"Lane Johnson"

Brad Penner – USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Eagles

TEAM NEEDS: OL, DL, CB, QB, S

Maybe the most intriguing team of the offseason has been the Philadelphia Eagles. There seems to be a general buzz about what new head coach Chip Kelly is going to do when it comes to personnel and scheme in the NFL. The buzz is there for very good reason, as a new era of offensive football is being ushered into the NFL and Kelly’s hire could spark massive change around the league.

The Eagles did a grade A job of filling their holes prior to the draft with solid signings which include; Isaac Sopoaga, Connor Barwin, Bradley Fletcher, Cary Williams, Patrick Chung, Kenny Phillips, Donnie Jones and James Casey. That’s eight new starters to go with the depth signings of Clifton Geathers and Jason Phillips. The Eagles then pulled off trades for Tampa Bay receiver Arrelious Benn and Cleveland reserve linebacker Emmanuel Acho. It was a busy offseason that was just beginning.

With almost every starting spot addressed the Eagles positioned themselves to make a run at the best player available and could move around the draft to find talented players to push the competition to new levels in Philly.

After the break, check out a pick by pick analysis of the Eagles 2013 NFL Draft selections. Read the rest of this entry » «Philadelphia Eagles 2013 NFL Draft Recap»

The Minnesota Vikings are officially scary!!

Posted by Uptown Murf On May - 1 - 201320 COMMENTS

Peterson-Vikings-NFL-Nike-Elite-51-Uniform-Front-5_original

Here in Atlanta, I’ve had a front row seat for the transformation of a franchise (Well figuratively speaking, I sit kinda high up in my seat at the Dome). The Falcons have gone from an inconsistent, wayward direction of a franchise, to one of the best ran franchises in all of football. It’s an amazing turnaround for such a short time period. The methods used for the transformation are seemingly being duplicated by another team in NFC. That team being, the Minnesota Vikings!

The Falcons first came to prominence  in 2008. Reliant upon a heavy run game, with the ultra physical Michael Turner, the Falcons methodically moved the ball while limiting offensive mistakes and creating turnovers on defense. Offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey and Quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave forged an offensive system that allowed a young quarterback Matt Ryan to develop slowly, while not being the focal point of the team.

Originally armed with the aforementioned Turner and budding all-world receiver Roddy White, the Falcons rode their brand of smash mouth football all the way to a playoff berth. Slowly, but surely, the Falcons began surrounding Matt Ryan with even more offensive talent. With the addition of future Hall-of-Famer Tony Gonzalez, and one of the best young wide receiver prospects in college football in Julio Jones, the Falcons officially solidified themselves as perennially one of the five best franchises in the NFL.  Read the rest of this entry » «The Minnesota Vikings are officially scary!!»

Oakland Raiders 2013 NFL Draft Recap

Posted by Brad On April - 30 - 20132 COMMENTS
"D.J. Hayden"

Ed Szczepanski – USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Raiders

TEAM NEEDS: QB, DL, LB, CB, OL, S, TE

Reggie McKenzie was dealt an absolutely horrible hand in Oakland. He came into a team that was cap strapped and quite possibly the worst roster in the league. He’s in year two of this massive rebuild and hope springs eternal with a quality draft and a major cap relief coming in 2014.

With needs all over the board, McKenzie was forced to make low cost free agent signings. Nine new starters will come via cost-friendly free agent signings as they were forced to relieve themselves of a slew of starters for cap purposes. The offense went relatively unscathed although they traded for a new starting quarterback in Matt Flynn after Carson Palmer landed in Arizona.

The defense will essentially field a new team with the exception of Tyvon Branch and Lamarr Houston. Many questioned the moves that McKenzie made in the offseason as they weren’t ‘splashy’ signings but with the cap a mess he didn’t have a lot to work with. I think McKenzie has done an admirable job at fielding a team, albeit one of the worst in the league, on paper (and most likely on the field).

