Sharapova's Thigh

Showing posts with label NFL Draft. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NFL Draft. Show all posts

If you're confused by that headline right now, you must read this Deadspin piece immediately: 

Thigh Five @AnthonyG729

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South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney is an absolute BEAST. The 6'6", 256-pound defensive end would be a virtual lock to be the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft... if he were eligible to enter the draft yet. You see, he's only a sophomore. But, barring injury (or an Andrew Luck/RG3 talent emerging at quarterback next year), he'll be the top pick of the 2014 draft.

And in South Carolina's Outback Bowl victory over Michigan on Tuesday, Clowney showed why he'll be the top pick of that draft, and likely terrorize NFL backfields for the next decade.

Just watch this play (a lot):

Insane. Ridiculous burst off the line; bone-crushing hit; great job to recover the fumble. 
Kansas City Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli has to be thinking, "Dammit Goodell! Let this guy be draft-eligible!"

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Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins is one of the most talented wide receivers in college football.

The 6'1", 200-pound sophomore was even an AP first-team All-American last season, becoming just the fourth true freshman to ever do so. Rotoworld currently has Watkins as the No. 2 NFL Draft prospect in the entire sophomore class, only behind Jadeveon Clowney, the South Carolina defensive end BEAST.

However, it's been a rough 2012 for Watkins. In May, he was arrested for marijuana possession, and possession of two pills he didn't have a prescription for. Clemson went on to suspend the wide receiver for the first two games of the 2012 season. Additionally, he missed a game against Boston College due to injury,  and was benched for the beginning of Thursday night's game against Wake Forest for being late to a team meeting.

But, once Watkins got into the Tigers' game against Wake Forest, he freaking dominated. Watkins reeled in eight catches for 202 yards, with his most incredible play being this 61-yard touchdown reception:

Great catch, and even better work after the catch. His ridiculous skills on full display.

The No. 18 Tigers won the game 42-13.

Thigh Five: The Big Lead

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Cornerback Justin Bethel is considered a late-round prospect for this week's NFL Draft. Here's the write-up about him on his NFL.Com prospect profile:

Bethel was a four-year starter at Presbyterian College. Big for his position, he is regarded as a very heady player who can use his physicality to influence receivers from the boundary corner spot. His athleticism and run-support skills make him an interesting late-round prospect.

STRENGTHS Bethel is very effective against the pass and run. He is physical both when making tackles and working on the line of scrimmage in man-to-man coverage. His athletic ability allows him to react to the ball in man schemes, and he has the explosiveness to come downfield and make plays in zone coverage.

WEAKNESSES There are concerns about the level of competition he faced in college and how steep his learning curve will be in the NFL. He is smart but was caught flat-footed at times in man-to-man coverage. He also takes false steps off the snap and labors to get into his backpedal. He will have to improve in both areas to succeed as a pro.
At the NFL Combine, Bethel had a 39.5-inch vertical jump, but in this video, we see Bethel jumping a RIDICULOUS 60 inches vertically:

So why the major difference between that jump and the 39.5 number at the combine? Shutdown Corner's Chris Chase explains:

Bethel's official vertical leap at the combine in February was "only" 39.5 inches, which was tops for a defensive player and fifth overall. Why the difference between that number and his estimated 60-inch leap in the video? They come from two different measurements, for starters. The vertical leap at the combine is the difference between a player's flat-footed reach and his reach while leaping.
Whatever the case, I'm incredibly impressed by Bethel's hops.

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If you watch one video today, make it this video about Trent Richardson (who starred at running back for the national champion Alabama Crimson Tide and will likely be a top-5 pick in next week's NFL Draft) taking cancer survior Courtney Alvis to her senior prom:

You're the man, Trent. Awesome, awesome stuff.

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Minnesota Vikings rookie quarterback Christian Ponder appeared on 'The Dan Patrick Show' this morning, and said he's been assured by the Vikings that the team will not use their first round pick (the #3 overall selection) to draft a quarterback, after selecting him last year in the first round.

Here's the Q/A between Patrick and Ponder about it:

Patrick: "Have you been assured that they (Vikings) will not take a quarterback in the first round?"

Ponder: "I have been, yeah. I have been."

Patrick: "Really?"

Ponder: "I talked to our GM (Rick Spielman) yesterday, and we had some conversations about who we might be thinking about drafting, so, you know, we'll see."

Patrick: "So Rick Spielman told you they will not use the third pick on a quarterback?"

Ponder: "Yes."


The Vikings are definitely loaded with needs, and Ponder showed some positive things in his rookie season. He appears to be a very smart quarterback for a 23-year-old, showed off better mobility than expected, should be able to have around a 60% completion percentage, has decent arm strength, throws a good ball, etc.

