Daily Archives: April 25, 2012

Mendenhall moves forward with lawsuit

Rashard Mendenhall’s lawsuit is apparently moving forward now after a judge ruled that he’s at least got a legitimate gripe against Champion for canceling his endorsement contract. As the article indicates below, the sports world and celebrities everywhere will be watching this case unfold. Should Mendenhall ultimately win this case it could definitely affect future cases where companies who endorse players find they have less ground to terminate contracts in cases like this.
Whether or not you agree with the tweets that started this controversy, those in the public eye are always under a higher level of scrutiny than the rest of us. If John Q. Public tweets this thoughts to the world, nobody gives it anything more than a shake of the head and maybe a quick “is he nuts” thought.
With Rashard still recovering from knee surgery this offseason, he’ll have plenty of time to plan his case with his attorneys. Win or lose though, this case will bring more pr…

Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers

Get your Steelers Fathead!

BTSC 2012 Community Mock Draft Pick No. 31 — New England Patriots Select Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford


Thanks go to VinnySteel for completing his two-part turn in the mind of Bill Belichick and graciously allowing me to intrude upon his vacation. Now there’s just one pick left to go! Last up: the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants and they’ll be represented by Pittsblitz56.

By the way, take note of the cool little minute-long draft profiles from SBN NFL that are embedded with these picks. It’s been Michael Bean’s personal project to make these videos happen, and let us know what you think of them! -barnerburner-


So, here we go again… just when I thought I was done – they pull me back in! … like Bill Parcells. (Almost.)

But this pick is really about another Bill – a Parcells disciple who has far exceeded his one-time mentor. Mr. Belichick, of course, has built much of his success through the draft, a point well emphasized by Rebecca Rollett in her piece a couple of days ago about Kevin Colbert’s prowess in doing the same. Unlike the Steelers however, he has become famous for wheeling and dealing considerably, having traded down or out of the first round in each of the last five drafts – including doing so twice each in both 2009 and 2010.

As such, there’s much speculation and maybe it’s even a foregone conclusion that this pick at this point will likely not happen for the New England Patriots. Most New England bloggers and fans out there seem to think they will attempt to trade their second 1st round pick to a pick-needy team for a first round pick in 2013, thus setting them up with the option to repeat the process for yet another year. A partner that seems to be mentioned more than once when considering this scenario is Jacksonville. Year to year, who knows what Belichick will do? He’s traded out and then back into the first round in the same draft, for goodness sakes!

As such, there feels like more of a “poetic license”, if you will, with this pick. If it’s unlikely to be made, then the options of what would be done with it become much more wide. It isn’t a throw off – and the Patriots could stun the world and actually use both of them – but regardless, it definitely becomes completely a “best player available” scenario as it feels almost like a “bonus” pick. So this time around, I felt there were lots of options:

Janoris Jenkins – In this case, he’s definitely among the BPA, and New England has taken troubled players down the straight and narrow before (see: Randy Moss). But taking a first round risk on a guy with that many red flags is likely a little too much. Plus, he still hasn’t done anything in the NFL. Moss was proven when he came to the Patriots.

Vontaze Burfict – See Janoris Jenkins, above. Plus, he might be crazy.

There are several offensive line prospects left at this point, but I just feel the Patriots already prepared well for Matt Light’s retirement. Switching Nate Solder to the other side and moving Marcus Cannon with Sebastian Vollmer coming back on board gives them a bevy of high picks on the line as it is. I don’t believe they would be open to drafting a lineman here unless he was extraordinary, and I don’t feel any of those that are left really are.

So I went with something of a surprise…

With the 31st pick in the 2012 draft, the New England Patriots select Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford.

Okay – so forget all that stuff I said about defense in my last pick. Belichick doesn’t care. He breaks convention faster than FBI agents at the Hotel Caribe and has only slightly better scruples.

And yes, they already have two incredible tight ends. But Fleener is 6’6″, 247 and runs a 4.46-4.57. He’s virtually a wide receiver anyway. His best routes are the deep seams and he exploited them well as evidenced by his just under twenty yards per reception last season (19.62). He had 34 of those receptions for 667 yards and ten touchdowns last year. Teams will shy away from him because he had the ankle injury – sort of like what happened with Heath Miller when he fell to us. But Fleener is faster than Miller and just as good a blocker as Miller was when he came out of college.

Yes, defense makes sense here too. But if you think about it, if the Patriots had a third incredible tight end – not only would they have scored even more points last year, they also would not have missed a healthy Gronk as much as they did in the Super Bowl. If Courtney Upshaw produces for them in the pass rush on defense, then just one more ridiculously impossible to cover option for Tom Brady might just be too much for the rest of the NFL to over come. Even when considering the whooping that we put on them – would Keenan Lewis or Cortez Allen or any of our cornerbacks handled him as easily as they did Deion Branch? Would it have changed the outcome of that game? Would the AFC Championship had been as close, considering Baltimore didn’t exactly have a stellar secondary? With another touchdown on the board, Brady is fully in clock-killing mode by the 4th quarter and a player like Fleener could be the kind of player to make something like that happen.

Plus, Fleener is intelligent and will adjust and easily learn the crazy wrinkles that three high-caliber tight ends could produce.

Bottom line is if Belichick were forced to make this pick, he’d want to be certain he was upgrading the team. Fleener definitely would not be there at their next pick, and Belichick absolutely elevates his team by nabbing him here. If he stays healthy and the Patriots are able to be as creative as his potential allows them to be, they may (for the time being) kill the theory that “defense wins championships”, much to the chilled chagrin of true Steelers fans.

BTSC 2012 Community Mock Draft Picks:

  1. Indianapolis Colts — Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
  2. Washington Redskins — Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
  3. Minnesota Vikings — Matt Kalil, OT, USC
  4. Cleveland Browns — Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
  5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
  6. St. Louis Rams — Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
  7. Jacksonville Jaguars — Quinton Coples, DE, UNC
  8. Miami Dolphins — Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
  9. Carolina Panthers — Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
  10. Buffalo Bills — Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
  11. Kansas City Chiefs — Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona State
  12. Seattle Seahawks — Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina
  13. Arizona Cardinals — Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
  14. Dallas Cowboys — Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
  15. Philadelphia Eagles — Mark Barron, S, Alabama
  16. New York Jets — Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
  17. Cincinnati Bengals — Cordy Glenn, G/T, Georgia
  18. San Diego Chargers — Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC
  19. Chicago Bears — David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
  20. Tennessee Titans — Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
  21. Cincinnati Bengals — Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
  22. Cleveland Browns — Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
  23. Detroit Lions — Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois
  24. Pittsburgh Steelers — Dont’a Hightower, LB, Alabama
  25. Denver Broncos — Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State
  26. Houston Texans — Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech
  27. New England Patriots — Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama
  28. Green Bay Packers — Shea McClellin, DE/OLB, Boise State
  29. Baltimore Ravens — Devon Still, DT, Penn State
  30. San Francisco 49ers — Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin

Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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2012 Steelers Mock Draft Version 5.0 – Final Version

Here we go with my final mock draft of 2012 draft for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Let me start of by disclaimering that I would be floored if I have the same success that had last year, as I picked the first three players correctly, albeit I had rounds two and three flip flopped. I may never be able to duplicate that success again as long as I live. No matter how many player rankings you read and how much tape you watch, you never know how far a player will fall or how high another player may be on another team’s draft board and rankings. I know quite a bit about the team needs of all of the teams Read more […]

Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers

Look for the Steelers to move around in the draft over the weekend

I look for the Steelers to move around a good bit in this draft.  Kevin Colbert made known in the Steelers pre draft press conference that this is not a strong draft.  There were only 7-10 surefire picks in his mind.  There also were not many guys who could make an impact on this team.  Most of the later guys were practice squad guys.
So if none of these guys really are going to make the team the Steelers could be looking to move around in the draft and pick up the guys that they want.  Even if it costs them some later picks.  There is no point in wasting picks on practice squad guys if you can move up and get an impact player in the earlier rounds.
The Steelers also have 3 7th round comp picks to fall back on.  If they trade away their 5th, 6th or 7th round picks they still can build depth with those 3 picks.  They are untradeable picks.  The Steelers have to make them.  The Steelers have the ability to move around this year.   They can still make 7 picks even if they trade some ea…

Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers

Final 2012 NFL Seven Round Mock Draft


On the eve of the draft, here is one final all-rounds mock draft. Highlighting the picks in rounds 1 and 2, but each pick is made here in wake of Thursday’s first round selection show.

