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.

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154 comments Add your comment

Mikey

April 22nd, 2010
12:40 pm

“With the first pick in the 2013 draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers select Zach Mettenberger, QB from the University of Georgia”

Steeler fan- “it was time to replace one berger with another”

KnightInATL

April 22nd, 2010
12:43 pm

Can someone please explain to me how Jonathan Dwyer went from being a probable late first rd pick after this season to a player that Scouts Inc now has slotted as a 4th round pick in their latest mock yesterday? Not knocking him…just curious.

Failed Drug Test

April 22nd, 2010
12:47 pm

Dwyer fell down the draft boards because of me.

gatorman770

April 22nd, 2010
12:56 pm

The SEC don’t need no stinkin’ expansion!

Tebow will blessed to end up at the Vikings, Bills or Patriots and cursed if taken by Jacksonville!

Paul Finebaum

April 22nd, 2010
1:04 pm

Vikings and Bills have drunk the Tebow kool aid. One of them will choose him in round 1.

Jimmy Clausen is a true punk. He has bust written all over him. Did anyone see how he threw his receiver under the bus in the Chuckie interview?

UGA is preseason number one in 2008! WE'Z DUMB AS $HIT!

April 22nd, 2010
1:04 pm

Who cares where Tebow will end up. Matt Stafford went first in the draft and…oh wait……what’s he doing again?

Matt Stafford

April 22nd, 2010
1:16 pm

Counting MILLIONS of dollars, you?

old dog

April 22nd, 2010
1:22 pm

demetrice johnson albany state running back 6-0 ft. 215 4.4 speed & great hands & good blaocker no one has even looked at him. albany state does a poor job of promoting there kids.this kid can play in the league!!

UGA is preseason number one in 2008! WE'Z DUMB AS $HIT!

April 22nd, 2010
1:28 pm

“Counting MILLIONS of dollars, you?”

So is Mike Hampton.

Matt Stafford

April 22nd, 2010
1:34 pm

Your point? We’re still filthy rich, and you?

EASTsiders

April 22nd, 2010
1:42 pm

Matt Stafford

April 22nd, 2010
1:16 pm
Counting MILLIONS of dollars, you?

Yes sir you are a very good QB and will probably end up having a great career in the NFL, with that said what did you do for Dawg Nation? A National Championship? An SEC Title? Play in an SEC Championship Game?

WonderDawg

April 22nd, 2010
1:44 pm

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

Teabow gouged eyes, too?

Matt Stafford

April 22nd, 2010
1:47 pm

Stepping stone. I played football to eventually play quarterback in the NFL. Let Tebow polish his BCS National Championship rings, SEC Championship rings and Heisman Trophy. I’ll just stroke a check for a $1,000,000.00 to the scholarship fund of the University of Georgia out of the money I get from Axe hair products.

John

April 22nd, 2010
1:48 pm

Fast White Guy

April 22nd, 2010
1:49 pm

Sooooooo, kaput, if Riley Cooper was black, would he still be fast?

John 3:16

April 22nd, 2010
1:52 pm

Timmy

April 22nd, 2010
1:54 pm

Stafford can cut all the checks he wants to UGA, good for him that’s where he went to school………..doesn’t change the fact that he was QB for 2 years and did not play in an SEC Championship Game. Dawg fans got to enjoy that 31-0 feeling at halftime and the 49-10 beatdown where it took Joe Cox to get in the game to score a touchdown. No travel plans to the Dome needed during his watch.

Matt Stafford

April 22nd, 2010
2:06 pm

Timmy, you must be one of those people that measures success by how many friends you have. I was the very first pick in last years NFL draft and signed a contract that gave me over $40,000,000.00 guaranteed money. So, enjoy all the satisfaction you felt with half time leads, beat downs and travel plans. I’ll just have to settle with being a 22 year old millionaire.

G

April 22nd, 2010
2:08 pm

Tony,

You left Owens and Adkins off

G

April 22nd, 2010
2:11 pm

Yeah Stafford underachieved in Athens and was never in good football shape. But he has really impressed me with his leadership and toughness in the pros. Hopefully this will be a thing of the past and we will get the best out of our players while there in Athens.

