Monthly Archives: April 2016

Mocking the Draft: Day Three Linebackers

cory jamesThe draft is fast approaching, which means the draft posts will now come thick and fast. My apologies to those of you who don’t care about the draft. The Sunday music posts will resume next week. For that, I apologize to those of you who don’t like music…

Things get really interesting now. How does one separate the wheat from the chaff from the abundance of Day Three players?

Furthermore, as pundits revise their mock drafts, different players keep showing up for the Steelers in the top three rounds. I added the names of some previously unconsidered players and culled them according to my usual high standards. I will add in the survivors with their position group.

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Mocking the Draft: More Defensive Backs

Here are the players left standing who are mocked to the Steelers in the first three rounds who I have not previously covered. The number preceding the name is the round they were projected in:

1. Reggie Ragland, LB (PFF)
2. T.J. Green, S (cbssports)
2. Karl Joseph, S (Fittipaldo)
2. Kevin Byard, S (PFF Steelers Big Board)
3. Artie Burns, CB
3. Vonn Bell, S (nfl spinzone)
3. Jihad Ward, DE (bleacher report)
3. Jalen Mills, S (fansided)
3. Jonathan Jones, CB (The Point of Pittsburgh)
3. Harlan Miller, S (steelerswire)

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Mocking the Draft: Stabbing in the Dark

Here be dragons…

The draft is fast approaching, which means the draft posts will now come thick and fast. My apologies to those of you who don’t care about the draft…

Things get really interesting now. How does one determine who might be appropriate choices for the Steelers on Day Three?

There can be some unexpected bargains as draft stock falls. But we’ve long ago passed the “sure-fire” prospects and are mainly looking at projects of one kind or another. And as we all know, guys are projects for a reason, and sometimes the reasons don’t add up to a useful player, at least in the timeframe necessary in the era of shortened rookie contracts.

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Mocking the Draft: Round Three Finale—More Linebackers

on the clockYou hopefully know the drill by now. (If you don’t, there’s a link to the rest of my draft posts at the end of the article.) Here are the third round prospects I’ve covered:

  • Charone Peake, WR (Kadar)
  • Kamalei Correa, OLB (PFF)
  • Sean Davis, FS (Invictus XI)
  • Vadal Alexander, OG/OT (Reuter)
  • Jordan Jenkins, OLB (Schmeltzer)
  • Jeremy Cash, S (SteelersWire)

And here are the final two contenders:

  • Scooby Wright, ILB (draftsite.com)
  • Deion Jones, OLB (Brown)

This isn’t like Dancing With the Stars—the order I took the players in was all about grouping them into like positions.

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My Two Cents. Cortez, the Draft and DeCastro Christmas.

imageThis week finally brought some real football news and the draft is nearly upon us now, just eight days away. Thank you, Lord.

Cortez Allen, mercifully, is finally released.  I totally believe in our personnel people, but man, did we whiff on this one — twice. Colbert and company missed on the draft pick. Based on a handful of good games, somehow, they decided to give Allen a four year, $24.6 million contract at the beginning of the 2014 season. After the contract was signed, Cortez played in exactly nine games. According to overt heap.com, the contract was the 25th most lucrative contract of the 240 signed by cornerbacks at the time.

I usually don’t weigh in what we we need to draft and when we ought to do it, but I’m rooting for a good CB with a high floor (and hopefully a high ceiling) in the first round unless another DeCastro Christmas materializes.

I know you need to draft for value, but we need to get some talent back there.

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Dancing With the Stars: Can Antonio Keep Up the Momentum?

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 11.46.13 PMLast week Antonio and partner Sharna wowed the judges with his jazz routine. Although perhaps “wowed” is the wrong word, as I got the feeling this was what they’ve been hoping for, and even expecting, from him all along.

This week the show has thrown a monkey wrench into things by switching everyone’s partner for a week. AB will now be dancing with Karina, who usually partners another of the NFL guys, ex-QB Doug Flutie.

But before we look at this week’s dances, let’s see how Hines Ward was doing at this point, back in 2011. As I wrote then:

Ward was, surprisingly, subject to performance anxiety throughout the competition. He even admitted that he often felt like throwing up before going onstage. He was especially nervous about the week five rumba, as it is a slower dance that requires more control.

So what did the judges have to say?

  • Bruno – “Ease of movement, musicality, and just the right amount of sensuality to make all the ladies swoon!
  • Well played.”
  • Len – “It’s not false – it has a naturalness, an ease and an elegance that is charming, and I think that’s probably your best dance.”
  • Carrie Ann – “You make it look so easy – I’m getting worried for you because you make it look so easy, but that’s a good thing.” Read more

Mocking the Draft: Round Three—Linebacker U

The Round Three picks mocked to the Steelers fell into three distinct groups—offense, safeties, and linebackers. I covered the first two groups last week, and today we dive into the Middle Four, as I’ve never seen it called but seems logical to me.

If you missed the earlier two articles you can find links at the bottom of the page. But to bring you up to speed, I began with a fairly hefty list of guys, because unlike Round 1 there was not a single repeat player in the various mocks I looked at. I then culled the list using my own criteria:

  • Charone Peake, WR (Kadar)
  • Scooby Wright, ILB (draftsite.com)
  • Kamalei Correa, OLB (PFF)
  • Sean Davis, FS (Invictus XI)
  • Deion Jones, OLB (Brown)
  • Vadal Alexander, OG/OT (Reuter)
  • Jordan Jenkins, OLB (Schmeltzer)
  • Jeremy Cash, S (SteelersWire)

I added Su’a Cravens to the list because he was showing up in so many mocks in the second round, and I was glad I did. A very impressive young man! But now let’s look at two of OLBs: Read more

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