Updated Mock draft: Virginia LB Sintim to ATL

Falcons defensive players who were fierce like Pam Grier's cousin, the great Rosey Grier.

The Falcons are looking for defensive players who are fierce like Pam Grier's cousin, the great Rosey Grier. He played for the Rams' Fearsome Foursome line with Deacon Jones, Merlin Olsen and Lamar Lundy in the 1960s. Pam, this week's honorary blog guest, was pretty tough in the 1974 movie Foxy Brown.

Just 22 days to the draft and two more mock drafts before the really big Mock Draft, the one that counts. The one that runs in the paper on Saturday morning of April 25th.

But for now, we’ll do the best we can as situations around the league are fluid.

However, University of Southern California linebacker Rey Maualuga visit with the Falcons on Saturday means one of two things.

Virginia linebacker Clint Sintim could add some pop to the Falcons defense. (AP Photo/Andrew Shurtleff).

Virginia linebacker Clint Sintim could add some pop to the Falcons defense. (AP Photo/Andrew Shurtleff).

He’s slipping in the draft and is going to be around when they pick 24th overall. Or the Falcons plan on trading up to get in the mix for the All-American attack missile from USC.

But he’s a middle linebacker and doesn’t fit the “needs-based” drafting philosophy. They selected Curtis Lofton last season. This visit falls into the “due diligence” department.

Northern Illinois defensive end Larry English also is set to visit the Falcons. Oregon safety Patrick Chung has a private workout set up, but is not coming in for a visit. Also, Western Michigan safety Louis Delmas is set to visit.

The Falcons are in the process of revamping their linebacking corps after starters Michael Boley (New York Giants) and Keith Brooking (Dallas) signed with new teams during free agency. They signed linebacker Michael Peterson in free agency.

Rey Maualuga is coming to visit the Falcons on Saturday. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)

Rey Maualuga is coming to visit the Falcons on Saturday. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)

Falcons coach Mike Smith told the AJC at the NFL owners’ meeting in Dana Point, Calif. that he was impressed with all four of the USC linebackers in this draft.

Denver’s trade of Jay Cutler helped to shake up this week’s mock draft.

Before their issues with Cutler, the Broncos were set to draft defense. But with the 12th and 18th picks of the first round, look for them to move up to get in position to possibly land USC quarterback Mark Sanchez. There are only three first round quarterbacks in Georgia’s Matthew Stafford, Sanchez and Kansas State’s Josh Freeman.

With the Jets needing to address their QB situation, look for them to take Freeman at 17.

They Falcons are going defense, but with their first pick elect to move away from Clay Matthews Jr., last week’s pick. He’s a one-year wonder and is too close to Kroy Biermann in skill set. They are looking for thumpers to control the edge against the run and make impact plays.

English remains interesting, but his history of serious injuries – high right ankle sprain, sprained right shoulder, torn right ACL, torn pectoral and a broken right hand — in college are a turn off.

Oregon safety Patrick Chung to get private workout with Falcons.

Oregon safety Patrick Chung to get private workout with Falcons.

Look for the Falcons to select Virginia’s Clint Sintim. He was very productive and has very long arms at 33 ½ inches. He has played in a pro styled defense.

Maualuga (11 to 20), Matthews (24 to 25), Florida State’s Everette Brown (5 to 11), Oklahoma’s Duke Robinson (30 to out of first round) all dropped this week.

Some of the climbers include Texas’ Brian Orakpo (9 to 5), LSU’s Tyson Johnson (12 to 9), Freeman (20 to 17) and Florida’s Percy Harvin (17 to 15).

LEDBETTER’S MOCK DRAFT

Pam Grier likes this week's mock draft.

Pam Grier likes this week's mock draft.

1. Detroit Lions: Jason Smith, OT, Baylor. Lions will try to negotiate a deal before the draft. They pass on Stafford as they try to anchor their O-line.

2. St. Louis Rams: Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forest. The defensive minded Steve Spagnuolo gets someone to anchor the unit.

3. Kansas City Chiefs: Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia.

4. Seattle Seahawks: Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia. Can learn the rope behind Matt Hasselbeck for a year or two.

5. Cleveland Browns: Brian Orakpo, DE/OLB, Texas.

6. Cincinnati Bengals: Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech. Bengals get a receiver to run alongside Ocho Cinco.

7. Oakland Raiders: B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College. Raiders don’t pay much attention to the recent controversy surrounding Raji.

