Yardbarker Horiz

2012 NFL Draft Countdown

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Tampa Bay selects Michael Smith, RB, Utah State

With the 212th overall pick in 2012 (7th round, Pick 5), Tampa Bay selected Michael Smith, running back, from Utah State.  Smith is 5'9" and weighed 205 lbs at the 2012 NFL Combine.

NFL Draft Scount highlights:
Smith was clocked in 4.33 and 4.34 in his two 40-yard dash runs (Utah State Pro Day).  Smith once again excelled in the broad jump, clearing 10'6", with Lloyd right behind him with a 10'3" jump. Smith would shine once again in the vertical jump recording a 40.5, which was the best jump of the day.

CBS Sports:
Positives: While shorter than ideal, possesses a thick, well-poportioned frame. Excellent timed speed and has some lateral agility to elude defenders. Possesses natural hands out of the backfield, demonstrating the body control to handle poorly thrown passes and quickly secure the ball before getting upfield. Experienced kick returner with the speed to have a chance at remaining in this role in the NFL. Used as part of a rotation at Utah State and therefore comes to the NFL with relatively fresh legs. Performed well when given the opportunity to be "the guy." Named the MVP of his final game at Utah State (Famous Idaho Potato Bowl), as well as the Players All-Star Classic and demonstrated eye-popping speed during his Pro Day workout after not being invited to the Combine... Negatives: Not quite the sum of his parts. Doesn't run as well on the field as his timed speed would suggest. Appears to have limited vision. Will run up the back of his linemen and can get too cute trying to elude defenders in the open field and fail to get yardage available to him... Missed much of the 2010 season with an injury to his right foot (big toe)... Used a change of pace option behind Robert Turbin and projects best in a similar role in the NFL. --Rob Rang

 Not invited to the NFL Combine;  Smith's college statistics.

Just for fun YouTube Highlights:
2011 Bowl Game Film
Pro Football Weekly Draft Profile

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Tampa Bay selects Drake Dunsmore, TE, Northwestern

With the 233rd overall pick in 2012 (7th round, pick 26), Tampa Bay selected Drake Dunsmore, TE, Northwestern.  Dunsmore is 6'2" and weighed 241 lbs at the 2012 Combine.  He is from Lenexa, KS (Saint Thomas Aquinas HS).  Dunsmore was also a 2012 John Mackey Award Candidate.

From Northwestern Athletic Department site:
The 2011 Scouting Report: One of the Big Ten's top returning tight ends and one of the league's most dynamic multi-skill players ... Named to the John Mackey Award preseason watch list for a second consecutive year ... Named to the Big Ten preseason second-team by Athlon Sports and Phil Steele's ... Possesses a terrific skill set: good route runner, great hands, excellent ball skills, and with his added strength and weight, a solid blocker ... Talented all-around athlete ... Sat out the past two spring seasons to rehab from injuries ... Adds another dimension to NU's passing game.

04/23/12 - Dunsmore probably will be selected later in the draft. More of a receiver than a blocker, he caught 143 passes and scored 14 touchdowns at Northwestern. NFL teams are increasingly looking for tight ends with receiving skills, so Dunsmore has received interest from several NFL teams and worked out for a handful, including the Chiefs, Patriots, Bears and Rams. “I’ve kind of tried to keep a level head about it,” he said. “My main focus is just to be on a team into camp in August. People have said I’ll get drafted. Some said I won’t get drafted. There are so many different things out there. I’m trying not to ride that roller coaster. “This has been a great experience, because until the last couple of years I didn’t anticipate it. I got the late start in football. It was my dad’s family rule: No football until high school. He got into the game late. He didn’t start playing ball until his senior year of high school out in Iowa. “But it’s worked out. When you’re younger, you can develop bad habits. There’s potential for bad coaching. Football is a game that once you’re fully developed physically, you can pick it up pretty quickly.” - Adam Teicher, The Kansas City Star
Dunsmore is an intriguing offensive weapon from Northwestern, a college tight end who shows the frame and skill set to be used in a variety of ways at the next level. Much like Chris Cooley in Washington, or the development of Aaron Hernandez this year in New England, Dunsmore has the ability to be a threat from various spots on the field and be a reliable short-yardage option to pick up first downs and create mismatches.
Drake Dunsmore's college statistics at cfbstats.com.

