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2011 NFL Mock Draft: CBS Sports Has Two Mock Drafts To Look At – SB Nation Minnesota

Read More: 2011 nfl draft, 2011 nfl mock draft, 2011 mock nfl draft, 2011 minnesota vikings draft, 2011 minnesota vikings mock draft, 2011 minnesota vikings mock nfl draft, Bryant McKinnie (OT – MIN), Tyron Smith (OT – Southern Cal), Phil Loadholt (OT – MIN), Minnesota Vikings

CBS Sports has updated two mock drafts, and they each have different players going to Minnesota with the No. 12 pick.

Rob Rang has the Vikings taking Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallet with their selection, while Chad Reuter has them taking USC offensive tackle Tyron Smith.

Let me start with Reuter’s pick first. While offensive line is a need for the Vikings, to be sure, I just don’t see them taking a tackle this early in the draft. The two tackles they have, Bryant McKinnie and Phil Loadholt, don’t have skill sets that are conducive to moving either of them inside, and there aren’t any interior linemen worth the No. 12 selection. Unless the team is under the impression that they can move either McKinnie and Loadholt. . .which would be a stretch with a CBA available, and impossible without one. . .there’s no need for the Vikings to take a tackle in the first round.

As far as Rang’s selection of Mallett, I’m not sure on that one, either. Mallett might be my favorite quarterback in this year’s class, but I don’t know if the Vikings are enamored with him or anything like that. Mallett made the headlines in two ways at the scouting combine. . .in a negative way at the podium, and in a positive way during the drills. Quite frankly, I don’t care about his press conference. . .the guy looked as good, smooth, and natural throwing the football as any quarterback at the combine in a long time, and could be just the guy the Vikings need to run their offense going forward.

Some folks would probably label Mallett a “reach” at 12. I say that if the Vikings like Mallett at 12 and don’t think they could get him in Round 2 (or with a trade down in Round 1), then they should jump on it.

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NFL Scouting Combine, Draft And Graying Of The New Orleans Saints – Bayoubuzz

staton1 NFL Scouting Combine, Draft And Graying Of The New Orleans Saints   BayoubuzzSean Payton and Saints top executives, coaches, player personnel staffers and medical personnel are all in Indianapolis this week for the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium to evaluate the nation’s top players eligible for the upcoming draft.

The event, which runs Thursday through Tuesday, is a vital step in athletes achieving their dreams. and NFL Network will have full coverage. This intense, four-day job interview is an exciting time for the 300 athletes and a vital step in achieving their dreams of playing in the NFL. The Saints need to draft a fast pass rusher or an outside linebacker.

Payton said the Saints, one of the older teams in the NFL, need to add some youth to their team at various positions. After the season, the coaching staff graded all 53 players on the active roster, the players on injured reserve, the players on the practice squad, all of the players in the building, trying to have an honest assessment of where the Saints were as a team.

“We need to get younger in certain positions,” said Payton.  ”Our defensive front, specifically our down linemen, and the linebacker position. We need to look at adding some youth there. We have to look at it with the idea that our free agents (26) aren’t here.

“So, for example, when you look at our offensive line, you look at Jermon Bushrod and Jonathan Goodwin as being unrestricted players right now. We’ve got depth at the wide receiver position. Adrian Arrington had a good season, although he didn’t play a lot, but he played a lot on the practice squad and was elevated to the 53 at the end. So we’ve got depth there.

“The running back position will be a key spot for us as we look at the players who are in the building and the players who technically are not.  Pierre Thomas is an unrestricted free agent.

“We’ve got depth at corner. It’s going to be important at the safety position. Malcolm Jenkins had an outstanding year. Roman Harper (an unrestricted free agent) is a guy who will be a critical piece to what we are trying to accomplish.

“I do feel when that when we ran the ball in the ’09 season, there was a key element that helped us win consistently and we weren’t as good in that area offensively this year.”

What does the future hold for veterans, some of whom may be approaching the downsides of their playing careers? Translation: Jeremy Shockey, Devery Henderson, Dave Thomas, Scott Shanle, Jermon Bushrod, Jonathan Goodwin, Darren Sharper, Anthony Hargrove and Pierre Thomas.

“It would be crazy for me as a head coach to go through who we have a vision for and who we don’t have a vision for before ever discussing any of these things with the players. But we’ve had discussions in house and we know where we want to go.”



The 2011 NFL Draft hype is with us and over the web there are articles trying to predict where players will selected based on team needs and ability.

All of these projections can be a lot of information to handle. Draft gurus from all over have mock drafts with extreme variations from pick to pick.

Mel Kiper and Todd McShay recently released a mock draft for ESPN. Meanwhile, Don Banks did the same for Sports Illustraded, and Nolan Nawrocki for Pro Football Weekly. takes a look at what these experts predict for the upcoming draft with a final verdict for each pick.

The final verdict on the Saints have them picking outside linebacker Justin Houston of Georgia with their 24th choice. The experts say the Saints need to improve their pass rush if they want to return to their Super Bowl form. Houston is extremely fast for his size and could be an ideal blitz option for defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.