8. Jacksonville Jaguars: Mark Sanchez, QB,
Southern California.

9. Green Bay Packers: Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU. Packers have to improve their defensive line.

10. San Francisco 49ers: Andre Smith, T, Alabama. With Sanchez off the board, Singletary decides his motivational skills can help Smith.

11. Buffalo Bills: Everette Brown, DE, Florida State.

12. Denver Broncos: Malcolm Jenkins, CB, Ohio State.

13. Washington Redskins: Michael Oher, OT, Ole Miss.

14. New Orleans Saints: Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri. Sean Payton adds another weapon for quarterback Drew Brews.

15. Houston Texans: Percy Harvin, WR. Florida. Pro Bowler Andre Johnson needs some help.

16. San Diego Chargers: Brian Cushing, LB, USC.

17. New York Jets: Josh Freeman, QB, Kansas State. Jets get their Brett Favre replacement.

18. Denver Broncos: Aaron Maybin, DE, Penn State.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois. A physical corner who’d fit nicely in their Cover-2.

20. Detroit Lions (from Dallas): Rey Maualuga, LB, LB, Southern California. He slips, but doesn’t get past the Lions.

21. Philadelphia Eagles: Eben Britton, OT, Arizona. They have to find a replacement for Tra Thomas.

22. Minnesota Vikings: Peria Jerry, DT, Mississippi.

23. New England Patriots: James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State. Son of former wrestler “The Animal.”

24. Atlanta Falcons: Clint Sintim, LB, Virginia

25. Miami Dolphins: Clay Matthews Jr., LB, USC.

26. Baltimore Ravens: Darius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland.

27. Indianapolis Colts: Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia.

28. Philadelphia Eagles (from Carolina): Chris Wells, RB, Ohio State. The Eagles get someone to share the load with Brian Westbrook.

29. New York Giants: Hakeem Nicks, WR, North Carolina.

30. Tennessee Titans: Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State. His 40 times are scaring a lot of folks.

31. Arizona Cardinals: Donald Brown, RB, Connecticut.

32. Pittsburgh Steelers: Larry English, DE/OLB, Northern Illinois.

The Fearsome Foursome! Merlin Olsen (74), Deacon Jones (75), Lamar Lundy (85) and Rosey Grier (76), sitting down with his guitar. Falcons coach Mike Smith would love to turn his defensive line into the New Millenium's Fearsome Foursome.

The Fearsome Foursome! Merlin Olsen (74), Deacon Jones (75), Lamar Lundy (85) and Rosey Grier (76), sitting down with his guitar. Falcons coach Mike Smith would love to turn his defensive line into the New Millennium's Fearsome Foursome.

FIRST ROUND FRINGE
Duke Robinson, OG, Oklahoma
Michael Johnson, DE, Georgia Tech
Evander Hood, DT, Missouri
Louis Delmas, FS, Western Michigan
Kenny Britt, WR, Rutgers
Alphonso Smith, CB, Wake Forest

The other domino from the Cutler trade has to fall. That’s their climb up to get Mark Sanchez. They need to get in front of Jacksonville at No. 8. Like Sintim in the red and black? Rather have English? Rather have Matthews Jr.? Like Pam Grier, stopping by as our honorary guest?

260 comments Add your comment

innocent bystander

April 3rd, 2009
5:23 am

I wonder if Pam Grier also missed that you have JL the OSU linebacker picked twice (16 & 23).

marko

April 3rd, 2009
6:26 am

Holy Puzzle box Batman! Has anyone seen Columbo? We got ourselves one hellova mystery here. Why Maualuga? Isn’t he supposed to be gone at least ten picks before us. Didn’t we draft Lofton last year? Orlando, not trying to be picky but you have Laurinaitis going twice in the first round. Also some time in the next three weeks the Lions will sign Stafford If no other reason than to sell tickets. Go 0 and 16 then and draft a tackle. Besides, with Culpepper baby sitting him for a year, he’ll turn out to be a great pick.