Just for Fun YouTube Highlights
66-yard touchdown versus Auburn 
One handed touchdown versus Penn State
Combine Workout

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Chiefs murky the Buccaneers #5 pick

With less than two weeks until the 2012 NFL Draft, no transaction is without consequences in the NFL.

Consider the Buccaneers upcoming #5 pick.  A couple weeks ago, it seemed the Buccaneers would get to choose between Alabama running back Trent Richardson and LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne.  Then free agency started.

It was not the Buccaneer's head first dive into free agency this season which may have changed their draft   fortunes.  The Kansas City Chiefs signed running back Peyton Hillis away from the Browns, leaving Cleveland with two rookie and two second year running backs, only one of which ran for more than 20 total yards last season.

Richardson would be a solid prospect to add to the Buccaneers lineup.  However, many draft rankings have Richardson as the only running back in the 2012 NFL Draft with Round 1 credentials, and clearly the Browns need another runner.  Richardson is the obvious need, and many predict the Browns will select him, but consider this:  if no other running backs are selected after Richardson, there could still be a solid running back prospect on the board for Cleveland in Round 2.  It's far from a done deal but it does make a lot of sense both from a need and a value perspective.

So it could be that the Kansas City Chiefs, with a free agency pick-up which went down with little fanfare, may have guaranteed the Buccaneers select Morris Claiborne, CB from LSU, with the #5 pick.

It's all related now.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Free Agency resets Buccaneers draft priorities

Recently some previous notes revealed what some people close to the Buccaneers organization said were top priorities of the 2012 offseason. Within the first 24 hours of the opening of free agency, the Buccaneers cleared half the list, and since have addressed a third position.

Cornerback - Added Eric Wright, free agent from the Detroit Lions
Offensive Line - Added Carl Nicks, all-pro guard, from the New Orleans Saints
Quarterback - Added Dan Orlovsky, free agent from the the Indianapolis Colts

What's next?  There are many factors to consider:
- The unaddressed (and rumored) targeted position for the Buccaneers is linebacker
- With the release of Jeff Faine is offensive line back on the table?
- What about moves other teams have made?
- Orlovsky received a two-year deal, while the other three received five-year deals - why?
- Are the Buccaneers done with Free Agency?
- Are the Buccaneers satisfied with the Cornerback and Offensive line squads?

These are the questions which will be addressed over the next few weeks leading up to the 2012 NFL Draft.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A solid 1-2-3 draft scenario for Tampa Bay

With the arrival of March and the combine completed, it's time to start looking a bit deeper into prospects for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2012 NFL Draft.  And, almost immediately, a very intriguing first three selections stands out to demonstrate the possible value the Buccaneers could get from young talent this year.

Round 1, selection #5:  Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU (5'11", 188 lbs)
Not only is Claiborne one of the top athletes in the 2012 NFL Draft, he also plays a position which brings great value to the pick.  A corner who can play solid man-to-man on an island outside not only can create issues for the opposing team's best wide receiver, he allows safeties/nickels to roll up in run support.  Claiborne would also be a fantastic addition to an already young group of defensive backs on the roster, providing depth where every team wants it.  In addition, by the time the Buccaneers select again, three more of the top corner prospects could be gone.

Round 2, selection #36:  David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech (5'10", 206 lbs)
As much as I would like the Buccaneers to go offensive line here, the ACC Player Of The Year could still be on the board. Wilson had 1,709 yards on 290 carries with nine touchdowns last year and is a shifty, make-you-miss type of runner. He is an early entry player and will take some time investment from the Buccaneers. But he has the potential to be an excellent playmaker as well as keep the pressure on opposing defenses when Blount has to come off the field in passing situations.  This is also a solid value pick, as some rating services have Wilson rated as the second best running back in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Round 3, selection #69: George Iloka, FS, Boise State (6'4", 225 lbs)
Iloka is the top-rated free safety in the 2012 NFL Draft and a freak at his position.  He is very solid in run support and is not afraid to tackle.  Considering the big plays and poor tackling in the Buccaneers secondary last season, this is not only a solid replacement for Sean Jones (8th year) or Tanard Jackson (4th year) sometime down the road, Iloka can provide immediate depth and rotation for Cody Grimm who has yet to avoid IR for a full season since being drafted two years ago.  Add in the selection of Ahmad Black in 2011 and the safety position is set for the next several years.

