Friday, 1 January 2010

Eric Berry will declare

This was expected, especially after Lane Kiffin revealed as much before the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Eric Berry will head for the 2010 NFL draft and skip his senior year. Despite many people touting Berry as a top ten pick - I have major reservations. I've added a 'prospect archives' section to the right hand side bar - click the link and you'll be able to locate articles on a number of 2010 prospects that have been written over the last few months. Check the 'Eric Berry' articles (like this one) to see why I'm not totally sold on his high draft stock.


brandon knight said...

Berry is a stud and a lock to be a top 5 pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.

Rob Staton said...

I couldn't disagree more Brandon. For starters, right now the top five teams will be St Louis, Detroit, Kansas City, Tampa Bay and Washington. Which one of those teams can afford to invest a top pick on a safety? I've got DL, OL and QB going in those positions for a reason. As an aside, Washington, Detroit and St Louis all own very good safety's already.

Secondly, I firmly believe there are faults in Berry's game that are getting clouded due to the highlight reel plays which in fairness - we haven't seen in 2009. His tackling is frequently suspect - yes he can deliver very good hits too. But he whiffs more than I'm comfortable with, particularly against bigger opponents. In the NFL, he'll be up against bigger opponents every week.

He rarely wraps up, instead opting to go low in his tackles. That leaves him wide open. In coverage he struggles against college tight ends - those guys are bigger and better in the NFL and so are the wide outs.

I'll be very surprised if he goes in the top ten let alone the top five.

Anonymous said...

Completely agree Rob. Berry is a good player but a safety has little value for bad teams who pick high in the draft. It's called positional value and safety is low on the totem pole in that regard.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Brandon! You guys are haters and would not know talent if it slapped you in the face. Especially you Rob. It amazes me that all the Football Nation is wrong and you are right from catching a few games out of 30+. If all are like you there, hopefully he wont go to Seattle. Luckily, not many people read this blog!

Rob Staton said...

You are welcome to your opinion annonymous as is Brandon. I have no agenda here, I call things as I see them. If you can explain why Berry is better than I have suggested I'm more than willing to engage in debate.

SNY said...

Hey Rob, love the blog. I have two questions for you -

1. Besides Berry and Mays, who seem to be overvalued, are there any legitimate NFL safety prospects in this draft? Is there a guy, maybe in rounds 2-4 who could be a real difference maker for us?

2. I asked previously about what the draft implications are with regards to this week's NFL games. It looks like our first pick will be between 5-7, but what are some different scenarios that could take place this weekend that would affect our second 1st round pick? I think Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Jets, or any two of those three, need to win, correct? I'd imagine whether Denver misses or makes the playoffs could mean a huge swing in where we pick, right? If Denver wins, are they in? They play Kansas City, albeit without Brandon Marshall..

Anonymous said...

Wow, some of you guys apparently never pay attention to what is written on this site because Rob and Kyle do a terrific job of justifying their thoughts rather than just spewing thoughtless words.

I suggest some of you actually read what both have written in regards to prospects (Berry in this case) because I have found my view to change on many prospects because of many things pointed out on this site that others fail to mention.

Keep up the good work guys. I've thoroughly enjoyed visiting this site for the past year and feel much more informed because of it.

SNY said...

Rob, one more thing -

If Ryan Mallett declares for the draft, does he immediately become the best QB prospect available?

Also, whose game do you think translates better to the NFL, Mallett or Locker? I know everyone seems inclined to think that Locker staying at UW and another year with Sark will make him the best QB prospect available next year, but if Mallett stays at Arkansas and has a big year, couldn't the same thing be said about him?

Rob Staton said...

SNY - I was very impressed with Major Wright (S, Florida) yesterday. He tackles well, diagnosed plays sufficiently to a NFL level and was capable of delivering a bit hit. The thing I liked most though was his ability to support the cornerback in coverage, as a tandem he and Joe Haden were seemingly unbeatable last night to the point Tony Pike just stopped throwing to that side of the field. I think you're looking at a middle round grade for him with a ceiling of round two. Nate Allen is another name who could go in round 3-4, you can probably put Darrell Stuckey in that range too. Morgan Burnett is worth consideration if he declares (I think he's stated he'll be staying at GT). Earl Thomas could possibly fall into the top of round two similar to the excellent Louis Delmas last year, although he could also very easily go before Berry and Mays.

With regard the Broncos, I think if New York and Baltimore win they are in the playoffs. I think both will, ending Denver's playoff hopes. I expect the Broncos to beat KC and finish 9-7. There are seven other teams who could finish with that record, meaning Denver could be picking anywhere from 22nd to 18th. If Denver lost, they could finish (based on strength of schedule) anywhere as low as 13th overall. It's a pretty complicated situation which will become clear if Denver don't qualify for the playoffs. However,I expect Seattle to own a pick in the late teens.

