Well, it's Wednesday again and time again for a few deep thoughts. I have really enjoyed writing each Wednesday, but today it seems that all the "good" stuff has already been covered. The NCAA tournament has been discussed at length as has the pending NFL strike. Baseball is just around the corner, but as we are in the middle of spring training; there is really nothing new to discuss in MLB. I will do my best to scratch around a few interesting thoughts...
How do you get a position on the NCAA tournament committee? Generally, I think that the committee does a pretty good job of getting the right teams into the tournament. This year, it is apparent to most that they missed badly. Anyone see the UAB game vs Clemson tonight? Clemson opened the game on a tear and led 25 to 7 out of the gate. I think that Harvard or Colorado would have given a much better showing. It has not been a good week for Ohio State...which of course is where the tournament chairman hails from. Jay Bilas has been very vocal regarding his dissatisfaction with the make up of the tournament committee. He would like to see a few folks on the committee that actually played basketball. Okay...sounds reasonable to me. On PTI this week, Bilas made this statement as well as suggesting that the tournament committee did not know that a basketball was round...well okay then. Bilas was obviously upset; does he have a valid point? Kornheiser countered that to have a bunch of former players or coaches on the committee that you run the risk of "cronyism". Bilas replied, "and how would that be any different than now?" Good point...
John Feinstein also had a few thoughts on this issue. Here is a bit of his article:
And while only one member of this year’s tournament selection committee has actually coached Division I basketball — Stan Morrison, who last did so in 1998 — the process isn’t necessarily the issue either.
The problem is accountability — specifically, the committee’s utter lack of it. Without it, we have no way of knowing whether the process was fair or not.
Something is rotten in Indianapolis.
Through the years, the tournament selection committee, especially whomever is chairman, has mastered the art of the non-answer. Ask a committee member whether the sun will set in the West today, and you will be told that a very careful study will be done on that question and the committee will do a great job coming up with the answer and that the sun is extremely well-coached but it may or may not have enough votes to set in the West.
This year’s committee chairman, Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith, who probably should have resigned that position last week to tend to his day job in Columbus, wouldn’t answer the simplest and most obvious questions Sunday night.
Why didn’t Virginia Tech make the field? Smith’s answer, once you filtered out all the babble about “quantifiable criteria” and how well-coached the Hokies are, was this: The Hokies didn’t get enough votes.
No kidding, Mr. Chairman.
When Smith was asked whether the ACC tournament championship game between Duke and North Carolina had decided who got the final No. 1 seed, he went off on a body-of-work tangent and claimed one game didn’t decide the last No. 1 seed.
Does he seriously think anyone believes that? Is he saying that if North Carolina had beaten Duke for the second time in the past eight days and had lost one game in two months, Duke still would have been the last No. 1 seed? If so, then the committee is doing an even worse job than people think.
The committee’s hypocrisy is in trying to keep all its decision-making processes secret while at the same time claiming “transparency".
Smith says Virginia Tech didn’t get in because it didn’t get enough votes. Fine. Who voted for the Hokies? Who voted against them? If members of Congress have to vote publicly on tax increases or whether or not to go to war, why in the world shouldn’t tournament selection committee members have to explain why they voted for or against teams? All the voting is done by computer now; every single vote should be made public.
Committee members have absolutely no problem with accepting the many perks that come with their roles, but they don’t seem to own the responsibility. No one forces anyone to be on the committee. If you want to be a member, you should have to explain what you did and why.
Here’s another question that should be answered: Who was responsible for scouting the ACC this season? Before the season, each committee member is assigned three conferences (presumably someone takes four because there are 31 altogether). The NCAA supplies each member with satellite TV and any game tapes necessary to keep track of the leagues throughout the season.
So, who was the ACC’s scout this season? Did he vote for or against Virginia Tech? What did he say about Virginia Tech in the room? Who was the scout for Conference USA? What did he say that got UAB into the field? Is the scout for the Big Ten being given a “man-of-the-year” award by Comissioner Jim Delany for somehow getting seven teams into the field?
Funny how we have a Big Ten guy as chairman and 7 teams from the Big Ten make it to the tournament...but we wouldn't want to have any "basketball" folks in the committee because they might be guilty of cronyism? It looks like Smith took pretty good care of his buddies in the Big Ten this year. No offense to the Big Ten fans, this was a down year for Big Ten basketball. Feinstein makes a very good point about transparency. In the age we live in, transparency is held up as being of vital importance. Why is there no transparency with the selection committee?
As much as I have lobbied for a playoff in college football, this very issue is one aspect of a playoff that I have not been able to come up with a viable solution. How do you determine the teams in the playoff? Perhaps the selection committee is just a flaw that we have to live with? I would much rather have a tournament determine the champion than have a system like the BCS. Oh and by the way Mr. Smith...why is Texas a 4 seed and Florida a 2 seed?? Freaking hilarious logic...or pretzel logic?
As you all know, I love to fish. I am always looking for a reason to talk fishing. I think that I have found a fishing trip that has Beezer's name on it...okay MadMan, you can come too:
I think all of us have had a frustrating situation with insurance at one time in our life or another. We have hammered the NBA players quite a bit (with good reason) recently, so I thought it was important to note that not everyone is a douche in the NBA.
Former Los Angeles Clippers coach Kim Hughes is used to helping players, but it was players who stepped up for him in his time of need.
In September 2004, while he was a Clippers assistant, Hughes was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He was premed at Wisconsin, so he had an idea what he was up against. His doctor told him that he could wait a few months for surgery, but the team was preparing for training camp and he didn't want to miss a chunk of the season recuperating. So Hughes went for a second opinion and found a doctor who would do the surgery a week later.
"But he wasn't covered under my insurance plan," Hughes told ESPNLosAngeles.com. "We had a certain group of doctors we could go to. So if I elected to use him, it'd be out of my pocket.
