Friday, April 29, 2011

Minnesota Vikings: The Place QBs go to Die?

Last night the Minnesota Vikings made one of the more surprising picks of the Draft when they selected QB Chris Ponder #12 overall. Unless the Donavon McNabb rumors come true, this shows they are ready to move in a new direction for QB, and not just this season, but from the past 25 years.

The past 25 years, the primary way Minnesota has found it’s starting quarterback is by finding a player who is past their prime and hope he can resurrect his career. As much as division rival Chicago is mocked for its inability to find a quarterback, the Vikings have had just as many problems finding some to replace Fran Tarkenton (3 Supersbowls, 9 Pro Bowls, 1975 MVP, Primary starting QB from 1961-1978 with a 4 year hitatus play for the Giants).

Here’s a look back at the primary starting quarterbacks who have been used for Minnesota the past 25 years starting with the most recent.

2009-2010: Bret Favre

Age 40 when he started playing for the Vikings and had already been in football for 18 seasons. Won a Super Bowl in Green Bay and played in another one. Was able to lead team to 2009 NFC Championship game before getting hurt his second year.

2008: Gus Frerotte

Age 38 when he started playing for the Vikings, had been in the NFL for 14 seasons and had primarily been a back up for the past 8 seasons for Denver, Cincinnati, Miami, St Louis and Minnesota. Went to a Pro Bowl as a member of the Washington Redskins. He Led Vikings to 8-3 record before getting hurt.

2007: Tavaris Jackson

Tavaris was drafted by the Vikings with the last pick of the 2nd round the previous year. He drafted to be the Quaterback of the future, but never panned out.

2005-2006: Brad Johnson

Age 37 when he started playing for the Vikings again and had been in the NFL for 13 seasons. Won a Super Bowl in Tampa and went to 2 Pro Bowls with Tampa and Washington. Went 7-2 in 2005 missing the playoffs by 1 game. Midway through the 2006 season, he had already set an NFL record for passes completed short of a first down on third down in a season.

2001-2005: Daunte Culpepper

Culpepper is the one success story for the Vikings. They drafted him 11th in 1999 and by 2001 he was starting. He was a 3 time pro-bolwer and graced the cover of Madden 2002. His stint with the Vikings didn’t end well with the boat cruise dilemma

1999: Jeff George

Age 32 when he started playing for the Vikings and this was already his 4th team in 9 Season. He was the 1st overall pick in 1990 and had medicore success with each of his first three stops Indy, Atlanta and Oakland. In 10 games as a starter went 8-2 and put up excellent numbers (23 touchdowns, 8.6 yards per attempt, a 94.2 rating) in leading Minnesota to the playoffs and a round 1 victory of the Giants. After the season, Minnesota did not resign him

1997-1999: Randall Cunningham

Age 35 when he started play for the Vikings and coming off 1 full season of retirement. Was a three time pro-bowler with Philadelphia. In 1997 he came in to replace Brad Johnson and led the Vikings to the 2nd round of the playoffs. In 1998 he guided the Vikings to a 15–1 regular season record with 34 touchdown passes and only 10 interceptions and took them to the NFC title game where the heavily favored Vikings were upset in Overtime by the Atlanta Falcons. After playing 6 games in 1999 he was benched due to poor performance

1996-1998: Brad Johnson

Johnson was taken in the 9th round in the 1992 draft and was primarily used as a back-up. He started only limited time in 1996 and had injury shortened 1997 and 1998 seasons.

1994-1996: Warren Moon

Age 38 when he started playing for the Vikings and had already been in football for 15 seasons. He was a 5 time Grey Cup Champions (CFL Title) 6 time pro bowl QB for Houston. Moon passed for 4,200+ yard in his first two seasons, but was injured and not resigned in 1996.

