Mostly agree with your rankings; with the optimism bias from being a cardinals fan personally, I'd argue you could make a 1 star increase at each position, but their current rankings are also fair. I very much disagree with the 1 star ranking at special teams however, as we have a pro bowl gunner in Justin Bethel being joined by some high upside athletes in the kick coverage team and kick return game. Probably the best coverage unit in the game, which coupled with a punter who is below average (don't think he's as bad as stats show- his hangtime is rediculous, and it seems the staff went with him for this reason. I'd choose a distance leg with our coverage team, butI digress). In short, I'd say 3 stars is fair. A perfectly average special teams unit, whose only limitation really seems to be Drew Butler's distance and the uncertainty of a new long snapper (but both seem pretty reliable this far)
Below, you can find various tidbits of NFL Draft rumors and information offered by Mike Mayock, Michael Lombardi and the rest of the Path to the Draft crew on the NFL Network. I posted these in my forum, but I thought it would be better to keep all the draft rumors together in this section. I'll be tweeting these during Path to the Draft at @walterfootball.
Charley Casserly: Multiple teams have told me that they won't take Da'Quan Bowers in the first round. Some teams indicate a possible surgery in his future.
Michael Lombardi: I've had two teams (that need running backs) tell me Mark Ingram's knee is bad. He's not going to be on their board.
Charley Casserly: There are a lot of minor injuries on Anthony Castonzo. It's not a red light; it's a yellow light.
Charley Casserly: Cameron Heyward will be OK. The Tommy John surgery won't affect his status. He's a first-rounder.
Charley Casserly: I believe Stephen Paea's injury will affect his draft status. Could drop him a round.
Michael Lombardi: Some teams don't have Jabaal Sheard as high on their board because of his elbow injury.
Mike Mayock: Fully healthy, I have concern about whether or not Mark Ingram is a first-round pick because the depth of the draft.
Charley Casserly: I've talked to some teams, Mark Ingram is on their draft board.
Mike Mayock: Bruce Carter is a top-15 pick if healthy. Greg Romeus doesn't have the same work ethic and responsibility that Bruce Carter does.
Mike Mayock: Bruce Carter and Greg Romeus are going to miss some, if not all of the upcoming season.
Mike Mayock: After Patrick Peterson, Prince Amukamara and Jimmy Smith, there's an abyss.
Mike Mayock: Jimmy Smith is a top-10 talent. However, for me, it's buyer beware, and I don't go near this kid in the first round.
Mike Mayock: At 23, the Eagles need an interior offensive lineman. I like either Mike Pouncey, Danny Watkins, or maybe even Jimmy Smith. They need a big physical corner.
Mike Mayock: At 54, the Eagles can wait for Marcus Cannon. He fits their scheme to a tee. He's a guy the Eagles really like.
Mike Mayock: I think the Eagles will get a first-round pick and something else for Kevin Kolb.
Mike Mayock: I don't think at the end of the day Jimmy Smith will be a Philadelphia Eagle, but they'll look at him.
Mike Mayock: The Eagles have made a move four consecutive years. I say this year they stay at 23 and pull the trigger there.
Charley Casserly: If it's close, Bears are going to go defense; not offensive line. (Of course, Casserly won't want to protect his quarterback)
Mike Mayock: Chicago better draft an offensive lineman in the first round.
Michael Lombardi's Curveball Mock Draft:
- 1. Carolina: A.J. Green
- 2. Denver: Cam Newton
- 3. Buffalo: Patrick Peterson
- 4. Cincinnati: Julio Jones
- 5. Arizona: Blaine Gabbert
- 6. Cleveland: Marcell Dareus
- 7. San Francisco: Von Miller
- 8. Tennessee: J.J. Watt
- 9. Dallas: Cameron Jordan
- Miami trades up to No. 10.
- 10. Miami: Ryan Mallett
Michael Lombardi: Nick Fairley's a guy slipping in this draft. Tracy Rocker coached him. Maybe he knows some bad stuff.
Michael Lombardi: The Dolphins have done their research on Ryan Mallett. They've done their homework. They like him.
Chris Brown (BuffaloBills.com): The Bills are confident that Ryan Fitzpatrick can lead them to victories and the playoffs.
Chris Brown: If Marcell Dareus or Von Miller is on the board at No. 3, I think there's a very good chance they take one of those guys, and look at that second tier of quarterbacks in Round 2.
Chris Brown: If Marcell Dareus and Von Miller are both available, I think Dareus is the sure-fire guy given Ndamukong Suh's success last year.
Charley Casserly's three small-school corners getting "a lot of action:" Buster Skrine (Chattanooga), Josh Thomas (Buffalo), Justin Rogers (Richmond).
Michael Lombardi: Nick Fairley is slipping in a lot of areas. Teams in the teens need to do their homework.
Michael Lombardi: I think Nick Fairley goes before Da'Quan Bowers. The medical is a huge concern.
Charley Casserly: Corey Liuget - take him over Nick Fairley and Da'Quan Bowers.
Jason La Canfora: The Bengals should let time expire at No. 4. They can save $40 million by dropping to No. 9. Julio Jones will be there. One GM told me I'm not crazy for thinking this.
Jason La Canfora: You can't ever trade out of the top 10. It doesn't happen.