Robert Griffin III

NFC East Expectations

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NFC East Expectations

Dallas Cowboys –  The Cowboys are a very interesting team going into the 2012 season.  The biggest problem for the Cowboys last season was their secondary, giving up 244 yards a game.  However, this off-season they signed cornerback Brandon Carr to a huge contract and traded up in the draft to get Morris Claiborne, the top cornerback in the draft.  If their secondary is fixed, they could be one of the best teams in the NFL.  They have a very talented offense with Miles Austin and Dez Bryant at wide receiver and Felix Jones and Demarco Murray at running back.  My only concern on the offense is quarterback Tony Romo.  He is a very talented quarterback who can make every NFL throw.  However, I question Tony’s decision-making ability because at the end of games he makes errant throws that cost them the game.

Prediction 10-6

Washington Redskins –  The Redskins are by far the worst team in the division.  They have a rookie quarterback in Robert Griffin III who will be the starting quarterback day 1.  However, I am skeptical in Robert Griffin’s ability to function in a pro style system. Besides the quarterback position the Redskins have a average amount of talent on offense.  This offseason they signed wide receiver Pierre Garcon to a long-term deal, which should help RG3 develop as a quarterback.  The Redskins’ defense should be able to hold its own this season. Their whole season, and its success, will be based off whether Robert Griffin III is effective.

Prediction 6-10

New York Giants – The Giants are the defending super bowl championships but don’t expect them to repeat this year.  The Giants lost many key players on their offense during the offseason in Mario Manningham and Brandon Jacobs.  The loss of Manningham will hurt the offense the most since it will force Victor Cruz out of his slot position.  However,  if second year player, Jerrel Jernigan can step up at wide receiver this will allow Cruz to stay at slot.  Again, the Giants should have a great defense led by their pass rush.  However, their defense worries me because as goes their pass rush, so goes their defense. Overall, the Giants have a very talented roster, but will not make a super bowl push because of consistency issues.

Predication 11-5

Philidelphia Eagles – On talent alone, the Eagles are the best team in the NFL.  The Eagles have Pro Bowl caliber talent at every level of their defense.  However,  last season they didn’t play consistent enough and did not force enough turnovers to be labeled a great defense.  Furthermore, on offense, they are one of the most explosive teams in the NFL.  The Eagles offense did not live up to expectation this past year, mostly because of injuries.  Michael Vick, the Eagles starting quarterback, missed significant time due to injuries.  If Michael Vick is not playing quarterback, their offense is merely average.  The Eagles are the most talented team in the division, but need to play with better consistency to make a Super Bowl run.