Greg

April 3rd, 2009
6:43 am

I don’t think the Birds are going to go LB with the first pick, but let’s assume they are. Still, I’m not sure you’re on target with Sintim. You may know about some weighty intangibles, but did you watch the Combine? Matthews beat him handily in every category. If we’re talking about an edge LB here, he’s gonna have to go into coverage. Sintim was s-l-o-w (4.82 40-dash), while Matthews did 4.67. Sintim did not do the press. Why? Matthews jumped higher, jumped longer, and was much more impressive in the 3-cone drill. Matthews did exceptionally well in the 20-yard shuttle, which would seem to be a key test for outside LB. Sintim skipped that test, too. Why? On paper, I don’t see picking Sintim ahead of Matthews. You say Matthews is a 1-year wonder. Maybe we should focus on the word “wonder.”

rob

April 3rd, 2009
7:13 am

I’m getting headaches from looking at all the mock drafts..I think I’ll shut it down until the real deal comes in 22 days..

JJ

April 3rd, 2009
7:16 am

marko: GSU and the foxy browns? na
D_LED: nice pics(pictures, not pics) but I still say DT-NT!
Lot of talk og K.Orten this morning, the consensus is he’s just an average qb. Well, Chris Houston made him look like a probowler last yr. I’m praying that a beefed up front seven will help our dbs.
Agree with my faithful blogers, too many TE to take Pettigrew at 24, I like Shawn Nelson. However, we cant pass up on Chung if he’s there at 55, highly ublikely.

devildawg

April 3rd, 2009
7:35 am

Do you call it a Mock Draft because every time you make one, everyone mocks it? Because you should be for all the boneheadedness you’ve shown us. You have a player listed twice. You have Maualuga and Cushing going after Laurinitis? Really, because all the draft experts would disagree heavily with you. Heyward-Bey going before Hakeem Nicks? OK, you do that, but don’t say we didn’t warn you. Dude, is this like a hobby for you or something, or do they actually pay you to do this, like for your job? AJC, get a clue, you need some better sports guys. You guys are a joke.

ndadome

April 3rd, 2009
8:04 am

Here’s an interesting tidbit. . .it is being reported that both Clay Matthews & Brian Cushing tested positive for steroids at the combine. Not confirmed yet, but neither is the report that Raji & Harvin both tested positive for weed.

I’m not so sure Denver will try to move up to take a first round qb. .they need too much defensive help, don’t you think?

JJ

April 3rd, 2009
8:08 am

devildawg: have you read some of the other sports writers from the ajc? Do you want terrence moore? D-Led is the best we’ve had here in a long time! Yes, this mock draft is not his best but chill or go to the dawg blog. You dont diss our man!!!

gdg73

April 3rd, 2009
8:14 am

I don’t see the Falcons picking a 3-4 OLB, unless they plan on moving him to DE. How are his coverage skills as a LB anyway. Also, if Rey M. is there at #24, I say take him and move Lofton to the outside. I’m almost positive he played there in college. Stay away Mike Mamula, I mean Clay Matthews Jr. and Brian Cushing. Like you said, we need thumpers, not run and chase guys playing LB. Rey M. is a first class thumper.

IE'66

April 3rd, 2009
8:17 am

I don’t need this blognet to tell me about some new movies coming out. Save that for the entertainment pages. This is the sports pages. If I wanted to see a movie about an attractive woman in undergarments I’d go to my local video store.

As to the foot-ball, I enjoy your mock drafts. Always have. I’m a fan of mocking the draft. But I support the draft as well.

This time the Falcons do something to surprise us all. If the draft plays out just as you have it with all selections as they are up until 24, the Falcons will select Knowshon Moreno. I know, I know. What does the old man know that I don’t? Well, I’ll tell you. It’s a smoke screen. Dimitroff said a few weeks ago that Moreno was going to be good but we didn’t need him. It’s a smoking screen. We pick him and go defense the rest of the way. If I’m wrong, I’ll post an apology.

coastaljim

April 3rd, 2009
8:29 am

He might be better than some of the AJC writers, but he still needs a proofreader. He said that Sintim played in a pro style OFFENSE. Put down the bong!!

Poco Springfield

April 3rd, 2009
9:04 am

You have Laurinaitis getting drafted twice in the first. Sintim is more of a 3-4 linebacker. I don’t see how he’d fit into the Falcons’ system unless they’re planning on changing from a 4-3.

richbrave

April 3rd, 2009
9:09 am

I see you like CLINT also. Catch my little comment about your mock draft selection for the REDSKINS at #13. How’s that drug test for CUSHING going? Trade down for SINTIM if possible.

