20 quick thoughts on draft weekend

  • I’m glad “draft speculation season” is over. I don’t think I want to see a mock draft ever again. The majority of them are little more than the equivalent of a kindergartner picking his favorite colored crayons out of the Crayola box. There are, however, a small handful of websites that legitimately put in ridiculous hours of film study and journalizin’ from the end of the previous year’s draft up until the day of the draft. One such example is Scouts Notebook, which is a little hidden gem among the cavalcade of pretenders. Anyway, their final mock draft scored second highest in the world on the Huddle Report, a site that, among other things, grades mock drafters. That achievement and $5 will get them a crappy foot long sandwich at Subway, along with some admiration from a bunch of dorks. If you’re a dork that plans on keeping up on the 2013 groceries, start reading their stuff. Now. Congrats to Tommy, Matt, and Gimpy for slaying the Kipers of the world.
  • ZOMG! He's running without a helmet! He's the best player EVER!

    If the Eagles’ starting 3 at LB this year turns out to be DeMeco Ryans, Brian Rolle, and Mychal Kendricks, the Eagles will almost certainly have the shortest group of linebackers in the NFL, and maybe the shortest of the last decade. Ryans is 6’1, Kendricks is 5’11, and Rolle is 5’10.  On paper, that group should be monumentally better than last year’s bunch, but I can’t help but feel like Jason Witten (6’6) is licking his chops.

  • If you criticize a team’s draft, their fans don’t like it.
  • Before the draft, Jerry Jones went on TV and talked about building a very “Romo-friendly” team. They had 7 picks. No offensive linemen.
  • The Mike Jenkins situation in Dallas should be fun to watch. That’s going to be a tough sell for them to get a decent pick for him. ESPN’s Ed Werder on Mike Jenkins: “They’ll only move Jenkins for a significant pick. They won’t give him up cheaply.” I don’t see it. Think about that from the perspective of teams that might be interested in trading for Jenkins. Do you view Jenkins as a one year band aid? If so, there’s no way in hell you’re giving up a decent pick. Do you view him as a long term answer? If so, you’re going to have to pay him big bucks. That factors into how much you’re willing to give up in draft pick compensation. I think the Cowboys are going to find a very dry market for Jenkins. A 5th round pick in 2013 is probably the absolute best they’ll do, but a 6 is probably more realistic. Not to mention, as long as he’s on the roster, the Cowboys will have an unhappy player on their hands.
  • Fletcher Cox had the longest hug for Roger Goodell after being picked. 10.76 seconds. Deadspin timed every hug. Seriously. Pretty awesome, actually.
  • Bold prediction: Brandon Boykin is the new Asante Samuel. Not because they both play CB, but rather because people are going to add an “S” to the end of Boykin’s name.
  • Redskins 3rd round pick Josh LeRibeus is the NFL’s version of Brad Pitt.
  • If you’re an Eagles fan and you’re happy with their draft, I’m the reason. Just before the beginning of the draft, I changed my avatar on Twitter to my mustache picture for good luck. Because of this shrewd move, the draft fell perfectly into place for them. My buddy Tyler recognized.  Why didn’t the rest of you? Ingrates! You’re welcome.

  • I’m glad the Eagles traded up and drafted quickly. If the Eagles are on the clock in the first round for more than 5 minutes, it’s almost a certainty that they’ll show the douchebag to the right booing McNabb. The Eagles’ quick selection negated that. Win!
  • Speaking of ESPN, I used to like Chris Berman when I was a kid.. way back in the 80’s… when his whole thing was still “fresh?” Actually, can we say it was even “fresh” in the 80’s? Let’s go with “mildly entertaining.” Even back then, his references to 60’s pop culture were WAY over my head. But holy crap… It’s 2012 and his schtick is exactly the same. It’s unwatchable. I’d say my TV time split this weekend was 95% NFLN, 5% ESPN. Plus, there’s this.
  • NFLN wasn’t without their flaws either, but I thought overall they did a great job.  Somehow, belle of the ball Mike Mayock had no idea that Alfonso Dennard punched a cop. When the Pats picked him in the 7th round, he said without a hint of sarcasm that he’d have to go back and figure out why he fell so far. For someone that spends as much time as Mayock does preparing for the draft, it’s kind of astonishing that Dennard’s incident somehow evaded Mayock’s radar.
  • Who were the A-holes that were yelling “WHAT?!?” every time Roger Goodell was announcing a pick on Day 1? That was getting very annoying.
  • The Bills drafted OL Cordy Glenn in the 2nd round. If history stays true to form, Glenn should expect to be an Eagle sometime around 2016.
  • Not NFCE related, but rookie Isaiah Pead (@iPead)officially has the best Twitter handle in the league.
  • The Eagles continued their tradition of drafting a bunch of guys that competed at the Senior Bowl. They took Vinny Curry, Nick Foles, Brandon Boykin, and Marvin McNutt. They also signed UDFA’s Chris Polk and Emil Igwenagu.
  • Just before the draft, I got a text from my buddy SR, who was at a fundraiser dinner where Hakeem Nicks was the keynote speaker. Nicks predicted a 14-2 season.
  • I love how after every pick in Day 3, the analysts say “(Player X) would have been a 1st or 2nd rounder if wasn’t for (fill in some sort of major flaw).”
  • Flyers!

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  99. rational says:

    *the closing paragraph somehow was pushed up into the middle of the dissertation. just fyi

  100. rational says:

    First off…..DeMarco Murray’s contract goes for 3 more more years, Witten’s goes till 2017 and Ratliff’s goes till 2018. Don’t google old crap (with hope that good players will leave the team) .You are better than that.

    London Fletcher…….well, don’t dive too far into statistics like tackles for players or total yards against, as a defense. They lie sometimes. Sometimes tackles say you are on the field a little longer. It also has to do with how your defense is played. I’m not going into all that because anyone who is arguing that obviously is not going to understand it.

    As far as claiborne’s comments…..listen to the kids interviews (they are on dallascowboys.com). There doesn’t seem to be any aggression behind any of that. Its more a cliche for younger men than anything in my eyes. Dez Bryant is a good kid.

    Jackson is a dick. Throwing the ball at a coach? I mean, listen to the guy……he sounds like a dick. Dez does not, seems like a person you would want as your teammate. Jackson doesn’t have the kind of attitude that you want on your team. Especially when he has a loud mouth and is paper thin.

