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The FOOTBALL SICKNESS PODCAST, 2013 Washington Redskins Preview with BurgundyBlog

The Redskins enjoyed a magical 2012, with the arrival of RGIII and a new era of hope and excitement. And with good reason. Dude balls. He rapidly infused the entire squad with the belief that they could win, and win they did, taking the NFC East. But he also lives on the edge, and it got him in trouble. Time to find out what he’s learned. We asked our man Brent from Burgundy Blog to join us and break it all down, and he did not disappoint. Plenty of good stuff here, including lots of RGIII, the Return of the Rak (cue The Wipers…bonus points if you get this reference…), and what the Shannies might have up their sleeves in year 2 of the new era. Oh, and Sen does Eagle fan things while attempting to revoke Burns’ Bruin Card. It’s all fun and games until somebody loses their dignity. It’s rough out there. Better GET YOUR HELMET ON!!!

Click HERE for the FOOTBALL SICKNESS PODCAST, 2013 Washington Redskins Preview with BurgundyBlog

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The FOOTBALL SICKNESS PODCAST, Eastbound & Down Edition

In the last of our division preview podcast series, Ryan Burns & Sen Sogah get deep into the NFC and AFC East.  The Beast is in the NFC, where all four teams have things to be excited about. Kind of.  Nasty schedules, nasty weather, and nasty pass rushers appear to be the story of the season. Over in the AFC, we’ve got quarterback “situations” and the big bully up in New England (and that status ain’t changin’ anytime soon).  The season is getting tantalizingly close.  If you haven’t yet, we strongly recommend that you GET YOUR HELMET ON!!!

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Click HERE for the FOOTBALL SICKNESS PODCAST, Eastbound & Down Edition

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Encore time?

The FOOTBALL SICKNESS PODCAST: Back To Camp Edition

At last, our long national winter is over. FOOTBALL IS BACK!  NFL training camps opened up in 32 American cities this week, and provided story after story worth batting around on the FOOTBALL SICKNESS PODCAST.  FootballSickness.com’s Ryan Burns and Sen Sogah know you’re depending on them to break it all down for you, and they won’t let you down. They talk about big stories around the NFL, introduce new nominees for the HALL of SICKNESS, drop some fantasy tidbits, and even cover some quality college football items.  The SICKNESS PODCAST reverts to its natural weekly state from here on out, and the camp-opening edition has a little extra goodness for you.  The only thing left to do is to GET YOUR HELMET ON!!!

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Click HERE for the FOOTBALL SICKNESS PODCAST, Back To Camp Edition

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Click HERE to SUBSCRIBE to the FOOTBALL SICKNESS PODCAST via iTunes.

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SICK LINKS: July 24, 2012

Well, folks, I can safely say that you’re stuck with the daily SICK LINKS blast. I’m thoroughly enjoying forcing myself to keep an eye out for unique and/or enjoyable  links. I can’t catch ‘em all. This isn’t “the Football Drudge,” after all (though anyone curious about the web’s most comprehensive collection of football links should click on them there buttons atop this here interweb page labeled “SICK LINKS.” Go on, now. When you get there, don’t forget to scroll down. And scroll down some more. And scroll down some more…) Here are the SICK LINKS for Tuesday, July 24 2012. Enjoy.

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Sheil Kapadia & Tim McManus launched their new Eagles site, Birds 24/7.

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DraftInsider.net is one of my regular draft info stops.  Here’s Tony Pauline’s preseason All-SEC team.

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What promises to be an interesting series begins with Ben Stockwell breaking down Slant Route Efficiency for Pro Football Focus.

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Southern Pigskin’s Matthew Osborne on one of my favorite college coaches. Frank Beamer: Model of Consistency.

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Rotoworld’s Evan Silva provides a solid breakdown of the Honey Badger.

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Lance Zierlien gives you an excellent and  comprehensive analysis of the Redskins’ run game for The Sideline View.

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A look at some of the more tempting/scary players  in fantasy football in 2012 by Jeff Haverlack over at DLF Football.

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Friend of the Sickness Chris Hansen of RaidersBlog with his thoughts on the Louis Murphy trade for Bleacher Report.

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“Hey buuhddy.Check it out, man. Silva’s diggin’ on me.”

SICK LINKS: July 20, 2012

We hope you’ve enjoyed the first full week of daily SICK LINKS. We will always be looking for quality content to highlight here, so feel free to hit us up via email or twitter or facebook or carrier pigeon with your favorite content.  To conclude the week, an extra heavy batch.  First up, quality anecdotes concerning the dog days of summer from an NFL vet. GET YOUR HELMET ON!!!

