Bradley’s Buzz: McShay rates Tech’s Morgan No. 3 overall

Two Augusts ago I was watching Georgia Tech practice and commenting on the impressive nature of the defensive line. Michael Johnson, Vance Walker, Darryl Richard …

A man who works for Tech said to me: “Derrick Morgan is the best of the bunch.”

I started watching Morgan closely from that moment on. (I am, as we know, a moron, but I can be coached up.) And by the middle of the 2008 season I agreed: Derrick Morgan stood out the most along a D-line that would see its other three members drafted by NFL teams.

Which brings us to 2009, when Morgan was named ACC defensive player of the year, and almost to 2010, when Todd McShay of ESPN.com’s Insiders foresees the same Mr. Morgan going No. 3 overall in the NFL draft. (Link requires registration.)

Not third among defensive linemen, mind you. Third among everybody.

The top five: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska; Eric Berry, S, Tennessee; Morgan; Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma, and Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State. That’s four defenders up top, and three of the top five from the Big 12. Who said the SEC owns college football?

McShay’s take on Morgan: “[He] can anchor at the point of attack, make plays in pursuit, get to the quarterback coming off the edge and drop into coverage. That type of versatility would be a nice addition to a Browns defensive front seven that lacks difference-makers.”

Yes, for his good work Derrick Morgan might end up in Cleveland. But that’s what happens when you’re really gifted. Tech’s Calvin Johnson went No. 2 overall in 2007 and landed in Detroit, and Georgia’s Matthew Stafford joined him two years later. Still, I hear those guys do get paid.

But back to Morgan: He was nowhere in anyone’s first round when the season began — nowhere in anyone’s first round I saw, anyway — and only last month did he climb into the top 20. Now he’s No. 3, at least according to McShay, which means Morgan has caught and passed big-name Florida defenders Carlos Dunlap (No. 6 on McShay’s board) and Brandon Spikes (No. 19) and even Tech mate Jonathan Dwyer (No. 29; McShay has him going to San Diego).

As for the Falcons, who could stand to land a Suh or a Berry or a Morgan or even a Dunlap … McShay has them taking a defender, all right. He’s Navorro Bowman, an outside backer from Penn State. (Hey, wasn’t Jack Ham an outside backer from Penn State? And did I ever tell you Jack Ham is my favorite NFL player ever?)

McShay’s rationale regarding the Falcons: “The Falcons need an impact player at cornerback, but the next-best corner [after Florida's Joe Haden], Florida State’s Patrick Robinson, is not worth taking this early. Bowman has some off-the-field baggage, but he might be the best all-around athlete at linebacker in this class.”

Off-the-field baggage? Bowman was suspended back in 2007 and into 2008 for an altercation at the student union, for which he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct. And he also, according to Adam Rittenberg of ESPN.com, admitted smoking marijuana this year and saw his probation extended into 2010. Sound like a Falcon to you? (Wait, wait. Don’t all answer at once.)

But back to Morgan one last time: He’s a tremendous player and a splendid fellow who bears more than a passing resemblance to Will Smith. And if you thought Tech’s D was awful this season, imagine how it might be without him next year. (Wait, wait. Don’t all shudder at once.)

194 comments Add your comment

trey_pinson10

December 15th, 2009
4:12 pm

Enter your comments here

trey_pinson10

December 15th, 2009
4:12 pm

Mark Olsen

December 15th, 2009
4:15 pm

COULDNT STOP WASHAUN…CUZ HE RUN THIS STATE…OWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

uga_b

December 15th, 2009
4:17 pm

Wow. LB? The position we need the least on the defense. I mean Peterson is old, but this just further reiterates the point that mock drafts are silly. Especially since they change 50 times.

He nailed Morgan. Great player. Hopefully he lands somewhere he can make an impact.

Buzz

December 15th, 2009
4:17 pm

Mp wau he will go 3rd!!! I bet my nerd glasses on it!!! lol

Buzz

December 15th, 2009
4:17 pm

GeoffDawg

December 15th, 2009
4:18 pm

Will Smith resemblance? Derrick Morgan as a Falcon would be a Man in Black. rimshot.

Hello? Is this thing on?

St. Simons

December 15th, 2009
4:18 pm

I’d bet my Sim City 2 on it.

House Broke Dawg

December 15th, 2009
4:19 pm

WOW….just WOW!!!!!!

This is one Dawg fan that is thankful he could not play in the UGA-tech game!!!!

tech…acc chumps…still second best in Georgia!!!

30-24…..suk it nerds

Clint

December 15th, 2009
4:21 pm

I’m sure he’ll be a solid pro, but I’m not sold on him yet. I mean, who did Tech play? What tackles did he have his best games against? The only Tech game I really played attention to was the UGA game, and he didn’t do anything of note in it. Ask any Dawg fan, and they’ll tell you our Oline was bad this year but they looked like All Pros against the Tech front. That doesn’t say much about Morgan in my opinion.

