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2013 Draft: The Top 100 Drafted

April 24, 2013 Leave a comment

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Since I have no better place to put this, here are top 100 players who will be drafted, according to me, by position in no particular order. Because I am Lord of the draft. Or entering a contest. Whichever is more plausible.

Quarterback

Geno Smith
Tyler Wilson
Ryan Nassib
Matt Barkley
Zac Dysert
E.J. Manuel
Tyler Bray

 

Wide Receiver

Cordarrelle Patterson
Robert Woods
Tavon Austin
DeAndre Hopkins
Stedman Bailey
Keenan Allen
Justin Hunter
Markus Wheaton
Quinton Patton
Terrance Williams
Marquise Goodwin
Da’RickRogers

 

Running Back

Jonathan Franklin
Giovani Bernard
Eddie Lacy
Marcus Lattimore
Zac Stacy
Joseph Randle
Andre Ellington
Montee Ball
LeVeon Bell

 

Tight End

Tyler Eifert
Travis Kelce
Gavin Escobar
Zach Ertz
Vance McDonald

 

Offensive Tackle

Luke Joeckel
Eric Fisher
Lane Johnson
Terron Armstead
D.J. Fluker
Menelik Watson
Dallas Thomas
Kyle Long
Jordan Mills
David Bkhtiari
Oday Aboushi

 

Offensive Guard

Jonathan Cooper
Chance Warmack
Larry Warford
Justin Pugh
Alvin Bailey
Hugh Thornton

 

Offensive Center

Barrett Jones

 

Interior Defensive Line

Star Lotulelei
Sheldon Richardson
Sharrif Floyd
Sylvester Williams
Johnathan Hankins
Jesse Williams
Datone Jones
Kawann Short
John Jenkins
Brandon Williams

 

Edge Rusher

Tank Carradine
Quanterus Smith
Dion Jordan
Ezekiel Ansah
Bjoern Werner
Barkevious Mingo
Alex Okafor
Damontre Moore
Margus Hunt
Jarvis Johnes
Sam Montgomery
Corey Lemonier
Khaseem Greene

 

Linebacker

Arthur Brown
Manti Te’o
Kevin Minter
Alec Ogletree
Sio Moore
Jamie Collins
Jon Bostic
Nico Johnson

 

Cornerback

Dee Milliner
Xavier Rhodes
Jamar Taylor
Desmond Trufant
D.J. Hayden
Leon McFadden
Johnthan Banks
Jordan Poyer
Darius Slay
Logan Ryan

 

Safety

Kenny Vaccaro
Jonathan Cyprien
D.J. Swearinger
Eric Reid
Matt Elam
Phillip Thomas
Tony Jefferson
Shamarko Thomas

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Categories: NFL Tags: , ,

A Short QB Conversation

March 5, 2013 Leave a comment

This week I misread an assignment I got and started writing for it. I was made aware of my mistake before I got too far, but here is what I briefly came up with:

Joe Flacco: Wait for it…

Tom Brady: Here we go.

Matt Ryan: Dude—

Flacco: ELITE!!

Ryan: Come on. You were lucky, and you know it.

Flacco: Lucky? You finally won a playoff game, congrats Matty Light.

Brady: Good one, Unibrow. Did you come up with that insult at the Motel 6 you stayed at for Disney?

Flacco: Ha, ha, very funny. They don’t have Motel 6’s at Euro Disney.

Peyton Manning: Might as well call you Rahim Moore, that should’ve been me beating the snot out of the 49ers.

Brock Osweiler: Hey, Mr. Manning, I took care of that “business” you asked me to do. Nobody will ever know what happened to Moo—

Manning: Not now, numbnuts. How many times do I have to tell you not to bother me in public?

Luck: You realize you have just as many championships as Flacco, right?

Manning: … I will cut you, you usurping son of a—

Tony Romo: Hey guys! Phew, that round of golf was exhausting. Shot a 68. Beat that, suckers.

Brady: Hey, Happy Gilmore, this is a conversation for football players.

Flacco: Trying to figure out to do with all this cash. Thinking about finally upgrading to a new VCR, maybe paying for some basic cable.

Adrian Peterson: Anyone got an orange peanut? I’M OUT, MAN, NEED MY FIX!

Categories: NFL

Tim Tebow is the Tim Tebowest thing to Tebow Ever

November 15, 2012 1 comment

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Categories: Football, NFL Tags:

Aaron Rodgers for MVP

January 2, 2012 1 comment

It seems silly that I feel the urge to campaign for Aaron Rodgers as the NFL’s MVP after he had all but wrapped up the award a few weeks ago. Green Bay was in the midst of a run at an undefeated season and Rodgers was the cream of a very good quarterback crop. Here we are, though, with another NFL season fully in the books and Drew Brees improbably closing the gap on the Packers’ quarterback, who narrowly missed an undefeated season. There is no denying the greatness of both of these record-breaking quarterbacks. They are on another level, with Tom Brady and arguably Matthew Stafford and Eli Manning hot on their heels. We witnessed a special season from these two great quarterbacks, and both are more than deserving to be in the MVP conversation. Only one truly deserves the award, though, and I am here to tell you what you should already know: Aaron Rodgers is the NFL MVP.

