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Old 04-02-2012, 08:39 AM    (permalink
Matthew Jones
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Default How Far Could Courtney Upshaw Fall?

Courtney Upshaw recently posted some of the most putrid numbers of the entire pre-draft process at Alabama's pro day according to Gil Brandt:

Quote:
Courtney Upshaw, LB/DE (6-1 3/4, 279) — Upshaw ran the 40 in 4.76 and 4.78 seconds. He had a 27-1/2-inch vertical, a 9-1 broad jump, a 4.6-second short shuttle and a 7.73-second three-cone. He worked out as a linebacker and with his hand on the ground. He’s probably going to be a DE in the NFL. He just looks a little too stiff to be a linebacker; his best position is going to be as a pass-rusher.
For reference, in a pass rusher you want them to be around 6'3", 255+ with a 4.70-4.75. The vertical jump should be somewhere around 34", with under a 4.4 in the shuttle (there hasn't been a quality rusher drafted with a time over 4.4 in the past 15 years or so) and a cone drill of 7.2 seconds or less. It's easy to put too much stock into measurables but in the NFL you need a minimum level of athleticism to be effective.

No pass rusher projected to be drafted in the first five rounds or so had a worse vertical, cone drill time, or shuttle than Upshaw. He is also one of the shortest rushers projected to be picked (aside from Melvin Ingram) with some of the shortest arms as well. I can't think of the last time I've seen a cone drill that bad from a defensive end. The cone/shuttle times are worse than what Jaye Howard posted.

Combined with his 8 on the Wonderlic, it's fair to say Courtney Upshaw has really bombed the pre-draft process as he doesn't check out in any areas aside from weight and collegiate production. How far can this guy fall? Upshaw was a force at Alabama but his measurables are that of an undrafted free agent.
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:52 AM    (permalink
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I plugged his numbers into my Combine spreadsheet earlier and was shocked at how poor his workout was. I don't know if he's a first round pick now - the one thing that might save him is he was coached by Saban, which is highly valued it seems.
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:04 AM    (permalink
Matthew Jones
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Here's how Upshaw's numbers compare to LaMarr Woodley's (the player many people believe Upshaw is):

Upshaw/Woodley:

Height: 6015 / 6014
Weight: 279 / 266
40-yard: 4.79 / 4.74
Bench: 22 / 29
Vertical: 27.5" / 38.5"
Broad: 9'1" / 9'9"
Shuttle: 4.6 / 4.42
Cone: 7.73 / N/A
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:05 AM    (permalink
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If he is really 280 lbs. then I doubt he is targeting LB at the next level. With weight like that he apparently wants to play DE. I was thinking he wasn't that heavy in college. Maybe his athleticism just needs to catch up to his heavier weight.
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:17 AM    (permalink
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Quote:
Originally Posted by killxswitch View Post
If he is really 280 lbs. then I doubt he is targeting LB at the next level. With weight like that he apparently wants to play DE. I was thinking he wasn't that heavy in college. Maybe his athleticism just needs to catch up to his heavier weight.
It's possible, but I'm betting some of his numbers would be poor even at 270 or so. Melvin Ingram ran .9 seconds faster in the cone drill. That's a massive difference which losing 10 pounds probably isn't going to address; it'd be like saying losing 10 pounds would improve your 40 time by .5 or .6 seconds. Upshaw has the burst and change-of-direction skills of a below average defensive tackle prospect.
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:17 AM    (permalink
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He's a JAG. Should go mid 3rd if he didn't play for Alabama. If a team picks him in the 1st i'll laugh. If it's the Cowboys ill probably break something.
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:21 AM    (permalink
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He's a JAG. Should go mid 3rd if he didn't play for Alabama. If a team picks him in the 1st i'll laugh. If it's the Cowboys ill probably break something.
Jerry Jones could be targeting an OLB since Anthony Spencer is on the franchise tag. My guess for Dallas would be DeCastro if he's available, Brockers if not, Janoris if both are gone. After Jenkins would probably be either Kirkpatrick or Barron.
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:53 AM    (permalink
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Jones View Post
Jerry Jones could be targeting an OLB since Anthony Spencer is on the franchise tag. My guess for Dallas would be DeCastro if he's available, Brockers if not, Janoris if both are gone. After Jenkins would probably be either Kirkpatrick or Barron.
The reason they franchised Spencer is so they aren't pigeon-holed into taking Upshaw. That would have been a catastrophe.
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:21 AM    (permalink
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the most concerning part is the lack of explosion...he was never a prolific pass rusher while at Alabama and a first round investment on a guy with limited upside when it comes to pass rushing would suggest he could very well slide
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:47 AM    (permalink
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On an unrelated note: while researching cone and shuttle times from the Combine I also noticed that Dontari Poe posted a terrible 7.9 second cone drill and so did Brandon Thompson. Most DTs seemed to complete the cone drill in around 7.45 seconds or so.
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:03 AM    (permalink
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This is why I'm not huge on Upshaw. A few things posted above really sum up my feelings about him. One, in your original post MJ, the comment about needing a minimum level of athleticism to be able to succeed in the NFL is something I really agree with and is a major concern with him. I also agree with CDCB's comment about him being overrated due to playing for Alabama, and PF28's concerns about lack of explosion and never really being that dominant or productive of a pass rusher to begin with.