"[The Clippers] didn't talk to me directly about it. They told, I believe my agent, that the reason they couldn't pay for the surgery is if they paid for mine, if anybody else had a problem -- head coach, secretary, assistant coach -- if they paid for mine, the onus would be on them for everybody else.
"I said, 'That's fine. I choose to try and save my life, and if I have to pay for it myself, I will.'"
Then coach Mike Dunleavy, who had recommended the new doctor, mentioned Hughes' plight to some players.
Several players on that team -- including Corey Maggette, Chris Kaman, Elton Brand and Marko Jaric -- offered to help.
"Kim was one of our coaches and he's a really good friend of mine, too," Maggette said, according to the Journal Times of Racine, Wis. "He was in a situation where the Clippers' medical coverage wouldn't cover his surgery. I thought it was a great opportunity to help someone in need, to do something that Christ would do.
"It shows your humanity, that you care for other people and not just yourself. Kim was in a life-and-death situation."
Hughes' desire to get the surgery over with quickly proved to be a smart move. The cancer had progressed and was threatening other parts of his body.
"Normally it's a very slow-growing cancer," Hughes told ESPNLosAngeles.com, adding that his father and twin brother also had prostate cancer. "It's one of the slowest, but mine was caused by genetic factors and it was a very aggressive and fast-spreading cancer."
Hughes had his entire prostate removed and didn't miss training camp, thanks to the players.
"Those guys saved my life," Hughes said, according to the Journal Times. "They paid the whole medical bill. It was like $70,000 or more. It wasn't cheap.
"It showed you what classy people they are. They didn't want me talking about it; they didn't want the recognition because they simply felt it was the right thing to do."
Maggette, who now plays for the Bucks, said that Hughes thanks him every time they see each other.
"I've said to him, 'Kim, come on. You don't have to do that. You're good,'" Maggette said, according to the newspaper. "It just shows you what kind of person he is, to keep thanking me all the time for that. Like I said, it was just my time to serve another human being.
"I think if anyone on my team is in that kind of situation, I would try to help him out if I could. That's just the person I am. I was raised that way."
Hughes, who took over for Dunleavy last season but was not brought back by the Clippers, said that the players showed that you can't judge an NBA player by the flashy exterior.
"Corey is perceived by some people as not being a good person because he seems to be aloof and arrogant," Hughes said, according to the newspaper. "But they don't know him. He's a good man; he's a great man.
"You can have all the money, all the success, all that stuff, all those so-called important things in life, but in the end, you're judged by what you did for your fellow man. Corey will always be an important part of my life. What he and those other guys did for me put things in perspective."
The Clippers did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Hughes' situation.
Here is another story that is not so "cool". I have read much about the NFL labor situation. Some blame the players and others blame the owners. This is a take that I have not heard, but after reading, it was on the mark for me. Have a read:
It was December, and the clock was still ticking. Yes, remember when there was still a labor clock? There was hope Laborgeddon "I think it's critically important to avoid" a work stoppage, Goodell said in remarks to the media after his talk with fans. "We need to have a system that works for everybody, but I think everybody would agree that what's most important is football, and that we should work very hard to avoid that."
When Goodell took over for Paul Tagliabue as commissioner in September of 2006, his sole job in many ways was to avoid the disastrous circumstances the league faces today. Obviously, he failed.
It's not a coincidence the NFL is experiencing its first work stoppage in nearly a quarter of a century during the Reign of Goodell.
Goodell is a good man with solid intentions. But his reputation for heavy-handedness with the players over the past few years -- the excessive punishments, the harsh suspensions -- led to a level of distrust that carried into negotiations, several players say.
The distrust in Goodell has been building for years -- not weeks -- and the failed talks were a symptom. As Goodell suspended players for entire seasons, union player reps watched. As Goodell sometimes displayed an attitude that he was a king and they were serfs, players watched. As Goodell and the owners asked for a cool $1 billion refund without giving a detailed explanation why a league swimming in an orgy of cash was suddenly broke, they watched some more. When Carolina owner Jerry Richardson was condescending in meetings with the players they ... watched.
After the bungled attempt to use television money as a lockout fund became public, anger and distrust, building for some time in the player ranks, mixed into a highly volatile brew, several players said in interviews with CBSSports.com over the past week. The distance between Goodell and some players may in fact now be impossible to close.
There was one example of that anger after mediation collapsed. In a news conference, league lawyer Jeff Pash stated a litany of things owners were said to have offered the players. One person close to the players association responded bluntly: "Pash lies and Goodell isn't doing shit about it." A player added: "Pash is standing there saying things he knows aren't true, and Roger is right there, not stopping it."
How much blame should be placed on the commissioner's shoulders? What is the job of commissioner? What could Goodell have done if anything to avert this stalemate? If we are indeed headed for a year without NFL football, Goodell's legacy will certainly wear the stain of this train wreck...It does appear that the entire story has not been portrayed entirely accurately.
That's all I have for today, but I will leave you a bit of Jack Handey to chew on for the rest of your week:
"I wish I had a dollar for every time I spent a dollar, because then, yahoo!, I'd have all my money back."
"I think one way police departments could make some money would be to hold a yard sale of murder weapons. Many people, for example, could probably use a cheap ice pick."
Thanks for stopping by and feel free to add any thoughts...
Luckeye Football. I said it on Thursday and I’m still steamed – FUCK YOU OHIO STATE – I hope Nebraska comes in and rips your lips off and shits down your throats next season!!! Even U$C took more punishment than you lying, weasley scumbag maggots! Don’t you dare ever again to try to pass off any more of your holier than thou bullshit! And while I’m at it, find some stronger teams to play in OOC schedule you bunch of candy asses!!!
Hey Cornhuskers, make the world a better place - smack the Luckeyes dead in the face!!!
