Saturday, February 19, 2011

2011 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Muhammad Wilkerson

Muhammad Wilkerson, DE, Temple (6'5" 305 lbs.)

Positives: He's a versatile player who can play everywhere on the  defensive Line. He has above average speed and strength. Has a very good bull rush. He's a good tackler who has a nose for the football.

Negatives: He needs to work on his passing rushing arsenal. Has a tendacy to play high and lose leverage.

2011 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Mike Pouncey

Mike Pouncey, OL, Florida (6'4" 317 lbs.)

Positives: He's an athletic big man who has pretty good strength. He holds up reasonably well versus bigger bull rushing nose tackles. Very solid pass protector and good initial quickness to stay with blitzing linebackers. He works hard to finish blocks.

Negatives: He needs to work on his consistency. Sometimes he's too slow to recgonize stunts and blitzes. Has a tendacy to lunge and lose balance. He would like to play center in the NFL, like his twin brother Maurkice who plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, he struggled at times snapping the ball, especially in the shotgun. Scouts believe he'll fit in better at guard.

2011 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Akeem Ayers

Akeem Ayers, DE/OLB, UCLA (6'4" 255 lbs.)

Positives: He's a versatile linebacker who has the size and speed to line up at several positions on the field. He's a solid tackler who  plays under control. He plays with good discipline and awareness. He has good technique and has the size and strength to get off blocks. He has above-average coverage skills and can make plays on the ball.

Negatives: He needs to more pass-rushing moves to be a consistent pass rusher in the NFL. He will struggle with faster tight ends as he is more quick than fast. Lacks explosiveness, plays too under control.

2011 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Gabe Carimi

Gabe Carimi, OL, Wisconsin (6'7" 315 lbs.)

Positives: He's a good athlete for a big guy. Has ideal size for a offensive tackle with long arms. Stays on his blocks very well and works to finish blocks. Moves his feet well and can stand up to bull rush defenders.

Negatives: He needs to work on staying lower. Has a tendacy to play high and lunge at fastesr defenders. He needs to become a more consisent run blocker.

2011 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Anthony Costanzo

Anthony Costanzo, OT, Boston College (6'7" 305 lbs.)

Positives: Very good athlete with good overall technique. For a 300-pounder, he's agile with reasonably quick feet. He moves well in pass protection and is a very solid run blocker. Does a good job of sustaining blocks and works hard to finish blocks.

Negatives: Needs to get stronger and add about 10 pounds. Struggles at times with stronger defenders and gets knocked off his feet too easily.

2011 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Marvin Austin

Marvin Austin, DL, North Carolina (6'2" 310 lbs.)

Positives: He has a quick first step and strong upper body. He has the ability to collapse the pocket on his own. He has a solid arsenal of moves including good bull rush and spin move. He's versatile and fits in either a 4-3 or 3-4 defenses.

Negatives: He needs to work on his consistency, is absent from too many plays. He has a tendency to play too high. Character concerns will follow him into the NFL. Was suspended in 2010 for rules violations. Needs to work on his maturity and prove he wants to play at the NFL level.

2011 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Aaron Williams

Aaron Williams, CB, Texas (6'1" 195 lbs.)

Positives: He has good size for a cornerback and pretty good speed as well. He's a very fluid cover man who flows well to the ball in pass coverage and run defense. Does a good job reading receivers and locates the ball extremely well. He can make plays on the ball and possesses above-average hands for a cornerback.

Negatives: He will need to get stronger to match-up with the bigger receivers in the league. Has a tendency to take too many chances and is susceptible to getting beat deep. He needs to work on his bump-and-run technique.

2011 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Torrey Smith

Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland (6'1" 200 lbs.)

Positives: He has tremendous speed, in the low 4.3 range. He is explosive out of his breaks and has the size and strength to get physical with defenders. He has a lot of upside if he can learn the position.

