Archive for April, 2010

Brees Chant On Madden Video Game
April 29, 2010

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The Case For Gordon Hayward
April 27, 2010

Now that the NFL draft has wrapped….we can start looking ahead to June’s NBA draft.

Since the Hornets missed the playoffs they’ll be selecting in the draft lottery.  Of Course the Hornets could luck out and get a top 5 pick in the draft but based on the number of ping-pong balls they’ll have in the machine it’s projected that the Hornets will be picking between 10th-12th overall.

If the Hornets are picking 10th, 11th or 12th I hope they select Butler University small forward Gordon Hayward (Air Gordon as he’s nicknamed).

Before I go any further let me say that I am fully aware that the Hornets were woeful in the paint this season and that picking a big man might be more logical.

But in my opinion Hayward should be the guy and here’s why:

If the Hornets pick 10th-12th the top big men in the draft will most likely be gone.  Guys like Derrick Favors, Greg Monroe, DeMarcus Cousins and Patrick Patterson are top 8 picks.  Even international big man Donatas Motiejunas (a softer Andrea Bargnani type center) may not be available.

So should the Hornets take the 5th best big man…a player like University of Kansas center Cole Aldrich or a long term, risky, boom-or-bust big man like Hassan Whiteside from Marshall University?  Or, should they take Hayward…one of the best scorers in all of college basketball….and a player who led his Butler Bulldogs to the final four?

I go with Hayward!  Personally, every time I see Hayward play I see Danny Granger….and last time I checked Granger was a pretty good player for the Indiana Pacers.  Plus, how awesome would Chris Paul, Marcus Thornton and Gordon Hayward be as starters with Darren Collison off the bench???  Pretty electric!

The Hornets don’t have a 2nd round pick in this summer’s draft but if they can pick one up via a trade (maybe for Julian Wright) they can select a big man and hope they strike gold like they did a year ago when they stole Marcus Thornton in the 2nd round of the draft.  

All that being said…here are my 2010 Hornets draft picks and free agent additions (and my free agent choices are cheap….the Hornets are over the luxury tax and unless potential owner Gary Chouest wants to be a big player and spend big then no big money will be spent in free agency). 

 1st Round Draft Pick:

Gordon Hayward, Small Forward, Butler University

  • The 6-9 Sophomore forward is an outstanding shooter as evidenced by his 84% free throw percentage … He has a high, quick release on his jumper enabling him to get his shot off when he wants … His three-point accuracy has regressed from his freshman to sophomore campaign largely due to opponents contesting a higher percentage of his outside looks … There’s no doubt that he will be able to hit the outside jumper with great accuracy at the next level when getting open looks alongside another playmaker … At the college level he also does a very good job of getting to the free throw line via drives to the basket or by drawing contact from offensive putbacks, 30% of his points come from the charity stripe … Hayward is more than just a shooter as he’s also an excellent offensive rebounder from the SF/wing position, averaging 2.1 offensive boards per game at an 8.5% offensive rebounding percentage … He uses his good size and underrated athleticism to his advantage on the glass as he’s averaging 8.3 total rebounds per game … Gordon’s ball handling ability is also a bit underrated, while he won’t blow by anyone with his quickness, he is an effective ball handler and will initiate Butler’s offense from the point forward position at times … Hayward is also an effective passer with a high basketball IQ, he often defers to teammates and is willing to make the extra pass .

2nd Round Draft Pick:

Omar Samhan, Center, St. Mary’s College

  • A late bloomer who has shown steady development throughout his college career … Statistically one of the best big men in the country (over 20p, 10r, 3 blk) … At 6’11, he knows how to use his size and weight to his advantage in the post … Has good interior footwork to create space to get his shot off … He knows how to take advantage of mismatches on switches in the post and passes well out of double teams … Shows patience and poise on offense, willing to pass the ball out and work in reposting to have a better angle for his shot and is constantly working on getting quality post position … For a low post player he demonstrates good shooting mechanics. Shoots in the mid 70% from the free throw line, and shows range out to 15 feet … He has improved in the pick and roll this season and his familiarity with it should help him at the pro level … Was voted Defensive Player of the Year in the WCC while averaging over 11 rebounds  and 3 blocks per game. Omar plays hard on defense and uses his size and body to box out, explaining his double digit boards.  Demonstrates very strong intangibles (has lost over 60 pounds since his freshman year, strong work ethic, strong leadership qualities, and very good with the media and fans) .

