NFL Week 9 ROY power rankings

We know they have offensive and defensive rookie awards, but let’s lump them together for our purposes.

1. Ndamukong Suh, Detroit Lions—Not only has he anchored Detroit’s D-line, but the dude can attempt (and almost make) extra points too?

2. Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams—With that number 8, reminds some folks of Troy Aikman, and leads on the field even as a rookie.

3. Mike Williams, Tampa Bay Bucs—On pace for 72 catches, 1112 yards and 10 TDs. As a ROOKIE.

4. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys—You won’t find a brighter spot on an abysmal team right now, and he’s a game changer.

5. Jahvid Best, Detroit Lions—Finally the Lions are making smart draft picks.

6. Colt McCoy, Cleveland Browns—He’s actually led the Browns to two wins in a row against Super Bowl contenders.

7. Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati Bengals—The Bengals haven’t had a relevant tight end like this in years

8. Earl Thomas, Seattle Seahawks—Through a half-season, 4 interceptions and 39 tackles. This is shades of Jairus Byrd last year.

9. Eric Berry, Kansas City Chiefs—2 sacks, 2 picks, 45 tackles—and solidifying a much improved defense

10. Dexter McCluster, Kansas City Chiefs—Averaging an astounding 20.9 yards on punt returns with one TD, and probably more to follow

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

NFL Week 6 MVP, COY and ROY Power Rankings

Every week we have different candidates here, because the 2010 NFL season has been wacky. And that’s okay, as it makes ranking MVP, Coach of the Year and Rookie of the Year candidates more fun. Anyway, here we go….

MVP Power Rankings

1. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts—Okay, so Philip Rivers and Kyle Orton have more yards per game, but they play for 2-4 teams. Manning’s Colts are 4-2, and check out these numbers through six games—1916 yards, 67.3 completion percentage, 319.3 yards per game, 13 touchdowns (leads NFL) and just 2 interceptions, for a QB rating of 103.4. As usual, Manning sort of defines what the term MVP is all about.

2. Clay Matthews, Green Bay Packers—I heard someone on NFL Network the other day call Matthews the “best defensive player in the NFL.” Not bad for a linebacker in his second year, who was selected after 25 other players in the 2009 draft. Anyway, Matthews has 9 sacks to lead the NFL, and 21 tackles through five games…and the Packers sorely missed him last Sunday in a loss to Miami when Matthews sat out with a hamstring injury.

3. Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers—We’re leaving Antonio on here this week because he left the game against the Rams last Sunday with an ankle injury, leaving Philip Rivers without his favorite target. And then the Chargers lost the game. To the Rams. Gates only had 2 catches for 12 yards in that one, but on the season he still has 31 receptions for 490 yards and 7 TDs (which leads all tight ends and receivers).

Honorable mention: Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles (thanks to Kevin Kolb’s performance last Sunday, Vick got bumped off the list); LaDainian Tomlinson, New York Jets; Brandon Lloyd, Denver Broncos; Kyle Orton, Denver Broncos; Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers; Osi Umenyiora, New York Giants; Arian Foster, Houston Texans

Coach of the Year Power Rankings

1. Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers—If you start the season without your star quarterback for four games, and have the likes of Charlie Batch, Dennis Dixon, and Byron Leftwich at the helm, coming out of that 2-2 would be a huge moral victory. Well, Tomlin came out of that stretch 3-1 and it could have been 4-0 if not for that last-gasp drive by Joe Flacco and the Ravens a few weeks ago. Of course, the D led by a healthy Troy Polamalu and hard-hitting-to-a-fault James Harrison, has helped, but let’s give Tomlin some huge and well-deserved props here.

2. Steve Spagnuolo, St. Louis Rams—Has anyone noticed that the Rams are 3-3, having already equaled their win total from 2008 and 2009 combined. And they’re giving up less than 19 points per game after allowing 27 per game last year—something that has much to do with the Rams’ defensive whiz of a coach.

