Monday, April 30, 2007

2007 NFL Draft: Winners and Losers

The big surprises of the weekend have all been dissected and discussed. Miami selected Ted Ginn, Jr. over Brady Quinn at #9, Quinn took an Aaron Rodgers like fall and went to the Browns at #22 overall, the Browns were able to land Joe Thomas and Brady Quinn in the 1st Round, and on the homefront, Dwayne Jarrett fell all the way to middle of the 2nd Round at #45 overall. After evaluating all the picks, I've selected the teams who had the best and worst drafts (on paper).

These are the teams who I think helped themselves the most, along with their notable additions (arranged chronologically by their 1st pick)...

Oakland Raiders -- QB JaMarcus Russell (1st Rd /#1 overall), TE Zach Miller (2nd Rd /#38 overall), DE Quinton Moses (3rd Rd /#65), OT Mario Henderson (3rd Rd /#91 overall), WR Johnnie Lee Higgins (3rd Rd /#99 overall), RB Michael Bush (4th Rd /#100 overall), QB Josh McCown and WR Mike Williams (Trade with Detroit Lions for a 4th Rd pick /#105 overall)

Cleveland Browns -- OT Joe Thomas (1st Rd /#3 overall), QB Brady Quinn (1st Rd /#22 overall), CB Eric Wright (2nd Rd /#53 overall)

Atlanta Falcons -- DE Jamaal Anderson (1st Rd /#8 overall), OG Justin Blalock (2nd Rd /#39 overall), CB Chris Houston (2nd Rd /#41 overall)

San Francisco 49ers -- LB Patrick Willis (1st Rd /#11 overall), OT Joe Staley (1st Rd /#28 overall), WR Jason Hill (3rd Rd /#76 overall), DE Ray McDonald (3rd /#97 overall), DE Jay Moore (4th Rd /#104 overall)

Now for the teams that had a sub-par weekend (also in order of their 1st pick)...

Tampa Bay -- Not because of who they drafted, DE Gaines Adams (1st Rd /#4 overall) and OG Arron Sears (2nd Rd /#35 overall) are solid picks, but they failed because of who they didn't get. The Bucs should have been more aggresive in its trade talks with Detroit for WR Calvin Johnson.

Washington -- Safety LaRon Landry (1st Rd /#6 overall) will be a phenomenal player, but the Redskins needed a dynamic pass rusher and probably should have traded down, since they didn't have a pick in rounds 2, 3, and 4.

Green Bay -- The Packers must believe that Brett Favre can still carry this team because they gave him absolutely no help in this draft. DT Justin Harrell (1st Rd /#16 overall) should help shore up the run defense, but TE Greg Olsen would have been a great value at 16. The hole at RB was filled by 2nd round pick Brandon Jackson (#63 overall), who doesn't have the big play capability of Adrian Peterson or Marshawn Lynch. The Packers also failed to trade for Oakland WR Randy Moss, a move that would have really rejuvenated Favre.

Tennessee -- The Titans chose S Michael Griffin (1st Rd /#19 overall) even though several quality players at positions of need were still on the board. Remember, the loss of Pacman Jones resulted in a need at both CB and KR/PR. They also failed to land a quality WR for Vince Young (3rd round WR Paul Williams and 6th round WR Joel Filani instead of Bowe or Meachem), an elusive RB to complement LenDale White (2nd round pick Chris Henry was a terrible pick), and a pass rusher (Jarvis Moss or Anthony Spencer were still on the board at #19).

NY Giants -- CB Aaron Ross (1st Rd /#20 overall) and WR Steve Smith (2nd Rd /#51 overall) are excellent picks, but they should have taken OT Joe Staley at #20, and then looked for a CB in round 2. QB Eli Manning was under constant pressure last year, and the Giants lost tackles Bob Whitfield and Luke Petigout in the off-season.

