Monday, 12 October 2009

Monday morning links

Deion Sanders says he shares no blame for Oklahoma State wide out Dez Bryant's suspension: "He's not ineligible for what went on at my house. He's ineligible because he lied." It's unclear at this stage if we'll see Bryant again this year, but he'll almost certainly declare for the 2010 draft.

John Tamanaha reviews Ndamukong Suh's performance against Missouri last week: "Is there a better college football player in the country than Nebraska's overpowering defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh? Okay ... if we are talking fully healthy players, he's got to be it."

Tony Barnhart was impressed with Florida's all-star defense in Saturday's win over LSU. Top pro-prospects like Joe Haden (CB) and Brandon Spikes (LB) had big games: "While the build up to Saturday night's showdown between No. 1 Florida and No. 4 LSU dwelled on the playing status and overall well-being of quarterback Tim Tebow, the reality is that Gator fans never had to worry: The Florida defense had Tebow's back."

Dennis Dodds thought Tim Tebow stood out despite clearly still recovering from a concussion suffered a fortnight ago. Defining the stock of Florida's quarterback isn't getting any easier. The positives and negatives of his game are obvious for NFL GM's and scouts. What isn't obvious is how many teams believe the positives outweigh the negatives and where he goes next April.

Rob Rang thinks Tebow's stock could suffer after a poorly judged interception late in Saturday's game. With the Gators running out the clock with a ten point lead, coach Urban Meyer made a truly baffling decision to call a pass play. Tebow didn't help though by under throwing his receiver and giving LSU a shot, albeit a very small one which they failed to take.

Football Draft Analysis has published an updated mock draft. The Seahawks select Jake Locker (QB, Washington) and C.J. Spiller (RB, Clemson) with their two first round picks. Jimmy Clausen (QB, Notre Dame) goes first overall with Bryan Bulaga (OT, Iowa) flying up the board to be taken with the second pick.


Patrick said...

So, Denver is 5-0. At this points it's almost ridiculous to assume we will get a top 10 draft pick from them, and more than likely it'll be 20-32. While it would have been very nice to have our pick of the top talent, I'm actually pretty content with the fact that we can get a late first rounder. They're a lot cheaper, and sometimes they are much better than the top. Hopefully, Seattle is at least 16-32 as well. With that said, what effect do you think that will have if we wanted a top QB? I could see 5 QBs possibly go first round. Bradford, Clausen, Locker, McCoy, and Tebow. However, say that Clausen and Locker stay in school. Is there a chance for us to snag a QB with our later picks? If so, would we actually take him? I love Tebow but what about McCoy. I like him a lot but the scouts have been feasting on him lately. Think Seattle would budge? He is a 4-year starter and while he doesn't scream Ruskell pick as much as Tebow, he fits it more than some.

Rob Staton said...

I think it was always optomistic to think Denver were going to deliver a top pick. Simply put, there were always going to be a lot worse teams than them and playing in the AFC West, they were going to win some games. Having said that, getting to 5-0 is a still a big shock. They'll be tested over the next few weeks for sure, but it's not unrealistic to expect they'll achieve a strong winning record now.

As you say getting a late pick wouldn't be a catastrophe anyway. I think the best value always comes in picks 10-20 so we'll wait and see how Denver and Seattle does the rest of the year.

It's a deep draft for QBs as you also point out Patrick, so I think Seattle will get the chance to draft a QB if they so wish. It's almost certain one will go very early and possibly two in the top ten. It's hard to predict at this point because we don't know who's going to declare, but if 5-6 guys are given first round gradings then I think Seattle will get a shot with at least one of their picks.

Personally, I'm not a fan of Colt McCoy as a pro-prospect. He's a very, very good college QB. He does a good job in Texas' funky offense. However, there's nothing remotely eye catching about him. Weak arm, not great mechanics. He might work out in an offense that never asks him to throw further than 8-10 yards from the shotgun, but how many do?

Mel Kiper keeps comparing him to Drew Brees. If anyone honestly believes that, then he'll possibly go in round two. But Mel Kiper also ranks Sam Bradford and Eric Berry ahead of Ndamukong Suh, something I still cannot believe. I imagine that will possibly change as the weeks go on.

Kyle Rota said...

My problem with McCoy is that you risk so much and there just isn't a lot of upside. Even if he learns Chad Pennington technique and masters reading defenses like Peyton Manning, you're still talking about a guy who will have less pure talent than Hasselbeck or Bulger (two of the more productive "non-toolsy" QBs). And it will take several years before he reaches that, in all likelihood, if ever.

Anonymous said...

Rob and Kyle, what about the idea of not drafting a QB in 2010 but rather spending 2 of our first 3 picks on beefing up the O-line. I'm thinking the #1 pick on a top of the line OT (eventually slide Locklear back to RT) and the #3 pick on a top of the line OG, and using the #2 pick on either a top notch RB or DB (CB or Safety) unless someone else sticks out as BPA.

I guess my secret wish is that Jake Locker returns to school and we target him in 2011 and we use 2010 as a means to put him (or another young QB) into the best situation possible with a beefed up line and a good running game.

What are your guys' thoughts/opinions on using the 2010 Draft as a way of setting up the next QB in the best situation possible?

Rob Staton said...

I think it sounds like a nice idea annonymous, but one which might be difficult to follow through.

It's not looking like a good draft for offensive lineman. Some of the bigger names (Trent Williams, Russell Okung, Ciron Black) have been disappointing. Right now I'm struggling to find an offensive lineman who warrants serious consideration in the top half of round one. Bryan Bulaga (OT, Iowa) is kind of there by default based on what little footage I've seen. I want to get a better look, or I at least want to hear Kyle say he's worthy of a top grade.

