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Many have speculated over why exactly former Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen fell out of the first round of the 2010 NFL draft. Perhaps it was due to leadership concerns, or durability issues, or that teams felt that they had more pressing needs to address. Certainly, Clausen’s free-fall surprised most people, given his pre-draft hype and natural talent.
However, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post, Clausen’s ability is not necessarily in question, but rather, the status of his surgically repaired toe.
According to league sources with knowledge about the status of Clausen’s surgically repaired right big toe, the ailment has caused some concerns with NFL teams. We’re told that the degree of stiffness of the toe raised eyebrows during his physical exams at the NFL scouting combine.
At that workout, though, Clausen’s usual athleticism wasn’t on display as far his footwork and quickness on rollout plays as he works his way back from the injury.
While nagging injuries can often act as a repellant to organizations in the draft, if Clausen’s toe can heal properly by the time he is eventually slated to play, then every team that passed on him might be kicking themselves in the future for doing so.
Entering Round 2 of the draft, the Redskins' Albert Haynesworth is one of the most oft-discussed names at Radio City Music Hall. The most prominent rumor at the moment is that Haynesworth is likely headed to the Titans.
Adam Schefter, though, says he is hearing otherwise:
Once again, told that Redskins DT Albert Haynesworth is not being traded.
With Round 2 of the draft less than an hour away, it won't be long before we know whether the coveted defensive tackle is going anywhere. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan is also saying that Haynesworth will not be traded.
While earlier reports had linked the Saints and Redskins in a potential Albert Haynesworth blockbuster, it now appears those rumors were overblown. But now a new suitor (and a familiar one for the disgruntled defensive tackle) has apparently taken the pole position in trade talks: the Titans.
According to NFL Network's Jason La Canfora, the Redskins have continued to shop Haynesworth, with a trade to Tennessee for a third-round pick the most likely outcome at this juncture. The Lion's interest in Haynesworth has reportedly waned after they picked up Ndamukong Suh in the first round on Friday, and while the Vikings -- who own a pair of second-rounders -- remain interested, they're not considered the frontrunners. Most executives believe Haynesworth will end up wearing a Titans uniform (again), in exchange for the 77th pick in the draft (the Titans don't have any second-round picks).
Haynesworth played his entire career in Tennessee before cashing in on free agency in Washington to the tune of some $100 million dollars. The new regime in Washington is switching to a 3-4 defense, however, and Haynesworth has expressed his displeasure about playing the unglamorous nose tackle position, where his penchant for knifing into opponent's backfields would be more or less neutralized. Given that the Redskins don't own any second or third round picks, recouping some decent draft value for Haynesworth would seem to be an attractive option for the Skins brass at this point.
Despite Redskins coach Mike Shanahan denying rumors that the team is shopping Albert Haynesworth, there are still indications that they are.
According to Washington Post’s Jason Reid, the Saints inquired about Haynesworth. New Orleans possesses the 64th overall pick, something Washington would certainly be interested in acquiring considering they have no picks in the 2nd or 3rd round Friday night.
Haynesworth has made it clear he isn’t thrilled about the Redskins switching to a 3-4 and making him the nose tackle, so Washington would likely be happy to let him go for a second round pick.
Both the Browns and Bills are expected to draft a quarterback at some point in the 2010 NFL draft. Both passed on Jimmy Clausen and Colt McCoy in round one but, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, both might also be willing to move up for one of those two quarterbacks.
Schefter reports both the Browns and Bills have called the Rams about the first pick in the second round.
That pick is expected to draw plenty of interest because the NFL's new draft schedule gives teams another full day to sit back, re-stack their board and call others about trades.
At this point, it's not exactly clear which quarterback would be the target for each team.
The Browns have often been connected to Colt McCoy as have the Panthers so one of those teams sounds like a landing spot for him.
According to the National Football Post, the Rams are open to trading out of the first spot in Friday night’s second round — the 33rd overall pick — in an effort to move back and collect additional picks.
