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Packers' Running Back Starks Wins Weekly Rookie Award
Photo - James Starks - Packers
QB Aaron Rodgers threw three TD passes and unheralded rookie running back James Starks ran for 123 yards as the Packers beat Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles, 21-16 in an NFC Wild Card game. Starks was a rookie 6th-round draft pick who injured his hamstring prior to training camp and proceeded to miss the first 11 games of the season while on the PUP list. He pounded the Eagles for 123 rushing yards on 23 carries to give the Packers their first 100 yard rusher on the season and instrumental in their 21-16 Wild Card playoff win.
QB Aaron Rodgers called Starks’ playoff effort perhaps the most important factor in the Packers winning the game. His yardage shattered the previous Green Bay rookie record for rushing yards in a playoff game. Travis Williams had 88 yards back on Dec. 23, 1967, against the Los Angeles Rams in Milwaukee.
Starks got off to a great start against the Eagles when he burst through a big hole for a 27-yard gain on his first carry. He carried three more times for 9 yards on that early drive that ended with a 7-yard TD pass to TE Tom Crabtree.
“He established a hot hand early, and I rode it,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. “James was a difference-maker.”
Starks also added two receptions for 9 yards along with his 123 yards rushing. This came in his first playoff game and late season play following nearly two years off with a shoulder injury. Starks averaged 5.3 yards per carry and gained at least 4 yards on 12 of his 23 rushes. The production was pretty consistent, and it gave the Packers several manageable third downs as the offense converted 8-of-13 on the critical down.
Running Back Rankings in Draft Insiders’ - Yearbook March 2010
Starks was ranked #12 in March 2010. He was not ranked in the top 25 in any other scouting service. His March 2010 scouting report is below along with LaGarrette Blount and Anthony Dixon, two other unheralded first year backs who had an impact over the 2010 season.
Running Back Rankings
1. C.J. Spiller - Clemson
2. * Ryan Mathews - Fresno St
3. * Jonathan Dwyer - Georgia Tech
4. * Jahvid Best - California
5. * Toby Gerhart - Stanford
6. * Joe McKnight - Southern Cal
7. Ben Tate - Auburn
8. Dexter McCluster - Ole Miss
9. Montario Hardesty - Tennessee
10. Anthony Dixon - Mississippi St
11. LaGarrette Blount - Oregon
12. James Starks - Buffalo
12. James Starks #19 - 6’2” 220 lbs. - Buffalo - Sp. 4.50
Hindu Theory - Matt Forte
Tough strong senior tailback completed an injury riddled career playing only a few ’09 games before a shoulder injury that ended his season. James failed to duplicate his outstanding junior effort last season. As a junior, he made a significant contribution to the Bulls bowl season. He displayed definite pro potential after finishing with over 1300 yards rushing and 16 TDs despite missing three games due to injuries. He displays a powerful slashing style with the ability to run through tacklers and get the most of each attempt. Over his earlier career, he had several big games that improved his draft status entering his critical final season. He is a strong runner between the tackles with the power to move the pile and break tackles. He has a quick burst to the hole and uses his a big frame well that allows him to run through tacklers and consistently finish his runs with fine body lean. He is a tough runner with good vision, power and balance to be one of the hidden gems of this class if healthy. He has burst to the hole, allowing him to get through the line and use his strong frame to run through tacklers with enough speed to get the corner. His game is getting the tough yardage between the tackles. As a receiver, he has sure hands and has developed well as a route runner and displays good defense recognition skills. He is a natural runner with fine power and quickness, getting huge amounts of yardage after contact. He is a back with a low center of gravity who is very effective when he runs with good pad level and not allowing defenders a clean shot at him. He finishes each rushing attempt with excellent body lean. He has fine lower body strength, including thick thighs, allowing him to run through defenders consistently. He has some natural running skills making defenders miss initially, though he is mainly a one cut runner who runs in a north-south style. His running skills include – decision-making, vision, balance and power with good speed to break into the secondary. As a senior, he started every game before an early season shoulder injury. As a junior, he rushed for 1333 yards and 16 TDs despite missing 3 games with injuries. At the NFL Combine, he ran fine 4.50 and 4.57 times with 15 reps. He added 36” VL and 9’11” BJ with 6.89 three cone and 4.23 short shuttle times. He completed an excellent workout in the positional drills. His quickness and power is what will win an NFL roster spot, showing the AA to make the tough critical inside yardage and possibly start in time. He can be a solid change of pace runner with the ability to contribute in a few roles including a key goal line runner, in addition to projecting to FB in a West Coast offense. Over his career, he displayed the toughness to be a weekly power back with consistent production and ball security his strongest traits. He will probably fall to the late rounds off his injury history. Good late round steal, though he must answer the durability issues to realize his NFL starting potential.
