Posts Tagged ‘2011 NFL Draft’

NFL Picks: 2011 NFL Draft Report Cards

May 2nd, 2011 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NFL Football   Comments Off on NFL Picks: 2011 NFL Draft Report Cards
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It’s report card time! Here at Bankroll Sports, we’re analyzing all 32 teams in the NFL and how they stack up from their wheelings, dealings, and draft picking over the course of the three-day extravaganza known as the NFL Draft!

Arizona Cardinals: The last day of the draft could have really treated the Cardinals well, as they picked up two linebackers in Sam Acho and Quan Sturdivant that could have been severely underrated. Patrick Peterson was a great pickup in the first round at No. 5, as he might have been the best player on the board. The only complaint is that the quarterback problems were never addressed, meaning the Redbirds have a boatload of work to do in the offseason to find their man to lead their team. Still, this was a rock solid draft. Final Grade: A-

Atlanta Falcons: Atlanta took the gamble of the draft by taking Julio Jones at No. 6 overall, trading a second rounder, a fourth rounder, and two future draft choices, including next year’s top pick to get him. He was really the only notable addition in this whole draft for the Falcons though, and we don’t love the idea of sticking all of your rookie eggs in one basket. Final Grade: B-

Baltimore Ravens: There really weren’t any tremendous needs that the Ravens had to fill in this draft, and they really stacked up their depth by continually taking the best player available. Jimmy Smith has some character issues, and perhaps hanging out with Ed Reed and Ray Lewis isn’t the best for that, but there is no doubt that he was a Top 10 talent out of Colorado. Torrey Smith might turn out to be the best receiver on the board, and Jah Reid can stay in help in the O-Line rotation right away. Even the quarterback need was address with Tyrod Taylor in Round 6, a man which reminds scouts in Baltimore of a stronger and faster Troy Smith. Final Grade: B+

Buffalo Bills: Buffalo is another team that never found its quarterback to led it into the future, and we’re really not so sure that that was that great of an idea. Aaron Williams and Marcell Dareus will absolutely be starters in the NFL this next year, and both could be huge impact players. Most of the rest of the draft was spent on defense as well, something out of the ordinary for Chan Gailey and company. Needs weren’t filled, but great athletes were put on this team for sure. Final Grade: B

Carolina Panthers: Scouts in Carolina are loving what they see out of sixth round draft choice, Zachary Williams on the offensive line, and for a team that just got its quarterbacks battered and bruised all year last year, he certainly can’t hurt. The defensive line was bulked with a pair of third rounders who could find themselves starting by the start of the season in Terrell McClain and Sione Fua. This draft is all about Cam Newton though, and the way that his game translates at the NFL level. Final Grade: B

Chicago Bears: It really seems like a lot of these picks were wasted in the back rounds by the Bears. We aren’t much for Nathan Enderle as a pro prospect, and Chris Conte is definitely a project pick moving from linebacker to safety. Still, these first two picks with Gabe Carimi and Stephen Paea were fantastic and gives Head Coach Lovie Smith two new starters to plug into the rotation. Final Grade: B

Cincinnati Bengals: It was all about getting the offense right for new OC Jay Gruden this year for the Bengals in the draft. AJ Green gives the team a man that will probably step onto the field as one of the 10 best receivers in the league, and in case Carson Palmer does retire or get traded, Andy Dalton was picked up in Round 2 to help smooth the transition. The rest of the picks weren’t all that exciting, but Clint Boling could turn into something in time on the O-Line. Final Grade: A

Cleveland Browns: What a draft for General Manager Mike Holmgren! Sure, Cleveland is still a lot of pieces to the puzzle away, but Phil Taylor and Jabaal Sheard shore up the defensive line for certain, and Greg Little and Jordan Cameron could prove to be big time assets in the passing game for Colt McCoy. Owen Marecic is a lot like Seattle’s Owen Schmitt at fullback, and everyone has to be excited about that at the Dawg Pound as well, especially in a hard nosed division. Add all of that to the fact that there are two more picks coming from the Falcons next year as well, and it’s clear that Cleveland made a killing in this draft. Final Grade: A+

Dallas Cowboys: It seems awkward to us that the Cowboys would draft three offensive linemen and no defensive linemen in this draft. Tyron Smith is immediately the team’s new right tackle,and Bruce Carter might prove to be the steal of the draft at outside linebacker, especially opposite of DeMarcus Ware, butthe rest of these picks definitely weren’t all that exciting and really didn’t seem to address that many team needs. Final Grade: B-

Denver Broncos: Denver had one of the best five drafts in the league for sure, but with back to back picks in the second round, there was no reason not to. Von Miller was the ideal fit at No. 2 for the Broncos with his speed off of the edge, and the safety position was shored up as well with the additions of Rahim Moore and Quinton Carter. Julius Thomas and Virgil Green are both huge targets at 6’5″ at tight end, and both could have an impact on this team much like Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez did last year on the Patriots. Final Grade: A

Detroit Lions: Detroit’s draft was basically done in the second round, but Head Coach Jim Schwartz won’t mind. He now has arguably the best interior defensive line in the game with Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh, and both Titus Young and Mikel LeShoure bring some more excitement to a young offense that is getting better and better every single day. This might not quite be the year for the Lions, but they’re certainly getting there. Final Grade: A+

Green Bay Packers: None of the Day 2 picks really screamed to us for the Packers, save for DJ Williams, who could turn into a great tight end at the next level after catching passes from Ryan Mallett at Arkansas for a few years. More offense was on tap in the first two days of the draft as well, as Derek Sherrod, Randall Cobb, and Alex Green were the first three selections. This defense is starting to age, and Head Coach Mike McCarthy might rue the day that he really didn’t draft anything useful on this side of the ball. Final Grade: C

