Draft notes: Ex-Hawk DeVries on Stafford; NFL Network’s Mayock on Shonn Greene

April 29, 2009
Detroit's Jared DeVries (95) tips Chicago Bears kicker Paul Edinger's field-goal attempt in the second quarter in Detroit on Nov. 9, 2003. The field-goal attempt was no good. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Detroit's Jared DeVries (95) tips Chicago Bears kicker Paul Edinger's field-goal attempt in the second quarter in Detroit on Nov. 9, 2003. The field-goal attempt was no good. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Former Iowa All-American Jared DeVries has seen many a savior come and go during his 11-year career with the Detroit Lions.

DeVries, a 32-year-old defensive end, was present the last time Detroit played in the postseason in 1999. He was there when the franchise hired — and later fired — president and general manager Matt Millen. He also was there in 2002 when the Lions drafted Oregon quarterback Joey “Blue Skies” Harrington and four wide receivers in the first round of five successive drafts.

The Lions now are on their seventh coach in DeVries’ tenure, second-longest on the team. The team picked first in last weekend’s NFL draft by virtue of its historic 0-16 season in 2008. So, that background also should give DeVries an open microphone for cynicism about his team. Instead, he chose optimism.

Detroit picked Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford No. 1 overall. Stafford signed a six-year contract worth up to $78 million in incentives, including $41.7 million in guaranteed money. That’s the largest guarantee in NFL history. DeVries told the Detroit Free Press that drafting Stafford made sense.

“It’s a good pick,” DeVries said. “Everybody felt we were going in that direction. You never know until draft day, and hopefully he’ll be a good quarterback for us.”

DeVries, however, joined the multitude of veteran players displeased with Stafford’s deal.

“”I think we as players kind of messed up, and we need to fix the system,” said DeVries, who reportedly will earn $1.3 million this  year. “Rookies are getting paid entirely too much without playing a down in the NFL.”

DeVries suffered a broken left hand in the Lions’ ninth game against Jacksonville. He sat out one game, then returned only to re-break it against Tampa Bay. He had season-ending surgery two days later.

Iowa's Jared DeVries haunts Wisconsin quarterback Mike Samuel (10) and brings him down for a 6-yard loss in the first quarter. DeVries had three sacks costing the Badgers 18 yards on Oct. 24, 1998.

Iowa's Jared DeVries haunts Wisconsin quarterback Mike Samuel (10) and brings him down for a 6-yard loss in the first quarter. DeVries had three sacks costing the Badgers 18 yards on Oct. 24, 1998.

DeVries, a former Aplington-Parkersburg all-state running back

, had 45 tackles, two sacks, defended four passes and recovered one fumble last year in 10 games — all starts. He had his best season in 2007, when he started 14 games, recorded 54 tackles, notching 6.5 sacks, recovered and forced three fumbles and notched one safety.


NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said former Iowa running back Shonn Greene has a solid opportunity to play this season for the New York Jets. The Jets moved up 11 spots in the third round and traded three picks with Detroit to select Greene with the third round’s first pick.

“I had him late (round) two,  mid three, so that’s about where I thought he’d go,” Mayock said. “I think it’s pretty exciting for him, growing up in New Jersey and now being  joined at the hip with (top draft pick quarterback) Mark Sanchez. I think that’s an exciting opportunity.”

Greene, 23, could step in and play right away with the Jets. Starting running back Thomas Jones, 31, rushed for more than 1,300 yards and 13 touchdowns last year, but is sitting out all off-season workouts.

“I think what (drafting Greene) does is provide them with an insurance policy,” Mayock said. “Thomas Jones is getting older and wants a new contract. Ultimately, I think (Greene’s) a really good fit with Leon Washington.”

Last year Greene won the Doak Walker Award, which annually is given to the nation’s best running back. He was a consensus All-American and rushed for 1,850 yards and 20 touchdowns. He was the fifth running back selected in the draft.


Greene, Fletcher go 1-2 in 3rd round

April 26, 2009

Former Iowa running back Shonn Greene was selected by the New York Jets with the first pick in the third round Sunday.

Former Iowa cornerback Bradley Fletcher was tabbed one pick later by the St. Louis Rams.

The Jets traded up 11 spots with the Detroit Lions to pick Greene and gave up their third, fourth and seventh rounds picks to get him.

Greene won the Doak Walker Award, which annually is given to college football’s best running back. He was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and was a consensus All-American.

Greene, 23, finished with 1,850 yards and 20 touchdowns, both school records at Iowa. He ran for at least 100 yards in all 13 Iowa games last season and combined both speed and power rarely found in collegiate running backs.

Jets Coach Rex Ryan told ESPN that Greene is a “rare talent.”

“He was the best player that was on our board,” Jets Coach Rex Ryan said. “In our opinion, it wasn’t close.

“He’s a big, powerful running back. We want to have a little ground and pound.”

Greene will compete with Jets veteran Thomas Jones and playmaker Leon Washington for time at running back. Greene is the Jets’ second pick in the draft behind USC quarterback Mark Sanchez.

“We have three backs here,” Ryan said. “(Greene’s) got starter ability and he’s 230 pounds, great vision … let’s just give him the football and we’ll see what happens.”

Fletcher, 22, registered 60 tackles and three interceptions last year. He was the Rams’ third pick in the draft after Baylor tackle Jason Smith and Ohio State linebacker James Laurinaitis. Fletcher was an honorable mention all-Big Ten selection.

