May 3, 2017

Taleni Gone And Draft Thoughts

Filed under: Draft,Football,NFL,Scandal — Chas @ 7:37 am

Sorry, about the absence. Some family stuff came up last week that had me in-and-out-of-town through the past week plus. Nothing major, but time was at a premium.

Glad to be done with April. Fridays in April have been a month of bad news dropping. Most of it was related to basketball, but football decided to get in on the action with the dismissal of Jeremiah Taleni for disciplinary reasons.

To say this was surprising is being polite. Taleni was going to be a senior and expected to start at Defensive Tackle. He was receiving high praise from the coaches all spring for his leadership off-the-field and and his performance in practices.


January 2, 2016

Good Luck To Tyler Boyd

Filed under: Draft,Football,NFL,Players — Chas @ 9:49 am

It should not be a shock that Tyler Boyd declared for the draft. He is that good, and barring injuries should have a successful NFL career.

Whether he goes in the first or second round is up for debate, but I don’t see how his draft stock will really rise any further if he came back. The only seeming knock on Boyd is that he lacks “elite” speed, so that won’t change. All the other stuff he possesses, he has shown in spades in the past three seasons.

— Hands. Yep.

— Great route running. Check.

— Very versatile — able to stretch the field or play in the slot. Hell, yeah.

— Constantly successful against opposing teams’ best corner and facing double teams. Very much so.

If Boyd had chosen to stay, he would be dealing with a third offensive coordinator in four years. No matter what promises Head Coach Pat Narduzzi could have made him, there just would have been no guarantees. It’s not like he could be showcased that much more.

To say nothing of the risk of injury — even with an insurance contract.

I wish him and his family nothing but the best, and only hope that he finds the time down the road to finish his education to get that degree from Pitt.

May 9, 2014

The actual amount of time I spend watching the second and third round tonight likely correlates strongly to where and when Tom Savage gets drafted. If he goes early, it is very likely I will be done watching the draft for the night within 20 to 30 minutes. The later it goes, the longer I will probably keep watching simply because I will be tired and comfortable on the couch.

We will find out how much of that smoke about Savage rocketing up to near the top of the 2d round really holds. Oakland picks at #36 and could use a QB for the near future.

Cinci might go for a QB with their pick at #55 because of questions with Andy Dalton — both in terms of contract extension and the question of whether he really is their best long-term option. It’s not worth much, but Mel Kiper is predicting Savage to Cinci.

Then there are the Patriots down at #62. They have been a popular rumor for Savage, and a couple more mocks have him going to them.


April 19, 2014

The Savage Surge

Filed under: Draft,Football,NFL — Chas @ 6:28 am

It has been amusing watch Tom Savage work his way up the draft charts. From mid-third round to top of the third. To somewhere in the second round, up to the top of the second. Now he is — at least in the rumors and chatter — to be heading into the first round.

How hot is he? Late last week Savage’s agent, Neil Schwartz, had to tell two teams who wanted to set up a visit or meeting with the quarterback that he didn’t have any time left to do so. “There are literally no days left on his calendar for him to go see any other teams,” Schwartz said Saturday. The deadline for teams to host players or work them out is April 27, and by then Savage is scheduled to have either worked out for or had visits with 24 or 25 teams. That’s an amazing number of workouts and/or meetings … and when I say meetings with teams, I mean time with either the GM, coach, offensive coordinator or two or three of those. … Amazing to think a player so itinerant and with so little college success could be leap-frogging A.J. McCarron, Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger. But there’s a good chance Savage will.

The reasons are understandable.


April 29, 2013

Another Pitt Free Draft

Filed under: Draft,Football,NFL — Chas @ 10:53 am

Kind of depressing, but it sure puts the back-to-back 6-7 records into context. No Pitt players heard their name called in the NFL Draft this weekend. This was not terribly surprising.

There have been, and are good players on this team. But a lack of excellent ones. Factor in the crushing injuries, and there weren’t been any surefire NFL prospects wearing the Blue and Gold the last couple of years.

I am not sure how much of that has been missing in recruiting, and the constant churn in coaches that may have stagnated/crushed the development of some players. Likely some mixture of both, but I have no idea on the percentages.

That said, Ray Graham will get his shot to show how healthy his knee is with the Houston Texans.

Mike Shanahan will have his chance to transition to TE in the pros with the New York Jets (sans a Tebow presence).

Ryan Turnley will try to make it with the Buffalo Bills. While on the small side, his versatility on the offensive line can only help his chances of sticking around.