    And on the character issues that you are trying to create on claiborne to try to hold onto your side of the argument………thats crap man. There were no character issues for the kid. They drafted him because he was, by all accounts, a good young man. Janoris Jenkins was not on their board. Listen to that dude’s interviews…..he is also a dick. But the main thing with him…..he is pretty short. He doesn’t bring to the table the elite things that Claiborn does. Dallas signed Carr and drafted Claiborne because of the elite size that they bring that allows them to reduce the ability for receivers to make plays 1 on 1. And Claiborne will even win some of those battles bringing down the ball many times.

    So it was a great pick, especially considering what they had to give up. You are just trying to devalue the move and find something wrong with it. Just because you don’t want to give them credit. Its one of the things that I dislike most about opposing fans. Give teams credit where they deserve it. Appreciate areas that are strong points for that team. Appreciate the game of football and what can be done with the pieces in the chess game that it is.

    I give credit to the Eagles and how they have built their team. Andy Reid is a genius for seeing the matchup nightmare that he was trying to create. To have that much speed at the skill positions (an qb) creates huge problems. Celek (still laughing on comparisons…..laughing on Cooley too…..he’s not even the best tight end on his team….its Fred Davis).
    And what he is trying to create on defense is interesting as well; especially relative to how the league has evolved. The pass rush is phenomenal (especially with what they did during the draft). Dallas and Philly are two of the most intriguing teams to watch, as far as how their defenses will perform with the additions from this offseason.

    Amen on the homework. Finals are crazy, yet I waste all my time talking about the Cowboys and the NFC East. And I hope your team eats dog shit too. But I know they won’t. Mark it down…..Dallas and Philly will finish 1 and 2 in the division……….hopefully its with Dallas winning the division and Philly missing the playoffs. good luck on finals.

    As I justify the draft pick of Claiborne…..you have to realize that the decision to give the free agent (Carr) $50 million was before the draft. I’m sure we can both agree that Dallas (or anyone else) didn’t think Claiborne was going to slip to six….and even if someone thought it was possible….Dallas damn sure didn’t know they would be able to get him. Therefore, they made the correct decision witth Carr, at the time. And, to add the best young corner in the league (which is the way they are looking at it…..as any team would) on a rookie contract so that the value at the position (dollars/skill) is fantastic.

    It saved them money and problems at the position that would have haunted them in the near future (when Jenkins becomes a free agent). And solidifies one of the most important areas of a team for a superbowl run over the next 4 years. I think that is worth more than adding a 1st round guard. You know it is too, you just don’t want to admit it.

  101. nadam says:

    I know I’m late on this post, but I’m glad someone finally said something about the douchebags saying “what” during each pick. They should have been thrown the fuck out. Hopefully they will be next year. Annoying as all hell

  102. Rafael Vela says:

    On coverage,

    1. Berman is a god in the sportscaster world because he was wise enough to do a standup on the “49ers win” in the end zone seconds before Dwight Clark caught “the pass” in the ’82 NFCC. Timing is everything and he’s been living off that clip ever since.

    Yeah, old Krusty Berman’s act was tired before it was born. I call him Krusty because in the days before ABC put him on MNF at halftime, he would go long periods without cutting his hair. Or buying a decent tie. His hair would stick out on the sides, making him look like Krusty the Klown from The Simpsons. ABC stopped that but quick when they put him on the Halftime Highlights desk.

    2. I’m with you on NFL Network’s superior show, but they made one HUGE mistake. They let Jason LaCanfora tweet picks two spots ahead of the TV broadcast on Thursday and Friday, which ticked off a lot of people. (He stopped it on Saturday, so the blowback must have been fierce). Meanwhile, Mayock is winging it on set, trying to predict picks that his colleague had put into record and succeeding about 2% of the time.

    Had the producers simply instructed LaCanfora to IM Mayock via Twitter, they would have looked like geniuses.

    I guess we can say that draft boardcasts are like drafting, they’re not a science.

    1. rational says:

      totally agreed that NFL Network was way better for the Draft (than ESPN). They have been for the last couple of years. Mayock just knows more about football than McShay or Kiper. He has a better feel for the smaller things that affect scouting. Also, he praises more picks. I think he can identify why teams are picking various players and realizes the value better than the ESPN folk. So there really are Philly people out there that are not predisposed to biases and hate of other teams that leads to unappreciated management approaches, directions and philosophies. Mike Mayock is the man!

  103. rational says:

    With Dallas drafting Claiborne, it allows them to sustain economical depth at the cornerback position (very hard to do) and maintain a high level of talent there for years to come. Jenkins is very injury prone, but a very good player. They should keep him for depth, holding his franchise options and a possible 4th round compensatory pick next year. Why would they trade him for anything less that a third if he allows depth at that important position. Dallas’ cornerbacks (even their 4th and 5th CB’s) get a significant amount of snaps. They should have actually drafted another cornerback. So cornerback was a need to not get pushed into an unreasonable financial corner. Also, it is undeniable that claiborne was the most talent that they could get with their resources in the first and second round. To get an All-Pro talent as opposed to two solid starters is the way to go. They got off cheap on the deal as well…….the point chart said they should have given up a fourth rounder as well.
    Dallas’ problem on the O-Line last year is that they couldn’t get a push. Therefore they were horrible on short yardage and running when the defense knew they were going to run. That is why they passed so much at the end of games that they were winning. They couldn’t run. Therefore, they signed two guards that will provide a push and that are in the primes of their career. That is better than drafting those guys because offensive lineman many times, take a couple of years to fill out and learn successful technique. Sometimes, its a steal to get guys that have a few years in the league and are ready to take that next step. Dallas did that. If a team takes a

    if a team takes an offensive lineman in the first round, it disallows them to take a player that has elite talent that they would not be able to fill in any other round. Dallas had a few holes to fill (especially secondary and DE) and if they took DeCAstro, then it would have been tough to get an impact player in the secondary who wasn’t a shrimp (such as Boykin). Its easier to make up for not taking a guard in the first round than a secondary player. So now, it really only made sense to take a secondary player and most thought it was going to be Barron. Barron would have not provided the coverage upgrade or turnover difference that Claiborne is going to do. Poole is experienced and has played in the Ryan defense multiple years. They would have had to trade up for either. I bet Dallas is glad that it was Claiborne. Meanwhile, you guys are trying to convince yourselves that they made a bad decision. He will make the largest difference on how other teams scheme against Dallas and what the D-Coordinator can do. I believe that Dallas and Philly will be the best teams in the Division next year.

