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AJs hits and misses

Discussion in 'NFL Draft' started by gettough, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. gettough
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    gettough BoltTalker

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  2. boltfanatik
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    boltfanatik Toxic Minority Member

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  3. ThunderHorse17
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    ThunderHorse17 Lone Wolf

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    Fourth-round picks
    2003: Inside linebacker Matt Wilhelm
    2004: Outside linebacker Shaun Phillips
    2005: Running back Darren Sproles
    2007: Tight end Scott Chandler
    2009: Running back Gartrell Johnson
    2009: Offensive guard Tyronne Green
    2009: Defensive end Vaughn Martin
    2010: Safety Darrell Stuckey

    Matt Wilhelm was a good backup linebacker over six seasons with the Chargers...Shaun Phillips has been the team's top pass-rusher since Shawne Merriman flamed out in 2008...From the 2007 postseason through his final year with San Diego in 2010, Darren Sproles was one of the top receiving threats out of the backfield on screen passes...Scott Chandler had a career year in 2011--with the Buffalo Bills. He never played a regular-season down for the Chargers...Gartrell Johnson didn't make San Diego's 53-man roster for his rookie season...Tyronne Green has been a reliable backup at both guard spots and is the favorite to take over for the retired Kris Dielman...Vaughn Martin has shown a lot of progress since entering the NFL from the University of Western Ontario in Canada. He's the favorite to start at the defensive end spot opposite 2011 first-round pick Corey Liuget...Darrell Stuckey has been a very good special teams performer. He will compete for the starting strong safety spot next to free safety Eric Weddle.

    Grade: A. Only two of A.J.'s fourth-round draft picks, Scott Chandler and Gartrell Johnson, never played a role for the Chargers. The rest have either started or were/are key backups.

    How the hell is that a A grade group?? and the third round picks is a C+??

    Nice compilation/attempt to grade the picks list tho.
  4. matilack
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    matilack #therealagent47

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    AJ has pissed me off lately, but in his defense I think we have had enough talent to win 10 games every year.

    We just find ways to lose. Which if you talk to Redskins and Raider fans, happens to be a hallmark of a certain coach we employ.
  5. Buck Melanoma
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    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    The entire article is a biased POS.

    And that's the slant that makes AJ look good. :tdown:
  6. Ikeman83
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    2 things I don't like about this article. First, it implies that "above average" is desirable from a GM, whereas an average or worse GM typically gets fired. Second, his grading scale for the team is somewhat incongruent. He grades some players (and consquently AJ) based on their production, rather than on their production for the Chargers. The trouble facing the Chargers is that of their draft picks since 2003 (10 years), they have:
    6 first round picks on the roster (of 11), one of which is not likely to make it out of training camp.
    4 second round picks on the roster (of 9), of which only 2 are expected to see significant playing time.

    If we got a really good cap guy to negotiate contracts, and had our scouting department write up a board with the names of college prospects (with better prospects listed multiple times), and had a monkey, which was dressed in a Hawaiin shirt, trained to throw darts at this board of college prospects, the "hits" of which would be drafted, would we notice a difference?
  7. Lance19
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    Lance19 BoltTalker

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    Got too much time on your hands? Then wade into this much-too-long tripe! / ISBN: 978-0679600848


    I always thought it was obvious that the draft is not AJ's strongest area.
    He's better at finding the Tolberts, scooping up lost Gaithers, signing quality
    (if not star) players on his terms (allowing the huge contracts of the Riverses and Gateses).
    Oh, and fleecing teams like the Seahawks. :)
    (and even though I think it may be his weakest area, I still think his supposed draft "failure" is mostly myth)

    The bottom line is that the GM's job to is put together the best roster
    he can, and then let the games be played. The draft is only one tool. Like the fog of war,
    a fair amount remains unpredictable in this game. Injuries, for example, affect all teams,
    but which players go down is vital. Some fans try to play the "injury" card
    every year, as if their team is uniquely harmed. I don't: The Chargers were
    spoiled by LT's uncanny ability to avoid the standard running back injuries
    (averaging 320 carries + tons of catches over his 9 seasons here)
    and now they're fortunate to have a QB who has been much more durable
    than the average QB. Crucial players...fortunate health. That said, the team
    DID have more than its share of bad injury luck in 2010, and that broke their
    playoff string. And Hell, if Rivers doesn't fumble that snap, the 2011 Chargers
    finish 9-7 (like the Giants) with a ticket to the playoffs.

