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Monday Morning Draft - Week 4




Here is the fourth edition of the Monday Morning Draft - a column that delves into the past weekend's action from a 2013 NFL Draft perspective. As the season goes on, the draft picture and slotting will become more clear, but every Sunday will provide a few hints for next April.

By Charlie Campbell.
Send Charlie an e-mail here: draftcampbell@gmail.com
Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell for updates.

Blow For Barkley/Stink for Smith:

There will be a lot of turnover as the season progresses in the positioning of which team will land the No. 1-overall pick to have the first shot at USC quarterback Matt Barkley or West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith. Here are the top contenders following the Week 4 action.

Cleveland Browns:
The Browns were dropped to 0-4 after playing tough but losing to Baltimore. Rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden played well and got Cleveland's offense moving. Dropped passes killed what could've been a big night for Weeden. Running back Trent Richardson played well also.

The Browns previously played close games in two other contests, but were unable to get wins over the Eagles, Bengals or Bills.

Cleveland has that intangible of a "loser instinct." The team find ways to get a loss when victory is possible and therefore, remain the favorite for the No. 1 pick.

New Orleans Saints:
The Saints lost on the road to the Packers by one point and fell to 0-4. All offseason I thought New Orleans would have a bad year because of the Bountygate turmoil. Then I listened to the training-camp propaganda that they were the same old Saints. Clearly that isn't the case. New Orleans' offense is missing suspended head coach Sean Payton and the defense is consistently ineffective. It looks like it will be a long year for the Saints.

Oakland Raiders:
The Raiders pulled off a shocking win at home against Pittsburgh last week, but got rolled by Denver this week on on the road. Oakland fell to 1-3 on the season. The Raiders had a Monday Night long-snapper fiasco against the Chargers earlier in the year and were also blown out by the Dolphins.

The previous regime traded for Carson Palmer and drafted Terrelle Pryor. New general manager Reggie McKenzie and head coach Dennis Allen won't hesitate to start their rebuilding process with a franchise quarterback. Oakland looks likely to have a double-digit loss season.

Jacksonville Jaguars:
The Jaguars fell to 1-3 as the Bengals had an easy road win in Jacksonville. The Jaguars' offense was completely ineffective at protecting Blaine Gabbert, who was sacked six times. Jacksonville couldn't establish a consistent passing or rushing offense against Cincinnati.

The Jaguars stole a win from the Colts last week with a last-minute 80-yard touchdown pass from Gabbert to Cecil Shorts. That one play accounted for over half of Gabbert's passing yards.

Jacksonville doesn't have enough talent around its signal-caller, while the team's offensive line and receiving corps are overmatched. The Jaguars have a terrible secondary on the other side of the ball, too. They just doesn't have the talent on their roster to avoid a top-10 pick.

Indianapolis Colts:
The Colts had a bye on Sunday. They lost a week ago to a bad Jaguars team in a winnable game at home. Indianapolis has an obviously young offense, but the team's defense is what lands it a spot in the bottom five of the league. Jacksonville running back Maurice Jones-Drew ran for 177 yards on 28 carries including a 59-yard touchdown jaunt. Gabbert's touchdown in the final minute was a horrible coverage breakdown.

The Colts are lacking a play-maker in their front seven, and their safeties remain a weakness as well. Indianapolis plays Green Bay next, but after that the Colts have an easy schedule. They should improve as the season progresses.




Let's Play Matchmaker:

This section will look at some of the top talent in college football and match those prospects up with teams that have a dire need at the position.

New York Jets: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
The Jets wide receivers were completely ineffective against San Francisco. Santonio Holmes was injured, but wasn't making plays before he was hurt. Chaz Schilens led New York in receiving with three receptions for 45 yards. If the Jets stick with Mark Sanchez at quarterback, they have to upgrade the receiving corps to try and salvage Sanchez's career.

