Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Look, scouting NFL talent is far from an exact science. That is pretty much a given. If it were an exact science then Tom Brady wouldn't have been drafted in the 6th round and Ryan Leaf wouldn't have been drafted with the 2nd overall pick. Still, that being said, most talent evaluators around the NFL have a pretty good idea what they are talking about. All of them except for one Todd McShay.

You guys remember Todd McShay right? Yea, he was that All-American QB from... Oh wait, nevermind, McShay never played a down of college football. In fact, he was a backup QB at Richmond. Yes folks, Richmond. A back injury ended his "career" and instead he started cutting film for the head coach. And my favorite part (this is a plug for all you University of Delaware alum) is that he graduated with a degree in LEADERSHIP. Ha! Leadership? You mean those study hall classes that the football players slept through, that is even if they showed up to them.

After his prominent college career was finished, McShay interned at The War Room, an independent scouting agency where apparently he was "discovered". I don't know about you, but I'm still waiting for the part where McShay has any experience evaluating talent at the pro level.
Check out this line from ESPN's bio on McShay...

"McShay is the director of college football scouting for ESPN Scouts Inc., where he has been evaluating prospects for the NFL Draft since 1998, during which time numerous NFL teams have utilized his reports."

Oh really, numerous NFL teams have utilized his reports? Funny, because according to an article on ProFootballTalk this morning, NFL scouts seem to feel just like I do...

"McShay does not have any good connections," the source opined. "Higher-ups in the league think he is an arrogant asshole. A know-it-all. And he really knows nothing. Whatever he says about a quarterback, take it to the bank, it will be the opposite. Remember, last August he stated that Jevan Snead was better than Colt McCoy and would get drafted in the top five. He has yet to publicly retract that statement.

Finally, the cat is out of the bag. McShay is as big of a d-bag as he seems on tv. Maybe I'm a little biased, admittedly I am a Mel Kiper guy. But lets be real here, when you have NFL scouts saying, "Most people at my level feel he is a joke", there has to be some truth in there. Bottom line, McShay is on tv only because he has personality and bleached blond hair (which was cool when I was 12). Not that I actually think that NFL teams prospect rankings are effected by anything he says, but you have to look at the other side of it. Some of these players are taking stock in the rankings given out by McShay, possibly thinking they are more valuable then what they really are. You can read the whole article here...

Monday, March 29, 2010

NFL Draft Mock First Round

First off, my apologies to the 3 people (and that's a generous estimate) that actually take the time to read this, I have been swamped as of late and haven't had the time to draft anything up. What better way to return then a mock draft?

1) St Louis - Sam Bradford QB Oklahoma
The Rams have to make this pick, especially after Bradford's impressive pro day on Monday putting to rest any questions about that throwing shoulder. Besides, anything is better then Kyle Boller or Keith Null
Alternate: Ndamukong Suh

2) Detroit - Ndamukong Suh DT Nebraska
This pick is going to come down to Suh or Oklahoma DT Gerald McCoy. If you saw any game tape of the Big 12 championship game, you understand why taking Suh is a no-brainer here.
Alternate: Gerald McCoy

3) Tampa Bay - Gerald McCoy DT Oklahoma
The Bucs will go best player on the board here and try to bolster that once vaunted Tampa 2 defense. McCoy will be an immediate presence on a defense that had virtually no pass rush last year.
Alternate: Eric Berry

4) Washington - Russell Okung OT Oklahoma State
This pick will be decided on how much Mike Shanahan has been impressed with Jason Campbell up to this point. If Shanahan thinks he can trust Campbell then Okung is the safe bet, strengthening the offensive line with the best tackle on the board. Still, if Shanahan decides to end the Jason Campbell experiment, taking Clausen or McCoy this high would be a mistake in my mind.
Alternate: Eric Berry

5) Kansas City - Eric Berry S Tennessee
If Berry drops to KC, there wouldn't be any hesitation by Todd Haley and Co. to pull the trigger. Berry might very well be the most NFL ready player in the draft in my eyes. If only the Eagles sucked as bad as the Chiefs, I'd love Berry.
Alternate: Jason Pierre-Paul

6) Seattle - Jason Pierre-Paul DE South Florida
Pierre is a physical freak out of the Jevon Kearse mold that could cause many problems off the edge. Seattle probably has a few other positions they need to address, but they also have a second pick at 14 overall.
Alternate: Bryan Bulaga

7) Cleveland - Dez Bryant WR Oklahoma State
Cleveland's only offensive weapon is a kick returner that occasionally lines up at QB in Josh Cribbs. Seriously. That is their only opportunity to score points. Yes, Bryant has had some character issues but I think the Mike Holmgren philosophy is going to change things around Browns camp, he shouldn't be a problem.
Alternate: Joe Haden