McKenzie entered the draft with intentions of trading down from the 3rd pick and he did so as the Dolphins jumped up to No. 3 and the Raiders down to No. 12 allowing them to recoup a second round pick that was lost in the terrible Carson Palmer deal. McKenzie was able to end the draft with ten draft picks which was much needed given the holes in terms of depth and quality on this roster. Read the rest of this entry » «Oakland Raiders 2013 NFL Draft Recap»

Jacksonville Jaguars 2013 NFL Draft Recap

Posted by Brad On April - 29 - 20132 COMMENTS
"Luke Joeckel"

Rob Foldy – USA TODAY Sports

Jacksonville Jaguars

TEAM NEEDS: QB, OL, DL, CB, S

Dave Caldwell and Gus Bradley are going to pace this rebuild for the Jaguars. They were relatively quiet in free agency as they made several depth signings but no major splashes.

Heading into the draft, the Jags were holding the second pick and made it clear they were going to take the best player at that spot. Many, including myself, had them pegged for an impact pass rusher but as the days drew nearer it became evident they were going to add to the offensive line.

Dave Caldwell comes from the Thomas Dimitroff school of thinking where you find your quarterback or spend your days consumed by finding your quarterback. After the draft it has become clear that the Jaguars will give Blaine Gabbert another season to prove himself a capable NFL starter. With the lack of a top shelf quarterback at No. 2, they didn’t have much of a choice.

They had eight picks (after a trade with Philadelphia) to add talent to a roster that is fairly void it. The draft was heavily influenced by Gus Bradley’s time with Pete Carroll as they addressed the secondary early and often with big defenders. Hats off the Dave Caldwell for a nice draft in year one. After the break check our pick by pick analysis. Read the rest of this entry » «Jacksonville Jaguars 2013 NFL Draft Recap»

Kansas City Chiefs 2013 NFL Draft Recap

Posted by Brad On April - 29 - 20132 COMMENTS
"Eric Fisher"

Jerry Lai – USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs

TEAM NEEDS: OL, DL, S, LB, RB

John Dorsey and Andy Reid retooled the roster in free agency by trading for Alex Smith and signing Sean Smith, Dunta Robinson, Mike Devito, and Anthony Fasano. In addition, they added depth signings in Chase Daniels, Akeem Jordan, Geoff Schwartz, and Donnie Avery.

With a flurry of action coming before the draft, the Chiefs set themselves up well to take the best player available and didn’t need to be forced to reach for need.

It was the widespread thought that the Chiefs would send OT Branden Albert to the Dolphins to recoup the second round pick lost in the Alex Smith trade but that never came to fruition.

The Chiefs were awarded two compensatory selections giving them eight total selections heading into the draft. With four picks in the top 100, the Chiefs and John Dorsey were in a good position to add quality and depth to an already solid roster. Read the rest of this entry » «Kansas City Chiefs 2013 NFL Draft Recap»

"Da'Rick Rogers"

Jim Brown-US PRESSWIRE

Day two was a day that featured the skill positions after the first day saw a ton of ‘big men’ taken off the board. It left us with some intriguing names left on the board including three big name quarterbacks in Matt Barkley, Ryan Nassib, and Tyler Wilson.

As always there’s some highly productive collegiate players still on the board as we open the final frame of the annual NFL Draft. I would be prepared for a run on quarterbacks early in round four as teams begin to feast on the value. I could see four and possibly five quarterbacks taken in round four.

After the break you can check out our top 200 remaining prospects. Read the rest of this entry » «2013 NFL Draft: Top 200 Remaining Prospects»

The Sack 7: Coming for your QB…J.J. Watt

Posted by Uptown Murf On April - 27 - 2013ADD COMMENTS
j.j. watt

USA TODAY Sports

One of the most talent rich positions, if not THE most talent rich position in football is the pass rusher. Rather it be an outside linebacker in a 3-4 alignment, a defensive end in a 4-3 or a defensive tackle in any scheme, we have some of the best young talent in the history of football playing right now. I will break down the the guys who I feel will be at the top of the game five years from now. I call it, the “Sack 7″….

