Sunday, June 26, 2016

2008 NBA Draft Preview: DeAndre Jordan

The 2008 NBA Draft will take place at the end of June and there are numerous great basketball players that will be considered as part of the draft. One of these players is a young man from Bellaire, Texas, who has played his college career for Texas A & M. This talented basketball player is DeAndre Jordan. DeAndre has a very extensive and impressive resume. He was a member of the 2007 USA Under 19 Team his senior year of high school and was named a Parade All-American. Additionally, during high school he was named an All State Player in Texas twice.

DeAndre Jordan’s strengths on the basketball court can be easily seen by all of those who have seen him play basketball. He is an excellent rebounder, which is a skill that corresponds with DeAndre’s impressive ability to finish under and near the basket. DeAndre is also very good at drawing fouls. Lastly, he is uncommonly quick for a big player, who mostly plays in the paint and as a post. DeAndre Jordan’s strengths on the basketball court have draw the attention of many of those who are involved with the NBA.

DeAndre has some weaknesses on the basketball court as well. Most of his weaknesses he should be able to overcome with practice and experience. He is one of the worst free throw shooters that are currently playing college basketball. His fundamental skills and his foot work need to be developed and perfected. DeAndre Jordan gets pushed around by other players when in the paint. Lastly, DeAndre needs to improve his shot blocking skills.

Many websites have released their mock drafts for the 2008 NBA draft. One of these sites is NBC Sports. They have predicted that DeAndre Jordan will be picked as No. 17 and will be drafted by the 76ers. While, collegehoopsnet.com believes that DeAndre will be selected as No. 14.

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2008 NBA Draft Preview: Darrell Arthur

Darrell Arthur hails from Dallas, Texas. He will be one of the many basketball players that will be part of the 2008 NBA Draft class. Darrell has played his college basketball career at the University of Kansas. Since playing for the Jayhawks, he has been named All Big 12 Rookie of the Year and was an All Big 12 Team Honorable Mention. While, in high school he made the Team USA Under 19 Team but was unable to play due to an injury.

Darrell Arthur has many strengths on the basketball court which have lead him to be part of the NBA draft. Darrell is a great athlete and an impressive ability to score in the paint. He has a phenomenal turn around jump shot. Additionally, he can run the floor and is an all around defender.

Some of Darrell’s weaknesses on the basketball court are that he lacks polish in his ball handling skills and that he has difficulty selecting shots. He also needs to improve his passing skills. Darrell struggles to finish with his left hand as well. All of these weaknesses need to be improved if Darrell is going to be successful in the NBA.

Many news and sports related websites have listed their mock drafts for the 2008 NBA Draft. One of these sites is NBC Sports which has predicted that Darrell Arthur will be drafted by the New York Nets and will be No. 10 in the first round of this year’s draft. This prediction is pretty consistent between all of the mock drafts that have been released. Collegehoopsnet.com also believes that Darrell Arthur will be picked No. 10 and by the New York Nets. It is pretty clear that Darrell will end up playing for the New York Nets next season.

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2008 NFL Draft Preview: Wide Receiver Limas Sweed Out of Texas

Limas Sweed is the 6’3 215lb senior wide receiver out of Texas. He is considered one of the top 10 wide receivers in the 2008 NFL draft. He has the size to play either wide receiver or tight end. The question mark on Limas Sweed is his wrist.

The downside on Limas Sweed is his wrist. His wrist limited his playing time during the first half of the 2007 season and then he missed the rest when he under went surgery on the wrist. NFL Draftscout.com reports “Sweed said healing is complete although not all of the motion has returned.” Looking at his combine results I noticed no bench press results. No results at the bench make me wonder about his wrist. His 40 time of 4.55 was slower than a lot of other receivers in the 2008 draft. He could improve on his Pro Day workouts and his stock could rise. NFL Draftscout.com has Limas ranked as the fourth best receiver in the NFL draft and a projected first round draft pick. Fox Sports has him listed as he 8th best receiver in the draft. Fox suggest he could start in the NFL next year, but he is only a slot away from being a reserve slash project on their list.