However, I'm still not sold on him being a "franchise quarterback" by any means, and I don't think the Vikings are either. I just think his ceiling is limited, and if a better option becomes available at quarterback for the future, the Vikings should highly consider upgrading there. Now, doing that a year after drafting a quarterback in the first round is very rare, even if the team has major doubts about the quarterback they drafted the year before. It's an ego thing for a general manager if nothing else. Admitting that you failed on your first round pick just a year after it happened is not something you're going to see a general manager do.

So, I think that the Vikings will indeed pass on a quarterback with that pick, but if RG3 looks as good at the combine and in workouts as the Heisman-winning season he just had, there's going to be some very angry fans in Minnesota if they don't select him.

And I'm not even going to mention the possibility of what the Vikings would do if Andrew Luck were there at #3, because we know that is sure as hell not happening.

You can listen to rest of Christian Ponder's interview with Dan Patrick here.

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Every year I get really pumped for the NFL Draft for some foolish reason. It's probably because I hope my Bears will finally draft a good player or two, maybe ya know, get a good quarterback for once. Of course that never happens.

Besides my reasons of interest as a die-hard Bears fan though, I have a huge interest as an NFL fan. As annoyed as I get by the ridiculous amount of draft coverage every year, I still get into it at the same time. I guess I have to as a sports fan, because that's all ESPN will let us see from February until now as I warned you about the day after the Super Bowl. So, I know all this useless information about these draft prospects that I shouldn't care much about, but I do because Mel Kiper and Todd McShay have engraved every little tidbit about every fucking prospect projected to go from rounds 1-4 into my head. Therefore, when the Draft comes along, it's my chance to actually apply this pathetic knowledge that I have about these NFL hopefuls, and it sort of feels like a reward(as sad as that sounds).

But... ESPN ruined it for me. The same assholes that wouldn't stop talking about these prospects before the draft, seemingly forgot about the prospects on the only days they should even matter. I started watching the "Day 2" draft coverage this morning at 8 AM, and watched for hours, only to see highlights and quality breakdowns of maybe 10 guys that were drafted today.

If you were unaware, Day 2 of the draft now contains rounds 3-7, so it's a big deal. It's not just the Day 1 picks that matter. Look at all the Pro Bowlers over the last few years, and the major contributors to championship clubs. There's almost as many 3rd rounders making a difference as 1st rounders.

They had a horrible roundtable discussion going on from the ESPN studios, taking Around The Horn host Tony Reali out of his natural habitat, and sitting him next to a handful of sports journalists from around the country to discuss YESTERDAY'S draft selections. One of the journalists was some hick chick with a boys cut. She looked like Anne Heche if she stole Serena Williams' testosterone.

This is all while I just want to see my team make some selections that could make or break the franchise. Many playoff teams are built on Day 2 of the draft, where teams find those gems. It's sort of a big deal, but I guess not as big as talking about the the Day 1 events such as Jaguars reaching for Derrick Harvey for about 6 straight hours. What a crock of shit.

As most of you probably know, the draft is also televised on NFL Network these days. I'm just so used to watching ESPN, that I chose it as the main source for my Draft viewing. However, I caught some of the NFL Network yesterday, and I have to say it's so much better for the serious football fan.

Their main draft analyst Mike Mayock, who also had the most accurate mock draft I've seen, did a fabulous job of breaking down film on just about every prospect selected. They also had other very credible analysts, such as former superstar Marshall Faulk and former coach Steve Mariucci. Rich Eisen is the best host around, and puts the bumbling moron Chris Berman to shame. The NFL Network crew really had a great chemistry. Plus, Deion Sanders interviewing the prospects is nice for a laugh.

But maybe what I enjoyed more than anything else over the ESPN broadcast, was that we actually got to see most the picks announced. That's how it should always be. ESPN used to let us do that. We'd get to see the commissioner or one of his fellow NFL guys go up the podium and say, "With the 35th pick in the 2nd round, the _ select_". It adds a dramatic element to the draft that the simple graphic on the screen doesn't. When they say the position or school before the name is even announced, you'll hear the Jets fans cheer or bitch. It's awesome.

When we got around pick 90 or so, ESPN was so far behind it was just embarrassing. I know when the Bears made a couple selections, I read articles online describing the picks before ESPN even gave them a mention. Around pick 100, they started talking about some prospect that was taken in the 80's, then just gave a quick list for about 10 seconds of the other 10+ guys selected. Thanks for the breakdown guys.

It's just incredible to me that with all this extra technology, and all this extra information we gain each year on these prospects, that the ESPN draft coverage only gets worse each year. It should only be getting better. I just know I'm not going to be witnessing it next year, because I'll be watching on the NFL Network next year and I recommend you football fans do too.