Houston Texans: Houston actually spent all but two of its draft picks on defense this year, something that has to encourage the heck out of Texans fans everywhere. JJ Watt gives the team a prototypical down 3-4 end, while Brooks Reed could make a hellacious pass rusher opposite the fantastic Mario Williams. Brandon Harris should immediately step in and start as well alongside last year’s top choice at corner, Kareem Jackson. The back end of the draft was iffy, and we definitely question the pick of Taylor Yates in Round 5, but the Texans really did address a ton of their needs through the draft this year. Final Grade: B

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Indianapolis Colts: Think the offensive line starters from last year know that their days are numbered in Indy? The Colts only had five draft choices when it was all said and done, and the first two came on offensive linemen, Anthony Castonzo and Ben Ijalana. Delone Carter was an interesting add at running back, though he is a bit undersized for the position at just 5’9″. It was all about the linemen for Indy though, and it’s hard to argue about the two that it ended up with. Final Grade: B

Jacksonville Jaguars: When you really look at it, the Jags’ draft this year really ended up being bad news for a lot of the veterans on this team, including Head Coach Jack Del Rio. Del Rio really needs a winning season and a playoff berth to save his job in the Sunshine State, and the team really needs to start to win to fill up the stadium to keep the team where it is and not in a venue like Los Angeles in the near future. Blaine Gabbert might turn out to be great one day, but we don’t know if Jacksonville can really wait for “one day” to happen. An offensive lineman in Round 3 in Williams Rackley is again, a nice pickup, but it’s not going to excite the city. Final Grade: C+

Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs have a lot of potential in this draft, but Head Coach Todd Haley and company have a lot of work to do to develop it. Ricky Stanzi could make for an interesting choice one day as the team’s fifth round pick, but the far more interesting pieces to the puzzle are Justin Houston, Rodney Hudson, and Jonathan Baldwin, all of which were first round talent, and all of which will probably end up starting when push comes to shove this year. Final Grade: B

Miami Dolphins: Mike Pouncey is sure to be a starter at one of the guard spots for Miami, but the bigger question is how the rest of this draft will pan out. Daniel Thomas might have to shoulder the whole load for the Fins if Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams leave. We’re intrigued by the selection of Charles Clay, as he can run the ball and line up at tight end or even slot receiver, and the “jack of all trades” type is just what Head Coach Tony Sparano loves to work with. Final Grade: B-

Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings might have ended up with a ton of draft picks when push came to shove, but unless Christian Ponder turns out to be the second coming of Daunte Culpepper, this draft was probably a waste. The only other viable player that we see out of this drat was Kyle Rudolph, but if he doesn’t have a QB to throw him the ball, he’ll bust as well. Final Grade: F

New England Patriots: There are definitely ups and downs in this draft for New England. The biggest upside is that the team now has another first and another second round draft choice next year after trades in this draft, but the biggest downside is that the biggest needs of the team were never addressed. Two running backs and a quarterback in Rounds 2 and 3 really didn’t strike anyone in Beantown, and the only two men that really look like they can step in right away as potential full time starters are Nate Solder and Ras-I Dowling. We’re not generally ones to ask questions of Head Coach Bill Belichick and company, but this time, we really don’t know. Final Grade: C

New Orleans Saints: Greg Romeus was the perfect pickup for the Saints in the seventh round, as this was a man that really had a ton of potential before getting injured in his final season at U-Pitt. The first three picks that New Orleans had look good, as Cameron Jordan, Mark Ingram, and Martez Wilson are all potential starters. The problem that they have is that the Saints gave up their first round draft pick next year to get Ingram, and they know that Reggie Bush is on his way out the door. Final Grade: B-

New York Giants: The Giants drafted a lot of quality guys this year, and they should have a lot of potential playmakers out of this draft. Prince Amukamara was Top 10 talent, and Marvin Austin knows that he could’ve been a first rounder as well. Jerrel Jernigan was a steal at receiver in Round 3, and Greg Jones is definitely a leader at linebacker that might turn out to be a great pickup in Round 6. Final Grade: A

New York Jets: There were a lot of decent college names that came in this draft for the Jets, but the question is whether there will be an real players in the bunch. We don’t doubt that Muhammad Wilkerson and Kenrick Ellis were great finds, but names like Bilal Powell and Greg McElroy don’t excite us — at least yet. Final Grade: B-

Oakland Raiders: Give us a break, Oakland… Giving up a future second rounder to move up in the draft just wasn’t a great idea considering the fact that the Raiders are probably going to stink again next year, and there really weren’t too an fantastic draft picks with what was out there on the board. Demarcus Van Dyke and Chimdi Chekwa are just blazers at corner, but neither are going to be starters in this league to replace Nnamdi Asomugha when push comes to shove. Final Grade: D-

Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles made some interesting selections late on in the draft, including Stanley Havili, Brian Rolle, and Julian Vandervelde, and Alex Henery might have been the best place kicker in the draft as well. We’re still not thrilled with Danny Watkins in Round 1, nor was Jaiquawn Jarrett all that exciting in Round 2 either. Final Grade: C

Pittsburgh Steelers: The lines were bulked up for the Steelers, with four picks out of five being used on big boys. The rest of the picks were on DBs. It’s hard to say that the Steelers really didn’t address needs, because they clearly did. Still, there wasn’t much to work with in terms of great picks, and Pittsburgh didn’t do anything overly spectacular. Final Grade: C+