8) Oakland - Jimmy Clausen QB Notre Dame
I bet you're thinking, "Wow, that might be the dumbest pick of all time." And you would probably be right. Hence why I have the Raiders picking Clausen, because they are the dumbest franchise of recent history. What better way to cover up your multi-million dollar mistake in fatty Jamarcus Russell then to dish out some more guaranteed money for Clausen.
Alternate: Bruce Campbell

9) Buffalo - Trent Williams OT Iowa
The only thing worse then the Bills offensive line is their QB situation. This is too early to take Colt McCoy or Tim Tebow. Although, Tebow did have dinner with Jim Kelly the other night...
Alternate: Tim Tebow

10) Jacksonville - Derrick Morgan DE Georgia Tech
I don't know a whole lot about Morgan, but the experts rant and rave about his football IQ which is always a plus. I'll take a smart player over a Jamarcus Russell/Vince Y0ung any day.
Alternate: Earl Thomas

11) Denver (from Chicago) - Arrelious Benn WR Illinois
Denver wants Dez Bryant with this pick, but they'll take the next best receiver on the board in Benn. I'd like to say this pick is contingent on Brandon Marshall leaving, but who knows, even if he stays they might want to play for the future because it seems like Marshall tries to leave Denver every offseason.
Alternate: Everson Griffen

12) Miami - Dan Williams DT Tennessee
At 6-2 327 lbs Williams is a perfect fit for the anchor of Miami's 3-4 scheme.
Alternative: Terrence Cody

13) San Francisco - Joe Haden CB Florida
Haden's stock dropped after the Combine, but he's still the best cover-corner in the draft and San Fran can't pass up the opportunity to grab him and help sure up the secondary.
Alternative: Bruce Campbell/Trent Williams

14) Seattle (from Denver) - Bryan Bulaga OT Iowa
The Seahawk's will go about rebuilding both their O and D lines in the first round grabbing Bulaga who could start right away for them.
Alternative: CJ Spiller

15) New York Giants - Rolando McClain LB Alabama
This pick is basically a lock for the Giants unless McClain gets taken early by someone else. They need to bolster the middle of their D after Antonio Pierce was released and McClain is a tank.
Alternative: Brian Price

16) Tennessee - Everson Griffen DE USC
The Titans defense took a big step back last year after losing Albert Hainesworth and Kyle Vanden Bosch took off this offseason, Griffen gives them a weapon off the edge.
Alternative: Sergio Kindle

17) San Francisco (from Carolina) - Mike Iupati G Idaho
Iupati impressed a lot of people at the post-college season all star events and again at the Combine, he is the best guard prospect in the draft.
Alternative: Brandon Graham

18) Pittsburgh - Bruce Campbell OT Maryland
Even with the strong/ridiculous combine numbers, I think Campbell will slip a little bit to mid/late first round. Pittsburgh needs to revamp that line and Campbell is athletic enough to do whatever they ask him to.
Alternative: Anthony Davis

19) Atlanta - Earl Thomas S Texas
I think this is a toss up between Thomas and Taylor Mays out of USC. Thomas is being labeled one of the most instinctive players in the draft and that is exactly what you want out of a Safety.
Alternative: Taylor Mays/Jermaine Gresham

20) Houston - C.J. Spiller RB Clemson
Yes, Houston's biggest needs are absolutely on the defensive side, but I don't see them passing up yet another offensive weapon. Steve Slaton hasn't proved to be the guy yet and Spiller will bring a home run threat every play.
Alternative: Kyle Wilson

21) Cincinnati - Jermaine Gresham TE Oklahoma
I'm sure the Bengals wanted a WR at this spot after not signing T.O. or acquiring Brandon Marshall (don't rule that out yet) but Gresham is a premier TE prospect and the Bengals could use him as they would a WR to compliment Ochocinco.
Alternative: Taylor Mays

22) New England - Brandon Graham DE/OLB Michigan
Perfect fit for the Patriots, the in betweener out of Michigan has a high motor and will fit in nicely in that system to replace Adalius Thomas.
Alternative: Sergio Kindle

23) Green Bay - Anthony Davis OT Rutgers
The Packers offensive line issues were no secret last season. You have to protect the bread and butter of this team in Aaron Rodgers if you want any chance to succeed.
Alternative: Rodger Saffold

24) Philadelphia - Taylor Mays S USC
The Birds have quite a few positions they could upgrade on the defensive side of the ball, Safety is the biggest hole without a doubt. Would not in the least be surprised if Big Red Reid went offensive line here, but Mays athletic ability is hard to pass up.
Alternative: Maurkice Pouncey

