Archive for June, 2012

If you’ve been inside any of NFL.com’s mock draft’s lately you’ve likely noticed the anomaly of Rob Gronkowski’s draft position. Gronk is being taken as high as the first round (12 team league) and is almost always off the board in the top 15 picks, with fellow 2011 break out performance TE Jimmy Graham being picked 6-10 slots later. This meteoric rise (Graham and Gronkowski were both 11th-14th rounders in last years drafts) is of course thanks to Monster seasons from the two talented TE that put their fantasy numbers among highest for WR, leaving most of their own position in the dust.

Obviously both guys seem to be in line for big season’s again this year, but can they repeat the same level of dominance over their fellow Tight Ends? You have to expect there will be at least some fall off, especially considering the new acquisitions for New England (WR’s Gaffney and Lloyd) and the rough off season in New Orleans (bounty scandal, and Brees’ contract.) But personal fall off isn’t my biggest concern with taking either TE so early, it’s the potential for the competition to close the gap.

Vernon Davis has always been one of Alex Smith’s favorite targets and with new WR’s taking pressure off him in SF, he could be in line for a big year.

Antonio Gates had to suffer through a very rough season from Phillip Rivers, and assuming this is a bounce back year for the Chargers, Gates will be in place to add to his numbers.

Jason Witten should be putting up solid numbers and picking up a few of the touchdowns that went to Laurent Robinson last year.

Fred Davis has a rookie QB and should have an extra 4 games this year if he stays out of trouble.

Greg Olsen no longer has Jeremy Shockey to compete with for catches and should be in for an expanded role in Cam Newton’s second year.

Jermaine Gresham likewise stands to benefit from his QB’s second year. Teams will be rolling coverage A.J. Green’s way and that could open up the middle for Gresham.

Tony Moeaki is back from injury and showed himself to be one of Matt Cassel’s favorite target’s two years ago, and could likewise benefit from defense’s using extra attention on Dwayne Bowe and/or Jon Baldwin.

Jared Cooke was one of Jake Locker’s favorite tagets down the stretch and could be in for a huge year if Locker wins the QB battle.

Owen Daniels saw the departure of his back-up Joel Dreessen as well as WR Jacoby jones which could mean extra looks for him, especially if Andre Johnson misses a few weeks.

Jacob Tamme has been reunited with Peyton Manning in Denver.

Coby Fleener got to join his college QB in Indy. He’s a guy luck trusts and even though he’s been working out with the second team at TE he should get plenty of playing time, (probably even get split out wide a bit with limited depth at WR) and red zone targets.

Aaron Hernandez could suffer more from the addition of Gaffney and Lloyd, potentially limiting the number of two TE sets. Josh McDaniels is also back as OC and the whole two TE format wasn’t really his thing, so I’m curious to see how training camp unfolds.

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The Miami Dolphins have signed on Chad Ochocinco to join there squad for the 2012 season, but this might not be great news for Miami fans. If you read my last post you know I didn’t think the Dolphins would have any more than a passing interest in the former Patriot.

To be honest, I don’t think it’s a bad fit. I do, however think that it points to trouble ahead for the team. I should clarify, this isn’t about Chad, i hope succeeds and he might have found the best place to do so, but this signing goes against the Dolphins MO. This offseason has been all about the rebuild. There was the half hearted run at Peyton Manning, the Matt Flynn debacle and even the Alex Smith visitation, but after the draft it seemed clear that Miami’s plan all along was to get Ryan Tannehill and start to rebuild.

But that’s quarterback, and we’re talking WR, so let’s get back to that. Brandon Marshall, the teams best pass catcher, but admittedly more than a bit of a disruption was traded for two 3rd round picks…not maximum value, but a decent trade off considering the depth of this draft class at WR. I had thought, that surely the team had their eyes on some unsung Wideouts they were hoping to grab with those picks (or at least one of them…even packaging them to move back into the 2nd round and grab a Rueban Randle or Alshon Jeffery) This of course didn’t happen, the picks went elsewhere and it wasn’t until the 6th round that Miami even made an attempt to fill the gapping hole left by the Pro-bowler they shipped to Chicago.

At the time, it seemed like the Fins were sending a clear message. We’re happy with the guys we have at WR, and we look forward to watching them blossom into superstars under the guidance of new head coach Joe Philbin…and now here we are, Philbin has admitted the WR were struggling and Ochocinco was signed. Maybe, since he’s fighting for a chance to prove himself Chad will bring some extra energy to the squad and the unit as a whole will improve. I guess we’ll soon see.

If you haven’t heard yet, Chad Ochocinco will be cut from the New England Patriots, but I don’t expect him to stay on the market long. Ocho’s struggles last year were huge, but his 2010 campaign was impressive, and word out of Patriots camp is the receiver looks fast, he just cannot get the playbook down. Personally, I think the best fit for Chad could be with the Houston Texans. Houston lost Jacoby Jones to free agency, and have mostly rookies at WR behind Andre Johnson and Kevin Walter, so Ocho could be a good depth addition. I’m also guessing Chad would be an easy sign considering he’s after a Superbowl ring and Houston is an early front runner. (not to mention the number 85 jersey is available thanks to the departure of Joel Dreessen)

There are of course no shortage of teams in need of wide receiver, particularly depth additions. Miami would be interesting, but Miami’s all about the rebuild right now and I don’t think Chad helps that. In fact the Bills are the AFC East team I could most see grabbing Ocho. The Bills are making a push and could be in position to get something done this year and there WR corps was plagued with injuries last year.

Failing to land with a potential playoff contender, I could see Chad make a move to Minnesota. The Vikings could use another target for Ponder.

There is also the possibility of a return to Ohio. Cleveland lacks playmakers, and they just drafted a big arm QB, I think that at least warrants a visit. Not a great situation for Chad, but he would get two games against Cincinnati and it could be a good chance to set up a comeback with a one year deal.