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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Poll Results: How should BYU Football From 1986-1988 Be Viewed?

The results are in, and 1986-88 should be viewed as “solid” seasons according to 50% of voters. Thirty-five (35%) percent voted for “good” seasons. “Down” and “great” split the final 15% with 7.5% each.

As I explained last week, I don’t think these three seasons fit either of the extreme’s (down or great). There is good reason to justify both solid and good. In the end, I have to conclude that 1986-88 were solid seasons.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Highlights: Curtis Brown (2006)

Curtis Brown is the only former all-time career leading rusher that was featured on Wednesday who has highlights out on the web. I loved watching him play. He wasn't big, but he could do it all--run between the tackles, get around the corner, catch out of the backfield--and his speed wasn't that bad either.

Curtis Brown (2006)

Enjoy!

The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at bluecougarfootball@gmail.com

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thursday Trivia: 1986-88 All-Americans

The correct answer to the last trivia question "How many times has BYU played a former conference member in a bowl game?" is 3—Colorado, Arizona, and UTEP.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Flashback: All-Time Career Rushing Leader

The Brigham Young Cougars backfield is full of talented rushers in 2011. Great things are expected of them, but none of them is expected to break the school record for most yards rushing in a career this year.

Even though a new career rushing leader won’t be crowned this year, this year marks a special anniversary for three former Cougars who have been the school’s all-time career rushing leader.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dylan Collie Commits To BYU

Oak Ridge High School’s Dylan Collie has committed to play college football for the Brigham Young Cougars. The 5’10”, 175 pound wide receiver and return specialist will be the fourth Collie to wear Cougar blue. He plans to play one year (2012) and then leave to serve a two year mission. That would put him back on the field in 2015.

Poll Results: Is pairing BYU and Utah in the same bowl every year a good idea?

The poll results were overwhelmingly against this idea. “No” received 88% of the vote.

I would vote “No” as well. There are only two reasons why BYU and Utah might attempt to arrange an annual bowl meeting:

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Not So Down Years

Okay, Brigham Young Cougars fans, what is the first thing that comes to mind when you remember 1986, 1987, and 1988?

The majority of fans would probably say one of three things:

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Highlights: Brigham Young Cougars vs. Utah Utes (2006)

This week's highlights was an easy choice. With the talk about BYU vs. Utah in a bowl game, and with all the positive press that John Beck is getting as the potential starting quarterback for the Washington Redskins this year, I am going with the rivalry game from five years ago--2006.

BYU vs. Utah 2006

Enjoy!

The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at bluecougarfootball@gmail.com

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thursday Trivia: Playing A Former Conference Member In A Bowl Game

The correct answer to the last trivia question "How many players from the 1996 roster played in the Canadian Football League?" is 9. They were: Steve Sarkisian, Omarr Morgan, Ben Cahoon, Kevin Feterik, Harland Ah You, Shay Muirbrook, James Dye, Ben Archibald, and Ronney Jenkins.

On to this week's question. On Monday, I threw out the idea of the annual BYU-Utah game being played as a bowl game. Even if that never happens, the two teams still might play each other in a bowl sometime in the future now that they are not in the same conference. Therefore, this week’s trivia question asks:
How many times has BYU played a former conference member in a bowl game?
Leave your answer in the comments section. Come back next week when the answer is revealed and a new trivia question is asked.

More trivia questions can be found on the Trivia page.

The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at bluecougarfootball@gmail.com

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Flashback: Jamal Willis’ Impactful Debut (1991)

As the 2011 season approaches, Brigham Young Cougars fans are anxious for several players to not only make their debut, but to also make an impact.

Twenty years ago, a running back from Las Vegas, Nevada, made his debut. With consensus All-American and Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer back for his senior season, no offensive newcomer was expected to have much of an impact. However, at 6’3” and 220 pounds, Willis was a rare breed. His size made him tough to take down. His fluid running motion and great hands made him a passing threat out of the backfield.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Poll Results: Did Jadon Wagner make a good decision to skip his senior year and go to the CFL?

This was another lopsided poll. Seventy-eight percent (78%) of respondents said, "Yes" Jadon Wagner made a good decision to skip his senior year and go to the CFL.

