Sunday, March 23, 2008

NFL Mock Draft, Take 3

Merry weekend, all. In the wake of recent thrilling developments like Pro Days and Surgeries, I've taken it upon myself to write up the third of my unnecessarily premature mocks. Enjoy!

Remember, the criteria I operate by is as such: I don't conduct trades, I don't factor in sudden fits of insanity (Millen and Davis, don't spread the sickness!), and I can't be held accountable for docking your favorite prospect from the first round. Enjoy!

1 Miami Dolphins : Chris Long
2 St. Louis Rams : Vernon Gholston
3 Atlanta Falcons: Glenn Dorsey
4 Oakland Raiders: Jake Long
5 Kansas City Chiefs: Ryan Clady
6 New York Jets: Darren McFadden
7 New England Patriots : Leodis McKelvin
8 Baltimore Ravens: Matt Ryan
9 Cincinnati Bengals: Sedrick Ellis
10 New Orleans Saints: Keith Rivers
11 Buffalo Bills: Malcolm Kelly
12 Denver Broncos: Jeff Otah
13 Carolina Panthers: Chris Williams
14 Chicago Bears: Rashard Mendenhall
15 Detroit Lions: Phillip Merling
16 Arizona Cardinals: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
17 Minnesota Vikings: Derrick Harvey
18 Houston Texans: Mike Jenkins
19 Philadelphia Eagles: DeSean Jackson
20 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Limas Sweed
21 Washington Redskins: Quentin Groves
22 Dallas Cowboys (from Cleveland Browns): Jonathan Stewart
23 Pittsburgh Steelers: Brandan Albert
24 Tennessee Titans: Devin Thomas
25 Seattle Seahawks: Kenny Phillips
26 Jacksonville Jaguars: Kentwan Balmer
27 San Diego Chargers: Felix Jones
28 Dallas Cowboys: Aqib Talib
29 San Francisco 49ers (from Indianapolis Colts): Antoine Cason
30 Green Bay Packers: Reggie Smith
31 New York Giants: Dan Connor

The newest Cowboy?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The New-look Mavericks: What we know

There's something to be said for judging a product that's far from finished. Which is why although I staunchly opposed to the Jason Kidd trade from the moment I first heard about it, I was willing to keep a semi-open mind on it. I wouldn't oppose the trade on principle as I did the Joey Galloway trade (trading two first round picks to add a receiver to a mediocre team= absolutely asinine. every time). Kidd's numbers are incredible, his league-wide praise is awe-inspiring. There was plenty of reason to believe that the trade would make the Mavericks better, and for that I did not feel compelled to vow against ever watching the Mavs play again.
Dateline: Right freaking now. The sample size we've been granted is sufficient to make a reasonable analysis of what old Kidd has infused into this ballclub. They've played the elite teams, competed with the pushovers, gone on a lengthy road trip and played successive games at home. What can we draw from what we've seen?
For one, this team's more motivated than it was before the deal. Dirk's driving to the hole a lot more and it doesn't have as much to do with Kidd giving him the ball at opportune places and times as it does with Dirk realizing that the clock is ticking. Damp has lost all traces of David Lafleur Hands syndrome. The games they seemed to resign to losing before the clock started? They seem to have been left behind.
In addition, there's no question that this team is better at distributing the ball than it used to be. The difference is pronounced; they're unrecognizable from the squad that we had seen since the departure of Nash. Dirk's playing with passion, but that's not all it is. He's getting good looks. Stack, a guy who will take a shot whether It's a good idea or not, is getting more good shots with the decision made for him. Brandon Bass has become a very legitimate 7th man.

However, the good comes with plenty of detriments. The Mavericks have yet to beat a really good team since the trade. One can say that the games have, for the most part been close. That's true. One can say that they have mostly been on the road. Also a fact. However, the fact remains that close isn't good enough, and as things stand right now this team would play more games Away than at Home. Their defense has slipped. Kidd's unable to keep up with the elite point guards of the West and isn't quite as good at defending the playmaking 2 as we'd heard from his proponents. His ability to make quick and brilliant decisions in facilitating shots is breathtaking; his lack of judgment in taking shots of his own can be appalling. The rebounding hasn't been what we anticipated.

This team has played in every setting, and the polarities they've encountered make evaluation difficult. The one mathchup I thought would be especially telling (vs. the streaking Rockets) was marred by the Dirk suspension. They had several chances for statement games and barely blew it (The Lakers come to the forefront). Am I less violently opposed to this trade than I am dissapointed? Yes. That's an improvement from my stance of weeks ago. We'll have to wait and see what is forthcoming from this squad; because as much as I thought at this point we'd have something to either hang our hats with pride or heads with shame with, It's premature. Let's give it a while.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Ridiculously Premature NFL Mock, Take 2

The combine has concluded, and teams are doing what they do every year Speculating on any and every player possibly available for them. You can't lend a minute bit of credence to anything that's said during this period of time, but being the sports experts that we are, we choose to do so anyway. So, here's the second of my pointless but enjoyable mock drafts. Again, I'm not going to make any trades or allow for the insanity of Matt Millen. These selections are made based on need, player ability, salary demands, and the way grilled cheese is cooked in Detroit on a certain Saturday Morning.

1. Miami: DE Chris Long
2. St. Louis: DT Glenn Dorsey
3. Atlanta: QB Matt Ryan
4. Oakland: DT Sedrick Ellis
5. Kansas City: LT Jake Long
6. NYJ: RB Darren McFadden
7: New England: DE Vernon Gholston
8. Baltimore: LT Ryan Clady
9. Cincinatti: S Kenny Phillips
10. New Orleans: CB Leodis McKelvin
11. Buffalo: WR Limas Sweed
12. Denver: LT Jeff Otah
13. Carolina: OLB Keith Rivers
14. Chicago: QB Brian Brohm
15. Detroit: RB Rashard Mendenhall
16. Arizona: CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
17. Minnesota: DE Phillip Merling
18. Houston: RB Jonathan Stewart
19. Philadelphia: LT Chris Williams
20. Tampa Bay: WR Desean Jackson
21. Washington: WR Malcolm Kelly
22. Dallas: CB Mike Jenkins
23. Pittsburgh: G/T Brandon Albert
24. Tennessee: CB Aqib Talib
25. Seattle: RB Felix Jones
26. Jacksonville: DE Derrick Harvey
27. San Diego: DT Kentwan Balmer
28. Dallas: WR Early Doucet
29. San Fransisco: LB Dan Connor
30. Green Bay: CB/S Reggie Smith
31. New York: LT Gosder Cherilus