The main argument for Brees-as-MVP is his obliteration of Dan Marino’s yardage record, and it is a fair one. Brees put the record out of reach, topping Marino’s old mark by nearly 400 yards. That is special — despite the relative ease and propensity to pass around the league nowadays, that is no small accomplishment. The feat is somewhat diminished by the fact that Brady also broke the record, and Stafford joined the duo in the 5,000-yard club, though to what degree is impossible to determine. Rodgers would have joined them as well had he played his team’s final game as well, even though Brees threw the ball many more times than Rodgers.

Even if statistics are everything — and they are not — I believe Rodgers had the more impressive season outside of yardage and traditional completion percentage. Here is a side-by-side comparison (some stats from Pro Football Focus):

At first glance Brees wins the beauty contest — it is hard to argue with the annihilation of the yardage record. Where Rodgers really sets himself apart, though, is his accuracy and efficiency. As I previously alluded to, Brees threw for 837 more yards than Rodgers, but you will note they came on 156 more attempts and one more game. This in no way diminishes Brees’ accomplishment, but it does highlight efficiency differences. The fact Rodgers nearly averaged one full more yard per attempt is subtly impressive. While Brees had a fantastic 71.2% accuracy — another NFL record, in fact — Rodgers completed almost 80% of his passes when removing receiver drops, throw-aways, and spikes, beating out Brees by almost 2%. Again, take into consideration the fact Rodgers had fewer attempts than Brees, which only magnifies the fact his receivers dropped 40 passes. The coup de grâce, however, comes in Rodgers’ record-setting 122.5 NFL rating, which was almost 12 points better than Brees.

To put his statistics into perspective, if Rodgers had thrown 156 more passes to match Brees’ attempt count, he would have thrown for 6,094 yards and 59 touchdowns based on his season yards-per-attempt and touchdown rates. Of course it is unreasonable to assume those numbers would have actually been attained, however this point serves to highlight the efficiency with which Rodgers dissected opposing defenses. Not only did Rodgers shred those defenses, he did it with no semblance of a running game, a drop-happy wide receiving corps, and an offensive line that gave up many more sacks.

Also lending support to Brees, because we tend to have short memories, is the fact that Matt Flynn torched Detroit for 480 yards and 6 TDs, both Packers records. Somehow that has evolved into an example why Rodgers should not win the award, because Flynn made it look easy for Green Bay. The fundamental flaw with this argument is that it is unprovable. What if Flynn is the next great quarterback? What would happen if Chase Daniel played an entire game for the Saints? There is no way to know answers to these questions for last season; Flynn’s great game does not take away from Rodgers’ great season.

Numbers aside, the fact of the matter is Aaron Rodgers nearly led his team to an undefeated season en route to a #1 seed, and he beat Drew Brees in their head-to-head matchup. Rodgers played one less game, which was his and his team’s prerogative, but he earned that with his other-worldly play. The Packers had no running game of note, and they had one of the worst league defenses. The Saints, meanwhile, had the league’s easiest schedule to boot (.441 opponent winning percentage), albeit the Packers’ schedule was not terribly tough. In two of the Saints’ three losses, Brees threw more interceptions than touchdowns; Rodgers did not have one truly bad game.

Both quarterbacks were a joy to watch this year, and again both deserve to be in this conversation. Brees’ gaudy raw numbers make him the best candidate for the Offensive Player of the Year Award. While Rodgers is no longer the “hands down” winner, however, he is still the better choice for MVP. Ask yourself this simple question: if we call the statistical comparison a draw, which can be reasonably argued, then why should Brees win the MVP over Rodgers?

Categories: Football, NFL Tags: , , ,

Money Talks

November 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Before I get into this, I want to acknowledge that the chances the Jaguars leave Jacksonville are slim — or none, according to some — lest I incur the wrath of their fans. One of the running gags in the NFL is the Jaguars’ inevitable relocation, and Twitter exploded with such jokes (myself included) when news broke that Wayne Weaver was selling the team to Shahid Khan, owner of auto parts maker Flex-N-Gate Corp.

The Jaguars are currently valued at $725 million by Forbes, the lowest in the NFL. Khan paid $760 million for the team in cash — the man is obviously part of the 1%. As part of the purchase agreement, Khan has given his assurances the Jaguars would not be relocated. Indeed, their lease in Jacksonville runs through 2030 and is “ironclad” by all accounts. This did little to quell jokes and speculation about their eventual relocation, though, as sports journalists and fans across the country continue to do so as I type. Do Khan’s assurances and the stadium lease eliminate the possibility the Jaguars will relocate?

Here is the rub: money talks, and Khan clearly knows how to listen. Consider this scenario:

The Jaguars, again, are the lowest-valued NFL team at $725 million, while most of the other teams are valued around or over $1 billion. It is a fair assumption that the team’s value would dramatically increase by merely relocating to the right market like, say, Los Angeles. If the estimated increase would take the team close to or over $1 billion, that would be about a $275 million increase — again, simply for relocating. If broken anytime soon, the Jaguars would supposedly owe the city over $60 million in rent on top of losses from parking, taxes, and other Jaguar-dependent sources of income. I can only guess at what that would all amount to, but I imagine it cannot be much more than $275 million if it even comes close to that number — before researching some of this information, I saw it would cost “hundreds of millions of dollars” to break that lease, no small amount of money.