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Like many of you, I am enjoying Ryan Riddle’s emergence as a football writer. Here, his Memoirs of an NFL Training Camp.

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NFLDraftMonsters.com’s Justin Higdon reveals some under-the-radar defensive prospects for the 2013 NFL Draft.

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Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recalls the teamwork and loyalty of Joey Porter. Steelers-Browns be damned; the newly-retired Peezy could play for me any day.

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PFF & Bleacher Report have a good one in the Bay Area’s Alex Miglio. Here he projects the Redskins as the NFL’s next dynasty. Not sure I agree, but it’s a compelling piece.

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The insightful and prolific Jim Day (@FantasyTaz) breaks down his top 50 fantasy football players for Bleacher Report. My view regularly coincides with Jim’s, and does here. Which means he’s a genius. Obviously.

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Windy City Gridiron’s Steve Ronkowski breaks down Lovie Smith’s version of the Tampa 2

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Aaron Rodgers joined the guys from the NFL Network to talk NFC and the Romo-Rodgers golf rivalry. Fun stuff. Find me a more likeable guy in the league (you can’t).

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Football Nation’s Jeff Hunter with a fun little piece on the biggest regrets in NFL history. So far, no mention of Gerard Warren, which can’t be right.

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Momo over at Blatant Homerism analyzes college football’s cage-match playoff plans.

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Curious about the Vikings’ receiving weaponry? Me too. Tom Pelissero breaks the group down here.

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Scouring the web for the best football content leads one to treats like the Birdgang Podcast, a Cardinals-centric audio pleasure. Enjoy.

Joey Porter: SICKNESS APPROVED.

2012 ALL-SICKNESS NFL DRAFT TEAM

If you’ve been following at all, you know by now that we here at the Sickness like to do our analysis a little differently. Rather than feigning expertise we don’t actually possess, or trying to convince you that we are able to see the future (read: giving each team a letter grade for a draft from which not a single player has set foot on the field yet), I like to sift through the myriad selections and give you my favorites at each position.  I’m taking both “value” (as subjectively assessed by yours truly) and team need into account.  This isn’t necessarily the best player chosen at each (or any particular) position. Rather, these are the Sickness Approved choices. Draft picks who I think will look like relative steals at their respective draft positions when we look back on this selection party three years hence.

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I was impressed again this year with what I view as the overall improvement in draft process around the league. I think most teams got it right more often than not.  It used to be we’d have a handful of dreadful drafts to pan at the end of the weekend. Now, almost nobody was totally out of left field with their choices.  Most teams seem to understand their needs, and have learned through organizational pass-down or simple trial-and-error that choosing to address those needs over selecting the best football players on the board is an almost surefire ticket to misery.  As such, fewer glaring errors stand out.  The teams that we know have always done it well are still doing it well (Eagles, Steelers, Patriots, just as a few examples, killed it this year), and even some long-questioned draft flubbers- most notably the Cincinnati Bengals, who had arguably the most impressive draft in the league- are nailing it down. For an NFL draft fan, this was a captivating weekend.

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QUARTERBACK

Russell Wilson would be an easy first-rounder if not for his lack of height. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks: Never mind Raymond; Everyone loves Luck and Griffin, and they’re both in what I consider to be perfect spots. Luck will be in an offense that tears up the middle of the field and takes its shots. Griffin will be killing people on play pass and stretch boots, throwing bombs to freak athlete wideouts in what should eventually be an explosive attack in DC. But departing momentarily from the obvious, I think the Seahawks’ third-round “gamble” for Wilson was a stroke of genius. When I watch Wilson play, I see the rare exception to the Short Quarterback Postulate. My case is supported by Wilson’s A+ athleticism and strong arm, his collegiate production, his ability to pick up two different systems and win, his evident leadership and communicative skills, and the simple fact that he had fewer passes batted down than Luck, Griffin and Tannehill (among others).  As many have noted, he played behind the nation’s tallest line at Wisconsin, the ball comes out high and he’s outstanding at finding the necessary throwing lanes. Wilson has long been Sickness Approved, and the time he will have to absorb Darrell Bevell’s version of the West Coast should allow him to get to the business of competing with Matt Flynn for a longer-term commitment in a year or two.

BJ Coleman, Green Bay Packers (7/243): You will hear this name again in three or four years when Ted Thompson parlays him into a high draft pick. Mark it.

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RUNNING BACK

LaMichael James, San Francisco 49ers (2/61): Have fun catching this guy on the counter after Frank Gore beats you down for three quarters. A perfect fit for all involved.

Michael Smith, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7/212): I also love Doug Martin, for whom the Bucs traded back up into the first round, but to land Michael Smith so late in the draft was a stunner to me. Smith has home run speed.

