Tagged with "NFL Draft"
NFL 2011 Draft Grades For Every Team
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL 2011 NFL Draft Cam Newton Patrick Peterson J.J. Watt Von Miller Ryan Kerrigan Andy Dalton DeMarco Murray A.J. Green Aldon Smith



Arizona Cardinals

Arizona's draft started out strong when they selected Patrick Peterson in the first round. Not only is he playing cornerback well, Peterson has tied Hall of Famer Jack Christiansen for the most punt return touchdowns by a rookie. He is 97 yards away from the rookie record Louis Lipps set in 1984 for most punt return yards ever in a single season.

Ryan Williams is a halfback drafted in the second round who has spent the season on injured reserve. Tight end Robert Housler was the Cardinals third round pick, but he has yet to catch a pass because veterans Todd Heap and Jeff King has kept him on the bench.

Sam Acho, the fourth round pick, has done well transitioning from defensive end to outside linebacker. He has given the team five sacks, two forced fumbles, and 26 tackles as a reserve.

Anthony Sherman is a fullback Arizona took in the fifth round. He is starting and has six receptions in a role that has him blocking for halfback Beanie Wells.

The oft-injured Wells is having the best year of his career and is approaching his first 1,000-yard year. Wells nine scores not only match his career total, he is also 274 yards away from matching the totals he ran for his previous two years. Sherman's addition has obviously helped him.

Defensive lineman David Carter and linebacker Quan Sturvidant were picked in the sixth round. While Sturdivant has spent this season on the practice squad, Carter has pitched in a sack as a bench player. Wide receiver Demarco Sampson, their last pick, has caught three balls this year.

Losing the promising Williams hurt the team. Sherman and Acho have done well for the team, and the entire draft class did make the active roster with the exception of Williams and Sturdivant.

Peterson has a very strong case for being named Defensive Rookie of the Year, and his record setting work on special teams has given the Big Red two of their five victories so far. His work has helped an average draft look better.

Grade : B











Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta felt they were on the cusp of Super Bowl glory, so they got aggressive in the 2011 NFL Draft by trading to move up and select wide receiver Julio Jones. Jones, a talented player who some perceived as fragile, has already missed three games this year because of injury. Yet he has caught 34 passes for 556 yards.

Akeem Dent, a linebacker, was selected in the third round. He has basically played special teams. Fifth-round pick Jacquizz Rodgers, a halfback, has been seldom used as a reserve behind Michael Turner.

Punter Matt Bosher has been average at best since being picked in the sixth round. The Falcons had two picks in the seventh round to finish up their draft.

While guard Andrew Jackson has spent the year on the practice squad, defensive end Cliff Matthews made the team and has yet to contribute anything. Other than Jones and Bosher, this rookie class may not have an impact of the franchise for a few years.

Atlanta gambled in hopes of retaining their NFC South title, but they are now struggling to get a playoff spot. The team has been inconsistent, which pretty much sums up their 2011 draft.

Grade : D









Baltimore Ravens

One of the biggest reasons the Ravens are always so good is because of the work general manager Ozzie Newsome puts in. Newsome, a Hall of Fame tight end, knows the game and obviously does his homework.

Jimmy Smith was the Ravens first round selection. The cornerback was brought up slowly initially, but has shown promise despite missing four games due to injury. He has intercepted two passes in limited duty as an extra defensive back.

Baltimore lucked into wide receiver Torry Smith in the second round, a player some thought might sneak into the first round. Smith, a local hero from the University of Maryland, fought through a tough preseason to rebound as the Ravens top deep threat.

With veteran Lee Evans hurt most of the year, Smith has stepped up to catch 32 passes and five scores at a 20.2 yards per catch average. His ability to stretch the seam of the defense has given the Ravens the offensive balance they thought Evans would have provided.

Jah Reid is an offensive tackle Baltimore drafted in the third round. He has spent this year as a reserve on a team full of veterans on the offensive line.
Tandon Doss is a wide receiver the Ravens took in the next round. He showed promise in preseason, but has not seen much action this year. He made headlines by foiling a crime earlier this year.

Baltimore had two picks in the fifth round. Chykie Brown, a cornerback, has rarely played. Yet defensive end Pernell McPhee has been an excellent find. He has grabbed six sacks, second most on the team, and 20 tackles as a reserve on one of the best defenses in the league.

Quarterback Tyrod Taylor was drafted in the sixth round and has spent the year on the bench behind Joe Flacco, who has yet to miss a game in his career. Halfback Anthony Allen was the last draft choice, and he has three carries in the four games he has played.

This draft class, with the exception of McPhee and the Smith's, has spent this year learning from a group of veterans who know how to win. Their true impact will be seen more clearly down the road, because most have an upside that projects well.
Newsome just did what he has always done. He has set up this team to continue winning down the road.

Grade : B










Buffalo Bills

Many look at the Bills recent drafts and see many failures with their top picks. The team needed to stop this bad trait by having an excellent 2011 draft.
The Bills flew out of the gates this season, but reality has recently set in on the young team and had their Cinderella season strike midnight as they are in the midst of a five-game losing streak. Part of this early success was due to a solid draft where almost all made the active roster.

Marcell Dareus, a defensive tackle selected in the first round, leads the team with 3.5 sacks despite having to play nose tackle after Pro Bowler Kyle Williams went on the injured reserve early in the season. Buffalo has 13 players on this list, including four starters on defense.

Buffalo's second round choice was cornerback Aaron Williams, who has played just six games because of injuries. He has shown promise and he may contribute more with Pro Bowler Terrance McGee on injured reserve.

Kelvin Sheppard is a linebacker drafted in the third round who is now starting after veteran Shawn Merriman went on the injured reserve after six games. The rookie has 36 tackles and safety so far.

Da'Norris Searcy was drafted in the fourth round, and the strong safety has even started three games. He has an interception and 38 tackles so far. Chris Hairston was the Bills second pick in the fourth round, and he has spent this year on the bench.

Fifth-round pick Johnny White has just 11 carries this year, but the halfback may end up getting more work after starter Fred Jackson went on injured reserve a few weeks ago. Linebacker Chris White is now on the injured reserve after the sixth-round selection had played special teams for seven weeks.

Buffalo had two picks in the seventh round. Cornerback Justin Rogers has spent this season contributing on special teams.

The Bills final pick was defensive lineman Michael Jasper, an interesting project who weighed over 450 pounds in college. He has spent the year on the practice squad and trimmed down to 375.

The rebuilding of the Bills may take awhile, but having a solid draft finally will help. Dareus doesn't appear as if he will follow recent wasted top picks like Aaron Maybin, J.P. Losman, John McCargo and Mike Williams. Other recent top picks like Lee Evans, Willis McGahee, Donte Whitner and Marshawn Lynch have joined Maybin to contribute for other teams.

But Buffalo hopes he isn't mediocre like recent first round selections C.J. Spiller and Leodis McKelvin. Time will tell, but the Bills did show unexpected marked improvement despite only getting real production from Dareus in the years draft class.

Grade : C-











Carolina Panthers

Ron Rivera needed a sound draft in his first year as the head coach. Being a defensive expert, he leaned heavily on that side of the ball but first started by getting his franchise quarterback.

Cam Newton has carried this team day one, even though the roster has crumbled around him. The Panthers have 14 players currently on the injured reserve, which in includes their best defensive player and best offensive lineman.

Newton has not only tossed the ball 413 times already, he has run the ball 100 times. Newton's 13 rushing touchdowns is the most ever by a quarterback in NFL history.

He is just 19 rushing attempts and 51 yards from leading Carolina in this category despite the fact the team spent millions to retain the services of DeAngelo Williams before the season began. Jonathan Stewart has been more effective than Williams despite coming off the bench.

After tabbing Newton with the top pick of the draft, Rivera grabbed two defensive tackles in the following rounds. While Terrell McClain played well at times, Sione Fua gave next to nothing. Both tackles went on the injured reserve after 12 games this year.

Brandon Hogan is a cornerback Carolina took in the fourth round, but he has yet to record a statistic because he spent most of the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list until recently. Wide receiver Kealoha Pilares was taken in the fifth round, but has yet to catch a pass. He has returned 15 kickoffs, and he took one return for a team record 101 yard score.

The Panthers sixth-round pick, Lawrence Wilson, did not work out. After spending much of the season on the practice squad, Wilson was arrested with possession of narcotics and had his contract terminated.

Carolina grabbed two offensive linemen with their last two selections. Guard Zach Williams is on injured reserve, while tackle Lee Ziemba has spent the year as a rarely used reserve.

With a team trying to rebuild, it has been difficult through all of the injuries. Carolina is the eighth best scoring team in the NFL, but the defense is ranked 29th in points allowed. This has helped the team to a 4-8 record so far.

Besides Newton, the only rookies that have played well are McClain and Pilares. Newton will probably win the offensive Rookie of the Year award, thus saving this year from being a failure, but the overall draft has been a disappointment for the most part.

Grade : C








Chicago Bears

When you go the the NFC Championship Game, as the Bears did last year, you pick near the end of the draft and hope a good player falls to you. The Bears top pick, offensive tackle Gabe Carimi, was put on injured reserve after appearing in just two games.

Chicago selected defensive tackle Stephen Paea in the second round, but the rookie has been buried on the bench. He still contributed a sack and a safety in the six games he has appeared in.

Chris Conte is a safety Chicago took in the third round. He has started seven games and chipped in 26 tackles and a interception.

The Bears used their fifth round selection on quarterback Nathan Enderle, who has spent the year on the bench. Chicago's last pick, linebacker James Thomas, has spent the year on injured reserve.

Conte is the only player of Chicago's five picks that has contributed much of anything. Men like Carimi, Paea, Enderle and Thomas may help out in the future, but this year has been a wash out for this draft class.

Grade : D -







Cincinnati Bengals

When you get rid of your top wide receiver and your franchise quarterback refuses to play with your team, things appear bleak at best. Yet the Bengals turned this situation into a positive through their draft.

They drafted wide receiver A.J. Green in the first round, then quarterback Andy Dalton in the next round. Both players have done so well that they have been mentioned as possible candidates for Rookie of the Year.

Green has grabbed 50 passes for 832 yards and seven touchdowns. He has been nothing short of spectacular despite battling nagging injuries and having another rookie toss him the ball.

Dalton often plays unlike a rookie, though he has had a few expected bumps on the road to successes. He has thrown 17 touchdowns against 12 interceptions, which has helped Cincinnati stay very much alive in the playoff hunt this year.

Dontay Moch, a linebacker picked in the third round, broke his foot in the first preseason game and has spent this year on the bench. Clint Boling, the fourth round selection, has started three games.

The Bengals next two picks, free safety Robert Sands and wide receiver Ryan Whalen, have contributed nothing this year. Their last selections, cornerback Koren Lindsey and halfback Jay Finley, did not make the team.

Though they haven't gotten much after their first two picks, the selections of Green and Dalton have set this franchise up for years. The duo is already exciting and should get even better down the road.

Grade : A -








Cleveland Browns

Everyone in Cleveland knew the rebuilding job Mike Holmgren is undertaking will take time, but there is already positive signs. Despite hiring offensive expert Pat Shurmur as head coach, the offense has been anemic. But the defense is ranked eighth in points allowed so far.

Mammoth defensive tackle Phil Taylor was drafted in the first round and has started right away. He already has 48 tackles and four sacks.

Jabaal Sheard was drafted in the second round and the defensive end lines up next to Taylor. He leads the team with 5.5 sacks and has 43 tackles.

Wide receiver Greg Little was a third round pick some viewed as a sleeper who could be Rookie of the Year. That hasn't happened with Cleveland's offensive woes, but he has led the team with 50 receptions.

Tight end Jordan Cameron, the Browns fourth round selection, has only contributed one catch. Fullback Owen Marecic, the fifth round pick, has mainly spent his time blocking for a wide range of halfbacks in the Browns banged up backfield.

Cleveland had two picks in the fifth round. Buster Skrine, a speedy cornerback, hasn't done much. Yet guard Jason Pinkston beat out veterans Artis Hicks and John Greco for a starting job.

Strong safety Eric Hagg, their last pick, has played in just six games as a third-string player. It was a draft where every player Cleveland selected made the active roster.

Holmgren has to be happy with this draft class. Taylor and Sheard could be a lethal combo for a long time. Little, Marecic and Pinkston are already starters on offense.

Getting five starters out of eight picks is an excellent job for any year. Cleveland may be struggling this year, but the "Dawg Pound" has to like the progress they are witnessing.

Grade : A








Dallas Cowboys

After years of concentrating on positions other than the offensive line in the draft, Dallas smartly began to bolster the trenches in this draft. They took 20 year old Tyron Smith in the first round, and the offensive tackle has been very good most of the season.

Bruce Carter is a linebacker taken in the second round. He has not done much this year, making Cowboys fans wonder if he will be a bust like Bobby Carpenter was as the teams first round pick in 2006.

DeMarco Murray has been quite a find as a third round selection. After a slow start, he eventually earned a starting job and has run for 872 yards so far.

Offensive tackle David Arkin, the fourth round selection, has spent this year on the bench. Josh Thomas, a cornerback taken in the fifth round, did not make the team and has now played six games with the Carolina Panthers.

Dwayne Harris, a wide receiver taken in the sixth round, has spent this season on the practice squad. Shaun Chapas, a fullback taken the next round, has spent most of this year on special teams but did start a game.

Center/ guard Bill Nagy was their last pick. He started in one of the four games he played before an injury ended his season.

Dallas had a hit or miss draft. Smith and Murray have been big, but they really haven't gotten a lot from the rest of their draft class. How guys like Carter and Arkin pan out down the road will give a truer grade, but the miss on Thomas drops the overall grade this year.

Grade : C +








Denver Broncos

When you are a head coach known for defensive expertise, it is safe to assume the first draft will lean heavily in that direction if rebuilding is the plan. John Fox took six defenders in the Broncos nine picks.

The very first pick, who happened to be the second player chosen overall, was linebacker Von Miller. He is mostly known for his pass rushing abilities, as his team-leading 10.5 sacks show, but he has become more well-rounded as the season has progressed. He is third on the team with 58 tackles.

Denver had two picks in the second round. The first was free safety Rahim Moore, a guy some thought may get picked in the first round. He has started five games and picked off a pass.

Orlando Franklin surprisingly slipped into the Broncos laps. He is their starting right tackle, an important position because quarterback Tim Tebow is left-handed.

The third round pick was Nate Irving, a middle linebacker buried in the depth chart. Joe Mays, a four-year veteran, has been a pleasant surprise at the position this season

Quinton Carter was drafted in the fourth round, but he has now risen to be the starter at free safety. He has 37 tackles and might move over to strong safety next year if 16-year veteran Brian Dawkins retires at the end of the year.

Julius Thomas was Denver's second pick in the fourth round. The tight end has just one catch so far. Mike Mohamed was a linebacker drafted in the sixth round, but has played in just two games.

The Broncos had two picks in the seventh round. Tight end Virgil Green has caught two passes while defensive end Jeremy Beal was the last pick and he has spent the season on the practice squad.

The pick of Miller alone makes this a successful draft. He is considered a favorite of mane to be named Defensive Rookie of the Year.

While Franklin is already a vital part of the offense, Moore and Carter have split starts at free safety. So it appears Denver will be set in the middle of their secondary for quite awhile. Their young tight ends have also pitched in.

In a year where rebuilding was supposed to have brought mediocrity, Denver sits on top of the AFC West because of their defense. While Fox may still be still developing his team, the results from the 2011 draft class have been mostly excellent thus far.

Grade : A










Detroit Lions

The young Lions rebuilding continues this year, and the was hoping for the same positive results they got last year. It hasn't worked out that way.

Though Detroit already had a pretty good group of defensive lineman, they took Nick Fairley in the first round. Many thought the defensive tackle might go as high as the second overall pick, so Detroit felt lucky he fell to them. Fairley has given them next to nothing so far.

