Posts Tagged ‘football’

Receivers are becoming very useful in Fantasy Football over the past few years since most teams are becoming “pass first” teams.  There are some fantasy teams who will draft a receiver first especially if they are in a high passing offense like the Lions or Broncos.  There is still a few months before the season even starts, but it is still a good time to get an idea of what receivers are going to be beneficial to your fantasy team.  Just like with running backs there are a lot of players on new teams so before you draft a receiver make sure you think about who is throwing them the ball and who is protecting the QB.  It doesn’t matter how good a WR is; if the QB cant get them the ball then they are useless.

1. Calvin Johnson – Lions
2. Demaryius Thomas – Broncos
3. Brandon Marshall – Bears
4. Julio Jones – Falcons
5. AJ Green – Bengals
6. Dez Bryant – Cowboys
7. Alshon Jeffery – Bears
8. Jordy Nelson – Packers
9. Antonio Brown – Steelers
10. Randall Cobb – Packers
11. Larry Fitzgerald – Cardinals
12. Michael Crabtree – 49ers
13. Pierre Garcon – Redskins
14. Andre Johnson – Texans
15. Vincent Jackson – Bucs
16. Keenan Allen – Chargers
17. Julian Edelman – Patriots
18. Wes Welker – Broncos
19. Victor Cruz – Giants
20. Roddy White – Falcons
21. Percy Harvin – Seahawks
22. DeSean Jackson – Redskins
23. Golden Tate – Lions
24. Emmanuel Sanders – Broncos
25. Michael Floyd – Cardinals
26. Mike Wallace – Dolphins
27. Kendall Wright – Titans
28. Jeremy Maclin – Eagles
29. Torrey Smith – Ravens
30. Marques Colston – Saints
31. Reggie Wayne – Colts
32. Eric Decker – Jets
33. Terrance Williams – Cowboys
34. TY Hilton – Colts
35. Dwayne Bowe – Chiefs
36. Riley Cooper – Eagles
37. Greg Jennings – Vikings
38. Sammy Watkins – Bills
39. Anquan Boldin – 49ers
40. Mike Evans – Bucs

Now obviously there are a lot more receivers; but after this point in a draft it is really hit or miss with these guys.  I remember in 2013 most people didn’t even know who Alshon Jeffery was, and now he is going to be one of the better receivers in 2014.  You can always find sleepers in this category; you just need to have an understanding of what team they play for and the type of offense they are in.  Remember, if its a young QB under center or even a new QB its hard to really rely on that QB to get the ball to the receivers consistently.  I am not saying they cant, but its a reach to think otherwise.  Also, don’t ever underestimate how good or bad an offensive line is.  If the offensive line cant protect the QB, then obviously the receivers are not going to get many looks. 

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It is very rare that a player comes along and immediately is one of the best players in the NFL.  AJ Green is one of those players; he came into the NFL and made a huge impact right away and now he is one of the best receivers in the NFL.  He is now entering his 3rd season and he has already done more than some receivers do in 5 years.  AJ is also a player that you will never hear bad publicity about; he goes on the field and does his job; then goes home with class.  Young players can learn a lot from the way AJ carries himself and his work ethic.

Adriel Jeremiah “AJ” Green was born July 31st, 1988 in South Carolina.  As a young kid AJ got very interested in juggling.  He would practice this almost everyday and could juggle up to 4 items at once.  Later in his life Green attributes his juggling skills as a huge help in his hand-eye coordination in football.  Green attended Summerville High School and was a gifted football player.  In 2008 Green was listed as the #1 national football prospects by Sports Illustrated.  Green was named an All-State athlete four times and USA Today named him as an All-American as a junior in high school.  His first year in high school he hauled in 57 receptions, 1,217 yards, and 8 touchdowns.  In his high school career he wracked up 5,373 receiving yards rank second in the all-time career receiving records of the National Federation of High Schools and his 279 career receptions rank fourth on that same list.  Rivals.com did a few articles on GReen and ranked him as their #9 prospect going into college.

After his brilliant high school career he went to the University of Georgia here he was a perfect weapon for the Bulldogs.  As a Freshman he led the SEC in receiving yards and was named second-team All-SEC.  In his next season he was battling some injuries, but he still played through most of it which just shows his determination.  Green only spent 3 seasons in Georgia, but he totaled up 166 receptions for 2,619 yards, and 23 touchdowns.  He decided to enter the 2011 NFL Draft after his third year.