    I've said for years (and I'll say it again, now, just to remain Mr. Unpopular
    ...and hopefully get my first 'dislike' vote) that, as a guy who has watched this
    franchise closely for over 4 decades, I honestly believe that IF the Chargers
    can win a Super Bowl in the next 5 years, AJ (if not Rivers) will probably be
    the single biggest reason. :eek:

    That's an opinion. That AJ's rosters have been ranked amongst the NFL's highest
    most of his time here, is not. That the Chargers have never had this winning an
    era is also not a matter of opinion. I think some of the younger fans think that
    playoffs are our birthright. Trust me, they're not. Though it IS nice that we've lived
    in an era where newer fans could believe otherwise. :whistling: Long-time fans know that
    stretches of 8, 9, 10 (and more!) years without a playoff game are the Chargers' real history.

    No GM is perfect (Polian was called a "god," for a decade, but after 2011 he's now a total "bum")
    but AJ plays the game better than most, and he's consistently put together teams that were
    very good, or--at worst--mediocre (since the Chargers' overall team record was a losing one
    before AJ showed up, I don't get as hysterical about "mediocre" as some do)...who'd
    have ever thought that San Diego's historically mostly uncompetitive team would go from
    2003 to now without a losing season? :0 This team has either been in the playoffs, or within a game
    (or even less, a tie-breaker) EVERY SEASON since '03. More competitive than ever, over a long stretch.
    (and no, I'm not ignoring that the AFC West HAS truly been weaker than usual over much of that time)
    If you believe the Chargers have ever had an 8-season run that successful,
    "Welcome, Brand New Charger Fan!!!" :)
    (and no, that doesn't mean I don't want even better, it merely means I have perspective)

    So, what do I think about an article that basically says that AJ's weakest area, the draft,
    still is above average? Do I think that it will quiet the eternally malcontent?
    Make the armchair GMs re-think their unhinged hostility toward AJ? Ah... :roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao:
  8. matilack
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    matilack #therealagent47

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    My evaluation of AJ's picks...

    2003: Some extenuating circumstances surrounding this entire draft. Scifres, Dielman, and Gates salvage this to a C+ grade.

    2004: Arguably one of the top 5 drafts of the decade by any team. Rivers, Kaeding, Hardwick, Phillips, Turner...5 guys who made pro bowls or are at the very least solid starters. Landing a franchise QB always = a solid A+

    2005: No competant fan should blame AJ too much for Merriman's fall from grace, he couldn't have known about the steroids, and the injury of course is just bad luck. Jackson is a legit #1 receiver, Castillo a solid starter when healthy but again health is more a matter of luck, and Sproles is a great role player. Also Murz is still around. B grade.
    2006: Cromartie was a foolish and irresponsible pick, any background investigation would have avoided that disaster. McNeill was a B+ left tackle for few years, other than that it was a disasterous draft. D+ grade.

    2007: :mad: Buster. Weddle has developed better than I imagined he would, Chandler is a solid starter for the Bills but never got a chance here. Naanee, Waters, and Siler are servicable backups in other places now. C- grade.

    2008: Cason was a safe and solid pick at the time, he's just really underachieved. Hester was a complete embarrassment considering what we gave up for him and now he's gone. Thomas, Tribble, Clark = Camp fodder. D+ grade.

    2009: Huge reach on English, but in his defense he was an extremely productive college player. Still hate the pick. Martin looks to be a solid starter. I personally like Vasquez more than most. Its a shame Ellison blew his shot. And Green is Inc. C grade.

    2010: Mathews was taken too high fpr a RB but is working out well. Butler looks like a frickin stud, Thomas is now our starting NT but has to prove he can handle it, a decent draft if those 3 guys pan out. B+ grade.