Wide receiver Titus Young was the first of two picks the Lions had in the second round. He has given the team 31 receptions so far. Halfback Mikel LeShoure was lost for the year in training camp, which was a crushing blow to the team.

Fifth round pick Doug Hogue has not played much because he is buried deep on the depth chart at linebacker. Offensive tackle Johnny Culbreath, their last pick, has spent the year on injured reserve.

With just one draft pick contributing, this draft class has been disappointing for Detroit.

Grade : D -










Green Bay Packers

When your the defending champion returning most of their roster, there is only hope a few players from the draft. Especially this Packers team that won it all despite a major amount of injuries all of last year.

Offensive tackle Derek Sherrod was the first round pick of Green Bay. He has spent most of the year on the bench.

Randall Cobb is a wide receiver who is the Packers kick return specialist. Not only has he scored a touchdown off both a punt and kickoff return, he has grabbed 17 passes and scored once again.

Alex Green is a halfback drafted in the third round, but he hasn't seen much action. Davin House, drafted in the following round, is a cornerback who has also not seen much action.

The Packers drafted two tight ends and both made the team, giving them five on the roster. D.J. Williams has caught one pass, while Ryan Taylor has made his bones as a blocker.

Green Bay had three draft picks in the sixth round. Guard Caleb Schlaunderaff was soon traded to the New York Jets, where he has appeared in four games.

Linebacker D.J. Smith started a game but has mostly played special teams. Defensive end Ricky Elmore did not make the team, while defensive end Lawrence Guy, their last selection, has spent the season on injured reserve.

Packers general manager Ted Thompson has a excellent draft for a defending champion picking last most of the time. While many are just seldom used reserves right now, it is yet another example of why the Packers are undefeated thus far.

Grade : B -









Houston Texans

With the team on the verge of their first playoff appearance ever, the success of their 2011 draft is a big reason why. It also may have saved head coach Gary Kubiak his job.

Defensive end J.J. Watt is a mammoth player who has quietly put a season together worthy of Rookie of the Year honors. He has 4.5 sacks and third on the team in tackles. Houston currently has allowed the second fewest points and yards in the NFL.

Houston had two picks in the second round. Brooks Reed is an outside linebacker forced into action early after Pro Bowler Mario Williams was put on injured reserve after five games. Reed has six sacks and 35 tackles so far.

Cornerback Brandon Harris has played just four games so far, while fourth round pick Rashad Carmichael, another cornerback, has spent the year on injured reserve.

The Texans then had a pair of picks in the fifth round. Strong safety Shiloh Keo has spent the year on the bench, while quarterback T.J. Yates was recently thrust into the starting lineup after injuries shelved Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart for the year.

Houston also had a couple of picks in the seventh round. While Derek Newton has spent the year backing up left tackle Duane Brown, linebacker Cheta Ozougwu, Mr. Irrelevant of 2011, did not make the team.

Watt was the only player expected to start, but Reed and Yates have also played well when called upon. Newly hired defensive coordinator Wade Phillips was given some ammo this year, as the team used six of their eight picks on defenders.

Even if the Texans have an early exit in the playoffs this year, which could happen with many key players amongst the 12 players on injured reserve, this draft class has set up the franchise nicely for several years ahead.

Grade : A -












Indianapolis Colts

When a team is without a victory yet, there is a struggle to find a silver lining. Many Colts fans are looking ahead to next year, with the expected return of Peyton Manning and drafting of Andrew Luck. Manning had led Indianapolis to the playoffs in 12 of the previous 13 seasons.

Anthony Castonzo was drafted in the first round and now starts at left tackle. He is one of three rookies starting, though the other two are undrafted players.

They drafted guard Ben Ijalana in the second round, but he ended up on injured reserve after four games. Defensive tackle Drake Nevis, their third round pick, was put on the injured reserve after five games.

Delone Carter is a halfback who was drafted in the fourth round. He has played often and piled up 347 yards and a pair of touchdowns so far. Chris Rucker is a cornerback who was the Colts last pick and has played sparingly.

It was not the best draft ever for the Colts, considering only two players have contributed much. The class has been bereft by injury, and Castonzo has missed four games himself. It seems everyone associated with the Colts cannot wait until next year.

Grade : D












Jacksonville Jaguars

It has been a difficult year for the Jaguars. They basically got a new quarterback, new head coach, and a new owners as the season has progressed.

Blaine Gabbert was the Jags first round pick. The quarterback was thrust into the lineup before he was ready and has struggled all season.

William Rackley was drafted in the second round and starts at left guard. Cecil Shorts is a wide receiver drafted in the following round. He has caught just two passes so far, but Shorts has also fielded 12 punts.

Jacksonville used their last two picks on a pair of safeties. Free safety Chris Prosinski has spent most of the year on the bench, while strong safety Rod Isaac went on the injured reserve after three games.

The Jaguars have 20 players on injured reserve, which undoubtedly has helped them struggle. With a new regime set to make their mark next season, the team is hoping for a more productive draft class in 2012.

Grade : C -













Kansas City Chiefs

This season has been difficult for the Chiefs. While they have just seven players on injured reserve, four players were expected to carry the team to a repeat as AFC West champions.

Wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin was drafted in the first round, but the rookie has had a disappointing year with just 14 receptions. Center/ Guard Rodney Hudson was drafted in the second round and has spent the season on the bench.

The Chiefs had a pair of picks in the third round, so they concentrated on defense. Linebacker Justin Houston is staring now and has three sacks and 36 tackles. Defensive end Allen Bailey hasn't contributed much.

Jalil Brown is a cornerback drafted in the fourth round who has spent his season on special teams. The team had two picks in the fifth round in quarterback Ricky Stanzi and linebacker Gabe Miller. Stanzi has stayed on the bench while Miller is on injured reserve.

Jerrell Powe, a nose tackle selected in the sixth round, has played in one game. Fullback Shane Bannon, the Chiefs last pick, is on the practice squad.

Besides Houston, Kansas City has gotten next to nothing from this draft class. With the way the season has been with the team, the Chiefs could have used more help from the rookies.

Grade : D













Miami Dolphins

After a very tough start to their 2011 season, the Dolphins have player better recently. Part of that reason is that their rookies have stepped up their game.

Mike Pouncey was drafted in the first round and has started all year at center. Halfback Daniel Thomas, their second round pick, has run for 504 yards despite being banged up several games.

Clyde Gates, a wide receiver taken in the fourth round, has only two catches. But he has returned 26 kickoffs at a healthy 25 yards per return average.

Fullback Charles Clay is known for being a good blocker, but the rookie fullback has also caught 13 passes thus far. The sixth round pick has started eight games.

Miami had a pair of picks in the seventh round, but cut defensive tackle Frank Kearse. Kearse later played two games with the Carolina Panthers. Cornerback Jimmy Wilson, their final pick, has an interception in limited playing time.

The powerhouse blocking of Pouncey and Clay should help Thomas a lot in his career. Gates is a speedy player who some feel has a future as a deep threat on offense.

It was a solid draft by a team who needs a decent quarterback to give their offense versatility because the defense is stout. Whether Miami has a new head coach or not in 2012, many pundits expect them to draft that franchise quarterback.

Grade : B










Minnesota Vikings

Most Vikings fans knew this would be a tough season with rebuilding in mind. They just didn't expect only two victories so far.

A few were surprised when they tabbed quarterback Christian Ponder in the first round, especially after having just signing veteran Donovan McNabb. Not only did McNabb get benched then cut, the rookie has played very well in his place.

Tight end Kyle Rudolph was grabbed in the second round. He has shown some promise with 18 catches and a pair of scores.

A few were suprised to see defensive tackle Christian Ballard fall to the Vikings on the fourth round. Yet the rookie has spent much of the year on the bench.

After drafting cornerback Brandon Butler in the fifth round, a player who has contributed little, the Vikings then had four selections in the sixth round and two more in the seventh.

Tackle DeMarcus Love and center Brandon Fusco have spent the year on the bench. Linebacker Russ Homan was cut in training camp but later joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice squad for a few days.

Free safety Mistral Raymond is now starting at free safety. He was just given the job after veteran Husain Abdullah went on injured reserve. Wide receiver Stephen Burton has caught a pair of passes so far, while defensive end D'Aundre Reed has sat on the bench.

Ponder has made the draft successful, while Rudolph has also helped. The rest of the picks are projects, which symbolizes where the franchise is right now. It will take a few years to see how good the draft class really is.

Grade : C +











New England Patriots

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick loves to work a draft, and this strategy has led to one of the most successful runs in recent NFL history. He attacked the 2011 like always.

Left tackle Nate Solder was drafted in the first round and has spent this year on the bench being mentored by veteran Matt Light. Then the Patriots had two picks in the second, third, and fifth rounds.

Ras-I Dowling is a cornerback who was put on injured reserve after two games. New England then drafted two halfbacks.

While Shane Vereen has just 15 carries, Stevan Ridley has 48. The team has a deep backfield, but touches are even fewer because Belichick prefers future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady passing the ball.

They did draft quarterback Ryan Mallett, but few will be shocked to see him starting for another team in a few years. Tackle/ guard Marcus Cannon joins Solder on the bench to learn.

Lee Smith was a curious selection, considering the Patriots have two young studs at tight end. He was cut by New England, but has joined the Buffalo Bills and caught three passes. Defensive end Markell Carter and cornerback Malcolm Williams have spent the year on the Patriots practice squad.

The Patriots have to feel good they have a pair of blockers and runners for when their veterans retire. Dowling is considered a top talent, but he has had trouble staying healthy the past few years.

The team is a real interesting mix of veterans and kids, but that is the plan of the genius Belichick. Instead of standing pat with veterans who have gotten him a lot of wind, he keeps upgrading the roster with young players so that the team will stay relevant for many years ahead.

Grade : C











New Orleans Saints

The Saints are beginning to look like the team that won the Super Bowl two years ago, not the team that floundered early in the playoffs last season. A big reason is that quarterback Drew Brees might be having an even better year than when he led the team to their title.

They had two draft picks in the first, third and seventh rounds. Five of those picks were used to bolster the defense, which struggled in 2010.

Their first pick was defensive end Cameron Jordan, who has started every game and has 25 tackles. Halfback Mark Ingram was selected next, and he seems like a lot of former Heisman winners who were average at best in the NFL.

Linebacker Martez Wilson and cornerback Johnny Patrick have spent the year on the bench. Linebacker Nate Bussey is on the practice squad, while defensive end Greg Romeus is on the injured reserve.

Jordan and Ingram aren't exactly setting the league on fire, but they are relied on already. Ingram splits carries with a plethora of excellent running backs, while Jordan has somewhat filled the void left by the departure of Charles Grant at the end of the 2009 season.

The other four players may have futures, but the lack of production from this group drops an already mediocre grade lower. But the way Brees is going, it hasn't mattered that the rookies aren't great.

Grade : C -











New York Giants

The way injuries have absolutely destroyed the Giants defense this year, it has been been tough that a few kids had to grow up fast this year. Those who were able to play, that is.

Their top pick was cornerback Prince Amukamara, who broke his foot in training camp. The Giants kept him on the roster, and he has recently returned to play the last three games and already has an interception.

New York used their second round pick on defensive tackle Melvin Austin, but he got hurt in training camp and is on the injured reserve. Wide Receiver Jerrel Jernigan, the third round selection, has just one kickoff return so far.

Offensive tackle James Brewer, the fourth round selection, has stayed on the bench this year. Then the Jints had four picks in the sixth round.

Linebacker Greg Jones has started five games and has 26 tackles. Strong safety Tyler Sash has spent most of the year on special teams along with halfback Da'Rel Scott. Linebacker Jacquian Williams has been a nice find and he is sixth on the team with 50 tackles.

Williams has saved this class from a failing grade, but it could rise before the season ends because Amukamara is back. It will hopefully be a healthy season for these kids in 2012 so they can show their abilities better.

Grade : C -












New York Jets

The Jets have been a big disappointment in 2011. Yet the draft class hasn't been a big part of that reason.

Muhammad Wilkerson was the Jets first pick. The defensive end started right away and he has 29 tackles and a safety. Nose tackle Kenrick Ellis, their third round pick, has just played four games so far.

Halfback Bilal Powell was drafted in the fourth round and has just seven rushing attempts so far. Wide receiver Jeremy Kerley is now the third receiver on the team and has 18 catches. Kerley has also returned 18 punts.

The Jets had two picks in the seventh round. Quarterback Greg McElroy is on injured reserve, while wide receiver Scotty McKnight is on the practice squad.

Wilkerson has obviously had the biggest impact in this draft class, but Kerley was a nice find. His progress allowed the Jets to trade veteran Derrick Mason. The rest of the group has yet to help much, which drops the overall grade.

Grade : C -










Oakland Raiders

Every member of this Raiders draft got that last taste of true greatness. They are the last players to be drafted by the legendary Al Davis, who would pass away early in the 2011 season.

He went old school, despite having no pick in the first round. Davis drafted Stefen Wisniewski long long after he got Raiders great Steve Wisniewski to rejoin the franchise by coaching the offensive line. Now the uncle is teaching his nephew how to play guard like he did, where the versatile youngster has started every game this year.

Oakland has two picks in the third and fourth rounds. Cornerback Demarcus Van Dyke has started four games and has an interception, while guard Joseph Barksdale has spent the year on the bench.

Cornerback Chimdi Chekwa is on the injured reserve while halfback Taiwan Jones has 17 carries and eight kickoff returns. Wide receiver Denarius Moore has been quite a find and has 24 catches and four touchdowns despite battling nagging injuries. Tight ends Richard Gordon and David Ausberry both have just one catch each.

Wisniewski has been steady and solid all year, and Moore really helped when the team was transitioning between starting quarterbacks. Most of the rest of the draft class has helped at some point, so it wasn't a draft will besmirch the genius of the great Davis.

Grade : C











Philadelphia Eagles

No team has failed to meet expectations in the 2011 more than the Eagles. The draft class is not a big part of how their year has gone so far.

Guard Danny Watkins is a 27 year old rookie guard who has started eight games as the Eagles first round selection. He seems to get better each game, though he has had his struggles.

Free safety Jaiquawn Jarrett is a local hero who has started one game, but mostly has spent his time on special teams. Cornerback Curtis Marsh has hardly played this season.

The Eagles had a pair of picks from the fourth round on. Casey Matthews, a member of the most famous football family today, started at the beginning of the year before getting benched. Kicker Alex Henery has missed just three field goal attempts all season.

Dion Lewis is a halfback who has mainly contributed as a kick returner, while guard Julian Vandervelde has played in just one game. Yet the Eagles hit pay dirt in the sixth round.

Brian Rolle is a linebacker who is fourth on the team with 40 tackles. He also returned a fumble 23 yards for a touchdown. Center Jason Kelce has started every game this season.

Greg Lloyd is a linebacker whose father was a Pittsburgh Steelers legend. He has spent the year on the bench. Fullback Stanley Havill has spent the season on the practice squad.

Philadelphia seems to have found a good foundation at the inside of their offensive line with Watkins and Kelce. Of their three linebackers drafted, only Rolle has made a significant contribution. Henery is probably the best rookie on the team and has been as solid as any kicker in the league.

While the big-money superstars have come up short this year, this draft class has played well enough to get Eagles fans excited about the future.

Grade : A










Pittsburgh Steelers

The biggest reason the Steelers seemingly sit near the top of the NFL the past 40 years is because they build their teams through excellent drafts. The 2011 season seems no different.

Pittsburgh drafted defensive end Cameron Heyward in the first round. He has spent much of the year on the bench learning from the excellent veteran starters.

Marcus Gilbert is an offensive tackle who was selected in the second round. He, like much of the Steelers offensive linemen this year, has battled nagging injuries. Yet he has started in all 11 games he has played in.

Pittsburgh drafted a pair of cornerbacks in the next two rounds. Curtis Brown and Cortez Allen have mostly helped on special teams thus far.