NBA. David Stern is proving to be nothing more than a bully who talks tough, but when somebody smarter than him comes along and speaks truths, the bully does nothing. That is known as being a big nasty VAGINA! Is David Stern afraid of Phil Jackson? You have to think so based on his lack of disciplining the Zen Master when he opens up his pie-hole. However, Jackson may have stepped in it big time by inferring that the refs handed the 2006 NBA title to Miami because Mark Cuban pissed off the refs with complaints about officiating. We all know it’s true, but Stern hates comments like this and usually takes swift action against those who give us conspiracy theorists more ammo. Hey Stern, if you're gonna blatantly threaten Stan Van Gundy for speaking out, have the balls enough to go after Jackson, you big sissy! As for that smarmy bastard Jackson, I know he was needling Cuban, but Jackson should be the last person to talk about refs bailing teams out considering he has AT LEAST one asterisk after one of his championships. Just sayin'...
Dude really does look like a RAT, eh?
Bracketology. Guess we all know the REAL reason to go to 68 teams, don't we? It was to get more big conference schools in the dance (translated: Money Grab!!!).
I was waiting for an opportunity to get into one of my old fashioned rants, and was I ever rewarded. Let me say first that I have two words for this year’s selection committee – SUCK IT!!! I hope the Basketball Gods saw these selections for the sham that they are and that there are lots of upsets, because Lord knows there’s a bunch of crap that this selection committee threw up against the wall, hoping it’ll stick. Oh wait a minute, somebody from Ohio State was in charge of the Selection Committee – that explains the laugher of a dance card here in 2011.
11 teams from the Big East? I don’t give a flying fuck what anybody says, no 11thplace team should be invited to the dance, period – end of story. You chose to go into that league, deal with the consequences of being unable to win your league – hell, every other league has to play by that rule. UCONN gets caught up in naughty behavior but get to play at the dance? Vill-a-HOva loses five games in a row and gets a mid-level seed? Marquette gets in due to a deep tournament run? Man, do I hope these 11 get punked out quickly so they can be exposed for the sham that they are.
Speaking of the Big East, I’m tempting fate here with the You Gab Gods, but I gotta rant on a favorite of one of my brother Gabbers - Jim Boeheim – SHUT THE FUCK UP, you two-faced whiny little bitch!!! This moron has the audacity to knock coaches who complain about not getting selected, specifically targeting Colorado’s schedule, yet in the past I’ve listened to Boeheim whine when he was on the bubble and Syracuse wasn’t exactly scheduling world-beaters, yet how his team should be in. Boeheim has exactly zero credibility when his league gobbles up as many teams as it did.
Idiotic Colin Cowherd, deservedly one of the whipping boys here at the Gab did for once actually make a good point. He said that conference tournaments are a cash grab that’s designed to screw the little guys, and looke what happened last week – how many mid-majors got screwed because a bunch of 13 and 14 loss big conference teams made deep runs? Better yet, look at it this way - Missouri State takes the MVC regular season league title, lose to Indiana State by a deuce in the MVC Tourney Final, and yet because Penn State (with 14 losses by the way) makes a deep run in the Little Ten Tournament, it costs the Bears who arguably had a bad last two minutes against the Sycamores. They go 25-8 and because they struggled in the last two minutes of the MVC Tournament Final, it gave the NCAA a chance to scream “BOHICA” to a very good squad – and boy did the NCAA ram it hard (and without any KY!) to the Bears.
So, which major conference got snubbed? I'd say that the SEC and ACC got screwed! Let’s start with the obvious – you invite 11 teams from the Big East (three of which have .500 records in conference), seven more selections went to the Big Ten – two of those teams had 14 freaking losses and two others had 13, while all four were 9-9 in conference. The obvious snub was the basic and ridiculous disrespect for the ACC - they only get four invites and Virginia Tech (21-11/9-7) gets screwed? Don’t even try to justify that shit – Virginia Tech should have been ranked far ahead of Michigan, Illinois, Michigan State, and fucking Penn State! What a disgrace.
Speaking of which, what the hell was up with the invites for the SEC? Florida a #2 seed, while Kentucky is a #4 and getting stuck with Princeton in the first round? Didn’t Kentucky smack the Gators around twice? I can see Georgia (21-11/9-7) getting in, but not at the expense of Alabama – who treated Georgia like their bitch all season long. How the hell does Tennessee (19-14/8-8) get into the dance at the expense of Alabama? That ought to add fuel to the hatred between the rednecks in ‘Bama and the narks in Tennessee! Can’t wait for that football game this autumn! If I become independently wealthy between now and then, I’m buying tickets for that debacle!
Can’t argue with the Pac-10 picks – except how the hell USC gets in, yet another 14 loss team? At least they’re 10-8 in conference which is more than can be said for half the Big East and Big Ten!
What mid-major conference got screwed? The Missouri Valley Conference! Missouri State (25-8/15-3) and Wichita State (24-8/14-4) have major reasons to be pissed, and even Northern Iowa (19-13/10-8) might have a right to ask “What the hell”?
Conference USA has a legitimate beef too with UTEP (25-9/11-5) and Tulsa (19-13/11-5) being left out of the dance is almost criminal compared to the dregs that actually got in.
Other schools that have a right to be pissed:
Coastal Carolina (28-5), Harvard (23-6/12-2), St. Mary’s (25-8/11-3), Montana (21-10/12-4), New Mexico (21-12/8-8), Washington State (19-12/9-9), and Boise State (20-12/10-6)?
Upset of round one – A #14 WILL beat a #3 (Syracuse/Indiana St., UCONN/Bucknell (uh, never mind), Purdue/St. Peters, BYU/Wofford). Purdue is playing like stir-fried dookie, Syracuse is ripe because they tend to sleepwalk through the first two rounds and seemingly struggles because of it, and BYU is short-handed.
