Five guys I think you should really consider drafting:
1. Tim Hightower, RB, Washington, third round. Olandis Gary. Terrell Davis. Mike Anderson. Tim Hightower? Could be. He's got the one-cut running style and tackle-breaking ability Mike Shanahan loves. I'm not saying he'll turn into this year's Arian Foster -- he's going to have to beat out Ryan Torain first -- but I can tell you he's going to get every chance to win the job and be the main mail carrier for a team that's going to have to run the ball to have a chance.
2. Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh, seventh round. Mike Wallace will have been drafted much earlier. You'll need depth at receiver, and the chemistry between Ben Roethlisberger and this speedster from Central Michigan is getting very good.
3. Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Buffalo, eighth round. He'll be the 21st quarterback taken, or somewhere in that vicinity, in your draft. That's too low. When you line up in a five-wide formation with the young talent the Bills have outside, you have a chance to put up good numbers. By the way, he averaged 231 passing yards a game last year, Tom Brady 243.
4. Donald Jones, WR, Buffalo, 12th round. The Bills are going to throw it a lot. Jones could be the second-most productive receiver to Stevie Johnson, with apologies to Lee Evans. Don't worry if you haven't heard of him. No one in your league has, either.
5. Jeremy Kerley, WR/KR, New York Jets, last round. At practice Wednesday, Kerley did an out-route right in front of me, caught the pass with his fingertips, diving, and got both feet inbounds, barely. What a catch. A Cris Carter, parallel-to-the-ground catch while making sure his feet touched green, not white.
The fifth-round pick from TCU, who made a lot of catches like that from Andy Dalton, is challenging for the slot receiver job, and kick and punt return gigs. He's a guy Rex Ryan loves, special teams coach Mike Westhoff loves more, and you can feel him getting a real shot to touch the ball and score touchdowns. "Jeremy Kerley's got a chance, I think, to be something special,'' Ryan said. Will he be in the regular offense enough to matter? Maybe not. I just feel something with him and Ryan.
"This is the greatest day of my life.''
-- Ninety-four-year-old Ed Sabol (how fitting is this: he turns 95 on the opening Sunday of the NFL season), the founder of NFL Films, upon being enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday night.
"There's no way I'm going to wish him well.''
-- Jets coach Rex Ryan, on former New York defensive lineman Shaun Ellis, who signed with the Patriots as a free agent Sunday.
"I expect that we'll be testing for HGH by the start of the regular season."
-- Commissioner Roger Goodell, to Sirius NFL Radio on Friday.
"Beside the fact that it really makes me sick?''
-- Miami coach Tony Sparano, asked how he felt when fans at a Dolphins practice began chanting, "We want Orton.'' Miami was in failed trade discussions with Denver for quarterback Kyle Orton, which, by the way, I consider to be a terrible mistake by Miami. Not that they were in discussions with Denver, but that they have failed thus far. Orton would be a significant upgrade over Chad Henne.
"They're destroying that company. It's a cold-blooded killing. Bornstein and Katz are just cold-eyed network killers. They don't care about what we represented. Their approach is how much cheap crap can you turn out as quickly as possible so we can stick it on this godawful network that we've created.''
-- Former NFL Films Vice President Phil Tuckett, to Paul Domowitch of the Philadelphia Daily News, on what has happened to NFL Films since the league put NFL Network and league broadcast czars Steve Bornstein and Howard Katz in charge of the company.
What the Jets offered Nnamdi Asomugha both stuns me and doesn't surprise me at all.
All along, I though the Jets offered Asomugha more than the Eagles, who signed him to a four-year deal worth $12 million a year. Not so.
The Jets, I've learned, offered the object of their cornerbacking affections a three-year, $30-million deal -- salaries of $8 million this year, $10 million in 2012 and $12 million in 2013. There was a fourth year to the deal, but an inflated, phony year neither side ever planned to honor. So the Jets, now paying Darrelle Revis $11.5 million a year over four years (there are three phony years on the end of that deal), would have capped Asomugha out at $10 million a year.
Stunning because the Jets wanted Asomugha so bad, and because they offered $10 million a year over three years in real money. Not surprising because the Jets didn't want to give another corner more than Revis gets ... and set the stage for both corners combining to make 20 percent of the team's salary cap in the coming years.
Interesting that the mega-market for Asomugha never developed. "I never believed the numbers people were throwing around about me,'' Asomugha told me at Eagle camp Friday. He was right: Some team may have offered more than Philly's $12 million annual deal, and I hear one team did. Maybe Houston. Maybe Dallas. I don't know. But I do think I'd be very surprised if the Jets thought they'd get Asomugha with a three-year, $30 million offer.