Frank Coyle writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season and a regular Blog @ draftinsiders.com. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He is also a member of the FWAA and voter in College team and player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Thorpe, etc. He is a voter for weekly Team and Player Awards
Baldwin Heads Biletnikoff Award List
Tallahassee QB Club Foundation
Photo - WR Jon Baldwin - Pittsburgh
Wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff was the first consensus All-American in Florida State football history and began a long line of Seminole standouts at the position. Biletnikoff enjoyed an outstanding career with the Seminoles from 1962-64 under coach Bill Peterson, capped by his 57 reception, 11 touchdown senior season, which he finished off by collecting four touchdown passes in FSU’s 36-19 Gator Bowl win over Oklahoma. He went on to enjoy a 14-year career with the Oakland Raiders, playing in four Pro Bowls and earning MVP honors in Super Bowl XI. He is the only former Seminole who has been enshrined in both the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame (1988) and the College Football Hall of Fame (1991). This year wideout Bert Reed of Florida St. hopes to carry the Seminole tradition of outstanding receivers for the award.
The Biletnikoff Award selection committee will trim its list of contenders to 10 semifinalists on Nov. 14 and three finalists on Nov. 21. The winner be announced on the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards show from Orlando, Fla. on Dec. 9 and honored at the Biletnikoff Award Presentation Banquet at the Florida State University Center Club on Feb. 11, 2011.
Fred Biletnikoff Award "Watch List"
Darvin Adams - Auburn University
Jon Baldwin - University of Pittsburgh
Armon Binns - University of Cincinnati
DeAndre Brown - University of Southern Miss
Vincent Brown - San Diego State University
Lavon Brazill - Ohio University
Ryan Broyles - University of Oklahoma
Tyron Carrier - University of Houston
Greg Childs - University of Arkansas
James Cleveland - University of Houston
Randall Cobb - University of Kentucky
Juron Criner - University of Arizona
Tandon Doss - Indiana University
Patrick Edwards - University of Houston
Michael Floyd - University of Notre Dame
AJ Green - University of Georgia
Leonard Hankerson - University of Miami
Dwayne Harris - East Carolina University
Alshon Jeffery - University of South Carolina
Jerrel Jernigan - Troy University
Derrell Johnson-Koulianos - University of Iowa
Damaris Johnson - University of Tulsa
Ronald Johnson - University of Southern Cal
Julio Jones - University of Alabama
Marvin Jones - University of California
Jermaine Kearse - Washington University
Detron Lewis - Texas Tech University
Greg Little - University of North Carolina
Scotty McKnight - University of Colorado
Derek Moye - Penn State University
Uzoma Nwachukwu - Texas A&M University
Eric Page - University of Toledo
Niles Paul - University of Nebraska
Phillip Payne - University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Austin Pettis - Boise State University
DeVier Posey - Ohio State University
Bert Reed - Florida State University
James Rodgers - Oregon State University
Roy Roundtree - University of Michigan
Gret Salas - University of Hawaii
keith Smith - Purdue University
Torrey Smith - University of Maryland
Owen Spencer - North Carolina State University
Nick Toon - University of Wisconsin
Donovan Varner - Duke University
Ryan Whalen - Stanford University
Jarvis Williams - North Carolina State University
Marshall Williams - Wake Forest University
Brandon Wimberly - University of Nevada
Kendall Wright - Baylor University
Titus Young - Boise State University
Saints March to NFL Title
Photo - QB Drew Brees - Saints
The New Orleans Saints finally reached NFL heaven with a thrilling victory over the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV. The Saints marched in to NFL history with a dramatic second half comeback to defeat the Colts 31-17 in Miami. It was the Saints first NFL title in the wild 43-year history of the franchise that included the loveable Aint’s of yesteryear to the team that rallied a city to recover from the horrors after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Brees rallied the Saints to upset the Peyton Manning directed Colts with some late game heroics.
