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Loren's 2016 Chargers Mock Draft

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by AnteaterCharger, Apr 25, 2016.

  1. AnteaterCharger

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

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    Anteater's 2016 Mock Draft
    By: Loren S. Casuto, Bolttalk Podcast Co-Host



    With the 3rd overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers select Jalen Ramsey, defensive back from Florida State.

    The Chargers are picking in the top 5 for the first time since 2004 and need to hit a home run. With the Rams and Eagles going QB at 1-2 the Chargers have their choice of any skill player in the draft. This includes; OTs Laremy Tunsil from Ole Miss & Ronnie Stanley from Notre Dame, DE/OLB Joey Bosa from Ohio State, DE Deforrest Buckner from Oregon, OLB/S Myles Jack from UCLA and DB Jalen Ramsey from Florida State. While I prefer Buckner based on need & skill, and others prefer Tunsil based on last year's play, I believe the team will go with the freak athlete from Seminole U.

    It's usually not a compliment to call any draft pick, let alone one in the top 10, an athlete. With Jalen Ramsey it's the perfect descriptive word. Ramsey is a track star and holds the ACC Indoor long jump record along with competing in the 4x100 relays in addition to being a potential US Olympic team candidate. On the football field Ramsey has played four different positions for the Seminoles and has been outstanding everywhere. He is insanely quick, agile and instinctive making him a perfect all around athlete. Mentally he brings a swagger and confidence level beyond his years combined with hard work and a clear headed mindset. He basically beats an opponent down all game with speed, physicality and smack talk until they're worn down to nothing. He sets the edge and run stops like a linebacker, fights hard when he blitzes and is in pursuit. The only real knocks against him is that his ball skills are inconsistent with only three interceptions at FSU and sometimes he can play out of control.

    In Jalen Ramsey the Chargers have a physical talent, tone setter and force of nature not seen since Shawne Merriman in his prime. The question is what do you do with him? At Florida State he played linebacker, cornerback and both safety positions, sometimes all in the same game. Combined with recent free agent pickups Casey Heyward and Dwight Lowrey, John Pagano can utilize similar packages to put Ramsey against the opposing team's best player. At the very least Ramsey is an upgrade over any DB not named Jason Verret and could immediately start at either cornerback or safety.

    With the 35th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers select Robert Nkemdiche, defensive end from Mississippi.

    More than anything else, the Chargers are screaming for help at defensive end. In 2012 the Chargers thought they had their future 3-4 ends in Kendall Reyes and Corey Liuget. Since then Reyes has been sub-standard at best and left for DC. Liuget was rewarded with a big contract and has only flashed his talent. While the team has good role players like Sean Lissenmore and Darius Philon, they need a legitimate starter. To that they add a player that, in January, would've been in consideration for the #3 selection.

    Once considered a top 5 selection, Nkemdiche has seen his stock fall like a large football player from a fourth story balcony. At 6'3 293lbs he looks like a lean linebacker instead of a defensive lineman with an athlete's skill set (that word again). He has a great first step which can be transformed into power with great hand placement. He plays low and has shown improvement in splitting double teams, watching the ball and in all around becoming a better pass rusher. He also is a surefire tackler with very few broken tackles. On the negative he has all the talent but hasn't put together a dominant season, or even stretch of games. He has questionable character, even using the combine to blame teammates for some of his mistakes, and gives very inconsistent effort play to play and game to game.

    If Nkemdiche was to turn it on, he could become a dominant superstar. He hasn't so far and is coming to a Chargers defense short of leaders who can demand accountability. While Jonathan Bullard and Vernon Butler are safer picks with some potential greatness, Nkemdiche is legitimately boom or bust without much middle ground. He'd start immediately opposite Liuget and Mebane, the rest is up to him and his coaches. In the second round, it's a worthwhile roll of the dice.

    With the 66th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers select Nick Martin, center from Notre Dame.


    Going into the 2015 season the Chargers had, what looked to be, an outstanding offensive line. They brought in Orlando Franklin and Joe Barksdale, DJ Fluker was moving to his 'chosen' position of guard and Chris Watt was healthy and ready to step up. Coming into the 2016 draft, basically everyone is still there by there's little confidence. The only position without a player penned in as a starter in center where neither Chris Watt nor Trevor Robinson have been healthy/effective/both. To that, the Chargers add another Notre Dame player to fix the mess the last two made.

