Slive speaks on expansion; where will Tebow go in draft?

 

New York—Good morning friends. Your humble correspondent is in NYC today to work the NFL Draft for the CBS College Sports Network. We’ll have coverage of the entire first round tonight and will do something a little different by looking at the draft from both the pro and the college perspective. It should be fun so please tune us in.

Before I move on to today’s topic I want you to know that I caught up with SEC Commissioner Mike Slive after yesterday’s post on whether or not the conference should be proactive rather than reactive to possible Big Ten expansion. The commissioner was very candid in saying that the SEC is not going be passive if the Big Ten blows up the college football landscape by going to 16 teams.

“We will be proactive,” said Slive. “We will do our due diligence and determine the right course of action for our conference.”

Read into that what you will. I think it means that everything is on the table. Big Ten commish Jim Delany told reporters in Scottsdale, Ariz. (site of the annual BCS meetings)  that his plans for expansion are not as far along as media reports have suggested. So it is not a question of “if” but “when.” So other commissioners (Big East, ACC to name two) have to start making contingency plans in case they lose teams. We will be talking about this subject a lot more, to be sure.

But first, let’s have some fun.

Here are 10 Southern players I’m keeping my eye on for the next two days while working the draft. The order has nothing to do with how high they will be picked, but my curiosity factor about what team picks them. Feel free to add your own names to this list:

 

1. Eric Berry, S, Tennessee: A once in a generation defensive back who will be a great pro. Had 12 interceptions his first two years and people just quit throwing in his direction. I’ve seen a bunch of drafts that have him going to Cleveland with the No. 7 pick. But I wonder if Kansas City will surprise us and take him at No. 5?

2. Tim Tebow, QB, Florida: The 2007 Heisman Trophy winner. A great, great college player whose talents may or may not translate to the NFL level. There has been speculation that Jacksonville would take him at No. 10. I can’t see it. But New England has three picks (44, 47, 53) in the second round. Florida coach Urban Meyer and Patriots’ coach Bill Belichick are tight.

3. Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech:  I think Seattle and new coach Pete Carroll may take Morgan at No. 6 because Morgan is perfect for the 4-3 defense that Carroll runs. Seattle may gamble and hope Morgan is still there when the Seahawks pick again at No. 14. Morgan is a helluva football player.

4. C.J. Spiller, RB/KR, Clemson: This guy put up a ton of stats at Clemson but here is the most impressive: Over his career Spiller had 21 touchdown plays of 50 yards or more. Jacksonville needs to excite the fan base and sell tickets. They can’t take Tebow at No. 10 but they could take Spiller.

5. Rolando McClain, ILB, Alabama: I saw McClain start his first college football game in 2007 and I saw him play  his last against Texas in the BCS championship game. Along with Al Wilson of Tennessee (1998), McClain was one of the toughest, most disciplined leaders I’ve seen among defensive players.  The team that drafts this guy will instantly transform its defense into something faster and more athletic. He is a no-nonsense guy who is skipping the glitz of New York to watch the draft on TV with his family.

6. Demaryius “Bay Bay” Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech: Everybody is talking about Oklahoma State’s Dez Bryant as the best receiver in the draft. But Thomas is the guy you want if a want a pro who acts like a pro. He’s big. He strong. He makes plays. He averaged 25.09 yards on 46 catches.

7. Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida: A lot of teams like Pouncey because he looks like a guy who could play in the NFL for a dozen years. He can play guard or center which is why, if he’s still on the board when Falcons choose at No. 19, they have to consider him. I think Pittsburgh beats Atlanta to the punch and takes him at No. 18.

8. Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee: Former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer told me the other day that Williams came to Knoxville as a project who was on the pudgy side. Not anymore. Williams flourished in his one year under Monte Kiffin. He could be the third defensive tackle picked.

9. Joe Haden, CB, Florida: When the Gators were tinkering with the idea of using Haden for some snaps at quarterback last season (they didn’t do it), I went back and looked up his high school stats (he is a native of Fort Washington, Md.). They were staggering as he set a Maryland public high school record with 7,731 career passing yards. This guy is just an incredible athlete and was the best lock down corner in the SEC. A bunch of mock drafts have him going to the 49ers at No. 13. That sounds about right.

10. Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida: This guy has intrigued me ever since I visited Skip Holtz, the new coach at USF. George Selvie was an All-America defensive end at South Florida and got all the pub. But Holtz told me he was blown away by Pierre-Paul when he started looking at tape. I think Georgia Tech’s Derrick Morgan and Michigan’s Brandon Graham are better prospects at defensive end but we’ll see. Somebody is going to fall in love with his athleticism because this guy is a freak (6-6, 275) in the most positive sense of the word.

