By Slinn Shady
The Eastern Conference contains alot of teams with high draft picks, which means the East is going to be stacked with high value rookie talent. Five of the conference’s seven teams have a pick within the top 10, meaning there will be a huge tussle between owners and GM’s to pick the right rookie at the right time, or to maybe steal a prospect from under the nose of a conference rival. Alot of this updated version of the East had poor seasons last time out and will be looking to make a big statement in Season 11. They’ll look for a good pick in the Draft to turn their fortunes around
Baltimore Vultures’ pick:#2
Team needs; HB, CB
Predicted selection: Kody ‘Thrill’ Hill, RB
Word in the chat seems to be speculating that runaway favourite for the number 1 pick, Kody Hill, isn’t on the radar of New Orleans Pharohs owner, Arron Arrington and his staff. I’m not always inclined to believe such rumours, but it’s a situation I think is a realistic possibility. With that in mind, i have Hill dropping…but not too far.
Baltimore head man, Tim Johnston, is an experienced campaigner and will want to bring on the best player available, especially when that player is slated to play a skill position such as running back. Despite this being a passing league, rushers still have a huge part to play for a team to have offensive success (just as Mexico City). If Baltimore bite the bullet and pick up Hill, they will gain a playmaker with a huge chance to become the Offensive Rookie of the Year. As an expansion franchise, you couldn’t ask for more.
Chicago Wildcats’ pick: #5
Team Needs: CB
Predicted Selection: J W Doyle, ATH
The Wildcats start a run of picks early in the draft for the Eastern Conference, a period in the draft where max silver deals will still be on the board, but will come at a premium. Judging on current signings and knowledge of potential team needs, I see Chicago trying to take a cornerback at pick #5. This narrows their choices down considerably as there isn’t a wealth of cornerback talent that is worth such an early draft pick. One player who I can see filling that role for the Wildcats is all-round athlete, J W Doyle.
Doyle has declare that he’s a two-way player who will help any team out should they pick him. This is the mould of player that is an attractive proposition to any team. Doyle has been active in chat and reliable with his check-ins. A max silver seal is coming his way and I’m wagering it will come in the form of playing in the secondary for the Chicago Wildcats.
Disclaimer: I don’t think it would be write or fitting for the league of I made a predicted selection for my own team, therefore I won’t. What I have done however, is ask other writers what they think London’s selection will be. Also, I’ve only asked for a name rather than a paragraph (the other writers are so busy as it is)!
London Knights’ pick: #6
Team Needs: SS, FS
Predicted Selection: E Z Tempel, FS
Carolina Skyhawks’ pick: #7
Team Needs: DE, LB
Predicted Selection: Aman Takess, DE/LB
Sandwiched between two fellow franchises in the East (London and St. Louis) the Skyhawks sit in prime position to jump upon a highly rated rookie who may have dropped down the board for one reason or another. There is a high possibility that the rookie in question will be defensive end/linebacker, Aman Takess.
Takess has already proven that he’s a high character guy in chat, and should prove to be a great teammate to energize the locker room. Carolina should jump all over this chance; a chance to bring a big voice to the team and to sure up either the defensive line or the linebacking corps. A ‘backer room containing Takess and solid Season 10 player, Phil Hall, would be a force to be reckoned with. Carolina lost a lot of extremely close games last season. Maybe Takess is the key to giving them the edge to take that next step.
St. Louis Gladiators
St. Louis Gladiators’ pick: #8
Team Needs: Undisclosed
Predicted Selection: Hunter Jones, WR
Most of St. Louis’ issues in Season 10 came on the offensive side of the ball. The running game showed flashes of brilliance (behind running back, Denzel Diaz) but lacked consistency, whereas the passing game faltered all season long, placing the Gladiators in the bottom 5 of the SFL when it came to production through the air. A quarterback change early in the season didn’t help, as rookie, Dylan Aciel, tried his best to get to grips with a brand new playbook without any preseason tune up time.
What Aciel needs to improve St. Louis’ fortunes in Season 11, are weapons. Weapons in the form of wide receivers. Up steps on-the-rise pass catcher, Hunter Jones. Jones wasn’t featured on the BIG Board in Week 1, however Week 2 has been a different story with the young wideout rocketing up to #9 on the board. This will gurantee two things: A near-max contract value and a rise up interested teams’ draft boards around the league. One of these teams will be St. Louis, and Jones is the selection I’m predicting they will make.
Indianapolis Red Devils
Indianapolis Red Devils’ pick: #14
Team Needs: OLB
Player Selection: Gib Leedoo, LB
The staff at Indianapolis will probably feel a little disappointed that they were inches away from a Championship Game, without quite making it over the line. If they sit back though, have a moment of clarity and really think about their Season 10 performance, they can be nothing but ecstatic. There’s a steep learning curve for an expansion team in the SFL, and Indy completely took it in their stride. Gaining a 6-6 record on the back of a sterling passing attack and a solid (if unspectacular) defense, most around the league will probably presume that the Red Devils will try to upgrade their running game after it faltered last season. I however, think differently.
Enter, linebacker/defensive end, Gib Leedoo. As well as having a fantastic name, Leedoo stands out on the rookie big board aswell. His chat activity is some of the best amongst all rookies, with the fact that he has missed crucial check-ins the only thing that is holding him back from that max deal. Leedoo would be an excellent value pick up at #14, presuming he drops a couple of places due to other teams’ fitting different needs. If he’s on the board, Indy should take him. He’ll be a great addition to their don’t seven.
Queen City Corsairs
Queen City Corsairs’ pick: #16
Team needs: Undeclared (WR or TE)
Precited Selection: Siege Falco, Off ATH
Very little has come out of the Corsairs’ camp as of late. They’ve made no signings during the re-sign period (as of yet), and current and former members appear to be keeping their cards close to their chests. Logic suggests then, that the team down to pick at #16 will pick the 16th best player on the SFL BIG Board. That player comes in the form of offensive athlete, Siege Falco.
The beauty of Falco being an ‘offensive athlete’ is that he will be open to any of Queen City’s offensive needs. My guess is that the Corsairs will need him in a wide receiver or tight end capacity. I’m not sure whether they have been able to retain their wide receivers from Season 10, but their Pro Bowl tight end, Mike Daggs is a confirmed free agent. I think grabbing a tight end with a late first round pick is a smart move, and Falco will hopefully do well. He’ll have to if he’s going to fill Daggs’ shoes.