Tuesday, April 22, 2008

NFL draft & more

The draft and more...

Jake Long to Miami with 30 Mil guaranteed? I can't blame Miami for bringing in Jake Long because watching him work out he looked very similar on a physical level to Joe Thomas from last year and Marcus Mcneil two years ago ( who I was raving was an absolute steal where he was drafted). Mcneil fell in the draft from injury concerns but ended up playing through his rookie year without giving up a sack! You could have made a strong argument that Marcus Mcneil he was the best player at his key position as a rookie. My point is that I am obviously high on Mcneil and Thomas and Long is that caliber of physical talent. Just go back to the scouting combine and you see his size, agility, strength and notice that he is just flat out physically much more impressive than ALL of the other lineman ( like Thomas and Mcneil in the past). The thing that gets me is not the bench press or anything like that, but when you see these tall/long lineman move their feet side to side horizontally you just get to see that these guys aren't big fat 300 pound guys, but they are more athletic guys that are just BIGGER. They are fluid and don't move like 315 pound guys and are extremely rare human beings. I'd also like to note that Long is good talking and in front of the camera ( I know that isn't super important but it is a bonus for a #1 draft pick).

Here are some of my draft calls revisited...
Last year I 100% liked Brady Quinn more than Jemarcus Russell.
How does it look now? Well the jury is still out on this one, and I am still confident that Quinn will be a better pro quarterback than Russell.
- Russell was praised for "out-dueling" Quinn in the Louisiana Super dome bowl game, but Russell's LSU Tigers won the BCS national title the year AFTER he left. You could easily argue that J. Russell in 07 had more talent than M. Flynn ( damon) in 08'. Russell had two first round wide receivers ( D.Bowe was nasty & C. Davis) and Leron Laundry. Marr Flynn still had E. Doucet, but Russell had 3 first round caliber WR's.
- Beating up on Brady Quinn's Irish isn't as impressive anymore is it? To me the amazing part is that Quinn got that team into the 3rd place game in the first place. People wanted to question his " big game" ability, well the Irish couldn't even beat average teams this year, but you want to punish Quinn for losing to maybe the most talented team?
- People were drooling over Russells big size and arm, but what about his work ethic? The guy is rumored to be 290 pounds now and held out the entire first month of the season. Not training camp, Russell held out the entire first month of the season! Jeff George had a rocket arm but throwing fast balls doesn't matter when they are directly into the arms of the other team! At 290 pounds I didn't know Jared Lorenzon had a twin brother with Jemarcus Russell. Maybe they should all talk to Jared from Subway.

Reggie Bush vs Mario Williams.
Once again I went against the grain and went with Mario ( correct). I was comparing a stud DE ( Julious Peppers) against a talented hybrid RB ( Bryon Westbrook). I think Westbrook is an outstanding RB, but RB's have shorter careers, are rather interchangeable, and aren't worth as much as stud DE's. Julious Peppers made more money and is a more valued chess piece than Bryon Westbrook.
- Now Mario got off to a slow start ( in his defense he did come out as a junior), but people believe in him now.
- Reggie Bush doesn't even LOOK like a Bryon Westbrook thus far. Maybe a Poor Man's Bryon Westbrook. I was just sick and tired of the hype " the greatest back in his generation blah blah blah, Gale Sayers, blah blah blah". Adrian Peterson is that guy and came a year later.

Back to 2008
Jake Long - Physically reminds me of Joe Thomas & Marcus Mcneil, two guys that were able to step right into the NFL and play at a high level at a key position.
Vernon Gholston - Chris Long is getting more talk/press than Gholston, but Gholston is an absolute beast. I think he could be a pro bowler as a 3-4 OLB or a 4-3 DE. I think VG or Long could go to the Rams #2, and neither should slip past NE. VG on NE just scares me having that aged but smart LB core to mentor him. I think a lot of what the Rams do depend on Adam Carriker ( a guy who was very successful last year but got little press). I think Carriker was a better pro than Okoye in Houston who did get a lot of press. Okoye might be quicker, but Carriker was excellent at gap control. He was strong at the inital punch, holding his ground, and then trying to make a play. Carriker could play DT or DE and if the Rams want to pair him with Laundry/Ellis at DT or Long/Gholston on the outside they should have a strong young line.
Fred Davis - He might not be some super physical player ( like Winslow), but he has solid hands and does what he is supposed to do. Maybe like a Chris Cooley only with more upside or a poor man's Antonio Gates.

Chad Henne - He reminds me of Drew Bledsoe at the end of his career. He holds onto the ball way to long, has a slow release, and even gets flustered at times. His lack of mobility doesn't bother me because he has good size, but he is going to get killed unless he does something about his slower release and slower reads. He does have a strong arm, but a guy to compare Henne to might be a Patrick Ramsey ( nothing to get super excited about).
Mike Hart - Here I am picking on Michigan guys. I understand that everybody loves Mike Hart's interview and intangibles etc., but I don't like his physical skill set. Hart had a good team around him and a good situation, but if he were playing for say TCU, would people even know who he is? He has a great interview, great name, great hart, but I am not super excited over him. It sort of reminds me of Darious Walker last year.
Darren Mcfadden - It is not that I don't like Mcfadden, it is just I don't think he is worth anywhere near the #4 pick the Raiders are looking at. I REPEAT, HE WILL NOT BE ADRIAN PETERSON PART 2. Sure he is fast, but that the lone reason won AD is good. Mcfadden more reminds me of a Slick Willie Parker. Willie Parker is super fast, not a strong lower body or tackle breaker, but a solid RB. In fact he could make some pro bowls here and there depending on the players surrounding him, but is he worth the 4th pick in the draft? Willie wasn't even drafted. If I have the choice between a Vernon Gholston or a Darren Mcfadden, it isn't even a choice in my opinion.

Other comparisons
Chris Long - Aaron Kampman or Kyle VandenBosh. Originally I thought to compare Chris Long to Aaron Kampman, a hard working determined but maybe not physically overbearing player. People also like to compare Patrick Kearney ( although he is a beast). VandenBosh is maybe a better comparison than Kampman because I perceive Vandenbosh to be more of a beast than Kampman. I'd throw Chris Long in this group of pro bowl players, but he is NOT just a hard working guy. Chris Long is a beast and there are no doubts about it. That is why I'd probably compare him more to Kyle Vandenbosh.
Matt Ryan - I don't think Matt Ryan is that #1 franchise QB that is taken at the top of the draft. I'd compare him more to an Alex Smith at this point. I will have to be honest and say that I wasn't even that high on him until I just liked something about him in workouts. I certainly wouldn't put odds on him becoming the next Carson Palmer, but I don't think he will be the next David Carr either. Out of the recent first round picks I'd say his career would most likely resemble Alex Smith from a progression stand point but who knows.

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