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Real TACK - Draft Ramblings #1

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  • Real TACK - Draft Ramblings #1

    Just a compilation of thoughts I have on the draft and things that are on my mind lately. I plan on doing one or two more of these as before the draft as I become so inclined.


    • I’m trying to refrain from QB talk as much as I can because truth be told, it’s getting a little tiring. But I will say this in regards to Cam Newton, I think analysts and people in general are being a little short-sited in their evaluations. We should be projecting all the players for where they'll be down the road and not so much where they are right now. Like him or not, I don’t see why people are getting caught up on mechanical refinement and reads. Those are things every QB coming in to the league needs a lot of work on. Sure Cam needs a bit more work than some other, but do Newton detractors really believe that his mechanics and inability to learn how to make NFL reads will lead to his downfall? I just don't see that. He’ll take more time to develop than other top QB’s, no denying that. But fortunately, his biggest issues as a passer are fixable with two things he’ll get plenty of: reps and coaching.


      Give These Guys Some Love


    • Jabaal Sheard is the first guy. He’s a guy who seems to be picking up some steam lately. Easily one of the most natural pass rushers in this class. He has very good athleticism that translates to the field. He has enough explosive to be a threat attacking the edge with his speed but also has a variery pass rush moves and does a nice job of setting up OT’s. He ran one of the best 10-yard splits of any DE in this draft. Definitely appears to have the fluidity to be able to play 3-4 OLB. If I had to pick the “Tyson Alualu” of this draft, Sheard would be the guy. Don’t be surprised to see his name called in the first 32 picks.

    • The other guy would be Greg Little. Based off pure football ability, I really believe he is a first round talent. The guy is somewhat of a physical freak. 6’2.5” 231, low 4.5 forty and a 40.5” vert. He’s a fluid athlete with natural hands who has the ability to elevate and go up and attack the ball. Little is a former running back who is a beast with the ball in his hands. Might be the most physical WR in this class and really plays with an edge on the field which I love. Some off the field questions but in interviews he comes off as impressive, articulate, driven individual in interviews. He’s only been playing WR for a year and a half so he’s got a very big upside. Everyone is trying to figure out who the #3 WR in this draft and Little might be that guy. He’s really the complete package.


      I Just Don't See It

    • I really do not like this OT class at all and the thought of Anthony Castonzo as a #1 OT only cements that. People are naturally going to expect him to be a high floor guy given the history with BC O-Lineman and understandably so. But he isn’t nearly the talent that some make him out to be. He’s not very natural in his movements, his feet are average at best, he struggles to hold his ground and anchor and is not a guy I’d trust against either a strong speed or power rusher. For the most part he looked unimpressive at Senior Bowl. For the record, I was saying this long before Baldinger did but I do not see Castonzo as a first round talent. In another draft I think he'd be more of a mid 2nd type guy. I acknowledge he can be a good player but I really don’t see him having the ability to be anything more.

    • Aldon Smith scares me. I acknowledge he has a legitimate shot at being a Top 15, possibly even Top 10 pick, but I just don’t see it. I’m always weary of the “athletic freaks” who don’t test like one. He’s a very raw player but that doesn’t concern me nearly as much as does his awkward change of direction and the fact that he plays very high. He did not look fluid or natural at all in his movements at the combine which just kind of confirmed what I saw from him at Missouri. For a guy who’s billed as a freak of nature, he really doesn’t move like one. If he turns out to be a successful player, I really doubt that comes in a 3-4 defense.



      Fairely vs. Dareus


    • It seems like everyone has moved Marcell Dareus ahead of Nick Fairley…..almost all of them did so after the college football season. I’m still having a hard time separating these two but I give the Fairley the slightest edge right now. I have little doubt that Dareus is a stronger run defender and I expect him be one of the better DT’s against the run in the league. However, being able to make an impact in the passing game and on 3rd down trumps all. Fairley seems to have the edge as a pass rusher. Dareus has shown flashes of great pass rush ability for sure but his 3-cone concerns me a bit. I put a fair bit of emphasis on the 3-cone and shuttle when it comes to pass rush ability. Dareus ran a very poor 7.83 3-cone which was 2nd worst among DT’s where as Fairley a DT best 7.14. Not that it is everything, it’s not, but the difference in their ability to dip and lean in noticeable on film. I have little doubt that Dareus will be a stronger run defender and I love the power and leverage he plays with. But Fairley’s ability to make an impact in the passing game gives him the slight edge in my eyes as of right now.