Kansas City -- The Chiefs are another team that passed on Joe Staley, they opted for WR Dwayne Bowe (1st Rd /#23 overall) instead. The drop off at tackle is significant after Staley, and they could have landed a quality WR in round 2. They did well by adding two DTs (Turk McBride and Tank Tyler), but they failed to draft a CB (Daymeion Hughes was pick #95 overall by the Colts). They also drafted a kicker from fucla who was involved in a DUI that almost killed his female passenger.

Philadelphia -- The Eagles traded out of the 1st round (#26 overall) and made QB Kevin Kolb (2nd Rd /#36 overall) their first selection of the draft. There may be some durability questions surrounding QB Donovan McNabb, but they have enough depth behind him with A.J. Feely and the recently acquired Kelly Holcomb (via trade with Buffalo). This pick doesn't provide an instant impact and may send the wrong message to McNabb. There were plenty of quality players available at the 26th overall pick, so the decision to trade down on a developmental QB is very questionable.


When I log onto to check my e-mail, a picture of this thing shows up. This is why I now have a "G-mail" account. Christ.

Weekend Recap

Things that we witnessed this weekend:

1) NFL DRAFT: Full write up by Mel Kiper Fan. Disappointing day for Trojans named Dwayne Jarrett. Best wished to Steve Smith, Lua, Kalil, and Sartz.

2) NBA Playoffs: The Mavs are on the ropes (God help them) and the Bulls finished off the Heat. Pretty exciting first round so far. I am pretty sure the Suns and Spurs, even though they won't admit, are hoping for Dallas to lose because they want none of that 68-win team that has yet to show up.

3) 360: RG3 and I got plenty of Halo and Fifa in this weekend since there are no more classes. Also, since my buddy flaked out on Coachella, I was forced to drive around on the 91 listening to Rage Against The Machine while balling my eyes out.

4) Entourage: Vince needs to get rid of his psycho-bitch agent. Seriously. I liked Chuck Liddell gettting in Drama's face and the fact that Pauly Shore is still a loser. Ari also looks like he is back to himself. Good episode and will get VERY interesting.

April 30th sounds like a shitty day, but in reality, its not.
April 30th, 1945: Adolph Hitler and Eva Braun commit suicide after one day of marriage.
April 30th, 1966: The Church of Satan is born
April 30th, 1993: The World Wide Web is born.

Have a good day.

Two Trojans sign as undrafted free agents

WR Chris McFoy, who produced many clutch receptions in his career, has signed a free agent contract with the Oakland Raiders. McFoy will be reunited with his offensive coordinator at 'SC, Lane Kiffin, who is now the head coach of the Raiders, as well as former Trojans WR Mike Williams and RB Justin Fargas.

OT Kyle Williams has signed with the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent. Williams should get a chance to compete in Baltimore because they need some depth at tackle. RT Tony Pashos was lost to free agency and LT Jonathan Ogden will probably retire at the end of the 2007 season.

Seven Trojans have now been claimed by NFL teams, after 5 were selected in last weekend's draft. The LA Times reports that FB Ryan Powdrell plans to sign with the Packers, which would then make the list 8. This was a successful draft for the Trojans when you consider the players who left USC for the NFL early last year. Last year's early entrants included RBs Reggie Bush and LenDale White, OT Winston Justice, and OG Fred Matua.

Recap of Trojans in the NFL Draft

After two days and 255 picks, the 2007 NFL Draft is in the books. This year's draft saw 5 Trojans selected, including three on Day 1, but none of them heard their name called in the 1st Round. This marks the first time since 2002 that a USC player is not selected in the 1st Round. Below is an overview of where our Trojans were selected...I'll post a picture of each player's introduction at his team's headquarters, if and when they become available...

