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10 burning questions

Is Reggie Bush finished in New Orleans? Will Nnamdi Asomugha break the bank in free agency? Let’s run it down. Joe Fortenbaugh

Print This May 02, 2011, 05:00 PM EST

One of the great things about the NFL draft is that it sometimes creates more questions than it answers. A popular, pre-draft inquiry such as, “who will the Panthers take first overall?” was quickly replaced by, “What will happen to Jimmy Clausen?”

So is the nature of business in the NFL.

Today we’re going to take a look at ten questions that are now floating around the league thanks to the events that transpired this past weekend at Radio City Music Hall.

Ryan WilliamsICONWas this man drafted to replace Beanie Wells?

1. Is the Beanie Wells era in Arizona already over? Two years after using a first round selection on the Ohio State running back, Ken Whisenhunt and the Cardinals drafted Virginia Tech ball carrier Ryan Williams in the second round. Is Arizona looking for depth or are they disappointed in the 41.0 rushing yards per game Wells is averaging since joining the team back in 2009?

2. Is Tom Brady pissed off? The six-time Pro Bowler has won three Super Bowls and two MVP awards, but even that isn’t enough to stave off Father Time. On Friday, Bill Belichick and the Pats used a third round pick on troubled signal-caller Ryan Mallett, prompting Brady to tell former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner that he plans on playing ten more years. If you were Tom Brady, how would you feel about the Mallett pick?

3. How will Cam Newton fare with no weapons? You’ve got to hand it to the Heisman Trophy winner. Newton has successfully charmed the pants off of everyone who has had the pleasure of talking with him. It should be interesting to see if he can charm the Carolina fan base, as the rookie quarterback takes over for a team that ranked 32nd in the NFL in total offense last year. Remember, the Panthers didn’t draft another offensive player until the fifth round.

4. Anybody interested in a five-time Pro Bowler who led the NFL in scoring last season? If so, it looks like longtime Eagles kicker David Akers is about to hit the free agent market. Philadelphia used a fourth round selection on Nebraska kicker Alex Henery this past Saturday, sending a message that the longest tenured Eagle is on his way out the door. Thanks for the memoires, David. We’ll miss you in Philly.

Jake LockerDespite all the hate, Locker was still a top ten pick.

5. Where are all the Jake Locker haters at today? And by “haters,” I mean the people who called the quarterback a fool for returning to Washington for his senior season. Many said that Locker cost himself millions by declining to come out as a junior in 2009. After going eighth overall to the Titans, all Locker did was give himself another year of experience before turning pro. Well done, Jake.

6. Anybody think the Chargers may have overpaid a bit on Michigan linebacker Jonas Mouton when they drafted him in the second round? One of my closest friends from law school is tight with the Mouton family and told me over the weekend that they were preparing to hear Jonas’ name called sometime in either the fifth or sixth round. Needless to say, that made their weekend.

7. Familiar with the name DeAndre Levy? If not, I have a feeling you’ll be hearing it called quite a bit next season. Levy is the Detroit Lions starting middle linebacker who will be entering his third season in 2011. But more importantly, he’s the guy who will be playing behind 598 pounds of defensive tackle beef known as Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley. If Levy can stay healthy, he should rack up 120+ tackles no problem.

8. If anyone but the Patriots drafts Virginia cornerback Ras-I Dowling with the 33rd pick, does it get as much praise? If you remember, Dowling missed all but three games in 2010 due to a variety of injuries, which led many to project him as a late second to early fourth round draft pick. I have a feeling that if a team like the Raiders or Seahawks had taken Dowling at No. 33, people would be calling it a “reach.” But since it was Belichick and the Pats, Dowling is referred to as a “sleeper.” Interesting.

9. Will there be a more coveted player during free agency than cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha? The Eagles, Cowboys, Redskins and Texans are four teams expected to make a serious push for the Pro Bowl corner. How much fun will it be to watch three teams with deep pockets from the NFC East go after one of the game’s best lockdown specialists? Asomugha could be in line for a monstrous payday with guys like Daniel Snyder and Jerry Jones bidding up his services.

