Blue Duck Mock Draft 2010

April 22, 2010

The draft represents hope for every team in the NFL. Time has shown that only a few actually capitalize.

BlueDuckSport’s annual mock draft is here.  In a draft billed as “one of the deepest in years,” every team in the NFL has hope that this year could be theirs.  Of course we know that’s not true, but let’s look how at how the BlueDuck thinks it’ll play out (in a no-trade environment of course):

  1. Sam Bradford – QB – StL
    St. Louis has more problems than every team in the NFL, including Oakland.  No offensive line, questionable receivers, a sieve for a defense, and ownership in flux.  This team needs a “face of the franchise” type player, and Bradford is the safe pick.  He’s accurate and has no character issues.  If he’s lucky, he sits Year 1 and learns while the team develops an O-Line.
  2. Ndamukong Suh – DT – Det
    There’s debate over whether they should trade down or even allow this once-in-a-generation DT go and choose an offensive tackle to protect Mathew Stafford.  Barring a pre-draft trade for Albert Haynesworth, Jim Schwartz should take Suh to clog the middle and press the QB.
  3. Gerald McCoy – DT – TB
    Since Warren Sapp left before the ’04 season, DT has been a problem.  The Bucs were able to patch the hole for a few years before the bottom fell out on this unit in 2009.  The Tampa-2 depends on creating pressure up the middle, forcing the QB to rush and allowing the defensive backfield to make a play on the ball.  That’s why McCoy is the pick at three.
  4. Trent Williams – OT – Washington
    Russell Okung may be the better player, but this is a system pick.  Everyone knows Shanahan will implement his legendary zone-blocking scheme, so getting a cornerstone left tackle that fits the system is especially important for the coach whose bread and butter is plugging in average players at RB and letting his scheme create stars.  Williams is a start in getting the ball rolling.
  5. Russell Okung – OT – KC
    Belichick deciple Scott Pioli hasn’t tipped his hand at all this off-season, but you’d have to think that if Okung is available, there’s no other choice.  Sure, Eric Berry looks like a phenom, but you can’t expect to win many games if you can’t keep the QB upright.  Choosing Okung here allows you to have bookend tackles locked up for the next decade (Branden Albert goes to RT).  Then, Kansas City can finally see what they have in Matt Cassell in Charlie Weis’ offense.
  6. Bryan Bulaga – OT – Sea
    The team needs to fill the massive shoes of HOF tackle Walter Jones, who looks doubtful to resume his career.  There are certainly mixed reviews of Bulaga, some scouts rate him in the third round because he has “short arms”.  Nevertheless, I say Seattle gambles on Bulaga who, in a worst case scenario, would the most dominant Seahawks guard since Steve Hutchinson left.
  7. Eric Berry – S – Cle
    With newly added Sheldon Brown added to Eric Wright, the top corners are above average for this rebuilding team.  In a conference with game-changing safeties like Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu, Cleveland will run to the podium to submit this pick.  Berry is unquestioned best secondary player in this draft and would go a long ways to helping remake the defense.
  8. Anthony Davis – OT – Oak
    Roll a dice with the name of players with questionable work ethics on it, because they are the Raiders cup of tea.  The only question is which future bust will Al Davis saddle his team with this year?  Every team wants their left tackle to be looking out for the quarterback, and with a history of weight fluctuations, Anthony Davis is the perfect BFF for JaMarcus Russell.  That’s not necessarily a good thing.
  9. Jimmy Clausen – QB – Buf
    Buffalo can go in a number of directions here since they have so many problems.  Many in the NFL feel that the current regime in place is just a Band-Aid until Ralph Wilson can lure a big name coach to take over, which is why I’m skeptical about whether they’d really choose a potential franchise QB this year.  Yet, I think the lure of grabbing the Golden Domer to sell some jerseys is the motivation here.
  10. Rolondo McClain – MLB – Jax
    The Jags have needs at LB, DB, and O-line, any of which could be addressed here.  There are rumors that they love C.J. Spiller, but that should just be a smokescreen with MJD already on the team.  Jacksonville isn’t good enough to have the luxury of using first round picks on a second runner.  With play-calling experience in a pro-style defense at Alabama, McClain is the steady player they need to plug the hole in the middle of the defense.

For picks 11-21, click here.
For picks 22-32, click here.


And Down Goes the Champ

September 27, 2009
Tim Tebow was knocked out of Saturdays game against Kentucky by a clean clean shot from defensive end Taylor Wyndham.

