Indianapolis Colts 2012 NFL Draft preview: Andrew Luck, then what?

New Indianapolis Colts GM Ryan Grigson made official Tuesday what we all pretty much knew back in January: the franchise will select Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the No. 1 pick in today’s NFL Draft.

Luck is billed as the most pro-ready quarterback prospect to enter the league since Peyton Manning, the man he’s succeeding in Indianapolis. Some would go even further back and call Luck the surest thing since fellow Stanford great John Elway.

While I personally think such opinions are a bit overkill, I do think very highly of Luck, and I believe he can be the Colts’ next franchise signal-caller for many years to come. Given the recent organizational overhaul in Indy, however, quarterback is far from this team’s only thin spot. The Colts could use talent upgrades everywhere.

The fun, analytically speaking, starts with the No. 34 pick.

[Read more…]

Ryan Leaf arrested yet again! Very Cincinnati Bengals like

ryan_leaf

From draft bust to drug bust.

Ryan Leaf, the ultimate bust when it comes to NFL franchise quarterback draft picks, was arrested for the second time in the past four days. Meaning the Cincinnati Bengals have already contacted his agent about working him out and getting him on the roster. No, I’m joking about that last part.

But seriously, you know how extensive the legal issues have been with the “Cincinnaughty Bengals,” much more than any NFL team. And right now, it even spills over into the team cheerleading squad. As Sarah Jones, the current Captain of the Ben-Gals faces up to five years in prison for having sex with a 16-year-old student.

But back to Leaf, who has his own problems.

[Read more…]

Is Ryan Mallett Really this Decade’s Ryan Leaf?

ryan_mallett

It seems every other draft NFL Draft or so, we get a “million dollar arm, ten cent head” prospect. (If I may borrow the line from “Bull Durham.”)

This year, it’s Arkansas and former Michigan Wolverines quarterback Ryan Mallett. Remember the character concerns about Jimmy Clausen last year? Take that amount and square it, no cube it, and the equation equals Mallett’s reputation and draft stock. His coarse, somewhat hostile interaction with the media at the combine drew comparisons to Ryan Leaf, (For more on how he ended up go here) who earned the nickname “baby boy” for his insanely immature public blow-ups.

Mallett has never tested positive on a drug test, but he’s supposedly the first QB ever to admit to using them in an interview with a NFL GM.

According to Larry Brown Sports:

there have been widespread rumors about Mallett’s drug use throughout college and an analyst saying Mallett is a “Caucasian street guy” like Eminem or Vanilla Ice. Even Mallett’s coach at Arkansas, Bobby Petrino, tried to improve Mallett’s slang because of concerns over image and appearance.

By Paul M. Banks

[Read more…]

All-time NFL Draft Bust, Former QB Ryan Leaf lives with his Parents

ryan_leaf

Whenever someone feels the need to bash a blogger, you know what refrain eventually comes- “probably lives in Mom’s basement.” Like Chris Rock said about racist epithets, “that train’s never late!”

But you won’t likely hear it from Ryan Leaf, the #2 pick in the 1998 NFL Draft, and a man who rivals USC/Arizona’s Matt Leinart and LSU/Oakland’s JaMarcus Russell for the dubious distinction of biggest waste of talent and potential at the quarterback position in NFL history.

You’ll remember Leaf’s greatest misses: the 1-15, 4 yards passing, 2 INT, 3 lost fumbles start at Kansas City, the childish fits of anger directed at fans and journalists (his San Diego teammates nicknamed him “Baby Boy”), the epic failure that was his NFL career, his foray into coaching that ended with his resigning due to his stealing of pain pills, the painkiller addiction on parallel with Luke Cafferty from “Friday Night Lights,” and finally his legal probation.

And now he’s come home to live with his parents in Montana, and start life over. So yes, Ryan Leaf is now officially the same guy as the biggest jock in your high school graduating class.

