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2012 Draft Prep: 12-team standard draft

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

Every draft features difficult decisions for Fantasy owners to make. When do you draft a quarterback? Is this the right time to take a tight end? Did I get the right food for my draft party?

Our recent 12-team standard mock draft featured many tough decisions -- although none involved food. It started in Round 1 with the No. 6 overall pick. Five running backs were drafted in a row with Arian Foster, Ray Rice, LeSean McCoy, Ryan Mathews and Chris Johnson.

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Nathan Zegura decided to stop that run there, taking the first quarterback in Aaron Rodgers. He also passed on the No. 1 receiver in Calvin Johnson, but he was looking for the most consistent option, which in his view is Rodgers.

Two other quarterbacks (Tom Brady and Drew Brees) went in the first round, and Johnson wasn't drafted until No. 10 overall by Adam Aizer. He decided to go the unconventional route of drafting receiver-receiver with his first two picks, taking Larry Fitzgerald in Round 2.

Aizer didn't draft his first running back until Round 4 because for some reason, Cam Newton dropped into the third round, as did Matthew Stafford. You can't fault Aizer for his first three picks even if his running back corps started out a little thin with Doug Martin and Willis McGahee. He did say following the draft if he had to do it again, he might have taken Matt Forte ahead of Fitzgerald.

Dave Richard and I did something you might see a lot this year, going running back-running back with our first two picks at the end of the first round. Richard ended up with Darren McFadden and Michael Turner, and I took Trent Richardson and DeMarco Murray with the swing picks. I was extremely happy with those two selections based on their potential coming into the season.

Some other interesting decisions included Nando Di Fino drafting Michael Vick over Stafford and Newton to start Round 3. Di Fino said he likes Vick's upside based on his rushing ability, the return of a "happy" DeSean Jackson and he doesn't believe Newton will repeat his 2011 prowess.

Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham also fell to Round 3, which isn't crazy in a standard draft. What was interesting was Peter Madden drafting Gronkowski and then taking Jermichael Finley as his flex player in Round 8. There's no way Finley should have been on the board that late, and drafting two elite tight ends when you can use one as a flex -- in standard or PPR leagues -- is underrated, especially when they produce like standout receivers. Madden also took advantage of other great value picks by drafting Hakeem Nicks in Round 4 and Mike Wallace in Round 5. There's obvious risk involved if Nicks (foot) and Wallace (holdout) are out for an extended period of time, but if they are active and ready for Week 1 then his team should be tough to beat.

As always, we ask you to share your thoughts on this draft. Take advantage of our Fantasy Football Twitter feed (@CBSFantasyFB) and post your comments there, or share your thoughts on our Fantasy Football Facebook page.

In this league, all touchdowns are worth six points, and we award one point for every 10 yards rushing and receiving and one point for every 25 yards passing. We feature a starting lineup of QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, TE, K, DST and a FLEX (RB/WR/TE). There will also be five reserve spots for a 14-round draft. This lineup reflects our CBSSports.com free Fantasy Football game.

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We also had a special guest join us for this draft as Kevin Leonard -- a randomly-selected reader -- was chosen on Twitter to mock with us. This is something we plan to do going forward, so be on the lookout for your chance to draft with us.

Our draft order is as follows ...

1. Nando Di Fino, Senior Fantasy Writer
2. J. Darin Darst, College Football Production Editor
3. Aleese Kopf, Social Media Coordinator
4. Jeff Tobin, Associate Managing Editor
5. Bill Passonno, Fantasy Writer
6. Nathan Zegura, Senior Fantasy Writer
7. Peter Madden, Editorial Director, Fantasy Sports
8. Will Brinson, Senior NFL Blogger
9. Kevin Leonard, Twitter follower
10. Adam Aizer, Podcast/Video Host
11. Dave Richard, Senior Fantasy Writer
12. Jamey Eisenberg, Senior Fantasy Writer