1. Indianapolis (2-14) – QB, NT, OG, 2CB, WR, SS, TE, Rush LB, ILB, RB – Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

We already know this one, and are 99.9 percent certain of No. 2. The Colts flirted with the idea of selecting Robert Griffin but ultimately made the right decision in taking Andrew Luck. Luck has Cam Newtons athleticism and Aaron Rodgers arm so as long as he continues to work hard, he should become a star.

2. Washington – from St. Louis (2-14) – QB, WR, S, OG, ILB, RT, CB, NT, TE, C, Rush LB – Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor

The Redskins made an agressive move to move up to the #2 pick and get the change to select Griffin. Griffin has incredible athleticism and great accuracy and if he can learn to avoid taking sacks, he should become a star.

3. Minnesota (3-13) – LT, CB, WR, S, 2OG, 2LB, DT, FB, RB – Matt Kalil, OT, USC

This is where the draft starts to get interesting. For months, Matt Kalil was projected in this pick but over the last few days, there have been rumors that Morris Claiborne could be the pick. However, the Vikings have signed a pair of corner’s in free agency but have yet to sign a tackle which leads me to believe Kalil will be the pick. Also, Kalil is the consensus better prospect.

4. Cleveland (4-12) – QB, WR, RT, RB, DE, CB, OLB, 2OG, FS, DT – Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

Trent Richardson is the best running back prospect since Adrian Peterson and he is the best player available here. He also fills a huge need for the Browns, who need to add tools to their offense. Some other possibilities here are Ryan Tannehill (who would be a reach), Justin Blackmon (who plays at the deepest position in the draft) and Morris Claiborne (who plays at a position where the Browns already have a stud).

5. Tampa Bay (4-12) – CB, 2OLB, RT, DT, RB, FS, FB, QB – Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

This is the ideal situation for the Bucs. Sure, they would love to land Trent Richardson but that is more of a luxury pick that the Bucs can’t afford. Landing Claiborne will give them a #1 corner that has lockdown potential. The Bucs did a great job filling many of their major needs in free agency (by signing Vincent Jackson and Carl Nicks) but they were unable to sign an elite cornerback. Claiborne gives them exactly that.

6. St. Louis – from Washington (5-11) – OT, WR, DT, OG, 2OLB, FS, CB, DE, RB, FB – Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State

The Rams traded down and picked up extra first round picks in the next two drafts and that was 100% the right move. Picking at #6, they will still get a chance to land one of the 6 elite prospects in the draft. Blackmon does not have elite size but he has elite production and is an excellent route runner. He also has a tireless work ethic and has a very low bust potential.

7. Jacksonville (5-11) – WR, CB, DE, FS, RT, P, C, LB – Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina

This is one of the harder picks for me to mock. The Jaguars have a young quarterback and need to surround him with weapons and Michael Floyd would give them exactly that. However, the Jaguars usually avoid players with character concerns so maybe they don’t take Floyd. The Jaguars also need to add a pass rusher to pair with Mincey and that is where Ingram comes into play. Over the past couple days, Ingram has become the hot pick to mock to the Jaguars and I am going to follow the trend. Ingram is an elite pass rusher who lacks a true position. However, he will still be valuable coming off the edge of the Jaguars defense.

8. Miami (6-10) – QB, WR, RT, DE, OLB, S, OG, CB, TE, DT – Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M

Tannehill is a raw prospect that needs a lot of work but the Dolphins have the time to develop him. They have two veterans that are both serviceable in Matt Moore and David Garrard so they won’t need to thrust Tannehill into the starting lineup. If Tannehill is coached properly, he could become a top 10 quarterback. If not, he could become the next top 10 QB bust. It will all depend on how the Dolphins handle his situation.

9. Carolina (6-10) – DT, CB, OLB, RT, S, WR, K – Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State

This is a pretty easy pick to mock. The Panthers biggest need is at DT and the best player available is the #1 DT in the draft, Fletcher Cox. Cox is a very good pass rusher and has great strength. He is an ideal fit in the 4-3 scheme and will be able to reek havoc from day one.

10. Buffalo (6-10) – WR, LT, CB, OLB, QB, DT, TE – Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

The Bills are in a good situation picking at #10 as well. They will likely have their choice of Michael Floyd and Stephon Gilmore here. For me, Floyd is clearly the BPA and fills the bigger need. Floyd has the talent to become the number 1 WR in the draft but has some character concerns. He suffered from bad QB play in college which hurt his stats. However, he has that size and speed combination that not many people have and that would make him a good guy to pair with Stevie Johnson.

11. Kansas City (7-9) – QB, NT, CB, OG, RB, Rush LB, ILB – David DeCastro, OG, Stanford

DeCastro is the best guard to come into the draft in a long time and looks like he is the next great guard in the NFL. However, this is still a tough pick to mock because guard is the Chiefs fourth biggest need. However, the players at the positions of need don’t match up with the talent and you simply can’t pass on a player of DeCastro’s talent. He is the #5 player on my board and is as safe as they come as far as prospects come.

12. Seattle (7-9) – 2DE, DT, LB, CB, RB, WR – Quinton Coples, DE, UNC

This is a tough spot for the Seahawks to be in. Coples is an elite talent but he has some concerns with work ethic and character but you simply can’t pass up on him here. It helps that he fills the Seahawks biggest need at DE. The Seahawks lack an elite pass rusher and Coples could potentially give them that. He is a top 3 talent in this draft so if he ever puts it all together, he could be one of the biggest steals in this draft.

13. Arizona (8-8) – OT, WR, ILB, DE, Rush LB, RG, QB, NT – Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa

Reiff is a player that can play both LT and RT but he might be better suited for the right side. His short arms will likely serve as a detriment to him being a top 10 pick. He has great technique and is very strong which is why he was considered a top 10 pick at one point. He would fill the Cardinals biggest need and if he could play LT at a high level, that would be an added bonus.

14. Dallas (8-8) – C, S, OG, CB, ILB, DT, Rush LB, P – Mark Barron, SS, Alabama

This has been a pick that has become the hot pick if Barron makes it here. The Cowboys are apparently in love with Barron as a prospect and rightfully so. Barron is clearly the best safety in this draft, and there is not much talent after him. Add in the fact that the Cowboys have a huge need at safety and it seems to be a dream fit.

15. Philadelphia (8-8) – LB, DT, CB, SS, LT, WR, 2OL, QB, P – Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College

This was the hot pick before the Eagles traded for Demeco Ryans but then it died off. However, at this point, Kuechly is the best player available by a significant amount and he would still have a use for the Eagles. He could play SAM until he is ready to knock Ryans out of the ILB spot because the Eagles still need help at SAM. Once Kuechly is ready to play the inside linebacker spot, Ryans can move over to SAM.

16. New York Jets (8-8) – WR, RT, Rush LB, S, NT, ILB, TE, OL – Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama

This would be a tough spot for the Jets to be in. They have a choice of a ton of good prospects but none of them fill their top needs. Cordy Glenn would be an option to play RT and Stephon Gilmore is the best player available. However, they need to add a pass rusher and Upshaw is the best one available. The Jets play both a 4-3 and a 3-4 so adding a guy with scheme versatility like Upshaw seems like their best choice.

17. Cincinnati – from Oakland (8-8) – CB, RB, S, OG, WR, DE, DT, OLB – Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina

Gilmore has risen over the past two weeks to become the clear cut #2 corner in this draft. Gilmore has all the tools to be a great corner and excels in zone coverage. At this point, he is the BPA and fills the Bengals biggest need so it is really a perfect fit.

18. San Diego (8-8) – OG, OT, CB, Rush LB, S, DE, WR, RB – Cordy Glenn, OT/OG, Georgia

This is another pick that just seems to fit. Glenn is a great RT prospect and that is what the Chargers need. Glenn also has versatility to play guard. He has some trouble with speed rushers which is why he is not a left tackle prospect. Some other options here would be Dre Kirkpatrick and Jonathan Martin if the Chargers had him rated higher.