    • Look for a lot of trade action to occur in the early teens. The best value in the first round comes among those first 10-15 players. Some highly talented players may fall through the cracks there are some teams like the Cowboys, Redskins, Vikings, Lions, Rams and Dolphins have needs that don’t necessarily match up with the value.

    • Although it seems his stock is currently on the downswing, don’t rush to judgment on Da’Quan Bowers until we see him workout. For a guy whose athleticism carries a lot of weight in his draft stock, we need a chance for him to put it on display. If he tests like some think he can, his stock should move back up to where it was at the end of the season. But until that happens, let’s hold off on changing our projections on him for now.

    • AJ Green and Julio Jones are clearly the class of this year’s WR crop. I see the WR’s ranked 3-10 are very tightly packed. Those WR’s in my eyes would be Greg Little, Randall Cobb, Torrey Smith, Edmund Gates, Leonard Hankerson, Jon Baldwin, Titus Young and Jerrell Jernigan are the guys I’m referring to. A lot of variety so separating them has a lot to do with which flavor you prefer.


      Don't Let Theses Guys Fly Off Your Radar

    • Two names you don’t want to overlook…UCF’s Jah Reid and SMU’s Aldrick Robinson. Jah Reid might be the most underrated OT in this draft. He’s a tough, nasty RT who is very strong in the run game. He’s a massive man at 6’7 328lbs but is able to come off the ball and play very low which is something that really stand out in his game. Still a little raw in pass pro but is a natural athlete and really did a great job against an explosive rusher in Justin Houston. Viewed as a 5th-late rounder right could go a lot earlier. Aldrick Robinson comes out of the same system that produced Emmanuel Sanders. He’s an explosive player who can stretch the field vertically, has great quickness, runs great routes and is a very natural hands catcher. He had 20.0 ypc which is exceptional playing in a run and shoot. He might be one of the best slot weapons in this draft.


    • I think Robert Quinn’s best spot is undoubtedly at OLB in a 34. He’s a one dimensional pass rusher who relies solely on his speed rush and ability to turn the corner but is not physical at the point of attack. I think he’d be a lot less effective as a 4-3 DE as he would have a lot more responsibilities versus the run which he doesn’t need. Edge rushing is basically all he does and in some ways, he almost reminds me of a big version of Von Miller.

    • Speaking of Von Miller, I'm really warming up to him as a 3-4 OLB lately. I still think his best spot may be in a 4-3 and am concerned with the fact that he basically has no pass rush moves. But it's hard to bet against a guy who is a very athletic, very explosive, very instinct playmaker. I just think an athlete and player like him will find a way to succeed.

    • With the lockout possibly denying NFL teams from signing undrafted free agents, Mr.Irrelevant now becomes more relevant than ever.
    Last edited by TACKLE; 03-19-2011, 10:23 AM.

  • #2
    Little is apparently such a character risk that many believe he could go undrafted.
    "I'm Ko Simpson!"

    - Ko Simpson

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    • #3
      In regards to Newton, I don't think anyone is saying that he can't succeed simply because of mechanical faults or things that he hasn't even had a chance to learn yet. It's not even just the NCAA investigation. Or leaving Florida under questionable circumstances.

      It's just that when you add everything up, you're looking at a mountain of questions that simply can't be answered - and that's where the risk runs.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by yourfavestoner View Post
        In regards to Newton, I don't think anyone is saying that he can't succeed simply because of mechanical faults or things that he hasn't even had a chance to learn yet. It's not even just the NCAA investigation. Or leaving Florida under questionable circumstances.

