Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

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UCLA's quarterback clearly has the talent to succeed as an NFL starter. The question is whether or not he can avoid enough mistakes to become a superstar.

27 Apr 2009

Audibles at the 2009 NFL Draft, Part I

compiled by Bill Barnwell

UPDATE: Find Part II of this three-part Audibles here.

On Saturday, we at Football Outsiders conducted a six-hour live chat that featured about 1000 comments from FO writers and readers alike. At the same time, Mike Tanier went to New York and live-blogged the draft, its picks, and his thoughts on each of the 64 Day One selections on behalf of the New York Times. On Sunday, myself, Aaron Schatz, and Doug Farrar chatted with ESPN.com readers as Day Two wound up about guys who didn't make the cut and what we thought about seemingly every team's draft.

We've gone through, pared down a lot of the commentary, mashed up all these different sources, and created a special version of our "Audibles at the Line" column featuring both writers and readers discussing the NFL Draft.

Part I covers the first 15 picks of the draft. Part II, running later today, covers the rest of the first round. Part III tomorrow will take care of the final six rounds.

No. 1. Lions: Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia

Mike Tanier: Stafford may the best of a series of bad options. Unlike pre-programmed quarterbot Joey Harrington (the Lions' mega-bust selection in the 2002 draft), Stafford is an aggressive risk taker with an elite arm. He could become Tony Romo without tabloid coverage, or Brett Favre without the halo. When he's on (see the two-game road stretch against Kentucky and Auburn when he threw for 591 yards, 5 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions), he has the rifle arm and creativity to take over games. When he's off (like in his three-interception disaster against Florida), he'll press, compounding one mistake with another.

Dave Lewin: I would say that his ceiling is Kerry Collins.

Bill Barnwell: I just want to point out that I did predict, one year ago, that Stafford would be the first pick. Just to KC, not Detroit.

Vince Verhei: I am happy they didn't waste any time. It seemed like back in the day, the top guy would have a deal done and everyone knew it, but they still took 15 minutes.

Erin Andrews reveals in her interview that Stafford received a text message from "…the Manning Brothers"

Bill Barnwell: The Manning brothers share a cell phone?! I figure Peyton pays for it and he lets Eli borrow it for a few hours every day.

Dennis: Somehow no F-bombs from Gruden on NFLN yet. He constantly looks close to throwing one out there...

livingonapear: Do you think the lions' fans are angry that they took a "franchise" qb in a mediocre draft, or that they didn't take Sanchez? Are they angry about which QB was chosen, or that the team didn't take a LT?

Bill Barnwell: I think the Lions fans are angry they chose someone who isn't a surer bet.

drunkmonkey: Ha, Stafford said he wanted to play for a 'great organization like Detroit.' Haha, how did he keep a straight face?

Bill Barnwell: Maybe he meant the Red Wings?

Doug Farrar: My concern with guys like Stafford is that the arm obstructs the other issues.

Bill Barnwell: I think it's interesting that we're past the point in baseball where having a 100 MPH fastball is reason to take a guy with a top five pick, but we're not at that point in football.

Vince Verhei: My concern with Stafford is that for two years at Georgia, he was pretty lousy.

Doug Farrar: The Sanchez/Stafford debate is an interesting one, because you get people who go more for the system fit, and others who take the arm because "the guy will fit anywhere". Recent media conf. call I was on, Mooch was on Sanchez, and Gruden totelly went Stafford. Gruden seems far more interested in raw ability.

Vince Verhei: Chad Pennington is a better QB than Kyle Boller. Accuracy over arm strength.

Bill Barnwell: I mean...yeah. He does a lot of things better than Kyle Boller, though.

edgar allen poe: Well, how much does accuracy only make up a small portion of "qb completion percentage." That also includes ability to read zones, arm strength, etc.

Bill Barnwell: Precisely. Completion percentage doesn't directly yield accuracy, although there's a strong correlation.

No. 2. Rams: Jason Smith, OT, Baylor

Mike Tanier: The Rams franchise has become like Norma Desmond's "Sunset Boulevard" mansion. The structure is crumbling, the swimming pool is dry and the hallways are haunted by ghosts of past success, like Kurt Warner, Dick Vermeil and Marshall Faulk. Steven Jackson is still big, but the Rams offense has gotten smaller, so Jackson smears cold cream on his face and waits for his faithful butler Marc Bulger to serve him footballs.

What he can do for Jackson is uncertain: Smith played in Baylor's spread offense, and he did most of his run blocking on draws and delays. I see him as a developmental player who will struggle in his first season, but the Rams don't have the luxury of sitting the former tight end who was a rodeo star in high school. Still, this is a player with the upside to fill Orlando Pace's shoes.

Bill Barnwell: Jason Smith. Good pick. I'd rather have Monroe, though. Seems safer. More experienced.

Doug Farrar: And the Rams get the guy who might be the next Ryan Clady. Great player with a nasty streak and the media will love him.

Bill Barnwell: AWESOME moment where Mort says Jason Smith is a "tough guy" as he waves and giggles at the camera.

Doug Farrar: Chiefs...I beg of you...don't take Curry...let him fall to 4... (this has been the Seahawks Fanboy portion of your program).

Bill Barnwell: Doug, would Curry really make sense for Seattle considering they just let Peterson go to make a bigger role for Hill?

Doug Farrar: Tim Ruskell doesn't like prolonged contract issues. Ask Darrell Jackson and Bo.

Doug Farrar: I'd like the Seahawks to take Monroe, though, just because I'd hate to see Ruskell strike out on the two best back-to-back tackle classes ever. Crabtree would piss me off mightily, so I'm guessing that'll be the pick.

Peter: What's wrong with Crabtree?

Bill Barnwell: Great athlete, not necessarily a great route-runner. Won't be able to dominate with his athleticism at the pro level. Crabtree's upside is Randy Moss, but his downside is...I dunno, Dwayne Jarrett. That's a big range, but it's gonna be tricky.