19. Chicago (8-8) – LT, CB, WR, OG, TE, SS, LB, DE, DT – Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford

Chicago in this spot would strongly consider two players. Jonathan Martin and Whitney Mercilus. I have Martin as the selection because I view Mercilus as an early 2nd round guy and not a first round player. Martin is the last true LT prospect in this class with elite potential and would give Jay Cutler a pretty good offensive line.

20. Tennessee (9-7) – C, DE, S, OG, DT, OLB, CB, WR – Dontari Poe, NT/DT, Memphis

This is a BPA pick more so than a need pick. DT is like 5th or 6th on the Titans need list but their top needs don’t match up well with the players on the board. Poe would give them a disruptive force in the middle that they have not had since Big Al left.

21. Cincinnati* (9-7) – RB, S, OG, WR, DE, DT, OLB – Michael Brockers, DT, LSU

After addressing their biggest need with their first pick, the Bengals are in a situation where they can go with the BPA. That is Michael Brockers and he would give them an athletic freak that can rush the passer from the inside. Brockers paired with Geno Atkins would be a scary combination and would put a ton of pressure on the AFC North QBs.

22. Cleveland – from Atlanta* (10-6) – QB, WR, RT, DE, CB, OLB, 2OG, FS, DT – Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor

There are reports all on the internet now that the Browns will take Trent Richardson with the #4 pick and Kendall Wright or Stephen Hill with the #22 pick. I have Wright rated higher and therefore he is the pick. Wright and Richardson would give Colt McCoy or a rookie QB two legitimate weapons to work with.

23. Detroit* (10-6) – CB, SS, LT, C, LB, DE, RT, RB, P – Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

Kirkpatrick is probably the 2nd most talented corner in this class but he has some character concerns. Kirkpatrick is a lockdown corner in man coverage and is a great tackler but he does not have great ball skills. However, the Lions desparately need a corner and Kirkpatrick is the BPA.

24. Pittsburgh* (12-4) – NT, OG, ILB, OT, CB, S, WR, TE, RB, DE, K – Dont’a Hightower, ILB, Alabama

This pick just seems like too good of a match to not happen. I have a hard time seeing the Steelers pick anyone else than Hightower if he is available. He fills one of their biggest needs, comes from a 3-4 defense, has a four year body of work, was a leader for his team, and is a tough nosed football player.

25. Denver* (8-8) – OG, C, DT, CB, WR, ILB, RB, SS, QB – Devon Still, DT, Penn State

This is a pick I have been mocking for months. Still is one of the BPA here and fills arguably the Broncos biggest need. Still is a monster and could be the best DT in this draft when it is all said and done.

26. Houston* (10-6) – 2WR, OG, RT, ILB, NT, SS, K, CB – Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech

This is another pick that has become commonplace in mock drafts. And there are great reasons for it. The Texans biggest need is WR and they love WRs who can block and are big. Hill is both of those and also represents decent value at this point.

27. New England – from New Orleans* (13-3) – DE, WR, OLB, S, CB, C, LB – Shea McClellin, DE/OLB, Boise State

New England has an awful pass defense for two reasons. One, there corners are bad, but two, they have no pass rush. Adding McClellin to play outside linebacker would give them a good pass rusher from the OLB spot, which is something they have lacked for awhile.

28. Green Bay* (15-1) – Rush LB, S, DE, CB, RB, TE, OL – Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC

Green Bay is in a similar situation as New England, and like New England, they elect to improve their pass defense by adding a pass rusher. Perry would give them a great pairing mate to Clay Matthews and he is also scheme diverse.

29. Baltimore* (12-4) – LT, C, WR, Rush LB, ILB, RB, S, OG, CB, QB – Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin

The Ravens would likely decide between two Wisconsin linemen here. I have Konz rated slightly ahead of Zeitler and therefore he is my pick. Konz is versatile and can play guard or center. He can start at guard immediately and when Matt Birk retires, he can replace him at center.

30. San Francisco* (13-3) – RG, WR, Rush LB, QB, FS, CB, DE – Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin

This is another pick that is becoming popular and for good reason. The 49ers biggest need is by far guard and Zeitler is a stud. He has all the tools to be a dominant guard in the NFL and presents decent value here.

31. New England* (13-3) – WR, OLB, S, CB, C, LB – Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse

The Patriots again elect to go with a pass rusher. Jones has freakishly long arms and is very athletic and if he can develop a good set of pass rushing moves, he can become a dominant player for the Patriots. His scheme diversity will help because the Patriots play both a 3-4 and a 4-3.

32. New York Giants* (9-7) – LG, TE, FS, ILB, OT, RB, CB, DT – Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford

This pick would likely come down to Fleener and Harrison Smith. I have Fleener rated higher than Smith so I made him the pick. He fits the Giants strategy of height, weight, and speed and presents good value here. He also fills their biggest need.

· Atlanta -> Cleveland: Julio Jones

· New Orleans -> New England: Mark Ingram

· Oakland -> Cincinnati: Carson Palmer

· St. Louis <-> Washington: Robert Griffin

Round 2

1. St. Louis (2-14) – OT, DT, OG, 2OLB, FS, CB, DE, RB, FB – Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State

Adams is the last legitimate LT prospect and that is the Rams biggest remaining need. He is also decent value here. Adams is a huge risk because he has a questionable work ethic but he has massive upside that the Rams will need to harness.

2. Indianapolis (2-14) – NT, OG, 2CB, WR, SS, TE, Rush LB, ILB, RB – Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama

Janoris Jenkins is the 2nd most talented corner in this draft but he has massive character concerns. However, on a team that is in desperate need for talent, the Colts can afford to take a chance on him here.

3. Minnesota (3-13) – CB, WR, S, 2OG, 2LB, DT, FB, RB – Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina

Jeffery has the potential to be the best WR in this draft because of his size and ball skills. If he can keep his weight under control, he could become a massive steal.

4. Tampa Bay (4-12) – CB, 2OLB, RT, DT, RB, FS, FB, QB – Zach Brown, OLB, UNC

The Bucs got a corner in round one and now they have to add an OLB. The options here are Zach Brown and Bobby Wagner and I have Brown rated slightly higher. Brown has massive upside because of his athleticism.

5. Cleveland (4-12) – QB, RT, DE, CB, OLB, 2OG, FS, DT – Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State

And the Browns complete their offensive makeover. After landing weapons Trent Richardson and Kendall Wright in the first round, they get their QB in the 2nd round. Weeden is old but if the Browns can get 5 to 7 years of solid play from him, this is worth it. I like Weeden more than Tannehill as a passer but the age keeps him out of the first round.

6. Jacksonville (5-11) – WR, CB, FS, RT, P, C, LB – Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers

Sanu is the best route runner in this draft and also has the best hands. However, he is not a deep threat and does not have great speed. However, the Jaguars need to give Blaine Gabbert a weapon and Sanu would be a great safety valve for Gabbert.

7. St. Louis – from Washington (5-11) – DT, OG, 2OLB, FS, CB, DE, RB, FB – Kendall Reyes, DT, Connecticut

The Rams have no starting caliber DTs on their roster as of now. Reyes is a beast with a great ability to penetrate the offensive line. He is a possible first round pick so this is great value.

8. Carolina (6-10) – CB, OLB, RT, S, WR, K – Bobby Wagner, OLB, Utah State

Wagner is a beast and has massive upside. He flew up draft boards during the draft season and now is looking like a top 40 pick. The Panthers have a huge need at outside linebacker and Wagner is my top player available.

9. Buffalo (6-10) – LT, CB, OLB, QB, DT, TE – Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, Illinois

The fall can go no longer. The Bills don’t have an immediate need at DE or OLB but Mercilus is just too good to fall any further. As the Giants have proven, you can never have to many pass rushers.

10. Miami (6-10) – WR, RT, DE, OLB, S, OG, CB, TE, DT – Andre Branch, DE/OLB, Clemson

Andre Branch is another possible first round pick and he would give the Dolphins a good pairing mate to Cameron Wake.

11. Seattle (7-9) – DE, DT, LB, CB, RB, WR – Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State

Worthy has all the tools to be a dominant DT in a 4-3 defense and if the Seahawks can get him to harness them, they would be getting a steal here. In terms of talent, he is one of the most talented players in this draft and he fits very well in the Seahawks scheme.

12. Kansas City (7-9) – QB, NT, CB, RB, Rush LB, ILB – Josh Robinson, CB, UCF

I have had Robinson pegged in the 2nd round since the start of the draft process and after a strong combine, everyone else followed suit. Robinson can lock people down in coverage and he also adds the return element.