Hopkins has been on tear in 2012. The junior has totaled 42 catches for 604 yards and six touchdowns through five games. He had 72 receptions for 978 yards and five scores last year. Hopkins has the speed to stretch defenses vertically and is capable of ripping off a long gain on any short reception. He would be a nice complement on the other side to a big receiver like Stephen Hill if New York decides to move on from Santonio Holmes.

New England Patriots: Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
The Patriots' interior offensive line struggled in the first half against the Bills dynamic tackle tandem of Marcel Dareus and Kyle Williams. The duo pressured Brady and recorded multiple sacks. New England was playing without Logan Mankins, but the Patriots need more talent in front of their franchise quarterback. Plus, Mankins is no spring chicken, so New England could use some talented youth.

Warmack is the top draft-eligible guard, so the Patriots would be fortunate to land him in the 20s. Warmack is a road-grader as a run-blocker who blasts open holes on a constant basis. He is a good pass-protector with the upside to be as good a pass-blocker as a run-blocker. With good coaching, Warmack could be a perennial Pro Bowler at guard.



Kansas City Chiefs: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Matt Cassel's ineptness allowed the Chargers to jump out to a massive lead on the Chiefs. San Diego cruised to a 37-20 win over Kansas City. Cassel finished 24-of-42 for 251 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. He clearly needs to be replaced after this season.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Smith has a good arm, great mobility, good field vision and intelligence. He had one of the most prolific games in college football history last Saturday against Baylor, completing 45-of-51 for 656 yards, eight touchdowns and zero interceptions. Smith has completed 83 percent of his passes this season for 1,728 yards, 20 touchdowns and zero interceptions.

Carolina Panthers: Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
The Panthers were gashed up the middle by washed up Falcons running back Michael Turner. He totaled 103 yards on only 13 carries plus three catches for 68 yards and a touchdown. Carolina's interior defensive line continues to be a huge liability.

Hankins is one of the best run-stuffing defensive tackles in college football. He led the way for the Buckeyes to hold Spartans running back Le'Veon Bell to only 45 yards on 17 carries. Hankins has 28 tackles and a sack this year. He has had more pass rush than the numbers indicate. Hankins (6-3, 322) is very good at crashing the pocket. The Panthers' defense would be immediately upgraded with Hankins.



New Orleans Saints: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
The Saints recorded zero sacks of Aaron Rodgers even though he dropped back to pass over 40 times. Rodgers also had all day to throw on numerous passes. New Orleans clearly has to improve its pass rush, which has been a weakness dating back to last year.

Werner is one of the best pass-rushers in college football. He has remained productive despite frequent double-teams. Werner has totaled 17 tackles, nine tackles for a loss, 6.5 sacks, three passes batted and a forced fumble so far in 2012. He is fast, physical and relentless. The juniot would be a good fit in Steve Spagnuolo's defense.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
The Jaguars are weak at cornerback and that was exposed by Cincinnati Bengals wide out A.J. Green. He hauled in six receptions for 117 yards and one touchdown. Jacksonville's secondary has been a weakness throughout the year. Finding some quality cornerbacks is a must this offseason.

Rhodes has been playing rock-solid football this year. He performed very well against Clemson and its elite receivers. Rhodes (6-2, 217) has totaled 14 tackles, five passes broken up and an interception so far in 2012. He has the size to matchup on big receivers and the quickness to run with them downfield. Rhodes looks like a lock to be a first-round pick right now.

Cleveland Browns: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
Entering the game against Baltimore, the Browns' secondary was allowing opponents to complete nearly 70 percent of passes without suspended cornerback Joe Haden; with him it was just under 52 percent. Cleveland needs a cornerback to pair with Haden in the long term.

Trufant is a good man corner who does not allow separation. He doesn't intercept a lot of passes, but quarterbacks rarely throw against him because the receivers aren't open. Trufant is strong and can force incompletions with his strength. Last year in the video game-like scoring of the Alamo Bowl, Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III tore apart Washington's secondary, but stayed away from Trufant.