#3: J.J. Watt

I’m a big proponent of getting pressure from the interior of your defense. Almost as much as getting pressure from the edges. My thinking being; I’ve seen QB’s avoid edge rushers by simply stepping back up into the pocket when pressured. Often when I see QB’s get pressure up the middle, they escape to one side, which cuts off half the field. Very few teams have the type of presence in the interior to really cause a difference. One team that can lay claim to that would be the Houston Texans, with their sack savant, J.J. Watt. As a matter of fact there’s not another team remotely getting this type of production from one singular player on the interior.

J.J. Watt, who started his career off at Central Michigan University as a tight end, before transferring after one season to the University of Wisconsin to harass quarterbacks, has continued that trend in the NFL. Read the rest of this entry » «The Sack 7: Coming for your QB…J.J. Watt»

"Geno Smith"

Debby Wong – USA TODAY Sports

Day two was definitely highlighted by the selections of Geno Smith and Manti Te’o. It’s the talk of the draft but there were a ton of  decisions and moves that will impact NFL rosters in a major way next season.

We have seen the fewest quarterbacks drafted in the first three rounds since 2000. It appears there’s a gentlemen’s agreement throughout the NFL to not overdraft quarterbacks for the first time in a long while. Matt Barkley and Ryan Nassib remain available heading into day three and now become solid values.

The first day of the draft was about the big guys while day two saw a run on skill positions. The secondary was taken at a rapid pace along with the wide receiver position. There is still a boatload of talented guys still available and we’ll release our top remaining 200 players tomorrow morning.

After the break check out our day two recap with a pick by pick analysis. Read the rest of this entry » «2013 NFL Draft: Day two recap with pick by pick analysis»

Circling Friday’s Rumor Mill

Posted by Brad On April - 26 - 2013ADD COMMENTS
"2013 NFL Draft"

Brad Penner – USA TODAY Sports

The second day of the draft is usually as rumor filled as day one as team’s begin posturing at the top of the second round. The first round was expected to be a flurry of action as teams moved up and down the board but we came away with a handful of trades and little drama, in the grand scheme of things.

With a talented crop of prospects remaining on the board, we could see significant action at the top of the second round and throughout the Friday’s picks. We have been cautioning draft fans that the talent of this draft was in the depth of the second and third rounds. If we were right on that assessment we could see the flurry of action today as opposed to yesterday’s day one.

After the break check out a team by team breakdown of some of the rumors making their way through the media. Read the rest of this entry » «Circling Friday’s Rumor Mill»

2013 NFL Mock Draft: 2nd and 3rd Rounds

Posted by Brad On April - 26 - 20138 COMMENTS
"Arthur Brown"

Scott Sewell-US PRESSWIRE

The big boys dominated round one, now it might be time we see a run on skill positions. There’s plenty of talent still remaining as two of our top ten players remain on the board.

Teams in need of corners are in business as there remains a plethora of options that could be had deep into the third round of the draft. It was our assumption that the corner class was one of, if not the most, deep position groups in the draft and it looks like that was a solid assumption.

Rest assured that the quarterbacks (and Manti Te’o) will carry the day on your choice of networks. The opening frame will be all about Geno Smith, Ryan Nassib, and Matt Barkley. Once they are off the board, and it should come fairly early, we can get to the drafting of some very good players.

The steals of the remaining talent are Arthur Brown, Jamar Taylor, and Markus Wheaton. Look for Brown and Taylor to come off the board early on day two with Wheaton remaining an option late in round two and possibly into round three.

Enough of the talking, here’s our second and third round mock draft. Read the rest of this entry » «2013 NFL Mock Draft: 2nd and 3rd Rounds»