San Diego Chargers: Jordan Todman might be one of the steals of the draft in the sixth round, and he compliments a fantastic draft by the Bolts. San Diego has a new big time lineman in Corey Liugey, and Marcus Gilchrist could become a great DB as a third option. Vincent Brown might be able to line up in the place of Vincent Jackson in due time as well. Final Grade: B+

San Francisco 49ers: Names like Ronald Johnson and Bruce Miller are definitely recognizeable for the Niners, but the real picks in this draft that will be under scrutiny for years will be those of Aldon Smith and Collin Kaepernick. We’re just not so sure that trading up to get a quarterback that has only played in the Pistol offense over the last four years is that great of an idea, but we trust Head Coach Jim Harbaugh to get the job done and groom the former member of the Nevada Wolf Pack. Final Grade: B-

Seattle Seahawks: Be honest with us, Seattle fans. Are you in any way, shape, or form excited over this draft? We don’t think that James Carpenter was a great pick along the offensive line, as there had to be bigger needs on the team than that, especially after taking Russell Okung last year. Beyond that, there was really nothing all that special to speak of. A ‘D’ grade is being nice. Final Grade: D

St. Louis Rams: The Rams stockpiled some talent through this draft, and they filled some needs as well. Sam Bradford now has two new receivers to work with in Austin Pettis and Greg Salas, and Lance Kendricks could prove to be a great, athletic tight end as well. Robert Quinn is a sure starter along the defensive line, and Jermale Hines could turn into a stud out of Ohio State. Final Grade: A-

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The second two days of this draft really did make up for the Adrian Clayborn pick in Round 1 for the Bucs. Da’Quan Bowers was arguably the best second round selection in the draft, and Luke Stocker and Ahmad Black highlight a potentially lucrative second day as well. Give General Manager Mark Dominik credit for building up this team into what could be a contender again this season. Final Grade: B

Tennessee Titans: Unless we end up being proved wrong about Jake Locker, this draft really stunk for the Titans. Second and third round choices, Akeem Ayers and Jurrell Casey were solid picks, but Locker is clearly the crown jewel of the draft one way or the other. Tennessee knows that it has a lot of grooming to do, and there could be plenty of losses in the future. Final Grade: D

Washington Redskins: This was a nice effort by the Redskins in the draft, chock full of a ton of picks to work with late on. If any of these picks in the third day pan out, things will be great for Washington, which already did a nice job grabbing Ryan Kerrigan, Leonard Hankerson, and Jarvis Jenkins. Watch out for Roy Helu this year, as he could immediately step into the lineup as a starter and be a dark horse for rookie of the year. Final Grade: A-

NFL Betting – 2011 NFL Draft Props

April 26th, 2011 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NFL Football   Comments Off on NFL Betting – 2011 NFL Draft Props
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The 2011 NFL Draft is just about here, and here at Bankroll Sports, we’re analyzing the best NFL Draft props on the board so you can cash in on the most exciting offseason event for the boys on the gridiron!

Quarterbacks Drafted in the First Round Over Under 3.5

It’s a lock that both Blaine Gabbert and Cam Newton will be selected in the Top 10 and Jake Locker will almost assuredly go in the first round as well. That means that either Christian Ponder, Andy Dalton, Colin Kaepernick, or Ryan Mallett needs to be taken in the first round as well to win this NFL Draft bet. No one would be particularly surprised to see any of these players taken at the back end of the first round, with the most likely candidates being Ponder or Dalton. In particular, many NFL experts like Vic Carucci believe that Ponder will be taken by the end of the first round, probably by a team with a quarterback need trading back up. Gil Brandt recently highlighted that the Cincinnati Bengals brought in both Dalton and Ponder for private workouts and will look into selecting one of them as well. Go with Over 3.5 Quarterbacks Drafted in Round 1, -170 @ BetOnline

Jake Locker Position Drafted Over/Under 23.5

A few weeks ago, some thought that Locker would slip out of the first round, but recently, Locker has been getting a great deal of love from teams in desperate need of a quarterback such as the Minnesota Vikings and Washington Redskins. With Newton and Gabbert off the board early, teams could get into a scramble to take the third-best quarterback on most team’s boards. Locker was seen as a potential #1 overall pick before the start of the 2010 college football season, but Washington’s offense struggled and Locker’s stock fell over questions about his accuracy and ability to succeed at the next level. However, smart teams have noted that Locker did not have many underneath routes to help his completion percentage at the college ranks and this affected perception. The 49ers, Vikings, Redskins, Dolphins, and Jaguars could also conceivably take Locker in their draft positions and a team might be likely to trade up to grab him as well. Locker Under Draft Position 23.5, -130 @ BetOnline is a mortal lock with all of these teams interested.

AJ Green’s Position Drafted Over/Under 4.5

Virtually every mock draft in the world has Green going to the Bengals with the 4th overall pick and it’s hard to fault their logic. With Carson Palmer threatening to retire, the loss of Terrell Owens, and Chad Ochocinco continuing to cause problems, a standout wide receiver may convince Palmer to stay. Green is the best receiver in the draft and has amazing physical tools, including a set of hands that will already be among the best in the league upon his entry. Someone could be trading up into the Top 5 to snare a tremendous physical specimen as well. One of the top four teams will take him, so for your NFL Draft picks, take Green Under Draft Position 4.5, -155 @ BetOnline.