Negatives: He needs to do a better job of catching with his hands, dropped too many passes. Works the edges well, but hasn't shown the ability to work the middle of the field.

2011 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Justin Houston

Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia (6'3" 258 lbs.)
Positives: Has the perfect build for to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. Has above average speed for his size. He can use his speed and strength to get by offensive lineman. He has the ability to shed blocks and make stops in the running game. He has good character and works hard to get better.

Negatives: He needs to work on becoming more of a sure tackler. He has a tendancy to tackle too high and misses too many tackles. He is not very good in pass coverage and will likely be predominantly a pass rusher.

2011 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Brandon Harris

Brandon Harris, CB, Miami (5'11" 195 lbs.)

Positives: He's a very solid man-to-man defender with fluid footwork. He has quick closing speed in run support. He's a hard worker and has shown a willingness to learn and improve.

Negatives: He needs to work on his tackling. Gets to the ball carrier well, but missed too many tackles. At 5'11", he'll have trouble with bigger receivers.

2011 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Derek Sherrod

Derek Sherrod, OL, Mississippi State (6'5" 315 lbs.)

Positives: He has very good footwork and a strong base. Uses his hands well and has good arm extension. Has the ability to control defenders once he locks on. He's a solid pass blocker and very good run block. Has a good football IQ and could be a starting left tackle for many years.

Negatives: Needs to do a better job of staying in front of quick defenders. He has a tendancy to lunge and miss blocks at time. He needs to get stronger and play with more aggression.

2011 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Corey Liuget

Corey Liuget, DL, Illinois (6'3" 300 lbs.)

Positives: He has very good speed for a big man and gets after the quarterback. He also has great strength and can bull rush his way into the backfield. Uses his hands well to shed blocks. He's a good tackler and plays with a lot of energy. Could fit in 4-3 or 3-4 defenses.

Negatives: He needs to expand his pass rushing technique, relies too much on natural ability. Needs to work on conditioning, has a tendancy to wear down late in games.

2011 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Adrian Clayborn

Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa (6'4" 285 lbs.)

Positives: He's very quick and explosive around the edge. Uses his hands well and can get off blocks very well. Has a good bull rush and can collapse the pocket. He's solid against the run and can make plays behind the line of scrimmage. Relentless pursuer with a knack for making big plays and big hits.

Negatives: He needs to improve his first step. Has a tendacy to get off the ball late and can be knocked back by stronger offensive linemen. Needs to be more aware, he sometimes overruns plays. Charatcer concerns could hurt his stock. Plead guilty to disorderly conduct in March 2010 after being charged with assault causing bodily injury in 2009.

2011 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Tyron Smith

Tyron Smith, OL, USC (6'5" 305 lbs.)

Positives: He is very athletic for a lineman and has nimble feet. He has very good lateral movement and does a solid job at staying in front of defenders. Consistent run blocker who can get to the second level of the defense. He flashes a mean streak and can finish blocks.

Negatives: His initial punch lacks real pop. Needs to work on getting hands in tighter, has a tendency to grab defenders. Will need to add weight and get stronger at the next level.

2011 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Cameron Heyward

Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State (6'5" 288 lbs.)

Positives: He has the ability to play every position on the defensive line. He's athletic, has good speed and uses his hands very well. He has the speed to get around blockers, but can also shed blocks reasonably well. Looks comfortable dropping into coverage. He is the son of former NFL running back Craig "Ironhead" Heyward

Negatives: He needs to prove he can perform consistently. He has a tendancy to disappear during games. Uses a bull rush tool often, he needs to add more moves to his pass rushing arsenal. Will need to add weight to be considered aan every down defensive tackle in the NFL.

2011 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Nate Solder

Nate Solder, OT, Colorado (6'8" 314 lbs.)

Positives: For a big guy, he's extremely athletic and agile. He has long arms and quick feet. Does a solid job of staying low and staying in front of defenders. He's an above average passer block and very good run blocker. He's a hard worker who can show a mean side sometimes. Will likely start his NFL career as a right tackle.

