Archive for April, 2009

Top 5 by position

April 23, 2009

TE
Pettigrew
Cook
Ingram

G
Robinson
Johnson
Levitre

C
Mack
Unger
Wood
Caldwell

CB
Butler
ASmith
Jenkins
Davis
Byrd

RB
DBrown
Wells
Moreno
Greene
ABrown

WR
Crabtree
Maclin
Harvin
Britt
HBey
Nicks

ILB
Maualuga
Ellerbe
Brinkley
Laurinaitis
Phillips

OLB
Curry
Matthews
Cushing
Freeman

DT
Raji
Jerry
Hood
Brace

DE
Jackson
Ayers
Orakpo
English
MJohnson

OT
Monroe
JSmith
Oher
Britton
Loadholt/Beatty

S
Delmas
Moore
RJohnson

QB
Stafford
Sanchez
JFreeman
Bomar

Top 32 By Value

1. Stafford
2. Monroe
3. JSmith
4. Curry
5. Crabtree
6. Sanchez
7. Maclin
8. TJackson
9. Oher
10. Ayers
11. Raji
12. Orakpo
13. Harvin
14. Maualuga
15. Pettigrew
16. English
17. Matthews
18. Cushing
19. Butler
20. DBrown
21. Moreno
22. Wells
23. Britton
24. Beatty
25. Jenkins
26. Mack
27. Unger
28. Britt
29. H-Bey
30. Freeman
31. ASmith
32. Robiske/Nicks

And by the way, that ASmith at 31 is not Andre Smith, it is Alphonso Smith the CB. As a reminder, Wonder won’t advocate taking a risk on Andre Smith this high.

OT, S, QB, DE, DT

April 22, 2009

When they say that this year is not as good a crop of players for the NFL draft, there is no better place to look at as evidence of this than at Offensive Tackle. Even though this draft in 2009 is supposed to be good for the position, it is not nearly as good as 2008 was. In 2008, we had Ryan Clady, Jeff Otah, Jake Long and G Brandon Albert. This year, the only OT that Wonder considers to be in that class is Eugene Monroe… the rest are mostly average. With that said, let’s look at some of the notables.

Wonder Commentary

Offensive Tackle
Jason Smith- He is near the top overall in this draft class, just not value with all things considered. Does not compare well to top OTs from last year.
Eugene Monroe– YES. As advertised. Still has a health issue which needs to be cleared by medical people, and then STRONG YES.
Andre Smith- NO!!! If he cannot get in shape NOW, with millions at stake, what does that say about your drive and work ethic? There is too much risk for someone considered a Top 10 pick.
Michael Oher- Okay, will be a good pro, but less enthused about the value here.
Eben Britton– Yes! A good late first rounder or early second rounder. Mean streak, I like him.
William Beatty- Ok.
Phil Loadholt– Good value for Giants in 3rd Round.
Jason Watkins- potential as 5th or 6th rounder.
Joel Bell- Late second day pick, groom him, see what you get.
Andrew Gardner- Ditto Joel Bell’s remarks.
Jared Gaither- go as high as 4th round.
Scott Burley- sign as a UFA or 6th/7th rounder.
Ryan Stancheck- Big guy, can carry another 20-25 lbs., make him a Guard
Sean Sester- Yes.
Andrew Hartline- Borderline.
Kyle Howard- a project but can be a John Runyan guy. Coach him up.
Mike Brown- Late. Coach up. Can carry more weight.
Jose Valdez- Move him inside to Guard.

Safety
Delmas- like him late 1st/early 2nd round. A football player.
Moore- Steal? Are you getting the guy who was hurt in his Sr. year or the Junior who was a 1st rounder?
Chung- NO.
Johnson– He’s a FOOTBALL PLAYER! Take him late 2nd round, GIANTS! By 2010 he will be starting for you for the next 8-10 years. Smart. Understands FB. Will wear the microhone in the helmet and will have all the people in their proper assignments. Solid citizen too. Seems to find his way to being around the ball.. he get’s it done. Not afraid to hit. SO GOOD FOR GIANTS.

