I scoured the fantasy baskeball waiver wires to find gems so you don’t have to.

Charlie Bell - Charlie has picked up the pace over his last six games.  He averaged 16.0 points,  3.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.5 steals, and 2.0 three pointers per game.  He shot 53.5% from the floor and 80% from the line.  He qualifies as both a SG & SF.

Cuttino Mobley - Mobley has become a fantasy option again averaging 14.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in his past nine games. He’s shot 44.2% from the field and 91.7% from the line. 

Tim Thomas - After missing four of the last five games, Tim has strung together back-to-back solid efforts averaging 20.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and a steal in the process while shooting 62.1% from the floor and 83.3% from the charity stripe.  Tim qualifies at both SF & PF.

Ryan Gomes - The Timberwolves suck.  That doesn’t help you, I just felt like bring it up.  Good job Kevin McHale.  The good thing about sucky teams is they often produce a couple decent fantasy players.  Gomes has been the guy lately.  In his last fourteen games he’s averaged 13.9 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.9 steals, and 0.7 three pointers per game.  During that stretch he’s shot 46.5% from the field, and 80.4% from the line.  He’s scored in double-figures in 13 of the past 15 games.  He even had a 15 rebound effort.  Gomes qualifies as both a SF & PF .

Nazr Mohammed - Nazr has been outstanding over his past five games.  He’s averaging 17.0 points, 9.4 rebounds, 0.8 steals, and 0.8 blocks.  He’s shot an impressive 60.3% from the field, which helps you overlook the 65.2% he shot from the line.

Well, that’s it from the Waiver Wire Bin.  Free free to leave your comments.

 | Posted by | Categories: NBA | Tagged: Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Bin |

Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI 

I have been trying to do my part to spread the word about a great gentleman that has been a part of baseball for over seven decades. His commitment to the game, even as it continually shunned him, is admirable. In his playing days, he was not allowed to play in the big leagues because of the color of his skin. As hard as that is to fathom, the decision to omit him from the HOF when the “special” committee reviewed the Negro Leagues may be even worse. I use the word special loosely because there was nothing special about their decision. Maybe his playing stats didn’t justify his admission. However, they know what Buck has done for baseball (the Negro Leagues in particular) for the past half century. Keeping Buck out was a slap in the face to a baseball icon. They can try and spin it any way, but they can’t justify their decision in my mind. Now that he’s passed, there is no way to make it right. They can choose to let him in now. I guess I’d have to be OK with it. I just wish they could have done it while he was alive so he could enjoy it. Robbing this man of the joy of playing in the big leagues wasn’t enough. They had to rob him of the joy of being recognized for his service to baseball. They should be ashamed of themselves.

I’ve posted this before on my Sporting News site, but I’ll do it here as well.

A heralded player stepped into the batter’s box. This two-time batting champ didn’t crowd the plate. He didn’t strike fear in the pitcher he faced. Respect yes, but not fear. Why, you say? Because the leadoff hitter in the Northern League All-Star Game this summmer was one Buck O’Neil. The 94 year old former Negro League player was signed by the Kansas City T-Bones to a one day contract. He became the oldest player to ever play in a professional league with his at bats. (Buck walked in the top of the first, got traded to the opposition, and walked in the bottom of the first). T-Bones GM Rick Muntean wanted to use this appearance to raise attention to the snubbing Buck O’Neill received from the committee reviewing Negro Leagues. The T-Bones were trying to formulate a grassroots movement to petition to get Buck O’Neill in the Hall of Fame. Click Here to vote to Induct Buck The 12-person panel reviewing the Negro Leagues for entries into the Baseball Hall of Fame has preserved the history of injustices experienced by the players of this generation. Failing to elect Buck O’Neil and Minnie Minoso is a slap in the face not only to these two great ballplayers, but also to the sanctity of the Hall of Fame. They were the only living members among the 39 candidates on the ballot. While they are not Babe Ruth or Ty Cobb, both of these players merit being in the Hall of Fame.

