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Boser’s Tweetbeat –
Sifting through the hashtags to bring you the hottest trending Twitter topics in the Fantasy Football industry.
By Ryan Boser

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Before I’d even cracked my second beer last Thursday night, the speculation was already swirling—how would the NFL’s newest employees impact fantasy football? Wait, are they employees? A non-unionized workforce? Icons? Conversationalists? Slaves? Screw it, I can’t keep up.
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Now that fantasy geeks have had a week to let the fresh meat marinate, here’s what they’re saying:
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WINNERS
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Matt Ryan won big. His Falcons overpaid to acquire Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones. Adding a 6’3″, 220-lb. specimen who runs a 4.39-second 40 (on a broken foot) opposite Roddy White is intriguing, to say the least.
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The 6’4-1/2″, 228-lb. Jonathan Baldwin gives Matt Cassel another legitimate target to pair with Dwayne Bowe in Kansas City.
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Peyton Manning also came out of the draft smiling. The Colts used their first two picks to put 628 pounds of beef between Manning and opposing defenses. Tackles Anthony Castonzo and second-round pick Ben Ijalana (who will likely slide inside) should give Manning even more time to dissect defenses.
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Here, Pro Football Focus’ Mike Clay takes a look at players who got a boost by teams neglecting to add competition.
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UNDETERMINED
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Roddy White and Dwayne Bowe are in similar situations, as each was their respective teams’ sole receiving threat last season. While it’s likely that rookie first rounders Julio Jones and Jonathan Baldwin will steal some targets, they’ll also force defenses to play a bit more honest. And so goes the debate—which way will the scale tip?
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White led all receivers with 179 targets and 115 catches (for an outstanding 64% catch rate) last season. It stands to reason that he has nowhere to go but down, and I’m a bit surprised that most experts haven’t downgraded him at all.
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While White was able to beat double and triple teams last season, Bowe struggled greatly down the stretch as defenses caught on. He managed just 14 receptions in his final five games of 2010, and wasn’t even targeted in the team’s playoff loss to Baltimore. Baldwin should open things up for Bowe, but he’s also a bigger red-zone target. Like White, nobody’s making any drastic adjustments to their rankings of Bowe.
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LOSERS
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Jahvid Best is probably the biggest loser. The Lions traded up to select Illinois bruiser Mikel Leshoure in the second round. Leshoure is a lock for goal line duty, and though it’s not likely to happen immediately, he’s better suited for first and second down work than the 5’10″, 195-lb. Best.
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With the Bengals drafting A.J. Green, I guess I can forget about my Jerome Simpson man-crush.
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Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams likely go from “little” to “no” fantasy value after Miami moved up to select Kansas State’s 6’0″, 230-lb. Daniel Thomas. Of the two veterans, Brown’s the more likely to return, but Thomas is set to take over as the main man.
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Pierre Thomas, Chris Ivory, and Reggie Bush (if he returns) absorb crippling blows with the addition of former Heisman winner Mark Ingram.
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BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead got some unexpected competition when Bill Belichick made the puzzling decision to draft running backs in the second (Shane Vereen, California) and third (Stevan Ridley, LSU) rounds. Throw out last year—we’re back to fantasy headaches in the New England run game.
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Demarco Murray muddies the waters even more in the Dallas backfield.
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Ryan Torain‘s days as a fantasy RB2 are probably over. Washington selected two backs—fourth-rounder Roy Helu and sixth-rounder Evan Royster—to compete for his job. Helu may unseat Torain altogether.
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Arizona’s second round selection of Ryan Williams makes the Cardinals backfield (Tim Hightower and Beanie Wells) even less dependable than before. Avoid.
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THE ROOKIES
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The common perception is that none of the rookie quarterbacks are worthy of redraft consideration. However, there are some (myself included) who think Christian Ponder may be the one guy with the chance to sneak into QB2 territory. The fifth-year senior has a strong supporting cast in Minnesota, pro style experience, the intelligence to pick up a playbook quickly, and no real competition at the position. His mobility and accuracy in the short-to-intermediate passing game is a nice fit for offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave’s version of the West Coast offense.
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Daniel Thomas has risen to the top of most rookie boards. He’s not the most talented back, but his situation in Miami is prime for immediate fantasy contributions.
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Mark Ingram is a very good all-around back entering one of the league’s best offenses. The expectation is that he’ll win the starting gig, but share a sizable chunk of the workload with Pierre Thomas. Reggie Bush is not expected to be back, and Chris Ivory is now nothing more than a depth guy.
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Mikel Leshoure excites me. He’ll begin as the power compliment to Jahvid Best, giving him nice early touchdown potential. However, if Best remains brittle this season, Leshoure could easily become the top rookie runner.
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Ryan Williams and Roy Helu are worth late-round looks. Both enter murky situations, but have the potential to emerge as feature backs. Williams has the game-breaking upside, and Mike Shanahan is already gushing over Helu.
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Most have A.J. Green a notch higher than Julio Jones, but I have them flip-flopped. Green is NFL-ready, and he’s a lock to get more targets than Jones as the Bengals’ best receiver. However, with that comes a No. 1 cornerback. He’ll also be catching passes from rookie Andy Dalton (I still don’t think there’s any chance Carson Palmer returns). Conversely, Jones inherits Matt Ryan as his quarterback. An explosive playmaker, Jones projects as a weekly boom-or-bust fantasy play opposite Roddy White.
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Wide receivers Jonathan Baldwin and St. Louis’ Leonard Hankerson are names worth stashing as well.
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Consider this a first take. With the labor negotiations holding up the free agency and trading periods, this is still a very fluid situation.
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Ryan Boser is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA), and regularly contributes writing and commentary to numerous media outlets. Ryan’s own website, Out of My League, covers both fantasy football and the Minnesota sports landscape.