These three picks would settle the running back and safety positions for the next 3-5 years as well as provide a top-level talent in the cornerback ranks.  With the combine over, some of these talents may move up the draft board and not be available when Tampa Bay is on the clock.

Nonetheless, these three men will get a solid look from the Buccaneers.

Tampa Bay 2012 Draft Selections

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as of today, will have the following selections in the 2012 NFL Draft:

Round 1, Pick 5 (5th overall)
Round 2, Pick 4 (36th overall)
Round 3, Pick 5 (69th overall)
Round 5, Pick 5 (132nd overall)
Round 6, Pick 4 (163rd overall)
Round 7, Pick 5 (195th overall)

Tampa Bay does not have a 4th round pick in 2012 at this time.  The Buccaneers 2012 fourth round pick (#4 in 4th, 99th overall) was packaged with the Buccaneers 2011 fourth round pick (#116 overall) to move up in the 4th round of 2011 to slot #104, resulting in the selection of Luke Stocker.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Buccaneers have more injury homework this year

Another NFL Draft, another talented prospect with a possible knee for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to mull over.

Last year it was Da'Quan Bowers, who was at one time the #1 prospect in the NFL Draft.  Tampa Bay took a chance on Bowers when he slid deep into the second round (51st overall).  The Buccaneers brought him along at a reasonable pace, and may end up looking stellar:  Bowers played in all 16 games last season as a backup and contributed 22 solo tackles and 1.5 sacks.

This year the player in question is the uber-athlete Trent Richardson, running back from Alabama.  Richardson is generally considered to be one of the two most athletic players in the 2012 NFL Draft along with Morris Claiborne, cornerback from LSU.  Both players are expected by many to be on the board when the Buccaneers select at the #5 overall position.  It's an interesting choice for new Head Coach Greg Schiano.

Richardson, however, revealed last week he would not be participating in the combine drills due to minor knee surgery after an injury in practice leading up to the BCS National Championship Game.  Fortunately for the Buccaneers this time it could be a non-event: the injury required some work on his lateral meniscus and, more importantly, had nothing to do with any ligaments.  Richardson will undergo the typical interview and medical examination processes.

It's a far cry from where Bowers was sitting last season when he was recovering from arthroscopic surgery to repair his right knee.  The medical examination at the combine warned of possible long term problems, and teams shied away quickly.

Fortunately, the story is very different for Trent Richardson.  He has passed the same exams with no such warnings.  This means the Buccaneers could have the top running back as well as the top cornerback on the board when they make their first pick this year.

What could be better than that?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

What the Buccaneers say they need

On reviewing some notes from the middle of last season, I came upon a list of needs from a source close to the team.  A few weeks later, another source within One Buccaneer Place gave me a similar list.  Matching up the lists gives the following list of where the Buccaneers may be watching as the 2012 NFL Combine approaches.

Need #1: Cornerback
Both sources had corner at the top of the list, with the departure of Ronde Barber in the near future (neither said this was the season, but both felt the playing career could stop in the next few years).  Other reasons include the inability of Aqib Talib to have a quiet offseason.  Finally, the team believes there is talent on the roster for this position, but wants more fuel on the fire.

Need #2: Offensive Linemen
The current set of offensive linemen have played mostly intact for the past four years, which is spectacular.  However, C Jeff Faine is entering his tenth offseason and three of the other four starters up front are entering thier seventh offseason (tackles Donald Penn and Jeremy Trueblood and guard Davin Joseph).  The team needs to continue developing young linemen like G Ted Larson and T Derek Hardman so when these veterans complete their careers there are ready and able replacements available.

Need #3: Quarterback
This one surprised me.  It appears the Buccaneers are of the opinion with the new roster limits that carrying a third quarterback will soon be a thing of the past in the NFL.  In that spirit, a top-flight backup becomes that much more important.  QB Josh Johnson could start for other NFL teams and may get his chance during the free agency period this year.  Tampa Bay may try to grab a rookie signal-caller in the middle rounds to backup Freeman for the next several years, hoping the young player will be able to step in right away if needed.

Need #4: Linebacker
Both Geno Hayes and Quincy Black spent time out of the starting lineup this season because of poor performance on the field.  The team believes Dakota Watson is making strides along with Mason Foster.  Drafting a third young linebacker means there is a talented next wall of players ready to step forward if the group does not perform up to the expectations of the new coaching staff.

