Wednesday, April 27, 2005

NFL Draft Review

Notre Dame Hopefuls

Kyle Budinscak - DE: Not signed as of 4/27.

Quentin Burrell - S: Not signed as of 4/27.

Jared Clark - TE: Not signed as of 4/27.

Jerome Collins - TE: Rams, 5th round. "Upside" is the word - he supposedly had a huge combine. Joins Brandon Manumaleuna, who had 15 catches last year, and Roland Williams at tight end. I see him in a lot of 2-TE sets with Manumaleuna, a la Dallas Clark in Indianapolis. Collins will also reunite with ND alum Joey Goodspeed St. Louis.

Derek Curry - OLB: Not signed as of 4/27.

Dwight Ellick - CB: Undrafted, signed with Saints. The bad news is that he joins the team with 9 other rookie free agents, and will be looking up at 6 incumbent CBs. The good news is that he signed a 2-year contract (as did all the Saints' undrafted rookies). Ellick will join Courtney Watson and John Carney in New Orleans.

Mike Goolsby - ILB: Undrafted, signed with Cowboys. Goolsby was reportedly the anti-Collins at the combine, with his performance possibly costing him a chance to get drafted Why the Illinois native chose Dallas, I don't know. Maybe it was the chance to play under Bill Parcells. Maybe he thought he had a better chance in a 3-4. Looking up at 9 other linebackers, Goolsby will join Julius Jones and Kurt Vollers in Dallas.

Ryan Grant - RB: Undrafted, signed with Giants. The New York native and Don Bosco alum returns home to fight with three other guys - including draft pick Brandon Jacobs of Southern Illinois - for the right to back up Tiki Barber. Grant joins far too many ND alums to count on the Giants.

Carlyle Holiday - WR: Undrafted, signed with Cardinals. Well, he already is listed on the online team roster with a uniform number (9; 7 has been taken by QB Timmy Chang), so that's a good sign. The bad news is that he has 9 guys to compete against, although I'm sure his return skills will greatly help his case. Carlyle joins Pro Bowler Bert Berry in Arizona.

Billy Palmer - TE: Undrafted, signed with Redskins. Billy is one of 12 undrafted rookies to sign with Washington; included on that list of 12 is TE David Kashetta of BC. His run blocking ability is a plus on a team that features Clinton Portis, and tight end does not look to be a strong position on this team. (Trust me, it looks God-awful.) Palmer will, however, have to battle Jabari Holloway and Joey Goodspeed's older brother Dan for a roster spot. Reynaldo Wynn and Jim Molinaro will also be teammates of Billy in the Nation's Capital.

Greg Pauly - DT: Undrafted, signed with Bears. The Wisconsin native will be battling Darrell Campbell for a roster spot. The good news is that they are two of only 7 DT's currently on the Chicago roster. (The bad news goes to Nick Setta, as the Bears signed two undrafted kickers, which means they will be taking 6 kickers into camp.)

Justin Tuck - DE: Giants, 3rd round. Michael Strahan is 34 already, and the Giants don't have much else at DE. According to KankaManiac Dave, Tuck was a big fan of playing across from Strahan, and he should see significant playing time next year - if not this year.

The Cleveland Browns' Choices

1 Braylon Edwards - WR - Michigan: The Browns went with the "best player available" strategy, and this is who they got. GM Phil Savage had several trades lined up for Edwards, including Aaron Smith, but couldn't work one where he felt Cleveland was getting enough in return. So, the Browns get a man who drives a Bentley "because I'm handsome," and add yet another receiver who can't make a key catch. ( commented that he brought one family member to the podium for each drop he made in college.

2 Brodney Pool - S - Oklahoma: This second round pick joins a team that already has two starting safeties... or does he? Maybe Romeo Crennel isn't a fan of last year's second round safety pick, Sean Jones, or maybe Savage just couldn't pass up a guy who was predicted to be a top 10 pick in the 2006 draft, had Pool stayed his senior season.

3 Charlie Frye - QB - Akron: The Browns decided that if Frye was still around in the 3rd round, they would take him. Well, he was still around. This could be a steal, as some "experts" had Frye rated ahead of Aaron Rogers. Frye grew up in Ohio, and is a Browns fan through and through. When asked about the last MAC QB to hit it big in the NFL - Ben Roethlisberger of the Steelers - Frye jokingly replied, "He's the enemy now. I delete his phone number last night."

4 Antonio Perkins - CB - Oklahoma: Perkins is not only a cornerback (a need for the Browns), but also a punt returner. The Browns have a punt returner for now in Dennis Northcutt, but they do need a kick returner to go alongside breakout star Richard Alston. On an interesting note (for a bunch of bandos at least), Perkins playes trumpet and baritone.

5 David McMillan - DE/OLB - Kansas: McMillan is a "tweener" who can play both DE and LB in the 3-4. His draft profile says he's a sure tackler who just needs to hit the weight room.