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After possibly reaching on their first pick, and taking a talented player that wasn’t a big need with their second pick, the Vikings were off to a rough start in the 2011 NFL Draft. Especially when you consider the Patriots used the Vikings’ third round pick from the Randy Moss trade to take Ryan Mallett.
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Ballard gives the Vikings flexibility on the defensive line thanks to his ability to play both defensive end and defensive tackle. The former tight end has the quickness to play outside and the strength to move inside on passing downs.
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This doesn’t make the draft a home run by any means, but it does ease the concerns a bit of Vikings fans that were confused by the Kyle Rudolph selection.
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Also check out:

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This article is also featured at NFLTouchdown.com, where I am the Vikings Fan Voice writer.


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Ryan Williams, RB, Arizona:  Looks like Beanie Wells has some competition. The Virginia Tech running back ran for 477 yards on 110 carries (4.3 ypc) with nine touchdowns. In 2009 he ran for 1655 yards and 21 touchdowns. The Cardinals will look to run more in 2011, and Williams will certainly be in the mix. With Beanie Wells and possibly restricted free agent Tim Hightower in the mix, the Cardinals’ backfield looks like one to avoid in 2011.
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Torrey Smith, WR, Baltimore:  The Maryland receiver slid to the second round, but found a good home with Baltimore. The Ravens were desperate to get younger at the position and add a deep threat. Smith accomplishes both. He’ll have limited value in redraft leagues, but is an intriguing option in dynasty leagues.
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Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati:  Dalton is a nice fit for the Bengals’ West Coast Offense. Looks like the Bengals are taking Carson Palmer’s threat serious after all. With A.J. Green and Jerome Simpson, Dalton may be worth a look at the end of fantasy drafts.
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Greg Little, WR, Cleveland:  Little was forced to sit out last year due to an NCAA violation. He caught 62 passes for 724 yards in 2009. Remember the name, but he’s probably not somebody to worry about in redraft leagues.
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Demarco Murray, RB, Dallas:  He may get a chance down the road, but even if Marion Barber III doesn’t return, Murray won’t get enough touches to be a fantasy factor in 2011.
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Titus Young, WR, Detroit Lions:  Young gives the Lions a deep threat to stretch the field. He won’t be a fantasy asset early on, but he gives Matthew Stafford and additional weapon.
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Mikel Leshoure, RB, Detroit Lions:  Jahvid Best is an electric back that has durability issues. Leshoure is a physical back that compliments Best perfectly. The Illini back ran for 1697 yards and 17 touchdowns last year. The Lions are no longer a pushover.
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Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers:  Cobb will soften the blow if James Jones leaves and gives the Packers another wide receiver when Donald Driver has had enough. His fantasy value is limited, but he should help keep the Packers’ offense humming.
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Alexander Green, RB, Green Bay Packers:   Green gives the Packers more versatility. He won’t get enough touches for fantasy purposes, but he should be the third-down back. His presence hinders James Starks’ and Ryan Grant’s fantasy value.
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Daniel Thomas, RB, Miami Dolphins:  Depending on what the Dolphins do with Ronnie Brown, Thomas has the potential to be the top of the rookie running back class next year, simply out of opportunity. He’s a big back that ran for 1585 yards and 19 touchdowns for Kansas State last year.
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Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings:  Rudolph will be Christian Ponder’s future safety valve. He’ll get plenty of work in two tight end sets, but will have minimal 2011 fantasy value.
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Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley, RB, New England Patriots:  Last year the Pats went with two rookie tight ends. This year they added two runnings backs. Vereen is a lot like Danny Woodhead. He’ll play on third downs and give the Patriots versatility. Ridley will share regular rushing duties with BenJarvus Green-Ellis. It looks like New England running backs won’t be fantasy friendly next year.
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Ryan Mallett, QB, New England Patriots:  He’s a guy to stash on your dynasty team, but doesn’t hold much fantasy value next year.
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Jerrel Jerningan, WR, New York Giants:   Look elsewhere for your fantasy team.
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Vincent Brown, WR, San Diego:  Look elsewhere for your fantasy team.
