Friday, April 3, 2009
Like DEs, the DT group is comprised of a bunch of guys that can participate in a variety of roles for defenses. A lot of 3-4 end prospects can serve in the lighter under tackle role here and have the frames and measurables to be successful. As stated below, there is a ton of value in the 3rd and 4th rounds of the draft but this might cause a lot of teams to start reaching within round 2 for some of these players. With the versatility that a lot of these guys show, many teams have these players on their draft boards.
1) B.J Raji / Boston College / Top 10
2) Peria Jerry / Ole Miss / 1st
3) Evander “Ziggy” Hood / 1st – 2nd
4) Tyson Jackson / LSU / 1st
5) Ron Brace / Boston College / 1st – 2nd
6) Jarron Gilbert / San Jose State / 2nd
7) Fili Moala / USC / 2nd
8) Sen Derrick Marks / Auburn / 3rd
9) Mitch King / Iowa / 3rd
10) Alex Magee / Purdue / 3rd
11) Dorell Scott / Clemson / 3rd
12) Corvey Irvin / Georgia / 3rd
13) Chris Baker / Hampton / 3rd – 4th
14) Sammie Lee Hill / Stillman / 3rd -4th
15) Terrance Knighton / Temple / 4th – 5th
16) Ricky Jean-Francois / Florida / 4th – 5th
17) Kyle Moore / USC / 4th – 5th
18) Roy Miller / Texas/ 5th
19) Terrance Taylor / Michigan / 5th
B.J. Raji is the true stud in this group who has been projected anywhere from top 5 to pick 12 at the Broncos. Raji provides a run stuffing presence in the middle with the ability to move around and frustrate offenses. One of Raji's strongsuits is that he's extremely instinctual and even if he can't get to the QB, he will get in the passing line and disrupt a ton of balls at the line. Jerry is an outstanding pentrator who stuffs a ton of plays behind the LOS. Jerry is perfect fit for the Tampe 2 and has been projected anywhere from the Bears to the Colts. Hood, Gilbert and Jackson are fits at 3-4 end but have the builds to play inside if need be. Ron Brace played next to Raji at BC but is strictly a run stuffer at this point. The 3rd round offers some intriguing prospects with upside. Either way an extremely deep class in the draft.
1) B.J Raji / Boston College / Top 10
2) Ron Brace / Boston College / 1st – 2nd
3) Chris Baker / Hampton / 3rd – 4th
4) Sammie Lee Hill / Stillman / 3rd -4th
5) Terrance Taylor / Michigan / 5th
6) Roy Miller / Texas/ 5th
Not much here in number of space eaters but some good players. Raji and Brace headline. Baker is from little known Hampton but played a 3-4 in college and Hampton grads have had success in the pros in the 3-4 alignment (Kendall Langford most recently). Hill is massive with some impressive combine numbers. He too has risen up draft boards. Taylor and Miller were round 1 candidates early this year but their production didn't match the hype. Both still have considerable upside.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
As we now go into the defensive prospects of the draft, it’s pretty hard to classify each player into a specific category. Not all 4-3 defenses are the same and not all 3-4 defenses are the same. That being said I’m grouped the following players into 2 distinct buckets. In some of these cases, the 4-3 guy might be a 3-4 OLB as a 3-4 DE might be a 4-3 DT. The versatility of players is definitely the main take away point from these players. Some players like Tyson Jackson have value in all the ways they can be lined up and teams might find him useful for any scheme.
There is also an upward trend of teams switching to the 3-4 defense. Teams now include the Broncos, Chiefs, Packers among the Steelers, Cardinals, Pats, Rats, Jets, 49ers, Cowboys, Chargers, etc.
