Pro Football weekly

Pro Football Weekly tracks the action from the college season through NFL draft weekend.

Bengals' class shaping up as NFL's best

Posted April 25, 2009 @ midnight
There are a few thoughts to be drawn about Day One for the Bengals. The first one is that they have no serious desire to improve the personal character of the guys on their roster. Not that Andre Smith and Rey Maualuga are felon-fodder, but they’re far from the squeaky-clean category that many clubs are valuing higher in the NFL’s personal-conduct era. The more important thought is that this team is making a ...

Can Connor Barwin contribute early for the Texans?

Posted April 25, 2009 @ midnight
The Texans are desperate to bolster their pass rush, and Cincinnati DE Connor Barwin had 11 sacks as a senior in his first season at end after three years at tight end. The question for me is how quickly Barwin can develop into an NFL-caliber pass rusher. I suspect Houston wants him to play left end in obvious passing situations, which would allow the Texans to move Antonio Smith inside. Barwin's productivity as a ...

Second-round value picks

Posted April 25, 2009 @ midnight
Five players drafted in the second round who could prove to be excellent value selections: -CB Jairus Byrd (Bills, No. 42 overall): The son of an NFL coach, Byrd's lack of ideal timed speed pushed him into the second round, but he's an instinctive player who profiles as a future starter. Byrd is competitive, has tremendous ball skills, isn't afraid to tackle, and offers versatility as a possible return man or future ...

Packers' 'Trader Ted' out of character

Posted April 25, 2009 @ midnight
What in the world has gotten into Packers GM Ted Thompson? Not only did Thompson's first-round Saturday selections -- NT B.J. Raji in the ninth spot overall and OLB Clay Matthews in the 26th spot -- fill major team needs while not necessarily qualifying as the best athletes available at the time. The Packer GM actually traded UP for Matthews. Heading into this year's draft, Thompson had made 14 draft-day trades with all but ...

Browns use Round Two to bolster thin WR corps

Posted April 25, 2009 @ midnight
The story of Draft Day for the Browns will be that they traded down multiple times in Round One, but don't overlook what they did in the second round. Needing to give their receiving corps a big boost, Cleveland used two of their three second-rounders to grab polished wideouts who stayed in college through their senior year. By adding Ohio State's Brian Robiskie and Georgia's Mohamed Massaquoi, Cleveland all of a sudden ...

Measurables theme prevalent atop third round

Posted April 26, 2009 @ midnight
After the Jets traded up to secure the top pick of the third round (which they used to select Iowa RB Shonn Greene), several teams opted (reached?) for players whose triangle numbers were more impressive than their game tape. Cornerback Bradley Fletcher, another Iowa Hawkeye, became Rams property with the round's second pick (No. 66 overall) after just one year as a starter. Not unlike former Hawkeye and current Carolina Panther Charles Godfrey, Fletcher ...

Good fits third round

Posted April 26, 2009 @ midnight
-OG Louis Vasquez (Chargers, No. 78 overall): The Bolts need to rebuild the right side of the offensive line, and the former Texas Tech Red Raider adds elements of strength and nastiness. -OL Kraig Urbik (Steelers, No. 79 overall): Super Bowl champs were in desperate need of o-line help and Urbik, a traditional Wisconsin lineman with size, anchor strength and power, offers versatility to play guard or tackle. -FS Rashad Johnson (Cardinals, No. 95 overall ...

Good fits fourth round

Posted April 26, 2009 @ midnight
-QB Stephen McGee (Cowboys, No. 101 overall): Texas born and bred, McGee gets a chance at professional redemption for the Lonestar State's team after a trying collegiate career at A&M. Teams are always looking for athletic ability at the quarterback position and McGee will be able to develop his passing skills slowly in Dallas. -OL T.J. Lang (Packers, No. 109 overall): A typical Packers offensive-line selection, Lang, an Eastern Michigan product, projects ...

Arriving at Lucas Oil

Posted Feb. 19, 2009 @ midnight
The PFW trio has arrived at Lucas Oil Stadium after a chilly ride from the hotel, and I must say, the place is pretty nice. The main concourse of the stadium has been transformed into media headquarters with podiums set up for the various prospects, head coaches and personnel executives that will make their way into the wolves’ den. The room has a state-of-the-art feel to it. There are five flat screen TVs hanging from ...

Show me the lobbies

Posted Feb. 19, 2009 @ midnight
As PFW's Dan Parr already indicated, the new media work center for the Combine has a lot going for it, especially free wireless capabilities. A lot of the writers I just saw a few weeks ago in Tampa for the Super Bowl are warming up their computers and getting their tape recorders set for the first day of interviews. There is one thing I'm wondering about. The way things are set up this ...

Up and running in Indy

Posted Feb. 19, 2009 @ midnight
INDIANAPOLIS -- Dan and Dan have already set the stage for you here at Lucas Oil Stadium, but things have just recently begun to pick up. A few coaches have already stepped up to the podium, and just now they're starting to bring out the college players to talk to the media (funnily, the first one was Ohio St. OT Alex Boone -- he should have some interesting questions to answer, ha). New Lions head coach ...

Andre Smith undecided about working out at combine

Posted Feb. 19, 2009 @ midnight
Alabama OT Andre Smith just left the podium. He knew what he measured in at (6-4, 332 pounds), but wasn’t quite as sure when it came to whether he would workout at the combine. “I’m undecided,” he told reporters when asked if he would compete this weekend. Smith said he would decide Friday on what drills he would participate in, if any, after talking things over with his agent, Alvin Keels. Smith said ...

Scouting Combine story lines

Posted Feb. 19, 2009 @ midnight
The Orlando Sentinel's Tim Stephens says Florida WR-RS Percy Harvin has many questions to answer about his durabiility and where he fits on an NFL roster at this week's Scouting Combine. Stephens also looks at four other story lines that are worth following in Indianapolis this week.

"Wildcat" craze surprised Sparano

Posted Feb. 19, 2009 @ midnight
INDIANAPOLIS -- Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano just finished speaking at the Combine, and he fielded plenty of questions about a trend Miami started this past season -- the "Wildcat" offense. Sparano said he was definitely surprised at how many teams began running the Wildcat after Miami introduced it early in the year against the Patriots. He said that he wished he had a few dollars for every team that ran it in '08, as it was ...

Chasing after those Mizzou guys

Posted Feb. 19, 2009 @ midnight
They call Missouri the “Show Me State,” and with as many as six players possibly getting drafted from the state’s primary university – which also happens to be the school that yours truly and fellow PFW editor Eric Edholm graduated from – the showcasing of so many Tigers does a fellow alum proud.   Especially since one of those six – TE Chase Coffman – made such a good impression in his Thursday combine interview with the national media ...

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