If a few assumptions are true, then I agree with the majority. Assumption #1: Wagner wasn't going to see his NFL draft stock change even with a good senior year. Assumption #2: Wagner's playing time could decrease this year. BYU is loaded with talent at linebacker this year. Assumption #3: His age (currently 26 years old) would work against him if he waited one more year. I think almost anyone would make the same decision as Wagner did, if they found themselves in this situation.

Again, I congratulate him on being drafted and wish him the best of luck.

Thank you to everyone who voted. Don't forget to vote in this week's poll: "Is pairing BYU and Utah in the same bowl every year a good idea?"

The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at bluecougarfootball@gmail.com

Monday, May 16, 2011

Best Alternative For BYU Bowl?

About three weeks ago, word got loose that the Brigham Young Cougars were investigating hosting a new bowl game. As an independent football team with no conference bowl tie-ins, this is one solution to the annual dilemma: Will BYU have a bowl to play in? When I first heard the news, I thought it was a bad idea. Besides the fact that BYU will probably have better offers in 2014, all the other issues surrounding forming a great bowl game come into play: quality competition, competitive payout ($1 million minimum), and adverse weather conditions.

Bottom line, I don’t think the BYU Bowl is viable. There is only one scenario that might be worthwhile: blend the BYU bowl and the Holy War.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Changing Web Address

I am purchasing the domain www.bluecougarfootball.com. I am told that this could cause the site to be down for 24 hours. 

The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at bluecougarfootball@gmail.com

Friday Highlights: Omarr Morgan

With the focus on former Brigham Young Cougars and the Canadian Football League this week, I thought it would be good to remember one big contribution by Omarr Morgan. This highlight is short, but always great to see--the interception to seal the Cotton Bowl.

Omarr Morgan Cotton Bowl Interception

Enjoy!

The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at bluecougarfootball@gmail.com

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Thursday Trivia: Players from 1996 in the CFL

The correct answer to the last trivia question "What year was the last year that BYU played three games in the Lone Star State?" is 1997. BYU played games at Rice, at UTEP, and at SMU that year.

On to this week's question. Keeping with the CFL theme of this week, this week’s trivia question asks:
How many players from the 1996 roster played in the Canadian Football League?
Leave your answer in the comments section. Come back next week when the answer is revealed and a new trivia question is asked.

More trivia questions can be found on the Trivia page.

The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at bluecougarfootball@gmail.com

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Flashback: Canadian Cougars

With two former Brigham Young Cougars starting careers in the Canadian Football League this week, it seems appropriate to look back on BYU’s Canadian Cougars—those who have played in the CFL and those who played prep ball in Canada before joining the BYU football team.

The Natives
BYU has had 11 native Canadians suit up, including current wide receiver Dalin Tollestrup. Bill Wylie, a tailback, was the first Canadian player back in 1963. All but two of these ten players have come from the Canadian providence of Alberta. Mohammed Elewonibi (Kamloops, British Colombia) was the most successful during his playing days as a Cougar. He was a consensus All-American in 1989; the same year he won the Outland Trophy. Todd Herget (1991-93) is the second most recognizable Canadian player. Ray Brock (1977-79) is the only Cougar from eastern Canada (Toronto).

The other Canadians are: Kent Bray (1964-65), Greg Peterson (1981-83), John McCorquindale (1974-76), Jadon Wagner (2007-10), Aaron Wagner (2004-06), and Lloyd Fairbanks (1972-74).

The Imports
BYU has made a mark on the CFL since Fairbanks returned home to play in 1975. Herget, both Wagners, Elewonibi, and Peterson also returned to help build the CFL brand.

The CFL has also imported several Cougars, and they are the ones who have had the biggest impact. Foremost among the imports is Ben Cahoon, who retired earlier this year as the all-time CFL leader in career receptions (1,017). Cahoon played 13 years in the CFL after being selected sixth overall in the 1998 draft. He spent all 13 seasons with the Montreal Alouettes and was a member of three Grey Cup championship teams. Cahoon amassed 13,301 yards receiving (6th all-time in the CFL), and 65 touchdowns. He was a division all-star ten times, and the CFL’s Outstanding Canadian twice (2002 and 2003).

