Lions to target Jahvid Best in the second round?

John Niyo of the Detroit News believes that the Lions may target Cal running back Jahvid Best if he falls to their pick in the second round.

The Lions have made no secret of the fact they plan to add another running back this offseason. Kevin Smith is busy rehabbing after suffering a torn ACL in December, leaving Maurice Morris as the only healthy NFL veteran in Allen Park. Aaron Brown, DeDe Dorsey and Cedric Peerman are the other backs on the roster.

If the Lions manage to trade down from the No. 2 pick — still a long shot, I think — Clemson’s C.J. Spiller will get strong consideration later in the top 10. More likely, though, Cal’s Jahvid Best could fall to the Lions at the top of the second round. And if he’s there, the Lions better be ready to pounce — maybe even trading up a few slots to get him — “because he’s got first-round ability,” NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock says.

In my mock draft, I have Best going to the Chargers with the 28th overall pick, but some believe Fresno State running back Ryan Matthews will be selected before him. I think either back would be a perfect fit with Kevin Smith in Detroit. There’s no question that GM Martin Mayhew needs to give quarterback Matthew Stafford more quality playmakers on offense.


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Oregon clobbers Cal 42-3

Masoli

Perhaps some thought Oregon could pull off an upset by a few points, but nobody expected a blowout by these proportions. While Oregon did everything right, Cal just didn’t do much of anything. It’s strange to think the score was tied at three apiece after the first quarter. From then on, Cal decided to completely stop playing. It’s hard to even point out their mistakes. What’s obvious is that Oregon knew exactly what to do against their opponents on both ends of the field. After Oregon’s opening day loss to Boise, coach Chip Kelly is slowly getting this team back on track. This doesn’t mean he’s through refunding distraught fans, but Oregon football should definitely feel good about this win. We knew Oregon had talent — it was just a matter of when they would devour a high-ranking team.

Oregon seamlessly shut down Cal’s touted combination of quarterback Kevin Riley and running back Jahvid Best. This was the finest defensive effort of the day as Riley had trouble finding anyone open on every possession and potential Heisman candidate Best was limited to 55 yards rushing. Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, however, couldn’t have been better, completing 21 of 25 passes for 253 yards and three touchdowns. Funny enough, Masoli came into this game without a single passing score. Obviously, this is quite a turn around. And who caught all of those touchdown passes? Just Ed Dickson. In a truly remarkable performance, Ed Dickson caught 11 passes for 148 yards.

Everything fell into place today with Chip Kelly’s Ducks. On the other hand, Jeff Tedford’s Golden Bears are left wondering how everything fell apart.

Jahvid is the Best Heisman candidate nobody is talking about

While unranked Minnesota did its best to try and knock off No. 8 California at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday, the Golden Gophers eventually fell victim to a 35-21 defeat and another dazzling performance by Bears running back Jahvid Best.

While players like Florida’s Tim Tebow, Texas’ Colt McCoy and before he was injured, Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford are receiving more Heisman attention, Best remains the one candidate that nobody seems to be talking about, yet could emerge out of nowhere to win the award in 2009.

Best was outstanding in Cal’s win on Saturday, racking up 131 yards and five touchdowns on 26 carries. While Minnesota did a great job bottling Best up in the second half (he only rushed for 17 yards in the second half, compared to the 114 yards he produced first), his two touchdown runs in the fourth quarter sealed the victory for the Bears.

What’s most impressive about Best is his patience. He allows running lanes to appear and once they do, he uses his quickness and explosion to get up field and into open space. And once he does reach open field, he’s virtually impossible to catch unless defenders take the right angles.

Another thing that’s so impressive about Best is that even when he’s bottled up, he still finds ways to gain positive yards. There were several times throughout the game on Saturday where he could have been held for no gain, yet he fell forward for two or three yards to set his team up in a positive situation for the next play. He’s fun to watch and he’s going to give Tebow and McCoy a run for their money in this year’s Heisman race.

I can’t talk about this game without mentioning how impressive Minnesota receiver Eric Decker is. He was the Gophers’ offense today, hauling in eight passes for 119 yards and two touchdowns. His touchdown grab early in the second quarter when he leaped in the air and managed to get one foot down knowing that he would take a hit (and he took a massive hit) was incredible. When he left the game due to an ankle injury late in the fourth quarter, Minnesota QB Adam Weber was completely lost.

If Decker can stay healthy, he’s the type of receiver that pro teams love to place in the slot. He fits that Brandon Stokley, Brian Finneran mold to a T.

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