Monday, March 23, 2009

A Mythical Line In The Sands Of Time

The Detroit Lions have decided to retire Corey Smith's football jersey. While it may seem like a nice tribute to some, it is a touchy subject that brings up a question of where to draw the line. Or if one should ever be drawn, as it seems it has been for others.

Smith had played three seasons with Detroit, after previously playing four years in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Francisco 49ers. Smith started in three of the 33 games he suited up for the Lions, and had played in 59 games overall in his career. He was able to contribute 7.5 sacks for Detroit, and even intercepted the only pass of his career last year.

Jerome Brown and Sean Taylor were All Pro players not even in their primes when they died. The Eagles retired Brown's jersey, and it is doubtful you will see a Redskin wear Taylor's jersey in our lifetimes.

Yet, those deaths are not the same as Chuck Hughes or Korey Stringer. These two men happened to pass away while playing football. One can see why their respective teams would honor them the way they have by retiring their jerseys.

Hughes was a little used reserve Wide Receiver for the Lions who died late in a game against the Bears in 1971. He has never been officially declared dead on the gridiron, but most players in that game believe Hughes died of a massive heart attack on the field that day.

Chuck still holds the NCAA record for the most yards per reception for a single game, 34.9, while playing at Texas - El Paso. He was a fourth round draft pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in 1967. After playing 22 games in three years in Philadelphia, he ended up with Detroit in 1970. He played 16 games for the Lions up until his death.

Stringer had his jersey retired by the Minnesota Vikings after dying on a practice field because of a stroke in 2001. He was a talented Offensive Tackle who had just made his first All Pro Team, after 6 NFL seasons, in 2000. His death has changed several ways many teams train their players in practice now.

Then you can point out many guys whose may not have lost their lives, but their careers were ended by crippling injury. Mike Utley became a paraplegic after being paralyzed in a game in 1991 while playing Right Guard for the Lions. Utley, the MVP of the 1988 Aloha Bowl in 1988 for Washington State University, was an oft-injured starter for Detroit in his three year career. Is he less deserving of his jersey being retired because he did not die?

If it takes a death for a players jersey to be retired, then why haven't the Lions retired the jerseys of Eric Andolsek, Toby Caston, or even Johnathan Goddard? Are they less worthy? Andolsek and Caston were valuable members of the Detroit Lions too. Andolsek happened to die two days before Jerome Brown.

Andolsek was killed when a truck ran off a road and struck him as he worked in the front yard of his home in the 1992 off season. He played with the Lions for four seasons, and started from his second year on at Left Guard. His last game was in the NFC Championship game, and he was a valuable member of an excellent offensive line that opened holes for Barry Sanders.

Caston played seven years in the NFL, and his last five with Detroit. He started in 4 of the 68 games he suited up for the Lions at Linebacker, and was a important member of their special teams unit. He died during a road accident in 1994.

Both Caston and Andolsek happened to play college football at LSU, as did Offensive Tackle Ralph Norwood. Norwood was the Atlanta Falcons second round draft choice in 1989, and died in a car accident after the eleventh game of his rookie season. Coincidentally, Norwood's Falcon team mate, Tight End Brad Beckman, would die later that same year in a car accident.

Falcons wearing Norwoods number 73 on their jerseys shortly after his death. Beckman is number 83

Goddard was the Lions sixth round drat pick by the Lions in 2005. He was a hybrid DE/ LB, and was cut by the Lions before the season started. The Indianapolis Colts quickly signed him to their practice squad. He made the active roster for one game that year, then got injured during the following preseason as the Colts would go on and win Super Bowl XLI. After being released by the Colts in 2007, he played a few games in Arena Football with the Colorado Crush. Goddard then died after a motorcycle accident in 2008.

I could go on with countless other examples of football players who lost their lives off the field, like Corey Smith did. You could even expand it to players who died after their careers were over. It all seems relative in some way. Is one death worse than the next? Does the media attention given make a death more important than another?

Immortalizing Corey Smith is an honorable act. The man passed away with two of his friends, who hopefully will be honored at the impending ceremony as well. My only questions for the Ford family, and all people involved in sports as an owner, player, or spectator, is simple.

Why have men like Andolsek, and others, not been given this same monument of remembrance by retiring their jerseys too? How does one determine worthiness? How does one draw a line? Where is this line, if it does exist?

Do you know?

Friday, March 20, 2009

I Must Be In The Front Row

The Genius Of Bob Uecker

Bob Uecker makes me wish I had been able to listen to Brewers games since 1971 from the same booth in which he broadcast from.

Milwaukee fans know what I mean.

The rest of us are lucky just to catch snippets of him.

From his TV shows, movies, and commercials, the man has entertained Americans for decades.

And say what you want to about his playing career, the man owns a World Series ring. He may try to say he didn't earn it, but it is obvious he did.

Bob is 74 years young these days, and is as sharp as he has always been.

Here is a montage of some of his quips and clips :

Anybody with ability can play in the big leagues. But to be able to trick people year in and year out the way I did, I think that was a much greater feat.

Baseball hasn't forgotten me. I go to a lot of old-timers games and I haven't lost a thing. I sit in the bullpen and let people throw things at me. Just like old times.

Career highlights? I had two. I got an intentional walk from Sandy Koufax and I got out of a rundown against the Mets.

I didn't get a lot of awards as a player. But they did have a Bob Uecker Day Off for me once in Philly.

I had slumps that lasted into the winter.

I hit a grand slam off Ron Herbel and when his manager Herman Franks came out to get him, he was bringing Herbel's suitcase.

I knew when my career was over. In 1965 my baseball card came out with no picture.

I led the league in "Go get 'em next time."

I set records that will never be equaled. In fact, I hope 90% of them don't even get printed.

I signed with the Milwaukee Braves for three-thousand dollars. That bothered my dad at the time because he didn't have that kind of dough. But he eventually scraped it up.

If a guy hits .300 every year, what does he have to look forward to? I always tried to stay around .190, with three or four RBI. And I tried to get them all in September. That way I always had something to talk about during the winter.

In 1962 I was named Minor League Player of the Year. It was my second season in the bigs.

Let's face it. Umpiring is not an easy or happy way to make a living. In the abuse they suffer, and the pay they get for it, you see an imbalance that can only be explained by their need to stay close to a game they can't resist.

One time, I got pulled over at four a.m. I was fined seventy-five dollars for being intoxicated and four-hundred for being with the Phillies.

People don't know this but I helped the Cardinals win the pennant. I came down with hepatitis. The trainer injected me with it.

Sporting goods companies pay me not to endorse their products.

Sure, women sportswriters look when they're in the clubhouse. Read their stories. How else do you explain a capital letter in the middle of a word?

The highlight of my career? In '67 with St. Louis, I walked with the bases loaded to drive in the winning run in an intersquad game in spring training.

The way to catch a knuckleball is to wait until it stops rolling and then pick it up.

When I came up to bat with three men on and two outs in the ninth, I looked in the other team's dugout and they were already in street clothes.

When I looked at the third base coach, he turned his back on me.

I was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Actually, I was born in Illinois. My mother and father were on an oleo margarine run to Chicago back in 1934, because we couldn't get colored margarine in Wisconsin. On the way home, my mother was with child. Me. And the pains started, and my dad pulled off into an exit area, and that's where the event took place. I remember it was a Nativity type setting. An exit light shining down. There were three truck drivers there. One guy was carrying butter, one guy had frankfurters, and the other guy was a retired baseball scout who told my folks that I probably had a chance to play somewhere down the line.

Well, a couple of grand slammers and the Brewers are right back in this one (Uecker during the 8th inning of a game the Brewers were losing 8–0.)

The biggest thrill a ballplayer can have is when your son takes after you. That happened when my Bobby was in his championship Little League game. He really showed me something. Struck out three times. Made an error that lost the game. Parents were throwing things at our car and swearing at us as we drove off. Gosh, I was proud.

I had slumps that lasted into the winter.

A doctor told me to drink lemon juice after a hot bath. But I have never finished the bath.

I won the Comeback of the Year Award five years in a row!

I'm scared of the Reds.

I had been playing for a while, and I asked Louisville Slugger to send me a dozen flame treated bats. But when I got it, I realized they had sent me a box of ashes.

A Story Told About Uecker By Artie Lange To David Letterman

Uecker As A WWE Announcer

A Few Of His Famous Lite Beer Commercials

Uecker On Johnny Carson's Tonight Show

The Famous Bob Uecker Seats in Milwaukee that cost one dollar to sit in

Thank You for letting us have front row seats to your brilliance Ueck

Thursday, March 19, 2009



Charles was drafted in the 4th round of the 1961 draft by the Los Angeles Rams. He was the 45th player chosen overall. He was moved to Left Guard as a rookie and started right away. He played there until 1964, then was moved to Right Tackle. In 1967, the Rams won their first division title in 18 years. Cowan made his first Pro Bowl Team in 1968. He was moved to Left Tackle the next year, and would be named to the Pro Bowl team the next two seasons as well. In 1971, "Humps" was named to the Sporting News All Conference First Team. He was then named to the All NFL Second Team by both the Associated Press and Pro Football Writers Association, as well as the Second Team All Conference by the UPI. Charles was a mainstay at LT until after the 1975 season, when he retired. The Rams have had many great players in their illustrious history, and Charles "Humps" Cowan is one of their very best.