“We just believed in ourselves and we knew that we had an entire city and maybe an entire country behind us,” said Brees, the game’s MVP. “What can I say? I tried to imagine what this moment would be like for a long time, and it’s better than expected.”
“Four years ago who ever thought this would be happening when 85 percent of the city was under water from (Hurricane) Katrina,” Brees said. “Most people not knowing if New Orleans would ever come back or if the organization and the team would come back. ... This is the culmination of that belief and that faith.”
Brees tied a Super Bowl record with 32 completions, the last a 2-yard slant to Jeremy Shockey for the winning points with 5:42 remaining in the game. He went 32 for 39 for 288 yards and 2 TDs while completing 29 of his final 32 passing attempts in a brilliant clutch performance. Head coach, Sean Payton, managed to boil it down to three words: “Brees was magnificent.”
Brees was named the MVP of Super Bowl XLIV after completing a Super Bowl record 32 passes. Of the seven incompletions, at least one was dropped while another was a spike. Two passes went for TDs and he also threw for a two-point conversion. For the postseason, Brees completed 71% of his passes with 8 TD passes and no interceptions while beating three divisional winners – the Cardinals, Vikings and Colts. The Saints trailed in each of those crucial victories by at least 7 points, a first time for the NFL postseason.
For the '09 season, Brees put up incredible passing numbers - a 70% completion rate with 4388 yards passing and 34 TDs and 11 interceptions. His leadership can not be measured as he has become the leader of a team that rallied around him and a city in pursuit of NFL history.
Saints’ coach Sean Payton deserves applause for several gutsy calls over the game especially the onside kick that opened the 2nd half that sparked the Saints’ comeback. The much maligned Saints defense made several key stops with Tracy Porter’s 74-yard TD interception return off an errant pass from Manning clinching the victory for the Big Easy.
For the '09 season, the Saints finished 16-3 overall and won three postseason games after winning only two in their previous 42 year history. They beat Arizona, Minnesota and Indianapolis (16-3) — all division winners — for their first title, scoring 107 points and allowing only 59.
NFL Power Rankings – Week 15
Team of the Week – Dallas Cowboys
Player of Week – RB Jerome Harrison - Browns
Rookie of Week - DeSean Jackson - Eagles
Photo - WR DeSean Jackson - Eagles
The Eagles’ rookie receiver DeSean Jackson had another strong performance this past Sunday that was instrumental in the Philadelphia win over the 49ers. Jackson has been a difference maker for the Eagles as both a receiver and return specialist that helped them clinch a playoff berth Sunday and has them in position to win the NFC East title. Against the 49ers, Jackson caught 6 passes for 140 yards and a first quarter TD that set the pace for the victory. Jackson went over the 1000 yard mark as a receiver during the game. For his rookie season, he has caught 56 passes for 1087 yards and 8 TDs for a league leading 19.4 yard average per catch. Of his total receptions, 36 catches have produced first downs with 10 receptions of over 40 yards, the highest total in the entire league. He ranks among the NFL’s top ten in virtually all receiving categories and is the leading rookie receiver in every area. He is a leading candidate for the Rookie of the Year award with only two weeks left in the regular season.
Rank / Team / Record
1. Indianapolis Colts (14-0)
Colts have only the Jets and Bills left for a perfect season record.
2. New Orleans Saints (13-1)
The Saints fell to a fired up Cowboys club that ended their dreams of an undefeated season.