Tight end Hubie Graham and his many injuries will get a chance with Tampa Bay. Just speculation, but I’m thinking that TB HC Greg Schiano remembers the potential Graham once had before injuries and transfers made him entirely forgotten.

It’s also been reported that Jarred Holley will get a tryout with the Pittsburgh Steelers at their first undrafted free agent camp next week.

April 29, 2012

I’m not saying that if Pitt had stuck to the 4-3 defense and the pro-style offense, that Pitt players would not have been shut out of the NFL Draft for the first time since 1999. I’m thinking it, but I’m not saying it.

Brandon Lindsey went from being a break-out player at the defensive end in 2010 to no-mans land with a change in defensive schemes. Playing in a hybrid linebacker/DE position that had him in no-mans land too many times.

Lucas Nix also suffered from the change in schemes with the O-line that made him look less productive. More importantly he suffered from injury that kept him out for over half the season. When you factor in the fact that Fraud Graham started questioning Nix’s toughness for not coming back from the injury as quickly as hoped, that probably raised flags for the NFL teams.

No doubt if Ray Graham had stayed healthy, he would have come out as a junior. The running back was putting up huge numbers and surely would have been a pick in the first 3 rounds.

Instead Pitt players will have to go the undrafted free agency (UFA) route to be on NFL squads. The conventional wisdom, being that it is better to be a UFA than a 7th round pick since you can pick the team and have a better chance/situation.


July 26, 2011

UDFA Signings at Last

Filed under: Alumni,Football,Good,NFL — Chas @ 8:28 am

Congratulations to Dom DeCicco and Henry Hynoski. Now that the NFL Lockout is finished, NFL teams are permitted to sign undrafted free agents. Today is the first day that players can officially sign

DeCicco will get a chance with the Chicago Bears.

“I knew my time would eventually come,” he said, pointing out that waiting for the lockout to end was difficult.

“The only (thing) I can compare it to is when you play a bad game and you want that next week to come so bad so you can prove yourself.”

DeCicco, who played on one PIAA champion and two WPIAL title winners at Thomas Jefferson, said he had calls from the Steelers, Bills, Bears and Saints on Monday. He chose the Bears because they brought him to Chicago for a pre-draft visit and he developed a relationship with linebackers coach Bob Babich of Aliquippa and scout Rex Hogan.

“It made the most sense, even though they weren’t offering the most money,” he said.

Hynoski will take a shot with the New Jersey Giants — after a little debate.

May 5, 2011

Belated Pitt Players to NFL Round-Up

Filed under: Draft,Football,NFL — Chas @ 12:40 pm

With the lock-out reinstated over the course of the draft, there is no free agent signings taking place. This means whether an NFL player is a free agent or if it is a kid out of college that went undrafted, there is nothing. No signings can take place. So for Dom DeCicco, Henry Hynoski, Dan Hutchins, Nate Nix and even Ricky Gary: welcome to limbo. Stay in shape. Keep working out and not have a clue about where when or how you will play football. Good luck.

Well, Pitt had five players drafted this year. As the Pitt press release notes, its the most players drafted from Pitt since 2004. By a remarkable coincidence, the 2003 season was one of Pitt football’s most disappointing seasons based on the expectations and talent until this past 2010 season. Heck, there was even a WR from Pitt taken in the first round in both drafts (please note, that is the extent of the similarities with which anyone should ever compare Baldwin to Fitzgerald).


April 29, 2011

Jon Baldwin Salvages the Big East

Filed under: Draft,Football,NFL — Chas @ 1:36 pm

As the only Big East player taken in the First Round of the NFL Draft, Jon Baldwin allowed the Big East to save some face. Not much, but some. As befits the present state of the conference, it should be expected that a lot of players will be taken from here on out. The players reflect the league. Not particularly strong at the top, but solid and mediocre all around. “Big East football. ACC-esque parity with fewer calories.”

So congrats to Jon Baldwin, the third Pitt Panther drafted in the 1st round in the last 5 years. He is Pitt’s 20th 1st round pick in the last 31 years. Baldwin was home with family when the call came.

“I felt blessed,” Baldwin said of his reaction upon receiving the telephone call from Chiefs coach Todd Haley. “I have been working toward this my whole life, and now I get the opportunity.”

After speaking at length to Haley, Baldwin said he turned to his father, Jeff, for a hug.

“He said, ‘Congratulations. This is something you have worked hard for. Now, go do what you do,’ ” Baldwin said.

