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Berger’s 2011 NFL Mock Draft

1. Carolina Panthers -DT Marcell Dareus

This team has so many holes that I do not think they can actually make a bad pick. While I think the best way to go would be to take QB Blaine Gabbert, I find it hard for them to admit they were wrong on Jimmy Clausen so soon. I see them taking the best player on the board.

2. Denver Broncos – OLB Von Miller

Miller has impressed a ton with his workouts. The Broncos are transitioning to a four man front and ranked dead last in sacks last year. Miller is a dominant pass rusher coming off the end so this pick makes the most sense to me.

3. Buffalo Bills – QB Blaine Gabbert

There has been some speculation that Cam Newton will be taken here, but I doubt it. Not only is Gabbert the more pro-ready quarterback, but he does not have a questionable past. There also has been some speculation that current QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is supposed to be the QB of the future, but I think the Bills are smart enough to realize that would not be a wise move.

4. Cincinnati Bengals – QB Cam Newton

With Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco likely on their way out the door, it would not be surprising to see them take A.J. Green or Julio Jones with their first pick. However, with the Bengals past in taking character issue players and their need for a QB after Carson Palmers latest trade demands, Newton just seems to fit the bill.

5. Arizona Cardinals – CB Patrick Peterson

Peters0n is hands down the best corner in the draft. If they take Peterson to team up with Rodgers-Cromartie, they could have one of the best cornerback tandems in the league.

6. Cleveland Browns – WR A.J. Green

In Cleveland, the number one priority needs to be helping their young QB Colt McCoy to develop and the best way to do that is to draft a top wide receiver in Green, whom they so desperately need.

7. San Francisco 49ers – CB Prince Amukamara

Many may consider this one a stretch, but I do not see Peterson on the board for them and corner is their biggest hole. Amukamara is still a viable option, so why not?

8. Tennessee Titans – DE Da’Quan Bowers

I would usually say Nick Fairley here, but after the bad luck the Titans have had with poor character guys lately (Vince Young, Albert Haynesworth), I do not see them taking another risk so soon.

9. Dallas Cowboys – OT Tyrone Smith

Tony Romo needs some more protection as evidenced by last year. Another way they could possibly go is with Bowers if he manages to fall to the ‘Boys at nine.

10. Washington Redskins – DE Robert Quinn

The Redskins produced the 25th most sacks last year and they need someone to line up opposite of Brian Orakpo.

11. Houston Texans – DE J.J. Watt

The Texans need help on defense across the board and what better way to start than dynamic line anchor, Watt?

12. Minnesota Vikings – OT Anthony Castonzo

It was incredibly evident that the Vikings need help on the offensive line after Favre got beat up and Peterson’s ypc went down.

13. Detroit Lions – DT Nick Fairley

Many might find it hard to see Fairley fall this low, but somehow I do. The Lions would take him without any hesitation.

14. St. Louis Rams – WR Julio Jones

There is not one other picks that makes an ounce of sense compared to this one. Bradford needs a receiver and here one is.

15. Miami Dolphins – RB Mark Ingram

The Dolphins are in need of a shot of youth in their running back group. I think they will give Chad Henne one more year to prove himself as a starting QB.

16. Jacksonville Jaguars – DE Aldon Smith

The Jaguars had the second least sacks last year and with a little help from the deepest end class we have seen in years, Smith should fill the void.

17. New England Patriots from Oakland – DE Cameron Jordan

As injuries and age took their toll last year, the Pats take Jordan as part of their act to remodel the defense.

18. San Diego Chargers – DE Muhammed Wilkerson

The Chargers do not really have holes anywhere, but Wilkerson should come in and help get this team back to elite status right away.

19. New York Giants – OG/C Mike Pouncey

The Giants are going to view the second coming of Maurkice Pouncey first hand.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – OLB Akeem Ayers

The Bucs need a pass rush off the outside and Ayers fills the need.

21. Kansas City Chiefs – OT Nate Solder

They need to shore up the run blocking and it starts with drafting Solder.

