Sports Outside the Beltway

Randy Moss Traded to New England for 4th Round Pick

Len Pasquarelli reports that “The New England Patriots have reached a trade agreement in principle to acquire wide receiver Randy Moss from the Oakland Raiders for a fourth-round round choice in Sunday’s second day of the NFL draft.”

Again, the Pats get a steal.

Granted, the Raiders don’t have much use for a disgruntled veteran on a rebuilding team. But the Pats get an instant-impact wide receiver that will again make them the favorite to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. For only a 4th round pick, to boot.


2007 NFL Draft Day Trades

NFL Draft Logo 2007 The guys at analyze all the trades from Day 1 of the 2007 NFL Draft. While I tend to look at these trades in terms of the numerical value of the picks, they simply look at the players each team winds up picking with the selections.


Dallas Cowboys Draft OT James Marten of Boston College

James Marten Boston College Photo Dallas Cowboys .com NFL Draft Logo 2007 The Dallas Cowboys selected Boston College offensive tackle James Marten with the 3rd pick in the 3rd round (#67 overall) that they acquired in their trade with Cleveland.


NFL Draft 2007 – Round 3

NFL Draft Logo 2007 The draft has been ongoing over nine and a half hours and Round 3 is just now getting under way, with the Oakland Raiders taking Georgia DE Quentin Moses. Thankfully, as Norm Hitzges points out, teams only get 5 minutes a pick from here on out.


Dallas – Cleveland Draft Day Trade – Round 2

NFL Draft Logo 2007 For the second time today, the Cleveland Browns have traded with the Dallas Cowboys to move up in the draft. Earlier, they made a big splash by trading up to the 22nd spot to grab Notre Dame QB Brady Quinn. Now, they’ve traded into Dallas’ second round spot (53th overall) to take cornerback Eric Wright out of UNLV.

They gave up their 3rd (67th) and 4th (103rd) and 6th (168th) round picks and also picked up Dallas’ 6th (195th).

I agree with Jean Jacques Taylor that this was a good move for the Cowboys “because there was no one in the second they just had to have and the turned it into early picks in the third and fourth round.” Indeed, the Giants took USC WR Steve Smith two spots before Dallas was on the clock; I suspect they’d have taken him had he still been available.

Ah, well. I’d like to see the Cowboys wind up with a help at offensive line, wideout, and corner. We’ll see what develops.


NFL Draft 2007 – Philadelphia Eagles Take Houston QB Kevin Kolb

NFL Draft Logo 2007 To the surprise of everyone not in their front office, the Philadelphia Eagles took Houston quarterback Kevin Kolb with the 36th pick in the draft, which was their first, having traded out of the first round to pick up a 3rd and 5th from the Dallas Cowboys.

Here is what Scouts, Inc. reports that he’s 6’3-1/8″, 218 pounds, and runs a 4.85 40. Their evaluation:

Strengths: Possesses a very good combination of size, arm strength and mobility. He has adequate height and is well-built. He shows above average arm strength with good zip on the deep out and on vertical throws. Shows good overall touch and knows how to lead his receivers on quick slants and crossing routes. Shows better accuracy in short-to-intermediate passing game than he does in the vertical passing game. He is an effective passer on the run. When on time with his delivery, he can fit the ball into tight spots that many other prospects in this class simply can’t hit. He shows good initial quickness and vision as a runner. He lacks explosive speed but is very much a threat to run. He is a tough, competitive and instinctive runner, who will break some tackles and find the first-down marker. He is intelligent and picks things up quickly. Coaches speak highly of his work ethic, leadership and dedication. He also has been extremely durable and has great experience.

Kevin Kolb Photo Weaknesses: Comes from a passer-friendly spread offensive scheme in college. He’s intelligent but his NFL learning curve could be steep — he has almost no experience in a pro-style scheme and he’s coming from the mid-major collegiate level. His decision making can be erratic and he must learn to do a better job of protecting the football. He has a bit of a wind-up delivery and will need some mechanical work in order to speed up his release. He also has a bit of a three-quarter delivery and will have too many passes batted down at the line of scrimmage, as a result. He is a streaky passer that will lose the “strike zone” at times. His deep ball sails too often. He still has room to improve in terms of finding “hot reads” and beating the blitz with his arm.

Overall: Kolb started all 13 games as a true freshman and was named Conference USA Freshman of the Year and selected to the All-Conference USA Third Team. He finished the season completing 61-percent of his attempts for 3,131 yards, 25 touchdowns and just six interceptions. In 2004, Kolb again started every game (11) and tallied 2,766 passing yards with a 56-percent completion percentage, threw 11 touchdown passes, and six interceptions. He returned for his third-consecutive year as Houston’s starter in 2005 (12 contests) and was named to the C-USA third team, when he completed 60.5-percent of his passes for 3,258 yards and 19 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions. In 2006, Kolb was named the C-USA Player of the Year after he completed 67.6-percent of his attempts for 3,809 yards, 30 touchdowns, and just four interceptions during the 14-game season. Over the course of his career, he also rushed for 751 yards and 21 touchdowns.

