Archives for April 2011

2012 NFL Mock Draft

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It’s always difficult to do a NFL mock draft for the next year, BEFORE  the current one has yet to even occur. There’s the issue of determining the order, and whether to take team needs into account or not.  Well, since we have a full blown lockout in our midst, there’s no year like the present to keep the same order.

This 2012 NFL Mock Draft order is based on the official 2011 NFL Draft Order.

Team needs were sometimes, but not often considered in this mock. Sorry to break your heart on that aspect of the mock, but it’s just the nature of the world we live in.

For ROUND ONE of our 2011 NFL mock draft go here

Go here to check out round two.

And our  third round is HERE.

Apparently some NFL GMs actually do look at these mock drafts, as I found out here

By Paul M. Banks

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New Orleans Saints Draft Illini LB Nate Bussey in Final Round


It’s four, not three that’s a magic number for the Illini and the New Orleans Saints on this final evening of the NFL Draft. With the 243rd pick on Saturday (11 ahead of the infamous “Mr. Irrelevant” pick) during the third day of the 2011 draft, the Saints took Illinois Linebacker Nate Bussey

Yesterday, the Saints took fellow Illini linebacker Martez Wilson in the third round (72nd overall) Bussey and Wilson will be the third and fourth former Illini players on the Saints’ roster. New Orleans linebacker Danny Clark and running back Pierre Thomas also played at Illinois. If only they hadn’t traded punter Steve Weatherford to the New York Jets, then they’d have five.

Illinois had four players selected in this year’s draft. Defensive tackle Corey Liuget (first round, 18th, San Diego Chargers) and running back Mikel Leshoure (second round, 57th overall, Detroit Lions) were also drafted. It was the most NFL picks Illinois has had in a draft since having five players go in 2003.

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Green Bay Packers 2011 NFL Draft Recap/Analysis

Coming into the 2011 NFL Draft, no one knew for sure where Ted Thompson and the Green Bay Packers would go to address their few needs as reigning Super Bowl Champions.

Now we know.

Let’s breakdown all ten of the Packers’ draft picks.

By: Nick Grays
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What Gabe Carimi Brings to the Chicago Bears

On Thursday, the Chicago Bears addressed their greatest need when drafting Wisconsin’s offensive lineman Gabe Carimi with their first pick of the 2011 NFL Draft.

The Bears gave up a disgusting 56 sacks (tops in the league) and ended up with a bruised and battered Jay Cutler when it was all said and done last season.

Let me tell you why and how Carimi can upgrade one of the worst offensive lines in all of football.

By: Nick Grays
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Chicago Bears 2011 NFL Draft Recap/Analysis

No team in the league is more loyal to its draft picks than the Chicago Bears. So the former college football players listed below will get every opportunity and more to make their mark on the squad.

Last year’s NFL Draft was pretty boring for you- the Chicago Bears fan. No first round pick in 2010 because of the Jay Cutler trade, but this years was a whole lot of fun. Despite having such a successful 2010 season that yielded Chicago picking #29 in the first round, the Bears have plenty of needs: safety, center, wide receiver, and most overwhelmingly of all- OFFENSIVE LINE!

Specifically tackle, which they went first.

Let’s breakdown the Bears picks in all seven rounds

By Paul M. Banks

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Minnesota Vikings 2011 NFL Draft Debacle

As I was pondering the NFL Draft that commenced Thursday evening in New York, it brought back horrific memories of the Minnesota Vikings handling of the Herschel Walker trade. This move created the Dallas Cowboys dynasty prior to the turn of the millennium. While the team did not mortgage their future in the same way that the Atlanta Falcons did with their blunder acquiring Julio Jones, the organization did come up with some egg on its face at the conclusion of the first round.

Just when I thought that nothing could get worse than last year, the team totally inflated the value of a brittle quarterback who does not know how to slide yet. It is not a good sign for a player who is picked in the top half of the first round when numerous pundits continuously say how smart that he is. It’s like hearing your blind date has a great personality.

By Patrick Herbert

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Detroit Lions Smartly Surround Suh With Talent


Fans may argue who exactly is the franchise player for the Detroit Lions.

Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson are possibilities on the offensive side, but I would argue that it is Ndamukong Suh because of his tenacity and performance on the defensive line. The team decided to shore up the line even further by selecting defensive tackle Nick Fairley out of Auburn with the thirteenth selection in the first round.

