Holy crap it's Tuesday.
The Shutdown 50 — #29: Whitney Mercilus, OLB/DE, Illinois | Shutdown Corner - Yahoo! Sports
We continue this year's series with Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus. Yes, the last name is awesome, and Mercilus is as tough as the name suggests. While spotting for a teammate during a 2011 weightlifting session, Mercilus lost the tip of his left index finger when it was crushed beneath 405 pounds of weights. Mercilus got stitches, peroxide baths for his hand that sound old Palmolive commercials as re-imagined by the people who make Saw movies, and a splint to make his glove fit properly. He also got new nicknames:"Nubs" and "Nine Piece," no doubt earning Ronnie Lott's rare respect. Mercilus did not let the digital divide stop him: He led the nation with 16 sacks and nine forced fumbles, exploding onto the draft scene after two nearly invisible seasons at Illinois.
The Shutdown 50 — #27: Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska | Shutdown Corner - Yahoo! Sports
We continue this year's series with Nebraska cornerback Alphonzo Dennard. Dennard is one of the most physical cornerbacks in this draft class. Just ask his teammates, who used to complain to senior wide receiver Brandon Kinnie about Dennard's tactics during practice. "He puts his arm into your chin," Kinnie said in a December interview, "and you feel it." Added redshirt freshman Kenny Bell: "He sure does love beating on people."
The Shutdown 50 — #26: Nick Perry, DE, USC | Shutdown Corner - Yahoo! Sports
USC's Defensive Lineman of the Year in 2011, Perry wasted no time once he first got on the field with the Trojans in 2009. He had two sacks in his first game against San Jose State, and eight in his first season. After a somewhat disappointing follow-up season with four sacks in 2010, Perry went off the hook last year. He picked up 9.5 sacks (nine solo), with five in his last four games. It was a near-certainty that he'd declare for the 2012 draft, and in an era when pass-rushers are more important than ever, he's got a very good chance to excel right away, just as he did at USC.
Sittin’ pretty…for now - Offseason Low Down - Rotoworld.com
When the first round of the 2012 NFL draft kicks off in 10 days, there will be quite a few current players sitting on the edge of their seat. Of course there are those players who will get bumped down to the roster bubble, but there are also players currently sitting in a position that would bring them a healthy dose of snaps if the 2012 season began this weekend. Players in such a position are what we might call "fantasy relevant". Those considered to have upside or who were recently signed or promoted into a bigger role inevitably end up on sleeper lists.
Greg Childs, Fifth-Ranked Receiver in 2012 Draft - NYTimes.com
If Marvin Jones is the draft’s safest receiver, Childs might be its riskiest. Childs was horrible this year while recovering from a torn patella tendon. He was deliberate and lacked the explosive change of direction to run good routes or attack the football. However, his Pro Day workout was so strong that I’m basing this ranking on his potential to make a full recovery from the injury and return to the skills he displayed as a sophomore and junior.
Marvin Jones, Fourth-Ranked Receiver in 2012 Draft - NYTimes.com
Jones is the most technically sound receiver in this class, and he has enough athleticism to play the X (split end) or the Z (flanker). His draft spot might not be commensurate with where I rank him, but his stock is definitely on the rise because teams are beginning to recognize just how good he is.
Prospect focus: Michigan WR Junior Hemingway | National Football Post
Breaking down the game tape on the WR.
When the Seahawks kicked off their offseason program Monday, rather than a practice or on-field session, head trainer Sam Ramsden and his staff put the players through a series of screening tests.
NFL.com news: Cardinals bring back Stephens-Howling, two other free agents
Three restricted free agents have signed their one-year qualifying offers with the Arizona Cardinals -- safety Rashad Johnson, running back LaRod Stephens-Howling and cornerback Greg Toler.
McQuistan, Giacomini and the Seahawks' draft plans - Daily Links Blog - MyNorthwest.com
NFL offensive linemen often go unmentioned when discussing reasons for a team's success, with the majority of the praise usually going to players at higher-profile positions. That wasn't the case when Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson joined "The John Clayton Show" on Saturday and their discussion turned to Seattle's running game, specifically its strong finish to the 2011 season.