1) Brian Orakpo / Texas / 1st
2) Everette Brown / Florida State /1st
3) Aaron Maybin / Penn State / 1st
4) Robert Ayers / Tennessee / 1st
5) Tyson Jackson / LSU / 1st
6) Micheal Johnson / Georgia Tech / 1st -2nd
7) Larry English / Northern Illinois / 1st -2nd
8) Connor Barwin / Cincinnati / 2nd
9) Paul Kruger / Utah / 2nd – 3rd
10) Lawrence Sidbury / Richmond / 2nd – 3rd
11) David Veikune / Hawaii / 3rd
12) Derek Walker / Illinois / 4th
Overall in 4-3 land, Orakpo is a stud. While there is some question if he can play the run better, he is one of the elite pass rushers in the draft. Moreover, he is outstanding in space and has 3-4 OLB potential. The same can be said about Brown and Maybin. Both have shown they have the pass rush skills but there are some questions on how they will handle themselves in the run game for 4-3 teams. The best true 4-3 DE and gaining rapid traction on the boards is Robert Ayers who had a dominant senior bowl and combine. He has been routinely walking various draft class offensive linemen into the backfield. I wouldn't be suprised to see all 4 DEs go by pick 15. Ayers might even be the second DE taken. In the 4-3, Tyson Jackson offers little rushing the passer but is the best run defender at the end position. Problem is he a natural fit for the 3-4 and will likely be taken by the Chargers at pick 16. Johnson was a sure fire top 5 pick based on measurables and the previous 07 season but flamed out last year. Still he has the measurables that make him very tempting to teams in the 20s. Barwin and English fall into hybrids again. Both have risen up draft boards due to solid combines. Barwin even got some work in during the season at TE. He would be an ideal replacement for Mike Vrabel in Patsy land.
1) Tyson Jackson / LSU / 1st
2) Jarron Gilbert / San Jose State / 1st – 2nd
3) Evander “Ziggy” Hood / Missouri / 1st – 2nd
4) Fili Moala / USC / 2nd
5) Mitch King / Iowa / 3rd
6) Alex Magee / Purdue / 3rd
7) Sammie Lee Hill / Stillman / 3rd -4th
8) Terrance Knighton / Temple / 4th – 5th
9) Ricky Jean-Francois / Florida / 4th – 5th
10) Kyle Moore / USC / 4th – 5th
As stated above, Jackson is the best fit for a 3-4. Don't ever expect 7-8 sacks a season but do expect great run defense and 2 gap responsibilities. Gilbert and Hood both can play 4-3 DT and also have risen up boards. Moala is a talented player whose skillset didn't translate well on the field. Ricky Jean Francois has been in a big time player for Florida and has been dominate during the big stage / National championship games. He has injury history but is relentless and fits the 3-4 mold.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
So this was supposed to be staycation weekend '09 for me. I took off work Friday and Monday and figured I'd have a nice little break from the rat race. Naturally, I get sick on Wednesday and am bed ridden until Saturday. So no tourney drinking friday night pub fest, no saturday drinking fests, no clothes shopping, very little cleaning but at least I had tv and caught up on the greatness that is East Bound and Down and various movies that came out last year.
By Saturday and the endless tournament, tv and hockey viewing caught up with me and I figured I should get a little air and a cocktail or two with White Boy and B.I.G. Turns out some jackass steals my phone and decides to update my FACEBOOK STATUS at 5:48 am as well as buy such vital things like Tetris. I'm okay with buying the games but touching my facebook status is on the equivalent of deflowering my yet to be born daughter. You just don't do it if you want to live. This reminds me of the seinfeld episode where Jerry's car gets stolen and he calls the phone in the car with the guy answering.
Anyway on to some sports related matters:
Normally I wouldn't give two shits about basketball but this tourney has been solid. Sure there have been a lot of stinkers but that Pitt/Nova game was intense. It's good to know that Pitt choked in the Elite 8 as opposed to the Sweet 16. Up was down, black was white, good was bad, day was night, etc. At least things are somewhat normal again. I was getting scared.
I'm glad that this year's version of UNC is a lot less of Tyler Doucheborough and more of the Lawson. It's good that someone with actual talent is being discussed as opposed to the try hard bumpkin who will likely be in Europe in 4 years.
Also I agree with White Boy. We need more Gus Johnson. Only he can orgasm on a two point layup 1 minute into a game. If only, blogger had some like function cuz I'd be giving my thumbs up.
I'm also glad I haven't seen Dick Vitale anywhere either. Awesome baby went to golf mode when his little Dukies got Villanova'd.
Also props to YOUR BOSTON UNIVERSITY TERRIERS!!!!!!! who just jobbed New Hampshire
2-1 with 14 seconds left on a goal by Joey Lawrence's younger brother.