No. 3. Chiefs: Tyson Jackson, DE, Louisiana State

Goodbye, Ladies: I'm curious what the FO folks think of Tyson Jackson. He seems like a repeat of Marcus Spears, although I hesitate to doubt someone with Pioli's track record.

Mike Tanier: [New Chiefs defensive coordinator Clancy] Pendergast likes to run a hybrid 3-4 scheme, and Jackson fits the mold: He can eat space at the point of attack as an end or slide inside and let a pass rushing specialist take the edge. Jackson wasn't very productive as a pass-rusher, and he will take downs off late in the game, but he can succeed in a system that requires him to occupy blocks and penetrate so others can make plays. [Scott] Pioli liked to draft defensive linemen high in the first round when he was a Patriots exec. This pick puts his stamp, and Pendergast's, on the Chiefs defense.

Bill Barnwell: I think he's better than Spears. He reminds me a lot of someone like Luis Castillo.

TomC: So is Dorsey gone or moving to DE?

Bill Barnwell: Dorsey will probably have to bulk up and play the nose. He's got serious DeWayne Robertson potential now. You could try him as a 3-4 end. I figured they'd draft Raji, move Dorsey to end, have Tyler at the other end, and then you have Hali as an OLB.

NewsToTom: Didn't Cleveland give Rogers a ton of money last year? Why would they take Raji?

Bill Barnwell: Rogers had an emo moment with Mangini and wants to leave.

Doug Farrar: Rogers can come to Seattle. I'll pay for the second seat out of my own pocket.

Aaron Schatz: It bugs me when they talk about how Tyson Jackson will fit in at defensive end in "Scott Pioli's scheme." Look, Pioli is the GM. It's Clancy Pendergast's scheme. They may do things a little more Patriots-like, but Pioli isn't out there drawing defensive plays.

No. 4. Seahawks: Aaron Curry, OLB, Wake Forest

Mike Tanier: Curry made some predraft waves when he announced that if he were drafted first over all, he would sign for less than Jake Long earned last season. Curry may have gotten carried away with his recession-ready sales tactics. "No reasonable offer refused! Bring a newspaper ad and I will match it! Push it in! Tow it in! I'll sign for less than Jay Berwanger got in 1936!" Careful, Curry: you almost talked yourself into a spot on the Lions roster.


Bill Barnwell: Doug's going to need a few moments to collect himself.

Vince Verhei: Another big-school defensive player for Ruskell.

Ben Riley: Of course, NFL plays "Smells Like Teen Spirit" in the background.

Bill Barnwell: Nothing musically has come out of Seattle since 1992, Ben. You know that. You're all just a bunch of slackers in flannel.

Vince Verhei: If they had played anything by Death Cab, I would never stop laughing.

Vince Verhei: I went to high school with Chris Walla. Yeah.

Josh: What's death cab's DVOA?

Bill Barnwell: Pre-Transatlanticism? Very high. Post? Very low.

Karl Cuba: So will Curry play inside with Tatupu moving over to WILL?

Vince Verhei: No, no, no, Tatupu is inside.

Zach: I think the Browns should try and trade down, they must be able to get some good offers for the 5th pick.

Bill Barnwell: I really think the Sanchez hype from the top teams was an absolute smokescreen.

The New York crowd roars…

Bill Barnwell: Oh boy. Sounds like a Jets trade. Hey, I'll take credit for claiming that the Jets would trade up [in my mock draft].

No. 5. Jets: Mark Sanchez, QB, USC

Mike Tanier: Nick's drills shaped Mark Sanchez into a confident leader, and Witz's story heavily influenced me: I make my 6-year old answer kindergarten questions while playing T-ball. "Read that carpet cleaning sign in the outfield!" I shout as my son struggles to lift an aluminum bat. "What's 4 plus 3?" I scream as the line drive approaches his face. Other parents may scoff (or gape, or contact authorities) but I'll have the last laugh when my son is selected fifth overall in the 2024 draft.

Dave Lewin: I would take him as high as #4 as long as it's a situation where he can sit for a minimum of one year, preferably two.

Vince Verhei: What did the Jets give up for Favre last year? What have they spent on quarterbacks in back-to-back years?

Bill Barnwell: If the Jets manage to not have anyone get hurt like the Falcons did last year (and they won't, since they were like 1-2 in the healthiest teams in the league), they'll be fine.

DJ Any Reason: Doesn't the fact that the Jets were so healthy last year make it MORE likely that they'll be healthy this year? Isn't avoiding injury a skill, and isn't assuming good luck in year X means bad luck in year X+1 the gambler's fallacy?

Bill Barnwell: No, good luck in year X has been proven to mean marginally-slightly-better-than-average luck in year X+1. Injuries regress to the mean.

lk6: Sanchez grabs the football and says IT'S MORPHING TIME.

Jamie T: Ah yes, classic Jets. Problem? Inexperienced quaterbacks. Solution: draft one at number 4 who has started a grand total of 16 college games.

Another one of the endless Pizza Hut commercials air...

Bill Barnwell: "A pizza that never ends." It's a freaking infinite pizza?

Philly Homer: Infinite pizza = green room requirement for all the first-round OT's.

dan: I could go for infinite pizza right about now, actually.

Ned: The pizza could exist infinitely in the fourth dimension, time. Unless you eat it.

Philly Homer: I'm most of the way through a finite pizza.

MilkmanDanimal: I saw Infinite Pizza open for the Chili Peppers back in '94, great show.

Big Jgke: Wasn't infinite pizza a John Hughes movie?

No. 6. Bengals: Andre Smith, OT, Alabama

Aaron Schatz: Wait, the Bengals took the guy with character issues? Is this a re-run?

