Archive Page 2

13
Apr
10

Trust The Tris Mock 2.0- with a vengeance

Now that we’re less than 10 days from the Draft, I feel that it’s time to update my Mock Draft. There’s been a lot of movers and shakers since Mock 1.0, so let’s do this:

1. St Louis Rams- Sam Bradford, QB Oklahoma. How much clearer have the Rams made it now that they dropped Marc Bulger, that they are going to take a QB in this draft? Then again, in 05, Aaron Rodgers was projected to go 1st overall, and he fell to 24th. Anything can happen. (Mock 1.0- Bradford)

2. Detroit Lions- Russel Okung, OT Oklahoma St. Detroit was originally a French settlement, pronounced ‘Day-Twat’ and was primarily a port city. It’s the only major US city that looks South on Canada. Oh, and they need an O-Line if they want to protect their pretty boy franchise Q, even more so than the need for a DL. (Mock 1.0- Suh)

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Ndamukong Suh, DT Nebraska. That’s right, Clearwater, you’re gonna get your Suh, and his older sister too.  With Detroit looking like its gonna go with Okung the Hoss, the Bucs will get the next Warren Sapp. At least that’s what they’re hoping. (Mock 1.0- G. McCoy)

4. Washington Redskins- Trent Williams, OT Oklahoma. Is it scary how fast Trent Williams is flying up the boards? Some people have Williams ranked higher than Okung, and the Redskins know exactly what they need to do in this draft. Protect, protect, protect. (Mock 1.0- Okung)

5. Kansas City Chiefs- Bryan Bulaga, OT Iowa. No change here from my previous mock. The Chiefs must protect their investment in Matt Cassel, who was one of the most sacked QBs in the league last year. (Mock 1.0- Bulaga)

6. Seattle Seahawks- Gerald McCoy, DT Oklahoma. Here’s where McCoy stops skidding down the draft board. He won’t fall very far either way, and Seattle likes a D-Lineman now that they’ve lost a few to free agency.(Mock 1.0- trade to DEN, Dez Bryant)

7. Cleveland Browns- Eric Berry, S Tennessee. Trying to play catch-up to the rest of the teams in the AFC North isn’t going to be easy, but Holmgren & Co. have already done a pretty good job of weeding in Cleveland. Let’s see if the fruit can finally grow. This will be a step in the right direction with Berry.(Mock 1.0- Berry)

8. Oakland Raiders- Bruce Campbell, OT Maryland. Or will it be Dez Bryant? Or will it be Tim Tebow? Who knows with Al Davis anymore these days. One thing is for sure, the Raiders need an O-Line. Or do they need a D-Line? Or… (Mock 1.0- A.Davis)

9. Buffalo Bills- Anthony Davis, OT Rutgers. With a roster that resembles swiss cheese, the Bills sure have a lot of holes to fill. But Chan Gailey is an offense-minded guy and as passionate of a speech that George Edwards will make about drafting a D-Lineman, they need to complete that O-Line.  Jackson and Lynch need something to run behind. (Mock 1.0- Pierre-Paul)

10. Jacksonville Jaguars- Joe Haden, CB Florida. I think that the Jags have temporarily solved their pass rush problem with the signing of Aaron Kampman, and their next issue is trying to defend against the aerial attacks in the AFC South (Colts, Texans). They could also nab Dan Williams, who has risen fast on the boards lately. (Mock 1.0- Haden)

11. Denver Broncos- Rolando McClain, LB Alabama. The Broncos solved their problems at DT by signing Justin Bannan and Big Fat Jamal Williams, so now they look to nab the best linebacker in the draft to run their 3-4 Defense. (Mock 1.0- D.Williams)

12. Miami Dolphins-Sean Weatherspoon, LB Missouri. The Dolphins did answer their MLB questions when they signed Karlos Dansby, but Weatherspoon can play outside, and man does he have a high motor and a nose for the football. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Dan Williams go here also. (Mock 1.0- Mays)

13. San Fransisco 49ers- Mike Iupati, OG Idaho. Even defensive-minded Coach Singletary knows that the offensive line needs serious help. Iupati can play at multiple positions and can help the ‘9ers reach that next level. (Mock 1.0- T.Williams)

14. Seattle Seahawks- Jimmy Clausen, QB Notre Dame. He may not be here, in which case CJ Spiller makes the most sense, but even the trade for Charlie Whitehurst won’t stop Pete Carrol from putting his thumbprint on the Seahawks Dynasty at QB. (Mock 1.0- Clausen)

15. New York Giants- Sergio Kindle, LB Texas. With Rolando McClain long gone, the Giants still have their biggest need at LB. Kindle is a huge playmaker and has drawn comparisons to another Texas Linebacker, Brian Orapko. Should be fun watching the former teammates play against each other twice a year for a long, long time. (Mock 1.0- R.McClain)

16. Tennessee Titans- Derrick Morgan, DE Georgia Tech. The Titans would like to draft a DE here, and drafting someone that they can plug right in is key. They would love to draft Jason Pierre-Paul, but he is too much of a ‘project’ and as such could cost him in the draft. Morgan is almost a lock here to Nashville. (Mock 1.0- Morgan)

17. San Fransisco 49ers- Kyle Wilson, CB Boise State. The 49ers feel that they can win with Frank Gore and Glen Coffee, and so they pass on CJ Spiller to fill another pressing need- the press coverage need, that is. Wilson is arguably the best corner in the draft (in my opinion he is better than Haden) and the 49ers become legit with a much improved pass D. (Mock 1.0- Spiller)

