With The 48th Pick, in the 2012 NFL Draft, The New England Patriots Select ...
with links to my Pats Draft Blog and Player Ratings.
PICKS 1-11- Review
PICKS 12-22- Review
PICKS 23-32- Review
PICKS 33-48- Review
PICKS 49-63- Review
My Picks: (O)- Official (4.)- Unofficial 40
WR Appalachian ST
6-3.5, 220 (4.48-4.53)
4.23 SS, 7.10 3-C,
34" Vert, 9'11 Broad,
Key F.A. Signed:
Key F.A. Lost:
Brandon Lloyd WR
Justin Bannan DT
Jason Brown OC
Ron Bartell CB
The Team: I love this pick. They stuck to their board and they took the guy they had rated as a First Round talent and a steal in the 2nd Round. It's funny, I've been studying the Draft for a long time, but this makes it 3 for 3. Three straight years the team that picked first on Day Two didn't trade the pick. Back in the olden days when the First Day of the Draft ended, it was the 4th Round. That first pick in the forth Round became the priciest commodity in the Draft. Teams over paid every year to get that guy that had rated as a First Round pick who still somehow miraculously on the board. Now-a-days, Teams go home and reboot their board, and by-golly is the team sittin' there first aft' Day One don't say hey, "we's ain't givin' up this-here feller-here for nothin'."
“We jumped up and down last night when the draft was over," Fisher said about realizing Quick was still available and they had the First pick on Day Two. "There was no doubt in our mind. I wouldn’t let him take a phone call, nor would he let me take a phone call.” They had no intention of trading this pick at all.
rang a little bit," Fisher said about other teams calling to trade
up. "But it wasn’t worth it. Nobody was home.” This
was reason the analysis that they wanted Blackmon or Floyd is straight
wrong. Teams always target players at need positions in the 2nd and 3rd Rounds
so they don't have to fill that need in the First.
The Rams WRs were so bad last year, getting Quick at the top of the 2nd Round is just to good to pass up. They worked him out and loved everything about him. “I came up here on my visit, I had formed a bond with these coaches," Quick said on his introduction day. "Then they came up on the visit. I wasn’t really expecting all of them to be there, but when I saw them I was very surprised. I was happy. I wanted to go out there and show them that I can compete and I wanted to be a Ram, so I went out there and impressed them.” Fisher and Quick hit it off right away. The develop a rapport with each other that a most coaches and players don't ever see. They even had their own little private thing with each other in the press conference:
them about the post route," Fisher said with a smile like he was
revealing an inside joke.
was (QB Kellen) Clemens," Fisher said like a proud father.
"He’s still catching grief from it. I mean, you figure it’s a
25-30 minute workout and he’s breathing heavy and we’re going to
finish with a post, knowing that this is the last one. And it was a
great route and he’s 45 yards down the field and that ball hit about
20 yards down the field and dropped straight down. You thought we were
going to make you do it again, didn’t you?”
So unlike in the Olden' days. Teams see that player they can't resist and they take him. They stick to their board and don't trade the top pick on Day two, not for nothin'.
The Player: Quick was a very productive WR as a small school that has shown some history of producing NFL players. Much bigger than I thought. I like how he ran patterns at the Senior Bowl. He has garnered over 202 receptions, 3,418 yards, and 31 TDs. That is very impressive even at Appalachian ST. Showed nice hands as well. I like how he snags the ball out of the air. Very fast hands and can snap them in place with amazing quickness when he sees the ball late. He is really moving up the charts and will not escape the 2nd round. He has big strong hands, long arms, and real nice size, and has that knack for getting up over everyone and snagging the ball in the air. Terrific body control when going up for the ball. I think a lot of teams are going to forget his small school status and are thinking of snagging him early. I’m not sure the Bills can pass on him at 41. Plays faster than his forty time at the Combine. He has everything you want in a WR prospect expect exceptional experience against top competition. I really like how he ran deep patterns at Appalachian ST, and I really liked how he run the short stuff at the Senior Bowl. Plus, I thought he looked as big and athletic at the Combine as any WR not named Hill. There are a lot of teams at the top of the 2nd Round who will look foolish passing on this guy. Makes smooth adjustments to the ball. Catches the ball away from his body so naturally it is nice to see. I thought he was very impressive at the Senior Bowl. He is a speed gut who dominated in the vertical game. At the Senior Bowl he shoed he could run patterns, and get open underneath. He showed steady hands, and that he could cut himself open on short patterns. He really showed well at the Senior Bowl. He impressed the coaches with his smarts and hard work in the film room. Which is so important to him, because he has to show he can take that giant step up to the NFL from the small school program. Struggled early at the Senior Bowl, but the most important thing is that he got better every day in every way, and really impressed the coaches. By game time he was ready to play and had a nice game when he got in. Terrific working underneath in the Slot. He has excellent size and hands. He has good fight in him when he has the ball in his hands. He has nice speed, and a real nice burst off the snap. Gets into patterns quickly, and can really close the cushion for such a big guy. I was really surprised by how big he was at the Senior Bowl.
The Reason: Top player meets top need, and Draft history is repeated for the third straight year. They became a fan of this guy a long time ago. One of the fun things about the Draft is to get excited about the players. I love to hear coaches talk about a player they really like. It is a lot of fun “First of all, you’ve got a big man," Snead said. "He’s tall, 225 pounds, long arms, can catch it. He’s got rare hand-eye coordination, so he can go snatch a ball. He’ll get rebounds for us, but that same big man can cut on a dime and he can get off the ball really fast. I think we worked out a lot of receivers and this guy was as good, or better, than all of them.” They liked everything they saw. They had him rated high in the First Round. They had him over Jeffery, Hill, and Randle. Three guys rated in the First Round by pretty-near everyone at one time or another.
I suppose the only real question is, if Brockers wasn't on the Board at 14, would they have taken Quick? Because this was the guy they planned their whole Draft around. “You know what was interesting, we went to Appalachian State last weekend and we worked him out. We had both of our quarterbacks (Tom) Brandstater and Kellen (Clemens) throw," Fisher Said. "And when we got in the car to head to the airport they said, ‘Wow.’ And I think that’s where we were, too. Les has been to App State how many times?” Les Snead the Rams GM giddily answered, “I’ve seen him live now four. I was in Boone twice this year and at Greenville, South Carolina once this year when they played Furman and saw him at the Combine. So I’ve seen him live four times and Combine can get a little carried away because you have a lot of things going on, but three of the four I know was a, ‘Wow.’ And that was the first time I saw him practice, all the way to last weekend’s workout. I kind of looked at Jeff and we kind of looked at each other and you didn’t really have to say much. We knew what we were thinking.” Whenever I get two "Wow!" on a player I know he is going to be good for a long time.
Key F.A. Signed:
Mike Pollack OC
Tyler Brayton DE
Ryan Diem OG
Phillip Wheeler LB
Jacob Tamme H-B
Key F.A. Lost:
Payton Manning QB
Dan Orlovsky QB
Curtis Painter QB
Joseph Addai RB
Anthony Gonzalez WR
Pierre Garcon WR
Dallas Clark TE
Gary Brackett LB
Melvin Bullitt S
Jeff Saturday OC
The Team: I had this Pick:-
Okay, the Colts will be fools to go any other way but Fleener. You have to do anything you can to make Luck comfortable. I'd take Fleener here and make sure you get Owusu on Day Three. So Luck can learn and throw with two guys he is used to throwing and learning with. Plus, they need a TE. If they makes those moves Luck and Fleener are starting day one, and both have a much better chance of being successful earlier.
“We feel great. Just like I told the players when I first met with them, ‘Every decision we make is based on the team, period – the team, the team, the team.’ Everybody who is involved in this understands that. Some years it just works out that way (eight offensive picks). Coming in here as a defensive coach, I’m sure everybody thought this thing probably would be flipped the other way. That’s just not how it worked out this year. … We filled some needs and created a lot of competition. We brought in a lot of good players, and we have a lot of good players here. Man sharpens man like steel sharpens steel. We’re excited to have them all.” Sorry there are no other quotes, but the Crappy! Colt.Com didn't have any transcripts and their Crappy! media section doesn't work well.
This is such a great pick. Fleener will help Luck transition to the NFL immensely. Even if he does nothing else, he will be a successful pick. Oh by the way, he can play. He has great hands. Luck already knows how, when, and where to throw him the ball. He throws it high, and Fleener is so good good at going up and getting that ball.
The Player: 3/11 Mystery Man, Colby Fleener.
The Team: Fleener is the top talent on the board, and helping Luck get comfortable in his new environment is their top need. There is nothing the better then when top need meets top player.
Second Choice: None
He is so good on 3rd Down. He already has chemistry with his QB. He can force in the Redzone. Plus, he is fast 6-6, 245 pounds guys usually can't run this fast. This is pick is so perfect for some many reasons I can't even mention them all now. The lost Clark and Tamme, and now have a guy who, if he stays healthy, wil be better than one.
OLB Alabama6-1 5/8, 242, 31” Arms,
Key F.A Semi-Signed:
Key Player Lost to Injury:
Terrell Suggs OLB/PR
Cory Redding DE
Ben Grubbs OG
Jameel McClain ILB
Lardarius Webb CB (R)
Jarrett Johnson OLB
Dannell Ellerbe Nickel-LB
Tom Zbikowski S
Andre Gurode OC
Key F.A Lost:
The Team: I love this pick. This is an absolute steal. He and Ingram dropped because of their short arms. Because long arms matter when you are rushing the QB. There are certain requirements teams look for when they make a pick. You have to have a certain minimum speed to play Corner in the NFL. You can't run as fast as me, and play Corner in the NFL. The only guy I remember who became a starter at CB and ran a 4.6 Forty at the Combine recently was Corey Webster, and he improved his speed at his pro day. You have to have a certain minimum speed to play CB in the NFL.
But Upshaw has some guys who can help him. “That’s the exciting thing about it, as well," Upshaw said. "I wanted to play for Ozzie [Newsome] and Coach [John] Harbaugh. But, Ray Lewis is Ray Lewis. As a kid, most of us, I can probably speak for a lot of players, especially on the defensive side, to actually play with Ray Lewis, who you dream of being like him one day, his leadership, him and Ed [Reed] bring, and [Terrell] Suggs, everybody there. It’s already a great organization, but those players there make it even better.” Same with OLT, you cann't play OLT in the NFL if your arms at under 33" long. You just won't see an OLT with short arms. So the same formula applies to passrushers for the same reason. Now, Upshaw has 31" arms. That is a big disadvantage in rushing the passer. You can argue he has everything else you want a rusher to have: heavy hands, great hand fighter, converts speed to power, very smart, string together moves like beads on a necklace, tremendous low base and strength, plays low with tremendous leverage, powerful, and can set the edge and plays the run very well.