Round by Round
Round 1
Pick Owner Player
1 Di Fino Arian Foster, RB, HOU
2 Darst Ray Rice, RB, BAL
3 Kopf LeSean McCoy, RB, PHI
4 Tobin Ryan Mathews, RB, SD
5 Passonno Chris Johnson, RB, TEN
6 Zegura Aaron Rodgers, QB, GB
7 Madden Tom Brady, QB, NE
8 Brinson Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, JAC
9 Leonard Drew Brees, QB, NO
10 Aizer Calvin Johnson, WR, DET
11 Richard Darren McFadden, RB, OAK
12 Eisenberg Trent Richardson, RB, CLE
Round 2
Pick Owner Player
13 Eisenberg DeMarco Murray, RB, DAL
14 Richard Michael Turner, RB, ATL
15 Aizer Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI
16 Leonard Matt Forte, RB, CHI
17 Brinson Marshawn Lynch, RB, SEA
18 Madden Steven Jackson, RB, STL
19 Zegura Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, NYG
20 Passonno Roddy White, WR, ATL
21 Tobin Fred Jackson, RB, BUF
22 Kopf Greg Jennings, WR, GB
23 Darst Andre Johnson, WR, HOU
24 Di Fino Michael Vick, QB, PHI
Round 3
Pick Owner Player
25 Di Fino Jamaal Charles, RB, KC
26 Darst Wes Welker, WR, NE
27 Kopf Matthew Stafford, QB, DET
28 Tobin Jordy Nelson, WR, GB
29 Passonno A.J. Green, WR, CIN
30 Zegura Julio Jones, WR, ATL
31 Madden Rob Gronkowski, TE, NE
32 Brinson Victor Cruz, WR, NYG
33 Leonard Jimmy Graham, TE, NO
34 Aizer Cam Newton, QB, CAR
35 Richard Brandon Marshall, WR, CHI
36 Eisenberg Demaryius Thomas, WR, DEN
Round 4
Pick Owner Player
37 Eisenberg Steve Smith, WR, CAR
38 Richard Adrian Peterson, RB, MIN
39 Aizer Doug Martin, RB, TB
40 Leonard Darren Sproles, RB, NO
41 Brinson Jeremy Maclin, WR, PHI
42 Madden Hakeem Nicks, WR, NYG
43 Zegura Percy Harvin, WR, MIN
44 Passonno Miles Austin, WR, DAL
45 Tobin Tony Romo, QB, DAL
46 Kopf Shonn Greene, RB, NYJ
47 Darst Frank Gore, RB, SF
48 Di Fino Marques Colston, WR, NO
Round 5
Pick Owner Player
49 Di Fino Dez Bryant, WR, DAL
50 Darst Eli Manning, QB, NYG
51 Kopf Vincent Jackson, WR, TB
52 Tobin Reggie Bush, RB, MIA
53 Passonno BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, CIN
54 Zegura Isaac Redman, RB, PIT
55 Madden Mike Wallace, WR, PIT
56 Brinson Philip Rivers, QB, SD
57 Leonard Dwayne Bowe, WR, KC
58 Aizer Willis McGahee, RB, DEN
59 Richard Peyton Manning, QB, DEN
60 Eisenberg Matt Ryan, QB, ATL
Round 6
Pick Owner Player
61 Eisenberg Aaron Hernandez, TE, NE
62 Richard Antonio Gates, TE, SD
63 Aizer Jonathan Stewart, RB, CAR
64 Leonard Steve Johnson, WR, BUF
65 Brinson Brandon Lloyd, WR, NE
66 Madden Stevan Ridley, RB, NE
67 Zegura DeSean Jackson, WR, PHI
68 Passonno Beanie Wells, RB, ARI
69 Tobin Torrey Smith, WR, BAL
70 Kopf Roy Helu, RB, WAS
71 Darst Donald Brown, RB, IND
72 Di Fino Eric Decker, WR, DEN
Round 7
Pick Owner Player
73 Di Fino DeAngelo Williams, RB, CAR
74 Darst Antonio Brown, WR, PIT
75 Kopf Reggie Wayne, WR, IND
76 Tobin Jason Witten, TE, DAL
77 Passonno Ben Roethlisberger, QB, PIT
78 Zegura James Starks, RB, GB
79 Madden Mikel Leshoure, RB, DET
80 Brinson Vernon Davis, TE, SF
81 Leonard Denarius Moore, WR, OAK
82 Aizer Robert Meachem, WR, SD