Free Agent Signings:

-Re-Sign center Aaron Grey

-Sign free agent center Ian Mahinmi

  • A player who’s been developing in San Antonio for several years the Hornets can sign him cheap and hope he’s ready to contribute.

-Sign free agent center Brian Cusworth

  • Athletic center who played on the Hornets Las Vegas Summer League team last season and who’s currently playing professionally in Spain. 

Saints Announce 2010 Rookie Free Agent Class
April 26, 2010

Saints Announce 2010 Rookie Free Agent Class

For Immediate Release: Monday, April 26, 2010

New Orleans Saints Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis announced Monday the 14 undrafted rookie free agents that have agreed to terms with the team following the conclusion of the NFL Draft. Joining the Saints will be linebackers Jason Beauchamp and Harry Coleman, wide receiver Chris Bell, running backs Carlos Brown, Christian Ducré and Chris Ivory, guards Brandon Carter and Joe Tonga, defensive ends Junior Galette and Brandon Sharpe, long snapper Clint Gresham, safety Ryan Hamilton, defensive tackle Jay Ross and cornerback Marcell Young.

The following is an outline of the 14 players who – along with the club’s six draft choices and other tryout players – will be coming to New Orleans to participate in the team’s rookie minicamp, scheduled to take place May 7-9.

Jason Beauchamp – Linebacker, UNLV (6-3, 244): Beauchamp is an athletic linebacker who was the Rebels’ leading tackler in both his junior and senior seasons, playing 48 games with 37 starts for UNLV and tallying 334 tackles, with 26 of those coming for losses including 13 sacks and a pair of forced fumbles. The San Diego native was a three-year starter and was named honorable mention all-Mountain West Conference in 2009 after earning second-team honors the prior year, posting 95 tackles with a career-best 6½ sacks as a senior.

Chris Bell – Wide Receiver, Norfolk State (6-2, 211): Bell played two seasons at Penn State, catching 12 passes for 209 yards, prior to returning to his native Norfolk, Va., where he led the Spartans with 51 catches for 958 yards and 13 touchdowns in his lone season at Norfolk State. Bell led the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in receiving yards and touchdowns and was named first-team all-MEAC before declaring for the NFL draft with a year of eligibility remaining.

 

Carlos Brown – Running Back, Michigan (6-0, 212): Brown was a four-year letterman for the Wolverines, playing in 30 games with 12 starts over his collegiate career. The Franklin, Ga. native totaled 1,025 yards on 201 carries with nine touchdowns for his career, caught 16 passes for 145 yards and a score and also averaged 20.3 yards on 19 kickoff returns. Brown took over the starting running back job as a senior and led Michigan with a career-best 480 rushing yards on 79 carries (5.9 avg.) with four touchdowns and added 10 catches for 122 yards and a score.

 

Brandon Carter – Guard, Texas Tech (6-6, 319): Carter started for three seasons for the Red Raiders, opening 40 of the 49 games he played during his collegiate career. The native of Longview, Texas was selected first-team All-Big XII as a senior in 2009 after receiving honorable mention all-conference honors in each of his sophomore and junior seasons.

 

Harry Coleman – Linebacker, LSU (6-2, 212): Coleman was a two-year starter for the Tigers, moving from strong safety to linebacker in between his junior and senior seasons and closed his career with 183 tackles, four sacks, 11 pass defenses, four fumbles and a pair of fumble recoveries in 52 games, starting the final 26 of them. The Baldwin, La. native was named LSU’s Most Valuable Player as a senior in 2009, posting career-highs with 82 tackles, nine tackles for loss, four sacks and three forced fumbles.