3. Tom Coughlin, New York Giants—How do you go from the scorching hot hot seat to a coach of the year nomination? Ask Tom Coughlin, who the New York media had being replaced by Bill Cowher a few weeks ago when they lost badly to the Colts, and then beat themselves badly in a loss the Titans at home. The Giants rallied around Coughlin and squashed the previously unbeaten Bears, then crushed the upstart Texans in Houston 34-10, before not allowing the dreaded trap game against Detroit ruin his team’s winning streak. So from 1-2 to 4-2, and tied with the Eagles for the division lead. That’s why Tom Coughlin is on here.

Honorable mention: Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks; Raheem Morris, Tampa Bay Bucs; Todd Haley, Kansas City Chiefs; Rex Ryan, New York Jets; Andy Reid, Philadelphia Eagles

Rookie of the Year Power Rankings

1. Ndamukong Suh, Detroit Lions—Suh leads all NFL defensive tackles with 5 sacks, and he also has 21 tackles through six games, plus an interception—a pretty rare feat for a DT. Is there any doubt that this young big man is the real deal?

2. Jahvid Best, Detroit Lions—Injury may have slowed Best down, but how about the fact that to go along with 249 rushing yards, Best has 31 catches for a league-high 285 receiving yards among running backs. That’s 534 all-purpose yards through six games.

3. Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams—He’s way down the list of quarterbacks stat-wise, but Bradford is averaging 226 yards per game and has 7 TD passes. We’ll let the 8 picks slide for now, because let’s face it—the kid is helping to lead the Rams to respectability.

Honorable mention: Max Hall, Arizona Cardinals; Rolando McClain, Oakland Raiders; Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys; Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati Bengals

The Scores Report’s 2010 NFL Mock Draft

This is it – this one is for all the marbles. The two previous mock drafts I put together mean nothing, unless of course one of those is better than the one below. In that case, please consider that to be my final mock so I can save some face.

We’re just days away from the 2010 NFL Draft and as usual, the uncertainty surrounding which player will be drafted by which team is at an all-time high. Teams are sending out smokescreens, it’s hard to figure out which GM is telling the truth (probably roughly around none of them) and all the while, the media is trying to keep up with all the rumors.

But here it is – my final crack at predicting the first round. Feel free to share your opinions in the comments section, but remember that they’re only valid when you make predictions before the draft. Don’t be the tool that comes back here a week from now boasting that you knew that Team A would take Player X, or else you will be made fun of mercilessly by your peers.

Let the games begin and once again, Happy NFL Draft time fellow draftnits.

Originally posted: Monday, April 19

1. St. Louis Rams: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
Ndamukong Suh is the best player in the 2010 draft and if teams only drafted based on talent, then the Nebraska defensive tackle would be the first player selected in round one. But Suh plays a position that most teams can’t justify investing a truckload of guaranteed money in. That’s why Bradford will be the No. 1 pick, along with the fact that the Rams desperately need a quarterback to help revitalize their morbid franchise. I’ve never wavered with this pick – I’ve believed that Bradford was going to be the Rams’ selection at No. 1 all along. If they believe that he’s a franchise quarterback, then Suh and every other prospect in this draft becomes inconsequential in the Rams’ eyes. There’s no more important position on a football field than the one that lines up under center every week. Is taking a quarterback this high a risk? Absolutely. But at the end of the day, a franchise can’t function without a good QB. That’s why St. Louis won’t hesitate to take Bradford here.

2. Detroit Lions: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
The Lions want everyone to believe that they’ll take an offensive tackle like Oklahoma State’s Russell Okung with this pick and they may very well might. But if Suh is still on the board when the Lions are on the clock in the first round, then they’d be nuts to pass on him. Suh is the best player in the draft on either side of the ball and could be the player current Lions (and former Titans’ DC) head coach Jim Schwartz builds his defense around, a la Albert Haynesworth in Tennessee.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
McCoy has kind of become the forgotten top 5 prospect in this draft because he’s overshadowed by Suh. But he’s a difference maker and a force against the run. If the Rams take Bradford at No. 1, one of the two defensive tackles will fall to Tampa here, which is exactly what it wants. The Bucs need an interior presence in the middle of their line that can be effective both against the run and pass. McCoy can potentially be that player.

