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Anteater's Chargers Mock Draft

Discussion in 'NFL Draft' started by AnteaterCharger, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. AnteaterCharger
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    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    http://bolttalk.com/threads/anteaters-2012-chargers-mock-draft.26545/

    With the 18th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft the San Diego Chargers select Mark Barron, Safety from Alabama
    I have been writing these mock drafts since 2005, and for the first time I honestly have no idea where the Chargers will go with their first pick. Also for the first time since I started writing, the Chargers had the most active free agency since the beginning of the century. At the start of the off-season the Chargers had needs at outside linebacker, wide receiver and the offensive line. All three of these needs have been improved thanks to AJ Smith’s first free agent shopping spree. Though the team still has needs at a number of positions, they’re in better shape than at the start of free agency.
    So why Mark Barron? For one, strong safety is a position the Chargers haven’t solved since Rodney Harrison left. Regardless of whether it was through the draft (Terrance Kiel, Keith Ellison) or free agent (Marlon Mcree, Clinton Hart, Bob Sanders), the team has not unsuccessful. Second, this is a weak safety class; there are few top talents available. Though the Chargers were apparently very interested in Harrison Smith out of Notre Dame, the lack of talent in this class has pushed Smith to the top of the second round and out of the Chargers range. Third, of all the positions addressed in free agency, this is the only one that hasn’t really been touched. The Chargers added a starting OLB in Jarrett Johnson, they carpet bombed the wide receiver position and resigned who they could on the offensive line. The Chargers might have added Atari Bigby and have said that Darrell Stuckey could compete for a job, but neither player is starter quality. As such the Chargers must be looking for someone in the draft.
    Mark Barron has been an impact player in Nick Saban’s complicated defense since his sophomore year. He is as close to a complete safety as you will find in the draft with great ability in both coverage and run support. While not asked to cover much his senior year, he did show great range in the zone plus the ability to cover most tight ends. He also reads the quarterback’s eyes very well in addition to his good instincts and awareness. In run support he truly shines; Barron plays under control and fills in the gaps quickly. Most importantly he knows when to tackle and when to hit hard. The negatives on him are that he’s stiff in the hips making it difficult for him to cover slot receivers. He also has some durability concerns and is still recovering from double hernia surgery.
    I personally think Mark Barron is a slight reach at 18 in part because strong safeties are not as valued in this pass happy league the way they were a few years ago. However if you are going to reach, make sure you select someone who can effectively fill a void in the line up. Barron does that and will be a fixture with Eric Weddle for years to come. Finally the Chargers will have two starting safeties.


    With the 49th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft the San Diego Chargers select Ronnell Lewis, Outside Linebacker from Oklahoma
    Universally agreed among all draft experts and fans is that the Chargers must improve their pass rush. Even though Greg Manusky’s scheme wasn’t a blitzing scheme, the team has had trouble with establishing consistent effective pass rush. Antwan Barnes has been an unexpected diamond after being picked up in 2010 but he’s the only person the Chargers have gotten production out of. Larry English is a bust, Travis Laboy is marginal and Shaun Phillips is not as effective without someone opposite him. The signing of Jarrett Johnson means the team can reserve Barnes and even Phillips for passing downs, but that alone doesn’t improve the rush. The team needs somebody who can provide pressure.
    Nicknamed “The Hammer”, Lewis is seen by many as a solid 3-4 outside linebacker. He works hard, his motor runs constantly and he doesn’t take plays off. Lewis has impressive upper body strength and uses it well in both setting the edge in the run game and while pass rushing. His tackling ability is outstanding and, like Barron, he knows when to make a tackle and when to light someone up. As a pass rusher he has a good combination of moves, speed and power, and when he’s after the quarterback he plays with very bad intentions. The negatives are durability; he has had surgery on both knees, major on left (MCL) and minor on right in addition to back trouble. In addition Lewis doesn’t have the greatest instincts or the ability to change on the fly. He is at his best when he’s pointed at the ball carrier.
    The Chargers have the ability to draft Ronnell Lewis and use him in much the same way as they did with Antwan Barnes, as a third down pass rusher. This way they can bring him along slowly while letting him make a big impact. Don’t forget that Shawne Merriman started his career with the Chargers in a similar manner. Lewis has the added benefit of being an outstanding special teamer early in his career, providing immediate benefits in two areas. Moving him and Barnes to third down while using Phillips and Johnson as the two down backers will improve the rotation outside as well as overall production for a team in desperate need of a pass rush.