Christian Ducré – Running Back, Mississippi State (5-11, 225): Ducré, a native of LaCombe, La. and a graduate of Mandeville’s Fontaineblue HS, played in 37 games for Mississippi State over four seasons, rushing for 972 yards on 49 carries with seven touchdowns and catching 39 passes for 346 yards and two more scores. He spent a redshirt season at Tulane before transferring to MSU and had his biggest statistical season as a sophomore in 2007, gaining 487 yards with three touchdowns for the Bulldogs.

 

Junior Galette – Defensive End, Stillman (6-2, 258): Galette was a three-year letter-winner at Temple before transferring to Stillman College prior to his senior season. The Spring Valley, N.Y. native played 33 games for Temple, making 80 tackles with 16 sacks and three forced fumbles. In his lone season at Stillman, Galette made 56 tackles and notched 9½ sacks, earning first-team All-Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference honors and being named a second-team Division II All-American.

 

Clint Gresham – Long Snapper, TCU (6-3, 238): Gresham, a Corpus Christi, Texas native, was the only long snapper invited to the NFL Scouting Combine after a solid career for the Horned Frogs, playing in 38 games over three seasons and recording eight tackles on special teams. The long snapper spent his freshman season at the University of Oklahoma before transferring to TCU.

 

Ryan Hamilton – Safety, Vanderbilt (6-1, 206): Hamilton was a four-year starter for the Commodores, playing both free and strong safety over his 39-game career (36 starts) that saw him total 222 tackles, five interceptions, two sacks, three forced fumbles and seven pass defenses. Had his best season as a junior in 2008, making 104 tackles with four interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown and three fumble recoveries. The Wycombe, Pa. native had his senior season cut short after just two games after suffering a torn pectoral muscle.

 

Chris Ivory – Running Back, Tiffin (6-0, 222): Ivory played three seasons at Washington State, gaining 534 yards on 91 carries with four touchdowns in 22 games for the Cougars in an injury-shortened career. The Longview, Texas native also averaged 22.8 yards on 23 kickoff returns for WSU before transferring to Division II Tiffin, where he played in five games and rushed for 223 yards on 39 attempts.

 

Jay Ross – Defensive Tackle, East Carolina (6-3, 302): Ross was a three-year starter on the Pirates’ defensive line, opening 42 games of the 52 he played for East Carolina, three times earning honorable mention All-Conference USA honors. The Wilmington, N.C. native totaled 140 tackles over his four seasons, 25 of them behind the line of scrimmage including eight sacks and added two forced fumbles and a pair of fumble recoveries, one of which he returned for a touchdown.

 

Brandon Sharpe – Defensive End, Texas Tech (6-2, 254): Sharpe played in 23 games at Texas Tech over three seasons after spending a year at Fresno City College. The Lyons, Ga. native set a school record with 15 sacks as a senior in 2009, earning first-team All-Big XII honors as he started 12 games and totaled 36 tackles (20 of them coming behind the line of scrimmage), with five pass defenses, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. For his Red Raider career, Sharpe totaled 41 tackles with 16 sacks.

 

Joe Tonga – Guard, Indiana (Pa.) (6-4, 313): Tonga played his senior season at Division II Indiana (Pa.) University and started nine games on the offensive line for the Crimson Hawks. The Taylorsville, Utah native played one season at Florida State in 2008, playing in 11 games after two standout seasons at Mt. San Antonio (Calif.) Community College, where he earned all-conference honors.


Marcell Young – Cornerback, Jackson State (6-0, 183): Young played in 21 games over two seasons for Jackson State in his hometown of Jackson, Miss., making 49 tackles with two interceptions, five pass defenses and two interceptions. Prior to transferring to JSU, Young played two seasons at Hinds (Miss.) Community College where he was selected to play in the Mississippi Junior College All-Star Game.