Y DO MUTTS BARK? CAUSE YELLOW JACKETS STING

December 15th, 2009
4:22 pm

GOT SEARS CRYSTAL BALL TROPHY IN YOUR TROPHYCASE MUTTS? NOPE,BUT TECH DOES!HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! MARK RICHT HAS BEEN AT UGAY FOR OVER 9 YEARS,WHILE NICK SABAN HAS TAKEN LSU AND NOW ALABAMA TO THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME,WHILE MARK RICHT HAS BEEN NO WHERE! TECH HAS 4 NATIONAL TITLES! UGAY HAS 2!

Clint

December 15th, 2009
4:22 pm

Come to think of it. Did he even play the UGA game?

St. Simons

December 15th, 2009
4:23 pm

well he is 8-1 vs. tech….but thats a small detail

The Grinch

December 15th, 2009
4:24 pm

I agree the Falcons should go LB or DT first; we should get a corner through FA. We don’t need to wait for a CB to develop. Owens/Williams will be good enough at the 2 spot.

House Broke Dawg

December 15th, 2009
4:25 pm

Seriously….I would take a few days off and go to Miami and pay damn good money IF I would be guaranteed the chance to follow that red headed geeky sissy tech boy on south beach….you know the one…..he was making those girly throws in the Dr. Pepper half time contest at the acc chumpionship/lip stick on a hog game!!!!

Bet he “scores” big time on south beach!!!!

Mark Bradley

December 15th, 2009
4:25 pm

We’re talking Will Smith plus 80 pounds.

House Broke Dawg

December 15th, 2009
4:27 pm

BTW techies….still thousands of tickets left for the OB…including club level…sure ya’ll can afford them with those big time salaries you make…..right????
We shall see!!!!

Mark Bradley

December 15th, 2009
4:29 pm

How are tickets going for Shreveport, might I ask?

House Broke Dawg

December 15th, 2009
4:30 pm

Almost forgot…..m=idiot….congrats again on picking the clean sweep in the 3 rival SEC-acc games last week of the season!!!

m, rambles on, yellow fuzz, poad and many other techie flamers been awfully scarce last couple of weeks! Strange….none of em missed a SINGLE UGA blog for an entire year!

EW

December 15th, 2009
4:32 pm

MB, you say “who says the SEC owns college football?” referring to individuals in a team game. I’ll take recent BCS titles to your 1st round picks as a measuring stick.

House Broke Dawg

December 15th, 2009
4:34 pm

come on…you guys step up and ty to sell your allotment of tickets….surely there is tons of excitement in the nerd herd since this is your first major bowl in 43 years!

and a tip for the few who do go….when you walk into the stadium….dont leave just because the field is not blue! That does not mean you are not at the right place…dont let the green field fool you….there are a few bowl games not played on a blue field!

GA Tech Insider

December 15th, 2009
4:35 pm

It’s funny when morons who nothing about the college game, like most of these posters, make their comments and show their ignorance, and the professionals who watch virtually every college player out there, and every down they play, of every game they play, make their determination, and the comments start flowing.

If someone had been watching Derrick play this season (regularly), they would have seen that he was often-time double, and even triple teamed, yet, in spite of these odds, he was till one of the top defenders in the nation in sacks and tackles for loss.

Couple this with the fact that virtually every play was run against his side of the field, including running plays, and yet you still see Derrick all over the field, making tackles, never giving up on plays, and that, my friends, is why you have someone who is being touted as a player the scouts are high on.

So, all of you who make these snide comments, I say to you, go for it. Derrick will be laughing all the way to the bank while you’ll be sitting behind the fast food counters and mopping floors in rest rooms.

Gdawg 84

December 15th, 2009
4:35 pm

So Bowman put the buzz in the Bradley Buzz today. Could have gone with a Babineaux tidbit and the place would reek.

EW

December 15th, 2009
4:37 pm

house broke dawg…from one UGA fan to another…go outside and take a leak and act like you belong in a house. Idiot

Mark Olsen

December 15th, 2009
4:40 pm

Bradley, you used to at least hide your hatred for UGA.

gymjacket

December 15th, 2009
4:40 pm

EW

December 15th, 2009
4:41 pm

GA Tech insider..You almost made it through the entire post and managed to remain classy! Congrats..you wrote three paragraphs before you said UGA fans work at fast food restaurants!

First…only one or two posters have bashed Morgan…no real argument about his skill set and his play which leaves me unsure as to why you wasted your time defending him.

Second..the ppl who say those things about him are the same type of fan you are. (See your janitor/fast food reference) So who are you really mad at?

3 Dawg Night

December 15th, 2009
4:45 pm

GA Tech insider: Mopping floors in restrooms? Seriously self-delusional, even for a Tech “Insider”.