In the 2011 NFL Draft the Bengals picked Green with the fourth overall pick.  They immediately signed Green to a 4 year deal worth $19.6 million.  Green was immediately a starter for the Bengals and by the end of the season he had 4 games over 100 yards and led all NFL Rookies in receptions and receiving yards.  By the end of the season he broke Chris Collinsworth receiving yards record that Chris set back in 1981.  Collinsworth as a rookie had 1,009 receiving yards; Green ended his rookie year with 1,057 receiving yards.  He also made the Pro Bowl as a rookie which had not been done since Anquan Boldin in 2003.  The 2012 season was brilliant for Green he ended up having 97 receptions for 1,350 yards and 11 receiving touchdowns.  During this season he had a streak of 9 games with a touchdown which is the longest streak by a receiver in the history of the NFL.  Green made his second Pro Bowl; and in the Pro Bowl game he caught 3 touchdown passes.

Green is still a very young player, but he is going to have a very long career.  He has the chance to surpass all receiving records by the time he retires.  He is reliable, consistant, and dependable as a player and jus tas a person.  In his 2 short years so far he has totaled up 162 receptions, 2,407 receiving yards, and 18 touchdowns.  He has made 2 Pro Bowls already and was named an All-Pro in 2012.  It is refreshing to see a player like Green on the field today and I hope he sticks around for a long time.

I am in total shock over what is happening with Aaron Hernandez.  Just last night when I turned on the TV the first thing I see is Hernandez being walked out in handcuffs with his shirt over his hands.  He is being charged with the murder of Odin Lloyd who was a semi-pro football player and lived fairly close to Hernandez.  Over the course of the last few weeks investigators, police, and attorneys have been gathering evidence to figure out this case and it looks like they may have everything they need.

Aaron Hernandez was a brilliant tight end for the Florida Gators where he was an All-American and he also was in the prime of his career for the New England Patriots.  Between Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez; they were recognized as the best tight end duo in the NFL.  Hernandez had just signed an extention with the Patriots that was going to earn him over $40 million dollars over the next 5 years.  Hernandez was a stand out tight end for the Florida Gators and entered the NFL Draft in 2010 and was picked up in the 4th round by the New England Patriots.  Hernandez had already had some off-field issues with drug abuse and he was labeled as a trouble maker.  The two seasons he played with the Patriots were amazing he had a total of 175 receptions and 18 touchdowns.  He earned a Pro Bowl invitation and has played in a Super Bowl.

On June 18th, 2013 the body of Odin Lloyd was found by a jogger not too far from the home of Aaron Hernandez.  The authorities searched the home of Hernandez on 3 different occassions and was able to gather enough evidence to charge Hernandez with murder.  The security tapes on his home and been destroyed along with a destroyed cell phone.  Before Lloyd was killed he sent a text to a friend saying, “Guess who I am with”.  The friend responded with “Who?”; and Lloyd replyed back with “NFL”.  Prosecutors are saying that Lloyd was referring to Hernandez since Hernandez had picked Lloyd up after stopping at a gas station.  After review of Lloyd’s body they were able to conclude that he was shot execution style; which is being on his knees and shot in the back of the head.  Hernandez’s attorney is saying that this is all circumstantial evidence and it is not enough to charge him for murder.  Hernandez was released by the Patriots the same day he was arrested.

I honestly do not know what to believe.  It obviously looks like all the evidence points back to Hernandez.  As i looked at him in the court room he did not seem to scared of the situation; he kind of seemed bored and that makes me curious.  If i lost everything I would be scared out of my mind.  Even if Hernandez gets all the charges dropped there is no way an NFL team would pick him up after this.  It seems to me that his life in ruined for good.  Hernandez just had his first daughter on November 6th and it looks like he wont be seeing her for awhile; he lost a huge contract with the Patriots, and he may serve life in prison since there is no death penalty in Boston. 