Quarterback
Stafford- Lions have to take him. Not as high on Stafford as Ryan.
Sanchez- This guy is not a boomer, weak arm, not a Northeast QB. The 49ers should take him.
Freeman- Feast or famine (aren’t all QBs like that?). You will have to wiat 2-3 years on this guy, he does not see the field well.
White- Can’t play QB, not a RB, not a WR. Do you play him in the slot as a gimmick guy? Obviously Mayock and Wonder disagree. 2-3 yr project.
Bomar- LOVE HIM. Best value QB in the draft as a late 3rd/4th rounder.

Defensive End
Orakpo- This guy is a puzzle. Where do I play him? Hard to be a DE and be small, very few Dwight Freenys out there that make it. He is a workout warrior, but the risk of going too high for him is there since he is a hybrid. I just don’t see it.
Brown- Don’t like drafting him in the first round.
Maybin- He is really an OLB. Skinny legs. HATE the idea of drafting him. Am looking for him to be a total washout in the pros.
TYSON JACKSON– LOVE HIM! 3-4 DE. In 3-4 years will be a stud. Can seal the edge, stuff the run, rush the passer, maybe not all Pro, but VG. Denver should take him at #12 for their 3-4.
Ayers- I like him, but there is a caveat. Feast or famine, needs to put on 15-20 lbs of muscle but all the while not lose the speed rush. Could be a bust or Justin Tuck. Like him in the 15-20 range. I would draft him at #17 for the Jets if Jackson gone.
English- LOVE HIM! OLB. I fear the Patriots sc*m browns are going to get him. He’s half Vrabel, half McGinest. My only hope is that New England takes Connor Barwin instead.
MJohnson- Feast or famine. He should be Julius Peppers. Can he gain 15-20 lbs? Can he show up to play every down?
Barwin- Tweener. TE? OLB? I pass on these types of players.
Kruger- Interesting. Grinder. Gets it done.
Sidbury- Lots of potential. 2nd round.
Evans- some potential. 6th round.
ARobinson- 7th round pick.
NOTE: There is no first round grade for anyone here except Tyson Jackson. (There will be more than a few that GO in the first round, but the rest would not get that grade if the depth in the draft were better.)

Defensive Tackle
Raji- He’s a 3-4 Nose Tackle, can’t play for Giants. Biggest, widest, fattest behind in the history of civilization. Only for a 3-4 team, Denver at #18 is where I would take him.
Jerry- ? 4-3 guy only.
Hood- Like him. Overachiever. 2nd/3rd round.
Brace- 3-4 guy. Might be better than Raji.
Moala- Overrated.
Gilbert- Can be something, 3-4 DE. Athletic, inside or outside, Football Player! Mid 2nd round, 10 picks in (take at 42 or lower).
Jean-Francois- ? Could be ok. 4th/5th Rounder.
WJohnson- 6th/7th Round.

The whole draft browns. Ultimatenyg comment: this is why Reese went stronger in free agency at DL. And it is why those 2009 draft picks are better currency to use on Edwards.

Those empty seats at Yankee Stadium and Citi Field

April 22, 2009

I’m shocked, shocked to find empty seats at Yankee Stadium and Citi Field. C’mon! These sports franchises are living in fantasyland. This would be a joke if it weren’t so sad. But we have been warning about high ticket prices and PSLs for over a year. No, we are not shocked.

Slim Pickings

April 21, 2009

In the past few weeks we have dissected Wide Receiver and to a lesser extent Linebacker. These are two of the Giants’ biggest needs. But they have needs elsewhere. They will likely use the draft to bring a RB, TE, S, OL, CB .. namely every other position except DL, where they nuked it in free agency.