Total Players Drafted in the First Round from the ACC Over/Under 5

The juice is pretty high on this prop, but it’s as close to a lock as you’re going to get. There are only three consensus first round picks from the ACC: North Carolina’s Robert Quinn, Boston College’s Anthony Castonzo, and Clemson’s Da’Quan Bowers. After that there are a number of players that are potential first round picks, such as Miami’s Brandon Harris, Florida State’s Christian Ponder, and North Carolina’s Marvin Austin. However, the chances of Austin getting into the first round are minimal at best, and although Ponder has a decent chance at being a first round selection, Harris is a coin flip. The worst case scenario should see exactly five ACC players taken in the first round which would be a push on the bet. This looks to be one of the easier NFL Draft props this year, so go with the ACC Under 5 First Round Draft Picks, -200 @ BetOnline.

Which Side of the Ball With the No. 11 Picks in the Draft Be From?

Many bettors will be turned off by the high juice on this prop, but the Houston Texans come into this draft needing defense in the worst way. Houston had one of the most porous secondaries in the history of the NFL in 2010 and would love to get their hands on Patrick Peterson or Prince Amukamara to give itself a shutdown corner for the next decade. If both of these players are gone, expect the Texans to take a defensive end/linebacker type such as Robert Quinn since they are switching to the 3-4 this season. Julio Jones is an outside possibility at this slot, but that assumes that Jones falls this far and that the Texans pass on such glaring needs over another wide receiver. Really, the only way that this bet loses is if the Texans trade the pick. There’s at least an 85 percent chance that the 11th NFL Draft pick goes on the Defense, -500 @ BetOnline.

2011 NFL Draft Preview: Top 10 Defensive Backs

April 26th, 2011 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NFL Football   Comments Off on 2011 NFL Draft Preview: Top 10 Defensive Backs

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Bankroll Sports is getting you all revved up with our 2011 Mock NFL Draft, going position by position, targeting the best players on the board at each position. Our NFL Draft Preview continues today with our look at the top linebackers available to come off of the board starting on Thursday.

1. Patrick Peterson CB (LSU) – Last year’s winner of the Thorpe Award (Best DB) and Bednarik Award (Best Defensive Player) is arguably the most talented player in the 2011 NFL Draft. Peterson established himself as a shutdown corner at LSU and had six pass break-ups and four interceptions during the 2010 NCAA football betting season. His 6’0 220 lb frame and 4.31 40 time highlight his physical gifts and his ability to be a shutdown corner in the NFL. In addition to his covering skills, Peterson was also one of the best punt returners in the nation (16.1 yards per return). He is a lock to be a Top 10 pick.

2. Prince Amukamara CB (Nebraska) – Unanimous All-American CB Prince Amukamara was one of the elite corners in all of college football last season. During his final season as a Cornhusker, quarterbacks showed their wariness in throwing to his side by only targeting him 53 times. Although he failed to pick off a pass last season, Amukamara led the team with 13 pass break-ups and consistently shut down some of the best receivers in the country. Amukamara is projected to be drafted in the top half of the first round.

3. Jimmy Smith CB (Colorado) – Smith’s size (6’2 210 lbs) and physical skills are extremely appealing to teams looking to improve their secondary in the draft but he has major red flags in the character department. While at Colorado, Smith failed four drug tests and ran into trouble with police from time to time. However, Smith also has great speed for his size (4.37 40), an impressive wingspan (77 inches), and unlike most college corners thrives in press coverage. This combination of talent and trouble has drawn many comparisons to Tampa Bay CB Aqib Talib. Smith can be a very good cornerback at the next level if he can stay out of trouble and is projected to be a first rounder.

4. Brandon Harris CB (Miami) – Miami should be renamed Defensive Back U with their proclivity of sending DBs to the NFL. In the past decade, the Hurricanes have had seven defensive backs drafted in the first round and Harris will look to be the eighth ‘Cane to earn this honor. Harris led a unit that was second in the nation in pass defense during the 2010 college football betting season. He lacks the size of some of the other corners in this draft and doesn’t have elite speed, but is a great man-to-man cover corner. Mock draft experts have Harris going in the late first or early second round.

5. Aaron Williams CB (Texas) – The Longhorns had their most disappointing seasons in years in 2010, but Williams was one of the few bright spots on the team. Williams is a 6’0 185 lb corner who has quick feet and is good at reading routes. He is somewhat slow for a cornerback (4.55 40) and may end up playing safety in the NFL, but his lack of physicality is something that would need to be overcome. Scouts project Williams to be a late first to early second round selection.

6. Rahim Moore FS (UCLA) – Our first non-cornerback on the list, Moore is a natural safety with great instincts. In 2009, Moore led the nation with 10 interceptions and was named a First Team All-American by the majority of publications bestowing postseason honors. Last season, Moore only picked off one pass, but still picked up First Team All Pac-10 honors as opposing quarterbacks refused to challenge him. Moore is seen as a second round pick in the upcoming draft.

7. Ras-I Dowling CB (Virginia) – Coming into the 2010 NCAA football betting season, Dowling was seen as a potential first round pick this year, but leg injuries ruined his senior year. Dowling battled a variety of injuries last season and suffered a fractured ankle that limited him to just five games. When he was healthy though, few were better in either the ACC or the country. Dowling is 6’2 200 lbs and ran a 4.4 40, and if he is able to stay healthy, he should be able to succeed at the next level. He is projected to be a second to third round pick in the draft.

8. Chimdi Chekwa CB (Ohio State) – Chekwa was a First Team All-Big 10 selection in 2010 and was a big part of why the Buckeyes defense was one of the best in the country. At the combine, Chekwa measured in at 6’0 190 lbs and ran a 4.38 40 to prove that he has the measureables needed to produce in the NFL. Aside from being one of the best cornerbacks in the nation, Chekwa also was a great sprinter and anchored the Buckeyes’ 4×100 relay team. He broke his right wrist in the team’s bowl game win over Arkansas but should be healthy in time for the season. Chekwa is seen as a second to third round pick.

