Thursday, April 29, 2010

NFL Draft Review - Part 2 - The AFC

Since I love the NFL Draft and fans of the blog have clamored for it, I have decided to do a full review of the NFL Draft. I will be going through different rankings.

For my team rankings, I do not include the trades that they lost to acquire other players at different times. My biases include no real way of evaluating Quarterbacks potential at the next level. Unless a guy really sucks and that is clear, I don't have strong opinions on quarterbacks, because even a shitty QB like Jake Delhomme looked decent for a few years. I also don't have strong opinions on many small school players, because I simply didn't have the time to watch enough of them to make any sort of quality analysis. Finally, I am only looking at the draft picks. Because of this, teams with lots of picks will have probably added more talent than teams that traded away picks before the draft. As long as your team traded for quality guys (and not Gaines Adams and Jay Cutler), you shouldn't worry about a low ranking.

Today, I will be breaking down the AFC teams and ranking them from best to worst.

1. Cincinnati Bengals
Picks I Love – Geno Atkins – DT – Georgia – 4th Round – A good defensive tackle that played in the SEC and was just fantastic value in round four. He’s a solid starter with upside for a whle lot more.
Dezmon Briscoe – WR – Kansas – 6th Round – A high upside receiver with great physical attributes who could be a steal or never do anything, but getting a boom or bust prospect this late is a great add.

Pick I Hate – Reginald Stephens – OG – Iowa State – 7th Round – Drafting a Cyclone is never a good idea.

Overall – I don’t know what happened, but last year the Bengals started drafting like stone cold pimps. They took a great mixture of incredibly productive college players and guys with huge upsides. This year it continued when they got a guy who could be an All-Pro tight end in the first. They followed with Carlos Dunlap who may have the most talent of any defensive end in the draft. Then they got Jordan Shipley who will be a productive pro. They take chances on guys, but if a couple of those guys work out, they’re in great shape. Outside of getting a bust in the top 10, those picks aren’t going to kill you. The Bengals come into the draft with the idea of going big or going home, and they did it Big Willie Style for the second year in a row.

2. Denver Broncos
Picks I Love – Tim Tebow – QB – Florida – 1st Round – It is very cool to hate on Tim Tebow and say that he can’t be a QB. But this ignores the facts about Tim Tebow. Tim Tebow was downgraded because of a throwing motion that he has already changed, the fact that he was a running QB, and his strong moral code. That’s nothing that I can’t get passed. He threw like 88 touchdowns with only 16 picks during college. If any other SEC QB would have done that, they’d be a top 5 pick. Since it was Tebow, he only succeeded because of his system and there is no way he can translate to the pros. I hate immeasurable qualities. I still joke about Krenzel and his intangibles. The guy made a couple solid throws late in close games, but he didn’t will his team to win. If any player in college football history has willed his team to win, and I’m not saying that it’s ever happened, the player that did it would be Tim Tebow. When you hear of draft busts, you always hear about laziness, or off the field problems that led to that person being a bust. I have never heard of a first round guy who couldn’t hack it, because the skills simply weren’t there. And that is why, even if Tebow isn’t the best passer in the world, he’s going to work hard to make sure that he maximizes what he is able to do well to help his team win games. Could you make the case that he’s kind of a douche? Yeah, but I think it’s impossible to make the case that this guy isn’t a hell of a football player.
Eric Decker – WR – Minnesota – 3rd Round – An excellent pick of a guy who just produces on the field. If his foot heals up fine, then they found themselves a guy who can be an excellent number two receiver.

Pick I Hate – Demaryius Thomas – WR – Georgia Tech – 1st Round – He’s a very gifted athlete, but I’m not sure how well that will translate. It’s tough to judge Georgia Tech offensive players because of their style of play, but I’d rather have their third round wideout over the first round one.

Overall – A very good draft. Besides the picks I loved, they also did a good job of adding talent along the offensive line, but not just linemen, interior offensive linemen. The other picks don’t jump out at you, but I can’t argue with any of them, and I definitely like that. Like the old saying goes, give a QB an Wide Receiver, he’ll throw some touchdowns, give him a running back, and he’ll win you some games, but if you give a QB an offensive line, he’ll take you to the playoffs.

3. New England Patriots
Pick I Love – Brandon Spikes – ILB – Florida – 2nd Round – Spikes was a big time leader for the Florida defense and he was consistently productive on Saturdays. Yes, he doesn’t have great straight line speed, but just about every middle linebacker doesn’t have that, because it doesn’t matter for a middle linebacker. As long as he stays healthy, he’ll be a huge asset to the Patriots defense.

Pick I Hate – Zoltan Mesko – P – Michigan – 5th Round – Somebody who kicks the ball should never be drafted this high, and probably doesn’t need to be drafted at all.

Overall – I’ll admit that loving Spikes was a little bit of a reach, but the Patriots just had consistently solid picks throughout this draft. They loaded up on tight ends with Gronkowski and Hernandez. They got help in the secondary with Devin McCourty. They also added a guy that many think can be a playmaker with Taylor Price. Late in the draft, they focused on adding linemen on both sides of the ball, and since New England has traditionally done well doing that, they should have a very productive draft.

4. Miami Dolphins
Pick I Love – AJ Edds – OLB – Iowa – 4th Round – This is the guy that I believe will be the best pro linebacker from Iowa this past season. His role in the Iowa defense is not a glamour role at all as his job is often to contain and make sure nothing gets outside and also covering tight ends and slot receivers. He didn’t put up big numbers, but he was a guy who was always in the right place at the right time. He was very impressive during Senior Bowl week, and I don’t think the Dolphins got any less than a starting linebacker which is great in the fourth round.

Pick I Hate – Nothing I hate with their draft.

Overall – The Dolphins did a great job of drafting productive college players. Jared Odrick was a good pick at the end of round one. They followed up with Koa Misi who will have to transition to linebacker from defensive end, but doing that in the 3-4 shouldn’t be an issue. Then they got John Jerry to help beef up their offensive line. They didn’t get glamour position guys, but they got a bunch of guys that you can put in the trenches and go to war with which will definitely make this a better Dolphins team in 2010.

5. Kansas City Chiefs
Pick I Love – Eric Berry – S – Tennessee – 1st Round – They got a guy who was the second surest thing in the draft at number five and you really can’t fault a pick like that. He’s able to play in the box as well as handle the slot receiver. There’s no weaknesses in his game, and there is no reason he can’t become an impact safety.

Pick I Hate – Javier Arenas – CB – Alabama – 2nd Round – Arenas just doesn’t strike me as a second round pick, because he isn’t the fastest guy, and he is small for the position. He wasn’t the best cornerback on his own team which means he was lining up against 2nd and 3rd receivers last year, so the fact that he was able to make some plays loses its luster when you realize that fact. I think he could be a good nickel corner, but the second round is too early for that type of player.

Overall – This was a solid draft as I liked most of their picks. Dexter McCluster is a guy who was always a matchup problem for teams and was constantly making plays out of the backfield. They picked up a solid offensive lineman in Asamoah out of Illinois. Then they took Tony Moeaki who almost made my hate list. He is definitely one of the three most talented tight ends in this draft, but health is too big of a concern to really be high on this pick. If he stays healthy, the pick looks great, but he has never made it through a college season healthy. Why he would be able to do it during a longer, more strenuous season just doesn’t make sense to me.

6. Cleveland Browns
Pick I Love – Joe Haden – CB – Florida – 1st Round – Haden is a guy who did nothing but produce in college at a big time program, but since he wasn’t quite as fast in a straight line as people would have liked, many dropped them on their board. Kudos to the Browns for believing in game tape as opposed to how he does in shorts and a t-shirt. Haden has the best track record of any corner in the draft, and therefore he deserved to be the first corner taken.

Pick I Hate – Montario Hardesty – RB – Tennessee – 2nd Round – I don’t know how scouts convinced themselves that this guy was a legit back, because it rarely showed in any games. The Tennessee offense was bad all year, and it was merely bad because the passing game somewhat carried it to that level. Hardesty wasn’t good in college so I don’t see him being good in the pros.

