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Volume 6, Issue 7 (Monday, April 25th)

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Hi Folks,

With the NFL Draft this past weekend, the "offseason" is now
officially over. And we couldn't be more ready. This is issue #7 of
our Email Updates but it marks the first day that we'll start mailing
these to you every single day. From now until the Week 1 Kickoff,
we'll be dropping these into your mail box every night. Don't worry,
they won't be as long as this one (we got a little excited with it
being the first day and all...) but every issue will have the news and
analysis you need to stay on top of everything that's important. We'll
have fun with these and I hope you enjoy reading them as much as we
enjoy providing them for you. Thanks to our Mark Wimer for rounding up
these stories today. Hang on it's going to be a fun ride.

Joe

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

A. Site News: Sample Player Pages
Check out this sample page for Shaun Alexander for what we're working on with
our newest FBG feature.  You can click across the headings at the top to see
Outlook, Career Statistics, Game Logs, Split Stats, Play-by-play and News.

B. Site News: What's New for 2005
Details on a few things that will be coming your way from us in 2005

C. Site News: Depth Charts Updated 4/25/05
Our Bob Henry details all the depth charts after the NFL Draft


D. Site News: NFL Schedule Grid
Check out the entire NFL regular season viewable on one page. I use this every day

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1. RB Travis Henry to Philly Still Possible?
2. NYG's Coughlin: I Want Shockey in OTA's (at Some Point)
3. RB Taylor (Jax): Out Until June at Least (MCL Rehab)
4. Philadelphia Coach Reid: Not Losing Sleep Over WR Owens
5. Bears: Draft Picks Aside, QB is the Key (Commentary)
6. Browns: Ship Off QB McCown
7. QB Gannon (Oak): Retiring?
8. IDP: LB Chad Brown (Ex-Seattle) to Pittsburgh?

A cross-section of what is being said about the home-town NFL teams'
drafts across the country on Monday, 4/25/05.

1. Arizona Draft Analysis (Commentary)
2. Atlanta Draft Analysis (Commentary)
3. Baltimore Draft Analysis (Commentary)
4. Buffalo Draft Analysis (Commentary)
5. Carolina Draft Analysis (Commentary)
6. Chicago Draft Analysis (Commentary)
7. Cincinnati Draft Analysis (Commentary)
8. Cleveland Draft Analysis (Commentary)
9. Dallas Draft Analysis (Commentary)
10. Denver Draft Analysis (Commentary)
11. Detroit Draft Analysis (Commentary)
12. Green Bay Draft Analysis (Commentary)
13. Houston Draft Analysis (Commentary)
14. Indianapolis Draft Analysis (Commentary)
15. Jacksonville Draft Analysis (Commentary)
16. Kansas City Draft Analysis (Commentary)
17. Miami Draft Analysis (Commentary)
18. Minnesota Draft Analysis (Commentary)
19. New England Draft Analysis (Commentary)
20. New Orleans Draft Analysis (Commentary)
21. New York Giants Draft Analysis (Commentary)
22. New York Jets Draft Analysis (Commentary)
23. Oakland Draft Analysis (Commentary)
24. Philadelphia Draft Analysis (Commentary)
25. Pittsburgh Draft Analysis (Commentary)
26. Saint Louis Draft Analysis (Commentary)
27. San Diego Draft Analysis (Commentary)
28. San Francisco Draft Analysis (Commentary)
29. Seattle Draft Analysis (Commentary)
30. Tampa Bay Draft Analysis (Commentary)
31. Tennessee Draft Analysis (Commentary)
32. Washington Draft Analysis (Commentary)

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

1. RB Travis Henry to Philly Still Possible?

Clipped from: Philadelphia Daily News article by Les Bowen, 4/25/05

When the Eagles took Louisiana Tech running back Ryan Moats with the
77th overall selection in the third round of this weekend's draft, the
obvious conclusion was they weren't trading for Buffalo running back
Travis Henry.

But in wrapping up the draft yesterday evening, Eagles coach Andy Reid
cautioned against assuming too much.

"We're probably OK right now," Reid said. "We'll see. We haven't
completely pulled out of the [Henry] deal. We'll see how that goes
here."

The Birds have been talking about trading for Henry for nearly 2 weeks
now; they've been uncharacteristically candid about their interest.
Yet, they haven't traded for Henry, which would seem to fuel
suspicions that their involvement with Buffalo has a lot to do with
trying to get Brian Westbrook to sign a long-term contract at a number
they can accept. If the Eagles trade for Henry, who has a year left on
his contract, they are said to be ready to sign him to a long-term
deal, which would pretty much shut the door on one with Westbrook.

The Eagles have offered Westbrook a 1-year restricted free-agent
tender, for $1.43 million. He hasn't signed it.

In Buffalo, general manager Tom Donahoe sounded much like Reid when he
addressed reporters, though he didn't mention the Eagles by name.

"We're still optimistic," Donahoe said. "We tried hard and it didn't
work, but that doesn't mean it won't."

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

Considering the great success that Brian Westbrook enjoyed last
season, this scenario looks like a negotiating tactic on the part of
Philadelphia more than anything else. If Henry were to land in
Philadelphia this year, Correll Buckhalter would almost certainly be
worthless in fantasy terms.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

2. NYG's Coughlin: I Want Shockey in OTA's (at Some Point)

Clipped from: New York Daily News article by Ralph Vacchiano, 4/25/05

Giants coach Tom Coughlin made it clear yesterday that he wants tight
end Jeremy Shockey in New Jersey working out in the Giants' offseason
program. And he said he believes Shockey will do just that "at some
point in time, hopefully sooner.

"He's working in Miami and I don't have any question he's working
out," Coughlin said. "That's not the only reason to be here, though.
Jeremy knows exactly what I feel about the program. He and I have
discussed it at great length. I feel very much that he'll be here at
some point in time, hopefully sooner. What can I say?"

Coughlin said he has spoken to Shockey "on a weekly basis" and has
gotten "constant medical updates" on his rehabilitation on his injured
back. The last came two weeks ago and Coughlin said the reports were
"very good."

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

Is Tom Coughlin becoming soft-hearted in his golden years? It seems
out of character for him to be so understanding about a player
skipping any part of the team's conditioning program. If you have
Shockey on your dynasty roster or are considering him for your 2005
redraft team, you should pay attention to how Coughlin reacts to
Shockey if and when he gets into the team's offseason program.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

3. RB Taylor (Jax): Out Until June  (MCL Rehab)

Clipped from: Jacksonville Times-Union article by Bart Hubbuch, 4/25/05

Fred Taylor won't be allowed back on the field until at least June,
Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said on Sunday.

The veteran running back had arthroscopic surgery in January to repair
damage to the medial collateral ligament in his left knee, an injury
that caused Taylor to miss the final two games of the 2004 season.

Although Del Rio said Taylor's rehabilitation is on schedule, he ruled
out Taylor for the three-day minicamp that begins on Friday.

Taylor missed the first two weeks of the Jaguars' offseason program to
work on his recovery in Miami under the supervision of the doctor who
performed his surgery.

Asked if Taylor's injury is more serious than just arthroscopic
surgery, Del Rio said, "What I can tell you is his rehab is doing
well. We expect him to be 100 percent for training camp."

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

Fred Taylor had shed his "Fragile Fred" tag in the last few years,
playing in 46 of 48 possible games from 2002-2004. However, he has
carried the ball 1637 times during regular season games to this point
(with an innumerable practice repetitions during his professional
career) – the question is, even though Taylor is not yet 30 (born
1976), is his body beginning to rebel against the punishment of
playing pro football? Keep an eye on his progress once training camp
begins – forewarned is forearmed.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

4. Philadelphia Coach Reid: Not Losing Sleep Over WR Owens

Clipped from: Philadelphia Daily Times article by Bob Grotz, 4/25/05

Andy Reid offered a different view of Terrell Owens' recent hotly
debated comments regarding Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb.

Reid also said he doesn't know whether Owens will attend the Eagles'
mandatory minicamp later this week, and basically that he doesn't care
if T.O. says no.

"Heck, I don't know what he's going to do," Reid said Sunday. "And I
really don't lose sleep over that. I just go forward.

"If he's here, he's here. And if he's not, hey, we move on."

Owens, you may recall, intimated that McNabb was fatigued in the Super
Bowl XXXIX loss to the New England Patriots.

Three players in the Eagles' huddle speculated the quarterback was out
of breath, exhausted or possibly ill during the Eagles' last scoring
drive.

Wide receiver Freddie Mitchell subsequently had to call a play on that
march instead of McNabb, whom the Eagles say was suffering the effects
of a hard tackle.

Owens, in an interview stating his case for a restructured contract,
explained he wasn't the one who got tired in the Super Bowl. Reid
offered another version.

"I don't think he directly related those toward Donovan," Reid told
ESPN. "I know T.O. and I know how much he respects Donovan McNabb. So
I didn't take it that way, and I don't think Donovan took it that way.
I think things were said about T.O. during the game, that he was a
little bit tired, and I think he was just justifying that he wasn't.

"Everything is kind of in limbo right now," Reid said. "We'll see what
happens in the near future."

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

As we have pointed out repeatedly, the Eagles aren't very flexible
when it comes to contract renegotiations. If both sides dig in their
heels, it could be awhile before Owens is practicing with McNabb
again, which could affect their timing and the passing game's
productivity. Just something to keep an eye on. For you Owens owners
who like to worry, this should give you material. And for you guys who
have a cocky Owens owner in your league, this should be good smack
talk fodder. Not that we'd ever advocate that kind of thing...

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

5. Bears: Draft Picks Aside, QB is the Key (Commentary)

Clipped from: Chicago Sun-Times editorial by Mike Mulligan, 4/25/05

The Bears' offseason mission was to fix the NFL's worst offense.

Oddly enough, it took until the second day of the draft to finally
acquire the key player in achieving that goal. Meet Purdue's Kyle
Orton, the 106th overall selection and key understudy to former
first-round pick Rex Grossman in the important role of Quarterback of
the Future.

"Obviously, Rex is a great player, and I look forward to playing under
him for a while and try to learn that system," Orton said Sunday.
"That's one thing I was real happy with, going to a place where there
is an established No. 1 and a good player to learn from."

Not to burst the rookie's bubble, but the development process for
Bears quarterbacks tends to take place on the job. The team has
started at least two quarterbacks for each of the last nine years,
with at least three starters in seven of those seasons, including four
last year. That makes Orton a favorite to wind up in the starting
lineup at some point next season.

The Bears remain hopeful that Grossman will bring them to the promised
land. Certainly, he has a lot of excellent traits toward that end. But
freak injuries in each of the last two seasons have to give you
serious pause. It would be great to think he can come back from knee
surgery and have the kind of career the team's brain trust imagined
when it traded down to secure him. But the fact remains the offense
never will be fixed until there is continuity at the most important
position.

The Bears have worked hard to improve their offense and surround the
quarterback with weapons that were sorely missed last year. Adding
free-agent wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad was a huge upgrade. Signing
Fred Miller to play right tackle and moving John Tait to the left side
solidifies a longtime problem area, even if it doesn't quite solve
things.

Drafting Texas running back Cedric Benson with the No. 4 pick gives
the Bears a workhorse pile-driver to feature in their newfound
commitment to the power running game. Receivers Mark Bradley (second
round) and Airese Currie (fifth) might be projects, but they increase
the overall speed at the position. Throw in an expected resurgence
from internal exile Justin Gage, and the Bears will be a lot better at
receiver.

"We're trying to get fast, we're trying to get playmakers," director
of college scouting Greg Gabriel said. "We didn't have people who,
going into this draft, we felt scared people. With Mark Bradley, with
Benson, with [Currie], we've got people who are adding an element of
speed. Benson, more than just the durability and the productivity,
that gives the offense a dimension that it didn't have."

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

The Bears were anemic on offense last season, but they have made
wholesale changes across the entire offensive lineup. The key will be,
how do all the new pieces jell come September-December? There is a lot
of potential in the Windy City this year – how much will amount to
actual production (most especially, fantasy points)? Stay Tuned...

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

6. Browns: Ship Off QB McCown

Clipped from: Cleveland News-Herald article by Jeff Schudel, 4/25/05

Luke McCown, hailed as the quarterback of the future last year when he
was drafted in the fourth round, is now just another quarterback of
the past for the Browns.

General manager Phil Savage shipped McCown to Tampa Bay Sunday for the
Buccaneers' sixth-round draft pick. The Browns used it on defensive
tackle Andrew Hoffman from Virginia.

McCown became expendable late Saturday when the Browns used their
third-round pick on Akron quarterback Charlie Frye. Savage said at the
time he would offer McCown and Josh Harris in trade around the league.

McCown started four games last year when the Browns had no other
healthy quarterbacks. He lost them all. But at least he played. Harris
was a 2004 sixth-round draft choice by the Ravens who spent the season
on Baltimore's practice squad until the Browns claimed him in
December.