Negatives: Has a tendacy to lunge against speed rushers and can be beat by good inside moves. Not especially strong and lacks real force when he makes contact. Still somewhat of a project.

2011 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Ryan Kerrigan

Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue (6'3" 255 lbs.)

Positives: He is behind only J.J. Watt as the most NFL-ready defensive end in the 2011 draft. Has good enough speed to get around the edge and a great power move inside. Has the ability to get off blocks and make tackles. Gives a solid effort every play. Some have compared him to Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen. 

Negatives: He's undersized for a prototypical NFL defensive end. Has a tendacy to play too high and get pushed out of plays.

2011 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Mark Ingram

Mark Ingram, Alabama (5'10" 215 lbs.)

Positives: Has good size for a college running back and strong enough to break tackles. Has very good balance and awareness when running the ball. He's a smart runner who doesn't shy away from contact. He has displayed solid pass catching abilities out of the backfield. Does a great job of securing the football.

Negatives: He doesn't possess game-breaking speed. He will need to significantly improve his pass protection at the next level.

2011 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Julio Jones

Julio Jones, WR, Alabama (6'4" 220 lbs.)

Positives: He uses his size and speed to create mismatches against smaller defenders. May be the best route runner in the draft and not afraid to work the middle of the field. He's strong, physical and can shed tacklers. He's also a solid run blocker downfield.

Negatives: He has a tendency to drop too many easy passes. He sometimes disappears during games. Needs to do a better job of catching with his hands instead of his body.

2011 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Jimmy Smith

Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado (6'2" 205 lbs.)

Positives: At 6'2", he has a great mix of size and speed. Has the ability to jam receivers at the line and runs well with speedy receivers. He has very good body control, and makes plays on the ball much like a receiver. Has the potential to start as a rookie and develop into lockdown NFL cornerback.

Negatives: Because he's so tall, he needs to work on staying lower and getting out of his breaks quicker. He will need to learn to play within a zone defense system. Has a tendancy to freelance a bit and misses assignment when he's in press coverage. He turned some teams off with his cocky attitude at the NFL Scouting Combine.

2011 NFL Draft Scouting Report: JJ Watt

J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin (6'6" 292 lbs.)

Positives: He's ready physically to play in the NFL right away. May be the most complete defensive end in the draft. He has the ability to speed rush around the corner and bull rush larger offensive tackles. He is also a solid run stopper and is relentless in his pursuit of the ball carrier. Good character guy with tremendous upside.

Negatives: He has a tendency to over-pursue plays. Needs to learn the position more, after spending his first couple season as a tight end in college.

2011 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Aldon Smith

Aldon Smith, DE/OLB, Missouri (6'5" 260 lbs.)

Positives: He is an explosive player with a great first step. At 6'5", he has long arms and can disrupt passing lanes. He has been solid when asked to drop into coverage and can close on the ball. Very good run stopper who's always around the ball. Has plenty of upside, still very raw.

Negatives: He needs to bulk up, add 15-20 pounds of muscle. Has a tendacy to rely on his speed more than technique. Doesn't have a defined role in the NFL, could be a rush linebacker on a 3-4 team, or undersized defensive end on 4-3 team.

2011 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Robert Quinn

Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina (6'5" 270 lbs.)

Positives: He's very athletic. He has long arms and excellent speed around the edges. He has good acceleration off the ball and has the ability to collapse the pocket. He plays the run well and can make plays in the backfield. He's a hard worker who could play defensive end in a 4-3 defense or as a outside linebacker in the 3-4. He's been compared to Julius Peppers and Mario Williams.

Negatives: Not a lot of strength, relies heavily on his speed. Has trouble getting off blocks. Character concerns after he missed the entire 2010 season for accepting gifts from an agent. He had a benign tumor removed  from his brain when he was in high school.

2011 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Prince Amukamara

Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska (6'1" 205 lbs.)