The upside to Limas Sweed is he is young and he has had the surgery. Hopefully he is on the mend from his injury and will continue to regain motion his wrist. If Limas Sweed slips into the second round, a team could get “a first round talent” with a second round pick.

Slipping to the second round would open Limas Sweed to a lot more teams. Teams which could be interested in Limas Sweed include the San Francisco 49ers, the Dallas Cowboys, the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, the Chicago Bears, the Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, and St. Louis Rams.

Sources:
NFLdraftscout.com
Foxsports.com

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2008 NFL Draft Preview: Denver Broncos' Wishlist

The Broncos underachieved in 2007, resulting in a 7-9 record. Jay Cutler suffered a sophomore slump in addition to the offensive line being the weakest in a decade or more. Denver will need to retool if they plan to challenge San Diego in the AFC West. It starts with the #12 pick in April’s draft.

After an impressive 2-0 start in 2007, Denver fell off the contender map with a 1-5 stretch. The Broncos were 30th in rush defense and 28th in points allowed. They were solid rushing the ball as usual (9th in the league), but didn’t turn enough drives into touchdowns (21st in points scored). After a Travis Henry meltdown after 4 weeks, Selvin Young was a pleasant product of the Denver Broncos school of running backs, gaining 730 yards and 5.2 yards/carry. Brandon Marshall emerged as a top-flight wide receiver with 102 catches, 1325 yards and 7 TDs. Elvis Dumervil has been a great pass rusher in his first two seasons, amassing 20 sacks and 5 forced fumbles.

The top need areas for Denver for the 2008 draft are offensive line, defensive tackle, safety and outside linebacker. Sam Adams and John Lynch are still productive players on defense, but are old enough that Denver needs to plan for the future at those positions.

With the #12 pick in the 1st round, Denver can target offensive tackles Jeff Otah (Pittsburgh) and Chris Williams (Vanderbilt) or safety Kenny Phillips (Miami). In the 2nd and 3rd rounds, Denver will look for a defensive tackle or offensive lineman. Dre Moore (Maryland) and Pat Sims (Auburn) are 300+ pounds and a force on the defensive line. Roy Schuening (Oregon State) and Branden Albert (Virginia) are good options in the 3rd round at offensive guard. Denver has many options for linebacker in the 2008 NFL draft, especially in the later rounds. Alvin Bowen (Iowa State) and Jeremy Lehman (Illinois) can be had in the 5th round and beyond.

Looking ahead to 2008, Denver is significantly ahead of Kansas City and Oakland in the AFC West, but San Diego is clearly the class of the division. Denver can compete for the playoffs when the defense returns to form. Jay Cutler will rebound and Brandon Marshall will only get better with a healthy Javon Walker on the other side of the formation. Denver will improve on their 7-9 record in 2008 with the possibility of the playoffs.

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2008 NBA Draft Preview: Alexis Ajinca

Alexis Ajinca is a native of Saint Etienne, France, and is currently playing professional basketball internationally for Hyeres-Toulon. Alexis is one of just a few international players that will be considered in the 2008 NBA Draft. He has only been listed as part of a few websites mock drafts and on those sites that have listed him as part of the draft he has been listed in the second round of the draft or at the very end of the first round. Alexis Ajinca has been ranked highest on collegehoopsnet.com’s mock draft as No. 26 and they believe he will be drafted by the San Antonio Spurs. Another, website that has included Alexis Ajinca in their prediction of the 2008 NBA draft is draftexpress.com, they have predicted that he will be chosen No. 27 and will be added to the rooster of the Hornets for the 2008-2009 NBA season.

