- Frank Coyle's Blog
- College Football Mondays
- Ahead of the Curve
- NFL News
- College News
- Order Publication
DraftInsiders.com 2009 NFL Predictions
Giants Edge Chargers in Super Bowl Forecast
Photo - QB Peyton Manning - Colts
NEW YORK GIANTS - 12-4 - Eli looks to take another step up this season and directs this potent attack. Their veteran defense is one of the top five in the league.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES - 11-5 - Eagles are among the best in the league again. They are capable of winning the East and going to the show with McNabb and Vick giving them a unique tandem.
DALLAS COWBOYS - 9-5 – With no T.O. this season, QB Tony Romo might struggle more than expected. Defense is good, but not near the top two in this division.
WASHINGTON REDSKINS - 8-8 – Skins face the acid test this season with young QB Jason Campbell the main performer under the microscope. Skins might again struggle to make .500 in the best division in the game.
CHICAGO BEARS - 11-5 - Bears can win this division with new QB Jay Cutler. The defense is the best in this division that could spell the difference over the course of the season.
GREEN BAY PACKERS - 10-5 - Aaron Rodgers is the Man here and Packers may be the best club in the division.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS - 10-5 - Vikes look to veteran Brett Favre to be the difference maker on an erratic club that is capable of big wins or total self destruction.
DETROIT LIONS - 0- 16 – Please keep the streak alive. What a joke this organization is.
CAROLINA PANTHERS - 10-6 - Panthers are the best in this division, but they face a very tough schedule that either makes or breaks them.
ATLANTA FALCONS - 9-7 - Falcons are thinking title but they face a very tough schedule that might be the equalizer.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS - 7-9 – This organizations can not get the defense right and a .500 record might be the best to expect despite high production from QB Drew Brees and his big play weapons.
TAMPA BAY BUCS - 5-11 - Bucs are a disaster in the making. This club won 9 games the past two seasons, but they may not be able to register more than 6 wins this fall.
ARIZONA CARDINALS - 9-7 - Cards looking to repeat in the weakest division in the NFL.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS - 9-7 – Seahawks look to rebound after a poor 4-12 season, but only if veterans return to former levels. Young defense will determine if they can make the playoffs.
ST. LOUIS RAMS - 6-10 - Rams look to potent offense to help them to return to respectability. Their changing defense is still not up to playoff levels at this point.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS - 4-12 – Despite HC Mike Singletary, this club is still struggling to find an identity. They will struggle to even approach the .500 mark.
N.Y. Giants, Chicago, Carolina and Arizona
Wild Card Clubs s
Philadelphia & Minnesota
N.Y. Giants over Carolina – G Men go to the Big Show.
NFL Draft 2010 Prospects - Week 1 Play
DraftInsiders.com and ProFootballDraftNetwork.comwill be collaborating on a weekly article (posted every Wednesday during the college football regular season) to review the prior weeks most notable performances from a 2010 NFL Draft perspective.
Photo - TE Jermaine Gresham - Oklahoma
Frank Coyle - www.draftinsiders.com
Draft Insiders’ Digest –19th Season
* QB Sam Bradford - 6’3” 215 lbs - Oklahoma
Athletic fourth year junior QB had an auspicious debut that ended quickly with a throwing shoulder injury. He will miss at least 2 to 4 weeks, but no surgery is necessary currently. He had an incredible early career with the Sooners that included winning the Heisman award last season. He is the prototypical NFL passer with a strong arm, quick compact delivery and good touch and accuracy to make all the throws. This puts his pro aspirations on the sidelines as well as his chances of repeating as the Heisman winner. He should be back for the Red River Rivalry vs Texas’s Colt McCoy in a head to head classic matchup that may determine his decision about turning pro. Teammate TE Jermaine Gresham - 6’5” 255 lbs. is an athletically gifted senior tight end who has been shelved with a knee injury that required a scope procedure on Tuesday. He was rated as the premier prospect at the position with excellent receiving skills and the speed to be a huge factor in the deep game. He will miss the entire 2009 season due to the knee surgery. He will be missed by QB Sam Bradford after forming one of the games’ most potent tandems last season.