Wonder Commentary

Tight End
Pettigrew- Not as good as everyone thinks. Can block. Good for the Giants. If he is there at #29, take him.
Cook- Pass catching TE. 3rd Round Quality.
Nelson- 4th Rounder.
Coffman- Small, not fast enough.
Casey- No.
Ingram- 1st Round talent. Best in the draft, but all up to the Doctors. Your medical staff makes the determination on this one.
Beckum- Potential. 4th/5th rounder.

Guard
Robinson- LOVE HIM! Late 1st Rounder to early second rounder. If you can get him in mid to late second round it is stealing!
Johnson- Big Motherbrowner. Gigantic size. Good feet. Can he keep his weight down? If so, he can be great. Problem is that if he cannot, he’ll balloon up to 400+ and be worthless to everyone except McDonalds shareholders.
Levitre- solid.
Urbik- late 4th/5th round
Canfield- late 4th/5th round
Vasquez- Some chance 5th/6th round.

Center
Mack- Not as good as Mangold. Good. Solid. Late 1st round, early 2nd rounder. Good for 10 years in the league.
Unger- same as Mack
Wood- Ok, not spectacular.
Caldwell- Interesting, could be good 3rd/4th round

Cornerback
Jenkins- Mistake taking him in 1st round, 2nd round quality. Not a shutdown corner.
Davis- Too risky. Not for me in the 1st round. Needs Cover 2, once again not a shutdown corner.
Butler- LOVE HIM! Best corner in the draft. He can browning cover, and he will stick his nose in to stop the run, even though he is small he is not afraid to do the dirty work.
ASmith- Great cover guy, not good on run support.
Moore- Sleeper at Safety.
SSmith- mediocre, middle to end of 3rd round.
Harris- mediocre.
Byrd- I Like him. Football player. Lacks speed.
DSmith- Has potential. Slow. 6th round flyer.

Running Back
CWells- warming up to him. Got healthier, stronger, faster. VG for Jets. Cold weather horse. Take him mid to late 1st round, good compliment to Reggie Bush if Saints interested.
Moreno- warming up to him as well. Tweener. HB? FB? Neither?
DBrown- YES YES YES! Giants take him #29. Like Curtis Martin with good hands. Love him!
McCoy- No.
Greene- Love him! Late second round is stealing him.
MWells- No.
ABrown- Great 3rd round pick. Underrated. Steal in the third round, lots of potential.
Jennings- Could be great, runs upright, Eric Dickerson. (Take your chances on injuries with that style?)

Note how Wonder did not ‘seemingly’ review many in each of these positions. The crop is thin at most of these positions and there was not much to say after the first handful of names. Even guys he likes or has in the first round, many would have been 2nd rounders last year. His ratings simply have to be pushed up because of the thinness of this draft. Just means less depth in numbers.

If I were thin I’d be fat

April 20, 2009

One person I respect greatly who has always been a few pounds overweight once said to me: “Andrew, if I were thin I’d be fat.” It was a simple acknowledgment of who he was. He loves food and loves life too much not to enjoy the pleasures of eating… that if he ever worked hard enough to get his weight down, that he loves food too much to stay thin for long.

It can work like that in the NFL. You have to know who you are. If you play in a dome or in San Diego, you can play offense differently than you can in the Meadowlands. Try completely differently. In 1985, the Jets drafted Al Toon and the 49ers selected Jerry Rice six picks later. Wonder remarked that if Toon had gone to the 49ers and Rice went to the Jets, Toon would’ve been the Hall of Famer and Rice would have gotten killed. If New York had a Hall of Fame wide receiver, it wouldn’t.

So here comes Percy Harvin, WR out of Florida, who sees himself as a younger version of Panthers WR Steve Smith.

Florida. That should tell you something right away. Darting speed. Quick. Elusive. Harvin would be an excellent fit for the Colts. Could you imagine a darting receiver like that on the TURF, being able to get hit IN STRIDE by an accurate QB like Peyton Manning? In the track meet of a dome? Can you say YARDS AFTER CATCH?

