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Ask CGB - Week 8

We've got Mel!

To submit questions to future CGB mailbags, please do one of these three things. 

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If you have a question for a specific person, make sure to delineate it! They can be addressed to any of the editors, even mods. On with the show!

You guys have really got to start submitting questions. I don't ever have any fun questions to answer anymore.

Anon. E. Mouse

I want to suggest a feature

You do not have any articles on that. A feature on the coach, program, facilities, etc might be interesting. You could also have profiles highlighting the progress of some of the players over the years. Maybe also an evaluation if it is a strong or weak point of the football program, though that is probably very hard to judge.


Not a bad idea. I dont know anything about the strength and conditoning coach. Of course, we did spend like 1.5 years discussing the facilities, but that was in a slightly diff context.


I would love to do it, but they'd need to be willing to be interviewed by us. As of now, that doesn't seem to be the case.


Aye, Fever! Any chance Michigan State is the Big Ten champ by the end of the year?

Yellow Fever

I think they have a pretty good chance, assuming they beat Iowa this weekend - their last three opponents are two of the bottom-feeders in the Big 10 in Minnesota and Purdue, and then they finish their season with a visit to inexplicably awful Penn State. So yeah, I'd give them maybe a 35% chance of being the Big Ten champ at the end of the year (45% chance of beating Iowa this weekend)...but I don't see them or Missouri jumping any of the undefeated teams ahead of them should they stay undefeated.


Dear Yellow Fever, Will HydroTech punch TwistNHook in the face?

Yellow Fever




Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the biggest goddam sunshine pumper of us all?

Yellow Fever

The easiest answer is that it's person looking back at you in the mirror, although I think it's important to draw a distinction between sunshine pumping as being someone blindly ignorant to the circumstances and continuing to believe the best (and that the coaches are blameless), and just being a realist and recognizing that maybe coaches can't work miracles with players who are less talented.

And that's what we are here. So really, everyone else can STFU about us not blaming the coaches.

Jesse (waterloo)

Fever you said last week Ricky Stanzi is the 5th best Sr QB on your board. has he moved up and if luck from Stanford doesn't jump pro how high do you see Stanzi over all

Yellow Fever

Fifth best senior QB doesn't really count for much - it's like being the fifth best senior at a given position in the NBA draft. With QBs in such high demand, a lot of really good QB prospects end up leaving before their senior year anyway (Bradford, the Sanchize, A-Rod, presumably Luck this year), while only a few top prospects stay through their senior year either because they still need work on their fundamentals (Locker, Tyrod Taylor), or they're still banging Paris Hilton (you know who).

With that said, the fifth senior QB taken last year (after Tim Tebow, Colt McCoy, Mike Kafka, and John Skelton) was Jonathan Crompton. So let's not start acting like that's such a great achievement just yet.

Adam (Indiana)

Fever I have to ask, how well did you grade Ryan Fitzpatrick? I know he came into the league 5 years go, but this guy is really playing good. Baltimore didn't slow him down, and by all means he played good against the Jets, Jags, and @ NE. What are your thoughts going forward? Andrew Luck still going to Buffalo @ #1?

Yellow Fever

I have no idea myself, but I do think a big part of the problem evaluating guys in lower levels like the Ivy League is a natural question about whether or not a player is dominating because he's really that good, or because the competition is so poor. And let's not rush to judgment or how great he really is just yet - it's worth noting that he hasn't held down a steady job before this year, and could just be one of those guys that surprises before coaches adjust to him, since he started off his career with a bang with a 300+ yard day in St. Louis as a rookie, and then completely and utterly failed to develop there. Otherwise, you know, the Rams would have kept him and not had to draft Sam Bradford.

So yeah, they should probably draft Andrew Luck next year.

Anthony (New York City, NY)

What were your initial impression of Pioli's 2nd draft as the GM for the Chiefs? Has that perception changed since the season started? If so, how?

Yellow Fever

It's certainly a little too early for them to be patting themselves on the back, but at the very least they don't seem to have missed on their early picks with Berry, Arenas, and McCluster (did they even scout anyone outside the SEC?), and Moeaki's been good too. So while Mel dings them a bit for taking Arenas higher than he thought he would have gone, I don't think you can really get upset at them for that if the guy turns out to be a good player, regardless of where he went.

Todd (Anchorage)

Mel, which pro QB, past or present, does Newton remind you of the most?

Yellow Fever

The obvious comparisons are to guys like Michael Vick and Vince Young, but Newton's bigger than them - so why not Donovan McNabb? He was also much bigger than the average running QB (i.e. Vick, Young, Cunningham), and could take a decent number of hits...he's also similarly scattershot with a big arm, so I think he's the best comparable right now.

Andy (Houston)

Do you see Patrick Peterson in top 10 of NFL draft, and does he project as a CB or Saftey in NFL? Has Drake Nevis moved up your board?

Yellow Fever

Everything that I've seen about Peterson seems to indicate he'll be like Pacman at the next level (minus 11 arrests) as a playmaking CB who also returns punts and kicks and probably go in the top 10, so I guess that's about right. And that's usually where the first CB goes off the board in recent drafts. And everyone seems to rave about Drake Nevis too...although everyone also raved about Glenn Dorsey...

Brian (Illinois)

Mel, what are the draft prospects for Illinois juniors Mikel Leshoure and Corey Liuget?

Yellow Fever

I have no idea, but I have to admit, Mel being able to answer this stuff really does increase my respect for his work, even though a lot of the time I do think he's full of crap.

Micah (CT)

Redskins v Lions. Toughest game on schedule to predict this week. Who are you going?