Saints Draft Analysis/Grades
April 25, 2010

Grading The 2010 Saints Draft:

1st Round: Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida State University 

Grade: A

Analysis:  I was of the mind set that the Saints needed to go with a DT in the 1st round because the Saints got gashed by nearly every running back they faced last season and because the NFC South is a rushing division (Carolina, Tampa & ATL all pound the ball).  But the more I think about it the more I like this selection.  The Saints were woefully thin at CB last season…even needing to sign guys like Mike McKenzie and Chris McAlister off the scrap heap.  Adding Robinson is a solid move that gives the team insurance if Jabari Greer and Tracy Porter once again get bitten by the injury bug.  Plus, the Saints can now experiment with Malcolm Jenkins at safety and can move forward no matter what Darren Sharper decides. 

2nd Round: Charles Brown, OT, USC

Grade:  B

Analysis:  Already a position of strength for the Saints with Jammal Brown, Jon Stinchcomb, Zach Strief and Jermon Bushrod the Saints added depth with this choice and perhaps paved the way for a Jammal Brown trade.  I like what I’ve seen and read about Brown but am concerned when experts say he’s a bit soft and needs to toughen up.  As long as Brown isn’t rushed he should develop nicely….much the same way Jon Stinchcomb did. 

3rd Round: Jimmy Graham, TE, University of Miami 

Grade: B+

Analysis:  I love this pick.  Having seen several Hurricane games this season Graham jumped out at times and this was only his first year of college football.  Graham should fit in nicely behind Jeremy Shockey and Dave Thomas and could one day develop into a tremendous weapon for Drew Brees.  From what I understand, Graham is weak when it comes to run blocking and pass protection but he’ll learn those areas in the pros and will be used mostly to showcase his strengths (pass catching) early in his career. 

4th Round: Al Woods, DT, LSU 

Grade: C+

Analysis:  The Saints traded up to get the LSU Tiger….but I’m not sure why!  From everyone I’ve talked to it’s obvious Woods is a tremendous person and he has always been considered a tremendous talent.  The only problem…Woods has never lived up to his tremendous hype.  Hopefully coach Sean Payton and his staff will be able to find a role for Woods.   

5th Round: Matt Tennant, C, Boston College 

Grade: A

Analysis:  I actually had the Saints taking Tennant in my WDSU mock draft!  Considered the 2nd best center in this draft the Saints stole Tennant in the 5th round.  A versitile player Tennant can also play guard.  Tennant should develop nicely behind All-Pro Jonathan Goodwin. 

7th Round: Sean Canfield, QB, Oregon State University 

Grade: B

Analysis:  Sean Payton always says he loves developing quarterbacks….Canfield is his latest project.  If the Saints sign a veteran QB like Patrick Ramsey than Canfiled will probably battle Chase Daniel for a roster spot.  If Payton is happy with Daniel maybe he’ll let him back-up Brees (Daniel as the back up is a stretch in my opinion)  and keep Canfield as the 3rd QB.  Either way, the lefty from OSU should be a nice addition and provide the media with a story line during training camp….Daniel or Canfield?

Undrafted Free Agents: Jason Beauchamp, OLB, UNLV  & Junior Galette, DE, Stillman College 

Grade: B+

Analysis:  The Saints signed several undrafted free agents…guys like LSU safety Harry Coleman and Stanford DT Ekom Udophia…but Jason Beauchamp & Junior Galette were reportedly the first two signed and for good reason.  Both are pass rush specialists….who….with strong camps could have realistic shots at making the final roster or at the very least the practice squad. 