    With the 78th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft the San Diego Chargers select Derek Wolfe, Defensive End from Cinncinati
    Even with the drafting of Corey Liuget, the development of Vaughn Martin and the re-signing of Luis Castillo, the Chargers lack a strong playmaker at the defensive end position. I say this knowing that one year does not make a bust, in the case of Corey Liuget, and that there is some potential to develop still in Vaughn Martin. Even with all that said, the team has a group of mostly backups at defensive end with the sole question mark being Liuget. Though Castillo, Martin and Cesaire are talented, they have not shown they’re starters at defensive end. As such the team will dip yet again into the draft, and might just find a star in the third round. While options could include Mike Martin from Michigan or Jared Crick from Nebraska, here’s a player who is a natural fit for the 3-4.
    At 6’5, 295lbs, Wolfe has almost prototypical size for a 3-4 Defensive end. What makes him a solid addition is his ability to anchor and defeat double teams, which he did with frequency at Cincinnati. This is combined with his initial quickness and awareness makes him very difficult to get past. He also has violent and fast hands, which combine with his strong swim and rip pass rush moves, make him a solid defensive end pass rusher. Wolfe has no durability issues and was a solid character throughout his time in Cincinnati. The only question is whether he’d be able to make the adjustment to the 3-4 having only played in a 4-3 his entire career.
    Wolfe has been rising up most draft boards from behind a third day pick to a likely second day selection. He has the talent, the mental toughness and the drive to be a solid starting defensive end, and supposedly teams like New England are targeting him. As such this could be an optimistic view of where he would land. Ideally, Wolfe would start at defensive end with Liuget with Castillo and Martin backing them up. This would give the team two young talented defensive ends that could better stop the run and provide some pass rush from the outside.


    With the 110th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft the San Diego Chargers select Asa Jackson, Cornerback from Cal-Poly San Luis Obispo
    Like defensive end, the Chargers used draft picks in 2011 to help shore up the cornerback position. Also like defensive end, the Chargers got very little for their picks. Marcus Gilchrist started and was benched numerous times throughout the year while Shareece Wright never got onto the field. This occurred while starters Quentin Jammer and Antoine Cason had horrible seasons on the field. With both starters in the final years of their contracts, and Gilchrist and Wright still question marks, the team will likely add another defensive back in the draft.
    Jackson has quick feet, good speed and very good instincts, which makes him a great addition on defense and special teams. He runs with wide receivers effortlessly and has outstanding closing speed to go along with great movement to get in and out of cuts. Even though he’s only 5’10, 190lbs, he is a solid tackler along with a willing player in run support. The lack of size does mean he has trouble with bigger receivers and he needs to improve his recognition of routes and moves, as it stands now he uses his natural talent too much.
    Immediately Jackson could be used on special teams where he earned praise at Cal Poly. He has the talent and the ability to become, at worst, a solid nickel corner who could challenge and push Gilchrist and Wright. At best Jackson could end up a #2 corner and join with the aforementioned players in a new, young group of cornerbacks.