Positives: Has great size and good speed for a CB. At 6'1", he is very physical and excels in press coverage and run support. He's a natural play maker who makes plays on the ball like a wide receiver. Will likely start right away in the NFL.

Negatives: His backpedal isn't always fluid, which causes him to lose ground on receivers. Has a tendency to stand tall, needs to stay low better so he can break on balls.

2011 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Patrick Peterson

Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU (6'1" 222 lbs.)

Positives: Great size and speed with the ability to make big plays. Likes to initiate contact and jam receivers at the line. Very good pass catching ability and body control. He is a very versatile player and has the ability to play multiple positions, including punt returner. Also like to hit, he'll have an immediate impact in the NFL. His playmaking skills remind some scouts of Baltimore Ravens saftey Ed Reed.

Negatives: Has a tendancy to to get caught out of position at times. Needs to learn how to work within the structure of a defense, instead of freelancing and relying on rough talent and ability.  

2011 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Blaine Gabbert

Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri (6'5" 235 lbs.)

Positives: He's a prototypical pocket passer with a very quick release. He has a big arm and can make every throw necessary for NFL quarterback. He's a leader in the huddle and has a great work ethic. Has above-average scrambling ability and has the ability to make plays outside of the pocket.

Negatives: He needs to be more consistent, especially with his deep throws. Has trouble with his accuracy at times and tends to throw off-balance when pressured. He needs to prove he can get out from underneath the center after playing in a spread offense where he took most of his snaps from the shotgun.

2011 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Marcell Dareus

Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama (6'3" 302 lbs.)

Positives: He does a very good job of getting off the ball. He has a strong swim move and powerful bull rush. Some scouts compares him to Oakland Raiders DL Richard Seymour.

Negatives: Has a tendancy to give up on plays if he's overmatched. Needs to add weight to his frame if he wants play on the interior d-line.

2011 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Von Miller

Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M (6'2" 237 lbs.)

Positives: Fast, hard-hitting outside linebacker who is great at collapsing the pocket. He doesn't miss many tackles and has a knack for always being around the ball. Has a skill set similar to Elvis Dumervil and can line up in many different defensive looks.

Negatives: Needs to work on getting off blocks better. He has a tendancy to get pushed away to easily by interior linemen. He could be a liability in stopping the run as he often takes himself out of plays with his outside pass rush. Doesn't have the strength or the pass coverage skilled to be an every-down linebacker in his rookie season.

2011 NFL Draft Scouting Report: A.J. Green

A.J. Green, WR, Georgia (6'4" 212 lbs.)

Positives: Very athletic wide receiver that creates mismatch problems for the defense. He's big enough that he will fight for balls and fast enough that he run by defenders. He's got great hands and plays smart. Some are comparing him to Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson.

Negatives: He could stand to bulk up a bit before making the leap to the pros. Like most young receivers, he needs to work on his route running.

2011 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Cam Newton

Cam Newton, QB, Auburn (6'6" 250 lbs.)

Positives: Has all the tools to be an elite NFL quarterback. He has an effortless throwing motion and tremendous arm strength. He has the ability to make every throw necessary in the NFL. Extremely mobile and dangerous when he gets out of the pocket. Very accurate passer, both in the pocket and on the run. He had a prolific season last year at Auburn, despite being the most scrutinized college football player

Negatives: Hasn't shown great accuracy when trying to throw within small passing windows. Needs to work on setting his feet better before he throws. He's still maturing, with only one year of starting experience at the division one level. His biggest flaw may be his character concerns surrounding his recruitment to Auburn. He won't be able to rely on his athleticism in the NFL, needs to prove he's willing to learn the pro game.

2011 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Da'Quan Bowers

Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson (6'4" 280 lbs.)

Positives: Good speed around the edge, has the ability to get after the quarterback. He also plays the run well and can make plays in the backfield. He's the prototypical 4-3 defensive end.