13. Dallas (8-8) – C, OG, CB, ILB, DT, Rush LB, P – Vinny Curry, OLB, Marshall

The Cowboys have their OLBs for next year but it is unlikely that Anthony Spencer is back next year. Curry can spend a year learning from Ware and Spencer and then replace Spencer in 2013.

14. Philadelphia (8-8) – DT, CB, SS, LT, WR, 2OL, QB, P – Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson

Thompson is one of the more under-rated players in this draft and if the Eagles could get him in round 2, it could become a huge steal.

15. New York Jets (8-8) – WR, RT, S, NT, ILB, TE, OL – Harrison Smith, S, Notre Dame

The Jets have a massive need at safety and Smith is the best player available. He could go as high as #27 so this is great value. Smith could very well be the best safety in this class.

16. New England – from Oakland (8-8) – WR, S, CB, C, LB – Casey Heyward, CB, Vanderbilt

Casey Heyward is a guy who has great ball skills and is a great zone cover guy. The Pats run a lot of zone coverage and Heyward seams like a good fit here. Adding two pass rushers and Heyward with their first three picks could dramatically improve the Patriots pass defense.

17. San Diego (8-8) – OG, CB, Rush LB, S, DE, WR, RB – Ronnell Lewis, OLB, Oklahoma

Ronnell Lewis is the biggest hitter in this draft with good pass rushing abilities. He is good value here and fills one of the Chargers biggest needs.

18. Chicago (8-8) – CB, WR, OG, TE, SS, LB, DE, DT – Rueben Randle, WR, LSU

The Bears traded for Brandon Marshall but they could still use another weapon for Cutler. Randle is a guy who could go in the top 40 so this is good value and fills a big need.

19. Philadelphia – from Arizona (8-8) – CB, SS, LT, WR, 2OL, QB, P – Brandon Boykin, CB, Georgia

The Eagles will likely trade Asante Samuel so they will need another corner. Boykin is a borderline first round prospect with great ball skills and great man cover skills.

20. Tennessee (9-7) – C, DE, S, OG, OLB, CB, WR – Markelle Martin, FS, Oklahoma State

The Titans have no talent at safety and Martin is the last sure thing at safety. He is good value here and would be a good fit at FS for the Titans.

21. Cincinnati* (9-7) – RB, S, OG, WR, DE, OLB – Doug Martin, RB, Boise State

This is an absolute steal for the Bengals. Martin is a top 30 talent in the draft that fell because of team needs. He fills the Bengals biggest remaining need and would give Dalton a true #1 RB.

22. Detroit* (10-6) – SS, LT, C, LB, DE, RT, RB, P – Lamar Miller, RB, Miami

The Lions don’t “need” a RB but Miller is the BPA and with Leshoure getting arrested and Best having injury concerns, adding another RB could be worth it.

23. Atlanta* (10-6) – LT, C, DE, RB, ILB, CB, OG, TE, FS, WR, LB – David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech

The Falcons need to start looking for a replacement for Michael Turner, who could be on his last legs. Wilson is a stud with great explosiveness and could be that guy.

24. Pittsburgh* (12-4) – NT, OG, OT, CB, S, WR, TE, RB, DE, K – Amini Silatolu, OG, Midwestern State

Silatolu is a mauler with great athleticism. He is flying up draft boards and if the Steelers could land him here, they would likely be thrilled.

25. Denver* (8-8) – OG, C, CB, WR, ILB, RB, SS, QB – Kelechi Osemele, OG/OT, Iowa State

Osemele is a nasty player that excels in run blocking. He has quick feet and can play RT as well as guard. He would likely be an instant starter for the Broncos.

26. Houston* (10-6) – WR, OG, RT, ILB, NT, SS, K, CB – Bruce Irvin, OLB, West Virginia

The Texans don’t need a pass rusher but Irvin is a beast and is the BPA here. He would give them another piece to their 3-4 defense.

27. Green Bay* (15-1) – S, DE, CB, RB, TE, OL – Jamell Fleming, CB, Oklahoma

The Packers continue to try and improve their pass defense and add the top remaining corner. Fleming is a guy who is great at tackling and excels in man coverage.

28. Baltimore* (12-4) – LT, WR, Rush LB, ILB, RB, S, OG, CB, QB – Juron Criner, WR, Arizona

In the Ravens offense, you need big WRs who can run deep and Criner is exactly that. I have him rated slightly ahead of McNutt and Quick and that is why he is the pick.

29. San Francisco* (13-3) – WR, Rush LB, QB, FS, CB, DE – Marvin McNutt, WR, Iowa

McNutt is a great route runner with good hands and has good size. He would give the 49ers some insurance at WR in case Manningham or Moss don’t work out.

30. New England* (13-3) – WR, S, C, LB – Brian Quick, WR, Appalachian State

Quick is a big target with great ball skills. He has good hands and would give the Patriots an excellent deep threat with the ability to be a #1 WR.

31. New York Giants* (9-7) – LG, FS, ILB, OT, RB, CB, DT – Bobby Massie, OT, Ole Miss

The Giants don’t like to pick OL early but Massie is the BPA and would likely be a top 50 pick on draft day. The Giants always take the BPA and I have Massie as exactly that.

· Oakland -> New England: Joseph Barksdale and Taiwan Jones

· Arizona -> Philadelphia: Kevin Kolb

· Washington -> St. Louis: Robert Griffin

· Saints forfeit pick for Bountygate

Round 3

  1. Indianapolis (2-14) – NT, OG, CB, WR, SS, TE, Rush LB, ILB, RB – Alameda Ta’amu, NT, Washington

  2. St. Louis (2-14) – OG, 2OLB, FS, CB, DE, RB, FB – Mychal Kendricks, LB, California

  3. Minnesota (3-13) – CB, S, 2OG, 2LB, DT, FB, RB – Jayron Hosley, CB, Virginia Tech

  4. Cleveland (4-12) – RT, DE, CB, OLB, 2OG, FS, DT – Lavonte David, OLB, Nebraska

  5. Tampa Bay (4-12) – CB, OLB, RT, DT, RB, FS, FB, QB – Jared Crick, DT/DE, Nebraska

  6. Washington (5-11) – WR, S, OG, ILB, RT, CB, NT, TE, C, Rush LB – Marvin Jones, WR, California

  7. Jacksonville (5-11) – CB, FS, RT, P, C, LB – Trumaine Johnson, CB/S, Montana

  8. Buffalo (6-10) – LT, CB, OLB, QB, DT, TE – Josh Norman, CB, Coastal Carolina

  9. Miami (6-10) – WR, RT, DE, S, OG, CB, TE, DT – Brandon Taylor, S, LSU

  10. Miami – from Chicago via Carolina (6-10) – WR, RT, DE, OG, CB, TE, DT – Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska

  11. Kansas City (7-9) – QB, NT, RB, Rush LB, ILB – Kirk Cousins, QB, Michigan State

  12. Seattle (7-9) – DE, LB, CB, RB, WR – Dwight Bentley, CB, Louisiana Lafayette

  13. Houston – from Philadelphia (8-8) – WR, OG, RT, ILB, NT, SS, K, CB – A.J. Jenkins, WR, Illinois

  14. New York Jets (8-8) – WR, RT, NT, ILB, TE, OL – Mitchell Schwarts, OT, California

  15. San Diego (8-8) – OG, CB, S, DE, WR, RB – Brandon Washington, OG/OT, Miami

  16. Chicago (8-8) – CB, OG, TE, SS, LB, DE, DT – Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson

  17. Arizona (8-8) – WR, ILB, DE, Rush LB, RG, QB, NT – Derek Wolfe, DE, Cincinnati

  18. Dallas (8-8) – C, OG, CB, ILB, DT, P – Philip Blake, C/G, Baylor

  19. Tennessee (9-7) – C, DE, OG, OLB, CB, WR – Ben Jones, C, Georgia

  20. Cincinnati* (9-7) – S, OG, WR, DE, OLB – Nick Toon, WR, Wisconsin

  21. Atlanta* (10-6) – LT, C, DE, ILB, CB, OG, TE, FS, WR, LB – Zebrie Sanders, OT, Florida State

  22. Detroit* (10-6) – SS, LT, C, LB, DE, RT, P – George Iloka, S, Boise State

  23. Pittsburgh* (12-4) – NT, OT, CB, S, WR, TE, RB, DE, K – Josh Chapman, NT, Alabama

  24. Denver* (8-8) – C, CB, WR, ILB, RB, SS, QB – Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia

  25. Philadelphia – from Houston* (10-6) – SS, LT, WR, 2OL, QB, P – Orson Charles, TE, Georgia

  26. New Orleans* (13-3) – DT, OLB, WR, SS, OL – Mike Martin, DT, Michigan

  27. Green Bay* (15-1) – S, DE, RB, TE, OL – Chris Polk, RB, Washington

  28. Baltimore* (12-4) – LT, Rush LB, ILB, RB, S, OG, CB, QB – James Brown, OT/OG, Troy

  29. San Francisco* (13-3) – Rush LB, QB, FS, CB, DE – Cam Johnson, OLB, Virginia

  30. New England* (13-3) – S, C, LB – Michael Brewster, C, Ohio State

  31. New York Giants* (9-7) – LG, FS, ILB, RB, CB, DT – Brandon Brooks, OG, Miami (Ohio)

  32. Oakland (compensatory) – NT, 2Rush LB, 2CB, TE, ILB, DE, RB – James Michael-Johnson, ILB, Nevada

· Carolina -> Chicago: Greg Olsen

· Raiders used 3rd-round pick on Terrelle Pryor in supplemental draft

· Chicago -> Miami: Brandon Marshall

· Philadelphia <-> Houston: DeMeco Ryans

Round 4

  1. St. Louis (2-14) – OG, OLB, FS, CB, DE, RB, FB – Sean Spence, OLB, Miami

  2. Indianapolis (2-14) – OG, CB, WR, SS, TE, Rush LB, ILB, RB – Ron Brooks, CB, LSU

  3. Minnesota (3-13) – S, 2OG, 2LB, DT, FB, RB – Emmanuel Acho, LB, Texas

  4. Houston – from Philadelphia via Tampa Bay (4-12) – OG, RT, ILB, NT, SS, K, CB – Donald Stephenson, OT, Oklahoma

  5. Cleveland (4-12) – RT, DE, CB, 2OG, FS, DT – Matt McCants, OT, UAB

  6. Jacksonville (5-11) – FS, RT, P, C, LB – Jeff Allen, OT, Illinois

  7. Washington (5-11) – S, OG, ILB, RT, CB, NT, TE, C, Rush LB – Nigel Bradham, ILB, Florida State

  8. Miami (6-10) – WR, RT, DE, OG, TE, DT – Chris Givens, WR, Wake Forest

  9. Carolina (6-10) – CB, RT, S, WR, K – T.Y. Hilton, WR, Florida International

  10. Buffalo (6-10) – LT, OLB, QB, DT, TE – Brandon Mosley, OT, Auburn

  11. Seattle (7-9) – DE, LB, RB, WR – Terrell Manning, OLB, N.C. State

  12. Kansas City (7-9) – NT, RB, Rush LB, ILB – LaMichael James, RB, Oregon

  13. Denver – from New York Jets (8-8) – C, WR, ILB, RB, SS, QB – David Molk, C, Michigan

  14. Washington – from Oakland (8-8) –S, OG, RT, CB, NT, TE, C, Rush LB – Janzen Jackson, S, McNeese State

  15. San Diego (8-8) – CB, S, DE, WR, RB – Leonard Johnson, CB, Iowa State

  16. Chicago (8-8) – CB, OG, SS, LB, DE, DT – Josh Lerebius, OG, SMU

  17. Arizona (8-8) – WR, ILB, Rush LB, RG, QB, NT – Ryan Broyles, WR, Oklahoma

  18. Dallas (8-8) – OG, CB, ILB, DT, P – Tony Bergstrom, OG/OT, Utah

  19. Philadelphia (8-8) – SS, LT, WR, 2OL, QB, P – Joe Adams, WR, Arkansas

  20. Tennessee (9-7) – DE, OG, OLB, CB, WR – Tyrone Crawford, DE, Boise State

  21. Cincinnati* (9-7) – S, OG, DE, OLB – Lucas Nix, OG/OT, Pittsburgh

  22. Detroit* (10-6) – LT, C, LB, DE, RT, P – Keenan Robinson, OLB, Texas

  23. Cleveland – from Atlanta* (10-6) – DE, CB, 2OG, FS, DT – Omar Bolden, CB, Arizona State

  24. Pittsburgh* (12-4) – OT, CB, S, WR, TE, RB, DE, K – Andrew Datko, OT, Florida State

  25. Denver* (8-8) – WR, ILB, RB, SS, QB – Isaiah Pead, RB, Cincinnati

  26. Houston* (10-6) – OG, ILB, NT, SS, K, CB – Nicolas Jean-Baptise, NT, Baylor

  27. New Orleans* (13-3) – OLB, WR, SS, OL – Tavon Wilson, S, Illinois

  28. Green Bay* (15-1) – S, DE, TE, OL – Billy Winn, DE, Boise State

  29. Buffalo – from Baltimore* (12-4) – OLB, QB, DT, TE – Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona State

  30. San Francisco* (13-3) – QB, FS, CB, DE – Bernard Pierce, RB, Temple

  31. New England* (13-3) – S, LB – Aaron Henry, S, Nebraska

  32. New York Giants* (9-7) – FS, ILB, RB, CB, DT – Travis Lewis, LB, Oklahoma

  33. Minnesota (compensatory) – S, 2OG, LB, DT, FB, RB – Senio Kelemente, OG/OT, Washington

  34. Oakland (compensatory) – NT, 2Rush LB, 2CB, TE, DE, RB – Jonathan Massaquoi, OLB, Troy

  35. Baltimore (compensatory) – Rush LB, ILB, RB, S, OG, CB, QB – Robert Turbin, RB, Utah State

  36. New York Giants (compensatory) – FS, RB, CB, DT – Ronnie Hillman, RB, San Diego State

  37. Green Bay (compensatory) – S, TE, OL – Lardarius Green, TE, Louisiana Lafayette

  38. Green Bay (compensatory) – S, OL – Nate Potter, OT, Boise State

  39. Minnesota (compensatory) – S, OG, LB, DT, FB, RB – Antonio Allen, S, South Carolina

  40. Dallas (compensatory) – CB, ILB, DT, P – Akiem Hicks, DT/NT, Regina

· Atlanta -> Cleveland: Julio Jones

· Oakland -> Washington: Jason Campbell

· Tampa Bay -> Philadelphia: Luke Stocker

· Baltimore -> Buffalo: Lee Evans

· NY Jets -> Denver: Tim Tebow

Round 5

  1. Indianapolis (2-14) – OG, WR, SS, TE, Rush LB, ILB, RB – Greg Childs, WR, Arkansas

  2. Denver – from St. Louis (2-14) – WR, ILB, SS, QB – Jarius Wright, WR, Arkansas

  3. Minnesota (3-13) – OG, LB, DT, FB, RB – Ryan Miller, OG/OT, Colorado

  4. Cleveland (4-12) – DE, 2OG, FS, DT – Tommy Streeter, WR, Miami

  5. Tampa Bay (4-12) – CB, OLB, RT, RB, FS, FB, QB – Vick Ballard, RB, Mississippi State

  6. Washington (5-11) – OG, RT, CB, NT, TE, C, Rush LB – Levy Adcock, OT, Oklahoma State

  7. Jacksonville (5-11) – FS, P, C, LB – Trenton Robinson, FS, Michigan State

  8. Carolina (6-10) – CB, RT, S, K – Bryan Anger, P, California

  9. Buffalo (6-10) – OLB, DT, TE – Josh Kaddu, OLB, Oregon

  10. Miami (6-10) – RT, DE, OG, TE, DT – David Paulson, TE, Oregon

  11. Kansas City (7-9) – NT, Rush LB, ILB – Donte Paige-Moss, OLB, UNC

  12. Buffalo – from Seattle (7-9) – DT, TE – Michael Egnew, TE, Missouri

  13. Oakland (8-8) – NT, Rush LB, 2CB, TE, DE, RB – Cliff Harris, CB/PR, Oregon

  14. San Diego (8-8) – S, DE, WR, RB – Jake Bequette, DE/OLB, Arkansas

  15. Chicago (8-8) – CB, SS, LB, DE, DT – Ryan Steed, CB, Furman

  16. Arizona (8-8) – ILB, Rush LB, RG, QB, NT – Vontaze Burfict, ILB, Arizona State