6 Nick Speegle - OLB - New Mexico: I'll let his draft profile speak for him: "The heir apparent to former Lobos great Brian Urlacher, Speegle more than lived up to those lofty expectations during his career at New Mexico. This is a player with an imposing physique and excellent speed and closing burst."

6 Andrew Hoffman - DT: Phil Savage added much-needed depth to the D-Line by trading QB Luke McCown (and his very fired up wife) to Tampa Bay for their 6th round pick. Trading McCown and keeping Josh Harris, who was drafted by Savage's Ravens last year, can be seen as Savage looking after "his guys," but Phil reportedly put both QBs on the block and liked the deal for McCown best. Meanwhile, it looks like Hoffman has what it takes to play the demanding position of nose guard in the new 3-4.

7 Jon Dunn - T - Virginia Tech: The Browns had their center (Jeff Faine), had their tackles (although they're not exactly shining examples of staying healthy), and they signed two free agent guards. All they needed was insurance for that tackle position. And, apparently, this is just a BIG DUDE.

Seen & Heard at Shea

by Dave Schmitt, East Coast Correspondent

Last night, I went to the Mets-Braves game at Shea with my dad. Obligatory Cow-Bell Man story of the night: there was a group of 6 super-drunk middle-aged guys sitting 2 rows in front of us, just behind the railing. Cow-Bell Man came by, and they just went nuts. He hit the cowbell a few dozen times, and was about to keep walking. Between innings, just before he could leave, the drunkest guy grabbed Cow-Bell Man by the arm, stood up, and yelled, "Cow-Bell Man, everybody! Let's hear it for Cow-Bell Man!" [polite applause] "Cow-Bell Man will be testifying tomorrow morning at my divorce trial that I am a good man. My wife is trying to take my house, my life, everything! Cow-Bell Man says it must stop now! MAKE IT STOP NOW!" Everyone was rolling at this point, and Cow-Bell Man just shook his head and laughed. After he walked away, a camera guy got him to do a dance while hitting the cowbell, and then put the dance in slow-motion up on the video board. Cow-Bell Man was so fired up about this that he then proceeded to do an even crazier dance while his original dance was up on the board. Good times, good times.

Game notes: Braves got 3 in the first on a bunch of dinky hits. Pedro pretty much shut them down after that. Ramon Castro hitting in front of Victor Diaz killed the Mets tonight, as Castro can't hit a lick. Interesting 9th inning. Kolb came in up 4-1 to close it out, got 2 outs no one on. Valent hit a pinch-hit doubled, and Reyes doubled him home. Matsui came out to hit, but Willie called him back at the last second and sent Piazza up to bat. Shea went nuts. Piazza singled home Reyes, 4-3. Still 2 outs. Beltran then hit the ball towards the gap in right-center, Mondesi got it on the hop, looked up and shockingly saw Piazza trying to stretch it to 3rd. Mondesi unleashed a rope to 3rd and Piazza came thisclose to making the last out at 3rd. Not so good! Kolb had given up 4 hits in a row at this point, so Cox took him out and brought in a rookie lefty to face Floyd. Gutsy move, but no doubt Floyd would've killed Kolb, the way he's hitting and the way Kolb was grooving the ball. Floyd popped up end the game. Dahhh.

A few more observations: Furcal and Giles are really really good, and will keep the Braves in contention for many years to come. Smoltz throws really hard. Leo Mazzone waddles like a duck on his way to the mound. Danny Kolb blows.

Save CJ's

copied by Ellen from NDNation

One of my colleagues knows the owners of CJ's and sent me the following email about the plight of Rick, Cindy, and Judy. If you would like to help out, or just want to send a note on please drop me an email and I will forward them on.

You wanted to know about CJ's and what's happenin' there. It's really quite sad. As you know CJs has years and years of Notre Dame history. Hundreds of Notre alum have spent time there. Notre Dame football fans, players, students and their parents frequented their establishment. And now Rick, Cindy, and Judy have been left living off their savings for months because the hospital and their insurance companies have not settled.

Prior to this the hospital tried to buy CJs and at one time they had an agreement but then the hospital lower their offer and Rick rejected it. After that, they petitioned the City of South Bend to have CJs condemned to make way for hospital expansion; leaving Rick and his sisters nothing to start over with. This is definitely a David and Goliath story. I wish Notre Dame students and alum would get behind them to help them get going again. You and I aren't the only ones, I'm sure, who miss CJs. It's a Notre Dame icon and it would be such a loss if they are not able to reopen. Even if students and alum would let Rick and his family know how much the loss of CJs means to them, it would probably mean alot. I'm not sure Rick has an email account but they could certainly send their notes to me and I could pass them along.

Editor's Note: Check Ellen's post entitled "CJs" for an email address.