Reggie was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the 6th round of the 1983 draft, and was the 167th player chosen overall. He produced immediately, averaging 43.1 yards on 74 punts. He also had the first of just five career punts blocked. Roby went to his first Pro Bowl the next year, when he averaged 44.7 yards on 51 punts. He would be named an All Pro every year from there until 1987. Known for his strong leg and incredible hang time, Roby led the NFL in 1986 and 1987 with the longest punts of the year of 73 and 77 yards. He led the NFL with a net average of 38.7 yards per ount in 1986. Reggie returned to the Pro Bowl in 1989 after 42.4 yards on 58 attempts. He then led the NFL with a 45.7 yards average in 1991, on 54 attempts. He was named an All Pro again. Reggie then joined the Washington Redskins in 1993, and went to his final Pro Bowl the next year. He averaged 44.4 yards on a career high 82 punts. It was also the final time he would be named an All Pro. Roby then joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for 1995, and averaged 42.8 yards on 77 attempts. He also attempted his only career pass that year, which went for 48 yards. 1996 saw Roby in a Houston Oilers uniform, and he had a career best 38 yards net that year. He stayed with the team as they moved to Tennessee the next year, and then joined the San Francisco 49ers for 14 games in 1998, and averaged 41.9 yards on 60 punts. He then retired from the game with a career average of 43.3 yards per punt on 992 attempts. Reggie Roby was one of a kind. He was known for his quick two step delivery, which many have tried to emulate since. He also wore a watch many games so he could time his punts in the air. The NFL only started recording net punting average in 1991, as well as virtually every other type of punting statistic. Roby's career average is probably better than the recorded one of just over 36 yards. He was a great directional punter and put an incredible amount of air under his punts. Twice he had opponents fair catch his punts 23 times over the 8 years that stat was kept. He still holds several NFL and team records. His 77 yard punt in the longest in Miami Dolphin history, as is his 58.5 yards per punt single game average. His ten punts in the 1985 Pro Bowl is a record, and he ranks second in Dolphins history in punt attempts and yardage. Reggie Roby is a member of the NFL 1980's All Decade Team, and should never be forgotten.


John was the second round draft choice of the expansion New Orleans Saints draft in 1967. He was the 52nd player chosen overall. He got the Saints off to a big bang by returning the opening kickoff of the first game in franchise history for a 94 yard touchdown. He ended up averaging 30.1 yards a return on 16 kickoffs that year, as well as catching 22 balls and another score. John then had 24 catches the next year, then was traded to the Saint Louis Cardinals for the 1969 season. Gilliam responded by snaring a career best 52 receptions for 997 yards and a career high 9 touchdowns. He took one pass a career long 84 yards, and also scored the last kickoff return of his career after taking one 100 yards. 1970 saw John grab 45 passes for 952 yards and 5 scores. He also took one of his five rishing attempts 48 yards for a touchdown. After having 42 receptions for 837 yards the next year, Gilliam went to the Minnesota Vikings in 1972 and made his first Pro Bowl Team. He led the NFL with 22 yards a catch, and had a career best 1,035 yards on 47 receptions and 7 scores. He went back to the Pro Bowl the next year after having 42 catches for 902 yards and 8 touchdowns. He also scored the last time rushing the ball, by taking one of his five carries 44 yards to paydirt. Gilliam went back to the Pro Bowl in 1974, after having 26 receptions for 578 yards and 5 scores. He then joined numerous NFL stars by jumping to the World Football League for more money. Gilliam joined the Chicago Winds, but the team folded after just five games. He still managed 20 receptions for 390 yards and 2 touchdowns during that time. He then returned to the Vikings and Pro Bowl in 1975. He caught 50 balls for 777 yards and 7 scores. John then joined the Atlanta Falcons for the 1976 season, and caught 21 passes and 2 scores. Gilliam then rejoined the Saints in 1977, and stayed with them for 10 games. He caught 11 passes and a score. He then joined the Chicago Bears for two games, but did not record any statistics. Gilliam then retired from the NFL with 382 receptions for 7,056 yards and 48 scores. He also had 2 rushing and kick off returns for touchdowns. His career average of 18.5 yards is excellent for many reasons. One is the fact that he played in the era of the 10 yard chuck rule, not the modern day 5 yard rule, making it much harder to get open. Another factor is that he had four seasons of averaging 12 yards a catch. Gilliam was a blazing fast player with good hands. He played in two Super Bowls, and went to four Pro Bowls. He was an unforgettable football player.


Andy was the Washington Redskins first round draft choice in 1938, the ninth player chosen overall. He played Fullback on offense, and Safety on defense. Farkas led the NFL with 6 rushing touchdowns in his rookie year, and took one ball a career best 53 yards for a score. Andy would lead the Redskins in rushing in each of his first two years. In 1939, Farkas led the NFL with 139 carries. He also gained 547 yards, and both totals are his career highs. He also ran for 5 scores. He is best remembered for catching a pass and taking it 99 yards for a touchdown. It is an NFL record that will always stand, and can only be tied. Andy averaged a whopping 27.3 yards per reception that year on 16 catches. His 437 receiving yards was a career best, and his 984 total yards led the NFL. He scored 5 more times receiving the ball, and his 10 total touchdowns led the NFL. Farkas also scored on a trick play on a kickoff return. He would make his first All Pro Team for his efforts. 1940 saw Andy intercept a pass, then get hurt on his only carry in the opening game. He was lost for the season. Farkas returned in 1941 and carried the ball 85 times for 224 yards and 2 scores. Andy also returned 14 punts for 152 yards. He took one punt 59 yards for the only punt return touchdown of his career. Farkas also intercepted a career best 4 passes. The Redskins would win the NFL Championship in 1942, and Farkas was a big reason why. He gained 468 yards on 125 carries, both of which led the team. Andy ran for 3 touchdows, and caught 2 more on 11 receptions. He also returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown, and intercepted 3 passes. Farkas wouldbe named an All Pro for the final time of his career after that season. Andy followed that up by leading the NFL with a kickoff return average of 31 yards in 1943. He took one ball 84 yards. Andy also led the NFL with 15 punt returns, and averaged 11.2 yards per return. Farkas also led the Redskins in rushing, after gaining 327 yards on 110 carries. He ran for 5 scores, and scored 4 more times on a career best 19 receptions. 1944 would be Andy's last as a Redskin. He intercepted 3 passes, ran for 85 yards on 21 carries. Farkas then joined the Detroit Lions for the 1945 season, and carried the ball 31 times for 137 yards. He also caught 9 balls for 132 yards, and scored the last 2 touchdowns of his career. Andy also managed to gain 101 yards on 7 punt returns. Andy Farkas then retired with 587 carries for 2,103 yards, and 80 receptions for 1,086 yards and 13 scores. He also had 11 interceptions, and scored three times via kickoff and punt returns. Andy is also the first player in NFL history to wear eye black. Andy Farkas is a member of the Washington Redskins 70 Greatest Players Team, and will never be forgotten.


Bill was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the 12th round of the 1978 draft. He was the 333rd player chosen overall, the second from last pick that year. He actually ended up being Mr. Irrelevant for that draft, because the last pick of the draft by Dallas never signed with the team due to injury.. The Dolphins cut him in training camp, then Kenney tried out for the Washington Redskins the next year and was cit again. In 1980, he made the Kansas City Chiefs roster as a backup. Bill ended up starting 3 games that year due to an injury to the Chiefs starter Steve Fuller. He won two games and tossed five TD's. Kenney started 13 games next year, tossing 9 touchdowns and 16 interceptions, and won 8 games. In the strike shortened season of 1982, he tossed 7 scores in the 7 games he played. Kansas City then used their first round draft pick of 1983 on Todd Blackledge, another quarterback. Bill responded by having the best season of his entire career, and set career best marks in most areas. His 603 attempts for 346 completions led the NFL. He also threw for 4,348 yards and 24 touchdowns, as well as rushing for 3 more scores. He was named to the Pro Bowl, and is the only Mr. Irrelevant to have done so. Bill was on his way to matching those totals the next year, but got injured and missed half of the season. He threw for 2,098 yards on 151 completions and 15 touchdowns. 1985 saw Kenney start in ten games and toss 2,536 yards and 17 touchdowns. He started 16 games over the next two years, getting 28 touchdown passes on 4,029 yards. After starting in 5 games in 1988 and not throwing a touchdown, the Chiefs waived Kenney. He then joined the Washington Redskins as a third stringer in 1989, but never saw action. Bill then retired from the NFL. Bill Kenney held the Chiefs record for most passing yards in a season for 11 years and still ranks behind Hall Of Famer Len Dawson and former Pro Bowler Trent Green in most categories in Kansas City Chiefs history. He is certainly one to never forget.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

2009 NFL Draft = Kickers And Specialists

Louie Sakoda, K, 5'9" 173, Utah = Only the second player ever to be a finalist for the Groza and Guy Awards in the same year. Though he was a good Punter in college, Placekicker is his likely calling for the pros. Wants to kick with the game on the line. Very consistent from 45 yards and in. Questionable leg strength from 50 on out. Does not kick off deep, so may need a kickoff specialist for him there. A gutsy winner. Will get looks in someones camp after the draft.

Justin Brantley, P, 6'3" 249, Texas A&M = Punted all four years in college, and never averaged below 43 yards per punt. Has good hands and leg strength. Able to hold for place kickers, and athletic enough to make tackles. Kicks a flat ball with little hang time. Inconsistent footwork. Will get a tryout somewhere as a free agent.

David Buehler, K, 6'2" 227, USC = Weight room freak who can out bench many linemen. Has good athleticism, and practiced on offense and defense with the Trojans. Has a strong and accurate leg. A junior college transfer who only kicked two years at USC. Hasn't had to attempt many clutch kicks, so the question of his mental toughness will have to be answered in a pro camp. Will get a look somewhere, and might make a team.

Tim Masthay, P, 6'2" 198, Kentucky = Works hard and is smart. Has good leg strength, but needs to get even stronger. Not very good in his punt placement. Can be susceptible to being blocked. Will have to try to latch on to a team after the draft.

Graham Gano, K, 6' 194, Florida State = Won the Lou Groza Award last year even after missing the first two games of the season due to injury. Handled all kicking duties for the Seminoles with excellence. Good placement punter, but will probably have to make it as a kicker. Accurate from 50 yards in. Not a huge leg, but NFL caliber. Will get a try out with someone after the draft.