83 Richard Toby Gerhart, RB, MIN
84 Eisenberg Peyton Hillis, RB, KC
Round 8
Pick Owner Player
85 Eisenberg Titus Young, WR, DET
86 Richard Anquan Boldin, WR, BAL
87 Aizer C.J. Spiller, RB, BUF
88 Leonard Ben Tate, RB, HOU
89 Brinson Ryan Williams, RB, ARI
90 Madden Jermichael Finley, TE, GB
91 Zegura Fred Davis, TE, WAS
92 Passonno Brandon Pettigrew, TE, DET
93 Tobin Pierre Thomas, RB, NO
94 Kopf Michael Bush, RB, CHI
95 Darst Daniel Thomas, RB, MIA
96 Di Fino Santonio Holmes, WR, NYJ
Round 9
Pick Owner Player
97 Di Fino LeGarrette Blount, RB, TB
98 Darst Tony Gonzalez, TE, ATL
99 Kopf Brent Celek, TE, PHI
100 Tobin Mark Ingram, RB, NO
101 Passonno Malcom Floyd, WR, SD
102 Zegura David Wilson, RB, NYG
103 Madden Pierre Garcon, WR, WAS
104 Brinson Nate Washington, WR, TEN
105 Leonard Lance Moore, WR, NO
106 Aizer Ronnie Hillman, RB, DEN
107 Richard Randy Moss, WR, SF
108 Eisenberg Greg Little, WR, CLE
Round 10
Pick Owner Player
109 Eisenberg Kevin Smith, RB, DET
110 Richard Jay Cutler, QB, CHI
111 Aizer Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, OAK
112 Leonard 49ers DST
113 Brinson Matt Schaub, QB, HOU
114 Madden Jahvid Best, RB, DET
115 Zegura Evan Royster, RB, WAS
116 Passonno Joe Flacco, QB, BAL
117 Tobin Justin Blackmon, WR, JAC
118 Kopf Sidney Rice, WR, SEA
119 Darst Brandon LaFell, WR, CAR
120 Di Fino Brandon Jacobs, RB, SF
Round 11
Pick Owner Player
121 Di Fino Kenny Britt, WR, TEN
122 Darst Carson Palmer, QB, OAK
123 Kopf Robert Griffin III, QB, WAS
124 Tobin Mike Williams, WR, TB
125 Passonno Felix Jones, RB, DAL
126 Zegura Michael Crabtree, WR, SF
127 Madden Kendall Wright, WR, TEN
128 Brinson Randall Cobb, WR, GB
129 Leonard Shane Vereen, RB, NE
130 Aizer Jacob Tamme, TE, DEN
131 Richard Mike Goodson, RB, OAK
132 Eisenberg Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, ATL
Round 12
Pick Owner Player
133 Eisenberg Josh Freeman, QB, TB
134 Richard Jon Baldwin, WR, KC
135 Aizer Andrew Luck, QB, IND
136 Leonard Coby Fleener, TE, IND
137 Brinson Rashad Jennings, RB, JAC
138 Madden Isaiah Pead, RB, STL
139 Zegura Laurent Robinson, WR, JAC
140 Passonno Tim Hightower, RB, WAS
141 Tobin Andy Dalton, QB, CIN
142 Kopf Bernard Scott, RB, CIN
143 Darst Delone Carter, RB, IND
144 Di Fino Jermaine Gresham, TE, CIN
Round 13
Pick Owner Player
145 Di Fino Ravens DST
146 Darst Giants DST
147 Kopf Eagles DST
148 Tobin Patriots DST
149 Passonno Packers DST
150 Zegura Steelers DST
151 Madden Texans DST
152 Brinson Seahawks DST
153 Leonard Lamar Miller, RB, MIA
154 Aizer Bears DST
155 Richard David Akers, K, SF
156 Eisenberg Jets DST
Round 14
Pick Owner Player
157 Eisenberg Sebastian Janikowski, K, OAK
158 Richard Bills DST
159 Aizer Stephen Gostkowski, K, NE
160 Leonard Mason Crosby, K, GB
161 Brinson Dan Bailey, K, DAL
162 Madden Alex Henery, K, PHI
163 Zegura Garrett Hartley, K, NO
164 Passonno Jason Hanson, K, DET
165 Tobin Robbie Gould, K, CHI
166 Kopf Rob Bironas, K, TEN
167 Darst Nate Kaeding, K, SD
168 Di Fino Matt Bryant, K, ATL
 