Eliminating kickoffs would change the game too dramatically | ProFootballTalk
Last year, Pats coach Bill Belichick said it was coming. And it moved a big step closer last week, when Giants co-owner John Mara told his team’s website that the game is "evolving" toward the elimination of the kickoff.
NFL says schedule release is coming tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. ET | ProFootballTalk
As expected, the 2012 regular-season schedule will be unveiled on Tuesday, April 17 at 7:00 p.m. ET.
Monday draft links " Seahawks Draft Blog
I’ve got a lot of tape to publish over the next few days… some more Kirk Cousins, Brock Osweiler, Zach Brown, BJ Coleman and Ryan Lindley. Let’s start today with Russell Wilson:
NFL.com news: Pete Carroll: Don't forget about Tavaris Jackson
Tarvaris Jackson signed with the Seahawks last offseason and was immediately named the starting quarterback by Pete Carroll. Matt Flynn will have to earn the job on the field. Carroll has emphasized repeatedly that Flynn and Jackson will have an open competition for the starting gig this year.
NFL.com news: Impact quarterbacks for each day of 2012 NFL Draft
The importance of the quarterback position in the NFL is no passing fancy. It's no coincidence that the No. 1 overall pick has been a quarterback in nine of the past 11 NFL drafts. Not surprisingly, NFL teams threw for more passing yards in 2011 than in any other year in league history.
NFL.com news: Kolb was worried about 'severe' concussion effects
Most of the headlines following Kevin Kolb's media session Monday will be about his reaction to Arizona's failed pursuit of Peyton Manning. We found his comments regarding his post-concussion symptoms suffered after the 2011 season even more newsworthy.
Ryan Lindley -- A look at a popular sleeper QB - Buffalo Rumblings
Ryan Lindley went to San Diego St, not exactly a QB factory. But many different draftniks are calling him the sleeper QB of the 2012 draft. Greg Cosell has said that Lindley "attempted, and made, more big-time intermediate to deeper NFL-type throws than any QB he evaluated." Why so much talk about a guy that was not on national TV, not in a BCS conference and that only completed 53% of his passes? For this post I watched Lindley vs Michigan, TCU, and Boise St. And included video clips to try and illustrate my points.
101Sports.com: Tony Softli - Top 5 Running Backs in 2012 NFL Draft
101Sports.com is Saint Louis' Sports Page. Complete coverage, late breaking news and opinions on your favorite Saint Louis teams including Saint Louis Cardinals, Saint Louis Blues, Saint Louis Rams, Missouri Tigers and Saint Louis Univeristy
'Before the Beginning' with Chris Polk - CBSSports
Chris Polk's first carry as a running back came at age 6, when he broke loose for a touchdown. Athlete Interactive chronicles the record-setting Washington Husky, who has been running toward his dream of playing in the NFL ever since.
Brock and Salk Blue 42 - Podcasts - MyNorthwest.com
What college football program provides quarterbacks with the best opportunity to play in the NFL? Where is the improvement in Washington's defense most evident? Who is Vinny Curry and where might the Seahawks be able to draft him?
Kolb wishes Whisenhunt had told him of Cardinals’ interest in Peyton | ProFootballTalk
Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb knows the NFL is a business, and that it’s a business in which you can lose your job if someone who’s better at your job becomes available. So Kolb says he has no hard feelings about the team’s pursuit of Peyton Manning last month.
Gap Control: Interior Offense, 2011 | ProFootballFocus.com
A team’s ability to gain yards on the inside is a statement of their physical dominance over an opposing defense. Teams that have success inside are saying that they can get whatever yards they want whenever they need them, dictating the tempo and physicality of the game rather than being forced to go to other areas of their offense quickly.