Overall – Lots of things to like about what the Browns did. Colt McCoy falling to them in the third round is good value. I also like what they did with their late picks. I think Asante from Nebraska can be at least a good special teams player and backup. Also, their final picks were high upside guys in Carlton Mitchell and Clifton Geathers which is what I wish more teams tried to do in their final rounds.

7. New York Jets
Pick I Love – Kyle Wilson – CB – Boise State – 1st Round – There are two things that I love more than anything else and that is offensive linemen and cornerbacks. They are the building blocks of any great Madden franchise and they’re also pretty damn nifty to have around in real life. Some had Wilson rated as the top corner in the draft. I have a hard time putting him ahead of Joe Haden due to the discrepancies in competition that they faced, but he has all the tools to be an impact corner in the pros.

Pick I Hate – They only had four picks, so it’s hard to pick one to hate.

Overall – They only had four picks and they did pretty damn awesome with them. They picked up a guard in the second round who could come in and immediately replace the highly overrated Alan Faneca. Then they got Joe McKnight to give them a change of pace back and he will be a great complement to Shonn Greene. Finally, they got a fullback, and all fullbacks are badass.

8. Baltimore Ravens
Pick I Love – Terrence Cody – DT – Alabama – 2nd Round – A lot of people were worried about Cody because of “weight issues.” He’s going to play nose guard, being a fatass is not a bad thing at that position, his weight is an asset, not an issue. Do I expect him to have a long, illustrious career? No, but he doesn’t need to. If he plugs up the middle of the of the line for 5 years, this is a successful pick.

Pick I Hate – Dennis Pitta – TE – BYU – 4th Round – This draft was loaded in tight ends, and I thought there were a lot more impressive guys out there.

Overall – A solid draft, but nothing spectacular. Some people really like Sergio Kindle, but I’m not a big fan of his. The Ravens have a history of drafting well, so he might turn out better than I expect. I also like Ed Dickson out of Oregon, which makes the Pitta pick less harmful. Getting Cody is huge (pun intended), and that’s the important thing.

9. Indianapolis Colts
Pick I Love – Jerry Hughes – LB – TCU – 1st Round – A really good edge rusher on a team that was carried by their linebackers on one of the best defenses in the nation. I think he’ll provide excellent value for the Colts as he fits into their scheme of having fast linebackers making plays all over the field. This is just an excellent fit for the Colts.

Pick I hate – Pat Angerer – LB – Iowa – 2nd Round – I wish I didn’t have to do this, especially after he told an Indy radio show that for his first NFL contract, he’d play for “Coors Light and flannels.” The bottom line is that Abdul Hodge is a serviceable backup in the NFL, and he was a much better linebacker at Iowa than Pat Angerer. The Hawkeyes run a system where the inside linebacker is set up to make a lot of plays and basically look pretty good. Even Mike Klinkenborg had a lot of tackles when he was in the middle. I hope that hating this pick makes me look stupid in a few years.

Overall – Outside of their first two picks, I don’t have strong opinions on the players taken. I like that the added a guard, but I would have liked to see them more aggressively pursue offensive linemen in this draft. But the Colts turn undrafted guys into pro bowlers, so it’s hard to argue with their method.

10. Oakland Raiders
Pick I Love – Bruce Campbell – OT – Maryland – 4th Round – When he’s not out killing zombies, he’s a pretty athletic offensive tackle. There were rumors he’d go in the first to the Raiders, but I’m ecstatic that he ended up with the Raiders eventually. The guy did amazing at the combine, and it actually hurt his draft status because everybody blew it out of proportion and determined that he must be a bust. He’s not perfect, but he is talented, so this is a very good fourth round pick.

Pick I Hate – Rolando McClain – MLB – Alabama – 1st Round – I think that McClain will be a good pro, but not a great one. He was surrounded by a lot of talent, and I just don’t think he has the ceiling to be taken this high in the draft.

Overall – This is actually a pretty solid draft for the Raiders. They built up their lines with their second, third, and fourth picks which is always a good idea. They got Jacoby Ford who is an athletic wideout, and then they also added two cornerbacks late in the draft. They did a good job of adding guys who will fight in the trenches instead of being glamour boys and gaining 50 pounds of fat after signing their rookie contract, not that I’m going to mention names Mr. Russell.

11. Pittsburgh Steelers
Pick I Love – Jonathan Dwyer – RB – Georgia Tech – 6th Round – A very productive running back who can pound the ball up the middle with a good size/speed combination. This is a guy that was hurt by playing for Georgia Tech, but he was the guy who had to pound the ball up the middle which I think can translate to the next level.

Pick I Hate – Emmanuel Sanders – WR – SMU – 3rd Round – This is just picking a guy to hate really, but I feel I need to do that for the Steelers. Basically, he’s more athletic, but not nearly as productive as Freddie Barnes who didn’t get drafted. There isn’t a huge discrepancy in talent that these guys played against, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see if his athleticism makes him that much better of a prospect.

Overall – I really liked them taking Pouncey in the first round, and they spent another pick later in the draft on their interior line. Outside of that, they loaded up on linebackers and defensive ends, but I can’t say that I loved any of those picks. If a couple of them pan out, this could turn out to be a very good draft for the Steelers. Right now, I’m not overly impressed with it.

12. San Diego Chargers
Pick I Love – Ryan Mathews – RB – Fresno State – 1st Round – Although I thought it may have been a little high for Mathews. The Chargers are a team that is a piece or two away from winning a championship, and if Mathews is that missing piece, then they needed to do anything and everything in their power to acquire him. They did that, so you have to give them credit for it.

Pick I Hate – Jonathan Crompton – QB – Tennessee – 5th Round – Yeah, I have stated that I have no business judging quarterbacks, but this guy got drafted because he got a ton of hype for not being invited to the combine. I don’t see how the combine not inviting him makes him a better player.

Overall – They got Mathews, but they better hope he’s damn good, because the rest of their draft isn’t even worth talking about.

13. Houston Texans
Pick I Love – None

Pick I Hate – None.

Overall – The most boring draft out there. I don’t hate who they got, but I don’t love who they got. I don’t really dislike who they got, but I don’t really like who they got. I got nothing.

14. Buffalo Bills
Pick I Love – Kyle Calloway – OT – Iowa – 7th Round – This is no shocker since I love Iowa guys, but getting a guy of Calloway’s quality in the 7th is a very good pick for the Bills. He might be able to not kill you at right tackle, but if he’s going up against speed rushers, I would probably rather have him moved inside to guard like the Hawkeyes did with him against Georgia Tech. He’s not a pro bowler, but he’s a guy who could be a decent starter and that’s great value in the final round.

Pick I Hate – None, but it’s close.

Overall – I’m very close to hating the CJ Spiller pick. Their offensive line is atrocious, and they didn’t do anything to help that position out with their first four picks. They needed to get better up front, and they gave up that opportunity to get a luxury pick. Running backs like Spiller are not necessities, they’re luxuries. Somebody told me he could be the next Reggie Bush, and my initial thought was, “How is that a good thing?” Spiller played in the ACC which sucked ass this year, so I’m not 100% sold on him translating well to the pros. They had a lot of picks, and early picks, so seeing them this low is pathetic.

15. Tennessee Titans
Pick I Love – Myron Rolle – S – Florida State – 6th Round – Myron Rolle, how stupid it was for you to be smart. He would have been better off drinking and driving or tearing his ACL, but the audacity of this man to pursue a once in a lifetime opportunity to become a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University. And because of this, people forgot that he was actually a pretty damn good football player. Was he Eric Berry? No, but this is a guy who could play the game and impressed everyone with how he hadn’t lost a step when he came back to football. I understand him not going in the first, even not going in the second or third, because the uncertainty of him coming back to football should hurt him some. But people passing on him in the fourth and fifth rounds were taking blatantly inferior players at that point. This is the definition of a pick that I love.