4. Washington Redskins: Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
As long as Mike Shanahan’s claims that the Redskins will take a quarterback with this pick are untrue, then Williams could very well be the third Sooner to come off the board in the first four picks this year. Okung is regarded as the best offensive tackle in the draft, but Williams is a better fit for Washington’s new zone-blocking scheme, making him the choice here. He’s an excellent all-around blocker and has the potential to immediately fill the void left by Chris Samuels on the Redskins’ O-line.

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2010 NFL Mock Draft Version 2.0

With the Redskins’ acquisition of Donovan McNabb, it’s a perfect time to update my mock draft. In my first mock, I had the Redskins taking Jimmy Clausen at No. 4, but with their need at quarterback being filled with the trade for McNabb, the dynamics in the top 10 have changed.

Here’s my second crack at predicting the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft.

(Side note: If I have the team selecting the same player as I did in my first mock, then my explanation of the pick will be the same in most occasions.)

1. St. Louis Rams: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
I have Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh rated as the unquestioned best player in this year’s draft. (Well, I don’t have an official ranking per se, but in my head he’s No. 1.) But that doesn’t mean I think the Rams will take him. Teams usually get quirky about the No. 1 overall pick. They feel as though they have to match the contract with the position in order to justify the player they’re taking, which is completely backwards when you think about it. A team should mostly be concerned with taking the right player that matches their scheme. But I digress. Bradford is the top rated quarterback and the Rams have a major need at the position now that the ultra-brutal Marc Bulger has been released. The Rams feel as though they need to breathe some excitement into their dull franchise and taking Bradford should do the trick. Is he the right player? That’s debatable.

2. Detroit Lions: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
Their trade for DT Corey Williams kind of throws me off a little, but I still think that if Suh is available the Lions won’t pass on him. Jim Schwartz built one hell of a defense in Tennessee centered around Albert Haynesworth and he could view Suh the same way. He’s a difference-maker up front and regardless of whether or not he and Williams play the same position, if Suh is as good as I think he is then Schwartz will find a way to utilize him. Offensive tackle Russell Okung has been mentioned at this pick but again, if Suh is available I can’t see the Lions leaving him on the board.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
If the Rams wind up taking Bradford with the top pick, you might be able to hear the sounds of screams and jubilation coming from Tampa. That’s because the Bucs would love to land one of the two stud defensive tackles in this draft and if Bradford goes No. 1, then either Suh or McCoy would slip to Tampa here. Some people are down on McCoy after he only benched 225 pounds 23 times at the combine, but that’s not a justifiable reason for his stock to slip. A lot of defensive tackles are forced to shed weight for the combine and when they do, they lose strength in the process. Besides, not taking a player because of how he performed on the bench at the combine is ridiculous notion anyway. McCoy would be a great fit for the Bucs.

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2010 NFL Mock Draft Version 1.0

The full mock is finally completed!

I waited a lot longer than I normally do to compile my first mock draft of the year. Normally I whip up my first batch of mock draft right after the scouting combine, but this year I wanted to see what happened at the start of free agency before I even remotely considered whom teams would select in April.

I get as excited as any true draftnik about mock drafts, but how could anyone venture a guess at what player a team will select without knowing what big free agents signed where? It’s like taking a long road trip to a place you’ve never been before without your GPS. (Wow, have the times changed. A couple of years ago, I would have ended that sentence with “without your map” but that damn technology continues to track us down like a bear preying on an injured deer.)

Below is my first crack at predicting the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft. As usual, feel free to argue my picks as much as you like but please, debate with some dignity. Don’t be the doucher that ruins the fun of mock drafts by spewing venom in the comments section of a sports blog. There may not be anything more pathetic.

1. St. Louis Rams: Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
I have Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh rated as the unquestioned best player in this year’s draft. (Well, I don’t have an official ranking per se, but in my head he’s No. 1.) But that doesn’t mean I think the Rams will take him. Teams usually get funny about the No. 1 overall pick. They feel as though they have to match the contract with the position in order to justify the player they’re taking, which is completely backwards when you think about it. A team should be most concerned with taking the right player that matches their scheme. But I digress. Bradford is the top rated quarterback and the Rams have a major need at the position with Marc Bulger proving over the past two years that he’s better suited to run the scout team offense in practice and then the first unit on Sundays. The Rams feel as though they need to breathe some excitement into their dull franchise and taking Bradford should do the trick. Is he the right player? That’s debatable.

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