In the midst of all of the lockout-lifting talk and conjecture, and draft rumors, there still exists solid news in relation to the draft. Few and far between, in this time of misinformation and stealth tactics. NFL team front offices must be busier than ever, as all aspects of running a team are in play at the moment. Let's see what has come out that we can hang our hat on.
-- Fox Sports' Jay Glazer reports that projected early round players, Georgia's DE Justin Houston and Iowa's DE Christian Ballard, failed drug tests and enter the league with red flags. Will this impact where they will be picked, dropping them from projection s made by people without this information? I'll be looking to where Rich Gosselin slots them.
Final grades are starting to roll in as the draft quickly approaches. NFL Films Senior Editor Greg Cosell has settled on Georgia WR AJ Green as his number one overall prospect. The real interesting part is that he places Colorado CB Jimmy Smith just outside his top five. Check out the tweet:
Based on film and NFL attributes, my top 5: 1) Green; 2) Peterson; 3) Miller; 4) Dareus; 5) Fairley. Smith right there, best press man CB.
-- Not really news, but noteworthy. NFL Networks analysts Mike Mayock and Warren Sapp got into an exchange over comments Mayock made about Auburn QB Cam Newton, according to sfgate.com. Mayock recently stated 'I just don't know if he cares enough' about the Auburn quarterback, as stinging a criticism as you can put on any professional athlete. Some have felt that Mayock had no foundation for this, and if he felt this way should have brought it up to Cam Newton when he interviewed him. Warren Sapp asked via Twitter for a foundation for the opinion. Twitter erupted, asking where this sort of evaluation has been for other non-Black athletes Mayock felt were being projected too high. There is a contingent of fans that believes Newton is being unfairly scrutinized due to his race. The man after all, has won championships at every single level of competition. To question whether he of all people is motivated to win is a bit of a head scratcher.
-- Should the Cowboys come out of the first round without a tackle, not much press has been given to the third tier of prospects. There are about ten tackles projected as late 2nd through early 4th round picks the team could come away with should another hole get plugged first. Among those is Miami OT Orlando Franklin. The 2nd/3rd round prospect recently revealed that teams were concerned about a knee injury. From Omar Kelly's twitter:
UM OT Orlando Franklin admitted to the WQAM Michael Irvin show that he went to Indy earlier this month for a medical re-check on his knee.
Franklin's grade dropped about an entire round in drafttek.com's latest rankings.