UGA is preseason number one in 2008! WE'Z DUMB AS $HIT!

April 22nd, 2010
2:15 pm

“I was the very first pick in last years NFL draft and signed a contract that gave me over $40,000,000.00 guaranteed money. ”

……with the worst team in the NFL..

And nothing to show for it but money???????

I guess accomplishments mean nothing to a second tier QB.

Remember, Andre Ware also went number 1 in the draft.

UGA is preseason number one in 2008! WE'Z DUMB AS $HIT!

April 22nd, 2010
2:16 pm

“But he has really impressed me with his leadership and toughness in the pros.”

Yes, his 2-14 record is really impressive. No wonder Dawg nation sucks.

UGA is preseason number one in 2008! WE'Z DUMB AS $HIT!

April 22nd, 2010
2:17 pm

“I’ll just have to settle with being a 22 year old millionaire.”

MC Hammer was a 22 year old millionaire. Just sayin…….

G

April 22nd, 2010
2:19 pm

I would take the two BCS titles over the money! I bleed red and black but anyone who disses Tebow doesnt know squat about football. We need guys like Tebow in Athens to get over the hump he is a leader and a man amongst boys. Staff wasn’t a leader at all

G

April 22nd, 2010
2:22 pm

He played for a team that didnt win a game the year before and played with a seperated shoulder. The dawgs will always own the overall record in Jax and with Timmy gone the big man is no longer looking out for your boys in Gville and Meyer is losing it.

Timmy

April 22nd, 2010
2:26 pm

Won’t be long before I am a millionaire too! Contract + endoresments = millionaire Timmy. I might even go to a team that has a legitimate shot of winning a Super Bowl in my career!

Matt Stafford

April 22nd, 2010
2:26 pm

Would all you be singing my praises if I had won 3 SEC titles and 2 NC and not drafted in the NFL? UGA is preseason number one in 2008! WE’Z DUMB AS $HIT! You’re the type person that picks up my trash now in Detroit where the last place Lions play. I’m completely fine with that. Make sure to put the lid on the cans next time so they don’t fill up with snow. Have a good life living and dieing with your college football team. Just remember on Monday your still a loser even if your team wins on Saturday.

Matt Stafford

April 22nd, 2010
2:29 pm

Oh, and by the way. There’s nothing second tier about my skills. I’d be the 1st quarterback taken this year had I come back and played. Even mouth breathers like UGA is preseason number one in 2008! WE’Z DUMB AS $HIT! know that.

Gillislee

April 22nd, 2010
2:29 pm

The Big man wasn’t there for us 13 of the last 20 wins!

The rest of us

April 22nd, 2010
2:31 pm

I can’t wait for the cries from Gainesville of “My Tebow, my Tebow why hast thou forsaken us?”

UGA Grad

April 22nd, 2010
2:33 pm

Matt – Dawg Nation are Georgia fans and we love our team. We don’t love the Lions.

UGA is preseason number one in 2008! WE'Z DUMB AS $HIT!

April 22nd, 2010
2:36 pm

“You’re the type person that picks up my trash now in Detroit where the last place Lions play. ”

If Detroit is paying it’s sanitation workers six figures then no wonder your new found city is going bankrupt.

“Make sure to put the lid on the cans next time so they don’t fill up with snow. ”

Well, you did put the lid on your crappy season.

“Just remember on Monday your still a loser even if your team wins on Saturday.”

Let me get this straight. You go 2-14 with the worst team in the NFL and I’m a loser?

LOL, ok little man Stafford! I guess I’ll just have to sit in my office and accept my six-figure salary…

Poor little me…… LOL

UGA is preseason number one in 2008! WE'Z DUMB AS $HIT!

April 22nd, 2010
2:37 pm

“There’s nothing second tier about my skills.”

If you don’t consider going 2-14 second tier………..

“Even mouth breathers like UGA is preseason number one”

At least I don’t breath out of my anus like you obviously do.

Matt Stafford

April 22nd, 2010
2:37 pm

Fine with that. I just don’t need to explain myself to Gator fan on why I’d be the 1st quarterback taken this year and last year, with or without rings.

Matt Stafford

April 22nd, 2010
2:39 pm

UGA is preseason number one in 2008! WE’Z DUMB AS $HIT!