22. Indianapolis Colts – OT Gabe Carimi

The line is aging and not much would make Manning happier than some reinforced protection.

23. Philadelphia Eagles – CB Jimmy Smith

The Eagles need another cornerback to go alongside Asante Samuel.

24. New Orleans Saints – DE Adrian Clayborn

Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams likes to bring the blitz, but it was not very effective last year with a weak pass rush. Clayborn fixes that.

25. Seattle Seahawks – QB Jake Locker

Hasselbeck will only play one more season for the Seattle and Locker is the same style player, so what better fit is there?

26. Baltimore Ravens – DE Cameron Heyward

The Ravens defense is getting very old and in need of an influx of young talent.

27. Atlanta Falcons – DE Ryan Kerrigan

The Falcons haven’t finished with more than 31 sacks in either of their last two years.

28. New England Patriots – WR Leon Hankerson

Now that Moss is gone, the Patriots need another wide reciever for the future. If they take Hankerson, they can develop a nice three headed monster with Wes Welker and Brandon Tate.

29. Chicago Bears – DT Corey Liuget

The Bears need a new cog in the middle and if Liuget falls to them, I don’t see them passing.

30. New York Jets – DT Phil Taylor

They need to solidify their defensive line.

31. Pittsburgh Steelers – CB Brandon Harris

If they had a weakness last year, it was a shut down corner and Harris could develop into that.

32. Green Bay Packers – OLB Brooks Reed

Reed is a great off-the-edge rusher who will take some pressure off of Clay Matthews.

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More Changes on the Way for EE

You probably have noticed there being some major changes to the website recently and there will likely be some more coming. I am currently in the process of switching the web host for the site which will give us much more options. I won’t spoil it all now, but in a few days you’ll see what I mean.

Dolphins, Bengals to Meet with Mallett

Ryan Mallett probably has the best arm in the whole draft. However, he has been very difficult to project in terms of where he goes.

The Dolphins plan on meeting with Mallett this week for evaluating, then bringing him in for workouts on April 14-15. After that, the Bengals are going to bring him in for a two day workout also.

Mallett has been projected to go as high as a top five pick to as low and a second round pick.

AP Photo/Brett Flashnick

The Dolphins have had some uncertainty about their quarterback position after the inconsistent play from Chad Henne last year. Whether they take a QB in the first round is better determined by flipping a coin.

The Bengals originally took the ignorant route to Carson Palmer’s trade demands by saying that wouldn’t entertain any offers. However, now they are changing direction and it looks like they will trade Palmer to a new team prior to next season.

I don’t think they will take Mallett with their first pick, though. They seem more likely to take Auburn QB, Cam Newton.

2011 Fantasy Rankings PPR: RB

  1. Adrian Peterson
  2. Chris Johnson
  3. Arian Foster
  4. Maurice Jones-Drew
  5. Jamaal Charles
  6. LeSean McCoy
  7. Rashard Mendenhall
  8. Ray Rice
  9. Frank Gore
  10. Matt Forte
  11. Darren McFadden
  12. Michael Turner
  13. Steven Jackson
  14. LeGarrette Blount
  15. Peyton Hillis
  16. Ryan Grant
  17. Knowshon Moreno
  18. Jahvid Best
  19. Ahmad Bradshaw
  20. Shonn Greene
  21. Ryan Matthews
  22. DeAngelo Williams
  23. Jonathan Stewart
  24. Cedric Benson
  25. BenJarvus Green-Ellis
  26. Felix Jones
  27. Ryan Torain
  28. Beanie Wells
  29. C.J. Spiller
  30. Marshawn Lynch
  31. Christopher Ivory
  32. Fred Jackson
  33. Ronnie Brown
  34. Joseph Addai
  35. Pierre Thomas
  36. Danny Woodhead
  37. Michael Bush
  38. Mike Tolbert
  39. James Starks
  40. LaDainian Tomlinson

Player Profile: Mariano Rivera

Mariano Rivera is 41 years of age, but he is still playing at an incredibly high level of play.