The first thing…


April 28, 2011

1st Round NFL Draft Open Thread

Filed under: Draft,Football,NFL — Chas @ 4:41 pm

Do Jabaal Sheard or Jon Baldwin make it into the end of the first round tonight? I have no idea. Odds are that if they don’t get picked, then the Big East gets shut out of the first round of the NFL draft.

Plenty of Pitt players could go in the later rounds over the next couple days, so there is incentive to keep watching.

Here’s your handy Pitt player checklist.

Draft starts about 8pm on ESPN or NFL Network.

April 27, 2011

Oh, Right. The NFL Draft

Filed under: Alumni,Draft,Football,NFL — Chas @ 1:39 pm

Barely paid any attention to it. Between the lockout stuff, basketball season, and the fact that the NFL is starting this thing on a Thursday night. The Thursday night thing seems to really have me thrown off. The all-day Saturday couch potatoing was a personal favorite for me. Now that’s all gone.

Still, Pitt should have several players drafted this year. Whether Sheard or Baldwin crack the first round is anyone’s guess. That and where Greg Romeus, Dion Lewis and Henry Hynoski get drafted. Plus questions about whether Jason Pinkston and Dom DeCicco get snagged near the end or sign undrafted free agent deals.

Guess at least a rundown on some of the stories. I’ll skip the mock drafts that multiply and come from so many different places these days.


March 23, 2011

Mixing In Some Football Links

Filed under: Draft,Football,NFL,Players,Practice — Chas @ 11:24 am

Reed has been killing it with the football stuff. This despite the lockdown of information — beyond what the coaches are willing to release. I disagree with the philosophy — and not just because it starves the media and this site a bit. It creates a situation that puts all the pressure on the team to win.

When you win, fans don’t care about the closed practices. The lack of information and/or controls on what is happening. It’s the Bill Parcells/Bill Belicheck/Nick Saban style.

But when the team loses, the fans start clamoring to know what’s going on. The media, already facing constant criticism from one side because they don’t have any real info to share because of the control, start releasing some of the simmering annoyances and frustrations with the controls of information.

Those are all long-term issues. Right now, not so much a problem. So that’s just a bit of a digression.


March 1, 2011

Hitting Some Football Links

Filed under: Coaches,Draft,Football,Graham,NFL — Chas @ 12:32 pm

I know, it’s March. Should be all about basketball. And for the most part it will be. Well, there will be spring practices starting in about 2 weeks. That will be a distraction.

Still, some links I’ve accumulated relating to football items, so I might as well clear the palate first.

Let’s start with the head man. Coach Todd Graham was back in Tulsa for a funeral and to take care of personal business as he makes the move to Pittsburgh (his wife Penni has been a Tweeting source of info). He spoke with a Tulsa World columnist to try and smooth over some hard feelings from his departure (and subsequently competing with Tulsa for some recruits).


January 11, 2011

Good Luck to Those Leaving

Filed under: Draft,Football,NFL,Players — Chas @ 10:22 am

Dion Lewis, Jon Baldwin and Henry Hynoski are leaving Pitt for the NFL draft.

Each have good reasons for leaving now. No one should begrudge them for going.

Hynoski has the most to lose by staying at Pitt with a change in offensive philosophy. A fullback, he likely faced a very diminished role. As a junior his transfer prospects would have been limited and likely done nothing to help his draft stock. As it stands, most fullbacks don’t go until late in the draft. If he transferred to a 1-AA school to play right away, it would be even harder to get any notice. On the plus side, he will earn his degree by April.

Baldwin would gain nothing by staying another year. He probably had his draft stock dinged a little between the problems with his relationship with QB Tino Sunseri, stuck mainly running decoy deep routes, and worse by not being the most aggressive receiver.

Still he has the physical tools that make him look like a #1 receiver. He won’t be the first WR taken in the draft, but he will be the first Pitt player taken in the 2011 NFL Draft.


April 26, 2010

Abbreviated 2010 NFL Draft Recap

Filed under: Draft,Football,NFL — Chas @ 12:54 pm

Here’s the press release from the Pitt athletic department detailing who was drafted where (hint: Byham in the 6th to San Fran and Dickerson in the 7th to Houston). Also listed were undrafted free agent signings:

  • Aaron Berry — Detroit Lions
  • John Malecki — Tennessee Titans
  • Mick Williams — NY Jets
  • Bill Stull — KC Chiefs

Adam Gunn was invited to Green Bay’s spring mini camp but has not signed any deal.

Eye of a Panther has a solid recap with some links to the NFL team comments on the draft picks.

Script Pitt notes that Stull signing with KC puts him in competition with Tyler Palko to be the scout team QB. I have no comment.

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