Every year we hear from the media how good the Philadelphia Eagles will be, and every year we hear from the media about the potential of Mike Vick to put up monster numbers. Even Vegas odds have Vick in the top five for league MVP this season – Eli Manning did not make the top five, despite winning two Super Bowls MVPs and never missing a game.
And I get it. The amazing athleticism, the cannon for an arm, the dangerous group of offensive weapons surrounding him, all make for a compelling case to draft Vick in the first round. Heck, I’ve done it myself in the past. But, you’ll find out quickly, much like I did, that making Michael Vick your number one pick will sink your season.
Vick has already injured his thumb this preseason, and has only played a few downs. He is prone to injury, he’s reckless, and he simply does not have the body to endure a full NFL season’s beating. Vick’s success in the pocket is predicated on movement and elusiveness. This means a variety of hits, dangerous runs from the pocket, and high torque on his knees and ankles. Avoid being sucked in by the mouth-watering potential. There are better picks to make early on
Additionally, LeSean McCoy may just be the best back in the NFL, and the Eagles know this. McCoy will be a very significant part of the offense this season, and will continue to take opportunities away from Vick. Look for the Eagles to work more towards controlling the clock and slowing games down, while letting Vick be more of a game manager in 2012 to preserve his health.
In the end, the thing that worries me most about Mike Vick is his mental toughness. He has not demonstrated the ability to stay mentally strong throughout the grinding marathon that is an NFL season. Vick is known for disappearing for weeks at a time, especially toward the end of the season, when the most is on the line. Simply said, Vick just doesn’t have it upstairs, and will not be the one to carry you to fantasy glory.
Better Pick: Cam Newton
The Tennessee Titans may have ended last season with a very respectable 9-7 record, but the fact is they are a bad team. This season expect Jake Locker to be handed the keys to the starting job. This will allow defenses to continue to key-in on Johnson, as no one will be afraid of Locker or they’re receivers.
Last season Johnson barely eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark on 262 carries. Add to this the fact that the Titans played a very soft schedule, including the Jaguars and Colts twice, Browns, Buccaneers, Bills and Vikings, and it becomes clear that the Titans will struggle in 2012, as they play a tougher schedule that includes the Patriots, Saints, Packers, and Steelers, along with the Texans twice. The Titans will be playing from behind often. Expect another down season from Johnson.
Better Pick: LeSean McCoy
Has there ever been a more atrocious and pathetic quarterback competition than what is going on right now in Arizona? So far, it appears that the load of money being paid to Kevin Kolb by the Cardinals has been a huge mistake. Kolb looked terrible in his brief preseason appearance, and appears to be in danger of losing his starting job to John Skelton.
And this isn’t good news for Larry Fitzgerald, who at this point in his career must be holding out hope that Kurt Warner will make a triumphant return from retirement. As things stand, Fitzgerald will be working with an average quarterback. Last season Fitzgerald managed to do well despite poor quarterback play, but don’t expect that to happen again. The Cardinals and Ken Whisenhunt will continue to rely on defense and the run game to remain competitive. Expect a heavy dose of Chris Wells and Ryan Williams, in order to take the ball out of the hands of the quarterback.
Better Pick: Victor Cruz