Mike Tanier: Smith had a reputation as a big-ego, low-effort player long before he disappeared from the Combine. Smith conducted himself so poorly during his brief stay at the Combine that leaving may have been a wise move. Smith's private interviews with teams went so poorly that analysts believe he cost himself as much as $30-million by sliding down draft boards. "A lot of teams were a little offended. They couldn't tell how seriously he was taking it. He shrugged at the whole process," Ian Rapoport of the Birmingham News told me in March.

So much for lost money. The Bengals are known for selecting bad boys. It almost never works out for them. Putting a kid with a questionable work ethic into one of the most chaotic locker rooms in the league sounds like an impending disaster. Their scouts must have loved Smith's game film. For the record, that game film is (mostly) pretty darn good.

Bill Barnwell: I'm SHOCKED that Smith goes before Monroe. Monroe is a steal from this point forward.

Anonguy: Just what the Bengals need, an overrated problem child who has problems keeping healthy. Over/under on arrests/unexplained disappearances?

Bill Barnwell: 0. It's his agent, not him.

Anonguy: Odds that Al Davis goes further off the deep end and picks Heyward-Bey just because he's fast?

Bill Barnwell: Slim. Crabtree makes more sense.

dmstorm: Al loving fast is so overrated. Why then did he pick Gallery (which, people forget, was hailed as the greatest OLine prospect ever). Or why did he pick Huff instead of Cromartie, the superior athlete.

No. 7. Raiders: Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland

Bill Barnwell: WOW WOW WOW.

A collection of short thoughts from chatters: "AL DAVIS, YOU DIDN'T!" "OMG" "Whoa." "ALLLL DAVIS" "Al Davis loves speed" "wow, walter (from walterfootball.com) was right"

Dennis: Only reason to be shocked is if you don't pay attention to what Al Davis does in drafts...

Bill Barnwell: Shrug. His predilection for speed is overrated, but taking a guy who's ... an average guy at the college level?

KJT: Al Davis with a master stroke from deep within his crypt.

D: Bill didn't you say yesterday that the Al Davis will take a DHB because he's obsessed with speed was an false cliche.

Bill Barnwell: I did. I was wrong. Well, the Raiders are wrong.

dangerdonkey: The Raiders have become a very fast sucky team.

Mike Tanier: Al Davis almost halted his slow descent from innovator to maverick to eccentric to cartoon-like parody this offseason; Davis may be embarking on a late-career rally like King George III: The madness has lifted, and while the colonies are lost, there's still time to kick France's butt across the globe and get the empire back on track.

And then, Davis drafted the fastest player in the draft. So much for that historical allusion.

Beware of track guys who don't catch many passes. Heyward-Bey was a state track champion in Maryland, but his sub-4.4 speed only resulted in 51 catches in 2007 and 42 in 2008. Raw speed only gets you so far at the major college levels, and it means even less in the pros, where some of the fastest players in the league are used solely as kick

Heyward-Bey has a little more to offer than just breathtaking speed. He's well-built, allowing him to beat jams off the line and throw a block. He's fearless in traffic, allowing him to make some clutch catches (even though he'll also drop some easy ones). The only thing keeping him from the Steve Smith class of receivers is short-area quickness: Heyward-Bey isn't good at snapping off routes, so it will take time for him to learn how to get open against pro cornerbacks who can run nearly stride-for-stride with him.

Doug Farrar: And the Raiders pass up a guy with sub-Walter Jones upside for a guy who decelerates to sub-Pettigrew speed when he makes a cut. Apparently, it IS a re-run.

Raiderjoe: D Heyward Bey 6-2 210 4.25 40 going to be draft steal by Raiders. Will be like new Cliff Branch. Heyward Bey on one side Schilens on other Higgins there and some others- wr corpse going to be gerat. RB group alrady exclelent. QB coming into own. Z Miller great up and comig Te, line great. Offense moving on up to the eats side

buzzorhowl: "wr corpse", how appropriate.

MilkmanDanimal: There are not enough Sierra Nevadas in the world to make me understand the Raiders.

dan: "Offense moving on up to the eats side" -- they finally got a piece of the infinite pizza pie.

No. 8. Jaguars: Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia

Mike Tanier: Writing "None" next to "Negatives" was a violation of the scout's code. We're supposed to nitpick every flaw in a player's game and write 200 words about how his technique slipped slightly against Maryland and how he doesn't execute the fold block just so. The knocks on Monroe are that he's a quiet guy who lacks a mean streak and that he lacks the upside to become an Orlando Pace-type. That's nit-picky criticism. At worst, Monroe will be another D'Brickashaw Ferguson, the player he replaced at Virginia. He'll probably be better: a slightly quicker Chris Samuels.

Bill Barnwell: Monroe does make sense, I guess. 49ers are upset.

Bill Barnwell: "Monroe has that swag about him". What, has Keyshawn been reading FD?

Vince Verhei: Deion shows off Monroe's ORANGE AND BROWN VERTICALLY STRIPED SOCKS. How did he not end up in Denver?

No. 9. Green Bay: B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College

Mike Tanier: Raji was the talk of the Senior Bowl: A big man with exceptional power who beat up some of the best college linemen in the nation. After the Combine, a story circulated that Raji tested positive for marijuana (the report was later retracted).Ultimately, it hasn't hurt Raji's status: this is about his post-Senior Bowl draft slot.

Big Jgke: raji is sweating alot!!! hopefully he can afford A/C now...

Doug Farrar: I really like Raji. Nose-sized guy who can disrupt all over the place.

Karl Cuba: If the Niners pass on Crabtree I'm personally going to fly across the Atlantic and the USA and kick McCloughan in the nuts.

Doug Farrar: Be interesting to see Seattle's midget corners "defending" Crabtree twice a year if it goes that way at 10...