By Paul M. Banks

[Read more…]

Bigger Bust: Jamarcus Russell vs. Brady Quinn

Raiders Russell Football

By Mike Gallagher

This bust matchup is much like the 2007 Sugar Bowl these two QBs met in: one sided.

Brady Quinn and Jamarcus Russell went into the game as the first and second rated quarterbacks in the nation, and Jamarcus Russell had a huge game on the way to LSU’s 41-14 demolition of Notre Dame.

Unfortunately for Russell, this time he comes out on the wrong end of the one-sided affair, as he is clearly the bigger bust of the two quarterbacks.

Some will make the argument that Jamarcus Russell was never that good in the first place and that his credibility is only based off that one BCS bowl game.  Don’t be fooled, that game had been in the works his entire college career.

Looking at his stats, his freshman year was very pedestrian, while his sophomore year showed signs of improvement, but his junior year was when he burst off the page.  He was learning and building on his experiences in college, and it all came together that junior year, ESPECIALLY in the bowl game.

Let’s be clear though, Brady Quinn was the better college quarterback.  Throwing for almost 10,000 yards and 86 touchdowns in only three years dwarfs the college numbers of Jamarcus Russell.

When Russell was taken first overall, it was a clear statement of the potential he had, rather than the body of work he had accrued at LSU.  Scouts saw the pro ready body, big arm, and clear growth in college as signs that he was the next great thing at the QB position.

The accolades of being the #1 pick also brings great responsibility and pressure, things Quinn didn’t have to face right away.

brady-quinn-throwing

When drafted 22nd overall by the Browns that same year, Quinn did have the same instant pressure and expectations.  Derek Anderson assumed the starter’s role ahead of Quinn in his rookie year.  Quinn only had to throw eight passes the whole year; against San Francisco in garbage time of the season’s last game.

Since then, Russell has been the starting QB in 25 games for the Oakland Raiders.  In those games, the Raiders are 7-18.  Some may say that the Oakland Raiders are not exactly exploding with talent around Russell.  This is true, but number one overall picks are cursed with having to turn around bad teams, whether it’s with help, or all on their own.

On top of that, Quinn’s supporting cast isn’t any better.  Josh Cribbs, Chansi Stuckey, and arguably the best of the group, Mohamed Massaquoi, leave much to be desired from the WR position.

Brady Quinn has started 8 games for the Cleveland Browns since he came to the league, and is 1-7.  Cleveland hasn’t been the same since 2007 when Derek Anderson led the Browns to a 10-6 record.  Injuries decimated them in 2008, leaving Bruce Gradkowski as their starting QB, and their defense hasn’t kept them in many games.

The plain and simple truth of it is that Jamarcus Russell was the number one overall pick.  He was taken based on all the potential he had to be a superstar.  Whether it’s the coaching staff or the player’s fault, that potential has never come close to  fruition.  He has now had a season and a half worth of starts under his belt and that should be plenty of time to get acclimated to the NFL.

Instead, Russell is having his worst season.  He is second to last among starting QB’s in touchdowns, passer rating, average per pass, and 29th in yards.  He has been benched for the aforementioned Bruce Gradkowski, who pulled an upset of the much feared Bengals last week.

That should show that a lot of the blame, contrary to Russell’s opinion, falls on him.  It won’t be long until he’s in the category of Ryan Leaf and Akili Smith as biggest QB busts of all time.

ryan-leaf1

Personally, I don’t think you can call Brady Quinn a bust yet.  Eight starts is not that many, and he has shown flashes of being able to captain a pro football team.  His performance last week, albeit against the Lions, was impressive, and something that he can possibly build off of.

The real giveaway that it’s not Quinn’s fault in Cleveland is Derek Anderson.  He’s been the only person worse than Russell in the categories I mentioned earlier.  This shows that Quinn is doing everything he can with the tools around him, and can’t be blamed for the poor performance of the team.

Brady Quinn still has time to prove himself in the pros.  Jamarcus Russell’s time is running out.