Most of Alexis’s strengths on the basketball court are because of his extreme athleticism. His shot range starts under the basket and extends to the three point line, allowing him to make high percentage shots from numerous locations. Alexis has great hand eye coordination and is extremely coordinated in general. Additionally, Alexis Ajinca exhibits great timing when playing basketball. He is also a solid passer and plays a very unselfish game. Alexis Ajinca’s strengths on the basketball court have gained him attention of many NBA coaches and team owners.

There are some weaknesses in Alexis Ajinca’s game. He is very skinny and needs to become stronger in order to improve all aspects of his game. He struggles immensely when playing man on man defense. His foot work is also lacking and is also just an average rebounder. Lastly, Alexis is very foul proned. These are all skills that Alexis Ajinca will need to improve upon to be successful in the NBA.

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2008 NFL Draft Preview: Green Bay Packers' Wishlist

The Packers were the feel-good story of the the NFL in 2007, resurrecting a franchise that had fallen from grace the past few seasons. Brett Favre went from a quarterback pondering retirement on a semi-daily basis in years past to a young kid playing the game he loves and being very successful. Ryan Grant came out of nowhere to lead the running game and the other young talent supported guys such as Donald Driver, Bubba Franks and Al Harris. The Packers look to be back in the hunt for the next few seasons, especially with a reinvigorated Favre under center.

The Packers started red hot, jumping out to a 10-1 record heading to also 10-1 Dallas in week 13. After stumbling to the Cowboys, Green Bay managed a #2 seed and a 13-3 record for the year. Nine times they scored 31+ points. The stars were aligned for Green Bay with a home game for the NFC Championship game after Dallas was upset. But the eventual champion Giants and sub-zero temperatures derailed the Cinderella story in Wisconsin in 2007. The final dagger was an all-to-familiar Favre interception in overtime (ala Philadelphia a few years ago in the famous 4th and 26 game), leading to the winning field goal.

But the season wasn’t a total failure. Green Bay wasn’t considered a big threat in the NFC entering 2007 and had many statistical successes. Ryan Grant didn’t play much before week 8, but finished with 956 yards, 8 TDs and 5 100-yard games. Grant was also the MVP against Seattle in the playoffs, rebounding from 2 early fumbles to gain 201 yards and 3 TDs. Favre threw for nearly 4200 yards and 28 scores, taking only 15 sacks all season. Donald Driver had 1,000 yards, Greg Jennings collected 12 TDs and Donald Lee had nearly 600 yards and 6 TDs through the air. Atari Bigby was a major highlight on defense with 86 tackles, 5 interceptions and a team-leading 9 deflected passes – including two great performances in the playoffs.

The 2008 NFL draft will be a perfect opportunity for Green Bay to upgrade an already strong roster heading into 2008. Offensive line depth, another pass rusher opposite Aaron Kampman and a cornerback would be the most pressing needs for a team without major weaknesses. With a late 1st-round pick, defensive end and cornerback are great positions of value. Calais Campbell (Miami) and Phillip Merling (Clemson) are prototypical pass rushers that can rotate in their rookie seasons. Juniors Aqib Talib (Kansas) and Reggie Smith (Oklahoma) have great ball skills at cornerback and should be available when Green Bay is on the clock. Both are at least 6’1″, 200 pounds and have play man-to-man on Sundays.

In the middle rounds, Brandon Flowers (Virginia Tech) and Dejuan Tribble (Boston College) are excellent value choices at cornerback. Johnny Dingle (West Virginia) and Kendall Langford (Hampton) would provide defensive end depth in rounds 3-4. Chad Rinehart (Northern Iowa) and Cody Wallace (Texas A&M) are good choices for interior offensive linemen.

The Packers are a very good offensive team and were only a few plays away from the Super Bowl in 2007.

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2008 NHL Season Preview: Chicago Blackhawk's Happy with Young Talent

Chicago Blackhawk’s fans have already seen that new young talent can make a huge difference for their team. The additions of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews last season has seen Chicago turn itself around and has become one of the up and coming teams to watch out for. Even though Toews and Kane seem to be the perfect pair, the Blackhawk’s have much more young talent to come in the future.