Thomas Morstead, P, 6'4" 225, Southern Methodist = Can place kick too. Punts the ball in two steps and has good direction with decent hang time. Is athletic enough to make the tackle. May be used as a kick off specialist too. Will get looked by someone after the draft as both a PK and P.

Sam Swank, 6' 193, Wake Forest = Has experience as a Punter, but will get a look first as a Placekicker in the pros. Has a strong leg and gets good height on his kicks. Will be able to handle kickoff duties as well. A team may take him late in the draft.

Britton Colquitt, P, 6'3" 205, Tennessee = The fourth Colquitt to punt for the Vols, and might be the third to punt in the NFL. Has a strong leg and can handle kickoff duty. Good directional punter, but can out kick his coverage at times. Character issue stemming from DUI arrests that led to his scholarship being taken away. Might not get drafted, but could make a team.

Jose Martinez, K, 5'9" 197, Texas El Paso = Has tremendous leg strength. A willing participant on tackling returners. Needs to get more height on his place kicks and more hang time on his kick offs. Has NFL ability. Will get looked at by a team after the draft.

Matt Fodge, P, 6' 193, Oklahoma State = Won the Ray Guy Award last year. Decent leg strength. Can hold on kicks too. Needs to improve his hang time. Will get looked at by teams late in the draft.

Kevin Huber, P, 6'1" 220, Cincinnati = Lefty who puts a funky rotation on his punts, leading to muffs. Good leg and is decent at directional punts. Very good place holder on kicks. Can line drive punts too often, and has a slow three step delivery that will need to be worked on. Should be in someones camp after the draft.

Sean Griffin, LS, 6'2" 242, Michigan = Accurate with his placement, and makes no mistakes. Won't provide much in tackling on punts because he lacks speed and athleticism. Will get a look in someones camp after the draft.

Jake Ingram, LS, 6'2" 234, Hawaii = Best at snapping the ball to the punter. Gets it off quick, fast, and accurate. Needs to work on his snaps on place kicks, where he is erratic. Not very athletic. Should get a look in a camp after the draft.

Monday, March 16, 2009

2009 NFL Draft = Defensive Backs That May Get Picked

Chip Vaughn, SS, 6'1" 227, Wake Forest = Big hitter who shrives in run support. Has trouble in pass coverage and playing with his back to the quarterback. Is a project, but has an intriguing upside. Can help out on special teams while he learns. Will get some consideration on the second day.

Malcolm Jenkins, CB, 6' 204, Ohio State = Likes to crowd the WR at the line of scrimmage and knock them off their routes with very strong hands. Likes to gamble on making the big play, and has good hands. Good tackler, but could get much better. There is a question on what his best position is in the NFL. Some teams think he will be a better FS, a position he has experience in, because he lacks top end speed. He is a first round draft pick.

Sean Smith, CB, 6'4" 215, Utah = Has very quick feet. Long arms who is a former WR. Plays with a chip on his shoulder, and is willing to support the run. Raw prospect with just two years of experience on defense, A project who might help down the line. His upside has him a mid-round type of prospect.

Christopher Owens, CB, 5'10" 181, San Jose State = A three year starter who is mentally tough and durable. Has good speed and quickness. Willing to mix it up, but isn't strong. The type can can contribute as an extra DB in a nickel/ dime package. Will garner some interest late in the draft.

Keenan Lewis, CB, 6' 208, Oregon State = Physical player who excels at pressing on the line of scrimmage. Smart player with long arms who may excel in a zone coverage scheme. Not very fast and does not have good catching ability. Needs to improve his tackling skills. Could get picked from the mid-rounds on.

DeAngelo Smith, CB, 5'11" 194, Cincinnati = Cocky player who throws his body around. Has long arms and soft hands. Has experience at FS. Built for a zone coverage scheme. Can bite on play action due to his being over aggressive. Not a great tackler and needs to get stronger. A second day type of draft prospect.

C.J. Spillman, FS, 6' 197, Marshall = Excellent speed. Fearless hitter with experience on special teams. Very good on pass coverage, and has decent recovery speed. Does not have great catching ability, but can jump high and knock down passes. Needs to improve his tackling ability. Sometimes is too aggressive and loses his assignment responsibilities. A first day draft type.

Morgan Trent, CB, 6'1" 193, Michigan = Has long arms and jumps high. Solid tackler who may work best in a zone cover scheme. Needs to get stronger and add weight. May not get drafted.

Bruce Johnson, CB, 5'9" 170, Miami of Florida = Excellent speed and long arms. Specializes in man to man coverage. Has solid hands and could see time as a return specialist. Very good in special teams. Small man who is not stout in run support or a bump and run CB. Will need work in his zone coverage skills. Could go in the mid-rounds on.

Alphonso Smith, 5'9" 193, Wake Forest = The ACC all time interception king. Has excellent speed, confidence, and quickness. Fearless in run support. Does well in man to man, but may fit a zone scheme better due to his lack of size. Needs to improve his tackling technique. May get a chance to return kicks. A mid-round prospect.

Courtney Greene, SS, 6' 212, Rutgers = Has experience at both safety spots. Loves to hit and has a nasty streak. Very to tends to go for the kill shot over the tackle. Can bite on play action due to being over aggressive. Needs to work on his pass coverage. Will get considered from the middle of the draft on.

Kevin Ellison, SS, 6'1" 227, USC = Older brother Keith plays for Buffalo. Loves to support the run and is a sure tackler. Has innate blitzing skills, and is very strong. Has had knee problems in college, and is not great in pass coverage. Might be the type of SS who comes out on passing downs. Will get consideration from the mid-rounds on.

Vontae Davis, CB, 5'11" 203, Illinois = Younger brother of 49er TE Vern. Is an excellent athlete. Has great speed and is a special teams stud. Loves to support the run, and is a big time hitter. Does not have great hands and has character concerns. Would work best in a zone coverage scheme. Could get drafted in the first round.

Kevin Akins, S, 6'2" 218 Boston College = Good athlete, but really doesn't have a position yet. Will have to make his impact on special teams in order to stick. Most likely a free agent type.

Jahi Word - Daniels, CB, 6' 197, Georgia Tech = Strong and has the ability to cover man to man. Has long arms and deflects many passes. Needs to improve his run support. Does not have great hands. Can play gunner on special teams. A second day prospect in the draft.

Glover Quin, CB, 5'11" 204, New Mexico = Tough player who averaged over 32 yards a kick return as a senior. May be moved to FS in the pros. Not fast or quick, but has good technique and can read a play. Has soft hands, and can go after the ball. If FS isn't his spot, then he may work in the nickel/ dime package. May go in the second day.

Curtis Taylor, FS, 6'2" 209, LSU = Good athlete with long arms. A big hitter who can jump high. Can be faked out on misdirection and play action. Takes bad angles to the ball. Will gets looks on the second day of the draft.

Ryan Palmer, CB, 5'8" 190, Texas = Good speed and can cover man to man well. Tends to always be around the ball, and have above average awareness. Not a strong tackler, but a willing run supporter. Does not have great hands, but does deflect many passes thrown in his direction. Should be a first day selection.

Rashard Johnson, FS, 5'11" 203, Alabama = Former walk on who is very smart. Reads and reacts fast with excellent vision. Rarely is fooled. Not very fast and needs to improve his tackling and run support. Better in the zone than man to man. May get a look on the first day.

Asher Allen, CB, 5'9" 194, Georgia = Fast and strong, but raw. Still learning, but confident enough to forgoe his senior year to turn pro. A diamond in the rough who can help on special teams while he learns his craft. Good tackler, tough, and has the tag "future starter" written all over him. Will probably be gone by the 3rd round.

Donald Washington, CB, 6' 197, Ohio State = Maybe the best CB prospect coming out of Ohio State this year. Excellent athlete who may get a shot as a kick returner. Can shadow most receivers, and does not gamble much. Not good in run support, and can give up too big a cushion to opposing WR's. A mid-round on type of draft pick.

Kevin Barnes, CB, 6' 187, Maryland = Excellent athlete who is still learning his position. A zone cover type of CB who isn't terribly fluid in man to man. Has big hitting ability, but is coming off of a rare shoulder blade injury sustained last year. Very willing special teams player who can help out in Nickel/ Dime packages until he hones his craft. Should go anywhere from the 3rd round on.

Dominique Johnson, CB, 6'1" 197, Jackson State = Has good speed and quickness to go with his long arms. Does not have good hands, and needs to improve his tackling fundamentals. Might be switched to FS. Could be a second day draft choice.

Wopamo Osaisai, CB, 5'10" 197, Stanford = A track star who is a pure burner. Very raw, but willing to learn. Has leadership skills. Lacks good instincts and has much to learn. Will have to stick on special teams, where he excels. May not get drafted.

Brandon Underwood, FS, 6'1" 198, Cincinnati = Has played CB in college too. Will look for contact, and diagnoses plays well. A special teams star in college. Not fast enough to play CB in man to man schemes. Needs to improve his strength and pop when tackling. Can sometimes lose sight of his coverage responsibilities and gamble. He will get looks on the second day of the draft.

DeAndre Wright, DB, 5'11" 198, New Mexico = Might be a FS. Has great hands and vision. Can be faked out on double moves. Willing in run support and tough, but does not have the body to be a big hitter. Tends to try to cut ball carriers too often. Will have to try and latch on as a special teamer after the draft.

Emanuel Cook, FS, 5'9" 197, South Carolina = Willing to throw his body into the fray without hesitation. Big time hitter and a good cover man. Smallish and not very fast. Played in an unusual defense in college, so he will have to prove in camp he can play the NFL scheme. Will get looked at on the second day.