Marcus

April 3rd, 2009
9:42 am

boy..between you and Sekou…any excuse to get glamour shots of past and present starlets showing off their wares. What say Mrs. Lebdbetter?!?!? LOL. Whose next? Janet? Victoria Dillard? Halle? Debbie Morgan?Alicia Keys? Beverley Johnson? (still smokin at daggone near 60). Tyra Banks? pick one and do the daggone thang.

Dont know much about Sintim, but heard the name come up a lot. Drafting LB, does that imply we have enough faith in the young talent in the secondary NOT to snag a 1st round safety?
Which area is more talent-dearth and/or depth-starved?

BILLY JACK

April 3rd, 2009
9:43 am

This mock draft is the worst one I have seen-If Cushing is there no way the falcons pass on him-I dont think he will be there-look for Clay Matthews Jr to be the pick DE OLB 6-5 250 great pass rusher good against the run very fast off the edge and great bloodlines father Clay uncle Bruce played over 35 yrs combined in the NFL.

BRING IT BACK!!

April 3rd, 2009
10:14 am

Our 1st round pick should be a running back. The Falcons lack of production from that position has been dropping rapidly ever since Vick was thrown under the bus by the front office. Come on TD and use that so called expert draft mind of yours and bring the rushing attack back to Atlanta!

clthurman

April 3rd, 2009
10:21 am

Matthews is the pick at 24 unless we move up or down or a gift comes wrapped from someone falling. Solid player and the apple does not fall far from the tree…good bloodline.

gdg73

April 3rd, 2009
10:33 am

Good bloodlines??? Are we talking about FOOTBALL PLAYERS and the NFL Draft or the Westminster Dog Show? TD doesn’t care anything about bloodlines or work out warriors. He wants to see how players performed on the field. For all of you campaigning for Cushing and Matthews, don’t come crying in the November and December when either is being dragged down the field by Jonathan Stewart, A.P., or Marion Barber.

DawgFan0311

April 3rd, 2009
10:41 am

Clint Sintim? What the heck is that? Who has ever heard of Clint Stintim…why not wait until the 2nd round to draft that guy…? We need someone with proven credentials not just big arms and flashy speed.

Brian Hunt

April 3rd, 2009
10:43 am

It’s a Mock Draft people. Everyone breathe and relax. All of you wanna be experts need to step away from your key boards and stop insulting Mr. Ledbetter. I’m sure that it’s possible to disagree without the scorn. He has good taste in movie starlets. I’m hoping Raji falls based on a little controversy or we can grab Delmas.

Wes

April 3rd, 2009
10:55 am

Who is playing DT this year??? If we aren’t going to draft one in the first round, don’t they have to sign someone in free agency? I don’t understand how they are going to stop the run with a worse d-line than the one last year, which couldn’t stop the run.

Ken Strickland

April 3rd, 2009
10:55 am

CMathews is a pure LB while Sintim is more of a hybrid and can effectively rush the passer from the DE position, like LEnglish or Maybin. If we go LB with our 1st pick, it appears this is the way we’re leaning. If we don’t go DT in the 1st 2 rds, it means Smitty’s satisfied with the ability and progress of TLewis and like the idea of staring he and Babineaux.

I was surprised to find most DT rankings have Baker ranked higher than Hill. Maybe it’s because he’s more versatile, since he played DE in college, but has the size and strength to play DT. If you take away the incident that necessitated his transfer to Hampton, who knows, he might rank even higher.

Also, if we’re satisfied with the projected starters we have at DT, don’t be surprised if we draft a CB @ #24. A quality hybrid LB/DE type that’s capable of giving us exactly what we want is a lot easier to find in the 2nd or 3rd rds than a quality CB capable of starting immediately.

Stirg d'Nahsif

April 3rd, 2009
11:06 am

Not too sure about this one, D.O. I like Sintim; I like him a lot but I think he sill still be there in the second round (not sure if he’d last until 55, though). Again, here we are in a situation where we have disregarded what we already have. We have needs at multiple positions but when you evaluate our current roster, you will note that some of those voids aren’t as sensible to fill before others. When you consider the signing of M. Peterson and the healthy return of Robert James, you will note a lower priority to fill that position as opposed to defensive tackle, tight end or strong safety. Again, I’m not trying to knock Clint Sintim (I continue to put him on my draft boards). I just don’t think he’s a 24, in this draft. He may be a top ten in the next draft or may have been a top ten in a draft that is stingy with linebackers. This draft, however, I’d rather take my chances with a second round linebacker (or later) than pulling the trigger, on uncertainty, in the first round. There are just too many question marks with this class of linebackers: Can he play the 4-3 after playing 3-4 in college? Can he stay healthy? Can he race with the tight end in pass coverage? Can he stop the run? Is he a three down linebacker? There are just too many questions involving this year’s draft of linebackers. It’s too questionable to consider any of them for round one.