    Out of all the potential centers in this class I have Nick Martin rated the highest. He's not the biggest at 6'4 299lbs, but has a great combination of leadership, technically sound play and attitude. This is especially the case when on the move as Martin can pull, trap and block on the move with ease. In pass or run blocking Martin plays fundamentally sound so that while he might not drive you four yards off the ball, you aren't breaking through. In addition no other center looks to bury people like Martin. It's odd as he's not a road grader or an insanely powerful player but he fights through the whistle and if told to get someone he will put him on the ground no matter what it takes. The only negatives are that he can be stiff, some of that from a knee injury in 2014, and he needs to get better recognizing blitzes.

    Martin is the final piece of the Chargers offensive line puzzle and should start the minute he gets into camp. He'll replace the other two Golden Domers (Watt and Robinson) who were unable to stay healthy, play effectively, or both. Robinson could be released (freeing up $2 million in cap space) while Watt can transition into a backup guard/center. With this move, on paper, the Chargers offensive line is seven players deep and should be outstanding. Should be.

    With the 102nd overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers select Hassan Ridgeway, defensive tackle from Texas


    Since 2009 the Chargers drafted Cam Thomas in 2010 and Ryan Carrethuers in 2014 while bringing in Sean Lissenmore, Antonio Garay and Damion Square at one time or another. While some have flashed ability none have been able to hold down the job since Jamal Williams. It's the holy grail of Charger fans complaints. The Chargers did sign the 31yr old Brandon Mebane to handle the nose tackle job, but he's not a long term solution. In the 4th (assuming the Chargers don't trade this pick again!!), the Bolts grab a Californian transplant to Texas.

    Hassan Ridgeway is 6'3 303lbs, light for a nose tackle in a 3-4. What would allow him to succeed is not only his versatility, having lined up all along multiple fronts, but his tenacity and power. He is well built with incredible upper and lower body strength allowing him to hold and beat double teams with regularly. In fact it's hard to find clear situations where offensive linemen outright beat him. When he sets an edge and gets his hands on someone he's rarely moved or beaten. He also has a great character and fights like a man possessed every down. On the negative Ridgeway was bothered by injuries all year long and has conditioning issues, in part due to playing hard every play. Much like every nose tackle he has to maintain his weight and is limited in range.

    While he might not be the right size to play nose tackle in a traditional 3-4, Ridgeway has the power and mindset to contribute almost immediately on the line. Mebane could not only start but provide mentoring to a young defensive line group that all of a sudden has alot of talent and youth. At the worst Ridgeway could be a solid rotational run stopper. At the best he could be a great nose tackle for the Chargers 3-4.

    With the 175th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers select Blake Martinez, inside linebacker from Stanford


    Prior to the 2015 draft, many Charger fans thought inside linebacker was set with the primary three of Manti Te'o, Kavell Connor and the disappointing Donald Butler. Denzel Perryman came along, became a leader and starter, and prior to the 2016 draft the Chargers are in the same position. However the team needs depth as behind the starters is only Nick Dzubnar, a talented undrafted free agent who didn't play much last year.

    Blake Martinez was a two year starter and second team All-American and made his name as one of the most powerful and physical members of the Cardinals. He attacks the line of scrimmage iwth heavy hands and good leverage, playing with bad intentions while kepeing his head on a swivel. Martinez has solid awareness in zone coverage with five interceptions in his career. On the negative he needs to learn to tone down his aggression and can't be put in a man coverage situation as he doesn't have the speed to run downfield with many backs or tight ends (see Te'o, Manti).

    Martinez and last year's UDFA find Nick Dzubnar will provide quality depth behind Te'o and Perryman, giving both players the chance to rest. Just as with Te'o and Perryman, Martinez's physicality and take on skills are a good compliment for Dzubnar's speed and coverage skills.

    With the 179th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers select Beau Sandland, tight end from Montana State


    The Chargers tight end situation started the off-season as desperate bordering on disastrous. Since then it's improved but there's still room for improvement. The legendary Antonio Gates signed a two year deal and will retire a Charger soon. Jeff Cumberland was signed away from the Jets and brings experience and blocking ability. The team also seems very high on Sean McGrath and Asante Cleveland. Still they need some kind of young talent to take over for Gates sooner rather than later.

    Sandland is a double transfer having moved from Pierce Community College (Los Angeles) to the University of Miami to Montana State. He doesn't have any single amazing physical trait at 6'4 253lbs he has good, but not great, hand size and speed. However the sum, and the potential for more, are greater than the parts. Sandland is a very good blocker who understands angles and far advanced than many starting tight ends. He goes over the middle fearlessly, has good top speed and agility along with natural ball skills. His biggest concerns are that he needs to learn how to run routes and set up defenders better as well as spend more time in the weight room.