No. 10, San Francisco: Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech

Sisqo from San Fran: Michael Crabtree to my Niners!?! With the character and diva questions about him going into the draft, I think having him drop as far as he did will give him that extra anger to prove everyone wrong for passing on him. Thoughts guys?


Mike Tanier: Crabtree caught 97 passes last year, 134 passes in 2007. There weren't many incompletions to watch: according to The Sporting News Draft Annual, Crabtree caught 94 percent of the passes thrown to him. That percentage, like Crabtree's raw totals, was inflated by Texas Tech's spread offense, which is built around short passes that often only travel a few yards in the air. That offense is a bigger concern than Crabtree's foot, which will be fully rehabbed by the start of camp. Crabtree didn't have to run NFL-style pass routes at Texas Tech: he often just floated out to an empty spot in the field, hauled in a soft pass, then ran for daylight.

MilkmanDanimal: Does Crabtree really have that bad of an attitude? So he's arrogant and thinks he's the best. If that prevents you from drafting a WR, you'd pretty much have a team with no WRs. Big deal, I'd take him in a second.

Doug Farrar: So ... Morgan as the speed guy, Crabtree as the main man, and Vernon Davis on drums?

Anonguy: "I'm on the cover of a video game I'm not even in! Don't people know who I am?!"

No. 11 Buffalo: Aaron Maybin, DE, Penn State

Goodbye, Ladies: It looks like Aaron Maybin will be the pick for the Bills. What do the FO guys think of him? Based on the combine numbers that AlanSP and I looked at for DE's/3-4 OLB's, he projects very well.

Mike Tanier: This is a risky pick for a team that suddenly likes making risky moves, like playing in Toronto and employing Terrell Owens. Maybin has great quickness when turning the edge as a pass rusher, but he's a one-move guy, and he's at his fastest when he weighs about 235 pounds. Maybin tried to bulk up in the offseason, and he looked much slower at the Combine when he was 249 pounds. There are better pass rushers on the board, starting with Everette Brown. This pick reminds me of the Donte Whitner selection a few years ago: the Bills got a pretty good player, but not a great one who really addressed a need.

Bill Barnwell: I don't think he ends up as a star, but as a decent NFL player, absolutely. Look at his [ostentatious] watch, though. Jesus.

Big Jgke: i really like the diamond tennis bracelet that maybin and monroe were rocking. They're not just for rich ladies anymore!!!

Drunkmonkey: Flava Flav is on the phone about that watch.

Insancipitory: Well, i suppose crying is to be expected. No one wants to live in Buffalo.

No. 12 Denver: Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia

Mike Tanier: In fairness, Moreno is not like [fellow sub-100 Speed Score backs] Ron Dayne (doughy bowling ball), William Green (head case) or Trung Canidate (tiny dust mite). He has the receiving skills to contribute to the passing game, and his power and patience will make him a solid 20-carry back. But the emphasis is on "solid", not "spectacular."

Josh McDaniels, the N.F.L.'s newest enfant terrible, is definitely doing things his own way. He'll have a running back by committee, and the committee may have 12 members. Challenge McDaniels at your own risk: get him mad, and he may take his football and go home.


Dennis: WOW. Looks like they are playing the fantasy football "get all the running backs" plan. Stockpile every running back, then trade them for the other positions you need.

Bill Barnwell: I'm higher on Knowshon than Speed Score is, but I still don't think he's a first-round player.

joe football: Further proof all former Patriot coaches/executives are double agents, sabotaging other AFC teams.

Doug Farrar: Moreno's a great side-to-side runner who will really show out behind that offensive line -- wait until he sees Ryan Clady!

Ed: Somewhere, Cutler is bonging beers and giggling like a schoolgirl!

No. 13 Redskins: Brian Orakpo, DE-OLB, Texas

Mike Tanier: Orakpo's problems are his technique and his consistency. Watch the Oklahoma-Texas game tape (you really should, it's awesome on many levels) and you'll see Orakpo sack Sam Bradford twice and manhandle Phil Loadholt, a pretty darn good blocker. But he was invisible in some other games, sometimes giving up when his initial move was thwarted. He has an effective swim move but needs to expand his array or pass rush techniques, and he must get better at redirecting and battling.

Vince Verhei: "What? Denver passed on Orakpo? TAKE HIM! TAKE HIM NOW!"

Bill Barnwell: Maybe Campbell posed as Dan Snyder and called in to make the pick.

Drunkmonkey: I bet Campbell is thinking, "What do I do now? I can't request a trade, but I know they don't like me."

Bill Barnwell: Have a great year, become a free agent, and get paid?

No. 14 New Orleans: Malcolm Jenkins, CB, Ohio State

Mike Tanier: Jenkins is quick and smart in coverage like [former Ohio State defensive backs Antoine] Winfield and [Nate] Clements, but he's bigger and not quite as fast when turning and running deep. He's smart and capable in zone coverage like [Donte] Whitner, but he isn't quite as big or strong.

A square peg? Hardly. Jenkins' closest comparison isn't an ex-Buckeye, but an ex-Longhorn. Michael Griffin arrived in Tennessee as a cornerback-safety tweener, but Jeff Fisher and ex-coordinator Jim Schwartz knew just how to use him. Griffin was a perfect fit as a Cover-2 safety who sometimes matched up on bigger slot receivers or top tight ends. Jenkins can fill the same important roles.

KJT: My friend just called me up and said the Saints should use their pick to send Reggie Bush back to college.

Bill Barnwell: I still think Jenkins ends up at a corner on the pro level.

Doug Farrar: He will in New Orleans, McKenzie's just about done. Great pick for them. It would be even better if he could clone himself, and one Jenkins could play corner and the other one play safety.

Ed: So when do all the overrated USC linebackers start getting taken?

Vince Verhei: Maybe right now...