Such a move would make sense for a Rams team that still needs help all over the place. St. Louis GM Billy Devaney addressed the possibility Thursday night:
“We just have to figure out … keep the pick, or if it’s an option, we’ll see whether to trade the pick. And then how far, how deep we want to go back.
“It does at least give us more time to weigh options if we do get calls, which is kind of neat. And hopefully there might be a team that thinks that’s their last chance to get a certain position … so maybe they’d be willing to move up.”
With plenty of talent-laden players still on the board, don’t be surprised if a team takes the Rams up on a trade and moves into the 33rd spot.
One of the other storylines in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft was Sergio Kindle's tumble.
The Texas pass rusher was expected to be a first round pick. A popular landing spot for him in mock drafts was the Dolphins 12th pick.
Of course that didn't happen and he fell all the way out of the first round. Now, we find out why that might have happened from a report on Rivals.
"There are a handful of teams who have graded Kindle as a 'serious' medical risk because of his knee, which one team said looks like it could require Kindle to have microfracture surgery," the report stated
"Microfracture is a surgery to create cartilage in the knee when it becomes a bone-on-bone situation," he continued. "It's a surgery athletes tend to have near the end of their careers. Not at the beginning. According to some teams, Kindle's medical exams showed a series of trauma on the knee that could limit his career."
This would explain his fall out of the first round.
Now the question becomes how much farther he'll fall.
If the trade rumors swirling around Colt McCoy are to be believed, expect a bidding war to break out at the beginning of Day 2 of the NFL Draft, as a host of quarterback-needy teams are reportedly eyeing the former Longhorn standout.
According to the National Football Post, the Carolina Panthers are one of the teams looking to move up early on Friday night during the draft's second stanza, hoping to nab McCoy. This is slightly surprising given that the team has committed to Matt Moore, who acquitted himself decently in late-season action last year, but given McCoy's uncanny accuracy and stellar record at Texas, he'd appear to be too good a prospect to pass up at this point in the draft.
The problem for the Panthers is that they aren't on the clock until pick 48, and half a dozen other teams in front of them -- notably the Browns at 38, the Raiders at 39 and the Bills at 41 -- are also rumored to be after McCoy. As for the Browns, SB Nation's Dawgs By Nature is expecting quite a bit of movement at the top of the second round:
I assume that someone is going to jump in front of us for a QB. Does the front office feel strongly enough about a QB to move up? Do we kick St. Louis a pick to move up in front of Minnesota to make sure we get Jimmy Clausen or Colt McCoy?
Given that the Vikings and Chiefs are possibly in the market for quarterbacks themselves, it seems like St. Louis should be fielding quite a few phone calls from teams looking to land their preferred signal caller. Stay tuned.
With the dust settling from the first round of the NFL Draft, a few big questions have already been answered: would the Rams take a proverbial "franchise" quarterback (yes), WHERE WOULD TEBOW GO (Denver), and which half-anonymous player would Belichick select, confounding Todd McShay, et. al. (Devin McCourty).
But with teams reshuffling their draft boards with Day 2 of the now three-day affair upon us, there are quite a few big names still available. And none are bigger than quarterback Jimmy Clausen, who had harbored hopes of going high in the draft's first stanza. So where will he end up? SB Nation's Vikings blogs, Daily Norseman, has a few ideas:
[T]he way the Vikings maneuvered out of the first round gives me a suspicion that Clausen is their target, or they're trying to get enough interest in him worked up to trade even farther down and acquire more picks (possibly including picks in next year's draft). They made a deal with a division rival in Detroit, who they knew had no interest in a quarterback with Matthew Stafford already established. The two remaining teams in the first round, Indianapolis and New Orleans, weren't going to take a quarterback, and the only team that selects ahead of the Vikings in Round Two, the St. Louis Rams, selected Sam Bradford with the #1 overall pick, so they aren't going quarterback, either.
