Saturday links

I have Clemson vs UNC on my schedule along with Washington vs Stanford today. I’ll be in London for the Bears vs Buccs game tomorrow but expect some thoughts on the two games Sunday afternoon or Monday at the latest. In the meantime, here’s some links to check out:

Dan Kadar at Mocking the Drafthas the Seahawks taking Trent Richardson (RB, Alabama). Given the way the board falls, I think that would be a good pick for Seattle. It’s nice to see Dwight Jones (WR, UNC) in the top-20 and Kadar acknowledges that Quinton Coples (DE, UNC) hasn’t had a great season to date. 

Rob Rang and Chad Reuterat CBS Sportsline both have updated mocks out this week. I’m not quite sure how Alshon Jeffery warrants going #2 and #6 overall – he’s had a sluggish year and isn’t the top receiver in this class, let alone a top-10 pick. Dwight Jones is clearly the #1 receiver for me, but he doesn’t appear in either first round projection. I’m also not sure how Jerrell Worthy (DT, Michigan State) is clinging to a first round place in Rang’s mock, while it’s stunning Trent Richardson is all the way down at #16. It is good to see Matt Barkley (QB, USC) graded solidly in the top-10 where he belongs. Reuter’s projection of Zach Brown (LB, UNC) in the the top ten is deserved.

Todd McShay has a top-32 big board with some interesting judgements. Matt Barkley is down at #22 despite the following review: “Barkley is a natural leader with a high football IQ and good short-to-intermediate accuracy and touch and a quick release and adequate arm strength to make all the NFL throws.” Considering the importance of the quarterback position in the NFL, you might expect a higher placement given those comments. Alameda Ta’amu (NT, Washington) still has a lot to prove, Courtney Upshaw (DE/LB, Alabama) is listed as a ‘tweener’ by McShay and Melvin Ingram (South Carolina) – an over achiever who has no obvious role in the NFL – are all ranked above Barkley. UNC’s Dwight Jones and Zach Brown are not listed but it’s good to see teammate Kevin Riddick on the board.

McShay also has this article out todaywhich is a must read. He reports an update on Janoris Jenkins’ progress at North Alabama which reveals he was kicked out of a game for punching an opponent recently. That’s not a good sign for a player who needed to prove he had matured after all the drama at Florida. Undoubtedly Jenkins has top-10 talent and he could have greater NFL potential than even fellow Gator Joe Haden. However, this is another black mark for a player who appears to be wasting a heck of a lot of talent. McShay also has a negative review of Alshon Jeffery’s progress – an incredibly accurate judgement which makes light work of those top-10 projections. He’s simply not that good.

Mel Kiperalso updates his big boad with some very similar projections. He has Barkley ten places higher, but keeps Quinton Coples at #2. I’m a little surprised that both Kiper and McShay are very much on the Landry Jones bandwagon. Certainly pundits appear split on Barkley/Jones, while having very similar opinions on Ryan Tannehill. Jerrell Worthy remains on Kiper’s board.

Gary Klein at the LA Times has an interesting piece on whether Matt Barkley should enter the 2012 draft or not. He speaks to some unnamed NFL scouts on Barkley, with one grading him in the late first round. It remains unclear what Barkley’s intentions are regarding the draft, but a lot will depend on what he hears from the draft committee in the new year.


  1. PatrickH

    From reading Gary Klein’s article and reading comments by other “draft gurus” elsewhere on the web, it seems like there is an emerging consensus on Barkley, that he is NFL ready in the mental aspects of the game, but physical-talent-wise has little upside and will not be elite. Perhaps Barkley will have an Aaron Rodgers-like slide down the draft next April? (Assuming that he enters the draft).

    On another note, I got a chance to watch Rutgers vs Louisville last night. Mohamed Sanu has about 10 catches, 100 yards, and one TD. His catches were mostly on slant routes, and he gained a lot of his yards by run after catch. On the TD, he out-jumped a couple of defenders at the back of the endzone.

    A bad moment in that game: a Louisville CB broke his neck while tackling Sanu. A very unfortunate freak accident. Fortunately he seemed to be able to move his hand afterward and so perhaps he will be ok eventually.

    Also, it was interesting to see that Bill Belichick was there to watch the game in person. Apparently his son is a player on the Rutgers team. (This is also the bye-week for the Patriots.)

  2. Jules

    Just curious if you could do a post on some MVP candidates for the NFL this year. I was wondering if Peyton does not return or returns with a few games left leading to the Colts winning some games, could he win the MVP? It’s been forever since we’ve seen a slide like this for a team when their QB is out for the season. Just wondering if that helps Manning’s legacy somewhat since clearly he is the difference between that team winning and losing games.

    Sorry to post this question here but I didn’t know where else to put it.


    • Rob

      Sure why not Jules? I’ll look into it and try and relate it to the Seahawks/draft at the same time. I think you’re right about Manning’s legacy and it also justifies what were perceived to be ‘choke’ jobs at the time in the playoffs when really it’s clear that Manning’s supporting cast just isn’t good at all. A franchise, a front office and a coaching staff that owes the world to Peyton.

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