Rant of the Week – Jersey Shore. At the risk of offending the lovely, talented, and vivacious first lady of the Gab (yeah TF, that’s you!), why the fuck hasn’t the good populace of New Jersey thrown one helluva beatdown on the most embarrassing thing to come out of the state since Bruce Springsteen? Yeah, I’m talkin’ bout the cast of Jersey Shore! Hey Jersey, these schmucks are an embarrassment to you, and now they’re gonna further pollute the world of wrestling? Hell, these rejects can’t even figure out that the world is laughing AT them, not with them. These idiots are so stupid, they can’t figure out that the WWE and TNA is using them as a punch line. TNA frequently embarrasses them. TF, your state tolerates these schmucks? Yeah, Yeah, I know, California sucks too and we have our share of freaks, but these despicable toads have to be the worst pieces of crap to hit the airwaves ever in the history of television.
I feel better now. Peace and ranting forever...
Yes, she has nothing to do with this post, except she looks great, and with the world going to hell in a hand basket, we can always use some great ass!
So my week began with the little Beeze getting a cold...Then mid-week I had to take a day off from the Fish House to take the Mrs. to the ER...Her left knee was swollen, and she couldn't walk...It turns out some asshole doctor gave her two prescriptions for two different things, that when they are in your system at the same time, they can cause your tendons get inflamed and weakened...She had ruptured a tendon...So now she's gimped up and kept me from seeing "Kill the Irishman"...If it was released in your town, check it out...Some true Cleveland mob shit there!
We limped into the weekend with my oldest daughter getting the Flu...But it could be worse...A lot worse...As I saw the news of the Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan I realized how lucky I am, and how trivial so much of what I blog about is...
Now am I going to stop blogging about sports, politics, chicks, and douche-baggery? Of course not!
So let's get to the NFL Lockout...Heaven forbid they be upstaged by Earthquake and Tsunami, and possible Nuclear Meltdown...They had to get into the news cycle...My view on this whole thing...I don't give a shit! Really! I've always liked College Football more...I'll be fine without these rich fuckers who are bitching over billions of dollars...
Seriously, I have a friend who is a teacher in Wisconsin...He's having his right to collective bargaining stripped from him...But the NFL Players Union and NFL owners can't agree on a CBA because they're billions of dollars apart...
Last week I got into the topic of Wisconsin and Ohio politics more...You can read it HERE...
My friend talked about the crap he was taking from people for being a teacher, and being Liberal...The people who would describe themselves as not only conservatives, but also as religious...He pointed out a good point..."Jesus was an activist and an organizer"...But then again, I've often seen a great number of people who consider themselves Christian, are the least compassionate, caring, understanding, and loving people around...All shit their God stood for!
Now, quickly to Baseball...I signed up for Fantasy Baseball this past week...I'm looking forward to this league...Lots of good guys...Good smack...And plenty of Baseball smarts...Then I heard an inning of an Indians Spring Training game, and I realized I'm not ready for Baseball yet! I need to get studying before the draft...The Indians have made me forget about Baseball...Time to hit the books...
Now if you want some good Hockey talk, check out my buddy Hotch's last POST...
Big news in Ohio last week...Ohio State Head Football Coach Jim Tressel got busted for covering up his players stupidity...In case you missed that, he was Talking_In_Circles...
What has really pissed me off about this, is all the Tressel lovers...The "In Tressel we trust" people...The lovers of the vest! Many people are just giving this an 'aw shucks' kind of attitude...They're believing his lies, and chalking it up as a mistake...None have come up with a quality defense for his actions...One of the biggest Tressel loyalists I know of, gave a very weak defense..."Even with Sanctions, We're Still Going to Kick Meeeeeeeeechigan Arse!"
That was it...One sentence and picture posted improperly, so it couldn't be viewed...That's the best she could come up with...Ms. Cleveland/Ohio State, that's the best she could do...She's always saying how great this city and state are...
Why don't you write something of substance...Write about how the city is trying build a casino, and has many development plans, yet they want to layoff more police officers...How about the disgrace that is the Cleveland Public Schools...And the fact that people are moving out of the city and county in droves...Why would you? When all you can muster up for one of your heroes is that one line of bullshit!
"You make me want to Smoke!"
One last thing...As the world is falling apart, I want to make something clear to McDonald's...Why are you putting whipped cream and a cherry on my milkshakes...You're copying Steak and Shake...I don't want a faggot cherry on my Shamrock Shake...Don't get mad my gay friends...You know you love me!
That's it for now...Look for my Hump Day post, where I'll be digging into the end of the world...
Have a week...
Later, The Beeze.
Thoughts from an Island Girl
Okay I do no buy into the 2012 Mayan Catastrophe theories any more than I do with UFOs or Yeti. To my mind, it is sheer fantasy. Though Messing With Sasquatch was funny and the ones taunting him deserved what they got.
Then we have actors with 'Tiger Blood' trashing Ryan Mallet and perhaps affecting his draft status. Regardless of what Ryan has or has not done, the bi-polar Charlie is showing his Hanes once again.
Jesse Jackson and Michael Moore foment a political fight in Wisconsin, the Middle East is becoming increasingly unstable and oil speculators are driving up oil prices. Then to make matters worse, an earth rattling 8.9 earthquake and resultant Tsunami has made 'collective bargaining' a moot point in Japan. They are more worried about radiation fallout, and how to fix many of their roads, not to mention, will they ever see family members again.
One person told me that, "well at least, they (Japanese) are used to earthquakes. It is very obvious he hasn't lived though one or if he has, I know it wasn't 8.9 on the Richter Scale.
But yes, these poor pro athletes. Like other entertainers and musicians they are just misunderstood. If we could just put ourselves in their shoes like below, maybe we could get a clue and a life. ha
Disclaimer: The following is 'winning'. It is not my own perceptions. It is a composite of the mindset of so many stars and athletes.