Cornerback Omarr Morgan also appears to have finished his illustrious career earlier this year. Morgan played 10 of his 11 seasons with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. During his playing career, Morgan made 609 tackles, 27 interceptions (two returned for touchdowns), and recovered 11 fumbles (three returned for touchdowns). All of Morgan’s fumble return touchdowns were over 50 yards, including a 108 yard return in 2009.

Offensive lineman Ben Archibald is still going strong. He switched teams earlier this year going from the Calgary Stampeders to the the British Columbia Lions. Archibald was named the CFL’s most outstanding lineman in 2010.

Several other Cougars have played as imports in the CFL, including: Harland Ah You, Scott Collie, Steve Sarkisian, Kevin Feterik, Neal Fort, Shay Muirbrook, Jamal Willis, and James Dye.

Now, it is up to Jadon Wagner and Brian Logan to continue BYU’s tradition of CFL excellence.

To read other Flashbacks, visit the Flashbacks page.

The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at bluecougarfootball@gmail.com

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Former Brigham Young Cougar Brian Logan Joins the Edmonton Eskimos

Brian Logan became the second former Brigham Young Cougars football player to join the Canadian Football League (CFL). The Deseret News is reporting that the 5'6" cornerback has signed a free agent contract with the Edmonton Eskimos. Jadon Wagner joined the Hamilton Tiger-Cats as that team's 6th round draft pick last Sunday.

Logan has his work cut out for himself. The Eskimos also signed David Pittman, a 2006 Baltimore Ravens draft pick, and the Eskimos expect Pittman to compete for a starting position. The Eskimos' press release does not indicate such lofty expectations, or any expectations for that matter, for Logan.

The CFL also presents a challenge with wider fields, larger end zones, and different pass defense strategies that Logan will have to learn. 

Logan was a defensive leader for BYU in 2010 finishing 3rd in tackles with 51 and tied for second in interceptions and pass break ups with two and seven, respectively.

Former BYU cornerback Omarr Morgan just completed a very successful CFL career that included a year with the Edmonton Eskimos in 2007.

The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at bluecougarfootball@gmail.com

Poll Results: Aside from a possible BCS bowl, could BYU have done better than the Armed Forces Bowl in 2011?

The results are in, and 70% voted "No," BYU could not have done better than the Armed Forces Bowl in 2011. The other 30% voted "Yes."

The bowls games last year that had to find teams outside the conferences that they had contractual agreements with were: New Mexico Bowl, New Orleans Bowl, Vegas Bowl, Little Caesars, and Kraft Fight Hunger. I think the Armed Forces Bowl is on par with all of these. The fact is, that when conferences don't fill all of their bowl contracts, it is the worst bowls that go unfilled.

The X factor for the 2011 bowls is the Big XII. Reduced down to 10 teams, will they beable to fill all 8 of its bowl openings? The TicketCity Bowl was last in the Big XII pecking order in 2010, which would be the first bowl to go without a team. Last year, it pitted a Big Ten team with the Big XII representative, it was played on January 1 in Dallas, Texas, and the payout was $1.2 million per team.

Same location as the Armed Forces Bowl. The prestige of a January 1 bowl date. A more respected opponents, and 50% more cash. The TicketCity Bowl is easily better, but would the TicketCity bowl want BYU? The Pac-12 now has two more teams. Would the TicketCity Bowl look there first?

Without any certainty, I think BYU did the right thing to lock up a bowl agreement for 2011. Bigger bowl agreements will come in 2014 and beyond if BYU does well these next three years.

Thank you to everyone who voted. Don't forget to vote in this week's poll: "Did Jadon Wagner make a good decision to skip his senior year and go to the CFL?"

The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at bluecougarfootball@gmail.com

Monday, May 9, 2011

How Many Games Did Max Hall Win?

This is about a year late, but the idea didn’t come to me until a few months ago. Given the dearth of other topics to discuss, it still finds a place.  

I, for one, am surprised at the negative criticism of Max Hall and his status as a great BYU quarterback. He bested all former Cougar QBs in career passing yards and touchdown passes, except Ty Detmer. He did, however, surpass Detmer in the wins column. Detmer won 29 games. Hall won 32. Nevertheless, some find reason to keep Hall off of their personal list of BYU greats.