9. Tyler Sash SS (Iowa) – Sash is seen by NFL scouts as the best strong safety prospect in the upcoming draft and was named First Team All-Big 10 in both 2009 and 2010. Although he struggles in covering receivers and lacks the speed teams would like to see, Sash is a hard hitter and does well in run support. He is projected to be a mid-round selection in the draft.

10. Davon House CB (New Mexico State) – At the Aggies’ pro day, House moved up the draft boards thanks to running a 4.35 40 and having a 6 foot frame. Although he didn’t play against top level competition, House’s size and speed make him an attractive option for NFL teams looking for a quality sleeper. Unlike other cornerbacks in this draft, House is a good tackler as well as a good cover corner and projects to be a mid-round selection.

2011 NFL Draft Preview: Top 10 Linebackers

April 26th, 2011 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NFL Football   Comments Off on 2011 NFL Draft Preview: Top 10 Linebackers
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Bankroll Sports is getting you all revved up with our 2011 Mock NFL Draft, going position by position, targeting the best players on the board at each position. Our NFL Draft Preview continues today with our look at the top linebackers available to come off of the board starting on Thursday.

1. Von Miller OLB (Texas A&M) – The outside linebacker position isn’t overly stocked with talent in this draft, but Von Miller is an elite prospect and will be a top five pick. Miller is a 6’3 246 lb speedster that stunned scouts by running a 4.42 40 at the Combine, a time very rarely seen from linebackers. Over the last two seasons, very few players have been as productive as Miller. In 2009, Miller led the nation in sacks with 17, and registered 21.5 tackles for loss to go with four forced fumbles. This past college football betting season, Miller picked up 10.5 sacks, 17.5 tackles for loss, and three forced fumbles. His blazing speed should translate into success in the pro ranks.

2. Akeem Ayers OLB (UCLA) – Ayers isn’t near the prospect that Miller is, but is a solid prospect and played in every game he suited up for at UCLA. Last season, Ayers was a Butkus Award finalist and picked up 1st Team All-Pac 10 honors along with being named a 2nd Team All-American despite lacking the sexy numbers that other pass-rushing linebackers posted. At the combine, Ayers put up a very disappointing 40 time though, running a 4.81, and moved down draft boards as some teams questioned whether or not he could rush the edge at the next level. Despite the poor time, Ayers is seen as a mid-first round selection.

3. Justin Houston OLB (Georgia) – The Bulldogs switch from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 didn’t bode well for their NCAA football betting results this season, but was a big reason why Houston is considered one of top linebacker prospects in this draft. As an OLB in the 3-4, Houston was a force to be reckoned with, picking up 10 quarterback sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss in 2010. He has the build and measurables to make it at the next level, running a 4.62 40 and benching 225 lbs 30 times at the combine. Houston is projected to be a second round selection.

4. Martez Wilson ILB (Illinois) – The first inside linebacker on our list, Wilson put up great numbers at the combine and is a natural fit as an inside linebacker in a 3-4 defense. Wilson checked in at 6’4 250 lbs and ran a blisteringly fast 4.42 40 yard dash at the combine. After missing virtually all of 2009 due to a neck injury, Wilson stormed back with an impressive 2010 campaign. Wilson recorded 112 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, four sacks, and three forced fumbles. Teams do have concerns about his neck and that has led to Wilson dropping out of the first round, but he is still seen as a second round pick.

5. Brooks Reed OLB (Arizona) – Reed was seen as a mid-round selection until impressing scouts in positional drills at the Senior Bowl and the NFL Draft combine. Although he projects to be an outside linebacker in the NFL, Reed worked out with defensive linemen at the combine and showcased an amazing first step. At Arizona, he was mainly used as a stand-up outside rusher and was only rarely used in contain situations. He will need to learn containment assignments at the next level but is seen as a second round pick.

6. Sam Acho OLB (Texas) – Last year’s winner of the Academic Heisman, Acho certainly has the mental aptitude to handle the step up in competition. Acho played defensive line at Texas, but is projected to play outside linebacker at the next level. In 2010, Acho racked up 59 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, nine sacks, and five forced fumbles while taking on habitual double teams en route to 1st Team All-Big 10 accolades. He is projected as a second to third round pick in the NFL.

7. Bruce Carter OLB (North Carolina) – Heading into the 2010 college football betting season, Carter was seen as a lock to go in the first round and one of the most physically gifted athletes in the draft. However, suspensions to fellow Tar Heels helped lead to an underwhelming senior season which was topped off by tearing his ACL in the second to last game of the regular season. Carter is seen as an athlete in the mold of Julius Peppers with amazing size, speed, jumping ability, and strength. Most NFL experts believe him to be a second to third round pick in the upcoming draft.

8. Quan Sturdivant ILB (North Carolina) – Sturdivant was another talent on a Tar Heels defense that was supposed to be one of the best in the modern history of college football before injuries and suspensions destroyed the unit. He lacks the pizzazz of some of his squad mates but showed the talent needed to succeed at the next level. Sturdivant missed five games due to a pulled hamstring and failed to put up the numbers he posted in previous years, but is seen as a mid-round selection.

9. Greg Jones ILB (Michigan State) – A unanimous first-team All America selection, Jones was also a three time 1st Team All-Big 10 choice and the team MVP during his senior season in East Lansing. Jones registered 106 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, and three forced fumbles while stuffing the middle. Unlike most other names on this list, Jones is a pure inside linebacker and didn’t exclusively rush the passer in college. He is projected to be a mid-round draft pick.