I mean what is wrong with those people in Japan? That is so 'Fail". Why on earth did they or those Filipinos have the temerity to build their lives upon Calderas and Volcanoes.
Note: Read in a whiney voice with the sense of entitlement.
You people are so wrong. I mean really. Do you know how hard it is to have so much money that you get bored? Yeah you fans just don't get it. Afterall, we need personal assistants and can you believe those buggers want at least minimum wage and an occasional weekend off? We gots 'Tiger Blood' and our own language. And oh yes, we want to save the world from you greedy middle class whiners. Am I getting through to any of you?
And stopping at red lights and stop signs? Like that is so bourgeoise!!
College Boy: Like at school, we have to pretend to like care about the world or else, Or else what, might you say? Like you girls won't go out with us!!!! Oh the humanity. Now you know why like all those movies about teen angst are like made.
Honestly, I am tired of political pundits and sports analysts telling us what to believe. More than anything else, to use some good sense in what they say and do. To really think about others for once. During the breaking news from Japan, they showed an office and there were frightened men and women wondering if they might die. Yet the self-absorbed media didn't have the decency to not show these scenes over and over again.
I had friends in the Philippines texting me about if they are going to die during the early stages of the Tsunami Warning and even Mindoro had an earthquake of 5.0 and many were calling to God for deliverance. Many were watching CNN but Fox News was no better. So, the NFL is talking about a work stoppage. (Collective Bargaining) and Unions are fighting Scott Walker. Like public service employees, athletes work for us. The irony is they get paid millions upon millions while hot dog venders get minimum wage and part time at that.
For all of you who want to get more information on earthquakes and volcanoes and such, I have a screen shot and website for you below.
The red are in the last hour and blue in the last day.
This is a first rough draft mock. My real mock will come in a few weeks:
1. Carolina Panthers : Da’Quan Bowers, Defensive End
Ron Rivera, the Panthers new head coach, is a former linebacker who appreciates athleticism and versatility. Bowers has both. Going defensive tackle here is possible, but it was apparent Carolina really missed the freshly departed Julius Peppers off the edge last year.
Some critics fear Bowers is a one-year wonder, while others think the light finally turned on. If this light is indeed on, the Pro Bowl will be a recurring event in his future.
2. Denver Broncos : Marcell Dareus, Defensive Tackle
Here is where the trading could start, yet no one really knows the direction John Elway is headed. John Fox, the Broncos new head coach, is a defensive expert. The current group of defensive tackles Denver has signed is pretty crummy, so Darius fills a big need.
Though Elway just signed Champ Bailey to remain the top cornerback, his being 33-years old is an obvious sign to look into the future. Patrick Peterson could go here, becoming the highest drafted cornerback in NFL history.
3. Buffalo Bills : Nick Fairley, Defensive Tackle
Buffalo just released Marcus Stroud, clearing the way for Fairley. He showed excellent speed at the combine, so he could fit in the Bills 3-4 scheme, looking real good next to nose tackle Kyle Williams.
Wide receiver A.J. Green could get a good look because Lee Evans is 30-years old. If Patrick Peterson is there, he could go despite the Bills already having a deep group at this position.
4, Cincinnati Bengals : Cam Newton, Quarterback
Even if malcontent Carson Palmer stays another year, he is on his way out and has no pop left in his throwing arm. His leadership is obviously questionable, so the Bengals need to look in the future and not let the ghosts of Akili Smith and David Klingler haunt them.
Newton is worth the risk here, but the Bengals may go the safer route. They don’t need Peterson or Green, but could grab Fairley or Darius if they are sitting there.
5. Arizona Cardinals : Patrick Peterson, Cornerback
The Big Red gets a gift here, finding a lock-down defender to bookend Dominique Rogers-Cromartie. While Arizona needs a quarterback and pass rusher, they can fill those slots in the free agent pool. Donovan McNabb, who lives in Arizona, could be available since the Washington Redskins seem intent to keep him on the bench.
Some think Von Miller could go here, but critics think he may be another Aaron Maybin or Vern Gholston as that workout warrior whose measurables never add up on the gridiron.
6. Cleveland Browns : A.J. Green, Wide Receiver
Cleveland gets their man. Green will instantly be the top receiver on a group desperately needing an upgrade for quarterback Colt McCoy, or whoever they plug in.
Cleveland could look to bolster the defensive line with a Cam Jordan or J.J. Watt, but Green should be too tempting to not pass on.
7. San Francisco 49ers : Von Miller, Defensive End
The Niners need a force off the edge and Miller’s strength is rushing the passer. He had 26.5 sacks in his last two years in college, proving he can go get the ball.
Some think new head coach Jim Harbaugh, a former NFL quarterback, will look for a signal-caller here, but I could only see them grabbing Newton at this spot. They might grab Jordan here because he is a defensive end and Miller is more a combo DE/ OLB type.
8. Tennessee Titans : Blaine Gabbart, Quarterback
With Vince Young gone, the Titans need someone at quarterback besides Rusty Smith and the ancient Kerry Collins. This team could try to trade up for Newton as well.
Tennessee also needs help on defense, mainly at linebacker. But there are no linebackers worth grabbing this high.
9. Dallas Cowboys : Adrian Clayborn, Defensive End
Dallas needs help everywhere on defense. J.J. Watt is as solid defensive end who could start right away for them, Rahim Moore would be a big upgrade at free safety, and they desperately need inside linebackers.
Clayborn had 11 sacks as a junior, then spent his senior year being double-teamed. He is also solid against the run and has a frame that additional bulk is possible, He fills a huge need for Dallas.
