Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Around the NFC West: Cardinals' line
By Mike Sando
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic expects the Cardinals to move Levi Brown from right tackle to left tackle, with Mike Gandy leaving in free agency. Brandon Keith and Herman Johnson would compete for the starting job on the right side. I thought Johnson impressed during exhibition games as a rookie last season. He's huge and I'm not sure how he'll project as a blind-side protector for the left-handed Matt Leinart. On the other hand, Brown hasn't been air-tight in pass protection over the years, either. Getting Johnson in the lineup next to Deuce Lutui would give the Cardinals a huge offensive line.
Also from Somers: a look at issues facing the Cardinals this offseason. The team will not be rushing to extend Darnell Dockett, who has two years remaining on his deal.
Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com expands on the idea that Seahawks coach Pete Carroll should have an advantage heading into the scouting combine after recruiting and coaching at the college level. Seattle holds the sixth and 14th choices in the 2010 draft. The team held the eighth overall choice in 1995, when Dennis Erickson was jumping to the NFL after a successful run at the college level. Seattle's draft class that year featured Joey Galloway, Christian Fauria, Jason Kyle, Henry McMillian, Eddie Goines and Keif Bryant.
Also from Farnsworth: a few thoughts on Ricky Foley's signing.
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch checks in with general manager Billy Devaney and coach Steve Spagnuolo as the Rams head to the scouting combine. Thomas expects the Rams to choose between Ndamukong Suh, Gerald McCoy, Sam Bradford and Jimmy Clausen with the first overall choice. Devaney says he has some interest in seeing a medical report on Colt McCoy. Devaney on the draft in general: "I think wide receiver is going to be pretty deep. There may not be those stud impact guys, but it's a real good group. The offensive line -- tackles again. The past few years, there's been a pretty good run of tackles."
Jeff Gordon of stltoday.com thinks Marc Bulger could wind up with the Bucs. Gordon: "He is not going to retire. Several teams would covet him as a back-up next season, including Tampa Bay -– where Greg Olson is offensive coordinator. You will recall that Olson worked with Bulger as Scott Linehan’s nominal offensive coordinator. Bulger could regroup from his beatings in St. Louis, help tutor (Josh) Freeman and offer insurance if the kid needs to sit for a spell."
Also from Thomas: a chat transcript featuring thoughts on the draft and free agency. Thomas: "If the Rams took Bradford at No. 1 overall, there's a lot of ways they could go in the second round. At DT, maybe (but not for certain) Dan Williams of Tennessee is still there. Or another DT, Jared Odrick of Penn State. The Rams could see if any of the edge rushers -- the best seem to be the 'tweeners this year -- are still on the board. The top of the second might be too high for RB Dexter McCluster. Then again, he might not be there at the top of the third."
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says during a chat that the 49ers are almost certain to select an offensive lineman in the first round. Barrows: "I really don't see them bypassing an OL in the first round. Maybe if they felt confident a guy like Rodger Saffold (Indiana) could be had in the second, but that's risky. Nothing is a sure thing when it comes to the draft, but the 49ers taking an OL is as sure as it gets."
Also from Barrows: The 49ers visited with former Titans and Cardinals pass-rusher Travis LaBoy, who was forced out of football by injuries last season.
Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says Aubrayo Franklin joins Julian Peterson, Terrell Owens and Steve Young as franchise players for the 49ers.
Also from Maiocco: He compares draft prospect Taylor Mays to Dana Hall, a first-round disappointment from the 49ers' past.