 

Here are a bunch of other guys I’m watching from Southern schools. I had to leave a lot of good ones out. Please add to the list.

Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Georgia Tech: I’m not sure exactly what the NFL boys want in a running back but I have to believe that Dwyer has it. Good size. Good speed.

Montario Hardesty, RB, Tennessee: I was very impressed with the way Hardesty blocked out all the distractions at Tennessee and had a great senior season.

Terrence Cody, DT, Alabama: It’s got to be a 3-4 team but there are a lot more of them now in the NFL. I can’t believe this guy is going to fall to the second round.

Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida: This guy’s stock has been falling since he was suspended right before the SEC championship game (alcohol related).

Brandon Spikes, LB, Florida: What Tebow was to the Florida offense this guy was to the defense.

Dexter McCluster, RB, Ole Miss: The Rebels finally wised up and started giving this guy the ball last season. He’s small (5-8, 175) but he can make plays.

Riley Cooper, WR, Florida: Good athlete who knows how to run routes and get open. He became Tebow’s Go-To guy for most of the 2009 season.

Eric Norwood, LB, South Carolina: Nobody will miss a player more in 2010 than the Gamecocks will miss Norwood (29 career sacks).

Rennie Curran, LB, Georgia: Could have used one more year in college. He’s small but Curran is an absolute tackling machine.

Kareem Jackson, CB, Alabama: If he had listened to Nick Saban and returned to Tuscaloosa Jackson would have been an All-America player in 2010 and a first-round pick in 2011. He still may go in the first round.

Trevard Lindley, CB, Kentucky: A native of Hiram, I have always liked Lindley as a play maker and a lock down corner. There are a bunch of DBs ahead of him on my board.

Jevan Snead, QB, Ole Miss: This time last year he was projected as a possible first-round pick because of his arm. But he struggled in 2009 and decided to leave school early. Don’t think he’ll be picked in the first two rounds.

Jonathan Crompton, QB, Tennessee: I read and hear some NFL teams like his arm. That may be true but he still has a long way to go as a decision maker.

 Please follow me on Twitter:

www.twitter.com/MrCFB

154 comments Add your comment

Charles from Reeltown

April 22nd, 2010
10:28 am

Jonathan Crompton in the NFL? HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

Charles from Reeltown

April 22nd, 2010
10:29 am

Texas Tech and BYU are headed to the Big East.

Gatorzip74

April 22nd, 2010
10:29 am

The two Gators in this year’s draft that will have the best NFL careers:
Haden: Shut down corner who has deadly closing speed and a knack for the ball.
Cooper: Most underated receiver that is big, physical and scary fast.

Both will become Pro-Bowl caliber players.

Gatorzip74

April 22nd, 2010
10:31 am

UGA is in talks with the WAC.

AlwaysAVol

April 22nd, 2010
10:33 am

As one of his harshest critics, mark it down, John Crompton will go down as one of the greats. The young man went through five offenses in five years, and anyone who can shine under that SOB Kiffin can shine anywhere. Dark horse, surprise pick of the draft.

Gatorzip74

April 22nd, 2010
10:33 am

Mike – You are absolutely correct.
UGA 57 NFL draft picks = 0 NC

AlwaysAVol

April 22nd, 2010
10:35 am

UT96, and that’s why Schular is in politics… LOL

Mike

April 22nd, 2010
10:41 am

by now, everybody knows tebow did ok with percy harvin, never did much without percy. especially against teams who finished in the top 10.

tebow’s performance in the sec championship, was one of the worst i’ve seen in a logn time. he threw a pick in the red zone, wasn’t accurate, couldn’t complete a long pass, and only handed off to a teammate rb 1 time in the 2nd half. not good, not good at all.

joe cox would be a much better nfl qb than tim tebow.

Chad

April 22nd, 2010
10:51 am

Myron Rolle- The falcons need to look at him hard if he is still around on saturday. He went to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and now hes ready to play football. A stand up guy that would be a great leader in the locker room!

Gator Fan

April 22nd, 2010
10:52 am

I take any stat or arguement and trun it into a comment positive about the Fightin’ Gators. Tebow’s not a 1st round pick: He has two NC rings. Georgia has more draft picks: No NC rings. Urban Meyer can’t produce an NFL caliber QB: Tanning beds. I really enjoyed watching all the Florida qbs running around untouched in their red non contact jerseys! I stood up and cheered when the quarterback sweeps became 70 yard touchdowns! I wonder how long they would have been if the defense were allowed to tackle them?

BZ

April 22nd, 2010
10:53 am

you forgot to mention to most talented safety in college football, UGA’s very own Mr. Bryan Evans… ha ha ha, thank the lord he’s gone.