Pick I Hate – Derrick Morgan – DE – Georgia Tech – 1st Round – Good God, he better hope he just had a really bad bowl game, because if he’s always that bad against good linemen, this guy is completely fucked. Not only did he provide no pass rush for the Yellow Jackets, Iowa’s two best runs, including the game clincher, went right at him. This was not the safest pick, this was just a low ceiling pick.

Overall – Outside of Myron Rolle, not much to like here. There’s some guys that I don’t know much about who could contribute, but nothing that stands out for me.

16. Jacksonville Jaguars

Pick I Love – They loved small school guys, but there are none of them that I know enough about to endorse.

Pick I Hate – Tyson Alualu – DL – California – 1st Round – I don’t mind Alualu as a player, but he does not have the impact talent to make him the tenth pick in the draft.

Overall – The Jaguars are going to suck this year. Nothing more needs to be stated.

Monday, April 26, 2010

NFL Draft Review - Part 1 - The NFC

Since I love the NFL Draft and fans of the blog have clamored for it, I have decided to do a full review of the NFL Draft. I will be going through different rankings.

For my team rankings, I do not include the trades that they lost to acquire other players at different times. My biases include no real way of evaluating Quarterbacks potential at the next level. Unless a guy really sucks and that is clear, I don't have strong opinions on quarterbacks, because even a shitty QB like Jake Delhomme looked decent for a few years. I also don't have strong opinions on many small school players, because I simply didn't have the time to watch enough of them to make any sort of quality analysis. Finally, I am only looking at the draft picks. Because of this, teams with lots of picks will have probably added more talent than teams that traded away picks before the draft. As long as your team traded for quality guys (and not Gaines Adams and Jay Cutler), you shouldn't worry about a low ranking.

Today, I will be breaking down the NFC teams and ranking them from best to worst.

1. San Francisco 49ers
Picks I Love – Anthony Davis/Mike Iupati – OT/OG – Rutgers/Idaho – 1st Round – Wow, the 49ers did exactly what I would have loved for the Bears to do. Just load up the offensive line with talent. I picked against Rutgers in their bowl game, and I regretted it on their first possession when I saw Anthony Davis. That guy is a monster, and if he consistently plays like he did in that game, he will definitely make some pro bowls. Iupati is a little tougher for me to judge, but he plowed through people all season for Idaho, and now it’s a matter of translating that to higher competition. His technique can get sloppy, but if he gets the right coaching, all the physical tools are there for success.

Pick I Hate – Nate Byham – TE – Pittsburgh – 6th Round – Really nothing against him, but it was the first 49ers pick that didn’t make me think, “Wow, that was a great pick.”

Overall – The reason the 49ers are at the top of this list is because they got GREAT value in their first five picks. The 49ers biggest weakness was their offensive line, and they addressed it twice in the first round. Not only is that smart, but they got two very good players that were good values where they were drafted. Then they went out and got Taylor Mays. Mays floor is basically a better version of Roy Williams; his ceiling is an alive version of Sean Taylor. If he’s around a bunch of shitty defensive players, he can be exposed, but the 49ers have playmakers on defense, and this is a very good situation for him to be coming into. Then they got Navorro Bowman who was a playmaker at linebacker for Penn State. He’s an excellent athlete who will help out immediately. They didn’t have picks in the fourth or fifth rounds, but then in the sixth round, they got Anthony Dixon who quietly had a great year for Mississippi while being surrounded by a bunch of turds. He can immediately come in and give rest to Frank Gore while really being able to pound the ball up the middle. Congratulations 49ers, you had the best draft in the NFC.

2. Detroit Lions
Picks I Love – Ndamukong Suh – DT – Nebraska – 1st Round – Suh is so good that I added both of his names to my spell check dictionary. He was the best player in the draft. People want to compare him to other defensive tackles taken highly in the past, but this guy is on another level. Nobody has impacted the game from the defensive tackle position like Suh did during his college career. It’s not a matter of whether this guy can make a pro bowl, but if he can do it in his first year and how many he’ll make after that. He is an absolute monster. The only knock against him is that he could only almost beat a D-I (for now) football team single-handedly when Nebraska managed to lose to future St. Ambrose rival, Iowa State.
Amari Spievey – CB – Iowa – 3rd Round – Spievey isn’t the next great cornerback, but he is going to be a good cornerback (or a great safety). His sophomore year may have looked a little more impressive than his junior year because QBs were still dumb enough to throw to his side of the field, but the guy shut down his side of the field for every play but one. The challenge is going to be how he adapts to teams trying to beat him with quick cuts underneath, but I think he should get better as time gets on, and he may be the best tackling cornerback in the draft.

Picks I Hate – None.

Overall – An excellent draft by the Lions. Matt Millen thought it sucked as they took 0 Wide Receivers, but you can’t please everybody. I really like them getting Jahvid Best, as he should be an explosive back as long as he can stay healthy. There’s risk, but there’s also a good chance of reward with him. I also like picking up Jason Fox to help out the offensive line at the end of Round 4. Detroit probably isn’t going to come in last this year, and (spoiler alert) neither are the Vikings or Packers.

3. Philadelphia Eagles
Pick I Love – Brandon Graham – DE – Michigan – 1st Round – Although I would have loved Graham a little bit more a few picks later, the Eagles saw the guy they wanted, had a shit ton of draft picks already, so they made the move to make sure they got the guy they wanted. Nothing wrong with that. Graham does not have the prototypical build for a defensive end, but he more than makes up for that in production. He made Bulaga look like awful in their game at Iowa. He was the only good player on Michigan’s defense and he still raised hell in every game for them.

Pick I Hate – Keenan Clayton – OLB – Oklahoma – 4th Round – Taken two picks after AJ Edds, tough break, Philly fans.

Overall – The Eagles don’t have a lot of things that really pop out at you, but the accumulation of talent is impressive. Graham was a good way to start out, and then they followed up with Nate Allen to replace Macho Harris, and basically any safety replacing Macho Harris is a huge upgrade. They added Kafka to give them a QB to groom as a backup for Kolb. Then they got Ricky Sapp out of Clemson. They followed that up with a very productive receiver in Riley Cooper. Then they got a pretty good running back in Charles Scott out of LSU. Finally, at the end of the 7th round, they got Kurt Coleman who was a very solid player for Ohio State and should be a good backup/special teams player in the NFL. I kind of stretched to say I loved Graham at 13, but there is no team that I thought made this many good draft picks.

4. New Orleans Saints
Pick I Love – Charles Brown – OT – USC – 2nd Round – This is an athletic offensive tackle that some people had sneaking into the first round. To get this guy at the end of Round 2 is awesome value and building up depth at the offensive line is always a good idea.

Pick I Hate – Sean Canfield – QB – Oregon State – 7th Round – Not like this is going to kill them since they should be alright at QB for right now, but I don’t see Canfield being any more than a Henry Burris in the NFL.

Overall – They absolutely nailed their first four picks. Patrick Robinson was a very good corner for Florida State, and should be able to make an impact for the Saints in his rookie year. I already talked about how Brown was a great pick for them. After that, they got Jimmy Graham who may have the most potential of any tight end in the draft, but there is still rawness to his game so it is going to be a project to help him reach his full potential. Plus, they got Al Woods in the fourth round that could turn into a very good defensive tackle as he showed some great ability while at LSU. The final picks aren’t anything to get excited about, but this was an excellent draft for the defending champs.

5. Seattle Seahawks
Pick I Love – Russell Okung – OT – Oklahoma State – 1st Round – They got what most felt was the best offensive lineman at number six, so that’s very good for them, especially since their offensive line has been atrocious these last couple years. This was a pick they had to make, and they didn’t mess it up. Plus Okung gets to learn under maybe the best offensive line coach in the league in Alex Gibbs, so this is a mutually beneficial pick.

Pick I Hate – None.