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WIDE RECEIVER

Reuben Randle, New York Giants (3/63): Eli gets yet another toy.  One of the “fallers” that most surprised me, Randle has good size, speed and athleticism and falls into a perfect position as a depth option behind Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz and company for the Super Bowl champs.

Devon Wylie, Kansas City Chiefs (4/107): If he stays healthy, Wiggles has all-pro upside as a slot receiver. It could get explosive with Bowe, McCluster, Moeaki, Wylie and Charles on the field all at once. Have fun with that, AFC West.

Marvin Jones, Cincinnati Bengals (5/166): Jones was well-known and much ballyhooed among the draft community for the past several months. There’s a reason. High-grade body control and stick-um hands. Not to rip the QB play at Cal, but Jones could have put up ridiculous numbers in other offenses, if you know what I’m sayin’.

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TIGHT END

Coby Fleener, Indianapolis Colts (2/34): For all the obvious reasons.

David Paulson, Pittsburgh Steelers (7/240): As I look at this list, it seems a bit Pac-heavy, but I really do like a lot of these fits. Paulson fits the fine tradition of under-appreciated Steelers tight ends. It will be interesting to see how they employ him under Todd Haley.

Micheal Egnew, Miami Dolphins (3/78): Huge and fast, Egnew could fall into the category of tight ends whose college coaches either didn’t know what to do with them or just weren’t willing to significantly change their offenses to feature them in a Belichick/Payton fashion. That the Dolphins drafted him in the third round, and before any wide receiver, indicates an intention to join those ranks relatively soon.

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OFFENSIVE TACKLE

Mitchell Schwartz, Cleveland Browns (2/37): Some called this a reach. I can only assume none of them saw a single game played by either the Cal Bears or the Cleveland Browns in the fall of 2011. He’ll have growing pains, but this is a huge upgrade at a position of major need.

Cordy Glenn (2/41), and Zebrie Sanders (5/144), Buffalo Bills: Buddy Nix, I salute you. Building what should in time be one of the best defenses in the NFL with Mario Williams and two fine corners, Nix also added these potential future bookends. At worst, Glenn should be a standout guard with flexibility to kick outside.  The Bills have done some damn fine work the past couple off-seasons, and imagine how it’s going to look if CJ Spiller breaks out as many expect?

Matt Kalil, Minnesota Vikings (1/4): They traded down for extra picks and added what I suspect will be a top 10 left tackle. Great stuff.

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OFFENSIVE GUARD

David DeCastro, Pittsburgh Steelers (1/24): Are you kidding me with this? Nobody between, say, 15 and 23 wanted to pull one of the best interior offensive line prospects in years off the board before he fell into the Steelers’ lap? How do they do this every year, you ask? Easy: they just keep drafting good players. Sooner or later, a great one for one of your only needs accidentally jumps into your shopping cart. For previous examples, see Roethlisberger, Ben and Woodley, Lamarr.

Brandon Brooks, Houston Texans (3/76):  He’s 350 pounds of mobility, and will fit in beautifully in the Texans’ zone scheme. When he gets moving, he’ll be faster than most guards in the league. Nice little nasty streak on him, too.

Kelechi Osemele, Baltimore Ravens (2/60): He had the ability to play left tackle in college, and will soon be an upgrade on much of their line.

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CENTER

Peter Konz, Atlanta Falcons (2/55):  The draft’s best center doesn’t come off the board until 55? Rough year for centers. But Atlanta happily plucked him up and filled a position of need.

Phillip Blake, Denver Broncos (4/108): The new Jeff Saturday!

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DEFENSIVE END

Vinny Curry, Philadelphia Eagles (2/59): So, let me get this straight. They led the league in sacks a year ago. They’re running Trent Cole and Jason Babin out there…and they’re going to add Vinny Curry to the mix?  Is this even allowed? Can I get a ruling?

Jared Crick, Houston Texans (4/126): Crick’s drop to the fourth round was as big a surprise to me as any other in the draft. He’s (Mayock alert!) scheme-versatile and can kick inside on passing downs. A player that so many talked about as a first rounder not long ago is too talented to ignore in a defense that keeps looking more and more fun for Wade Phillips to play with.

 Andre Branch, Jacksonville Jaguars (2/38): Just a real fine all-around player who creates leverage well, beats guys off the line often enough, and plays with good balance. A quality addition to that Jags D-line.

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DEFENSIVE TACKLE

Devon Still, Cincinnati Bengals (2/53):  Often projected as a first-round pick, Still and earlier choice Dre Kirkpatrick should help satisfy Marvin Lewis. You did notice his pre-draft comment, did you not, about the team having “neglected the defense” recently? Well, no more.

