Top 100 Prospects – OT Mitchell Schwartz

Mitchell Schwartz earned a rare distinction in 2011 – the big tackle from the University of California-Berkley was named first-team All-Pac-12 for his play on the field and his performance in the classroom. It’s a double honor that only two others in the conference were able to match.

However, Schwartz doesn’t put too much stock in such accolades, at least not now. In his world of a “one day at a time” approach, he admittedly hasn’t taken the time to reflect on what all the recognition means.

“My parents are probably more proud of it than I am,” Schwartz said. “I think it will be a lot cooler in the future when I can look back and understand the importance of it.”

Juggling the books and football is something he did all the way back to his high school days when he graduated from Palisades Charter High School in Los Angeles with a 4.3 grade point average.

“I think they play into each other,” Schwartz said. “One of the big things that all the coaches tell you is that you really have to be good at time management, especially at a place like Cal where school is more demanding. It’s kind of a testament to being able to handle both school and football and to sort it out in a timely manner.”

Here’s where we sort out the entire Mitchell Schwartz story.

Draft Profile – OT Mitchell Schwartz


MITCHELL SCHWARTZ/TACKLE

Personal

Mitchell Bryan Schwartz

Born – June 8, 1989 in Pacific Palisades, California.

Family – Parents are Olivia Goodkin and Lee Schwartz. Mom is an employment-labor attorney after graduating from UCLA with her law degree. Dad also graduated from UCLA, and he’s a management consultant and the author of several books involving business practices. Older brother Geoff Schwartz played at Oregon and was a seventh-round selection of Carolina in the 2008 NFL Draft. He missed the 2011 season because of injury and signed as a free agent several weeks ago with Minnesota.

Physical

  • Height – 6-feet, 5 3/8 inches.
  • Weight – 318 pounds.
  • Arm – 33½ inches.
  • Hand – 10 inches.
  • Wing span – 81½ inches.

NFL Scouting Combine

  • 40-yard dash – 5.41 seconds.
  • Bench press – 23 reps at 225 pounds.
  • Vertical jump – 26 ½ inches.
  • Broad jump – 7-feet, 5 inches.
  • 3-cone drill – 7.88 seconds.
  • 20-yard short shuttle – 4.89 seconds.

Hometown

Schwartz grew up in Pacific Palisades, an affluent Los Angeles neighborhood that is along the Pacific Ocean between Malibu and Santa Monica. In a series called “Mapping L.A.” the Los Angeles Times newspaper in 2009 that the population was 23,940 and the median household income was $168,000. Various television shows and movies have been filmed in Pacific Palisades, including Baywatch and Rockford Files. The famous Rivera Country Club is located there as is the Getty Museum and Will Rodgers State Park.

High School

Schwartz was a member of the graduating class of 2007 at Palisades Charter High School in Pacific Palisades. The school has more than 2,700 students in grades nine through 12. Famous alumni from PCHS include actor Jeff Bridges, supermodel Christie Brinkley, actress Penelope Ann Miller, actor Forest Whitaker and singer will.i.am. When he graduated, Schwartz had a grade point average of 4.3.

He was a three-year starter for head coach Leo Castro and the Dolphins and also was twice named team captain.

2006 – In his senior year, Schwartz earned CIF Los Angeles City offensive lineman of the year award, along with honors from the Western League and All-West regional. On defense he had 29 total tackles as the Dolphins finished 5-6.

2005 – Schwartz was named All-Western League and All-City in his junior season, when he was also named team captain. On defense he had 18 total tackles and one sack. PCHS went 3-7 on the season.

2004 – Full-time starter by the end of his sophomore season, as the Dolphins struggled to a 1-9 record.

Recruiting

Rivals.com rated him as a 4-start player, the No. 27 guard in the country and No. 50 among all California prospects at 6-5, 297 pounds.

Interest in Schwartz was huge among all the top programs – Notre Dame, Miami, Oregon, Stanford, California, Michigan, Tennessee and Virginia. His final four choices were Cal, Virginia, Oregon and Stanford. He committed to the Cal Bears before the start of his senior season.

College

Schwartz graduated in December 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from the University of California-Berkley. On the field, he started 51 consecutive games in his four-season career, and did not miss a start or game because of injury. Most of those starts (35) were at left tackle with 16 starts at right tackle.

2011 – Named first-team All-Pac 12 Conference after starting 13 games at left tackle. He was named the program’s Brick Muller Award as Cal’s most valuable offensive lineman for the third straight year.

2010 – Moving over to the left tackle after a season on the right side, Schwartz started all 12 games and was named second-team All-Pac 10 offense.

2009 – Schwartz opened all 13 games at right tackle and was named honorable mention All-Pac 10, as well as conference All-Academic honorable mention honors.

2008 – Started all 13 games at offensive tackle. He began the year at right tackle for three games then on the left side for the remaining 10 games on the schedule. He earned honorable mention Pac-10 All-Academic honors.

2007 – A redshirt season, Schwartz did not play in any games.

Video

Cal vs. Stanford 2011 season – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzqKV0fPhvI&feature=related

(Schwartz is wearing No. 72 and playing at LT in most of these videos.)

Isolation on Schwartz highlights – http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/nfl-draft-preview-mitchell-schwartz/12kbia5t?from=luation

Cal offense vs. Texas 2011 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmfO6mzZ_K4&feature=related

Evaluation

Strengths – When it comes to abilities, the No. 1 skill Schwartz showed in college was availability – he did not miss a single game in his four-year career, starting all 51 games. Good size, decent strength, he does more playing the game with his mind than his athletic ability. He’s a knee bender, who has the ability to shuffle his feet and take pass rushers wide. Schwartz is a high-motor player that goes full speed all the time; sells out for his offense every play.

Deficient – Not a great athlete, he lacks the quick feet of elite blockers. He needs to improve his use of hands as he gets knocked off balance and loses leverage when he allows his hands to be controlled by the defender. His pad level gets too high at times and that hurts his effectiveness. Although he never missed a start, Schwartz played his college career with some back problems.

Analysis – A big, rough and tough player who enjoys the physicality of football, he lacks the athletic ability to play left tackle. He’s a right tackle or guard in the NFL. Some teams are worried about a back injury that he suffered last summer and he’ll undergo extensive testing before anybody drafts him.

What the scouts had to say about Mitchell Schwartz

An NFC scout said – “I like what the guy brings to the field, but he’s not a left tackle. He just isn’t athletic enough to be a 16-game, 10-season anchor on that side of the line. On a fill-in basis maybe, but I think he can succeed at right tackle in the league.”

An AFC scout said – “He’s OK. He’s a better player than his brother, and he’ll get drafted higher than he did. But I doubt he’s ever much of a factor when it comes to All-Pro at right tackle.”

What Mitchell Schwartz said

“I think I can play both sides (left and right tackle.) I think I’m quick enough, I think I’m athletic enough to handle the left side. I mean, in the NFL, you’ve got great D-ends on both sides. I mean, the whole blind side type thing, you have just as good of defensive ends on the other side. I think it’s a little overblown, the whole right, left side type of deal. There are a lot of successful guys on both sides who could do both if they’re asked.”

“We do a little bit of everything at Cal. We’re probably one of the most diverse offenses in the country. Inside zone, outside zone, man, gap, pulling, sweeps, everything. We do pretty much everything, so I’m good with all that.”

Does Mitchell Schwartz fit with the Chiefs?

Why wouldn’t he? This is a durable, talented player who is smart and dedicated to the game. He’s not a first-round left tackle type, but he’s an after the first-round right tackle type who if he stays healthy and continues to improve will play for many years in the league. Whether he landed with the Chiefs would depend on timing.

Top 100 Prospects – G Brandon Washington

In early November 2011, just as Brandon Washington was getting ready to left tackle for the University of Miami against Florida State, another Brandon Washington was also busy.

In Flagler County, Florida, a jury that had deliberated for two hours at the end of an eight-day trial found Brandon Washington guilty of five different charges, including conspiracy, racketeer, second-degree murder, burglary and attempted home invasion. He was considered the leader of the Bloods gang in that south Florida county and had a rap sheet longer than his arm. He won’t be out of prison until he’s a very old man.

That’s two very different futures for young men in south Florida that share a name. Hurricanes offensive tackle Washington understands quite well that instead of getting ready for the NFL, he could be facing the rest of his life in prison like the other Brandon.

“We were growing up and doing the things young men do,” Washington said. “Right now I can’t say that all of us have been successful. Some were shot dead, some have kids, and some are in jail. I just thank God that He saw different in me and stuck me to a different path and had a different blueprint for me to follow.”

Here are more details on Brandon Washington’s blueprint.

Draft Profile – G Brandon Washington


BRANDON WASHINGTON/GUARD

Personal

Brandon Washington

Born – August 13, 2007, in Miami, Florida.

Family – One of five kids raised by his mother Cheryl as a single parent. He’s met his father, but they have no relationship. “I rarely saw my Mom,” Washington said. “I stayed with my grandmother for four or five years, until my Mom got on her feet. When I was about 12, my mom used to work from six in the morning until one in the morning. The only time I saw my Mom would be when she would call to tell us she was on her way home, so we would run around like little rascals picking up the house and all that, cause we knew she would be tired and that she had to be awake in a few more hours to do it all again.”

Physical

  • Height – 6-feet, 2 7/8 inches.
  • Weight – 320 pounds.
  • Arm – 33 inches.
  • Hand – 9¾ inches.
  • Wing span – 80¼ inches.

NFL Scouting Combine

  • 40-yard dash – 5.17 seconds.
  • Bench press – 29 reps at 225 pounds.
  • Vertical jump – 25 inches.
  • Broad jump – 28 inches.
  • 3-cone drill – 8.25 seconds.
  • 20-yard shuttle – 4.89 seconds.

Hometown

Washington grew up in the Overton section of Miami, Florida, one of the roughest neighborhoods in south Florida. One of the first neighborhoods in the development of Miami, Overton is now dominated by crime, drugs and gangs. It’s a tough place to call home.

High School

Washington attended Edison High School for three years where he played both offense and defense. In his senior year, he transferred to Northwestern High School. That was in 2007, when Northwestern won a Florida state title and were declared national champions on the high-school level. He was named All-Florida by Florida Sportswriters Association.

He also played defensive tackle where he had 42 tackles, 7 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 4 fumble recoveries.

Recruiting

Rivals.com ranked Washington a 4-star player and the No. 4 guard in the nation and the No. 25 player in Florida. Scout.com had him as the No. 14 guard and the No. 43 Florida player. There was a lot of interest in him, not only from Florida schools but national powers like LSU, Oklahoma, Rutgers, Florida, and Clemson. He committed to Miami on March 28, 2007. However …

Prep School

Unable to meet NCAA qualifying standards for academics so that he would be eligible as a freshman and have four years, Washington opted to go away from home for the first time in his life,

Rather than go to Miami and sit for a year and lose a season of eligibility, Washington spent the fall of 2008 at Milford Academy in New Berlin, New York. Calling it the toughest four months of his life, Washington played for the ’08 Falcons who went 9-3.

“That was my first time away from family, and I wanted to be back home,” Washington said. “That time of the year, it was rough. That really made me dig deep and find myself, really made me appreciate life and gave me a different outlook on life. I appreciated everything. I live by that code, “when you think you got it bad, somebody else has it worse.” It was an all-boys school, I was away from my mom, I didn’t like the food, didn’t like the weather. I thought I was living in hell

Recruiting II

Rivals.com ranked Washington as the second best player in the class of 2009 coming out of Milford.

College

Washington had the look of an immediate contributor almost from the minute he stepped on the field for the University of Miami. With four years of eligibility, he decided he would invest only three, especially after his big 2010 performance.

2011 – Opened all 12 games starting the opener at right tackle and then the rest of the season at left tackle. Coaches graded him out for the season at 86 percent, with only five mental errors over the course of the season.

2010 – Selected first-team All-ACC for his performance at left guard when he started all 13 games for the Hurricanes at left guard. Coaches graded him 99 percent for his performance against Pittsburgh. Coaching staff gave him 56 pancake blocks.

2009 – Washington played in all 13 games, most of that on special teams. But he made his first career start at left guard against South Florida. Came back and started at left guard against Wisconsin in the Champs Sports Bowl.

Evaluation

Strengths – Big, naturally powerful you man with good lower body to anchor when needed, although he needs to work harder on developing more power in his legs. What separates him from some other big men is his ability to bend at his size. Whether it’s at the knees or the ankles, he’s very flexible and has the ability to maintain his base. That gives him an edge in leverage and means he doesn’t get knocked off balance too many times. Despite his size, he’s fairly nimble when he’s in space and can handle just about any type of blocking scheme at guard.

Deficient – Washington is very raw when it comes to fundamentals and techniques, making him a project no matter where he’s drafted and by what team. Being moved back and forth from guard to tackle hurt his development at either position. Relying almost entirely on his athletic ability, he gets lazy at times with his fundamentals and that gets him in trouble. Does not have much pop off the snap, so sometimes he loses first hand fighting for leverage and he’s not skilled enough yet to react in a positive manner.

Analysis – Patience will pay off for any team that selections Washington because it’s darn tough to find players with his size and his quick feet in one package. He needs to be schooled and trained and as long as he shows he’s willing to do that, he will eventually become a contributor, possibly a big contributor at guard or right tackle. If it doesn’t happen, he’ll be a big bust to remember.”

What the scouts say

An AFC scout said – “I really like the raw player here and what he could be shaped into. The worry is his background and whether he can handle the pressures of the league and the pressure he’s going to face from back home where a lot of folks are going to have their hand out.”

Another AFC scout said – “He’s a guard, not a tackle. I just don’t see him being able to handle matters on the left side. I think at guard he’ll be a good player. He really needed to stay in school for another season – that would have helped him tremendously.”

What Brandon Washington said

“I just want to be great. I want to leave behind a legacy that I worked hard, I was focused on my goals, I kept my eyes on the prize, and that I really wanted to be something. It’s not that I want to be a top pick in the NFL Draft; I just want to be great. I just want to be somebody that someone can come and talk to about anything and give them different advice on life, and help them be good at whatever they want to do.”

“I can play all positions – wide receiver, running back, all of them. I wouldn’t try now, because I’m stationed at offensive line, but I can catch, throw, run, I have vision. I always catch myself doing a skill like that. No one knows I’m athletic as I am, I wish I could show it. I may not be fast but I can catch a pass and run routes. It might not be as precise, but you have to give me a break at 300 pounds!”

What others say about Brandon Washington

“I am so overwhelmed and proud of Brandon’s accomplishments. I just want the whole world to know how proud I am of all my boys. Brandon is a sweetheart, and he is very humble.” Washington’s mother Cheryl.

“You talk about a bright kid; he’s very, very intelligent. We can do a lot of things with him and you only have to coach him once. He’s not going to [make a mistake] next time. He can play tackle, center. He’s extremely bright. He’s also a strong kid. He’s already benching 400 pounds. His other numbers, however, 365-pound squat and 242-pound power lift need to improve.” Former Miami offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland.

Does Brandon Washington fit with the Chiefs?

Probably not, since GM Scott Pioli tends to view offensive line positions other than left tackle as roster spots to fill down the line. There’s a lot to like about Washington and his future chances in the NFL.

Top 100 Prospects – CB Chase Minnifield

His name says plenty about what his father wanted for his only son when he was born:

Chase Onassis Minnifield.

“We just wanted to give him a name that he understood what the expectations were,” said former NFL defensive back Frank Minnifield of his son, who is headed to pro football out of the University of Virginia.

Chase comes from the Chase Manhattan Bank. “A lot of people in Lexington (Kentucky) call him Chase Manhattan,” Frank Minnifield said.

Onassis comes from the Greek tycoon Aristotle Onassis, a man who made billions over the years with his fleet of freighters and tankers, plus he eventually married Jackie Kennedy before he passed away.

“We threw in Onassis because we wanted him to know that we wanted him to be successful, we wanted him to be as successful as the greatest shipping tycoon ever,” Frank Minnifield said.

Here’s the rest of the Chase Onassis Minnifield story.

Draft Profile – CB Chase Minnifield


CHASE MINNIFIELD/CORNERBACK

Personal

Chase Onassis Minnifield

Born – March 31, 1989, in Lexington, Kentucky.

Family – Parents are Diane and Frank Minnifield. Dad was a Pro Bowl cornerback for the Cleveland Browns from 1984-92. Mom is a lawyer and graduate of the University of Louisville/Brandeis School of Law and has worked for the Fayette County Attorney’s Office since 1992. She maintains a private practice and serves as a hearing examiner for the Lexington Fayette Human Rights Commission. Chase has a younger sister Chanel.

Physical

  • Height – 5-feet, 10 3/8 inches.
  • Weight – 183 pounds.
  • Arm – 31½ inches.
  • Hand – 9 inches.
  • Wing span – 76¼ inches.

NFL Scouting Combine

  • 40-yard dash – 4.66 seconds (Pro Day).
  • Bench press – 7 reps at 225 pounds.
  • Vertical jump – 32½ inches.
  • Broad jump – 9-feet, 9 inches.

Hometown

Minnifield grew up in Lexington, the second largest city in Kentucky with a 2010 U.S. Census population of 295,803, with more than 687,000 in the area. It’s located in the Bluegrass Region of the state and is known as the “Horse Capital of the World” because of the number of facilities in and around the city where thoroughbred racing horses were raised and trained. It’s also home to the University of Kentucky and its basketball team plays downtown at Rupp Arena. Famous folks that have called Lexington home include actor Harry Dean Stanton, actress Ashley Judd and musician Vince Gill.

High School

He was a member of the graduating class of 2007 at Henry Clay High School in Lexington, part of the Fayette County Public Schools. Clay High is the oldest high school in Lexington, and today educates approximately 2,200 students in grades nine through 12.

Minnifield played both football and basketball for the Blue Devils and he also earned Academic All-State honors as a senior.

Football

Playing for head coach Sam Simpson, Minnifield was a big contributor as a junior and senior, playing at various times DB, WR, RB and QBs for the Blue Devils, as well as serving as punter and kicker.

2006 – First-team All-Kentucky honors as a defensive back, with 30 tackles and 3 INTs. On top of that he was very busy on offense, as he ran for 509 yards and 8 TDs, caught 48 passes for 630 yards and 9 TDs and played some QB, throwing for 365 yards and 2 TDs. Minnifield was also his team’s punter and kicker, as he was good on 41 PAT kicks. He returned four kickoffs for touchdowns, finishing the year with 169 points.

2005 – Minnifield was a first-team All-Lexington selection in his junior season, catching 26 passes for 408 yards and 7 TDs. He ran for 386 yards and 9 TDs, while picking off six passes.

Recruiting

Rivals.com listed him as a 4-star player and the No. 1 prospect in the state of Kentucky as a senior and the No. 22 safety in the country, while Scout.com listed him as a 3-star player and the No. 39 cornerback.

Minnifield had significant interest in recruiting from Stanford, Michigan, Wake Forest Louisville, Kentucky, Illinois and Middle Tennessee State. He verbally committed to Virginia in May 2006

College

He spent five years in Charlottesville, earning a bachelor’s degree in sociology in less than four years. He then spent 18 months working on a Masters degree in the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. On the field, he appeared in 48 games with 13 interceptions.

2011 – Minnifield was first-team All-ACC for the second season in a row. He missed the Cavs appearance in the Chick-fil-A Bowl because of a knee problem, and he had arthroscopic surgery on January 3 to remove floating cartilage particles.

2010 – First-team All-ACC, he started all 12 games for the Cavaliers and finished No. 2 in the conference with 6 INTS. He had two interceptions against Miami. He was slowed somewhat over the final four games because of an ankle injury.

2009 – Played in all 12 games, with one start, most of his contributions came as a returner as he averaged 4.4 yards on 20 punt returns and 23.3 yards on 22 kickoff returns.

2008 – In his first season on the field, he played in all 12 games, making two starts and spent most of his time on special teams where he averaged 23.3 yards on 21 kickoff returns.

2007 – Redshirt season.

Year G/S

Plys

Tkl

TFL

Sk

Int

PBU

FF

RF

Rec

2011 12/12

829

50

7

1.5

3

8

0

0

8-5*

2010 12/12

773

48

3

.5

6

4

0

0

4-8

2009 12/1

413

28

2

0

2

2

0

1

3-9

2008 12/2

387

25

0

0

2

4

0

1

5-7

2007 Red

Shirt

x

x

x

x

x

x

X

X

Total 48/27

2,401

151

12

2

13

18

0

2

20-29

Kickoff returns – 43 for 1,003 yards, 23.3-yard average; punt returns – 34 for 184 yards, 5.4-yard average. *- (2011) Chick-fil-A Bowl.

Video

Chase Minnifield/2010 highlights — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Xjk1Tuy-yQ

Highlight file — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPtX8DYwOZI

(Minnifield is No. 13; highlight file is produced piece with music, but if you like Jay-Z you’ll enjoy this video.)

Evaluation

Strengths – Skilled technician on the corner, who has very good instincts, anticipation and knowledge of coverages and offensive passing schemes. He’s not afraid of contact and he supports the run. At Virginia he played a lot of press coverage and it was something he did and did well on the college level. He’s respected as a team leader and has a high character.

Deficient – Lean body and he lacks strength, doesn’t provide much of an impediment for receivers getting off the line of scrimmage. With just 7 reps on the bench press, he was the weakest player at the NFL Combine who lifted. He’s got average speed and quickness and thus his recovery skills are average.

Analysis – Physically, Minnifield is a Cover 2 corner. Mentally, he could probably play all defensive positions. He’s a student of the game and puts in a lot of tape study already, so he’s halfway down the road for surviving in the NFL. His senior season did not live up to expectations, so that dropped him down the board for some teams.

What the scouts said about Chase Minnifield

An AFC scout said – “Good kid who works hard at the game, but doesn’t have the physical skills to be an all-purpose corner. He’ll have to play in a Cover 2 scheme because he lacks the kind of quickness and burst he would need to play on the island in man-to-man.”

What Chase Minnifield said

“My dad pretty much taught me everything I know about the game. He was a walk-on guy who turned into a four-time Pro Bowler, so he’s a big-time hard-work guy. He’s a true inspiration. My goal in life is to be better than my dad. Everybody tells me I won’t be. But it’s a good fuel.”

“Football is what I’ve grown around; I don’t ever get tired of it. It’s ingrained in my life. I couldn’t even see myself doing anything else.”

“I don’t try to play like my dad. I’m more of a finesse player, and I can’t play exactly like he played. But as far as being an in-your-face kind of corner – yes, I try to emulate that. It’s just a mindset that you’re gonna put your face in there. I’m not the biggest corner or the strongest corner, but I’m not afraid of any contact. I’m a big believer in ‘you’re gonna get out what you put in. That’s what my dad passed down to me.”

What others said about Chase Minnifield

“It’s not just you take the best guy and you guard him, but also the guy that can be depended upon versus the run and the run fits. He’s relished the role of being the guy that whoever the best receiver is ‘Put me over there. I’ll guard him.’ Also he takes great pride in being the guy that can come off the edge and make sacks, make tackles, and get involved in the running game.” Virginia head coach Mike London.

“Chase really had a different attitude and a different approach to this season. He watches tape all the time. A lot of times he’s the only guy over there. . . . He’s finally coming into his own, and sometimes with DBs it takes a while.” Virginia DBs coach Anthony Poindexter.

Does Chase Minnifield fit with the Chiefs?

In the right situation, the right slot in the draft, yes he would fit with the Chiefs. Minnifield’s dedication to studying the game is something that a lot of players coming out of college do not have, or have not yet learned is important. His background with his father has him advanced mentally and that allows him to make up for some physical deficits, especially in strength. Smart, dedicated, driven – why wouldn’t the Chiefs want him? However, it’s unlikely he’s the type of player they will seek out.

NFL Players Participate in Charity Poker

The game of poker is usually thought of as a game played by individuals whose only purpose is to win money from others. The game is also used by some in order to raise money for the community through charity poker events. Celebrities, music stars, as well as athletes come out in force for these events. Among the athletes that you will usually see play at the events are NFL stars, at least when the league doesn’t forbid them to play.

Last March, several New York Jets players turned out for the 3rd Annual NYC Celebrity Poker Tournament that benefited the Mt. Sinai Children’s Hospital and the Ride 2 Recovery. Drew Coleman, Tanner Purdum and Marquice Cole were among the players that helped raise $20,000 for charity. …Read More!

A Screwed Up Socialism . . . Thursday Cup O’Chiefs

The NFL owners rolled out of their ocean side enclave on Wednesday in Florida, suitcases packed tightly with all those monogrammed robes and pool towels from The Breakers.

One of the biggest stories of the week and the 2012 season so far has been the continuing drama surrounding the penalties handed down to the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys for salary cap violations during the 2010 season. That was the so-called uncapped year, the final season of the previous labor agreement.

The league owners on Monday reaffirmed the league’s decision to penalize the Redskins and Cowboys some $46 million in salary cap space over the next two seasons. Washington was docked $36 million, with Dallas slapped with a $10 million reduction. A vote of 29-2 backing the decision (with one abstention) will force the two teams to take their appeal of the penalty to arbitration.

There are several sides to this story and some murky waters that speak to the possibility of collusion and the real power of the NFL Players Association. If anybody should be screaming bloody murder on this deal it’s the players union, yet they’ve signed off on the fines.

(See how the Chiefs figure into this story … after the jump.) …Read More!

Top 100 Prospects – DE Chandler Jones

Whether it was in Rochester, New York where he was born, or Endicott, New York where he grew up, Chandler Jones always had someone watching over him.

There were his parents Camille and Pastor Arthur Jones Jr. and all the worshipers in his father’s church. There was oldest brother Arthur III, who grew big and strong and is now in the NFL with the Baltimore Ravens. There was his older brother Jonathan, otherwise known to the world as Jon “Bones” Jones, the UFC light-heavyweight champion of the world in mixed-martial arts.

Is it any wonder that there have been very few missteps in Chandler Jones life? The Pastor and his wife were very strict in how they brought up their three sons.

“My parents always kept us in the house,” said Jon Jones. “We weren’t allowed to spend the night at other people’s houses. We were sheltered kids. Now all the discipline that was instilled is coming out; I’m naturally doing all the right things. So are my brothers.”

Here’s more of the Chandler Jones story.

Draft Profile – DE Chandler Jones


CHANDLER JONES/DEFENSIVE END

Personal

Chandler James Jones

Born – February 27,  1990 in Rochester, New York.

Family – Parents are Camille and Arthur Jones Jr. Dad is the pastor of the Mt. Sinai Church of God in Christ in Endicott, New York. The Jones have three sons: Arthur III is currently on the roster of the Baltimore Ravens after playing college ball at Syracuse. Jonathan, otherwise known as Jon “Bones” Jones is the UFC world light-heavyweight champion. Chandler was not the baby of the family. His sister Carmen passed away from brain cancer just three years ago when she was 17 years old.

Physical

  • Height – 6-feet, 5 3/8 inches.
  • Weight – 266 pounds
  • Arm – 35½ inches
  • Hand – 9¾ inches.
  • Wing span – 85¾ inches.

NFL Scouting Combine

  • 40-yard dash – 4.83 seconds.
  • Bench press – 22 reps at 225 pounds.
  • Vertical Jump – 35 inches.
  • Broad jump – 10-feet.
  • 3-cone drill – 7.07 seconds.
  • 20-yard shuttle – 4.39 seconds.

Hometown

Jones grew up in Endicott, a village in Broome County, New York with a population of 13,392. The town is just west of Binghamton. The towns are in south-central New York, just a few miles from the Pennsylvania border. It was in Endicott where IBM was formed and started in 1924. It would go on to become one of the biggest companies in the world. It’s also the home of the Endicott Johnson Corporation that makes shoes. Famous folks from Endicott are the Twilight Zone’s Rod Serling, former baseball umpire Ron Luciana and comedian Amy Sedaris.

High School

He was a graduate of Union-Endicott High School, part of the Union-Endicott Central School District. There are 1,324 students in grades nine through 12. Jones played for head coach Shane Hurd and during his time with the varsity, the Tigers won three consecutive Section 4 championships.

2007 – Jones was named all-state Class AA first-team defense with his senior year performance – 75 tackles, 7 sacks, 3 forced fumbles and 2 fumbles recovered. As a tight end, he caught 16 passes for 279 yards.

2006 – Earned first team All-Metro honors on defense in his junior season, playing defensive end and finishing with 12 sacks.

Recruiting

Scout.com listed Jones as the No. 8 prospect in the state of New York. Rivals.com ranked him as a 2-star prospect. Buffalo, UConn, Michigan and Syracuse showed the most interest in Jones coming out of high school. He was quick to hook up with the Orangemen, committing on October 29, 2007.

College

At Syracuse, Jones majored in child and family studies. He played in 32 games over four years.

2011 – All-Big East Conference first-team selection, starting all seven games that he played. He suffered a knee injury in the season opener against Wake Forest and missed the next five games. Against UConn he had 6 tackles, a sack and he forced two fumbles. Against West Virginia he had a pair of sacks. Against Pitt he picked up his first career interception, that he returned 32 yards.

2010 – All-Big East second-team choice, Jones started all 13 games for the Orange. He had 4 sacks and 3 forced fumbles over the season to go with his 57 tackles.

2009 – Jones played in 12 games, with seven starts. He picked up his first sack against Northwestern and he had 10 tackles against Louisville, a career high.

2008 – Redshirt season and Jones did not play in any games.

Year

G/S

Tkl

TFL

SK

QH

INT

PBU

FF

RF

Rec

2011

7/7

38

7.5

4.5

3

1

2

2

0

5-7

2010

13/13

57

9.5

4

5

0

4

3

1

8-5*

2009

12/7

52

10.5

2

1

0

0

0

0

4-8

2008

Red

Shirt

x

X

X

x

X

x

x

x

Total

32/27

147

27.5

10.5

9

1

6

5

1

17-20

*-(2010) Pinstripe Bowl.

Video

Jones vs. West Virginia in 2011 — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhrBNt85BZc&feature=related

(Jones is playing DE and wearing No. 99.)

Jones vs. Pitt in 2011 — http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ftx60vRJyYg

Evaluation

Strengths – Athletic player who looks the part. He has long arms and he uses those to his advantage in creating leverage and locking out blockers. He’s quick and athletic enough to drop into coverage. He plays with good instincts and seldom gets caught out of position. He plays hard and fast and goes sideline to sideline. Jones does not have the speed and quickness to always make the play, but he runs down a lot of ball carriers from behind, dragging them down with those long arms.

Deficient – He has room on his body for more muscle and he needs to add some. At the point of attack, he doesn’t always have the strength, especially in his lower body to hold his end. He’s not quick off the ball and he’s an average pass rusher who needs to work on his fundamentals and moves. Jones has all the ingredients to be able to rush the passer; it’s just not something he’s proven very successful doing during his Syracuse career.

Analysis – Add a good 25 pounds to his athletic frame and Jones will be the ideal defensive end in the 3-4. He remains a very raw product, but the athletic skills and intangibles are there. Coming from his family background, he’s had no black marks of any fashion in school, on the streets or at home. He’s smart, tough-minded and a hard worker.

What the scouts say about Chandler Jones

An NFC scout said – “He’s an intriguing prospect. He’s got the physical skills to play in the league, although he’s not one of those great athlete types. He had 10 sacks in 32 games and that’s really not very impressive for a guy with his obvious abilities. His background and intangibles are impeccable and he should be a better player than his brother. The question will be him finding the right place, whether it’s a 4-3 end, or even tackle, or a 3-4 defensive end.

What Chandler Jones said

“People say I’ve got competition, or I’ve got big shoes to fill because my brothers are both pro athletes and I’m not, yet. I turn it into a joke and say ‘well, we all wear size 15′.”