Minnie Minoso played 17 seasons in the major leagues and was a career .298 hitter. He was a seven-time All-Star and a three-time Gold Glove outfielder. He finished fourth in MVP voting four times. He had among the top ten batting averages eight times between 1951-1960. Nine times he had among the top ten on-base percentages during that timeframe. Six times he had a top ten slugging percentage. Nine times he was top ten in runs, eight times he was top ten in hits (including leading the league in 1960), nine times he was top ten in total bases (including leading the league in 1954). Eight times he was in the top ten in doubles (led the league in 1957), six times in triples (led the league in 1951, 1954, and 1956). Twice he was in the top ten in home runs, five times for RBIs, and four times for walks Nine times he was in top six in stolen bases (led the league1951-1953). He also led the league in hit by pitch ten times (was top four 12 times). He was 57 years old when he played his last game. Do those sound like Hall of Fame credentials to you?…it’s because they are.

Buck O’Neil’s stats aren’t as gaudy as Minoso’s, but his impact on the game is just as great. Buck led the Negro League in batting in 1940 and 1946. He finished his career as a .288 hitter. He managed the Kansas City Monarch from 1948-1955, guiding them to five pennants and two Black World Series. He helped launch the Major League careers of Ernie Banks, George Altman, Gene Baker, Francisco Herrera, Elston Howard, J.C. Hartman, Connie Johnson, Sweet Lou Johnson, Satchel Paige, Hank Thompson, and Bob Thurman. In 1962 he became the first black coach in the Major Leagues with the Cubs. He helped discover stars like Lou Brock and Joe Carter. He spent 33 years with the Cubs before joining the Kansas City Royals as a scout in 1988. Buck chaired the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Board of Directors, and served on the Veterans’ Committee of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Perhaps the most important thing Buck O’Neil did for baseball was keep the memory of the Negro Leagues alive. He fought to make sure that the injustices of the black players were not forgotten. Unfortunately, he had to relive it when this panel made their ridiculous decision. He died at 94 years old. I said it would be a shame for him to have to die before being recognized for his contributions…and it is.

Past Chronicles
Bert Byleven
Andre Dawson
Dale Murphy
Mark McGwire
Bobby Matthews
Tommy John

 | Posted by | Categories: Cooperstown Chronicles, MLB |

Tom Brady was…well…Tom Brady was Tom Brady.  He was on fire.  He was cool and calm.  He delivered under pressure.  He didn’t force things.  He took what the defense gave him.  He made a couple passes that required good grabs by his receivers.  His two incomplete passes were catchable.  He was a model of what a QB should play like.

Brett Favre was pretty darn good himself.  He didn’t panic when his team got back early.  He didn’t change the game plan and revert to the Farve of old.  He let his running back redeem himself.  He spread the ball around, and continued to look for Greg Jennings in the Redzone.  His off-balance underhand throw was a pass that only #4 could have made.

Eli Manning crept a little out of his brother’s shadow yesterday.  He took the show on the road, and didn’t back down to the heavily favored Cowboys.  He didn’t set the world on fire, but he did not make the mistakes that have plagued him from time to time.  He did enough to win.  That’s all that matters.

Philip Rivers played a solid game.  He had 264 yards passing and three TDs.  With Gates hurting, he turned to Vincent Jackson and Chris Chambers.  He ended up hurting his knee making him questionable for next week.  His backup, Billy Volek, scored the game-winning TD on a QB sneak. 

 Peyton Manning -  Manning threw for a ton of yards (402) and three scores.  The Chargers did something you don’t ever want to do.  They gave him not one, but two chances to add to his comeback totals.  It wasn’t there though.  He took some odd shots down field when they just needed to move the chains, and he look panicky throwing incompletions in his last two fourth down attempts.  He was facing pressure both times, but not to the point where he couldn’t have planted both of his feet and fire a strike rather than attempting on off-balance miracle.  If he hung in tough and took the hit to deliver a better pass, we’d be talking about another Patriots-Colts playoff game.

Photo courtesy of David J. Griffin/Icon SMI 
(It says Months under the 9)

Tony Romo – The good news for Tony is that he has all the time in the world to take Yoko Romo to any paradise he sees fit.  Of course, the bad news is a second straight playoff game goes up in smoke.  Tom Brady dates hot, famous women.  I’ve never heard of him taking a vacation during a playoff run.  I’m not blaming Jessica Simpson, but Tony should have known better.

