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LBC and Duffman's "Watch List"

Discussion in 'NFL Draft' started by The LBC, Sep 23, 2013.

  1. The LBC

    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    Emory, feel free to throw in opinions here as well, but I just wanted to get a thread going of particular guys in areas of need that have caught Chris' and my eye thus far, so that folks can follow along and watch them as well if they haven't heard of them or know little about them.

    Starting things off, I figured, we'd hit one of the prospects Duff and I have discussed between us most recently and who both of us now are watching much more closely: Za'Darius Smith, DE, Kentucky

    [​IMG]
    6'5" (6'4.5") -- 254 lbs. -- Projected 40: 4.70 sec

    Outside of Anthony Barr, you've got to start kicking up some stones to find guys who look like they can be those raw(er), lanky athlete pass-rushers that are becoming very popular (and effective) in the NFL, in the mold of Aldon Smith and Chandler Jones. Neither Chris or I have seen a great sample size on Smith (who if nothing else continues the tradition of LB prospects from the state of Kentucky having legendary first names!), but we're definitely intrigued.

    Watching Kentucky against Miami this season, it was hard not to notice the 4-star JUCO transfer Smith considering he was the one sacking QB Stephen Morris three times and doing so by beating standout Hurricane left tackle Ereck Flowers both around the edge and inside to do it. At the moment, he's akin to a lighter version of 2013 draft prospect Ezekiel Ansah, particularly given that Za'Darius is the same sort of lump of clay as a football player, only in his 4th year playing the sport after taking it up as a high school senior. He's in a good position at Kentucky to pick up both the necessary reps and coaching (under Mark Stoops) to progress in his development and hone technique. With Tyler Murphy being an obviously more dangerous QB option than the injured Jeff Driskell, it will be interesting to see how Smith fares this upcoming weekend against an SEC opponent in Florida.

    The 4.70 second 40 may seem slow to some people, especially comparing it against Barr's projected high 4.4's/low 4.5's time, but the explosion off the line and athleticism appear to be present in Smith's game; and it's not like Aldon Smith didn't run a 4.74 second 40 himself. The time itself is less import as that 10-yard split time (Smith's was 1.66s, same as Chandler Jones' who also ran a high 4.7s 40), as what these guys are being drafted for is their ability to convert speed to power and to cover, at most, 5 yards worth of distance as quickly and explosively as possible. Za'Darius is definitely one to keep an eye on.
     
  2. LT-Express

    LT-Express Bolttalk.com Janitor since 06' Staff Member Super Moderator

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  3. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    If these kid aint linemen stop watchin
     
  4. The LBC

    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    Unless we changed defensive schemes - possible if we ditch Pagano, but the question becomes where it fits our current defensive personnel - I don't see where Christian Jones really fits our current scheme. In the 3-4 he's a coverage ILB, not an OLB - and that's largely what we drafted Te'o for. He's extremely inconsistent shedding blocks, has no pass-rush moves to speak of, and at the moment he's far (like 20+ pounds) lighter and quite likely not as long as you'd like your primary weak-side pass-rusher to be in a 3-4. Not saying he's not a fine player, just that I don't see the fit with the scheme we currently run.
     
  5. The LBC

    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    If we can't effectively rush the passer, we're going to have to be putting up 30+ a week in order to stand a chance of winning. Pass-rush directly ties to both ease of coverage and turnovers. And honestly, a premier edge-rusher makes a more immediate impact on this current club than any single rookie offensive tackle does.
     
  6. FCBolt

    FCBolt Well-Known Member

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    That's assuming the edge rusher is good enough to have immediate impact. Didn't see it out of Ingram or English, but maybe TT's staff is better than AJs.
    Here's a question--at which position are you more likely to miss in round 1: OT, 3-4 OLB, or CB?
    If it's easier to assess OTs than potential 3-4 OLBs, I could see Telesco playing it safe.
    With a **** pile of positions of need, Chargers might go with the sure(est) thing.
     
  7. LT-Express

    LT-Express Bolttalk.com Janitor since 06' Staff Member Super Moderator

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    I agree he doesn't fit the scheme. I didn't read the original properly. I thought we were just laying out prospects to watch. Not prospects that fit. Mis-read is all.
     