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Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers:  He’s very athletic, but he’s raw. He could have his moments if Alex Smith doesn’t return, but he’s probably not going to help your fantasy team in 2011.
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Lance Kendricks, TE, St. Louis Rams:  Kendricks probably won’t make much of an impact as a rookie, but he has the potential to develop a good rapport with Sam Bradford.
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Austin Pettis, TE, St. Louis Rams:  Pettis obviously isn’t Julio Jones, who the Rams were hoping for, but he does upgrade the position. I’ll probably look elsewhere for my fantasy teams though.
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Leonard Hankerson, WR, Washington:  Hankerson should get a chance to produce early as the Redskins don’t have much to offer at wide receiver. He caught 72 passes for 1156 yards and 13 touchdowns last year. He could be a decent WR4 or WR5 in 2011.
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Also check out:


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By Andy Boyum
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I wasn’t there in person, but I could hear the booing echo loudly through my Facebook for Android app. Winter Park had a collective flattening the likes of which hadn’t been seen since that fateful December morning.
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After a few failed attempts to trade down with St. Louis and Miami, the Minnesota Vikings selected Christian Ponder with the 12th overall pick in the 2011 Draft, marking only the third time in history the franchise would pull the trigger on a signal-caller with their first round pick. Tommy, Daunte…meet Christian.
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Only time will tell whether or not Ponder will develop into the type of quarterback the Vikings have been so desperately in search of ever since the day Sir Fran rode off into the sunset. But I give Frazier, Spielman and Scott Studwell & Company credit for having the intestinal fortitude to identify a need and the conviction to stick to their guns.
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A lot of draft-wonks will have you believe the Vikings got fleeced – that they could have easily traded down and amassed later picks. They will also tell you that in the ongoing debate of drafting for “Need” vs “Best Player Available” that Minnesota had more glaring needs and didn’t even draft the best player available for said need.
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Then again there are other experts who think the Vikings absolutely nailed it. A certain CBSSports.com expert graded Minnesota with an A for taking Ponder at 12. Any of you who know who I’m talking about almost certainly realizes that having such a ringing endorsement from this writer is like being selected to be on the cover of Madden…sorry Mr. Hillis.
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Yet, I will take a tall glass of the Purple Ponder Kool-Aid. Regardless of expert analysis, Senior Bowl or Scouting Combine performances, and YouTube highlight reels, there remains an intangible that no other quarterback who will be drafted in 2011 possesses which can be summed up in two words: Bill Musgrave.
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The newly acquired Offensive Coordinator for the Vikings has made a career out of coaching and developing quarterbacks. He tutored Matt Schaub at the University of Virginia that subsequently led to new school records. And more recently with the Altanta Falcons, working with only one of the better rookie quarterbacks to start year one in the last five years, Matt Ryan…maybe you’ve heard of him.
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Now, that’s not to say that Christian Ponder is the next Matt Ryan/Joe Flacco/Sam Bradford re-incarnate. Nor is it to say that our selection of the Florida State Seminole will solve all of our problems. Far from the contrary, in fact, a lot will depend on how well we shore up the remaining areas of need within our 12-man (okay some old jokes are just too good to let die) our 11-man roster, defense notwithstanding.
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In my opinion though, it was a pick well worth the risk, and frankly long overdue. Had the Vikings traded down and missed on a quarterback in the first round, and missed again for whatever reason at pick 43, the collective mass of “rubes” huddled at Winter Park would have made the boos heard after the Ponder pick sound like a faint whisper in the distance.
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And let’s be honest with each other for a moment. If Ponder leads the Vikings under center in Week 1 and into October looking at a 3-1 record, we will all be there on Sunday afternoon screaming his name. Dare I say, he may even rival a certain other number 7, who resides approximately twelve blocks to the west, for the most jersey sale revenue in Minneapolis/St. Paul for 2011?
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Time will tell…I for one can not wait!
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Andy Boyum
Farmington, MN
Fantasy Football enthusiast since 1999
Commissioner: Purple Pride Fantasy League 2002-present: 1 Championship (2004)
RT Sports Commissioner Money League Champion: 2003 & 2005
Keeper League Champion 2006, 07 & 09
Yahoo PPR Champion: 2010


