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Draft King Analysis

February 18, 2008
Lou Pickney,

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

Date: Feb 4, 2008 6:37 AM
Subject: (no subject)

to start things off, I am a senior college student attending the University at Buffalo. I am also a lifelong NY Jets fan. After viewing your recent mock draft, i must say that i agree with the notion that the dolphins will choose long over dorsey, however there is no freaking way in hell, the jets would select desean jackson. I would not be surprised to see jackson fall to the end of the first round, or even out of the first round all together(similar to chad jackson a few years ago).

what do you think about joe flacco? i know he didn't perform that well in the senior bowl, however he did have the disadvantage of having to learn mike martz's system in 5 days, which is near impossible.

Lou: This e-mail found itself wedged in the bottom of the mailbag, but it's still topical since Joe Flacco is a name that will be watched closely at the upcoming NFL Combine.

Flacco started his career at Pittsburgh, but then transferred to Delaware when things at Pitt didn't work out for him. He played very well last season, though the big knock on him seems to be his tendancy to hold onto the ball too long. At 6'6" 235 he has above-average height for the position, and it will be quite interesting to see how he performs at the combine.

Regarding DeSean Jackson, he is a wild card. Much like Miami fans would have lambasted me had I projected Ted Ginn, Jr. to them last year, despite the fact that he ultimately went there, I can understand the questioning of such a projection with Jackson. But in the Devin Hester era of the NFL, kick return ability will command a premium, so much so that I think it will propel Jackson higher than certainly his receiving skills alone would place him.

Sedrick Ellis
Is Sedrick Ellis large enough to play NT in an NFL 3-4 defense? (Icon SMI)

From: Justin Hansen
Date: Feb 14, 2008 1:05 PM
Subject: 3-4 and DTs

Would Sedrick Ellis really fit in well with the Jets 3-4? He's 6-1 and 307? Is he big enough to play NG?. I'm not doubting his ability to rush the passer but I think he'd be perfect in a 4-3 playing one gap. What about his abilities would transition well into a 3-4 like the fins, jets, and ravens run?

Lou: This is a fair question, particularly since the Jets have had a misfit at DT with the talented but not huge Dewayne Robertson in that spot for the duration of the Eric Mangini era. This is something that I struggled with for some time, and in the time between you writing and me responding, I've modified my 2008 NFL Mock Draft to reflect the Jets landing a huge steal in Darren McFadden.

But that doesn't fully answer the question of Ellis having the ability to play a 3-4 NT. Ellis played nose tackle at USC in the 3-4 defense there, but you need more size to play the role well in the NFL. Realistically, the best 3-4 NT prospect in my estimation is Texas A&M NT Red Bryant, who has both size and a nasty disposition, but Bryant will likely be a second rounder at best. Auburn DT Pat Sims is also a consideration, but he'll also likely go in the second round or below.

In the grand scheme of things, neither Glenn Dorsey nor Sedrick Ellis are ideal fits for an NFL 3-4 NT spot, though in my estimation Ellis could fill the spot better than Dorsey.

From: Alan Burge
Date: Feb 16, 2008 9:00 AM
Subject: Your Mock Comments

Not sure where you’re getting your info about the Texans having to take a “huge” salary cap hit if they release Ahman Green, but that’s simply not true.

If they cut Green post-June 1 and take the split, the dead money is $1.25 million this year and $2.5 in ’09 which is somewhere between barely noticeable and very manageable.

Lou: You make a valid point about the Green cap hit. My understanding is that guaranteed money is pro-rated up to the fiscal year in which a cut happens, but I'll be the first to admit that figuring out such things are not my strong suit.

The main problem seems to be not what his cap hit would be, but that Houston's management seems sold on the idea that Green will be able to be a viable primary running back in 2008. Maybe he will, but Green is on the wrong side of 30, missed a great deal of time in 2007 with injuries, and overall was a foolish pickup to begin with (in my opinion) for the money. But what's done is done there.

Remember, those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. The Texans could always save the day by using a third round pick on a second-tier RB prospect in this loaded running back draft, but particularly in the ultra-competitive AFC South, this is not the most desirable way to go into a 2008 season where many Texans fans will likely start demanding results.

Zach Thomas
Zach Thomas is attracting attention. (Icon SMI)

From: Mike Torbert
Date: Feb 18, 2008 10:54 AM
Subject: ZACH

Who are Zach Thomas’s potential suitors? And would he fit into a 3-4 Defensive at MLB?

Lou: The Miami Dolphins did a huge favor for Zach Thomas by cutting him last week, ahead of both the combine and, more importantly, the start of free agency. Thomas, 34, missed action in 2007 due to multiple concussions and associated migraine headaches, but he is still considered a strong NFL player, as evidenced by the large number of teams who have shown interest in him.

How many teams are interested? That I can't tell you, since some clubs have been more careful than others about letting their interest be known. But Pro Football Talk revealed yesterday that Thomas has been linked to the Patriots, Saints, Cowboys, Jets, and Bills. So take that as you will, though his first visit was with the Patriots, who made him a contract offer, a good sign for his overall health and ability. But he opted not to sign the deal, at least not yet, and his next visit will be with New Orleans.

As for fitting in a 3-4 alignment, a player with his skills can very likely fit into a wide variety of linebacking positions. If he couldn't, I doubt that the Patriots would have made him a contract offer.


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