October 6, 2011
NFL Rankings: As we approach Week 5 of the NFL season, here is how each of the NFL teams stacks up.
1.Green Bay Packers (4-0) — As the “Nature Boy” Ric Flair would say, “To be the man, you’ve gotta beat the man.” Until someone beats the Pack, they will be at the top of the rankings.
2. Baltimore Ravens (3-1) — After opening the season by dominating the defending AFC champion Steelers and blowing out the AFC runner-up Jets on Sunday, the Ravens are the class of the AFC.
3. New Orleans Saints (3-1) — Drew Brees and company gave the Packers all they wanted and followed that with three solid wins.
5. New England Patriots (3-1) — Tom Brady’s offense hasn’t been held under 30 points yet.
6. Detroit Lions (4-0) — They won’t be undefeated much longer if they keep falling behind by 20 points.
7. Houston Texans (3-1) — Wade Phillips has got the defense playing much better.
8. New York Jets (2-2) — A two game losing streak makes this trip to New England huge for the Jets.
9. Atlanta Falcons (2-2) — Important stretch coming up for the Falcons with Green Bay and Detroit coming up in the next couple weeks.
10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1) — The Bucs need a win at San Francisco to carry momentum into tough stretch with Saints, Bears, Saints, Texans and Packers coming up.
11. San Diego Chargers (3-1) — Chargers should get healthy with the Broncos on Sunday and their bye week.
13. Tennessee Titans (3-1) – Huge test for surprising Titans this week at Pittsburgh.
14. Washington Redskins (3-1) – The defense is giving up an NFC best 15.8 points per game. They have two weeks to get ready for a divisional showdown with the Eagles.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2) – Are the defending AFC champs suffering from a post-Super Bowl loss hangover? Or is it just that they cannot protect the quarterback?
16. Dallas Cowboys (2-2) – No team is more entertaining than “America’s Team”. Do the Cowboys ever play a game decided by more than one score?
17. Chicago Bears (2-2) – The Bears have a good chance to build a lead Sunday in Detroit. The question is will they be able to hold it?
18. San Francisco 49ers (3-1) – Their three wins is one more than the rest of the NFC West combined. The division is theirs to lose.
19. Oakland Raiders (2-2) – It looks like the Raiders are the team that will push San Diego in the AFC West.
20. Philadelphia Eagles (1-3) – It’s been a nightmare start for the “Dream Team”. They are probably glad to be hitting the road after the last two performances at home.
21. Cincinnati Bengals (2-2) – Got a shot to be 4-2 at the bye with two winnable games coming up. Not bad for a team who’s quarterback retired rather than play for them.
22. Cleveland Browns (2-2) – They have an extra week to recover from getting pounded by the Titans.
23. Carolina Panthers (1-3) – The good news is Cam Newton looks like he is their quarterback of the future. The bad news is New Orleans, Atlanta and Washington coming up.
24. Arizona Cardinals (1-3) – They should have beaten the Giants on Sunday. They head to Minnesota to face an angry Vikings team.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3) – The offense is experiencing some major growing pains with rookie Blaine Gabbert now playing quarterback. They average less than 10 points per game.
26. Denver Broncos (1-3) – It’s not Kyle Orton’s fault the Packers put 49 points on the board Sunday. Try telling that to the fans in Denver though.
27. Indianapolis Colts (0-4) – It’s going to be a long season without Peyton Manning. This team won’t quit though.
28. St. Louis Rams (0-4) – Injuries and the schedule have made them look worse than they really are. Unfortunately, they have Green Bay, Dallas and New Orleans for their next three.
29. Seattle Seahawks (1-3) – Put up 21 points in the second half Sunday. Only score 37 in their other 3.5 games.
30. Kansas City Chiefs (1-3) – They have played much better in the last two weeks.
31. Minnesota Vikings (0-4) – They would be ranked much higher if the NFL cut games to 30 minutes.
32. Miami Dolphins (0-4) – With a bye and the Jets coming up they could be winless when the Broncos come to town.
April 27, 2011
The NFL Draft is just a couple days away. It seems like everyone is doing mock drafts these days so I decided to join the party. I’ve made sure to include some trades to ensure that I don’t go 32 for 32. I’d feel bad if all these picks are correct. I’m not doing this to take Mel Kiper’s job.
Marcell Dareus – DT – Alabama
The Panthers have a ton of holes to fill. They cannot afford to miss on this pick so they go with a safe pick in Dareus to be an anchor for the defense. This gives Jimmy Clausen one more year to develop and if he doesn’t, Carolina could get “Lucky” in 2012.
