Discussion in 'NFL Draft' started by Ikeman83, Oct 16, 2012.
Who are the top players coming out next season, and can we suck enough to get one of them?
I don't agree we've eliminated ourselves from the playoffs (the conference is a shambles right now, there are only two teams with winning records - we're sitting in the same record position as the Donks, the entire AFC East, the Bengals, and a game above both Pittsburgh and Indianapolis).
However, who are guys - who are still realistic in that they won't go Top 10, where we'd literally have to implode to the levels of repeating Monday's performance against the likes of Matt Cassel and Mark Sanchez to achieve - I'd particularly like to see wearing bolts in 2013?
Jonathan Hankinson, NT, Ohio State - Aside from Jarvis Jones there is no other defensive player I'd want on our team than him - and that's saying a lot because I'm a huge Bjourn Werner fan but I'll get to him in a second. He's the best 0-Tech prospect to come into the league since BJ Raji (and the most pro ready). He's versatile enough that he can rotate in as a 5-Tech as a rookie to acclimate, and rotate with Franklin/Garay at the NG spot as he does get acclimated. But you plug a front three moving forward of Liuget/Hankinson/Reyes and that has the kind of potential that New England's dynasty front (Warren/Wilfork/Seymour) had. His floor is the roughly 15th pick, most likely, depends on how highly Star Lotulelei grades out (I could see Lotulelei despite some folks having big expectations of him, taking a Dan Williams/Phil Taylor/Mount Cody type fall in the 1st round).
Bjoern Werner, OLB/DE, Florida State - This guy is really polarizing. I've seen some projections that have him as a Top 5-10 pick and others that don't see him much above being a bottom of the 1st round type. And honestly, it's a question of whether he comes out this year or not (though I'd bet given the injury that took out his teammate Brandon Jenkins who was in a similar situation last year coupled with the fact that QB EJ Manuel is a senior and his successor isn't likely to have FSU in National Championship contention, he'll declare). Some folks want to knock him for not facing top caliber competition playing LDE for the 'noles, Others want to cite him not having the stats this season (though much of that is because he's being doubled/chipped on every play with Jenkins out injured and that's allowing Carradine to wreak havoc on the other side). I see him as a somewhere between Chris Long and Ryan Kerrigan - he can play in the pro's at multiple weights (he slimmed down to 256 lbs this season to show scouts his positional flexibility, but he has played productively as high as the high 270's) and multiple positions comfortably (which means he shouldn't have difficulty adding legitimate strength and muscle mass without compromising athleticism). His hips look comfortably flexible (not ideal, but as close as Kerrigan's were), and he's a guy who will require teams to be constantly cognizant of where he is on the field. Most importantly, he's a power-to-speed type rusher and this is important as those are typically the most successful type of 3-4 pass-rushers (Ware, Merriman, Suggs, Matthews, Barwin, McGuinest were all P-to-S rushers).
Barrett Jones, OL, Alabama - Very rarely will I ever advocate for an interior lineman in the 1st round; I was a huge supporter of David Decastro this year, but still he didn't have quite the flexibility that Jones has. And by flexibility I mean that the guy can play all 5 spots on the OL. I realize that there is always some puffery that goes on when college coaches talk about their players, but it's naive to not take notice when Nick Saban compares Jones to NFL Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews. His technique is on-spot and while he's not uber-athletic, he's more than capable. I think he's likely to get drafted as a center, but he's the kind of multi-position Swiss Army type OL that I have little issue signing off a 1st round pick on, the first I've felt this comfortable about since Mike Iupati.
Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan - There's going to be much ado about the underclassmen in this OT class; the seniors are really all that special, but there are a number of juniors with bright futures. Really it comes down to which area(s) you want to put the most premium on: Ceiling vs floor, universal vs specific scheme-fit, attitude/mean-streak, etc. If all are assumed to meet their ceilings, Taylor Lewan will be the best OT from this class - now granted we can't guarantee that, but he does have the highest ceiling of anyone draft-eligible for 2013 at the position. He needs some technique refinement, but he's got it where it's most necessary (he's a natural knee-bender, most of what he needs work on is hand-placement, his footwork has improved considerably from last season to this one). I can't advocate using a 1st round pick on a RT, unless there are aspirations of moving the player to LT by or before the end of his rookie contract. Lewan could do that, particularly if Gaither's health continues to be an issue. That said, I'd sooner spend a 1st on a elite-caliber interior OL than I would a RT.