Tim Tebow was knocked out of Saturday's game against Kentucky by a clean shot from defensive end Taylor Wyndham.

The most overrated quarterback in college football was absolutely crushed Friday evening in the Gators game against Kentucky.  The Wildcats defensive end, Taylor Wyndham, sprinted off tackle and speared Tim Tebow straight back.  It was an absolutely clean hit, driving Tebow to the turf.  Only, on the way to the ground, Tebow’s head struck the knee of a teammate and he was knocked cold.  He lay motionless on the turf for a couple of minutes, and Commonwealth Stadium went silent.  Fans had tears in their eyes, as America’s darling wasn’t moving.

He eventually was able to walk off the field under his own power, later being escorted to the local hospital to be admitted for observation.  All test results point to a concussion and there is no ETA on his return.  He could play in Florida’s next game, two weeks from now versus LSU, but it is too early to tell.  The game against LSU looks to be the toughest on the Gator’s schedule this season, so if he is unable to go, it could cost Florida a shot at defending their national title.

I’m not upset though.  I’m rather unimpressed with Tebow the player.  He plays quarterback, yet is known more for his rushing.  He rarely throws the ball more than 25 times a game, and his carries number in the double digits.  The media is always abuzz, raving about how talented Tim Tebow is, how he will transcend the NFL, reinventing the quarterback position.  I don’t buy it.  We’ve seen this type of “talent” before, in the form of another former Heisman winner, Eric Crouch.  Both players were athletic quarterbacks, who rushed the ball from the snap, hardly ever counted on to win games with their arms.  Statistically, they were marvelous quarterbacks, in college.  The NFL didn’t buy into it, drafting Crouch as a safety, and he never played in the NFL.  Another college quarterback who was supposed to reinvent the QB position was Vince Young, a highly productive college quarterback who won games with his legs.  Currently, he’s riding the bench, trying to get the nerves to finally pull the trigger (not on a pass from the pocket, but on a bullet in the chamber).  Tebow fits those comparisons.

Now don’t get me wrong, I admire his leadership.  That speech he gave last year after Florida lost to Ole Miss is an instant classic which makes me want to lace up the cleats and head into battle with him.  And leadership is an intangible skill, something you can’t teach.  He’s got it, no question.  I just don’t buy that his skills as a quarterback will translate into the pros.  It’ll be interesting to see if Florida can perform without their leader, and if they do, will it temper the hype surrounding Tebow.  Either way, he got his clock absolutely cleaned Friday night.  And it was awesome.


Blue Duck Sports – Week 2 NFL Betting Guide

September 15, 2009

With week 1 in the bag Blue Duck Sports is back with the lineup for week 2.  Week one was a fairly successful outing, going 10-6 and providing those of you who followed our advice to have a profitable weekend.
Last week I went against conventional betting wisdom in 4 games, taking a favorite of more than a touchdown, and it burned me 3/4 times.  I will try my hardest not to make that mistake again but when you have Tom “Sex god” Brady vs Trent Edwards you can’t tell me you won’t take that spread.

Now we look to piss away that extra money in your pockets with this weeks guide. Let me reiterate, the Blue Duck corolla is not available should you lose badly at our advice.  I am however willing to offer up Carebear’s monthly income garnered via gainful employment (Blue Duck is his job).  So yah, we better do well.

Editor-In-Chief and all of his worldly possessions

Editor-In-Chief and all of his worldly possessions

Season Overall: 10-6
Season Locks: 1-0

Titans -7 vs Texans

It took me little more than a paragraph and a clever photograph in order to backpedal on my “don’t take the team favored by a full touchdown” wisdom.
The Texans have 2 players to worry about, Steve Slaton and Andre Johnson.  1 game into the regular season and the Titans look like their defensive line hasn’t missed a beat from last year.  Look for Slaton to be neutralized and Andre to have a big day, but not big enough.

Bengals vs Packers OVER 42

This goes against my gut, but you can’t bet with your gut.  The spread is the Pack by 9, they match up well against the Bengals, and are absolutely dreadful against the spread over the years, but I just haven’t seen enough out of Carson Palmer to know if he is going to give this team a chance every week or not.  So I’ll take the over.

Vikings -9.5 vs Lions

Okay, a team that excels at running the ball and stopping the run vs a team that NEEDS a running game, and desperately struggles to stop the run.  This is an awful matchup for the Lions.  As they provided my only victory last week in which the favored team won by over a touchdown, I will roll with what works.
Did I mention Detroit is 1-9 against the spread as a 3.5-9.5 point underdog over the past 3 seasons?  Love it.