    So go ahead and try to justify why you think Dallas did the wrong thing while 95% of everyone else loves the move. Also, he adds to the Nightmare that Dallas is as far as scheming against them. Dallas has the best pass rusher in the division, the best corner corp, the best tight end, the best nose tackle (Ratiif, as Andy Reid), the best fullback (Vickers), best MLB (Lee) and possibly the most corner (Claiborne). Oh yeah, their Quarterback, tackles, WR’s are close to being the best (if not the best).
    What is important about have cornerback play that Dallas will have, is it enhances the largest investments that you have on defense (Ratlif and Ware) and will bring more turnovers and sacks because of the ability that they already know is there at the front end. Teams would not, let Dallas’ pass rush get there……they just dropped and got the ball out. No route was re-directed because no one could press (except Jenkins). Now Dallas has Bruce Carter (their second round pick) coming in to solidify the middle of the field. Our MLB’s will cover a lot of ground. Spencer’s sack total will be over 10 this year and you will see sack totals and turnovers rise. This is all enhanced and really tied to having strong coverage and depth at the corner position. Now you tell me…….is that worth a second round pick? Evaluate football, dont evaluate the hate and resentment that you have for the Dallas Cowboys.

    1. I love how Morris Claiborne is an All Pro before he has ever once stepped onto an NFL football field.

      1. rational says:

        I love how you can’t see that he projects to an All-Pro better than any other corner in recent memory. Do you understand that? We are scouting projections……that is what the NFL Draft is all about. Morris Claiborne, being an All-Pro, is a more reasonable expectation that any cornerback coming out that I can remember. Look at his coverage ability, speed, quickness, ball skills, length and hands. It is reasonable to think that he can never be a liability as far as any match up is concerned. Is there a problem with that statement? Because these are the types of thoughts that go through the minds of personnel departments while evaluating players. Don’t you agree?

        1. Ty says:

          Lol. Rookie CBs don’t usually struggle or anything so I gues there is no point arguing with you.

        2. I think he’s going to be a great player. You somehow know without a shadow of a doubt that he will. I think that’s the difference here.

          1. rational says:

            can you read? I said there is more reason to expect it than any other scenario that you or I can think of. But you will not recognize that rationale to fear the player.
            Look; I was pissed when the Eagles drafted Fletcher Cox because he is a helluva player and will cause Dallas problems with his skill set.

            Tell the truth. You had to be thinking the same thing when Dallas selected Claiborne. Nevermind the lineman that they lost out on in the second round.

            And TY, I wonder how much different it is in the NFL to cover man on man than it is from college when you already have the ability to cover everyone? I’m sure it will help to pick up zone schemes and such along the way……but he’s not playing quarterback or receiver

            1. rational says:

              when I say scenario……I mean any other cornerback coming out….and us projecting their success. I just don’t mind saying that I think because of Claiborne’s overall ability, measurables, ball skills, quickness, speed and competition. I can’t think of anyone.

            2. ProtoTyler says:

              I think he will be good for a long time actually, but Most Rookie CBs struggle at some point. Mainly because they are rookies and until they show they will make you pay, they will get picked on.

              I’m sure that Vick, Eli, Brees, Ryan, Cam, Big Ben, Flacco etc couldn’t care less how good he is supposed to be, and that could be to their detriment. Rest assured that you will know soon enough about Claiborne; the NFCE DBs have their work cut out for them this season that’s for sure.

    2. Tfizzle says:

      I do not see how you can say they have the best corners, when the Eagles have DRC and Asomugha (who both have pro-bowls and Asomugha is generally considered one of the best), how you can say that Claiborne could be the best CB in the division, how Ware is the best pass rusher (I’d say tied with JPP and Babin; all three are beasts at pass-rushing, Ware is just slightly better at other things, mainly due to the different position). You do have the best NT, because you’re only competing with one team; the Deadskins. If Free plays like he did two years ago, you could have the best tackles…with a crap interior of the line. As far as tight end, I’ve always been partial to the Deadskins tight ends; overall, I’d say they were better (mainly due to depth and that Witten should begin to decline soon). Calling Lee the best MLB is insane. London Fletcher has that for the NFC East, and I’d be willing to put DeMeco Ryans there ahead of Lee. Does Lee have the potential to be great? Yes. Is he? Not yet.

      What you are doing is what every fan-base is doing; looking at what could be. For example, I firmly believe the Redskins could go to the Super Bowl this year. If RGIII plays his absolute best, their WR acquisitions work out and their lines hold, they have the potential. However, both you and I know, the Redskins will not make the Super Bowl; we look for the absolute best in our team.

      The fact that Jimmy dislikes the Cowboys pick is for one reason; they want to win now, yet are taking a pick that does not fill an immediate need. This is a valid point. The Boys have several glaring needs, such as Guard and safety. Because they traded two high picks, they weren’t able to address both these needs and instead got a player who could be great in a few years. Unfortunately, they passed over the safest player in the draft (DeCastro) and some reasonable safety talent in the 2nd for this. The players you point out–Ratliff, Ware, Romo, Witten, etc.–are all getting older. Romo is older than Vick, older than Eli…shit, he’s even older than Rex Grossman. The Cowboys have some great pieces, but need to put them together now and this pick doesn’t show that at all.

      If you would like to disagree with this analysis, feel free; I’d be interested in hearing what you have to say. While I feel that the overall conclusion and premise of your statement was false, you did make several good points. (Especially about Barron. I cannot see how the media loves Tampa Bay’s draft so much when I absolutely hated that they took Barron so early.)