1993: Jim McMahon

Age 32 when he started playing for the Vikings and had already been in football for 11 seasons. He had won a Super Bowl with Chicago and went to one pro-bowl. He then bounced around 2 more teams before landing on the Vikings in 1993 and led them to the playoffs before being replaced by Warren Moon

1990-1992: Rich Gannon
1986-1989: Wade Wilson

Both of these two quarterbacks were late round draft picks that didn’t have much potential. They both had some success but were unable to sustain it for the Vikings

So that’s the past 25 years of quarterbacks for the Vikings. Four draft picks that didn’t pan out (3 of which were taken past the 4th round (4, 8 and 9) and were never expected to be good) 7 quarterbacks who were past their prime but were able to have one last good season for the Vikings and Daunte Culpepper.

So now we can ask the question, what does this all mean? Well as you can see, the Vikings did have some success with their old QBs, but none of them could sustain it for more than 3 seasons. They have been competitive using the model so why not look to sign Donvan McNabb for a year or two? It’s worked before and it can work again.

The only time they used a high overall pick on a QB (Culpepper), they had him sit on the bench for two years behind past their prime quarterbacks. After the two Years Culpepper thrived in the system and gave the Vikings their longest run of consistent quarterback play in a decade. The other quarterbacks they drafted were late round picks and never had much hope that they’d become the franchise quarterback even though they did spend time behind past their prime quarterbacks.

So is Minnesota the place QBs go to die? If they sign McNabb I think we can agree it is, but if you can get 1 more run out of them, that might not be a bad thing.

Peter King Explains Bears and Ravens Non-Trade

Peter King led off his article today discussing the Bears and Ravens trade that didn't happen.

Chicago, picking 29th, and Baltimore, at 26, finalized a trade that would have had them switch slots, with the Ravens getting the Bears' fourth-round pick in return. Chicago would take Wisconsin tackle Gabe Carimi, and the Ravens, if Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith was still on the board, would take Smith at 29. With two minutes left in the Ravens' period, the deal was done.

Under NFL rules, each team has to report the trade to NFL draft headquarters at Radio City Music Hall. The Ravens called it in. They assumed Chicago called it in, but due to a miscommunication in the Bears' draft room, no one from Chicago ever called the league. As the clock ticked down to zero, and with Chicago on the phone with Carimi to tell him he was going to be their pick, Baltimore noticed no one at the league had announced the trade and Chicago's pick of Carimi. Meanwhile, Kansas City, with the 27th pick, rushed its card to the desk at Radio City, taking Pittsburgh wideout Jonathan Baldwin.

Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome, on an open line to New York, demanded to know why the trade hadn't gone through. Chicago never called to confirm it, Newsome was told. Baltimore was infuriated. The league didn't allow the trade. The Ravens picked Smith at 27 (not 26; Kansas City was awarded the 26th pick and took Baldwin, because the Chiefs got the pick in before the Ravens did), and the Bears got lucky, getting Carimi at 29.

"Whatever you hear, Baltimore did everything the right way," Bears GM Jerry Angelo told Chicago media. "There were a lot of things happening in the draft room. We were getting a lot of calls, we just ... dropped the ball. I dropped the ball. I can't say anything more than that."

All's well that ends well, you say? Not so fast. Angelo called Baltimore owner Steve Bisciotti to apologize, but Bisciotti wanted the fourth-round pick anyway, claiming it was part of the deal they'd agreed to. In fact, I'm told Bisciotti today will push to get the fourth-round pick, or to make the situation right in some way.

The league is under no obligation to do so, because the trade was never official. And maybe all's fair in love and draft-night trades, but as far as Baltimore's concerned, I don't think this one's over. I think the Ravens will ask the league to award them some compensation from Chicago before the draft resumes at 6 p.m. Eastern today. Stay tuned.

Noffke’s NFL Draft Round 1 Recap

Before I dive too much into this I first have to state I really don’t like instant analysis on the draft. Really we should wait a year or two to analysis who had a good draft. Too often I hear, “You know who had a good draft? The Patriots! They got good players, and filled some needs.” Well yeah, when a team has 6 picks in the top 90 I hope they have a good draft. So I don’t want to hear any of that crap. I am just going to go through some quick thoughts.