Keith Williams is a guard that Pittsburgh drafted in the sixth round. He was cut, but later picked up by the Buffalo Bills and has played five games for them. Halfback Baron Batch was the Steelers last pick and he has spent the season on injured reserve.

Just another typical draft by Pittsburgh. They got a blocker who starts along with three defensive players who will contribute more as their careers go on.

Grade : C +











Saint Louis Rams

It has been an excruciating season for the Rams. A favorite by may to win the NFC West, before the season started, they are one of the worst teams in the league right now.

Robert Quinn is a linebacker who was their first round pick. He is used on pass rushing downs and has five sacks so far.

Saint Louis wanted to get quarterback Sam Bradford more weapons to throw to. Tight end Lance Kendricks has 19 catches, but a ton of drops too. Wide receivers Austin Pettis, who doubles as the primary punt returner, and Greg Salas, who is now on the injured reserve, have combined for 49 receptions so far.

The Rams used their final four picks on defensive players that are no longer with the team.All were cut in preseason, but three are still in the league.

Safety Jermale Hines played five games with the Carolina Panthers and is now with the Indianapolis Colts. Cornerback Mikail Barber was waived after being injured in preseason.Linebacker Jabara Williams is with the Chicago Bears, while safety Jonathan Nelson is on the Panthers practice squad.

Quinn, Kendricks, Pettis and Salas have made contributions, so the draft wasn't a total failure for the Rams. The play of the oft-injured Bradford certainly didn't help them.

Grade : C












San Diego Chargers

This draft class should be known as the last one head coach Norv Turner presided over. The inept Turner appears to have finally run out of chances.

Defensive tackle Corey Liuget is the Bolts top pick. While he has started in nine of the 11 games he has played in, Liuget has just 13 tackles this season. San Diego had two picks in the second, third and sixth rounds.

Cornerback Marcus Gilchrist has started three games while getting an interception and returning a fumble 40 yards. Linebacker Jonas Mouton is on injured reserve.

Wide receiver Vincent Brown is the best rookie San Diego drafted this season. The athletic Brown has 16 catches and a pair of scores. Cornerback Shareece Wright has spent this year on the bench, while halfback Jordan Todman is on the practice squad.

Offensive tackle Stephen Schilling has a pair of starts in the five games he has appeared in. Linebacker Andrew Gachkar has been playing special teams.

The Chargers wanted more from their top draft picks than occasional contributions. The contributions of the promising Brown saves this group from being called a complete failure.

Grade : D










San Francisco 49ers

The Niners have been one the great stories of 2011. Not only are they 10-2 right now, they also had an excellent draft under first-year head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Linebacker Aldon Smith was San Francisco's first round pick. While the former collegiate defensive end has been primarily used as a pass rush specialist, he has come through with 9.5 quarterback sacks and a safety.

The promising Colin Kaepernick has spent this year learning how to be an NFL quarterback under Harbaugh, yet the second round pick has gotten to throw five passes so far. Cornerback Chris Culliver has an interception and 25 tackles as a dime back.

Halfback Kendall Hunter has been quite a nice pick in the fourth round. As the primary backup behind Frank Gore, he has churned out 302 rushing yards. Guard Daniel Kilgore has spent the season on the bench.

The 49ers had two picks in both the sixth and seventh rounds. Wide receiver Ronald Johnson did not make the team and is now a member of the Philadelphia Eagles practice squad. Free safety Colin Jones ha played little.

Bruce Miller was a defensive lineman in college, but San Francisco moved him to fullback. He has now started six games and even has a touchdown off of seven receptions. Guard Michael Person has spent the season on the bench, while cornerback Curtis Holmcomb is on injured reserve.

Smith has really helped the 49ers have the top rated defense all season, while Hunter and the surprising Miller are making significant contributions to the offensive backfield. Culliver has also had provided much needed help.

San Francisco has already won the weak AFC West. A reason why is this rookie class, one that should have the team winning beyond this season.

Grade : B










Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks 2011 season has been tough. It has been just as tough on their rookies.

Seattle used their first and third round draft picks on tackle James Carpenter and guard John Moffitt. Both landed on the injured reserve list after nine games, and Moffitt is also serving a suspension for use of performance enhancing drug use.

Linebacker K.J. Wright was the first of two draft picks Seattle had in the fourth round. He currently starts and has 38 tackles with a quarterback sack. Wide Receiver Kris Durham had three receptions before ending up on the injured reserve.

Free safety Mark Legree did not make the team. Cornerback Byron Maxwell and defensive tackle Lazarius Levingston have contributed little, but linebacker Malcolm Smith does have a sack and forced fumble.

Seattle is a young team that has 11 rookies on the roster and three more on the injured reserve. While Carpenter, Moffitt and Wright earned stating jobs, their best rookie is undrafted wide receiver Doug Baldwin and his team-leading 38 receptions.

The Seahawks can only hope Carpenter and Moffitt will not follow in Russel Okung's footsteps. Okung, the sixth player chosen overall on 2010, is a left tackle who has already missed 10 games due to injuries. If their young linemen can stay healthy, the franchise will be a threat down the road.

Grade : C +










Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The young Bucs took a few steps back this season. Youth can be attributed to their regression, but it was not expected to be as severe as it has been.

Five defenders were amongst their eight selections. Defensive ends Adrian Clayborn and Da'Quan Bowers were their first two picks. Clayborn has 27 tackles and 5.5 sacks, while Bowers has chipped in 19 tackles and 1.5 sacks.

Middle linebacker Mason Foster is third on the team with 57 tackles. He also has a pair of sacks and has demonstrated good leadership.

Two tight ends were drafted by Tampa Bay. Luke Stocker has given them eight receptions, but Daniel Hardy did not make the team and is now a member of the Saints practice squad.

Strong safety Ahmad Black is now on the Bucs practice squad while halfback Allen Bradford is a member of the Seahawks practice squad. Cornerback Anthony Gaitor has suited up for five games on special teams.

Clayborn and Bowers are part of a young and talented Buccaneers defensive line that has yet to fulfill expectations. Foster looks like he will grow in the position, but the rest of the draft did not go well. Much like the Buccaneers 2011 season.

Grade : C +










Tennessee Titans

The Titans have had a pretty good year under first year head coach Mike Munchak, a Hall of Fame guard. They are very much in the playoff chase.

Quarterback Jake Locker was their first round draft pick. Though he has spent most of the year on the bench, Locker has tossed 21 passes and two touchdowns.

Linebacker Akeem Ayers, their second round pick, is sixth on the team in tackles with 51 tackles and he has two sacks. Third round pick Jurrell Casey, a defensive tackle, leads all Titans defensive linemen with 40 tackles.

Linebacker Colin McCarthy has only played nine games, but he is right behind Ayers on the team with 40 tackles. Halfback Jamie Harper has just seven carries all season.

Defensive tackle Karl Klug is the Titans fifth round pick and his four sacks leads the team. Offensive tackle Byron Stingily has sat on the bench this season, as has defensive tackle Zach Clayton for the most part. Cornerback Tommie Campbell, Tennessee's last pick, has contributed on special teams.

The Titans grabbed four defenders who have had immediate impact. Their future franchise quarterback has benefited from learning from sage veteran Matt Hasselbeck. This good fortune has helped the team stay afloat most of the season.

Grade : A









Washington Redskins

Redskins general manager Bruce Allen has the unenviable task of trying to clean up the tremendous mess Vinny Cerrato left the team in. The son of the Redskins Hall of Fame George Allen, he has already made tremendous strides.

Where his dad may have traded all of their draft picks to acquire veterans, the younger Allen went a different direction by wheeling and dealing on draft day and getting the team 12 draft selections.

Ryan Kerrigan was their first round pick. He is making the transition from collegiate defensive end, but Kerrigan leads Washington with 6.5 sacks and is third on the team with 56 tackles. He also intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown.

The Redskins second pick was defensive tackle Jarvis Jenkins. He was showing tremendous ability before suffering a season-ending injury during a preseason game. Wide receiver Leonard Hankerson gave Washington 13 receptions before ending up on the injured reserve list.

Roy Helu has been a gem for the Redskins this season. He is now starting and the fourth round pick has 456 rushing yards and 42 receptions. He was the first of three Nebraska Cornhuskers that Allen drafted consecutively.

Safety Dejon Gomes and wide receiver Niles Paul have spent most of the season on special teams. Halfback Evan Royster and cornerback Brandyn Thompson have spent much of the season on the practice squad, while wide receiver Aldrick Robinson has spent all of his year there.

Guard Maurice Hurt started the year on the practice squad, but he is now starting after a rash of injuries hit the team. Markus White, a linebacker who played defensive end in college, has spent the year on the bench, while nose tackle Chris Neild has a couple of sacks backing up starter Barry Cofield.

Washington lost seven starters to injury or suspension this year, which has doomed their 2011 dreams. Kerrigan and Helu were very nice surprises, but the rest of the draft class looks like developmental projects that will not show their true worth until they travel further down the NFL road.

Grade : C






Yoooo! Dis iz 7thStone! Yo! Lets make dis fast cuz I got to go ho ho ho. Dats rite, da Guidacelli triplets is coming over so I iz eating viagra like dey is tic tacs. Capeesh?

Last weak I went 10-5, so I iz now 114-72 overall.

Indianapolis Colts @ Baltimore Ravens

Yo? You kiddin, rite?

Ravens 31 Colts 14








Atlanta Falcons @ Carolina Panthers

If Atlanta loses hear, dere seasun is over.

Falcons 27 Panthers 24








Houston Texans @ Cincinnati Bengals

YO! DIS iz gunna be a CLASH of too grate defenses. Plus both teems can run da ball and have rookie quarterbacks starting. I'm gambling hear, cuz da Bengals know a loss kills playoff dreems prolly.

Bengals 23 Texans 21








Minnesota Vikings @ Detroit Lions

Da Lions stop losing hear.

Lions 31 Vikings 28











Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Jacksonville Jaguars

No one outside of Florida cares and not two many inside da Sunshine States does either.

Buccaneers 23 Jaguars 17









Philadelphia Eagles @ Miami Dolphins

A battle of two teams going nowhere. The difference is that the Dolphins players try to play like professionals who know they are lucky to earn a paycheck, rather than think it is owed to them.

Dolphins 24 Eagles 20








Kansas City Chiefs @ New York Jets

Da difference hear is dat da Jets is fighting for dere playoff lives.

Jets 27 Chiefs 14











New Orleans Saints @ Tennessee Titans

Can anyone stop Drew Brees?

Saints 28 Titans 20








New England Patriots @ Washington Redskins

Sorry Cuzin 3rd

Patriots 42 Redskins 20









San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals

Just cuz da Niners won da NFC West, it dont meen dey is rollin over til playoffs.

49ers 27 Cardinals 17








Chicago Bears @ Denver Broncos

It ain't if anyone can stop Teblow, it is dat Bears beat up offense can score aganst dat improvin Broncos defense. NO

Broncos 16 Bears 7









Oakland Raiders @ Green Bay Packers

Da Raiders are just erratic eniff two hand da Pack there furst loss.

Packers 34 Raiders 24









Buffalo Bills @ San Diego Chargers

Too teems we wont sea in da playoffs.

Chargers 34 Bills 28









Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants
Game of the Week


Simple. If da Giants lose = dere playoff dreems are pretty much dun. If dey win = dey is den tied for furst place in da NFL East wif da Cowboys. I tink both teems stink and prefer the Bengals vs. Texans game, but dere are more steaks involved hear.

Cowboys 21 Giants 20







Saint Louis Rams @ Seattle Seahawks

Hasn't Monday Night Footballs sucked King Kong balls most dis yeer? May be the worst MNF seasun EVER. Only a football junkie will watch dese too suck ass teems. Guys like me.

Seahawks 27 Rams 16



Power Rankings

1. Packers
2. Ravens
3. 49ers
4. Steelers
5. Texans
6. Saints
7. Patriots
8. Bengals
9. Falcons
10. Cowboys
11. Jets
12. Lions
13. Broncos
14. Raiders
15. Titans
16. Bears
17. Giants
18. Bills
19. Chargers
20. Seahawks
21. Chiefs
22. Cardinals
23. Dolphins
24. Buccaneers
25. Panthers
26. Browns
27. Eagles
28. Redskins
29. Jaguars
30. Vikings
31. Rams
32. Colts

OK. See ya! As dey say in Ol' Mexico= A.M.F.




 

NFL Teams Sift Through Long List Of Parolees And Degenerates For Talent
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Ohio State University NCAA NFL Plaxico Burress Terrelle Pryor 2012 NFL Draft Free Agency Michael Vick Rex Ryan New York Giants Prison

 

 

 

Even though NFL teams are supposed to be largely inactive during the lockout, they still keep abreast of news that is filled with football players being arrested, released from jail, or carrying the weight of questionable character in their pasts.
 
As soon as the lockout ends, most of these players will be invited into a training camp somewhere. The hope is to try and squeeze one drama free season out of them, as well as production on the gridiron.
 
While the list may get longer with oft-troubled wide receiver Kenny Britt, there are still plenty of specimens to choose from.
 
Over the next few weeks, we will profile a few that is followed by their possible destinations whenever the NFL resumes play.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
PLAXICO BURRESS
 
He will be 34-years old if the NFL has a 2011 season. He just got released from jail after having served two years incarcerated on weapons charges.
 
Burress might take awhile to get into shape physically and mentally, an area he has mostly struggled in throughout his career, but the wide receiver still stands 6'5" and weighs at least 232 lbs. He has experience on winning teams and owns a Super Bowl ring.
 
Though the team he last played for, the New York Giants, has never said he wasn't welcome back, it looks more unlikely these days because that team is loaded with young receivers full of talent.
 
With 505 receptions since being drafted in 2000, it is obvious he had many productive seasons. Teams will gamble he has a few left until Father Time steps in.
 
There will be a pretty long line of suitors, especially since Burress is expected to be on his best behavior to avoid returning to prison.
 
Here are a few teams that may be the best fit for him :
 
 
 
Carolina Panthers
 
Why Carolina? Simple. It is not that far from his family and friends in southern Virginia and the Panthers wouldn't mind seeing him and veteran Steve Smith help 2011 top draft pick Cam Newton.
 
Smith has not had help since Muhsin Muhammad retired several years ago, and he has battled injuries the past few seasons. Having the large Burress opposite the diminutive Smith might be appealing for both the Panthers and Newton.
 
 
 
 
Philadelphia Eagles
 
The rich get richer? It is possible, especially with fellow ex-convict Michael Vick pleading with the front office to sign him. Vick is now the Eagles starting quarterback, so carrying such weight could impact this move.
 
Having DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin at wide receiver already, Philadelphia already has one of the top duos in the league. That is even before tight end Brent Celek is added into the mix.
 
Burress would give the Eagles that tall wide receiver, since Maclin is six-foot tall and Jackson stands somewhere around 5'10" and weighs maybe 175 lbs. Though Maclin and Jackson are huge threats, Burress would immediately become the teams top red-zone option.
 
Plus having Vick play catch with Burress would remind fans of the movie "The Longest Yard". Who can resist that?
 
 
 
Saint Louis Rams
 
Yes, the Rams have young receivers like Donnie Avery, Austin Pettis, Marty Gilyard, and Greg Salas for sophomore quarterback Sam Bradford to chuck it to. Free agents Danny Amendola, Mark Clayton, and Laurent Robinson might have a shot of returning as well.
 
Yet most of these receivers are small in stature. Getting Bradford, the 2010 Offensive Rookie of the Year, a tall target could help a lot. Critics believe Burress will only go to a team with a chance to win their division, something the Rams almost pulled off last year.
 
Burress could get them over a tiny hump that exists in the weak NFC West. It could also help buy some time as their young receivers develop.
 
Then there is the fact that Burress probably will not get in trouble in Saint Louis, as the team seems to never have players in trouble with the law in that city.
 
 
 
 
 
Washington Redskins
 
A long shot, but Burress did grow up in Norfolk, Virginia. The Redskins have also been searching for a tall receiver since Hall of Famer Art Monk left after 1993.
 