Team by Team
Adam Aizer
Rd.Pk Player
1.10 Calvin Johnson, WR, DET
2.3 Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI
3.10 Cam Newton, QB, CAR
4.3 Doug Martin, RB, TB
5.10 Willis McGahee, RB, DEN
6.3 Jonathan Stewart, RB, CAR
7.10 Robert Meachem, WR, SD
8.3 C.J. Spiller, RB, BUF
9.10 Ronnie Hillman, RB, DEN
10.3 Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, OAK
11.10 Jacob Tamme, TE, DEN
12.3 Andrew Luck, QB, IND
13.10 Bears DST
14.3 Stephen Gostkowski, K, NE
Aleese Kopf
Rd.Pk Player
1.3 LeSean McCoy, RB, PHI
2.10 Greg Jennings, WR, GB
3.3 Matthew Stafford, QB, DET
4.10 Shonn Greene, RB, NYJ
5.3 Vincent Jackson, WR, TB
6.10 Roy Helu, RB, WAS
7.3 Reggie Wayne, WR, IND
8.10 Michael Bush, RB, CHI
9.3 Brent Celek, TE, PHI
10.10 Sidney Rice, WR, SEA
11.3 Robert Griffin III, QB, WAS
12.10 Bernard Scott, RB, CIN
13.3 Eagles DST
14.10 Rob Bironas, K, TEN
Bill Passonno
Rd.Pk Player
1.5 Chris Johnson, RB, TEN
2.8 Roddy White, WR, ATL
3.5 A.J. Green, WR, CIN
4.8 Miles Austin, WR, DAL
5.5 BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, CIN
6.8 Beanie Wells, RB, ARI
7.5 Ben Roethlisberger, QB, PIT
8.8 Brandon Pettigrew, TE, DET
9.5 Malcom Floyd, WR, SD
10.8 Joe Flacco, QB, BAL
11.5 Felix Jones, RB, DAL
12.8 Tim Hightower, RB, WAS
13.5 Packers DST
14.8 Jason Hanson, K, DET
Dave Richard
Rd.Pk Player
1.11 Darren McFadden, RB, OAK
2.2 Michael Turner, RB, ATL
3.11 Brandon Marshall, WR, CHI
4.2 Adrian Peterson, RB, MIN
5.11 Peyton Manning, QB, DEN
6.2 Antonio Gates, TE, SD
7.11 Toby Gerhart, RB, MIN
8.2 Anquan Boldin, WR, BAL
9.11 Randy Moss, WR, SF
10.2 Jay Cutler, QB, CHI
11.11 Mike Goodson, RB, OAK
12.2 Jon Baldwin, WR, KC
13.11 David Akers, K, SF
14.2 Bills DST
J. Darin Darst
Rd.Pk Player
1.2 Ray Rice, RB, BAL
2.11 Andre Johnson, WR, HOU
3.2 Wes Welker, WR, NE
4.11 Frank Gore, RB, SF
5.2 Eli Manning, QB, NYG
6.11 Donald Brown, RB, IND
7.2 Antonio Brown, WR, PIT
8.11 Daniel Thomas, RB, MIA
9.2 Tony Gonzalez, TE, ATL
10.11 Brandon LaFell, WR, CAR
11.2 Carson Palmer, QB, OAK
12.11 Delone Carter, RB, IND
13.2 Giants DST
14.11 Nate Kaeding, K, SD
Jamey Eisenberg
Rd.Pk Player
1.12 Trent Richardson, RB, CLE
2.1 DeMarco Murray, RB, DAL
3.12 Demaryius Thomas, WR, DEN
4.1 Steve Smith, WR, CAR
5.12 Matt Ryan, QB, ATL
6.1 Aaron Hernandez, TE, NE
7.12 Peyton Hillis, RB, KC
8.1 Titus Young, WR, DET
9.12 Greg Little, WR, CLE
10.1 Kevin Smith, RB, DET
11.12 Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, ATL
