Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Game 5 of the 2010 NBA Playoffs - Bucks 91, Hawks 87...Bucks lead 3-2

The Bucks pulled off a thrilling 91-87 victory over the Hawks in their pivotal Game 5 battle in Atlanta. Let's look at some of the most memorable plays of the game:

Did you catch Bango's amazing dunk? Alright the dunk actually happened in Game 4 in Milwaukee but it was so nasty I had to include it.

With everyone is in a good mood I had to get in something positive about Dan Gadzuric. With a few minutes remaining in the first half Danny G hit an 18-footer from Scottie Williams' spot (if you are a real Bucks fan you know what I am talking about) and TNT announcer Kevin McHale asked whether there was a full moon out...high comedy. By the way, McHale is the Matt Millen of the NBA...much better announcer than general manager.

With 1:18 remaining in the game, Ersan Ilyasova pulled down a tough offensive rebound in traffic and threw it to Carlos Delfino who hit a clutch three with the shot clock about to expire to give the Bucks an 86-82 lead. That shot might go down as the shot of the series if the Bucks prevail in either Game 6 or Game 7.

I can't really pinpoint one play for John Salmons but he played absolute lock down defense on Joe Johnson the entire game. To put Salmons' performance in perspective, without his defensive effort on Johnson the Bucks would have lost this game by double digits.

Most people are going to remember Kurt Thomas drawing the charge on Joe Johnson for Johnson's 6th foul of the game with a few minutes remaining. That was a pivotal play but it was Thomas' relentless defense on Al Horford that impressed me most. Horford had a big game but it came mostly on mismatches when Thomas was forced to the bench because of foul trouble.

Luke Ridnour had ice water in veins tonight. Every time Scott Skiles called his number, Ridnour knocked down clutch shots with guys in his face...he was the second best guard on the court tonight.

The best guard on the court tonight was the young and feisty Brandon Jennings. Jennings shot lights out in the first quarter scoring 12 straight at one point. Jennings continues to play like a seasoned veteran despite not even being able to legally drink.

Couple of quick stats:
- The Bucks outscored the Hawks 18-5 over the last 4 minutes of the game.
- The Bucks snapped the Hawks 14-game home winning streak.
- The winner of Game 5 in series tied at 2-2 is 126-25 all-time.

After tonight, the Hawks officially have to Fear the Deer!

2010 Green Bay Packers Roster 1.0

With the 2010 NFL Draft barely in the rear view mirror, it is never to soon to speculate on who will make the 2010 Green Bay Packers and face the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, September 12, 2010.

Since Ted Thompson is never very active in the free agent market, if a player is not on the roster today there is a small chance he will be on the roster in September. Here is my first guess at what the 53-man roster will look like:

Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers and Matt Flynn

Running Back: Ryan Grant, Brandon Jackson, and James Starks

Fullback: Korey Hall and Quinn Johnson

Wide Receiver: Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, James Jones, Jordy Nelson

Tight End: Jermichael Finley, Donald Lee, Spencer Havner, and Andrew Quarless

Offensive Tackle: Chad Clifton, Mark Tauscher, Bryan Bulaga, and T.J. Lang

Offensive Guard: Josh Sitton, Jason Spitz, Daryn Colledge, and Marshall Newhouse

Center: Scott Wells and Evan Dietrich-Smith

Defensive End: Cullen Jenkins, Johnny Jolly, Mike Neal, Justin Harrell, and C.J. Wilson

Defensive Tackle: Ryan Pickett and B.J. Raji

Outside Linebacker: Clay Matthews, Brad Jones, and Brady Poppinga

Middle Linebacker: Nick Barnett, A.J. Hawk, Brandon Chillar, and Desmond Bishop

Cornerback: Charles Woodson, Tramon Williams, Pat Lee, Brandon Underwood, Will Blackmon, and Sam Shields*

Safety: Nick Collins, Atari Bigby, Morgan Burnett, Derrick Martin, and Charlie Peprah

Kicker: Mason Crosby

Punter: Chris Bryan

Long Snapper: Brett Goode

* = Al Harris will not be on the active roster till week 6 while recovering from a knee injury.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

2010 Green Bay Packer Draft Picks

Congratulations to the seven new Green Bay Packers taken in the 2010 NFL Draft! Today is truly a Sunday Funday for these seven men and their families:

1st Round (23rd Overall): Bryan Bulaga, Offensive Tackle
School: Iowa (Big Ten)
Height: 6'5⅜"
Weight: 314 lbs
Arm Length: 33.3"
Hand Size: 9.3"
Analysis: There were a couple of guys that I liked more at 23, most notably my draft crush Jerry Hughes, but most national pundits had Bulaga going in the first 15 picks so he was a good value at 23. The Packers need a tackle of future so it makes sense that they took a tackle in the first round. There is some disagreement about whether Bulaga projects as a left or right tackle in the NFL. The knock on Bulaga is that he has short arms, small hands, and has persistent health issues. Based on Bulaga's draft position alone there is a good chance Bulaga is starting at left or right tackle in Week #1 of 2011. For the Packers' sake, let's hope Bulaga has a more successful career than Robert Gallery, another highly touted left tackle out of Iowa.

2nd Round (56th Overall): Michael Neal, Defensive End
School: Purdue (Big Ten)
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 294 lbs
Arm Length: 33.4"
Hand Size: 10.25"
Analysis: This was the surprise pick of the draft for me. With all of the unrest along the defensive line (Jenkins scheduled to become a free agent after the 2010 season, Jolly facing legal troubles, and Harrell being injured his entire Packer career) I understand why the Packers added a defensive lineman, I just didn't think they would use such a high pick on Neal. I hope I am wrong but the minute the pick was announced I thought of Justin Harrell...oh dang.

3rd Round (71st Overall): Morgan Burnett, Safety
School: Georgia Tech (ACC - Coastal)
Height: 6'1⅜"
Weight: 209 lbs
Arm Length: 31.6"
Hand Size: 9.0"
Analysis: Burnett has all the physical tools to excel as a safety in the NFL. I don't like that the Packers had to give up a 4th round pick to move up in the 3rd round to select Burnett but it was probably a wise move because most of the teams ahead of the Packers had safety issues. Burnett will challenge Atari Bigby for the starting safety spot opposite Nick Collins and gives the Packers quality depth at safety, something they lacked the last few seasons. Burnett was my favorite pick of the draft.