      1. rational says:

        You guys are not appreciating how hard it is for any team to get a player as good as Claiborne; especially at such a premium position. You guys go crazy on this need thing and its only because its an argument against the Cowboys. 95% of the time, teams are criticized because they don’t take the best player available. The Cowboys move up to get the 2nd overall player on their board while they can upgrade their team by adding a schematic advantages (they can run more plays on defense because of it)…. and this is a bad thing?
        What you guys really aren’t considering is how to improve your team overall. By taking a Cornerback who can play right away with the skills that he has; the Dallas Cowboys can afford to extend players that they are sure about and even get more free agents to fill more needs the following year.
        They keep their dollars down for a few years as a very expensive position (because of a rookie contract) as opposed to having to sign an injury prone CB to another $40-$50 million contract next year. That is not smart. Because then they are going to have a hard time extending players like T. Smith, D. Murray and D. Bryant.

        By the way…..Witten is still under 30 years old (he was 20 when he came in the league). And how can you say that Washington is better at the position? Ratliff is the best NT/DT in the division (sorry, I should have clarified). Ware, excuse me, is the best pass rusher! Yes he is the best all around player as well. Matter of fact, he is the best defensive player in the league! But he doesn’t get the credit because he plays for Dallas. Its always some BS….ie “he isn’t a leader” or “his sacks don’t come in clutch times” or some BS. The man is doubled and tripled more than any of those guys you spoke of……remember that. I think Romo has at least 4 years of prime football left in him; Witten has 4-5, Ware has 4, Ratliff has 3. So they must draft pressure players in the first round in the coming years to get some experience to replace those guys………..but those guys are in their prime! A football team always has a range of age on their team. And as far as that argument is concerned, drafting the surest thing that will help your team to the highest degree and, schematically, many different ways is the best move that you can make. You can’t afford to miss and you can’t afford to draft a guard who has little impact. Its much easier to find a player closer to DeCastro’s ability (Free Agency, Undrafted Free Agency and later in any draft……and bye the way they have a ton of experienced youth that has not had an offseason to refine strength and technique in the interior) ….definitely easier to come close to DeCastro’s contributions to the team as opposed to Claiborne’s. Agree? I mean, how can you not agree with that?

        AND also, don’t throw out stupid comparison’s of age with Eli and Vick when Romo is less than a month older than Vick, and less than a year older than Eli. And especially, never mention Rex Grossman in another argument again in your life. That’s just poor taste.

        And last….I have to address Lee. You argue about age and then throw London Fletcher out there. Lee plays at a pro bowl level right now! Ryans is coming off of serious injury and will never sniff Lee’s rising production or coverage ability (expect Bruce Carter to make a lot of tackles on McCoy and Vick this year as well….behind or close to the line of scrimmage). London Fletcher…….really? The dude is pretty good but he is very old and Lee has surpassed him already. Therefore, Dallas’ ILB corp is the best in the division…..deal with it. Our wide receivers are the best too……..although I know there is a lot of debate there (the only argument is the Giants because they just got a steal with Reuben Randle for their third guy) but its not crazy to make that statement with Dez and Miles…..there will just be an uproar because the Giants had a great year. Throw Witten in there and the that is the Trump Card.
        In closing; is it really hard to think that Dallas’ interior line will be improved with a few free agent signings that have attributes that their lineman didnt have last year (weight and strength)? Is is hard to suppress the idea that Claiborne will allow their defense to do more, create more turnovers and sacks by his addition? Is it hard to think that Dallas could have a much more accomplished running game….with Murray there for a whole year, with a solid/big play back-up in feliz jones…that will help them close out drives, short yardage, red zone opportunities and ultimately games. Is it hard to think that the extra time that the improved secondary allows will allow them to get more sacks and turnovers to close out games specifically? Closing out games in many other ways will minimize the need to pass the ball late in games as well decreasing the probability of comebacks (because of the lack of opportunities for turnovers).
        Everything may not happen exactly this way but there are a lot of ways for this team to improve from last year when they were a hair away from winning the division. Therefore, it shouldn’t be hard for any intelligent fan to recognize there is definite reason to expect improvement now. But I suppose you can go on trying to convince yourself that “Dallas Sucks”

        1. Tfizzle says:

          You argue that someone who had 106 tackles last season, the first time in his two-year career with more than 100, is better than someone who has had 12 100+ tackle seasons, including 177 last year. You know who else had over 100 tackles his sophomore season? Stewert Bradley. And Eagles fans hailed him as the next Trotter; finally getting a force at MLB. Then it kinda went to the shitter. You are arguing based on possibility. I agree; the Cowboys have a good amount of talent, and COULD be the best team in the league. You, apparently, believe they are.

          I also find it amusing that you say it’s good that they got Claiborne because it would be “not smart” to sign a cb for 40-50 million dollars…which is what Dallas just did. And you are right; they shouldn’t have tried to get a second cornerback at that price. But think in 4 years, the Claiborne wants his extension and Carr is at the most expensive part of his contract. That’ll kinda suck.

          Also, please make a statistical or at least logical basis for saying Dez Bryant and Miles Austin are the best in the division. I would place them third, behind the Eagles and the Giants, just like I would put Romo third behind the Eagles and Giants. Austin had one great season, one good season…and a lot of nothing else. Dez Bryant has a massive amount of potential, but has yet to completely break out (DeSean Jackson had almost as many yards–912 compared to 928–as Bryant had his sophomore year). So…until they show me more, I’m sticking with the Eagles and Giants. As far as Romo below Vick and Eli, look at the last two seasons. Vick and Eli have impressed me. Romo, despite his injury, has done well but hasn’t shown me he can carry the team on his back
          and still has yet to show me anything in the playoffs. If we include tight end, it’s a toss-up between the Eagles and the Cowboys for best receivers.

          Oh, and quickly, Ware is probably the person I most admire on the Cowboys. He is an incredible player and one of the best, most consistent defensive players in football right now. However, I believe that 3-4 and 4-3 defenses cannot be accurately compared. Thus, I feel that last year, JPP made at least as big a difference to the Giants defense as Ware did to his. Thus, I’m saying they were about even last year. As far as pass rushing, I’ll take the guy who’s out a third of the time and still gets 18 sacks (Babin–though note, if I were picking a better defender, it’s Ware, no contest). Finally, comparing NT to defensive tackles is tough, especially since there aren’t many stats. Also, I’m sure you haven’t watched as many Eagles games as I have and I haven’t watched as many Cowboys games as you have, so there’s no real objective argument that could be made. If I were making a 3-4 defense out of NFC east players, I’d take Ratliff at NT and Cullen Jenkins would be a hell of a DE. Otherwise, I’d take Jenkins and Canty. So…I really can’t see how you can argue that Ratliff is the best NT/DT in the NFC East.