Jason Witten is one of the most consistent tight ends in the NFL today.  The tight end position has become more of a threat in the last decade.  In the NFL today, tight ends are more agile, stronger, and faster.  Witten is all of these things plus more; he has very good hands, he is an outstanding blocker, and he has good speed for a guy his size.  Witten is also very dedicated to his Cowboy team, he has had chances to go to a different team, but he chooses to stay with the team that drafted him.  Young players can learn a lot from Witten; his technique, his determination, or his will to win.

Christopher Jason Witten was born on May 6th, 1982 in Tennessee.  He attended Elizabethton High School and was a great football player.  When he was a child he was forced to live with his grandparents due to a lot of domestic violence between his parents.  His grandfather was the head coach of his high school football team where Witten played both offense and defense.  Witten was a very good linebacker in high school and in his high school career he set a school record with 450 tackles.  He received an All-American selection as well as a All-State selection in his senior year.  Witten also was a pretty good basketball payer in high school as well; he was averaging 15 points ans 12 rebounds a game. 

Witten received a full scholarship to play football at the University of Tennessee where he initially was going to be a defensive end.  The head coach decided to move him to tight end to help with the depth at that position.  He had very limited play as a sophomore, but had an amazing junior year breaking numerous school records as a tight end.  As a junior he had 39 catches for 493 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns.  He was selected to the All-SEC team and led the nation in receptions against all other tight ends.  Witten decided to enter the NFL draft after his junior year.

In the 2003 NFL Draft he was selected in the 3rd round (69th overall) by the Dallas Cowboys.  In his rookie year he only had a few games he played in, but still managed to have 35 catches.  In his second year he was named as the starting tight end and took full advantage of the opportunity.  He hauled in 87 passes for 980 yards and 6 touchdowns.  By the end of the 2006, Witten had made a great name for himself and had three consecutive seasons where he had over 60 receptions in a season.  The 2007 season is where Witten had a career year by catching 96 passes for 1,145 yards and 7 touchdowns.  Witten is now the only Cowboy tight end to ever record over 1,000 yards in a season.  Every season after 2007, Witten has recorded at least 79 receptions, and he is now known for being one of th emost productive tight ends to ever play in the NFL.  In the 2012 season he set an NFL record for catching 18 passes in one game, that is the most ever by a tight end.  By the end of the 2012 season he had reeled in 110 passes for 1,039 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Witten is now entering his 10th season; and so far he has totaled up 806 catches, 8,948 yards, and 44 touchdowns.  He has also made 8 Pro Bowls, 6 All-Pro selections, 2009 NFL Iron Man Award, and 2013 Walter Payton Man of the Year.  He holds a few NFL records and franchise records as well.  His NFL records are; Most receptions by a tight end in a season (110) and most receptions in a game by a tight end (18).  He also holds 2 Cowboy records which are; most career receptions (806) and most receptions in a game (18). 

Jason Witten is still chasing his elusive Super Bowl ring, but no one can deny how great he is as an NFL athlete.  He still has a lot of years ahead of him, and I think he will break more records before he retires.  He is a great role model for kids and for adults.  He is a good reminder that you don’t have to have bad publicity to be popular.  You will never hear any bad publicity on Witten, he is a classy player from start to finish.

 

Now with the NFL Draft over we can start analyzing the rankings of all the NFL players.  Now it is obvious that some of the rookies that were drafted may not be included, only because we don’t know which ones will start.  But for the most part we know how a majority of the players will do.  So just for fun I held a Mock Draft with some buddies as if we were doing a 12 man league.  So below I will show what order the players went in; then I will show what the teams looked like.  I will just be doing the first 7 rounds.

+Draft Picks+

+Round 1+
1. Adrian Peterson – RB
2. Arian Foster – RB
3. Marshawn Lynch – RB
4. CJ Spiller – RB
5. Trent Richardson – RB
6. Jamaal Charles – RB
7. Doug Martin – RB
8. Ray Rice – RB
9. LeSean McCoy – RB
10. Alfred Morris – RB
11. Calvin Johnson – WR
12. Maurice Jones-Drew – RB

+Round 2+
13. Matt Forte – RB
14. Stevan Ridley – RB
15. AJ Green – WR
16. Brandon Marshall – WR
17. DeMarco Murray – RB
18. Steven Jackson – RB
19. Julio Jones – WR
20. Dez Bryant – WR
21. Chris Johnson – RB
22. Percy Harvin – WR
23. Aaron Rodgers – QB
24. Rob Gronkowski – TE