"I kind of had an idea that this could happen," McCown told reporters
in Tampa. "I didn't know if it would. I think Phil Savage is the kind
of guy who wants his guys, the guys that he drafts. Obviously, he is
doing a great job with that and has done a great job with it. So they
wanted to go in that direction and that didn't include me. That's
fine.

"I've enjoyed my year-long stay here in Cleveland, my wife and I. And
we're looking forward to getting down back to the South, where we're
originally from, and being part of a winning tradition of excellence."

McCown said some difficulties from last year stemmed from the coaching
change with five games left. Terry Robiskie took over after Butch
Davis resigned Nov. 30. McCown became a starter the next Sunday.

"It was extremely difficult," he said. "You go into a game plan, and
the game plan is being called a little differently than what I was
accustomed to, just sitting and watching with Jeff (Garcia) and Kelly
(Holcomb) the previous 11 games. With the amount of injuries that we
had, especially with the offensive line, it was difficult. I'm glad I
came away from it unscathed, uninjured, and I learned a lot from it."

Savage said he first heard from the Bucs about McCown three weeks ago.
He said he has no plans to bring in another experienced veteran behind
Trent Dilfer to play ahead of Frye and Harris.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

Well, now that McCown has been shipped off to Tampa, there is no doubt
that the 2005 Brown's starting QB is going to be Trent Dilfer. A team
could do worse than to have a Super-Bowl winning QB on their roster.
However, in fantasy terms, be aware that Dilfer's high-water mark for
passing yards during a regular season is 2859, and the maximum number
of TDs he has thrown in a campaign amounts to 21 TDs. He's just not a
fantasy powerhouse.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

7. QB Gannon (Oak): Retiring?

Clipped from: Contra Costa Times article by Steve Corkran, 4/25/05

There is overwhelming evidence suggesting that quarterback Rich Gannon
has played his last game for the Raiders. Coach Norv Turner all but
doused the flames of possibility Sunday when asked about Gannon's
status.

"Rich hasn't come out and made any statements," Turner said, "but from
a physical standpoint, it would be very difficult for him to play."

Gannon, who turns 40 on Dec. 20, sustained a broken vertebra in his
neck in Oakland's third regular-season game last year and did not play
the rest of the season. He has been rehabilitating his injury ever
since.

Gannon could not be reached by phone, and he has refused to address
the issue until he receives enough information from his doctors. That
hasn't slowed speculation that Gannon's Raiders career is over after six years.

He accepted a pay cut from $8 million to the veteran minimum of
$755,000 soon after the season ended. The Raiders stand to benefit in
terms of the 2005 salary cap by keeping Gannon on their active roster
until June 1. At that point, he likely will be released.

"I'm sure that's coming," Turner added in reference to an announcement
about Gannon's imminent release.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

We have nothing but respect for Rich Gannon – he fought through years
of bench-warming and backup duty to become an awesome NFL starter and
a fantasy star. Enjoy whatever comes next, Mr. Gannon!

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

8. IDP: LB Chad Brown (Ex-Seattle) to Pittsburgh?

Clipped from: Pittsburgh Tribune Review, 4/25/05

Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert said the team
has been in contact with linebacker Chad Brown, who was released last
week by the Seattle Seahawks due to a salary impasse.

Brown signed with Seattle after a Pro Bowl career with the Steelers
from 1993-96. He'll turn 35 in July.

"There has been communication, but we will see where it goes, just
like we did with (cornerback) Willie Williams last year," Colbert
said. "Any veteran that is out there, we will continue to follow up."

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

Brown has struggled with injuries during the past few years, and he's
way on the wrong side of 30. However, he has a wealth of experience
and could make an impact wherever he lands – if he can stay healthy.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

1. Arizona Draft Analysis (Commentary)

Clipped from: Arizona Republic editorial by Kent Somers, 4/25/05

In the draft, the Cardinals added two cornerbacks: Antrel Rolle, the
first-round pick, will start, and Eric Green, a third-round selection,
will push David Macklin. Running back J.J. Arrington, a second-round
pick, will compete with Marcel Shipp and Troy Hambrick for the
starting job.

Dennis Green compared outside linebacker Darryl Blackstock , a
third-rounder, to starter Karlos Dansby. If that proves true, he'll
contend for playing time.

Virginia guard Elton Brown, selected in the fourth round Sunday, will
compete with Jeremy Bridges for a starting spot. Fifth-round selection
Lance Mitchell from Oklahoma will be in the mix at middle linebacker,
along with Orlando Huff and Gerald Hayes. The only draft pick that
doesn't appear to have a chance to start, barring injuries, is
receiver LeRon McCoy, a seventh-round pick from Indiana (Pa.).

"I think we have more guys that have the kind of ambition that's
required, more guys who are determined to have a winning impact," said
Green, who went 6-10 last year. "Unrestricted free agency this year
was better than last year. We would hope the draft this year would be
better than last year, too.

"And we would hope this team would play better than last year."

The Cardinals addressed several needs early in the draft and didn't
break the trend Sunday when the final four rounds were held.

They needed a young offensive lineman who could provide depth at both
guard and tackle, and Brown gives them that. He'll begin his NFL
career as a guard.

At 6 foot 5 and 330 pounds, he has the physical tools, but some scouts
questioned his motivation.

"Like I said, it's a new beginning," Brown said. "I have a new start
so I am just ready to prove myself."

With Mitchell, the Cardinals are hoping a modest investment pays off
big. In 2002, Mitchell was one of the nation's best linebackers, but
he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the third game in
2003 and missed the rest of the season.

His play slipped in 2004, but sometimes it takes more than a year to
fully recover from such an injury, so the Cardinals are hoping he'll
develop.

"Where I went today, that's where I was meant to go," Mitchell said
Sunday. "People just passed up a good ballplayer."

The Cardinals didn't have a sixth-round pick, having traded it to
Oakland last year for Hambrick and defensive end Peppi Zellner.

In the seventh round, they added McCoy, who adds speed and also can
return kicks.

The Cardinals think they had their second consecutive strong draft
under Green. Last year, the top four picks became starters, although
there are some asterisks attached.

It's not yet clear if receiver Larry Fitzgerald was worth the third
overall pick, and center Alex Stepanovich, a fourth-rounder, started
every game only because Green cut veteran Pete Kendall on the eve of
training camp.

But there's no argument that it was at least a solid class, and Green
was even more pleased with how things went this year.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

There is a lot of potential on the Cardinal's roster. They have a
solid 1-2-3 WR lineup shagging Kurt Warner's passes, which should open
lanes for J.J. Arrington and company at RB.  Don't forget the
Cardinals have a talented OL in front of Warner and Arrington. If
Arrington can elevate his play to pro levels, the Cardinals' offense
could be very potent during 2005.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

2. Atlanta Draft Analysis (Commentary)

Clipped from: Atlanta Journal-Constitution article by Matt Winkeljohn, 4/25/05

For Falcons president/general manager Rich McKay, the weekend's NFL
draft was more about the future than the present.

Sunday, Atlanta picked two defensive lineman and a linebacker ---
adding to the one at each position picked Saturday --- and added an
offensive lineman and a running back.

However, McKay said, "We didn't draft any of these guys [including
wide receiver Roddy White, defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux and
linebacker Jordan Beck on Saturday] that they would come in this year
and be starters."

The Falcons didn't address their secondary in the draft, but wasted no
time in re-signing safety Cory Hall and tabbing him a starter as Bryan
Scott recovers from shoulder surgery.

"Right now, the depth chart will be Cory and Keion [Carpenter]; Cory
at free safety and Keion at strong," coach Jim Mora said.

This year's draft class might not be counted on to start games, but it
might be counted on to log more playing time than last year's rookies.

A roster drain since the end of last season all but means that Florida
State defensive end Chauncey Davis (a fourth-round pick), Southern
Miss linebacker Michael Boley (fifth) and Michigan State running back
DeAndra Cobb (sixth) are in line for playing time on special teams,
and/or as key backups.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

It appears that the Falcons don't expect huge contributions from this
year's draft class (except perhaps for WR Roddy White, depending on
his training camp performance). Look elsewhere for your "sleeper
picks" this year.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

3. Baltimore Draft Analysis (Commentary)

Clipped from: Baltimore Sun editorial by Jamison Hensley, 4/25/05

The Ravens landed a play-making receiver (Oklahoma's Mark Clayton),
the draft's best speed rusher (Oklahoma's Dan Cody), a quality
offensive tackle (Syracuse's Adam Terry), a pure power center (North
Carolina's Jason Brown) and a top-rated fullback (Montana's Justin
Green) in this weekend's draft.

Four ESPN analysts had the Ravens among their top three most-improved
teams from the draft, primarily on the strength of Clayton and Cody,
two impact talents who were among the team's top 25 prospects.

But this class potentially could have five players starting this
season for a playoff-caliber team. The Ravens are an injury away from
promoting top backups such as Terry, Brown and Green.

"Back in January, Ozzie [Newsome, general manager] came down to my
office and gave me a list of team needs, and this was the final
piece," said Eric DeCosta, the Ravens' director of college scouting.

Yet need never outweighed value, as the Ravens refused to reach just
to add a nickel back (fifth defensive back) or another defensive
tackle.

The Ravens envision Clayton as another late first-round gem in the
same Pro Bowl vein as safety Ed Reed and tight end Todd Heap. They
project Cody to become an eight- to 10-sack rusher and a possible
replacement for Peter Boulware.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

Clayton has the possibility of making an immediate impact on a Ravens'
squad (and in fantasy circles) with the likes of Clarence Moore, Randy
Hymes and Devard Darling to contend with for a starting slot opposite
Derrick Mason. Dan Cody has Anthony Weaver and Terrell Suggs to
contend with for playing time, so don't get too hot for him if you
play in an IDP league, unless you can use your rookie squad to stash
Cody on the bench for now.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

4. Buffalo Draft Analysis (Commentary)

Clipped from: Democrat and Chronicle article by Sal Maiorana, 4/25/05

To borrow a baseball term, the Buffalo Bills played small ball in the
70th NFL Draft this weekend.

Instead of swinging for the fences by engineering a trade to jump back
into Saturday's first round, or dealing away disgruntled running back
Travis Henry to obtain more picks in either this draft or next year's,
they strung together a series of singles in an effort to manufacture
runs.

In football parlance, That means the Bills chose six players — five on
offense, one on defense — who will be expected to provide depth for a
roster that they feel is already in pretty good shape.

Buffalo News Report

Clipped from: Buffalo News editorial by Jerry Sullivan, 4/25/05

By Tom Donahoe standards, it was a fairly uneventful draft. He did not
trade Travis Henry. He didn't make a trade, period. He didn't have a
first-round pick. After all the speculation about drafting big to
compensate for the loss of Jonas Jennings and Pat Williams, he didn't
draft an offensive or defensive tackle.

So what do we make of this two-day exercise? One, Donahoe was
determined to give his new quarterback, J.P. Losman, more weapons in
the passing game. Two, he's putting a lot of faith in his offensive
line coach, Jim McNally. And three, the Bills are gambling on Tim
Anderson, their unproven second-year defensive tackle, being an impact
player.

Donahoe isn't building for the future. He's entering Year Five as the
Bills' president and general manager. He wants to win now. When the
team released Drew Bledsoe and handed the quarterback job to Losman,
Donahoe and coach Mike Mularkey conceded that the offense wasn't
nearly good enough. This draft showed how serious they were.

The Bills picked offensive players with their first three picks and
five of six overall - same as a year ago. By adding a speedy wideout
(Roscoe Parrish) and tight end (Kevin Everett) in the second and third
rounds, they made it clear that Losman will be given every chance to
succeed as the starter. They didn't draft those two to sit around.

"We said the offense needed to get better," Donahoe said. "If you
watched us in free agency and the draft, that's what we've been
attempting to do. We feel like we're headed in the direction we want
to be going in, which is to be a more productive offense."

Donahoe came to Buffalo with a reputation for old-style football,
emphasizing defense and a power running game. But the last two drafts
suggest a shift in philosophy - an acknowledgment that to win in
today's NFL, you need to attack defenses with a swift, creative
passing game. Mularkey's stamp is all over the two drafts.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

The first article asserts that the Bills were drafting for depth and
potential in this lottery – if that's true, don't look for any of the
skill position players from the 2005 draft to be big in fantasy terms
this year, unless injuries force the youngsters into action.

As the second article indicates, though, the Bills might be planning
on thrusting Parrish and Everett into action if necessary this year –
the question is, would Parrish push Eric Moulds or Lee Evans, or can
Everett force fellow TE Mark Campbell to the bench? Stay tuned to see
how training camp sorts out the lineup, but we are going to be
skeptics about Parrish and Everett until they prove themselves viable
as fantasy starters.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

5. Carolina Draft Analysis (Commentary)

Clipped from: Charlotte Observer editorial by Pat Yasinskas, 4/25/05

Without going through the down year or two that usually comes, the
Carolina Panthers rebuilt their roster over the weekend.

The Panthers might have gotten young before they got old. That was the
theme to what took place Saturday and Sunday. If nothing else, the
Panthers took steps to be prepared.
Enter Thomas Davis, Eric Shelton, Evan Mathis, Atiyyah Ellison and
Stefan LeFors.

