2011 NFL Draft News and Notes: Cowboys Looking Dline? Elway Talks Draft? Jimmy Smith’s Character Concerns Blown out of Proportion?

 

This guy just can't stay out of the news. Is he more polarizing even than Cam Newton (picture source covertwo.com)

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First order of business, Bills fans, Buffalowdown is looking for writers, if you’re interested click here for details.

www.withthefirstpick.com has a feature they call “Mayock Says”

Rob Staton of Seahawksdraftblog says sources have told him that the Seahawks do NOT have Mallett on their board at all. But they like Stephen Paea, Mike Pouncey, and Colin Kaepernick. Click the link for the info.

Are the Dallas Cowboys now considering not taking Tyron Smith with the 9th overall pick? According to draftinsider.net the Cowboys might prefer to take a defensive linemen

We hear the recent knee issues which have surfaced on the junior tackle from USC have not scared the team but they are also considering picking up a veteran free agent tackle, once free agency begins, then taking a defensive lineman with their first choice. OTA’s, etc. Sources have said the defensive lineman they are targeting is Cameron Jordan- in our minds the most underrated player in this draft.  Ultimately they’d still prefer to trade down, collect some extra picks and then select an offensive tackle later in the first frame.  The other team very high on Cameron Jordan at this point are the Washington Redskins

Is Nick Fairley’s stock still dropping?

Several sources have told us Nick Fairley has not made rehabbing his slightly separated shoulder a priority the past month.  Part of the problem has been the many trips Fairly has taken to visit NFL franchises, a justifiable reason- yet the times Fairley has not been actively visiting teams he’s not been diligent in his rehabilitation of the joint.

According to Draftinsider-Idaho Safety Shilo Keo is getting some looks as a 43 Weakside linebacker.

Wes Bunting takes a look at some Day 3 steals:

Players he highlights we also like here at NFLmocks are David Mims, Allen Bradford RB USC, and Brandon Bair, DE Oregon. Check it out.

John Elway talks about the draft

A couple of the interesting notes.

On whether Denver has been contacted by teams wanting to trade for the No. 2 overall pick

Elway: “We’ve had no contact yet on any of the possible trades. We’ve had no contact with anybody yet.”

Xanders: “Most of those calls will likely occur the day of the draft. It starts at 6 p.m., Mountain Time, so those hours preceding we could get calls or we might not get any calls.”

Xanders: “This year has been a lot more inclusive, a lot more meetings, group meetings. It’s been a great process with everybody contributing. The scouts all had their cases stated in February, all of their research — personal and football character. With this process we had more pro guys brought in because there are no UFA’s, no free agency. So we have Keith Kidd, Matt Russell, Lenny McGill, Champ Kelly (and) other scouts all voicing their cross-check positions. I’ve done 90 percent of the board, and so we go around the room and the position coach gets to speak first and state his case of where he thinks he is and how (the prospect) fits with the Broncos and then anybody else in the room that has evaluated him gets to state their case. Then we watch a lot of tape, usually over 150 plays and then we roll into the All-Star games, watch that and then we watch the Combine and then we compare the numbers. So it’s more of an intensive meeting. It’s more inclusive and it’s been very positive.”

Was that a knock on Josh McDaniels there?

Rob Rang says Colin Kaepernick is very high on the Titans and Jaguars boards

The buzz throughout the NFL right now is that as many as seven quarterbacks could be selected in the first two rounds.Colin Kaepernick , for example.

As I’ve previously pointed out, the order with which those quarterbacks might go is pehaps the most interesting part of potential run on quarterbacks. There is a huge disparity among teams as to the order in which these quarterbacks will be selected.

Take Nevada’s

I’ve spoken with a variety of clubs who believe that Kaepernick is a second or third round talent, at best. They told me they have Cam Newton, Blaine Gabbert, Jake Locker, Andy Dalton, Ryan Mallett and Christian Ponder all rated ahead of Kaepernick.

However, other sources appear to be exceptionally high on the strong-armed Nevada passer, including, according to league sources, the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans.

The Jaguars appear to be particularly good fit for Kaepernick, as they have a veteran passer already in place to give him a year or more to “redshirt.” The Jaguars feature David Garrard as their starter and also have veteran Luke McCown in the fold. The Jaguars have not drafted a quarterback since using their first round pick on Byron Leftwich in 2003.

My official mock is coming out next week, but my guess is still 4 quarterbacks in the first round and some jockying up in the early part of the second round.

A bunch of Visits can be found here

Todd McShay highlights Josh Thomas has one of the best cover skills Cornerbacks in the draft. These next two “notes” require Insider Access, so you’ll just be getting snipets.

3. Joshua Thomas, Buffalo (5-10¼, 191; 76)
He needs to be more disciplined and occasionally gets caught gambling and his ball skills need some work, but Thomas is one of the smoothest, most natural man-to-man cover corners in the class. He has a good combination of size and top-end speed (4.46 in the 40), shows quick feet and stays low in his backpedal. He is also fluid in the hips and shows the ability to shadow receivers when locked up in man coverage.

Thomas has good strength and is physical in coverage, and he can turn and run with receivers when playing press man. He also does a nice job of using his hands to disrupt receivers’ timing. He closes well and can cut down separation when the ball is the air; he displays an extra gear to recover; and his 38½-inch vertical jump allows him to compete in jump-ball situations.

 And then are Jimmy Smith’s character concerns blown out of proportion?

I talked to a reliable source close to the CU program earlier this week, and what I took away from the conversation is that Smith’s issues early in his career were due mostly to immaturity and falling in with the wrong crowd. Smith has matured in recent years and has indicated to NFL teams that he is looking forward to leaving that crowd behind and starting fresh in a new city.

Scouts I’ve talked to recently have also said that the more they dig, the more comfortable they are getting with Smith’s off-field character and any potential risk involved in drafting him. And let’s be clear that the character issues are the only thing holding him back at this point.

 

Let’s hope so. Smith is so talented, I’d hate to see him become another cautionary tale.

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Topics: Denver Broncos, Mike Mayock, Nick Fairley, Ryan Mallett, Seattle Seahawks

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