Archive for the ‘NFL Draft’ Category

Huskers at the 2009 NFL Combine

February 16, 2009

I don’t know about you, but I love to watch the NFL combine. I’m fascinated by it. Many of the same athletes that we have been watching for the past few years now suddenly have their future in the balance based solely on their workouts.

It is astonishing to think that several tenths of a second in the 40 yard dash could cost a player millions of dollars. Three-inches in a player’s vertical leap could be the difference between being a sixth round pick or not even being drafted at all. You would think that these subtle differences in their scores would have nothing to do with the game of football, but to every NFL coach, scout, and general manager, they do.

Even more, I enjoy envisioning who these players will be playing for on Sundays as the NFL Network’s correspondents discuss team needs. Almost a full week of listening to the likes of Rich Eisen and Brian Billick talk college and NFL football in the middle of February certainly is something not to be taken for granted. Therefore, I watch.

Last year, I remember Sports Illustrated’s Peter King discussing that the NFL combine isn’t relied upon as heavily as it once was in large part because of a former Boston College player Mike Mamula. Mamula was so impressive at the 1995 combine that former Philadelphia Eagles’ head coach Ray Rhodes traded away two first-round picks to select him at #7 overall. Ever heard of Mike Mamula before? The myth of Mamula has been widely debated as his career was not nearly as bad as many made it out to be. However, because of the draft mythology involving Mamula, NFL General Managers don’t put quite as much emphasis on the numbers at the combine as they used to. Maybe a few rounds can be gained or lost this weekend, but you won’t be seeing a virtual unknown rocket up to #7 overall out of nowhere again based on his workout. Nonetheless, this weekend still matters.

300+ former college athletes and six Huskers will be taking part in this weekend’s combine in Indianapolis.

Nebraska’s 2009 NFL Combine Invitation List (for the complete list of participants, click here.)

GLENN, CODY NEBRASKA 09 LB12 OLB
LUCKY, MARLON NEBRASKA 06 RB19 RB
MURTHA, LYDON NEBRASKA 02 OL39 T
POTTER, ZACH NEBRASKA 08 DL41 DE
SLAUSON, MATT NEBRASKA 02 OL47 G
SWIFT, NATE NEBRASKA 05 WO38 WR

You can watch the combine in its entirety from Thursday, February 19th through Wednesday, February 25th on the NFL Network or on NFL.com. For the complete schedule, click here –> NFL Network Combine Coverage Schedule.

Some times of interest:
Saturday, February 21 @ 10:00 AM (CST) – Workouts: Kickers, Offensive Linemen and Tight Ends
Sunday, February 22 @ 10:00 AM (CST) – Workouts: Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers, Running Backs
Monday, February 23 @ 10:00 AM (CST) – Workouts: Linebackers, Defensive Lineman

Which former Husker do you think will have the most successful NFL career?
( polls)

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The Ndamukong Suh Draft Dilemma

January 8, 2009


Husker DT Ndamukong Suh’s decision to either return for his senior season or leave for the NFL is not going to be an easy one. His decision will likely not be based much at all – if any – on how much he enjoys the college game but rather on dollars and cents. Recently, Suh was projected as high as 25th overall by NFLDraftDog.com and 31st overall by ESPN’s Scouts Inc. and Todd McShay.

The dilemma Suh faces is if he can improve his draft status by returning to school for one more year. Currently, Alabama’s Terrence Cody (junior), Boston College’s B.J. Raji (senior), Ole Miss’ Peria Jerry (senior), and Oklahoma’s Gerald McCoy (RS sophomore) are the defensive tackles that are listed around or ahead of Suh in most projections for the 2009 draft. Gerald McCoy has yet to declare but he is currently listed as the top defensive tackle and near the Top 10 overall. Terrence Cody never filed his NFL paperwork.

If McCoy leaves, that would tentatively leave Cody and Suh as the top two returning defensive tackles in college next year. Assuming both would have equal if not more successful seasons than they did in 2008, their draft status will certainly shoot up the board. And if Terrence Cody does decide to leave along with Gerald McCoy, then Suh would have a great opportunity to be the first defensive tackle taken in the 2010 draft.

How much of a difference does it make if you are drafted early first-round or late first-round you ask? Let’s do some math.

2008 NFL Draft – Defensive Tackles

Glenn Dorsey (DT) – 5th overall pick by the Kansas City Chiefs. He signed a five-year, $51 million contract with $23 million guaranteed.

Sedrick Ellis (DT) – 7th overall pick by the New Orleans Saints. He signed a five-year, $33.5 million contract with $19.5 million guaranteed. Another $15.5 million is available through incentives.

Kentwan Balmer (DT) – 29th overall pick by the San Francisco 49ers. He signed a five-year, $11.5 million contract with $6 million guaranteed.

Jason Jones (DT) – 54th overall pick by the Tennessee Titans. He signed a four-year, $3.21 million contract with a $1.505 million signing bonus.