18. Pittsburgh Steelers- Dez Bryant, WR Oklahoma St. The Steelers have a lot of picks and not a lot of roster space this year, so they may want to try and trade up to someone like Jacksonville, who could use some extra bargaining chips. But now that Santonio Holmes is gone, the Steelers are going to have to play catch-up to the Benglas and Ravens, who have vastly improved their receiving corps this offseason. Character issues may be a concern here and that could lead to a CB falling here instead. (Mock 1.0- Iupati)

19. Atlanta Falcons- Dan Williams, DT Tennessee. One thing is for sure- the Falcons need a pass rush. If Dan Williams falls this far, then watch out, this could be the steal of the draft. If he doesn’t fall, then Carlos Dunlap or Jason Pierre-Paul start to look much sexier here. (Mock 1.0- Dunlap)

20. Houston Texans- CJ Spiller, RB Clemson. A lot of uses for CJ Spiller. Kick returner now that Dunta Robinson is gone. RB now that Steve Slaton sucks.  Slot receiver since Kevin Walter always gets hurt. This guy is gonna create a lot of headaches for the AFC South’s so-so defenses. (Mock 1.0-E.Thomas)

21. Cincinatti Bengals- Jermaine Gresham, TE Oklahoma. The Bengals will most likely take the best available player here, and that could end up being Gresham. This will also give Cincy a legitimate middle-of-the-field threat who is deceptively fast for his huge size. I’m a little nervous. (Mock 1.0-Tate)

22. New England- Brandon Graham, DE/OLB Michigan. Graham will add so much to the Patriots D as long as they just let him sic the QB all game. He has the size to play DE and the speed to play OLB. The Patriots need to stay competitive on D to shut down the offensively weak AFC East. (Mock 1.0-Graham)

23. Green Bay Packers- Kareem Jackson, CB Alabama. The Pack still need an injection of youth in their O-Line, but that will have to wait. Jackson is getting a lot of hype around the league now and the Packers should bite on pass D. (Mock 1.0-B. Campbell)

24. Philadelphia Eagles- Taylor Mays, S USC. If the Eagles are known for one thing, it’s their playmakers. Taylor Mays worked extremely hard in the offseason, and his blazing time in the 40, along with obvious talent make this pick a no-brainer for Philly. OL is interesting here, too, but with a high 2nd-round pick, this can be addressed. (Mock 1.0-Weatherspoon)

25. Baltimore Ravens- Carlos Dunlap, DE Florida. The 6′-6″ freak of nature can inject some youth into the Ravens D-Line, and creates mismatches along with Haloti Ngata up front. CB is also a huge need, and Patrick Robinson could be higher on the Ravens’ board than people may think. (Mock 1.0-Gresham)

26. Arizona Cardinals- Jason Pierre-Paul, DE USF. I think that the Cards will roll the dice on this guy, which could pay off in a huge way, especially in the NFC West. Pierre-Paul has a lot of questions surrounding him coming out of college, but his athletic ability and huge potential are definitely not in question. Don’t forget that Earl Thomas is still available… (Mock 1.0-Kindle)

27. Dallas Cowboys- Earl Thomas, S Texas. The star of the Longhorns’ D becomes a star in the Big D after Jerry Jones pulls the trigger on the best D Backs in the draft. (Mock 1.0-C.Brown)

28. San Diego Chargers- Terrence Cody, DT Alabama Even though they still need RB, by the time that they draft again in the 2nd round, Cody will be long gone. And with the loss of Big Fat Jamal Williams, Cody can come in and become an instant space-eater. (Mock 1.0- Best)

29. New York Jets- Jared Odrick, DT Penn St. What else do the Jets have left to fill this offseason? They’ve made some fantastic moves to acquire some great players, and Odrick is going to serve as Rex Ryan’s new play toy. Watch out for the Jets. (Mock 1.0-Odrick)

30. Minnesota Vikings- Patrick Robinson, CB FSU. With the Vikings not needing too much, a playmaking CB is basically a nice parting gift in the back of the Draft for Minnesota. I wouldn’t be surprised if the drafted elsewhere, say, RB? But really they are a very complete team; as long as Grandpa Favre is still around, that is. (Mock 1.0-Robinson)

31. Indianapolis Colts- Maurkice Pouncey, G/C Florida. EVERYONE has him going to Indy, and so do I. The only other pressing need is CB, but all the good ones are scooped up except for Devin McCourty from Rutgers. But Pouncey will be a very nice addition. (Mock 1.0-Pouncey)

32. New Orleans Saints- Daryl Washington, LB TCU. I like the idea of Mad Scientist Sean Payton drafting Tim Tebow here, but that would just feel too warm and fuzzy. LB is a much greater need than QB/TE/RB. And look how long it took them to figure out what to do with a ‘college football superstar’ last time they drafted one in the first round. (Mock 1.0-K.Wilson)

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26
Mar
10

The McDilemma- What Should The Eagles Do With Donovan?

So I’ve been asked to write about my thoughts on the Eagles shopping McNabb. What do I think? What could some potential landing spots be? Who will be the Eagles’ starting QB next year? Let’s dive in:

So, do I think that the Eagles should trade McNabb for a draft pick? In a word, yes. Here’s why:

First,  McNabb has one year left on his contract before he becomes unrestricted in 2011, an already shaky year for players. So does Kevin Kolb, heir apparent. The Eagles are not going to renew both contracts. So, who do they sign long-term? The long-toothed veteran who hasn’t won a championship with the birds, or the ready-in-wait backup who has shown flashes that he’s more than capable? I’m injecting some youth into this spot now if I’m the GM- even if it means sacrificing the face of the franchise.

Second, if I’m Andy Reid, I’m kicking myself right now for opening my big walrus mouth about being open to entertain trade offers for McRibb. What happens if they don’t trade him before training camp breaks? God, that’s gonna be a media swarm nightmare. I can just see a disgruntled Donovan in the locker room and around the organization, and an angry Kevin Kolb waiting in the wings (another year) to get the chance to play. I haven’t even mentioned Michael Vick yet. You have to trade McNabb now, and pick a QB to lead the team, NOW.

