Draft

Talkin’ noise and the NFL Draft

Reality television (and to a lesser extent, Web 2.0) have had some interesting sociological effects.  For one thing, I believe that they’ve fundamentally changed the way people communicate and tell stories.  I don’t mean the medium as much as the delivery style.  How many times in the last 10 years has somebody been telling you a story, and it sounds like they’re telling a camera guy on The Amazing Race?  It’s the soundbite era, because people see edited-down soundbites on TV and internalize a thought that that is how people effectively communicate.  It’s actually the way that people can pass vapid thought fragments back and forth on the way to Idiocracy coming true.

Another effect has been to wrongly convince everybody that their opinion is valid, and that it matters.  We’ve moved well past Curtis Jackson of Action News Live at Five asking some dude named Cletus what the tornado sounded like.  I was flipping through Facebook a couple days ago, in the wake of President Obama’s statement about the demise of Osama Bin Laden.  Everybody is now a Middle East expert, including many who likely couldn’t find it on a map, or name four countries there off the top of their heads. 

Trivia Question:  What continent would you say the Middle East is on?  (I’ll share my thoughts later on.)  You have people who are vastly unqualified to comment saying that it doesn’t matter that Bin Laden is dead, because he had time to train others.  That may be true, but I doubt it; it sounded like he’s been holed up in a compound in Abbottabad for six years or so.  You have others spreading a fake Martin Luther King, Jr. peacenik quote, and still others stuck on the Obama-is-a-Muslim nonsense, and expressing surprise that he’d kill “one of his own.”  Democrats wanted to credit Obama, and Republicans were struggling to find a tone that celebrated the success while de-emphasizing the President’s creditability.  (They largely have failed, because it’s just silly; sometimes, politicians in the party you don’t like do good, and this is one of those times if you’re a Republican.)

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Draft perspective: lines eat yardage

Trudging off the field after the Colts' stomach-churning loss to the Saints in Super Bowl XLIV (which concluded the 2009 season), Indianapolis Coach Jim Caldwell was being besieged by inner questions. By the time that he’d reached the podium for his obligatory postgame meeting with the media, he still felt the same way that he had during that long, sad walk. Asked about why he thought that the Colts lost, you had the impression that the media expected that he’d talk about Peyton Manning’s late, final interception or the valiant but losing effort of the defense. He did neither.

“We lost the game because of the offensive line,” he said bluntly.

Bill Polian, now entering his 14th season as GM of the Colts, has been at the top of the NFL for a long time. Free agency in 2010 was an odd affair, due to the lack of a CBA - not a lot of offensive linemen were on the market, and of them, scarcity meant that most were overpriced. When the 2010 Draft came around, though, Polian used his first pick (31st overall) on TCU defensive end Jerry Hughes to provide a possible successor to Dwight Freeney or Robert Mathis. It was a sensible move - Hughes was highly rated and both of their DEs are getting on in NFL years. Next came Iowa linebacker Pat Angerer with the 63rd-overall pick in the second round. Pick #94 was spent on Southern Cal cornerback Kevin Thomas in the third. You could argue for each guy individually - but the biggest issue during that SB loss went unregarded.

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You Got Served: Live third-round analysis

Ted Bartlett evaluates draft-eligible prospects in his spare time, among a number of activities he pursues, including golf, MBA classes, and dating women who are much younger than him.  When his kindergarten teacher told him that he was advanced, what she was saying was that, with minimal effort, he'd be able to do better than "really passionate" people who try their hardest.  He also focuses on the NFL's business and legal environment, offensive and defensive schemes, going off on unrelated tangents, and all 32 teams in the NFL. Follow along as he offers his instant analysis of tonight's NFL Draft.

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You Got Served: Live second-round analysis

Ted Bartlett evaluates draft-eligible prospects in his spare time, among a number of activities he pursues, including golf, MBA classes, and dating women who are much younger than him.  When his kindergarten teacher told him that he was advanced, what she was saying was that, with minimal effort, he'd be able to do better than "really passionate" people who try their hardest.  He also focuses on the NFL's business and legal environment, offensive and defensive schemes, going off on unrelated tangents, and all 32 teams in the NFL. Follow along as he offers his instant analysis of tonight's NFL Draft.