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Only  time will tell if the first pick of the Leslie Frazier era pans out, but it reeks of desperation. Maybe not as bad as Brad Childress trading up to get Tarvaris Jackson, but then again, maybe it was. We are talking about the 12th pick in the draft.
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The Vikings had to address the quarterback situation in this draft, but with Andy Dalton and Ryan Mallett still on the board, do the Vikings wish they had a mulligan? I’m sure they are convinced that they got their guy, but the majority of Vikings fans don’t seem to think so.
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The Vikings could have addressed a major need at defensive tackle with Nick Fairley, a player once considered worthy of the number one pick. The Williams Wall has cracked. There is a strong possibility that Pat Williams never wears purple again. Fairley could have been his heir. Instead the Lions grabbed him, and playing alongside Ndamukong Suh gives the Lions one of the best defensive fronts in the game.
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The Vikings have major deficiencies at offensive guard. The 12th pick may be a little high for Mike Pouncey, but if we were to do the 2010 draft over, his brother Maurkice (the 18th pick) would likely be a top ten selection. Shoring up their offensive line is nearly as important as solidifying the quarterback position.
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Prince Amukamara was considered a top ten talent, slightly behind top-five pick Patrick Peterson at cornerback. He slid to the Giants at the 19th pick. Given the condition of the Vikings’ defensive secondary, Prince would be an ideal addition on the eve of the Royal Wedding.
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Even if they had their heart set on Ponder, trading down would have made sense. The Vikings either drafted for need rather than best available or they miscalculated the number of quarterbacks that would go in the first round. Perhaps when Jake Locker went to the Titans and the Jaguars traded up for Blaine Gabbert, they started to feel the pressure. All the talk of teams trading up into the bottom of the draft to take a quarterback never materialized. In fact, no quarterback went off the board after the Vikings took Ponder, some might say prematurely.
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You can’t change the past though. Ponder was the pick. Of all the quarterbacks, nobody did better to improve their stock after the season than Ponder. He played well at the Senior Bowl. He was great at the Combine. He nailed the Wonderlic test. Sometimes we put too much stock in the numbers, but Ponder threw for 6767 yards and just 48 touchdowns in  his three years as a starter. He battled injuries the past two years. Injuries happen, but if he dealt with them at the collegiate level, the Vikings have to be concerned how he’ll hold up against the big boys. Especially in the NFC North facing Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers, and Suh.
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The new coach hitched his wagon to a rookie quarterback. It’s not uncommon. Time will tell if it was the right wagon.
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This article is also featured at NFLTouchdown.com, where I am the Vikings Fan Voice writer.