The title question, “How many games did Max Hall win?” is not referring to the 32 total wins that Hall had. Hall’s critics like to discredit him and attribute the 32 wins from 2007-2009 to his supporting cast. Therefore, I took a look back at all 39 games that Hall played and asked, “Did Max Hall provide late game heroics or do something out of the ordinary to win this game?”

Example of a game Max Hall did not win: 2007 vs. Eastern Washington.
BYU won this game 42-7, and Hall was merely 15-30 passing for 156 yards. Clearly, the supporting cast won this game. Cosmo the Cougar could have gotten under center in this game and BYU would have come out with a win.

How many games did Max Hall win? By my count, there were six.

1. Utah 2007. Hall’s numbers for the game were not pretty, but with less than 1:30 to play BYU faced 4th and 18 at their own 12-yard line. Hall connected with Austin Collie for 49 yards to keep the drive alive. BYU won 17-10.

2. UNLV 2008. The Rebels took a 35-34 lead with 6:49 left in the game. That is when Hall engineered a 74-yard touchdown drive. He was 5 for 5 passing on the drive that culminated in his 6-yard touchdown pass to Dennis Pitta with under two minutes to play. Hall also completed a pass to Harvey Unga for the 2-point conversion. BYU won 42-35.

3. Colorado State 2008. Colorado State went up 42-38 with just 1:44 to play. Hall drove BYU 76 yards in six plays. He was 5 of 6 passing this time. His 17-yard touchdown to Dennis Pitta with 22 seconds to play won the game. BYU won 45-42.

4. Oklahoma 2009. Max Hall guided BYU on a classic fourth quarter, game-winning touchdown drive. It was 16 plays; it covered 78 yards; it chewed up 8:44. Not only did Hall throw the game winning touchdown pass, he converted a critical 4th and 4 to keep the drive alive. BYU won 14-13.

5. San Diego State 2009. Hall led BYU on a 14 play, 80-yard drive to end the first half that ended on a 1-yard Max Hall keeper. This touchdown went a long way to BYU winning this game. Hall’s touchdown gave BYU a 21-14 advantage at halftime, and gave BYU the momentum. Hall scored the touchdown with no time on the clock. Coaches were trying to get him to spike the ball and stop the clock, but, in a split second decision, he chose to run to the sideline and go for the touchdown. Without this score at the end of the half, BYU might not have won. Final score: 38-28.

6. Utah 2009. Trailing Utah by three points in overtime, Max Hall took the field. On 2nd and 10, Hall dropped back to pass. He threw the ball between two Utah defenders to Andrew George, who caught the ball and raced the rest of the way into the end zone. BYU won 26-23.

What does this mean? If Max Hall was not worthy of the label “Great BYU Quarterback,” then he would have ended up with 26 wins, and his success could be attributed to a great supporting cast. The 32 wins by Hall does not mean to say that he was better than Detmer, but Hall did earn that record. He also earned the right to be respected as one of BYU’s great quarterbacks.

The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at bluecougarfootball@gmail.com

Jadon Wagner Drafted By Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Former Brigham Young Cougars linebacker Jadon Wagner was drafted in the sixth round of the Canadian Football League draft yesterday, May 8. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats selected Wagner with the 44th pick of the 47 players selected overall.

For more information on Wagner and his contributions to BYU's number 24th ranked defense in 2010, click here.

The complete list of CFL draft picks can be found here.

The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at bluecougarfootball@gmail.com

Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday Highlights: Brigham Young Cougars in the Pros

I still have the NFL draft on my mind, so I thought some highlight videos of Brigham Young Cougars in the pros would be appropriate for today.

Brett Keisel, #99 (Pittsburgh Steelers)
Austin Collie, #17 (Indianapolis Colts)

Enjoy!

The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at bluecougarfootball@gmail.com

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Brigham Young Cougars Linebacker Jadon Wagner Foregoes Senior Year to Play in CFL

The Brigham Young Cougars have lost a projected starting linebacker for 2011. Jadon Wagner registered 38 tackles in 2010 as he started nine games and played in twelve. He had seven tackles-for-loss and one sack.

The Calgary Herald is reporting that the 6'4", 246 pound Lethbridge, Alberta native has entered the Canadian Football League draft to be held this Sunday, May 8. He is projected to be a second or third round pick.