Prediction 13-3

Connor Willsey

The Draft: Top 10

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Thank you Indianapolis for confirming what all NFL fans have considered doctrine since the Colts skydived into the first overall pick. Earlier this week, the Colts outspoken and avid twitter user, Jim Irsay, confirmed with the media that they will draft Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. Thanks Jim, but I think we could of figured that out when ESPN declared him to be the best quarterback in the history of the NFL. Luck and Griffin will go one and two, its the thirty other picks that are undecided. Lets take an in-depth look at the first round, 1-10…..
3. Minnesota Vikings 
Team Needs: LT, CB, WR, DT, S
After surprisingly drafting Christian Ponder at the number seven pick last year, the Vikings are in the top ten again after a disappointing season. The Vikings truly believe in Ponder and are hoping to add the necessary protection and weapons to make him the best quarterback for their team. Longtime LT, Bryant McKinnie, was the “blind side” protector for the Vikings, until he was cut after the lockout. A left tackle is needed in order for the growth and development of Ponder in the future. USC LT Matt Kalil, is head, shoulder, knees and toes above the other LT’s in the draft. He will provide the necessary athleticism to take on speed rushing ends. He also provides a solid, physical run blocking tenacity and will bring along a potential long and successful career in Minnesota.
4. Cleveland Browns
 Team Needs: QB, OL, RB, WR, CB
 Cleveland has two picks in the first round, which makes this selection at number three even more interesting. The rise of Ryan Tannehill will have the entire league on their toes. Cleveland has lately said they will entertain trades up to the draft. However I look for them to keep their pick and NOT select Tannehill. I believe Colt McCoy, even when concussed and unaware of his surroundings, is a better quarterback and football player than Ryan Tannehill. If the organization believes McCoy will be a liability, Cleveland has been a notorious place for old veterans to continue their career. If they do not reach for Tannehill with pick number three, I expect them to use their pick on Alabama RB, Trent Richardson. He will provide stability in the backfield and could do damage with a pretty decent offensive line.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
 Team Needs: CB, WR, RB, S
 The Bucs spent big in free agency this offseason to land receiver Vincent Jackson, guard Carl Nicks and corner Eric Wright to shore up three weak spots. Greg Schiano come in and replace Raheem Morris and improve from a disappointing year last year. Morris Claiborne looks to be the best corner in the draft and maybe the best athlete in the draft. Though he is not as great of an athlete at Patrick Peterson from last years draft, but he provides a physical but still a quick presence on the edge. If Trent Richardson slips past the Browns, don’t be surprised if they take him over Claiborne.
6. St. Louis Rams
Team Needs: WR,, OT, CB, DT
The Rams struggles at quarterback was not always because the pass was not there on time. The receiving core struggled immensely as the season went on. They currently have no go to threat for Sam Bradford to go to when he needs that third down conversion. It is likely they will select Oklahoma St. WR Justin Blackmon who will provide a big time receiver for Bradford. Though he is not a in the same class as A.J. Green and Julio Jones of the previous class, Blackmon is a solid go to guy.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars
Teams Needs: WR, DE, OT, FS, CB
The Jaguars grabbed hopeful future starting quarterback in Blaine Gabbert, slightly earlier than most expected in last years draft. Now they look to provide a solid infrastructure to support his growth and development. The team signed Laurent Robinson and Lee Evans to help improve the current receiving corp but could look to go get WR Michael Floyd out of Notre Dame. Though he had numerous incidents in South Bend, his talent and athleticism can not be over looked. He is a big, physical receiver and moves well in and out of his cuts. However, don’t be surprised if Jacksonville goes defensive with the selection of Melvin Ingram or North Carolina’s Quinton Coples.
8. Miami Dolphins
Team Needs: QB, WR, DE/LB, RT/RG, S
Tony Sparono is out and in comes former Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator, Joe Philbin, to help recover the Dolphins franchise. With the Philbin taking the helm, everyone almost guaranteed that his former backup quarterback, Matt Flynn, would be taking his talents to South Beach. However, he opted for the rainy days in Seattle with Pete Carroll, so now they are scrambling  to find a franchise quarterback. Or are they? Matt Moore did not look to bad last year but can he truly be trusted with the franchise? With the number eight pick, this where Ryan Tannehill should not necessarily be taken, but is a better fit than any higher than this pick. The Dolphins may end up trading up to get him, but I think they will be the team to take the risk on Tannehill.
9. Carolina Panthers
 Team Needs: DT, DE, CB, WR
Cam Newton was a hit in his rookie season, as he managed to bring some excitement to Panther fans that has not been seen since Vinetari kicked away their Super Bowl aspirations They are again back in the top then of the draft, but now at the number nine pick, PROGRESS!!!! Even with super Cam, the defense will have to improve just as much as the offense did a year ago. Their run defense was one of the worst in the league last year and they need major help. Mississippi St. defensive tackle, Fletcher Cox, looks to be the best defensive tackle in the draft. Many scouts say he is ready to play once training camp begins. He will provide a big body at nose but as well an athletic guy that can sparingly give you tackle for losses and sacks.
10. Buffalo Bills
 Team Needs: LT, WR, CB, LB
The Bills were “busy  bees” in the off season, adding former Houston Texan DE, Mario Williams to improve their pass rushing. They also went out and got former Chicago Bear and Patriot, Mark Anderson to go along side Williams. The biggest move was keeping young, talented receiver, Stevie Johnson in a Buffalo uniform. However, Demetrius Bell is gone, which leaves a massive hole on the left side of the line. The Bills have no choice but to stick with Fitzpatrick, after giving him a lengthy deal after a pretty decent season. Riley Reiff is the second best left tackle in the draft and should replace Bell on Fitzpatrick’s blind side. It would shock me if they did not take Reiff, but the next best guy at the position is Jonathan Martin from Stanford. Most have him however, going later on in the first round.
Michael Rose

NFL Mock Draft 1.0

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2012 NFL Mock Draft

1. Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck.  The Colts get their next franchise quarterback.Quarterback Andrew Luck

2. Washington Redskins – Robert Griffin III.  The next best quarterback in the draft and Heisman winner.

3.  Minnesota Vikings – Matt Kalil.  They get the best left tackle to come out in the last couple of years.

4.  Cleveland Browns – Ryan Tannehill.  They reach for a potential franchise quarterback.

5.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Morris Claiborne.  Tampa bay gets the best cover corner in the draft.

6.  Saint Louis Rams – Justin Blackmon.  The Rams add another young wide receiver for their quarterback of the future, Sam Bradford.

7.  Jacksonville Jaguars – Quinton Coples.  The Jaguars add another young defensive end to their young defense.

8. Miami Dolphins – Michael Floyd.  Miami replaces Brandon Marshall with a potential all-pro wide receiver.

9.  Carolina Panthers – Dontari Poe.  The Panthers draft an ultra athletic defensive tackle in hope he becomes the next Haloti Ngata.