+Round 3+
25. Drew Brees – QB
26. Reggie Bush – RB
27. Frank Gore – RB
28. Larry Fitzgerald – WR
29. Lamar Miller – RB
30. Darren McFadden – RB
31. Jimmy Graham – TE
32. Demaryius Thomas – WR
33. Randall Cobb – WR
34. Andre Johnson – WR
35. Peyton Manning – QB
36. Roddy White – WR

+Round 4+
37. Vincent Jackson – WR
38. David Wilson – RB
39. Tom Brady – QB
40. Hakeem Nicks – WR
41. Cam Newton – QB
42. Victor Cruz – WR
43. Wes Welker – WR
44. Colin Kaepernick – QB
45. Michael Crabtree – WR
46. Matt Ryan – QB
47. Reggie Wayne – WR
48. Darren Sproles – RB

+Round 5+
49. Ryan Mathews – RB
50. Marques Colston – WR
51. Eric Decker – WR
52. Russell Wilson – QB
53. Aaron Hernandez – TE
54. Matthew Stafford – QB
55. Montee Ball – RB
56. Cecil Shorts – WR
57. Robert Griffin III – QB
58. Vick Ballard – RB
59. Le’Veon Bell – RB
60. Chris Ivory – RB

+Round 6+
61. Jason Witten – TE
62. Jordy Nelson – WR
63. Mikel Leshoure – RB
64. Jonathan Stewart – RB
65. Steve Johnson – WR
66. James Jones – WR
67. Torrey Smith – WR
68. Steve Smith – WR
69. Tony Gonzalez – TE
70. Antonio Brown – WR
71. Rashard Mendenhall – RB
72. Pierre Garcon – WR

+Round 7+
73. Danny Amendola – WR
74. Eddie Lacy – RB
75. Dennis Pitta – TE
76. Giovani Bernard – RB
77. Vernon Davis – TE
78. BenJarvus Green-Ellis – RB
79. Dwayne Bowe – WR
80. Fred Jackson – RB
81. Andre Brown – RB
82. TY Hilton – WR
83. Tavon Auston – WR
84. Shane Vereen – RB

 

Team 1 Team 2 Team 3 
Adrian Peterson – RB Arian Foster – RB Marshawn Lynch – RB
Rob Gronkowski – TE Aaron Rodgers – QB Percy Harvin – WR
Drew Brees – QB Reggie Bush – RB Frank Gore – RB
Darren Sproles – RB Reggie Wayne – WR Matt Ryan – QB
Ryan Mathews – RB Marques Colston – WR Eric Decker – WR
Pierre Garcon – WR Rashard Mendenhall – RB Antonio Brown – WR
     
Team 4 Team 5 Team 6
CJ Spiller – RB Trent Richardson – RB Jamaal Charles – RB
Chris Johnson – RB Dez Bryant – WR Julio Jones – WR
Larry Fitzgerald – WR Lamar Miller – RB Darren McFadden – RB
Michael Crabtree – WR Colin Kaepernick – QB Wes Welker – WR
Russell Wilson – QB Aaron Hernandez – TE Matthew Stafford – QB
Tony Gonzalez – TE Steve Smith – WR Torrey Smith – WR
Giovani Bernard – RB Vernon Davis – TE BenJarvus Green-Ellis – RB
     
Team 7 Team 8  Team 9
Doug Martin – RB Ray Rice – RB LeSean McCoy – RB
Steven Jackson – RB DeMarco Murray – RB Brandon Marshall – WR
Jimmy Graham – TE Demaryius Thomas – WR Randall Cobb – WR
Victor Cruz – WR Cam Newton – QB Hakeem Nicks – WR
Montee Ball – RB Cecil Shorts – WR Robert Griffin III – QB
James Jones – WR Steve Johnson – WR Jonathan Stewart – RB
Dwayne Bowe – WR Fred Jackson – RB Andre Brown – RB
     
