• Author:
  • Published: May 23rd, 2014
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Dissecting the 2014 NFL Draft – Cincinnati Bengals

Dissecting the 2014 NFL Draft – Cincinnati Bengals

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NFL Draft (2)

Note: On News, Notes & Rumors we have all pro RB Abner Haynes. Last night’s interview with former Browns QB Kelly Holcomb covered the impact of a QB controversy on the players involved and the team. It is available on fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. Join us at 6 PM EDT on or http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

The Bengals have made the playoffs the last couple of years but have yet to win a playoff game. The biggest issue in those games has been the lack of accuracy and decision-making by QB Andy Dalton.

1/24 Darqueze Dennard CB – Dennard is a do it all CB without top speed but will fit well in the Bengals D scheme. He was a value at 24.

2/55 Jeremy Hill RB – Hill is a very skilled RB with enough off field baggage to require a 747 to transport it to Cincy. The old joke about the Bagels was they had to go no huddle because too many of the players were not allowed to be within 10 feet of another felon.

3/88 Will Clarke DE – Clarke was one of my under the radar guys. He is very productive and will do well in the Cincy D scheme. While others are calling this a reach, I think he is a solid value here.

4/11 Russell Bodine C/G – Bodine surprised scouts by coming out and should have stayed in school another year. He was a reach by a round that the Bagels traded up to get.

5/164 A.J. McCarron QB – The Bagels drafted another weak armed QB. A.J. Survived in the south with anticipation making up for the lack of a big arm. That will not work in the winds of December in the AFC North.

6/212 Marquis Flowers OLB – He is fast and is fairly productive but lacks the instincts to make him special. His best chance to make the squad is to be a special teams star.

7/239 James Wright WR – Wright never became a starter at LSU despite his 6-3 size. He was totally off the radar of most scouts and is a long shot to make the team.

7/252 Lavelle Westbrooks CB – A small school guy that is a big hitter against the run and the pass. At 5-11 he has decent size and was picked where he was expected to go.

That is what I think. Tell us what you think.

NOTE: Check out the live News, Notes and Rumors show on Monday, Thursday and Friday at 6 PM Eastern on or http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. On Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports, former NFL scout Kelron Sykes and I talk NFL draft with just a little Indians and Cavs thrown in. The archive is available on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. Please join us.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on .

He also edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.

To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.

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  • Author:
  • Published: May 20th, 2014
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Dissecting the 2014 NFL Draft – Baltimore Ravens

Dissecting the 2014 NFL Draft – Baltimore Ravens

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NFL Draft (2)

Ravens and pigeons are just rats with wings. That is why I call them the Ratbirds.

17 C.J. Mosley ILB – C.J. was the top ILB on my board. He has speed and instincts but does not make many plays behind the line of scrimage.

48 Timmy Jernigan DT – Jernigan went into the 2013 season as the 2nd DT in the draft. He fell late in the season and in the pre-draft period in part due to a diluted drug test. He is a fair value at 48 and will be part of the rotation.

79 Terrence Brooks FS – Brooks is an under rated player that is productive and a tough center fielder. He will likely start for the Ratbirds and was picked about where he was expected to go.

99 Crockett Gillmore TE – Gillmore was one of my favorite under the radar guys. He is big with good hands and will block more than most TE prospects. While others see him as a serious reach, he was taken about where I expected.

134 Brent Urban DE – Urban has a history of injuries and was a reach in the 4th round. He was not as productive as you would expect based on his physical assets. He has little experience and it remains to be seen how much they get from him in 2014.

138 Lorenzo Taliaferro RB – RB Ray Rice looked done in 2013. But Taliaferro was a serious reach. I am not sure what they saw in him but I rated him as a 7th round value.

175 John Urschel OG – Urschel was another serious reach. He is a decent G with fair feet but again I had him rated as a 7th round pick not a 5th rounder. They need help on the O line.

194 Keith Wenning QB – He is not going to challenge for a starting position any time soon but is a decent developmental QB. He has a decent arm and can make most of the NFL throws. He was a minor value in the 6th round.

218 Michael Campanaro WR – This was the second best value for the Ratbirds. Campanaro is a slot guy with speed and quickness that can separate in a short area. He was rated as a 5th round value.

Overall they had 4 good picks and the rest were reaches or just so-so. The Ratbirds are an aging team with a lot of holes. They only filled a few of them in the draft.

That is what I think. Tell us what you think.

NOTE: Check out the live News, Notes and Rumors show on Monday, Thursday and Friday at 6 PM Eastern on or http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. On Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports, former NFL scout Kelron Sykes and I talk NFL draft with just a little Indians and Cavs thrown in. The archive is available on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. Please join us.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on .

He also edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.

To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.

