day for WR Dwayne Jarrett as he gets his chance to silence his critics and run for NFL Scouts and personnel at USC's pro day...Jarrett was considered to be the second best WR coming out in this Draft (after he declared his intentions in January) but has seen his stock fall a bit since then due to speculation that he will have a hard time running under 4.6 in his forty...Jarrett added fuel to the fire when he decided not to run at the Combine due to a groin injury...If Jarrett is able to run in the mid 4.5's or less he stands a chance to be taken somewhere late in the first round of the Draft...if Jarrett runs a 4.6 or more he's second round material at best...the faster that Jarrett runs today... the higher he goes in the Draft...I can't remember the last time a 4.6 receiver was taken in the first round of the Draft...elsewhere...rumors have been floating that the Raiders are interested in Lions QB Josh McCown and are a bit concerned with JaMarcus Russell's weight...they are also said to be enamored with WR Calvin Johnson...the possibility still exists that they will take Johnson with the first pick in the Draft...I've stated all along that Johnson is the best prospect available in this Draft...but...I don't see them passing on a QB with their first round pick for a second year in a row.
03/27...I've updated My Mock once again and contrary to what I stated in my 03/25 column... I now have Alan Branch slipping out of the Top 10...I've heard from too many good football minds that Branch is indeed slipping and could fall out of the top 10 completely...one of the teams major concerns is Branch's weight (he came to Michigan as a freshman weighing 400 lbs) and his poor showing in his workout...however...Branch was never a practice player and saved his best for game day...I've adjusted My Mock accordingly but have him in the top 15.