WR Dwayne Jarrett -- Carolina Panthers, 2nd Rd / Pick #13 (#45 overall)

Of the 5 Trojans drafted, WR Dwayne Jarrett had to have been the most disappointed. Many considered him a 1st Round lock after his impressive performance in the Rose Bowl win over Michigan, where he dominated the All-American cornerback Leon Hall (who was drafted 18th overall). However, a slow 40 time and a perceived laziness raised question marks about Jarrett's work ethic. His stock plummeted from being the 2nd best WR (after Calvin Johnson) to a borderline 1st Round pick. Jarrett waited through the entire 1st Round and watched 7 WRs get drafted ahead of him, until finally hearing his name called as the 13th selection of the 2nd Round. This is a good fit for DJ though. He will learn the ropes from former Trojan greats Keyshawn Johnson and Keary Colbert, and should eventually succeed Keyshawn at WR.

WR Steve Smith -- New York Giants, 2nd Rd / Pick #19 (#51 overall)
Smith goes into a good situation with the Giants. He can compete for the #3 or possibly the #2 WR position (behind Plaxico Burress) and eventually replace the aging Amani Toomer.

C Ryan Kalil -- Carolina Panthers, 2nd Rd / Pick #27 (#59 overall)
Kalil will join DJ, as well as former teammate Keary Colbert in Carolina. Kalil has first round talent and can be considered a steal for the Panthers at pick #59 overall. Kalil should compete for a starting job, and will be at worst, a valuable back up next season.

LB Dallas Sartz -- Washington Redskins, 5th Rd / Pick #6 (#143 overall)
Sartz has a chance to make the team if he can contribute on special teams. He's a smart player, and was a captain on a great Trojan defense.

LB Oscar Lua -- New England Patriots, 7th Rd / Pick #1 (#211 overall)
Lua is a great fit for the Patriots, who employ 2 inside LBs in their 3-4 scheme. He has a chance to learn from two of the smartest, most instinctive LBs in the game, Tedy Bruschi and Mike Vrabel, and then eventually replace one of them.

** On a personal side note: Kicker Justin Medlock (5th Rd) was the only fucla player chosen in the entire draft. That's pathetic!

Fight On!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

2007 NFL Draft Results: 1st Round

I will be updating the picks as they come off the board.

