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Old 02-19-2012, 04:41 AM    (permalink
stlouisfan37
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I have been paying a lot of attention to the success (or, in many cases, failure) of big possession receivers since the 1995 draft. As a Rams fan whose teams had been torched by Rice and Taylor for years, I cringed at the thought of the 49ers taking JJ Stokes. Stokes was big and strong, impossible to bump, and had fantastic hands. The only knock on him, they said, was his lack of speed. While the other two top prospects that year (Joey Galloway and Michael Westbrook) had both turned in 4.4 or better times, Stokes had run a pedestrian 4.65 at the combine. The 49ers dismissed it as unimportant; after all, West Coast Offenses across the league were thriving with big possession receivers lacking speed. Cris Carter, Herman Moore, Alvin Harper...hell, even the greatest, Jerry Rice, was not a burner.

While Stokes would go on to have a decent career, he never scared anyone, and his lack of speed was always attached to his lack of production. The game steadily evolved out of the methodical WCO and speed and quickness became more and more important. "Explosion" is the thing teams were starting to look for, and the big slow guys were having less and less success as time went on.

Dwayne Jarrett was the last guy who fit into this category that was really even considered by NFL scouts as a high-round pick. There were two sides of the argument; on one side, his size, strength, hands and route-running ability would be enough to have continued success despite his lack of speed and explosion. On the other side, his lack of speed and explosion would prove to be too much to overcome in the pro game; CB's would be able to sit on the out route, he wouldn't be able to get separation, and he would never require a double-team. In the end, the latter proved to be the correct analysis.

I haven't done a study in a few years, but for several years from about 2003-2007 I documented the average forty times from the Combine. WR's and CB's at that time were averaging around 4.45-4.48 depending on the year. So when you get a guy who is running a 4.6 or above, it really doesn't matter how you want to cut it...he is slow and slow doesn't win in the NFL anymore.

So my take on it is this...if Alshon Jeffery runs in the 4.6's, I don't care how good he is at everything else. He is too slow be a game-changing WR in the NFL, and I don't believe he will be anything special.
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:49 PM    (permalink
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Another report on next weeks most anticipated 40 yard dash


Aaron Wilson @RavensInsider

Hearing that South Carolina WR Alshon Jeffery has actually lost weight down to 217 to 220 and hopes to run in 4.5 range at combine We'll see
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:06 AM    (permalink
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Another report on next weeks most anticipated 40 yard dash


Aaron Wilson @RavensInsider

Hearing that South Carolina WR Alshon Jeffery has actually lost weight down to 217 to 220 and hopes to run in 4.5 range at combine We'll see

Jeezus.

Never a good sign when a WR drops roughly 20 pounds below their playing weight in college.

I don't think Alshon realizes if he shows up at the combine weighing under 220# it's still going to hurt his draft stock because anyone with half a brain will know the anorexic looking WR he appears to be at the combine will gain 20# of water/fat before his first minicamp.

A skill position player isn't supposed to have 20# to lose before the NFL combine.smh
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Old 02-20-2012, 02:35 AM    (permalink
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Jeezus.

Never a good sign when a WR drops roughly 20 pounds below their playing weight in college.

I don't think Alshon realizes if he shows up at the combine weighing under 220# it's still going to hurt his draft stock because anyone with half a brain will know the anorexic looking WR he appears to be at the combine will gain 20# of water/fat before his first minicamp.

A skill position player isn't supposed to have 20# to lose before the NFL combine.smh
He was 230 this year, 10-13 pound lost. Maybe he just lost some fat.
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:06 AM    (permalink
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I think Alshon was closer to 235-240# than he was 230# last season. No way to know for sure.
I still contend an in shape skill position player shouldn't have 10+# to lose before the combine.
Guys like Calvin Johnson GAINED weight before the combine through intensive lifting and pre-test ballistic speed training, which is more in line with what I would expect for a college WR.

I imagine Jeffery is going to look like a scrawny mess at under 220# since he isn't the most naturally muscular person to begin with.
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:44 AM    (permalink
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The problem I have with Jeffrey in the NFL doesn't have a lot to do with his 40 yard dash. If he runs a really slow time it shows he's not dedicated to his craft. But if he runs anything between 4.5 and 4.6 it doesn't clear much up for me.

He is a big, strong WR with good hands. He will win jump balls against most CBs. But he doesn't have the explosion in his cuts to run crisp routes. The fact that he is a long strider is a negative IMO. Long striders normally have to take extra, choppy steps going into their breaks. This gives CBs an advantage and allows them to break on the ball.