5th Round (154th Overall): Andrew Quarless, Tight End
School: Penn St.(Big Ten)
Height: 6'4⅜"
Weight: 254 lbs
Arm Length: 34.0"
Hand Size: 10.25"
Analysis: I support Ted Thompson's approach of drafting the best player available but it seems like he modified that approach in drafting Andrew Quarless. While Quarless might have been the most talented player on the Packers draft board, he had some off the field issues a few years ago. I understand that the Packers think Quarless is past those off the field issues but Ted Thompson does not usually bring in guys like that. With Quarless on the roster there will be a fierce competition for Jermichael Finley's back-up. I predict either Donald Lee or Spencer Havner's days are numbered in Green Bay based on the Quarless pick.

5th Round (169th Overall): Marshall Newhouse, Offensive Guard
School: TCU (Mountain West Conference)
Height: 6'3¾"
Weight: 319 lbs
Arm Length: 34.0"
Hand Size: 10.25"
Analysis: Ted Thompson has limited success picking tweener offensive lineman...think Daryn Colledge. Newhouse projects better at guard than tackle in the pros. Newhouse will have to beat out Evan Dietrich-Smith to gain a spot on the Packers' 53-man roster. The only real positive thing I take from this pick is that Newhouse practiced everyday against my draft crush Jerry Hughes in college...hopefully that prepared Newhouse to excel in the NFL.

6th Round (193rd Overall): James Starks, Running Back
School: Buffalo (MAC)
Height: 6'2⅛"
Weight: 218 lbs
Arm Length: 33.6"
Hand Size: 9.5:
Analysis: As odd as it sounds sometimes a running back can be too tall because then they run too upright which makes them easy to tackle. At 6'2⅛", Starks is too tall for my liking. Plus, Starks didn't even play last year because of injury. With all that said, Starks is Buffalo's all-time leading rusher so he has to be doing something right. Starks will battle Kregg Lumpkin for the 3rd running back spot on the Packers' 53-man roster. Starks is a developmental project that has to contribute on specials teams otherwise he will be looking for employment outside of Green Bay.

7th Round (230th Overall): C.J. Wilson, Defensive End
School: East Carolina (Conference USA)
Height: 6'2⅞"
Weight: 290 lbs
Arm Length: 33.1"
Hand Size: 10.0"
Analysis: Mr. Irrelevant of the Packers' was a quality pass rusher in college but the only problem is that Wilson was going against Conference USA competition which is one of the weaker college football conferences. Wilson is a long shot to make the roster unless Jolly is suspended (good chance) and Harrell gets hurt again (a virtual lock).

With the 230th pickin the 2010 NFL Draft the Packers COULD HAVE taken...

Green Bay Packers General Manager Ted Thompson is a firm believer in drafting the best player available. As result, if I was the General Manager of the Green Bay Packers and employing the best player available approach, instead of drafting C.J. Wilson (DE, East Carolina) with the 230th pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, here are some players I would have considered drafting:

Selvish Capers (OT, West Virginia), who went #231 to the Washington Redskins. At 6'4" and 300 pounds, this developmental tackle was probably the best player available in the 6th round, so he becomes a steal at the end of the 7th round. Capers is raw but had a chance to replace Mark Tauscher at right tackle in 2011. For those of you that forget, Tasucher is a former 7th round pick by the Packers in 2000 that was very raw coming out of Wisconsin but has held down the right tackle position ever since (besides sitting out unsigned the first part of 2009 with a knee injury).

Brandon Banks (RS, Kansas State), who went undrafted. Again if you look back at previous posts, I can't advocate enough for the Packers to get a dedicated return specialist. At the very least take a few chances on guys like Holliday or Banks. If none of them work out, no big deal but at least go down trying.

With the 193rd pick in the 2010 NFL Draft the Packers COULD HAVE taken...

Green Bay Packers General Manager Ted Thompson is a firm believer in drafting the best player available. As result, if I was the General Manager of the Green Bay Packers and employing the best player available approach, instead of drafting James Starks (RB, Buffalo) with the 193rd pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, here are some players I would have considered drafting:

Trindon Holliday (RS, LSU), who went #197 to the Houston Texans. It would be the understatement of the decade to say the Packers have struggle to make big plays on special teams. The last few seasons the Packers have been near the bottom in special teams because although Will Blackmon is a dynamic return specialist he can't stay healthy. Once Blackmon went down, Jordy Nelson took over and showed he is a below average NFL kicker returner. At the end of the 6th round it seem more than worth it to me to take a chance on a potential game changing return guy like Holliday.

Myron Rolle (S, Florida St), who went #207 to the Tennessee Titans. In full disclosure, I absolutely love Rolle's back story. I am sure everyone knows by now but Rolle wanted to be a Rhodes Scholar so he took last football season off to pursue that dream. Rolle wants to be a neurosurgeon later in life, which apparently turned some teams off. Yes, Rolle might have some interests outside of football but I think the biggest reasons teams passed on him is that they are afraid to draft a player that is smarter than everyone in the organization. What I am trying to say is that most general mangers want to be the smartest guy in the room and there is a chance that Rolle will end up being the smartest guy in the room. Is that a bad thing that Rolle is smart? I say no but it looks like most NFL general mangers disagree.

With the 169th pick the Packers COULD HAVE taken...

Green Bay Packers General Manager Ted Thompson is a firm believer in drafting the best player available. As result, if I was the General Manager of the Green Bay Packers and employing the best player available approach, instead of drafting Marshall Newhouse (OG, TCU) with the 169th pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, here are some players I would have considered drafting:

Arthur Moats (OLB, JMU), who went #178 to the Buffalo Bills. Newhouse may turn out to be a stud but the Packers do not have the best success in drafting borderline tackles/guards...think Daryn Colledge. Instead, the Packers could have added another late round outside linebacker to compete with Brad Jones, Brady Poppinga, Cyril Obiozor, and Brandon Chillar for the other starting outside linebacker spot opposite Clay Matthews.

Sam Young (OT, Notre Dame), who went #179 to the Dallas Cowboys. In the interest of full disclosure, my wife (tentatively "Cheesehead Chick") went to St. Mary's College so I saw my fair amount of Notre Dame games. Ever since Young's freshman year I hoped the Packers would draft him solely because he is 6'7" and weighs 315 pounds. Yes, Young has been a bit of a disappointment but mark my words...he will have a long and successful NFL career somewhere.