These needs may have changed since midseason, but I believe the reasons here still apply.  I would expect the Buccaneers to address these positions in some way during the 2012 offseason.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Blount and Richardson could share the backfield

With the fifth pick in the upcoming draft, many prognosticators have elected to peg the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the selection of CB Morris Claiborne from LSU. This makes it all the more fun to talk about other options.

One possibility is running back Trent Richardson from the University of Alabama.  Richardson seems to be considered (pre-combine) one of the top two overall talents this year (with the other being Claiborne).  At 5'11" and 225 lbs, he has the prototypical size of an NFL tailback.

With LeGarrette Blount on the roster this would seem to be a odd move.  But the Buccaneers could make it work.  A pro-set with split backs comes to mind, or mixed formations like the Alstott/Dunn tandem from the turn of the century, with Blount becoming more of a fullback (think "inside tailback") and Richardson being the speed (think "edge tailback").

The only thing which gives pause to this idea is the passing game.  It was widely reported that Blount was unable to catch on to the passing schemes of departed offensive coordinator Greg Olson.  However, a new system and a new, simpler scheme could make those concerns disappear quickly.  Blount showed last season he can be a receiver out of the backfield by catching 15 passes for 149 yards.    Richardson also has shown promise as a pass catcher by snaring 29 passes for 338 yards last season (full stat sheet).

If the Buccaneers are still not comfortable with Blount and pass protection, they have been grooming Kregg Lumpkin for the 3rd down back role, plus undrafted free agent RB Mossis Madu from Oklahoma showed promise last season.  Richardson could be spelled by Earnest Graham, provided Graham has a solid recovery and rehabilitation get him back in prime shape for the upcoming season.

Picking Richardson at #5 would give the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a backfield of outstanding young runners comparable to any tandem in the league.  If new Head Coach Greg Shiano is looking for a dominating running attack, this may be the right way to go with the first selection of his NFL career.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

2012 Buccaneer Draft Analysis: Core Defense

Continuing to build up our analysis of how the 2012 NFL Draft may line up for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, we next look at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers young core on defense.  Like the young core offense, the "young core" defense is the group of players with five or fewer years of experience -- that is, the players who have not yet reached their second contract.  These are the players who will carry the team to the playoffs for the next four to six years.

The defensive group below is composed of all players with 5 or fewer years of NFL experience from the Buccaneers current roster (as of 1/30/2012).  In addition, I have added the practice squad players who have already been offered contracts for next season.

2012 Young Core Defense

DE: Crowder, Tim (5, IR); Bennett, Michael (3); Wilson, E.J. (2, IR); Te'o-Nesheim, Daniel (2); Reed, Nick (2); Johnson, George (1, IR); Clayborn, Adrian (0); Bowers, Da'Quan (0)
DT: Okam, Frank (4); Miller, Roy (3); Price, Brian (2); McCoy, Gerald (2, IR)
OLB: Black, Quincy (5); Hayes, Geno (4); Watson, Dekoda (2); Cutrera, Jacob (2, IR); Curran, Rennie (0)
MLB: Hayward, Adam (5); Foster, Mason (0); Balogun, Mike (0)
SS: Asante, Larry (1)
FS: Lynch, Corey (4); Jackson, Tanard (4); Grimm, Cody (2, IR)
CB: Talib, Aqib (4, IR); Mack, Elbert (4); Biggers, E.J. (3); Lewis, Myron (2); Holland, Devin (0, IR); Gaitor, Anthony (0); Black, Ahmad (0)

Unlike the young core offense, this group does have some fifth year players: two at linebacker and one at defensive end.  The Buccaneers have selected a linebacker each of the past two drafts (Watson, Foster) and selected two defensive ends in the 2011 draft (Clayborn, Bowers).  Foster, Clayborn, and Bowers earned a significant amount of playing time last season while Watson earned two starts and was a standout on special teams.  It would be surprising for the Buccaneers to take another defensive end in 2012.  A third straight year with a linebacker selection?  Not surprising at all.

In the interior the Buccaneers have plenty of youth.  For now, this unit appears to be well stocked.

I think the most focus of the 2012 draft will be put on the defensive backfield.  The Buccaneers have spent two draft picks each of the past two years on defensive backs (Lewis, Grimm, Black, and Gaitor), with Biggers added in the 2009 draft.  Yet, at times last season the defensive back play was less than stellar.  With Talib, Mack, Lynch, and Jackson reaching the crossover point out of the young core, I expect the Buccaneers to continue to spend draft picks in the defensive backfield.