Trufant had a great game last Thursday night versus Stanford. He was left alone on an island in man coverage all night and registered two pass breakups on deep passes. Trufant also outplayed a 6-foot-8 tight end on a jump ball to snatch an interception late in the fourth quarter to save the Huskies' upset win over the Cardinal.



Team Draft Report:

In this section, we take a deeper look at specific teams and where they stand in regards to the 2013 NFL Draft.

Baltimore Ravens:
The Ravens are an aging team that could undergo a change in identity over the next few seasons. Baltimore has been all about its defense for years with superstars like Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs and Haloti Ngata. Lewis and Reed are coming towards the end of their Hall of Fame careers, while Suggs is aging and is out for this season with a knee injury.

The Ravens has really been missing Suggs and are struggling to get to the quarterback without him. They are blitzing more in order to get pass pressure, but need other rushers to step up. Second-rounder Courtney Upshaw could be a long-term piece, but the team is going to have to start finding some young playmakers to replace Lewis and Reed.

Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o would be a nice replacement for Lewis, and Oklahoma safety Tony Jefferson would be a good selection as an understudy to Reed. Baltimore would have to use its first-round pick for either of those players.

The new identity of the Ravens could come from a high-scoring offense. Quarterback Joe Flacco is playing great football in his fifth season. Running back Ray Rice and wide receiver Torrey Smith have many more good years ahead. Baltimore may need to address its offensive line. If Michael Oher struggles at left tackle and Kelechi Osemele can't lock down right tackle, the Ravens would have to move Oher back to the right side and Osemele to guard.

Baltimore's front office is one of the best in football, and it has set the Ravens up to be an annual Super Bowl contender. With the right moves to reload their defense, they could win another Lombardi with Flacco under center.

Detroit Lions:
The Lions entered the season as one of the young up-and-coming teams in the NFL. They've gotten off to a disappointing 1-3 start after they lost at home to the surprising Vikings. Even though Detroit has some young superstars on its roster, the team has a lot of needs and that is one reason why it has disappointed in the first month of the season.

The Lions clearly need help in their secondary. A new safety to start next to Louis Delmas is one of their primary needs. They also have to get some cornerback help.

There are more issues on the defense. Detroit may have to replace defensive end Cliff Avril, although he is having a disappointing season in a walk year. The team needs to improve the production out of its defensive ends and using its first-rounder on an end or a defensive back seems the most likely positions. The Lions have some veteran linebackers and could consider a young play-maker, if one is available.

Offensively, Detroit needs to upgrade the interior of its offensive line. The Lions allowed Vikings defensive tackle Letroy Guion to record a multi-sack game on Sunday, so that illustrates how weak the inside of the line is. A new center and guard would provide better pass protection for Matthew Stafford along with better run blocking. Right tackle Gosder Cherilus is a free agent, and if he leaves Detroit will have to find a new right tackle as well.

The Lions have the base for a perennial playoff contender with Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Ndamukong Suh. The 1-3 start on the other hand indicates that Detroit clearly needs to build up its roster around them.



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Takahashi 01-04-2014 11:26 am xxx.xxx.xxx.114 (total posts: 1)
2     2

King: Would you like another scigetzennrubhn? Favre: No, thank you. Fifteen is my limit on scigetzennrubhn.King: Well, then how about a little [whispers in his ear] Favre: Baby, please! I am not from Havana. King: Will I see you again? Favre: Well, it all depends on how much vitamin E I can get my hands on.
Brohamma 01-22-2013 09:22 am xxx.xxx.xxx.160 (total posts: 1)
11     12

If Vaccaro or Elam falls to NE, then that will be the pick.. if not then it will be an o-lineman with the versatility to play across different positions and the speed to pull and block at the next level, Dallas Thomas or Barrett Jones should still be on the board.