No. 15 Houston, Brian Cushing, LB, USC

Mike Tanier: Cushing blogged about his pre-draft routines at imatopprospect.com. Among his entries was a listing about his daily diet. "Every morning I usually wake up early to start my day off with a protein shake and a bananna . . . Next meal, two hours later, will be something like egg whites with sundried tomatoes and two wheat toast pieces . . . 4:30: grilled chicken with black beans and corn sauté . . . 6:30: A turkey souvlaki Greek sandwich wrap with celery. 8:30: salmon with a baked potato, with a little butter and broccoli."

A few comments. First, campus cuisine has apparently changed a lot since my day. Even the training table athletes in college would have listed cheese fries in at least three of those meals. Second, while Cushing is described as "blue collar" on those NFL Network promos that have run every six minutes for three months, his salmon, sauté, and souvlaki diet reveals a blue collar guy with some black tie tastes. Finally, spelling doesn't count in football, which is a good thing. Cushing spells like a Middle English playwright, and he capitalizes like e.e. cummings with a broken keyboard. I cleaned his prose a bit for the Times.

Doug Farrar: It would appear that the Texans have "Cushlash".

Ed: Rocking the ponytail, way to bring back the early 90's, Cushing.

Doug Farrar: Eisen: "The Texans have more Cuching for the pushing." That was unfortunate.

Vince Verhei: Eisen: "The Texans now have more Cushing for the pushing." There's a Michigan joke to be made there...

Anonguy: The Texans are now a fat chick?

You can read Part II here.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 27 Apr 2009

65 comments, Last at 29 Apr 2009, 7:29am by AlanSP


by MilkmanDanimal :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 10:26am

All I can say is this was potentially the most entertaining chat I've ever been a part of. I'm curious to see how much of the beer discussion near the end of round two makes the recap . . .

by Eddo :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 2:01pm

100% agreed. Due to the rainy weekend here in Chicago (and the recovery time necessary for a pretty rough Friday night), my friends were all laying low this weekend. The chat gave me something to do, and it didn't disappoint.

by Danish Denver-Fan :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 5:12pm

And you, sir, were, by the looks of it, absolutely on FIRE. Well played throughout!

by Temo :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 10:28am

"It's a freaking infinite pizza?"

Booo. What, did mommy Schatz slap your hand for cussing?

"Then again, I'm a Bobby Carpenter believer." -- Barnwell

by Chris (not verified) :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 10:46am

Heyward Bey = Troy Williamson...

Gallery, Jemarcus, Mcfadden and Heyward Bey? Really ? Really? What's that batting average looking like?

I knew the Chiefs wouldn't take Aaron Curry like 92% of the whole world penciled in.

I'd agree with what Steve Young said in the draft. No matter who Denver picked, it was a no win situation. They could have made the best picks ever but people were still ready to blast them.

by parker (not verified) :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 10:48am

I've been thinking about the college qb to pro qb transition of non 1st round talents. Does it seem like the late round success stories(became a pretty good starters at some point) were all smaller school guys(Rich Gannon) or sat the bench their senior year(Tom Brady). I know I'm going off of anecdotal evidence here but maybe its better to come in the leauge humbly if you are going to have to work so hard to become a starter.

Just a thought

by Mr Shush :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 2:06pm

PFR did a study a few years ago which suggested that most of the more successful late round or undrafted QBs have good accuracy and prototypical NFL height, but lacked a little something in terms of bulk and arm strength. They also generally had low start counts for big schools. Brady, Bulger and Schaub all fit this profile. I don't think it's about motivation, so much as the fact that if someone had the potential to be great and played a ton of games, scouts would notice, and guys with the ability to be top NFL QBs would normally start in college unless they were behind an excellent college QB, which is most likely to happen at a major programme.

by Chip :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 4:06pm

Todd Boeckman (OH St.) would seem to fit this profile.

by Mr Shush :: Tue, 04/28/2009 - 6:24am

In some respects, yes - he's pretty accurate and comes from a big school where his playing time was limited by the presence of first a Heisman winner and then a highly mobile uber-recruit. However, the knock on Boeckman as a pro prospect is not size or arm strength (he's a big man with a strong arm) but his appallingly slow release. To me, that is a more worrying concern.

That said, I'm a big believer in taking a flyer on a late round quarterback pretty much every year, and if I'd been going to draft a guy in the 7th round on the off chance this year, Boeckman might well have been it. His upside is probably Byron Leftwich, but getting the best backup quarterback in the league is a very worthwhile use of a seventh rounder. Do I expect him to succeed? No. Do I think signing him as a UDFA was a good move for Cincy? Absolutely.

by parker (not verified) :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 11:00am

nevermind brady didnt sit the bench his jr year...grasping at straws

by parker (not verified) :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 11:02am

maybe come from behind victories are a good indicator...i need a day job

by drobviousso :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 11:15am

Wow, Cushing's diet looks like it would suck the life out of a person (from a taste pov, no nutrition). Can we get some more bland, dry meat in there?

by Temo :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 11:18am

That's what she said.

"Then again, I'm a Bobby Carpenter believer." -- Barnwell

by drobviousso :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 12:33pm

well played sir.

by Temo :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 1:00pm

Not really, but thanks for the support.

"Then again, I'm a Bobby Carpenter believer." -- Barnwell

by Chris (not verified) :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 11:32am

Non first round QB's that turn into successful QB's.

Could it be that these guys don't "throw 100mph fast balls", and that for the love of god, by far the most important aspect of a QB is his intelligence and decision making in games, the ability to stay calm etc.

You could look at completion percentage to try and objectivly evaluate that, but sometimes college QB's play in gimmicy smoke screen type offenses and you can't strickly look at completion percentage.

If I hear another time about how fast Pat White/JP Losman ran a 40, or how strong Kyle Bollier or Jemarcus Russell's arm is, I am going to freak out. It's like a beauty pagent out there, it's like seeing which golfer can drive the ball the furthest, not who'se best, but you can tee off the furthest.