Derek Pegues, DB, 5'10" 199, Mississippi State = Might not have a set position in an NFL secondary yet, but CB is most likely his spot. His punt returning skills will get him a look in camp. Needs to improve his ball security and decision making on returns, but can be explosive. Could be the type who grows into the CB spot after a few years as a PR.

David Bruton, FS, 6'2" 219, Notre Dame = Very athletic. A special teams wizard who works hard and shows good leadership skills. Not a solid cover man, and a erratic tackler. Needs to get stronger and tougher. Should look to help someones special teams unit, and his prowess in this area may warrant a later rounds selection.

Joe Burnett, CB, 5'9" 192, Central Florida = Four year starter who has good hands. Can return kicks, though isn't exceptionally explosive. Quality leadership and character traits. More of a zone coverage guy due to his lack of height and sound tackling abilities. Should get a look in the second day.

Sherrod Martin, FS, 6'1" 198, Troy = Fearless with good speed. Is also good on special teams. Has good recovery ability, but can take bad angles. The question will be if he is a FS or CB. Not very physical, and needs to improve his tackling fundamentals. Might get drafted late in the second day.

Darius Butler, CB, 5'10" 183, Connecticut = Has good man to man coverage skills. Shadows his man well. Leaps high, and shows good ball recognition. Can give up too much of a cushion at times, and must improve his tackling technique. A first day draft selection.

Michael Hamlin, FS, 6'2" 214, Clemson = Willing run supporter who is very smart and a leader. Needs to get stronger and add more weight. Not fast, and has been injury prone in college. May not get drafted.

Jairus Byrd, CB, 5'10" 207, Oregon - Son of former Charger CB Gil. Came out after his junior year. Very sound technique. Can cover well, but might not have the top tier speed to cover man to man versus some. Sound tackler, but not a big time hitter. Will help the right team in the right system. Could be a first day draft pick.

Brandon Hughes, CB, 5'10 182, Oregon State = Four year starter who is durable and good in run support. Does not have blazing speed and has bad hands. Tough player who will look to stick via special teams. May not get drafted.

William Moore, S, 6' 221, Missouri = Excellent athlete who could be special in the NFL. Good speed and quickness. Makes big plays and is an explosive hitter. Sometimes goes for the big hit too often, and can be too much of a gambler to make big plays. Will have a lot to prove after a mediocre senior year that followed a record breaking junior season. Should get tabbed on the second day.

Jerraud Powers, CB, 5'9" 188, Auburn = Capable cover man who provides decent run support. Agile and aggressive, but can gamble and be faked out. Good candidate to be an extra DB on slot receivers. Should gain interest on the drafts second day.

Patrick Chung, SS, 5'11" 212, Oregon = Rare specimen who can play anywhere in the secondary. Big hitter who is quick to the ball and relishes supporting the run. Always around the ball and has excellent instincts. Excellent on special teams as well. Best suited for SS because he doesn't always cover the deep ball well. Should be a first round draft pick.

Captain Munnerlyn, CB, 5'9" 182, South Carolina = Has excellent speed and soft hands. Great recovery speed and a very good hitter. Sometimes bites on double moves and relies too much on his speed over technique. Could be a very good extra DB in Nickel/ Dime packages. Will get looked at on the second day.

Cary Harris, CB, 5'11" 187, USC = Smart player with good instincts. Will support the run and is considered tough, though he has been injury prone in college. A good tackler who will work best in a zone coverage scheme. Is not very fast, so may struggle in man to man. A second day type of choice.

Lardarius Webb, CB, 5'10" 179, Nicholls State = Fast and fearless. Has experience returning kicks, but holds the ball like a loaf of bread. Not a man to man coverage type due to a slow, stiff backpedal. Too small for Safety, but could play in a zone defense. Likes to support the run and hit. Will make a good special teams player. A second day draft pick type.

Ryan Mouton, CB, 5'9" 187, Hawaii = Has experience at WR and KR, Excellent athlete who can jump high and has soft hands. Good at blitzing, so might work as an extra DB. Not a great tackler, but willing. Good with the ball in his hands. Will have to stick as a returner and special teams player. Might get drafted on the second day.

Lendy Holmes, FS, 6' 206, Oklahoma = Former WR and CB. Good in run support and blitzing. Has long arms and soft hands. Good speed. Needs to add more muscle and weight to succeed at the pro level. Possible second day selection.

Otis Wiley, S, 6'1" 213, Michigan State = Agile and versatile athlete. Can play all over the secondary and is a secure tackler. Can return punts. Had an inconsistent career in college, but has the tools. Will get lots of looks on the second day.

Coye Francies, CB, 6' 185, San Jose State = Really improved his stock after stellar performances in the East West Shrine Game and Senior Bowl. Has good speed and is strong. Plays his responsibilities well, and has good vision. A leader who has experience at returning kicks. Has the frame to add more weight. Could be a first day draft pick.

Stephen Hodge, SS, 6' 234, TCU = Non stop hustler who delivers a big hit. Long arms, but must improve his pass coverage responsibilities. Special teams could be his calling in the NFL. May get drafted on the second day.

Marcus McClinton, S, 6' 210, Kentucky = Excellent athlete who is a big hitter. Very good speed and instincts. Good tackler who looks to create turnovers. Can take bad angles too often. Goes for the kill shot too often, instead of ensuring the tackle is made. Has health and character issues. Has the ability to be special, but may not realize his potential. A second day type of pick.

Don Carey, CB, 5'11" 192, Norfolk State = Very physical player with good speed. Reads and reacts well. Doesn't have great hands and is susceptible to pass interference calls. Will have to show in a camp he can play in the NFL. Might not get drafted.

Troy Nolan, FS, 6'1" 207, Arizona State = Always around the football, and a big hitter. Sometimes gambles by being too aggressive, and can take himself out of plays with bad angles. Has the tools to be an NFL player. Will get looks from the mid-round on.

Bradley Fletcher, DB, 6' 197, Iowa = Raw player with a nice upside. Might get a look at FS, but must improver his tackling. Has long arms and soft hands. CB prospect, but may not have the speed to play it full time in the NFL. Is a second day draft type.

Mike Mickens, CB, 6' 184, Cincinnati = Good man to man cover abilities. Quick and has long arms. Likes to support the run and looks to make a big impact. Good hands, a team leader, and plays with a chip on his shoulder. An ascending talent who just needs a few adjustments on his footwork on his backpedal. May be a first day selection.

Louis Delmas, FS, 5'11" 202, Western Michigan = A four year starter in college. Technically sound tackler who is unafraid to help in run support. Can be too aggressive and bite on play action, but has the coverage skills needed to play the position. Is not a very physical player due to his lack of bulk, but has play making abilities. Should get drafted on the first day.

Victor Harris, CB, 5'11" 187, Virginia Tech = "Macho" played all over the Hokies secondary in his career. Good zone defender with exceptional vision. Big hitter and usually a sure tackler. Can be too aggressive and showboat too often. Can jump high and has soft hands. Can return kicks. Not a speed merchant. May be drafted on the first day.

Chris Clemons, FS, 6' 208, Clemson = Smart player who is a sure tackler. Has good speed, but can lose the ball in the air. Doesn't have natural hands. Needs to add more muscle. Might not get drafted.

Darcel McBath, S, 6' 198, Texas Tech = Likes to support the run, so SS may be his spot. Good tackler and has above average hands. Will need to improve his pass coverage technique. Solid in special teams, so will have to stick on a team there at first. May not get drafted.

D.J. Moore, CB, 5'9" 192, Vanderbilt = Strong, quick, and a good leaper. Willing to support the run. Has experience as a WR, so is good with the ball in his hands. Has returned punts, but takes too many unnecessary risks. Obviously isn't tall, but has good athleticism. Could make it as a dime back type. Will get looked at late in the second day.

Nic Harris, SS, 6'2" 234, Oklahoma = Hard hitter who likes to support the run. Has experience at both Safety spots, CB, and MLB. Not very fast, and needs to work on his pass coverage technique. May be best suited as a special teamer. A second day draft pick type.

Jamarca Sanford, 5'10" 214, Mississippi = Durable and strong. A four year started in college. Excellent in run support, but needs to work on his pass coverage ability. May have to stick via special teams. A late draft prospect.

2009 NFL Draft : Linebackers Who May Fill A Void

Moise Fokou, OLB, 6'1" 233, Maryland = Raw and inexperienced, but very athletic. Has excellent speed, but needs to add muscle and strength throughout his body. Very good in special teams. Might not get drafted.

James Laurinaitus, MLB, 6'2" 244, Ohio State = Won the Nagurski and Lott Awards, as well as the Butkis twice. Excellent athlete with special instincts. Rarely is fooled or caught out of position. Hits hard and is adept in pass coverage. Few chinks in his armor. Needs to get stronger in his upper body, which should happen as he matures. More steady than spectacular. A first round draft pick.

Clint Sintim, OLB, 6'3" 256, Virginia = Very strong with long arms and good speed. Hustles, and has the ability to be a pass rushing DE. Built for a SLB in a 3-4 scheme. Not experienced in pass coverage. Needs to improve his hand play. A possible first day selection.

Stanley Arnoux, LB, 6' 232, Wake Forest = Short, but a good pass defender. Not very instinctive, but has decent athleticism. Might have to make his bones on special teams while learning his position. Late rounds type of pick.

Jonathan Casillas, LB, 6'1" 228, Wisconsin = Excellent speed and very quick. Might be moved to SS. Good cover skills and has long arms. Could help on special teams. Had knee surgery a few months ago. Could go anywhere from the mid-rounds on.

Zach Follett, OLB, 6'2" 236, Cal = Has good speed and throws his body around. Good blitzer coming off the edge, but must improve his reads and tackling technique. Not very good in pass defense. Made for a 3-4 defense. Will get a look from the mid-rounds on.