10. Dontay Moch OLB (Nevada) – Playing in the WAC, Moch didn’t face the talent that other names on this list did. At just 6’2 230 lbs, Moch was asked to play rush end at Nevada and constantly sped around the end and pressured the quarterback. Moch was named WAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2009 and racked up 41.5 tackles per loss and 14.5 sacks over the past two seasons. Moch is seen as a mid-round draft pick but must learn how to do more than rush the end at the next level.

2011 NFL Draft Preview: Top 10 Defensive Linemen

April 22nd, 2011 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NFL Football   Comments Off on 2011 NFL Draft Preview: Top 10 Defensive Linemen

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The NFL Draft is just around the corner, and Bankroll Sports will provide you an in-depth look on the NFL Draft, examining the top prospects at each position. Today, we look at the top ten defensive linemen for the 2011 NFL Draft.

1. Marcell Dareus DT (Alabama) – This draft is absolutely loaded with talented defensive line prospects and Dareus is the best of the bunch. The highly touted defensive tackle left Tuscaloosa after his junior season, but for good reason, as he is projected as a top three pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Dareus was the anchor of Alabama’s defense, playing all along the defensive line wherever Head Coach Nick Saban needed him. Dareus was a big reason why Alabama’s defense was one of the best in the country, allowing just 13.5 PPG during the 2010 college football betting season. He was named First Team All-SEC last season and drew constant double teams from opponents. Dareus recorded 11 tackles for loss and 4 ½ sacks in 2010.

2. Nick Fairley DT (Auburn) – Although teammate Cam Newton got a lot of the attention from the press, Fairley was just as important in helping the Tigers claim the 2010 BCS Championship. Fairley was the undisputed leader of a Tigers defense that had little surrounding talent and dominated in the toughest conference in college football. Fairley was named First Team All-American by virtually everyone and also garnered SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors as well as defensive MVP honors in the BCS Title game. Fairley led the nation in sacks for a defensive tackle with 11.5 sacks in 2010, and set an Auburn single-season record with 21 tackles for loss. He is seen as a Top 10 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.

3. Robert Quinn DE (North Carolina) – Prior to the start of the 2010 NCAA football betting season, Quinn was seen by many as the top defensive lineman in college football. However, Quinn’s season-long suspension stemming from accepting gifts from an agent has teams questioning his character and maturity. On the field though, very few players showcase the talent seen in Quinn. Quinn was named First Team All-ACC in 2009 and registered 19 tackles for loss and 11 sacks on the season. He is amazing measureables, running a 4.57 40-yard dash and benching 225 lbs 24 times with a 6’4 265 lb frame. One cause for concern though is that Quinn has a benign brain tumor that needs to be carefully monitored. Quinn is projected to go in the top half of the 1st round.

4. Da’Quan Bowers DE (Clemson) – No one questions whether or not Bowers has elite talent, but there are serious concerns about his knees. Bowers missed two games during the 2009 season due to strained ligaments in his knee and underwent arthroscopic knee surgery after this past season. During Clemson’s Pro Day, Bowers was seen to be slightly limping and this has scared off some potential suitors. When healthy, Bowers was dominant though. Bowers led the nation in sacks in 2010, with 15.5, and recorded 24 tackles for loss. Bowers was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year for his efforts and will be a force in the NFL if he can stay healthy. Bowers is projected to go in the top half of the first round.

5. JJ Watt DE (Wisconsin) – Watt has skyrocketed up draft boards lately and is now projected as a mid first-round pick after being seen as a second to third round pick just a few months ago. Watt started his collegiate career at Central Michigan as a tight end but stood out as a defensive end after transferring to Wisconsin. Watt racked up 21 tackles for loss in 2010 en route to First Team All-Big 10 honors in 2010. He is still raw but has great upside.

6. Cameron Jordan DE (California) – Jordan was named First Team All-Pac 10 after a great 2010 season, which saw him establish himself as an elite run-stopping defensive end. Jordan’s career numbers (34 tackles for loss and 16.5 sacks) aren’t gaudy, but Jordan wasn’t asked to rush the passer and played every position along the defensive line. Jordan has risen up the draft boards due to his ability to play in either a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme and is projected to be a mid first-round pick.

7. Aldon Smith DE (Missouri) – Despite fracturing his right fibula and missing three games in 2010, Smith still put together a solid season. Smith finished the year with 10 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks, but played hurt from October onwards due to the fibula injury. Smith left Missouri as a redshirt sophomore and posted disappointing times in both the 3-cone drill and short-shuttle at the NFL combine and only repped 225 lbs 20 times. Despite this, Smith is seen as a mid first-round pick.

8. Ryan Kerrigan DE (Purdue) – No one in the draft has a bigger motor than Kerrigan, and the four-year starter at Purdue gave it his all on every play. Kerrigan registered 33.5 sacks and 57 tackles for loss during his time at Purdue and set a Big 10 career record by forcing 14 fumbles. He ran a 4.67 40 at the NFL Draft Combine and although he lacks some of the talent of other defensive line prospects, will be a solid addition to any team. Kerrigan is projected as a first round pick.

9. Adrian Clayborn DE (Iowa) – Clayborn has amazing talent but there are medical questions surrounding him. Clayborn suffers from Erb’s Palsy and has nerve damage in both his right arm and his neck, limiting his mobility. At Iowa, Clayborn was a three-year starter and recorded 192 tackles, 37.5 tackles for loss, and 19 sacks during his time as a Hawkeye. He is seen as a prototypical 4-3 defensive end and is projected to be a first round pick.