10.  Buffalo Bills – Riley Reiff.  The Bills finally fill their need at left tackle.

11.  Kansas City Chiefs – David DeCastro.  The Chiefs draft the best guard since Steve Hutchinson.

12.  Seattle Seahawks –  Luke Kuechly.  The Seahawks draft the best linebacker in this year’s draft.

13.  Arizona Cardinals – Mike Adams. Arizona picks up a boom or bust prospect at offensive tackle hoping he turns into a franchise left tackle.

14.  Dallas Cowboys – Mark Barron.  The cowboys add another young player to there secondary and hope he can start at safety as a rookie.

15.  Philadelphia Eagles – Michael Brockers.  The eagles add the best run-stuffing defensive tackle in the draft.

16.  New York Jets –  Melvin Ingram.  The jets added a much needed pass rusher for their defense.

17. Cincinnati Bengals –  Trent Richardson.  This is the best pick of the day the Bengals pick up the 4th most talented player at 17 and fills a need a running back.

18. San Diego Chargers – Courtney Upshaw.  The Chargers add a great outside lineman who will be a good starter for the next 10 years.

19.  Chicago Bears – Jonathon Martin. The bears add another offensive lineman who could be a potential left tackle.

20.  Tennessee Titans – Cordy Glenn. The Titans want to run the ball better so they pick a lineman who can play guard or tackle and his attribute is run blocking.

21.  Cincinnati Bengals –  Dre Kirkpatrick. The Bengals add another corner back who could move to safety in the future.

22.  Cleveland Browns – Fletcher Cox.  The Browns a great 3 gap defensive tackle to play next to Phil Taylor.

23.  Detroit Lions – Jenoris Jenkins.  The lions add possibly the best cover corner in entire draft, but he comes with a lot of off the field issues.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers – Donta Hightower.  The Steelers add an inside linebacker to replace James Farrior.

25.  Denver Broncos –  Kendall Wright.  The Broncos add a slot receiver who will be dangerous when catching passes form Peyton Manning.

26.  Houston Texans – Stephen Hill.  The Texans draft a boom or bust type prospect at wide receiver who could be a great complement to Andre Johnson in a couple of years.

27.  New England Patriots –  Chandler Jones.  The Patriots add a lesser known defensive end, but he could be a star for the Patriots.

28.  Green Bay Packers – Whitney Mercilus.  The Packers add an outside linebacker to try to help take pressure off Clay Mathews.

29.  Baltimore Ravens –  Peter Konz.  The Ravens add the best center in the entire draft and with Matt Birk close to ending his career the pick couldn’t make more since.

30.  San Francisco 49ers – Andre branch.  The 49ers add another outside linebacker to their already great defense.

31.  New England Patriots –  Stephon Gilmore.  The Patriots add a cornerback to their struggling secondary.

32. New York Giants –  Lamar Miller.  The Giants replace bruising Brandon Jacobs with the ultra-quick Lamar Miller.

Connor Willsey 

The Future QB’s

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The words pro-style and dual-threat have been used to describe quarterbacks at all levels of football for decades. Ever since Brad Robinson threw the first legal pass in 1906, quarterbacks have only been catergorized within those two terms. Same as any other years, NFL teams are searching for that 6’4″ gunslinger to take their team to the next level. This year, the Colts are that team and are hoping to get their third Hall of Fame quarterback in the draft in franchise histoy. Andrew Luck fits the bill of the prototypical pro-style QB in any draft regardless of year, maybe even better. Standing in at 6’4″ and tipping in at 240lbs on the scale, Luck has been this years number one draft pick since he decided against leaving early last year. Coming from a Stanford program that runs a NFL style West Coast offense, scouts almost guarantee Lucks game is NFL ready. His career totals includes, completing 67% of his passes for 9430 yards and 82 touchdown passes. Luck also tacked on 957 rushing yards and 7 tds. To add onto his statistics, he won the Davey O’Brien award for the nations best QB, as well as the runner up in the Heisman race twice in his three year college career. Scouts have labeled him the next great NFL quarterback, but RGIII has put up equal or in some categories BETTER numbers than Luck.

Why has Griffin not been talked about when it comes to who should be the first pick? Though sports was the first institution to integrate in America, the perception of black QB’s has not changed since Doug Williams won a super bowl with the Redskins in the 80’s. Not many black quarerbacks are labeled as pro-style, but rather called dual-threat. In football scout vernacular, this means the player is a great athlete and fast but lacks adequate accuracy and ability to run a pro style offense. That is in inaccurate when comparing RGIII’s numbers to Lucks. Griffin had a better completion percentage (67.1%), more passing yards (10,366), and a higher passer rating (162.8).

