*We will have several staff members in attendance at the NFL Draft, starting at 9:30AM today, please feel free to provide us with a contact number, email, IM or any/all other ways to communicate with us throughout the weekend, especially on Sunday afternoon in the later rounds and then leading to the all important 1-2 hours following the draft when PFA's are being contacted and signed... one of the available IM's for our staff will be draftjm13... as well as calling (504) 415.9979.
*For those who have not followed or received the reports during the previous three drafts... during and after the DRAFT... you can send your prospect information (email@example.com) that will be immediately sent out to all 32 NFL Teams... the example method for this process will be as follows: (School), (Position), (Name), (HT, WT, workout results and your (agent) best contact info either phone or email)... last year alone over 70 of the profiles that were sent out between rounds 6, 7 and post-draft saw the players be drafted, signed or added to a team's rookie mini-camp.
*Any/all media requests for observations, player notes, draft pick reviews or profile/bio info on those players selected by your individual team can all be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org... please include your deadline or time frame, so they can all be addressed accordingly.
*An updated version of the "TEAM NEEDS" chart will appear at the end of¬† TODAY'S report... again SATURDAY after the first three rounds... SUNDAY AM before "Day Two" starts and finally post-draft in preparation for PFA and FA signings... we have also updated it as of today and posted it at the end of today's report.
*HAPPY HOLIDAYS this weekend to all of our friends and colleagues celebrating the observation of either PASSOVER or the lesser-known holiday known as "DRAFTIVUS".
"ADDED TO DRAFT":
MORGAN STATE defensive tackle AARIS "TANK" JOHNSON was cleared by the NFL league office to be included into Saturday's draft after the NCAA decided earlier this week that he would not be eligible for the upcoming college season based on the fact that he missed time in 2001 with an injury, but review of his playing time that season revealed that he would not be credited with a medical red-shirt... an official letter was sent by the Morgan State head of compliance to the league office, and according to two sources he will be officially part of this weekend's draft... to date he has shown a good motor and better-than-advertised quickness for his size... has needed to be double-teamed on a regular basis... robust upper body... still shows good balance and quickness... more of a run stuffer, but can surprise blockers off the ball at times and shoot into the backfield for a sack or pressure... might need to shed a few pounds to be most effective... as he has played at between 330-340 pounds... ran 4.98/5.02 at 315 pounds... has been timed at 5.12/5.20 at his current weight, 355 pounds... averaged 40 tackles per season from his defensive tackle spot the past few years... born and raised in Washington D.C... will not turn 22 years old until 11/25/83... he is 6036, 355 pounds... #66 on game film.
"THE NUMBERS GAME":
If you have read, heard or seen any/all of the speculation over the past few weeks about who's going where... when... how... as well as the variety of trade options and variables then you could end up being confused by what is real and what is fabricated in the days and hours leading up to this year's draft... it is a formula that can be broken down much like any other mathematical equation... as the more you have other teams thinking/wondering what you are going to do... the less time they spend on their own draft board... Miami )one team) started talking about taking Utah junior quarterback ALEX SMITH with the #2 pick... that got Tampa Bay talking about wanting to possibly dealing up (two teams)... Cleveland (three teams) was then mentioned as a possible candidate if he fell past #2... Minnesota (four teams) was thrown into the mix as possibly looking to deal up to #2, which would allow Smith to slide past to either Cleveland or Tampa Bay... Tennessee (five teams) then said they might take one of the QB's if they feel to pick #6... San Francisco (six teams) jumped back into the fray by saying Smith was one of four players they would open negotiations with... while negotiating with him it is said that Smith is not concerned with going #1 overall... trying to strengthen their position... Miami fields offers from several teams, which makes San Francisco angry/jealous, as they want to feel some trade rumor love... Washington (seven teams) jumps in the mix by getting a second 1st round choice in a trade with Denver... so now you have Chicago (#4), Arizona (#8) and Detroit (#10) feeling lonely as their picks and names have rarely been mentioned... San Francisco gets the stick shock value of the contract that IMG wants for Smith... California senior quarterback AARON RODGERS waits quietly to hear if he can get back into the running... Denver and NY Jets have dealt out of the 1st round frenzy... Oakland got their chip back in the game... San Francisco plays wait-and-see knowing they will have 15 more minutes once they go on the clock to make a final decision... Miami which started a lot of this remains interested in finding¬† a viable trade partner... while Cleveland sits and waits to see what plays out in front of them before deciding on how to play their hand... so although only one team will make the actual selection when the clock strikes 00:00 you can now see how many different teams had a hand in making that decision... and now the "Numbers Game" that starts is who comes off the board between picks #1 and #255!