10. Cameron Heyward DE (Ohio State) – Heyward had to sit out of NFL Draft Combine workouts and Ohio St.’s pro day due to UCL reconstruction surgery. However, Heyward has great physical tools and dominated Big 10 offensive lineman throughout 2010. He was named First Team All-Big 10 last CFB betting season and is projected to be a first round pick in the upcoming draft.

2011 NFL Draft Preview: Top 10 Offensive Linemen

April 21st, 2011 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NFL Football   1 Comment »
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Over the next two weeks, Bankroll Sports will provide you an in-depth look on the NFL Draft, examining the top prospects at each position. Today, we look at the top ten offensive linemen for the 2011 NFL Draft.

1. Mike Pouncey C/G (Florida) – Due to the lack of an elite offensive tackle along the lines of an Orlando Pace, Joe Thomas, or Jonathan Ogden in this draft, Pouncey is our No. 1 overall offensive lineman on the board. Despite struggling mightily in his first few games as a center with Florida, he rebounded nicely at the end of the year and established himself as the top interior lineman in this draft class. Pouncey is buoyed by the success that his twin brother Maurkice had with the Steelers as a rookie last year and has the potential to have the same impact. He can play either guard or center, though he prefers guard, and should be a mid first-round pick.

2. Tyron Smith OT (USC) – Thanks to a fantastic performance at USC’s pro day, Smith has rocketed up the draft board and is now projected to go as high as ninth overall to the Dallas Cowboys. Smith has phenomenal speed and feet for a big man, being one of the only offensive tackle prospects to run the 40 yard dash in under 5 seconds while also impressing scouts with his times on the short shuttle and three cone drill. Smith is a fantastic pass blocker and although he is raw, has tremendous upside as he is only 20 years old.

3. Anthony Castonzo OT (Boston College) – Castonzo’s frame is what scouts look for in a franchise left tackle. The 6’7 311 lb senior could stand to gain a little weight, but dominated against some of the best defensive lines in the country. Castonzo has the leadership that teams are looking for in a young talent, being the team’s captain in 2010 and also has the smarts to succeed after scoring a 41 on the Wonderlic test. He is not an elite prospect, but has the potential to be a solid pro for years to come. Castonzo should be a mid to late first round selection.

4. Nate Solder OT (Colorado) – Having only played the offensive tackle position for three seasons, Solder’s size and athleticism gives him amazing potential for becoming a fantastic left tackle in the NFL. Last NCAA football wagering season, Solder was a consensus All-American and helped provide stability to the mostly anemic Buffaloes offense. Solder is a mountain of a man at 6’8 319 lbs and his incredible 81-inch wingspan is enough to shut down defensive ends at the next level. He is projected to be a late first round pick.

5. Gabe Carimi OT (Wisconsin) – Wisconsin seems to be an offensive tackle factory and looks to have produced another gem in Carimi. Carimi was a four-year starter in Madison and replaced standout LT Joe Thomas as a redshirt freshman and responded by being named All-Big 10 first team twice. Carimi was the rock behind one of the best rushing attacks in the country over the past few years and secured an Outland Trophy as the nation’s premier offensive or defensive lineman. Carimi looks to be a late first-round pick in the draft.

6. Derek Sherrod OT (Mississippi State) – A two time All-SEC selection, Sherrod has gotten it done in the toughest conference in the nation despite being surrounded by marginal talent. Sherrod was a four-year starter at Mississippi State and was a big reason why Bulldogs HC Dan Mullen was able to turn the program around in such a short amount of time. Sherrod is 6’5 321 lbs but didn’t impress anyone at the combine with an average 40 time and a pedestrian performance on the bench press. Still, he is considered a late first to early second round pick.

7. Danny Watkins OG (Baylor) – At 26, Watkins is an old man in a draft full of 22 and 23 year olds. Watkins graduated high school and was a firefighter for four years before giving football a chance. Watkins didn’t play football until studying at a small college in California and quickly turned enough heads to get a scholarship offer to Baylor. He replaced standout Jason Smith and more than held his own despite his limited playing experience. Watkins is seen as a late first to early second round pick and has tremendous talent despite his age and newness to the game.

8. Rodney Hudson C/G (Florida State) – Hudson is one of the best interior offensive linemen in this draft and can play center as well as both guard positions effectively. He doesn’t have elite size, with only a 6’2 290 lb frame, but is a fantastic technician and learned from one of the best in FSU OL coach Rick Trickett. Hudson was the anchor of the Seminoles’ offensive line during most of his time in Tallahassee and will make an excellent pro no matter what position he plays. Hudson is seen as a second round pick.

9. Benjamin Ijalana G (Villanova) – Ijalana is a huge question mark in this draft due to his injury situation and his FCS resume. Ijalana has failed to work out at either the combine or the Senior Bowl due to hernia surgery, but did dominate at the lower level of competition, starting all four seasons he was a Wildcat. At Villanova, he played left tackle, but will likely be moved to guard in the NFL. Ijalana is projected to be a second round draft pick.

10. Marcus Cannon OT (TCU) – A 6’5 358 lb tackle with amazing strength, no offensive lineman at the combine lifted more than Cannon did. Cannon put up 33 reps on the 225 lb bench press and ser numerous workout records during his time as a Horned Frog. Cannon struggled with fast defensive ends and will need to work on his footwork if he intends to succeed at the next level. With his measurements and strength though, Cannon is definitely worthy of a high draft selection. He is projected to be a second round choice.

