Thursday, 26 April 2012

Asante Samuel and Draft thoughts

Asante Samuel, the four-time pro bowler, of the Philadelphia Eagles has left the city of Brotherly Love, and was willing enough to restructure his contract to make a move to Atlanta Falcons possible.

Samuel, was due to be paid $9.9m in 2012 if he stayed with the Eagles; the contract now reads as a 3 year, $18.5m deal.  Considering he is an elite player in his position, and seeing that the Falcons only gave up a 7th round draft pick in this year's draft- this is a deal that suits the Falcons down to the ground.

The Eagles will not cry, in thinking they have lost a player - they still have Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie at cornerback.  Yet they needed to clear some players from the payroll, and now they have 10 picks in the draft.  Whereas Atlanta only have five picks total, with no first round pick.

In an interview, Samuel said, 'The Falcons already have an excellent team, excellent coaches...I'm just going to add to the bunch to get to the one common goal.'

That goal must be a legitimate play-off run for a team that has good regular season campaigns but seem to suffer in the playoff spotlight.  In 2010, they were 13-3 yet lost to the eventual champions, Green Bay Packers; and last season, a 10-6 record led to a defeat to (again) eventual champions, New York Giants were they scored only two points (a safety).

Samuel joins Dunta Robinson and Brent Grimes in the Falcons secondary, yet whilst that is three top talents and questions remain over Samuel's inability to play man to man, and prefers the idea of zone coverage, he will no doubt help a defence that allowed the second most 30 yard passes to the defence's left side last season.

Whilst he only had 3 interceptions in 14 games last season, his 38 INTs since 2006 lead the NFL.

Head coach, Mike Smith seems pleased with the acquisition, ' Asante Samuel is a good football player and you can never have enough good players on your team. Our game has become more of a passing game, and you have to have the players who can neutralise how offences are trying to attack you.'

As for the draft, obviously you expect the Falcons to be quiet yet for the Eagles with 10 picks including three of the first 51 picks you can anticipate some movement in the first round.  Possibly a team that is high on the board like Jacksonville at 7 will be willing to trade down, and be willing to hear offers for anything available. The Jags are covered on offence, and are a stuttering team - so if they are still on the board at that time, the Eagles may well jump at the chance to get Stephon Gilmore (South Carolina), Fletcher Cox (Miss State), Courtney Upshaw (Alabama).

Other draft thoughts
Miami going for Ryan Tannehill is a reach and a mistake, they have two decent QBs who can get the job done, they have a resurgent Reggie Bush and decent receivers underneath.  Either they go for a wide reciever (Blackmon/Floyd/Hill), or sort out a leaky defence in a league where they are facing Brady, Sanchez and Fitzpatrick

All the talk of Matt Kalil not going to the Minnesota Vikings, who are instead looking at Morris Claiborne (LSU) at cornerback may well lead to Kalil falling into the St. Louis Rams' lap and such a great addition to their lineup.  Of course if Kalil does go to the Vikings as he should do, Fletcher Cox dwill not be a bad player either.

The draft will come alive at No.7 when the Jags pick becomes live, the first six picks will sort themselves out but once the Eagles trade for 7, then all the fun will begin all over the board.

Expect the Patriots to use one of their two 1st round picks to sort out their defence at safety - Mark Barron (Alabama) or Harrison Smith (Notre Dame) or at pass rush for Michael Brockers (LSU) or Quinton Coples, either by trading up or waiting to see who is available.

Long term - Michael Floyd will have a better NFL career than Justin Blackmon

No comments:

Post a Comment