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Draft King Analysis

January 3, 2008
Lou Pickney,

Reader feedback is always welcomed here at Send your thoughts to me at

This is part two of a two-part mailbag. Part one is available here.

From: Josh Obergfell
Date: Dec 28, 2007 12:58 PM
Subject: (no subject)

Hey lou Josh again just a couple of things i was pondering

on draft daddy i believe it is they have a full list of free agents a couple of names popped out to me bob sanders and asnate samuels if the cowboys have to improve anywhere on defense it would be the db's now i liked roy williams but it just seems like he isn't the roy williams of old except for the horse callor stuff. but i think an addition of the likes of bob sanders would be great to replace roy or ken hamlin. i all so think asante would be a great pick up for his experiance then draft a top cb next year. then use there two picks on offensive needs wr rb ot.

another thing is it still not possible for the cowboys to bundle their picks and move to get darren may throw in a draft pick next year also or maybe a player. again thanks for your great work on the site lou keep it up.

Lou: Since you wrote me, the Colts signed Bob Sanders to a long-term extension, locking down one of the best young safeties in the game. With no Bob Sanders, there would be no Colts win in the AFC Title game in January 2007. I firmly believe that.

Asante Samuel is about to hit a mega payday. He earned it, negotiating his way out of a second franchise tagging in New England and prepping to hit the open market and make huge money. If he stays healthy through the playoffs, his deal will dwarf the one signed by former Bills CB Nate Clements with the 49ers last year. Detroit, New Orleans, Kansas City, Houston, and others would all figure to get into the bidding. I doubt that the Cowboys would jump into this, as Samuel is going to command a massive salary, though there is always an outside shot at it.

The better move, in my estimation, would be to sign Ken Hamlin to a long-term deal, even if it means using the franchise tag as leverage, but that's a decision the Cowboys will have to make.

As for trading multiple first rounders (and other picks) to get Darren McFadden, the likelihood of that is slim. Nevermind the dynamic with Parcells in Miami and the Dolphins negotiating with his former team, the Cowboys; in theory Dallas could set up a deal to move to #2 with St. Louis. But what would that take? The price would be steep. Look at the comparison using the "pick value chart":

Rams -- Pick #2 overall: 3600 points
Cowboys -- Picks #22 and #31: 1380 points (780 + 600)

Even if you include all of Dallas' 2008 picks and add them up, and then throw in Dallas' 2009 first rounder, that wouldn't come close to matching the Rams' pick value.

The right move for Dallas is to take one of the many talented RBs who should be on the board in the middle-late part of round one. Darren McFadden is an amazing talent, but I don't see Dallas having the picks, or the inclination to blow up their draft just to bring in one player.

From: Richard Joslin
Date: Dec 31, 2007 11:31 PM
Subject: Mock Draft

I spent some time looking at several mock drafts this evening and I must say yours impressed me very much with the detailed analysis you provide. I was not moved to email any of the others.

I am a Browns fan so I was particularly impressed that you mentioned the possible interest of the Vikings in Derek Anderson. I would love to see the Browns get back into the first round somehow and something involving Anderson seems to be their only chance. If the Browns were to land the 17th pick I could see them taking Calais, Balmer or even Groves provided they re-sign Jamal Lewis. Any thoughts on what you think they would do with that pick would be appreciated.

Keep up the excellent work and Happy New Year!!!

Lou: Something must be resolved in Cleveland with the Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn situation. While the temptation to keep both will be strong, Anderson will always be looking over his shoulder as long as Quinn is around. When Anderson was hurt in the final game of the season and had to miss a series, there was no mistaking the roar that came from the crowd for Brady Quinn. Likewise, Quinn (with his incentive-laden contract) is not going to be Aaron Rodgers, Part Two and hold the clipboard indefinitely and quietly.

The possiblity of a "poison pill" being included with any contract for Derek Anderson in restricted free agency must be carefully considered. If the Browns hope to keep Anderson, they need to sign him to a long-term deal as soon as possible. The closer he moves to free agency, the more likely it is that Cleveland won't be able to keep him.

If Minnesota signs Anderson (and keeps him either via the poison pill or Cleveland opting to not match a "regular" contract), that sets up Quinn to be the unquestioned starter and could provide the Browns with a first and third rounder, which is not necessarily a bad ending to this situation.

As for who Cleveland might want at #17, I could see them going with a defensive lineman, just as you suggested. Either Calais Campbell or Derrick Harvey (both of whom declared for early entry into the draft today) could be a great pickup. But if the Browns aren't able to retain Jamal Lewis, I would think that running back would become an immediate need, which would be most convenient in this likely-to-be RB strong draft. Jonathan Stewart could be a great fit in the Browns offense. It's certainly something worth careful consideration.

From: David Propper
Date: Jan 2, 2008 3:10 PM
Subject: Jan 2 Mock Draft

I found it interesting that you stated "There are no glaring needs for the Eagles on offense". Did you watch the first game against the NY Giants? Passengers never moves so easily through Grand Central Station than the Giants moved through the Eagle O-Line. I read that statement and have to question evaluation of the teams' needs.

Lou: This is a fair point -- the Giants ravaged the Eagles in that nationally telecast Sunday night game, sacking Donovan McNabb a record-tying 12 times. Twelve sacks! That was insane. Former first round pick Winston Justice, playing right tackle in that game, was absolutely schooled by Osi Umenyiora.

