Tuesday, April 28, 2009

LSC Roundup 4-28

Draft and Free Agent Stories

QB Keith Null Talks after Selected by Rams
Rams 6th round pick QB Keith Null talked with the media Sunday. Null discussed if he expected being drafted, on if he knew the Rams were interested, on the style of offense he played at West Texas A&M, and on his skill set.

(On how he’s doing right now)“Oh, I’m doing fabulous right now.”

(On if he expected to be drafted)“Man, we’ve been watching it and we were just like, me and dad were talking like, ‘Man, I might just end up being a free agent.’ We’ve heard from the beginning that it was going to be a late round (draft choice), a free agent (signing) and by the way things were shaping out, I was like, ‘Man, I just don’t know.’ And I got called and we were just sitting here. I was not expecting it at all. It was totally amazing.”

Bears see a big upside with 5-9 corner Moore
Big-time speed: G.M. Jerry Angelo admits he was surprised Abilene Christian wide receiver Johnny Knox was still on the board when the Bears took him early in the fifth round with the 140th overall pick.

"I thought he would be gone in the fourth round given the speed, the workout, (and he) had a real good (Texas vs. the Nation) all-star game," Angelo said. "Obviously the speed factor played heavily when we saw him on the board there in the fifth."

Knox ran a 4.34 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, but he played just two years at Division-II Abilene after two years at Tyler Community College. Bears coach Lovie Smith did not share the opinion of those who downgraded Knox because he didn't play "big-time" college football.

"I know a little bit about (Tyler) because it's close to my hometown (Big Sandy, Texas)," Smith said. "It is a big-time junior college; let's get that on record. We got a chance to see Johnny at the Combine with all the big-school guys. He caught the ball well, and he looked like he was one of the guys from one of the bigger schools."

Devaney, Spagnuolo Discuss 2009 Draft
Rams GM Billy Devaney and Coach Steve Spagnuolo talked Sunday after the Draft about WR Brooks Foster, RB Chris Ogbonnaya's assets, what attracted them to QB Keith Null, how much of a need they have for a veteran wide receiver, and if there's anything that they weren't able to accomplish with this draft.

(On what attracted him to QB Keith Null)
Devaney: “The scouts. Steve Kazor was in there on the school call. He (Null) played in the Cactus Bowl, (offensive coordinator) Pat Shurmur was there, Dick Daniels was there and they were all like this guy’s got size, he’s got arm strength. He moves around pretty good. Not a great athlete, but has slide ability. He’s a smart guy, all those things.”

(On what separates Null from a QB like Texas Tech QB Graham Harrell)
Devaney: “I kept asking that as we started talking. Not how does he compare to Graham Harrell, but why is this guy at West Texas A&M and there wasn’t any reason. He was overlooked coming out of high school and went to a place where they were going to throw the ball around a lot. I don’t know why he winds up at West Texas and Graham Harrell winds up at Texas Tech. I don’t know how those kinds of things happen.”

(On if Null has good arm strength)
Devaney: “Really good arm strength. He had a heck of a game at the Cactus Bowl. Trying to measure him against better competition, it’s not the Senior Bowl, but it’s still pretty good, draftable players and he had a heck of a game.”(Spagnuolo) “He was one of those guys that in the room, everybody, coaches, scouts, really liked.”

(On what separated Null from other potential quarterbacks left to draft)
Spagnuolo: “I think at that time he stuck out as the guy, quarterback-wise.”

Epps: Abilene tops Vols in NFL draft choices
Abilene Christian University boasts a quality football program. The Wildcats averaged 52.3 points per game last season, scored 93 points in a playoff win and finished the season with one loss. It was a good year.

Still, Abilene Christian, a fine NCAA Division II school, should not be more represented in the NFL draft than the University of Tennessee. But it happened over the weekend, two Abilene Christian players selected to Tennessee’s one, and now we’re left to wonder what the draft means for the present and future of Volunteers football.

Bengals Defend Troubled Draft Pick
I doubt anyone was truly surprised on Sunday when the Cincinnati Bengals announced their sixth-round pick.

Yes, Abilene Christian running back Bernard Scott is a talented football player. However, it's worth noting that the Bengals seem to have once again ignored the rap sheet of a player before using a draft pick on him. As Ryan Wilson pointed out Sunday, Scott has been arrested on at least five separate occasions, and actually hit a coach during one of his college stops.

It was doubtful that the Bengals would defend this choice by saying that they weren't aware of Scott's past. Naturally, they were quick to defend their pick, a player whose last college (Abilene Christian) was his fourth since 2003.