    With the 149th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft the San Diego Chargers select Nate Potter, offensive lineman from Boise State
    The Chargers finally check in with their first offensive player all the way in the fifth round, and it’s an offensive lineman. One of the teams’ immediate priorities was re-signing tackle Jared Gaither. By doing such, the Chargers kept a man who nearly saved their season and their start quarterback’s health. However Gaither has two areas of concern; an history of injuries with his back since his time in college and a reputation of laziness. Gaither has said the right things since signing with the team, but the front office would be smart to grab another backup tackle as protection if those issues return.
    Nate Potter is a three year starter for the Broncos and was a protector for Kellen Moore and their high powered offense. He is 6’5, 305lbs with the frame to grow much bigger. He is a solid pass protector who can mirror defensive ends with ease while keeping them at bay with his long arms. He plays smart and with good awareness, especially when getting to the second level. The negatives are that he is not as effective against power rushers and needs to get stronger to play better in the NFL. There are also questions as to the level of competition, first in the WAC and then in the Mountain West.
    Potter is a guy who you would at least feel comfortable protecting Philip Rivers in a pinch. He would fill the role of swing tackle easily while he continues to get stronger and refine his ability. At the very least he’s a better backup than Brandon Dombrowski or Mario Henderson and can handle speed rushers, of which there are quite a few in the AFC West.

    With the 183rd pick in the 2012 NFL Draft the San Diego Chargers select Nick Jean-Baptiste, nose tackle from Baylor
    As goes the nose tackle, goes the entire 3-4 defense. The Chargers have been lucky to first have Jamal Williams as their nose tackle from 2004-2009. Since then the Chargers have been in the hands of the young improving player Cam Thomas and the veteran and fan favorite Antonio Garay, who signed a two year contract in April. The contract with Garay however gives him a $5 million signing bonus in 2013 which, for a 32 yr old nose tackle with an injury history, is a little much and makes this automatically a one year deal. Even though AJ Smith has a history of waiting until the last minute to fill this important void, I believe he’ll target Garay’s replacement at some point in the draft.
    Jean-Baptiste reminds me a little of Cam Thomas in that he is a big man playing in a 4-3 that doesn’t seem to best use his talents. He has impressive size and mass that allows him to stoutly hold up against the run and double teams. Jean Baptiste is a powerful tackler with an impressive, but still raw, bull rush in addition to a great make up and work ethic. Negatives are that he is raw in technique and hand use, in addition to needing work on his stamina and upper body strength. As a sixth rounder he would probably be inactive the whole year to work on his strength and technique. He has the talent to be a good nose tackle with natural talent you can’t teach, and areas to work on that can be taught.

    With the 226th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft the San Diego Chargers select John Brantley, quarterback from Florida
    Mercifully, the quietest positions on the Chargers roster for the past six years have been the backup quarterbacks. Philip Rivers has remained healthy since the 2007 playoffs, even with the beatings he has taken over the last few years. In fact except for mop up duty either at the end of the game or the rare last game of the season, Rivers has played through out. It’s been so quiet in fact that the Chargers haven’t bothered to carry a third quarterback since 2009, but that wasn’t entirely by choice. The Chargers drafted Jonathan Crompton in 2010 hoping to develop him, but he was abysmal and released. The team also brought in Scott Tolzien in 2011 and unsuccessfully tried to hide him onto the practice squad after a very good pre-season. Though the team brought back Charlie Whitehurst, they need to develop someone into a solid backup.
    Brantley endured three different offensive coordinators while in Gainesville, but did learn a pro style offense. He’s got a pretty good arm, good touch on deep balls while remaining accurate on short and intermediate throws. Brantley is also smart and a hard worker. He does need to clean up his mechanics and his footwork in addition to build up his frame more. At this stage in the draft he’s the best of the late draft quarterbacks and could be groomed into a solid backup for Rivers.