David Garrard – He played a near-perfect game.  Problem is almost have to be perfect in order to beat the Patriots.  Going into the game, the Jaguars running game and defense were considered to be the recipe that could spoil the Patriots chance at a true undefeated season.  Unfortunately for them, Bill Belichick had way too much time to prepare for them.  He basically took away the running game, and simply took what the defense gave him.  Garrard played an outstanding game.  He just had the misfortune of playing the New England Patriots.

Matt Hasselbeck – Matt played a decent game.  It’s tough playing on the road in the snow without a running game.  It didn’t help that D.J. Hackett and Deion Branch were limited.  Saturday just wasn’t his day.

 | Posted by | Categories: NFL | Tagged: Jessica Simpson |

Photo courtesy of Shelly Castellano ICON SMI
(Photoshop work by Yours Truly – hence the amateur look)

 If you’ve been following basketball closely, you’ll know the following players have been playing out of their minds.  If not, it’s time to play catch up.  Here are some of the hottest players in the league.

Mo Williams
- In his last fourteen games, Mo is averaging 20.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, 6.8 assists, 1.9 steals, and 1.5 three pointers.  He’s shooting 47.1% from the field and 88.9% from the line during that stretch.  He’s not the most well-known PG, but he’s a good one.

Jose Calderon - Jose was once featured in my NBA Waiver Wire Bin feature, but he’s continued his stellar play, and moved up to the “must start” ranks.  In his last 13 games, Jose is averaging 14.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, 9.0 assists, 1.2 steals, and 1.2 three pointers per game.  He’s shooting an unbelievable 52.4% from the field and a solid 89.3% from the line.  He had two games in December with 16 assists.

Hedo Turkoglu
- Hedo is another guy featured in my Waiver Wire Bin feature.  He started hot and has kept rolling.  In his last 15 games he’s averaging 19.9 points, 6.1 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.5 blocks, and 2.0 three pointers per game.  He’s shooting 43.7% from the field and 91.7% from the line.  He’s scored in double-figures in all but one game this year.

Mike Miller - Mike Miller is a force on offense.  He does it all.  In his last 15 games he’s averaged 17.9 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 4.5 assists, and 2.5 three pointers per game.  He’s shooting 54.4% from the floor and 83.3% from the line.  Most important is the fact that he’s staying healthy.

Samuel Dalembert
- Dalembert is a force on both sides of the ball.  In his past 14 games he’s averaging 12.4 points, 11.4 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks per game.  He’s shooting 54.6% from the field and 79.5% from the line.  He’s grabbed at least 14 rebounds in seven games during that stretch, including at least 15 in three of his past four games.

 | Posted by | Categories: Fantasy Basketball, NBA | Tagged: Fantasy Basketball, NBA |

Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI 

Three hundred wins is the magic number for a pitcher to join the Hall of Fame.  If you go slightly below that mark you’ll find Tommy John.

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI

Most young fans know his name for the surgery that has he made famous, but Tommy John was a heck of a pitcher too. He won 288 games (5th most among lefties) at a .555 winning percentage and a 3.34 ERA over a career that spanned 26 years. He also had a 6-3 record with a 2.65 ERA in postseason play. Tommy was a four-time All-Star and won the Hutch Award and the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award. He was in the top 10 in ERA and wins six times, Win-Loss % 10 times (led the league in ’74), Walks/9 innings pitched 12 times, Complete Games 4 times, and Shutouts 7 times (led the league three times). He injured the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching arm in 1974, and after a revolutionary surgical operation he was able to pitch until he was 46. For the amount of victories, the brilliant control he exhibited over his lengthy career, as well as his lasting mark on the game with the surgery he helped coin I believe Tommy John is overdue induction into baseball’s hallowed Hall.

UPDATE:  Upon further review I just don’t think Tommy John cuts it.  He was solid, but never one of the very best.  His win total is impressive, but not quite enough to merit induction.


Past Chronicles
Bert Byleven
Andre Dawson
Dale Murphy
Mark McGwire
Bobby Matthews

 | Posted by | Categories: Cooperstown Chronicles, MLB |

A friend of mine (JDIN827) on SportingNews is asking for participation in the “Great Blog Crossover Challenge”. The assignment calls you to write about your least favorite player on your least favorite team.