Team 10 Team 11 Team 12
Alfred Morris – RB Calvin Johnson – WR Maurice Jones-Drew – RB
AJ Green – WR Stevan Ridley – RB Matt Forte – RB
Andre Johnson – WR Peyton Manning – QB Roddy White – WR
Tom Brady – QB David Wilson – RB Vincent Jackson – WR
Vick Ballard – RB Le’Veon Bell – RB Chris Ivory – RB
Mikel Leshoure – RB Jordy Nelson – WR Jason Witten – TE
T.Y. Hilton – WR Tavon Austin – WR Shane Vereen – RB
Team 1 Team 2 Team 3 
Adrian Peterson – RB Arian Foster – RB Marshawn Lynch – RB
Rob Gronkowski – TE Aaron Rodgers – QB Percy Harvin – WR
Drew Brees – QB Reggie Bush – RB Frank Gore – RB
Darren Sproles – RB Reggie Wayne – WR Matt Ryan – QB
Ryan Mathews – RB Marques Colston – WR Eric Decker – WR
Pierre Garcon – WR Rashard Mendenhall – RB Antonio Brown – WR
     
Team 4 Team 5 Team 6
CJ Spiller – RB Trent Richardson – RB Jamaal Charles – RB
Chris Johnson – RB Dez Bryant – WR Julio Jones – WR
Larry Fitzgerald – WR Lamar Miller – RB Darren McFadden – RB
Michael Crabtree – WR Colin Kaepernick – QB Wes Welker – WR
Russell Wilson – QB Aaron Hernandez – TE Matthew Stafford – QB
Tony Gonzalez – TE Steve Smith – WR Torrey Smith – WR
Giovani Bernard – RB Vernon Davis – TE BenJarvus Green-Ellis – RB
     
Team 7 Team 8  Team 9
Doug Martin – RB Ray Rice – RB LeSean McCoy – RB
Steven Jackson – RB DeMarco Murray – RB Brandon Marshall – WR
Jimmy Graham – TE Demaryius Thomas – WR Randall Cobb – WR
Victor Cruz – WR Cam Newton – QB Hakeem Nicks – WR
Montee Ball – RB Cecil Shorts – WR Robert Griffin III – QB
James Jones – WR Steve Johnson – WR Jonathan Stewart – RB
Dwayne Bowe – WR Fred Jackson – RB Andre Brown – RB
     
Team 10 Team 11 Team 12
Alfred Morris – RB Calvin Johnson – WR Maurice Jones-Drew – RB
AJ Green – WR Stevan Ridley – RB Matt Forte – RB
Andre Johnson – WR Peyton Manning – QB Roddy White – WR
Tom Brady – QB David Wilson – RB Vincent Jackson – WR
Vick Ballard – RB Le’Veon Bell – RB Chris Ivory – RB
Mikel Leshoure – RB Jordy Nelson – WR Jason Witten – TE
T.Y. Hilton – WR Tavon Austin – WR Shane Vereen – RB

 

There are few player in the NFL that can overcome serious adversity and Patrick Willis is one of them.  The things he had to go through as a child make him a hero to most kids and adults.  The way he plays football is almost like watching a super hero and to have such a humble player just adds to how great he really is.  You will never see Willis getting pulled over for a DUI or hitting a spouse; you will see nothing but class out of him.  Below is his story on how he was able to escape a life of poverty and gain a life of fortune.

Patrick L Willis was born on January 25th, 1985 in Tennessee.  He was born into a life of poverty and he was in charge of taking care of his younger brothers.  When Patrick was 10 he already had a full-time job working in cotton fields.  Patrick had a father that was always drunk, and when his dad was drunk he would get violent with his children.  Patrick would always try to take most of the abuse so his siblings did not have to endure the pain.  By the time Patrick was 17 he had enough of this violence and he took his two brothers and sister away from their violent father.  Patrick moved in with his basketball coach who took all four of them in.

Willis attended Hollow Rock-Bruceton Central High School, where he was a two-time All-State selection, Regional MVP, and West Tennessee Player of the Year.  He excelled in football, basketball, and baseball.  When he graduated high school he was listed as a high prospect to go to college and play college football.  Memphis University had offered him a chance to come play football, but in the end he decided to go to Ole Miss to further his career as a student and a football player.