        It's just that when you add everything up, you're looking at a mountain of questions that simply can't be answered - and that's where the risk runs.
        Oh I totally understand what you're saying. My comments are more so directed towards a lot of the talk that has grown post combine/pro day. Since those two events, it seems as if the focus has seemed to switch from concerns about character to concerns of lack of "pro-readiness". I'm not sure it even sure "pro-readiness" exists in college quarterbacks. Pro-readiness isn't about how college system or style of play coincides with the what will be asked from them in the NFL. Even the most sophisticated college offenses peril in comparison to more simple NFL offenses given that one is given the restriction on hours at the college level. If anything, the only things to really judge "pro readiness" off are things like mental aptitude, physical ability, arm strength to make all the throws, anticipation, work ethic, etc. Teams don't draft players based on who they think the best rookie will be. They draft players based on who they believe will develop into the best player down the road. Cam Newton, like every quarterback in this draft, is a project. He may be a bigger project than others and may take more time to grow. But that doesn't mean he's any less capable of developing than any other QB in this class. So when I say it seems as though some (njx would kill me for be vague but the folks on NFLN, ESPN for example) are being short-sited in their evaluations, I'm referring to those who are seemingly too caught up on where he is now opposed to projecting where they think he'll be as a player 3,4,5,6,7 years down road.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by gpngc View Post
          Little is apparently such a character risk that many believe he could go undrafted.
          First of all, there's no way he goes undrafted and is a likely 3rd round pick who has a legitimate chance at going in the 2nd.

          Secondly, watch this interview. Yes he made a mistake this year and that's something that needs to be looked into. He also plays with an edge that may rub some, yourself included seemingly, the wrong way. But myself, I value confident players who play with an edge.

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          • #6
            Quinn could be a 4-3 DE esp in a Tampa 2 style D.
            Stafford Sig by touchdownrams the rest of the sig by Sig Master Bone Krusher Avy by King of all avys renji


            DEATH NOTE MAFIA SIGNUP!

            Originally posted by njx9
            oh please. as if canadians even know what beer is.

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            • #7
              The thing about Newton is that, sure, he could be a very good player in 2-3 years... but how often do we talk about drafting a guy #1 overall because he would be a quality contributor in a couple of years?

              I'm personally of the mind that if you draft someone in the top 10, he should immediately be at least an average starter at his position. So I just can't endorse Newton going as high as everybody else seems to have him going.

              Will he fail? I can't say, I don't see the future. Would I take him in the top 10 if I was a GM? Absolutely not.

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              • #8
                TACKLE, I like what you said about forming an opinion on Cam Newton, but I am not a fan of the "mechanics" can be fixed argument. While I hate to use the example, David Carr's big flaw was his delivery style (at least as a prospect). Every coach tried to change it in Houston. The problem was that when he got into the game, he reverted back to the way he had been throwing the 15 years of his life prior to being drafted. On the other end of the spectrum, people had an issue with Philip Rivers' delivery style and it's not changed a bit. Some felt that Leftwich could tighten his wind-up delivery, and he didn't. Sure, Aaron Rodgers held the ball too high when he came out because Tedford instructed him to do so, and he's changed that; I am willing to bet he didn't hold it that high at Butte. The way a prospect throws is likely not going to change. I said this all last year with Tebow, too.

                As for the defense-reading aspect of your comment, one thing that stood out to me was that he said he was doubting himself as a QB after talking with NFL coaches in combine interviews because they were berating him with questions about playcalling and defenses. Sure, that can be learned, but when you've been taught "First read not open? RUN RUN RUN" since you were 14-15 years old, that's going to take a while to unlearn. Obviously, I have no idea how intelligent or ignorant the guy is, and I certainly won't accuse him of either since I don't know him, The issue I have is, if you are going to be taking this guy in the top 5 or 10, you would expect him to at least compete for playing time from the start.

                Of course, there are a million variables that come in to play with this labor dispute, so all this could be bupkis.

                Pick the Winners Champion 2008 | 2011

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                • #9
                  What I've read about Little is that his character and lack of passion on the field are hurting him in spite of great physical tools. I would not touch him until late in the 3rd at the highest, but I'd prefer him later than that.

