Al Davis certainly likes playing to type. Long criticized for being obsessed with workout numbers, Mr. Davis selected a number of freakish athletes this April, including a few who had less than impressive college careers.
While mocking Al’s bad picks is plenty fun, his draft method has yielded some very impressive hits. Yes, Darrius Heyward-Bey still seems like a brutally awful selection, but track guy Jacoby Ford looks like a fourth round steal. More likely than not, the team’s ’11 draft haul will yield disappointments of the DHB sort, as well as exceptional athletes who became very good football players.
In the first preseason game, the coaching staff may have seen hints of who will thrive or flatline in Oakland.
The biggest standout was wideout Denarius Moore. The Tennessee product made plays both as a receiver and a returner. Early in the 2nd Quarter, he Keep Reading…
Aaron Aloysius and Ryan Lownes have brought their draftnik heads together for the first “Way Too Early” mock draft of the season. While they came to an agreement on the draft order, they only agree on a few picks. Take a look at who they have your team taking and be sure to leave your comments below and come to the Draft Breakdown Message Board to share your opinions and even post your own mock draft!
Aaron Aloysius Ryan Lownes 1. Andrew Luck – QB – Stanford Andrew Luck – QB – Stanford 2. Quinton Coples – DE – North Carolina Alshon Jeffery – WR – South Carolina 3. Matt Barkley – QB – USC Landry Jones – QB – Oklahoma 4. Alshon Jeffery – WR – South Carolina Luke Kuechly – LB – Boston College 5. Trent Richardson – RB – Alabama Trent Richardson – RB – Keep Reading…
Some folks write off undrafted rookies, considering them a mixed multitude of untalented players: quarterbacks whose deep outs hang suspended in air, running backs who can’t keep pace with their own linemen, receivers with carnie hands who can’t even catch a cold. The same holds true with guys on the other side of the ball, where “special teamer at best” becomes a thinly-veiled euphemism for “He doesn’t belong in the league.”
Virginia Tech defensive end Steven Friday is one of many rookie FAs from the ’11 class who could challenge that notion. With a little more time and polish, the speed rusher could become a big-time contributor.
Contrary to the UDFA label, Friday possesses early round explosiveness. His workout numbers compare favorably to some top 50 prospects (4.62 40, 10’4” broad jump). And that explosiveness shows up on the field, where Friday’s gotten the best of NFL-caliber offensive Keep Reading…
Cam Newton – QB – Auburn Marcell Dareus – DT – Alabama Von Miller – OLB – Texas A&M AJ Green – WR – Georgia Patrick Peterson – CB – LSU Julio Jones – WR – Alabama Prince Amukamara – CB – Nebraska Nick Fairley – DT – Auburn Tyron Smith – OT – USC Blaine Gabbert – QB – Missouri Robert Quinn – DE – North Carolina Cameron Jordan – DE – California Anthony Castonzo – OT – Boston College Aldon Smith – DE – Missouri Mike Pouncey – OG – Florida JJ Watt – DE – Wisconsin
Position: DT School: Iowa Height: 6’3 3/4" Weight: 283 lbs Class: Senior 40 time: 4.75 All-Star Game: Senior Bowl (invite only) Team Captain: No Draft Projection: Late 2nd Round
A high-upside prospect with impressive physical tools, Christian Ballard appears to have only begun to scratch the surface of his potential. Because he was given the task at Iowa of oscillating between defensive end and tackle, he was never able to master either position. However, he showed plenty of explosiveness lining up at both spots. As a result, the team that drafts Ballard will have to decide how they want to mold the still-developing defensive lineman: he could continue to drop weight and become an effective three down 4-3 base end, bulk up and turn into a super-quick three technique, or improve his strength in order to becomes a solid 3-4 defensive end. Alternatively, Keep Reading…