I am going to do a two-parter. I can’t decide between Terrell Owens or Alex Rodriguez. Why not cover both? Since I dislike the Yankees more than the Cowboys, I’ll start with A-Rod.

A-Rod is easily one of the best ten players to ever strap on the cleats and step on a baseball diamond. He is a force on offense and usually a solid fielder. He gets a lot of bad ink for being a selfish player, but how many players would be willing to switch positions so easily? When you consider he’s a better shortstop than A-Rod, it makes it even more impressive. He gets a lot of heat for not showing up in the playoffs. What about the numbers he puts up to get his team into the playoffs? The playoffs are a much different animal than the regular season. Does he press a little too much? Probably. I just wonder why the fact that Barry Bonds is a .245 (.200 pre-steroids) hitter in the playoffs never comes up. Or the fact that Barry has just one pre-steroid playoff home run. How about Ted Williams only having one playoff appearance? Or the fact that he hit .200 without an extra-base hit and just one RBI. How about Willie Mays’ .247 playoff batting average with just one home run and ten RBI in 25 games. Just because their playoff numbers aren’t good, doesn’t mean they aren’t exceptional ball players. I know A-Rod gets plenty of heat that he deserves because of the position he puts himself in, but he gets much more than he should.

My other oh so favorite guys is Terrell Owens aka MeO aka Terrible Owens. I used to really like T.O. He is a gifted player who plays with a lot of emotions. I thought it was kind of funny when he celebrated on the Star. I liked the Sharpie celebration. Then he starts to badmouth Jeff Garcia and forces a trade to Baltimore. He gets mad at that and forces his way in Philadelphia. Everything started off so well. The Eagles were winning. T.O. and McNabb were setting the world on fire. Then he gets hurt. Most guys would have packed it in, but T.O. was determined to return. Was it to make more money and achieve more fame? I’m sure that accounts for some of his desire to return. I also think some has to be contributed to his love of football. Say what you want about the guy, he does love this game. He plays it as hard as anybody in the league. He brings a lot of baggage with him, but on that field he is determined to succeed. T.O. and Parcels clashed. Really? Who could have seen that coming? Wait, everybody could have. There really weren’t any T.O. issues this year. He came up with a goofy line about getting your popcorn ready, but I can’t get mad at a guy for being lame. Yesterday when the questions were swirling about how Yoko Romo (aka Jessica Simpson) is to blame or Tony Romo is to blame, he said “that they lost as a team”. Was he sincere? That’s the $25,000 question. Honestly, I think he was. He may have hammed it up a bit for the cameras, but I think he does have a good relationship with Romo and is upset with the unfair criticism he received. Blaming Jessica Simpson or Romo’s relationship with her for the loss is plain stupid. Was it wise for Romo to go on vacation during the playoffs? Probably not. However, I wouldn’t say that’s the reason they lost. The Giants were just a better team down the stretch, and it showed on Sunday.

There you have it. Even though I’m not fond of these guys, I am willing to go on record to say how good they are. One is the best player in baseball. The other is the best receiver not named Randy Moss.

 | Posted by | Categories: MLB, NFL | Tagged: Jessica Simpson |

Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI 

There hasn’t been a starting pitcher elected to the Hall of Fame since Nolan Ryan in 1999.  I’m going to go way back for one that I feel is deserving.

Bobby Matthews pitched from 1871-1887 and compiled 297 wins for the Fort Wayne Kekiongas, the Baltimore Canaries, the New York Mutuals, the Cincinnati Reds, the Providence Grays, the Boston Red Caps, and the Philadelphia Athletics. His career ERA was 2.89. If he had three more wins, 1 more win every five years of his career, he would have been a lock for the Hall of Fame. He had a three year stretch where he went 96-63. He has another three year stretch where he was 90-48. He was in the top 10 ten times in ERA (including leading the league in 1874), twelve times in Wins (2nd in 1874 with 42), twelve times in Winning Percentage, nine times in Strikeouts (led the league twice). He won 25 or more games seven times in his career. He was the first to develop the spit ball. He also was one of the first pitchers to master the curve and sinking fastball. He’s the only pitcher to win 50 games in three different major leagues (National Association, National League, and American Association). He was the winning pitcher in baseball’s first professional league. In 1878 and 1880 he pitched in non-sanctioned leagues for more money, so he is not credited with as many wins as he could have been. Judging by his record, his innovation in the art of pitching, his excellence, and his longevity, I think he should be in the Hall of Fame.