Dannell Ellerbe, LB, 6'1" 236, Georgia = Big hitter who has experience at all 3 LB spots. Quick, fast, and has good instincts. Very good in pass coverage, but might be too small to play inside. Probably will help someones special teams. A second day draft pick type.

Aaron Curry, 6'2" 254, Georgia Tech = The Butkis Award winner will be the 1st LB drafted. Has long arms and comes off the edge hard with speed. Read and reacts well, and keeps his responsibilities. Can pick off passes with ease, as well as get to the QB. Needs to improve his tackling technique.

DeAndre Levy, OLB, 6'2" 236, Wisconsin = A SLB with good speed. Good against the run, but not versus the pass. Needs to improve his hand play. Should be able to help on special teams. Could get picked on the second day of the draft.

Anthony Felder, ILB, 6'2" 233, Cal = Smart and strong player with good instincts. Not fast, but tough, and has played throughout an injury plagued collegiate career. Could help on special teams and provide depth. A second day prospect.

Lee Robinson, OLB, 6'2" 249, Alcorn State = May be a SLB or MLB. Very strong and has good speed. Uses his hands well. Shows leadership qualities. Not good in pass coverage. Must improve his tackling technique. A possible first day draft selection.

Morris Wooten, LB, 6' 237, Arizona State = Strong and a good pass rusher off the edge. Big hitter, but can be too aggressive. Needs to improve his pass defending skills, and tackling technique. Will get looked at on the drafts second day.

Jason Phillips, ILB, 6'1" 239, TCU = A 3-4 type of MLB who plays with toughness and good instinct. Not particularly quick, and can over run plays due to his aggressive attitude. Has decent pass coverage skills, but not fast enough to make up ground. Will make tackles, but tends to drag down most ball carriers. Needs to learn to play within his responsibilities better. Will get looks on the drafts second day by teams that employ the 3-4 scheme.

Rey Maualuga, ILB, 6'2" 249, USC = Big play maker with good speed. A tackling machine who provides the big hit. Very good in pass coverage. Smart and instinctive. Can be too aggressive, which leads to going for too many kill shots and over running plays, instead of making the tackle and staying within his responsibilities. A first round draft pick.

Kaluka Maiava, OLB, 5'11" 229, USC = Has good instincts and agility. Decent in pass coverage. Does not shed blockers well. A very good special teams player, so that is where he will have to stick on a roster initially. May not get drafted.

Marcus Freeman, OLB, 6' 239, Ohio State = Good athlete with above average speed. Reads his responsibilities well, and is a solid pass defender. Very injury prone in college, and will have to stick in the NFL via special teams. May not get drafted.

Worrell Williams, LB, 5'11" 240, California = His brother, D.J, plays with Denver. Has the athleticism needed to play in the NFL. Big hitter who has played all LB positions, and is an above average blitzer. Has very good speed, but can be too aggressive. Has not shown good instincts or consistency as of yet, and his lack of height may have him best suited for ILB in a 3-4 scheme. Could help on special teams at the least. Will be looked at in the second day.

Mortty Ivy, OLB, 6'1" 248, West Virginia = Strong player who supports the run well. Good tackler who is decent in pass coverage. Hustles non stop and will try to contribute on special teams. May best be suited at MLB. Does not have great hands, and needs to improve his hand play. May get drafted late.

Gerald McRath, OLB, 6'2" 231, Southern Mississippi = Tackling machine with excellent instincts. Has good speed and is rarely caught out of position. Not an explosive hitter. Needs to gain more weight and get stronger. Needs to improve his pass coverage. Came out a year early, so is a little bit of a project. Raw, but ascending talent. Could be picked in the second day.

Darry Beckwith, LB, 6' 242, LSU = Run stopping type who has played MLB and WLB. Works well in crowds, but struggles to get off blocks and gets cut easily. Needs improvement on pass protection, and is not a great blitzer. Team player type who can provide depth and play special teams. Might get drafted in late rounds.

Jasper Brinkley, MLB, 6'2" 252, South Carolina = Big hitter with big power. A tackling machine who has above average blitz ability. Not very instinctive, and is still recovering from a knee injury that sidelined him most of 2007. Needs to work on his hand technique more. May be picked up late in the draft, because of his above average athleticism. Could be a sleeper if picked by the right team.

Clay Matthews III, OLB, 6'3" 240, USC = Son of NFL great Clay Jr, and the nephew of Hall Of Fame Guard Bruce. His grandfather Clay played for the 49ers in the 1950's. Very athletic. Excellent speed, and uses his hands well. A top notch special teams performer. Still raw, but has the ability to be special. Well schooled, despite only 10 career starts in college. Could end up being just like his dad in the NFL, which would benefit any team that drafts him. Could be chosen anywhere from the third round on.

Scot McKillop, ILB, 6'1" 244, Pittsburgh = Strong with excellent instincts. A field general who takes the right angles to the ball. Very good vision, stays within his responsibilities, and is decent in pass coverage. Is not fast, and isn't explosive. A sound player who will get looked at on the second day.

Cody Glenn, LB, 6' 244, Nebraska = Converted RB. Has good speed and arm length. Decent in pass coverage, but lacks instincts due to inexperience. Has had injury concerns in college. A special teams type who will have to make it there to play in the NFL. Might not be drafted.

Brian Cushing, ILB, 6'3" 243, USC = Strong athlete who has played several positions on defense. Big hitter who thrives on contact. Intense and smart. Explodes into the ball, and is good on pass coverage. Has been very injury prone in college, so durability is a big issue as to if a team will be willing to gamble a first or second round pick on him.

Josh Muaga, OLB, 6'1" 243, Nevada = Good instincts and athleticism. Sound tackler who gives it full effort. Not very fast, so is not great in pass coverage. Could provide depth and special teams play. May not get drafted.

Tyronne McKenzie, OLB, 6'2" 243, South Florida = Good at stopping the run from the strong side. Strong and holds his ground. Not good in pass coverage. Will have to prove himself on special teams to stick. May not get drafted.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

2009 NFL Draft : Defensive Linemen Up For Grabs

Brian Orakpo, DE, 6'3" 263, Texas = Won the Lombardi, Hendricks, and Nagurski Awards last year. Smart player aware of his reads and responsibilities. Not very big, so he can get pushed around and also wear down. A good pass rusher, but better at stopping the run. Able to play SLB in a 3-4 scheme. Will be drafted early in the first round.

Robert Ayers, DE, 6'3" 272, Tennessee = Late bloomer. Needs alot of work on technique, but could be just getting started, after having maturity issues early in college. Showed leadership skills in his senior year, and does well at stopping the run. Some team will like his upside enough to gamble on him in the draft's first day.

Zach Potter, DE, 6'7" 279, Nebraska = Will excel best in a 3-4 scheme. Decent pass rusher with a few moves. Strength is batting down passes. Inconsistent getting off blockers, and not fast. Will need to get stronger and add more weight. Is a second day prospect.

Stryker Sulak, DE, 6'5" 251, Missouri = A pass rusher type. Not big enough to offer much in run support, or athletic enough to play SLB. Needs to get stronger. Could help on special teams. May not get drafted.

Chris Baker, DL, 6'2" 326, Hampton = Red flags on character issues. Was dismissed from Penn State, then went to Hampton. Has good athleticism, but lacks stamina or awareness. Has the ability, but has not spent the time needed in trying to reach it. A free agent type who will be a long shot, but could have a good career if he gets focused.

Ra`Shon Harris, DT, 6'4" 298, Oregon = Late bloomer who is getting stronger daily. Can take on two blockers and stuff the run. Needs to improve his stamina and hand work. Light turned on late, so there is questions on his work ethis. A project type who may have to make a team after the draft.

Corvey Irvin, DT, 6'3" 301, Georgia = A raw prospect with long arms who always hustles. Good vision, and supports the run well. Not a great pass rusher. Late bloomer who may not get drafted.

Alex Magee, DL, 6'3" 298, Purdue = Strong and versatile at DT and DE. Good against the run. Relies on his power too much, and is inconsistent. Doesn't have great awareness or speed. Needs to add weight. May not get drafted.

Lawrence Sidbury, DE, 6'2" 266, Richmond = Long arms and quick. A good athlete who hits hard, but needs to get stronger. Has good pass rushing ability, but tends to get taken out wide too often. Inconsistent player, but hustles. Might have to stick on special teams. May not get drafted.

Terrance Knighton, DT, 6'3" 321, Temple = A NT type. Has good speed and awareness. Has strong hands, and hustles. Needs to get stronger in the upper body. Can jump high and knock down balls. Has long arms, but needs to work on his technique coming out of his stance. Has a nice upside. Conceivably a mid-round selection.

Conner Barwin, DE, 6'4" 256, Cincinnati = Former walk on who started out as a TE and special teams star. Blocked 3 punts in one season. Played on the Bears basketball team too. Had 31 receptions as a junior before being moved to defense. Very inexperienced, but an athletic freak. Being compared to Mike Vrabel of New England. Will get drafted just for his special teams play alone.

Sammie Lee Hill, DT, 6'4" 329, Stillman = Quick and agile with long arms. Has decent speed, and plays the run well. A project. Must prove he has the work ethic to make it in the NFL. A second day draft pick type.

Matt Shaughnessy, DE, 6'5" 266, Wisconsin = Has good hand play and is decent at stopping the run. Might get a look at SLB in the pros. Needs to get stronger, but has good tackling skills. Has been injury prone in college. May get drafted late.

David Veikune, DE, 6'2" 257, Hawaii = Smallish player who has a huge desire. Good character and excellent strength. Does not have upper echelon athleticism, and can get worn down by bigger blockers. Never quits. Might make it as a rotation type who adds depth. Will get looked at on the second day.

B.J. Raji, DT, 6'2" 337, Boston College = Could be the first DT drafted, and is a prime NT candidate. Fires out of stance with excellent quickness. Very strong and able to take on multiple blockers. Is not a great pass rusher, and has short arms. Has some character and weight concerns. Must improve his conditioning and stamina.

