So without further adieu:
Note: This is pre-Browns game
Jon Stewart - Great pick - Elite running back, only concerns are minor lingering injury problems, top 10 when firing
Jeff Otah - Decent pick - Decent starting calibre RT, has regressed from rookie year, road grader who CAN pass protect
Charles Godfrey - Poor pick - A bust in all but appearances. Does not create enough turnovers to justify his mental lapses.
Dan Connor - Best pick - Elite MLB, poor coverage skills but best linebacker against the run and blitzing. Injury concerns, where does he fit next season?
Gary Barnidge - Average pick - Physical specimen who simply can't make an impact in the passing game, why? HAS had chances, so should be considered a bust.
Nick Hayden - Poor pick - Never was going to be anything other than a backup. Consistently struggles in every area.
Hilee Taylor - Poor pick - Never fitted our scheme and given next to no opportunities. Unsure why he is still on the roster
Geoff Schwartz - Great pick - Decent starting calibre OT/OG, made steady improvement. Amazing back up if OLine is set.
Mackenzy Bernadeau - Great pick - Average starting calibre OG, made improvements. Good back up if OLine is set.
So we picked up two elite level players (Stewart, Connor), two quality starting calibre players (Otah, Schwartz), one average starter (Bernadeau), one BUST starter (Godfrey), 2 poor back ups (Hayden & Taylor) and one enigma (Barnidge)
Connor, Schwartz & Bernadeau have all slowly improved and become at least NFL starting calibre players, Godfrey has also improved but is still a poor standard for a starting safety, as has Hayden at DT. Otah has shown signs of regressing. Moral of the story? Rookies improve. Do not judge our recent draft class too early. Another point? Connor, Mack, Schwartz, Barnidge barely played their rookie season and have all contributed - Do not write off a certain WR off yet because he has barely played...
His talent has never been in doubt, but his durability always a concern. Not because he misses a ton of games, but because he rarely is healthy enough to practice. Until he is able to practice, there will always be the concern that his body is bordering breaking down at an earlier age than usual. Honestly anything I write here should be common knowledge by now, but there are some stats that might impress. Amazingly this did nothing to prevent him from having an impact for us.
Stew averaged 4.1 (LG) & 5.7 (RG) ypc either side of centre Ryan Kalil and continued his strong inside running by racking up 4.1 (LT&LG) & 4.3 (RG&RT) when running between the tackle and guard. What most were exceptionally excited about was seeing him capable of generating yardage when running outside the OLine, with 4.4 to the left and 5.8 to the right. The only area where he seemed to struggle were the off-tackle runs to the left. He managed to generate 35 missed tackles through the season, in line for 5th in the NFL, which generated an average of 3.5 yards after first contact per carry. Couple this with 11 rushing TDs and only 2 fumbles, Stew looked like the real deal. The only area in which he struggled in was the passing game. In 121 snaps he blocked 52 times, giving up 2 pressures and 1 hit on the QB. The other 69 times he ran routes, but was only targeted 16 times, completing 11 of them. When he had the ball he did well, generating 4 missed tackles and a YAC average of 9.5, however getting open was a serious struggle for him. The incredible start he had to his career was really over-shadowed though by DeAngelo Williams & Adrian Peterson, allowing him to essentially fly under the radar somewhat.
Due to an injury to DWill, Stewart stepped out his shadow somewhat in 2009 as he was given the keys to the Carolina offense. He continued his exceptional inside running going as he achieved 5 & 4.1 ypc to the left and right of Ryan Kalil. However his outside running is what gave him the most joy with 6.6 & 6.1 ypc to the left of Gross and right of Otah. On 222 rushes, he amassed 44 missed tackles and an average of 3.3 yards after first contact. Amazing considering he shard half the season with DWill and he was in line with the guys who had played significantly more. 10 TDs and only 3 fumbles played key to our late season revival under Matt Moore. Due to the injury he was given an ever so slightly increased role in the passing game where he took part in 138 passing plays, where he ran a route in 87 of the plays. He was targeted a better 25 times and completed 18 of them, generated 5 missed tackles and scored his first receiving touchdown. His blocking was still an area for concern as he gave up 2 sacks, 3 hits and 2 pressures in 51 snaps when blocking.