Past Chronicles
Bert Byleven
Andre Dawson
Dale Murphy
Mark McGwire

 | Posted by | Categories: Cooperstown Chronicles, MLB |

I have to be honest.  I was a little scared about the Patriots’ matchup with Jacksonville yesterday.  Maybe it was all of the media experts that said that Jacksonville was going to knock the off.  Maybe it was because that claim was somewhat believable.  Their claim was that their running game and tough defense would be the combo that would slay the beast that is the New England Patriots.  However, Bill Belichick is the ultimate game planner.  He took away those strengths.  Jacksonville was hardly on the A game in the running department.  David Garrard made some spectacular passes, but they don’t have the horses to run with New England’s high-powered offense.  That Jacksonville defense didn’t get a chance to put the pressure on New England as the Patriots turned to the running game and short passes.  Jacksonville did take Randy Moss out of the game, but that just left the candy store open for the likes of Ben Watson, Donte Stallworth, Wes Welker, and Jabar Gafney.  Laurence Maroney and Kevin Faulk were brilliant.

It wasn’t all perfect in Patriots land though.  I mentioned the Patriots weren’t able to get Randy Moss going. Their pass defense was weak.  If they have to face Peyton Manning and the Colts next week, they will need to show dramatic improvement.  Then there is Rodney Harrison.  I’m glad he’s on our team, but I’m a little uneasy about the way he plays the game.  He’s toes the line of being a dirty player, often alternating between being a hard-nose player and a cheap shot artist. 

Overall, I thought the Patriots played a great game.  They made the stops when they needed to.  They’ll need to play a better game next week against the Colts or the Chargers.

 | Posted by | Categories: NFL | Tagged: New England Patriots, NFL |

Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI

Does Mark McGwire deserves to be in the Hall of Fame? Yes, he hit a ton of home runs (583 to be exact), but he’s a career .263 hitter. You know he used steroids. Would he have reached the 500 mark without juicing? I don’t know. While I don’t think he should be the scapegoat for the whole Steroid Era, I really don’t know if I’d punch his ballot. I’m kinda glad I don’t have to make that decision.  Here are the numbers.

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI

583 Home Runs – (7th All-time)
1167 Runs
1414 RBI – (60th All-time)
1626 Hits
.263 BA
1317 BBs – (34th All-time

Rookie of the Year
12 All-Star Games
1 Gold Glove
3 Silver Sluggers
3 Top 5 MVP finishes

Top Ten Finishes
Runs – Twice (’98 & ’99 when he was juicing)
Home Runs – Ten Times (spanned his career)
RBI – Six Times (Never really impressive until ’98 & ’99)
BBs – 6 Times

So the $25,000 question. Do I elect Mark McGwire into the Hall of Fame. My answer….No. He was pretty much a one trick pony. 1626 hits. That’s not enough for me. Sure, he busted out all of those home runs, but how many were steroid aided? Was his career extended because of steroids after all of those injuries? Did he start juicing early in his career like Canseco making him even more of a fraud? Sorry Big Mac fans. If he did more than launch steroid home runs into the stands, I’d probably vote for him. I don’t think the HOF needs a one-trick pony with strong steroid ties.

Past Chronicles
Bert Byleven
Andre Dawson
Dale Murphy

 | Posted by | Categories: Cooperstown Chronicles, MLB |

Photo courtesy of Cliff Welch/Icon SMI

Here is is a look at some more of the underclassmen that declared for the NFL draft.