2009 NFL Mock Draft, 1st 2 rounds; Iowa draftee predictions

April 24, 2009

Here’s a look at Saturday’s first two rounds of the NFL draft. Along with the annual infusion of new blood into the NFL, the most intriguing part will include trades.

I anticipate Washington will get antsy for USC QB Mark Sanchez and will give away the farm to Kansas City to get him. That will include a No. 1 this year and next year, and their own No. 2 next year. Washington will trade starting QB Jason Campbell to the New York Jets for the Jet’s second-round pick, which then will be dealt to the Chiefs.

I expect Cleveland to deal WR Braylon Edwards to the New York Giants for a first-round pick.

At the bottom are Iowa’s draft hopefuls and where I think they could land.

1. DETROIT Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia

2. ST. LOUIS – Jason Smith, T, Baylor

3. WASHINGTON (from Kansas City in a draft-day trade) – Mark Sanchez, QB, USC

4. SEATTLE – Eugene Monroe, T, Virginia

5. CLEVELAND – Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forest

6. CINCINNATI – B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College

7. OAKLAND – Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri

8. JACKSONVILLE – Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech

9. GREEN BAY – Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU

10. SAN FRANCISCO – Aaron Maybin, DE/LB, Penn State

11. BUFFALO – Everette Brown, DE/LB, Florida State

12. DENVER – Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas

13. KANSAS CITY (from Washington in a draft-day trade) – Andre Smith, T, Alabama

14. NEW ORLEANS – Malcolm Jenkins, CB, Ohio State

15. HOUSTON – Brian Cushing, LB, USC

16. SAN DIEGO – Michael Oher, T, Ole Miss

17. N.Y. Jets – Robert Ayers, DE/LB, Tennessee

18. DENVER (from Chicago) – Peria Jerry, DT, Ole Miss

19. TAMPA BAY – Josh Freeman, QB, Kansas State

20. DETROIT (from Dallas) – James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State

21. PHILADELPHIA – Alex Mack, C, California

22. MINNESOTA – Eben Britton, T, Arizona

23. NEW ENGLAND – Connor Barwin, LB/DE, Cincinnati

24. ATLANTA – Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois

25. MIAMI – Rey Maualuga, LB, USC

26. BALTIMORE – Darrius Bulter, CB, UConn

27. INDIANAPOLIS – Ron Brace, DT, Boston College

28. BUFFALO (from Carolina through Philadelphia) – Max Unger, C/G, Oregon

29. CLEVELAND (from NY Giants in a draft-day trade) – Chris Wells, RB, Ohio State

30. TENNESSEE – Alphonso Smith, CB, Wake Forest

31. ARIZONA – Clay Matthews, LB, USC

32. PITTSBURGH – Jamon Meredith, G/T, South Carolina


33. DETROIT – Ziggy Hood, DT, Missouri

34. NEW ENGLAND (from Kansas City) – Donald Brown, RB, UConn

35. ST. LOUIS – Percy Harvin, WR, Florida

36. CLEVELAND – Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State

37. SEATTLE – Jarius Byrd, CB, Oregon

38. CINCINNATI – Paul Kruger, DE, Utah

39. JACKSONVILLE – Eric Wood, C, Louisville

40. OAKLAND – William Beatty, T, UConn

41. GREEN BAY – Craig Urbik, G, Wisconsin

42. BUFFALO – Duke Robinson, G, Oklahoma

43. SAN FRANCISCO – Antoine Caldwell, C, Alabama

44. MIAMI – Hakeen Nicks, WR, North Carolina

45. NY GIANTS – Scott McKillop, LB, Pittsburgh

46. HOUSTON Shonn Greene, RB, Iowa

47. NEW ENGLANDBradley Fletcher, CB, Iowa

48. DENVER – Jasper Brinkley, LB, South Carolina

49. CHICAGO – Brian Robiskie, WR, Ohio State

50. CLEVELAND – Larry English, DE/LB, Northern Illinois

51. DALLAS – William Moore, S, Missouri

52. KANSAS CITY (from NY Jets through Washington in a draft-day trade) – Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia

53. PHILADELPHIA – LeSean McCoy, RB, Pittsburgh

54. MINNESOTA – Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland

55. ATLANTA – Marcus Freeman, LB, Ohio State

56. MIAMI – Patrick Chung, S, Oregon

57. BALTIMORE – Kenny Britt, WR, Rutgers

58. NEW ENGLAND – Gerald Cadogan, T, Penn State

59. CAROLINA – Mike Mickens, CB, Cincinnati

60. NY GIANTS – Phil Loadholt, T, Oklahoma

61. INDIANAPOLIS – Kenny McKinley, WR, South Carolina

62. TENNESSEE – Dorell Scott, DT, Clemson

63. ARIZONA – Louis Delmas, S, Western Michigan

64. PITTSBURGH – Fili Moala, DE, USC


2. Shonn Greene, RB, Houston (46)
Perfect tandem back with Houston’s Steve Slaton
2. Bradley Fletcher, CB, New England (47)
Ascending player with good size, speed; perfect for Belichick
3. Mitch King, DT, Washington (80)
Will make a great combination with hulking Albert Haynesworth
4. Seth Olsen, G, Indianapolis (127)
A solid, dependable player on team with Iowa ties
6. Rob Bruggeman, C, Chicago (190)
Eventual replacement for Olin Kreutz?
7. Matt Kroul, DT, Minnesota (221)
Could make a good back-up this year behind Kevin Williams and Pat Williams
7. Brandon Myers, TE, Cincinnati (252)
Only way Bengals can get Myers in their camp
F/A Andy Brodell, WR, Minnesota
Vikings like to snag Iowa players as free agents