    With the 250th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft the San Diego Chargers select Jeff Demps, athlete from Florida
    An athlete might seem like an odd choice this late in the draft, but it is especially so considering he might never play football. There are questions as to whether Demps wants to continue his football career as he’s currently training for the 2012 London Olympics as a sprinter. That alone should tell you why I would consider drafting him here; he is obscenely fast. This is one of the few cases where world-class track speed actually translates onto the football field. Demps would need only a crease to turn a small run into a massive gain; he accelerates in the blink of the eye and if he has any space on you, he can’t be caught. Even better is that he has great lateral mobility and can chain moves together with little wasted movement and little impact on his speed. Demps however is a toothpick; at 5’8, 184lbs he’s short, lean and not meant to run in between the tackles. He also has had injury problems throughout his Florida career. While he has never backed down from a fight and shows great competiveness, there’s only so much you can do when you are that small. Demps is a pick I’d compare to 2009 7th rounder Demitrius Byrd; Byrd was injured in a car accident just before the NFL draft and the Chargers drafted him hoping that he might play again. Demps might never return from being a track star but if he ever did, he’d be the kind of toy that Norv Turner would drool over. That kind of speed and agility could be used as a receiver, as a running back and most importantly as a returner; the only limits are the imagination of Turner and his offensive staff. That’s more than enough of a reason to draft this guy.
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  2. Bolts4lyfe
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    Bolts4lyfe BoltTalker

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    Great mock sir. Please find a way to sit in the Chargers draft room when they select hahaha Barron, Lewis, Wolfe with the first 3 picks I'd call that a win
  3. The LBC
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    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    I'm by no means a Mark Barron fan, but effectively our front office painted us into a corner that's only left us with 3 options as I see it:
    1) Take Barron if he falls to us in the 1st
    2) Trade up from our 2nd (or outright reach at #18) for Harrison Smith
    3) Move Gilchrist to safety, and either Wright or a drafted rookie at nickel-back.

    We're truly in the most unenviable position to be in when the safety class is one of the worst of the past decade in terms of top-end and general depth.

    Nate Potter won't be playing tackle at the pro level and if he does it'll be RT in a zone-scheme - the guy just doesn't handle speed rush well in the least (and that was against Boise's pretty weak schedule). The guy's a finesse technician that needs to add weight and has next to no mean streak. If a power-scheme team looks at him it's likely as a pulling LG which he has some potential as, but he needs a solid season of the weight room before he'll have the strength and anchor to hold up at the position (his lower body seriously needs to fill out better).
  4. matilack
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    matilack #therealagent47

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    And we find ourself drafting for need again like in 2007, rather than BPA. :tdown:

    Hey bud, still a decent chance Kirkpatrick is there at 18 and is willing to move to SS.:D I think he has more upside at the position than both Barron and Smith, and we wouldn't have to trade or REACH like hell to get him.
  5. The LBC
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    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    I agree... I just have a really hard time seeing AJ making that pick AND Norv (unless Pagano has some kind of hypnotic powers we're unaware of) signing off on moving Kirkpatrick to SS. If the pick were to happen - and I'd only give it maybe a 20% at best possibility with Kirkpatrick on the board - we're more likely looking at Kirkpatrick put in the slot and Gilchrist and Stuckey battling it out for the starting SS spot in camp.

    I'm not sure AJ understands the concept of true BPA drafting (i.e. drafting BPA at pretty much any position where you don't already have great depth of talent)... then again, I'm convinced Bill Polian never did either and he was the mentor to both AJ and Butler, so I suppose that makes sense. It's either that or he understands the concept and just massively misjudges the quality of "talent" on the roster.

    Honestly, at this point I've resided myself to - in a best of worst case scenarios situation - hoping that Dallas drafts Brockers (or Upshaw - even if his stock is dropping, their camp has been high on him since last December... or even Decastro), Rex Ryan gets his man-crush in Melvin Ingram, and that we at least come out of the 1st round with a SS capable of starting from the on-set that doesn't involve mortgaging this draft or the future draft to get Smith (who would be a 3rd round pick in a deeper safety class).

    What we're going to be looking at, I'd wager though, is another 2010 where we have one rather glaring need that just continues to go un-addressed until mid-to-late Day 3 (same way we were sitting there watching round after round go by with no NT drafted until Thomas in the 5th).
  6. Bolts4lyfe
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    Bolts4lyfe BoltTalker

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    I actually Lik........no love the idea of Gilchrist at SS, honestly when he was drafted I thought thats what he was brought in to be, kid can tackle and has shown potential.