Kolb hasn’t consistently played against top competition in college (C-USA) and he also comes from a passer-friendly spread-offense, which generates some legitimate concerns regarding his transition to the NFL game. Even with that in mind, we believe Kolb is one of the more underrated prospects in the 2007 NFL draft class. He possesses a fine combination of size, arm strength and mobility, and he has great experience as a four-year starter. Kolb has enough upside to warrant consideration late on Day 1 or early on Day 2.

So, he’s a four year starter — which Rick Gooselin points out is a huge advantage — but from a third-rate conference. Who was expected to go late on Day 1 or early Day 2 but went at the top of the 2nd round. Hmm.

Obviously, if Kolb turns out to be the second coming of Tom Brady, the Eagles brain trust will look like geniuses. Otherwise….


NFL Draft 2007 – Round 2

NFL Draft Logo 2007 Round 2 is underway and I’ll update as it goes along. The trades are fast and furious and there’s much less information available as we get deeper in the draft and I won’t do player-by-player analyses other than perhaps for the picks made by the Dallas Cowboys and really oddball news (like Philly taking Houston QB Kevin Kolb with their first pick).


NFL Draft 2007 – Round 1 #32 – Indianapolis Colts – WR Anthony Gonzalez

The Indianapolis Colts, last year’s Super Bowl champions, have selected Ohio State wide receiver Anthony Gonzales with the 32nd and final pick in the 2007 NFL Draft.

At 6 hours, 20 minutes, this was the longest 1st round in history.

What the Experts Say:

It’s odd that Gonzalez didn’t make Kiper’s board, let alone the top 50, given how much I’ve heard about him this offseason.


Taking a defensive player like Penn State OLB Paul Posluszny makes a little more sense here. However, the departure of Brandon Stokley means Indianapolis needed a No. 3 receiver and Gonzalez should slide right into that role. Though Gonzalez isn’t as explosive as Ohio State teammate Ted Ginn Jr. and he doesn’t return kicks either he is the more complete receiver. He runs crisp routes, he isn’t afraid to go over the middle and he doesn’t drop passes he should catch. It doesn’t hurt that he is a hard worker who will learn the pro game from Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne either.


NFL Draft 2007 – Round 1 #31 – Chicago Bears – TE Greg Olsen

Last year’s NFC Champion, the Chicago Bears, drafted Miami TE Greg Olsen.

What the Experts Say:

The ratings are all over the place but it would appear to be an excellent value at the 31 spot. Profile: One of the better blocking tight ends in the nation, Nordin [ed.?] may slip through the cracks because of his broken ankle. Possesses the tools to make it as a third tight end brought onto the field during short-yardage situations.


STRENGTHS: Quickness off Line, Running Ability, Speed


Biography: Two-year starter awarded varying degrees of All-Conference honors since his junior campaign. Led the Hurricanes in receptions last season posting 40/489/1, after 31/451/4 as a sophomore.

Pos: Athletic prospect who flashes brilliance yet does not show much consistency. Quick releasing off the line, fluid into routes and immediately gets to top speed. Finds the clearing in the defense, makes himself an available target and extends to catch the ball away from his frame. Smooth moving about the field, adjusts to the errant throw and makes a lot of difficult receptions. Comes away with the ball when defenders are draped on him. Uses his frame to protect the pass and displays top eye/hand coordination.

Neg: Not physical as a blocker and leans on opponents. Easily brought down at the point of attack running after the reception. Does not show a lot of playing strength.


The best available tight end is if off board and the Bears filled one of their more important needs but be weary of calling this is a great pick. Chicago should be excited about Olsen’s ability to stretch the field and giving their young quarterback a legitimate threat over the middle. Though he should also take advantage of the Bears’ commitment to the run setting up the play action Olsen is a mediocre blocker at best. If he is to play an every-down role, he’ll have to get a lot stronger at the point of attack and a lot tougher. Until he does, he should strictly be a situational receiving tight end.


NFL Draft 2007 – Round 1 #30 – San Diego Chargers – WR Craig Davis

The San Diego Chargers selected LSU WR Craig Davis with the 30th pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. He joins his backfield mates WR Dwayne Bowe (KC #23) and QB JaMarcus Russell (Raiders #1).

What the Experts Say:

Either the Chargers know something the experts don’t–and that’s a possibility, they’ve drafted well in recent years–this is a heck of a reach.


Davis projected as an early second-round pick so this is a bit of a reach but all-and-all a good pick. Though he is a raw route-runner, Davis made great strides at the collegiate level and there’s no questioning his natural ability. He reaches his top speed quickly and he has the second gear to run best defensive backs. A playmaker with the ball in his hands, he can create after the catch and return punts as well. And oh yeah, he fills the Chargers greatest need. While Davis really isn’t a ready made No. 2 receiver, he could be San Diego’s best receiver by the opening game of the season.


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