10. Washington Redskins : Ryan Mallett, Quarterback
The Redskins are probably the only team that could threaten Miami in looking at halfback Mark Ingram. They’d love to get Newton to fall into their laps as well. A cornerback like Prince Amukamara or offensive tackle like Nate Soldier or Anthony Castonzo also would help immensely.
Getting Mallet gives the team the quarterback they need since it was already announced that Donovan McNabb’s days as a starting in D.C. are done. But who knows with head coach Mike Shanahan because Vince Young is out there available.
11. Houston Texans : Prince Amukamara, Cornerback
Houston needs the secondary upgraded immediately, and Amukamara would start as as soon as he was signed. The Texans should concentrate on defense this draft, and try to sign free agent cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha at any price he demands.
A guy like linebacker Robert Quinn could get looked at here, but the issues at the Texans secondary is too great to overlook.
12. Minnesota Vikings : Cameron Jordan, Defensive End
He is the son of Vikings great Steve Jordan and will provide a good pass rushing bookend to Jared Allen. He had a great Senior Bowl and has OLB abilities as well.
Now that wide receiver Sydney Rice has announced his Vikings days are over, Julio Jones could get a look. Minnesota needs a quarterback, but it is doubtful they’d prefer the erratic Jake Locker over an available veteran. Minnesota also needs help on the offensive line, so they might choose to address this issue first.
13. Detroit Lions : Ryan Kerrigan, Linebacker
The 2010 Big-Ten Defensive Player of the Year is the kind of guy you want in a locker room of a team looking to change their losing culture. He is relentless and would fill in the spot emptied by the recently released Julian Peterson. Kerrigan is a good pass rusher who can play defensive end if needed.
Akeem Ayers could get a look here, as well as some blockers to try to get quarterback Matt Stafford to finally play an entire season. A cornerback like Brandon Harris would help too, since Lions general manager Martin Mayhew is a former NFL cornerback himself.
14. Saint Louis Rams : Julio Jones, Wide Receiver
Jones showed better speed than expected at the combine, yet has a history of injury problems. If healthy, he gives the Rams a much needed weapon in their passing attack.
The Rams need help at the defensive line as well. A guy like J.J. Watt might be intriguing to them, or a cornerback like Brandon Harris provides an upgrade. Yet getting their young quarterback more options might be the top priority in the first round.
15. Miami Dolphins : Mark Ingram Jr., Halfback
Ricky Williams, nearing 34-years old, once said that 2010 would be his last year in the NFL, and the oft-injured Ronnie Brown is not an every down type of back. Miami needs to look into the future considering the run game is their bread and butter on offense. Ingram is not a big back, but he could be the type of back to share carries with Brown.
Quarterback is a position some think needs an upgrade, and the Dolphins do need more blockers. Mike Pouncey would help them if he is tabbed here.
16. Jacksonville Jaguars : Rahim Moore, Free Safety
The Jaguars need help in their secondary, especially at safety since Reggie Nelson flamed out and ended up a bust. Linebacker could use more bodies, but the safety situation in Jacksonville is pretty ugly.
If they choose to look in other areas, linebacker and even defensive end could get looked at. Derrick Harvey and Aaron Kampman were terrible last year. Jack Del Rio saved his job as head coach last year, but he needs to upgrade the defense.
17. New England Patriots : Mike Pouncey, Guard
The Pats, who love to wheel and deal on draft day, have two first round draft picks that they might end up trading to move up…or even down. They also own the 33rd pick of the draft, so expect the unexpected with them.
New England is rumored to get ready to release veteran Nick Kazur and Logan Mankins is unhappy with his contract situation. Pouncey, who has center ability, can add depth and last a decade in the league with his abilities. If he plays half as well as his twin brother did with the Steelers last year, the Patriots win here.
18. San Diego Chargers : Akeem Ayers, Linebacker
A defensive end at nearby UCLA, Ayers will give the Bolts another pass rusher off the edge. When you are coming off a season with the top offense and defense, you are playing with house money in the draft.
Losing defensive coordinator Ron Rivera to Carolina will be a task for San Diego to overcome. Too bad they can’t draft a head coach, as the horrid Norv Turner somehow holds onto his job for another season.
19. New York Giants : Nate Solder, Offensive Tackle
A few years ago, I mocked James Laurinaitis to the Jints. They passed on him for Hakeem Nicks and are still searching for a middle linebacker. There are none here worth a first round pick, so adding depth to the offensive line is the next best move.
Soldier is huge. At 6’8″ 320, he can learn from Dave Diehl this year and end up protecting Eli Manning down to road. If they blow off the offensive line, the G-Men could look at outside linebackers like Robert Quinn, Aldon Smith, and Justin Houston. They could even think running back depth with Mikel LeShoure since Brandon Jacobs days appear numbered.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers : Aldon Smith, Defensive End
Last year saw the Bucs begin to build a special defensive line. Roy Miller, Gerald McCoy, and Brian Price all have bright futures, but a fourth piece here completes the task. Stylez G. White led the team with 4.5 sacks last year, so an improved pass rush is a must.
Smith is very raw, having just two years of college ball under his belt because of injuries. He is an athletic freak with long arms and a non-stop motor. The Bucs just hired NFL great Keith Millard to teach their kids how to get to the quarterback, so Smith has a chance to be part of something very special.
21. Kansas City Chiefs : Anthony Castonzo, Offensive Tackle
Part of the reason for the Chiefs surprise dominance of the AFC West last year was the top rushing attack in the NFL. Journeyman Ryan O’Callaghan performed admirably at right tackle, but an upgrade is needed. Castonzo started 53 games in college and is 6’7″ 310. He could start right away and bookend Branden Albert for many seasons.
Kansas City might opt to look for a guy to learn from the ancient Mike Vrabel in 2011 at OLB. Guys like Robert Quinn and Justin Houston might get considered. Yet keeping the ground game strong gives the young Chiefs a better chance to duplicate last years success.