“Yes. Obviously, it bolsters our linebacker situation" Harbaugh said. "It gives us one more player in that mix. It allows us to move some guys around a little bit, but Paul [Kruger] is still the lead dog there. He is the veteran guy. It will give us another pass rusher. Courtney will provide great competition. There will certainly, obviously, be tremendous depth. It adds one more guy into the mix in special teams. Obviously, it makes us more physical on defense. We will continue to be physical and stay physical, because that’s the kind of player he is, and both these guys really, offensively and defensively, give us two very physical players.”
But it's a different world in the NFL. Those OLTs are experts at using those long arms to punch and grab shirt. That is a big disadvantage that he has to overcome. The good news is that this looks like the perfect situation for him. This was a hindsight pick. It makes so much sense that it was impossible for me to miss this pick. However, as I have a way of doing, I forgot that Suggs tore his Achilles tendon. Plus, they lost Jarrett Jackson. They have one starting OLB for their 3-4 defense.
Upshaw should come in and grab one easy. He is already an expert in rushing from a two-point stance. He reminds me so much of Terrell Suggs when he rushes it blows my mind. He doesn't just burst off the line, but hops upfield with a blast off the line, and ends up 3 or 4 yards up field, but sideways. Just like Suggs. They rush like they are setting the edge first, and still get to the QB. Then they don't have to try and TTC, because they are already facing the Quarterback. With the loss of those two guys, this pick may have just saved this season.
The Player: “With Courtney, obviously," Ortiz said about the SEC being a big factor. "I favor the Southeastern Conference, so I have seen him for a long time, even though I am an Auburn guy. He is a really explosive player and heavy-handed. He plays hard, and he is versatile. He has played with his hand down and up, so he can stand up on two feet and play and then get down and play in the sub packages as a rusher. I think both guys come from programs where we know the staffs pretty well. Our scouts, when they go in there to talk to the head coaches there and the defensive coordinators, and our coaching staff here knows those guys, so I feel like we know both players really well. I feel like we are pretty solid.”
“Well, I think that’s his specialty," DeCasta said. "That’s one of the things that was so attractive about him. He plays like a junkyard dog. He has a strong punch. He is a physical, violent football player. We’re excited about that. That’s not an easy position to play. A lot of guys can’t do that. A lot of guys can rush the passer, a lot of guys can drop and play in space, but setting the edge is really one of the most important things at that position. We feel this guy can really do that.”
The Reason: He is so great at turning speed to power. He could end up being the sole rusher that takes some heat off of Kruger. “I wasn’t shocked," Upshaw said about the Ravens taking him. "I went into today kind of hoping that I’d be a Baltimore Raven. I can’t do nothing but smile once I got the call. I started the ‘tough-guy’ act going. My family would get teary-eyed. I didn’t want them to see me getting down. Not down, but teary-eyed and crying and all that. Like I said, I’m very excited, and I’m ready to get it going. I’ll actually be there tonight.” And of course they are excited to get these guys. “Just excited to get these two guys," DeCasta said. "We put a lot of time in with both players, looking at both guys. I think they are two players who our scouts are excited about, and certainly, I think, two players that our coaches are very, very excited about too. We had a chance to spend a lot of time with these two guys over the last couple of months in various settings, and we think they are great fits for this football team, and we think they are going to help us moving forward.”
6-5, 295, 33.25" Arms,
33 Reps, S-1.71-1.70
33.5" V, 7.26 3-C!
9'0" Broad, (4.94-5.0),
Key F.A. in Signed:
Jason Hill WR
Payton Manning QB
Joel Dreessen TE
Marcus Thomas DT
Ryan McBean DT (R)
Joe Mays ILB
Wesley Woodyard OLB
Dante Rasario TE
Eddie Royal WR/PR
Brain Dawkins SS
Russ Hochstein OL
Jonathon Whilhite CB
Key F.A. Lost:
Brodrick Bunkley DT
Derrick Harvey DE/OLB
Daniel Fells TE
The Team: I love this pick. I thought Wolfe was easily the most underrated player in this Draft. Elway saw that as well, and when the two guys he wanted went, he traded down to get the guy who wasn't valued as much by other teams. “Everyone else saw the talent that we saw too,” said Elway, Denver’s top decision-maker. “When those guys started going like that, they went in a hurry. We thought we were going to have to get a little bit lucky for them to fall to us anyways. They’re good football players and when they didn’t get to us that gave us the opportunity to start moving back a little bit.”
That was such a great move, I was shocked to here that idiots in Denver were complaining about trading down and getting the guy they wanted and extra picks (Oh wait, that sounds amazingly uncomfortably familiar;-). When you target a guy, they only thing better than having him fall to you is trading back, getting extra players, and still getting him. I have been the champion of this pick. "We're not going to fix this thing overnight. We're not going to fix it with one draft. We still feel like those impact guys are there. And if not there for an impact, they're definitely contributors," Elway said over the whining.
The Reason: Another team that needs fit their position. Or, go for a WR like Wright here as well. However, D-Tackle is also a concern for this Team with Ryan McBean and Marcus Thomas FA, and Bunkley gone, that doesn't leave much in the middle of the D-Line. “When we looked at where we were, obviously we had some guys targeted that didn’t quite make it to us in 25, so we had some opportunities to move back with New England to pick up a fourth. We liked that, thought that was great,” Elway said. "Then, when we had a chance to move back from 31 to 36 with Tampa again, our board looked the same. We thought we’d be able to get the same people at 36 that we could at 31 -- or have the same pool of players there at 36 as we did at 31. By doing that we moved up 25 spots to the top of the fourth, which we really believe this is a deep draft. It’s not real thick at the top, but it’s pretty deep through the middle rounds. We thought by adding another good pick it gives us more options going into tomorrow. Plus, we’ll still be able to get the same people that we had targeted that made it to us at 25 at 36. We’re excited about the day. Obviously it’s a little bit of a downer when you don’t have a new player. But, we’re excited about where we sit and the next two days are going to be exciting.” They had to get help for their interior D-Line. They have to speed guys on the edge. If Wolfe can add some stoutness and push the pocket like he did at Cincy. he dominate at Cincinnati. He didn't just play well, he dominated game after game, week after week, like no other D-Tackle in this Draft. He might not have the size and physical traits of some of the other top D-Tackles, but he was the best college D-Tackle in college last year, production wise.
QB Oklahoma ST
Key F.A. Signed:
D'Qwell Jackson ILB
Oniel Cousins OL
Alex Smith TE
Mike Adams FS
Johns Greco OL
Steve Vallos OL
Artis Hicks OL
Key F.A. Lost:
Eric Wright CB
The Team: I had this Pick:- That makes 10 of the first 14 picks right, and 11 of the first 22 if you count Weeden who I had going to the Brown with this pick. Which means I have correctly forecasted 16 picks so far this Draft.
Colt is clearly in need of help on the O-Line as well. If they don't get an ORT who can step in and play, they may need both QBs and more next season.
another pick I had a Round late. I had the Browns taking Schwartz in the
3rd with pick 67. However, I don't care. I thought he was just the guy
they needed at ORT to protect Weeden/Colt's blindside. He was a beast at
Cal, and then went to the Senior Bowl and showed he could play ORT.
“We ended up drafting today two big, physical, tough guys I think that
are going to help us up front," Shurmur said. "Nothing that
you do in the back end works unless you address the offense and defense
line, so we feel good about that.”
The Player: Schwartz is a real tough kid who just gets the job done. He looks like he can play ORT in the NFL to me. Huge lower base. He has a lot of strength in his legs. Gets low and hits up. Extends arms nicely with power. He seems to do all the little things well. Nice feet moving sideways. He plays so brutal and ugly (and I mean that as a compliment;-) that I thought his feet would look more lumbering at the Combine. He has some suddenness in his shoulders. Transitions from moving forward to sideways nicely. Didn’t quite look as natural moving backwards. Played ORT at the Senior Bowl. Does a real nice job out in space. What he does real well is understand position and how to wall off a guy who is dancing around. Play with consistent meanness, and will jump onto a defender in the pile pretty close to the whistle. Plays with good knee bend and hands up. Terrific blocking down on the D-Tackle. Nice quickness moving laterally to his right. He can hit in run blocking. Gets beat inside to his left sometimes by quickness, but does a good job continuing the fight until the whistle. He can win with second and third effort. Smart blocker who knows when to let the D-End over rush himself out of the play, I like how he will hold his position when his guy slants inside and the play is outside. He will sit and turn and hold his position when his guy is rushing himself out of the play, and then block whichever defender tries to get outside first. I really liked that block. Smart positional blocker. Better feet than given credit. Not elite feet, but he uses his hands, feet, and position so well together that he plays better than his foot speed. He has a nice hop outside move when in at ORT. If he gets a D-Lineman's side on a Seal block to his side. He will drive him into the ground. He loves the mean stuff. Vulnerable to speed to outside, and he knows it. He has heavy hands and is very effective kick stepping, meeting the rusher and giving him a heavy punch. His punch in pass protection takes rusher off their stride. Another guy who impressed at the Senior Bowl. Played OLT at Cal. Nice technique. Plays with his hands up. Keeps his feet moving in pass protection. Not a pretty player, but effective. Lets guys get under his pads sometimes and can get jacked, but can also maintains his balance, and continue to slow rusher down. Turns and blocks the weakside a lot. Sometimes I don’t know what he is doing. I don’t like the way he is coached on offense. They waggle the QB to the left, and have him block down on the DT, and leave the DE unblocked. He leaves the Right D-End unblocked all the time. Then they run behind him and he shoves the guy 3-yards backwards. When he pulls forward and to the left, he too often doesn’t block anybody. He does give a nice chip on the D-End and can slip off the block once the OG has position, but then struggles to hit LB. Not the smoothest Kickstep, but he keeps his hands up and position well. Doesn’t sustain blocks on second level. He can jam the D-End, and keep moving him outside to the sideline on toss plays. He is just has a great punch, but needs to use it more. He can come off the snap and punch the OLB, and knock him backwards, and of course he keeps attacking and punching him backwards 5 or 6 yards down field. I’d like to see him use his heavy hands a lot more.
The Reason: The Browns have a huge hole at ORT.
He can run
block, and protected the QB's blindside for Four years at Cal. “We
was just thought he was a better football player," Heckert said.
"Obviously, that is what we thought or we would have taken the other
guy. He is a big kid, he’s athletic, he played left tackle, he has
played right tackle in the past. He is a very solid guy. He played well at
the senior bowl. He is just a good player.” The offense has now been
completely revamped with their first three picks. They have two very
serious holes. One at RB with the release of one year wonder Payton Hillis,
and at ORT where they had the worst ORT in the NFL last year. “I
think that we have added three players that are going to come in and we
expect them to come in and compete, to start and contribute what we hope
to be immediately," the OC Shurmur said. "We will see how it
plays out, but we’ve got a running back, a quarterback and a right
tackle. I think with some of the changes that were made up front this
year, we felt like we needed to address the right tackle situation. It’s
easy to say you are going to plug him in and play him, but he’s got to
go over there and learn to play right tackle in this league. We think he
can do it. We all know what Trent Richardson brings to the table as a
runner and we’re really impressed with what we saw with Brandon Weeden.