1. OAKLAND QB JaMarcus Russell, LSU

2. DETROIT WR Calvin Johnson, Georgia Tech

3. CLEVELAND OT Joe Thomas, Wisconsin

4. TAMPA BAY DE Gaines Adams, Clemson

5. ARIZONA OT Levi Brown, Penn State


7. MINNESOTA RB Adrian Peterson, Oklahoma

from HOU) DE Jamaal Anderson, Arkansas

9. MIAMI WR Ted Ginn, Jr., Ohio State

from ATL) DT Amobi Okoye, Louisville

11. SAN FRANCISCO LB Patrick Willis, Ole Miss

12. BUFFALO RB Marshawn Lynch, California

13. ST. LOUIS DE Adam Carriker, Nebraska

14. NY JETS (from CAR) CB Darrelle Revis, Pittsburgh

15. PITTSBURGH LB Lawrence Timmons, Florida State

16. GREEN BAY DT Justin Harrell, Tennessee

17. DENVER (from JAX) DE Jarvis Moss, Florida

18. CINCINNATI CB Leon Hall, Michigan

19. TENNESSEE S Michael Griffin, Texas

20. NY GIANTS CB Aaron Ross, Texas

21. JACKSONVILLE (from DEN) FS Reggie Nelson, Florida

22. CLEVELAND QB Brady Quinn, Notre Dame

23. KANSAS CITY WR Dwayne Bowe, LSU

24. NEW ENGLAND S Brandon Meriweather, Miami (FL)

25. CAROLINA (from NYJ) LB Jon Beason, Miami (FL)

26. DALLAS (from PHI) DE Anthony Spencer, Purdue

27. NEW ORLEANS WR Robert Meachem, Tennessee

28. SAN FRANCISCO (from NE) OT Joe Staley, Central Michigan

29. BALTIMORE OG Ben Grubbs, Auburn

30. SAN DIEGO WR Craig Davis, LSU

31. CHICAGO TE Greg Olsen, Miami (FL)

32. INDIANAPOLIS WR Anthony Gonzalez, Ohio State

USC hopefuls in the 2007 NFL Draft

Conquest Chronicles has a nice draft day preview for our USC Trojans that are looking to get drafted this weekend. Be sure to go on there and share your thoughts. I'm not sure if LB's Oscar Lua and Dallas Sartz, or WR Chris McFoy will be selected in this year's draft, but I'll highlight the 3 studs who all have a chance to go in the 1st Round in the paragraphs below. As for Lua, Sartz, and McFoy: they'll probably have to take the undrafted route and earn an opportunity in the league through NFL Europe, like former Trojans Justin Wyatt, John Walker, and Tom Malone are doing right now.

In my final mock draft projection, I listed Dwayne Jarrett as the only Trojan selected in the 1st Round, but keep in mind that Ryan Kalil and Steve Smith are two of the fastest rising prospects in this draft. I wouldn't be shocked at all to hear their all of their names in Round 1. Below is a breakdown of where I think each one may go...

WR Dwayne Jarrett - Projection: #23 Kansas City Chiefs

There are plenty of teams that need a WR. In order of their selections, they are: #7 Minnesota, #11 San Francisco, #13 St. Louis, #16 Green Bay, #19 Tennessee, #20 NY Giants, #21 Denver, #23 Kansas City, #25 NY Jets, #26 Philadelphia, #30 San Diego, and #31 Chicago. Though all of these teams are in dire need of a WR, I think the earliest that Jarrett will go is #16 to the Packers. Jarrett is just too talented, and there are too many potential suitors for me to believe that he will fall out of the 1st Round.

C Ryan Kalil - Projection: 2nd Round, #33 Oakland Raiders

I believe that Ryan Kalil will be the best pro in this Trojan draft class, and maybe even the best lineman overall. Kalil has 1st Round talent and value, but the problem is that the teams that really like him (which is probably all 32) have so many more pressing needs than center. The teams to keep on eye on though are: #20 NY Giants, #21 Denver, #22 Dallas, #24 and #28 New England, # 27 New Orleans, #29 Baltimore, #33 (2nd Rd) Oakland, #34 Detroit, #40 Miami, #42 San Francisco, #46 Pittsburgh, and #52 St. Louis. Kalil is the kind of player teams trade up for so it'll be interesting to see where he goes. I'd give him 50% chance to go 1st Round.

WR Steve Smith - Projection: 2nd Round, #41 Minnesota Vikings

Steve is a hot commodity these days. I believe he has a 33% chance to go in the 1st Round, but the problem is that this is such a deep draft when it comes to WR's. Steve Smith displays leadership, toughness, quickness and great route running. He is the definition of a FOOTBALL PLAYER. However, unless there is an early run on WR's, Smith is likely to fall to the 2nd Round. Possible destinations for Smith include: #20 NY Giants, #21 Denver, #22 Dallas, #23 Kansas City, #25 NY Jets, #26 Philadelphia, #27 New Orleans, #30 San Diego, #31 and #37 Chicago, #36 Tampa Bay, and # 40 Miami. I guarantee that Smith will not drop below Tennessee at #50, where he'd be re-united with his old OC Norm Chow.

The Raiders are now on the clock...good luck to all our guys.

Fight On!

Friday, April 27, 2007

2007 NFL Mock Draft: Final Version

This my final projection for tomorrow's NFL Draft, which is just hours away. The Raiders will be on the clock at about 9am PT, and the consensus seems to be that Al Davis will make LSU QB JaMarcus Russell the top overall pick. Oakland has never had the #1 pick under Al Davis, but they have done an admirable job of not tipping their hand. There is no argument that the best player in the draft is Georgia Tech WR Calvin Johnson, by far. But, having passed on Matt Leinart and Jay Cutler last year, it will be difficult for the Raiders to pass on a QB again.