Corresponding exits could come quickly, and others could take a year
or more. But it's pretty clear that what the Panthers did in the NFL
draft will impact some veterans.

At worst, the Panthers have the parts in place if Mark Fields, Stephen
Davis, Jeff Mitchell, Mike Minter and Brentson Buckner leave. At best,
the Panthers are loaded with depth at just about every position except
receiver.

In a perfect world, Fields would re-sign with the team, Davis would
make a full and speedy recovery from knee surgery, Minter and Mitchell
would sign contract extensions before next season, and Buckner would
play another three years at a high level.

But coach John Fox and general manager Marty Hurney are realists. They
know some veteran turnover is coming, and for the most part they acted
instead of reacting.

The only real exception was LeFors, the Louisville quarterback who was
taken Sunday in the fourth round. He was drafted largely because
backup Rodney Peete, who had been expected to re-sign, decided last
week to retire. LeFors will compete with Chris Weinke and Rod
Rutherford to back up Jake Delhomme at a position that definitely will
be younger.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

The Panthers are set at almost all of their starting positions – don't
expect a lot of FP from the rookies they drafted this year.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

6. Chicago Draft Analysis (Commentary)

Clipped from: Chicago Daily Herald editorial by Bob LeGere, 4/25/05

It will be months, if not years, before the Bears can say whether they
became a better team through this year's draft, but they definitely
became faster.

And that was one of their goals. General manager Jerry Angelo used the
fourth overall pick on Texas' Cedric Benson to immediately upgrade the
running game, but the Bears got a couple of other players who can fly
in hopes of upgrading a grounded air attack.

"We didn't have people who, going into this draft, that we felt scared
(opponents)," said Greg Gabriel, Bears director of college scouting.

But with wide receivers Mark Bradley (second round, Oklahoma) and
Airese Currie (fifth round, Clemson), the Bears have enough speed to
frighten most defenses if Benson can't
run through them.

"With Mark Bradley, with Benson, with (Currie), we've got people who
are adding an element of speed," Gabriel said.

Last season that dimension was missing from the Bears' offense, a
major reason why it was the least productive unit in the NFL. The
Bears were last in passing yards, total yards and points. Only rookie
wide receiver Bernard Berrian was much of a threat to stretch the
field, but he caught only 15 passes.

Bradley's size-speed combination is unique to the Bears. He runs a
4.43-second 40, but Currie may be even more of a deep threat. He was
an All-American track athlete at Clemson, and he was also the Tigers'
go-to target last season with 61 receptions for 868 yards.

"We're trying to get fast; we're trying to get playmakers," Gabriel
said. "He made plays at Clemson. When you put on the tape, you see the
speed, and that's the important thing for us."

It was especially important on offense, which was the Bears' focus
throughout the weekend. Even though they've got a glut of young
quarterbacks in different stages of development currently under
contract, the Bears added Purdue's Kyle Orton to the mix.

Orton began last season as one of the leading Heisman Trophy
candidates, but he and the Boilermakers slumped badly, especially in
an Oct. 30 loss to Northwestern.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

Given Rex Grossman's injury woes over the last few years, the Orton
pick was not a huge surprise. From the fantasy football perspective,
though, there aren't any clear-cut impact draft selections excepting
RB Cedric Benson. As the Bears are trying to recover from a disastrous
2004 campaign, we don't recommend staking your fantasy franchise on
any Bear this season.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

7. Cincinnati Draft Analysis (Commentary)

Clipped from: Cincinnati Enquirer article by Mark Curnutte, 4/25/05

David Pollack, the Bengals' latest first-round draft pick, says he's
crazy but with an asterisk.

"Crazy under control," he said Sunday, during his first meeting with
the Cincinnati sports media. "I don't like roller coasters and stuff
like that. I don't like heights that much. But as far as things I can
control, running around and things like that, yeah, it's fun."

On the ground, especially on the field, Pollack is all energy, all the
time. Midway through his senior season, he was laying out in an
attempt to block a punt. It was a practice.

He's pretty much running at high speed off the field, too.

He drinks a gallon and a half of water a day.

"Good for the muscles," he said...

... Pollack has his bachelor's degree in history. He is engaged to be
married May 21 to Lindsey Hopkins, a University of Georgia
undergraduate who will move to the Cincinnati area to continue her
education.

Pollack told ESPN the Magazine that he is still a virgin and is
waiting to be married. He turned down a photo shoot to be part of
Playboy Magazine's preseason All-America team.

"I speak at churches, and I try to set a good example for kids about
living right," he said. "It's just not for me."

His extensive energy will be focused on football. The Bengals forecast
Pollack as an outside linebacker, a pass rush specialist whose 36
career college sacks in the tough SEC suggest he could help apply more
pressure to opposing NFL quarterbacks.

He plans to play right away.

"I'll be honest," Pollack said Sunday morning, "I didn't come here to
sit the bench. I'll go crazy if I have to sit on the bench."

But he's obedient. He'll do what coaches want. What about special
teams? OK, deal.

"My parents spanked the crud out of me when I needed to be spanked," he said.

Cincy Post Article

Clipped from: Cincinnati Post editorial by Kevin Goheen, 4/25/05

If there is one thing the Bengals did with this weekend's draft, they
have provided themselves with more competition at different positions
while also adding versatility. It began with the selections of Georgia
linebackers David Pollack and Odell Thurman in the first and second
rounds on Saturday and continued until Utah defensive end Jonathan
Fanene was picked in the seventh round Sunday. Pollack flew to town
Saturday night to meet with team officials and coaches and was then
introduced to the media Sunday before returning to his home in
Snellville, Ga.

"I think we not only improved our football team with athleticism and
our ability to make football plays but with our youth," said Lewis. "I
think you felt the magnetism of David in here (Sunday). His football
presence is going to make us a better football team and I think we
need that. He'll come in and the sky's the limit. Odell has that same
kind of presence when he walks into the room; he's going to look you
in the eye and give you a hard day's work each and every day. Those
things uplift us."

Pollack played defensive end in college and weighed as much as 290
pounds during his junior season. He trimmed the weight down to 261
pounds as a senior and said he plans on playing at 250 pounds this
fall. The Bengals can also use Pollack as a down lineman in pass
rushing situations, a variable they may not have gotten with another
player.

Lewis called Pollack another first pick worthy of being placed on a
billboard, meaning that beyond his football attributes Pollack fits
the high-character mold of players already on the roster such as Jon
Kitna, Carson Palmer, Levi Jones and Brian Simmons. They're players
who'll be talked about for what happens on the field and not off of
it.

"I am what I am and I don't change for anybody," said Pollack. "I'm
not going to be out drinking and partying because I don't do that,
that's not me. I'm going to be a guy who consumes myself in football
so I can be as good as I can be."

Besides the two linebackers, the two receivers and Fanene, the Bengals
also drafted center Eric Ghiaciuc and offensive tackle Adam Kieft,
both from Central Michigan, in the fourth and fifth rounds,
respectively.

Heading into the weekend the main areas of need and want for the
Bengals were on defense (name your spot) and at center. In addition
they wanted to address Lewis' desire to increase the offense's ability
to throw and connect with the deep passing game. All of those were
accomplished. The one area of need the Bengals didn't address in the
draft is safety, but Lewis said the team would bring in candidates
among the undrafted free agents they expect to sign in the next few
days.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

It sounds like David Pollack is a fine pick as far as the character
department goes. IDP players have to like his pass-rush abilities,
which could lead to solid FP totals if things go Pollack's way in
training camp. Obviously, discipline shouldn't be a problem for
Pollack...

As the second article points out, the Bengals added depth to several
key positions in this draft. We don't see WRs Chris Henry or Tab Perry
knocking Chad Johnson or T.J. Houshmandzadeh out of the starting
lineup at WR during 2005, but they may well be the #2 guys at each
position by the time training camp is over. Time will tell.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

8. Cleveland Draft Analysis (Commentary)

Clipped from: Cleveland Plain Dealer, Staff article, 4/25/05

(The article provides an overview of the Browns' picks – MW).

Akron Beacon Article

Clipped from: Akron Beacon-Journal article by Terry Pluto, 4/25/05

Charlie Frye loves the No. 19 but won't wear it with the Browns.
It always will be Bernie Kosar's number, and Frye grew up wearing
Kosar jerseys and had a picture of the former Browns quarterback in
his room.

So what number does he want?

"Just give me any number and give me the ball," he said. "I really
don't care. I just want to play."

David Frye is a printer. Frye's mother, Sally, is a teacher's aide.
They went to nearly every Akron game to watch their son. They now can
watch the Browns -- and not have to worry about those badly placed
beams.

"We always taught Charlie that hard work comes first, then you start
to get some of the good things," David Frye said.

After playing four years at Akron, setting every significant school
passing record and then taking part in the Senior Bowl, the NFL
Combine and other pro scouting venues, the good things are starting to
come.

Enduring the day

Charlie Frye thought that the Green Bay Packers or the Browns would
pick him. The
teams seemed to show the most interest in Frye, and they both also had
the need to groom a young quarterback.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

Obviously, Frye is at least a year away from starting (barring injury
to Trent Dilfer). As a dynasty owner, you might want to stash Frye
away as a potential starter at QB in years to come.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

9. Dallas Draft Analysis (Commentary)

Clipped from: Dallas Morning News editorial by Rick Gosselin, 4/25/05

Jimmy Johnson left the Cowboys after the 1993 season. With Jerry Jones
running the draft room, the Cowboys have not carded an A for a draft
since then. Until now.

Jones and Bill Parcells engineered the best draft of the post-Johnson
era, receiving one of three A's on the NFL grade card. And that A
could become an A-plus a year down the road if defensive end Chris
Canty recovers from an eye injury that could force him to spend the
2005 season on the sideline. Because of the injury, Canty was a Top 40
talent that slid to Dallas in the fourth round.

The Cowboys had the best first day on this draft. Landing the speed of
Demarcus Ware and the size of Marcus Spears was the dream scenario of
Jerry Jones and Bill Parcells. The Dallas defensive front got bigger
and faster overnight. Good players often come to those who don't trade
down. Justin Beriault and Rob Petitti in the sixth round was a good
way for the Cowboys to close the draft out. The second day is what
makes a good draft great. For a change the Cowboys made some superb
second-day draft picks in Canty, Beriault and Petitti.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

IDP owners will be interested to see how DE (perhaps a pro OLB?)
Demarcus Ware and DE Marcus Spears pan out, and the Dallas D/ST as a
whole could be greatly improved if these guys play up to their
considerable talents.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

10. Denver Draft Analysis (Commentary)

Clipped from: Rocky Mountain News article by Staff, 4/25/05

Maurice Clarett, RB, Ohio State; 5-11 5/8, 234

Scouting report: Where to start?

The Broncos have done what no other team in the league was willing to
do - use a first-day draft pick to give Clarett a fresh start.

Beyond Clarett's failed legal tussle with the NFL in trying to enter
the 2003 draft, and his off-the-field troubles with illegal benefits
that got him ruled ineligible at Ohio State, on the field, he will
have to rebound from a two-year absence from football.

Never a speed back, he also worked behind a dominant offensive line in
his one season at Ohio State that made giant holes for him to run
through.

He ran a 4.78 40 at the combine this year to go with a quicker 4.67 at
a private workout later. The Broncos are hoping he can play a little
closer to that second clocking.

He also has had some shoulder (stinger), knee (arthroscopic surgery to
repair cartilage) and ankle problems.

Broncos like his instincts into the line of scrimmage, but he will
have to show he has enough speed to get to the open spaces.

Quotable: "I'm in great shape right now, working out every day. I
talked to (running backs) coach (Bobby) Turner and said, 'If you need
me to lose more weight, I'll lose more weight. If you need me to run
more, I'll run more.' Whatever they ask of me, whatever I need to do,
is going to happen. I'm just in a hurry to make a contribution. I just
can't wait."

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

If you need a CB in your IDP league, consider which of these new
Broncos (Darrent Williams, Karl Paymah, Domonique Foxworth) might rise
to the top of the barrel. RB Clarett is buried behind Tatum Bell and
Quentin Griffin.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

11. Detroit Draft Analysis (Commentary)

Clipped from: Detroit Free Press editorial by Curt Sylvester, 4/25/05

With the addition of playmaking wide receiver Mike Williams and
defensive tackle Shaun Cody, the Lions are no longer a team
overmatched for the NFL battles ahead.
In a similar situation at San Francisco, Mariucci took a rebuilt 6-10
team to a 12-4 record and the 2001 NFL playoffs.

The 2005 Lions might not be ready for a 12-win season, but the 2-14,
3-13, 5-11 and 6-10 seasons should be history.

"That's what you want," Mariucci said Sunday. "You want to put a team
together where you have higher and higher and higher expectations each
year, and that's the path we're on.

"We added six draftees this weekend, we added six or so free agents,
so we'll get some improvement from the additions we made but -- like
I've mentioned before -- the greater part of the improvement will come
from the development of our current players.