"I think at that point in the draft it was worth the opportunity," (head coach Marvin) Lewis said. "He has kind of gotten his life back together. Wherever this guy has been, he has succeeded and run for a lot of yardage. We had a lot of time talking with people around him the last couple of years, and we felt really good about him." Said running backs coach Jim Anderson: "I think that the image is what (media) project. Give the kid a chance. I think that's the American way - to give someone a chance. Let him come in and do what he can do."

For his part, Scott is trying to make it clear that he's matured.

"I cleared up the issues of my past. All of the mistakes I have made, I have learned from them," Scott said. "I have become a better person. I am not ashamed to talk about what I did. I made those mistakes and I have to answer those questions and go forward from there."

Now, it's likely that someone else would have either drafted Scott or pursued him as a free agent once the seventh round ended. However, these are the Bengals, and given the problems they've had with off-field behavior, they really should know better. Let some other team take the public relations hit that comes from drafting a player with Scott's background.

Ram were 'hell-bent' on getting good players
The Rams took a developmental quarterback -- West Texas A&M's Keith Null -- in the sixth round. The selection of Null probably didn't go over well with Missouri fans who watched Chase Daniel go undrafted.

The Rams feel like 6-foot-2, 222-pound Null has the right physical tools and intelligence to make it as a quarterback in the NFL.

"He's got size and he can throw the football and he's got some feet and you go from there," Spagnuolo said. "The quarterback in any system has to do certain things, and we saw those in this guy and that's why we decided to take him."

Three Lone Star Conference players selected in NFL Draft
Former Lone Star Conference standouts Johnny Knox, Keith Null and Bernard Scott were selected Sunday on the second day of the 2009 NFL Draft.

Knox went to the Chicago Bears with the fourth pick of the fifth round (140th overall), Null was 23rd pick of the sixth round (196th overall) by the St. Louis Rams and Scott was the final pick of the sixth round (209th overall), going to the Cincinnati Bengals.

WT's Null Selected in 6th Round of NFL Draft by St. Louis
West Texas A&M quarterback Keith Null was selected in the sixth round of the 2009 National Football League draft by the St. Louis Rams, while receiver Charly Martin has inked a free agent contract with the San Diego Chargers.

Null was the 196th overall pick in the draft.

Just moments after the seven-round draft process concluded, it was announced that WT wide receiver Charly Martin had signed as a free agent with the San Diego Chargers.

From the ACU Website
* ACU quarterback Billy Malone said Sunday night that the Bengals were among the teams that called him after the draft to discuss his interest in signing a free-agent contract. The Lone Star Conference's all-time leading passer said he would know something Monday from the Bengals, who earlier this spring sent quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese to Abilene for a private workout with Malone.

Ricky Hope Invited to Free Agent Workout with the NFL's Detroit Lions
Texas A&M University-Commerce's Ricky Hope has been invited to a free agent workout camp by the NFL's Detroit Lions.

Hope, who recently earned the Bobby Fox Award for the team's Most Outstanding Defensive Player, will report to the Lions on Thursday. Among the ties between the Poulan, Georgia native and the Lions is the new assistant defensive line coach, Kris Kocurek, who served as the defensive line coach at A&M-Commerce in 2006.

In 2008, Hope led the Lions with 19.5 tackles for minus 107 yards to set a new school single-season record. He also had 11 sacks for minus 76 yards to set another school record, recorded seven quarterback hurries and forced six fumbles. For his efforts, he earned All-American honors from the American Football Coaches Association, Associated Press, Daktronics, and Don Hansen’s Football Gazette and first team all-LSC North Division and LSC North Division Defensive Lineman of the Year.

And now for the idiotic quote of the day...
Pair of Big 12 quarterbacks left out in cold
Ten quarterbacks were taken in the draft, including Texas A&M's Stephen McGee. Listen, I know McGee has some ability, but he is to Harrell and Daniel what I am to Ernest Hemingway.

Also drafted was West Texas A&M's Keith Null, who went to the St. Louis Rams. There is no evidence that Null, or West Texas A&M for that matter, exists.


bogeyman said...

Typical Bob Lutz comment. I've lived with his elitist, "I hate anything Texas" comments for 22 years now as a Wichita Eagle reader. Bob makes these kinds of comments regularly because he doesn't do his homework but instead shoots from the hip (lip). Having seen Null play in person and having seen other quality D2 players from around the region (NWMSU, Pitt State, Abilene Christian and WT A&M) and knowing that these teams frequently have players not only drafted but who excel in the NFL; it makes me cringe when a sports columnist makes such unenlightened statements. But as I've said, knowing the comment came from Lutz, I now just "consider the source" and move on.

Anonymous said...

Lutz is an idiot. Plain and simple.

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