Enter new NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell: "With the first pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders select..."

1. OAKLAND QB JaMarcus Russell, LSU
The Raiders have two options: Russell or Johnson. However, with Andrew Walter as the current starter, QB is a more pressing need.

2. DETROIT WR Calvin Johnson, Georgia Tech
The Lions will get some offers for Johnson, and are likely to trade down to #4, sending Johnson to Tampa Bay, but only if the price is right.

3. CLEVELAND QB Brady Quinn, Notre Dame
The Browns have a similar dilemma to the Raiders. QB is a position of need, but is RB Adrian Peterson too good to pass up?

4. TAMPA BAY DE Gaines Adams, Clemson
The Bucs may not be able to sit at #4 and wait for Johnson, so they will likely make a deal with Detroit, leaving Adams for the Lions.

5. ARIZONA OT Joe Thomas, Wisconsin
The Cardinals will take Thomas is he's still on the board. If he's gone, then look for them to trade down for Penn State's Levi Brown.

6. WASHINGTON DT Amobi Okoye, Louisville
The Redskins don't pick again until round 4, so look for the Redskins to trade down if the guy they are targeting is off the board.

The Vikings are in position to select the best available player. LaRon Landry will provide an immediate impact on their defense.

8. ATLANTA (from HOU) OT Levi Brown, Penn State
The Falcons need a safety, but with Landry gone and Reggie Nelson being a slight reach, they decide to upgrade the o-line.

9. MIAMI DE Adam Carriker, Nebraska
The Dolphins can go in any direction with this pick. Carriker has great value because he can play in a 3-4 or 4-3 defense.

10. HOUSTON (from ATL) FS Reggie Nelson, Florida
The Texans also need a LT and may consider trading down if Brown is off the board. Nelson would provide a major upgrade at FS.

11. SAN FRANCISCO LB Patrick Willis, Ole Miss
The 49ers saw Willis up close and personal at the Senior Bowl practices, but teams may trade up to take him earlier.

12. BUFFALO RB Adrian Peterson, Oklahoma
The Bills need help at MLB, CB, and RB. They will be jumping for joy if Peterson falls this far.

13. ST. LOUIS DE Jamaal Anderson, Arkansas
The Rams took CB Tye Hill last year, and must continue to build the defense. They will take the best available defensive lineman.

14. CAROLINA TE Greg Olsen, Miami (FL)
The Panthers took RB DeAngelo Williams last year, and will add another offensive weapon, a TE that can stretch the field.

15. PITTSBURGH LB Lawrence Timmons, Florida State
The Steelers are transitioning from the 3-4 defense to a Tampa 2 scheme. Timmons has the ability play outside in either scheme.

16. GREEN BAY RB Marshawn Lynch, California
The Packers need a RB, first and foremost. They can address their needs for a big, physical WR and a playmaking TE in later rounds.

17. JACKSONVILLE CB Darrelle Revis, Pittsburgh
The Jaguars would love to see Reggie Nelson still on the board, but with him gone they go after the best value at DE or CB.

18. CINCINNATI DT Alan Branch, Michigan
The Bengals drafted a CB in the 1st Rd last year, and should now look to patch up the run defense, which has been terrible.

19. TENNESSEE WR Ted Ginn Jr., Ohio State
The Titans need to replace Pacman Jones not only at CB, but in the return game as well. Ted Ginn Jr. more than satisfies the latter.

20. NY GIANTS OT Joe Staley, Central Michigan
The Giants are very thin at CB, and will be tempted to take Leon Hall, but the left tackle class is a lot less deep than the CB class.

21. DENVER DE Anthony Spencer, Purdue
The Broncos need an explosive pass rusher to fully compliment their outstanding tandem at CB (Champ Bailey and Dre Bly).