Contrast that with a team like the Giants, where Peyton’s brother’s less than stellar accuracy and weak history with YAC would make Harvin look as if he’s playing in quicksand. I can see the color running out of your face, just as it did with mine. It’s the sad acknowledgment that NY has never been the WR nirvana we would like it to be. And that that prognosis won’t be changing any time soon. We pine for Braylon Edwards, not because we envision him getting back to the Pro Bowl. But just so that he can get 800-1,000 yards, get enough done out there to take the heat off the box. Take the heat off our coordinator. And take the heat off our less than accurate QB.

Yes, we have been ripping Eli’s accuracy the past few weeks, and it all started with Trent Dilfer’s candid admission about what it means for Manning to have that tall WR. Let’s call it an acknowledgment of what we have in our QB. He throws high, he throws behind, he does not throw in stride. Eli Manning is the NY Giants QB and he has delivered a championship to the organization. We just have to be frank about some of his limitations.

To his credit, Manning has learned about trying to place the ball where it cannot be intercepted. But this is not what you do to get the track meet started. How many of you heard the candid admission from Plaxico Burress on the winning Super Bowl catch? Burress essentially said that he was (routinely) adjusting his speed and his route to compensate for the inaccuracy of Manning’s passes. Obviously that one pass was more accurate than many others Manning has thrown, but if you watch it again, Burress is there waiting for the pass to arrive, slowing just enough to have it come in. And have that defender close the gap so that the tackle is made. Yards after catch.

The Giants’ Steve Smith would be a jitterbug for Peyton Manning with oodles of stats. For Eli Manning he is just another WR who happens to have the same name as the one Percy Harvin is trying to emulate.

Tomorrow- Draft analysis of RB, CB, TE, C, and Guard

Gonzalez, Edwards

April 19, 2009

Tony Gonzalez was a no-show at mini camp. In and of itself, it does not mean that he is demanding a trade, but it certainly would make a lot of sense in a lot of places for him to move on and see if he can win a ring somewhere else while he still has gas in the tank. Dealing now, before the draft, is when it is most likely, because there is available draft pick currency for 2009 and he can get integrated into another offense before camp. The Giants bid for him last fall, but they did not go high enough. Would this be as attractive as a 26 year old 6′ 3″ Edwards? Of course not. But you can play the Chiefs off the Browns. With the Eagles’ 28 pick traded on Friday for Peters, and the 21 pick being rumored to be in play for Boldin, it puts the Giants in better position to deal with the Browns on slightly better terms.

Add this little nugget from Vacchiano, who reports Britt now visiting the Browns in a late change of plans. You can easily see how an Edwards to the Giants deal can come about. We are not stupid enough to bet the mortgage on this one, but it seems realistic given how both teams have already talked a few times now.

Wonder’s reply to the idea of paying up and offering a 1st and 3rd rounder: “GET THE DEAL DONE…PERIOD !! Overpay if you must..BUT GET IT DONE.”

Trading the #1 pick

April 18, 2009

Why is it that the NFL can be so upside down that you have more teams trading #1s and #2s than ever before? I’ll tell you why. The world has gone mad. Favre and the Packers go batty. Cutler and McDaniels get in a pissing match. If Burress hadn’t gone totally ballistic he would have been moved too. Peters cries enough times and forces a trade to the Eagles. Jeremy Shockey. Braylon Edwards. Anquan Boldin. Men behaving badly. Men behaving like children. Teams have little choice but to move the player and get SOMETHING for salvage. At least they can start anew with some draft picks. The team trading the pick for the player gets a great deal- a proven NFL player. It is the proverb standing on its head: two in the hand or the bird in the bush.