                  Watching Edmund Gates, he has a lot of development ahead of him as a receiver....but he's fast, so he'll be on many sleeper lists.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Brent View Post
                    TACKLE, I like what you said about forming an opinion on Cam Newton, but I am not a fan of the "mechanics" can be fixed argument. While I hate to use the example, David Carr's big flaw was his delivery style (at least as a prospect). Every coach tried to change it in Houston. The problem was that when he got into the game, he reverted back to the way he had been throwing the 15 years of his life prior to being drafted. On the other end of the spectrum, people had an issue with Philip Rivers' delivery style and it's not changed a bit. Some felt that Leftwich could tighten his wind-up delivery, and he didn't. Sure, Aaron Rodgers held the ball too high when he came out because Tedford instructed him to do so, and he's changed that; I am willing to bet he didn't hold it that high at Butte. The way a prospect throws is likely not going to change. I said this all last year with Tebow, too.
                    I'm not disagreeing with you on the mechanics in many cases. But its not like Cam has a mechanical hitch that's unique or unorthodox like the examples you brought up. He just needs to be a little more refined and have a bit better balance in his 5 and 7 step drops from under center but he throws the ball very naturally. He played out of a shotgun in highschool, at Florida, at Blinn and of course at Auburn. t's only natural that there's still going to be a bit of a learning curve and he's not going to have overly refined footwork after only a month or two of working on it. There's no major issues there though. When is accuracy its off, it has to do with two things, his balance in his drops and his control of his arm strength. It appears as if from time to time, he doesn't know quite how strong his arm is if that makes any sense. Reps wise, he's just thrown a lot less passes over his career than most other QB's we see. Like I said above in the OP and I've been saying this for a while now, as long as he's committed to improving in these areas, his biggest flaws as a quarterback are fixable with more reps and NFL coaching.

                    Originally posted by Brent View Post
                    As for the defense-reading aspect of your comment, one thing that stood out to me was that he said he was doubting himself as a QB after talking with NFL coaches in combine interviews because they were berating him with questions about playcalling and defenses.
                    I don't know where you heard he was doubting himself as a QB. I'm pretty sure I've seen most interviews he's done on either NFLN or ESPN and I never heard him say anything of that nature. Maybe it was an inference you made into something he said, but personally, I never recall him saying that or felt that's he was eluding to. If anything I'm not concerned about, its lack of confidence.

                    Originally posted by Brent View Post
                    Sure, that can be learned, but when you've been taught "First read not open? RUN RUN RUN" since you were 14-15 years old, that's going to take a while to unlearn.
                    The mentality thing might be the biggest concern I have. Mainly because its so hard to project. Is he willing to discipline himself into being a pocket passer? It's hard to say whether he's capable of taking that step or not, because like you mentioned, he's been encouraged to run as soon as his first two options aren't open. He's shown flashes of being able to work through progressions while staying in the pocket but its not something we've seen a whole lot of. Like I said, its a very tough thing to project when there's not really tangible evidence on film to base it on. Truth be told, seeing Vick's evolution into a pocket passer this season makes me more comfortable in him changing his mentality to pass first than Gabbert changing his scared, frantic mentality in the pocket. Honestly as rookie, I'd rather see Cam throw a couple extra INT's and run less as long as he's trying to make throws down the field and trying to isn't afraid to try to put balls in tight windows.

                    Originally posted by Brent View Post
                    Obviously, I have no idea how intelligent or ignorant the guy is, and I certainly won't accuse him of either since I don't know him, The issue I have is, if you are going to be taking this guy in the top 5 or 10, you would expect him to at least compete for playing time from the start.

                    Of course, there are a million variables that come in to play with this labor dispute, so all this could be bupkis.
                    I don't expect him to light the world on fire as a rookie and expect that he'll go throw some growing pains as a passer. With that being said, I really believe that he is going to make the Carolina Panthers or the Buffalo Bills or the Palmer-less Bengals or whoever drafts him, a better team and a better offense when he's on the field. He has playmaking ability that is rivaled by few prospects we've seen, regardless of position.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Wrathman View Post
                      What I've read about Little is that his character and lack of passion on the field are hurting him in spite of great physical tools. I would not touch him until late in the 3rd at the highest, but I'd prefer him later than that.