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Here’s a eighth and final look at the upcoming 2011 NFL Draft.
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1.  Carolina Panthers:  Cam Newton, QB, Auburn:  All signs seem to be pointing towards Cam Newton as the number one pick. I’m not sure it’s the right decision, but the Panthers will have to live with it.
Previous Pick:  Cam Newton, QB Auburn
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2.  Denver Broncos:   Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama:  Dareus almost seems like a lock. He fills a need at defensive tackle for the Broncos. Fixing their defense, a priority for John Fox, starts on the defensive line.
Previous Pick:  Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
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3.  Buffalo Bills:  Von Miller, DE/LB, Texas A & M:  Cam Newton would breathe life into the franchise, but with him out of the picture the Bills turn to the athletic Miller.
Previous Pick:  Von Miller, DE/LB, Texas A & M
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4.  Cincinnati Bengals:  A.J. Green, WR, Georgia:  I had Gabbert going to the Bengals, but they seem to stubborn to to consider Carson Palmer’s threats legitimate. I think they’ll try to mend fences by cutting ties with T.O. and giving Palmer a shiny, new toy.
Previous Pick:  Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
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5.  Arizona Cardinals:  Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU:  Pairing Peterson with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie would give the Cardinals one of the best cornerback duos in the league. Even though Gabbert is available, I think they go with the more “can’t miss” prospect.
Previous Pick:  Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
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6.  Cleveland Browns:  Robert Quinn, LB/DE, North Carolina:  With A.J. Green off the board, the Browns will address their pass rush need.
Previous Pick:  A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
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7.  San Francisco 49ers:  Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska:  With Gabbert in the picture, he will get strong consideration, but I think his slide continues one more pick
Previous Pick:  Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
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8.  Tennessee Titans:  Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri: I still like Fairley for the Titans, but they are floating downstream without a paddle at quarterback. Gabbert could easily go number one in this draft. It would be hard to imagine the Titans passing on him.
Previous Pick:  Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
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9.  Dallas Cowboys:  J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin:  The Cowboys wanted to nab one of the top two corners in the draft, but have to turn their attention elsewhere.
Previous Pick:   J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
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10.  Washington Redskins: Jake Locker, QB, Washington:  The Redskins need playmakers, but they must address the quarterback position first.
Previous Pick:  Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
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11.  Houston Texans:  Aldon Smith, DE/LB, Missouri:  The Texans’ switch to a 3-4 defense creates a need for an rush linebacker. Smith is the top choice available.
Previous Pick:  Robert Quinn, LB/DE, North Carolina
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12.  Minnesota Vikings:  Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn:  With Locker out of the picture, a quarterback doesn’t make sense here. Julio Jones is a possibility, but Leslie Frasier is a defensive-minded coach. Pat Williams may not return to Minnesota so pairing Fairley with Kevin Williams makes sense.
Previous Pick:  Jake Locker, QB, Washington
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13.  Detroit Lions:  Tyron Smith, T, Southern Cal:  The Lions offensive line wasn’t terrible last year, but Jeff Backus will be 34. It’s time to look to the future to protect Matthew Stafford’s blind side.
Previous Pick:  Tyron Smith, T, Southern Cal
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14.  St. Louis Rams:  Julio Jones, WR, Alabama:  Suddenly Sam Bradford has an explosive weapon.
Previous Pick:  Aldon Smith, LB, Missouri
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15.  Miami Dolphins: Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State: Chad Henne isn’t it. The Dolphins need to find a quarterback. They don’t have a second round pick so it’s either trade down or find a QB now.
Previous Pick: Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State
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16.  Jacksonville Jaguars: Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue:  The Jags have struggled to find the right mix at defensive end. They managed just 26 sacks last year, which was second to only Denver.
Previous Pick:  Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa continue reading »