          Another thing you say is “Its [sic] much easier to find a player closer to DeCastro’s ability (Free Agency, Undrafted Free Agency and later in any draft……and bye [sic] the way they have a ton of experienced youth that has not had an offseason to refine strength and technique in the interior) ….definitely [sic] easier to come close to DeCastro’s contributions to the team as opposed to Claiborne’s.” DeCastro has been hailed by many as the best Guard prospect since Steve Hutchinson. For those who want to count, that’s 11 years since there’s been a better guard prospect. And for the last CB prospect who’s been hailed as much as Claiborne, that would be…last year. Mel Kiper said: “Peterson’s arrival gives the Cardinals one of the more talented secondaries in the NFL” and “He has long arms, unbelievable athletic ability and off-the-charts talent.” Or in 2010 with Joe Haden and the incredible Eric Berry at Safety. So, especially with the whole work ethic thing with the Wonderlic (I don’t dislike that he did poorly on it, just that he didn’t try), I’d say that it is not easier to find someone like DeCastro in the draft. Especially when the CB needy rams and Bucs pass on him.

          And finally, if you want to be taken “rationally” please don’t say that I simply said “Dallas Sucks.” I feel that I made reasonable, well-supported arguments that show that I feel Dallas could have gotten more value not trading up and that while they could be the best team in the NFC East this season if some things go their way, right now I feel that they aren’t. If you make another claim like that again, I will simply believe you are trolling and ignore you.

          1. rational says:

            Who is better NOW? Lee is……that doesn’t have anything to do with 12 100 tackle season. All that really says is that London is old and on the down side of his career. The main difference is the coverage ability that Lee has now. That is what separates linebackers in this league at this point. He can do everything and London is too old to put in the same breath as Lee or any of the other top linebackers in the league at this point.
            as far as the 50 million dollar contracts; the point is that you can’t have multiple ones. The going price for good corners in the league is that price. You can’t sign them without paying that. Asomghua was paid higher than that and do you really think he is worth it? No interceptions, can’t play the slot and seemed to be pretty un-exceptional last year. And when Claiborne has to sign his big extension, Carr’s contract will be (if not over) close to being completed. So, a trend in the league is going to be: “How can we get as many good/great corners on our team without committing salary cap suicide?” Dallas has taken a smart approach (with one corner in his prime with a big contract and a young stud on the other side (with great depth). Why is that amusing? Think about it.

            Petersen’s coverage ability last year was mediocre……so you can’t compare. There is a large difference in the length of the two players. Just look at Claiborne going to get the ball. Stop trying to find insignificant BS to downgrade the player on the wonderlic….the dude seems like a good kid and is fairly articulate. So don’t make him out to be a character concern. Dez and Jackson should not be compared; Dez hasn’t even had an off season to work, while it shows….well, so does his talent….on the field. There is a ton of room for improvement and unlike Jackson, he does seem like he respects the game and loves being a part of his team. The kid loves football. I would say he has character concerns anywhere close to Jackson. Jackson just seems like a prick. Dez made some dumb decisions but, some people mature a little later than others (rest-assured, Jackson will always be a dick).

            The Eagles tight end? Anyone should be able to step into that offense with all that speed and work the middle of the field…..hopefully they’ll just block a little too.

            You know where I stand with Ratliff; I’ll just add that he rushes the passer better than both of them and he stops the run better than Jenkins (maybe not Canty). He has more pro-bowls than both combined and he’s not old like London Feltcher.

            Ware has had mutliple 20 sack years and has had the most sacks over the last 6 years (or something close to that, maybe 7). Again, sees more double and triple teams than all of them (less help than JPP or even Babin….although those sack totals for his friends will change with this upgraded secondary).

            I didn’t quite understand where you were going with Petersen, Haden and Berry….so please elaborate.

            There is no way they could have gotten more value not trading up. Say they get Brockers and Konz by staying put. No way, any coach would like to have the things that Claiborne brings to the table because it allows him to do more. Another way to look at it is…..Would you trade those two players for Claiborne? Or more importantly, do you think any general manager would do it? There is no way that would happen in the NFL. Do some research on that if you don’t think that is the case (ask questions to analysts ect). I am confident almost any team, even if they had “too many” cornerbacks (which the cliche says you cant have).

            And DeCastro…….just think about what taking a guard in the first round does to the rest of your draft. There is too much of a drop off in talent with premium positions. I have had arguments with many Dallas fans about taking DeCastro. I just think using your resources on players that have a bigger impact on your overall scheme is more important (considering what Claiborne will allow Dallas to do and possible game changing plays that can be manifested by a big play-maker in the secondary). And lastly, on that point, its much easier to replace a guard than any position on the field. That is a huge point and I would love for you to argue that. Every position is important, but there is a reason there have only been 2 interior lineman picked in the top 20 in the last 10 years (and one was a center, which most personnel departments would agree is more important than guard) and one of them was not DeCastro…….so what does that tell you about your comparison to Hutchinson. I will love to track DeCastro……but he will probably receive more credit than he deserves playing in Pittsburgh (not easy to evaluate guard unless you are looking at game tape with slow motion and rewind) because everyone loves those pittsburgh offensive lineman and nose tackles (excuse me if I seem resentful for one of the most loved teams in the nation….along with Green Bay….while I represent the most hated team in sports). Pittsburgh will lose their share of games from being unable to match-up with passing elements of other teams. They did nothing for an aging secondary and can say hello to first round exits from the playoffs every year until they cant find players who can win those match-ups (they are getting old on defense and replacing Casey Hampton versus Harrison….well the big NT only plays 2 downs out of the 4). As the most important thing in the league is converting third downs and stopping the conversion of third downs. So if a team gets a player that plays a fraction of the downs…..it should be on the passing downs (some teams realize it, see Bruce Irvin……and nickelbacks are in high demand as well).

            I think I have offered a ton of text on why taking a cornerback is more important than a guard. Disagree with me if you want…….I would want to play against your team if you do.

            Finally, I didn’t mean to make it sound like you said “Dallas Sucks”. It was in reference to the chant that the team receives; such as the one when Morris Claiborne was picked at Radio City Music Hall……..so it was “rational”

            1. Tfizzle says:

              Well, I feel like I’ve made my point pretty clearly, especially since Fletcher had the most tackles of his career last season and has never missed a game. So, this, I feel is the one place where your bias towards Dallas is unreasonable.