NFL Draft on the horizon

Posted by Poorly Acquitted | 4/23/2008 10:49:00 AM |

We know that Jake Long will be playing in north Cuba next season, so what about the other dudes? Let me start by saying that I really don't like the talent at the top of this draft. Dorsey and McFadden probably have the biggest upside, but both have serious questions (health and character respectively). Long isn't as good as Joe Thomas. No QB in this draft is as good as JaMarcus, or Brady Quinn for that matter. No WR is even close to Calvin Johnson. I'm not even sure if Chris Long is as good as Gaines Adams. Even McFadden at his best isn't as good as Purple Jesus. I mean we have Brandon Albert and Johnathan Stewart who weren't in the first round as recently as a month ago potentilly rising into the top 10.

I think this dearth of talent manifests itself in the fact that Mel and McShay can't agree on anything right now. It seems like every other year there is a lot more consensus about the top 10 picks. That being said, I think this is a good year to be drafting in the 15-35 range. There a lot of nice pieces available in that range which should be good value picks. I have a feeling there will be a lot of trades come Saturday.

The NFL Draft is one of the funniest days of the year to me. We all sit around watching the TV for 8-10 hours during which we have maybe 10-15 minutes of genuine interest. It's a strange phenomena. I mean my favorite team doesn't even pick until Round 4 and here I am gobbling up data as though my life depended on it.

Dolphins Will Select Jake Long With #1 Pick

Posted by Matt Clapp | 4/22/2008 01:08:00 PM | , ,

It's official. The offensive tackle from Michigan is going to be the first name announced come Saturday. Jake Long agreed to terms with the Miami Dolphins on a 5-year deal worth $57.5 million, $30 millon of which is guaranteed.
In my opinion, the Dolphins definitely made the right choice. Offensive linemen have shown to be the safest picks, and he looks like a terrific one. It all starts for the offense on the offensive line.
I like Boston College QB Matt Ryan, but the Dolphins just used a 2nd round pick on John Beck at the position last year. I'm not saying Beck will be as good as Ryan, but if RB Ronnie Brown is healthy, Ted Ginn continues to develop at WR, then there's a few pieces there on offense. I think with some help around him on offense, Beck can be a solid quarterback that they can win games with down the road. They are still expected to take a QB in the 2nd or 3rd round, and there should be a few good choices available.
The only other guy I thought would be an acceptable choice is Virginia DE Chris Long. I think he's another safe option that's going to be a very good, but maybe never great player in this league for years. In the end though, I think the Dolphins had to upgrade their offense which they did with Jake Long.
Do you agree that this was the right choice, and if not, who would you select?

ESPN's John Clayton is reporting that Bengals star wide receiver Chad Johnson has demanded a trade. Here's an excerpt from the article:
"I want to be traded before the draft, and if that doesn't happen, I want to be traded as soon as possible,'' Johnson said. "I don't intend on reporting to anything.''
This is sure to be the top story in the NFL leading up to next week's draft. Although Clayton mentions how the Bengals have no intention of trading Johnson, let's assume that they feel forced to... What team would be a likely destination for Ocho Cinco? The Eagles make a lot of sense. Donovan McNabb wants the Eagles to get him a play-making wide receiver.

"I dropped him down to #26 on my Big Board after a poor showing in the 3 Cone Drill."

You know what that means. It's time to find a way to not let Todd McShay and Mel Kiper haunt you 24/7. You're going to be seeing A LOT of these guys, whether you like it or not. I don't care if you avoid ESPN for the next 2 months, they'll still find a way into your life. Go ahead, try. You'll think you're safe watching "Orangutan Island" on the Animal Planet. Then all of a sudden, Todd McShay swings down from a branch screaming, "4.3 SPEED! 3RD ROUNDER IN MY FULL MOCK DRAFT AVAILABLE TO READ FOR SUBSCRIBERS ONLY ON ESPN INSIDER! 30 BENCH REPS!" It's unavoidable.

"I just don't think there's a franchise quarterback in this draft." AHHHHHH!

Even having an intimate moment with your lady in the bedroom is nearly impossible. Just when you're about to pass that seed along, Mel Kiper Jr. pops in for a hello: "Hey Matt. How's my hair look? I think I put too much gel in. 4.5 SPEED, 40 INCH VERTICAL LEAP!!!" Then you can't finish the job.
Go to class. Your teacher's going to ask you what you think of a topic. "Matt, have any thoughts on what Yeats is trying to say in this poem?"
"Well, considering his Irish heritage and ..." You're on the right track, then it happens: "Undersized for an NFL linebacker. If he were 6'1, you're talking about a potential first round pick here. Impressed scouts with his time in the 20 yard shuttle."
So good luck, but I think you'll be saying Mel Kiper's "strenth" instead of "strength" in no time.