3. San Diego Chargers (11-3)
Chargers have won nine games in a row and are probably the most dangerous team in the league right now.
4. Minnesota Vikings (11-3)
Viking’s HC Brad Childress and QB Brett Farve have to work out some differences after their poor performance vs the Panthers.
5. Philadelphia Eagles (10-4)
Eagles clinched a playoff spot and now hope to claim the NFC East title with the Broncos coming to town.
6. New England Patriots (9-5)
Patriots look to clinch AFC East title with Jaguars visiting NE this week.
7. Arizona Cardinals (9-5)
Cards won NFC West title and may look to rest some veterans over final weeks.
8. Green Bay Packers (9-5)
Packers lost to the Steelers ending their five game streak that forces them to clinch playoff spot over final weeks.
9. Dallas Cowboys (9-5)
Cowboys won a huge game in New Orleans that puts them in the drivers seat for one of the final NFC playoff berths.
10. Cincinnati Bengals (9-5)
The Bengals lost a heartbreaker vs the Chargers in their first game since their tragic loss of veteran receiver Chris Henry.
11. Baltimore Ravens (8-6)
The Ravens are taking care of business and a definite playoff sleeper going forward over next month.
12. Tennessee Titans (7-7)
The streaking Titans have won seven of their last eight games, but face the red hot Chargers in one of the pivotal games of the entire season on Christmas day.
13. New York Giants (8-6)
The Giants bombed the Redskins, but it may have come too late to claim a playoff berth.
14. Denver Broncos (8-6)
The Broncos lost a horrible game to the Raiders that have them fading form the playoff picture.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-7)
Steelers win a thriller vs the Packers and face their divisional nemesis the Ravens this week that may decide AFC playoff picture.
16. Atlanta Falcons (7-7)
Falcons may have ended the Jets playoff hopes last week with 4th quarter victory.
17. New York Jets (7-7)
Jets let it all get away from them by losing to the Falcons at home in December.
18. Miami Dolphins (7-7)
The Dolphins lost a wild game vs the Titans that virtually ends their playoff hopes.
19. Houston Texans (7-7)
Texans still can’t get over the .500 level and claim a playoff berth.
20 .Jacksonville Jaguars (7-7)
The Jaguars pushed the Colts to the limit, but came up short and are only a miracle to land a playoff spot.
21. San Francisco 49ers (6-8)
The 49ers lost to Eagles that ends their playoff hopes, but this club is dangerous in the coming seasons.
22. Carolina Panthers (6-8)
Panthers jumped on the Vikings in their best ’09 performance of a very disappointing season.
23. Buffalo Bills (5-9)
The Bills find a way to lose games and face some key changes this offseason.
24. Chicago Bears (5-9)
The Bears have lost eight of their last ten games that may lead to wholesale changes in front office and coaching staffs.
25. Oakland Raiders (5-9)
The Raiders have actually won three of their last five games that gives hope for next season.
26. Seattle Seahawks (5-9)
The Seahawks lost to the Bucs last week. The BUCS.
27. Washington Redskins (4-10)
The only thing that Washington can salvage from this horrible season is if they can beat the Cowboys this week.
28. Cleveland Browns (3-11)
The Browns have won two in a row for the first time in over a year.
29. Kansas City Chiefs (3-11)
The Chiefs lost to the Browns. The BROWNS.
30. Tampa Bay Bucs (2-12)
The Bucs shocked the Seahawks for their second win of the season.
31. Detroit Lions (2-12)
Lions are one of the worst organizations in sports.
32. St. Louis Rams (1-13)
The Rams are simply terrible and a few drafts away from being competitive.
NFL Power Rankings – Week 10
Team of the Week - Saints
Player of the Week – Kurt Warner
Photo – Drew Brees - Saints
Rank / Team
1. Indianapolis Colts (8-0)
Colts face their arch rival this week with the Patriots coming to town.
2. New Orleans Saints (8-0)
The Saints are very explosive behind Drew Brees in this high powered attack.