According to the two-deep at Rutgers, new Tampa Bay Head Coach Greg Schiano played a 4-3 style of defense.  This matches the current Buccaneers roster and player assignment scheme, so I do not expect any targeted positions due to changes in scheme on the defensive side of the ball.

The final anlysis for the defense is a selection on the front line seems highly unlikely given the past two drafts.  A linebacker or two and defensive backs would seem to be where more talent is needed.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

2012 Buccaneer Draft Analysis: Core Offense

We continue our draft breakdown by looking next at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers young core on offense.  The "young core" is the group of players with five or fewer years of experience -- that is, the players who are close to their second contract.  These are the players who will be counted on to carry the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the playoffs for the next four to six years.

The offensive group below is composed of all players with 5 or fewer years of NFL experience from the Buccaneers current roster (as of 1/30/2012).  In addition, I have added the practice squad players who have already been offered contracts for next season.

2012 Young Core Offense

QB: Johnson, Josh (4th year); Freeman, Josh (3); Carpenter, Rudy (3); Ratliff, Jeff (3)
RB: Lumpkin, Kregg (3); Blount, LeGarrette (2); Madu, Mossis(0)
FB: Lorig, Erik (2)
WR: Spurlock, Micheal (4); Stroughter, Sammie (3); Williams, Mike (2); Parker, Preston (2); Benn, Arrelious (2); Briscoe, Dezmon (1); Gant, Ed (1); Webber, Raymond (0, IR)
TE: Stocker, Luke (0); Pianalto, Zack (0); Franklin, Colin (0)
T: Lee, James (4); Dotson, Demar (3); Hardman, Derek (2); Ingersoll, Mike (0)
G: Zuttah, Jeremy (4); Larsen, Ted (2); Riley, Chris (0)

There is no heir apparent at Center on this chart, and clearly that's going to become important in the next couple years. Current starting center Jeff Faine is about to start his 10th NFL season in the middle of the trenches: can he keep going? At this point you have to prepare for the day he finishes.  Recently, Jeremy Zuttah has been filling the role.  Ted Larson also played center in college.  So while there may not be a designated Center in the young core, there are players available.

There are currently no fifth year players on this chart, which implies there are no significant offensive needs going into the 2012 draft.  That does not imply that the Buccaneers should not draft offensive players, just that there is no impending hole in the roster which needs a body.

If there was an area to pick, the young offensive line group has only 2 of 7 players who were drafted coming out of college.  This could be the year to add some draft-caliber talent to begin the development of capable replacements.  All the other offensive positions have at least one player who entered the NFL by draft pick, including fullback.

Will the new coach mean a change in direction for the mix in this group?  While the Shiano hiring is just days old, the Rutgers offensive depth chart shows a player distribution similar to the player distribution above, including the existence of a dedicated fullback position.  These young players will get every chance next year to solidify their place on the team.  

The result of this analysis is simple: I do not expect any specific positional targeting on the offensive side of the ball by the Buccaneers on draft weekend.

Next: The Young Core Defense

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

100 Days Out: The Defense

To start the offseason and run up to the 2012 NFL Draft we take a look at the current Defensive unit roster.  After finishing in the Top 10 in points allowed per game in 2010, the 2011 edition dropped to dead last in the league giving up a ludicrous 30.9 points per game to the opposition.  The collapse of the team at the end of the season resulted in opponents scoring more than 40 points in three of the last four games of the year and the defensive squad finishing 30th in total yards surrendered (394.4 yards per game).  Tampa Bay was dead last in the NFL against the run giving up 156.1 rushing yards per game.

Bold Italics - Drafted by Current GM Mark Dominik
Italics Only - Drafted by Prior GM Bruce Allen

Players not in bold or italics are free agent/waiver wire pickups.