  8. The LBC

    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    I really don't mind either. I'd prefer to devote most of my time to guys who fit for us, but I don't mind throwing out some evaluations or keeping an eye on prospects who simply look to have that "it" factor, because we never know if/when we could alter our scheme.

    Christian Jones to me is really reminiscent of former UNC, current Cowboys LB Bruce Carter (who we'll see this weekend). Very good feel for the game, and he's going to make his money off being a guy that straight away in zone, and with time and further development in man-to-man, is going to be able to cover the rising trend of athletic TE's and "Joker"-receivers.
     
  9. The LBC

    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    On average 40% of more of 1st round picks miss. But it really depends on what your definition of "miss" is. If you want an impact player, you'll struggle much, much more to find a 3-4 OLB (especially given how in vogue athletic pass-rushers are) or LOT outside the 1st round than an impact corner.

    From there you look which is more necessary to a team success - having an impact player at pass-rusher or at LOT, and the answer stands out hugely as pass-rusher. Bryant McKinnie, David Diehl, Chad Clifton, Jermon Bushrod. Max Starks - those are the starting LOT's of the last 5 Super Bowl Champions. Meanwhile we have an OL coach who has shown the capability to develop quality LOT's out of prospects drafted in the 2nd round (Corddy Glenn) or to develop them from collegiate TE's who add bulk (Demetress Bell).

    Do 1st round OLB's bust? Sure. So do 1st round LOT's, especially when you aren't getting your pick from the top 2 or 3 guys in the class (remember Gabe Carimi, Brian Bulaga, Derek Sherrod, Riley Rieff - just to name the ones of late?). What I'm advocating - and God willing, a philosophy Telesco and company look to - is when it comes to an OLB valuing ceiling, potential, and athleticism over polish. The vast majority of 3-4 OLB's don't really make a huge impact their rookie years and mostly "redshirt" save as a player who contributes on obvious passing-downs. To pass on a guy with a higher (potentially elite) ceiling because he can't do everything right away for a guy with a higher floor but considerably lower ceiling is just straight dumb in the 1st round. It's largely what AJ did, but AJ was also trying to save his rear end and needed more immediate results to that end. And truth be told, Ingram - for a rookie - turned in a pretty solid performance (a lot of QB hurries, was solid against the run) and we've yet to see what he's capable of doing now with a year of development under his belt because of the ACL injury. However, his skill set lends itself best to the strong side, same as Phillips' did, which is why an athletic, long edge-rusher on the opposite side would make a very dynamic pair with him and allow versatility to move Ingram around since he has previously shown the versatility to be able to do that (just as Phillips did).
     
  10. FCBolt

    FCBolt Well-Known Member

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    Sound logic. Whether we want an impact player or can wait will make a difference. But there's no doubt that good defense is crucial to most Super Bowl runs (eg Giants, Ravens).
     
  11. Moses

    Moses Yeah Buddy!

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    Can I ask a question about Christian Jones please - Could he possibly work as a 3-4 OLB?

    You guys will know way more than I do, but just curious as I was reading the NFL.com Hot 100 seniors and the guy doing it thought Jones may be best as a 3-4 OLB.
     
  12. The LBC

    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    Right now, I just don't see it. He has literally no pass-rush moves that I've seen - and for good reason, he's not used as a pass-rusher except as a blitzer and that's typically as a "sic'em" type role. He doesn't shed blocks well - in fact, he lets blockers into his body more than anything which will let bigger, stronger players just easily herd him out of plays. He's about 15-20 pounds of bulk shy of being able to have any prayer of succeeding with a bull-rush against a pro-level OT. At this point he's akin to a lighter, smaller version of Kevin Ogletree from this year's class - save for the fact that he doesn't run around traffic as much as Ogletree does. People will look at his explosiveness and athleticism and think, well... he could play any LB position with the right time given to develop. But his skill set is so much more value to 4-3 teams than 3-4 teams, like literally a full round worth of value, that he's likely to get drafted by a 4-3 or 4-3 under team for his ability to cover TE's (and on occasion slot receivers - the guy covered Sammy Watkins for parts of the Clemson/Florida State game last season) long before a 3-4 team would touch him.
     