Panthers vs Falcons OVER 43

The Falcons offense looks solid once again.  Look for the Panthers and Jake Delhomme to recover from an awful showing against the Eagles, and keep pace with the Falcons.  I expect the panthers may cover the +6.5 spread, but I like the over in this one.

Redskins -10 vs  Rams

So I basically warned in the first couple paragraphs that conventional wisdom says not to take the heavily favored, but look at this team.  The rams are absolutely terrible.  Don’t get me wrong, the Redskins aren’t that great either, but they do have a good defense and an average offense that ran into a great defense and average offense in week 1.  I will again roll with the heavily favored Redskins, and vow to learn my lesson next week.

Cardinals +3 vs Jaguars

While I have little faith in either team I believe Fitzgerald and Warner should be able to carve apart this Jaguars secondary.  Arizona was able to shut down Frank Gore in week 1, and though they won’t be able to do the same to Jones-Drew it will be just enough.

Raiders vs Chiefs UNDER 39

Lot of tough spreads this week.  This game could go either way but the Raiders defense looks to be decent with a new pass rushing king (Richard Seymour) forcing QB’s to make decisions fast, which will be tough when throwing against the best corner back in the game (Nnamdi Asomugha).  These teams haven’t scored more than 37 combined in any of the past 4 meetings, so I will look for a defensive struggle, or more likely, offensive ineptitude to be the biggest factor here.

Bucs +4.5 vs Bills

A valiant effort by the Bills on Monday night left them completely deflated after having a victory stolen from their grasp.  They will have every opportunity to rebound vs a poor Bucs team that was man handled by the Cowboys.  While I am far from sold on the Bills offense, their defense should be able to hold the Bucs in check, and win by a field goal.

Broncos -3 vs Browns

An even line with the standard home field advantage 3 points for the Broncos.  The Broncos are better than they played vs the bungles and will prove it at Invesco field.  Look for the Broncos to show they are okay without Jay Cutler.

Ravens +3.5 vs Chargers

Solid defense against solid offense.  I put my faith in Joe Flacco (yes the same QB I don’t believe in).  Let’s see how that works out for me.

Giants +3 vs Cowboys

In what is sure to be a good game, look for Eli “The Mediocre” Manning to hand the ball off enough for the Giants to pull out a victory against the Cowboys.  The Cowgirls are a good team, but they still have Tony Romo and his unparalleled ability to choke in big games.

Colts -3 Dolphins

The Dolphins were a flash in the pan last year.  They are going to suck this year.  Bet against them often until Vegas realizes what has happened.

Patriots -5 vs Jets

My love of Tom Brady will not waver.   Look for him to get back into the swing of things against an extremely over rated Jets team.

Saints vs Eagles

This game has no current line set due to the Eagles uncertainty at QB.  If Mcnabb plays I would take the Eagles up to -6.5.  If he is not playing I’d take the Saints up to -6.5.  There is a big swing on that one and that is why they refuse to give out the odds just yet.  I will update this when more info is released about Mcnabb, and when the line comes out.

Lock of the week:

I feel really good about 2 games this week, so I will put my credibility on the line for both of them.

Steelers -3 vs Bears

What the hell is this?  The 4 interception cry baby is favored to lose by only a field goal to the Steelers?  Sure they will be without the long haired warrior Polamalu, but they can handle the pathetic Bears by more than a field goal.

Seahawks +1.5 vs 49ers

Seahawks look like they will be the Seahawks of old and be a contender in the NFC.  The jury is still out on the 49ers but they looked like a new team against the Cardinals.  Seahawks have won the past 4 meetings by at least 3.  I expect that history to continue and love this line.


Why Are the Browns Dying to Trade Braylon?

April 15, 2009

The rumors are circulating that the Cleveland Browns are aggressively shopping number one receiver Braylon Edwards.  Why?  The 26 year-old receiver is an unrestricted free-agent at the end of the 2009 season and they are leery of their ability to resign him. It is reported that Edwards wants a contract paying him $10 million per year or more. The Browns are said to be demanding 1st– and 3rd– round picks as a base to any Edwards deal.

The New York Giants are said to be the team hottest for Edwards and it’s no secret why. They’ve cut former number one receiver Plaxico Burress, after struggling to renegotiate a new contract with the troubled player. When the Giants lost Burress last year after the notorious gun-in-sweatpants incident, which ended with Plax with a bullet hole in his thigh, they were not the same team. They are in dire need of a big, fast receiver for Eli to under throw down the field.

