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Bishop drafted by Green Bay in the 6th round

Posted by Eric | April 29, 2007 at 12:59 pm | In Players/Alumni | No Comments

LB Desmond Bishop will be joining former Cal quarterback Aaron Rodgers as he was picked by the Green Bay Packers in the sixth round (the 192nd pick overall).

Wisconsin Radio Network: “Packers take two Linebackers in the 6th”

With the 192nd pick overall in the 6th round, Ted Thompson grabbed Cal linebacker Desmond Bishop. He has been called “The Pulse” of the Cal defense on his way to leading the Pac-10 in tackles. He played middle linebacker in college but with Nick Barnett and Abdul Hodge at that position he’ll move to the outside in Green Bay.

Mebane, Hughes also first day draft picks

Posted by Eric | April 28, 2007 at 9:14 pm | In Defense, Players/Alumni | No Comments

DT Brandon Mebane and CB Daymeion Hughes have both been selected in the third round of the NFL draft. Congratulations to them both.

Mebane was selected as the 22nd pick of the round (85th overall) by the Seattle Seahawks. Hughes was selected as the 35th pick of the round (98th overall) by the Indianapolis Colts. Mebane’s selection comes much higher than most draft projections predicted. To be honest, I was very surprised to see Mebane picked earlier than Hughes, but it may be for the best as Hughes will be a great fit in the Colts’ Tampa 2 defensive scheme.

Some news articles on the picks:

  • CalBears.com: Mebane and Hughes Join Lynch On First Day Of NFL Draft
  • Associated Press: Seahawks wait, choose … DT Brandon Mebane
  • Seahawks.com: Seahawks Take DT Brandon Mebane in the 3rd Round
  • Colts.com: Getting Defensive: Colts Use Third-Round Selections on Defense
  • Seahawks.net (Scout): Seahawks 2007 Draft: As It Happens
  • ColtPower.com (Scout): Colts grab corner in third round

From ESPN/Scouts Inc. draft analysis:

Cal CB Daymeion Hughes’ stock plummeted after he turned in an abysmal 40-time at the combine, but he has the tools to develop into an excellent Cover 2 corner. He is physical, reads routes well and is a playmaker. Indianapolis should be happy to have landed him in the third.

Lynch drafted by Bills at #12

Posted by Steve | April 28, 2007 at 10:54 am | In Marshawn, Players/Alumni | No Comments

It’s now official… Marshawn Lynch will be playing next year in Buffalo. He was selected 12th, the second running back after Adrian Peterson went to Minnesota at #7.

EDIT by ERIC: Here are some additional news articles about the pick:

Here’s a cool Photoshopped image of Lynch in Bills uniform courtesy of a Buffalo fan on their message boards:

marshawnbuf.png

And here’s ESPN/Scouts, Inc.’s draft analysis:

Buffalo placed need over value with this pick. Lynch has shown flashes of developing into a difference maker. He’s big enough to carry a heavy workload and his speed should make him a home-run threat in the NFL. In other words, he can pound the ball inside and turn the corner as an outside runner. There’s also reason to believe he’ll emerge as a dangerous receiver out of the backfield, so he compares favorably to Peterson in a lot of ways. However, Lynch isn’t on the same level as Peterson… (blah blah)

In addition, Lynch, much like Peterson, has had some problems staying healthy, so this is a bit of a reach and Buffalo may have been better served taking a corner. However, running back is clearly a need and this could prove to be a great pick if Lynch pans out.

From Keith Kidd during the ESPN Live Draft Chat:

With the 12th pick the Bills select Marshawn Lynch. The Bills addressed a definite need on their team since they traded McGahee. Patrick Willis was a guy they had targeted, but he ended up in San Francisco. There were concerns about Lynch’s durability and character issues, which had him possibly falling down the draft board. But the Bills felt strong enough about him to take him at 12. He is a big back, with the size and acceleration to be a home run threat in the Bills offense and take pressure off Losman. To us this is a definite reach. The Bills could have addressed their CB situation with both Hall and Revis, but they can look to address their corner situation with a second round pick, with a guy like Eric Wright.

8 players are candidates for 2007 awards

Posted by Eric | April 27, 2007 at 11:31 pm | In Awards, Players/Alumni | No Comments

Eight Cal players are listed as candidates for honors in 2007:

  • LB Zack Follett (Butkus Award)
  • RB Justin Forsett (Doak Walker Award)
  • WR/PR DeSean Jackson (Biletnikoff Award, Randy Moss Award)
  • P Andrew Larson (Ray Guy Award)
  • QB Nate Longshore (Davey O’Brien Award, Manning Award)
  • C Alex Mack (Rimington Award)
  • PK Tom Schneider (Lou Groza Award)
  • TE Craig Stevens (Mackey Award)

Marshawn in Nike’s 2007 “Rookie Class”

Posted by Eric | April 24, 2007 at 8:17 am | In Marshawn, Players/Alumni | 1 Comment

marshawn_nike_rookie.jpg

Following up from our recent post on Marshawn Lynch in Nike’s new football ads, our boy is now featured on Nike’s new “Rookie Class” website. I have to say that it all looks very good, and I’m happy that Marshawn is already going on to be incredibly successful in the professional realm of football. The word from Nike:

… check out exclusive interviews, view behind-the-scenes videos, grab a draft countdown widget, scroll through a bevy of images and download the press kit containing the official press release on Lynch’s Nike signing and high-resolution imagery. Lynch is part of Nike’s 2007 rookie class that boasts nine of the most heralded prospects entering this year’s NFL draft including JaMarcus Russell, Brady Quinn, Adrian Peterson, Gaines Adams, Amobi Okoye, Calvin Johnson, Leon Hall and Greg Olsen.