What they are saying about Chandler Jones

“He’s got everything; size, he’s got those hands, that burst in his hips that you can’t teach and when he hits you, he hits you.” Union-Endicott High head coach Shane Hurd.

Does Chandler Jones fit with the Chiefs?

He could, although he would largely be a developmental selection and that’s certainly not something the Chiefs need to add to the defensive line with last year’s addition of DE Allen Bailey. Great personality and very good bloodlines, as a man, he would be great on the K.C. roster. As a player, there’s some dispute.

Owners Wrap Up Meeting With Rules Changes

The NFL big wigs wrapped up their annual March meeting on Wednesday at the plus Breakers resort in Palm Beach, Florida. They checked out ($50 for a can of nuts in the mini-bar!) and then went into a voting session where they pass, failed and tabled various changes to the game rules or league by-laws.

The biggest change that was voted in came with the overtime regulations. The rules that were instituted in the playoffs are now good for the regular season as well. If the team that gets the ball first drives down and kicks a field goal, the opposing team will get a possession where they can win or tie the game.

Another change that was voted in came on instant replay, where replay officials will review all turnovers and end zone plays, just as they did in 2011 for touchdowns.

One thing the owners did not do is alter the power position in the instant-replay process. The Buffalo Bills had suggested a change that would make the replay official in the upstairs booth the final authority on challenges and questions from replay, not the referee on the field. The Bills believed having the replay guy handle all decisions would streamline the procedure and speed things up.

But the teams voted against this idea and replay will remain as it has been – the on-field referee still has the ultimate authority on replay decisions.

Here are the other issues that were passed, declined of tabled: …Read More!

Top 100 Prospects – RB LaMichael James

He’s one of the smallest players in the class for the 2012 NFL Draft. But he has one of the biggest stories.

The story of 5-8 LaMichael James and his upbringing makes for a remarkable story of resiliency. He’s a young man who was born into nothing, unwanted by his mother, he never met his father. Not only did he survive those painful chapters of a young life, he ended up thriving and not just on the playing fields of East Texas.

He still pines for the missing person from his life, the grandmother who raised him until she died from cancer when he was still a junior in high school. After her death, he stayed in his grandmother’s house alone until he went off to Oregon the next year.

“It seemed like everything was kind of surreal,” James remembered of that time. “I never really accepted it. Even to this day. I still haven’t accepted that whole situation.” The Texas running back that overcame a tough start to life and now sits on the cusp of the NFL, here’s his story.

Top 100 Prospects – G Kevin Zeitler

He’s from Wisconsin, and he’s big.

That means Kevin Zeitler is an offensive lineman, a guard in particular, and he’s one of two Wisconsin blockers that could be part of the early rounds of the 2012 NFL Draft.

The Badgers have been producing NFL linemen for years, but last year was a big haul, as three were selected. Since the 2000 NFL Draft, there have been 12 offensive linemen taken with college roots with the Badgers.

This year it’s C Peter Konz and Zeitler, one of the higher rated guards in this ’12 draft class. At a position group know for a work ethic that never quits among the best players, Zeitler is one of a kind in Madison. He works so much and with a quiet personality, his teammates have taken to calling him a “robot.”

Even at a position known for guys with unyielding work ethics, Zeitler is in a world of his own. Few players put in more time after practice, watch more film or are more critical of their play. Zeitler works so tirelessly and has such a reserved personality his teammates jokingly refer to him as a robot. But he can play and here’s his story.

 

Draft Profile – RB LaMichael James


LAMICHAEL JAMES/RUNNING BACK

Personal

LaMichael Keondrae James

Born – October 22, 1989, in New Boston, Texas.

Family – Parents were Rosemary James and Herbert Blacksher. His father was 32 when he was killed in 1989, several months before LaMichael was born. His mother Rosemary has been in and out of his life since she gave him up to her mother to raise at the age of two months. He was raised by his maternal grandmother, Betty James. She passed away from cervical cancer when he was a junior in high school. He has one sister, Tasha Galloway.

Physical

  • Height – 5-feet, 8 inches.
  • Weight – 194 pounds.
  • Arm – 30¼ inches.
  • Hand – 9 inches.
  • Wing span – 71¼ inches.

NFL Scouting Combine

  • 40-yard dash – 4.4 seconds.
  • Bench press – 15 reps at 225 pounds.
  • Vertical jump – 35 inches.
  • Broad jump – 10-feet, 3 inches.
  • 3-cone drill – 6.89 seconds.
  • 20-yard shuttle – 4.14 seconds.

Hometown

James grew up in Texarkana, Texas, located in Bowie County on the state line with Arkansas. Much like Kansas City, Texarkana is really two cities, one in Texas, one in Arkansas. Population overall is around 143,000 according to the last U.S. Census. The Red River Army Depot is the top employer with over 7,000 employees. Athletes like linebacker Jeremiah Trotter, golfer Miller Barber, race car driver Parnelli Jones, baseball Hall of Famer Eddie Matthews, Chiefs cornerback Eric Warfield, wide receiver Rod Smith and cornerback Nathan Vasher called Texarkana home.

High School

James attended Liberty-Eylau High School, the smallest of three high schools in Texarkana with an enrollment of approximately 700 students. He was part of the school’s state championship football team in 2006. In the winter and then spring of 2008, he transferred to Arkansas High School across the state line in Texarkana, Arkansas. While he qualified under NCAA academic rules, James was having trouble passing the mandatory Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test; a passing grade is required to receive a high school diploma in Texas.

At Liberty-Eylau, James participated in basketball and track. He won a state title in 2006 in the 100 meters with a time of 10.51 seconds.

Football – Playing for coach Pat Brady, James scored 53 touchdowns and ran for 4,273 yards over his career.

2007 – James carried the ball 230 times for 2,043 yards and 24 touchdowns in his senior season as the Leopards finished 5-6.

2006 – With James the key to the offense, LEHS won the Texas Class 3-A, Division 1 championship with a 35-34 victory over Robinson High School. The Leopards finished 12-3 as James ran 229 times for 1,587 yards and 16 TDs. He also caught 33 passes for 500 yards and 3 scoring catches.

2005 – As a sophomore, James ran 76 times for 643 yards and 10 TDs as Liberty-Eylau finished 11-3 on the season.

Recruiting

Rivals.com listed him as a 4-star prospect, the No. 12 RB in the nation and the No. 39 recruit in Texas. Scout.com rated him a 3-star player, and the No. 40 RB in the country.

Arkansas, Baylor, Houston, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Missouri, Nebraska and Tulsa all offered scholarships, but it came down to a choice between Oregon and TCU. He committed to the Ducks in January 2008.

College

James was the first Oregon player to be named consensus All-America in consecutive seasons. After spending his first season at Oregon on the sidelines with a redshirt seasons, James overcame home sickness to become one of the most prolific offensive performers in school history. In 37 games, he ran for 5,082 yards and 53 touchdowns, along with 51 catches for 586 yards and four TDs. James added a punt return TD as well. He earned numerous Pac-10 and Pac-12 Conference honors, finished third in balloting for the Heisman Trophy (2010) and won the Doak Walker Award (2010) as the nation’s No. 1 running back.

2011 – James ran for a career high 1,805 yards and 18 TDs. He led the country in rushing during the regular season, averaging just under 150 yards per game. He became the first conference RB to run for 200 yards or more in three straight games since Marcus Allen did it for USC in 1981. Against Arizona he put up a school record 363 all-purpose yards. He missed two games with a dislocated elbow.

2010 – In 12 games, James ran for 1,731 yards and 21 TDs. He also caught three TD passes. In the BCS Championship game against Auburn, he scored a pair of touchdowns on catches while producing 88 yards in total offense as the Ducks fell to Cam Newton and the Tigers for the national championship.

2009 – In his rookie season starter LeGarrette Blount was suspended after the opening game and that gave James his chance to play. He finished with 1,546 rushing yards and 14 TDs, both freshman rushing records for Oregon and the conference.

2008 – Redshirt season. “It was the best thing to happen to me,” James said of the redshirt decision. “I wasn’t strong enough, physically or mentally.”

Year G/S Att

Yds

Avg

TD

Rec

Yds

TD

Rec

2011 12/11 247

1,805

7.3

18

17

210

1

12-2*

2010 12/12 294

1,731

5.9

21

17

208

3

12-1*

2009 13/11 230

1,546

6.7

14

17

168

0

10-3*

2008 Red Shirt

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

Total 37/34 771

5,082

6.6

53

51

586

4

34-6

13 punt returns for 133 yards and a TD; 3 kickoff returns for 64 yards. *- (2011) Rose Bowl; (2010) BCS Championship Game; (2009) Rose Bowl.

Video

James career highlights 2009-11 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQQbLCd6B40

More highlights from 2011 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXCjoslsld0&feature=related

JURISPRUDENCE

November 2010 – James use of a 2003 Range Rover was investigated by the NCAA. Turned out he borrowed the car from a friend. He was cleared of any possible infractions.

February 2010 – James was arrested on charges of domestic violence. The incident involved the woman he had been seeing for some time, after she found there was another woman staying at James’ apartment. That led to a physical altercation in the apartment complex parking lot. He was hit with five misdemeanor charges involving one count of strangulation, two counts of assault in the fourth degree and two charges of physical harassment. He was held in the Lane County Jail in Eugene until he was released on $100,000 bail. He was required to wear an electronic surveillance ankle bracelet as part of his release agreement. In March, he pleaded guilty to a physical harassment charge and was given 24 months of probation. That decision drew a suspension for Oregon’s 2010 season opener.

June 2008 – Arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and third-degree battery in Texarkana, stemming from an incident involving rival high schools. The charges were dismissed in July 2009.

Evaluation

Strengths – A born running back, out of the Texas RB mold, with great vision, remarkable cutting ability, elusiveness, both lateral and north and south speed and quickness. Great instincts and shows very good balance, able to stay on his feet even when there’s contact. He’s a patient runner, who will allow the blocks to set up a path for him. James is especially good at “getting skinny” as they say in football, when he has to crash small cracks in the blocking front. He wasn’t asked to block much and he doesn’t shy away from the job, but doesn’t bring much power to the event.

Deficient – His thin frame makes him liable to get smacked and knocked out on any play. Questions about durability will always follow him. Struggles when it comes to blocking and he has 12 career fumbles, so that’s obviously a problem. There are questions about his character off the field, as he’s had various problems. But given his background, it’s probably remarkable that he’s gotten this far.

Analysis – Over 16 games, his touches will have to be controlled and monitored because he’s not going to be able to withstand the NFL pounding. He did very little in the way of returns, and that’s one area where he could make a big mark in the NFL. James allows the ball to hit the ground too many times and coaches are not going to put up with that very long.

What the scouts say about LaMichael James

An AFC scout said – “What a burst, what great vision and cutting ability he has on the field. I just wonder how long he can put up with the pounding. As a third down back, or a change of pace, he’ll have success.”

An NFC scout said – “He didn’t return kicks and punts and I’m anxious to see if he can handle those duties. If he can, he’ll have an impact. If not, he’ll flame out pretty quick.”

What LaMichael James said

“I’m doing my best to be a role model and a good citizen. I want to have that pressure and it makes me feel good to have people look up to me.”

“The awards are nice, but don’t really matter to me. Individual rewards are just not important. I’ll take wins over awards all the time.”

“You’re in a fish bowl. Either you’re at the top and everybody’s is waiting for you to fall, or you’re at the bottom and everybody’s waiting for you to screw up.”

What they said about LaMichael James

“He’s as good as anybody in the country. He’s fast, he’s got great vision, but he’s got great patience, which some guys with his kind of speed don’t necessarily have.”
Wisconsin defensive coordinator Charlie Partridge.

“He’s just a raw talent man. I mean, this man goes from zero to 100 just like that.” Auburn DT Jeff Whitaker.

“When you watch the end zone copies of tape, you don’t even see a crease and then all of a sudden he squirts through there and goes 80 yards. You say ‘How did he get through there?’ He keeps himself alive and kind of bounces down the line of scrimmage looking for a crease and one he sees the crease he’s got the jets to hit a home run.” Auburn defensive coordinator Ted Roof.

Does LaMichael James fit with the Chiefs?

Not likely. They’ve got their share of smaller backs in Dexter McCluster and Javier Arenas as a returner. McCluster is not the running back that James is, certainly not based on production at the college level. Questions about his maturity level and some events in his past would make him an unlikely addition to a Pioli roster.

Draft Profile – G Kevin Zeitler


KEVIN ZEITLER/GUARD

Personal

Kevin Zeitler (ZITE-ler)

Born – March 8, 1990 in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Family – Parents are Susan and William Zeitler. He has two younger brothers Eric and Matt. Eric is an offensive lineman at Wisconsin Lutheran College, while Matt is an offensive lineman at Wisconsin Lutheran High School.

Physical

  • Height – 6-feet, 3 7/8 inches.
  • Weight – 314 pounds.
  • Arm – 32¾ inches.
  • Hand – 10¼ inches.
  • Wing span – 80½ inches.

NFL Scouting Combine

  • 40-yard dash – 5.39 seconds.
  • Bench press – 32 reps at 225 pounds.
  • Vertical jump – 29 inches.
  • Broad jump – 8-feet, 5 inches.
  • 20-yard shuttle – 4.61 seconds.

Hometown

He grew up in Waukesha is the country seat of Waukesha County, Wisconsin, located in the far southeastern corner of the state. The 2010 U.S. Census placed the population of Waukesha at 70,718. The name comes from the leader of the local tribe of Potawatomi Indians who lived in the area at the time Europeans first settled the area in 1896. Waukesha holds an important first in football history that went down on September 5, 1906 during a game between Carroll College and St. Louis University. SLU RB Bradbury Robinson threw the first legal forward pass in football history in that game, stunning his opponents and the crowd as SLU passed to a 22-0 victory. Some of the Waukesha natives include guitar pioneer Les Paul, classic rocker Steve Miller, comedian Frank Caliendo and Donald Goerke, the inventor of SpaghettiOs.

High School

Zeitler was part of the graduating class of 2008 at Wisconsin Lutheran High School in that’s located in Milwaukee. He won three letters in football, two letters in wrestling and one in track and field. Off the field he was a member of the National Honor Society. He finished his high school career with a 3.85 grade point average and he scored a 24 on the ACT.

Playing for Vikings head coach Kirk DeNoyer, Zeitler was part of three state Division 3 championship teams.

2007 – Another state championship for WLHS, and Zeitler was named first team all-state, all-area, all-region and all-conference, as well as being named the Little 10 Conference lineman of the year.

2006 – The Vikings went 8-3 on the season, and Zeitler earned first-team all-conference and first-team all-region, with second-team all-area in his junior season.

2005 – Zeitler got his first starting time of note, as WLHS went 13-1 and won the Division 3 state championship with a title game 55-3 victory over Mosinee High School.

2004 – As a true freshman, he saw limited playing time as the Vikings went 14-0 and won the Division 3 state championship. They outscored their opponents 556-99.

Recruiting

Rivals.com ranked him as the No. 3 player in the state and No. 39 offensive lineman in the nation. Scout.com had him as the state’s No. 4 player and the No. 22 blocker in the country.

At first the interest in him came from Air Force and Army, but after appearing at a Nike Combine at Purdue University, offers started rolling in from most of the Big Ten Conference expressed interest in Zeitler, along with Miami of Florida and Northern Illinois. He committed to the Badgers on June 27, 2007.

College

Zeitler majored in kinesiology at the University of Wisconsin, where he earned several nominations to the All-Big Ten Academic team. He played in 43 games and made 36 starts at right guard for the Badgers and head coach Bret Bielema. He did not allow a sack in his Wisconsin career.

2011 – Associated Press first-team All-America and consensus first-team All-Big 10 Conference. He started all 14 games at right guard. The Badgers finished 11-3 and won the Big Ten Conference title before losing in the Rose Bowl.

2010 – In a Big Ten Conference championship season where Wisconsin went 11-2, he played in 13 games and started nine times at right guard. He missed starts in the first four games of the season because of a high ankle sprain. The Badgers lost in the Rose Bowl.

2009 – Zeitler started all 13 games at right guard for a 10-3 team that finished the season at the Champs Sports Bowl.

2008 – He played in 3 games along the offensive line as a true freshman for a Wisconsin team that went 7-6 and played in the Champs Sports Bowl.

Video

Zeitler against Nebraska and Penn State — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phahBI8uxKw

(He’s No. 70 at right guard.)

Highlights of RB Montee Ball from 2011 — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jiBNpAjpNI

Evaluation

Strengths – Zeitler is a good athlete who plays the guard position at a level where that ability can be seen. He’s technically sound and very seldom gets off-balance. He’s strong and once he latches on to a defender, he seldom releases and can control them. Big and strong, with a work ethic that few can match; teammates make fun of him because he’s so hard on himself in evaluating his performances. A coach will give Zeitler an A grade, but he’ll give himself a C grade.

Deficient – Not real smooth on the run, or when pulling. In space he tends to reach and grab, making it difficult for him to retain his balance and make good contact. He has a history of ankle injuries. He also tends to grab and hold.

Analysis – Intelligent and hard working, Zeitler can control a defensive player when he gets his hands on him. If he’s got to go seek him, then things don’t work as well. Tape shows he has trouble handling very quick defenders. He’s made gradual improvement from sophomore to junior and then from junior to senior seasons. If that trend continues, he’ll have a nice career in the NFL.

What the scouts said

An AFC scout said – “He’s another one of those Wisconsin linemen. I mean every year it seems like they churn out one or two guys up front. Zeitler is a guard and might be able to play center, but he’s not a tackle. I like what I see when he moves, as far as sweeps, traps and pulls, but he can be inconsistent when on the move. Intangibles are without question.”

What others said about Kevin Zeitler

“He’s a pretty big kid and he’s real strong, really developed for his age. He’s a great weight-room guy. He built himself through the weight room. He is so determined. I just think his potential is unlimited. He’s got the frame. He’s also got the work ethic and determination to go along with it.” WLHS head coach Kirk DeNoyer.

“Nothing is given to him. He earned everything and it’s great to see him rewarded for what he’s done. He’s put so much time into it.” Wisconsin teammate C Peter Konz

Does Kevin Zeitler fit with the Chiefs?

He does, although not at the level where he’s likely to be drafted. Zeitler would be a fourth or fifth round consideration for the Chiefs, but he figures to go before that. There’s no question he would raise the level of performance for the Chiefs offensive line.

Top 100 Prospects – LB Ronnell Lewis

Few potential draft choices hail from a high school smaller than Ronnell Lewis.

The University of Oklahoma defensive end/linebacker comes out of Dewar, Oklahoma, a little town just off Interstate 40 in the eastern part of the state, due south of Tulsa. The town has less than 1,000 residents and Dewar High School has 126 students in grades nine through 12.

The Dewar Dragons played eight-man football until Lewis’ senior year when they moved up in class to the full 11-man game. Lewis had great success at both levels.

“In eight-man, I played free safety and the game was just a little bit faster,” Lewis said. “Transitioning from free safety to linebacker in 11-man was just more downhill, shedding my blocks and everything. It wasn’t an incredibly tough transition.”

Here’s the rest of the Ronnell Lewis story.

Draft Profile – OLB Ronnell Lewis


RONNELL LEWIS/LINEBACKER

Personal

Ronnell Lewis

Born – September 17, 1990, in Dewar, Oklahoma.

Family – Father is Norvell, mother has not been in his life. He’s one of eight children (five sisters and two brothers). He also has a son of his own that lives in Dewar.

Physical

  • Height – 6-feet, 1¾ inches.
  • Weight – 253 pounds.
  • Arm – 32½ inches.
  • Hand – 9¼ inches.
  • Wing span – 78 5/8 inches.

NFL Scouting Combine

  • 40-yard dash – 4.67 seconds.
  • Bench press – 36 reps at 225 pounds.
  • Vertical jump – 31 inches.
  • Broad jump – 9-feet, 4 inches.
  • 3-cone drill – 7.09 seconds.
  • 20-yard shuttle –4.41 seconds.

Hometown

Lewis grew up in Dewar, Oklahoma, a town of less than 1,000 people in Okmujlgee County in the east-central part of the state. The town originated as a train depot and was not a town until 1909 when the site was established by railroad workers. In the past the town was a center for railroad, coal and the petroleum industries, which have all abandoned the town. As of the last census, Dewar had 7 businesses and 919 citizens. Lewis is believed to be the first resident of Okmulgee Country to play Division 1 college football.

High School

A member of the 2009 graduation class at Dewar High School, the Dragons played 8-man football for most of Lewis’ high school career. Dewar moved to 11-man football in Lewis senior year, after he’d already drawn the attention of the University of Oklahoma. Lewis played with the varsity as a freshman, scoring 23 touchdowns in that first season as a 14-year old.

2008 – Unanimous first-team all-state on both offense and defense and selected to participate in the Under-Armor All-Star Game. He ran 150 times for 2,219 yards and 33 touchdowns on offense and added 156 tackles and 11 interceptions on defense.

2007 – Lewis ran for 2,258 yards on 158 carries and 45 touchdowns on the season, and added 13 interceptions as Dewar lost in the Class B state championship game.

Recruiting

Rivals.com ranked him as a 4-star prospect and the No. 2 player in Oklahoma and the No. 4 linebacker in the country. Scout.com had him rated the No. 2 strong-side linebacker in the country and the No. 41 prospect in the country.

He committed to the Sooners on February 6, 2008. It went down like this. He attended a junior’s day in Norman on a Saturday. By Tuesday afternoon he was on the phone with head coach Bob Stoops who offered him a scholarship.

College

Lewis landed at the University of Oklahoma and Bob Stoops program and had three seasons where he battled several knee injuries and academic problems. But in his time, he developed the nickname of “The Hammer” for his hard-hitting.

2011 – Named first-team All-Big 12 Conference defense. Lewis finished sixth on the defense with 59 tackles, including 5.5 sacks. Played a defensive end position rather than the hybrid spot he played the year before. He suffered a sprained MCL in his left knee against Baylor and missed several weeks. When he returned, he had to play wearing a knee brace. Lewis was suspended for academic reasons and missed the Sun Bowl.

2010 – Lewis was moved into a hybrid DE/LB position and started the final 4 games of the season. He had 4 sacks on the season and returned his first INT 12 yards for a touchdown against Baylor. He had minor knee surgery that cost him two games and he suffered a neck injury in the Fiesta Bowl.

2009 – He enrolled in the spring of ’09 and was able to participate in spring football. He saw most of his action as freshman on special teams where he tied for the team lead in tackles in the kicking game, along with recovering a fumble on the kick coverage unit against A&M. He started in the Sun Bowl against Stanford and had 6 tackles and a forced fumble. Lewis was credited with a safety when he sacked the QB in the end zone against Idaho State. He played out of the strong-side LB position.

Year

G/S

Tkl

TFL

Sk

QBH

INT

PBU

FF

RF

Rec.

2011

10/9

60

13

5.5

4

1

4

1

1

10-3*
2010

12/4

36

4.5

3

2

1

3

0

1

12-2*

2009

13/1

22

2.5

1

0

0

1

2

1

8-5*

Total

34/14

119

20.5

10

6

2

9

3

3

30-10

*-(2011) Insight Bowl; (2010) Fiesta Bowl; (2009) Sun Bowl.

Video

Lewis highlights on defense and special teams – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DS5coCK-qCg

Evaluation

Strength – Very athletic, quick and he packs a punch. With his closing speed and burst, he makes highlight reel tackles during every game. He’s got very quick hands and seems to be able to deal well with blockers. Reliable tackler, with strong hands, he’s naturally powerful and aggressive. There’s never any question about his desire, as he gives 100 percent on every play. That’s when he can be seen running from sideline-to-sideline.

Deficient – Undisciplined in his play, where he shows his lack of experience in 11-man football. He’s too easily faked out of position and despite his athletic ability, his production with the Sooners defense did not match up. Needs to work on his pass rush, where his moves are limited. Maturity issues involved as he was suspended for the bowl game due to poor grades, struggling with academics throughout his time in Norman.

Analysis – Very raw football player that wouldn’t be worth the trouble if he wasn’t such an outstanding athlete. Physically, he can do things that a coach can’t teach him, but oft times those tremendous skills are negated by his lack of feel, knowledge or instincts for the game. He’s going to need to put in more time if he wants to stay in the league and be anything more than a guy who runs down under kicks. He’s a tweener physically and positional in the league, not quite fitting at DE or OLB.

What the scouts say

An NFC scout said – “He’s a hitter and when he gets to the right place at the right time, he hurts people with a simple lick. I think he needs to work on tackling with his head up, or he’ll be fined every week in the NFL. I’m not sure what position he plays, but this guy should be sensational on special teams.”

What Ronnell Lewis said

“I tell them I can go either way (DE or OLB), but I like standing up. I like seeing offenses, seeing into the backfield and stuff like that. But if I played with my hand on the ground, it really wouldn’t matter.”

What others said about Ronnell Lewis

“A very tough, physical, hard-playing guy that really set a standard for toughness in how he played the special teams game and defense. So we’re proud of him and excited for his future.” Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops.

“He’s a very physical player with a natural knack for unloading his hips. He can run through a ball carrier. It’s something that’s not really taught. It’s just something he kind of has.” Dewar High School head coach Josh Been.

“When I think about Ronnell, I think about goals. He’ll always set goals and do whatever he can to attain them. You hear about those success stories, and that’s why they’re success stories, because they do those things that others won’t do. Whatever he puts his mind to he’s going to be able to do.” Dewar High School defensive coordinator Josh Kilhoffer.

Does Ronnell Lewis fit with the Chiefs?

A player with his type of explosive potential will get consideration from every team in the league. There will be questions from some on his maturity, his unwillingness to keep his grades up to speed, plus his family situation with his own child. What teams wonder is whether he’ll dive into football, or be distracted. It’s doubtful the Chiefs have much interest.

Romeo Speaks At The Beach

Part of the schedule every March at the NFL Owners Meetings is breakfast sessions between the media and the head coaches. The AFC coaches went Tuesday morning in Palm Beach, Florida, including Chiefs head man Romeo Crennel.

Here are some bits and pieces from the head coach’s breakfast plate:

JAMAAL CHARLES AND HIS REHAB FROM KNEE SURGERY: “Jamaal came in for a check-up and he stopped by the office and I had a chance to talk to him and he was saying that his knee is doing good. He is running straight ahead, so he is making good progress. The trainer says he is on schedule, his rehab people say he is on schedule, so we’re excited about that news. Now, with that being said, you always have to wait until you get them on the field to see how they really do, but it’s optimistic right now.”

EXPECTATIONS FOR MATT CASSEL: …Read More!

NFL Sets Draft Order For April

2012 NFL Draft order for those scoring at home.

The NFL on Tuesday released the order of selection for this year’s NFL Draft in April.

There are 253 choices in rounds one through seven. That’s 32 selections in seven rounds, plus 32 compensatory picks as decided by the league – 32 x 7 = 224 + 32 = 256.

Three choices are out of the draft. Oakland used their third-round selection in the Supplemental Draft to select QB Terrell Pryor. That ended up being the 15th choice of the third round. New Orleans forfeited their second-round choice as discipline from the league for the bounty scandal. That would have been the 59th choice. In the tampering case involving the Chiefs and Lions, Detroit lost their selection in the sixth round, the 22nd pick.

Green Bay has a dozen draft choices. Cleveland and Minnesota have 10 picks and Philadelphia has 9. New England has the most value choices, with five of the first 93 picks (No. 27, 31, 48, 62 and 93.) The Browns also have five high value choices in the first 100 selections (No. 4, 22, 37, 67 and 100.)

On the other end of the spectrum, New Orleans does not get to make a selection until No. 89 in the third round. The Saints traded their first-round choice and lost their second rounder as discipline by the Commissioner. Oakland does not get to select until No. 95, the final choice of the third round that they received as a compensatory choice.

The Chiefs have eight selections in all and three of the top 74 choices. Throughout the draft, they alternate between the 11th and 12th choices with Seattle. They also have New England’s seventh-round selection that came to them in the trade in 2010 of S Jarrad Page.

Here are the Chiefs picks and the last player they selected at that spot in previous NFL Drafts:

 

Rnd

 

Pick #

Last Draft

at that spot

 

Player Selected, College

Games

Played

1

11

1982

WR Anthony Hancock, Tennessee

59

2

44

1964

RB Joe Don Looney, Oklahoma

0

3

74

1993

G Will Shields, Nebraska

224

4

107

2002

RB Omar Easy, Penn State

37

5

146

1984

WR Rufus Stevens, Grambling

0

6

182

2008

WR Kevin Robinson, Utah State

8

7

218

1991

OT Tom Dohring, Michigan

3

7

238

2005

OT Jeremy Parquet, So. Mississippi

0

 

Draft Profile – CB Trumaine Johnson


TRUMAINE JOHNSON/CORNERBACK

Personal

Trumaine Johnson

Born – January 1, 1990, in Stockton, California

Family – Parents are Lynn Stallworth and Curtis Johnson. Trumaine is the fifth of seven children in the family.

Physical

  • Height – 6-feet, 2 inches.
  • Weight – 204 pounds.
  • Arm – 33¼ inches.
  • Hand – 9 3/8 inches.
  • Wing span – 79 inches.

NFL Scouting Combine

  • 40-yard dash – 4.61 seconds
  • Bench press – 19 reps at 225 pounds.
  • Vertical jump – 35½ inches.
  • Broad jump – 10-feet, 2 inches.
  • 3-cone drill – 7.2 seconds.
  • 20-yard shuttle – 4.15 seconds.

Hometown

Johnson grew up in Stockton, one of the larger cities in California’s Central Valley. It’s the county seat of San Joaquin County and the last census placed the population at nearly 300,000. It’s one of the state’s two inland sea ports, along with Sacramento. Stockton hosts the annual Asparagus Festival.

High School

He was part of the graduating class of 2008 at Edison High School in Stockton. Opened in 1941, the school now has 2,600 students in grades nine through 12.

Johnson was part of the Vikings teams in football and basketball, competing on the Division 1 level in the California Interscholastic Federation. They are part of the Tri-City Athletic League. He made the varsity team in both sports as a sophomore.

Football

2007 – Moved to QB and threw for 1,800 yards, ran for 500 yards and scored 22 touchdowns. Earned first team all-league honors on offense and defense. In the first game that season, he was 21 of 33 for 324 yards passing with 3 TD passes. He returned three kickoffs for 118 yards and on defense he had 10 total tackles, a sack and an interception.

2006 – Johnson earned first-team all-league honors at wide receiver, with 40 catches for 703 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns. He also threw for 191 yards and 3 TDs. Johnson had 67 tackles, a sack and an interception. He was selected the team MVP.

Basketball

2007-08 – Johnson was team captain MVP and all-conference pick as Edison advanced to the section semifinals where they fell to Folsom High. He scored 31 points in that game.

2006-07 – He was honorable mention all-conference after averaging 12 points and 4 rebounds per game for the Vikings.

Recruiting

Johnson was not highly rated coming out of Edison High, barely drawing any attention from the scouting services. Southern Cal, Fresno State, California and Oregon all showed some interest in Johnson, but none of the four followed up at the time of commitment. He took the first offer made to him, and that was Montana.

College

At the University of Montana, Johnson majored in sociology and played four seasons for one of the best FCS programs in the country over the last 20 years.

2011 – For the second season in a row, Johnson was named FCS All-America at cornerback and he was named first-team All-Big Sky for the third consecutive season. He was also one of three finalists for the Buck Buchanan Award, given to the best FCS defensive player. He had 54 tackles and a team high 12 passes deflected on the season.

2010 – Johnson earned first-team FCS All-America honors on the corner, plus first-team All-Big Sky Conference for the second time. He finished with 4 INTs, return two for touchdowns.