Unofficial Saints UDFA:

Chris Ivory: RB, Tiffin University
Jason Beauchamp – LB – UNLV
Brandon Carter – OG – Texas Tech
Junior Galette – LB – Stillman
Clint Gresham – Long Snapper – TCU
Harry Coleman – S – LSU
Ekom Udofia – NT – Stanford
Marcell Young – CB – Jacksonville St.
Jay Ross – NT – ECU

WDSU Overall Draft Grade: A-

Undrafted Free Agent Local Players:
April 24, 2010

According to Various Internet reports The Following Players Have Signed Free Agent Contracts With The Followng Teams:

Saints:

Jason Beauchamp: LB, UNLV & Harry Coleman, S/LB, LSU

Buccaneers:

Jevan Snead, QB, Ole Miss

Chargers:

 Jeremy Williams, WR, Tulane, Stafon Johnson, RB, USC

Jaguars:

Aaron Morgan, DE, ULM Chris Hawkins, CB, LSU

Steelers:

 Ciron Black, OT, LSU

Vikings:

 Ryan Perriloux, QB, JSU

WDSU Saints Mock Draft (Final Version)
April 22, 2010

Saints 2010 Mock Draft:

1st Round:

Tyson Alualu: DT/DE University of California

WHY: I believe that the Saints will address depth at cornerback in the 2nd or 3rd round.  As far as getting an OLB that can replace Scott Fujita and get pressure on the quarterback….I think the Saints will look to fill that position from within with guys like JoLon Dunbar, Jonathan Casillas and Stanley Arnoux.  So with the team’s first round selection the Saints should address the lack of depth at defensive tackle. 

Alualu is a proven college player who’s considered ready to step in an play.  The Hawaiian is also considered a team leader with tremendous intangibles. 

(Alternate 1st Round Pick: Brian Price: DT UCLA)

2nd Round:

Amari Spievey: CB University of Iowa

WHY: The Saints need depth at cornerback.  Brain Allee-Walsh from www.neworleans.com pointed out to me tonight that the Saints had a 3rd cornerback on the field last season almost as much as they did a 3rd linebacker.  I also believe that Malcolm Jenkins is not a cornerback and is really the team’s free safety of the future.  Plus, Tracy Porter and Jabari Greer did have problems staying healthy last season.    

3rd Round:

Arthur Moats: OLB James Madison University

WHY: Just a solid football player from a smaller school.  The Saints have had tremendous success finding small school gems (Colston, Evans, Bushrod) and Moats would be another good find. 

4th Round:

Matt Tennant: C Boston College

WHY:  Because Jonathan Goodwin needs a backup and because you can never have too many quality players in the trenches. 

NO 5TH ROUND PICK

6th Round:

Riar Geer: TE University of Colorado

WHY: Jeremy Shockey has had problems staying healthy.  No one knows if Billy Miller will ever play again after his injury.  Dave Thomas is solid but the Saints could use some depth.  Tyler Lorenzen is a guy on the Saints practice squad but as a former college quarterback…who knows if he’ll ever make the jump to NFL tight end.  Geer adds depth to a thin position.    

7th Round:

Adrian Tracy: OLB The College of William & Mary

WHY:  A project player from the same school that produced Darren Sharper.  Tracy was a DE in college who’ll be making the switch to OLB in the NFL.

Carl Nicks Finds Redemption
April 15, 2010

By ERIC OLSON

AP Sports Writer

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – New Orleans Saints offensive lineman Carl

Nicks made a surprise visit to Nebraska’s practice to apologize to

coach Bo Pelini and athletic director Tom Osborne for his bad

behavior when he was a Cornhusker.

Nicks says his class attendance was spotty and his work ethic

lax during his senior season in 2007. Then, the weekend before the

Cornhuskers’ pro day in March 2008, he got drunk and was arrested

for refusing to leave a disorderly house party.

Though Pelini, hired in December 2007, never coached Nicks, he

banned him from the on-ca 2007. Then, the weekend before the

Cornhuskers’ pro day in March 2008, he got drunk and was arrested

for refusing to leave a disorderly house party.

Though Pelini, hired in December 2007, never coached Nicks, he

banned him from the on-campus workout in front of NFL scouts.

Pelini’s decision initially angered Nicks. Now he realizes it

was justified.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.)

 

2010 Saints Mock Draft (Guest Version)
April 15, 2010

Below this foolish blog entry you’ll find the REAL Saints 2010 mock draft.

These are the opinions of some guest bloggers I decided to let contaminate my site!!!