Annonymous - thanks for the kind remarks - really appreciated. We put our opinions out there so we have to accept that people will disagree with us. I'm always happy to engage in debate and people should feel free to disagree. Let's just keep things personable in the process.

SNY said...


I watched Major Wright play last night and kept thinking to myself - Why is this guy not in the conversation? That tackle he made when he avoided the guard and cut the screen play off at the knees was tremendous.

And let's not forget this monster hit against Oklahoma -

Thanks for the clarification on Denver's playoff hopes. This should be a huge year for the Seahawks Draft Blog, with two first rounders and a new GM taking over.. I'm excited for April..

Antoekneeo said...

Just curious how some are not sold on Berry, when NFL Scouts and Gm's believe he is a lock for the top 10 (most likely top 5). I guess the folks that do this for a living are off the rocker for comparing Berry to Ed Reed. Taylor Mays I can understand not being high on, as he is nothing more than a physical freak with no football skills. He is the Vernon Gholston of safeties, but EB? come one man!

Rob Staton said...

Antoekneeo - Which scouts and GM's have said that Berry is a lock for the top 10? I've not heard or read anything that suggests that. The only thing I've read are a lot of mock drafts saying Berry should go in that range. Kyle has spoken to a former NFL scout and he's voiced similar concerns about Berry's tackling that we have.

At the end of the day - people don't have to agree with the opinion I've put out there. But I'd recommend to anyone - try and get some tape on Berry and make your own mind up. There's a lot of hype and for the most part, it's not justified. I think Berry will go in the 15-20 range, that's a fair assesment for a safety of his quality.

Anonymous said...

first after hearing so much chatter and hype over eric berry I started
to watch more of tennessee this year. I watched the ucla game and
walked away wondering that little guy can't be the best safety
prospect in years; he can barely tackle and was getting shoved all
over the field by the tight end and receivers. although he did have a
bunch of tackles most were him jumping on the pile or him going real
low. I thought maybe its just a bad game, so I watched more games
and nothing changed. I hoped maybe berry would show up in his last
game in the bowl but he got man handled and on one play in open space
at the goalline he was left confused as the rb trotted into the
endzone another play later on he tried to tackle the rb and the rb
just ran out of his tackle. so now I am left wondering how does todd
mcshay of espn have this guy as the number 1 pro prospect and mel
kiper has him going in the top 5? what are they seeing? I read
analysis after analysis and they all say he has this ability and that
ability and is like ed reed and troy palomalu and sean taylor in his
playmaking abilities but unless I was blind or not watching carefully
I did not see it...
why are they touting him so highly and you are not? are they trying to
say his playmaking ability was neutralized because he was playing in a
different scheme run by a long time nfl coordinator? wouldn't that
mean in the nfl he might not be as effective if placed in a nfl scheme
defense? are my concerns valid? who are mcshay and kiper talking to
that are so high on drafting a safety like him so high? do those teams
drafting early really need a questionable player?

Rob Staton said...

Annonymous - I can't speak for McShay or Kiper, all I know is I scouted Berry very closely and discovered all the concerns you've voiced yourself. I think he's over rated, I've made that open on this blog. There's enough of a concern with regard his size, his tackling, his coverage against bigger guys... I don't see how you can justify spending a top five pick on him simply because up until this year, he had shown a skill for returning interceptions. It's not all bad - he appears to diagnose plays well, he is capable of laying a hit - he does have that playmaking ability with the ball in his hands. However, it's not enough to spend the big bucks early in a draft. I'll be surprised if he goes in the top ten.

Anonymous said...

All, Pete Carroll will most likely draft a DB. Look at his draft history with Pats (Chris Canty BUST, Tebuckey Jones). He'll go with the position that he can best evaluate. So that said Seahawks are good on CB but Joe Haden would be great pick!! or that leaves S Eric Berry!!

Danny said...

Being a Tennessee fan I may be biased but I also watched every Tennessee game. When it came to tackling around or behind the line of scrimmage Eric Berry went low and nine times out of ten made the tackle. It was when he was downfield, right after a catch, he would try to lay a big hit on someone. Last year Berry played in a totally different defense. You talk about his lack of production in 2009. He played in a different style of defense. Even with that, Montie Kiffin said he would use a number one pick on him if he were an NFL coach. A lot of noise is made about Earl Thomas. Experts now have him as the best safety in the draft because of his 8 ints last season. Berry only had 2 last year but had 7 in 2008. Last season he played more of a linebacker role, lining up in the box. Sometimes you just have to recognize a very good football player. Someone that always makes a big play when you needed it. Eric Berry did that while at Tennessee. I am not calling anyone an idiot. Everything looks different through another set of eyes. This is just my opinion.

Anonymous said...


Any comments about Eric Berry so far? I know you said he would not go top 5 and would probably drop out of top 10. Clearly you were wrong. And seems that you were wrong about GMs and the other scouts not respecting his talent.


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