Jonathan Banks, CB, Mississippi State - I'm of the opinion that Demarcus Milliner is the best CB in this class. He's not the biggest playmaker, but he's the closest thing to a shut-down corner there is in the class that projects to be able to start as a rookie (there are others that have shutdown potential, they just need a bit more polish/conditioning). I'm also of the opinion that Xavier Rhodes will be the 2nd CB off the board - if Stephon Gilmore showed us anything last year it's that teams are willing to pay a premium for size/speed measurables at the boundary corner position (and Rhodes is more than arguably further along in his development than Gilmore was as a prospect). This leaves Banks getting pushed further and further down the draft boards, which I'm fine with because he's quickly becoming extremely underrated. He's got one of the three highest floors among cornerbacks in this draft class (Milliner and Illinois' Terry Hawthorne are the other two), and he's not a sexy corner but he's efficient, smart, and dependable. He plays a lot of off-man at Miss St, indicating that his speed isn't great, but just watching him play off-man versus watching Cason play off-man is like night and day in terms of proper playing versus crap playing. If his speed doesn't come across at the ideal that some teams might like, he's even a candidate to fall to the 2nd round where he'd be a legitimate steal.
Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State - I'm 50/50 on whether he comes out or not (mostly because I can't remember how long tOSU's bowl ban is for, but also because Urban Mayer has a knack for getting underclassmen not to declare early). If he does come out, he is literally my favorite corner prospect in the draft. He's a redshirt-sophomore, so he is eligible, and despite being still so young in his development his footwork and technique are cleaner than most seniors' and some first-year pros'. He's a tooth-and-nail/bite-claw-scratch type competitor with the long speed to hang with WR's, a good sized frame (I'm fairly confident his arm-length is greater than the average for a 5'11" player), and just sick instincts. Effectively, he's Malcolm Jenkins without the limited athletic skills that the actual Malcolm Jenkins has, which required him to get moved to safety as a pro.
I'll take note of some good players that I'd like to see in a Charger uniform, but it all seems like a waste of time and energy until we know where we'll be drafting. We could rebound and be drafting it he late 20's again, or fall to 8-8 and be at 16, or given how Rivers is playing and how weak this team is mentally 5-11 isn't completely out of the question either. And the list of players changes drastically from tier to tier, and will change depending on who our coaches are next year.
Hell we could hire Gus Bradley and go back to a 4-3, or hire someone like Todd Haley, Jay Gruden, Jon Gruden, Rob Chudzinski, or F'n Chip Kelly (a terrible choice IMO) and our entire offense would change.
I really don't start my draft study until Feburary, where its sure the Chargers will not be playing.
Chip Kelly wouldn't change our offense ton (he's far from a strictly option-based coordinator, the guy just works to the best skill-sets of the players available to him). That said, I'm supremely worried about Chip's pro prospects the first time out because he knows very little about defense and has a limited stock of connections in terms of potential assistants at the pro level. If nothing else, Kelly would bring a zone-blocking system here which would play to the strengths of Mathews, honestly Rivers, extend Hardwick's longevity, increase Molk's chances of being an effective starter in the future, and probably make Green worth keeping as a starter (being that he wouldn't be required to pull anymore, which he's absolutely horrible at).
Though he's very likely a guy that's outside of Spanos' typical group of candidates, I still stand by Vic Fangio as being my preferred candidate, as he has ties to guys like Al Saunders - which give him all the crap you want for his term as HC here, his offensive system plays very well into what could/should be our strengths with one effective (well-planned/focused) offseason.
After the news about the stick em we got caught with, time to start looking at 2nd round talent level prospects
It would be an attrocity to take a 1st round pick for that nonsense, I'd be livid. I expect it to be a 7th, 6th at worst.
with a strong offensive linemen, defensive linemen and linebacking free agent class in 2013 it's clear we need to address the corner position with our 1st pick.