Playing with the Hawks for 12 games last season, Petri Kontiola proved he can make the lineup. Selected 196th overall in 2004, Kontiola spent most of his playing career in his native Finland. He made the move to the AHL last season, where he posted 18 goals and 50 assists in 66 games. Kontiola successfully made the move from Finland and has adapted well to a more physical style of play. Kontiola should make a push for a roster spot this coming season.
Nathan Davis just finished a tremendous four year outing at the University of Miami Ohio with 132 points and a plus-45 rating. The Hawks signed Davis to an entry level contract this past May and hope the fourth round draft pick can pick up his game after a sub par senior year. His junior year however, Davis was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award after scoring 50 points in 42 games. Look for Davis to spend next season with the Hawks minor league team in Rockford.

Among all of the Hawks prospects, Jack Skille is one of the headliners. The number 7 pick overall in the 2005 Draft played in 16 games for the Hawks last season and had 3 goals and two assists. The 6-foot-1 200 pounder is expected to be a power forward that isn’t afraid to throw his weight around. He also has great speed and sees the ice well. Look for him to make a splash with the Blackhawk’s this season.

Troy Brouwer is among one of the best pure scorers of the Hawks prospects. Playing with Rockford last season, Brouwer posted an impressive 35 goals in 75 games. The season before last he posted 41 goals in 66 games as a rookie. Not only can he put the puck in the back of the net, Brouwer is known to be a physical force as well. He is just another power forward among the prospects for the Hawks. Brouwer could make the team next season.

Should Niklas Hjalmarsson play well in training camp, Hawks fans could see him on Chicago’s blue line this coming season. Hjalmarsson played 13 games with the Hawks last season and posted an assist and minus-2 rating. This was Hjalmarsson’s first season on American ice, and the North American game can be different for international players coming from overseas. Hjalmarsson makes a great first pass out of the defensive zone and could be a great two way defensemen for the Hawks next season.

Corey Crawford appeared to have the back up spot all tied up before the Hawks snatched up Cristobal Huet earlier in the summer from the Washington Capitals. If the Hawks decide to move Nikolai Khabibulin, Crawford could make his move to the big leagues. The Hawks management is very happy with Crawford’s play so far. He spent most of the last three seasons in the AHL where he posted a 2.87 goals against average and .905 save percentage. Look for Crawford to be knocking on the Hawks door as his skills improve.

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2008 Olympics: How Beijing Won Host City

All Olympics lovers around the world are curiously waiting for the upcoming Olympics. Their minds are filled up with all events and games that are going to be held. The Olympic Games are considered an international multi-sport event with various sporting events.

The 2008 Summer Olympics will be held in China based Beijing National Stadium during the month of August. Beijing is the capital city of the People’s Republic of China. This Olympics is called as the Games of the XXIX Olympiad. The Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee is making the feel of this Olympics by selling over 10 millions of Tickets to the public through different ways.

Most of the tourist operators of china are providing large facilities for the travelers visiting China to participate in Olympics. It’s very difficult to control widespread use of the internet that has opened the eyes of many Chinese citizens about the way the rest of the world lives.

The IOC is well aware of Chinese attempts to become a more widely accepted country and a country that wants to open its doors to the rest of the world. Chinese Primer Li Lanqing declared that “The winning of the 2008 Olympic bid is an example of the international recognition of China’s social stability, economic progress and the healthy life of the Chinese people.” Thus, the games are both a proud moment of Chinese history as well as a reflection on the overall status of the government – a very serious matter in this one party state.

China was extremely proud of its victory, when in the past it had consistently failed to make the cut in the IOC meetings. In 1993, it lost its bid to Australia’s Sydney for the 2000 Summer Olympic Games. However, China sees this victory for the 08 games as a international referendum on its government and its people’s growing importance in the world.