    2011: Liuget was an amazing college player and will be a solid DE eventually, but still a hell of a reach for just a solid 5-teq DE prospect. Gilchrist I really like as a versatile utility type DB. Mouton I don't have high hopes for. Brown I believe will be a solid #2 receiver. Wright is Inc. Gachkar is really a very good STer. Preliminary grade for 3 solid starters and a STer = B+ for now.
  9. Ikeman83
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    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    The trouble with those grades is that they're based on the draft, and not the impact that the draft is having on the team now. When you build through the draft, you're relying not only on players doing well on their rookie contracts, but also on them extending and staying with you to perform over a 10 year span, at least when talking about 1st, 2nd, and to a lesser extent 3rd round players.

    2003: Mike Scifres, 5th round, punter
    2004: Philip Rivers, 1st round, QB; Nate Kaeding, 3rd round, K; Nick Hardwick, 3rd round, C; Shaun Philips, 4th round, LB
    2005: Luis Castillo, 1st round, DE; Scott Mruczkowski, 7th round, C
    2006: Charlie Whitehurst, 3rd round, QB; Jeromey Clary, 6th round, T
    2007: Eric Weddle, 2nd round, S
    2008: Antoine Cason, 1st round, CB
    2009: Larry English, 1st round, LB; Louis Vasquez, 3rd round, G; Vaughn Martin, 4th round, DE; Tyronne Green, 4th round, G
    2010: Ryan Mathews, 1st round, RB; Donald Butler, 3rd round, LB; Darrell Stuckey, 4th round, S; Cam Thomas, 5th round, NT
    2011: 7/8 picks remain on roster.

    Of our possible, excluding comp picks and trades, 63 selections, we have a total of 26 on the roster, with Larry English being a strong cut possibility. Excluding our 2 most recent drafts, we have 15 of a possible 49 players on the roster, of which 4 are first rounders, and 1 is a second rounder.

    The problem with Smitty's drafting isn't that he has an endless series of complete busts, but rather that he doesn't hit on enough playmakers, and that his average haul after the players play out their rookie contracts is 1.66 players per year. That isn't building through the draft, it's starting inexperienced / young players and then starting over again every 4 years.

    What makes the 2004 draft so amazing isn't what he got that year, because for the 2004 season it was a 5 mil cap hit at 3rd string QB headlining the group, but rather how long that group has been a core component to this team. After this season I think 3 of those guys are still under contract, and Philips might get an extension if he plays well, and 10 years later 4 players from that draft will be making an impact on the roster.

    After this season, '05, '06, and '08 may be zero impact drafts for us, and that's why Smitty does a bad job "with the draft".
  10. Ikeman83
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    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    The article doesn't say that his drafts are above average, but rather that he's an above average drafter, a subtle difference, with a large distinction, considering that average drafters typically get fired. Further, Smitty's poor longterm management of the team with regards to selecting players through the draft and retaining them over the long term(see my post above this one) is absolutely devastating to the roster, when the draft is your primary talent vehicle.

    Have the Chargers had long stretches of badness? Absolutely, but maybe you should be thanking Drew Brees and Philip Rivers for the turn around.
  11. Lance19
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    Lance19 BoltTalker

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    Your difference and distinction seem significant to you. Not me, so much. I simply addressed the oft-declared
    notion that AJ has been a draft failure...what happens to guys years down line line (trades, drugs,
    suspensions, injuries, etc.) is just far too confounding and speculative to include in such a short summary.
    Also, re. the impact drafted guys have on one's own roster is only relevant re. how Smith compares
    to other GMs...how well do THEIR draft pics positively affect THEIR teams years down the road?
    That is not addressed here. Too much work. The Chargers' much better than average record over the last
    8 seasons, though, suggests that AJ's record compares quite well. Also, since when is "above average"
    (in one's weakest area!) somehow a liability?!? Further, I think my post makes clear that I don't share the
    assumption re. the draft being AJ's "...primary talent vehicle." Especially given the Chargers' poor average
    draft position (due to their above average records, overall). The Chargers have plenty of holes to fix,
    and AJ isn't a magician. Guys can bellyache all they want, complain about AJ's demeanor, bring up the draft
    picks that disappointed, like Buster, or regurgitate insipid dopey memes like "Lord of no rings..."
    but at the end of the day his record is what it is. And AJ has said many times that if his era here ends without a
    Super Bowl win, it will be considered a failure. Brees, Rivers? I like both guys, but the issue here is how well has
    AJ managed the roster? Let's be honest: If the Chargers had a poor record in the AJ era, his detractors
    would simply declare that results are the bottom line, and that we shouldn't make excuses for a losing record.
    But since AJ has been the GM in the Chargers' most successful long stretch, it seems that results
    should still matter, and should be part of the discussion re. whether or not the Chargers' GM deserves his job.
  12. Ikeman83
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    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    I noticed that you feel that way, however Smitty and the entire FO disagree with you. He's "above average" in the most important aspect of being a GM, an aspect where if you aren't at least above average, you get fired.
  13. matilack
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    matilack #therealagent47