2009 – Led the team with 5 INTs in 11 games, missing four because of injury. He earned first-team All-Big Sky Conference honors. Against Weber State he had 8 tackles and 2 interceptions. He suffered a fractured ulna bone in his right arm and played the rest of the year with the arm in a cast.

2008 – Started at CB as a true freshman and earned Big Sky Conference honorable mention honors. He tied for the team lead with 4 interceptions, including 2 against Southern Utah. Johnson started the first 11 games, but missed the last five because of a torn PCL in his knee. When he returned he had to wear a knee brace.

Year

G/S

Tkl

TFL

Sks

QBH

Int

PBU

FF

Rec

2011

14/11

54

6

1

1

2

12

1

11-3*

2010

11/11

44

3.5

.5

0

4

7

0

7-4

2009

11/11

54

3

0

0

5

12

0

14-1*

2008

11/11

21

0

0

0

4

4

0

14-2*

Total

47/44

173

12.5

1.5

1

15

35

1

46-10

*-FCS playoffs (2011) 2-1; (2009) 3-1; (2008) 3-1.

Jurisprudence

Johnson and teammate Gerald Kemp were arrested and police used a stun gun to subdue them during a Saturday night part at Johnson’s apartment. The Missoula police were called about a noisy part at Johnson’s apartment in the early hours of Sunday. Court records filed by the police say QB Gerald Kemp hit an officer in the chest. He was shot with a stun gun. Johnson tried to intervene and he was shot with the stun gun as well.

The players pleaded not guilty in Missoula Municipal Court to charges of obstructing a peace officer, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. Trial is set for Feb. 7. Alcohol was a factor in the incident, according to police, although Detective Lt. Scott Brodie told The Missoulian newspaper. “To us, it was just a regular citizen who got out of control at a party.” Johnson pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charges and requested a jury trial.

In February, Johnson pleaded no contest on disorderly conduct charges. The city dropped misdemeanor assault, resisting arrest and obstructing a peace officer. He was sentenced to community service hours.

In 2009 during his sophomore season, Johnson was suspended for one game after he was involved in an altercation outside a fraternity house. No charges were filed and the other student involved did not press the case with school officials.

Video

Johnson against Central Arkansas 2011 –

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4Pf2FM0qx8&feature=related

Johnson against Northern Iowa 2011 –

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPnInNBP-Yk&feature=related

Evaluation

Strengths – Athletically gifted to play the corner, with long arms that allow him to press at the line of scrimmage. He has great body control and can turn with his receiver. He’s a very good jumper and he has great timing, as he usually gets his hands on the ball at the highest point. Johnson has very good hands and his ability to catch the ball show his roots as a receiver. He just looks like a cornerback as he walks on the field. Hustles from sideline-to-sideline and is seldom found watching the play; he’s always moving towards getting involved.

Deficient – His play is too inconsistent to be a top-level cornerback coming into this draft. Reportedly he’s not a real fan of viewing tape and he does not appear to spend a lot of time working on fundamentals of coverage. Thus, despite being a four-year starter, he remains very raw. Plus, his competition in the Big Sky Conference did not always challenge his skills to the utmost. He will see third and fourth receivers in the league that are quicker than anything he saw on the college level; he has some learning to do as he makes the transition to the NFL. He’s not much of a hitter, and will sometimes turn down the chance to really lay the lumber on a receiver. There are also questions about durability as he missed nine games early in his career because of various injuries and problems.

Analysis – He’s got the size of a safety, and that’s where he’ll eventually end up. There are questions about his quickness, and that would be an impediment to his playing the corner in the NFL. He’s not much of a student of the game, so he can’t fall back on film study to make up for his lack of speed and quickness. By all accounts he needs to get more serious about the game of football, in all aspects.

What Trumaine Johnson said

“When I say anywhere on the field, I mean water boy, I mean receiver, cornerback, safety, lineman. Whatever you need me to do, I’m going to do it.”

“Coming from a smaller school, they say you can get lazy, you can get bored because teams aren’t throwing your way. But I believe you can always improve on your technique. And going to the next level, you’re going to need that.”

What others say about Trumaine Johnson

“He’s really got it all. He’s got the size to play safety. We played him a little bit on offense last year as a receiver and we probably should have played him there more. He’s done an outstanding job for us the past three years. He’s a lockdown corner; he’s physical and tackles very well. A lot of teams go away from him, so he doesn’t get the opportunities to be a ball-hawk and get as many picks like a lot of other corners in our league do, as well as the other corners on our team.” Montana head coach Robin Pflugrad.

Does Trumaine Johnson fit for the Chiefs?

Apparently so. He’s one of the players the Chiefs brought to Kansas City for a one-on-one visit. Figure Johnson for a safety rather than a corner in the NFL and that’s where Johnson would fit better than on the corner.

Top 100 Prospects – CB Trumaine Johnson

Coming out of Edison High School in Stockton, California, Trumaine Johnson earned a start and significant playing time as a freshman for the University of Montana Grizzlies.

His first college game was against Cal Poly in September 2008. Veteran WR Ramses Barden was the big star for Cal Poly and in the first half, he provided a welcome to college football for Johnson before heading towards the NFL and the New York Giants in the next season.

“He torched me, torched me bad,” Johnson said. “He’s a great player, a great receiver. I was able to come back in the second half and I was able to clamp down a little bit and we ended up winning by one.”

From that point on, Trumaine Johnson has been a corner and darn happy about the position change that now has him on the doorstep of the NFL.

Here’s the rest of his story from Stockton, to Missoula to the NFL.

Pro Day Workouts Winding Down For Prospects

 

The big news out of LSU’s Pro Day was word that top-ranked CB Morris Claiborne had surgery last week on torn ligaments in his left wrist. Nothing major, but not something any player likes to show the NFL guys before the draft.

All 32 teams were in Baton Rouge to see the wealth of draftable players that Les Miles produces every year. Claiborne did nothing during the day that changed the opinion of the league that he’s a top five pick.

After running a disappointing 4.50 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine last month, he went 4.39 seconds on his home field.

“I jumped around when I heard that,” Claiborne told the Louisiana media watching the workouts. “I ran a pretty good time in Indy, but not what I wanted to run. I just wanted to come out here today and improve and show everybody that I could still run a 4.3.

“I went back and worked on my start and just tried to stay relaxed. Watching the tape, I could tell how tight I was running. I was looking like the devil because my face was all frowned up. I just tried to relax myself.”

There are more than just drills and workouts that go down around Pro Day. Claiborne had dinner with Miami GM Jeff Ireland and he had a Coke and some conversation with Minnesota head coach Leslie Frazier.

“He’s very, very impressive,” Frazier said. “You can’t ignore his talents. He’s a guy who’s had a great career and he’s going to be a very good pro we think.” …Read More!

Top 100 Prospects – G/T Senio Kelemete

Sometime before the end of the second round, or maybe even the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft there will be three names called that have been linked before.

In the Seattle area back in the 2007 high school football season three of the five All-Seattle choices along the offensive line went on to play big-time college football. There was center David DeCastro of Bellevue High School, who went on to Stanford and is among the highest rated blockers coming into the draft next month. One of the guards on that squad was Alameda Ta’amu from Rainier Beach High; he’s coming into the draft as a highly rated defensive tackle.

And playing tackle on that All-Seattle team, and also earning a spot on the first-team defense was Senio Kelemete of Evergreen High School. Playing at Washington, he started on the defensive line, but then moved over to offense where he became the left tackle who protected the blind side of former Huskies QB Jake Locker. There’s plenty more to his story.

Draft Prospect – G/T Senio Kelemete


SENIO KELEMETE/GUARD-TACKLE

Personal

Senio Kelemete

Born – May 10, 1990, in Seattle, Washington.

Physical

  • Height – 6-feet, 4 inches.
  • Weight – 307 pounds.
  • Arm – 33½ inches.
  • Hands – 9 5/8 inches.
  • Wing span – 79 inches.

NFL Scouting Combine

  • 40-yard dash – 5.52 seconds.
  • Bench press – 21 reps at 225 pounds.
  • Vertical jump – 25 inches
  • Broad jump – 8-feet, 5 inches.
  • 3-cone drill – 7.77 seconds.
  • 20-yard shuttle – 4.58 seconds.

Hometown

Kelemete grew up in the Seattle area, most of that time in or near Burien, a suburb south of Seattle in King County Washington. The town bumps right up against the expansive footprint of the Seattle-Tacoma Airport. Burien is part of the Highline area, along with Seatac, Des Moines and Federal Way. Population in the last census was 33,313 in what is largely a suburban setting.

High School

He was part of the graduating class of 2008 at Evergreen High School in White Center, Washington, part of the Highline School District.

Kelemete was active in football, wrestling and track and field at Evergreen, but he excelled on the football field playing both offense and defense.

2007 – The Wolverines finished with a 9-2 record and made the Washington state playoffs for the first time since 2001. Kelemete was honored as the offensive and defensive Linemen of the Year by the Seamount League. He was working at tackle on offense and defensive end. The Associated Press named him to the 3A all-state first team.

2006 – Kelemete was named first-team All Seamount League on both offense and defense, helping the EHS to an 8-2 record.

Recruiting

Rivals.com had him rated as a 3-star OT prospect and the No. 11 player in Washington. Scout.com had him as the No. 5 Washington prospect, and the No. 19 offensive tackle in the country.

Showing interest in Kelemete were California, Oregon State, Oregon, Washington State and Washington. He committed to the Huskies in March 2007.

College

Kelemete was recruited by Tyrone Willingham and his coaching staff, but played most of his career with the Huskies for head coach Steve Sarkisian.

2011 – Second-team selection for All-Pac 10 after starting all 13 games at left tackle. He was named team captain or the second straight year and was named the program’s Offensive Lineman of the Year.

2010 – After a season at right guard, Kelemete moved to left tackle where he started all 13 games. He was named team captain.

2009 – Switched from defense to offense during spring practice, he started 11 of the Huskies 12 games at right guard. Earned honorable mention All-Pac 10 honors.

2008 – Kelemete began his career on defense, playing in eight of Washington’s 12 games as a defensive tackle. He started four times, including against Oklahoma and Stanford.

Video

Kelemete vs. Southern Cal’s Nick Perry –

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osla4w0Dcc8&feature=plcp&context=C4cdb62fVDvjVQa1PpcFP2MQeFmLXTxD90NPgJY8MO7EShCoCP6NA=

(Kelemete is wearing No. 56 at LT)

EVALUATION

Strengths – Outstanding athlete for a man his size with very good feet and body control. He keeps moving and his feet running on blocks and that allows him to do a good job of sealing off defenders. When he pulls or works to the outside, he’s very good at position his body and he uses hands well to control defenders and not allow them any sort of leverage advantage. His ability to play both guard and tackle and to do it successfully will attract attention from NFL teams. Kelemete plays with a bit of nastiness as well, and isn’t afraid of contact and lots of it.

Deficient – Two years at left tackle are under his belt, but Kelemete is not always technically sound on his fundamentals, especially on pass protection. Good upper body strength, but he needs work on his core and lower body. He has to improve on keeping his head up while blocking so can find a second-level defender to block or cut off. Kelemete is better suited to play inside at guard than outside at tackle, especially left tackle.

Analysis – He played right guard and left tackle at Washington and where he’s best suited in the NFL remains to be seen, whether it’s inside or outside; probably left guard will be the best spot. No matter what’s asked of him, he’s football smart and should be able to adapt. He’s also a true leader.

What the scouts said about Senio Kelemete

An AFC scout said – “I really like this kid, but I like him at guard. I think in a zone blocking scheme with a good offensive line coach, this kid will play immediately and play for a long time.”

What Senio Kelemete said

“At first, when they came around and moved me to offensive guard, I wasn’t really happy with that,” the Renton native and Evergreen High School graduate said. “But then I kind of changed that mindset to: hey, since they moved me, I’ll just bring that same mentality I had on defense to offense. So I’m glad they came and moved me.”

What others said about Senio Kelemete

“I love him; I love him, because of one, his want-to. He wants to be great, he’s athletically gifted enough to play that position, and he’s got the leadership qualities it takes to be that type of guy. He’s definitely that type of guy.” Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian.

“He is the catalyst to everything we do. He is the epitome of what I want in an offensive lineman. I respect him as much as anybody I have coached. The things that he has done for us and the loyalty and the support, he echoes everything that coach (Steve Sarkisian) talks about. You can’t have enough guys like that.” Washington offensive line coach Dan Cozzetto.

Does he fit with the Chiefs?

Yes, in every way, shape and form. He’s a leader, he’s of good character, football is important to him and he’s not afraid of work. On top of that, he’s a physically talented player. What’s not to like?

Bengals LB Visits Chiefs

Restricted free agent LB Dan Skuta has visited with the Chiefs in Kansas City as the free agency dance continued in the NFL.

Whether Skuta visited on Monday or over the weekend wasn’t known for sure, as the Chiefs have been tardy in submitting their visitor list to the league office as required. Nevertheless, the 6-2, 248-pound product of Division II Grand Valley State (MI) spent time with the coaches and administrators talking defense and special teams.

As a restricted free agent if the Chiefs elect to make him an offer, the Bengals will have the right to match that tender. If they do not, there is no compensation for Cincinnati.

Skuta went to the same high school in Flint, Michigan as former Chiefs CB Brandon Carr; he was one-year behind Carr. They played together for three years at Grand Valley State. Skuta was signed after the 2009 NFL Draft as a rookie free agent by the Bengals.

In three seasons with the team, he played in 40 games with 4 starts, including three last year at middle linebacker. He has a total of 55 defensive tackles, including 31 stops last season. He also contributed a dozen tackles in the kicking game.

Chiefs Shutout On Compensatory Picks

The NFL announced its list of compensatory picks for the 2012 NFL Draft based on free agent losses last season.

There were 32 picks awarded to 15 teams. Cleveland, the New York Jets and Green Bay each got four extra picks. Pittsburgh picked up three, as did Indianapolis and Oakland. Plus the Raiders received a third-round choice, the only one awarded this year. It’s the 95th pick in the draft and will be the highest slot for Oakland as they traded away their picks in the first, second and third rounds.

The Chiefs were shutout as they did not have enough comings and goings to qualify for an extra choice. Since the compensatory picks became part of the labor agreement, the Chiefs have received 13 extra draft choices. …Read More!

In Lap Of Luxury, NFL Owners Meet

The NFL owners, suits, coaches and assorted other executives and vice presidents of this & that have gathered for the league’s annual March meetings.

As usual, this week-long affair is not happening at the Holidome in West Palm Beach, Florida, or Topeka, Kansas. It’s going down at The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida. The difference in miles between Palm Beach and West Palm Beach is miniscule, separated only by Lake Worth and a few short bridges.

But the difference in wealth and attitude between the two worlds is Grand Canyon-like. The resort sits on the Atlantic Ocean with its own beach, golf course . . . heck, it has its own lifestyle and mindset. Palm Beach is the place where everyone has security, and that security has its own security.

If you’d like to head down and join them this week, there are still rooms available at The Breakers. The cheapest rate this week is $539. Now, that room does not have an ocean view. Actually, the view is of the area behind the kitchen where the employees go to smoke. If you want ocean front, be prepared to pay $1,320. That’s not for the week – that’s per night.

Other than spending time and money on the beach, golf course, around the pool or in the stores along Worth Avenue, the NFL will try to get some business done. …Read More!

Top 100 Prospects – MLB Vontaze Burfict

The future of Vontaze Burfict in the National Football League right now is not very clear. Two years ago, he was considered a sure-fire first-round draft choice and was drawing attention for the intense nature of his play.

That intense nature has also caused Burfict a lot of problems, as his maturity level has sometimes proven to be so disruptive on the field and now some NFL teams have taken him off their draft boards.

What’s made all this so sad is the hard work that Burfict did just to get into Arizona State. Over the span of 18 months, Burfict had to take extra classes, go to night school, summer school and take on-line courses to make up for a lost sophomore high school year where he simply gave up on academics. He couldn’t just take the classes; he needed to finish with a 3.0 GPA to meet NCAA entrance standards.

Tia Magee, the mother of Burfict’s high school and ASU teammate Brandon Meyer was a counselor at his high school. She pushed him into a corner that he fought his way out of. “I looked him straight in the eyes and asked him what do you want in your future? He said, low under his breath, ‘I want to be a professional football player’.” Twice she made him say it until Burfict angrily yelled those words and asked, “How do I get there? What I’m doing isn’t working.”

Here’s the Vontaze Burfict story.

Draft Profile – ILB Vontaze Burfict


VONTAZE BURFICT/LINEBACKER

Personal

Vontaze Burfict

Born – September 24, 1990, in Los Angeles, California.

Family – Mother is Lisa Williams. Father has had legal troubles with drugs and has not been part of his son’s life. Brother Dashan Miller played WR at University of Akron.

Physical

  • Height – 6-feet, 1 3/8 inches.
  • Weight – 248 pounds.
  • Arm – 31¼.
  • Hand – 9¾.
  • Wing span – 76¾.

NFL Scouting Combine

  • 40-yard dash – 5.04 seconds.
  • Bench press – 16 reps at 225 pounds (Pro Day).
  • Vertical jump – 30 inches.
  • Broad jump – 8-feet, 8 inches.
  • 3-cone drill – 7.51 seconds.
  • 20-yard shuttle – 4.56 seconds.

Hometown

Burfict spent his early days in the South-Central area of Los Angeles before his mother moved to Corona, California. Located in Riverside County on the far eastern side of the L.A. metro, Corona was once known as the “Lemon Capital of the World.” Corona has a population of 152,000-plus.

High School

Burfict was part of the graduating class of 2009 at Centennial High School, part of the Corona-Norco Unified School District. Enrollment is 2,500-plus students in grades nine through 12. An estimated 27 different languages are spoken at the school, where nearly 50 percent of the students are Hispanic.

The CHS football program has been one of the most successful in southern California, as they took part in the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) championships five times in the last 12 high school seasons. In three seasons playing for the Huskies and head coach Matt Logan. In the 2007-08 seasons they were a combined 28-2, playing in two California Division 1 state title games and winning in ’08.

He arrived as a freshman listed at 6-feet, 185 pounds. In his sophomore season he was listed at 6-2, 215 pounds. By his junior year he was 6-2, 235 pounds and as a senior, Burfict was listed at 6-2, 244 pounds.

2008 – Burfict was the defensive leader of the CHS team that won the CIF Division 1 state championship, defeating Concord De La Salle 21-6 and finishing the season 15-0. In that game, he had 13 tackles. The Huskies were ranked No. 2 in the nation by USA Today. Burfict had 159 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 INTs and 2 recovered fumbles. He earned All-America honors, including Parade Magazine.

2007 – As a junior, Burfict had 130 tackles, 4 sacks, 2 INTs and a recovered fumble for the Huskies who lost in the CIF Division 1 championship game to Concord De La Salle. They finished the season ranked No. 24 in USA Today’s top 25 with a 13-2 record.

2006 – As a sophomore, Burfict missed almost the entire season because of academic issues as CHS went 11-1.

2005 – Burfict was a little used freshman in the Huskies program, arriving for that first year at 6-feet, 185 pounds. Centennial went 9-3 on the season.

Recruiting

Rivals.com and Scout.com both considered him a 5-star prospect. Scout listed him as the country’s No. #2 middle linebacker prospect and the No. 2 player in California. Rivals had him as the nation’s No. 1 inside linebacker and the No. 2 California player.

Received scholarship offers from just about the entire Pac-10 Conference, save Stanford and California. Also drew interest from Colorado, Miami, Tennessee and Utah. He committed verbally to Southern Cal, but on signing day switched to Arizona State.

College

Burfict played three seasons for the Arizona State Sun Devils and head coach Dennis Erickson, and had 228 tackles over 37 games.

2011 – He appeared in all 13 games, making 12 starts and finishing tied for second in tackles with 69. Burfict also had his career interception, picking off a pass against Southern Cal.

2010 – He played in every game, and started all but one as he led the team in tackles with 90. He was benched on Oct. 6 by Erickson because of a high number of personal foul penalties. The move that forced Erickson’s hand came after Burfict head-butted Oregon State QB Ryan Katz. A few weeks later, in a tight game with Stanford, he was called for a critical facemask penalty. Still, he was The Sporting News first team All-America, first member of the Sun Devils to receive that honor since Terrell Suggs in 2002.

2009 – Burfict missed the entire pre-season training camp as he waited for the NCAA to declare him eligible. Practice started on August 6, and he wasn’t cleared to play until September 4, the day before the Aztecs first game. He played against Idaho State in that game and had a tackle that ASU fans are still talking about. Burfict played in all 12 games and started the final nine, finishing No. 2 on the team with 69 total tackles. He had 11 tackles against Georgia. He was the Pac-10 Conference Defensive Freshman of the year.

Year 

G/S 

Tkl 

TFL 

Sk 

Int 

PBU 

FF 

RF 

Rec. 

2011

13/12 

69 

7 

5 

1 

3 

0 

1 

6-7* 

2010 

12/11 

90 

8.5 

0 

0 

3 

2 

0 

6-6 

2009 

12/9 

69 

7 

2 

0 

5 

2 

2 

4-8 

Total 

37/32 

228 

22.5 

7 

1 

11 

4 

3 

16-21 

*-(2011) Las Vegas Bowl.

Discipline problems

Throughout his career with the Sun Devils, Burfict had problems with penalties and his emotions. It was a constant source of discussion between the Arizona State coaching staff and the linebacker. In 2010, head coach Dennis Erickson decided to pull him from the starting lineup for a big game against Washington.

The previous Saturday, Burfict head-butted Oregon State QB Ryan Katz, and was flagged by the officials. He refused to calm down following that incident despite the efforts of the Sun Devil coaches and players.

“Vontaze will play some, but again that can’t continue to happen, if it does he just won’t play,” Erickson said. “There’s where it’s at right now. We’ve been talking to him for a long time and we’ll continue to do that, and continue to work with him.

“I wish I had a buck for every minute that we’ve talked (to Burfict), and he’s talked to a lot of different people and he’s getting it, but it’s just taking a little time.”

Video

Highlights from 2010 season — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cdocwxM0w8

More from 2010-11 seasons – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7achvXsy3Q&feature=related

Burfict penalty vs. Stanford – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6yDDMbW32A&feature=related

Burfict penalties vs. Oregon – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BwZEdqHV7Y&feature=related

Evaluation

Strengths – Powerful, explosive player that plays the game with great intensity, no matter the situation. At middle linebacker, he’ll roam from sideline to sideline and while his speed is nothing special, he can get there with enough momentum to bring a big hit. Hard worker in the weight room and he tries very hard to display leadership skills.

Weaknesses – All the good that he brings to field gets wiped away with his immaturity and his inability to hold his temper in check. He gets penalized continuously for border-line hits that other players don’t see a flag; that’s because officials have come to expect him doing something outside the rules of the game. His undisciplined approach also shows up in how he plays, as he often blows gap assignments, or takes bad angles to the ball. There’s way too much free lancing from his position without generating the production that type of play would entail. Burfict can get better, and not just by staying on good terms with the officials. He could improve his drops in pass defense.

Analysis – Teams will have to make sure everybody’s eyes are wide open if they decide to select Burfict. If his attitude with the media at the NFL Scouting Combine was any indication, then he’s not really learned anything from three years of travails with the Sun Devils. While teammates and those around him say he’s quiet, even shy off the field in most situations, when he steps on the field he becomes a raving maniac. No questioning his talent, but there are going to be NFL teams that simply don’t want to be bothered dealing with his personality.

What the scouts say

An AFC scout said – “Off our board. We wouldn’t consider him, even for a seventh round choice. Too much baggage.”

Another AFC scout
said – “He’s still on our board, but in another couple weeks, he might still come off. He can play, although those that compare him to Ray Lewis are crazy; he doesn’t have those types of skills. He may have Ray Lewis intensity, but he doesn’t deal with it well.”

An NFC scout said – “A million-dollar body and a 10-cent head. Don’t see enough of an upside.”

What Vontaze Burfict had to say

“I heard that I’m not coachable at times, but I think that’s not true. I love being coached. I want to get better and hopefully can be in the Hall of Fame one day.”

“I am a leader on and off the field, with my aggression to win, my passion for the game, my instincts, my nose for the ball and my study habits in the film room.”

“I am a soft-spoken guy, shy sometimes, but when I am on the field I hate to lose and that aggression comes out.”

“I study Ray Lewis. I pretty much try to pick what he does and put it to me and try to make it better. It’s just having a passion for the game.”

What others had to say about Vontaze Burfict

“He’s a boisterous guy on the field and in the locker room. He is what he is. He’s going to play with great enthusiasm and that sometimes gets you in trouble. During the spring, he was a real leader. He’s matured.” Arizona State head coach Dennis Erickson.

“A lot of my friends from back home ask about him: ‘How is Vontaze? Is he crazy? Is he a nice guy? He’s actually really quiet outside of the football field. He’s a really nice guy.” Arizona State OT Evan Finkenberg.

“Personal fouls are going to come. The way he plays out there, it doesn’t matter to me. That’s the way he plays. Great players, you might not like everything about them. But the one thing you can say is he gives it his all on every down. We’re not trying to be nice out there. We’re not your friends. We’re nobody’s friends out there. I hope they know that, too. We try to make enemies. We don’t want friends.” Fellow LB and high school and college teammate Brandon Magee.

“Once the lights come on, once the ball’s kicked off, he’s in a whole different zone. He turns into this linebacker that’s an animal.” Arizona State LB Shelly Lyons.

Does Vontaze Burfict fit with the Chiefs?

No. It’s hard to see any situation where Scott Pioli would wrap his arm around the shoulders of this emotional young man and try to talk with him in a fatherly manner. A bargain basement price might attract them, but he’s not that good of a talent to make an effort to get him into the mix. They’ll take a pass.

Top 100 Players – March

Here’s our second list for the 2012 NFL Draft season of the top 100 players that will be available for the selection meeting in April. This comes after the Senior Bowl, NFL Scouting Combine and conversations with draft personnel from around the league, including a large number of players.

There are some changes in the list, but let’s again remember that once past the first five picks, there really isn’t much of a difference between No. 7 and No. 16. We’ll break down the top 100 in a few weeks based on the levels of talent within the group.

Today we’ve got No. 1 through No. 100.

1-10

# 

Pos 

Player  College  Notes 
1. 

QB 

Andrew
Luck*
Stanford  No player has generated this type of attention in some time, possibly going back to another Stanford QB – John Elway. He will be the first pick.
2.

QB 

Robert
Griffin III*
Baylor  Heisman Trophy winner, outstanding athlete with great arm and legs. In 41 games he threw for 10,366 yards, 78 TDs, 17 INTs, with 2,254 rushing and 33TDs. He could be No. 1 before it’s all over.
3.

OT 

Matt
Kalil*
Southern Cal  Brother is Pro Bowl center for the NFC and Carolina and was a 2nd-round pick. USC folks say brother Matt is better and the Vikings picking third would be crazy not to select him.
4.

RB

Trent Richardson* Alabama  One of college football’s best rushers, as he averaged nearly 130 rushing yards per game with 21 TDs; after-season minor surgery hasn’t slowed down his rise to the top.
5.

WR  

Justin Blackmon* Oklahoma State  Less volatile and possibly more gifted than former teammate Dez Bryant, he played in 38 of 39 games with 252 catches for 3,564 yards and 40 TDs.
6.

CB 

Morris Claiborne* LSU  Some think he may have more talent than last year’s LSU first-rounder in the secondary Patrick Peterson. He’s facing surgery in the next few days on his wrist.
7.

DE 

Quinton
Coples 
North Carolina  One of the few outstanding Tar Heels players that stayed for all 4 seasons. In 51 games he finished with 144 total tackles, 47 TFLs, 24 sacks and 5 forced fumbles.
8.

G 

David
DeCastro*
Stanford  Athletic and tough, he’s a stickler for techniques and isn’t afraid to lead his group and team if needed. He was helped by playing with OT Jonathan Martin, but DeCastro is the better player.
9.

LB  

Courtney Upshaw  Alabama  Led the national champions in sacks with 9.5 over 13 games. Played in 53 of 54 games in his career, and had 141 total tackles 17.5 sacks, 18 QB Hurries.

10. 

OT 

Riley
Reiff*
Iowa  Sometimes dominant at LT and can block for the run or pass he’s another in a long list of Iowa offensive linemen that have and will go high in the draft.

Comments: Griffin has gone up on every team’s board as he’s gone through the Combine and the Pro Day workout and teams have gotten more one-on-one time with him. There’s a chance by draft day Luck and Griffin could be 1A and 1B. Clairborne has dropped because of wrist surgery he’ll have this week. Coples is moving up as teams love the physical package they have found. …Read More!

Top 100 Prospects – No. 81 OLB/DE Cam Johnson

It’s been a problem that dogged Cam Johnson all through his college football career at the University of Virginia.

Nobody could quite figure out why Johnson would look like an All-America defender for three straight plays, and then he would disappear for three players. Up and down he rode the roller coaster of intensity, whether it was practice or games. It drove his coaches crazy.

Then, they found out that Johnson has the sickle cell trait. People with the sickle cell trait carry a defective gene that affects their blood and can cause anemia under stressful physical conditions. It does not mean Johnson has or will get sickle cell, but there seems to be little doubt that it effects his play.

Virginia head coach Mike London said he believes there is a connection between Johnson having sickle cell trait and his play. “Now it’s the management of him,” London said. “If he’s not an eight-plays-in-a-row, every-down guy, then we manage the three or four plays that he plays. Then we get him out, get him rested and then get him back in there.”

That will be one of the challenges that any team that selects him will face. Here’s the rest of the Cam Johnson story.

Draft Profile – OLB/DE Cam Johnson


CAM JOHNSON/DEFENSIVE END

Personal

Cameron Isaac Johnson

Born – May 24, 1990 in Washington, D.C.

Family – Parents are Tritina and Eugene Johnson.

Physical

  • Height – 6-feet, 3 inches.
  • Weight – 268 pounds.
  • Arm – 33½ inches.
  • Hand – 9 inches.
  • Wing span – 79¾ inches.

NFL Scouting Combine

  • 40-yard dash – 4.81 seconds.
  • Bench press – 19 reps at 225 pounds (Pro Day).
  • Vertical jump – 35 inches.
  • Broad jump – 9-feet, 7 inches (Pro Day).
  • 3-cone drill – 7.2 seconds.
  • 20-yard shuttle – 4.38 seconds.

Hometown

Johnson grew up in Greenbelt, Maryland, a northeast suburb of Washington, D.C. It’s part of Prince George’s County and sits next to College Park, that home of the University of Maryland. The city has a population of slightly fewer than 25,000 according to the last U.S. Census. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center is in Greenbelt, which is where the I-495/Capital Beltway intersects with the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

High School

Johnson was a member of the 2008 graduating class at Gonzaga College High School in Washington, D.C. The Jesuit high school for boys is named in honor of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, an Italian saint from the 16th Century. It’s the oldest boys high school in the District, established in 1821. Enrollment in grades nine through 12 is just over 900 students. Yearly tuition is $18,000, with many students receiving scholarships.

He was a three-year starter at wide receiver and defensive back for head coach Joe Reyda and his Purple Eagles. Johnson also was a two-year starter for GHS’ basketball team.

Football

2007 – He caught 22 passes for 269 yards and 2 TDs. He was second-team all conference in the Washington Catholic Football League. Gonzaga finished 4-5 on the season.

2006 – Johnson caught 25 passes for 358 yards and 4 TDs. On defense he had 4 INTs and 28 total tackles as the Purple Eagles went 4-6 on the season.

Basketball

2007-08 – He earned all conference honors, playing for head coach Steve Turner. His scoring average was in double figures as Gonzaga went 34-1 on the season and beat Roosevelt High 78-44 for the Washington city title and the Purple Eagles were ranked No. 8 among high school teams in the country.