And that is where we are with the pursuit of Edwards. Eli Manning practically leaked the trade, the way we see it. We’d rate the chances as ~70%, maybe higher, the way we read our Mississippi Gomers. All the Giants will have to do, assuming they do trade, is to make sure the head is screwed on properly to the neck, or else we’ll be on the losing end of this deal too come a few more seasons. Wonder reminds us the big picture here: “Don’t get Boldin..too old..too MUCH MONEY…too much hassle..give Browns whatever the brown(!) they want, within reason, and Jints get an all-pro entering his PRIME…plus, it’s the 29TH PICK!!!” To be fair to Boldin, it is not that Boldin is “too old,” because he’ll be 29 this season. It is just that Edwards is 26, and that makes a world of difference in the land of free agency and trades.

The Eagles won big. The Giants must do that trade in a heartbeat. I email Wonder, am I missing something? The Eagles made out. Wonder: “Great deal for Phila. Now they trade their #21 and a third for boldin…draft a bigger, tougher, RB in the 2nd…and they’d be REAL competition for Jints.” If they get Shonn Greene I will be ill. Greene weighs 227 lbs, so this guy who “loves contact” would be a fit. Knowing the Eagles, that is precisely who they are targeting. We said this weeks ago- the Eagles would not stay in the 1st round, we expected them to trade down, but essentially this is the same result, moving OUT of the first round.

Have you entered the Blog Contest for the Strahan autographed NFL football? What are you waiting for? To lose on the tiebreaker because you submitted later than sooner?! Post your comment to yesterday’s Dept. of Fandemonium Contest Blog posting below.

Department of Fandemonium CONTEST

April 17, 2009


Doubleheader today. Not only is there a blog post on a discussion of LBers, but we also have a Department of Fandemonium Ultimatenyg Contest.

The nice people at Monster.com Fandemonium are going to give away an autographed NFL football signed by Michael Strahan to the winner of the Ultimatenyg New York Giants Blog contest. But first a word from our sponsor:

Monster.com and the NFL held a competition to find the Ultimate NFL Fan. Michael Strahan hosted the competition. Tons of video, Strahan Bloopers, you name it. And if you need a job, Monster.com is your site.

The Ultimatenyg Challenge- Name the players that get drafted in Rounds 1 through 3 of the draft by the NY Giants. That is 5 selections (1, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b).

Scoring:

5 points: each correctly MATCHED selection.
3 points: right player, wrong spot
2 points: wrong player, right position
1 point : wrong player, wrong position, right position elsewhere in first 5 spots

Tiebreaker-the entry which is submitted into the blog comments section FIRST.

You can guess a trade for any pick or combination of picks. Simply select what the pick was traded for. Any guess of a trade needs to be submitted at least the previous day BEFORE the trade is announced by Ralph Vacchianno of the Daily News in order to be accepted. Players and their position chosen in rounds 4 through 7 have no bearing on the contest. Answers must be submitted to THIS post’s comments section.

SAMPLE
1 – Britt WR
2a – Freeman LB
2b – Robinson G
3a – Johnson S
3b – Turner WR

ACTUAL
1 – Nicks WR
2a – Greene RB
2b – Brinkley LB
3a – Loadholt OT
3b – Turner WR

Sample Score= 2 + 1 + 0 + 0 + 5= 8 points

Winner gets a Michael Strahan autographed NFL Football (a $300 value) with free shipping. Courtesy of MONSTER.COM and the guys at M80 newsroom. Good luck.

LINEBACKER

April 17, 2009

Wonder commentary

Outside LBers:

Curry- better in a 4-3, not 3-4, can he rush the QB? Obvly terrific talent.
Cushing- driven ball player, overachiever, I like him, can play all 3 downs.
Matthews- yes, but must play WILL in 4-3, not covering TE (SAM) because not vg shedding blocks. Would be a great get for Giants.
Sintim- interesting, feast or famine.
Freeman- YES!!! underrated!
Casillas- Yes, but needs fit in right system
Norwood- Good Value as high as 4th Round
Willie Williams- I like him.