Pat Sims (DT) – 77th overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals. He signed a four-year, $2.473 million contract which included a $768,200 signing bonus.

Glenn Dorsey and Kentwan Balmer were both first round draft picks. In fact, they were only separated by 24 picks. Big discrepancy.

  • 24 picks = a $39.5 million dollar contract difference.
  • 24 picks = a $17 million dollar difference in guaranteed money.

If Suh does decide to forgo his senior season, he will more than likely be looking at a contract in the ballpark of $12+ million dollars with around $6+ million of that guaranteed. If Suh does decide to return for his senior season and can produce equal to or better than his 2008 season without getting injured, he will more than likely be looking at a contract in the ballpark of $45+ million dollars with around $20+ million of that guaranteed – at least.

Although that’s a very rough estimate and although many things can change, Suh has quite the decision to make. Either way, it’s good to be Ndamukong Suh right about now.

To invest or not to invest? THAT is the question.

Ndamukong Suh Projected 1st Round NFL Draft Pick

January 3, 2009

Ndamukong Suh said as recently as yesterday, “I’m not 100 percent sure, but my mind-set is that I would like to come back to school. I have a year of school to finish, and I want to come back and play for Bo (Pelini). I love playing for these coaches.

Here are the most recent draft projections from two credible sources:

From NFLMockDraft.com (updated January 3, 2009)

25 DT, Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska (JR) The most improved player in the country in 2008. Suh has immense talent, great size (6′ 4″ 304 lbs) and unlimited potential. Moves like a 300 pound linebacker

From ESPN’s Scouts Inc. and Todd McShay (updated December 28, 2008) –

Scouts Inc.’s Top 32 Prospects

31. Ndamukong Suh* DT Nebraska 6-4 305

It’s wishful thinking for Husker fans that Suh will be coming back for his senior season. However, at this point, it is not in his best interest. Academics and a college diploma are always available. Millions of dollars in guaranteed money and being a first-round NFL draft pick is a once in a lifetime opportunity that can be taken away on a single play in college.

I’m sure Suh will be talking the situation over extensively with his family and coaches in the upcoming weeks. The right thing for him to do is thank the coaches, his teammates, and the fans at Nebraska and move on to a career in the NFL.

Nebraska the Football Factory?

August 28, 2007

Football Outsiders one of the better football analysis sites recently compiled a fairly comprehensive look at which college football programs perennially produce the most NFL talent. You see these types of pieces yearly, but this one relied on an actual, and interesting methodology, rather than anecdotal evidence and author opinions.

Points were awarded for the following criteria:

1) Each school earns points for each player drafted. The number of points is based on the round the player was drafted in:
1st round: 3.5 points
2nd round: 3.0 points
3rd round: 2.5 points
4th round: 2.0 points
5th round: 1.5 points
6th round: 1.0 point
7th round: 0.5 points

2) Schools get 10 points for each NFL starter.

3) Schools get 15 points for producing a player who has made it to the Pro Bowl. They get a 5-point bonus for any player with three or more Pro Bowls.

4) Schools get 5 points for each NFL player with a career of 5 or more seasons.

5) Finally, schools get 1 point for each player on an NFL roster.

Not a perfect analysis, but clearly better than most.

As for the results, here is the Top 10

1. Miami
2. Florida State
3. Ohio State
4. Georgia
5. Michigan
6. Tennessee
7. Florida
8. LSU
9. Texas
10. Nebraska

And here is what they had to say about the Huskers:

Nebraska has been a collegiate powerhouse throughout history, making a bowl game every year since 1969. Eons of talent have traveled through Lincoln on their way to successful NFL careers. Though Nebraska now is not as dominant as they were in the ‘90s, they still produce a very good crop of NFL talent on a yearly basis. Headlining the solid list is running back Ahman Green, who’s on the downside of his career, but had four or five brilliant years in the early 2000s. Other contributing Nebraska alums are Richie Incognito, Cory Schlesinger, Scott Shanle, Correll Buckhalter, Josh Bullocks, Demorrio Williams, Kyle Larson, Kyle Vanden Bosch and Mike, Josh and Kris Brown. Though none of the players stand out as perennial bests at their respective positions, each is a more than capable pro. They’ve been highly effective throughout their careers.

Draft pick points: 68
Starter points: 170
Pro Bowl players: 3 for 50 points
Experience points: 80
Player points: 42
Total: 410

Just something to tide you until Saturday.

NFL Draft Analysis – The Lazy Version

April 30, 2007

This is all I’ve got, considering these two days are the last I will follow the NFL until playoff time.

When I heard the names of this year’s crop of Huskers called on NFL Draft weekend, I thought the teams selecting them seemed familiar.

Adam Carriker – St. Louis
Brandon Jackson – Green Bay
Stewart Bradley – Philadelphia
Jay Moore – San Francisco

It just seemed at first glance, that we have had a lot of Nebraska players on the rosters of these particular NFL squads. That got me thinking about patterns among NFL teams and which colleges they tend to raid for talent. In particular I was interested in which teams seem to select Huskers at higher rates than others.