Overall – Most of these picks had me either slightly positive or slightly negative. The pick I was most against was Earl Thomas of Texas. I think he’s a reach at 14, and a guy who could have used another year in college to refine some of his skills. His family is poor and lost their home during Katrina, so I understand him coming out and he is getting paid so good for him, but I’m not sold on him as an impact safety. I think he’ll probably only top out at about an 85-87 overall on Madden. I liked them getting Kam Chancellor and Anthony McCoy late, because I think both of those guys will be able to contribute early on at the pro level. Notre Dame basically played a schedule equivalent to a MAC team this year, so it’s tough for me to evaluate their players. Golden Tate at the end of round two could be solid, but he didn’t face any top level corners this year, so his ability to get open is something that I’ll have to wait and see on. But Seattle had a lot of picks and added a good amount of talent so good for them.

6. Arizona Cardinals
Picks I Love – Dan Williams – DT – Tennessee – 1st Round – A big fat defensive tackle that they are going to put in their 4-3 line. Hell yeah. Him and Darnell Dockett are going to tear shit up. With those two in the middle, they have the potential for the Williams Wall that was built up in Minnesota.
O’Brien Schofield – DE/OLB – Wisconsin – 4th Round – Schofield was one of two defensive ends (Brandon Graham being the other) that pretty much owned Bryan Bulaga this season. Schofield is a tweener, but the guy had big production last year in the Big Ten, and for some reason people are able to ignore production if their size isn’t ideal. He tore his ACL during Senior Bowl week, so he will have no production in 2010, but this is a guy who I believe will pay off for them in 2011.

Picks I Hate – None.

Overall – Very good draft for the Cardinals. Another pick that I really like is Daryl Washington, the other very good linebacker out of TCU. He got overshadowed by Hughes, but I think he will be a very good pro player. They also drafted John Skelton, the QB out of Fordham. Some people think he’s got great potential, but I would just be talking out of my ass if I started commenting on a QB I never saw play. They nailed three of their first four picks, so it was a good draft for the Cards.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Pick I Love – Mike Williams – WR – Syracuse – 4th Round – Williams was one of the most talented wide receivers in the class, but he fell to the fourth round, because he’s a complete dumbass and there are serious character concerns. Character concerns can really hurt you if you take that guy in the first round, but getting a guy this talented in the fourth round is a definite steal and pairing him with Arrelious Benn gives them an exciting young duo at the wide receiver position.

Pick I Hate – Brent Bowden – P – Virginia Tech – 6th Round – I feel like anybody in the kicking game should be treated like kickers in fantasy football drafts, there is no excuse for drafting them before your very last pick.

Overall – A very good draft for the Buccaneers. They needed to add talent as opposed to trying to address certain needs and they did that. I think they still need help at the safety position, because that was a serious area of weakness for them, but this team isn’t contending this year, so they have time to fill that hole. I like McCoy (even though people thinking he was just as talented as Suh are kidding themselves) and Price as their pair of defensive tackles, and they also did a good job of adding receiving talent for Josh Freeman.

8. Carolina Panthers
Picks I Love – Eric Norwood – OLB – South Carolina – 4th Round – An excellent value in the 4th round of the draft. This was a guy who led the South Carolina defense, and even though he isn’t the most athletic linebacker out there, all the guy did was produce in college. This guy will be a starter in the NFL, and I could see him having a few impact years.

Greg Hardy – DE – Mississippi – 6th Round – The only way I can explain him dropping this far is that teams thought that he got drafted earlier and totally forgot about him. I feel bad for Hardy, because he lost himself a lot of money by going back to school for a disappointing senior season, but if he’s healthy, this guy is a dominant force, and this is one of the biggest steals of the entire draft.

Pick I Hate – Tony Pike – QB – Cincinnati – 6th Round – I honestly do not see him ever contributing positively to an NFL team.

Overall – They didn’t have a first round pick, but they did an excellent job of making up for it by drafting high upside guys with their picks. I’m not a Clausen fan, but to be able to get him in the second round is just a very good value pick. Brandon LaFell is a high upside wide receiver, so that’s another solid pick. Obviously, I love their two defensive picks, so I think the Panthers were very impressive in their drafting.

9. Dallas Cowboys
Pick I Love – Dez Bryant – WR – Oklahoma State – 1st Round – On talent alone, Dez Bryant is somewhere between the third and fifth best player in this draft. That’s really good. He’s young and dumb, but really, not all that dumb. The NCAA rules dealing with contact with agents are unclear to me, so for a lot of football players, it’s probably like advanced calculus. He lied to the NCAA, because he was worried about getting booted from his team, so despite him not actually breaking any rules initially, the NCAA kicked him off the football team for lying. It was complete bullshit. He has acted like a dumbass in a lot of ways leading up to the draft, but wide receivers who aren’t dumbasses either aren’t good, or are secretly gangsters like Marvin Harrison.

Pick I Hate – Sean Lee – ILB – Penn State – I was way higher on Bowman than Lee for Penn State, as I just didn’t see him as an impact player. He was a guy who filled holes, but he doesn’t make plays, and he plays in a system that is going to give him opportunities to rack up tackles. I’m unimpressed.

Overall – I hate that the Cowboys took Dez Bryant, because I loved him in college and now I am forced to boo him. Although he didn’t impress at the postseason events, I like Sam Young as a 6th rounder. The Cowboys had a positive draft after Round 1, so anything on top of that is going to be gravy.

10. St. Louis Rams
Pick I Love – Mardy Gilyard – WR – Cincinnati – 4th Round – I like guys who produce in college, and that is exactly what Gilyard did. His measurables at the combine certainly didn’t pop out, but the guy had the quickness and speed to be a good return man for Cincinnati last year. I doubt that he’s ever going to be a number one receiver, but he has the potential to be a solid number two which is good value in round 4.

Pick I Hate – Mike Hoomanawanui – TE – Illinois – 5th Round – This draft was loaded with tight ends, and he wasn’t one of the better ones.

Overall – The draft didn’t blow me away at all. I understand drafting Sam Bradford in the first round, because they are desperate for a QB, and I believe he does have the best chance of success of any QB in the draft. Roger Saffold got high grades for what he did at the Senior Bowl and the Combine. I really didn’t pay attention to him enough this season, so it’s tough for me to say that this guy is going to be good or bad, but he certainly never jumped out at me. They made picks, but I wasn’t overly impressed with any of them.

11. New York Giants
Pick I Love – Chad Jones – S – LSU – 3rd Round – Out of the load of safeties that were taken in about five picks in the third round, I liked Jones the most. He’s a very good athlete who tackles well and puts him in good positions to make plays on the ball. He was successful in the SEC, and I really don’t know why he fell to the third round. An excellent pick for the Giants.

Pick I Hate – Jason Pierre-Paul – DE – South Florida – 1st Round – If he can find a way to backflip to the QB, I think this will be a very good pick. Otherwise, this guy is probably the next Mike Mamula. Everybody talks about him like he was a dominant force in his one year of college, but with just 6.5 sacks, he really wasn’t. If he ever gets 6.5 sacks in a season again, I’ll be shocked.

Overall – I loved Jones, and I also really liked Mitch Petrus out of Arkansas as a late pick, but their first pick was so bad, it made it hard to judge this draft. I really don’t know enough about their second round pick, so they find themselves here, because this is where the good is enough to make up for the bad.

12. Green Bay Packers
Pick I Love – Bryan Bulaga – OT – Iowa – 1st Round – Bulaga in the Top 10 would not have excited me, but him falling to 23rd is definitely good value. There are some major question marks about him after the way that he played last year. But he was awesome as a sophomore, and if he gets back to that level, he’s a big time steal. I definitely think he can as he did get better as the year progressed, and I’m not happy that he is a Packer.

Pick I Hate – Michael Neal – DT – Purdue – 2nd Round – Well, at least they made up for their good pick with a big reach for Neal in round two. He’s nothing special, and in the second round, it’s a pretty disappointing pick.

Overall – They added some solid talent, and took the free safety that the Bears wanted two picks before they drafted, so that was a very quality move on their part. It wasn’t a bad draft, but it also wasn’t a good one. They still don’t have to worry about last place.

13. Atlanta Falcons
Pick I Love – Dominique Franks – CB – Oklahoma – 5th Round – This is a guy who dropped because of a pretty awful combine, but since I don’t give two shits about the combine in most cases, that doesn’t bother me. Oklahoma, despite struggling last year, still had a really tough defense. They played against very explosive passing offenses and were able to contain just about everybody. Franks is a great value pick in the 5th round, so good for the Falcons.

