NFC East: Ocho Cinco
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
- Mac Engel of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has a list of potential receivers for the Cowboys.
- Todd Archer wasn't on the bag for this Tony Romo victory. Romo also won the "fabled" Brown Jacket over the weekend.
- Jacques Taylor says Cowboys owner Jerry Jones could control Day 2 of the draft.
- Paul Domowitch of the Daily News does a really nice job of putting this Sheldon Brown controversy in perspective. He sympathizes with the player, but he also brings some reality to the discussion.
- The Eagles are defending their right not to negotiate with Sheldon Brown pretty vigorously.
- Domowitch and Les Bowen had a nice discussion about the Eagles' candidates for the No. 21 overall pick.
- The City of Philadelphia wants the Eagles to pay up in a long-running dispute.
- Steve Smith and Domenik Hixon aren't worrying about all the trade rumors.
- Justin Tuck would love to see Braylon Edwards in a Giants uniform.
- But Tuck told Newsday that Edwards needs to follow the rules just like everyone else.
- Right now, it looks like Ocho Cinco and Anquan Boldin are off the table for the Giants.
- Jason La Canfora tracked down USC quarterback Mark Sanchez via phone Tuesday. Sounds like Sanchez enjoyed his time with the Redskins.
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
|Mark Sanchez talks about his game as he prepares for the 2009 draft.|
As many of you know, the NFL Blog Network never sleeps -- with the possible exception being Christmas. Hopefully this special edition of Matt's Mailbag will get you through the weekend. Thanks for being so prolific with your questions -- and threats.
Mike in Louisville, Colo., you have the first word: In Kiper's latest mock draft, he has the Redskins picking Mark Sanchez with the 13th pick. Why, why, WHY would the 'Skins pick Sanchez there? They need a starter with that pick and they already have a good starting quarterback. They need help on both lines. In fact, if all of their top choices are gone and Sanchez is still there, they should trade down in the first round and pick up a second round pick from someone who needs a quarterback more. And if the 'Skins were stupid enough to pick Sanchez there, does Jason Campbell's head explode?
Mosley: I think some folks might disagree with you on Campbell, although I'm not one of them. The Redskins are sitting there praying that Brian Orakpo from Texas slips to No. 13. My former colleague and world-famous draft expert Rick "Goose" Gosselin has Orakpo going to the Redskins in his first of three mock drafts. I don't think the Redskins will take Sanchez either, but keep in mind that Kiper is a Ravens season-ticket holder and he's also plugged in pretty closely to the Redskins. So let's not completely dismiss the most famous mocker of them all.
Josh from Lynchburg, Va., welcome to The Bag: Matt, all these bloggers keep talking about "true No. 1 receivers." Can you please explain what makes a receiver a true No. 1? Thanks, your blog is the best!
Mosley: As I heard former Cowboys great Drew Pearson point out recently, too many young players are handed "No. 1" status when they haven't done anything to earn it. When a defensive coordinator puts a game plan together, he has to select one or two players that could do the most damage. When you have to jam a receiver and then shade a safety over the top, I'd say the guy's a No. 1. It's basically the receiver who commands the most attention. Some teams don't have a No. 1 receiver (see the New York Jets), and some potentially have two on the roster (see the Arizona Cardinals).
Chris from Tuscon, what's on your mind sir? Don't you think you're being a little harsh with your criticism of Roy Williams in your recent article, "Which route will Beast take at receiver?" He was always a solid receiver in Detroit, and that by itself says a lot if you ask me. Williams was acquired by the Cowboys at about midseason, thrown into a whole new system with different terminology and then expected to put up Larry Fitzgerald-type numbers. I agree the 'Boys gave up too much to get him but I think we should at least give him this year before we pass judgment. I think he will surprise you.
Mosley: Based on where he was taken in the draft, Williams has had only one nice season during his six years in the league. That season came with an offensive coordinator (Mike Martz) who doesn't run the ball and a quarterback (Jon Kitna) who had a career season. You're suggesting that Williams' numbers are pretty solid considering that he plays for the Lions. I'm suggesting that his numbers should've been a lot better because the Lions were so bad. They're constantly playing from behind, which should've given Williams more opportunities to pad his numbers. In case you missed it, Troy Aikman recently said the Williams trade could potentially be one of the biggest busts "in NFL history." So no, I don't think I'm being especially harsh. And I never ran into anyone who expected Williams to be Larry Fitzgerald. The two aren't in the same stratosphere.