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    At some point you've got to seperate talent evaluation from player development though, if you did this little break down for most teams I'd bet you'd get close to the same result. In the end our offense aquired more than enough Pro Bowl level talent to become elite, and defense has been middle of the road since losing Merriman. Missing on English and Davis was appauling but should not have been as devistating as it was.

    IMO the more damning moves of AJ's carrer have been the men he's hired like Norv, Manusky, and Cottrell, and re-signings like Clary, Hart, and Tucker. Although landing Ron Rivera was amazing, he should have fired Norv and let Rivera become HC, and promoted Chudz to OC.
  14. Ikeman83
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    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    I think that player development is part and parcel to talent evaluation. Ideally you draft players with some upside who can get better and grow within your system, while having position coaches, coordinators, a training staff, and a HC who can maximize the potential of your picks. Also, for shits and giggles, I'll post 2003-present for each of the 12 playoff teams this season.
  15. Lance19
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    Lance19 BoltTalker

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    This is an interesting theory.
    Let's say that NFL GMs shape up roughly as follows:

    9 Above average
    14 Average
    9 Below average.

    According to your theory, about 23 GMs (not "at least above average" in your words) would "get fired."

    This year there were 3 (that I know of) Rams (Bill Devaney), Bears (Jerry Angelo) & Colts (Chris Polian)
  16. Ikeman83
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    AFC
    New England
    2003: None
    2004: Vince Wilfork, 1st, NT
    2005: Logan Mankins, 1st, G
    2006: Stephen Gostkowski, 4th, K
    2007: None
    2008: Jerrod Mayo, 1st, ILB; Matt Slater, 5th, WR
    2009: Pat Chung, 2nd, S; Ron Brace, 2nd, DE; Sebastian Vollmer, 2nd, T; Rich Ohrnberger, 4th, G; Myron Pryor, 6th, DT; Julian Edelman, 7th, WR
    2010: Devin McCourty, 1st, CB; Rob Gronkowski, 2nd, TE; Jermaine Cunningham, 2nd, LB; Brandon Spikes, 2nd, LB; Aaron Hernandez, 4th, TE; Zoltan Mesko, 5th, P; Brandon Deaderick, 7th, DE
    2011: 8/9 picks still on roster.

    5 players from 2003-2008. 26 of 63

    Pittsburgh
    2003: Troy Polamalu, 1st, S; Ike Taylor, 4th, CB
    2004: Ben Roethlisberger, 1st, QB
    2005: Heath Miller, 1st, TE
    2006: Willie Colon, 4th, T
    2007: Lawrence Timmons, 1st, LB; LaMarr Woodley, 2nd, LB
    2008: Rashard Mendenhall, 1st, RB
    2009: Ziggy Hood, 1st, DE; Mike Wallace, 3rd, WR
    2010: Maurkice Pouncey, 1st, C; Jason Worilds, 2nd, LB; Emmanuel Sanders, 3rd, WR; Chris Scott, 5th, T; Stevenson Sylvester, LB, 5th; Johnathan Dwyer, 6th, RB; Antonio Brown, 6th, WR
    2011: 6/7.
    8 from 2003-2008. 24 of 63.