Alameda Te’Amu, Pittsburgh Steelers (4/109): I give up- the draft is obviously rigged for the Steelers. Te’Amu is just a perfect, big, strong fit for the Steelers’ front.

Fletcher Cox, Philadelphia Eagles (1/12): And Fletcher Cox, too? OK, I take it back. The draft is rigged for Pennsylvania.

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OUTSIDE LINEBACKER

Melvin Ingram, San Diego Chargers (1/18): Perhaps my favorite defensive prospect in this draft. Call him an OLB or a DE, but make sure you call him a baller. I suspect a dozen or so teams will be kicking themselves in two or three years.

Courtney Upshaw, Baltimore Ravens (2/35): Again. Are you kidding me? And all of a sudden, this pick got much more important with the bad news on Thursday.  It’s like someone knew T-Sizzle was going to go down (a huge blow to both the Ravens and fans of high-motor physical football). Another guy who could be a LB or DE depending on your look.

Terrell Manning, Green Bay Packers (5/163): Explosive athlete who can do everything needed from the position in the Packers’ 3-4. It may take some time, but I see an eventual starter. Props to Brendan Leister for pointing him out to me.

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Mychal Kendricks will soon be making plays for the Eagles.

INSIDE LINEBACKER

Mychal Kendricks, Philadelphia Eagles (2/46): The Eagles absolutely killed this draft, and no better evidence exists than their 2nd round scores of Curry and Kendricks.

Dont’a Hightower, New England Patriots (1/25): Belichick stuns everyone and moves up twice in the first round, scoring perfect fits for his improving defense. Gotta love it.  Hightower joins the long line of fantastic Hoodie LB’s.

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CORNERBACK

Janoris Jenkins, St. Louis Rams (2/39): Yes, the red flags were apparently abundant. But have you seen the tape? He shut down AJ Green. He shut down Julio Jones. (Perhaps you’ve heard of them.) The only things he didn’t shut down while in the SEC were his libido and penchant for chronic indulgence. And, being real…the only issue that concerns me there if I’m an NFL executive is the potential for suspension. Bottom line, Jenkins is a top-15 talent. If he can be properly guided, he’s going to be a star. Great gamble by Les Snead and Jeff Fisher.

Brandon Boykin, Philadelphia Eagles (4/123): Sen Dog was PUMPED for this pick, and rightfully so. With the depth they have at the position, Boykin can put his playmaking skills to use early as a dime, and take his time developing.

Jamell Fleming, Arizona Cardinals (3/80):  One of my favorite defensive players in college football, Fleming should eventually form a nice pair with last year’s first-round pick, Patrick Peterson.

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SAFETY

George Iloka, Cincinnati Bengals (5/153): At 6’3″, 225 Iloka is what I imagine most safeties are going to look like soon. As in, they have bodies of smallish outside linebackers and the speed and athleticism to keep up with the new breed of tight end in the NFL.

Mark Barron, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1/7): Again- they traded back and landed a fantastic player at a position of need. Clearly, they noticed Jimmy Graham.

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Hard to believe the draft has come and gone, but there you have it. The 2012 All-Sickness NFL Draft Team. Who’d I miss? Which were your guys? Let me know below or on Twitter @FtblSickness. And to finish, a sheer guess at the #1 overall pick in a year…naaaaah. Check the podcast. We did it there.

 

2012 FOOTBALL SICKNESS MOCK DRAFT

Few utterly meaningless exercises engender more amusement, hysteria and rage than the mock NFL draft. Everyone has their concrete ideas of what will happen, they study their brains out, deciphering proper slotting according to how they view a particular prospect, team need and/or evaluation method, and finding just the right fit at each spot…and then it all goes completely to hell at pick 3. Seriously, nobody knows anything beyond the first couple of picks. In part, this is because at this time of year in the NFL, misinformation is king, and we’re all having ungodly amounts of smoke blown up our collective wazoo. Even those guys with the flawless hair on TV don’t have great success picking who will go where.  And don’t even get me started on trying to predict trades. Remember how Shanahan and the Redskins were going to move up for or select one of the many first-round-ready quarterbacks in last year’s draft?  Yeah. They took Ryan Kerrigan at 16.  Meanwhile, my mock at the top is way too similar to many others, meaning there’s no chance it happens this way because we all fell for the smoke. Got it? Good.