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There isn’t a more polarizing figure in the 2011 NFL Draft than Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett.
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He has thrived in the SEC the past two seasons throwing 62 touchdown passes with just 19 interceptions. He threw for 357 yards against Alabama, but his three interceptions cost his Razorbacks the chance of upsetting the #1 Crimson Tide. He was knocked out of the Auburn game, but was able to come back the next week to beat Houston Nutt’s Mississippi. He led an amazing comeback in the Sugar Bowl, only to have it fall short when he threw an untimely interception. Mallett is a complete mixture of brilliant and bonehead that has NFL teams at odds when it comes to his prospects at the next level.
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Physically there is not question that he has what it takes to play at the next level. At 6’7″, 238 pounds, Mallett certainly passes the eyeball test. When he unleashes his cannon, there are no concerns that there are any NFL passes that he can’t make. Unfortunately for Mallett, there are other factors that NFL teams consider. Sure he’s a big kid with a big arm, but he also has a reputation of being a big party boy. It’s those concerns that have teams wondering if he has the makeup to be a franchise quarterback.
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Mallett did not handle himself well at the NFL Combine. There were rumors circulating about his rampant drug use. He is reported to have admitted his drug use at the Combine. While that doesn’t automatically make Mallett a failure, it doesn’t stop the questions from echoing loudly. Even if he did party it up at school, that doesn’t mean he won’t take the NFL serious. While Matt Leinart was a party boy gone bad, Jim McMahon was able to have a respectable career. Big Ben isn’t necessarily the best person to be compared to from a moral standpoint, but his success on the field cannot be called to question. The point is you don’t have to be squeaky clean like Kurt Warner to be a good NFL quarterback.
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Where Mallett lands is anybody’s guess. The earliest I could see him go is number ten to Washington. Daniel Snyder is brazen enough to make that pick. The Vikings at 12, the Dolphins at 15, the Jaguars at 16, and the Seahawks at 25 are also in need of a quarterback. I wouldn’t be surprised if Tennessee would be willing to give the Patriots the 39th pick and additional compensation to move up to 28 if  Mallett is still on the board. If Washington passes on a quarterback with their first pick, they could possibly move up to get him as well.
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Mallett’s success will depend on his landing spot. If he lands in Minnesota with Percy Harvin or in Miami with Brandon Marshall, he is more likely to experience early success. If he goes to Washington or Jacksonville, he may struggle. I would think he’d prosper in Seattle as Pete Carroll has the demeanor to work well with a guy like Mallett.
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Physically I think Mallett has the makings of a Pro Bowl NFL quarterback. I’m just a bit leery about his mental makeup. My guess is I have that in common with 32 NFL teams.
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Click here to see my most recent 2011 NFL Mock Draft.

 | Posted by | Categories: NFL, NFL Draft | Tagged: 2011 NFL Draft, NFL, NFL Draft, Ryan Mallett |


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Here’s a seventh look at the upcoming 2011 NFL Draft. Click here for my final 2011 NFL Mock Draft.
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1.  Carolina Panthers:  Cam Newton, QB, Auburn:  All signs seem to be pointing towards Cam Newton as the number one pick. I’m not sure it’s the right decision, but the Panthers will have to live with it.
Previous Pick:  Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
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2.  Denver Broncos:   Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama:  Dareus almost seems like a lock. He fills a need at defensive tackle for the Broncos. Fixing their defense, a priority for John Fox, starts on the defensive line.
Previous Pick:  Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
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3.  Buffalo Bills:  Von Miller, DE/LB, Texas A & M:  Now that Cam Newton isn’t even a possibility Miller seems like an obvious choice for the Bills.
Previous Pick:  Von Miller, DE/LB, Texas A & M
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4.  Cincinnati Bengals:  Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri:  Closing a door on the Carson Palmer era, the Bengals take a shot at a new franchise quarterback.
Previous Pick:  Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
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5.  Arizona Cardinals:  Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU:  Pairing Peterson with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie would give the Cardinals one of the best cornerback duos in the league.
Previous Pick:  Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
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6.  Cleveland Browns: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia:  I’m going back to Green. He’s too big of a talent at a position of need for the Browns.
Previous Pick:  Robert Quinn, LB/DE, North Carolina
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7.  San Francisco 49ers:  Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska:  With Sam Bradford coming off an unbelievable rookie season the Niners will need to improve their secondary.
Previous Pick:  Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
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8.  Tennessee Titans:  Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn: Fairley was once in the conversation for the number one pick. He did not have a strong showing at the Combine. He looked good at his Pro Day though, solidifying him as a top ten pick.
Previous Pick:  Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
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9.  Dallas Cowboys:  J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin:  The Cowboys wanted to nab one of the top two corners in the draft, but have to turn their attention elsewhere.
Previous Pick:   J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
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10.  Washington Redskins: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama:  With A.J. Green off the board, I’m back to Jones going to Washington. They desperately need playmakers.
Previous Pick:  A.J. Green, WR, Georgia continue reading »