With the 154th pick in the 2010 NFL Draft the Packers COULD HAVE taken...

Green Bay Packers General Manager Ted Thompson is a firm believer in drafting the best player available. As result, if I was the General Manager of the Green Bay Packers and employing the best player available approach, instead of drafting Andrew Quarless (TE, Penn State) with the 154th pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, here are some players I would have considered drafting:

Matt Tennant (C, BC), who went #158 to the New Orleans Saints. Outside of Maurkice Pouncey, lots of scouts had Tennant as the second highest rated center despite J.D. Walton (C, Baylor) getting drafted much earlier than Tennant. Outside of Scott Wells, the Packers are relatively thin at center since Jason Spitz can't stay healthy and Evan Dietrich-Smith is an unknown commodity. Plus, the chance to get a quality backup center ahead of getting a 4th string tight end makes the decision even easier. The only explanation that makes sense is that outside of Finley, the Packers might be looking replace Lee since he drops everything thrown his way and Havner because he is facing a DUI charge.

Riley Cooper (WR, Florida), who went #159 to the Philadelphia Eagles. At 6'3" and 220 pounds, Riley Cooper would have given the Packers another tall threat at wide receiver. Donald Driver is the longest tenured player on the roster and although he stays in great shape at some point the Packers will need to replace him. At the end of the fifth round it would have made much more sense to me to take a chance on Cooper instead of drafting Quarless.

Instead of trading up in the 3rd round in the 2010 NFL Draft the Packers COULD HAVE...

I hate to question Ted Thompson trading up since he usually incessantly trades back, especially since according to the NFL draft-pick value chart the Packers got the better end of the deal (Packers traded pick #86 (worth 160 points) and pick #122 (worth 50 points) for a total of 210 points to the Philadelphia Eagles for pick #71 worth 235 points) BUT there are a number of cominations of players I would rather have gotten instead of just getting Morgan Burnett (S, Georgia Tech).

Yes, the Packers need quality over quantity and it will be good to have Burnett push Bigby for the starting safety spot opposite Nick Collins but there were tons of safeties available later in the draft, like another draft crush of mine Myron Rolle. Keep all of that in mind when looking at the following tandems instead of just Burnett:

Navorro Bowman (OLB, Penn State) went #91 to the San Francisco 49ers and Jason Fox (OT, Miami) went #128 to the Detroit Lions. Under this scenario, the Packers would have gotten quality depth at two positions of need: outside linebacker and offensive tackle. I know this is easier to do looking backwards but even Ted Thompson would have admit behind closed doors he would rather have Bowman and Fox instead of just Burnett.

Everson Griffen (DE, USC) went #100 to the Minnesota Vikings and O'Brien Schofield (OLB, Wisconsin) went #130 to the Arizona Cardinals. Yes, Griffen takes plays off and Schofield might not play this season because of a knee injury but both guys are "first round talent" available in the 3rd and 4th round respectively. The Packers do not have a ton of immediate needs and the chance to add two talented players in the middle of draft looks much more enticing to me then getting just Burnett.

Bruce Campbell (OT, Maryland) went #106 to the Oakland Raiders and Akwasi Owusu-Ansah (CB, IUPUI) went #136 to the Dallas Cowboys. The Packers could have addressed two HUGE needs: depth at offensive tackle and return specialist. Campbell stood out at the combine as a physical specimen. The Packers have been burned in the past by passing on physical specimens out of Maryland...remember the Packers choose A.J. Hawk one spot ahead of Vernon Davis in the first round of the 2006 NFL Draft...oh dang. In terms of adding a fast return specialist, it was a no brainer to add a guy like Owusu-Ansah. Again, I would much rather have Campbell and Owusu-Ansah instead of Burnett.

With the 56th pick in the 2010 NFL Draft the Packers COULD HAVE taken...

Green Bay Packers General Manager Ted Thompson is a firm believer in drafting the best player available. As result, if I was the General Manager of the Green Bay Packers and employing the best player available approach, instead of drafting Michael Neal (DE, Purdue) with the 56th pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, here are some players I would have considered drafting:

Terrence Cody (DT, Alabama), who went #57 to the Baltimore Ravens. I would have taken Cody just to see Prince Fielder and Terrence Cody have an eat money is on Cody in a landslide. All kidding aside, drafting Cody would have given the Packers two true perfect space (and food) eating defensive tackle (Pickett and Cody) in the 3-4. With Pickett and Cody at defensive tackle, the Packers could play Raji at defensive tackle and defensive end. Instead, the Packers have to leave Raji at defensive tackle and hope that Neal fits in at defensive end despite no real experience in the 3-4 defense.

Ben Tate (RB, Auburn), who went #58 to the Houston Texans. According to the Football Outsiders, when you combine size and speed numbers for every running backs eligible for the 2010 NFL Draft, Ben Tate was the best combination in the entire 2010 NFL Draft. How successful has this stat been recently you ask? In 2008, this same statistic said the best combination of size and speed going into the draft was Chris Johnson. Granted Johnson being ranked first going into the 2008 NFL Draft might have been skewed because Johnson posted one of the fastest 40-yard dash times in combine history but there is no denying Johnson is one of the best running backs in the NFL right now. I am not saying Tate is going to be Chris Johnson, but the Packers need a speedy, game changing back to compliment Ryan Grant. For my money, Tate would have been a great value at the end of the second round.

Charles Brown (OT, USC), who went #64 to New Orleans Saints. If I had to rank my draft crushes that the Packers reasonably could have gotten, they go in this order:
#1) Jerry Hughes
#2) Taylor Mays
#3) Charles Brown
Why Charles Brown you ask...I think he is this drafts Michael Oher minus the back story and Sandy Bullock's Oscar. Yes, the Packers took an offensive tackle in the first round but I have two counter arguments. One, tackles come in twos for the Packers. Both Tauscher and Clifton were drafted by the Packers in the 2000 NFL Draft. Two, Ted Thompson has not drafted tackles that high in his tenure with Allen Barbre taken in the 4th round of the 2007 NFL Draft. Thompson started investing in the offensive line with Buluga but I still think drafting Brown would have hedged that decision very nicely.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

With the 23rd pick in the 2010 NFL Draft the Packers COULD HAVE taken...