2006-07 – Johnson helped the Purple Eagles to a 21-9 record while leading the team with per-game averages of 15 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals.

Recruiting

Considered a 3-star recruit by Rivals.com, Johnson was listed as the No. 38 safety in the country and the No. 2 prospect in the D.C. area. Scout.com listed him as the No. 19 linebacker prospect in the country and the No. 8 prospect in the Middle-Atlantic region.

He had offers from Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Maryland and Virginia, committing to the Cavaliers in July of 2007, just after taking his official visit to Charlottesville.

Johnson was offered basketball scholarships by a number of schools including Kansas State, George Washington and George Mason.

He committed to football and an offer from the Cavaliers.

College

Johnson played four seasons for the Cavaliers, playing two years for head coach Al Groh and two years for his replacement, Mike London. He appeared in 42 games and finished up with 130 total tackles and 12.5 sacks.

2011 – Injuries bothered Johnson all season, but he still managed to start all 12 games that he played. He had 30 tackles and four sacks. He missed the Idaho game because of a lower-leg injury. His best stat line of the season came against Indiana when he was named ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week: 3 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack, 1 PBU, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery and 3 QB pressures.

2010 – Virginia changed its defense from a 3-4 to a 4-3 and that had Johnson moving from OLB to DE. He started 12 games and had 53 total tackles and 6.5 sacks. He also knocked down four passes at the line of scrimmage. His best performance came against Georgia Tech when he had 10 tackles.

2009 – Johnson played in all 12 games, with 10 starts at outside linebacker. He had two sacks against Miami, the first of his career. Against Clemson, he had seven tackles.

2008 – He played in 6 games, one of five true freshmen to get significant playing time, appearing as a reserve linebacker and on special teams. Johnson missed playing time because of an ankle injury.

Year 

G/S 

Pl 

Tkl 

TFL 

Sks 

QH 

PBU 

FF 

RF 

Rec. 

2011 

12/12 

NA

30 

11

4 

1

1

2

1

5-7

2010 

12/12 

722 

53 

14.5

6.5

0 

4 

0 

2 

3-9

2009 

12/10 

885 

40 

5 

2 

1 

1 

1 

0 

4-8

2008 

6/0 

102 

7 

3 

0 

0 

1 

0 

0 

8-5*

Total 

42/34 

NA

130 

33.5 

12.5 

2

7 

3

3 

20-29

*-(2011) Chi-Fil-A Bowl.

Video

Highlights of Virginia defense against Miami 2011 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqiEROuemJc

(Johnson is No. 56 and playing for the most part at RDE.)

Highlights vs. Florida State (2010) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2937_3Z1N-g&feature=related

Evaluation

Strengths – The type of defensive end that can hold the edge, with very good power in his lower body. Shows good athletic skills and stays on his feet and is able to use quick feet to dance around bodies at his feet or others trying to get him on the ground. He’s quick off the snap and goes forward with power, using his hands well on the initial collision. Strong tackler who seldom got shrugged off or juked away once he’d zeroed in on the grab. Very good in pursuit and will run down a ball carrier from behind on the other side of the field. Good straight line speed.

Deficient – Not a lot of production from him for three years as a starter, as Johnson too often tends to disappear during games. Conditioning called into question at times. Still very raw as defensive end, with little idea of how to play the position and relying entirely on his athletic ability. Scouts question his durability with two injuries over his career that cost him playing time (knee and pectoral).

Analysis – Johnson would probably be better as a left defensive end in the 4-3 defense than at any other spot in any other defensive scheme. Some teams think he could be an OLB in the 3-4. However, most teams indicate he’s too stiff in the hips to be able to play in a two-point stance and drop into coverage like he would have to do as an outside linebacker. He has the body type to add weight, if teams want him to play defensive end and he already has a good base to be able to make that transition.

What the scouts said

An AFC scout said – “The medical situation is going to have my team take him off the board. We’ve drafted guys with the sickle cell trait before, but they were not as up and down in effort like Johnson is when he’s on the field. Whether it’s physical or mental, I don’t think my guys are going to want to fool with it. He’s not that outstanding a talent.”

An NFC scout said – “He’s one of those tweeners that has a lot of natural athletic ability, but where does he play. Do you fatten him up and go DE, or is he an OLB? He didn’t do anything exceptional as a pass rusher to think he’s going to make his mark there.”

What Cam Johnson said

“I believe I have versatility and I think teams are looking for. I can play in space or with my hand in the dirt as well,”

What they said about Cam Johnson

“In my estimation he’s a guy that plays every down, but to be an every-down difference-maker, he’s got to raise it up another notch. He can be a good player and a dominant player when he wants to, but you’ve got to want to all the time.” Virginia head coach Mike London.

“He thought he was a basketball player coming out of Gonzaga but Mother Nature jumped on him. You take some highlights and splice them together and you’re like “ooo, weeeee.’ He can be that type of guy. But he got to want to be that type of guy. I tell him what he can be, but there’s a difference between saying what you want to be and turning on the film and seeing what you are.” More London.

“He’s a freak athlete. A lot of people don’t know Cam played safety in high school, and now he’s considered one of the ‘bigs’ on the team. He is such a dynamic player, and it shows when you look at his background and see that he’s played all over the field.” Virginia teammate Nick Johnson.

“You look at that big body, and you think there’s going to be a roar coming out of it. But he’s a soft-spoken kid. If you were in the locker room, you wouldn’t even know he’s in there because he’s not a loud boisterous person.” Virginia assistant coach Anthony Poindexter.

Does Cam Johnson fit with the Chiefs?

They would love his versatility. They will not like his history of up and down play. Whether that’s caused physically or mentally, it’s tough to consider Johnson without a lengthy discussion of his problem. In this case, there are real questions about his availability, and fewer about his ability. I think the Chiefs take a pass.

All Quiet With Free Agency & Chiefs

After a big splash in first week of NFL free agency, the Chiefs wrapped up this week without much fanfare.

With the team’s decision makers headed this weekend to Florida for the NFL’s annual March Owners Meeting, the pace will likely be slow early next week as well. In the last three days, the Chiefs have had just two visitors according to the NFL: unrestricted free agents WR Jerricho Cotchery and CB Chris Carr.

The only signing they managed was ILB Jovan Belcher, who signed his restricted free agent tender offer of $1.972 million. That will allow Belcher to take part in the team’s off-season program when it begins within the next month. He was the only restricted free agent for the Chiefs.

On the UFA-front Cotchery and Carr both left town without contracts and that’s not a particularly good sign they will soon be members of the Chiefs. GM Scott Pioli and his crew have done a good job this year not allowing free agent visitors they wanted get out of town without a deal.

Two former Chiefs were visiting other teams in the past week, as RB Jackie Battle went to San Diego and RT Barry Richardson was in St. Louis. Neither one signed with the Chargers or Rams.

Other transactions that went down in the league on Friday: …Read More!

Top 100 Prospects – No. 82 LB Shea McClellin

Kellen Moore was the leader of a Boise State offense that won 53 games over the last four seasons. No college quarterback directed his team to more victories over his career. According to Broncos head coach Chris Peterson, on the defensive side the guy in the same role as Moore on offense, was Shea McClellin.

“He always has a good game,” Peterson said. “He doesn’t have a bad game. He’s the Kellen Moore of the defense.”

An Idaho native who was adopted and raised by his grandparents, McClellin grew up on a little farm that sat on Chicken Dinner Road, just off the Snake River in what they call the Treasure Valley of Idaho.

From out of this remote corner of the football world, McClellin heads to the NFL and he could be a defensive end, outside linebacker or inside linebacker. He’s played all three of those spots, even a hybrid position in the Boise State nickel defense that more safety than any other position. Here’s the Shea McClellin story.

Draft Profile – OLB/DE Shea McClellin


SHEA MCCLELLIN/OUTSIDE LINEBACKER

Personal

Shea McClellin

Born – August 1, 1989, in Caldwell, Idaho.

Family – Birth parents are Laura McClellin and Jon Youngblood, but at the age of 18 months he was adopted by his maternal grandparents Terry and Jerry McClellin, who have been married for 45 years. He was the fifth child that they raised. Shea calls Terry “Mom” and Jerry “Dad.” He has a relationship with his birth mother, but none with his birth father. One of the McClellin’s granddaughters calls Shea her “cuncle”, a combined cousin and uncle.

Physical

  • Height – 6-feet, 3 3/8 inches.
  • Weight – 260 pounds.
  • Arm – 32 ¾ inches.
  • Hand – 10 1/8 inches.
  • Wing span – 77 1/8 inches.

NFL Scouting Combine

  • 40-yard dash – 4.66 seconds.
  • Bench press – 19 reps at 225 pounds.
  • Vertical jump – 31½ inches.
  • Broad jump – 9-feet, 10 inches.
  • 3-cone drill – 7.07 seconds.
  • 20-yard shuttle – 4.34 seconds.

Hometown

There is a dispute in Idaho as to McClellin’s hometown. He grew up on Chicken Dinner Road which technically is within the city limits of Caldwell. However, he gravitated to the much closer and smaller town of Marsing, right on the Snake River and that’s where he went to high school. The towns are in the southwest corner of Idaho, around the north and west sides of Lake Lowell, about 25 miles west of Boise. They are hard against the border between Idaho and Oregon. The area is known as Treasure Valley and it’s considered the heart of the Idaho Wine Country. The area is relatively flat but the peeks of the Owyhee, Weiser and Boise mountain ranges surround the valley. Caldwell has a population of just fewer than 50,000 and has experienced residential growth every year for decades. Marsing’s most recent census showed just over 1,000 residents. The No. 1 business is agriculture and allied businesses. It’s the home of J.R. Simplot Company, one of the world’s largest processors of frozen foods. Shea McClellin worked on a farm where with his family he raised goats, chickens, sheep, donkeys, wild geese and ducks. They also nursed injured animals like foxes and baby skunks.

High School

McClellin was part of the graduating class of 2007 at Marsing High School, part of the Marsing Joint School District. There are approximately 250 students in grades nine through 12.

He was a three-sport letterman in football, basketball and baseball.

Football

2006 – Named the 2A Western Idaho Conference offensive (running back) and defensive (inside linebacker) of the year. He scored seven defensive touchdowns on the season. He ran for nearly 1,900 yards, scoring 22 touchdowns. He had another 126 tackles to go with the defensive TDs. Marsing finished 6-4.

2005 – While the Huskies struggled to a 1-9 record, McClellin ran for 998 yards and 17 carries, while leading the defense in tackles.

Basketball

2006-07 – McClellin averaged 19 points and 11 rebounds in leading the Huskies to the 2A state tournament.

Baseball

2006 – In his junior season, he had a .453 batting average with 21 RBI and 10 stolen bases.

Recruiting

There was interest from Oregon, Washington State, Idaho and Idaho State, along with a host of smaller schools in the northwest. But Boise State was the choice almost from the start for McClellin who committed to the program February 2007. McClellin then grey-shirted; he enrolled only as a part-time student in the fall of 2007. He enrolled full-time in the spring semester 2008, with four seasons of eligibility remaining to be played out in five years.

College

McClellin played four seasons for head coach Chris Peterson

2011 – First team All-Mountain West Conference defense, with 46 total tackles on the season. Possibly his best game of the season was the opener against Georgia, when he had 2.5 sacks, with 7 total tackles against the Bulldogs.

2010 – First-team All-Western Athletic Conference fell to McClellin for his performance in 13 games, including starting all 13 games and moving his streak of consecutive starts to 24. He had a team high 9.5 sacks. He scored a touchdown on a 36-yard interception return against Toledo and he recovered a fumble in the end zone against Wyoming for a TD.

2009 – McClellin played in all 13 games with starts in the last 11 games. He had at least one tackle in 12 of the 13 games and had his best effort against Idaho and Bowling Green when he had six tackles in each game.

2008 – He played in 10 games before he suffered a knee injury against Idaho that finished his season. He had a season high five tackle one forced fumble against New Mexico State

Year G/S

Tkl

TFL

Sks

QH

INT

PBU

FF

Blk

Rec.

2011 13/13

50

12.5

7

1

2

0

1

1

12-1*

2010 13/13

29

12.5

8.5

2

1

0

0

0

12-1*

2009 13/11

36

6

3

0

1

2

0

0

14-0*

2008 10/0

14

1

1

0

0

0

3

0

12-1*

Total 49/37

129

32

19.5

3

4

2

4

1

50-3

*- (2011) Las Vegas Bowl; (2010) Las Vegas Bowl; (2009) Fiesta Bowl; (2008) Poinsettia Bowl.

Video

Series of McClellin videos set to music – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RFVe8dxfok

(McClellin wears No. 92)

Boise vs. Va Tech 2010 highlights – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgtKtJkbVYk&feature=related

Evaluation

Strengths – Plays with great intensity, instincts and intelligence, and possesses a great work ethic. He’s a solid athlete across the board, although not outstanding in any particular area like speed, strength or quickness. He’s got a motor that doesn’t stop and is not afraid of contact. He’s smart enough that he has been moved around throughout his career, from outside linebacker, to inside linebacker, to defensive end, to a hybrid Nickel position that was a cross between safety and linebacker. He had 20-plus sacks over his career and has used numerous methods and moves to get to the passer.

Deficient – He lacks ideal size for DE or OLB and doesn’t appear to have the frame to be able to add more weight or bulk. His slimmer build does not give him much in the weight of ballast in his butt and thighs, so he can be overpowered by bigger players. He does not have a quick burst out of his stance or on the snap. McClellin is not a quick twitch player. He tries to make up for that with his aggressiveness, which can sometimes gets him out of position and into trouble.

Analysis – He does not appear to have the physical tools that say he’s perfect for any one position, but he’s talented enough that there will be a place for him in the NFL. His versatility however, seems to make him not so much a jack of all trades, but a master of none. Great intangibles make him attractive as a choice.

What the scouts had to say

An NFC scout said – “Not sure where he fits. He’s played just about every spot on the defense save corner and nose and he seems adaptable to all of them. But that doesn’t give us any idea where he’s best suited. Great intangibles with this kid will have teams taking a close look at him and finding a spot where he fits.”

What Shea McClellin had to say

“It’s a lot different when I’m on the field. I get into it because I just love doing it. I wouldn’t say I’m talkative, but I talk more out on the field. It’s just where I feel right. You get to meet all sorts of guys, they’re just like you, so you kind of just open up more.”

What others said about Shea McClellin

“If he wants to play D-line, he can play D-Line. If he wants to play linebacker, he can play linebacker. He is the kind of guy that can fit either way. You find a guy like him with his versatility and intangibles, plus he’s a smart kid, and he’s going to be just fine at the next level.” Hall of Fame LB and Vikings LBs coach Mike Singletary.

“He doesn’t every surprise me whatever happens out there. You almost just expect something good going to happen when he’s out there. He always has a good game. He doesn’t have a bad game.” Boise State head coach Chris Peterson.

“He might be an NFL linebacker; he has that kind of athleticism. He’s just a really good player that’s a special athlete that totally flies under the radar.” More Peterson.

“He commands attention. He doesn’t have to be in a guy’s face. He just gets it done, and that’s how it is. His ability to run, change direction and drop into coverage gives us a dimension that not a lot of teams have. Offenses have to wonder on any given play if he’s a defensive end or a linebacker, if he’s going to rush or if he’s going to cover.” Boise State defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski.

Does Shea McClellin fit with the Chiefs?

You bet he does. His intangibles are right from the Chiefs manual. Plus, his versatility is huge. He could come in and fit in at defensive end, inside linebacker, even outside linebacker, although that would have to be in a limited role. With 49 games of experience at Boise State, there’s plenty of tape for the Chiefs to figure out how he could fit with them.

Quarterback Competition? … Weekend Cup O’Chiefs

Ask anyone that knows me and they’ll tell you there are times when I get mental road blocks in my thinking pathways. The wife, my daughters, my sister, even my Mom would all say that sometimes you have to explain things to me in the simplest of terms, like I was a fifth-grader trying to understand quantum physics.

I’m having one of those episodes with this quarterback competition and the Chiefs. I keep hearing one thing, but apparently those speaking about a competitive situation at quarterback mean something different, because I do not understand the explanation in conjunction with actions.

Back in early February, Chiefs GM Scott Pioli said the following:

“We’ve been saying it for three years, and I’m going to continue to say it, because it’s a core part of our philosophy: There will be increased competition at every position, including the quarterback position. Who that is, I don’t know … very few people can perform at an extremely high level without competition.”

As I read that comment from Pioli I don’t find a lot of gray area. There will be increased competition at quarterback because it’s tough for anyone to get better without competition. That’s what I hear him saying. …Read More!

Another Day In A Free Agency Fortnight

Carolina – signed C/G Mike Pollak to a new contract.

Chicago – agreed to terms with RB Michael Bush on a 4-year $14 million deal with $7 million in guaranteed money.

Cincinnati – agreed to terms with CB Pacman Jones on a new deal.

Denver – agreed to terms with CB Tracy Porter, last with New Orleans. Porter had an interception in Super Bowl 44 against Peyton Manning in the Saints victory.

Detroit – signed DE Everette Brown to a 1-year deal. He played last year in San Diego.

New England – re-signed WR Deion Branch; agreed to a 2-year contract with FB Spencer Larsen, previously with the Denver Broncos.

New York Giants – re-signed backup QB David Carr.

San Francisco – signed QB Josh Johnson to a 2-year deal. Johnson was previously with Tampa Bay; re-signed WR-KR Ted Ginn to a 1-year contract.

St. Louis – signed OL Quinn Ojinnaka to a 1-year deal. They did not sign former Chiefs OT Barry Richardson who also visited on Thursday.

Tampa Bay – signed OT Jamon Meredith, previously with Pittsburgh.

Ron Erhardt – R.I.P.

The NFL coaching profession lost one of their great ones on Wednesday when Ron Erhardt passed away in Boca Raton, Florida. He was 81 years old.

Erhardt began coaching in 1956 when he got out of military service after graduating from North Dakota State. He would coach football through the 1996 season, but his ideas and schemes were still part of the league last year.

In fact, Erhardt was the father of the Chiefs offense scheme for the last three years under former head coach Todd Haley. That was his offensive scheme that produced so poorly last season, and it was his scheme that produced so well the season before (2010) when the Chiefs won the AFC West.

At the end of his coaching career, Erhardt was with the Jets and his path crossed that of a young man in the New York personnel department. “He was the guy who talked (Bill) Parcells into giving me the quality control job with the Jets,” Haley said by text from Pittsburgh. “He was a good man, and a good coach.”

In 1979, Erhardt was named head coach of the New England Patriots, and he was in charge for three seasons, positing a 21-27 record before he was fired. Pats owner Billy Sullivan said upon firing Erhardt that he “was just too nice a guy.” His linebacker coach during those years in New England was a fellow named Bill Parcells. …Read More!

Saints Establish New Low … Thursday Cup O’Chiefs

I believe it was that old pre-Internet hack from over on the other side of Missouri may have said it best. Mark Twain wrote “if you always tell the truth, you never have to remember what you said.”

The modern day equivalent of that would be this – if you always tell a lie, you never have to remember what you said, because you can just make up another lie.

The New Orleans Saints found out Wednesday that living by the words of Mark Twain would have been far less painful than lying, and then lying even more on top of a whole stinkin’ pile of pooh.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell handed down the most dramatic discipline actions in the history of the NFL on Wednesday. The Saints franchise was fined a half-million dollars and lost two draft choices. Head coach Sean Payton was suspended without pay for a year. GM Mickey Loomis was suspended for half of the 2012 season. Assistant head coach Joe Vitt gets a six-game forced vacation without pay and former defensive coordinator Greg Williams was suspended indefinitely; at the minimum he’ll miss the 2012 season.

It’s reported everywhere that the sanctions came because of the bounty program the Saints defense set up to reward players that injured or knocked opponents out of the game. But that’s only half of the story. I’m willing to bet the punishment would have been 50 percent off what it was had all those parties not lied to the league during the investigation of the bounty behavior. …Read More!

Replay Changes Will Be Discussed

The NFL annual owner’s meeting will begin over the coming weekend in Palm Beach, Florida.

Along with enjoying the amenities of the classic Breakers resort, the league will be discussing business of all sorts. That includes possible changes in rules and procedures. Here are a few of the items that are being pushed into the voting session by the league’s Competition Committee. They are:

REPLAY – The Buffalo Bills have made a proposal that would eliminate the on-field referee as part of the decision making on instant replay. The Bills want the decisions to be made by the booth official. Also, there has been a suggestion that the booth official review all turnovers. Currently, the booth reviews all touchdown plays.

OVERTIME – On a suggestion by the Pittsburgh Steelers, the overtime rule for the playoffs would go into effect for regular season games as well.

INJURED-RESERVE LIST – A change has been suggested where the team can designate a player to go to the injured-reserve list at the start of the season and be able to restore him to the active roster for the eighth game of the regular season. Currently, a player that goes on IR in camp is done for the season.

TRADE DEADLINE – There’s a proposal to move the trading deadline from the sixth week of the regular season to the eighth week.

PRE-SEASON ROSTER SIZE – Currently its 80 players. This proposal would enlarge that to 90 players, counting unsigned draft choices.

HORSE COLLAR TACKLES – The Steelers proposal would penalize the defense for tackling the ball carrier inside the pocket. Right now, it’s not a penalty inside the pocket for a defensive player to pull down the quarterback by the back of his neck. Outside the pocket it’s a 15-yard fine.

MOVED FINAL CUTDOWN DATE – Because the season opening game this year was moved to Wednesday night from Thursday, the league wants to move up the final cutdown date to Friday, August 31.

INACTIVE SPOT FOR CONCUSSION – The proposal would allow teams the opportunity to designate one player each week that’s recovering from a diagnosed concussion as inactive for game participation. This would allow them to bring a player onto the regular roster.

Jets Finalize Trade, Get Tebow

Wednesday was another roller coaster day in what has been a roller coaster month for Tim Tebow.

But by the end of the day, Tebow was out of Denver, traded to the New York Jets in a deal that was on again, off again, when the Jets failed in the simple matter of reading Tebow’s contract with the Broncos.

In the end, Tebow went to the Jets along with a seventh-round choice in next month’s NFL Draft. New York is sending fourth and sixth round selections to Denver.

The hang up was a salary advance that Tebow received a year ago. He got $6,277,500 with various portions of that total taken from his base salaries in 2011 through 2014. Denver wanted the Jets to pay them back. The Jets made the deal and never bothered to read the entire Tebow contract. After first announcing the trade, the Jets then announced it was off.

Everything was back on when the Jets and Broncos agreed to split the total, all of which have salary cap ramifications.

In the second-day of the second week of NFL free agency, there were other transactions as well: …Read More!

NFL Rocks Saints In Bounty Case

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has brought the hammer down on the New Orleans Saints for the “bounty” program their defense ran for three seasons under head coach Sean Payton and then defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.

The league had handed down discipline to the organization, Saints GM Mickey Loomis, Payton, Williams and assistant head coach Joe Vitt:

  • The Saints were fined $500,000.
  • New Orleans will forfeit their selections in the second round of the 2012 and 2013 NFL drafts.
  • Payton was suspended without pay for the 2012 season, effective April 1.
  • Loomis was suspended without pay for the first eight regular-season games of the 2012 season.
  • Williams, currently working for the St. Louis Rams, was suspended indefinitely, effective immediately. Goodell will review Williams’ status at the conclusion of the 2012 season and consider whether to reinstate him.
  • Vitt was suspended without pay for the first six regular-season games of the 2012 season.

The penalties rank as one of the biggest cases of league discipline handed down to teams and individuals in league history.

Still to come are penalties handed down to players involved. The league is working with the NFL Players Association on that front, and there will be players that are disciplined.

Top 100 Prospects – No. 83 TE Michael Egnew

It was former Mizzou basketball guard Dibi Ray that first whispered the name Michael Egnew to the coaches at his alma mater. A native of Plainview, Texas, Ray had been a schoolboy star there, who earned himself a chance for an education with a basketball scholarship to the University of Missouri.

When his playing days in Columbia ended, Ray returned home to Plainview where he taught and coached at Plainview and got back to his roots in both athletics and music. He can remember getting up in front of his church when he was 2 years old and singing. In that moment, Ray says, “The music was just in me.”

He also knew athletic talent when he saw it, and when he coached Egnew coming up through the ranks of Plainview’s athletic teams Ray saw a raw talent, with huge and reliable hands when it came to catching a football or basketball. It led him to a successful career in Columbia, a continuation of the pipeline between Plainview, Texas and the University of Missouri. Here’s the Michael Egnew story.

Draft Profile – TE Michael Egnew


MICHAEL EGNEW/TIGHT END

Personal

Michael Egnew

Born – November 1, 1989 in Plainview, Texas

Family – Parents are Ersa F. and Richard D. Egnew. Michael is the eighth of nine siblings, with the Egnew clan ranging in age from 35 to 20 – Benjamin, Daniel, Jacob, Anthony, Martha, Amy, Michelle, Michael and Uriah. He’s the twin brother of Michelle. Most of the children were adopted.

Physical

  • Height – 6-feet, 5¼ inches.
  • Weight – 252 pounds.
  • Arm – 33 inches.
  • Hand – 9¾ inches.
  • Wing span – 78¼ inches.

NFL Scouting Combine

  • 40-yard dash – 4.62 seconds.
  • Bench press – 21 reps at 225 pounds.
  • Vertical jump – 37½ inches (Mizzou Pro Day).
  • Broad jump – 11-feet, 3 inches (Mizzou Pro Day.)
  • 3-cone drill – 7.03 seconds.
  • 20-yard shuttle – 4.32 seconds.

Hometown

Egnew was born and raised in Plainview, Texas, the county seat of Hale County in the Texas panhandle with population of more than 22,000 fans. The local economy is built largely on agriculture and ranching.

High School

Plainview High School is part of the Plainview Independent School District and has a student population of approximately 1,500 in grades nine through 12. Egnew was a three sport star, for the Bulldogs, competing in football, basketball and track & field.

Football

Playing for head coach Marty McClintock, Egnew was a wide receiver/linebacker.

2007 – He was named All-District WR and served as team captain. He caught 34 passes for 587 yards and 5 TDs, and also had 10 rushing plays for 53 yards. Plainview was 1-9 on the season.

2006 – Egnew caught 8 passes for 266 yards, averaging 33.3 yards per catch with two touchdowns for the Bulldogs largely run-oriented offense. He had 10 tackles on defense as PHS went 9-4 on the season.

Track

Egnew placed second at the Texas 4A state championships in the long jump as a junior with a jump of 24-feet, 4 inches. As a senior he jumped 23-feet, 9 inches, taking first place. His career best long jump was 24-feet, 4 inches. His career-best mark in the triple jump was 43 feet.

Recruiting

Rivals.com had him as 2-star recruit, at 6-5, 200 pounds. Scout.com rated him a 2-star wide receiver.

Final decision came down to Mizzou, Purdue, TCU and New Mexico. He verbally committed to the Tigers in June 2007.

College

Egnew earned his bachelor’s degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management in December ’11.

2011 – Earned first team All-Big 12 Conference honors on offense while his production went down as QB James Franklin was breaking into the starting lineup. His best game was against Iowa State when he caught six passes for 105 yards and one touchdown. It was the second 100-plus yard performance of his career.

2010 – Consensus All-America and John Mackey Award finalists, along with first-team All-Big 12 status and team MVP for the Tigers. He led all tight ends in the nation with 90 catches for 762 yards and 5 TD catches. He made his first start and scored his first touchdown in the ’10 opener against Illinois. Against San Diego State, he caught 13 for 145 yards, setting new Mizzou records for catches and yards by a tight end in a single game.

2009 – Egnew played in all 13 games and after missing spring practice because of a high ankle sprain that eventually required surgery. But he was able to get back and play from the start of the season.

2008 – He saw action in 13 games as a true freshman.

Year

G/S

Rec

Yds

Avg

TD

Att

Yds

TD

Rec.

2011

13/

50

523

10.5

3

3

8

0

8-5*

2010

13/

90

762

8.5

5

0

0

0

10-3*

2009

12/

3

25

8.3

0

0

0

0

8-5*

2008

13/

4

22

5.5

0

0

0

0

10-4*

Total

51/

147

1,332

9.1

8

3

8

0

36-17

*-(2011) Independence Bowl; (2010) Insight Bowl; (2009) Texas Bowl; (2008) Alamo Bowl.

Video

Collection of plays from his 2010 season – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diclp2_25ys

Egnew vs. Kansas State 2011 — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YscGqtOU8ag

Evaluation

Strengths – Outstanding receiver for the tight end position. Catches balls in his hands and with his big paws he can snatch them out of the air. He’s athletic and able to get open and he’s gifted in jumping ability that he can go up and fight for the ball. Egnew at times can be explosive coming off the line of scrimmage or when he’s running a route. While he’s not particularly fast, he’s able to move the sticks.

Deficient – While athletic, he’s not very elusive when he tucks the ball and runs in open spaces. In the Missouri offense he runs to spots on the field, rather than run through a route progression and that is something that will hurt him at the next level. For most of his time at Mizzou, he was split wide and seldom had anyone head-up on him, so he doesn’t have experience getting off press coverage. His gangly build does him no favors when it comes to blocking, something he was not asked to do much of and it shows. When asked to be in space and wall off a defender, he’s seldom able to do so.

Analysis – One dimensional player at the position. His time as an in-line blocker is almost non-existent and as you can see on the tapes, he seldom blocks anybody. Even though he’s a gifted athlete, he does not operate well when trying to block in space. Smart kid and shows signs of being a smart player.

What the scouts said

An AFC scout said – “The kid catches passes where very few other receivers could even get their hands on the ball, let alone bring it in for a completion. But he can’t block a lick and that’s going to make him a marginal contributor.”

An NFC scout said – “He’s just like (Martin) Rucker and (Chase) Coffman that came out of that offense. They line up wide left or wide right and do not have any experience when it comes to being a real tight end. Those two kids didn’t make it in the NFL, but he has a chance because he’s a more gifted athlete.”

What Michael Egnew said

“The season (2011) turned out pretty well for us. We won eight games and any time you are talking about a number like that, it’s good for a college football team. What I was concerned about was just winning.”

“When you go to Mizzou you are no longer part of a team. You are the member of a family. I just became part of it. It was a huge privilege to be part of that program and part of Missouri.”

What others said about Michael Egnew

“We have our Michael Egnew plan. We’ve got the big ‘E’s’ beside all the plays on the script that we think will end up in his hands. So when we need a play or we’re struggling a little bit, those are the things we’re looking for to bail us out, because he’s become that kind of player.” Missouri offensive coordinator Dave Yost.

Does Michael Egnew fit with the Chiefs?

Not likely, due to his lack of blocking experience and background in those duties. Every team in the league would like to have Egnew’s hands and his receiving ability. But the Chiefs have always sought players who have the complete package of abilities for that position, or have the versatility to play more than one spot if necessary. Egnew would not seem to fit that pattern.

Pioli Speaks On Peyton Manning

A couple hours before Peyton Manning was going to officially say hello to Denver, Chiefs GM Scott Pioli was talking about not getting the chance to make him part of the Chiefs.

“I’m not disappointed at all, the bottom line is he made a decision, he had a plan and he went with it,” Pioli told the K.C. media Tuesday afternoon during a conference call cut short due to technical difficulties. “If you spend time, energy and emotion fretting over things that you can’t control, then that’s time and energy that we would have wasted not getting Eric Winston done, not getting Kevin Boss done.”

Pioli said he connected with Manning right after the quarterback was released by Indianapolis.

“He and I were in communication with one another, as I was with his agent, and clearly he had a plan, he let me know that,” Pioli said. “He didn’t get into the details. He was upfront about what he was doing, the visits he wanted to take and that we weren’t initially going to be part of that. I respected that.