China won host city because of all the countries in the world, while the community waits, watches, and passes judgment, they are most in need of the benefits that an event like the Olympic Games can bring to a country. Beijing is to be commended for earning the trust of the IOC and now more importantly for its attempts to earn the trust of the entire world community.

To view the entire process and obtain specific results visit: http://ift.tt/28XNfRr. Asp.

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2008 NFL Preseason Power Rankings

Every year experts chime in on how they believe the upcoming season will be played out, including Super Bowl predictions. What the Giants did last year was pure destiny. Any expert who predicted a Giants Super Bowl victory in the preseason last year would be heralded…the problem is that expert doesn’t exist. Ranking do give NFL fans hope, and provides added excitement for the upcoming season.

With training camp opening around the league, NFL fans are gearing up for another five months of action. Even though there is action throughout the year, there is nothing like the feeling of training camp starting. While some teams like the Falcons are in for a long season, others like the Vikings and Raiders are excited to see how far their offseason acquisitions can take them.

32. Atlanta Falcons-The Falcons are in the middle of a rebuilding process to say the least. Matt Ryan is the quarterback of the future, and could get a lot of playing time this year. If the coaches decide to put him in after being eliminated from playoff contention, Ryan could get 8-9 weeks worth of exposure this year. The acquisition of Michael Turner will help, but Ryan needs help at receiver and on the line as well. 2008 will be a year full of growing pains, and the Falcons could give the expansion Buccaneers a run for their money as being the only team to have a winless season.

31. Miami Dolphins-The Dolphins are also in a rebuilding phase, and are only a hairline better off than the Atlanta Falcons are. They recently traded Jason Taylor to the Redskins, and the Dolphins lost the only legitimate playmaker they had on their team. The Dolphins will spend the majority of the season relying on running backs Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams. If those two can make it through the season without getting hurt, retiring and unretiring, or smoking themselves silly, a lot of pressure can be alleviated from the trio of quarterbacks that will be making their rounds down south this year.

30. San Francisco 49ers-The 49ers have an unsettled quarterback situation, no one to catch the ball, and a tight end who was supposed to be the greatest tight end to ever play the game that has yet to live up to ½ of his full potential. These are hard times in San Francisco for niner fans. The niners appear to have wasted the first overall pick on Alex Smith…they would be better off giving Ryan Leaf a call. They have a tenacious defense with Patrick Willis, Nate Clements, and Justin Smith anchoring the most important positions on the defensive side of the ball. The offense needs to step it up a notch, and give the ball to Frank Gore to help take pressure off the quarterback.

29. Kansas City Chiefs-The Chiefs also appear to be in for a long season. The “experts” say the Chiefs have had one of the best drafts in the modern era; the problem is a draft class can’t be graded until 3-5 years later, so how well their draft pans out remains to be seen. Few will question the fact that they received some talent this April, and if the prospects can stay healthy and out of trouble, the Chiefs could have laid a solid foundation for the future. The 2008 season will definitely include a steep learning curve.

28. St Louis Rams-The Rams had a disappointing 2007 campaign. The Rams have playmakers that include Steven Jackson, Torry Holt, and rookie Chris Long. Injuries plagued the Rams last year, with Marc Bulger, Steven Jackson, and Orlando Pace all missing time. The Rams will be a little rusty in 2008, but they should have a better season than last year. The Rams may even find a way to make it out of the top-five come next April.

27. Chicago Bears-The Bears are going to have a rough season as well. The Bears did little to upgrade their roster this offseason, and once again chose to defer making a choice on the quarterback position. In addition to taking a passive stance regarding the most important position on the field, the Bears also lost their best playmaker in Bernard Berrian and their starting running back in Cedric Benson. They did add Kevin Jones to the mix to add competition to Matt Forte, but Jones needs to be more consistent and healthy as well. The development of Devin Hester at wide receiver will be the main factor to the success of the Bears.