From here it seems like simple math: if the franchise value increases by $275 million or so, and it costs that much or less to break their lease in Jacksonville, it seems like Khan would break even, at worst, by simply moving the team to the right market. He certainly has the money to pay to break that lease before he sees the franchise increase in value. Of course, Khan could then look forward to a sharp increase in revenue from the bigger market and fanbase — it is hard to argue the Jaguars can make more money in Jacksonville than Los Angeles. There is the small matter that the L.A. group purportedly wants a significant stake in the team, but this scenario does not have to play out in southern California. (Though, if I were Khan, I would offer 30% of the team to the LA group, immediately recouping any money paid out in Jacksonville exit fees while still retaining a controlling stake in the team.)

I am oversimplifying the situation, of course, but I never claimed to be an expert. I am playing Bill Simmons here — armchair money speculator. Khan seems to be genuinely interested in owning a football team for the right reasons — that is to say, the joy and thrill of owning a team, not just trying to make money. That would be great for the Jaguars and for football. All I am saying is that handshake agreements and ironclad leases are obstacles, but ones that can be overcome if enough money is involved. To me it is a bit naive to say the Jaguars have zero chance of relocating.

A Mock Exercise

April 22, 2011 Leave a comment

I went a bit mock crazy in the past several weeks, drafting as the virtual Dolphins GM in four seven-round mock NFL drafts, three of which allowed trades. While this has been a fun, enlightening, and exhausting experience, I have come up with some interesting results. Take a gander at the hauls I made in each draft:

MockOne

MockTwo (no trades)

Pick Player Pick Player
1.24 Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas 1.15 Aldon Smith, DE/OLB, Missouri
2.15 Mikel Leshoure, RB, Illinois 3.15 Clint Boling, OT/OG, Georgia
3.08 Clint Boling, OT/OG, Georgia 4.14 DeMarco Murray, RB, Oklahoma
3.15 D.J. Williams, TE, Arkansas 5.15 Jordan Cameron, TE, USC
5.15 Cortez Allen, CB, Citadel 6.15 Cecil Shorts, WR, Mount Union
5.32 Julius Thomas, TE, Portland State 7.14 Graig Cooper, RB, Miami
7.15 Damien Berry, RB, Miami 7.15 Nathan Enderle, QB, Idaho
7.32 Eugene Clifford, S, Tennessee State 7.32 Scott Lutrus, ILB, Uconn

MockThree

RapidMock

Pick Player Pick Player
1.08 Cam Newton, QB, Auburn 1.15 Mike Pouncey, OG/C, Florida
1.25 Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama 3.07 Mikel Leshoure, RB, Illinois
2.29 Marcus Cannon, OT/OG, TCU 4.30 D.J. Williams, TE, Arkansas
3.22 Edmond Gates, WR, Abilene Christian 5.10 Pat Devlin, QB, Delaware
 5.16  Virgil Green, TE, Nevada 5.27 Denarius Moore, WR, Tennessee
 6.01  Johnny White, RB, North Carolina 7.8 Johnny White, RB, North Carolina
 7.07 Andrew Jackson, OG, Fresno State 7.14 Rob Housler, TE, Florida Atlantic
 7.32 Mario Harvey, LB, Marshall 7.15 Jah Reid, OT, Central Florida
7.32 Joe Lefeged, S, Rutgers

Read more…

Miami Dolphins Draft – Mock One

April 4, 2011 11 comments

Thanks to the efforts of Brandon Nall, a bunch of us recently participated in a 7-round mock draft via Twitter, named Mock One. We allowed trades in this draft, which I personally think is more realistic than a mock draft with zero trades. For realism, we were only allowed to trade draft picks, which is the current situation with the lockout. The GMs may or may not have been way off base as to what teams might actually do, but all in all I think we did a pretty good job. Last year there were 42 trades involving draft picks, whereas we made only 30 (albeit a lot in the first two rounds).

I participated as the GM for the Miami Dolphins, and here are my results:

1.24 – Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas

I was able to trade down twice to this pick, which turned out to be a huge boon for several reasons. I not only gained a second and third round pick, but I was able to draft a player at the top of my list despite moving to the bottom of the first round. Here is what I posted about Mallett after I drafted him:

With the 24th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins take Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas. The fourth quarterback off the board, we feel he had top 5 potential before off-field rumors and questions about his athleticism dramatically reduced his draft stock. We do not put much stock in rumors, and his on-the-field positives far outweigh the negatives. While Mark Ingram was also available, we felt the potential franchise quarterback was much more important than the talented running back.

After trading down twice to the 24th pick, the Dolphins feel great about the picks we gained in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. Feeling we can now effectively fill other needs in the early rounds of the draft, taking Ryan Mallett became the increasingly clear choice as our pick approached, especially with teams needing a quarterback picking soon after us. We are excited to welcome the next great Dolphins quarterback to Miami! Read more…