The 2011 Mock Draft‘s final verdicts:

1. Carolina: Nick Fairley, defensive tackle, Auburn. “Fairley seems to be the current clear cut top pick.”
2. Denver:  Da’Quan Bowers, defensive end, Clemson. “Bowers is a candidate to going in  the top over-all spot.”
3.Buffalo, Ryan Mullet, quarterback, Arkansas. “After missing out on Andrew Luck, Bills go after next best quarterback.”
4. Cincinnati, A,J. Green, wide receiver, Georgia. “The Bengals are in need at wide receiver following the departure of Terrell Owens.”
5. Arizona, Von Miller, outside linebacker, Texas A&M. “Miller might be on eof the  fastest rising draft stocks out there right now.”
6. Cleveland, Marcell Darens, defensive tackle, Alabama. “Clearly everybody agrees that the Browns need to address the holes along the defensive line.
7. San Francisco, Patrick Peterson, cornerback, LSU. “Clearly the 49ers need to address their secondary in this draft, and if Peterson is still available then he is the pick.”
8. Tennessee, J.J. Watt, defensive end, Wisconsin. “The Titans could look at quarterback here after the end of the Vince Young era in Tennessee.”
9. Dallas, Prince Amukamara, cornerback, Wisconsin. “The Cowboys need to address the secondary issues and the top of this year’s draft is a great place to do just that.”
10. Washington, Blaine Gabbert, Missouri, “Clearly the Redskins are going to look for a quarterback of the future with this upcoming pick.”

PRIOR to the start of NBA All-Star activities on Saturday, Commissioner David Stern was available to the media for his annual midterm state of the union. The Hornets were the first topic of interest. “Are you still confident about the team’s future in New Orleans?” Stern answered yes and when if asked he would like to expand, he said, “no.” Stern went on to say the difference between New Orleans and that of the Seattle Sonics”  ”The arena was not adequate in Seattle. And in New Orleans, the arena was recently built and is adequate. And so this was a city — and New Orleans has a special, I’d say place, given the devastation of Katrina and the difficulties there.” Hornets GM Dell Dermps said the Hornets would like to trade for a backup center and a small forward. The Hornets are $5 million under the luxury tax and will go over that only if they acquire a “home run hitter”. Translate: Carmelo Anthony. Trade rumors continue about Chris Paul, but it’s unlikely the All-Star will be traded while the NBA is running the team…


CHRIS Paul played 28 minutes  scored 10 points with seven assists and three turnovers in Sunday’s NBA All-Star game in Los Angeles.Paul’s ball handling was dazzling at times and he orchestrated many of the West’s 53 fast break points. He tied for a team high with seven assists, but his shots weren’t falling much.  CP3 frequently wowed the crowd with his penetration and dishing…Former Grambling and NFL quarterback Doug Wiliiams was honored along with 10 other players and coaches from historically  black colleges in a gala ceremony in Atlanta over the weekend. The former Grambling coach was joined by Mel Blount (Southern), Lem Barney (Jackson State), Bob Hayes (Florida A&M) and Art Shell (Maryland Eastern Shore) .A year ago, former Grambling coach Eddie Robinson was voted into the Black College Football Hall of Fame….

A stellar one-hit effort from freshman Kurt McCune and a pair of three-run homers by Mike Mahtook fueled the No. 15 LSU baseball team past Wake Forest 9-1 to complete the series sweep  past Wake Forest on Sunday at Baton Rouge. The Tigers will take  on UNO on Tuesday at home with the first pitch slated  for 6:30 p.m. Junior righthander Tyler Jones will start for the Tigers. ‘”Over-all, I was very pleased with the way we played this weekend,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “It was a good way to start the season.  Kurt McCune was exceptional today. The pitching throughout the weekend was very effective and it appears this start has a lot of depth that we hope to utilize as the season progresses.”


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Senior Bowl 2011: How High Will Von Miller Rise In The NFL Draft?

The Jets’ pass rush is one area where the team makes its mark on opposing offenses, and it never seems like a bad idea to add talent to the unit. This offseason, though, they may be faced with the potential departure of veteran rusher Shaun Ellis, who is a free agent.

Ellis could be looking for a bigger payday than the Jets would want to afford a 34 year old veteran, but either way, depth along their defensive line seems like the direction they’ll go on draft day.

Illinois’ Corey Liuget fits the bill for a Rex Ryan player, as he’s versatile enough to line up at nose tackle or, more likely, at either defensive end spot. He had 12 and a half tackles for a loss during the 2010 season, so he’s got an affinity for breaking up plays in the back field, something that the Jets covet.

Source: Senior Bowl 2011: How High Will Von Miller Rise In The NFL Draft?

Those Super Bowl commercials – Washington Post (blog)

I am writing this post at halftime of the Super Bowl. Originally, I planned to do a short piece about the three former Redskins, each released in disgrace, now playing quite well up in Pittsburgh. You know, Ryan Clark, starting safety, Shaun Suisham, placekicker, and Antwaan Randle El, third wide receiver. Or I might have done a piece about how both the Packers and the Steelers value stability, keeping the same coaching team in place for years, and building gradually through the draft, rather than blowing up the team every few years.

Instead, I feel compelled to write about the commercials.

By tradition, big marketers release clever and even brilliant spots for that huge Super Bowl audience. And tonight so far, one ad – for the Kia Optima being chased through space and time by various villains and mystical creatures – has indeed been brilliant. But too many of the others were not simply bad. They were downright offensive.

Put aside the Chevy Cruze advertisement mocking the faculties of residents of a nursing home. Put aside the multiple spots involving violence. The runner-up for the most offensive was, I think, Doritos “fetish” ad is not even quite describable in a family newspaper. Worst of all was one of the Pepsi Max spots. As a black couple sits on a bench, a blond woman sits nearby. Seeing her man eying the blond, the black woman throws the soda can at his head. He ducks, and the can strikes the blond in the head. She falls to the ground, at which point the black woman grabs her man’s hand, and they both run off.

Okay, maybe as a black man I am biased. Nevertheless, I was horrified by the spot, and I sincerely hope that PepsiCo, whose products I often enjoy, will bury it in some vault, never to be seen again.

Continue reading here: Those Super Bowl commercials – Washington Post (blog)