                      Watching Edmund Gates, he has a lot of development ahead of him as a receiver....but he's fast, so he'll be on many sleeper lists.
                      Where did you read that? I haven't heard anything of that nature. If anything based off what I saw from him in '09, he could possibly be viewed as a bit of a hothead who is too emotional and too intense - not the other way around.

                      Also, Gates has been a personal favorite of mine for a while now. Exceptional speed, can make plays after the catch, runs buttery smooth routes and is a very natural hands catcher who can go up and get the ball. Wouldn't surprise me to see him develop into a Mike Wallace type player.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TACKLE View Post
                        Where did you read that? I haven't heard anything of that nature. If anything based off what I saw from him in '09, he could possibly be viewed as a bit of a hothead who is too emotional and too intense - not the other way around.

                        Also, Gates has been a personal favorite of mine for a while now. Exceptional speed, can make plays after the catch, runs buttery smooth routes and is a very natural hands catcher who can go up and get the ball. Wouldn't surprise me to see him develop into a Mike Wallace type player.
                        By lack of passion for Little, I don't mean emotional displays on the field. I was referring to effort given or not given on plays throughout the game. I apologize for leaving that vague. I've read it on a couple of different sites now and it certainly could be a minority opinion.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TACKLE View Post
                          I don't know where you heard he was doubting himself as a QB. I'm pretty sure I've seen most interviews he's done on either NFLN or ESPN and I never heard him say anything of that nature. Maybe it was an inference you made into something he said, but personally, I never recall him saying that or felt that's he was eluding to. If anything I'm not concerned about, its lack of confidence.
                          http://49ers.pressdemocrat.com/2011/...ces-wonderlic/

                          Said Newton, It was something that you had to question yourself as an overall athlete. Im pretty sure everybody in the combine was going through that process asking themselves the question, like Is this really what I want to do? Because right after each meeting the horn blows to give you somewhat of a notice that you have two minutes left. And the coaches are asking questions like left and right, left and right, left and right. And as soon as that meeting is done, you shake your hands and you get right out and you go to the next place. And as soon as you walk into to that next place, you do the same thing over.
                          Personally, that's not the kind of things I want to hear from a top QB, but maybe I am making a lot out of a little.

                          Pick the Winners Champion 2008 | 2011

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Little seems like a pretty smart guy, very articulate actually.

                            He's used the words like "alleviate", "pivotal", "articulate", "unorthodox", "redemption", and a few other college-level words, which is pretty rare to hear from wide receivers.

                            It's actually the first I've heard of Little speak in interviews, and I was surprisingly impressed.

                            What are his off-field issues other than gettin paid?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by TACKLE View Post
                              Where did you read that? I haven't heard anything of that nature. If anything based off what I saw from him in '09, he could possibly be viewed as a bit of a hothead who is too emotional and too intense - not the other way around.

                              Also, Gates has been a personal favorite of mine for a while now. Exceptional speed, can make plays after the catch, runs buttery smooth routes and is a very natural hands catcher who can go up and get the ball. Wouldn't surprise me to see him develop into a Mike Wallace type player.
                              - Last evening sources told DraftInsider.net that numerous teams are down on former North Carolina receiver Greg Little before he has even taken the field. Teams have found Little to be less than honest during the interview process, and thats putting it nicely. Little, as you may remember, was suspended for the 2010 season after violating school and NCAA rules.

                              http://www.draftinsider.net/blog/?p=4857

                              According to SI.com draft analyst Tony Pauline, North Carolina WR Greg Little "won't be selected before the fourth round."
                              Little's offseason workout numbers have been fine, but he was reportedly "less than honest" in team interviews at the Combine after missing his entire senior season due to NCAA suspension. Other draft analysts have noted Little's seemingly lackadaisical on-field play and poor football character.
                              Source: TFY Draft Insider
                              I like him as a player also but with these types of concerns I highly doubt he goes in the 2nd.
                              "I'm Ko Simpson!"

                              - Ko Simpson

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