I limited my analysis to the years of 1982-2007, as that seemed to be the most readily available. I also tried to do some combining of teams based on moves to new cities. For example, the LA Rams and the St. Louis Rams simply became the Rams.

Anyway, here is the chart showing the teams that have drafted the most Nebraska players from 1982-2007.


Not that enlightening and only the Rams selection of Carriker would seem to fit the data. Certianly we have had many players on rosters of other NFL teams, but these are the ones that have drafted the most Huskers during that time period.

Other random notes from the data:

We’ve had 141 players drafted during that time period.
Linebacker, DB, RB, and offensive line are the most common positions drafted.
We’ve had three players drafted with picks #6 and #39.
The players drafted at #6 were: Broderick Thomas, Lawrence Phillips, Grant Wistrom. The players picked at #39 were: Jared Tomich, Toniu Fonoti, Mike Brown

Meh.

If anyone else would like the data to play around with data, shoot me an email at jcadams(at)uh.edu and I’ll send you the Excel file.

Patrick to Enter Supplemental Draft

March 9, 2007

In a move no one saw coming, LT Chris Patrick has decided to enter the NFL’s Supplemental Draft. Said Patrick:

“I put a lot of thought into it,” Patrick said Thursday night. “A lot of people asked me why I didn’t go into April’s draft but it took time making this decision. Looking back I should have entered the April draft but the supplemental draft is there and I’ll have a good opportunity to demonstrate my skills and will get more individual attention from teams. My timing could have been better but I’m not too worried about that now.”

I really have no idea what to make of this. I just mentioned to my Dad that he was still listed on the official roster, which seemed to indicate the possibility of his return. I guess not.

On the one hand, this certainly hurts the depth on the O-line. On the other hand, it could mean two less false-starts/game next year. I kid, I kid.

Anyway, good luck Chris and may all your supplemental draft day dreams come true.

Monday Bits and Pieces

February 26, 2007

Before we start, I have to admit it is getting a little lonely around here. Remember when DXP had a bunch of lively contributors? What the hell happened? I heard from Sammy Vegas this weekend and he will be returning shortly. What about T. and/or A. Rose? You guys game for some pieces this off-season? Oh and Dr. D if you can take a break from the “Fornication Vacation” you’ll always have a spot too. Just let me know guys.

· The LJS is reporting that Joe Rudolph is perhaps the leading candidate for the TE coaching vacancy. Rudolph played for Wisconsin (while Callahan coached there) and earned first team All-Big Ten honors twice and helped the Badgers win the Big Ten and Rose Bowl as a senior. In the NFL, he spent two seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles and two with the San Francisco 49ers before injuries cut his career short in 1998. Rudolph is currently a member of the Ohio State strength and conditioning staff, but was formerly a GA with the Buckeyes who assisted with the offensive line.

· The Day 4 NFL Combine results are posted and Brandon Jackson seems to have had a pretty decent day. He won’t be happy with his 4.57 time in the forty, but he did show good explosiveness and change of direction with a 4.14 time in his 20-yard shuttle. Jackson also posted a 37’ inch vertical 10’2” broad jump. I’m still thinking he is a 3rd or 4th round pick.

· The Seattle Seahawks have tagged former Husker Josh Brown as their franchise player. Brown is the only kicker among this season’s seven franchise players. He led the league with four game-winning FGs in 2006 and is quickly becoming the leagues top clutch kicker. By rule the Seahawks will be forced to pay Brown just more than $2 million.

· Finally, we see what serves as a Texas-sized celebration around these parts. Apparently this is a group of Longhorn fans throwing down after the win over OU. I don’t think we really need to worry about that whole “Keep Austin Weird” movement.

Checking in on the NFL Draft

February 19, 2007


NFL.com has Gil Brandt’s pre-Combine “rankings”. Here is how he ranks this year’s group of Huskers: Nevermind, as Bob points out in the comment section Gil Brandt was apparently only in charge of alphabetizing the players for the combine. I suck at reading.

Adam Carriker #5 DL
Jay Moore #34 DL
Stewart Bradley #5 LB
Brandon Jackson #6 RB

In addition, Draft Tek is a really cool mock draft site that uses a computer model to generate a 7-round simulation for the 2007 NFL draft. This is how the site projects Nebraska’s prospects to go:

Round 1 (10) Adam Carriker – Atlanta
Round 3 (74) Stewart Bradley – Buffalo
Round 4 (119) Jay Moore – New Orleans
Round 7 (220) Brandon Jackson – Baltimore

For what its worth, I think the Draft Tek model undervalues BJax a bit. I can’t imagine one of the Top 10 RB prospects falling to the 7th round.

I also can’t help but hope that one day we see more Husker offensive talent on NFL draft boards.