12.1 Josh Freeman, QB, TB
13.12 Jets DST
14.1 Sebastian Janikowski, K, OAK
Jeff Tobin
Rd.Pk Player
1.4 Ryan Mathews, RB, SD
2.9 Fred Jackson, RB, BUF
3.4 Jordy Nelson, WR, GB
4.9 Tony Romo, QB, DAL
5.4 Reggie Bush, RB, MIA
6.9 Torrey Smith, WR, BAL
7.4 Jason Witten, TE, DAL
8.9 Pierre Thomas, RB, NO
9.4 Mark Ingram, RB, NO
10.9 Justin Blackmon, WR, JAC
11.4 Mike Williams, WR, TB
12.9 Andy Dalton, QB, CIN
13.4 Patriots DST
14.9 Robbie Gould, K, CHI
Kevin Leonard
Rd.Pk Player
1.9 Drew Brees, QB, NO
2.4 Matt Forte, RB, CHI
3.9 Jimmy Graham, TE, NO
4.4 Darren Sproles, RB, NO
5.9 Dwayne Bowe, WR, KC
6.4 Steve Johnson, WR, BUF
7.9 Denarius Moore, WR, OAK
8.4 Ben Tate, RB, HOU
9.9 Lance Moore, WR, NO
10.4 49ers DST
11.9 Shane Vereen, RB, NE
12.4 Coby Fleener, TE, IND
13.9 Lamar Miller, RB, MIA
14.4 Mason Crosby, K, GB
Nando Di Fino
Rd.Pk Player
1.1 Arian Foster, RB, HOU
2.12 Michael Vick, QB, PHI
3.1 Jamaal Charles, RB, KC
4.12 Marques Colston, WR, NO
5.1 Dez Bryant, WR, DAL
6.12 Eric Decker, WR, DEN
7.1 DeAngelo Williams, RB, CAR
8.12 Santonio Holmes, WR, NYJ
9.1 LeGarrette Blount, RB, TB
10.12 Brandon Jacobs, RB, SF
11.1 Kenny Britt, WR, TEN
12.12 Jermaine Gresham, TE, CIN
13.1 Ravens DST
14.12 Matt Bryant, K, ATL
Nathan Zegura
Rd.Pk Player
1.6 Aaron Rodgers, QB, GB
2.7 Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, NYG
3.6 Julio Jones, WR, ATL
4.7 Percy Harvin, WR, MIN
5.6 Isaac Redman, RB, PIT
6.7 DeSean Jackson, WR, PHI
7.6 James Starks, RB, GB
8.7 Fred Davis, TE, WAS
9.6 David Wilson, RB, NYG
10.7 Evan Royster, RB, WAS
11.6 Michael Crabtree, WR, SF
12.7 Laurent Robinson, WR, JAC
13.6 Steelers DST
14.7 Garrett Hartley, K, NO
Peter Madden
Rd.Pk Player
1.7 Tom Brady, QB, NE
2.6 Steven Jackson, RB, STL
3.7 Rob Gronkowski, TE, NE
4.6 Hakeem Nicks, WR, NYG
5.7 Mike Wallace, WR, PIT
6.6 Stevan Ridley, RB, NE
7.7 Mikel Leshoure, RB, DET
8.6 Jermichael Finley, TE, GB
9.7 Pierre Garcon, WR, WAS
10.6 Jahvid Best, RB, DET
11.7 Kendall Wright, WR, TEN
12.6 Isaiah Pead, RB, STL
13.7 Texans DST
14.6 Alex Henery, K, PHI
Will Brinson
Rd.Pk Player
1.8 Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, JAC
2.5 Marshawn Lynch, RB, SEA
3.8 Victor Cruz, WR, NYG
4.5 Jeremy Maclin, WR, PHI
5.8 Philip Rivers, QB, SD
6.5 Brandon Lloyd, WR, NE
7.8 Vernon Davis, TE, SF
8.5 Ryan Williams, RB, ARI
9.8 Nate Washington, WR, TEN
10.5 Matt Schaub, QB, HOU
11.8 Randall Cobb, WR, GB
12.5 Rashad Jennings, RB, JAC
13.8 Seahawks DST
14.5 Dan Bailey, K, DAL