  13. SuperCharger92

    SuperCharger92 BoltTalker

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    Za'Darius Smith will most likely blow up the combine. I think he's a top 50 pick just based off his measurables and potential.
     
  14. Duffman57

    Duffman57 BoltTalker

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    I've been focusing on OLB's as of late. But i was curious. LBC am i the only one not impressed with Barr as a pass rusher. No discernable moves whatsoever, has a incredibly hard time disengaging from blocks, and the explosiveness really isn't the elite level that i thought it was. So far of the guys i've watched, It seems like Vic Beasley is far and away the best pure pass rusher in this draft. He's small and light (but looks to have alright length (seems around 6'3" and looks like he has long arms), and i mean really light, he's sitting at 235ish right now. But if we're looking for a guy who can be a stud pass rusher right away, he's our man. Great burst off the line, quick, violent and most importantly ACTIVE hands (something that Barr and Mack both seem to be missing), and really knows how to set up an OT. Reminds me a LOT of Cam Wake, smaller guy, who is explosive as they come, and has shown the agility to cut back inside when the OT over-extend's for his burst, and has enough power to play off of it with a bull rush if the OT plays it really wrong. He may be a guy who can be a Antwaan Barnes type guy for a few years, and hopefully end up as a Wake/Chris Clemmons type, who can play every down as that Leo/Predator/elephant/drop end spot.
     
  15. The LBC

    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    I think Barr isn't acknowledged for being the lump of clay he really is - sold by people as far more of a finished product that still has potential, but that's largely because a lot of people box score scout (hence why they think that high INT stats = "future star NFL CB").

    For one, I don't really think UCLA's defensive coaching staff is anything to write home about, very similar way that I felt about Missouri's defensive staff under Gary Pinkel. It's a shame because Mora is a "defensive guy," Jeff Ulbrich is pulling double-duty running both Special Teams and coaching the LB's, and Ulbrich was never a guy whose technique was terribly fantastic to begin with. That said, Barr is more Dion Jordan than Von Miller - just developed more in places that Dion wasn't and less in places that Dion was, neither quite have the physical ceiling Miller had/has/may well squander, but it's not horribly far off. I think, like with Jordan, anyone expecting Barr to come in and light it up as more than a sub-package LB is being overly optimistic. I'm not convinced he's going to be able to effectively add the necessary 20 pounds of bulk for the pro's in the interim between whatever bowl game UCLA plays in and the NFL Combine - it's likely a more advisable two-year gain in order to not sacrifice anything in his get-off.

    Beasley worries me. I see violent hands, but I also saw violent hands from Aaron Maybin.

    And moreover, I'm in this for the long haul. I'm less concerned with "fantastic immediate production" particularly if it doesn't have a high likelihood of sustainability. I'd much rather sink any premium pick into a guy that may be more raw than ready but has the kind of ceiling where opposing teams have no choice but to gameplan with him in mind. I'm also of the opinion that we need length at the OLB position something fierce, particularly if we plan on playing someone as an Elephant/LEO type. I'm intrigued by Denico Autry (Miss St) right now, but doubt he enters the draft until 2015. The guy I really have my eye on right now is Arkansas' Chris Smith (I'll probably do a write-up on him here later). I'm working on getting more tape on the guy, but he plays like a shorter Tank Carradine - which is far, far from a bad thing. I also think there's potential for Jamal Merrell from Rutgers to add weight and play the position (though he may ultimately be more of a KJ Wright type).

    And for some reason, whenever I watch Kony Ealy play, I can't shake the idea that I'm watching "Whitney Mercilus (the prospect, not the current NFL player) carrying too much weight".
     
  16. Duffman57

    Duffman57 BoltTalker

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    Isn't Barr reportedly up to 255 now? Why would you want him to gain another 20lbs, even if he's just 245, 20 lbs is too much IMO, he's perfect around 255.

    I was thinking the same thing though, he's more of a Dion Jordan, true OLB type than he is a pure pass rush guy right now. I'm not sure i ever see him as that elite pass rusher though, i dont think his getoff is all that spectacular.

