Thursday, April 21, 2011

2011 NFL DRAFT: An overview of the top Offensive Linemen

This is the 9th Installment of the "Pro Draft Report" presented by Football Reporters Online)

By Mark Kern-Writing Intern-Football Reporters Online

1. Mike Pouncey OL. 6’5’’ 303lbs 5.28 40 yd.

Pouncey is the brother of Pittsburgh Steelers lineman Maurkice Pouncey. Blessed with the same talent as his brother, Mike has a chance to be a very good lineman. He has all the physical tools and knows how to play. One thing Pouncey needs to do is to get a little stronger. Defensive lineman that are very strong are able to go through them every once in a while. Look for Mike to join his brother in being a first round pick somewhere around 13-18.

2. Tyron Smith OT 6’5’’ 307lbs 5.10 40yd.

Smith is an extremely raw tackle. He is not as polished as some of the other lineman in the draft, but is believed to have the most potential. He is a very athletic big man who can get out in lead the running back down the field. Will probably start out on the right side of the line, but has the capability to eventually play the left tackle for many years. He should be off the board right around the same time Pouncey does.

3. Anthony Costanzo OT 6’7’’ 295 5.2 40yd.

Constanzo is very intelligent football player that is going to play hard every play. Constanzo really excels in pass blocking; which he shown in a match-up with another potential first round pick DaQuan Bowers of Clemson. A slight on him is that he is tends to not keep the same intensity for lesser opponents. That will need to be fix as there are no plays off in the NFL. Overall, another outstanding lineman in this class and should be off the board from 18-21 in the first round.

4. Gabe Camiri OT 6’7’’ 325 lbs. 5.03 40 yd.

Camiri was a standout lineman that featured one of the best ground games in the country. He showed how good he was going against standout defensive linemen Adrian Clayborn and Cameron Heyward. He also showed a very good ability to get his block early and then get to the linebackers. He needs to get stronger in the legs and work on his footwork. Camiri will not make it past the Eagles at 23 and the Chiefs at 21 could take him as well.

5. Nate Solder OT 6’8’’ 319 lbs 4.96 40 yd.

Solder is a freak athlete. He weighs 320 pounds and is able to run a sub 5.0 40 yd. dash. This impressive athleticism including his incredible makes it very tough for the defensive end to get around him. A negative is that he only benched 225 21 times, so a lot of people say that he is weak and will struggle with big d-lineman. However, if you could get him to get stronger while keeping his athleticism, then you have a potential star at tackle. He will go in the later first round possibly to the Jets or Steelers.

6. Derrick Sherrod OT 6’5’’ 308 pounds 5.18 40 yd.

He is very athletic for a man his size. Once he gets his hands on you, he does not seem to let you go. When he gets someone smaller than him, he sometimes gets lazy and just tries to lean on them causing himself to lose his balance. Overall, he is a solid lineman who will be a bargain in the middle of the second round.

7. Danny Watkins T 6’4’’ 310 lbs. 5.46 40 yd.

He is the opposite of Solder. Watkins is kind of the old school a lot nastier physical lineman. Takes it upon himself to make sure the quarterback does not get hit. He was a huge reason why the Baylor Bears offense was so improved and helped lead them to a bowl. Watkins is still raw on his blocking and the fact that he will be 27 to start his rookie season will make some people pass on him. Smith will probably be an early 2nd round pick with a chance of sneaking in at the end of the first round if teams start drafting lineman.

8. Rodney Hudson C 6’2’’ 288 lbs 5.08 40 yd .

Hudson is a very athletic lineman that gets out and leads on the sweeps. He has a great understanding for the game and is able to help the quarterback out by making sure his lineman know who has who on different blitzes. Not extremely big guy that does have a tendency to struggle with the big defensive tackles. If drafted into a system that likes the quicker linemen, could develop into a very solid pro for many years.

9. Stefen Wisniewski, G 6’3’’ 295 lbs 5.11 40 yd.

Started the sixth game of the sixth game his freshman year and was the starter after that. He is thought to be a center and the NFL and with his athleticism has a real chance to be an elite center. A negative is that he struggles with his balance against a quick smaller rusher. He is the nephew of former pro-bowl and current Oakland Raiders offensive line coordinator Steve Wesniewski. There is a possibility that he could be reunited with his uncle early in the second round, but look for him to go more towards the later part of the second.

