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Daniel Thomas May be Featured Running Back for Dolphins, Prime Fantasy Target

If there’s one thing the Miami Dolphins have loved to do under coach Tony Sparano, it’s run the ball. They did it successfully in 2009 with Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams but they decided to balance the offense with more passing last season. If they decide to shift back to a running focus, they may have their new featured back.

The Dolphins traded three picks (a 3rd, 5th, and 7th) to the Washington Redskins to move up in the second round where they selected running back Daniel Thomas 62nd overall. All my UCLA friends should recall Thomas well; he was the guy in a purple #8 jersey running up and down the field all game in the season opener.

Thomas ran for 1,585 yards on 298 carries (3rd most in the country) last season for Kansas State, so there is little doubt he is a workhorse. He also is adept at running the Wildcat offense which should be perfect for Miami.

Though it’s too early to start doing mock fantasy football drafts — especially with the lockout — we wouldn’t be doing our duty if we didn’t share this nugget on Thomas. As Rotoworld pointed out, Thomas is expected to be Miami’s featured back with Williams, Brown, and Patrick Cobbs all free agents. The Dolphins could bring one of them back, but the job will likely be Thomas’ to lose.

Patriots and Eagles Swapped 6th-Round Draft Picks to Keep Trade Streak Alive

Bill Belichick is known as a boring, unfriendly, stick in the mud type of coach. Andy Reid is considered to be friendlier and forgiving. When you think of the two of them, you wouldn’t consider them to be frequent trading partners, but that is actually the case.

We learned over draft weekend that the Pats and Eagles swapped 6th-round picks — New England’s 193rd for Philly’s 194th — in order to keep a streak alive.

Since Belichick took over the Patriots in 2000, the two men have made a draft-day trade every single year.

Belichick explained the decision to the media in a way only he can. “We talked to the Eagles,” Belichick deadpanned. “We wanted to make the trade, they wanted to make the trade.”

Though you wouldn’t peg Belichick and Reid to be friends based on their seemingly dissimilar personalities, they actually are buddies. Maybe it’s this type of sense of humor that other coaches around the league need to adopt in order to be as well-tenured as they are.

John Beck Could be Washington Redskins’ Starting Quarterback

With Donovan McNabb set to leave the organization and Rex Grossman a free agent, the Washington Redskins do not have a clearcut starter at quarterback. Many analysts pegged them as a team interested in drafting a quarterback, but they completely ignored the position despite having 12 picks.

It’s quite possible that the Redskins didn’t like any of the quarterbacks in the draft class or that they didn’t feel one was worth taking where they were selecting. Cam Newton, Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert, and Christian Ponder were all gone before they picked in the first round. Colin Kaepernick and Andy Dalton were off the board when they picked in the second. Whether it was by design or by coincidence, the Redskins did not add an arm.

It’s starting to sound like that was the plan.

Both Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen popped on ESPN Saturday afternoon and reported that the Redskins like John Beck and are preparing to enter the season with him as the starter. Beck is a former second-round pick by the Dolphins who only lasted two seasons in Miami before being released. He was with the Ravens in ’09 and the Skins last year as their third quarterback. The BYU product hasn’t thrown a pass in the league since 2007 and he only has one touchdown and three interceptions in his career.

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Greg McElroy’s Girlfriend Is Meredith Gray, His Sister is Blair McElroy

On the left you see Blair McElroy, who is Greg McElroy’s younger sister. On the right is Meredith Gray, who is Greg’s girlfriend. On draft day, Greg’s sister Blair was getting all sorts of attention because TV cameras were showing her right next to her brother on the family’s couch. It’s no surprise because Blair seems to enjoy the spotlight. That’s in stark contrast to Meredith Gray who seems to avoid it.

In an interview a year ago, Gray said about being with Greg “It’s been quite an adventure, that’s for sure. I just think it’s funny that people are so amazed. He’s a human being. He has relationships.” She was also pleased to have “never been on TV as Greg McElroy’s girlfriend,” in contrast to girlfriends like Rachel Glandorf.

Sorry Meredith, thanks to a classic mixup, you’re now receiving some attention as Greg McElroy’s girlfriend. After seeing Blair on the couch with Greg, several people went to twitter and started talking about Blair as McElroy’s girlfriend, prompting her to tweet “Good god I am not Greg’s girlfriend … lol”

Here are some pictures of Blair McElroy to help you distinguish between the two, courtesy of Blair’s twitter

For more pictures, check out Busted Coverage. And in case you were curious, McElroy was drafted by the Jets.

Ryan Mallett an Excellent Value Pick for the Patriots

Four quarterbacks were taken in the first round of the NFL draft, two more went in the second round, and perhaps the strongest armed QB of them all lasted into the third. It wasn’t until the 74th overall pick that Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett was finally selected, and it was by the team that already has Tom Brady — the New England Patriots.

The Pats are the same team that picked up Randy Moss when nobody else wanted to touch him, so maybe it’s no surprise they took a chance on Mallett. Mallett admitted he was immature when he first went to college and he reportedly admitted to drug use during interviews with teams. Despite his problems, there is little doubt he has the arm to be a top NFL quarterback — just ask Brandon Marshall. So why did he drop so far in the draft? There are two reasons to explain his free fall.

One, teams must have been turned off by Mallett’s attitude and past and they must not have believed he could become a successful franchise quarterback. Two, six QB-needy teams decided to take other players ahead of Mallett, meaning there was less demand for a quarterback.

The Patriots, sitting there in the third round with back-to-back picks, decided to pull the trigger on the strong-armed quarterback. The question is if this is about finding a future replacement for Tom Brady or about capitalizing on value. I think it’s much more of the latter than the former.

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Jake Locker, Christian Ponder Were Reaches for Titans and Vikings

James Carpenter going 25th overall to Seattle may have been a shocker, and the bounty the Falcons paid to move up and select Julio Jones was surprising, but nothing was more stunning than seeing Jake Locker and Christian Ponder go eighth and 12th respectively. I figured Locker would sneak into the back end of the first round and that Ponder would be a second-round pick, but I never thought these guys would each go Top 12. That’s just insane.

Locker seems like a likable guy and his physical tools (arm strength, size, and speed) are undeniable. The guy is talented. But I’ll harp on the same issue many analysts have with him: he just doesn’t have accuracy. I know his team at Washington was not very good and that he made the Huskies, but the guy just is not accurate with his passes. I’ve seen him unable to throw the football to immobile targets. How’s he supposed to throw on the run with Pro Bowl defensive backs covering his receivers? Locker can make plays happen, but I just don’t see him doing well in the NFL. Then again, this could be my Angels bias creeping up because I’d like to see what he could do in pro ball.

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Julio Jones Is Good, but Atlanta Falcons Traded Way Too Much

The first round of the 2011 NFL Draft was filled with surprises, ranging from Jake Locker going 8th overall to James Carpenter getting picked by the Seahawks at 25. While fans were shocked left and right, one move that stood out to me for its outrageousness was Atlanta’s decision to trade five draft picks for Julio Jones. I like Julio Jones, but I’m not sure I’d deal five picks for a receiver guaranteed to be a combination of Calvin Johnson and Reggie Wayne.

Atlanta gave up the 27th overall pick, their second and fourth-round pick this year, and their first and fourth-round picks in 2012 just to move up to the sixth spot. That’s two firsts, two seconds, and a fourth all for Julio Jones. That’s close to too much to surrender for a franchise quarterback. What can a second receiver do for you?

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