Xavier Rhodes, Jonathan Banks, David Amerson or possibly Dee Milliner need to be taken. Hell if Tyrann Mathieu comes out, which I doubt, I'd take him in the 6th or 7th rounds. This team needs all the help they can get at the CB position because Jammer and Cason will be gone, and doubt we go out and sign a Sam Shields, Brent Grimes, Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie or Sean Smith.
Johnathan Banks, David Amerson, Xavier Rhodes and Nickell Robey are my top Corners
Eric Fisher, Jake Mathews and DJ Fluker are all great candidates at RT
If it were I here's how I'd draft
1st Johnathan Banks CB Mississippi State
2nd DJ Fluker OT Alabama
3rd Da'Rick Rogers WR Tennessee Tech
6th (forfeit) Hopefully this is the worst we lose
7th OT (depth)
After we burnt a pick on a CB and OT I wouldn't mind if we used a 3rd or 4th on a developmental QB such as Aaron Murray
Another WR I'd like to get would be Cobi Hamilton
On the one hand, I'm somewhat inclined to think that we need LT more than RT if Harris can play RT for us, but we're so bad across the line in general that I don't think there's any position that shouldn't be a first 3 round consideration.
We have Gaither at LT.. We have Green (Who will get better) at LG.. We have Hardwick, and Molk upcoming at Center, we have Vasquez at RG.. and we have Clary, hopefully Harris overcomes him at RT.
We have Dombro, who hopefully ends this injury flu he's gotten and becomes a viable backup on the left side of the line, and we have Johnnie Troutman we drafted.
Guys that will be FA's in 2013 are Jake Long, Brandon Albert, Sebastian Vollmer, Brandon Moore, Andy LeVitre and Andre Smith all VERY strong, liable offensive linemen. So the market for OL will be pretty deep.
I say draft an OL in the 2nd-3rd round..
David Amerson belongs nowhere near this team. I have yet to see any remote proof this season that he can play corner at the pro level. He lacks recovery speed, he can't play physical at the line to make up for that deficiency, and he's been beaten like a redheaded step-child game after game this season. I'm even seeing reason to doubt Banks' long-seed, but at least he's playing in a way that indicates a much higher football intelligence than Amerson. Rhodes, Poyer, Milliner are all good options, but overvalued if any go in the Top 10, possibly even 15 (unless all three are on the board and you're getting your pick of the litter in the 10-15 range). There is no Darrell Revis in this draft class. There is no Patrick Peterson. There are Joe Haden's and Malcolm Jenkins', but neither one of those guys have particularly justified their draft status (i.e. inside the Top 15) yet.
I'm still skeptical on the "strength" of the OL, DL, and LB free agent classes you're indicating. Really failing to see it in the LB class (a case could be made for Cliff Avril, but our front office and ownership isn't going to shell out $11+ million per year for him, which is exactly what he's after, if not more). Where exactly is the "strength" of the DL class that isn't aging vets who are past their primes like Seymour, Hampton, and Starks? (Henry Melton is as good as franchise tagged, likely the same with Chris Clemons). And on OL, we're not signing Jake Long (he'll be tagged even if he isn't the best fit for their new zone-blocking concept), unless they use the tag on Bowe again (doubtful) the Chiefs will tag Branden Albert, same with the Donkeys and Clady, the Pats with Vollmer (if they don't get a extension done before season's end), the Bills and Levitre... where exactly is this great value? Just curious.
I haven't watched much of Amerson, I was just going off what I saw last year, where he was unbelievable.
I agree there is no Darelle Revis or Patrick Peterson, those are rare talents. And I agree none merit a top 15 pick so we might get stuck with another Antoine Cason.
Free Agent class for 2013 follows,
LB: Brian Urlacher (Highly Unlikely, he'll certainly finish his career in Chicago but you never know), Daryl Smith, Rey Maualuga (Who we've should of drafted instead of English).
DL: Dwight Freeney, Henry Melton, Cliff Avril, Terrance Knighton, Randy Starks, Glen Dorsey, Osi Umenyoria, Michael Johnson, and Israel Idonje.
OL: Jake Long's franchise tag number is 120 % of his cap number this year.. so thats a huge franchise tag, Branden Albert will want a long term deal and probably wants out of the **** hole KC, and there's Brandon Moore and Andre Smith.
I'm just saying, the market is pretty deep in those positions. I'm not saying we're gonna go out and sign these guys, but it might set the market for our current players who we are looking to re-sign this offseason.