Last year, he had an ERA of 1.80 in 61 appearances with 33 saves. In fact, in his last eight seasons, he has only had an ERA over two, just once. That’s pretty magnificent for a guy that was supposed to retire three years ago.

Overall, he has played 16 MLB seasons and has compiled a 2.23 ERA and 559 saves. He also has been to the All-Star game a whopping 10 times. He also has won the AL Rolaids Relief award five times. To top it off, he leads all active pitchers in career ERA and is 13th in MLB history.

However, how long will he be able to keep up the production?

In the past three years, I have noticed a steady incline in his ERA. It obviously has not been a dramatic increase, but it is evident.

Even though he only pitched six less innings in 2010 than in 2009, he threw 27 less strike outs. It seems remarkable that those are the only numbers that have actually shown signs of age, but it might be enough for me to place a red flag on Rivera.

In fantasy baseball, closer is a deep and also somewhat meaningless position. You can find closers for miles upon miles that are usable.

However, I still expect Rivera to have one more plausible season, in the two ERA range, then another declining season in the tank for an over three ERA. After that, he retires as his contract is up.

EE Sports World Exclusive Interview With Darrell Ceciliani

Darrell Ceciliani

I got the pleasure of getting to chat with Darrell Ceciliani today, prospect for the New York Mets.

Ceciliani hit .351 with a .410 OBP and had two home runs, 35 runs batted in and 21 stolen bases in 68 games last year for the short A Brooklyn Cyclones of the New York-Pennsylvania League. He also set franchise records of 95 hits, 56 runs and 12 triples.

He was selected as a NYP Mid-Season All Star and won the Mets’ Sterling Award for the Brooklyn Cyclones, which the Mets hand out to each of their nine teams in the minors for the most improved player.

Ceciliani is a player quickly on the rise to the top and if he continues his hard work and dedication, he will be in the majors in a matter of years. Here at EE Sports World, we are pulling for him every step of the way.

Brandon Berg: What’s the life of a minor leaguer like? What do you do on a typical day during the regular season?

Darrell Ceciliani: We get up and at ‘em around 10 a.m. and have some breakfast. We get out to the field by one or two. I get my arm worked down and take some batting practice. After that, we just chill and relax. We prepare for the pitcher whether it be a righty or a lefty and just get into the right mindset. We then do some defensive work then play at about 7 p.m.

What level are you going to start at this year? What is the schedule like for Spring Training?

DC: They have been telling me I’ll be starting at Low A Savannah. We get up at seven, get on field at nine, take defense and batting practice then play game at one. We are usually done by four and do some lifting and eat around six.

You had a great year last year, what’s the next step for you in terms of development as far as developing your game to get ready for your future baseball playing career?

DC: I have to improve every part of my game to get to the ultimate dream, the big leagues. I go out every day and just work hard to improve everything in my game. If I had to single a couple things out, it would be my bunting and base running needs to improve. I use my speed to the best of my advantage to put pressure on the defense. That’s one of the biggest things I’m going to be working on this season.

What was your most memorable moment in your time in the minors so far?

DC: Last year during a game in Brooklyn, I came up in the bottom of the 9th. I hit walk-off home run. It was a rush, never had a feeling like that. It was really cool to go out there and win the game for the team.

What was your MLB draft experience like?

DC: I actually was in class, taking a couple final exams. My dad was also with me that day to go through the experience with me. I got a call from the coach asking, hurry up, finish the final and get to his office because I had just been picked up by the Mets in the 4th round. That was a great day for me, I was excited and it was an honor to be chosen where I was and to go out and start my baseball career right away.

How long did it take you to get on the field after the draft?

DC: I was drafted on either the 10th or the 11th. I got to Tennesse to start playing by the 23rd or 24th of June because I had to take a couple finals to finish up.

We want to thank Darrell for the interview and wish him the best of luck as he speeds toward his ultimate goal of reaching the majors. Like Darrell’s Facebook Page to keep up with everything that is happening with Darrell. His agent was also a very great help in setting everything up so you should check out his page also.