3. Minnesota Vikings (7-1)
The Vikings’ and Brett Farve are well rested with the Lions coming to town.
4. New England Patriots (6-2)
Patriots and QB Tom Brady are hitting stride and could be the best in the league in time.
5. Dallas Cowboys (6-2)
Cowboys are peaking as the second half begins with many key NFC games on the agenda.
6. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2)
Steelers are prepping for a major AFC North battle with the Bengals coming to town.
7. Cincinnati Bengals (6-2)
The Bengals face their acid test with trip to Pittsburgh this week.
8. Denver Broncos (6-2)
The Broncos lost tough game vs Steelers and holds only a 1 game lead over rising Chargers.
9. Arizona Cardinals (5-3)
Cards’ Kurt Warner toasted the Bears with 5 TD passes to keep them atop the NFC West standings.
10. Philadelphia Eagles (5-3)
Eagles go on road to San Diego and Chicago next in key matchups.
11. Atlanta Falcons (5-3)
Falcons face a critical run of five NFC matchups on the schedule that may determine their fate this season.
12. San Diego Chargers (5-3)
Chargers won a key game vs the Giants that keeps them just behind the Broncos with the critical second half of the season starting.
13. New York Giants (5-4)
The Giants lost their 4th game in a row and are looking more like the Detroit Lions that title contenders.
14. Baltimore Ravens (4-4)
Ravens facing a must win situation after recent losses and have the Browns in key Monday night contest.
15. Houston Texans (5-4)
Texans have improved nicely this season and get a bye this week to prepare for playoff run.
16. New York Jets (4-4)
Bye week preps them for critical stretch run that will decide their playoff hopes.
17. Chicago Bears (4-4)
Bears are struggling to get any momentum together to mount a playoff run.
18. Green Bay Packers (4-4)
Packers were horrible vs the Bucs and have to regroup quickly with the Cowboys coming to town.
19. Miami Dolphins (3-5)
The Dolphins have played many tough games and look to soft schedule to get back into playoff hunt.
20. Buffalo Bills (3-5)
Bills look to make a run here with a stretch of games vs non contenders over next five weeks.
21. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-4)
Jags need a winning streak now to get into the playoff hunt.
22. San Francisco 49ers (3-5)
The 49ers are struggling and need to regroup for Thursday night game vs the Bears.
23. Carolina Panthers (3-5)
Panthers are slip sliding away this season.
24. Seattle Seahawks (3-5)
Seahawks hit the road for three weeks with little hope of getting back in the playoff picture.
25. Tennessee Titans (2-6)
Titans have won two in a row and hope to finish strong with an eye on next season.
26. Washington Redskins (2-6)
Skins have shown little this season and will look to wholesale changes this offseason.
27. Oakland Raiders (2-6)
The Raiders are hoping to correct things for second half after bye week.
28. Kansas City Chiefs (1-7)
Chiefs face a tough stretch of games to finish a very forgettable season.
29. Cleveland Browns (1-7)
Browns at home on Monday night vs Ravens with a chance at some credibility.
30. St. Louis Rams (1-7)
The Rams get the Saints after bye week with a chance to end their run at perfection.
31. Tampa Bay Bucs (1-7)
The Bucs shocked the Packers for their first win of the season.
32. Detroit Lions (1-7)
Lions face a tough second half schedule and working on a five game losing streak.
Giants Face Saints in NFC Clash
Photo – Saints' QB Drew Brees
Rank / Team
1. New York Giants (5-0)
The Giants face a huge test traveling to New Orleans this week.
2. Indianapolis Colts (5-0)
Colts get a bye week after crushing the Titans in last victory.
3. Philadelphia Eagles (3-1)
Eagles get the horrible Raiders in Oakland this Sunday.
4. Minnesota Vikings (5-0)
The Vikings’ hope to ride Brett Favre’s hot hand with tough Ravens coming to town.
5. New Orleans Saints (5-0)
The Saints face a huge test with GMen coming to the Crescent City.
6. New England Patriots (3-2)
Patriots lost a tough one in overtime vs the Broncos last week.