25) Baltimore - Aaron Hernandez TE Florida
The Ravens were hoping Gresham dropped to them at 25 but I don't see it happening. They could still go TE here and get a really good player in Hernandez who has great hands and caught a lot of balls at Florida.
Alternative: Jerry Hughes

26) Arizona - Sergio Kindle OLB/DE Texas
Even though they just signed Joey Porter, its pretty much a given that he isnt an every down player anymore. Plus it doesnt help he just got arrested and tried to fight a cop. Idiot.
Alternative: Brian Price

27) Dallas - Nate Allen S USF
Dallas could use offensive line help here, but it would be a reach for them to snag the next best OT on the board, so they'll go to the secondary which is their next concern.
Alternative: Morgan Burnett

28) San Diego - Ryan Mathews RB Fresno State
I don't see the Chargers passing up Mathews here, there is no way Darren Sproles can carry the load of that running game the whole season. Plus, Sproles is much more effective when he gets on the field as a change of pace back which would compliment Mathews extremely well.
Alternative: Terrence Cody

29) New York Jets - Jared Odrick DE/DT Penn State
I'd like to think the Jets would take big Terrence Cody here, but I see them leaning towards Odrick who will give them a big body at DE that could even move to the inside on passing downs and get to the QB.
Alternative: Terrence Cody

30) Minnesota - Kyle Wilson CB Boise State
Either way, the Vikes are going cornerback with this pick, Antoine Winfield isn't getting any younger and they could use the depth. I'm not so sure Wilson will drop this far, but they will still be in good shape with McCourtney and Patrick Robinson still available.
Alternative: Devin McCourtney

31) Indianapolis - Brian Price DT UCLA
I'd be shocked if Indy went offense with their first pick. Still, there are some weapons out there still like Jahvid Best who's stock plummeted because of injury concerns. But, the key to Indy's defensive success is their D-Line, and the experts love Price who's a DT that can get to the QB.
Alternative: Jahvid Best

32) New Orleans - Sean Witherspoon OLB Missouri
Perfect fit for this Saints team. I've only heard good things about Witherspoon and they need an athletic OLB very, very bad. Will be interesting to see what Darren Sharper does because if he doesnt come back they now have a very large hole in that secondary.
Alternative: Eric Norwood/Sean Lee

Thursday, March 11, 2010

what do you make of the washington nationals

The Nationals had quite the busy off-season adding some veteran presence to their roster in an attempt to climb out of the NL East cellar. Now, no one is calling them a contender, but if you take a close look at what their opening day roster might look like, you could be surprised. Here's a look at what the National's did this offseason, dishing out contracts worth nearly $30 million.

  • Jason Marquis (SP)
  • Scott Olsen (SP)
  • Chien-Ming Wang (SP)
  • Matt Capps (RP/CL)
  • Ivan Rodriguez (C)
  • Adam Kennedy (2B)
  • Willy Tavares (OF)
Marquis will be their #1 starter after winning 15 games with the Rockies last year. John Lannan will likely be their #2. While only winning 9 games last year and in 2008, his ERA was below 4.0 which is nothing to be ashamed of. Wang won 19 games in back to back seasons (with an ERA below 4.0 as well) with the Yankees and if he is healthy the #3 spot is likely to go to him. The #4 spot will be Scott Olsen who had some up and down years with the Marlins but he is at the worst consistently average. Matt Capps is no bum, he has 66 saves in the last 3 seasons combined. While the #5 starter spot is technically up for grabs, the Nats have this small little investment (4 yr $15 million) made in Stephen Strasburg as well. They claim to not want to bring up him to the big leagues this season, but lets be real here, it's going to happen at some point in the season.

While their pitching has improved significantly from last year, their offense will end up being relatively similar. A full season with Nyjer Morgan at the leadoff spot will undoubtedly help their offensive production. Morgan was hidden in baseball purgatory (Pittsburgh) before coming over last year and tearing it up for half the season.

1 Nyjer Morgan (in 49 games Morgan batted .351 and had 24 stolen bases last year for the Nats)
2 Christian Guzman
3 Ryan Zimmerman (.292 BA, 33 HR, 106 RBI...Zimmerman is a stud)
4 Adam Dunn (Career high .267 BA, 38 HR, 105 RBI)
5 Elijah Dukes
6 Josh Willingham
7 Ivan Rodriguez
8 Adam Kennedy

While I don't see the Nats finishing anywhere relevant, it would not at all surprise me if this team won close to 80 games and didnt finish below .500 for the first time since 2005. I would also not be surprised at all if the Nationals finished up with a better record then both the Mets and Marlins this year. That's right, I said it.