Dorell Scott, DT, 6'3" 312, Clemson = Has good hands and strength. Good at stopping the run, but has some pass rushing skills. Very inconsistent in every facet of his game. Must improve his conditioning. Has the talent, but may not have the desire. Might not get drafted.

Mitch King, DT, 6'2" 280, Iowa = A gap type of DT who works very hard with passion. Uses good technique, and started four years in college. Uses his hands well, and gets good leverage. Not quick or fast enough to play DE, so needs to add muscle and weight to survive at DT in the NFL.

Sen'Derrick Marks. DT, 6'2" 306, Auburn = Should not have come out early. Quick off the snap and has strong hands. Needs to get stronger in the legs and upper body. Has a questionable motor and stamina. May not get drafted and regret not staying in school.

Michael Bennett, DE, 6'4" 274, Texas A&M = Younger brother of Dallas TE Martellus. Might be best suited as a SLB in a 3-4, but does not take on blockers always well. Can forget his responsibilities and is not very explosive. A long shot who will get a look in someones camp.

Orion Martin, DE, 6'2" 262, Virginia Tech = May be a pass rushing specialist in the NFL. High effort player with good strength and hands. Not fast enough to be an every down OLB, but versatile enough to man the spot. Because of his pass rush prowess alone, he should get looks from the third round on.

Evander Hood, DT, 6'3" 300, Missouri = Very strong mauler who has good vision and intelligence. Has had foot issues in college. Has good hands, but is not extremely quick. A tough guy who can add to someones rotation. Should get looks on the second day.

Paul Kruger, DE, 6'4" 263, Utah = Raw prospect with only 2 years of college ball under his belt. Has good speed and quickness. A hard worker athletic enough to play SLB in a 3-4. Needs to gain more weight and get stronger. Good in pass coverage, and has very good vision and awareness. Could be a first day draft selection.

Myron Pryor, DT, 6' 319, Kentucky = Four year starter in college who is durable. Has good technique and uses his leverage to get under blockers. Not very quick, and has little upside. Should get a look after the draft is completed.

Michael Johnson, DE, 6'7" 266, Georgia Tech = Very fast and athletic. Could be the next Ted Hendricks (a tall OLB). Uses his hands well, and takes advantage of his length to bat down passes. A project who needs to get stronger and learn more. Could be a real sleeper in this draft. Possible first day selection because of his upside.

Demonte` Bolden, DT, 6'3" 282, Tennessee = Very quick with good speed. Finesse type who needs to add more bulk. Tends to be slow recognizing plays, and forgets his technique. Will probably go in the later rounds to see if he can develop, due to his mysterious upside.

Aaron Maybin, DE, 6'4" 249, Penn State = Could be used as a pass rushing SLB in a 3-4 scheme. Good speed and hands. Long arms to knock down passes and keep blockers off his legs. Needs to add more weight and learn more pass rushing moves. Will be a first day draft pick.

Darryl Richard, DT, 6'3" 303, Georgia Tech = Steady run stopper who is very smart and a leader. Uses his hands well, and is strong. Not a great pass rusher, and isn't very quick or fast. Needs to improve his conditioning. May get tabbed late in the draft.

Ron Brace, 6'3" 330, DT, Boston College = Run stuffer with good hands and strength. Has had back issues that are worth noting. Quick in limited spaces, but not fast. More of a NT type who might get picked up in later rounds.

Larry English, DE, 6'2" 274, Northern Illinois = Big time hustler perfect for SLB in a 3-4 scheme. Comes hard off the edge with quickness and speed. Good tackler wo will need to improve his pass coverage skills. A prospect who may will drafted the first day.

Roy Miller, DT, 6'1" 310, Texas = A NT prospect. Good at stopping the run. Relentless worker and team player who played special teams and FB in college. Gets low and can handle the double team. Not real fast or a great pass rusher. Shoulds be a serviceable NT at the next level, and may be a second day draft pick.

Jarius Wynn, DE, 6'3" 275, Georgia = A project with an upside. Uses his hands well, and has decent agility. Not fast off the edge, so DT seems his best position. Needs to add weight and muscle to make the transition. Might not get drafted.

Khalif Mitchell, DL, 6'5" 318, South Carolina = May best be suited as a DE in a 3-4 scheme. Long arms and very strong. Good pass rusher who needs to improve his run support prowess and hand play. Loses his responsibilities due to lack of awareness. Has been injury prone in college. A second day prospect.

Cody Brown, DE, 6'2" 244, Connecticut = Will probably move to LB. Good athlete with nice use of hands. Comes hard off the edge, and is a special teams star. Will have to work on his pass defense technique, but has a very nice upside. A day one draft pick.

Brandon Williams, DE, 6'5" 252, Texas Tech = A pass rush specialist who comes off the edge hard and fast. Needs to bulk up and improve his tackling fundamentals. Will probably have to make it as a 3rd down pass rusher. A late rounds type of pick.

Maurice Evans, DE, 6'2" 265, Penn State = Came out of college too early as a junior. Does hustle, but is not particularily fast, or quick. Will try to make it on a depth chart somewhere after the draft.

Jarron Gilbert, DE, 6'5" 288, San Jose State = Excellent athlete who stood out at the East West Shrine Game. Used to taking on multiple blockers. Has played DT too. Has long arms, but needs to work on his hands and leverage technique. A prospect with an intriguing upside. Will get looked at from the third round on.

Rulon Davis, DE, 6'5" 281, Cal = Older rookie due to military service. High effort player with good character. Excellent athlete and technically sound tackler. Tough player, but has had injury issues throughout college due to having his legs run over in a traffic accident. Might get drafted on the first day.

Perry Jaria, DT, 6'3" 299, Mississippi = Has excellent quickness, and uses his hands well. Hustles all the time and is a leader. Needs to improve his awareness and technique when firing out of his stance. A probable first round draft pick.

Everette Brown, DE, 6'2" 256, Florida State = Explosive off the snap with upper tier pass rush abilities. Excellent speed off the edge, and has a wide range of pass rush moves. Too small to be an every down DE, and could be moved to SLB to take advantage of his athlewticism. Will need time to learn the LB position, but can be used in pass rush situations in the meanwhile. Needs to get stronger in the upper body. Will be a first day draft choice.

Derrick Walker, DE, 6'4" 268, Illinois = High energy player who never takes a play off. Strong, and recognizes schemes well. Best at stopping the run, but gets an occassional decent pass rush. Not very quick or fast. Has thre frame to add weight and try to play DT. Might not get drafted.

Pannel Egboh, DE, 6'6" 276, Stanford = Long and strong, but an inexperienced project. Not very quick or fast, but understands his responsibility schemes. Best at stopping the run. Might get a look in the second day by teams employing a 3-4 scheme and needing DE depth.

Ricky Jean-Francois, DT, 6'3" 295, LSU = An underachiever in college. Has very good hands, and has good enough strength and vision. Does not always hustle, and needs to get bigger. May not be drafted.

Ian Campbell, DE, 6'4" 265, Kansas = Long player who is best at run support. Does not have many moves in his pass rush arsenal, and is not very fast. High effort guy who will need to add weight and strength. Loses containment and responsibility too often. May not get drafted.

Victor Butler, DE, 6'2" 248, Oregon State = Pass rush specialist with good speed. Only started one year, but was voted captain. Not big enough to be more than a pass rushing DE or SLB, but might not work well at OLB. Struggles to shed blockers, and has questionable instincts. Might be considered late in the draft. A project type.

Fili Moala, DT, 6'4" 305, USC = A run stopping specialist. Quick off the snap with strong hands and good awareness. Can add even more weight to his frame. Not fast or much of a pass rusher, so may be the kind of DT who comes out on passing downs. A second day prospect.

Vance Walker, DT, 6'2" 304, Georgia Tech = Strong with good hands. Non stop motor, and is aware of his responsibilities. Productive player in college who is best at stopping the run. Not a great pass rusher and sometimes jumps offsides by being too aggressive. Will get a look from the mid-rounds on.

Will Davis, DE, 6'2" 261, Illinois = Very quick off the edge. Has good speed and is relentless in pursuit. Former WR/ TE still learning his position. Will best be used as a pass rushing OLB, but is a project. Will get looked at from the mid-rounds on.

Adrian Grady, DT, 6'1" 298, Louisville = Strong and quick off the snap. Has quick hands and hustles. Needs to bulk up and work on his tackling technique. Injury prone in college. Might not get drafted.

Tyson Jackson, DE, 6'4" 295, LSU = A good run defender with experience at DT. Always hustles and rarely gets fooled. Needs to get stronger. Lacks excellent speed and quickness, thus making him an mediocre pass rusher. Might get tabbed on the second day.

Kyle Moore, DE, 6'5" 272, USC = Has very long arms and is quick off the snap. Has good strength and is a good tackler. Needs to learn more pass rush moves, and learn to get his hands up to bat down passes. A project with an intriguing upside. A second day prospect.

Terrance Taylor, NT, 6' 306, Michigan = The Wolverines captain last year. Specializes in stopping the run, but must get in much better shape. Able to take on multiple blockers and has a nasty demeanor on the field. A late rounds draft candidate.

Marlon Favorite, DT, 6'1" 314, LSU = Strong player who is best at stopping the run. Decent pass rusher, but must improve his hand work. Hard worker but is not fast. May be able to add depth to a team, and will be a second day prospect.

Tim Jamison, DE, 6'3", 256, Michigan = Good run stopper who hits fairly hard. Not fast or quick enough to go to OLB. Hustling type of player who may not get drafted.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Offensive Linemen You May Hear Called In The 2009 NFL Draft

Jamie Thomas, G, 6'4" 323, Maryland = A three year starter who is very strong and has a nasty streak. Not very quick, but hustles and is able to get to the next level. Needs to tone up and get leaner. A mid-round prospect.