On top of that I wonder if he was able to take advantage of playing on such a talented defense which could easily have masked some of his weaknesses and made him look better than he does because offenses couldn't give him as much attention. The guy is obviously a good football player, but I'm not sure that's enough. I'll be pretty disappointed if he ends up going to the Jets on draft day, though I think it might be a legitimate possibility. Could be in for a fall though, I think he should go somewhere on day 2.
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:06 AM    (permalink
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Could he play the Ted ILB role in a 3-4?
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Old 04-04-2012, 01:18 PM    (permalink
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Could he play the Ted ILB role in a 3-4?
Asked a while ago somewhere and got a no, which I think I agree with.

At this point he's a touch underrated, but prooooooooobably shouldn't go anywhere but the very late first if someone took the leap.
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:08 PM    (permalink
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I've never been a fan of Courtney Upshaw. Never once saw him as a 1st Round. The guy simply can't move side-to-side. Very stiff, no lateral agility.

You can't take away his toughness and attitude he plays with, but he is so limited physically. Upshaw really, really doesn't belong in the 1st Round, yet I hear the Jaguars and Bills love him. Bills seem pretty interested in Mike Adams but if he is off the board, I could certainly see Upshaw.
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:15 PM    (permalink
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I've never been a fan of Courtney Upshaw. Never once saw him as a 1st Round. The guy simply can't move side-to-side. Very stiff, no lateral agility.

You can't take away his toughness and attitude he plays with, but he is so limited physically. Upshaw really, really doesn't belong in the 1st Round, yet I hear the Jaguars and Bills love him. Bills seem pretty interested in Mike Adams but if he is off the board, I could certainly see Upshaw.
Blo just gave Mario 96 mill to ply LDE and Anderson 20 to ply RDE. 0% chance we go de in r1.
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:09 PM    (permalink
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Jones View Post
Courtney Upshaw recently posted some of the most putrid numbers of the entire pre-draft process at Alabama's pro day according to Gil Brandt:



For reference, in a pass rusher you want them to be around 6'3", 255+ with a 4.70-4.75. The vertical jump should be somewhere around 34", with under a 4.4 in the shuttle (there hasn't been a quality rusher drafted with a time over 4.4 in the past 15 years or so) and a cone drill of 7.2 seconds or less. It's easy to put too much stock into measurables but in the NFL you need a minimum level of athleticism to be effective.

No pass rusher projected to be drafted in the first five rounds or so had a worse vertical, cone drill time, or shuttle than Upshaw. He is also one of the shortest rushers projected to be picked (aside from Melvin Ingram) with some of the shortest arms as well. I can't think of the last time I've seen a cone drill that bad from a defensive end. The cone/shuttle times are worse than what Jaye Howard posted.

Combined with his 8 on the Wonderlic, it's fair to say Courtney Upshaw has really bombed the pre-draft process as he doesn't check out in any areas aside from weight and collegiate production. How far can this guy fall? Upshaw was a force at Alabama but his measurables are that of an undrafted free agent.
Wow. I don't know if I have ever heard of a score that low. I read once that Vince Young scored a 9.