Pick I Hate – Corey Peters – DT – Kentucky – 3rd Round – A shitty defensive tackle who I’m already putting the bust label on. This is despite me never watching Kentucky. I expect him to be the defensive tackle version of fellow former Wildcat, Tim Couch.

Overall – I wasn’t able to say I hated any of their picks, but there were some close calls. Although I think Sean Weatherspoon will be a solid linebacker in the pros, I think he was an overdraft at 19th overall. They got some shitty defensive tackle out of Kentucky in the third round, and the rest of their picks are nondescript guys. Outside of the Franks pick, there’s nothing to get excited about with this draft.

14. Minnesota Vikings
Pick I Love – None.

Picks I Hate – Mickey Shuler – TE – Penn State – 7th Round – I don’t understand drafting a backup tight end when there were productive players still available.

Overall – It’s not terrible, but nothing jumps out at you either. I like Chris Cook, because improving the corner position had to be their number one priority. They upgraded on Chester Taylor with Gerhart. Also, can we please stop comparing him to Mike Alstott? I know that he’s a white running back, but that doesn’t mean that we are unable to compare him to black people. Maybe he could get a Natrone Means or a Craig “Ironhead” Heyward comparison. They may have not done anything that stood out, but they also didn’t fuck up, and that’s a major positive.

15. Chicago Bears
Pick I Love – Freddie Barnes – WR – Bowling Green – UFA – Yep, I had to dig deep to find something I loved, but Barnes is about the best thing that I could find about the Bears. He may not make the team, but I enjoyed watching him on weeknights when nothing else was on.

Picks I Hate – Gaines Adams – RIP – Six Feet Under – 2nd Round – This deal was so bad that it almost made the Cutler deal look semi-intelligent. Actually, no, it still didn’t. Speaking of…
Jay Cutler – QB – Double Chin U – The Bears Future – The Bears traded their future for a bum. This team has no chance of winning until 2014 at the earliest. Consider third place a success until then.

Overall – I don’t count trades against anybody else’s draft, so it’s not fair for me to do it here. The Bears didn’t do terrible. Major Wright should be solid. I actually did like the Wootton pick, but nothing stood out about the draft. Without picks in the first two rounds, they needed to draft a couple high upside guys and they failed to do that.

16. Washington Redskins
Pick I Love – None.

Pick I Hate – Eric Cook – OG – New Mexico – 7th Round – Cook went to New Mexico, but was not coached by Steve Alford, an unforgivable sin on his part.

Overall – When there’s about 100 picks between your first and second pick in the draft, it’s going to be tough to have a big impact. But if you have the fourth pick, you should probably try to get somebody who is close to a sure thing, Trent Williams probably isn’t that. For how talented NFL scouts thought Oklahoma was, they sure didn’t take advantage of it. Not having Bradford or Gresham is definitely a big deal, but this offense was pretty poor, and it’s not like Williams was surrounded by bums on the offensive line. They should have still been able to move the ball consistently. I think Washington should have traded down and taken one of the many offensive tackles available later in the round, because there was no superstud tackle this year, just a lot of quality guys with question marks. I don’t hate Williams, but I also can’t say that he is definitively better than the guy taken 19 spots later, Bryan Bulaga.

And that's all for the NFC.

-Joe

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Super Phenom?

Many big time fights happened this past weekend with three of them being featured on CBS for Strikeforce's most recent card. Still, I would like to focus on a fight that happened at MMA Big Show's "A Prodigy Returns" at a casino in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Chris Bennett, who had an 18-1 amateur record, has already drawn comparisons to BJ Penn, has a cool nickname (Samurai), and had to move up in weight just to find somebody dumb enough to fight him, would make his pro debut against some guy named Tony Sims.

This fight was set up to mark the rise of an MMA superstar, and that is exactly what it did, just not quite the way people envisioned it.

The fight started with Bennett pushing the pace with a couple kicks and a nice two-punch combo. He slipped on his third kick attempt, but quickly rose to his feet. This is where things took a turn and Tony threw a couple punches (video is unclear), but it was enough for Bennett to clinch and attempt to pull guard. Tony kept it standing and pushed him against the fence where they exchanged some knees. Bennett then successfully pulled guard, but Sims stayed calm in the top position, eventually getting out of his guard and landing a solid right hand. Bennett rose to his feet and again initiated the action, but Tony landed a right-left combo that dropped Bennett and followed it with a couple shots to his downed opponent.

After Sims let Bennett up, Chris immediately pulled Tony into his guard. Sims again stayed calm and pulled out of the guard when he found an opening. Sims then landed a solid right, and then Bennett shot in for a takedown and put Tony on his back. Bennett then fell back into a leg lock that looked like a heel hook, but if I'm wrong on that, feel free to correct me. Sims again kept his calm and was able to pull his leg out of that predicament and get the fight standing again. Both fighters threw strikes until Bennett shot in again and performed a nice trip takedown that left him in Sims' half guard. Sims was able to reverse the position and was left in Bennett's guard where he landed some solid shots from the top.

Again the fight went standing where Sims stormed him with punches without landing anything cleanly. Bennett then shot in on Sims, but Tony grabbed the neck, pulled guard and Bennett, knowing that he was caught, quickly tapped to the submission.

Both fighters showed well-rounded skills. Bennett never seemed to be able to find his range on the feet and outside of the one submission attempt, Sims avoided danger throughout the fight. He showed great hands and also showed a great feel for jiu-jitsu when he pulled off the guillotine choke to end the fight.

Bennett came into the fight as the next big thing, the phenom who was ready to ascend up the MMA ranks. The question now becomes, what do you call the guy who beats the phenom? A Super Phenom? I honestly don't know, but Sims showed that he is not a stepping stone for others' greatness. He is a force to be reckoned with. Bennett is still a young guy who should be able to bounce back and hopefully have a great career, but the incredibly bright future may not belong to the Samurai, but to an unknown guy from Davenport, Iowa. D-Port Represent.

-Joe

P.S. Tony is like the toughest guy I know, here are a few gifs to show some of the things that he's been rumored to have been doing to train for fighting.



Monday, April 19, 2010

Baseball America Top 100 Prospects: 50-41

I should be having an article about the big fight this weekend on Tuesday or Wednesday (And I'm not talking about that CBS crap). I have decided to go through all 100 of Baseball America's Top 100 Prospects to give my opinion on each and every one of these players. Whenever I talk about what scouts think about a player, I am referring to the excellent work done by Kevin Goldstein at Baseball Prospectus for just about everything so big props to him. Today, we hit up prospects 50-41.

50 Shelby Miller, rhp, Cardinals – I think this ranking is based off the fact that all the other Cardinals prospects suck, so it makes this guy look better than he is. Everyone projected him in the middle of the first round, and that’s basically where he went. Now, he’s a power pitcher who’s going to set the world on fire. He’s got a very good fastball and his curveball could also be a plus pitch if he can gain consistency with it. His control needs some work, but he’s young so there is time for that to develop. Right now, he has the physical attributes to be a very good starter, but he really hasn’t shown it on a consistent basis, and right now he’s a lot of projection. I would not put him this high, but if he dominates for the River Bandits this year, we could see him moving up the list.

49 Zack Wheeler, rhp, Giants – I can’t really argue with this ranking, because there isn’t much to go off of right now. He’s got a good body and a great fastball, while his secondary pitches need work. He was considered one of the top high school arms in the draft, and we’ll all figure it out together when he makes his full season debut at Low-A this year.

48 Chris Withrow, rhp, Dodgers – I think Withrow is overrated at this spot. He’s got a great arm, and he can strike guys out, but he walks too many hitters and simply gave up too many runs last year to be seen as a Top 50 prospect. His delivery is inconsistent, so that also means that his command and control can come and go. Great velocity is great, but I need to see more results before putting a guy up this high.