The team might not be ready to compete for the NFC East, so Washington might have little shot at Burress even if they are interested and have an owner known for paying heavily for veteran free agents.
 
Even if Burress grew up a Redskins fan, which so many young men in Virginia have.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Oakland Raiders
 
Get ready to see this team listed often. Raiders Hall of Fame owner Al Davis loves to take chances on players with questionable character, something he has come out smelling like a rose more often than not.
 
The current group of Raiders receivers could certainly use a boost in talent as well. There are a lot of speedsters, but none are the hulking presence that Burress is.
 
 
 
 
New York Jets
 
Why? Head coach Rex Ryan plays by his own rules and will do what is needed to get his team to the Super Bowl.
 
Starting receivers Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes are free agents that may be the Jets top priority, but Burress would help whether both are signed or not. Plus Burress lives in New Jersey, so he wouldn't have to uproot his family that has been reacquainting themselves with him lately.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TERRELLE PRYOR

 

Then there is the plight of Pryor. The 6'6" quarterback recently withdrew from college and there is speculation he will try his hand at professional football this year.

 

Regardless of whatever charges Ohio State or Pryor may face down the road from NCAA rules infractions, the size and athleticism will have a team intrigued enough to look at him.

 

He is a project with suspect mechanics that will take time to refine. Murmurs of his lack of character will be put through a test if he wants to get to the next level. A team will have to be patient, as Pryor will need to be as well.

 

He has already rejected the advances of the Canadian Football League, even though the wide open CFL game may be the best fit for his game right now. The UFL may be an option to play a game similar to the NFL while learning his position more.

 

Though there are certainly no guarantees he could earn a starting job in the UFL, some speculate Pryor will sit this season out and put is name into the 2012 NFL Draft. Then there is a chance he is involved in a supplemental draft or try to latch onto a team via free agency.

 

Assuming he is allowed to sign with any team as a free agent, the questions begs on who would give him a shot.

 

Here are a few possibilities :

 

 

 

 

Cincinnati Bengals

 

The Bengals quarterback situation is still up in the air because no one knows where starter Carson Palmer will play when play resumes. Palmer has made it quite clear he has no intention returning to Cincinnati.

 

The cerebral Andy Dalton was drafted in 2011, but he has questionable arm strength and athleticism. If Palmer leaves, the current quarterbacks on the Bengals roster is Dalton and the untested Dan LeFevour.

 

Even if the Bengals re-sign Jordan Palmer, Carson's little brother, they will then have three quarterbacks with no real NFL experience.

 

If Carson Palmer comes back to the Bengals, taking a flier on Pryor certainly could not hurt. The worst that can happen is they cut him, while the best scenario is that one day Pryor marries his abilities with the mechanics he will soon be taught.

 

 

 

 

Oakland Raiders

 

Again, Al Davis loves outcasts. He also loves excellent athletes. Pryor is certainly both right now.

 

He could put Pryor at third-string to learn behind veterans Jason Campbell and Bruce Gradkowski as Oakland takes their time learning what type of player Pryor will eventually be.

 

 

 

 

Pittsburgh Steelers

 

Pryor grew up not too far away from Pittsburgh and the Steelers do like to mold a young quarterback as a third-string player. Ask Dennis Dixon, a player no one wanted because of an injury in college during his senior year. Dixon, now a free agent, started a few games and earned a Super Bowl ring.

 

Men like Jim Miller started out in Pittsburgh before becoming productive starters elsewhere. With veteran Brian Leftwich as the primary reserve. maybe molding Pryor will more of an attractive scenario than bringing back Dixon?

 

 

 

 

Arizona Cardinals

 

John Skelton showed promise in his 2010 rookie year, as did Max Hall, but it still is unknown if either can hold onto the starting job at quarterback. Derek Anderson's confidence appears shot as well.

 

This could be one of the few NFL teams Pryor has a shot at starting right away. Especially if Skelton and Hall play poorly. Arizona appears to be a team Carson Palmer may want to go to.

 

The Cardinals also may be one of the teams willing to spend a few years developing Pryor, so this could be a good fit. Especially if Pryor becomes the player some think he can be.

 

 

Next week, we will look at a few crazy old farts who still think their shit doesn't stink and the NFL is obliged to give them a roster spot and fat paycheck.

2011 NFL Draft : Washington Redskins Grades and 5 Undrafted Players They Should Sign
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL NFC East Dan Snyder NCAA Washington Redskins College Football Bruce Allen 2011 NFL Draft Free Agency Ryan Kerrigan Jarvis Jenkins




In 1999, a life-long football fan realized a childhood dream by purchasing his favorite team. Dan Snyder, who was born and raised in the Maryland suburbs just outside of Washington D.C., was just 33-years old when he became the owner of the Washington Redskins.


He has become a polarizing figure since then. Redskins Nation knows Snyder is a real Redskins fan who is hell-bent on seeing his team win titles, willing to do whatever it takes to reach those heights.


Yet he has also ostracized himself by moves like confining tailgating and charging fans for wanting to do so. Moves that took a team once ranked as the sixth most popular NFL team in 2003 to 17th since 2009.


Despite a famous waiting list for season tickets that numbers over 200,000 people, he sued season ticket holders who had not yet paid because of the hard economic times the country has been in. Actions looked upon as betrayal by one of their own.


It hasn't helped Snyder, who has long admitted he knows nothing about the intricacies about football, has had his teams go 86-106 since his purchase. The Redskins have had just three winning seasons in his regime.


His naivety to the game saw Snyder hire Vinny Cerrato, a guy he thought was a disciple of Hall of Famer Bill Walsh and had learned how to build a winning team. In retrospect, it appears Cerrato learned nothing from Walsh and bamboozled Snyder.


When Cerrato was hired in 1999, he mortgaged the future of the franchise by bringing in old players like Irving Fryar, Jeff George, Mark Carrier, and a pair of Hall of Famers named Bruce Smith and Deion Sanders. His first two draft picks were Champ Bailey and Jon Jansen.


While only Smith helped the team from the free agents group, Bailey and Jansen both helped the Redskins for many years. Bailey, who appears that he will one day be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, gave Washington four Pro Bowl years in five seasons before being traded for running back Clinton Portis in 2004.


While many of Cerrato's draft picks played in the NFL, his trading away draft picks for old players infuriated fans. Especially in the aftermath, where the Redskins got next to nothing in return.


The Redskins had four years where they had five or few draft picks in the Cerrato Era. They headed into the 2011 NFL Draft with a team desperately needing bodies, but with only seven draft choices to accomplish this.


It was a different draft day for the Redskins in 2011. A draft not seen by the team since the days of Bobby Beathard, the great Redskins general manager who helped build teams that went to four Super Bowls in a 10 years.


Snyder had tired of hearing about the incompetence of Cerrato. He had tried to quell it by banning fans from bringing signs into the Redskins home stadium, and even bought several radio stations that were managed in a heavy-handed manner by Snyder to prevent negative talk about his organization.


He announced Cerrato resigned at the end of the 2009 season, but being fired is more of an apt term for Cerrato. He had already been fired for one year in 2000 before coming back to seemingly systematically destroy the Redskins for revenge.


Bruce Allen was hired as general manager after Cerrato departed. The son of Redskins Hall of Fame coach George Allen, he is the eight general manager of a team that has been in the NFL since 1932.


He follows in the footsteps of such Hall of Famers like Otto Graham, Vince Lombardi, and his own father. Allen had won the George Young Executive of the Year Award with the Oakland Raiders in 2002 and had been the general manager of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2004 to 2008.


Not only was he blessed to have learned from his dad, but he also got mentored by Hall of Famer Al Davis. After gaging his team during a frustrating 2010 season, Allen had a plan for the Redskins in the 2011 NFL Draft.


He works side by side with head coach Mike Shanahan, yet Allen pulled off a series of draft day moves that would have made Bill Belichick smile. Belichick, the master of wheeling and dealing on draft day, now has some company in that area with Allen.


Trading down from the get go, the Redskins went from seven draft choices to 12. It was as if the team took a time machine back to the 12-round draft days of Beathard and Charley Casserly.


It was a draft day Redskins fans deserved after having suffered for too many years to want to count. The team desperately needed this, even if the possibility of having to cut draft picks in training camp occurs.


It was an infusion of not just competence, but expertise. For all of the verbal lashings Dan Snyder has taken since 1999, this is the time to pat him on the back for getting Bruce Allen and giving the team a chance to finally turn things around.


Now if we could only get Snyder not to confine nor charge fans for tailgating and be more of a fan than owner on this issue.



Here is a brief break down of the Redskins draft, followed by a grade.





Ryan Kerrigan, Outside Linebacker



After watching the Tennessee Titans shock people by reaching on quarterback Jake Locker, there was more available talent available than expected. Yet The Redskins were intent on getting bodies, and it appears they were not high on Blaine Gabbert.


The Jacksonville Jaguars were high on the quarterback, so the teams pulled off a trade that saw the Redskins switch slots in the first round while picking up another draft pick that they would later trade for more selections.


Kerrigan goes were most draft experts had him. He is your classic overachiever who never quits on a play. He is also a pleasure to have in the locker room.


While he should see time at strong side linebacker, I imagine both he and Pro Bowler Brian Orakpo will put a hand in the dirt on obvious passing downs. Like Orakpo, the only pass defense Kerrigan will offer is rushing the passer.


After a season of drama from Albert Haynesworth in 2010, veterans will enjoy this kid. Kerrigan brings his lunch pail every day and goes to work, the type of player a franchise can never get enough of.





Jarvis Jenkins, Defensive End


A very sound pick up that will be even more effective if free agent Kedric Golston returns. Jenkins is very good at stopping the run, an area Washington needs help at.


He isn't a classic nose tackle, but is versatile enough to get rotated there if needed. He is not going to rack up many sacks, but you will rarely see him get fooled or pancaked.


Some question his stamina, because he was given frequent blows in college, so this is why the return of Golston helps. Jenkins will be good for the Skins rotation playing the five-technique or wherever he is needed.





Leonard Hankerson, Wide Receiver



A big kid with huge, soft, reliable hands. He will not burn any defensive backs, but he will use his body to screen them off. A red zone threat who will be looked on as a chain mover.


With Santana Moss possibly gone, and Anthony Armstrong catching 20-yard passes, Hankerson fills a big need while adding quality depth. He also has the possibility in leading the team in touchdown catches as a rookie.





Roy Helu, Running Back



Helu has to be a Shanahan Special. Shanahan is known for taking running backs later in the draft, then turning them into 1,000-yard backs.


The kid is a one-cut back who hits the hole hard, but his real worth could be he saves Washington a roster spot because of his excellent receiving ability. He should challenge for a starting job right away.





Dejon Gomes, Cornerback



His athleticism is probably what had Washington reach on him much higher than he was rated. Many experts had Gomes going undrafted or in the seventh round.


He has good size and hands, but often whiffs on tackles and needs a lot of work in his deep zone recognition. Defensive Backs coach Bob Slowik has a lot of work to put into Gomes.


He will have to earn his pay on special teams, but there is a chance that this is the only area Gomes can contribute at for Washington.





Niles Paul, Wide Receiver



Another physical possession receiver, possibly signalling the end of Roydell Williams and Malcolm Kelly. Paul needs major work on refining his route-running, but Washington has the great Keenan McCardell at Wide Receivers coach to help him.


He has decent speed to go with a good frame, so there is a chance he can help the team. Paul also has experience at returning kicks, so special teams play might determine if he sticks or not.





Evan Royster, Running Back



The first real bizarre move by the Redskins. Washington is woefully thin at linebacker, and there were a ton of linebackers selected right after Royster was drafted. This includes Greg Jones, a tackling machine who has the ability to start at middle linebacker one day at middle linebacker.


With Rocky McIntosh a free agent and London Fletcher 36-years old, Jones made sense here, especially with the fact that the oft-injured and smallish Robert Henson and young Perry Riley are the only inside linebackers on the roster besides Fletcher.


Royster was productive in college, but he is not very strong nor fast and offers nothing but blocking in the passing attack. He isn't explosive, lacks lateral agility, and goes down easy too.


Yet he is a very hard worker and smart. Maybe the Redskins plan on trying him at linebacker, because I think he may have difficulty beating out Helu, Ryan Torain, Keiland Williams, Mike Sellers, Darrel Young, James Davis, Chad Simpson, or even Andre Brown for a roster spot.





Aldrick Robinson, Wide Receiver



A smallish, but speedy, wide receiver, Robinson could end up being the best receiver drafted by Washington in 2011. He has great hands and body control, willing to go over the middle without fear.


He should fill in at the slot right away, but he needs work because he comes from a spread offense in college. McCardell was a Pro Bowl receiver known for crisp routes and great hands, so Robinson will get coached up to produce early in his career.





Brandyn Thompson, Cornerback



A small, but not speedy, cornerback Washington hopes can add depth and help on special teams. Though his hips are a little stiff as well as his difficulties with bigger receivers, Thompson has a tendency to gamble.


Yet he has good hands and knows how to play zone coverage. Thompson is smart and a sound tackler. He will have to make the squad via special teams, but he could be solid in the nickel formation one day.





Maurice Hunt, Offensive Lineman



The Redskins finally address the offensive, perhaps a hint they plan on bringing back free agent Jammal Brown. Hunt is a bulky guy who will try to add depth at the guard position


He is strictly a masher for the running game right now, needing work on his pass blocking and assignment recognition. But he could prove to be very serviceable down the road.





Markus White, Defensive End



He had good leadership qualities, which always upgrades the locker room. He is a hard worker who has some pass rush ability, but is raw and needs a lot of coaching in that area and awareness.


Given his size, which is more suited for a 4-3 defensive end, one wonders if the Skins plan on trying him as a strong side linebacker. Yet he didn't show the ability to stand up in college, so his selection is a mystery that will be unraveled in training camp.


If Washington plans on keeping him at defensive end, White might have trouble beating out Jeremy Jarmon, Adam Carriker, Darrion Scott, along with graybeards Vonnie Holliday and Phillip Daniels, for a roster spot.





Chris Neild, Nose Tackle



NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said Neild not only looks like a nose tackle, but the kid reminded him of New York Giants great Jim Burt. Yet the analysis on the NFL's website says Neild will not be able to play nose tackle at the next level.


One thing all can agree upon is that the kid is an anchor in the trenches, because he is strong and hard to move. He is slow and not very athletic, but Neild specialty is clogging lanes and stopping the run while always working as hard as he can.


Washington's nose tackles are a collection of mediocre journeymen, so hopefully Neild can at least add quality depth. Defensive Line coach Jacob Burney has the responsibility of trying to help get Neild be an effective NFL nose tackle, because a 3-4 defense is never good if the position isn't productive.


Bruce Allen got a lot of bodies in the draft, yet the only linebacker he took is a defensive end who will need a lot of coaching to transition smoothly. He also eschewed the offensive line until the final round.


It was quite apparent the Redskins were not interested in any quarterback available to be had. Talking heads kept mentioning how the Redskins are planning to go with John Beck during the draft. Beck, drafted in the second round of the 2007 draft, is on his third team so far.


Despite the reaches on Royster and Gomes, Allen got good value and possible sleepers at wide receiver. If Jenkins and Neild can contribute to a defense that struggled last year, Fletcher, Orakpo, and Kerrigan will be freed up to make big plays that will help a secondary that is uncertain heading into 2011.


With Carlos Rogers a free agent, the bookend for DeAngelo Hall is unknown. Gomes and Thompson might be able to make up for the loss of reserve cornerback Phillip Buchanon, but neither appear ready to start. If the Redskins do not sign Rogers or another free agent, perhaps the unproven Kevin Barnes gets the nod.


With the lock out back, free agency remains as convoluted as ever. Some assume the 2010 rules will apply, though no one is certain. Since teams cannot contact players, Allen will not be able to flesh out his roster for awhile.


