What I’m Hearing, August 2012
A new Cowboys Nation feature culls rumors and nuggets from my source network on the NFL and the college game.
— I asked some sources to recommend teams that might have a receiver surplus next week and was told to look at the Rams. As strange as that sounds, they loaded up at wideouts in Jeff Fisher’s first year, adding Brian Quick and Chris Givens to a group of tall wideouts that already included Greg Salas, Brandon Gibson, Denario Alexander, Austin Pettis. Add slot targets Danny Amendola and the fomer Giant and Eagle Steve Smith and the Rams have eight candidates to consider. One of the bigger young targets, a Pettis or an Alexander, may intrigue the Cowboys if they hit the street.
The Arizona Cardinals were also mentioned as a club which may have some talented receivers to cut loose next week.
— Some teams that were recommended to track for interior offensive linemen cuts are the Falcons, who already had Todd McClure and Joe Hawley at center before they drafted Peter Konz. Konz may work at guard, but the team has four center fighting for spots, with Miami Hurricane Tyler Horn rounding out the quartet.
The Ravens are another team with four centers still on the roster, with Justin Boren running 3rd team. The second year man from Ohio State is 325 lbs. and fits the big boy mold the Ravens prefer, but he’s behind Matt Birk and Gino Gradkowski. The Ravens have journeyman Cecil Newton running 4th string. The team also has a glut of large guard prospects.
The Dolphins John Jerry was mentioned as a guard prospect to track. One person I spoke to thought highly of Jerry coming out of Ole Miss and feels he might benefit from joining a new team. Jerry has struggled to crack the Dolphins lineup in his three years with the club. Watch him on the cut-down days.
— The Bills were singled out as a team that will have a glut of defensive linemen and will have some tough cuts to make. This was before Buffalo released Shawn Merriman. The Bills still have another tough cut or two to make on that unit.
— Moving to the college game, one source remained bullish on the former LSU defensive back Tyrann Mathieu, provided he’s able to get his life back on track. This person said Mathieu is too talented a football player, and will get serious consideration if he’s able to rebuild his life and get back on the football field. His size will work against him, even if he recovers. The source said of Mathieu, “he’s too good a player not to go in the 2nd round, even with his problems, but he’ll never be a top 10 player, because of his physical limitations.”
— I was told the 2013 running backs class will be loaded, and that with teams devaluing the running back spot, some very good runners are likely to last into the 4th round. If some of the top 2014 backs declare early, this crop could compare to or surpass the 2008 class, which saw five backs taken in the first, including Chris Johnson and Johnathan Stewart. Ray Rice and Matt Forte were drafted in the 2nd round that year. Jamaal Charles went in the 3rd, Tim Hightower in the 5th and Peyton Hillis in the 7th.
’08 alum Felix Jones will need a strong contract year drive, or next year the Cowboys will go hunting for another 3rd to 4th round bargain in the Marion Barber, DeMarco Murray mold. I’ll have much more on the 2013 running backs group later.
— I’ve heard that 2013 looks like a poor year for offensive tackles, especially for blind-side protectors. Florida’s Adrian Mixon gets some love, but most of the top tackle prospects look like better fits on the right side.