“He didn’t get into his reasoning, nor did I ask. I didn’t think that was my place to do.”

Pioli kept referring to Manning’s plan and quite apparently the Chiefs were not part of his idea of how he was going to continue his career.

“That doesn’t necessarily mean that the other 28 teams that he was going to talk to, that there was something wrong with them,” Pioli said. “He just had favorites and places he wanted to pursue for his reasons. I don’t think it would be fair for me to characterize why this team and why not another team. That’s not my place to do that.”

Pioli said there were internal conversations about Manning with every level of the Chiefs organization, from chairman Clark Hunt, through the coaching staff and even with some players.

“We were all on the same page that this was someone we wanted to talk to,” Pioli said. “They (the players) knew that we were going to be pursuing it as well.

Top 100 Prospects – No. 84 FS George Iloka

There’s been more to the rise of Boise State football than the blue turf they play on at home and the offensive fireworks that has been so much a part of the program over the last decade.

They play defense in Idaho as well, and that can be seen among the top prospects for the 2012 NFL Draft. Boise has a lineman, linebacker and defensive back from its 2011 defense that should be selected among the first 100 players.

In the secondary it’s FS George Iloka, who wrapped up his career playing in over 50 games and becoming one of the defense’s leaders. Here’s the whole George Iloka story.

Draft Profile – S George Iloka


GEORGE ILOKA/SAFETY

Personal

George Iloka (Eye-LOKE-uh).

Born – March 31, 1990 in Houston, Texas.

Family – Parents are Clara Ifeoma Iloka and Arinze Eugene Iloka. He has older and younger siblings, Ugochi and Ekene. His parents were born in Nigeria and moved to the United States in the 1980s. Mom is President of Hopeville Medical Services, a company that provides in home medical care. Dad is a corrections officer for the State of Texas.

Physical

  • Height – 6-feet, 3½ inches.
  • Weight – 225 pounds.
  • Arm – 34½ inches
  • Hand – 9 5/8 inches
  • Wing span – 81 3/8 inches.

NFL Scouting Combine

  • 40-yard dash – 4.66 seconds.
  • Bench press – 20 reps at 225 pounds.
  • Vertical jump – 34 ½ inches.
  • Broad jump – 10-feet, 4 inches.
  • 3-cone drill – 7.03 seconds.
  • 20-yard shuttle – 4.03 seconds.

Hometown

Iloka grew up in Sugar Land, Texas, a suburb to the southwest of Houston. It’s one of the fastest growing cities in Texas, with population growing by more than 150 percent in the last decade. Population is approximately 85,000, but it’s also one of the most affluent areas in the state, with a median home price of more than $369,000. The area was originally a sugar plantation. The city is still the home of Imperial Sugar, as well as corporate headquarters for Minute Maid.

High School

Kempner High School is in Sugar Land and part of the Fort Bend Independent School District. It has an enrollment of almost 2,400 students. Back in the early 1990s, Kempner had over 3,000 students in four grades.

He was a three-year letterman in football and team captain as a senior. He was first team all-league as a senior. The Cougars were coached by James Brown.

2007 – He finished the season with 80 tackles, with 4 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles and a recovered fumble. He was named his team’s defensive back of the year. Kempner finished 6-5 on the season.

2006 – Iloka caught 30 passes for 500 yards and four touchdowns as the Cougars finished 1-8.

2005 – Kempner football was 7-5 on the season and Iloka saw playing time with the varsity as a sophomore wide receiver and defensive back.

Recruiting

Rivals.com rated Iloka a 2-star prospect out of Texas and listed him at 6-3, 194 pounds.

Interest came from Boise State, Arizona State, Houston, New Mexico, Northwestern, Rice, Sam Houston State and TCU. He committed to Boise in June of 2007. Iloka decided to graduate early and enrolled in January 2008 at Boise State. That allowed him to go through spring practice that year.

College

Three-year starter finished with 231 total tackles and seven interceptions for head coach Chris Peterson. Defense led the Mountain West Conference in total defense and scoring defense. Iloka started 48 straight games at free safety before he went to the corner.

2011 – He earned first-team All-Mountain West honors, as he finished second on the Boise State team with 57 tackles. Iloka also earned Associated Press honorable mention All-America status. He played the last two games of the regular season at cornerback, helping an injury riddled secondary get through several weeks.

2010 – Iloka earned first-team All-WAC honors and again was a full-time starter, opening 13 games and finishing as Boise’s third leading tackler with 63. He had nine tackles against Louisiana Tech. He had back-to-back interceptions against Fresno and Nevada.

2009 – He started all 14 games for the Broncos and had more than two tackles in 11 of the 14 games.

2008 – Iloka received some All-Freshman team honors after playing in all 13 games. His development was accelerated when he left high school early and enrolled at Boise in January 2008. He had a season high eight tackles against Idaho.

Year

G/S

Tkl

TFL

Sk

Int

PBU

FF

Rec.

2011

13/13

58

3

0

0

1

1

12-1*
2010

13/13

63

3

0

2

5

1

12-1*

2009

14/14

48

2.5

0

1

5

0

14-0*

2008

13/10

62

5

1

4

6

0

12-1*

Total

53/50

231

13.5

1

7

17

2

50-3

*-(2011) Las Vegas Bowl; (2010) Las Vegas Bowl; (2009) Fiesta Bowl; (2008) Poinsettia Bowl.

Video

Defensive highlights vs. Utah 2011 — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYdzorboZbI

(Iloka is wearing No. 8)

Fiesta Bowl 2010/Boise St.- TCU http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=1p0L2wI92GY

Evaluation

Strengths – Very athletic with quick feet, he plays the game fast and has the ability to cover a lot of ground. Iloka closes fast when reacting to the ball. He does a good job of shadowing receivers. Seems sound in his understanding of his defensive scheme and the offenses that he’s playing against. Does not appear to get tricked out of position and he’s patient, something a true deep safety needs to be as the play develops in front of him. OK tackler, who comes downhill and can deliver a shot.

Deficient – For all the game’s he’s played and the position he’s been in, Iloka is not a big-play type of defensive backs. He had seven interceptions and forced two fumbles, while not scoring a touchdown during his career in Boise. He’s not the head-hunter type, and overall his tackling is inconsistent. One of his fundamental problems comes from his willingness to leave his feet and dive at ball carriers. Despite the fact he does not play the game very aggressively, he does have a prickly demeanor and has been a discipline problem; he’s been pulled out of games by the coaching staff for minor scuffles and acting like a turd. He’s also had a few shouting matches with head coach Chris Peterson.

Analysis – As big as Iloka is, he doesn’t play that way. Luckily, he’s very athletic and gifted in his movements and that allows him to show up and clean up the play. He just seldom gets there in time to make a defensive play. He’s a hot-head and that type of attitude isn’t going to be tolerated very long in the NFL from a guy who doesn’t make plays.

What the scouts said

An AFC scout said – “It’s too bad this kid doesn’t have a little more thump in his game. He’s such a good athlete, but he doesn’t play that aggressively. He’s a free safety and would be out of place at strong safety depending on the scheme.”

Another AFC scout said – “He’s a cocky kid who comes across as thinking that he’s better than he is as a player. His maturity has improved and people at Boise have more nice things to say about him. But he has a temper and if he hasn’t learned to control that, he’ll be a problem on and off the field. He can play and he’ll be on our board.”

What George Iloka said

“Before you grow as a football player, you have to grow as a man. I consider myself a young man now. I’ve grown here and all that’s thanks to the coaches … all these guys who have molded me into the man I am today. Growing off the field, life skills, learning how to treat other people, learning how to carry yourself, how to be a good citizen — it’s helped my play.”

What they said about George Iloka

“George is an amazing athlete, but he’s a hard worker. He just has a passion for the game that you don’t really see in a lot of guys. I always think back to the summertime, when we were doing 7-on-7, we’d always have to tell him to just kind of calm down because he wanted to win so bad.” Boise State wide receiver Chris Potter.

“George used to be a guy who would just take care of himself. Now he’s starting to bring other guys along. He is coaching other guys up on and off the football field. … What we’ve been going through (in the secondary) this year, he’s shown a lot — being positive, meeting with guys on their own, getting guys to see stuff through his eyes.” Boise State DB coach Marcel Yates.

“George, if he stays healthy, can play a lot of years in the NFL.” More from Yates.

“He opened up his heart and mind to the whole (unity) process and figured out that, first of all, it’s fun, and then it’s helpful, being able to get to know different guys on the team. He really showed growth in becoming part of that.” Boise State defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski.

Does George Iloka fit with the Chiefs?

He’s considered the No. 1 free safety prospect and that’s not a position where you would expect to see the Chiefs use a high draft choice to select another safety. There’s no question he can play the game, but how high he can fly will depend on his work ethic and maturity. It’s doubtful that the Chiefs get involved with that.

The Fresh Start of Free Agency … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

Chiefs fans have already left Eric Winston highly impressed.

Over the two days where Winston and the Chiefs were putting together the four-year contract that put Winston on the Kansas City roster, he constantly heard from Chiefs fans. Through the social media networks, especially Twitter, followers of the red and gold clogged his Twitter feed.

A contract worth $22 million is what attracted Winston to Kansas City, but it was a big help that his new fans were all in and wanted him on the roster.

“That was something else; my Twitter blew up obviously when I was released and got a lot of messages from a lot of people. I feel like the fans from Kansas City probably blew it up five times more than anyone else’s fan base. Every day, it was, ‘Come to Kansas City. Come to Kansas City,’ and then obviously when it was made known that I was in town, I had hundreds of mentions every day.

“To give you an idea of what that is, I usually have 50 or 75 mentions after a big game, and every day, just random mentions by all the fans, hundreds of them. I was really taken aback.” …Read More!

Peyton, Broncos Deal Almost Done & NFL Free Agency

The Peyton Chase is about to end, but I have to admit I lost interest when it became obvious that the Chiefs were not part of the picture.

There’s only one team in focus with Peyton Manning right now and that’s the Denver Broncos. The biggest free agent in NFL history has settled on going mile high to continue his career and the contract details are being worked out between Manning’s agent Tom Condon and the numbers crunchers from Denver. No mystery apparently on the biggest numbers involved here – 5 years, $90-plus million. The negotiating reportedly is about what forms that money will be paid, how it will be structured to help the Broncos against the cap and all those items that are now part of the financial landscape in pro football.

Suffice is to say the Chiefs and the rests of the AFC West will now get the chance to face Manning twice a year. The Broncos are especially happy that he’s on their side now – Denver was 8-2 against Manning.

The Chiefs are 1-7 against Manning, while the Raiders are 2-3. Only the Chargers have been able to solve Manning and his offense, as they are 5-4 and have won five of the last six against him. Maybe that’s why Chargers QB Philip Rivers expressed happiness when he heard that Denver was the next stop for Manning. …Read More!

Top 100 Prospects – No. 85 DT Kendall Reyes

There are a lot of football factories around the country, but there are none in New Hampshire. The state has fewer than 75 high school football programs with a population of just more than 1.3 million.

That can be seen in the number of Granite Staters that have rolled through the NFL over the years – it’s fewer than 25 players and in the last two years there has been only one – G Ryan Durand, who played in one game. The biggest names that rolled into football from N.H. were 15-year veteran quarterback Greg Landry and 14-seson center Don Macek

Kendall Reyes plans on changing all that. Born and raised in Nashua, he took his talents to the University of Connecticut where he played defensive tackle and defensive end for the Huskies and eventually ended up an All-Big East defensive stalwart and two-time team captain.

“A lot of people from where I’m from don’t have this opportunity,” Reyes said. “I wanted to do everything I can so that people remember me, where I come from. I want people to know that I’m from New Hampshire.” Here’s the Kendall Reyes story.

Draft Profile – DT Kendall Reyes


KENDALL REYES/DEFENSIVE TACKLE

Personal

Kendall A. Reyes

Born – September 26, 1989 in Nashua, New Hampshire.

Family – Mother is Alice Reyes-Hope; stepfather is Jim Hope. Mom is an assistant branch manager at Service Credit Union in Nashua. She has a MBA from Southern New Hampshire University.

Physical

  • Height – 6-feet, 4 inches.
  • Weight – 299 pounds.
  • Arm – 33¼ inches.
  • Hand – 9½ inches.
  • Wing span – 79½ inches.

NFL Scouting Combine

  • 40-yard dash – 4.87 seconds.
  • Bench press – 36 reps at 225 pounds.
  • Vertical jump – 34½ inches.
  • Broad jump – 9-feet, 5 inches.
  • 3-cone drill – 7.43 seconds.
  • 20-yard short shuttle – 4.53 seconds.

Hometown

Reyes was grew up in Nashua, New Hampshire, a city of approximately 85,000 people in the far southern end of the state, right on the boundary line with Massachusetts. Located at the spot where the Nashua and Merrimack Rivers come together the area was founded as a fur training post about 1655. Nashua is annually rated as one of the country’s best communities to live in. Natives of Nashua include actress and singer Mandy Moore, former Red Sox Rico Petrocelli, Chicago Bears CEO Ted Phillips and old school baseball catcher and manager Birdie Tibbett’s.

High School

As part of the graduating class of 2007, Reyes was part of one of the first classes to graduate from Nashua North High School, which opened in 2002. Its first graduating class was in 2005. The school has approximately 2,000 students in grades nine through 12.

Reyes played both wide receiver and defensive end for the Titans and head coach Jason Robie, while serving as team captain as a junior and senior. He was team captain in three sports in football, basketball and track during his senior season.

Football

2006 – The Titans went 4-7 in Reyes’ senior season, but he was named first-team All-New Hampshire defense.

2005 – In just their second season on the field, the Titans went 6-5.

2004 – Reyes scored the first TD in school history, as he returned a kickoff 85 yards for a score. At the time he was 6-4, 210 pounds.

Basketball

Senior captain for the Titans, working as a power forward, the Titans were 18-4 in his junior season.

Track

Reyes took part in multiple events over three springs for the Titans track team, including a third-place in the state championships in 2006 throwing the javelin 171 feet. He ran the 100 meters in 11.2 seconds. His best shot put effort was 47-feet, 1-inch. In the high jump he topped 6-feet and in the long jump his best effort was 20-feet, 2¾ inches.

Recruiting

Rivals.com listed him as a 2-star recruit at 6-4, 220 pounds. Scout.com had him with the same numbers as a 2-star recruit. There was limited interest in Reyes from the top college programs, as it was pretty much Boston College and UConn. The Huskies got the commitment in December 2006.

College

Reyes was a two-time team captain in his junior and senior seasons for the Huskies. First-team All-Big East Conference defense in 2010-11 as well. Was recruited and played first three seasons for Randy Edsall and then the ’11 season for Paul Pasqualoni when Edsall moved to Maryland.

2011 – He was selected UConn’s most valuable player and defensive player of the year for his performance with 46 tackles on the season.

2010 – Reyes opened all 13 games, moving back and forth between starting assignments at end and tackle. His 79-yard INT return in the closing minutes of the first half against Cincinnati turned the tide of that game.

2009 – Opened 12 games and finished with 37 total tackles. He earned a defensive game ball for his performance against Notre Dame, when he had four tackles.

2008 – Started the final four games of the season while playing in 11 games for the Huskies. His top performance was a five-tackle afternoon against Pitt.

2007 – Redshirt season.

Year 

G/S

Tkl 

TFL 

Sks 

QH 

Int 

PBU 

FF 

Record 

2011 

13/13

46

13.5

4.5

3

0

4

0

5-7

2010 

13/13

39 

10 

2.5 

2

2 

4 

1

8-5*

2009 

13/12

37 

6 

3 

1

0

2 

1

8-5*

2008 

11/4

20 

3 

1.5 

0

0

0

1

8-5*

2007 

RED

x

x

x

X

x

x

x

x-x

Total

50/42

142

32.5

11.5

6

2

10

3

29-22

-2011, returned fumble for TD (9 yards); *-(2010) Fiesta Bowl; (2009) PappJohns.com Bowl ; (2008) International Bowl.

Video

UConn against Pitt 2010 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WS0rD3s4hoI

(Reyes is No. 99)

Reyes at pre-season Media Day – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49oYPnWxBGI&feature=related

Evaluation

Strengths – Big man who in the last five years has added 55 pounds, or 11 pounds a year, without losing his speed or quickness, which are both good for a man his size. At UConn, Reyes played both defensive end and defensive tackle in a 4-3 scheme and that provided the NFL with a lot of different views of him at each position. He’s very quick off the snap and can slice the A or B gaps in a flash. He’s got good movement up and down the line of scrimmage and is good at shedding blockers and chasing down running backs. He does not have much of a pass rush, but he can get blockers off balance and when he does, he leverages them into the quarterback’s lap. A team leader who was twice named team captain.

Deficient – He needs to dedicate a bit more time to conditioning, as he seems to run out of gas late in each half. There’s no question about his dedication to preparation, but he needs NFL trainers and strength coaches who will work with him on more stamina. That might help establish more consistency, something he really needs to show. When he gets tired, he plays too high and loses the leverage and can get pushed around by blockers not nearly as good as him.

Analysis – His leadership skills speak a lot to the type of person he is and how seriously he takes performing with his team. Scouts say he could add more weight on his frame and if possible, that would probably give him a ticket to playing exclusively at DT. Right now his versatility is a plus.

What the scouts say

An NFC scout said – “He’s got the size to play defensive end of the 5-technique, but I’m not so sure he wouldn’t be better losing about 20 pounds and playing outside linebacker. In one-on-one battles at the line of scrimmage, he too often gets high and loses leverage.”

Another NFC scout said – “He doesn’t have much in the way of pass rush history or potential. I mean he played what 50 games and had about a dozen sacks? He’s a solid player, nothing special. He’s a very good young man and personality, so that’s all good.”

What Kendall Reyes said

“To be honest, I get embarrassed when I look at film from high school. I say to myself, was I really doing that? I think I was just faster than everyone else then and relied too much on that.”

“It’s cool to see where I came from and where I’m at now, and hopefully, where I’m going. It gets better every day. I just try to stay humble and stay focused.”

“I didn’t want to be one of those who just made it and didn’t do anything with it. I was going to make the best out of my opportunity because a lot people from where I’m from don’t have this opportunity. I wanted to do everything I can so that people remember me, where I come from. I want people to know that I’m from New Hampshire.”

What others said

“Physically, he’s the complete package, with great potential beyond the walls of Nashua North. He studied the game in the offseason, going to various camps. He realizes there’s more to football than being the fastest guy out there, the biggest guy out there.” Nashua North High School head coach Jason Robie.

Does Kendall Reyes fit with the Chiefs?

Possibly. His personality and the way he approaches the game and life are qualities that the Chiefs seek. He could be a defensive end in the 3-4, but whether he can anchor that end on running plays remains in doubt, and it doesn’t sound like he’s going to provide much in the way of a pass rush.

Sounds Like Manning Is Going To Denver

ESPN.com was reporting late Monday morning that Peyton Manning has charged his agent Tom Condon to negotiate the particulars of a contract with the Denver Broncos.

Spearheaded by Hall of Fame QB John Elway, the defending division champion Broncos went after Manning hard and apparently have been successful in convincing the 36-year old, four-time MVP to continue his career in the AFC West.

San Francisco and Tennessee sit and wait to see what happens with the Broncos as they were the other finalists in the Peyton Chase.

Good Start; More Is Needed . . . Monday Cup O’Chiefs

Just as it will be for any person wanting to immediately judge a team’s ability to select college players in the NFL Draft, it remains impossible to judge in the month of March just how effective the Chiefs have been with their signing splurge in free agency.

But they’ve certainly made some headlines in the last week, and in a change for them, the news was good. It wasn’t about who didn’t want to play for the Chiefs, but in this case who did want to wear the red and gold – TE Kevin Boss, RB Peyton Hillis, RT Eric Winston and QB Brady Quinn.

Chiefs fans should not be delirious over the addition of those bodies. Only Winston is a starter. He is easily the one player that has already improved the Chiefs just by taking over that starting spot. He’s also the same player who failed a Texans physical last week because of a rehabbing ankle injury. The Chiefs doctors must feel pretty good about the ankle, or the team doesn’t give him $22 million over the next four years.

That was the key signing, but I don’t mean to ignore the other three guys, because they have improved the roster with their additions. Just look at it like this: …Read More!

Everyday Life Lessons from an Everyday Athlete

During his time with the Chiefs, Joe Valerio was one of my favorite players. A relatively obscure second-round draft choice in 1991 from the University of Pennsylvania, Joe was bright, articulate, but he didn’t act like some snooty Ivy Leaguer. He played in 64 games over five seasons (1991-1995) and few of his performances as an offensive tackle are memorable. Instead, it was when he would go in as a tight end in goal-line situations where Valerio shined. He ended up catching four passes in his NFL career, all four going for touchdowns, including a couple of those thrown to him by Joe Montana. Through it all, Joe never took anything for granted and even on his last day in the building, he did not lose the little kid in him that enjoyed playing football.

Valerio is currently a Senior Vice President/Regional Sales Manager at TD Insurance in the Philadelphia area, a national risk management brokerage and consulting firm and division of TD Bank. He wrote this story for the website Philly2Philly.com

——————————

Lesson 1: You Never Know Who’s Watching

The funny thing about life lessons is that they often come when you’re least expecting them.  As I walked into my fifth team interview at the 1991 NFL Combine in Indianapolis, I was expecting to answer questions about my college playing experience.  After a day of being poked, prodded, and made to perform in front of a sea of coaches wielding clipboards, I was expecting to answer questions about my 40-yard dash time or my weightlifting regimen.   …Read More!

Last Week’s Pro Day Workouts

It’s one of the pieces of the personnel puzzle that forms the complete picture of potential draft choices for NFL teams. The Pro Day workout, or on campus visit does not always provide any type of physical numbers that will change any team’s evaluations. But it’s a chance for injured players to get their important numbers on paper, like 40-yard dash times and weight lifting totals.

It’s also another chance for teams to interact with the player. Anybody from the GM, to personnel director, to head coach, to position coaches will be on site for the Pro Day. (That’s a pair of former Chiefs on the right that were in Norman, Oklahoma for the Sooners Pro Day, former TE Jonathan Hayes, now assistant coach in Cincinnati and next to him is WR Willie Davis, now an area scout for the Chiefs.)

Here are a few notes on what went down last week at Pro Day workouts around the country. …Read More!

Top 100 Prospects – No. 86 WR A.J. Jenkins

The 2009 season was one of major disappointment for the University of Illinois and WR A.J. Jenkins. The Illini finished that season with a 3-9 record and Jenkins caught just 10 passes on the season, and missed the last four games because of a knee injury.

When he went home to Jacksonville, Florida for the holidays, Jenkins was determined to transfer. “Obviously, I was very frustrated,” Jenkins said, remembering that time several years later. “I didn’t want to come back. I wanted to play closer to home.”

He began researching SEC and ACC schools. But he also kept the line of communications open with Illini head coach Ron Zook and when a new offensive coordinator was hired, Jenkins was convinced to return to Champagne-Urbana. “Usually, when players try to transfer (coaches) say, ‘I don’t want you back’,” Jenkins said. “But coach Zook kept calling me, kept on telling me they still wanted me this year. That was the main thing.”

It led to a big season in 2011 for Jenkins and a future in the NFL. Here’s the A.J. Jenkins story.

Draft Profile – WR A.J. Jenkins


A.J. JENKINS/WIDE RECEIVER

PERSONAL

Alfred Alonzo Jenkins

Born – September 30, 1989 in Jacksonville, Florida

Family – Parents are Sandra Brice and Alfred Jenkins Jr.

PHYSICAL

  • Height – 6 feet, ¼ inches.
  • Weight – 190 pounds.
  • Arm – 32¾ inches.
  • Hand – 9½ inches.
  • Wing span – 77½ inches.

NFL Scouting Combine

  • 40-yard dash – 4.39 seconds.
  • Bench press – 12 reps at 225 pounds.
  • Vertical jump – 38½ inches.
  • Broad jump – 10-feet, 4 inches.

Hometown

Jenkins grew up in Jacksonville, Florida.

High School

He was a member of the graduating class of 2008 at Terry Parker High School, part of the Duval County Public School District. The school has approximately 2,000 students. He played for Braves head coach Greg Stanton.

2007 – In his senior season, he caught 41 passes for 515 yards and scored four touchdowns. He also ran for 251 yards on 40 carries. TPHS finished the season 5-5.

2006 – Jenkins caught 32 passes for 500 yards in his junior year, as the Braves went 6-4..

Recruiting

The Scout.com service rated him a 4-star recruit and the No. 36 wide receiver in the country. Rivals.com ranked him as a 4-star recruit and the No. 53 ranked wide receiver across the country.

Schools that showed an interest in Jenkins were Illinois, Florida, Georgia Tech, LSU, Maryland, Miami and South Carolina. He made a verbal commitment to Georgia Tech before his senior high school season, but pulled that back when rumors began about the job status of Chan Gailey. Eventually, he decided on going to Illinois.

College

Jenkins played all four seasons of his eligibility for the Fighting Illini and head coach Ron Zook. He ended

2011 – Named first-team All-Big 10 Conference offense. His performance against Northwestern when he caught 12 passes for 268 yards and 3 TDs broke the Illinois single game receiving record and it was the fourth best receiving day in Big 10 history. By the end of the season, Jenkins accounted for 53 percent of the Illini offensive passing game. He had touchdown catches of 67 and 77 yards.

2010 – Jenkins played in all 13 games, starting nine and led the team with 56 catches for 746 yards. He was named the team’s most outstanding receiver and was named the Illini’s most improved offensive player.

2009 – He played in eight games, starting three times. Jenkins ended up missing the last four games of the season because of an MCL tear in one of his knees.

2008 – He was on the field for 12 games, starting once as a true freshman. Hit on a 96-yard kickoff return against Indiana and caught 3 passes for 117 yards and 2 TDs vs. Minnesota.

Year 

G/S 

Rec 

Yds

Avg 

TD 

Att 

Yds

TD 

KR 

Yds 

TD 

Rec. 

2011 

13/13

90

1,276

14.2

8

5

26

0 

5 

79 

0 

7-6*

2010 

13/9

56 

746 

13.3

7 

0 

0 

0 

0 

0 

0 

7-6* 

2009 

8/3

10 

123 

12.3

1 

1 

-1 

0 

11 

204 

0 

3-9

2008 

12/1

11 

287 

26.1

3 

0 

0 

0 

22 

490 

1 

5-7

Total 

45/25

167

2,432

14.6

18 

6

25

0 

38 

773 

1 

22-28

-Also had three tackles; *-2011 (Fight Hunger Bowl); 2010 (Texas Bowl).

Evaluation

Strengths – Fluid runner, with excellent speed and he can create separation from defenders, especially on underneath routes where his slippery moves give him openings. He really stretches the defense. Very good hands and almost always snatches the ball outside his body. Jenkins has played both outside and inside and that helps any offense. He’s not afraid to go after the ball, willing to throw himself in front of the throw and the defenders if he must.

Deficient – Needs to add weight and strength if he’s going to be a major contributor in the NFL. He’s weak at getting of the press coverage at the line of scrimmage. Jenkins is also not much of a factor as a blocker and that’s a problem. He drops too many catchable passes, almost always because of a lack of concentration. He is a bit cocky and known for sometimes saying or doing the wrong thing at the wrong time.

Analysis – There’s no question he can help just about any team with his athletic ability and speed at the wide receiver position. He’s a big play waiting to happen. But he’s very inconsistent and there have been questions about his work ethic as well. He has diva potential, but also has the potential to be a contributor to any offense with his elusiveness and power. Attitude is in question as well, as he had several run-ins with Zook and his coaching staff.

Video

Jenkins’ big day against Northwestern in 2011 — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGLtevlRYjs

Jenkins interview after Northwestern performance — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_zJ04CvXC4

What the scouts say

From an AFC scout – “If he played and produced to the level he thinks he’s at, then this kid would be a lock top five, 10 pick. He’s got the ego, but he doesn’t have the work ethic or the determination to be the best. He’s like a lot of kids playing that position in the college ranks – they think they have it figured out. Jenkins needs a lot of work before he’ll make his mark.”

From an NFC scout – “Is he fast? Yes. Does he have good body control? Yes. Does he have good soft hands? Yes. Is he dedicated to his craft and willing to supplant his ego for that of the team? Now that’s one we don’t have answers for. Too many Diva examples, too many times his lack of concentration has hurt his team. This kid needs to grow up and he’ll be a fine player.”

What A.J. Jenkins said

“I’m kind of known for not thinking too smart.”

“I’m the best receiver in the Big Ten just because I work harder than the receivers out there. I have the best coach, the best quarterback, the best linemen and the best sidekick. Having the best things around me makes me the best receiver in the Big Ten.”

What others said about A.J. Jenkins

“Each time he has a chance to make plays, we expect him to do it. That’s what he did a great job of. It was fun throwing the ball to him and seeing him make big plays.” Illinois QB Nathan Scheelhaase.

“He has great speed and quickness and some guys don’t have both. He can really reach out and catch the ball away from his body. He has always had those traits, but it’s about attitude and showing up and working hard every day in practice.” Former Illinois offensive coordinator Paul Petrino.

“What traits does he have? He can separate. He can get out of his breaks and catch a ball away from his body. He’s fast. He’s quick. He’s got it all. He just needs to keep that attitude, and he has. He just needs to keep it getting better and better, and he can make some money some day.” More from Petrino.

Does A.J. Jenkins fit with the Chiefs?

Again, any player with the athletic ability and speed that Jenkins has can help any team in the league. He’s probably not a No. 1 receiver, more likely a No. 2. That’s something the Chiefs have plenty of right now. I doubt he’s under serious consideration by Scott Pioli.

Chiefs UFA Spree Continues – Winston & Quinn Are In

The Chiefs scratched off a couple more items from their off-season wish list, as they signed a right tackle and a backup quarterback.

After several days of discussions, the Chiefs got a deal done with RT Eric Winston. It’s a 4-year deal for north of $21 million. Winston was cut early in the week by the Houston Texans when he failed a physical. Apparently the Chiefs do not think his ankle injury that required surgery in the off-season is going to be a problem.

The 6-7, 302-pound veteran is entering his seventh NFL season and he will be 29 in November. Winston started the last 80 games at RT for the Texans. The Midland, Texas native played his college ball at Miami FL.

And just one day after making the connection, they got a deal done with QB Brady Quinn. A former first-round draft choice of the Cleveland Browns in 2007 when Romeo Crennel was the Cleveland head coach, Quinn spent the last two seasons on the bench in Denver and hasn’t played since a December 22, 2009 game at Arrowhead Stadium against the Chiefs.

Quinn’s contract is for one season. He’s 6-3, 235 pounds and will be 28 at the end of October. He’s spent five seasons in the league, the first three with Cleveland and the last two with Denver. Quinn is a native of Columbus, Ohio and played his college ball at Notre Dame.

Top 100 Prospects – No. 87 CB Dwight Bentley

Even though he played at one of the most famous football high schools in the country, there were not a lot of people interested in seeing Dwight Bentley continue his career after Pahokee High School.

Teammates on the that 2006 Florida 2B state championship team were recruited to play at major programs, including Florida and Florida State right in the Sunshine State, Bentley’s only choice was to go the junior college route to improve his grades and to show he could handle the academic work.

That road led to western Kansas and a semester at Dodge City Community College, but he didn’t play football there, ultimately ending up at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. But it’s there in the Ragin’ Cajun program that Bentley showed the NFL he deserves serious consideration on draft day.

Here’s the Dwight Bentley story.

Draft Profile – CB Dwight Bentley


DWIGHT BENTLEY/CORNERBACK

Personal

Dwight “Bill” Bentley

Born – May 16, 1989 in Miami, Florida.

Family – Mother Andrea Bentley.

