Niblets for April 2010

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nib

Best comment of the month: 96 Teams in the NCAA Tournament is the worst idea since the BcS selection process.

Crime Scene Cleanup Tucson said “I completely agree with you..More teams is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Gotta be the money…”

CSC you hit it on the nose. The plan that came out after my editorial was that the NCAA planned to bid out every game between the 5 networks to increase the take. Check out the update below.

Updates on FPS Stories:

96 Teams in the NCAA Tournament is the worst idea since the BcS selection process.

The NCAA announced this week that they had scrapped the 96 team plan. They will add 3 play-in games for the spots to play the top seeds in each region. That is a much better solution. Let’s hope that the NCAA Executive committee stays away from the funny mushrooms.

The Steelers are having off field problems with their players.

The Ex-Steeler now Jet Santanio Holmes had another run in with authorities. According to the airline personnel he refused to turn off his iPod when the plane was landing. He claimed and the police report confirms that he turned it off but did not remove the headphones.  He was not charged but can expect another call from the Commish. He might get his suspension extended but maybe not.

Super Values in the NFL Draft 2

Several players from my list were taken. That list included O’Brien Schofield OLB Wisconsin (4th round Cardinals), Jamar Wall CB Texas Tech (6th Cowboys), and Doug Worthington DT Ohio State (7th Steelers).

Who SHOULD the Browns draft?

The Browns ended up taking Larry Asante SS Nebraska in the 5th round and WR Carlton Mitchell South Florida in the 6th. As I told radio audiences in 4 states, the draft parties for Browns fans prior to Holmgren taking over this draft were more suicide prevention support group meetings than celebrations of the Browns picks.

Niblets fresh from the cob:

General thoughts about the Draft

QB was the position that fell the farthest. As I predicted Jimmy Clausen QB Notre Dame fell to the 2nd round 48th pick (Panthers). That pushed the other QBs down as well. Colt Coy QB Texas was taken in the 3rd round pick 85 (Browns). John Skelton QB Fordham was taken in the 5th round pick 155 (Cards); Tony Pike QB Cincinnati (Panthers 6-204), and Dan LeFevour QB Central Michigan (Bears 6-181). There is a lot less risk in taking a QB after the 2nd round.

The Bryant interview the the Dolphins

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross will not punish general manager Jeff Ireland for asking WR prospect Dez Bryant about his mother’s profession. There is some difference of opinion about exactly what was asked. Ireland issued a statement of the conversation that Bryant disputed.

SS Lawyer Milloy signed a 1 year deal with the Seahawks.

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 and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He is a regular contributor on Cleveland Sports Radio http://www.sportstalkcleveland.com/ Monday afternoons at 1 Eastern. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

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Who SHOULD the Browns draft?

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Browns

The first round of the Draft is Thursday so it is time for my “fearless” predictions of what the Browns won’t do in the draft.

Round 1: No. 7 overall There has been some talk about the Browns trading with the 49ers for their 13th & 17th picks. The value of this pick is 1500. The 13+17 equal 2100. To do the deal the Browns would have to give their 2nd pick (#38 520) and their last pick in the 3rd (#92 132). They would likely get an early 5th round back as part of the deal. In short, I doubt this deal gets made.

Another rumor is that they would trade up to 5 and give the Chiefs 7 and #72 in the third round. I don’t like this deal because I don’t see that much difference between Berry and Thomas. I would take Thomas and save the 3rd round choice.

S Earl Thomas Texas The Browns need a FS badly. It is looking like KC will take Berry or Thomas at 5 and if they pass on him the Seahawks might grab one or the other at 6. If Berry is there, they would take him. However on many draft boards, Thomas has moved over Berry. I prefer Berry as a player by the thinnest of margins due to his greater experience. But Thomas at FS is a better fit for the Browns and has a higher up side. He has better cover skills, is a more consistent tackler and can be as good a center fielder. They will not pick him but they should.

Round 2: No. 38 overall DT/3-4 DE Brian Price UCLA There is a better than average chance that Rogers will be the guest of the Federal Government in 2010. The team needs another NT badly. Price is 4th on my DT list but is not quite big enough yet to be a NT but he will grow into it. He is young and athletic enough to play DE in the 3-4 as well. He is a trouble maker for the O with a great motor and quickness to get into the backfield. He forces fumbles and interceptions. Watch him vs USC.