gdg73

April 3rd, 2009
11:14 am

You better believe TD and Smith are going DT at #24. Don’t believe all the hype. Two things you got to do to win in this league: 1) Run the ball on offense and 2) Stop the run on defense. We fixed #1 last year. This year we address the defense’s inability to accomplish #2 and it all starts up front. Right now, we have ONE healthy, legitimate DT we can count on right now and that is Babineaux. A good Dline would also enhance our pedestrian secondary.

esaun

April 3rd, 2009
11:17 am

no way the falcons pick pick Sintim over Mathews or Cushing since both fit mold of what falcons look for in linebackers

gdg73

April 3rd, 2009
11:19 am

esaun, What is the “Falcon Linebacker Mold”?

BRING IT BACK!!

April 3rd, 2009
11:19 am

Brian Hunt you are 100% correct.

who?

April 3rd, 2009
11:21 am

???

April 3rd, 2009
11:23 am

Mention you know who & you get “waiting moderation”. WHY?

clthurman

April 3rd, 2009
11:26 am

Bloodline was just meant to imply a good football background…every Matthews player has been a stud. As for the workout wonder tag…so the guy works out…what’s the point? Should he sit around and not better his body. If you don’t like Matthews I can understand that…he is a pure LB and hey I like them. The hybrid DE/LB is always hit or miss…you can hit a home run or you have someone exposed against the run. Guys seeing that we were not good at much with the defense last year and the holes we have…this is fun guessing where we will go and what TD may be up to. Give him a few years yet before we deign him a genius. I am optimistic based on his short history but hey guessing is a blast. Relax guys…who would a thought Cutler going to the notoriously shy Bears. Can’t wait. I don’t believe a CB is in this draft worth the 24th pick and certainly not the money that goes with it.

Nique

April 3rd, 2009
11:28 am

we are bringing in Rey Maualuga for a visit, who is a better player than either Cushing or Matthews, as well as C. Simtums! So if he falls to 24 & they fill that either him of Lofton can play SAM backer, which they obviously fell bc they are bringing him in for a private work out. Remember that they said that one of the reasons why they took Lofton last year was bc he could play both MLB & SAM backer, you go from having a subpar LB-ing core going into the offseason, to having a stud group & one to grow with for years in Nicolas, Maualuga, & Lofton. With Peterson, Wire, James, & Gilbert as reserves! Now that’s a group!

Deangelo Falls

April 3rd, 2009
11:31 am

Seriously you’re using “long arms” as something we look for in LB’s? OL or DL maybe but not LB. Sintim will not be the pick…guaranteed. This pick has Delmas written all over it (like when the Pats took Meriweather).

Tibo

April 3rd, 2009
11:45 am

James Laurinatis picked 2 times??? wowww! lol
Why did you see Simtin before Cushing???? Cushing is more athletic to me

I MUS.WRITE

April 3rd, 2009
11:45 am

Bow Tie- Whats Happnin, I would’nt pick Sintim at 24 when Hood and Cushing are still available…….. Pam Grier -good job my man that woman gets sexxier with age

D3

April 3rd, 2009
12:00 pm

What’s up guys? Just a little tid-bit here on my lunch break and I’ll get back on it later. Nothing like a new post about the draft. As my old high school coach used to say “Gotta Love It!”

DOL – I like Sintim’s measurables, but his stock has been dropping a little bit since his average-to-poor showing at the combine and pro day. He is somewhat more of a safer pick than Matthews, due to his experience, but does he have as much upside? Personally, if all the LBs are gone (Maybin,English,Cushing,Matthews), I’d rather go Hood in the first, even though its pretty much a crap shoot picking a DT late in the first. For every Mike Patterson and Luis Castillo, there’s just as many or more Marcus Tubbs, Justin Harrells, and John McCargos.

Also, if Cushing is there, no way we pass on him. He has been a stud on the college level at a big-time program for years. Just as well, Rey Mauluga is a d@mn torpedo missile that you would have to consider taking and adjusting Lofton as needed, or the other way around. Out of the three, Mauluga is a the beast of the bunch. Although, I’d hate to move Lofton to OLB after he had such an awesome rookie year at MLB, knowing he’s only going to get better.