Hey Reptile's Rule...

April 22nd, 2010
10:59 am

Live in Jax, FL & know exactly what you’re talking about. We had Dan on the air for a while here and he used to get on those wild rants about Tebow among other things. He loves to stir the pot, but doesn’t provide a ton of good content. Probably why he’s not on the air here any longer.

Tony- You may be right about CJ to the Jags. A buddy of mine who’s friends w/ one of the coaches said he told him if the Jags can’t trade out of the 10th to get a couple of more picks, then they will take CJ if he’s there.

UT96

April 22nd, 2010
11:00 am

AlwaysAVol, truer words were never spoken,lol.

Wreckmaniac

April 22nd, 2010
11:02 am

This is a correct listing and its amazing how it is dominated by Tech.

The General Feeling

April 22nd, 2010
11:03 am

Who cares what Tebow does in the NFL.. the guy has a Heisman and two SEC and BCS titles. But don’t be surprised, dear reader, if Jon Cromption plays more QB in the NFL than Tebow.

Hey Tony, I did not see where Joe Cox is predicted?

Gene Smith

April 22nd, 2010
11:04 am

I’m the one picking players in the NFL draft this year. Not your buddy’s neighbor’s college roomate’s friend of a coach with the Jaguars.

Ginger Ninja

April 22nd, 2010
11:05 am

The only draft I’ll see this year is if the wind blows on the golf course this Summer.

Well, Gene Care to Enlighten Us....

April 22nd, 2010
11:13 am

Or are you going to continue the Jags trend of blowing first round picks?

Well, Gene Care to Enlighten Us....

April 22nd, 2010
11:17 am

Great pick with Eugene Monroe with 8th overall pick last year BTW!!

Charles from Reeltown

April 22nd, 2010
11:19 am

Jonathan Crompton in the NFL? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

JuneBaby

April 22nd, 2010
11:20 am

if the big 10 expands without notre dame, why not invite them into the sec? you can have a sec north div(or place them in the sec west div). that would include n. dame, kentucky, tennessee and maybe some other new invitee, along with a west, east and south. that would solve all of n. dames problems, while making a new and expanded big 10 irrelevant. also oklahoma, texas and maybe florida st. might be receptive to joining the league if these event came about. it might be a problem geographically, but all problems are solvable if they put their minds to it. at the same time notre dame gets to stick it to the big 10 or 16, or however they expand. just a thought, but i would appreciate feedback on this.

jealousy

April 22nd, 2010
11:20 am

Once again UGA fans jealousy of Florida being everything they could ever dream of being shines through and through and is as transparent as thin air.

Kiffinisatosser

April 22nd, 2010
11:23 am

Most NFL-ready back = Jon Dwyer. The guy will be a big time player…and no, I don’t support Tech.

Charles from Reeltown

April 22nd, 2010
11:25 am

Least NFL-ready QB = Joe Cox HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

The Liz

April 22nd, 2010
11:27 am

Darn right…aint nuthing but jealously out of UGA. Bama is fixin to get its too. All yall will soon see. Bramtley will run all over all yall.

Charles from Reeltown

April 22nd, 2010
11:29 am

Bramtley? Who is he?

Riley Cooper

April 22nd, 2010
11:29 am

I’m sure going to miss those little Georgia DB’s.

Riley Cooper

April 22nd, 2010
11:31 am

Mike, the most pics since 2000 and no NC’s. Sounds like you have coaches that cannot produce with superior talent.

Rennie Curran

April 22nd, 2010
11:32 am

You won’t miss me will you though?

Timmy T

April 22nd, 2010
11:33 am

Rennie who? You cannot be serious. Praise the Lord

Charles from Reeltown

April 22nd, 2010
11:35 am

You gators are about as dumb as the Bams.

Charles from Reeltown

April 22nd, 2010
11:36 am

In case you forgot

Jonathan Crompton in the NFL? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

Gen Neyland

April 22nd, 2010
11:36 am

Reptiles Rule is partly right. Atlanta is Gator Country…and Volunteer Country and Wolverine Country and Seminole Country and Tiger (take your pick) Country, etc…The great melting pot of college football fans. Good luck to all draftees and undrafted free agents, especially those from Big Orange Country…

Bramtley

April 22nd, 2010
11:38 am

If you are going to discuss me, at least spell my name right. Oh, wait a second I misspelled it myself.

dawgfan

April 22nd, 2010
11:40 am

Wow. Look at the players on that list and we’re talking about freaking Tebow? Eric Berry will own the NFL. If NFL offenses aren’t crapping in their pants over the prospect of facing Rolando McClain next year, they should be. This guy could have played in the NFL right out of high school. He is a freaking beast from another world. Tebow cannot hold these guys’ jocks if you ask me. What an overblown story Tim Tebow has become. It is laughable.