    Most scouts even noted he would be better suited as a safety in the NFL

    "Gilchrist's versatility as a cornerback, safety and returner has drawn high marks from teams with one NFL general manager remarking that he's one of the smarter defensive backs he's been around."

    "Gilchrist is an experience, durable defensive back with good intangibles who could potentially become a starter at corner in a zone-based scheme or make a move to safety."
  7. The LBC
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    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    There's the honest question though... when was the last time you remember a legitimate training camp battle for a starting position under Norv? Even Vasquez had a pretty easily paved road to a starter's spot as a rookie because Kynan Forney was little more than a career-depth placeholder and Green was getting looks almost exclusively at center and left guard in the preseason.
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  8. Bolts4lyfe
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    Bolts4lyfe BoltTalker

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    I just want to point out something funny and off topic and didn't want to start a new forum for it, I love how most mock drafts have up taking Cordy Glenn, Micheal Floyd, Jon Martin, or David DeCastro but all of them start off their explanation the same way in some kind of wording "The chargers need to address their pass rush" or " San Diego will definitely go defense with their 18th pick" yet they mock an offensive player, haha just found it funny.

    I think Gilchrist should be our SS. Number one negative for any draft is reaching for need over talent, I like Smith and would love to have him in Blue and Gold but with this being such a weak Safety class, wouldn't even grabbing him in the 2nd be a reach? If he was eligible in 2010 he wouldn't go until the 3rd or 4th. I know the Underwear Olympics doesn't mean you can play a position in the NFL or you can't but, there is a reason the NFL holds The Combine and there is a reason all 32 teams show up to watch. For those keeping score Gilchrist was better than Smith in every category.

    This move will open up the options on if we have Jammer's replacement in wright, throw him in at nickel get him some playing time. It would have been nice to have Gilchrist sit behind Sanders for a year.

    Not saying that's what their intentions were all along ,Maybe it was. Things didn't go their way once struggles and injuries started to occur. Wright for all we know may be nothing more than a career Nickel but that's not a bad thing. Not sure what Stuckey's future holds and maybe Bigby was brought in to either back up Weddle or who ever we put in at SS
    here's what I'd like to see
    FS Weddle, Bigby
    SS Gilchrist, Stuckey
    CB Jammer, Cason, Wright, Draft pick (depending on if its a 1st, 2nd, 3rd determines where he sit on depth)

    I know my opinion doesn't mean anything, every choice goes through the man in the Tommy Bahama shirt
  9. ThunderHorse17
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    ThunderHorse17 Lone Wolf

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    I like all 3 options, but I dont like as you said how we have been pinned down to what is the MOST glaring need at 18. But to me its like a middle/grey area to option 2 and 3. I like the idea of Harrison Smith even at 18 of Barron were to be gone by then and wouldnt consider it as much of a reach as most Charger fans will. (history shows this) IMO Barron aint that much greater as a starting S than Smith will/could be.

    And im all for and do moreso beleive it to be the organizations usual route, and we dont take one of these just good starter Ss and let Stuckey and maybe Gilchrist camp fight it out.
  10. The LBC
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    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    Smith at #18 is a tremendous reach. I'm not saying he doesn't have really good potential, but he's also got a substantial learning curve which is to be expected for ANY rookie safety (Eric Berry and Sean Taylor suffered the same).

    That said, I'd sooner just do with him what we should have done with Weddle and IF we are so hellbent on having him just reach for him early rather than run the risk of having to mortgage the farm to trade up for him later on. Because of the lack of depth in this class at the position the likelihood is that the only way to ensure getting high enough to still get him (assuming we select someone else who is not a DB at #18) would be to trade back into the bottom of the 1st round - and to do that we're talking giving up a future 1st round pick (literally, I don't see a scenario where a team like New England or Green Bay wouldn't want our 2013 1st to move all the way back half-a-round; especially when you consider that the accepted formula for the value of future picks in the current draft is one round discount, i.e. 2013 1st = 2012 2nd).

