Jacksonville Jaguars - very interesting news

To continue our own mock draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars are on the clock with the 8th Pick in the draft.

The Jaguars will look to rebound from a dismal 2008 campaign and return to the 2007 form that saw them reach the AFC Championship game. To do this, they will need to improve on both sides of the ball. At #8, they will have options to address a number of different areas. It appears there most pressing needs are on the offensive side of the ball. With the recent signing of Tra Thomas, they appear to have addressed one position that needed an upgrade, at least for the near future. They will still need to address an underwhelming offensive line, but do they do that here or try to add a playmaker at WR.

8th Pick: Jeremy Maclin, WR Missouri

There have not been many, if any, bright spots at the WR position for the last several years. Whether it's the massive overpayment to free agent WR Jerry Porter a year ago, or the first round reach for converted QB Matt Jones (who appears to have a significant problem staying away from Arkansas drug dealers) in 2005, the results have been far less than expected. There will need to be an upgrade over the pedestrian lineup of Porter, Jones (if not released), Reggie Williams, and Dennis Northcutt. With Crabtree off the board, is it a stretch to go for Maclin, and seeing how there last first round WR panned out, will they be a bit gun shy?

All of this is operating under the assumption that David Garrard is still the answer at QB. Was the 2007 season, in which he only threw three picks and 18 touchdowns , the real David Garrard or are the Jags more likely to get the 2008 Garrard (13 INT and 15 TD). The real question is whether the Jags brain trust believes him to be a franchise QB capable of leading the team to a title, or do they go after a top 5 talent guy in Mark Sanchez as the future for the franchise. It is hard to tell how good or bad Garrard truly is with the cast of characters mentioned previously. You can visit this tickets to cinderella on broadway page.

The Jags probably feel a return to form in 2009 is well within reach with the right moves in free agency and later in the draft. For that reason, they probably need a player to make an immediate impact instead of a complete shift at the most important position on the field. Despite their past transgressions with WR's, the pick is Jeremy Maclin. With a legitimate playmaker at WR, we will finally see if David Garrard is the real deal, or if we will be talking about the Jags picking a QB in the 2010 draft.

Green Bay is now on the clock with the 9th pick in the draft.

Play this game in January

With the clock ticking down to enter brackets, here are some quick tips from along with my final four and champion. I usually hedge and create multiple brackets. Doesn't everyone?

1. Most everyone has heard of the 5-12 upset. As I stated last year the 6-11 is the new 5-12. George Mason was an eleven seed when they went to the Final Four. Upsets were more common when schools from the mid majors were given an opportunity to defeat a school from a power conference. The selection committee began pitting mid majors against each other and this year barely selected any for an at large bid. With weaker power conference schools getting into the big dance and facing stronger schools this may be another year that's close to chalk.

2. The Big Ten is overrated this year, while the ACC and Big East carry seven teams into the tournament. Of all the ACC schools North Carolina and Florida State look like they could make a strong run. The Big East has more teams that could go farther into the tournament then some of the ACC schools.

3. Several schools have lost someone for the season and others are still battling injuries like UConn, MSU, & UNC. How deep these teams can make it depends on the match ups. There isn't a clear favorite.

4. Now for some possible upsets.
A. Cleveland St. over Wake Forest. For a tall frontcourt, Wake plays smaller by playing from the outside.
B. BC over Michigan St. Tom Izzo is a great coach, but the injury bug may finally prove too much to overcome.

Not going completely chalk I selected two ACC and two Big East schools: North Carolina, Florida State, Louisville, and UConn with UNC the Champion. The Seminoles could be a risky pick due to Hamilton getting out coached at times. He has strong guard play from Douglas and a productive front court for a good inside outside game. The teams that go the farthest usually have good play at the guard position.

Pitt and Nova could go far and so could Syr. if they have anything left in the tank after the Big East Tournament. Gonzaga could be a sleeper this year and give UNC a run for their money. See and internet wayback machine alternative .

The East & South could disintegrate after the sweet sixteen while the Midwest Region has potential to implode the most from upsets from Wake Forest and MSU to OSU. Don't be surprised if an upset occurs in Duke's path as somehow things always find away to help the Blue Devils. Over the past few years, Duke's region has usually been in the eye of the storm.

Good Luck! The clock is ticking to enter your brackets with friends.

San Diego Chargers

The San Diego Chargers are on the clock with the 16th Pick in the draft.

The Chargers can improve the roster by drafting any one of the following players Percy Harvin (WR), Knowshon Moreno (RB), or Rey Maualuga (ILB).

Percy Harvin could provide one more scoring option to open up the field for Tomlinson and Rivers. Harvin's a playmaker with excellent speed. A more balanced and spread offense with a healthy LT should confound opposing defenses. Greater running lanes for LT and more holes in zone defenses and mismatches in press coverage should increase Gates numbers, too.

Historically it usually takes two to three years for receivers to significantly contribute to the offense and whether Norv Turner has that type of time remains to be seen. Chargers fans are learning what Redskins fans learned a long time ago. Turner as a head coach can't take a team to the title with or without talent. Norv may be on a short leash and not be afforded the luxury of adding another scoring weapon that will take time to develop. Not every receiver makes the immediate impact of a DeSean Jackson.