The reason for Cleveland’s interest in trading Edwards is not enough to make sense. They aren’t sure that they can resign him at the end of the year? There are 2 issues with this excuse. The first issue is that Cleveland can always use the Franchise tag on the star receiver next year. While it is not a perfect way to settle the issue, it is an option that will allow them to keep the player. The second issue is that they can Franchise the player and trade him for picks then. For a team that is short on star power and is set to have a quarterback competition in trading camp, does it make sense to trade the best player on your team?

Trading a bona-fide number one receiver, with a career 16.0 ypc, is not a way to build a successful team.

Trading a bona-fide number one receiver, with a career 16.0 ypc, is not a way to build a successful team.

Beyond Edwards, Cleveland has second year player Syndric Steptoe and newly signed David Patten as the players following Edwards on the depth chart. That is not inspiring for a team that is trying to be competitive. Trading Edwards is not giving either of your quarterbacks a legitimate shot at succeeding in 2009, especially after trading tight end Kellen Winslow for a second round pick earlier this offseason. The Brown, headed by new head coach Eric Mangini, would surely draft Edwards replacement in the upcoming draft, as they currently have the 5th overall pick and two 2nd round picks (among others) and would be adding another 1st and 3rd to their pile. But as we’ve seen in the past, drafting players is no certainty of success, let alone that there is no guarantee that the desired player is available when you are drafting. Furthermore, rookie wide receivers face one of the steepest learning curves for incoming players, due to the complexity of pro-style offenses, timing of routes, and the increased skill of opposing corners. So there isn’t a certainty that the receiver that Mangini drafts will succeed. And after witnessing some draft flops he’s had in the past (Vernon Gholston anyone?), the Cleveland brass should be weary of trading a proven commodity. And given the negative perception Mangini has around the league, signing free agents in the future is no promise either.

Successful teams in the NFL don’t trade away proven players and improve. Rather, they take a few steps back and there is no telling if they will be able to compete in the future. The Browns need to keep Edwards for the 2009 season and draft to improve a bottom-feeding defense. Then, after the season, they should take stock in what their needs are and address the Edwards situation accordingly. Rushing to make a deal for the sake of making a deal is not a good way to run a business. But then again, hiring Eric Mangini to steer the ship wouldn’t be they way I run a business either. Good luck Brown fans, as the future is not looking too bright for you now.


Burress Released; Now What?

April 3, 2009

Today the NY Giants released Plaxico Burress, after a tumultuous season which ended with Plax shooting himself in the leg.  Per reports, NY offered Burress a restructured contract that would have addressed the team’s grievance against the gun-toting receiver and ensured he stayed on the roster for the upcoming season.  Plax declined and the team immediately cut him.

Quick summary of events that led to this:

  • Plax missed several practices after signing a brand-new long-term contract, encurring fines.
  • Plax arrived late for several other practices, encurring fines.
  • Police were called to Plax’s home due to a domestic dispute, no charges were filed.
  • Plax shot himself in the leg at a club in late November.  The team suspended him for the remainder of the season for “conduct detrimental to the team”
  • NYG withheld $1M bonus due in December, citing the suspension as just cause.
  • Burress is currently negotiating a plea agreement with the state of New York due to several gun charges.

New York never wanted him back.  That was obvious from day one.  They always left the door slightly open for a return, but it never seemed that management wanted him to return.  Perhaps they grew wary of his actions after several indiscrestions.  From the sounds of it, the restructured contract ensured the Giants would keep the $1M they withheld from him in December.  Coach Coughlin was sick of dealing with the immature Burress.

So that leaves us here:  What does Plax do now?

He got his trial for gun charges suspended, most likely to negotiate a plea deal.  The max jail time is 3.5 years, and reports say that he is trying to avoid jail time.  Legal experts say that jail time is a guarantee and NY prosecuters are not expected to do the star any favors.  NY has some of the most strict gun laws in the country and they are said to want to make an example out of Burress.  But for the sake of arguement, let’s assume he’ll see the football field at some point in ’09.  Where does he end up?   Here’s my take:

  • Chicago – Their only early pick in this year’s draft is in the 2nd round.  They need help at WR, but also S and CB.  Their receiver corp is terrible and they just spent a bounty on Cry Baby Cutler.  He needs someone to throw to and Burress is still a great receiver.
  • Baltimore – Ray Lewis killed 2 people at a Super Bowl party and he’s the face of the franchise.  Maybe Plax can become “born-again” after giving himself a flesh wound.  The Ravens have a strong veteran system set-up that might be able to keep him in check.  And Flacco’s targets are still not that great so he could use him.
  • Philly – The team says they are set at receiver, but anybody who’s seen them knows that McNabb needs a big target.  They never effectively replaced Owens from the Super Bowl season.  Curtis and Jackson are good players, but they are tiny.  Burress is a 6’5″ beast.  The Eagles are always in contention every year, so they can afford to sit and wait for Burress to get back on the field, after jail and a Goodell suspension.
  • New England – Just kidding, but I’m waiting for the media to suggest this and run with it.  Aren’t the Pat’s linked to every star in the league, just because we’re nasty?  We piss excellence, and every player wants to play for us.  The media will point to Moss and Corey Dillon as the fact that Belicheck can change troubled players.  Let’s get this straight;  they didn’t shoot anyone, let alone themselves.  This is not happening.
  • Maimi – A real possibility.  They have a need for a big receiver opposite Ginn.  I could see them signing him to a one year contract with stipulations forcing Burress to behave to get paid.  Would Parcells do it?  Maybe, because he’s not coaching “the player” in this scenario, so he can pass the buck.  Burress’ only hope would be that Ronnie Brown is throwing it from the Wildcat, because Chad couldn’t hit him deep to save his life.
  • Bengals – Burress has the rap sheet and character issues required for consideration by the Bungles.  Yeah they signed Coles, but since when has common sense ever entered Cincy’s mind?  Exactly.
  • Jacksonville – It seems as this is the 10th consecutive year they’ve needed a number 1 receiver.  They have several needs and this could fill one.  But who knows what they’ll do?  Del Rio got rid of lots of bad chemistry players this off-season and after being burned by signing Jerry Porter last year, they are trying to avoid that again.
  • Oakland – Al Davis likes speed.  He doesn’t care about character.  Plaxico has lots of one and little of the other.  I think its a match made in heaven.  Especially because Goodell probably never wants to see Plax play again (he hates thugs) and Big Al hates the league.  Davis can give the league the finger while actually improving his team.  This needs to happen.
  • Dallas – Nope.  While any other year this would be a possibility, I think that Jerry Jones is actually giving this “team chemistry” thing a try.  I wouldn’t rule it out down the line though.
  • Tennessee – A forgotten team.  They need help at receiver and Plax fits the bill.  But coach Fisher values character and I think he’d be hesitant to get involved with him.  But he’d fill a need.

Quick hits:

  • Michael Vick says he was immature to engage in dog-fighting and it was irresponsible to kill dogs.  Seriously?  Immaturity is showing up late to work, handing in homework late, paying a credit card bill late.  It is not buying a compound for the sole reason to breed and fight pitbulls.  Irresponsible to kill dogs?  This guy has obviously not learned anything from his time in jail.  He’s still a sick S.O.B. and he won’t play in the league this year.  There’s no way that Goodell gets burned by this d-bag again.  But he will play in 2010 and there will be bidding for his services.  He had skill, we’ll find out if he still has it next year.
  • Cutler has beef with his new offensive coordinator, Ron Turner.  Apparently when Turner was the head coach at Univ. of Illinois and Cry Baby Cutler was a senior in h.s. he was promised a scholarship.  And then Illinois landed another qb and rescinded the offer.  That’s Cutler’s story.  Turner denies ever offering him a scholarship.  I love this already.  Cutler is a bitch and he needs drama.  Keep it coming big guy
  • What’s with the drug test results getting leaked? Raji was leaked yesterday, and now Cushing and Matthews have supposedly popped positive.  While I think they are completely wrong to have tested positive in a test they knew was coming, I think the league has a serious problem on their hands.  These test results are not supposed to be public knowledge.  Medical information should be confidential and most definitely not released to the media.  Especially before the teams get the official reports.  The league needs to fix this immediately.  But the players should never have tested positive in the first place.
    Update – Cushing and Matthews apparently tested positive for steroids, while Raji, Vontae Davis and Percy Harvin have tested positive for marijauna.  If true, all are idiots.  College players are expecting a drug test at the combine.  It is incredibly dumb to engage in these decisions.  That said, at least Cushing and Matthews partook in something that will benefit them.  Steroids at least make some sense.  But weed?  How is that helping anybody?  Dumb, dumb, dumb.