But he did at least add much needed depth at wide receiver and cornerback, got some players who will help on special teams, and got a couple of projects to develop in the trenches after his first two picks.


Kerrigan and Orakpo have the potential to meet at quarterback often, which could create turnovers. Jenkins can occupy blockers, leaving the pair in favorable match ups, as well as help stop the run.


With an even split on drafting both sides of the ball, Allen really fortified the roster through all of his trades. Helu might be the most immediate contributor on offense while Kerrigan and Jenkins appeared destined to start immediately.



Grade : B +  

 

Despite the fact the Redskins worked 12 picks out of the draft, there are still positions to upgrade and fill on the roster. Some of these roster spots can be filled with undrafted players.

Many players go undrafted these days because the NFL only has seven rounds to pick from these days. Yet, even with the days where drafts went 20 rounds deep, the Pro Football Hall of Fame has several inductees who were never drafted.

Here are five players that went undrafted and could still possibly help the Redskins out in 2011.


Willie Smith, Offensive Tackle, East Carolina


A good athlete who started out on defense in college, Smith is 6'5" 310. His team was run-oriented in the beginning of his career, then went pass-crazy in his last season.

Smith can mash, and he did show promise in pass protection. He also plays with a nasty streak, which should further the Redskins interest in him.

He needs work, but Smith is a guy who could play guard or tackle for many years. Even if he's no more than a reserve, Smith offers Washington needed depth.







John Graves, Defensive Lineman, Virginia Tech


Graves is a hard worker and a plus to have in a locker room. He is a run stuffer but, at 6'3" 286, he could use more bulk. Yet he has the frame to hold it.

He isn't much of a pass rusher, and a project. It will not hurt bringing him in camp and see if he can stick on special teams and develop.





Mark Herzlich, Linebacker, Boston College


It was a bit a shocker this kid went undrafted. A cancer survivor, he was one of the top collegiate linebackers before being sidelined to fight cancer.

He is a leader who works as hard as he can every play. He can run well enough to cover tight ends and running backs in the pass as well.

Though his return to football as a senior saw a decline in production, there is no doubt Herzlich is working out every day to get back to where he once was. While he might need some refinement on his tackling technique, the kid has good burst and closes out plays with fire.

The Skins are terribly thin at linebacker, so calling this kid the moment the lock out ends should be a priority. His best position may be inside linebacker, though he has the athleticism and versatility to line up on the outside as well.

The quality depth Herzlich could provide immediately should be reason enough.






Kyle Forbath, Kicker, UCLA


Graham Gano was too inconsistent in 2010, so getting competition in camp is a must. The 2009 Lou Groza Award winner, his leg converted 10 of 13 kicks over 50 yards in his career.

His career field goal percentage was 84.1, something the Redskins could use big time.






Chas Henry, Punter, Florida University


It seems like the Redskins haven't had a great punter since the days of Mike Bragg. Henry, who never had a punt blocked in college, can also kick off.

He won the Ray Guy Award in 2010 and has a propensity of dropping punts inside of the 20-yard line with 68 of 165 career punts having done so.

Henry is certainly a guy Washington should bring into camp for a tryout.




Others To Consider :


Why not bring in a few running backs into camp. Wisconsin's John Clay and Virginia Tech's Darren Evans went undrafted, but both run hard between the tackles and can block.

They might not make the team, but both have the ability to beat sixth-round pick Evan Royster out for a job.



Bringing in a ton of linebackers would be smart. They only need to look a few miles up the road to ask Maryland Terrapins Alex Wujciak or Adrian Moten to try out.

Moten would be the type to help on special teams, and he is smart with good leadership abilities. He might add depth at outside linebacker also.

Wujciak was a tackling machine in college, racking up 381 on his career. While the knock on him is a lack of athleticism, he was always around the ball for the Terps.

He is an inside linebacker who might help the team for two downs before coming out on pass plays. Think Neil Olkewicz.



Yet there are also two other linebackers to consider. Scott Lutris started all four years for the Connecticut Huskies and had 341 tackles despite missing time because of injuries.

He is a type of player who could be a starter as a strong side linebacker because he is smart and is always around the ball. Lutris needs to improve his pass coverage ability, but he does have enough speed to cover a tight end or running back.

It seems his injury history kept him undrafted, so the Redskins should try to bring him into camp.



Many scouts liked the hard-nosed run stopping ability of Central Michigan University's Nick Bellore. While he isn't fast or athletic, Bellore never quits on a play and excels at stopping the run.

Some scouts had him a mid-round prospect, so it wouldn't hurt Washington to bring him into camp.

NFL Draft 2011: The Best Late Round Value Pick in the History of Every NFL Team
Category: FEATURED
Tags: 2011 NFL Draft NFC AFC AFL NFL Draft Carolina Panthers New York Giants Washington Redskins Denver Broncos Atlanta Falcons Dallas Cowboys



As the 2011 NFL Draft approaches the end, teams are beginning to scramble to find serviceable players in what is best described as a wacky draft thus far..

Yet fans should not give up hope on their teams getting a gem, because all teams have found such a player at least once. Players who helped their teams achieve glory by excelling beyond expectations.

The only question left, after the dust of the 2011 draft settles, is if there will be a player one day good enough to supplant anyone on this list.


Arizona Cardinals : Larry Stallings


Drafted in the 18th round of the 1963 NFL Draft, Stallings was the 241st player selected and just 39 players were drafted behind him.

Stallings earned a starting job as a rookie and held onto it the next 14 years before retiring at the conclusion if the 1976 season.

He went to the Pro Bowl once and scored three times.



Atlanta Falcons : Jamal Anderson


Ever since the NFL shortened the draft to seven rounds in 1994, it really is hard to be called a find or bargain. Yet the Falcons are a pretty young team, so the 1994 draft might have given them their best late pick.

Anderson was drafted in a seventh round where just six men did not play in the NFL. He was the 201st player chosen overall.

After barely playing his first two seasons, Anderson became the Falcons workhorse in 1996. He ran off three consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons.

After being lost for the year early in 1999, he ran for 1,024 in 2000. He got hurt early in 2001, he retired.

Yet that three year run was special, especially 1998. It was his only Pro Bowl year, where he churned out 1,846 yards and 14 scores on an NFL-leading 410 carries. He also caught 27 balls for a pair of touchdowns.

His 410 carries was a record until 2006. Anderson would do the "Dirty Bird" dance when he scored. It excited fans and got his teammates going. Anderson put the Falcons on his back and led them to Super Bowl XXXIII, the only championship game in the franchises history.

Though Atlanta lost the game, Anderson ran for 96 yards on just 18 carries. His 5,336 career yards are the fourth most in Falcons history. The 1,846 yards he ran for in 1998 is still a single season team record.




Baltimore Ravens : Chester Taylor


They have been drafting since 1996, so we'll go with Taylor. He was the 207th overall selection on the 2002 draft.

He was rarely used in his first two seasons because Pro Bowler Jamal Lewis got most of the work. He got more work in 2004 and began to show the NFL how versatile he was.

When his contract expired after the 2005 season, the Minnesota Vikings signed him and got 1,216 yards rushing from him in 1996. He scored one of his six touchdowns off a 95-yard run, which is a Vikings record.

Taylor left Minnesota for the Chicago Bears in 2010, where he currently plays.

He has been one of the top reserve running backs throughout most of his career.





Buffalo Bills : Charles Romes


Romes was drafted in the 12th round of the 1977 draft, where he was the 309th player chosen overall. Just eight of the 26 players chosen behind him played in the NFL.

After spending his rookie year as a reserve, Romes earned a starting job in 1978 and held it until 1986. He was an important part of a defense that, in 1980, helped the Bills win the AFC East for the first time in franchise history.

Romes never missed a game, starting every one over the next nine years. He had 28 interceptions over that time, which is the fourth most in Bills history.

Buffalo has hit on several excellent picks late in their draft history, but Charles Romes is their best find.





Carolina Panthers : Kris Mangum


Since the team was created in 1996, Mangum might be their best late round pick. He was selected in the seventh round of the 1997 and was the 228th player chosen overall. Just 12 players were selected behind him.

After playing mostly special teams in his first two seasons, Mangum started to get used more on offense mostly as a reserve tight end.

He stayed with the Panthers until 2006, catching 151 balls. It is the eight most receptions in Carolina history.





Chicago Bears : Danny Fortmann


To find the greatest late round draft pick of one of the NFL's original teams, you only need to look at far as their first draft. Though the great Roland Harper, the 420th player selected in 1977, must be mentioned.

Fortmann was drafted in the ninth round of the 1936 draft, and he was the fourth from last player selected.

The story goes that Bears owner George Halas drafted Fortmann because he liked the sound of his name. Playing offensive guard, defensive tackle, and linebacker,

Fortmann was soon starting as a rookie and excelling. From 1938 until his final year in 1943, he was named First Team All-Pro and was named to three Pro Bowls.

He was also selected on the NFL 1930s All-Decade Team. The Bears won three championships over this time.

Fortmann, who was just 20-years old when drafted, had been going to medical school while playing as a key member of the "Monsters of the Midway." He was the youngest starter in the league at that time, but he called the signals for the lineman on offense.

Chicago has had a league-leading six players go on to be doctors. Three were on the 1943 squad.

After Fortmann retired, he became the team doctor of the Los Angeles Rams was 17 years and was a famous surgeon.

Not only is he a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Fortmann is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. This easily makes him the Bears best late round pick.





Cincinnati Bengals : Bob Trumpy


Trumpy was drafted in the 12th round of the 1968 draft, the 301st player overall, by the expansion Bengals. Cincinnati was a new member of the American Football League at the time, and the AFL would fully merge with the NFL in two seasons.

He impressed his Hall of Fame head coach Paul Brown with his work ethic, so Brown named him the starter as a rookie.

Cincinnati was rewarded with 37 receptions at a 17.3 yards per catch clip, which got him named to the Pro Bowl. Trumpy returned the next year by setting a still standing team record of a whopping 22.6 yards per catch average off another 37 receptions.

He also scored a career high nine times and was named First Team All-Pro for his efforts.

In his first year in the post-merger NFL in 1970, Trumpy went back to the Pro Bowl. He went back for the final time in 1973 before seeing a decline in receiving opportunities.

Though he caught seven touchdowns off of 21 catches in 1976, he retired at the end of the 1977 season. At the time of his retirement, almost ever Bengals receiving record was owned by him.

His last touchdown came off a rare reverse flea flicker, where three other Bengals touched the ball before it reached him.

What makes Bob Trumpy's career special is not just the fact he helped an expansion team grow up fast with his help, as they had only three losing seasons in his ten years, but how he accumulated his excellent statistics. Cincinnati has eight different quarterbacks throwing him the ball during his career, yet he remained a viable threat regardless.

Besides still owning the team record for yards per catch in a season, the 35 touchdowns Trumpy scored are the most ever by any Bengal tight end in team history. He still ranks tenth is total receptions for a career, and his career average of 15.4 yards per catch shows how good he was with the ball after getting it.

Not only is he the first Pro Bowl player in Bengals history, an honor he shares with halfback Paul Robinson and center Bob Johnson, he is the second Bengal ever to be named First Team All-Pro.

He is also the only Bengals tight end to be named First Team All-Pro. Bob Trumpy is the greatest tight end the team has ever had.

Trumpy was drafted in the 12th round of the 1968 draft, the 301st player overall, by the expansion Bengals. Cincinnati was a new member of the American Football League at the time, and the AFL would fully merge with the NFL in two seasons.

He impressed his Hall of Fame head coach Paul Brown with his work ethic, so Brown named him the starter as a rookie.

Cincinnati was rewarded with 37 receptions at a 17.3 yards per catch clip, which got him named to the Pro Bowl. Trumpy returned the next year by setting a still standing team record of a whopping 22.6 yards per catch average off another 37 receptions.

He also scored a career high nine times and was named First Team All-Pro for his efforts.

In his first year in the post-merger NFL in 1970, Trumpy went back to the Pro Bowl. He went back for the final time in 1973 before seeing a decline in receiving opportunities.

Though he caught seven touchdowns off of 21 catches in 1976, he retired at the end of the 1977 season. At the time of his retirement, almost ever Bengals receiving record was owned by him.

His last touchdown came off a rare reverse flea flicker, where three other Bengals touched the ball before it reached him.

What makes Bob Trumpy's career special is not just the fact he helped an expansion team grow up fast with his help, as they had only three losing seasons in his ten years, but how he accumulated his excellent statistics. Cincinnati has eight different quarterbacks throwing him the ball during his career, yet he remained a viable threat regardless.

Besides still owning the team record for yards per catch in a season, the 35 touchdowns Trumpy scored are the most ever by any Bengal tight end in team history. He still ranks tenth is total receptions for a career, and his career average of 15.4 yards per catch shows how good he was with the ball after getting it.

Not only is he the first Pro Bowl player in Bengals history, an honor he shares with halfback Paul Robinson and center Bob Johnson, he is the second Bengal ever to be named First Team All-Pro.

He is also the only Bengals tight end to be named First Team All-Pro. Bob Trumpy is the greatest tight end the team has ever had.





Cleveland Browns : Ben Davis


Davis was drafted in the 17th round of the 1967 draft, the 439th player chosen overall. Just six players were picked after he was.

Used as a return specialist as a rookie, Davis led the NFL with a 12.7 return average off 18 attempts. He also scored once off a 52-yard return. Cleveland also had him return 27 kickoffs at a 26.2 average.

He would return just nine punts and eight kickoffs the next season, then never be asked to again.

The reason was because he earned a starting job at cornerback in his second year. Davis picked off a career best eight balls, returning them for an NFL-leading 162 yards.

He picked off a pass in seven straight games that season, a Browns record. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 1972 after swiping three passes.

Cleveland traded him to the Detroit Lions in 1974, where he lasted three years before retiring. Davis intercepted two ball and returned one for a score over that time.

His 17 interceptions with Cleveland still ranks as the 19th most in team history.

Ben Davis is also known as the brother of famous political activist Angela Davis.






Dallas Cowboys : Larry Cole


Few teams have drafted as well late in the draft, especially during the Tex Schramm and Tom Landry Era.

It was kind of a nice surprise Cole was drafted anyways because he attended three colleges in four years.

Dallas selected him in the 16th round of the 1968 NFL Draft, where he was the 428th player selected. Jimmy Raye, a famous coach, was picked 3 slots behind him.

Cole quickly earned a starting job at defensive end as a rookie. He picked off a pass and returned it for a touchdown, while also returning a fumble for another score. He intercepted another ball the next year, returning it for a score.

He became an important member of the famous "Doomsday Defense."

When Harvey Martin and Ed "Too Tall" Jones joined Dallas, Cole slid in at defensive tackle. When Randy "Manster" White began his Hall of Fame career, Cole became a key reserve. After longtime starter Jethro Pugh retired, Cole took over in his slot.

He played until 1980, a year he took an interception 43 yards for a touchdown. He had four career interceptions, scoring three times.

Cole is just one of eight players to appear in five Super Bowls.

He also was on two winners. Known as a run stuffer, Cole was also credited with 60 sacks in his career. The very versatile Cole did whatever it took to win.

He started at every position on the defensive line in his career, but sought no accolades. He and a few Cowboys started the "Zero Club", where the first rule was not to seek publicity.

He and linebacker D.D. Lewis were the first Cowboys to play in three different decades for the team.

Cole had quite a career as a Cowboy defender, made more remarkable due to the fact he was drafted as an offensive tackle before being switched to defense in training camp.




Denver Broncos : Karl Mecklenburg


Mecklenburg was drafted in the 12th round of the 1983 draft by the Denver Broncos, the 310th player chosen overall. He made the team as a rookie, but started out playing defensive end.

He was able to work his way on the field by impressing the coaches with his determination. After getting a pair of sacks as a rookie, he was used as a pass rush specialist the next year and got seven more.

He also picked off two passes and returned them for 105 yards.