    Beasley actually reminds me as much as Bruce Irvin as he does Maybin (probably moreso than Maybin). Maybin's worst issue was that he couldn't keep on weight to save his life and that his leverage was terrible. Like literally he got down to almost 200 at some points in the NFL. Maybin IIRC, wasn't overly explosive either. Both things it seems like Beasley has done at least somewhat well. Its yet to be seen if he can keep on significant weight. But i think right away, he can be a guy like Barnes or what Irvin did his rookie Year, as just a sub pass rush guy. I'm not sure i'd bank on him alone, but i think he's got some very good pass rush skills.

    Denico Autry is a Sr. THIS year, he cant enter the draft in '15. But he's interesting. The problem is that i'm not sure i really see any premier pass rushers in this draft, which is what we really need, which is why i keep bringing up the chance of signing Orakpo, even though that's a very low probability considering how little cap space we have next year. Right now the most interesting guy to me is Jeffcoat, possibly Ronald Powell if he can return to form.
     
  17. Duffman57

    Duffman57 BoltTalker

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    Also, DAMN i wish Chris Martin wasn't such a screw up, cuz that kid is talented as all hell.
     
  18. The LBC

    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    Only reason I feel like there could be could be an elite guy in this class that you're missing is that we haven't seen 10-yard splits yet. You know me, I could honestly give 2 craps what the 40-time of a guy is who is, by and large, going to be making his money off his ability to cover 5-7 yards as quickly as possible. Aldon Smith and Chandler Jones ran in the 4.7's and neither have issues being primary pass-rushers for their clubs because they have the strength to convert power-to-speed as rushers and the length to give OT's and opposing QB's hell.

    And yeah, Martin's character is really iffy. But check out Smith. He's not fancy, but the guy shows up on tape like a Brooks Reed clone; I'm convinced he can play both 4-3 DE spots and both 3-4 OLB spots, and do it well - and that kind of versatility is VALUABLE. He's 2nd round value that might still be sitting available in the early 3rd - though he is an SEC pass-rusher which does tend to draw a bit more attention.

    With regard to Barr, UCLA has him listed at 245 right now, but he still looks lean. So either he's not at the weight they're claiming or he could stand to carry a bit more - which he may well need to effectively bull-rush at the next level. I wouldn't want him getting about 265, but I'd say 255 would be the minimum I'd like him up to, preferably 260 lbs.
     
  19. Duffman57

    Duffman57 BoltTalker

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    I'm definitely interested in Smith, but he seems like a different version of Ingram. Dont we have Ingram to be that guy who is going to play all over the place and move around from RDE/LDE and SOLB/WOLB? Even though we haven't seen how he'll come back from the injury, I think we need a guy who's more of true rush LB type, as you said, a guy with the length, and power and some burst on him. Thats the main reason i like Za'Darius Smith.

    I've seen a limited amount on Smith, (mostly the ULL game and a piece of the Rutgers game). But he seems to SEVERELY lack any sort of length, even vs. ULL he gets engulfed way to much for my liking, that could just be small sample size though. Quickness/agility/power/burst all seem solid though. He kind of does play like a less fluid/athletic Ingram though.

    EDIT: Just realized when i was watching the cutup of Smith/Flowers vs. TAMU, i was watching Flowers for that and the ULL game almost the entire time...lol. From what i saw from Smith going back and watching him, burst off the snap is good, motor is good, and quickness is very good. But handwork is VERY inconsistent, can have incredibly violent hands, or he just doesn't move his hands at all. He looks very weak in the TAMU game, can be REALLY easily blocked and washed out. Almost any attempt at a bull rush was killed right away. He almost looks like he gives up on plays and just decides he's not going to try to get past his man. Basically looks like if he doesn't win on the first snap, he's done for most of the time, every once in a while he'll get by with good handwork, mostly a push/pull move, but doesn't really have any other moves. But all and all, he does seem like a very interesting guy for us, high upside pass rusher, who, your right is very versatile, but needs a lot of work on the bull rush (since it seems like he does have the burst/length to have a fine bull rush, and needs to develop a few counters to go off of his burst and outside push/pull move.