April 22nd, 2010
2:37 pm
“There’s nothing second tier about my skills.”

If you don’t consider going 2-14 second tier………..

“Even mouth breathers like UGA is preseason number one”

At least I don’t breath out of my anus like you obviously do.

WOW! Is middle school out already or are you typing from the computer lab? Feel free to walk away from the computer at any time, you’ve run out of comebacks.

UGA is preseason number one in 2008! WE'Z DUMB AS $HIT!

April 22nd, 2010
2:40 pm

“I just don’t need to explain myself to Gator fan on why I’d be the 1st quarterback taken this year and last year, with or without rings.”

Tebow is and will always be a better QB than you. Oh and he also broke Walker’s rushing TD record.

That’s gotta hurt…..

UGA is preseason number one in 2008! WE'Z DUMB AS $HIT!

April 22nd, 2010
2:40 pm

“WOW! Is middle school out already or are you typing from the computer lab? Feel free to walk away from the computer at any time, you’ve run out of comebacks.”

You should know, you’re the pedophile.

UGA is preseason number one in 2008! WE'Z DUMB AS $HIT!

April 22nd, 2010
2:42 pm

Matt Staffords accomplishments at UGA.

0 NT

0 SEC titles

0 Heisman trophies

Yep, Stafford is the Lane Kiffin of college quarterbacks.

UGA is preseason number one in 2008! WE'Z DUMB AS $HIT!

April 22nd, 2010
2:42 pm

“you’ve run out of comebacks.”

And you’ve run out of minutes on the field…….. 2-14, ma’am.

Alphare

April 22nd, 2010
3:30 pm

To all those Tebow naysayers:

You have no clue how to evaluate a player. Great players evolve! Just ask Chipper Jones. Jeff Francoure has all the tools, but he cannot do nothing with them.

Tebow plays the way he does in college, because he knows that’s how you win championship. In the NFL, he will adjust like all great players do. He will be a winner again.

Stafford has all the tools, but what has he won? He was drafted No 1, do you really expect him to win in a higher level? He cannot even win in the college level. If you ask me, the guy who drafted Stafford is plain dumb.

Tebow rises to the occasion, and he will adjust to the situation. A winner is a winner because he overcomes.

JEFF A.

April 22nd, 2010
3:35 pm

Crompton will one day own a RING.

Reptiles Rule

April 22nd, 2010
5:05 pm

Mikey, another good post at 12:40 but I think you’d have to agree that the first “berger” probably has more cheese on it.

Reptiles Rule

April 22nd, 2010
5:07 pm

G…you claim that Stafford was never a leader while at UGA but I heard that while in Athens he was always the leader of the Conga line.

Reptiles Rule

April 22nd, 2010
5:10 pm

And Jeff A, you said that one day Crompton will own a ring. I wouldn’t doubt it, there are plenty on Ebay…

Matt Stafford

April 22nd, 2010
5:10 pm

Hi-

I am not really Matt Stafford, just a guy who likes to act like him. I am a winner. I post hundreds of times a day on these blogs. Do you like me?

Some of my other names are ‘reptile rule”, “g” “john”, all the fake names above? they are me.

By the way, I really love Matthew Stafford and think he’s great, that’s why I steal his name to try and act like him.

Angelina

April 22nd, 2010
9:43 pm

So Warden Richt has finally announced a depth chart. The QB line-up is, of course, subject to the arrest records of the players. At UGA, they need at least 4-5 quarterbacks to ensure that one will be available. :-)

jumbeauxtiger

April 22nd, 2010
10:10 pm

Interesting that Tebow and Moreno are on the same team.

I said this morning that Tebow would go in the first round and I used the words “charactor” and “work ethic”. ESPN’s Tom Jackson just used those terms in describing him.

Gator Girl

April 22nd, 2010
10:14 pm

First round haters! Couldn’t happen to a better guy! 2 BCS Titles and a first rounder. Go Gators! It’s like a Gator party tonight! 41-17

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Gator B

April 22nd, 2010
11:31 pm

Tebow at 25 to Denver—good spot for his development. He’ll be making millions and living in a nice city, instead of some dump like detroit or cleveland, with ghettos and poverty everywhere.