I get where you're coming from, but I always temper my expectations with the assumption that if it's reasonable and financially feasible for a team to tag a player they probably will (particularly given the fact that contract values are getting inflated now due to the decrease in the size/guaranteed money of rookie contracts and that remainder being shifted into veteran contracts with the introduction of a salary floor).
Also, to get turned off by Amerson, literally pick ANY game from this season and he's looked like crap. His technique really wasn't all that great last season either, but he was pulling down INT's so it was less "noticed". He'll still get drafted by Day 2 at the latest, might even make it into the 1st round as a safety, but that'll be difficult because his tackling technique is pretty sketchy and this safety class is relatively deep depending on what underclassmen declare.
At this point I'd rank the (likely) CB's from this upcoming class:
(2a. Roby - if he declares)
7a. Commings (UGA)
7b. Hawthorne (Illinois) - Honestly even between the two just based on what scheme is implemented
HM: Leon McFadden, Marcus Trufant, Logan Ryan, Carrington Byndom
Interesting list. Surprised to see Gilbert and Poyer over both Rhodes and Banks. Any particular reason for that.
I really haven't had time to scout anyone this year, since school is getting so busy.
Mostly ceiling, but also largely looking at this from the current defensive scheme we've been using. Banks has a very nice floor, however I do expect his stock to take a bit of a hit come the combine because he's a prime candidate to run slower than folks expect and he doesn't really have the production to fall back on. I'm also not as convinced he's all that scheme versatile.
Rhodes, on the other hand, I'm pretty convinced isn't scheme versatile. He's a press-man corner until he improves/retools his footwork in his backpedal and transitions - and until he did that he'd be getting WORKED underneath in our off-man system. I'm also a little skeptical of Rhodes' instincts - he's a guy getting by on superior athletic ability right now who, unless he takes some strides in development over the summer, could be prime to struggle initially with adapting to the differing rules (and over-sensitivity to contact from defenders) between the pro's and the collegiate level.
Poyer's instincts are just jaw-dropping. Literally, the guy's a Beaver, I want to find a reason to dislike him and I struggle to. He's on the slight side, but his frame can take more muscle and he's still tenacious in spite of his wiry build. His quick-twitch and change-of-direction are also really, really good. Gilbert is growing on me, a lot lately. He's a prime candidate to probably drop lower down my board as we move closer towards the draft, as he's another one I expect to not run as fast as projected (he just doesn't play as fast on tape as sites want to list him), but he's got really good discipline and good quickness (in spite of lacking great straight-line speed). Every time I tune in to watch him I'm looking for a reason to knock him down a peg; I figure sooner or later I'll find it.
I find it's important to put a bit of a premium on ceiling for CB's because: 1) Barring the guys who have both elite athleticism and above-average polish very rarely do rookie CB's make huge impact so why not bank a bit more for the future, 2) with the advent of the rookie wage scale, front offices do place a higher premium on upside and therefore doing so myself offers a better projection/indicator of where prospects are likely to come off the board. Every year we see guys who are "polished" (not perfectly, but well enough) and "instinctive," the guys that get that backhanded compliment "but they're a football player," issued about them by draftniks as a means of defense. And the need for that defense comes when said prospects perform below expectations in timed drills and measurements. You can refer to Iowa State's Leonard Johnson (now the guy on the Bucs who had that pick-6 against Rivers), New Mexico State's Davon House and Stanford's Richard Sherman in 2011, and Miami's Sam Shields and Fresno State's AJ Jefferson in 2010, or similar such prospects who tumbled down draft boards after less-than-desirable outings at the combine and their pro days.
Thus the trick with DB's is typically buy early on ceiling and then later on buy on floor. This seems counter-intuitive, but you look at the teams that have had consistent draft success this is largely the approach they've taken.
This thread rocks more and more every week.
Was just watching some stuff on Roby, and i'm freaking sold...
Freakish athlete in terms of quick twitch/stop-start ability, and is freakin scrappy. Perfect Off man if we continue to run that. Watched him vs. Cal, and he dominated Allen for a majority of the game, i didn't see him get one catch ON ROBY. He wasn't matched up on him all game. He's exactly what i want in our new CB.
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