22. Indianapolis Colts : Gabe Carimi, Offensive Tackle
The Colts really need help in the trenches on both sides of the ball, so drafting any big body is the right move here. Carimi is 6’8″ 320 as well as very smart and tenacious. He could allow right tackle Ryan Diem to move back to guard and upgrade the line for their aging superstar quarterback Peyton Manning.
Indianapolis might look at the secondary too. Jimmy Smith and Brandon Harris are physical cornerbacks. Since the Colts run defense stinks, defensive tackles like Corey Liuget and Muhammed Wilkerson could help.
23. Philadelphia Eagles : Jimmy Smith, Cornerback
Smith is a big cornerback who plays a physical game. At 6’2″ 205, he is very strong and is excellent at jamming receivers. He is very smart and a hard worker willing to help in run support. Opponents were scared to throw his way in college.
The Eagles seem to yearly be looking for defensive tackle help for their smallish defensive line. Muhammed Wilkerson, who can play defensive end as well, is a local kid from Temple University shooting up draft boards with his 6’5″ 305 frame and upside. Corey Liuget will also get considered.
24. New Orleans Saints : Robert Quinn, Outside Linebacker
Quinn drops due to his 2010 suspension, which brings character issues into question, and a benign brain tumor in his past. He is explosive off the edge, but raw. If the Saints put him on the line, he will need bulk. He also needs to upgrade his pass coverage abilities.
Yet Saints defensive coordinator Greg Williams loves to blitz and New Orleans needs to get much better off the edge. Quinn would give them the needed boost they desire and has the makings of a Pro Bowler written all over him.
25. Seattle Seahawks : Jake Locker, Quarterback
Locker has looked terrible since he left school to do skills events. His arm strength and accuracy have been putrid, to say the least. Yet there are those who love his drive and dedication. Seattle needs their quarterback of the future and head coach Pete Carroll knows Locker well.
Seattle might continue to upgrade the secondary or offensive line insteads. Versatile offensive tackle Derek Sherrod, who can play guard too, or cornerback Brandon Harris might get considered.
26. Baltimore Ravens : Brandon Harris, Cornerback
Harris loves to play and is willing to stick his nose in a pile. The Ravens need cornerback help, and he has the ability to win a starting job day one. He also gets to learn under former Miami Hurricanes and future Hall of Famers Ray Lewis and Ed Reed.
The Ravens could look at Derek Sherrod. His versatility is intriguing and he has the ability to challenge Marshall Yanda for the starting job at right tackle. The Ravens may prefer Jimmy Smith over Harris. Aaron Williams should get consideration as well.
27. Atlanta Falcons : Aaron Williams, Cornerback
Atlanta found out in the playoffs last year that they did not have enough cornerbacks. Williams, coming out after his junior year, started for two years in college. His is a big kid who likes to hit and has good speed. He is good enough to help Brent Grimes and Dunta Robinson right away.
The Falcons could consider adding offensive line depth here as well. Sherrod and the raw Tyron Smith might be considered. Luiget and Wilkerson could help the defensive trenches as well.
28. New England Patriots : J.J. Watt, Defensive End
Remember, we are pretending the Pats stand pat and just draft in order. Watt would be a good get for a team that could surely use an upgrade the defensive end. Watt is a big man with all five tools and propensity to hit opponents hard. He would provide a better option that Brandon Deadrick against the run.
New England could always look at wide receiver too. Torrey Smith is a home run hitter who also excels at returning kicks. Jonathan Baldwin, Reggie Cobb, Jerrel Jernigan, and Titus Young are all wide receivers with good upsides who shouldn’t last on the draft board too much longer.
29. New York Jets : Corey Liuget, Defensive Tackle
The Jets need help in the trenches on defense, so Liuget can help. He is big and strong, but could still use work on conditioning. Liuget has nose tackle ability and reminds many of Saints defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis, the seventh overall pick in the 2007 draft. The Jets could select the massive Phil Taylor instead.
The Jets could look at linebacker here too. Justin Houston would provide youthful depth for the Jets old outside linebackers. Especially since Vern Gholston has been a complete bust. If free safety Raheem Moore is on the board, he would help the Jets.
30. Chicago Bears : Derek Sherrod, Offensive Tackle
Now that the Bears have parted ways with Tommie Harris, getting another body would help. Liuget went to college at Illinois University, but he is off the board here. They may grab him if he is available. The versatile Wilkerson is also one to consider.
Yet Chicago also needs blockers. Tyron Smith will be considered. Smith is raw, but athletic. Sherrod is experienced and able to play all over the offensive line. He should help protect quarterback Jay Cutler’s knee.
31. Pittsburgh Steelers : Phil Taylor, Nose Tackle
At 6’4″ 340, Taylor is a huge man. He dropped 40 lbs last year and was excellent. He is violent and incredibly strong with surprising agility. He still needs work, but will serve as an apprentice to the aging Casey Hampton as a rookie.
Pittsburgh has major issues at offensive tackle, so they might take the very raw Smith to develop down the road. Hampton will soon be 34-years old and coming off the worst season of his career, as well as his most unproductive. Help is desperately needed.
32. Green Bay Packers : Tyron Smith, Offensive Tackle
Green Bay needs to look ahead at offensive tackle. Veterans Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher will be 35 and 34-years old respectively next year. Smith needs to bulk up and get stronger, as well as work on his hands technique, but spending a season on the bench learning from the pair of veterans will go a long way.
Smith’s future is at left tackle, which works out well for the Packers. Brian Balaga, the Packers first draft choice last year, was excellent for 12 games for the injured Tauscher, but some think right tackle is his best position down the road.
He has been schooled well, but is not as athletic as some were once led to believe.