The more I try and think about everything, it's that these college kids are just prospects ( well duh). But they are more or less raw materials that could get a lot better and become NFL stars ( some with more upside than others), or they could stay at their current skill level ( which isn't good by NFL standards) at be complete busts. It's not like you put these guys on the field and they sink or swim, they either grow ( and become good), or they stay where they are and they stink.

If Mark Sanchez was to start in an NFL exhibition game right now, he'd suck, he'd suck real bad, and the odds are that he won't be very good next year unless the coaching staff more or less tries to really protect him with a run the ball/play defense forumula.

However, Sanchez could grow as a player and become a really really good NFL player.

BJ Rajii could be a fire hedriant type player at Boston college controlling the middle of the line by over powering guys, but if he goes to Green Bay and doesn't learn how to use his hands, fight off better stronger blockers, learn how to use leverage against guys as good as him... he's going to suck.

Right now these guys are all a shell of what they can be, and the more I think about it, the more you look at work ethic, character, desire to succeed.

When Michael Ohler got drafted, he looked about as promising as anybody, " when's practice start, when can I prove myself, you won't regret this selection, I want to work, I want to be good"... Do you think he's going to run out and buy a car cause he's "made", or do you think this guy takes it all personel and wants to succeed? I think Ozzie and the Ravens got another good one. I was a little dissapointed by the TV piece they put together ( it wasn't nearly as good as Michael Lewis's book), but he's certainly one to root for.

by MC2 :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 6:12pm

I agree with you about Oher. A lot of the other guys sounded like they were happy just to get drafted, and they had a kind of "mission accomplished" vibe about them. But for Oher, it seemed like his mission is just beginning.

by Sophandros :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 11:44am

Hey, Doug, regarding you comment about Mike McKenzie in your analysis of the Saints' pick: That's one way to put it. Another way to look at McKenzie's status is that he was cut about a month ago...

Sports talk radio and sports message boards are the killing fields of intellectual discourse.

by Chris (not verified) :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 12:07pm

I liked hearing Steve Young & Mel Kiper Jr as always but what did Mort Add to anything? Cris Carter was good in the other room, and Trent Dilfer was better than I thought he'd be, but I felt like Mortenson was basically worthless out there. Key has his moments, and Boomer has to call it, but was anybody else unimpressed with Mort?

I thought it was funny when Mort's son was trying out and Mel was trying to say something positive, and started talking about him having a future in coaching. Mort looked uncomfortable as they were saying nice things about his son, but not as a player.

by Eddo :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 12:17pm

Ugh. Steve Young was terrible! Half the time, he was just spouting gibberish. His bit about "loving the game" confused everyone on the set, to the point where they actually called him out on it. He should have taken a sick day or something, because he was in no shape to be on TV.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 1:23pm

My dish was screwed up and I couldn't get ESPNHD, so I switched over to the NFL Network coverage. I have never been so happy for a satellite problem. Every time I popped over to ESPN (in tragic low-definition), Steve Young was rambling, Berman was . . . being Berman, and Mort looked like he was barely conscious. ESPN's coverage was terrible. Now, I watched some on day two and I was pretty impressed with Trey Wingo, who managed to stay on-topic pretty well but remain entertaining. As for NFL Network, they got seriously goofy at the end of day two, but it was late enough in the draft that it kept it fun. Gruden was pretty entertaining, and Mayock seems so much more on-the-ball than Kiper it's not even close.

by Eddo :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 2:02pm

Good synopsis. Young, in particular, was terrible. Berman should retire or at least tone down his shtick; Wingo was much better. I always like Cris Carter's analysis, too.

I wish I got NFL Network. I have yet to experience this "Mike Maycock" everyone's talking about.

by justanothersteve :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 1:13pm

Ed: Somewhere, Cutler is bonging beers and giggling like a schoolgirl!

Yeah, he can party as well as Orton. But can he grow a neckbeard?

by Jimmy :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 2:13pm

But if Cutler grew a neckbeard then he wouldn't look like the spitting image of the kid out of Two and a Half Men.

by matu_72 :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 12:34pm

Knowshon Moreno might have gone kind of high, but I still think he's going to be good. This might sound crazy, but he kind of reminds me of Brian Westbrook. Westbrook had a low speed score, but he's been a good back, a great receiver out of the backfield, who's had injury problems. I think Moreno could be the same thing.

I'm just not sure why the Broncos needed to invest so much in the backfield in free agency and now the draft.

by Eddo :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 12:49pm

Right. If he stays healthy, Moreno is a good bet to win Offensive Rookie of the Year, as Denver has a very good offensive line and will not want to put games in Kyle Orton's or Chris Simms's hands unless they're forced to.

If that happens, pundits will use that fact to praise the pick; in reality, Denver would only get slightly less production from their already-in-place 4-to-5-headed monster at RB, and could have better spent the pick on another more-pressing need.

by Danish Denver-Fan :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 6:30pm

Absolutely right! My thoughts exactly.

Allthough i have a suspicion, that the 2009 Denver Broncos WILL be forced to put it in Ortons hands. I mean, Ayers, even if he pans out, isn't going to do it alone. That defense looks an awfull lot like the one that posted the worst DVOA of the century (I don't [ever] count the Lions).

by AlanSP :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 10:20pm

I like Moreno, but I don't think Westbrook is a good comparison at all. Moreno has great vision and runs hard, but he doesn't make guys miss in space and he doesn't have the same quickness as Westbrook. Westbrook also plays a lot faster than his 40 time would indicate; I honestly think he just had a bad run at the combine. Donald Brown and LeSean McCoy are the guys that remind me most of Westbrook.

by Justin Zeth :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 12:36pm

I like the subtle acknowledgment that Raiderjoe is a FO staffer, making his name both italcized and bold. Well played.

by D :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 1:02pm

I picked up on that too. Now we just need to figure out who.

by drobviousso :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 2:58pm

Search his name on google. He's posted on a number of websites, both football and non football related, some going back to at least '04.