22. DALLAS CB Leon Hall, Michigan
The Cowboys must continue to upgrade the secondary, but it'll hard to pass up LSU's Dwayne Bowe or USC's Dwayne Jarrett.

23. KANSAS CITY WR Dwayne Jarrett, USC
The Chiefs liked Tamba Hali last year and drafted him higher than most people expected. I see a similar situation with Jarrett.

24. NEW ENGLAND S Michael Griffin, Texas
The Patriots have to be concerned with the recent injuries that have plagued SS Rodney Harrison.

25. NY JETS CB Chris Houston, Arkansas
The Jets need a pass-rushing OLB, but with Spencer gone, they draft the best available CB.

26. PHILADELPHIA S Brandon Meriweather, Miami (FL)
The Eagles need a DB after releasing SS Michael Lewis. FS Brian Dawkins can mentor his eventual replacement.

27. NEW ORLEANS CB Aaron Ross, Texas
The Saints defense overachieved last season, but they were extremely vulnerable at CB, and still are.

28. NEW ENGLAND LB Paul Posluszny, Penn State
The Patriots are the only team with two first round picks, and will likely use them to add depth to their aging defense.

29. BALTIMORE OG Ben Grubbs, Auburn
The Ravens need lots of help up front, especially at tackle, but the best value at pick 29 will be to take Grubbs.

30. SAN DIEGO WR Robert Meachem, Tennessee
The Chargers need a guy that can stretch the field and open things up for Tomlinson and TE Antonio Gates.

31. CHICAGO WR Dwayne Bowe, LSU
The Bears are still negotiating trades for disgruntled LB Lance Briggs, but it doesn't look like they can make a deal before this weekend.

32. INDIANAPOLIS LB Jon Beason, Miami (FL)
The Colts replaced Edgerrin James through the draft last season by selecting Joseph Addai. Now they'll look to replace LB Cato June.


33. OAKLAND C Ryan Kalil, USC
34. DETROIT LB David Harris, Michigan
35. CLEVELAND CB Marcus McCauley, Fresno State
36. TAMPA BAY DT Justin Harrell, Tennessee
37. CHICAGO (from NYJ via WAS) OT Tony Ugoh, Arkansas
38. ARIZONA DE Jarvis Moss, Florida
39. ATLANTA (from HOU) DE Charles Johnson, Georgia
40. MIAMI OL Arron Sears, Tennessee
41. MINNESOTA WR Steve Smith, USC
42. SAN FRANCISCO WR Anthony Gonzalez, Ohio State
43. BUFFALO CB Eric Wright, UNLV
44. ATLANTA DT DeMarcus "Tank" Tyler, NC State
45. CAROLINA LB Buster Davis, Florida State
46. PITTSBURGH OG Justin Blaylock, Texas
47. GREEN BAY TE Zach Miller, Arizona State
48. JACKSONVILLE DE Ray McDonald, Florida
49. CINCINNATI CB Josh Wilson, Maryland
50. TENNESSEE CB Daymeion Hughes, California
51. NY GIANTS CB Tarnard Jackson, Syracuse
52. ST. LOUIS RB Brian Leonard, Rutgers
53. DALLAS WR Sidney Rice, South Carolina
54. KANSAS CITY CB Jonathan Wade, Tennessee
55. SEATTLE DT Turk McBride, Tennessee
56. DENVER WR Jason Hill, Washington State
57. PHILADELPHIA QB Trent Edwards, Stanford
58. NEW ORLEANS LB Justin Durant, Hampton
59. NY JETS TE Ben Patrick, Delaware
60. MIAMI (from NE) QB Drew Stanton, Michigan State
61. BALTIMORE DE LaMarr Woodley, Michigan
62. SAN DIEGO S Eric Weddle, Utah
63. NY JETS (from CHI) OLB Stewart Bradley, Nebraska
64. TAMPA BAY (from IND) WR Craig Davis, LSU