QB Tony Pike - 6’5” 215 lbs. - Cincinnati
Classic tall pocket passer is coming off a strong opening game where he blitzed a shocked Rutgers defense. This came on top of an impressive finish as a junior that has him ranked among the nation’s top passers. He makes all the throws and stands tall in the pocket, showing no fear when under a heavy pass rush. He gets the ball down the field with fine accuracy and velocity to pressure a defense. His fast improvement over his late career has him on every NFL club’s radar and one of the most improved prospects over recent seasons.
WR Mardy Gilyard - 6’1” 180 lbs. - Cincinnati
Smooth senior receiver combines good size, speed, agility and hands along with his fine level of development that makes him ready for the pro game. He had a strong opening game, displaying his well developed skill set for the position. His fine athletic ability allows him to be a factor as both a deep threat and intermediate receiver. His game is highly developed and ranks him at the top of senior receivers. He could be one of the top playmakers in this overall draft class.
* WR Mike Williams - 6’1” 205 lbs. - Syracuse
Athletic junior receiver returned to the field after missing the 2008 season due to academic issues. He had a strong opening game vs Minnesota where he showed the ability to get deep and hit the home run, in addition to working the intermediate routes. He combines fine size, hands and elite speed to be a legitimate NFL starter. He needs development in most areas for the position especially route running and reading coverage. He is just starting to develop at this point of his career and has begun to learn to use his fine size and speed to the fullest.
DE Greg Hardy - 6’4” 265 lbs. - Mississippi
Explosive pass rusher has shown dominant skills at times over his short SEC career. He has struggled with injuries over recent seasons and actually sustained more heel and leg injuries in the 2009 opener. Though he is capable of making big plays off the edge and displays consistency in that role when right, his repeated injury history will draw heavy scrutiny this season. He has the upfield speed to harass the QB and has the frame to fill out further. His ability to stay on the field and play every down will be watched closely over the critical ’09 season.
Denis Krusos - Editor - Pro Football Network
QB “Juice” Williams, Senior, Illinois - The four-year starter at quarterback is looking for a big senior season to turn around a disappointing 2008 season for Illinois. Williams and the entire Illinois team did not play well in a lopsided 37-9 loss to a rebuilding Missouri. The dual-threat quarterback rushed for only 27 yards, was sacked 3 times and completed 18 passes in 28 attempts for only 179 yards with 1 interception. Williams and the offense appeared out of sync. The Illinois offensive leader has much to prove to NFL scouts regarding his consistency, accuracy and timing as a quarterback.
LB Eric Norwood, Senior, South Carolina - Norwood changed his mind at the last minute and decided not to enter the 2009 NFL Draft. If he keeps playing like he did against North Carolina State then he certainly will raise his draft stock. Norwood led the Gamecocks in a dominating defensive performance in a 7-3 win over the Wolfpack. The senior leader had 8 tackles and a pair of sacks. Norwood got off of blocks quickly and located the football all game.
LT Trent Williams, Senior, Oklahoma - The Sooners moved the massive Williams to the left side after playing right tackle last season. Williams made some poor decisions when faced with blitzes and BYU was able to unexpectedly put pressure on QB Sam Bradford. Oklahoma will have to clean up the communication problems along the offensive line. Williams and his offensive linemates also did not open up many holes for the running attack. Oklahoma rushed for only 118 yards in BYU’s 14-13 upset victory.
WR Eric Decker, Senior, Minnesota - Decker did what he does best, which is run good routes and catch the football. The Golden Gophers’ main pass receiving threat caught 9 passes for 183 yards (20.3 per) in Minnesota’s 23-20 overtime victory over Syracuse.
TE Cody Slate, Senior, Marshall - Slate had another highly productive game (9 receptions for 114 yards (12.6 per) and 2 touchdowns) in Marshall’s 31-28 opening game victory over a game Southern Illinois. Slate ran the slant well against Southern Illinois and came through when Marshall needed a play.