I know Matthews is a risk, but what I love about him the most is his work ethic. Matty Ice, of course, had the skills to become Rookie of the Year, but his work ethic is what led him to come in, start, learn from his mistakes, and play lights out as a Rook.

Stirg d'Nahsif

April 3rd, 2009
12:10 pm

You know what? Nique delivered a very valid point (I never considered). All this time, I’ve been trying to match-up an OLB in the draft to play SAM in our “scheme”. Lofton is a gifted linebacker. He can play in the middle and the outside. When you consider moving Lofton to the SAM position (it may suit him better), it opens the options to draft some of the good talent that we have, otherwise, been overlooking, i.e., Rey M’uga or Frantz Joseph. It will also allow us to use the first pick on a more glaring need (DT, Safety, TE) and draft linebacker in the next round(s).

Good job, Nique; Good Call!

dacha

April 3rd, 2009
12:33 pm

Yo D-Led,
I don’t really like the Sintim pick…just doesn’t seem like a good fit. BTW, OSU linebacker must be a beast if he can play for two teams. Also, next time you decide to draft a guy twice try to do some research and spell his name right: LAURENAITIS

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 3rd, 2009
12:37 pm

INNOCENT BYSTANDER: Must have been distracted with the Original Foxy Brown visiting us and all. Getting ready to go in an correct the JL “the Animal” Jr. going to two squads. He’s good, but not that good!!!

Reno 911

April 3rd, 2009
12:47 pm

Guys, guys, settle down now. You know what happens when you “clown” the wrong person on this blog, don’t you? I’m not sure why everyone is so up in arms, though I agree that Laurinitas shouldn’t be picked twice. If anyone in this draft deserves to go multiple times, it’s Aaron Curry. I have him going to Kasas City at #3, Cleveland at #5, and then in his third and fourth picks, falling all the way down to New England at #23 and the Falcons at #24. As long as the teams don’t play in the same division, why not play for more than one? Just a quick jersey change and a charter jet to get from one game to the other, right? Think outside of the box, people.

Stirg d'Nahsif

April 3rd, 2009
12:49 pm

Whew! Nique, I can’t thank enough for reconditioning my thought process in this draft. It is really refreshing to consider another approach to pick 24. This draft is so complex; yet, I’ve never been more excited an upcoming season.

The option to move Curtis Lofton in either linebacker position, leaves room to draft (in any round) a very good and versatile LB in this year’s class, which is loaded with talented linebackers. I wanted to review Lofton’s scouting report from last year’s draft and compare that with the reports (on linebackers) in this year’s draft. Ultimately, I was looking for descriptions that would motivate me to draft Lofton (last year) to play outside linebacker.

Curtis Lofton Scouting Report (provided by WarRoomReport.com):
Oklahoma MLB
Height: 6-0, Weight: 235, Draft Grade: 91

Strengths: Extremely productive junior season at Oklahoma with 157 tackles…good football instincts…solid wrap up tackler…smooth player in coverage, displayed ability to make plays in zone coverage…strong player for size with good base…big hitter…

Weaknesses: Does not have ideal height…lacking top end speed…unlikely to be able to handle man coverage against speedy players…not a factor rushing the passer…may struggle in the phone booth against stronger players…

Overall: Lofton emerged in his first season as a starter for the Sooners, leading the team with 157 tackles, including 10 for a loss. He surprised some by entering the draft early, but another season at Oklahoma was unlikely to make up for his two main flaws – short stature and limited speed. Lofton can be a productive player given the right scheme, a 4-3 defense that would limit his pass coverage responsibility.

Now, y’all draw your own conclusion. Can we draft, this year, for a middle linebacker and move Curtis Lofton to the outside? Do we keep Lofton inside and draft for OLB? Either way, the pool of linebackers is still deep with talent.

Joey Porter

April 3rd, 2009
12:54 pm

Cushing and Matthews are on peds. Can you say Cheaters? Once they are clean they will be safetys.

PMC

April 3rd, 2009
12:55 pm

Clay Matthews on PED’s…. wow, that’s not shocking in the least. Mandarich alert!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 3rd, 2009
1:05 pm

Good job here today folks. I’m fine with banter: Here are some responses for you.