So in 2010 once again Stew & DWill were expected to not miss a beat and carry the offense with Matt Moore under centre full time. Unfortunately that has not panned out at all. Stewart has seriously struggled in the power running game, generating his only averages above 4 ypc between the tackles and guards with 4.3 to the left and 5.2 to the right. His outside running has been his worst in his career. More surprising his 69 attempts have produced only 11 missed tackles and his yards after first contact have dropped right down to 1.1. In the passing game he has had 32 opportunities and been targeted 8 times with just 5 catches. He has produced a touchdown and 2 missed tackles, however with the improvement shown from 2008-09, this is a disappointment. He has however shown improvement in his blocking as currently he has only given up 1 hit and 2 pressures in 25 snaps.
Before the start of this season he was penned to have terrific season, but there is more wrong with him than just an offensive line in flux. He is struggling outside the tackles and is making significantly less people miss their tackle. His yards after contact is really surprising as that is the staple of his game and as much as people WANT to pin this on the OLine, it really is a combination of the two.
Draft Pick Analysis
A resounding success in my eyes. Two fantastic years more than make up for the blip this year, especially considering how difficult we are finding it at the moment. Considering this, I honestly would be exceptionally careful about his health. He doesn't miss games, but he misses practices which suggests there is underlying problems and at running back, they will be exposed time and again.
Otah will always be judged by what we gave up to get him, a future first, a second and a 4th gave us the Eagles 19th overall pick. To make it easier for people to understand we gave them the 28th pick, so essentially we traded our 2nd and 4th to move up 9 spots in the first round. What that means is we lost out approximately 331 points of value, equal to a late 2nd round pick. However a future 1st is always viewed as 'cheaper' than a current pick, so that trade difference is actually a lot closer than you would think. This pick, combined with the Stewart pick seemed like a match made in heaven.
Otah started off slow for us and missed 4 games in his first year. However by the end of the season this guy was really finding his feet. His RT spot produced 4.1 & 4.9 yards per carry to the inside and outside of him. Couple that with giving up just 5 sacks, 1 hit and 12 pressures, his struggles in the passing game were somewhat blown out of proportion. His suggested struggles with discipline were also over blown as he gave up just 5 penalties for the season.
We saw Jeff be somewhat exposed in his 2nd year with the Panthers. Again missing 2 games his RT position produced the lowest rushing averages either side of him with 4.4 & 4.1 to the left and right of him. His pas protection was also down from 2008 as he gave up 5 sacks, 4 hits and 18 pressures. He also produced an increased 6 penalties to couple with his lower level of play in 2009.
Possibly the biggest disappointment of this season was not having our road grader to help us lean on our running game even more. Unclear if this is something he could have done about as the timing of his operation was questionable at best.
It can be said that Otah ha slowly regressed since his rookie campaign, however Otah goes through a lot of criticism for areas that probably aren't warranted. Is he the best pass blocker? No, but he is certainly above average to decent. He is a very good run blocker though and coupled with his above average pass protection, he is certainly one of the better RT's int he NFL at the moment. His problem? Injuries.
Draft Pick Analysis
For two years Otah and Stew were seen as a married draft pick, although after looking closer it shows that Stew wasn't as reliant on him as people thought. People judge him on the trade which is unfair, he really was a first round talent and has played like it. Until he plays a full season though, I would not extend him to the value that his play probably merits. Great to have for his rookie deal, but beyond that? A great pickup at the time, although two injury issues in our two first round picks...
Edited by Urrymonster, 01 December 2010 - 05:52 PM.