Elizabeth from Los Angeles is concerned about the Cowboys' kicking game: Hey Matt, I have a question regarding the Cowboys' new stadium. How high is the video board, and do you think that a punter could could hit the screen?
Mosley: Elizabeth, I asked Jerry Jones that exact question during my recent site visit, which appeared on "Monday Night Countdown" for at least 18 seconds. Jones assures me the 60-yard-long boards will be "out of play," but I'm not so sure. I haven't seen them suspended above the field yet, but Cowboys punter Mat McBriar gets incredible hang-time on his kicks. My guess is that Jones will send McBriar over to the stadium once his foot is healed and let him have a go at things. It might be awkward to punt while wearing a hardhat, but McBriar will be up to the task.
New Canaan checks in with a Giants question: I know the Giants are concerned about Braylon Edwards' drops, but of the three wide recievers they're looking at (Boldin,Johnson and Edwards), he seems like the best choice. He is the youngest in the group, and with a consistent quarterback he can play like he did in '07. And Ocho Cinco has some character issues, Boldin is not a real team guy (just ask Todd Haley). Isn't Edwards the safe bet?
Mosley: Since I've actually discussed Boldin with Haley, let me tell you that he would bring him to Kansas City in a heartbeat. Haley's a fiery guy who's been yelling at players on the sideline (and in practice) for years. The timing of Boldin's shouting match and subsequent pout was awful, but his teammates would never label him as a "non-team guy." I think the Giants would prefer Boldin to Edwards. And yes, Cinco appears to be a distant third.
Cameron from Philly writes: YES IT DOES BOTHER ME THAT THE EAGLES REFUSE TO GO OUT AND HELP DONAVON! OK, this is ridiculous that year after year the man has given this franchise a legitimate chance at a championship without that big-play receiver. If only the Eagles could give him this one valuable pick, the Eagles could very easily be front runners in the NFC east with their dominant defense and now their dynamic offense. Is Boldin still an option and if so what do the Eagles have to do?
Mosley: McNabb did have a
big-play receiver in 2004 and for part of '05, but we know how that ended. I think DeSean Jackson is already a "big-play" receiver, and I'm not so sure why everyone thinks the Eagles need another guy. If you draft another quality running back and perhaps a guy like Brandon Pettigrew from Oklahoma State at tight end, you'd be in nice shape on offense. The only think I'd worry about is left tackle -- and that's a pretty big worry. I think the Cardinals would want one of those first-round picks and probably a third. I don't think Andy Reid's going to sign off on that. Thanks so much for your questions. Keep'em coming.
|With Plaxico Burress, left, and Terrell Owens gone, the Giants and Cowboys have huge voids to fill at wide receiver.|
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
Now that the New York Giants have been praised far and wide for releasing troubled wide receiver Plaxico Burress, it's time for the following reality check: The Giants don't have anyone who resembles a No. 1 wide receiver on the roster.
Sure, the eternal optimists among Giants fandom (like my buddy Dan F. from South Orange) look at Mario Manningham and see a budding No. 1, but that's just because he has the team Web site bookmarked. The truth of the matter is the Giants appear to be set at every position except wide receiver, and there are no guarantees when it comes to the draft -- especially when holding the No. 29 overall pick.
The Giants, though, can take solace knowing that the other three teams in the NFC East could also enter the '09 season with questions at receiver. Say what you will about Terrell Owens and Burress, but they remain two of the most feared players in the game. The Giants and Cowboys are selling the tried and true "addition by subtraction" line to their fan bases, but that campaign only seems to work in the offseason.
With that in mind, let's attempt to figure out what each team in the Beast is thinking as we sprint toward the draft, which by the way, can be viewed on ESPN:
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
The last time we heard from ESPN's Michael Smith, he was reporting the infamous meeting between Donovan McNabb and Eagles management. Now Smith's hearing rumblings that the Eagles could be kicking the tires on Bengals wide receiver Chad Ocho Cinco.
"I am hearing there is interest in Chad Johnson," Smith said Wednesday on "NFL Live." "Now there's been some back-and-forth as to whether or not he is officially on the market. I think everybody in Cincinnati has signed off on moving Chad Johnson, except for owner Mike Brown. The Eagles could be in the picture. They have two first-round picks. They need a receiver."