Well, I have run out of time. With my mock draft due by noon tomorrow, its time to wrap up these final 3 positions in one blog post. As BK might say, “It’s time to bring in the VO with the CG so let me have some of the PCP.” Because BK has a very serious substance abuse problem and can get violent.
So without further adieu, let’s give it a roll:
Tight Ends, which less than a decade ago were basically being relegated to glorified fullbacks (blockers and outlets in the passing game) have re-emerged recently as legitimate pass threats in more offenses than I can shake a stick at. This is because I don’t currently have a stick.
Perhaps this is a credit to players like Tony Gonzalez, Jeremy Shockey, Todd Heap & Antonio Gates who made offensive coordinators run plays for them. Drafted Tight Ends have been pretty impressive recently – look at how many are major cogs in their offensive engines and I’m not even including last year’s only 1st round pick Brandon Pettigrew.
2008 – Dustin Keller (1st, Jets); John Carlson (2nd, Seahawks)
2007 – Greg Olson (1st, Bears); Zach Miller (2nd, Raiders); Kevin Boss (5th Giants); Brent Celek (5th, Eagles).
2006 – Vernon Davis (1st, 49ers); Owen Daniels (4th, Texans)
Let’s take a look at this year’s TOP 3 TIGHT ENDS.
Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma
Probably the only TE going in the first round despite missing all of 2009. The stove is getting hot around Gresham. Solid all around physicals, he’s huge and looks healthy. He’s a top 15 pick if he doesn’t miss his senior season.
Dennis Pitta, BYU
Really impressive combine numbers – I get excited when I see a 4.17 shuttle time. I also get excited when I see a Hot Dog on a Stick.
Dorin Dickerson, Pittsburgh
A little undersized, but fast at 4.4 in the 40, he can jump through the roof, and a 6.96 3-cone-drill says one thing to me…SEAM PASS! Granted, he had virtually no production in college and has switched around positions a lot, but I know another feller with a similar name who had a similar beginning – and that guys alright with me.
If you want to make it in this league as a fullback…you need them. Some nice pumps don’t hurt either.
Don’t believe me, ask Madison Hedgecock.
The next position to re-emerge as relevant in NFL offenses will be fullback. When was the last time a fullback really had an all-around impact on his team – Roger Craig? Where have you gone Ron Springs. Fullbacks are usually asked nowadays to just block. I mean honestly, when you have to vote for Pro Bowl players do you recognize the name of any of the fullbacks other than an odd player here or there? Pure fullbacks are less likely to get drafted than a kicker or punter these days and the following TOP 3 FULLBACKS are as likely to go undrafted as they are land a spot in Round 6 or 7.
John Conner, Kentucky
He’s a little graded down because of his 5’11 1/2 height and an injury history, but he’s got a nice variety of skills and would be a worthwhile pick in 6 or 7. BK-o-Meter likes him too because he’s a little undersized but unlike BK, has crafty footwork.
Rashawn Jackson, Virginia
Along with Connor, the only other FB invited to the combines. Not a lot to dislike here, not a lot to like. Probably will get drafted but I wouldn’t spend a pick here just because there’s too much depth at other positions.
Cory Jackson, Maryland
Could be a steal as an UFA because he’s got good overall skills, leadership ability and tough as nails.
KICKERS & PUNTERS
Most teams either like their kicker or believe their as likely to find a kicker as a free-agent as they are to draft one. And if you do spend a draft pick on a kicker or punter, it’s assumed that at the very least he’s going to have a chance to win a job or you’ve really wasted a pick because you’re not going to stash him away on the practice squad.
No kicker has been drafted above the 5th round since 2006. In fact, only 5 kickers have been drafted in the first or second round in the last 30 years – the disappointing Mike Nugent (2nd in 2005, Jets); chubby Sebastien Janikowski (1st in 2000, Raiders); iron-man Jason Hansen (2nd in 1992, Lions), Chip Lohmiller (2nd in 1988, Redskins) and the epic bust that was UCLA’s John Lee (2nd in 1986, Cardinals).
Punters are respected even less by NFL executives come draft day. Since the Saints infamous selection of Russell Erxleben with the 11th overall pick in 1979, only 2 punters have been selected as high as the 2nd round. The excellent Rohn Stark (2nd in 1982, Colts) and the line-drive kicking Todd Sauerbrun (2nd in 1985, Bears).
Truth is, there doesn’t seem to be a kicker or punter in the 2010 crop of draftees who looks likely to be selected. East Carolina Punter Matt Dodge seems to have the best chance to make it in the league and even that shot is long. Bama’s Leigh Tiffin will get invited to a camp somewhere with Ohio State’s Aaron Pettrey the only other kicker even getting any sniff of buzz.
So instead of ranking players who aren’t going to get drafted, let’s hear from Virginia Tech Brent Bowden and his love of guitar.
BK is hot on the trail of a kicker and has gone to every pawn shop and soccer game he can find in his search. His wife CK1 also has the kicker jones. It’s because they cannot take the inconsistent Lawrence Tynes of the Giants any longer. “I hate him. I hate him. I hate him,” screams CK1 every time I’m over at Villa de Sage to watch a Giants game with her and BK. “Hey, I’m still in the room,” I respond (ba-dum-bum). It’s an emotional response equivalent to those at a tea-party gathering threatening Iowa Senator Charles Grassley. Grassley folded on health care and looks like a pussy but BK and CK1 ain’t folding on a kicker this year. “Leigh Tiffin, I’ll take him…Matt Bosher, he’s mine.” BK still felt one of the late round picks Giants GM Jerry Reese flushed down the toilet on DB’s who couldn’t play last year could have been spent on Wisconsin’s Taylor Mehlhaff. “With a name like Mehlhaff, he has to be good.” When I mentioned that Mehlhaff was part Scottish too, just like Tynes, BK responded “Hey, I’ve got nothing against the Scots. I like Scottish eggs…I just wish they wouldn’t put that Dirty Jew Salmon Lox on them.”