Is RGIII not being discussed as a “face of the franchise” quarterback because of his skin color? Does his hair style not appeal to corporate America? If numbers alone decided who is a better quarterback, then Griffin wins in almost every catergory. Yes he can run, but numbers dont lie… HE CAN PASS, HE CAN READ A BLITZ, he does not need an assistant coach holding up a board of funny pictures and faces of tv personalities to play quarterback. Instead of making his ability to run a negative, its just another thing Griffin does better then Luck.                        

Michael Rose

The BIG Question (quarterback)

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After listening to the local Kansas City radio station 610 Sports, I believe I have heard every angle of the Chiefs current quarterback situation. Outlandish fans saying we need to trade all our picks to get Peyton Manning, calm down that won’t work. Others say they should trade this years first round pick and next years as well to get the Rams number two pick, unfortunately RG3’s combine production made the asking price for his services a little higher. What about Cassel and a near $50 million dollar contract we gave him? From the looks of it, fans want to just throw Cassel out of Kansas City and start fresh at the quarterback position. Last to enter the quarterback Waltz is Ricky Stanzi, the pronounced savior of the Chiefs offense who was a steal in the third round in last years draft (that was a joke). All humor aside, who will be the starting quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs next year. That is the question that is going around Kansas City, along with will the Royals win the World Series this year?

I doubt he was saying "I will be taking your job" Picture from:

Before Peyton Manning’s near career ending neck injury, he was arguably the most productive quarterback in the NFL, period. No one commands the attention of a defense like Peyton does, especially when he is at the line calling out fake audibles. His leadership is unquestionable, arm strength uncanny, and his knowledge of the game is one in a million for a NFL player. But a persisting neck injury sidelined him for the whole 2011-2012 season and now the Colts are considering Andrew Luck over him. I mean whoever thought the day would come that the Colts would take any other quarterback over Peyton, especially not a rookie. If the Colts do not pay Peyton the $28 million due to him by March 8th, he will become a free agent, then chaos will begin. The books in Vegas has the Chiefs at a 4/1 odds on acquiring Peyton in free agency. This is a tremendous jump from the previous 40/1 odds in January. The only team that have a better chance to get Peyton are the Dolphins, but if you compare the players that would surround Peyton the Chiefs roster would prevail.

Besides Brandon Marshall, who else does Peyton have to throw to? In Kansas City Peyton would have weapons such as Dwayne Bowe (he will sign), Steve Breaston, Baldwin, Tony Mo, and hand the ball off to Jamal Charles, pretty solid. This situation is reminiscent of when Joe Montana was let go by the 49er’s later in his career to make way for Steve Young, and came to Kansas City. Almost instantly after the move the Chiefs became heavy favorites within the division and even had Super Bowl aspirations. If the Chiefs pick up Peyton, this year may truly be “Super Bowl or Bust.”

RG3 performance at the past week’s combine was nothing less than stellar. It was expected for him to run a fast forty just because he was a former All Big XII hurdler, but seeing it was another thing. Equally impressive was the consistent reports from NFL scouts and GM’s who said Robert Griffin had great interviews and picked up the offensive and defensive concepts with ease. Those reports virtually eliminated the spread offense stereotype that said quarterbacks who played within the spread system in college would not be able to comprehend the complexity of NFL offenses. Though this was just a weekend of drills in tight shorts and shirts, but no one can deny how impressive Robert Griffin was. Saying that yesterday the Rams reportedly told NFL teams they will trade their number two pick. This created quite the frenzy for teams that are in dyer need of a franchise quarterback. The Chiefs are not that desperate for a quarterback, but the sound of RG3 in a Chiefs uniform sounds enticing. It would take a lot of draft picks to obtain the number two pick and may even require re-signing Brandon Carr just to put a cherry on top of the deal. This probable solution to the Chiefs quarterback problems would take by far the most effort and commitment.

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To say Matt Cassel was overpaid is quite frankly my opinion and most of Kansas Cities. The production just has not been $50 million dollars worth. I understand he had a LINtastic storyline backing up great quarterbacks through high school, college and the pros and finally get his chance, but I think the Chiefs took a gamble they are willing to get out of if possible. But still the fans, the great loyal people they are, want to see Cassel succeed at the Chiefs starting quarterback position. The Chiefs do not need Cassel to be Brady, Brees or Rodgers and to expect him to be like the three previously mentioned quarterbacks would set fans up to be highly disappointed. If Cassel does not perform up to the expectations Scott Pioli and Romeo Crenel have for him, this may be his last in a Chiefs uniform. Depending on how much faith they have that Cassel is the guy will determine if they make a move on Peyton or trade up to get RG3. As for Ricky Stanzi, regardless of the quarterback next year, keep the towel nearby so when the ball starts getting slick they can dry their hands.

Mike Rose