    Sandland could be a potential red shirt this year; sitting on the sidelines and learning from the two experienced tight ends with different skill sets. This however is a great situation for him to develop without being rushed. By 2017 Sandland could be the team's starting tight end and, with continued development, should be a very good multi-role player on the field.

    With the 198th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers select Tom Hackett, punter from Utah.


    Charger fans haven't been spoiled in many areas but one of those has been punter. Besides having good players in the past like John Kidd, the team has had an excellent punter on the roster for over 20 years. Starting with Darren Bennett and his successor Mike Scifres, the Chargers have never had to worry about their ability to pin opponents deep. Now it's time to prepare for the next successor.

    A walk on from Australia who had never played American Football before Utah, Hackett walks away as 3 time All-Pac-12 player and the winner of the Ray Guy award for best punter in the nation. He has the best punting average in the nation at 48 yards and is known for kicking accurately and powerfully any time he touches the ball. He's also pretty good at running fake punts.

    I know that punters and kickers rarely get selected in the draft unless they're special. Hackett is one of those cases, and is clearly the best punter in the draft. This sixth round would be similar to where the Chargers selected Mike Scifres in 2003. With Hackett on board, Scifres can retire or be cut which will save the Chargers another much needed $3 million. And in Hackett you are losing very little in ability to pin opponents down on every drive.

    With the 224th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers select Deon Bush, strong safety from Miami


    The Chargers entered the draft with both safety spots filled with Dwight Lowrey at free safety and Jahleel Addae at strong safety. This draft has already seen Jalen Ramsey take the free safety position (along with any other roles the defense can throw him in), so why not upgrade the one safety position in flux for the past decade?

    Prior to the 2015 season, some believed Deon Bush to be one of the better senior safeties in the country. Fast forward to today, and few think that. 2015 was a disaster season for Bush who played poorly and had some disastrous games for a team with a leadership crisis. Look beyond the bad season and you'll see a player that checks off a lot of boxes. At 6'0 199lbs Bush has good size, speed and range. What really separates him is his aggression; he's in many ways similar to Perryman in that he plays the game at full speed with bad intentions. Bush tackles well and can even play well in man coverage against many tight ends and receivers. He also has sterling character and work ethic. On the negative was his atrocious season which exposed his over aggressive nature, his tunnel vision and limited instincts.

    Most recent Hurricane draftees have had poor college careers only to find success in the NFL. Bush has all the makings of a good special teamer and could start soon. Bush is Jahleel Addae with better coverage skills and a better focused aggression level. I could see Bush playing alongside Ramsey at safety and combined with guys like Perryman & Nkemdiche providing the Chargers defense with talent and attitude.

    Hey! Why didn't you grab a....?

    Fullback: While this is a good draft for fullbacks, it's incredibly rare for one to be drafted ever. we are also unsure if the Chargers want to recommit a roster spot to a limited player like that. Still the team could use their second 6th rounder on a Dan Vitale out of Northwestern or Melvin Gordon's old blocking mate at Wisconsin, Derek Watt.

    Wide Receiver: The only reason I didn't go wide receiver is simply because every other need outranks it. With Travis Benjamin, Keenan Allen, Stevie Johnson, Dontrelle Inman, Javonte Herndon and Tyrell Williams, the Chargers can afford to go UDFA fishing instead. If someone does fall like Keenan Allen did though, the Chargers could easily grab a steal.

    Cornerback: There's no vacancy. Period. Prior to the draft the Chargers have Brandon Flowers, Jason Verrett, Casey Heyward and Craig Mager in the first four spots along with Greg Ducre and Steve Williams. Even if the Chargers grabbed Jalen Ramsey it's doubtful he'd be a full time cornerback.

    Quarterback: Once you get past the big three of Carson Wentz, Jared Goff and maybe Paxton Lynch, there's a huge drop off in talent. And just like with receivers, there are bigger needs to fill. More likely than not the team will go UDFA or perhaps 7th round where there's some interesting names like Brandon Allen from Arkansas.
     
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  2. Pointyearedog

    Pointyearedog I only put idiots on ignore...

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    Interesting choices.
     
  3. MadMike

    MadMike Well-Known Member

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    Solid draft, I might perfer Vitale in the 6th over the punter. I agree we need a punter but Vitale is a great player who can block and catch the ball and I think he'd work wonders in Whiz's offense.
     
  4. OP Bolt

    OP Bolt BoltTalker

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    You scratched my three big itches - S/DL/OC. I would love to see what your other options were besides Robert Nkemdiche at #35, but doubling down with Ridgeway later on was a good insurance move.