"All the guys who have been wearing a Lions helmet need to improve and
will improve and that's where that 6-10 record changes."

The Lions might not have had the glitziest draft in the league --
nothing like last year's coup of landing wide receiver Roy Williams
and running back Kevin Jones in the first round -- but Millen and
Mariucci perhaps applied the finishing touches to the younger, faster
Lions.

Mike Williams and Cody -- the first- and second-round picks -- are not
projected as instant starters, but the Lions will expect them to make
immediate and significant contributions. They plan to use Williams in
three-receiver sets with Charles Rogers and Roy Williams, and want
Cody to provide an inside pass rush in the defensive line rotation.

Cornerback Stanley Wilson of Stanford, the third-round pick, brings
speed in an area where NFL teams are always seeking more depth. He
will compete for time in the nickel and dime defenses.

The second-day draft picks are never a sure thing, but the Lions feel
good about the three they landed, including two Millen acquired in a
trade with New England:

• Dan Orlovsky of Connecticut, expected to be the No. 3 quarterback
behind Joey Harrington and Jeff Garcia, with the prospect of
developing into quality backup or a player with trade value.

• Defensive end Bill Swancutt of Oregon State, a pass rusher who shared
Pac-10 defensive player of the year honors with Cody and whose work
ethic gives him a chance to make the team.

• Defensive end/linebacker Johnathan Goddard of Marshall, who led the
nation last fall with 16 sacks but doesn't fit physically as either an
end or a linebacker. The Lions like his speed and will leave it to
defensive coordinator Dick Jauron to determine where he fits best.

MLive Article

Clipped from: Mlive.com editorial by Tom Kowalski, 4/25/05

...How are Detroit's opponents going to cover those guys?

With a healthy Charles Rogers and Roy Williams -- and with Kevin Jones
in the backfield -- the addition of Mike Williams gives the Lions the
potential to be the most explosive offense in the NFL. It's all about
matchups. And that's how you have to look at this draft, not just Mike
Williams, but the rest of the picks, too.

Sure, there are some negatives because they didn't fill some of the
holes they have. For instance, the Lions really needed to infuse the
safety position with some good young talent, but that went unaddressed
over the weekend.

The idea of the draft, though, is to make your team better and the
Lions did a good job of that with relatively few picks.

Without getting too immersed in the Xs and Os, the addition of Mike
Williams means Detroit's No. 3 receiver is going to be much more
talented than the opponent's No. 3 cornerback.

That means playing a lot of man-to-man coverage is out of the question
for opponents. Teams will have to play mostly zone defenses against
the Lions, which gives Detroit two advantages: One, they have big
receivers who can excel against that style and, two, predictable
defenses give the quarterback a huge advantage.

Another key factor is the addition of offensive coordinator Ted
Tollner, who likes to keep things simple and has a strong belief that
coaches should stay out of the way of the talent. Head coach Steve
Mariucci has already said the Lions have cut back on some of the
"reading" by the receivers, allowing them to use their skills and
instincts, instead of slowing them down with a bunch of option routes.

That change in the playbook, while seemingly minor, should eliminate a
lot of the confusion, hesitation and inconsistency in the passing
game.

Here's another way to put it: Take the three cornerbacks who were
selected in the first nine picks of the draft -- Adam "Pacman" Jones,
Antrel Rolle and Carlos Rogers -- and put them on the same defense. If
that defense played against the Lions' trio of wide receivers for all
16 games, what do you think would happen?

Those gifted cornerbacks would likely combine for something like 10 to
14 interceptions in a season, right? Well, what do you think those
receivers would do? Does 25 touchdown catches sound about right? How
about 30? Or 35?

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

The factor that is ignored in the second article is the rash of rumors
swirling around Charles Rogers – that he has ballooned to 235 lbs.
during his second straight rehab from a clavicle injury and etc.  Add
to that the question of whether or not Joey Harrington can deliver the
ball consistently to Williams, Williams, and Rogers, and there may be
a real problem. However, there is no denying that a (healthy)
five-headed monster of RB Kevin Jones, TE Marcus Pollard, and the
triplet WRs mentioned above could form a very scary offense during
2005.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

12. Green Bay Draft Analysis (Commentary)

Clipped from: PackersNews.com article by Pete Dougherty, 4/25/05

...The extra picks all were in the fourth round or later, so the chances
of landing significant immediate help aren't nearly as good as if they
were first-day picks. But the Packers gained six new players for their
ailing defense, including two safeties (second-round pick Nick Collins
of Bethune-Cookman and fourth-rounder Marviel Underwood of San Diego
State), as well as two guards (Junius Coston of North Carolina A&T and
Will Whitticker of Michigan State).

Those were two of the three positions at which the Packers have the
greatest immediate need.

Though only one of those four players, Collins, was a premium pick,
Thompson didn't hesitate when asked if he expects at least one
immediate starter from this draft class.

"Yeah. I don't know who they're going to be, but yeah," he said.

Though obtaining extra picks guarantees nothing, it does increase the
odds of finding a few good players in a draft process that, despite
all the money and time spent on scouting, includes a large element of
luck.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

Green Bay's starting lineup is populated by seasoned veterans, so
don't expect a big fantasy impact from this year's recruiting class
during 2005.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

13. Houston Draft Analysis (Commentary)

Clipped from: Houston Chronicle article by Joseph Duarte, 4/24/05

The Texans added some competition in the backfield Saturday, by using
their third-round selection on Oklahoma State's Vernand Morency.

Morency, who finished eighth in the nation in rushing as a junior, is
expected to challenge incumbent 1,000-yard rusher Domanick Davis and
injury-prone backup Tony Hollings for playing time in the backfield.

"I'm going to compete," Morency said. "My main goal is to take the
starting job. That's my whole mindset anywhere I go."

Morency was rated as the fourth-best running back prospect on several
draft boards in the draft behind Auburn's Carnell Williams and Ronnie
Brown and Texas' Cedric Benson. All three were taken among the top
five picks.

Morency, who ended up as the seventh back taken on Saturday, will be a
25-year-old rookie after playing minor league baseball in the Colorado
Rockies organization and not enrolling at Oklahoma State until 2002.
After becoming a full-time starter last season, Morency rushed for
1,474 yards and 12 touchdowns.

"I'm ready to showcase my ability," said Morency, who was selected
with the No. 73 overall pick. "I've never been given anything; I've
always worked for everything."

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

Tony Hollings has been a major disappointment during his time in the
league. It wouldn't be a surprise to see Morency at #2 by the end of
training camp – Domanick Davis will be the #1 coming into the season,
but he'll need to remain productive to retain his starting role.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

14. Indianapolis Draft Analysis (Commentary)

Clipped from: Indy Star article by Mike Chappell, 4/24/05

The secondary proved to be the primary focus of the Indianapolis Colts
during Saturday's NFL draft.

They waited nearly 51/2 hours to finally participate in the league's
marathon selection process, then took an unprecedented approach in an
attempt to bolster a pass defense that ranked 28th in 2004.

For the first time in team history, the Colts used their first two
draft picks on cornerbacks: Michigan's Marlin Jackson, taken 29th
overall, and Illinois' Kelvin Hayden, selected in the second round.
They chose Kentucky defensive lineman Vincent Burns in the third
round.

"It just happened to be that way," coach Tony Dungy said of the Colts
using their three first-day selections on defensive talent.

His smile hinted otherwise. The Colts were intent on upgrading a
defense that ranked in the bottom half of virtually every significant
category a year ago. The pass defense was tied for ninth in the league
with 19 interceptions but yielded 50 receptions of at least 20 yards.

"This is one where we clearly targeted some defensive people and it
broke right for us," team president Bill Polian said. "Let's hope it
stays that way (today)."
The Colts have six picks in the final four rounds of the draft, which
resumes at 10 a.m. today. They have two each in the fourth and fifth
rounds.

Indianapolis Star Article

Clipped from: Indianapolis Star article by Mike Chappell, 4/25/05

"As you know, we believe this is the most important day, or at least
as important, as (Saturday)," team president Bill Polian said after
the Colts completed their two-day shopping spree for college talent.
"I understand our fans don't see it that way.
"We've always done well on the second day. I would expect three, four,
maybe five to step up and make contributions."

It's anybody's guess who will be the next under-the-radar draft pick
or collegiate free agent to emerge as a prominent player for the
Colts.

Sunday, they added center/guard prospects Dylan Gandy of Texas Tech
and Rob Hunt of North Dakota State, safety Matt Giordano of
California, defensive end Jonathan Welsh and running back Anthony
Davis of Wisconsin, Cincinnati linebacker Tyjuan Hagler and Michigan
State kicker Dave Rayner.

The financial makeup of the Colts roster is top heavy as quarterback
Peyton Manning, running back Edgerrin James and wide receiver Marvin
Harrison account for nearly one quarter ($21 million) of the team's
$85.5 salary cap. That requires frugality elsewhere.

"When we have as much invested in the Triplets as we do," Polian said,
"it's extremely important that the difference be made up by
lower-salaried, entry-level players.

"The secret is to find entry-level players who don't play like
entry-level players."

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

Considering how loaded the Colts are at skill positions, we don't
expect to see any significant production out of the rookie ranks this
season. However, IDP players around the U.S.A. may find the early CB
selections of interest – there is no doubt that most of the Colt's
opponents will need to throw the ball early and often to match up with
the scoring machine that is Indianapolis. If Joseph Jefferson or
Donald Strickland is injured or underperforms during training camp,
Marlin Jackson could be a value pick.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

15. Jacksonville Draft Analysis (Commentary)

Clipped from: Jacksonville Times-Union article by Gene Frenette, 4/25/05

First round
MATT JONES
WR, Arkansas B

If this grade was handed out purely on guts, the Jaguars would get an
A-plus. Give James Harris and Jack Del Rio credit for showing courage
on behalf of an offense that is rarely willing to take chances.
Oklahoma WR Mark Clayton or Virginia TE Heath Miller were safer
choices for the team's pitiful red-zone offense, but Jones is the most
intriguing draft choice in franchise history. The adjustment from
college quarterback to receiver may require some time, but if it pans
out for Jones and he juices up the offense, the Jaguars' Slash will be
a cult hero.

Second round
KHALIF BARNES
OT, Washington A

You have to wonder about a consensus late first-round pick doing an
Aaron Rogers free fall, but this is one of those gift selections that
can't be passed up. The Jaguars need insurance at left tackle with
Mike Pearson recovering from major knee surgery. Work ethic question
aside, how could you not take Barnes at No. 52? History is on the
team's side. Six previous offensive linemen taken on the first day of
the draft all became full-time starters. The only miss was
back-impaired center Michael Cheever.

Third round
SCOTT STARKS
CB, Wisconsin B-

This was a good draft to wait until the third round for a cover guy,
though I'm not sure the Jaguars landed the best player, or even
cornerback, available. Starks just happened to be the fastest
cornerback left on the board. Starks' size (5-9, 172) is less than
ideal, but if he's a solid contributor on special teams and evolves
into a starter, Starks merits being a first-day pick.

Fourth round
ALVIN PEARMAN
RB, Virginia C+
At this point, all you can reasonably expect is that Pearman can
provide a special teams boost as a return man or in some other
capacity. With Fred Taylor pushing 30 and the Jaguars being coy about
the status of his knee, it'll be interesting to see if Pearman shows
enough skill to ultimately be a starter.

Fifth round
GERALD SENSABAUGH
S, North Carolina B

Another special-teams guy who will likely be thrown into the mix with
Deke Cooper as a possible future replacement for Donovin Darius. Not
that workout numbers always translate to the football field, but a
46-inch vertical jump at the NFL combine is an eye-catcher.

Sixth round
CHAD OWENS
WR, Hawaii C

If the Jaguars still believe in Reggie Williams, why draft a second
wide receiver this year? Yes, he was a lights-out return guy in
college, but keep in mind this footnote: the Jaguars are 0-for-7 on
landing productive receivers in the final three rounds of the draft.

Sixth round
PAT THOMAS
OLB, N.C. State C+
It's about time the Jaguars added linebacker depth, though it may be a
bit late in the draft to get someone who can earn a roster spot.

Seventh round
CHRIS ROBERSON
CB, Eastern Michigan B-
Hard to expect a seventh-round payoff like DE Bobby McCray last year.
At least Roberson has speed (4.33 in the 40) and played multiple
positions. That's a good recipe for being an NFL special-teams guy.

Orlando Sentinel Article

Clipped from: Orlando Sentinel article by Shannon Shelton, 4/25/04

The Jaguars finished the day with five new players from Rounds 4-7,
one more than expected at the beginning of the day. Jacksonville
traded its fourth-round pick, No. 123 overall, to the New York Jets
for the Jets' 127th-pick and an additional sixth-round pick.

Jacksonville used its new fourth-round spot on Virginia running back
Alvin Pearman and added Hawaii wide receiver/kick returner Chad Owens
in the sixth round at No. 185.