              I found it amusing that you argued that Dallas shouldn’t overcommit its resources to corner when the Cowboys recently put quite a bit of money there. You are right though that those contracts can be killer and that you don’t want two at once.

              Also, another thing that I will use to continue my “it was a bad pick because they need to win now” is the free agents they have next year. Damn. Spencer, Ratliff, Witten, Felix Jones, DeMarco Murray. They have the big name players locked up, but that’s a bunch of quality players and with the NFL’s cap penalty on them, it’s gonna be tough keeping all of them next year. So, another reason they need to win now.

              Do not attempt to make the argument that DeSean Jackson is a dick. He is not. He wanted to get paid a fair amount (and ended up getting paid just above that). Des Bryant? Trouble with the law, some minor mishaps with teammates…Not good. Jackson does not have character concerns. If you want to argue that Des Bryant doesn’t either, that’s fair. Just don’t say something because you heard it; look at the facts.

              If you wanted to argue that Ratliff was better against the run than Jenkins, that’s reasonable. As far as pressuring the qb, I’m taking Jenkins every time. More sacks, tackles, and FF over the same time period. At best (for Ratliff), they’re about equal rushing the passer.

              As far as Ware always getting double and triple-teamed, I believe Peters did a pretty damn good job one-on-one. Regardless, the comparisons can’t be made between DE and OLB from 4-3 to 3-4.

              Brent Celek is pretty damn good. He had a tough time receiving at the start of last season BECAUSE they kept him in to block so much. Thus, Celek is an above average starter who should challenge for a spot with Cooley and Witten as best in the division next year (after almost doing that year before last).

              Here’s it fairly simple: it’s easy to find talent at the top of the draft in CBs. Peterson was hailed just as much as Claiborne last year, and that really didn’t work out so well for him his first year. The best guard in over a decade? That’s rarer. It happens about once a decade.

              I agree that Claiborne’s wonderlic score was not an issue. It was what he said afterward, once he was drafted, that I find an issue. Down at the bottom are his direct quotes:

              http://content.usatoday.com/communities/thehuddle/post/2012/04/cowboys-morris-claiborne-i-know-who-my-critics-are/1#.T59lN9WiaHv

              That scares me. I was actually on an eagles board defending Claiborne when someone used this article against me. I like him, but with the Cowboys not vetting him almost at all and a report like that…it scares me off a prospect.

              If I were the cowboys, ideally, I would trade down a bit, pick up a 4th or 5th, grab DeCastro, and then trade up in the 2nd to get Janoris Jenkins. He smoked pot; he didn’t get 3 DUIs (Floyd) or punch a cop (Dennard). But that would be my ideal situation. And even staying the same spot, they could have had their choice between Still and Worthy, both impact defensive players. I believe those would have a far better outcomes for the Cowboys both short-term and long-term.

              Several things left: I don’t believe Guard is as important as CB, but when you have a choice between a Guard who can make a difference for a decade and a half, or a CB with a couple big red flags (Wonderlic/Rams and Bucs not taking him) I’d go with the Guard. That’s a long-term decision. Coaches in the NFL are not allowed to make long-term decisions.

              And in response to your final statement:
              Fair enough.
              Your arguments are reasonable, and you have every reason to be excited about Claiborne. The point is, don’t go claiming that the pick was perfect or even amazing. It was very impressive; I was covering the draft for my college radio station (I do sports broadcasting for the college, so I do sports talk radio for them occasionally) and I was stunned by what the Cowboys gave up to get there. I expected more, like the stupid move the Falcons made last year. However, as more reports have come out that the Cowboys didn’t vet this pick much and the issues surrounding Claiborne, I’ve been less impressed. Plus, since the Cowboys do have quite a few other major holes (and trust me, as an Eagles fan, I know what it’s like to enter a season with a gaping hole–for more see linebacker, the past half-decade), I’m still worrying about those.

              Anyway, I probably won’t get to write another long response like this, since I have a ton of work to do. Yay college. Anyway, good luck this season, and hope you go 5-11 (Beat the Giants twice and, because I’m feeling nice and fairly ambivalent, the Deadskins twice. And the Steelers, because I have an obnoxious steelers fan a floor below me.)

              1. Jimmer says:

                Ratliff and Witten signed new deals last year, will not be FA’s after this season. Murray will be on year 3 of his rookie contract. Spencer and Jones will be FA’s.

                If London Fletcher is so good, why did no one, I repeat NO ONE, besides Washington offer him a contract?? If Sean Lee was a FA 31 teams would have been calling his agent.

              2. rational says:

                First off…..DeMarco Murray’s contract goes for 3 more more years, Witten’s goes till 2017 and Ratliff’s goes till 2018. Don’t google old crap (with hope that good players will leave the team) .You are better than that.

                London Fletcher…….well, don’t dive too far into statistics like tackles for players or total yards against, as a defense. They lie sometimes. Sometimes tackles say you are on the field a little longer. It also has to do with how your defense is played. I’m not going into all that because anyone who is arguing that obviously is not going to understand it.

                As far as claiborne’s comments…..listen to the kids interviews (they are on dallascowboys.com). There doesn’t seem to be any aggression behind any of that. Its more a cliche for younger men than anything in my eyes. Dez Bryant is a good kid.

                Jackson is a dick. Throwing the ball at a coach? I mean, listen to the guy……he sounds like a dick. Dez does not, seems like a person you would want as your teammate. Jackson doesn’t have the kind of attitude that you want on your team. Especially when he has a loud mouth and is paper thin.

                And on the character issues that you are trying to create on claiborne to try to hold onto your side of the argument………thats crap man. There were no character issues for the kid. They drafted him because he was, by all accounts, a good young man. Janoris Jenkins was not on their board. Listen to that dude’s interviews…..he is also a dick. But the main thing with him…..he is pretty short. He doesn’t bring to the table the elite things that Claiborn does. Dallas signed Carr and drafted Claiborne because of the elite size that they bring that allows them to reduce the ability for receivers to make plays 1 on 1. And Claiborne will even win some of those battles bringing down the ball many times.