  17. Dallas (8-8) – CB, ILB, DT – Shaun Prater, CB, Iowa

  18. Philadelphia (8-8) – SS, LT, 2OL, QB, P – Tom Compton, OT, South Dakota

  19. New York Jets (8-8) – WR, NT, ILB, TE, OL – Dwight Jones, WR, UNC

  20. Tennessee (9-7) – OG, OLB, CB, WR – Danny Trevathan, OLB, Kentucky

  21. Cincinnati* (9-7) – S, DE, OLB – Donny Fletcher, CB/S, Boston College

  22. Atlanta* (10-6) – C, DE, ILB, CB, OG, TE, FS, WR, LB – Quentin Saulsberry, C, Mississippi State

  23. Detroit* (10-6) – LT, C, DE, RT, P – Matt Reynolds, OT, BYU

  24. Pittsburgh* (12-4) – CB, S, WR, TE, RB, DE, K – Jeff Fuller, WR, Texas A&M

  25. Cleveland – from Denver* (8-8) – DE, 2OG, FS, DT – Frank Alexander, DE, Oklahoma

  26. Houston* (10-6) – OG, ILB, SS, K, CB – Audie Cole, ILB, N.C. State

  27. New Orleans* (13-3) – OLB, WR, OL – Dale Moss, WR, South Dakota State

  28. Green Bay* (15-1) – S – B.J. Coleman, QB, Tennessee Chattanooga

  29. Baltimore* (12-4) – Rush LB, ILB, S, OG, CB, QB – Jerry Franklin, ILB, Arkansas

  30. San Francisco* (13-3) – QB, FS, CB, DE – Coryell Judie, CB, Texas A&M

  31. Cincinnati – from New England* (13-3) – DE, OLB – Trevor Guyton, DE, California

  32. Cincinnati – from New York Giants* (9-7) – OLB – Marcus Forston, DT, Miami

  33. Oakland (compensatory) – NT, Rush LB, CB, TE, DE, RB – Demario Davis, OLB, Arkansas State

  34. Baltimore (compensatory) – Rush LB, S, OG, CB, QB – Eddie Whitley, FS, Virginia Tech

  35. Indianapolis (compensatory) – OG, SS, TE, Rush LB, ILB, RB – James Hanna, TE, Oklahoma

· New England -> Cincinnati: Chad Ochocinco

· St. Louis -> Denver: Brandon Lloyd

· Seattle -> Buffalo: Marshawn Lynch

· Denver -> Cleveland: Brady Quinn

· NY Giants -> Cincinnati: Keith Rivers

Round 6

  1. St. Louis (2-14) – OG, FS, CB, DE, RB, FB – Keith Tandy, CB, West Virginia

  2. Philadelphia – from Indianapolis (2-14) – SS, 2OL, QB, P – Sean Richardson, S, Vanderbilt

  3. Washington – from Minnesota (3-13) – OG, CB, NT, TE, C, Rush LB – Evan Rodriguez, TE/H-Back, Temple

  4. Tampa Bay (4-12) – CB, OLB, RT, FS, FB, QB – Tank Carder, LB, TCU

  5. Minnesota – from Cleveland (4-12) – LB, DT, FB, RB – Gerrell Robinson, WR, Arizona State

  6. Jacksonville (5-11) – P, C, LB – Bryan Stahovich, P, San Diego State

  7. Arizona – from Washington (5-11) – Rush LB, RG, QB, NT – Miles Burris, OLB, San Diego State

  8. Buffalo (6-10) – DT – Travian Robertson, DT, South Carolina

  9. New Orleans – from Miami (6-10) – OLB, OL – Markus Zusevics, OT/OG, Iowa

  10. Carolina (6-10) – CB, RT, S, K – Asa Jackson, CB, Cal Poly

  11. Seattle (7-9) – DE, RB, WR – Cyrus Gray, RB, Texas A&M

  12. Kansas City (7-9) – NT, ILB – Hebron Fangupo, NT, BYU

  13. San Diego (8-8) – S, WR, RB – Tim Benford, WR, Tennesse Tech

  14. Chicago (8-8) – SS, LB, DE, DT – Chris Marve, LB, Vanderbilt

  15. Arizona (8-8) – RG, QB, NT – Austin Davis, QB, Southern Miss

  16. Dallas (8-8) – ILB, DT – Kheeston Randall, DT, Texas

  17. New York Jets – from Indianapolis via Philadelphia (8-8) – NT, ILB, TE, OL – Delvin Johnson, DT/NT, Marshall

  18. Denver – from New York Jets (8-8) – ILB, SS, QB – Nick Foles, QB, Arizona

  19. Oakland (8-8) – NT, CB, TE, DE, RB – Kevin Koger, TE, Wisconsin

  20. Tennessee (9-7) – OG, CB, WR – Desmond Wynn, OG, Rutgers

  21. Cincinnati* (9-7) – OLB – DeQuan Menzie, CB, Alabama

  22. Atlanta* (10-6) – DE, ILB, CB, OG, TE, FS, WR, LB – Michah Pellerin, CB, Hampton

  23. Pittsburgh* (12-4) – CB, S, TE, RB, DE, K – Winston Guy Jr, S, Kentucky

  24. Philadelphia – from Denver* (8-8) – 2OL, QB, P – Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin

  25. Houston* (10-6) – OG, SS, K, CB – Rishaw Johnson, OG, California (PA)

  26. Miami – from New Orleans* (13-3) – RT, DE, OG, DT – Joe Long, OT, Wayne State

  27. Green Bay* (15-1) – S – Tramain Thomas, S, Arkansas

  28. Baltimore* (12-4) – Rush LB, OG, CB, QB – Ronald Leary, OG, Memphis

  29. San Francisco* (13-3) – QB, FS, DE – Brandon Hardin, FS/CB, Oregon State

  30. Philadelphia – from New England* (13-3) – 2OL, P – Blake DeChristopher, OT, Virginia Tech

  31. New York Giants* (9-7) – FS, CB, DT – Tydreke Powell, DT, UNC

  32. New York Jets (compensatory) – NT, ILB, TE, OL – J.K. Schaffer, ILB, Cincinnatti

  33. New York Jets (compensatory) – NT, TE, OL – Mike Ryan, OT, Connecticut

  34. Cleveland (compensatory) – 2OG, FS, DT – Rokevious Watkins, OG, South Carolina

  35. Cleveland (compensatory) – OG, FS, DT – Cody Sensabaugh, S, Clemson

  36. Indianapolis (compensatory) – OG, SS, Rush LB, ILB, RB – Tony Dye, SS, UCLA

  37. Carolina (compensatory) – RT, S, K – Don Barclay, OT, West Virginia

· Denver -> Philadelphia: Joe Mays

· Washington -> Arizona: Tim Hightower

· New England -> Philadelphia: Tracy White

· New Orleans <-> Miami: Reggie Bush

· Philadelphia <-> Indianapolis: Winston Justice

· NY Jets -> Denver: Tim Tebow

· Indianapolis -> NY Jets: Drew Stanton

· Minnesota -> Washington: Donovan McNabb

· Cleveland -> Minnesota: Jayme Mitchel

· Lions’ pick forfeited because of tampering

Round 7

  1. Indianapolis (2-14) – OG, Rush LB, ILB, RB – Adrian Hamilton, OLB, Prairie View A&M

  2. St. Louis (2-14) – OG, FS, DE, RB, FB – Tauren Poole, RB, Tennessee

  3. Minnesota (3-13) – LB, DT, FB, RB – Bradie Ewing, FB, Wisconsin

  4. Cleveland (4-12) – OG, DT – Lonnie Edwards, OG, Texas Tech

  5. Tampa Bay (4-12) – CB, RT, FS, FB, QB – Robert Blanton, CB/S, Notre Dame

  6. Washington (5-11) – OG, CB, NT, C, Rush LB – Trevin Wade, CB, Arizona

  7. Indianapolis – from New York Jets via Jacksonville (5-11) – OG, ILB, RB – Carmen Messina, ILB, New Mexico

  8. Miami (6-10) – DE, OG, DT – Logan Harrell, DT/DE, Fresno State

  9. Carolina (6-10) – S, K – Blair Walsh, K, Georgia

  10. Buffalo (6-10) – Dan Herron, RB, Ohio State

  11. Kansas City (7-9) – ILB – Chris Gallipo, ILB, USC

  12. Detroit – from Seattle (7-9) – C, DE, RT, P – William Vlachos, C, Alabama

  13. Chicago (8-8) – SS, DE, DT – Delano Howell, SS, Stanford

  14. Arizona (8-8) – RG, NT – Jordan White, WR, Western Michigan

  15. Dallas (8-8) – ILB – Korey Williams, ILB, Southern Mississippi

  16. Minnesota – from New England via Philadelphia (8-8) – LB, DT, RB – DaJohn Harris, DT, USC

  17. Green Bay – from New York Jets (8-8) – DeVier Posey, WR, Ohio State

  18. Seattle – from Oakland (8-8) – DE, WR – Chris Owusu, WR, Stanford

  19. San Diego (8-8) – S, RB – Chris Rainey, WR/RB/KR, Florida

  20. Tennessee (9-7) – CB, WR – Jermaine Kearse, WR, Washington

  21. Jacksonville – from Cincinnati* (9-7) – C, LB – Gino Gradkowski, C/G, Delaware

  22. Atlanta* (10-6) – DE, ILB, OG, TE, FS, WR, LB – Brandon Lindsey, DE, Pittsburgh

  23. Detroit* (10-6) – DE, RT, P – Julian Miller, DE, West Virginia

  24. Pittsburgh* (12-4) – CB, TE, RB, DE, K – Marquis Maze, WR, Alabama

  25. New York Jets – from Denver* (8-8) – NT, TE – Chase Ford, TE, Miami