Take a look: Welcome to Sunday.

Positive press for Marshawn

Posted by Eric | April 19, 2007 at 8:18 am | In Marshawn | 1 Comment

Well, the negativity is out the window and the positive press has begun pouring in for Marshawn Lynch.

First of all, a NFL network article states that teams don’t buy these alleged “character concerns”:

Teams have done extra homework on Lynch, which helps explain why the running back visited Kansas City on Tuesday, Buffalo on Wednesday, and is scheduled to visit Detroit on Thursday and Green Bay on Friday. …

Teams told Lynch’s agents that their character questions had been answered, and each is comfortable with what it heard. Lynch is expected to be the second running back drafted.

Next, USA Today has a great feature article about Marshawn and his mom. In addition to describing Marshawn’s on-field success and strong family ties, the article quotes Coach Jeff Tedford addressing the “incident” as well.

Tedford thinks the incident was a learning situation for Lynch. “As you grow in the public eye, you just never know what people will say or do or what their motives are,” he says. “It boggles my mind, people who are motivated to say things that aren’t true.”

Finally, SI’s Don Banks (who made the ridiculous mock draft dropping Marshawn from the first round) has made a sudden U-turn and splashed Marshawn on the top of his “Instant impact rookies” article. It’s about time. TBIOOTF has a blurb about this turnaround also.

Lynch has a package of skills that make him likely to be in contention for this year’s offensive rookie honors. …

Lynch has proven he can both catch the ball out of the backfield and line up in the slot as a receiving option, creating potential mismatches in coverage. He can pound the ball inside, but has enough speed to make the edge and turn the corner. He can even offer a bit on the trick play front, because the former high school quarterback has been known to throw a 70-yard pass.

Cal players in the draft

Posted by Alex | April 17, 2007 at 2:28 pm | In Players/Alumni | No Comments

Along with Marshawn Lynch being projected to Green Bay in the first round, other Cal players are also being projected in the draft. Todd McShay over at ESPN projects other Cal players in his draft projections.

Marshawn Lynch - 1st Round, 16th pick, Green Bay
Brandon Mebane - 3rd Round, 68th pick, Tampa Bay
Daymeion Hughes - 3rd Round, 77th pick, Pittsburgh
Desmond Bishop - 5th Round, 164th pick, N.Y. Jets
Tim Mixon - 5th Round, 169th pick, Indianapolis

While it is great to see 5 Cal players projected to be drafted, it is a bit disconcerting to see how far Hughes has dropped in draft projections. Before the combine, Hughes was being projected in the late 1st round by the same guy. Apparently the speed concerns are really dropping Hughes. My bet is that he will come into the league with a vengeance and show himself to be the best CB of this year’s draft.

It is good to see that Mebane is projected into the early 3rd round, and even Mixon, who sat out all of last season will probably have a chance to prove himself in the NFL.

Marshawn update

Posted by Eric | April 16, 2007 at 2:11 pm | In Marshawn | 3 Comments
Marshawn in Nike Ad

First, take a look at Marshawn in the new Nike football ads. Awesome.

So, despite some negative vibes from uninformed mock-draft wannabes (i.e. SI’s Don Banks - who?) over the past few weeks, it seems we should still expect to see Marshawn Lynch taken in the first round of the draft. This article in the Journal Times sings Lynch’s praises and talks about his discussions with the Green Bay Packers.

According to Doug Hendrickson, who is Lynch’s agent, his client will be flying to Green Bay next week to meet with Packers officials. …

Most NFL officials are convinced Lynch is the only other back worthy of being chosen in the first round. He is projected to go in the middle of the first round, which is precisely where Packers will be picking with the 16th overall selection. Hendrickson said Green Bay is among a spate of teams that have shown keen interest in his client. Hendrickson said Lynch has already visited Detroit (which has the No. 2 pick), Cleveland (3), Atlanta (8), Buffalo (12), Tennessee (19) Dallas (22) and Baltimore (29).

Meanwhile, draft guru Mel Kiper of ESPN still projects Lynch to be taken with the 16th pick by Green Bay. We’ll be happy to see Lynch taken high in the draft as he deserves. He was spotted watching the spring scrimmage on Saturday, afterwards throwing around the football with some kids on the field.

Notes from the end-of-spring practice/scrimmage

Posted by Eric | April 15, 2007 at 1:45 am | In Defense, Offense | No Comments

Today’s open practice was a welcome preview of the 2008 Cal football team. The morning rain cleared up to make for a pleasant time in the stadium, and the players put on quite a show.

The practice began with drills and later became a full-contact scrimmage with play sequences executed from various scenarios.

The passing game is a work in progress; Nate Longshore looked good but misthrew a few passes and Kyle Reed needs some more work. I feel confident that this will be sorted out by September 1.

The run game was not spectacular, with James Montgomery making a decent showing but Justin Forsett getting few carries. A surprise was Lavelle Hawkins making a couple rush attempts, including one for a touchdown. I sense that the run game will improve as the offensive line gains more experience together.

Overall, I felt the defense looked better than the offense overall - not unusual for spring ball, but comforting considering the loss of our key defenders to graduation and the NFL. Meanwhile, it seems like special teams (especially return coverage) could use improvement. Two punts, back-to-back were returned for touchdowns.

Also, Scout.com has a nice writeup of the day as well, with some stats too. Take a look.

Today: final spring practice

Posted by Eric | April 14, 2007 at 7:34 am | In Uncategorized | No Comments

Today is the final practice of spring, open to the public at 2pm. I believe the first 1000 get burritos.

Again the practice will not be a scrimmage but it will feature some 11 on 11 drills. Here’s a video released by Cal about the event.

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