Thursday, March 20, 2008


While most of the World Watches Basketball, including me, I serve up for your consumption the first of what will currently be 6 editions of draft preview. One for each pick. Feel free to debate. That is what the draft is all about, no one agrees. These are my biased projections after factoring in what I know about the Hawks.

Obviously we are inching ever so closely to the draft. I only wish it was closer. However, I thought, because of the lack of anything relevant happening this week, it would be a good time to start working on this. I read about 40 or so scouting reports yesterday, and have begun formulating my draft preview. To see how it is going to work.....

I am basing my draft preview off the limited amounts of info I have read about how Tim Ruskell handles the drat. What we know is that he heavily emphasizes character. He also isn't as quick to dismiss a player due to limitations such as size and speed. Right up there next to character is fit. He teaches scouts to find players that fit the teams system. Because of this, often the draft board may be smaller than other teams. From there he breaks the players into small lists of who he thinks will be available at each pick. This is flexible in case people slide.

This is what I have tried to do. I am going to put together blocks of players from different positions that could be available at each pick, and who the Hawks could take.

My opinion effects this greatly, so you will notice some of my beliefs pervading these analyzes. In this first round projection, you will not see a tackle or a wide receiver, that is because as many of you have seen me write, I don't believe that it makes sense for the Hawks to take those positions, because they would be lost on the depth chart for too long or already have a full complement of players.

So here is the chart, following it will be a little more info on each player.


Jonathan Stewart-- What else needs to be said? He is local, and he is damn good. He wants to be here and he is the thick stout type of runner who would complement Jones right away. He did just have toe surgery and some are predicting he will slip to the second, however if the Hawks want him, they better grab him here. He may go before this anyway.

Antione Cason-- This pick is totally contingent on the Marcus Trufant situation. Would be bother me and many of you to pick ANOTHER corner with our first pick? Of Course! But what else are we going do. If Marcus just has to have 10 mil a year the team may just have to replace him. With a year under his belt, this team could go into 09' with Cason in place of Marcus. He is a big physical playmaker, who also has great leadership and character.

Brandon Albert-- This is an interesting pick, because I am sure the team wants to see how guys like Sims and Wrotto develop. However, because Wahle is aging and won't play more than a few seasons here, and that Albert could possibly become a tackle, make it work in the long run. Ruskell likes Virgina players. Al Groh gets them ready to be pro's like no other college coach. Albert is no different, he will be a productive player for a long time.

Fred Davis-- Look, it appears that Davis might slip. It is even questionable if any tight end is worth a first round pick. This pick, along with Laws, could still happen if the team is able or wants to move back. However, if they can't move back, it is possible they will take him anyway. I think that everyone would agree that the Hawks need a tight end who can contribute right away. That guy is Davis, and he played in a pro system at SC, he should be able to catch on quickly and make an impact.

Trevor Laws--Of all the D Tackles outside of Dorsey and Ellis, this is the guy the Hawks will want. He may be available later, but this is the type of person that Ruskell will draft and not take a chance on missing. He is a high motor, high character, smart, and quick football player. He is probably best compared to Rocky Bernard, who not coincidentally becomes a free agent next year. The Hawks may trade back from 25 or up from 55 and still get try to get this guy, but if that seems unlikely, they may just take him.

Kenny Phillips-- At first I didn't necessarily think to put Phillips on the board, but it actually makes a lot sense. Brian Russell and Deon Grant were great last year, but both are veterans, as are Mike Green and Babs. This team will defintely take a safety. CJ Wallace is a nice story, but I doubt they project him to be a difference maker or even a starter. I think one year of Ken Hamlin and Michael Boulware was all Ruskell needed to make sure the team has good young safeties. Heck, some of you even attribute the corners improvement to the safeties, so this secures the secondary for a long time. Ruskell has taken Atkins and Jennings in successive years, so he has plenty of inside info on Phillips. I couldn't find anyone speaking poorly about his character, so I have to believe that he doesn't fit stereotypical ideal of Hurricane players of old.


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