Physical

  • Height – 5-feet, 9 ¾ inches
  • Weight – 182 pounds.
  • Arms – 30¼ inches.
  • Hands – 8 inches.
  • Wing span – 71 7/8 inches.

NFL Scouting Combine

  • 40-yard dash – 4.43 seconds.
  • Bench press – 13 reps at 225 pounds.
  • Vertical jump – 31 ½ inches.
  • Broad jump – 9-feet, 6 inches.
  • 3-cone drill – 6.99 seconds.
  • 20-yard shuttle – 4.5 seconds.

Hometown

Bentley grew up in Pahokee, Florida, a small town of approximately 6,500 people that lies on the shores of Lake Okeechobee in Palm Beach County. Pahokee means “grassy waters” in the Creek language. It sits in an area adjacent to the Everglades and has some of the richest soil in the state of Florida. Once known as the “Winter Vegetable Capital of the World” just about every sort of vegetable and citrus fruit was grown in the area. Many of those farms and industries have closed over time.

High School

Bentley was a member of the graduating class of 2007 at Pahokee High School, part of the School District of Palm Beach County system. There are approximately 800 students in grades 7 through 12 at Pahokee. The school is most famous for its football program, as the Blue Devils have won six state championships since 1989. In a two-season span (2006-07), PHS went 28-0, won two state titles and was ranked No. 6 in the nation. Among the notable football players to come out of Pahokee have been Hall of Fame LB Ricky Jackson, WR Anquan Boldin, CB Alphonso Smith, DE Eric Moore and another dozen players who have spent time on NFL rosters.

2006 – Bentley was named second team All-State as a defensive back and was first team All-Area. He had 25 tackles and 6 INTs. One of his interceptions came against highly-touted QB John Brantley in the state championship game. Pahokee beat Trinity Catholic 25-11 to finish the season with a 14-0 record.

2005 – The Blue Devils went 11-2 lost in the state championship game to Trinity Catholic 37-30.

2004 – Pahokee went 14-1 and beat Pensacola catholic 43-9 for the Class 2B state championship.

Recruiting

There was little interest in Bentley coming out of high school he had little or no recruiting interests because of his physical size and his grades and lack of core requirements under NCAA rules. Had he reached a qualifying score, Florida Atlantic, Florida International and Western Michigan expressed interest.

Junior College

Bentley attended Dodge City Community College in Dodge City, Kansas for the fall semester of 2007, but took a redshirt for football, working on his grades instead.

College

Louisiana Lafayette was the only school that serious chased Bentley into his junior college semester in Dodge City. So, that’s where he landed, becoming part of the Ragin’ Cajuns with four full years of eligibility available to him.

2011 – Named to the first-team Finished the season with 65 total tackles and 3 INTS, along with a pair of forced fumbles Bentley opened the season with a pair of interceptions against Oklahoma State and QB Brandon Wedden.

2010 – Bentley started 11 of 12 games at CB, missing one game because of an ankle injury. He led all defenders with solo tackles.

2009 – Played 12 games, starting 11 on the corner, missing one game due to an ankle injury. He led all defensive backs in tackles and had three INTs, including one he returned 70 yards for a TD.

2008 – Enrolled for the spring semester, and got on the field in the fall for 12 games, starting 10. .

Year

G/S

Tkl

TFL

Sks

INTs

PBU

FF

Rec.

2011

13/

71

5

0

3

6

2

9-4*

2010

10/10

58

3

.5

1

6

0

3-9

2009

12/11

58

2.5

1

3

5

1

6-6

2008

12/10

45

2.5

0

0

3

0

6-6

Total

47/

232

13

1.5

7

20

3

24-25

Caught 2 passes for 35 yards; 2 kickoff returns for 30 yards; scored 2-point conversion.

Video

Bentley in New Orleans Bowl vs. San Diego State – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvlRa3dltSs

Louisiana-Lafayette 2010 highlights – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tFXBUuGmbU

EVALUATION

Strengths – Very good athlete, with quick feet and top level speed; he not only runs under 4.4 seconds in the 40, but he plays the game under 4.4 seconds. Just watching his footwork is entertaining, as he’s so quick and fluid in how he keeps himself in good position moving his feet around. He turns and backpedals and doesn’t slow down like it’s a natural move. If he gets the ball in his hands, there’s a good chance he’s going somewhere with that interception; he returned 3 of his 8 picks for touchdowns and average 28.3 yards per INT return. He’s got very good ball reaction, and he’ll stick that back foot in the ground and drive for the spot where the ball is going to be; a better performer and more comfortable in a zone, cover-2 type defense.

Deficits – Bentley lacks any extra poundage or natural padding, as he’s very small and wiry. That leaves questions in the mind of many as to how physical can he play the game. He’s not reluctant to come up and make a hit, but he’s not going to blow anybody up with a good smack. He lacked consistency playing in his senior season, sometimes looking like he was bored. Sun Belt Conference didn’t put the type of receivers on the field every Saturday that he would have seen in the SEC or Big 12, so level of competition comes into the equation.

Analysis – There’s no question Bentley has the skills to play in the NFL. The question among personnel types is whether he’s already played his best football. Physically, he looks a lot like Brandon Flowers and plays that way as well, if the ball gets in his hands, there’s a good chance it’s going to be a big play going the other way.

What the scouts say

An AFC scout said – “He’s got qualities that you can’t teach no matter how good the coaching staff might be. But he needs a lot of work on fundamentals and the little things that separate players at the highest level. I’m worried about his build, because there’s not a lot to the kid, but he plays much bigger and isn’t afraid of contact. He’ll find a spot in the league, but he’ll have to keep working hard to stay there.”

What Dwight Bentley said

“I’ve been holding that chip for a long time. I had to take another route. I just felt like I had to work extra hard to get to where I’m at today. I just always put that in the back of my mind, where I want to go, where I want to be, and I just took it; put that chip on my shoulder. It seems like I was that stone hidden in the dirt for so long. Now, I’m kind of getting a little shine, so I’ll take it and run with it.”

Does Dwight Bentley fit with the Chiefs?

Again, no team has enough cornerbacks and this young man is physically gifted. He’s in many ways Brandon Flowers-Lite in cover ability and physical size. What he doesn’t show on the field is the type of hitting that Flowers enjoys dishing out in the Chiefs defense. Traditionally, this is not the type of player the Chiefs under Scott Pioli go after.

Day No. 5 NFL Free Agency


Patriots get deal done with Brandon Lloyd – Former Blue Springs receiver signed a 3-year, $12 million with New England on Saturday. Lloyd gets reunited with his Denver head coach-St. Louis coordinator Josh McDaniels.

Tom Brady gets another receiver as well – Former Colts WR Anthony Gonalzez jumped to New England on Saturday signing a two-year deal.

Redskins keep a quarterback – Rex Grossman signed a 1-year deal to stay with Washington, even with the apparent arrival in April of RG3.

Lions keep their backup and starting tackle – Detroit got new deals with OT Jeff Backus and No. 2 QB Shaun Hill.

Bengals sign another defensive back – Jason Allen inked a 2-year deal with Cincinnati for $8.2 million.

Seahawks get DT signed – Former Tennessee DT Jason Jones signed a one-year deal with Seattle. He was also considering St. Louis, but . . .

Rams get big D-lineman from Dolphins – St. Louis was looking for help along the defensive front and the settled on DE-DT Kendall Langford from Miami.

Bengals jump into free agency by signing a blocker – Cincinnati gets G Travelle Wharton to sign on. Wharton was released earlier in the week by Carolina.

Chiefs Stay Active Sifting Through Free Agency

As the Chiefs go into the first weekend of free agency in the NFL for the 2012 season, they still have some work to do, players to talk to and hopefully some more money to spend in the second wave of free agents.

Catching up on some of the details:

A Brady Sequel, And We Don’t Mean Tom?

FoxSports.com reported Friday evening that QB Brady Quinn (left) would be stopping by the Chiefs for a visit. Could this possibly be the competition that GM Scott Pioli was promising to bring in to go against Matt Cassel?

The 27-year old Quinn will be going into his sixth NFL season this fall. It’s been three years since he played in a regular season game. In two years with the Broncos he’s not gotten on the field. His only 14 games and 12 starts came with the Cleveland Browns, the team that drafted him in the first round back in the 2007 NFL Draft. The head coach of the Browns at the time was Romeo Crennel.

In those 14 games, Quinn has thrown 10 TD passes against 9 interceptions, with a 52.1 completion percentage and a 66.8 passer rating. …Read More!

Top 100 Prospects – No. 88 WR Joe Adams

“I’m pushing to play every game like it’s my last game.”

Those were the words of Joe Adams, University of Arkansas wide receiver. In October 2009, Adams was going through a weight lifting session in the days before the Razorbacks were going to play Auburn. He had a nasty headache and in fact, it felt like a migraine, a problem he had dealt with before. The pain became so severe Adams sought help from the trainers. They sent him to the doctors, who ordered up an MRI on his brain.

That’s when it was discovered that Adams suffered what the school officials have termed “a mild stroke.” He sat out the next three games, but returned later that season and hasn’t had any problems with migraines and strokes since.

“I don’t know why it happened,” Adams said. “But I know that I want to try to make everything positive, whether it’s a game, or a practice, or a a weight session.”

Here’s the rest of the Joe Adams story.

Draft Profile – No. 89 WR Joe Adams


JOE ADAMS/WIDE RECEIVER

Personal

Joe Adams

Born – November 22, 1989 in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Family – Mom is Charlotte Allman.

Physical

  • Height – 5-feet, 10 ¾ inches.
  • Weight – 179 pounds.
  • Arm – 31 7/8 inches.
  • Hand – 9 3/8 inches.
  • Wing span – 75¼.

NFL Scouting Combine

  • 40-yard dash – 4.55 seconds.
  • Bench press – 7 reps at 225 pounds (at Arkansas Pro-Day).
  • Vertical jump – 36 inches.
  • Broad jump – 10-feet, 3 inches.
  • 3-cone drill – 7.09 seconds.

Hometown

Adams grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas.

High School

Adams was a member of the graduating class of 2008 at Central Arkansas Christian High School. He played football, basketball and he was part of the track and field team. On the football field, he played quarterback, receiver and cornerback for the Mustangs and Coach Tim Perry.

2007 – In his senior season the Mustangs went 10-2-1 and he was named to the Associated Press All-Arkansas team as a defensive back. He was also named the Class 4A Defensive Player of the Year. Adams finished that season with 80 total tackles, 10 tackles for loss and 4 sacks, along with 5 INTs and 15 passes broken up. He returned one of those interceptions 77 yards for a touchdown. He had 742 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns, while catching passes for 770 yards and another 435 yards in the return game. He also threw a pair of TD passes.

815 yards rushing 10 TDs. Threw for 101 and 2 TDs and had a 94yard punt return for a score. He had 122 tackles and 5 INTs.

2006 – Adams ran for 857 yards on 75 carries with 14 TDs as a junior, and also caught 29 passes for 633 yards and 9 scores. He averaged 27.5 yards on nine punt returns with 2 more TDs. 882 yards rushing g

2005 – In his sophomore season, he scored 11 TDs and had 5 INTs at defensive back. On offense, he played quarterback.

Recruiting

Rivals scouting service ranked him as the No. 2 prospect in Arkansas and a 4-star talent, while Scout. Com had him as a 4-star player and the No. 8 cornerback in the country.

Adams drew interest from Arkansas, Florida, Southern California, Clemson, Georgia, Texas A&M, and Oklahoma.

He committed to Arkansas on February 6, 2008.

College

In four seasons, Adams ranks second on Arkansas’ all-time receiving list with 164 catches. He’s fourth in school history with 2,410 receiving yards and seven 100-yard receiving games and he’s tied for fourth with 17 receiving TDs. His five punt returns are tied for the third best career mark in SEC history.

2011 – Adams was named the SEC Special Teams Player of the Year, while also being named to numerous All-America teams as a returner, including second-team All-America from Associated Press as an all-purpose back. He was also on the All-SEC first-team squad. His four TDs on punt returns topped the nation and tied the SEC single season record. He was the only player in the country during the 2011 season with rushing, receiving and return touchdowns.

2010 – Appeared in 12 of 13 games, missing one due to an ankle injury. Adams led the team in receiving yardage with 813 receiving yards on 50 catches. He had three games of 100 yards-plus in receiving yards. Adams set a new school record for longest punt return when he took one back 97 yards for a score against Ole Miss.

2009 – Adams played in 10 games, starting seven times. He missed three games after suffering a mild stroke. Still he finished the season productive enough to be named second team All-SEC. He had two games with 100 yards plus

2008 – As a true freshman, Adams appeared in all 12 games. He finished third on the team in receptions.

Year

G/S

Rec

Yds

Avg

TD

Run

Yds

Avg

TD

PR

Yds

TD

Rec

2011

13/13

54

652

12.1

3

10

139

13.9

1

19

321

4

11-2*

2010

12/11

50

813

16.3

6

6

32

5.3

0

16

249

1

10-3*

2009

10/7

29

568

19.6

7

5

31

6.2

1

1

0

0

8-5*

2008

12/0

31

377

12.2

1

6

46

7.7

0

0

0

0

5-7

Total

47/31

164

2,410

14.7

17

27

248

9.2

2

36

570

5

32-17

Passing: 1 of 1 for 6 yards and a TD. Kick returns: 7 for 124 yards. *-2011 (Cotton Bowl); 2010 (Liberty); 2009 (Sugar).

Hospital & Training Room Report

In October 2009, Joe Adams was going through a weight lifting session in the days before Arkansas was going to play Auburn. He noticed a nasty headache and in fact, it got so severe, he sought help from the trainers. They sent him to the doctors, who ordered up an MRI on his brain.

That’s when it was discovered that Adams suffered what the school has always termed “a mild stroke.” He sat out the next three games, but returned later that season and hasn’t had any problems with migraines and strokes since.

“I was amazed the year that he had (the stroke) because he came back … and played a couple games, and was very good in those games,” Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino said of Adams. “They targeted what the cause was, he’s done a nice job of taking care of himself and doing everything right off the field. He’s in great physical condition and he’s a real special young man with the ball in his hands.”

Video

An amazing punt return – http://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/2011/video-joe-adams-punt-return/

Another amazing Adams return vs. K-State – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0M8sU8f_Aes

Arkansas-Auburn highlights 2011 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swbDzsG_Kaw&feature=related

Evaluation

Strengths – Explosive runner-receiver, he’s got a blink of an eye first step and he goes zero to 60 faster than just about any player you’ve seen. He gets going so fast that at times it seems like he’s gliding rather than running. Can operate in tight areas and can change directions at the snap of a finger. He’s got balance, lower body strength and very good vision. He is always looking to make the big play. He’s lined up in the backfield at times and took snaps, running Wildcat plays.

Deficits – His lack of size and bulk make him vulnerable to a big hit. He’s very inconsistent in catching the ball and he’ll get the drops. Because he’s always looking to make the big play, he can get caught losing yardage when he zigs when he should have zagged. Ball security can be a concern and sometimes seems to lose his concentration when he’s yelling and talking. He’s been restrained by teammates on the field several times during his career. He catches the ball too many times with his body.

Analysis – He’s just an inch taller than Dexter McCluster and has the same body-type, and thus his durability remains in question. Adams is determined to make something of his career, as he takes care of his body, has changed his diet and has done all the things a player of his stature must do to make up for his lack of size.

What the scouts say

An AFC scout said“There are things he does with the ball on a return that even great players can’t do. He’s a lot like McCluster physically, but he can handle a return the way Dante Hall used to do. He’s not a No. 1 or 2 receiver, but could cause problems in the slot. Limited in what he can give you, but it you hit, it’s going to be big.”

An NFC scout said“Too many concerns about his lack of bulk. It’s not just being short, he’s not muscled up. You can’t hit what you can’t catch. If he gets caught, it could take only once to finish him. His health problem is a concern as well. You just don’t see that happen with a young man like that.”

What Joe Adams said

“I’m a good kick returner and punt returner too. I have a knack for the ball and I’ve also played quarterback so I’m real versatile. I can read the holes well and always find the opening. I still want to get stronger (benches 235 pounds, squats 405 pounds) and I’m also working on my route-running.”

What others say about Joe Adams.

“I knew how tough Joe was when we were in high school. I was a senior and we were playing a 3-on-3 basketball tournament. I had all the studs on my team. It was just Joe, and he picked up a couple not-so-good players. They almost won. I guarded him, and it felt like he was about 300 pounds, about 7 feet. He was just a tough athlete. He’s just a great kid to have on our team.” Former high school and college teammate tight end D.J. Williams

Does he fit with the Chiefs?

Not as long as they have Dexter McCluster and Javier Arenas. The explosive possibilities of a player like Adams are something that every team seeks, but the Chiefs have their quota of little skinny guys that can run fast.

Day No. 4 NFL Free Agency 2012


Atlanta kept John Abraham. The pass rushing DE signed a new 3-year deal after meeting with several teams.

Raiders finally release Wimbley. Oakland tried to juggle a new contract under the salary cap for DE/OLB Kamerion Wimbley, but eventually they were forced to release him on Friday. Talented player now added to the free agent market.

Texans keep their center. UFA Chris Myers visited a few teams, but signed a 4-year, $25 million deal with Houston on Friday.

Going in reverse for Whitehurst. QB Charlie Whitehurst signed a 2-year deal with San Diego. Just two years ago, he was traded by the Chargers to Seattle.

Rams get a snapper for Bradford. Former Packers center Scott Wells was signed by St. Louis to a 4-year, $24 million deal.

Chargers added another defensive back. San Diego reached agreement with S Atari Bigby to a 2-year deal.

Jets sign a QB and WR. New York signed QB Drew Stanton and WR Chaz Schilens.

Colts get a safety. Indy signed S Tom Zbikowski.

Ravens keep their center. It’s a three-year contract for C Matt Birk and Baltimore.

Seattle re-signed FB Michael Robinson. The Seahawks got him back in a 2-year deal for $5 million.

The Cowboys kept active, as Dallas signed G Nate Livings, previously of the Bengals. Livings came over on a 5-year deal for $19 million.

Washington continued its active off-season, signing DB Cedric Griffin to a 1-year deal.

The Super Bowl champion Giants re-signed their franchise player P Steve Weatherford to a multi-year contract.

Special teams ace S Haruki Nakamura
left Baltimore and signed a 3-year deal with Carolina.

A lot of players were sent to the waiver wire on Friday – QB Billy Volek (San Diego), WR Chansi Stuckey (Arizona), G Kyle Kosier (Dallas).

Top 100 Prospects – No. 89 RB Terrance Ganaway

The attention at Baylor this year all went to Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Robert Griffin III.

Griffin did not get it done without help. He had two important teammates on offense, in WR Kendall Wright and RB Terrance Ganaway.

Running at 240 pounds, Ganaway is not a shifty, side-to-side type runner. His style is to hit the hole and run over people. He did it well enough to establish a handful of Baylor records last season.

Ganaway’s story is an interesting tale, as he was one of the best high school runners in Texas history, but had his career sidetracked by tragedy. His story from tiny DeKalb, Texas to the doorstep of the NFL is right here.

Draft Profile – RB Terrance Ganaway


TERRANCE GANAWAY/RUNNING BACK

Personal

Terrance Omar Ganaway

Born – October 7, 1988 in New Boston, Texas.

Family – Parents were Charlotte Mae and Joe Ganaway. Charlotte passed away from cancer during his freshman season at the University of Houston (2007). Uncle is NFL veteran LB Jeremiah Trotter.

Physical

  • Height – 5-feet, 11½ inches.
  • Weight – 239 pounds.
  • Arm – 31¾ inches.
  • Hand – 9¼ inches.
  • Wingspan – 75½.

NFL Scouting Combine

  • 40-yard dash – 4.67 seconds.
  • Vertical jump – 37½ inches.
  • Broad jump – 9-feet, 11 inches.
  • 3-cone drill – 7.15 seconds.
  • 20-yard shuttle – 4.25 seconds.

Hometown

DeKalb, Texas is a town of approximately 1,700 people in Bowie County in the far northeast corner of the state. It’s just a few miles from the point where the states of Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas meet, not far from Texarkana, Texas. A native son of DeKalb is one of the former stars of the TV show Bonanza, Dan “Hoss” Blocker. It was near DeKalb that an airplane crash on New Year’s Eve 1985 took the life of singer Ricky Nelson.

High School

Ganaway is a member of the 2007 graduating class at DeKalb High School, the only high school in the DeKalb Independent School District. He was a member of the National Honor Society and took part in Student Council government. Ganaway played football, basketball and was part of the track & field team for the Bears.

Football

He was twice named Class 2A Offensive Player of the Year, under head coach Buddy Ray and was named in 2006 as Texas most outstanding RB by the TexasHSFootball.com website. Ganaway finished his high school career with 6,587 rushing yards, ranking 26th in all-time Texas schoolboy history at the time of his graduation. He scored 78 career TDs.

2006 – Named AP Class 2A Texas Offensive Player of the Year, rushing for 2,815 yards on 320 carries with 36 touchdowns. He was first team all-State selection, leading DeKalb to a record of 10-2. He had three games of 300 yards plus, including 417 yards on 46 carries against Clarksville, with six touchdowns.

2005 – Named AP Class 2A Texas Offensive Player of the year for his 2,403-yard performance with 22

Recruiting

Ganaway received a lot of attention from smaller football programs as both Rivals.com and Scout.com ranked him as a 2-star recruit and had him at 6-0, 199 pounds. He got attention from Iowa State, Sam Houston State, Stephen F. Austin, North Texas, Tulsa, Louisana Tech, Rice, SMU and Houston.

College

After verbally committing to SMU and then later Rice, Ganaway ended up taking the scholarship offer from Houston and then head coach Art Briles.

2007 – He played all 13 games, earning one start as a true freshman. Ganaway was one of 35 players that participated in all 35 games. He ran for 122 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries against Texas Southern. Ganaway ran for 550 yards on 109 carries and scored six TDs, as he was the team’s second leading rusher. Cougars landed a Texas Bowl bid against TCU.

Junior College

2008 – Kidney cancer claimed Charlotte Mae Ganaway, and Ganaway left Houston and enrolled in Texarkana Junior College. He did not play football that fall.

Recruiting

While Ganaway dealt with the grief of losing his mother, Houston coach Art Briles and a lot of his coaching staff were moving to Baylor. They kept in contact with Ganaway and when the young man decided he was ready to resume his college career, he landed at Baylor.

College

Ganaway graduated in December 2010 from Baylor with a degree in general studies. He’s been working on a Masters degree over the past 18 months. On the field over 38 games, he set or tied 12 school records, including most 200-yard rushing games in a career with three.

2011 – Ganaway played in 13 games with 12 starts at running back, earning first-team All-Big 12 Conference honors. He led the conference in rushing; averaging 119 yards per game. He was the offensive MVP at the Alamo Bowl, running for 200 yards and scoring five rushing TDs, including an 89-yard run for a TD against Washington. He ran for a career-high 246 yards against Texas Tech.

2010 – He saw playing time in all 13 games as a reserve.

2009 – He played in all 12 games with one start for the Bears. He had five rushing TDs on the second, including three against Northwestern State.

Year

G/S

Att

Yds

Avg

TD

Rec

Yds

TD

Record

2011

13/12

250

1,556

6.2

21

6

52

1

10-3*

2010

13/0

46

295

6.4

2

4

44

0

7-6*

2009

12/1

68

200

2.9

5

2

37

0

4-8

2008 DNP

x

x

x

x

X

x

x

X

x

2007 (Houston)

13/1

109

550

5.0

6

0

0

0

8-58

Baylor Career

38/13

364

2,051

5.6

28

12

133

1

21-17

Career

51/14

473

2,601

5.5

34

12

133

1

 

1 kickoff return, 38 yards, TD. *-2011 (Alamo Bowl); 2010 (Texas Bowl); 2007 (Texas Bowl).

Video

Baylor over TCU – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcrYUgHNTtQ&feature=player_embedded#!

(He’s No. 24.)

Ganaway in Alamo Bowl – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=od2sdLUOtys&feature=related

Feature on Ganaway – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seFuXhPAOR8

Evaluation

Strengths – Big man that runs in a big way. He’s a downhill runner all the way, running with a forward lean to his body. The pile moves when he hits it, no matter how many people are pushing back against him. Still, he shows surprisingly nimble feet for a man his size. He has a good nose for the end zone when the offense gets into the scoring zone and is seldom stopped once he gets his shoulders square and heading north and south.

Deficits – One-year wonder? Only in his senior season did he produce anything for the Baylor offense. That brings up questions about his interest in really committing to the game. He’s a non-factor as a receiver out of the backfield, and is not very good at catching the ball. He’s very inconsistent in how he handles the ball as well, sometimes getting lackadaisical and putting the ball at risk. He’s a straight line runner, with very little lateral movement. Think bull in the china shop style of running.

Analysis – He’s only effective when he gets his shoulders square and gets all of his power going in the same direction. Any defense that keeps him running from sideline-to-sideline is going to be able to handle him. There were very little special teams contributions from him at Baylor. His role in any offense is a first down back.

What the scouts said

An NFC scout said – “He’s too limited in what he could provide an offense on the NFL level, because he doesn’t catch the ball, doesn’t block and really can only run downhill. Tough to see most teams giving up a roster spot to a back with such limited production possibilities.”

What Terrance Ganaway said

“I want to be an integral part of a team and I like winning games more than individual stats. I am working hard to get where I want to be. I think I have a lot of things I can do, and besides Jesus Christ and my family, a chance at playing pro ball is one of the most important things in my life right now.”

“I think I’m light on my feet, I run downhill, I get yardage when you need it. I am 240, but I believe I have great speed for a back my size. I had a few big runs this year. I think I’m a great running back, I think I’m a mismatch problem on the next level because linebackers will underestimate how fast I am, how easy I make cuts or DBs how I will run, I can step around them sometimes and try to take it 80.”

What others said about Terrance Ganaway

“I have been blessed to coach a lot of good athletes in my career and he is probably the hardest working good player I ever saw. He was blessed with a God-given ability that you didn’t coach, but he took that and made himself better and that’s what made me appreciate him. He has the ability to make it to Sunday football.”- DeKalb High School coach Buddy Ray.

Does Terrance Ganaway fit with the Chiefs?

Not likely given his limited areas of contribution without much time in the kicking game or on passing downs. If Ganaway makes some progress in learning how to inject himself into those areas, there might be a better chance of a Chiefs-Ganaway marriage.

Chiefs Ink TE Kevin Boss

In the continued effort to pump some talent into the offense the Chiefs made their second free agent signing of the week Thursday when they agreed to a 3-year $9 million deal with TE Kevin Boss.

Boss was released earlier this week from the Raiders in a salary-cap move. He played one year in Oakland, after starting his career with four seasons with the New York Giants. He broke into the NFL in 2007 as a fifth-round draft choice out of Western Oregon.

The 6-6, 255-pound Oregon native caught 28 passes for 368 yards and 3 touchdowns for the Raiders in the 2011 season. Over five seasons, he now has 147 catches for 1,968 yards and 21 touchdowns.

One of his most memorable catches came in Super Bowl 42 when Boss caught a 45-yard completion from Eli Manning against New England and the Patriots defense.

Last year, Boss signed a four-year contract with the Raiders after spending his first four seasons with the New York Giants.

Top 100 Prospects – No. 90 OT Bobby Massie

Most college football players that believe they have a chance to move up to the next level and play in the NFL take the first months of each year and head to Florida, California or Arizona.

Through their agents, these players get set up at various workout facilities where they have top of the line trainers, along with nutritional information and sometimes even classes on how to handle the media or setting up utilities and bank accounts.

That wasn’t for Bobby Massie. The big offensive tackle from Ole Miss didn’t just want to get in shape. Massie wanted to improve his fundamentals. After all, he was leaving Mississippi a year early, so that’s 13 games of experience he will not carry into the NFL.

Instead of palm trees and warm weather, Massie ended up in Avon, Ohio. No beach, no ocean, just a very frigid Lake Erie nearby and long, hard days in the gym and on the field at the LeCharles Bentley O-Line Academy.

Run by former NFL center LeCharles Bentley, the six-week sessions are more blocker’s boot camp than just workouts. Here’s Bobby Massie’s story.

Draft Profile – OT Bobby Massie


BOBBY MASSIE/OFFENSIVE TACKLE

Personal

Bobby Massie

Born – August 1, 1989 in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Family – Parents are Patricia Johnson and Scott Massie.

Physical

  • Height – 6-feet, 6 1/8 inches.
  • Weight – 316 pounds.
  • Arm – 35 inches.
  • Hand – 9 inches.
  • Wingspan – 81¾ inches.

NFL Scouting Combine

  • 40-yard dash – 5.23 seconds.
  • Bench press – 22 reps at 225 pounds.
  • Vertical jump – 27 inches.
  • Broad jump – 8-feet, 9 inches.
  • 3-cone drill – 7.7 seconds.
  • 20-yard shuttle – 4.95 seconds.

Hometown

Massie was born and raised in Lynchburg, Virginia, a city of more than 75,000 that’s located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in central Virginia. The city was established in 1786 as Lynch’s Ferry on the James River. In the 1800s it was the major center of tobacco trading in the United States and was one of the richest cities in the country in the mid 1850s. It was the only city in Virginia that was not captured by the Union forces during the Civil War. Among natives of Lynchburg are Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel, actor Skeet Ulrich, the late evangelist Jerry Falwell, major leaguer Brandon Inge, TV producer Earl Hamner, actress Leslie Bibb and current and former NFL players Ruben Brown, Brad Butler, Chris Cook, Charles Haley, Rashad Jennings and Paris Lenon.

High School

He was part of the graduating class of 2007 at Liberty Christian Academy in Lynchburg. The school was founded by the late evangelist Jerry Falwell in 1967 and is affiliated with nearby Liberty University.

The football team under Coach Frank Rocco, a former Penn State quarterback, became one of the most successful schoolboy programs in the country. Between 2004-08 – when Massie was part of the program for three seasons – Liberty Christian went 46-1 with a 36-game winning streak and three state titles in the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association over five years.

2007 – Liberty won the Virginia Independent Schools state championship finishing the season with a 13-0 record. Playing on both offensive and defensive line, Massie had 21 total tackles and 1 interception. He earned All-Conference and all-state honors.

2006 – The Bulldogs went 10-1 and finished out of the playoffs as Massie played both offense and defense.

Massie spent his freshman and sophomore years playing at Appomattox High School, just outside of Lynchburg.

Recruiting

At Scout.com, Massie was listed as 6-6½, 327 pounds and rated as a 4-star recruit and ranked #13 in the country as a DT.

He received interest from just about every major football program in the country, including Penn State, Notre Dame, and all the schools of the ACC, Big East and most of the SEC. He was especially interested in Clemson, Georgia and North Carolina, with visits to North Carolina and Virginia Tech. He made a verbal commitment to the Hokies during the summer before his senior season, but pulled that back in January of 2008.

Prep School

Coming out of Liberty Christian Academy, Massie’s grades were poor and he decided to attend Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Virginia. Playing for Coach Robert Prunty, Massie had a big year in 2008, not only on the playing field, but in the classroom.

Recruiting II

Rivals.com rated Massie as a 5-star recruit and the No. 1 prep school player in the country. Scout.com had him at 6-8, 330 pounds.

This second time in the recruiting pipeline, there was interest in him from Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Miami and North Carolina. He verbally committed to Alabama and at one point told Georgia he was going there. He surprised everyone when he announced his selection of Ole Miss on February 4, 2009.

College

Massie played three seasons for Ole Miss and head coach Houston Nutt

2011 – Started all 13 games, giving him a string of 29 consecutive starts at RT.

2010 – Massie started all 12 games at RT. Ole Miss allowed the fewest sacks in the conference.