Denver knew they had to find a way to get Mecklenburg on the field, and they also wanted to upgrade their linebacking unit. Joe Collier, the Broncos legendary defensive coordinator, decided to try him at inside linebacker.

Though he split time with incumbent starter Rick Dennison, Mecklenburg was still able to rack up a career high 13 sacks. He was named First Team All-Pro and to the Pro Bowl despite starting just nine games.

He took over as a full-time starter in 1986 and was named First Team All-Pro and to the Pro Bowl again after getting 9.5 sacks. Denver would reach the Super Bowl, but lost.

The Broncos would go back to the Super Bowl in 1987 and 1989, but lost each time. Mecklenburg was a big reason for their success. In 1987, he went to the Pro Bowl after getting the last three interceptions of his career.

He was named First Team All-Pro and to the Pro Bowl in 1989 after scoring the first touchdown of his career, which came off of a fumble recovery. He scored off another fumble the next year, as well as recording a safety.

From 1986 to 1997, Mecklenburg was one of the best linebackers in all of football. He wasn't just a pass rusher, though he did pile up 55.5 sacks over that time, but he was also a tackling machine.

Starting in 1986, Mecklenburg had at least 100 tackles every year until 1986 except for the 97 he had in the strike shortened 1987 season. He had 99 tackles in 1997. After getting 68 in 1998, his lowest total as a full-time starter, he retired.

Nicknamed the "Albino Rhino" by teammates, he has the second most tackles and sacks in Broncos history. His 180 games played are the third most ever as well.

No other Broncos linebacker has been to the Pro Bowl six times, and his three First Team All-Pro nods are tied as the second most in franchise history. He is a member of the Broncos Ring of Honor.

Mecklenburg was a winner, as shown by his helping Denver reach the Super Bowl three times. His was career not expected, so the term "self-made man" certainly applies in his care.

Besides missing seven games in 1988, and one the next year, he took the field every time his team did.





Detroit Lions : Jim David


It is amazing that so few late picks by the Lions have contributed much to the NFL. Two of the very few that have, Mac Speedie and Pete Retzlaff, starred for other teams.

David was selected in the 22nd round of the 1951 draft, where he was the 261st player chosen overall.

He earned a starting job at cornerback as a rookie, bookending Hall of Famer Yale Lary. Hall of Famer Jack Christiansen and Pro Bowler Dan Doll were the safeties.

Teams tried to avoid the three greats by picking on the rookie. That strategy backfired because David picked off seven balls on the top-ranked defense that year.

Detroit went on to win the championship, where he had a critical interception in the Lions 17-7 win over Cleveland.

Nicknamed "The Hatchett", David was a huge hitter who once knocked Hall of Famers Y.A. Tittle and Tom Fears out of consecutive games in 1953.

He had four swipes that year as Detroit won a second consecutive title. David intercepted a ball and returned it 36 yards to set up a crucial score in Detroit's 17-16 win over the Browns.

The stellar secondary was called the "Chris Crew." He made the first of his six consecutive Pro Bowls in 1954 by matching his career best total of seven interceptions. He would match that total again in 1956.

Detroit won the championship in 1957, the last title in franchise history so far. Again, David intercepted a pass in his third consecutive championship game.

When the game was at it's biggest, David always came up larger than the rest in helping his team win. He retired after his final Pro Bowl season in 1959.

Hi 36 career swipes rank fifth in team history. The four men above him, Dick LeBeau, Lem Barney, Lary, and Christiansen, are all inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. David played with all except Barney.

But he got into coaching after retiring and coached Barney. He was the one who presented Barney at his induction into Canton in 1992.





Green Bay Packers : Phil Epps


The Pack have had a few late picks become Pro Bowlers in Timmy Brown and Bill Curry. Unfortunately, it was with other teams that they excelled on.

Epps was drafted in the 12th round of the 1982 draft. The 321st player chosen overall, just six players drafted behind him played in the NFL.

While showing some promise as a receiver the few times he was used in his first two years, Epps made his bones as a punt returner.

He returned a career best 36 punts in 1983, while taking one 90-yards for a score. He returned punts for just two more years because Green Bay began using him as a starter on offense in 1985.

That season saw him grab 44 balls for three scores and run the ball fives times for one touchdown. Despite missing four games the next year, Epps snagged a career best 49 passes.

After catching 34 in the strike shortened 1987 season, he got hurt the next year and played just six games.

His absence allowed a rookie by the name of Sterling Sharpe and begin a career that saw him make the Pro Bowl fives times in his seven seasons.

Epps joined the New York Jets in 1989, where he was rarely used. He then retired.

He is still fifth in Packers history in punt return yards and third in returns. He has the 21st most receptions in team history and the 14th most receiving yards.

Most Packers fans remember the ultra-quick Epps, a player who beat the odds and helped his team win quite a few games




Houston Texans : David Anderson


They have been in the NFL since 2002, but Anderson is their best late pick so far. The 251st pick in 2006, just four players were drafted behind him.

After not playing a lot in his first three years, mostly being used on special teams, Anderson started eight games in 2009 and caught a career best 38 balls. Despite being 5'10" 195, he even saw some time at tight end.

His 2010 season was cut short by injury, he hopes to help them again in 2011.

A resilient player, Houston cut him for four weeks in 2007 before bringing him back.




Indianapolis Colts : Stan White


With a nod to Alvin Haymond, one of the greatest return specialists in NFL history, White wins the spot.

He was drafted in the 17th round of the 1972 draft, when the team was in Baltimore, and was the 438th player chosen overall. Just four men were drafted behind White.

After spending his rookie season as a reserve, White was named a starter in 1973 after veteran Ray May, the 1972 Byron "Whizzer" White Man of the Year Award winner, was traded.

Teaming with Hall of Famer Ted Hendricks and 1970 Defensive Player of the Year Mike Curtis, the trio formed one of the better linebacker units in the NFL.

Over the next few years, as Hendricks and Curtis moved on to other teams, White stayed a consistent force. While he was very good at stopping the run, White might have been the one of best linebackers of his era defending the pass.

He played with the Colts until 1979 and intercepted an impressive total of 25 passes, taking two for touchdowns. He also had a knack for getting fumbles, recovering 12 for the Colts.

He joined the Detroit Lions and played three years there, picking off nine balls.

The United States Football League began play in 1983, so White joined the Chicago Blitz. The 1984 season was his last with the USFL and as a player, when he suited up for the Arizona Wranglers.

Don Shinnick, who played on two Colts championship teams, is the only linebacker in team history with more interceptions. White ranks ninth in franchise history in interceptions and only 11 Colt defenders have recovered more fumbles.

Not only is he one of the finest linebackers in team history, he is a fixture in Baltimore as a Ravens broadcaster. Not bad for a guy who was one of the last players drafted in 1972




Jacksonville Jaguars : Rob Meier


The Jags had four picks in the seventh round of the 2000 draft. Three made the team, but Meier was the best of the group.

Drafted 241st overall, just 13 players were selected behind him.

At 6'5" 293, Jacksonville used him as both a defensive tackle and end. While stopping the run was his specialty, Meier did sack the quarterback 21.5 times in his career.

Though he never started more than nine games until 2008, where he started 15, Meier was a very important member of the rotation and his versatility made him more valuable.

He recorded a safety and recovered three fumbles as well.

After getting hurt and missing the entire 2009 season, Jacksonville released him. Still, he gave the team nine quality seasons.





Kansas City Chiefs : Mike Garrett


After Garrett was drafted in the second round of the 1966 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams, the American Football League and Chiefs probably thought they had little shot at signing the USC legend and 1965 Heisman Trophy winner.

They selected him in the final round of the AFL Draft, where he was the 178th selection. Just four players were drafted behind him.

Garrett shocked everyone by signing with the Chiefs, despite having been born and raised in Los Angeles.

Kansas City put him to work immediately as both a halfback and return specialist, which earned him a Pro Bowl nod and helped the Chiefs win the AFL title.

While returning the only 14 kickoffs of his career at an impressive 23.1 average, Garrett also returned a career high 17 punts and took one 79 yards for a score. He would return just 22 punts in his career, scattered throughout eight seasons.

Running the ball on offense is where the Chiefs needed him most. He led the AFL with a 5.4 yards per carry average as a rookie, as well as scoring on a 77-yard run that was the longest in the AFL that year.

The 1967 was his best with the Chiefs. He was named First Team All-Pro and named to the Pro Bowl after gaining a career best 1,087 yards on the ground. He also caught a career best 49 balls, while scoring a career high 10 times.

Garrett continued to be the Chiefs main running back, though Robert Holmes and Warren McVea also helped him carry the load.

He led the team with 43 receptions in 1969 as Kansas City reached Super Bowl IV. His 5-yard run helped the Chiefs extend their lead to 16-0 against the Minnesota Vikings.

Kansas City ended up winning 23-7, becoming just the second AFL team to beat an NFL team in a Super Bowl. It was also the last Super Bowl where the two leagues met, because they merged after the game.

Three games in 1970, Garrett was traded to the San Diego Chargers. He stayed with the team until 1973 before retiring, but he did gain 1,031 yards in the 1972 season for them.

Garrett still ranks seventh in Chiefs history in rushing yards and touchdowns. Just eight Kansas City running backs have more career receptions than him.

It certainly was lucky that Hank Stram decided to use his final draft choice in 1966 on Garrett.





Miami Dolphins : Lloyd Mumphord


With a nod to J.B. Brown and Anthony Carter, who became a star with the Vikings, Miami's best late pick was Mumphord.

Drafted in the 16th round of the 1969 NFL/AFL Draft, the 401st player selected, just six men drafted behind him saw time in the NFL.

Mumphord impressed Miami enough to start in seven of the 11 games he played as a rookie. He picked off a career best five balls. He started every game the next year, swiping five more passes and returning one for a touchdown.

He lost his starting job in 1971, but still was valuable as an extra defensive back.

On the 1972 Super Bowl champion Dolphins, the only perfect team in modern NFL history, he was second on the team with four interceptions and returned one for a score.

He continued his role in 1973 to help the Dolphins win Super Bowl VIII, their second straight title.

He was traded to the Baltimore Colts before the 1975 season, where he stayed for four years and picked off seven balls before retiring.

Mumphord had a fine career, winning two Super Bowl ring in three tries.





Minnesota Vikings : Milt Sunde


Sunde was a hometown product drafted in the 20th round of the 1964 draft. He was the 241st player selected overall and just two men drafted after him played in the league.

After a rookie year of being a reserve, he earned a starting job at left guard in 1965. Sunde then earned his only Pro Bowl nod the next season, joined by left tackle Grady Alderman and center Mick Tingelhoff.

He got hurt the next year, appearing in 10 games. The Vikings moved him to right guard in 1968, where he split starts with Larry Bowie. He took over the starting job the next year as the Vikings became the last NFL champions before they merged with the American Football League.

He held the starting job until 1974 when new acquired Andy Maurer took over. The Vikings went to the Super Bowl in 1973 and 1974, but lost both times. Sunde retired at the end of the 1974 season.

Minnesota has had several great guards in the franchises history, but Milt Sunde was the first to ever go to the Pro Bowl. A perfect scenario for the local kid who made good against all odds. He is a member of the Vikings 25th Anniversary Team.






New England Patriots : Jim Nance


The Patriots have had some last round picks help them, like Marty Moore, Patrick Pass, and David Givens.

Nance was a ninteenth-round pick of the Patriots in 1965. Just two players drafted after him played. He spent his rookie year mostly blocking, carrying the ball 111 times and scoring five times.

He broke loose the next year, leading the AFL with 299 carries for 1,458 yards, 11 rushing touchdowns, 1,561 total yards, and an average of 104.1 yards rushing per game.

All were career highs, as was his 4.9 yards per carry average and his 65-yard run that season.

He was named the AFL Most Valuable Player, and went to the Pro Bowl.

Nance led the AFL again the following year with 269 carries for 1,216 yards. His 86.7 yards rushing per game also led the league, and he scored eight touchdowns. One came off a reception, the only time he ever scored via the air. He was named to his final Pro Bowl that year.

Nance is the only AFL player to have run for over 1,400 yards, and to have consecutive seasons of rushing for over a thousand yards.

Nance led the AFL with 193 carries the next season, and scored six times. He was named the AFL Comeback Player Of The Year that season.

He was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles after that year, but opted to retire instead. Nance came back to the NFL in 1973, joining the New York Jets. He carried the ball 18 times for 78 yards over a span on seven games.

In 1974, the World Football League was starting up. Nance decided to join the Houston Texans. The Texans would later become the Shreveport Steamers towards the end of their first season.

Nance ran for 1,240 yards that year in 20 games, then ran for 767 yards the following season in 12 games. The WFL folded before the season could be completed.

His 2,007 yards on 490 carries is the most in WFL history.

His 45 touchdowns with the Patriots is still the most in franchise history.

He is a member of the Patriots Hall Of Fame, the Patriots 35th Anniversary Team, and the Patriots All-Time 1960's Team.

Jim Nance is considered by many to be the best running back in Patriots history







New Orleans Saints : Danny Abramowicz


The Saints have done very well late in the draft over the years. Jim Wilks and Marques Colston head a pretty decent list.

Abramowicz was the first of three 17th-round picks in their very first draft of 1967. Only two players drafted after him played in the league.

He became an instant star in the NFL despite the fact New Orleans struggled as a team. After 104 receptions and 13 scores in his first two years, Abramowicz had his best season in 1969.

Leading the NFL with a career high 73 receptions, he also gained a career high 1,015 yards.

Abramowicz was named First Team All-Pro, the first Saint to ever achieve that honor. After 55 catches in 1970, his production started to go down.

He was traded to the San Francisco 49ers two games into the 1973 season. He retired after the 1974 season.

He left the game with several Saints records and an NFL record of catching at least one pass in 105 consecutive games.

Though most of his records are broken, he still ranks fourth in Saints history in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns caught.

There are few late picks in NFL history better than Danny Abramowicz.







New York Jets : Dave Herman


Herman was the Jets 27th-round pick in the 1963 AFL Draft. He was the 211th player chosen overall and just four men drafted after him played pro football.

After appearing in just five games as a rookie, Herman was named the starting right guard. He held that duty for the rest of his career.

Herman made his first Pro Bowl in 1968 on an excellent offensive line that had Winston Hill and Bob Talamini. The Jets reached Super Bowl III, where they shocked the world of professional football by defeating the heavily favored Baltimore Colts.

He made his final Pro Bowl in 1969, but continued to be an important member of the team until he retired after the 1973 season. He missed just three games his entire career after his rookie year.

Dave Herman is one of just three Jets guards to have even been named to the Pro Bowl, but he is probably their best late round draft pick ever.






New York Giants : Homer Jones


Jones was drafted in the 20th round of the 1963 draft by the New York Giants. The 378th player chosen, he was the third from last pick in the entire draft.

He was also a fifth round draft choice of the Houston Oilers of the American Football League, the 33rd player picked in the draft. Jones decided to join the Oilers, which featured Hall of Fame quarterbacks George Blanda, and head coach "Slinging" Sammy Baugh.

Also joining the Oilers in camp was undrafted rookie Willie Brown, a Hall of Fame cornerback.

Jones hurt his knee in training camp then failed his physical and was cut, along with Brown. He was then intent on proving to the Oilers they had made the wrong decision.

The Giants quickly called and gave him a plane ticket to New York City. Upon his arrival, the Giants had Jones undergo surgery on his knee. He was given the jersey No. 45, which was previously worn by Hall of Fame safety Emlen Tunnell, upon Tunnell's request.

He nicknamed Homer "Seabiscuit", after the famous racehorse, because Jones was so fast. Tunnell, now a defensive backs coach for the Giants, took the young receiver under his wing to teach him the tricks of the trade.

He spent most of his rookie year recuperating while learning the game, but did get on the field for three games that year. It was also the last year that Hall of Fame Giants like Y.A. Tittle, Andy Robustelli, and Frank Gifford would play in the NFL.

