Quick Thoughts: 5 Guys Rising

By: Dan Snyder


  • Since Dilfer’s comments deemed him the 2nd coming of Aaron Rodgers, Dalton has been getting a lot of love from NFL teams. Also taking advantage of Ryan Mallett’s woes
  • Former Projection: Mid-Round Pick (3rd-4th)
  • Current Projection: Late 1st-Early 2nd


  • Reed’s really gaining steam after a great showing at his Pro Day and in private workouts. Has good blend of size and speed that might land him in round one.
  • Former Projection: Mid-Late 2nd
  • Current Projection: Late 1st-Early 2nd


  • 3-4 defense teams know how much a nose tackle means to their units and Taylor is the prototypical guy. After a few good showings, he’s now drawing interest from a couple of the top defenses in the league (Jets, Steelers).
  • Former Projection: 2nd round
  • Current Projection: Late 1st round


  • The former Buckeye showed how valuable he could be by showing off his skill set at his Pro Day. Proved to a lot of scouts he could play in both a 3-4 and 4-3 defensive system.
  • Former Projection: Early-Mid 2nd round
  • Current Projection: 1st round


  • Dareus’ stock hasn’t shot up through the roof like the other players on this list, but now he’s being considered as the best prospect in the 2011 draft. He’s worked out like a king and I think solidified himself a spot in the top 3 picks.
  • Former Projection: Top 10
  • Current Projection: Top 3

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Bills to Host Three Prospects Thursday

Chris Brown of Buffalobills.com is reporting that the Bills will be hosting three prospects Thursday afternoon.

Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley, Georgia linebacker Justin Houston and Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder are all going to be a the Bills facilities this afternoon for individual workouts and interviews.

The Bills hold the 3rd pick in the draft and will have to take a hard look at Nick Fairley to stabilize a poor pass rush up front.

As for Ponder and Houston, they’ll probably be looking at the pair in the in the 2nd round. Ponder has previous history with Bills coach Chan Gailey. While at Georgia Tech, Gailey recruited Ponder pretty heavily before losing out on the talented quarterback to Florida State.

Houston will most likely play defensive end in Buffalo. The Bills are one of the worst pass rushing teams in the league and could spend a few of their top picks on defensive players.

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North Carolina Leads the List of Pro Days Today

It’s time for the North Carolina Tar Heels to put their prospects on display for the NFL scouts and GM’s to see.

Carolina has some interesting prospects because of the suspensions handed down by the NCAA last season. DT Marvin Austin and OLB Bruce Carter were hurt the most by these sanctions as they fell out of the first round after missing significant time in 2010.

Most eyes, however, will be glued to DE/OLB prospect Robert Quinn. Quinn missed the entire 2010 season because of the NCAA sanctions handed down on him last season. His talent alone has most people placing him inside the top 10, but a lot of teams aren’t sold on Quinn.

Hawaii, among others, will also hold their pro day today.

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Report: Dolphins Looking to Move Down in Draft

Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald has been reporting that the Miami Dolphins are “determined” to move down in the 2011 NFL Draft.

The Phins currently hold the 15th pick and don’t really feel sold on any player in the middle of the first round. They’re also trying to recover a lost 2nd round pick this year.

The team has been linked continuously to Alabama running back Mark Ingram and when asked, Miami officials feel Ingram will be available later in round one. Now the Dolphins just have to find a trading partner who’s willing to move up.

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Andy Dalton: Quietly Waiting to Strike

By: Dan Snyder

When one talks about the NFL Draft and quarterbacks, the typical names come to mind. Of course everyone wants to talk about Cam Newton or Blaine Gabbert, Jake Locker’s one-season drop off and Ryan Mallett’s character issues. But the focus on these “top” guys leaves something lurking in the shadows…and that something is a frog.

TCU quarterback Andy Dalton is slowly, but surely ascending his way on the outskirts (and maybe inside) the first round conversation.

It all started when ESPN analyst and former 1st rounder Trent Dilfer strongly compared the Horned Frog signal-caller to Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers.

Dilfer stated, “”I can’t tell you how much Aaron Rodgers I see in Andy Dalton. They have tremendously quick releases, they can throw from multiple foot platforms, meaning they can be off balance, very aggressive by nature, (they can) extend the play, and they understand the value of a completion. I think that’s one of the biggest things in evaluating a quarterback that goes unnoticed is which guys understand the value of completing the football. It doesn’t have to be glamorous all the time but they’re going to get a completion, they’re going to move the chains and they’re going to get completions in the biggest moments of games. That’s what I see with Andy Dalton. If there’s one guy in this draft — if I was coaching — that I would want to coach, it’s Andy Dalton.”

Dalton continued his rise by being the the biggest beneficiary from the continued troubling concerns surrounding Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett. Teams see Mallett’s off-the-field issues and are shying more and more away from him. Coincidentally, these same teams see Dalton as a squeaky-clean guy who knows football and is going to work his tail of to be the best.

I’ll admit that two weeks ago I valued Dalton as a mid-round guy who could develop into a starter or be a solid backup. But after all the recent hype, I went back and looked at some tape from Dalton at TCU and I have to say, I’d have to agree with Dilfer.

I’m not sure he’s the next coming of Aaron Rodgers, but Dalton’s immeasurable’s are off the charts. He’s a student of the game and a hard worker who doesn’t have the best arm in the draft but is exceptionally accurate. Andy’s also a born leader and was able to extend a lot of plays with his feet last season.

One thing with all the hype that could go against Dalton is that now a team may draft him with the expectation that he’ll start right away. Dalton is a guy, like Rodgers, who will benefit greatly from sitting and learning for a year or two. Throwing him to the wolves right away could have major negative impacts on Dalton’s career.

Andy has already worked out for the Browns, Patriots, Bears and Chiefs and is scheduled to hold four more private performances. The teams left on the list include Cincinnati, Minnesota, Tennessee and San Francisco.

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Tyron Smith Scheduled for Six Workouts

USC offensive tackle Tyron Smith is going to be a busy man over the next month. The National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson is reporting the top tackle prospect has scheduled visits with six teams over the next couple of weeks.

Thus far, the list of teams include the Washington Redskins, Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, Kansas City Chiefs, Cleveland Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This will mean Smith can work out for four more teams before the draft.

Smith is currently the top tackle and will host his pro day on Wednesday at the USC campus.


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Sources: Mallett Sliding Down Draft Boards

Tony Pauline of Sports Illustrated is reporting that Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett is “tumbling down draft boards.” This all goes back to the same issue it’s always been with Mallett…his character.

Mallett’s got great physical size and tools to be an NFL starting QB, but personality and accusations of drug use have turned some teams away from the talented prospect.

Mallett still has workouts and interview scheduled with teams throughout the month so there’s still time to up his image.

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