Negatives: He needs to be more consistent. He has a tendency to disappear at times. A slow recovery from off season knee surgery may hurt his draft stock.

2011 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Nick Fairley

Nick Fairley, DL, Auburn (6'5" 300 lbs.)

Positives: Good sized defensive lineman with quickness to get off the ball. Has a mean streak and plays with a lot of intensity. Fits best in a 4-3 scheme as a DT. Scouts compare him to Warren Sapp.

Negatives: Some have questioned his work habits, but that's difficult to quantify. Has had a tendency to wear down as the game progresses. Plays with a mean streak, took some undisciplined penalties and some cheap shots during the season.

Friday, February 18, 2011

St. Louis Rams cut O.J. Atogwe

On the same day the Indianapolis Colts released safety Bob Sanders, another high-priced safety got his walking papers. O.J. Atogwe was let go by St. Louis Rams today.

Atogwe was set to make an $8 million roster bonus on February 21. The Rams just signed the 29-year-old to a five-year, $32 million deal in June.

Now that Atogwe is a free agent, look for the Atogwe-to-the-Vikings rumors to begin. The six-year pro from Stanford is engaged to the daughter of Vikings assistant coach Mike Singletary.

Pittsburgh Steelers place franchise tag on LaMarr Woodley

The Pittsburgh Steelers have reportedly placed the franchise tag on linebacker LaMarr Woodley, that's according to the USA Today.

Under the agreement, Woodley's salary for the 2011 season is expected to be more than $10 million.

Woodley, who's 26-years-old, has 35 sacks in his four-year career.

Indianapolis Colts cut Bob Sanders

The oft-injured Indianapolis Colts Saftey Bob Sanders has been released by the Indianapolis Colts. Colts owner Jim Irsay broke the news on Twitter this morning.

Sanders' injuries became a yearly occurance and he couldn't stay on the field. In the last three seasons, Sanders has played in just nine regular-season games, while missing 39.

Sanders, who turns 30 next week, was set to make $5.5 million next season.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Oakland Raiders sign Richard Seymour, Zach Miller likely franchise tagged

The Oakland Raiders took a step Wednesday in securing Richard Seymour will retire as a Raider.
According to Jim Trotter of, the Raiders signed the 31-year-old Pro Bowl defensive tackle to a two-year, potential $30 million deal that includes $22.5 million in guarantees.

Trotter says the move gives the Raiders the option of using the franchise tag on free-agent tight end Zach Miller.

Seymour was acquired from the Patriots in 2009 in exchange for Oakland's 2011 first-round draft pick (#17 overall pick).

Baltimore Ravens place franchise tag on Haloti Ngata

The Baltimore Ravens became the latest team to place the franchise tag on one of their free agents, Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata.

The franchise tag designation will earn Ngata somewhere in the neighborhood of $12.5 million in 2011.

Ngata, who is 27, just finished his fifth season with the Ravens. He had 65 tackles and a career-high 5½ sacks this season and made the Pro Bowl for a second consecutive year.

Kansas City Chiefs place franchise tag on Tamba Hali

The Kansas City Chiefs have placed the franchise tag on free agent LB Tamba Hali.

Hali become an important part of the Kansas City defense in 2010, collecting 14.5 sacks and a trip to the Pro Bowl.

Hali's one-year franchise tag deal is expected to be in the neighborhood of $10 million.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Green Bay Packers close to extending Mike McCarthy's contract

Fresh off their Super Bowl XLV victory, the Green Bay Packers have reportedly rewarded head coach Mike McCarthy with new contract. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal, the Packers and McCarthy are putting the finishing touches on his contract extension.

The paper says McCarthy's new contract will add three years to his existing deal and average about $5 million per year. The deal will keep McCarthy in Green Bay through 2015.

McCarthy, who is 47-year-old, has been with the Packers for five seasons. He has a career record of 53-34 and one Super Bowl trophy.