Though he throws a decent short ball, going deep is an issue. He has a tendency to force passes and gets flustered easily.
He works hard and has leadership abilities, but Ponder has durability concerns. Gets compared often to Chad Pennington, so he could be a starter somewhere in his career.
While some see him an early selection in the second round, he could last into the third.
Scouts like Stanzi's experience, size, athleticism, toughness and maturity.
He also has an acceptable arm for the game today. What scares some is his decision making and deep ball.
Stanzi has the makings of a long-time backup in this league. He has leadership qualities and is a hard worker, so it isn't smart to count him out as a starter.
He could go as early as the second round, even ahead of Ryan Mallett, but it seems he is bound for the third round.
He is big, athletic and has a gun for an arm.
He has been shooting up some draft boards, passing Ryan Mallett on a few.
While experienced, he might have to learn another position because he has no history in a pro-set offense and is a project. Besides footwork, his long delivery will need work. This issues could drop him to the fourth round.
His size could make for an intriguing wide receiver prospect, but the team that does draft him will need to be patient no matter what position they put him at.
Dalton is very smart, a hard worker and has adequate bulk, arm strength and experience. He is a tough guy capable of placing the ball in the right spots.
He isn't very tall or terribly athletic, and he needs work on his mechanics as well. Some wonder how he will do in a pro-style set.
He has the makings of a solid backup, because he understands game management. He would work best in a West Coast system where the dink/dunk pass is king. A probable third or fourth round selection.
Devlin is trying to go the Joe Flacco route. Flacco, the Baltimore Ravens starting quarterback, earned his job as soon as he was drafted in the first round of the 2008 draft.
Devlin might go in the third round, but some think he is a fifth-rounder. He has the arm, but needs work on his accuracy, foot placement and is inexperienced. He needs a lot of work in the film room, and has a tendency to gamble.
Though it is possible he can start one day, he looks like an NFL backup right now.
His strength is his accuracy and sound decision making. Tolzien does not have a big arm, but it is passable by the NFL standards of today.
Though he has decent mobility, Tolzien is not a great athlete. One thing he did often in college was win, losing just five times in 26 contests.
At 24 years old, he's older than most rookies. He needs to hit the weight room as well.
There is a chance he gets drafted as high as the sixth round, but it appears he will be, at best, a backup if he makes a team.
Destined to be drafted late, Potts has a strong arm and above average accuracy. He needs work on learning the pro-set, and his footwork needs refinement. Potts needs to get stronger.
He will get looked at late in the draft and is a project worth developing for a few years. It is possible he finds himself starting one day in the league, but he can be a serviceable reserve at the least.
He will not blow you away in physical measurables, but he balances his short comings there with supreme intellect and a winner's touch. He waited his turn in college, but started winning right away when called on.
He does not have a big arm, but he has great touch and accuracy. He will work as hard as he can to max out his potential, but there is a chance he goes undrafted.
His dad works for the Dallas Cowboys, ask the Garretts how that works, who are in the market for a youngster to eventually replace primary backup Jon Kitna. He might remind Jason Garrett of himself as a player.
Yet do not bet against this kid. He could make a roster and have an impact one day.
He is a good leader who had the benefit of being coached by men with NFL experience while in college. He makes good decisions and has good size.
Yates does not have a very strong arm, but he is accurate. Though he has durability concerns, he earned a starting job as a sophomore and has experience. His team's blocking wasn't always stout, so Yates learned early how to stand tall in a crumbling pocket with defenders in his face.
While he isn't a great athlete, he can be a sound backup for years and could get drafted as early as the fifth round.
Portis has been in the college football system since 2005, went to Maryland University after transferring from Florida University.
After rarely throwing the ball for the Terps, used for his running ability, he left for California of Pennsylvania in 2009 and performed well.
He is the cousin of NFL running back Clinton Portis. He runs well, but is bereft with character issues.
A project who most likely will not get drafted and may have to make a team playing another position.
Others To Consider
He works very hard at his game and is a terrific leader with an excellent throwing arm.
Taylor is also mobile, able to make plays with both his arm and legs. Yet he is just 6'1", considered too short to play NFL quarterback. He needs major work on fundamentals and tends to lock onto his primary receiver, leaving Taylor often prone to mental errors.
He may get drafted in the last round, but a position switch appears likely.
Mustain might get drafted late, despite sitting on the bench most of his collegiate career.
After going to Arkansas University as a highly touted player, he got off to a good start before clashing with the coaches and heading to USC.
He is not big, but his arm strength is above average and he showed promising skills as a freshman. Some scouts think he is the next Matt Cassell.
Missed five games in his senior year due to a broken collarbone. Three-year starter who showed improvement before his injury. He has good size, arm strength and experience, starting three years.
He tends to force passes, which led to him being benched at times. His footwork and release needs work and he is considered a project. Though it is doubtful that Dieker gets drafted, his combination of size and arm strength will warrant a tryout.
Jeff Van Camp
He is a good athlete but needs a ton of work on all of his mechanics. Most likely goes undrafted and gets invited to a training camp somewhere.
He started as a freshman and some scouts like his size as well.
He needs work on mechanics, but has shown the ability to stand tall in a collapsing pocket. He performed poorly at the combine, but was good at the East-West Shrine Game.
He was a victim of a ton of dropped passes in college so his numbers aren't a true indication. Enderle looks like he could be a solid reserve, yet perhaps more in the right system.
He has the size and is mobile. Needs work on his release and footwork, and appears to have a fragile ego. Will quit fast on a play and himself. Lost his starting job in his senior year.
Johnson will get a roster camp invite if undrafted. A project.
Learned under guru Pat Hill. He has good leadership qualities but has been erratic with his accuracy. Didn't throw a lot of interceptions in college, but has questionable arm strength.
Would probably work best in a West Coast system. Probably will go undrafted and get invited to a camp.