Friday, April 29, 2011

Randall Cobb Green Bay Packers 2011 NFL Draft Pick

A man this blogger interviewed at NFL Play 60, Kentucky Wide Receiver Randall Cobb, was selected as the 64th pick overall and the 34th pick in the 2nd round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers.

Cobb was the last NFL Draft Prospect in the Green Room at Radio City Music Hall. A record 25 players were invited, and most were interviewed by the media. (Except for Akeem Ayers, who was so disappointed that he wasn't picked in the 1st round on Thursday, he reportedly left New York City.)

Randall Cobb's an interesting combination of size, speed, and versatility, who played as a hybrid wide receiver-slash-running back at Kentucky in an offense some called "WildCobb." (Like the "Wildcat" offense.)

Now we're in the Third Round of the 2011 NFL Draft with a total of seven rounds, stretching into Saturday. 

2011 NFL Draft - In Colin Kaepernick San Francisco 49ers Get Best QBNFL Draft - In Colin Kaepernick San Francisco 49ers Get Best QB

Radio City Music Hall, NY - The San Francisco 49ers just drafted the best quarterback in the 2011 NFL Draft in Nevada's Colin Kaepernick. Other than Florida State and now Minnesota Vikings Quarterback Christian Ponder, Kaepernick was the best overall performer in the 2011 Senior Bowl, and showed a great ability to do what some observers said he could not do: run a pro-style offense.

And at Nevada, Kaepernick (who did not make the trip to New York City for the NFL's production), lit up the field with passes. In 2010, Colin threw 359 times, completing 233 for 64 percent and 3,022 yards, ringing up a passer rating of 150.46.

Here's Colin talking about his time at Nevada:

But with all of this, why Kaepernick fell to the second round is as much a story of how some NFL scouts dislike the offense he played in, more than any question about his talent. The "Pistol Offense," which is best described as a combination of shotgun and cock-eyed I Formation, has only caught on as the offense of choice for big name schools - it's not used at all in the NFL.

Moreover, Kaepernick's fall also says a lot about how some NFL scouts may not like the new, more "street" kind of white player (correction, he's a mix of white and black, which buttresses my point). Colin's not the visually polished, fair-haired quarterback like Blaine Gabbert, and there seems to be a tendency to downgrade quarterbacks who has that image.

But all of that masks the fact that Kaepernick can play. Thankfully, Kaepernick's talent didn't escape the watchful eye of the San Francisco 49ers personnel execs, who traded up to get him.

Will Challenge Alex Smith

Interestingly Kaepernick's a lot like current 49er Alex Smith in his collegiate playing style, so it's ironic that he's in a place where he will push Smith for the starting job. Some say Kaepernick's a project; don't be surprised to see him take some snaps this NFL season.

If we have one.

Cameron Newton Interview - 2011 NFL Draft New York City

After finding the right chair to sit in, Cameron Newton, the 1st pick in the First Round of The 2011 NFL Draft, seemed relieved, but then weighted by the new burden of being the first pick and all the expectations that go with it. But, finally, he sat down with the media, after days of ducking and escaping writers and bloggers.

But with all that out of the way, Newton, the Heisman Trophy winner and Auburn National Champion, and College Park, Georgia native, did have that giant weight he was carrying off his shoulders, saying "I feel terrific."

Newton says he's "ready to get the show on the road," and understands what the process is about. After all kinds of character assassinations by the media, and constant mentions of his past, including the famous "hot laptop" incident, and the matter of his dad allegedly taking payments for him to attend Auburn, not proven, Newton's ready for this new chapter of his life, but is ready to prove that he's the one for the Panthers.

He says all the right words, "I'm ready to go to an excellent city in Charlotte." More on Newton in another post later today.

Aldon Smith Interview - San Francisco 49ers 2011 NFL Draft Pick

Aldon Smith is the San Francisco 49ers 2011 NFL Draft Pick, and this blogger interviewed the Missouri standout defensive end and linebacker last night from Radio City Music Hall. This is the first of several posts on Mr. Smith, and 10 other NFL Draft selections, from Cam Newton, who went to the Carolina Panthers to Mark Ingram, who went to The New Orleans Saints.

(Sorry for the delay, but the wifi at Radio City Music Hall was jammed this year, whereas last year, the 2010 NFL Draft, it worked well. One problem was that more players on hand equals more demand for content, and the wifi system wasn't up to the task. But that's a digression.)

The 6-5, 260 lbs of Aldon Smith, is a smiling big kid who's easy-going demeanor belies his aggressive play on the field. Last year, he recorded 48 tackles and six sacks. Smith skipped his remaining two years of NCAA eligibility to enter the 2010 NFL Draft.

Smith is a physical freak, who compares himself to another physical freak, NFL Defensive End Jevon Kearse. The Niners are getting a sure play-maker. But when did Smith know he was a Niner?

"They called me five minutes before anyone else knew," he said. But Smith also said he "kinda ignored" the call in the Green Room at Radio City because he wasn't sure if it was for him. But then he said "that's my phone. And now I'm here."

Smith said he's excited to start "with everything" and be a part of the NFL and the 49ers, especially new Head Coach Jim Harbaugh, who he had a great visit with before being drafted.

He's says the Niners will play him "all around" and even drop back into coverage at times. Aldon says his game is like Kearse, as well as Green Bay Packers Linebacker Clay Matthews.

He's never been to San Francisco, other than the one time he visited Palo Alto. Smith needs a proper introduction to the City, so he knows that it's a far cry from Palo Alto. I told him to visit The Balboa Cafe in The Marina District for a proper baptism.

Stay tuned.