Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

The Minnesota Vikings are now on the clock

Source: Colts inform Andrew Luck
espn.go.com

The Indianapolis Colts have told Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck that they will take him with the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft, according to a league source.

It’s unclear precisely when the Colts informed Luck, but a league source said the team has known for weeks that Luck would be its pick.

Granted, they've essentially been on the clock and Luck to Indy has been all but a foregone conclusion for months now, but that Maybe Indy will shock the world and take RGIII talk can be put to rest.

There’s a storm coming…

Denver Broncos - Rise (2012 Promo)
www.youtube.com

Based on the trailer for The Dark Knight Rises, the upcoming finale to the Christopher Nolan-directed Batman trilogy.

This video by @BroncoJohnson. Here's the original trailer. (h/t AldenBrown)

Broncos will open 2012 season at home against Steelers on SNF

NFL chose matchup over Denver visit to New England
www.denverpost.com

The league will feature the Broncos in its first Sunday Night Game of the 2012 season. The Broncos will play the Pittsburgh Steelers in their season opener Sept. 9 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, an NFL source said.

New England was a possibility for the Broncos on the Sunday night opener, but the NFL went with Pittsburgh instead.

The rest of the schedule is due at the top of the next hour, and of course we'll have that for you here.

Broncos win offseason Super Bowl, but that won’t get them to Disneyland

Lingering NFL offseason issues, best available free agents and winners/losers
sports.yahoo.com

OFFSEASON WINNERS
1. Denver Broncos: The dual move of a playoff team gaining a future Hall of Fame quarterback (Peyton Manning) and ridding itself of a giant question mark (Tim Tebow) was brilliant on its own. However, getting cornerback Tracy Porter, tight end Jacob Tamme, defensive tackle Justin Bannan and wide receiver Andre Caldwell solidify an impressive offseason of work. There have been a couple of losses, such as Brodrick Bunkley and Andre’ Goodman, but those are tolerable.

As fun as it is to see the Broncos win in the offseason, I think we'd all prefer they win actual games.

So far, so good, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.  The Broncos haven't won anything yet.

Next steps:

  1. Killer draft
  2. Bangin' training camp
  3. Monster season 

If you had one shot to seize everything you ever wanted, would you take it or let it slip away?

Sacha Heppell tries out to be Denver Bronco cheerleader
www.ksdk.com

“When I dance, I lose myself.”

They said I couldn't be a male cheerleader. They said I couldn't wear these stretchy pants. 'ppreciate it.

After watching this, I got so pumped up, I had to listen to Eminem's Lose Yourself.  

Never give up the dream, Sacha Heppell.  Never.

Broncos continue to bring in more quarterbacks before the draft

Broncos bringing in QB prospects for NFL draft, including Cousins, Lindley
www.denverpost.com

The Broncos are bringing in quarterback draft prospects Kirk Cousins of Michigan State and San Diego State’s Ryan Lindley for visits this week. A Broncos contingent also flew down to Arizona State last week to give a private workout of Brock Osweiler.

Osweiler and Cousins are projected to be drafted in the second or third rounds. Lindley is expected to go in the fourth round, where the Broncos have two selections — the first acquired from the New York Jets in exchange for Tim Tebow.

Visiting the Broncos’ facility last week was Connecticut defensive tackle Kendall Reyes. Utah State running back Robert Turbin will visit today and Tuesday. Reyes is a projected late-first or second-round pick. Turbin could go anywhere from the second to fourth round.

So, do you think Woody Paige did a lot of homework on his Reyes pick this morning? 

Lindley is an interesting prospect, and Greg Cosell considers him a sleeper:

The San Diego State quarterback was a compelling study. He ran a pro offense, with the focus on five- and seven-step drops, and play action. No quarterback I evaluated attempted, and made, more big-time intermediate to deeper NFL-type throws. He was very decisive as a pocket passer. The ball came out without hesitation. If you spliced together his 25 best throws from the 2011 season — and did the same for all the passers in this draft — Lindley would have the biggest “wow” factor, without question.

Having seen Lindley play numerous times, I can vouch for the "wow" in the strength of his throws.  His accuracy, though, was at times a little suspect.  For his career, he was under 60%.  For those that subscribe to the view that the Football Outsiders have pimped over the last six or seven years--that a quarterback's college accuracy needs to be over 60% if he's going to be a good pro--this might give pause.

Foley, Horan, and other Broncos named in concussion lawsuit against NFL

More and more recognizable names joining concussion lawsuits
profootballtalk.nbcsports.com

First, some context.  I’ve been following the NFL closely since 1973, and I bought hundreds of Topps football cards from ’73 through ’78 or so.  Thus, the names that ring a bell for me may not ring a bell for everyone else.  But if I type all 1,200 names:  (1) I’ll have carpal tunnel syndrome; and (2) the recognizable names will get lost in the shuffle.

Of Florio's 184 names, here are the former Broncos I recognized:

  1. Steve Foley (1976-1986)
  2. Mike Horan (1986-1992)
  3. Roc Alexander (2004-2005)
  4. Shane Dronett (1992-1995)
  5. Lionel Dalton (2002)
  6. Randy Gradishar (1974-1983)
  7. Dale Carter (1999-2000)
  8. Tony Dorsett (1988)

Expect the list to grow as more names come out.  If I missed someone from the list (and I'll keep looking), let me know in the comment section and the name will be added.