This would be excellent if only because Brett Favre acted so magnanimously when the Packers did the same thing a few years ago, drafting their heir apparent Aaron Rodgers. But on a more serious note, Favre is pushing 41 years of age, and joking aside, will have to retire at some point in the near future (right?), making a quarterback of the future (sorry, Tarvaris, you don't qualify) a definite need.
Another potential darkhorse destination for Clausen could be Kansas City. Although the Chiefs paid a decently hefty ransom, in terms of picks and salary, for former Patriot Matt Cassel last offseason, SB Nation's Arrowhead Pride reports there are whispers that new offensive coordinator Charlie Weis is lobbying the front office to take his ex-Golden Domer with the team's second-round pick. It's difficult to imagine the Chiefs effectively using second-round picks on quarterbacks in consecutive years, and this could merely be a smokescreen to try to gin up interest for another team to trade up, but it's certainly plausible if the Chiefs do in fact have Clausen rated as top-ten prospect on their big board.
Moments ago, Eric Berry arrived on the red carpet at Radio City Music Hall.
The most excited fans?
They were hootin' and hollerin' when Berry was introduced and even tried to start a Berry chant. Of course, it didn't work because there are fans representing 31 other teams trying to drown them out.
The hot rumor now is that the Redskins are very interested in selecting Berry fourth overall.
Only about an hour until we find out if the Browns fans had a reason to be excited for Berry.
An hour into my draft experience, and it's a poor showing for Jets fans. I'm sure that will change.
SB Nation is well represented here at Radio City Music Hall and coming up with some rumors floating around.
This particular rumor is not surprising:
Hot rumor from Jason Brewer at BGN, but Rams officials here are talking about arrangements for Sam Bradford to fly to St. Louis and tour the Rams facility. So, unless it's a bunch of hot air, it seems Bradford is the #1 pick.
Bradford showed up on the red carpet moments ago and we fully expect to see him grace the stage at 7:30 PM EST.
The Cleveland Browns enter Thursday night's First Round of the 2010 NFL Draft with the No. 7 overall pick. And with Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace their current top two signal callers, it would serve them well to try and land a top quarterback prospect tonight. Maybe, the top quarterback prospect.
According to Michael Smith, Browns GM Mike Holmgren is making one last effort to try and trade up to the No. 1 overall pick. He is calling the Rams, and is ready to offer "most" of Cleveland's 2010 picks, as well as additional pick(s) in 2011. Though, Holmgren isn't exactly holding his breath on this one.
Holmgren doubts Browns can get #1. Also, given their needs and where they're picking, he told me Browns unlikely to take QB early
AOL FanHouse caused a mini-stir this morning when they reported the Redskins were the last team still in discussions with the Rams to trade up to the No. 1 overall pick.
Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch took to Twitter to shoot down the rumors.
Nothing going on between Rams and Redskins for the No. 1 overall pick, multiple sources at Rams Park tell me.
Now back to your regularly scheduled rumor-mill.
We’d recommend taking this with a rather large grain of salt, because the likelihood of it seems minimal, but regardless, here’s the report from AOL FanHouse: The Skins are in trade talks with the Rams.
According to the report, Washington is the last team still discussing the possibility of a deal with St. Louis that would allow them to move to No. 1 and take Sam Bradford. (Or, the Rams take Bradford, after which the Skins trade for him.) The deal would likely have to include the Skins first round pick — No. 4, overall — and Albert Haynesworth, LaRon Landry and/or Jason Campbell.
Brace yourself for a day full of wild speculation and rumors such as this. Don’t kill the messenger, please.
If you're looking for a trade in the first round of the NFL draft, then two names to keep an eye on are Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen and Oklahoma State WR Dez Bryant.
After Sam Bradford likely goes No. 1 overall to the Rams, Clausen will be the best available quarterback. Bryant, meanwhile, is far and away the most talented receiver in the draft but has some off-the-field issues that could scare some teams away.