Part II: Minnesota Vikings fans Vs. Green Bay Packers fans radio version

It's not everyday you get a text saying: Common is talking about your article on KFAN right now.

That was the text I got this afternoon from my fantasy football friend and KARE 11 sports anchor Dave Schwartz. I was at work so I couldn't tune in, but I found the segment on

It turns out "The Common Man" Dan Cole - with the Pioneer Press Super Bowl edition in hand - was wondering if my brother-in-law Randy had gotten his Green Bay Packers tattoo yet (Randy said in the article he would get a Packers tattoo if the Packers win Super Bowl XLV). The segment lasted several minutes and it was really quite entertaining, especially when Cole and his producer Tenna-B attempted to pronounce Randy's last name, Czaplewski (Sha-ples-key).

Start listening around the 3:45 mark for the bit about our family rivalry. By the way, no tattoo yet for Randy. All talk, typical Packers fan.

Click here to listen the segment.

Indianapolis Colts place franchise tag on Peyton Manning

In a move many people saw coming, the Indianapolis Colts have reportedly placed the franchise tag on quarterback Peyton Manning. According the Associated Press, the Colts have not announced the move, but it's a done deal.

Under the agreement of the franchise tag, Manning will be paid $23 million next season and the Colts will have exclusive rights to negotiate a future contract.

Manning, who will be 35 in June, is the only player in NFL history to win four league MVP awards. He also has one Super Bowl win and a Super Bowl MVP.

New York Jets place franchise tag on David Harris

NFL Network Insider Jason La Canfora is reporting the New York Jets have placed the franchise tag on linebacker David Harris.

According to La Canfora, Harris' one-year contract will be worth around $10 million, which was the average of the five highest-paid linebackers from the 2010 season.

Harris, who is 27, led the Jets with 99 tackles in 2010.

Clemson DE and NFL prospect Da'Quan Bowers recovering from knee surgery

Clemson defensive end Da’Quan Bowers is considered a top 5 pick on the April 2011 NFL draft, but that could change after news of a offseason knee surgery.

Tony Pauline of reported Bowers had a routine knee scope after Clemson's bowl game. The injury may keep Bowers from participating in all drills at the 2011 NFL Combine, which will be held February 23 – March 1.

Bowers led the nation in sacks in 2010.

San Diego Chargers place the franchise tag on WR Vincent Jackson

After a tumultuous 2010, the San Diego Chargers are prepared to make Vincent Jackson one of the highest paid wide receivers in the NFL. But that still may not make Jackson happy. On Tuesday, the Chargers applied the franchise tag to Jackson.

Jackson was set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, but is now bound to a one-year deal.

The Chargers and Jackson squared off last year over Jackson's contract, which prompted the reciever to sit out until October.

Jackson still has a chance to get out of the contract with San Diego, but those chances are very (very, very) slim. Jackson's franchise tag is non-exclusive, which means he can still negotiate with other teams. However, if a team signs him to an offer sheet, they would have to give up two first-round draft picks to San Diego (again, chances are very, very slim).

Tampa Bay Buccaneer quarterback Josh Freeman planning his own minicamps

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may be the team of the future and their quarterback is a big reason why. Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman recently told the Tampa Tribune that if there is a lockout, he will organize his own minicamps.

With the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) set to expire after March 3, 2011, Freeman wants his team to continue progressing and plans on bringing his teammates together. Freeman's idea is to gather his receivers and practice at local high schools while the NFL and NFLPA hash out a deal.

At age 23, Freeman is emerging as a solid NFL quarterback and led the Bucs to a 10-6 record in 2010.

Philadelphia Eagles place franchise tag on Michael Vick

The Philadelphia Eagles took a set towards securing their quarterback for next season by placing the francise tag on Michael Vick. The 2010 Comeback Player of the Year will likely make between $15 and $20 million in 2011.

