Archive for the ‘Feeling the Draft’ Category

derek carr2

For scouts and general managers, bloodlines connect the dots when it comes to studying NFL draft prospects. Bloodlines are factored heavily in the process, using it to minimize the risk of drafting a bad prospect. When New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning entered the 2004 draft, teams analyzed him with Peyton’s throwing ability in mind. They naturally believed that Eli shared some traits with Peyton, making him a possible slam-dunk of a prospect. Now 10 years later, they’re connecting dots yet again, but in a reverse way — they’re hoping Derek Carr isn’t like David.

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Kyle Fuller2

It’s the short side of the field where Virginia Tech cornerbacks have made their money. They call it the boundary. When the ball is on either hash, the cornerback will line up in the boundary and cover from there. There’s not much of this in the NFL because the ball is always positioned in the middle of the field, but for the Hokies, it speaks to a cornerback’s quality. In Kyle Fuller’s case, there’s been plenty of speaking prior to the 2014 NFL Draft.

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benjamin2

It’s second-and-nine, and Kelvin Benjamin is the second receiver from the sideline in a twins set. He’s facing off coverage from the Florida Gators defense and is given a cushion of more than a half dozen yards. The Seminoles need to pick up meaningful yardage on this play, so they’ve called a flood concept that’ll require Benjamin to run a 12-yard corner or sail route toward the sideline.

At the snap, he stems vertically, going the necessary dozen yards before his left foot hits the ground once more and he turns left, shifting his body at a 45-degree angle towards the sideline. Simultaneously, quarterback Jameis Winston rolls out of the pocket and targets him for the strike downfield. After a long windup that drops the ball near his hip, Winston heaves it over a flat defender’s outstretched arm and straight into Benjamin’s hands. With room to concentrate, Benjamin allows the ball to hit his hands and looks away, never tucking it in his armpit like a receiver’s supposed to do. After some hard steps and juggling, the ball rolls onto the Gainesville grass and Benjamin throws a right handed punch through the air in frustration . . .

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calvin pryor2

The moderately thick dreads bush out the back of his helmet and lie on his jersey, covering his name’s stitching before reaching the top of the No. 25. His bulging arms are creased at the elbows, while his long legs are bent at his knees more than a dozen yards from the line of scrimmage. From a bird’s-eye view, he looks like Bob Sanders, the former Indianapolis Colts safety. A close-up when the play begins reveals more — that Calvin Pryor plays like him too.

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Your 2013 mock drafts!

Robert Woods and Matt Barkley , friends forever.

That’s a wrap folks. After all the draft profiles, hearsay and speculation, and draft reviews, we’re finally beginning to close the books on the 2012 NFL Draft.

I know, we’re scared too. For draftniks, this process is quite depressing. Thankfully, GLS is here to help fuel your dependency and slowly ween you off your addiction, as contributor Alen Dumonjic will continue his analysis of individual picks. And for the mock draft obsessed, we’ve got one more round of baseless speculation that will almost certainly be irrelevant in a matter of weeks. It’s your 2013 mock draft round up!

SI – Andrew Perloff Fox Sports – Peter Schrager
1. Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas 1. Matt Barkley, QB, USC
2. Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M 2. Jarvis Jones, DE/OLB, Georgia
3. David Amerson, CB, NC State 3. Sam Montgomery, DE/OLB, LSU
4. Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee 4. Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas
5. Robert Woods, WR, USC 5. Robert Woods, WR, USC
6. Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU 6. D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
7. Xavier Rhodes, CB, FSU 7. David Amersen, CB, NC State
8. Matt Barkley, QB, USC 8.Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee
9. Barrett Jones, OT, Alabama 9. Kawaan Short, DT, Purdue
10. Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia 10. Shariff Floyd, DT, Florida
The Big Lead – Jason McIntyre ESPN – Todd McShay
1. Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee 1. Star Lotulelei, NT, Utah
2. Jarvis Jones, LB, Georgia 2. Ricky Wagner, OT, Wisconsin
3. Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah 3. Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas
4. Matt Barkley, QB, USC 4. Robert Woods, WR, USC
5. Robert Woods, WR, USC 5. D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
6. Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State 6. Matt Barkley, QB, USC
7. Seantrel Henderson, OL, Miami 7. Keenan Allen, WR, California
8. Barkevious Mingo, LB/DE, LSU 8. Jarvis Jones, DE/OLB, Georgia
9. Chase Thomas, LB, Stanford 9. Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
10. Kawann Short, Purdue 10. Sam Montgomery, DE/OLB, LSU
Walter Football  Mocking The Draft
1. Matt Barkley, QB, USC  1. Matt Barkley, QB, USC
2. Sam Montgomery, DE/OLB, LSU  2. Robert Woods, WR, USC
3. Robert Woods, WR, USC  3. Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
4. D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama  4. Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas
5. David Amerson, CB, N.C. State  5. Star Lotulelei, DE/NT/DT, Utah
6. Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech  6. Kawaan Short, DT, Purdue
7. Johnathan Hankins, NT, Ohio State  7. Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
8. Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU  8. Johnathan Hankins, DT/NT, OSU
9. Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas  9. Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma
10. Keenan Allen, WR, California  10. Jarvis Jones, DE/OLB, Georgia