10. Now that Mark Ingram is in the mix, are the Saints ready to move on from Reggie Bush? New Orleans traded back into the first round last Thursday night to nab Ingram with the 28th overall pick, prompting Bush to tweet, “It’s been fun New Orleans.” Did you know that in the five years (2006-2010) since the Saints used the No. 2 overall pick on Bush, 23 different running backs have acquired more yards from scrimmage? The guy isn’t a bust, but he certainly hasn’t lived up to the hype.

Hit me up on Twitter: @JoeFortenbaugh


Add a Comment
May 02, 2011
06:10 PM

You don't replace Beanie, it's more like a flushing action.
Usually a bubble team in each conference misses post season only by the difference in their kickier vs. a playoff team or two. Philly had to cover their need due to other market factors.
Reach-I Dowling?
Did any other Auburn player on offense besides a lineman get drafted in addition to Cam?
Doubt Jake Locker really has any haters, just a few people mad that he ran over on the playing field instead of avoiding contact to finish a run. Unless he drives like he scrambles, in which case he needs a lot of money to reach settlement.

May 02, 2011
06:19 PM

what about the prospect of the Lions going after Asomugha??

May 02, 2011
06:25 PM

I am reasonably certain that in the absence of a new CBA, you will not see Jones and Snyder bidding against each other for any player. Call it a hunch.

Jerry Jones Jr.
May 02, 2011
06:39 PM

Asomugha wouldnt go 2 Detroit,If he go 2 da Redskins he would be Jinxed(Hanesworth,McNabb).Now if he goes 2 America"s Team ?PRIMETIME!!!!!!!

May 02, 2011
08:00 PM

I'll say the exact same thing I said when Locker returned to school for his senior year: With the imminent introduction of a rookie wage scale, he very likely cost himself tens of millions of dollars in guaranteed money. Sure, it worked out well and he got drafted with a high pick, but there's no denying Locker stood to make more by coming out last year, depending on the terms of the new wage scale.

Now, he might get it all back if that extra year of experience helps him be a better pro QB and eventually earn a blockbuster contract. But if he washes out of the NFL without moving beyond his rookie contract, the loss of all that money might sting a little.

May 02, 2011
10:16 PM

what about the prospect of the Lions going after Asomugha??

May 03, 2011
08:05 AM

Ras-I Dowling was more productive on the field in 2010 than Robert Quinn. If you are drafting players based on physical ability, feel for the game and leadership, Dowling was not a reach; unless of course Quinn was.
Ryan Mallet isn't the first 3rd round quarterback taken by the Patriots during Brady's tenure; Kevin O'Connell was. Hoyer has looked solid as Brady's backup for the last two years and has been the only other active QB on the game day roster. It's time for the Pats to bring in somebody else to fill Hoyer's shoes when he moves on to another team. Brady may play for another ten years we just can't be sure it will be with the Pats. Montana moved on, Bledsoe moved on, maybe Brady finds another home in the future as well; and it may be his idea. Good teams plan for the future.

May 03, 2011
08:28 AM

Remember when everyone mocked the Texans for drafting Mario Williams?

May 03, 2011
12:38 PM

The Patriots operate under the mindset of Draft & Develop at the QB position. The selection of Mallett is nothing different. It seems that Hoyer is starting to get more attention and will likely be traded in the next year. It makes perfect sense for the Pats to draft Mallet under that assumption.

As far as Brady goes - he is a leader and he is not pissed off. He will continue to show leadership in the locker room and will be instrumental with Mallett's development. There isn't a better locker room for Mallett to learn in.

May 03, 2011
05:04 PM

If, when the CBA is done, There is a rookie salary cap then Locker will have left millions on the table.

May 03, 2011
08:25 PM

My favorite one is number eight. The reason being is how true it is, because if he gets picked as the first overall player in the second round by almost any other team the pundits would be all over it calling it a reach. Belichick deserves alot of his respect but at the same time it seems like writers are afraid to disagree with anything he does. Truth being told the Patriots have surely hit on some picks in the last few years but they were missing alot more than usual along with that. I think that's the reason that they started stock piling picks the way they were because they knew that they were going to have to pull in a hefty amount of young talent to keep the team competitive while Brady still has it.

Ich Bin
May 04, 2011
10:10 AM


I too was thinking the same thing. I remeber how everyone thught for sure Bush was going no 1. While mario williams hasn't been great every year, IMO he has been much more productive than Bush. I am sure the Texans are gald they took williams too.

Average RB's are a dime a dozen.

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