Green Bay Packers General Manager Ted Thompson is a firm believer in drafting the best player available. As result, if I was the general manager of the Green Bay Packers and employing the best player available approach, instead of drafting Bryan Buluga (OT, Iowa) with the 23rd pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, here are some players I would have considered drafting:

Dez Bryant (WR, Oklahoma St), who went 24 to the Dallas Cowboys. Donald Driver seems ageless but in the next few years he is going to slow down and Bryant looked like the perfect guy to replace Driver. The off the field issues surrounding Bryant probably scared Ted Thompson but the chance to get the most physically gifted receiver in the draft with the 23rd pick would have been hard for me to pass up. Yes, Jordy Nelson and James Jones are sitting in the wings but neither really projects to be a starting wide receiver opposite Greg Jennings, which made Bryant even more enticing.

Kyle Wilson (CB, Boise St), who went 29 to the New York Jets. Some scouts had Wilson rated as the best cornerback in the draft, even ahead of Joe Haden (CB, Florida) who was selected 7th by the Cleveland Browns. In terms of value, Wilson would have been a steal at 23 in my book. Despite most pundits thinking the Packers need cornerbacks, they have the bodies IF (and it is a big if) everyone comes back healthy so cornerback was NOT actually a need for the Packers. After Charles Woodson, the 2009 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, the Packers have:
- Al Harris: old and coming off a knee injury is never a good sign but Harris is a former Pro Bowler that stays in impeccable shape which should allow him to come back stronger than ever.
- Tramon Williams: after Harris went down last season, Williams looked like a starter in the making if he cuts down his Ahmad Caroll esque holding penalties.
- Pat Lee: a former second round pick that has a big upside but has yet to play because of injury. Lee essentially redshirted in the NFL so far the last two seasons, if he gives the Packers anything in 2010 then its a huge bonus.
- Brandon Underwood: was a highly touted recruit out of high school that lost his way at Ohio State. Underwood resurfaced at Cinncinati and went on to have a pretty successful college career. Underwood is physically gifted at 6'1" but has yet to show much in the NFL.
- Will Blackmon: is an electric return man that just can't stay healthy. This season is make or break for Blackmon. If healthy, Blackmon would be worth having on the roster for his return ability alone. If Blackmon contributes anything at cornerback, the Packers would be ecstatic.
- Josh Bell: gave up the touchdown to lose to the Steelers with no time remaining in week 15 and doesn't look like a long term solution at cornerback.
- Trevor Ford and D.J. Clark: haven't been around long enough to know one way or another.

Jerry Hughes (OLB, TCU), who went 31 to the Indianapolis Colts. I have a huge football crush on Hughes. According to the Football Outsiders new SackSEER stat (looks at vertical leap, short shuttle time, collegiate sacks, and collegiate games missed), Hughes projects to have the most sacks of any player in the 2010 NFL Draft in his first 5 seasons in the NFL. Granted that is pure speculation but Hughes would have fit very nice opposite Clay Matthews as a stud outside linebackers in the 3-4 for the next ten years. I guess the Packers think Brad Jones, Brady Poppinga, and Brandon Chillar can contribute at outside linebacker opposite Clay Matthews.

Chris Cook (CB, Virginia), who went 34 to the Minnesota Vikings. See all of the discussion about the Packers' cornerback situation above. In terms of Cook, the main thing I like about him is that he is 6'2". You can't teach height and with all of the trouble big physical receivers gave the Packers last year, having a 6'2" cornerback would have fit nicely in 2010. Quick tangent, why are there so many tall wide receivers but not very many tall cornerbacks? I guess tall cornerbacks usually aren't that fast but almost every cornerback seems to be 5'11" while most wide receivers seem to be at least 6'2". As a result, not many talented, tall cornerback backs come around like Cook.

Taylor Mays (S, USC), who went 49 to the San Francisco 49ers. Mays turned into the defensive Tebow of the draft, people either loved or hated Mays. I fell into the former camp, I love Mays almost as much as Jerry Hughes. Mays is 6'3" and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.3 seconds, those type of physical specimens come around once every 5 or 10 years at the safety position. There were questions about Mays' ability to change direction while in coverage but any time you can get such a physically gifted player, you have to take him. Furthermore, the Packers tried to play the "psycho" package with one defensive lineman, five linebackers and five defensive backs. Last year, Chillar was the fifth linebacker but got burned whenever he got matched up on a running. Instead of using Chillar, the Packers could have inserted Mays as a hybrid linebacker/defensive back. I know you don't draft a player in the first round for such a specific use but it just shows the versatility Mays would have added to the Packers defense.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Packers select Buluga #23 in 2010 NFL Draft

If you look back at my mock draft you will see that I did not call that many picks correctly despite my nice run in the middle of the first round.

With that said, I didn't even think the Packers would have a chance to select Buluga without trading up at least 10 spots. As a result, I penciled in Buluga to go #9 overall but he lasted all the way till the 23rd pick.

Hopefully 23 is a lucky number for selecting franchise left tackles, last season Michael Oher went 23. Check back throughout the day for more updates on Buluaga...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

With the 23rd pick in the 2010 NFL Draft the Green Bay Packers select...

For some reason I have a feeling that Ted Thompson is trading back in the first round which will NOT sit well with Packer fans that watched the first three hours of the draft only to have to wait another day.

Ted Thompson could also trade up like last year when he nabbed Clay Matthews at the end of the first round but that seems highly unlikely, especially since Thompson doesn't have an extra 3rd round pick at his disposal (from the Jets in exchange for B. Favre). Quick tangent, that still boggles my mind that Brett Favre only netted the Packers a 3rd round pick, how is that possible? That trade illustrates how overvalued draft picks are in the NFL.

Back to the 2010 NFL Draft, assuming Thompson keeps the pick the Packers are in a great position to take the best player available because they do not have any glaring needs. Even though I am advocating for Thompson to take the best player available in the first round, the Packers definitely do NOT need a quarterback, fullback, tight end, or middle linebacker that early.

Besides the aforementioned positions, Thompson should take the best player available. If the Thompson stays put at 23, some household names will be long gone (Bradford, Suh, Spiller, etc) but there are always a few sleepers that go earlier than expected. Do I smell a Tebow sighting before 23? Hopefully not because the Vikings have the 30th pick in the draft.