A few thoughts:

  • A Quarterback will almost certainly go first overall, as that’s happened eight out of the last ten years. This makes McShay’s choice of DT Star Lotulelei as his first overall pick pretty interesting. The Utah product is gargantuan, measuring out at 6’4 and 325 pounds. The Tongan shared the 2012 Morris Trophy for best lineman with Matt Kalil.
  • Unless his legs and/or arms implode, Matt Barkley will go very high. Taking the dangerous ‘return to school’ route is a risk, but I ask you this: would you want to leave Southern California for Minnesota?
  • Many have rated Robert Woods as the best wide receiver prospect since Calvin Johnson. A load of expectations will accompany that, but I think this guy will be alright…
  • Tyler Wilson, Tyler Bray, and Landry Jones will be the benefactors of the annual overvaluing quarterback fest. So many Tylers, not enough Devangs (India excluded).
  • Tyrann Mathieu, he of the most insufferable nickname created in recent memory, will be one to keep an eye on as NCAA action gets underway in a few months. While he’s a great athlete, Mathieu’s size may be of concern considering the prevalence of giants at the wide receiver position.

There you have it. Projecting the first round a year from the draft is somewhat educated guesswork at best, but it does give you an idea of who to look out for on Saturdays this year. Now if you’ll excuse me I’ll be crying in the darkest of corners. Miss you, Mel.

Draft Review: NFC West

Seattle's Russell Wilson pick was, well, interesting.

The NFL Draft has come and gone. No more mock drafts, no more profiles, and no more hearsay and speculation. Naturally, that means it’s time to milk the draft until training camp, because the next three months of the offseason make us feel scared and cold. This week we’re going through the divisions and taking a look at how each team did after the first round. Our final stop, the NFC West. 

Arizona Cardinals

3 – Jamell Fleming, CB, Oklahoma

4 – Bobby Massie, OT, Mississippi

5 – Senio Kelemete, OG, Washington

6 – Justin Bethel, DB, Presbyterian

6 – Ryan Lindley, QB, San Diego State

7 – Nate Potter, OT, Boise State

Favorite Pick(s): While I’m a fan of the Michael Floyd pick, the rest of the Cardinals’ draft is unimpressive. Bobbie Massie was a good pick in the fourth round. He’s huge (6’6, 314 pounds) and possesses the quick feet that could one day seen him transition to left tackle.

The Cardinals added to their offensive line in the seventh with Nate Potter. Another high-value pick, Potter started for three years at Boise State, and the Cards likely will develop him slowly.

Jamell Fleming has trouble with physical receivers at the line of scrimmage, something almost every wideout will pick on at the next level. Justin Bethel has the size scouts love as a corner, but he faced pretty weak competition at Presbyterian, and it’ll take him a considerable time to adjust to the pros.

San Francisco 49ers

2 – LaMichael James, RB, Oregon

4 – Joe Looney, OG, Wake Forest

5 – Darius Fleming, OLB, Notre Dame

6 – Trenton Robinson, S, Michigan State

6- Jason Slowey, C, Western Oregon

7 – Cam Johnson, OLB, Virginia

Favorite Pick(s): I have to question the LaMichael James pick in the second round, because after picking up Brandon Jacobs during free agency the 49ers are pretty stocked at running back. But he could be used in the return game since Kyle Williams has probably lost that job after the debacle in the playoffs.

Cam Johnson inexplicably fell to the seventh round after putting up great numbers in Virginia’s 4-3 defense. There are questions regarding how well his size will translate in terms of position at the next level. Johnson has also been criticized for taking plays off.

Seattle Seahawks

2 – Bobby Wagner, LB, Utah State

3 – Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin

4 – Robert Turbin, RB, Utah State

4 – Jaye Howard, DT, Florida

5 – Korey Toomer, OLB, Idaho

6 – Jeremy Lane, CB, Northwestern State

6 – Winston Guy, S, Kentucky

7 – J.R. Sweezy, DE, North Carolina State

7 – Greg Scruggs, DL, Louisville

Favorite Pick(s): The Seahawks may have the most interesting draft class this year. After signing Matt Flynn to a three-year deal during free agency, the Hawks selected Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson in the third round. The pick sets up an uncomfortable three way “competition” (I have my doubts) between Flynn, Wilson, and Tarvaris Jackson.

Jon Gruden and Mel Kiper had a memorable spat over the pick that featured Wilson watching the whole thing go down on camera. Wilson was one of the participants in Gruden’s excellent Quarterback Camp. The former coach loves him some Russell Wilson…

St. Louis Rams

2 – Brian Quick, WR, Appalachian State

2 – Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama

2 – Isaiah Pead, RB, Cincinnati

3 – Trumaine Johnson, DB, Montana

4 – Chris Givens, WR, Wake Forest

5 – Rokevious Watkins, OG, South Carolina

6 – Greg Zuerlein, K, Missouri Western

7 – Aaron Brown, OLB, Hawaii

7 – Daryl Richardson, RB, Abilene Christian

Favorite Pick(s): We end with my favorite draft class of 2012. Jeff Fisher took a group of talented but troubled players throughout the draft. By trading down repeatedly he built an arsenal of picks that will greatly contribute to the rebuilding of the Rams. Janoris Jenkins has the ability to be the best cornerback from this draft, while Brian Quick  and Chris Givens  provide Sam Bradford with the kind of targets he dearly missed last year.