    Regarding Ramsey, the first year, I can see him playing in the nickel & dime packages, which likely would get him on the field for the majority of defensive plays. Whether you call him a nickel corner or a third safety doesn't matter (to me). I can also see him rotating with Addae (if not beating him out) at SS and leaving Lowery to the center field, single high FS. Lot's of options, including some explosive blitzes.
     
  5. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Tommy isn't touching a player with serious red flags.... I'd cross Nkemdiche off that list.
     
  6. AnteaterCharger

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

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    If it's not Nkemdiche I imagine it'll be Bullard or maybe Chris Jones assuming he doesn't go much earlier. The wild card for me is Vernon Butler; he could play 0/1 tech (NT) but he's got the arms and ability to play DE without issue.

    Re Nkemdiche, the Chargers have met with him three times. Honestly I think there's some fire to this smoke and the more I read about him I think it's less 'red flags' than its 'a completely different cat'. Most players fall into a couple of broad general categories, but Nkemdiche just strikes me as someone that breaks out of those molds - and for that it's a red flag. I agree there's a ton of risk but I think A) in the second he's worth it and B) he's the highest ceiling of Butler/Jones/Bullard

    Re Ramsey I just see him playing all over the place. The Chargers have enough complimentary pieces that they can move Ramsey around like they did with Weddle, only putting him at different positions too. I think Ramsey has the most talent of anyone in this class period, even if I'm not a fan.
     
  7. ThunderHorse17

    ThunderHorse17 Lone Wolf

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    I like playing up as much as possible that Ramsey is our pick to force a trade up for a team that's willing to take a S at 3. I just don't want it to be us.

    S this year is as much a crap shoot after 1 or 2 shining gems as it is every year, so I can't hate us takin a guy with so much potential over a ready to go sure fire 6+ year cure for what ails our lines.

    Imo more value taking tunsil or Buckner who I'm ok with reaching 5-8 picks above his perceived value for.

    And Imo as many other nfl fans, this year's drafts top 10 has 6 at best true top 10ers. The rest in a great draft class would be fringe 11-15 ranked players.

    Luckily this draft is overstuffed with quality 2nd and 3rd round potential. Jus wish we had more picks in the top 75.
     
  8. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    For what it's worth I do think Ramsey can play CB, he still gets a legit 1st round grade as a corner. All his measurables are right there with Patrick Peterson, so it's not about size/speed/quickness. The reason he's tabbed as a safety is because he has a sloppy backpedal, but that's a skill that can be developed like any other; and there are other coverage techniques CBs can lean on.

    My only concern for him at CB would be matching up vs smaller receivers (something even Peterson and Sherman struggle with), but we have Jason Verrett for those Antonio Brown type matchups.

    I think it's also a key chess piece for our defense to have a guy we can line up against receiving TEs. Oh, and he's an excellent wrap up tackler, something we as Charger fans should cherish.
     
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  9. Pointyearedog

    Pointyearedog I only put idiots on ignore...

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    Just for grins and giggles, who was the last Charger player that could wrap up and really tackle somebody? Is there a standard to measure by?
     
  10. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    Quentin Jammer. Who ironically was a top 5 pick for us, a guy that people said for years should have been moved to S. Eric Weddle was a pretty good tackler up until last year.
     
  11. Chaincrusher

    Chaincrusher BoltTalker

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    No, Ramsey's measurables are not right there with Patrick Peterson's. That is bullcrap! And I am not talking about some small speed advantage that Peterson has (4.34 versus 4.41 in the 40 yard dash).

    I told you already that you could see hip fluidity/agility differences between Peterson and Ramsey during the combine when NFLN people showed video of Peterson and video of Ramsey when they tried to make that comparison. If you don't want to believe me, that's fine, but the numbers do not lie.

    Peterson's 3-cone time was 6.58. To give you an idea of just how good that is, Verrett's was 6.69. Ramsey's is 6.94. That is a big difference in overall agility and you are just wrong to say that all of Ramsey's measurables are right there with Peterson's. That is a bunch of crap.

    Peterson's 20 yard short shuttle is also marginally better at 4.07 versus 4.18. (Verrett's time was 4.00.) This means that Peterson quicker and more agile. That tends to go along with being able to cover better.

    But most of all, the greatest difference between Peterson and Ramsey is in the area of ball skills. For example, if you read Peterson's nfl.com draft profile, it specifically mentions that Peterson has elite ball skills (the profile author's words, not mine). This has certainly proven to be true in Peterson's NFL career.

