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.
Sean 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. NFL.com 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.
Bleacherreport.com 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.”
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.
The “murder” is a bit of a stretch. But don’t be fooled; the animals in the following list can and will, if given the chance, severely ruin your day. You’ve been warned…
Poison Arrow (Dart) Frog
Like Smurfs, only reduction terrifying.
Ask 10 pointless people off the travel to name the cutest animal they can think of and chances are flattering good that this DayGlo amphibian’s name will never come up.Their name gives divided the story, but there’s something endearing about these EDC rejects that makes you wish to squeeze them and give them a good snuggle. Don’t, though! Their skin is rarely unwholesome to the hold with some class possessing adequate toxins to kill adult to 20 grown men. You might wish to rethink those Poison Arrow Frog accessories you were going to sell at the subsequent rave.
Despite the fact that they’re lonesome from conduct to toe by thousands of tiny knives, hedgehogs are positively adorable. Just demeanour at that little man adult there. He’s most vagrant to be tickled. What he’s not revelation you, however, is that there’s a flattering good possibility he just finished holding a lick-bath in his own unwholesome spit. You see, hedgehogs like to rivet in a outrageous little protocol called anointing, whereby they go to city nipping and beating any new scents they come across (many of which occur to enclose unwholesome substances from trees and plants) until their mouths start to foam. They then cloak their spines with the poison paste, lay back, and wait for predators to stay the ruin divided from that unwholesome turn of separate needles (Dibs on Poisonous Ball of Spit Needles as a rope name).
It looks sweet, but they’re indeed plotting to overpower the tellurian race.
Swans are the stately noblemen of the animal kingdom. Often compared with kingship and tranquility, swans have prolonged been black of love an beauty via most of tellurian civilization. Hell, the whole indicate of “The Ugly Duckling” is that the little uggo eventually matures into a beautiful swan and then, if there’s any probity left in the world, deduction to unleash ruin on that organisation of burro ducks that use to ridicule him (that final part may have been cut from the final breeze of the angel tale). But, as anyone who’s ever had the haughtiness to accidentally wander alongside a swan-occupied lake during nesting deteriorate will tell you, swans are sum badasses. Almost but warning they’ll open onward from the H2O like the long-necked demons they are and follow you within an in. of your dignity, all the while derisive you with am continuous spiteful honking that sounds some-more like a unhappy jester than the inhuman swift beast. You’ve been warned.
Oh, c’mon! What can be dangerous about that? It looks like an elephant and a rodent had a few too many and made an adorable–if physiologically confounding–little baby! Ridiculous looks aside, these little guys can ruin your day faster than you can say, “Hey, guys, come demeanour at this stupid-looking mou–AGHHH!” Several termagant class have rarely unwholesome separate that they use to hypnotize their prey. The unwholesome termagant separate is manly adequate to kill animals several times the distance of the termagant itself. That may not sound that impressive, but it’s roughly the homogeneous of you murdering a cow by roaming on its ear.
“Sir, we ran out of beaver parts.”
“Just squeeze what you can from the steep bin and let’s call it a day.”
Ahh, the platypus: Nature’s mistake. Proof that God has a clarity of humor…and apparently also shops in the discount bin. The platypus, the wallaby’s “ugly friend,” has prolonged been a source of open mindfulness due especially to its singular anatomy: the check of a duck, the tail and physique of a beaver, and the feet of a Lovecraftian monster. But, just like that weird child in propagandize who, sleepy of being constantly bullied, schooled karate and never got picked on again, the platypus has its own self-defense resource that keeps the area bullies off its beavery back: vicious spurs that protrusion out from its back feet. When threatened, the masculine platypus thrusts its back legs into its assailant mixed times, injecting snippet amounts of venom absolute adequate to kill a dog or totally impair a human. Just another reason to stay out of Australia, folks.
“Got your nose!”
Chimpanzees are the closest evolutionary relations to humans. We share so most with them: clever patrimonial bonds, formidable amicable hierarchies, and apparently a love of killing humans. Chimpanzees can be really assertive and have been concerned in large dismemberments (they have a bent to punch of fingers) and maulings, and even a few deaths. Males are the most aggressive, and they customarily conflict the face, hands, and feet, but they’re also know to concentration their rage next the belt, so to speak. In the chimps’ defense, almost all famous attacks on humans have been perpetrated by animals kept in captivity. So, if we just leave them in the wild, chances are we’ll be ok. Although, if Planet of the Apes is to be believed (and it substantially should), it’s substantially already too late.
If it looks like a gorilla and walks like a monkey, it’s substantially a rarely unwholesome Southeast Asian cousin to the lemur. Seriously, every receptive thought in your conduct is perplexing to tell you this thing is some form of big-eyed monkey. But in law it’s indeed closely associated to lemurs, which, for all intents and purposes, are flattering most just imagination monkeys. But we digress. The slow loris has a invulnerability resource singular among primates: a unwholesome bite. The animal has a special gland on the inside of its bend that, when licked, reacts with its separate to create a unwholesome and really unpleasant bite. As a bonus, in an try to soothe the aforementioned hedgehog of its pretension of the Grossest Application of Toxic Spit in the animal kingdom, the slow loris is famous to widespread its unwholesome elbow-pit separate all over its babies as a (very effective) means to keep them from apropos some bigger animal’s dinner.
“I can haz terrifying parasite?”
You knew this was coming. Any essay that contains both the difference “cute” and “murder” in the pretension was firm to enclose kittens. These soulless little rogues have been wheedling their approach into our hearts for years now. But they’re not the only ones. That’s right, cats are the primary hosts of an spreading parasitic illness famous as toxoplasmosis. And the primary means of transmission? Poop! The disease, which typically presents in humans with symptoms identical to the common cold (but can be most some-more serious for immunocompromised individuals), is ordinarily transmitted by hit with the feces of an putrescent cat (and most cats are infected!). Unlike dogs, who courteously take their series 2s outside, cats insist on withdrawal their dookers inside our houses. Not only that, they design us to manually mislay their death-plops just so they have the compulsory space to go forward and deposition another turn of wretched widespread a small yards from where we sleep. Cats are out to destroy the world; if this doesn’t remonstrate you, then zero will.