Cam Newton being the #1 pick: I think he could be good, but I don’t trust him. He was a 1 year wonder, and he has a very checkered past. He got in trouble while at Florida or he never would have left, then he “shopped” around for a new team to play for, but didn’t know about it. Great. I just heard Mike Lombardi from the NFL network say, “With one year guys, you don’t look forward, you look backwards. You look at what reasons made the guy a 1 year wonder.” I think that’s the case here, let’s see why he wasn’t better longer.

Also, TMQ brought up an interesting point. Look at BCS winning quarterbacks in the pros? Here’s a list of the 12 BCS winning QBs who have played in the NFL.

1. Tee Martin – Tennessee: Never did anything in the pros
2. Chris Wienke – Florida State: Never did anything in the pros
3. Josh Huepel – Oklahoma: Never did anything in the pros
4. Ken Doresy – Miami: Never did anything in the pros
5. Craig Krenzel – Ohio State: Started a few games for the Bears
6. Matt Mauk – LSU: Never did anything in the pros
7. Carson Palmer – USC: Good NFL Career with multiple pro bowls.
8. Vince Young – Texas: Started off promising, but didn’t sustain his level of play
9. Matt Lienart – USC: Never did anything in the pros
10. Chris Leak – Florida: Never did anything in the pros
11. Matt Flynn - LSU: Never did anything in the pros
12. Tim Tebow – Florida: Won two games as a rookie in limited action.

We’ll let Tebow be TBD and not count him. So 1.5 out of 11. Not a high success rate. These guys had great players around them which helped them thrive. Brees carried Purdue around for 3 years. Tennessee was good, not great when Peyton was there. Brady had great players around him at Michigan, but had to constantly fight with Drew Hensen for a starting job. These players learned how to play in tough situations which made them better. So needless to say, I’m penciling in Newton as a mediocre, but never great player.

While we are in Auburn, let’s talk about Nick Fairly to Detroit. Instantly everyone is excited to see Fairly play with Suh. I don’t think Fairly is anywhere near as good as Suh, and I am not convinced he’s going to be a good player in the NFL. He’s a one year player, and let’s take Lombardi’s advice and look back. He had to go to Jr College for 2 years before he could get into to Auburn cause he didn’t have the grades (think about that). He plays very high and tries to avoid contact, neither of which you want to see out of an interior lineman. If he plays high, the O-line will beat him up which could lead to injuries. He has to engage a player (or two) and then beat them to help the linebackers stay clean and flow to the football. He has a questionable work ethic, and we know how that turns out right after you pay that type of player a lot of money. I am predicting a very short NFL career for Mr. Fairly.

The Cardinals were smart, there was an obvious need for this team at QB in a very winnable division. However, they saw this draft had quarterback depth and didn’t value any of the top guys as high, so they took the best player in the draft in Patrick Petersen. I think Petersen is going to be a star, and playing inside can only help him utilize his speed. I see them grabbing Dalton or Mallet with their 2nd round pick.

The more amusing parts of the night came when the Falcons traded a whole bunch to get Julio Jones. Way to hold the Jersey the right way buddy. I can’t understand trading that much to get a WR. WR are a benefit, not a need. A smart d coordinator can eliminate a WR’s impact on the game easier then any other position. Unless they feel this guy is going to be a Randy Moss like talent (he’s not) or a Jerry Rice like work ethic (he won’t’) then I can’t see him making a big enough impact to warrant trading as much as they did. As ACSS draft expert Ryan Parrent pointed out, the Bears traded less for Jay Cutler, a proven NFL player. I don’t get it.

The dumbest part of the night came when the Vikings selected Chris Ponder with the 12th pick. I thought I had blacked out for 24 hours and it was the 12th pick of the 2nd round. I was just dumbfounded by this pick. I saw him play live against a very sub-par Boston College team, and I was not impressed. He doesn’t have the arm strength necessary to throw the 15-20 yards out which are necessary for playing in the NFL. He also has not proven to be durable, missing time in his final two years at FSU. While I am glad the Vikings took him, so they can waste 3-4 year figuring out he’s not that good, I don’t understand the pick.

Finally to the Bears. I think the trade they were trying to get through with Baltimore was to get Smith from Colorado, I don’t see any other reason why they’d try to move to that spot. Taking Camri at 29 is a good choice. He’s a solid offensive lineman who can play either tackle or either guard. I think they are going to try to get him to start at LT, but if he can’t beat out Williams or Omieyle then they can play him somewhere else until he gets the confidence and the ability to make that spots his a year or two down the line.

Looking at the Bears line I see positives and negatives now. The positives are we have 3 guys who can play both guards and both tackle spots (Omieyle, Williams and Camari) along with Garza who can play either guard, Webb who proved he can at least hold his own for a full 16 game season, and one last run for Kruetz (still think the Bears should get an interior lineman 4th or 5th round to be his eventual replacement). So the Bears will have depth and flexibility on the line that will give Mike Tice the ability to find the best fit for the team. The problem with all this flexibility is there are no players who own the position. Knowing from day 1 where they are going to play and building together from there. I think if Tice gets these guys in defined roles early in Camp (if there is one) it will be better for the team as a whole.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My Three Round Mock Draft

Okay, this is it. The NFL draft is on Thursday. So, I am going to post my final NFL Mock Draft. It will be three rounds. I will not predict any trades. At the end I will predict trades for the Bears (if there are any) and how they will wind up with their ALL of their picks.


1. Carolina Panthers - Cam Newton QB
2. Denver Broncos - Marcel Dareus DT
3. Buffalo Bills - Von Miller DE/OLB
4. Cincinnati Bengals - AJ Green WR
5. Arizona Cardinals - Patrick Peterson CB
6. Cleveland Browns - Julio Jones WR
7. San Francisco 49ers - Robert Quinn DE
8. Tennessee Titans - Nick Fairley DT
9. Dallas Cowboys - Prince Amukamara CB
10. Washington Redskins - Jake Locker QB
11. Houston Texans - JJ Watt DE/DT
12. Minnesota Vikings - Aldon Smith DE/OLB
13. Detroit Lions - Tyron Smith OT
14. St. Louis Rams - Correy Liuget DT
15. Miami Dolphins - Blaine Gabbert QB
16. Jacksonville Jaguars - Cameron Jordan DE
17. New England Patriots - Anthony Costanzo OT
18. San Diego Chargers - Da'Quan Bowers DE
19. New York Giants - Gabe Carimi OT
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Ryan Kerrigan DE
21. Kansas City Chiefs - Nate Solder OT
22. Indianapolis Colts - Mike Pouncey OG/C
23. Philadelphia Eagles - Derek Sherrod OT
24. New Orleans Saints - Muhammad Wilkerson DE/DT
25. Seattle Seahawks - Jimmy Smith CB
26. Baltimore Ravens - Cameron Heyward DE/DT
27. Atlanta Falcons - Brooks Reed DE
28. New England Patriots - Akeem Ayers OLB
29. Chicago Bears - Benjamin Ijalana OT/OG
30. New York Jets - Marvin Austin DT
31. Pittsburgh Steelers - Phil Taylor NT
32. Greenbay Packers - Mark Ingram RB


33. New England Patriots - Mikel LeShoure RB
34. Buffalo Bills - Christian Ponder QB
35. Cincinnati Bengals - Andy Dalton QB
36. Denver Broncos - Aaron Williams CB/S
37. Cleveland Browns - Adrian Clayborne DE
38. Arizona Cardinals - Rahim Moore FS
39. Tennessee Titans - Ryan Mallett QB
40. Dallas Cowboys - Jabal Sheard DE/OLB
41. Washington Redskins - Randall Cobb WR/KR
42. Houston Texans - Brandon Harris CB
43. Minnesota Vikings - Colin Kaepernick QB
44. Detroit Lions - Ras-I Dowling CB
45. San Francisco 49ers - Torrey Smith WR
46. Denver Broncos - Ryan Williams RB
47. St. Louis Rams - Titus Young WR
48. Oakland Raiders - Stefan Wisniewski OG/C
49. Jacksonville Jaguars - Leonard Hankerson WR
50. San Diego Chargers - Martez Wilson LB
51. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Danny Watkins OG
52. New York Giants - Stephen Paea DT
53. Indianapolis Colts - James Carpenter OT
54. Philadelphia Eagles - Allen Bailey DE
55. Kansas City Chiefs - Jonathan Baldwin WR
56. New Orleans Saints - Kyle Rudolph TE
57. Seattle Seahawks - Orlando Franklin OG/T
58. Baltimore Ravens - Davon House CB
59. Atlanta Falcons - Jerrel Jernigan WR
60. New England Patriots - Rodney Hudson OG/C
61. San Diego Chargers - Edmund Gates WR
62. Chicago Bears - Jurrell Casey DT
63. Pittsburgh Steelers - Will Rackley OT/G
64. Green Bay Packers - Sam Acho DE/OLB