Michael Oher, OT, 6'5" 309, Mississippi = One of the top players in the draft. Inexperienced at LT, but has a high ceiling. Nimble, athletic, and has long arms. Superior pass blocker. Never quits on a play. Must improve his run blocking. The sky is the limit for this probable first round pick.

Edwin Williams, C, 6'2" 308, Maryland = High effort team leader with excellent character. Strong and good run blocking. Not a great athlete or very fast. Will get a look because he is a 3 year starter who has been All ACC. Look for him to go in the second day.

Andy Levitre, G, 6'3" 305, Oregon State = Played OT in college as well, but is destined to be an NFL Guard. Quick with strong hands. Decent run blocker who started 36 straight games. Must develop more muscle and get stronger. A second day type of prospect.

Roger Allen, G, 6'3" 326, Missouri Western = Gained over 80 lbs in college, and played every game. Durable and strong. A hard worker who excels on run blocking. Not exceptionally athletic, and needs work on pass defense. A project type who might get drafted late. May add depth as he tries to progress.

A.Q. Shipley, C, 6'1" 304, Penn State = Won the Rimington Award last year. Strong and smart player with a nasty streak and leadership characteristics. Has good awareness and solid technique. Can be overpowered by stronger opponents. Needs to get bigger and stronger. A probable first day draft selection.

Herman Johnson, G, 6'7" 364, LSU = A mammoth man who is very good at run blocking. Has good vision and is an aware pass blocker. Good athleticism, but an inconsistent motor. A very raw prospect who will get drafted by someone because of his enormous size and upside.

Eugene Monroe, OT, 6'5" 309, Virginia = Long arms, quick feet, and excellent athleticism are just a few qualities that will make teams draft Monroe in the first round. Can tone up a little more than his present shape, but has the makings of being special. Few weaknesses in his arsenal.

Matt Slauson, G, 6'5" 316, Nebraska = Versatile player who has experience at OT. Hustles non stop and has good strength. Needs to improve his awareness and leverage. A good player to have on the depth chart. A second day type of prospect.

Garrett Reynolds, OT, 6'8" 309, North Carolina = A tough guy who always hustles. Strong and is a good prospect for RT. Not very athletic, and must work on his leverage and technique. Could provide depth for someone. A possible second day selection.

Max Unger, OL, 6'5" 309, Oregon = One of the better prospects, at his position, coming out in the draft. A first team All Pac 10 player for the last two years. Versatile and smart. Played all over the line in college. Not a great run blocker, so there is room for improvement. Best NFL position will be Center, but should be able to add depth at Guard. Should be drafted on the first day.

Andre Smith, OT, 6'4" 332, Alabama = Has been a mess since he was suspended before his final college game. Is a very strong man with excellent quickness. Very smart player who hustles and is durable. Has very good vision. His drive is the question, because he can get sloppy and lazy at times. Does not play with a mean streak, and needs to improve his handwork. Should be a first day draft pick.

Cornelius Lewis, OL, 6'4" 332, Tennessee State = Played OT in college, but may be best suited for Guard, where he has experience. Good run blocker who plays with surliness. Excellent strength and good hand play. Not very quick, but able to get to the next level. Could be drafted on the second day.

Duke Robinson, G, 6'5" 309, Oklahoma = Has experience at OT. Strong with long arms. Has good hand play in pass protection, but is not very quick. Excellent run blocker who plays with a mean streak in him. Should be a first day draft selection.

Andy Kemp, G, 6'5" 313, Wisconsin = Good run blocker who is strong and tough. Does not get run over, but needs to work on his pass blocking. Not very quick. Could add to a teams depth chart. A second day selection type.

William Beatty, OT, 6'6" 307, Connecticut = After 3 years of mediocrity, he came alive his senior year. Has a huge wing span and good speed. The only question is whether he is just realizing his potential, or has consistency issues. Needs more weight in order to play OT. Will be gone on the first day of the draft.

Jason Smith, OT, 6'5" 309, Baylor = Raw prospect still learning his position. Excellent athlete with top notch speed and agility. Has long arms, and has shown significant improvement in the 3 short years he has played LT. Needs to improve his hand play, as well as get stronger. Will have to learn playing out of a three point stance more often in the pros. Has an incredible upside, and has the athleticism to even play Guard. A first round draft selection.

Xavier Fulton, OT, 6'4" 302, Illinois = Very good athlete, but extremely raw. Was a DT his first 3 years in college. Had injury problems in college, and is a project. Some team will try to stash him on a roster or developmental squad and mold him. Needs to get bigger. May get drafted late because of his potential.

Kyle Link, OT, 6'5" 305, McNeese State = Raw prospect who switched from TE to OT after his sophomore year. Has good footwork and has experience as a LS. Needs more weight and strength. A project who may not get drafted.

Brett Helms, C, 6'2" 286, LSU = Tough, scrappy player who is a leader. Very smart and uses great technique. Needs to get stronger and add weight. Will get looked at on the drafts second day.

Tyronne Green, G, 6'2" 309, Auburn = Former DT who is shooting up draft boards. Very athletic but raw. Has good vision, but needs work on his technique. Has the ability to an NFL starter some day. Will get looks from the third round on.

Joel Bell, OT, 6'7" 315, Furman = Has a huge wing span, and is tough and durable. Best suited for RT. Needs to add bulk and work on his technique. Will help someones depth chart as he learns. Should be gone by the mid rounds.

Phil Loadholt, OT, 6'8" 332, Oklahoma = Good run blocker who may make it at RT, or tried as a Guard. Average pass blocker who isn't quick enough to stay at LT in the NFL. Needs to improve his hand play and learn to stay on top of his assignment longer. A second day prospect.

Trevor Canfield, G, 6'5" 309, Cincinnati = Hard working team player who is best in pass protection. Not a powerful run blocker, but is very strong and nasty. Will need to improve his lower leg strength and keep his emotions under control better. Can go anywhere from the third round on.

Lydon Murtha, OT, 6'7" 306, Nebraska = Has good speed and athleticism. A RT in the NFL. Good run blocker who needs to give better effort in all facets of his game until the whistle blows. Has been very injury prone so far. A late round project type of pick.

Jonathan Luigs, C, 6'3" 301, Arkansas = Won the 2007 Rimington Award. Excellent athlete who is very quick. Uses good technique and is very smart. Must add muscle and get stronger. Should be a first day draft selection.

Troy Kropog, OT, 6'5" 309, Tulane = May work best as a Guard in the pros. Good pass protector, but not quick. Has good speed, but needs to improve his run blocking. Works hard, and needs to get stronger. The kind a team can stash in the depth chart and develop. A second day type of pick.

Jose Valdez, OT, 6'4" 315, Arkansas = Versatile and can play a G/T combo. Stromg player who excels in run blocking. Not very quick, and can come up too tall out of his stance. Must work on his leg strength. Should get a shot to add depth somewhere. A late draft type.

Dan Gay, OL, 6'4" 308, Baylor = Has played both Guard and Tackle. Has long arms and has strong hands. Started 34 games in a row in college. Not very fast and bends at the waist too much. May be suited for LG in the pros. A late draft selection type.

Gerald Cadogan, OL, 6'5" 309, Penn State = Played Tackle at college, but will have to be either a Guard or Center in the pros. Good speed with a nasty streak. Relentless worker who will get looked at from the third round on.

Alex Boone, OT, 6'7" 328, Ohio State = Big and strong. Experienced brawling type who doesn't have the flexibility or quickness to play LT. Smart player who will probably play RT for many years in the NFL. Should be gone in the first day.

Kraig Urbik, OL, 6'5" 328, Wisconsin = Best suited to be an NFL Guard, but can play OT. Good at trapping and pulling. Can lose his balance and leverage by playing too tall. Very aware, and recognizes schemes. The type of guy who will add depth, and learn. Could have a long NFL career. Should get looks in the second day.

Brandon Walker, OL, 6'3" 306, Oklahoma = Might get a look at Center in the pros. Sound technique with enough quickness. Strong, but can rely on it too often. Played mostly Guard in college. There is concern about his ability to digest an NFL playbook. Should be a second day selection.

Robert Brewster, OT, 6'4" 325, Ball State = Started all four years in college. Quick and agile, and has a mean streak. Did not have to pass block out of a three point stance due to Ball State's spread offense. Needs to improve his strength and hand speed. Should be drafted on the second day. Might be a better fit at G.

Antoine Caldwell, G, 6'3" 309, Alabama = Durable and smart player also able to play Center. Has great hands and is hard to run over. Not very quick and struggles to get to the next level to block. Will add depth to someones o-line unit. Late rounds type of pick.

Ramon Foster, OL, 6'5" 328, Tennessee = Strong with long arms. Will have to move to Guard in the NFL. Not quick enough for OT, but is a high effort player and leader. Can add to a depth chart due to his experience at OT. May get drafted late in the second day.

Augustus Parrish, OL, 6'4" 302, Kent State = Should play Guard in the pros. Has excellent mobility and long arms. A hard worker who plays with nastiness. Can come up too high in his stance, and needs to work on his technique. Should get looked at on the second day of the draft.

Travis Blight, OL, 6'5" 318, BYU = Excellent strength, and a mauler. Team player with leadership qualities who is not very quick or fast. Has a steel rod in his left leg due to a broken bone in his junior year. Best suited for Guard or Center. May get a look late in the draft.

Seth Olsen, G, 6'5" 306, Iowa = Shooting up the draft board. Versatile, and has started at both Guard and Tackle on both sides. Lack of athleticism translates into him being an NFL Guard. Very strong and technically sould. Could conceivably be drafted on day one.