    I know everyone's already on this bandwagon, but I am absolutely in love with Khalil Mack (was watching him from last year). He has some issues dis-engaging at times, but quick, violent hands, with really good burst and stupidly good strength for a smaller guy. Seems all of 6'3" he's listed at and looks like he has some lanky arms.

    I like the Denico Autry "who to watch for" as well, he could be very interesting, similar player to Smith, long, athletic JUCO pass rush prospect who has a #1 pass rusher type potential. I really liked Lynch, but at a lighter weight he's looked pathetically bad this year, which makes me think that he's a DE only type guy, possibly a LE only.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2013
  20. Duffman57

    Duffman57 BoltTalker

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    Went and ended up being able to find the Miami vs. South Florida to watch Aaron Lynch. He wasn't nearly as bad as i thought he was. But BOY does he need to add some god damn weight, he looks like a receiver at 244. But his burst is still great, handwork is still solid, motor is still good enough, but they rotate they're DL a LOT for no reason (really they should keep Lynch/Giddins or i guess Mims in there all the time) and keep misusing Lynch, lots of stunts inside for a 6'6" 240lb OLB/DE. He looks great standing up the few times they showed it in the first half. I'll get to the second half sometime tomorrow. But thats what i get for box-score (and word of mouth) scouting. Another guy who need to be playing at the very least at around 260 if not 265-270, even as an OLB. But he still has that ability that made him a force at ND. If he comes out, i'm still on his bandwagon (more the type of guy that i like for us, would compliment Ingram well IMO)
     
  21. Lance19

    Lance19 BoltTalker

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    Go easy on me gentlemen...I'm a newbie to this thread,
    and don't claim too have a lot of deep insight in this area.
    But I'm gonna take my best shot:

    1) Rolex Submariner (1953)

    2) Timex Expedition WS4

    3) Bulgari Ergon

    4) Suunto Core Crush Multifunction

    5) Richard Mille RM 002-V2 Turbillon

    6) Omega Seamaster 300m (1995)

    7) Bulova Accutron Spaceview (1961)

    8) Tag Heuer Monaco (1969)

    9) Audemars Piguet: Royal Oak

    10) Garmin Fenix GPS (2013)

    My list definitely reveals my bias for hardcore outdoors stuff...
     
    • Funny Funny x 3
  22. AnteaterCharger

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

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    First Round Talent

    Khalil Mack OLB
    Taylor Lewan LT
    Jason Verett CB
    Kyle Van Noy OLB
    Cyril Richardson OG

    Second Round

    Louichez Purifoy & Quandre Diggs CBs
    Will Sutton DE (I'm debating if Reyes is a full time DE or a Dequincy Scott kinda DE pass rusher)
    Gabe Jackson OG
    Cameron Erving OT
    Jackson Jeffcoat OLB
    Beau Allen (maybe 3rd) NT
     
  23. SuperCharger92

    SuperCharger92 BoltTalker

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    Guys that interest me,

    RB - Melvin Gordon, Devonta Freeman, Charles Sims and Silas Redd
    WR - Mike Evans, Sammy Watkins, Marquise Lee, Odell Beckham Jr, Jarvis Landry, Donte Moncrief, Jordan Mathews, Martavius Bryant, Kelvin Benjamin, Kenny Bell, and Kevin Norwood.
    TE - Arthur Lynch
    OL - Taylor Lewan, Antonio Richardson, James Hurst, David Yankey, Zach Martin, Gabe Jackson, Tre Jackson, Travis Swanson and Seantrel Henderson.

    NT- Louis Nix, DaQuan Jones
    OLB - Kyle Van Noy, Trent Murphy, Kahlil Mack, Jackson Jeffcoat, Aaron Lynch, Za'Darius Smith and Vic Beasley
    CB - Bradley Roby, Aaron Colvin, Kyle Fuller, Justin Gilbert, Andre Hal, Quandre Diggs and Bennett Jackson
     
  24. Duffman57

    Duffman57 BoltTalker

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    Didn't hear this about Lynch before, even though you could see it in his play, but apparently he got badly out of shape in the year off between ND and USF, and so the coaches asked him to drop a lot of the bad weight he gained, and he cut down too far. But his conditioning still looks off, but a year off football can do that to you. I would still be interested in him if he happens to declare (i'm not sure how likely that is).
     