We feel like we got three players that are going to be there for us.” Plus,
I always like to talk about fit and transition for these players. One of
the best players in the Browns offense is Alex Mack, who just happened to
play with Schwartz, and it turns out they are friends. "Yeah we did,
he was all fired up," Heckert said about Alex Mack when they told
him. "Mitchell was talking to us a lot more about Alex than Alex was
talking about Mitchell. They are good friends and they talk whenever Alex
goes back there. Obviously, he had very good things to say about
him." And the transition and fit for Schwartz just got a whole lot
easier, which is good because they are going to need him to start, Day
6-2, 240, 4.4 (U),
WR Notre Dame
Chad Henne QB
Rashean Mathis CB
Dwight Lowery S
William Middleton CB (R)
Matt Roth DE
Guy Whimper OT
CJ Mosley DT
Allen Russell WLB (R)
Leger Douzable DT (R)
The Team: Jags have to get a D-End to help Mincey rush the QB, if they want any chance at all to win their division. Plus, they have a history of taking Senior Bowl hero's.
Branch missed the Senior Bowl to recover from a Hamstring injury. However, he was the guy they wanted all along. I love when the games teams play in the Draft are revealed afterwards. They had no intention of taking a passrusher in the first round, because Branch was the guy they wanted. Their vision of taking him in the Second Round help to facilitate their great trade up for Blackmon. “This is a different body style (than a 3-4 backer), so we didn’t worry about the 3-4 teams in front of us,” McDonough said. “We looked at him strictly as a 4-3 end.” I couldn't agree with him any more. I didn't see him as a 3-4 OLB either. I thought he was a designated rusher in a 4-3, similar to Mark Anderson. A little on the light side, who can't stand up at the Point, but has that speed and agility to Turn the Corner. “There aren’t a lot of guys like that that come along every year,” Mularkey said. “You take an extra hard look at it and if he can be a difference-maker, based on where you are in the draft and what’s been taken in certain spots, then yeah we felt like this was a good pick for us.” One of the hardest things to predict is who a team has targeted in the 2nd and 3rd Rounds. They will ignore their biggest need if they see a guy they can target on Day Two if they think he is the answer. They ignored the D-End in Round One, because of Branch. Then they upgraded the Special Teams in Round Three. That was their plan from the start. "We’ve addressed all three phases of our football team with guys we hope can potentially be difference-makers when it’s all said and done," Gene Smith said. "That’s something they’ve got to earn. It’s something we hope happens but we do feel like we’ve hit three phases in the first three rounds.” You can agree or disagree, but when a team targets three players in the first three Rounds and gets them, that is as good as it gets.
The Player: “He fits what we do. It’s no secret that we had a need for someone who could rush the passer," the Jags' Director of Personnel Terry McDonough said. "He has in the business s what you like to refer to as quick twitch.” I like him more already. He started 27 straight games at the end of his career. Playing the “Bandit” position at Clemson. He had a terrific Senior season with 10.5 sacks, 17 TFL, and 85 Tackles. He was also voted Team Caption. He garnered 17.5 sacks, 33.5 TFL, and 197 tackles in his career. He also apparently had a Hamstrung injury the final month of the season, which is why he looked so bad against the run when I watched him late in the year.
Branch is a pure speed rusher. Doesn’t use his hands well. Speed rusher who struggles with second move. He has to learn to use his hands better and keep OT’s hands off his shirt. I worry about him turning the corner. Ran a 1.56 10-Yard at Combine with jives with what I saw. He blast off the edge and beats the OT to the corner, but then is either stopped and sneaks past him. Cheated a little on the four pad drill. He does have some nice ankle flexion. Nice speed dropping, but doesn't break on the ball very well. Plays a little high in LB drills. High hips moving in the open field.
The Reason: It is easy to see why the Jags wanted him. They need some speed on the edge. “He can close [on the QB],” McDonough said. “He has closing quickness he has violence [in his hands]. He has speed and athleticism on the edge with Andre and I’m very happy to have him in our front.” Plus, it seems that everyone in their organization loved the kid. Form McDonough to the scouts, to the Coaches,. They all saw him as the miss speed the needed to rush the passer. “It’s nice when your coaches desire match up with what the scouts’ wants,” McDonough added.
CB N. Alabama/Florida
5-10, 193, S-1.47, 4.46 (O),
(4.44-4.5), 32” Arms,
10'1"! 33.5" Vert,
WR Appalachian ST
Key F.A. Signed:
Key F.A. in Limbo:
Danny Amendola WR
Chris Chamberlian WLB
Jacob Bell OLG
Tony Wragge OC
Adam Goldberg OT
Key F.A. Lost:
Brandon Lloyd WR
Justin Bannan DT
Jason Brown OC
Ron Bartell CB
They were desperate for help in the secondary. So they took a shot on a guy who did a better job shutting down Julio Jones and AJ Green in 2010 then any other Corner in the SEC. They got a Top ten talent at D-Tackle, their top rated WR, and a guy who should have been a top ten talent at CB. “Definitely. Yes, he has first round talent. I think you can go back to his last season at Florida, watching him cover A.J. Green and Julio Jones, who were both rookies last year, and I think I saw tonight where they were two rookies that were top-100 players in the league now. He did a nice job against those two players, so definitely first-round talent, for sure. That was the reason and one of the reasons, when he’s sitting there at the 39th pick…One of the reasons we did the research for the last two, three, longer than that, extensive last two or three weeks to figure out, hey, if he was sitting there, we’re going to take him.” He has the talent there is no question, but it keeps coming back to character no matter how many ways you put it. “Well, it started with the scouts’ reports," Fisher said. "We did Combine interviews, we had a top-30 visit, we had a member of our organization go down to Florida and spent several days down there, spent time in North Alabama. We talked to many, many, many people that crossed paths with him since he was a young boy growing up in Pahokee, Florida. So we did our work and every person we talked to said, ‘Take him.’” If anybody is complaining about the Rams trading down (and picking up TWO 2nds!), then they don't understand the Draft process. The process is to target players that fit your team, and go and get them. If you can trade down (twice an dpick up a SECOND ROUND PICK each time!), and still get the guys you want: Brockers and Quick, and that allows you take a chance on maybe the best Cover Corner in the Draft, then that is an A+ for anyone brave enough to give Grades on a Draft (which isn't me;-).
The Player: Well, Jenkins thinks he's ready for the NFL. “I feel real great," Jenkins Said. "When I came on my visit, it was one of my favorite visits and so far I’ve been enjoying it. And when he called me yesterday, I just had the biggest smile in the world because I got a nice bond with Coach on my visit and I just felt comfortable.” Jenkins- Character Recovery Speed. The question is, are the Rams ready for him. “They said he’s a great kid. He’s an exceptional football player," Fisher said. "Made a few mistakes in school, obviously has a young family, but he’s got all that stuff under control. We’ve got plans in place and we’re excited about his future here.”
The Reason: Jenkins and Johnson for that matter, are both good tacklers and physical football players. “Well, in our system it is," Fisher said about how important having good tackling cornerbacks is to him. "Systems evolve, but I’d say maybe eight or 10 years ago we put a priority on coverage. But the way the system is now, it’s read, react, and run support. At times, they’ll be involved in a run front. We’ve seen them do it many, many times, on highlight reels there’s big, I mean big hits. So read, react and go fill it. We’ve got some big, physical backs, especially in our division, and both of them are capable of getting them down.” So they will fit into the Rams system. Both kids said they were up to the task of being rough, aggressive tacklers. “Yes, sir," Jenkins said. "I feel like we’re in the right hands, with a great coach, and we’re just ready.” Johnson was also at the Presser. “With that being said, of course," Johnson said. "I take pride in tackling, so tackling won’t be an issue."
OG/OT Midwestern ST
6-3 5/8, 311, 33”Arms,
28 Reps, 31.5" Vert, 7.95 3-C, 4.87 SS, 8'11",
Key F.A. Signed:
Geoff Hangartner OL
Jeremy Shockey TE
Legedu Maanee WR
Antwan Applewhite DE
Omar Gaither LB
Senn Jordan LB
Key F.A. Lost
Dan Connor LB
Geoff Schwarts OL (R)
The Team: Word out of Carolina is that they were on the phone with Branch when the Jags came-ah callin'. So they quickly shifted to Silatolu. He is a terrific prospect. He played at a lower level, and did some things I haven't seen before. “He is a very athletic, aggressive, talented, young linemen who played Left tackle at Midwestern State,” Hurney said. “We think [he] has the skills to move to Guard. He’s got very good feet. He plays with an attitude. He’s coming from Division two, but we think he has all the tools to be a very good linemen in this League.” So they aren't disappointed, they probably just thought they could get him later. And I am not saying this was a bad pick, I just like the little backroom gambling games that go on in the Draft. One minute Branch is a Panther, then next he's not. One minute Silatolu isn't a Panther, the next he is, and there will be nobody more excited than Cam, DeAngelo, and Jonathon. “Very much so,” Rivera said when asked if he thought he could play Left Guard. “We liked what we saw. We saw the athleticism. The physical stop play that he had at Left Tackle. There are a couple of clips you see were he pulls and comes across the formation, as if he was pulling from the Guard position. So you feel real confident about becoming a Left Guard that pulls would be a very natural thing for him. He shows good athleticism to get to the Second level, and get to the Linebacker. So, it’s a little bit of a projection, but you feel very confident because of what you see. And the one thing that I really like, that stands out, is his nasty temperament. You know, when you play at a certain level you should play were you dominate, and he did do that. He dominated the competition. So you feel that at the next level he can be very-very-very competitive.”
The Player: 4/24 Silatolu- Hulk Smash Puny Humans.
The Reason: Panthers have to start loading up on offensive picks to help their young QB. SO getting Silatolu and Joe Adams is a good start. This is a huge piece in protecting Cam, and installing the power running game, which also helps to protect Cam. “You just watch Tape,” Hurney said. “When you put on the Tape of the guy, you can just see. He puts a lotta opponents on the ground. From our Area Scout John Peterson to our national scouts Jeff… and Ryan… Everything you hear about the guy is positive. Then you put on the Tape, and you see the athleticism. You see the physical play. And as Ron says when you try to evaluate a player that’s playing at this level, Division Two level, you look at him to dominate his level of competition, and that’s exact what he does. You put on games and you can see a lot of plays that he puts the guy on the ground. He ahs that temperament. I think, that’s what were looking for. I think, he’s got a great work ethic. He’s a hard working, hard nosed player that brings an attitude in here much like Kuechly does.” Just watch the Tape. This kid dominated like the Hulk on a football field at some puny school.