For this Sickness 2012 Mock, there will be a couple of simple ground rules. First: no trades. I’ll mention where appropriate when I think trades are likely or at least more plausible, but that’s it. I’m not trying to go insane attempting to predict the whims of NFL executives.  I’m guessing strictly based on my wholly amateur opinion of (1) prospect value and (2) team need and/or history.  Second, I try and take into account what a team’s schemes are, and not just throw guys to a team because they need someone at a given position. There’s no point mocking a 3-4 OLB to the Eagles, for example. Different teams are looking for different things, and while I don’t pretend to understand every minute detail of most teams’ philosophies, just know that some marginal thought has gone into the thing. Third, I’m making the traditional guesswork prediction, and then telling you what I would do were I in charge of each team. Full disclosure: I’m not even pretending I have any idea what most of them actually will do.  Lastly: we’re here to have fun. I know some of these make no sense. Have you tried this nonsense?!?  Mock me all you wish. My skin is thick and my helmet is on!

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1.  INDIANAPOLIS COLTS:  Guesswork Prediction- Andrew Luck, QB (Stanford). Throw me in with the lot who consider him the most complete, non-speculative, outstanding prospect since John Elway. Luck provides a decision-maker with the comfort of knowing his pre-snap read, adjustment and anticipatory skills have already been tested at an NFL level. A superior athlete in his own right, Luck has the stature to hang in the pocket and shed sacks and the ability to make huge plays outside the pocket and running with the football. The Colts go from one once-in-a-generation QB to the next. They’ve already told us so.

If I Were GM: Luck.

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2.  WASHINGTON REDSKINS:  Robert Griffin III, QB (Baylor).  Another foregone QB conclusion, and easily the story to watch going forward in the NFL for 2012. If he becomes what the Redskins obviously expect him to given the haul they gave up to get him, he will be a transformative figure in NFL history. Kick your feet up. Watch. Enjoy.  Unless you’re a defensive coordinator. In which case, ready thyself.  Watch that zone boot.  Watch the play-action off the stretch look.  Good luck.

If I Were GM: RGIII.  (Technically, since I’m a Browns fan, maybe I’d take Matt Kalil here and let Grif fall to 4. Heh. (Damn it.))

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3.  MINNESOTA VIKINGS:  Matt Kalil, OT (USC).  Rumors of trade possibilities are heating up in all corners as of this writing, and nothing would surprise me.  The Rams originally held the keys to the draft, but have long since removed that suspense by making the Griffin trade weeks before the draft. As a result, the Vikes have their choice of a franchise left tackle or an elite corner. As it so happens, they are in desperate need of both in this new passing NFL, and either would be a perfectly reasonable choice. But Kalil not only carries additional premium because he protects the QB’s blind side and has NFL bloodlines, he’s generally considered the superior prospect.  This shouldn’t be a tough card for the purple to turn in, but if they don’t take Kalil, heads’ up…because the draft is about to get really interesting.

 If I Were GM:  Kalil. (Sickness First Commandment: Protect Thy Quarterback.)

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4.  CLEVELAND BROWNS: Trent Richardson, RB (Alabama).  I go back and forth daily between Richardson, Justin Blackmon and Morris Claiborne, each of whom I think would be an excellent fit. But ultimately, the Browns need to do two things if they are to live with Colt McCoy for even one more season (as it appears that they might).  First, they must shorten the game. Second, they must score more touchdowns. Richardson will help with both. And while I’m not arguing about the general devaluation of the RB position (See the fine piece here by Shawn Siegele), I think exceptions to most rules exist, and Richardson is one to that “rule.” (Many call this stupid. I call it betting against the house. Again, if I can get LeSean McCoy or Ray Rice production at #4…am I bumming that hard?) If Richardson isn’t there, I would guess a trade down or Blackmon.

If I Were GM: Richardson.

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5.  TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: Morris Claiborne, CB (LSU). In this scenario the Bucs end up with the draft’s top corner and a potential top-flight starter at a key position (especially in a division inhabited by Drew Brees, Matthew Ryan, Cam Newton and friends). They might be interested in Justin Blackmon, but in my view Claiborne is the better prospect. He plays one of the premium positions, and he’s ready to step in and do the job for which he’ll be drafted on day 1. There’s one other reason: the Bucs have gotten far too old and too non-law-abiding in recent years. This will help re-set the course of the Bucs’ ship.

If I Were GM:  Claiborne.

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6.   ST. LOUIS RAMS: Fletcher Cox, DT (Miss. St.).   A lot of noise about this one, which makes me wonder. But Cox is a heck of a talent. And I do seem to recall Fisher having outstanding defensive lines in Tennessee.

If I Were GM: Justin Blackmon. I’d be thinking about trading up to 3 for Kalil, because Sam Bradford ain’t making that new-CBA, slotted rookie money. No, sir. I’ve got big cash in Sammy B, I’m committed to him, and I need to make damn sure I keep division foes like the San Francisco Smiths, the New Orleans…well…y’know…and the sometimes dominant Seahawk front four off his ass.  If Kalil is here (and there is a chance), I’d pull that trigger. Otherwise, I’m equipping him with my favorite of the top receivers.