Sam Baker
Sam Baker is a probable first round pick. (John Froschauer/Icon SMI)
So the thought for some might be to go offensive line in round one. But a look at the numbers reveals that such a move might not be the best maneuver.

Eagles rushing: 8th in rushing YPG with 122.3, 4.7 yards per carry
Eagles passing: 10th in passing YPG with 234.7

The Eagles gave up a terrible 49 sacks in 2007, 28th in the league. But take away that first Giants game, a clear anomaly (the Giants had just three sacks in the rematch), and the sacks in the other 15 games (37) averages out to 39.5 sacks if stretched to 16 games. That's not great, but it's better than 49. Does that excuse the sack fest? No. But it reveals that one bad night can skew stats (if not public opinion) in a league with a 16 game regular season.

For what it's worth, the Eagles taking an offensive lineman wouldn't surprise me. Sam Baker, the versatile USC left OT, could play multiple positions on the line. There will be some who will point to Justice also being a USC alum and that possibly making Philly shy away from Baker, but I find that to be a rather unfair comparison. The counter to that is someone having fear of Peyton Manning in 1998 because of Heath Shuler's disaster of an NFL career, since both played QB at the University of Tennessee in the 1990s.

Bottom line: the Eagles offensive line could use the most help of any position it has on offense (save for tight end if they lose L.J. Smith in free agency), but offensive line isn't what I consider to be a *glaring* need. But your point is well taken.

Date: Jan 2, 2008 3:51 PM
Subject: brandon marshall

Hey Lou I appreciate your mock drafts and I look through them to see your commentary. A couple years back I emailed you about Brandon Marshall and his draft stock and I want to know how he possibly dropped to 4th round and same thing with Elvis Dumervil. It seems like certain teams such as the Dolphins don't put as much stock in the late round picks as they should and thats what teams build on for the future, such as the Patriots. I see the Broncos building in that same way, through the late round picks with Marshall and Dumervil at the core of each side of the ball.

Lou: The fear on Dumervil was that he didn't have the size to be successful in the NFL. Clearly that is not the case, and he has a great skill at hunting down opposing QBs.

As for Brandon Marshall, his 6'5" height and 4.5 speed is a huge benefit. The big fear on him coming out of school was that he had a bad attitude and a mega-ego, but talent can overcome personality flaws (it hasn't been a perfect situation behind the scenes with Marshall in Denver, from what I know.)

There were also concerns that he might rest on his natural ability and not work hard, though to this point I haven't seen any evidence to back this up. The fact that he came from a non-BCS conference school (Central Florida) hurt his exposure to a degree. But clearly the Broncos liked what they saw, drafted him, and are now reaping the benefits.

What does this reveal? That Denver's front office is skilled at finding not only players who fit their system, but also guys who may be written off because of size or perceived attitude or a number of other factors.

As for the Dolphins, I anticipate that we'll see a massive change relative to the player evaluation process beginning this off-season.

From: Bryan Nguyen
Date: Jan 3, 2008 8:25 PM
Subject: Tennessee Titans WR

Hi just found your website and I think its great, keep up the good work.
Consider the Tennessee Titans and the offensive scheme they run.
What are prototypical characteristics a WR should have to fit this system?
Which prospects in the upcoming draft would fit well in their system?

Vince Young
Vince Young can't do it all by himself. (Todd Kirkland/Icon SMI)
Lou: As if the wide receiver situation wasn't dire enough for the Titans, this evening brought news that WR Roydell Williams is out for the year with a broken ankle suffered in practice today. Williams, Bo Scaife, and Justin Gage emerged down the stretch as guys who could actually catch the ball, a nice development for Titans fans who had long sense become frustrated and bitter about the team's inability to catch the ball. But now Williams is out, and Scaife is out with a lacerated liver. Football can create some bizarre injuries.

There are some who jumped on the bandwagon against Vince Young, and I strongly disagree with that. Young played through pain, staying in games despite teams knowing that he didn't have that "extra gear" to run from the pocket (and thus being able to create even tighter coverage), had receivers dropping passes like crazy... and he is the one who was criticized. That blew my mind, and it still makes me angry to hear it.

As far as what the Titans need, freakish size would seem to be in order. The Titans used a third round pick in 2007 on Fresno State WR Paul Williams, who is 6'1" and runs a 4.45 40. That's nice and all, but he doesn't represent the big target that Young needs -- and deserves. For that, the Titans may be best served by looking to the Big XII.

Why? Consider the prospects: Oklahoma WR Malcolm Kelly (6'4"), Oklahoma State WR Adarius Bowman (6'5"), and Texas WR Limas Sweed (6'5") would all be a welcomed addition to the team.

Or, if the Big XII isn't your speed, Indiana WR James Hardy (6'6") is also a possibility. Only Kelly and Hardy have remaining eligibility; we'll find out soon if they're NFL-bound or heading back to college.

A possession receiver type like Early Doucet or a burner like DeSean Jackson will find their place in the NFL, but for the Titans, I doubt that they'd be the ideal fit. Sweed makes sense since Young won a BCS Title with him when both guys were in college at Texas, and if I had to pick just one who'd apply as the "best fit", it would be Sweed.


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