Adrian Arrington, WR, Michigan

Arrington has decent size (6’3″, 190 lbs), but isn’t the speediest of receivers (4.54 forty time) based on today’s standards.  He has a nose for the endzone though, scoring 8 TDs in each of his past two seasons.  Had a huge game in the Capital One Bowl against Florida (9 receptions, 153 yards, 2 TDs) that should help his stock. 
James Banks, WR, Carson-Newman
Banks has had a troubled past with substance abuse.  He took his show to Division II Carson-Newman.  He has decent size (6’3″, 218 lbs), but like Arrington isn’t the speediest (4.56).  Plus, he’s already 24 years old.  My guess is he goes undrafted.
Earl Bennett, WR, Vanderbilt
Earl is average size (6’1″, 205″) without exceptional speed (4.52).  He is, however, the SEC all-time leader with 236 receptions.  He was the first WR in SEC history to have at least 75 receptions in three seasons. 
Martellus Bennett, TE, Texas A&M
Martellus has the size (6’7″, 248 lbs), and the attitude to be a NFL Tight End.  He has improved his reception and yardage totals each of his three years, peaking with 49 receptions for 587 yards and 4 TDs.  His best performance came in a 4 catch, 63 yard, 2 TD game against Missouri.  However, his blocking ability is probably his best asset.

Davone Bess, WR, Hawaii
Bess doesn’t have great size (5’10″, 195 lbs) or speed (4.57), but he was able to produce on the field.  He’s stuffed the stat line each of his three years (89, 1124,14 as a freshman; 96, 1220, 15 as a sophomore; and 108,1266,12 as a junior).  He had 15 catches for 181 yards and two scores against Boise State.  The only fear I have is that he was a product of the system. 
Anthony Collins, LT Kansas
Collins has good size (6’6″, 308 lbs).  The All-American tackle anchored an offense that was second in the nation in scoring and eight in yards per game.  He should be a first or second rounder.
James Davis, RB, Clemson
Davis has good size (5’11″, 208 lbs) and speed (4.48).  He as averaged 1043 rushing yards over the past three seasons and 12 TDs.  He’s had a yard per carry at least 5.0 in each of his three years at Clemson. 
Franklin Dunbar, OT, Middle Tennessee State
Dunbar has good size (6’5″, 328 lbs), but I’m not sure if he’ll get drafted.  He anchored an offense that was tied for 74th in scoring and 97th in yards per game.  He declared for financial reasons, which you can’t hold against him.
Jermichael Finley, TE, Texas
Jermichael has decent size(6’5, 236 lbs) and pretty quick (4.67).  He has a solid sophomore year catching 45 passes for 573 yards, following up on a decent freshman campaign (31, 372, 3 TDs).  His biggest game came against Oklahoma when he had four catches for 149 yards and a score.  He’ll get drafted, but he’d be better served playing another year of college ball.
Ryan Grice-Mullen, WR, Hawaii
Like Devone Bess, Grice-Mullen doesn’t have great size (5’11″, 183) or exceptional speed (4.53).  He also had three productive years at Hawaii (85, 1228, 12 as a Freshman; 46,770,11 as a Sophomore despite missing time to injury; and 106, 1372, 13 as a Junior).  His money game was a 13 grab, 195 yard, 3 TD day against New Mexico State.  I also fear that he may be a product of the system.
James Hardy, WR, Indiana
Hardy is tall (6’6″, 220), but not exceptionally fast (4.59).  He did produce though scoring 10, 10, and 16 TDs in his first three years.  This year, he had 79 receptions and 1125 yards.  Hardy had a huge game against Penn State (14 receptions for 142 yards and a pair of scores). 
Rashard Mendenhall, RB Illinois
Nice size (5’11″, 210 lbs) and speed (4.48).  Mendenhall had a great year gaining 1681 yards (6.4 ypc) and scoring 17 TDs on the ground, and adding 34 receptions for 318 yards and two scores through the air.  The highlights of his Junior year include 214 yards against Indiana, 193 total yards and 3 TDs against Wisconsin, and 214 total yards and a score in a Rose Bowl loss to USC.
Bobby Reid, QB, Oklahoma State
Reid has pretty good size (6’3″, 230) and speed (4.67), but didn’t do much in his Junior after losing his job to Zac Robinson.  Reid was decent as a Sophomore with 2266 yards, 24 TDs, 11 INTs.  He would have been better off transferring.
Darius Reynaud, WR, West Virginia
Reynaud may not be big (5’10″, 205 lbs), but he’s pretty speedy (4.47). Showed great improvement this year by catching 12 TD passes among his 64 receptions for 733 yards.  He showed some ability to run the ball over his three years, and was a solid return man.
Ray Rice, RB, Rutgers
Ray is coming off a monster effort in the International Bowl where he rumbled for 280 yards and 4 TDs against Ball State.  He’s listed at 5’9″, 195″ with 4.53 speed.  He has steadily improved (1120 yards, 5 TDs, 5.7 ypc as a Freshman, 1794; 20, 5.4 as a Sophomore; and 2012, 27, 5.3 as a Junior), and had six games of 175 yards or better.  He’s got the skills.  It will be interesting to see if they will translate on Sundays.
Kevin Smith, RB, UCF
Smith is listed at 6’1″, 212 lbs and runs a 4.53 forty.  Smith is coming off a monsterous season where he ran for 2567 yards (5.7 ypc) and 29 TDs.  He also added 24 catches for 242 yards.  Smith had nine games of at least 170 yards rushing. 
Devin Thomas, WR, Michigan State
The 6’2, 215 lbs WR will likely cut his teeth in the NFL as a return man.  He returned 39 kickoffs for 1,135 yards (29.1 yard per return).  He wasn’t a slouch at WR either, grabbing 79 balls for 1260 yards and 8 scores.  His two biggest games came against Indiana (13 catches for 148 yards) and Penn State (7 catches for 139 yards and 3 TDs).
Joe Burnett, CB, Central Florida
He could use a little more size (5’11, 185 lbs), but he’s plenty quick (4.46).  He could get his start as a punt returner as he had some success returning punts at Central Florida.  He made plays on defense as well intercepting six passes while racking up 62 tackles.