Buffalo defensive tackle Kyle Williams, a wide, 295-pound man with thick legs, shot a 66 at the University Club in Baton Rouge two summers ago. Seven birdies and an eagle.
Last year, Williams, who hadn't played organized baseball since his junior year in high school, took batting practice at Rogers Centre before a Blue Jays game. He hit a home run an estimated 400 feet.
And before Marshawn Lynch left the team last year in trade with Seattle, he challenged Williams to a swimming race in the team's rehab pool. Williams, a competitive swimmer growing up in Louisiana, beat him easily.
On Sunday, I asked him his golf handicap.
"Zero,'' he said.
Four of them:
THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT. HAPPILY -- Ever been to Pittsford, N.Y.? It's a little suburb south of Rochester, and the site of St. John Fisher College, where the Bills have encamped since 1999. It's the land the recession forgot. Nothing's changed here. It has the preppy, Sunday morning churchgoers and Izod crowd (I didn't really fit in) at Starbucks -- one of whom left a yellow lab laying in front of the shop, not tied up, while inside.
Oak Hill Country Club, where the U.S. Open has been held (and the 2013 PGA will be played) is here. The city has the stately giant oaks and maples providing cover for the huge homes that I can only guess are the pads for old Kodak and Bausch & Lomb execs. The old-time Erie Canal runs through it. "It's a Norman Rockwell painting,'' said the Bills president, Russ Brandon, who met me for coffee with Bills PR man Scott Berchtold Sunday morning.
Brandon played baseball at St. John Fisher in the '80s and he pointed out the window to a white house across the street, next to a small restaurant. "That's the local bar -- Thirsty's. No sign on it. Everyone knows it's Thirsty's, the bar. Then Hungry's is right next to it. Thirsty's doesn't have food, but you can go get food at Hungry's and bring it into Thirsty's. They don't mind.''
JUNK FOOD NOTE OF THE WEEK -- We don't always eat the best food on the road (no!) here in the USO mobile, and so that's why I came across this little (Mc) nugget: In some markets -- I saw it in Gastonia, N.C. -- McDonald's has rolled out the Rolo McFlurry.
You know Rolos. If you're a proud American, you should. Caramel center, chocolate coating. They come six or seven to a roll. And McDonald's crushes them and embeds them in vanilla ice cream and whirls them around in a McFlurry kind of machine, and here comes the Rolo McFlurry. I just like saying that -- Rolo McFlurry. What's next in a McFlurry? Slim Jims?
THE ONLY ONE WE'RE MISSING IS BLUE BALL -- Five towns I have loved driving by/through over the past 10 days:
1. China Grove, N.C., north of Charlotte. No Doobie Brothers in sight, though.
2. Fair Play, S.C. A fur piece from Cheap Shot, S.C.
3. Pleasant Unity, Pa., near Latrobe. You drive through Pleasant Unity, and you just feel like hugging John Boehner.
4. Cairo, Ohio, which is west of Paris, Ohio; further west of Lisbon, Ohio; east of London, Ohio; north of Athens, Ohio; and southeast of Milan, Ohio.
5. North Chili, N.Y. Seems like there ought to be a Skyline or Gold Star there.
I AM OBLIVIOUS TO EVERYTHING WHILE ON THE ROAD -- Wife to me Saturday morning when I called home from Pittsburgh: "Did you hear the bad news from last night?''
"Yeah,'' I said. "Red Sox had a 2-0 lead and blew it. They lost. Saw that.''
Wife: "No!! Our credit rating got downgraded. We are in so much trouble as a country.''
Uh, yeah. The credit rating. Washington. The real world. Missed that one while watching Shannon and Sterling Sharpe hug each other on stage in Canton. You know, the important stuff.
If you can answer this question without googling it or somehow looking it up, you're a better man (and fan) than I: Who is the Buffalo Bills' offensive coordinator?
Answer in number 10 of Ten Things I Think I Think.
"News break: Senate, after listening to Marshall Faulk, decided to permanently eliminate the filibuster.''
@PatMcManamon, the FOXsports.com writer, after listening to the 33-minute, 50-second speech by Marshall Faulk at the Hall of Fame enshrinement Saturday night in Canton.
"Deion Sanders thanked 109 people in his Hall of Fame speech last night.''
--@darrenrovell, the CNBC business reporter, on Sunday, obviously wanting to make Monday Morning Quarterback and knowing what a fan I would be of this factoid.
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