7.  JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS:  Stephon Gilmore, CB (South Carolina). The Jags seem like as good a bet for a trade as any team in the top 10, so let’s get that out there. Maybe the Jets come up for a Melvin Ingram, or someone else antsy for a corner or offensive tackle. But here, they’re stuck.  Wideout is certainly a major need, so Blackmon and Floyd would have to be on the radar.  But I still think those corners and pass rushers get pushed up the board, and the Jags could use one of each. Alfie Crow and Peter King beat me to the Stephon Gilmore call (and undoubtedly with infinitely more actual information at hand), but I feel no need to be original here.

If I Were GM: Melvin Ingram. I’m just a believer and think he fits anywhere. I’m probably crazy.

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Much of the draft fun will turn on where this dude lands.

8.  MIAMI DOLPHINS: Ryan Tannehill, QB (Texas A & M). I honestly have no idea here. Just riding the wave. (Tannehill & Grudes.)

If I Were GM: Probably Tannehill. But I’d be nervous as hell. Blackmon and Floyd would be my other options.

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9.  CAROLINA PANTHERS:  Quentin Coples, DE/DT (North Carolina).  Like I said, these guys get pushed up the board. Butch Davis may be known for a lot of things, but let’s not forget that one of them is coaching up quality D-Linemen, and knowing talent at these positions. Coples has plenty. Questions about his motor and tendency to play too upright are totally valid, but so are observations of his considerable ability.  Freakishly athletic and versatile enough to play inside or out, someone is going to find Coples well worth the gamble sooner rather than later.

If I Were GM: Michael Floyd. Cam is a special passer, and I like Brandon LaFell a lot. But I also know that Steve Smith can’t play forever and Floyd has dominant potential.  I’d take him…then I’d go defense the rest of the draft.

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10. BUFFALO BILLS: Justin Blackmon, WR (Oklahoma St.) First, a note: I could see the Bills trading up for someone like Kalil or taking Tannehill if he fell this far. But since I’m not predicting trades…Blackmon would be fantastic opposite Stevie Johnson.  Ryan Fitzpatrick would know exactly how to work the ball to Blackmon and to utilize the Oklahoma State star’s Dr. Octopus-like catch radius and aggression for the football.  He’s also a nightmare in the open field and often takes more than one small man to bring down.  Most mocks have him going higher, and with good reason. But I think there’s a chance he falls with a perception that he is not quite the elite athlete that, say, AJ Green and Julio Jones were a year ago (they went 4 and 6, respectively).

If I Were GM: Again. Melvin Ingram. He’d look nice behind that devastating D-line they’re building. Or book-ending it on certain downs.

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11. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: David DeCastro, G (Stanford). I had Dontari Poe in here, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. He doesn’t dominate on tape despite his fantastic measurables and combine workout.  Plus, DeCastro is a surefire decade-long starter on the interior line and will help grind out yards with Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis pounding through the holes.

If I Were GM: DeCastro.

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12. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB (South Carolina).  Finally.  Coach Pete gets a new toy.

If I Were GM:  Ingram. Was that not clear?

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13. ARIZONA CARDINALS: Reily Reiff, OT (Iowa).  The Cardinals have to protect whomever their quarterback will be, this year and in the future.

IF I Were GM: Floyd.  I’m in the minority, but I don’t see Reiff as a surefire left tackle, and would have a tough time taking him here as a result. And Fitz desperately wants Floyd. This would fit.

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14. DALLAS COWBOYS: Mark Barron, S (Alabama).  All the consensus picks, like the Cowboys taking a defensive back here, make me uncomfortable. It’s just too easy. But they do need ‘em. Badly. Of course, Adam Schefter guaranteed on Wednesday that Barron won’t make it to this slot, so…

If I Were GM:  Dre Kirkpatrick. It’s simple. He’s Sabanized and corners are more important to me.

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15. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: Michael Brockers, DT (LSU):  Sen Dog assures me the Eagles’ biggest issue is up front on defense and that he’d be enthralled with the addition of the big DL from LSU.  Good enough for me.

If I Were GM: Luke Keuchly.  They desperately need the upgrade. Of course, it’s at least 50/50 he’s gone before this pick.

Will these guys go nuts?

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16. NEW YORK JETS:  Courtney Upshaw, LB (Alabama): Smoke, noise, rumors, innuendo…and none of it about Tebow or feet in general. One well-placed rumor had the Jets interested in trading way up for Trent Richardson. I have a real hard time seeing that, but I don’t have a hard time seeing the Jets moving around. GM Mike Tannenbaum has made that a regular practice, and I half expect him to be selecting 8 or 10 spots earlier here. But Upshaw would fit beautifully into Rex’s 3-4 and is a quality thumper.