FWIW I am 20 years removed from school with two quarters of community college. I just went and took the online sample quiz and scored a 26 with no preparation. I consider myself to be intelligent but not a genius.
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:40 PM    (permalink
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My #1 defensive player. Doesn't matter what he looks like in shorts, when the pads come on he brings it. Straight up goon who will knock the snot out of people for 60 minutes. Great combination of power, explosiveness and balance. Exciting to watch.
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:58 PM    (permalink
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My #1 defensive player. Doesn't matter what he looks like in shorts, when the pads come on he brings it. Straight up goon who will knock the snot out of people for 60 minutes. Great combination of power, explosiveness and balance. Exciting to watch.
Pretty sure Hightower was a better player last year. Similar numbers from a completely different position.

But, you keep rating a player who is one-dimensional and limited over guys who are the complete package. Over Morris Claiborne too? Come on.
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:22 PM    (permalink
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What Upshaw has going for him is pure football instinct, there he rates at the top of the charts. I was an Upshaw lover at the start of the draft process but his workouts have left me a bit cold. He cannot play for a 3-4 team that asks its LB's to drop into coverage as he is only really effective coming forward, fortunately for him, there are a # of 3-4 teams that only ask there OLB's to rush the passer.

He looks the part of a 4-3 DE till you look at his height, then you have to wonder if he will be a whole lot in that position.

I wouldn't rule out ILB in a 3-4 defense, it is quite possible he ends up there.

I think his football instincts are solid enough to keep him in late round 1 but I won't be totally shocked if he falls to early round 2.
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:29 AM    (permalink
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It should be pretty obvious he isn't a legit NFL player. Do people think every player on that defense is going to be awesome? Go look at the dominant Miami defenses from a little over ten years ago. You have Ed Reed, Jonathan Vilma, and Vince Wilfork, and then you have Mike Rumpf, Jerome McDougle, and William Joseph. Which group do you think Upshaw belongs to?

I wouldn't draft him.
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Old 04-04-2012, 11:17 AM    (permalink
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It should be pretty obvious he isn't a legit NFL player. Do people think every player on that defense is going to be awesome? Go look at the dominant Miami defenses from a little over ten years ago. You have Ed Reed, Jonathan Vilma, and Vince Wilfork, and then you have Mike Rumpf, Jerome McDougle, and William Joseph. Which group do you think Upshaw belongs to?

I wouldn't draft him.
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Old 04-04-2012, 03:18 AM    (permalink
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I wouldn't draft him. He could fall to the 3rd and I wouldnt be surprised.
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Old 04-04-2012, 10:10 AM    (permalink
GaMeTiMe
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I was never high on him, and it seems like a lot more people are suddenly saying that since he's done so poorly this off-season. Just a few weeks ago there was an Ingram vs Upshaw thread and if I remember correctly it was a fairly-split debate.

Once he measured under 6'2 and suddenly looked terrible standing up his fate was sealed. His upside at the end of the season was as the potential best 3-4 edge-rusher of the class, even if he wasn't ever 'elite'. Now he's a short, slow 4-3 DE who in my opinion is at best a 3rd round motor guy. And I'd still prefer someone like Derek Wolfe there instead.

Still though, as some have noted in this thread there are teams that do like him enough where I don't think anyone would be surprised if he ends up being a 1st-round pick. He has one of the more 'mysterious' stocks in this class.
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Old 04-04-2012, 12:29 PM    (permalink
MetSox17
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Heh, we've seen this for quite some time in the Cowboys forum. A lot of us hated the idea of taking him at 14 so we did our work. Just watch his "highlights". All of this was on tape before, just that no one ever bothered to pay attention cause omgz he plays for bama!
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Old 04-04-2012, 01:21 PM    (permalink
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upshaw is the type of player everyone craps on for not working out well, and then the ravens or the pats take him and it's a genius pick. lets not forget he was considered a top 15 lock just after the Senior Bowl. in shorts he sucks, in pads he's great. maybe all that adds up to a 2nd round pick, it wouldn't be surprising.

a quick word about his workout, it's possible that the late season (early jan national champ, late jan senior bowl) meant that he was playing football and getting banged up while everyone else was healing and getting trained by olympic sprinters on how to run faster.
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