But if Bulaga does prove to be the real deal, even then it will be tough for Seattle to aim for him. Offensive tackle has become such a premium in the NFL, you can guaranteee that if one guy stands out he'll go very early. Nobody had Jason Smith penned to go second overall this time last year - but he did, because he had raw potential and played a key position.

I'm yet to see an interior lineman that is likely to warrant consideration that early in the draft (round two). I'm dubious one will appear because the position doesn't tend to have too many top prospects. Last year was a rare exception with Alex Mack and co.

Even then, I would urge caution towards believing the draft will offer an instant solution to any issues on the offensive line. As an example - Jacksonville's line yesterday contained a top ten pick (Eugene Monroe) and a second round pick who many felt would go in round one (Eben Britton). Monroe was abused by a seventh round compensatory pick (Nick Reed) and the Jaguars line in general struggled badly against a Seahawks line missing Patrick Kerney.

On the other hand, the Seahawks were on their 4th string LT... their backup RT... backup left guard... and out performed the much more expensive Jaguars line. I firmly believe that the Seahawks struggles on the offensive line are more injury based than necessarily talent and expensive rookies are just as likely to get injured as anyone else.

It's still very early days and we'll get a better feel for which prospects will go early when the college football season has finished, but right now I anticipate a sub-standard draft for offensive lineman, a very good draft for defensive lineman and a deep yet potentially awkward class of quarterbacks.

Kyle Rota said...

Well, I can't speak for Rob, but here is my take:

Our QB situation is approaching the point of no return. The 2009 draft would've been a good place to grab Matt's heir, 2008 even better (grab a guy late with starting potential). Matt, at this point, has to be labeled with that dreaded "injury prone" tag, and given his age it doesn't seem like something that will get better.

For me, you never start a rookie QB. I know some guys have done it with success, but I'd much rather bring along someone after a year or even two backing up a great veteran like Matt. If you pick a guy this year, you are in a good position to do so. If you pick a guy next year, Matt's contract will have ran out and probably Seneca's too (not sure about that). You're most likely picking a high draft choice and quite possibly throwing him to the wolves immediately.

We're not in a good position because we need a lot of pieces on offense. But, to me, OL is a position where the adjustment isn't quite as big in the NFL as it is for QBs. I'd rather have a 2nd-year QB and a rookie LT than a 2nd-year LT and a rookie QB, again, assuming talent is equal. You need to have a good line before you drop a QB in there, but that line will probably mature faster than the QB himself will.

I hope I'm explaining my view on that well. At this point, I'm not enamored with the senior QBs... but I've seen most of the top senior tackles and out of Selvish Capers, Russell Okung, Ciron Black, and Trent Williams... Okung is the only one I even have hope for as a decent starter at LT in the NFL. Maybe the juniors fix it, but OT tends to be a "stay in school" position.

Lastly, for most of the top OL, they're at the top of their class because they are bigger than their peers. It's hard to tell at this point, but Seattle's selection of Unger suggests that the team is looking for traditional zone-blocking OL (smaller, quicker, smarter). If you don't value size as much as most teams, the guys you want may be available later in the draft. Now, you'll probably still need that LT early because pass-protection sells even more than size, but the rest of our problems might be solved in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th rounds of the draft.

Wow, that was a long response. Hope that spells out my reasoning. At the end of the day, reaching for either position is a bad idea because at this point the top seniors at QB and T (no clue on G, haven't gotten there yet) are so mediocre that the less-than-top guys may not even be starting quality. But, if given the choice, I'd take the QB first and give him a "redshirt" year.

Anonymous said...

Kyle- Thanks for the response. To add to your point, it sounds like Charles Brown could be an ideal fit in ZBS and would probably be available in the late 1st round due to scheme limitations. He seems to have the athleticism that we are looking for. Brown has been getting rave reviews week in, week out with his performances and coming from a program like USC would only expedite his learning curve. Not to mention, you also mention Selvish Capers who sounds like an intriguing project whose skill set could align well with ZBS. What about guys like Brown or Capers fitting the system and not necessarily warranting a top 15 pick?

I'd be more than happy with the first 3 picks going QB, OT, and RB or DB.

What are your thoughts on OG Iuptani from Idaho? I've read a lot about him being a guy who could be a real sleeper.

Kyle Rota said...

I don't know much about that Idaho guy. Ruskell's track record has pretty much led me to "not bother scouting" anyone from small school or with any character blemishes whatsoever. Plus, Idaho games are tough for me to procure. If Ruskell gets fired, I might look at him, otherwise I don't think he'll be selected by Seattle.

As for Brown, he's the one "top senior tackle" I haven't gotten to yet. USC games seem to be tough ones for me to get as well, plus I want to wait until the juniors declare because I have a hunch we could see a huge number of USC juniors declare.

Capers... I'm not impressed at all. I'm halfway through my 2nd game and should have some thoughts on him up tonight.

Anonymous said...

Kyle-Thanks for the update on Capers. I don't ever get to see WVU play but I read about him being a former TE with good athleticism.

Who are some early-middle round RBs who you think could become effective RBs with the potential to be a 3 down back? I'm thinking of guys like Keiland Williams, Ben Tate, Montario Hardesty, Anthony Dixon, etc. Any of those names stick out?

Kyle Rota said...

I wish I could you on the RB front, but I haven't gotten to them yet. I think, however, that I'll start looking at some in the near future. Been a big Keiland Williams supporter for a couple of years, this year he is finally producing like I have expected for the past 2. He seems like a guy who could fit well with what we do.

'Fraid that's the only guy I'm terribly familiar with. Thought Hardesty was better than Foster for Tennessee last year but no idea how he rates as an NFL back.

Anonymous said...

i'm gonna make my own post about it