    What I don't like/agree with is the consensus among some Chargers beat-writers (some are internet reporters not unlike our site here - like BFTB and so forth) that we "don't have room on the depth chart for any OLB that's not a developmental guy". That's a load of bull spunk; particularly when guys like English and for the most part LaBoy have proved themselves to be expendable (at least one of the two). A "developmental" guy doesn't have to be someone devoid of a decent floor. Maybe it means no 1st round guy, but if there's a guy in the 2nd round that has a good ceiling, a fair floor as a "go-get-'em" type in the first year, and is the sort of player that needs the weight room and a technical tweaking, where exactly is the logic that we should pass on him because he won't see "meaningful minutes" on the DC immediately. It's dumb thinking like that that got us in this situation to begin with.

    Take what people consider to be one of the most talented rosters top-to-bottom in the league: Green Bay. You know what Ted Thompson's draft philosophy is? He doesn't go into the draft with the outlook that "We have to get THIS GUY" or "We have to address THIS POSITION." They have areas they'd ideally like to address, but largely the select the highest rated player on their board who is at a position that they aren't already deeply talent-rich at.*

    The other thing Thompson does that I pray to god either AJ learns to do or whoever replaces AJ does do (because the Raiders with Reggie McKenzie will be doing it) is keep tabs on the guys that they rated highly in their scouting but we either unable to select or simply didn't select because someone of greater value was available to them... and when need arises and those guys are sitting on another team's PS (like Tramon Williams was on Houston's a few years back) you scoop that puppy up and laugh all the way to the bank.
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  11. ThunderHorse17
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    ThunderHorse17 Lone Wolf

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    We both agree that Smith at 18 is more worth it than trading up from the 2nd pick. Which is where we differ on that in that im willing to take Smith in the first and like your suggesting still find another player to contribute at OLB now and in the future.

    I also love the idea of legitimate BPA drafting ala yea see a guy that IS legit and is at a position that we arent already stacked at, and take that future starter. Smith doesnt have to be the 1st pick, imo hes more worth the 18 spot IF Barron is gone to Dal a 17. As you are very right it will take some draft picks to get up far enuff in the second to get him before another team does the same as per the talent pool this year.
  12. Boltjolt
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    Boltjolt Well-Known Member

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    Drafting Smith at #18 would be a terrible reach. He is a 2nd to 3rd round talent. Talk about drafting for need. SS isnt the biggest need on this team. You can have Ed Reed back there and it wont matter when the QB's have 8 seconds to throw. I seriously doubt Smith would even beat out Stuckey.
    I also think Ronnell Lewis is a 3rd rounder. Cronic back problems and he isnt that good a pass rusher.
  13. The LBC
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    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    Actually I think we're pretty much on the same page. I'd much prefer that AJ not be so locked in on Smith that he "has to have him" because that's just a proven poor drafting methodology to use. The Ted Thompson's and Ozzie Smith's of this league seem to be the healthy middle ground of a spectrum where at one end you have your AJ Smith's and Bruce Allen's and the other you have your Bill Belichick's (for whom very few players, if ever, show the kind of luster among the cluster of best available players to make him not think several times about trading back if at all possible). Belichick's a money-baller, AJ's traditionalist physical-potential model. Neither one is perfect, but each needs to be paired with the proper coaching system and staff in order to succeed - where Belichick's approach benefits is that he's also the coach and thus in charge of the coaching system and how it's implemented. The traditional model (effectively the Al Davis model at it's purest form) can and does work (see Pittsburgh), you just have to have coaches capable of honing raw products and you can't be dependent on rookies seeing the field in large capacity in the 1st round except in very select cases.
  14. Buck Melanoma
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    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Like an old junk man once told me ..... never fall in love with anything. ;)

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