    Houston
    2003: Andre Johnson, 1st, WR
    2004: None
    2005: None
    2006: Owen Daniels, 4th, TE
    2007: Jacoby Jones, 3rd, WR
    2008: Duane Brown, 1st, T
    2009: Brian Cushing, 1st, LB; Connor Barwin, 2nd, LB; Glover Quin, 4th, S; Brice McCain, 6th, CB; Troy Nolan, 7th, S
    2010: Kareem Jackson, 1st, CB; Ben Tate, 2nd, RB; Earl Mitchell, 3rd, DT; Darryl Sharpton, 4th, OLB; Garrett Graham, 4th, TE; Sherrick McManis, 5th, CB; Shelley Smith, 6th, G; Trindon Holliday, 6th, WR
    2011: 7/8

    4 from 2003-2008. 20 of 63.

    Baltimore
    2003: Terrell Suggs, 1st, LB
    2004: None
    2005: None
    2006: Haloti Ngata, 1st, NT; Sam Koch, 6th, P
    2007: Marshal Yanda, 3rd, G
    2008: Joe Flacco, 1st, QB; Ray Rice, 2nd, RB
    2009: Michael Oher, 1st, T; Davon Drew, 5th, TE
    2010: Terrence Cody, 2nd, DE; Ed Dickson, 3rd, TE; Dennis Pitta, 4th, TE; David Reed, 5th, WR; Arthur Jones, 5th, DT; Ramon Harewood, 6th, T
    2011: 8/8

    6 from 2003-2008. 22 of 63.

    I will continue as I have more time. This obviously takes a while, as I don't know the rosters of these 12 other teams that closely.
  17. Ikeman83
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    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    Your differentiation is oversimplified. If we're using that model I would say that Smitty is in the upper lower half of your "average" group. Further, 3 GMs were fired this year. Smitty has been around since 2003, care to share the GM turnover since then?

    I was under the impression you were using a scaling more along the lines of Outstanding, Good, Above Average, Average, Below Average, Bad, Abominable.
  18. gettough
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    gettough BoltTalker

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    What are you expecting to get in the 4th round. AJs gotten us Shaun Phillips, Darren Sproles, Tyrone Green, Vaughn Martin and Stuckey in the 4th. Its not like you can draft an all pro in the 4th round every year, I dont know if I would give that an A but its not as bad as your making it out.
  19. ThunderHorse17
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    ThunderHorse17 Lone Wolf

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    I see Phillips, Sproles VM as the ONLY good signings from that grouping. That imo is very far away from a A grade even for a round. And no I only expect a 4th rounder to contribute and either suck or shine and earn a starting spot. I jus sayin a A grade is laughable. (ok and T Green has stuck)
  20. matilack
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    matilack #therealagent47

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    Considering its the 4th round getting any everyday starters is very good, I'd bet AJ's track record here is better than 90% of the teams in the league. Phillips and Martin are every day guys, Sproles is as good of a backup RB as there is in the league, and its looking like Ty Green is going to get a shot to start too. Also Scott Chandler is becoming a solid #2 TE.

    I'd go B+. It goes up though if Green becomes a legit starter, and given his offseason I'm feeling pretty good about him.
  21. ThunderHorse17
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    ThunderHorse17 Lone Wolf

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    I can almost agree on a B+. Considering that Stucky has hung around, means he could yet yeild starter calibur. And if Ty blows up at G and/or does well backing up C this year and also progressing there could be puttin the + on the B for sure.
  22. Blue Bolt
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    I'll save you some time......... ;)

    [​IMG]
  23. Ikeman83
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    That's the number of All-Pros they've drafted, which is a very telling stat on it's own, but it doesn't give how many drafted players are still on the roster, which I was more interested in. I also likely chose a poor time to start, as many players from many teams had been extended offers but had yet to sign them. I'll look at revisiting this when the season starts.

    One thing I find very interesting is how, with few outliers, which at first glance seem to be the results of teams recently winning after a long streak of losing or vice versa, the number of drafted All-Pros almost directly correlates to the number of games won. Imagine that, impact players make an impact...
  24. Blue Bolt
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    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    That was the point I was trying to make. ;)

    Obviously, this list starts a year before AJ got the job, but I doubt that sways the results that much.

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