In any case, it is reasonable to think the Packers can get a stud that can contribute next year at 23. Here are my ranking, meaning if all the guys were available I would want Thompson to select the first guy on the list and so on:

- Taylor Mays (Safety, USC): you can't teach size and strength. There is a chance Mays goes #8 to the Raiders because he is an absolute physical freak of nature at 6'3" with a 4.31 40-yard dash. Either way I see him as a hybrid linebackers/safety in Dom Capers' psycho package which is a huge upgrade over Chillar trying to play that hybrid position.

- Jerry Hughes (OLB, TCU): the guys at Football Outsiders debuted a new stat a couple of days ago called SackSEER which tries to predict how many sacks a defensive end/outside linebacker will have in their first 5 years in the NFL. The stat takes into account four factors: vertical leap, short shuttle time, sacks per game in college, and games missed in college. The stat looks very robust and Mr. Jerry Hughes is #1 on their list of 2010 draft entries ahead of much more heralded players like Derrick Morgan (Georgia Tech), Everson Griffen (USC), Brandon Graham (University of Michigan), and Sergio Kindle (University of Texas).

- Charles Brown (T, USC): there are always a few guys that shoot up draft boards the week of the draft and Charles Brown is that guy this year. In all likelihood Brown will not be there at 23 but I included him for two reasons. First, because I think Brown is the Michael Oher of the 2010 NFL Draft minus Sandra Bullock as his movie step-mom. Second, to show how much I like Mays and Hughes.

- Sergio Kindle (OLB, Texas): even though he has an obscenely low SackSEER projection, Kindle would be a good value at 23. I have a few counters to drafting Kindle though. One, why not give Brad Jones a year or two to develop? Two, why not move Chillar/Poppinga opposite Matthews?

- Devin McCourty (CB, Rutgers): make Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Packer beat writer and Rutgers alum Greg A. Bedard happy and allow him to cover a Scarlet Knight that looks like a promising young cornerback.

- Jared Odrick (DE, Penn State): really hope he gets picked before 23. Would be a "good value" according to the talking heads at 23 but just not sold on him for no good reason really.

- Javhid Best (RB, Cal): has some concussion issues which is never a good thing, especially if you are a rookie running back. With that said, I am all for the Packers lighting a fire under Ryan Grant while addressing their return needs all at once.

Check back throughout draft weekend, I will react to Thompson's moves as much as possible.

1st Round Mock Draft (April 21, 2010)

With the new format and teams desperate to improve, I expect there to be a number of trades in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft. For simplicity sake, I filled out my mock draft making the HUGE assumption that there will be no trades, here is my first EVER mock draft:

#1) Rams - Sam Bradford
#2) Lions - Ndamukong Suh
#3) Bucs - Gerald McCoy
#4) Redskins - Russell Okung
#5) Chiefs - Eric Berry
#6) Seahawks - Trent Williams
#7) Browns - Joe Haden
#8) Raiders - Derrick Morgan
#9) Bills - Bryan Bulaga
#10) Jags - Earl Thomas
#11) Giants - Rolando McClain
#12) Miami - Dan Williams
#13) 49ers - Jimmy Clausen
#14) Seahawks - C.J. Spiller
#15) Broncos - Brandon Graham
#16) Titans - Jason Pierre-Paul
#17) 49ers - Mike Iupati
#18) Steelers - Maurkice Pouncey
#19) Falcons - Sean Weatherspoon
#20) Texans - Kyle Wilson
#21) Bengals - Jermaine Gresham
#22) Patriots - Dez Bryant
#23) Packers - Taylor Mays
#24) Eagles - Sergio Kindle
#25) Ravens - Jared Odrick
#26) Cards - Jerry Hughes
#27) Cowboys - Charles Brown
#28) Chargers - Jahvid Best
#29) Jets - Nate Allen
#30) Vikings - Tim Tebow (hopefully)
#31) Colts - Rodger Safford
#32) Saints - Devin McCourty

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Green Bay Packers Roster heading into the 2010 NFL Draft

According to most draft experts, despite being one of the deepest drafts in recent history the top half of the draft is rather thin at quarterback, running back, wide receiver, offensive guard, center, and inside linebacker. On the other hand, the top half of the draft is very deep at offensive tackle, defensive lineman (both tackle and end), rush outside linebacker, cornerback, and safety. Luckily the Green Bay Packers' needs and the top end talent in the 2010 NFL Draft match-up.

Here is a look at the Green Bay Packers roster heading into the 2010 NFL Draft:

Quarterback (2): Aaron Rodgers and Matt Flynn. The Packers have no pressing needs at quarterback. If there is another 7th round gem like Matt Flynn sitting there at the end of the draft, snap him up. Otherwise, Ted Thompson has shown that he is content to start the season with two quarterbacks.

Running Back (3): Ryan Grant, Brandon Jackson, and Kregg Lumpkin. If there is a game changing return guy available (i.e. C.J. Spiller in the 1st round or Ben Tate in the 2nd round), take him. Either Spiller or Tate would be a perfect home run hitter to pair with Ryan Grant.

Fullback (3): Korey Hall, Quinn Johnson, and John Kuhn. Ted Thompson better not draft a guy here. The Packer had to be one of the only teams in the NFL to carry more fullbacks than quarterbacks on their 53-man roster for the entire 2009 season.

Wide Receiver (6): Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, James Jones, Jordy Nelson, Brett Swain, and Patrick Williams. Despite Donald Driver getting up there in age, the Packers are all set at wide receiver for the foreseeable future. I completely support the Packers drafting a speedy kick returner that happens to play wide receiver late on day 3.

Tight End (3): Jermichael Finley, Spencer Havner, and Donald Lee. The Packers are all set with three NFL caliber tight ends on the roster. Havner is facing some legal trouble from an alleged DUI and Donald Lee is a nothing more than a blocking tight with suspect hands BUT with emerging NFL stud Jermichael Finley the Packers do not need to draft a tight end unless a game changer falls to them in the draft.

Offensive Tackle (5): Chad Clifton, Mark Tauscher, T.J. Lang, Allen Barbre, and Breno Giacomini. Despite resigning Clifton and Tauscher, Ted Thompson needs to get the offensive tackle of the future in the 2010 NFL Draft. If Bryan Bulaga or Charles Brown are still on the board at 23, the Packers should draft one them and let him learn behind Clifton for a year. That would allow the Packers to put Lang behind Tauscher and the Packers should be set at offensive tackle for the next decade. Absent injury, Barbre and Giacomini will be hard pressed to make the 53-man roster for 2010.