2011 NFL Draft Preview: Top 10 Wide Receivers in the Draft

April 20th, 2011 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in NFL Football   Comments Off on 2011 NFL Draft Preview: Top 10 Wide Receivers in the Draft
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Over the next two weeks, Bankroll Sports will provide you an in-depth look on the NFL Draft, examining the top prospects at each position. Today, we look at the top ten wide receivers for the 2011 NFL Draft.

1. AJ Green (Georgia) – Despite failing to record a 1,000 yard season during his time in Athens, AJ Green is at the top of our list for best wide receivers in the 2011 NFL Draft. Green caught 57 passes for 848 yards with nine touchdowns despite being the constant target of double coverage. Green’s 6’4 207 lb frame has scouts drooling over him along with his feather-soft hands and fantastic route running ability. Green is a lock for a Top 10 pick and even though he didn’t put up fantastic numbers in college, is easily the best receiver in the draft.

2. Julio Jones (Alabama) – Coming into the NFL Draft Combine, Jones was seen as the second best wide receiver in the class and solidified that position with his awesome workout. Jones ran a blazing fast 4.34 40 and put up a 38 ½ inch vertical jump in Indianapolis to ensure his position as a first round selection and should be drafted in the top half of the first round. Like Green, Jones didn’t put up numbers befitting his ability at Alabama but was burdened by playing in Head Coach Nick Saban’s pro-style set. During the 2010 college football betting season, Jones caught 78 passes for 1,133 yards and seven touchdowns as Greg McElroy’s go-to wide out.

3. Leonard Hankerson (Miami) – Hankerson has the size and speed befitting of an NFL prospect, but his lack of upper body strength and questionable hands make him less of a talent than Green and Jones. Hankerson was the leader of one of the best wide receiving corps in college football last season and put up great numbers in his senior season in Offensive Coordinator Mark Whipple’s pro-style passing offense. Hankerson hauled in 72 passes for 1,156 yards and 13 touchdowns in one of the best seasons by a wide receiver in Hurricanes’ history. He is seen as an early second-round pick by most scouts.

4. Torrey Smith (Maryland) – The most versatile wide receiver in the draft might be Torrey Smith of the Terrapins. Smith set the ACC record for kickoff return yardage in a career with almost 3,000 return yards and was one of the most productive wide outs in the ACC with 67 receptions for 1,055 yards and 12 touchdowns. Smith made the Terrapins’ passing attack respectable virtually by himself, with no other Terrapin recording more than 350 receiving yards on the season. His 4.41 40 time wasn’t amazing, but was respectable and should make him a late first to early second round pick.

5. Jerrel Jernigan (Troy) – At Troy State, Jernigan was not only a three-time 1st team All-Conference selection, but also the Sun Belt’s all-time leader in all-purpose yards, receptions, and receiving yards. Jernigan caught 84 passes for 822 yards and six touchdowns in his senior year, and also impressed out of the Wildcat formation, carrying the ball 45 times for 322 yards and three touchdowns. Jernigan also had a punt return touchdown and a kickoff return touchdown this past NCAA football betting season and will probably be asked to be both a wide out and returner at the professional level. Jernigan is one of the most elusive wide receivers in the draft and should be a second to third round pick.

6. Randall Cobb (Kentucky) – Cobb came to Kentucky as a quarterback but after a respectable freshman season, was asked to become the quarterback of Kentucky’s Wildcat offense and learn the wide receiver position. Cobb quickly impressed in his new dual role and led one of the most successful Wildcat schemes in the country. He totaled 1313 yards and 22 touchdowns on the ground during his three seasons in Lexington and had a breakout campaign as a wide out in 2010, catching 84 balls for 1,017 yards and seven touchdowns. Cobb is projected as a second to third round pick.

7. Jonathan Baldwin (Pittsburgh) – Despite having substandard quarterback play during most of his time as a Panther, Baldwin established himself as one of the best deep threats in the country. Baldwin averaged close to 20 yards per reception over his career as a Pitt Panther with 128 receptions for 2,337 yards and 16 touchdowns. Baldwin lacks elite speed and clocked in with a 4.49 40 at the Combine, but his 6’4 228 lb frame allows him to leap over smaller defenders in jump ball situations. Baldwin is seen as a second to third round pick and has fantastic potential with the right scheme.

8. Titus Young (Boise State) – Young was a three time All-WAC first team selection during his time at Boise State and dazzled opposing teams and fans alike with some of his amazing plays. Young had two straight 1,000 yard seasons with the Broncos and didn’t disappoint as a returner either with 56 kick returns for 1,449 yards and two touchdowns in his career as a Bronco. His lack of size will hurt him at the next level, but Young is quick and versatile enough to make a place for himself in the NFL. He is seen as a mid-round selection in the upcoming draft.

9. Greg Little (North Carolina) – Little is one of the North Carolina products whose draft stock plummeted after being suspended for the entire 2010 season due to inappropriate contact with an agent. Little played both running back and wide receiver during his time as a Tar Heel, but it is likely that he will be used as a wide out in the pros. In 2009, Little hauled in 62 passes for 724 yards and five touchdowns despite the limitations of learning a new position and having to catch passes from the subpar TJ Yates. He is projected as a mid-round pick.

10. Greg Salas (Hawaii) – No wide receiver put up the numbers that Salas did over the past two seasons. In 2009, Salas caught 106 passes for 1,590 yards and eight touchdowns to be one of the top wide outs in the country. Last season, Salas outdid himself and snared 119 balls for 1,889 yards and 14 touchdowns and led all of college football in receiving yards. However, Salas was the beneficiary of Hawaii’s wide-open spread and probably will fail to make a dent as a professional. Salas is predicted to be a mid-round selection.