He's real. He's out there. (and the FO people probably know his IP to identify the real one)

by Tom Gower :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 12:41pm

"So he's arrogant and thinks he's the best. If that prevents you from drafting a WR, you'd pretty much have a team with no WRs."
Ladies and gentlemen, I'm proud to present (drumroll) ... the Tennessee Titans!

by D :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 1:05pm

Alright! I made a comment that showed in Audibles. My life is complete. (Reflects on failed life alone in corner).

by Insancipitory :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 1:09pm

We can form a support group / mutual admiration society.

by Drunkmonkey :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 1:45pm

Dude, I'm right there with you too. This is way better than getting on SportsCenter for dancing at the Appalachian State football game on Halloween that was on ESPN2. I was dancing with a McCain mask on next to an Obama mask during halftime, and we got a 2 second shot on top plays.

But this is definitely so much cooler than that. My life is definitely complete.

by parker (not verified) :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 1:08pm

I think Barnwell is raiderjoe. He made a comment during the livechat about knowing that the commentor was not a fake raiderjoe.

Pat White is fast and JP Losman has a rocket for an arm.

I really don't get how drafting a huge project at 5 makes any sense, especially if you gave up other resources to do so. Maybe the Jets think they are set for this upcoming year...or maybe they are throwing this year in the tank figuring they can't beat New England.

Besides Orakpo, I was really hoping the Skins could have gotten one of the tackles(Oher, Britten) or Mauluga or Harvin. Once Sanchez was off the board I really felt that the Skins couldn't mess up that pick.

by Eddo :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 2:02pm

Barnwell's said before he knows the real Raiderjoe based on IP address. I don't think anyone could actually fake Raiderjoe, he's just too perfect.

by Kibbles :: Tue, 04/28/2009 - 2:47am

I love the fact that Barnwell apparently knows Raiderjoe's IP address by heart. I wonder if he mumbles it to himself in his sleep.

by Chris (not verified) :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 1:12pm

Knowshawn Moreno reminds me more of Emmitt Smith.

but are the Broncos going to run the wishbone or wing T ?

by Chris (not verified) :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 1:23pm

Every College QB is a "project"... they are projects even more so than any other position. You could be drafting a Peyton Manning or a Ryan Leaf. The thing is, if you do have a franchise quarterback ( there are 32 NFL teams but not 32 franchise quarterbacks), then you have a huge leg up on the rest of the NFL. You should know that Parker, the Redskins have a talented roster... then they have Jason Leftwhich starting at QB in a divison with Mcnabb, Romo and Eli.

So Sanchez should sit at least 1 year, probably 2, but Stafford or any other first rounder should too. You could bring up Matt Ryan, but don't bring up Joe Flacco. Yeah, he played "ok", but I wasn't very impressed at all.

If you don't want to "risk" playing the NFL lotto for a franchise QB, then just pick up some average, decent, former failed lottery tickeet like Byron Leftwhich or Jason Campbell that could come in and play "ok" given the right ball control offense. You could even pick up an oldie but goddie like Jeff Garcia and throw the ball.

I wouldn't mind seeing how Kellen Clemens would do, he looked "ok" in the limited time I saw him. He should at least be a backup QB retread level.

by tuluse :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 1:47pm

Exception to the rule: Dan Marino. He was good immediately.

by jonnyblazin :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 2:12pm

You're not impressed with a guy going from a D2 school to the NFL and being an average NFL quarterback? I mean, how many guys have done that their rookie year? Consider that he got 3rd stringer reps up until the 3rd game of the preseason, played in an offense that has been consistently weak/average for the past 10 years, and had no elite WR, no 3rd WR to speak of, an average TE, and a RT who couldn't pass block.

Sure he had some bad games, but rookie QBs aren't going to play well against great defenses. Flacco had to play the Steelers 3x, the Titans 2x, the Giants, and the Eagles. Flacco picked apart every average to below average defense he faced after the Colts game, but if you're expecting him to shred the Steelers D that's just silly.

by DoubleB (not verified) :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 2:42pm

Delaware is in FCS, not D-II and I'd argue the difference between the two levels, particularly for mostPe CAA teams, is substantial.

by jonnyblazin :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 3:47pm

Thanks for the clarification. But still, how many I-AA college QBs go on to become average NFL QBs their rookie year? Big Ben and who else?

by rk (not verified) :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 4:43pm

Not even Roethlisberger since Miami U is 1-A.

by parker (not verified) :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 1:32pm

Its been proven that teams can win without an elite qb. So I don't know why teams give up whole drafts trying to find Elway when they could find great players with a better chance of success with a more conservative strategy. Why don't the Jets just drive down to AC and put 30 million on 16 at the roulette table while they are at it. Building a team is a grind. Jason Campbell definitely doesn't suck. I will take that from my 26yr old qb. Hopefully he gets better. If not at least Snyder didn't give up a whole bunch of resources trying to bring someone in who isn't "better enough" to take us to the next level. Lets build it through taking players like Orakpo and paying dominant players like Haynesworth instead of trading 1st rounders for unproven qbs and paying 36 year old Bruce Smith.

by Insancipitory :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 1:39pm

Speaking of not-elite QBs there was this Family Guy link on fark....

by The Ninjalectual :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 1:33pm

The Texans are now a fat chick? is the funniest line out of many great ones.