Offensive Guard (3): Josh Sitton, Daryn Colledge, and Jason Spitz. The good news is that Josh Sitton looks like the second coming of Marco Rivera. The bad news is after that the Packers have huge question marks at guard. Colledge has moved around the line throughout his career. Even when he has concentrated at left guard, he has struggled. Spitz shows tons of promise but can't stay healthy. A late developmental guard might help spark competition and give the Packers a little more depth at guard.

Center (2): Scott Wells and Evan Dietrich-Smith. Wells keeps on keeping on. If the Packers think Spitz is healthy enough, there is no need to draft a center. Either way, Dietrich-Smith's days might be numbered in Green Bay.

Defensive End (5): Cullen Jenkins, Johnny Jolly, Justin Harrell, Jarius Wynn, and Ronald Talley. With Jenkins and Jolly only locked up for 2010, it might be time to look at a traditional 3-4 end in the upcoming draft as insurance. As long as Jolly's legal troubles allow him to play in 2010 it looks like Harrell, Wynn, and Talley will fight with whomever the Packers draft for the final two defensive end roster spots in 2010.

Defensive Tackle (3): Ryan Pickett, B.J. Raji, and Anthony Toribio. There is no real reason to draft a player here with Pickett and Raji on the roster, especially if the carcus of Justin Harrell can contribute anything at defensive end or defensive tackle in 2010.

Outside Linebacker (5): Clay Matthews, Brad Jones, Brady Poppinga, Cyril Obiozor, and Robert Francois. If Brandon Graham or Jerry Hughes (Sergio Kindle to a less extent) are still available at 23, take him and thank your lucky stars. Adding either Graham, Hughes, or Kindle would give the Packers two outstanding outside linebackers for the next decade. The only players that are guaranteed a roster spot are Matthews and Jones. After that, the Packers will hold an open competition for outside linebacker roster spots.

Middle Linebacker (4): Nick Barnett, A.J. Hawk, Brandon Chillar, and Desmond Bishop. At middle linebacker, the Packers have one stud (Nick Barnett), two above average (Hawk and Chillar) and one high motor guy (Bishop)...suffice to say I don't think the Packers need to draft a middle linebackers.

Cornerback (9): Charles Woodson, Al Harris, Tramon Williams, Brandon Underwood, Pat Lee, Will Blackmon, Josh Bell, D.J. Clark, and Trevor Ford. If Ted Thompson is right and all the cornerbacks come back healthy, there is no reason to draft a cornerback. Unfortunately, there is a small chance that all the cornerbacks come back healthy so if the right cornerback is available, take him and be happy. The only cornerbacks assured a roster spot in 2010 are Charles Woodson, Al Harris, and Tramon Williams. After that, it will be a dog fight for Brandon Underwood, Pat Lee, Will Blackmon, Josh Bell, D.J. Clark, and Trevor Ford.

Safety (4): Nick Collins, Atari Bigby, Derrick Martin, and Khalil Jones. Bigby continues to be a head scratcher. When healthy, Bigby looks like a borderline pro bowler but we only get to see small glimpses of that because Bigby is rarely healthy. The Packers should add a safety on day two of the draft to compete with Bigby.

Special Teams (4): Chris Bryan, Mason Crosby, Brett Goode, and Tim Masthay. If there is a running back, wide receiver, or cornerback with return capabilities I completely support the Packers reaching for a guy. Besides that, the draft looks thin at punter so it looks like another season of crap punting is in our future.

The Green Bay Packers have eight selections in the 2010 NFL draft, here are rough guesses at positions Ted Thompson should look at depending on how the draft shakes out:

#23 (first round): offensive tackle or outside linebacker

#56 (second round): offensive tackle, defensive end or outside linebacker

#86 (third round): defensive back (cornerback or safety)

#122 (fourth round): outside linebacker or defensive back (cornerback or safety)

#154 (fifth round): offensive line or defensive back

#169 (compensatory selection): offensive line or defensive back

#193 (sixth round): best athlete available with return capabilities

#230 (seventh round): best athlete available with return capabilities

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Andrew Bogut's Season Ending Injury & Review of 2005 NBA Draft

Andrew Bogut broke his right index finger, dislocated his right elbow, and broke bones in his right forearm on April 3, 2010 in Milwaukee against the Phoenix Suns. If you have a strong stomach, check out the video on YouTube.

The biggest bummer about Bogut's injury is that it happened right when the Bucks were poised to make a deep playoff run. John Salmons was firing on all cylinders since joining the Bucks at the trade deadline, Brandon Jennings continues to take the NBA by storm, Bogut was starting to cement himself as one of the best centers in the NBA, and the supporting cast (Delfino, Ilyasova, The Prince, Ridnour, and Stackhouse) was filling their complementary role perfectly.

Since the aforementioned injury ended Bogut's fifth NBA season, it is a good time to determine whether Bogut was the right choice. Let's jump in Doc Brown's Delorean and head back to 2005.

Going into the 2005 Draft Lottery the Bucks had the 6th best odds (or a 6.3% chance) of landing the 1st pick. The Bucks won the lottery and leapfrogged the Atlanta Hawks. The Bucks winning the 2005 Draft Lottery gave them the 1st pick in the NBA Draft for the fourth time in franchise history (Bucks took Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1969, Kent Benson in 1977, and Glenn Robinson in 1994).

The 2005 NBA Draft produced two of the best point guards to enter the NBA in the last decade: Deron Williams went 3rd to Utah and Chris Paul went 4th to New Orleans but going into the 2005 NBA Draft, the debate was whether to take Andrew Bogut or Marvin Williams. No matter what people like to say now, going into the 2005 NBA Draft, Deron Williams and Chris Paul were the consensus 3rd and 4th best players.

As a quick side note, the 2005 NBA Draft was one of the worst drafts in recent memory. If you take Andrew Bogut, Deron Williams, and Chris Paul out of the equation the only other players to go to an all-star game from the 2005 NBA Draft were Danny Granger (went 17th to Indiana) and David Lee (went 30th to New York).