  25. SuperCharger92

    SuperCharger92 BoltTalker

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    Undeniable talent, he was great at Notre Dame. I thought he was a Junior, guess he's a sophmore, he's better off getting another year under his belt because that USF team might go win less.

    He has the measurables to be a great fit at OLB.
     
  26. Duffman57

    Duffman57 BoltTalker

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    He is a Jr, school wise, he had to redshirt this past year because of the transfer rules, but played very well as a Freshman at ND. He's actually very refined, the biggest thing is that he just needs to get his body right for the NFL, which means get into shape and add about 20 lbs, which is doable, but will take some time. He should stay in school though, he needs some work on that stuff, and it'll improve his draft stock a lot.
     
  27. Duffman57

    Duffman57 BoltTalker

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    i figured i might as well add some other guys that i like here, just to even it out and make it not just entirely about pass rushers.

    I've been looking for other options at LT for us outside the first round. We all know about Matthews, Lewan, Kouandjio and Richardson (the first 3, i dont like for us, just playstyle doesn't fit Joe D's Scheme IMO, or i just dont think they're LT's). But a guy i wanted to focus on, that is absolutely perfect for what fits as a Joe D LT is the LT for Virginia, Morgan Moses...and lets be honest, who can hate on this beard....

    [​IMG]

    But anyway, the guy is literally the prototype Joe D LT. A premium prospect coming out, Morgan Moses is a HUGE (6'8" 330+) OT, but is incredibly quick for a man his size and his feet are top notch. When in buffalo, Joe D did the same thing, had a journyman LT for a few years, and when the right guy comes in the right spot in the draft, replace him then. I think that Dunlap can be a solid LT for us, but if the opportunity arises like if a guy like this shows up in the 3rd or possibly even 4th round, he may be too good of a fit to pass up on. But i went back and looked at the type of OT's hes drafted, and all are very similar to Moses, except not many are that tall, but really, he's playing with a 6'9" OT right now, i dont think he'll have a problem with a taller guy. I went back and looked at some video of Cordy Glenn coming out of Georgia. The same triats show up. MASSIVE OT, that despite his height had solid length, but incredible quickness and insanely good feet for a man that size. Glenn was a guy who got the same RT or OG only speculation by some, but Joe D saw the feet/athleticism/length/strength and most of all, smarts that he could plug in and play at LT. From hearing reports from around Virginia, he seems like the ideal teammate and student of the game, which makes him even better. Here is him vs Oregon.



    While we could use a very good LT, i'm not under the impression that we really NEED one, and i think this team (as i've made it clear looking at the top pass rushing types) would be better off trying to a real impact player whether it be on defense or at WR (please just not another 1st round RB).

    As of right now, the guys on my "watch list" for the first round are the following...(in no particular order)
    Anthony Barr
    Antonio Richardson
    Khalil Mack
    Louis Nix III
    Bradley Roby (even though he's been beat this year some, the athleticism and physicality he brings at the CB spot can make him a upper level #1 CB in the league)
    Sammy Watkins
    Marquise Lee
     
  28. Riff Raff

    Riff Raff BoltTalker

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    Been watching Moses since high school. His play at UVa hasn't been as good as I had expected, but UVa seems to have a way of bringing out the least in a lot of guys. Still think he has a LOT of ability.
     
  29. LT-Express

    LT-Express Bolttalk.com Janitor since 06' Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Not saying we need him. But another guy I have watched the past couple of weeks that I like a lot is Venric Mark from Northwestern. Reminds me a lot of Darren Sproles. Plays much bigger than he is at 5'8" and like 180 lbs.

    Got the opportunity tonight to see Kyle Van Noy for the first time this year. Had some gaudy stats but was kind of surprised that most of what he did, was him going unblocked. I have watched a lot of his film, but this is the first I have seen him play live this year. Looks pretty good but would like to see him having to use some technique to get to the QB.
     
  30. Bolts4lyfe

    Bolts4lyfe BoltTalker

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    what do you guys think of ASU Carl Bradford? Obviously not in the 1st but I would love this guy in the 2nd or 3rd if we went a different direction in the first
     

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