PFC Neyland

April 22nd, 2010
11:41 am

Mr. Kiffin, can I shine your shoes? I will let you drive my program if you promise to like me.

The Liz

April 22nd, 2010
11:49 am

Ain’t nothing more laughable than watching the Vols get punked by their own punk coach…Gen neyland should be weeping instead of posting on here.

Paul Finebaum

April 22nd, 2010
11:51 am

Did y’all see me coaching? Be honest you thought I didn’t know anything about football!

G8R GRAD

April 22nd, 2010
11:53 am

As I’m fond of speculating, Belichick will use Tebow as Meyer did in 2006. Brady is his prototypical NFL QB and he’ll use Tebow in 3rd and short or 3rd and Goal situations. He’s a real running threat and you don’t need a quick delivery in an option play.

G8R GRAD

April 22nd, 2010
12:02 pm

Sorry. Substitute “Wildcat” for “option.”

Gene Smith

April 22nd, 2010
12:04 pm

I think you are confusing me with Shack Harris. My picks last year played and played at a high level.

NFL Defenses

April 22nd, 2010
12:07 pm

I can’t wait to see Tim Tebow try to run the option in the NFL. A 6′ 3″, 235 lbs target. We’re not DBs from directional schools in the South.

CHAMPS

April 22nd, 2010
12:07 pm

Mike Slive: “we will be proactive.”

Actually, if the SEC is waiting to see what the Bigeleven does, that is by definition being reactive, not proactive.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

April 22nd, 2010
12:08 pm

Thomas, and his 25 ypc is so inflated. Tech ran the ball 50 times a game and passed 10. So of course it sets up the passing game for big plays. The young man may be talented but lets have a little perspective here.

RAMBLE ON!!!

April 22nd, 2010
12:17 pm

Ok. Actually, I’m not even a college football expert. I just think Iam and like to run my mouth.

Tide Rising

April 22nd, 2010
12:24 pm

JB,

Have faith. I watched Peria Jerry closely for a few years at Ole Miss since they were a division rival. The guy was the best NT I’ld seen in a long time. Only Suh of Nebraska was a better D-lineman coming out of college lately. If I could have I would have swapped Terrance Cody for Jerry in a heartbeat I would have done so. Assuming Jerry fully recovers from this unfortunate knee injury he had his rookie year he should be everything we Falcons fans were hoping for in a great D-tackle.

That Guy

April 22nd, 2010
12:26 pm

Morgan Burnett. Had a great pro-day, running a 4.42, and with a vert of 39.5” and a broad jump of 11′. Clearly this guy is an athlete, and in 2008, he was among the leaders in the nation with 7 interceptions. He has a nose for the ball, is a smart player, and has the athletic skills to be a great pro. Charles Davis says that he’s a guy that’s going to earn his money on his second contract, because he can flat out play. If he goes after the 2nd round, he’s an absolute steal.

MLB

April 22nd, 2010
12:30 pm

Gatorzip74

April 22nd, 2010
10:29 am
The two Gators in this year’s draft that will have the best NFL careers:
Haden: Shut down corner who has deadly closing speed and a knack for the ball.
Cooper: Most underated receiver that is big, physical and scary fast.

Both will become Pro-Bowl caliber players.

We thought Riley Cooper would be an All Star caliber baseball player. I guess a 60 yard dash isn’t the best way to project a baseball player after all.

Far From Over

April 22nd, 2010
12:32 pm

Zach Mettenberger. That guy’s going to be a star one day. Congratulations dawgs, you recruited another winner.

Tide Rising

April 22nd, 2010
12:37 pm

2008 after Saban’s first year I think we at Alabama accomplished the amazing feat of not having a player drafted. Notta one. Part of it was Shula’s inability to develop players and a lot of it was the lack of players in terms of pure numbers due to the crippling probation of 2002-2007 (21 fewer scholarship players).

2009 we had a few players drafted and in 2010 we are now looking at possibly setting an Alabama record for number of players drafted.

After this 2010 season we also face the unheard of prospect of 5 juniors declaring for the NFL draft and going 1st or 2nd round: Mark Ingram and Julio Jones are certain 1st rounders.

On defense Marcel Dareus, Donta Hightower, and Mark Barron all have a realistic chance of being drafted in the 1st round or at worst in the 2nd round. Barron made all-american this year and led the conference in ints. Dareus and Hightower are absolute beasts that will certainly make some all america teams this year. I think both make the 1st round with Dareus a serious Outland candidate and Hightower a serious Butkus award candidate.

What a difference 2-3 years can make and what a difference a real coach can make.