7. Baltimore Ravens (3-2)
Ravens face a pivotal matchup with Vikings after coming off back to back losses.
8. Chicago Bears (3-1)
Bears face a key NFC clash traveling to Atlanta this week.
9. Denver Broncos (5-0)
The Broncos won a huge game vs Patriots that gives them momentum facing key West battle with Chargers this week.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2)
Steelers looking to a run here after a slow start.
11. Cincinnati Bengals (4-1)
The Bengals are for real with Carson Palmer at the controls.
12. New York Jets (3-2)
Jets get the Bills at home and need to terminate two game losing streak.
13. San Francisco 49ers (3-2)
The 49ers get their bye week before starting a tough stretch of games.
14. San Diego Chargers (2-2)
Chargers face a pivotal AFC West contest with Broncos coming to town for Monday nite matchup.
15. Green Bay Packers (2-2)
Packers rested with a key stretch of NFC games on the schedule.
16. Atlanta Falcons (3-1)
Falcons get Sunday night matchup with Bears in an important NFC matchup.
17. Dallas Cowboys (3-2)
Cowboys win in overtime and get this bye week to get Tony Romo right.
18. Arizona Cardinals (2-2)
Cardinals Kurt Warner is capable of beating any team in the league.
19. Miami Dolphins (2-3)
Dolphins won a key AFC East game over Jets and get their bye week to make playoff run.
20. Washington Redskins (2-3)
Skins have backed themselves into the corner with every game critical for any playoff hopes.
21. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-3)
Jags were blown out by Seahawks last week and face a critical soft schedule over next month.
22. Houston Texans (2-3)
Texans find ways to lose close games and need to step up over an upcoming stretch of tough games.
23. Seattle Seahawks (2-3)
Seahawks face another critical contest with Falcons coming to town this week.
24. Carolina Panthers (1-3)
Panthers get first win over Skins and look to build on it with Bucs and Bills on deck.
25. Buffalo Bills (1-4)
Bills lost to Browns at home 6-3. That says it all.
26. Tennessee Titans (0-5)
Titans are struggling to get their first win and travel to New England this week.
27. Cleveland Browns (1-4)
Browns get their first win over Bills and face their divisional rival the Steelers this week.
28. Oakland Raiders (1-4)
The Raiders are simply awful and possibly the worst club in the league.
29. Kansas City Chiefs (0-5)
Chiefs will be lucky to win five games this season.
30. St. Louis Rams (0-5)
The Rams have a chance to win going to Jacksonville this Sunday.
31. Detroit Lions (1-4)
Lions might join UFL before the season is over.
32. Tampa Bay Bucs (0-5)
The Bucs might gut this team in postseason with a major rebuilding job in order.
Prospect George Selvie - South Florida
Pro Prospect NFL Draft – Draft Insiders' Preview - Special Offer for Full Subscription Available Now - Order Today
Photo - George Selvie - South Florida
George Selvie is one of the highly rated senior defensive players for the NFL Draft 2010. He has been instrumental in the USF fast 3-0 start this season despite special attention by offensive lines. Over 3 games, he has 14 tackles with 3 TFLs and 1 sack in a return to his sophomore performance level when he ranked with any edge defender in the nation. Last season, he flashed big play ability again, but had too many periods of inconsistent play when he struggled facing double team blocks for the first time. He is on my Senior Bowl preliminary recommended September list that will be updated several times prior to the classic All-star game and week in late January 2010.
Pro Prospect NFL Draft – Draft Insiders' Preview Scouting Report
George Selvie - 6’4” 255 lbs. - South Florida
Quick relentless senior pass rusher returns after only a good junior performance. As a sophomore, he was a difference maker for the USF defense, showing the speed from the outside that allowed him to rank with the nation’s best pass rushers. He looks to establish himself as a complete pro prospect this fall with better hand technique and improved functional strength to perform well vs the run both at the point of attack and in pursue. He is well developed in most areas and is one of the blue chip performers at this critically vital position.