The most tragic (if one has to pick) is Shane Dronett, who took his own life at the age of 38 after several years of symptoms including paranoia,episodes of violent rage, and dementia  associated with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). 

Quarterbacks bust, but not because of this flawed logic

If history holds true, either Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III will be a bust in the NFL
www.nydailynews.com

Luck and Griffin will be just the seventh set of quarterbacks to go 1-2 since the NFL started the draft in 1936. It will be just the fifth time it’s happened since the 1970 merger and it hasn’t happened at all since 1999. Luck and Griffin are expected to be franchise quarterbacks and resurrect their teams.  If the history of quarterbacks going 1-2 is a way to predict the future, then Luck or Griffin will become a star — but not both…

1998: Peyton Manning vs. Ryan Leaf . There was actually doubt which quarterback the Colts would select right up until the day before the draft. San Diego general manager Bobby Beathard , who was picking third, traded two No. 1s, a No. 2 and running back Eric Metcalf to the Cardinals to move up just one spot to guarantee getting Manning or Leaf. He made that trade in the middle of March, more than a month before the draft. He said he would be happy to get either one. “It doesn’t make any difference to us,” Beathard said. “The Colts are the only ones that have to make a decision. Not us. We get whoever’s left.” Oops. Manning became one of the all-time greats. Leaf is the No. 1 flop in NFL draft history.

I'm not sure I follow Myers' logic here--just because we've seen Rick Mirer and Drew Bledsoe or Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf or even Tim Couch and Donovan McNabb doesn't mean we're in for a bust from either Luck or Griffin.

The real reason Luck or Griffin could bust isn't because they will be taken 1-2.  It's because the NFL draft has a high bust rate in general.

It's also easy to criticize Bobby Beathard now with all of our hindsight bias, but at the time, there were few teams that wouldn't have drafted Leaf if they were in a similar.  It's probably fair, though, to criticize the trade up to #2, which is often ignored in the Manning-Leaf discussion.  Yet even that is probably unfair.  Imagine if the Colts had drafted Leaf.  Beathard's trade would have seemed rather clever at this point.    

Rang: Broncos should take DT Worthy, RB Polk, WR Matthews, and QB Wilson with first four picks

Projecting the draft: Denver Broncos
www.cbssports.com

DT Jerel Worthy, Michigan State (NFLDraftScout.com ranking: 27)
The Broncos’ biggest need - literally and figuratively - is clearly at defensive tackle…As such, should Worthy still be on the board when the Broncos pick at No. 25, the powerful and explosive defender certainly would make a great deal of sense.

RB Chris Polk, Washington (NFLDraftScout.com ranking: 61)
Despite leading the NFL in rushing last season, the Broncos need help at the position…Polk has as good of tape as any running back in the country not named Trent Richardson. He’s the type of determined, physical runner that Fox has preferred over his career and is an excellent receiver out of the backfield capable of earning Manning’s trust quickly. If Denver is comfortable with the heavy workload Polk had with the Huskies, he’d be a quality schematic fit in the second round (No. 57 overall).

WR Rishard Matthews, Nevada (NFLDraftScout.com ranking: 89)
...[The Broncos]could make a versatile playmaker like Matthews a surprise target in the middle rounds (like third round pick, No. 87 overall)...Matthews, who stepped up his game for the Wolfpack in 2011 after Colin Kaepernick was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers, is not only a talented receiver but returned punts for touchdowns in each of his two seasons at Nevada, as well.

QB Russell Wilson, Wisconsin (NFLDraftScout.com ranking: 115)
..adding a player with Wilson’s starting experience and composure makes sense as well. If still available when the Broncos are up with their first of two picks in the fourth round, the underrated Wilson might simply provide too much value to pass up at No. 108 overall.

CB Leonard Johnson, Iowa State (NFLDraftScout.com ranking: 136)
Johnson may slip a bit on draft day after a disappointing showing at the Combine, but he plays with the physicality and competitiveness necessary to enjoy success behind the Broncos’ extraordinary pass-rushing duo of Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil. He’d make sense with the Broncos’ second fourth round pick, No. 120 overall.

While we wouldn't call this a mock draft, it's a scenario that's realistic; it fits all of the Broncos perceived needs. If the Broncos sign Marcus Thomas before the draft, they probably draft one defensive lineman.  If they don't, expect them to snag two.

The surprise here is Wilson, given the Broncos' recent obsession with tall quarterbacks.  However, remember something Mel Kiper, Jr. said about Wilson recently: if he was two inches taller, he'd be a first-round draft pick.  For a leprechaun, he's got a rocket. 

So who’s gonna be the interim interim coach?

Joe Vitt will take over as Saints coach on Monday
www.nfl.com

New Orleans Saints assistant head coach and linebackers coach Joe Vitt will assume the day-to-day activities of suspended head coach Sean Payton, effective Monday, the team announced Thursday.

Loomis said Vitt will provide the best continuity in Payton’s absence. Not yet determined is who will fill in for Vitt once his six-game suspension begins at the start of the regular season.

Sure, replacing one suspended coach with another one definitely provides continuity. But coaching? Not so much.

Update 5:43 pm ET: Adam Schefter reports that offensive line coach Aaron Kromer wll be the interim² coach.