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Player News
Report: Cardinals' Daryl Washington unsure of NFL standing
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(7:32 pm ET) Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington is approaching the one-year mark for his suspension though his NFL status is still in limbo. 

But according to a report from FOX Sports 910 in Phoenix, Washington is unsure about his status with the league. He was suspended a year ago on May 30, 2014 for being a multiple offender of the NFL's substance-abuse policy. 

However, he was expected to apply for reinstatement a month ago but did not do so. 

Assuming Washington is reinstated to the NFL at some point he will likely be subjected to punishment under the NFL's domestic violence policy. On March 24, 2014, he pleaded guilty to assaulting his ex-girlfriend. 


Titans' Massaquoi rehabbing shoulder, to miss OTA's
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(4:34 pm ET) Outside linebacker Jonathan Massaquoi will not participate in the Titans' first organized team activities, per ESPN.com.

Massaquoi, who was claimed off waivers from the Falcons earlier this year, is recovering from shoulder surgery. He had a bone spur removed from the area, but the procedure was categorized as a minor cleanup.

Massaquoi recorded 22 tackles in 15 games with Atlanta last season.


Entering third season, 49ers' Lawrence Okoye eyeing roster spot
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(4:04 pm ET) This might finally be the year Lawrence Okoye can crack a spot on the 49ers' roster, per the Bay Area News Group.

Okoye, a former British Olympics discus thrower and rugby player, is feeling confident about his improvements and feels like his potential is worth a roster spot.

“It’s very different from the first time I came here. I’m feeling very good about things,” Okoye said Thursday while sitting at his locker. “I’m just happy I was given the opportunity to stay here so long, so I could catch up. I have a good opportunity to show what I can do.”

Okoye has worked under new head coach Jim Tomsula for two years and with Justin Smith's retirement, his emergence might be rewarded.

“You’re going to get lots of people telling you things. But the main thing is to just keep yourself motivated, despite what people say about you," Okoye said. "People will write you off. People will say this or that. Just keep yourself motivated, keep going every day and you’ll be good.”

 


Bengals' Terrelle Pryor still dreams about winning it all
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(3:45 pm ET) Terrelle Pryor's chances of taking the Bengals to the Super Bowl and winning it are slim, but that won’t stop him from dreaming.

Pryor -- in his fourth year in the league -- dreams about winning the Super Bowl with quite some frequency, he just isn't sure what team he's doing it with.

“I don’t know the team. It’s always in black uniforms,” Pryor said. “I didn’t see any orange. No, it’s not the Raiders. But I believe it can happen because I can visualize it like that. I’m into visualization.”

Pryor hasn't played a down since the 2013 regular season, when he passed for 1,798 yards, seven touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 11 games.


Flowers' college position coach thinks he can fill in for injured Beatty
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(3:18 pm ET) Things are moving really fast for Giants offensive lineman Ereck Flowers. The eighth overall pick in the draft, because of an injury to Will Beatty, might have inherited a huge workload this season, per nj.com.

Art Kehoe, Flowers' offensive line coach at the University of Miami, thinks Flowers will be up to the task of protecting quarterback Eli Manning.

"I'm sure he raised his level up a notch or two, but I think he plays every week, I think he plays hard in practice," Kehoe said. "He's an unproven commodity at the next level, and he's a high draft pick, [the Giants] drafted him to be a fixer, so I'm sure he's going in there to do what he did in Miami — scrap his ass off every day in practice, and if you're supposed to be a badass the next weekend [against] your opponent, he's gonna be there and he's gonna bring everything he's got. That's what he does. He wants to know that there's a dude, and he has to take care of him, and he'll be up to the challenge.

Giants' 2013 first-round pick, Justin Pugh is also a top candidate to fill in for the injured Beatty.