Jacksonville drafted North Carolina strong safety/free safety Gerald
Sensabaugh in the fifth round with the 157th-overall pick and
linebacker Pat Thomas of North Carolina State with its original
sixth-round pick at 194th overall.

The Jaguars finished the day with the selection of Eastern Michigan
cornerback Chris Roberson in the seventh round at No. 237 and signed
10 rookie free agents.

"We were able to add to the core of our football team with guys that
should be able to come in and fight for roster spots and contribute to
special teams," Jaguars Coach Jack Del Rio said. "We thought we were
able to address some offense early. We came back and regrouped in the
second day to improve ourselves in special teams and speed."

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

As for the first article – all we can say is "There you have it" – one
man's opinions.

It seems that Reggie Williams may be receiving a message from the
Jaguars – they brought in plenty of competition via the 2005 draft,
and Troy Edwards is also waiting in the wings.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

16. Kansas City Draft Analysis (Commentary)

Clipped from: Kansas City Star editorial by Adam Teicher, 4/25/05

The flurry of player acquisitions finally ended for the Chiefs Sunday
when they made seven picks in the final four rounds of the draft.

Now comes a potentially bigger task: Sorting through the pile of
bodies and determining exactly what they have.

The Chiefs begin the process of fitting the pieces together this
weekend when they hold a rookie camp at their Truman Sports Complex
practice facility. It continues in the middle of May when they open a
series of offseason practices and then in June with a three-day
full-squad minicamp.

The process may not be seamless, but coach Dick Vermeil wasn't concerned.

"I don't think it will take long," Vermeil said. "Obviously,
(cornerback Patrick Surtain) won't take long. He will fit right in.
He's been playing press coverages and all the other variations of
coverages we've been playing all along. He's the kind of guy you won't
change many of his techniques. He'll just fit how he plays into our scheme.

"(Safety Sammy Knight) already knows our defense. He's into the books
and studying how he does it. He's ahead of schedule."

The Chiefs still have to figure out exactly how they will use two of
the offseason's most important acquisitions, linebackers Kendrell Bell
and Derrick Johnson. Bell, a free agent from the Steelers, is
tentatively scheduled to play in the middle while Johnson, the
first-round draft pick, could battle with Scott Fujita, if he's
healthy, for one outside spot.
Shawn Barber, if he's healthy, will start at the other outside spot.
If he's not ready, Kawika Mitchell and Keyaron Fox are the leading
candidates.

The injuries to Fujita, Barber and Maslowski are clouding the issue.

"I'm looking down the road and expecting them to be healthy," Vermeil
said. "I think Maslowski is the furthest away because he's been out (a
year and a half). Maz has the biggest jump to make."

The Chiefs added seven rookies Sunday to Saturday's draft haul of
Johnson and third-round punter Dustin Colquitt. None of Sunday's picks
have a good shot of doing anything more than contributing on special
teams as rookies.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

Considering the veteran presence at every position on the Chief's 2005
roster, it isn't likely that any of the rookies will be impact fantasy
players. They are deep sleepers for dynasty owners, at best.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

17. Miami Draft Analysis (Commentary)

Clipped from: Miami Herald editorial by Armando Salguero, 4/25/05

Nick Saban has now laid the foundation for his latter-day Dolphins.

The Miami coach selected LSU cornerback Travis Daniels, TCU left
offensive tackle Anthony Alabi and Michigan State defensive tackle
Kevin Vickerson during Sunday's NFL draft, adding three players to the
three he took Saturday.

He wants those six players -- including running back Ronnie Brown,
defensive tackle Matt Roth and linebacker Channing Crowder -- to
prosper so the Dolphins can make the transition from a team that pays
top dollar for blemished free agents to a team that uncovers treasure
in the draft's bargain market.

Saban needs those players to succeed so the team can leave memories of
last season's 4-12 record behind and look ahead to days when it builds
much as other winning teams build.

"I have nothing to say about what has or hasn't been done here in the
past," Saban said Sunday. "But it's our philosophy that you really
have to build your team to where 40 percent comes from the draft. If
you look at successful teams, that's pretty much the M.O.

"You're going to have those guys on your team four or five years in
most cases. That's going to be the core of your team."

LITTLE PAYOFF

Last season, Miami got a paltry 33 percent of their players from their
drafts. And that caused ripple effects during much of this offseason
when Miami had to cut or trade four veterans because of salary cap
considerations.

Palm Beach Post Article

Clipped from: Palm Beach Post article by Greg Bedard, 4/25/05

The draft did not yield all that Saban was seeking. He's still looking
for a "vertical" and "slot" receiver, another tight end and a
"developmental" quarterback.

Some of those needs could be filled by undrafted free agents — the
Dolphins quickly signed former Miami quarterback Brock Berlin — and
others might be found in salary-cap cuts during training camp.

Saban only bemoans that he wasn't able to do more work on draft day.
Despite getting a second-round pick in the Patrick Surtain trade, the
Dolphins were without three of their selections because of trades made
before Saban arrived. Don't count on that happening again.

"It's our philosophy that you really have to build your team from the
draft," he said. "If you look at the New Englands and the
Philadelphias, they got lots of draft picks and they are packaging
three picks for a next year's third and they just keep going on and on
and on.

"You are kind of building for the future all the time."

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

From the fantasy perspective, RB Ronnie Brown is the most interesting
pick for the Dolphins. He's expected to be the replacement for the
retired Ricky Williams. We'll see how he adapts to the pro level.

The second article outlines some moves we could see over the next few
days regarding undrafted free agents – there may be some diamonds in
the rough uncovered as various teams scramble to fill out their
expanded training camp rosters.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

18. Minnesota Draft Analysis (Commentary)

Clipped from: Minneapolis Star-Tribune editorial by Jim Souhan, 4/25/05

The Vikings have somehow ditched football's most talented player --
Randy Moss -- yet upgraded their roster to the point where they should
be considered the second-best theoretical team in the NFC, behind the
Philadelphia Eagles.

Now it's up to the creator of the Randy Ratio and the Scalping
Syndicate to -- how do they put it in the National Football League? --
not mess up.

In the past four months, the Vikings have added five probable starters
through free agency and trades, assumed that two former starters will
return from injuries, and drafted three players who should start
during the 2005 season.

The total list of additions and rehabilitations is impressive: Fred
Smoot, Pat Williams, Darren Sharper, Sam Cowart, Napoleon Harris,
Travis Taylor, Brad Johnson, Troy Williamson, Erasmus James, Marcus
Johnson, Jim Kleinsasser and Mike Rosenthal.

The list of hurtful personnel losses remains at one: Randy Moss.

The addition of 12 quality players should mean more than the
subtraction of nine dynamic letters.

Today the Vikings are a deeper, faster, more experienced team than
they were four months ago. They are profoundly stronger on defense and
remain talented on offense.

They will miss Moss' playmaking, but his removal means Tice will
finally get a chance to coach the team as one unit instead of serving
as Moss' day-care provider.

Moss won games for Tice. Moss also impeded Tice's progress as a coach.

When Moss angered key teammates, Tice lost credibility coddling him.
When Moss walked off the field at Washington and Tice didn't hammer
him, owner Red McCombs was forced to choose between coach and star.

Whatever his reputation for thriftiness, McCombs has been generous to
Tice in matters not involving legal tender -- retaining him, standing
behind him during the scalping crisis, ridding him of his foremost
headache, then rubber-stamping a free-agent spree even while the team
was going through a serpentine sale process.

Now look what Tice has to work with:

• A defensive line featuring Kevin Williams, Pat Williams, 2004 first
rounder Kenechi Udeze and 2005 first rounder Erasmus James -- the
charming speed rusher from Wisconsin. (Have those words ever appeared
together before?)

• A linebacking corps that should be smarter with Cowart in the
middle, even if this position remains a relative weakness.

• A secondary featuring outstanding cornerbacks in Smoot and Antoine
Winfield, a savvy safety in Sharper and incumbent Corey Chavous, who
should be better when not having to compensate for Brian Russell.

• An offensive line with six good players for five positions -- Bryant
McKinnie, Adam Goldberg, Matt Birk, Chris Liwienski, Rosenthal and
Johnson.

• An outstanding blocking tight end in Kleinsasser, and a gifted
pass-catching tight end in Jermaine Wiggins.

• A capable receiving group featuring Nate Burleson, Taylor, Marcus
Robinson and Williamson.

• A handful of good running backs, one of whom should emerge as a
quality starter.

• An overall roster so deep that the Vikings spent their third-round
draft pick on Dustin Fox, who projects as a special teams player and
backup.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

The Vikings have a load of talent on their 2005 roster, especially
since the draft. Now, the question becomes how will all of that
promise translate into production with Randy Moss in Oakland? Time
will tell...

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

19. New England Draft Analysis (Commentary)

Clipped from: Providence Journal commentary by Tom Curran, 4/25/05

When the name of the Patriots' first-round draft choice -- Logan
Mankins -- was announced Saturday afternoon, the heads of ESPN's draft
talkers swiveled in unison to Mel Kiper Jr.

No draft evaluation on earth or in cyberspace had Logan Mankins going
in the first round. You'd be hard-pressed to find any that had Mankins
going in the second round. Normally, this would be an invitation for
the humorless Kiper to dance on the heads of the seemingly overeager
Patriots.

Instead, Kiper, who had Mankins rated as a third-rounder and projected
him to go to Minnesota with the 80th pick, went into what seemed like
damage control. The gist of his circuitous remarks were that, just
because he had someone rated as the fourth-rated guard doesn't mean
that guy can't be drafted in the first round.

The point we're trying to make is not that Kiper got it wrong with
Mankins. Nobody knows what kind of player he'll be yet. What's worth
noting is that Kiper has made a name for himself by A) never admitting
he got it wrong and, B) usually getting it right.
But on Saturday, Kiper was only too willing to defer to the Patriots.
In other words, the Patriots are the draft experts. Kiper only plays
one on TV. And when it came time to put his evaluation up against
those of Scott Pioli and Bill Belichick, he slammed it into reverse.

Over the two-day draft, the Patriots added a pair of tackles who'll
end up as NFL guards in Mankins and Toledo's Nick Kaczur. They grabbed
corner Ellis Hobbs, who's 5-foot-8, can return kicks and is thought to
be a very, very passionate player. They grabbed safety James Sanders
and UNLV linebacker Ryan Claridge, who played inside linebacker in the
Runnin' Rebels 3-4 alignment last year.

The Pats also added three picks for next season yesterday, swinging
three trades yesterday, making it four overall for the two days of the
draft. That sets them up with extra picks in the third, fourth and
fifth rounds next season.

Every single player they added fits the Patriots' mold, so to speak.
The only "issues" they have is being exceptionally intense on the
field (Kaczur was bounced from a 2002 bowl game for punching a Boston
College player late in the first half).

There will be no need for heavy-duty mind cleansing to accept the
Patriots' way of doing things.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

The Patriots had needs on the OL after free agency, and took vigorous
steps to address the gaps during the draft. That should help keep
Corey Dillon and Tom Brady happy and productive, as long as Mankins
and Kaczur pan out.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

20. New Orleans Draft Analysis (Commentary)

Clipped from: New Orleans' Time Picayune editorial by Peter Finney, 4/24/05

I think this is an accurate historical fact.

In the 38-year-old history of our Saints, no first-round pick has had
smaller shoes to fill than Jammal Brown.

J.B. was chosen to be the starting right tackle on Coach Jim Haslett's
offensive line, a position filled last season by Victor "United
Nations" Riley.

You remember him, don't you?

A mini-second before the ball was snapped to Aaron Brooks, Victor,
more often than not, would come up out of his stance, prepared to
block anyone harboring evil thoughts on assaulting his quarterback.

Usually, it would attract a yellow flag.

False start.

Five-yard penalty.

Well, here comes Jammal Brown of the Oklahoma Sooners, a shade short
of 6 feet 6, in the neighborhood of 320 pounds.

J.B. is prepared to not only keep Brooks out of hostile clutches, but
to create gobs of daylight for Deuce McAllister with one pancake block
after another.

And he's hoping to do it without a false start, without the deluge of
flags that bedeviled a Saints offense throughout an 8-8 season.

Let's say this: If J.B. lives up to his clippings, he'll be another
Willie Roaf. At least, the Saints thought enough of Brown to give up a
third-round pick next year to Houston so they could trade up from No.
16 to No. 13 to land the Sooners All-American.

A defensive lineman who moved to the other side of the ball, Brown has
a résumé packed with "pancakes," with "knockdowns," with a history of
keeping the jersey of his quarterback in pristine condition.

NOLA Article

Clipped from: New Orleans Times-Picayune editorial by Jeff Duncan, 4/25/05

McPherson, who the Saints selected in the fifth round of the NFL draft
Sunday, could be the Moss of this year's draft, a talented but
troubled athlete whose athletic ability is so rare he has the
potential to single-handedly make or break a team's draft.

The Saints hope their decision to use the No. 152 overall pick on
McPherson will pay off in the same way it did for the Vikings in 1998
when they took Moss at No. 21 and saw him emerge over the next several
years as one of the most dynamic offensive weapons in the game.