                As I justify the draft pick of Claiborne…..you have to realize that the decision to give the free agent (Carr) $50 million was before the draft. I’m sure we can both agree that Dallas (or anyone else) didn’t think Claiborne was going to slip to six….and even if someone thought it was possible….Dallas damn sure didn’t know they would be able to get him. Therefore, they made the correct decision witth Carr, at the time. And, to add the best young corner in the league (which is the way they are looking at it…..as any team would) on a rookie contract so that the value at the position (dollars/skill) is fantastic.

                It saved them money and problems at the position that would have haunted them in the near future (when Jenkins becomes a free agent). And solidifies one of the most important areas of a team for a superbowl run over the next 4 years. I think that is worth more than adding a 1st round guard. You know it is too, you just don’t want to admit it.

                So it was a great pick, especially considering what they had to give up. You are just trying to devalue the move and find something wrong with it. Just because you don’t want to give them credit. Its one of the things that I dislike most about opposing fans. Give teams credit where they deserve it. Appreciate areas that are strong points for that team. Appreciate the game of football and what can be done with the pieces in the chess game that it is.

                I give credit to the Eagles and how they have built their team. Andy Reid is a genius for seeing the matchup nightmare that he was trying to create. To have that much speed at the skill positions (an qb) creates huge problems. Celek (still laughing on comparisons…..laughing on Cooley too…..he’s not even the best tight end on his team….its Fred Davis).
                And what he is trying to create on defense is interesting as well; especially relative to how the league has evolved. The pass rush is phenomenal (especially with what they did during the draft). Dallas and Philly are two of the most intriguing teams to watch, as far as how their defenses will perform with the additions from this offseason.

                Amen on the homework. Finals are crazy, yet I waste all my time talking about the Cowboys and the NFC East. And I hope your team eats dog shit too. But I know they won’t. Mark it down…..Dallas and Philly will finish 1 and 2 in the division……….hopefully its with Dallas winning the division and Philly missing the playoffs. good luck on finals.

            2. rational says:

              and another thing that Philadelphia has to get used to not having……..is the best left tackle in the division. That offense is going to really miss Jason Peters. D-Ware is licking his chops!

              1. Tfizzle says:

                Yeah, did you not get that I broadcast football games for my college? Like, semi-professionally? I understand how different defenses work. And this is coming from a guy who claims that DTs and NTs can be compared. Still though, I cannot see an argument against Fletcher being the best MLB (or ILB) in the NFC East, especially since he had 10 less solo tackles than Lee had total tackles. No competition.

                As far as Dez Bryant vs DeSean Jackson in who’s more of a dick…meh, they’ve both made mistakes, but I really don’t see any major character flaws in either. Both are well liked by their teammates, even though they can be stupid at times.

                I do credit the Cowboys for what they gave up to get him; it was impressive and it didn’t screw them over like the Falcons last year. However, I’m saying it shouldn’t be hailed as an amazing move for reasons already stated.

                Pretty much, what we can agree on with Claiborne is this:

                He was the best defensive prospect this year (The only competition is Cox, Ingram and Coples–even though he had massive character concerns) and he and Cox were probably the safest defensive picks.

                He has the ability to compete at a reasonably high level next year and his floor is slightly worse than Patrick Peterson’s year last year (he could simply be meh to mediocre his first year). Odds are that he’ll be solid but unspectacular his first year.

                He could be a shut-down corner in a few years.

                His statements about the Wonderlic are probably won’t have any effect, but are worrying

                Also, Cooley’s been good for a while; better than anyone in the division not named Witten the past 8 years. He was injured last year, but should be at least as good as Fred Davis this year. At least, that’s how I look at it.

                Right now, I’d be betting on a three-way race in the East, with the Eagles pulling just a bit ahead. If things go right for the Cowboys, they could quite probably be the wild-card or just pull the division win. Looking at the Eagles though, everything went wrong last year and they ended at 8-8. So…I’d be surprised if they did worse.

                Good luck

              2. rational says:

                Let me clear up any credibility I have lost by comparing Ratliff to a defensive tackle………dude, in any other defense he would be defensive tackle. He is not 350 lbs……so if you are trying to define a typical nose tackle…..then Ratliff is not that. He is more comparable to a defensive tackle. But he is placed at the NT position because they value the pressure he gets and the double teams he demands.

                And don’t give me crap about your bush league broadcasting BS. I am not awed by it. I have been a Sports Journalist/Editor myself; as well as a Linebacker coach (I came back to school after chasing the money as opposed to finishing school; so I am not a 20 year old student). I ran the media day for the Fiesta Bowl. Your position doesn’t mean your knowledge is up to par.

                And if you think Cooley and Celek are close to Witten…..that illustrated that. Witten is a first ballot Hall of Famer. If you don’t believe me; use your journalism skills to collect enough opinions to reach a valid conclusion.

                Ratliff is a multiple pro-bowler (Canty and Jenkins are not)

                Fletcher was on the Free Agency wire for how long? That will tell you what the league thinks he can contribute for their particular team at this point. Washington almost didn’t re-sign him.

                Jackson is still a dick.

                Cooley still sucks.

                So does Celek. I thought that was how Philly could make the biggest difference in their team is getting a tight end who demands attention. If that was the case, teams would really have to pick their poison when playing them (yes, they kind of already have to do that). However, I do not want to discount what they did. They had a great draft (better than the cowboys overall) and added some very good players (Cox, Curry).

                Watch how losing Peters affects your offense. He was the best player (considering how he was ranked at his position with the rest of the league for a good period of time). Yes he did block Ware better than anyone……but you do know that he didn’t exactly shut him down…..to put it mildly. Ware had four sacks against the eagles in one game last year. And yes they did get handled by philadelphia last year.

                This is a new year and Dallas had the best off-season. I suppose you will argue that too. But with Peters going down and losing Samuel (I realize his limitations but it took away depth). But….I’m done for the rest of the day and will end by telling you that Dallas indeed improved themselves and you can spend the rest of the offseason trying to justify that …that isnt the case. Have fun and realize that you lost your best player as Dallas added a few cornerstones and a lot of depth. They didn’t get a pro bowl guard….but you didn’t get a pro-bowl anything.
                But we will see on the field……however I will have excitement with what the possibilities are in my sweet dreams for the rtest of the offseason and the Dallas/Philly games should be phenomenal.