Trumaine Johnson should challenge Jenkins for the highly-coveted title of most talented player with red flags to emerge from the 2012 draft. At 6’2″, Johnson has the size and cover skills to be a play maker in his rookie season.

Draft Review: AFC West

Brock Osweiler will be Peyton Manning's successor in Denver.

The NFL Draft has come and gone. No more mock drafts, no more profiles, and no more hearsay and speculation. Naturally, that means it’s time to milk the draft until training camp, because the next three months of the offseason make us feel scared and cold. This week we’re going through the divisions and taking a look at how each team did after the first round. Up next, the AFC West.

Denver Broncos

2 – Derek Wolfe, DT, Cincinnati

2 – Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona State

3 – Ronnie Hillman, RB, San Diego State

4 – Omar Bolden, CB, Arizona State

4 – Philip Blake, C, Baylor

5 – Malik Jackson, DE, Tennessee

6 – Danny Trevathan, OLB, Kentucky

Favorite Pick(s): Expectations in Denver are high after the Broncos sacrificed God’s direct relative for Peyton Manning. John Elway and company had to address the defensive tackle position early, and they did with the selection of Derek Wolfe in the second round. The Broncos also selected Manning’s successor, Brock Osweiler, in the second round. The Arizona State product’s lack of a consistent delivery could be troublesome, but he won’t be rushed in his position as the quarterback of the future behind Manning.

The Broncos got excellent value late in the draft. Oweiler’s teammate,  Omar Bolden is a fast cornerback who possesses above average return skills. He missed the entire 2011 season with a torn ACL.

Canadian Philip Blake hopes to follow Danny Watkins’ path, and he”ll provide depth behind third-year starter J.D Walton.

Kansas City Chiefs

2 – Jeff Allen, OG, Illinois

3 – Donald Stephenson, OT, Oklahoma

4 – Devon Wylie, WR, Fresno State

5 – DeQuan Menzie, DB, Alabama

6 – Cyrus Gray, RB, Texas A&M

7 – Jerome Long, DE, San Diego State

7 – Junior Hemingway, WR, Michigan

Favorite Pick(s): GLS contributor Alen Dumonjic profiled Chiefs first-round pick Dontari Poe a few days ago. The Chiefs did well to stockpile talent after round one. Jeff Allen and Donald Stephenson continue the youthful trend for an offensive line that could be the youngest in the league if Allen unseats incumbent Ryan Lilja as a starter.

Devon Wylie has all the tools to be an impact slot receiver for the Chiefs in the mould of Wes Welker.  I’ve watched a lot of Wolverines football in my time, which is why I was surprised to see Junior Hemingway fall to the seventh round. Less of a wide receiver and more of an H-Back, Hemingway has dependable hands and a knack for making big plays.

Oakland Raiders

3 – Tony Bergstrom, OG, Utah

4 – Miles Burris, OLB, San Diego State

5 – Jack Crawford, DE, Penn State

5 – Juron Criner, WR, Arizona

6 – Christo Bilukidi, DT, Georgia State

7 – Nathan Stupar, OLB, Penn State

Favorite Pick(s): The Raiders didn’t have many picks to work with this year (or any year for that matter) thanks to their deal with the devil – trading for Carson Palmer. Jack Crawford had a run in with Penn State campus police after authorities found some illegal things in his apartment. Crawford has the length and reach to pat down passes, which could make him a valuable third down contributor.

The Raiders may have bagged themselves a steal with  Juron Criner in the fifth round. He doesn’t possess the speed of his fellow Raider wide receivers, but he can work the middle of the field as a possession target.

The Raiders selected Canadian Christo Bilukidi in the sixth round. The Ottawa native has carved an interesting road to the NFL.

San Diego Chargers

2 – Kendall Reyes, DE, Connecticut

3 – Brandon Taylor, S, Louisiana State

4 – Ladarius Green, TE, Louisiana-Lafayette

5 – Johnnie Troutman, OG, Penn State

7 – David Molk, C, Michigan

7 – Edwin Baker, RB, Michigan State

Favorite Pick(s): The Chargers stole Melvin Ingram with the eighteenth pick in the first round. Much of the pre draft speculation had San Diego targeting a trade in to secure the services of either Mark Barron or Stephon Gilmore. They addressed their need at defensive back with LSU Safety Brandon Taylor. While Taylor is a capable in-the-box tackler, his cover skills are less than average. Luckily for the Chargers, teammate Eric Weddle is one of the better all around safeties in the league.

I was shocked to see David Molk  fall to the second round. It continues to amaze me how undervalued centers are in the draft. Molk won the Rimington Trophy, awarded to the top Center in the country. An injury during Michigan’s Sugar Bowl appearance may explain how a player of his caliber slid so far.