"I'd be lying if I didn't think there was some risk," Saints director
of player personnel Rick Mueller said. "The upside is tremendous. He
has rare talent and athletic ability."
McPherson, 21, was kicked off the Florida State football team in 2002
for his role in several transgressions, including the theft and
forgery of bad checks as well as his alleged involvement in a gambling
scandal.

He pleaded no contest to all charges at his felony trial in July 2003
and was sentenced to 90 days in a work camp, 50 hours of community
service and 30 months probation. But McPherson told reporters Sunday
his probation ended last week, and that's he's "feeling stress-free."

McPherson had to sit out of football for more than a year before
resurrecting his career in the Arena Football League a year ago. He
completed nearly 60 percent of his passes for 56 touchdowns with five
interceptions while earning Rookie of the Year honors.

His Arena League coach, former NFL quarterback Steve DeBerg, raved
about McPherson's commitment, work ethic and athletic ability, calling
the lanky right-hander "a $10 million talent" and comparing his
athletic ability to Elway, the Denver Broncos Hall of Famer.

Some NFL teams still weren't convinced and removed McPherson from
their draft boards because of his sketchy background and alleged link
to gambling.

"Is it my opinion he's a gambler? It's not opinion. That's what we
know," assistant state attorney Georgia Cappleman, whose attempt to
prosecute McPherson in 2003 ended in a deadlocked jury, told the Miami
Herald last month. "He's not only a gambler, he's a crook. Let me put
it to you this way: If he was in a room with you, you better watch
your wallet."

Saints officials performed an exhaustive background check on McPherson
since they started evaluating him as a draft prospect last year. They
interviewed dozens of family members, friends, associates, former
coaches and teammates, including Saints offensive lineman Montrae
Holland, wide receiver Talman Gardner and assistant athletic trainer
Duane Brooks, who spent time with McPherson at Florida State.

"Clearly, he made some mistakes," Loomis said. "He has been
accountable for them. He hasn't blamed anyone, and by words and deeds
he has pledged not to let them happen again.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

As the first article points out, Aaron Brooks and Deuce McAllister
should expect some improvement on the right side of the OL thanks to
Jammal Brown – that's good news for an offense that needs more
consistent pass and run blocking than the Saints managed last year.
QB Adrian McPherson, is clearly a long-shot. Hopefully, the negative
example of various MLB and NFL players will convince McPherson to
steer clear of any questionable activities – he's a project pick with
few fantasy prospects for 2005, at any rate.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

21. New York Giants Draft Analysis (Commentary)

Clipped from: New York Daily News article by Ralph Vacchiano, 4/25/05

Five years of watching Ron Dayne stumble out of the backfield in
short-yardage situations taught the Giants an important lesson: Size
doesn't matter. Short-yardage rushing is about attitude and
determination. And they needed a running back more determined than
Dayne.

But size doesn't hurt, either. And yesterday, in the fourth round of
the NFL draft, they may have found a good combination of both. They
selected Brandon Jacobs, a super-sized running back (6-4, 267) from
Southern Illinois. And after he was drafted, when a team official told
him the Giants had been a disaster in short-yardage situations
recently, he replied, in effect: Not anymore.

"They said the Giants hadn't been able to get a third-and-1 in a long
time," Jacobs said. "This will stop, finally, because I will not be
denied one yard."

That attitude alone could be enough to transform a Giants offense that
has been a nightmare in short-yardage and goal-line situations for
several years. Last year they converted just 48% of their 3rd-and-1
opportunities (13-for-27), the second-worst percentage in the league
according to the Elias Sports Bureau. That's a big reason why the
Giants ranked 23rd in red-zone offense (26 TDs in 54 opportunities)
and 30th in third-down efficiency overall (56 conversions in 190
chances, 29.5%).

Not all of that was Dayne's fault, but the 2000 first-round draft pick
(11th overall) was supposed to be the short-yardage answer. He
obviously wasn't. But Jacobs, the 110th overall pick, is sure he is.

"When I know it's short yardage I don't piddle-paddle behind the line
of scrimmage," he said. "I know the down and distance, I know where I
have to go, so I just get there. I get the rock, I barrel down and I
just get in. If anybody is in there, just one person won't stop me
from getting what I want. It's going to be a couple of people."

New York Post Article

Clipped from: New York Post editorial by Brian Lewis, 4/25/05

The Giants had just four picks in this weekend's NFL draft, thanks to
last season's acquisition of Eli Manning. They drafted for need on all
four of them, and still managed to get value on every single one.
That's not quite a great weekend, but it's plenty good enough.

Big Blue needed help at cornerback, defensive end, and running back,
and got all three. They didn't have the quantity of the Eagles' draft
or the quality of those of the Cowboys or Vikings, but they made
enough savvy choices to earn a grade of "B" from The Post.

They drafted LSU cornerback Corey Webster with the 11th pick in Round
2, a player who might've been a Top 20 pick if not for a slew of
injuries as a senior. In the third they took defensive end Justin
Tuck, Notre Dame's all-time sack leader whom Ourlads had graded an 8.8
— a near-first rounder and ahead of Erasmus James.

"We didn't think we'd have a chance to get them both," said coach Tom
Coughlin. "We said if could get those two on the first day, we'd be
very happy."

In Round 4 yesterday, they took 6-3, 267-pound Southern Illinois
running back Brandon Jacobs. With Tiki Barber now 30, and the Giants
13-for-27 on third-and-1 plays last year — a 48.1 percent conversion
rate that's the NFL's second-worst according to Elias — Jacobs should
be their short-yardage back and could be Barber's understudy.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

Considering how coach Coughlin often prefers to divide up the
work-load (for an example see Fred Taylor/Stacey Mack during 2002
http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/jax2002.htm), Jacobs could
be worth a look in basic-scoring leagues.  The Giants tried to do the
same thing with Tiki Barber/Ron Dayne last year, but Dayne failed
miserably in the role and the team was forced to abandon the division
of labor.

In IDP circles, DE Justin Tuck could be worth a look if he pans out
during training camp (especially if your league's scoring rules puts a
premium on sacks).

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

22. New York Jets Draft Analysis (Commentary)

Clipped from: New York Daily News editorial by Rich Cimini, 4/25/05

For only the second time in their 46-year draft history - a total of
717 picks - the Jets selected a kicker, Ohio State's Mike Nugent.
Incumbent Doug Brien, he of the Pittsburgh debacle, will be released,
possibly this week. Vikings coach Mike Tice said yesterday he might be
interested.

The fifth draft of the Terry Bradway/Herm Edwards regime also included
an unprecedented run on defense and special teams. In fact, they
waited until the sixth round before picking an offensive player - the
latest ever for the Jets.

Then, in a final twist, the media-friendly Edwards surprised many by
not appearing at the wrap-up news conference - another first. The
official reason: Too busy in meetings.

This was a time for the Jets to crow about their draft, especially Day
1. By trading out of a talent-thin first round, they filled four needs
with three players - a pass-catching tight end (Doug Jolley, acquired
from the Raiders), a clutch kicker (Nugent), a cornerback with 4.4
speed and playmaking skills (Clemson's Justin Miller) and a dangerous
kick returner (Miller).

Sure, there was some luck involved. They never expected Miller to be
available at the bottom of Round 2, but he dropped because of minor
character issues. (He threw a wild party two weekends ago and was
arrested for disorderly conduct.) But give the Jets credit for
accurately reading the draft. If they didn't pick Nugent where they
did in Round 2, he would've gone to the Vikings two picks later,
according to an NFL source.

The Jets received mostly positive reviews for the draft, but Bradway
became defensive when it was suggested that some NFL types - see
former coach Jimmy Johnson - are philosophically opposed to drafting
kickers so early.

"That's because not many kickers are this good," Bradway said. "What
do you want me to say? Who are the people saying you shouldn't? I
don't know who those people are. . . . A lot of people said it's a
good pick."

It was. Brien had to go, and he will.

North Jersey Article

Clipped from: NorthJersey.com editorial by Randy Lange, 4/25/05

"We're going to find that out in December. It really doesn't matter in
April whether we've closed the gap with the Patriots or anybody else,"
Bradway said. "They're the champs, they're in our division, they've
set the standard. Till we get there, it doesn't even matter. You've
got to go play the games."

The Jets will play this year's games with most of the eight rookies
they selected over the weekend. On the surface, the
Bradway-Edwards-Jesse Kaye draft went smoothly again, and Day Two
repeated two main themes established in Day One.

Improve special teams. Virtually every pick the Jets made, from Nugent
and cornerback/returner Justin Miller in the second round through the
late choices - top kick cover man Andre Maddox in Round 5,
long-snapper Joel Dreessen in Round 6 and potential kickoff returners
Cedric Houston and Harry Williams in Round 7 - was music to specials
coach Mike Westhoff's ears.

Improve competition. Not happy with Jon McGraw's availability or
Reggie Tongue's production at safety? Sunday's first two picks, cover
safety Kerry Rhodes in Round 4 and big hitter Maddox a round later,
told both veterans to be on their toes.

Maddox talks big, too. Asked how he compared himself to top safety
Brodney Pool, taken 34th overall by Cleveland, he said: "I'm better
than Brodney Pool. Brodney Pool can't tackle."

Ditto for tight end. Doug Jolley came in a trade Wednesday from
Oakland to compete with Chris Baker. But although Bradway said then,
"We're set at tight end," the Jets drafted Dreessen, who not only was
a decent receiver at Colorado State but said, "I've been long-snapping
since eighth grade." So watch out, James Dearth.

Houston, the Tennessee running back, won't be pushing out Curtis
Martin but may well push Martin, who turns 32 on May 1, up to greater
heights.

And Williams, who posted some eye-popping receiving numbers at
Division II Tuskegee, told the Jets when they took him with their last
pick, 240th overall, "You got a steal."

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

The Jets were very focused on D/ST during the draft, signaling their
comfort level with the starters and backups at the "skill" positions.
Doug Brien was 14th in total points among place kickers last season,
so Nugent may have some value as a fantasy PK if he can adapt to the
pro game quickly.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

23. Oakland Draft Analysis (Commentary)

Clipped from: Inside Bay Area commentary by Bill Soliday, 4/25/05

With needs on every level, there was little doubt defense would
dominate the Oakland Raiders' draft Saturday. But using their first
two picks on the same position? That hadn't been a thought.

Think again. It's just what they did, selecting Nebraska cornerback
Fabian Washington in Round 1 and following that by taking Houston
cornerback Stanford Routt a dozen picks later in Round 2.

Whatever happened to the lure of a surplus of defensive linemen who
dotted this draft's map and were there for the taking? Or linebacker?

Actually, after using their first third round pick on a quarterback,
Arizona State's Andrew Walter, they finally did take a linebacker —
Bishop O'Dowd High product Kirk Morrison of San Diego State.

Still, the glut of cornerbacks was a surprise. Granted, the Raiders
were thrust into a position of having to replace starting right
cornerback Phillip Buchanon, traded earlier this week to   Houston.
And granted, these were two of the fastest corners in the draft,
always a Raiders priority...

..."We're in a great position with Charles at one corner and Nnamdi at
the other," Turner said after the team drafted Routt. "We can put
these young guys behind them, they can learn.

"You're not dependent on saying these (new) guys have to play, but
certainly, if you look at our early games — New England, Kansas City,
Philadelphia — they're teams that use three receivers a great deal.
Two of the teams have outstanding tight ends that you have to contend
with. So it's going to give us flexibility in those areas."

Flexibility, in this case, translates into playing time.

And so, a Raiders draft, which was expected to help a defense that
finished 30th in the league in yards allowed and 30th in pass defense,
just got deeper ... not necessarily different.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

As the article points out, there just isn't much in the way of
blue-chip fantasy prospects for 2005 to be found on the Raider's
rookie roster. Redraft and dynasty owners should look elsewhere for
their "sleeper" picks.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

24. Philadelphia Draft Analysis (Commentary)

Clipped from: Philadelphia Daily Times editorial by Bob Grotz, 4/25/05

When Andy Reid rested Sunday, he had 11 draft picks, the most since he
suited up in those baggy XXXXXL practice shorts with the Eagles.

It wasn't easy finding 11 worthy prospects to take off the board, much
less than the 13 picks he began the lottery with. Reid, for the first
and second time, if you will, secured his first-ever Division II
players.

But Reid, vice president of player personnel Tom Heckert and the rest
of the Eagles' draft team were chest-bumping at the end of the day
with a windfall that included two defensive tackles, two offensive
tackles, one center-guard, one running back, three linebackers, one
safety and one wide receiver.

Included are the likely successors to Eagles Corey Simon and Terrell
Owens, who are unhappy with their contracts. The projected stars of
the future are defensive tackle Mike Patterson of USC, a first-round
pick, and second round choice Reggie Brown of Georgia, a wide receiver
with first round skills. Just for good measure, the Eagles sent a
message to Brian Westbrook, who isn't thrilled about his contract
situation. In Ryan Moats, the Eagles drafted a running back that does
almost exactly what Westbrook does.