Here is how the Milwaukee Bucks roster (at least the potential starters, I left out the scrubs) looked going into the 2005 NBA Draft:

Guard: T.J. Ford, Mo Williams, and Michael Redd (on 08/18/05 Charlie Bell signed as a free agent)

Forward: Desmond Mason, Toni Kukoc, and Joe Smith (on 08/08/05 Bobby Simmons signed as a free agent and on 10/26/05 Desmond Mason was traded along with a first round pick for Jamaal Magloire)

Center: Dan Gadzuric and Zaza Pachulia (on 08/11/05 Zaza Pachulia signed as a free agent with the Atlanta Hawks)

The Bucks thought they were set at point guard (Ford), shooting guard (Redd), small forward (Mason/Simmons), and power forward (Smith & Kukoc) which meant the only hole in the roster was the center position. As every NBA pundit knows, the hardest position to fill is center. So talent and need aligned for the Bucks heading into the 2005 NBA Draft. That said, I always support taking the best player available, especially in the NBA.

To decide whether the Bucks made the right decision taking Bogut instead of Marvin Williams, let's look at the numbers:

Andrew Bogut's season-by-season numbers:
2005-06: 82 G, 77 GS, 28.6 MIN, 9.4 PTS, 7.0 RB, 2.3 AST, 0.80 BLK
2006-07: 66 G, 66 GS, 34.2 MIN, 12.3 PTS, 8.8 RB, 3.0 AST, 0.50 BLK
2007-08: 78 G, 78 GS, 34.9 MIN, 14.3 PTS, 9.7 RB, 2.6 AST, 1.70 BLK
2008-09: 36 G, 33 GS, 31.2 MIN, 11.7 PTS, 10.3 RB, 2.0 AST, 1.00 BLK
2009-10: 69 G, 69 GS, 32.3 MIN, 15.9 PTS, 10.1 RB, 1.8 AST, 2.50 BLK

Marvin Williams' season-by-season numbers:
2005-06: 79 G, 07 GS, 24.7 MIN, 8.5 PTS, 4.8 RB, 0.8 AST, 0.30 BLK
2006-07: 64 G, 63 GS, 34.0 MIN, 13.1 PTS, 5.3 RB, 1.9 AST, 0.50 BLK
2007-08: 80 G, 80 GS, 34.6 MIN, 14.8 PTS, 5.7 RB, 1.7 AST, 0.40 BLK
2008-09: 61 G, 59 GS, 34.3 MIN, 13.9 PTS, 6.3 RB, 1.3 AST, 0.60 BLK
2009-10: 81 G, 81 GS, 30.5 MIN, 10.1 PTS, 5.1 RB, 1.1 AST, 0.60 BLK

Andrew Bogut's career averages:
331 G, 323 GS, 32.3 MIN, 12.7 PTS, 9.0 RB, 2.4 AST, 1.4 BLK, 0.7 STL

Marvin Williams' career averages:
365 G, 290 GS, 31.4 MIN, 11.9 PTS, 5.4 RB, 1.4 AST, 0.5 BLK, 0.8 STL

As the numbers show, Andrew Bogut has been more injury prone than Marvin Williams but that is not a big surprise since Bogut is a center and Williams is a small forward. Besides appearances and steals, Bogut's numbers are better than Williams' across the board. Plus, Williams’ peaked in 2007-08 while Bogut’s numbers keep improving (Bogut's 2008-09 season numbers are a little skewed because he only played 36 games). I know things are a little raw right now since Bogut just suffered a season ending injury but things could be much worse...the Bucks could have taken Marvin Williams with the 1st pick in the 2005 NBA Draft instead of Andrew Bogut.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Ranking 2010 Milwaukee Brewers Opening Day Roster

Congrats to these 25 guys (and 4 guys on the disabled list) that made the 2010 Milwaukee Brewers Opening Day is truly a Sunday Funday for them:

Pitchers (12): Dave Bush (R), Todd Coffey (R), Doug Davis (L), Yovani Gallardo (R), LaTroy Hawkins (R), Trevor Hoffman (R), Chris Narveson (L), Manny Parra (L), Mitch Stetter (L), Claudio Vargas (R), Carlos Villanueva (R), and Randy Wolf (L).

Catchers (2): George Kottaras and Gregg Zaun.

Infielders (6): Craig Counsell (UTIL), Alcides Escobar (SS), Prince Fielder (1B), Joe Inglett (UTIL), Casey McGehee (3B), and Rickie Weeks (2B).

Outfielders (5): Ryan Braun (LF), Jim Edmonds (CF), Jody Gerut (UTIL), Carlos Gomez (CF), and Corey Hart (RF).

Disabled List: Jeff Suppan (RHP), David Riske (RHP), Josh Butler (RHP), and Mat Gamel (3B).

Take a look back at my predictions of which players would make the 2010 Milwaukee Brewers Opening Day Roster. Keep in mind I made my predictions at the start of spring training on February 24, 2010 and I was still 23 of 24 (since Jeff Suppan started the season on the DL). I predicted the Brewers would keep Scott Schoeneweis (LHP) instead of Chris Narveson (LHP). The Brewers made the right decision keeping Narveson, he was much more impressive than Schoeneweis in spring training and rightly deserved to make the team ahead of Schoeneweis.

With the niceties out of the way, here is how I rank the 2010 Milwaukee Brewers Opening Day Roster:

#25) Joe Inglett (UTIL): much like Jose Canseco, minus the steroids and antics, I feel vindicated that Doug Melvin kept Inglett on the 25-man opening day roster. If you look back at my pre-spring training predictions from February 24, 2010 I called that Inglett would make the roster. As you can see, I don't think Inglett brings much to the table since I ranked him 25th out of 25 guys...I am just happy my prediction came true.

#24) Claudio Vargas (RHP): after coming over from the L.A. Dodgers in 2009, Vargas was almost unhittable: 1.78 ERA in 28 appearances over 30.1 innings. That performance lead the Brewers to offer Vargas a one-year, $900,000 contract but the Brewers have a number of right-handed arms in the bullpen that are better than Vargas so he better perform if he wants to stay in Milwaukee for the entire season.

#23) Jody Gerut (OF): it still blows me away that Doug Melvin traded Tony Gwynn Jr. (27 years old) to the San Diego Padres for Gerut (32 years old). Melvin said he traded Tony Gwynn Jr. because of his offensive deficiencies but Gerut hit .236 last year for the Brewers while Gwynn hit .270 for the Padres.