47 Casey Crosby, lhp, Tigers – This is probably the right range for Crosby. He is a big lefty with power stuff and he dominated Low-A coming off Tommy John surgery. His command got better as the year went on, so the biggest question with him is whether he will be able to develop a changeup to compliment his fastball/curve combination. The worst case scenario is him being a dominant reliever, so there’s a lot to like with Crosby. It should be interesting to see his progression as he goes up against more advanced hitters.

46 Dee Gordon, ss, Dodgers – This is probably about right for Dee Gordon. He’s got a lot going for him, he is Tom “Flash” Gordon’s son, he was co-MVP of the Midwest League (Although a strong case could have been made for Jon Edwards, who does not believe in nine inning games), and most importantly, he’s an extremely athletic shortstop who has oodles of potential. Despite being raw, he was able to produce in Low-A, so he should only get better from here. He needs to refine his approach and develop some more power, but at his age, there’s no reason to think that that isn’t possible. I still think Tom could strike him out.


45 Yonder Alonso, 1b, Reds – I’d put Alonso a lot lower. Some people were epically disappointed in him, but he was solid last year, just not great. He gets on base at a great clip, hit for a good average, and had solid power. The problem is that you’d want good-great power at first base which he may still have since he was battling a hand injury. But he simply can’t hit lefties. He didn’t hit them in college, and he didn’t hit them well in the minors either. When you’re a first baseman, you need to hit, and not being able to be effective against lefties is a pretty big knock, so I do not see him as a top 50 prospect.

44 Nick Hagadone, lhp, Indians – Hagadone is way too high at this ranking. Although he dominated Low-A coming off Tommy John surgery which is impressive, he’s not a young guy. He turns 24 this year, and he’ll need to move fast if he wants to have a big time impact. Many question his secondary offerings, so there’s a good chance he ends up as a reliever. There is a chance he could be a dominant closer, but a guy this old with no experience at the higher levels is a big question mark and I think he should be about 30 spots lower.

43 Todd Frazier, of/2b/3b, Reds – I think this is too high for Frazier, and I actually like him a lot, but apparently Baseball America wants him to bang their sister with how much they like him. He’s a good, not great player. He’s going to max out at average on defense, because he’s not a real toolsy guy. He has hit the ball well at every level, but he’s not a league leading type hitter. If he stays at second, I think he will be above average offensively and maybe a little below average defensively. That definitely has value, but I don’t see star potential, so I’d probably move him down a bit.

42 Tanner Scheppers, rhp, Rangers – I like Scheppers, but not this much. There’s just too many questions with him as he’s already had shoulder surgery and he’s 23 years old but has yet to make a pitch in the minor leagues. He’s got an electric arm, but it’s unrealistic to think he’s going to be able to be a starter. This is a relief prospect, and one that has an arm that could fall off (not literally) at any moment. I need to at least see some domination against real competition before considering putting a guy like that this high.

41 Jason Castro, c, Astros – Probably the third most overrated player on this entire list. Jason Castro is a good defensive catcher with a solid bat, and I don’t mean solid by all baseball standards, I mean solid for catching standards. He should have a decent average and he has good plate discipline, but there is limited power, and he’s not going to be a middle of the lineup guy. Although the defense is good, it’s not world class. Honestly, there’s nothing to get excited about, he’s a solid catching prospect, whoopty doo.

Yep, so apparently I hate BA's 50-41 guys.

-Joe

P.S. Enjoy this picture of Diddy getting after it.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Baseball America Top 100 Prospects: 60-51

I know these aren't the most fun-filled writings, but this is my vanity project, so read at your own peril. I have decided to go through all 100 of Baseball America's Top 100 Prospects to give my opinion on each and every one of these players. Whenever I talk about what scouts think about a player, I am referring to the excellent work done by Kevin Goldstein at Baseball Prospectus for just about everything so big props to him. Today, we hit up prospects 60-51.

60 Tyler Flowers, c, White Sox – I think this guy could be about ten spots higher on the list. He absolutely crushed the ball at Double-A for the majority of the season, and he was solid when he got up to Triple-A. The biggest question marks surrounding his game was his ability to stay behind the plate, and he made strides defensively where he appears that he will at least be able to be average on defense. He’s got great plate discipline and can slug over .500, so I’d expect him to get some time in the majors this year before taking over the full-time catching duties in 2011.

59 Brett Lawrie, 2b, Brewers – I really like Lawrie, and in a very strange way, I feel like I may overrate Canadian prospects. Something about them makes me think they’ll be awesome. He’s god-awful on defense at second, so there’s a good chance he’ll have to move to left field. He hit very well for a teenager in the Midwest League last year, so the bat should be good enough to play out there. If he does have to move out to left, his bat will still need to progress, but he’s young, and most people believe that he is going to get better. Since he’s from Canada, I assume he spent a lot of his time working towards a career in professional wrestling, so he may have only played 15-20 games of baseball before being drafted. You know what I always say, if you can hit a moonsault, you can hit a curveball.


58 Wilson Ramos, c, Twins – I like this rating for Ramos. He struggled with injuries last year, but hit over .300 when healthy at Double-A, and also slugged .454. He plays good defense at catcher so he will definitely be a valuable asset in the major leagues. I could definitely see him getting a late call-up this year. As for the future, I can’t really think of anybody the Twins have that might halt his ascension to the major leagues but maybe I’m forgetting someone.


57 Simon Castro, rhp, Padres – I’d probably put Castro a little lower than this. He did dominate at Low-A last year, but he relied heavily on his fastball. Although it is a dominant pitch, he’ll need to learn more if he wants to succeed at higher levels. His slider shows promise, and his changeup is just a show-me pitch right now that he rarely used. He’ll have to progress his secondary stuff if he wants to stay a starter, otherwise, I only see him being a setup type reliever.

56 Jennry Mejia, rhp, Mets – I like Mejia a lot as I really think he could be a huge factor in the big leagues if handled properly. The Mets don’t usually do that, so he’ll probably end up a shredded arm and a what if scenario. If that doesn’t happen though, he’s got a huge fastball, and his changeup has shown potential. His breaking ball needs work, but he did well at Double-A last year as a teenager, so there’s a ton of potential with this guy. Consistency is going to be a big key, but that’s the case with most players his age, and he has the ability to take a huge step forward this year.

55 Jared Mitchell, of, White Sox – This seems like a pretty fair spot for Mitchell. The guy has tools coming out of his ass, but he is still raw as this past year was the first year that he focused solely on baseball. There’s some holes in his swing right now, but with how raw he is, there is a chance he can help himself in that area. He didn’t hit a homerun in his pro debut (34 Low-A games), but the power has shown up in college and he still has the potential for thirty homeruns. As with all toolsy players, he could be great or he could be Corey Patterson.
NOTE: He's injured and out for the year so we'll see how he can bounce back in 2011.

54 Reid Brignac, ss, Rays – I think this is way too high for Brignac. The guy has not produced for years, and people keep making excuses for him. Personally, I think he has an aggressive approach that eventually caught up to him. I think he could be a solid hitter, but I really don’t see him as anything great, even accounting for the fact that he’s a middle infielder. I think he could make a claim for the low side of the Top 100, but that’s about it for him.

53 Donavan Tate, of, Padres – This ranking absolutely baffles me, because he was seen as a far better prospect than just about anybody in the draft, but somehow, guys who were taken 10-15 picks later now rank ahead of him. I don’t think he became less of a ballplayer, and I don’t think any of these guys took a giant leap forward in their ten minor league games. The guy has all the tools to succeed, but he has a very far ways to go. It should be an exciting year for him as he’ll probably be in Low-A.

52 Grant Green, ss, Athletics – Baseball America and I agree on this one as he was one of the most highly regarded prospects going into last year, but had a solid, but not spectacular Junior year at USC. This may sound weird, but I really like prospects that have built up a track record and then don't live up to expectations going into the draft as I feel there is real value there. I think he is going to be a very good player with All-Star potential, but I don’t think he can rate any higher than this without any sort of performance track record to go off of in the minor leagues. Still, this is a guy that I could see moving quickly in the minors as well as being much higher on next year’s prospect list.