To be fair to Jeffrey if he beats press coverage to the inside on quick throws he should make the catch 99% of the time. He can use his massive frame to shield the ball on slants etc.

However he won't be someone who can run the full route tree.

He doesn't have the speed to scare teams running go routes. Safeties won't have to sit 25 yards deep just to defend Jeffrey.

He doesn't have the explosion in his hips to be effective at running dig routes and comebacks. Due to this he ends up rounding out his routes and against NFL DBs that won't cut it.

He has a chance to be effective against off coverage where QBs can get him the ball quickly and he can use his strength to gain extra yards. He should also be a monster in the red zone. However I just don't see him being a real #1 WR in the NFL. Everything he benefits from in a size and strength perspective he loses from a mobility stand point. I wouldn't want to use a high-mid first round pick on a WR who needs to be put in the right situation to be effective.
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Old 02-24-2012, 02:03 PM    (permalink
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Weighed in at 216lb. Let's see how he runs. I love the site Scott. But, in the podcast you talked about him you were convinced he was 248 and ran a 4.88 forty. Don't be so quick to pass unsubstantiated rumors as facts.
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Old 02-24-2012, 02:40 PM    (permalink
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I don't think him weighing 216 will matter one bit. Scouts/GMs aren't stupid -- they'll inquire with coaches and people around him why he was so big in college and they'll get a lot of info about his work ethic, etc. These teams know kids will do whatever it takes to make an impression at the combine and that it's not really who they are.

The 40 meter will be big for him, too.
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Old 02-24-2012, 02:49 PM    (permalink
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I don't think him weighing 216 will matter one bit. Scouts/GMs aren't stupid -- they'll inquire with coaches and people around him why he was so big in college and they'll get a lot of info about his work ethic, etc. These teams know kids will do whatever it takes to make an impression at the combine and that it's not really who they are.

The 40 meter will be big for him, too.
Yeah coming in maybe 20lbs under your playing weight will actually raise more questions than alleviate them.

It all depends how explosive and strong he looks. If he can get in and out of his breaks better now then I see him climbing, but teams will make it clear that he needs to stay below 220lbs.
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Old 02-24-2012, 04:58 PM    (permalink
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I don't think him weighing 216 will matter one bit. Scouts/GMs aren't stupid -- they'll inquire with coaches and people around him why he was so big in college and they'll get a lot of info about his work ethic, etc. These teams know kids will do whatever it takes to make an impression at the combine and that it's not really who they are.

The 40 meter will be big for him, too.
It most definitely will. They had questions about his work ethic, but now they can also see that he can get down to a lower weight which is what most would have been interested. It doesn't completely erase work ethic questions, but it is most certainly a positive to some degree in every scouts mind. No one could possibly question his work ethic/weight, and see this and not view it as a plus, even if not necessarily a permanent plus.

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Yeah coming in maybe 20lbs under your playing weight will actually raise more questions than alleviate them.
I don't see how. There were numerous questions about what Alshon's work ethic was, was his weight healthy, could he lose weight. He clearly can be motivated into losing weight, so there's one question down. And I don't see what question would stem from losing weight that wasn't already being asked.
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:09 PM    (permalink
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I'd be interested to know if he was a soft 217. I bet he was.
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:24 PM    (permalink
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I'd be interested to know if he was a soft 217. I bet he was.
MEHbe it is but like even you said after the weight reports, it's all about the time right now. The weight, how it looks, how he carries it doesn't really matter if he can run a good time.
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:39 PM    (permalink
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MEHbe it is but like even you said after the weight reports, it's all about the time right now. The weight, how it looks, how he carries it doesn't really matter if he can run a good time.

Agreed, I'm just curious as to how he cut it the weight. I saw the article (that I believe you posted), but I'm willing to wager he's not at all a "physical specimen" if you will. Probably some old wrestling tricks and deficit cut methods at play.
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:41 PM    (permalink
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I'll see your newfound 'work ethic' for Alshon Jeffery because he lost almost 20# before the combine and I'll raise you the best set of man bewbs to ever grace Tuscaloosa...



Losing weight before the combine doesn't represent a good work ethic.
Being in peak condition for your position is a sign of a player's work ethic.
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Old 02-24-2012, 06:47 PM    (permalink
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I want to see what Jeffery looks like.

If he's really dropped 15 pounds of fat (because he himself admits to being 230 at South Carolina last season), that's impressive. I'd still want to know why he was fat during the season.

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Losing weight before the combine doesn't represent a good work ethic.
Being in peak condition for your position is a sign of a player's work ethic.
100% agree.
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:10 PM    (permalink
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**Devils Advocate** What if he's just one of those guys whos body needs round the clock dietary structure? Is that a good thing? No. Could it mean that all he needed was to be on a professional diet. Yes.