Vick was named to the Pro Bowl team and finished second in the MVP voting behind Tom Brady. Vick, who will turn 31 in June, became the Eagles starting quarterback after Kevin Kolb was injured in week one of the 2010 season.

There is still some unceratinty about whether the franchise tag will exist next season because of the NFL's expiring collective bargaining agreement (CBA). The current CBA is set to expire after March 3, 2011.

The Eagles also placed the transition tag on kicker David Akers.

Dallas Cowboys reportedly ready to cut ties with Marion Barber III

After a lackluster and injury-plagued season, it appears Marion Barber III is on his way out in Dallas. According to the website, National Football Authority, the Cowboys are ready to release the sixth-year running back, and it could happen soon.

Barber's production has decreased over the past couple of seasons and in 2010 he rushed for just 343 yards and 4 touchdowns. Barber, who turns 28 in June, signed a seven-year deal worth $45 million in 2008. Barber is set to make $5 million dollars in 2011.

With Felix Jones and Tashard Choice already in Dallas' backfield, cutting ties with Barber (and his salary) makes sense for the Cowboys.

Monday, February 14, 2011

2011 NFL mock draft

You've all heard of the two certainties in life - death and taxes - but did you know there's another? With 100% certainty I can tell you that of the hundreds of 2011 NFL mock drafts you will read, not one will correctly predict the first round. It is almost statistically impossible and when you add the human element into the equation (i.e. 32 NFL teams drafting/trading picks), the odds increase even more.

With that said, here's my first crack at predicting the 2011 NFL draft. (Editor's note: Look for updates as this mock draft will change throughout the offseason).

1. Carolina Panthers -- Nick Fairley, DL, Auburn

2. Denver Broncos -- Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

3. Buffalo Bills -- Von Miller, DE/OLB, Texas A&M

4. Cincinnati Bengals -- AJ Green, WR, Georgia

5. Arizona Cardinals -- Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

6. Cleveland Browns -- Marcell Dareus, DE, Alabama

7. San Francisco 49ers -- Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

8. Tennessee Titans -- Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

9. Dallas Cowboys -- Nate Solder, OT, Colorado

10. Washington Redskins -- Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

11. Houston Texans -- Aldon Smith, DE/OLB, Missouri

12. Minnesota Vikings -- Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue

13. Detroit Lions -- Brandon Harris, CB, Miami

14. St. Louis Rams -- Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

15. Miami Dolphins -- Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama

16. Jacksonville Jaguars -- Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina

17. New England Patriots (from OAK) -- JJ Watt, DE, Wisconsin

18. San Diego Chargers -- Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State

19. New York Giants -- Tyron Smith, OL, USC

20. Tampa Bay Bucs -- Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa

21. Kansas City Chiefs -- Phil Taylor, NT, Baylor

22. Indianapolis Colts -- Derek Sherrod, OL, Mississippi State

23. Philadelphia Eagles -- Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado

24. New Orleans Saints -- Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia

25. Seattle Seahawks -- Aaron Williams, CB, Texas

26. Baltimore Ravens -- Jonathan Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh

27. Atlanta Falcons -- Marvin Austin, DL, North Carolina

28. New England Patriots -- Anthony Costanzo, OT, Boston College

29. Chicago Bears -- Gabe Carimi, OL, Wisconsin

30. New York Jets -- Akeem Ayers, DE/OLB, UCLA

31. Pittsburgh Steelers -- Mike Pouncey, OL, Florida

32. Green Bay Packers -- Muhammad Wilkerson, DE, Temple

2011 NFL mock draft: Cam Newton the new #1?

With more than two months to go until the 2011 NFL draft, mock draft boards are starting to undergo some major shake-ups.

Most mock drafts I've seen have changed significantly from week-to-week, and it's only going to continue. One of the latest mock drafts comes from writers, Rob Rang and Chad Reuter. The two of them have just five duplicate picks out of 32 first round selections - including different players going first overall. Click here to see the 2011 NFL mock draft.

Click here for a comprehensive list of 2011 NFL mock drafts compiled by