6-5 3/4, 345, 35.75” Arms, S-1.76, 31 Reps, 5.0 SS,
23.5” V, 7'9" B, 8.03 3-C,
Key F.A. Signed:
Derek Hagan WR
Demetrius Bell OT
Kraig Urbik OG (R)
Chad Rinehart OG (R)
Scott Chandler TE
Reggie Torbor LB
Kirk Morrison LB
Andra Davis LB
Key F.A. Lost:
Roscoe Parrish WR
The Team: Well, it's no secret that the Bills have to get some guy to help out Fitzpatrick. So they went big, real big. "We hope so," Bills GM Buddy Nix said about his massive size might have helped cause him to drop to them. "We talked about the guy too. Now he is 345. He has had two different strength coaches. I do not know how many offensive line coaches, I know two but one wanted him at 330. He did not worry about bulk and being big. He played at 330. The new guy comes in and within six months he wanted him at 345. That is where he is, which tells us something else about the guy. He wants to do what you ask him to do. With a guy with his ability if he wants to be good, he can be good." They want him to be an OLT. They think he can be an OLT. But they are going to proceed cautiously with his development. "We will get him here and test his body fat," Nix said. "We’ll let him workout for a while and just see where he is conditioning-wise. We will get to that at some point. I think he probably will be better lighter. He’ll be quicker. He will be able to withstand the NFL season a little bit better at a lighter weight. We’ll see. That is my initial thought but I am not going to sit here and say ‘Yes, we have decided where we want him to be.’" However, they see him as an Left Tackle in the NFL. "He is a good athlete," Nix said about moving him to OLT. "It is not hard to ask him to do that at all. I am going to ask every one of them. The guy we sign as a free agent, we are going to ask him to do the same thing. We ask them all to get ready to compete. When I call him on the phone and talk to him, right before we turned the name in, I ask them if they are healthy and I ask them if they are ready to compete. That is what we want him to do, come in here and compete for a job."
The Player: Glenn is a huge human being. "You know the guy has good feet for a guy his size," Buddy Nix said. "He’s got good feet. He’s got so much length though, his arms are almost 36”, 35 7/8” or something, I mean huge wingspan. You’ve got a long way to run around him. He’s got some work to do as far as, he gets top-heavy a little bit, but the guy got better and better from the first two games of the year, he just kept getting better all the way through the year. Then the Senior Bowl really capped it off for us, they played him everywhere down there. I guess that’s the only place people saw him at guard because he hadn’t played there since 2010. He was able to hold his own against the best in the Senior Bowl at left tackle convinced us." He fared well at OLT in the SEC, but he won't play there in the NFL. He has that mean streak and physicality that teams like in an ORT. "It is good you mentioned that," Nix said. "His agent called me before we went down for the draft at about six o’clock and said, 'I knew you liked this guy. And whoever gets him, he is going to make these other guys pay.' I really do think it motivated him. He was embarrassed by it. He thought he was a top-10 pick. Played some OLT at Senior Bowl. Pulls to his right well. He can find the hole on the right side on the line and lead the RB through. "The thing that stands out right off the bat is size. That is obvious to everybody. If he walks in the door, it will be obvious to everybody how big this man is. Then you take into account his feet. The way he played against top competition, the way he played from game one and two on through the season. He probably played his best game at the end against LSU. The way he really got better as the season went along," Nix said about why they like him. "His wingspan is so huge and the guy has very good feet for a guy his size. I think he has just tapped his potential at left tackle. I think that is maybe why people thought guard because they were not sure of where he could go. In our evaluation we think he can go a long way at left tackle." I though he sis a real good job at the Senior Bowl on the left side. Much better than I thought he would. "Impressed a lot at Senior Bowl. Played OT in drills and showed well. Takes the big hit and holds his balance. He can look a little sloppy sometimes, but he does a real nice job regaining his balance."
The Reason: The Bills really like Glenn. "[We were] shocked that he was there" Nix said, and I believe them when they said that famous post Draft fib. "I guess that’s about as well as we can say. He was certainly on the list." They plan to develop him into an OLT like they did with Jason Peters. Remember, they drafted Peters as Tight End, and transformed him into one of the top OLT's in the NFL. "No he’s not a guard," Nix said. "He started 50 games, the last 16 was left tackle. We put it out there. We tried to spread the rumor that he was a guard and hope somebody wouldn’t take him." So they like to sit and take big guys and develop them into monstrous linemen. "I do not think we even had any opportunities," Nix said when asked why they didn't trade up if they had him so highly rated. "We did not call anybody. We do not do that much. As you know, we jumped out bold that last time to move up two spots and gave up a seventh rounder. We’re Riverboat gamblers [he laughs]." So they sat and waited like they are wont to do, and they got a little lucky. I really thought Cleveland was going to pounce on Glenn at 35. But they got their man. "It’s kind of the way drafts go," Nix said about the O-Lineman falling to him. "Once you open the dam, if I remember right, didn’t they draft three tackles in a row after we took him? That’s what happens. Same way with corners, it’s like they forget about them and then somebody takes one and you think ‘Uh oh, we better get us one.’ That’s kind of what happened." So the Bills are happy to take another giant size O-lineman, stick him in at ORT, and see if he can develop into an OLT. That's just what they do.
6-6, 299, 34" Arms,
QB Texas A&M
Key F.A. Signed:
Paul Soliai NT
Vernon Carey OL
Marc Colombo OL
Phillip Marlow DE (R)
Ryan Baker NT (R)
Will Allen CB
Ikaika Alama-Francis OLB
Marvin Mitchell OLB
Jason Taylor OLB
Key Players Lost:
The Team: Well, at least Miami is happy. I thought he was the most over rated player in the Draft, but in the 2nd Round he is a nice pick (so I don't like this pick at all;-). "I really like the guy," Joe Philbin said. "When I first watched him, right before the combine, before we went to the combine, what got my attention was his hand usage. I thought his timing on his punch. The things we teach in pass protection, with the punch and the use of the hands. The timing is the key, and I thought it was exceptional. I think his feet are very good. He's got good length in his arms. I'm excited about him. I really liked him when I first watched him. He's a guy that's good in a workout but his film is as good as his workout. It's tough sometimes because you watch these guys and you get intrigued a little bit about how they run the forty or the three-cone and some of those other things, but I thought his film married up well to his workout numbers. He's smart, obviously, he's a high character guy, and I'm excited about him. I think he's a very, very good prospect." I actually like him as an ORT. He lined up on the rightside at times at Stanford. I really liked how he blocked down on D-Tackles, from the right side, very well. Right now, there really isn't another choice at Right Tackle, so he better be ready. "Not a lot," Philbin said about getting Martin into the lineup. "Again, as I said last night, and I firmly believe this, I'll say it again, the position coach is the lifeblood of the football program here. I believed that when I was a position coach, I believed that when I was an offensive coordinator and I believe it as the head coach. Jim Turner is our offensive line coach. I've got tremendous faith and confidence in him, or I wouldn't have hired him. We all sit together in a room before we step out onto the field. We all agree on what the protection schemes are going to be. We all agree on what the fundamentals of the position are going to be. I don't see myself being involved in that at all. Chris Mosley is our assistant offensive line coach. You hire people to do a job and you expect them to do their job. That's how it's going to be run. Steve Ross isn't coaching the football team; he hired me to coach the football team. Those guys will be able to do a great job with Jonathan Martin." Well Miami meet your new Offensive Right Tackle.
The Player: Miami is in a bit of a bind here. They have to have this guy in the starting lineup on Day One. "Not necessarily, not necessarily," Philbin said when asked is thought he could get production from him right off. "Again you go through this process when you evaluate players even from our perspective as coaches and certainly Jeff talked about the vision that we have for certain players, which is important, before you select them on your ball club because you want to know how, at least you think how you're going to utilize them. But again, until you really get your hands around these guys it's really hard to sit here and say, ‘Yeah I think this guy's going to step forward and do this, and this guy's going to step forward and do that'. I don't know what the Giants thought Victor Cruz was going to catch 85 passes, I don't know the exact number, so hopefully they all, they all may have chance to contribute and make an impact. Who that is and how quickly and how much, as I told the team yesterday at the end of our mini-camp, that's kind of the fun part about this business and this profession and you know you don't exactly know all the answers. You do your best and you study the film and you trust your eyes at a certain point in time but we'll see how that all shakes out." I hope it doesn't shake out well. However, I think Martin will be able to start at ORT for them this season. But he does have a big transition going from college to the NFL, and switching sides. "I don't know," Philbin said about the transition for Martin. "We'll find out, we'll get here this weekend and will putz around with his stance and who knows. We'll see. Some guys make it like that (snapping fingers) Steve (Wine), it's not a problem. Other guys it takes a little bit while, the transitions a little bit tougher so we'll start working with him. We're going work with him on. I don't know if he's going to get 100 percent of his reps on the right side anyway. We haven't begun our discussions of that on the depth chart but I know you can never have enough tackles who can protect the quarterback and we feel very good about what we've seen on tape in terms of his ability to protect the quarterback. It's not perfect but I'm excited about it." The good news is that he has nice feet pulling to his right. Not a lot of pop in his initial hit when pulling, but he is such a smooth athlete. He is too finesse for my taste. He gets to his right smoothly, but doesn’t annihilate anyone. He has some nice violence in his hands. He has to get stronger hands grabbing shirt, but has a nice punch.. I have seen him pull out and gets his hands on guy and can’t sustain the block for a second too many times.
is the most over rated player in this Draft. He has all the physical tools
to be a top blindside Pass blocker, but he misses more blocks than any 1st
Round talent I have ever seen. He has the best feet in the Draft. When it
comes to doing anything with his feet he looks like a top ten pick, but he
has terrible hands. If he can't improve his hand usage he will be a bust. He
uses his feet
perfectly to set up a Seal block. He gain position so quickly, smoothly,
and efficiently, but then sometimes forgets to grab shirt. He would be a
top five pick if he would just grab some shirt. Get position, extend arms,
grab shirt, and sustain your position. Turn the Seal into a Hockey Fight.
He has the feet and long arms, but just doesn’t sustain blocks. Did I
mention he drive me crazy;-) He does a good job getting to the second
level and hitting the LB, but again struggles to sustain the block as he
plays patty cake instead of Hockey Fighting. Grab the damn shirt! Which is
such a contrast to DeCastro who is the best Hockey Fighter in this Draft.
He does a good job against Stunts. He sometimes gets confused, but holds
his position, which allows him to recover nicely.
When he can move straight forward
into second level he is much more effective run blocking. He can hit and
turn the safety in the Box. When he plays in balance and combination with
his hands and feet, he can look like the best pass protector in the Draft.
Likes to put hands up and shove like he is playing patty-cake. Needs to
punch and/or grab more consistently. Plays with nice knee bend, and I
think he has the best feet I’ve seen in this Draft. Should have stayed
in school. He needs more refinement, and has to learn to use his hands
better. I can’t stand when he starts playing patty-cake. What he does
better than anyone else in this draft and shadow a rusher without touching
him, and use his feet to keep position. The more physical it gets the
worse he looks. Sometimes he even with his hands down when the rush was
fooled by the Play-Action, he’ll just dance in front of the D-End, and
not even try to hit him. But the more physical the game gets the worse it
looks. He will line up at ORT tackle sometimes. Very effective blocking
down on DT from the right side. He has such nice, and smooth kickstep, but
the more physical it gets, even in pass protection the worst he looks.