Florida Holds Top Ranking
Photo – TE Dennis Pitta BYU
1. Florida (1-0) – Gators coasted vs lower level.
2. Texas (1-0) – Longhorns pounded weak D1 club in opener.
3. USC (1-0) – Trojans are young but loaded again.
4. Mississippi (1-0) – Rebels can do some damage this season.
5. Oklahoma St (1-0) – Cowboys drilled Georgia in opener
6. Ohio St (1-0) – Buckeyes were lucky to get past Navy.
7. Penn St (1-0) – Nittany Lions took care of business vs Akron.
8. BYU (1-0) – Cougars took it to Oklahoma in opener.
9. Alabama (1-0) – Tide win a huge game vs Va. Tech.
10. LSU (1-0) – Tigers need to play up to potential to stay in top 10 rankings
11. California (1-0) – Bears dominated Maryland in opener.
12. Boise St (1-0) - Broncos slammed a stunned Oregon club.
Frank Coyle's Blog
College Title Chase and Heisman Trophy Award
Click on Frank Coyle's new Blog link. He will post there regularly with news, updates, and insights throughout the season and postseason.
Photo QB Sam Bradford - Oklahoma
Frank Coyle has been a Heisman Trophy voter for the past 15 years
The upcoming college season presents an interesting group of premier players rated as the top Heisman Trophy candidates. For the first time, there are two former Heisman Trophy winners in Sam Bradford and Tim Tebow returning with each hoping to become only the second player in college history to win two of the games’ most coveted award. Only running back Archie Griffin of Ohio St. has won two Heisman Trophy Awards during the Woody Hayes power teams of the 1970s
This year the top three vote getters return from last year, all QBs, Sam Bradford, Tim Tebow and Colt McCoy are each back at the helm with highly ranked teams that should make the both the Heisman Trophy award and national championship race highly competitive battles with the winning player and team probably claiming both trophies. Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford and Texas’s Colt McCoy face a key matchup in early October in the Red River Rivalry that will have a strong bearing on both the Heisman Trophy and National title races. I voted for Colt McCoy last season and felt the late loss to Texas Tech probably cost him the coveted award. If a Texas defender could have tackled TT wideout Michael Crabtree at the yard line we might be discussing Colt McCoy pursuing a second Heisman Trophy award this fall. Such is college football.
Florida’s Tim Tebow will lead the Gators in an attempt to repeat as national champions and his second Heisman award. Only two teams since the 1980s have repeated as national champions and the Gators certainly have several critical components inline to claim another title. Tebow actually received the most first place votes in the Heisman Trophy last year, but came in 3rd in the overall voting. Florida plays in the tough SEC, but faces an average schedule this fall with no Alabama, Auburn or Ole Mss on the regular schedule. A key early SEC matchup with LSU in October could have a strong bearing on both the national title and Heisman races and eventual winners in those prestigious awards
Heisman Trophy Preseason Candidates
QB Sam Bradford - 6’3” 215 lbs - Oklahoma
Athletic fourth year junior QB has had an incredible early career with the Sooners that includes winning the Heisman award last season. He is a big tough passer who has a quick compact delivery with good touch and fine accuracy. He has progressed quickly in all aspects of play and has gained valuable experience after starting the past three seasons in this premier program. His chances of repeating as the Heisman winner may hinge on his performance in the Red River Rivalry vs Texas’s Colt McCoy in a head to head classic. He is a good runner and shows the ability to throw effectively on the move as well as move quickly within the pocket. He needs to refine his game in all areas related to the NFL and will be working with many new offensive starters this fall.
QB Tim Tebow - 6’4” 220 lbs. - Florida
Savvy senior passer has developed nicely in the efficient pro style Gator. He has a good arm with a nice touch and the quick release to get the ball to receivers. He has shown fine arm strength with nice development especially in his accuracy. He won the Heisman award as a sophomore in ’07 and actually earned the most first place Heisman ballots last year when he finished 3rd in the overall balloting. He looks to compete vs Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy for both the Heisman award and national title in what looks like the winner takes all competition. He shows the ability to make the difficult throw and the quickness in the pocket to avoid a rush. His decision making is his greatest asset which has minimized mistakes throughout his early career. He is a terrific runner in the mold of Steve Young with the ability to beat you with his arm or feet.