DEVILDAWG
: Good joke. This is an EARLY mock. Will dust off my final mocks over the last three drafts and the are pretty strong. Averaging 26 of the correct 32 picks. This is for discussion purposes to help us get our fix for the next 22 days. Stick with me here!

COASTALJIM: Will correct it. Caught one of those late flows and missed that minor offense/defense thing.

MARCUS: Halle is from Bedford High outside of Cleveland and across the street from the great St. Peter Chanel High. Maybe she’ll drop by to turn in the card for the Cleveland Browns, who have the No. 5 pick.

BILLY JACK: Can you still whup some A! I need to go watch some of your old flicks. Awesome stuff. Cushing, Matthews, Raij and Harvin all have combine RED flags.

???: Yep!! (I get to approve and sanction the madness. It’s called a moderator!

D3: We have strong ties to St. Louis and the Missouri program. The Ziggster scares me. Production was too low.

DaculaJones

April 3rd, 2009
1:23 pm

What factor does Mr. Vick have on the draft, if he is allowed to play this coming season. Or would the commish even make that decision before draft day?

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 3rd, 2009
1:23 pm

Reno911: At 4 a.m., a guy could easily slip into the mock twice. Hey, it happens. He’s out now. Just one time for Animal Jr. But this concept of multiple teams. . . .. Hmmmmmmm. You might be onto something. I can be like high school basketball in Ohio where you can play two quarters with the JV and two with the varsity.

???

April 3rd, 2009
1:24 pm

D.Orlando Ledbetter. Thanks! Just wondering. Won’t mention Vi..I mean you know who. LOL!

TheManMike

April 3rd, 2009
1:25 pm

Oh Lord people – Pam Grier? Come on! Where have you all been the last 5 to 6 years???

Hooters girls are the best there is. Go to their sites and look, stare, admire – at the youth, not the former youth. come on DLED – Pick us some HOT women, not just former hot women…..seriously.

I dont see a LB being our first pick unless its big Rey Mal. Like someone mentioned above, Lofton can play SAM, so there it is. Have you seen the tapes on this dude – hes a mini Troy Polumalu! Exactly what TD said he wanted, am i right or am i right?

TheManMike

April 3rd, 2009
1:31 pm

Reno 911

April 3rd, 2009
1:33 pm

What’s everyone’s reaction to the reports that Clay Matthews and Brian Cushing both tested positive for steroids at the Combine? I can’t find any iron-clad reporting of it on the ‘net, but I must admit that it doesn’t surprise me much. I always thought that Cushing had too much of a misshapen HGH-like jaw/forehead thing going on, and as much as I love the Clay Jr story, going from 160-something pound walk-on safety to 240-something pound first- rounder OLB, it does seem a little improbable that he made that happen on protein shakes and peanut butter sandwiches. Sigh. I really liked both of those guys.

But the question now is, if either or both of them DID test positive for ‘roids at the combine, what happens to their respective draft positions? How much faith do you have in either of their physical abilities, assuming that if they did test positive, both have probably been juicing for a while (at least when I went through it, NCAA substance testing was a joke, especially compared to the NFL’s program). Knowing that any player testing positive once will be under the microscope thereafter, do you trust that Matthews or Cushing won’t drop 20 pounds and get slower if his all-natural (like Tony Mandarich did back in the 90’s)? Do both of them all of the sudden become second-rounders? Luis Castillo, DT out of Northwestern, tested hot for ‘roids a few years back, was still drafted by the Chargers, and has gone on to play pretty well for them. If I recall, Castillo sent out a mea culpa letter to all of the teams in the league after his positive result, saying that he was desperate in trying to recover from an injury, and made a mistake. But would Cushing and Matthews have the same claim? Neither had been recovering from anything, unless it was recovering from a lack of “first-round” natural ability. All highly speculative, of course, and I hope that neither one of those guys did test positive…it’s just interesting to think about the ramifications on the draft if the reports are true. Thoughts?

cutter

April 3rd, 2009
1:49 pm

Everybody is throwing up smoke screens this close to the draft, just because a guy has a private workout with the team means no more for his chances of being drafted than anyone else brought in for workouts. You don’t screw around with a 2nd yr guy by moving him around from MLB to OLB. Lofton was drafted in the 2nd round to be a MLB and that is where he stays. I can appreciate some of the scenarios given and the arguments used to support those scenarios but is one guy proven to be that much better than the other? Maybe more hyped but not proven.