Looks much better when he gets a nice shoulder punch on the passrusher. He
plays with such nice knee bend and balance. He just needs to learn how to
be more physical. He looks the most comfortable when he can use his feet
and play with his arms extended. The talent to be an NFL OLT is definitely
there. When he can kickstep back and play at arms length is when he is at
Martin is truly a dancing bear. He has the best feet of an O-Tackle prospect in the Draft. He certainly looks the part, but he doesn't always play the part. Not a good run blocker, and will loose technique sometimes, which is when he looses the battles. -Whiffs on run blocks a little too much. Sometimes struggles on second level. Great size and feet combo, but hasn’t put is all together. Needs to keep his hands inside the pads more. When he stays in balance and uses his hands and feet together, he looks like a top ten pick. Got injured in USC game, and then came back in against a very good rusher, Nick Perry.
The Reason: Well, they did the work and got their guy. Now we'll se how it works. "I think Jeff and his scouts have done a great job, of course," Philbin said. "Absolutely. It's a team effort. These guys, they work their tails off. I came from a place where people feel like it's a very good draft room there. These guys work their tails off. They're very thorough, very detailed, I mean, Jeff's got more cross-checkers. It's impressive to watch those guys work and he listens to the coaches. Everybody chips in, but he makes the decisions. I think it's been a good process, a very good process. Hopefully, and I believe we have, we've added some good, quality players." I have to admit that they did a good job in this Draft. They got quality prospects all the way down to the 7th Round (Damn it;-).
WR Georgia Tech
6-4, 215, 4.36! 10'1" B!
6.88 3-C! 39.5"!
4.48 SS, 14 Reps,
Key F.A. Signed:
Aaron Maybin OLB (R)
Jamaal Westerman OLB (R)
Plaxico Burress WR
Ladainian Tomlinson RB
Donald Strickland CB/S
Jim Leonard SS
Marquice Cole CB (R)
Mathew Mulligan (R)
Key F.A. Lost:
The Team: The Jets took two of the most talented players in the Draft. You could make the argument that both players were the most physically talented players at their positions. "We feel real fortunate to get Stephen Hill in the second round," the Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum said. "We had to move up a little bit to make sure that we got him, but we are really excited to get Stephen. He has a chance to come in, play right away and start right away. He is a very good blocker from playing in coach (Paul) Johnson’s offense at Georgia Tech. We are really excited about his upside with his height, weight and speed. He only had 28 catches this past year, but we feel he has a ton of potential." They had to get someone who could get down field and take some of the pressure off the power running game. It just got harder to put 9-men in the Box to stop Green and Terrance Ganaway.
However their are some problems. Both suffered from lack of production and as Seniors. "He caught 28 balls this year, but they (Georgia Tech) only completed 64 as a team," Bradway said. "They run a great offense, but it’s just not a pro-style offense. We watched him work out at his pro day and at the combine. Sanjay (Lal) also spent probably about an hour and a half with him on the field. He had him do everything. He competed against a defensive back, who was Brendan Prophett (laughter). He beat Brendan every time. Although, I liked Brendan’s feet and hips, they weren’t as bad as I thought they were going to be" So the process starts here. They really have only one legit WR on the roster, and he is a troublesome truck who may have warn out his welcome already.
The Player: "He’s unique," Tannenbaum said. "He’s a 6’4 kid that weighs 215 and runs a 4.32. He’s a unique athlete, he really is. Calvin Johnson maybe? And I’m not going to put that label on him but from a height, weight, speed moniker. He’s just a unique athlete." That's I called him: Hill- Freak Factor. He is not ready made for the NFL. He has a lot of work to do. "I think there’s a transition for all of them to be honest with you," Bradway said. "With the spread offenses, they don’t normally run the NFL route tree. But it was important for us to put him through that to see that he could do it. Like I said, at the combine, at his pro day, and at his work out for us, he showed that he can do that. This guy is really coachable. He’s willing to work. With Sanjay and our offensive coaches, I think the upside is going to happen pretty quickly for this kid." but he has so much potential it is frightening.
The Reason: The Jets made a little jump up to get him. "We really wanted him," Tannenbaum said on trading up for him. "Once he was in striking distance (we traded up). We felt like, with Seattle, it was a good trade for both sides because they didn’t have to go back all that far. To give a five and a seven for a guy we felt that strongly about, we felt like was appropriate value for us." So with him is limits are only a matter of smarts, work ethic, and character. "That’s the other thing too," Tannenbaum said. "This isn’t the reason that we took him, but it’s just a testament to his character. I think we probably asked the same question everyone did, which was why would you go there as a receiver knowing the type of offense that they run? He said they were initially the only team that had offered him and he had committed to them and later on in the process a few other more traditional passing teams had offered him a scholarship, but he didn’t want to back out on his commitment. I thought that was very admirable. Again, that’s not why we took him or why we were interested in him, but that was an interesting anecdote because we were asking him why would you go there knowing you’re a receiver and that they’re going to run the ball."
O-Tackle FLA ST
6-4, 310, 33.5” Arms,
26 Reps, 4.79 SS, 7.57 3-C
5.18 (O), 10" Hands,
27.5" Vert, 8'6" Broad,
Key F.A. Signed:
Barry Richardson ORT
Ryan O'Callaghan ORT
Casey Wiegmann OC
Keelly Greg NT
Amon Gordon NT
Brandon Carr CB
Travis Daniels CB
Jon McGraw FS
Sabby Piscitelli S
Thomas Jones RB
Jackie Battle RB
Leonard Pope TE
Anthony Becht TE
Kyle Orton TE
The Team: The Chiefs Offense fell apart last season, and the play, or lack their of, and the play of the O-Line was the main reason. They had to get better on the O-Line. Allen will step in and start at mostly the ORG spot. Remember he was Illinois' OLT, but he switched over the the right a lot. Stephen was a left side only player at Oklahoma. If they think Stephenson is ready to step in at OLG, they can move Allen to the right side. “We are really excited about today, the past two days. You guys saw what happened today. One of the things we talk about is trying to get this team bigger, stronger, faster, tougher, and we feel in the last two days we have certainly gotten bigger, stronger, faster, tougher, created quality depth and definitely created competition throughout the football team. As you saw today, in the second round we took Jeff Allen from the University of Illinois, and just got another offensive lineman, another star, another big, fast, tough guy in Donald Stephenson from Oklahoma. As we’ve talked about before, we’re excited about both of these picks. It’s more competition on our offensive line and depth. There are going to be a lot of players fighting for positions and making themselves better and their teammates better.” I believe that both Jeff Allen and Stephen can play OLT in the NFL. So you could see Brandon Albert moved to OLG, and one of these guys eventually take over at OLT. I think Allen is ready play now, certainly at Guard, but Stephenson needs to add some strength before he is ready. "Truthfully, I think they’ll come in and compete immediately for positions. They’re both really good players. In the case of Jeff Allen, the guy was a four year starter at the University of Illinois. He played both right and left tackle, so he’s played in both stances. He has ability to also play guard. What we feel these guys do is both of them have great versatility. The good news is that they’re going to be able to seriously compete and push players ahead of them for jobs right away. We expect for them to immediately come in and push people for playing time.” They are happy with Allen because of his versatility. He doesn't have to steal the Left Tackle spot as a rookie to help this team. They see him as a starting Guard on their O-Line right now. They just can't say where. “I can’t say even where they’ll line up on the field," Pioli said. "But we’ll sort some of that out in the mini camps and the rookie camps once they get in here and get in with the program. But again, his body type is right on the verge, in terms of his height and his length. It’s on the verge of the minimum for offensive tackles, but it’s perfect for the guard, but right on the minimum. This is a guy who’s played both right and left tackle, and we certainly feel like he has the ability to play guard. Because he’s played both sides, he has a chance to play guard, and he has a chance to be a swing tackle.” I think he will be in at ORG come Day One.
looks a little undersized, but you can see he is a natural athlete. He
plays with excellent knee bend, and look like a natural Pass Protector. He
has the athleticism to play in the NFL. Very quick on the pull. He looks
like a guy who is made to play for a zone blocking scheme. Nice smooth
feet. Looks like his arms might be a little short, 33.5". Really does
a nice job pulling inside and hitting anything that moves. Switches sides
during series, which should add to his value. He mostly lines up at OLT,
but all of a sudden in the 5th play of the series he is at ORT. Then two
plays later he is back at OLT. He is so smooth in pass protection.
Excellent in control Kick Step. This guy is an NFL pass protector. But he
has to get stronger. Needs technique work. Has a nice upside. Not always
aware in pass protection. Sometimes picks up air as the blitzer skirts
inside him. He sometimes kicksteps nicely from the Right Tackle position,
waits patiently, and then brings both hands out wide on the shoulder pads.
He needs to do a better job keeping his hands up and in. He looks more
comfortable at OLT. Very effective against the bigger stronger rushers. Needs
to keep his hands inside. Played some ORT at the Senior Bowl. Looks so
sooth and natural moving backwards. He plays with nice technique and keeps
his hand up and in, and in front of his chest, and then sometimes snaps
his hands out wide and grabs. I’d like to see more punch. Plays with
nice patience in Pass Protection. He does a nice job using his feet to
Seal rushers to the outside on Draws. Keeps them are arms length by moving
his feet nicely. Looks more natural to me at Left Tackle. Nice lateral
quickness to edge on the right side. Nice kickstep on right side. Hits
with some power on the right side. Played a little nervously to start the
Senior Bowl, but as the game wore on he looked more and more comfortable
at ORT. By the Second Quarter he was knocking guy down in the rush (or
maybe he slipped;-). Shows such nice technique on edge. He really has nice
feet that he rides into proper position almost every time. Does an
excellent job doubling down on D-Tackle. Very
light on his feet. You can see he is a terrific
natural athlete. Nice job on the pull around block. Finds target,
comes in low, and extends arms nice with some force behind them. Well
practiced in pass protection. Does an excellent job mirroring rusher.