Wagner plans to return to BYU for Winter semester 2012 to take the one remaining class that he needs to graduate with a degree in advertising.

This marks the third straight year that a BYU player has foregone his senior year and entered the professional ranks. Austin Collie (Indianapolis Colts) did it following the 2008 season, Harvey Unga (Chicago Bears) did it following the 2009 season, and now Wagner has done it following the 2010 season.

The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at bluecougarfootball@gmail.com

Thursday Trivia: Playing Three Games In Texas

The correct answer to the last trivia question "What year was the last year that zero former BYU players were drafted by the NFL?" is 1994. That followed the odd 1993 season that saw BYU win the WAC and take number 11 Ohio State to the wire in the Holiday Bowl, but still finish a disappointing 6-6. The 1993 season was also the last time that BYU lost to Utah State before losing to the Aggies this past season. No wonder no former BYU players were drafted last week.

On to this week's question. With the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl game agreement announced last week, BYU has three games scheduled in Texas next year (at Texas, September 10; vs. TCU at Cowboys Stadium, October 28; and the Armed Forces Bowl, December 30). This week’s trivia question asks:
What year was the last year that BYU played three games in the Lone Star State?
Leave your answer in the comments section. Come back next week when the answer is revealed and a new trivia question is asked.

More trivia questions can be found on the Trivia page.

The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at bluecougarfootball@gmail.com

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Flashback: Hawaii Two-0 (1996)

The Brigham Young Cougars have two wide receivers that they hope will be menaces to the opposing secondary in 2011. Cody Hoffman and Ross Apo are two big bodies with immeasurable potential. Fifteen years ago, BYU had two wide receivers from Hawaii who gave defenders more than they could handle.

Levi “K.O.” Kealaluhi and Kaipo McGuire were a nice tandem in 1996. Kealaluhi, a native of Makawao, Hawaii, came to BYU from Grossmont Junior College in 1995. McGuire, a native of Pearl City, Hawaii, arrived at BYU in 1992. They both blossomed as seniors and were a large part of that season’s great success.

Kealaluhi was the team’s leading receiver. He racked up 901 yards on just 49 receptions; eight of those were touchdowns. K.O. was Mr. Clutch and will be remembered for landing two huge knockout punches. He scored the winning touchdown in the season opener against Texas A&M on a 46-yard bomb with just 1:03 to play to give BYU a stunning 41-37 win. He scored the winning touchdown from 28 yards out in the Cotton Bowl against Kansas State

Other highlights for K.O. during the season included two touchdowns from over 50 yards away. One was a season long 69-yarder against Arkansas State. The other was a 56-yarder against SMU with just 28 seconds left in the first half. For the game versus SMU, Kealaluhi had four receptions for 111 yards. Despite a scary grade 2 ligament tear in his knee during the TCU game, K.O. played the next week against UTEP and provided a critical offensive boost. For five straight games (UNLV through Rice), he caught a touchdown.

Both Kealaluhi and McGuire had their best game against Texas A&M. Kealaluhi did much more against the Aggies than score the aforementioned winning touchdown. He had six receptions for 151 yards on the day with one touchdown. McGuire finished the season opener with seven receptions for 146 yards and two touchdowns. One touchdown was for 51-yards. He had another 53-yard reception.

On the season, McGuire had 42 receptions for 658 yards and five touchdowns. These numbers earned him 2nd team All-WAC (Mountain Division) honors. McGuire caught a touchdown in each of the season’s first four games. He also added a 43-yard reception in the TCU game. While K.O. was delivering knockout hits, McGuire was taking them. Running very similar out routes, and in a very similar location on the field, McGuire was popped very hard in the Texas A&M and Kansas State games. Though diminutive, McGuire could fly. He was clocked under 4.4 in the 40 at the BYU pro day following the 1996 season.

Former BYU head coach LaVell Edwards once said in a Deseret News interview, “K.O. makes plays – none bigger than the catch against A&M. Kaipo is quicker, has good speed and is very tough for a little guy. He’s also a good blocker. K.O. is more physical and bigger. They both catch the ball extremely well.”