                Sweet dreams

    3. Andy says:

      Dude, you brag about your 8-8 team having the best fullback in the division. Take a step back and calm down. Also, only two of the teams in the division even have nose tackles, so that’s no big accomplishment.

      1. rational says:

        I’m calm. what’s wrong with citing fullback as one of the many positions that we have the best of in the division? Like I said above…..you can include all interior defensive linemen there instead of just “NT”. It would be better to say that if Cullen Jenkins was better than Ratliff….or Canty. But they are not…….like I said “ask Andy Reid”

    4. nadam says:

      Dallas has the best pass rushers in the division?? Are you serious??? That’s a complete joke. They were THIRD out of FOURTH in the division in sacks last year and did little to upgrade the pass rush in the offseason or during the draft. good joke

      1. rational says:

        I didn’t say that. They have the best pass rusher. Philly and the giants have better pass rushers as a unit. But no-one is better than Ware. And no-one is a better interior rusher than Ratliff. Although Fletcher Cox may end up being just that very quickly. Man, can anyone read on this site?

        1. Jimmer says:

          Or Fletcher Cox could end up being the next: Glenn Dorsey, Tyson Jackson, Gerald McCoy, Adam Carriker, etc…

  104. rage114 says:

    I did not watch a minute of ESPN. I never learn anything watching them.

  105. Immynimmy says:

    Rich Eisen > Chris Berman

  106. slandog says:

    Agree on the whole Chris Berman thing too. I don’t get the NFLN so I’m stuck usually watching ESPN, he annoys the hell out of me anymore. He never really has much to say, and his “schtick” hasn’t changed…..EVER. He needs to get behind the scenes and let the other guys take over. He’s not even relevant anymore.

    ESPN as a whole is a joke with the football coverage. Every show anymore is a runoff of another show. You watch one and you have all the information, the other shows are just repeat information with different players giving you that information.

    1. Free Plax says:

      LOL, ESPN has a whole bunch of guys that get on my nerves, like Trent Dilfer who acts like he was Joe Montana when he played, and while we are on the Niners Steve Young is pretty bad too, the guy just rambles on and one all the time. Having said that Berman does need to either add some new material or let someone else take over.

      1. rational says:

        Dilfer is the man! How can you hate that guy? He has the most knowledge, or at least articulates his knowledge better than anyone on TV right now. Bad ones: Michael Irvin, Deion Sanders, Warren Sapp and Jamie Dukes. Irvin and Sanders talk to each other on set like they are in a night club. Dukes and Sapp (you can throw in Marshall Faulk….but he is ok sometimes) have severe biases and throw out tired rhetoric and very little respectable analysis. Trent Dilfer throws down a ton of respectable analysis and has no biases….it seems to me.

        1. nadam says:

          That’s just because Michael Irvin is always high on crack rocks

  107. brisulph says:

    The yelling WHAT!!!!? thing also occured during Day 2, and even sporadically during Day 3. Only time I have come across this was about a decade ago in the WWE, during the tail end of Steve Austin being relevant (crowd would do this after wrestlers said anything). It has not lessened in annoyance by any significant amount.

    1. Wow, now that I know the origin, it’s 200x worse.

      1. RolloT says:

        Yeah, that’s 100% a WWE thing that still goes on today. It started when Stone Cold would interupt other people by saying “What” and the crowd got involved. Now a decade later WWE audiences still go “What” when someone they don’t like is talking. I don’t know how it translated to the NFL Draft, but holy shit was it annoying.

  108. bdawk4ever says:

    Nicks predicted a 14-2 season.

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    /breathes

    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    Seriously?

    1. Free Plax says:

      I’m sure you said that last year at any prediction of the Giants making the playoffs, keep laughing.

      1. brisulph says:

        Remember, this is the same guy who once said “he would have been ashamed if the 2008 Eagles has won SB43” due to their 9-6-1 regular season mark, so taking anything he says seriously is a waste of time (because he is just that silly or a liar). However, he does have a point… 14-2 seems a bit ridiculous, given the fact the giants are not built for such an outcome.

    2. BBI says:

      ::Insert 0 SB rings joke here::

  109. Dez Bryant's Probation Officer says:

    I’m glad that Hakeem Nicks acknowledges that the Eagles will beat the Giants twice.

  110. peterhad313 says:

    You say that the Giants have basically confirmed that the Giants panicked. Can you elaborate, because everywhere I read that JR clearly said that Wilson was their highest rated back after Richardson?

    1. http://www.bigblueview.com/2012/4/29/2986290/2012-nfl-draft-grades-mel-kiper-new-york-giants

      “Clearly, Kiper is right that the Giants would have selected Martin if Tampa Bay had not. General manager Jerry Reese admitted there was one running back on the Giants draft board rated higher than Wilson after Alabama’s Trent Richardson was taken, and that can only be Martin.”

      1. BBI says:

        Ed parsed the quote wrong. We gave him hell for it too lol. Reese said there was one RB rated higher THAN Wilson, Trent Richardson. Whether that’s BS or not, no one will know.

      2. andiamo says:

        from Reese:

        “Absolutely without a doubt he was the number one guy,” Reese said on WFAN about his top running back. “There has been some contention that Tampa moved ahead of us and took Martin. That is not true. If Wilson had been gone, there were more guys we liked at that spot. Martin would not have been our pick. He was in our conversation but he was down lower with a couple more guys we had in that spot. We liked him and think he will be a good player too but we had David Wilson ranked ahead of him.”

    2. BBI says:

      Giants did not “panic.” We don’t know if they had Martin over Wilson, but if they did it didn’t matter.

      They tried trading down, which indeed was confirmed, but didn’t get enough value in the trade offers, so they stuck with their board and took the next best player on it…Wilson.

      Did someone “steal” their guy? But that ain’t the same as them “panicking”

      1. peterhad313 says:

        np. It wasn’t my favorite pick either, because I don’t believe that HB’s are worth 1st round picks, but i definetly prefer Wilson over what Tampa traded up for.

  111. Immynimmy says:

    Call me crazy, but I have a gut feeling that Matthews will start at WLB.

    1. PITTEAGLE says:

      i think him and rolle are going to have a really good competition there

      1. Euler.is.a.pimp says:

        Don’t forget Chaney

    2. Not particularly rooting for that, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

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