"We think it was a successful day," Reid said. "We feel very good
about it and we look forward to getting those guys up here next
weekend."

The Eagles hold their mandatory three-day minicamp later this week.
Terrell Owens is required to attend, although Reid literally isn't
certain he will show up. Owens, unhappy with his contract, can be
fined for being AWOL.

Since Simon and Westbrook can't participate in practice unless they're
signed, and bitter wide receiver Freddie Mitchell is unlikely to see
the light of day at the NovaCare Complex for fear of influencing the
new players, it will be interesting to see who shows up.

"Most people want to be here," Reid said. "The ones that want to be
here are pretty good football players. We've won a lot of games with
them. I don't worry about that. And I do look forward to getting them
all back."

The chemistry of the 2005 Eagles follows the path as all of the other
teams in that it's begun with a draft to fortify positions of
uncertainty.

Patterson is the heir apparent to Simon, who didn't make it any easier
for the Eagles to sign him to a long-term deal by supporting Owens'
bid to re-do a seven-year deal after just one season.

"You have to get it while you can," Simon told his hometown newspaper,
the Tallahassee Democrat. "Once the deal is over, you learn you aren't
as important as people made you feel when you were.

"The NFL is not all glitz and glamour. The NFL is a business, and if
you don't handle it that way you'll end up flat broke."

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

The Eagles had a plentiful slate of draft picks, and moved to shore up
positions that were either A). filled by players of advanced age or
B). filled by players with contractual issues. Depending on how the
contract squabbles play out, the rookies could see some opportunities
to get valuable repetitions/playing time during training camp. We'll
have to wait and see how things shake out before we get a good grip on
the Eagle's skill position and IDP rookies' prospects this year.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

25. Pittsburgh Draft Analysis (Commentary)

Clipped from: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article by Ed Bouchette, 4/25/05

Big Ben got Big Money (tight end Heath Miller's nickname) Saturday and
yesterday he got a big wide receiver when the Steelers drafted
6-foot-4 Fred Gibson of Georgia in the fourth round.

Gibson played split end at Georgia, where he was overshadowed by
flanker Reggie Brown, Philadelphia's second-round draft pick. But
Gibson has the potential to grow into something special, particularly
if he can gain strength and add weight to a slight 202-pound frame.

"This guy has a big upside," said Bruce Arians, who coaches the
Steelers' receivers. "He has height, jumping ability and the speed to
go along."

Gibson played basketball at Georgia as a freshman before he
concentrated on football. The comparisons to Burress, a 6-5 1/2
receiver who signed with the Giants this year as a free agent, come
naturally.

"He is a couple inches shorter," Arians said. "Probably a little
faster [4.47 in the 40]. He is the same style player at outside
receiver. He gives us the height that we lost, hopefully, and makes
plays in the red zone with his height and jumping ability."

Counting the two new receivers, the Steelers drafted four of their
first six picks on offense, including two linemen they hope can help
protect Roethlisberger. Surely Roethlisberger had to like this draft.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

TE Jerame Tuman led the Steelers with 9/89/3 last season – even if
Miller doubles those totals in 2005, he won't be a premier fantasy TE.
Gibson is behind Hines Ward, Antwaan Randle-El, Cedric Wilson and Lee
Mays – don't expect a huge bonanza of FP from these new skill-position
players in Pittsburgh.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

26. Saint Louis Draft Analysis (Commentary)

Clipped from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial by Bill Coats, 4/25/05

(A complete run-down of the Ram's draft picks - MW)

St. Louis Dispatch Article

Clipped from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch article by Jim Thomas, 4/25/05

It will be several months before it's known if the Rams have enough
quality players at safety. But the Rams did their best over the
weekend to work on their quantity.

After selecting Ronald Bartell of Howard and Oshiomogho "O.J." Atogwe
of Stanford on Saturday in the NFL draft, the Rams put a capper on
their safety search by adding Florida State's hard-hitting Jerome
Carter in the fourth round Sunday.

Bartell is a cornerback-safety 'tweener, who has played both positions
in college and will be tried first at cornerback with the Rams. Atogwe
and Carter, meanwhile, were targeted by the Rams at safety after the
team was unable to trade up for Georgia's Thomas Davis in the first
round Saturday.

Houston, at No. 13 overall, wanted a second-round pick from the Rams
to move down to the Rams' No. 19 overall position on Saturday. That
was too steep a price for the Rams, who stood fast at No. 19, taking
Florida State offensive tackle Alex Barron. That helped the offensive
line, obviously, but kept the Rams on the hunt for safety help in
rounds 2-4.

Carter, a strong safety, was the first of seven players drafted by the
Rams on Sunday.

"He's really a favorite," Rams coach Mike Martz said. "This is a big
hitter. A terrific (special) teams player. But he's an excellent
tackler."

At 5-11, 219 pounds, Carter is a three-year starter for the Seminoles
with a reputation for tough, intense play.

"You talk about a kid who will jack you up," said one veteran NFC
scout. "The kid from Florida State (Carter) will hit you like a Mack
truck."

Rams secondary coach Kurt Schottenheimer didn't disagree with that assessment.

"He's very, very tough, very aggressive against the run,"
Schottenheimer said. "And that's probably what he does best. ... Now,
his temperament may be that he's a little too aggressive. But we'll
have to filter that and make sure he's reading the right things, and
bring him along that way."

Nonetheless, the Rams think Carter will be able to operate effectively
enough in space, particularly after watching him run at the NFL
scouting combine and at campus workouts.

"You look at the speed that he had at the combine - sub 4.5
(seconds)," Schottenheimer said. "He can play in space. So, I really
don't think that he has any limitations, whether it be (against the)
run or pass."

If nothing else, Carter should be an effective special teams player as
a rookie.

On paper, Atogwe is a more well-rounded player who is capable of
competing for a starting job right away. In the view of the Rams'
personnel department, Atogwe was every bit as good as Oklahoma's
Brodney Pool, who was taken by Cleveland with the second pick of the
second round.

Atogwe has the range and speed to play free safety, a spot the Rams
have had trouble filling since the days of Keith Lyle.

"I love the way (Atogwe) plays the game," Schottenheimer said. "He's a
bright kid. Great enthusiasm. ... Has a great instinct for the ball.
Has good ball skills."

Entering the free agency period, the Rams had only one safety on their
roster, Adam Archuleta. But after signing free agents Michael Stone
and Michael Hawthorne, and drafting Atogwe and Carter - with Bartell
possibly in the mix as well - the Rams suddenly have options. They
need two or three of those players to click, along with Archuleta, at
the safety position.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

S Oshiomogho Atogwe is probably the most interesting fantasy prospect
of this year's crop. If you have room on your bench in an IDP league,
and need help at DB, he's the guy you should grab.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

27. San Diego Draft Analysis (Commentary)

Clipped from: North County Times editorial by Jay Paris, 4/25/05

"When you pull the names off the board, you're positive," general
manager A.J. Smith said. "No one goes up and goes, 'This guy can't
play, and you can't play, but we'll take them anyway.' No."

The Chargers said yes to four more players Sunday in wrapping up the
two-day NFL draft. After leaning toward the defensive side of the ball
with two of their three picks on Saturday, the Chargers went strictly
offense.

Smith addressed the team's hole at returner by snatching Kansas State
running back Darren Sproles in the fourth round, 130th overall.
Sproles, at 5-foot-6 and 181 pounds, won't be used much at running
back, except in special situations. Instead, he'll be thrown into the
competition to bring back punts and kicks.

"Darren Sproles is an outstanding running back and one of the top
players to play in a great conference like the Big 12," coach Marty
Schottenheimer said. "He'll be in the mix in the return game, but we
could have various packages to use him in. Sometimes (defenders) can't
find him."

After Sproles, Smith went about shoring up depth along his offensive
line. In order, he drafted Alabama tackle Wesley Britt (fifth round,
164th), Oklahoma guard Wes Sims (sixth, 177th) and Bowling Green
center Scott Mruczkowski (seventh, 242nd).

"I like the revamped front line that we got, I'm very pleased with
them and they will all come back," Smith said. "Now it's what you put
behind them and what you can develop."

Smith was upbeat that he accomplished his goals heading into his third
draft as head of the Chargers: find pass-rushers, a wide receiver and
backups for an offensive line that has five returning starters.

Smith got his pass-rushers in Maryland outside linebacker Shawne
Merriman and defensive tackle Luis Castillo in the first round, with
Northern Colorado wide receiver Vincent Jackson coming in the second
round.

Smith was contemplating going for a wide receiver ---- USC's Mike
Williams was one possibility ---- with his initial first-round pick.
But when offensive players started going off the board early, and
Williams headed to the Lions two spots ahead of the Chargers' first
pick, Smith went defense.

"I decided to go after a defensive player there and worry about the
28th pick later," Smith said.

On Sunday, Smith wasn't worried about Britt's history of health
problems, which shows a fractured left leg in 2003 and a fractured
right leg in the practices leading to the Senior Bowl.

"We weren't concerned with it," he said.

Britt, who played against Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers as an
Alabama prep, said the break wasn't a major injury. And he had been
working out on it prior to the draft.

In Sims, the Chargers got someone who played both tackle spots for the
powerful Sooners. But Schottenheimer said Sims will play guard.

Sims, who also set school records in the discus and shot put, started
his final 47 games. He was an All-Big 12 selection by The NFL Draft
Report and recorded a career-high 118 knockdown blocks last season.

Mruczkowski started his career as a left guard, then moved to center
after two seasons. He showed considerable improvement his final year
at Bowling Green, mainly with his ability to stay low and use leverage
on his blocks.

After their final pick, the Chargers hit the phones in trying to
entice undrafted free agents to consider San Diego.

Smith estimates about 20 will be signed to bolster the training camp roster.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

A deep OL is never a bad thing in the NFL. The Chargers are prepared
to continue their push in the AFC West behind LaDainian Tomlinson and
Drew Brees during 2005.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

28. San Francisco Draft Analysis (Commentary)

Clipped from: Contra Costa Times article by Dennis Georgatos, 4/25/05

"It was very important to me in this draft that we get people who are
passionate about playing the game," Nolan said. "We need the right
kind of players to take the franchise back to its winning traditions,
and the reason I'm so excited is I know we hit the mark."

The 49ers' 11-player draft class pretty much filled out the team's
roster, though a couple free agents could be added after June 1.

Eight of the rookies play on offense, including Smith, the Utah
quarterback selected first overall on Saturday.

But they began Sunday's concluding draft session by selecting the
first of three defensive players, nose guard Ronald Fields of
Mississippi State leading off the fifth round. West Virginia
quarterback Rasheed Marshall, who will make the conversion to wide
receiver with the 49ers, was added later in the fifth round.

Also selected was cornerback Derrick Johnson of Washington in the
sixth followed by Cincinnati cornerback Daven Holly, Oregon wide
receiver Marcus Maxwell and tight ends Patrick Estes of Virginia and
Billy Bajema of Oklahoma State, all in the seventh round.

Smith spent the day at the team's Santa Clara headquarters. He was
introduced to owner John York and met with Nolan, offensive
coordinator Mike McCarthy and quarterbacks coach Jim Hostler.

Later in the day, Smith went to the nearby Hilton Hotel for an
introductory news conference, lugging the 49ers' playbook given him
just hours earlier.

Smith played in a shotgun-style offense at Utah and must learn the
49ers' West Coast scheme from scratch.

It also wasn't lost on Smith that the 49ers' draft class was heavily
weighted toward offense. Nolan has said that those players were taken
in support of the team's new quarterback, including two offensive
linemen.

"Coach Nolan talked about it and he backed up what he said," Smith
said. "When my new classmates come in here, I think it is going to be
a great opportunity for us with an organization that is heading in the
right direction."

While his contract negotiations are ongoing, Smith said that he plans
to move to the Bay Area within the next couple weeks.

"I really would like to get settled, so that I can get into a routine,
be around the team and be around the guys and learn as much as
possible as soon as possible," he said.

He said he "absolutely" will be in attendance when the team holds a
three-day minicamp starting May 6. While he won't have to be under
contract to participate in the minicamp, he will have to be signed
before taking part in summer training camp. Both Nolan and Smith said
they expect the deal to get done.

"It is absolutely vital," Smith said. "I think those repetitions,
especially for a young quarterback, are invaluable and you cannot
replace those. If I expect to be the player I can be, I have to be a
part of that. Obviously a lot of it will be dealing with my agent and
the team, but it's something that I expect will get done. If there's
anything I can do to make it happen, I will."

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

We wish Alex Smith all the best in San Francisco, but we don't
recommend making him or his team-mates a keystone in your fantasy
lineup during 2005. This team has to go through a rebuilding process,
and it will continue to be painful this year.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

29. Seattle Draft Analysis (Commentary)

Clipped from: Seattle Times editorial by Jose Miguel Romero, 4/25/05

Just who are all these draft picks, anyway?

And that spawned several more inquiries. Why no defensive linemen
picked until the fifth round? Was linebacker Lofa Tatupu, Seattle's
second-round pick, a reach at that spot? Even though it was a need
position, why a center in the first round?