"Just look at that pumpkin."
-John Madden, looking at the moon.

by Anonguy :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 8:39pm


"In the NFL Draft, there are two sure things: Everyone will be wrong about who Bill Polian drafts, and no one will understand who Al Davis drafts."

by c_f (not verified) :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 1:43pm

I was under the (perhaps false) impression New Orleans runs a lot of man. That was one explanation offered for why Jason David, a respectable zone corner with the Colts, failed so badly. Well, that combined with abysmal safety play that didn't give much support over the top.

by Joseph :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 2:28pm

c_f--you are correct. Don't know how much this will change now that Gregg Williams is the DC instead of Gary Gibbs. I think the Michael Huff comparison is a good one. He will probably be the nickel corner for a year or so, with Jabari Greer from Buffalo and last year's 2nd rounder, Tracy Porter, as the starters. I imagine he can also be on the field to cover the "split-out tight end" types, like Tony Gonzalez that Atl. just picked up.

by Dave0 :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 2:15pm

Bill Barnwell, you take credit for a lot of stuff.

Just let the game come to you.

by parker (not verified) :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 2:25pm

we now return to Lady and the Tramp and Michael Vick

by Chris (not verified) :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 3:50pm

Joe Flacco coming in and playing ... average... if you want to call it that exceeded all expectations because nobody thought he would even do that... yes, you are right. But everybody using Joe Flacco as some example of a guy coming in and playing well... If Joe Flacco didn't improve at all in his career, he wouldn't be a very good player. Now he should improve, but until I see it, I am not impressed with what I saw from him last year and am I not scared of him beating my team with his arm and his decision making.

It has been proven that you CAN win without an elite QB, but it's much much easier to win with one. Look at who makes the super bowls, heck, look at who makes the playoffs each year?

Brady, the Mannings, Rosethlisburger, Mcnabb, Favres, Montana, Elway, Warner, Jim Kelly, Gannon, Steve Young, Aikman.

ok, I'll give you Dilfer and BJ, although BJ was actually pretty good and made it late in his career. Oh and throw in a Rex Grossman super bowl.

Romo, Brees, Rivers, and Palmer could make it on that list in the next few years. I could see why you like Jason Campbell so much now, you don't believe it is a quarterback league. Maybe your childish owner can sign every defensive free agent in an uncapped 2010 and try and win like the 2000 Ravens, but I wouldn't bet on it. I think the Redskins fans are so used to losing, that going 9-7 or fighting for a playoff spot is now a "successful season".

by DoubleB (not verified) :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 5:19pm

I'd argue Brad Johnson was, at worst, a pretty good QB in his career. 83+ career passer rating, a pair of Pro Bowls, and won a large percentage of his starts. He's not a star or elite, but he's done a very nice job everywhere he's been (minus Dallas last year).

There aren't many Super Bowl winners who get it done with an average QB. Trent Dilfer is the obvious exception. Rypien may have had an average career, but he certainly had an elite season the year the Redskins won it. Was Doug Williams average? Jim Plunkett? Jim McMahon? Beyond Dilfer (and maybe Eli Manning), you really have to go back 20+ years to find a QB that won a Super Bowl that isn't a very good player.

by MC2 :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 6:10pm

Jeff Hostetler. And Roethlisberger wasn't nearly as good the first time around as he was last year.

by rk (not verified) :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 7:38pm

The same with Brady in 2001-02.

by the silent speaker (not verified) :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 5:14pm

"Orakpo's problems are his technique and his consistency."

Oh, is that all?

by AlanSP :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 5:34pm

Crabtree caught 97 passes last year, 134 passes in 2007. There weren't many incompletions to watch: according to The Sporting News Draft Annual, Crabtree caught 94 percent of the passes thrown to him.

I'm extremely skeptical of this. I could buy only dropping 6% of the passes to him, but a fair number are simply going to be inaccurate throws, or throws where they tried to force the ball to their best receiver. NFL Draft Scout had him catching 97 out of 145 passes thrown to him, or about 67%.

by Illmatic74 :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 6:22pm

I don't think the speed score applies to Moreno with his ability to gut , his lateral quickness and competiveness as a runner I see some Emmit Smith and Curtis Martin in him.

by MainerRaider (not verified) :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 8:02pm

The "Al Davis is senile and crazy" jokes get less funny and closer to the truth every year. Argh!

by Anonymouse (not verified) :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 9:01pm

anyone have the link to espn chat on sunday? cannot find.

by lionsbob :: Mon, 04/27/2009 - 11:55pm

I am not sure what problems Andre Smith has with staying healthy, he missed one game in 3 years because of injury (a sprained knee this season). He led the OL in snaps played I do believe his freshman and sophomore season.

His weight is of course the biggest issue right now.

by Anonguy :: Tue, 04/28/2009 - 2:05am

Health problems aren't solely about injuries. He got suspended from the Sugar Bowl, showed up at the draft and annouced he wasn't going to workout because he was out of shape. There's no denying his talent, but there's no denying his problems too.

BTW, weight issues are a health concern.

"In the NFL Draft, there are two sure things: Everyone will be wrong about who Bill Polian drafts, and no one will understand who Al Davis drafts."

by AlanSP :: Wed, 04/29/2009 - 7:29am

I will in fact deny his problems, or at least say that they're overblown. His problem wasn't that he was out of shape but that he announced that he was out of shape. Plenty of guys every year don't work out, and he would have been fine with a simple "I've chosen to focus on my pro day instead" or some other vanilla comment like that (and his agent should have made sure he had some stock explanation to give teams). Similar story for running with his shirt off at his pro day; it's bad marketing more than anything else. He did eventually fire his agent, but after the damage had already been done. I think most of Andre Smith's problems were simply due to poor handling of the draft process itself. Fortunately, how he handles the draft process no longer has any real relevance.

Generally, when people talk about health concerns in the NFL, they're talking about injuries, or other health conditions that could prevent someone from playing (e.g. a heart problem). His weight is a health issue is the sense of his long term health, but it's probably not a health issue during his playing career. His weight could become an issue in terms of his quickness, but you're really not talking about health at that point any more that you are when you say that a 230 pound DE's lack of size is a concern.