If I Were GM: Upshaw or Dontari Poe.  Poe’s got questions, but Rex has a way with those guys and there aren’t many of “those guys” on the planet.

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17. CINCINNATI BENGALS (FROM OAK): Luke Keuchly, LB (Boston College). As I mentioned above, I think in real life he’s gone by here. I just don’t know to whom, and in this particular scenario, he’s still sitting here for the Bengals to pluck up. Marvin Lewis was quoted just this week as saying they’ve “neglected the defense.” Let’s go ahead and assume that gets rectified in the first round.

If I Were GM: I’d go with Kirkpatrick first, but they get him anyway here and I can’t in good conscience just keep letting Keuchly fall. This is madness.

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18. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS: Cordy Glenn, OL (Georgia).  The Bolts have been devastated up front with injuries and surprise retirements. Glenn is a big, athletic, versatile plug-and-play guy.

If I Were GM: Glenn. I loved Rumford Johnny’s pick of McClellin here, but I think the OL is a huge need.

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19. CHICAGO BEARS: Michael Floyd, WR (Notre Dame). They’d be beyond lucky to get him here and to pair him with Brandon Marshall. Jay Cutler is an immensely talented quarterback who, in my view, started to make the leap into the upper echelon with outstanding play throughout 2011. Add another monster weapon and start doing some real damage to the rest of the NFC North.

If I Were GM: Floyd or Reiff.

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20. TENNESSEE TITANS: Nick Perry, DE (USC). Still raw, but a rare athlete at a premium position with a nose for the QB and the power to bring him down when he gets there.

If I Were GM:  In all honesty? Janoris Jenkins. Huge risk. But it’s #20, not #2.

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21. CINCINNATI BENGALS: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB (Alabama).  I’ll be stunned if the Bengals don’t come out of the first round with a new corner one way or another.

If I Were GM: Kendall Wright.  Put him opposite AJ Green and watch the points roll in.

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22. CLEVELAND BROWNS (FROM ATL): Reuben Randle, WR (LSU).  It’ll be interesting to see whether they like Brandon Weeden enough to take him this early despite his advanced age (and if they take Blackmon at No. 4, they might just do that), or whether they look to a less obvious position like rush end. But I think it’s probably a wide receiver or a new right tackle.  Several popular choices exist for the wideout spot.  I think Reuben Randle makes a ton of sense here, and I hear they’ve got this batch of WR’s all pretty closely ranked.

If I Were GM: Randle. I’d be highly tempted to take Janoris Jenkins, but my team is still too young and developing. I’m a big believer in Reuben Randle.

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23. DETROIT LIONS:  Whitney Mercilus, DE (Illinois).  Lead the nation in sacks, and would have a good chance at early production with guys like Suh, Fairley and Avril eating up blocks. Can learn on the job with the depth currently in place.  And the Schwartz wants to destroy QB’s. All makes good sense to me.

If I Were GM:  Tough call for me. Since I don’t trust their RB’s to stay healthy? I might look at a quality all-around back like Doug Martin of Boise St. here.

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24. PITTSBURGH STEELERS: Kevin Zeitler, OG (Wisconsin).  I have to think Ben is tired of getting demolished back there, and you know with new offensive coordinator Todd Haley in town they’re going to show a renewed commitment to Steeler football and the effective running of the football.  Zeitler is a quality player that addresses both of these issues, shoring up the interior of that offensive line.

If I Were GM: Dont’a Hightower. Just seems like a Steeler to me.

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25. DENVER BRONCOS: Devon Still, DT (Penn St.)  Or maybe Dontari Poe. Or even a running back.  But the Broncos must help the middle of that defensive line. I tore them up for not taking Dareus last year (though Von Miller was clearly an outstanding choice), and would do so again if they fail to address what I think is their biggest need.

If I Were GM: Still.

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26. HOUSTON TEXANS: Kendall Wright, WR (Baylor).  There seems to be a decent amount of disagreement as to what echelon of player Wright is, but he’s a first-rounder in my book. Couldn’t care less about his timed speed, as the tape shows me he knows how to use whatever he’s got to manipulate and destroy db’s. Tough to square up after the catch, a fine route-runner, and sure-handed. Would fit nicely opposite Andre Johnson and give the Texans that #2 that they’ve been looking for for so long.

If I Were GM: Wright or Poe.

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McClellin keeps rising.

27. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (FROM N.O.): Chandler Jones, DE (Syracuse).  Leaning on my man Rummy, here, and I like Jones a good bit. The Patriots are impossible to predict. I certainly didn’t have them targeting those two rookie RB’s last year. And I fully expect them to trade at least one of these late first rounders.