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Allen Bradford is a hybrid. A running backer if you will. The 2005 Parade All-America all-purpose MVP was as dominant playing linebacker at Colton High School as he was playing running back. Though he made the switch to running back at USC, he never lost that linebacker mentality. He has the size (5’11″, 242 lbs) to run over you and the speed (4.53 forty time) to go past you.
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Bradford was the number one linebacker in the nation when he became a Trojan. He was young and he wanted to play. More importantly he wanted to be a team player. While his career at USC may not have gone as planned, you never heard a complaint. He just worked hard knowing that he would get his shot. When asked about playing special teams at the NFL level Bradford said he would welcome it with open arms. He added that he “first made a buzz on special teams while at SC”.
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Allen is well aware that the lifespan of a running back is around three years. He said it’s only in part because of injuries. A lot of guys can’t contribute on special teams so they become expendable. Bradford knows that he brings value to a team because he’s able to play on all of the special teams units.
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He’s not going to complain about sitting behind running backs on the depth charts either. He stated he already did that at SC. He’s willing to learn from the veterans and be ready when the time comes for him to deliver. That’s exactly what he did at USC. After just 42 carries from 2006-2008 Bradford received a heavier workload in 2009. He responded with 668 yards and eight touchdowns on 115 carries (5.8 ypc). It looked like he would get a chance to really handle the load last year, but he had only four double-digit carry games.
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When he did get additional carries he more often not delivered. He struggled against Stanford with 33 yards on 13 carries, but he scored. He ran for 131 yards and a score against Minnesota. Bradford destroyed Washington to the tune of 223 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He saved the best for last though. Bradford may not have made a big splash when he first came to USC, but he sure left with a bang. He mauled rival UCLA for 212 yards, including a nifty 73-yard touchdown run. He added a 47-yard touchdown catch as well.
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Bradford talked about being a physical runner. That’s spillover from his linebacker days. When asked if he would rather run around someone or over somebody, he said “I don’t run, I attack”. How can you not like that answer? He fashions himself a physical runner. Like Jim Brown he wants to be the one attacking. He wants to be the one inflicting pain. Don’t let him fool you though. He’s not just a three yards and a cloud of dust back. Bradford has the moves and the wheels to break big plays.
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His favorite players growing up were Jerry Rice and Ray Lewis. Both players have an unbelievable work ethic. That’s exactly what Bradford brings to the table. He’s going to work hard and do the little things.
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Bradford is expected to be a mid-to-late round draft pick. While he doesn’t have a preference to where he goes, he said he would welcome a reunion with Pete Carroll in Seattle. He still has a good relationship with the coach. He also enjoyed his time with Lane Kiffin.
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The NFL has a reputation of having diva players that are all about the attention. The fast cars. The money. Allen Bradford is not that guy. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to make his team better. He’s not out there looking for the attention. Sure, he may by a car when he signs, but Allen said the first thing he’s going to buy is a big bed with a soft mattress. I suppose after attacking defenders and making vicious hits on special teams that makes a lot of sense.
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Thanks to NFLTouchdown.com and Synergy Sports International for the opportunity to interview Allen Bradford.


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Since the NFL Draft first started in 1936, it has grown more popular every year, evolving into a three day extravaganza. Millions of fans watch the NFL Draft live or monitor it online as they anxiously wait to hear their favorite teams draft picks. In the days leading up to the NFL Draft, thousands of football experts weigh in with their opinions and mock drafts. Now, DraftDays.com is giving football fans a chance to join in the fun in the Draft Days Mock Draft Contest.
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The Draft Days Mock Draft Contest allows fans to make their own draft picks in the 2011 NFL Draft. Fans can attempt to predict all the draft picks of their favorite NFL team and all the players selected in the first round of the draft. Fans can even play general manager and try to build the best rookie team for the 2011 NFL season.
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Entry into the Draft Days Mock Draft Contest is free, and entrants have a chance to win some great prizes, such as a trip for two to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl or a $10,000 cash prize. For more information, including contest rules, terms, and conditions, visit www.draftdays.com.

 | Posted by | Categories: NFL, NFL Draft | Tagged: 2011 NFL Draft, NFL, NFL Draft |

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