NFL - Sagging RB market bad news for Trent Richardson - ESPN
Trent Richardson enters the NFL at perhaps the toughest time to be a professional running back. Whether he goes at No. 4 to the Cleveland Browns or No. 5 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Richardson is the highest-rated running back to enter the league since Darren McFadden in 2008, Adrian Peterson in 2007 and Reggie Bush in 2006.
NFL Draft: A look at Alshon Jeffery in the red zone | National Football Post
Using video to break down the 8 (post) vs. Cover 0.
Seatle Seahawks 2012 Draft Options - Mark Barron, Stephon Gilmore, seahawks blogs
Yes, both cornerback Stephon Gilmore and safety Mark Barron would be great additions to the team. Would they be filling positions that are a crucial need right now for the Seahawks? Probably not.
SDB Community mock – #9 Carolina " Seahawks Draft Blog
The Miami Dolphins took Ryan Tannehill at #8, after the Texas A&M quarterback received 69% of the votes. There are three more picks before the Seahawks are on the board. So far, no defensive lineman have been drafted – an advantage for the Seahawks. Will that change at #9 and Carolina?
The Jon Gruden quarterback camp collection " Seahawks Draft Blog
For the last few years, Jon Gruden’s QB camps have been one of the more entertaining series leading up to the draft. Gruden’s a little softer on the guys these days – we don’t see him mocking anyone’s Texas accent ala Colt McCoy. These are still fun to watch though.
For young talent, the offseason program is crucial | National Football Post
Technique, film study should be a priority in offseason.
FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | Futures: The Ugly Underside of Mr. Congeniality
The blond locks and winning smile, the aw-shucks, glad-to-be-here attitude, the heart to stand tall and tough under pressure. Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins is the Mr. Congeniality of the 2012 NFL Draft. According to what I have read, Cousins’ game is built on intangibles. He’s smart. He’s a leader. He’s a winner.
TE Derek Carrier, Beloit | NFL Draft 2012: Identifying the Draft's 10 Biggest Projects | Bleacher Report
This is not a player you are likely to have heard of, but he fits strongly in the mold of high-potential, raw project players.
Sports Radio Interviews " Blog Archive " Pete Carroll on Signing Matt Flynn: "It was kind of like a recruit calling me. He wanted to come."
Pete Carroll joined WQAM in Miami with Joe Rose to discuss the recruitment of Matt Flynn, Matt Flynn lacking experience as a starting quarterback, and missing some of the college football atmosphere now that he is an NFL head coach.
Five-year NFL draft review: Newton, Stafford boost QB grade to average - NFL - Sporting News
From 2007 to 2011, 11 quarterbacks were selected in the first round of the NFL draft, down from 17 over the previous five years. Although the supply of elite prospects hasn’t been quite the same, don’t be fooled—the demand for a franchise QB remains high for every team that doesn’t have one.
Kennard Cox of Seattle Seahawks - Day In The Life (Documentary) - YouTube
SportsBully.Com Presents Kennard Cox of The Seattle Seahawks - Day in the Life. This short film documents the young cornerbacks journey and explains how he m...
NFL DRAFT: First Round Surprises | National Football Post
Who could sneak into round one?
NFL Draft: Pro Day workouts that created some buzz | National Football Post
Stephen Hill, Blackmon, Mercilus, Tannehill and more.
Projecting the draft: Seattle Seahawks - CBSSports
There were many who questioned how well Pete Carroll's return to the NFL would fare when he elected to leave USC for the Seattle Seahawks two years ago. In immediately guiding the Seahawks to an NFC West Crown (and an improbably home playoff victory over the Super Bowl defending New Orleans Saints), Carroll and general manager John Schneider appeared to answer any questions as to their ability to compete. Despite dropping to third in the division a year later, the team showed the ability to beat quality teams - defeating the Giants in New York, Baltimore at home and playing the 49ers closer-than-the-score-indicated in two losses.
2nd-Round QB Success Rate - NFL Draft Preview - Rotoworld.com
We took a look last January at the plight of quarterbacks who've been drafted in the second round since 1991. The results weren't pretty. This column is an update on that blog post