If I Were Gm: I’d just defer to Belichick. Heh.

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28. GREEN BAY PACKERS: Shea McClellin, DE/OLB (Boise St.)  Long before he became fashionable with well-known and outstanding draftniks like Greg Cosell, my man Brendan Leister was going crazy telling me how good this guy was.  The more Boise video I watched, the more I could see why. Explosive, fantastic get-off, and one of those tough, fundamentally sound Broncos studs. Someone will be exceptionally pleased to get him, and he’d be an insanely good fit opposite Clay Matthews III.

If I Were GM: McClellin.

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29. BALTIMORE RAVENS: Dont’a Hightower, LB (Alabama). “Oh, hey. Looky what we found here. A perfect fit for our aging defense.” – Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome.

If I Were GM: I’m a Browns fan. I’d let the Ravens’ pick expire. (Nope.  Still not over it.)

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30. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: Coby Fleener, TE (Stanford).  Yes, they have Vernon Davis, and he’s a monster. But perhaps youv’e noticed a team or two looking to run multiple TE threats out there? Plus we’ve got the Harbaugh connection. If Kendall Wright were still available, I’d have done that.

If I Were GM: I might gamble on Stephen Hill of Georgia Tech here. Crazy fast and appears to have every tool in the box. Just didn’t get enough run in that triple option at GT to know for sure.

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31. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS:  Janoris Jenkins (CB) Northern Alabama.  If anybody can afford to gamble, it’s the Hoodie.  Jenkins dominated while in the SEC. Bill likes Florida guys. That’s all I’ve got.

If I Were GM: Jenkins. You bet’cha.

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32. NEW YORK GIANTS: Bobbie Massie, OT (Mississippi State). I think the Giants are going to be pleased with just about anything that falls into their lap at 32, and Massie is a big stud OL with major upside. They can take their time and develop him, possibly into the LT of their future.

If I Were GM: Lamar Miller. A fun, luxurious replacement for the Tiptoe Bandit and a fine complement to/insurance for Ahmad Bradshaw. I doubt they’d do it, though.

Post Script: Thank the Gridiron Gods this is over for another year. The Mock Draft is exhausting and infuriating. Enjoy your draft weekend, everyone!

The FOOTBALL SICKNESS PODCAST: Free Peyton Edition

Well. THAT was quite a weekend of wondrous NFL offseason occurrences, was it not? First, Peyton Manning got his expected release, and the ensuing South Beach circus was quite the sight to behold. Helicopters, rumors, paparazzi…it was a fantastic spectacle. And it’s only beginning…imagine if he replaces Tebow in the Mile High City.  Then, of course, the expected trade up for the #2 pick and the rights to RGIII happened at a rather unexpected time and price.  FootballSickness.com’s Ryan Burns and Sen Sogah hash it all out for you in striking and glorious detail.  Just another reminder that the SICKNESS is spreading and there is no offseason. We highly recommend you GET YOUR HELMET ON!!!

Click HERE for the FOOTBALL SICKNESS PODCAST, Free Peyton Edition.

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Fair to say there's some interest in #18. (Photo: John Leyba, The Denver Post)

 

The FOOTBALL SICKNESS PODCAST, 2012 NFL Draft Sickness Sidecar Special #2

The NFL Draft Sickness season continues with another special episode featuring one of the top draft writers around, Mr. Matt Miller of Bleacher Report.  Matt joins us to talk in depth about the draft, who should and shouldn’t go where, who should stay home (looking at you, Kellen Moore), and gives us a taste of what real scouting life is like.  We’re hitting the draft and hitting it hard, so…GET YOUR HELMET ON!!

Click HERE for the FOOTBALL SICKNESS PODCAST, 2012 NFL Draft Sickness Sidecar Special #2 (Matt Miller)

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The FOOTBALL SICKNESS PODCAST, 2012 Post-Combine Edition

So. How many of you spent last weekend watching college-aged men doing speed, agility and explosiveness drills for hours on end? Yeah, us too. Let’s discuss.  FootballSickness.com’s Ryan Burns and Sen Sogah review all the highs and lows of the NFL’s official offseason meat market, bat around the likely RGIII scenarios, look at the end of an era in Pittsburgh, and do a little free agency overview.  It is the offseason but we’re between the lines, so GET YOUR HELMET ON!

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Click HERE for the FOOTBALL SICKNESS PODCAST, 2012 Post-Combine Edition

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Click HERE to SUBSCRIBE to the FOOTBALL SICKNESS PODCAST via iTUNES.

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Big Fella Movin'.