Kealaluhi and McGuire combined for roughly 38% of the team’s passing yards in 1996. If Hoffman and Apo are as integral to the BYU passing game in 2011, then it will be a good year.

More Flashbacks can be found on the Flashbacks page.

The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at bluecougarfootball@gmail.com

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Poll Results: Do your feelings about an NFL team change if they draft a BYU player?

In response to the latest poll question, "Do your feelings about an NFL team change if they draft a BYU player?" the overwhelming majority (85%) was "yes."

Count me as part of the majority. I have always based my fandom of NFL teams on whether or not they had former Brigham Young Cougars on their rosters. When Steve Young played for the 49ers, they were my number one team. Now, I don't follow them at all. The Philadelphia Eagles have had a long track record of carrying former Cougars on their roster since Vai Sikahema, Ty Detmer, and Chad Lewis throughout the 1990s. With Andy Reid as the head coach now, I still find a reason to root for the Eagles, even when they don't have any former BYU stars playing. However, the day that Reid is gone, if Philly doesn't have any former Cougars, then they will get little of my attention.

Even when the team is one I don't particularly like (Oakland Raiders), when it has BYU players I can better look past the issues I have with the franchise and root for that team to succeed.

Thank you to everyone who voted. Don't forget to vote in this week's question: "Aside from a possible BCS bowl, could BYU have done better than the Armed Forced Bowl in 2011?"

The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at bluecougarfootball@gmail.com

Monday, May 2, 2011

Brigham Young Cougars: NFL Draft Report

The Brigham Young Cougars were shut out of the NFL draft this weekend. It wasn’t too shocking, but still disappointing. It had been nearly two decades since a single Cougar was not drafted. Even during the bad Gary Crowton years former BYU players still got their names called. Anyways, normally by this time, three or four Cougars who did not get drafted have inked free agent contracts. This year, however, the NFL lockout is preventing free agents contracts.

Without new draftees or free agent signees to report on, the BYU NFL draft report will be exclusively how former Cougars already on NFL rosters may be impacted by the selections made by their current teams.

Arizona Cardinals
Many considered the Cardinals as the team most in need of a quarterback, yet they didn’t draft a single QB. That has to bode well for Max Hall. The Cardinals didn’t do much to help whoever is the signal caller this coming year. I suppose running back Ryan Williams (Virginia Tech) drafted in the second round and tight end Robert Housler (Florida Atlantic) were drafted as potential offensive weapons, but it would have been nicer to see some offensive linemen taken.

Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens drafted two tight ends last year, so it would have been a complete shock to see them draft another this year. Baltimore doesn’t appear to have done anything to hurt, or help, Dennis Pitta and his possible future. They did draft a quarterback (Tyrod Taylor, Virginia Tech), but that was in the sixth round. Joe Flacco’s job is safe.

Chicago Bears
The Bears drafted offensive lineman Gabe Carimi (Wisconsin) in the first round. If/When Harvey Unga sees the field, that should help. No running backs drafted.

Cincinnati Bengals
Fui Vakapuna was not directly threatened for his spot on the roster with the Bengals’ draft. Running back Jay Finley (Baylor) was drafted in the seventh round, but he is a 5’11”, 203 pound back who could never cut it at fullback. The Bengals did upgrade their offense as a whole, which should be considered a positive for Vakapuna. Wide receiver A.J. Green (Georgia) in the first round, quarterback Andy Dalton (TCU) in the second round, and offensive lineman Clint Boling (Georgia) in the fourth round were the key additions.

Dallas Cowboys
Travis Bright’s job may be in jeopardy. The Cowboys drafted three linemen: Tyron Smith (USC), David Arkin (Missouri State), and Bill Nagy (Wisconsin). While Arkin is the only one that appears to play guard like Bright, offensive linemen often learn and play all the positions on the line.

Denver Broncos
The Broncos drafted tight ends Julius Thomas (Portland State) in the fourth round and Virgil Green (Nevada) in the seventh. That might mean that Daniel Coats' days in Denver are numbered. However, Green has had some medical issues, and who knows how rehabilitation could turn out.

Green Bay Packers
The Packers drafted one linebacker in the sixth round D.J. Smith (Appalachian State), but Brady Poppinga shouldn’t be worried. Smith is small for a linebacker (5’11”, 239 pounds). NFL.com suggests that Smith’s only way to make the team is through special teams.