Backup plan: Cam Thomas DT North Carolina Thomas has the size and the athleticism. I question his motor but that is not unusual for big men. He can rush the passer and is a rock in the middle of the line against the run.

Backup plan: DT Lamarr Houston Texas He is rising as more people watch tape. He can be disruptive but is not as consistent as Price. If you can get into his head he has everything to become a very good pro.

Backup plan: NT Terrence Cody Alabama Cody is the last resort because he looks disinterested despite his physical abilities. I am concerned about Cody’s dedication to football but if anyone can handle him it is DC Ryan. There is a real risk of him eating his way out of the league.

Round 3: No. 71 overall QB Dan LeFevour Central Michigan The team needs a QB that can throw the ball through the winds of Cleveland in December and hopefully someday in January. Almost every mock has them taking McCoy in the 2nd round. I believe NT is a much more pressing need than QB. Lefevour has above average arm strength and size. They might be able to wait to pick 85 to take him but to be sure they need to take him here.

Backup plan: QB Tony Pike Cincinnati I like Pike almost as much as LeFevour but Pike is a little less constant.

Backup plan: ILB Navorro Bowman Penn State Bowman is rising fast. He is a solid run stopper in the mold of Dan Connor from PS now with the Panthers.

Round 3: No. 85 overall CHANGE: WR Carlton Mitchell South Florida This is a tough pick because it is just below the end of the second level of players. If they could trade this pick for a 2nd next year that would be a good move. However, if not Mitchell has deep speed and can stretch the field. He has great instincts and has fallen a little in 09 because he lost his Senior QB at USF to injury.  He needs work on running patterns but which WR doesn’t.

Backup plan: TE Anthony McCoy USC McCoy is the best available here that also fits a need. McCoy is a good receiver and willing blocker. He is one of the top combo TEs in the draft.

Round 3: No. 92 overall LB Jason Worilds Virginia Tech Worilds is a DE that will transition to OB in the 3-4. He has the speed to attack the QB and enough quicks to cover when needed. He is solid against the run and has the instincts to attack it. He could play IB or OB.

Backup plan: Javier Arenas CB Alabama Arenas is rising again. Originally he was the guy and Jackson was the “other” corner for the Tide. But his speed in the 40 drove his draft potential down. He got a lot of action because Bama was ahead so often and has good instincts. His 4.6 40 has pushed him into the 3rd round.

Round 5: No. 134 overall SS Larry Asante Nebraska Asante is a solid player against both the run and the pass. If the Browns pick FS Thomas, Asante could be the perfect compliment at SS. He is a great special teams player with the kind of up side that suggests that he could step in to start in 2011. The team has only 1 S on the roster with any experience.

Backup plan: Riley Cooper WR Florida Coop is not fast but gets open and catches everything.

Backup plan: Greg Hardy DE Mississippi He led the SEC in sacks in 08 and is big enough and quick enough to play DE in the 3-4. He needs to work on lower body strength and use his hands better. He has a history of injury which is why he may be available in the 5th.

Round 5: No. 146 overall OT Ed Wang Virginia Tech Wang his a value here but should still be on the board. He is a RT that can drive block with the best of them but is needs to improve his technique on pass protection. He has good awareness and the ability to get to the second level blocking. He can play G as well as RT. He is a natural knee bender with real pop at the point of attack.

Backup plan: Eric Olsen C/G Notre Dame Olsen is a perfect backup interior lineman. He is technically sound with the feet to pull from either G or C and block on the edge. He is also a knee bender and uses leverage effectively.

Round 5: No. 160 overall WR Armanti Edwards Appalachian State The former AS quarterback is the guy that let the upset Michigan in 07 as a Soph. He understands routes and runs a 4.41 40. He is an outstanding smart athlete and the team can use all of those they can get.

Backup plan: Andrew Quarless TE Penn State He has decent speed and great upside. If the team hasn’t gotten a TE he would be a great value here.

Backup plan: ILB Phillip Dillard Nebraska Phillips is one of the top IB prospects but is lower ranked due to a history of injury. He is a downhill player with good instincts and had 11 tackles for loss in a tough Nebraska D.

Round 6: No. 177 overall LB O’Brien Schofield Wisconsin Schofield probably won’t be able to play in 2010 due to a knee injury in the Senior Bowl practices but he has outstanding instincts and a non-stop motor. He is quick enough to blitz and is a knee bender. He could become an all pro in the future. At the EW Shrine game he was outstanding at OB after just a couple of practices at the position. If he was healthy he would have been a late 2nd or early 3rd round pick.