Yellow Fever

Is it really that hard to predict? They're still the Lions, and the Redskins still have a decent defense with a motivated Albert Haynesworth. I don't see our man Jahvid getting much running room if Haynesworth decides to show up, and McNabb should be able to light up their secondary since he's always been excellent at chewing up subpar-mediocre defenses.

Nathan (Boston)

I would be interested to know what you think about the Ducks' pro prospects... Thomas in particular.

Yellow Fever

The easiest thing to do would be to look at how Thomas' predecessors were viewed in the NFL's eyes and see if there are any factors to tilt the balance either way, but I'm not sure there are. Masoli was probably only going to be a fringe prospect because of his lack of ideal arm strength and stature, and Dixon only went in the sixth round (although at least part of that is likely due to the fact that he was coming off an injury at the time). So maybe he does better than that, and he certainly has time, but the recent history of Oregon QBs doesn't seem to give him much traction.

Nathan (Coralville, IA)

What's your take on J'Marcus Webb? The Bears seem really high on him, but their line stinks so that be clouding their judgement. How did you grade him, and can he become a quality starter in the league?

Yellow Fever

The Bears' entire offensive line stinks (are we talking about Chicago or Cal?) so it's hard to single out any one guy as worthy of praise, so it's possible he's only the best of a bad lot. But I think Mike Tice generally knows what he's doing when it comes to putting together an offensive line, so I'm inclined to trust his judgment. When it comes to building an offense line, and nowhere else.

Chris (DC)

Mel, whenever people talk about the good young QBs in the NFL, all they seem to talk about is Sanchez, Stafford, Bradford, etc...There is never any talk of Josh Freeman. All he seems to do is lead the Bucs to 4th quarter wins, which is pretty unheard of for such a young QB. Do you believe that he has the "it" factor considering he is doing this with two rookie WRs, no running game and an average offensive line at best.

Yellow Fever

Well, he and his team kinda sucked last year, so it's hard to say that he should definitely be on that last. Sanchez had a good team around him and Stafford and Bradford have put up the stats, so there's that. Freeman's getting more buzz about him now, so I don't think it should be a problem for much longer if he gets the team into playoff contention.

Jim (Grand Junction, CO)

Now that we're nearing mid-season, please evaluate the performance of the high draft picks. Who's doing well, who's not? Thanks.

Yellow Fever

Bradford and Suh have been playing about as well as can be expected, so they've got that going for them. A bunch of the top o-line picks are starting already (Davis and Iupati with the 49ers, Bulaga with the Packers), so that's a pretty good sign. Spiller hasn't quite panned out just yet and Fred Jackson's been looking better than him so far (I think), and Brandon Graham's tailed off from a pretty good start to the year. Whether that's because his playing team decreased or why his playing time decreased is a different issue that I'm not really qualified to judge.

Clay (Oakland, CA)

Is Blaine Gabbert close to Big Board consideration?

Yellow Fever

Yeah, I'm just going to throw my hands up and say I'm not sure what separates one big white QB prospect from another anymore. No racist!

Todd (Athens, GA)

Fever, should Georgia's Justin Houston go pro or stay another year??

Yellow Fever

Mel seems to think he's the best OLB prospect in this year's draft, and if that's the case, he probably doesn't have much to prove by staying in school.

Weezel (Orlando )

In tomorrow night's FSU v NC State game, who is the best NFL prospect regardless of class?

Yellow Fever

I kinda thought Christian Ponder or Russell Wilson would get a mention here, but Mel says some guard on Florida State is the best prospect in the game. Which is entirely possible - always hard for the casual fan to tell when an interior lineman is playing well without going back to the's only easy to notice a lineman when he's playing poorly.

Darryl (Oakland, CA)

Fever, how is Cameron Jordan not a top 25 draft eligible player? 6-4, 285lbs? prototypical 3-4 DE. He's fast and got the NFL genes AND he's been productive this season. He will be a top 25 selection, have you not seen him or have missed him play?

Yellow Fever

Mel says he's right on the cusp there with him likely to move into the 15-20 range if he continues to keep it up, which sounds about right to me. Still not as high as Tyson Alualu...but good enough.

Peter (Atlanta, GA)

Who do the surprise unbeatens Missouri and Michigan St have that you are high on as NFL draft prospects?

Yellow Fever

I think Gabbert sounds like the best prospect on Missouri based on what I've read, while Cousins sounds like he's a prototypical game manager Big Ten QB who wins on the strength of a strong defense backing him without screwing things up on offense. So maybe one of their RBs?

zac (chicago)

Fever, Is John Clay the next Jerome Bettis or the next Ron Dayne?

Yellow Fever

The easy answer is that he's in between since that's quite a gulf right there. Recent history probably has him closer to Ron Dayne if only because the recent history of Wisconsin backs in the NFL isn't that great, and it certainly seems that their running game does so well because of their system and how good their offensive line always is.

Matt (Philadelphia)

Who is this year's Tyson Alualu? Meaning someone on an average college team at a non-skill position who is going to sneak into the Top 10 or 15.

Yellow Fever

Why not Cameron Jordan? It's refreshing, really, to admit that our team is average.

mag (seattle)

Why is everyone saying Seattle may be the best team in NFC. have they not watched us play? I think we are over rated and need a lot of improvement on both sides of the ball.

Yellow Fever

If anyone is saying that, it's because they've won a bunch of games over bad teams and they haven't watched the Giants play. But I haven't actually heard anyone say that anyway.

Mike (Madison, WI)

NFL games overseas: good idea or bad idea?

Yellow Fever

I don't see why it would be a bad idea - it provides an international spectacle, encourages interest in new markets, and really only inconveniences, what, 2 teams out of 32? I probably wouldn't be happy if I played for one of those two teams, but someone's got to bite the bullet. Why would it be a bad idea at all?