2011 Fantasy Rankings: QB

Rivers tops my fantasy qb rankings at this point.

These ranking will follow the scoring system:

Passing TD: 6 Points

Rushing TD: 6 Points

Passing Yards: 1 point for every 25 yards

Interception: negative 2 points

  1. Phillip Rivers
  2. Aaron Rodgers
  3. Drew Brees
  4. Michael Vick
  5. Tom Brady
  6. Peyton Manning
  7. Matt Schaub
  8. Ben Roethlisberger
  9. Tony Romo
  10. Josh Freeman
  11. Matt Cassel
  12. Eli Manning
  13. Matt Ryan
  14. Joe Flacco
  15. Sam Bradford
  16. Matthew Stafford
  17. Tim Tebow
  18. Jay Cutler
  19. David Garrard
  20. Ryan Fitzpatrick
  21. Jason Campbell
  22. Carson Palmer
  23. Matt Hasselbeck
  24. Chad Henne
  25. Mark Sanchez
  26. Kevin Kolb
  27. Vince Young
  28. Donavan McNabb
  29. Kyle Orton
  30. Colt McCoy

Sweet 16 Picks and Previews From Brandon Berg and Andy Erickson

Take a look at the EE Sports World Sweet 16 preview from Brandon Berg and Andy Erickson.

East

1. Ohio State vs. 4.  Kentucky – 3/25 9:45 EST

The Buckeyes are the hottest team in the tourney, led by Jared Sullinger.

Berg: Ohio St. has gone through by pure domination so far this tournament. I don’t see any reason for it to end now. They are easily the most well-rounded team in the nation. Kentucky is led by John Calipari, who is trying to lead his 3rd team to a final four, a feat that has only been done by none other than Rick Pitino. Better luck next year coach.

Pick: Ohio State

Andy: Ohio St. absolutely demolished an upset-minded George Mason team by 32 points and hasn’t had a tough task so far in the tournament. Kentucky on the other hand has had a couple tough battles. In order for Kentucky to keep this one close they will need to pressure the Buckeyes into making mistakes and capitalizing on their own fast-break opportunities. If they try to slow the game down it will definitely favor Ohio State

Pick: Ohio State

1. North Carolina vs. 11. Marquette – 3/25 7:15 EST

Berg: North Carolina was on a tear to finish off the season and they’ve picked up where they left off. Kendall Marshall has done wonders at the point and Barnes, Benson and Zeller are averaging 23.2 points and 11.2 rebounds combined. As a team, they’re averaging over 92 points in the tourney so far. Marquette did a good job against Xavier and even more impressive against Syracuse, controlling the game and playing how they want to play, but UNC pushes the ball too and probably will dispose of the Golden Eagles fairly easily.

Pick: North Carolina

Andy: This could be the game to watch if you’re looking for a major upset. Marquette is one of just two Big East schools remaining and has a lot to prove for their team and conference in this game. The key to this game for the Golden Eagles is rebounding. UNC is the best rebounding team and if Marquette can keep the edge about even they will keep it close down to the end. For the Tar Heels, they need their bench to step-up. Washington’s bench outscored UNC’s 41-5 on Sunday. This should be a pretty good game and I can’t imagine a double-digit win either way unless it comes down to free-throws at the end, which UNC is pretty darn good at.

Pick: North Carolina

West

1. Duke vs. 5. Arizona – 3/24 9:45 EST

Berg: Kyrie Irving has returned to Duke, Nolan Smith is on fire and they have the reigning Final 4 Most Outstanding Player in Kyle Singler. Need I say more? The main deciding factor is how well the Plumlee brothers and Ryan Kelly do down low. If they can get Derrick Williams into foul trouble like Williams has been in, they should play well enough to win. Arizona, on the other hand, has played very well taking out Texas and Memphis to get to this point. Derrick Williams’ draft stock is soaring, but do they have enough support to take out the one seeded Blue Devils? Probably not.