2009 – Played in all 13 games for Ole Miss, starting the final five at RT. He started and helped Dexter McCluster run for a school record 282 yards and started and held LSU without a QB sack.

Video

Mississippi offense vs. Alabama 2011 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f20erbZ_L5U&list=PLEB070E40F672B24E&feature=plcp&context=C3e3daffPDOEgsToPDskIKt7bTIqGX3LXrWq31UtI6

(Massie is RT, wearing #79.)

EVALUATION

Strengths – Very good athletic skills and good feet for a player of his size. He’s smooth, coordinated in his movement. His long arms allow him to extend and control the pass rushers. Massie is a knee-bender that gains more power with his ability to get leverage that a lot of tall blockers can’t achieve. When he grabs a defender there isn’t much that man can do. Because of his balance and coordination he’s really good against speed rushers.

Deficient – Sometimes gives up early on plays and could be a better finisher. Sometimes he gets lazy and bends at the waist and that takes away his quickness and strength. He must play more consistently and work harder on fundamentals. He’s gotten this far with a lot of natural ability, but that’s not going to expand his skills and he needs. He’s not as good in space as he is when he stays inside. He’ll have to show in his work ethic that he’s ready to take the next step.

Analysis – Massie has the skills and coordination to play tackle on either side in the NFL. He maybe better suited for the right side. His work in the last few months with former NFL center LeCharles Bentley has made a difference in his quickness and movement. The fact he would get involved in Bentley’s intense offensive linemen’s camp was a good sign.

What the scouts say

An AFC scout said – “This guy is a big lump of very high quality clay and if he gets with the right team and right coach, he’ll get molded into a starter and a Pro Bowler. But that’s not going to happen overnight. He needs work, work, work.”

An NFC scout said – “Raw, but gifted. I don’t think he can play the left side, but he could play the right tackle for a decade if he keeps improving.”

What others said about Bobby Massie

“Everyone, including Penn State, has told us that Bobby is a can’t-miss prospect. All the schools have told us that one day Bobby will be playing in the NFL.” Liberty Christian Academy head coach Frank Rocco Jr.

Does Bobby Massie fit with the Chiefs?

That would depend on how the Chiefs evaluate his upside and athletic ability to go out and improve and become more consistent blocking on the right side. He’s a gifted guy athletically, but will be a project to get up to NFL standards. That’s going to take time, and that may be time the Chiefs do not have.

Day No. 3 NFL Free Agency 2012

9 p.m. CDT

Chargers continue to add talent – San Diego didn’t sign Vincent Jackson, so they went out and added two receivers to take his place. They got Robert Meacham from New Orleans on Wednesday and on Thursday signed Eddie Royal, late of the Broncos. Washington thought it had Royals locked up, but the Chargers came in the backdoor and grabbed Royals in a 3-year deal.

Bills get their Mario for big bucks – DE Mario Williams never could get out of Buffalo, having been there for three days in what was supposed to be a one-day visit. But it all worked out as Williams signed a 6-year, $96 million contract, with something like $50 million in guaranteed money. That’s a huge addition for the Bills defense.

Dolphins sign big offensive lineman – The versatile Artis Hicks has left the Browns for South Beach. He can play guard and tackle.

Patriots add a safety for poor defense – S Steve Gregory has left the Chargers and signed on with the Patriots. That deal went down Thursday morning.

Broncos add a safety – Veteran S Mike Adams signed in Denver, leaving the Browns.

Lions retain safety – Erik Coleman finished up the 2011 season on the injured-reserve list with Detroit, but signed for another year with Gunther Cunningham and his defense.

Titans add big blocker for Peyton – If Tennessee can convince Peyton Manning to sign there, he will have a veteran star blocking for him as G Steve Hutchinson signed with the Titans in a 3-year deal.

Cowboys sign another UFA – LB Dan Connor inked a deal with Dallas, as he leaves Carolina. He’ll be paired up there with another Penn State LB in Sean Lee. …Read More!

Not A Good Move . . . Thursday Cup O’Chiefs

Sorry, Clark and Scott, but this one doesn’t make sense. In four seasons of moves at the top of the Chiefs, this one may be the worst.

The Chiefs allowed CB Brandon Carr to reach free agency and it took all of 24 hours for Carr to get scooped up by the Dallas Cowboys for a 5-year, $50.1 million contact.

And it leaves Hunt and Pioli with egg on their faces once again. There is only one reason Carr is gone – money. Pure and simple, the Chiefs did not want to open the wallet to keep one of their best players. Cap space, cash dollars were all available to them.

Yet, they could not get the job done. Now they have a hole in their defense, one big enough that Raiders reject Stanford Routt is not going to be able to fill.

Allowing Carr to walk out the door goes against everything that Hunt and Pioli have spoken about when it comes to their vision of what they are trying to build in Kansas City. Pioli has said many times that the key to free agency isn’t jumping into the pool on the day all the players get their freedom and flailing about with wads of money. He’s said the key is keeping your own free agents out of the water, signing them up early and making sure that your team gets the dividends from the investments made in that player from the time he was first drafted or signed.

That didn’t happen with Carr. Not only didn’t it happen, they all but pushed Carr into the free agency water. …Read More!

At Least One Peyton Will Sign With Chiefs

He’s not the Peyton the Chiefs were really interested in, but Peyton Manning won’t return their calls.

However, RB Peyton Hillis did and the former Broncos, Browns runner is now part of the Chiefs. ESPN reports it as a one-year deal for $3 million.

In other Wednesday night free agent news, FB Le’Ron McClain signed a 3-year deal with San Diego . . . Thursday will be busy at the Chiefs offices as they welcome visitors like former Chargers RB Mike Tolbert, former Raiders TE Kevin Ross and former Texans RT Eric Winston.

But on the roster as the first UFA signed this year is the 26-year old Hillis, who will be entering his fifth NFL season.

The 6-1, 240-pound native of Arkansas was selected in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL Draft by Denver. He was traded two years later to Cleveland in a deal that sent QB Brady Quinn to the Broncos.

It was the 2010 season where Hillis had his breakthrough season, running for 1,177 yards and 11 touchdowns, on 270 carries. He also caught 61 passes for 477 yards. Last season, he struggled through a series of injuries from strep throat, to a pulled left hamstring, a strained left hip and an elbow problem. Hillis finished with 587 yards on 161 carries.

Over 52 games for the Broncos and Browns, he ran 450 times for 2,161 yards and 20 TDs. He caught 111 passes for 805 yards and 3 TDs. He’s lost seven fumbles during his career.

He’s a big, bruising runner that provides a direct contrast to Jamaal Charles. Hillis also played in the 2010 season in Cleveland where new Chiefs offensive coordinator Brian Daboll had the same position with the Browns.

Day No. 2 – NFL Free Agency 2012

Carr is gone; signs with CowboysAfter four solid seasons with the Chiefs, CB Brandon Carr got his pay day not from the Hunt Family franchise but from the Dallas Cowboys. Agrees to 5-year, $50.1 million deal. Big loss for Chiefs.

Jaguars get QB and WR — Jacksonville was active on Wednesday, signing QB Chad Henne and then adding WR Laurent Robinson in a 5-year, $32.5 million deal.

McClain leaves Chiefs for Chargers — FB Le’Ron McClain spent just one year with the Chiefs, but he must have left an impression on the folks in San Diego, as he signed a 3-year deal with the Bolts on Tuesday.

Eagles workout deal with Jackson – WR DeSean Jackson has agreed to a 5-year, $47 million, with $15 million in guaranteed money.

Dolphins keep their nose tackle – Miami kept NT Paul Soliai with a two-year deal with an option, averaging $6 million per season. …Read More!

Top 100 Prospects – No. 91 RB Cyrus Gray

When it comes to running backs, the state of Texas seems produce them in almost assembly like fashion.

Every year there are five, six, seven Texas born and bred runners that are part of the draft class.

Players like Cyrus Gray, Texas A&M running back out of DeSoto, one of the far southwestern suburbs of the Dallas-Ft. Worth metro area. But during his football career, Gray has been more than just a running back. He’s played at quarterback, slot receiver, fullback and proved to be one of the best kick returners in the state.

But it was as a running back where he excelled especially with the Aggies and in the Big 12 Conference. Gray is set up to be able to come into the NFL and be if not a team’s franchise back, but a key contributor to an offense that relies on more than one back to move the ball.

Here’s the Cyrus Gray story.

Draft Profile – RB Cyrus Gray


CYRUS GRAY/RUNNING BACK

Personal

Cyrus Danall Gray

Born – November 18, 1989 in DeSoto, Texas.

Family – Parents are Sharonia and Charles Gray.

Physical

  • Height – 5-feet, 10¼ inches.
  • Weight – 206 pounds.
  • Arm – 29½ inches
  • Hand – 9¼ inches.
  • Wing span – 72 1/8 inches.

NFL Combine

  • 40-yard dash – 4.47 seconds.
  • Bench press – 21 reps of 225 pounds.
  • Vertical jump – 32½ inches.
  • Broad jump – 9-feet, 6 inches.
  • 3-cone drill – 7.17 seconds.

Hometown

Gray grew up in DeSoto, Texas, which is suburb of Dallas, southwest of the city. The last U.S. Census put its population at just under 50,000.

High School

Gray was a member of the graduating class of 2008 at DeSoto High School, the only high school in the DeSoto Independent School District. He participated in football and track, putting in three years on the gridiron for Eagles coach Dave Meadows. In his final two seasons Gray scored 67 total touchdowns. His best performance came against Abilene in the 2006 state playoffs when he ran for 256 yards and 5 TDs.

Recent NFL players RB Tatum Bell and DB Ellis Hobbs were products of DeSoto High.

2007 – Playing quarterback he earned honorable mention 5A All-State honors from The Associated Press. He ran for 1,975 yards on 248 carries and 28 touchdowns. He also returned two punts for TDs, from 83 and 89 yards. The Eagles were 9-3 on the season.

2006 – He was named second team All-Texas kick returner and third-team running back by the Texas Sports Writers Association. He ran for 1,482 yards and 31 touchdowns, while catching 38 passes for 436 yards and 2 scores. The Eagles advanced to the 5A-Division 2 quarterfinals before losing to Cedar hill and finishing the season with a 10-4 record.

Recruiting

Rivals listed Gray at 6-0, 188 pounds coming out of Desoto. He was a 4-star recruit in their eyes, ranked No. 5 as a running back in Texas. Scout.com had him as a 4-star recruit and ranked No. 11 in the country at running back. They said he was 5-11, 190 pounds.

During the recruiting process he visited Florida, Kansas, Louisville, Notre Dame and Oklahoma State, along with his last visit, which was to Texas A&M. For awhile he thought Louisville was his place, then after visiting Florida, he changed his mind. At the end it was A&M, Kansas and Louisville in that order. He committed to the Aggies on January 27, 2008.

College

Gray majored in agricultural leadership and development at A&M. He played in 49 games over his career. He had 3,298 yards in career rushing and another 2,349 yards in kick return yardage. He had 15 games over 100 yards rushing and 9 games with over 100 yards on kickoff returns. During the 2011 season he became only the fourth player to eclipse 6,000 career all-purpose yards. He joined Cedric Benson of Texas, Darren Sproles of K-State and DeMarco Murray of Oklahoma.

2011 – Selected for the second-team All-Big 12 offense after running for 1,045 yards in 11 games. He missed the last two games including the Meineke Car Care Bowl with a left shoulder stress fracture. He ran for 218 yards on 30 carries against Kansas State, one of five games where he had more than 100 rushing yards.

2010 – Honorable mention Big 12, started 7 games but led the team in rushing with 1,133 yards, sixth best in the Big 12. Gray had a career-high 223 yards on 27 carries against Texas. It was one of seven consecutive games where he topped 100 yards.

2009 – Honorable mention Big 12 he started nine games and finished as the team’s second leading rusher with 757 yards. Gray returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown against Colorado. He had his first 100-yard game against Texas Tech when he ran for 131 yards.

2008 – Saw playing time at running back, slot receiver and quarterback. He set a school record with 1,169 yards on kickoff returns, including a 98-yard T49/632D return against Oklahoma. He also set an A&M freshman record with 1,592 all-purpose yards, including 294 yards against Oklahoma.

Year

G/S

Att

Yds

Avg

TD

Rec

Yds

TD

KR

Yds

Avg

TD

Rec.

2011

11/5

198

1,045

5.3

12

31

239

3

6

116

19.3

0

7-6*

2010

13/7

200

1,133

5.7

12

34

251

1

17

422

24.8

0

9-4*

2009

13/9

159

757

4.8

5

28

226

2

27

642

23.7

1

6-7*

2008

12/3

75

363

4.8

1

10

60

0

49

1,169

23.9

1

4-8

Total

49/24

632

3,298

5.2

30

103

776

6

99

2,349

23.7

2

26-25

(Passing – 1 of 2 passes for 14 yards and a TD.) *- 2011 (Texas Bowl); 2010 (Cotton Bowl); 2009 (Independence).

Video

Highlights from 2010 seasonhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxEWOSG-jf4

(He’s No. 32 and he has a couple runs against Kansas and Texas that showed remarkable playing speed.)

More highlights – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VIQuGfuX-w&feature=related

Evaluation

Strengths – He has a compact build with a well-chiseled upper body and strong upper legs. He’s a power run, who does not come down with the first hit, will run through arm tackles and always seems to bounce off hits and fall forward. Gray does a great job in simple basics like how he holds the ball and protects it from defensive players. He has balance and his legs never stop and with his strong upper body, that makes him hard to bring down in the open field. It’s why he’s been so successful as a kick returner on the college level. Great character, work ethic and team view.

Deficient – Although he was used often as a receiver, including working out of the slot, Gray doesn’t give the picture of a confident receiver. Seems to have trouble adjusting to the ball, and when he’s stopped to catch the ball, he has trouble getting himself back into gear and up to speed. He’s a tough guy who will stick his head into a blitzing linebacker, but is no fundamentally sound as a blocker.

Analysis – There are a lot of things Gray has done over his football career in high school and college, having worked at QB, FB, RB, WR and kickoff returns. That type of versatility is going to make him attractive to talent evaluators who will find a way to work him into what’s happening on the field in any fashion.

What the scouts say

An AFC scout said – “There’s a lot of things to like about this guy. I don’t think he can be a feature back, but he can contribute on offense and special teams and put together enough touches each week to equal that of a starting back.”

What Cyrus Gray had to say

“When I play I don’t want people to think just because I’m fast I only run outside. I also like to run in up the middle and get some tough yards. I have a lot of lower body strength and so I am able to bang it with the best of them. Speed and power, that’s how we do it in Texas.”

What others say about Cyrus Gray

“He’s a kid who is wise beyond his years, very mature. I do think that’s helped him as a player. He always knows his assignments in the run game and in the pass game and in the pass protection game. He shows toughness. He’s a kid who has grown as a runner. He’s learned to be patient and see the hole, and then when the hole opens, he’s learned how to accelerate through the hole. It sounds simple, but he’s learned to do that well. He’s got good speed and good vision. He’s got all the things you’re looking for in a back.” Gary Reynolds, Texas A&M director of football operations.

“He’s not one of those guys that needs all the spotlight. The things he’s good at, he gives to younger players. There’s going to be a time when he’s not here and he tries to give us as much as possible.” Texas A&M RB Christine Michael.

“He’s a tough kid. He’s been a good player for all his years in college. He’s very competitive. *He catches the ball. He does everything well. That’s what I like about him.” Former NFL running back and current Green Bay scout Alonzo Highsmith.

Does Cyrus Gray fit with the Chiefs?

If Gray’s shoulder is OK and he checks out with a clean bill of health, then he fits what the Chiefs look for in players in every fashion. He’s got the physical skills, he has the mentality, the game is important to him, he doesn’t need to be in the limelight and he’s a Texas running back that has a slightly different style than Jamaal Charles, but enough that it would provide a change of pace.

Top 100 Prospects – No. 92 CB Jamell Fleming

Jamell Fleming did not want to talk about the first six months of 2011 with the media during the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis last month.

Fleming’s football future was very much in question. He was not enrolled for the spring semester at Oklahoma because of an academic suspension. Thus, he could not take part in spring football and there was doubt whether he would get the chance to re-join the team.

While his teammates were in Norman, Fleming was thinking about his future while living in Austin, Texas with his sister and her husband. He was in limbo.

What could have been the end of his college football career did not turn out that way. Working with his brother-in-law who is an athletic trainer, Fleming got into the best shape of his life. He took the time to square away his academic problems and when pre-season practice started, he was back on the field, although not in the starting boundary CB spot that he held before the suspension.

Fleming fought his way back onto the field and was one of the Sooners defensive leaders last season.

Here’s the Jamell Fleming story.

Draft Profile – CB Jamell Fleming


JAMELL FLEMING/CORNERBACK

Personal

Jamell Fleming

Born – May 5, 1989 in Arlington, Texas.

Family – Parents are Sharon and Ralph Fleming. Dad played college football at McAlester College and East Central University in Oklahoma. Ralph has been a high school football coach for years, coaching at both Martin and Seguin High; he’s now the offensive coordinator at Eagle Mountain-Saginaw Independent School District’s Boswell High School in Forth Worth. Mom is also a teacher and a middle school coach. They have an older daughter Clara who lives in Austin with her husband Torrey Prather, who is an athletic trainer.

Physical

  • Height – 5-feet, 10½ inches.
  • Weight – 206 pounds.
  • Arm – 31¼ inches.
  • Hand – 9½ inches.
  • Wingspan – 75 1/8 inches.

NFL Scouting Combine

  • 40-yard dash – 4.53 seconds
  • Bench press – 23 reps at 225 pounds.
  • Vertical jump – 34 inches.
  • Broad jump – 10-feet, 5 inches.
  • 3-cone drill – 6.71 seconds.
  • 20-yard shuttle – 3.97 seconds.

Hometown

Fleming grew up in Arlington, Texas, a city of more than 365,000 people that sits almost exactly halfway between Dallas and Fort Worth in what the folks in Texas call the Metroplex. It’s home to Cowboys Stadium, the new roofed stadium built by Jerry Jones. It’s also home to the baseball stadium, the Ballpark in Arlington. Six Flags over Texas is the original Six Flags amusement park.

High School

Fleming was part of the graduating class of 2007 at Juan Seguin High School, part of the Arlington Independent School District in Arlington, Texas. He played three seasons of varsity football for head coach Ricky Albus at Seguin, including a junior season in 2005 where the Cougars went 9-3 on the season.

2006 — As a senior, he was listed as a first-team All-District as a cornerback. He was also named to the second team Associated Press All-Texas team. As a senior he caught 29 passes for 481 yards and 4 TDs.

2005 – Fleming was injured early in the 2005 season and ended up watching most of the season from the sidelines.

2004 – As a sophomore getting his first real playing time, Fleming had 75 tackles and 7 INTs while earning all-district honors.

Recruiting

Rated a 4-star recruit and No. 35 player in Texas by Rivals, Fleming was listed as 5-11, 187 pounds. The Scout recruiting service had the same physical numbers, ranking him a 3-star recruit and the 47th cornerback talent in the country.

He was heavily recruited by Baylor, Florida, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, UCLA and Wisconsin. He committed to Oklahoma in June 2006 largely because his family’s roots are in Oklahoma.

College

During five years in Norman, Fleming had to deal with a pair of academic suspensions that cost him spring practice time after his freshman season and before his senior year.

2011 – He missed spring practices due to academic misconduct that has never been defined. He came back and earned first-team defensive honors in the Big 12. Fleming was named Big 12 defensive player of the week along with another handful of designations for his career-high 13 tackles against Texas that included forcing a fumble and returning it 56 yards for a touchdown. He missed two games because of an ankle injury.

2010 – First season as starter, Fleming had his fist INT against Utah State. He ended the season being named Defensive MVP of the Fiesta Bowl victory by the Sooners over Connecticut.

2009 – Appeared in 12 games, second on the team with 9 special tackles. He did not take part in spring practices, enrolling at Oklahoma City Community College for the semester because of grade problems .

2008 – Appeared in all 14 games 18 special teams tackles.

2007 – Redshirt season.

Year G/S Tkl TFL Ski

QBH

Int PBU FF RF Rec
2011 11/11 60 4 0

0

2 10 2 2 10-3*
2010 13/13 71 8.5 1

0

5 14 0 0 12-2*
2009 13/0 14 0 0

0

0 0 0 0 8-5*
2008 14/0 23 0 0

0

0 0 0 0 12-2*
Total 51/24 168 12.5 1

0

7 24 2 2 42-12

*-(2011) Insight Bowl; (2010) Fiesta Bowl; (2009) Sun Bowl; (2008) BCS Championship Game.

Video

Insight Bowl vs. Iowa – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oU3LOO5bT_4

(Fleming is No. 32 and matched up a lot against Iowa receiver Marvin McNutt #7)

Evaluation

Strengths – A very good athlete who has outstanding body control. He seldom shows any situation in coverage where he loses himself or his man because he couldn’t handle the physical aspects of the job. Little wasted motion as he goes into coverage. He’s got good, not great speed for the position. He plays fast because he bends his knees and keeps his upper body low through cuts and coverage. He plays with good instincts and he’s very good at getting a jump on the ball. Patient on the corner, he seldom overreacts.

Deficient – Not a real physical player, who sometimes allows receivers to get into his body, and that makes him a subject of double moves. Too inconsistent in bending his knees and keeping his pad level down, especially when he’s on the move to cover an out move. Aggressively goes after the ball carrier and tries to strip the ball away, even at times when he does not have a secure hold on the man. His continued problems with academic issues from early in his career to his final season is a concern to some teams since it didn’t appear to be important enough for him to keep himself on track and eligible for spring drills in 2009 and 2011.

Analysis – Overall very good athlete and uses all those skills – speed, quickness, body control – in playing defense. The only thing he really lacks is good strength. As a cover two defensive back, he should leave an impression in the NFL thanks to his ability and hit after the pass has arrived. Fleming also has a lot of special teams experience and that’s something every NFL team is seeking from rookies.

What the scouts say

An NFC scout said – “He’s a good athlete but sometimes he allows his game to lag because he relies on his athletic skills and not his knowledge or study of the game.”

An AFC scout said – “Fleming comes across as a nice kid and the only red flag on him was this academic problem he kept having. He just seemed to be a knucklehead when it came to keeping himself eligible. It’s not a tough thing to do at Oklahoma and the fact had problems doesn’t make you worry about his intelligence, but his dedication and common sense.”

What Jamell Fleming said

“I think I’m really good at coverage. I’m also a very solid tackler, but I like playing in coverage. Zone is easier to do – because it’s all about reading – but man-to-man is challenging. That’s what I love about the position. I love being challenged.”

“At the boundary corner you have to be physical. It’s kind of like playing outside, outside linebacker. That’s how we scheme up our stuff. That’s what’s expected of me and that’s what I try to do.”

What others say about Jamell Fleming

“He was one of the better corners we faced. We put his name with some of the best guys we played against. Very instinctive. Very aggressive. He was a guy on Oklahoma’s defense who we knew where he was, where he lined up. Great player. Great future.” Oklahoma State QB Brandon Wedden.

How does Jamell Fleming fit with the Chiefs?

There’s not an obvious fit there. He’s a good athlete and every team in the league is looking for good athletes who can be taught. It’s doubtful that he’s going to be on a short list for the Chiefs, but may turn out to be a board pick in a later round if he’s still there.

Let Shopping Begin … Wednesday Cup O’Free Agency

John Carlson, Peyton Hillis, Michael Tolbert and Eric Winston will visit with Chiefs

Free agency began Tuesday afternoon in the NFL and it did not take long for the shopping list for the Chiefs to reveal itself.

Even as they were about to lose one of their best defensive players in CB Brandon Carr to a big-money contract in Dallas, the Chiefs focus seemed to be on the offensive side of the ball. Through the information fog the Pioli-led front office tries to throw up around what they do, it’s hard to keep it quiet in free agency when there are so many agents and players involved.

How many visits the Chiefs plan is unknown, but four leaked out and all of them are offensive players: Seattle TE John Carlson, Cleveland RB Peyton Hillis, San Diego RB Michael Tolbert and Houston RT Eric Winston.

Their interest in all four is not solitary – there are at least half-dozen teams that want to talk with all of them. Plus there’s little chance the Chiefs would sign both Hillis and Tolbert to join the backfield with Jamaal Charles.

All four fit areas of need for the Chiefs, specifically a second tight end to work with Tony Moeaki, a running back to take the load off Charles and a right tackle, who could come in and improve the level of play there from what Barry Richardson was able to do last season.

Whether the Chiefs can get all four of these guys in the front door for discussion and contract negotiations remains to be seen. As we’ve seen in the Chase for Peyton Manning, there’s a very big difference between wanting to talk with somebody and having them agree to the conversation.

There will certainly be more names that will pop up on the radar screen and there’s probably a better chance the Chiefs will be successful signing players in the second wave.

Here’s a little bit about the four guys they hope to talk with first: …Read More!

Close To 500 Players Hit Open Market

The National Football League’s 2012 season began on Tuesday afternoon with close to 500 players hitting the street and available to sign. There’s another 40 or so restricted free agents that can negotiate with any team, but would require compensation to their former employer.

Here’s the complete list of free agents as of restricted, unrestricted and franchise players as issued by the league on Tuesday.

532 Players Are NFL Free Agents

FREE AGENCY SIGNING PERIOD BEGINS;

532 PLAYERS BECOME FREE AGENTS

The National Football League today announced that 532 players are free agents who now can negotiate with all 32 clubs. Players are either “restricted” or “unrestricted” free agents.  Within the categories are also “franchise” and “transition” players. 

The time period for free agency signings in 2012:

Restricted Free Agents – March 13 to April 20.

Unrestricted Free Agents (who have received June 1 tender from prior club) – March 13 to July 22 (or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later).

Franchise Players – March 13 to November 13, the Tuesday following the 10th week of the regular season.

Following is a list of free agents by club in four different categories:

Restricted Free Agents (They received qualifying offers from their old clubs.)

 Club   Player   Pos.   College 

First Refusal/

Compensation 

Arizona  Johnson, Rashad  DB  Alabama 

3rd

  Stephens-Howling, LaRod KR  Pittsburgh 

2nd

  Toler, Gregory  DB  St. Paul’s, Va. 

4th

Atlanta  Walker, Vance  DT  Georgia Tech 

7th

Baltimore  Ellerbe, Dannell  LB  Georgia 

2nd

  Webb, Lardarius  DB  Nicholls State 

1st

  Williams, Cary  DB  Washburn 

2nd

Buffalo  Rinehart, Chad G  Northern Iowa 

3rd

  Urbik, Kraig  G  Wisconsin 

3rd

Chicago  Bell, Kahlil  RB  UCLA 

ROFR 

Cincinnati  Harris, Clark  LS  Rutgers 

7th

  Skuta, Dan  LB  Grand Valley State 

ROFR 

Denver  McBean, Ryan  NT  Oklahoma State 

4th

  Willis, Matt  WR  UCLA 

ROFR 

Detroit  Hill, Sammie Lee DT  Stillman 

4th

  Hilliard, Corey  T  Oklahoma State 

6th

  Levy, DeAndre  LB  Wisconsin 

2nd

Jacksonville  Allen, Russell  LB  San Diego State 

2nd

  Greene, Courtney  DB  Rutgers 

7th

  Middleton, William  DB  Furman 

5th

Kansas City  Belcher, Jovan  LB  Maine

2nd

Miami  Merling, Phillip  DE  Clemson 

3rd

  Murtha, Lydon  T  Nebraska 

2nd

New England  Hoyer, Brian  QB  Michigan State 

2nd

New Orleans  Casillas, Jonathan  LB  Wisconsin 

ROFR 

N.Y. Jets  Maybin, Aaron  LB  Penn State 

1st

Oakland  Bryant, Desmond  DT  Harvard 

2nd

Philadelphia  Dixon, Antonio  DT  Miami 

2nd

Pittsburgh  Foster, Ramon  G  Tennessee 

ROFR 

  Johnson, David  RB  Arkansas State 

7th

  Legursky, Doug  G  Marshall 

ROFR 

  Lewis, Keenan  DB  Oregon State 

3rd

  Mundy, Ryan  DB  West Virginia 

6th

  Wallace, Mike  WR  Mississippi

1st

St. Louis  Amendola, Danny  WR  Texas Tech 

2nd

San Diego  Dombrowski, Brandyn  T  San Diego State 

ROFR 

San Francisco  Grant, Larry  LB  Ohio State 

7th

Seattle  Hauschka, Steven  K  North Carolina State 

ROFR 

Tampa Bay  Bennett, Michael  DE  Texas A&M 

1st

  Dotson, Demar  T  Southern Mississippi 

ROFR 

Washington  Lichtensteiger, Kory  G  Bowling Green 

4th

 

If a new club reaches an agreement with a player in category No. 1 (above) for the 2012 season or for 2012 and future seasons, such agreement must be in the form of an Offer Sheet, signed by both the new club and the player. The old club has a Right of First Refusal to all players listed above.  Compensation is as listed in the column on the right.  If the old club has only a Right of First Refusal but is not entitled to any compensation, the designation “ROFR” appears in the column.  In order to submit an Offer Sheet, a new club must have available the required choice, defined as its own or better choice in the applicable rounds, in the 2012 NFL Draft. Offer Sheets may be submitted to an old club until 11:59 p.m., New York time, on Friday, April 20.

Players designated as Franchise players

Club Player Pos. College
Arizona  Campbell, Calais  DE  Miami 
Atlanta  Grimes, Brent  DB  Shippensburg 
Baltimore  Rice, Ray  RB  Rutgers 
Chicago  Forte, Matt  RB  Tulane 
Cincinnati  Nugent, Mike  K  Ohio State 
Cleveland  Dawson, Phil  K  Texas 
Dallas  Spencer, Anthony  LB  Purdue 
Denver  Prater, Matt  K  Central Florida 
Detroit  Avril, Cliff  DE  Purdue 
Indianapolis  Mathis, Robert  DE  Alabama A&M
Jacksonville  Scobee, Josh  K  Louisiana Tech 
Kansas City  Bowe, Dwayne  WR  Louisiana State 
New England  Welker, Wes  WR  Texas Tech 
N.Y. Giants  Weatherford, Steve  P  Illinois 
Oakland  Branch, Tyvon  DB  Connecticut 
Philadelphia  Jackson, DeSean  WR  California 
San Francisco  Goldson, Dashon  DB  Washington 
Tampa Bay  Barth, Connor  K  North Carolina 
Tennessee  Griffin, Michael  DB  Texas 
Washington  Davis, Fred  TE  Southern California 

The old club has a Right of First Refusal to the players listed above and compensation of two No. 1 draft choices.  In order to submit an Offer Sheet, a new club must have available the required choices, defined as its own or better choices in the first round in the 2012 and 2013 NFL Drafts.  Offer Sheets may be submitted to an old club until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the Tuesday following the 10th regular season weekend (November 13).

