If you aren’t familiar with our Ex-Kicker’s Round Table, you can see their biographies here. The long story short is that here at Sports Blog Movement, we have retained this group of ex-Kickers as our own sporting version of the McLaughlin Group. With the NFL Draft approaching, we noticed that each member of our group just happens to be from a team who has some interesting choices to make when the draft rolls around in a few months. We thought it might not be a bad idea to use those connections to offer some in-depth draft coverage on those teams. Not only that, but SBM’s moderator of this group, our very own J-Dub, lives in Indiana where the Colts are easily the biggest story of all in this draft.
Ex-Kicker: Ali Haji-Shiekh
Team He Is Covering: New York Giants
What They Need: Running Back, Linebacker
The Initial Assessment: The Giants have the thirty-second overall pick in the first round
J-Dub happens to believe Robert Turbin is the sleeper pick of the draft. J-Dub also drinks enough bourbon to float a battleship. This guy may very well be a sleeper, but there’s no way the Giants take him at this pick. If he’s still around in the third round, then maybe. As crazy as it seems, I think the G-men are going to draft to their strength, which means they take Andre Branch, DE/OLB from Clemson. Don’t forget, people thought taking Mathias Kiwinuka and Jean-Pierre Paul when they did was crazy too, and that seemed to work out just fine. Also, don’t forget that Osi Umeniyora could very well find himself traded before draft day, the Giants could use help at linebacker, and Jerry Reese has a history of not reaching for a guy in early rounds to fill needs. Branch shows outstanding speed and natural athleticism, and the fact he can play either DE or OLB offers versatility that defensive coordinator Perry Fewell loves.
Ex-Kicker: Rick Danmeier
Team He Is Covering: Minnesota Vikings
What They Need: Offensive Line, Defense in General
The Initial Assessment: The Vikings have the 3rd overall pick in the first-round
I reckon J-Dub already said this, and I agree if that Matt Kalil feller is still on the board at #3, the Vikings have to take him. Trouble is that a blue-ribbon hog like that ain’t gonna last until 3rd pick. As much as the Vikings need some big boys up front, there just ain’t another prize hog to take at this high of a pick. This is why I reckon the Vikings wilkl go defense, because they sucked ditch water there too. Here’s some stats that didn’t come from this weeks’ farm report.
The Vikings’ defense allowed gave up 251.2 yards per game last season. They also allowed opposing QBs to complete 68.2% of their passes, and only snagged 8 interceptions. I figure the Vikings take Morris Claiborne, the cornerback from LSU. The trouble is that while the Vikings have a league-leading pass rush (50 sacks last season), they still can’t defend the pass, which is why it makes sense to me to take the best corner in this here draft.
I also figure even though the offense runs like an inbred mule after it got into Uncle Burford’s corn-mash still, they somehow managed to finish 19th in the league in points per game scored, which put them ahead of two playoff teams, and that was with a rookie quarterback after gettin’ rid of that McNabb feller, and an offensive line that couldn’t push a feed trough. To me, that means you can deal with that problem later on down this draft.
Ex-Kicker: Donald Igwebuike
Team He Is Covering: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
What They Need: More Weapons on Offense
The Initial Assessment: The Buccaneers have the fifth overall pick in the first round
The first-round for the Buccaneers is straight-forward, fool! Justin Blackmon or Trent Richardson. Whichever one is left on the board, that’s who the Bucs take. That offense needs more than Josh Freeman and LeGarrette Blount. Like gold chains, you can never have enough offensive weapons.
Ex-Kicker: Efren Herrera
Team He Is Covering: Dallas Cowboys
What They Need: Offensive Line, Quarterback, Defensive Secondary
The Initial Assessment: The Cowboys have the fourteenth overall pick in the first round
Ay, Los Cowboys got plenty of money under that gringo salary cap, so you can bet that pendejo Jerry Jones will go get some hired guns on the free-agent market. This is why I think they will take Dre Kirkpatrick, the defensive back from Alabama. I know he’s muy loco in the cabeza, but that hombre brings size, speed, and he’s not afraid to tackle…these are things you don’t see in corners very often. Plus, Terence Newman is an old war horse, I think Los Cowboys will have to shoot…I mean release him to get out from under that 8 million salary.
Ex-Kicker: Uwe von Schamann
Team He Is Covering: Miami Dolphins
What They Need: Quarterback, Running Back, Defensive Help
The Initial Assessment: The Dolphins have the eighth overall pick in the first round
While it is true mein Dolphins have just hired an offensive coordinator as head coach, they have no offensive weapons. We made this same mistake at Normandy when we placed Rommel, a gifted offensive leader, in command of a defensive battle. Field Marshal Joe Philbin is no Rommel, but he is no dumbkopf either. He understands this team will need to improve its defensive capabilities at firsts; he is moving from the Maginot-like 3-4 to a more Ziegfried-like 4-3. Expect the Dolphins to take Quinton Coples, the über-mann defensive end from North Carolina. At the Senior Bowl, he sliced through blockers like von Schlieffen went through Belgium. Matching him with Cameron wake give the Dolphins the ability to blitzkrieg the enemy rear areas. If the Dolphins get Coples, I expect our rematch with Stalingrad will have quite a different ending.
Team He Is Covering: Indianapolis Colts
What They Need: Pretty Much Everything
The Initial Assessment: The Colts have the first overall pick in the first round
This is the biggest “no-brainer” in this draft. The Manning era in Indianapolis is over, and this is the Colts’ best opportunity to turn the page. It’s time to release Manning, draft Luck, and build for the future.
The big trouble with this situation is there is so much smoke to cut through before you can even see the fire. First off, there’s the medical drama “As The Neckbone Turns,” in which every day brings another rail car full of speculation as to Peyton Manning’s real status.
Then there’s the matter of what the Colts will do with this pick. Forget the trade talk, forget the Robert Griffin III talk; the Colts will take Andrew Luck or a civil war may break out in Indiana. Hoosiers from far and wide will arm themselves with torches and pitchfork and storm Jim Irsay’s house. Short of that, all this talk of doing anything other than drafting Luck is all another smoke-screen designed to get every other team in the league to waste time and effort screwing around in a never-ending “what if” game with their own draft boards.
The real key to what the post-Manning era in Indianapolis will be in the later rounds of this draft. Do the Colts employ a new philosophy in a post-Manning which includes a bigger emphasis on defense? Do they try to build a running game to help out their franchise quarterback? Or do they decide to control the line of scrimmage on one or both sides of the ball? How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? The world will have to wait for April to know.
Stay tuned to Sports Blog Movement as we approach draft day. The Ex-Kickers will be updating as events dictate!