    Ramsey, by contrast has below average ball skills. This is evidenced by his lack of turnover production in college and by his performance in drills at both the combine and at his pro day. He does not locate the ball well. He does not high point the ball well. His hands are below average to average. Numerous analysts have noted that his ball skills are not a strength (putting it mildly), including Telesco's former boss, Bill Polian.

    Ramsey has the talent to play in the NFL. Nobody is disputing that. But the comparison to Patrick Peterson is sheer garbage. Ramsey is nowhere near that good of a player and that is why we have no business taking him at #3 overall, which even higher than Peterson himself was taken in the draft.

    I do think that looking at Peterson gives us an idea of what a top 5 CB would look like, though. Because Ramsey is less than that, I see him as having the ability of a bottom half of the first round kind of player (not top 15, but maybe top 20). In short, Ramsey is overrated.
     
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  12. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Mike Mayock on the Chargers 1st round pick:

    I think the conversation is that Tunsil might be a better athlete today, but Stanley’s a better run blocker and his feet are really close. As an evaluation, they’re very, very close. And Stanley’s got no off-the-field issues. There are some teams that like Stanley. So my point is, in San Diego, I think there’s got to be a conversation going on that, one, should we take either Tunsil or Stanley? and, does that trump Jalen Ramsey?

    These guys lost (safety Eric) Weddle. There’s some concerns at the back end, whether it’s (cornerback) Brandon Flowers turning 30, Casey Hayward being your nickel, (and) Jason Verrett, who I really like, but being a short corner.

    You look at this kid Ramsey. He can play any of the positions – inside, outside or nickel – and hopefully doing it at a high level day one. So, I think that’s the conversation. Who can make the bigger impact? I think if you’re Philip Rivers, you’re hoping and praying for one of those tackles, though.
     
  13. AnteaterCharger

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

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    If it's Stanley that's the one pick that would cause me to declare the draft a complete and other disaster. Doesn't matter who/what else they did, it's an F
     
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  14. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    So, that's a maybe on Stanley then? ;)
     
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  15. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    Im sort of torn, I have Tunsil as my #1, but I don't know his off field baggage like Telesco might. I can see why Telesco, a guy who loves his squeaky clean prospects, would have Stanley higher. I also think Stanley has just as much upside as Tunsil, he's just not there yet. At 3 I wouldn't even consider it, but in a trade down where we get multiple picks to move back to 8 or something, for sure I'd be fine with it.

    I just don't believe Telesco will actually take a LT after restructuring Dunlap, unless Philip Rivers came to him in person and said "help me out bro."
     
  16. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    "Help me out bro"..... a phrase that you'll never hear from Philip Rivers. ;)
     
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  17. Chaincrusher

    Chaincrusher BoltTalker

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    Why? He is a better run blocker and less injury prone than Tunsil. He is a good pass blocker as well, though Tunsil may have slightly better technique at present. Dunlap has been injury prone. Stanley would likely start at RT for his first year and then take over at LT the following year, where he be for the next decade or so. He would be a very good pick.

    The only other pick that would be better is Buckner, who would solve our single greatest positional problem, where we do not have a starting caliber player on the roster.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2016
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  18. Chaincrusher

    Chaincrusher BoltTalker

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    It has been reported that several teams have Stanley rated higher than Tunsil and it does not have anything to do with character issues. I heard just today on an ESPN clip that we are supposed to be one of those teams.

    Stanley is a better run blocker and less injury prone. He is also a little bit bigger than Tunsil, who is on the small side for an NFL OT. Tunsil is a better pass blocker right now could have a better pass blocking ceiling.

    It isn't as if Tunsil is clearly the better player at all. The two players are very close, but as I have said for months, I would choose Stanley over Tunsil if I had to chose between the two.
     
  19. AnteaterCharger

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

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    In addition the 49ers are supposedly in love with Stanley. I'm thinking this is a smokescreen to get a team like the Ravens to pay up.
     
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  20. Chaincrusher

    Chaincrusher BoltTalker

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    That can't be ruled out, but the reports make it sound like at least a significant minority, if not a majority of teams prefer Stanley. If so, it seems like your smokescreen theory would not account for that.

    Sometimes the NFL folks see players a little differently than the media folks see them, so it may seem strange to consider Stanley as being on par with Tunsil. It is easier for me to accept that in this case because I have had Stanley rated higher than Tunsil all along.

    But the opposite has been the case at QB where I saw Goff as being much better than everyone else and seemingly out of nowhere Wentz is being discussed as being right on par with Goff and the trade ups now make it pretty clear that Wentz and Goff are considered about equal, a thought which I would have completely dismissed even as late as after the combine.
     

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