No ones ever said, outright, that the guy was lazy at SC, right? I doubt he was poundin' twinkies.
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Old 02-25-2012, 08:46 AM    (permalink
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He weighs in at 6'2 and a half, 216. That's not even that big, compared to other guys. There goes any talks that he has amazing size for a receiver. He hurt himself, IMO.
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Old 02-25-2012, 08:54 AM    (permalink
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He weighs in at 6'2 and a half, 216. That's not even that big, compared to other guys. There goes any talks that he has amazing size for a receiver. He hurt himself, IMO.
TO is the most physical receiver of the past decade and he was 6'3 225. Anquan Boldin is probably second, and he's 6'1 225. I fail to see how Jeffery weighing in at 216 is a bad thing for him. He's still a very large, extremely physical WR, and now it appears he has a legit chance at a 4.5.
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Old 02-25-2012, 09:23 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by A Perfect Score View Post
TO is the most physical receiver of the past decade and he was 6'3 225. Anquan Boldin is probably second, and he's 6'1 225. I fail to see how Jeffery weighing in at 216 is a bad thing for him. He's still a very large, extremely physical WR, and now it appears he has a legit chance at a 4.5.
You're probably right, it's just a stigma thing for me. 6'2 216, just doesn't seem big. When all of us on NFLDC classify receivers as big or strong, they're above 6'3, 220 pounds, 90% of the time.

Boldin and TO both now have 10 pounds on Jeffrey now, it seems as if he may have lost some of that muscle (or fat, really unable for me to fairly determine)

I'm sure he is very physical and strong, but he's not that large anymore. I hope he benches so we get a rough estimate. If he can't put up 18-20 reps, I think a major red flag goes up.
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Old 02-25-2012, 09:40 AM    (permalink
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I sound like I don't like Jeffery.
If my team drafted the guy I would still expect him to become the starting #2 WR and be highly productive, especially in the redzone. He's a competitive guy on the football field which I like.
I just don't think he's an elite prospect who should go in the first 20 picks.

I thought Jeffery was 6'2 3/4?? That's 6'3 for general purposes. You put him next to a guy who's 6'3 on the nose and there's no difference to the naked eye.
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:32 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Jimmy View Post
You're probably right, it's just a stigma thing for me. 6'2 216, just doesn't seem big. When all of us on NFLDC classify receivers as big or strong, they're above 6'3, 220 pounds, 90% of the time.

Boldin and TO both now have 10 pounds on Jeffrey now, it seems as if he may have lost some of that muscle (or fat, really unable for me to fairly determine)

I'm sure he is very physical and strong, but he's not that large anymore. I hope he benches so we get a rough estimate. If he can't put up 18-20 reps, I think a major red flag goes up.
He's 6'3, not 6'2. And I fully expect his playing weight between 220 and 230, he's just down around 216 now to prove the weight issues were overblown and run himself a nice 40. Rest assured, he's a solid 6'3 225 in the NFL, and it will play just fine with NFL CBs. At least I think so. I could just be getting fooled by the overwhelming dominance of his SO season.
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:53 AM    (permalink
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He's 6'3, not 6'2. And I fully expect his playing weight between 220 and 230, he's just down around 216 now to prove the weight issues were overblown and run himself a nice 40. Rest assured, he's a solid 6'3 225 in the NFL, and it will play just fine with NFL CBs. At least I think so. I could just be getting fooled by the overwhelming dominance of his SO season.
Not to split hairs, but he's closer to 6'2 1/2 than he is 6'3. Regardless of my nitpickyness, i just see the numbers 602_ and it really doesn't matter how close that last number is to a 9, it doesn't come across as a "big" receiver to me. Just an above average one. If you're right about his playing weight then he has an upper hand getting off the line. Now if he sucks in the vertical, like less than 37", THEN his height advantage really gets reduced. I think he can jump, though.
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:55 AM    (permalink
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Larry Fitz was the exact same height at the combine (6027) and I would consider him a big WR. Let's not pretend that Alshon's playing weight will be 216 either.
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Old 02-25-2012, 11:05 AM    (permalink
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Larry Fitz was the exact same height at the combine (6027) and I would consider him a big WR.
This is true, and this is also why I post on this board. Good way to look at it.
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Old 02-25-2012, 02:46 PM    (permalink
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...Alshon Jeffery will have absolutely no problem with height and jump balls in the league. If anything, that will be his saving grace as a receiver. Questioning his weight and speed is legitimate, now questioning his height and leaping ability is laughable.
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