Cam Newton – QB – Auburn
Things are uglier than usual in Cincinnati. Carson Palmer says he will not play in a Bengal uniform again. The Bengals say they aren’t trading him. Someone has to play quarterback and Newton’s controversial history seems to fit the Cincinnati mold. When the Panthers pass on Newton, the Bengals trade up two spots to grab him.
Blaine Gabbert – QB – Missouri
Von Miller – OLB – Texas A&M
Miller could be the best player in the draft. The return of Elvis Dumerville and the addition of Miller will go a long way toward fixing the Denver defense. They move back two spots to pick up an extra pick from the Bengals.
A.J. Green – WR Georgia
Arizona nearly won the Super Bowl with a high-flying passing attack. If the Cardinals can pull off a trade for Kevin Kolb and pair A.J. Green with Larry Fitzgerald they can be dangerous in the weak NFC West.
Robert Quinn – DE – North Carolina
Cleveland needs to rebuild its defense. Dick Jauron is taking over the defense and could use a pass-rushing end.
Peterson has been compared to Champ Bailey and Deion Sanders. The 49ers are thrilled he is still on the board.
Nick Fairley – DT – Auburn
Tennessee needs a quarterback but Newton and Gabbert are off the board so the Titans go after their next Albert Haynesworth.
Tyron Smith – OT – USC
The Cowboys have to protect Tony Romo. Smith will help them do that.
Whoever ends up playing quarterback for the Redskins in 2011 is going to need someone to throw to. Jones would give him a big, physical target.
11. Houston Texans
Prince Amukamara – CB – Nebraska
The Texans have the offense to keep up with Peyton Manning but they don’t have the defense to slow him down. Adding a Prince to the secondary should give Houston a better shot at taking down the king of the AFC South.
Jake Locker – QB – Washington
Minnesota can finally move on from the Brett Frave era. The Vikings hope Locker will be their quarterback of the future.
13. Detroit Lions
Anthony Castonzo – OT – Boston College
Detroit’s future is riding on Matthew Stafford. The top priority is to keep Stafford on the field.
Mike Pouncey – OL – Florida
New England usually trades down for more picks. This time the Patriots move up to add some youth to the aging offensive line.
J.J. Watt – DE – Wisconsin
The Buccaneers move up to get the pass-rushing defensive end before San Diego can.
Ryan Kerrigan – DE – Purdue
Aaron Kampman has been injury-prone. Kerrigan could be his replacement.
17. St. Louis Rams
Kyle Rudolf – TE – Notre Dame
St. Louis has the foundation in place. It’s time to give Sam Bradford some weapons.
Cameron Jordan – DE – Cal
The Chargers add one of the top pass rushers in the draft.
19. New York Giants
Gabe Carimi – OT – Wisconsin
Carimi is a solid tackle that fills the Giants biggest need.
20. Miami Dolphins
Andy Dalton – QB – TCU
Miami has not gotten good enough play at the most important position on the field so they take a shot on Dalton.
Corey Liuget – DT – Illinois
Liuget will be a big, physical presence in the middle of the Kansas City defense.
Nate Solder – OT – Colorado
The Colts take the best offensive lineman left on the board.
Jimmy Smith – CB- Colorado
The Eagles need a solid corner to play opposite Asante Samuel.
Da’Quan Bowers – DE – Clemson
The Saints get one of the better players in the draft, but he comes with injury concerns.
25. Seattle Seahawks
Danny Watkins – OL – Baylor
Seattle will try to upgrade its interior offensive line.
26. Baltimore Ravens
Torrey Smith – WR – Maryland
The Ravens could use another speedy receiver.
27. Atlanta Falcons
Aldon Smith – DE – Missouri
Atlanta scores a pass-rusher to pair with John Abraham.
Akeem Ayers – OLB – UCLA
The Patriots would like another outside pass-rusher.
29. Chicago Bears
Derek Sherrod – OT – Mississippi
Jay Cutler was hit a lot in 2010. The Bears need to find someone to prevent some of those hits.
30. New York Jets
Cameron Heyward – DE – Ohio State
Rex Ryan loves his defense. He loves it even more when Heyward is still on the board.
Brandon Harris – CB – Miami
Mark Ingram – RB – Alabama
The Super Bowl champions have a lot of help returning from injury so they make a luxury pick.