Backup plan: OB Arthur Moats James Madison Moats is another transition with a great motor but very green. At this point, teams are looking for a player with one above average skill. Moats’ skill is the ability to rush the passer but he is a year or 2 away.

Backup plan: A.J. Edds OB Iowa or OB Kavell Conner Clemson Both of these guys
are run stuffers with enough speed to rush the QB.

Round 6: No. 186 overall OB Keenan Clayton Oklahoma Clayton is listed by almost every expert as undraftable. But when you watch him play he is outstanding. He can cover the TE down the field with quick hands to knock the ball away but then stuff the run after taking out the blockers. He has great instincts. Take a look at the OU Texas game and you will see what I do.

Priority Undrafted Rookies:

Jacob Hickman C Nebraska He is not a great athlete but at C he doesn’t have to be. He is a very hard worker with above average technique and a mean streak. He gets to the LB and runs hard to get blocks down field on runs.

Brandon Minor RB Michigan He is a tough guy that can move the pile up the gut. He has outstanding vision and balance even when hit.

Cordarrow Thompson DT Virginia Tech He is athletic with a good motor. He is not as instinctive but gets through double teams to put pressure on the QB and collapse the pocket.

Jevan Snead QB Mississippi I am not sure he will be undrafted but if he is he deserves a look. He had a very bad 09 but coming into that year he was considered one of the top 3 QBs. He had an outstanding 08 and is much better than he showed in 09.

Doug Worthington DT Ohio State He is a rotational player that can make some plays in both the pass and the run. He can play DE in the 3-4 as well. I believe in football or basketball, you never have enough good big guys. If the coaching staff can keep him focused and his motor going, he can help a team.

Donovan Waren CB Michigan He is able to cover man to man effectively. He has decent speed and fluid hips. He handles multiple moves effectively without losing contact with the receiver. He has quick hands and is effective at knocking the ball away. He plays his best in big games.

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 and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He is a regular contributor on Cleveland Sports Radio http://www.sportstalkcleveland.com/ Monday afternoons at 1 Eastern. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

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What to look for in post 1/1 Bowl games.

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football

FIESTA BOWL #6 Boise St 13-0 #4 TCU 12-0

Most people think this game is all about the O. Look for the D to dominate. TCU is the top D in the country. Boise is #15. Both teams hoped they would be matched against a “major” power. Frankly, no major power wanted to play them. That is why they have such trouble trying to get games against big name teams. Oregon found that out when they played BS.

TCU is the better team but the experience that Boise has in BcS games gives them a slight advantage.

This should be the most fun game to watch of the bowl season.

ORANGE BOWL #10 Iowa 10-2 #9 Georgia Tech 11-2

Iowa’s two losses came without their starting QB Stanzi. He is back after being injured and now is ready to help the Big 10 get a positive bowl record. Just his presents will help along with RB Robinson. The two have been the keys to the Iowa O. Watch the Iowa OTs Bulaga (Jr) and Calloway (2nd round). TE Moeaki is a 3rd round talent. He is an outstanding blocker with just enough speed to threaten the deep middle.

On D, Iowa is big and physical. They will have to hold their positions to combat the option. LBs Angerer and Edds should both be picked in the late 3rd or early 4th.

GT has the second leading rushing attack in the country. When they have been able to get out front and continue to run the ball, they are unbeatable. The key to stopping the Jackets is to put them in 3rd and long often. They do not have the passing attack to come back from a major deficit. GT runs the option which is something that Iowa has not seen this year. Watch RB Dwyer. He is the key runner for Tech and is a load. QB Nesbitt is not a high percentage passer but can be effective when he wants to throw rather than when he has to.

The line is GT by 5 but I expect Iowa to steal a win.

GMAC BOWL Cent Michigan 11-2 Troy 9-3

My question is how did this game get pushed past Christmas? The games after 1/1 should be big matchups. CM QB LeFevour (3rd or 4th) may be the next big name to come out of the MAC. He has thrown 27 TDs with only 6 picks.

Troy has its own pro prospect in QB Brown. Brown has a better arm but LeFevour has more pub. The best bet here is the Over at 61. CM is a slight favorite but don’t bet on it.

National Championship game—Tomorrow.

Around the NFL Thursday

What to look for in the Wild Card round Friday

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 and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

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