51 Julio Teheran, rhp, Braves – I think this is a fair rating for Teheran. He has huge potential, but he was average in Low-A last year, so there’s a lot of work to do. The raw talent is definitely there, but he needs innings to refine his secondary pitches to compliment his mid 90s heat. This should be a very interesting prospect to watch this year as he could take a huge step forward, or he could leave people left dreaming on his potential for another year.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Soaking

Soaking is easily the greatest underground cultural phenomenon since Robo-trippin. Up until about a week ago, I had no idea what this soaking was, and then JVD casually brought it up between talk of fantasy baseball. Soaking is yet another great thing that the Mormons have brought to us (it's right up there with American Jesus and Jimmer Fredette).
Master of the Scoop Layup

The act of soaking is when a man inserts his penis inside a woman's vagina. Many of you may think that this sounds an awful lot like sex, but this is most certainly not sex, because the act ends there. There is no thrusting, no grinding, no climax, he just puts it in and "soaks" it. Mormons do not consider this sex. If your jaw is dropped right now, you're not alone, I had that exact same reaction. I decided I needed to learn more about this amazing discovery.

Just in case you were wondering, the first thing that comes up when you Google "Soaking Sex" is not what I was looking for, but often referred to a lady who was ornery. Still, I was able to plow through those false results and get to the bottom of the soaking phenomenon.

Although I struggled to find any scholastic articles that referred to soaking, I did find the next best thing at Urban Dictionary. There seem to be a few names for this act, such as Provo Soak, Floating, or Dick Soak. Although some of the descriptions and examples given were good, they basically went over the definition that I was already familiar with.

A site called New Schoolers was a little more helpful as it went over the spiritual side of things when it comes to soaking. At this site I found out that many would not get into the passion of soaking, but instead bring up scriptures and mundane things like what the other person did during the day.

Although I wasn't able to find too much concrete information on soaking, it still remains an incredible discovery. When I introduced this term to friends over the weekend, there were approximately 250 soaking jokes made in a 24 hour span. We laughed every time.

So I encourage everyone to go out there, find a nice lady, and instead of punching your ticket to hell with premarital sex, just go ahead and soak it. You'll get to stick your penis in a vagina, you'll have the blessing of American Jesus, and it'll give you a chance to talk about things that make you seem like a boring loser...like blogging.

-Joe

P.S. Yes, I'm aware of all the possible transfers in Iowa's program, but I'm going to wait to comment until the players have picked new schools with the chance they may go back to Iowa.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Fantasy Baseball Draft Review - Part 2

Now, part 2 of the fantasy draft:

ROUND 11
121Torii Hunter, LAA OFTeam Arp
122Stephen Strasburg, Was SPStinky Hangdown
123Ryan Dempster, ChC SPTeam Roy
124Scott Baker, Min SPTeam Ehrecke
125Tim Hudson, Atl SP Team Cunt Pounder
126Trevor Hoffman, Mil RPBeginners Luck
127Jason Kubel, Min OFTeam Vertical Smile
128Carlos Marmol, ChC RPTeam Pussylicker
129Jered Weaver, LAA SPTeam Waite
130Matt Garza, TB SPTeam Here4Beer
131Wandy Rodriguez, Hou SPTeam Asay
132Kyle Blanks, SD OFTeam Prayer
Best Pick - It's at this point where it's hard to point out shining moments in the draft. Although, I like my Tim Hudson pick, there's an argument to be made that he could have been had later. I'll give the nod to Matt Garza in this round as he has shown that he'll be solid, and has the potential to be a #2 starter.

Worst Pick - None of the outfielders excite me in this round, but I like Blanks the least. He's gotten a lot of pub for being a sleeper with huge power, but he has never shown huge power in his minor league career. I know he's a big, strong guy, but he has more of a line drive swing. He's also moving to an extreme pitcher's park, so I see his ceiling for this season being twenty home runs. I know he had ten home runs last year, but even Shane Spencer can do that in limited time. He could be a solid outfielder, but he's still a guy who's really just figuring out the league so there's going to be a learning curve for him.

ROUND 12
133Chris Coghlan, Fla OFTeam Prayer
134Billy Wagner, Atl RPTeam Asay
135Brad Lidge, Phi RPTeam Here4Beer
136Brad Hawpe, Col OFTeam Waite
137David Price, TB SPTeam Pussylicker
138Rafael Soriano, TB RPTeam Vertical Smile
139Howie Kendrick, LAA 2BBeginners Luck
140Chad Qualls, Ari RP Team Cunt Pounder
141Adrian Beltre, Bos 3BTeam Ehrecke
142Julio Borbon, Tex OFTeam Roy
143Miguel Montero, Ari CStinky Hangdown
144Raul Ibanez, Phi OFTeam Arp
Best Pick - David Price - Price is a guy who seems like he's ready to put it all together this year. He was solid last year, and that's what you expect from most rookie pitchers. If he can avoid walks, he could be a very good pitcher this year, so there's great upside for somebody taken in the 12th round.

Worst Pick - Brad Lidge - He's been hurt all spring, just had to have a cortisone injection in his shoulder, and he was god awful last year. Yes, Lidge has potential to be good again, but there's way too many question marks surrounding him to take him this early in the draft. But at least he's still making hella scrilla.

ROUND 13
145Mike Napoli, LAA CTeam Arp
146Dan Uggla, Fla 2BStinky Hangdown
147John Danks, CWS SPTeam Roy
148James Shields, TB SPTeam Ehrecke
149Brett Anderson, Oak SP Team Cunt Pounder
150Scott Kazmir, LAA SPBeginners Luck
151Max Scherzer, Det SPTeam Vertical Smile
152Alex Rios, CWS OFTeam Pussylicker
153Rich Harden, Tex SPTeam Waite
154Francisco Liriano, Min SPTeam Here4Beer
155Jason Bartlett, TB SSTeam Asay
156Bobby Abreu, LAA OFTeam Prayer
Best Picks - Max Scherzer and Francisco Liriano. Two guys with great stuff who have injury worries. Scherzer has shown improvement through his time in the major leagues. He's moving to the tougher league, but he's also moving to a much more friendly pitcher's park, so those things should balance out. Liriano looked amazing a few years ago, and everybody who saw him pitch this winter raved about him. He's looked great in spring training, and this could be the year he finally puts things together and becomes the dominant ace that he looked like in his rookie year.

Worst Pick - Alex Rios - He's only had one good year in his career. I think it's time to say he sucks. There were about 100 outfielders I'd rather have than him at this point in the draft.

ROUND 14
157Shane Victorino, Phi OFTeam Prayer
158Rick Porcello, Det SPTeam Asay
159Chipper Jones, Atl 3BTeam Here4Beer
160Nick Swisher, NYY 1BTeam Waite
161Gavin Floyd, CWS SPTeam Pussylicker
162Alcides Escobar, Mil SSTeam Vertical Smile
163Jorge Posada, NYY CBeginners Luck
164Kevin Slowey, Min SP Team Cunt Pounder
165Erick Aybar, LAA SSTeam Ehrecke
166Alfonso Soriano, ChC OFTeam Roy
167Frank Francisco, Tex RPStinky Hangdown
168Jonathan Sanchez, SF SPTeam Arp
Best Picks - Chipper Jones and Alfonso Soriano - These are two guys who I see having big time bounce back years. Chipper is the safer bet for the bounce back, but if Soriano can bounce back, he's got huge potential. These were two guys that were on my list as emergency picks if I was short on a third baseman or an outfielder. I definitely like the potential of these guys in 2010.

Worst Pick - None of these stand out as bad picks in my opinion, but since I have to choose, I'll go with Jonathan Sanchez. He's just one of those guys that I'm not a believer in, but he could maintain what he built on last year and prove me totally wrong. I'm usually right on things, but I can honestly admit that I thought Kurt Warner sucked until 2008. I'm very stubborn.