Johnny Dingle, DE, West Virginia
Dingle has good size (6’3″, 273) for an end.  Was a force racking up 46 tackles and 8 sacks.  He’s projected to be a mid-to-late roudn pick.
Brandon Flowers, CB, Virginia Tech
The speedy (4.47) Flowers is listed at 5’10″, 190 lbs.  He wasn’t afraid to mix it up recording 79 tackles.  He also intercepted three passes.
Geno Hayes, LB, Florida State
Geno is a little light (6’2″, 220 lbs) for a LB.  Not to mention his speed isn’t ideal (4.67) given that size.  He is still a playmaker though compiling 80 tackles, 17.5 tackles for losses, on the year.
Jack Ikegwuonu, CB, Wisconsin
Jack has good size (6’1″, 202) and speed (4.44).  Got into some trouble as he is facing burglary charges.  It will be interesting to see if that has an impact on his draft stock given the new climate of the NFL.  He could possibly be converted to safety.
Jerod Mayo, LB, Tennessee
Mayo (6’2″, 230 lbs) racked up 140 tackles for Tennessee last year.  Mayo had double-digit tackles in eight games this year, including 13 in the Outback Bowl against Wisconsin.
Orlando Scandrick, CB, Boise State
Orlando is listed at 5’11″, 188 and runs a 4.49 forty.  He had fifty tackles this year to go with his two interceptions.  He blocked seven kicks in his collegiate career, so he could have some value as a special teams player.
Pat Sims, DT, Auburn
Pat is a beast (6’4″, 312 lbs) with decent speed (4.98).  He had 11.5 tackles for loss (4.5 sacks).  He’ll plug some holes on Sundays.
Aqib Talib, CB, Kansas
Aqib is the goods.  He has good size (6’2″, 202 lbs) and decent speed (4.52).  He was a first-team All-American. He had 66 tackles and five INTs.  He was named MVP of the Orange Bowl as he return a pick sixty yards for a score. 
Previous Declarees
Branden Albert, G, Virginia
Jamaal Charles, RB, Texas
Ryan Clady, OT, Boise State
Mario Urrutia, WR, Louisville
 Calais Campbell, DE, Miami
Derrick Harvey, DE, Florida
Erin Henderson, LB, Maryland
Kenny Phillips, S, Miami

 | Posted by | Categories: NFL | Tagged: College Football, NCAA |

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