At Ole Miss he was an immediate starter and showed off how good of linebacker he is.  As a sophomore he was an honorable mention for the All-SEC Team; he also recorded 70 tackles and 5 sacks; which lead his team.  As a junior he was averaging 12.8 tackles per game; which made him nationally recognized and he finished that season with 128 tackles.  As a junior he was named SEC Defensive Player of the Year as well as first team All-American.  As a senior Willis led the SEC in tackles again by totaling 137 tackles and won another SEC Defensive Player of the Year and another first team All-SEC.  For his outstanding play he also won the Jack Lambert Award, The Butkus Award, and the Conerly Trophy.  After graduation he was projected to go very high in the draft; and when the NFL scouts saw him perform at the NFL Combine it made every team want him.

In the 2007 NFL Draft the San Francisco 49ers picked him up as the 11th overall draft pick.  The 49ers signed him to a 7 year $53.51 million contract.  Since going to the 49ers he has been nothing short of amazing; as a rookie he totaled 174 tackles which earned him the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.  In 2008 he improved on his pass coverage and recorded his first touchdown, and still totaled 141 tackles.  In 2009 he totaled up another 152 tackles and also had 4 sacks.  In 2010 he racked up 128 tackles and 6 sacks.  His 2011 campaign was his lowest totals but still had 97 tackles.  In 2012 he had another 120 tackles to add to his stats.  Before Patrick Willis showed up the 49ers defense was just mediocre, since Patrick Willis has arrived he has strengthened the defense in a way that you can’t explain.  He has helped the 49ers reach the playoffs, championship games, and even the Super Bowl.  The 49ers have now surrounded him with other great athletes and he has proven to be an outstanding leader on and off the field.

Patrick Willis is a true role model that everyone can learn something from.  You don’t have to stay in a bad situation; you always have a choice to better yourself, you just have to be willing to take the risk.  As a six year pro he has already totaled 812 tackles, 17.5 sacks, 7 interceptions, 14 forced fumbles, and 49 deflected passes.  For his outstanding play he has also earned 6 Pro Bowls, 6 All-Pro selections, 3-time NFL Linebacker of the Year, and an NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.  Willis is somebody that we can all learn from and I hope he stay in the NFL for a long time to teach younger players that if you put in the hard work; then you will get rewarded.

 

Most people are familiar with how good Jimmy Graham is as an NFL tight end, but most people do not know hoe rough he had it as a child.  Graham is still a young player so he has only began to show his full potential as an athlete.  Jimmy Graham literally went from not even knowing who he was to a super star athlete and the best tight end the Saints have ever had.

Jimmy Graham was born on November 24th, 1986 in North Carolina.  Graham had an incredibly difficult upbringing as a child, and by the time he was 11 he was placed into a group home.  In the group home he was continuously beaten by older boys and would be left on the floor bloody and bruised.  By the time Graham had gotten into high school he met a church youth counselor who took Jimmy into her home.  After that, his grades improved and he really got into basketball.  Due to his great basketball skills he earned a college scholarship to play basketball at the University of Miami.

Between 2005 and 2009 Graham played basketball for the Miami Hurricanes and he graduated with a double major in marketing and management.  He enrolled in the graduate program at Miami and he got interested in playing football for a season as well.  In that season he had 17 catches, 5 touchdowns, and 213 yards.  Needless to say it was not outstanding statistics, but some NFL scouts were still interested because of his height and they said he was extremely athletic.

Against the norm; the Saints drafted Jimmy Graham and signed him to a 4 year $2.445 million contract.  In 2010; Graham only played in 5 games because he was a back up to Jeremy Shockey at the time.  He finished his rookie year with 31 catches and 5 touchdowns.  In 2011 he earned the starting tight end position and he blew the NFL up with how good he is.  In only his second year he hauled in 99 catches, 1,310 receiving yards, and 11 touchdowns.  He was the first Saints tight end to go over 1,000 yards and earned a trip to the Pro Bowl.  In 2012 he had another good year despite fighting an injury.  He finished the year with 85 catches, 982 yards, and 9 touchdowns.

Graham is still very young and it goes to show people that you don’t have to be a super star in college to make it in the NFL.  Graham only had one year of college ball under his belt and he was drafted based solely on his athletic ability.  Graham also had a terrible childhood, but that did not stop him from fulfilling his dreams and his goals.  Young players could learn a lot from Jimmy Graham.