10. Ben Ijalana-OT/OG 6"3-1/4" 320 5.36 40 Yd.

Started 53 games for FCS powerhouse Villanova of the CAA. A quality lineman with very good feet and hands and good frame. Very bright young man who should have little trouble learning the NFL game if he has a year to "ease in." Better then average balance and flexibility. Not always as explosive off the snap as you might like, but can improve that with the right finishing. Might not be a OLT for most teams but could play anywhere else on the line.

11. Marcus Gilbert G/T 6’6’’ 315 lbs 5.53 40 yd.

Gilbert is extremely tough to get around as a defensive lineman. He is a very fluid athlete that shows the ability to get to the second level and block. Has a real tendency to just not put out the effort that is needed. He also does not finish blocks like he should. Talent-wise, he has the potential to be a high round draft pick, and if he can get his lazy streaky fixed, could be a huge steal in the third round.

12. James Carpenter OT 6’5 300lbs 5.02 40 yd.

Carpenter is another very athletic offensive lineman in this class. He went to Coffeyville Community College in Kansas to develop before going to Alabama and performing very well. He is very good at getting out and blocking downfield for his running back. He tends to block to finesse and does not just deliver the devastating block he is capable of. He is going to need some good coaching, but in the right system could be a very effective right tackle. He will probably be drafted in the second to third round

Sleeper: Marcus Cannon OT 6’6’’ 355 lbs 5.36 40 yd.

Cannon is as big as lineman as you will find. What has the scouts loving him is that for his size, he is extremely athletic and agile. He is very strong in the upper body bench-pressing 225 33 times. His main weakness is that he does not have a high football I.Q. He does not read a blitz very well, causing him to whiff on some blocks. However, the size and athleticism is too good to knock take a chance, he could go as high as 2nd round, but will probably go late third.

Cholera in Haiti: A Muckraker's Reward for looking at actual Muck

In today's hyper-evolving social media, with GPS mapping and crowd-sourcing of vast amounts of information, it might seem quaint, if not downright foolish, to believe that old school journalism's low-tech and low-cost approaches - a pen, a pad, and shoe-leather investigation - could result in an article that ignites a global furor. We're talking about an article that spread almost instantly around the world, irrevocably reframing a massive health crisis and probably  changing international policies for years to come.

Jonathan KatzBut it's true. Jonathan Katz, an Associated Press reporter in Haiti, did just that last fall.

Cholera is an old-fashioned disease. Cholera could be eradicated worldwide with a single proven approach in use since Victorian times: a reliable sewer system. It's easy to get caught up in obfuscating technologies like genetic footprints and resistance patterns and bio-plankton reservoirs. But the symbol of cholera's inevitable demise is the simple toilet.

A decent sewer system absolutely stops the spread of cholera. So when the initially wild-sounding, conspiracy-theoryish rumors that peacekeepers had brought cholera to Haiti were running rampant, the UN issued a statement defending the base. It said the Nepalese unit there used seven sealed septic tanks built to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards and emptied every week by a private company to a landfill  a safe 820 feet from the river.

But armed with only a pad, a pen, "and maybe my point-and-shoot-digital camera," Katz broke a story worldwide, in much the same way that the Rev. Henry Whitehead nailed the final controversy about cholera's source during the 1854 Broad Street pump outbreak.


Brad Watson, WFAA-TV Dallas Obama Diss Gets Media Jerk Award

What to make of the actions of TV reporter Brad Watson of WFAA-TV Dallas, in the wake of the revelation that he was rude to President Barack Obama? This corner gives Mr. Watson and WFAA-TV the media jerk award.

There's a standing rule that people like Fox News Bill O'Reilly, and now this guy break, and it's got to be put to a stop: you don't treat the President Of The United States rudely.

The exchange that sent off the Internet buzzing about this terrible excuse for an interviewer is here:

Wow. It's no wonder the media's all over Brad Watson. At least the media that's outside of Dallas, where WFAA seems be enjoying the coverage. The Texas media was never this mean to President Clinton. No wonder Dallas Super Bowl was cursed with the worst weather ever for a Super Bowl.

Why did Watson do it?  Well, think about it.  Until now, have you ever heard of Brad Watson?


Brad Watson and WFAA-TV should never be allowed back into the White House.

Meanwhile, at least this blogger can allow even common people he disagrees with  to finish their ideas, as I did  in this video from President Obama's San Francisco visit:

If you're reading this, and think Watson's behavior was OK, you're not a good person. Sorry. That's the truth.