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You Got Served: Live first-round analysis

Ted Bartlett evaluates draft-eligible prospects in his spare time, among a number of activities he pursues, including golf, MBA classes, and dating women who are much younger than him.  When his kindergarten teacher told him that he was advanced, what she was saying was that, with minimal effort, he'd be able to do better than "really passionate" people who try their hardest.  He also focuses on the NFL's business and legal environment, offensive and defensive schemes, going off on unrelated tangents, and all 32 teams in the NFL. Follow along as he offers his instant analysis of tonight's NFL Draft.

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Mindfreak: The odds of finding four starters in the draft

Brian Xanders and John Elway have both said they want to come away with four starters from the 2011 Draft.

It's certainly an ambitious goal, and one appreciates Xanders and Elway setting the bar so high without resorting to meaningless slogans.

But is it likely?

Earlier in the week, Dave Krieger took a shot at pointing out how difficult a task Xanders and Elway have in front of them.  His conclusion?

Optimism, naivete and, let's be honest, pure fantasy are always in unlimited supply around the NFL draft.

Kreiger based his conclusion on some decent evidence--namely, that Mike Shanahan and Josh McDaniels had limited draft success.

What do the numbers actually show us?  Is Krieger correct?

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Denver Broncos 2011 pre-draft visits/workouts

UPDATED 4/28/11 - Wednesday marked the end of the Broncos' pre-draft visits, meetings and workouts, and as promised we've been tracking them all. The prospects are listed in groupings by position, along with their school, the nature of their reported interaction with the Broncos (whether it be a Dove Valley visit, private workout, Combine meeting, or reported interest) and the most recent source (with link) to confirm those interactions.

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Talegating: History of the NFL Draft - 1959

This is the fourth in a multi-part series on the history of the NFL Draft. Part 1 covered the 1920s and 30s, Part 2 chronicled the 1940s, while Part 3 spanned most of the 1950s.

Aside from the change to its modern name in 1922, the biggest change in the NFL's history to this point in our story was created out of a foundering attempt to buy a baseball or a football franchise. A quiet, genteel progeny of a Texas-sized family fortune listened to a man named Branch Rickey - the same Branch Rickey who invented baseball’s farm system, became president of and managed the Brooklyn Dodgers, broke the color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson, and who would in 1967 be voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Rickey was trying to put together a third baseball associations to compete with the National and American Leagues, and his concept was the Continental Baseball League. He wanted backers, men who could buy franchises but who had been shut out of the first two leagues.

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Talegating: History of the NFL Draft, Part 3

This is the third in a multi-part series on the history of the NFL Draft. Part 1 covered the 1920s and 30s, while Part 2 chronicled the 1940s.

The 1950s - Decade of Innovation and Technology

With the merger of the AAFC teams into the NFL, the league was poised to change the way that people viewed the game culturally and literally. The 1950s saw a wide variety of changes to the NFL game that would have repercussions that still reverberate today, and none was bigger than the movement of the games to the newly developed technology, the television. As NFL legend Tex Schramm, who would coordinate the merger of the AFL and NFL, would note, “The Fifties were the decade in which everyone became a watcher instead of a doer.” Television ownership rocketed from around 172,000 in 1949 to over 25 million in 1954. The effects on the game of football were beyond imagining.

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Scouting the Broncos: Draft options

As we move along from the Combine to Pro Days and private workouts, many of the players who may end up on Denver’s board this year are showing what they do - and don’t - do well. There’s no doubt that Denver needs help on the defensive line, especially after yesterday's release of Justin Bannan and Jamal Williams. And if we can believe Brian Xanders and his Mouth of Sauron tendency to speak for Head Coach John Fox, Denver may need some linebackers as well. They do need another safety, and the situation with Ryan Harris, unless solved prior to the draft, may make finding a RT necessary. At the very least, a backup tackle with actual skills seems to be essential, given the time that Harris has spent on the injury report throughout his career. A running back is likely in the mid to later rounds - Denver has one 1st-, two 2nd-, one 3rd-, one 6th- and one 7th-round pick - and they may parlay any of them into more picks. As things stand, they have four picks in the top 67, and that’s nothing to sneeze at.

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