Last year there were only 16 rookie starters from the 2004 NFL Draft in Week 1 of the NFL season.
MOCK DRAFT VERSION 3.0
Our staff has developed a method over the past three years of covering the "Mock" draft that does not meet the expectations of most other outlets, but rather exceeds it in the sense of how long it can be used as an actual resource while covering or evaluating the choices made.¬† If you limit yourself to the normal run-of-the-mill preview of the 32 choices... well than to be honest you are likely pitching it towards the nearest garbage can before the first hour of the draft has elapsed.¬† However, by allowing for trades, individual team value boards and options should a position run take place early our mock draft should lend credibility throughout the entire first round.¬† The most notable "On Point" selections the past three years included linebacker Nick Barnett to Green Bay (2003),
SAN FRANCISCO -- QB Alex Smith, Trade Down, QB Aaron Rodgers
MIAMI -- Trade Down, QB Alex Smith, WR Braylon Edwards
CLEVELAND -- WR Braylon Edwards, Trade Down, LB Derrick Johnson
CHICAGO -- RB Cedric Benson, WR Braylon Edwards, RB Carnell Williams
TAMPA BAY -- Trade Up, WR Mike Williams, RB Ronnie Brown
TENNESSEE -- CB Antrel Rolle, WR Mike Williams, QB Aaron Rodgers
MINNESOTA -- Trade Up, WR Troy Williamson, WR Mike Williams
ARIZONA -- RB Carnell Williams, RB Ronnie Brown, CB Pacman Jones
WASHINGTON -- CB Carlos Rogers, Trade Up, DE/LB Shawn Merriman
DETROIT -- DE/LB David Pollack, LB Derrick Johnson, CB Pacman Jones
DALLAS -- DE/LB Demarcus Ware, DE/LB Shawne Merriman, WR Mike Williams
SAN DIEGO -- DE/LB Shawne Merriman, WR T
roy Williamson, DE Erasmus James
HOUSTON -- OT Khalif Barnes, Trade Down, RB Ronnie Brown
CAROLINA -- OT Alex Barron, LB Derrick Johnson, OT Jammal Brown
KANSAS CITY -- DE/LB Demarcus Ware, WR Mark Clayton, Trade Down
NEW ORLEANS -- S/LB Thomas Davis, LB Derrick Johnson, OT Jammal Brown
CINCINNATI -- DL Marcus Spears, Trade Down, OT Jammal Brown
MINNESOTA -- DE Matt Roth, DE Erasmus James, Trade Down
ST. LOUIS -- OT Jammal Brown, S/LB Thomas Davis, CB/RT Fabian Washington
DALLAS -- Trade Down, WR Roddy White, DB Josh Bullocks
JACKSONVILLE -- TE Heath Miller, WR Mark Clayton, CB/RT Fabian Washington
BALTIMORE -- Trade down, DL Marcus Spears, OT Khalif Barnes
SEATTLE -- DE Erasmus James, DE/LB David Pollack, OT Khalif Barnes
GREEN BAY -- LB Odell Thurman, DT Travis Johnson, QB Charlie Frye
WASHINGTON -- QB Jason Campbell, DE Erasmus James, DE Matt Roth
OAKLAND -- DL Shaun Cody, DB Marlin Jackson, WR/TE Matt Jones
ATLANTA -- DE Justin Tuck, WR Roddy White, LB Darryl Blackstock
SAN DIEGO -- WR Roddy White, WR Reggie Brown, DL Shaun Cody
INDIANAPOLIS --¬† DE Matt Roth, DB Marlin Jackson, LB Barrett Ruud
PITTSBURGH -- TE Heath Miller, WR/TE Matt Jones, WR Vincent Jackson
PHILADELPHIA -- WR/TE Matt Jones, DT Travis Johnson, DE Justin Tuck
NEW ENGLAND -- WR Reggie Brown, DB Marlin Jackson, LB Darryl Blackstock
"WHAT'S BEING SAID":
WASHINGTON REDSKINS have been rumored to be interested in moving up to #2 or #3 for the chance to draft MICHIGAN senior wide receiver BRAYLON EDWARDS, but there is a short list of evaluators that think they would actually be making that move to select one of the two top-rated quarterbacks, ALEX SMITH or AARON RODGERS, since they would put their salary cap in serious jeopardy, as they still have to re-sign wide receiver Santana Moss to a new deal... if they made all these moves to trade for another wide receiver... than they would have dealt for Moss and Edwards, who both will need and want deals with big bonuses involved, while dealing Coles and possible Gardner who were both under contract... that would not make much sense from either a football or salary cap perspective.¬† If the Redskins need to strengthen a package of picks (#9, #25) to move up to the Top-3 don't be surprised if wide receiver Rod Gardner is included in the deal.
BUFFALO BILLS will look to complete a trade of running back TRAVIS HENRY for either a late day one (3rd) or combination of draft choices today with one of several teams, including Philadelphia, Arizona, Tampa Bay or possibly even Carolina, who have reviewed several early-to-mid round running backs in recent weeks, including Eric Shelton (Louisville), Vernand Morency (Oklahoma State) and J.J. Arrington (California).
NY JETS will not be able to trade potential holdout defensive end/linebacker JOHN ABRAHAM, as he has failed to sign the one-year tender sheet, which would need to be done before his rights could be dealt... barring a last minute change of heart, Abraham will remain with the Jets through the start of training camp.
HOUSTON TEXANS may look to deal former All-Pro cornerback AARON GLENN sometime during the draft with a return trip to the NY Jets a possibility... as well as Arizona, Tampa Bay or Tennessee possibly being interested in his services.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS may still have the chance to add another high day one selection if they can find a trade partner for the rights to defensive end DARREN HOWARD... teams that might be interested include Dallas, Green Bay, Oakland and San Diego.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS may still look to deal up to pick #2 or #3 should UTAH junior quarterback ALEX SMITH be taken off the board at #1 with an eye towards drafting AUBURN running back RONNIE BROWN... while there is some concern over him being taken before them at pick #5 others have speculated that the CHICAGO BEARS who own the 4th overall pick have TEXAS running back CEDRIC BENSON and AUBURN running back CARNELL WILLIAMS rated 1-2 on their board.
Free agent linebacker CHAD BROWN may have several options/suitors after the draft including Green Bay, Cleveland, Denver and possibly New England... while he has also said he would like to see where his brother, Van Brown (NW Oklahoma State), lands via the draft to see if they might be able to play together at some point.
MOST ACTIVE ON DAY ONE: These teams should be the most active on "Day One" of the NFL Draft... Miami, Tampa Bay, Dallas, San Diego, Philadelphia and Tennessee.
ALBANY, NY senior safety/linebacker KURT CAMPBELL has received added attention from between 10-14 teams that have called consistently over the past few weeks... with speculation leading to him being drafted more towards the mid-rounds of the draft rather than the later rounds... as there has also been a few teams that said they have him as a possible late day one selection.
ALBANY, NY senior offensive lineman GEIR GUDMUNDSEN has received additional attention from Buffalo, Dallas, NY Giants among several others in recent days, and has likely made himself into a PFA type prospect, as of today.