WDSU News Anchors Scott Walker & Randi Rousseau (Walker used to be a sports anchor):

Scott Walker Saints 1st Round Pick:

Sean Weatherspoon, OLB, University of Missouri

http://www.fftoolbox.com/nfl_draft/profile_display.cfm?prospect_id=1691

Way to go out on a limb Scott!  Weatherspoon probably won’t be available at #32 in the 1st round but if he is on the board the Saints should sprint to the podium to pick him!

Randi Rousseau 1st Round Pick:

Tim Tebow, QB/H-back, University of Florida

Randi with a surprise pick.  Her reasoning for the Tebow selection:  He’s cute…plus he has all the intangibles that championship teams are made of.

WDSU Executive Producer Rich Kiss (New Yorker…Giants Fan)

Rich Kiss Saints 1st Round Pick:

Carlos Dunlap, DE, University of Florida

http://www.mynfldraft.com/NFL-Draft-Profiles/2010/Carlos-Dunlap

You can never have too many guys who can get to the quarterback.  But another Gator? Rich and Randi obviously big fans of Urban Meyer.

WDSU Investigative Reporter Travers Mackel

Travers Mackel Saints 1st Round Pick:

Sergio Kindle, OLB, University of Texas

Like Scott Walker’s choice of Sean Weatherspoon I have my doubts regarding Kindle lasting until the 32nd pick…but If he’s on the board…TAKE HIM!!!

http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/article/2010-04-14/prospect-profile-sergio-kindle-olb-texas

2010 Saints Mock Draft (Updated 4-12-10)
April 12, 2010

1st Round (32nd Pick):  Brian Price/Defensive Tackle/UCLA 

WHY: The Saints seemed to get bullied at the point of attack against the run last season.  Finding a starter to pair with Sedrick Ellis should be priority #1.

http://www.draftsite.com/nfl/index.php?player=3738 

(Alternate 1st Round Pick if Price is Not Available: Tyson Alualu/DT-DE/Cal)

2nd Round (64th Pick): Koa Misi/OLB-DE/Utah

WHY:  Talented player with tremendous ‘upside’ who could immediately battle for the position Scott Fujita left wide open when he signed with Cleveland.  Misi could compete with Jonathan Casillas, Troy Evans and Stanley Arnoux for the job.

http://www.draftsite.com/nfl/index.php?player=3667

(Alternate 2nd Round Pick: Linwood Joseph/DT/East Carolina)

3rd Round (95th Pick) : Toby Gerhart/RB/Stanford

WHY:  I truly believe the Saints will obtain another RB either through the draft or via free agency.  Gerhart would battle Lynell Hamilton for playing time behind Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas and could be a perfect replacement for Mike Bell. 

http://www.draftsite.com/nfl/index.php?player=49

(Alternate 3rd Round Pick: Amari Spivey/CB/Iowa or Thaddeus Gibson/OLB/Ohio State)

4th Round (130th Pick):  Chris Hall/C/Texas

WHY: Jonathan Goodwin could use a quality understudy and the Saints staff has proven to be very good at developing tremendous offensive lineman. 

http://www.fftoolbox.com/nfl_draft/profile_display.cfm?prospect_id=2294

***No 5th Round Selection***

6th Round (207th Pick):  Ross Ventrone/S/Villanova

WHY: Malcolm Jenkins will probably move to free safety and take over for Darren Sharper one day but until than why not hope this small school star is a diamond in the rough.      

http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings/dsprofile.php?pyid=103367&draftyear=2010&genpos=FS

7th Round (246th Pick): Adrian Tracy/DE-OLB/William & Mary

WHY: A developmental pick from the same school that produced Darren Sharper.  Tracy was a DE in college but projects as an OLB in the NFL. 

 http://www.nfldraftbible.com/Draft-Bible-Q-A/adrian_tracy_interview.html

Mafioso Dave Has Returned
April 11, 2010

Mafioso Dave has returned…someone sent me this link today: