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From inappropriate to plain stupid, NFL pre-draft questions getting absurd

A few weeks ago, Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland made headlines when it was revealed that he asked Cowboys’ first round pick Dez Bryant during a pre-draft interview if his mother was ever a prostitute. It was an insulting and unnecessary question, but it’s obvious that Ireland isn’t the only one asking prospects stupid inquiries around draft time.

From the Buffalo News:

Bills rookie linebacker Arthur Moats recalled an unexpected query at the NFL Scouting Combine.

“It was a guy from the Redskins,” Moats said. “He asked me, “Should we draft you and you’re sitting around in a room and Brian Orakpo comes to you and says, “You’re in my seat.’ Are you going to get up and move or are you going to fight him for the chair?’

“I’m like, “It’s a chair. I’m just going to slide over,’ and he said, “So you’re a punk.’ I’m thinking, “What? I’m going to fight over a chair? And if I move I’m a punk?’ The guy was serious, too.”

Added Moats: “I answered, “How is [Orakpo] addressing me? Is he yelling or something?’ I guess it depends on how he asked. That was crazy. I didn’t know they asked questions like that.”

If teams only have 15 minutes to get to know a prospect at the scouting combine, how is this question going to help them figure out whether or not they should draft a player? One would think that a team of NFL scouts, general managers and coaches would have more probing questions than these.

Too bad Moats didn’t answer back with, “I’m not sure what I’d do, but ask another dumb question and I’m going to take my chair and stick it directly up your ass.”


Photo from fOTOGLIF

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NFL Week 14 ROY Power Rankings

Each week we’re reminded that 2009 was a very strong rookie class, despite the lack of a true breakout star ala Adrian Peterson a couple years ago. And it’s going to be a very difficult decision to make for whoever votes.

1. Jairus Byrd, Buffalo Bills—Back in the NFL lead with 9 interceptions. If only he was on a better team.

2. Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos—Not exactly a breakout game against Indy, but still solid.

3. Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings—Migraines held Harvin out last weekend against the Bengals, and he may miss Week 15 as well. But that doesn’t take away from what he’s done this season so far.

4. James Laurinaitis, St. Louis Rams—After 13 seasons in his rookie campaign, Laurinaitis is averaging 7 solo tackes per game. That’s just sick.

5. Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants—Sure, he dropped a couple on Sunday night, but if you saw his grab out of thin air that he then turned into a 68 yard touchdown, you know that this kid is special.

Honorable mention: Johnny Knox, Bears; Ryan Succop, Chiefs; Matthew Stafford, Lions; Beanie Wells, Cardinals; Jeremy Maclin, Eagles; Brian Cushing, Texans; LeSean McCoy, Eagles; Brian Orakpo, Redskins; Michael Oher, Ravens

Rookie Brian Orakpo is a beast

When the Redskins selected Brian Orakpo in the first round of April’s draft, they knew they were getting a player that could get after the quarterback. But they probably didn’t figure that they were getting a game-changer right off the bat.

Thus far, the defensive rookie of the year candidate has 11 sacks on the year. On Sunday, he ranked up six tackles, four sacks and forced a fumble in the Redskins’ 34-13 stomping of the Raiders in Week 14.

Orakpo has been outstanding in his first year, which is quite a testament to his abilities both as a player and as a student of the game because he had to learn how to learn the linebacker position this summer after playing end at Texas. It usually takes most rookies a season or two to adjust to a new position, but Orakpo has picked it up right away.

He faces stiff competition in the Bills’ Jairus Byrd and the Texans’ Brian Cushing, but Orakpo has to be the leader of the defensive rookie of the year award. Who would have thought that Orakpo would have made a bigger impact this season for the Redskins than massive free agent acquisition Albert Haynesworth.


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65 Observations about the 2009 NFL Draft

I’m going to channel my inner Peter King and dole out a crap load of quick-hit thoughts on last weekend’s NFL draft, which by the way, was one of the more unpredictable drafts I have ever witnessed.

Below are 65 observations from the 2009 NFL Draft. Why 65? I don’t know – don’t worry about it. Originally I came up with 62, but I know that some people freak out when things aren’t in round numbers, so I added three more. But the number 65 means nothing, so don’t waste time searching for its meaning.

Obviously these are all my opinions and feel free to debate them. But before you do, I already know that it supposedly takes three seasons to fully grade a draft and that no prospect is a sure thing. Again, I’m projecting here – so lighten up and let’s strike up some good debates.

1. Outside of the fact that he’s now a millionaire and could buy a small country, I kind of feel bad for Matthew Stafford. You know some halfwit fan or media member can’t wait to utter the comment, “For $72 million, he should have made that pass.” I hate the fact that money plays such a huge role in sports because when you get down to it, completing a pass, making a catch or kicking a field goal has nothing to do with how many zeros are on your paycheck.

2. I know I’m not saying anything new here, but the rookie salary structure is a joke. When teams don’t even want a top 5 pick anymore because of the financial burden that comes with it, there’s a huge problem.

3. The kid could turn out to be the next Ryan Leaf on the field, but Lion fans have to at least take comfort in the fact that Matthew Stafford is saying all the right things at this point. He did an interview with the NFL Network on Sunday and he talked about how he wants to be a starter right away, but also wants to learn and be patient in his development. From all accounts, he looks like he has a great head on his shoulders.

4. If Tyson Jackson turns out to be the next Richard Seymour like Chiefs’ GM Scott Pioli believes, then nobody is going to remember (or care) that he was taken with the third overall pick in a weak draft class.

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NFL Draft: 5 First Round Values

I hate the word “value” on draft day because essentially, all it means is that a team chose a player later than he was projected to go. But who projects where these players are supposed to be selected? The media – not the teams. So is it fair to talk about “value” when we don’t know where these teams have these players rated? And value means absolutely nothing if the player doesn’t pan out.

That said, below are the five teams who I felt got tremendous values out of their first round picks. These players should have gone much higher based on their talent and potential, yet for whatever reason (i.e. Al Davis took Darrius Heyward-Bey), they slipped. Will they pan out? We won’t know for a while, but nevertheless these teams made out well on Day 1.

1. San Francisco 49ers No. 10: Michael Crabtree, WR
For the Niners to land one of the best prospects in the draft at No. 10 was impressive. Teams were scared off by Crabtree’s offseason foot surgery and lack of top end speed, but the foot is healed and top end speed doesn’t hold as much water in the NFL as it does in college football because everyone is fast in the pros. Go back and watch games of Crabtree at Texas Tech; he catches the ball away from his body, he uses his body well and he performs in the clutch. I know Heyward-Bey has a ton of speed and could turn out to be a great deep threat, but Crabtree is the real deal and the total package. Word is that Crabtree had a very “diva” attitude on visits to Cleveland and St. Louis, but if there’s one head coach in the league who could humble the young wideout, it’s Mike Singletary.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars No. 8: Eugene Monroe, OT
Monroe doesn’t have the athleticism of Baylor’s Jason Smith or the overall natural talent of Alabama’s Andre Smith, but he’s solid across the board. He does have some durability concerns and while he doesn’t excel at one fact of the game, he’s a steady pass blocker and a mauler in the running game. He was also considered one of the safest prospects in the draft and considering he could have went anywhere in the top 4 picks, the Jags got a steal at No. 8. He’ll likely start at left tackle as a rookie and immediately upgrade a Jacksonville offensive line that was decimated by injuries last year.

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