ROUND 15
169Ian Stewart, Col 2BTeam Arp
170Ted Lilly, ChC SPStinky Hangdown
171Phil Hughes, NYY SPTeam Roy
172Brian Fuentes, LAA RPTeam Ehrecke
173David Aardsma, Sea RP Team Cunt Pounder
174Jorge De La Rosa, Col SPBeginners Luck
175Lance Berkman, Hou 1BTeam Vertical Smile
176Mark Buehrle, CWS SPTeam Pussylicker
177J.A. Happ, Phi SPTeam Waite
178Ryan Ludwick, StL OFTeam Here4Beer
179Chase Headley, SD 3BTeam Asay
180Ryan Franklin, StL RPTeam Prayer
Best Pick - Phil Hughes - I was going to take Hughes if he fell to me in this round, so that one really pissed me off. He's got great stuff, and if this is the year that he puts everything together as a starter, he's an absolute monster. People try to compare him and Joba constantly, but Joba didn't have nearly the track record that Hughes had in the minor leagues.

Worst Pick - Ted Lilly - With Lilly still being hurt, I think there's too much risk for the possible reward. The reward is he pitches as well as he did last year, and I really think he's a guy that is on the decline. Lilly has been one of my boys since his days in Toronto, but an aging pitcher coming off of injury is not somebody that I would want to invest in.

ROUND 16
181Leo Nunez, Fla RPTeam Prayer
182Bobby Jenks, CWS RPTeam Asay
183Brian Matusz, Bal SPTeam Here4Beer
184Ryan Doumit, Pit CTeam Waite
185David Ortiz, Bos DHTeam Pussylicker
186Russell Martin, LAD CTeam Vertical Smile
187Denard Span, Min OFBeginners Luck
188Justin Masterson, Cle SP Team Cunt Pounder
189Edwin Jackson, Ari SPTeam Ehrecke
190Huston Street, Col RPTeam Roy
191Nate McLouth, Atl OFStinky Hangdown
192Martin Prado, Atl 2BTeam Arp
Best Pick - Brian Matusz - A young pitcher who was solid last year and should be able to build on that this season. He's got four good pitches that he can throw for strikes, and his worst case scenario for this year (outside of injury) is a solid contributor for a fantasy team with a lot of potential for more.

Worst Pick - Martin Prado - Yes, he was solid last year, but I don't see him continuing that and wouldn't be surprised to see him lose his job at second.

ROUND 17
193Mike Gonzalez, Bal RPTeam Arp
194Mat Latos, SD SPStinky Hangdown
195James Loney, LAD 1BTeam Roy
196Michael Cuddyer, Min 1BTeam Ehrecke
197Chris Davis, Tex 1B Team Cunt Pounder
198Joe Blanton, Phi SPBeginners Luck
199Vladimir Guerrero, Tex DHTeam Vertical Smile
200Octavio Dotel, Pit RPTeam Pussylicker
201Paul Konerko, CWS 1BTeam Waite
202Andy Pettitte, NYY SPTeam Here4Beer
203Matt Capps, Was RPTeam Asay
204Neftali Feliz, Tex RPTeam Prayer
Best Pick - Chris Davis - Davis was on everybody's list last season as a guy who was going to put up huge numbers and carry a fantasy team. He sucked ass and got sent to Triple A. When he came back, he hit like he was supposed to at the beginning of the year. He's got a track record of crushing the ball, and I think he has the year in 2010 that people expected in 2009.

Worst Pick - Nothing stands out as awful, but I'm not a believer in James Loney. He just hasn't shown the power that people expected him to develop. I think his ceiling is a JT Snow type season with a good average and little power which is a pretty big hindrance for a team at first base.
Note: D. Wright Lover says Loney is a very nice person.

ROUND 18
205Ross Ohlendorf, Pit SPTeam Prayer
206Cameron Maybin, Fla OFTeam Asay
207Wade Davis, TB SPTeam Here4Beer
208Brad Penny, StL SPTeam Waite
209Johnny Cueto, Cin SPTeam Pussylicker
210Aaron Harang, Cin SPTeam Vertical Smile
211John Maine, NYM SPBeginners Luck
212Travis Snider, Tor OF Team Cunt Pounder
213Yadier Molina, StL CTeam Ehrecke
214Homer Bailey, Cin SPTeam Roy
215J.J. Hardy, Min SSStinky Hangdown
216Chris Perez, Cle RPTeam Arp
Best Pick - JJ Hardy - I think he can have a very good year for a shortstop where he can produce about a .270 average with around 20 home runs. He's not a superstar, but to get a middle infielder who can produce like that this late in the draft is definitely a good thing.

Worst Pick - Ross Ohlendorf - Why? What does Ross bring to the table? If he has a great year, he'll have a middling ERA, low strikeout total, and low win total because his team is terrible. He's worthless.

ROUND 19
217Erik Bedard, Sea SPTeam Arp
218Scott Feldman, Tex SPStinky Hangdown
219Jorge Cantu, Fla 3BTeam Roy
220Hiroki Kuroda, LAD SPTeam Ehrecke
221Daisuke Matsuzaka, Bos SP Team Cunt Pounder
222Barry Zito, SF SPBeginners Luck
223Jon Rauch, Min RPTeam Vertical Smile
224Derek Lowe, Atl SPTeam Pussylicker
225Tony Gwynn, SD OFTeam Waite
226Johnny Damon, Det OFTeam Here4Beer
227Shaun Marcum, Tor SPTeam Asay
228Jason Frasor, Tor RPTeam Prayer
Best Pick - Derek Lowe - I like his chances of bouncing back this year. Everybody thought he'd be great for Atlanta last year and he fell on his face, but I think he gets his shit together again, gets that sinker working and has a very good year for the Braves.

Worst Pick - Tony Gwynn - He's been retired for years and has already been inducted in the Hall of Fame. That's just poor research...wait a second. It's his son? Oh man, isn't his son terrible? Yes, yes he is.

ROUND 20
229Ben Sheets, Oak SPTeam Prayer
230Ervin Santana, LAA SPTeam Asay
231Michael Bourn, Hou OFTeam Here4Beer
232Kerry Wood, Cle RPTeam Waite
233Chris Young, Ari OFTeam Pussylicker
234Rafael Furcal, LAD SSTeam Vertical Smile
235Bronson Arroyo, Cin SPBeginners Luck
236Sean Rodriguez, TB 2B Team Cunt Pounder
237Aroldis Chapman, Cin SPTeam Ehrecke
238Bengie Molina, SF CTeam Roy
239Mark DeRosa, SF 3BStinky Hangdown
240Brandon Lyon, Hou RPTeam Arp
Best Pick - Ben Sheets - although his spring training ERA hasn't shown it, his stuff has been better than people were expecting this early on. Sheets may not be a great pitcher in the AL, but if he can stay healthy, he has the potential to be very good.

Worst Pick - Mark DeRosa - He just doesn't offer much of anything outside of positional flexibility. I don't see him as a good option at any position.

ROUND 21
241Randy Wolf, Mil SPTeam Arp
242Randy Wells, ChC SPStinky Hangdown
243Nyjer Morgan, Was OFTeam Roy
244Joel Pineiro, LAA SPTeam Ehrecke
245Joba Chamberlain, NYY SP Team Cunt Pounder
246Adam LaRoche, Ari 1BBeginners Luck
247Alex Gordon, KC 3BTeam Vertical Smile
248Chris Young, SD SPTeam Pussylicker
249Franklin Gutierrez, Sea OFTeam Waite
250Kurt Suzuki, Oak CTeam Here4Beer
251Brandon Wood, LAA 3BTeam Asay
252Franklin Morales, Col RPTeam Prayer
Best Pick - Brandon Webb - He's been a super prospect for about 35 years, but he's finally getting the starting job without having to compete for it. He may struggle with average, but the power is definitely there, and he's a quality guy at third base for the final round of the draft.

Worst Pick - Joba Chamberlain - I was too tired to focus on anything at this point, so I made the mistake of drafting Joba. I should have gone with Mark Prior.

And that wraps it up. I'd like to leave everyone with a video about smelling nice:


-Joe

P.S. I know I'm easily amused, but this is funny.