Pick: Duke

Andy: To say Arizona has skimmed out their two wins to get to this point is an understatement. In the first-round it was a blocked shot at the Buzzer against Memphis, and in the second it was a 5-second call on Texas that gave Arizona a chance that they took advantage of. Arizona’s Derrick Williams made some huge plays at the end of both games and will need to be a force inside against Duke for his team to advance. Duke will need a much better performance from Kyrie Irving who made just one shot from the field against Michigan. Duke just has too much depth from the outside for Arizona to be able to handle.

Pick: Duke

3. Connecticut vs. 2. San Diego State – 3/24 7:15 EST

Kemba Walker has been on fire for the Huskies.

Berg: Kemba Walker has been doing it all for the Uconn Huskies. He’s been carrying them on his back to this point. Against the Cincinnati Bearcats, Uconn managed to contain impressive center Yancy Gates and win the rebound battle while winning by 11. Chalk that one up as an impressive victory. San Diego State, on the other hand, wound up fighting to the death with the Temple Owls as their game went into double overtime. We’re about to see how lethal the trio of Kawhi Leonard, Billy White and Malcolm Thomas really are.

Pick: Uconn

Andy: To be honest, if I’m a UConn fan, I am really not all that worried about this game. Kemba Walker has been on a roll and looks nearly unstoppable. He was only two rebounds shy of a triple-double in UConn’s 81-52 win over Bucknell in the first round. Then he had a huge 33-point performance in the Huskies 11 point win over Big East rival Cincy. The Aztecs obviously know they have to slow down Walker in order to advance. Fortunately I think SDSU just might be good enough defensively to hold him in check. With a defense ranked 7th in the nation in scoring defense at 58.8 points allowed a game and 13th in field-goal percentage defense. I think San Diego State has an athletic enough defense that they can slow down Walker.

Pick: San Diego State

Southwest

1. Kansas vs. 12. Richmond – 3/25 7:27 EST

The Jayhawks need these two to get off to a hot start in order to avoid the upset bid.

Berg: Kansas has gotten off to a slow start in each of their tournament games so far. They can’t let that happen against Richmond. Against Boston and Illinois, they started slowly, but picked up speed and crushed the opponent by the end of the game. Richmond likes to come out of the gates early and firing. If Kansas lets Richmond get ahead early, it could be doomsday for KU. Richmond has enough leadership and firepower to hold the lead through the end of the game. I’m not saying Richmond is going to win, but this may be an upset in the making.

Pick: Kansas

Andy: Like Brandon said, this game has upset written all over it. Kansas needed over a half in both of their tournament games to get in a groove, and against a team like Richmond, they could find themselves in a deep hole by then. Once the Spiders get on a roll, they don’t stop, so the last thing the Jayhawks need is this Richmond team’s confidence to build as the game goes on. Richmond held Morehead St. to 37% shooting from the field on Saturday. Kenneth Faried had a solid outing with 11 points and 13 rebounds. Justin Harper will need to repeat his salty 19 point, six rebound performance to keep Richmond throwing punches in this one. The Jayhawks haven’t hit their stride yet, and they are bound to choke soon.

Pick: Richmond

11. Virginia Commonwealth vs. 10. Florida State

Berg: First off, I know very little about both of these teams except Florida St. is the best defensive team in the nation and VCU isn’t supposed to belong here. The Florida St. fact holds true as evidenced by their ownage of Notre Dame. The VCU opinion proves to be no more than opinion. That opinion has also gone away. I do not hear the same screams I was hearing five days ago. In the end, defense wins championships.VCU has a very balanced attack on offense that really helped in the pummeling of Purdue. However, as well as Florida St. plays defense, I have a hard time seeing them struggle to game plan for VCU.

Pick: Florida State

Andy: Florida State’s defense was stellar in their upset win over Notre Dame, forcing the Irish into taking 30 three point attempts. The big thing about the Seminoles is that four players scored in double-figures against the Irish. They will need that type of team effort to advance. VCU has obviously proven they belonged in the tournament after thrashing Purdue. They had six players in double figures which may just be the best overall team performance of the tournament thus far. Granted, it will be tougher to score on FSU, but as long as VCU can stay balanced on offense, they have a great chance of beating the Seminoles.