Wasn't this draft supposed to be focusing on defense?

"It wasn't a flashy, media kind of draft," Seahawks president Tim
Ruskell said after the first day Saturday. "I apologize for that. [But
these are] great guys when you get a chance to know them, see them and
talk to them."

The no-big name approach continued into Day 2 yesterday.

The Seahawks never did get a pass-rushing specialist and chose only
one defensive lineman. They hope defensive ends Bryce Fisher and Grant
Wistrom, the projected starters, and free-agent signee Joe Tafoya and
veteran Antonio Cochran will be able to put the heat on the opposing
quarterback.

"I feel that we can improve, and that's something we're going to
continue to work on," defensive coordinator Ray Rhodes said.

Unable to trade up for an impact defender on Saturday, the Seahawks
used three of their first five picks for offense. Then they took Jeb
Huckeba of Arkansas at defensive end, though he played plenty of
linebacker in college.

"From a speed standpoint, he was one of the fastest guys left on the
board for us to look at," Rhodes said. "He is one of those guys that
hustles all the time."

Rhodes and the Seahawks coaches and front office are confident that
the team is better after an active free agency in which the defense
was re-tooled with new players. They felt confident in drafting five
offensive players and four defenders, including three linebackers.

The Seahawks have a glut of linebackers now and clearly felt that the
secondary was in good shape after the acquisitions of cornerbacks
Andre Dyson and Kelly Herndon and safety Omare Lowe. No defensive back
was selected in the draft.

On offense, the Seahawks had needs at center and guard and chose Chris
Spencer and seventh-round pick Doug Nienhuis of Oregon State to add
depth. Ray Willis of Florida State (fourth round) will get a look at
tackle. A need for a quarterback was filled with the selection of
David Greene in the third round, and the departure of fullback Heath
Evans allowed the Seahawks to select Tony Jackson of Iowa at that
position.

No choice really stood out, even though Ruskell found the aggressive
offensive linemen he liked - Spencer, Willis and Nienhuis.

"Everybody that we took was carefully considered," Ruskell said. "The
research was thorough. We liked what we got in terms of character and
demeanor and work habits. The more of those kind of people that you
can bring in, the better your team is going to be.

"Give them time," Ruskell said. "Let them mesh into the system. They
love football. I think they'll rise to the top. In a year or two,
people will be surprised at what this draft will yield."

Tatupu will compete for a starting job this offseason.

Rhodes liked Tatupu because of his instincts, leadership and
intelligence, which he gleaned from watching several game tapes and
talking to USC coach Pete Carroll and his staff. Rhodes reinforced
Ruskell's statement that Tatupu was the player the Seahawks targeted
with their second-round pick, even though Tatupu wasn't expected to be
chosen until the third round, at the earliest.

"We felt he was a young man we needed, ... and he was one of the kids
we targeted early before the draft," Rhodes said. "

Most of the draft picks will work on special teams, and Hill is
projected as a rush end. That means Hill will have to bulk up, though
Rhodes is not just concerned about that.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

The only meat on the bone here is to be found in IDP leagues - LB Lofa
Tatupu may be worth drafting with the departure of Chad Brown if he
makes the transition to the pro ranks rapidly.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

30. Tampa Bay Draft Analysis (Commentary)

Clipped from: Tampa Bay Online article by Roy Cummings, 4/25/05

Matt Stinchcomb played every snap for the Bucs at left guard last
year. One look at the Bucs draft tells you Stinchcomb might not play a
single snap at left guard for the Bucs next year.

Though they filled a variety of needs, including adding a third
quarterback by trading a sixth-round pick to Cleveland for Luke
McCown, the Bucs continued during Day 2 of the annual selection
process to focus largely on beefing up and revamping the unit that
will pave the way for running back Carnell "Cadillac" Williams.

After using a third-round pick on North Carolina State left tackle
Chris Colmer on Saturday, the Bucs kicked off Sunday's portion of the
NFL draft by taking Wisconsin left guard Dan Buenning.

"It hasn't been a strength of ours," Bucs general manager Bruce
Allen said of the team's focus on improving the offensive line. "Our
running game has been poor, and you can't just blame the running back
for that."

Few have blamed back Michael Pittman for the 29th- place ranking the
Bucs' running game posted last year. After all, Pittman posted a
career-best 4.1 yards-per-carry average in 2005. Instead, a lot of the
blame, at least from the opposing scouts, has been placed on the
shoulders of the interior linemen.

One of those, right guard Cosey Coleman, was not re- signed by the
Bucs and probably will be replaced by second- year pro Jeb Terry.
Another, Stinchcomb, could soon find himself looking for work as well.
At the very least, he will have to fend off Buenning to
keep his job.

"Wisconsin puts out good offensive linemen every year," Bucs
scouting director Ruston Webster said. "They're really well coached
and they're really tough. They have a good weight program, so they're
very strong and they're smart.

"We were happy to get him there, because he's a very technically
sound player. We have a term we use for guys like him: It's called
polished. Dan is polished. He needs to come and do it, but I think he
is a guy who has a chance to [come right in and start]."

The former Badger might not be Stinchcomb's only rival. With Colmer on
board, the Bucs plan to move backup left tackle Anthony Davis to
guard. Just which guard spot Davis will play, though, remains
uncertain. Bucs coach Jon Gruden said Davis is versatile enough to
play right guard and that he might wind up challenging Terry for that
job.

But Gruden did not rule out the possibility of Davis playing well
enough to beat out Stinchcomb and Buenning for the left guard job. No
matter how it works out, the Bucs believe they now have the personnel
up front to get better as a running team.

"After we took Cadillac, there were a lot of jokes, people saying if
you have a new car you've got to make sure it has a nice garage and a
good cover," Allen said. "So we took care of that and the guys we
have now, they all have some flexibility to them."

The Bucs showed a lot of flexibility in making their picks. In
addition to Williams, Buenning and Colmer, they chose a tight end
(Alex Smith, Stanford); a linebacker (Barrett Ruud, Nebraska); a
fullback (Rick Razzano, Ole Miss); a defensive tackle (Anthony Bryant,
Alabama); two safeties (Donte Nicholson, Oklahoma, and Hamza Abdullah,
Washington State); and three receivers.

The receivers - Larry Brackins of Pearl River (Miss.) Community
College, Paris Warren of Utah and Tampa- born J.R. Russell of
Louisville - all came from vastly different college programs but seem
to have been cut from the same cloth.

"We like big, physical receivers," Allen said. "So we were pleased
that Larry was still there when we got him and then we picked up some
guys that have some other skills."

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

The Bucs have added a lot of new pieces to their offensive puzzle - we
need to see how all the new parts click before we become too
enthusiastic about any one of the new additions. There are a lot of
Tampa Bay players, rookies and veterans, vying for playing time
heading into training camp and the pre-season.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

31. Tennessee Draft Analysis (Commentary)

Clipped from: Tennessean article by Jim Wyatt, 4/25/05

Tennessee used eight of its 11 picks the past two days on offensive
players - three wide receivers, three tackles, a running back and a
tight end - the most the franchise has used on offense since the NFL
went to a seven-round draft in 1994.

None of the receivers was Mike Williams, a star pupil of Chow's at
USC. But Chow, the long-time college assistant who is the new
offensive coordinator for the Titans, apparently has some pull at
Baptist Sports Park - or maybe quarterback Steve McNair chirped loud
enough and often enough in General Manager Floyd Reese's ear.

More likely, the Titans decided they desperately needed help on that
side of the ball.

"It's heavy offense at the receiver position because of need, the
numbers on the roster," Titans Coach Jeff Fisher said. "Then of
course, we've lost a starting tackle (Fred Miller) and are looking for
a starting tackle. The more options that you have, the better chance
you have to find that guy.

"This thing will play itself out very well. We feel like we've got a
future in the last two days."

After reeling in West Virginia cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones with
their glamour pick - No. 6 overall ?the Titans clearly became
offensive-minded.

Their three other picks on Saturday were offensive players. They
started Day 2 yesterday with another defensive player, Virginia Tech
safety Vincent Fuller, then used five of their last six picks on
offense.

Yesterday the Titans selected Mississippi State tackle David Stewart
(fourth round), Tulane receiver Roydell Williams (fourth), Missouri
running back Damien Nash (fifth), Texas Tech tackle Daniel Loper
(fifth) and Texas tight end Bo Scaife (six) before closing with
another defensive player, Florida defensive back Reynaldo Hill, in the
seventh round.

"We are going to challenge this rookie class to be the best rookie
class that we've ever had," Fisher said, "and we have a chance to be
that way."

The Titans went from having two receivers on their roster - veterans
Drew Bennett and Tyrone Calico - to five with the addition of Williams
and first-day picks Courtney Roby of Indiana and Brandon Jones of
Oklahoma.

"We feel good about all of them," Reese said. "They are all
similar. They are all 6-foot or above, they are all a couple of
hundred pounds, they all can run, they all can catch.

Nashville City Article

Clipped from: Nashville City Paper editorial by Terry McCormick, 4/25/05

Of course, the biggest area of need heading into the draft was at
receiver, where the Titans have just two veteran holdovers.

Tennessee let the first wave of receivers pass, preferring to mine the
middle rounds for three speedy receivers that new receivers coach Ray
Sherman can mold.

Courtney Roby (6-0, 189) of Indiana came in the third round with the
68th overall pick. The former Hoosier sprinter, who ran a 4.3 at the
NFL Combine, should compete immediately with the two other picks ?
Oklahoma's Brandon Jones (6-1, 212) at No. 96 and Tulane's Roydell
Williams (6-0, 187) at No. 136 - for playing time behind starters Drew
Bennett and Tyrone Calico.

Reese likes not only their ability to catch the ball, but also speed.

"Speed is everything," Reese said. "In the NFL, the one thing that has
stayed true forever is if you're a DB and the guy across from you can
run like the wind, then you back up a little bit. It doesn't mean in
the NFL that you can't be a good receiver or cornerback if you don't
run a 4.3, but it certainly does increase your chances if you have
speed."

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

As the first article points out, the Titans have a skeleton-crew 2
veteran WRs on the roster - Drew Bennett and Tyrone Calico - which
means they need at least one of the 3 rookies to pan out in order to
provide some sort of depth (in case of injury) and a body for 3-wide
sets.

The second article indicates that the Titans are looking for speed -
which could translate into yardage bonuses for fantasy owners who play
in leagues that award long touchdowns. It will be worthwhile to see
how the Titan's WR stable settles down during training camp - one of
the 3 rookies may be worth a flyer in the later rounds, given Bennett
and Calico's injury histories.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

32. Washington Draft Analysis (Commentary)

Clipped from: Washington Post article by Jason La Canfora, 4/25/05

Coach Joe Gibbs concedes that when a 6-10 team with a 26-year-old
starting quarterback and ample pressure to win immediately uses one of
its two first-round picks on a passer who is likely several years from
playing, there will be questions.

But despite Gibbs's repeated votes of confidence in quarterback
Patrick Ramsey, a 2002 first-round pick, and the Washington Redskins'
needs at other positions, team officials invested considerable time
scouting and positioning to draft Auburn quarterback Jason Campbell on
Saturday, and say they are delighted to have him.

Campbell's evolution will be closely monitored, and his selection
could prove to be the defining move of Gibbs's second era in
Washington.

The Redskins traded three draft picks -- including their 2006
first-round selection -- to land the 25th pick from Denver and,
through the first day of the draft, did nothing to improve what was
the NFL's 30th-ranked offense in the short term (cornerback Carlos
Rogers, a potential starter at some point next season, was taken ninth
overall). Wide receiver Santana Moss replaced Laveranues Coles via
trade and wideout David Patten was signed in free agency, but the rest
of Washington's "skill" players are intact from a team that averaged
15 points per game last season.

The Redskins passed on highly rated receiver Mike Williams with the
ninth pick -- as it turned out they could have taken him there and
still have drafted one of the top five cornerbacks available with the
25th pick -- and several wide receiver options were open when Campbell
was taken. While to some he might not seem like the ideal selection
for the Redskins, Gibbs has big expectations.

"You maybe don't picture that" as the ideal draft pick in that
situation, Gibbs said. "But I feel like for us and for the value to
the organization long-term, I don't think you ever go wrong with a
quarterback. I guess that's what I'm saying: If you've got somebody
you think is talented and can play for you, I think you look at that
and say, 'Where's the value of the pick?' And we felt like certainly
he was the guy we needed to get."

Campbell was labeled a "project" by several NFL teams after failing to
make an impact at Auburn until his senior season. He suffered from
playing for four offensive coordinators in four seasons and did not
begin to look like a pro prospect until 2004.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

Given Jason Campbell's lack of polish, we don't think that he'll be a
serious threat to Patrick Ramsey this season. However, as the first
article points out, his selection is hard to understand given some of
the blue-chip receiving prospects available at pick 25. Time will tell
if Campbell really brings value to the Redskins.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

That'll do it for today, Folks. Have a great Tuesday and I'll see you
tomorrow with the update.

J


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