2007 NFL Draft – Running Commentary – Picks 11-15

Number 11: The San Francisco 49ers selected Patrick Willis, LB, Mississippi. I’ve had the opportunity to see Willis play a few times (usually on Thursday nights on ESPN). Willis strikes me as a sound, intuitive football player with great recognition skills. He plays through the tackle and through the whistle. What does that mean? It means that if he hits you, you will go down hard. It means he will not be pulling Mattias Kiwanukas and letting you go because he thinks he hears the whistle or is afraid of drawing a roughing the passer penalty. It means if you’re in the grasp, you’re staying in the grasp until you’re in the turf. Mike Nolan is drafting players in the image of his former squad. The 49ers have already proven they CAN BEAT THE SEAHAWKS in SEATTLE – and with Gore and Smith poised to improve, this team is on the move.

ESPN is kicking off the full-fledged Brady Watch.

Just a thought here: the Dolphins are NOT crazy for wanting to wait for Daunte Culpepper. Culpepper, when healthy is one of the top 5 QBs in the league. He has the highest career completion percentage of any player in the history of the league. He can do it all – and he is a pocket passer who demonstrates a willingness to wait until plays take shape as they are designed. Ginn and players who get open quickly could make him much more effective in Miami.

Number 12: Kudos to the NFL…Bruce Smith, former standout of the Virginia Tech Hokies announces the Bills first round draft pick – RB, University of California, Marshawn Lynch. Great job. Great pick. Lynch is the real deal. He’s a power runner with attitude. He will deliver the smack down and wear defenses down late in games. I love this pick for the Bills. Nice to hear Keyshawn talk about Marshawn. Lynch is a two-footed runner/cutter. He runs with a low center of gravity, great balance, vision and acceleration. He does not go down on the first hit and has skills in the passing game. Lynch can cut off of either foot which means that defenders MUST break down before hitting him because he’s never going to be a straight line target – check the video. And when defenders break down to avoid getting juked, they are set up for his power runs and stiff arm. Lynch is a tough, tough runner who can do it all. Excellent job.

Big up to all the folks who’ve posted videos of draft candidates on YouTube.

Number 13…there he goes. Damn. Adam Carriker is going to the Rams. I like this guy. He’s a straight up baller or, as Mark Schlereth says, “He’s a football playin’ Jesse!” The Rams missed Grant Wistrom (also from the University of Nebraska) when he left to Seattle – and now they have drafted the second coming. Wistrom was a dominant end for the Rams. Carriker will be a nice replacement.

My boys (the Steelers) are getting ready to pick in a few – and I have no idea who the pick will be. New coach (Mike Timlin), but the same organizational leadership (Kevin Colbert)…

HUGE ROAR from the Crowd…possible trade between Jets and Panthers. Yep. The J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets are on the clock, clock, clock. That means the Jets are taking Darrelle Revis from Pittsburgh. Maybe Leon Hall. I’d rather see Hall in Pittsburgh. Here it comes…

With the 14th pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, the New York Jets select Darrelle Revis…”New York, just like I pictured…skyscrapers and everything.”

With the 15th pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers select…(Here we go Steelers, here we go!!!!!) Linebacker, Florida State – Lawrence Timmons….A little short for my tastes, but he’s a baller…all Florida State linebackers are pretty damn good…Marvin Jones, Derrick Brooks, Ernie Sims, A.J. Nickerson, Kamerion Wimbley, etc. I like this pick. I’m wondering where Hall will go, though. Florida State turns out top notch defensive players every year. The Steelers have been drafting Florida State players regularly for a few years now – Safety, Chris Hope (loss to free agency), Corner, Bryant McFadden. The Steelers haven’t drafted a buster at linebacker in decades. [For you wise guys out there, Alonzo Jackson played DE and was a conversion project.] The odds of Timmons being a non-Pro Bowl performer are slim. Honestly, the only question is how many Pro Bowls he will play in – and how long he’ll wear the Black and Gold.

The good news with this pick is that the Steelers remain committed to the 3-4 defense. Dick LeBeau, the architect, is still there to frame the defense and match wits with offensive coordinators. The 3-4, I believe, is the key to beating Peyton Manning. The Colts have mastered the defensive tactics utilized by 4-3 teams. It is the uncertainty of the 3-4 attack which made the Colts vulnerable in prior years. The Colts are the team to beat – and so, the Steelers are positioning themselves to replace Joey Porter and continue the legacy. Hmm…a linebacker with the initials L.T.—

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