Unrestricted Free Agents

Club Player  Pos.  College 
Arizona  Abdullah, Hamza  DB  Washington State 
  Batiste, D’Anthony T  Louisiana-Lafayette 
  Considine, Sean  DB  Iowa 
  Doucet, Early  WR  Louisiana State 
  Feely, Jay  K  Michigan 
  Haggans, Clark  LB  Colorado State 
  Holliday, Vonnie  DE  North Carolina 
  Keith, Brandon  T  Northern Iowa 
  Leach, Mike  LS  William & Mary 
  Lutui, Deuce G  Southern California 
  Marshall, Richard  DB  Fresno State 
  Porter, Joey  LB  Colorado State 
  Taylor, Chester  RB  Toledo 
  Womack, Floyd  G  Mississippi State 
  Zastudil, Dave  P  Ohio 
Atlanta  Abraham, John  DE  South Carolina 
  Chambers, Kirk  T  Stanford
  Douglas, Harry  WR  Louisville 
  Hayden, Kelvin  DB  Illinois 
  Kelly, Reggie  TE  Mississippi State 
  Lofton, Curtis  LB  Oklahoma 
  McClure, Todd  C  Louisiana State 
  Peterson, Mike  LB  Florida 
  Redman, Chris  QB  Louisville 
  Romberg, Brett  C  Miami 
  Sanders, James DB  Fresno State 
  Weems, Eric  WR  Bethune-Cookman 
  Zelenka, Joe  LS  Wake Forest 
Baltimore  Ayanbadejo, Brendon  LB  UCLA 
  Birk, Matt  C  Harvard 
  Grubbs, Ben  G  Auburn 
  Gurode, Andre  C  Colorado 
  Johnson, Jarret  LB  Alabama 
  Jones, Edgar  TE  Southeast Missouri
  McClain, Jameel  LB  Syracuse 
  McKinney, Brandon  NT  Michigan State 
  Nakamura, Haruki  DB  Cincinnati 
  Redding, Cory  DE  Texas 
  Wilson, Kris  TE  Pittsburgh 
  Zbikowski, Tom  DB  Notre Dame 
Buffalo  Bell, Demetrius  T  NW State, La.
  Choice, Tashard  RB  Georgia Tech 
  Corner, Reggie  DB  Akron 
  Davis, Andra  LB  Florida 
  Hagan, Derek  WR  Arizona State 
  Parrish, Roscoe  WR  Miami 
  Rayner, Dave    K  Michigan State 
  Scott, Bryan  DB  Penn State 
  Torbor, Reggie  LB  Auburn 
Carolina  Anderson, Derek QB  Oregon State 
  Applewhite, Antwan  LB  San Diego State 
  Bernadeau, Mackenzy  G  Bentley 
  Connor, Dan  LB  Penn State 
  Gaither, Omar  LB  Tennessee 
  Gordon, Cletis  DB  Jackson State 
  Naanee, Legedu  WR  Boise State 
  Senn, Jordan  LB  Portland State 
  Shockey, Jeremy  TE  Miami 
Chicago  Bowman, Zackary  DB  Nebraska 
  Davis, Kellen  TE  Michigan State 
  Graham, Corey  DB  New Hampshire 
  Hanie, Caleb  QB  Colorado State 
  Idonije, Israel  DE  Manitoba, Can. 
  Jennings, Tim  DB  Georgia 
  Massey, Chris  LS  Marshall
  McCown, Josh  QB  Sam Houston State 
  Meriweather, Brandon  DB  Miami 
  Okoye, Amobi  DT  Louisville 
  Steltz, Craig  DB  Louisiana State 
  Williams, Roy  WR  Texas 
Cincinnati  Benson, Cedric  RB  Texas 
  Caldwell, Andre  WR  Florida 
  Collins, Anthony  T  Kansas
  Fanene, Jonathan  DE  Utah 
  Jennings, Kelly  DB  Miami 
  Johnson, Brandon  LB  Louisville 
  Jones, Adam  DB  West Virginia 
  Lawson, Manny  LB  North Carolina St.
  Lee, Donald  TE  Mississippi State 
  Livings, Nate  G  Louisiana State 
  McGlynn, Mike  C  Pittsburgh
  Nelson, Reggie  DB  Florida 
  Roland, Dennis  T  Georgia 
  Rucker, Frostee  DE  Southern California 
  Scaife, Bo  TE  Texas 
  Simpson, Jerome  WR  Coastal Carolina 
  Sims, Pat  NT  Auburn 
  Williams, Bobbie  G  Arkansas 
  Wilson, Gibril  DB  Tennessee 
Cleveland  Adams, Mike  DB  Delaware 
  Cousins, Oniel  T  Texas-El Paso 
  Hicks, Artis  G  Memphis 
  Hillis, Peyton  RB  Arkansas 
  Maynard, Brad  P  Ball State 
  Patterson, Dimitri  DB  Tuskegee 
  Smith, Alex  TE  Stanford 
  Vallos, Steve  C  Wake Forest 
Dallas  Ball, Alan  DB  Illinois 
  Bennett, Martellus  TE  Texas A&M 
  Brooking, Keith  LB  Georgia Tech 
  Dockery, Derrick  G  Texas 
  Elam, Abram  DB  Kent State 
  Holland, Montrae  G  Florida State 
  James, Bradie  LB  Louisiana State 
  Kitna, Jon  QB  Central Washington 
  McBriar, Mat  P  Hawaii
  Morris, Sammy  RB  Texas Tech 
  Robinson, Laurent  WR  Illinois State 
  Walker, Frank  DB  Tuskegee 
Denver  Binn, David  LS  California 
  Bunkley, Brodrick  NT  Florida State 
  Dawkins, Brian  DB  Clemson 
  Fells, Daniel  TE  California-Davis 
  Haggan, Mario LB  Mississippi State 
  Harvey, Derrick  DE  Florida 
  Hochstein, Russ  G  Nebraska 
  Hunter, Jason  DE  Appalachian State 
  Larsen, Spencer  RB  Arizona 
  Mays, Joe  LB  North Dakota State 
  Quinn, Brady  QB  Notre Dame 
  Ramirez, Manuel  C  Texas Tech 
  Rosario, Dante TE  Oregon 
  Royal, Eddie  WR  Virginia Tech 
  Thomas, Marcus  DT  Florida 
  Wilhite, Jonathan  DB  Auburn 
  Woodyard, Wesley  LB  Kentucky 
Detroit  Backus, Jeff  T  Michigan 
  Carpenter, Bobby  LB  Ohio State 
  Coleman, Erik  DB  Washington State 
  Davis, Leonard  G  Texas 
  Davis, Rashied  WR  San Jose State 
  Ekejiuba, Isaiah  LB  Virginia 
  Fluellen, Andre  DT  Florida State 
  Graham, Ben  P  No College 
  Harris, Chris  DB  Louisiana-Monroe 
  Hill, Shaun  QB  Maryland 
  McDonald, Brandon  DB  Memphis 
  Morris, Maurice  RB  Oregon
  Muhlbach, Don  LS  Texas A&M 
  Smith, Kevin  RB  Central Florida 
  Stanton, Drew  QB  Michigan State 
  Stovall, Maurice  WR  Notre Dame 
  Tulloch, Stephen  LB  North Carolina State 
  Wright, Eric  DB  Nevada-Las Vegas 
Green Bay  Bush, Jarrett  DB  Utah State 
  Flynn, Matt QB  Louisiana State 
  Grant, Ryan  RB  Notre Dame 
  Green, Howard  NT  Louisiana State 
  Lee, Patrick  DB  Auburn 
  Walden, Erik  LB  Middle Tennessee 
  Wells, Scott  C  Tennessee 
Houston  Allen, Jason  DB  Tennessee 
  Barber, Dominique  DB  Minnesota 
  Brisiel, Mike G  Colorado State 
  Bulman, Tim  DE  Boston College 
  Delhomme, Jake  QB  Louisiana-Lafayette 
  Dobbins, Tim  LB  Iowa State 
  Dreessen, Joel  TE  Colorado State 
  Garcia, Jeff  QB  San Jose State 
  Johnson, Bryant  WR  Penn State 
  Myers, Chris  C  Miami 
  Rackers, Neil  K  Illinois 
  Studdard, Kasey  G  Texas 
  Turk, Matt  P  Wisconsin-Whitewater 
  Ward, Derrick  RB  Ottawa, Kan. 
  Williams, Mario  LB  North Carolina State 
Indianapolis  Anderson, Jamaal  DE  Arkansas 
  Bentley, Kevin  LB  Northwestern 
  Brayton, Tyler DE  Colorado 
  Collins, Kerry  QB  Penn State 
  Diem, Ryan  G  Northern Illinois 
  Felton, Jerome  RB  Furman 
  Foster, Eric  DT  Rutgers 
  Garcon, Pierre  WR  Mount Union 
  Gonzalez, Anthony  WR  Ohio State 
  Ojinnaka, Quinn  G  Syracuse 
  Orlovsky, Dan  QB  Connecticut
  Pollak, Mike  C  Arizona State 
  Richard, Jamey  C  Buffalo 
  Saturday, Jeff  C  North Carolina 
  Sims, Ernie  LB  Florida State 
  Tamme, Jacob  TE  Kentucky 
  Wayne, Reggie  WR  Miami 
  Wheeler, Philip  LB  Georgia Tech 
Jacksonville  Brown, C.C.  DB  Louisiana-Lafayette
  Jones, David  DB  Wingate 
  Lowery, Dwight  DB  San Jose State 
  McCown, Luke  QB  Louisiana Tech 
  Mincey, Jeremy  DE  Florida 
  Mosley, C.J.  DT  Missouri 
  Roth, Matt  DE  Iowa 
Kansas City  Battle, Jackie  RB  Houston 
  Becht, Anthony  TE  West Virginia
  Carr, Brandon  DB  Grand Valley State 
  Daniels, Travis  DB  Louisiana State 
  Gilberry, Wallace  DE  Alabama 
  Gregg, Kelly  NT  Oklahoma 
  Jones, Thomas  RB  Virginia 
  McClain, Le’Ron  RB  Alabama 
  McGraw, Jon  DB  Kansas State 
  O’Callaghan, Ryan  T  California 
  Orton, Kyle  QB  Purdue 
  Piscitelli, Sabby  DB  Oregon State 
  Pope, Leonard  TE  Georgia 
  Richardson, Barry  T  Clemson 
  Urban, Jerheme  WR  Trinity, Tex. 
  Wiegmann, Casey  C  Iowa 
Miami  Alama-Francis, Ikaika  LB  Hawaii 
  Allen, Will  DB  Syracuse 
  Carey, Vernon G  Miami 
  Colombo, Marc  T  Boston College 
  Henne, Chad  QB  Michigan 
  Langford, Kendall  DE  Hampton 
  Losman, J.P.  QB  Tulane 
  Mitchell, Marvin  LB  Tennessee 
  Slaton, Steve  RB  West Virginia 
  Soliai, Paul  NT  Utah 
  Taylor, Jason  LB  Akron 
Minnesota  Abdullah, Husain  DB  Washington State 
  Adibi, Xavier  LB  Virginia Tech 
  Aromashodu, Devin  WR  Auburn 
  Camarillo, Greg  WR  Stanford 
  Evans, Fred  NT  Texas State 
  Guion, Letroy  DT  Florida State 
  Henderson, E.J.  LB  Maryland 
  Henderson, Erin  LB  Maryland 
  Johnson, Tyrell DB  Arkansas State 
  Katula, Matt  LS  Wisconsin 
  Kleinsasser, Jim  TE  North Dakota 
  Kooistra, Scott  T  North Carolina State 
  Page, Jarrad  DB  UCLA 
  Rosenfels, Sage  QB  Iowa State 
  Sapp, Benny  DB  Northern Iowa 
  Shiancoe, Visanthe  TE  Morgan State
New England  Anderson, Mark  DE  Alabama 
  Branch, Deion  WR  Louisville 
  Carter, Andre  DE  California 
  Connolly, Dan  G  Southeast Missouri 
  Ellis, Shaun  DE  Tennessee 
  Faulk, Kevin  RB  Louisiana State 
  Green-Ellis, BenJarvus  RB  Mississippi 
  Guyton, Gary LB  Georgia Tech 
  Ihedigbo, James  DB  Massachusetts 
  Jones, Nathan  DB  Rutgers 
  Koppen, Dan  C  Boston College 
  Molden, Antwaun  DB  Eastern Kentucky 
  Slater, Matt  KR  UCLA 
  Warren, Gerard  DE  Florida 
  White, Tracy  LB  Howard 
New Orleans  Charleston, Jeff DE  Idaho State 
  Dunbar, Jo-Lonn  LB  Boston College 
  Franklin, Aubrayo  NT  Tennessee 
  Gilmore, John  TE  Penn State 
  Humphrey, Tory  TE  Central Michigan 
  Kasay, John  K  Georgia 
  McBride, Turk  DE  Tennessee 
  McQuistan, Pat  T  Weber State 
  Meachem, Robert WR  Tennessee 
  Nicks, Carl  G  Nebraska 
  Porter, Tracy  DB  Indiana 
  Roby, Courtney  WR  Indiana 
  Rogers, Shaun  NT  Texas 
  Torrence, Leigh  DB  Stanford 
N.Y. Giants  Andrews, Stacy  T  Mississippi 
  Bernard, Rocky  DT  Texas A&M 
  Blackburn, Chase  LB  Akron
  Blackmon, Will  DB  Boston College 
  Carr, David  QB  Fresno State 
  Clayton, Michael  WR  Louisiana State 
  Coe, Michael  DB  Alabama State 
  Goff, Jonathan  LB  Vanderbilt 
  Grant, Deon  DB  Tennessee 
  Kennedy, Jimmy  DT  Penn State 
  Manningham, Mario  WR  Michigan
  Martin, Derrick  DB  Wyoming 
  McKenzie, Kareem  T  Penn State 
  Ross, Aaron  DB  Texas 
  Thomas, Devin  WR  Michigan State 
  Tollefson, Dave  DE  NW Missouri State
  Tryon, Justin  DB  Arizona State 
  Ugoh, Tony  T  Arkansas 
N.Y. Jets  Brunell, Mark  QB  Washington
  Burress, Plaxico  WR  Michigan State 
  Folk, Nick  K  Arizona 
  Leonhard, Jim  DB  Wisconsin 
  O’Connell, Kevin  QB  San Diego State 
  Pool, Brodney  DB  Oklahoma 
  Pouha, Sione  NT  Utah 
  Strickland, Donald  DB  Colorado 
  Thomas, Bryan  LB  UAB
  Tomlinson, LaDainian  RB  Texas Christian 
  Turner, Robert  G  New Mexico 
Oakland  Barnes, Khalif  T  Washington 
  Blackstock, Darryl  LB  Virginia 
  Boller, Kyle  QB  California 
  Bush, Michael  RB  Louisville 
  Campbell, Jason  QB  Auburn 
  Cartwright, Rock  RB  Kansas State 
  Giordano, Matt  DB  California 
  Groves, Quentin  LB  Auburn 
  Heyer, Stephon  T  Maryland 
  Houshmandzadeh, T.J.  WR  Oregon State 
  Moss, Jarvis  DE  Florida 
  Satele, Samson  C  Hawaii 
  Schilens, Chaz  WR  San Diego State 
  Scott, Trevor  DE  Buffalo
  Sheppard, Lito  DB  Florida 
Philadelphia  Abiamiri, Victor  DE  Notre Dame 
  Brown, Ronnie  RB  Auburn 
  Dunlap, King  T  Auburn 
  Landri, Derek  DT  Notre Dame 
  Laws, Trevor  DT  Notre Dame 
  Mathis, Evan  G  Alabama 
  Parker, Juqua  DE  Oklahoma State 
  Schmitt, Owen RB  West Virginia 
  Smith, Steve  WR  Southern California 
  Young, Vince  QB  Texas 
Pittsburgh  Batch, Charlie  QB  Eastern Michigan 
  Cotchery, Jerricho  WR  North Carolina St.
  Dixon, Dennis  QB  Oregon 
  Essex, Trai  G  Northwestern 
  Gay, William  DB  Louisville 
  Hoke, Chris  NT  Brigham Young 
  Leftwich, Byron  QB  Marshall 
  Madison, Anthony  DB  Alabama 
  Moore, Mewelde  RB  Tulane 
  Sepulveda, Daniel  P  Baylor 
  Starks, Max  T  Florida 
St. Louis  Bajema, Billy  TE  Oklahoma State 
  Bell, Jacob  G  Miami, O. 
  Butler, James  DB  Georgia Tech 
  Chamberlain, Chris  LB  Tulsa 
  Clayton, Mark  WR  Oklahoma 
  Clemens, Kellen  QB  Oregon 
  Feeley, A.J.  QB  Oregon 
  Gibson, Gary  DT  Rutgers 
  Goldberg, Adam  T  Wyoming 
  Harris, Al  DB  Texas A&M-Kingsville 
  Hood, Roderick  DB  Auburn
  Jones, Donnie  P  Louisiana State 
  Kehl, Bryan  LB  Brigham Young 
  King, Justin  DB  Penn State 
  LeVoir, Mark  T  Notre Dame 
  Lloyd, Brandon  WR  Illinois 
  Norwood, Jerious  RB  Mississippi State 
  Poppinga, Brady  LB  Brigham Young 
  Spach, Stephen  TE  Fresno State
  Williams, Carnell  RB  Auburn 
  Wragge, Tony  C  New Mexico State 
San Diego  Cooper, Stephen  LB  Maine 
  Crayton, Patrick  WR  NW Oklahoma
  Diggs, Na’il  LB  Ohio State 
  Gaither, Jared  T  Maryland 
  Garay, Antonio  DT  Boston College 
  Gregory, Steve DB  Syracuse 
  Hardwick, Nick  C  Purdue 
  Harris, Tommie  DT  Oklahoma 
  Hester, Jacob  RB  Louisiana State 
  Jackson, Vincent  WR  Northern Colorado 
  McMichael, Randy  TE  Georgia 
  Moll, Tony  T  Nevada 
  Mruczkowski, Scott  C  Bowling Green 
  Oliver, Paul  DB Georgia 
  Sanders, Bob  DB  Iowa 
  Tolbert, Mike  RB  Coastal Carolina 
San Francisco  Costanzo, Blake  LB  Lafayette 
  Ginn, Ted  WR  Ohio State 
  Gooden, Tavares  LB  Miami 
  Morgan, Josh  WR  Virginia Tech 
  Norris, Moran  RB  Kansas 
  Peelle, Justin  TE  Oregon 
  Rachal, Chilo  G  Southern California 
  Rogers, Carlos  DB  Auburn 
  Smith, Alex  QB  Utah 
  Smith, Reggie  DB  Oklahoma 
  Snyder, Adam  G  Oregon 
  Williams, Madieu  DB  Maryland 
Seattle  Bigby, Atari  DB  Central Florida 
  Brock, Raheem  DE  Temple 
  Bryant, Red  DE  Texas A&M 
  Carlson, John  TE  Notre Dame 
  Farwell, Heath  LB  San Diego State 
  Forsett, Justin  RB  California 
  Hargrove, Tony  DT  Georgia Tech 
  Hawthorne, David  LB  Texas Christian 
  Hill, LeRoy  LB  Clemson 
  McCoy, Matt  LB  San Diego State 
  McQuistan, Paul G  Weber State 
  Robinson, Michael  RB  Penn State 
  Vobora, David    LB  Idaho 
  Whitehurst, Charlie  QB  Clemson 
  Wilkerson, Jimmy  NT  Oklahoma 
Tampa Bay  Barber, Ronde  DB  Virginia 
  Graham, Earnest  RB  Florida 
  Haye, Jovan  DT  Vanderbilt 
  Hayes, Geno  LB Florida State 
  Johnson, Josh  QB  San Diego 
  Jones, Sean  DB  Georgia 
  Lee, James  T  South Carolina St.
  Lynch, Corey  DB  Appalachian State 
  Mack, Elbert  DB  Troy 
  Spurlock, Micheal  WR  Mississippi 
Tennessee  Amato, Ken  LS  Montana State 
  Avery, Donnie WR  Houston 
  Babineaux, Jordan  DB  Southern Arkansas 
  Ball, Dave  DE  UCLA 
  Finnegan, Cortland  DB  Samford 
  Hall, Ahmard  RB  Texas 
  Hayes, William  DE  Winston-Salem 
  Hope, Chris  DB  Florida State 
  Jones, Jason  DE  Eastern Michigan 
  Ruud, Barrett  LB  Nebraska
  Scott, Jake  G  Idaho 
  Shaw, Tim  LB  Penn State 
  Smith, Anthony  DB  Syracuse 
Washington  Anderson, David  WR  Colorado State 
  Buchanon, Phillip    DB  Miami 
  Carriker, Adam  DE  Nebraska 
  Fletcher, London  LB  John Carroll 
  Fox, Keyaron  LB  Georgia Tech
  Golston, Kedric  DE  Georgia 
  Grossman, Rex  QB  Florida 
  Hightower, Tim  RB  Richmond 
  Landry, LaRon  DB  Louisiana State 
  Locklear, Sean  T  North Carolina St.
  McIntosh, Rocky  LB  Miami 
  Stallworth, Donte’  WR  Tennessee 

In the event that a player in category No. 3 has not signed a player contract with a club by July 22 or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later, he may negotiate or sign a player contract from July 22 until the Tuesday following the tenth week of the regular season (November 13), at 4:00pm New York time. In the event the player has not signed a player contract with a club by June 1 of the League Year following the expiration of his last player contract, and if his prior club has not extended the player a June 1 Tender or has withdrawn the Tender, the player shall be completely free to negotiate and sign a player contract with any club with no signing deadline applicable to such player.

Players with fewer than 4 accrued seasons

that received no Qualifying Offer

Club Player Pos. College 
Arizona  Hall, Max  QB  Brigham Young
  Walker, Reggie  LB  Kansas State 
Baltimore  Lawrence, Matt  RB  Massachusetts 
  Williams, Chavis  LB  Alabama 
Buffalo  Coutu, Brandon  K  Georgia 
  Hall, Bruce  RB  Mississippi 
Carolina  Schwartz, Geoff  T  Oregon 
  Williams, Thomas  LB  Southern California
Cleveland  Brown, Titus  LB  Mississippi State 
Dallas  Fiammetta, Tony  RB  Syracuse 
  Greisen, Chris  QB  Northwest Missouri State 
  Holley, Jesse  WR  North Carolina 
  Ogletree, Kevin  WR  Virginia 
  Washington, Chauncey  RB  Southern California 
Detroit  Palmer, Ashlee  LB  Mississippi 
Houston  Demps, Quintin  DB  Texas-El Paso 
Indianapolis  Brown, Stevie  DB  Michigan 
  Hill, Anthony  TE  North Carolina State 
  Lacey, Jacob  DB  Oklahoma State 
Jacksonville  Douzable, Leger  DT  Central Florida
  Rucker, Martin  TE  Missouri 
Kansas City  Langford, Reshard  DB  Vanderbilt 
  Palko, Tyler  QB  Pittsburgh 
Miami  Baker, Ryan  DE  Purdue 
  Hilliard, Lex  RB  Montana 
Minnesota  Booker, Lorenzo  RB  Florida State 
  Onatolu, Kenny  LB  Nebraska-Omaha 
New England  Lockett, Bret  DB  UCLA 
New Orleans  Humber, Ramon  LB  North Dakota State 
N.Y. Jets  Cole, Marquice  DB  Northwestern 
  Mulligan, Matthew  TE  Maine 
  Westerman, Jamaal  LB  Rutgers 
Oakland  Boyd, Jerome  DB  Oregon 
Pittsburgh   Meredith, Jamon  T  South Carolina 
St. Louis  Ah You, C.J.  DE  Oklahoma 
  Brandstater, Tom  QB  Fresno State 
  Miller, Brit  RB  Illinois 
San Diego  Sperry, Kory  TE  Colorado State 
San Francisco  Swain, Brett  WR  San Diego State 
Seattle  Cox, Kennard DB  Pittsburgh 
  Gibson, Mike  G  California 
  Lewis, Roy  DB  Washington 
Tampa Bay  Lumpkin, Kregg  RB  Georgia 
Washington  Westbrook, Byron  DB  Salisbury 

The players in category No. 4 may be signed with no rights held by the old club.  There is no signing deadline applicable to these players.

NFL Season 2012 – Day No. 1

The NFL’s 2012 season began at 3 o’clock Tuesday afternoon. Since that number went off here’s a running look at roster moves and news around the league.


11:00 p.m. CST

Big fish out of the water as Bucs hook Jackson – Former Chargers WR Vincent Jackson agreed to a big deal with Tampa Bay, 5 years for a rather strange $55,555,555. Of that total there is $26 million in guaranteed money.

San Francisco retains cornerback – The 49ers were able to keep Carlos Rogers in the house, signing the cornerback to a 4-year, $29.3 million deal. By retaining him, the Niners will have all 11 of their defensive starters back from last season.

Colts find a way to keep Reggie Wayne – Hard to understand why Indy would re-sign Wayne considering their attempts to go young. But Wayne reached free agency and then turned around and signed a 3-year, $17.5 million deal to stay at the house that Peyton built.

Bears add backup quarterback – Chicago learned from its mistake last year when starting QB Jay Cutler went down and they had no competent backup. They signed QB Jason Campbell to a one-year deal.

Rams added CB Cortland Finnegan – The feisty corner jumps to his old Titans head coach Jeff Fisher, now in St. Louis but does it for a 5-year, $50 million contract.

Jags re-sign S Dwight Lowery – Jacksonville keeps one of their better defensive players, getting him done for a 4-year contract. …Read More!

Chase For Peyton Continues – Day No. 5

That Peyton Manning is one busy fellow and he’s racking up a bunch of frequent flier miles in the process. In just the last six days he’s flown from:

Miami … to Indianapolis … backup to Miami … off to Stillwater, Oklahoma and then Denver … from there to Phoenix … out of the desert on Sunday night to Miami … from south Florida … to Indianapolis.

Amazingly, even though he’s been living in Miami this off-season, and the Dolphins coaches are obviously in the city prepping for the season and NFL Draft, Manning decided to meet with Joe Philbin and other Dolphins folks in Indianapolis on Monday as the Chase for Peyton reached Day No. 5.

This meeting apparently went from five to six hours and was obviously dedicated to football talk. Manning had no need to see the Dolphins facilities because the Colts actually used their offices and fields for their two recent Super Bowl appearances that were both in south Florida. …Read More!

NFL Draft Prospects – No. 93 CB Coryell Judie

Growing up in Marlin, Texas, just an hour north of College Station, Coryell Judie always was excited about following the exploits of the Texas A&M Aggies.

He had to start his college football career by going north to Kansas and Fort Scott Community College. But after earning Junior College All-America honors for the Greyhounds, Judie once again got another chance to become part of the A&M program. He verbally committed to then head coach Mike Sherman. Intent on making sure the coaches knew of his desires, Judie wanted to speak to everyone face-to-face.

“He wanted to go to A&M on an unofficial visit and so he borrowed my truck,” remembered his high school head coach Jeff Malone. “It’s an old truck and the air conditioning wasn’t working, but he wanted to use it anyway. My truck got him to the outskirts of Bryan and it broke down. He couldn’t call the A&M coaches to come and get him so I think someone from Marlin finally went down and got him.

“A week later one of the coaches drove him down there to visit A&M. When he got down there, that is when he made a commitment to them in person. It was always going to be A&M. That’s the only place he wanted to do.”

Here’s more on Judie, the A&M cornerback hoping for an NFL career.

Draft Profile – CB Coryell Judie


CORYELL JUDIE/CORNERBACK

Personal

Coryell Judie

Born – October 14, 1987.

Family – Mom is Alonda Judie. He’s married and has two young children, a boy and a girl.

Physical

  • Height – 5-feet, 11½ inches.
  • Weight – 194 pounds.
  • Arms – 30¼ inches.
  • Hands – 8¾ inches.
  • Wingspan – 73 1/8 inches.

NFL Combine

  • 40-yard dash – 4.48 seconds.
  • Vertical jump – 37 inches.
  • Broad jump – 10-feet, 6 inches.
  • 3-cone drill – 7.33 seconds.
  • 20-yard shuttle – 4.25 seconds.

Hometown

Judie was born and raised in Marlin, Texas, a small east Texas town that’s a few miles east of the Brazos River. With a population of just under 6,000, Marlin is southeast of Waco. Marlin has always been known as the Mineral Water City and back in the early 1900s it was a resort town with mineral water baths. The New York Giants baseball team held spring training in Marlin for over 10 years (1908-18). Famous natives of Marlin are a pair of football players: RB LaDainian Tomlinson and WR Danario Alexander, formerly of the University of Missouri.

High School

Judie was a member of the graduating class of 2007 at Marlin High School. It’s the only high school in the Marlin Independent School District and has approximately 275 students.

He played for Jerry Malone in his senior season, after participating in track for most of his high school career. Judie’s personal best was 10.9 seconds in the 100 meters and his best long jump was 22-feet, 7 inches.

In that senior season, he earned All-District honors as wide receiver.

Junior College

Enrolled at Fort Scott Community College in Fort Scott, KS, Judie was named Junior College All-America for the 2008 season. He played for Greyhounds head coach Jeff Sims.

2008 – In his second season the Greyhounds went 9-2. Judie played in 10 games and contributed 38 tackles, one interception, while recovering a fumble and forcing a fumble. He also returned 10 kickoffs for a 26.8 on average and 15 punt returns for an average of 14.4 yards with a touchdown. He was first team all-KJCCC defense and second-team all-KJCCC returner.

2007 – Judie’s freshman season had 44 total tackles, 6 interceptions and 7 passes broken up and a fumble recovery. He also caught 7 passes for 92 yards, returned 2 punts for 15 yards and 6 kickoff returns for an average of 32.3 yards, including one that went for 91 yards and a TD. Ft. Scott finished 9-3 on the season.

Recruiting

At Rivals.com, Judie was rated a 4-star recruit coming out of Fort Scott. The Scout.com service had Judie listed at 6-feet, 180 pounds and was rated a 4-star recruit.

He committed to the Aggies on June 4, 2008. The only program he was interested in was Texas A&M so he could be closer to his family and hometown in Marlin.

College

Judie was recruited and signed with the Aggies now former head coach Mike Sherman.

2011 – Injuries made for a long season that was short on games for Judie. He played in just seven games missing A&M’s six other games due to a hamstring injury. He had 22 tackles on the season.

2010 – He was named the Big 12 Conference’s Newcomer of the Year, as well as earning second-team defensive honors at cornerback and honorable mention status as a returner. He played in all 13 games with 10 starts. Became the Aggies kick returner midway through the season and took one back 100 yards for a score against Oklahoma. He followed that up with a kick return of 84 yards for a score the next week against Baylor. Once the season was over, he underwent shoulder surgery.

2009 – This ended up as a redshirt season for Judie. He was late arriving on campus for pre-season camp as he finished up academics at Fort Scott. Then he suffered a shoulder injury that led to surgery and the redshirt.

Year G/S Tkl TFL Sk QBH INT PBU FF KR Yds Avg TD
2011 7/7 22 1 1 1 0 5 1 8 201 25.1 0
2010 13/10 57 2 0 0 4 4 0 20 605 30.3 2
2009 RS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 20/17 79 3 1 1 4 9 1 28 806 28.8 2

From the training room

Over his football career, Judie has deal with a lot of injuries. A hamstring problem severely limited his availability in the 2011 season. He’s also had a broken wrist and three surgical procedures on his shoulder.

“Most teams are iffy and wonder if I’m injury-prone,” Judie admitted. “But I just tell them that I’ve been doing good rehab and getting my shoulder and hamstring well so I feel fine,”

Evaluation

Strengths – Good athlete with great body control and eye-hand coordination. He’s prone to make very acrobatic plays when knocking down passes or grabbing interceptions, getting the ball at its high point. Aggressive in nature, he comes up and supports the run without question, often taking on and beating much larger players to get to the guy with the ball. Very good returner of both punts and kickoff returns and did a very good job on special teams coverage; he looks like he can run as fast vertically as he can in a straight ahead.

Deficient – Scouts like to say he’s tight in the hips, meaning his ability to turn and run at top speed is limited. Needs work on fundamentals, especially his footwork on his press coverage where he sometimes seems to lose his balance and gets in a bad position with his receiver. He also gives up the inside too often to the receiver because of poor techniques. Has a history of injury that will cause some teams to think twice about the young man.

Analysis – In four years of high school and then four years of play over the last years, that’s not much football compared to other players coming out of the college ranks who were four-years in both high school and college. Those injury problems