DE(9):  Haye, Jovan(7); Crowder, Tim(5, IR); Bennett, Michael(3); Wilson, E.J.(2, IR); Te'o-Nesheim, Daniel(2); Reed, Nick(2); Johnson, George(1, IR); Clayborn, Adrian(0); Bowers, Da'Quan(0)
DT(6): Haynesworth, Albert(10); McCargo, John(6, IR); Okam, Frank(4); Miller, Roy(3); Price, Brian(2); McCoy, Gerald(2, IR); 
OLB(4): Black, Quincy(5); Hayes, Geno(4); Watson, Dekoda(2); Cutrera, Jacob(2, IR)
MLB(2): Hayward, Adam(5); Foster, Mason(0)
SS(5): Jones, Sean(8); Lynch, Corey(4); Jackson, Tanard(4); Grimm, Cody(2, IR); Asante, Larry(1)
CB(8): Talib, Aqib(4, IR); Mack, Elbert(4); Biggers, E.J.(3); Lewis, Myron(2); Barber, Ronde(15); Holland, Devin(0, IR); Gaitor, Anthony(0); Black, Ahmad(0)
K(1): Barth, Connor(4)

S Sean Jones (76 tackles, 16 assists) and CB Ronde Barber (67 tackes, 12 assists) were he two leading tacklers in 2011.  LB Mason Foster led all NFL rookies with 58 tackles and 26 assists to finish third on the team, and EJ Biggers (55 tackles, 6 assists) and Quincy Black (48 tackles, 11 assists) round out the top five.  Note that three of the top five tacklers were defensive backs -- not a good sign.

During the 2011 season, the following players recorded sacks:
DE Clayborn (7.5 sacks)
DE Bennett (4.0)
DT Price (3.0)
LB Foster (2.0)
DE Bowers (1.5)
CB Barber (1)
S Jones (1)

Clayborn also led the team in fumble recoveries with three (out of 13 total for the team).

The defensive backfield was let by Ronde Barber with three interceptions (of 14 team wide).

100 Days Out: The Offense

To start the offseason and run up to the 2012 NFL Draft we take a look at the current Offensive unit roster.  After finishing in the Top 10 in rushing yards per game in 2010, the 2011 edition dropped to 30th in the league at less than 92 yards per game.  The passing game hit the midpoint of the league at 16th, however, the team scoring average was a dismal 27th at 17.9 points per game.

Bold Italics - Drafted by Current GM Mark Dominik
Italics Only - Drafted by Prior GM Bruce Allen

Players not in bold or italics are free agent/waiver wire pickups.

QB(3): Johnson, Josh(4); Freeman, Josh(3); Carpenter, Rudy(3)
RB(4): Graham, Earnest(8, IR); Lumpkin, Kregg(3); Blount, LeGarrette(2); Madu, Mossis(0)
FB(1): Lorig, Erik(2)
WR(7): Spurlock, Micheal(4); Stroughter, Sammie(3); Williams, Mike(2); Parker, Preston(2); Benn, Arrelious(2); Briscoe, Dezmon(1); Webber, Raymond(0, IR)
TE(3): Winslow, Kellen(8); Stocker, Luke(0); Pianalto, Zack(0)
T(5): Trueblood, Jeremy(6); Penn, Donald(6); Lee, James(4); Dotson, Demar(3); Hardman, Derek(2)
G(3): Joseph, Davin(6); Zuttah, Jeremy(4); Larsen, Ted(2)
C(1): Faine, Jeff(9)
LS(1): Economos, Andrew(6)
P(1): Koenen, Michael(7)

LeGarrette Blount led in rushing at 781 total yards, a solid 4.2 yards per attempt.  The second leading rusher was QB Josh Freeman with 238 total yards, just ahead of Earnest Graham at 206 rushing yards on the season (Graham was put on IR after only 7 games in 2011).  Kregg Lumpkin got off to a rough start in place of Graham and finished with 105 rushing yards, but improved his yards/attempt to a season average 3.4 per carry and was trending up as the season closed.  Finally, free agent Mossis Madu carried 15 times for 55 yards, and Wildcat Josh Johnson carried 11 times for 67 yards.

Kellen Winslow led the team with 75 receptions, but Mike Williams quietly led the team in total yards with 771.  Preston Parker emerged as a threat gathering 13.9 yards per catch, but Arrelious Benn led the team with 14.7 yards per catch.  Running backs Kregg Lumpkin and Earnest Graham each caught more than 25 passes, and 2010 Practice Squad member Dezmon Briscoe emerged this season to gather 35 catches for 387 yards as well as score six touchdowns (which led the entire team).

Josh Freeman threw 551 times in 2011, completing around 62% of his passes for almost 3600 yards.  He was also intercepted 22 times and sacked 29 times.  Josh Johnson threw a mere 36 times, completing about 53% for 246 yards.