Ruffin Heads Buchanan Award List
Photo - DE James Ruffin – Northern Iowa
The Buchanan Award is handed out annually to the best defensive player in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). James Ruffin of Northern Iowa is one of 20 players on the initial list and is the only player on both the Buchanan and Ted Hendricks Award lists. A total of 20 candidates have been announced for the Buchanan Award, in alphabetical order, over the past few months. The watch list will be revised in October and again in November, before the final ballot is announced.
Ruffin has been a mainstay at UNI since his freshman season. In 2008, as mentioned, the All-American and 1st team All-MVFC selection amassed a Missouri Valley-best 18 TFL, 10 sacks, 69 tackles, and 3 FF. He recorded a career-high eight tackles in an FCS semifinal game vs eventual national champion Richmond in 2008. As a sophomore, he tallied 7.5 TFL and 52 tackles to earn All-MVFC honors. During his freshman campaign, he fought his way onto the MVFC all-newcomer team while registering 26 tackles, 3 TFL and 3 PBU. In his first three seasons at UNI, he has totaled 147 tackles, 28.5 TFL, 13.5 sacks and three FF.
Preseason Buchanan Award Watch List:
Christian Anthony, DE, Grambling
Danny Batten, DE, South Dakota St
Tommy Connors, SS, Southeastern Louisiana
Dane Fletcher, DE, Montana St
Charles Graves, FS, Delaware
Larry Hart, DE, Central Arkansas
Brandin Jordan, LB, Southern Illinois
Austen Lane, DE, Murray St
Mark LeGree, FS, Appalachian St
Jeromy Miles, SS, Massachusetts
Josh Morris, CB, Weber St
Osayi Osunde, LB, Villanova
Justin Rogers, CB, Richmond
James Ruffin, DE, Northern Iowa
Photo – QB Matt Grothe – South Florida
Sugar Bowl Announces Manning List
Honor Recognizes Top QB After Bowls
NEW ORLEANS – The Manning Award, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, announced its 2009 preseason Watch List. The list includes 38 of the top QBs in the nation heading into the 2009 season. The winner will be announced after the bowls in January and will be honored at a February banquet in New Orleans. The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only QB award that takes into consideration the candidates’ bowl performances.
Florida’s Tim Tebow will attempt to become the first repeat winner of the honor after collecting it last season. He is joined by Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford to give the award two Heisman Trophy winners on the Watch List. Each of the 11 FBS conferences is represented on the Watch List with at least two candidates while the Big 12 leads the way with seven Watch List selections. In addition, Appalachian St’s Armanti Edwards becomes the 1st player from a FCS school to be recognized on the preseason Manning list.
“We have another great class of QBs this season,” said Archie Manning. “We have 38 QBs on our Watch List, but there are any number of other guys who could step into the picture as the season gets going. It’s going to be a lot of fun to watch another tremendous college football season.”
While the preseason Watch List includes just 38 QBs, every quarterback in the nation remains eligible for the honor. Additional QBs may be added to the Watch List after the start of the season. Ten finalists will be determined by a selected panel of national media covering college football, as well as each of the Mannings. That list will be released on Monday, Nov. 30. The winner will be announced on Thurs, Jan. 14.
The first four winners of the Manning Award reads like a Who’s Who list at the QB position. USC’s Matt Leinart was the inaugural award winner in 2005, followed by Texas’ Vince Young in 2006. Both went on to be top 10 NFL draft picks. In 2007, LSU’s JaMarcus Russell earned the award and was the NFL’s No. 1 draft pick. Boston College’s Matt Ryan claimed the award in 2008 and was drafted No. 3, quickly becoming the starting QB for the Atlanta Falcons.
2009 Manning Award Watch List
Austen Arnaud - Jr - Iowa St
Sam Bradford - Jr - Oklahoma
Levi Brown - Sr - Troy
Darryll Clark - Sr - Penn St
Jimmy Clausen - Jr - Notre Dame
Andy Dalton - Sr - TCU
Austin Davis - So - Southern Miss
Armanti Edwards - Sr - Appalachian St
Robert Griffin III - So - Baylor
Matt Grothe - Sr - USF