Keeps his knees bent,. His feet moving nicely. Excellent hips, and just
never lost the guy for a split second in the mirror drill. Very
The Reason: I know-I know. You'll be shocked to find out they never expected him to be on the board, even though I was about the only one who projected him in the 2nd Round. “It kind of happens as it goes on," Pioli said. "You go into these drafts and/or sometimes even hoping that some things happen, and you can’t control what the other 31 teams are doing. Did we expect this to happen? No. I know we went into this round today hoping we would have a shot at Jeff Allen. He’s a player that we were really very excited about. When the day started, we said we know we were picking him 12th today and we hope that Jeff Allen is available when it’s our turn to pick. There were a couple of other players that we really liked that started to go, and Jeff was there. That’s why I think we turned that card in pretty quickly. We weren’t even sitting and waiting to take calls in terms of trades, but we don’t necessarily know how it’s going to evolve. For instance, yesterday there wasn’t the normal run on tackles in the first round that there usually is. There also wasn’t that run on corners. So, you go into things, again from a historical standpoint that they’re going to go a certain way, but they didn’t really go that way this year. So, the tackle thing was different. You just have to be prepared, thoughtful and be able to react and willing to react.” They signed Eric Winston so O-Tackle didn't seem the biggest priority. However, their O-Line was really abysmal last season. So getting guys who start at different positions was important for the well being of Cassel and Charles, who were both knocked out of action last season. “Well, I think when the season ended and Barry [Richardson] became an unrestricted free agent and the fact that the depth we were playing with at the tackle position," Pioli said. "With the swing tackle, when he became available, he was a player that it did change the outlook on the draft. Now that’s part of the beauty of free agency and not only unrestricted free agency but just overall free agency. When he became available, a player we obviously liked quite a bit, fit the mold of exactly what we were looking for as a player and make up wise, and once again we went into this draft not feeling as pushed into a corner necessarily on the offensive line that we might have had if we did not sign Eric. It certainly did play into this. Because it’s one of those situations you don’t want to be in. Now we’re sitting there in a situation where we’re doing what is more, maybe, best player available in our minds. You try to work to that place where you’re doing more of the best players available and creating depth and getting good players. My feeling is I always want us to be in a situation where we’re doing drafting with the idea that it’s a combination of best player available and need, to a degree. I think yesterday we were fortunate enough where drafting a nose [tackle], we felt going into our fourth season that has been an unstable position. There has been a lot of change and felt strongly that was taken care of for now and in the future. Yesterday’s move in drafting a nose I think impacted us doing something that was certainly a need.” Now, they have five legit NFL starters on their O-Line.
WR S. Carolina
6-2 7/8, 216, 4.42-4.47,
6.71 3-C, 4.17 SS,
36.5" Vert, 10'2" Broad 10.25”Hands, 33" Arms
Key Player Acquired:
Zachery Bowman CB
Corey Graham CB
Matt Forte RB
Kalil Bell RB ((R)
Idonue Isreal DE
Amobi Okoye DT
Roy Williams WR
Kellen Davis TE
Key F.A. Lost:
The Team: The Bears needed to get some real options for Cutler to throw two. First Marshall, and now another giant target Jeffery. “It’s going to really add to our Wideout roster,” Emery said. “I think it’s going to provide some mismatch opportunities for us that we’re going to be hard to handle in terms of size and physicalness and ball skills with the Wideouts that we have.” Emery is not the only one looking forward to seeing these two giant Wideouts on the field together. "I look forward to being on the team with all the guys," Jeffery said. "Brandon Marshall is a great receiver. I've heard a lot about him. He's a great player. I've watched him. He's worked hard. He does all the right things."
The Player: 4/10 Jeffery- Winning the End of the Route. Jeffery's biggest problem has been weight and speed. If he can stick to under 220 pound his speed is fine. “We feel that Alshon has the best hands in the draft,” Emery said. “We feel that he is the best at adjusting to the ball. We feel he is the best sideline and end zone catcher in the draft. He’s dynamic with the ball in his hands. He’s a big man. He’s strong. He’s tough. He doesn’t go down without a fight.” The Bears had him timed him at 4.42 and 4,47. If he can play to those speed he is a stunning steal at this point in the Draft.
The Reason: I had him as a clear First Round talent. “We saw a big, dynamic athlete, playmaker falling and we decided that we were going to go after him,” Emery said. “We wanted to make sure we were close enough that it didn’t cost us more than a fifth-round pick. We felt good about the compensation, that we still had our third and fourth-rounder to work in the draft and we went ahead and moved forward with it, and we’re very excited to have him.” He played well at S. Carina, and had some success. "We thought we would run the ball a lot more and that would win most games," Jeffery said. "We won 11 games. We broke school records. That worked out for us."
5-11 1/8, 239, 4.47 (O)!
(4.50-4.41), 24 Reps,
4.19 SS! 39.5" V, 10"7' B!
31 5/8” Arms,
DT Miss ST
Key F.A. Signed:
Steve Smith WR
Evan Mathis OG
King Dunlap OT
Owen Schmitt FB
Ronnie Brown RB
Derek Landri DT
Antonio Dixon ST (R)
Travor Laws DT
Juqua Parker DE
Vince Young QB
Assante Samuel CB
The Team: I thought this was a terrific pick. Philly likes smaller Linebackers. This kid is short, but ultra tough and productive. "Kendricks not only ran an impressive time at the combine, but he also was a highly productive player at Cal," Mike Mayock said. "The productivity lines up. The speed is phenomenal. People are worried about his size. But I think he can start in this league either inside or outside." They have some nice talent at Linebacker now. Kendricks will fit right in, as he can play any of Philly's three Linebacker positions.
The Player: In the NFL you have to have defenders who can cover at every position. "He’s had success with that," Andy Reid said. "In the Pac-10, they throw the ball once or twice out there. You get a little bit of a pinch there with him covering some guys. We’ll see how he does. That’s been one of his strengths. So we’ll see how that transfers over. I’m thinking it will." He is excellent in coverage.
"The one thing that really interests me there is we’re getting a phenomenal pass-rusher on that (strong) side,’’ Reid said. "We’re getting someone who can really cover the tight end, and his pass-coverage skills are a strong part of his game. When you see the way he’s built, you’ll understand. He plays a physical game. You’ve heard the term `heavy-handed.’ When he locks onto you, he’s pretty strong with that." Kendricks was the Pac-12 Defender of the year. “He has great athletic ability, speed,” said Reid. “He gives you the opportunity to cover tight ends.” He is short, but has "Good mass to him." so he not really small. He is very strong and tough. “I just play big,” Kendricks said. “That’s all I do is just play big, and shut ‘em up that way. That’s never been an issue for me, so I don’t see why it would be an issue for anyone else.”
Kendricks is a terrific football player. His only
question is height. Impressive
MLB who sees it, fills it, and makes the tackle. A cover LB with the ability to play the run. He
is very undersized,
but s also a special teams maven. He might have been the most impressive
at the Combine.
player of the year. Plays ILB. Nice blitzer. He has a lot of experience
blitzing from the edge. Slippery off the snap, and can slash through
blockers on the sweep and wipeout the RB. Quick little feet in pass
protection. Short stepping short setter. Nice blitzer up the gut as well.
Does a lot of things in the 3-4 defense, and can be disruptive from
different positions on the field. Hustle form sideline to sideline, but doesn't
always get in on the tackle. When he sees the QB heading to the sideline
he gets there real fast. Nice speed when he turns and runs. Better moving
forward than sideways. He sees it and reads it so fast. Finds the WR on
the End-around so well.
is such a smart and aware player. He plays MLB, but will also move outside
to the Will. He has that knack for finding th eball. Scooped up a fumble
against AR ST and ran it back 32-Yards. He can find and track the
he is such a smart and aware player. He plays MLB, but will also move outside to the Will. He has that knack for finding th eball. Scooped up a fumble against AR ST and ran it back 32-Yards. He can find and track theball with terrific quickness and agility when moving laterally outside the Tackles. Does a good job keeping his shoulders square. He as does a good job taking on blockers. He is very physical and very adept at bouncing off big linemen. However, he is small and can be overwhelmed when he misplays it. Excellent in coverage. Lines up on the WR in the slot on 3rd downs sometimes, and has no trouble staying on his hips. Very quick and fast on the field and he uses both in coverage. He takes on blockers so well moving laterally, because he moves so quickly outside it is tough for blocker to shuffle their feet and keep up with him when he is moving outside. Does a good job covering the TE in the slot. Looks a little like Ray Lewis on the field. He reads it so quick and flashes into the hole. He often is meeting the runner before he reaches the LOS.
The Reason: They had to improve their Linebacker unit, which was the biggest hole in their defense. "You want to try to, from an offensive standpoint, find a weakness in the defense," Reid said. "Then you want to exploit those weaknesses. From a coaching standpoint, I’m trying to eliminate any of those weaknesses the best I can from a defensive standpoint. A player like Kendricks, he doesn’t present you with a lot of weaknesses as long as it carries over. He is coming from the college level and I’m expecting it to carry over obviously, or I wouldn’t have taken him." He is a plug an' play LB who can step in and start at any of the three Linebacker positions for the Eagles next season.
LB Utah ST
6-3, 235, 4.46 (O),
39.5" V, 7.03 3-C! 4.24 SS
24 Reps, 11' Broad!
Passrusher West Virginia
Key F.A. Signed:
Jason Jones DT
Justin Forsett RB
Raheem Brock DE
Jimmy Wilkerson DE
Tony Hargrove DE
Leroy Hill LB
David Hawthorne LB
David Vobra LB
Matt McCoy LB
Marcus Trufant CB
Paul McQuistan OT
Key F.A. Lost:
Atari Bigby S
Charlie Whitehurst QB
Robert Gallery OG
The Team: I am so pissed. I actually put Wagner here, and then switched it back to Zach Brown just a few ticks before the 2nd Round started, because more people had him rated over Wagner because of speed. Like I said in my preview:
The Seattle Linebacker corps is in a state of flux. They will be seeking someone who can step in and help out in multiple ways. “When you look at it, we really like our guys, but we need to get faster on defense,” Carroll said when asked about the unit that ranked No. 9 in the league last season. “As big as we are, we need to get faster. So I’d like to see us add more speed in the linebacker corps.”
This is not a reach by any measure. After I made my Tape of him I said to myself he is not getting out of the 2nd Round. “Bobby, well, he’s done it. He’s played all across the board,” Pete said about Wagner. “He’s played the on edge. He’s played inside. And all the positions that we need him to play, and it was an easy evaluation in that regard. He’s played so much football, and he’s been a big time producer there. He’s 240 plus pounds, and he’s really fast. And. He’s really very explosive athlete and he’s a natural athlete too, moving in space to do the coverage things he’s got to do. He’s a good man-to-man cover guy. He can do everything. And so now we’ve just got to see if we can fit him in, and how quickly does he adapt. He’ll have good help on either side of him, with guys who know what there doing. We will utilize KJ, calling the signals and stuff like that. We won’t put it on him right off the bat, and bring him along in that regard.” This kid has it. He gets it and he can play any LB position in the 4-3. He instantly made the Seattle defense better. “He really has great length,” Schinder said. “he can play off blocks. He can play in space. His range is… I mean, don’t ever steal anything form him. You know, he’ll run you down in a heartbeat. That’s the type of guy he is, he’s all over the place.” This was one of the biggest surprises in the Draft. He was listed at 6-foot even, and showed at his Pro Day at 6-3.