He also spent time watching players like Gifford throwing the ball up into the stands to fans after scoring a touchdown, and wanted to do the same thing when he reached the end zone.

After the season, NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle put in a rule that players would be fined $500 for doing so. Jones was making $10,000 a year then, so he knew that throwing the ball into the crowd was no longer an option.

He then thought of an alternative that would change the course of football history.

During the 1965 season, Jones was told ten minutes before a game that he would be starting. He responded by setting a Giants record, when he took a pass 89-yards for a touchdown on the first play of the game. It was the longest scoring play in the NFL that year.

Upon arriving in the end zone, he spiked the ball into the ground. It was the first time in NFL history this would happen, and there has been thousands of players to pull off the same feat since.

Though he feels celebrations have been taken way too far these days, Jones pioneered a part of the game many enjoy today.

Homer became a bigger part of the offense in his second year, catching 26 passes for 709 yards and 6 scores. He averaged a whopping 27.3 yards per catch, his career best.

In the 1966 season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Jones had already scored on a 75 yard touchdown pass when he came up against Brady Keys of the Steelers.

The Giants had the ball on their own two-yard line, and Keys told Jones "What am I doing here covering you? I could be home eating chicken for dinner with my family."

Giants quarterback Earl Morrall what Homer thought. Jones said, "He's talking, so he's ready."

Morrall took the snap, reared back, and heaved the ball about 60 yards in the air. Jones snagged it and took it in for a 98-yard score. It is the longest play in the history in the franchise history of the Giants.

Homer then turned and told Keys, who was about fifteen yards behind him, "If you keep playing like that, you'll soon be eating chicken with your family every Sunday."

Jones finished the season with 48 receptions for 1,044 yards and eight touchdowns. He was a bona-fide star in New York, and was often swarmed by fans when out and about in public.

It was hard for Homer and his wife to eat dinner or watch a movie without him being bombarded with autograph requests.

The 1967 season saw him make his first Pro Bowl. He grabbed a career best 49 balls for 1,209 yards, an incredible average of 24.7 yards per catch. Jones also ran a ball 46 yards for a score. He led the NFL with 13 pass receiving touchdowns and 14 total touchdowns.

A local radio station polled fans on who the Giants MVP was, and Jones won. The station gave him a brand new convertible Cadillac for his achievement.

The Giants traded him to the Cleveland Browns for two players in 1970, including future Pro Bowl running back Ron Johnson. He had no intention of playing ever again, but was coaxed into joining the Browns by his father.

Homer had an aunt who lived in Cleveland and his father wanted him to take care of her, along with his cousin Joe "Turkey" Jones.

Upon joining the Browns, he was told that he would be the teams third receiver and return kickoffs. In the season opener, Cleveland played in the first Monday Night Football telecast on ABC. Jones led the Browns to a win by returning a kickoff 94 yards for a score, the first of its kind on MNF.

He spent the rest of the year returning 29 kicks for 739 yards, a 25.5 yards per return average. He didn't get much time on the field, but he did take one of his ten receptions 43 yards for the last touchdown of his career. He then retired after that year.

He holds the NFL record of averaging 22.3 yards per reception throughout his career. This is based on having a minimum of 200 receptions. Jones also holds the Giants franchise record for having 66.4 receiving yards per game over a career.

His 4,845 receiving yards are the fifth most, and his 35 receiving touchdowns is still tied for the fifth most in Giants history. The 218 receptions he had still ranks 18th best in team history as well.




Oakland Raiders : Rod Martin


Martin was drafted in the 12th round of the 1977 draft by Oakland, the 317th overall selection. Just five men drafted behind him played in the NFL.

One was kicker Rolf Benirschke, the second to last player picked that year. Oakland drafted him then traded him to the San Diego Chargers, where he excelled.

Martin played just one game as a rookie, but started to earn a lot of playing time in his second year by starting half of the season. Oakland was impressed with his intelligence and solid all-around play.

After starting all of 1979, he did not start in six games in 1980. This inspired him to get better just as the Raiders reached the playoffs as a WildCard team.

Bookending Hall of Fame linebacker Ted Hendricks, the duo helped the team reach Super Bowl XV. Facing the Philadelphia Eagles, Martin became a nightmare foe Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski.

He made three key interceptions to help lead Oakland to a 27-10 win. No other player in Super Bowl history has had three picks in a Super Bowl, and his three career swipes is tied with two others as the most in Super Bowl history.

He was somehow not named MVP of the game, despite such excellence.

The 1983 season was one of the best in his career. He led the NFL with two touchdowns off of interceptions, had a career high four picks, and chipped in six sacks.

He was named to his first Pro Bowl. Oakland reached the playoffs, where Martin had a sack in their AFC Championship win. In Super Bowl XVIII, he came up big again for his team.

Besides recording another sack, he recovered a fumble and made several key tackles. One came on a fourth-down play, where he stopped Hall of Fame running back John Riggins short of a conversion in the Raiders victory.

He was honored as First Team All-Pro in 1984, as well as being named to his last Pro Bowl. Martin had a career high 11 sacks, recorded a safety, and scored off a 77-yard fumble recovery.

Martin stayed in the starting lineup until after the 1988 season, where he decided to retire. He was credited with 33.5 sacks, but this stat was not recorded until 1982.

Despite being basically robbed of four years of sacks, he still ranks seventh in Raiders history and it is the most ever by an Oakland linebacker. His 14 interceptions is the second most ever by a Raiders linebacker.

One of Rod Martin's special abilities was reaching the end zone once he got his hands on the ball, which he did six times. Only Terry McDaniel's seven exceeds his total for a team record.

While the Raiders have had a few late round picks help them, none have been better than Martin.




Philadelphia Eagles : Tom Sullivan


The Eagles have had little luck finding players late in the draft until the last decade. Of the few they did hit on, Hall of Famer Lou Creekmur and Otis Taylor, they cut and watched those players become stars elsewhere.

Drafted in the 15th round of the 1972 draft, Sullivan was the 378th player selected overall. He didn't play a lot as a rookie and mostly blocked when he did.

The Eagles promoted him to the starting lineup in his sophomore year, so Sullivan responded by churning out a career best 968 yards, at a 4.5 yards per carry average, and a career best 50 receptions.

He followed that up in 1974 by leading the NFL with 11 rushing touchdowns. He began to share carries with fullback Art Malone and backup James McAlister in 1974, but still led the team with 632 yards on the ground.

Mike Hogan was the primary ball carrier the next year, as Sullivan received less touches. The Eagles hit pay dirt in the 1977 draft by selecting Wilbert Montgomery in the sixth round.

Though Sullivan was second on the team in rushing yards, he was traded to the Cleveland Browns at the end of the year. He suited up for four games and touched the ball six times for Cleveland in 1978, so he decided to retire.

Though he never made the Pro Bowl, he retired the third leading rusher in Eagles history. He still ranks tenth in that category, as well as 14th in rushing touchdowns.

While he played on some struggling squads, Tom Sullivan had a few excellent seasons.




Pittsburgh Steelers : Rocky Bleier


With a nod to Joe Kuharich, who became a Pro Bowl player and head coach, Carlton Haselrig, and Warren Lahr, who became a star with the Browns.

Bleier was drafted in the 16th round of the 1968 draft, where he was the 417th player chosen overall. He touched the ball nine times on offense as a rookie, but he contributed well on special teams.

The Vietnam War was going on, so Bleier decided to serve his country. He was shot in the left leg, then nearly lost his right foot to an exploding grenade.

The thought was his football career was over. Then Steelers Hall of Fame owner Art Rooney sent him a postcard telling him the Steelers needed him.

This inspired Bleier to rehab hard and he returned to the gridiron one year after his injuries. Though he rejoined Pittsburgh in 1971, he rarely played on offense over the next three years.

He had pain when walking and was under his playing weight. Pittsburgh waived him twice, but Bleier kept working hard. He increased his weight and found it less painful to run.

Earning a starting job at halfback in 1974, his primary duty was to block for Hall of Fame fullback Franco Harris. But he also found himself handling the ball more each season.

His finest season came in 1976. He had career high totals of 220 carries for 1,036 and five scores. With the 1,128 yards Harris gained, it was the first and only time in Steelers history two running backs ran for at least 1,000-yards in one season.

Bleier's touches started to decrease after that, but he was still a very important member on both the field and locker room. Pittsburgh dominated much of the 1970's, winning four Super Bowls.

One of his biggest moments came in Super Bowl XIII when Bleier caught a seven-yard touchdown pass late in the second quarter, giving Pittsburgh a 21-14 lead over the Dallas Cowboys. The Steelers never relinquished the lead, winning 35-31.

In the 1974 AFC Championship win against the Oakland Raiders, most fans recall Harris gaining 111 yards on 28 carries while scoring twice. Yet Bleier was the quiet hero of the game by pounding out 98 rushing yards, leading the team with 123 all-purpose yards, and recovering a key fumble.

He retired after the 1980 season and still ranks eighth in team history with 3,865 rushing yards and ninth with 23 touchdowns on the ground.

Not only was he a steal for Pittsburgh in the draft, but his inspirational story is an example as to why football is a great sport.






San Diego Chargers : Chuck Allen


Allen was drafted in the 28th round of the 1961 AFL Draft by the Chargers. The Los Angeles Rams tabbed him in the 17th round of the NFL Draft, but he wisely chose San Diego because the Rams had Hall of Famer Les Richter at middle linebacker.

San Diego tried to bring the rookie along slowly, but Allen won the starting job for the final nine games in what was one of his best seasons. He had career best marks of five interceptions and 111 return yards. One pick was taken 59 yards for a touchdown.

He made his first Pro Bowl in the Chargers 1963 title year. Allen picked off five balls and returned a fumble 42 yards for the last touchdown of his career. He was moved to outside linebacker the next year, but was still named a Pro Bowler.

The Chargers moved Allen back to middle linebacker in 1965, where he would stay the rest of his career. While he was tough against the run, the cerebral Allen was also solid against the pass.

He missed 13 games over his last four seasons in San Diego, because of injury, after not missing a game the previous four years. San Diego traded him to the Pittsburgh Steelers before the 1970 season,

After two solid seasons in Pittsburgh, where he snagged seven interceptions, Allen joined the Philadelphia Eagles in 1972. Though he started eight games, he spent most of his time mentoring young linebackers like Steve Zabel and John Bunting.

Allen retired after the 1972 season and later became the Vice President of Football Operations for the Seattle Seahawks. His 20 interceptions are the most ever by a Chargers middle linebacker. Allen is one of the 50 Greatest Chargers and a member of the Chargers Hall of Fame.

The two Pro Bowls he went to is the most ever by a Chargers middle linebacker and he might be the best to have ever played the position for the team.





San Francisco 49ers : Jesse Sapolu


Sapolu was drafted in the 11th round of the 1983 draft, where he was the 289th player chosen overall.

After spending his rookie year as a reserve, he was hurt in the first game of the 1984 season and lost for the year.

He earned his way into the starting lineup at left guard in 1985, becoming one of the Niners best run blockers. They moved him to center in 1989, where he stayed the next five years.

After making his first Pro Bowl in 1993, San Francisco moved him back to left guard in 1994. Not missing a beat, he made the Pro Bowl yet again.

He was moved back to center in 1996, where he stayed until he retired after the 1997 season.

Sapolu was a very important member of four 49er teams to win Super Bowls. Excluding his second season, Sapolu missed just 10 games in his career.

A fan favorite, he is surely one of the best late round picks in franchise history.





Seattle Seahawks : Dwayne Harper


Seattle has hit on a few guys late in the draft, but most went on to help other teams.

Harper was drafted in the 11th round of the 1988 draft. He was the 299th player chosen and just nine guys drafted behind him played in the NFL.

After a rookie year of being a reserve, where he recorded the only sack of his career, Harper became a starter in his second season. He became a solid player equally tough against the run or pass.

Though the four interceptions he had in 1991 was a career high, he also forced an excellent 10 fumbles in the 1993 season. He then signed with the San Diego Chargers as a free agent in 1994.

He stayed with the Chargers for five seasons, though two were cut short by injuries. Harper started for them when San Diego reached Super Bowl XXIX, the only Super Bowl appearance in franchise history.

After playing just one game in 1998, because of injury, He signed with the Detroit Lions in 1999. He suited up for three games, then got hurt. He then retired.

Of his 24 career interceptions, 13 came with Seattle. That is good for the 13th most in team history and makes Dwayne Harper the Seahawks best late round pick.





Saint Louis Rams : Dante Magnani


The Rams have done well late in drafts. They got Hall of Fame defensive ends Deacon Jones and Andy Robustelli well into their draft classes, whole snagging guys like Fred Stokes and Drew Hill near the end.

Magnani was drafted in the 19th round of the 1940 draft by the Cleveland Rams, the 175th player chosen overall. Just five players drafted after him played in the NFL.

He wasn't used much as a rookie, but he did return a kickoff 93-yards for a score.

His 1942 season was his lone Pro Bowl year, where he led the team in rushing and receiving.

The Chicago Bears traded for him in 1943. He was second on the team in rushing, but he did lead the NFL with a 79-yard run for a score and a 96-yard kickoff return for a score.

The Bears won the NFL Championship that year, helped by Magnani's four receptions for 122 yards and two scores.

World War II was going on during this time, so Magnani enlisted to serve his country.

He returned to the NFL in 1946 to be third in rushing and receiving for the Bears. They reached the title game again. Magnani intercepted a pass in the first quarter and returned it 19-yards for a touchdown.

It put the Bears up 14-7, as they went on to defeat the New York Giants 24-14. He left Chicago to rejoin the Rams, now in Los Angeles, in 1947.

He played there two seasons before rejoining the Bears in 1949. After playing in the 1950 season for the Detroit Lions, he retired.

Not many late round picks have helped the Rams. Stokes and Hill mostly excelled elsewhere, but did contribute to the Rams.

No player drafted late has given the Rams more than Dante Magnani. Especially for young organization that had just started three years earlier and he was amongst the first handful to go to the Pro Bowl.





Tampa Bay Buccaneers : Dave Logan


The Bucs have always done well late in the draft. In their initial draft of 1975, they picked Carl Roaches near the end. Though he never played for them, he became a Pro Bowler for the Houston Oilers.

Logan was drafted in the 12th round by Tampa Bay in 1979, the 307th player selected, and played in five games as a reserve.

He earned the starting job in the third game of the next year, and would hold onto it the rest of his Buccaneers career.

He also scored a touchdown on a career long 60-yard fumble recovery in 1980, and scored again off of a 21-yard return the following season.

In the strike-shortened season of 1982, the NFL began recording sacks as an official statistic, and he was credited with 4.8 sacks in the nine games he played.

His best year may have been in 1983, where he had 9.5 sacks and scored off of a 54-yard fumble recovery. He was named First Team All-Conference by Pro Football Weekly, and would attain that honor again the next year after getting 5.5 sacks and scoring the last touchdown of his career off of a 27-yard interception.

Though he was not named to the Pro Bowl, he was named First Team All-NFL by the Sporting News that year.

After two more years, he left the team and joined the Green Bay Packers in 1987. He played in just two games, got hurt, then retired.

Dave Logan was an incredible physical specimen who relied on intelligence and technique to excel. He weighed just 250 lbs. while playing the most demanding position in football.

He played, and started in, every game in the last six of his eight years with the team. Besides his rookie year, he never missed a game with the Bucs.

He had 39 sacks in his career, which would be the fourth most in franchise history, but the NFL only has him officially with 28.3. That ranks as fifth best, yet it needs to be noted the NFL only recognizes 23 of the 78.5 career sacks Hall of Famer Lee Roy Selmon had with the team.

Logan also had 624 tackles in his career, showing he was more than a pass rusher.

His three fumble recovery touchdowns are the most ever by a Buc defensive lineman, and second in team history to the four defensive back Ronde Barber has. He is tied with 30 other players as the fourth most in NFL history in that category.

He is easily the greatest nose tackle in Buccaneers history.