Drafting Knowshon Moreno would provide the long term stability in an offense that has mainly been predicated upon the running game of Tomlinson. Sproles received the franchise tag from San Diego, but may not be the prototypical running back and be able to carry a Chargers offense on his shoulders the same way as LT. Tomlinson' 3 Year contract may put drafting another running back on the back burner with Sproles locked up as well, but ensuring that the Chargers have a running back lined up for the future would be an important move as LT has started to show signs of the wear and tear of being a starting running back in the NFL. See and tickets for phantom of the opera london.

16th Pick: Rey Maualuga, ILB USC

The Chargers defense obviously took a big hit with the loss of Merriman last season. It fell to the bottom of the NFL rankings in most categories. Adding a destructive and explosive player in Maualuga along with the improved health of Merriman should have the Chargers back on top as one of the toughest defenses in the NFL. Images of Junior Seau will come to mind in Chargers fans as they watch Maualuga disrupt opposing offenses. Drafting Maualuga should bolster the defense and provide Norv Turner with one last chance to take San Diego to the title.

The New York Jets are now on the clock with the 17th Pick in the draft.

San Francisco 49ers

Ah... the “City by the Bay.” It’s a great city. It has a lot of things going for it, including the weather, culture, and the myriad of activities available in the area. It also has had a rich football history. However, there are negatives including the high cost of living; the threat of the next epic earthquake always looming; and the Market Street Cinema. Whatever you do, STAY AWAY from the Market Street Cinema! In fact, if you ever think about having a bachelor party in San Fran, don’t. Go to Vegas instead. You have been warned.

Now, onto the pick…

Recent history for the 49ers hasn’t been so rosy, but they did manage to finish second in the weak NFC West Division with a 7-9 record last season. This was with a team that had mediocre talent all around. There are a significant number of issues to address, so my philosophy is that you draft for the long term – which to me means anchor positions along the lines.

One of the biggest issues for this team was trying to keep their QB upright. This team gave up a league high of 55 sacks in 2008. To help address this…

10th Pick: Andre Smith, OT, Alabama

There are many saying that Andre has botched his entire presentation coming into the draft with a poor showing especially at pro day. The Sports Freak has mentioned that Smith’s shirtless 40 yard dash probably made Pam Anderson jealous (a la the Baywatch days), but it’s hard to pass up talent on the line where the game is really won or lost. I refuse to believe a player’s entire player career can be accurately judged with a single performance. In addition, Singletary’s old school, hard nosed attitude should translate to the players and Smith would be back up to snuff in no time. You can see more at wicked tickets chicago .

With Andre Smith, the 49ers should be able to improve Gore’s numbers as well as keep the QB (whoever that will be) up longer to make some additional completions. Maybe that will lead to a couple of additional wins and playing in the weak NFC West that may translate to some Wild Card action.

The Buffalo Bills are now on the clock with the 11th Pick in the draft.

Washington Redskins in January

To continue our own mock draft, the Washington Redskins are on the clock with the 13th Pick in the draft.

Assuming the Skins still have this pick and haven't traded up or down or acquired Jay Cutler, Washington has several areas of needs. The Redskins could definitely use help along both lines, as well as upgrading a line backing unit that was battered and aging all last season. Washington also needs to plan for the future and draft a cover corner and running back. Betts and Portis are approaching 30 and with the load that Portis has carried it has him mirroring an Earl Campbell like ending.

Below are the positions of need with analysis:

Wide Receiver:

"WHAT?! How about a HELL YEAH?!", as Stone Cold Steve Austin would say. How could a flashy receiver not enter the conversation when discussing what the Redskins and owner Dan Snyder will do in the draft? Think about all of the wonderful receivers the Skins have drafted such as Michael Westbrook (can't win a title then win a fight with a teammate), Rod (Hands of Stone) Gardner, Taylor Jacobs, and of course none of this would have started if not for the incomparable Desmond Howard. Yes, remember the Skins traded up one slot to get Howard.

Each high 1st Round bust at receiver set the Skins back. Danny likes the flashy, get the ball up the field and let the announcers marvel at his genius relating to such player moves. The Skins could be looking at Harvin at this pick but may air on the side of caution due to fan backlash. The fans may have had a little something to do with pull back of Fassel potentially becoming head coach in Washington at one point. And see matilda the musical cheap tickets.

Much of why the Redskins ranked 4th in team defense can be attributed to the linebacker unit. The quality and depth helped overcome the lack of effectiveness of the defensive line. The group barely made it through one of its roughest seasons exposing both the rapid aging on the unit and injuries. Both of these issues were accelerated by the lack of any pressure by the front four. The unit was asked to cover more ground and take on more blockers at full speed creating more high impact collisions. Rocky's knee became a concern near the end of the season and Marcus Washington missed more games than at any point in his Redskin career. London Fletcher also felt the effects of the defensive line woes.