Indianapolis Colts
While I think Austin Collie will have a spot in Indianapolis as long as Peyton Manning is a Colt (and probably a lot longer than that), it was nice to see the Colts use zero draft picks on wide receivers.

The Colts did use a sixth round pick on defensive back Chris Rucker (Michigan State). Rucker isn’t an outstanding prospect, as indicated by being a sixth round selection, but Aaron Francisco isn’t exactly Indianapolis’ number one guy in the secondary. Francisco did have his best year last year, including a critical interception to help win one game, so I would expect him to still find a spot on opening day.

Miami Dolphins
Drafting Mike Pouncey (Florida) in the first round has to put Ray Feinga on alert. Not sure if Pouncey or any of the other draft picks can long snap the way John Denney can.

Minnesota Vikings
Fahu Tahi’s status with the team should go unchanged with the Vikings’ draft picks. No fullbacks or running backs selected. Minnesota had 10 picks, and used half of them on the offense. Two offensive linemen were taken in the sixth round, which probably doesn’t do much to upgrade the Vikings’ offensive front. Therefore, Tahi’s job to be the lead blocker for Adrian Peterson doesn’t appear to have gotten any easier, in that respect. In fact, by taking quarterback Christian Ponder in the first round, it could put more pressure on Tahi to ensure the ground game is clicking as the Vikings go through a transition at quarterback with possibly a rookie starting.

New York Giants
The Giants drafted wide receiver Jerrel Jernigan (Troy) in the third round. He is just 5’9” and will play in the slot. Todd Watkins, however, has been on the bubble almost every year to make a roster. Despite Jernigan being a different type of receiver, Watkins days as a Giant are probably done.

Oakland Raiders
Manase Tonga should expect to have an easier job lead blocking this year. The Raiders drafted two linemen in the draft: Stefen Wisniewski (Penn State) in the second round, and Joseph Barksdale (LSU) in the third round. None of the other draft picks should threaten Tonga’s spot on the roster.

Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles had a lot of picks and they went heavy on the offensive line. Offensive linemen were picked in the first round (Danny Watkins, Baylor), the fifth round (Julian Vandervelde, Iowa), and the sixth round (Jason Kelce, Cincinnati). This might mean that Dallas Reynolds is done in Philly. Reynolds does have a chance, since the Eagles list him as a center and only Kelce is reported to play center and his play at that position is questionable.

Pittsburgh Steelers
Chris Hoke could be in trouble. The Steelers took defensive tackle Cam Heyward (Ohio State) in the first round of the draft. Pittsburgh also took Chris Carter (Fresno State) in the fifth round. Hoke is 35 and has been in the league for 10 years and age may force him out soon.

Brett Keisel doesn’t appear to be in any immediate danger. He, too, has been in the league for 10 years, but he is just 32 and has been a bigger contributor to the Steelers than Hoke. Though Carter played defensive end in college, he is way to small (6'1", 248 pounds) for the position in the NFL.

St. Louis Rams
David Nixon and Bryan Kehl fought to find a role with the Rams last year as they were both mid-season acquisitions. They now have to fight with seventh round pick Jabara Williams (Stephan F. Austin) for a roster spot and playing time.

Kehl should be safe, but Nixon is vulnerable by this selection. Nixon only played in one game with St. Louis last year after joining the team in week seven. He was an undrafted free agent to start his career, and he has bounced around with three teams in two seasons.

Washington Redskins
John Beck might have had the best draft of all former Cougars. The Redskins didn’t draft a quarterback with one of their 12 picks. It appears Beck will get another starting opportunity this year. He will do it with some new targets as well. The ‘Skins drafted Leonard Hankerson (Miami) in the third round, Niles Paul (Nebraska) in the fifth round, and Aldrick Robinson (SMU) in the sixth round.

Washington also made an attempt to improve its ground game, always a benefit for a quarterback, by drafting Roy Helu (Nebraska) and Evan Royster (Penn State) in the fourth and sixth rounds, respectively. Hopefully the Redskins offensive line is solid, because the only lineman that Washington drafted was Maurice Hurt (Florida) in the seventh round.

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