Tennessee Titans : Billy "White Shoes" Johnson


This organization has had quite a few great late round picks. Grabbing Hall of Famer Ken Houston, considered the greatest strong safety in NFL history, in the ninth round of the 1967 draft was a steal in itself.

Johnson was a 15th round draft pick by the Houston Oilers in 1974. He was the 365th player picked overall despite the initial objections of GM/Head Coach Sid Gillman who didn't want a "midget" on his team.

He made the team as a return man and stood out immediately. He was given the moniker "White Shoes" in high school when he wore the white cleats, as opposed to most wearing black cleats.

In his first four seasons, he returned five punts for touchdowns, as well as two kickoffs for scores. In 1975 he tied an NFL record with four kick returns for touchdowns in a season.

He would celebrate his touchdowns with the "Funky Chicken" dance. This dance, coupled by his shoes, made him a fan favorite across the league. He was used as a third-down slot receiver in multiple receiver sets mostly.

He caught 116 balls with seven touchdowns his first three years. He was mostly used as a possession type due to the teams offensive scheme, but he also ran the ball for a touchdown.

Johnson caught 20 balls his fourth year for three touchdowns at a 20-yards per catch average. He also took a reverse 61 yards for a touchdown, the last rushing touchdown of his career.

In 1978, he blew out his knee during the fifth game. He only managed two games the following season due to its lingering effects. In 1980, he returned to be used only as a third wide receiver. He caught 31 balls for two touchdowns.

Disenchanted with his role, "White Shoes" bolted for the Canadian Football League to play for the Montreal Allouetttes. That year in Montreal, Billy caught 65 passes for 1,060 yards and five touchdowns.

Johnson returned to the NFL in 1982 by signing with the Atlanta Falcons. He played nine games that year and only caught two passes. He was able to return 24 punts at an impressive clip of 11.4 yards per return.

"White Shoes" was used as the Falcons full time punt returner in 1983. He also started at wide receiver. He caught a team and career high 64 passes while scoring five touchdowns total. One touchdown was via a punt return.

He won the Pro Bowl MVP that year when he took a punt 90-yards for a touchdown, as well as accumulating 159 total return yards. Both are still Pro Bowl records.

Johnson left the Falcons, but tried to play for the Washington Redskins in 1988. He played only one game and fielded four punts, returning three of them for 26 yards. He then retired.

Billy "White Shoes" Johnson was named to both the NFL's 1980's All-Decade Team, and to the 75th Anniversary All-Time Team.

He set seven team records in Houston and four in Atlanta and held the NFL record for punt return yardage when he retired. He is still ranked third all-time in NFL history for punt return yardage and still holds the Oilers / Titans franchise record for punt return yardage.

Johnson may be known to many fans as an innovators of the touchdown dance. He is credited as being one of the first, but certainly his can stake claim to having been the best ever.

Celebrations with more choreography may have been employed since then, but it is much like the students trying to emulate the master. He was not just a crowd pleaser with his dance.

He was a premier return specialist who took eight kicks to the end zone in his career. He also worked hard to become a threat at wide receiver and he is on the All-Time NFL Team as the only return specialist.




Washington Redskins : Chris Hanburger


The Redskins have a good history on late round picks. Hall of Famer Wayne Milner was part of the Redskins first draft class and just four men selected after him played in the NFL.

Clint Didier, Jimmie Johnson, and others also helped the team. Yet there is no greater Redskins late round pick than "The Hangman."

Hanburger was an 18th-round draft choice of the Redskins in 1965. He was the 245th player chosen that year. He was a 25-year old rookie, due to his service in the Army before going to the University of North Carolina.

Hanburger played right away and was in the Pro Bowl by his second year in the league. He would then begin a string of Pro Bowl appearances until 1969. He then resumed that string in 1972 until 1976.

Sacks and tackles were not recorded in those days, but Hanburger was a play maker. He is considered one of the best of his era.

He was known for his blitzing ability and pass coverage. Ever the complete player, he returned three fumbles for touchdowns in his career to go with two on interceptions.

In 1972, Hanburger captained the "Over The Hill Gang's" defense to a Super Bowl appearance and was named NFC Defensive Player Of The Year. Hanburger was known not only for good speed, but his exceptional quickness.

He had the innate ability to diagnose a play before the ball was hiked. He often would cover the other teams tight end and peel off to knock passes down meant for wide receivers.

Hanburger's nine Pro Bowl appearances are still the most by any player in the entire history of the Washington Redskins. Hanburger was inducted in to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011.

NFL 2011 Mock Draft: Two Rounds to Pick Apart
Category: FEATURED
Tags: 2011 Draft NFL Draft NFL NFC AFC Washington Redskins Green Bay Packers Dallas Cowboys Pittsburgh Steelers Carolina Panthers NCAA College



Unlike the past few years, I will be unable to do a full mock due to other obligations. I did quite well in those, so I suspect I will do horribly in this abbreviated mock.

We all know trades are part of drafts, but I will not theorize there and pretend the teams will draft in order.

So let's get to it and start ripping apart my decisions.




1. Carolina Panthers : Cameron Newton, Quarterback


A gamble, but it could pan out with Newton putting the franchise on his back for the next decade.







2. Denver Broncos : Marcel Dareus, Defensive Tackle


It seems it has been forever since the Broncos were stout in the middle of their defense. Dareus changes that here.





3. Buffalo Bills : Nick Fairley, Defensive Tackle


He should fill the void the recently departed Marcus Stroud left.




4. Cincinnati Bengals : Blaine Gabbert, Quarterback


Carson Palmer might get dealt this draft, but the Bengals cannot allow themselves to be held hostage by the malcontent. Even if he stays, his weak arm could find itself benched by 2012.




5. Arizona Cardinals : Von Miller, Linebacker



The Big Red gets their speed rusher off the edge.




6. Cleveland Brown : A.J. Green, Wide Receiver


Cleveland gets both a big and a big play receiver with one pick.





7. San Francisco 49ers : Patrick Peterson, Cornerback


Nate Clements gets to mentor this kid while forming a very nice CB tandem in 2011.





8. Tennessee Titans : Da'Quan Bowers, Defensive End


He drops because of knee concerns, but this kid could be a Pro Bowler for many years if he stays healthy.





9. Dallas Cowboys : Tyron Smith, Offensive Tackle


Tony Romo gets his left tackle to protect the blindside.





10. Washington Redskins : Robert Quinn, Linebacker


Washington needs bodies on defense. Quinn can bookend Brian Orakpo as a demonic pass rushing force off the edge for years.




11. Houston Texans : Prince Amukamara,Cornerback


Houston needs defensive backs like a fish needs water. Amukamara starts right away.




12. Minnesota Vikings : J.J. Watt, Defensive End



The huge Watt makes the loss of Ray Edwards OK. He also keeps Minnesota's fine run defense stout.





13. Detroit Lions : Aldon Smith, Defensive End


He has good speed and is a force against the pass. Line him next to 2010 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Ndamukong Suh and enjoy.




14. Saint Louis Rams : Julio Jones, Wide Receiver


Jones has a ton of ability if he can stay healthy. Getting Sam Bradford more guys to play catch with is a big need.





15. Miami Dolphins : Mark Ingram, Running Back


It is very possible the Fins grab guard Pouncey here. With their running back situation a mess right now, Ingram has a chance to be the guy.





17. Jacksonville Jaguars : Ryan Kerrigan, Defensive End


Kerrigan is good to have in the locker room. An overachiever, much like their head coach was when he played.





17. New England Patriots : Cameron Jordan, Defensive End


Jordan has the skill set you want from a DE in the 3-4. An immediate upgrade over everyone on that roster at this position, with the possible exception of Ty Warren, and should start pretty quickly.





18. San Diego Chargers : Justin Houston, Linebacker


General manager A.J. Smith likes linebackers who can get to the quarterback, something they haven't had in a few years. Larry English has been a disappointment, so now Houston gets a shot to fill the void.




19. New York Giants : Anthony Castonzo, Offensive Tackle



The Giants offensive line needs bodies right now. Castonzo is ready to play right away, and do not be shocked if he beats out one of the veterans in camp.




20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers : Jimmy Smith, Cornerback


Ronde Barber has a year or two left in him. Until then, he can mentor a guy who often gets compared to Nnamdi Asomugha. Smith has that ability to lock down any receiver, and he has excellent size to be physical.





21. Kansas City Chiefs : Corey Liuget, Defensive Tackle



The Chiefs get their nose tackle so the defense can keep moving forward.





22. Indianapolis Colts : Gabe Carimi, Offensive Tackle


Carimi is experienced and ready to go. Something the Colts need for their aging quarterback who is getting set to get an enormous contract.






23. Philadelphia Eagles : Mike Pouncey, Guard


The Eagles need blockers and Pouncey could man a guard spot for the next decade for them






24. New Orleans Saints : Akeem Ayers, Linebackers



Stephen Dunn/Getty Images Defensive coordinator Greg Williams loves pressure off the edge, something the current Saints OLB's don't give much of. Ayers fills that need and probably will start immediately.





25. Seattle Seahawks : Ryan Mallett, Quarterback


Pete Carroll gets a huge QB with a rocket arm. He might have Matt Hasselbeck back for one year as the kid learns, but Mallett has the ability to be a franchise player.





26. Baltimore Ravens : Brandon Harris, Cornerback



He is from the U, like Ed Reed and Ray Lewis are. Harris has the ability to start right away, which the Ravens depleted secondary needs.





27. Atlanta Falcons : Kyle Rudolph, Tight End


Gonzo is as good as gonezo. This is his last year, as it was apparent the 2010 the Hall of Famer has little left. Rudolph is excellent in the passing attack and with get to learn under an all-time great for a season.





28. Patriots : Danny Watkins : Guard


With Logan Mankins as good as gone, replacements are needed. Don't be shocked if Pouncey is snagged with their first pick, because Bill Belichick is a fan of Florida University players.





29. Chicago Bears : Stephen Paea, Defensive Tackle


He fills a big hole in the middle of the Bears defense, made a little bigger by the recent departure of Tommy Harris. Lovie Smith will enjoy coaching this hard-working gym rat up.





30. New York Jets : Orlando Franklin, Offensive Tackle



The Jets will not pick again for a long time, so getting their right tackle needs to be done now. Franklin has every tool needed to excel and he plays with a real mean streak. Rex Ryan will love this guy.






31. Pittsburgh Steelers : Phil Taylor, Nose Tackle


Casey Hampton is in his twilight years, so an infusion of youth is needed.






32. Green Bay Packers : Aaron Williams, Cornerback


He gets to learn from Charles Woodson this season, but Woodson is 34-years-old and nearing his end.





33. Patriots : Ryan Williams, Running Back


New England could use another back and this kid is a hard worker who would be perfect in their rotation.





33. Bills : Jake Locker



Chan Gailey gets his quarterback to develop, but Locker might need to sit and learn a season or two.





34. Bengals : Rahim Moore, Safety


Best safety in the draft and fills a big Bengals need.





36. Broncos : Muhammed Wilkerson, Defensive Tackle


They got Dareus, now they can put the athletic Wilkerson next to him and have a pair of DT's who could play the next decade together. Wilkerson can also play defensive end if needed.




37. Browns : Cam Heyward, Defensive End


Now that Shaun Rogers is gone, Heyward can step in and start the next decade. A strong kid who most know is Ironhead Heyward's son.





38. Cardinals : Christian Ponder


Arizona needs a quarterback, so they will hope Ponder is ready to push for a starting job right away.




39. Titans : Nate Solder, Offensive Tackle



Solder needs some work, but his athleticism had some think of him as first-round talent. He fills a need here.




40. Cowboys : Adrian Clayborn, Defensive End



An All-American who drops over a mediocre senior season statistically. His fills a huge need for Dallas, whose current defensive ends besides Olshansky, are questionable NFL talents.




41. Redskins : Torrey Smith, Wide Receiver


With Santana Moss possibly on his way out, Smith add much needed depth to a wide receiver corp looking for players. Even if Moss returns, he fills a big need and offers a huge upgrade as a third receiver.





42. Texans : Marvin Austin, Defensive Tackle


All Houston should do this year is draft defenders. Austin is another big body for their trenches, though some feel he could be special down the road.



43. Vikings : Derrek Sherrod, Offensive Tackle



His questionable work ethic drops him, but many think he has first-round talent. Minnesota needs blockers, so he fills a need.





44. Lions : Mikel Leshoure, Running Back


As good as Jahvid Best was last year, it is apparent he needs help. Leshoure will be the Mr. Inside to his Mr. Outside.





45. 49ers : Jurrell Casey, Defensive Tackle


With free agency, the Niners are very thin on the defensive line. Casey is a hard-worker who should help right away.





46. Broncos : Daniel Thomas, Running Back


Thomas is a brute between the tackles and is excellent in pass protection. He has quick feet and bursts off the snap hard. While not a home run hitter, he has very good speed for his size and has the ability to be a bell cow for the franchise that selects him.




47. Rams : Allen Bailey, Defensive Lineman


He can play all over the defensive line, and the Rams need bodies in the trenches.




48. Oakland Raiders : Ben Ijalana. Offensive Lineman


With Robert Gallery apparently gone, getting a guard is needed. This kid has some right tackle ability, but most feel he will be an excellent guard at the next level.

Attended the same college as Raiders Hall of Famer Howie Long.





49. Jaguars : Robert Sands, Free Safety


It seems the Jags have forever beem looking for a free safety. Sands has great size and speed. While not great in man-to-man, he plays a good centerfield and os physical.

With so few NFL-ready safeties, the Jags need to grab Sands now before he's gone.


50. Chargers : Titus Young, Wide Receiver


With their best three wide receivers free agents, the Chargers tab the versatile Young and give quarterback Philip Rivers another weapon to play with.





51. Buccaneers : Bruce Carter, Linebacker


A solid linebacker who will add depth at the least, but could find himself starting right away.





52. Giants : Martez Wilson, Linebacker


Some think he will be a very good SLB, while others think he has potential to be excellent in the middle. The G-Men need a MLB, so Wilson could fill a very big need.




53. Terrell McClain, Defensive Tackle



He is stout against the run, a type of player the Colts do not have too many of right now.







54. Eagles : Ras-I Dowling, Cornerback


Seemed destined for the first round until he got injured during his senior year. He makes all the plays and could start sooner than expected.





55. Chiefs : Brooks Reed, Linebacker



Reed is a pass-rushing type who the Chiefs hope will replace Mike Vrabel one day.





56. Saints : Christian Ballard, Defensive End


Ballard is a solid player with some versatility. Depth at defensive end is a need that he can fill.





57. Seahawks : Marcus Cannon, Offensive Tackle


Seattle hopes the mammoth Cannon will be able to man right tackle and bookend Russell Okung for many seasons ahead.




58. Ravens : Tanden Doss, Wide Receiver


With receivers like T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Donte` Stallworth being free agents, Doss has the ability to press veteran Derrick Mason for a starting job. At the very least, he adds quality depth.



58. Falcons : Quan Sturdivant, Linebacker



Atlanta desperately needs a SLB and Studivant can play it.



60. Patriots : Jonathan Baldwin, Wide Receiver


His knock is he needs work on route running.

How long do you think that will be a problem with Tom Brady?

The guy has freakish talents and could end up replacing the long-departed Randy Moss as the red zone threat. A real sleeper.





61. Chargers : Jarvis Jenkins, Defensive Lineman


San Diego needs depth on the defensive trenches. Jenkins is a run stuffer who can be rotated in to give guys like Luis Castillo a rest.





62. Bears : Brandon Burton, Cornerback


Getting more corners is needed. He might earn a starting job as a rookie.





63. Steelers : Marcus Gilbert, Offensive Tackle


Gilbert has the makings of being a solid right tackle. A big need for Pittsburgh.






64. Packers : Leonard Hankerson, Wide Receiver



Not only is James Jones a free agent, but Donald Driver is nearing retirement. Hankerson will be another big target for Aaron Rogers to have fun with.

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