Michael Lombardi of the National Football Post explains the interest in Clausen and Bryant:
Teams that want to move down are hoping that Clausen or Bryant make it to them, and they'll get calls to move. Miami would love to go down to recoup its second-round pick. If Bryant makes it to them, they might have to take that chance. Bryant has not worked his way back into the top 10 yet, but he's getting closer.
It appears the first team that could seemingly select Clausen is the Browns at No. 7. As for Bryant, the Broncos could be interested with the 11th pick. Those are the two spots to keep in mind when it comes to trades for both of these players.
This offseason the Browns released Derek Anderson and traded Brady Quinn while bringing in Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace.
Because of those moves, some folks have been predicting the Browns will take a quarterback. That may be the case but, according to Michael Lombardi of the National Football Post, it won't be a quarterback.
I'm told the Browns are not going to pick a quarterback, that they're going to draft defense with their first pick. In spite of Jon Gruden's relationship with Mike Holmgren and his love of Clausen, the Browns are not going quarterback early.
This meshes with some recent reports that the Browns might target Colt McCoy at the beginning of the second round. It also meshes with other predictions of the Browns taking Eric Berry or Joe Haden.
Jake Delhomme, as awful as he's been, could be a serviceable quarterback in 2010 allowing the Browns to pass on a first round quarterback.
The Lions hold an interesting place in the 2010 NFL draft. Picking second, they'll have their choice of the top two defensive tackles -- Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy.
Defensive tackles like those two don't come around very often so it's understandable that quite a few other teams would covet their services.
While the Lions have listened to other offers, GM Martin Mayhew said today that the Lions are unlikely to move out of the second pick.
SB Nation's Lions community, Pride of Detroit, clues us in on another important topic Mayhew touched on.
According to Martin Mayhew, the Lions have not made a decision on which player they will take with the No. 2 overall pick. Mayhew did acknowledge how much talent there is at the top of the draft and how little separation there is between prospects, but that was about all he shared on that topic.
He said this was a good draft to be drafting second because the top is so deep.
With the Lions signing G Rob Sims and LT Jeff Backus due a nice chunk of change, it appears less likely that the Lions would select an offensive lineman.
They should have their choice between the two defensive tackles and early indications are that Suh will be the guy.
Dez Bryant is explosive and massive. Ask most experts and they'll tell you that Bryant is perhaps the most talented wide receiver in this year's NFL Draft. Ask most experts, and they'll tell you he might not be the first receiver taken because of his "risks." This is one of the reasons that Sports Illustrated's Don Banks compares Bryant to Randy Moss: an explosive all-around awesome talent that's hammered with character issues heading into the NFL Draft.
Whether or not one should debate the merits of someone's perception of what defines character, teams are taking Bryant off their radar for draft day. Pro Football Talk headlines that "more than 10 teams have taken Dez Bryant off their draft boards."
Two teams that are expressing interest are the Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers. San Francisco's Press Democrat writes that Bryant visited the 49ers on Tuesday, while KDVR in Denver writes that the Broncos will host Bryant this week. While the interest between the Broncos and Bryant are obvious -- you know, trading away your best wide receiver tends to put you in the running for another top-end receiver -- the connection between the 49ers and Bryant's agent, Eugene Parker, seems a bit more dynamic.
Michael Crabtree, San Francisco's first round draft pick in 2009, didn't sign a contract until October 7, 2009, the longest holdout in franchise history. Crabtree's agent? Eugene Parker. One has to wonder how willing the 49ers will be to work with Parker again, and with another wide receiver in the first round.
The Bucs are widely expected to draft a defensive tackle in the upcoming NFL draft. If that's the case, then they'll have done their homework.
According to the Tampa Tribune, Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh and Oklahoma DT Gerald McCoy will be visiting the Bucs this weekend.
McCoy will be in town Sunday and Monday while Suh will head to Tampa on Tuesday.
The Bucs may have the easiest decision in the NFL draft. Suh and McCoy are considered by just about everyone to two of the top five players in the draft and the Bucs have a hole at defensive tackle.
With the Rams seemingly drafting Sam Bradford, they can select whoever the Lions don't take.