  26. Houston* (10-6) – SS, K, CB – Duke Ihenacho, SS, San Jose State

  27. New Orleans* (13-3) – OLB – Ryan Baker, OLB, LSU

  28. Green Bay* (15-1) – Jack Crawford, DE, Penn State

  29. Baltimore* (12-4) – Rush LB, CB, QB – Cordarro Law, OLB, Southern Mississippi

  30. San Francisco* (13-3) – QB, DE – Malik Jackson, DE, Tennessee

  31. Kansas City – from New England* (13-3) – Tim Fugger, DE/OLB, Vanderbilt

  32. New York Giants* (9-7) – FS, CB – Jose Grumbs, FS, Monmouth

  33. Pittsburgh (compensatory) – CB, TE, RB, DE, K – Chris Greenwood, CB, Albion

  34. Green Bay (compensatory) – Nathan Stupar, ILB, Penn State

  35. New York Jets (compensatory) – NT – Ishmaa’ily Kitchen, NT/DT, Kent State

  36. Green Bay (compensatory) – Marc Tyler, RB, USC

  37. New York Jets (compensatory) – Justin Francis, DE, Rutgers

  38. Cleveland (compensatory) – DT – Brett Roy, DT, Nevada

  39. Pittsburgh (compensatory) – TE, RB, DE, K – Bryce Brown, RB, Kansas State

  40. Cleveland (compensatory) – Bobby Rainey, RB, Western Kentucky

  41. Pittsburgh (compensatory) – TE, DE, K – Randy Bullock, K, Texas A&M

  42. Atlanta (compensatory) – ILB, OG, TE, FS, WR, LB – Devon Wylie, WR/KR, Fresno State

  43. San Diego (compensatory) – S – Sean Cattouse, S, California

  44. Buffalo (compensatory) – Risard Matthews, WR, Nevada

  45. St. Louis (compensatory) – OG, FS, DE, FB – Lance Lewis, WR, East Carolina

  46. Indianapolis (compensatory) – OG, RB – Derek Moye, WR, Penn State

· Philadelphia -> New England -> Minnesota: Tracy White; Randy Moss

· New England -> Kansas City: Jarrad Page

· Oakland -> Seattle: Aaron Curry

· Denver -> NY Jets: Tim Tebow

· Jets -> Indianapolis: Drew Stanton

· New York Jets -> Green Bay: Caleb Schlauderaff

· Seattle -> Detroit: Tyler Polumbus

· Cincinnati -> Jacksonville: Reggie Nelson

Top UDFA’s

Eric Page, Kellen Moore, Case Keenum, Edwin Baker, B.J. Cunningham, Joe Looney, Oliver Vernon, Kyle Wilber, Jerrell Young

Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

Is Baltimore Looking to Move to 23 to Take LB Dont’a Hightower?

*** Discuss this article and more at our Pittsburgh Steelers forum ***


ESPN’s AFC North blogger Jamison Hensley summarized a bit of the latest log to the Steelers/Ravens burning inferno, mentioning the teams likely have many of the same players targeted for their respective first round picks in Thursday’s draft.

Some of this could be fueled by a recent interview Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome had on the Ravens web site, and even more could be grounded in the mock draft done by SI’s Peter King earlier this week – who had Baltimore trading up to No. 23 with Detroit, and taking Alabama LB Dont’a Hightower.

King is one of the rare football writers who fully admits to the lack of success (whatever that means) in his mock draft, but that trade does make a lot of sense for the Ravens. King doesn’t mention it, but Baltimore has been very active and aggressive in the draft in recent years. They traded up in 2008 (Joe Flacco) and 2009 (Michael Oher) and traded out of the first round in 2010 (with Denver, for QB Tim Tebow).

Keep in mind, King isn’t claiming that pick is something in the works, just his opinion of how the draft may go.

Incidentally, King has the Steelers taking OG Kevin Zeitler at 24, after Baltimore takes Hightower at 23. Zeitler is also a guy both teams should consider. So is Coutney Upshaw, who, if not for his marked character, wouldn’t likely be available that low in the first round.

Hightower has been the focal point of many mock drafts (for whatever that is worth) for the Steelers, and both teams are looking for future assistance in replacing long-standing defensive captains. ILB James Farrior was released this off-season after 10 seasons with the Steelers. Ravens LB Ray Lewis will be 37 years old at the start of the 2012 season, and Baltimore has a solid enough roster top to bottom they’re in a position to draft a highly talented successor.

Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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Colts Take Andrew Luck With the First Pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, Washington Is Now On the Clock


The excitement of the 2012 NFL Draft never was in the top pick. Maybe that’s the reason the Indianapolis Colts confirmed the first overall choice will be Stanford QB Andrew Luck.

There’s no rule that says the first pick has to wait until the commissioner announces everyone is waiting on their pick. Logically, that means they could skip right over it, move onto No. 2 and save 10 or so minutes at the end of the draft, right?

Oh wait, they put it on prime time for a reason.

Depending on how the NFL marketing machine sold advertising space for the 3-hour long celebration to the end of (alleged) amateurism, the highest-selling commercial slots are most likely at the beginning of the broadcast. Not so much right before the first pick, but the first commercial break they have.

The lack of intrigue with the top pick in recent years has probably deadened the value of the ad dollar in this event a little bit. It won’t help any more that everyone knows Washington will select Baylor QB Robert Griffin III with pick No. 2.

It’s not quite as much a sure thing as the first two picks, but Minnesota taking anyone other than USC LT Matt Kalil at No. 3 would be a shock. So with 10 minutes slotted for each pick, and one team having already confirmed the top pick, and another likely to use their 10 minutes to soak up some spotlight, the Vikings will go on the clock at approximately 8:11 p.m. ET. Call it 8:16 p.m. ET when they make their pick, putting Cleveland in the spotlight.

I’m sure most of us will skip over that part, although watching their season “highlights” from 2011 would be entertainment for everyone but Browns fans. The point is, we’re looking at probably another two hours from there until Pittsburgh is up.

See? It really is hard trying to come up with a new angle for the Andrew Luck No. 1 pick story. But I pulled it off.

Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

Steelers Prepare For Thursday’s NFL Draft

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Steelers have depth issues at a variety of positions.

They can use help on the offensive line, at inside linebacker and in the defensive backfield. Potentially running back as well.

So the draft board is wide open, and one of the things the Steelers do better than just about every team is they don’t miss on their first-round draft pick.

Every first-round pick since 2000 has either starred or contributed in Pittsburgh.

“You can’t miss on (picks) one, two or three,” Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said. “Those are premium picks. You shouldn’t miss on a first-rounder. To me, that’s a given.