House Broke Dawg: The Tech crew that you mention are still alive and posting, they just use ids that make them sound like fans of teams that actually beat UGA this year. Admittedly, there are many to chose from which makes it extra bitter for them that they must post incognito.

willie

December 15th, 2009
4:46 pm

Did Derrick Morgan play in the game against the Dawgs.
Never heard his name or number called.

lanier

December 15th, 2009
4:47 pm

trade up and take the top DT Jerry was a bust before he got hurt.maybe they can trade him but no there are no hi lite films on him.
Morgan is gonna be some teams all pro year after year

House Broke Dawg

December 15th, 2009
4:47 pm

Awww come on EW…..lets not have one of those brothers in the back yard fights…IF you are a dawg fan…and IF you have been reading the UGA blogs for the past year…then you know why i am here! IDIOT!

Mark…..no idea how the shreveport tix are selling…..BUT rest assured, since you choose to take sides…..UGA has forever and will continue to sell more tickets to both good and bad bowl games than tech does…..hell one year tech sold ONLY 241 tickets to the blue rug bowl…according to the ajc….do consider the source!

Alabama Jack

December 15th, 2009
4:51 pm

UGA is irrelevant and most of their fans suck.

EW

December 15th, 2009
4:53 pm

House Broke…you fell into the GT idiot’s trap man.. Take the higher road. If you sink to their level they will beat you with experience! But please , don’t make us all look bad. Let the bottom feeders enjoy the glimpse of sunshine, it will only hurt that much more when we punch their lights out (CPJ’s words, sort of…not mine)

Shreveport Chamber

December 15th, 2009
4:53 pm

We noticed that you Georgia fans leave quite a mess on game day and to address that issue we will be serving environmentally friendly concessions at the Independence Bowl. No wrappers, no straws, no cans, no tobacco products, and no beer. Just crawfish. Lots of crawfish.

GT Brill

December 15th, 2009
4:56 pm

So…this isn’t a blog about the NFL draft ? I got confused.

DP

December 15th, 2009
4:57 pm

If Rolando McClain is available when the Falcons pick and they don’t take him they’ve got rocks in their heads. Not only a great player but a leader. Kevin Steele, now DC of Clemson, said the only other linebacker he’s coached who picks up football concepts like McClain was Sam Mills of the Saints, who went to a few Pro Bowls.

MalibuGT

December 15th, 2009
4:58 pm

Hey house broke, got those tickets for shreveport yet?

Shreveport Chamber

December 15th, 2009
4:58 pm

Heaping piles of crawfish, steaming hot. That will bring in the gnats but don’t let that bother you. We are so glad to have you in Shreveport. We’ll have a crop duster take care of the gnats at half time.

F-105 Thunderchief

December 15th, 2009
5:00 pm

Tech’s defense was awful. Do they just not have enough players, or is Wommack not very good?

Mark Bradley

December 15th, 2009
5:01 pm

I’m not taking sides. I was just curious: How are tickets going for Shreveport?

F-105 Thunderchief

December 15th, 2009
5:01 pm

You know who I wish the Falcons had drafted? Captain Munnerlyn. Kid could play in college and has proved he can play in the NFL, too.

Mark Bradley

December 15th, 2009
5:02 pm

We might have a “both of the above” situation regarding the Tech defense, Thunderchief.

F-105 Thunderchief

December 15th, 2009
5:04 pm

I was afraid of that.

House Broke Dawg

December 15th, 2009
5:06 pm

Malibu, no i dont…78 years old and not in the best of health. So, i will not be going. thamks for asking.

Had season tix for 34 years and rarely missed a home game, besides attending many away games and most bowl games!

You got your Orange bowl tix? Plenty left if you dont!

Really good one EW bout they will beat me with experience! Clever my man.

MalibuGT

December 15th, 2009
5:07 pm

Sadly, i don’t get the feeling that CPJ is ready to make a change with Wommack. but it may be time to start checking the record books for most quarters without forcing a punt

Ted Striker

December 15th, 2009
5:07 pm

I noticed that Derrick Morgan had 5 more tackles than Will Smith against UGA this year. (But neither Smith or Morgan got a win that game.)

Slick

December 15th, 2009
5:08 pm

I’m curious Bradley – in what position does Mr. McShay have the Falcons drafting?

House Broke Dawg

December 15th, 2009
5:09 pm

According to the game website Mark, all sideline tix are gone…only endzone left. Not familiar with the stadium, so i dont really know exactly what that equates to in terms of ticket sales!
Sure the aggies will turn out well!

Tide Fan

December 15th, 2009
5:09 pm

If we land in the top half of the draft and take a LB, he’d better be named Rolando McClain. That man is going to be Patrick Willis reincarnated. I could see a 3-4 defense with Lofton and McClain up the gut with Abe/Nicholas/Bierman/Sidbury in the mix at OLB. Babineaux (assuming he stays) and Jamaal are almost prototypical 3-4 DE, plus Jerry is in the mix. All you need then is a big ‘un at nose guard (Walker? Cody? someone else?) and you have a potential pass rush machine.

Plus, Ro is fast enough to play outside in a 4-3.

TJ

December 15th, 2009
5:10 pm

Those silly nfl scouts. The nfl gm’s should just listen to the mindless drivel from uga fans on these blogs. I mean, they are so bright and intelligent. Especially this house broken moron.