26. Detroit Lions-The Lions are one of the more interesting teams in the NFL, and always make for a good draft day saga along with the Jets. Matt Millen gets yet another chance to prove himself, although years of failed draft picks are coming back to haunt him. Jon Kitna believes the Lions have the ability to win 10 games this year (again); the reality is the Lions will be fighting off the Bears to see who will finish in the cellar in the NFC North.

25. New York Jets-The Jets have one of the best left sides of the offensive line in football, and also brought in one of the best blocking full backs of all time in Tony Richardson. This will allow Thomas Jones and Leon Washington to run wild….that is if they can avoid 8 or even 9 man fronts. The bottom line is if the Jets can’t throw the ball, they won’t be able to run it either. One of the quarterbacks needs to step up their game…soon, and whether it’s Chad Pennington or Kellen Clemens is debatable.

24. Baltimore Ravens-The Ravens are another team that has a lot of inexperience at the most important position on the field. The ship has sailed on Kyle Boller, and he is now holding the steering wheel until Joe Flacco can reach the pedals. Willis McGahee and Ray Rice are a great combination out of the backfield, but much like the Jets they won’t be able to run the ball against 9 man fronts all game.

23. Houston Texans-The Texans have a lot of potential that needs to come to fruition. Matt Shaub needs to prove he can be a viable starter for a full season, and Andre Johnson is one of the best receivers in the game when healthy. Mario Williams, Amobi Okoye, DeMeco Ryans, and Dunta Robinson make for one heck of a defense that will only get better with experience. The Texans have a chance to surprise some people….but only if they can stay healthy.

22. Denver Broncos– This year could be Mike Shanahan’s make-or-break year. Without a playoff appearance (and no one left to place blame after firing them all), Shanahan may have no where else to turn. Too many questionable offseason moves are catching up with him, and the time to win is now. Brandon Marshall needs to get his priorities straight, and stay out of trouble. The Broncos also have one of the better secondaries in football, but the linebacking unit as well as the defensive line has a lot to be desired. The Broncos could very well end up in the top 5 as far as pass defense goes….but that’ll be because they finish last against the run. How well Denver can stop the run will dictate how successful of a year they can have.

21. Buffalo Bills-Buffalo is a team on the rise, but inexperience will get the best of them in 2008. Marshawn Lynch is a very versatile back, but he needs to stay out of trouble to succeed. Trent Edwards enters camp as the starter, and the second year quarterback will have a large learning curve. There are still a few holes on the defense, but the addition of Kawika Mitchell will help a bit. While they are not quite ready to take the next step (especially playing in the same division as the Patriots), they are making strides in the right direction.

20. Cincinnati Bengals-No one in Cincinnati is happy. Chad Johnson and TJ Houshmandzadeh have spent the entire offseason whining about their contracts. Carson Palmer has spent the offseason whining to his two young stars to shut their mouth and concentrate on winning. The Bengals have the playmakers on offense to succeed. It remains to be seen whether the Bengals players are too selfish to allow them to succeed, however.

19. Arizona Cardinals– The Cardinals are hopeful that Matt Leinert is ready to take over the starting quarterback role permanently, but his offseason photos may show how committed to football he really is. The Cardinals have two of the best receivers in the game in Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin. They also have a star running back in Edgerrin James. It shouldn’t be too difficult for a quarterback to succeed in that system; should it?

18. Carolina Panthers-The best news (for this season….maybe not next as it will cost them) for the Panthers heading into 2008 is that it is Julius Pepper’s contract year. Expect Peppers to have a MONSTER year, as he looks for his payday. The success this year rests in the hands (elbow) of Jake Delhomme and how well he can come back from “Tommy John’s” surgery. If he can return to his Super Bowl form of a few years ago, the Panthers will make a hard push for the division title.