“The twos and threes, if you miss on one of those it sets you back. You better hope you got lucky in the later rounds to compensate for that.”

The Steelers have done a lot of preparation for this draft. The evaluation process goes deep and includes character, talent and a winning history.

“I think that winning is valuable, but not only in the highest level — in terms of guys from Alabama or LSU — but also guys from North Dakota State,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “Guys that have won, regardless of where they’ve played, I believe that winning is contagious, I believe there’s a certain mind set that’s associated with winning, whether they’re at the 1-A level or the 1-AA level or Division II level.

“If they come from a successful high school program, I believe there’s intrinsic value in winning.”

Pittsburgh typically doesn’t trade up or down, but on occasion they have – when guys like Troy Polamalu become available.

That will remain an option.

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Filed under: Football, Sports, Steelers Tagged: Kevin Colbert, Mike Tomlin, NFL Draft, Pittsburgh Steelers

Source: CBS Pittsburgh » Steelers

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Assessing the Steelers’ Drafting Success During the Kevin Colbert Era: The Final Word


My previous two posts assessing the Steelers’ drafting success since Kevin Colbert fully took the reins of the Front Office in 2001 focused on the first round (Part 1) and the second round (Part II ). In theory this is the post assessing the lower rounds, but is as my wont lately I went into full stats geek mode, loaded all the relevent information into a spreadsheet, and started digging around. As a result I have the definitive pronouncement on the relative value of the Steelers drafts for each round in comparison to the rest of the league. At least until someone else looks at the numbers and disagrees with my interpretation of them.

As I looked at the some of the overall draft assessments one thing which seemed to be missing from the analysis is the position teams were drafting. That doesn’t make a lot of sense if you think about it. Teams drafting at the lowest end of the first round are choosing from a pool of players who more closely resemble the second-round pool for the teams picking at the top of each round. So it makes little sense to assume the same value for Pick #32 and Pick #1, for instance. Yet this seems to be the way round-by-round comparisons are typically done.

The Steelers’ success in the past decade has guaranteed a lower round position for many of the years. On the other hand, teams do trade around, and the Steelers have done a bit of horsetrading themselves, most notably to take Troy Polamalu. So I decided to determine the success of each team in each round using the Pro-Football-Reference Career Approximate Value (hereafter CarAV) for the players drafted by each team. Adding these together for the ten years gave me the total value of the players each team had picked during those ten drafts, and I averaged it out for the number of picks in that round a team had during that time. (Some teams had more than ten, some less, for various reasons.) This gave me a list by draft round of how well each team did, relative to the rest of the league. For the first round, here were the top ten teams:


But then I averaged the position of the Round One picks each team had during the decade. The Colts had the highest average pick by far: 26.75. (In other words, on average they were picking around the 27th pick of Round One.) Cleveland had the lowest, at 11.5. So let’s look at where those top ten teams picked on average:


Now let’s redo the league list, compensating for the pick number. (I multiplied the CarAV by the team’s average pick number, then divided by the average pick league-wide for that round. During this particular 10 years that number happened to be 16.53.) Here’s the new set of top-ten teams:


You can see the Steelers, Ravens and the Colts move up, as teams on the list who on average were picking at the lower end of the league. The Falcons and Vikings drop off the list, to be replaced by the Cowboys and the Giants.

It is reasonable to ask whether this is entirely fair. After all, it isn’t as if every player in a given round played the same position. Then it would clearly be an enormous advantage to have a higher pick. When a number of different positions are being chosen, though, there may still be a few top players at less-popular positions available. Nonetheless, I think it is a fair way to adjust the scale. The Advanced NFL Stats studies have demonstrated the top couple of players at a given position are generally a good bit better than those who follow, at least in the short term. It is very advantageous to pick in the upper part of a round—otherwise there would just be a lottery.

There are lots of other things one could adjust by, and I messed about some of those. Number of years the player was a starter, number of Pro Bowls and all-Pro, and so on, as well as a “bust rate” I invented and assigned. But ultimately it seems to me a perfectly good evalution can be made from just the CarAV for each player. Pro Bowls, for instance, are partially a matter of popularity and visibility for a given play and/or team. Number of years as a starter has at least something to do with the policies and management efficiencies of the team(s) the player is on and how much need there is for the player to start immediately. And at least some of those things are already taken into account in the CarAV. So in the end, I stuck with the CarAV.

Rather than try to make a bar chart for the whole league, which would be practically unreadable, I decided to plot the Steelers, the Ravens, and the two best and worst teams in each round. (If PIT or BAL was in either the top or bottom two in a given round I threw in another nearby team.) I wanted to answer two questions. The first question: is any team drafting consistently well (or poorly) throughout the draft? But the really interesting question for denizens of the AFC North is the second: is Ozzie Newsome, the Ravens’ GM, or Kevin Colbert, the GM for the Steelers, really the Wizard?

Here’s the results. As you can see, I plotted each round both with the original numbers and the numbers adjusted for pick. The numbers after each team name in the legend are where they placed in the CarAV and where they placed when the numbers were adjusted for average draft position. All charts are the same height for ease of reading, but the top number is considerably less in each round.


Obviously IND is the clear winner when adjusted for pick number. The Steelers and Ravens both move up, the Steelers more than the Ravens, but unfortunately the Ravens are still ahead by a nose. Round One: Advantage Newsome.


Interestingly, things don’t change as much in Round Two, and the order doesn’t change at all. (And before anybody asks, I did recalculate the average pick number for each round.) Advantage: Colbert.


In Round Three, adjusting for pick number puts New England just ahead of Carolina. Pittsburgh and Baltimore both benefit from the adjustment, Baltimore more than Pittsburgh. Colbert is the clear winner.


Once again the top two switch places, but the order is otherwise unaffected. Kevin Colbert is still the man…


Round Five is where the Steelers really fell short during between 2001 and 2010. And if you’re going to fail consistently, better to do it in the lower rounds where the consequences are much less. Ozzie Newsome forges ahead.


Ozzie Newsome is still dominating, I fear.


Dallas and the Giants switch places, but otherwise everyone stays the same. I’m guessing Pittsburgh is 17th place rather than far worse almost entirely because of Brett Keisel, but I haven’t checked that opinion.

So how about those two questions? It looks like Kevin Colbert has beaten out Ozzie Newsome, but is this true? And which teams are drafting consistently well, or poorly? Once again I ran the numbers both ways. I added up the total CarAV for each team, and ranked the teams accordingly, and did the same for the CarAV adjusted for average pick number. (This has the advantage over the ranking numbers of weighting for the earlier draft rounds.) Here are the results:


One judge of this metric is how well it lines up with how the teams performed during the ten-year period in question. (For example, this Forbes Magazine article evaluating the draft used what was clearly a flawed metric, because their three worst teams were the Pittsburgh Steelers, the St. Louis Rams, and the New England Patriots.) I think a perusal of the rankings for the CarAV adjusted for draft pick shows a very good correlation between how well a team did in the last decade and where they rank in my chart. For example, the Saints may have won a Super Bowl, but they were bad a lot of the time. Teams like the Cowboys and the Eagles didn’t make it to the big game but they were generally competitive.

How well a team drafts and how well they use the players are two different issues, of course. But I believe we can state this with confidence: the Steelers have been one of the very best teams in the league at identifying talent in the draft, particularly in the upper rounds where it counts the most. Their record during this time indicates they are also one of the best teams in evaluating the talent they drafted and utilizing them well, or cutting their losses if necessary.

And although Pittsburgh beats Baltimore, it isn’t by a lot, although it is significant. So if Ozzie Newsome is the Wizard, I guess that makes Kevin Colbert into Harry Potter. An older and badder-looking Harry Potter, especially in the shades…

How much do the Steelers beat the Ravens by? Here are the numbers. Judge for yourselves. And note how large the difference is between the best teams and the worst ones.


Things can change relatively rapidly in the league, and new management can infuse a great deal of hope into a franchise—witness San Francisco and Detroit. So all of this may look quite different in five years. But for the past ten years, it looks as if 50% of the AFC North really knew how to draft.

Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

Draft Day Memories: Joe Greene

Leading up to the 2012 NFL Draft current and former Steelers players and coaches will share their draft day memories. Featured in this segment is former defensive lineman Joe Greene

Source: Pittsburgh Steelers : Videos

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