That being said, there are still questions. Can Kevin Kolb really produce those McNabb-esque numbers that we saw for a couple of weeks, for an entire season? Don’t forget about 2008 when McNabb got benched in the 2nd half of a game vs the Ravens, when Kolb came in and got absolutely rocked. Granted, he got caught off-guard and wasn’t expecting to play. But shouldn’t any quarterback, backup or not, prepare as if he was the starter no matter what?

Now that the Eagles think they have all of the pieces in place to make another run, do you dump your franchise QB off? The one guy who knows the offense better than any player on the field? side note: anyone that watched the pro bowl witnessed desean jackson looking mighty confused with the play calling while the NFC was on the field- on more than one occasion he had to ask what route to run, and where to line up. That scares me a little bit about him being the real deal or not. But that just hammers home my point about McNabb being the go-to guy on offense.

The next question is: how do the Eagles want to draft this year? Do they want more picks or not? I believe that the answer is yes. They want as many picks as possible. They’ve got a couple holes to fill, (Guard, Linebacker) and need those extra picks. The Eagles say that they won’t budge on a trade unless it’s in the top 42 picks.  I like the word picks. A top-42 pick is going to land McNabb’s value to the Eagles in the late 1st-early 2nd round area, and I’m leaning towards the latter. After the thursday night 1st round, there will be an entire day of wheeling and dealing picks to jockey for the 2nd round the following night. So, one of those teams with a top-10 pick in the 2nd round is a possibility. Let’s take a look at some potential trades:

pick 33: Rams. This is a possible landing spot, if the Rams do not draft Bradford in the 1st round. I would like to see the Rams rebuild through the draft, however, and I don’t see this trade happening.

pick 39: Raiders. This could make sense here. Not an ideal situation for McNabb, but the Raiders are definitely in flux with the QB position, and as much as I hate to say it, McNabb could be the missing piece in Oakland. The Eagles would be really happy with a low 2nd-round pick also.

pick 41: Bills. I think that the Bills have more holes than swiss cheese in their lineup. The only solid position is RB, with Jackson and Lynch back there. But QB is a huge need, and Chan Gailey is  QB guy.

Of these three, the Raiders seems like the most logical choice of a landing spot. However, I don’t believe that McNabb would want to sign a long-term contract there, which could potentially be a stopping point.

If none of these trades works out, then the Eagles may have to look beyond the top 42. If some team offered a late 2nd pick and maybe a couple other picks, that could sweeten the deal for sure. A couple of teams that come to mind are the Cardinals, 49ers and Vikings. Of these three, the Cardinals make the most sense. Because McNabb to Fitz is much sexier than Derek Anderson to Fitz.

Ultimately, I think McNabb has to go now. It’s too bad that the Eagles had to open their mouths about it, because I think it was the wrong choice. I think Kolb and Vick need to be traded out of Philly, and then you draft your QB in the 2nd round this year. Whatever happens, I’m worried about the Eagles’ continuity in the locker room this year. If McNabb can be put out there on the block, then anyone can be. You don’t want to be in a locker room with that kind of fear, it does nothing but bad things for morale. Too bad it seems inevitable that a Donovan-less Philly is in the near future. Eagles fans hated him anyway.

10
Mar
10

SORRY

Sorry the Draft blog order is backwards (3/3 is first), just make do with it and read the posts backwards, or just do whatever you want

10
Mar
10

Trust The Tris Mock Draft 1.0 (with guest mock) PT3/3

  • #22 pick: New England Patriots

Team Needs: Defense

Tris’ Pick: Brandon Graham, DE/OLB Michigan

Comment: If you’re New England, you have to see that old defense of yours falling apart at the seams. Youth in 2008 with Jerod Mayo and now some more youth in the LB-Hybrid Graham should spark this D. OLB Sergio Kindle also makes sense here.

Breck’s Pick: Jered Odrick, DL Penn State

Comment: Odrick fits the Richard Seymour mold which the Patriots obviously missed the second half of last season. A DE/OLB to replace Adalious Thomas/Tully Banta-Cain is also possible.

  • #23 pick: Green Bay Packers

Team Needs: OL,DB

Tris’ Pick: Bruce Campbell, OT Maryland

Comment: Even though the Pack resigned Chad Clifton, they can use all the help they can get to try to shore up that O-Line, which ironically resembles swiss cheese. Campbell was the combine workhorse, so he may end up going sooner. Either way, draft an O-Lineman!

Breck’s Pick: Kyle Wilson, CB/KR Boise State

Comment: The Packers CB aren’t getting any younger and the return game could use a boost. Wilson is the clear cut #2 CB in the draft and a difference maker in the return game.

  • #24 pick: Philadelphia Eagles

Team Needs: LB,OL

Tris’ Pick: Sean Witherspoon, OLB Missouri

Comment: It’s a toss-up here between Witherspoon and Sergio Kindle, but I think Witherspoon’s pro day has elevated his stock.

Breck’s Pick: Mike Iupati, OG Idaho

Comment: Andy Reid loves drafting lineman, and this draft is loaded with them. Iupati is a nasty, physical player that would easily slid into RG for the Eagles. Let’s face it the Andrews brothers are finished and I think the Birds sign a DE to help Trent Cole. DT, DB are also possibilities.

  • #25 pick: Baltimore Ravens

Team Needs: CB,WR

Tris’ Pick: Jermaine Gresham, TE Oklahoma

Comment: Now that the Ravens have traded for Boldin, the need at WR is a lot less. But look for Ozzie Newsome to add one more weapon for Joe Cool. Gresham will be the best player available anyway. Other consideration- Patrick Robinson, CB

Breck’s Pick: Jermaine Gresham, TE Oklahoma

Comment: WR was the top concern for this team, but after trading for Anquan Boldin and signing Donte Stallworth, the Ravens can focus their attention elsewhere. Why not keep adding weapons for QB Joe Flacco in Gresham. Heap is aging and L.J. Smith is not the answer.

  • #26 pick: Arizona Cardinals

Team Needs: LB,S,QB

Tris’ Pick: Sergio Kindle, LB Texas

Comment: Interesting draft this year for ARI, who will be rebuilding. They could take a QB here but I think there will be a few ‘project’ QBs laying around late in the 2nd round and the need to plug the holes left by Dansby and Rolle are greater.

Breck’s Pick: Sergio Kindle, DE/OLB Texas

Comment: With no premiere OT left, the Cardinals will turn their attention to their defense which faded late last season and has lost two major pieces in S Antrel Rolle and ILB Karlos Dansby. Kindle gives the teams an edge pass-rusher which should take some pressure off the secondary.

  • #27 pick: Dallas Cowboys

Team Needs: Not much

Tris’ Pick: Charles Brown, OT

Comment: Flozell Adams isn’t getting any younger and there’s no glaring holes elsewhere in Dallas. They could always keep adding depth at LB or DT.

Breck’s Pick: Sean Weatherspoon, OLB Missouri

Comment: The Cowboys could use some O-line help, but they have NEVER drafted an offensive lineman in the first round since Jerry Jones has been owner. LBs Ketih Brooking and Bradie James are rapidly aging and LB Bobby Carpenter could be released.

  • #28 pick: San Diego Chargers

Team Needs: RB, DB

Tris’ Pick: Jhavid Best, RB Cal

Comment: With LT gone, it’s the ‘Best’ fit for the Chargers. Could also draft a solid CB here to replace Antonio Cromartie

Breck’s Pick: Jonathan Dwyer, RB Georgia Tech

Comment: LaDanian Tomlinson is gone. Dwyer is a physical runner and fits nicely into the Chargers system complimenting Darren Sproles’ speed, should the Chargers keep him. RB should be the Bolt’s only concern with this pick.

  • #29 pick: New York Jets

Team Needs: DL,WR

Tris’ Pick: Jared Odrick, DT Penn State

Comment: Jets can go best available here, and Rex Ryan is a defensive-minded guy. I like the intensity of this guy and so will Rex and the Jets

Breck’s Pick: Golden Tate, WR Notre Dame

Comment: After trading for CB Antonio Cromartie, the Jets can turn their attention to adding more explosiveness on offense. Tate is the clear #2 WR in the draft and should help stretch the field with Braylon Edwards and Jerrico Cotchery.

  • #30 pick: Minnesota Vikings

Team Needs: LB,DB

Tris’ Pick: Patrick Robinson, CB

Comment: Vikes would like another big guy at DT but they have bigger needs here at CB, and Robinson fits the bill as one of the top CBs this year.

Breck’s Pick: Brian Price, DT UCLA

Comment: Price is a steal at this point in the draft. He is at time unblockable and with DT Pat Williams nearing retirement there is no better time to bring in his successor. The secondary is also of concern.

  • #31 pick: Indianapolis Colts

Team needs: OL

Tris’ Pick: Maurkice Pouncey, C/G Florida

Comment: Colts can go get the best available youth for their front line.

Breck’s Pick: Maurkice Pouncey, C/OG Florida

Comment: It’s no secret the Colts could use offensive line upgrades. Pouncey would start at RG right away and eventually replace C Jeff Saturday. DT is also a possibility.

  • #32 pick: NO Saints

Team Needs:  DB,LB

Tris’ Pick: Kyle Wilson, CB

Comment: If Sharper can’t be resigned, then the Saints run away with a steal at #32. Kyle Wilson. This kid had his own picture on the side of the Boise State team bus. Enough Said.

Breck’s Pick: Mark Herzlich, OLB Boston College

Comment: With LB Scott Fujita possibly going to Cleveland, the Saints will need a solid linebacker to replace him. Herzlich is a tackling machine. DE is also a possibility.

10
Mar
10

Trust The Tris Mock Draft 1.0 (with guest mock) PT2/3

  • #11 pick: Denver Broncos

Team Needs:  DL

Tris’ Pick: Dan Williams, DT Tennessee

Comment: DTs are huge in this draft, which is good for Denver because they need a big 3-4 tackle in there.  They could also draft Rolando McClain to give Denver another 3-4 Linebacker.

Breck’s Pick: Dez Bryant, WR Oklahoma State

Comment: Brandon Marshall may be traded, but even if he isn’t the Broncos need offensive weapons and explosiveness. Bryant can provide big play making ability as well as help stretch the field. If there is a knock on this pick, it’s that Bryant is a “diva” in the Terrell Owens-Brandon Marshall mold. A defensive lineman may also strike Denver’s fancy as they look to build their 3-4 defense. Possible – Dan Williams, Rolando McClain

  • #12 pick: Miami Dolphins

Team Needs: DL,DB,WR

Tris’ Pick: Taylor Mays, S, USC

Comment: Hard to pass him up, as hard as he’s worked after college and at the combine to elevate his play. I think this might be a small reach, but it could also be a huge payoff. Since S Gibril Wilson is dumped, the Safety position is in flux and this makes the most sense for the Dolphins this year. Other possibilities include Golden Tate, WR.

Breck’s Pick: Dan Williams, DT Tennessee

Comment: This pick was a slam dunk a few weeks ago with Rolando McClain being the selection. Miami went another direction and signed ILB Karlos Dansby to pair with Channing Crowder. This frees the Dolphins to pick the best 3-4 NT in the draft in Dan Williams. He is perfect for the 3-4 and many teams would love to draft him. Incumbent NT Jason Ferguson is old and could mentor Williams to help dominate Parcell’s system.

  • #13 pick: San Fransisco 49ers

Team Needs: DB, OL

Tris’ Pick: Trent Williams, OT Oklahoma

Comment: Give Alex Smith an extra 0.5 seconds to throw, and the 49ers are going to win the division. Simple as that.

Breck’s Pick: Trent Williams, OT Oklahoma

Comment: The 49ers need offensive line help, and luckily at this point they find a guy who can easily step in at RT, moving Joe Staley to LT, helping to solidify a line constantly in flux. Williams will bring a consistent effort day in day out. A play maker in the defensive backfield or on offense could also fit here, but the O-line is the main concern.

  • #14 pick: Seattle Seahawks

Team Needs: RB,QB

Tris’ Pick: Jimmy Clausen, QB Notre Dame

Comment: If they trade out the #6 pick, look for the hawks to pluck their QB of the future right here to pair with Marshall down the road. They could also draft CJ Spiller here for some offensive explosion.

Breck’s Pick: Brian Bulaga, OT Iowa

Comment: After passing on OT with their first selection, the Seahawks get their replacement for LT Walter Jones. Big and physical with a solid mean streak, Bulaga should fit well with the zone-blocking scheme in place in Seattle. Pete Carroll starts his Seattle career off with 2 solid picks.

  • #15 pick: New York Giants

Team Needs: LB

Tris’ Pick: Rolando McClain, ILB Alabama

Comment:  Yes, the Giants dropped Antonio Pierce and Giants Nation was sad. But McClain is a beast. It won’t take long for fans to forget Pierce and this defense gets some much-needed youth.

Breck’s Pick:Rolando McClain, ILB Alabama

Comment: Releasing MLB Antonio Pierce left a gaping hole in the middle of their defense. The Dolphins beat them to Dansby, so why not go with the best inside linebacker in the draft.

  • #16 pick: Tennessee Titans

Team Needs: DL,DB

Tris’ Pick: Derrick Morgan, DE Georgia Tech

Comment: There’s a big hole here in Nashville now that Vanden-Bosch is gone. Derrick Morgan will help make that transition a lot better. Other possible selections include Carlos Dunlap and Jared Odrick.

Breck’s Pick: Derrick Morgan, DE Georgia Tech

Comment: The Titans are great at finding defensive line talent and Morgan is no exception. Jeff Fisher is going to love Morgan’s high motor and physical gifts. Makes losing Kyle Vanden Bosch much easier.

  • #17 Pick: San Fransisco 49ers

Team Needs: DB,OL

Tris’ Pick: CJ Spiller, RB Clemson

Comment: What a steal here if Spiller doesn’t get scooped up before this pick. He can provide a great change-of-pace for the grinder Frank Gore. CB Kyle Wilson could also land here, and that would be a solid value pick as well.

Breck’s Pick: C.J. Spiller, RB Clemson

Comment: A safety like Taylor Mays or Earl Thomas might be better, but having an explosive RB to compliment Frank Gore may be just as important. Don’t forget the 49ers have always had a dreadful return game and Spiller is electric in that area.

  • #18 pick: Pittsburgh Steelers

Team Needs: CB, OL

Tris’ Pick: Mike Iupati, G/T Idaho

Comment: OL problems for the Steelers all year led to Big Ben on his back half of the time. The other half of the time Ben was out partying.

Breck’s Pick: Taylor Mays, S Southern California

Comment: Show me a team more dependant on one defensive player than the Steelers are with Troy Polamalu. They need another play maker in the secondary to alleviate the pressure on Polamalu. With Ryan Clark most likely leaving, Mays is a perfect fit of size and speed.

disclaimer: same as before, this was before steelers signed 2 safeties

  • #19 pick: Atlanta Flacons

Team Needs: DE,OLB

Tris’ Pick: Carlos Dunlap, DE Florida

Comment: With the signing of CB Dunta Robinson, look for the Flacons to help out their pass rush. This will become a young defense with nowhere to go but up.

Breck’s Pick: Brandon Graham, DE Michigan

Comment: The Falcons had 2 major needs going into the draft, DE and CB. They were able to sign CB Dunta Robinson through FA, so finding an edge rusher becomes the prime concern. Graham was incredibly productive at Michigan and will learn from DE John Abraham as he gets older.

  • #20 pick: Houston Texans

Team Needs: DB

Tris’ Pick: Earl Thomas, S Texas

Comment: Bye, bye Dunta Robinson, hello Earl Thomas. Texas sure knows how to take care of their own, don’t they? Thomas fits right into what the Texans need- a playmaker.

Breck’s Pick: Earl Thomas, S Texas

Comment: Lineman are more likely of a pick here, but I cannot dismiss the Texans need for a ball hawking play maker in the secondary. Thomas showed a nose for the ball at Texas and is an immediate upgrade in Houston.

  • #21 pick: Cincinnati Bengals

Team Needs: WR,DL

Tris’ Pick: Golden Tate, WR Notre Dame

Comment: Scary potential here to give the Bengals a young, hot receiver who does it all. Could be this year’s Percy Harvin.

Breck’s Pick: Carlos Dunlap, DE Florida

Comment: There are so many directions the Bengals could go with this pick, but after only registering 17 sacks last season, they need more of a pass rush. Dunlap is talented, but he has character flags, but since when has that ever stopped the Bengals.

10
Mar
10

Trust The Tris Mock Draft 1.0 (with guest mock) PT1/3

In my last blog, I predicted that a lot of teams will be trimming their rosters of high-salary players in this uncapped year. I was right. So far, big salary guys such as QB Jake Delhomme, CB Lito Sheppard, DT Jamal Williams, DE Charles Grant, and the Redskins’ B-team have been cut. Who knows where and when any other big names will get the axe coming up, but my bet is this phenomenon will continue well into Free Agency.

I like what the Bears have been doing so far  in Free Agency. They have no 1st or 2nd round picks, so they needed to open up the wallet. So far, they have signed DE Julius Peppers to a 6-year deal, RB Chester Taylor (there goes my LT prediction), and TE Brandon Manumaleuna. More to come, I’m sure. The next few weeks in Free Agency will certainly re-shape the Draft projections, so this will definitely be interesting to watch.

On Thursday, April 22 at 7:30pm, I will be sitting in front of a tv somewhere, beer(s) in hand and wings in belly, to witness possibly the most exciting spectacle of the NFL offseason. No, I’m not talking about the Brett Favre retirement press conference. I’m talking about the NFL Draft baby!! It’s as intense as a playoff game. It’s where teams can create a dynasty or destroy themselves. It’s a war zone. I love the NFL Draft.

Now that the NFL Combine has come and gone, I think it’s an appropriate time to post a mock draft. There were a lot of guys who helped their draft stock at the combine. USC Safety Taylor Mays solidified himself as a workhorse speedy 1st round pick. CJ Spiller looks like the next Chris Johnson, and Golden Tate became a top-2 wideout pick. I am so excited about the Draft that I even enjoyed watching the combine itself. I’ve asked Breck to do a side-by-side mock draft with me (complete with commentary). I’d like to think that we’re kind of like Kiper and McShay. I’m Kiper though.

After Free Agency cools down and after all of the Pro Days leading up to the Draft, I’ll do another mock and have a clearer picture of everything. But for now, I give you the TrustTheTris Mock 1.0:

  • #1 pick: St. Louis Rams

Team Needs:  Everything

Tris’ Pick: Sam Bradford, QB Oklahoma

Comment: Get the franchise guy now, build around him later (an exception to my usual rule here).  Suh and McCoy would also provide a huge stop-gap in the Rams porous run-D, and they could look for a QB with the first pick in the 2nd round. They also have 18 hours or so to wheel and deal that 2nd pick (hello, Donovan McNabb!!)

Breck’s Pick: Sam Bradford, QB Oklahoma

Comment: Here is the #1 rule of the NFL Draft, If you do not have a franchise quarterback and one is available, you take it, period….The sexier picks are the 2 top defensive tackles in Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy, but winning
starts with the quarterback position. Questions about Bradford’s
shoulder will follow him around until he proves he is healthy.
Possible – Ndamukong Suh, Gerald McCoy

  • #2 pick: Detroit Lions

Team Needs: OL, DL, DB

Tris’ Pick: Ndamukong Suh, DT Nebraska

Comment: High-character player who will be a wrecking ball in the NFL. Jim Shwartz loves his defense- look at him pulling a Rex Ryan and getting KVB at midnight friday.. Put big boy Suh on the line, and the Lions are gonna move out of the top 10 in the 2011 Draft

Breck’s Pick: Gerald McCoy, DT Oklahoma

Comment: The Lions made an early splash in free agency signing DE Kyle VandenBosch and trading for DT Corey Williams. The 2 primary needs of this team are D-line and Offensive tackle. OT Russell Okung would be a solid fit here, allowing current OT Jeff Backus to slide to OG. However, coach Jim Schwartz is a defensive guy and the Lions were one of the worst defensive teams last season. Possible – Ndamukong Suh, Russell Okung

  • #3 pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Needs: Everything except QB

Tris’ Pick: Gerald McCoy, DT Oklahoma

Comment: Flip of coin here with McCoy and Suh, either way Bucs will take best available between two

Breck’s Pick: Ndamukong Suh, DT Nebraska

Comment: The Bucs are dancing in the streets as they get their first dominate DL since Warren Sapp. Suh is a big, strong physical DT with a nose for the ball. Their needs are DL and DB so S Eric Berry may also be a fit, but you don’t pass up a chance at a run-stuffing DT. Possible –  Eric Berry

  • #4 pick: Washington Redskins

Needs: OL, RB, WR

Tris’ Pick: Russel Okung, OT

Comment: I don’t think that Shannahan is going to pick a QB here when he can have the best OT in the draft and they recently re-signed J. Campbell to a 3-year extension. It will also be hard to pass up on Eric Berry.

Breck’s Pick: Jimmy Clausen, QB Notre Dame

Comment: Mike Shannahan is an offensive minded guy, and I believe he doesn’t see Jason Campbell as his future QB. Clausen probably has the best intangibles of any QB in this draft. He is tall, strong armed and accurate. His last season at Notre Dame Clausen carried his team since he didn’t have a running game or a solid defense. OT Russell Okung should also be considered for this spot since the Redskins offensive line lost LT Chris Samuels, but like I said Shannahan is an offensive coach. Possible – Russell Okung, Eric Berry

  • #5 pick: Kansas City Chiefs

Team Needs: OL, DB, TE

Tris’ Pick: Brian Bulaga, OT Iowa

Comment: GM Paoli knows he needs to build his trenches to help out Cassel. OT is just what the Chiefs need in the 1st round.

Breck’s Pick: Russell Okung, OT Oklahoma State

Comment:Prototypical LT, strong, quick feet, intelligent. Okung will bring a mean streak to the Chiefs that’s been missing since LT Willie Roaf retired. Essentially the Chiefs knock out 2 holes on the offensive line with this pick as Okung’s pick allows OT Branden Albert to move back to OG where he excelled at Virginia. The only other conceivable pick for them at this point is S Eric Berry or OT Anthony Davis if Okung is already taken. Possible – Eric Berry

  • #6 pick: Seatlle Seahawks

Team Needs: RB,QB

Tris’ Pick: TRADE with DEN for Brandon Marshall. DEN selects Dez Bryant, WR Oklahoma State

Comment: I believe that Seattle is going to make an offer to Brandon Marshall, and in doing so, Denver will more than likely let him go, especially if they can go get Dez Bryant, a Marshall-type receiver without the bad blood that has brooded in Denver. If Seattle retains this pick, I believe they will draft CJ Spiller, RB Clemson.

Breck’s Pick:Eric Berry, S Tennessee

Comment: This pick could possibly be moved to Denver in a Brandon Marshall trade, but assuming the Seahawks keep it they will need a replacement for longtime stud LT Walter Jones. However, with OT being fairly deep, they could get one with thier next pick at #14. A game changing safety is hard to find. That is what Berry is, the next Ed Reed. Possible – Brian Bulaga, Anthony Davis

  • #7 pick: Cleveland Browns

Team Needs: DB,WR

Tris’ Pick: Eric Berry, S Tennessee

Comment: Holmgren & Co will be licking their chops if Berry falls this far. An NFL-ready Safety, Berry brings a physicality and gameplay style similar to Ed Reed. And to be competitive in the AFC North, you need to bring your D.

Breck’s Pick: Joe Haden, CB Florida

Comment: Cleveland is still looking for a QB, but Bradford and Clausen will both be gone by this pick. The Browns secondary gives up too many big plays, so a solid DB should fit their needs. Too much is being said about Haden’s poor 40-dash time, but most experts agree tape does not lie and Haden showed a ton of talent and play making ability at Florida. Possible – Dez Bryant

  • #8 pick: Oakland Raiders

Team Needs: OL,WR,QB

Tris’ Pick: Anthony Davis, OT Rutgers

Comment: For the love of god, Al Davis, please read this and do not take Dez Bryant if he’s still there! The Raiders are a team who’s philosophy is stretching the field with speed. Well, you need to give the QB some more time to throw if you want to stretch the field. Unless that QB is Jamarcus Russell and then it doesn’t matter what you do. The Raiders are the worst run organization in professional sports. Move to LA already!

Breck’s Pick: Bruce Campbell, OT Maryland

Comment: Al Davis does it again. The biggest freak athlete at the combine, Campbell is a physical specimen and that’s all Davis seems to care about. On the bright side it fits Oakland’s need for an OT, but there are far more polished and ready OT still available like Anthony Davis and Brian Bulaga. The Raiders value speed and athleticism, so another “work-out warrior” in DE Jason Pierre-Paul may also appeal to them. Possible – Jason Pierre-Paul, Anthony Davis

  • #9 pick: Buffalo Bills

Team Needs: Everything

Tris’ Pick: Jason Pierre-Paul, DE South Florida

Comment: Solid, athletic, all-around DE should help Bills poor run-D. They could also go with OT Trent Williams. The Bills have a lot of holes to fill, and they will probably be drafting from the front of the pack for a few more years. They can go a lot of different ways with this pick, and trading back for more picks might also be a good strategy here.

Breck’s Pick: Anthony Davis, OT Rutgers

Comment:Let’s face it, the Bills offensive line was decimated by injury and could never gel long enough to keep the pressure off whoever the teams quarterback was. The O-line is a major concern and Davis can easily step in and play either tackle position. It helps that he is a local guy from New Jersey. I wouldn’t overlook a defensive player with this pick because of Buffalo’s switch to the 3-4 defense, but in order to win, you must protect your quarterback. Possible – Brian Bulaga, Dan Williams

  • #10 Pick: Jacksonville Jaguars

Team Needs: DB,WR,OL

Tris’ Pick: Joe Haden, CB Florida

Comment: The Florida boy should come in and excite the fans. He can also start his rookie season and make an immediate impact on defense. With the signing of Aaron Kampman at DE, the Jags can focus on beefing up their D-backs even more. Let’s not forget who they have to play twice a year.. Pass Defense is a must to be competitive in the AFC South.

Breck’s Pick: Jason Pierre-Paul, DE South Florida

disclaimer: Breck sent me this before Kampman was signed

Comment: The Jaguars need a lot of help. They rank near the bottom of the league in sacks the last few seasons so a pass rusher is of prime concern. Pierre-Paul is a freak athlete, but is incredibly raw and his production at South Florida was inconsistent. Even so, the Jags need someone who is fast of the line and can get to the quarterback. Possible – Derrick Morgan

26
Feb
10

Free Agency, the Salary Cap, and the Draft

For the next 50-something days, all I will be thinking about is the NFL Draft and everything leading up to it. Free Agency, the NFL Combine, trades (!?!?), and other signings, teams jockeying for players in a very different offseason than we have ever seen before. This year is going to be an uncapped season, which means that teams basically have free reign over their payrolls. In the upcoming months you will see teams doing anything that they see fit to modify their rosters, financially speaking. This could include humongous signings or extreme fat-trimming of overpaid players, and we will probably see more of the latter.

I’m predicting a lot of teams to cut players that are, or were until this offseason, big salary cap fat cats (see Westbrook, Brian). I think that there will be more of this to come. Free Agents this offseason should not be expecting much of an increase in salaries from previous years- there just isn’t the willingness to shell out huge paychecks in an uncapped year.

Who knows what will happen after the CBA talks continue, but something’s gotta give between the players ass’n and the owners. Owners are scared of their franchises folding and players want more benefits and better money guarantees. I can see both sides of this argument, and I actually tend to side with the owners a little bit. Granted, I am completely for giving players better benefits, especially post-football. Something needs to be done about providing medical care for banged up, retirees from the NFL.

But one thing I would LOVE to see is a ROOKIE CAP!!!! For the love of God, some of these players are coming in, getting drafted high in the 1st round, and getting paid MORE than a proven veteran. I think that there should be a 3-year performance contract for rookies, and THEN you can get paid the big bucks. Too many 1st rounders have come in, gotten paid millions and millions of dollars, and what have they to show for it? In 2007, Jamarcus Russell was signed to a bigger contract than Peyton Manning had at the time. Even if he doesn’t play another snap, ever, he’s due to make $40 mil by the end of his 6-year contract. And this is just one, albeit one of the biggest, of the reasons why the NFL needs a rookie cap. Please, please take a memo from the NBA and do this.

Anyway, those are my rantings about that. I promised some answers, I know you guys have a lot of questions. I feel like John Locke right now (or whoever that guy is now).

The LT/WBrook dillemma.

I’ll start with LT because I think he has the best chance of being signed first out of these two. Sure, there are concerns now that LT has lost a step or two, but I think that he can still be an impact player in the NFL, even if his role on a team isn’t what he has been used to throughout his HOF career. Let’s assume he’s good for around 10 TDs and, say, 600 yards. Mostly a short-yardage guy. Pretty much a complimentary, change-of-pace guy.  So, where would the best fit for LT be? Let’s try and dissect this and come away with a few landing spots. Tomlinson says he wants to play for a contender with an elite QB. Narrowing down the prospective suitors to more than half of the league on that one.. So, now we take a look at teams who are 10 extra TDs away from either the playoffs or the Super Bowl, who may need help at RB. I can come up with only a few, so I’ll give you my top 3, in no particular order:

  • Chicago

The reason I like the Bears as a landing spot for LT is because they fit the bill for LTs requirements. I really do believe in Cutler as a good, if not great, QB. What hurt the team the most last year was the sophomore stinker  Matt Forte. His lack of production allowed defenses to focus more on pass protection against the Bears last year, and Cutler was merely a victim. As a complimentary back, Tomlinson would give the Bears a really good 1-2 punch along with Forte. In a competitive NFC North, the Bears plan to pull out the wallet in Free Agency this spring. This signing just makes sense.

  • New England

Elite QB. Super Bowl contenders. Dismal running attack. With the Jets knocking at the Pats’ back door to take over the division for good, look to see ol’ half-sleeves make a move or two this offseason. Ass-chin Brady can’t do everything himself anymore.

  • New Orleans

For the feel good, sexy landing spot and to reunite LT with Brees once more. This is the least likely of the three that I have chosen. The backfield may be a little too crowded, but as Drew Brees said, there have been crazier things happen. And for surprise mystery team pick number 4:

  • Houston

Same idea here as Chi Town: Great QB in Shaub, would be a good 1-2 punch with Steve Slaton, but are the Texans willing to shell out the bills? I think that LT will land somewhere near the beginning of free agency, so this will be an interesting one to watch unfold.

Side Note: The Chargers are not going to re-sign Darren Sproles, whom they put the franchise tag on after the 2008 season. I think this is a BIG mistake and I’ll explain later.

As for Westbrook, I think that he may have a steeper hill to climb than LT. Durability concerns are a huge red flag.  So is the amount of money he’s going to want. This will most certainly drive away some teams. But I do believe that if a team does give him a chance, AND he stays healthy, he could be the steal of free agency this offseason. Does no one remember that just a year ago, Westbrook was a top ten running back? I think that he would settle for the first team that takes him, however. I also think that that would be a smart decision. Unfortunately, I see Westbrook becoming a mid-season injury replacement, which is ironic. He’s one more concussion away from retirement, and I think that teams know this.

I know that you guys want me to predict who’s gonna go where, and I will offer my two cents now, and I’ll probably keep updating my thoughts as we get closer to the draft. But I’ll answer the questions I got right now (with my initial thoughts)

Q: Where do you think Eric Berry will end up?

A: Berry WILL be a top-ten pick. Right now, I think WAS or TB could really use him. Redskins are keeping Campbell, there’s no way they draft a QB in the first round. When Campbell’s on, he’s on. I think Shanahan is gonna do a great job with the reins out of Snyder’s hands now. The skins have a good, young rising safety in Horton, and tandem that with Eric Berry, and watch out.

Q: Will Tebow 2.0 find draft-day success?

A: In a word, Yes. The back 1/2 of the draft isn’t gonna be looking for a QB, so I think someone in the top 16 can afford to wait until the 2nd round to draft him. The level of sportsmanship, competitiveness, and work ethic is enough to be worthy of a pick. Think about Tebow in a big market like LA in 5 years when Jacksonville finally moves.  Fortunately for Tebow, the NFL is becoming a shotgun-formation league. His delivery will be tested at his pro day. But no one questions his intangibles, his ‘immeasurables’. I really am rooting for this guy- I think that he’s such a positive role model and likable figure and nothing bad can come out of a team selecting him in the 2nd round.

Q: There are rumors going around of Sam Bradford possibly going #1 to the Rams. Thoughts??

A: I like it. Every once in a blue moon, a draft comes along where the number one need of a last place team really IS the QB position. Now, for those of you who don’t know me, I am a firm believer in building a team from the trenches and then out. A good offense starts with a good O-Line. A good defense starts with a good D-line. But in this draft, a funny thing happened. This draft is going to be historical for producing the most amount of quality players in recent history. This draft is so incredibly deep at almost every position. I think that Bradford has the size (6-4, 232) and strength to be a great QB for a long time- much more so than the other QBs. Don’t get me wrong- I think that the other top tiered QBs in the Draft will have successful careers as well, but I do think that you go get Bradford number 1. If not Bradford, then it’s obviously one of the two DTs. And you cross your fingers for Tony Pike in round 2. But, since all other positions are so deep, I dont think that you pass up on your franchise guy now. He won’t be there in round 2. Go get Bradford.

I think that’s enough for now. Keep the questions coming in. I’ll address some of the loose ends I left above next time.