The Player: “They were telling me there was only a one-percent chance of me making it to the NFL and I should focus on school, but I’m here to tell them I’m that one percent,” Wagner said during a telephone interview from his parents’ home in Ontario, Calif. “The funny thing is I’m that one percent and I graduate on May 5 from my college.” Wagner was a real star at Utah ST. He is solid against the run. Showed he could be a special teams stand out. He also flashed in passing game. Stocky kid. Nice athlete. Excellent special Teamer. He made a great INT at the Senior Bowl. He leaps way up to the sky and snagged the ball out of the air. He’s a little short, but stocky like a box. You can see he has done his time in the weight room. Smart and dominate linebacker in college. He was a force against the run. Good leader who was voted Team Captain. Made himself a solid Second Day pick when he was named Defensive MVP at the Senior Bowl. Nice hitter. Strong hands, and has that knack for hitting and hanging on to drag the RB down. Controlled the middle of the field at Utah ST. Had almost 300 Tackles the past two seasons combined. 446 Career tackles (better break out the calculator to make sure;-). Which is an average of a hair over 111 tackle per season. That is very impressive. Looks better moving forward than backwards. Not the best lateral speed. He is troubled by bigger blocker getting into his shirt. Made a ton of tackles in special teams at the Senior Bowl. Fills the hole moving down field nicely. He has that knack for finding the ball carrier. he is very adept at coming off a block and hit the RB with a crack. Plays on the Weakside a lot, and not just at MLB. Does a nice job uses his hands to knock off blocks. He can get overwhelmed sometimes when he isn't hustling around the field. However, he can overwhelm the RB in the passrush when he is blitzing. He lines in the Slot sometimes on 3rd Down and covers the Slot receiver. Protects the edge nicely when a t WLB. He can flash inside and hit the RB in the side and take him down. He is a very sure tackler. Played WLB in the 3-4, and rushed the QB form that spot. He is a nice rusher, when eh can avoid contact. Very quick and shifty and difficult for O-Linemen to get their hands on. He can be a little slow to read sometimes. He will stand and watch the play for a second, but once he sees it he gets there in a flash. Very quick Stunting inside. He can read the Screen, stop rushing, and cover the RB. It is amazing how quickly he works down the line and finds the RB.
The Reason: The reason? Speed-speed-speed. “One, they’re all really fast,” Carroll said, unable to hold back a slight smile. “But these are guys we think are special. When you talk about Bobby, This guy has had hundreds of tackles in his career,” Carroll said of Wagner, who finished that career with 445 tackles in 46 starts. “He can play all three linebacker spots, if we want him to. We’re going to put him in the middle and see how he does. “Great athleticism. Great explosive athlete. And the fact that he’s been so consistent with his production. And he’s got a chip on his shoulder, too. And we like all that about him.”
6', 205, 4.45-fastest timed,
4.53 (O), 10'4"! 4.16 SS,
7.04 3-C, 32" Vert,
11.77 60-Yard Shuttle,
33 7/8" Arms,
Donte Stallworth WR
Deion Branch WR
Will Allen CB
Matt Slater ST/S/WR
Niko Koutouvides ST/LB
Key F.A Lost:
Mike Wright DE/NT
Rich Ohrnberger OG/OC
Brian Hoyer QB
The Team: The Pats just sit here and take the top FS/CB in the Draft (well, sort of;-). "I feel like I can do both things at a very high level but it's not really up to me what position I play," Wilson said. "It's up to Coach Belichick and the staff. I'm just going to do everything I can to the best of my abilities to do everything I can to contribute to the team." All the Pat's Draft whiners should be dong jumping jacks. How many times have I heard "I don't care who they take," nameless morons say. "As long as they don't trade down." They traded up with the first two picks, and they sit here and get the guy they hard targeted from the start. I have listened for years to fans whining and complaining about trading back. They never seem to care who they take or if they are any good. Somehow the act of trading up, or just staying put magically makes the player better. How many times have I heard, "why can't that just sit there and take the guy they want?" Well, they sat there and took the guy they wanted. They scouted him, and watched Tape, and went to his Pro Day. "Nick [Caserio] and Jon Robinson were there," BB said. "We've crossed over a lot of these guys. I'm not sure I even keep track of who everybody worked out. Nick and Jon were both there" I would have preferred they trade down to take Wilson. You target a player and then you go and get him, and the best drafters move down and guy the guy they targeted.
Pats got stuck. They tried to trade down, but other teams got sick of BB making them look foolish in the trade downs and no one would bite. "To make a trade, you have to have two people agree to it," BB said. "So if two people agree, then whatever it is, it's a good trade if you're willing to accept the terms that someone else is willing to give you and vice versa. If it works for both teams, then you have a trade. If it doesn't, it doesn't make a difference what any chart says or what any value is. If two teams aren't willing to make the exchange, then you don't have a trade. I don't care what the chart says." They knew they could get Tavon in the 3rd, but they had no one to trade with.
I can guarantee you one of BB’s favorite traits about Tavon is his great field awareness. He reads the run faster than anyone else on the defense. He looks and plays like Patrick Chung on Tape. Especially in his Safety Roles, Slot roles, and special teams. He was a Captain, the clear leader of the Secondary, and called the checks, like Patrick Chung.
"I guess it's a piece of the jigsaw puzzle," BB said about Chung and Wilson being Captains. "So if you have a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle, then captain is maybe one or two pieces in there somewhere. There are a million other things that go into it. Of course, leadership and character and the guy's relationship with his teammates and his team and the respect that comes with, somehow or another, that's all interrelated." He was in on more plays than anyone else in college over the past three years, like Chung (though he did it for four). There stats, traits, smarts, and stamina are remarkable similar. You can say what you want, but to be a full time starter and a full time Special Teamer takes a lot of stamina.
I'm not happy that they didn't trade down and pick up some Day Three picks. However, I know that 90% of whining Pat's fans have to be ecstatic that they didn't trade down, and just took some guy. It doesn't matter who he is, as long as they just sat there and took the guy, that they didn't care who they took. "It was kind of all over the place," Wilson said about where he thought he was going. "A lot of people had a lot of different predictions. I didn't really pay [any] attention to it. I just worked as hard as I could and great things happened for me. I feel like I worked hard enough to go as high as anybody. It was out of my hands, so I just did my part. I just prayed and hoped for the best. I worked out with them [the Pats] before. I pretty much talked to a lot of teams and heard a lot of good things. I worked out for them one time." So here we are a few days later, and we still don't know who they took.
One of things that I think is funny is when guys say they, "should just stick to there Boards." And then criticize a reach. Well, they were just sticking to their Board. According to Stickers, Seattle made the best pick in the Draft at pick 15. They stuck to their board and took the top rated player on their Board regardless of position. Funny, I don't remember the cheers for that pick?
Patriot Stickers should be cheering this pick. They stuck to their Board regardless of reality, other teams, and your Board. When you here Draftnics say, "They should stick to their board." What they really mean is that, "the Pats should stick to My Board." Or Mel's board, or Mayock's board, or Todd's Board, or any Board that complies with their belief of who the best player available is? "Hopefully, our efforts there after the draft will be productive in some fashion as they have been in the past," Five time Super Bowl Champion coach Bill Belichick said. "We're working hard at that. Scouts have done a good job. I think that Nick [Caserio] and his staff and of course Jon Robinson on the college side of it have done a very thorough job all the way around in terms of the information that they've gathered and the way it's been presented, the way we're able to work through it. I thought we had an efficient operation. Like I said, those guys have worked very hard and done a great job and getting us all the things that we could possibly ask for in terms of being able to make decisions and having a fairly smooth flowing three day process. We'll clean up the free agent stuff today, tonight hopefully and then move on to putting the team together and getting everybody out there, start the real formation of the team working on the field next week and in the coming weeks when the rookies come in." In a perfect World everybody has the same board and every player goes 1 through 253 as they are ranted (exactly;-).
But it's not a perfect world. NFL teams have their own Boards that they guard zealously, and don't really care what other teams think. Every Board is different. Especially for each NFL team, that doesn't keep it public. One the the publications of so many Boards has down and bring a unifying feel to where the players are going. But that is perception and not reality. Plus, the further down you go the less likely a team will conform to the media generated norm.
Look the Rams. They had four picks in the 2nd Round (one traded down tot he 3rd). They picked Quick with the first pick, and you could argue he was the lowest rated player of the four the picked. I've even seen Boards with Chris Givens, their 4th Round WR, rated above Quick. But they love-love-loved Quick. They had their minds set on taking Quick as soon as Day One ended. They think they got the steal of the Draft. You should have seen these guys smiling and giddy at their Press Conferences, as they bragged about taking Quick over Jeffery, Hill, and Randle. On their Board, I think they would have taken him at 14 if Brockers had been gone.
Was it a reach? Maybe. If they succeed, "Great pick!" if they fail, "Reach!" Of course, our genius comes a few years later. When we can say we knew it all along. Plus, I thought it doesn't matter where you take a guy as long as he can play. I argue that the lower you take a guy the better. "There wasn't a real steady consistent trade pattern, let's put it that way," BB said. "Some trades look better than others when you put them up against each other. In all honesty, the picks were moving pretty quickly and we focused more on what the opportunities were rather than trying to sit around and analyze each one. Again, a lot of it just depends on what is on the board, what you feel about what's up there -how motivated you are to pick or how motivated you are to try to add picks and what the options are or yesterday, if you want to move up, what the cost is to move up or to stay where you are and keep the extra picks. Each one is kind of its own independent decision." I have been listening to the silly argument for years that the higher you take a guy the better. So this Wilson should be pretty good.
I have always argued that the lower you take a player the better. It is a risky game to trade down and target a guy lower, but when it works there is nothing better. This pick being the prime example. I think he would have been available in the 3rd. Trading down and getting another pick or two could have helped this team. Though I don't think their is a lot of room left on the roster, and this is the first year I can remember where I believe that every Pick can make the team. I am amazed at the quality they got in the 6th and 7th Rounds (but that for a little later;-).
I love the Draft intrigue. You often learn more about the Draft and drafting after the Draft When you hear GMs talking about who they liked, why, and how. There is a belief that when teams, like the Pats, really like a guy who is flying under the radar, like Wilson, that they won't talk about him. They'll say they love the Safety from Illinois, "What's his name, Tru Henry? Yeah, he's really good." They they will never let the word "Tavon" slip through their mouths. The players the so-called experts called reaches, were the players that the teams have been targeting for months, and spoke nary a word. That's why players like Sebastian Vollmer, Brandon Brooks, and Tavon Wilson don't get invited to the Combine. Because the teams that really like these guy, but never see their names mentioned as a possible early selection, will say nary a word.
We learn after the Draft that BB was down as the East-West practices a few years ago drooling over Vollmer at practice. We learn that he may have even went down their just to watch him in practice. "Similar situation with [Sebastian] Vollmer a couple of years ago," BB said. "We drafted guys. I think one year, didn't we draft like three of four guys that were non-Combine guys? Some guys play in all-star games, some guys don't. I don't know who picks all those all-star teams. In all honesty, I don't know who picks the Combine for that matter. How does [Brandon] Brooks not get invited to the Combine, kid from Miami, the offensive guard? How did Vollmer not get invited to the Combine? I don't know. We can't really worry about that. We just have to try to evaluate them the best we can. If they're there, they're there. If they're not, they're not. If they play in an all-star game, we look at it. If they don't, they don't." I can Gar-un-tee you BB was not just shocked, but more than a little thrilled when Wilson wasn't invited to the Combine.