Like others in the NFL Draft, he undoubtedly slipped that far because of some murmurs that he is a dirty player and the possibility that he possesses some personality deficiencies. The SEC defensive player of the year might be the best performer on the team that produced the first overall selection in New York on Thursday.

By Patrick Herbert

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Hawks Jamal Crawford: Familiar, Worthy Adversary for Bulls


Now that the Chicago Bulls have eliminated the Indiana Pacers, and Atlanta has dispatched Orlando, waiting for them in the second round is a very familiar potential opponent.

In just one year’s time, Atlanta Hawks’ guard Jamal Crawford has transitioned from playoff rookie with the nerves of a kid on Christmas Eve into a playoff assassin with the poise of a savvy veteran.

This change has resulted in Crawford helping to lead the Hawks to their current 3-1 lead over the Orlando Magic.

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Video Parody of Emmitt Smith, Keith Hernandez, Walt Frasier Ad


You’ve seen those annoying Sports Legends ads, featuring Emmitt Smith, Keith Hernandez and Walt Frasier hocking Just For Men Brush-In Color Gel? The ones that supposedly turn you from geriatric sloth into sex machine lothario by simply coloring your hair?

“Your beard is weird. Your stache is trash”

Yes, they’re pretty bad, and long over due for a lampoon. Luckily, we’ve got a hilarious one for you after the jump

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Who are the World’s Highest Paid Athletes?


Sports fans have argued for years over which specific sport pays its players the highest wages. That debate has been put to rest somewhat in the internet age as annual reports are typically released showing who makes exactly how much money. A new report was released in mid-April by sporting Intelligence and there may be a few surprises to some people.

According to the report, NBA basketball players make the most money on average, but Spanish soccer teams Barcelona and Real Madrid pay their players the best. Last year, players from the New York Yankees were the highest paid on average. The average wage of an NBA player is $4.79 million a year or $92, 199 a week.

The average wage at Barcelona is just over $7.9 million a year ($157,038 per week) while Madrid’s players make about $7.35 million yearly ($146,038). Yankees players are the third-biggest money makers at  about $6.75 million a year ($134,122).

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Martez Wilson Drafted by The New Orleans Saints


It took a lot longer than many experts expected, but Illinois’ Martez Wilson is taking his talents south.

Not to South Beach, granted, but to one heckuva fun city.

Early in the third round the New Orleans Saints drafted Martez Wilson and ended what was becoming something of a precipitous slide for the former Fighting Illini linebacker.

“You know, the past couple of days were ok,” Wilson said via teleconference. “Today was more of an anticipation day. I was relaxed, but I anticipating, waiting to see where I would go.”

Maybe the reason for Martez’s slide had to do with one of the questions asked in the teleconference: He was sort of a tweener at LB, with some teams listing him as an inside linebacker, some on the outside.

New Orleans is looking at him on the outside.

“They told me that they want me to learn the SAM linebacker slot, and line me up over some tight ends,” Wilson said. “They want me to learn that spot, learn more about all the positions, and then see where things go from there.”

Listen in to the whole teleconference, without the fun echoes of the Leshoure teleconference, after the jump. [Read more…]

Mikel Leshoure Drafted by the Detroit Lions

Never mind that the Detroit Lions already have a starting running back.

Never mind that the previous few starting running backs of the Lions have had…ummm…injury problems.

Mikel Leshoure is happy to be there.

With the 57th pick of the 2011 NFL Draft, Mikel Leshoure became the latest Illini runner to make the leap to the NFL, this after slipping from a late-first round possibility to a late second round pick.

“It wasn’t really nerve racking waiting to be picked, for the most part, until the first day of the draft,” Leshoure said. “Then you get a little anxious waiting to hear your name called. As for the other RBs that went before me, that’s something I can’t control. I wish them all luck!”

It seemed like Leshoure was genuinely excited to be a Lion, especially since they moved up to make that pick.

“You know, they traded up in the second round to get me and they told me on the phone they were really excited to work with me,” Leshoure said. “I definitely feel more wanted to be there.

“I had really good vibes on my visit there (to Detroit),” Leshoure continued. “I got a good vibe not just from the coaches but the whole staff too, from the trainers to the kitchen.”

To hear the whole conference call, and hear the special reaction from Leshoure when his teammate and friend Martez Wilson was drafted by the Saints (worth the listen all on its own), tune in after the jump. [Read more…]