National Football League
February 22, 2008
Draft King Analysis
Lou Pickney, DraftKing.com
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I'm looking forward to what should be a fun time tomorrow night (8 p.m. ET) on Fins Radio and the program titled The Dolphins Make Me Cry, a reference to a line by the Hootie & the Blowfish song "Only Wanna Be With You". In what will be a fun exercise, show host Sunstroke Stevens and I will take turns projecting picks in the draft. The Spygate forfeiture of New England's first rounder worked out well for this event, which will allow us (or, more specifically, me) to end the draft with an even 32 picks by projecting the Dolphins' top pick of the second round.
Since it's a Dolphins-centric broadcast, it should work out well. I appreciate the invitation to appear. To put it in perspective, last week the guest was former Dolphins RB Mercury Morris; that interview is up on the site if you'd be interested in hearing what he had to say. To the best of my knowledge, the site will have the event archived after the fact if you have other plans on Saturday night but would like to listen to it.
To little surprise, the Patriots opted to not pick up the option on WR Donte Stallworth's contract. He would have been due two huge roster bonuses: $6 million on February 24, and another $2 million if he was on the roster on March 1. So now Stallworth is a free agent and, as far as I know, will be able to beat the rush (a la Zach Thomas) to immediately start talking with teams.
|WR Donte Stallworth is a free agent effective today. (Icon SMI)
The latest that I'm hearing on Cleveland QB Derek Anderson is that the Browns want to sign him to a three-year deal, but that Anderson wants a six-year deal (I had previously heard five years, but negotiations can be interesting.)
The Browns have less than one week to work something out; otherwise he could be signed to a poison pill deal (one that guarantees the entirety of the contract if he plays three games in Cleveland) or simply a contract too large for Cleveland to justify matching, particularly since they have Brady Quinn on the roster and that the Browns would obtain first-and-third round picks from whichever team signs him.
I don't mean to beat the Derek Anderson issue into the ground, but this is a big deal that has not received the attention nationally that it arguably deserves. He went from obscurity to the Pro Bowl in a matter of months, and it's an intriguing situation.
There are talks that teams are interested in trading for DeAngelo Hall, but much like Roy Williams (the Lions WR) and Jets ILB Jonathan Vilma, he is entering the final year of his contract, since his 2009 year is voidable. However, Mike Garafolo of the Newark Star-Ledger reports that the Giants would trade their first round pick to obtain Hall. I'm not sure if the Falcons can do much better than that, but it will be interesting to watch it all unfold.
After two days of talking heads, interviews with guys giving vanilla, party-line answers, and the usual rhetoric that accompanies the combine, the real action begins tomorrow with the beginning of the workouts. I did what I could to follow the action on the NFL Network today (though a migraine put a big crimp into that for me). I happened to catch Darren McFadden at the podium, and he faced the questions that he'll be drilled with ad nauseam... and seemed to handle it fine. He said that he felt that his Arkansas teammate Felix Jones was the second-best RB in the draft (behind himself), but I'd have been quite surprised to hear him say anything else.
The idea that McFadden might have some sort of character issue, as some have whispered, I think is the time-honored tradition of the smokescreen tactic. If, for example, you're the Jets and sitting at #6, wouldn't you want to do everything in your power to get McFadden to fall to you? I'm not saying that the Jets, or anyone within their organization, have said anything questioning McFadden's character, but let the swerves begin (if they haven't already) when it comes to player evaluations.
One thing that really jumped out at me was DeSean Jackson weighing in at a surprisingly low 169 pounds. The school-released measurements reminds me of WWE where they bill someone as being larger and heavier than they really are, but the truth comes out at the combine. Forget 6'0" 180; he measured in at 5'9" 169. His big-play explosiveness is what sets him apart, and Jackson said that he will run at the combine, which is good since he needs a strong run to make up for the less than impressive measurements.