Union: Goodell must back off hearing of Patriots QB Tom Brady
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:00 pm ET) NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith is growing impatient awaiting word from Roger Goodell on the request of the NFL commissioner to recuse himself as arbitrator of the appeal hearings ofPatriots quarterback Tom Brady.

The league suspended Brady for the first four games next season for his alleged role in the Deflategate scandal, claiming that he likely knew that game balls were being deflated for his benefit before the 2014 AFC title game.

Smith is claiming that neither Goodell nor the Wells Report, which investigated the incident, could legitimately claim impartiality. He added that the NFLPA will "advance the volume" of the request if they don't hear from Goodell by next week. Part of the union's press release reads as follows:

Given a process that has contained procedural violations of our collective bargaining agreement, the Commissioner's role as a central witness in the appeal hearing and his evident partiality with respect to the Wells report, the Commissioner must designate a neutral party to serve as arbitrator in this matter. The players also believe that the Commissioner's history of inconsistently issuing discipline against our players makes him ill-suited to hear this appeal in a fair-minded manner.

As for the Wells Report, Smith stated that "you can't really have credibility just because you slap the word independent on a piece of paper." He offered into evidence the findings in regard to NFL official Walt Anderson, who was a key figure in the investigation, citing one part of the report questions his memory and another credits it.


Zimmer happy with progress of Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(1:32 pm ET) Mike Zimmer has expressed optimism that underachieving Vikings wideout Cordarrelle Patterson is gaining a better understanding of route-running and the nuances of playing the position in the NFL, which would allow his talent to result in greater productivity.

Patterson took a step back in 2014 after a mediocre rookie year. He played in every game, but managed just 33 receptions for 384 yards and one touchdown. He has since stated that 2015 is his make-or-break year and is apparently acting like it in the offseason.

"He's done real well," Zimmer told Fox Sports North. "He's running routes good. He's working hard. So we just need him to continue to do those things and continue to keep getting consistent and keep improving. I've been impressed."


GM: Dolphins LT Branden Albert should be fine for Week 1
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(1:22 pm ET) Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey has expressed optimism that left tackle Branden Albert will be ready to roll by the regular season opener.

Albert has been rehabbing from a torn ACL and MCL sustained last November against Detroit. He had signed a five-year, $46 million contract the previous March and had been performing particularly well before going down.

"It's been a long rehab and he's really attacked it every day," Hickey told SiriusXM NFL Radio, adding that there was a "reasonable explanation" that he would be ready for Week 1. "We really like his progress. He's out there with his team working out. We're really encouraged by what we're seeing with him."

Ja'Wuan Williams was forced to move to left tackle following the Albert injury in 2014. But he struggled at that position and is expected to move to his more familiar right tackle spot this year.


Report: Bills still want to extend Marcell Dareus
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(1:15 pm ET) The Bills still want to extend the contract of defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, according to a report by NFL Network's Ian Rapoport

Despite the one-game suspension levied by the league against Dareus on Thursday, the team still hopes to have an extension wrapped up before the start of training camp. 

2015 is scheduled to be the last season of Dareus' current contract. He'll make $8.06 million.


Shanahan: Struggles of Robert Griffin III unrelated to injury
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(1:13 pm ET) Former Redskins coach Mike Shanahan does not believe injuries have prevented quarterback Robert Griffin III from maximizing his potential in the NFL. Rather, he feels it was the team not creating an offensive system that best fits his talents and his own belief that he could play a traditional role at that position.

Griffin sustained a serious knee injury in the 2012 playoffs. He then struggled in 2013 in an offense designed to transform him into a drop-back quarterback rather than one that took advantage of his mobility. He suffered another knee injury last year and did not perform well in the offense of new coach Jay Gruden.

"I don't think getting hurt has anything to do with it," Shanahan told 106.7 The Fan. "In college he didn't have a route tree, didn't have a playbook. That does take some time. ... If you take a quarterback like that you must run the kind of system that allows him to be successful. ... I really believe Robert thought he was more of a drop-back quarterback. He hasn't done things the NFL asks you to do. It does take some growing pains. You better really work on it inside and out."

Some have wondered why the Redskins went so hard after Griffin if they weren't willing to create an offense that maximizes his skill set.


 
 
 
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