In the second entry to the series we started last month, I’ll be redrafting the 2009 NFL Draft, knowing what we know now.
This scenario is a bit different than the 2011 draft for two reasons. First, because five years have passed and not three, we can tilt the scales much more heavily towards what we’ve gotten from a player than what we expect to get going forward. Second, unlike the 2011 draft, the 2009 draft is actually pretty weak at the top, with numerous prospects who didn’t pan out at all, or were little more than serviceable players. That’s gonna result in a shakeup of the first round. Coming right up…
While we continue to put together our big board and player database, we thought we’d give you something to read by doing another mock draft based on how we adjusted our boards after the Combine. Plus, we’ve only gotten to watch more and more tape since then, so we’re starting to form more solid impressions of some players (and first impressions of others).
The three-round mock we conducted live last night, after the jump.
On Sunday, quarterbacks, wide receivers, and running backs worked out at the combine. Let’s take a look at some of the performances that stood out, in one way or another, and what, if anything, they mean. This will be brief and in some cases shallow.
Saturday was the first day of combine on-field workouts. The offensive linemen and tight ends completed their interviews and bench press workouts on Friday; on Saturday, they resumed with 40-yard dashes, agility drills, and position drills.
There are always surprises at the combine, players who move up or down based on unusual or unexpected results. We’ve looked at four performances from yesterday to see how they compared to what the consensus and conventional wisdom expected, and how that might change our opinions of those players.
We hadn’t extended a mock draft to round three yet this year, so we decided to push one more round through before the combine. This is an addendum to the draft posted on Thursday. 32 more picks coming right up…
Continuing with the series ‘Offseason GM,’ I’ll move on to the NFC East. While they may not have any juggernauts, the division is always very competitive. Any edge in offseason performance could easily tip the balance for who wins the division in 2014. Also it was recently noted that the expected cap limit this year is going to be around 130M, not 126 as previously projected.
Update your bookmarks, dear reader: the blog has moved to its own domain, with a new look and many other new features to come. We can now be found at our own top-level domain, zonereads.com.
We’re still under construction, so bear with us, but we had enough of the blog up and running that I decided to go ahead and permanently migrate the site there. All the old archives have been successfully ported over, so you can still read any of your favorite pieces from Classic Zone Reads1.
We’re in the process of adding more features to the new site, including a database of NFL Draft prospects. In the meantime, the same quality analysis and prose you’ve come to expect from us will continue to be posted there.2 Draft season is our biggest season, so check back regularly or follow us on Twitter or Facebook to receive instant updates when we publish new content.
1 – I’ve just been notified that nobody considers “Classic Zone Reads” an actual thing.
2 – Note to dissatisfied readers: This could be interpreted as “the same quality of analysis and prose,” not “the same high-quality analysis and prose.”
Last night, the Zone Reads team got together for a two-round mock draft where we rotated picks among us. Myself, Matt, vixticator, and tweedybirdd rotated selections, with one of our film scouts, Trey Hamel, filling in for some second-round selections as needed.
Each writer provided a brief analysis of his pick with the selection. Our draft boards don’t all agree, but I encouraged everyone to stick to their boards. Take it up with whoever made the pick if you don’t like it. The complete mock is after the jump.
Football is year round for us, and the period after the season ends is actually one of my favorite parts of the football year: the offseason business side. Assessing a team’s cap situation, their pending free agents, and stock of draft picks in an attempt to set out the course of the future is something I find to be a lot of fun. Right now I’m feeling extremely impatient due to the fact that free agency doesn’t even officially open till the second week of March, so over the next couple weeks I’ll be giving you an economic roster breakdown of the next year. I was discussing the Saints earlier today with Nath, so the NFC South seems like a good place to start.
From what I’ve seen thus far, this cornerback class is solid. I’ve watched quite a few corners and have given 1st round grades to 3 corners.
Yesterday the Browns announced that Mike Lombardi was dismissed from his general manager post, and that Joe Banner would be stepping down as CEO but would stay on for two more months to ease the transition. Owner Jimmy Haslam promoted assistant GM Ray Farmer to the GM post and has set up a power structure where Farmer and new head coach Mike Pettine report directly to him.
Now, you can tell from the title of this post that I’m not a fan of these moves. My position, though, isn’t based strictly on opinions of any of the men involved. It’s a matter of the process used to arrive at these decisions.
First off, I should apologize for the lack of content the last two weeks. In the leadup to and post-game analysis of the Super Bowl, we might have been the only football website to go dark. This was due to a combination of factors: One was real-world responsibilities; the other, the one you’re probably more interested in, is all the work we’ve been doing preparing for the draft.
All the Zone Reads writers are watching film and compiling evaluations and rankings of players. We plan to offer significantly more draft coverage than last year; we plan to offer in-depth reviews of prospects as well as a draft board based on our own film study. We’re not going to give you draft boards just based on publicly available information: We do our own work here, and if you like the work you’ve seen, you can rest assured that plenty more is to come.
In addition to this, we’re planning to roll out a new design for the site when the Combine rolls around. The new design should look cleaner, be more functional, and make it easier for you to find the information you’re looking for.
We’ll keep you posted on those changes. In the meantime, if you’re looking for some new content, you can read mjw’s piece on Michael Sam’s football prospects here.
Much has been and will be written about the societal ramifications of Michael Sam’s announcement, and with good reason. This post is dedicated, however, to Michael Sam’s ability to play the game of football and looking at how his game will translate to the NFL.
Many draftniks have knocked Michael Sam’s size as a reason for why he will or should be a fourth or fifth round pick. Sam is absolutely not ideal sized for a 4-3 defensive end. However, he makes up for his size with sound technique, great positioning and sneaky strength.
Let’s look at a few plays that show the things Michael Sam does very well.