#22) Jim Edmonds (CF): it pains me (and my buddy Gaber even more) that Edmonds is playing for the Brewers. The fact that the Brewers have to rely on a 40 year old guy that didn't even play baseball last year does not bode well for the season...or the three guys ranked below Edmonds.

#21) Carlos Villanueva (RHP): is the Bill Hall of pitchers. The Brewers cannot decide where to pitch Villanueva (starter, long relief, set-up man, or closer) and it has adversely impacted his progression. Much like Stetter, Villanueva is one of the only relievers with minor league options so he might have a cup of coffee in Triple-A depending on how he starts the season.

#20) George Kottaras (C): may be the quietest pick-up by Melvin in the off-season could loom large since Zaun turns 75 this season. Luckily for the Brewers, Boston waived Kottaras in favor of bringing back the carcus of Jason Varitek.

#19) Mitch Stetter (LHP): has been an effective situational reliever against left-handed hitters but will have to show he can get left and right-handed hitters if he wants to stay in the majors. Stetter could get sent down to Triple-A when the injury bug hits the Brewers because he still has minor league options.

#18) Manny Parra (LHP): similar to Rickie Weeks, its time for Parra to produce. Every year Parra has the potential to be a top of the rotation guy but every year he never backs up that potential with actual production. If Parra had minor league options he would have started the season in Triple-A, unfortunately the Brewers don't have that luxury.

#17) Chris Narveson (LHP): not too sure if this is more about Narveson being out of minor league options or the Brewers thinking he can be effective out of the pen or as a starter once someone goes on the disabled list?

#16) LaTroy Hawkins (RHP): similar to my Suppan/Wolf comparison above...Hawkins reminds me of Dave Riske...oh dang.

#15) Gregg Zaun (C): not too sure why Melvin decided to "save money" on the catcher position by bringing in Zaun, who turns 39 this season, to start for the first time in his career. Why not bring back Kendall even if it costs you $1 million more than Zaun? It’s as if Melvin bought a bunch of expensive cars (Wolf, Hawkins, and Davis) but balked at filling it with premium unleaded and filled it with regular unleaded instead.

#14) Doug Davis (LHP): I feel horrible for Doug Davis and his family that Doug has battled serious health problems the last few years. That said, Doug Melvin knew about Davis' health issues, so why did he offer Davis a contract? Plus, Davis is possibly the slowest, most deliberate pitcher in baseball which means I will skip watching any of his starts live.

#13) Craig Counsell (UTIL): despite turning 40 this season, the Brewers had to bring Counsell back after he hit .285 in 130 games over 404 at-bats in 2009. Counsell filled in admirably at second base after Weeks was predictably lost for the season. Counsell reminds me of Richard Alpert from Lost...he doesn't age.

#12) Dave Bush (RHP): had his 2009 season cut short when he took a line drive off his pitching elbow. Bush looks fully recovered and should become a consistent middle of the rotation guy in a left-hand dominated starting rotation.

#11) Carlos Gomez (CF): is the player the Brewers got from the Minnesota Twins for J.J. Hardy. Gomez was the key player the Minnesota Twins received from the New York Mets for Johan Santana but has yet to produce consistently in the majors. Much like Rickie Weeks, Gomez has the potential to be a dynamic player but has not capitalized on that potential.

#10) Alcides Escobar (SS): the Brewers traded former fan favorite J.J. Hardy to the Minnesota Twins to make way for Escobar. There is no question that Escobar is one of the best defensive shortstops in MLB, the question is whether Escobar can produce on offense?

#9) Corey Hart (RF): some guys get by on talent despite being seemingly devoid of common sense...Corey Hart is that guy. Case and point, why did Hart wait until the start of spring training to correct his vision problems? Hart somehow won his salary arbitration hearing so unless he performs, Brewers fans will make him the #2 whipping boy behind Jeff Suppan.

#8) Todd Coffey (RHP): has been a bullpen workhorse for the Brewers since Doug Melvin claimed Coffey off waivers from Cincinnati in 2008. If I were Ken Macha, Coffey would be my set-up guy for closer Trevor Hoffman.

#7) Rickie Weeks (2B): at some point Weeks has to produce on the major league level like he did in college. Weeks has an amazing skill set but in five major league seasons he has only played more than 100 games twice.

#6) Randy Wolf (LHP): I hope I am wrong but I am on record as saying that Wolf is the left-handed Jeff Suppan. Wolf is owed a little less than $30 million over the next three seasons and the Brewers do not even view Wolf as a #1 starter. Wolf is Exhibit A for how costly it can be if you do not develop pitching through the farm system.

#5) Casey McGehee (3B): was not even penciled in to start at 3rd base for the Brewers and still ended up finishing 5th in the National League Rookie of the Year Award. Will 2009 be a flash in the pan for McGehee or did the Brewers finally identify an everyday 3rd basemen?

#4) Trevor Hoffman (RHP): with the lack of pitching depth in the Brewers' farm system, every Brewer fan better hope that old age does not catch up with Hoffman this season.

#3) Yovani Gallardo (RHP): the Brewers have struggled mightily to draft pitchers but Gallardo is the exception to those struggles. Gallardo is a legitimate #1 starter in the making and Doug Melvin should lock him up long-term as long as it is not a Teddy Higuera type contract. I actually think Higuera and his progeny are still under contract with the Brewers through 2050.

#2) Prince Fielder (1B): the first half of 2010 will determine where Prince plays the next 8 seasons of his career. The two variables that will intersect throughout the first half of the season are Prince's production and the Brewers' record. If the Brewers fall out of playoff contention by the All-Star break, Doug Melvin will be forced to trade Prince since Prince's value will only diminish the closer he gets to free agency at the end of the 2011 season.

#1) Ryan Braun (LF): in case you missed it, check out my Sunday Funday - Ryan Braun's Contract from last week to see how grossly underpaid Braun is for being the best player on the 2010 Milwaukee Brewers. When the Brewers moved Braun from 3rd base to left field, Braun took his offense to another level. I know it is early in Braun's career but if he continues on his current trajectory, Braun has a chance to go down as one of the all-time Brewer greats.

If you have read this far I want to thank you for supporting my rambling thoughts. Check back throughout the season for updates to the rankings because the Brewers have not played a meaningful baseball game in 2010 yet so the rankings will probably look drastically different as the season goes on.