And if the Lions take an offensive tackle, they'll have their pick of the two.
It'll be good to be a Bucs fan on day one of the NFL draft.
On Wednesday, the Kansas City Chiefs played host to Oklahoma State’s Russell Okung, writes ESPN’s Bill Williamson. Considered the top offensive line prospect for the NFL Draft, Okung figures to address “one of the Chiefs’ greatest needs." Williamson writes:
The Chiefs will surely be impressed with the 307-pound Okung. He was a dominant player at Oklahoma State. I attended his press briefing at the combine and he was very impressive. I’m sure the Chiefs will like what they hear during their visit.
With the Chiefs holding the fifth pick in the NFL Draft, there could be concern with the Redskins, who pick fourth, reportedly expressing interest in the offensive tackle.
Mocking the Draft ranks Okung as the top offensive tackle in the draft this year.
For more Kansas City Chiefs news, check out Arrowhead Pride.
Three weeks ago NFL teams descended upon Rutgers University for what many thought was a chance to see OT Anthony Davis work out.
Problem is, he never showed. The reason given was a sore hamstring but the decision to not work out was made only the night before unbeknown st to the many scouts who planned on attending. Suffice to say, that left some unhappy folks.
Davis made up for it (not really) by scheduling a private workout for 11 teams on Tuesday, according to his agent Sunny Shah.
"He did all the things that the teams wanted him to do today," Shah told The Star-Ledger. "He's 100 percent healthy. A sore hammy was the reason he wasn't able to work out (three weeks ago)."
Davis is expected to be a first round pick in the 2010 NFL draft.
SB Nation's draft site, Mocking the Draft, reports he's almost assuredly a first round pick despite some question marks.
He is one of the more powerful linemen in this class and that should get him on the field right away. He has more than enough athleticism to get by and with some good coaching, his technique will evolve the point where he can be a Pro-Bowl caliber left tackle. He has battled some minor weight issues and been benched on two separate occasions for violating team rules, so there will need to be some investigating in to his character and work ethic.
Quite a few mock drafts that have been popping up over the last few weeks have the Jets pick penciled in as a wide receiver. Sure the team traded for Braylon Edwards last season but Jerricho Cotchery was injured as well causing some to think they'd want to add another weapon for Mark Sanchez.
According to Jets beat writer Rich Cimini of the NY Daily News, the Jets are "unlikely" to use a first round pick on a receiver.
The Jets have a good chunk of change wrapped up in the future of Edwards and Cotchery. Edwards in particular is a restricted free agent and seeks a long-term deal. Cotchery was injured at times last year but when healthy plays at a high level.
Unless Dez Bryant falls down the draft boards, it doesn't appear as if the Jets are targeting a receiver.
Though it wouldn't be the first time a mock draft was wrong.
The Redskins hold the fourth pick in the 2010 NFL draft. The pre-draft buzz centers around two positions -- left tackle and quarterback, both of which are perceived to be needs for the team.
Jason Campbell is a capable starter in the interim if the Redskins decide to address the left side of the offensive line. According to Michael Lombardi of the National Football Post, reports of Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen working out in Washington D.C. could be a smokescreen.
The Redskins seem more intent on drafting a left tackle than a quarterback in the first round, so all those Jimmy Clausen rumors to D.C. might be premature. I'm hearing Oklahoma State's Russell Okung might be the pick.
You can't really argue with this. Sure, the Redskins are likely doing some due diligence with Clausen but unless they're absolutely convinced he's the guy, Okung is a nice, safe pick.
One of the beauties of having the first overall pick in the NFL draft is that you can begin contract negotiations with players at any point. That means, theoretically, the Rams could be talking to multiple player agents right now to try and strike no deal.
And there's nothing theoretical about it. That's exactly what they're doing, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
"All the people who are in the discussion (for No. 1 overall), we've talked to their agents," Demoff said. "We're really just comparing notes. Also, it may take some time, so we figured we'd get a head start."