I would also be watching for Mathieu to be picked if he is still on the board very late in the draft. He could be a gamble that pays-off late in the 5th or 6th round.
Monte 01-21-2013 07:31 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.175 (total posts: 1)
11     10

Going to agree with the fellow pats fans with the notion that chung is not going to be retained. Fell out of favor with coaching, routinely took bad angles on tackles and lost his starting spot to McCourty and I wouldn't be surprised if rookie tavon wilson leapfrogged him as well. The pats do need a replacement for Gregory though and overall really like the elam pick
Thomas Bell 01-21-2013 03:22 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.233 (total posts: 1)
11     10

The Chargers should target OT Eric Fisher in round 1, but if he's already gone then CB DeMarcus Milliner. If Milliner is gone then ILB Manti Te'o and if Te'o is gone OG Chance Warmack. Round 2 depends on what happens in round 1, so OT in round 1 then CB in round 2. CB in round 1 then OT in round 2. If ILB or OG in round 1 then CB or OT in round 2 and 3. My draft would be, round 1 OT Eric Fisher, round 2 CB Xavier Rhodes, round 3 RB Stephan Taylor.
Scizandor 01-21-2013 12:45 pm xxx.xxx.xxx8.23 (total posts: 1)
9     12

What the hell are you talking about? Chung was the Pats' #3 safety for the majority of the season. McCourty is far and away the best safety on their roster.
Brendan 01-21-2013 12:04 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.236 (total posts: 1)
10     12

Like your analysis and I know it can be difficult to follow all 32 teams like you do, but the Pats are my team and I disagree here. Chung is fine and all, but the coaching staff started McCourty and Gregory even with him healthy. They're gonna let him walk. Teams can never go wrong drafting OL help, and I think they will at some point, but I think Connolly and Wendell did enough that a first round pick will not be used for an interior line position. A young WR is a definite need, as is a #1 corner (if they don't sign Talib), a good DT next to (and eventually to replace) Wilfork, and yes, safety and interior OL depth.
Lance 01-21-2013 10:56 am xxx.xxx.xxx.137 (total posts: 1)
13     16

Yeah, no... The Falcons need to focus on retooling their front seven and Alabama RBs have been underwhelming in the NFL to say the very least.
JJ 01-14-2013 11:22 pm xxx.xxx.xxx10.8 (total posts: 2)
12     9

Seahawks:

Pass rush and weapons for Wilson.

everything else is a distant 2nd.
Stevenson 01-14-2013 03:04 pm xxx.xxx.xxx.162 (total posts: 1)
180     84

Seriously, you say Seahawks GM has done a masterful job on his picks in the last few years? Walterfootball has always been scathing of every Seahawks pick in recent memory.
@Desmond Bishop 01-14-2013 11:33 am xxx.xxx.xxx6.15 (total posts: 1)
10     20

We hope you come back healthy, but your hamstring ripped off of the bone, you may not be 100%. If you are great, we can still replace AJ Hawk.
Desmond Bishop 01-14-2013 09:27 am xxx.xxx.xxx2.65 (total posts: 1)
11     9

You forget I'll be back and healthy next year for the Pack?
Brian 01-14-2013 08:22 am xxx.xxx.xxx.223 (total posts: 2)
11     10

For Texans
Brian 01-14-2013 08:21 am xxx.xxx.xxx.223 (total posts: 2)
15     21

Number 1 need - a new coach
Rance 01-14-2013 07:50 am xxx.xxx.xxx.102 (total posts: 1)
8     11

With the Bucs having so much cap space how do you expect that to effect their draft strategy?
To me it looks like the free agency crop of CB's is not strong so I could see the Bucs picking up a TE, WR, ROT in free agency while sticking with a CB, DT and OLB early in the draft.

What say you?
@Steve-0 01-08-2013 12:28 am xxx.xxx.xxx.225 (total posts: 1)
11     10

It really doesn't matter too much what they did in college, if they have POTENTIAL in any form than they could be first round. That being said, I'm not confident that they'll be good, just that at least one is going in the first round and early second.






NFL Free Agents - April 19


2015 NFL Mock Draft - April 17


2014 NFL Mock Draft - April 16


Fantasy Football Rankings - March 28


2014 NBA Mock Draft - March 26


NFL Picks - Feb. 2



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