65. Carolina Panthers - Jaiquawan Jarrett S
66. Cincinnati Bengals - Quan Sturdivant LB
67. Denver Broncos - Jarvis Jenkins DE/OLB
68. Buffalo Bills - Christian Ballard DE/DT
69. Arizona Cardinals - Johnny Patrick CB
70. Cleveland Browns - Tandon Doss WR
71. Dallas Cowboys - James Brewer OT
72. New Orleans Saints - Daniel Thomas RB
73. Houston Texans - Curtis Brown CB
74. New England Patriots - Greg Salas WR
75. Detroit Lions - Marcus Gilbert OT
76. San Francisco 49ers - Shareece Wright CB
77. Tennessee Titans - Justin Houston OLB/DE
78. St. Louis Rams - Jason Pinkston OT/G
79. Miami Dolphins - Taiwan Jones RB
80. Jacksonville Jaguars - Ricky Stanzi QB
81. Oakland Raiders - Jalil Brown CB
82. San Diego Chargers - Kendall Hunter RB
83. New York Giants - Clint Boling G
84. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Luke Stocker TE
85. Philadelphia Eagles - Marcus Gilchrist CB/S
86. Kansas City Chiefs - Kenrick Ellis NT
87. Indianapolis Colts - Drake Nevis DT
88. New Orleans Saints - Chimdi Chekwa CB
89. San Diego Chargers - Terrell McClain DT
90. Baltimore Ravens - Austin Pettis WR
91. Atlanta Falcons - Jordan Cameron TE
92. New England Patriots - Bruce Carter OLB
93. Chicago Bears - Greg Little WR
94. New York Jets - Casey Matthews ILB
95. Pittsburgh Steelers - Joseph Barskdale OT
96. Green Bay Packers - Lee Ziemba OT/G
97. Carolina Panthers - Dontay Moch DE/OLB

There you go. Now, what do I realistically think will happen with the Bears? I think they'll trade down. I think you'll see teams who want MARK INGRAM and/or QB's looking to trade to the top part of the first round. I think the Jaguars will trade up to take our pick. They'll trade us their second and third rounders (49 and 80) and we'll swap picks 114 for 127. That puts the trade value within about 15ish. So we'll get picks 49, 80, and 127 for picks 29 and 114. Keep in mind the draft is not the same as the mock draft above since there will actually be trades.


40 - Jonathan Baldwin WR
62 - Jurrell Casey DT
80 - Clint Boling OG
93 - Chimdi Chekwa CB
114 - Joseph Barksdale OT
160 - Jake Kirkpatrick C
195 - T.J. Yates QB

So there you have it! My three round mock draft, and my picks for the Bears draft. LETS GO BEARS!

Ozzie on E:60

Speaks for Itself

(Credit to

(I love this picture)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Tressel a Goner?

Pat Forde thinks so.

"The only bigger coach than Tressel in Ohio State history was Woody Hayes, winner of AP national championships in 1954 and '68 and the all-time leader in Big Ten conference victories with 152. Yet when Hayes shamed the university by punching Clemson's Charlie Bauman in the 1978 Gator Bowl, igniting a bench-clearing brawl, the school fired him the next day.

If Ohio State could fire its greatest football icon, it can fire Tressel."