Pick: VCU

Southeast

8. Butler vs. 4. Wisconsin – 3/24 9:57 EST

Berg: Call me arrogant, but I’m still not quite buying into Butler’s hype. They won by a last second basket in each of their first two games and I had Pitt busting early for a quick exit anyways. Now we have a team in Wisconsin that I picked to reach the Elite Eight, and I can see them simply overpowering Butler. Matt Howard and company are going to fall short in another upset bid in this one.

Pick: Wisconsin

Andy: In my regional preview, I said Butler didn’t have near the talent to make a run deep into the tournament like they did last year. Boy have they proven me wrong. Granted they only won with last second baskets, it is that kind of a performance in the clutch that sends the other team home. Wisconsin’s defense just isn’t good enough to contain Shelvin Mack and Matt Howard.

Pick: Butler

3. BYU vs. 2. Florida – 3/24 7:27 EST

Jackson Emory will be critical in BYU's effort to move on in the tourney.

Berg: I’ve been saying it for a while now, and I’ll repeat it again. BYU isn’t going far without Davies in the lineup. I figured they would beat Wofford considering Wofford’s tallest player is 6’6”, then planned on them playing St. Johns, but we all know that didn’t happen, so I wasn’t surprised one bit to see them take out the lesser Gonzaga team. Now they go up against the Gators who man a dominant trio in the middle, Alex Tyus, Chandler Parsons and Vernon Macklin. Jimmer Fredette is indeed very super, but he really can only take this team so far.

Pick: Florida

Andy: Jimmer Fredette did it once again against the Zags on Sunday, torching Gonzaga for 34 points as he led his team to a blow-out win. This is BYU’s first Sweet Sixteen appearance since 1981, and a sweet one it could be at that. The Cougars had a great performance from Jackson Emory who is starting to prove he can be just as effective as his Fredette counter-part. On the other side is Florida whose defense had a great performance against an upset minded UCLA team. The Gators held the Bruins to less than 42 percent shooting from the field and only allowed 23.1 percent from beyond the arc. This game is going to come down to the one, the only…..Jackson Emory. We know Fredette will be a “Studette” like always, but it is going to be his sidekick that will have the final say on whether or not the Cougars advance.

Pick: BYU

Player Profile: J.P. Arencibia

It looks like J.P. Arencibia is going to have the starting catcher gig in Toronto locked up.

Despite posting less than mediocre numbers this spring (two for 26), he does not seem to be in danger of losing playing time to backup Jose Molina. The team likes what he is doing behind the plate and trusts him to break out of his funk.

Arencibia hit .301 with 32 HR and 85 RBI in just 104 games in Triple-A last year. He’s not a hitter for average, as he only is a career .275 hitter in his minor league career, but the power has always been there and should carry over into the majors.

The Blue Jays anointed Arencibia the catcher of the future when they let John Buck walk.

I recently wrote about Arencibia in my newcomers article and I’m sticking to my word. Arencibia will be a useful fantasy asset this year.

He looks to have all the tools to make an impact right away. I’m expecting somewhere around .260 with 20 HR and 80 RBI for 2011.

I’ve waited in every league so far to draft him as my starting catcher in the final rounds.

One concern, though, is his high strikeout rate, but I draft him for the power that I am going to get at catcher and the cheap price.

I would say that is great bang for your buck if he is on the board in the final rounds of your draft.

What is Next From EE Sports World? You Decide!

I hope you all are enjoying the projects we have done recently on EE with the NCAA Tourney Previews and the MLB Previews.

We will be unveiling an NBA playoffs preview with Josh Eberley and Mike Pendleton in the near future, as well as an NFL Preview in the fall.

For now, though, we want to know what you think we should do next. Want an article written specifically on something? It could be anything from a player profile to thoughts on NFL’s strict policy on hard hits to a YouTube series.

So let us hear it EE Nation! Give us some suggestions in the comments below, or fill out the form below:

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