17. Oakland Raiders-The Raiders are the most entertaining team in the league. Like them, or hate them (there is no in-between), Al Davis will do whatever it takes to win. Some will argue with the Raiders being placed this high on the list. There is not one team in the whole NFL that did more this offseason to upgrade their roster than the Raiders. They brought in a top notch safety and corner, and will have the number one rated pass defense in the league. They have solid linebackers and the best running back trio in the league. Jamarcus Russell is only in his second year, but all he has to do to win is limit his mistakes and hand the ball off. Michael Bush, Justin Fargas, and rookie sensation Darren McFadden will handle the rest, and don’t be surprised to see the Raiders make a run at the playoffs.

16. Washington Redskins-The Redskins are pushing to play in the best division in football. The acquisition of Jason Taylor for basically a second round pick is amazing. Taylor is one of the best linemen in football, and he instantly helps their defense. Santana Moss needs to step up his game, and return to his 2004 form. The Redskins may not be as good as the Eagles, Giants, or Cowboys, but a 9-7 finish could be good enough for a playoff berth.

15. Cleveland Browns-The Browns have a very talented roster that includes Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow. They also have competition at quarterback, much like San Diego had a few years ago when they had both Philip Rivers and Drew Brees. If Derek Anderson begins to struggle, expect the fans to call for Brady Quinn.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers-The Buccaneers have more quarterbacks on their team than rabbits can produce in a litter. The problem is, their starter is 38, and not the best. Look for the Bucs to rely on their trio of running backs to take pressure off of their quarterbacks. Also, look out for Micahel Clayton. He is entering a contract year, and this is his last chance on the Bucs if he fails. He has the potential to take over the reins from Ike Hilliard.

13. Tennessee Titans-The Titans brought in free agent Alge Crumpler this offseason, and Tennessee appears to be a perfect fit for him. Crumpler is used to have a running quarterback who couldn’t throw the ball into a hole the size of a parachute on a consistent basis. The Titans have potential, and will rely on LenDale White and Albert Haynesworth to carry them. If Vince Young can’t improve on his 9 touchdowns to 17 interceptions this year, it could be a long season for Titans fans.

12. Minnesota Vikings-The Vikings will be an interesting team to watch this year. The Vikings upgraded their roster by bringing in big name players such as Bernard Berrian and Jared Allen. It also doesn’t hurt to have Adrian Peterson on your team; granted he needs to stay healthy and shy away from his bruising running style. This year rests on the shoulders of Tarvaris Jackson. If he limits his mistakes, the Vikings should have no problem making the playoffs.

11. Philadelphia Eagles-The Eagles brought in Asante Samuel, and now have one of the best cornerback trios in the history of the NFL. Add Brian Dawkins to the mix, and the secondary of will be hard to throw on. Brodrick Bunkley will help to shore up the run, and the defense should be pretty solid. The Eagles also have one of the most dynamic backs in the league in Brian Westbrook. If Donovan McNabb doesn’t win this year, don’t expect to see him in green and silver next year.

10. New Orleans Saints-The Saints have a great chore on offense with pro bowler Drew Brees, Deuce McAllister and Reggie Bush at running back, and Marques Colston at receiver. This is Colston’s last year of his rookie contract, so expect the former 7th rounder to have a monster year. The addition of Sedrick Ellis is important to how far this team can go this year. He needs to get signed and in camp to get the experience preseason has to offer.

9. Seattle Seahawks-The Seahawks lost the face of their franchise this offseason when they let Shaun Alexander go. While Alexander has struggled, it is always hard to lose a franchise player. Julius Jones and TJ Duckett will replace Alexander nicely, and the Seahawks should have no problem winning the NFC West.

8. Green Bay Packers-The Brett Favre era is officially over in Green Bay. It is now Aaron Rodgers time to shine, and there will be a lot of pressure on him to succeed right away. A great side story could emerge if Rodgers struggles early. Will the Packers try to save their season by giving Mr. Favre a call? This will be an interesting year in Green Bay, and you better get the popcorn ready.