BOISE STATE senior defensive back/return man CHRIS CARR has received added attention by teams that see his special teams ability, both as a return man and coverage units, as making him a valuable role player even as a rookie.
CALIFORNIA senior safety MATT GIORDANO has received additional attention from a number of teams since his Pro Day... as he was the fastest player at the school's Pro Day (4.48)... plays with a lot of heart, desire and determination... more athletic version of Steve Gleason (Saints).
CENTRAL MISSOURI STATE senior cornerback/return man JOHN MCPHERSON has received additional attention from several teams, including Kansas City in recent days... thanks to his private workout numbers and special teams potential.
CINCINNATI senior linebacker JAMAR ENZOR has received added attention from Buffalo, Denver, Green Bay and Miami over the past few days.
CINCINNATI senior safety DOUG MONAGHAN has received added attention from Buffalo and Houston in recent days, as well as Jacksonville.
GEORGIA TECH senior offensive tackle KYLE WALLACE had several very positive visits in recent weeks and has drawn additional interest from numerous teams... his draft value has improved consistently since his Pro Day... NY Giants have shown a good deal of interest.
HOBART, NY senior offensive guard ALEX BELL has received additional attention from Baltimore, Cleveland, Green Bay, New England, NY Giants and Pittsburgh.
MASSACHUSETTS senior fullback RICH DEMERS has received added attention from Buffalo, Dallas, Jacksonville and Miami in recent days... also had private workouts with Indianapolis and New England leading up to the draft.
MIAMI, OH senior tight end DANNY HORACE, who played power forward on the school's basketball team, had a private workout with Washington earlier this week... having received a copy of his spring scrimmage game film from last spring... a few things jump out at you right away... his natural size... good hands on a pair of catches, but also the fact that he was not as raw/bad a blocker on the tape as originally expected... there seems to be a lot of the raw skills you desire in a tight end... keep an eye on Denver, whose tight end coach is credited with locating Antonio Gates while he was in San Diego... a total of 15 teams received a copy of his spring scrimmage game film over the past week.
MONTANA senior fullback JUSTIN GREEN has received additional attention from several teams... some of whom have recognized him as the top-rated fullback on their board.
MOREHEAD STATE senior cornerback CHARLES BYRD has received additional attention from Detroit, Miami and NY Jets in recent days.
MURRAY STATE senior tight end JIMMY ST. LOUIS has received added attention from New England and Tennessee... both of whom asked for and received a tape of him deep snapping... NY Giants, New Orleans, Tampa Bay and Washington have made calls in recent days.
NORTHERN ARIZONA senior running back/return man ROGER ROBINSON has received additional attention from Arizona, Green Bay, Miami, New Orleans and Tampa Bay in recent days... while others have mentioned that he has received a draftable grade on their board.
NOTRE DAME senior cornerback DWIGHT ELLICK has received several calls in the past few days with teams mentioning his strong workout numbers while adding that he might be a late round choice or PFA... Cleveland, Green Bay and NY Giants have shown strong interest.
NOTRE DAME senior wide receiver CARLYLE HOLIDAY has received interest from a number of teams, including New England, New Orleans and Philadelphia, who said they were not concerned with his average workout numbers, since he had a tweaked hamstring... his ability to contribute in a number of areas could offer him late round to PFA consideration.
OKLAHOMA senior linebacker LANCE MITCHELL has completely recovered from a personal issue that he battled last summer... any/all teams that were/are aware of it can speak to him direct for more information.
RICE senior safety TERRY HOLLEY has received additional attention from Cleveland, Detroit, Green Bay, Jacksonville, New England, NY Giants, NY Jets, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Seattle... being recognized for his smarts, instincts and ability to play either safety spot and special teams.
RICE senior GREG HENDERSON, a former option quarterback, was worked out as a defensive back by Cleveland... at a recent CFL workout he was 5110, 198 pounds... ran 4.48/4.52 in the 40... 26 reps of 225 pounds... could be evaluated at a number of positions... DB, WR, RB.