First a cool little segment on the Blues, TJ Oshie. Who? I didn't know who he was until two weeks when I updated my NHL'09 rosters but things like this are awesome. Again, why aren't clips like this out there more? And how did a diehard NHL fan like myself equipped with center ice and the internet not know who this guy is?
awesome. Also this quip:
“When I play NHL ‘09, I play as the Blues and my guy is just terrible,” Oshie said, laughing. “I feel embarrassed when he’s out there. He’s slow, every time he gets touched he falls down.”
Dude TJ, don't sweat it man just rock the edit a player function and you'll see more of this:
Sticking with the west, we had an old fashion line brawl last night between the Hawks and Canucks.
Point of interest includes, Ben Eager bodyslamming another man and Vancouver super pest, Alex Burrows HAIR PULLING. Look we've seen some pathetic fighting displays with Crosby, Semin but this might be the worst. What is this middle school? And hair pulling? Really? As of now, the Canucks are tied with Chicago for the 4th spot. PLEASE meet in the first round. It's good to have a series with some intensity.
Can we just start the playoffs already? If I were one of the top 3 in the east (Boston, NJ, Wash), I'd be scared of playing either the Rags, Penguins or Hurricanes. All three teams along with Philly are playing the best hockey in the conference right now. The Devils have looked like crap against the Hurricanes and should be praying for a shot at the Penguins or the Rangers. But really, if you were a devil fan, would you want to play either? Not bloody likely.
Let me go on record to say I have no beef with Avery and I sort of enjoyed him tormenting Fatso last year, as a Devil hater.
The tri state area would love for it to happen this year versus a much more deeper Devil team and a rested Fatso. The teams play tonight on Versus (CHANNEL 122 ON TIME WARNER CABLE) as the Rangers will attempt to extend their record against the Devils to 12-2-3 with Avery. Bring it.
Finally, listen to former, Sportscenter anchor, Jack Edwards. Going all Count Dracula over this hit by Bruin, Milan Douchic.
It's good to know Edwards is well on his way to nice little room with 4 white walls and a straight jacket. Creepy stuff.
We got a two week sprint to the playoffs and things are absolutely intense right now. It's the most wonderful time of the year.
...a preview of what will happen when two nouns with two-worded names that don't have spaces in them meet. Ok, fine. I just looked it up and the real name is Citi Field, but it just looks strange to me that way, probably because city is spelled wrong, so yeah, CitiField it is.
There was an actual baseball game at Citi today when the Georgetown Hoyas took on the St. John's Red Storm in college baseball. It was a bleak day here in the Tri-State area, but from the pictures, reviews and video I've seen of our new ballpark, it was pretty sunny at Citi. The picture to the left is of fans entering through the Jackie Robinson Rotunda.
Next Saturday, I will be heading into Queens to see the Mets take on the Red Sox in the second of two exhibition games to (for the 3rd time in a week) unofficially open the new Mets Mecca. Here are some things that I just cannot wait for:
- Along with a bunch of my friends, I'll be sitting in the outfield watching the Mets. That's the legitimate outfield- not foul territory- because yes, this stadium has seats all around. This also means that I'll be able to walk around the whole stadium in its wide concourses that will allow me to view the game from all angles.
- The food options including bbq, the Shake Shack, normal baseball fare and many others that make Shea look, well like Shea...
- The old Home Run Apple, on display behind center field and the new Home Run Apple, which I haven't seen yet. Will it also be covered in red tape and come out of a big top hat?? One can only dream.
- The city skyline that used to be above the scoreboard, which is now over one of the concession stands.
- The Jackie Robinson Rotunda, which will be a nicer entrance to a ballpark than just ramps.
- Sitting in an intimate stadium that has each seat angled towards the field.
- Waiting in line for the bathroom and being able to watch the game on the tv above the door.
- I'll be able to look down into the bullpens and say what I want to the pitchers as they warm up. ("Don't screw this up JJ." "You're old, Mariano.")
- Did I mention the fact that I'm going to be watching live baseball???
While I do know that it is going to be an awesome experience, what I don't know is how many regulars are going to be playing next Saturday. I'll let you know how it goes in my write-up following the game. I might just have to save my Big Game excitement for when I see the Mets-Phillies (!) game with my mom in May.