The Chicago Bears raised some eyebrows on the first day of the draft when they selected Oregon offensive lineman Kyle Long with their No. 20 overall pick. It was a surprise to some, those who immediately called it a “reach” without understanding the thought process behind it. General manager Phil Emery did a thorough press conference detailing why the organization liked Long, citing his versatility and athleticism. Along with those two traits, Long also brings upside to the team, creating a combination that all GMs look for in their first-round picks.
Posted by Alen Dumonjic under Chicago Bears, The Tape Never Lies on May 01, 2013
Posted by Alen Dumonjic under The Tape Never Lies on Apr 30, 2013
For so many years, the Pittsburgh Steelers have been viewed as something of a gold standard in the NFL. Right now, though, it seems like there’s a dent in the Steel Curtain that’s actually big enough to cause its fans to worry.
There are philosophical questions with the coaching staff, particularly offensive coordinator Todd Haley and his questionable play calling, and the roster is quickly aging. The latter could mean that the team might be ready to rely on young players to start games and make plays, which is out of the ordinary in Pittsburgh. And unless the coaching staff does an excellent job scheming and putting them in position to succeed, it could also mean that the team could take another step back this upcoming season.
One player who will likely be asked to make big plays is wide receiver Markus Wheaton. He was drafted in the third round out of Oregon State and the team likes him quite a bit, especially Haley. Following the selection, the frizzy-haired Haley described the Wheaton as “a pretty versatile, good, polished football player at the receiver position.” He also said that Wheaton could play inside or outside of the formation, while in comparison, the now departed Mike Wallace is primarily an outside receiver.
Posted by Alen Dumonjic under 2013 NFL draft, The Tape Never Lies on Apr 25, 2013
Besides having a great name, Barkevious Mingo also has great upside. He is raw, long, heavy-handed and he has very good intangibles, according to many reports. The latter alone gives him as likely of a chance to maximize his potential as anyone else. Questions still persist, however, about his on-field performance from his final season.
The raw data shows 4.5 sacks for Mingo last season, a 2.5 regression from the previous (he had seven sacks in 2011). That’s concerning for many because typically pass-rushers who sack the quarterback in college end up sacking quarterbacks in the NFL. If he doesn’t sack college quarterbacks, then who’s to say he will sack them in the pros?
Posted by Alen Dumonjic under 2013 NFL draft, The Tape Never Lies on Apr 24, 2013
One of the oddest rises during the draft process has been Alabama right tackle D.J. Fluker’s. Fluker is massive and has the measurables that scouts covet. He’s 6’5″, 339 pounds and has 36 3/4″ long arms. There’s not many people on this planet with that kind of size and length, so in a way, his rise to nearly the top of the draft makes some sense. But then when you watch him play, it doesn’t make too much sense at all.
Posted by Alen Dumonjic under 2013 NFL draft, The Tape Never Lies on Apr 23, 2013
One of the biggest unknowns in the draft is how a player’s body will hold up in the NFL. In a business that general managers and scouts look to have answers for every question about incoming players, health is the incomplete box on scouting reports. They document height, weight, and past injuries, but those can’t always predict the future.
One big hit can lead to one big snap. That’s partly why teams still hesitate to draft smaller players — hence the height and weight standards. As a consequence, they miss out on longtime NFL players that sustain few major injuries in their career.
In this year’s draft, general managers are likely asking if West Virginia’s Tavon Austin could be another such longtime player who can stay relatively healthy. His tiny frame (5’8″, 174 pounds) doesn’t suggest it, and neither does his position of slot receiver. More often than not, slot receivers take a beating regardless of their size. See the 5’9″, 185-pound Wes Welker and the 6’4″, 225-pound Marques Colston as examples. Both have taken a beating in the pros, but both also have something in common: they’re not explosive players.
Posted by Alen Dumonjic under Darrelle Revis, The Tape Never Lies on Apr 22, 2013
The word elite gets thrown around a lot in the NFL. It’s questionable what the benchmark for it is nowadays, as it seems to change every year as more players are added. But if there is one, Darrelle Revis has set it.
Posted by Alen Dumonjic under 2013 NFL draft, The Tape Never Lies on Apr 19, 2013
Margus Hunt is unlike other prospects — he’s older. He’ll be 26 years old this July, making him the oldest prospect in this year’s draft class. You can tell his maturity by his interviews, which was obvious when he talked with NFL Network following his impressive showing at the NFL Scouting Combine. He was cool and calm while telling his fascinating journey to the sport of football.
You can also tell his age by his Twitter account. While many young prospects tweet about their fresh new shoes and how hard their working in the gym, he tweets about his new “double up” windshield wipers. It’s that kind of life for Hunt.