Those players include Sam Bradford, Jimmy Clausen, Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy.
The two names most often linked to the Rams are Bradford and Suh.
This is pretty standard operating procedure. The Lions completed a contract ahead of time for Matthew Stafford last season as did the Dolphins with Jake Long two years ago.
The advantage is that the team can leverage the the players against each other.
If you're, say, Jimmy Clausen, would you take a below-market deal to be the No. 1 pick? If he's not selected there, then the next possible slot is the Redskins and that's a difference of millions.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is familiar with this crop of draft prospects because he spent the last season coaching college football players and not just scouting them.
Carroll said recently that he feels Tim Tebow will be a first round pick, according to Jason La Canfora of NFL Network.
Pete Carroll says he can't see a QB of Tim Tebow's stature falling out of the first round.
The Seahawks traded for QB Charlie Whitehurst so the thought is that they're not in the market for a quarterback in the first two rounds.
However, if Tebow falls into the second round, it seems as if Carroll would see him as a great value.
Among the many mock drafts out there, a popular pick for the Dolphins is WR Dez Bryant. I'm not sure if he fits into the Parcells-type of player but the Dolphins need a receiver and Bryant is the No. 1 receiver on most boards.
However, Armando Salguero of the Miami-Herald writes, "if things break right" the Dolphins could draft a receiver in the second round. That would likely rule out Bryant.
In an effort to get to know receivers available in the second round and beyond, the Dolphins are having a pre-draft visit with Syracuse WR Mike Williams, according to the National Football Post.
Miami’s interest in Williams doesn’t come as much of a surprise. The team has long been rumored to be in the market for a wide receiver considering the fact that their top three wideouts—Davone Bess, Ted Ginn and Greg Camarillo—combined for just three touchdown receptions in 2009.
Williams is projected to be selected sometime after the second round and could play right into the Dolphins strategy.
The Lions are holding the second pick in the upcoming NFL draft. They've got holes along the offensive and defensive lines so they're in prime shape to add an elite prospect with the second overall pick.
That is, if they keep that pick.
According to John Niyo of the Detroit News, Mayhew indicated that he's had conversations which make him feel comfortable they'll receive offers to move down in the draft.
"I'll say that I've had conversations that let me know we're going to be offered something."
He went on to say that they're "confident" there will be an opportunity to move back.
Whether the trade down is worth is the question. Last year the Chiefs offered the Lions the fifth overall pick in exchange for the 20th and 33rd overall selections.
The Lions turned it down.
If that's the market, then it's unlikely anyone would trade into the second spot absent the presence of Sam Bradford.
The NFL draft is a little more than a month away but it's a hot button topic because of the gathering of all GMs, coaches and team owners at the NFL's annual owners' meeting in Orlando, FL.
While there, Browns head coach Eric Mangini -- known for his tight-lipped approach to just about everything -- suggested the Browns 12 draft picks could be used to position themselves in a better spot for April's draft.
His tone indicated a mood of keeping all options open instead of implying that something might be in the works, but Cleveland Browns coach Eric Mangini said they would consider trading up to the Detroit Lions' No. 2 spot in the draft.
Mangini said, "We're only at seven" when asked how difficult it would be to trade up to the No. 2 spot.
It's unclear who the player is that they would be trying to grab. If the Rams don't select Sam Bradford, which they're expected to do, then he would likely be available until the Redskins at the fourth pick. At least one of the two defensive tackles, Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy, are expected to be available with the third.
So the meaning behind his words doesn't make much sense on the outside looking in.
Talking about these sorts of things and providing details is very unlike the Eric Mangini we've come to know as the Browns head coach over the last year.
But maybe that's just the new Browns.
Football czar Mike Holmgren said this week that it "would be hard" for him to draft Jimmy Clausen at the seventh pick, which is a surprisingly open statement during a time period in the NFL offseason that's become known for secrecy and misinformation.
Maybe Mangini's statements are the truth or maybe it's misinformation. That's the beauty of figuring out the draft season.
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