Eben Bitton, OT, 6'6" 309, Arizona = Has a long wing span, above average technique, and is a leader. Not extremely athletic, and has below average foot speed. Might project as a RT or Guard. Will get a look late on day two of the draft.

Alex Mack, C, 6'4" 311, Cal = May be the top Center in this years draft. Intelligent high energy player who displays leadership. Nimble on the move, but must learn to widen his base and keep his balance. Should be drafted in the first day.

Louis Vasquez, G, 6'5" 333, Texas Tech = Tall with strong legs. Good pass protector, but needs work on his run blocking. Not explosive, and can play too high. Can lose leverage and be over powered by strong DT's. Will need some work, but can add depth as he learns. A second day type of selection.

Robby Felix, C, 6'3" 302, Texas El Paso = Four year started in college. Very strong with good arm length and hand play. Smart player with a nasty streak. Needs to work on his run blocking. Can add depth on some teams depth chart. May get drafted on the second day.

Ron Bruggeman, OL, 6'4" 293, Iowa = Leader type who is strong and technically sound. Did not start until his senior year, and blew out his knee the year before. Not real fast nor agile. Might be best suited as a G/ C in the pros. Should add depth, if he makes it. Late rounds type of pick.

Maurice Miller, OL, 6'3" 327, Mississippi = Will have to play either Guard or Center in the NFL. Very strong, but not agile. Mediocre quickness, but understands his responsibilities and has good vision. Can add to someones depth chart. A late rounds type of draft choice.

Alex Fletcher, C, 6'2" 297, Stanford = Uses good technique and has above average hands. Can play Guard and works very hard. Very quick, but needs to get stronger in the legs. Has the ability to play long in the NFL. Will get looked at from the mid-rounds on.

Jason Walker, OT, 6'6" 318, Florida = Raw athlete with a big upside. Has played both tackle spots, but might have what it takes to be an NFL LT. Long and athletic, he must work on his technique to realize his potential. A second day type of draft pick someone will want to stash in the depth chart and mold.

Andrew Gardner, OT, 6'7" 304, Georgia Tech = Might be best suited for RT. Plays until the whistle blows and has long arms. Not very athletic or quick, so will have to get stronger to play RT. A possible late round selection.

Paul Fanaika, OG, 6'5" 327, Arizona State = Good run blocker with good agility and quickness. Needs to work on his pass blocking. Can get bull rushed too often. May get a look in the second day of the draft.

Jamon Meredith. OT, 6'5" 304, South Carolina = Good length and decent speed. Uses his hands well, but can get lazy and rely on them too much instead of moving his feet. May be able to play either Tackle spot due to his athleticism. Will get a good look on the second day.

Fenuki Tupou, OT, 6'5" 314, Oregon = Quick and strong. Has long arms, does not always use them. Good hand play that enables him to be a very good run blocker. Must improve his awareness on blitzes and footwork. Could get tabbed from the mid-rounds on.

Anthony Parker, G, 6'2" 297, Tennessee = Good run blocker who uses decent technique and leverage. Good trap blocker with average quickness. Has balky knees that can have him lose balance against stronger defenders. Decent pass protector. Will get looks in the drafts second day.

Eric Wood, C, 6'4" 310, Louisville = Strong, smart, and technically sound. Was the team captain in college. Aware of his responsibilities. Needs to improve his run blocking. Not very quick. Might get tabbed in the later rounds.

Juan Garcia, C, 6'2" 307, Washington = Strong, smart, and tough. Injury prone in college, but played through pain. Not very quick or athletic. Team captain in college. Might not get drafted.

Ryan McKee, OL, 6'6" 296, Southern Mississippi = High effort player who was tough enough to play through injury. Still recovering from a surgery on his shoulder. Has good leadership qualities. Will need to add weight and strength to play RT in the pros. Will have to make it as a free agent while he heals.

Greg Isdaner, G, 6'4" 325, West Virginia = Agile, but not fast. Needs to increase his strength and improve his run blocking. Three year starter who came out a year early. Good on pass protection, and has excellent awareness. Still learning, but may get picked on the first day.

Ray Feinga, OL, 6'4" 337, BYU = A four year starter in college who plays with a mean streak. Strong and good in pass protection. May be a RG prospect. Must improve his run blocking and hand work. Not very quick. May get picked from the mid-rounds on.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

2009 NFL Draft : Tight End

Travis Beckum, TE, 6'3" 243, Wisconsin = An H-Back type with good speed. Showed improvement yearly, but has battled injuries to his leg and shoulders. Decent blocker, but not the type on TE who will be able to line up next to the OT. Has the ability to make a difficult catch, but tends to take too many passes in his body. Will help the right team with the right system. Should go on the second day.

Richard Quinn, TE, 6'4" 264, North Carolina = Hardly used as a receiver in college, but is an excellent blocker on running plays. Not very quick, but has good hands. He may not be used much in the passing game in the pros either, but can stick on a team needing a solid blocking TE. Might not get drafted.

Davon Drew, TE, 6'4" 256, East Carolina = H-Back type who is able to line up in the slot. Runs good routes and is bullish with the ball in his hands. Good receiving skills, but needs to improve his blocking. High effort player who might get drafted on the second day.

Brandon Pettigrew, TE, 6'5" 263, Oklahoma State = Excellent blocker who thrives on making contact. Has good athleticism and runs hard after making a catch. Very raw, but has a huge upside. Might make an impact right away. Should be one of the first TE's drafted.

Kory Sperry, TE, 6'5" 238, Colorado = Missed most of last year due to a knee injury. Lined up all over Colorado's offense. Has very good speed and leaping ability. Has special hands and body control. Needs to gain more muscle and improve his blocking ability. Could be used as an H-Back or in the slot. A first day draft selection.

Marquez Branson, TE, 6'2" 247, Central Arkansas = H-Back or FB type. Good blocker with above average speed. Has big hands, and a long wing span. Good receiver who will need to add bulk if he stays at TE. Possible first day draft choice.

Dan Gronkowski, TE, 6'6" 256, Maryland = Could be next in a long line of Terps TE's in the NFL. Excellent run blocker and a reliable receiver. Not very fast nor athletic, but gives a big target. Could be a blocking type used in short passing attempts. Will get looked at on the drafts second day because he is very strong.

Jared Cook, TE, 6'5" 246, South Carolina = Blazing fast and can jump out of the stadium. Freakish athlete who will need to refine his pass route running and blocking. Can make the spectacular catch, yet drop the easy one. Needs to hone his focus. Will be drafted on the first day.

Bear Pascoe, TE, 6'5 251, Fresno State = An intriguing prospect. Strong with the ball, but not exceptionally fast. Improving blocker who needs more work on his technique. Uses his body well, but is a former QB still learning the position. An old school type who can add depth to some team possibly. Will get a look on the second day of the draft.

Jared Bronson, TE, 6'4" 253, Central Washington = Good athlete with nice size and speed. Sound receiver who needs to improve his blocking technique and leg strength. Should go in day two.

Cornelius Ingram, TE, 6'4" 245, Florida = Missed last season due to a knee injury, so there is a concern on how much he will be the same guy as before. Had long arms and soft hands. Quick and used his body well. Tough over the middle, and a decent blocker. Not very fast, but able to line up in the slot. If he has recovered 100%, he can be special. Teams may draft him in the mid-rounds gambling on his full return.

John Phillips, TE, 6'5" 251, Virginia = Smart player with good hands. Has the ability to recognize the soft spots in defenses. An effort blocker, but not very quick. Needs to bulk up more to be an NFL TE who provides good blocking. Not fast enough to be much of a passing threat. Will get a look after the draft.

James Casey, TE, 6'3" 246, Rice = Excellent athlete who is a former QB and pro baseball player. Might have a tough time finding an NFL position. His athleticism could have him at TE, FB, or H-Back. Can line up anywhere and produce. Has good hands and is deceptively fast. Looks to run through opponents after the catch. Could be special in the right system. Will have people looking at him in the second day.

Anthony Hill, TE, 6'5" 262, NC State = Strong with long arms and soft hands. Good blocker. Not very quick or fast, and had a bad knee injury in 2007 that needs to be looked at. May get drafted on the second day.

David Johnson, TE, 6'2" 260, Arkansas State = Might be a FB or H-Back in the NFL. Has very good speed and decent hands. A willing blocker with excellent leg strength and good footwork, but must improve his hand play. Has experience on special teams. A second day type of selection.

Eddie Williams, TE, 6'1" 239, Idaho = Has FB size, but is not a good blocker. Can play in the slot, but does not have NFL spped to do so at the next level. Has very good hands. Plays special teams well, so that may be his best shot at sticking. Will have to get a tryout after the draft.

Shawn Nelson, TE, 6'5" 240, Souther Mississippi = Long arms and has decent hands. Has good speed. Needs to add weight and improve his blocking. Showed little progression through college, so his ceiling may not be too high. A free agent type.

Chase Coffman, TE, 6'6" 244, Missouri = Won the Mackey Award last year, and his dad was an NFL TE. Has very good hands and runs sharp routes. Uses his body well, and runs hard after the catch. Had injuries to his foot last year, so will have to be checked out. Will have to prove he can block out of a three point stance. Could be the first TE drafted.

Rob Myers, TE, 6'3" 243, Utah State = Former WR who is an H-Back prospect. Has very good speed and quickness. Decent blocker. Must get bigger and improve his catching technique. Has been injury prone in college. Second day type of prospect.

Cameron Morrah, TE, 6'3" 244, Cal = Has good hands and long arms. Pretty quick and displays above average speed. Has soft hands, but drops too many easy balls. Must get bigger and stronger, as well as improve his blocking ability. Second day type of draft pick.

Brian Mandeville, TE, 6'6" 254, Northeastern = Runs good routes and displays good hands with long arms. Able to sit in the soft spots of the zone. Should gain more weight. Not a burner, so will have to prove he can block in the NFL to make it. May not get drafted.