I've watched three games and two tapes of Wilson since the Draft, and I maybe an obnoxious D-Bag, but I have a knack for scouting, and this kid flashes on Tape. "He played plenty, BB said. "You can see him plenty at Illinois. You can see him against whoever you want to see him against: all the Big Ten schools, Arizona State, teams that throw the ball. He's playing corner, he's playing safety, he's playing the inside positions, the nickel position, the dime position. Michigan State, they're a good passing team. Michigan, they're a spread out offense team. There's a lot of passing in that conference. Northwestern, all those teams." I have the UCLA game on DVR. The Penn ST and Wisconsin game on DVD, and the Arizona State, Western Michigan, and Michigan game on UTube, thanks to may man Mathew40. So right know I am a little overwhelmed with Wilson info dwindling out my ears.
He flashes on the field. He was clearly the second best player on Illinois' defense. He doesn't play the ball well in the air, and he often a played in an odd position on defense. He was often sort of lost in the middle. Not really a Linebacker. Not really a Slot Corner, and not really a Safety. "We started off the day with two draft picks and finished the day with two picks and then added one here for tomorrow," BB Said. "I thought we were able to keep the guys on the board - most of the guys on the board that we were looking at when we took [Jake] Bequette in the third and then [Tavon] Wilson as a versatile secondary player that we took in the second round. He played primarily safety but also some nickel and dime-type responsibilities in their defense as well. He also has some corner background as well. He has some versatility; we'll see where he fits in." I liked him the best as a Box Safety on passing downs.
He played up in the Box, with inside contain, on passing downs. He played an odd Box Safety on passing down. I mean, he played all over the secondary, but he rarely lined up ten plus yard beyond the LOS like a normal FS. He rarely played Centerfield. You can see what I mean when you watch the Arizona State Tape. He is primarily in that role, in that game. I don't think a lot of teams knew what to do with him. Not with his play, but all the different roles he played, the odd places he played, and some of the technique he was taught to do.
If you watch
the UCLA game. He played primarily Corner on the QB's right, and he played
it well. He still hoped into the box, and was terrific covering the Tight
End between the Seams. I don't want to go over too much as I am repeating
myself. "That's a great
question," BB said asked about the versatility of the players he
picked. "We'll see. Until we actually get out there and start doing
it, we'll see how much versatility we actually do have. I do think that
with some of the players we've added on the defensive side of the ball,
guys have different skills and maybe they will be able to do some
different things for us. It's hard to say exactly what that will be until
you actually get them doing it and putting it all together to see how
effective we are individually and collectively as a team doing different
things, changing things up and how versatile the players are. But on
paper, I think there're some possibilities for that. We'll see how it
actually goes, what we're actually able to do with it. It will be
interesting to see how it goes with some of those players.
Against Wisconsin he didn't start, and when he got in he had played primarily Free Safety. Then. Against Michigan he plays a completely different role as the CB on the QB’s leftside which is traditional the Number Two Corner. Then he he is against Western Michigan, playing primarily Slot Corner and Free Safety.
So some that kind of vast versatility, where he played four different roles in four different games, is tough to judge. BB sees it and starts to drool. He sees a guy he can stick into Chung's role when he gets injured, and put some pressure on him to return. In fact, I think the best comparison I can make is that Wilson really reminds me of Chung at Oregon. "I just thought that was where I was most needed on my football team," He said about sacrificing a set role on defense, that would help himself with his Draft stock, and playing where ever he was needed, which help the team a lot more than him. "We had a safety coming back off of injury and I felt like he was a pretty good player. We had some young guys that could play safety, but we didn't have the other corner, so I said I'd play corner because I thought that was the best fit for the team." He can play Nickel corner. He can step outside on the left sideline if McCourty struggles and pose a threat. He can play Nickel Linebacker on any passing downs, and cover the Tight Ends, and in the AFC East, you have to be able to cover the TEs, and he can certainly do that, just like Chung. Also you have to remember, it was Nick Ceserio who fell in love Chung in 2009, and had him pegged for the first pick in Round Two, just like the Rams had Quick pegged to start Day Two this year. So again, in hindsight, this pick makes a ton of sense for the Pats, because on Tape, he just kept reminding me of Chung. And I can Gar-un-tee you that Ceserio had a few conversations about Chung and Wilson the past couple of months.
Another reason he dropped is because of his versatility, he can be hard to spot. When you watch the Tape, notice how many times you struggle to find him before the play starts, but it is never hard to find him after the play, because he made or is always right in the area. He has that knack for finding the ball all over the field. Which was also a large part of his role as the CB/Box Safety/Nickel Linebacker. "My junior year I started at safety. I came in as a corner, but my junior someone was hurt, so I had to move to safety," Wilson said. "Last year, my coaches asked me what position I wanted to play for my senior season and I told them I wanted to play corner. I kind of played everywhere. I played some safety some games, some corner, some nickel." He sacrificed what he thought was best for himself, for the betterment of the team. Isn't that what I always here Pat's fan say is more important than everything except winning? The coaches put him in where ever they thought the other team would be going the most. Where he would help the team the most. They would watch the tendencies, and then stick him in where they thought the ball was going. And he came through. He was the only one who was smart enough to handle that role.
I really like his Tape, and I know if you are ecstatic that they just stayed put and took the player the targeted, then you will really like the Tape. Plus, his young, and still only twenty-one. He was also voted Team Captain, and voted teams Outstanding Defensive Back at the teams Post season Banquet.
The Player: Wilson- Heart, Hustle and Speed. Post Draft.
I am done with the Tape of Wilson, and like a idiot I did three games, but he seemed to change roles every game. It was remarkable. He is a truly remarkable player, and we will soon see if he can be that same utility player in the Pats secondary that help you win games when players get injured. we all know Mel didn't like this pick. He, "didn't see it." Which is fine, because Wilson went under the radar. That doesn't mean he sucks, it just means the so called experts may have made a mistake. "As far as New England is concern the one pick that caused the drop in their grade, and the reason they didn't get an A- or an A, was the 2nd Round pick of Tavon Wilson of Illinois," Mel said. "I didn't see it. Maybe we missed it Todd. I didn't see it. Did you see it Todd?" So just because all the so called experts (like me;-) didn't see it, doesn't mean that the real experts made the mistake. It usually mean the so called experts made the mistake. To think that Mel or Todd or myself have more information on these guys is ridiculous.
First of all, you can't question his character. He was the leader of the secondary: Don't I always hear that's what we want? "Most definitely," Wilson answered when asked if being a Captain helps. "The Patriots are a great organization; there are a lot of great leaders over there. They're looking to bring good people into their organization. They do their background information [checks] on everyone. Yes, I think that was a factor. I always put my team above myself. Coach [Ron] Zook always told me that was going to help me out in the long run." As we now know he made grave personal and financial sacrifices to play his super versatile roles to help his team and teammates win games. His role help his team, but made him hard to find him when all the so called experts watched film. Then they asked, Why isn't he starting? Why doesn't; the have a defined role? Why isn't he good enough to start at Corner every game? Why isn't he good enough to start at Free Safety every game? But he just kept on working. "Most definitely," Wilson said. "Everybody has to overcome adversity. I overcame a lot of things in my life. That's the reason I'm here today and the reason why I'm the person I am today. I never get too high or too low, I just keep working all the time. I just take everything one day at a time. Hats go off to my grandmother for that. She's a very strong woman."
of course come the irrepressible John Gruden. You probably heard this on
Day Two, but it was so nice you need to see it twice. "I spent a lot
of time back in my office Ron Zook, the ex-coach at Illinois," Gruden
said at the Draft. "We watched AJ Jenkins. We watched Mercilius. We
watched Jeff Allen. Now, this kid Wilson, Ron Zook's telling me, 'hey, why
are we watching this Corner? Why are we watching this Safety? Why do we
keep watching all of these guys? We should watch my kid Tavon Wilson at Illinois.
He's better than all of them.' Zook, if your watching today, you were exactly
right, because Bill Belichick agrees with you." You gotta love that!
The Reason: He has the talent to be a starter, and the skills to play any role in the Secondary. I thought he was a Third Day pick, and I think most everyone agreed. But he was rising as teams let it slip that they liked him. So to say he was rated as an undrafted Free Agent is very misleading. There was no way this kid was getting out of Day Three. There were a lot of teams that liked him so much they refused to mention his name. San Diego was said to be ready to take him in the 3rd Round. McShay was claiming he had in the 6th Round. "I watched Tape on Tavon Wilson, and I really liked him, and I thought I was being kind," McShay responded. "And a couple of guys who watch Tape of him liked him and gave him a sixth Round grade, and really liked [him]. You know what I mean. When you like [a guy]. I'm gonna put him up there, because I like him more, but I don't think anybodies gonna like him this much. So I gave him a 6th Round grade. Far be it from me to say Bill Belichick and his staff missed, but it seems like they could have got him later. Or, traded a pick back. I'm not sure what you do, but it just seemed it was three or four rounds higher than most other teams." He played, and played well in one of the top conference against some of the top competition. "We're a pretty big conference, the Big Ten, Wilson said. "It's a very strong conference; we have some really good players. I felt like we had great coaches at Illinois that prepared me for this opportunity. I'm just thankful to have that opportunity." Plus he is motivated. My favorite part of his press conference was when he talked about not getting invited to the Combine, and how he used that as motivation. "I feel like there are only a certain amount of spots that people get invited to the combine," He said at his Presser. "I was confident in my ability. I wish I was there, but I wasn't. But I looked at it as a positive. I just looked at it as more opportunity to get ready. Everybody else had six weeks and I had eight. Once my pro day came, I felt I was in my best possible shape. I watched every rep of it. I took it all in, tried to watch what those guys did, as far as their techniques and stuff, watched their times and I just tried to go out there and compete against those guys and tried to make my times better. It was definitely motivating. Any time you don't get into something that you feel like you should be in, you just try. I'm a competitor, so I watched it. I watched it and saw what those guys did. When I got my opportunity to show what I can do, I showed what I can do." Now isn't that the kind of kid we always say we want on our team? A kid with heart like that. Yes indeed.
For more Info on Pats, check out my: Patriots Draft Blog.
4/29 Wilson- Heart, Hustle and Speed. Post Draft.
4/29 Hightower- It's Not Rocket Science. Post Draft.
4/28 Jones- Fight For The Forth. Post Draft.
4/11 McClellin- Dip n' Rip. Oops!
4/10 Hill- Freak Factor.
3/27 Adams- I'm Ba-ak.
3/21 Mark Barron- Leader.
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