Monday, March 8, 2010

2010 Phillies lineup preview

2010 Philadelphia Phillies
(2009 record 93-69)

*New additions*

SS: Jimmy Rollins
3B: Placido Polanco
2B: Chase Utley
1B: Ryan Howard
RF: Jayson Werth
LF: Raul Ibanez
CF: Shane Victorino
C: Carlos Ruiz

SP 1: Roy Halladay (R)
SP 2: Cole Hamels (L)
SP 3: Joe Blanton (R)
SP 4: J.A. Happ (L)
SP 5: Kyle Kendrick (R)/Jamie Moyer (L)
SU: Ryan Madson (R)
CL: Brad Lidge (R)

Greg Dobbs (Primary Pinch Hitter/1B/3B), Brian Schneider (C), Juan Castro (UTIL), Ben Francisco (OF), Ross Gload (1B), John Mayberry (OF)

Chad Durbin (R), Danys Baez (R), JC Romero (L), Antonio Bastardo (L), Jose Contreras (R), Drew Naylor (R), Sergio Escalona (L), Andrew Carpenter (R)

Key Departures from 2009 - Cliff Lee, Pedro Feliz, Paul Bako, Matt Stairs, Chris Coste, Chan Ho Park, Scott Eyre, Pedro Martinez, Kyle Drabek (prospect), Michael Taylor (prospect)

Not so relevant departures - Eric "Butters" Bruntlett (FINALLY), Clay Condrey, Chris "Chemotherapy" Coste, Tyler Walker, Jack Taschner, Rodrigo Lopez, Miguel Cairo

Extremely solid club going into 2010 and clearly the favorites to win the NL East, if not the entire National League. The Phillies are a better team then last year, and on paper even look to be a better team then the 2008 World Series Championship team. I'm going to say the season starts out with the lineup I have up top (I'd rather see Victorino and Polanco switched) but I will not at all be surprised if Charlie switches it up throughout the year. I'm a big fan of what R.A. Jr. did in upgrading the bullpen with Baez and Contreras, both are upgrades. Those of you who know me understand the deep hatred I possess for one Jack "Batting Practice" Taschner. Still, it will come down to a few things when predicting how successful the 2010 Phillies will be...

Can Brad Lidge bounce back to 2008 form (or shave that nasty goatee)?
Can Rollins discover what the word consistency means?
Can the core of the lineup stay healthy?
Can Halladay deliver in his first year in the NL?
Can J.A. Happ avoid the dreaded sophomore slump?
Can this group of players gel like the Phils of 2008? (RIP Pat Burrell)
Can Charlie Manuel keep off the weight? (Oprah couldn't)

And what I feel will be the make or break for this team...

Can Cole Hamels re-establish himself as one of the top pitchers in baseball?

I guess we'll see...

( just put out a Phillies Offseason review too so check it out)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

free agency?

My frustration can't be put into words right now. The eve of free agency has passed and not a single move has been made. Normally, this wouldnt surprise me as the Eagles organization usually keeps their dealings on the down-low, but this time is different. We are in an uncapped year with a one year window to win a championship here. I'm pretty sure Andy Reid made that pretty clear with his uncanny "Donovan's our quarterback" statement. What a clown.

Some big things better go down before or during the NFL draft for me to even have a hint of excitement for this coming season or else the Eagles will be the EXACT same team that struggled through large parts of last year and failed to defeat the Dallas Cowboys in three attempts. Not to mention every other team is getting better with the Redskins bringing in a Super Bowl winning coach and the Giants just signing the best free agent defensive back on the market.

Damnit Andy.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

why draft when you can buy?

Memo to the Eagles front office:

Please, please take a serious look into former Cardinal Antrel Rolle. I understand that Taylor Mays is 6'3 235 lbs and runs a 4.3 40 yd dash, I get it. Don't be fooled. Dare I bring up Mike Mamula? Easily recognized as THE example of a "workout warrior" that impresses teams with a decent college season and phenomenal combine numbers. Ask the Jets how that Vernon Gholston move is turning out...

Antrel Rolle is precisely what the Eagles need in the secondary to compliment Quintin Mikell. Remember, he played cornerback in college for the U and returned kicks as well. This guy has a nose for the ball. He has 12 pics, 5 of them returned for a TD, in just his 5th NFL season. In 4 years at USC Taylor Mays had 5 INT (3 of them coming in his Freshman season). Rolle provides instant leadership and experience (he played 5 seasons next to Adrian Wilson in Arizona). While Mays might play as a rookie, there is zero chance he gives you the immediate production that Rolle will provide.

Will Rolle be expensive? Of course. Premier players demand premier money. But Rolle is only 27 years old and clearly entering the prime of his career. Don't spend the massive amount of money Julius Peppers will demand on a 30 year old defensive end who has been known to mimic the patented Randy Moss "I only play when I feel like it" mentality. Be smart, stop worrying about money especially in this uncapped year when everyone gets to play the New York Yankees game.

Stupid Yankees.