7. New York Giants-It’s a little disheartening to have to put the world champions 7th on the list for preseason power rankings. The Giants simply suffered too many losses to be able to compete at the level they did last year. A repeat of 2007 will never be done in history again. That was quite possibly the most magical game our generation will ever see, and it was an amazing thing to be part of. Losing Gibril Wilson, Michael Strahan, Jeremy Shockey, and Kawika Mitchell will simply be too much for the Giants to overcome.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers-The Steelers look poised to repeat as division champs, and Ben Roethlisberger appears ready to enter the next level of quarterbacks. He appears to have all the intangibles necessary to succeed, and Santonio Holmes will be the main beneficiary. They have a ferocious defense, and could quite possibly lead the league this year. The Steelers will be a hard team to overcome in the AFC.

5. Indianapolis Colts-Many people will argue the Colts should be ranked higher on the list. The Colts have suffered a lot of injuries, and Marvin Harrison is not the Marvin Harrison of old (now he is old). Reggie Wayne and Anthony Gonzalez need to step up their game as Harrison simply is not the force he used to be. The Colts will make a playoff run, but a repeat as division champs will be a tough pill to swallow.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars-This is the year the Jaguars take the reins from the Colts. They acquired disgruntled Jerry Porter this offseason, and the Jaguars now have the number one receiver they’ve always needed. Porter will have a huge year, and the defense will dominate again. Look out for Jacksonville this year.

3. Dallas Cowboys-The Cowboys are turning into the Bengals. They acquired Terrell Owens, Tank Johnson, and Adam Jones in the last few years. Next up, Chris Henry perhaps? The Cowboys appear to handle troubled players better than the Bengals did, and few will question the talent of these individuals. If Jerry Jones can keep his players happy and in line, he could have very well gambled and won a Super Bowl appearance. Now if they can only stop Tony Romo from chocking in the big games….

2. San Diego Chargers-The Chargers have all the essentials in place to make a championship run this year. They have one of the NFL’s top five players in LaDainian Tomlinson, as well as the game’s top tight end in Antonio Gates. Shawne Merriman (when on steroids) is reminding Charger fans of the old Junior Seau that used to wreck havoc on opposing offenses. Playing in a lousy AFC West doesn’t hurt matters either.

1. New England Patriots-The Patriots lost a lot of key personnel in the secondary this offseason. Gone are all-pro corner Asante Samuel, Randall Gay, and Eugene Wilson. Have no fear; however, the Patriots offense is here. Tom Brady, Randy Moss, Wes Welker, and Laurence Maroney will pick up the slack of even the Falcon’s defense. Also look out for Chad Jackson. With Donte’ Stallworth out of the mix, Jackson will get his opportunities. It’s now up to him to capitalize on them.

The Patriots look ready to make a Super Bowl run again this year. Even though they lost a tremendous amount of talent at cornerback this offseason they have the offensive firepower to outmatch any other teams out there. They hit a road block in last year’s Super Bowl and while they may not have a perfect season this year, they still have to be considered the favorite heading into the season.

The individual that has the most pressure on his shoulders this year is Minnesota’s Tarvaris Jackson. The Vikings have Adrian Peterson, signed Bernard Berrian this offseason, and traded for sack leader Jared Allen. If the Vikings don’t win this year, it’s because Jackson isn’t a legitimate NFL quarterback. There is a lot riding on this season in Minnesota, where the Metrodome is in desperate need of retirement. A run deep into the playoffs will help the Viking’s chances of landing a new stadium.

The surprise of the 2008 season will come at the hands of the Oakland Raiders. Most “experts” have been critical of the Raider’s spending spree this offseason. Time will prove Al Davis’ cutting edge vision once again, and other NFL teams will be left wishing they had Davis running their team. Everyone has their own opinions on Davis, and 99% of them are from uneducated Raider hating individuals. With owners opting out of the CBA earlier this year (which Davis was able to envision), there is the potential for uncapped years in the future (much like Major League Baseball). If this happens, there will be 31 other teams around the NFL wishing they had taken Davis’ proactive approach to free agency this offseason.

Tags:2008 NFL Preseason Power Rankings

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