SAN DIEGO STATE senior safety JOSH DEAN has received additional attention from teams that have compared his workout numbers, game film and production as compared to other strong safety prospects... he has made a move up many draft boards to being considered a strong early "Day Two" selection; 4th-5th round.
SOUTH CAROLINA senior offensive guard/tackle JONATHON ALSTON has received additional attention from several teams since his Pro Day... with teams noting his versatility to play guard or tackle on both the left and right sides.
STANFORD senior offensive/defensive lineman WILL SVITEK has drawn interest from teams with the potential to convert him over to being a full-time offensive tackle... you can expect to see him get drafted much higher than expected (5th round) and above a number of other more recognizable offensive linemen.
TCU senior tight end CODY MCCARTY has received additional interest from a number of teams, including Atlanta, Buffalo, Dallas, Jacksonville, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and San Diego... seeing him as having upside as a pass catcher... caught four pass for 40 yards at the Senior Bowl... caught 17 passes, as a senior... started his career as a quarterback, but after being moved to tight end also played on most special teams... has the ability to get stronger as a blocker... solid work ethic kid that should be able to improve his game under the direction of a pro position coach.
TEMPLE junior A.J. LINDSAY has received additional interest from Green Bay, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Miami, NY Giants, Philadelphia and Washington in recent days... all of whom have told him he is being considered as a day two prospect; likely 5th-6th round.
TEXAS A&M senior fullback KEITH JOSEPH has received additional attention from several teams... some of whom have recognized him as the top-rated fullback on their board.
WINONA STATE senior quarterback BRIAN WROBEL has a very impressive game and highlight tape that accents his impressive workout numbers... has been timed in the mid-to-high 4.5's... while weighing 6016, 198 pounds... also stood flat-footed and threw the ball 57 yards... tape proves that he has interesting athleticism and better-than-advertised arm strength for a small school passer.
NFL TEAM NEEDS (As of 4/23/05 -- RT means return man):
RB, CB, TE, DL, OG, S
OT, DL, WR, OLB, S, TE
DL, OG, WR, LB, CB, OL
DT, OL, CB, TE, RB, K
WR, OLB, OL, FS, TE, RB
WR, RB, DT, TE, QB, K, S
DL, OC, ILB, SS, WR, CB
OT, QB, RB, DL, WR, P
OLB//DE, S, OL, RB, LB, WR, K
CB, QB, WR, OLB, OL, P
DE, CB, OL, LB, DT, K
Green Bay Packers
OL, DE, LB, S, QB, TE
OT, DL, WR, RB, LB, S
CB, DT, OL, S, LB, RB
CB, OT, DL, WR, OLB, RT
Kansas City Chiefs
LB, WR, QB, DL, OL, DB, P
RB, WR, NT, QB, CB, OT
WR, OL, RB, K, DL, TE
New England Patriots
LB, WR, S, OG, QB, RT
New Orleans Saints
OLB, DT, OL, WR, QB, K
New York Giants
WR, RB, FS, DE, OL, FB
New York Jets
CB, DT, RB, OT, OC, K
LB, NT, CB, SS, OG, RT
DL, OLB, RB, OL, TE, WR
OT, CB, TE, WR, DL, LB
San Diego Chargers
OT, WR, RT, DL, CB, LB
San Francisco 49ers
QB, WR, DL, RB, OL, CB, TE
DE, CB, OL, WR, RB, QB
St. Louis Rams
OT, CB, DE, S, TE, P
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
RB, WR, DL, TE, QB, S
CB, OT, WR, RB, K, RT
CB, DL, TE, LB, WR, OG
*Be sure to listen to Sporting News Radio's Draft Day coverage, featuring former NFL lineman and Fox Sports analyst Brian Baldinger, hosts Bob Shelton, Bob Berger, analyst Jim Sabo and Next Level Scouting's own John Murphy.