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  • Author:
  • Published: May 15th, 2014
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on NFL Draft grade for the AFC North

NFL Draft grade for the AFC North

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NFL Draft (2)

NOTE: NNR Tonight explores the Browns roster after the 2014 NFL Draft.  Join us on 6 PM EDT.
Thanks

In my opinion it is useless to grade a draft before the players have spent 3 seasons in the league. As a result, here are my grades for the AFC North in the 2011 draft.

Cleveland A

While the Browns ended up with a number of keepers, only one was a pro bowler.

21 Phillip Taylor DT Baylor – Solid starter that needs to get in better shape.

37 Jabaal Sheard DE Pittsburgh – Starter but suffered due to the change to a 3-4

59 Greg Little WR North Carolina – Starter that drops a lot of balls and should be replaced.

102 Jordan Cameron TE USC – Pro bowl starter

137 Buster Skrine DB Tennessee-Chattanooga – Undersized nickle back.

150 Jason Pinkston T Pittsburgh – Decent starter with a recent history of injury.

Cincinnati B+

The Bengals had fewer players make the team but they became part of a 3 time playoff team.

4 A.J. Green WR Georgia – All pro and one of the best in the league.

35 Andy Dalton QB Texas Christian – Under achiever that did lead the team to 3 playoffs with no wins.

101 Clint Boling G Georgia – Decent starter that could be replaced by 14 pick Russell Bodine.

Baltimore C

The Ratbirds got a couple of starters and some solid backups from the 2011 draft.

27 Jimmy Smith CB Colorado – Decent starter with 3 train car loads of baggage.

58 Torrey Smith WR Maryland – Starter with speed that continues to develop.

85 Jah Reid T Central Florida – Hanger-on backup LG that has yet to contribute.

164 Chykie Brown DB Texas – Part time starter/nickle back that needs to be replaced.

165 Pernell McPhee DE Mississippi State – Borderline backup outside linebacker.

180 Tyrod Taylor QB Virginia Tech – Seldom used backup QB who may lose his job to 2014 pick Keith Wenning.

Pittsburgh C-

The Steelers got a couple of starters and a backup..

31 Cameron Heyward DE Ohio State – Solid starter.

63 Marcus Gilbert T Florida – Decent starter at RT.

128 Cortez Allen DB The Citadel – Dime back that plays OK.

162 Chris Carter LB Fresno State – Substitute starter that needs to be replaced.

That is what I think. Tell us what you think.

NOTE: Check out the live News, Notes and Rumors show on Monday, Thursday and Friday at 6 PM Eastern on or http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. On Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports, former NFL scout Kelron Sykes and I talk NFL draft with just a little Indians and Cavs thrown in. The archive is available on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. Please join us.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on .

He also edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.

To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.

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  • Author:
  • Published: Aug 18th, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Can The Browns Breakthrough In The Tough AFC North?

Can The Browns Breakthrough In The Tough AFC North?

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Cleveland Browns

Cleveland Browns (Photo credit: zoonabar)

In 2013, the AFC North enters the season as possibly the toughest overall division in the NFL. The division boasts the reigning Super Bowl Champions, the all-time Super Bowl leaders and a popular Super Bowl sleeper pick in 2013. Oh, they also have the Cleveland Browns, who are young and improving, but still waiting for a true breakout season. So can 2013 be the year they start to contend for the playoffs?

Whenever a team is forced to start a rookie quarterback and running back, they are in for a somewhat long season. Brandon Weeden and Trent Richardson did a pretty good job in 2012, but they did not have enough help to get them anywhere. With a year under their belt, things could be better for them, with Richardson particularly being seen as someone who can do a job for your team in fantasy football 2013.

After an off-season full of changes at the management and coaching level, the team seems to be quickly adjusting to the new way of doing things. They also have a young core that continues to grow, thanks to quite a few high draft picks in a row. New head coach Rob Chudzinski, along with his coordinators Norv Turner and Ray Horton, hope that their changes in the offseason and during camp will result in a few more wins.

While the Browns will be better, so will the rest of the division. Cincinnati made several improvements to their team, especially offensively, that should put them in the playoff and Super Bowl discussion. Baltimore, even if they have a true Super Bowl hangover, will still be solid, while Pittsburgh is, well, Pittsburgh. Despite an 8-8 season a year ago, the Steelers have had the Browns’ number for quite a few years now, so that will be a tough match-up.

While the other three teams in the division seem to have their quarterback for the foreseeable future, the Browns are still unsure about Weeden. At times, he looked good as a rookie. Other times, he looked like a guy who has already peaked. His play will probably end up determining whether or not the Browns can get into that 8-10 win range, or if another last place finish is in their future.

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  • Author:
  • Published: Jul 22nd, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Paul Banks and Samantha Bunten join me for NNR Podcasts

Paul Banks and Samantha Bunten join me for NNR Podcasts

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SBurton

 Paul Banks of Sportsbank.net and Chicagonow.com joined me to talk about the NFL, league drug policy and the Browns.

Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports joined me to talk Browns, AFC North and some Tribe talk as well. We also announced that she will be my co-host for the Browns Monday analysis shows this season. Those of you that are regulars know she brings an insight, and sense of humor that is critical to withstand another nail biting year following the Browns.

On Wednesday former Browns QB Kelly Holcomb is scheduled to join us for a special podcast about the mobile QB. Be sure to join us for all of these on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. He also edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/. To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.

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My Fearless League Predictions

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It is time again for my fearless attempt (note:  no dart boards were injured during this exercise) to predict the outcome of the 2011 NFL Season.  I know that some of you will doubt my crystal ball but it seldom fails me (except when it needs repair which happens around this time every year).

AFC East

  1. Pats –
    This team has struggled in the playoffs but always has a great regular
    season.  This year it will get to the AFC
    Championship game.
  2. Jets – I wonder how good the O will be because I
    am not sold on QB Sanchez.
  3. Dolphins – This team is without a QB and it will
    show.  Daboll is the OC which is good
    news for the TE’s.
  4. Bills – This team is going to be in the running
    for the 1st pick QB Luck.  But
    will they be willing to pay enough to sign him if they get the 1st
    pick.

AFC North

  1. Steelers – They have a D older than the “over
    the hill gang” of Redskin fame and the window to winning is closing because of
    it.
  2. Ravens – They just can’t seem to find a way beat
    the Steelers and they will not this year.
  3. Browns – They can be 8-8 or better IF they can
    keep QB McCoy healthy.  Otherwise 3-13.
  4. Bengals – This team is in serious trouble with a
    new QB and questions about their D.

AFC South

  1. Texans – The team has a great running game to go
    with an outstanding passing attack.  The
    only question is their D.  Williams as
    OLB?
  2. Colts – The latest on QB Manning is that he will
    be out for a couple of months.  They
    could end up with a top 5 draft pick in 2012 without him.
  3. Titans – RB Johnson is the key.  The O line has to give him just a step and he
    can go all the way.  The D and passing
    attacks keep them from contending.
  4. Jags – Look for this team to be the first choice
    to move to LA.  The city is in a
    financial hole and the team is bereft of talent.

AFC West

  1. Chargers – This team can not possibly get off to
    as bad a start as they have for the last couple of years.  Any improvement in their start will vault
    them into the playoffs.
  2. Chiefs – QB Cassel is hurt and the running game
    alone can not make up for a porous D.
  3. Raiders – I am the only one they did not call to
    play QB.  Key losses cannot be overcome.
  4. Broncos – This team has a long way to go to
    become competitive.

 

NFC East

  1. Eagles – The team has gone all out to win this
    year.  QB Vick will not have as good a
    year as 2010 but the D is better and this is the year.  If not, HC Reid is gone.
  2. Giants – QB Manning is not as good as most think
    and that again prevents them from getting far in the post season.
  3. Cowboys – Owner Jones is still looking for a HC
    that can win.  The problem is JJ is the
    GM and this team is not that good.
  4. Redskins – Another team without a QB.  McNabb was not the answer.  If HC Shanahan doesn’t find the answer soon
    he will be gone as well.

 

NFC North

  1. Packers – Despite a flurry of injuries last year
    the team made the playoffs and won it all.
    Those wounded players are back and the team is better than last year.
  2. Lions – No one is going to want to face the D
    front this season.  If QB Stafford stays
    healthy this team can get into the playoffs.
  3. Bears – HC Smith will likely be replaced if they
    slip below the Lions.  Bye Lovie.
  4. Vikings – The window is now closed on this team
    contending.

 

NFC South

  1. Saints – They will lose game 1 vs the Pack but
    still win the division.  Sproles will
    help this team.
  2. Falcons – Their time will come next year but
    they still have some issues on D.
  3. Bucs – This is the best 3rd place
    team in the league.  They will challenge
    the Falcons next season.
  4. Panthers – They had the top pick and I am not
    sure they used it wisely.  While QB Newton
    will improve this year will he ever be willing to pay the price to become a top
    QB?

 

NFC West

  1. Rams – The D is much better and the O behind QB
    Bradford will flourish.
  2. Cardinals – QB Kolb will make this team better
    but not enough to overtake the Rams.
  3. 49ers – QB Smith is a white flag indicating this
    team might be looking to bring Stanford QB Luck to the team next year.
  4. Seahawks – This is a bad team without a QB.  Jackson couldn’t make it in MN with the best
    RB in the league so how will he do here?
    It won’t be pretty.

That’s what I think.  Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent.

He is a senior writer for http://NFLDraftDog.comand edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on

and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/.

He edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.
Also listen to the best Sports Talk anywhere on the Internet and hear his sports show Monday-Friday 6-8 PM EST on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ or http://mooheadradio.com/2.0/.

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