Inside LBers:

Maualuga- his draft stock is falling, ran a bad 40 yd dash time, who cares! In a 4-3 he is a tackling machine, if he falls THE GIANTS NEED HIM.
Laurinaitis- not as strong as AJ Hawke, NO! Stay away. Not value where projected near the end of the first round.
Ellerbe- yes, I like him.
JASPER BRINKLEY– YES YES YES! Injured last year, a stud in Junior year. Draft him in 2nd or 3rd round. Smooth hips, good hips. I usually do not like a guy with a knee injury, but LBer can recover. He would have been a top 15 pick if he had not gotten hurt. This guy is going to be good.
Phillips- Yes.
Worrell Williams- Fireplug. Feast or famine.
Sharpton- Yes.
Trent- Yes.

If we did not mention him (see the links for those left out), nothing good to say, not positive.

Wide Receiver

April 16, 2009

Boldin is being shopped by the Cardinals. Wonder: “Boldin would be a very good get for the Giants, not as good or as preferred as Braylon Edwards because Edwards is more of a longball guy, younger, has not gotten hurt in the league, taller, more potential. Eli is simply not an accurate QB and Edwards would make him better than Boldin would make him better. Alley oop it to Edwards in the endzone, airmail it deep to Edwards and he will get it. Braylon Edwards is a stud. Boldin is a horse, strong, a proven product, has great YAC AFTER he gets the ball, but does ELI get him the ball in the first place?!!! With Boldin, you have to sort out his contract issues. Boldin is NOT a head case!!! You tell me when you are an all-star WR and you are NOT on the field near the end of the game for your team going to the Super Bowl, you have got to be kidding me! It made no sense that he was not on the field, some times these coaches lose track of who is on the field. This is why Parcells was so great, why he could beat the 49ers 15-14 in the title game (overachieving, having no business winning that game), he had such great attention to detail.”

Maybe the Giants can play off AZ and the Browns. As for the Browns waiting on the draft to go after Crabtree, Wonder shot my idea down… :”(1) I doubt Crabtree will be there at 5 for the Browns. (2) if Crabtree is there, the Browns won’t take Crabtree anyway, that is a smokescreen, Mangini wants to tear down the team and start over, build a defense, so he’ll trade Edwards for #1 and whatever, he’ll trade one of his two QBs for a #1 and whatever, and he’ll have three #1s for his defense.”

Speaking of Parcells, a view from 1300 miles south on I-95 for drafting a WR next weekend. It comes with a requote of a great Parcells line.

“Dime a dozen”… Call it a coincidence, but Parcells agrees with the Ultimatenyg philosophy (Rule #3) of WRs. Obviously we were schooled by Parcells in the workup to Super Bowl XXI and XXV- NEITHER team had a dominant WR yet we still won two titles.

Is 2009 different in terms of the metamorphosis of the game to where rule changes make it impossible to win a title w/o a strong WR? This debate rages on. We won Super Bowl XLII with Burress hurt in the big game, a decoy. Yes, he helped us tremendously that season, but the point is that it takes a lot more than a WR to win in this league. You still need a reliable, if not strong and dominating defense.

Wonder’s latest: “I would take Britt over Nicks…Bey is a total feast or famine..but TONS of upside.”

In Round #2 (the Saints pick) previously: “draft Robiske..he’s ‘NFL-ready’…more so than anyone but Crabtree.” But his stock seems to be rising enough that he may be hard to get at that juncture.

In Round #3 we are looking at the Barden/Turner/Murphy.

WONDER’S LATE ROUND WR STEAL IN THE DRAFT:”AUSTIN COLLIE. 6’1″ 200 lbs BYU. Has glue for hands, plays quick, will be very good in a few years. In the right system he will be AWESOME.”

And from a previous post, a Wonder sleeper: “Dominique Edison, WR, Jints 2nd round or Jets/jints 3rd… 60-90th pick…just have to understand it will take him a couple of years to develop..after that, watch out.”

I have been feeding all the WR-Burress-hangover guys on a steady WR diet for a little while. We’ll turn our attention to LINEBACKER tomorrow.